Cover for No Agenda Show 1330: Cattle-lyst Converter
March 18th, 2021 • 3h 37m

1330: Cattle-lyst Converter


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

Vaccines and such
Peer-reviewed study that says you will have a worsening effect if you have the vaccine
'Results of the peer reviewed medical study= COVID‐19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralising
antibodies may sensitise vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not
vaccinated.' TO MORE SEVERE DISEASE THAN IF THEY WERE NOT VACCINATED..In other words the next time
the common cold comes around the chances are you are going to get greater and more severe disease
if you are vaccinated compared to those that don't get the completely experimental, genetically
modifying covid vaccine..
Informed consent disclosure to vaccine trial subjects of risk of COVID‐19 vaccines worsening
clinical disease
by Timothy Cardozo and Ronald Veazey First published in the International journal of clinical
practice,: 28 October 2020
Absolute risk reduction of vaccines 1%
In the FDA guidelines it says the agency has to provide an absolute risk reduction for a product, not only a relative risk reduction.
"“Provide absolute risks, not just relative risks. Patients are unduly influenced when risk information is presented using a relative risk approach; this can result in suboptimal decisions. Thus, an absolute risk format should be used.” " (quote & reference in the 2nd link, MDPI)
in the BMJ British Medical Journal 3 months ago the associate editor Peter Doshi wrote:
"First, a relative risk reduction is being reported, not absolute risk reduction, which appears to be less than 1%."
"Unreported absolute risk reduction measures of 0.7% and 1.1% for the Pfzier/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, respectively, are very much lower than the reported relative risk reduction measures. Reporting absolute risk reduction measures is essential to prevent outcome reporting bias in evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy."
Emergency Use Authorization
Leddy. Vaccine I want to be free
Information from January about risks of blood clotting and thrombosis from vaccination
As you heard by now, multiple countries in Europe have suspended the use of the Astrazeneca vaccine due to concerns of thrombosis and blood clotting.
Interestingly, I came across this open letter from Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD, who already back on January 26th was trying to sound the alarm about exactly this issue:
He made it very clear that he was not trying to discredit the vaccine, and was supportive of the vaccinations - he was only trying to raise awareness of a potential danger, and to convince the authorities to prepare medical protocols to avoid the issues. Well, that didn't seem to happen, probably because any opinion which is not 110% aligned with the official narrative is automatically dismissed as "anti-vax conspiracy theory".
I'm going to paste some relevant snippets from the article here:
"The goal of maximally and quickly vaccinating the population is the correct and laudable public health goal. It will save many lives [...]. But, in the present national emergency, simply because we know that the majority of citizens in our society will benefit from vaccination cannot justify a regulatory and corporate failure to robustly mitigate against known and rationally prognosticated dangers to the minority subset of persons at risk of harm."
"The ACE-2 receptor on endothelium is the portal for viral entry into endothelial cells — and it seems that endothelial injury from the virus or from the inflammatory reaction it incites, is the reason why many COVID-19 patients experience thromboembolic complications.
So it is a matter of certainty that viral antigens are present in the endothelial lining of blood vessels in all persons with active or recent SARS-CoV-2 infection — irrespective of whether they are symptomatic or convalescent.
I am writing to warn that it is an almost certain immunological prognotication that if viral antigens are present in the tissues, any tissues, of subjects who undergo vaccination, the antigen specific immune response triggered by the vaccine will target those tissues and cause inflammation and damage beyond the local anatomic site of vaccine placement.
Most pertinently, when viral antigens are present in the vascular endothelium or other layers of the blood vessel, and especially in elderly and frail with cardiovascular disease, the antigen specific immune response incited by the vaccine is almost certain to do damage to the vascular endothelium. Such vaccine directed endothelial damage is certain to cause blood clot formation with the potential for major thromboembolic complications, at least in a subset of such patients. If a majority of younger more robust patients might tolerate such vascular injury from a vaccine immune response, many elderly and frail patients with cardiovascular disease almost certainly will not.
Therefore, it is my respectful request that FDA, in collaboration with Pfizer and Moderna, immediately and at the very minimum, institute clear recommendations to clinicians that they delay or avoid immunization in any recently convalescent patients, as well as, any “known or suspected” symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers — and to actively screen as many patients with high cardiovascular risk as is reasonably possible, in order to detect the recent or current presence of SARS-CoV-2, prior to vaccinating them."
It's important to note that the risks that Dr. Noorchashm was trying to warn about are not specific to one single vaccine. Due to how Covid and the antigens work, the risks would exist with any vaccine. But, as usual, the media and the authorities can only focus on one thing at a time. And because Astrazeneca has had serious frictions with the EU (caused by how stupidly the EU has negotiated the contract), they were quick to pin this one on Astrazeneca. Maybe too quick?
Vaccine Day
To move the needle on adoption, some public-health advocates are promoting an unorthodox incentive: a one-time-only federal holiday. National Vaccine Day, which might fall on the Friday of Labor Day weekend 2021, would serve multiple purposes. Filled with live music, block parties and other in-person events, it would be a mass celebration that commemorates the doctors, nurses and other essential personnel who continue to work through the pandemic. And for groups that may still be reluctant to get their shot, the prospect of joining the festivities might help convince skeptics and holdouts to embrace inoculation beforehand.
Vaccine Day might also be a time to actually get vaccinated — and a day off from work to do it. But the event’s primary role is symbolic, not practical. “The main goal is to have a celebration and encourage people to vaccinate beforehand, and to create a positive association for vaccines overall,” says Josh Morrison, co-founder of the vaccine-focused nonprofit group 1Day Sooner.
AstraZeneca Covid vaccine: Doctors react as EU countries suspend shot
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 14:38
A healthcare worker prepares a syringe with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 dose at Coria City Hospital, Spain.
Gustavo Valiente | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images
LONDON '-- Health experts say they are disappointed and confused by the flurry of suspensions of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, warning there is not yet enough data to justify these decisions.
Sweden and Latvia on Tuesday joined a fast-growing list of European countries suspending the use of the vaccine as a precautionary measure following reports of blood clots. Germany, France, Italy and Spain on Monday said they would all stop administering the shot.
Other countries, such as Austria, have temporarily paused the use of certain batches of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Thailand on Friday became the first Asian nation to halt the use of the shot over safety concerns.
The U.K., Canada and Australia '-- which are continuing to deploy the vaccine '-- are among some of the countries seeking to reassure citizens about its benefits.
The World Health Organization, Europe's drug regulator and the International Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis have all recommended that countries continue to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
There are no signs yet of any data that really justify these decisions.
Michael Head
Senior research fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton
"The decisions by France, Germany and other countries look baffling," said Dr. Michael Head, senior research fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton, U.K.
"The data we have suggests that numbers of adverse events related to blood clots are the same (and possibly, in fact lower) in vaccinated groups compared to unvaccinated populations," he continued.
"Halting a vaccine roll out during a pandemic has consequences. This results in delays in protecting people, and the potential for increased vaccine hesitancy, as a result of people who have seen the headlines and understandably become concerned. There are no signs yet of any data that really justify these decisions," Head added.
Experts at WHO will meet on Tuesday to review the safety of the shot.
The European Medicines Agency, which is also evaluating the safety of the drug, has said there is no indication that it is causing blood clots, adding that it believes the vaccine's benefits "continue to outweigh its risks."
What has AstraZeneca said?More than 17 million people in the European Union and the U.K. have received a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, with fewer than 40 cases of blood clots reported as of last week, AstraZeneca said in a statement.
The pharmaceutical giant said that across the EU and U.K. there had been 15 events of deep vein thrombosis and 22 events of pulmonary embolism reported among those vaccinated.
"This is much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar across other licensed COVID-19 vaccines," AstraZeneca said.
The EMA has also said that the data available so far showed that the number of blood clots in vaccinated people is no higher than that seen among the general population.
A bottle of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Igor Petyx | KONTROLAB | LightRocket via Getty Images
Europe's caution about the drug has compounded the woes of the region's ailing vaccination campaign and comes at a time when Germany's public health agency has warned that a third wave of coronavirus infections has already begun.
Dr. Stephen Griffin associate professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, said the news that many countries in Europe had suspended the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was "disappointing."
"Since many European countries are currently experiencing another resurgence of SARS-CoV2 infections and yet are lagging behind in terms of roll out, the importance of continuing the vaccination programmes cannot be underestimated, and the harm caused by depriving people of access to a vaccine will likely vastly outweigh even the worst case scenario if any link to the clotting disorders is eventually found," Griffin said.
"It should also be noted that nationwide gestures such as this are bound to fuel hesitancy, or more extreme anti-vaccine sentiment, further undermining the vaccination effort," he added.
How does the vaccine work?The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is a shot designed to prevent the coronavirus in people aged 18 and older. It is made up of an adenovirus that has been modified to contain the gene for making a protein from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. As such, the vaccine does not contain the virus and cannot cause Covid.
The most common side effects of the shot are typically mild or moderate and improve within a few days of vaccination.
Late-stage clinical trials found the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot to have an average efficacy of 70% in protecting against the virus.
"We are closely reviewing reports but the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause," said Dr. Phil Bryan, vaccines safety lead at the U.K.'s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
"Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. More than 11 million doses of the AZ vaccine have now been administered across the UK, and the number of blood clots reported after having the vaccine is not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population," he continued.
"We are working closely with international counterparts in understanding the global safety experience of COVID-19 vaccines and on the rapid sharing of safety data and reports. People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so," Bryan said.
Let Us Out!
Japanese swab test gargle
Your segment about someone cleaning their nose out before a test reminded me of this medicine I found recently. I had been researching why the spread of COVID is so low in Japan and came across information about the Japanese obsession of gargling to prevent colds and flu. One thing led to another and I found this medication that has been researched and proven effective in several studies for helping to prevent infection with the Rona. It's essentially Betadine that is formulated for the mouth and/or nose. They make a spray for your mouth and also swabs for the nose.
I got some of it and tried it out and I didn't have any sort of bad reactions or anything. I think it might be a worthwhile precaution to use while traveling. Also, it looks and smells exactly like "Lugol's iodine" which is popular in Russia and other parts of Europe for disinfecting the throat. However, it tastes completely different and is a different chemical compound. I think the thing they have in common is a very small amount of iodine.
Sir. Dude Named Jim
Anyway, this might be useful for swabbing one's nose before traveling.
Wing-Mei on Atlanta Asian Shooting
They are right that not all cases are racially motivated, but this only applies when the perpetrators are black. The boba liberal community fought very loudly against Asians perpetuating "anti-black" sentiments and further criminalization of black people, some even going as far to say that maybe Asians deserve racism. They fought against justice for the victims, complained about lack of media coverage, and blamed everything on White Supremacy. This created a sharp divide within the Asian American community.
For the massage parlor shooting, because the shooter was white and because of the number of people killed, it very quickly made national news. My social media feed is exploding into a BLM-2020-esque storm with constant trauma porn and virtue signaling. People are very quick to call it a hate crime, even after the shooter told police it was not racially motivated (rather, it was to eliminate sexual temptation; still, a truly horrific act). Now that it was done by a white person and therefore fits the narrative that White Supremacy is killing Asians, we can talk about it. The fetishization of Asian women is another huge trigger, because of how they have been sexualized in the media and throughout history. The article below from USA Today gives more detail on the incident.
''Incels'' Like The Florida Yoga Studio Shooter Are Probably Not Being Tracked By The Feds
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 11:29
He was radicalized on the internet. He shot a group of strangers. But Scott Beierle, who killed two women and injured four others in a Florida yoga studio on Friday, is in all likelihood not a terrorist in the eyes of the federal government.
Federal laws do not provide authorities with a way to prosecute men who become violent as part of their vendetta against women as domestic terrorists, experts say. And because they're unlikely to fall into this category, there's no national system in place to track the rise of attacks by "incels" who are steeped in violent ideology.
"We have perfect records of international terrorism prosecution '-- we have really miserable records for domestic terrorism," Mary McCord, a professor at Georgetown Law School and former head of the US Department of Justice's national security division, told BuzzFeed News.
Beierle is the latest of several men to have connected with "incel" or "involuntary celibate" communities online before going on violent rampages. Before Friday's shooting, he raged against women online for years, calling them "sluts" and "whores" in videos, and recorded songs in which he talked about ripping off a woman's head and chaining a woman up in his basement to rape her.Another self-described "incel" is awaiting trial for the murders of 10 people in Toronto earlier this year. Both men had aligned themselves with Elliot Rodger, who became something of an "incel" hero after he killed six people and injured 14 in a shooting in Isla Vista, California, in 2014. Almost a decade ago, in 2009, a man wrote about his hatred of women online before shooting and killing three women at a gym in suburban Pittsburgh.
Federal statutes that apply to domestic terrorism exclude such cases because they are limited to people who either use a "weapon of mass destruction" '-- which does not include guns '-- or "materially support terrorists" with supplies.
Men like the Tallahassee shooter could be prosecuted under hate crimes laws, but because cases of gender-based violence are enforced by state and local authorities, the feds rarely get involved, Sandra Park, senior attorney with the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, told BuzzFeed News.
"Usually there has to be some sort of crossing of state lines or using a weapon from another state or something like that, for federal authorities to be interested," she said.McCord, of Georgetown Law, advocates a federal domestic terrorism law that could treat men like Beierle as a wider threat to national security. She said a specific domestic terrorism law would also allow for records to be kept '-- one way to track the proliferation of extremist ideology that results in violent attacks.
"Normally murder is thought of as a local offense,'' McCord said. ''But when you're doing it with this intent to send a message far and wide, that transcends Tallahassee itself, right, and it sends a broader message '-- that I think warrants being a federal offense."
The lack of organized records on attacks like these also means that there's little transparency in how and when federal authorities apply domestic terrorism charges, according to Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project.
"Here's the problem: We don't even know exactly how the FBI tracks domestic terrorism. There is a domestic terror statute on the books but it is very, very limited," she said, adding that "oftentimes what would look like domestic terrorism to me or you is not treated that way by the feds."
Beirich noted the overlap between violent misogynists and racist alt-right culture '-- Beierle, for one, posted misogynistic, racist, and anti-Muslim messages online.
"There's a lot of press lately about how the government isn't taking the threat of white supremacist terrorism seriously enough, and the fact is whether it's Elliot Rodger, this guy, or some of these other anti-woman incidents, these people didn't just harbor anti-woman sentiments, they have the whole alt-right thinking going on," Beirich said.
In the context of white supremacist violence, the federal government's definition of domestic terrorism has come under renewed scrutiny in recent weeks, especially in the wake of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, and the bombs mailed to media and critics of President Trump.
McCord says a specific federal domestic terrorism law would allow authorities to prosecute perpetrators as domestic terrorists when they commit violent crimes with the intention to intimidate and coerce a group of people.
"This shooting in Tallahassee would be murder, so that would qualify, and if his writings and stuff established that he did this with the intent to intimidate and coerce women, or civilians, then that could be domestic terrorism. Same with the synagogue shooting, same with the attempt to use the bombs," she said.
The Justice Department's counsel for domestic terrorism, Thomas Brzozowski, refuted the idea that ''domestic terrorists are getting a 'pass.''' He has argued that prosecutors can, in fact, use state and federal charges to bring domestic terrorists to justice. The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Despite the lack of a mechanism to track ''incels'' in the same way as foreign terrorist groups, cases like the Tallahassee attack should be taken seriously as terrorist incidents, said J.M. Berger, an author and analyst who studies extremism online.
But he said there are particular challenges to investigating people who are radicalized online, because their influences are not always easy to track.
''The challenge is that for most investigative purposes, we can't go after the larger-scale problem with enhanced resources in the absence of some kind of criminal conspiracy by some kind of discrete organization,'' he said. ''When people are radicalized online, their sources are often amorphous social movements, which are difficult to pursue under existing laws.''
Tallahassee Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Damon Miller Jr. told BuzzFeed News that because Beierle is dead they are not investigating the shooting as ''as a crime per se, but we are investigating all angles to include that as to why he did it, why he chose our community, why he chose that studio, and why he shots the patrons of that studio.'' He said the department is reviewing his videos and posts online as part of that investigation.
A Florida State Police spokesperson said the department is assisting the Tallahassee police. The FBI said that while it too is providing some assistance, the Tallahassee Police Department is running the investigation and deferred to the department for comment.
Noodle Gun
Millennial Kate (Chicago) on The Bachelor
Tonight is Monday, which means that my roommates sit around and watch The Bachelor while playing on their phones. I don't know if you heard about the bachelor noodle-gun situation, but basically the girl who was leaked to be the winner is a RACIST. I guess she went to an old south themed party in college and she liked a maga post on instagram once or something. I can't even pretend to understand. The twitter universe went ape shit. My peers will attack people over anything. (I also have a theory that the long time host of the show suicide-bombed himself by using the term "woke police," but that theory is for another email.)
So ten minutes ago I was minding my own business cooking dinner, and my roommate comes out to exclaim how she's "so excited to see that girl get called out for being a RACIST on live TV!!!!!!" emphasis on the word "racist" and all.
Followed by "it's going to be great drama."
And it hit me! Not only does virtue signaling make people feel morally superior and so good about themselves, BUT IT'S ALSO ENJOYABLE DRAMA. People are addicted to cancel culture for the drama! So not only is it giving them that sweet, sweet dopamine hit when they feel superior and right, but it's also great entertainment for 20-something year old women who have no lives outside of instagram. Sad, but at least it's interesting to analyze.
Podcasts are racist
Side Effects
Lucky it wasn't covid!
Not sure if this will be useful to the show, but I had to share this story I just heard.
"Sorry, I was REALLY sick in the hospital for 10 days. I had spinal meningitis and was even in the Intensive Care Unit for a few days. But I'm lucky it wasn't COVID!"
My good friend is an accountant at a local university. He regularly works with other institutions and vendors. One of these vendors missed an appointment with my friend and was MIA for 10 days. Finally he got back in touch and said something like this:
Build Back Better
Rescue plan not to lower taxes
"The American Rescue Plan now stipulates that states receiving the money
cannot use it to “offset a reduction” in tax revenue due to any law
passed during the time that the funds are available — from now until
Green New Deal
Solar Cycle 25
NFT's money laundering in tax havens
Google News - Tax surprise looms for NFT investors who use crypto
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 18:51
Language & region English (United States)
Dog are People Too
PETA Request Gravestone In Memory of Lobsters Who Died In Truck Crash | Rare
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 14:53
It looks like PETA does fight for all animals, whether on land or sea, after the organization reportedly asked Maine officials to place a tombstone along Route 1 in Brunswick, in memory of the thousands of lobsters killed in a truck crash on August 22. The Brunswick Police department stated the truck was carrying over 4,500 lobsters, and it rolled over onto the side of the road. Police stated the truck likely hydroplaned, sending it rolling down an embankment and ripping the truck body apart, sending the boxes of lobsters flying. Luckily, the driver had minor injuries.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are asking the state for permission to place a 5-foot-tall granite tombstone at the site of the crash. According to ABC News, PETA made the request in a letter sent to the Maine Department of Transportation. A spokeswoman for PETA, Amber Canavan, told the network the tombstone wouldn't be allowed at that particular section of the road, so they wrote the letter back asking what nearby place they could build it on. PETA believes the grave would remind everyone that the best way to prevent such tragedies is to turn vegan. A mockup gravestone was created, with the words, ''In Memory of the Lobsters Who Suffered and Died at This Spot.''
Sun JournalThe Main Department of Transportation did deny the request due to the location of the accident being in a ''controlled-access highway''. Maine state law states temporary signs cannot be larger than 4 by 8 feet and could be in public for up to 12 weeks. Despite their denied request, PETA stated they still plan to continue their efforts to erect a monument in the lobster's honor after more than 7,000 pounds of live lobsters were destroyed.
The gravestone attempt is the latest activism effort from PETA to make national headlines. This past week the group funded a billboard showing a picture of a crab with the words, ''I'm me, not meat. See the individual. Go vegan.'' A few days earlier, the group succeeded in its efforts to change the packaging of Barnum's Animal crackers, removing the cages that held the exotic animals pictured on the packaging.
What a day.
Editors Note: This article was originally published on September 4, 2018.
Watch: Very Good Dog Rides the Bus All by Herself to Go to the Park
VIDEO - (284) What happens if I don't get the Covid vaccine? - BBC News - YouTube
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 14:46
VIDEO-Ajhdfs on Twitter: "@guccilibertaria Fauci saying AIDS instead of age is an all-time truth wants to come out moment. @adamcurry" / Twitter
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 11:04
Ajhdfs : @guccilibertaria Fauci saying AIDS instead of age is an all-time truth wants to come out moment. @adamcurry
Thu Mar 18 03:19:31 +0000 2021
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 00:07
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VODEO-President Biden White House Departure |
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 21:48
March 16, 2021 2021-03-16T17:44:03-04:00 Before President Biden departed the White House for a visit to Chester, Pennsylvania, he took questions from reporters on a possible visit to the southern border and to which countries the U.S. might give COVID-19 vaccines.Before President Biden departed the White House for a visit to Chester, Pennsylvania, he took questions from reporters on a possible visit to the southern border and to which countries the U.S. might give COVID-19 vaccines.
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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VIDEO-Austin business owners deal with backlash enforcing mask mandates
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 15:28
{p}One north Austin business owner says he was threatened after refusing service to someone without a mask. (Photo/video: ABC Liquor){/p}
The City of Austin has had over 100 mask complaints since Governor Abbott lifted the statewide mask mandate. Some businesses say they're dealing with backlash from customers because of the order.
One north Austin business owner says he was threatened after refusing service to someone without a mask.
{p}One north Austin business owner says he was threatened after refusing service to someone without a mask.{/p}
"It's definitely become more of an issue now," said Raymond Morin, Store Director at ABC Liquor.
Surveillance video from over the weekend, shows one of their cashiers asking a customer to put a mask on when he gets upset.
The video then shows the man launching at the cashier, punching the plexiglass.
One north Austin business owner says he was threatened after refusing service to someone without a mask. (Photo/video: ABC Liquor)
"Some of the customers coming in are very angry that we ask them to still wear the mask," said Morin.
Morin says the business is requiring masks to enter the store. He says they've had several issues since Governor Abbott lifted the state's mask mandate, "One customer took her mask off coughed and spit in the store, another woman came in she knocked over a display that was just Saturday night because I asked her to put on a mask."
Morin says even though the Governor allows businesses to continue requiring masks, there is a divide of people who think they don't have to, "It seems like people they're not intimidated by us asking them and I feel like they're definitely pushing back."
RELATED: 'I will not give up,' Noodle Tree owner responds to 'inside job' vandalizing accusations
Austin 311 has received over 100 mask covering complaints since the Governor's order was lifted last Wednesday. The majority of those complaints were from businesses.
Morin says he hopes that those who prefer not to wear a mask will see it as a common courtesy, "We just ask our customers who come in to have their mask on. They're not in the store that long it's just for our protection as well as theirs."
VIDEO - Michael J. Fox, "No Time Like the Future" - YouTube
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 14:45
VIDEO+Gov. Newsom is holding a media briefing at an elementary school in Alameda County - YouTube
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 13:28
VIDEO - Roughly 4 in 5 Manhattan Office Workers Will Not Return Full-Time, Survey Says '' NBC New York
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 19:31
Manhattan's largest employers are starting to plan for the post-COVID future of work, and it seems most of them are giving up on the traditional way of doing things.
Just 22 percent of the island's large employers will require all workers to return to the office full-time when they do eventually go back, according to a Partnership for New York City survey.
Some 66 percent said they would adopt a hybrid model of days in the office and days at home, another 9 percent said they would not require workers to return to the office at all, and 4 percent said it would ultimately be role-dependent.
Whatever model they choose, employers don't seem to be in much of a rush either. Survey respondents said they expect just 45 percent of Manhattan's roughly 1 million office workers to be back to the office by this September.
The nonprofit organization conducted its survey in late February and early March. It was the fourth such poll the group has done in the last year.
VIDEO - Fauci urges Trump to tell supporters to be vaccinated | TheHill
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 19:30
The nation's top infectious disease expert warned Sunday that a new wave of COVID-19 infections could be on the way while urging former President Trump Donald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Split screen: Biden sells stimulus; GOP highlights border Democrats move smaller immigration bills while eyeing broad overhaul Social media platforms on the right fail to maintain post-Jan. 6 growth MORE to tell his supporters to be vaccinated.
Speaking with Chris Wallace Christopher (Chris) WallaceThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - What's happening on the US border The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to hit road, tout COVID-19 relief law Fauci urges Trump to tell supporters to be vaccinated MORE on "Fox News Sunday," Anthony Fauci Anthony FauciFormer coronavirus testing czar says it's 'very important' for Trump to encourage followers to get vaccinated Blumenthal slams Facebook, Twitter 'woefully inadequate' policies on vaccine misinformation White House would welcome Trump urging supporters to get vaccinated MORE pointed to surges across the European Union and warned that Europe's case trends tend to be a few weeks ahead of similar trends in the U.S.
Europe "always seem to be a few weeks ahead of us," Fauci said, adding that it was "absolutely no time to declare victory" over the virus.
"They thought they were home free, and they weren't, and now they are seeing cases going up," he said of European health officials.
Asked by Wallace what could be done to combat vaccine skepticism in the U.S., particularly among Republicans, Fauci urged Trump to tell his supporters to get vaccinated.
"It would be very helpful for the effort for that to happen. I'm very surprised by the number of Republicans who say they won't get vaccinated," he said.
"I think it would make all the difference in the world" if Trump were to express support for vaccines, Fauci said. "He's a widely popular person among Republicans."
"I just don't get it, Chris, why they don't want to get vaccinated," he added.
During a separate appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Fauci said it's "disturbing" that Trump voters are choosing to not get vaccinated.
"We've got to dissociate political persuasion from commonsense, no-brainer public health things," he said.
"[Vaccines have] rescued us from smallpox, from polio, from measles," he added. "What is the problem here?"
His remarks come just days after a PBS poll found that nearly half of all Republican-aligned men said they would not get the COVID-19 vaccine, a result that has vexed health officials around the country seeking to drive down case rates.
More than 101 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the U.S. so far, and in a national address last week, President Biden Joe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Split screen: Biden sells stimulus; GOP highlights border RNC to shadow Biden as he promotes COVID-19 relief bill Dems' momentum hits quagmire over infrastructure plans MORE pledged that all American adults would be eligible to receive the vaccine by May 1.
Updated at 10:26 a.m.
VIDEO - Pfizer execs highlight 'significant opportunity' to hike its COVID vaccine price
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 18:52
Pfizer execs told investors there was a "significant opportunity" to hike the price of its vaccine. They said to cope with emerging COVID variants, people may need a third dose of the vaccine. Regular yearly "booster jabs" against COVID may also become routine. See more stories on Insider's business page. Pfizer execs have informed the company's investors of a "significant opportunity" to hike the prices of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Speaking at the virtual Barclays Global Healthcare Conference last week, two high-ranking Pfizer employees '' CFO Frank D'Amelio and Chuck Triano, senior VP of investor relations '' said there would be a chance for Pfizer to raise prices for the vaccine when COVID moves from a pandemic state to an endemic situation and the virus circulates continually in pockets around the globe.
"If you look at how current demand and current pricing is being driven, it's clearly not being driven by what I'll call normal market conditions or normal market forces... it's been driven by the pandemic state we've been in, and the needs of governments to secure doses from various vaccine suppliers," said D'Amelio.
He added that with the resumption of "normal market conditions" over time, there would then be a chance for the company to take advantage of opportunities from "a demand...and pricing perspective."
'--Lee Fang (@lhfang) March 15, 2021The two added that to stay protected, people may need a third dose of the vaccine to bolster immunity and efficacy against emerging COVID variants.
In addition to regular yearly boosters, this vaccination cycle may become part of the new normal.
"We believe it's becoming increasingly likely that an annual re-vaccination is going to take place," said D'Amelio, noting that the company did not see the pandemic or the resulting vaccination drives as a "onetime event."
The company is planning to accelerate the number of vaccine doses it can deliver by the end of July by ramping up production and supply chain capabilities.
D'Amelio said Pfizer was initially supposed to deliver 100 million doses of the vaccine to the US government by the end of March. The company is now on track to deliver 120 million doses by the end of the month and 200 million doses by May.
"For the full year, we had originally said we thought we could do 1.3 billion doses. We're now at 2 billion doses. And obviously, we're working to improve upon that number as well," he said.
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VIDEO - (1) Carly on Twitter: "@DeadlineWH @NPSusa @emarvelous @NicolleDWallace I always think back to future-man saying, ''It's all about Stacey Abrams, somehow..'' and all of us wondering ''WTF is he saying?'' Right, again @adamcurry." / Twitter
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 18:49
Carly : @DeadlineWH @NPSusa @emarvelous @NicolleDWallace I always think back to future-man saying, ''It's all about Stacey A'...
Tue Mar 16 14:15:09 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Teaser-Fauci: The Virus Hunter - YouTube
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 14:27
VIDEO - The View on Twitter: "CUOMO REFUSES TO RESIGN AMIDST MULTIPLE SCANDALS: After a seventh accuser has come forward with sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sens. Gillibrand and Schumer have called on the him to resig
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 14:00
The View : CUOMO REFUSES TO RESIGN AMIDST MULTIPLE SCANDALS: After a seventh accuser has come forward with sexual harassment a'...
Mon Mar 15 15:31:46 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Timothy Hale-Cusanelli: Navy probe finds contractor charged in Capitol insurrection was well-known Nazi sympathizer - CNNPolitics
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 13:03
(CNN)An Army reservist charged with storming the US Capitol was a well-known White supremacist and Nazi sympathizer at the Navy base where he worked as a contractor, and was even rebuked for sporting a distinctive "Hitler mustache," prosecutors said in new court filings.
Federal prosecutors revealed Friday that the Navy conducted its own internal investigation into Timothy Hale-Cusanelli that uncovered numerous incidents where he promoted racist and sexist views. The Naval Criminal Investigation Service interviewed 44 of his colleagues and 34 of them said he held "extremist or radical views pertaining to the Jewish people, minorities and women."
Hale-Cusanelli, 30, was
charged with seven criminal counts, including obstructing congressional proceedings, civil disorder and disorderly conduct in the Capitol. He hasn't yet entered a plea.
His defense attorney declined to comment Sunday about the new details of the Navy's probe, but has noted in court filings that Hale-Cusanelli maintains that he isn't a White supremacist.
Colleagues told Navy investigators that Hale-Cusanelli made near-daily comments against Jews, advocated for killing newborn babies with disabilities and had "issues with women," according to court filings. Prosecutors said they found racist memes on his phone, including one with the n-word, one that compared Black people to animals, and one insulting George Floyd.
A federal magistrate judge in New Jersey
ordered his release shortly after he was arrested in January, but the Justice Department convinced a more senior judge in Washington, DC, to block his release pending further review. A detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
A trail of hateful comments
Hale-Cusanelli worked as a security contractor at Naval Weapons Station Earle near Colts Neck, New Jersey. He held a "secret" security clearance as part of his job, prosecutors said.
The Navy launched its own internal inquiry after Hale-Cusanelli was arrested in January, and nearly three dozen of his colleagues shared stories of his alleged racist and bigoted comments. Prosecutors highlighted the Navy's findings in a filing advocating for his continued detention.
One of Hale-Cusanelli's supervisors told investigators that he would walk up to new colleagues and ask, "You're not Jewish, are you?" A petty officer claimed they heard him say, "Jews, women, and Blacks were on the bottom of the totem pole." Another contractor at the base said Hale-Cusanelli told them that Jewish people "are ruining everything and did not belong here," according to the filing.
In a shocking revelation, prosecutors said Hale-Cusanelli came to the base last year sporting a distinctive mustache that resembled the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. One of his supervisors told the Navy investigators that they confronted Hale-Cusanelli about his apparent "Hitler mustache."
Another naval officer recalled that Hale-Cusanelli said, "Hitler should have finished the job."
Prosecutors also found evidence that they said proved Hale-Cusanelli's extremist views after searching his phone. They found a video where he allegedly pushed
the conspiracy theory that "the Jews did 9/11," and another clip where he allegedly said, "I hate immigrants...intensely."
On the day of the Capitol insurrection, prosecutors say Hale-Cusanelli recorded a video of himself shouting an obscene vulgarity at a female police officer who was protecting the building.
Defense attorney pushes back
His attorney, Jonathan Zucker, has said in court filings that Hale-Cusanelli is not a violent man and that he can be safely released into the custody of his close associates in New Jersey.
"Mr. Hale-Cusanelli is charged with crimes stemming from entering and remaining on Capitol grounds, principally offenses analogous to trespass," Zucker wrote in a court filing. "He is not charged with crimes of violence nor destruction. He never assaulted nor threatened anyone."
In an interview with FBI agents, Hale-Cusanelli denied being a Nazi sympathizer or holding White supremacist views, according to defense filings. His attorney acknowledged that his client's social media posts are "controversial" but claimed they are primarily focused on local politics.
One of Hale-Cusanelli's supervisors at the Navy base where he worked
submitted a letter defending Hale-Cusanelli and attacking the press. He refuted allegations that Hale-Cusanelli is a White supremacist by noting that "he would frequently buy breakfast" for a Black colleague.
"I was appalled at how he was slandered in the press in regards to him being a 'white supremacist,'" Sgt. John Getz wrote to the judge. "I have never known him to be this way."
Getz said he was "proud to have someone like (Hale-Cusanelli) serve under me." (Since his arrest, Hale-Cusanelli has been barred from the Navy base where he worked with Getz.)
But prosecutors told the judge that this glowing comment "directly contradicts" what Getz told Navy investigators. Getz told the Navy that Hale-Cusanelli was a Holocaust denier who made racist remarks in a "joking but not" way, and that he confronted Hale-Cusanelli about his behavior.
When FBI agents interviewed Getz about the discrepancy, he said he wasn't personally offended by Hale-Cusanelli's conduct and wanted to "speak positively" about him to the judge.
Hale-Cusanelli has been a reservist since 2009. Court documents said he had been discharged after January 6, but the Defense Department said Monday that is not the case.
"Army Reserve leadership is reviewing the information regarding Sgt. Hale-Cusanelli's alleged misconduct and will take appropriate administrative action in accordance with Army Regulations," Lt. Col. Simon Flake said in a statement to CNN.
"The U.S. Army Reserve takes all allegations of Soldier or Army civilian involvement in extremist groups seriously and will address this issue in accordance with Army regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice to ensure due process," Flake added. "Extremist ideologies and activities directly oppose our values and beliefs and those who subscribe to extremism have no place in our ranks."
UPDATE: This story has been updated with a statement from the Defense Department regarding Hale-Cusanelli's status.
CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.
VIDEO-conspiracyguy on Twitter: "Message from Israel - We are prisoners in our own country" / Twitter
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 23:49
conspiracyguy : Message from Israel - We are prisoners in our own country
Mon Mar 15 20:23:36 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Fort Worth Police to Start Dispatching Civilians to Some Low-Risk Calls '' NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 15:16
Fort Worth police will soon dispatch civilians to some non-violent calls to write reports and do basic work traditionally done by officers.
The first nine members of the new ''Civilian Response Unit'' will graduate Friday after six weeks of training at the police academy.
They'll drive marked cars that say ''Civilian Response'' but don't look anything like police squad cars and wear collared shirts with the city logo.
LocalThe latest news from around North Texas.
They'll respond to a wide range of calls such as abandoned cars, loose cattle, burglaries, and credit card fraud.
They were trained in basic investigative techniques like searching for fingerprints at crime scenes.
"We're not armed, we aren't going to have no guns or anything like that but we are here to provide the best service,'' said Vanessa Clementino, one of the new graduates.
A native of Brazil, she was working at Amazon when she applied for this job.
She speaks Spanish and looks forward to engaging with the Latino community, she said.
"It was the opportunity to give it back to the community, my skills,'' Clementino said.
Police say the idea for the program grew out of last summer's protests.
"One of the things they asked for is not having a police officer to respond to calls that don't require a police officer,'' said Lt. Chris Gorrie who supervises the Civilian Response Unit. ''So we decided to listen and to give this unit a try so they can respond to those low-level calls and leave us free to respond to the emergencies."
The civilians will be assigned bullet-proof vests, but they don't plan to be in a situation where they'll need them.
"We're very clear on the fact they cannot go to a scene where a suspect could be present or could return,'' Gorrie said.
For now, they'll work Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., in central, east and south Fort Worth.
But police say this could be just the beginning.
"This is a great experiment,'' Gorrie said. ''We're the largest department in the state of Texas that I'm aware of doing this. The hope is if they're successful and received well by the community we'll expand it to cover 24/7."
VIDEO-8Mims-Financial System Fake La La Land '' Dr. Mark Skidmore | Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 15:04
Financial System Fake La La Land '' Dr. Mark Skidmore
By Greg Hunter's (Saturday Night Post)
Michigan State Economics Professor Mark Skidmore revealed three years ago there was $21 trillion in what he called ''Missing Money'' from the Department of Defense (DOD) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). To hide what was going on with the federal books, Congress made all government accounting a national security issue, making it impossible to get real accounting of money ''We the People'' pay in taxes. Now, even more unofficial and unaccounted for cash has been revealed from the DOD. It's an eye popping $94 trillion from the years 2017 to 2019. So, add in the $30 trillion in official debt, and that means there is at least $145 trillion in overt and covert money floating around in the federal government, not counting Social Security and Medicare commitments. This story sounds like a fantasy or a cartoon, but it's totally backed up with facts you will never hear on the legacy media. Dr. Skidmore, who is an expert in public budgets, explains, ''In my mind, it does not follow the principles laid out in our Constitution in accounting for revenues coming in and expenditures going out. It's fraudulent in my mind.''
The entire accounting system of the federal government is fraudulent? Dr. Skidmore says, ''I think it is. It doesn't have any integrity. The federal government can modify the financial statements for the public, and they are not going to tell you how or to what degree. So, you get a financial statement or a report that's available to the public, but it means nothing. What does that mean? It's totally fraudulent. It's fake. We are in La La Land. I'm just a normal professor of economics who has a background in budgeting, and I am just stating the obvious. It's not rocket science. I am just not pretending. I am just saying what it is.''
What are the risks to the public? Skidmore says, ''The risks are really kind of unknowable. The derivatives market is so enormous and so complexed, and who knows if some of the money that we are not able to account for in the government books is pushing into a quadrillion dollar derivatives market? We don't know that. It could be. It would be small potatoes in quadrillions (in the derivative market). It's incomprehensible. . . . My gut tells me this ends awfully with a very abrupt disruption of some sort that could include a transition to some sort of new financial system, and potentially a much more draconian system.''
In closing, Skidmore says, ''For me, we are talking about a whole bunch of money we don't know about. . . . You have about $115 trillion unsupported unverified transactions that we can't know about and about $30 trillion in official debt. Also, we still have made promises in the form of Social Security and Medicare that are underfunded. . . You have a $100 trillion to $200 trillion depending on the assumptions you make, and we know that is unsustainable, as well. We are burning through it faster than we anticipated because of Covid and other things. . . . It's so out of whack it's like a cartoon.''
Join Greg Hunter of as he goes One-on-One with Michigan State University professor Mark Skidmore.
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After the Interview:
Dr. Skidmore has a new website called Lighthouse Economics, and you can find it at Dr. Skidmore is a prolific writer, and his work and analysis is free to the public.
To donate to Dr. Skidmore to fund Lighthouse Economics click here.
To contact Dr. Skidmore click here.
This segment is sponsored by Discount Gold and Silver Trading. Ask for Melody Cedarstrom, the owner, at 1-800-375-4188.
About the Author Greg HunterGreg is the producer and creator of The site's slogan is ''analyzing the news to give you a clear picture of what's really going on.'' The site will keep an eye on the government, your financial interests and cut through the media spin. is neither Democrat nor Republican, Liberal or Conservative. Before creating and producing the site, Greg spent nearly 9 years as a network and investigative correspondent. He worked for ABC News and Good Morning America for nearly 6 years. Most recently, Greg worked for CNN for shows such as Paula Zahn Now, American Morning and various CNN business shows.
VIDEO-Covid: Ireland, Netherlands suspend AstraZeneca vaccine amid blood clot fears
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 12:18
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The Dutch government said Sunday that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine would not be used until at least March 29, while Ireland said earlier in the day that it had temporarily suspended the shot as a precautionary step.It has added to the woes of Europe's ailing vaccination campaign at a time when Germany's public health agency has warned that a third wave of coronavirus infections has already begun.The World Health Organization has sought to downplay ongoing safety concerns, saying last week that there is no link between the shot and an increased risk of developing blood clots.LONDON '-- Ireland and the Netherlands have joined the growing list of countries that have suspended the use of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford over blood clot concerns.
The Dutch government said Sunday that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine would not be used until at least March 29, while Ireland said earlier in the day that it had temporarily suspended the shot as a precautionary step.
The World Health Organization has sought to downplay ongoing safety concerns, saying last week that there is no link between the shot and an increased risk of developing blood clots. The United Nations health agency has urged countries to continue using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Despite this, a number of European countries have already paused the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It has added to the woes of the region's ailing vaccination campaign at a time when Germany's public health agency has warned that a third wave of coronavirus infections has already begun.
Thailand has also halted its planned deployment of the vaccine.
The move to pause its use by Dutch and Irish officials came shortly after Norway's medicines agency said it had been notified of three health workers being treated in hospital for bleeding, blood clots and a low count of blood platelets after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Norway has put its Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine program on hold.
Geir Bukholm, director of the division of infection control and environmental health at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, said Norway's medicines agency would "follow up on these suspected side effects and take the necessary measures in this serious situation."
Picture taken on November 27, 2020 shows "Nikki" Anniken Hars treating a Covid-19 patient at the intensive care unit of Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet in Oslo, Norway.
JIL YNGLAND | AFP | Getty Images
Europe's drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, has also said there is no indication that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is causing blood clots, adding that it believes the vaccine's benefits "continue to outweigh its risks."
The EMA acknowledged some European countries had paused the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot but said inoculations may continue to be administered while an investigation of blood clot cases is ongoing.
How has AstraZeneca responded?"A careful review of all available safety data of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union (EU) and UK with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country," AstraZeneca said in a statement Sunday.
The most common side effects of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which does not contain the virus and cannot cause Covid, are typically mild or moderate and improve within a few days of vaccination.
A health worker holds a box of the AstraZeneneca vaccine at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province on the outskirts of Bangkok.
Chaiwat Subprasom | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images
The pharmaceutical giant said that across the EU and U.K. there had been 15 events of deep vein thrombosis and 22 events of pulmonary embolism reported among those vaccinated.
"This is much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar across other licensed COVID-19 vaccines," AstraZeneca said.
What do the experts say?"Covid definitely causes coagulation disorders and each of the vaccines prevents Covid disease, including more severe cases," said Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
"Therefore, it is extremely likely that the benefit of the vaccine notably outweighs any risk for coagulation disorders and the vaccine prevents other consequences of Covid including deaths from other causes."
Evans said it was "entirely reasonable" to conduct studies into the vaccines and coagulation disorders, but added: "It seems a step too far in taking precautions that would stop people getting vaccines that would prevent disease."
Many high-income countries '-- such as the U.K., France, Australia and Canada '-- have chosen to continue with their respective rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
"If clear evidence of serious or life-threatening side-effects emerges that will have important consequences," Adam Finn, professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol, said in a statement.
"However so far it hasn't and it's highly undesirable to disrupt a complex and urgent programme every time people develop illnesses after receiving vaccine that may be coincidental and not causally related. Making the right call in situations like this is not easy but having a steady hand on the tiller is probably what is needed most," Finn said.
VIDEO-Christian Porter alleged rape: Accuser's ex-boyfriend James Hooke reveals new details
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 02:24
A former boyfriend of the Adelaide woman who accused Attorney-General Christian Porter of an alleged rape has revealed for the first time that she had relevant discussions with him in 1989, the year after the alleged incident, and is calling for an independent investigation into the matter.
In a statement detailing his contact with the woman in the 1980s and his conversations with Mr Porter in the early 1990s, Macquarie Group managing director James Hooke has also offered to co-operate with any inquiry.
Mr Porter has strenuously denied the allegations and insists the events described by the accuser never happened.
Mr Hooke does not detail in his statement exactly what the Adelaide woman, whose name has been withheld at the request of the family, told him in 1989. But it suggests the discussions came in stages.
In the statement provided to, he notes that he is the man referred to as ''James'' in the woman's unsworn statement and the extracts from her diaries.
He also claims that he had relevant discussions with Mr Porter about his relationship with the woman in 1992 in Perth and subsequently. Mr Porter strenuously denies the rape allegation.
''I continue to be devastated by the untimely death of my very dear friend, and I am enormously concerned for the privacy and dignity of her family,'' Mr Hooke said.
''I am also concerned for the wellbeing of Christian Porter. I have known all of them for approximately 30 years. We all find ourselves at a very upsetting time.
''Mine is just one set of recollections, and I am aware of the fallibility of human memory, however unintentional.
''That said, I have what I consider to be clear recollections of relevant discussions I had with her over the years from mid-1988 until her death.
''I also have what I consider to be clear recollections of relevant discussions I had with Christian Porter from April 1992 in Perth and through the mid-1990s.''
RELATED: Key doubts over Porter accuser's story
Mr Hooke, a trained lawyer, is a senior managing director with Macquarie Group. He is a former CEO of the $5 billion Macquarie-managed Australian Stock Exchange listed toll road company, Atlas Arteria.
He is also a former Chief Executive Officer of the Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation, based in New York. He has also served in various positions with Fairfax Media Limited (now part of Nine Entertainment Co.), Bain & Company management consultants, and Phillips Fox Solicitors.
His statement is particularly significant because it represents the first time any witness has come forward to allege that the woman had discussions about the alleged incident decades ago and follows media claims '' rejected by her close friends '' that her memories were ''freshly minted'' and may be inspired by repressed memory theory.
''The NSW Police have determined that a criminal prosecution is not possible in this case. I made myself known to the NSW Police after her death and I understand why they were unable to interview me,'' Mr Hooke said.
''In relation to any criminal prosecution, Christian Porter was manifestly and appropriately entitled to the presumption of innocence '' it is essential to the rule of law.
''In relation to any investigation of the important non-criminal aspects of this matter, I support an inquiry, like either that conducted by three retired eminent judges after Justice Lionel Murphy was acquitted of charges or that conducted by Dr Vivienne Thom into allegations about Justice Heydon. I am willing to testify under oath at any appropriately convened inquiry.''
RELATED: PM backs inquest into alleged Porter rape
Mr Hooke also suggests that if the Prime Minister was to reconsider his opposition to an independent inquiry, it would provide a circuit breaker to the ''trial by media'' that Mr Porter has complained of in his press conference.
''While I fully support the freedom of the press, I do not believe that the media is the optimal forum in which to investigate a situation of this sensitivity and significance.''
In her diaries that are attached to her unsworn affidavit that were sent anonymously to the Prime Minister, the accuser discusses whether to tell ''James'' about the alleged rape in 1991. She said she had been in a relationship James with previously.
''How can I tell this tale?'' she writes in her diary in January 1991. ''Who to? James '-- maybe '... if we ever get back together.'' put Hooke's statement to Mr Porter for comment, and a spokesperson said: ''As noted at his press conference on 3 March, the Attorney-General is on medical leave. He does not propose to comment further.''
Earlier, NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller revealed on Friday why the police had chosen not to interview Mr Porter about the historical rape claims.
In evidence to NSW Parliament, Commissioner Fuller also confirmed that COVID restrictions stopped police from being able to take a sworn statement from the woman before her death.
She withdrew the complaint in an email to NSW police just 24 hours before her suicide in June, 2020 and her family home.
After Strikeforce Wyndarra was formed to investigate the claims, Commissioner Fuller said he did not alert the Morrison Government or any other politicians.
''I made no contact personally with anyone outside of the organisation in relation to it. I had a very high level discussion with Deputy Commissioner David Hudson. But at that stage, the, the, the lady was unsure in terms of what action she wanted,'' he said.
''Absolutely, from my perspective 100 per cent zero contact.
''A historic sexual assault, statement is one that is extremely complicated. It is not a simple statement. It is not something that you would do justice, taking it over the phone. And there's still the challenge of putting it in a statement admissible form and sending that and having it sign, which could possibly be done. But, they are complex investigations, as we know, and you really need to ensure that the alleged victim statement is at its strongest to stand the test of possible scrutiny.''
RELATED: Two major questions in Porter claims
Commissioner Fuller has previously indicated it is extremely difficult, almost impossible, to investigate such matters after the complainant dies.
''The alleged victim no longer wanted to proceed which is not unusual in these matters,'' he said. ''It takes enormous courage for people to come forward and it is a very challenging journey on the just through the justice system for victims. And it's not unusual for victims to, even after they've given a statement, to withdraw their complaint in those matters.
''We always follow what the victim wants so that doesn't mean we still don't apply victim care and welfare services. It's not that the journey finishes but unfortunately in this case and tragically she took her life the next day.''
Commissioner Fuller said as a broad approach, the NSW police were ''pro-prosecution''
''I would say to you and I'll give you these figures, I think we have of the 100 per cent of complaints we get of adult sexual assault are able to proceed on 10 per cent. And I think we win 10 per cent of those at trial right.
''So it is hard, and it's a hard journey for the victim, it's only often when you have other evidence, forensic independent witnesses who almost saw the crime that we are able to secure conviction. And I think I said this in the media is that I understand the interest in this but don't let it be lost on what we need to change is the journey for victims in the justice system.''
VIDEO-Steve Bannon on Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Frank Giustra - YouTube
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 02:22
VIDEO-TJ on Twitter: ""Look for ways to increase security, anxiety and uncertainty" Leaked zero covid document. Article here:" / Twitter
Sun, 14 Mar 2021 20:35
TJ : "Look for ways to increase security, anxiety and uncertainty"Leaked zero covid document.Article here:'...
Wed Mar 10 13:47:40 +0000 2021
(20) Steve Herman on Twitter: "I was the one holding the lighter-colored fuzzy microphone and thus literally in front of @POTUS on the South Lawn. It's all real. Who actually believes this 'faked moon landing' type nonsense and more importantly who is spr
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 14:56
Steve Herman : I was the one holding the lighter-colored fuzzy microphone and thus literally in front of @POTUS on the South Lawn'...
