1344: Jabs for Jesus

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 52m
May 6th, 2021
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Executive Producers: Andy Cracchiolo, Baron Crack, Anonymous, Sir Pat The Prick, Sir Mike44 JR not BS, Kyle Rank, Daniel Langman (Sir Veyor of the Realm), Dame Jennifer, Gretchen Christensen snipsandsnailsorg, Cody Brown, Julian Erickson, Dave Fugazzotto, Duke of America's Heartland and the Arabian Peninsula, Gonzo Shimura, Sir Rick Earl of Washington State excluding Seattle, Shepard, Sir Jim Watts, BARON OF Whistler and Metropolitan Garibaldi region

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Greg Birch Baron of the North Olympic Peninsula, Alex Shissler, Brandon Ellsbury, Matt Leroy

Cover Artist: Korrekt Da Rekard

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Let Us Out!
Vaccinated but won't go out? The rise of Covid anxiety syndrome
Wed, 05 May 2021 16:34
Renee Watson, a healthy 43-year-old, has received both her coronavirus jabs already. Meanwhile, the UK Covid infection rate has dwindled and the size of our vaccinated population has swelled. Lockdown is easing, pavement cafes and beer gardens are teeming, and life is inching back to something more like normality.
But not so much for Watson, nor those like her who may be suffering '' to a greater or lesser degree '' from what has been termed Covid anxiety syndrome. Watson, an entrepreneur who was once ''quite a risk-taker'' feels far happier playing it safe now.
''I thought I'd spring back and return to being keen to go to restaurants and shopping,'' says the mother-of-two from Oxfordshire. ''But I've really not wanted to at all. I'm still ordering everything online. It's not like me, it's strange: I'm normally a sociable person and like going to festivals but it feels like too much risk at the moment.''
Watson's response to the easing of lockdown is not all that uncommon, say psychologists. It is not yet known how many people will be affected by residual Covid anxiety after vaccination, but it's feared a significant minority will struggle to readjust, especially as increased unlocking allows for large groups and big, crowded events to take place again.
While many of us are enjoying the chance to socialise and travel normally, some are clinging fearfully to the safety behaviours enforced upon us during the pandemic. What was once a rational response to danger has become a ''maladaptive'' response as the danger recedes.
It was Marcantonio Spada, professor of addictive behaviours and mental health at London South Bank University, and Ana Nikčević, a psychology professor at Kingston University, who identified and named the phenomenon of Covid-19 anxiety syndrome.
Early in the pandemic, they hypothesised there would be a number of coping behaviours people would adopt in relation to the perceived threat of Covid, which, while initially helpful, may over time become problematic, especially during the process of reintegration. These behaviours '' which may include not touching things, avoiding using public transport, worrying, and monitoring our environment and other people for the presence of the virus '' could potentially keep us ''stuck'', they suggested.
''In people who use these coping strategies consistently, excessively, daily, with the view they will keep them safe, [it] may inadvertently 'lock' them into Covid-19-related fear and distress and hinder their reintegration and return to normal,'' say the researchers.
Data they have collected in both the US and UK bears out their theory. Their findings suggest that those at a greater risk from the virus are more prone to Covid anxiety syndrome. But Spada believes as many as one in five people could struggle with the return to normality, and that women under 40 may be particularly affected, since other research has shown this demographic to be worst hit by the pandemic psychologically.
For Watson, who studied immunology, it's the uncertainty surrounding the virus that troubles her. ''I'm a massive advocate of vaccines, but Covid has been so unpredictable, it hasn't behaved like we'd expect a virus of this kind,'' she says. ''So although I think vaccination will definitely give me a level of protection, I don't think we yet know fully what that protection will look like, and with the emergence of lots of variants we don't know how well the current vaccine will protect us against emerging strains. So I don't necessarily want to put myself at risk. The children going back to school feels like enough of a risk.''
Thoughts like these are echoed in online messaging forums. ''The virus hasn't gone away,'' wrote one Gransnet user last month. ''Even if like me you have had both vaccinations, there is no guarantee a variant won't turn up and require more and different vaccines. I don't intend to go daft now, just because someone says we can.'' Another replied: ''I've got used to living the way I do now and will find it difficult to live normally again.''
Richard, a 53-year-old from north London who works in property, says his worries centre around the failure of others to stick to the rules - and the fact the vaccine does not guarantee 100 per cent protection. ''I had my vaccination 12 days ago, but I could still get Covid,'' he says. ''Even if I wasn't [severely] ill I could still have side effects or long Covid. I do feel nervous. You feel a bit 'bah humbug' if you ask your friends how many people are going to be there when you visit, but I want to put myself at minimal risk.''
Experts say cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be helpful to ''actively break those negative cycles of thought and action,'' as Dr Victoria Salem, an endocrinologist and researcher at Imperial College London, puts it.
Salem, who has been working on a study of the syndrome with Spada, has seen evidence of it in her own practice among patients of various ages. ''We are seeing it even in people who have been fully vaccinated and that's worrying because pretty soon we'll be expecting people to go back to much more normal routines,'' she says.
Owen O'Kane, a former NHS clinical lead for mental health and author of Ten Times Happier, predicts an increase in anxiety disorders as we emerge from lockdown, not only centering around the fear of Covid itself but also broader worries about reintegration. ''I'm seeing people who weren't socially anxious now struggling with lockdowns easing and having to socially interact. Also an increase in people finding public spaces claustrophobic or too busy.''
Fear of missing out has, for some, become fear of going out. O'Kane, a psychotherapist, suggests a proportion of the population will suffer from what he calls ''post-pandemic stress disorder'' and says: ''We're not going to see the true impact until the pandemic is completely over.''
Indeed, the true scale of the problem is likely to be larger than what is evident now. ''The trauma aspect of this has been understated,'' he says. ''Many people, to a degree, have experienced some trauma. We've been locked away for a year by and large, all our routines have changed, we've been watching horrific headlines every day and are constantly engulfed in a culture of fear. Unquestionably that's going to traumatise people.''
Clinicians can help by encouraging people to ''step out of fear mode'' and start making some gradual behavioural changes, he says. ''You'd encourage people to drop the safety behaviours and say 'this is keeping you more anxious.'''
Prof Nikčević is broadly optimistic. ''We believe the majority of people will be able to release these coping strategies [eventually],'' she says. ''We need to gradually encourage [them]...so people can, over time, release these mental controls.''
For Watson, it will be a matter of watching how things play out. ''I don't think rushing to get back to being in densely populated areas at the moment is going to do any of us any favours,'' she says. ''I'm just going to take it easy and see what happens.''
Returned Victorian traveller records weak COVID-positive result in regional WA town of Collie - ABC News
Tue, 04 May 2021 12:01
A man in Collie, south of Perth, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Key points: The man flew to Australia and spent 14 days in quarantine in Melbourne He tested negative during his time in quarantine before flying to WA WA Health says it is "most likely a historic" infectionThe Health Department says the man recorded a very weak positive result which likely reflects a historical infection.
The man, in his 30s, travelled to Australia from Poland via Victoria, where he underwent 14 days of quarantine at a Melbourne hotel.
He then travelled to WA.
The WA Health Department said the man tested negative to COVID-19 on all his tests while in hotel quarantine.
"On his return to Collie, he was re-tested as part of Vic Health's follow-up of people post-quarantine," the statement said.
"He returned a very weak positive result, which is sometimes seen in people with old, recovered infections.
"WA Health believes the test result most likely reflects an historic infection but out of an abundance of caution has re-tested the man to clarify his infection status."
The man and three of his close contacts have been ordered to isolate and he will be re-tested.
The results of these tests, which will include antibody tests, are expected back tomorrow.
"We are asking the community not to panic and to be assured that WA Health will advise the community if results indicate this is an infectious case," the statement said.
Shire president goes into quarantineShire president Sarah Stanley said the man had caught up with her and other friends at a pub on his return to Collie.
Collie Shire president Sarah Stanley has put herself into self-quarantine after having contact with the man at the local pub, the ABC understands.(Hugh Sando
)"He has been out and about seeing a few of his friends, including us and then has since returned a post-quarantine test as positive," she said.
She said those who had been in contact with the man had put themselves into quarantine.
"He was pretty proactive and just contacted all the people that he knew he had caught up with during that time," she said.
"Those people have started to take their own steps ahead of the health advice.
"It's still very very early days.
"The contract tracing team is doing what they do and working out who they need to contact and what advice they need to give."
Unlikely a 'true case' of COVID-19WA Health's director of communicable disease control, Paul Armstrong, said he hoped further testing would reveal the patient as a "non-case".
"We think that he's just shedding at the moment and that means he's not infectious," he said.
"It's looking more and more likely that this is a historical case and therefore would not be a risk to the public"
Dr Armstrong said the man did not pose a risk to public health.
"Business should be as normal, there's no need to deep clean, there's no need for people to isolate themselves," he said.
"Our feeling at the moment is that this is highly unlikely to be a true case."
Results from the man's most recent tests will come back on Wednesday morning.
Australian Medical Association (AMA) president Dr Omar Khorshid told ABC Radio Perth that while he was yet to be briefed on the details, he assumed authorities must have a reason to suspect the case was a historical one.
"If this chap tested negative in quarantine in Victoria and is now testing positive, then that does raise the question of whether it's a new case," he said.
"But I can only assume that the authorities have got a reason to suspect it's a historic case based on this individual's history and maybe he or she has had the virus in the past."
'We don't hold grave concern': CookHealth Minister Roger Cook told state parliament he was made aware of the case on Tuesday afternoon.
"At this stage, I would just like to stress that it is a weak positive and from that point of view we don't hold grave concern in relation to this outcome, but we are taking a precautious approach," Mr Cook told parliament.
"He will be tested again to determine whether he is in fact a positive, or what is called a historical case.
"Our strong suspicion at this stage is that he is an historic case, which means that he is shedding particles of the virus, and that can from time to time trigger a positive result in the usual testing process.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook says authorities do not hold grave concerns about the case.(ABC New: Jacob Kagi
)"So, we will test him again. He is isolating, all his close contacts are isolating until we get a clearer signal in terms of his test outcomes.
"We will determine this through a serology test, which tests for antibodies which is really the defining characteristic that we would see in somebody who is considered a historic case."
Mr Cook said the Health Department was liaising with the man's employer.
Posted 5hhours ago TueTuesday 4 MayMay 2021 at 6:02am , updated 3hhours ago TueTuesday 4 MayMay 2021 at 8:18am
Face mask requirement for planes, buses and trains extended through mid-September
Sun, 02 May 2021 13:44
Passengers, almost all wearing face masks, board an American Airlines flight to Charlotte, on May 3, 2020, in New York City.
Eleonore Sens | AFP | Getty Images
Traveling this summer? Don't forget your mask.
The Transportation Security Administration on Friday extended a federal requirement that travelers on buses, trains, commercial flights and at airports wear face masks. The requirement was set to expire on May 11 and will now be in effect through Sept. 13.
The agency started requiring that people over the age of 2 wear masks during flights, on buses, trains and public transportation in February following an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are exemptions for some disabilities, the TSA said. Fines for refusing to follow the rules start at $250 and go up to $1,500 for repeated violations.
Airlines have required passengers wear masks for much of the past year as Covid-19 continued to spread but labor unions have pushed the Biden administration for a federal mask mandate to back up cabin crews tasked with enforcing the rules. Carriers have banned more than 2,000 passengers for failing to follow mask requirements.
Airlines for America, an industry group that represents most large U.S. carriers, applauded the extension of the mask requirement and said that the "federal face covering mandate has significantly strengthened our flight crews' ability to enforce these requirements onboard."
The Federal Aviation Administration in January unveiled a "zero tolerance" policy for unruly travelers after a spike in incidents, many of them involving in travelers who refused to wear masks.
"Mask compliance is key to confidence in air travel as we climb towards recovery, which includes international travel," Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the labor union that represents cabin crews at United, Spirit and more than a dozen airlines, said in a statement after the decision.
"We also have a responsibility to make sure aviation isn't contributing to the spread of the virus or any variants. We applaud Administrator Pekoske and the Biden Administration for taking action that ensures we can build back better," Nelson said.
About half of U.S. adults are at least partially vaccinated, according to federal data. Airline executives have reported higher bookings since vaccines have rolled out and more tourist attractions reopen.
Washington DC Bans Dancing at Weddings in Unusual New COVID-19 Crackdown
Mon, 03 May 2021 22:45
US22:10 GMT 03.05.2021(updated 22:34 GMT 03.05.2021) Get short URL
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Despite the success of the US coronavirus vaccine programme and relaxed federal guidelines, the US capital's mayor issued strict new pandemic rules for weddings '-- including limiting the number of guests at reception venues to a quarter of total capacity, including those events held outdoor.
Washington DC has banned dancing at weddings under "insane" new COVID-19 social distancing rules.
Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser's office said it was slapping a ban on dancing, claiming people's behaviour changes when they get on the dancefloor and they are more likely to come close or touch.
"It's insane, it's been an absolute roller coaster," Washington wedding planning firm SRS Events owner Stephanie Sadowski said to Fox News. Sadowski said couples were forced to move their parties to new sites outside of the capital city's limits, to suburbs in neighbouring Maryland and Virginia, to avoid the new rules, which have also capped attendance at both indoor and outdoor venues to 25 percent of capacity while requiring a special waiver for any event that plans to host over 250 guests.
"They want to have a party. Planning their wedding, they've made concessions along the way, they've reduced, reduced and reduced their guest count in Washington DC," Sadowski said. "It's very confusing why Washington DC is singling that out."The new rules are much stricter than those recommended by federal agencies, including as the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"I hope the mayor will start looking at the science and looking at the facts and looking at what the CDC is recommending and allowing," Sadowski stated to Fox News, pointing out the success of the US coronavirus vaccine programme.
Most Vaccinated Nation Seychelles Reintroduces Curbs as Covid Cases Surge - Bloomberg
Wed, 05 May 2021 17:31
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The Pandemic Has Changed Their Shower Habits. How About Yours? - The New York Times
Thu, 06 May 2021 13:08
Robin Harper, an administrative assistant at a preschool in Martha's Vineyard, grew up showering every day.
''It's what you did,'' she said. But when the coronavirus pandemic forced her indoors and away from the general public, she started showering once a week.
The new practice felt environmentally virtuous, practical and freeing. And it has stuck.
''Don't get me wrong,'' said Ms. Harper, 43, who has returned to work. ''I like showers. But it's one thing off my plate. I'm a mom. I work full-time, and it's one less thing I have to do.''
Image Robin Harper outside her home on Martha's Vineyard. She said she began taking showers once a week during the pandemic. Credit... Elizabeth Cecil for The New York Times The pandemic upended the use of zippered pants and changed people's eating and drinking habits. There are now indications that it has caused some Americans to become more spartan when it comes to ablutions.
Parents have complained that their teenage children are forgoing daily showers. After the British media reported on a YouGov survey that showed 17 percent of Britons had abandoned daily showers during the pandemic, many people on Twitter said they had done the same.
Heather Whaley, a writer in Reading, Conn., said her shower use had fallen by 20 percent in the past year.
After the pandemic forced her into lockdown, Ms. Whaley, 49, said she began thinking about why she was showering every day.
''Do I need to? Do I want to?'' she said. ''The act of taking a shower became less a matter of function and more of a matter of doing something for myself that I enjoyed.''
Ms. Harper, who still uses deodorant and does a daily wash of ''the parts that need to be done'' at the sink, said she was confident she was not offending anyone. Her 22-year-old daughter, who is fastidious about bathing and showers twice a day, has not made any comments regarding her new hygiene habit. Nor have the children at her school.
''The kids will tell you if you don't smell good,'' Ms. Harper said, ''3-, 4- and 5-year-old children will tell you the truth.''
Plumbing and upward mobility changed everythingDaily showers are a fairly new phenomenon, said Donnachadh McCarthy, an environmentalist and writer in London who grew up taking weekly baths.
''We had a bath once a week and we washed under at the sink the rest of the week '-- under our armpits and our privates '-- and that was it,'' Mr. McCarthy, 61, said.
As he grew older, he showered every day. But after a visit to the Amazon jungle in 1992 revealed the ravages of overdevelopment, Mr. McCarthy said he began reconsidering how his daily habits were affecting the environment and his own body.
''It's not really good to be washing with soap every day,'' said Mr. McCarthy, who showers once a week.
Doctors and health experts have said that daily showers are unnecessary, and even counterproductive. Washing with soap every day can strip the skin of its natural oils and leave it feeling dry, though doctors still recommend frequent hand-washing.
The American obsession with cleaning began around the turn of the 20th century, when people began moving into cities after the Industrial Revolution, said Dr. James Hamblin, a lecturer at Yale University and the author of ''Clean: The New Science of Skin and the Beauty of Doing Less.''
Cities were dirtier so residents felt they had to wash more frequently, Dr. Hamblin said, and soap manufacturing became more common. Indoor plumbing also began to improve, giving the middle class more access to running water.
To set themselves apart from the masses, wealthy people began investing in fancier soaps and shampoos and started bathing more frequently, he said.
''It became a sort of arms race,'' Dr. Hamblin said. ''It was a signifier of wealth if you looked like you could bathe every day.''
Bathing less = better skin and a cleaner planetKelly Mieloch, 42, said that since the pandemic began she had showered only ''every couple of days.''
What is the point of daily showers, she said, when she rarely leaves the house except to run errands like taking her 6-year-old daughter to school?
''They're not smelling me '-- they don't know what's happening,'' Ms. Mieloch said. ''Most of the time, I'm not even wearing a bra.''
What's more, she said her decision to stop daily showers had helped her appearance.
''I just feel like my hair is better, my skin is better and my face is not so dry,'' said Ms. Mieloch, a mortgage loan closer in Asheville, N.C.
Andrea Armstrong, an assistant professor of environmental science and studies at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., said she was encouraged as more people rethink the daily shower.
An eight-minute shower uses up to 17 gallons of water, according to the Water Research Fund. Running water for even five minutes uses as much energy as running a 60-watt light bulb for 14 hours, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And frequent washing means going through more plastic bottles and using more soap, which is often made with petroleum.
Image Nina Arthur, who owns Nina's Hair Care in Flint, Mich., shampooing a client's hair. Credit... Allison Farrand for The New York Times The individual choice to stop showering or bathing daily is a critical one to make at a time when environmentalists are calling on countries to take more action against climate change, Mr. McCarthy, the environmentalist, said.
''There is nothing like soaking in a deep warm bath,'' he said. ''There is pleasure there that I absolutely accept and understand. But I keep those pleasures as treat.''
Still, Professor Armstrong said, it would take a huge number of people changing their bathing habits to make a difference in carbon emissions. To make a real impact, local and federal governments have to invest in infrastructure that makes showering and water use in general less harmful for the environment.
''It pains me to think of fracking every time I take a shower and use my hot water heater in the home,'' Professor Armstrong said. ''I'm in Pennsylvania. There is not much of a choice.''
Social mores versus scienceDespite the compelling science, it is difficult to imagine Americans as a whole embracing infrequent showers and baths, said Lori Brown, a professor of sociology at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C.
''We've been told so much about not smelling and buying products,'' she said. ''You're dealing with culture. You're not dealing with biology. You can tell people all day that this is not doing any good for them, and there are still going to be people who say: 'I don't care. I'm going to take a shower.'''
Nina Arthur, who owns Nina's Hair Care in Flint, Mich., said she had many clients who were going through menopause and were so uncomfortable that they felt they needed to shower twice a day.
Image Ms. Arthur outside her salon, Nina's Hair Care, in Flint, Mich. She said she had clients who were going through menopause and were showering twice a day. Credit... Allison Farrand for The New York Times ''I've had women who are having hot flashes in my chair,'' she said.
One client was sweating so much, she asked Ms. Arthur to come up with a hairstyle that could withstand constant perspiration.
The pandemic has not swayed the bathing habits of such clients, Ms. Arthur said.
''When you have menopause, the smells are really different,'' she said. ''They're not your normal smelling smells. I don't think there is any woman who would want that smell on them.''
Ms. Arthur, 52, said she understood the environmental argument for showering less, but it would not move her to change her bathing habits.
''Nope,'' she said. ''I'm not that woman.''
Susan Beachy contributed research.
I Went Braless During Lockdown. What Do I Do Now? - The New York Times
Thu, 06 May 2021 13:49
Style | I Went Braless During Lockdown. What Do I Do Now? https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/30/style/bra-pandemic.htmlASK VANESSA
A reader wonders what to wear back in the real world.
Aerie's Real Sunnie, a lightly lined, wireless bra. Credit... via Aerie Published April 30, 2021 Updated May 2, 2021
Like a lot of women, the first thing I ditched in the pandemic was my bra. Liberating! But now it's spring again. We are going back to the office soon, and some compromise is necessary. I'm looking for a deconstructed bra that does not ride up, but is less constricting than a traditional underwire. Any suggestions? '-- Elizabeth, Portland, Ore. One of the meta questions of the moment, as we emerge from the pandemic, in-person work restarts and restaurants and entertainment sites open up, is what, of all the changes that occurred during these long periods of isolation, will stick?
In the midst of the experience, we often talked about lifestyle evolutions as if they were permanent, but increasingly the pendulum seems to be swinging the other way. After sweatpants, all anyone wants is '... party dresses! After home hair-dying, salons are a destination. Which brings us to what this means for the many women who, like you, seized the lockdown moment and freed themselves from underwire.
Not necessarily the same old, same old thing. Because as we also know, the pandemic turned out to be a spur to many trends that were already emerging, and the move to less restrictive undergarments, like the move to online shopping or flexible work schedules, was one of them.
Even before Covid, after all, Victoria's Secret with its push-ups and cartoonish female stereotypes had fallen out of favor, trounced by Savage X Fenty with its embrace of sizes, skin tones and styles. The bralette, the official name for a bra that doesn't look as if it was engineered by a bridge builder, was making an official comeback. So much so that it was even worn on its own and out of the house by celebrities like Zo Kravitz and Bella Hadid.
Granted, that may be a step too far for many of us. But the point is: There has been a general reassessment of what women want in their lingerie. Confidence and comfort are coming out on top.
Last month The New York Times did a story about exactly this development, and it turns out it is quite possible to create a bra that does what it needs to do without cutting into your skin, requiring endless adjustment or making you feel as though you have Styrofoam coffee cups attached to your ribs. It is quite possible to find one that is pretty and provides enough support and coverage so you can go about your day in quasi-liberation.
For example, Savage X Fenty does a lace-trimmed cotton bralette in a variety of prints. Summersalt offers one in an elastic lace fabric made from recycled plastic bottles (for those with sustainability in mind). For a wide variety of options from long-line to barely there, check out Aerie.
Meanwhile, the folks at Wirecutter recommend the Bliss bralette from Harper Wilde, which they say is ''the best for lounging.''
The nipple may not exactly be freed, but it has room to breathe.
Your Style Questions, AnsweredEvery week on Open Thread, Vanessa will answer a reader's fashion-related question, which you can send to her anytime via email or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.
Vaccine Hesitancy
Tell about burial and family VAX issues
Reaching 'Herd Immunity' Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe - The New York Times
Mon, 03 May 2021 14:52
Widely circulating coronavirus variants and persistent hesitancy about vaccines will keep the goal out of reach. The virus is here to stay, but vaccinating the most vulnerable may be enough to restore normalcy.
Vaccinations at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Thursday. Though there is consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable, it may not be all bad news. Credit... Saul Martinez for The New York Times May 3, 2021, 3:00 a.m. ET
Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term ''herd immunity'' came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives.
Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable '-- at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.
Instead, they are coming to the conclusion that rather than making a long-promised exit, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers.
How much smaller is uncertain and depends in part on how much of the nation, and the world, becomes vaccinated and how the coronavirus evolves. It is already clear, however, that the virus is changing too quickly, new variants are spreading too easily and vaccination is proceeding too slowly for herd immunity to be within reach anytime soon.
Continued immunizations, especially for people at highest risk because of age, exposure or health status, will be crucial to limiting the severity of outbreaks, if not their frequency, experts believe.
''The virus is unlikely to go away,'' said Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta. ''But we want to do all we can to check that it's likely to become a mild infection.''
The shift in outlook presents a new challenge for public health authorities. The drive for herd immunity '-- by the summer, some experts once thought possible '-- captured the imagination of large segments of the public. To say the goal will not be attained adds another ''why bother'' to the list of reasons that vaccine skeptics use to avoid being inoculated.
Yet vaccinations remain the key to transforming the virus into a controllable threat, experts said.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the Biden administration's top adviser on Covid-19, acknowledged the shift in experts' thinking.
''People were getting confused and thinking you're never going to get the infections down until you reach this mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number is,'' he said.
''That's why we stopped using herd immunity in the classic sense,'' he added. ''I'm saying: Forget that for a second. You vaccinate enough people, the infections are going to go down.''
Why reaching the threshold is tough Image Crowds on the National Mall in April. Resistance to the vaccines is a main reason the United States is unlikely to reach herd immunity, but it is not the only one. Credit... Amr Alfiky/The New York Times Once the novel coronavirus began to spread across the globe in early 2020, it became increasingly clear that the only way out of the pandemic would be for so many people to gain immunity '-- whether through natural infection or vaccination '-- that the virus would run out of people to infect. The concept of reaching herd immunity became the implicit goal in many countries, including the United States.
Early on, the target herd immunity threshold was estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent of the population. Most experts, including Dr. Fauci, expected that the United States would be able to reach it once vaccines were available.
But as vaccines were developed and distribution ramped up through the winter and into the spring, estimates of the threshold began to rise. That is because the initial calculations were based on the contagiousness of the original version of the virus. The predominant variant now circulating in the United States, called B.1.1.7 and first identified in Britain, is about 60 percent more transmissible.
As a result, experts now calculate the herd immunity threshold to be at least 80 percent. If even more contagious variants develop, or if scientists find that immunized people can still transmit the virus, the calculation will have to be revised upward again.
Polls show that about 30 percent of the U.S. population is still reluctant to be vaccinated. That number is expected to improve but probably not enough. ''It is theoretically possible that we could get to about 90 percent vaccination coverage, but not super likely, I would say,'' said Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Though resistance to the vaccines is a main reason the United States is unlikely to reach herd immunity, it is not the only one.
Herd immunity is often described as a national target. But that is a hazy concept in a country this large.
''Disease transmission is local,'' Dr. Lipsitch noted.
''If the coverage is 95 percent in the United States as a whole, but 70 percent in some small town, the virus doesn't care,'' he explained. ''It will make its way around the small town.''
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How insulated a particular region is from the coronavirus depends on a dizzying array of factors.