Wed Mar 17 18:40:00 +0000 2021
Flick Strong : @W7VOA @POTUS Perhaps if the media hadn't done such of shit job over the last 15 years and ruined all their credibi'...
Thu Mar 18 14:55:55 +0000 2021
Probably : @W7VOA @POTUS it does look weird when he gets close and the mics are like behind his hands
Thu Mar 18 14:54:31 +0000 2021
Vida Galore🤬 : @W7VOA @POTUS If this were not tampered with, no one would be sending out the big guns to debunk it. And it still is not debunked.
Thu Mar 18 14:54:14 +0000 2021
PhreakMushroom : @W7VOA @POTUS emergency damage control,, clearly it is green screen an to say different is a blatant lie
Thu Mar 18 14:53:48 +0000 2021
Vida Galore🤬 : @W7VOA @POTUS Well now I know who the worst propagandists are.
Thu Mar 18 14:53:35 +0000 2021
Jack Flick : @W7VOA @POTUS Fuckin snake
Thu Mar 18 14:53:02 +0000 2021
Emma Hondry : @W7VOA @POTUS People who will believe the pizza parlor child sex trafficking ring story will believe anything. Ther'...
Thu Mar 18 14:52:08 +0000 2021
🕵🏼''‚¸ DK 🕵🏼''‚¸ : @W7VOA @POTUS This is exactly what someone who was in on the faking would say!
Thu Mar 18 14:50:56 +0000 2021
BrewNoser : @W7VOA @POTUS Certifiably mentally ill people believe it. No one else.
Thu Mar 18 14:49:56 +0000 2021
PDX Big Door King : @W7VOA @POTUS Who actually believes it? The @Oregon_GOP @OregonHouseGOP @ORSenateGOP believe it. Also they believe'...
Thu Mar 18 14:49:33 +0000 2021
Lorraine Devon Wilke : @W7VOA @POTUS WTF is wrong with people? Honestly, what? Aren't there enough REAL issues and concerns for people to'...
Thu Mar 18 14:48:43 +0000 2021
Mark Edwards : @W7VOA @POTUS Dubious Biden sightings. Body double. Churchill had someone else talk for home on the radio, Hillary'...
Thu Mar 18 14:47:06 +0000 2021
Leah : @W7VOA @POTUS These cuckoos don't have anything else to do I guess 🤷''¸
Thu Mar 18 14:46:54 +0000 2021
Fernando Nuevo : @W7VOA @POTUS Republicans are divorced from reality
Thu Mar 18 14:46:07 +0000 2021
SarahPants ðŸ‡...🇺 : @W7VOA @POTUS
Thu Mar 18 14:45:39 +0000 2021
Anton Makarski : @W7VOA @POTUS @wikileaks is this guy serious?
Thu Mar 18 14:45:11 +0000 2021
Christine : @W7VOA @POTUS It's scary how many bizarre, delusional whackos dressed in tin foil walk among us.
Thu Mar 18 14:42:40 +0000 2021
Elections Have Consequences : @W7VOA @POTUS But how do we know YOU'RE real, Steve?!?!?
Thu Mar 18 14:41:40 +0000 2021
Tara Dublin Is A F**king Superstar, RECOGNIZE! : @W7VOA @POTUS QAnon Qidiots, that's who
Thu Mar 18 14:41:18 +0000 2021
PJCowart : @W7VOA @POTUS Dude stop acting so indignant. It was your job to produce REAL looking news coverage. If the shit you'...
Thu Mar 18 14:41:06 +0000 2021
aprillovechild : @W7VOA @POTUS Way to go Steve !
Thu Mar 18 14:38:38 +0000 2021
clancy : @W7VOA @POTUS still dont believe you. you're in on it
Thu Mar 18 14:38:34 +0000 2021
Elizabeth : @W7VOA @POTUS Thank you. It's unfortunate that you have to respond to junk journalism
Thu Mar 18 14:36:35 +0000 2021
Rhett Barrett : @W7VOA @POTUS People see what they want to see. There are a lot of people in denial that Joe Biden is the president'...
Thu Mar 18 14:35:07 +0000 2021
DoYouSEEWhatIC : @W7VOA @POTUS It's a shame that this is newsworthy and not the latest EO where Biden wants to take 30% of private p'...
Thu Mar 18 14:35:05 +0000 2021
Modrnman : @W7VOA @POTUS Sure dude. I believe someone in the fake media 👍ðŸ>>
Thu Mar 18 14:34:04 +0000 2021
TxCheesehead : @W7VOA @POTUS Did you ever in your wildest dreams think you'd be part of a conspiracy theory? Absolutely bizzzaaarrreeee
Thu Mar 18 14:33:44 +0000 2021
Momma named me Sherrif. : @W7VOA @Pingachoo @POTUS I'm more worried about his addiction to bombing sovereign states.
Thu Mar 18 14:33:16 +0000 2021
Joe Mills 🇺🇸 : @W7VOA @POTUS It would be awesome if someone recreated the circumstances to show how this optical illusion was crea'...
Thu Mar 18 14:32:09 +0000 2021
based_grandma : @W7VOA @POTUS hahaha using the fake moon landing example for damage control
Thu Mar 18 14:31:49 +0000 2021
Steve🌊🇺🇸🌎 : @W7VOA @POTUS My GOD!ðŸ HOW have so many Americans lost their grip on reality to the point that they believe self'...
Thu Mar 18 14:31:07 +0000 2021
Biff Thuringer : @W7VOA @POTUS Biden is real, and working. Tom Hanks doesn't drink dead baby blood. Yes, the deep state spies on eve'...
Thu Mar 18 14:30:23 +0000 2021
clayman : @W7VOA @POTUS It's confusing perspective, that's all. Anyway it's being blown way out of proportion how many propel'...
Thu Mar 18 14:30:21 +0000 2021
The Curious Case of Geert Vanden Bossche - Rosemary Frei
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 14:25
On March 6, an open letter by Geert Vanden Bossche, PhD, DVM, and a video interview of him by Phillip McMillan, MD, from a company called Vejon Health, were posted online.
On the surface, Vanden Bossche appears to perhaps be addressing credible concerns about Covid.
He's saying that the current crop of Covid vaccines will cause the novel coronavirus to mutate into a ''super-infectious virus.'' And therefore he's calling for an immediate halt of the use of the current vaccines.
If humans are ''committed to perpetuating our species, we have no choice but to eradicate these highly infectious viral variants'' via ''large vaccination campaigns,'' Vanden Bossche claims at the conclusion of his open letter. However, he continues, in contrast to the currently used Covid vaccines, these new vaccines must focus on stimulation of mass production of the component of the immune system known as natural killer cells, he asserts.
But Vanden Bossche bases his views on unproven hypotheses. This is similar to, and builds on, high-profile modeling-paper authors who use theoretical frameworks to inflame fears about the supposed dangerousness of the new variants.
Despite this, Vanden Bossche's views were very quickly and positively received by high-profile vaccine sceptics such as Del Bigtree in his March 11 episode (starting at 57:25) and Vernon Coleman in his March 13 video and article.
Bigtree and Coleman virtually unquestioningly accept and amplify Vanden Bossche's views. They strongly insinuate to their overwhelmingly credulous subscribers that there's virtually no fact-checking or pause for sober second thought required.
But from my experience as a former long-time medical writer and journalist (1988-2016) '-- particularly a four-month stint with media-relations giant FleishmanHillard in 1994 (yes, I've worked for the dark side) '-- this has all the hallmarks of a drug-company astroturf campaign. It's another step in the decades-long erasure of the fact that our sophisticated and highly effective immune systems work well and don't need any assistance from the biomedical/pharmaceutical industry.
There's abundant evidence that Vanden Bossche has a not-so-hidden agenda. For example, just before the three-minute mark in the video interview of Vanden Bossche by McMillan, Vanden Bossche indicates he's a long-time vaccine developer. He adds he's now focusing on vaccines that ''educate the immune system in ways that are to some extent more efficient than we do right now with our conventional vaccines.'' Clearly he's got significant conflicts of interest. Therefore he has zero credibility when it comes to advising the public or anyone else about how to avoid negative effects of mass vaccination.
However, Bigtree, Coleman and others don't point out any of the red flags. Despite taking Vanden Bossche's assertions extremely seriously, these high-profile alternative-media figures don't even do basic due diligence such as looking into McMillan, who's the man who interviewed Vanden Bossche, or the company McMillan is apparently affiliated with, Vejon Health. Bigtree, for example, relies heavily on the McMillan interview for the content of his March 11 segment.
As far as I know, McMillan and Vanden Bosch aren't among the thousands of MDs, PhDs, and other people with graduate degrees or equivalent qualifications who have thoroughly debunked the official Covid narrative over the last 12 months. Rather, the pair suddenly popped out of the woodwork.
Also, McMillan isn't anything close to an expert on vaccines. On his website he describes himself as a ''dementia authority.'' The most recently published paper of his that I can find is from 2016 and is on Alzheimer's in the journal Medical Hypotheses. (In that paper, he and his co-author propose nutritional supplementation to lower the body's burden of aluminum, a high level of which is linked to Alzheimer's.) In addition, when one clicks on one gets a message indicating the website isn't in use. Indeed, Vejon appears to be a dormant company.
So I ignored McMillan's interview and Vanden Bossche's open letter when I first learned about them last week. But then on March 12 I was contacted by the producer of something called the Gary Null Show on the Progressive Radio Network. The producer, Richard Gale, asked me to be a guest. I agreed to do the interview on March 15.
About 1.5 hours before the interview was to start, I contacted Gale and asked what the interview would focus on. Gale told me Null wanted to discuss Bigtree's segment on the Vanden Bossche letter and Gale sent me a link to it. So I quickly read the open letter and watched the full interview and Bigtree segment on it. A field of red flags popped up in my mind.
At the appointed interview start time of 12:30 pm on March 15, Null proceeded to read live to air, for about 12 minutes, some key points from the open letter. He told the audience to take them seriously. Then Null put me on the air. But he wouldn't let me talk about the letter. Instead, he repeatedly interrupted my efforts to do so and insisted I only discuss the new variants. So I hung up. And I've been edited out of the archived broadcast of Null's show.
I'm going to be interviewed live today (March 16) starting at 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time by Ryan Cristin of The Last American Vagabond. We'll talk about the Vanden Bossche letter and McMillan interview. Apparently Ryan's on the same page as me.
Meanwhile, my tweets about the open letter and the Null interview have gotten a lot of reaction. And, as it happens, since Sunday people have been emailing to encourage me to read Vanden Bossche's letter and watch his interview. Many are swayed by his calling for an immediate halt of the use of the current crop of Covid vaccines and by the fact that people like Bigtree are propagating his messages.
So I decided to write this article to expose a few of the dozens of clues showing that this curious case is a continuation of the overall Covid deception.
Here are seven more of those clues:
In his March 11 segment, Bigtree shows a slide with Vanden Bossche's background. It indicates he's affiliated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and other vaccine proponents. Dell dubs Vanden Bossche a ''world-renowned vaccine creator.'' Coleman calls him''a very eminent vaccine specialist.''But, when combined with the contents of his open letter, it's impossible to believe that he's in fact an insider who's now turned against his very high-powered comrades. (More on this below.) It's more likely that he's their accomplice.
Another indication that the letter is designed to propagandize rather than to let objective evidence speak for itself is the wording Vanden Bossche uses. He writes, for example, that he was ''racing against the clock'' to write ''this agonizing letter'' in which he ''put[s] all of my reputation and credibility at stake'' to help ''turn the tide'' against this ''irrepressible monster'' that the virus could soon become unless we heed Vanden Bossche.
In his open letter Vanden Bosschealso writes, ''I can assure you that each of the current vaccines have been designed, developed and manufactured by brilliant and competent scientists.'' However, he doesn't say a word about the massive adverse-event rate and very scant efficacy profile of the vaccines that were created by these ''brilliant scientists.''Vanden Bossche also asserts thatthere's an ''ever[-]increasing threat from rapidly spreading, highly infectious variants.'' But as I detailed in my February 3 article and accompanying video on the new variants, there is no proof that they are highly infectious or will be any time soon.There is the possibility of viral resistance, as for example I note in my March 9, 2021, article and accompanying video. But it's not the major threat Vanden Bossche attempts to scare us about by saying the virus is likely tomutate so much and so quickly because of the current mass vaccination campaigns that soon it could escapeall current attempts to stop its spread. Remember, for example, that yearly flu mass vaccination hasn't caused influenza to spiral out of control and decimate the global population.Vanden Bossche also writes thatsome antibodies are made by the innate immune system, but that these 'natural' antibodies are non-specific. He also states that they have ''suboptimal'' ''maturity, and are ''rather limited and only short-lived.'' He claims they are a very weak link in our immune reactions to pathogens such as the novel coronavirus: ''the combination of viral infection on a background of suboptimal Ab [antibody] maturity and concentration enables the [novel corona]virus to select mutations[, thereby] allowing it to escape the immune pressure.''However, this is on very shaky ground. Because, among other things: 1) Neither in the original March 6 piece nor his March 13 follow-up does Vanden Bossche provide any direct, non-theoretical evidence that this is happening; 2) The 'natural antibodies' that are produced after encountering a pathogen are only a small part of a quick, effective and broad-based first-line immune-system defense '' known as 'innate' or 'passive' immunity '' which in fact largely comprises other components; and 3) Vanden Bossche downplays the effectiveness of the antibodies our bodies naturally produce as part of the second-line ('adaptive') part of the immune system that also has served us extremely well for millennia.
A March 11 commentary by Michael Yeadon and Marc Girardot has similar information to my points 3, 4 and 5. However the pair present it in a way that's very pro-mRNA-vaccine and pro- much of the official-Covid-narrative '-- neither of which I endorse.
Vanden Bossche also has no references in that original document. He does include some in his follow-up, March 13, document posted on his website. But that March 13 document, like the March 6 one, hasn'tbeen posted on the website of a journal, never mind a peer-reviewed one, nor reviewed in any more serious a manner. And in an unusual approach, he doesn't attach each reference to a particular statement in his document; rather, he lists the references at the end of the article under categories such as 'Natural antibodies.'Vanden Bossche drives at the need for ''large vaccination campaigns.'' These, he writes, should be for ''NK [natural-killer]-cell-based vaccines'' that ''will primarily enable our natural immunity to be better prepared '... and to induce herd immunity.''But it's not very logical to believe that the only solution to the theoretical possibility of immune escape, as espoused by someone who's got a long and strong focus on vaccination as opposed to other ways to improve health, is yet more mass vaccination.
Not to mention that the concept of herd immunity is contrive. After all, if your immune system is protecting you against a pathogen, it doesn't matter whether someone else's is or not.
I do agree that we should stop the use of the current vaccines. But we also we need to stop production and use of antivirals and antibodies and all other parts of the Covid-industrial complex.
Covid has an extremely high survival rate. So why develop yet another expensive, invasive and experimental solution to a problem that barely exists, if it does at all?
It's all very curious.
After obtaining an MSc in molecular biology from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Rosemary Frei became a freelance writer. For the next 22 years she was a medical writer and journalist. She pivoted again in early 2016 to full-time, independent activism and investigative journalism. Her website is
Gasoline Demand Has Peaked, Global Forecaster Says - WSJ
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 14:20
The world's thirst for gasoline isn't likely to return to pre-pandemic levels, the International Energy Agency forecast, calling a peak for the fuel that has powered personal transportation for more than a century.
The Paris-based energy watchdog, in its closely followed five-year forecast, said an accelerating global shift toward electric vehicles, along with increasing fuel efficiency among gasoline-powered fleets, will more than outweigh demand growth from developing countries.
The forecast comes as auto makers have pivoted recently to boost their EV fleets, after years of industry skepticism about whether car buyers would ever embrace fully electric models. General Motors Co. said it would stop selling gas-powered vehicles by 2035. Volvo Cars of Sweden has said it would be all-electric by 2030.
Some 60 million electric vehicles will be on the roads world-wide by 2026, the IEA said, up from 7.2 million in 2019. The agency tracks EV trends as a signal for gasoline and crude-oil demand.
The shift toward electric vehicles has been driven by government regulation, hefty incentives in developed countries and broader consumer acceptance of the technology thanks in part to popular models like those sold by Tesla Inc. EVs still make up a small proportion of the world's overall fleet, and auto makers say they expect to see growing demand for gas-burning internal combustion engines, particularly in the developing world, for years to come.
The coronavirus pandemic has upended global fuel consumption, raising questions about whether it will change the world's energy mix more generally in the years ahead. Energy watchers have long debated the timing of ''peak oil,'' a point at which demand for crude will start to wane. Amid the demand-crushing pandemic that started last year, some forecasters, including those at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, have said that day might have already dawned in the developed world.
The IEA said Wednesday that it foresees global crude demand recovering, reaching as much as 104 million barrels a day by 2026, up about 4% from 2019 levels, thanks to the developing world. Economic powerhouses such as China, India and other Asian countries would account for 90% of the net increase in oil demand over the coming five years, the agency said.
But for the first time, the agency said it no longer forecasts a complete rebound in demand for gasoline'--the product that for years underpinned the world's thirst for crude.
''We do not think gasoline consumption will come back to 2019 levels again,'' said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.
Global jet fuel demand, meanwhile, would fully return but at a slow pace and not before 2024, the agency said. U.S. air travel has been rising amid stabilizing or falling Covid-19 cases in many parts of the country and an accelerated vaccination drive. The Transportation Security Administration, which tracks how many U.S. travelers pass through airport security checkpoints, recorded 1.4 million passengers on Friday. That marked a one-year high but still less than half comparable numbers in 2019.
During widespread government-imposed restrictions on travel, the IEA said daily gasoline demand dropped by a record 2.9 million barrels in 2020, down more than 10% from the 26.6 million barrels a day burned in 2019.
The uptake of EVs isn't the only thing driving demand down. The IEA and the U.S. Department of Energy, in a report last month, cited the improving fuel efficiency of gas-burning cars. The U.S. agency said it expects American gasoline consumption in the transportation sector to peak in 2022.
The IEA said global gasoline demand would start to return as economies open back up. But the shift to EVs in richer countries is now accelerating at such a pace that demand shortfalls there are set to outpace expected growth from developing countries like Indonesia, India and China.
Plug-in electric vehicles accounted for about 4.2% of new car sales last year globally, with sales rising 43% to 3.24 million vehicles, according to, a research group that tracks EV sales. In Europe, where EV sales are booming, plug-in electric vehicles accounted for 10.5% of new cars sold in the fourth quarter of 2020.
''E-mobility has won the race,'' Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess told reporters this week while unveiling big new investments in car-battery factories and electric-charging stations.
Battery-powered electric vehicles would account for 50% of Volkswagen's new car sales globally by 2030, he said, but conventional internal-combustion engine vehicles would continue to dominate in some markets.
''We will keep selling ICEs in some regions longer than in others,'' Mr. Diess said. ''E-mobility will come at different levels of speed globally depending on local policies and the supply of CO2-free energy.''
Write to David Hodari at and William Boston at
National Vaccine Day
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 13:40
A one-time federal holiday to celebrate COVID-19 vaccination
IATA Travel Pass "Successfully" Trialed On First International Flight | ZeroHedge
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 13:14
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) successfully trialed a new health passport app (called Travel Pass) to manage COVID-19 tests and vaccine certifications for international flights. Travelers at London's Heathrow Airport were the first to test the IATA Travel Pass app to manage their health credentials.
"The successful implementation of IATA Travel Pass in this trial with Singapore Airlines passengers demonstrates that technology can securely, conveniently, and efficiently help travelers and governments to manage travel health credentials. The significance of this to restarting international aviation cannot be overstated," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO.
IATA is the premier global trade organization for airlines, with 290 members. Their push for the Travel Pass app, or as we've called it "COVID passport" and or "immunity passports," comes as a bid to reopen borders and restart air travel.
Last month, we noted this dystopic future could be the 'new normal' in a matter of weeks. And we were right, as the rollout of the Travel Pass appears to be underway. IATA's new app will likely be rolled out with more airlines in a matter of weeks. Here's the list of airlines so far:
Passengers on Singapore Airlines flights from Singapore to London used the IATA Travel Pass to secure their passport information, flight details, and health data to meet all travel requirements.
"Digital health credentials will be essential as borders reopen and travel restrictions get progressively lifted worldwide. The successful implementation of the IATA Travel Pass reflects Singapore Airlines' goal of using secure digital solutions to verify health credentials, and support a safe and seamless travel experience for our customers," said JoAnn Tan, Acting Senior Vice President, Marketing Planning, Singapore Airlines.
Since the early days of the pandemic (read: here & here & here), we've discussed how health passports were imminent. And here we are, early 2021, more than one year since the virus pandemic struck, the beginning chapter of a new global standard where airlines worldwide will require travelers to provide health passports before they can fly is here.
There will be some thorny legal issues raised because health passports can exacerbate inequality within society, as those who refuse vaccination could be barred from air travel.
Last week, China launched a digital "health certificate" for its 1.3 billion citizens, which will record their vaccination status and COVID test status.
There is no doubt that health passports will be widely implemented to reopen borders and restart aviation.
Missing Tanzanian President Declared Dead of 'Heart Illness'
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 13:10
Tanzanian President John Magufuli has died at the age of 61 from a heart illness, Tanzanian Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on Wednesday.
''Dear Tanzanians, it is sad to announce that today 17 March 2021 around 6:00 p.m. we lost our brave leader, President John Magufuli, who died from heart disease at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was getting treatment,'' Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said during a state television broadcast on March 17. Tanzania will now enter a two-week national mourning period for Magufuli, the vice president added.
BREAKING: Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli is dead. Vice president Samia Suluhu says Magufuli succumbed to heart disease in Dar Es Salaam #RIPMagufuli
'-- The African Voice (@teddyeugene) March 17, 2021
Magufuli was admitted to the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 6, Hassan said during her speech on Wednesday. The revelation puts to rest weeks of rumors surrounding Magufuli's nearly three-week disappearance from the public eye since he was last seen on February 27 in Dar es Salaam during a ceremony at the Tanzanian State House. The Tanzanian government's initial refusal to comment on the president's whereabouts fueled speculation that he had fallen ill, with some alleging that he had contracted the Chinese coronavirus.
Vice President Hassan seemed to make cryptic references to Magufuli's illness on Monday during a speech marking the launch of a government project in Tanga, a town in Tanzania's northeast.
''It's quite normal for a person's body to be indisposed and contract the flu or develop a fever,'' Hassan said on March 15, without clarifying to whom she referred. The vice president similarly acknowledged ''rumors flying around'' Tanzania during her speech, without specifying which rumors she referred to or what they claimed.
''As Tanzanians, we must work together, be united and build our nation. Most of the rumors you hear don't originate in Tanzania '... they come from outside the country. I ask you to ignore them. If it's about prayers, pray, but all in all, we should remain united and take Tanzania forward. We're safe,'' Hassan said.
Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa claimed Magufuli was ''safe'' and working on March 12 while urging Tanzanians to ''ignore fake news'' concerning the president's health status.
''The prime minister asked Tanzanians to be calm because President John Magufuli is safe and he is going about his work,'' the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation quoted Majaliwa as saying.
Tanzanian security forces arrested at least four people for allegedly spreading ''false information'' about Magufuli's health on social media in recent days, demonstrating the government's desire to clamp down on speculation surrounding the head of state.
Magufuli's death on Wednesday comes just five months after he won a second five-year term as Tanzania's president in October in a disputed election. Magufuli was first elected president of Tanzania in 2015 after the country's left-wing ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, chose him to succeed former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete. The former parliamentarian was nicknamed ''The Bulldozer'' for his aggressive leadership style, which saw him push through policies he championed despite opposition from government factions.
Magufli's policies surrounding the Chinese coronavirus pandemic '' which included blanket refusals to force Tanzanians into lockdown or to wear sanitary masks, and an endorsement of alternative remedies for coronavirus, such as prayer and steam inhalation '' contributed to fervid speculation over the past few weeks that the president had contracted coronavirus during his disappearance from the public eye.
Atlanta massage parlor shooting suspect had passion for guns: report
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 11:55
The 21-year-old man suspected of killing eight people '-- six of them Asian women '-- at three metro Atlanta massage parlors professed a passion for guns and God, according to a report.
Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, Georgia, was arrested without incident Tuesday night about 150 miles south of Atlanta and charged with murder, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Information about Long is sparse, but the Daily Beast reported that a tagline on an Instagram account that appeared to belong to the suspect '-- but was no longer active Wednesday morning '-- said: ''Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God. This pretty much sums up my life. It's a pretty good life.''
A student who graduated from Sequoyah High School with Long in 2017 told the news outlet on condition of anonymity: ''He was very innocent seeming and wouldn't even cuss.
''He was sorta nerdy and didn't seem violent from what I remember. He was a hunter and his father was a youth minister or pastor. He was big into religion,'' the former classmate added.
A tagline on an Instagram account that appeared to belong to Robert Aaron Long said: ''Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God. This pretty much sums up my life. It's a pretty good life.'' via REUTERSA 2018 video on the Crabapple First Baptist Church's Facebook page features Long discussing his Christian journey toward baptism, according to the Daily Beast.''As many of you may remember, when I was 8 years old I thought I was becoming a Christian, and got baptized during that time. And I remember a lot of the reason for that is a lot of my friends in my Sunday school class were doing that,'' Long says in the video, which had been deleted Wednesday morning.
''And after that time, there wasn't any fruit from the root that is our salvation,'' he says, adding that as a seventh-grader, he attended a youth group and a speaker was discussing the biblical story of the prodigal son.
''The son goes off and squanders all that he has and lives completely for himself and then, when he finds he's wanting to eat pig food, he realized there's something wrong and he goes back to his father and his father runs back to him and embraces him,'' he says, according to the report.
Authorities said Long is the suspect in the shootings at Young's Asian Massage Parlor in Cherokee County and in two more shootings in northeast Atlanta. AFP via Getty Images''And by the grace of God I was able to draw the connection there and realize this is a story between what happened with me and God. I ran away living completely for myself, and he still wants me, and so that's when I was saved.''
In a statement, elders of the church told ''We are grieved to hear the tragic news about the multiple deaths in the Atlanta area. We are heartbroken for all involved.
People with the medical examiner's office wheel out a body on a stretcher from a massage parlor where three people were shot and killed in Atlanta, Georgia. AFP via Getty Images''We grieve for the victims and their families, and we continue to pray for them. Moreover, we are distraught for the Long family and continue to pray for them as well,'' they added.
The suspect's family did not respond to calls from the Daily Beast for comment.
The victims, whose names have not yet been released, included six Asian woman, a white woman and a white man, officials said. AFP via Getty ImagesAuthorities said Long is the suspect in the shootings at Young's Asian Massage Parlor in Cherokee County that left four people dead and one person injured '-- and in two more shootings in northeast Atlanta that resulted in four more deaths.
The victims, whose names have not yet been released, included six Asian woman, a white woman and a white man, officials said.
South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday that four people of Korean descent were among those killed, according to the Korea Herald.
''It does appear that it's the same suspect,'' Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee Sheriff's Office told the newspaper, adding that surveillance images indicate that Long is the suspect in all three shootings.
Police stressed it was too early to cite motive in the bloodbath, but the attacks come amid a wave of targeted violence against the Asian American community.
Law enforcement officials confer outside a massage parlor following a shooting on March 16, 2021, in Atlanta. AP
Father jailed after referring to biological female child as his daughter | The Post Millennial
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 11:44
There is a man in Canada who can only be alluded to as He Who Shall Not Be Named: Robert Hoogland. For the sake of natural justice, it is important to speak this man's name. He is now the Canadian state's prison of conscience.
The warrant was issued by a judge for the arrest of a father after calling his biological female child his "daughter," and referring to her with the pronouns "she" and "her." Hoogland was found to be in contempt of court.
Hoogland is a father to a gender non-conforming biological female 14-year-old who identifies as transgender and prefers the use of male pronouns. Hoogland has repeatedly called this person his daughter, though the court has forbade it.
On Tuesday at 10 am Vancouver time, Hoogland surrendered himself to the court in response to the Attorney General of British Columbia's warrant his arrest for contempt. He was the arrested and jailed. The warrant was issued by Judge Tammen on March 4, 2021.
Hoogland opposes his child's undergoing "gender affirmative" medical procedures, and has stated this opposition again and again, in the hope of saving his child from irreversible harm. The Canadian medical system, the legal system, and the child's mother press ahead with social and medical transition of the child.
On December 14, 2020, Hoogland was compelled by Justice Mazari's court to collude in the gender "transitioning" of his fourteen year old daughter and told not to call his biological female child his daughter. In response, Hoogland made a Charter challenge engaging his right to freedom of speech.
When he appeared in family court, the judge forced him to sit in the prisoners' dock, said Hoogland's lawyer Carey Lind said, even though he was guilty of no crime. The judge referred to him as "the accused." Lind made an application for the judge to recuse himself on the basis that all of this was prejudicial.
Hoogland told his story. The child had complex problems, but the court blamed them all on gender dysphoria. His marriage to the child's mother had broken up. He said that, in grades 5 and 6, his daughter was "getting into trouble and hanging out with boys," so they arranged for her to see the school counsellor. In grade 7, he noticed she cut off her long hair and started wearing a toup(C). He said that she developed intense crushes on two male teachers, and made a suicide attempt.
Hoogland discovered that the school had been showing his daughter SOGI 123, the going sexual and gender identity education materials in British Columbia which amounts to transgender ideology "propaganda videos." In the grade 7 yearbook, the child was referred to by a different name. The school counsellor changed the child's name without telling her parents. The school "socially transitioned" the biologically female child on its own initiative, with the input of a gender ideologue psychologist, Dr. Wallace Wong.
When Hoogland accompanied his child to a consultation with Wong, the psychologist advised the pubescent child to take testosterone. Wong referred the child to the endocrinology unit at the local hospital. Meanwhile, Hoogland was looking for mental health solutions to help the child without drugs.
On the child's first visits to the hospital, a treatment plan was put into action. Both the child, and her mother'--Hoogland's ex-wife'--signed a consent form which explicitly stated that the "treatment" was experimental, meaning that the endocrinologists recommending the treatment didn't know the long-term health impact.
A gender identity activist lawyer, Barbara Findley, represented the child in court. Justice Boden decided that the child's best interests lay in destroying her long-term health to make her body appear more like that of a male.
Hoogland, in contrast, thinks his daughter's best interests lie in preserving his child's health, in case his child ends up among the estimated 85 percent of children who desist in their belief that they are the opposite sex once puberty ends.
He said, "Here I am, sitting there as a parent, watching a perfectly healthy child be destroyed, and there's nothing I can do but sit on the sideline according to Justice Boden at the time. I can only affirm, or get thrown in jail."
Boden's court held that the father's consent was irrelevant. The judge went a step further, declaring that the girl's parents must affirm their child's "gender identity," and refer to the child as though the fact of her being a gender non-conforming biological female who identifies as transgender means that the child is a boy. If he did not, the parents would be implicated of the criminal offense of family violence.
After the hearing, Hoogland gave an interview to The Federalist saying that people cannot change sex, and that mega-doses of exogenous testosterone would damage his vulnerable, biological female child's health.
Justice Mazari then summarily convicted Hoogland of family violence on the basis that he had declined to use his child's preferred masculine pronouns. Mazari authorized a warrant for Hoogland's arrest in the event that he ever used the correct sex pronouns to refer to his daughter again.
"In the Mazari ruling, it said that I can only think thoughts which are contrary to the Boden ruling. The court was gracious enough that they did not police my thoughts, but everything else they could," he said.
In 2019, Hoogland abided by the court order, hoping to get his daughter off testosterone. However, in January 2020, the highest court in British Columbia declared that the child should continue to take testosterone. It also imposed a conduct order on Hoogland that he must continue to refer to his biological female child by male pronouns.
Hoogland said that "They've created a delusion, and they're forcing parents to live in this delusion."
"What happens when the bubble explodes and the delusion ends'... She can never go back to being a girl in the healthy body she should have had'... These kids don't understand. What kind of 13 year old is thinking about having a family and kids?" He said, lamenting his child's stolen future.
Hoogland gave interviews to several Canadian commentators. The broadcasts were suppressed by digital platforms, and he was threatened with contempt of court proceedings.
"What kind of father would I be if, in ten years time she's detransitioning, and she asks me 'why didn't you do anything to stop this? None of your stuck your neck out for me back then.'" He said.
The case continues, as does his child's medical "transition."
Before surrendering to the court, Hoogland felt compelled to visit his childhood homes, and shared some of his thoughts with this writer.
"Perhaps saving children is a dream . . . but I don't think so! As I was driving I saw children walking their dogs, I saw children playing together, and I saw a generation that needs their parents more than ever! I visited all my family homes... places where I grew up as a child. I remembered how much I loved my own parents and how much I needed their protection."
I find it moving that he is willing to go to such lengths to protest what is being inflicted on his daughter in the name of gender identity ideology. His self-sacrifice will hopefully help many other children from being drawn into this terrible industry.
The Canadian state has taken a drastically wrong turning by institutionalizing transsexual medical procedures for children, then imposing draconian constraints on free expression to conceal the full horror of what it is doing to a generation of children. It seems unwilling to consider the implications of the decision in Keira Bell v Tavistock in the UK.
In December, the high court handed down the decision in Keira Bell's judicial review of the state's gender identity clinic, the Tavistock. It held that children of 16 and under were incapable of giving informed consent to puberty blockers.
In the judicial review hearing, the court asked the Tavistock why it had no long-term data on the outcomes for the children to whom they gave puberty blockers. It responded that that it had a 2011 study, but it was unpublished pending peer review.
The Tavistock then published the data the day after the High Court handed down its judgement, and not in a peer-reviewed journal.
The data confirmed that, between 2011-2020, a rapidly increasing and disproportionate number of girls were referred to the gender clinic with a diagnosis of "gender dysphoria."
The article highlights the poorly-understood rise in cases of gender dysphoria among adolescents (especially females), and asks if the Western world has gotten the balance wrong by prematurely intervening with medical procedures with irreversible life-long consequences./2
'-- SEGM (@SEGMtweets) December 12, 2020The clinic had known for nine years that puberty blockers were both ineffective for psychological distress, and harmful to physical health. It chose to keep that information from patients, public, and apparently from the court itself.
I'm still struggling to comprehend how GIDS could have sat on data for 9 years that showed puberty blockers do not improve children's mental health & may in fact make it worse, when alleviating psychological symptoms is the basis for treatment. How is this not a scandal?
'-- Allison Bailey (@BluskyeAllison) December 12, 2020The court heard evidence that the Tavistock clinic gave children materials which said "as far as we are aware the blockers will not harm your physical or mental development."
The Tavistock's study into puberty blockers confirmed that the allegations of Keira Bell and Mrs. A were well-founded.
The refusal to submit this report to the court is further evidence of the @TaviAndPort wish to protect their reputation & win at all costs. When their duty was to submit evidence & assist the court in its ruling about this experimental treatment for vulnerable kids. @hannahsbee
'-- Marcus Evans (@marcusevanspsyc) December 12, 2020The study showed that of the 44 children given puberty blockers, only one did not progress to wrong-sex hormones. The Tavistock has claimed that the two "treatments" are not linked, and that taking blockers does not inevitably place children on the medical pathway to wrong-sex hormones and surgery. That claim has been disproven. Blockers are primers for surgery, with lifelong health impacts, not simply a benign "pause button." They cause long-term damage.
The study also found that medical experiments with puberty blockers did not improve the children's mental health. In fact, the children on puberty blockers felt worse on taking them.
A study has shown all but one child treated for gender dysphoria with puberty-blocking drugs at a leading NHS clinic - The Tavistock and Portman Trust - also received cross-sex hormones.READ MORE ?#Newsnight | @hannahsbee | @deb_cohen cohen
'-- BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) December 11, 2020Preliminary findings which showed that after a year on blockers, there was a significant increase in those answering the statement: "I deliberately try to hurt or kill myself," were not replicated across the duration of the study.
The children given blockers also lost critical bone density and height which they can never recover, leaving them vulnerable to osteoporosis and broken bones.
The study was nine years late, in which time thousands of children were primed for "gender affirmation" surgeries, and lumbered with iatrogenic osteoporosis and stunted growth.
It remains to be seen whether the court pursues the matter of the Tavistock's suppression of vital data which could have spared all of those vulnerable children the lifelong effects of puberty blockers.
All of this begs the question of why Justin Trudeau and Minster David Lametti continue to push Bill C16, knowing full well where it leads: destroying the health of vulnerable children for the sake of a delusion.
Keira Bell's case is international news, and shows anyone who cares to listen what awaits the victims of the trans "healthcare" industry. Bell described the Tavistock as having "a complacent and dangerous culture" which caused her irreversible harm. Its activities have effectively been shut down by the court ruling.
Rob Hoogland's child may not have the same experience as Keira Bell, who, now in her early twenties, regrets that she may be unable to become a mother. She hopes that it will no longer be standard practice for gender clinics to withhold from girls that "treatment" means they may never be mothers.
However, with a four-in-five chance of desisting, and incontrovertible evidence that "gender-affirming" medical experiments harm the body and fail to help mental wellbeing, what reasonable adult could now argue that she should stay on that path?
We watch the Hoogland case develop with interest, and hope that his arrest and imprisonment may precipitate a watershed moment in drawing national attention to the atrocity of pediatric transitioning.
The way Hoogland's child is described herein is intended to conform with Canadian laws against hate speech.
Antifa rioters burn US flags, storm courthouse, and clash with police in Portland, Oregon
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 02:26
| March 12, 2021 12:21 PM
Antifa protesters burned U.S. flags, stormed a bank, and clashed with police outside a federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday.
The original protest, intended as a demonstration against Immigration and Customs Enforcement, escalated when agitators began smashing a federal courthouse and burning American flags, according to the Daily Mail.
Protesters could be seen in videos posted on social media setting fires around the courthouse.
''Antifa set fire to the federal courthouse in downtown Portland,'' journalist Andy Ngo tweeted. ''There are people inside.''
In another video, federal agents could be seen deploying tear gas and firing pepper balls into the crowd as they attempted to restore order.
Rioters also attempted to break into a Chase bank and appeared to be kept at bay by an armed security guard.
Rioting has become common in Portland since last summer, and the city at one point last year witnessed violence in the streets from Antifa for 100 days in a row.
Portland cut police funding and got a 2,000% surge in murders
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 02:26
| March 16, 2021 01:31 PM
Last June, the city of Portland, Oregon, hopped on the ''defund the police'' bandwagon. Now, it is flooded with gun violence, and the mayor is already backtracking from his support for the cuts.
Mayor Ted Wheeler has requested $2 million in emergency funding for the police department, pointing directly to the surge in gun violence. At this point last year, Portland had seen just one homicide. This year, that number is 20, with 208 shootings in the city so far.
Wheeler backed the Portland City Council's decision to cut $15 million from the police budget last June, which included disbanding police units that investigate gun violence. Predictably, that move backfired in a city that saw 100 consecutive days of violent rioting last year.
Riots are back once again in the city, thanks to Wheeler's spinelessness. Rioters have once again targeted a federal courthouse in the city, a reprise of the violent storming of the courthouse last July. In June, it was reported that the city lost around $24 million due to the riots. Damage to federal buildings totals roughly $2.3 million.
Portland, like Minneapolis, doesn't have and never did have an overpolicing problem. The city has an underpolicing problem, compounded by cowardly city leaders who pander to anti-police activists. Portland city leaders, just like their Minneapolis counterparts, humored these leftist ideologues while turning a blind eye to riots. Now, they reap the whirlwind in the form of a surge in violent crime.
And this is Portland, so there is no Republican to blame for this issue. Wheeler is a Democrat. So are the city council members, with one independent who was endorsed by the council's Democratic members. Gov. Kate Brown, who said that former President Donald Trump was ''provoking confrontation for political purposes'' by protecting the courthouse, is a Democrat. So is President Biden, who currently has federal agents trying to protect the courthouse.
Nor is there any plausible way to blame the availability of guns in Oregon or in neighboring states. Guns are exactly as available today as they were before this 2,000% surge in murders.
This is what happens when people who are tasked with actually running a city embrace ridiculous ideologies to please activists. I would say that Portland residents deserve better, but this is the leadership they chose for their city. Given the failures of Wheeler and the city council to this point, the voters are the only ones who can change course.
If the 2020 election is any indication, it won't be happening any time soon.
Verkiezingsblog | Historische opkomst, klappen op links en veel nieuwkomers | Binnenland |
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 01:04
Exitpoll: VVD blijft grootste partij, grote winst voor D66Zo wachten politici en pers de uitslagen af'Op links voltrekt zich een tragedie'01.45 - SGP grootste partij op Urk, forse winst voor FVDDe SGP is met 54,4 procent van de stemmen opnieuw de grootste partij op Urk geworden, een daling van 1,7 procent in vergelijking met vier jaar geleden. Forum voor Democratie is procentueel de grootste stijger. De partij van Thierry Baudet krijgt 9,5 procent van de stemmen tegen 1,7 procent vier jaar geleden.
Daarmee is FVD op Urk na de SGP en PVV de derde partij geworden. De PVV krijgt 13,8 procent van de stemmen, een winst van 2,8 procent.
De VVD, landelijk de grote winnaar van de verkiezingen, krijgt op Urk slechts 1,7 procent van de stemmen tegen 1,8 procent in 2017.
Net als vier jaar geleden haalt D66 op Urk een score van 0,5 procent. Jezus Leeft scoort nog beter met 0,7 procent van de stemmen in het streng-christelijke vissersdorp.
01.36 - Voorlopig geen volledige uitslag uit de vier grote stedenDe vier grootste steden (G4) komen in de nacht van woensdag op donderdag niet meer met een volledige uitslag. Dat laten de G4 weten aan de verkiezingsdienst van het ANP.
In Den Haag wordt de hele nacht door geteld, maar een voorlopige uitslag wordt daar niet voor 03.00 uur verwacht. Utrecht verwacht rond 02.00 uur een voorlopige uitslag, op basis van zo'n 85 procent van de stemmen. De hele nacht gaat het tellen door, maar een definitieve uitslag wordt pas vrijdag verwacht.
Amsterdam komt in de nacht met een voorlopige uitslag, op basis van ongeveer 84 procent van de stemmen. Een woordvoerder van de stad kon nog niet zeggen hoe representatief die voorlopige uitslag zou zijn voor de hele stad.
Rotterdam telt ook de hele nacht door, maar durft nog niet te voorspellen wanneer er een voorlopige uitslag kan worden gegeven.
01.30 - Lisa van Ginneken (D66) eerste transgender in KamerLisa van Ginneken, de nummer 22 van de kandidatenlijst van D66 wordt waarschijnlijk de eerste transgender, iemand die een geslachtsverandering heeft ondergaan, in de Tweede Kamer. De partij van Van Ginneken stevent volgens de exitpolls af op 26 zetels.
De 48-jarige inwoner van Amsterdam gaat zich in de Kamer inzetten voor LHBTI'ers. Van Ginneken wil geregeld krijgen dat transgender- en intersekse mensen zelf kunnen beslissen over medische ingrepen. Ook het beperken van de macht van techbedrijven en verbetering van de patintenvertegenwoordiging in de zorg staan in de portefeuille van Van Ginneken.
01.27 - Eenpitters Krol en Van Kooten-Arissen verdwijnen uit KamerEenpitters Henk Krol en Femke Merel van Kooten-Arissen verdwijnen na de verkiezingen uit de Tweede Kamer. De exitpolls laten zien dat ze hoogstwaarschijnlijk niet op een zetel kunnen rekenen. De politici, die allebei afsplitsten van andere partijen, stonden ook in de meeste peilingen nog niet op (C)(C)n zetel.
Krol was lang het boegbeeld van 50PLUS maar stapte uit de partij mei vorig jaar, en richtte met Van Kooten-Arissen de Partij voor de Toekomst op. Ook die partij eindigde in conflict. De twee Kamerleden gingen weer hun eigen weg, en uiteindelijk richtte Krol de Lijst Henk Krol (LHK) op.
Op Radio Veronica zei de spraakmakende politicus dat hij een Bed and Breakfast zou oprichten als hem geen zetel gegund bleek. Sinds 2012 zat hij met een enkele onderbreking in de Tweede Kamer. Krol gaf 50PLUS grote bekendheid, maar die partij kwam vooral in het nieuws wegens de vele interne ruzies.
01.15 - Wilders (PVV) verliest geboortestad Venlo aan VVDDe PVV is niet langer de grootste partij in Venlo, de geboortestad van partijleider Geert Wilders. De VVD kreeg er de meeste stemmen. Ook D66 won flink.
De VVD kreeg dit jaar 21,5 procent van de stemmen in Venlo. Vier jaar geleden had de partij van premier Mark Rutte 19,3 procent gekregen in de tweede stad van Limburg. De PVV zakte juist van 20,2 procent naar 18,3 procent.
D66 steeg van 10 procent naar 13 procent, Forum voor Democratie ging omhoog van 2,1 procent naar 5,7 procent.
00.50 - VVD blijft D66 net voor in HilversumDe VVD is in de gemeente Hilversum de grootste partij geworden met 21,8 procent van de stemmen. In 2017 kreeg de partij van Mark Rutte nog 23,4 procent van de stemmen. D66 staat op plek twee met 20,9 procent, een stijging van 4 procent. De partij van Sigrid Kaag is daarmee procentueel de grootste stijger.
De PVV is derde. De partij van Wilders krijgt 8,6 procent van de stemmen, Vier jaar geleden was dat 23,4 procent.
GroenLinks is in Hilversum de grootste verliezer en komt uit op 6,9 procent, een daling van 4,5 procent.
00.30 - PVV opnieuw populairst in Groningse PekelaDe PVV van Geert Wilders heeft opnieuw de meeste stemmen gekregen in het Groningse Pekela, een van de armste gemeenten van het land. De partij kreeg er 22,5 procent van de stemmen. Dat is wel iets minder dan vier jaar geleden. De SP bleef de tweede partij, maar zakte van 23,9 naar 15,1 procent.
Forum voor Democratie boekte een flinke winst in Pekela. De partij van Thierry Baudet steeg van 1,4 procent naar 7,5 procent.
Pekela stemde van oudsher trouw op de PvdA, maar die partij verdampte vier jaar geleden. De sociaaldemocraten hadden in 2012 40 procent van de Pekelder stemmen gekregen, maar daar bleef in 2017 slechts 8,3 van over. Nu krabbelde de partij iets op, naar 10,4 procent.
00.00 - BoerBurgerBeweging krijgt 5 procent van de stemmen op AmelandDe nieuwe partij BoerBurgerBeweging heeft op Ameland 5 procent van de stemmen behaald, net achter de Partij van de Arbeid die 6 procent van de stemmen trok. De VVD werd, met 27,2 procent van de stemmen, de grootste partij op het eiland.
De BoerBurgerBeweging was daarmee procentueel de grootste stijger en kwam uit als zesde partij. Het CDA was de sterkste daler. De partij trok 14,2 procent van de stemmen, een daling van 8 procent ten opzichte van 2017.
D66 kreeg 13 procent van de stemmen, een stijging van 3,5 procent. De PVV kreeg 9,3 procent van de stemmen, dat was een kleine daling.
23.30 - VVD grootste in Gelderse Rozendaal, gevolgd door D66In de Gelderse gemeente Rozendaal is het meest gestemd op de VVD. De partij van Mark Rutte kreeg er 36,6 procent van de stemmen. D66 werd daar de tweede partij met 22,8 procent van de stemmen. De opkomst in de Gelderse gemeente was met 95,9 procent hoog. De opkomst bij de verkiezingen voor de Tweede Kamer komt landelijk volgens een aangepaste exitpoll van Ipsos in opdracht van de NOS uit op 82,6 procent.
Als eerste van de wat grotere gemeenten heeft woensdag Valkenburg aan de Geul de verkiezingsuitslag bekendgemaakt. Daar is de VVD de grootste partij geworden met 24,4 procent van de stemmen. Vier jaar eerder haalden de liberalen nog 20,6 procent van de stemmen in deze Limburgse gemeente, die ruim 16.000 inwoners heeft.
De PVV behaalde 15,3 procent van de stemmen, tegen 18,1 in 2017. Erna volgde D66 met 12,5 procent, een stijging ten opzichte van de verkiezingen van 2017 toen de partij er 11,2 procent van de stemmen kreeg.
Het CDA daalde het hardst. De partij ging van 16,6 procent van de stemmen vier jaar geleden naar 11,5 procent bij deze Tweede Kamerverkiezingen. De opkomst in Valkenburg aan de Geul lag met 81,2 procent in de buurt van het landelijke gemiddelde van 82,6 procent.
22.15 - Rutte 'springt van de bank' na eerste uitslagen, ook D66 door het dolleDat de VVD gegroeid is en opnieuw de grootste partij in de Tweede Kamer wordt, 'žlaat zien dat Nederland vertrouwen uitspreekt in de VVD, in Mark Rutte, in deze ongekende crisis.'' Dat zegt campagneleider Sophie Hermans in een eerste reactie op de exitpoll. Daarin staat de VVD op 35 zetels.
D66 'žging door het dak'' bij de exitpoll, waarin de partij op 27 zetels staat. Kamerlid en campagneleider Sjoerd Sjoerdsma is blij dat de vloer het hield, zegt hij, want er werd 'žflink op en neer gesprongen.''
Elders op links worden juist zware verliezen verwacht, zoals bij de partij van Jesse Klaver en ook de SP van Lilian Marijnissen levert in.
Het CDA is teleurgesteld in de eerste uitslagen. De verkiezingsuitslag zoals die zich aftekent in de eerste exitpoll is 'žbeduidend minder dan gehoopt.'' Dat zei CDA-campagneleider en staatssecretaris Raymond Knops woensdagavond in een eerste reactie.
22.10 - Nieuwkomers kloppen aan de deur in Den HaagAls een tractor met turbomotor stormt BBB de Tweede Kamer binnen. Deze BoerBurgerBeweging, waarvan tot voor kort nog maar weinig mensen hadden gehoord, wil de stem van de regio vertegenwoordigen in Den Haag.
Ook het rechtse JA21 van de Rotterdamse Joost Eerdmans klopt aan de deur op het Binnenhof. De van Forum afgesplitste partij pakt waarschijnlijk minstens drie zetels. Ook de pan-Europese partij Volt doet het goed en Sylvana Simons van Bij1 wacht mogelijk een plek in de Kamer.
22.05 - Hogere opkomst dan vorige verkiezingenDe opkomst bij de verkiezingen voor de Tweede Kamer komt volgens een aangepaste exitpoll van Ipsos in opdracht van de NOS uit op 82,6 procent. Daarmee zou het de hoogste opkomst zijn sinds 1986 toen bijna 86 procent van de stemgerechtigden kwam opdagen.
Bij de laatste verkiezingen voor de Tweede Kamer in 2017 was de opkomst 81,9 procent.
De verkiezingen verliepen door het coronavirus dit jaar heel anders dan vier jaar geleden. Mensen van zeventig jaar en ouder mochten per brief stemmen en de stembureaus waren drie dagen open. De eerste twee dagen waren de deuren open voor kwetsbare mensen.
21.48 - Primeur weer voor SchiermonnikoogDe gemeente Schiermonnikoog heeft woensdag om 21.43 uur opnieuw als eerste de uitslag van de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen doorgegeven aan de Verkiezingsdienst van het ANP. De opkomst op het eiland was 115,5 procent. Dat komt omdat er vaak toeristen op het eiland zijn.
D66 is er de grootste partij geworden. De partij kreeg 18,7 procent van de stemmen. De VVD werd de tweede partij met 17,4 procent.
Vlieland gaf als tweede de uitslagen door. Daar was de winst voor de VVD (26 procent van de stemmen). D66 werd daar de tweede partij met 19,7 procent.
De strijd om het als eerste melden van de eindstand gaat al jaren tussen Schiermonnikoog, Vlieland en het Gelderse Rozendaal. Dat zijn de kleinste gemeenten van het land, met elk ongeveer duizend kiezers. Voor de gemeenten stond dit jaar echter de veiligheid vanwege het coronavirus voorop. De gemeente Rozendaal heeft er door de komst van een nieuwe wijk ook meer bewoners bijgekregen en achtte zich al kansloos in de 'strijd'.
21.05 - Exitpoll: vier nieuwe partijen kloppen aan deur BinnenhofIn de Tweede Kamer lijken er vier nieuwe partijen bij te komen. Volgens de exitpoll die Ipsos voor de NOS deed, krijgt de pan-Europese partij Volt 4 zetels, het rechtse JA21 3, Bij1 van Sylvana Simons 1, en de BoerBurgerBeweging 1.
Het gaat om een voorlopige uitslag op basis van een peiling en de resultaten zijn nog niet definitief. Dit jaar houdt Ipsos een onzekerheidsmarge van twee zetels aan.
21.00 - Stembureaus sluiten deurenDe stembureaus in ons land zijn om 21.00 uur definitief dicht gegaan voor deze Tweede Kamerverkiezingen. De afgelopen dagen konden mensen hun stem uitbrengen, op maandag en dinsdag deden al veel mensen dat, voornamelijk mensen die tot een risicogroep behoren. Woensdag gingen de meeste mensen stemmen. Zij kwamen naar een van de ruim 8800 stemlokalen. Nu gaat het tellen van de stemmen beginnen. De opkomst zou op 81 procent liggen.
Het tellen van stemmen is openbaar. Mensen mogen komen kijken, maar moeten zich dan wel aan de coronaregels houden.
Voor alle stembureaus in het land golden dit jaar speciale maatregelen om de kans op besmetting met het coronavirus zo klein mogelijk te houden. Zo werden in het stemlokaal potloden, stemhokjes, tafels, en andere voorwerpen geregeld schoongemaakt. In sommige gemeenten kregen alle kiezers een eigen rood potlood dat ze daarna mee naar huis mogen nemen. En er waren 'kuchschermen' tussen de kiezers en de leden van de stembureaus.
Vanwege corona moeten ook de stemmentellers zich aan de coronamaatregelen houden. Daarom brengen enkele gemeenten de stembussen naar grotere locaties. Om veilig te kunnen tellen moet minimaal zestig vierkante meter per stembureau beschikbaar zijn, zo meldt onder meer de gemeente Den Haag. Die gemeente brengt nu vanuit ruim honderd te kleine locaties stemmen naar grotere plaatsen zoals de Fokker Terminal (Binckhorst), het World Forum (Scheveningen), Sportcampus Zuiderpark (Escamp) of het GIA Trade & Exhibition Center (Kerketuinen).
19:58 - Klompendragers in verwarring in stembureauStemmers op klompen raakten woensdag op diverse Friese plaatsen in de war door het verplichte eenrichtingsverkeer in de stemlokalen.
Klompdragers trekken hun schoeisel gewoontegetrouw uit bij de voordeur. Doordat ze nu via een andere deur het stemlokaal moesten verlaten ging dat mis.
19.45 - Totale opkomst nu 74 procentOngeveer 74 procent van de kiezers had om 19.45 uur zijn stem uitgebracht voor de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen. Dat meldt onderzoeksbureau Ipsos in opdracht van de NOS. Van alle stemmers heeft zo'n 55 procent zijn of haar stem woensdag uitgebracht.
In de cijfers heeft Ipsos de uitkomst van maandag en dinsdag en de briefstemmers meegenomen. De opkomst van maandag en dinsdag is door Ipsos geraamd op 12 procent. Verder schat Ipsos dat het opkomstpercentage van de briefstemmers 7 procent is. In totaal komt de geschatte opkomst daarmee op 74 procent.
Bij de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen van 2017 was de opkomst op dit tijdstip 73 procent. Volgens Ipsos is het echter lastig om de opkomst in 2017 met die in 2021 te vergelijken, vanwege het briefstemmen door de 70-plussers en vervroegd stemmen op maandag en dinsdag voor de risicogroepen en kwetsbaren vanwege het coronavirus.
17.35 - Mondkapjesweigeraar uit stembureau gezetDe politie heeft woensdag ingegrepen nadat een man bij een stembureau in Rheden wilde stemmen, maar geen mondkapje wilde dragen. 'žWij hebben daarop met diegene gesproken, maar hij wilde nog steeds geen mondkapje op'', laat een woordvoerder weten. De man is daarop het gebouw uitgezet.
Volgens Omroep Gelderland gaf de man aan dat hij een ontheffing van de mondkapjesplicht had van de Rijksoverheid. Die kon hij niet laten zien aan de voorzitter van het stembureau in Ons Huis aan het Meester B. van Leeuwenplein of aan de politie.
'žIk heb een slecht hart en krijg het benauwd van een mondkapje'', verklaarde de man aan Omroep Gelderland. Volgens hem was het document dat hij bij zich had rechtsgeldig. 'žIk moest van het stembureau maar een verklaring halen bij mijn cardioloog, kreeg ik te horen.''
Burgemeester van Rheden Carol van Eert spreekt tegen dat er een geldig document was. 'žDe man heeft iets vaags laten zien dat niet aan hem persoonlijk gelieerd was'', zegt Van Eert tegen de regionale omroep.
Onbekend is of de man op een ander stembureau heeft proberen te stemmen.
17.22 - Groningen: stemmen in EuroborgIn het ruim bemeten stembureau in het groen-witte voetbalstadion Euroborg in Groningen zit de sfeer er woensdag goed in.
17.11 - Niet-bestaand stembureauDe gemeente Heerlen heeft kiezers in Hoensbroek uitgenodigd te gaan stemmen in een niet-bestaand gebouw.
Kiezers werden in gemeentelijke publicaties en op de officile stemformulieren geattendeerd op het bestaan van een stemlokaal in het Multi Functioneel Centrum aan de Prinsenstraat in Hoensbroek.
Het gebouw is echter vorig jaar gesloopt. Wel was er heel dicht in de buurt van het voormalige MFC een alternatief stemlokaal ingericht. Maar omdat de verwarming het daar niet deed is er uitgeweken '' en ook ter plekke verwezen '' naar Ons Trefcentrum aan het Pius XII-plein, dat enkele straten verderop ligt.
16.42 - Brabant schaars op kieslijstDe 67-jarige Dora Schouwenaars hoefde woensdag de deur niet uit om te stemmen. De voormalige koeienstal van haar oude boerderij '' die midden in een nieuwbouwwijk in het Brabantse Etten-Leur staat '' fungeert namelijk als stembureau.
16.36 - 'Stembusstampers'De stembussen zitten dit jaar sneller vol dan tijdens eerdere verkiezingen, en dus moeten er 'žstembusstampers'' en nieuwe bussen aan te pas komen. Dat merken ze ook in Rotterdam. 'žDe stemformulieren zijn groter dit keer, want er zijn meer partijen die deelnemen aan de verkiezingen'', aldus een gemeentewoordvoerder.
Tijdens deze Tweede Kamerverkiezingen doen 37 partijen mee, een naoorlogs record. En dus zijn er op het stembiljet evenveel kolommen nodig, waardoor het papier groot uitvalt en veel ruimte inneemt in de stembus. Met een zogenaamde stembusstamper, 'žeen houten stok die door de bus heen kan'', wordt de stapel aangedrukt, vertelt de Rotterdamse woordvoerder. Ook zijn er nieuwe stembussen naar de drukke stembureaus onderweg.
Er is volgens de woordvoerder nog een andere oorzaak waardoor de bakken snel vol zitten. 'žNormaal zetten we op de stempas de dichtstbijzijnde locatie waar je kan stemmen. Nu niet, en dus is er meer spreiding.''
16.18 - Opkomst naar 49 procentDe totale opkomst van de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen was om 15.45 uur gestegen naar 49 procent. Dat meldt onderzoeksbureau Ipsos in opdracht van de NOS.
Ipsos heeft de opkomst van maandag, dinsdag, woensdag en de briefstemmers bij elkaar opgeteld. Woensdag heeft tot 15.30 uur in totaal 30 procent van de kiesgerechtigden gestemd. De opkomst was maandag en dinsdag geraamd op 12 procent. Verder schat Ipsos dat het opkomstpercentage van de briefstemmers 7 procent is. In totaal komt de geschatte opkomst daarmee op 49 procent.
Bij de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen van 2017 was de opkomst op dit tijdstip 43 procent. Volgens Ipsos is het echter lastig om de opkomst in 2017 met die in 2021 te vergelijken, vanwege het briefstemmen door de 70-plussers en vervroegd stemmen op maandag en dinsdag voor de risicogroepen en kwetsbaren vanwege het coronavirus.
15.59 - Stempotloodjes op Marktplaats: 'Slechts (C)(C)n keer gebruikt'H(C)t item van deze verkiezingen, het rode stempotlood waar zo veel over te doen is, duikt nu in groten getale op als 'collector's item' op Marktplaats. Kiezers die hun stem al uitgebracht hebben (C)n het potloodje mee naar huis mochten nemen, proberen dat nu te slijten op het online platform. De begeleidende verkoopteksten zijn even geestig als voorspelbaar: 'Je kunt er nog ontelbare kandidaten mee kiezen', 'een unieke herinnering aan het stemmen in 2021' en 'ik verkoop dit mooie potlood omdat het toch niet mijn kleur is'. En, uiteraard, 'slechts (C)(C)n keer gebruikt'. 'Rod' uit Leidschendam ziet er wel handel in en heeft zijn potlood aangeboden voor 25.000 euro.
Op sociale media ontstond woensdag in de loop van de ochtend 'ophef' over het feit dat het potloodje op sommige stembureaus mee naar huis mocht worden genomen en op andere in een bak moest worden gelegd. Het is voor het eerst dat de potloden na het stemmen mee naar huis mogen worden genomen.
De aanbieders hebben verschillende ideen over hoeveel het 'žvintage stempotlood'' of 'žlimited edition potlood'' waard is. Zo kan op de potloden geboden worden 'tegen elk aannemelijk bod', vanaf 5 euro en vanaf 42 euro. Op het potlood van Ruben uit Delft, ook maar ''1x gebruikt'', is woensdag een eerste bod van 2 euro uitgebracht.
15.40 - 16 seconden per stemIn de Diekmanhal in Enschede zijn 26 studenten van een uitzendbureau sinds woensdagochtend 7.45 uur bezig met het tellen van de briefstemmen. Het verloopt allemaal voorspoedig. 'žWe doen maar 16 seconden over het uitvouwen en tellen van een stem'', laat de co¶rdinator van het briefstemtellen weten.
Vanwege de coronacrisis mochten 70-plussers per post hun stem uitbrengen. De gemeenten konden deze al op zaterdag openen en de stembiljetten uit de enveloppen halen. Doordat sommige 70-plussers hun stembiljet niet in de goede envelop hebben gestopt of hun brief verkeerd hebben gepost, zijn een deel van de briefstemmen ongeldig verklaard.
'žMaar gelukkig hoeven we er nu, tijdens het tellen van de stembiljetten, niet zo veel af te keuren'', zegt Oosterholt. 'žOuderen weten misschien niet hoe de enveloppen werken, maar een rode stip zetten hebben ze vaak genoeg gedaan.''
15.25 - Uitslagenwebsite uit de luchtDe Vereniging Nederlandse Gemeenten (VNG) heeft de website uit de lucht gehaald. Gebruikers van het forum van techsite Tweakers ontdekten in de broncode van de site de stemuitslagen van vier steden. Naast opkomstcijfers waren zo ook al uitslagen per partij openbaar.
Tweakers denkt niet dat het om de gegevens van alle stembureaus in de steden Groningen, Nijmegen, Eindhoven en Den Haag gaat. Dat komt omdat het aantal gevonden stemmen nog beperkt is. Zo waren er uit Nijmegen bijna 2500 stemmen te vinden, en in Den Haag 147.
14.52 - 'Alsof we hier in Verweggistan wonen'Het staat zo vast als een huis dat de Tweede Kamer straks meer Gelderlanders telt dan ooit. Want er staan verschillende kandidaten op verkiesbare plaatsen. Maar of de problemen in hun provincie daarmee ook meteen meer Haagse aandacht krijgen, wordt door de Gelderse kiezer sterk betwijfeld.
14.45 - Nu (C)cht stem op OmtzigtDe echtgenote van Pieter Omtzigt, Ayfer Ko§, heeft nu (C)cht op haar Pieter kunnen stemmen. Dat meldt ze grappend op Twitter. In augustus 2020 dacht zij bij de CDA-lijsttrekkersverkiezing tussen Omtzigt en Hugo de Jonge een digitale stem op haar man uit te brengen, maar kreeg vervolgens een melding dat ze op De Jonge had gestemd. Het leidde tot veel opschudding (C)n een onderzoek binnen de christendemocraten. Uiteindelijk hield de verkiezing van De Jonge stand.
Een geluk voor de echtgenote: De Jonge stond deze keer niet op de lijst, de prominente CDA'er deed een stap terug omdat hij zijn handen vol heeft om de coronacrisis te bestrijden.
14.40 - H(C)t thema in FlevolandH(C)t provinciale item dat al jaren speelt in Flevoland? 'žDat is een enorme open deur'', grinnikt journalist Kees Bakker uit Lelystad. Hij volgt al een kleine twintig jaar alle ins en outs in de regionale politiek. 'žDat is Lelystad Airport.''
14.20 - Coronaproof tellenVanwege corona moet iedereen 1,5 meter afstand houden en dat geldt tijdens de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen ook. In het stemlokaal als mensen hun stem uitbrengen maar ook woensdag na 21.00 uur als de stemmen geteld moeten worden. Een aantal gemeenten brengt daarom de stembussen na sluiting van de stembussen naar een grote locatie.
Vanwege corona moet er om veilig te kunnen tellen minimaal zestig vierkante meter beschikbaar zijn, zo meldt onder meer de gemeente Den Haag. Daar worden de stemmen vanuit ruim honderd locaties naar ruime plekken, zoals de Fokker Terminal (Binckhorst), het World Forum (Scheveningen), Sportcampus Zuiderpark (Escamp) en het GIA Trade & Exhibition Center (Kerketuinen).
In Rotterdam is het ook op zo'n honderd stembureaus te krap voor het tellen. De stembussen worden daarom onder begeleiding naar Ahoy gebracht. In Utrecht gaat het om 25 stembureaus die niet geschikt zijn om coronaproof te tellen, die stemmen gaan naar de Jaarbeurs.
14.02 - Opkomst naar 42 procentDe totale opkomst bij de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen is woensdagmiddag om 13.45 uur opgelopen van 30 naar 42 procent. Dat blijkt uit een schatting van onderzoeksbureau Ipsos in opdracht van de NOS.
Ipsos heeft de opkomst van maandag, dinsdag, woensdag en de briefstemmers bij elkaar opgeteld. Woensdag heeft tot 13.45 uur ongeveer 23 procent van de kiesgerechtigden gestemd. Ipsos schat de opkomst van maandag en dinsdag op 12 procent en die van de briefstemmers op 7 procent. In totaal komt de geschatte opkomst tot 13.45 uur daarmee op 42 procent.
Vier jaar geleden was de geschatte opkomst bij de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen op dit tijdstip 33 procent. Volgens Ipsos is het echter lastig om de opkomst in 2017 met die in 2021 te vergelijken, vanwege het briefstemmen door de 70-plussers en vervroegd stemmen op maandag en dinsdag voor de risicogroepen en kwetsbaren vanwege het coronavirus.
13.35 - VVD online zuinigDe VVD gaf vorige week voor het eerst in de verkiezingscampagne meer dan 100.000 euro uit aan advertenties op internet. Het CDA zit hier al drie weken boven en spendeerde wederom het meest (150.000 euro). Ook vergeleken met andere grote partijen stak de partij van Mark Rutte tot dan toe relatief weinig geld in onlinereclames. Dat blijkt uit rapporten van Facebook en Google.
Het was de uitzondering op de regel dat de VVD vorige week de tweede politieke internet-adverteerder van Nederland was. De partij spendeerde 106.000 euro aan advertenties op Facebook, Instagram, Google en YouTube. In de weken daarvoor gaf de partij veel minder uit, namelijk maximaal 25.000 euro. Hierbij is steeds gekeken naar onlineadvertenties van de landelijke afdeling en individuele kandidaten, maar ook van regionale vertakkingen en gelieerde organisaties, zoals de jongerenafdeling.
13.31 - Station-stemmersHet stemmen op de NS-stations gaat 'žgestaag door'', laat een NS-woordvoerder weten. Op Nijmegen Centraal is er al flink gestemd. 'žDaar staat de teller op 500, want dat stembureau was al om 5.15 uur opengegaan.''
'žMomenteel staat de teller van het aantal mensen dat hun stem op Utrecht Centraal heeft uitgebracht op 450'', laat de woordvoerder eind van woensdagochtend weten. Rond half tien hadden zeker 250 mensen daar hun stem voor de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen uitgebracht.
Amsterdam Centraal had eind van de ochtend 300 kiezers ontvangen. Het stembureau daar stond rond half tien nog op minimaal 100 stemmers.
13.25 - Klaver stemt met vrouwGroenLinks-lijsttrekker Jesse Klaver brengt in aanwezigheid van zijn vrouw Jolein in Het Kunstmuseum zijn stem uit.
12.53 - Her en der lange rijenBij veel stembureaus door het hele land is het druk. Mensen staan onder meer in Almere, op het Binnenhof en in Amsterdam in de rij, die dit keer door coronaregels langer is dan bij andere verkiezingen. Vooral bijzondere locaties zijn in trek, zoals musea, waar stemmers nieuwsgierig meteen een kort kijkje nemen. Ook op treinstations wordt veel gestemd. Rond 10.30 uur lag de opkomst rond dertig procent.
Tegen het middaguur hadden de meeste partijleiders hun stem uitgebracht, onder hen ook een aantal nieuwkomers die hopen op zetels in de Tweede Kamer. Op een aantal locaties is ook het tellen van de briefstemmen al in volle gang, zoals in het Haagse World Forum en in de RAI Amsterdam.
Minister Hugo de Jonge twitterde kort nadat hij had gestemd in Rotterdam dat hij in thuisquarantaine is gegaan: de app CoronaMelder gaf aan dat hij mogelijk nog in contact is geweest met iemand met corona. De bewindsman zei geen klachten te hebben. De stembureauvoorzitter benadrukte daarna dat zijn bureau veilig is omdat alles volgens alle procotollen verloopt. De Jonge heeft, met mondkapje, vanuit zijn auto gestemd in een tent in de autostemstraat. Dat stemmen ging overigens niet vlekkeloos: De Jonge had per ongeluk zijn oude, en niet meer geldige paspoort meegenomen en moest thuis het juiste halen.
Een flinke rij bij het stembureau op het Binnenhof. Door de coronamaatregelen zijn de rijen extra lang.
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Het ging niet overal van een leien dakje in de stembureaus. In Haarlem zorgde een verkeerde sleutel van de stembus ervoor dat een bureau later openging. In Arnhem was het wachten op de rode potloden en in Barendrecht bleek de registerlijst niet voorhanden. In 25 gemeenten is een stapel ongeadresseerde enveloppen bezorgd met daarin waarschijnlijk een stembiljet. Een raadsel, vond ook minister Ollongren van Binnenlandse Zaken.
12.44 - 'Dit is g(C)(C)n elektrische fiets!'Premier Rutte kreeg woensdagochtend na het uitbrengen van zijn stem in Den Haag commentaar van omstanders dat hij zich op een elektrische fiets zou verplaatsen. Rutte reageerde als door een wesp gestoken: 'žDit is z" erg.'' De fiets van Rutte is de laatste maanden met enige regelmaat op beelden te zien, vooral wanneer de premier zich op zondagochtend meldt voor het Catshuisoverleg over de coronacrisis.
12.20 - Stapel ongeadresseerde enveloppenIn 25 gemeenten in Nederland is woensdagmorgen een stapel ongeadresseerde enveloppen bezorgd met daarin waarschijnlijk een stembiljet. Het gaat om de envelop die bestemd was voor het bijsluiten van een stempas en die met het stembiljet in een wel geadresseerde envelop voor het briefstemmen verzonden moest worden, zegt een woordvoerder van de gemeente Nijmegen. In Nijmegen zijn zo'n vijftig tot zestig blanco enveloppen bezorgd. Het is nog niet bekend hoeveel enveloppen er in totaal in de 25 gemeenten circuleren.
11.55 - Verkiezingen in cijfersIn dit artikel alles over stembureaus, stemlokaaldichtheid en het aantal kandidaten per gemeente:
11.29 - 'Gewone mensen stemmen op ozze Geert'In de ooit beruchte achterstandswijk Genooi in Venlo, inmiddels aanzienlijk opgeknapt, klinkt het stemgeluid als vanouds: een tikje chauvinistisch. In gemeenschapshuis de Witte Kerk spreken kiezers zich uit tegen verloedering en armoede. 'žGeert is een man van het volk. Reken maar dat hij het hier weer goed doet, ik hoor het om me heen.''
11.22 - Onenigheid over stempotloden: 'Mag ik het potloodje nou houden of niet?'Veel Nederlanders laten na het stemmen trots hun buit zien op sociale media: het rode stempotlood mag bij de meeste stemlokalen mee naar huis. Bij sommige stemlokalen moeten mensen hun potloodje na het stemmen echter weer gewoon inleveren. Dat zorgt soms voor scheve gezichten.
11.15 - Opkomst 10.30 uur: 30 procentDe totale opkomst bij de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen was tot woensdagochtend 10.30 uur zo'n 30 procent. Dat meldt onderzoeksbureau Ipsos in opdracht van de NOS. Het onderzoeksbureau heeft de opkomst van maandag, dinsdag, woensdagochtend en de briefstemmers bij elkaar opgeteld.
Woensdagochtend heeft volgens Ipsos tot nu toe zo'n 11 procent van de kiesgerechtigde mensen gestemd. Op maandag en dinsdag, toen de stembureaus vooral voor de risicogroepen open waren, was de totale opkomst naar schatting 12 procent en Ipsos schat de opkomst op basis van briefstemmers op 7 procent. Samen is dat dus 30 procent.
Vier jaar geleden was de opkomst rond 10.30 uur zo'n 15 procent. Volgens Ipsos is het echter lastig om de opkomst in 2017 met die in 2021 te vergelijken, vanwege het briefstemmen door de 70-plussers en vervroegd stemmen op maandag en dinsdag.
11.05 - JA21 en VoltJA21-lijsttrekker Joost Eerdmans met zijn vrouw bij het stembureau waar hij zijn stem heeft uitgebracht.
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Lijsttrekker Laurens Dassen en Nilufer Gundogan (no.2) van Volt komen aan bij Theater de Krakeling om hun stem uit te brengen.
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11.01 - Noord-Holland rent naar de stembusOok in het beroemdste park van Nederland is een extra stembureau geplaatst. Voor de strakke witte tent met doorkijk staan vooral mensen die met de fiets op weg zijn naar hun werk en hardlopers.
10.55 - Opstartproblemen briefstemmenHet tellen van de briefstemmen in Den Haag is, met ongeveer een uur vertraging, begonnen in het World Forum. Er ontbreken nog bepaalde documenten ter ondersteuning van het telproces, die worden momenteel naar de tellocatie gebracht. Het congresgebouw is de enige plek in Den Haag waar briefstemmen worden geteld.
Een ploeg van 240 mensen is verantwoordelijk voor het tellen van alle stemmen die via de post of op 15 en 16 maart zijn uitgebracht. Kort voor 09.00 uur stond een lange rij medewerkers voor de ingang van het World Forum te wachten. Iedereen werd na binnenkomst opgewacht bij zes verschillende balies, en van daaruit met behulp van een plattegrond naar hun tellocatie gestuurd. Ieder team bestaat uit acht personen. Zij vouwen de al uit de envelop gehaalde stembiljetten uit en sorteren die per partij. In Den Haag zijn volgens een woordvoerder van de gemeente naar schatting 60.000 kiesgerechtigde 70-plussers die hun stem via de post mochten uitbrengen.
10.44 - Paspoort vol gatenDemissionair minister Hugo de Jonge (Volksgezondheid) wilde woensdagochtend gaan stemmen in Rotterdam, maar er bleek iets niet in orde met zijn paspoort.
10.35 - Politieke kopstukken hebben gestemdVerschillende lijsttrekkers hebben gestemd. CU-leider Gert-Jan Segers (station Amersfoort Centraal), SGP-lijsttrekker Kees van der Staaij (School met de Bijbel in Benthuizen) en FvD-leider Thierry Baudet (Posthoornkerk, Amsterdam), D66-leider Sigrid Kaag (buurtcentrum Den Haag), VVD-lijsttrekker Mark Rutte (basisschool De Woltersschool), CDA-leider Wobke Hoekstra (gymzaal Bussum), PVV-leider Wilders (sporthal Den Haag) en Farid Azarkan (Denk) brachten hun stem al uit.
FVD-lijsttrekker Thierry Baudet brengt zijn stem uit voor de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen in de Posthoornkerk. Baudet stemde op de nummer 7 op de lijst, Freek Jansen.
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CDA-lijsttrekker Wopke Hoekstra brengt zijn stem uit voor de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen in gymzaal Huizerweg.
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D66-lijsttrekker Sigrid Kaag brengt haar stem uit voor de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen in Buurtcentrum Kommunika in Den Haag.
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Premier Rutte kwam op de fiets naar het stembureau. De premier stemde op de nummer twee van de VVD, Tamara van Ark.
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10.15 - Overijssel stemt voor boerenHet is niet zo moeilijk welke slepende kwesties op dit moment in Overijssel veel aandacht verdienen: het kanaaldrama in Almelo en de problemen waar de boeren mee opgezadeld zitten. Op het stembureau in het clublokaal van De Bornse Harmonie in Borne is ""k duidelijk welke politici uit de provincie deze ochtend over de tong gaan: het stemmenkanon Pieter Omtzigt van het CDA, opgegroeid in dit dorp, maar ook de Deventer lijsttrekker van de BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB), Caroline van der Plas, wordt wel genoemd. Misschien wordt ze wel de boer Koekoek van deze eeuw, klinkt het.
09.40 - Friesland mist noorderlingen in de KamerHet bijzondere stemlokaal in zwembad Wettervlecke in Surhuisterveen (gemeente Achtkarspelen) trekt woensdagmorgen vroeg al de nodige stemgerechtigden uit deze Friese regio. 'žHet gaat mij vandaag om de vrijheid, dat is het thema.''
Terwijl het licht wordt, komen de medewerkers van het bureau aangereden. 'žHet is een lange dag, voor mij de eerste stemdag'', zegt voorzitter Marten Krans. Stipt 7.30 uur staan de eerste kiezers op de stoep.
09.01 - Ploumen (PvdA) en Marijnissen (SP) stemmenPvdA-lijsttrekker Lilianne Ploumen brengt haar stem uit voor de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen in basisschool De Mijlpaal in Amsterdam.
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SP-leider Marijnissen stemt in De Korenaer in Oss.
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08.55 - Verkiezingsdag overwegend droog met hier en daar regenTijdens de verkiezingen woensdag blijft het overwegend droog, maar hier en daar is er wel kans op een bui of wat motregen. Het blijft veelal bewolkt, meldt
De kans op een regenbui neemt in de loop van de middag steeds meer af, al kan er in het zuiden nog wel regen vallen. De zon laat zich met name in het oosten en noordoosten van het land zien. Verder waait er een matige noordwestelijke wind, die aan de kust krachtiger is. Het wordt 7 tot 9 graden.
Die temperaturen zakken woensdagavond flink. Het kan afkoelen tot 1 of 2 graden, terwijl de temperatuur in het noorden en noordoosten zelfs kan zakken tot onder het vriespunt. In de rest van het land blijft het kwik tussen de 2 en 4 graden, zo is de voorspelling.
Lijsttrekker Gert-Jan Segers kan zijn paraplu waarschijnlijk thuislaten als hij gaat stemmen.
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08.05 - Twee derde van kiezers weet pas op het laatste moment op welke partij hij of zij gaat stemmenLiefst twee derde van de kiesgerechtigden weet pas op het laatste moment op welke partij zij of hij gaat stemmen. Dat komt deze week naar voren uit een onderzoek. Nederland zweeft.
Psycholoog Jacob Jolij van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen vindt dat een erg hoog percentage, maar het verbaast hem niet. Het ligt volgens hem aan het grote aantal van 37 partijen dat dit jaar aan de verkiezingen meedoet. Dat is het grootste aantal in 99 jaar en 9 meer dan bij de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen in 2017. Keuzestress ligt niet ver om de hoek.
Wat ook meespeelt is de nog altijd voortschrijdende ontzuiling. 'žDe groep die altijd op dezelfde partij stemt, wordt steeds kleiner. Ook zie je dat de grote partijen dichter naar elkaar toe kruipen. Dat maakt het voor veel mensen moeilijker een keuze te maken.''
07.55 - Bijna 2,2 miljoen kijkers voor laatste verkiezingsdebatBijna 2,2 miljoen mensen hebben dinsdagavond naar het verkiezingsdebat van de NOS op NPO 1 gekeken. Dat blijkt uit cijfers van Stichting KijkOnderzoek (SKO). Het laatste tv-debat werd daarmee minder goed bekeken dan tijdens de vorige Tweede Kamerverkiezingen in 2017, toen er bijna 3,3 miljoen mensen voor de buis zaten.
Aan het debat deden de lijsttrekkers van de acht grootste partijen mee. Zij namen het steeds in duo's tegen elkaar op. Eerder op de avond was er in De Stemming aandacht voor de zeven kleinste partijen die nu in de Tweede Kamer zitten. Naar dat programma keken bijna 1,3 miljoen mensen.
Heeft Hoekstra het waargemaakt? Gaat Sigrid Kaag de PVV nog voorbijstreven en welke partij heeft het meeste geprofiteerd van de campagne in coronatijd? Dat en meer in verkiezingspodcast De Stembus:
07.30 - Alle stembureaus zijn openAlle stembureaus in Nederland zijn sinds 07.30 uur geopend. Daarmee is de derde dag dat Nederland naar de stembus kan begonnen.
Een kiezer brengt coronaproof zijn stem uit op een drive-thru stembureau tijdens de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen.
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Sommigen stemlocaties waren al eerder open, zoals in Castricum. Daar ging een stembureau vannacht al open. Op station Nijmegen opende het stemlokaal om 05.15 uur.
Voor alle stembureaus in het land gelden dit jaar speciale maatregelen om de kans op besmetting met het coronavirus zo klein mogelijk te houden.
07.15 - Briefstemmen en stemmen van 15 en 16 maart geteldGemeenten kunnen woensdag in de loop van de dag al beginnen met het tellen van de stemmen voor de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen die via de post of op 15 en 16 maart zijn uitgebracht. Kiesgerechtigde 70-plussers mogen per post stemmen, dat zijn ruim 2,4 miljoen inwoners.
Het stemmen per brief is dit jaar iets nieuws. Het controleren van die briefstemmen op geldigheid verliep maandag niet zonder problemen. Meerdere gemeenten begonnen daar al mee en er ontstond verwarring. Diverse gemeenten meldden dat een behoorlijk deel van de briefstemmen terzijde moest worden geschoven en dat die niet geldig zouden zijn. In de gemeente Bernheze ging het bijvoorbeeld om 7,5 procent van de gecontroleerde brieven. Deze stemmen zouden allemaal verloren gaan. Minister Kajsa Ollongren (Binnenlandse Zaken) liet daarop weten de procedure aan te passen zodat de meeste stemmen wel zouden meetellen.
De uitslag van de stemmen van de briefstemmers wordt, net als alle 'gewone' stemmen, na het sluiten van alle stembureaus woensdag om 21.00 uur bekendgemaakt. Op 15 en 16 maart was een beperkt aantal stemlokalen, zo'n 1600, in de gemeenten al opengegaan voor kiezers die behoren tot de risicogroepen en daardoor extra kwetsbaar zijn voor het coronavirus. Die stemmen worden ook al woensdag in de loop van de dag geteld.
Onder meer in de Rai in Amsterdam worden woensdag de stemmen van de Amsterdamse briefstemmers geteld, net als de 'gewone' stemmen die al op 15 en 16 maart zijn uitgebracht in Amsterdam. Vanaf 07.30 uur zijn er in de evenementenhal 310 tellers bezig en 79 mensen met andere functies, zoals controleurs, stembusvervoerders en briefopeners.
06.35 - Met opening stemlokaal station Nijmegen 3e dag stemmen van startIn het hele land zijn naar schatting van het Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek ongeveer 13,2 miljoen mensen kiesgerechtigd tijdens deze Tweede Kamerverkiezingen.
De kiesgerechtigde 70-plussers mochten al per post stemmen. Dit zijn ruim 2,4 miljoen inwoners. Ongeveer 810.000 jongeren mogen deze keer voor het eerst voor de Tweede Kamerverkiezing stemmen. De afgelopen dagen mochten mensen die tot een risicogroep behoren al naar de stembus. Velen deden dat ook al. Maar de miljoenen anderen kunnen woensdag terecht in ruim 8800 stemlokalen. De meeste stembureaus zijn geopend tussen 07.30 uur en 21.00 uur.
Voor alle stembureaus in het land gelden dit jaar speciale maatregelen om de kans op besmetting met het coronavirus zo klein mogelijk te houden. Zo worden in het stemlokaal potloden, stemhokjes, tafels, en andere voorwerpen geregeld schoongemaakt. In sommige gemeenten krijgen alle kiezers een eigen rood potlood dat ze daarna mee naar huis mogen nemen. En er zijn 'kuchschermen' tussen de kiezers en de leden van de stembureaus.
Stemmen kan met een geldige stempas en een geldig identiteitsbewijs. Een identiteitsbewijs is geldig om mee te stemmen als het op 17 maart 2021 niet langer dan 5 jaar verlopen is. Als iemand in een andere gemeente wil stemmen mag dat, maar wel met een vooraf aangevraagde kiezerspas.
Excited Delirium and Sudden Death: A Syndromal Disorder at the Extreme End of the Neuropsychiatric Continuum
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 22:08
Front Physiol. 2016; 7: 435.
Department of Neurology and Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA
Edited by: Maria Giovanna Trivella, National Research Council, Italy
Reviewed by: Karie Scrogin, Loyola University Chicago, USA; Satoshi Eifuku, Fukushima Medical University, Japan
This article was submitted to Integrative Physiology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Physiology
Received 2016 Apr 1; Accepted 2016 Sep 13.
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AbstractOver the past decade, the excited delirium syndrome (ExDS) has raised continued controversy regarding the cause and manner of death of some highly agitated persons held in police custody, restrained or incapacitated by electrical devices. At autopsy, medical examiners have difficulty in identifying an anatomic cause of death, but frequently cite psychostimulant intoxication as a contributing factor. The characteristic symptoms of ExDS include bizarre and aggressive behavior, shouting, paranoia, panic, violence toward others, unexpected physical strength, and hyperthermia. Throughout the United States and Canada, these cases are most frequently associated with cocaine, methamphetamine, and designer cathinone abuse. Acute exhaustive mania and sudden death presents with behavioral symptoms that are identical to what is described for ExDS in psychostimulant abusers. Bell's mania or acute exhaustive mania was first described in the 1850's by American psychiatrist Luther Bell in institutionalized psychiatric patients. This rare disorder of violent mania, elevated body temperature and autonomic collapse continued to be described by others in the psychiatric literature, but with different names until the first cases of ExDS were seen at the beginning of the cocaine epidemic by medical examiners. The neurochemical pathology examination of brain tissues after death revealed a loss of dopamine transporter regulation together with increases in heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) expression as a biomarker of hyperthermia. The similarity in the behavioral symptoms between extremely agitated psychostimulant abusers and unmedicated psychiatric patients suggests that a genetic disorder that leads to dysregulated central dopamine transporter function could be a precipitating cause of the acute delirium and sudden death. While the precise cause and mechanism of lethality remains controversial, the likely whys and wherefores of sudden death of ExDS victims are seen to be ''biological,'' since excessive dopamine in the brain triggers the manic excitement and delirium, which unabated, culminates in a loss of autonomic function that progresses to cardiorespiratory collapse.
Keywords: delirium, CNS, neurocardiac, dopamine, dopamine transporter, mania, cocaine
InsetHenry Maudsley MD described Acute Mania and Acute Maniacal Delirium in 1867 in his ''Physiology and Pathology of the Mind,'' which best illustrates the view discussed in this article. He suggests that persons in an agitated state of acute mania benefit from ''abundant exercise in the open air'' while ''such a practice would be most unscientific in acute delirium, and very likely to be followed by fatal consequences''. He further states ''it would be better to place a patient suffering from such acute degeneration of cerebral function entirely in seclusion'' rather ''than to aggravate his disorder by forced exercise and mischievous struggles with attendants''. Medico-legal reports more than a hundred and fifty years after Maudsley and Luther Bell find the prognosis is never very favorable for individuals at risk for excited delirium.
Historical descriptions and case reportsPsychiatrists in the United Kingdom, France and America were the first to provide clinical descriptions and case reports of persons in states of acute exhaustive mania and delirium. In the 1800s, Dr. Luther Bell, psychiatrist at the McLean Asylum for the Insane in Massachusetts described a clinical condition with a 75 percent mortality rate. ''Bell's mania'' or acute exhaustive mania was characterized by delusions, hallucinations, hyperactivity, and frequent fevers. The descriptions although similar to the psychotic features of paranoid schizophrenics (e.g., hallucinations and delusions) revealed a more extreme condition of generalized severe disorganization of behavior, including hyperactive arousal, altered sleep-wake cycle, and elevated core body temperature. Calmeil's report of an uncommon, but life threating psychosis with extreme hyperactivity and mounting fear fading to stuperous exhaustion in 1832 was followed by Maudleys' description of the same disorder in 1867 (inset). Agitated delirium signs and symptoms were reported in hyperactive or mixed forms of the disorder throughout the pre-neuroleptic era of psychiatry (Kraines, 1934; Stauder, 1934; Larson, 1939).
In 1934, Stauder published detailed observations of 27 cases, which became the definitive description of a syndrome that he termed lethal catatonia (Stauder, 1934). The cases were mostly young people, in the age range of 18''26 years, who had no significant premorbid psychological or physical disturbances. Stauder observed the acute onset of a severe form of psychomotor agitation that he called ''elementary catatonic excitement.'' Various degrees of clouding of consciousness and a strong tendency toward violent and self-destructive acts also were present. Although different nomenclature was used to describe a psychotic exhaustion syndrome, fatal cases of a life-threatening febrile neuropsychiatric disorder were widely recognized and reported by clinicians before modern psychiatric treatments became available (Shulack, 1946). The authors of these published reports found it remarkable that autopsies of these patients failed to reveal any clues to etiology or the cause of death, other than exhaustion.
Between 1954 and 1975, the advent of the neuroleptic drugs like Thorazine transformed psychiatric practice and reduced the incidence of exhaustive mania in institutionalized and unmedicated patients. However, the cocaine epidemic of the 1980's lead to a series of case reports describing sudden death in cocaine abusers with an extreme behavioral malady similar to what had been reported by Bell and others 150 years earlier. The agitated cocaine delirium deaths were associated with cocaine abuse and their appearance coincided with the introduction of cocaine into the United States (Fishbain and Wetli, 1981; Wetli, 1987). The trans-shipment of cocaine to South Florida through the Bahamian corridor and the increased incidence of cocaine-related medical emergency room admissions and drug related deaths placed Medical Examiners in Miami-Dade at the forefront of a new wave of cocaine-related excited delirium deaths.
Wetli and Fishbain (1985) described a case series of psychosis and sudden death in cocaine abusers, which was the first report of drug-related excited delirium (Table '‹ 1 ). The deaths occurred mostly in young cocaine intoxicated males, who exhibited extreme hyperactivity and violent behavior, hyperthermia and sudden cardiorespiratory collapse. Because these patients always presented with agitated and bizarre behavior, law enforcement was often called to the scene. The typical course was that after police restrained the individual, they died unexpectedly and suddenly following the use of various force methods, including maximal restraints, baton strikes, or use of noxious chemical ''pepper'' sprays (Wetli, 1987; Ross, 1998; Stratton et al., 2001). Medical examiner review of these cases did not reveal a definite anatomic cause of death, although drug overdose, trauma, and underlying cardiac disease were excluded (Wetli, 1987; Ruttenber et al., 1997; Stephens et al., 2004).
Table 1Historical descriptions and terminology of excited delirium syndrome.
Author and yearNomenclatureClinical descriptionCalmeil, 1832Delirious maniaRare, life-threatening psychosis extreme hyperactivity, mounting fear, stuporous exhaustionBell, 1849Bell's maniaSudden onset of hyperactive arousal, confusion, transient hallucinations, core body temperature dysregulation, 75% mortality rateMaudsley, 1867Acute maniacal deliriumViolent mania, rapid pulse, constant motion, elevated temperature of skin, complete exhaustionStauder, 1934Lethal catatoniaIntense motor excitement, violent, suicide attempts, intermittent rigidity, incoherent speech, bizarre delusions; fever (43.3°C), cardiovascular collapseWetli and Fishbain, 1985Excited deliriumAgitation motor excitement, super human strength, paranoia, mounting fear, hyperthermia, cardiorespiratory collapse, cocaine intoxication, no anatomic cause of deathFatal cocaine delirium as a variant of the neuroleptic malignant syndromeNeuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a rare, life-threatening idiosyncratic reaction to antipsychotic drugs characterized by fever, altered mental status, muscle rigidity, and autonomic dysfunction (Levenson, 1985; Weinberger and Kelly, 1977; Berman, 2011). The hallmark symptoms of NMS include hyperpyrexia and muscular rigidity, while the cocaine-associated syndrome is atypical in having minimal rigidity. Based on these similarities, Kosten and Kleber (1988) proposed that cocaine-induced excited delirium should be considered a dopamine agonist variant of NMS. Wetli (2005) proposed that NMS might be an attenuated form of acute exhaustive mania/excited delirium. These observations lead him to hypothesize that there may be three related syndromes: (1) acute exhaustive mania, as described by Bell in psychiatric patients, (2), excited delirium, due to psychostimulants; and (3) the attenuated variant'--NMS (for review, Wetli, 2005).
Delirious mania and malignant catatonia both have non-malignant and malignant clinical features with early, non-malignant symptoms responding to neuroleptics, while patients who pass over into the malignant phase require sedation by benzodiazepines (Mann et al., 2013). Although NMS is a rare, life-threatening idiosyncratic reaction associated with virtually all neuroleptics, including the newer atypical antipsychotics (e.g., dopamine blockers), the condition is linked also to the use of indirect and direct-acting dopamine agonists. The abrupt cessation or reduction in dose of dopaminergic agonists, such as levodopa, pergolide, and amantadine in Parkinson's disease may precipitate NMS in vulnerable patients (Ito et al., 2001; Reimer et al., 2002). Interestingly, the akinetic crisis of Parkinson's disease is associated with a severe loss of striatal dopamine transporter function (Kasssinen et al., 2014). This rare condition is a life-threatening complication of Parkinson's disease, with an estimated annual incidence of 0.3% and death rate of 15%, that is associated with hyperthermia, dysautonomia, and increased serum muscle enzymes (Takubo et al., 2003; Onofrj et al., 2009). The clinical picture is similar to that of NMS and has been termed as the malignant syndrome of parkinsonism-hyperpyrexia. The condition is not related to disease stage or medication dosage, but one of the main features is that, the akinetic crisis appears to be long lasting (on average 11 days) and the dopamine system is transiently blocked from treatments, which would usually give patients rapid motor benefit. To date, none of the theories put forth as the underlying cause of the NMS related syndrome in Parkinson's disease have been able to explain why only a small fraction of patients exposed to dopaminergic agonists develop the condition, although state (dopaminergic drugs) and trait (genetic) vulnerabilities are likely risk factors.
Hypothalamic dopamine antagonism leads to the elevated set point for thermoregulation and the myotoxicity associated with malignant hyperthermia. Sympathoadrenal hyperactivity and the loss of hierarchical integration and homeostatic control may constitute important risk factors for NMS and its associated variants. Gurrera (1999) advanced this hypothesis, suggesting that sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity should be viewed as primary in the etiology of NMS. The sympathetic nervous system mediates the hypothalamic coordination of thermoregulatory activity and is a regulator of muscle tone and thermogenesis. The sympathetic nervous system's latent capacity for autonomous activity is expressed when tonic inhibitory inputs from higher central nervous system dopaminergic centers are disrupted. The predominant sources of spinal dopamine are the descending fibers projecting from the dopaminergic A10 and A11 cell groups of the posterior hypothalamus (Skagerberg and Lindvall, 1985; Qu et al., 2006). These tonic inhibitory inputs relay to preganglionic sympathetic neurons by way of the dopaminergic hypothalamospinal tracts.
A predisposition to more extreme sympathetic nervous system activation and/or dysfunction in response to emotional or psychological stress may be an underlying state vulnerability for NMS, as well as, for the ExDS associated with psychostimulant abuse. State variables like the acute psychic stress reported originally in Bell's mania when coupled with a loss of presynaptic dopaminergic transporter function may lead to extremely elevated concentrations of synaptic dopamine, and the emergence of related clinical syndromes.
Excited delirium is a syndromal disorder of dysregulated dopamineA syndrome is the association of several clinically recognizable features, signs, symptoms, or characteristics that often occur together, so that the presence of one feature alerts to the presence of the others. Most recognize that the condition of excited delirium represents a syndromal disorder rather than a specific disease. What has not been emphasized in the literature is that various organic brain disorders, as well as functional psychiatric conditions and psychostimulant abuse, contribute to the expression of a CNS disorder with high fatality rates that share a common underlying neurochemical dysregulation of central dopamine homeostasis.
Persons at risk for excited delirium are most likely at the extreme end of the neuropsychiatric continuum of several DSM-IV recognized disorders, including delirium induced by a drug, manic excitement, and psychomotor agitation (Vilke et al., 2012). Those at risk for excited delirium and sudden death include people who are withdrawing from or non-compliant with psychotropic drugs, substance abusers suffering from reward deficiency syndrome or alcoholics in withdrawal, and persons suffering from acute manic episodes that may be triggered or worsened by sleep deprivation.
The clinical description of excited delirium includes reports of increasing excitement with wild agitation and violent, often destructive behavior that can last for hours to days. The forensic pathology descriptions suggest that the disorder can wax and wane in severity over time with rigidity or stupor alternating with excitement (Wetli, 2005; DiMaio and DiMaio, 2006). These progress to increasing and possible fluctuations of fever and persistent autonomic instability with rapid and weak pulse and hypotension. Cocaine delirium shares clinical similarity to the acute onset of excitement, grandiosity, emotional lability, delusions, and insomnia associated with emergence of mania, and the disorientation and altered consciousness characteristic of delirium. Psychostimulant intoxication, drug withdrawal states, and undiagnosed mania and bipolar affective disorder are the most commonly reported antecedents (Wetli, 2005; Mash et al., 2009; Vilke et al., 2012).
Pathophysiology and neurochemical triggersTransmission of reward signals is a function of dopamine, a neurotransmitter known to be involved in the mechanism of psychosis. The symptoms of psychosis and mania are both related to dopaminergic hyperactivity in brain circuits implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders (Cipriani et al., 2011). In psychosis, post-synaptic receptor sensitization causes dysfunctional neural processing, leading to the development of delusional symptoms. This understanding fits well with the traditional hyperdopaminergic hypothesis of psychosis and schizophrenia. The hyperdopaminergia and disordered signaling in dopamine target regions of the brain also serves as a model for mania, since dopaminergic blocking drugs are effective in alleviating mania and psychosis.
Mania is the cardinal feature and a core symptom of bipolar disorder. PET scans in medicated, manic patients show abnormal brain activation in dorsal anterior cingulate, frontal polar, and right inferior frontal cortical regions (Rubinsztein et al., 2001). The increase in task-related anterior cingulate activation was positively correlated in this study with the severity of manic symptoms. Anterior cingulate cortex activation may be related to increased nucleus accumbens dopamine signaling, which leads to cortical and subcortical hyperactivity in mania (Perry et al., 2001). Genetic linkage studies have suggested an association of the dopamine transporter gene (Kelsoe et al., 1996; Greenwood et al., 2001, 2006) and lower levels of transporter protein expression in patients with bipolar affective disorder (Amsterdam and Newberg, 2007).