Herd immunity can fluctuate with ''population crowding, human behavior, sanitation and all sorts of other things,'' said Dr. David M. Morens, a virologist and senior adviser to Dr. Fauci. ''The herd immunity for a wealthy neighborhood might be X, then you go into a crowded neighborhood one block away and it's 10X.''
Given the degree of movement among regions, a small virus wave in a region with a low vaccination level can easily spill over into an area where a majority of the population is protected.
At the same time, the connectivity between countries, particularly as travel restrictions ease, emphasizes the urgency of protecting not just Americans but everyone in the world, said Natalie E. Dean, a biostatistician at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Any variants that arise in the world will eventually reach the United States, she noted.
Many parts of the world lag far behind the United States on vaccinations. Less than 2 percent of the people in India have been fully vaccinated, for example, and less than 1 percent in South Africa, according to data compiled by The New York Times.
''We will not achieve herd immunity as a country or a state or even as a city until we have enough immunity in the population as a whole,'' said Lauren Ancel Meyers, the director of the Covid-19 Modeling Consortium at the University of Texas at Austin.
What the future may holdIf the herd immunity threshold is not attainable, what matters most is the rate of hospitalizations and deaths after pandemic restrictions are relaxed, experts believe.
By focusing on vaccinating the most vulnerable, the United States has already brought those numbers down sharply. If the vaccination levels of that group continue to rise, the expectation is that over time the coronavirus may become seasonal, like the flu, and affect mostly the young and healthy.
''What we want to do at the very least is get to a point where we have just really sporadic little flare-ups,'' said Carl Bergstrom, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle. ''That would be a very sensible target in this country where we have an excellent vaccine and the ability to deliver it.''
Over the long term '-- a generation or two '-- the goal is to transition the new coronavirus to become more like its cousins that cause common colds. That would mean the first infection is early in childhood, and subsequent infections are mild because of partial protection, even if immunity wanes.
Some unknown proportion of people with mild cases may go on to experience debilitating symptoms for weeks or months '-- a syndrome called ''long Covid'' '-- but they are unlikely to overwhelm the health care system.
''The vast majority of the mortality and of the stress on the health care system comes from people with a few particular conditions, and especially people who are over 60,'' Dr. Lipsitch said. ''If we can protect those people against severe illness and death, then we will have turned Covid from a society disrupter to a regular infectious disease.''
If communities maintain vigilant testing and tracking, it may be possible to bring the number of new cases so low that health officials can identify any new introduction of the virus and immediately stifle a potential outbreak, said Bary Pradelski, an economist at the National Center for Scientific Research in Grenoble, France. He and his colleagues described this strategy in a paper published on Thursday in the scientific journal The Lancet.
''Eradication is, I think, impossible at this stage,'' Dr. Pradelski said. ''But you want local elimination.''
Image Darcia Bryden-Currie, a nurse, preparing a vaccine for Stephen Elliot at his home in the Bronx, part of an inoculation program for homebound people. Credit... James Estrin/The New York Times Vaccination is still the keyThe endpoint has changed, but the most pressing challenge remains the same: persuading as many people as possible to get the shot.
Reaching a high level of immunity in the population ''is not like winning a race,'' Dr. Lipsitch said. ''You have to then feed it. You have to keep vaccinating to stay above that threshold.''
Skepticism about the vaccines among many Americans and lack of access in some groups '-- homeless populations, migrant workers or some communities of color '-- make it a challenge to achieve that goal. Vaccine mandates would only make that stance worse, some experts believe.
A better approach would be for a trusted figure to address the root cause of the hesitancy '-- fear, mistrust, misconceptions, ease of access or a desire for more information, said Mary Politi, an expert in health decision making and health communication at Washington University in St. Louis.
People often need to see others in their social circle embracing something before they are willing to try it, Dr. Politi said. Emphasizing the benefits of vaccination to their lives, like seeing a family member or sending their children to school, might be more motivating than the nebulous idea of herd immunity.
''That would resonate with people more than this somewhat elusive concept that experts are still trying to figure out,'' she added.
Though children spread the virus less efficiently than adults do, the experts all agreed that vaccinating children would also be important for keeping the number of Covid cases low. In the long term, the public health system will also need to account for babies, and for children and adults who age into a group with higher risk.
Unnerving scenarios remain on the path to this long-term vision.
Over time, if not enough people are protected, highly contagious variants may develop that can break through vaccine protection, land people in the hospital and put them at risk of death.
''That's the nightmare scenario,'' said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University.
How frequent and how severe those breakthrough infections are have the potential to determine whether the United States can keep hospitalizations and deaths low or if the country will find itself in a ''mad scramble'' every couple of years, he said.
''I think we're going to be looking over our shoulders '-- or at least public health officials and infectious disease epidemiologists are going to be looking over their shoulders going: 'All right, the variants out there '-- what are they doing? What are they capable of?'' he said. ''Maybe the general public can go back to not worrying about it so much, but we will have to.''
Third COVID Wave Will Kill Or Hospitalize 60 To 70% People Who Took Both The Vaccine Doses Says Official UK Govt Model | GreatGameIndia
Thu, 06 May 2021 12:25
According to projections by UK's top modelling agency the thrid wave of COVID-19 spike will hospitalize and kill 60 to 70% of those people who took both the vaccine doses. The paper suggests that the resurgence in both hospitalisations and deaths will dominated by those who have received two doses of the vaccine, comprising around 60% and 70% of the wave respectively.
The modelling (read below in full) was presented to the UK's top scientific advisory body Sage by one of its sub groups, the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, Operational (SPI-M-O).
This committee of academics has done modelling work throughout the pandemic and has looked at the impact vaccination will have on hospital admissions, infections and deaths.
Its findings suggest that a third wave is inevitable but that the size of the spike in cases depends on the effectiveness of vaccines, the speed at which restrictions are eased and the impact new variants have on transmission and illness.
It suggests that the resurgence in both hospitalisations and deaths will be ''dominated by those that have received two doses of the vaccine''.
''Maintaining a large reduction in transmission from such measures after Step 4 [England's plans to remove all restrictions from June 21] is taken is almost certain to reduce the size of the subsequent resurgence.
This latest modelling reinforces this finding, as lower adherence to baseline measures and the resulting increased transmission could lead to a peak close in scale to that seen in January 2021.''
The paper looks at a range of possibilities what we can expect from Covid as we ease restrictions going into the summer.
It takes into account a range of difference sources including modelling from the University of Warwick, Imperial College London and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
''Scenarios with little transmission reduction after step 4 [full lifting of restrictions planned for June in England] or with pessimistic but plausible vaccine efficacy assumptions can result in resurgences in hospitalisations of a similar scale to January 2021.''
The paper suggests that the resurgence in both hospitalisations and deaths will dominated by those who have received two doses of the vaccine, comprising around 60% and 70% of the wave respectively.
''The resurgence in both hospitalisations and deaths is dominated by those that have received two doses of the vaccine, comprising around 60% and 70% of the wave respectively.
This can be attributed to the high levels of uptake in the most at-risk age groups, such that immunisation failures account for more serious illness than unvaccinatedindividuals.''
Results of the central scenario of the Warwick model, showing the age and vaccine statusof those admitted to hospital (left) or dying (right) over time. Top plots are absolute numbers, bottom plots are proportions.As soon as the model was made public Fact-checkers tried to debunk and downplay the fact that 60 -70% of those who took 2 doses on the vaccines will dominate the third wave.
Here is the verdict by Grace Rahman of Full Fact:
Modelling suggests that when a third wave occurs, hospitalisations and deaths will mostly be in those who've been vaccinated. This is because so many vulnerable people will have been vaccinated by then, not because the vaccine is harming them.
And yet, the fact-checker insists vaccines have nothing to do with the third-wave.
However, we will let our readers decide. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Third-COVID-Wave-Will-Kill-60-To-70-People-Who-Took-Both-The-Vaccine-Doses-Says-Official-UK-Govt-ModelWe need your support to carry on our independent and investigative research based journalism on the Deep State threats facing humanity. Your contribution however small helps us keep afloat. Kindly consider supporting GreatGameIndia.Support GreatGameIndia
H.R.6666 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Tue, 04 May 2021 16:32
Sponsor: Rep. Rush, Bobby L. [D-IL-1] (Introduced 05/01/2020) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce Latest Action: House - 05/01/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. (All Actions) Tracker:This bill has the status Introduced
Here are the steps for Status of Legislation:
IntroducedArray( [actionDate] => 2020-05-01 [displayText] => Introduced in House [externalActionCode] => 1000 [description] => Introduced [chamberOfAction] => House)
Summary (1) Text (1) Actions (2) Titles (2) Amendments (0) Cosponsors (72) Committees (1) Related Bills (2) Go to: Summary: H.R.6666 '-- 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)There is one summary for H.R.6666. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.
Shown Here: Introduced in House (05/01/2020) COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act
This bill authorizes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to award grants for testing, contact tracing, monitoring, and other activities to address COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019). Entities such as federally qualified health centers, nonprofit organizations, and certain hospitals and schools are eligible to receive such grants. In awarding the grants, the CDC shall prioritize applicants that (1) operate in hot spots and medically underserved communities, and (2) agree to hire individuals from the communities where grant activities occur.
Anti-vaxxers aren't behind America's dropping Covid-19 vaccine rates - Vox
Thu, 06 May 2021 01:11
America's Covid-19 vaccine rollout has dwindled in recent weeks, plummeting from a previous high of nearly 3.4 million doses administered a day, on average, in mid-April to around 2.2 million a day this week.
The best analogy I've heard to explain the trend comes from Brown University School of Public Health dean Ashish Jha: Think of what happens when a new iPhone is released.
When a new model comes out, some people are so enthusiastic about it that they'll line up overnight to get it. Those superfans aren't the only people who ever buy iPhones, but they cause a rush of initial demand. That's similar to many Americans who've gotten the vaccine so far: They got shots the moment they were eligible, even if, for some, it meant staying on hold on the phone for hours, constantly refreshing clunky, overloaded websites for days, or driving for hours out of their way to get a shot.
Now, with about 57 percent of the adult population having had at least one shot, America has to reach the less enthused '-- ranging from those who want a vaccine but don't want to go too out of their way to get one to people who say they don't want to get a vaccine at all.
The remaining unvaccinated people aren't all truly hesitant or resistant to getting vaccinated. Think of enthusiasm for a vaccine as a spectrum, with some Americans very excited to get the shot, others not willing at all, and many in between. The US eventually will need to make inroads with the hard noes '-- but for now, the low-hanging fruit are the people in between. They might readily take the vaccine if it was right in front of them, but can't call off work to get it or don't want to have to set aside hours of their day solely to get a shot.
''There's a tendency to focus on who is hesitant and who doesn't want to get this vaccine,'' Liz Hamel, director of public opinion and survey research at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told me. ''But in almost every segment [of the population], there's a large group of people who really want to get this vaccine or at least somewhat open to getting it.''
This spectrum is clear in the polling. According to the most recent survey in April from the Covid States Project, 52 percent of people were already vaccinated, 11 percent wanted to get the shot as soon as possible, 7 percent said they would do so after at least some people they know did, 12 percent said they would after most people they know did, and 18 percent said they would not get the vaccine. That's a lot of people among the unvaccinated '-- nearly 1 in 5 of all respondents '-- who aren't exactly enthusiastic about the vaccine, but also don't fit the mold of the unpersuadable or anti-vaxxers.
And even the more resistant may not be that resistant: In the Kaiser Family Foundation's surveys, more than 30 percent of the hard noes say they would take a vaccine if it were required.
The vaccine enthusiasm spectrum has also changed over time. In Kaiser's surveys, the hard noes have remained pretty consistent '-- around 20 percent of adults. But from January to March, the ''wait and see'' group shrank, from 31 percent to 17 percent, as they shifted to the ''already gotten'' and ''as soon as possible'' categories.
All of this suggests that America's vaccine goals are very doable. It's possible to convert people from a ''wait and see'' attitude to getting vaccinated. And the case for focusing on persuadable people is strong: Based on data from Israel, the US could start to see a steep decline in Covid-19 cases '-- allowing more things to return to normal safely '-- once about 60 percent of the population is vaccinated. That's totally feasible at a national level even if the 1 in 5 Americans who are hard noes remain resistant, although state-by-state variation means that some places will have a harder road than others.
How to get America's vaccination rates back upFor now, experts say the best path forward is to make it easier to get vaccinated. As access improves, the country can then try incentives, pushing people a bit further to get the shot. If that doesn't work, then policymakers should consider moving from the carrot to the stick '-- and eventually, in some cases, perhaps mandating vaccines.
''It's not just about convincing people with messages or changing their attitudes,'' Hamel said, citing her organization's surveys. ''It's also making sure that the vaccine is available to them, that there are policies in place to make sure they can get it.''
Here's how each of those steps could work:
1) Improved access to vaccines: There are still a lot of people '-- likely around 1 in 5 of the unvaccinated, based on the Covid States Project's survey '-- who want to get vaccinated as soon as possible. For these people, the concern isn't so much resistance as it is access.
To date, the bulk of vaccination in America has required an appointment, typically at a place someone would have to go out of her way to get to. Moving forward, the country should make a greater effort to meet people where they are '-- in all health care settings, including doctor's offices, and at places of work, worship, and entertainment. Vaccinators could even meet people in their homes, with mobile vaccination vans in underserved neighborhoods or perhaps a DoorDash-like system for vaccinations in people's houses.
Vaccinators could also do away with appointment requirements and open up walk-in hours, including outside traditional business hours, enabling people with hectic schedules to walk into, say, their local pharmacy or church to get a shot on the spot.
2) More incentives for vaccines: Over the past few weeks, local and state governments have offered new incentives to get a shot, from free beer to $100. Experts say this could work: If the problem for some people is that they don't want to go out of their way just to get a shot, maybe they'll be willing to go out of their way if there's an extra reward, with a recent study supporting the idea. But there's also a concern this could backfire '-- people might question why an incentive would be necessary if the vaccines are really so great '-- so there's a balancing act to strike in the messaging around such incentives.
3) Vaccine passports and mandates: Once there's widespread access and incentives in place, areas facing continued resistance to getting a shot could try to push people to get vaccinated with some kind of mandate. This doesn't have to be a statewide law that applies to everyone, and could take several other forms instead: Restaurants and bars could ask for vaccine passports to get into their venues. Employers could tell people they have to get a vaccine to get back to work. Once kids are eligible, schools could require them to get the vaccine, as they do with shots for other diseases. Based on the Kaiser Family Foundation's surveys, this could get more than 30 percent of the hard noes to get the vaccine.
Some localities and states will have to act differently, depending on their unvaccinated populations. Particularly in Republican-dominated states, there are more hard noes, largely because they believe the threat of Covid-19 has been exaggerated. Policymakers in these areas should still try to improve access and incentives first '-- after all, polls show about half of Republicans either have gotten or want to get vaccinated '-- but they might have to shift to sticks sooner to make a real dent in their unvaccinated population.
All of this should be coupled with extensive messaging campaigns to persuade people to get the shot. What works will vary locally '-- what succeeds in predominantly Black, Democratic communities won't necessarily work in predominantly white, Republican areas. A recent study found, for example, that Republicans respond much better to fellow Republicans. Persuasion campaigns will have to respond to these kinds of realities on the ground.
''It's tricky,'' Emily Brunson, a medical anthropologist at Texas State University, told me. ''There needs to be a lot more social outreach to people '-- and I think some real clarification that this is how we get out of this [pandemic and the associated restrictions].'' She added, ''But there's not a silver bullet for this.''
If done correctly, America could get back relatively close to normal. Even at current vaccination rates, the country is on its way to fully vaccinate at least 60 percent of its population as early as June or July. But that will rely on keeping the vaccine rollout going at current speeds, which may not be possible if policymakers don't change things up soon.
Vaccine Marketing
Pfizer earned $3.5 billion on COVID-19 vaccine in first quarter | TheHill
Tue, 04 May 2021 14:53
Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine earned the company $3.5 billion in the first three months of this year, representing nearly a quarter of its total revenue, the company announced ahead of its earnings call Tuesday.
The drug giant said it expects the vaccine to earn about $26 billion in total revenue for 2021, based on signed contracts as of mid-April that call for 1.6 billion doses of the shot to be delivered this year.
The company's previous forecast was $15 billion for the year, but its first-quarter 2021 revenues alone totaled $14.6 billion, an increase of $4.5 billion, or 45 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2020.
Unlike several other rival companies that developed COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer did not use federal funds and said it planned to make a profit. Democratic lawmakers and drug pricing advocates have raised concerns about Pfizer's decision, arguing it could lead to price gouging after the initial pandemic period.
Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca both decided to sell their vaccines on a nonprofit basis during the pandemic. Moderna developed its vaccine with significant help from the federal government, but with no other products on the market decided to sell its vaccine at a profit.
Pfizer expects to have the capacity to manufacture at least 2.5 billion doses in 2021 and then an additional 3 billion doses in 2022, CEO Albert Bourla said in prepared remarks shared ahead of the call.
"Based on what we've seen, we believe that a durable demand for our COVID-19 vaccine '-- similar to that of the flu vaccines '-- is a likely outcome," Bourla said.
Pfizer said it plans to file for full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at the end of this month. The company also said it expects to apply for emergency use authorization for a booster shot that could protect against COVID-19 variants during the second half of July.
The New York Times reported Monday the FDA is poised to authorize Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine for adolescents ages 12-15 by early next week. And t he company said it expects to have definitive trial results and plans to apply for authorization in September to use the vaccine in children between 2-5 years of age and 5-11 years of age.
As of Monday, Pfizer, along with its partner BioNTech, has shipped approximately 430 million doses of the vaccine to 91 countries and territories around the world, according to Bourla.
But the vast majority of the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer have been reserved by wealthy nations. Even as the company has pledged to supply millions of doses to the World Health Organization's Covax initiative, critics have been calling on Pfizer to do more.
Bourla said the company is committed to global availability of its COVID-19 vaccine.
"It is our hope that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will continue to have a global impact by helping to get the devastating pandemic under control and helping economies around the world not only open '-- but stay open '-- creating a scenario in which Pfizer can continue to be both a leader and a beneficiary," Bourla said.
Biden Shifts Vaccination Strategy in Drive to Reopen by July 4 - The New York Times
Wed, 05 May 2021 00:02
President Biden, facing a slowing rate of vaccinations and a hope for near normalcy by Independence Day, said the government would shift from mass vaccination sites to local settings.
President Biden on Tuesday at the White House. The administration hopes to at least partly vaccinate 70 percent of American adults by the Fourth of July. Credit... Doug Mills/The New York Times May 4, 2021, 7:43 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON '-- President Biden, confronting lagging vaccinations that threaten his promise of near normalcy by July 4, on Tuesday overhauled the strategy to battle the pandemic, shifting from mass vaccination sites to more local settings to target younger Americans and those hesitant to get a shot.
In a speech at the White House, Mr. Biden said he was launching a new phase in the fight against the coronavirus, with a goal of at least partly vaccinating 70 percent of adults by Independence Day and with a personal plea to all of the unvaccinated: ''This is your choice. It's life and death.''
After three months of battling supply shortages and distribution bottlenecks, the Biden administration is confronting a problem that the president said was inevitable: Many of those who were most eager to get vaccinated have already done so. Vaccination sites at stadiums once filled with carloads of people seeking shots are closing, and states that once clamored for more vaccines are finding that they cannot use all of the doses that the federal government wants to ship to them.
Yet the administration's own health experts say tens of millions more Americans must be vaccinated before the infection rate is low enough to return to what many people consider ordinary life.
The administration now wants tens of thousands of pharmacies to allow people to walk in for shots. It has also ordered up pop-up and mobile clinics, especially in rural areas, and it plans to devote tens of millions of dollars for community outreach workers to provide transport and help arrange child care for those in high-risk neighborhoods who want to be vaccinated.
To build up confidence in vaccines, federal officials plan to enlist the help of family doctors and other emissaries who are trusted voices in their communities.
In a new effort to match supply with demand, federal officials informed states on Tuesday that if they did not order their full allocation of doses in any given week, that vaccine would be considered part of a federal pool that is available to other states that want to order more. Until now, if states failed to order all of the doses allotted to them on the basis of population, they could carry over that supply to the next week.
Mr. Biden also announced a new federal website and phone number that will help people find the vaccination site closest to them. ''We're going to make it easier than ever to get vaccinated,'' he promised.
The administration is hoping for an uptick in vaccinations if the Food and Drug Administration authorizes the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents ages 12 to 15 by early next week, as expected. The president said adolescents were important in the fight against the virus because while they are not as susceptible to severe disease, they can still get sick and infect others.
Experts say the United States may never reach herd immunity, the point at which the virus dies out because of a lack of hosts to transmit it. And the president suggested that the nation was still far from beating the pandemic.
While the vast majority of seniors have been vaccinated, ''We're still losing hundreds of Americans under 65 years of age every week,'' Mr. Biden said. ''And many more are getting seriously ill from long stretches at a time.'' He warned that the nation would be vaccinating people into the fall.
Still, the president said, if 70 percent of the nation's adults have received at least one shot of vaccine by July 4, ''Americans will have taken a serious step toward a return to normal.''
To get there, Mr. Biden said, the government must shift the focus from mass vaccination sites to doctors' offices, pharmacies and other local settings, and mount a far more concerted effort to reach those who are reluctant to get shots or simply figure it is too much trouble.
''We're going to keep at it,'' the president said, expressing optimism that ''most people will be convinced by the fact that their failure to get the vaccine may cause other people to get sick and maybe die.''
As of Tuesday, more than 106 million people in the United States were fully vaccinated and more than 56 percent of adults '-- or almost 148 million people '-- had received at least one shot. That has contributed to a steep decline in infections, hospitalizations and deaths across all age groups, federal officials said.
But despite a flood of doses available, the pace of vaccination has fallen off considerably over the past two and a half weeks. Providers are now administering an average of about 2.19 million doses per day, about a 35 percent decrease from the peak of 3.38 million reported on April 13, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mr. Biden called for 160 million adults to be fully vaccinated by July 4 '-- an increase of 55 million people, or more than 50 percent. About 35 million more adults would have to receive at least one shot to reach the president's goal of 70 percent of adults who are at least partly protected. While this next phase of the vaccination effort is ''easier because I don't have to put together this massive logistical effort,'' Mr. Biden said, ''in the other sense it's harder, it's beyond my personal control.''
Asked whether the United States would help other countries that are worse off, the president promised that by the Fourth of July, his administration will ''have sent about 10 percent of what we have to other nations.'' It was not clear whether he was referring only to doses from AstraZeneca, which is not authorized for distribution in the United States, or to the nation's vaccine stock as a whole. He also pledged to move quickly ''to get as many doses from Moderna and Pfizer as possibly can be produced and export those around the world.''
Until now, White House officials have stuck to formulas that allocated vaccine doses to the states by population, and they were extremely reluctant to send doses of approved vaccines abroad. The administration had been unwilling to shift doses to states that were faster to administer them out of a concern that rural areas or underserved communities would lose out to urban or richer areas where residents were more willing to get shots.
But as the pace of vaccination slows, officials have decided that the benefits of a looser system outweigh that risk.
States that want more than their allotment will be able to request up to 50 percent more doses, officials said. States that do not claim all of their doses one week will not be penalized and will still be able to request their full allotments the next week, officials said.
Image A vaccination site in April at a church in Queens. Credit... James Estrin/The New York Times The shift makes little difference to some states that have routinely drawn down as many doses as the federal government was willing to ship. But it could help some states that are able to use more than the federal government was shipping.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said on Tuesday that the move offered governors more flexibility. ''Even just a few weeks ago,'' she said, ''we were in a different phase of our vaccination effort when supply was more constrained, and states for the most part were ordering at or near their full allocation.''
Virginia is a case in point. Last week, for the first time, the state did not order every dose it could have, said Dr. Danny Avula, the state vaccine coordinator.
Now, he said, ''supply is exceeding demand across the state, and the work will be much slower and harder as we find ways to vaccinate a few people at a time.'' Dr. Avula said the change ''will be very helpful for the handful of states that still have localized areas with high demand.''
States with low demand, like Arkansas, may find that their allotted doses are being shipped elsewhere. Arkansas has used only 69 percent of the doses delivered to it so far, data shows. Last week, a state health department spokeswoman said, the state did not order any doses from the federal government. Just over a third of adults in Arkansas have received at least one dose, one of the lowest totals in the country.
Ms. Psaki said the administration was working with states to determine what kinds of settings made the most sense at this point in the vaccination campaign.
''We're constantly evaluating the best delivery mechanisms,'' she said, ''and if something is not the most effective one, we will make changes.''
Mr. Biden suggested that family doctors and pediatricians will play a key role in propelling the vaccination program, as will other community figures. If the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for adolescents, he said, the administration plans to immediately make it available to them at about 20,000 pharmacies that participate in the federal vaccination program.
But some doses will be shipped directly to pediatricians so that ''parents and their children can talk to their family doctor about it and get the shot from a provider they trust the most,'' the president said. Dr. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, said last week that about ''80 percent of people who are trying to decide about a vaccine say that they want to talk to their doctor about that decision '-- and we've heard that loud and clear.''
India
Indian Oxygen
Just a follow up to this. I talked to one of my guys who was out for a month tending to himself and family who had COVID. His father ended up with COVID pneumonia and he said they had a really hard time finding hospitals in India with available “Covid beds.” They ended up buying oxygen themselves and setting up a home hospital to treat his father.
I asked him about the Ivermectin tablets and he got all excited that I knew about that. He said that apparently Ivermectin and the steroids were prescribed to his father and his father started feeling better after taking them and his health returned to normal.
We talked about how funny it was the US News stations were treating their cremations like they were outlandish when that’s just how they deal with their dead people.
Thankfully this guy and his family are all in good health again.
Here is a summary of what he told me is going on in India:
Yeah he said he needed to go through the black market to get oxygen since the hospital didn’t have any to spare.
20x charge for anything medical in India. Things that used to cost 1 rupee are now 20 rupees.
I asked about the “Covid beds” reserved in hospitals. He said government order is to have 50% beds reserved for covid patients. Apparently hospitals are ignoring that and setting their own number. He didn’t say what it was exactly, but he suspected far less than 50%.
He is attributing the late outbreak to people going out to vote in the election and the recent festivals that have occurred.