Cocaine and methamphetamine increase extracellular dopamine and produce behavioral effects similar to mania (Silverstone et al., 1983). Drug sensitization occurs in drug addiction, and is defined as an increased effect of a drug following repeated doses (the opposite of drug tolerance). Such sensitization involves increased brain mesolimbic dopamine transmission, as well as altered protein expression within mesolimbic dopamine neurons. Repeated treatment with psychostimulants leads to sensitization or reverse tolerance in animal models (Post and Rose, 1976; Hooks et al., 1994; Pierce and Kalivas, 1997; Zapata et al., 2003) and human cocaine abusers (Ujike and Sato, 2004; Seeman, 2011). Paranoia in the context of cocaine abuse is common and potentially dangerous and several lines of evidence suggest that this phenomenon may be related to loss of function of the dopamine transporter protein (Gelernter et al., 1994; van Dyck et al., 2005). These observations suggest that certain dopamine transporter genotypes might predispose to paranoia with chronic psychostimulant abuse.
The dopamine transporter undergoes neurobiological adaptations with chronic abuse of cocaine, depending on the duration, amount and pattern of use (e.g., binge vs. daily use). Intermittent cocaine self-administration in rodents produces sensitization of the stimulant effects of cocaine at the dopamine transporter (Calipari et al., 2014) and enhanced locomotor responsiveness or what is termed behavioral sensitization (Kalivas and Duffy, 1993; Robinson and Berridge, 1993; Kalivas et al., 1998). This phenomenon is not unique to cocaine; other psychomotor stimulants, some other classes of drugs, and mental stress induce the phenomenon of behavioral sensitization. Since cocaine directly inhibits dopamine reuptake by binding to the transporter, repeated cocaine administration may lead to a reduced potency of cocaine, which leads to an elevation in synaptic dopamine and the expression of behavioral sensitization (Zahniser et al., 1995, 1998).
The dopamine transporter expressed in presynaptic terminals of dopamine neurons regulates reuptake of dopamine from the synaptic cleft and keeps extracellular dopamine concentrations low (Amara and Kuhar, 1993; Giros and Caron, 1993; Mortensen and Amara, 2003). The dopamine transporter is critical in regulating the concentration of extracellular dopamine and overall dopaminergic tone (Mash and Staley, 1996; Drevits et al., 1999; Mash et al., 2002, 2009). By blocking the transporter protein, cocaine allows released dopamine to persist in the extracellular space, which prolongs dopamine receptor stimulation (Figure '‹ 1 ). A decrease in dopamine transporter numbers or function in response to cocaine leads to reduced dopamine reuptake, elevated synaptic dopamine, and increased dopamine signaling at postsynaptic receptors.
Dysregulated dopamine transporter function in ExDS. Located on presynaptic dopamine nerve terminals, the dopamine transporter functions to regulate the duration and intensity of synaptic dopamine signaling (left). Cocaine (red) inhibits the reuptake of dopamine by blocking the transporter protein (center). With chronic cocaine abuse, the dopamine transporter is trafficked to the plasma membrane as a compensatory adaptation to increases in synaptic dopamine. In ExDS victims, there is a loss of dopamine transporter regulation, which causes dopamine overflow in the synapse (right). The elevated synaptic dopamine leads to a state of hyperdopaminergia, that is associated with the intense motor excitement, paranoia, bizarre, and often violent behavior. DAT, dopamine transporter; DA, dopamine; D2, D2 dopamine receptor; D3, D3 dopamine receptor.
The syndrome of excited delirium in drug abusers demonstrates that cocaine is the most frequent reported illicit drug (Ruttenber et al., 1997; Mash et al., 2009; Vilke et al., 2012). Most drug-related excited delirium victims are chronic freebase cocaine (''crack'') abusers, usually engaged in a ''binge'' pattern of drug use (Mash et al., 2002, 2009; Wetli, 2005). These persons use large amounts of ''crack'' cocaine or methamphetamine often for days, which interrupts normal sleep-wake cycles. Inhibition of dopamine transporter function is thought to be the primary mechanism underlying cocaine's addictive effects (Ritz et al., 1987). Although excited delirium is most frequently reported in cocaine abusers, psychostimulants including, methamphetamine, MDMA, alpha-PVP, methylome, and ephedrine have been associated with the syndrome (Mash et al., 2009; Penders et al., 2012). These psychostimulants directly interact with the dopamine transporter to cause a marked increase in the levels of synaptic dopamine.
Postmortem neurochemical studies of the human brain at autopsy demonstrate that chronic cocaine abuse leads to a compensatory upregulation of dopamine transporter number and function (Staley et al., 1994; Little et al., 1999; Mash et al., 2002). In contrast, there was no compensatory upregulation in dopamine transporter numbers in a case series of 90 cocaine-related excited delirium and exhaustive mania victims (Mash et al., 2009). The cocaine-related excited delirium cases occurred in persons who had reported histories of chronic cocaine abuse, consistent with the quantification of benzoylecgonine in blood and cocaine and benzoylecgonine measured in brain at autopsy (Mash et al., 2009). Mean core body temperature among the 90 victims was 40.7°C. Although the majority tested positive for cocaine, four had no licit or illicit drugs or alcohol measured in blood at autopsy. Forensic review of these four cases reported the cause of death as acute exhaustive mania, similar to the original description reported by Bell (1849).
All psychostimulants (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA) increase the synaptic levels of dopamine (Amara and Kuhar, 1993; Giros and Caron, 1993), which may explain why chronic psychostimulant abusers are more at risk for exhibiting the behavioral symptoms associated with ExDS. A central role of dopamine is to mediate the ''salience'' of environmental events and internal representations in a dynamic process characterized by time and stimulus-dependent neural regulation (Kapur, 2003; Howes and Kapur, 2009). Dopamine can enhance both approach and avoidance behaviors and trigger extreme fear (Faure et al., 2008). In chronic cocaine abusers, there is a compensatory upregulation in dopamine transporter function, which is an adaptive increase to offset dopamine overflow in the synapse (Figure '‹ 1 ). When this homeostatic control of synaptic dopamine fails, it leads to a functional hyperdopaminergia, which triggers the acute onset of delirium and marked agitation in ExDS victims (Staley et al., 1996; Wetli et al., 1996; Mash et al., 2002, 2009).
Rhabdomyolysis secondary to mania and cocaine excited delirium is related to extreme physical exertion, although increased sympathetic tone during manic states and elevated epinephrine also play a role in its development (Manchip and Hurel, 1995; Ruttenber et al., 1999). Ruttenber et al. (1999) suggested that cocaine-associated rhabdomyolysis and excited delirium are components of the same syndrome and share the same initiating factors and pathophysiologic processes. Both hyperthermia and hyperactivity play important roles in the evolution of cocaine-associated rhabdomyolysis and excited delirium. Interestingly, in NMS, the elevated risk for hyperthermia results from disordered dopamine signaling precipitated by chronic administration of neuroleptic drugs (Strawn et al., 2007). The hyperthermia of neuroleptic malignant syndrome is associated with psychomotor agitation, and both syndromes have been related to increases in dopamine concentrations involved in thermoregulation and neuromuscular homeostasis (Keck et al., 1989).
Some undiagnosed psychiatric patients or those who are neuroleptic medication non-compliant may be at increased risk for excited delirium and sudden cardiac death. Dopamine transporter numbers fall below the normal homeostatic range for regulating dopamine in all cases of fatal excited delirium, including those with no known history of drug abuse and a negative toxicology screen at autopsy. These results suggest that the unabated conditions, which favor the development of excited delirium, are psychostimulant abuse, extreme mental stress or an underlying, or perhaps undiagnosed psychiatric condition.
A final common pathway for excited delirium related to chronic stimulant drug abuse, extreme environmental stress or acute mania of bipolar disorder might be a failure of the dopamine transporter to dynamically regulate synaptic dopamine. This failure of regulation leads to a hyperdopaminergic state, which triggers the violent behavior, delirium, agitation, and motor excitement. Dopamine systems in the brain also play a role in temperature regulation (Mann and Boger, 1978). The rise in core body temperature is most likely induced by dopamine stimulation of D1 receptors in the human hypothalamus which occurs because of a downregulation in D2 mediated hypothermia (Mash, 2009). A dopamine transporter murine model of hyperdopaminergia displays a distinctive cardiorespiratory and thermal phenotype, providing further support for altered dopamine transporter regulation in excited delirium (Vincent et al., 2007). Dopamine also regulates sleep and arousal, suggesting that there might be an inter-relationship between thermal behavior and circadian rhythms mediated by disrupted CNS dopamine signaling in excited delirium.
When neurocardiac signals turn lethalMental and emotional stress is expressed in the brain as fluctuations in the activity of a subset of brain regions, including the insula, cingulate cortex, and amygdala (Critchley, 2009). These regions serve as an interface between emotional feeling states and visceral responses of the body. The insula and cingulate are viscerosensory cortices, which function to regulate attention and autonomic arousal. The amygdala is important in detecting and learning threat even in the absence of conscious awareness. The insula and cingulate cortices and subcortical regions of the limbic brain are heavily innervated by dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental nucleus (Gaspar, 1989). These closely connected brain regions together with the dorsal and ventral striatum are viewed as a ''salience network,'' acting directly on hypothalamic and brainstem centers to increase our bodily arousal state through direct coupling with sympathetic and parasympathetic efferent nuclei and feedback control loops located in the brainstem.
The insular cortex and the infralimbic cortex are part of a network involved in the descending control of the cardiovascular system (for review, Cechetto, 2013). These forebrain regions are responsible for integrating emotional and cognitive aspects related to cardiovascular responses. Together with the autonomic nervous system nuclei of the brainstem, these forebrain regions regulate cardiac function and electrophysiology via direct neural influences. Taggart et al. (2011) suggest that the roles of mental stress and emotion in arrhythmogenesis and sudden cardiac death are no longer confined to the realm of anecdote, but should be viewed as contributors to the pathophysiology of cardiac sudden death. Sympathetic arousal magnifies the electrophysiological effects of ischemia (for review, Taggart et al., 2011) and abnormal brain activity during seizures is associated with abnormalities of cardiac repolarization, and peri-ictal VT/VF in the absence of any visible cardiovascular disease (Taggart, 2013). A centrally triggered arrhythmia is a likely cause of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (Surges et al., 2010), and a similar neurocardiac mechanism could underlie the sudden cardiac collapse in ExDS.
An emerging theme from animal models of asphyxia and cardiac arrest supports the notion that the autonomic nervous system is under constant surveillance by the cerebral cortex to ensure functional integrity of vital organs (Borjigin et al., 2013). A life-threatening crisis of the heart, with a rapid and steep change in heart rate and cardiac output, markedly activates and recruits the cerebral cortex to form a hierarchical circuit of cardiac survival. When transient homeostatic feedback from the brain to the heart is insufficient to restore cardiac function, the brain may exhibit a sustained activation that causes a premature and rapid death of the heart (Li et al., 2015).
Dopamine (DA) is an immediate precursor of noradrenaline that has stimulatory or inhibitory effects on a variety of adrenergic receptors. Dopamine also suppresses responsiveness to hypoxia, both in the carotid bodies and in the CNS (Huey et al., 2000). Although the physiological relevance is not established, one possibility is that suppression of stimulatory responsiveness to hypoxia is a protective mechanism directed against excessive discharge activity in the CNS respiratory network, which can result in neuronal excitotoxicity (Richter et al., 2000, for review Lalley, 2008). In the rat asphyxia model of cardiac sudden death, at as early as time 0, a sevenfold elevation in dopamine levels is measured by microdialysis with increased 3-MT (3-methoxytyramine) and decreased DOPAC (3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid) concentrations. Since hyperdopaminergia is a condition of ExDS, the increase in synaptic dopamine may account for the decreased respiratory rate caused by dysfunctional adaptations in respiratory network rhythm.
Victims of ExDS usually die from cardiopulmonary arrest (Takeuchi et al., 2011; Vilke et al., 2012). Sudden cardiac death induced by a life-threatening stressor results from a generalized sympathetic storm within the autonomic nervous system (Samuels, 2007). Consistent with this view, exposure to carbon dioxide leads to an immediate systemic surge of neurally released dopamine and norepinephrine in asphyxic rats (Li et al., 2015). Experimental brain stimulation of the left insula can induce QT prolongation, bradycardia, and pulse-less asystole (Oppenheimer et al., 1991; for review, Taggart, 2013), similar to the sudden loss of vital signs with asystole reported in ExDS victims (Vilke et al., 2012). Life-threatening stress can lead to sudden cardiac death in people with no previous history of abnormal heart and brain function (Samuels, 2007; Sharkey et al., 2011). These observations suggest that autonomic toxicity induced by central hyperdopaminergic activity in ExDS may hasten the demise of heart function (Samuels, 2007; Li et al., 2015).
ConclusionsElevated synaptic dopamine when coupled with failed dopamine transporter function leads to agitation, paranoia and violent behaviors associated with ExDS. CNS dopamine also regulates heart rate, respiration, and core body temperature with chemical imbalance resulting in tachycardia, tachypnea, and hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is a hallmark of excited delirium and a harbinger of death in this syndromal disorder. Victims of excited delirium are in an extremely heightened emotional state exhibiting marked paranoia and mounting irrational fear. Abnormal signaling in the brain-heart axis may be a precipitant of a sudden fatal arrhythmia, since hyperdopaminergic signaling in the limbic system can convert extreme emotional stress into autonomic toxicity. The connection between the hyperdopaminergia and chaotic signaling in higher brain autonomic regulatory centers may explain the abrupt loss of autonomic function that leads to sudden unexpected death in victims of the ExDS.
Excited delirium is a syndromal disorder, which is controversial and highly debated precisely because the mechanism of lethality is unknown. However, molecular studies of the brain of autopsy victims who died in states of excited delirium reveal a loss of dopamine transporter function as a possible trigger of a lethal cascade of neural activities that progress to asphyxia and sudden cardiac arrest. Both national and regional ExDS registries are needed with data about medical history, toxicology, gender, and race to improve outcomes and further translational molecular research studies of this highly disputed and often unrecognized psychopathological condition associated with central dopamine dysfunction.
Author contributionsThe author confirms being the sole contributor of this work and approved it for publication.
FundingThe original studies were funded by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (DA06227; DA033684).
Conflict of interest statementThe author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
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UAE looks to UK drone researchers for rainfall boost
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 22:06
JERUSALEM: The Palestinian Authority said Wednesday it will receive around 60,000 coronavirus vaccine doses over the next 48 hours, the first shipment provided by a World Health Organization partnership aimed at helping poor countries.That's only enough doses to vaccinate 31,000 people out of a population of nearly 5 million Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza. Israel, which has faced criticism for not sharing more of its supplies with the Palestinians, has already vaccinated 5 million people'-- more than half of its population '-- and has largely reopened its economy.Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Kamal Al-Shakhra said authorities would receive 38,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccines will be kept in storage until the WHO reviews recent safety concerns.An Israeli security official confirmed the shipment, which arrived in Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport, and said about a third of the vaccines would be sent to Gaza on Wednesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
These are the first doses to arrive through the WHO's COVAX initiative, a global humanitarian partnership that has been slow to get off the ground, facing shortages of cash and supplies as rich countries have galloped ahead with their vaccination campaigns.
Those global inequities have been on vivid display in Israel, which boasts one of the world's fastest vaccination campaigns, and the Palestinian territories, which have yet to receive enough vaccines to cover medical workers, let alone the elderly or those with chronic illness.
Until now, the PA had received 2,000 doses from Israel and acquired another 10,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. Authorities in the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by militant group Hamas, have received 60,000 doses in shipments organized by Mohammed Dahlan, a political rival of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who is based in the United Arab Emirates.
The PA has been criticized for using some of its limited supply to vaccinate senior officials and their security details, as well as the Palestinian soccer team. The Health Ministry defended its policies, saying more than 90% of its doses were given to front-line medics.
Rights groups have said that Israel, as an occupying power, is responsible for vaccinating the Palestinians. Israel rejects those claims and says its own citizens are the priority. Under interim peace agreements, the PA is responsible for health care in the territories it administers but both sides are supposed to cooperate in combatting epidemics.
The PA says it is securing its own supplies through COVAX and agreements with drug makers.
Israel recently began vaccinating the estimated 100,000 Palestinians from the West Bank who work in Israel and Jewish settlements. Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war, and the Palestinians want it to form the main part of their future state.
Health experts have warned that failing to vaccinate the Palestinians could endanger Israel's own efforts to combat the pandemic, as the two populations live in close proximity.
11 serious side effects reported after vaccinations last week | News | ERR
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 22:05
There were 11 serious side effects related to vaccinations reported last week, Estonia's Agency of Medicines (Ravimiamet) has said. Three were related to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine Comirnaty and eight to AstraZeneca.
Between March 8-14, a total of 486 side effects were reported by recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 37 related to Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and seven to the Moderna vaccine. The majority of reports were of mild symptoms.
Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine Comirnaty - 37 reports
Of the 37 cases, 28 were reported by women and nine by men. There were three serious side effects.
An 82-year-old man developed a blood clot and lost vision in one eye three days after receiving the first dose of the vaccine. The man also takes the drug methotrexate and blood clots can be a side effect of this.
Two people under the age of 65 developed coronavirus symptoms but did not require hospitalization. The symptoms were recorded one month and 1.5 months after the second vaccinations.
The remaining reports mentioned non-serious reactions which lasted for several days and then cleared up.
57 percent of reports were related to the second dose of the vaccine, 30 percent to the first and 13 percent to both doses. It is known that mRNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer/BioNTech, cause slightly more complaints after the second dose and can be more severe.
AstraZeneca Vaccine - 486 reports
There were 382 reactions reported in women and 104 in men. There were eight serious side effects.
A 27-year-old woman developed vomiting and diarrhea that required treatment on the second day after the vaccine dose. The patient recovered.
Vomiting and diarrhea are known possible side effects of the vaccine. If significant dehydration and worsening occurs due to indigestion and/or fever, a doctor should be consulted or an ambulance should be called, the agency said.
A 66-year-old woman developed acute facial nerve palsy (Bell's palsy) on the day of the vaccine dose. The patient received treatment and is recovering.
Allergic reactions:
A 55-year-old woman developed an allergic reaction 10 minutes after the vaccine dose and required treatment. The patient has fully recovered.
The 64-year-old man developed angioedema (swelling of the face and neck) eight hours after the vaccine dose. The patient received emergency treatment and has fully recovered.
A 41-year-old woman developed laryngeal edema and hives 12 hours after the vaccine dose. The patient received emergency treatment and has fully recovered.
The 33-year-old woman developed hives and swelling of the limbs, face and throat on the sixth day after the vaccine dose. The patient received emergency treatment and has fully recovered.
Allergic reactions may occur immediately or a few days after vaccination. An ambulance should be called immediately if swelling of the face, difficulty breathing and widespread itching and swelling rash occurs, the agency said.
In addition, the following was reported:
A 68-year-old woman, had a cerebral haemorrhage the day after receiving a dose of the vaccine. Symptoms included confusion, a headache and visual disturbances. The patient required emergency treatment and hospitalization. It is currently unknown if the vaccine was related to the symptoms.
The 63-year-old woman died after suffering head trauma from fainting while experiencing a high fever. The patient had an underlying cardiovascular disease. Vaccine-induced fever, dizziness and fainting were the likely cause of the fall.
High fever and dizziness increase the risk of falls and injuries so great care should be taken with such side effects, especially in the elderly, the agency said
The remaining reports described non-serious reactions. In addition, nose bleeds, extra-menstrual bleeding, tenderness, hypertension, palpitations, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, mild visual disturbances, chest pain, back pain, back pain, cough, nasal congestion, haemoptysis, low temperature and hives were reported.
The agency said that because thrombocytopenia and bleeding have been reported in relation to some vaccines, a family doctor should be contacted if you experience bruising or recurrent/prolonged bleeding after receiving the vaccine.
Studies show that AstraZeneca has fewer complaints after the second dose than after the first dose.
Moderna vaccine - seven reports
A total of seven reports were made related to the Moderna vaccine. All the reports were from women and two were made by people over 70.
There were no serious reactions reported. One person experienced hypothermia symptoms and another reported post-vaccination stress.
1.2 percent of people report side effects
The Health Board said 191,207 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered since December 27.
During this period, 2,315 adverse reactions to the drug have been reported to the State Agency of Medicines, which is 1.2 percent of the total doses.
Of these, 804 reports are related to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine Comirnaty, 29 to the Moderna vaccine and 1,482 to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The Agency of Medicines publishes information about vaccine reactions weekly on its website (link in Estonian).
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Wed, 17 Mar 2021 22:03
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified two strains of COVID-19 discovered in California as "variant[s] of concern." Studies have shown that the two mutated strains, known as B.1.427 and B.1.429, are about 20% more transmissible than the original strain of the coronavirus and more resilient against treatments.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services halted the shipment of Eli Lilly's antibody-drug bamlanivimab to California, Nevada, and Arizona over concerns the treatment may not be effective against the new strains. The CDC said that the currently approved vaccines are still effective against the variants.
Scientists have been monitoring the new strains for several months and detected them in 21% of sampled genomes.
There are three other mutated strains that the CDC considers concerning. Those strains were discovered in South Africa, Brazil, and the U.K. and have been responsible for a growing number of new cases around the world. The CDC is also monitoring two strains from New York and another one from Brazil, which the agency considers "variants of interest."
Currently, no strains of the coronavirus are considered "variants of high consequence," which the CDC defines as a mutation that has shown "clear evidence that prevention measures or medical countermeasures (MCMs) have significantly reduced effectiveness relative to previously circulating variants."
Photo: Getty Images
Deagel's Forecast Of Massive Depopulation By 2025 - The Daily Coin
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 21:36
Deagel's Forecast Of Massive Depopulation By 2025 By Stefan Stanford '' All News Pipeline
Didn't Include 'Death By Pandemic' But Warned Us What Could Happen: 'A Scenario Could Evolve Of A Death Toll Of Up To 90%'
'' Those Who Don't Prepare Have Sealed Their Own Fate
The following recent stories should be setting off alarm bells to those paying attention.:
From the Daily Mail:
''CDC 'took FOUR DAYS to test patient in unknown origin coronavirus case because they hadn't traveled abroad or been exposed to an infected patient as there's fears the deadly disease could explode overnight like it did in Italy''. (ANP: Better be prepared Northern California!!)
From Yahoo News:
''Coronavirus screening 'missing more than half of cases': study''From Natural News:
''Washington State releases hundreds of people from ''public health supervision'' over the coronavirus; tests NONE of them for the virus'' (ANP: As heard in 1st video at the bottom of this story.)
And another one from the Daily Mail:
''Hotel worker, 56, is diagnosed with coronavirus after testing negative EIGHT TIMES in 17 days during quarantine''
With the US State Department, long run and likely still very loyal to Hillary Clinton, allowing coronavirus infected passengers to fly home to America on the same plane as healthy people as Kaiser Health News had reported in this February 21st story and now, proof of numerous false negatives, faulty testing kits and screenings at airports missing more than half of suspected cases, hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of people being released into America who may have been exposed to the virus in far less than the up-to-28-days which could be the incubation period of this virus, some argue that America and the world are being set up for a fall with this outbreak being used to complete the globalists satanic depopulation agenda.
So we'll be taking a look within this story at the stories mentioned above and several more which help to show the direction the 'masses'are being 'herded' and in the next section of our story below, we're going to be taking a look back at massive 'depopulation' being forecast for America and much of the Western world by Deagel, taking a longer look at their important note which argued all bets are off should a pandemic hit the world, a scenario that could bring about a 90% death toll they warned.
(ANP FUNDRAISER! Following Susan Duclos' heart attacks and hospitalization, All News Pipeline will need some financial help in the months ahead. So if you like stories like this, please consider donating to ANP to help keep us in this 'Info-war' for America at a time of systematic censorship and widespread corruption.)
As we've
reported numerous times on ANP, the website, which keeps daily track of military expenditures by country with nearly impeccable numbers, has for several years been forecasting massive depopulation here in America and as
we'd reported in this July of 2018 ANP story, much of the Western world.
Also forecasting huge drops in our gross domestic product, the purchasing power of Americans, the GDP per capita, as we'd also pointed out several times in other stories, nations such as China, Russia, and many other 'Eastern' nations weren't being forecast to have the same kind of 'massive die-off' being forecast for the West.
Yet as mentioned briefly above, Deagel also warned that should a pandemic strike, all bets were off and something horrific could rip through the entire world's health system in very little time with the interconnectedness of our world. So let's take a brief look back at Deagel's forecast numbers for 2025 America before we continue.
While Deagel lists the 2017 population of America at 327 million, their forecast of America's 2025 population to be LESS THAN 100 million people has raised a lot of eyebrows within the independent news community. Also forecasting America's military budget to be only $32 billion, down from the $637 billion it was in 2017, we'd argued that Deagel's forecast for 2025 America shows an America 'post-collapse'. And yes, as Dr. Don Boys had reported in this February 21st ANP story, history has proven that pandemics can completely destroy a country's economy and even bring down empires.
Continue Reading / Video / All News Pipeline >>>
NASCAR To Use Dogs To Detect COVID-19 At Atlanta Motor Speedway | FOX Sports
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 21:24
By Bob PockrassFOX Sports NASCAR Writer
The biggest criticism thus far of NASCAR's COVID-19 protocols has been that NASCAR isn't testing participants.
This weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR won't test everyone with a nasal swab but will instead rely on the noses of dogs.
NASCAR will use the 360 K9 Group, a provider of specialized detection dogs that has successfully trained the animals to detect COVID-19 as a way to screen drivers, crew members and vendors as they enter the garage.
In a bulletin sent to teams, NASCAR said: "These dogs have shown to be as effective as PCR test in identifying an infected person, and are being used by professional sports teams, hospitals and many other businesses to screen employees and guests."
A NASCAR spokesman said NASCAR will take what it learns at Atlanta and then decide on next steps regarding potential future use for both competitor and guest areas of events. Whether this could lead to changes in other protocols '' such as media or sponsor guests in the garage or relaxing mask mandates '' remains to be seen.
If a dog indicates a person might have COVID, NASCAR's safety team (run by American Medical Response) will conduct a secondary screening, which typically includes a rapid PCR test. The lead AMR physician will then determine if a driver or crew member is cleared to participate.
NASCAR's individual prerace questionnaire asks for COVID and vaccination histories, so NASCAR will know if a participant has recently had COVID or been vaccinated.
Bob Pockrass has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports in 2019 following stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @bobpockrass. Looking for more NASCAR content? Sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.
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Joe Jonas, Mindy Kaling and More Denounce Atlanta Spa Shootings and Asian-American Hate | Entertainment Tonight
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 19:57
Celebrities are speaking out amid racist incidents against Asian Americans. Joe Jonas, Mindy Kaling, LeBron James and more have taken to social media in the wake of such incidents and have provided resources for people who want to help.
The celebrity attention is in response to a string of shootings involving three Atlanta-area spas, which took place on Tuesday, per CBS News. Eight people were killed in the attacks, with six of those people being of Asian descent.
During a Wednesday press conference, police announced that 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long had been arrested for and confessed to the rampage, though he claims it wasn't racially motivated.
The shootings came amid increasing rates of racial violence against Asian Americans, which have skyrocketed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Stop AAPI Hate, which was created in response to the increase in anti-Asian hate crimes amid the pandemic, released a report stating that it received 3,795 reports of incidents between March 2020 and February 2021.
On his Instagram Story, Jonas re-shared Stop AAPI Hate's most recent report, as well as a post about how to be an ally to Asian Americans.
Instagram / Joe Jonas
James tweeted his condolences to the victims of the Atlanta-area shootings, calling them "senseless and tragic," while Kaling wrote that "the targeting of our Asian brothers and sisters is sickening, but not surprising given the normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year."
My condolences goes out to the families of all the victims and the entire Asian community tonight on what transpired in Atlanta at the Aromatherapy Spa. Coward a** young man!! Just senseless and tragic!! ðŸðŸ¾''¤¸ðŸ‘‘
'-- LeBron James (@KingJames) March 17, 2021The targeting of our Asian brothers and sisters is sickening, but not surprising given the normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year. We have to #StopAsianHate, enough is enough!
'-- Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) March 17, 2021"The attacks against our brothers and sisters in the Asian American communities are heartbreaking," Dwyane Wade wrote. "The physical assaults and recent killings are rooted in racism. It needs to stop. We cannot be silent."
"My thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost their loved ones due to this senseless hatred," he continued. "To our Asian community - we love you and are standing united with you. Enough is enough."
Meanwhile, Daniel Dae Kim announced that, on March 18, he'll be "speaking to the Congressional House Committee on the Judiciary about the Rise of Discrimination & Violence Against Asian Americans."
I will be speaking to the Congressional House Committee on the Judiciary about the Rise of Discrimination & Violence Against Asian Americans TOMORROW, Thurs, March 18th at 10AM EDT. You can watch it live at the link below. Please join me, and help #StopAsianHate. #Atlanta
'-- Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) March 17, 2021Keep reading to see more celebrities' responses to the ongoing racism against Asian Americans.
Call a hate crime what it is.And GOP leaders, stop fanning violence with anti-Asian rhetoric.
You should be ashamed at what you have unleashed.
'-- George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 17, 2021Wake up... your Asian friends and family are deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry. Please please please check in on us, please please please stand with us. Please. Your Asian friend needs you, even if they aren't publicly grieving on social media. x
'-- Lana Condor (@lanacondor) March 17, 2021RELATED CONTENT:
'Kung Fu' Cast Hopes They're 'Part of Solution' Amid Anti-Asian Racism
Olivia Munn Shares Impassioned Message Condemning Anti-Asian Attacks
Daniel Dae Kim, Daniel Wu Offer $25k Amid Attacks on Asian Americans
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Google undercuts Apple with new 15% revenue share for Play apps '' Ars Technica
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 18:53
Enlarge / The logo for Google's app and content marketplace, Google Play.
Today, Google announced a major change to the revenue-sharing structure of Google Play apps'--one that could significantly alter the fortunes of independent developers or small companies who rely on the Android platform's app store for revenue.
Starting on July 1, Google will take a 15 percent cut of the first $1 million in annual Google Play revenue from Google Play that a developer earns. That's down from 30 percent previously. The 30 percent figure will still apply to all revenue over $1 million each year.
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Google claims that 99 percent of developers with apps and content on Google Play will experience reductions in fees paid to Google of up to 50 percent.
On the surface, this looks like a very similar deal to what Apple announced
late last year when it declared that developers making under $1 million will soon begin paying just 15 percent to the platform rather than the historical 30 percent. But it's actually different in a way that could be consequential for many developers; it's arguably a little more generous.
That's because Apple applies its lower 15 percent rate to a developer until that developer exceeds $1 million in revenue in a given year, at which point the higher 30 percent number is applied to all of that developer's earnings. Google still charges 15 percent on that first million even if the developer makes $5 million. So in Google's model, a developer who earns $1.2 million on an app pays 15 percent on $1 million, then 30 percent on $200,000. In Apple's, a developer making $800,000 forks over 15 percent on that amount, but if they make $1.2 million, they pay 30 percent on all $1.2 million, not just $200,000.
To that end, the author of Google's developer blog post (Product Management VP Sameer Samat) claims that developers who are pulling in $2 million, $5 million, and "even $10 million" each year have said to Google that this change will make a difference in making their businesses more sustainable, even though they make significantly more than $1 million. After all, an extra 15 percent of $1 million is $150,000, which is not a small amount of money to any but the largest and most successful companies.
This change is likely not born entirely of altruism, however. First of all, Google is almost directly matching'--slightly beating, actually'--Apple's offer to developers as the App Store and Google Play compete directly. Also, both Apple and Google have been subject to antitrust lawsuits and investigations over their grips on their respective app marketplaces. Like Apple with the App Store, Google requires app developers to use its own payment system for apps on Play, making it difficult to circumvent these fees.
While the fees themselves are usually not the primary subject of the investigations and suits, this change improves optics and sentiment for the two tech giants while they are beleaguered, and it does so without costing them much money. The significant majority of the revenue Apple and Google receive from their app marketplaces comes from apps with revenues far beyond $1 million annually.
Atlanta massage parlor shootings: Biden briefed on deadly attack as details emerge | Fox News
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 18:19
President Biden has been briefed on the Atlanta-area massage parlor attacks that left eight people dead, as details emerge about the devastating shooting and the suspect.
At least six people of Asian American descent were among the dead. Police have not said whether race played a factor in the shootings.
"The president has been briefed overnight about the horrific shootings in Atlanta," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday morning. "White House officials have been in touch with the mayor's office and will remain in touch with the FBI."
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has also been briefed on the matter and the Department of Justice (DOJ) has said it will assist in the investigation if needed.
Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old from Woodstock, Georgia, was arrested just hours after the shootings in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta, according to officials.
Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Capt. Jay Baker told reporters that investigators still don't know Long's relationship with any of the victims or the motive.
"We don't know if this is a random act," he said.
City of Atlanta police officers are seen outside of Gold Spa after deadly shootings at a massage parlor and two day spas in the Atlanta area, in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16, 2021. (REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry)
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City of Atlanta Police Officer Davis works at the scene outside of Gold Spa after deadly shootings at a massage parlor and two day spas in the Atlanta area, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry (REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry)
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A body is taken away from Gold Spa massage parlor after a shooting, late Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Atlanta. Shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta and one in the suburbs left multiple people dead, authorities said. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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A police officer watches as a body is taken from the Gold Spa massage parlor after a shooting, late Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Atlanta. Shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta and one in the suburbs left multiple people dead, authorities said. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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CORRECTS DATELINE TO ACWORTH INSTEAD OF WOODSTOCK - Authorities investigate a fatal shooting at a massage parlor, late Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Acworth, Ga. Officials say 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, Georgia, has been captured hours after multiple people were killed in shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)
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CORRECTS DATELINE TO ACWORTH INSTEAD OF WOODSTOCK - Authorities investigate a fatal shooting at a massage parlor, late Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Acworth, Ga. Officials say 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, Georgia, has been captured hours after multiple people were killed in shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)
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An officer stands outside Gold Spa after a shooting, late Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Atlanta. Shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta and one in the suburbs left multiple people dead, authorities said. A 21-year-old man suspected in the shootings was taken into custody in southwest Georgia hours later after a manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Officials stand in front of a massage parlor after a shooting, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Atlanta. Shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta and one in the suburbs left multiple people dead, authorities said. A 21-year-old man suspected in the shootings was taken into custody in southwest Georgia hours later after a manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
The attacks began Tuesday evening when five people were shot at Young's Asian Massage Parlor in Acworth, about 30 miles north of Atlanta, Baker said. Two people died at the scene and three were taken to a hospital where two died, he said.
WSB-TV reported another person, a man, was wounded in the shooting but is expected to survive.
"He was coming out of the store beside the massage parlor and the other store beside it and he was outside," Adriana Mejia, a niece of the surviving victim, told WSB.
About an hour later, police responding to a call about a robbery found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds at Gold Spa in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. While there, officers learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street, Aromatherapy Spa, and found a woman who appeared to have been shot dead.
"It appears that they may be Asian," Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said.
Surveillance video recorded a man pulling up to the Acworth business about 10 minutes before the attack there, authorities said, and the same car was spotted outside the Atlanta businesses. A manhunt was launched, and Long was ultimately captured.
Mar 16, 2021; Canton, Georgia, USA; This photo provided by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office shows Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, Ga., a suspect in the killing of eight people at three Atlanta-area massage parlors on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Hours after the killings, the 21-year-old man was captured in southwest Georgia. (Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Handout photo-USA TODAY NETWORK)
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Mar 16, 2021; Canton, Georgia, USA; This photo provided by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office shows Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, Ga., a suspect in the killing of eight people at three Atlanta-area massage parlors on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Hours after the killings, the 21-year-old man was captured in southwest Georgia. (Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Handout photo-USA TODAY NETWORK)
Mar 16, 2021; Canton, Georgia, USA; This photo provided by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office shows Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, Ga., a suspect in the killing of eight people at three Atlanta-area massage parlors on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Hours after the killings, the 21-year-old man was captured in southwest Georgia. (Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Handout photo-USA TODAY NETWORK)
Video evidence "suggests it is extremely likely our suspect is the same as Cherokee County's, who is in custody," Atlanta police said in a statement. Authorities haven't specified charges.
South Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that its diplomats in Atlanta have confirmed with police that four of the victims who died were women of Korean descent. The ministry said its Consulate General in Atlanta is trying to confirm the nationality of the women.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is in South Korea meeting with Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, mentioned the killings during an opening statement.
"We are horrified by this violence which has no place in America or anywhere," he said, noting that four of the women were believed to be of Korean descent.
FBI spokesman Kevin Rowson said the agency was assisting Atlanta and Cherokee County authorities in the investigation.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted Tuesday that his family "is praying for the victims of these horrific acts of violence. We deeply appreciate the quick apprehension of a suspect" by the Georgia Department of Public Safety, which oversees the state patrol, "in coordination with local and federal law enforcement."
Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said in a video posted on Facebook that his deputies and state troopers were notified Tuesday night that a murder suspect out of north Georgia was headed toward their county. Deputies and troopers set up along the interstate and "made contact with the suspect," he said.
A state trooper performed a PIT, or pursuit intervention technique, maneuver, "which caused the vehicle to spin out of control," Hancock said. Long was then taken into custody and was being held in the Crisp County jail for Cherokee County authorities who were expected to arrive soon to continue their investigation.
Mary Morgan, who reportedly lives in a home that neighbors Long's family residence, told The Washington Post the Longs "come across as a good Christian family."
"They used to go to church on a regular basis, and I've never seen anything bad out of them," the 88-year-old reportedly said.
Authorities are expected to share more details during a press conference on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, police departments in other parts of the nation, including the NYPD in New York City, say they are bolstering forces in Asian communities "out of an abundance of caution." Seattle city officials have also said they are taking "additional steps" to protect Asian American residents.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta released a statement shortly after the news of the attacks saying it was "shaken by the violence in our city that has left 8 people dead, including members of the Asian American community," according to 11 Alive reporter Chenue Her.
Stop AAPI Hate, a group focused on combatting hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, called the series of shootings "an unspeakable tragedy -- for the families of the victims first and foremost, but also for the AAPI community -- which has been reeling from high levels of racial discrimination."
The group also noted in its tweets that it is unclear so far whether the attacks were racially motivated.
Fox News' David Spunt and Brie Stimson contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.
If you've got a news tip, send it to
What is Wrong with Old Joe? Biden to Spend the Night at His Home in Wilmington AGAIN - His FOURTH Overnight Trip Home Since Taking Office
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 16:38
Joe Biden is spending the night tonight at his Wilmington, Delaware home after he had just spent another long weekend there.
Last weekend Joe Biden and his handler wife Jill took Marine One to their Wilmington home and didn't return to Washington until Sunday.
Biden has spent three of the eight weekends since he was sworn into office at his home in Delaware.
Tuesday night's stay in Delaware marks Biden's 4th overnight trip back home since January 20.
TRENDING: Roberto Minuta was Jailed After He Went to DC to Provide Security for Speakers - That's When Antifa Targeted and Destroyed His Business - Now Roberto Needs Our Help
Perhaps Joe Biden prefers familiarity because of his dementia?
Joe Biden's schedule today consisted of a Daily Presidential Briefing and travel to Chester, Pennsylvania where he spoke for 3 minutes at a black-owned flooring business.
Biden then departed Chester early Tuesday evening and traveled to his Wilmington home.
That's all Biden did today!
On Wednesday Biden will host Ireland's Prime Minister for a ''virtual bilateral meeting.''
Nothing is on Biden's schedule yet for Thursday so he will probably nap.
On Friday, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will travel to Georgia to promote their Covid bill.
Informed consent disclosure to vaccine trial subjects of risk of COVID'19 vaccines worsening clinical disease - Cardozo - 2021 - International Journal of Clinical Practice - Wiley Online Library
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 15:42
Abstract Aims of the studyPatient comprehension is a critical part of meeting medical ethics standards of informed consent in study designs. The aim of the study was to determine if sufficient literature exists to require clinicians to disclose the specific risk that COVID'19 vaccines could worsen disease upon exposure to challenge or circulating virus.
Methods used to conduct the studyPublished literature was reviewed to identify preclinical and clinical evidence that COVID'19 vaccines could worsen disease upon exposure to challenge or circulating virus. Clinical trial protocols for COVID'19 vaccines were reviewed to determine if risks were properly disclosed.
Results of the studyCOVID'19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralising antibodies may sensitise vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated. Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern: that vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralising antibodies), be they composed of protein, viral vector, DNA or RNA and irrespective of delivery method, may worsen COVID'19 disease via antibody'dependent enhancement (ADE). This risk is sufficiently obscured in clinical trial protocols and consent forms for ongoing COVID'19 vaccine trials that adequate patient comprehension of this risk is unlikely to occur, obviating truly informed consent by subjects in these trials.
Conclusions drawn from the study and clinical implicationsThe specific and significant COVID'19 risk of ADE should have been and should be prominently and independently disclosed to research subjects currently in vaccine trials, as well as those being recruited for the trials and future patients after vaccine approval, in order to meet the medical ethics standard of patient comprehension for informed consent.
1 THE RISK OF ADE IN COVID'19 VACCINES IS NON'THEORETICAL AND COMPELLINGVaccine'elicited enhancement of disease was previously observed in human subjects with vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), dengue virus and measles. 1 Vaccine'elicited enhancement of disease was also observed with the SARS and MERS viruses and with feline coronavirus, which are closely related to SARS'CoV'2, the causative pathogen of COVID'19 disease. The immune mechanisms of this enhancement have invariably involved antibodies, from direct antibody'dependent enhancement, to immune complex formation by antibodies, albeit accompanied by various coordinated cellular responses, such as Th2 T'cell skewing. 2-7 Notably, both neutralising and non'neutralising antibodies have been implicated. A recent study revealed IgG'mediated acute lung injury in vivo in macaques infected with SARS that correlated with a vaccine'elicited, neutralising antibody response. 8 Inflammation and tissue damage in the lung in this animal model recapitulated the inflammation and tissue damage in the lungs of SARS'infected patients who succumbed to the disease. The time course was also similar, with the worst damage occurring in delayed fashion in synchrony with ramping up of the immune response. Remarkably, neutralising antibodies controlled the virus in the animal, but then would precipitate a severe, tissue'damaging, inflammatory response in the lung. This is a similar profile to immune complex'mediated disease seen with RSV vaccines in the past, wherein vaccinees succumbed to fatal enhanced RSV disease because of the formation of antibody'virus immune complexes that precipitated harmful, inflammatory immune responses. It is also similar to the clinical course of COVID'19 patients, in whom severe COVID'19 disease is associated with the development of anti'SARS'CoV'2 serum antibodies, 9 with titres correlating directly with the severity of disease. 10 Conversely, subjects who recover quickly may have low or no anti'SARS'CoV'2 serum antibodies. 11
The elicitation of antibodies, specifically neutralising antibodies, is the goal of nearly every current SARS'CoV'2 vaccine candidate. The prior evidence that vaccine'elicited, antibody'dependent enhancement (ADE) of disease is likely to occur to some degree with COVID'19 vaccines is vertically consistent from controlled SARS studies in primates to clinical observations in SARS and COVID'19. Thus, a finite, non'theoretical risk is evident in the medical literature that vaccine candidates composed of the SARS'CoV'2 viral spike and eliciting anti'SARS'CoV'2 antibodies, be they neutralising or not, place vaccinees at higher risk for more severe COVID'19 disease when they encounter circulating viruses. Indeed, studies in mice of prior SARS vaccines revealed this exact phenotype, with four human vaccine candidates eliciting neutralising antibodies and protecting against SARS challenge, but viral re'challenge of thus vaccinated animals resulting in immunopathologic lung disease. 5 Independently, SARS/MERS vaccine candidates, commonly exhibited ADE associated with high inflammatory morbidity in preclinical models, obstructing their advancement to the clinic. 4, 12 SARS ADE of both disease in non'human primates and viral infection of cells in vitro was clearly mapped to specific antibody'targeted SARS viral spike epitopes. 6 This phenomenon was consistent across a variety of vaccine platforms, including DNA, vector primes and virus'like particles (VLP), irrespective of inoculation method (oral, intramuscular, subcutaneous, etc). An unknown variable is how long this tissue damage lasts, possibly resulting in permanent morbidity (eg, diabetes from pancreatic damage 7 ).
Current data on COVID'19 vaccines is limited, but does not so far reveal evidence of ADE of disease. Non'human primate studies of Moderna's mRNA'1273 vaccine showed excellent protection, with no detectable immunopathology. 13 Phase 1 trials of several vaccines have not reported any immunopathology in subjects administered the candidate vaccines. However, these subjects were unlikely to have yet encountered circulating virus. 14 Nevertheless, all preclinical studies to date have been performed with the Wuhan or closely related strains of the virus, while a mutant D614G virus is now the most prevalent circulating form. Several observations suggest that this alternative form may be antigenically distinct from the Wuhan derived strain, not so much in composition, but in conformation of the viral spike and exposure of neutralisation epitopes. 15-18 Similarly, Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of vaccine candidates have only been designed around immunogenicity as an efficacy end point and have not been designed to capture exposure of subjects to circulating virus after vaccination, which is when ADE/immunopathology is designed to occur. Thus, the absence of ADE evidence in COVID'19 vaccine data so far does not absolve investigators from disclosing the risk of enhanced disease to vaccine trial participants, and it remains a realistic, non'theoretical risk to the subjects.
2 CHALLENGES TO INFORMED CONSENT FOR COVID'19 VACCINE STUDIESInformed consent procedures for vaccine trials commonly include disclosure of very minor risks such as injection site reactions, rare risks from past, unrelated vaccines/viruses, such as Guillain'Barre syndrome for swine flu (interest in which is likely behind the interest in Astra Zeneca's recent vaccine transverse myelitis event) and generic statements about the risk of idiosyncratic systemic adverse events and death. Specific risks to research participants derived from biological mechanism are rarely included, often because of ambiguity about their applicability. 19
Signed consent forms from the COVID'19 vaccine trials are not publicly available because of privacy concerns. They also vary from clinical site to clinical site, and sample consent forms on which they are based are not required to be disclosed until after the trial is over, if at all. However, these consent forms are usually very similar in content to the ''Risks to participants'' section of the trial protocols, which have been released publicly by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for their COVID'19 vaccine trials ( 20 & Supplement). As these three vaccines are representative of the diversity of vaccines being tested, it is very likely that the consent form inferred from these protocols is similar or identical to those from any and all of the vaccine trials currently underway. All three protocols mention the risk of disease enhancement by the vaccine, but all three list this risk last or next to last in the list of risks, after risks from the Ad26'Cov2 vector, adenovirus vectors in general, risks of vaccination in general, risks for pregnancy and birth control (which are said to be ''unknown''), risks of blood draws and risks from collection of nasal swab samples (for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine), after allergy, fainting, local site injection reaction, general systemic adverse reactions and laboratory abnormalities for the Moderna vaccine and after local site injection reactions and general systemic adverse events for the Pfizer vaccine. In addition, both Moderna and Johnson and Johnson term the risk of vaccine'elicited disease enhancement as ''theoretical.'' Finally, in citing the risk, Pfizer and Moderna note prior evidence of vaccine'elicited disease enhancement with RSV and dengue, as well as feline coronavirus (Pfizer) and measles (Moderna), however, SARS and MERS are not mentioned. Johnson and Johnson discusses SARS and MERS, but make an unusual scientific argument that vaccine'elicited disease enhancement is because of non'neutralising antibodies and Th2'skewed cellular responses and that Ad26 vaccination does not exhibit this profile.Blank consent forms for AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson are also available online at, and while the AstraZeneca form clearly discloses the specific risk of ADE, the disclosure is listed last among risks only in an attached information sheet. In all, the evidence from the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson protocols for their COVID'19 vaccine trials and the sample consent forms, when contrasted with the evidence for antibody'dependent enhancement of disease presented by this report and widely available to any skilled practitioner in the field, establishes that patient comprehension of the specific risk that receiving the COVID'19 vaccine could convert a subject from someone who experiences mild disease to someone who experiences severe disease, lasting morbidity or even death is unlikely to be achieved by the informed consent procedures planned for these clinical trials.
Medical ethics standards required that, given the extent of evidence in the medical literature reviewed above, the risk of ADE should be clearly and emphatically distinguished in the informed consent from risks observed rarely as well as the more obvious risk of lack of efficacy, which is unrelated to the specific risk of ADE. Based on the published literature, it should have been obvious to any skilled medical practitioner in 2019 that there is a significant risk to vaccine research subjects that they may experience severe disease once vaccinated, while they might only have experienced a mild, self'limited disease if not vaccinated. The consent should also clearly distinguish the specific risk of worsened COVID'19 disease from generic statements about risk of death and generic risk of lack of efficacy of the vaccine.
3 CONCLUSIONGiven the strong evidence that ADE is a non'theoretical and compelling risk for COVID'19 vaccines and the ''laundry list'' nature of informed consents, disclosure of the specific risk of worsened COVID'19 disease from vaccination calls for a specific, separate, informed consent form and demonstration of patient comprehension in order to meet medical ethics standards. The informed consent process for ongoing COVID'19 vaccine trials does not appear to meet this standard. While the COVID'19 global health emergency justifies accelerated vaccine trials of candidates with known liabilities, such an acceleration is not inconsistent with additional attention paid to heightened informed consent procedures specific to COVID'19 vaccine risks.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSSupported by NIH award R21AI157604 (to TC).
DISCLOSUREThe authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article.
AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONSTC and RV conceived this commentary. TC wrote the manuscript. RV edited and approved the manuscript.
Open Research All data referenced in this report have been published in peer'reviewed literature or are available on the World Wide Web/Internet at the URL's indicated in the References section. Therefore, all data referenced in this report are publicly available in widely available data repositories.
1 Huisman W , Martina BE , Rimmelzwaan GF , Gruters RA , Osterhaus AD . Vaccine'induced enhancement of viral infections . Vaccine. 2009 ; 27 : 505 ' 512 . 2 Boyoglu'Barnum S , Chirkova T , Anderson LJ . Biology of infection and disease pathogenesis to guide RSV vaccine development . Front Immunol. 2019 ; 10 : 1675 . 3 Chen WH , Hotez PJ , Bottazzi ME . Potential for developing a SARS'CoV receptor'binding domain (RBD) recombinant protein as a heterologous human vaccine against coronavirus infectious disease (COVID)'19 . Human Vacc Immunother. 2020 ; 16 : 1239 ' 1242 . 4 Jiang S , He Y , Liu S . SARS vaccine development . Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 ; 11 : 1016 ' 1020 . 5 Tseng CT , Sbrana E , Iwata'Yoshikawa N , et al. Immunization with SARS coronavirus vaccines leads to pulmonary immunopathology on challenge with the SARS virus . PLoS One. 2012 ; 7 :e35421. 6 Wang Q , Zhang L , Kuwahara K , et al. Immunodominant SARS coronavirus epitopes in humans elicited both enhancing and neutralizing effects on infection in non'human primates . ACS Infect Dis. 2016 ; 2 : 361 ' 376 . 7 Yang JK , Lin SS , Ji XJ , Guo LM . Binding of SARS coronavirus to its receptor damages islets and causes acute diabetes . Acta Diabetol. 2010 ; 47 : 193 ' 199 . 8 Liu L , Wei Q , Lin Q , et al. Anti'spike IgG causes severe acute lung injury by skewing macrophage responses during acute SARS'CoV infection . JCI insight. 2019 ; 4 :e123158. 9 Liu ZL , Liu Y , Wan LG , et al. Antibody profiles in mild and severe cases of COVID'19 . Clin Chem. 2020 ; 66 : 1102 '' 1104 . 10 Piccoli L , Park YJ , Tortorici MA , et al. Mapping neutralizing and immunodominant sites on the SARS'CoV'2 spike receptor'binding domain by structure'guided high'resolution serology . Cell. 2020 ; S0092'8674 : 31234'4 11 Robbiani DF , Gaebler C , Muecksch F , et al. Convergent antibody responses to SARS'CoV'2 infection in convalescent individuals . bioRxiv. 2020 . 12 Yong CY , Ong HK , Yeap SK , Ho KL , Tan WS . Recent advances in the vaccine development against middle east respiratory syndrome'coronavirus . Front Microbiol. 2019 ; 10 : 1781 . 13 Corbett KS , Flynn B , Foulds KE , et al. Evaluation of the mRNA'1273 Vaccine against SARS'CoV'2 in Nonhuman Primates . N Engl J Med. 2020 ; 383 : 1544 '' 1555 . 14 Mulligan MJ , Lyke KE , Kitchin N , et al. Phase 1/2 study of COVID'19 RNA vaccine BNT162b1 in adults . Nature. 2020 ; 586 : 589 '' 593 . 15 Becerra'Flores M , Cardozo T . SARS'CoV'2 viral spike G614 mutation exhibits higher case fatality rate . Int J Clin Pract. 2020 ; 74 :e13525. 16 Korber B , Fischer WM , Gnanakaran S , et al. Tracking changes in SARS'CoV'2 spike: evidence that D614G increases infectivity of the COVID'19 virus . Cell. 2020 ; 182 : 812 ' 827.e819 . 17 Mansbach RA , Chakraborty S , Nguyen K , Montefiori D , Korber B , Gnanakaran S . The SARS'CoV'2 spike variant D614G favors an open conformational state . bioRxiv. 2020 . 18 Zhang L , Jackson C , Mou H , et al. The D614G mutation in the SARS'CoV'2 spike protein reduces S1 shedding and increases infectivity . bioRxiv. 2020 . 19 Wendler D . What should be disclosed to research participants? Am J Bioeth. 2013 ; 13 : 3 ' 8 . 20 McNamara D . Three Major COVID Vaccine Developers Release Detailed Trial Protocols . https://wwwmedscapecom/viewarticle/937845; 2020 .
Is it time to stop saying 'guys' at work? - ABC Everyday
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 15:40
"Morning, guys."
That's what I called out to my colleagues most mornings as I wandered to my desk at my old job '-- until one day when a colleague, who had recently joined my team, visibly winced at the greeting.
She cheerily responded with "Morning, everyone", before shooting me a wry smile.
It was a subtle but undeniable way of calling out my word choice. There were five women in the mixed-gender group I was addressing. So why did I '-- and so many of us '-- use "guys" to address mixed-gender groups?
And is it time to drop it from our vocabulary at work?
Isn't 'guys' gender-neutral these days? While many people feel "guys" is now a gender-neutral term, critics say it can be an exclusionary way to refer to a mixed-gender group or a group of women.(Pexels)The term "guys" found its way into the Australian lexicon around the 1970s via American television and radio programs.
Alison Moore, chief editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, explains that it's mostly used as a colloquialism by the younger generations to refer to both men and women.
Your thoughts on using 'guys' at work Some of you think it's an example of political correctness gone mad, while others have started using alternatives such as "everyone", "team" or "peeps".
Read more
Ms Moore says it wasn't borne out of a "patriarchal context", unlike other terms now widely recognised as exclusionary or sexist '-- such as "chairman" or "mankind".
The term "guys" was originally a reference to British historical figure Guy Fawkes, but in the mid-1800s it began being used in the United States to mean 'men' generally.
Linguist John Hajek, from The University of Melbourne's School of Languages and Linguistics, says the term doesn't always mean "males in the plural" nowadays, but he acknowledges others take a different view.
Critics argue the term is sexist because, while claiming to be gender-neutral, it actually positions men as the "default" (after all, "guy" in the singular invariably means "male").
"Some people do not feel excluded by the word 'guys', but some do," agrees Lisa Annese, CEO of Diversity Council Australia. "The word 'guys' can be used to mean both men and women '-- but not for everybody."
For women in male-dominated industries particularly, "guys" can reinforce their sense of being in the minority.
Felicity Young, a receptionist in the automotive industry, explains the use of "guys" has become the default at her workplace: "It annoyingly does become ingrained," she says.
Similarly, women in tech can feel sidelined by the phrase.
Jessian Choy, a public speaker focused on inclusive language and environmentalism, has compiled thousands of tweets showing how the phrase can inadvertently make women feel invisible when used in phrases such as, "This app was built by the guys at..."
The term is also problematic for some gender-nonconforming or trans people, for whom "guys" could be an instance of 'misgendering' '-- a consistent obstacle to LGBTQI+ people feeling included at work, Diversity Council Australia's recent Out At Work report found.
Don't we have bigger fish to fry?For some, debating the phrase "guys" sits at the bottom of a list of priorities in the struggle for positive social change.
Lucy Tatman, coordinator of the gender studies program and senior lecturer at The University of Tasmania, says there are more pressing issues, such as domestic violence, sexist language and "slut-shaming" language '-- which she says has been used by some politicians across the political spectrum '-- and penalty rate cuts that disproportionately affect women.
The case for doing away with gendered language Language has the power to make people invisible, according to an expert in gender studies.
Read more
"If it's a contest between worrying about the use of the term 'guys' and actually taking seriously the disproportionate level of violence against Indigenous women, I know where we should be focusing our attention."
Ms Choy challenges that view, saying the use of "guys" is part of a larger structure of exclusion facing women.
"You could say there's bigger fish to fry for anything, but why not focus on what we can control, which is our language?" Ms Choy says.
"If we can't even acknowledge the way we acknowledge women in language, then of course there's going to be gender inequality."
So should we all stop saying 'guys' at work?It's clearly a divisive topic. But to be on the safe side, Professor Hajek and Ms Annese say it's best to avoid the term in the office.
"In a business environment, you don't want to upset anyone [or] get a proportion of your workforce offside," Professor Hajek says.
And context is important, he says. Keep in mind that language you use without trouble outside of work can be non-inclusive at work.
Just because your female friends or your kids are fine being addressed as "guys", doesn't mean your women colleagues will appreciate it.
Next time you shoot off an email to your team at work, it might be wise to think twice about starting with "Hey guys".(Unsplash)Similarly, if you know one or two colleagues well enough to be sure they're fine with the phrase "guys," it's probably fine to use the phrase, Ms Annese says. But addressing a broader group at work as "guys" is another matter altogether.
"In the workplace, you cannot reasonably predict the impact that your words have on other people," Ms Annese says. "If you're a leader and you're addressing a whole group of people, isn't it better to use a more accurate term?"
'But I didn't mean to offend anyone!'Most of us have misspoken at some point, and "we can't lead a completely scripted life," Ms Annese says. So don't beat yourself up if your language thus far hasn't been perfect. Just be willing to learn.
And keep in mind the power of words and how they can affect people, even if you don't intend any harm.
"Saying 'I didn't mean any harm' can often be a genuine apology. But we certainly can't have that as a litmus test because then anything is permissible in a workplace," Ms Annese says.
"What that's doing is transferring the negativity of the comment from the person who made the comment to the victim of the comment."
What are your alternatives?Alternatives to "guys": All You Team Everyone/everybody Folks People Friends/pals/peeps (informal settings)Arguably, one of the reasons "guys" has persisted for so long is that the English language doesn't offer many easy replacements.
The term "folks" sounds, well, folksy, says Dr Tatman. And "y'all" sounds too American for most Australians to comfortably use (which is ironic because "guys" was also originally an Americanism, Professor Hajek says). Then there's the Aussie slang term "youse," which is often derided as grammatically incorrect.
When addressing a group of women, there's simply no perfect female equivalent of "guys". The options seem patronising ("girls", "chicks", "babes") or prim and refined ("ladies").
Melbourne-raised Tom McQuillen, who works in tech, says he makes a conscious effort to use the term "hey team" when addressing a group of mixed-gender colleagues.
"'Team' is a completely inclusive term, and also it's not so formal that is sounds ridiculous," Ms Annese says, who also uses that term when addressing groups of employees.
Professor Hajek suggests "hey all" as an alternative to "hey guys". Other terms you might try include "everybody" or "people".
I've now made a conscious effort to edit "hey guys" out of my vocabulary '-- and I'm grateful to that former co-worker who corrected me.
You might also want to read: The case for doing away with gendered language Words to avoid in the workplace A 10-point guide to not offending transgender people How to handle high-stakes situations at work
Biden: Putin will 'pay a price' for interfering in 2020 election
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 15:25
President Joe Biden speaks to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House. | AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
President Joe Biden on Tuesday warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin will ''pay a price'' in the wake of a new report from the U.S. intelligence community that concluded the Kremlin interfered in the 2020 White House race.
In a segment from his interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos that was taped Tuesday and aired Wednesday, Biden said he had told Putin in January '-- during their first call as foreign counterparts '-- to expect repercussions for potentially seeking to sway the most recent presidential election.
Advertisement''We had a long talk, he and I,'' Biden said. ''I know him relatively well. And the conversation started off, I said, 'I know you, and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.'''
Biden declined to elaborate on the consequences Putin would face, saying that ''you'll see shortly.'' But he maintained the U.S. could ''walk and chew gum at the same time'' with regard to its Russia foreign policy.
''There are places where it's in our mutual interest to work together,'' Biden said, pointing specifically to the two governments' extension of the New START nuclear nonproliferation treaty in January.
''That occurred while he's doing this,'' Biden said of Putin's election interference efforts. ''But that's overwhelmingly in the interest of humanity.''
Biden's remarks come after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified assessment Tuesday which found that Putin authorized ''influence operations aimed at denigrating'' Biden's candidacy and the Democratic Party while ''supporting'' former President Donald Trump's reelection campaign.
AdvertisementThe influence operations, conducted by various Russian government organizations, also had as their goal ''undermining public confidence in the electoral process'' and ''exacerbating sociopolitical divisions'' in the U.S., according to the ODNI assessment.
Russia previously ''interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion,'' former special counsel Robert Mueller wrote in his March 2019 report.
Biden, who dealt with Putin throughout the Obama administration, has on several occasions recounted a 2011 meeting during which the then-vice president reportedly told the Russian leader: ''I don't think you have a soul.''
Advertisement''I did say that to him, yes,'' Biden told Stephanopoulos in the interview that aired Wednesday. ''And his response was, 'We understand one another.' I wasn't being a wise guy. I was alone with him in his office. That's how it came about.''
''Look, the most important thing in dealing with foreign leaders, in my experience '-- and I've dealt with an awful lot of them over my career '-- is just know the other guy,'' the president added.
Asked by Stephanopoulos whether he thinks Putin ''is a killer,'' Biden replied: ''Mm hmm. I do.''
'Vaccine Day' Could Promise a Pandemic Finish Line - Bloomberg
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 14:55
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Cuomo's Nursing Home Scandal Raises Questions for One of His Senior Aides '-- ProPublica
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 14:06
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they're published.
Last July, when the New York State Department of Health issued a report absolving the Cuomo administration of responsibility for the soaring number of COVID-19 deaths in the state's nursing homes, Jim Malatras was tasked with handling what quickly became a storm of criticism.
Health care experts and lawmakers had derided the report as deeply flawed and designed to provide political cover for Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But Malatras, a former administration official who had been brought back from a job in higher education to assist Cuomo in responding to the pandemic, did not shrink from his assignment.
In an interview with ProPublica days after the report's release, Malatras defended the integrity of the report, which he said had been developed by health department experts with data analysis help from the consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
Malatras said the report's authors had used a sophisticated statistical model to reach a persuasive conclusion: Infected nursing home staff had been the chief driver of the spread of disease and death, not the thousands of potentially still-contagious patients transferred from hospitals to the homes under a Cuomo administration policy adopted early in the pandemic.
Malatras told ProPublica the report should silence the administration's many critics, who he said had engaged in a cynical effort to blame Cuomo for contributing to the deaths of more than 6,000 nursing home residents by early last summer. He said he looked forward to the report's critics doing their own studies.
''Write a public letter countering the report, run their own tests, and we'll see what it looks like,'' Maltatras said. ''Let's see their tests.''
One month after the release of the report, Malatras was appointed chancellor of the State University of New York system, one of the largest public university systems in the country, with scores of campuses and about 400,000 enrolled students. At the time, the SUNY Board of Trustees described Malatras as a ''visionary'' whose work with Cuomo made him uniquely qualified to run the sprawling higher education system at a critical moment in its history.
In the wake of new reporting by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, it is clear Malatras had not told the full story of the health department's report. The Cuomo administration, it turned out, had removed from its analysis the state's count of nursing home residents believed to have died of COVID-19 after being transferred from the homes to local hospitals. The administration's changing of the report meant that the sophisticated analysis offered to the public last July had failed to account for thousands of additional COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents, and the administration knew it.
In a statement, Malatras said he had played a role in shaping and editing the health department report, but had not been the one to remove the hospital deaths data. Beth Garvey, counsel to Cuomo, said in a statement the hospital deaths had been omitted at the time because the state was then still trying to make sure the count was accurate. The administration did not release the true total of nursing home deaths due to COVID-19 until last month, and when it did, the number grew by some 50%, from more than 8,000 to more than 12,000.
Gary Holmes, a spokesperson for the health department, said in a statement that the department in fact performed an analysis last July that included all deaths of nursing home residents '-- those who died in facilities and in hospitals '-- and the result was the same: The greatest surge in deaths at the homes resulted from infected workers and not the state's policy requiring homes to accept potentially contagious patients who had tested positive for COVID.
Holmes offered no explanation for why the health department had not said so at the time. The department, he said, had now made public both the truncated July report and the more complete report including all nursing home deaths. He said the department stood by both reports.
Ron Kim, the Democratic chair of the State Assembly Committee on Aging, said anybody involved in the July report ought to resign from their positions.
''In my personal opinion, they conspired in a coordinated fraud,'' Kim said.
In February, Kim accused Cuomo of personally threatening to ruin him over Kim's criticism of the state's handling of nursing home deaths. Cuomo has denied he ever threatened Kim.
ProPublica contacted Malatras again this week, and asked why he hadn't previously disclosed the removal of the hospital deaths from last July's report, whether he'd agreed at the time with the decision to remove the additional deaths, and whether he stood by the integrity of the health department's work and his defense of it.
Citing ongoing federal and state investIgations into the Cuomo administration's handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the state's nursing homes, Malatras issued a short statement: ''Thank you for your follow up. As I'm sure you can appreciate, given the nature of the various inquiries, I'm not going to respond to any questions beyond what I said the other day. My focus and my energies are on my job as Chancellor of SUNY, which I will continue to do every day.''
Malatras, who from 2017 to 2019 ran the Rockefeller Institute of Government, a SUNY-affiliated think tank, directed ProPublica to remarks he had made last week about his involvement with the health department report.
''Given my expertise in public policy including public health issues such as opioid misuse and health care, I was asked to help review feedback on the scientific language in that public report to make it more accessible for a general audience,'' Malatras said on March 5 at an event in the Bronx. ''That's the exact role I played while at the Rockefeller Institute of Government on dozens of reports as they neared publication. As with many reports, there were back and forth with structure, citations and other language during the process, but to be clear, I included the fatalities data provided by the New York State Department of Health which I did not alter and change.''
ProPublica reached out to Merryl Tisch, chair of the SUNY Board of Trustees, to ask if she had any concerns about the role Malatras had played in the July report on nursing home deaths, but received no response. Cesar Perales, the board's vice chair, would not comment when asked about Malatras.
The Cuomo administration's official count of nursing home deaths due to COVID-19 has been a source of controversy almost from the outset of the pandemic. At first, New York state only counted confirmed cases of deaths from COVID-19, while other states reported both confirmed and presumed cases. New York eventually began to formally record both confirmed and presumed cases, but refused to include deaths of residents that occurred at hospitals in nursing home figures, record keeping that was routine in many other states.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers in both Albany and Washington hammered the administration for refusing to disclose the deaths in hospitals, and accused Cuomo of trying to hide the full scale of the state's failures to protect the population most at risk of being killed by the virus.
For months, the Cuomo administration claimed it couldn't release the number of additional deaths because it was struggling to make sure they were accurate, an assertion ridiculed by public health experts and nursing home industry leaders. Counting COVID-19 deaths of nursing home residents no matter where they died was not complicated, they said, especially for a health department regarded as among the best in the nation.
Questions about the true scope of nursing home deaths in the state intensified after the Cuomo administration issued a policy on March 25, 2020, stating that nursing homes had to accept patients who were released by hospitals after testing positive for COVID-19 and deemed ''medically stable'' enough to be transferred. The homes were barred from testing the patients to see if they were still infected.
Nursing home operators and families of residents objected to the policy, saying it needlessly put already vulnerable residents at greater risk. Republican critics of Cuomo claimed the policy led to thousands of needless deaths.
The July report issued by the Department of Health asserted that such claims were not true. It said data showed that the greatest peaks of deaths in the homes mostly followed peaks in infections of staff members, and preceded peaks in nursing home admissions from hospitals. It dismissed the idea that the March 25 policy had any strong impact on the number of deaths.
The revelations of the last week, however, make clear that the July report had omitted many deaths from its analysis. The health department indeed tracked the numbers of residents who died of COVID-19 in nursing homes and at local hospitals, and was confident enough of the accuracy of the numbers to include them in a draft of the July report, according to interviews and a review of documents by The New York Times. Those numbers showed that the true death toll was closer to 9,000 by July than the publicly acknowledged 6,000.
''The health department knew what the numbers were, and wanted them in the July report,'' said Bill Hammond, a policy analyst at the Empire Center, an Albany think tank. ''They were the ones with the Ph.D.s. They were the scientists. They had done the work. Taking the numbers out was simply indefensible.''
Denis Nash, an epidemiologist who is executive director of the City University of New York's Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health, agreed.
''The original approach was flawed from an epidemiological and causal inference standpoint,'' Nash said. ''The missing deaths was one of several red flags. Would any study be valid if it excluded deaths known to occur in hospitals versus in a nursing home? No, that would be a fatal flaw.''
The Empire Center, which successfully sued the Cuomo administration this fall to force the release of the hospital deaths, recently issued its own study on the possible impact of the administration's March 25 directive, which led to more than 6,000 transfers of COVID-19 patients from hospitals to nursing homes. Hammond said that while the study showed the directive had not been the primary cause of the greatest surges in nursing home deaths, there was still reason to believe it had led to as many as 1,000 additional deaths in the homes.
''The entire thrust of our report was that the health department's claims that the March 25 directive did not have any meaningful correlation to deaths in the homes was wrong.''
The administration did not respond when told of Hammond's assertions.
Malatras is a longtime confidante of Cuomo, having served as his chief of operations from 2014 to 2017. He rejoined Cuomo as the pandemic worsened last spring, and became one of the governor's three or four closest advisers on the state's response.
The New York Times reported late last week that Malatras and several other senior advisers to Cuomo reworked the health department's July report, and that a decision was made to remove the hospital deaths for fear the complete numbers would be an embarrassment for the governor.
Garvey, Cuomo's counsel, issued a statement after the Times' report, saying that the ultimate decision to remove the hospital deaths was made by ''the Chamber.'' Hammond said he regarded ''the chamber'' to be a coy way of conceding without saying so directly that the governor himself made the decision. An administration spokesperson did not respond when asked what Garvey meant by ''the chamber,'' and about Hammond's interpretation.
Garvey said the Cuomo administration had long acknowledged it wasn't making public the count of deaths in hospitals, but noted that the deaths had always been included in the total figures for COVID-19 deaths in New York state.
Back in July, days after the health department report was made public, ProPublica asked Malatras about what methodology the report had used, who had written it and why the administration had claimed it was peer-reviewed. Malatras would not say who authored the report and conceded the analysis had not been peer-reviewed in the way a report in a medical journal would have been.
At the time, Malatras said nothing about the removal of hospital deaths or whether he or any other senior aide to Cuomo had played a role in reworking aspects of the report.
''Some people alleged that the spread of infection came from early cases; some people said it was due to the amount of personal protective equipment; some said it was the relative age of residents; some said it was the quality of the facilities,'' he said of the questions the report tried to answer. ''So we measured that. We took the independent variables and measured it against the fatalities.''
Malatras added at the time: ''This is a sort of academic study. You can't with 100% certainty say none of the cases were due to admissions or age or other things. Of course not. That's not what an academic study does; it takes data and says what are the strongest variables. We found it was the workforce.''
ProPublica asked a McKinsey spokesperson if the firm had been aware of the removal of the hospital deaths and whether it was comfortable with that decision and with the limited report that was released last July. The firm said it could not comment.
When the SUNY Board of Trustees named Malatras as chancellor last August, the board said it had forgone a national search, instead looking only at candidates within its ranks, because of the urgency of the moment, as colleges across the country wrestled with how to deliver for their students during the pandemic. Malatras had served as chancellor at a SUNY campus, Empire State College, prior to rejoining the administration during the pandemic.
How Inequity Gets Built Into America's Vaccination System
''A critical lesson learned from Covid-19 is that a pandemic demands urgent action,'' board member Stanley Litow wrote after Malatras had been appointed. Of Malatras, Litow wrote, ''Importantly, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo turned to him to help manage the overall effective statewide response to the pandemic where he worked closely with all agencies, especially those in health and economic development areas.''
Lawmakers from both major parties raised alarms about the appointment of Malatras, objecting to the decision not to conduct a national search and questioning whether someone so close to Cuomo could truly be an independent protector of the state university system. The Board of Trustees was unmoved.
''Covid-19 is a pandemic with no precedent,'' Litow wrote. ''Finding the right new leadership for SUNY required prompt and effective action. Breaking with tradition will prove to be the right decision.''
Litow did not respond to a request for comment on Malatras and his role in crafting and defending the July report.
Joaquin Sapien contributed reporting.
US Air Force says it will test bizarre 'hypersonic' weapon this month | Space
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 13:51
HomeNewsTech A June 12, 2019 photo shows a B-52 carrying an ARRW prototype (in white, under the left wing) during a test where it was not launched. (Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher Okula)At some point in the next few weeks, a B-52H bomber will carry a missile high into the air and launch it at an unprecedented velocity toward its target, according to the U.S. Air Force. If everything goes according to plan, that missile will accelerate to more than five times the speed of sound before deploying a dummy second stage that will promptly "disintegrate" somewhere in the atmosphere.
The missile, known as AGM-183A, is supposed to be the first hypersonic weapon '-- or Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) '-- in the U.S. arsenal. It should move so quickly through the atmosphere '-- about 20 times the speed of sound '-- at such low altitudes that it's impossible for enemy missile defense systems to shoot out of the air. And its speed means that it can be useful for destroying "high-value, time-sensitive targets," the Air Force said in a statement.
Hypersonic missile designs, including this one, typically involve two stages.
First, a rocket accelerates the weapon to many times the speed of sound, while remaining at a much lower altitude than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that arc high above the atmosphere before delivering their nuclear payloads.
Second, it releases a glider that carries the weapon for the final leg of its journey to the target, riding the atmosphere like a surfer bobbing and weaving over waves '-- adding another wrinkle to any attempt to shoot it down.
That lower altitude, in theory, makes a hypersonic weapon harder to detect and more difficult to destroy: It's harder to detect for the same reason that it's harder to see an airplane when you're standing on the ground at an airport 5 miles away than an airplane 10 miles away in the air approaching that airport to land; the closer an object is to the ground, the more stuff '-- from trees to buildings to another airplane '-- gets in the way. And a hypersonic missile is theoretically harder to shoot down for more or less the same reason; most missile defense technology is designed to intercept an ICBM close to the peak of its arc through space. Up there, a missile defense system has a clearer line of sight to the target and the ICBM itself moves in a more predictable way.
A Mach 20 hypersonic glider would actually move at about the same speed as a decades-old ICBM, which can accelerate to similar velocities during its space travel but must cover a much longer distance to reach the same target. (It's the difference between driving in a straight line from New York to San Francisco and driving between the two cities with a stopover in the Arctic Circle.)
Related: 7 technologies that transformed warfare
The U.S. isn't the only country working on hypersonic weapons technology. As Live Science previously reported, Russian President Vladimir Putin first announced his country's own hypersonic weapons program in 2018, promising the nation's hypersonic weapon would reach Mach 20.
Pavel Podvig, a military analyst, told Live Science at the time that such weapons likely won't be useful..
"It has been described as a weapon in search of a mission," he said. "My take is, you don't really need this kind of capability. It doesn't really change much in terms of ability to hit targets."
That's because ICBMs are already perfectly capable of evading missile defense systems. The U.S. has the most advanced missile defense technology in the world; and according to Union of Concerned Scientists physicist Laura Grego and many other analysts it simply does not work. So it's not clear why a hypersonic missile would be necessary for striking any other country. The Air Force does emphasize the idea that an ARRW might be useful against "time sensitive" targets, because of its high speed (at least compared to non-ICBM missiles typically used to deliver non-nuclear weapons).
The danger of hypersonic weapons, Podvig said, is that they aren't covered by existing treaties designed to prevent arms races.
And there's still a great deal of uncertainty around the technology. "These systems create greater risks of [strategic] miscalculation," Podvig said, "and it's not clear if we can effectively deal with those risks."
Meanwhile, there are questions about whether hypersonic tech will work at all.
The upcoming test will only demonstrate the missile itself, not the glider, which is the more cutting-edge technology. (Rockets that go very fast have existed for a long time. Gliders that fly many times faster than an F-16 have not.) And, as The Drive pointed out, this test has also been delayed. The missile arrived at Edwards Air Force Base in California on March 1, and the service had originally said the test would take place by March 6. Then, the March 5 statement extended that timeline to "the next 30 days" without explanation.
Meanwhile, an independent analysis published in 2020 in the journal Science and Global Security argued that "fundamental physics" puts hard limits on the usefulness of these weapons. They showed that the physics of atmospheric flight prevent these weapons from ever going fast enough to substantially outpace ICBMs, and that it would be relatively easy to detect a hypersonic missile launch with the right satellite. The idea that hypersonic missiles would offer a revolutionary upgrade over ICBMs, the researchers argued, is a "social" phenomenon, not a scientific one.
Originally published on Live Science.
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Marvel introduces LGBTQ+ member of the Captain America world | TheHill
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 13:44
Marvel is introducing a new "LGBTQ+ hero" into the "Captain America" world, a character the comic book publisher says "stands for the oppressed and the forgotten."
The debut of Aaron Fischer, known as the Captain America of the Railways, is timed to coincide with Pride Month in June, Marvel Comics said in a Monday news release.
The character will appear in a new limited series, "The United States of Captain America," marking the title superhero's 80th anniversary. The plot involves Steve Rogers joining forces with other Captains America on a hunt to find his stolen shield.
"Throughout the group's journey, they'll discover everyday people from all walks of life who've taken up the mantle of Captain America to defend their communities, beginning with Marvel's newest hero, Aaron Fischer!" Marvel said.
''Aaron is inspired by heroes of the queer community: activists, leaders, and everyday folks pushing for a better life," writer Joshua Trujillo said in a statement.
Artist Jan Bazaldua said he "enjoyed" designing the character, "and as a transgender person, I am happy to be able to present an openly gay person who admires Captain America and fights against evil to help those who are almost invisible to society."
"While I was drawing him, I thought, well, Cap fights against super-powerful beings and saves the world almost always," Bazaldua said, "but Aaron helps those who walk alone in the street with problems that they face every day."
Mysterious High-Altitude Flight Corridor Was Opened Up Between Area 51 And The Pacific
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 01:24
The restricted strip of airspace bridged the Nevada Test and Training Range with the Pacific Ocean during a few-hour window last Saturday evening. ForeFlightLate last week, a curious alert appeared in the Federal Aviation Administration's database of Notices to Airman, or NOTAMs, which, among other things, alerts aviators to chunks of airspace that are temporarily off-limits. The details strongly point to the comings or goings of a high-flying aircraft between either Area 51, also known as Groom Lake, or the Tonopah Test Range Airport, two of the U.S. military's most closely-guarded flight test facilities, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest of San Francisco, California.
The NOTAM, which was first pointed out by users of the message board, was issued on March 12, 2021, but was only active between 5:45 PM and 8:15 PM local time the following day. This is a very odd time when military aviation training and test activity is usually at a minimum. The notice outlined a path 20 nautical miles wide and 426 miles long at an altitude between Flight Level 450 and Flight Level 600, or 45,000 to 60,000 feet. The exact route, defined by a series of named waypoints, can be plotted using tools available on the website ForeFlight, as seen below.
A look at the entire route as defined in the NOTAM
If one starts in the west, the route consists of a stretch 104 nautical miles long between the Pacific Ocean and the waters southwest of San Francisco. The next leg runs 54 miles south to an area just west of Monterey, California, before turning inland over a relatively sparsely populated route across California and into western Nevada for the remaining portions.
The flight path ends right at the edge of a parcel of restricted military airspace in Nevada referred to as R-4807A, which is part of the U.S. Air Force's sprawling Nevada Test and Training Range. To the north of R-4807A is R-4809, where Tonopah Test Range (TTR) and its associated airport lie. To it south is R-4808N, inside which sits R-4808A, also known as "The Box." That is the heavily restricted airspace around Area 51.
The official posting reads:
This restriction is called a stationary ALTRV, standing for Altitude Reservation Approval Request. In this case, it appears to have offered a sanitized bridge between the NTTR and the Pacific for a high-flying aircraft. This aircraft would not have to communicate or turn on its transponder during the flight through the ALTRV. A source familiar with standard air traffic control procedures tells The War Zone the following in regards to such a restriction:
There's plenty of ops that never talk on the radio or turn on a transponder, they just call on the phone to activate airspace, then call when they're done, the airspace is protected. The aircraft doesn't need [to] talk or squawk while it is out there.
A close-up of where the route's eastern end, also showing various restricted airspace areas within the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). KTNX is the code for the Tonopah Test Range Airport. KXTA is Homey Airport, an official name for Area 51.
A map of the entire NTTR, as well as other adjacent restricted airspace. Area 51's airspace, also known as "The Box," is 4808A.
The route itself is interesting for a number of reasons. It is very similar to ones The War Zone has seen outlined in previous NOTAMs a handful of times in recent years, all transiting between the NTTR and areas off the California coast. The most recent one a number of months ago began from right near Creech AFB and extended over central California and out to sea.
Also of interest is that one airplane tracker recently mentioned to The War Zone that transiting in the vicinity of Monterey was a way secretive aircraft have been moving from desolate ranges in the west out to the Pacific.
All told, these types of temporarily restricted pieces of airspace appear to provide secure, high-altitude corridors between the NTTR, and top-secret facilities within, and various off-shore U.S. military test ranges in the Eastern Pacific. It could also be a way to get a clandestine aircraft outside of the CONUS as efficiently as possible and recover them in a similar manner for long-duration missions that reach far beyond the eastern Pacific.
It's also important to note that an aircraft using the corridor in question does not have to be manned. In fact, such a route could exist because it is an unmanned clandestine asset that needs to transit out to sea as easily as possible. As to what aircraft this could be, the RQ-170 is a possibility. While a test variant has been flying in and out of Palmdale as of late, it does so with a chase aircraft that also communicates, at least in part, for the drone and also escorts it through normal airspace. We also know the RQ-170 has spent a lot of time over the Pacific ranges for testing. The even more shadowy and much larger 'RQ-180' is another possibility, but the truth is, it could be anything with a fairly high ceiling, and it certainly isn't new that secret aircraft use the ranges off the California Coast. In this case, they would be venturing there alone, without a tanker nearby, and even possibly during a time of day when it is still somewhat light out.
Plane spotters who religiously monitor radio chatter around the NTTR for hints about movements to or from sites such as Area 51 and TTR did not hear anything that appeared relevant to movement along that route at that time on air traffic control channels. It is possible the aircraft's mission was scrubbed, or this could very well be a feature of such a mission. In the past, when we saw similar postings, no word ever came of any odd radio traffic or tracking info from spotters.
In other words, the aircraft is probably very good at not being seen or heard.
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Facebook finds half of most vaccine hesitant posts come from just 111 accounts, report says - CNET
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 21:11
Sarah Tew/CNET Facebook has been working on removing anti-vaccine conspiracy theories from its platform, having banned false and misleading statements since December. However, some posts that aren't factually wrong but could cause "vaccine hesitancy" aren't necessarily violating any policies -- and Facebook has reportedly found that half of most of this gray-area content has been contributed by just over 100 accounts.
Facebook data scientists have split US users, groups and pages into 638 population groups of at least 3 million people, according to a report this week by The Washington Post, which cited internal Facebook documents. Just 10 of these segments were responsible for 50% of all vaccine-hesitancy posts, and in the segment with the most vaccine-hesitant posts, only 111 accounts contributed such content.
Read more: You can now book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment with Facebook. Here's how
Vaccine-hesitant posts contribute to spreading fear and distrust of the COVID-19 vaccines. Facebook has been combating such vaccine hesitancy, looking into why some people might not want to get the coronavirus vaccine and how the social network can help address those concerns. On Monday, Facebook announced it'll be providing data and insights on "vaccine attitudes" to help public officials worldwide understand why some people are feeling hesitant about the vaccines. The dashboard draws from public data.
"Public health experts have made it clear that tackling vaccine hesitancy is a top priority in the COVID response, which is why we've launched a global campaign that has already connected 2 billion people to reliable information from health experts and removed false claims about COVID and vaccines," Facebook's Dani Lever said in an emailed statement. "This ongoing work will help to inform our efforts."
As well as fighting to take down vaccine misinformation from its platform, Facebook has this week integrated COVID-19 vaccine appointment booking through the social media site.
Keep track of the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials: A dam in Oregon could fail in a large earthquake
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 21:10
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined that a large earthquake'--which is expected to occur again in the Pacific Northwest sooner or later'--could cause the spillway gates of a dam in Oregon to buckle, resulting "in a potentially catastrophic flood."
The Corps announced late Monday it will try to minimize the danger by reducing the maximum height of the lake by five feet starting in April. Hundreds of thousands of people, including those in the state capital, live downstream from the Detroit Dam, whose construction in the 1950s created the narrow, nine-mile long Detroit Lake.
The move comes as Oregon and the wider Pacific Northwest are coming to grips with "the big one" that experts say is coming. Earthquakes in the Cascadia subduction zone, which extends from the ocean off Northern California to Canada's Vancouver Island, have an average magnitude of around 9, making them among the world's biggest.
A quake in that zone has a 37% probability of happening off Oregon's coast in the next 50 years, according to Chris Goldfinger, an Oregon State University professor and earthquake geologist.
Just last week, an earthquake early warning system was launched in Oregon. Operated by the U.S. Geological Survey, the state joined California in the system that sends alerts to smart phones. Washington state is expected to join the ShakeAlert system, which operates on an array of seismic sensors, in May.
"When a Cascadia event happens, the critical seconds of notice ShakeAlert warnings provide will save lives and reduce damage to important lifeline systems," Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said the day it launched, on Thursday.
Lawmakers are also trying to prepare the state for a major earthquake.
In the Oregon Legislature, House Bill 3083 mandates that contracts for public works must adhere to seismic safety standards and seismic rehabilitation standards in constructing or renovating public building or critical infrastructure in earthquake-prone areas. A House committee has a work session scheduled for the bill on April 1.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has already raised concerns about the bill, saying "there is simply not sufficient funding to fully armor the entire transportation system in a reasonable timeframe."
The bill, if passed, "would result in significant reduction of the amount of bridge preservation work currently underway or planned in order to shift all efforts to exclusively seismic work," Lindsay Baker, an assistant director of the department, told the House Committee on General Government.
In 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed a seismic hazard analysis for Detroit Dam, and found the risk to be higher than Corps officials previously thought.
"Structural analysis has shown a possibility of the spillway gates buckling under the force of a full reservoir during a large earthquake," the Corps said in its statement. "Risk is high enough to warrant immediate actions."
A breach would send a surge of water shooting down the Santiam Canyon, which was devastated by a wildfire last summer, and onto where it opens up on the eastern edge of the Willamette Valley.
"Because Detroit Dam is located upstream of many communities including the state capital of Salem, Oregon, there is potential for devastating flooding to affect large portions of the narrow North Santiam River canyon and urban areas," the Corps said in its draft environmental assessment.
Lowering the maximum level is a temporary solution to mitigate the risks and will have little impact, the Corps said. The lake is used for recreation, and most of the boat ramps would be unusable for up to a month.
The Corps said it continues to evaluate the seismic performance of the spillway and other components of the dam to determine if long-term modifications or changes to operations will be necessary. That includes the potential for major reconstruction to address seismic risk.
(C) 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
'This is a Relapse': Catholic Priests Pledge to Bless Same-Sex Marriages, Despite Vatican Statement
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 21:09
Society20:11 GMT 16.03.2021Get short URL
On Monday, the Vatican's orthodoxy office issued a statement clarifying that the Roman Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions, as God "does not and cannot bless sin." While many conservatives applauded the Church's unchanged stance, some members of the Catholic community are pushing the Vatican to take a more progressive position.
The Parish Priests Initiative, an Austria-based group of Catholics led by Father Helmut Schueller, issued a statement saying its members are "deeply appalled" by the Roman Catholic Church's March 15 release, which was notably approved by Pope Francis before its publication.
"We members of the Parish Priests Initiative are deeply appalled by the new Roman decree that seeks to prohibit the blessing of same-sex loving couples. This is a relapse into times that we had hoped to have overcome with Pope Francis," the group statement read, as reported by Reuters. "We will -- in solidarity with so many -- not reject any loving couple in the future who ask to celebrate God's blessing, which they experience every day, also in a worship service."
The Parish Priests Initiative is composed of more than 350 members from the official Church and has around 3,000 lay supporters, according to Reuters.
Schuller, who was a former deputy to Vienna archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, was stripped of his title by the Church in 2012. While the initiative has gained support from priests in both the US and Europe, it has also been critiqued for calling on the Vatican to do away with priestly celibacy. Many members of the group also advocate for the ordination of women.
Additional groups and individuals belonging to the 1.3 billion-member Roman Catholic Church have expressed that if the Vatican fails to modernize its approach to same-sex unions, then lay Catholics will have to step in.
"If priests and pastoral ministers no longer feel they can perform such a blessing, the Catholic laity will step in and perform their own rituals," Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry - a church that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics, told the Associated Press on Monday. Robert Shine, associate director of the ministry, published an op-ed on Tuesday in which he slammed the Vatican's statement as a product of "misguided logic."
"It seems church leaders have yet to learn a simple lesson: you cannot just order the faithful to stop conversing about a disputed topic," Shine wrote. "This approach did not work with birth control in the 1960s, nor with the discussion over women priests in the 1990s, and it will not work now."
Mayor Adler: Expect 'a close vote' on Austin homeless camping measure
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 20:10
The Austin City Council's decision two years ago to de-criminalize camping in many public spaces stoked a political firestorm unlike any he's ever seen in the city, Mayor Steve Adler said during a Tuesday South by Southwest panel discussion.
"We had the eruption of the largest political issue that I can remember in this city in the last 50 years and we're in a race to see what we can do," Adler said in a virtual prerecorded setting with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.
Austinites will get to vote soon on whether to reinstate the camping ban, as the issue will be on the city's May 1 ballot. Adler made no predictions on whether voters will reinstate the ban or let the current ordinance stand.
"It will be a close vote," he said.
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Adler's comments came as part of his participation in the panel titled "Taking it to the Streets: Homelessness in Cities." The nearly hourlong session was moderated by San Francisco-based reporter Sarah Holder and included homelessness consultant Matthew Doherty as well as the two mayors.
The inclusion of Adler was a no-brainer given the furor over Austin's homelessness crisis and the blame that tends to be assigned to him for the increase in tent encampments and the pace of the city's attempts to house its unsheltered residents.
Save Austin Now, the nonprofit that collected more than 20,000 voter signatures to put the camping ban on the May ballot, is co-led by local Republican party leader Matt Mackowiak, a critic of Adler who has framed the mayor as the poster child for the city's homelessness problem.
Earlier this month, a Republican state representative from East Texas filed a bill mocking Adler and his handling of the crisis. The bill from Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royse City, would rename a stretch of Interstate 35 the Steve Adler Public Restroom Highway.
More recently, three Republican state senators '-- Dawn Buckingham of Lakeway, Paul Bettencourt of Harris County and Charles Schwertner of Georgetown '-- filed a bill this week to ban public camping in the state. Local jurisdictions that disregard the ban would be denied state grant funds. A companion bill was filed in the House by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Keller.
At Tuesday's discussion, Adler called for an end in politicizing the issue.
"The challenge for us is going to be to do this in a way that does not immediately become partisan and political, but the good nature of people who want to do better for the least fortunate among us," he said. "Because in many respects it's a nonpartisan issue."
This week, Adler told the American-Statesman he will vote against reinstating the ban and said he believes funding is now available to acquire enough housing to address the city's homelessness problem.
Regardless of the outcome of the May 1 vote, Adler said the city's work will continue.
"If the vote wins, or the vote loses, we don't increase or decrease anybody. The number of people who are experiencing homelessness '-- and the action that we need to take '--is still exactly the same," he said.
The Austin City Council's decision two years ago to de-criminalize camping in many public spaces stoked a political firestorm unlike any he's ever seen in the city, Mayor Steve Adler said during a Tuesday South by Southwest panel discussion.
"We had the eruption of the largest political issue that I can remember in this city in the last 50 years and we're in a race to see what we can do," Adler said in a virtual prerecorded setting with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.
Austinites will get to vote soon on whether to reinstate the camping ban, as the issue will be on the city's May 1 ballot. Adler made no predictions on whether voters will reinstate the ban or let the current ordinance stand.
"It will be a close vote," he said.
More: SXSW looks to rebound online after 'devastating' shutdown in 2020
More: For startups, a virtual SXSW is another adjustment in a year of changes
Major European nations suspend use of AstraZeneca vaccine
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 19:31
BERLIN (AP) '-- A cascading number of European countries '-- including Germany, France, Italy and Spain '-- suspended use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine Monday over reports of dangerous blood clots in some recipients, though the company and international regulators say there is no evidence the shot is to blame.
AstraZeneca's formula is one of three vaccines in use on the continent. But the escalating concern is another setback for the European Union's vaccination drive, which has been plagued by shortages and other hurdles and is lagging well behind the campaigns in Britain and the U.S.
The EU's drug regulatory agency called a meeting for Thursday to review experts' findings on the AstraZeneca shot and decide whether action needs to be taken.
The furor comes as much of Europe is tightening restrictions on schools and businesses amid surging cases of COVID-19.
Germany's health minister said the decision to suspend AstraZeneca shots was taken on the advice of the country's vaccine regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which called for further investigation into seven cases of clots in the brains of people who had been vaccinated.
''Today's decision is a purely precautionary measure,'' Jens Spahn said.
French President Emmanuel Macron said his country will likewise stop dispensing the vaccine until at least Tuesday afternoon. Italy also announced a temporary ban, as did Spain, Portugal and Slovenia.
Other countries that have done so over the past few days include Denmark, which was the first, as well as Ireland, Thailand, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Congo and Bulgaria. Canada and Britain are standing by the vaccine for now.
In the coming weeks, AstraZeneca is expected to apply for U.S. authorization of its vaccine. The U.S. now relies on Pfizer's, Moderna's and Johnson & Johnson's shots.
AstraZeneca said there have been 37 reports of blood clots out of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the 27-country EU and Britain. The drugmaker said there is no evidence the vaccine carries an increased risk of clots.
In fact, it said the incidence of clots is much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar to that of other licensed COVID-19 vaccines.
The World Health Organization and the EU's European Medicines Agency have also said that the data does not suggest the vaccine caused the clots and that people should continue to be immunized.
''Many thousands of people develop blood clots annually in the EU for different reasons,'' the European Medicines Agency said. The incidence in vaccinated people ''seems not to be higher than that seen in the general population.''
The agency said that while the investigation is going on, ''the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalization and death, outweigh the risks of side effects.''
Blood clots can travel through the body and cause heart attacks, strokes and deadly blockages in the lungs. AstraZeneca reported 15 cases of deep vein thrombosis, or a type of clot that often develops in the legs, and 22 instances of pulmonary embolisms, or clots in the lungs.
The AstraZeneca shot has become a key tool in European countries' efforts to boost their sluggish vaccine rollouts. It is also pillar of a U.N.-backed project known as COVAX that aims to supply COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries. That program continues unaffected by the European suspension.
Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccines are also used on the European continent, and J&J's one-shot vaccine has been authorized but not yet delivered.
Dr. Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton in England, said there is no data yet to justify suspending the AstraZeneca vaccine and called the decision ''baffling.''
''Halting a vaccine rollout during a pandemic has consequences,'' Head said. ''This results in delays in protecting people, and the potential for increased vaccine hesitancy, as a result of people who have seen the headlines and understandably become concerned.''
Spahn, the German health minister, defended the country's decision, saying, ''The most important thing for confidence is transparency.'' He said both first and second doses would be suspended.
Germany has received slightly over 3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and about half of those have so far been administered, compared with almost 7 million of the Pfizer shot and about 285,000 from Moderna.
German authorities have encouraged anyone who feels increasingly ill more than four days after receiving the shot '-- for example, with persistent headaches or dot-shaped bruises '-- to seek medical attention.
The head of the Spanish Medicines Agency, Maria Jesºs Lamas, said Spain detected its first case of clots on Saturday. She said the ban was ''not an easy decision'' because it further slows the nation's vaccination campaign, but it was the ''most prudent'' approach.
Almost 940,000 people in Spain have received the AstraZeneca shot.
Some European countries, meanwhile, have begun reimposing restrictions in a bid to beat back a resurgence in infections, many of them from variants of the original virus.
In Italy, 80% of children nationwide couldn't attend classes after stricter rules in more regions took effect on Monday. In Poland, bolstered restrictions were applied to two more regions, including Warsaw. Paris could go into lockdown in a matter of days because intensive care units are getting swamped with COVID-19 patients.
And calls are growing in Germany to '' pull the emergency brake'' in regions where cases are rising.
Sylvie Corbet in Paris, Maria Cheng in London, Jamey Keaten in Geneva and Frances D'Emilio in Rome contributed to this report.
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Freelancers Punished In New IRS Rule Under COVID Stimulus | ZeroHedge
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 19:22
By Sovereign Man Blueprint
A few hundred pages into the latest $1.9 trillion Covid relief law, the ''American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,'' you'll find Section 9674. It says that a ''third party settlement organization'' does not have to report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) any payments to contract workers under $600.
These third parties include Uber, Airbnb, Etsy, eBay, Freelancer, and other platforms which facilitate payments to gig workers. The problem is that this little amendment lowers the reporting threshold from $20,000 to $600. Previously, a gig worker could earn up to $20,000 on these platforms without the IRS being informed of their income.
What this means:
From this rule change the IRS expects to collect an additional $1 billion annually, presumably from the poorest gig workers who previously earned under $20,000 per year. These low earners previously flew under the radar.
But now they could be met with surprise bills from the tax man when it comes time to file. And as many of these contractors are living paycheck to paycheck, they may incur additional IRS penalties if they are unable to pay what the IRS says they owe.
Of course, the same politicians who snuck this into the bill are the ones who declared over and over that their tax policies would only affect millionaires and the ultra wealthy. But now, one of the first things they do is shake down the lowest tax bracket.
We hope these gig workers enjoy their stimulus checks. They are soon going to learn that nothing is free when it comes to the government. There are always strings attached.
What you can do about it:
The good news is that freelancers, gig workers, self-employed individuals, and contractors have a number of tools at their disposal to legally minimize their tax bill.
Solo 401(k)
Solo 401(k)s are retirement accounts for business owners and contractors with no full-time employees '' only you, part-time and contract labor (those filing an IRS 1099, which signals that they are NOT employees). For the self-employed and those with side hustles, the structure, flexibility, investment options, and annual contribution limits make a Solo 401(k) a potential go-to retirement option.
In 2021, Solo 401(k) owners can put away $58,000 tax free each year. If you're 50 or older, that amount goes up to $64,500. The taxes on this income will be paid when you are retired and collect the money, presumably in a lower tax bracket. A Solo 401(k) allows you to take out a loan against your balance, and invest in more asset categories like precious metals, international real estate, and cryptocurrency.
Plus there are no reporting requirements until the account reaches $250,000. Click here to read a September 2018 Monthly Letter on Solo 401(k)'s (although certain numbers may be out of date, the general information is still accurate).
Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
The US is one of only two countries in the world that taxes its citizens no matter where they live. (The other country is Eritrea in east Africa, but they don't have the resources to enforce their tax policy. So that leaves the US as the sole global enforcer of citizenship-based taxation.)
But, by moving overseas, US citizens can take advantage of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE), a special provision in the US tax code that allows US citizens living abroad who file Form 2555 along with their tax return to earn up to $108,700 per year (and growing) tax-free.