I asked how India behavior is different from US. He said everyone here follows the rules and wears masks out and about. In India, very few people are abiding by the government orders. He said he was at a shop and neither of the clerks were wearing a mask so he told the clerks to put their mask on. They said “we know” and didn’t do anything
Neglect of India's health system fueled its Covid catastrophe - STAT
Mon, 03 May 2021 14:22
C ovid-19 is surging uncontrollably throughout India, disrupting big cities like Mumbai and devastating rural areas where there is extreme poverty and hardly any health care. The heart-rending images of funeral pyres set up in public parks, burning an endless line of bodies, is only a glimpse into the tragedy unfolding across the country.
People are waiting outside hospitals '-- where there are no longer any beds or even oxygen '-- in 100-degree heat with their sick and dying loved ones.
The pro-nationalist government of Narendra Modi is partly to blame for not stopping the Kumbh Mela Hindu religious celebration that brought 2.5 million people to the Ganges River, and for carrying on with political rallies that attracted masses of people. But far more than hypernationalism is responsible for this catastrophe.
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During the 20 years that I reported on health for The Times of India and trained reporters to cover this beat, I saw how the health sector was neglected during India's growth and development.
India's health care system was envisaged soon after its independence in 1947 as a three-tier system that could cover the entire country. It was to have a primary care system at the village level, a secondary care system to cover smaller urban centers, and tertiary care for specialized treatment. Over the years, though, the emphasis moved to for-profit tertiary care hospitals, mainly in big cities, with state-of-the-art that provided care mainly to the urban rich. Profits from these hospitals, which go into paying the high salaries of doctors and top executives, took precedence over attempts to regulate them or stop malpractice, such as overcharging patients or unnecessary surgeries.
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Successive governments before Modi's supported this unplanned growth, paying little heed to the health infrastructure that was underfunded, poorly staffed, and falling apart. Sushma Swaraj, a senior politician in the Bharatiya Janata party '-- today's ruling party '-- who I interviewed in 1999 on the party's absence of focus on health care in its parliamentary election manifesto, told me, ''Health is a thing for the rich. We in India have to focus on getting bread to the poor.''
Leaders from other political parties voiced similar views. Few in the government or the legacy media considered health care to be an issue of national importance.
I have covered epidemics and pandemics in the past, though nothing as tragic as the spread of Covid-19 in India, and have seen the resulting chaos. In 1994, for example, after news emerged of cases of pneumonic plague in India, rumors of an airborne infection of plague prompted thousands to flee the city of Surat in western India and be admitted to hospitals in Delhi. There, as I found in my reporting, a specialized Hospital for Infectious Diseases was completely lacking in resources. I have also seen families wiped away in the AIDS epidemic in India's villages with little access to testing or treatment and little attention paid to them by the government or the media.
The fact is that the poor in India have struggled to get health care for decades. Most health expenditures in India are paid for out of pocket and paying for health care is among the leading things that push people below the poverty line. A 2017 study by the Public Health Foundation of India found that health expenses were responsible for driving 55 million Indians into poverty between 2011 and 2012. As many as 90% of the poor have no health insurance.
Government after government has promoted medical tourism that entices people from the United States and other countries to come to India's for-profit hospitals for dental, cosmetic, and other procedures. India's ministry of tourism recently expanded its visa regime to allow e-tourist visas for medical tourism, a $3 billion industry that is expected to grow in the years ahead.
This has been at the expense of neglecting the vast network of health systems designed to serve the poor, who have always taken the brunt of neglecting public health.
The lack of oxygen to treat people with Covid-19 has drawn international attention. But this isn't the first time the oxygen supply has been broken. Year after year, India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh sees outbreaks of Japanese encephalitis among children, a disease spread by the bite of a mosquito. In 2017, 30 children died suddenly at a hospital, likely due to a disruption in oxygen supply, though that could not be conclusively proven. It is, however, a reminder of what is happening in hospitals across India that have been running out of high-flow oxygen, resulting in deaths.
With little or no demand for improvement in health care from the middle class and elites, India's public health system has taken a big hit over the years. Covid-19 has strained it to the breaking point and beyond, driving people from villages and smaller cities into bigger urban centers that are already unable to manage the surge of patients.
In the heat of the moment, it is easy to blame the Modi government for India's feeble response to the Covid-19 surge. But bringing lasting change will require a long hard look at the planning and neglect of the past 74 years in independent India '-- both by India's ruling classes and the media.
Kalpana Jain is a senior editor for ethics and religion at The Conversation U.S., a former reporter for the Times of India, a former Nieman Global Health Reporting Fellow, and author of ''Positive Lives: The Story of Ashok and others living with HIV'' (Penguin Global, 2003).
US supports vaccine patent waiver proposal at World Trade Organization - CNNPolitics
Wed, 05 May 2021 20:15
Washington (CNN)The Biden administration, in a major decision Wednesday, said it would support easing patent rules on Covid-19 vaccines after intense internal debate and strong pushback from American drugmakers, potentially expanding the global supply and narrowing the vaccination gap between rich and poor nations.
The move is preliminary and will not guarantee the global patent rules are lifted right away. But the Biden administration's signal of support amounts to a major step that aid groups and Democrats had been pressing for.
"The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines," US Trade Representative Katherine Tai wrote in a statement.
President Joe Biden and Tai had been weighing the issue after calls from global advocacy groups and progressives to support waivers on World Trade Organization rules that had been proposed by India and South Africa. Biden as a candidate promised to support such waivers, but had been under pressure from pharmaceutical companies to keep them in place.
In the lead-up to Wednesday's decision, administration officials led by Tai met with more than two dozen stakeholders in the vaccine patent debate, according to an official. That included trade partners, health experts and advocates, labor groups and the major vaccine manufacturers.
Once the information they gleaned was compiled, the department presented options to Biden, who ultimately decided to support the waiver in line with his campaign pledge.
Officials were clear, however, that patent rules will not immediately be eased based on Wednesday's decision. Members of the WTO must unanimously decide whether to loosen the restrictions. And while the US had been a hold out, other countries -- including the European Union and Switzerland -- have also resisted the step.
"The Administration's aim is to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible," Tai said in her statement. "As our vaccine supply for the American people is secured, the Administration will continue to ramp up its efforts -- working with the private sector and all possible partners -- to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution. It will also work to increase the raw materials needed to produce those vaccines."
There had been divisions within the administration over whether to support easing
some patent restrictions on vaccines, according to people familiar with the matter.
Biden has faced similar scrutiny over how and when he will distribute surplus vaccines doses abroad, with some advocates accusing him of not doing enough to help struggling countries like India vaccinate their populations.
The patent debate had pitted some of the administration's health and development experts against those inside the White House who were wary of angering major drug manufacturers like Pfizer and Moderna, whose products have allowed the country to begin returning to normal, according to people familiar with the internal dynamics.
Others inside the administration were concerned at the optics of Biden reversing a pledge he made as a candidate to "absolutely positively" commit to sharing vaccine technology if elected president. And some voiced concern at appearing overly deferential to big pharmaceutical companies against the wishes of progressives.
The debate landed at the feet of Tai, who had been gathering information on the topic before representing the United States at a meeting of the WTO's General Council that got underway Wednesday. The White House said Tai would make a recommendation to Biden on whether to support a petition in front of the WTO sponsored by India and South Africa to waive an intellectual property agreement on pharmaceutical products.
Outside aid groups, liberal Democrats in Congress and other world leaders had all called on Biden to support easing some patent restrictions on vaccines. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue in a phone call with Biden last week. And supporters of the move planned a rally in Washington on Wednesday to further pressure Biden.
Still, some of his advisers had voiced concern at throwing
the global supply chain into flux at a time Americans are still getting shots. And others, including some health advisers, have downplayed the effect that easing patent rules would have on actually getting vaccines to the rest of the world, citing the specialized materials and technology needed to create the products.
On Sunday, chief of staff Ron Klain acknowledged that intellectual property rights were part of the problem of worldwide vaccine shortages, but that bigger issues lay in manufacturing.
IFPMA Statement on WTO TRIPS Intellectual Property Waiver - IFPMA
Thu, 06 May 2021 11:57
Published on: 05 May 2021Geneva, 5 May 2021 '' The decision of the US administration to support a patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines is disappointing. We are fully aligned with the goal to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are quickly and equitably shared around the world. But, as we have consistently stated, a waiver is the simple but the wrong answer to what is a complex problem. Waiving patents of COVID-19 vaccines will not increase production nor provide practical solutions needed to battle this global health crisis. On the contrary, it is likely to lead to disruption; while distracting from addressing the real challenges in scaling up production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally: namely elimination of trade barriers, addressing bottlenecks in supply chains and scarcity of raw materials and ingredients in the supply chain, and a willingness by rich countries to start sharing doses with poor countries.
While the decision of the US administration does not address the real challenges in vaccinating the world, industry will not waver in its commitment to provide safe, effective and quality vaccines and therapeutics. We will continue to leave no stone unturned to further scale up manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines, as no one is safe until everyone is safe. The international intellectual property system has given companies confidence to engage in more than 200 technology transfer agreements to expand delivery on COVID-19 vaccines based on unprecedented partnerships between vaccine industrialized and developing country vaccine manufacturers. The only way to ensure quick scaling up of and equitable vaccine access to all those in need remains pragmatic and constructive dialogue with the private sector.
'Wrong answer': Big Pharma group up in arms after Biden signals support for profit-threatening patent waiver on Covid vaccines '-- RT World News
Thu, 06 May 2021 11:58
An international body representing a who's-who of Big Pharma firms has rejected a US-backed proposal to lift intellectual property rights for coronavirus vaccines, insisting the move will not speed up global distribution.
The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (IFPMA) criticized the IP plan in a statement on Wednesday, not long after the Joe Biden administration voiced support for the idea, first floated by the World Trade Organization last October.
''The decision of the US administration to support a patent waiver for Covid-19 vaccines is disappointing,'' the IFPMA said, adding that IP waivers ''will not increase production nor provide practical solutions needed to battle this global health crisis. On the contrary, it is likely to lead to disruption.''
Calling the proposal ''the simple but the wrong answer to what is a complex problem,'' the group argued that future efforts should instead focus on eliminating trade barriers between nations, addressing bottlenecks in supply chains and encouraging ''rich countries to start sharing doses with poor countries.''
Also on rt.com Biden admin backs proposal to lift intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines, Pfizer & Moderna stocks slip Based in Geneva, the IFPMA counts some of the world's largest Big Pharma firms among its members, including AstraZeneca, Bayer, Eli Lilly, La Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Pfizer. The latter company, which teamed up with Germany's BioNTech to develop a coronavirus vaccine, has raked in piles of cash from the jab, seeing $3.5 billion in revenue in the first three months of 2021 alone, according to the New York Times. While many components of the Pfizer shot are patented under its German partner, a US federal agency owns the IP for a key technological breakthrough that made the vaccine possible, which it has since licensed for private use.
Though Biden's support for patent waivers earned praise in some quarters, including from World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, other powerful players beyond Big Pharma have opposed the idea. Late last month, billionaire vaccine evangelist and climate crusader Bill Gates insisted that IP is not holding up distribution, warning that waiving patents will not produce ''magically safe vaccines.''
In contrast to the Gates proposal '' calling for ''equitable access'' to vaccines while still supporting exclusive IP rights for pharma firms '' international bodies have suggested creating a Covid-19 Technology Access Pool, or C-TAP, which would see companies ''voluntarily share Covid-19 health technology related knowledge, intellectual property and data.'' The concept was initially raised last May, but has so far received little support from the private sector, which continues to argue vocally for strong IP protections.
Also on rt.com Bill Gates says 'NO' to opening vaccine patents '' adds it probably won't take a DECADE for poor nations to get the jab Like this story? Share it with a friend!
Treatments
Why I'm Removing All Articles Related to Vitamins D, C, Zinc and COVID-19
Tue, 04 May 2021 21:56
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola May 04, 2021 Download PDF 425121
Over the past year, I've been researching and writing as much as I can to help you take control of your health, as fearmongering media and corrupt politicians have destroyed lives and livelihoods to establish global control of the world's population, using the COVID-19 pandemic as their justification.
I've also kept you informed about billionaire-backed front groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a partner of Bill Gates' Alliance for Science, both of whom have led campaigns aimed at destroying my reputation and censoring the information I share.
Other attackers include HealthGuard, which ranks health sites based on a certain set of ''credibility criteria.'' It has sought to discredit my website by ensuring warnings appear whenever you search for my articles or enter my website in an internet browser.
Well-Organized Attack Partnerships Have FormedHealthGuard, a niche service of NewsGuard, is funded by the pharma-funded public relations company Publicis Groupe. Publicis, in turn, is a partner of the World Economic Forum, which is leading the call for a ''Great Reset'' of the global economy and a complete overhaul of our way of life.
HealthGuard is also partnered with Gates' Microsoft company, and drug advertising websites like WebMD and Medscape, as well as the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) '-- the progressive cancel-culture leader with extensive ties to government and global think tanks that recently labeled people questioning the COVID-19 vaccine as a national security threat.
The CCDH has published a hit list naming me as one of the top 12 individuals responsible for 65% of vaccine ''disinformation'' on social media, and who therefore must be deplatformed and silenced for the public good. In a March 24, 2021, letter1 to the CEO's of Twitter and Facebook, 12 state attorneys general called for the removal of our accounts from these platforms, based on the CCDH's report.
Two of those state attorneys general also published an April 8, 2021, op-ed2 in The Washington Post, calling on Facebook and Twitter to ban the ''anti-vaxxers'' identified by the CCDH. The lack of acceptance of novel gene therapy technology, they claim, is all because a small group of individuals with a social media presence '-- myself included '-- are successfully misleading the public with lies about nonexistent vaccine risks.
''The solution is not complicated. It's time for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to turn off this toxic tap and completely remove the small handful of individuals spreading this fraudulent misinformation,'' they wrote.3
Pharma-funded politicians and pharma-captured health agencies have also relentlessly attacked me and pressured tech monopolies to censor and deplatform me, removing my ability to express my opinions and speak freely over the past year.
The CCDH also somehow has been allowed to publish4 in the journal Nature Medicine, calling for the ''dismantling'' of the ''anti-vaccine'' industry. In the article, CCDH founder Imran Ahmed repeats the lie that he ''attended and recorded a private, three-day meeting of the world's most prominent anti-vaxxers,'' when, in fact, what he's referring to was a public online conference open to an international audience, all of whom had access to the recordings as part of their attendance fee.
The CCDH is also partnered with another obscure group called Anti-Vax Watch. The picture below is from an Anti-Vax Watch demonstration outside the halls of Congress. Ironically, while the CCDH claims to be anti-extremism, you'd be hard-pressed to find a clearer example of actual extremism than this bizarre duo.5
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Gates-Funded Doctor Demands Terrorist Experts to Attack MeMost recently, Dr. Peter Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute,6 which has received tens of millions of dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,7 ,8 ,9 '-- with funds from the foundation most recently being used to create a report called ''Meeting the Challenge of Vaccine Hesitancy,''10 ,11 '-- also cited the CCDH in a Nature article in which he calls for cyberwarfare experts to be enlisted in the war against vaccine safety advocates and people who are ''vaccine hesitant.'' He writes:12
''Accurate, targeted counter-messaging from the global health community is important but insufficient, as is public pressure on social-media companies. The United Nations and the highest levels of government must take direct, even confrontational, approaches with Russia, and move to dismantle anti-vaccine groups in the United States.
Efforts must expand into the realm of cyber security, law enforcement, public education and international relations. A high-level inter-agency task force reporting to the UN secretary-general could assess the full impact of anti-vaccine aggression, and propose tough, balanced measures.
The task force should include experts who have tackled complex global threats such as terrorism, cyber attacks and nuclear armament, because anti-science is now approaching similar levels of peril. It is becoming increasingly clear that advancing immunization requires a counteroffensive.''
Why is Hotez calling for the use of warfare tactics on American citizens that have done nothing illegal? In my case, could it be because I've written about the theory that SARS-CoV-2 is an engineered virus, created through gain-of-function research, and that its release was anticipated by global elites, as evidenced in Event 201?
It may be. At least those are some of my alleged ''sins,'' detailed on page 10 of the CCDH report, ''Disinformation Dozen: The Sequel.''13 Coincidentally enough, the Nature journal has helped cover up gain-of-function research conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, publishing a shoddy zoonotic origins study relied upon my mainstream media and others, which was riddled with problems.14 ,15
So, it's not misinformation they are afraid of. They're afraid of the truth getting out. They're all trying to cover for the Chinese military and the dangerous mad scientists conducting gain-of-function work.
You may have noticed our website was recently unavailable; this was due to direct cyber-attacks launched against us. We have several layers of protective mechanisms to secure the website as we've anticipated such attacks from malevolent organizations.
What This Means for YouThrough these progressively increasing stringent measures, I have refused to succumb to these governmental and pharmaceutical thugs and their relentless attacks. I have been confident and willing to defend myself in the court of law, as I've had everything reviewed by some of the best attorneys in the country.
Unfortunately, threats have now become very personal and have intensified to the point I can no longer preserve much of the information and research I've provided to you thus far. These threats are not legal in nature, and I have limited ability to defend myself against them. If you can imagine what billionaires and their front groups are capable of, I can assure you they have been creative in deploying their assets to have this content removed.
Sadly, I must also remove my peer reviewed published study16 on the ''Evidence Regarding Vitamin D and Risk of COVID-19 and Its Severity.'' It will, however, remain in the highly-respected journal Nutrients' website, where you can still access it for free.
The MATH+ hospital treatment protocol for COVID-19 and the iMASK+ prevention and early outpatient COVID-19 protocol '-- both of which are based on the use of vitamins C, D, quercetin, zinc and melatonin '-- are available on the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance's website. I suggest you bookmark these resources for future reference.
It is with a heavy heart that I purge my website of valuable information. As noted by Dr. Peter McCullough during a recent Texas state Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing, data shows early treatment could have prevented up to 85% (425,000) of COVID-19 deaths.17 Yet early treatments were all heavily censored and suppressed.
McCullough, in addition to being a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center, also has the distinction of having published the most papers of any person in the history of his field, and being an editor of two major medical journals. Despite that, his video, in which he went through a paper he'd published detailing effective early treatments, was summarily banned by YouTube in 2020.
''No wonder we have had 45,000 deaths in Texas. The average person in Texas thinks there's no treatment!'' McCullough told the senate panel.18 Indeed, people are in dire need of more information detailing how they can protect their health, not less. But there's only so much I can do to protect myself against current attack strategies.
They've moved past censorship. Just what do you call people who advocate counteroffensive attacks by terrorism and cyberwarfare experts? You'd think we could have a debate and be protected under free speech but, no, we're not allowed. These lunatics are dangerously unhinged.
The U.S. federal government is going along with the global Great Reset plan (promoted as ''building back better''), but this plan won't build anything but a technological prison. What we need is a massive campaign to preserve civil rights, and vote out the pawns who are destroying our freedom while concentrating wealth and power.
Big Pharma
CNN science, yet ads for super beets
The New Nuremberg Trials 2021 '' Please Share this info! '' BREAKING-NEWS.CA
Wed, 05 May 2021 10:31
The New Nuremberg Trials 2021
A team of over 1,000 lawyers and over 10,000 medical experts led by Dr. Reiner Fuellmich have begun legal proceedings against the CDC, WHO & the Davos Group for crimes against humanity. Fuellmich and his team present the faulty PCR test and the order for doctors to label any comorbidity death as a Covid death as fraud. The PCR test was never designed to detect pathogens and is 100% faulty at 35 cycles. All the PCR tests overseen by the CDC are set at 37 to 45 cycles. The CDC admits that any tests over 28 cycles are not admissible for a positive reliable result. This alone invalidates over 90% of the alleged covid cases / ''infections'' tracked by the use of this faulty test.
In addition to the flawed tests and fraudulent death certificates, the ''experimental'' vaccine itself is in violation of Article 32 of the Geneva Convention. Under Article 32 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, ''mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person'' are prohibited. According to Article 147, conducting biological experiments on protected persons is a grave breach of the Convention.
The ''experimental'' vaccine is in violation of all 10 of the Nuremberg Codes which carry the death penalty for those who seek to violate these International Laws.
The ''vaccine'' fails to meet the following five requirements to be considered a vaccine and is by definition a medical ''experiment'' and trial:
Provides immunity to the virusThis is a ''leaky'' gene therapy that does not provide immunity to Covid and claims to reduce symptoms yet double-vaccinated are now 60% of the patients requiring ER or ICU with covid infections.
Protects recipients from getting the virusThis gene-therapy does not provide immunity and double-vaccinated can still catch and spread the virus.
Reduces deaths from the virus infectionThis gene-therapy does not reduce deaths from the infection. Double-Vaccinated infected with Covid have also died.
Reduces circulation of the virusThis gene-therapy still permits the spread of the virus as it offers zero immunity to the virus.
Reduces transmission of the virusThis gene-therapy still permits the transmission of the virus as it offers zero immunity to the virus.
The following violations of the Nuremberg Code are as follows:
Nuremberg Code #1: Voluntary Consent is Essential
No person should be forced to take a medical experiment without informed consent. Many media, political and non-medical persons are telling people to take the shot. They offer no information as to the adverse effects or dangers of this gene-therapy. All you hear from them is '' '' safe and effective'' and '' benefits outweigh the risks.'' Countries are using lockdowns, duress and threats to force people to take this vaccine or be prohibited to participate in free society under the mandate of a Vaccine Passport or Green Pass. During the Nuremberg trials, even the media was prosecuted and members were put to death for lying to the public, along with many of the doctors and Nazis found guilty of Crimes Against Humanity.
Nuremberg Code #2: Yield Fruitful Results Unprocurable By Other Means
As listed above, the gene-therapy does not meet the criteria of a vaccine and does not offer immunity to the virus. There are other medical treatments that yield fruitful results against Covid such as Ivermectin, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc and boosted immune systems for flu and colds.
Nuremberg Code #3: Base Experiments on Results of Animal Experimentation and Natural History of Disease
This gene therapy skipped animal testing and went straight to human trials. In mRNA research that Pfizer used '' a candidate study on mRNA with rhesus macaques monkeys using BNT162b2 mRNA and in that study all the monkeys developed pulmonary inflammation but the researchers considered the risk low as these were young healthy monkeys from the age of 2-4. Israel has used Pfizer and the International Court of Law has accepted a claim for 80% of the recipients having pulmonary inflammation from being injected with this gene-therapy. Despite this alarming development Pfizer proceeded to develop their mRNA for Covid without animal testing.
Nuremberg Code #4: Avoid All Unnecessary Suffering and Injury
Since the rollout of the experiment and listed under the CDC VAERS reporting system over 4,000 deaths and 50,000 vaccine injuries have been reported in America. In the EU over 7,000 deaths and 365,000 vaccine injuries have been reported. This is a grievous violation of this code.
Nuremberg Code #5: No Experiment to be Conducted if There's Reason to Think Injury or Death Will Occur
See #4, based on fact-based medical data this gene-therapy is causing death and injury. Past research on mRNA also shows several risks that have been ignored for this current trial gene-experiment. A 2002 study on SARS-CoV-1 spike proteins showed they cause inflammation, immunopathology, blood clots, and impede Angiotensin 2 expression. This experiment forces the body to produce this spike-protein inheriting all these risks.
Nuremberg Code #6: Risk Should Never Exceed the Benefit
Covid-19 has a 98-99% recovery rate. The vaccine injuries, deaths and adverse side-effects of mRNA gene-therapy far exceed this risk. The use of ''leaky'' vaccines was banned for agriculture use by the US and EU due to the Marek Chicken study that shows 'hot-viruses' and variants emerge'... making the disease even more deadly. Yet, this has been ignored for human use by the CDC knowing fully the risk of new deadlier variants emerge from leaky vaccinations. The CDC is fully aware that the use of leaky vaccines facilitates the emergence of hot (deadlier)strains. Yet they've ignored this when it comes to human
Nuremberg Code #7: Preparation Must Be Made Against Even Remote Possibility of Injury, Disability or Death
There were no preparations made. This gene therapy skipped animal trials. The pharmaceutical companies' own Phase 3 human clinical trials will not conclude until 2022 /2023. These vaccines were approved under an Emergency Use only act and forced on a misinformed public. They are NOT FDA-approved.
Nuremberg Code #8: Experiment Must Be Conducted by Scientifically Qualified Persons
Politicians, media and actors claiming that this is a safe and effective vaccine are not qualified. Propaganda is not medical science. Many retail outlets such as Walmart & drive-through vaccine centers are not qualified to administer experimental medical gene-therapies to the uninformed public.
Nuremberg Code #9: Anyone Must Have the Freedom to Bring the Experiment to an End At Any Time
Despite the outcry of over 85,000 doctors, nurses, virologists and epidemiologists '' the experiment is not being ended. In fact, there are currently many attempts to change laws in order to force vaccine compliance. This includes mandatory and forced vaccinations. Experimental 'update' shots are planned for every 6 months without any recourse to the growing number of deaths and injuries already caused by this experiment. These 'update' shots will be administered without any clinical trials. Hopefully this new Nuremberg Trial will put an end to this crime against humanity.
Nuremberg Code #10: The Scientist Must Bring the Experiment to an End At Any Time if There's Probable Cause of it Resulting in Injury or Death
It is clear in the statistical reporting data that this experiment is resulting in death and injury yet all the politicians, drug companies and so-called experts are not making any attempt to stop this gene-therapy experiment from inflicting harm on a misinformed public.
What can you do to help put an end to this crime against humanity? Share this information. Hold your politicians, media, doctors and nurses accountable '' that if they are complicit in this crime against humanity they too are subject to the laws set forth in the Geneva Convention and Nuremberg Code and can be tried, found guilty and put to death. Legal proceedings are moving forward, evidence has been collected and a large growing body of experts are sounding the alarm.
Visit the Covid Committee website at: https://corona-ausschuss.de/ and if you have been affected by this crime, report the event, persons involved, and as much detail to the following website:
https://www.securewhistleblower.com/
Crimes against humanity affect us all. They are a crime against you, your children, your parents, your grandparents, your community and your country and your future.
Former Moderna scientist: ''It's a case of the emperor's new clothes. They're running an investment firm, and then hopefully it also develops a drug that's successful.'' '' non veni pacem
Wed, 05 May 2021 16:55
I'm just going to go ahead and paste here from wiki about the ten year history of failure, failure, and nothing but failure from Moderna. It looks more like a money-laundering outfit than anything else. So ask yourself, how is it that after ten years of producing nothing, they were able to come up with a highly safe and highly effective Corona vaxx to enter into human trials just five WEEKS.