''Earned income'' means that investment income and dividends do not apply for the exclusion. But self-employed, freelancers, and digital nomads can absolutely take advantage of the rule.
You can even use the Housing Deduction or Exclusion to save even more.
Puerto Rico Act 60, Chapter 3 (previously Act 20) Tax Incentive
Contract workers, freelancers, consultants, and the self-employed can also reduce their tax burden significantly by moving to Puerto Rico and establishing a corporation. This used to be called the Act 20 Export Services Act, now reorganized under Chapter 3 of Act 60. If your company provides services to clients outside of Puerto Rico, the corporate tax rate is just 4% and dividends to the owner are tax free. You will still have to pay yourself a reasonable salary, subject to federal payroll taxes and Puerto Rico's income tax. However what is considered ''reasonable'' in Puerto Rico is often much lower than the mainland.
Since Puerto Rico is a US territory and can set its own tax policies, it's one of the only options for US citizens to legally escape most federal taxation.
Of course this probably won't help many Uber drivers and Airbnb hosts. But a broad swath of services do work, for example:
Research and developmentAdvertising and public relationsAny kind of consulting (economic, scientific, environmental, technological, managerial, marketing, human resources, computer, auditing...)Creative industries (design, art, architecture, creative education, etc.)Commercial art and graphics servicesProfessional services (legal, tax, accounting'...)Data processing centersComputer programmingBlockchain-related businessesRemote medical services (telemedicine)Educational and training servicesJust keep in mind that the clock is ticking on the Puerto Rico incentives. They have already come under attack by certain lawmakers and could be eliminated or altered.
However, when you are granted these tax incentives, you sign a contract with the Puerto Rican government. Based on past court cases, new rule changes do not alter the agreement you signed. In other words, you are grandfathered in under the rules in effect when you sign the tax decree.
There is another risk to consider, however'-- these tax benefits to US citizens would be eliminated if Puerto Rico became a state.
Australian Navy caught in massive coronavirus vaccine side effects COVER-UP as sailors collapse into "critical condition" following vax jabs
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 19:01
Australian Navy caught in massive coronavirus vaccine side effects COVER-UP as sailors collapse into "critical condition" following vax jabs
The mainstream media does not want anyone to know that sailors in the Australian Navy have been
dropping like flies ever since Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines became available to them.Numerous stories detailing the horrific adverse events incurred by members of the Australian military have been completely scrubbed from the web. Some of them have been replaced with highly sanitized propaganda pieces claiming that only "mild side effects" are being observed.Gregg Hunt, Australia's Health Minister, who pushed the experimental gene therapy injections on his nation's military, fell "critically ill" himself just one day after getting jabbed for the Chinese virus. All of this has created major setbacks for the pro-vaccine lobby, which is having an increasingly harder time convincing people to get stabbed.Fake news outlets like the
Daily Mail Online (U.K.) have been pulling stories about deadly vaccine reactions in an attempt to convince people that the jabs are "safe and effective." The cat is already out of the bag, though."Our health minister is still in the hospital from the day after he had his injection!" wrote one trusted contact in Australia to
Principia Scientific International. "Not a word about the navy hospitalisations. What a way to take out a country's military ... In just one jab!"As for Health Minister Hunt, early reports that have since been scrubbed indicated that he developed a "suspected infection" following his injection, requiring that he be "kept overnight for observation." Hunt is also "being administered antibiotics and fluid" for his adverse reaction.More of the latest news about Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine injuries and deaths can be found at
Australian government quietly "walking away" from mass vaccination campaignThe original story from the
Daily Mail Online that can no longer be found on the site was entitled: "Navy sailors hospitalised after being given Covid vaccinations." This report indicated that:"A number of navy sailors have been hospitalised after being given Covid-19 vaccinations on the HMAS Sydney. Defence sources confirmed some HMAS Sydney crew members were admitted to St. Vincent's ..."Even in the "Way Back Machine" archive, this story cannot be found.
Principia Scientific International notes that when trying to access the story in the Way Back Machine, the hyperlink "took us to an unrelated article."Now, the corporate media is attempting to whitewash the situation aboard the HMAS Sydney. Very few facts remain about the vaccine campaign aboard the ship, and some fake news outlets are even claiming that servicemen were rushed to the hospital "as a precaution" rather than to treat critical reactions."#breaking Defence has confirmed 'some members' of HMAS Sydney experienced 'mild side effects' after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, but illness has now been 'resolved' and the ship has departed for the U.S. this morning for planned exercises," tweeted Andrew Greene from
ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).Meanwhile, the Australian government is quietly "walking away" from plans to
mass vaccinate the nation's residents. Apparently, they know something that they are not telling people, mainly that jabbing people
en masse would almost certainly lead to mass injury and death."So, when does coincidence no longer remain as mere coincidence? Health Minister Hunt in 'critical condition' after his COVID jab; the Aussie government backing away from mass vaccination and now the crew of HMAS Sydney hospitalized over 'mild reactions' from their coronavirus jabs," asks John O'Sullivan from
Principia Scientific International."So, the old saying 'no smoke without fire' comes to mind when reading the legacy media's sanitized version of the warship's predicament ... Our 'friends' in the mainstream media have been too quick to tell us deaths are assumed to be only 'coincidentally' associated with vaccination before all the evidence is in."
Sources for this article
India will reportedly introduce bill to make owning cryptocurrency illegal - The Verge
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 18:59
India is reportedly moving forward with a sweeping ban on cryptocurrencies. According to Reuters, the country's legislature will introduce a bill that criminalizes trading, mining, issuing, transferring, or possessing cryptocurrency. The bill is likely to pass if it's introduced, giving India some of the world's strictest digital currency laws.
Under the plan, people who own these digital assets would have six months to liquidate their holdings. Reuters' source, a government official, didn't specify the punishment for breaking the rules after that. But a 2019 government panel recommended a jail sentence of up to 10 years for cryptocurrency-related offenses. The official says the discussions are in their ''final stages,'' although there's no strict timeline for introducing the bill.
The Indian government outlined its plans in January, when it published an agenda for the upcoming legislative session. That agenda included banning ''all private cryptocurrencies'' in India, with some exceptions to promote the general use of blockchain technology. The goal is to roll out an official government-issued digital currency while outlawing private alternatives like Bitcoin '-- which reached a record high earlier this month, trading at $59,755.
No other large country has implemented this kind of ban on cryptocurrency. China, which has some of the harshest policies, prohibits trading coins but does not outlaw owning them.
The in-progress proposal follows a years-long fight between cryptocurrency traders and the Indian government. India's central bank cracked down on Bitcoin in 2018, banning banks from dealing in virtual currencies. Its Supreme Court overturned the decision in 2020, but it didn't necessarily preclude passing a new, even stricter law '-- like what's on the table now.
Coroner claims Illinois COVID death totals are inaccurate
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 18:57
Photo credit (Getty Images) 21 hours agoWATERLOO, ILL (KMOX) '' A man whose job is to know the cause of death says Monroe County hasn't had as many COVID-19 deaths as the state of Illinois claims.
Monroe County Coroner Bob Hill says the state health department is inflating the number of local COVID deaths, adding in people who died of other things.
"The red flag that I'm raising is the Illinois Department of Public Health numbers on COVID deaths is not an accurate number," Hill said. "We've reviewed several of these cases. The decedent had no condition at the time of death that would warrant a 'COVID death,' yet the state is still putting those statistics as a 'COVID death.'"
He cites examples of people who died of a stroke, a heart attack or a drug overdose '' all being included in the state's COVID death totals '' even though they died months after they had COVID.
Hill thinks the problem may be that when someone tests positive for COVID, they get on a state list. Then if that person later dies, they get on another state list.
Hill says it seems the state is cross-checking the lists and jumping to conclusions.
"Anyone who has tested positive at any point in time, the Illinois Department of Health is classifying them as a COVID death," Hill said.
Hill says he can only wonder why the state is doing it this way.
"I have no idea. The only assumption I can make is for some federal money that's going to come down to our state," Hill said. "I have no idea why you'd want to inflate the COVID-related deaths."
"My concern is if that's happened here in Monroe County, what are those numbers like state wide?" Hill said.
A spokesman for the state health department released a statement saying it's up to coroners to hold the state accountable for accurate death records.
"Any coroner who questions death classification information for a case should contact state health officials. Just today, a medical examiner reported to IDPH a death previously reported as COVID-19 was due to an overdose and should be changed, which we have done."
The statement goes on to say:
A confirmed or probable COVID-19 case will be considered a COVID-19 death if: ' death is within 30 days of symptom onset, diagnosis, positive laboratory specimen collection OR during hospitalization, unless there was another fully explanatory alternative cause of death (as reported by the certifying physician or coroner) unrelated to SARSCoV-2 infection, (e.g. accident, homicide)' the patient had a clinical history consistent with COVID-19 and did not completely recover (return to baseline health) after the COVID-19 diagnosis' the patient had autopsy findings consistent with COVID-19' disease (COVID-19 or SARS-Co-V2) is mentioned on the death certificate under any of the below circumstances:''Immediate Cause of Death''Underlying Cause of Death''Significant Condition Contributing to Death
(C) 2020 KMOX (Entercom). All rights reserved
Jefferey Jaxen on Twitter: "BOOSTER ALERT: #Pfizer's CFO to investors: "...we believe it's becoming increasingly likely that an annual revaccination is going to take place." (Transcript credit to @lhfang)" /
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 18:51
Jefferey Jaxen : BOOSTER ALERT: #Pfizer's CFO to investors: "...we believe it's becoming increasingly likely that an annual revaccin'...
Tue Mar 16 00:25:59 +0000 2021
Christina : @JeffereyJaxen @lhfang This has been my impression from the very beginning. Why is this news? The endgame is never'...
Tue Mar 16 18:33:05 +0000 2021
ChessLee : @JeffereyJaxen @lhfang Readers Digest Version: We, along with our Government an insurance partners are going to MAN'...
Tue Mar 16 17:03:18 +0000 2021
ChessLee : @JeffereyJaxen @lhfang Of course! Don't you know that your new God, Ruler, and Owner is the Holy Syringe? Global sl'...
Tue Mar 16 16:56:05 +0000 2021
YUHZZERR : @JeffereyJaxen @lhfang They gotta keep making that sweet dough!!
Tue Mar 16 16:46:47 +0000 2021
ElleKay : @JeffereyJaxen @lhfang That's what we SEE based on what we've SEEN..... Greedy motherfuckers.
Tue Mar 16 14:57:09 +0000 2021
Texas Blackouts Are the Outcome of Systems for Private Gains at Public Expense
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 16:53
We used every coat, blanket, sweater, and pair of socks in the house '-- even when we slept.
We only cooked once a day. We couldn't bathe or do laundry. Unlike many families, we had water '-- but it looked almost like milk coming out of the tap.
It was the Texas freeze, and we were cold and dirty and hungry and parched.
Don't miss a beatGet the latest news and thought-provoking analysis from Truthout.
In some ways, we were lucky. At least 80 people died, and possibly many more. And even now, we still have neighbors without water coming over to shower and use our bathroom.
Our state is a cautionary tale about power generation that's privatized and poorly regulated. The big companies who run so much of the grid in Texas failed to winterize their infrastructure, leading to massive blackouts and tremendous suffering.
We knew this could happen, because it already did. These same failures wreaked havoc after a winter storm back in 2011, but politicians '-- often with industry donations in their pockets '-- failed to fix the problem.
A decade later, the blackouts were five times as destructive '-- and could have been even worse. Reports now say we were just four and a half minutes from a total grid failure in Texas, which could have caused blackouts for weeks and even months.
Unfortunately, we have a governor and conservative legislators who seem to care more about private profits than our lives and health. They care more about golfing and going to resorts in Cancun than whether my children have heat or drinking water.
It was the corporations, utilities, and regulators who failed. But it's ordinary folks who bore the brunt of losing power who are being forced to pay '-- literally.
The state's grid manager overcharged Texans by at least $16 billion during the storm, leading to power bills that ran thousands of dollars during the blackouts. And authorities are now saying they won't even bother to sort out the over-charges.
Why are they doing this? Because they can. Our deregulated, privatized utilities in Texas are designed for private gain at public expense.
This was true even before the freeze. This summer they charged me so much for electricity that I had to choose between eye appointments, doctor visits for my kids, and power enough to run the air conditioner in the unforgiving Texas summer.
And this is hardly the only crisis we're living through right now.
Last May, my boss reopened my place of employment without any safety precautions. I'd been promised the opportunity to work from home to help my kids with their online schooling. They went back on that promise, so I was forced to quit.
Now, the governor has gone ahead and thrown out every single remaining COVID-19 safety measure '-- even with every new aggressive virus variant now present in Texas. This will force millions more of us to make dreadful choices.
Is this leadership?
All of these issues are interlocked '-- jobs that don't pay enough, utilities that cost too much, the lack of basic public health protections at work. These bad policies hit us in the Black, Brown, and immigrant communities the hardest. But no matter where we come from or what we look like, all of us deserve better than this.
That's why I organize with the Poor People's Campaign '-- to help other low-income parents fight for a $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave, and affordable health care and housing. If there's something worse than not being warm or bathed or properly fed for weeks, it's having lawmakers who bring home huge paychecks and ride out storms in resorts while we suffer.
We need to use our collective voice to make them change. It's you and me that will make the change, together.
This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
'Ex-gay' Milo Yiannopoulos to open 'reparative therapy' center
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 14:11
Milo Yiannopoulos (Twitter)
After declaring he is "ex-gay," Milo Yiannopoulos announced he plans to open a "reparative therapy" center aimed at helping "other people go through the same journey that I'm on myself."
In a recent interview with LifeSiteNews, the man described by his critics as a "right-wing provocateur" told of a dramatic change in his life through his faith in Jesus Christ.
"Secular attempts at recovery from sin are either temporary or completely ineffective," he said. "Salvation can only be achieved through devotion to Christ and the works of the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."
TRENDING: Vulgar, politicized Grammys suffer serious ratings crash as Americans tune out
Now, the New York Post reports, the bestselling author and former Breitbart editor plans to open a center that will conduct research and offer a residential program and possibly an outpatient clinic
"I see this as a sort of blend of research, center and treatment," he said. "That's not really hugely unlike a Planned Parenthood in that respect."
He said he calls himself "ex-gay" to goad critics.
"'Ex-gay' is a silly expression but it has the virtues of slotting into a print headline neatly and absolutely enraging the opposition. Celibacy is a modest and achievable middle-term goal; naturally, in the end, my aspiration would be to take it all the way," he told the Post.
Yiannopoulos said a "Christian renaissance" was taking place in the U.S. and raising funds for the proposed clinic is proceeding amid resistance to LBGTQ activism.
"This has been the easiest thing to raise money for that I've ever done. There is an enormous demand for this among people who believe they've been led astray by '-- it sounds silly to call it this '-- but you know, the gay establishment," Yiannopoulos said.
He dismissed claims that such counseling could be harmful.
"For those people to suggest that reparative therapy is somehow damaging to people's self-esteem, is so laughably preposterous, I don't take it seriously," he said.
"My aspiration is to rebrand, revitalize, rehabilitate what they call 'conversion therapy' for two new generations in the same way that I obliterated feminism for two generations, because it's dying, and horribly maligned, ridiculed and prosecuted industry. It's an industry in crisis, but it's an industry whose addressable market has never been larger,'' he said.
Yiannopoulos said he "was never wholly at home in the gay lifestyle '-- Who is? Who could be? '-- and only leaned heavily into it in public because it drove liberals crazy to see a handsome, charismatic, intelligent gay man riotously celebrating conservative principles."
He said he treats homosexuality "like an addiction."
Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] .
What's Going on With U.S. Military and Democrat Politicization of The Institution - The Last Refuge
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 13:48
There are numerous reports of the U.S. military engaging in recent political activity that has raised some eyebrows. Many are wondering what is going on'.... and there's likely an alarming reason. Considering the specific examples over the past few years, I would argue the Democrats are positioning for use of the military in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act -or- by an expressed act of congress.
Following the evidence to its logical conclusion is simple. The political apparatus of the DC state has framed a fraudulent narrative that ''insurrection'' against the federal government is an ongoing possibility.
Toward that end the U.S. military national guard troops have been sent to Washington DC indefinitely (current deployment extended through May).
If we consider there is a reasonable argument now surfacing about states choosing to nullify federal laws, it is not a stretch to see the insurrection narrative as a proactive assertion to support the deployment of active military against any state who would be non-compliant.
Would this violate the Posse Comitatus Act? Quite possibly, yes; it would depend on whether congress passed an expressed act authorizing military troops against specific state action.
When we consider that most of the constitutional checks and balances have been deconstructed or usurped by hardline leftist action; including the weaponization of the intelligence community, and specifically the FBI as a federal law enforcement agency; we are left to recognize that any Posse Comitatus violation would likely be supported by a leftist and aligned media arguing that the military is needed in order to stop a rebellion of states.
If our suspicions/predictions are correct, this would explain exactly why there has been a recent uptick in the visual politicization of the military; including empirical examples of emboldened U.S. military leadership openly engaged in domestic political advocacy against Tucker Carlson.
The marching of the U.S. military through the Capitol building to the offices of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene would be another orchestrated optic sending the same political message.
These are not examples of the military ''woke'' community advancing political correctness, instead these are examples of advanced politicization of the military (in an open context) in preparation for domestic political use. The ''insurrection narrative'' is then considered a seed planted to blossom later in support of the overall agenda.
One of the data-points highlighting future intent was clearly visible and seemingly overlooked by almost all media. It happened when Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman first became a political whistle-blower against the office of President Trump.
It was not the details of the Vindman accusation that stood out, though that was the aspect the media focused on. What was more concerning was the lack of action by the Pentagon after Vindman compromised his position as an advisor to the commander in chief.
2019 '' When we consider that Lt. Col. Vindman was carrying out what he believed to be his role; and when you overlay his military purpose; and when we accept Vindman was assisting CIA agent Eric Ciaramella in constructing his dossier to remove President Trump; and when we stand back and look at the aggregate interests involved, including Vindman's divided loyalties toward a foreign power; and when we consider there was ZERO push-back from the ranks of military leadership, specifically the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and when you accept Vindman was simply allowed to return to his post inside the White House '' where he remains today; well, the alarming aspect increases in direct proportion to the definition of the word: ''coup''.
I would encourage all readers to think long and hard those factual data-points.
Despite his admitted usurpation of President Trump policy, Vindman was sent back to his post in the NSC with the full support of the United States Department of Defense.
The onus of action to remove Vindman from the NSC did not lay at the feet of the White House and National Security advisor Robert O'Brien; upon whose action the removal of Vindman could be positioned as political. The necessary obligation to remove Lt. Col Vindman resides purposefully with the Dept. of Defense.
The Pentagon could easily withdraw Vindman from his position at the National Security Council; yet, it does not'.... and it has not. WHY?
There is a code within the military whereby you never put your leadership into a position of compromise; ie. ''never compromise your leadership''.
In this example, President Trump cannot remove Vindman from the White House NSC advisory group due to political ramifications and appearances'... The Joint Chiefs certainly recognize this issue; it is the very type of compromise they are trained to remove. Yet they do nothing to remove the compromise. They do nothing to assist.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was the majority (#1) source for the material CIA operative Eric Ciaramella used in a collaborative effort to remove President Trump from office. Let me make this implication crystal clear:
The United States Military appears to be collaborating with the CIA to remove a U.S. President from office.The Pentagon has done nothing, absolutely nothing, to countermand this implication. The Secretary of Defense has done nothing to remove the conflict that Vindman represents within the National Security Council. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have done nothing, absolutely nothing, to diminish the appearance of an agenda toward the removal of President Trump.
This is not a complex issue.
No-one in the foreign policy group is going to take any advice or opinion from Vindman. No-one is going to allow him to engage in material of a sensitive or confidential nature. Lt. Col. Vindman has compromised himself; and therefore eliminated any usefulness to his prior assignment. Yet his command does nothing? (more)
That was the alarming lack of action from the Pentagon everyone seemed to overlook. Why did senior military leadership not remove Vindman from his post at the White House once he clearly compromised his ability to carry out his duty? Their lack of action was stunning when you consider their primary obligation.
Fast forward to 2021 and now a very political military officer, General Russel Honore', is appointed by Nancy Pelosi to be in charge of the military deployment around Washington DC. When you consider the political ramifications of the military supporting a false narrative, this is more than just another data-point.
The increased frequency of the military being politicized is what leads me to believe this phase is all just a public relations pre-positioning. I fully expect to see the standing U.S. military deployed against any state who stands up against unconstitutional federal demands'... the likely origination point will be federal COVID mandates.
The leftists are weaponizing COVID mandates for a political agenda. It is only a matter of time before states start to rebel against federal COVID demands. That, in my opinion, will be the inflection point. That will be when the U.S. military is held as a compliance activation against any rebellious state. It could be another issue that activates this triggering of the military (ex. state election laws), but as it stands right now federal COVID compliance seems the most likely trigger.
Bottom line'... The American electorate are being positioned to accept deployment of the U.S. military against U.S. citizens, under the guise of insurrection and/or a public threat. That is why we are seeing so much willful politicization of the military.
If you live in a region or state that values individual liberty and/or freedom, you are likely in a location that leftists consider a risk to their ability to execute their agenda. You are likely right now being defined as a 'dissident', or possibly a ''domestic terrorist.'' As a result, get ready to see this type of activity in your neighborhood.
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Is It Time for Red States To Start Using Their Power to Nullify Federal Law? - The Last Refuge
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 13:47
My personal opinion is yes, it is far beyond time. Factually, I have supported a total 50 state nullification process since 2005 when I realized Wall Street was in full operational control over Washington DC. Once you accept that Globalists are writing U.S. legislation and laws; and once you accept they are paying DC politicians for the passage of those laws; then they are supporting politicians who will advance those laws by changing the judicial branch; then you begin to follow events to their logical conclusion, and the necessary cleaving of a freedom loving electorate becomes clear.
When you consider that Blue States and regions have been nullifying federal laws for decades (marijuana legalization, sanctuary cities, immigration policies, etc), the question arises about whether it is indeed time to complete the cleaving and for Red States to begin the same nullification process.
Ultimately and thankfully due to the wisdom of our founding fathers, this fail-safe approach is outlined within the constitution and applied through the tenth amendment.
Today, Steve Baldwin at American Thinker makes the argument the time is now for Red States to begin nullifying federal law by simply refusing to abide by the unconstitutional dictates of the federal government. [READ HERE] From my own perspective, in the final analysis, the constitutional nullification process has always been a source of hope and optimism.
We are a divided nation. Accept the division and act accordingly'.... because we either ACT or we will be ACTED upon.
AMERICAN THINKER '' ['...] states will be reluctant to invoke nullification but the alternative would be to watch our constitutional rights be trashed by leftists. The MAGA movement in the Red States needs to became active in urging legislators and governors to start reclaiming their constitutional powers and begin nullifying illegal Federal law.
Once states are engaged in nullifying federal laws, I believe we will witness what I call the ''great migration'' in which conservatives will leave blue states to live in red states and vice-versa. And yes, this could lead to a peaceful balkanization of America in which the Red states become redder and the Blue states become bluer, but this is not our fault. (CONTINUE READING)
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White House: Biden At Odds With Catholic Church's Stance On Blessing Same-Sex Unions | The Daily Wire
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 13:20
The White House weighed in on the news that Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, reaffirmed Catholic teaching on the subject of gay marriage Monday, signing off on a document explicitly prohibiting priests from blessing same-sex unions.
President Joe Biden, Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted at her Monday afternoon press conference, disagrees with the Church's stance despite considering himself a devout Catholic.
Back in November, the Vatican rushed to explain a comment on same-sex marriage that Pope Francis made in a documentary, in which he appeared to endorse the idea of civil unions and to suggest that there could be a path forward for the Catholic Church to recognize such relationships, according to NBC News.
At the time, the Vatican noted that Pope Francis, then archbishop of Buenos Aires, was speaking in favor of extending legal protections to same-sex couples, but that Francis did not suggest changing Catholic doctrine. Vatican officials pointed to a 2003 document stating, without reservation that, though the Church cares for and supports gay people, recognition ''cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.''
On Monday, the Pope reaffirmed Catholic teaching on the subject, endorsing a decision by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Church's central teaching body, barring priests from blessing same-sex unions.
''The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator's plan,'' the CDF's report said. God, the document continued, ''does not and cannot bless sin: He blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him.''
The Catholic Church also does not perform nor recognize same-sex unions. Marriage, a sacrament within the Church, is limited to one man and one woman.
Biden, who deviates from the Catholic Church on a number of key issues '-- most notably in his support for abortion rights '-- also supports gay marriage, the White House reiterated Monday.
''The Vatican today said that it would not bless same-sex unions,'' one reporter queried Psaki. ''The president is a devout Catholic. Does he have a personal response to that?''
''I don't think he has a personal response to the Vatican,'' Psaki said. ''He continues to believe and support same-sex unions, as you know, and he's long had that position.''
That puts Biden at odds with the Church and suggests that while calling himself a ''devout'' Catholic, Biden has serious issues with teachings that are central to Catholic dogma, like its teachings on the sacrament of marriage.
Such issues have spelled trouble for Biden before. Ahead of his inauguration, Archbishop Jos(C) H. Gomez, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a scathing statement decrying Biden's support for abortion and warning that ''our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender.'' ''For the nation's bishops,'' the statement went on, ''the continued injustice of abortion remains the preeminent priority.''
Psaki has responded to criticism of Biden on abortion by reaffirming the president's support for reproductive rights.
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Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy is highest in those who fear side effects, vaccine safety - Vox
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 03:55
After a historically speedy development, the coronavirus vaccine is expected to be widely available to American adults by May, but getting every adult to take it might be an even bigger challenge. A report released on Monday sheds light on why some people are hesitant to get the vaccine, and what can be done to change that.
Since April 2020, the Delphi Group at Carnegie Mellon University, in partnership with Facebook, has collected 18 million responses '-- the biggest survey of its kind '-- regarding people's attitudes and behaviors surrounding the coronavirus, ranging from questions about vaccinations and symptoms to mask-wearing and mental health. Focusing on the data from January 10 through the end of February, the report highlights the specific challenges health officials will face in getting the country vaccinated, and how those vary by demographics, including where people live, their age, and their race.
The share of adults surveyed who are vaccinated or are willing to be vaccinated has grown from 72 percent to 77 percent from January through the end of February, a rise that reflects the increased availability of vaccines. However, the share of unvaccinated adults who are hesitant to get a vaccine has remained constant, at around 23 percent. It is this group that poses the greatest challenge to health care officials hoping to vaccinate the population to the point of herd immunity to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Some respondents hesitant about vaccination indicated general health concerns. Forty-five percent of those who said they definitely would not get the vaccine feared side effects, and 40 percent said they wanted to wait to see if vaccines were safe. (The vaccines have been shown to be safe and have generally mild side effects under clinical trials.) Others cited more conspiratorial reasons, with 29 percent of people not wanting the vaccine saying they didn't trust vaccines and 27 percent saying they didn't trust the government. Meanwhile, 20 percent said they didn't think the vaccines work. People could select multiple reasons for not wanting a vaccine.
The vaccine rollout has been marred by misinformation, especially on social media. Some of the top narratives around the vaccine on social media include mentions of coronavirus conspiracy theories involving microchips and Bill Gates, according to new data from media insights company Zignal Labs. Facebook, which has long been a bastion for the anti-vaccine movement, helped Carnegie Mellon survey its users for the report and is hoping to lead a large inoculation information campaign. After trying for years to crack down on vaccine misinformation, Facebook finally banned users from sharing anti-vaccine content in February. But vaccine misinformation can still be found on the site. A recent Washington Post report by Elizabeth Dwoskin examined internal documents at Facebook that suggest QAnon-supporting groups and a relatively small number of influential people are responsible for a significant share of vaccine skepticism on the site.
The Carnegie Mellon survey showed that acceptance of the vaccine varied by demographic, including race. Respondents who considered themselves to be of more than one race were most likely not to have been vaccinated and to not want to be vaccinated, followed by American Indians and Black Americans. Part of the disparity has to do with where vaccines are being made available. American Indians reported the highest rate of vaccination of any racial group, in part because of distribution efforts by Indian Health Services.
Misinformation on social media geared to Black and Latinx communities also plays a role in vaccine hesitancy, although the roots of distrust are complicated. Zignal Labs has been tracking spikes in mentions on social media of Tuskegee, a reference to the decades-long medical experiment on Black Alabamians who were not given treatment for syphilis, and to Henrietta Lacks, a Black woman whose cancer cells were collected without her consent. The firm also documented a rise in Spanish-language posts about the debunked relationship between Covid-19 vaccines and infertility. The data uses keyword matching, so it includes posts with factual news stories on these topics in addition to misinformation.
The Carnegie Mellon data also showed that young people, who are less likely to be vaccinated since priority has gone to people 65 and older, are also less likely than older people to say they want the vaccine.
Vaccine acceptance also varies by state. The states where unvaccinated people were least likely to say they'd accept a Covid-19 vaccine were Wyoming, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alaska, and North Dakota '-- all sparsely populated or Southern states. Washington, DC, and states in the Northeast have some of the highest levels of vaccine acceptance. Generally, willingness to get vaccines is higher in cities.
Vaccine hesitancy has also been perpetuated by Fox News, which is considered a key news source by many Republicans, according to data from Pew Research Center. The Carnegie Mellon study did not include data broken down by political party, but a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted earlier this month showed Republican men and Trump supporters were more likely than any other group to say they wouldn't get a vaccine if it were offered.
What to do with this dataThe new Carnegie Mellon report offers a number of prescriptions about how to use this data in order to more fully vaccinate the population.
The report's authors suggest vaccination campaigns should address fear of side effects, a main reason some unvaccinated people said they weren't willing to get a vaccine. Mild side effects like fatigue and soreness are actually a good thing and can show that the vaccine is working.
Transmitting vaccine-related messaging through local health care workers also is likely to convince people who are hesitant. People across demographics said vaccination recommendations from a local health care professional meant more than from any other group (they were least likely to cite politicians). Health organizations have been courting influencers to help spread the message about getting vaccines, but perhaps encouraging doctors and nurses to spread the word could be more effective.
Finally, the report encouraged state-specific approaches to vaccine messaging for vaccine-hesitant people. While vaccine hesitancy is higher in Florida than the national average, for example, Floridians were also more likely to say that side effects from the vaccine were a concern, so vaccine campaigns in that state should address the issue specifically.
As time goes on, and as more people get Covid-19 vaccines, their experiences could affect how those who've been hesitant view vaccination. This new data suggests there are numerous ways to go about marketing the vaccines, and some people whom the vaccine-hesitant are more likely to listen to than others.
Activist Milo Yiannopoulos is now 'Ex-Gay,' consecrating his life to St. Joseph | News | Lifesitenews
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 03:50
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March 9, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) '-- Milo Yiannopoulos, the gay man whose conservative messaging and willingness to speak the truth sparked riots on university campuses may well trigger more outrage now that he describes himself as ''Ex-Gay'' and ''sodomy free,'' and is leading a daily consecration to St. Joseph online.
Two years ago, when Church Militant's Michael Voris famously challenged Yiannopoulos to live a chaste life, Yiannopoulos was not defensive. Instead, he acquiesced, and humbly admitted his human weakness.
''I know everything you're saying, and I'm just not there yet. And I don't know if I'll get there,'' Yiannopoulos told Voris at the time.
It seems that he has now arrived ''there.''
LifeSite: I imagine that to many who follow you, your recent decision to publicly identify as ''Milo, Ex-Gay'' may seem like a 180-degree turn. Are you also surprised that your life has taken this turn? Or is it unsurprising, a natural and perhaps inevitable progression in your life? I ask this because over the last few years things that you've said have hinted at being drawn in this direction.
Milo: When I used to kid that I only became gay to torment my mother, I wasn't entirely joking. Of course, I was never wholly at home in the gay lifestyle '-- Who is? Who could be? '-- and only leaned heavily into it in public because it drove liberals crazy to see a handsome, charismatic, intelligent gay man riotously celebrating conservative principles.
That's not to say I didn't throw myself enthusiastically into degeneracy of all kinds in my private life. I suppose I felt that's all I deserved. I'd love to say it was all an act, and I've been straight this whole time, but even I don't have that kind of commitment to performance art. Talk about method acting '...
LifeSite: Was there any event, or series of events, that triggered your decision to become ''sodomy free,'' and to do so publicly? Did God knock you off your horse as he did Saul; or did it come about some other way? Please explain.
Milo: Four years ago, I gave an interview to America magazine which they declined to print. It's taken me a long time to live up to the claims I made in that interview, but I am finally doing it.
Anyone who's read me closely over the past decade must surely have seen this coming. I wasn't shy about dropping hints. In my New York Times-bestselling book Dangerous, I heavily hinted I might be ''coming out'' as straight in the future. And in my recent stream-of-consciousness Telegram feed, I've been even more explicit '-- stomach-churningly so, if the comments under my ''x days without sodomy'' posts are anything to go by.
I've always thought of myself as a Jack Bauer sort of figure '-- the guy who does the hideous, inexcusable things no one else can stomach, without which the Republic will fall. I know that means my name will always be cursed, and I'll always be a scorned outsider, so the temptation is to throw out any consideration of living well or truthfully. But even Jack Bauer has to confront his maker sooner or later.
LifeSite: Last summer you posted on Parler pictures of members of the CHANGED movement, with the caption, ''Look at these beautiful souls, rid of their demons and cured of their sinful urges. Can't you tell they've been saved? I can.'' Are you now able to add your picture to theirs, with that same caption?
Milo: No, and I don't suppose I'll ever be brave enough to declare it a thing of the past. I treat it like an addiction. You never stop being an alcoholic. As for the CHANGED movement, I guess because they're Californian they don't see how funny their website is, or maybe they're dirty non-doms who think God loves you more the gayer you act, but I was slightly making fun of them with that caption. (Walker Percy was right: Modern man has two choices '-- Rome or California.)
Someone really ought to tell them to use more heterosexual-looking photos on their website. I can share some tips! My followers have been giving me a crash course in all-American straight guy aesthetics, which apparently include growing a mullet and learning to drive stick.
LifeSite: In what ways has this impacted your personal and social life?
Milo: Well, the guy I live with has been demoted to housemate, which hasn't been easy for either of us. It helps that I can still just about afford to keep him in Givenchy and a new Porsche every year. Could be worse for him, I guess.
My own life has changed dramatically, though it crept up on me while I wasn't paying attention. I'm someone who responds to micromanagement and accountability, so I've found counting days an effective bulwark against sin. In the last 250 days I've only slipped once, which is a lot better than I predicted I would do.
It feels as though a veil has been lifted in my house '-- like there's something more real and honest going on than before. It's been a gradual uncovering, rather than a dramatic reveal. Maybe that lack of theater or spectacle is a sign the gay impulses truly are receding?
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The best metaphor I know is that of a flower blooming '-- of nature's Epiphany '-- an image I know Caryll Houselander was fond of. I think it was Houselander who said, ''Whatever is loving in man and whatever is lovable in man is Christ in man.'' I take this to mean that the more love and the less lust in us, the more we cease to obscure Christ and instead reveal Him, in whose image we are made.
I don't mean to suggest it's been easy, just simple: Our Lord endured worse than any of us and promised us that we have to take up a heavy cross each day. Ronald Knox says the Via Crucis shows us the 3 ways we can carry our cross: With bitterness, like the unrepentant thief; with grim resignation, like the repentant thief who said it was what he deserved; or with love, like the Lord, who never minimized suffering but said it would, in God's time, redeem us.
Secretly, I feel I've done enough good in this life to excuse me from earthly penance for past sins. Your readers will no doubt respond, rightly, that this statement demonstrates how far I have to go. The best advice I can give others in my situation is: Check your pride, not your privilege. So often it's vanity or conceit or self-satisfaction that gets in the way of accepting Christ. Learn to catch it before it takes root, and difficult things suddenly don't seem so difficult.
LifeSite: What drew you to consecrate your life to St. Joseph?
Milo: Secular attempts at recovery from sin are either temporary or completely ineffective. Salvation can only be achieved through devotion to Christ and the works of the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. St. Joseph is the spiritual father figure of the Holy Family. In this time of gender madness, devoting myself to the male protector of the infant Jesus is an act of faith in God's Holy Patriarch, and a rejection of the Terror of transsexuals. Trannies are demonic: They are the Galli, the castrated priests of Cybele, the Magna mater, whom Augustine saw dancing in the streets of Carthage dressed like women.
Don't even get me started on Drag Queen Story Hour. I only have to see those four words to be overwhelmed by the urge to buy rope.
LifeSite: Anything else you would like to add?
Milo: I have enjoyed a lifelong affection for the absurd and the outrageous, so part of me gleefully anticipates the day I can seize the moral high ground, however briefly, to denounce others for failures of piety and sobriety. I hope people will support and pray for me, if for no other reason than they share my delight at the prospect of Milo Yiannopoulos furiously and indignantly railing against homosexuals for sins of the flesh.
As you might expect, my professional priorities are shifting somewhat, given my new spiritual preoccupations. Over the next decade, I would like to help rehabilitate what the media calls ''conversion therapy.'' It does work, albeit not for everybody. As for my other aspirations and plans, well, no change: I've always considered abortion to be the pre-eminent moral horror of human history. I'll keep saying so '-- even more loudly than before.
They say if you let one sin in, others will follow, and now I truly know what that means: As I've begun to resist sinful sexual urges, I've found myself drinking less, smoking less '... you name it. I confess my weakness for designer shoes and handbags is yet to dissipate. But I am coming to realize, however slowly, that lust '-- per Augustine '-- is disordered desire for all sorts of things, not just NFL players.
Clubhouse promises creators in its new accelerator program either brand deals or a basic income of $5,000 per month for the three month duration of the program (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 22:04
Mediagazer presents the day's must-read media news on a single page.
The media business is in tumult: from the production side tothe distribution side, new technologies are upending the industry.Keeping up with these changes is time-consuming, as essential media coverageis scattered across numerous web sites at any given moment.
Mediagazer simplifies this task by organizing the key coverage in one place.We've combined sophisticated automated aggregation technologies withdirect editorial input from knowledgeable human editorsto present the one indispensable narrative of an industry in transition.
Washington Post blasted after admitting Trump never said 'find the fraud' to Georgia elections investigator as it reported in bombshell story
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 21:44
The Washington Post is getting hammered on social media over its recent correction admitting that former President Donald Trump never urged a Georgia elections investigator to "find the fraud" in a phone call over general election ballot impropriety allegations in the state.
What are the details?The Post placed the following correction above its story, originally published in early January:
Correction: Two months after publication of this story, the Georgia secretary of state released an audio recording of President Donald Trump's December phone call with the state's top elections investigator. The recording revealed that The Post misquoted Trump's comments on the call, based on information provided by a source. Trump did not tell the investigator to "find the fraud" or say she would be "a national hero" if she did so. Instead, Trump urged the investigator to scrutinize ballots in Fulton County, Ga., asserting she would find "dishonesty" there. He also told her that she had "the most important job in the country right now." A story about the recording can be found here. The headline and text of this story have been corrected to remove quotes misattributed to Trump.The Wall Street Journal reported last week on audio of the Dec. 23 call between Trump and investigator Frances Watson, noting that the Post reported on the call in January but that this was the first time the recording had been released.
The Post, in its story about the recording, said Georgia officials indicated they didn't believe a recording existed. But the Post said officials found the recording on a trash folder on Watson's device while responding to a public records request '-- and that tidbit came courtesy of "a person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the internal process."
The whip comes downAlex Thompson, Politico's White House reporter, characterized the Post's errors as "real bad" and noted that "this quote was and still is everywhere":
real bad. this quote was and still is everywhere.
'-- Alex Thompson (@Alex Thompson)1615828592.0Thompson added that CNN issued "a sorta vague 'editor's note.' The Wapo correction was much more comprehensive":
CNN issues a sorta vague "editor's note." The Wapo correction was much more comprehensive.
'-- Alex Thompson (@Alex Thompson)1615833545.0The Daily Beast acknowledged that the Post "quietly" corrected its story, while a number of other media watchers were taken aback '-- to put it mildly '-- by the Post getting such crucial details wrong:
🚨 So basically a "source" made up a bunch of Trump quotes, WaPo ran with it, and now they're issuing a correction *'...
'-- Caleb Hull (@Caleb Hull)1615830267.0The media told us that Trump pressured a Georgian election official to "find the fraud." Nope! Anonymous sources st'...
'-- Robby Soave (@Robby Soave)1615836586.0GIANT correction. Those quotes were everywhere."The recording revealed that The Post misquoted Trump's comments o'...
'-- Harry Zahn (@Harry Zahn)1615832825.0The MSM is a bunch of rumor mongers. Look how one lying anonymous source can shape a narrative by shouting into the'...
'-- Eddie Zipperer (@Eddie Zipperer)1615830583.0Significantly, Democrats used the two false quotes attributed to Trump in their impeachment proceedings:
FLASHBACK: Democrats used the fake Washington Post ''find the fraud'' quote that was retracted today in the Trump imp'...
'-- Daily Caller (@Daily Caller)1615837309.0David Shafer, chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, called out the Post's "false reporting":
You may have missed this correction from The @WashingtonPost in which the paper retracted its false reporting that'...
'-- David Shafer (@David Shafer)1615833549.0
Grammys Ratings Hit Record Low, Down 53% Compared to 2020 Show - Variety
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 20:53
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by South African comedian Trevor Noah and boasting powerhouse performers Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, BTS, Billie Eilish, Post Malone and Megan Thee Stallion, drew a scant audience for CBS. This year's telecast was the lowest-rated in Grammys history in the early numbers.
Per Nielsen Live+Same Day official national numbers, Music's Biggest Night delivered an average of 8.8 million viewers for the network during the ceremony's broadcast on Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET with a 2.1 rating in the key, adults ages 18-49 demographic.
In comparison, the time-zone adjusted fast national charts for 2020's Grammy Awards drew a 5.4 rating in the key demo and 18.7 million viewers. The 2019 Grammy Awards drew a 5.6 rating and 19.9 million viewers. The least-watched Grammys was the host-less awards ceremony in 2006, which snagged 17 million viewers.
Nevertheless, this year's telecast was still the highest-rated broadcast of the night, and it was the most-streamed Grammy show ever with 83% more live streams compared to 2020. In addition to cable, the show could be accessed on the CBS website and app as well as the network's recently rebranded and debuted video-on-demand and over-the-top media streaming service Paramount Plus. The ceremony was also one of the most engaging programs on social this year, with over 77 billion impressions. Conversations related to performers, presenters and the special dominated social media with #Grammys trending in the top ten for 18 hours and peaking at #1.
The primetime ceremony had an impressive lineup featuring over 22 musicians, including Bad Bunny, Black Pumas, Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Mickey Guyton, Haim, Brittany Howard, Miranda Lambert, Lil Baby, Chris Martin, John Mayer, Maren Morris and Roddy Ricch. The stars performed throughout the night in a mix of live and pre-recorded sets taking place from four stages surrounded by the ceremony's talent, nominees and guests. A fifth stage was used by the show's presenters, many of whom were independent music venue personnel from the Apollo in New York, the Station Inn in Nashville and the Troubadour and Hotel Caf(C) in Los Angeles.
Originally set for Jan. 31 to kick off awards season, the 2021 Grammy Awards were rescheduled due to the fraught state of Los Angeles at the time as the city and county contended with an unprecedented COVID-19 winter case count surge.
Check out a full list of last night's Grammy winners here.
More to come'...
Juan Williams - Wikipedia
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 19:52
Juan Antonio Williams[2] (born April 10, 1954) is a Panamanian-American journalist and political analyst for Fox News Channel. He writes for several newspapers, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, and has been published in magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly and Time. Williams has worked as an editorial writer, an op-ed columnist, a White House correspondent, and a national correspondent. He is a registered Democrat.[1]
Williams is the author of Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954''1965 (1987),[3] a companion to the documentary series of the same name about the civil rights movement; Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary (2000), a biography of Thurgood Marshall, the first black American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States; and Enough (2006), which was inspired by a Bill Cosby speech at an NAACP gala and deals with Williams' critique of black leaders in America.[4] Williams has received an Emmy Award and critical praise for his television documentary work and he has won awards for investigative journalism and for his opinion columns. He has been at Fox News since 1997.