At the very end, you will read about the promise they made to Trump, and you will understand a great many things:
In 2010, ModeRNA Therapeutics was formed to commercialize the research of stem cell biologist Derrick Rossi. Rossi had developed a method of modifying mRNA by first transfecting it into human cells, then dedifferentiating it into bone marrow stem cells which could then be further differentiated into desired target cell types.[22][23] Rossi approached fellow Harvard University faculty member Tim Springer, who solicited co-investment from Kenneth R. Chien, Bob Langer, and venture capital firm Flagship Ventures.[23][24] Together they founded a company named from the combined terms ''modified'' and ''RNA''.[25]
In 2011, the CEO of Flagship Ventures (now Flagship Pioneering), Noubar Afeyan, brought in European pharma sales and operations executive St(C)phane Bancel as CEO.[23][11] Afeyan personally owned 19.5% of Moderna and was the largest single shareholder, while his fund, Flagship Pioneering, owned 18%.[26]
In March 2013, Moderna and AstraZeneca signed a five-year exclusive option agreement to discover, develop, and commercialize mRNA for treatments in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular, metabolic, and renal diseases, and selected targets for cancer.[11][27][28] The agreement included a $240 million upfront payment to Moderna, a payment which was ''one of the largest ever initial payments in a pharmaceutical industry licensing deal that does not involve a drug already being tested in clinical trials'',[27] and an eight percent share in Moderna.[26] As of May 2020, only one candidate has passed Phase I trials, a treatment for myocardial ischemia, labelled AZD8601.[a][30]
In 2013, Rossi, Chien and their team reported that they were able to improve heart function in mice and enhance their long-term survival with a ''redirection of their [stem cell] differentiation toward cardiovascular cell types'' in a significant step towards regenerative therapeutics for Moderna.[31][32] In the same year and on the strength of the Nature Biotechnology paper, Moderna received from other investors $110 million.[31]
In January 2014, Moderna and Alexion Pharmaceuticals entered a $125 million deal for orphan diseases in need of therapies. Alexion paid Moderna $100 million for ten product options to develop rare-disease treatments, including for Crigler-Najjar syndrome, using Moderna's mRNA therapeutics platform.[33] By 2016, Bancel told an audience of JPMorgan Chase investors that the work with Alexion would shortly enter human trials. However, by 2017, the program with Alexion had been scrapped as the animal trials showed that Moderna's treatment would never be safe enough for humans.[11][12]
In February 2016, a Nature editorial criticized Moderna for not publishing any peer-reviewed papers on its technology, unlike most other emerging and established biotech companies, and compared its approach to that of the controversially failed Theranos.[34] In September 2018, Thrillist published an article titled, ''Why This Secretive Tech Start-Up Could Be The Next Theranos'',[35] criticizing its reputation for secrecy and the absence of scientific validation or independent peer-review of its research, though having the highest valuation of any U.S. private biotech company at more than $5 billion.[11][36] A former Moderna scientist told Stat: ''It's a case of the emperor's new clothes. They're running an investment firm, and then hopefully it also develops a drug that's successful.''[11]
In 2018, the company rebranded as ''Moderna Inc.'' with the ticker symbol MRNA, and further increased its portfolio of vaccine development.[10] In December 2018, Moderna became the largest biotech initial public offering in history, raising $621 million (27 million shares at $23 per share) on NASDAQ, and implying an overall valuation of $7.5 billion for the entire company.[37][38] The year-end 2019 SEC filings showed that Moderna had accumulated losses of $1.5 billion since inception, with a loss of $514 million in 2019 alone, and had raised $3.2 billion in equity since 2010.[10][26]
In March 2020, in a White House meeting between the Trump administration and pharmaceutical executives, Bancel told the president Moderna could have a COVID-19 vaccine ready in a few months.[10] The next day, the FDA approved clinical trials for the Moderna vaccine candidate, with Moderna later receiving investment of $483 million from Operation Warp Speed.[10] Moderna board member, Moncef Slaoui, was appointed head scientist for the Operation Warp Speed project.[10]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moderna
Major Depressive Disorders Have an Enormous Economic Impact - Scientific American
Thu, 06 May 2021 04:20
Since the early 1990s, I, together with my colleagues, have been studying the economic burden of adults with major depressive disorders (MDD). Over that time, we have tracked shifts in the prevalence of this disease; in the makeup of those suffering from it; and in the nature of treatment both for the disease itself and for the host of comorbidities, such as pain and anxiety disorders, that accompany it. We have then used these data as the basis for calculating the incremental economic burden of adults with MDD'--that is, the additional costs traceable to those suffering from the disease in terms of both medical treatment and workplace productivity impacts.
Our most recent study was just published in a special issue of PharmacoEconomics (which I also co-edited) that presents new research on the economics of MDD. By focusing on one year during the Great Recession (2010) and another after a long macroeconomic expansion (2018), our analysis provides a helpful profile of the changing economic effects of this widespread and pernicious illness. We report our latest estimates showing that the incremental economic burden of adults with MDD was $326 billion in 2018, 38 percent higher than in 2010.
But our work goes deeper than simply providing an economic calculator. This research offers a multifaceted lens through which we can gain a better understanding of how the myriad effects of the illness manifest themselves.
Importantly, we find that only 11 percent of the overall burden of illness was attributable to the direct medical costs of treating MDD itself, while the costs of treating comorbid medical conditions made up 24 percent. Another 4 percent was due to suicide-related costs, while fully 61 percent of the total burden in 2018 resulted from a combination of elevated workplace absenteeism and presenteeism (that is, reduced productivity as a result of working while sick). This striking imbalance between medical expenditures to treat either MDD or its comorbidities on the one hand and workplace-related costs on the other is one aspect of the story that has changed dramatically since 2010, when medical costs were equivalent to workplace costs.
Several other things have also changed meaningfully in the interim. First, the COVID-19 pandemic has so visibly altered our world since early 2020. While the full effects of the pandemic on MDD will not be fully understood for some time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the average prevalence to be 27 percent during the pandemic, more than three times its 2019 rate of 7 percent. Of course, it is not yet clear the extent to which this much higher prevalence rate will endure postpandemic. But the unprecedented rise in the number of MDD sufferers seems likely to translate into a higher burden of illness, even though its precise magnitude and composition will not be known for some time.
A second significant change that we document in our latest study is that the prevalence of illness now includes many more younger people than ever before. Of the 15.5 million MDD sufferers in 2010, 5.4 million (35 percent) were between 18 and 34 years of age. In contrast, there were 17.5 million people who suffered from MDD in 2018, 8.3 million (47 percent) of whom were in this younger age cohort. This shift to a younger age mix likely results in added burdens at work, home, and school. Since the age of onset usually occurs by the time an MDD sufferer is a young adult, without effective and timely intervention, these individuals are especially vulnerable to potentially irreversible adverse life outcomes, including dropout from high school or college, teenage parenting, and marital or job instability.
A third key trend relates to the deceleration in the MDD treatment rate we have seen over time. Although it doubled from 28 percent in 1990 to 56 percent in 2018, the treatment rate has hovered near its current level for the past 15 years. With 44 percent of MDD sufferers not reached at all by the health care sector, there still exists a substantial unmet treatment need. If broader outreach and more effective forms of care can help shift more of the direct medical expenditures to treatment of MDD itself rather than treatment of comorbid physical and psychiatric conditions, such a change would be wholly welcome.
A fourth important trend we observe focuses on more favorable employment conditions in 2018 compared to 2010. Throughout the business cycle, labor force attachment tends to be far more volatile for people with MDD. While they are highly employable especially in economically robust times, MDD sufferers are often disproportionately adversely affected during economic declines (particularly those aged 50-plus).
One recurring insight from our body of research is that there is a complex interaction among MDD prevalence, severity, treatment and employment rates through the business cycle. As a result of this dynamic, there is an inherent tension between societal interests and individual employer interests in terms of who bears the costs of optimal MDD-patient management. This represents a continual challenge even during the best of macroeconomic conditions.
In general, the economic burden of an illness is related to how widespread it is in society, how debilitating it is in terms of resulting impairment among sufferers, and how widely treated it is in the medical sector. Our updated research findings continue to add to our understanding of the burden of illness. But with the effects of the pandemic on MDD still not yet clear, it will take several years to amass relevant data that can shine a bright light on many of these complicated dynamics.
This is an opinion and analysis article.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)Paul E. Greenberg is managing principal at Analysis Group.
Noodle Gun
We Work documentary - Instagram dream
Disneyland's revamped Snow White ride draws backlash over sleeping kiss scene - California News Times
Mon, 03 May 2021 15:05
An improved version of Disneyland's famous Snow White ride has been repulsed by portraying the ''Kiss of True Love'' scene. Critics say she undermines the lesson about consent by portraying a prince kissing Snow White while she sleeps.
Anaheim theme park, California After shutting down for over a year in a pandemic, it resumed on Friday, featuring a major overhaul of the classic Snow White ride.
Formerly known as ''Snow White's Enchantment'', focusing on the Evil Queen, the updated vehicle takes a more carefree approach to the story, with fresh animatronics and a whole new scene. I am.
Vehicles are now at their peak in the ''True Love Kiss'' scene.There, a prince who believes Snow White is dead kisses her and breaks QueenThe curse that put her in a deep trance.
The improved Snow White ride at Disneyland (above) ends with a ''true love kiss'' scene, raising concerns from critics that it undermines lessons about consent.
In the 1937 movie (above), a prince who believed Snow White was dead kissed her and unleashed the queen's curse that had put her in a deep trance.
''A kiss he gives her without her consent while she sleeps. If only one knows that it's happening, it probably can't be true love,'' the reviewer said. SFGate..
''Don't you already agree that consent in early Disney movies is a big issue? Telling children to kiss when it is not established whether both parties are actively involved. Isn't it okay to teach? ''The critics wrote.
''Old-fashioned about what men can do to women, especially given that 2021 Disneyland is currently focusing on removing problematic scenes from vehicles such as jungle cruises and splashes. It's hard to understand why you choose to add a scene with your ideas Mountain'review continued.
''Why don't you reimagine the ending to match the spirit of the movie and the position of Snow White in Disney's canon? But does it avoid this problem?''
Started in 1955, Jungle Cruise, which remains closed for renewal, has been modified to eliminate the ''negative depictions'' of indigenous people who portray them as barbarians or obedient, Disney I confirmed it earlier this year.
Disney said in June last year that Splash Mountain's rides were also reviewed, removing its association with the black stereotypes of the 1946 movie Song of the South.
Guests walk along Disneyland on Main Street USA on Friday. The park reopened after a record 13-month closure under pandemic restrictions.
Guests will board Disneyland's Splash Mountain attractions on Friday.The vehicle was overhauled in the 1946 movie ''Song of the South'' to remove its association with the black stereotype.
This is not the first time that the 1937 movie Snow White's kissing scene has been concerned about the message it sends to young people.
In 2018, Professor Kazue Muta of Osaka University in Japan argued that the act of kissing a sleeping woman could be likened to sexual assault on an unconscious person.
A feminist scholar, 61, even said that the story of Snow White and the Sleeping Beauty ''promotes sexual violence.''
''Snow White'' and ''Sleeping Beauty,'' who talk about ''the princess awakened by the prince's kiss,'' reasonably portray a sexual assault on an unconscious person, ''she says. Tweet..
Snow White is Disney's first feature-length animation and one of the 10 most profitable US films in the country, adjusted for inflation.
Snow White's character can be seen from the wishes of Snow White and the Seven at Disneyland after Disney has significantly overhauled the dark ride.
The new vehicle features new scenes and effects, including the dwarven mines seen above.
In the movie, the evil queen, who is jealous of Snow White's beauty, makes a poisoned apple, and anyone who eats it falls into ''sleeping death.''
The spell can be broken by the ''first kiss of love,'' but the Queen estimates that Snow White is pronounced dead and buried before such a kiss.
However, the seven distraught dwarves are so angry at finding Snow White in the trance that they can't take themselves to fill her, instead a glass in a forest vacant lot. Put her in the casket.
A year later, the prince learns about Snow White's fate and visits what he believes to be her uncorrupted body. He kisses her, awakens her from the trance, and they set out to live happily in his castle.
Disneyland's revamped Snow White ride draws backlash over sleeping kiss scene Source link Disneyland's revamped Snow White ride draws backlash over sleeping kiss scene
In Bitterly Divided Election in Southlake, Texas, Opponents of Anti-Racism Education Win Big - American Renaissance
Mon, 03 May 2021 22:43
Nine months after officials in the affluent Carroll Independent School District introduced a proposal to combat racial and cultural intolerance in schools, voters delivered a resounding victory Saturday to a slate of school board and City Council candidates who opposed the plan.
In an unusually bitter campaign that echoed a growing national divide over how to address issues of race, gender and sexuality in schools, candidates in the city of Southlake were split between two camps: those who supported new diversity and inclusion training requirements for Carroll students and teachers and those backed by a political action committee that was formed last year to defeat the plan.
On one side, progressives argued that curriculum and disciplinary changes were needed to make all children feel safe and welcome in Carroll, a mostly white but quickly diversifying school district. On the other, conservatives in Southlake rejected the school diversity plan as an effort to indoctrinate students with a far-left ideology that, according to some, would institutionalize discrimination against white children and those with conservative Christian values.
Candidates and voters on both sides described the election as a ''fork in the road'' for Southlake, a wealthy suburb 30 miles northwest of Dallas. ''So goes Southlake,'' a local conservative commentator warned in the weeks leading up to the election, ''so goes the rest of America.''
In the end, the contest was not close. Candidates backed by the conservative Southlake Families PAC, which has raised more than $200,000 since last summer, won every race by about 70 percent to 30 percent, including those for two school board positions, two City Council seats and mayor. More than 9,000 voters cast ballots, three times as many as in similar contests in the past.
Hannah Smith, a prominent Southlake lawyer who clerked for Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, defeated Ed Hernandez, a business consultant, to win a seat on the Carroll school board. In a statement to NBC News on Sunday, Smith, who is white, said the election ''was a referendum on those who put personal politics and divisive philosophies ahead of Carroll ISD students and families, and their common American heritage and Texas values.''
{snip}
The fight in Southlake dates to the fall of 2018, when a video of white Carroll high school students chanting the N-word went viral, making national headlines. In the aftermath, school leaders hosted listening sessions with students and parents and appointed a committee of 63 community volunteers to come up with a plan to make Carroll more welcoming for students from diverse backgrounds.
The effort was, in part, a recognition of changing demographics. Southlake's population has tripled to more than 31,000 over the past three decades, driven in part by immigrants from South Asia drawn to the area by high-paying jobs and highly ranked schools. Black residents make up less than 2 percent of the population in a city where the median household income is more than $230,000 and 74 percent of residents are white.
The result of the school diversity committee's work, a 34-page document called the Cultural Competency Action Plan, was released last summer, in the midst of a pandemic, a heated presidential election and a broader national reckoning over racism following the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
The plan called for mandatory cultural sensitivity training for all Carroll students and teachers, a formal process to report and track incidents of racist bullying and changes to the code of conduct to hold students accountable for acts of discrimination. The proposal also suggested creating the position of director of equity and inclusion to oversee the district's efforts.
The plan was met with swift and fierce opposition. For months, conservative parents packed school board meetings, decrying aspects of the proposal that they said would have created ''diversity police'' and amounted to ''reverse racism.'' Members of the Southlake Families PAC, which was formed within days of the plan's release, took particular issue with a district proposal to track incidents of microaggressions '-- subtle, indirect and sometimes unintentional incidents of discrimination.
{snip}
Southlake Families PAC backed a mother's lawsuit against the district and in December won a temporary restraining order that put the diversity plan on hold. Then, last month, two members of the school board who had supported the plan were indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury, which accused them of having violated the Texas open meetings law, a misdemeanor, after opponents of the diversity plan obtained texts showing that the members had messaged one another before they voted on it.
{snip}
🚨 How Basecamp blew up - Platformer
Tue, 04 May 2021 11:35
Joshua Woroniecki / UnsplashI.
At 8AM PT on Friday, a bleary-eyed Basecamp CEO Jason Fried gathered his remote workforce together on Zoom to apologize. Four days earlier, he had thrown the company into turmoil by announcing that ''societal and political discussions'' would no longer be allowed on the company's internal chat forums. In his blog post, Fried said the decision stemmed from the fact that ''today's social and political waters are especially choppy,'' and that internal discussions of those issues was ''not healthy'' and ''hasn't served us well.'' The public reaction had been furious, and Fried said he was sorry for the way the new policies had been rolled out '-- but not for the policies themselves.
Behind the scenes, Fried had been dealing with an employee reckoning over a long-standing company practice of maintaining a list of ''funny'' customer names, some of which were of Asian and African origin. The internal discussion over that list had been oriented primarily around making Basecamp feel more inclusive to its employees and customers. But Fried and his co-founder, David Heinemeier Hansson, had been taken aback by an employee post which argued that mocking customer names laid the foundation for racially-motivated violence, and closed the thread. They also disbanded an internal committee of employees who had volunteered to work on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
On Friday, employees had their chance to address these issues directly with Fried and his co-founder. What followed was a wrenching discussion that left several employees I spoke with in tears. Thirty minutes after the meeting ended, Fried announced that Basecamp's longtime head of strategy, Ryan Singer, had been suspended and placed under investigation after he questioned the existence of white supremacy at the company. Over the weekend, Singer '-- who worked for the company for nearly 18 years, and authored a book about product management for Basecamp called Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters '-- resigned.
Within a few hours of the meeting, at least 20 people '-- more than one-third of Basecamp's 57 employees '-- had announced their intention to accept buyouts from the company. And while many of them had been leaning toward resigning in the aftermath of Fried's original post, the meeting itself pushed several to accelerate their decisions, employees said. The response overwhelmed the founders, who extended the deadline to accept buyouts indefinitely amid an unexpected surge of interest.
This account is based on interviews with six Basecamp employees who were present at the meeting, along with a partial transcript created by employees. Collectively, they describe a company whose attempt to tamp down on difficult conversations blew up in its face as employees rejected the notion that discussions of power and justice should remain off limits in the workplace. And they suggest that efforts to eliminate disruptions in the workplace by regulating internal speech may cause even more turmoil for a company in the long run.
''My honest sense of why everybody is leaving because they're tired of Jason and David's behavior '-- the suppression of voices, of any dissent,'' one employee told me. ''They really don't care what employees have to say. If they don't think it's an issue, it's not an issue. If they don't experience it, then it's not real. And this was the final straw for a lot of employees.''
II.
While Friday's meeting would eventually grow heated, it began on a conciliatory note. Fried, who employees described as looking tired, began the meeting by apologizing for announcing the policy changes by a public blog post rather than first telling all employees. Hansson tuned into the meeting from bed, where he reported that he was feeling ill, and after making introductory remarks turned off his camera for the duration of the meeting.
Fried opened the floor for comments and questions. For the next two and a half hours, employees pressed the founders on the policy changes, the events leading up to them, and the state of the company. The first part of the meeting was devoted to discussing the events that had unfolded in the company's internal Basecamp chat last month, in which an employee had cited the Anti-Defamation League's ''pyramid of hate'' to argue that documents like the ''funny'' names list laid a foundation that contributes to racist violence and even genocide.
Roughly 90 minutes into the meeting, Singer raised his hand and spoke. One of Basecamp's most senior executives, he had joined the company in 2003, when it was known as 37Signals and consisted of just four people. From his original role designing interfaces, Singer had risen to become head of strategy '-- essentially, Basecamp's chief product officer.
Along the way, he had also alienated some of his coworkers by promoting conservative views. In 2016, three employees said, he praised right-wing website Breitbart's coverage of the presidential election in an internal forum. (About a week before rolling out the policy changes, the founders deleted nearly two decades of internal conversations from previous instances of Basecamp and its other collaboration products. Among other things, this made it more difficult for employees I spoke with to accurately describe past interactions with Singer in the forums.)
In the April discussion about the list of customer names, Singer posted to say that attempting to link the list to genocide was ''absurd.'' On the Friday call, he went further.
''I strongly disagree we live in a white supremacist culture,'' Singer said. ''I don't believe in a lot of the framing around implicit bias. I think a lot of this is actually racist.''
He continued: ''Very often, if you express a dissenting view, you get called a Nazi. '... I have not felt this is open territory for discussion. If we were to try to get into it as a group discussion it would be very painful and divisive.''
Singer concluded his remarks. Fried responded, ''Thank you, Ryan.''
A handful of other speakers followed. Then a Black employee asked if the company could revisit Singer's remarks. (I'm withholding the employee's name and other identifying details out of colleagues' fears that they could be targeted for harassment for speaking out.)
''The fact that you can be a white male, and come to this meeting and call people racist and say 'white supremacy doesn't exist' when it's blatant at this company is white privilege,'' the employee said. ''The fact that he wasn't corrected and was in fact thanked '-- it makes me sick.''
Fried went to move on, but other employees pressed for more of a response from him and Hansson. At that point, employees said, Singer spoke up again.
''I can gladly respond,'' he said. ''I stand by what I said. Saying white people have something in common is racist. I stand by it '... I am very sure I don't treat people in a racist way.''
(Singer remembers one of these quotes differently: ''I said that claiming anybody must have a certain viewpoint because of the color of their skin is racist,'' he said today.) The Black employee said they did not want to hear from Singer, but after some cross-talk he finished his statement.
''The difficulty of this conversation is exactly why I raised it,'' he said.
The Black employee responded: ''You said, 'white supremacy doesn't exist.' That's a factual lie. It's not true.''
To which Singer responded: ''I said we have different ways of framing '... If you want to debate whether it exists anywhere, then yeah. But not here at this company, not with the people I associate with.''
''It exists right now,'' another employee said. ''This is fucking bullshit. You are being ridiculous.''
''I don't accept that framing,'' Singer responded. ''It's not productive to argue further. I don't want to argue. This difference in views, it is what makes a political discussion so difficult.''
Employees once again pressed Fried and Hansson for a response.
''I don't like hearing that someone doesn't feel valued,'' Fried said. ''I don't know what to say '... I can understand why [the employee] feels uncomfortable right now. I feel terrible about it. I don't know how else to respond.''
The employee called for the founders to denounce white supremacy. ''That would be the bare minimum for me,'' they said.
''I'm not here to share my personal views on anything,'' Fried said. ''I'm horrified when one group dominates another.'' Fried, who is Jewish, added that he had lost relatives during the Holocaust. ''I think it's absolutely the most disgusting thing in the world '... I can't say that's happening here.''
Fried added that he didn't ''know what to say about specific terms. I don't know how to satisfy that right now.''
Hansson remained on mute.
It was in that exchange that several employees decided to quit Basecamp, I'm told. Two employees told me that they had found themselves crying and screaming at the screen.
''This was the test, as far as I'm concerned,'' one told me later. ''Do you protect this extremely senior employee that you've protected for many years? And [the answer] was yes.''
Over the next hour, employees continued to come forward to discuss Basecamp's new policies and what would be like going forward. But before the meeting ended, one employee spoke up to address Singer's remarks directly in a way that Fried and Hansson did not.
''Racism [and] white supremacy are not things that are so convenient that they only happen when full intention is present, or true malice is present,'' the employee said. ''Evil is not required. We're not so lucky as for this to come down to good and evil. It's as simple as creating a space where people do not feel welcome.''
The employee continued: ''The silence in the background is what racism and white supremacy does. It creates that atmosphere that feels suffocating to people. It doesn't require active malice. It's not that convenient.''
The meeting broke up after no more employees had questions.
III.
A half hour after the meeting ended, Fried posted an internal note saying that Singer has been suspended pending an investigation. He added that the company was bringing in unspecified outside ''help'' to address the situation.
On Monday morning, in an interview, Fried told me that Singer had resigned.
I asked Fried to clarify his remarks during the Friday meeting, which had clearly caught him off guard.
''I denounce white supremacy unconditionally,'' he told me.
Fried declined to answer my other questions on the record.
I also asked Singer about his remarks. Here is what he said, over email, in full:
''I objected to an employee's statement that we live in a white supremacist culture. White supremacism exists, and America's history of racism still presents terrible problems, but I don't agree that we should label our entire culture with this ideology.
On the call, the view I gave was we all want a future where everyone is treated fairly. And yet there can be disagreement on whether defining our culture as 'white supremacist' helps us to get there. The subject is so charged that discussing such disagreements at work quickly leads to misunderstanding, heated accusations, and loss of faith.
Unfortunately, painful misunderstanding did result. Tensions were so high after the call that I decided it won't be tenable to stay on the team. I gave my resignation over the weekend.''
IV.
This week was to have been Basecamp's (virtual) biannual meetup, in which employees come together to bond over social activities while talking about the future of the company.
Those discussions will still take place, but amidst a backdrop in which some of the company's most senior leadership has abruptly departed. More employees are likely to follow in the coming weeks as they find new jobs and make other arrangements, I'm told. In the meantime, no changes to the policies that Fried laid out last week are planned.
Fried and Hansson's moves last week, and the discussion around them, revealed clear fault lines between executives and workers that go far beyond Basecamp. Founders at Coinbase, Basecamp, and other companies have sought to quash internal dissent that, in their view, distracts workers from the company mission and makes everyone miserable. To a manager, the exchange that led to Singer's departure could lend credence to the idea that addressing social injustices on company Zoom calls is bound to be disastrous.
Meanwhile, employees at those companies have recoiled at what appear to be transparent efforts to prevent their workplaces from becoming more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
No one I interviewed offered a confident prediction about how the past week's events would affect Basecamp over the long term. On one hand, it's clear that the five books Fried and Hansson wrote lecturing other people about good management made them a lot of enemies, at least on Twitter, where they have been criticized relentlessly. On the other hand, as one employee told me, it's not clear that average Basecamp customers know or care much about Basecamp the company, and no one predicts a mass revolt of the user base.
But as much as the conversation about Basecamp's moves has been framed as ''politics,'' it seems important to remember that the entire affair began when a third of the company '-- not all of whom are among the 20 who have departed so far, by the way '-- volunteered to help the company become more diverse and equitable. It was only when their committee dug a skeleton out of the company closet '-- that list of names '-- that Fried and Hansson moved to shut the whole thing down.
''It was actually a positive thing we were doing,'' one employee told me, marveling at the chaos that had followed. ''We had identified the problem, how it happened, and vowed not to do it again. It was a company doing exactly what it should do. The founders refused to lead, and so the company was doing it itself.''
Another employee said they had been thrown by the fact that the founders, after years of telling employees that they were part of an elite chosen few who were good enough to work at Basecamp, would get rid of them so easily.
''They just want to build cool shit all day,'' the employee said. ''They don't want to deal with people, which is something you have to do as a manager '... Jason and David just threw us away.''
SidechannelThe Oversight Board will announce whether it will restore Donald Trump to Facebook on Wednesday morning. On Wednesday at 5:30 PM PT, I'll be on Sidechannel with my co-host Charlie Warzel and Oversight Board expert Evelyn Douek to break down the decision. It's free to all subscribers of Platformer and Warzel's Galaxy Brain; if you haven't already, subscribe now and I'll email you instructions for joining the server.
The RatioToday in news that could affect public perception of the big tech companies.
'¬‡¸ Trending down: Despite policies prohibiting their sale, Etsy is awash in ivory, dangerous weapons, and mass-produced items. An investigation easily found 800 banned items for sale. (Rob Price / Insider)
Governing'­ The European Union charged Apple with antitrust violations in the Spotify case. Holy hell, it actually happened. Here's Sam Schechner in the Wall Street Journal:
The European Commission, the EU's top antitrust enforcer, on Friday issued a charge sheet against Apple that says the iPhone maker squeezed rival music-streaming apps by requiring them to use Apple's in-app payments system to sell digital content. The case stems from a complaint by Spotify Technology SA, which competes with Apple's music-streaming service.
In addition, EU regulators say Apple ''distorted competition'' by limiting how app developers can inform users about cheaper ways to subscribe outside the app. Apple's in-app payment system imposes a 30% commission on purchases inside many of the most popular apps.
'­ The Apple-Epic Games trial started. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney took the stand to make the case that Apple's 30 percent cut of revenue and insistence on using its own payment system is anticompetitive. (Erin Griffith / New York Times)
'­ A California court of appeals held that Amazon is responsible for third-party sales after a hoverboard sold on the site burst into flames. If the Supreme Court upheld this ruling, it would seem to have huge implications for Section 230 and every platform. (David Lazarus / Los Angeles Times)
Florida's legislature passed a bill attempting to ban deplatforming. The state would fine social networks that remove politicians like Donald Trump; the law is not expected to survive legal challenges. (David Ingram and Ben Kamisar / NBC News)
The Federal Trade Commission held a hearing on the use of deceptive ''dark patterns'' designed to get consumers to accept privacy agreements and purchase subscription products. The practice may be difficult to crack down on given a recent Supreme Court decision limiting the FTC's powers. (Issie Lapowsky / Protocol)
European soccer, rugby, and cricket players staged a four-day boycott of social media in protest of online harassment. It comes two years after European athletes staged a one-day boycott over racist abuse. (BBC)
Some extremists are finding a financial lifeline on Twitch. Dozens of right-wing conspiracy theorists are now broadcasting, and Twitch is sharing in the profits of their subscription and tipping revenue. (Kellen Browning / New York Times)
Telegram is the far right's weapon of choice in Ireland. The app has grown in popularity since WhatsApp began removing viral forwarding tools. (Michael Lanigan / Vice)
Industry'­ TikTok named Shouzi Chew its new CEO, and Vanessa Pappas COO. Pappas deserves a lot of credit for steering TikTok through an incredibly tumultuous 2020 for the company while leaving its core product in as strong a position as ever. Here's David Pierce in Protocol:
Chew has only been at ByteDance since the end of March, after working as Xiaomi's CFO since 2015. He has plenty of experience that will be relevant to TikTok: He helped spearhead Xiaomi's massive IPO, and before that worked at DST Global, which is a significant and early investor in ByteDance.
He's based in Singapore, which gives TikTok an important global center outside of both China and the U.S. (Though he does serve as CFO of a Beijing-based company, so his home address may only go but so far.) And by all accounts, he's taking over the company at a much better moment than Kevin Mayer did in 2020. While it's theoretically still under the microscope of CFIUS and the White House, the top-down effort to ban TikTok or force its sale to a U.S. company seems to have at least stalled for now.
Twitter is opening its Spaces audio product to everyone with more than 600 users, and will let users sell tickets to their events. You'll also begin seeing a purple ring around the profile picture of users who are currently broadcasting. (Sarah Perez / TechCrunch)
Facebook says 60 percent of users have opted to link Instagram to Messenger. Still one of the smartest things the company did once it became clear the government would try to break it up. (Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC)
Roku removed YouTube TV from its app store in a contract dispute. Each side accuses the other of acting in bad faith; Roku says Google is demanding preferential treatment. (Sara Fischer)
The future of the Google office involves inflatable balloon walls, open-air tents, and other absolute horrors. A truly chilling tale that I can only imagine was pitched in hopes of persuading Googlers to continue working remote indefinitely. (Daisuke Wakabayashi / New York Times)
At an internal Spotify workshop, employees working on content policies were presented with what appeared to be hateful statements from podcasts '-- but were actually lyrics from legendary rappers NWA. A fantastic opening anecdote from a piece that also reveals Spotify is working on automated tools to detect hate speech in podcasts. (Jessica Toonkel and Mark Di Stefano / The Information)
Those good tweets Talk to meSend me tips, comments, questions, and detailed exchanges from company Zoom calls: casey@platformer.news.
One-Third of Basecamp Employees Quit After Founders Ask Them To Focus On Work, Not Wokeness, At Work | The Daily Wire
Wed, 05 May 2021 16:57
About one-third of employees at software company Basecamp quit days after bosses told them to keep ideology out of the workplace and focus on the company's actual business.
''We make project management, team communication, and email software,'' CEO Jason Fried wrote April 26. We don't have to solve deep social problems, chime in publicly whenever the world requests our opinion on the major issues of the day, or get behind one movement or another with time or treasure. These are all important topics, but they're not our topics at work.''
Tech journalist Casey Newton said about one-third of the company's roughly 60 employees took buyouts shortly after, with one fuming: ''Basically the company has said, 'well, your opinions don't really matter '-- unless it's directly related to business'...' A lot of people are gonna have a tough time living with that.''
Newton reported at Platformer that woke tensions boiled over after, in December, a new hire ''volunteered to help the company work on diversity issues.''
This included criticizing the fact that for years, many employees had contributed to a list called ''Best Names Ever'' in which they placed funny customer names '-- of ''the sorts of names Bart Simpson used to use when prank calling Moe the Bartender: Amanda Hugginkiss, Seymour Butz, Mike Rotch.''
A third of the company joined a diversity initiative behind the volunteer, and two employees who had contributed to the list of funny names asked why there had never been an ''internal reckoning'' over it. They apologized for their involvement and included a link to something called the ''pyramid of hate'' from the Anti-Defamation League.
The pyramid lists ''non-inclusive language, microaggressions'' at the bottom and ''genocide'' at the top, saying, ''If people or institutions treat behaviors on the lower levels as being acceptable or 'normal,' it results in the behaviors at the next level becoming more accepted.''
Basecamp chief technology officer and co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson, the father of the popular web development framework Ruby on Rails, condemned the list of funny names but found the invocation of genocide to be an example of ''catastrophizing'' that had the effect of shutting down rational conversation.
When one employee continued to push this line of logic, Hansson pointed out that that employee, himself, had participated in discussions making fun of customers' names. ''You are the person you are complaining about,'' he thought, Newton reported.
Soon after, Fried, who along with Hansson has long been recognized as an expert on cultivating productive workplace culture, said the company was making changes to make sure there was ''no forgetting what we do here.''
There would be ''no more societal and political discussions'' on official company channels, he said, calling it ''a major distraction. It saps our energy, and redirects our dialog towards dark places.''
On Twitter, John Breen, whose bio describes him as ''He/Him. ADHD. Software developer. Queer. High Maintenance,'' tallied the exodus in a thread that began, ''Let's keep track of the folks who are leaving @Basecamp and do what we can to find them a new home where they're allowed to exist without being told they're divisive:''
Let's keep track of the folks who are leaving @Basecamp and do what we can to find them a new home where they're allowed to exist without being told they're divisive:
'-- John Breen (@_breeeeen_) April 30, 2021
''Ex-basecampers: we need people like you at Mozilla!'' one Mozilla employee responded.
Mozilla has experienced the dark places and distractions Fried warned about. In 2014, Mozilla's co-founder and CEO was forced to step down when activists made an issue of political speech outside of work six years prior. In 2008, Brendan Eich donated $1,000 to a ballot initiative that banned gay marriage, an initiative that passed, meaning his position was not only mainstream but the majority position at the time.
The right to opinions inside or outside of work, it seems, only extends to the right opinions.
The Daily Wire is one of America's fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.
OTG
Biden team may partner with private firms to monitor extremist chatter online - CNNPolitics
Tue, 04 May 2021 02:44
By Zachary Cohen and Katie Bo Williams, CNN
Updated 5:12 PM EDT, Mon May 03, 2021
Washington(CNN) The Biden administration is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online, an effort that would expand the government's ability to gather intelligence but could draw criticism over surveillance of US citizens.
The Department of Homeland Security is limited in how it can monitor citizens online without justification and is banned from activities like assuming false identities to gain access to private messaging apps used by extremist groups such as the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers.
Instead, federal authorities can only browse through unprotected information on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and other open online platforms. A source familiar with the effort said it is not about decrypting data but rather using outside entities who can legally access these private groups to gather large amounts of information that could help DHS identify key narratives as they emerge.
The plan being discussed inside DHS, according to multiple sources, would, in effect, allow the department to circumvent those limits. In response to CNN's story, DHS said it "is not partnering with private firms to surveil suspected domestic terrorists online" and "it is blatantly false" to suggest that the department is using outside firms to circumvent its legal limits.
"All of our work to address the threat of domestic terrorism is done consistent with the Constitution and other applicable law, and in close coordination with our privacy and civil liberties experts," the DHS statement added.
But the department has considered partnering with research firms who have more visibility in this space, though it has not done so to this point, the sources said. If that ultimately happens, DHS could produce information that would likely be beneficial to both it and the FBI, which can't monitor US citizens in this way without first getting a warrant or having the pretext of an ongoing investigation. The CIA and NSA are also limited on collecting intelligence domestically.
It would, however, involve empowering a unit at DHS that is already under fierce scrutiny for its bungled handling of the Portland riots last summer, an episode that included collecting intelligence reports on journalists and unmasking private citizens, according to a source familiar with a recent internal report on the matter.
That leaves the Biden administration with a key question: how to address mistakes made during the Trump administration while also finding ways to respond to what critics say were blatant failures by US intelligence agencies to act on warnings ahead of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol?
"There's a tension between wanting to empower [DHS's intelligence office] to do this kind of work around domestic terrorism on the one hand and then on the other hand the misuse of its capabilities during the summer of 2020, gives a lot of people on the Hill pause {when it comes to} potentially giving them new authorities, capabilities or resources," a Senate aide told CNN.
DHS officials are exploring ways to enhance the department's information gathering within the bounds of its current authorities, multiple sources told CNN. The department is coordinating with the National Security Council and FBI as part of the effort, sources added.
"There was only limited awareness before January 6 of what violent extremists were planning through social media," said Tom Warrick, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who served as DHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism Policy from 2008 until 2019 and has decades of experience as a career government official at agencies including the State Department.
Warrick added he would expect DHS to "explore whether contractors could help them understand plots and trends" emerging online.
"Whatever gets approved and implemented has to comply with established laws," he said, noting that DHS can only use overt methods to gather information from social media or collect information that is publicly available.
Researchers who already monitor such activity online could act as middlemen to obtain the information. DHS officials maintain the materials provided would only consist of broad summaries or analysis of narratives that are emerging on these sites and would not be used to target specific individuals.
But some of the research firms and non-profit groups under consideration by the DHS periodically use covert identities to access private social media groups like Telegram, and others used by domestic extremist groups. That thrusts DHS into a potential legal gray area even as it plugs an intelligence gap that critics say contributed to the failure to predict the assault on the Capitol.
Tracking narratives Pro-Trump supporters storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021
Much of the planning for the Capitol Hill riot appeared out in the open, on social media platforms and on encrypted apps available to anyone with an internet connection. The DHS is trying to get a better sense of "narratives" that might lead to violence as they emerge across those channels, according to two DHS officials.
But tracking those narratives, particularly in the wake of January 6, increasingly requires access to private groups on encrypted apps as extremist groups migrate from more forward-facing sites like Facebook.
By the time narratives are appearing on Facebook, it is usually too late, one DHS official told CNN.
"Domestic violent extremists are really adaptive and innovative. We see them not only moving to encrypted platforms, but obviously couching their language so they don't trigger any kind of red flag on any platforms," the official added.
Outsourcing some information gathering to outside firms would give DHS the benefit of tactics that it isn't legally able to do in-house, such as using false personas to gain access to private groups used by suspected extremists, sources say.
The department is also working to expand its ability to collect information from public-facing social media sites where users' posts offered clear warning signs about potential violence ahead of the January 6 attack, but were either ignored or underestimated by security officials prior to that date.
But any effort by the intelligence community to wade into the murky area of domestic spying is fraught with political risks, current and former officials say.
Gathering information on US citizens -- no matter how abhorrent their beliefs -- raises instant constitutional and legal challenges. Civil liberties advocates and privacy hawks have long criticized any efforts to collect even publicly available information on Americans in bulk as a violation of Americans' First and Fourth Amendment rights.
A legal work-around If they can find willing external partners that would help provide access to private groups on these encrypted apps, DHS and its federal partners, including the FBI, would be able to legally identify potential domestic terrorists and access information that could inform investigative efforts, a source familiar with the effort told CNN.
FBI director Christopher Wray has been emphatic during recent public testimony that the bureau does not investigate ideologies or even conspiracy theories in and of themselves, but restricts its social media monitoring to cases where they believe a crime, or potential crime, was committed.
But if the DHS could help provide a broad picture of who was perpetuating the "narratives" of concern, the FBI could theoretically use that pool of information to focus on specific individuals if there is enough evidence of a potential crime to legally do so, the source added, noting the two agencies are working closely with one another in this area.
"What do you do about ideology that's leading to violence? Do you have to wait until it leads to violence?" said one former senior intelligence official.
"We are exploring with our lawyers, civil rights, civil liberties and privacy colleagues, how we can make use of outside expertise," the DHS official added, referring to the department's efforts related to encrypted applications.
The problem with that, the source familiar with the effort acknowledged, is DHS would be operating in a space that would likely make civil liberties' advocates, not to mention conservatives', hair stand on end.
Privacy advocates on the Hill have already questioned the Defense Intelligence Agency's efforts to get around restrictions on collecting Americans' location data without a warrant by purchasing that data from commercially-available databases.
Problems in Portland Federal officers disperse a crowd during a protest at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility on September 18, 2020 in Portland, Oregon.
Even as the DHS eyes a more robust use of its intelligence authorities, it continues to face fierce scrutiny on Capitol Hill over its handling of the Portland protests last summer '-- raising the possibility that at least some lawmakers will push back on the effort.
The department -- then led by Trump appointees but staffed by career officials, some of whom remain on the job -- collected and disseminated open source reports on U.S. journalists who were publicly reporting on the protests. The department also sent analysts to Portland to question protesters, according to a public statement by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. -- a tactic seen by some as a government intrusion on Americans' First Amendment right to protest. Schiff also revealed that the DHS that protects federal property had requested that analysts "extract data" from phones seized from protesters without a warrant, a request that went unfulfilled.
"There were a number of other reports that were issued that shouldn't have been issued," DHS' acting intelligence chief, Joseph Maher, told the committee in October.
DHS's general counsel conducted its own administrative review of the Portland collection practices, which it delivered to the Hill on January 6 -- purely coincidentally. In addition to the concerns about improper collection tradecraft and unmasking -- in which officials request to expose surveilled US citizens' identity internally, a sometimes-controversial request -- the review also found that department leaders created a command climate that created a false sense of urgency and sent untrained, inexperienced collectors to Portland, according to a source familiar with the contents of the report.
A DHS spokesperson said that "upon learning of alleged improper activities at the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), DHS took immediate action to review I&A activities, including to identify areas that needed resolution and ensure I&A leadership fosters a work environment that encourages diversity of thought and reinforces I&A's duty to preserve the civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy of all persons and communities."
The House Intelligence Committee, which is conducting an ongoing investigation of its own, has also expressed frustration that the department has failed to provide documents it has requested as part of the probe.
"Despite a subpoena from the Committee, the Department has not yet turned over most of the responsive documents," a committee official told CNN. "We look forward to the Department's cooperation with our investigation, so we can complete our work and make recommendations for necessary reforms."
The office is also the subject of a pair of unrelated inspector general probes, one related to possible failures leading up to January 6, and one related to alleged political interference with an intelligence notification.
I&A has long struggled to carve out a niche for itself within the intelligence community. When it comes to domestic terrorism, many of their authorities overlap with the National Counterterrorism Center -- raising questions about what I&A can do better than the more robust NCTC.
"It's perceived by some as just a resource suck that doesn't add tremendous value," said one former senior intelligence official.
The story has been updated to include the DHS response to CNN's reporting. The headline has also been updated to more precisely describe what sources say is being considered.
CNN's Geneva Sands contributed to this story
Detecting Conspiracy Theories on Social Media: Improving Machine Learning to Detect and Understand Online Conspiracy Theories | RAND
Thu, 06 May 2021 10:53
Conspiracy theories circulated online contribute to a shift in public discourse away from facts and analysis and can contribute to public harm. Using linguistic and rhetorical theory, RAND researchers conducted a modeling effort to improve machine-learning technology for detecting conspiracy theory language. This report describes the results of that effort and offers recommendations to counter the effects of online conspiracy theories.
Research QuestionsHow can we better detect the spread of online conspiracy theories at scale?How do online conspiracies function linguistically and rhetorically?Conspiracy theories circulated online via social media contribute to a shift in public discourse away from facts and analysis and can contribute to direct public harm. Social media platforms face a difficult technical and policy challenge in trying to mitigate harm from online conspiracy theory language. As part of Google's Jigsaw unit's effort to confront emerging threats and incubate new technology to help create a safer world, RAND researchers conducted a modeling effort to improve machine-learning (ML) technology for detecting conspiracy theory language. They developed a hybrid model using linguistic and rhetorical theory to boost performance. They also aimed to synthesize existing research on conspiracy theories using new insight from this improved modeling effort. This report describes the results of that effort and offers recommendations to counter the effects of conspiracy theories that are spread online.
Key FindingsThe hybrid ML model improved conspiracy topic detection.The hybrid ML model dramatically improved on either single model's ability to detect conspiratorial language.Hybrid models likely have broad application to detecting any kind of harmful speech, not just that related to conspiracy theories.Some conspiracy theories, though harmful, rhetorically invoke legitimate social goods, such as health and safety.Some conspiracy theories rhetorically function by creating hate-based "us versus them" social oppositions.Direct contradiction or mockery is unlikely to change conspiracy theory adherence.RecommendationsEngage transparently and empathetically with conspiracists.Correct conspiracy-related false news.Engage with moderate members of conspiracy groups.Address fears and existential threats.Table of ContentsChapter One
Introduction: Detecting and Understanding Online Conspiracy Language
Chapter Two
Making Sense of Conspiracy Theories
Chapter Three
Modeling Conspiracy Theories: A Hybrid Approach
Chapter Four
Conclusion and Recommendations
Appendix A
Data and Methodology
Appendix B
Stance: Text Analysis and Machine Learning
This research was sponsored by Google's Jigsaw unit and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).
This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.
Document DetailsCopyright: RAND CorporationAvailability: AvailablePrintFormat: PaperbackPaperback Pages: 108List Price: $22.50Paperback Price: $18.00Paperback ISBN/EAN: 1977406890DOI: https://doi.org/10.7249/RR-A676-1Document Number: RR-A676-1Year: 2021Series: Research ReportsExploreRelated TopicsBrowse by SeriesBrowse by AuthorsStay Informed RAND Policy CurrentsGet weekly updates from RAND.
Format: Chicago Manual of Style RAND Corporation Style ManualMarcellino, William, Todd C. Helmus, Joshua Kerrigan, Hilary Reininger, Rouslan I. Karimov, and Rebecca Ann Lawrence, Detecting Conspiracy Theories on Social Media: Improving Machine Learning to Detect and Understand Online Conspiracy Theories. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2021. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA676-1.html. Also available in print form.
Marcellino, William, Todd C. Helmus, Joshua Kerrigan, Hilary Reininger, Rouslan I. Karimov, and Rebecca Ann Lawrence, Detecting Conspiracy Theories on Social Media: Improving Machine Learning to Detect and Understand Online Conspiracy Theories, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RR-A676-1, 2021. As of May 05, 2021: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA676-1.html
Climate Emergency
'Gargantuan' Texas hailstone may claim new state record - The Washington Post
Sun, 02 May 2021 21:44
A look at the supercell that dropped potential record-setting hail on Hondo, Tex. on Wednesday. (GR2 Analyst)
Everything's bigger in Texas. Apparently that extends to hail, including one stone that may have been more than a half-foot wide.
It fell amid a barrage of prolific hailstorms that incurred potentially billions of dollars in damages across Fort Worth, Oklahoma City and areas west of San Antonio Wednesday night. Hardest hit were areas near the University of Oklahoma, where hail damaged virtually every vehicle exposed to the elements.
Destructive hail bombards areas near Oklahoma City, Fort Worth and San Antonio
Perhaps the most potent storm of the day blossomed over Coahuila, Mexico, during the midafternoon before drifting east into South Texas, where it dropped hail the size of grapefruits. While the largest official report stood at 4 inches, emerging evidence suggests some of the stones may break new state records.
One stone that landed in Hondo, Tex., about 30 miles west of San Antonio, may vie for a state record.
Matt Kumjian, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Penn State who specializes in the study of giant hail, used photogrammetry '-- a trigonometry-based approach of estimating the size of objects from photographs '-- to calculate just how large the stone may have been. His estimate? Between 6.27 and 6.57 inches across.
''The photograph contained a reference object (a U.S. quarter coin, which has a diameter of 24.26 mm)," explained Kumjian in an email. ''The camera's perspective was at an angle, so there is a slight skew in the dimensions of the quarter. As such, I used the two extreme measurements of the quarter as references.''
Six inches is a conservative bound, but would still set a new state record if confirmed. The current record is held by a stone that fell on May 20, 2019, in the Texas Panhandle town of Wellington. Similarly massive hail was measured in Smithville, about an hour southeast of Austin, on March 18, 2018.
Hail up to 5.33 inches in diameter pounded Burkburnett, near the Red River, when a strikingly-sculpted rotating supercell thunderstorm loomed overhead last May.
''This means [Wednesday's] hailstone counts as 'gargantuan,''' wrote Kumjian, ''and is one of only several well-documented cases of such large hail.''
It's still shy of the world record eight-inch stone that crashed to earth during a destructive hailstorm that struck Vivian, S.D. on July 23, 2010.
Doppler radar estimated Wednesday's storms towered to more than 64,000 feet tall, virtually unheard of for even the most powerful supercells. Radar also noted a drop in ''differential reflectivity,'' a radar product that compares the width of objects to their height. Raindrops are flatter, so values are usually positive. When values drop to near zero, it's indicative of round or tumbling objects '-- and usually means big hail.
Differential reflectivity shows values near zero, indicating large, tumbling hail falling from the sky. (GR2 Analyst/Matthew Cappucci)
''We're trying to get more information from folks,'' said Mack Morris, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Austin, regarding the hailstone. ''We have some reports from the person holding the really large stone. One was a landlord, and it was one of their tenants. We're trying to find exact location, the time it fell. We had another one, connected through one of the folks in town. There have been so many it's hard to keep track. We're still actively investigating it.''
Giant hail punched through roofs in Sabinal, Tex. (Twitter @vortexrfd)
He said the investigation is ongoing now, and it could be several days before any potential records are made official.
''There's one photo of an elongated stone that looks like it's almost six inches long,'' said Morris.
In the meantime, more severe weather is in the offing in Texas '-- though cantaloupe-size hail is not expected. A Level 1 out of 5 ''marginal risk'' of severe weather encapsulates southern reaches of the Lone Star State on Friday and Saturday.
Read more
From 2020: Hailstones bigger than grapefruit pummeled a north Texas town
Hail, not tornadoes, is the most expensive severe storm hazard in Texas.
'Gargantuan' hail struck Libya in 2020. It was nearly 7 inches across.
'Gargantuan' Argentine hailstone in 2018 may have surpassed world record
Worm Cuisine Set to Hit Europe's Dinner Tables as EU Gives Nod - Bloomberg
Tue, 04 May 2021 19:48
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China
Ford expects to lose half of planned Q2 production from chip shortage
As the entire COVID debacle has been an attack on the low-wage earnings in the hospitality industry, as well as small business owners, the 'chip shortage' is going to create massive layoffs for our auto industry, pushing more to be on the Federal unemployment, allowing Biden to push the now Sept unemployment benefits to the end of the year.
Out There
Tic Tac sightings
Naval fleet projection technology
ONLY seen over water
Pilots believe what they saw with INSTRUMENTS, not naked eye
multi-sensor spoofing
NEMISIS
The Navy's Secretive And Revolutionary Program To Project False Fleets From Drone Swarms
Sun, 18 Apr 2021 12:04
The U.S. Navy has been quietly developing what could be one of the most important, transformative, and fascinating advances in naval combat, and warfare in general, in years. This new electronic warfare "system of systems" has been clandestinely refined over the last five years and judging from the Navy's own budgetary documents, it may be operational soon, if it isn't already. This secretive new electronic warfare "ecosystem" is known as Netted Emulation of Multi-Element Signature against Integrated Sensors, or NEMESIS.
NEMESIS is not just some 'paper program.' From publicly available, but obscure documents we've collected, it's clear that, for years, the Navy has been developing and integrating multiple types of unmanned vehicles, shipboard and submarine systems, countermeasures and electronic warfare payloads, and communication technologies to give it the ability to project what is, in essence, phantom fleets of aircraft, ships, and submarines. These realistic-looking false signatures and decoys have the ability to appear seamlessly across disparate and geographically separated enemy sensor systems located both above and below the ocean's surface. As a result, this networked and cooperative electronic warfare concept brings an unprecedented level of guileful fidelity to the fight. It's not just about disrupting the enemy's capabilities or confusing them at a command and control level, but also about making their sensors tell them the same falsehoods across large swathes of the battlespace.
Another way of looking at it is NEMESIS shifts from traditional electronic warfare tactics, in which multiple electronic warfare systems execute individual electronic attacks on multiple enemy sensors to achieve largely individual or localized effects, to a very diverse set of networked electronic warfare systems cooperatively making electronic attacks on huge portions of an enemy's sensor network. That network may stretch across large distances and multiple warfighting domains. In doing so, it achieves a cohesive set of far more unified, powerful, and convincing effects.
It sounds like science fiction, but it is anything but'--it's the next quantum leap in the quiet, but ferocious struggle to control the invisible domain of electronic warfare.