Early life and education Edit Williams was born in Col"n, Panama, on April 10, 1954 to Alma G(C)raldine and Rogelio L. Williams.[5] Williams' father was from the West Indies and his mother was from Panama. His family spoke Spanish.[6] In a 2018 op-ed, Williams stated that he had legally emigrated from Panama to the United States in a banana boat with his mother and his two siblings when he was four years of age.[7] The family settled in Brooklyn, New York. Williams received a scholarship to attend Oakwood Friends School, a Quaker school in Poughkeepsie, New York.[5] While at Oakwood, he was clerk of the student body, editor of the student newspaper, and captain of the baseball, cross-country and championship basketball teams.[citation needed ] After graduating from Oakwood in 1972,[5] Williams attended Haverford College, graduating with a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1976.[8][9][10]
Career Edit The Washington Post Edit Williams wrote for The Washington Post for 23 years.[9]
Some days after Williams wrote a column defending Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas against sworn testimony by Anita Hill charging sexual harassment by Thomas, it was revealed that several female employees of the Post had filed sexual harassment charges against Williams.[11] The paper took disciplinary action against Williams and published an apology by him.[12] On November 2, 1991, Williams wrote: "It pained me to learn during the investigation that I had offended some of you. I have said so repeatedly in the last few weeks, and repeat here: some of my verbal conduct was wrong, I now know that, and I extend my sincerest apology to those whom I offended."[13]
National Public Radio Edit Williams joined NPR in 2000 as host of the daily afternoon talk show Talk of the Nation.[8] He then served as senior national correspondent for NPR.[14] In 2009, NPR's President and CEO Vivian Schiller requested Fox News stop identifying him as an NPR host after Williams commented on The O'Reilly Factor: "Michelle Obama, you know, she's got this Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress thing going. If she starts talking...her instinct is to start with this blame America, you know, I'm the victim. If that stuff starts coming out, people will go bananas and she'll go from being the new Jackie O to being something of an albatross".[15] NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard maintained that: "Williams tends to speak one way on NPR and another on Fox."[15]
NPR terminated his contract on Wednesday, October 20, 2010, two days after he made remarks on The O'Reilly Factor.[16] He had commented, "Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."[17] According to NPR, the remarks were "inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR." As to the reason for the termination of Williams' contract, NPR's President and CEO Vivian Schiller offered the following comment: "News analysts may not take personal public positions on controversial issues; doing so undermines their credibility as analysts..."[18] On October 21, 2010, Schiller told an audience at the Atlanta Press Club that Williams' feelings about Muslims should be between him and "his psychiatrist or his publicist'--take your pick."[19] Schiller later apologized stating, "I spoke hastily and I apologize to Juan and others for my thoughtless remark."[19]
Some observers have questioned whether NPR actually fired Williams for making the comments on Fox News, as opposed to making them in another forum.[20] William Saletan of compared the Williams situation to that of Shirley Sherrod, saying that both Sherrod and Williams had their words taken out of context in a way that made them appear racist and led to the loss of their jobs, except that Williams was victimized by liberals, rather than conservatives as in Sherrod's case.[21] Saletan said that while Williams' confessed fears of Muslims were "unsettling", the context was Williams' argument that such fears should not be used to curtail the rights of Muslims or anyone else, and that Williams consistently argued that Muslims in general should not be blamed for the terrorist activities of Muslim extremists.[21] NPR has been criticized by Williams and others for practicing a double standard in the firing, compared to their not firing Cokie Roberts, Nina Totenberg and other NPR reporters and analysts for their opinionated statements.[22][23]
Fox News Channel Edit Williams has been a Fox News Contributor since 1997.[20] He has appeared on Special Report with Bret Baier, FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace and is a regular co-host of The Five. He also appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and occasionally served as a guest host in O'Reilly's absence.[24] After NPR announced his termination from their network in October 2010, Fox News offered him a new $2 million (a "considerable" raise[25]) three-year contract and an expanded role at their network that included a regular guest-host role Friday nights on The O'Reilly Factor.[26]
Following his firing from NPR, Williams appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and discussed his thoughts on how his role at Fox played into NPR's decision: "I don't fit in their box. I'm not a predictable black liberal. You [O'Reilly] were exactly right when you said you know what this comes down to. They were looking for a reason to get rid of me because I'm appearing on Fox News. They don't want me talking to you."[26] On December 9, 2016, on Fox Business Channel, Stuart Varney asked Williams (half in jest), "Do you see yourself ever joining the Republican Party?" Williams answered, "I have two sons in the Republican Party, so, yes."[27]
Television Edit Williams is the recipient of an Emmy Award for his work in television documentary writing and has earned critical praise for a series of television documentaries including Politics: The New Black Power, A. Philip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom, Civil Rights and The Press, Riot to Recovery and Dying for Healthcare.[24]
Williams' 1988 book, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954''65, was written with the Blackside production team[28] as a companion to the first season of the PBS series Eyes on the Prize. His 2003 book, This Far by Faith, is also a companion to a PBS series.[29]
Williams is a contributor to a number of national magazines, including Fortune, The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, Ebony magazine, TIME and GQ and frequents a wide range of television programs including ABC's Nightline, Washington Week on PBS, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.[24]
Williams has spoken at the Smithsonian's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision, which ended legal segregation in public schools, and was selected by the United States Census Bureau as moderator of its first program beginning its 2010 effort. He has received honorary doctorates from Lafayette College, Wittenberg University, and Long Island University, among other institutions.[30][31][32]
2013 plagiarism incident Edit A February 2013 column written by Williams for The Hill was found to contain content that had been plagiarized. Williams asserted that a researcher was responsible for the plagiarism and that he himself had been unaware of it.[9]
Personal life Edit Williams married Susan Delise in July 1978. They are the parents of one daughter, Rae, and two sons, Antonio ("Tony") and Raphael ("Raffi").[33] Tony, who was a Senate page and intern for GOP Senator Strom Thurmond from 1996 to 1997, was a speechwriter and legislative correspondent for Republican Senator Norm Coleman from 2004 to 2006; in 2006, Tony ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Council of the District of Columbia, losing to Tommy Wells. The younger son, Raffi, studied anthropology and played lacrosse at Haverford College, his father's alma mater in Pennsylvania. He has worked for the House Rules Committee and as the communications director for Michigan Republican Dan Benishek's successful 2012 congressional campaign,[34] and was a deputy press secretary for the Republican National Committee.[35] Raffi served as press secretary to former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson.[36]
Williams is the grandfather of twin girls, Pepper and Wesley.[37]
Williams has described himself as "a black guy with a Hispanic name", and identifies as Afro-Panamanian.[38][39]
Williams has been active on the Haverford College Board of Managers, in the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, in the Washington Journalism Center, and sits on the Board of Directors of the New York Civil Rights Coalition.[8][40]
Awards Edit Williams has received many awards, including honorary doctorates from Haverford College and State University of New York.[41]
Front Page Award, Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild (1979)Education Writers of America (1979)Columnist of the Year, Washingtonian (1982)Emmy Award (1989)Outstanding Memorial Book, Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in the United StatesBest National Book, TimePolitical commentary award, American Association of University WomenSee also Edit New Yorkers in journalismSelected bibliography Edit Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954''1965. Penguin (Non-Classics). 1988. ISBN 0-14-009653-1. Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary. Three Rivers Press. 2000. ISBN 0-8129-3299-4. This Far by Faith: Stories from the African American Religious Experience. Harper Paperbacks. 2003. ISBN 0-06-093424-7. I'll Find a Way or Make One: A Tribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities . HarperCollins. 2004. ISBN 0-06-009453-2. My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience . Sterling. 2005. ISBN 1-4027-2233-8. Black Farmers in America . The University Press of Kentucky. 2006. ISBN 0-8131-2399-2. Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America '' and What We Can Do About It. Three Rivers Press. 2007. ISBN 978-0-307-33824-2. Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate . Crown Publishing Group. 2011. ISBN 978-0-307-95201-1. References Edit ^ a b Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate Juan Williams; Random House, 2012. p. 30 ^ The Five. March 10, 2014 ^ Eyes on the Prize. Penguin Group. 2010. ^ Enough. Random House. retrieved October 26, 2010. ^ a b c "Juan Williams's Biography". . Retrieved 2020-02-29 . ^ Navarrette, Ruben (October 27, 2010). "Juan Williams' Takedown". . Retrieved February 29, 2020 . ^ "Juan Williams: My immigrant story". TheHill. 2018-06-25 . Retrieved 2020-02-29 . ^ a b c "NPR Names Juan Williams as New Host for Talk of the Nation". National Public Radio. 2000-01-27. Archived from the original on 2010-10-30. ^ a b c "Juan Williams' plagiarism problem". 2013-03-08 . Retrieved 2020-02-29 . ^ "Juan Williams 1954''". . Retrieved February 29, 2020 . ^ John Elson; Sophfronia Scott Gregory; Elaine Shannon (October 28, 1991). "Press: When Reporters Make News". Time . Retrieved October 28, 2010 . CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) ^ Weaver, Carolyn (September 1992). "A Secret No More". American Journalism Review. ^ Kurtz, Howard (November 2, 1991). "Post reporter Williams apologizes for 'innappropriate' {sic} verbal conduct". The Washington Post. ^ Michael, Gretchen (2001-08-07). "Juan Williams To Become Senior Correspondent". National Public Radio. Archived from the original on 2010-11-13. ^ a b "Juan Williams, NPR, and Fox News". NPR Ombudsman (blog). NPR. February 11, 2009 . Retrieved 2010-08-04 . ^ Stelter, Brian (October 21, 2010). "NPR Fires Analyst Over Comments on Muslims". The New York Times. p. B2. ^ "NPR Ends Williams' Contract After Muslim Remarks". NPR. October 21, 2010 . Retrieved 2010-10-21 . ^ "NPR's Firing of Juan Williams Was Poorly Handled". NPR. October 22, 2010 . Retrieved 2010-10-22 . ^ a b Mark Memmott (21 October 2010). "NPR CEO: Williams' Views Should Stay Between Himself And 'His Psychiatrist ' ". NPR . Retrieved 24 January 2011 . ^ a b Kurtz, Howard (21 October 2010). "Was Juan Williams Fired Unfairly". The Daily Beast . Retrieved 23 October 2010 . ^ a b William Saletan, The left is doing to Juan Williams what the right did to Shirley Sherrod,, 21 Oct 2010. Retrieved 27 Oct 2010. ^ "Hume: Race had role in NPR firing Williams". Politico. 2010-10-24 . Retrieved 2010-10-28 . ^ "Juan Williams Talks Back on "O'Reilly Factor " ". CBS News. 2010-10-22 . Retrieved 2010-10-28 . ^ a b c "Juan Williams biography at". Fox News . Retrieved 4 August 2010 . ^ Gold, Matea (21 October 2010). "In wake of NPR controversy, Fox News gives Juan Williams an expanded role". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2010-10-28 . ^ a b "Fox News Gives Juan Williams $2 Million Contract." Article at, Folkenflik, David, 22 October 2010 ^ "Juan Williams: Democrats' future in hands of young people". Fox Business. 9 December 2016 . Retrieved 15 December 2016 . ^ "PBS Video Database Resource: Eyes on The Prize: Bibliography". Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. ^ "Official "This Far by Faith" page at" . Retrieved 4 August 2010 . ^ "Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons to Speak on May 11 at Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus Commencement". Long Island University . Retrieved 8 December 2009 . ^ "Juan Williams Speaks at 173rd Commencement". Lafayette College. Archived from the original on June 29, 2008 . Retrieved 8 December 2009 . ^ "Wittenberg Senior Class Selects Juan Williams As 2007 Commencement Speaker". Wittenberg University. March 13, 2007. Archived from the original on 16 June 2011 . Retrieved 8 December 2009 . ^ My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience - By Juan Williams, David Halberstam - March 2004 - acknowledgments, page xv - "special thanks to my daughter Rae son Antonio .. and my youngest son Raphael" ^ Rothstein, Betsy (April 6, 2006). "Tony Williams: young, Republican and no relation to the mayor". The Hill . Retrieved 2010-10-21 . ^ Williams, Juan. Williams: Say it loud: Black, GOP and proud, The Hill, November 17, 2014. ^ Announcement on Twitter. 2017-04-05. ^ "Andrea Tantaros". Mediaite . Retrieved 2020-02-29 . ^ "Juan Williams: Fox News Lets 'Black Guy With A Hispanic Name' Host O'Reilly's Show". HuffPost . Retrieved 2020-02-29 . ^ "Juan Williams on Firing: 'I'm Not Sure What I Did Wrong ' ". Hollywood Reporter. 2010-10-27 . Retrieved 2020-02-29 . ^ "Board of Directors". . Retrieved December 23, 2016 . ^ "Juan Williams." Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 80. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Gale Biography In Context. External links Edit Juan Williams: Fox News BiographyA Conversation with Juan Williams '' Video from researchchannel.orgAppearances on C-SPANBooknotes interview with Williams on Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, October 11, 1998.In Depth interview with Williams, August 2, 2009C-SPAN Q&A interview with Williams, July 31, 2011
Australia March 4 Justice: Thousands march against sexual assault
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 17:50
Tens of thousands of people have turned out to marches across Australia, protesting against the sexual abuse and harassment of women in the country.
They were spurred by a recent wave of allegations of sexual assault, centred around Australia's parliament.
The allegations have focused scrutiny on the conservative government.
Read more: Thousands of Australians march against sexual assault
George Floyd's Family to Receive Record $27 Million in Settlement
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 17:50
The city of Minneapolis will pay a record $27 million to the family of George Floyd to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit related to his death last year in police custody, a deal that could also have an impact on the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in his killing.
The payout, one of the largest of its kind involving police misconduct, was approved Friday in an unanimous vote by the Minneapolis City Council in a last-minute addition to the agenda of the panel's regular meeting. The settlement is the highest ever paid by the city, eclipsing the $20 million paid in 2019 to the family of Justine Damond, who was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer in 2017.
Floyd's family and their legal team welcomed the settlement, saying the record amount was vindication for Floyd and the Black Americans who took to the nation's streets demanding social justice in the aftermath of the 46-year-old's death after he was pinned beneath the knee of a White police officer.
''This historic agreement '-- the largest pretrial settlement in a police civil rights wrongful death case in U.S. history '-- makes a statement that George Floyd deserved better than what we witnessed on May 25, 2020,'' attorney Ben Crump said at a news conference with members of Floyd's family and city officials. ''That George Floyd's life matters, and by extension, Black lives matter.''
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D), standing with Floyd's family and legal team during the news conference, said the city would go beyond the monetary settlement to implement major policy changes in the pursuit of racial justice.
''Our Black community has endured deep and compounding trauma over this last year, none perhaps more acutely than George Floyd's family standing with me right now,'' he said, adding: ''Amid unprecedented pain, we now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to truly effectuate change.''
But the settlement could have implications for the criminal trial of Chauvin, who is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after holding his knee on Floyd's neck on May 25. {snip}
As jury selection for Chauvin's trial began this week, Eric Nelson, Chauvin's attorney, sought to block mention of any possible payout by the city to the Floyd's family, arguing it would be prejudicial.
Some legal observers said publicity over the settlement, which came on day four of jury selection, could result in a possible mistrial.
''I think it's a potential disaster for Chauvin,'' said Mary Moriarty, the former chief public defender for Hennepin County. She said if she were Chauvin's attorney, she would request a mistrial.
A Minneapolis official said the city had been concerned that the announcement could affect the trial.
The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said the city consulted with Hennepin County Chief District Judge Toddrick S. Barnette, who told the city it could proceed. {snip}
While Floyd's family and the city's leaders largely avoided commenting on the trial during the new conference '-- in part because the judge has warned against public comment on the case '-- the family's lawyers said their concern was justice, in whatever form. Crump said he had less faith in the ''discriminatory criminal justice system.'' He said history shows there is ''no guarantee'' that a White officer will be convicted of killing a Black man.
Settlement amounts in fatal police shootings vary widely. In a 2015 Washington Post account of awards in civil lawsuits, payouts ranged from $7,500 to $8.5 million.
In September, the city of Louisville announced a $12 million settlement with the family of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police executing a no-knock search warrant at her apartment in March 2020. {snip}
The Floyd family settlement includes $500,000 to benefit the area in Minneapolis near where Floyd died '-- now widely known as George Floyd Square '-- and to execute necessary documents to process the agreement.
The UK is secretly testing a controversial web snooping tool | WIRED UK
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 17:06
Getty Images / WIRED
For the last two years police and internet companies across the UK have been quietly building and testing surveillance technology that could log and store the web browsing of every single person in the country.
The tests, which are being run by two unnamed internet service providers, the Home Office and the National Crime Agency, are being conducted under controversial surveillance laws introduced at the end of 2016. If successful, data collection systems could be rolled out nationally, creating one of the most powerful and controversial surveillance tools used by any democratic nation.
Despite the National Crime Agency saying ''significant work'' has been put into the trial it remains clouded in secrecy. Elements of the legislation are also being challenged in court. There has been no public announcement of the trial, with industry insiders saying they are unable to talk about the technology due to security concerns.
The trial is being conducted under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, dubbed the Snooper's Charter, and involves the creation of Internet Connection Records, or ICRs. These are records of what you do online and have a broad definition. In short, they contain the metadata about your online life: the who, what, where, why and when of your digital life. The surveillance law can require web and phone companies to store browsing histories for 12 months '' although for this to happen they must be served with an order, approved by a senior judge, telling them to keep the data.
The first of these orders was made in July 2019 and kickstarted ICRs being trialled in the real world, according to a recent report from the Investigatory Powers Commissioner. A second order, made to another internet provider as part of the same trial, followed in October 2019. A spokesperson for the Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office says the trial is ongoing and that it is conducting regular reviews to ''ensure that the data types collected remain necessary and proportionate''. They add that once the trial has been fully assessed a decision will be made on whether the system will be expanded nationally.
But civil liberties organisations argue that the lack of transparency around the trials '' and the seemingly slow nature of progress '' hint at legislation that isn't fit for purpose. ''Taking several years to get to a basic trial, in order to capture two ICRs, suggests that the system wasn't the best option then, and it certainly isn't now,'' says Heather Burns, policy manager at the Open Rights Group, a UK-based privacy and internet freedom organisation.
Burns says the ICR trial appeared to require internet service providers to ''collect the haystack in order to identify two needles''. She adds that it is unclear what data was collected by the trial, whether what was collected in practice went beyond the scope of the trial, or any of its specifics. ''This is a fairly staggering lack of transparency around mass data collection and retention.''
The specific nature of the trial is a closely guarded secret. It is unclear what data is being collected, which companies are involved and how the information is being used. The Home Office refused to provide details of the trial, saying it is ''small scale'' and is being conducted to determine what data might be acquired and how useful it is. Data can only be stored if it is necessary and proportionate to do so and ICRs were introduced to help fight serious crime, the Home Office says.
''We are supporting the Home Office sponsored trial of Internet Connection Record capability to determine the technical, operational, legal and policy considerations associated with delivery of this capability,'' a spokesperson for the National Crime Agency says. The agency has spent at least £130,000 on two external contracts used to commission companies to build underlying technical systems to run trials. The contracting documents, which were issued in June 2019, say that ''significant work has already been invested'' in the systems for collecting internet records.
Of the UK's major internet providers only Vodafone confirmed that it has not been involved in any trials that involve storing people's internet data. Spokespeople for BT, Virgin Media and Sky refused to comment on any measures around the Investigatory Powers Act. Mobile network operator Three did not respond to a request for comment. Smaller internet service providers say that they have not been included in any trials.
Industry sources say that service providers are hampered by the law saying they can't talk about data they are collecting. Such secrecy, sources argue, risks the development and scrutiny of the systems. One section of the Investigatory Powers Act says that telecoms companies, or people connected to them, are not allowed to talk about the ''existence or contents'' of any orders telling them to keep people's internet data. One person says there is secrecy ''to the point where they can't even talk between industry experts in different organisations to share knowledge around best practice''.
The Investigatory Powers Act is a wide-ranging law that sets out how bodies in the UK can collect and handle data that may be linked to criminal activity. Since it was passed in 2016 the law has led to sweeping reforms of UK surveillance powers, adding new controls on what law enforcement and intelligence agencies can do and explaining when phones, computers and other systems can be hacked '' other legislation previously covered these powers. As part of the changes, ICRs were introduced as a new type of data that could be collected and stored for security purposes.
People's internet records can contain the apps they have used, the domains they have visited (, for example, but not this specific article), IP addresses, when internet use starts and finishes, and the amount of data that is transferred to and from a device. While not containing the content of what people are viewing, metadata can still be hugely revealing. Amongst other things it can reveal health information, political leanings and personal interests. Documents from the Home Office say ''there is no single set of data that constitutes an ICR'' and that the logs are likely to be held by people's internet service providers.
When passed five years ago, many aspects of the legislation were controversial '' and ICRs were high on the list. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden called the law ''the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy''. Since then the scope of the legislation has been expanded to include more organisations. Lawsuits have followed '' both succeeding and failing '' to challenge the enormous quantity of data being collected.
Despite being passed into law in November 2016, it's likely that the technical systems required to collect the internet histories of millions of people will have taken time and money to create. As surveillance law was being debated in December 2015, executives at internet service providers said ICRs were a brand new type of data and nothing like them existed.
Hugh Woolford, the then director of operations at Virgin Media, said it could require companies to ''mirror our entire network's traffic to then be able to filter it''. He continued to say it would take years for the technology to be developed. Others said the systems would cost more than the £175 million the Home Office had budgeted for the development and it was possible people's broadband bills could increase as a result.
The Investigatory Powers Act is scheduled to be scrutinised in the next year '' it needs to be reviewed five years and six months after it was passed into law. Burns says this will be a chance to improve transparency and understand how the law has worked in practice. ''We need to make sure that ICRs are reviewed for scope, proportionality, and costs versus benefits,'' she says. ''But we also need to ensure that any moves to scale that system back are not merely transferred or even increased in other proposals.''
Matt Burgess is WIRED's deputy digital editor. He tweets from @mattburgess1
Updated 11.03.21, 14:30 GMT: The Investigatory Powers Act did not make state-backed hacking legal for the first time. Such powers were previously covered by other laws.
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How the New York Times A/B tests their headlines - TJCX
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 16:52
The New York Times is a big deal. As they tell their advertisers, the NYT is the #1 news source for young, rich thought leaders:
And yet it rarely attracts the kind of close scrutiny of, say, a Fox News. And that's totally reasonable! Fox News is an absurd clown show and deserves every criticism it gets.
But I'm still curious about the NYT. It paints a certain picture of the world'--and (in my circles) this ends up being the default picture, whether or not you agree with it.
I wanted to know more about this picture. So for the next few weeks I'll be publishing a series of posts on the New York Times, drawing on data scraped from their front page and pulled from their official API.
This first post is all about A/B testing: how the NYT tests different headlines and how they change over time.
A/B Testing at the New York TimesOkay look it's 2021'--it would be shocking if the New York Times wasn't A/B testing headlines.
And the NYT is pretty open about it:
The Times also makes a practice of running what are called A/B tests on the digital headlines that appear on its homepage: Half of readers will see one headline, and the other half will see an alternative headline, for about half an hour. At the end of the test, The Times will use the headline that attracted more readers.
But I still had questions:
How many articles are A/B tested?
How many headlines are tested for each article?
Does it help?
How different are the headlines?
MethodologyI wrote a script that does the following:
Scrapes the NYT homepage
Pulls out all the headlines
Associates them with article metadata from the official NYT API
Shoves them into a database
The script runs every five minutes. I started doing this on February 13, 2021, so what follows is based on three weeks of data.
ResultsAs promised, the NYT does in fact A/B test their headlines. Roughly 29% of articles have multiple headlines, and the most headlines observed for a single article (so far) is eight.
A lot of these headline changes are pretty minor'--it's common for the NYT to fix a capitalization or punctuation error after an article has been published.
And sometimes it seems like the copy editors can't quite make up their minds: should ''in'' be capitalized?
Other times, the NYT changes headlines as the story evolves. Here's a great story told in headlines:
But most headline swaps are clearly A/B tests looking for more clicks. Here's an article about Biden's governing style, with a pretty dramatic headline switch:
The only reason to make this kind of change is if you're trying to boost engagement. And it worked! This article broke into the ''most viewed'' list a few hours after the headline swap (which supports my theory that liberals love reading about Trump).
Note: The above chart (and others in this post) make it look like a headline switches completely from one to another, without any actual A/B testing. This is just an artifact of how I've groped the columns'--each bar represents half an hour, but within that half my scraper sees the headline change back and forth many times, despite the colors being grouped together.
But not all A/B tests have such success. Here's an A/B test that definitely failed (you might have to squint to see the tiny blue smidge on a smaller screen):
I hope this failure didn't discourage the kooky NYT editor behind ''Jumping Jehoshaphat!'' The NYT could definitely use more Bugs Bunny-isms.
But overall there's a pattern to these A/B tests: headlines tend to get more dramatic as time passes. Take this article about Cuomo's sex scandal:
In the first swap, Cuomo goes from being attacked to being under siege, and in the second swap he's no longer revising his plan, he's apologizing.
And it worked: as the headline changes we can see this article climbing the ''most viewed'' chart.
The headlines get even spicier in this article about Trump's CPAC address:
Trump starts off addressing conservatives and claiming leadership of G.O.P. but in the final headline Trump has a hit list and is firing a warning shot. And sure enough, the bombastic rhetoric propels this article onto the ''most viewed'' list.
Okay last example: this wildly popular article about Oprah's interview with Meghan Markle:
I actually watched this interview'--all two hours of it'--and I can tell you that the first two headlines are a much better summary of what went down. Yes, Meghan does reveal that she contemplated suicide, but it's a five-minute interlude in an interview that has a lot more going on. For example, none of these headlines mention the role that racism played in Meghan's distress'--a subject that takes up way more screen time than her suicidal thoughts.
Does it work?The articles above got way more popular after some A/B testing'--but is this true in general?
I crunched the numbers, and it turns out that A/B-tested NYT articles are 80% more likely to rank on a ''most popular'' list. And'--not surprisingly'--more headline testing correlates with more engagement:
Caveat: headline count and engagement are correlated but who knows which way the causation runs. It makes sense to me that the more you A/B test a headline, the more likely it is for your article to get shared/liked/clicked. But it's also possible that the NYT spends more time tweaking articles that are already popular. (Although, anecdotally, many of the articles I've looked at have lots of headline swaps before the article lands on a most-X chart.)
So what did I learn?The NYT tests headlines to increase engagementDuh.
Overall, this testing is pretty restrainedI'm pretty surprised how few headlines get tested by the NYT. Most articles aren't A/B tested, and most of the ones that are A/B tested have just two headlines.
I'd sorta assumed that the NYT editors told their staff to submit all drafts with, like, six possible headlines, and that some automated system would test all six in the first hour. But clearly this isn't true'--despite the fact that the data indicates more A/B testing would boost engagement.
One possible explanation: 62% of the NYT's revenue comes from subscriptions, and only 27% comes from advertising (and ad revenue is falling year over year). This means that views aren't as important as subscriptions'--and a front page full of clickbait would likely scare off potential subscribers.
But it still leads to emotionally-charged headlinesThe NYT might be more restrained than BuzzFeed, but we should keep in mind that it's not a neutral observer. As the examples above show, A/B tested headlines paint a picture that's a lot more dramatic than the reality. Frequent NYT readers will end up thinking the world is scarier and more shocking than it really is.
Next timeIn the next post I'll look at the front page of the NYT, specifically:
How long articles stay on the front page
Which articles spend the most (and least) time on the front page
What kind of content is most likely (and least likely) to appear on the front page
How front-page time correlates with overall engagement
And other fun tidbits!
The dataIf my free-tier EC2 instance hasn't fallen over you can browse the live headline data yourself:
Live headline data
Keep in mind:
All data is from February 13, 2021 onward
The site is cached for 30 minutes, so it might be slightly stale
Let me know if you find something interesting!
REPORT: Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine killed 40 times more old people than the virus itself would have
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 16:14
The experimental Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines from Pfizer that were rushed into production and distribution via Donald Trump's ''Operation Warp Speed'' program are killing far more elderly people than the so-called ''virus'' itself would have.
A re-analysis of data provided by the Israeli Health Ministry concluded that Pfizer and BioNTech's messenger RNA (mRNA) gene therapy injections have already killed ''about 40 times more (elderly) people than the disease itself would have killed'' during a recent five-week vaccination period.
Piggybacking on research from back in January which found that Chinese virus vaccines are ''not safer'' than the virus itself, this latest study indicts the Trump vaccines for causing more death rather than preventing it.
Dr. Herv(C) Seligmann, a faculty member at Aix-Marseille University in France demonstrated using a full mathematical analysis that among ''those vaccinated and above 65, 0.2% '... died during the three-week period between doses, hence about 200 among 100,000 vaccinated.''
''This is to be compared to the 4.91 dead among 100,000 dying from COVID-19 without vaccination,'' he added.
Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine killed 260 times more young people than the virus itself would haveSeligmann and his colleagues found that the situation is even worse for younger people who are jabbed with Pfizer's China virus injections. Among those under the age of 65, the vaccines killed 260 times more people than would have died from the virus itself.
''This scary picture also extends to those below 65,'' the researchers wrote. During the five-week vaccination process, ''0.05% meaning 50 among 100,000 died.''
''This is to be compared to the 0.19 per 100,000 dying from COVID-19 (who) are not vaccinated '... Hence the death rate of this age group increased by 260 (times) during this five-week period of the vaccination process, as compared to their natural COVID-19 death rate,'' they added.
Seligmann, who also holds a biology degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, declared that he and his team ''have no conflicts or interests other than having children in Israel.''
Seligmann and his colleague went on to stipulate that these figures are likely to be far too low because they only account for deaths that occurred in ''that short time period'' and do ''not include AVC and cardiac (and other) events resulting from the inflammatory reactions.'' The numbers also do not ''account for long-term complications,'' he further explained.
In other words, it is just plain stupid to get a Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine based on the science. The ''disease'' holds almost no risk of complications for the vast majority of people that ''contract'' it, and yet millions of people out there have been convinced to take experimental ''vaccines'' that their manufacturers are not liable for in the event of injury or death.
Keep in mind that these reported injuries and deaths only include those that occurred shortly after the vaccines were administered. It remains to be seen how these vaccinations affect everyone else mid- and long-term.
As revealed by America's Frontline Doctors (AFLDS), the antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) effects of these Chinese virus vaccines do not provide any protection whatsoever against the virus and will actually make people who receive them more susceptible to disease later on down the road.
''Instead of protecting the person, [it] causes a more severe or lethal disease when the person is later exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in the wild,'' AFLDS determined. ''The vaccine amplifies the infection rather than preventing damage.''
Because of this, AFLDS is strongly discouraging people against getting any of these experimental vaccines. Recognizing the dangers involved, Seligmann and his fellow researchers are doing the same, calling this mass vaccination campaign ''a new Holocaust.''
More of the latest news about the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) scamdemic can be found at
Sources for this article include:
Royal Navy warships head huge international fleet in show of force against Russia - Mirror Online
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 15:49
Royal Navy warships are spearheading a massive international fleet, braving brutally sub-zero temperature Baltic seas in a show of force against Russia.
Heavily-armed Type 23 frigates HMS Lancaster and Westminster are at the head of the flotilla, along with war vessels from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
The four navies join forces to practise war-fighting against nations threatening Europe.
It is the latest test of British Royal Navy crews' ability to take part in the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force '' a partnership of nine northern European nations.
The mission comes amid fears Russia could become increasingly aggressive in making air incursions into British air space and sail-by missions close to the UK coastline.
What is your view? Have your say in the comments section
HMS Lancaster (Image: PA) Read MoreRelated ArticlesRussia and China's joint moon base plan sparks fears of international space arms raceRead MoreRelated ArticlesBritish military base in Iraq hit by 10 rockets as 'Iran backed militia' launch assaultIn recent years Russian fleets have been escorted out of UK waters many times by Royal Navy warships but it is also believed Moscow's submarines have secretly monitored UK coast.
During the Baltic mission The Royal Navy ships have been joined by Estonian mine hunter Wambola, Latvian patrol vessel Jelgava, along with Lithuania's mine hunter Jotvingis and patrol ship Selis.
Today UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: ''Some of the UK's closest and most steadfast Allies are found in the Baltics.
''This deployment is both the latest example of a long and proud history of defence cooperation and a clear demonstration of the capability of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF).
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''As the first maritime patrol of made up of exclusively JEF nations, we are ensuring our ships and people are ready to operate in challenging conditions alongside our Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian allies.''
Commander Will Blackett, Commanding Officer of HMS Lancaster said: ''It is a real privilege to command the first task group of this type and I have been impressed by the capabilities on display from our partner nations.
''My ship's company are continuing to deliver success on operations against the hugely challenging backdrop of the Coronavirus pandemic.''
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace cited the UK's 'long and proud history of defence cooperation' (Image: Philip Coburn)His ships conducted a series of combined manoeuvres to test collective seamanship and get used to working together as a united task group, all played out in unrelenting sub-zero temperatures.
Lancaster's Wildcat helicopter is flying patrols by day and night, search and rescue missions in appalling weather, even braving snow squalls.
Frigates firepower Type 23 Duke-class frigates fitted with M2 heavy .50 Calibre heavy machine guns capable of wiping out small attack craft or aerial attacks. Sea Ceptor anti-air missiles to defend against attack from the air. Harpoon anti-ship missiles to obliterate any threat from enemy surface ships.
COVID-19 exposed a critical gap in the globe's oxygen supply
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 15:43
March 11, 2021 | 4:20pm | Updated March 11, 2021 | 4:20pm
Enlarge Image View of the Infra Group factory, which produces medicinal oxygen to supply the demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, in San Miguel Xoxtla, Puebla State, Mexico on March 3, 2021. AFP via Getty Images; Sergei Bobylev/TASS
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a critical gap in the world's oxygen supply that's leading to a million preventable deaths a year, health leaders said Thursday during a panel hosted by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
The philanthropic groups, which together are finalists for a $100 million MacArthur Foundation grant for oxygen relief efforts in Africa, hosted Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and two African health care leaders to discuss the problem.
''No one, no matter where they live or what their incomes, should die from lack of oxygen. A condition we can diagnose easily, treat affordably, and prevent globally,'' former President Bill Clinton, who moderated the discussion, said.
''If you live in a wealthy country, having too little oxygen in your blood is a problem doctors have the tools and training to treat. In other parts of the world, it can still be a death sentence, so we have quite a health equity crisis on our hands now aggravated obviously by COVID.''
A man pushes a trolley with an empty cylinder to be filled on Feb. 27, 2021 in Villa El Salvador, Lima, Peru. Getty ImagesCiting statistics from the World Health Organization, Fauci said up to 500,000 newborn deaths each year are due to a lack of available medical oxygen and 40% of adult and pediatric pneumonia deaths could be prevented with better access to O2.
''We are dealing with an extraordinary problem that needs to be addressed,'' Fauci said.
''I've been doing this for now 40 years and the thought of oxygen shortage never really crossed my mind until all of a sudden it hit me right in the face when we were seeing shortages right here in the United States and only then did I go back and take a look at what was going on in some of the low and middle income countries.''
Dr. John Nkengasong, the Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control, said a lack of medical oxygen has been an enormous problem plaguing the African Union and has lead to a slew of preventable deaths simply because the O2 can't be delivered in time.
''Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were just 68 oxygen generating plants on the continent of Africa, a continent of 55 member states with 1.2 billion people,'' Nkengasong explained, adding the number of plants have increased 40% amid the pandemic.
An elderly woman suffering from COVID-19 breathes with the help of an oxygen mask in a hospital in Pochaiv, Ukraine, on May 1, 2020. AP''Though the increase is promising, challenges continue '... including the ability to maintain those oxygen plants across the continent and provide continuous and predictable financing to support them.''
Joy Phumaphi, the former Botswana Minister of Health and co-Chair of the United Nations Secretary General's Independent Accountability Panel for Women, Children, and Adolescent Health, said the issue goes beyond just a lack of oxygen.
''One of the biggest challenges as well is misdiagnosis or failure to actually diagnose patients who have low blood oxygen. It is estimated that 80% of the patients with low blood oxygen are not actually diagnosed with low blood oxygen primarily because of lack of access to a simple way of testing blood oxygen, whereas we do know that there are pulse oximeters, which are very, very simple tools,'' Phumaphi explained.
''You also need to train your health professionals on how to diagnose and equip them with the pulse oximeters.''
The Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the Clinton Health Access Initiative are attempting to bring those pulse oximeters to five African countries that account for nearly a third of hypoxemia cases globally and make high-quality medical oxygen available in hospitals in those locales.
A maintenance worker loads oxygen cylinders in the Severo Ochoa Hospital in Leganes on the outskirts of Madrid on Feb. 24, 2021. APIn pilot projects already underway, the proportion of hypoxemic children receiving oxygen doubled in 74 Nigerian and Ethiopian hospitals, according to the groups' proposal.
''In Southwest Nigeria, access to pulse oximetry and oxygen therapy cut the risk of death in half for children admitted to hospital with pneumonia,'' their proposal reads.
The panelists said the problem, which won't take an enormous undertaking to fix, will continue until there's a dedicated commitment to addressing it in the form of policy changes, infrastructure development and funding.
Merck and Gilead Will Collaborate On Long-Acting HIV Therapy - MarketWatch
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 15:27
Merck and Gilead will combine two drugs to make a long-acting HIV therapy. Dreamstime The drug companies Merck and Gilead Sciences said Monday that they would collaborate to develop and market a long-acting HIV drug made up of two therapies'--one made by Gilead, the other by Merck.
The companies said they would develop oral and injectable therapies that combine the drugs, Gilead's lenacapavir and Merck's islatravir, and plan to begin a trial of the oral therapy in the second half of this year.
Merck (ticker: MRK) shares were up 1.3%, and Gilead (ticker: GILD) shares were up 1% on Monday morning.
''This collaboration ' an important step forward in our strategy to harness the full potential of islatravir for the treatment of HIV,'' said Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier in a statement.
Last week, Gilead presented positive interim data on a Phase 2/3 trial of lenacapavir in patients who had received the drug every six months. Currently, HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy generally take their medication daily.
In a note Monday morning, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Louise Chen said she sees ''the potential for multi-billions of dollars in sales.''
''The agreement brings together potentially complementary medicines in late-stage development with the goal to provide innovative, long-acting treatments in HIV,'' Chen wrote.
Analysts have voiced enthusiasm for islatravir. In a March 8 note, Citi Research analyst Andrew Baum said investors weren't giving enough credit to Merck for islatravir. ''We continue to believe that the market materially underappreciates the potential of islatravir given its profile and ultra-long half-life,'' Baum wrote.
Gilead's lenacapavir has also drawn analyst excitement. In a Feb. 5 note, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Alethia Young wrote that lenacapavir ''could drive significant long-term growth in the prevention market,'' and that the company thinks ''it has the potential to be the next major backbone for the GILD franchise.''
Gilead shares are up 5.7% so far this year, and down 10.7% over the past 12 months. The stock trades at 8.7 times earnings expected over the next 12 months, below its 5-year average of 9.5 times earnings. Of the 32 analysts who track Gilead covered by FactSet, 14 rate it Buy or Overweight, 16 rate it Hold, and two rate it Sell.
Merck, meanwhile, is down 8.8% so far this year, but up 6.7% over the past 12 months. The stock trades at 11.3 times earnings expected over the next 12 months, below its 5-year average of 14.9 times earnings, according to FactSet. Of the 20 analysts who cover the stock tracked by FactSet, 15 rate it Buy or Overweight, while five rate it Hold.
Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at
Clintelisme bij D66: partijgenoot en sponsor Mark Koek krijgt klus van Ollongren
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 15:25
Richard de Mos: ''Is de Rijksrecherche al wakker?''
Om de veiligheid van de software die gebruikt wordt bij de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen van 17 maart te garanderen, heeft D66-minister Ollongren de organisatie HackDefense ingezet. De Kiesraad communiceert over een onafhankelijke organisatie, maar wat blijkt? HackDefense is het bedrijf van Ollongren's partijgenoot en sponsor van D66 Mark Koek.
Het gaat hier om een onderzoek naar de veiligheid van de software die gebruikt wordt voor het optellen van de uitgebrachte stemmen bij de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen van aanstaande woensdag. HackDefense is opgericht en wordt geleid door Mark Koek, voormalig D66-fractievoorzitter en gemeenteraadslid in Leiden. Momenteel is Koek 'vertrouweling' van de Leidse D66-fractie. Daarnaast blijkt uit de officile giftenlijst van D66 dat zijn bedrijf HackDefense ook 7.500 euro doneerde aan de partij. D66-minister Kajsa Ollongren is als minister van Binnenlandse Zaken verantwoordelijk voor de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen van volgende week woensdag. Zij legt dus de supervisie over de veiligheid van de stemmenoptelling neer bij een partijgenoot en sponsor en presenteert het bedrijf aan de bevolking als 'onafhankelijke' organisatie.
'Is de Rijksrecherche al wakker?'
Richard de Mos, lijsttrekker van Code Oranje noemt de gang van zaken 'hypocriet'. ''Afgelopen week nam D66 nog een miljoen aan van een tech-ondernemer, nu wordt een prominente D66'er en sponsor van die partij ingehuurd door partijgenote Ollongren voor een miljoenenklus en het 'gepeupel' thuis moet maar geloven dat alles onafhankelijk en in de haak is. Is de Rijksrecherche al wakker? Of is bij de elite en jonkvrouwe Ollongren alles maar geoorloofd'', zegt De Mos die erop wijst dat dit een onacceptabele vorm van belangenverstrengeling. Vorige maand kwam Follow The Money met een onderzoek waaruit bleek dat de VVD haar verkiezingskas met ruim een miljoen euro aan giften gespekt heeft en deze niet, conform de regels, gemeld heeft. De Mos deed toen al, samen met zijn advocaat Peter Plasman, de oproep om de zaak die tegen hem loopt te seponeren (1).
Reactie Peter Plasman
''Laat ik het voorzichtig zeggen; wanneer dit juist is zie ik op het eerste gezicht wel wat overeenkomsten met wat De Mos verweten wordt'', zegt advocaat Peter Plasman die tevens nummer twee op de kieslijst van Code Oranje is.
PRESS RELEASE: World Against Racism & Fascism calls global day of protest, 20 March, UN Anti Racism Day | Stand Up To Racism
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 14:42
PRESS RELEASE'... for immediate release
Thursday 28 January PROTEST FOR A #WorldAgainstRacism #NOracismNOfascism,20/03/2021
On Saturday 20 March 2021, World Against Racism & Fascism '' an international coordination of anti racist movements '' will come together for UN Anti Racism Day to oppose all forms of racism and fascism in a global day of action.
In Britain, the day of action is being called by Stand Up To Racism and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). Safely socially distanced actions where possible will be combined with international linked online actions, including a major global rally at 5pm GMT.
So far, 13 countries have already backed the call with actions planned for the day, with more movements joining.
Today, 28 January, across the world, anti racist movements are launching the call for the day of action on 20 March in a united statement.
Statement for 20 March 2021, UN Anti Racism Day:
United against all forms of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism '' United against the rise of fascism
We will come together again for a global day of protest on Saturday 20 March 2021 for UN Anti-Racism Day. Across many countries, World Against Racism & Fascism actions will take place against all forms of racism, fascism, Islamophobia and antisemitism, in opposition to racist scapegoating of refugees, migrants and ROMA communities, and in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.Anti-racists will highlight the importance of our unity in the face of division, and stress that we must stand together to challenge the threat of racist populism, the far right and fascism.
The Covid-19 Pandemic '--combined with the failure of governments to properly protect their populations and the looming impact of a major economic crash'-- has created the situation where the most abhorrent forms of racism can thrive.The disproportionate impact of the virus on black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, reflected in the starkly disproportionate deaths in these communities, has been a major feature of the pandemic. Refugee camps threaten to become a deadly trap for refugees due to the spread of Covid-19.
Alongside this, the #BlackLivesMatter movement has exposed the deep levels of institutionalised racism in society and sparked a global anti-racist movement in response. It has marked the biggest anti-racist movement ever and has spanned the globe in its reach, and preceded the defeat of Trump in the US elections in November.
In some countries, fascist and extreme right parties and organizations try to build through the mobilisations of the Coronavirus deniers. Conspiracy myths fuel antisemitic and racist prejudices.
As has been shown by anti-racist and anti-fascist movements in Greece, with the defeat and jailing of fascist Golden Dawn, and in Austria with the huge drop in the FPO's vote, the key to driving back the threat of fascism and the far right lies in building mass, broad united campaigns to expose, oppose and defeat racism, fascism and the far right.
On 20 March 2021, we are organising across the world to deliver many (safely organised socially distanced) demonstrations and other protest actions, that can show our unity and develop and build the anti-racist movement that is so critical to ensuring we oppose all forms of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism and resist the rise of fascism and the far right.
Signed,World Against Racism & Fascism
Movements that have signed the call so far:
6000 Sardine, ItalyAufstehen gegen Rassismus (Stand Up Against Racism), GermanyComit(C) 21 Maart (21 March Committee), The NetherlandsCrida Contra el Racisme i el feixisme, Val¨nciaF...llesinitiativet mod Racisme og Diskrimination (United against Racism and Discrimination), DenmarkHepimiz G¶§meniz '' Irk§Ä±lığa Hayır (We're all migrants '' No to racism platform), TurkeyKEERFA, (Movement Against Racism and Fascist Threat), GreeceLove Aotearoa Hate Racism, Auckland, New ZealandPlatform 21/03 against racism, BelgiumPlattform f¼r eine menschliche Asylpolitik, (Platform for a humane asylum policy), AustriaStand Up To Racism, BritainUnitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme, (Unity Against Fascism and Racism), CataloniaUnited Against Hate, USAUnited Against Racism and Fascism (UARF-NYC), New York City, USAUnited Against Racism, IrelandZjednoczeni Przeciw Rasizmowi (United Against Racism), PolandPlataforma Antifascista Lisboa e Vale do Tejo (PALVT, Antifascist Platform of Lisbon and the Tejo Valley), PortugalQUOTES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Weyman Bennett, co convenor Stand Up To Racism (Britain), said
''In Britain our government has presided over a murderous catastrophe in its handling of the covid19 pandemic, with the 100,000 mark officially reached this week for how many have died. The disproportionate deaths among black and ethnic minority communities is horrifyingly stark. This has exposed the deep institutional racism at the heart of the political system, which has been further blown open by the historic #BlackLivesMatter movement that burst out of the US and sparked a powerful global anti-racist movement. In Britain, the fascists and far right have been pushed back by mass campaigning, but the intensification of state racism and the 'hostile environment' pursued by Johnson's cabinet provides the ground for these forces to grow.
''UN Anti Racism Day and the coordinated action by many countries and movements comes at an intense, deeply polarised moment for anti racists across the globe. Here in Britain, Stand Up To Racism is jointly calling the day of action alongside the Trade Union Congress (TUC). We need to come together in a powerful show of anti racist strength and unity in an important day for building a world against racism and fascism''.
Sabby Dhalu, Stand up to Racism Co-Convenor said
''A magnificent wave of anti-racism spread across the globe with the Black Lives Matter movement. This movement and the mobilisation of the black vote defeated the world's number one racist.
''There has never been a more important time to mark UN Anti-Racism Day. Join us on 20 March 2021 and let's fight for a world without racism.''
Elise Bryant & Virginia Rodino, United Against Hate (US) said
''We face enormous threats from a growing white supremacist and far right movement, as witnessed in attacks on oppressed minorities and the invasion of the US Capitol. It seems Trumpism will unfortunately not end with the Trump presidency. But they are the minority. There is an urgent need to come together now to stop the rise of racism, fascism, and hate. We will be standing up on March 20th, marking the UN Day for the Elimination of Racism, and send solidarity, peace and love to all the international movements against racism and fascism.''
Petros Contantinou, KEERFA movement United Against Racism & Fascist Threat, said
''In Greece the antifascist movement defeated the neonazis of Golden Dawn. On 7th of October the decision of the court was that they are a criminal organization and their leaders who were organizing racist and fascist attacks against migrants, Roma, trade unionists were sent to prison.
''Now, faced with racism, camps in islands like Moria and closing of the borders of Europe, we stand in solidarity with refugees and say clearly and loudly: They are welcome, there is space, shelter and work for all! 20 March is our day to say no to racism, never again fascism!''
David Albrich, Plattform f¼r eine menschliche Asylpolitik (Austria), said
''We face alarming news in Austria '' next Sunday there will be a massive (likely 10-20,000) rally of COVID deniers and neo-Nazis in Vienna. This time the main speaker is Herbert Kickl, the ''propaganda minister'' and former minister of interior of the fascist Freedom Party (FP–). The FP– is officially mobilising its base to the rally. Kickl said: ''I'm going to leave the confines of the parliament walls and participate in the Corona demonstration on Sunday.'' They obviously see it as an opportunity to form a fascist street wing. Events in Washington DC and the Netherlands confirm their analysis.
''We, the ''Plattform f¼r eine menschliche Asylpolitik'' (Platform for a humane asylum policy) make the argument for a broad united front involving all anti-racist, anti-fascist and progressive democratic forces. A key challenge for anti racists in many countries is how we can fight effectively against the threat posed by racist division and rightward movements, and to oppose attempts by fascists and the far right to capitalise. KEERFA in Greece is showing us the way forward. UN Anti Racism Day of action and the international network organising around it are critical to this.''
Christine Buchholz, Aufstehen gegen Rassismus (Germany) said
''Racist hostilities and violence have also increased drastically in Germany. Those who ammunition the perpetrators with racist hate speech are also sitting in parliaments in Germany. Stopping the AfD and bringing down its v¶lkisch-national, anti-democratic policies is the goal of Aufstehen gegen Rassismus. Our alternative is solidarity! Especially in the pandemic.
''That is why we are participating in the activities for the International Day Against Racism in Germany and worldwide and call for diverse actions against agitation, exclusion, stigmatisation, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-roma-hatred and every other form of racism. No to the agitation against scapegoats of Nazis and racists!''
Andy Zebrowski, Zjednoczeni Przeciw Rasizmowi (Poland), said
''In Poland the fantastic, widespread demonstrations for women's abortion rights have undermined support for the extreme right. Fascists have tried '' unsuccessfully '' to physically disrupt them. Increasing numbers of people can see what a threat these brutal fascists represent. Meanwhile the government boasts that for years it has not allowed refugees into the country '' its racist propaganda leads to violent attacks on ethnic minorities.
''Every success for fascists and racists in one country strengthens them in others, every defeat weakens them. That is why an international response to racism and fascism is so vital. Join the day of action on March 20!''
#6000 Sardine said
''Italy is a gateway to Europe. At this time of political uncertainty, with the ongoing government crisis, the threat of new elections that could bring to power one of the most fascist right-wingers in Europe that despises and hates migrants.
''Italy plays a key role in managing migratory flows from Africa, and the country's domestic policy risks having powerful effects both for the Mediterranean and for all European countries. Migrants are people. We want to put respect for humanity and people before belonging to a nation, or worse, their skin colour.
''Fascists and racists all over the world are in solidarity with each other to increase social and ethnic inequality and discrimination. The time has come to stop this with equal, if not greater, force and unite together to show that being human is more important than anything else. The only door to close is the one that fascists and racists want to go through to make themselves eligible. That is why we will be part of the march on 20 March''.
Maria Dantas, Unity Against Fascism and Racism (Catalonia)/ Brazilian Women Against Bolsonaro / Spanish Congress MP, said
''I remember the horrible things I heard and saw in Brazil that made possible the rise of the far-right president Bolsonaro. That is now spreading everywhere, most recently with the growing far-right parties in the Spanish state and Portugal. It is not a coincidence, but a political project. We need a united international struggle against this global threat. So Barcelona and many other cities here will join the 20 March protests''.
Serena, Mediterranea Saving Humans & 6000 Sardine (Barcelona), said
''The last elections in Spain have shown that Vox (populist Alt-right party) is gaining votes and growing in the public discourse. From Barcelona there is growing concern about the upcoming elections for the Catalan government on 14 February.
''We know that the hand and head that moves this right-wing movement spawns from a central point and that is growing like an octopus, expanding through social media taking advantage of people's fears. If racists unite, we must be also be united and organised and show that we will not let it take our streets, we will not back down. On March 20 we call on everyone to demonstrate! Against racism, against fascism: No pasarn!''
Rita, Plataforma Antifascista Lisboa e Vale do Tejo (Portugal) said
''Forty seven years ago in Portugal we celebrated the end of the dictatorship. Taking into account that it was not so long ago, we learned to identify all the actions that foresee this replica, one in particular has been the Fascist Party, which is now the third political force, is an extreme right-wing party with a parliamentary seat, which has gained its popularity through the persecution of minorities. We are united here to say: NƒO PASSARƒO! OPR‰ ROMA!''
Lene Junker, United against Racism and Discrimination (Denmark) said
''In Denmark we fight for equal rights for minorities, especially the refugees who are scapegoated by the Socialdemokratic government and right wing parties. Denmark is the only country, that now wants to send Syrian refugees back to torture and and repression by withdrawing the residence permit of 900 Syrians.
''The racist Danish People's Party is falling apart and very weak. But most of their policies have been adopted by the mainstream parties, so we are still up to the same racist policy such as the ''ghetto laws''. At the same time a new ultra right party is growing and gaining up to 10% in the opinion polls.
''On March 20th we are drawing together antiracists, ethnich minorities, trade unions and friends of refugees to demonstrations in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense.''
Tanja Vasic, Minority Initiative, (Serbia) said
''There are daily cases of racism and violence against Roma throughout Europe. We believe in the readiness of citizens and institutions across Europe to tackle discrimination and racism, and we hope that the solidarity inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement will address anti-Roma racism in Europe, improving the daily lives and status of Europe's most discriminated people '' Roma''.
United Against Racism and Fascism '' New York City (US) said
''The riot at the Capitol revealed to the world the threat of the violent far right in America, and their links to the state. Trumpism will continue beyond Trump, and parts of the right here have an eye on LePen in France and similar parties.
''But UARF-NYC has worked with other New Yorkers to kick Proud Boy rallies out of town. And the explosion of Black Lives Matter have galvanized millions in the fight against racism, and echoed across the world.
''We know the international right has coordinated, not just sharing conspiracies on-line. American Neo-Nazis have traveled to meet their counterparts in Europe, and trained together. That's another reason why international solidarity is important for the anti-fascist majority around the world. We will join you in action on March 20th.''
For more information, interviews and further quotes:
Robin Monotti T-Bot 🤖 on Twitter: "64+ countries joined the peaceful demonstration of citizens worldwide to immediately end restrictions & live a normal life. No masks, no distancing, no vaccines. Businesses, schools, cafes & restaurants opened
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 14:42
Robin Monotti T-Bot 🤖 : 64+ countries joined the peaceful demonstration of citizens worldwide to immediately end restrictions & live a norm'...
Sat Mar 13 15:55:57 +0000 2021
Student reacts to mental health amidst loss of a Gannon student '' THE GANNON KNIGHT
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 14:27
Today, I am saddened, disheartened and quite frankly, I am disgusted. I sit here writing this as I shake with anger and a broken heart over the rapidly declining mental health of the student body here at Gannon.
As I walk through campus, I can see it. In students' eyes. While half of our faces are covered with masks, I can see eyes that are defeated.
We have no breaks and harsh restrictions. Students are burned out, more and more seek help every day, and we are still forced to continue the semester as if nothing is wrong, as if we are not quite literally breaking. College and life are hard enough, but this academic year they have been made even harder. In my mind it begs the question, is this all worth it?
As I pondered this question today, my answer is n o, it is not worth it. We cannot keep going on as we have been. Lives are at stake.
We cannot be expected to go on as normal when people are losing their will to live. Mental and emotional well- being is plummeting. How can we be expected to push through a semester with no breaks while the world is crashing around us, when our worlds are crashing down within us?
If we as a university carry on as we have been, I will be disheartened and disgusted. The way we have been acting, any student could be lost at an y moment.
Human beings are social creatures. Isolation breeds depression. We are NOT meant to live this way. It makes me sick that instead of checking up on students' mental health and well-being, some are more interested in checking up on social gatheri ngs.