The Invisible WarElectronic warfare (EW) has become an essential part of military strategy over the better part of the last century. This has only become more pronounced in recent decades as military systems have increasingly migrated into the digital age.
NATO's simplest definition of electronic warfare is as follows:
The purpose of EW is to deny the opponent the advantage of, and ensure friendly unimpeded access to the electromagnetic spectrum. EW can be applied from air, sea, land, and space, and target communication and radar systems. It involves the use of electromagnetic energy to provide improved understanding of the operational environment as well as to achieve specific effects on the modern battlefield.
Electronic warfare encompasses a huge variety of operations and tactics, such as disrupting enemy communications and preventing your own from being disrupted. Maybe the most well-known form of EW has to do with jamming enemy radar systems, but there are many forms of electronic warfare that don't involve traditional jamming. These include detecting, spoofing, and distracting enemy sensor systems and denying them the opportunity to successfully target friendly forces to varying degrees.
Cyberwarfare tactics and the ability to actually disrupt enemy sensors, networks, and command and control systems at the software level are a highly critical emerging realm of warfare that in some cases can cross over and become blended with electronic warfare tactics. Even the use of directed energy weapons can be part of a force's electronic warfare bag of tricks.
Although it is the least visible component of a present-day military's order of battle and overall capabilities, and much of the details of exactly what capabilities exist and how they are realized remains in the shadows, electronic warfare is becoming one of the most important facets of modern warfare. As a result, future combat will occur just as much in this invisible spectrum as the visible one.
The Cold War Gave Birth To Modern Electronic WarfareElectronic warfare, as we understand it today, is not new. The U.S. military has been deploying EW technologies that go beyond simple jamming since at least the mid-20th Century. Stealth technology would never have been so successful without electronic warfare backstopping it during combat operations. In fact, the only engagement in which an F-117 was ever shot down occurred on the only night of the aircraft's use during Operation Allied Force when electronic warfare support was not available.
EW, at least how we understand it in modern, advanced terms, dates back much farther, to the height of the Cold War when the CIA launched the PALLADIUM project, which deployed radar spoofing systems and submarine-launched balloons carrying metallic radar reflectors in order to stimulate and probe Cuba's Soviet-made air defenses. The effort was part of a grander objective to understand how vulnerable the A-12 Oxcart'--the CIA's progenitor of the SR-71 Blackbird and the first aircraft to integrate stealthy attributes as a driving factor in its design'--would be to enemy air defenses. You can read all about this fascinating bit of history in this past piece of ours.
Lockheed Martin
An A-12 Oxcart.
Considering that the CIA possessed the capability 65 years ago to clandestinely launch airborne radar reflectors from submarines and combine them with electronic warfare capabilities that could simulate or spoof the presence of American fighter aircraft on the most advanced Soviet radar systems of the era, it isn't hard to use one's imagination to ponder what is possible today. We know that EW capabilities have evolved drastically in step with advances in sensor, emitter, and computer processing technologies and the increasingly potent data networks that integrate and fuse their capabilities with other systems and platforms. NEMESIS is the next evolutionary leap in this regard, and a particularly huge one at that.
Electrons Not BombsThe U.S. Navy's leadership has stated repeatedly that developing a major leap in EW capabilities has been a vital area of research over the last decade. On Oct. 29, 2013, then-Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the service's top officer, said as much when he spoke at a convention of the Association of Old Crows (AOC).
At the conference, Greenert told attendees that the Navy was looking for ways to move away from traditional weaponry and turn instead more heavily towards electronic warfare and information warfare. ''We've got to evolve this paradigm,'' he said, adding that electronic warfare could essentially replace kinetic warfare in many situations:
"We're using the electromagnetic spectrum as a domain and as a means, and we understand and grasp it. We have to figure out how we can beat things electronically first. Why do we spend all this money kinetically if we can jam, spoof, or do otherwise? We need to prepare the fleet to enact an electronic warfare plan the same way they think of a communications or surface warfare plan."
In 2015, the National Interest published an op-ed titled ''Winning the Airwaves: Sustaining America's Advantage in the Electromagnetic Spectrum,'' in which authors Bryan Clark and Mark Gunzinger wrote that America had failed to maintain its electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) superiority since the end of the Cold War. This failure had allowed ''China, Russia and other rivals with an opportunity to field systems that target vulnerabilities in sensor and communication networks the U.S. military has come to depend on. As a result, America's once significant military advantage in the EMS is eroding, and may in fact no longer exist,'' they said.
The same authors produced a 2015 white paper for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) think tank detailing how America could regain EMS superiority, writing that the Department of Defense ''now has the opportunity to develop new operational concepts and technologies that will allow it to 'leap ahead' of its competitors and create enduring advantages in EMS warfare.'' The document lists NEMESIS as one such technology, but does not disclose any further details about the program.
Two years earlier, however, budget documents show that the Navy was beginning to develop a highly integrated constellation of next-generation systems for spoofing or fooling distributed sensors and the platforms that host them.
NEMESIS GenesisAn electronic warfare development program known as Netted Emulation of Multi-Element Signature against Integrated Sensors or ''NEMESIS'' first emerged in Navy Research, Development, Test & Evaluation Budget Item Justification documents in the service's budget proposal for the 2014 Fiscal Year, which it published in April 2013. In that and subsequent budget requests, NEMSIS appeared under the program elements ''PE 0602271N / Electromagnetic Systems Applied Research'' and ''PE 0603271N / Electromagnetic Systems Advanced Technology.''
In these budget documents, the Navy describes NEMESIS as a ''System of Systems (SoS) able to coordinate distributed EW resources against many adversary surveillance and targeting sensors simultaneously" which "will benefit the warfighter by providing platform protection across the battlespace against many sensors, creating seamless cross-domain countermeasure coordination, and enabling rapid advanced technology/capability insertion to counter emerging threats.''
More specifically, the Fiscal Year 2014 Electromagnetic Systems Applied Research RDT&E Budget Item Justification states that NEMESIS ''addresses the need to generate the appearance of a realistic naval force to multiple adversarial surveillance and targeting sensors simultaneously.''
DoD
Later in that same document, a more detailed description of the program states that NEMESIS consists of ''reconfigurable and modular EW payloads, Distributed Decoy and Jammer Swarms (DDJS), effective acoustic countermeasures (CM), and Multiple Input/Multiple Output Sensor/CM (MIMO S/CM) for false force generation to both above and below water sensors.''
The 2018 and 2019 budget justifications state that "Nemesis expendable decoys and prototype system hardware will be completed and delivered for field testing" and that demonstrations of these expendable decoys "will be conducted during fleet experimentation, as well as during focused field and laboratory tests."
DoD
A Shadowy NEMESISThere is little publicly available information surrounding NEMESIS aside from these unclassified budgetary documents and a few publications and presentations that mention the program, usually to a very limited degree. Many specifics about the NEMESIS system remain unknown, but the documents help add context to the budget line item justifications we've presented above.
On April 9, 2014, Bob Smith, Director of Disruptive Technologies at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) gave a presentation at the National Defense Industrial Association's 15th Annual Science and Engineering Technology Conference that described several innovative Navy prototype research programs, or INPs. A slide from the presentation offered a basic, but absolutely impressive overview of the NEMESIS program while of course stating ''Additional details classified.''
ONR
The presentation stated that NEMESIS worked against distributed sensor systems in order to confuse or spoof an enemy force's surveillance and targeting systems. That document also said that the NEMESIS system ''enables rapid advanced technology/capability insertion for emerging threats'', meaning that NEMESIS could be quickly modified and upgraded to counter the latest capabilities that are still under development.
At the time, ONR said that NEMESIS addressed current limitations of traditional EW systems and multiple items on the United States Pacific Command (PACOM) Integrated Priority List (IPL), a list of the Pacific Command's highest priorities for ensuring its forces are capable of accomplishing their missions.
According to the same ONR presentation, NEMESIS consisted of "modular and reconfigurable EW payloads" including "decoy and unmanned air and surface platforms" based on the ONR's Science & Technology and Future Naval Capabilities programs. NEMESIS combined functionality and capabilities from Code 31: Information, Cyber and Spectrum Superiority; Code 33: Mission Capable, Persistent and Survivable Naval Platforms; and Code 35: Aviation, Force Projection and Integrated Defense.
Shortly after that ONR presentation, the publicly available 2015 Navy Program Guide offered a definition of NEMESIS in its appendix, stating that NEMESIS could ''synchronize electronic warfare (EW) affects across a variety of distributed platforms to create coherent and consistent EW effects" and that "NEMESIS emphasis is on the coordination and synchronization of EW capabilities and tactics against sensors in many scenarios.''
That same guide also stated that development of NEMESIS began in 2014 and was an interdisciplinary project involving well-known research centers, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and ONR:
In 2013 the Navy approved NEMESIS as a FY 2014 INP New Start. Initial NEMESIS activity involved planning discussions among the Office of Naval Research, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, fleet commands and analysts, acquisition programs of record, government laboratories and warfare centers, the Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency, and federally funded research and development centers and university affiliated research centers.
To ensure NEMESIS is addressing current and future threats to naval battle group operations, threat assessments were initiated with the Intelligence Community, and a Navy Warfare Development Command NEMESIS war game will be conducted in 2015.
Navy.mil
On Feb. 4, 2015, Dr. Thomas Killion, then-Director of Technology at the Office of Naval Research, gave a presentation at the ONR Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo. In that presentation, NEMESIS is listed as a current Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) program alongside some of the Navy's most important leading-edge weapons development initiatives, including the Electromagnetic Railgun, the Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle, the Integrated Topside information operations and communications suite, and the Autonomous Aerial Cargo Unmanned System.
ONR
The Navy's 2015 Program Guide also mentions that the Navy conducted a war game in 2015 to test the NEMESIS system. Another budget document, the 2017 RDT&E Project Justification document for the Navy's "Space and Electronic Warfare (SEW) Architecture/Engineering Support" program, states that this war game took place in late February 2015:
NEMESIS War Game: This Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsored war game was conducted by NWDC and completed 23-26 Feb 2015. The primary purpose of the war game was to obtain fleet stakeholder input into the requirements for and design of a classified ONR Innovative Naval Prototype. The results of this effort will be used to design prototypes that could eventually be fielded as a Navy program of record.
That document also states that the NEMESIS war game which took place in 2015 "consisted of multiple events designed to explore innovative concepts and technologies associated with EMW", or electromagnetic warfare, and "obtain fleet stakeholder input into the requirements for and design of a classified ONR Innovative Naval Prototype." The descriptions of this war game appear to describe a seminar or "tabletop" exercise designed to formulate initial ideas for developing such a system, but exact details of the war game remain unknown.
The 2017 Navy Program Guide states that dedicated hardware for NEMESIS was developed in 2016 and that NEMESIS was expected to be demonstrated at full capability in late 2018:
NEMESIS has been in development since 2014, including close collaboration with the Office of Naval Research, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, fleet commands and analysts, acquisition programs of record, government laboratories and warfare centers, the Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency, and federally funded research and development centers and university-affiliated research centers. During 2016, NEMESIS capabilities began hardware development, technique and software migration and field testing at the sub-system level. In FY 2017-2018 flight and at-sea testing will be conducted on integrated system level capabilities in preparation for graduation demonstrations in late FY 2018.
The guide goes on to list the NEMESIS system's developers: Georgia Tech Research Institute, Johns Hopkins' Applied Physics Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Lincoln Lab, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the Office of Naval Research, and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. The Navy just recently rebranded Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command as the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command.
Navy.mil
EW SwarmsWhile the exact components of the NEMESIS system remain unknown, there are some hints about what types of decoys and swarms could make up such a system. In a 2017 Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) white paper titled ''Winning in the Gray Zone: Using Electromagnetic Warfare to Regain Escalation Dominance," authors Bryan Clark, Mark Gunzinger, and Jesse Sloman described the various elements that made up EW ecosystems then in development, such as NEMESIS and DARPA's System of System Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE).
The document described swarms of expendable unmanned aerial systems that ''incorporate cognitive processing and coordinate their actions through communication networks,'' meaning they can share data in real-time and operate semi-autonomously to jam an adversary's sensors, act as or release decoys, gather targeting information, and detect and map air defense networks.
Launching waves of these UAVs could extend U.S. forces' sensor networks, confuse or obscure enemy defenses, provide a resilient communications network, coordinate and assign targets for weapons salvos, and even ''provide targets to hypersonic weapons that have a very short time-of-flight," the paper explained.
Aside from providing fire and communications support, the NEMESIS system was said to be capable of creating viable false targets that would "increase the number of potential targets" an adversary would have to engage. These false targets would "mimic the RF emissions and radar returns of real platforms" and include infrared decoys and "concepts and capabilities to simulate the computer network activity of deployed forces." The NEMESIS system even included underwater "high-fidelity acoustic decoys" which can generate "additional targets for the enemy to investigate or attack," according to the CSBA white paper. These acoustic decoys could include radio emulators and simulate propeller noise or other propulsion systems, as well as specific equipment on surface ships and submarines.
The CSBA said these decoys could increase the size of the forces or amount of munitions an enemy force would have to respond with, ideally making that adversary less willing to risk a larger use of its assets. What that means is that this EW system can not only disrupt an adversary's tactics, but to some extent also dictate his battlefield decision-making.
The CSBA report described how these effects could be achieved using small unmanned EW systems launched from either high altitude balloons or undersea platforms, such as submarines or unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) to create these electronic warfare effects:
Launching EMW expendables at higher altitudes is another approach to extending their ranges and endurance. Launching small EMW UAVs, missiles, or munitions from very high altitude (60,000 to 120,000 feet) balloons could be a less expensive option than using a missile. High altitude balloon technologies are very mature and may cost significantly less than other delivery methods. Furthermore, defeating balloon-delivered EMW expendables would likely require SAMs that can reach very high altitudes. Using these expensive SAMs to defeat large numbers of balloons'--some which might be decoys'--could be costly and operationally impractical for aggressors.
Another innovative delivery method for EMW expendables could be from undersea platforms, which may be the best use of undersea payload capacity in general. [...] Undersea platforms could be one of the most effective methods to deliver EMW expendables because they can closely approach enemy coastlines and targets. This allows shorter-range expendables to be employed, which are less expensive, smaller, and can be carried in higher numbers than larger payloads like cruise missiles.
Numerous sea and submarine-launched UAVs and autonomous swarm systems have already been developed or are in development. Small drone swarms can also be launched from virtually any type of ship and from shore, and even aircraft, as well. In fact, the Navy already has a swarming electronic warfare capability in the form of the ever-evolving Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD). But pairing various platforms, from radar reflector and electronic warfare payload-carrying balloons and swarms of drones of different sizes and performance capabilities, and networking them together to work cooperatively to confuse, spoof, and/or blind enemy sensors dispersed over a wide area is clearly what this system is all about.
The Office of Naval Research has been testing a small, low-cost rotary-wing drone known as Nomad, described as ''a highly affordable expendable design'' that can be deployed without the need to ensure it returns to its parent vessel. The Nomad can be launched from tubes using a CO2 ejection system that can fit on a variety of platforms and tests of this compact UAV have found that ''multiple Nomads can safely operate in the same airspace and fly in a coordinated fashion.''
USN
Nomad undergoing testing.
One of the only non-Navy mentions of the NEMESIS program found online is in a NavalDrones.com article from 2017, which describes the Nomad specifically as being part of the NEMESIS system. While that claim is unconfirmed on an official level, the Naval Research Laboratory has publicly disclosed tests of the Nomad system without mentioning NEMESIS. Still, given that many of the NEMESIS documents state that ''Distributed Decoy and Jammer Swarms (DDJS)'' are an integral part of the system, it's possible, if not probable, that Nomad and swarms of other small drones are part of this highly sophisticated and networked electronic warfare capability.
The 2017 CSBA paper also cites a wide range of other unmanned systems that could hypothetically be integrated into the NEMESIS system, although it remains unknown which specific expendables are used:
Small expendables in development or use today include the Switchblade precision missile, which is in use with Special Operations Forces; small UAVs such as the Coyote UAV, used in the Navy's Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program; and loitering munitions like the Lockheed Martin Fire Shadow. Expendables have also been integrated with launch platforms. The Navy is developing a submarine-launched version of the Blackwing UAV, which is similar to the Switchblade. Furthermore, the U.S. Air Force has deployed the Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD) since the 1990s.
The aforementioned LOCUST would be one of the most obvious platforms to execute major parts of the NEMESIS concept. The Navy has been experimenting with this highly deployable swarming drone capability for years and the airframes are highly adaptable and can be launched from almost anywhere.
Lockheed Martin has been also developing small unmanned aerial vehicles such as the tiny Outrider micro-aircraft, which can be launched from canisters that fit inside submarine missile tubes. The Naval Research Laboratory has tested all-electric folding wing drones designed to launch from torpedo tubes using existing launch systems. Glimpses of other similar systems in development have been offered over the last few years, including ones designed to carry infrared and electro-optical payloads.
Northrop Grumman has tested electronic warfare drones dropped from EA-18G Growlers inside canister deployment systems and air-launched electronic warfare enabled swarming munitions are set to become a major staple of aerial warfare.
Earlier this year, the Office of Naval Research issued a special notice for a research opportunity to develop a ''Long Endurance Advanced Off-board Electronic Warfare Platform,'' or LEAP. This program was listed under two of the same codes as NEMESIS, ONR Code 35: Aerodynamics, Autonomy, Flight Dynamics & Control, as well as Code 31: Electronic Warfare. The proposed vehicle design to be researched was for a ship-launched, long-range expendable decoy that can carry modular EW payloads.
Swarms of small unmanned surface vessels and even undersea vessels seem to fulfill aspects of NEMESIS' cross-domain capability as well. But leveraging swarms of smaller and somewhat expendable aerial drones and munitions that can work in conjunction with larger, less numerous, and more advanced platforms allows the NEMESIS concept to cover large geographical areas associated with modern naval combat and to distribute EW capabilities in a more resilient and decentralized manner than in the past. In doing so, it also allows for these swarms and the various dissimilar nodes that can make up the NEMESIS system at any given time to create fleets of ships and aircraft that aren't really there across a huge area as well as execute more mundane tasks, such as jamming individual enemy emitters or working as sacrificial decoys for enemy weapons themselves.
All of this could, and eventually will, also be networked with existing, more traditional electronic warfare systems such as those mounted on the Navy's surface combatants. In particular, this could be networked with the SLQ-32 SEWIP and the new and shadowy SLQ-59 that has recently arrived on some of the Navy's vessels. The Navy's EA-18G Growler could also act as a major component in this EW ecosystem and as a forward command and control node.
It's also worth remembering that NEMESIS, or at least parts of it, would also be an incredible and obvious intelligence collecting tool when it comes to probing and evaluating an enemy's defenses and recording its electronic order of battle. This could be done even in peacetime, very much in the same vein of PALLADIUM so many years ago, but on a much larger and more elaborate scale.
Evolution Of A RevolutionIn Fiscal Year 2015, the NEMESIS program expanded beyond the Navy's PE 0602271N / Electromagnetic Systems Applied Research program and began appearing in the budget line justification documents of several additional programs in subsequent fiscal years. During the next fiscal cycle, the Navy's Electromagnetic Systems Applied Research program continued to work on NEMESIS as it had in prior years. Then, in Fiscal Year 2017, the program's budget increased significantly ''due to hardware procurement and conducting field experiments of NEMESIS technologies.''
DoD
The Fiscal Year 2017 RDT&E Project Justification for the NEMESIS work conducted by Navy program PE 0603271N / Electromagnetic Systems Advanced Technology states that Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018 are dedicated to ''the integration and demonstration of these new technologies''.
DoD
In Fiscal Year 2018, NEMESIS appeared on two new Navy research program elements titled ''PE 0602792N / (U)Innovative Naval Prototypes(INP) Applied Research'' and ''PE 0603801N / (U) Innovative Naval Prototypes (INP) Advanced Technology Development.'' Those programs' goals for that fiscal cycle, respectively, were:
PE 0602792N / (U)Innovative Naval Prototypes(INP) Applied Research: Complete the Nemesis project by finishing research efforts to develop and mature technologies in multiple areas that will be used to assess the feasibility of Nemesis to coordinate Electronic Warfare (EW) operations across distributed EW systems. Technologies being matured include swarming vehicle operations, distributed resource mission control, multi-domain coordinated operations and advanced RF component and subsystems technologies. These emerging technologies are being designed and developed for prototype Nemesis systems which will be capable of performing coordinated EW operations across distributed EW systems.
PE 0603801N / (U) Innovative Naval Prototypes (INP) Advanced Technology Development: Complete the Nemesis project, previously funded in 0603271N Electromagnetic Systems Advanced Technology Development, by designing and building prototype Nemesis payloads that implement industry standards for software, hardware, and firmware interfaces. Nemesis expendable decoys and prototype system hardware will be completed and delivered for field testing. Demonstrations of Nemesis platforms and payload will be conducted during fleet experimentation, as well as during focused field and laboratory tests.
These budgetary documents state that the Innovative Naval Prototype programs "represent game-changing technologies with the potential to revolutionize operational concepts. They are disruptive in nature as they would dramatically change the way naval forces fight. INPs push the imagination of our nation's technical talent to deliver transformational warfighting capabilities."
DoD
In Fiscal Year 2019, funding continued to decrease in both the PE 0603271N / Electromagnetic Systems Advanced Technology and PE 0602271N / Electromagnetic Systems Applied Research programs due to the fact that the NEMESIS program was now being developed under the Innovative Naval Prototypes programs, suggesting it has advanced beyond research and development and is now working towards an operational state.
Electronic Warfare: The Next GenerationThe very existence of NEMESIS proves that a revolution in electronic warfare is well underway. If the capabilities we've described can be gleaned from scant publicly available information, there are no doubts that more advanced NEMESIS components and capabilities remain classified. It is also likely that some components of the system have existed long before they began to be integrated with other platforms under the NEMESIS program. Above all else, that is what NEMESIS does: it pulls together various leading-edge EW concepts and networks them together for a combined electronic warfare fight the likes of which we have never seen before.
As more nations develop and refine their advanced integrated sensor networks, next-generation EW "systems of systems" such as NEMESIS will become more vital to protecting the U.S. and allied assets and for giving them a leg up by being able to directly manipulate what the enemy believes is occurring on the battlespace based on their own sensors' data. As such, NEMESIS can help level the playing field against increasingly capable sensor networks, whether by blinding certain parts of those networks while spoofing others or by having the enemy fire its treasured weaponry at ghosts in the sea and in the air. Even a formation of what appears to be an incoming bomber force on radar and a puzzling group of bright signatures on infrared sensors could draw the enemy's attention away from critical parts on a real offensive.
Yes, much of this sounds almost like magic, and it is probably the closest thing the military has to it, but going by even the limited information we were able to uncover about NEMESIS, it really does represent the evolutionary next great leap in electronic warfare'--one that will elevate this murky art from a supporting aspect of military operations to a primary offensive and defensive one.
Tyler Rogoway contributed extensively to this feature.
Contact the editor: Tyler@thedrive.com
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Huge rocket looks set for uncontrolled reentry following Chinese space station launch - SpaceNews
Sat, 01 May 2021 18:49
by Andrew Jones '-- April 30, 2021 Liftoff of the Long March 5B rocket carrying the Tianhe core module for the Chinese Space Station. Credit: CCTV/framegrabLong March 5B core stage likely to reenter the Earth's atmosphere in the coming days.
HELSINKI '-- China launched the first module for its space station into orbit late Wednesday, but the mission launcher also reached orbit and is slowly and unpredictably heading back to Earth.
The Long March 5B, a variant of China's largest rocket, successfully launched the 22.5-metric-ton Tianhe module from Wenchang Thursday local time. Tianhe separated from the core stage of the launcher after 492 seconds of flight, directly entering its planned initial orbit.
Designed specifically to launch space station modules into low Earth orbit, the Long March 5B uniquely uses a core stage and four side boosters to place its payload directly into low Earth orbit.
However this core stage is now also in orbit and is likely to make an uncontrolled reentry over the next days or week as growing interaction with the atmosphere drags it to Earth. If so, it will be one of the largest instances of uncontrolled reentry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on an inhabited area.
Most expendable rocket first stages do not reach orbital velocity and reenter the atmosphere and land in a pre-defined reentry zone. Some other larger, second stages perform deorbit burns to lower altitude to reduce time in orbit and lower chances of collisions with other spacecraft or to immediately reenter the atmosphere.
There had been speculation that the Long March 5B core would perform an active maneuver to deorbit itself, but that appears not to have happened. At a Wenchang press conference Thursday, Wang Jue, Commander-in-Chief of Long March 5B launch vehicle, stated ( Chinese ) that this second Long March 5B had seen improvements over the first launch, but a possible deorbit maneuver was not stated.
Ground based radars used by the U.S. military to track spacecraft and other objects in space have detected an object and catalogued it as the Long March 5B rocket body. Now designated 2021-035B, the roughly 30-meter-long, five-meter-wide Long March 5 core stage is in a 170 by 372-kilometer altitude orbit traveling at more than seven kilometers per second.
A possible amateur ground observation of the rocket core showing regular flashes suggests that it is tumbling and thus not under control.
Still no TLEs for the Vega launch. One more TLE for object B from the Tianhe launch, whose slow decay rate confirms it is the CZ-5B core stage pic.twitter.com/0dVkUkcpjA
'-- Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) April 30, 2021
The first launch of the Long March 5B also saw the first stage reach orbit and make an uncontrolled reentry six days later. Reentry occurred over the Atlantic Ocean according to the U.S. Space Force's 18th Space Control Squadron.
Had the event taken place 15-30 minutes earlier debris not destroyed by the heat of reentry could have landed on U.S. soil. The incident drew criticism from then NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Unpredictable reentry Where and when the new Long March 5B stage will land is impossible to predict. The decay of its orbit will increase as atmospheric drag brings it down into more denser. The speed of this process depends on the size and density of the object and variables include atmospheric variations and fluctuations, which are themselves influenced by solar activity and other factors.
The high speed of the rocket body means it orbits the Earth roughly every 90 minutes and so a change of just a few minutes in reentry time results in reentry point thousands of kilometers away.
The Long March 5B core stage's orbital inclination of 41.5 degrees means the rocket body passes a little farther north than New York, Madrid and Beijing and as far south as southern Chile and Wellington, New Zealand, and could make its reentry at any point within this area.
The most likely event will see any debris surviving the intense heat of reentry falling into the oceans or uninhabited areas, but the risk remains of damage to people or property.
Spaceflight observer Jonathan McDowell told SpaceNews that the previous Long March 5B launch saw the most massive uncontrolled reentry in decades and the fourth biggest ever. ''The Long March 5B core stage is seven times more massive than the Falcon 9 second stage that caused a lot of press attention a few weeks ago when it reentered above Seattle and dumped a couple of pressure tanks on Washington state.''
McDowell said he hoped China would have enhanced the core stage to perform a controlled deorbit after separating from Tianhe. ''I think by current standards it's unacceptable to let it reenter uncontrolled,'' McDowell said.
''Since 1990 nothing over 10 tons has been deliberately left in orbit to reenter uncontrolled.'' The Long March 5B core stage, without its four side boosters, is thought to have a ''dry mass'', or when it is empty of propellent, of about 21 metric tons in mass.
Holger Krag, head of the Space Safety Programme Office for the European Space Agency, says from their experience, there is an average amount of mass of about 100 tons re-entering in an uncontrolled way per year. ''This relates to about 50-60 individual events per year.''
''It is always difficult to assess the amount of surviving mass and number of fragments without knowing the design of the object, but a reasonable ''rule-of-thumb'' is about 20-40% of the original dry mass.''
Components made of heat resistant materials, such as tanks and thrusters made stainless steel or titanium, can reach the ground. Surviving objects will fall vertically after deceleration and travel at terminal velocity.
The largest and most famous incident was the 1979 reentry of NASA's 76-ton Skylab, whose uncontrolled reentry scattered debris across the Indian Ocean and Western Australia.
A night time reentry could make for spectacular viewing, as with a recent reentry of a Falcon 9 second stage, with debris fortunately not causing harm.
China's 8-ton Tiangong-1 spacelab made a high-profile uncontrolled reentry in 2018, while the successor Tiangong-2 was deorbited in a controlled manner in 2019.
Chinese rocket to make uncontrolled reentry; unclear where debris will hit: report | Fox News
Tue, 04 May 2021 11:07
The Tianhe, or 'Heavenly Harmony,' module blasted into space atop a Long March 5B rocketThe massive core of a Chinese rocket used last week in the launch of the first leg of its space station ambitions is whipping around Earth in a low orbit, and where it lands is anybody's guess.
SpaceNews reported that the core of the Long March 5B, which is considered a variant of the country's largest rocket, will reenter the Earth within the next week as one of the "largest instances of uncontrolled reentry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on an inhabited area."
The website estimated that the roughly 100-foot-long object is orbiting Earth every 90 minutes and zips past north of New York, Beijing and as far south as New Zealand. The report said that despite the threat, it is most likely destined to splash in one of the world's oceans or in an isolated area.
CHINA DELETES TWEET MOCKING INDIA'S COVID OUTBREAK: REPORT
Jonathan McDowell, a spaceflight observer, told the website that since 1990, there have been no instances of any spacecraft over 10 tons that have "been deliberately left in orbit to reenter uncontrolled."
The report said the rocket's core stage '' when empty'--is about 21 metric tons in mass. (You can track the rocket here.)
"It's potentially not good," McDowell said, according to the Guardian. "Last time they launched a Long March 5B rocket they ended up with big long rods of metal flying through the sky and damaging several buildings in the Ivory Coast."
The Tianhe, or "Heavenly Harmony," module blasted into space atop a Long March 5B rocket from the Wenchang Launch Center on the southern island province of Hainan. The payload was the main module of its first permanent space station.
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The space program is a source of huge national pride, and Premier Li Keqiang and other top civilian and military leaders watched the launch live from the control center in Beijing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Edmund DeMarche is a senior news editor for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter
@EDeMarche.
Load more..
(3) Stew Peters on Twitter: "Legit report: UFO's being reported spotted off coast of FL, legacy media reporting there is an actual legitimate threat of alien invasion. I'll have report momentarily." / Twitter
Tue, 04 May 2021 12:21
Stew Peters : Legit report: UFO's being reported spotted off coast of FL, legacy media reporting there is an actual legitimate th'... https://t.co/J5xU79sBea
Mon May 03 21:01:34 +0000 2021
UK
UK elections are local only
The forthcoming UK elections in May are what are called local elections, there are usually no
parliament seats fought over in these elections. There is one MP's seat up for election in this
round however, he resigned to take up a new role as 'Crown Steward and Bailiff" and it has nothing
to do with allegations of sexual harassment and victimisation...
BoJo's seat is not being contested.. however the media is out in force to either promote the
tory's, or to promote the alternative.. The media is trying to ignore the many new party's set up
to contest council seats, even ignoring the party names and referring to candidates as independents
in some cases. My ex is standing for the Freedom Alliance party...
Most eyes will be on the mayoral race for London, and the re election of Sad Dick Can. - The actor
Lawrence Fox, nephew of Edward 'the Equalizer', David Curtain and Piers Corbin will split those who
don't want Khan running London any further into the ground.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_United_Kingdom_local_elections
TYFYC
Jeff
UK sends Royal Navy to patrol Jersey port amid fishing row - BBC News
Thu, 06 May 2021 01:06
5 May 2021Updated 28 minutes ago
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, HMS Severn is one of the two offshore patrol vessels being deployed to Jersey
The UK is sending two Royal Navy patrol vessels to monitor a protest in waters around Jersey's main port amid a fishing rights row with France.
PM Boris Johnson said "any blockade would be completely unjustified" as over 100 French fishing boats prepared to sail to the island on Thursday.
It follows a threat by France to cut off Jersey's electricity over new post-Brexit rules for French fishing boats.
No 10 said sending the Navy vessels was a "precautionary measure".
HMS Severn is currently heading towards the waters off Jersey's port of St Helier. HMS Tamar will follow later.
HMS Severn has previously been used to shadow Russian navy warships off the English coast, and the ships are routinely used for fisheries protection - with sailors able to board other boats for spot checks.
On Wednesday night, Mr Johnson pledged his "unwavering support" for Jersey, the largest Channel Island and a Crown dependency, located 14 miles (22km) off France.
Earlier, he had held talks with Jersey's Chief Minister John Le Fondr(C) and Minister of External Affairs Ian Gorst, and "stressed the urgent need for a de-escalation in tensions" between Jersey and France.
Senator Gorst told the BBC the threats from Paris were "disproportionate" but he was expecting a "peaceful demonstration" by French fisherman on Thursday morning.
He said Jersey took "a threat to blockade our harbour very seriously" but insisted the "resolution has to be through diplomacy".
Having held talks with the president of the La Manche region of northern France, Marc Lefevre, on Wednesday, Mr Gorst said there were a number of issues which "we will continue to work through".
The AFP news agency reported that about 100 French fishing vessels would sail to Jersey's port on Thursday as part of a protest against the new rules, quoting the head of fisheries for the Normandy region, Dimitri Rogoff.
Mr Rogoff said the vessels would not try to block the port at St Helier and would return to France in the afternoon, AFP reported.
The new fishing rules - introduced by the Jersey government under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) - require French boats to show they have a history of fishing in Jersey's waters.
But French authorities said "new technical measures" for fishing off the Channel Islands had not been communicated to the EU, rendering them "null and void".
What is the Jersey fishing row about?
Image source, Getty Images
French fishermen have complained about being prevented from operating in British waters because of difficulties in obtaining licences.
Under an agreement with the EU, French boat operators must show a history of fishing in the area to receive a licence for Jersey's waters. But it has been claimed additional requirements were added without notice.
Jersey has the sole power to issue the licences, and as of last week all fishing boats were required to have a licence to operate there.
On Friday, the Jersey government granted 41 permits to French fishing vessels that are equipped with technology that allows them to be located.
But the French government claimed the list of approved ships came with further demands that "were not arranged or discussed, and which we were not notified about".
Chris Le Masurier, who runs Jersey Oyster and Normandy Trader Freight, said the French fisherman were rightly upset by the situation.
He said: "I see it as very much an insult to them and they are extremely upset. The criteria that they were given was to prove they have fished in Jersey waters for 10 days. Nothing about what species were caught, nothing about if you've fished for 20 days or 30 days [and having to] prove that."
But Don Thompson, from the Jersey Fisherman's Association, said affected French crews have "had since 1 January" to comply with the new rules and "perhaps some of the boats that perhaps didn't qualify are a little bit put-out".
The threat to cut off Jersey's electricity supply - 95% of which is delivered by three underwater cables from France - was made by French Maritime Minister Annick Girardin.
She told the French parliament on Tuesday that new rules governing access to Channel Islands waters were unacceptable - and that France was "ready to use... retaliatory measures".
"I am sorry it has come to this [but] we will do so if we have to," she said.
A row that has been brewing for months about fishing rights off the coast of Jersey is now making front page news.
Downing Street's insistence that it wants to see tensions "de-escalated" may be met with some raised eyebrows when, at the same time, Mr Johnson sends in two patrol boats.
The government insists it is a precautionary measure.
Regardless, it sets the stage for a potentially dramatic day on the waters around the Channel Islands.
And it is a very real demonstration of how some of those post-Brexit arrangements, that were spelled out on paper months ago, are still being worked out in practice.
The Jersey government said fishing permits must "correspond to the previous activity a vessel has carried out in Jersey waters" under the terms of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
It said its new system was "in line with the data submitted by the French and EU authorities".
A spokeswoman said it took French complaints over the terms of the licensing agreement "very seriously" and would respond, but said it had acted in "good faith" setting up the regime.
"The government remains committed to the sustainable management of Jersey waters for the benefit of this and future generations," she said.
HMS Severn and HMS Tamar are based in Portsmouth. They are both 90.5m in length, have two large guns, including a short-range anti-aircraft weapon, and are crewed by 45 sailors and up to 50 Royal Marines.
Big Tech
Verizon sells internet trailblazers Yahoo and AOL for $5 billion
Tue, 04 May 2021 11:45
By MICHELLE CHAPMAN and TALI ARBEL | The Associated Press
AOL and Yahoo are being sold again, this time to a private equity firm.
Wireless company Verizon will sell Verizon Media, which consists of the once-pioneering tech platforms, to Apollo Global Management in a $5 billion deal.
Verizon said Monday that it will keep a 10% stake in the new company, which will be called Yahoo.
Yahoo at the end of the last century was the face of the internet, preceding the behemoth tech platforms to follow, such as Google and Facebook. And AOL was the portal, bringing almost everyone who logged on during the internet's earliest days.
Verizon spent about $9 billion buying AOL and Yahoo over two years starting in 2015, hoping to jump-start a digital media business that would compete with Google and Facebook. It didn't work '-- those brands were already fading even then '-- as Google and Facebook and, increasingly, Amazon dominate the U.S. digital ad market. The year after buying Yahoo, Verizon wrote down the value of the combined operation, called ''Oath,'' by roughly the value of the $4.5 billion it had spent on Yahoo.
Verizon has been shedding media assets as it refocuses on wireless, spending billions on licensing the airwaves needed for the next generation of faster mobile service, called 5G. It sold blogging site Tumblr in 2019 and HuffPost to BuzzFeed late last year. The digital media sector in recent years has been consolidating as companies seek profitability.
The properties Verizon is selling include Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Mail and the tech blogs Engadget and TechCrunch. Despite its difficulty competing with tech giants for ad dollars, leading to cost cuts and layoffs, Verizon Media's revenue rose 10% in the most recent quarter from the year before, to $1.9 billion.
Financial firms have played an increasingly prominent role in traditional media as well in recent years, buying up newspaper chains and slashing costs.
Verizon will receive $4.25 billion in cash, preferred interests of $750 million and the minority stake.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.
Shares of Verizon Communications Inc., based in New York, rose less than 1% Monday.
Zuckerberg can no longer deflect blame for Trump's Facebook suspension
Wed, 05 May 2021 20:02
Published Wed, May 5 2021 1:53 PM EDTUpdated 11 Min Ago
A Facebook iconShare by facebookA Twitter iconShare by twitterA LinkedIn iconShare by linkedinAn email iconShare by email
Facebook's self-created "supreme court" refused to do the company's dirty work when it handed down a decision Wednesday on the platform's indefinite ban of former President Donald Trump.Facebook was right to ban Trump after his posts expressing support for rioters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Facebook's oversight board said in its decision, but Facebook should not have made the ban indefinite.That means Facebook must decide one way or another and CEO Mark Zuckerberg can no longer deflect blame for a decision on Trump's suspension.Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify following a break during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
Facebook's self-created "supreme court" refused to do the company's dirty work when it handed down a decision on the platform's indefinite ban of former President Donald Trump.
Facebook was right to ban Trump after his posts expressing support for rioters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Facebook's oversight board said in its decision Wednesday. But, the board said, Facebook should not have made the ban indefinite, adding that it's up to the company to decide the appropriate time frame for suspension '-- whether that's a few weeks more or forever.
"In applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities," wrote the board, an independent committee of 20 outside experts. "The Board declines Facebook's request and insists that Facebook apply and justify a defined penalty."
The oversight board was created to adjudicate on some of the trickiest problems Facebook faces in operating a platform for a community larger than most nations. It's funded by a trust created by Facebook but which the platform cannot control. The board's recommendations are not binding.
Yet Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had previously committed the platform to following the board's decision on the Trump ban, whatever it may be. Zuckerberg has long said he does not want to be the sole arbiter of truth for such a large community and has welcomed the presence of an outside body that could appear to play that role in a deliberative way '-- without taking away any of his power over the business.
That makes the board's decision on the Trump ban perhaps the worst-case scenario for Facebook, at least in terms of the delicate diplomatic line it walks in Washington. It was clear long before the decision was made that half the country would likely be unhappy with whichever outcome the board chose, whether it was to permanently ban or to reinstate Trump's account. But the actual decision has seemed to aggravate lawmakers on both the left and the right.
"Facebook is a disinformation-for-profit machine that won't accept responsibility for its role in the safety of our democracy and people," Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., tweeted following the decision on Wednesday. "Trump should be banned for good, but Facebook will continue to fumble with its power until Congress and antitrust regulators rein in Big Tech."
"Break them up," tweeted staunch Trump ally Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
While some Democrats were more conciliatory toward Facebook, it's clear they have a single outcome in mind once Facebook hands down its final decision, leaving the company in a tricky spot.
Zuckerberg can no longer deflect blame for a decision on Trump's suspension. The oversight board gave Facebook up to six months to come up with an appropriate time frame for the ban and to explain their policy that justifies it. While the board's co-chairs acknowledged the same case could land back on their desk after that, Facebook will have already been forced to state publicly one way or another whether it believes the former president should be allowed to return to its platform.
Still, the board did provide a list of recommendations to frame how Facebook should consider its decision, which could at least make its ultimate choice more clear to consumers. The board said that context matters when it comes to suspension decisions and preventing significant harm should take precedence over newsworthiness. It suggested that Facebook could assess whether risk of harm has diminished before reinstating an account.
There's a lot on the line for Facebook. The company already faces antitrust lawsuits from the Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of state attorneys general that have seen broad bipartisan support. Trump's suspension from the platform seemed to rile up conservatives who had already felt the company was too powerful, motivating them to join with Democrats seeking reforms to antitrust law and the legal liability shield that protects tech platforms known as Section 230.
Even if Facebook allows Trump back on the platform, it's hard to know if Republicans will forgive the original suspension, while Democrats will likely be motivated to push even harder for reforms.
Already, Republicans have seemed to express willingness to go further than previously in terms of tech reform after Wednesday's decision. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the ranking member on the Senate Commerce Committee, said in a statement that Justice Clarence Thomas' recent suggestion of regulating social media like common carriers "offers a sound basis for legislation that would bring accountability to this industry." Categorizing platforms as common carriers would come with far greater regulation than they experience today, possibly making their content moderation practices too risky to continue in their current form.
A Facebook spokesperson referred to the company's earlier blog post on the board's decision.
"We will now consider the board's decision and determine an action that is clear and proportionate," Facebook VP of Global Affairs Nick Clegg wrote. "In the meantime, Mr. Trump's accounts remain suspended."
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WATCH: The big, messy business of content moderation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
View the full site
Facebook Bans Honest Signal Ads on Instagram
Wed, 05 May 2021 20:07
Graphic: SignalA series of Instagram ads run by the privacy-positive platform Signal got the messaging app booted from the former's ad platform, according to a blog post Signal published on Tuesday. The ads were meant to show users the bevy of data that Instagram and its parent company Facebook collects on users, by... targeting those users using Instagram's own adtech tools.
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The actual idea behind the ad campaign is pretty simple. Because Instagram and Facebook share the same ad platform, any data that gets hoovered up while you're scrolling your Insta or Facebook feeds gets fed into the same cesspool of data, which can be used to target you on either platform later.
Across each of these platforms, you're also able to target people using a nearly infinite array of data points collected by Facebook's herd of properties. That data includes basic details , like your age or what city you might live in. It may also include more granular points : say, whether you're looking for a new home, whether you're single, or whether you're really into energy drinks .
G/O Media may get a commission
Graphic: SignalBased on this kind of minute data, Signal was able to create some super-targeted ads that were branded with the exact targeting specs that Signal used. If an ad was targeted towards K-pop fans, the ad said so. If the ad was targeted towards a single person, the ad said so. And if the ad was targeted towards London-based divorcees with degrees in art history, the ad said so.
Apparently, Facebook wasn't a fan of this sort of transparency into its system. While the company hasn't yet responded to Gizmodo's request for comment, Signal's blog post says that the ad account used to run these ads was shut down before these ads could reach their target audiences. Personally, I think that's a shame'--I'd have loved to see an ad that showed what Instagram really thinks of me.
Update 1 p.m. ET, May 5: In response to Signal's blog, Facebook denied that it suspended Signal's account for running the ads and accused the organization of pulling a PR ''stunt.''
''This is a stunt by Signal, who never even tried to actually run these ads '-- and we didn't shut down their ad account for trying to do so,'' Facebook said. ''If Signal had tried to run the ads, a couple of them would have been rejected because our advertising policies prohibit ads that assert that you have a specific medical condition or sexual orientation, as Signal should know. But of course, running the ads was never their goal '-- it was about getting publicity.''
Signal, in turn, refuted Facebook's claims, saying on Twitter, ''We absolutely did try to run these. The ads were rejected, and Facebook disabled our ad account. These are real screenshots, as Facebook should know.''
We've reached out to both Facebook and Signal for further information and will update when it becomes available.
I cover the business of data for Gizmodo. Send your worst tips to swodinsky@gizmodo.com.
Detecting Conspiracy Theories on Social Media: Improving Machine Learning to Detect and Understand Online Conspiracy Theories | RAND
Thu, 06 May 2021 10:53
Conspiracy theories circulated online contribute to a shift in public discourse away from facts and analysis and can contribute to public harm. Using linguistic and rhetorical theory, RAND researchers conducted a modeling effort to improve machine-learning technology for detecting conspiracy theory language. This report describes the results of that effort and offers recommendations to counter the effects of online conspiracy theories.
Research QuestionsHow can we better detect the spread of online conspiracy theories at scale?How do online conspiracies function linguistically and rhetorically?Conspiracy theories circulated online via social media contribute to a shift in public discourse away from facts and analysis and can contribute to direct public harm. Social media platforms face a difficult technical and policy challenge in trying to mitigate harm from online conspiracy theory language. As part of Google's Jigsaw unit's effort to confront emerging threats and incubate new technology to help create a safer world, RAND researchers conducted a modeling effort to improve machine-learning (ML) technology for detecting conspiracy theory language. They developed a hybrid model using linguistic and rhetorical theory to boost performance. They also aimed to synthesize existing research on conspiracy theories using new insight from this improved modeling effort. This report describes the results of that effort and offers recommendations to counter the effects of conspiracy theories that are spread online.
Key FindingsThe hybrid ML model improved conspiracy topic detection.The hybrid ML model dramatically improved on either single model's ability to detect conspiratorial language.Hybrid models likely have broad application to detecting any kind of harmful speech, not just that related to conspiracy theories.Some conspiracy theories, though harmful, rhetorically invoke legitimate social goods, such as health and safety.Some conspiracy theories rhetorically function by creating hate-based "us versus them" social oppositions.Direct contradiction or mockery is unlikely to change conspiracy theory adherence.RecommendationsEngage transparently and empathetically with conspiracists.Correct conspiracy-related false news.Engage with moderate members of conspiracy groups.Address fears and existential threats.Table of ContentsChapter One
Introduction: Detecting and Understanding Online Conspiracy Language
Chapter Two
Making Sense of Conspiracy Theories
Chapter Three
Modeling Conspiracy Theories: A Hybrid Approach
Chapter Four
Conclusion and Recommendations
Appendix A
Data and Methodology
Appendix B
Stance: Text Analysis and Machine Learning
This research was sponsored by Google's Jigsaw unit and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).
This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.
Document DetailsCopyright: RAND CorporationAvailability: AvailablePrintFormat: PaperbackPaperback Pages: 108List Price: $22.50Paperback Price: $18.00Paperback ISBN/EAN: 1977406890DOI: https://doi.org/10.7249/RR-A676-1Document Number: RR-A676-1Year: 2021Series: Research ReportsExploreRelated TopicsBrowse by SeriesBrowse by AuthorsStay Informed RAND Policy CurrentsGet weekly updates from RAND.
Format: Chicago Manual of Style RAND Corporation Style ManualMarcellino, William, Todd C. Helmus, Joshua Kerrigan, Hilary Reininger, Rouslan I. Karimov, and Rebecca Ann Lawrence, Detecting Conspiracy Theories on Social Media: Improving Machine Learning to Detect and Understand Online Conspiracy Theories. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2021. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA676-1.html. Also available in print form.
Marcellino, William, Todd C. Helmus, Joshua Kerrigan, Hilary Reininger, Rouslan I. Karimov, and Rebecca Ann Lawrence, Detecting Conspiracy Theories on Social Media: Improving Machine Learning to Detect and Understand Online Conspiracy Theories, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RR-A676-1, 2021. As of May 05, 2021: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA676-1.html
Trust In Media Hits Record Low'... New Study Blames Readers For Lack Of Confidence | The Daily Wire
Thu, 06 May 2021 11:36
The reason U.S. trust in the media reached an all-time low this year has nothing to do with the quality of the coverage, according to a recent study. Instead, the problem is that '' not all Americans universally embrace core journalism values.''
The ''major study,'' co-sponsored by the world's largest news organization found that most Americans want the facts '-- they just don't want reporters' spin. And they disagree with the legacy media's insistence on showcasing the nation's problems.
''When journalists say they are just doing their jobs, in other words, the problem is many people harbor doubts about what the job should be,'' said the American Press Institute, which partnered with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research for the survey.
The Media Insight Project said the vast majority of U.S. citizens agree with only one of the five pillars it considers foundational for journalists: 67% of Americans endorsed ''factualism,'' the ''idea that the more facts people have, the closer they will get to the truth. ''
Only one other value '' ''giving voice to the less powerful'' '-- received support from 50% of the American people.
The other half said that journalists' skewing stories to ''amplify the voices of people who aren't ordinarily heard'' is ''overdone'' and that their news coverage ''doesn't help'' the people featured.
Readers overwhelmingly rejected the media's single-minded focus on America's alleged faults, defects, and deficiencies.
''There is least support for the idea that a good way to make society better is to spotlight its problems,'' the survey found. ''Only 29% agree.''
The study labeled this coverage ''social criticism.''
Readers also said the media spend too much time attacking those in authority, and they should put national security ahead of transparency. ''Sometimes all of the information'' '-- such as classified information '-- ''cannot be released.'' And ''without the right context,'' these stories can ''hinder progress and leave room for gross misinterpretation,'' readers said.
Only about one in 10 Americans support these values, which guide the story selection and framing of the Associated Press, which co-sponsored the study.
''While journalists may consider the five journalism values we identified as universal,'' the study said, only 11% of the American people share the reporters' worldview.
And the legacy media's least critical consumers tended to be overwhelmingly on the Left.
More than three out of four (78%) of the people the survey dubs ''Journalism Supporters'' are Democrats, and 62% are liberals.
The survey makes clear, journalists' core constituency is well outside the mainstream.
Most readers know reporters' coverage well '-- and they don't trust it.
The largest group of Americans ''consumed a lot of news, but at the same time they were fairly suspicious of the news media.'' They make up 35% of the population, and ''only half of these people were Republicans.''
''This is a group that the news media is reaching but to a large degree failing to earn their trust,'' the Media Project noted.
The survey's conclusions echo numerous other studies over the years. A 2020 Gallup poll found that 81% of Americans consider a functional news media ''critical'' or ''very important'' for sustaining a healthy government. But 83% said that media coverage is biased '-- and that the media drive divisions among Americans.
The Media Project's survey is a tortured way of refusing to state the obvious: The legacy media are out of step with the vast majority of the American people. Their reporters' values align with fewer than one out of every five readers '-- and they are almost exclusively on the Left of the political spectrum. Instead of changing the way they cover the news, legacy media outlets blame the fact-starved public for lacking the sophistication to understand what journalism is.
Ben Johnson (@TheRightsWriter) is the Media Reporter at The Daily Wire. He previously worked at the Acton Institute, FrontPage Magazine, and LifeSiteNews. He's the author of three books, including Party of Defeat (2008, with David Horowitz).
The Daily Wire is one of America's fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member .
Twitter Will Now Prompt Users To Review 'Potentially Harmful Or Offensive' Tweets | ZeroHedge
Thu, 06 May 2021 11:41
Twitter is once again inserting itself into the 'free' exchange of ideas, announcing on Tuesday that iOS and Android users will now be prompted to review 'potentially harmful or offensive' replies before they hit send.
"We began testing prompts last year that encouraged people to pause and reconsider a potentially harmful or offensive reply '-- such as insults, strong language, or hateful remarks '-- before Tweeting it," reads a corporate blog post. "Based on feedback and learnings from those tests, we've made improvements to the systems that decide when and how these reminders are sent. Starting today, we're rolling these improved prompts out across iOS and Android, starting with accounts that have enabled English-language settings."
In their example, Twitter's prude algo clutches pearls over 'mean' words.
Maybe they could apply similar measures to the rampant child porn on their platform?
According to the company, the rollout comes after extensive tweaks to 'capture the nuance in many conversations,' as it 'often didn't differentiate between potentially offensive language, sarcasm, and friendly banter.'
Since the early tests, here's what we've incorporated into the systems that decide when and how to send these reminders:
Consideration of the nature of the relationship between the author and replier, including how often they interact. For example, if two accounts follow and reply to each other often, there's a higher likelihood that they have a better understanding of preferred tone of communication.
Adjustments to our technology to better account for situations in which language may be reclaimed by underrepresented communities and used in non-harmful ways.
Improvement to our technology to more accurately detect strong language, including profanity.