Sometimes, it feels that the university would care more if I threw a party than if I relayed that my mental health was suffering.
How about instead of actively patrolling and seeking out ways to punish students who are just trying to live normal l ives under impossible circumstances, we actively seek out ways to support students? And no, posts on Instagram, emails or messages via the LiveSafe app are not enough.
I will not stand by silently on this matter any longer. I am infuriated. Even despite t he amount of financial aid I was given, I find it difficult on a moral level to pay any amount of money to live on a campus where mental health is either blatantly disregarded or pretended to be cared about under the guise of shallow words and messages. Th ese messages mean nothing unless they are backed up with concrete plans of action and the active prioritization of mental health.
Larger schools such as the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State have designated mental health days, where no classes take place and students are given the chance to relax and recuperate. Why can't a smaller school like Gannon implement the same thing, at the very least? Is even one day a month worth the cost of mentally unwell students?
None of this is worth the cost of men tally unwell students. Young adult suicide rates are increasing dramatically. When almost every aspect of '' normal life'' is taken from us, we need support, not criticism or punishment.
Multiple articles have been written for The Gannon Knight about the ra ging mental health pandemic that exists amid college students today. Our most recent Instagram post acknowledges that our awareness as a staff of student voices has gotten hundreds more likes than our other posts usually get (at the time this post was written).
Students are calling for help.
We are doing the best we can under unimaginable circumstances. But we need help. I don't want to write another article calling for this same exact thing. I alone have written seven articles this academic year in relation to these issues.
I have watched my peers have mental breakdowns over fines they simply do not have the money to pay. I have watched my peers regress into depression because social opportunities are taken away from them. I have watched my peers try and rea ch out for help, but their needs are not met. I have watched the Counseling Center staff members give every ounce of effort they have to meet the needs of their students. I have seen them show a tremendous amount of care and concern.
The mental health resources we do have on campus are amazing. Those who work at the Counseling Center care so deeply for our student body. But we need more resources. We need more counselors. We can't have any more students feel that they are not being heard. It is detrimental.
As a uni versity, we need to be united now more than ever. It cannot feel like it is students versus the university we all attend. We are one Gannon community. We are a community made of individuals. And we need to be there for each other. We ALL need to feel that our voices are heard. Gannon community, I am here for you. I stand with you. And I hear you. And I promise to always use my platform to bring volume to your voices, to the best of my ability.
We cannot keep carrying on as '' normal.'' The fact of the matter is, this is NOT normal. We cannot lose more classmates, peers, teammates, family members or friends.
[email protected]
Piers Morgan Can't Wait to Bring the Worst of America Home - The New York Times
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 14:06
The media equation
British TV executives see opportunity '-- and money to be made '-- in bringing American cable-style clashes to their screens.
Piers Morgan storming off the set of ''Good Morning Britain'' last week after being confronted by a colleague about his criticism of Meghan Markle. Credit... ITV/Shutterstock When Piers Morgan stormed off the set of ''Good Morning Britain'' last week as a Black colleague chided him for ''trashing'' Meghan Markle, it felt like a familiar American scene: a tone-deaf old-timer getting swept aside by an anti-racist younger generation, as the culture of media changes.
Mr. Morgan sure embraced that narrative. Last week, he tweeted, among other things, a photograph of a defiant Winston Churchill, a clip of Tucker Carlson calling him an ''inspiration'' and then, apparently getting impatient for the arrival of a mob, a demand that the Society of Editors remove his nomination as columnist of the year. ''I am canceling myself,'' he announced.
British media has traditionally presented a dynamic opposite to that of the United States. Here, we have radio screamers and spittle-flecked television hosts, while broadsheet newspapers seek to balance both sides of a story. In Britain, the newspapers are often wildly partisan and the television is customarily staid. But Mr. Morgan's theatrics last week seemed to signal a shift, and to mark the extent to which the forces driving the culture wars are money and commercial opportunity.
''This is the moment that is going to transform British TV, and take it in a direction that is more Americanized,'' Amol Rajan, the former editor of The Independent who now is now the host of ''The Media Show'' on BBC Radio 4, said in an interview.
Of course, sober-minded British commentators wonder, as my colleague Mark Landler recently reported, why anyone would want to import any element of our hyper-polarized American life. The answer, of course, is that it sells. And at a confusing and unstable moment in American media, there's something clarifying about watching Britain's television drama play out around its monarchy.
The whole thing, at times, has the schematic quality of theater, sometimes verging into parody, as various actors play their parts and state their values with admirable clarity. But the players also speak openly about the opportunities the new cultural conflict presents, as their country's political split over Brexit settles into a lasting divide.
''The American culture war has come here in a big way,'' Mr. Morgan told me cheerfully in a telephone interview, appearing to be welcoming its arrival. And while he denied that his walkout was in any way ''staged,'' he acknowledged that his departure comes at a particularly opportune time.
Mr. Morgan, a former tabloid editor, ''America's Got Talent'' judge and CNN host, spent the last five years nudging upward the ratings of ITV's morning show '-- long a distant second to the BBC's more staid ''Breakfast'' '-- largely by generating an unending stream of news about his own on-air antics.
The show for the first time outdrew the BBC last Tuesday, when he walked off the set. And he is walking straight into a bidding war for his services between two new news networks, one backed by the Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch. Both are aiming to capitalize on populist discontent with the BBC. (Many of the nationalists who supported Brexit '-- and the royal family '-- believed that the network was unfair to their cause, even as Brexit critics complained that the BBC was too soft on Brexit supporters' rosy projections.)
The opportunity for a new era in British television begins in the studios of LBC, a radio station that has tested, and effectively stretched, the British legal requirements that broadcast news be ''balanced.'' Instead of offering down-the-middle recitations of news developments, the network serves up clashing and sometimes strident debates over issues. The station thrived during the long run-up to Brexit, making clear to broadcasters that they could abandon their starchy customs and reflect more partisan passions '-- as long as the stations didn't embrace just one political side.
Now, television is poised to fill the space that LBC opened. The most ambitious player in this new arena may be Andrew Neil, a Scot who transformed The Sunday Times for Mr. Murdoch in the 1980s before emerging as one of the BBC's most formidable interviewers. He's a conservative, but his style shares almost nothing with his right-wing American counterparts, who alternate between tossing coddling questions to Republican politicians and obliterating obscure liberals who have foolishly wandered onto their sets. Mr. Neil is an equal opportunity interrogator, and may be best known in the United States for a hoisting in 2019 of the conservative figure Ben Shapiro. In the 2019 British election, the Tory prime minister Boris Johnson refused to submit to an interview with him.
Image Andrew Neil plans to start a new 24-hour cable channel network, GB News, this spring. Credit... David M. Benett/Getty Images I reached Mr. Neil at his home in the French Riviera, where he has been weathering the pandemic and preparing the start of a new 24-hour cable channel network, GB News, this spring. When I called, he was watching ''MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin.'' ''I think there are things to learn from it in terms of programming, and the visuals are very strong,'' he said of the left-leaning American channel. ''In terms of formatting and style, I think MSNBC and Fox are the two templates we're following.''
Mr. Neil has raised 60 million pounds (about $83 million) to start the channel, including investments from the American giant Discovery and the hedge fund manager Paul Marshall. (Mr. Marshall's son, unrelatedly, is taking time off from playing banjo in the band Mumford and Sons to ''examine my blind spots'' after praising a far right book on Twitter.) Mr. Neil said he expected that sum to last the network at least three years, though it's a pittance by the standards of American cable news.
He said he planned to hire some 100 journalists, a fraction of the more than 2,000 at the BBC, but aimed to capture the resentment of the London-centric media by having many of them broadcast from their hometowns in the north. The channel will rely on other news services for its breaking news, he said, and focus its resources on producing American-style, personality-driven news shows. But he said he wouldn't follow the American right into outlandish conspiracy theories, and he has denounced Donald Trump's claim that he won the U.S. election.
''I don't think there's an appetite in Britain for ridiculous conflict,'' Mr. Neil said. Still, he plans to carry a segment on his own prime-time show called ''woke watch'' in which he can mock what he sees as progressive excesses. He cited as an example a recent report that British nurses were told they could use the word ''chestfeeding'' rather than ''breastfeeding'' to be inclusive of transgender people.
GB News will need a huge audience to succeed, because in Britain, unlike the United States, cable channels depend entirely on advertising, rather than regular payments from cable companies. Mr. Morgan, an old friend of Mr. Neil, would be ''a huge asset for the channel,'' Mr. Neil said. And, indeed, Mr. Morgan seems an ideal fit for a network determined to showcase personality and passion without violating British rules against partisanship.
Mr. Morgan lost his job running the left-leaning Mirror in 2004 for publishing fabricated pictures of alleged British war crimes in Iraq. Before emerging as the queen's leading defender, he was a confrontational critic of Mr. Johnson's flawed response to the pandemic. He told me he'd proven at ITV that he could be ''highly opinionated but without the viewers ever having any idea what my personal politics would be.''
The delightful British gossip newsletter Popbitch noted last Thursday that Mr. Morgan appeared to be weighing his options for his next job. But his defense of the crown against the assault from Los Angeles can only make him more valuable to GB News.
''I don't think the channel will have a corporate voice,'' Mr. Neil said. ''But I think it will be the natural inclination of most of our presenters to side with the dignity of the queen as opposed to the victimization portrait of two of the most privileged and pampered people in the world.''
Image David Rhodes, a former Fox executive and CBS News president, will lead the new digital television service planned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Credit... Richard Shotwell/Invision Mr. Neil is challenging the BBC as the broadcaster has restored some of its centrality to British culture through its coverage of the pandemic. But his main competition for Mr. Morgan's services may be a new digital television service planned by Mr. Murdoch's News Corp, News UK, that will be led by a former Fox executive and CBS News president, David Rhodes. The first move by that service has been to import a different American television format: the soft showbiz news embodied by ''Inside Edition'' and ''Access Hollywood,'' for an evening broadcast called ''News To Me.'' But it also promises to carry on Mr. Murdoch's long crusade against the BBC into right-leaning shows.
It now suffers, however, from Mr. Murdoch's longstanding tendency to underfund digital projects in favor of his first loves, print and television. And it has shrunk in ambition from a full-scale television network to a series of shows associated with newspaper brands and carried on video streaming platforms. Mr. Rhodes, who declined to be interviewed, has tried to cast that as an advantage, as traditional television is gradually replaced by digital services. Mr. Neil bitingly suggested otherwise, casting Mr. Rhodes as losing out inside the Murdoch empire to the company's powerful newspaper boss Rebekah Brooks, who is perhaps best known here for being tried and acquitted in a scandal over the British tabloids' hacking of crime victims' phones. (Mr. Morgan was also accused of, and denied, employing the tactic when he was editor of The Mirror.)
''In the old days, Murdoch wouldn't have allowed that to happen,'' Mr. Neil said of the modest scale of the News UK plan. ''He would have said either, 'We're not going there' or 'Here's 100 million '-- go blow GB News out of the water.'''
News Corp's current challenge, though, may be the broader uncertainty surrounding the direction of a company whose dominant figure celebrated his 90th birthday in Los Angeles last week. His birthday party was canceled for the second year in a row because of the restrictions on gatherings during the pandemic that Fox's anchors have often criticized. (His son Lachlan, the chief executive of Fox News's parent company, decamped with his family from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia, after his father's birthday.)
These days, at least some of the company's energy is going into producing a star-studded video for the delayed birthday celebration, two people familiar with the project said. It is being produced by a former News Corp executive, David Hill, and will feature figures from Mr. Murdoch's history, including the former News Corp president, Peter Chernin, and the former New York Post editor, Col Allan, telling the story of his career.
Mr. Morgan said he was currently fielding offers and enjoying revived sales of his 2020 book on cancel culture (though ''if you've got broad shoulders like me you can handle it''). He said he hoped to record his segment for Mr. Murdoch's birthday soon.
In the meantime, he's simply enjoying the attention.
''I've got the whole world talking about me in varying degrees of either praise or shame,'' he said with satisfaction.
Google's motion to dismiss incognito mode lawsuit is denied by US judge
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 12:21
A federal judge on Friday denied Google's request for dismissal in incognito mode tracking case. The complaint said users weren't notified Google collected data even during private browsing. "'Incognito' does not mean 'invisible,'" Google's lawyers wrote. See more stories on Insider's business page. A federal judge denied Google's motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the search giant of tracking users even while they were using incognito mode on their browsers.
The suit, Brown v. Google, alleged that Google collected data when users were using Chrome's private browsing mode. In some instances, other websites that used Google Analytics or Google Ad Manager sent "a secrete, separate message to Google's servers in California," the suit said.
In asking for a dismissal, Google said users were given enough information about how their activity might be tracked while using the private browsing mode. Insider has reached out to the company for comment.
"Google also makes clear that 'Incognito' does not mean 'invisible,' and that the user's activity during that session may be visible to websites they visit, and any third-party analytics or ads services the visited websites use," Google's lawyers wrote.
But Google's argument was rejected on Friday by Lucy Koh, a judge for the northern district of California.
Koh, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, wrote: "First, Google cannot demonstrate that Plaintiffs expressly consented because Google did not notify users that it would be engaging in the alleged data collection while Plaintiffs were in private browsing mode."
The class-action lawsuit was filed in June 2020, with three plaintiffs attached to it. In their initial complaint, they said Google tracked their internet use between June 1, 2016, and the present. The tracking continued in private browsing mode, without their consent and without "a legitimate business interest" from Google, they said.
"Secret monitoring of web private browsing is highly offensive behavior," the suit said.
In the months since the suit was filed, tech giants have wrestled with how much consumer activity should be tracked.
There was a battle brewing between Facebook and Apple, after the iPhone maker announced software updates that would limit some ad tracking. Known as App Tracking Transparency, the update will require app developers to request permission before they can track users.
At the same time, federal lawmakers are renewing their focus on whether the internet ad businesses run by Google and Facebook violate antitrust laws.
Rep. David Cicilline, antitrust subcommittee chairman, said during a hearing on Friday: "Overall, the market power of Google and Facebook is reinforced by the unprecedented amount of data collected by these companies, along with other factors that have tipped digital markets in favor of these firms and blocked rivals and new entrants from challenging their dominance."
Google this month said it would shift away from precision-targeting ads and would no longer track specific users as they browse the web.
"We remain committed to preserving a vibrant and open ecosystem where people can access a broad range of ad-supported content with confidence that their privacy and choices are respected," David Temkin, director of product management for ads privacy and trust, wrote in a blog post.
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A Lawsuit Alleging Google Tracked 'Incognito Mode' Users Will Go Forward
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 12:21
'''Incognito' does not mean 'invisible,''' read the company's unsuccessful motion to dismiss the case.
A lawsuit alleging Google tracked ''incognito mode'' Chrome users will proceed, after Google's motion to dismiss the case was denied by a federal judge on Friday. The class action lawsuit Brown V. Google was submitted in June 2020 and claims that the plaintiffs' data was collected and tracked from June 2016 to filing date without consent or ''legitimate business interest'' while using the private browsing tool, according to Business Insider.
Google asked for a dismissal on the grounds that users are informed as to the ways their data is used, even in ''incognito mode.'' The company's lawyers explained in their motion, ''Google also makes clear that 'Incognito' does not mean 'invisible,' and that the user's activity during that session may be visible to websites they visit, and any third-party analytics or ads services the visited websites use.''
Federal courts in the U.S. have been cracking down on the ways tech giants track, collect and implement user data over the last year, as well as shows of monopolistic or anti-competitive behavior. A suit to the latter effect was filed against Google in October 2020, and the Federal Trade Commission ordered nine of these companies to explain how and why they collect personal information in December. Google (alongside Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and Uber) spent a combined $65 million USD in lobbying costs over the course of 2020, battling these and other attempted regulatory measures and antitrust lawsuits.
But Google has rolled out some self-regulatory measures. The company recently announced that it will phase out the use of third-party cookies, which help to deliver targeted ads, in Chrome: citing an ''erosion of trust'' for its users.
'I've Demanded A Meeting': Ted Cruz Unloads On Military Twitter Accounts Targeting Tucker Carlson | The Daily Caller
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 11:47
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz launched a challenge Sunday to military personnel who have publicly attacked Fox News host and Daily Caller cofounder Tucker Carlson.
''Under Biden, the military is launching political attacks to intimidate Tucker Carlson & other civilians who criticize their policy decisions,'' Cruz tweeted along with a copy of the letter he sent to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. ''Officials in uniform are being used for the campaign. I've demanded a meeting with the Commandant of the USMC to put a stop to it.''
Under Biden, the military is launching political attacks to intimidate Tucker Carlson & other civilians who criticize their policy decisions.
Officials in uniform are being used for the campaign.
I've demanded a meeting with the Commandant of the USMC to put a stop to it.
'-- Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 14, 2021
Citing Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 1344.10, Cruz noted that members of the U.S. military are not permitted to engage in partisan politics in their official capacities. He then pointed out that a number of military officials '-- using their official Twitter accounts '-- had attacked Carlson over comments he made earlier in the week about the military's priorities under President Joe Biden.
Carlson compared the Chinese government '-- which is building a massive naval operation '-- to Biden's announcement that the Defense Department was prioritizing things like changing regulations for female hairstyles and issuing maternity flight suits. That priority shift, Carlson argued, would ''make a mockery of the United States military.'' (RELATED: KRUTA: Tucker Was Right About The Military, And The Intentional Perversion Of His Point Endangers Americans)
In response to Carlson, a number of military officials accused him of mocking and degrading women '-- particularly pregnant women '-- who were serving in the military.
Hey @TuckerCarlson, this is my Squad and they're @USArmy Strong. You'd be lucky to meet them. #VictoryStartsHere
'-- GEN Paul E. Funk II (@PaulFunk2) March 11, 2021
Drama TV '' my response to Mr. Carlson's comments on women in the Armed Forces. @TuckerCarlson
'-- U.S. Space Command, Command Senior Enlisted Leader (@US_SpaceComCSEL) March 11, 2021
Hey @TuckerCarlson , I've logged 20 years in the Corps, 2000 flight hours, 3 combat tours, 3 kids delivered on active duty. How about you?
'-- Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) March 11, 2021
This is me, yesterday, conducting a re-enlistment for one of the tens of thousands of women who serve in our Army. Just a reminder that @TuckerCarlson couldnt be more wrong.
'-- Patrick Donahoe (@PatDonahoeArmy) March 11, 2021
Canadian billionaire who lent holiday mansion to Prince Harry and Meghan is named as controversial mining tycoon '' The US Sun
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 02:25
PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle's Vancouver Island bolthole is owned by a controversial Canadian billionaire with links to the Clintons, it emerged last night.
The royals have so far refused to reveal the owner of the £11million waterfront mansion near Victoria, British Columbia, but it is now believed to be former stockbroker Frank Giustra.
Frank Giustra has been involved in business deals with former US President Bill Clinton Credit: Corbis - Getty 6
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games in Canada in 2017 Credit: Getty Images - Getty 6
The house the Sussexes have rented from Giustra on Vancouver Island Credit: WWW.SOTHEBYSREALTY.CADivorced dad-of-two Giustra, 62, co-founded Hollywood studio Lionsgate '' producing movies including American Psycho and the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.
He is also known as one of the biggest donors to the Clinton Foundation.
In 2005, he and President Bill Clinton traveled together to Kazakhstan to meet with the former Soviet republic's authoritarian leader.
Shortly after Giustra acquired shares in three of the country's state-run uranium mines - a venture valued at more than £2.2billion.
Months after the Kazakh pact, Giustra reportedly gave a £24million donation to the Clinton Foundation and has since publicly pledged he'll donate £76million.
Both Giustra and Clinton have strongly denied the former US president helped him cement the Kazakh deal and Giustra later divested himself of the assets.
In 2016, as Hillary Clinton was running for US President, leaked e-mails revealed that Giustra and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim gave an endowment of £15million in 2010.
GIUSTRA AND THE CLINTONSIt was used by the Clinton Foundation to set up the for-profit Haiti Development Fund, intended to give seed money to Haitian entrepreneurs after the devastating earthquake.
Yet there is ''almost nothing in the public record'' showing what happened to the millions of dollars, according to reports at the time.
Giustra was furious at the claims and later told Canada's National Post that the Clinton allegations were ''insanity'...a f****** circus''.
The businessman, who currently runs the private equity firm Fiore Financial, remains on the board of directors of the Clinton Foundation and is a renowned philanthropist.
He won the 2014 Dalai Lama Humanitarian Award and the Order of British Columbia in 2016, the highest civilian honor for achievement benefiting local people.
MANSION LOANED FOR FREEGiustra is believed to have loaned Harry and Meghan his mansion for FREE.
The main house, called Mille Fleurs, was bought in 2014 and registered under a local country club to shield the identity of the owner.
Giustra is a very close friend of famed music producer David Foster, whose wife Katharine McPhee went to school and worked on theater productions with Meghan in LA.
Foster has said he set up Meghan and Harry with the house after learning they were in need of a discreet location to spend the holidays.
On Thursday, Meghan flew back to the Vancouver Island home to join baby Archie, who was under the care of a nanny following her trip to London amid the 'Megxit' fall-out.
A convoy of three Toyota people carriers with a black Land Rover Discovery following at the rear moved swiftly out of the mansion on Saturday lunchtime.
'BROKEN RELATIONSHIP'Charles has yet to speak to Harry after bombshell Oprah interview
BIG MAC & DIESOne burger could kill man due to ultra-rare allergy caused by tick bite
DON'T BANK ON ITNew 'Banksy' mural showing child holding onto colourful kite appears
'MOVE BACK'Moment Cop shoves mourner to the floor in ugly scenes at Sarah vigil
HARRY ROWCharles' pal slams 'f*****g hypocrisy' of Harry claim he's 'cut off financially'
ROYAL GRUMBLEMeghan Markle demands to see emails & texts on bullying allegations
STANDING BY THEMRoyal wedding choir leader says racism in Firm 'hard to believe'
'DISHONEST'Oprah chat with Meg 'misled viewers', claims news group in complaint to CBS
ROYAL RELATIONSCharles 'gave Harry many thousands of pounds' despite cut off claims
PLOT TWISTSamantha Markle hits back at Meghan's claims she hasn't seen her for 19 years
It is understood the Discovery was carrying British Royal protection officers while at least two of the people carriers were manned by Royal Canadian amounted Police officers.
The Discovery was back at the £11million house four hours later, but it is not known where the convoy went.
One local source claimed that Meghan was going to head to Los Angeles to see her mum Doria.
The couple announced they were stepping down as senior royals and moving to North America Credit: Splash News 6
Meghan returned to Canada to join baby Archie on Thursday Credit: Getty 6
The Queen and senior royals are set to make a deal over Harry and Meghan's futures at their Sandringham summit on Monday Credit: PA:Press Association
Is this Australia's turning point on sexual harassment, assault? | Sexual Assault News | Al Jazeera
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 02:24
Canberra, Australia '' Australian politics appears set to face a reckoning after a wave of allegations of sexual assault and harassment committed by multiple politicians and staff at Parliament House in the country's capital.
Allegations have so far been made against a male political staffer, alleged to have raped a female colleague in 2019, against Attorney-General Christian Porter, accused of sexually assaulting a female acquaintance when both were teenagers in 1988; and against a senior aide of a member of parliament, alleged to have sexually harassed several teenage girls.
''The 1990s saw a sudden rise in women in parliament, but even now, only a quarter of politicians are women,'' Blair Williams, a research fellow at The Australian National University's Global Institute for Women's Leadership, told Al Jazeera.
''Our parliaments are about representation for men, by men. It is a toxic culture that excludes women, resulting in the enabling of what we've seen recently.''
Just weeks after child sexual abuse survivor Grace Tame was named Australian of the Year, former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins went public with allegations that she was raped in Parliament House in March 2019.
Higgins had just begun working for minister Linda Reynolds at the time. Less than a month into her role, Higgins says a senior male staffer assaulted her on a couch in Reynolds' ministerial office late at night. The man was fired the following week for what Reynolds, who is now defence minister, described as a security breach.
Two issues are at the heart of this initial scandal: first, how a young woman could be raped inside Parliament House itself, and second, how the ruling Liberal Party handled the incident.
Higgins said she received little support and was made to feel that reporting the incident to the police would end her career and negatively affect the election that was just a few months away.
Three other women have since come forward with allegations against the same man.
Attorney-general faces questionsBarely a fortnight after Higgins made her allegations, Parliament House was rocked again. This time, a senior minister was accused of raping a 16-year-old woman during a debating competition trip in 1988.
The man was initially not named in the media due to Australia's strong defamation laws, but after days of rumour, Attorney-General Christian Porter identified himself as the accused. Porter would have been 17 years old at the time of the incident.
Both Porter and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have repeatedly rejected the allegations. Morrison has also so far refused to hold an independent inquiry into whether Porter is a fit and proper person to hold the position of attorney-general, the nation's first law officer.
''[Porter] is a fine attorney-general,'' Morrison told the media on Wednesday. ''He is an innocent man under the law.''
BREAKING: Read the full story on James Hooke's account of relevant disclosures from Addlaide woman in 1989 and 1990s here. We have contacted @cporterwa for comment
'-- Samantha Maiden (@samanthamaiden) March 12, 2021
Porter's accuser committed suicide in June 2019, meaning the allegations cannot be taken to a criminal court. Similar problems were encountered during the trial of former Melbourne Archbishop George Pell for child sexual abuse, in which one of two alleged victims had also taken their own life.
Meanwhile, allegations have also emerged against Frank Zumbo, a senior aide to Craig Kelly, an MP for the Liberals. Six young women have made formal police complaints against Zumbo, saying he was physically and verbally inappropriate with them.
One woman, Anna Hobson, was just 16 years old when she interned in Zumbo's office. Hobson told ABC Australia that young female interns were required to greet Zumbo with hugs and kisses, and that he inappropriately touched her on multiple occasions.
Parliament's working cultureZumbo has denied all allegations but has been under police investigation since April 2019. An apprehended violence order that forbids him from going within 100 metres of one former intern has already been granted.
The Morrison government has now appointed Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins to lead a review into parliament's working culture. She is expected to file a preliminary report by July and the full findings by November.
''In my time working in this area and particularly looking in workplaces over the 30 years, I've never seen any moment like this,'' Jenkins said in an interview with the ABC.
''We're at a turning point.''
Australia's Attorney-General Christian Porter leaves a press conference in Perth earlier this month, after he outed himself as the unnamed cabinet minister accused of raping a 16-year-old girl [File: Stefan Gosatti/AFP]Accusations that Australia's political culture is sexist and unsafe for women are nothing new. In October 2012, then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard accused then-Opposition Leader Tony Abbott of sexist behaviour towards her. Gillard was frequently targeted not only for being a woman, but also for being unmarried and not having children.
''I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man; I will not,'' Gillard said in her famous speech. ''If he [Abbott] wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror.''
Gillard made the speech not long after the speaker of the house, Peter Slipper, was accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a male aide. Slipper later resigned.
Toxic environmentExperts say women's participation in Australian politics has never been truly welcomed, and that has contributed to the continued toxic environment.
ANU's Williams points towards a viral petition from current and former students in the state of New South Wales that is calling for education on sexual consent to start earlier. Thousands of women's testimonies on the petition say they were sexually assaulted and harassed by students of boys-only private and selective schools.
''These schools are where the men becoming politicians are coming from,'' Williams explained.
''It's no wonder what happens at Parliament House, seeing as it happens that the schools that channel men to Parliament House.
''Men want to be in charge, so they create supporting institutions and networks that foster men's power over others,'' she added.
''Porter has wanted to be PM since he was a child '... it's fostered in them that they're there to rule over others.''
'Boys' clubs'Women's rights advocates across the country have expressed their dismay that institutional cultures supporting sexual violence still exist in Australia in 2021.
''We can't just rely on politicians alone to regulate themselves and make parliaments safe,'' said Tanja Kovac, CEO of Gender Equity Victoria.
''If parliaments continue to ignore the ways in which they entrench gender inequality by their own conduct and rules, we will continue to see cultural problems leading to sexual and gendered violence.''
The Greens' Spokesperson for Women, Larissa Waters, agrees that the government needs to do more to change institutional tendencies towards becoming ''boys' clubs''.
''Mr Porter's statement is a message to all survivors of sexual assault and rape that this government does not believe them. It will have a chilling effect on survivors and will almost certainly dissuade others from coming forward,'' Waters said.
"I hope the Prime Minister's paying some attention. The rule of law is broken when it comes to rape and sexual assault."@hughriminton's powerful address to Scott Morrison on #TheProjectTV
'-- The Project (@theprojecttv) March 4, 2021
At the March 3 press conference where he tearfully denied all accusations, Porter said he had ''always followed the rules'' and said he was being unfairly targeted.
''If I stand down from my position as attorney-general because of an allegation about something that simply did not happen, then any person in Australia can lose their career, their job, their life's work, based on nothing more than an accusation that appears in print,'' Porter said.
''My guess is that if I were to resign and that set a new standard, there wouldn't be much need for an attorney-general anyway, because there would be no rule of law left to protect in this country.''
Sexual harassment and violence is rife across all areas of Australian life.
One in two women and one in four men have been sexually harassed in Australia, according to the 2016 Personal Safety Survey.
In 2017, police recorded 25,000 victims of sexual assault, while data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that 17 percent of women had experienced sexual violence [Loren Elliott/Reuters]In 2017, police recorded 25,000 victims of sexual assault, while data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that 17 percent of women had experienced sexual violence.
Indigenous activists say no one should really be surprised at the allegations of sexual violence now being made against Australia's political class.
''This country is unsafe for women, gender non-conforming, and nonbinary people. Even more so if you are transgender, have no money or are Aboriginal, and the Prime Minister's comments reinforce the toxic culture that made this happen,'' wrote Indigenous activist Meriki Onus in IndigenousX.
''Those that seek to silence us fail to see how related all facets of violence and injustice are and the origins of them in this country. The predatory sexual violence that we see happening [today], started with colonisers.''
ANU's Williams is also keen emphasise that sexual violence is not limited to one political party alone, nor just to politics itself.
''It's a wider societal problem of rape culture, misogyny and the patriarchy,'' she said.
''These are the issues we need to tackle at all stages of life, from young childhood, to get the message across that sexual violence is not OK.''
Nationwide protests are planned for March 14 and 15, including at Parliament House, Canberra.
Thousands of people are expected to join.
''The current uprising is something I thought I would never live to see,'' said Biff Ward, a women's activist since the 1970s who will be speaking at the Canberra march.
''Every wave does something profound that builds on what has come before.''
Cancel culture is out of control '-- and Gen X is our only hope
Sun, 14 Mar 2021 22:16
First it was Huck Finn. Then it was JK Rowling. Last week it was ''The Muppet Show.'' This week it's Dumbo. It's only a matter of time before ''Star Wars'' gets canceled and you know it.
Will Gen X please stand up? I have something I want to say to you '-- to us.
We grew up in a country that didn't ban books. We all agreed that witch hunts and blacklists were bad. Censorship was an outrage. The 1980s were not that long ago. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.
So obviously we've got a problem here. Everybody can see it. Everybody knows where it's heading. What we don't have '-- yet '-- is a group of people who are willing to do something about it.
I nominate us.
The generation that fought for its right to party should be leading the charge against these millennial Maoists terrorizing the culture via social media. Why aren't we?
The reason is as obvious as it is unacceptable: We're terrified of getting canceled ourselves. The kid who stands up to the neighborhood bully may end up a hero, but he may take a humiliating beating first. Most of us are like that character in ''Raiders of the Lost Ark'' who saw the pit full of snakes and said to Indiana Jones: ''Very dangerous. You go first.''
Tears for Fears was wrong when they said everybody wants to rule the world. Only people between the ages of 23 and 33 want that kind of trouble. Once you reach 40, ruling the world sounds like too much work. People with jobs and families and mortgages want a quiet life. We want to find time to watch ''Nomadland,'' maybe save a little cash to redo the basement.
The millennial Maoists are out to control freedom of speech. We wouldn't have stood for this in the 1980s. Universal PicturesHere's the thing: The situation with the millennials is getting way out of hand. Probably some of them are like us and think ruining a person's life over a rumor that he once uttered a bad word is madness. But even the good ones are in too deep to see a way out. They don't have the guts to stand up. They've seen what happens to their friends who step out of line.
Bad news, bears. We're the adults here. We have to do it.
If Gen Xers want to spare our own kids having to live in the new East Germany these woke maniacs are trying to build, we can't go on wearing our sunglasses at night. We have to do something, and we have to do it soon.
Here's why it has to be us. The Gen X childhood was built around a simple premise: The US wasn't a perfect country, but living here beat the pants off life behind the Iron Curtain. Whatever else is wrong with America, people don't lose their jobs because of their political views. We don't rat on our neighbors when they criticize the government. Nobody has to worry about a visit from the secret police when they say rude things about certain sacred cows.
Liberals and conservatives have always had plenty to fight about, and the 1980s were no different, but this was something both sides actually agreed on back then. Say your piece. Speak your mind. Agree to disagree.
In the 1980s, Tipper Gore launched a censorious crusade against popular music '-- and the youth was outraged. Sygma via Getty ImagesWhat happened to that country? Where did it go? Skewer a sacred cow these days and you're likely to have your home address and phone number spilled out on the Internet for every troll and troublemaker to play with. Voice an unpopular opinion and you could be delisted, deplatformed, and maybe '-- one day soon '-- defenestrated.
We are living through an era of intelligence-insulting national debates. Does Mr. Potato Head erase the existence of trans teens? Do Dr. Seuss' sneetches perpetuate systemic racism? Is it OK to let the kids watch ''Gone With the Wind''? What about ''The Mandalorian''? Does saying there's two sides to every story make me a racist?
You know the answers to these questions. We all do. It sure says a lot that we'd rather eat glass than have to answer them in public.
Honestly, I think I know what happened. In a weird way the existence of the Soviet Union was good for American democracy. We spent a lot of time comparing ourselves to the Russkies and the superiority of our way of life was obvious. Due process was better than show trials. Personal liberty was better than state tyranny. Free speech was better than censorship. Reckoning with history was better than erasing it.
Twisted Sister was targeted by Gore as being too ''filthy'' but the band declared ''We're not gonna take it.'' Getty ImagesRocky Balboa was better than Ivan Drago.
The Evil Empire component of the Cold War was perversely helpful. Several generations of American kids grew up knowing that we were the good guys. When we won the Cold War we lost our enemy. So we looked around for a new enemy and decided that the enemy could be us.
Kids stopped learning what Gen X and every previous generation learned in high school: free speech is good for everyone; witch hunts and moral panics always end in terrible injustice; blacklists are un-American. Instead they started learning that speech could be violence and purges could be heroic. Victimhood is currency and sending someone to the gulag makes you feel superior.
I'm not saying that the 1980s were some kind of paradise. Tipper Gore launched a censorious crusade against popular music. On the list of ''filthy'' songs compiled by her Parents Music Resource Center was ''We're Not Gonna Take It'' by Twisted Sister and ''She Bop'' by Cyndi Lauper. Believe me when I tell you that every teenager in America was horrified. All the cool kids protested and jeered '-- not at Twisted Sister and Cyndi Lauper, as they might do today if the woke mob called for it '-- but at Mrs. Al Gore, who was obviously sticking her nose where it didn't belong.
Even Cyndi Lauper was subjected to the culture police, but never canceled. RedfernsWhat's more, the artists who were targeted by the PMRC fought back and just about everybody agreed they were right to do so. Dee Snider didn't apologize for having given offense and slink away like a pathetic, spineless slug. He waltzed into a Capitol Hill conference room, looked 'em straight in the eye, and, in not so many words, told them to back the f''k up.
We could use some of that spirit around here, don't you think?
Gen X needs to realize something: Nobody is going to ride to the rescue. Harrison Ford isn't going to show up in the final act to save the day. No politician or celebrity is capable of turning back the woke millennial tide with a sharp tweet or a snappy speech.
The cavalry is us. We are the ones who have to fight the cancel culture (rhetorically, of course). We will have to engage in a thousand tiny battles every day and it will be terribly uncomfortable. It'll be hard standing up to school administrators pushing an ''anti-racist'' curriculum on your kids. It'll take real courage to refuse to call yourself a bigot and to denounce the people who raised you.
Today, parents are asking whether kids should be allowed to watch Oscar-winning film ''Gone With the Wind.''If we can't find the guts to do this dirty job, the second half of our lives is going to look very different than the first half did. We will taste life in Siberia. Our children and our children's children will be forced to navigate a miserable, paranoid world of lies and deception. They will be asked to spy on their own parents. They will denounce their friends.
Don't let it happen. We are a generation with a certain set of skills. We can read a map. We can tell time on an analog clock. We can get along just fine without social media. And we know deep down that sticks and stones can break your bones but words can never hurt you.
The most important thing about us is that we remember how things used to be. How it was not to be afraid to speak your mind. As the Shawshank man said, you either get busy living, or get busy dying.
Matthew Hennessey is the author of ''Zero Hour for Gen X: How the Last Adult Generation Can Save America from Millennials.''
Aging Hubble returns to operations after software glitch - SpaceNews
Sun, 14 Mar 2021 20:57
by Jeff Foust '-- March 12, 2021 NASA's Hubble Space Telescope resumed observations on the evening of March 11, more than four days after a software glitch triggered a safe mode. Credit: NASAWASHINGTON '-- NASA's Hubble Space Telescope resumed observations March 11 after a software error placed it in a protective safe mode several days earlier, but the incident is a reminder of the telescope's mortality.
NASA said Hubble resumed observations at 8 p.m. Eastern March 11, more than four and a half days after a software error caused the spacecraft to go into a safe mode, suspending normal operations of the nearly 31-year-old space telescope.
The software error was traced to what an agency statement called an ''enhancement'' recently uploaded to the spacecraft. That enhancement was intended to compensate for fluctuations from one of the telescope's gyroscopes, but a glitch in the software caused a broader problem with Hubble's main computer, triggering the safe mode early March 7.
Controllers resolved the problem for now by disabling that software enhancement, and plan to correct the flaw and test the new software further before uploading it again.
That safe mode, though, caused two other problems with Hubble. The telescope's aperture door, a cover on top of the telescope, is designed to automatically close when the spacecraft enters safe mode to prevent stray sunlight from entering, which could damage instruments and optics. During this safe mode, though, the door did not swing shut, a problem never before seen with Hubble.
Engineers troubleshooting the problem found that the door did close once they switched to a backup motor. They have now set that motor as the primary one as they continue to study the problem with the other motor.
One of Hubble's instruments, the Wide Field Camera 3, ''experienced an unexpected error'' during the recovery from safe mode. NASA did not elaborate on the error but said that observations using that instrument will remain on hold as engineers study the problem. The spacecraft's other instruments, including a camera and two spectrographs, are functioning.
The safe mode, and related issues, is a reminder of Hubble's age. The spacecraft was launched in April 1990 and serviced by the space shuttle five times, most recently in May 2009. With the shuttle long since retired, astronomers know that, at some point, Hubble will suffer an unrecoverable failure that will end its historic mission.
''Right now we're in the middle of what I think is a very good news story about Hubble,'' Jennifer Wiseman, an astronomer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said at a conference last year about the space telescope. She and others believe that the telescope can remain operational through much of this decade, based on trends in the performance of key components, such as its gyroscopes and batteries.
Some have argued for a new servicing mission to Hubble using either a robotic or crewed spacecraft. John Grunsfeld, a former NASA astronaut who flew on three Hubble servicing missions and later served as the agency's associate administrator for science, presented a concept last year for a crewed servicing mission using an Orion spacecraft and a module equipped with a robotic arm and airlock. That spacecraft would dock with Hubble, with astronauts then performing repairs much as they did on past servicing missions.
''We have the technology to go back to Hubble,'' he said in a presentation last June to the Space Transportation Association, noting that a commercial crew vehicle, like Crew Dragon, could be used in place of Orion. ''We could keep Hubble going for another few decades.''
NASA, though, has shown no public interest in such a servicing mission, whose expense would run in the hundreds of millions to billions of dollars. ''It's not currently on the books. Nobody is really talking about it a lot, at least publicly,'' Grunsfeld acknowledged.
Without a servicing mission, Hubble could last for many years, or fail tomorrow, astronomers like Wiseman acknowledge. ''We don't know how long Hubble's going to last,'' she said.
Inside Woody Allen's Close Friendship With Jeffrey Epstein
Sun, 14 Mar 2021 20:51
O ver the past several weeks, audiences have been watching'--and endlessly debating'--Allen v. Farrow, the eye-opening HBO docuseries examining Dylan Farrow's allegation that on Aug. 4, 1992, her adoptive father, Woody Allen, took a 7-year-old Dylan up to the attic of their Connecticut country home and molested her.
The film, whose fourth and final chapter airs Sunday, March 14, provides testimony from numerous members of the Farrow-Previn clan, including Dylan, her brother Ronan, and their mother Mia; eyewitness accounts from family friends, neighbors, and hired help; interviews with state and city officials in New York and Connecticut; never-before-heard recordings of phone calls between Woody and Mia; and unearthed documents from the New York and Connecticut investigations into Dylan's welfare. (Allen and Soon-Yi, who declined to participate in the series, released a written statement through Allen's sister calling it ''a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods'' and the abuse claim ''categorically false.'')
Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, the filmmaking team behind Allen v. Farrow, feel that the Annie Hall filmmaker, whose behavior toward Dylan was deemed ''grossly inappropriate'' by a judge in the child-custody trial he lost, shouldn't merely hide behind a prepared statement. ''If you had nothing to hide, and you were really being falsely maligned, wouldn't you want to speak to journalists?'' Ziering told The Daily Beast. ''What are you afraid of?''
One thing Woody Allen is not afraid of is defending powerful men who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct. He's served as one of Roman Polanski's most vocal defenders, saying the fugitive filmmaker is ''a nice person'' who's ''paid his dues'' for raping a 13-year-old girl and then fleeing the country, and in the immediate wake of the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, accused the movie mogul's victims of conducting ''a witch hunt'' against him, before walking it back.
And then there's his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
It's not clear when Allen and Epstein first crossed paths, though the two were longtime friends and neighbors on Manhattan's Upper East Side for years. The director and his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, have been photographed a few times leaving the financier's townhouse'--including in September 2013, five years after Epstein pleaded guilty to child prostitution charges, when a Page Six headline declared: ''Woody Allen pals around with child-sex creep.''
Epstein ''was hugging him and talking close to his ear,'' and ''had his arm on Woody's shoulder,'' one witness told the tabloid, adding that the pals appeared to enjoy a stroll down Madison Avenue before arriving at Epstein's seven-story mansion.
Diplomat Terje R¸d-Larsen joined this walk, along with his friend, filmmaker H¥kon Gundersen, who told the Norwegian newspaper DN last October: ''I heard that Epstein knew Woody Allen and several other famous film producers. With my background, I thought it was very interesting.''
When Allen arrived, Epstein allegedly told Gundersen, ''Here you will meet someone else who is also very interested in film.'' Gundersen said they all visited Central Park for about two hours that day before heading back to Epstein's home. (Woody Allen and Soon-Yi did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.)
Around the same time, Epstein hosted another dinner at his New York home, where he introduced Allen to a connection at MIT. Joi Ito, former director of the MIT Media Lab, ''met other influential individuals at meetings with Epstein, including Woody Allen, a senior executive at the Hyatt Corporation, and a former prime minister of Israel,'' according to a report commissioned by the school on its ties to Epstein.
MIT staff even raised the possibility that Epstein would bring Allen to campus during his October 2013 visit. ''Ito expressed concern that inviting Epstein and Woody Allen to campus could create a public relations headache for MIT,'' the report states. Apparently citing the Page Six story, Ito tried to dissuade Epstein from bringing Allen. ''Since you two were just in the news recently, I wonder if that might be bad,'' Ito emailed the financier.
Yet Allen apparently had no qualms about consorting with a convicted sex offender who served jail time in 2008 and 2009 for soliciting an underage girl, and appeared to stay close to him until his death. In New York, Epstein was registered as a Level 3 offender, meaning he was a threat to public safety and at high risk for committing similar crimes again.
The duo also reportedly had another mutual friend: Allen's former teenage mistress, model Christina Engelhardt, who was 16 when she began dating the director in 1976. Their secret relationship lasted eight years, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Engelhardt tells The Daily Beast that she worked as a personal assistant for Epstein in the early 1980s, back when he was ''only a millionaire'' and ''wasn't there yet'' when it came to sex-trafficking underage girls. She says she told Epstein that she'd dated Allen, but that the two New Yorkers weren't friendly yet.
''Nothing surprises me with either one of those men,'' Engelhardt offers. ''I still am shocked that these very talented people choose these sadistic paths that bring them down. There's nothing good about it.''
Working for Epstein eventually became toxic, and Engelhardt decided to flee to Italy to serve as an assistant (and muse) to director Federico Fellini, whom she says was a lovely man. As for her time with Allen and Epstein, Engelhardt says, ''I escaped one monster and ran away from the other.''
''Woody is a bad guy,'' she adds. ''And the documentary really helped open my eyes to just how bad.''
In December 2010, Allen attended a lavish dinner at Epstein's residence toasting Britain's Prince Andrew, who faces abuse accusations himself from Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged victim of Epstein's. Other celebrity guests at the soiree included TV journalists Katie Couric, Charlie Rose, and George Stephanopoulos, publicist Peggy Siegal, and comedian Chelsea Handler.
Back then, Daily Mail columnist Richard Kay reported that ''Andrew was in [a] jolly mood... ­especially when other guests, including Hollywood star Woody Allen, asked him for an invite to'' the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
'' Nothing surprises me with either one of those men. I still am shocked that these very talented people choose these sadistic paths that bring them down. There's nothing good about it. ''
Handler recently spoke up about the event, which she described as ''weird,'' claiming she tagged along with Couric and was seated next to Allen and Soon-Yi. ''When we got there I was like, what is this gathering?'' Handler recently said on Rob Lowe's podcast. ''We had dinner and it was so awkward and so weird. I was like, what are we doing here? And then I asked Woody Allen how he and Soon-Yi met and that was when I left.''
''I really was curious!'' Handler added. ''I had forgotten for a moment'... but as it came out of my mouth, I knew that it was too late.'' Allen, however, was apparently amused. ''And he loved it, and Soon-Yi, I don't think she heard it'...''
Epstein reportedly decorated his New York home with photos of himself and famous friends, including Allen, former President Clinton, and Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia who ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Following Epstein's suicide whilst awaiting trial on charges of sex-trafficking minors, New York Times scribe James B. Stewart detailed visiting Epstein's Manhattan mansion in August 2018, and spotting the snapshots with Allen and Clinton. ''Displaying photos of celebrities who had been caught up in sex scandals of their own also struck me as odd,'' Stewart wrote, adding that Epstein called him a week later and invited him to a Saturday dinner with Allen. The reporter declined.
''The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr. Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it,'' Stewart continued. ''He also claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposed sexual proclivities and recreational drug use.''
Allen wasn't Epstein's only Hollywood connection. The financier was friendly with disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who allegedly tried to attack a woman in Epstein's orbit. His rolodex included a host of other celebrities including media investor Ron Burkle and actors like Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin, Elizabeth Hurley, and Minnie Driver.
As The Daily Beast previously reported, Epstein and Allen also had mutual friends in Paris. Former French politician Jack Lang'--who's publicly defended Allen amid Dylan's child sexual abuse allegations'--claimed he met Epstein in 2012 at a party hosted by Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies. The socialite threw the party in Allen's honor.
One victim of Epstein even mentioned meeting Allen in a lawsuit she filed against the financier's estate. The woman, referred to as Priscilla Doe, says she was a 20-year-old dancer in New York when Epstein began abusing her in 2006 until 2012'--including when he was on ''work release'' at the Palm Beach County lockup.
''On one occasion, Jeffrey Epstein forced [Priscilla Doe] to serve hors d'oeuvres at Epstein's private party with Woody Allen,'' Doe's lawsuit states. ''This server's role was forced upon [her] in order to demean her, frighten her, and impress upon her the need for her to conceal the commercial sex trafficking enterprise he was running.''
Asked about Doe's complaint, her lawyer Brad Edwards said, ''Woody was a very close friend of Epstein's. They hung out quite frequently. I cannot comment beyond that.''
''Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty'' '' Zero Covid document | Gript
Sun, 14 Mar 2021 20:35
Gript can reveal that members of the Zero-Covid advocacy group ISAG have recently been instructed to ''look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety, and uncertainty.''
The revelation comes from a trove of hundreds of emails, draft documents, and ISAG internal communications that were recently leaked to Gript.
ISAG members were instructed to ''review and internalise'' instructions to ''look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety, and uncertainty'', and to ''go after people and not institutions'' because ''people hurt faster than institutions.'' The instructions were shared to the group by Professor Anthony Staines, one of the founders of ISAG, in a note titled, ''Notes from 2020-02-08 ISAG meeting'' (the note's title contains a typo, it was actually posted on the 8th of February, 2021). The note reminded ISAG members of the importance of ridicule as ''man's most powerful weapon'' and that ''the threat of a thing is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.'' ISAG members, many of whom are regular guests in Irish media, were told that they could count on ''imagination'' to ''dream up many more consequences'' than they themselves as ''the threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.''
These instructions are based on Saul Alinsky's book Rules for Radicals, which argues that the creation of conflict is necessary for activists to succeed and that organizers should find, or create, an ''enemy'' who can be singled out, personally blamed for everything that has gone wrong, and attacked and ridiculed unmercifully '' regardless of if the chosen ''enemy'' actually bears responsibility for the things you are blaming him for. The book tells organizers to allow ''no middle ground.''
Interestingly a copy of Alinsky's Rules was sent to ISAG by Dr Gabriel Scally, a Northern Irish public health physician best known in the Republic for authoring the Scally Review into CervicalCheck. Dr Scally is involved with the Zero-Covid advocacy group Independent SAGE and has made numerous comments to Irish media on the need to support the adoption of Zero-Covid policies within Ireland. Independent SAGE was set up as a left-wing alternative to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) which is advising the British Government.
We offered Professor Staines multiple opportunities to comment on this story prior to publication, but he has yet to do so.
Taken from ISAG's Slack, part of the date of the meeting above is included due to the typo in the date given by Professor Staines.

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