Created an easier way for people to let us know if they found the prompt helpful or relevant.
hey @TwitterSupport can you just moderate every tweet? That will really clean up conversations. pic.twitter.com/AH9SVvCkXi
'-- zerohedge (@zerohedge) May 5, 2021
EXCLUSIVE: Hunter Biden Emails Reveal Founder of Facebook's DC Office BANNED Accounts At Biden's Request As Family Made Millions From ''Silicon Valley Dems'' - Loomered
Thu, 06 May 2021 12:15
''Adam Conner, Vice President of Center For American Progress founded Facebook's Washington DC office in 2007 and BANNED Facebook Accounts At Hunter Biden's Request While Working For Facebook
'-- Adam Conner went on to work for John Podesta and Barack Obama
It has been two months since Hunter Biden's emails were leaked to the public, exposing his father's shady ties to influence peddling in the Ukraine during his time as Vice President.
While the mainstream media chose to ignore the emails which directly compromised Joe Biden, the Democrat nominee for President, the emails still need to be thoroughly examined as they provide evidence to another growing threat in our nation: Big Tech election interference through political censorship.
Throughout the 2020 election cycle, it became increasingly evident that Big Tech was purging accounts on Facebook and Twitter that were critical of Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and accounts that expressed support for President Trump. The censorship became too big to ignore when both Twitter and Facebook locked the account of the New York Post and limited their ability to share and post news stories after the New York Post published a bombshell report detailing some of Hunter Biden's emails that were provided to them by Rudy Guiliani, President Trump's attorney. The emails proved that Hunter Biden introduced his father to a top Ukranian energy firm executive while he was Vice President, which means Joe Biden used his influence as Obama's Vice President to enrich his family through lucrative business deals with foreign nations like Ukraine and China, compromising the integrity of the Vice Presidency, as well as US national security.
Facebook went as far as ''fact checking'' Hunter's emails and banned accounts that posted the emails or the New York Post story, automatically labeling all Hunter Biden stories and emails as ''Russian disinformation''.
In a statement, Facebook's Policy Communication's Director Andy Stone said,
''While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want to be clear that this story is eligible to be fact-checked by Facebook's third-party fact-checking partners. This is part our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation. We temporarily reduce distribution pending fact-checker review.''
Andy Stone, Facebook's Policy Communication's DirectorWhat Andy Stone didn't reveal in his statement is that his decision-making policies are directly influenced by his political agenda. Before working for Facebook, Andy Stone worked for the Democrat's House Majority PAC as well at the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which is a clear conflict of interest during an election year.
Facebook and their executives made the pre-emptive decision to label the New York Post's Hunter Biden story as factually incorrect and limited the publishing ability of the New York Post's account before they even ''fact checked'' the already factually correct article.
In a trove of Hunter's emails that date back to 2010, while Joe Biden was still Vice President of the United States of America, Hunter Biden emailed back in forth with Chris Kelly who served as Chief Privacy Officer, first General Counsel, and Head of Global Public Policy at Facebook. In the emails, Hunter expressed his desire to meet with Chris so that Beau Biden, who is now dead, could get millions of dollars from ''Silicon Valley Dems'' for a project he was working on regarding online predators.
In an email dated April 3, 2012, Chris Kelly wrote:
''Hey Hunter, I'm coming to do a small event with your dad next Tuesday'--in on red eye, out late afternoon. Will have a little time before and after and would love to catch up if you're around.''
Facebook and Twitter claimed that they were limiting the distribution of the New York Post story to ''combat disinformation'', but emails between Hunter Biden and Facebook executives reveal an intimate, decade long relationship between Facebook and the Biden family. Not only do Hunter Biden's emails prove that he took meetings with Facebook executives and other Silicon Valley executives while his father was Vice President, but they prove that Joe Biden allowed his sons to capitalize and enrich themselves off of his official White House related meetings with Facebook, which is illegal.
In one of Hunter Biden's emails from 2010, he emailed Arlene Busch, one of his company partners at his company Rosemont Seneca, and ccd his company President Eric Schwerin.
In the email dated October 21, 2010, Hunter said,
''I brought Chris Kelly to lunch. We can talk in more detail tomorrow about the meeting, but just to be clear'' Chris is worth about $350 MILLION. He remains Mark Zuckerberg's closest adviser and was the first person outside of programers Facebook hired.
He is more tied to Silicon Valley money than anyone I know and is looking for places to put his money. H just spent $10 MILLION of his own money on race for AG in Dem primary without blinking.''
These Hunter Biden emails prove that while Joe Biden was serving as Obama's VP, Hunter Biden, over a time span of several years, orchestrated his meetings with Facebook executives around his father's White House meetings with the same Facebook executives for the sake of profiting off of Chris Kelly's wealth and Silicon Valley connections.
When Facebook and Twitter censored the New York Post's story about Hunter Biden, both Facebook and Twitter denied their censorship was motivated by politics. However, these emails from over ten years ago prove that the executives at Facebook have personal and financial ties to the Biden family, specifically Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, who both benefited from Facebook and Twitter's political censorship.
For Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, he doesn't see anything wrong with suppressing and conducting erroneous ''fact checks'' on stories that pertain to Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, because colluding with the Biden family for the sake of political goals has been a documented business practice at Facebook for over a decade!
In fact, the relationship between Facebook and Hunter Biden is so entrenched that Biden himself has had accounts banned at his own personal request to Facebook executives like Adam Conner and Chris Kelly who to this day still publicly advise Facebook. Hunter Biden said in his own words that Chris Kelly was ''Mark Zuckerberg's closest advisor''.
In an email between Hunter Biden and Adam Connor from October 22, 2010 when Joe Biden was still Vice President, Adam Connor said,
''Hi Mr. Biden, Chris Kelly forwarded me your message about a Facebook profile that you're trying to get shut down?''
To which Hunter Biden replied:
''Thanks Adam'--I will get info to you ASAP.''
Adam replied, saying, ''Thank you''.
Two days later on October 24, 2010, Adam Conner emailed Hunter Biden again, saying,
''Mr. Biden,
We have removed the fake profile. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
best,
Adam Connor
Facebook DC''
Facebook Bans account at request of Hunter BidenIf Hunter Biden was able to get an ordinary person with a different name banned from Facebook with one polite email chain to the founder of Facebook's Washington office with an accusation of the account ''being fake'', then it proves how easy it is for Democrats to get their political opponents and detractors banned.
What good are Terms and Services if they can be completely disregarded through political influence peddling between politicians and Big Tech executives?
This is arguably an illegal in kind contribution by Big Tech to the Democrat Party.
Adam Conner is currently the Vice President for Technology Policy at the Center for American Progress, arguably the leading progressive think tanks in America. Center for American Progress was founded by John Podesta, who served as a Counselor to President Barack Obama from 2014-2015 as well as the chairman of Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 Presidential campaign against Donald J. Trump. Prior to working for the Center for American Progress, Conner founded Facebook's Washington DC office where he ''spent seven years on the Facebook Privacy and Public Policy team, where he created the company's government and political outreach efforts and directed the company's election efforts,'' according to his bio on the Center for American Progress's website.
Given that the New York Post had their account censored and limited by Facebook, it begs the question, did Hunter Biden request for Facebook and Twitter to ban and censor the New York Post expose the same way Hunter asked Facebook to ban an account ten years ago? It is clear, and Hunter's emails prove that the channels for this to happen exist, and that is what matters. It is not a conspiracy if it happened and you have proof in the form of emails.
At the slightest, an investigation is warranted.
Accounts are not supposed to be banned without going through proper company procedures. But as these emails prove, Facebook will ban accounts, and has banned other people's accounts at the request of Hunter Biden and his family members.
One of the people directly tied to Hunter Biden's Burisma Energy scandal is Eric Schwerin, the President of Hunter Biden's company Rosemont Seneca.
In the emails between Hunter Biden and Facebook's Chris Kelley, Schwerin served as the conduit for setting up the meetings between the Biden family and Facebook, and often inquired about potential Silicon Valley investors. The emails also reveal he wrote many of Hunter Biden's emails for him and had the authority to send emails out under Hunter's name.
In one of the Hunter Biden emails dated August 7, 2012, Schwerin wrote to Beau and Hunter Biden:
''Does it make sense to reach out to Chris Kelly (maybe in an email from Hunter) and ask him to suggest a number of Silicon Valley Dem Types that we should invite to Beau's party? I am sure he would encourage them to come and giving him some ownership of that group might not be a bad idea.
''Any complications vis a vis Kamala Harris and Chris? I assume they are all good?''
Hunter Biden replied to this email saying, ''Very good idea''.
Schwerin replied, saying, :
''Great. I'll draft an email and send it from Hunter. Hunter, if you want to see it first, let me know. Otherwise, we'll send it off tomorrow.''
As one of the original executives and the First General Counsel at Facebook, Chris Kelly helped Facebook establish a wide web of political connections and relationships with high profile Democrats, and the Obama administration. When the federal government announced anti-trust investigations into Facebook in 2019, Kelly, who is also a shareholder in Facebook, argued in support of Facebook and against breaking up Big Tech.
This email from over 8 years ago proves how far back the established and entrenched relationships are between Joe Biden, his family, Big Tech, and Kamala Harris. It also explains why nothing has been done in Washington to address Big Tech's interference with our elections. These Hunter Biden emails prove that Facebook is employing the same lobbyists who work for the most powerful Democrats in America.
Eric Schwerin, President of Hunter Biden's company Rosemont Seneca Partners (RSP)Roughly a decade ago, as is stated in the Hunter Biden emails, Hunter Biden and his company President Eric Schwerin were working with Kelly to raise money with Kamala Harris, who is now set to be the new Vice President of the United States.
The emails prove that Facebook executives not only had a relationship with the Biden family prior to the 2020 election, but also with Kamala Harris through Chris Kelly.
There is no denying after reviewing these emails that Facebook's censorship of all Joe Biden and Hunter Biden scandal stories are politically motivated out of an alliance with the Democrat Party.
It's always been an open secret that Big tech does the bidding for the Democrat Party, and it's always been suspected that Big Tech intentionally censors conservatives to cover for Democrat politicians. These emails are now solid proof, especially given the fact that Mark Zuckerberg recently testified to Congress where he said the censoring of the Hunter Biden emails was not politically motivated.
The very act of censoring the New York Post story was politically motivated because Facebook is directly implicated in the Hunter Biden Burisma scandal given that David Wade, who was a registered Facebook lobbyist until 2020, worked with Hunter Biden and Schwerin through his company Greenlight Strategies giving PR advice to Rosemont Seneca.
There are numerous emails between Schwerin and Kelly, and Schwerin and Wade. Recently Schwerin came under fire when it was revealed that Schwerin told Hunter Biden that over $400,000 in payments from Burisma were not disclosed in his taxes. It should be of no surprise that Hunter Biden' taxes are now under federal investigation.
It is worth noting that along with lobbying for Facebook, David Wade also served as John Kerry's chief of staff from 2013 to 2015, as well as the National Press Secretary for the Vice Presidential Nominee in 2008 under Obama for America. That means that David Wade worked for Joe Biden as his Press Secretary on the Obama campaign given that Joe Biden served as Obama's VP.
John Kerry is expected to serve in the Biden-Harris Administration.
In one of the Hunter Biden emails dated May 13, 2014, while Wade was still serving as John Kerry's chief of staff under the Obama-Biden administration, Schwerin emailed Hunter saying,
''FYI, at David Wade's urging I spoke to the WSJ (Wall Street Journal) on background tonight. They were about to run with a story that said Rosemont Seneca had invested in Burisma. Told them that was not the case. Didn't say much else. Not sure what else they were going with but they were apparently asking questions about ownership as well. Probably gong to run tonight. Didn't seem too concerning to me.''
You can call it a game of political leap frog. David Wade moved from working for Joe Biden during Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign, to John Kerry at the US State Department during the Obama Administration, to Hunter Biden at Burisma, and then with Facebook as a lobbyist during the 2020 election. It's worth noting that the Senate probe found that John Kerry falsely claimed that he had no knowledge of Hunter Biden's role in Burisma. These exclusive emails further prove that John Kerry lied, because his Chief of Staff was literally advising Hunter Biden's company about PR related to Rosemont Seneca and Burisma while he was still actively working for John Kerry.
What does this mean for Facebook?
It means that in the middle of a Presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Facebook employed a lobbyist who had intimate knowledge of Hunter Biden's business dealings with Burisma, a lobbyist who provided paid PR services to Hunter Biden pertaining to Burisma, and yet they still chose to censor the New York Post story about Hunter Biden's ties to Burisma. Facebook is completely politically bias to be ''fact checking'' a story about Hunter Biden while employing a lobbyist who worked for Hunter Biden before working for Facebook!
It is the most clear cut example of politically motivated censorship, and proof that Mark Zuckerberg lied to the Senate on November 17, 2020 when he was asked to testify along with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey following the censorship of the New York Post story. During his opening remarks, Zuckerberg said,
''We are well overdue for an overhaul of the internet's rules of the road. For any system to work, I believe there needs to be a transparent process that people feel they can trust. This will be difficult, especially since our country is so divided, but I believe it's the only way to address these issues for the long term.''
Zuckerberg clearly doesn't believe his own remarks about ''more transparency'', because if he did, Facebook would have recognized the clear conflict of interest in paying a lobbyist who worked for Hunter Biden, advising him on how to deal with the media's scrutiny over his ties to Burisma, while also ''fact checking'' and banning investigative reports about Hunter Biden and Burisma.
When it comes to transparency, the people a company chooses to employ is crucial given that the employees of a company are an extension of the company itself. When Facebook and Twitter choose to employ Democrat operatives from Democrat administrations and lobbyists who work for the family members of prominent Democrats, Facebook and Twitter are inherently embracing a partisanship. The Hunter Biden emails prove that Facebook is unable and unwilling to admit to their partisanship, and is gladly willing to let their employee's political views dictate who gets access to Facebook.
If the Hunter Biden emails prove anything, it's the fact that Democrats and their family members actually do have the power to get people banned from Facebook and Twitter with one little email or phone call to a Big Tech executive or lobbyist. The idea that big tech colluded with the Democrat Party to steal the election through social media censorship isn't a conspiracy when the proof is right in front of your eyes in the form of emails Hunter Biden wrote himself!
I would post this damning expose on Facebook and Twitter, but I have been BANNED for my investigative reporting, which exposed corrupt Democrats.
Unhoused
City of Austin to convert Candlewood Suites hotel to homeless housing despite lawsuit to stop it | KXAN Austin
Tue, 04 May 2021 11:04
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- The City of Austin has a thorough plan to house the homeless '-- but some feel it's coming without community input.
Days after voters approved the camping ban be reinstated, the city's Housing and Planning Committee released documents discussing its housing blueprint, getting spaces to house up to 3,000 people by 2024.
In this blueprint, Candlewood Suites is still listed as part of the process, where there will reportedly be 80 converted rooms available for housing as early as August.
But the the city is still facing a lawsuit, lead by a local small business, Chaudhari Partnership '-- which is trying to stop the purchase of Candlewood Suites from being finalized.
Rupal Chaudhari, owner of the small business, feels the city is pushing neighbors' concerns aside.
''We're not going away,'' Chaudhari said. ''We asked for an injunction.''
Chaudhari is worried the conversion will hurt her hotels next door.
The housing and planning committee wants people to move in as early as August 2021.
''My question to the city council and mayor is, how come as a community, we don't matter any more?'' Chaudhari said.
Chaudari feels the city's plans to move forward, disregards her concerns, as well as thousands of neighbors.
They signed a petition to oppose the hotel sale.
KXAN reached out to the city regarding neighbors concerns. We also asked the city what would happen if it loses the lawsuit. A spokesperson responded with a statement saying: ''We are in the process of performing our due diligence related to the purchase of the hotel.''
Chaudari supports the camping ban being reinstated. KXAN asked what idea she would want to see, to get housing to those in need.
''The city has a lot of land, they can build up encampments, they can build up temporary structures. I'm not sure what's the right plan,'' she said.
Chaudhari said there was a lawsuit hearing on Thursday, April 29. On Tuesday, she said she plans to announce what came out of it. She has since collected letters, addressed to Mayor Steve Adler and council members, from community members against the purchase.
A step to finalize the housing plan for the homeless will go before city council on May 20.
Stop the Steal
BREAKING: Democrats Settle Lawsuit Over Maricopa Audit With 9 Days To Go, Experts Will Cease Signature Matching - National File
Thu, 06 May 2021 10:52
After a lengthy lawsuit that saw the Democrats achieve few victories in their goal of stopping the audit of the 2020 ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona, they have reached a settlement with the firm involved in the audit and the Senate Republicans that will see the firm, Cyber Ninjas, cease verifying the signatures on early voting envelopes with the signatures on file from the voter.With only 9 days left to go before the audit is set to be completed, signature verification will cease immediately. According to the settlement, Cyber Ninjas ''and their agents will not compare signatures on early ballot envelopes with signatures from the voter registration file.The Senate Defendants warrant and represent that they are not currently comparing signatures on early ballot envelopes with signatures from the voter registration file, and will notify Plaintiffs within 48hours of any decision to undertake such signature comparison and afford Plaintiffs 48 hours to respond to resolve any concerns.'' Additionally, ''If the parties cannot resolve the issue in a mutually agreeable manner, Plaintiffs may seek emergency injunctive and/or declaratory relief in court to seek compliance with the law.''
With only 9 days left before the estimated completion of the audit, which was reported to be on schedule as recently as April 28, it is unclear how many signatures have already been compared and validated. The settlement does not stop Cyber Ninjas from disclosing their current findings regarding matching signatures on the ballots.
National File was unable to locate or obtain a response from the Arizona Republican Party, or the Arizona Senators responsible for the audit. However, Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward recently released a video, clarifying that much of the Democrats' demands, including many of those mentioned in the settlement, were already in place.
''It is a simple process, but it has to be run in a professional, secure manner to make sure we get this right,'' said Ward, after explaining the color coordination of those involved with the audit. Addressing security concerns posed by Democrats, Ward added, ''There are not only 9 cameras in the arena, as you see on the website, and as the Democrats like to claim. There are actually dozens, dozens of private security cameras focused on the tables, on the counters, on the boxes of ballots, and on the machine evaluation areas. There's no room or tolerance for error.''
There's a lot of thought and planning that's gone into making America's Audit secure, safe and fair. Take a look as AZGOP Chairwoman @kelliwardaz gives us a rundown of the process and the security in place. #AmericasAudit #FinishTheAudit #ElectionIntegrity pic.twitter.com/RXbXFj1zzW
'-- Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) May 4, 2021
In addition to the end of signature matching, some members of the media and observers from Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs' office will be allowed to enter the facility and observe. Members of the media are permitted to use red or green pens to take notes, and are allowed to take photographs and videos of the audit, provided they do not include images of the individual ballots.
Report: Biden DOJ Poised to 'Get Involved' in Arizona Election Audit
Thu, 06 May 2021 12:24
The Justice Department is poised to ''get involved'' in Maricopa County's forensic audit of the Arizona election in 2020.
The news comes via Arizona elections expert and ABC 15 reporter Garrett Archer.
Source at the county says DOJ is going to get involved in some capacity with the #azaudit. #azauditpool
'-- The AZ '' abc15 '' Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) May 6, 2021
The report follows upon a big development in the election tonight: A lawsuit settlement is stripping the signature verification process from the forensic audit, all but rendering the audit moot.
''After a lengthy lawsuit that saw the Democrats achieve few victories in their goal of stopping the audit of the 2020 ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona, they have reached a settlement with the firm involved in the audit and the Senate Republicans that will see the firm, Cyber Ninjas, cease verifying the signatures on early voting envelopes with the signatures on file from the voter,'' the National File reported.
''With only 9 days left to go before the audit is set to be completed, signature verification will cease immediately,'' the report continued.
Per the settlement, Cyber Ninjas ''and their agents will not compare signatures on early ballot envelopes with signatures from the voter registration file. The Senate Defendants warrant and represent that they are not currently comparing signatures on early ballot envelopes with signatures from the voter registration file, and will notify Plaintiffs within 48 hours of any decision to undertake such signature comparison and afford Plaintiffs 48 hours to respond to resolve any concerns.''
''If the parties cannot resolve the issue in a mutually agreeable manner, Plaintiffs may seek emergency injunctive and/or declaratory relief in court to seek compliance with the law,'' the settlement added.
Last week, Donald Trump had weighed in on the Maricopa County election audit being allowed to continue after a judge declined to enforce a temporary restraining order.
''Over 100 Democrat lawyers were sent to fight against this audit,'' he continued. ''The results will be very interesting for the USA and the World to see!''
''Why are the Democrats fighting so hard to hide the facts?'' Trump added. ''I know why, and so does everyone else.''
The Department of Justice may also soon be involved 'hiding the facts' of the 2020 election. The DOJ's intervention in the Arizona election audit would be an unsurprising development, despite it being constitutionally questionable to intervene in a state election process.
The Biden administration has consistently shown hostility to election integrity laws, such as those passed in Georgia and Texas. In March, Biden called the Georgia election law ''Jim Crow in the 21st Century'' and ''a blatant attack on the Constitution.''
It appears that the Department of Justice may be standing at the ready to conduct an actual ''attack on the Constitution.'' American citizens are no longer surprised.
As seen on Becker News. Follow Kyle Becker and Becker News on Twitter.
Dr. Bill
Bill Gates and Melinda Gates are splitting up
Mon, 03 May 2021 20:57
Published Mon, May 3 2021 4:34 PM EDTUpdated 4 Min Ago
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Bill and Melinda Gates
Frederic Stevens | Getty Images
Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, said in a tweet on Monday that he and his wife, Melinda Gates, will be splitting up after 27 years.
Financial details are not yet clear. Bill Gates owns 1.37% of Microsoft's outstanding shares, which are worth more than $26 billion, according to FactSet. The couple were creators, along with Warren Buffett, of the Giving Pledge, which involves giving away more than half of their wealth.
Last year Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft's board as the coronavirus became a force around the world. He began spending more time on the nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alongside Melinda Gates. The two are co-chairs and trustees of the foundation, which launched in 2000.
Bill and Melinda Gates met at Microsoft. She had been a marketing manager at the software company. The two got married in Hawaii in 1994 after Bill Gates had weighed the pros and cons on a blackboard.
The announcement comes two years after Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said he and his wife, MacKenzie, were getting divorced. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are among the world's richest people, and Amazon and Microsoft compete in the cloud computing business.
This story is developing. Refresh for updates.
View the full site
Zhe 'Shelly' Wang denies splitting up Bill, Melinda Gates
Wed, 05 May 2021 22:03
By Emily Smith and Sara Nathan
May 5, 2021 | 2:45pm
Zhe "Shelly" Wang says she had nothing to do with Bill and Melinda Gates' split. Getty Images ; LinkedIn
A translator who works for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has denied wild rumors on social media that she was involved in their divorce.
Zhe ''Shelly'' Wang, who has worked as an interpreter for the foundation since March 2015, took to social media to deny speculation that she had more than a professional relationship with Bill or Melinda.
Wang, 36, purportedly wrote on Chinese social media site Weibo, ''I thought that the rumors would go away by themselves, but I did not expect the rumors to become more and more crazily spread.''
She continued, ''How many books can I read, so why spend time on the unfounded rumors?
''I would like to thank everyone for their concern and help in dispelling the rumors through private messages in the past 24 hours.''
She ended her message with a link to a story titled ''#Gates divorce, some vicious people rumor to vilify an innocent Chinese girl.''
According to her LinkedIn profile, which has since been disabled, Wang became an interpreter for the Monterey Institute of International Studies in September 2012 and worked on several TED Conferences.
She joined TED Conferences as an interpreter in April 2013, and she oversaw a team interpreting TED events into Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish.
She also works as an interpreter for the Yale School of Management and Harvard Business School.
Little is known about the reason for the breakdown of Bill and Melinda's marriage, but they did say in a joint statement on Monday, ''After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.''
They continued, ''We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.''
But it has emerged that Bill, 65, and Melinda, 56, did have a bonkers pact that allowed Bill to vacation every year with his ex-girlfriend at a cozy beach cottage in North Carolina.
The billionaire Microsoft founder made sure the bizarre arrangement was part of the deal when he married Melinda in 1994, he told Time magazine in a 1997 profile.
''We can play putt-putt while discussing biotechnology,'' Gates said of his private getaways with fellow nerd techie and ex Ann Winblad '-- who is now happily married to actor Kevin Kline's detective brother, Alex Kline, a source told The Post.
Gates even sought Winblad's approval before proposing to his wife.
''When I was off on my own thinking about marrying Melinda, I called Ann and asked for her approval,'' he said, adding that Winblad gave the other woman the thumbs-up.
A divorce suit was filed Monday by Melinda, saying she and Bill '-- who married in Hawaii on New Year's Day 1994 '-- don't have a prenuptial agreement to distribute their estimated $130 billion in assets.
Being the fourth-richest person in the world gives Bill a lot of purchasing power '-- and he's used it to amass an enviable collection of real estate, stocks, sports cars, rare books and artwork.
Bill and Melinda signed a separation contract for dividing their property and possessions, the terms of which weren't disclosed in the King County Superior Court papers in Washington.
Reps for Bill and Melinda Gates did not respond to requests for comment from Page Six. Wang could not immediately be reached.
Bill Gates Transfers $1.8 Billion In Stocks To Melinda Amid Divorce | ZeroHedge
Thu, 06 May 2021 11:40
As reporters look for clues about how Bill and Melinda Gates plan to divide up their fortune (as a reminder, here's everything we have learned so far) focus is shifting to Cascade, the Gates family office set up with the proceeds from selling Gates' Microsoft shares, as well as his investment dividends. The family office has long been seen as a piggy bank for the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
And according to an SEC filing, Cascade transferred $1.8 billion (14.1MM shares) in Canadian National Railway stock to Melinda French Gates on May 3. Cascade also transferred 2.94 million shares in AutoNation, worth $309M.
The move makes Ms. Gates the sixth-biggest shareholder in CN, Canada's largest railway, however, Cascade (controlled by Bill Gates) remains thee largest shareholder, with more than 101M shares worth roughly $11 billion)
CN is the biggest investment held by Cascade, representing 24.4% of its holdings. Waste disposal company Republic Services is Cascade's second-largest stake at 23.9%, while heavy equipment make Deere and is third, at 18%.
Through Cascade, Gates has interests in real estate, energy and hospitality as well as stakes in dozens of public companies, including Deere & Co. and Republic Services. The couple are also among the largest landowners in America.
Other investments Gates owners via Cascade include:
Berkshire Hathaway Class B $1.69 billionAutoNation $1.9 BillionEcolab Inc. $6.9 BillionLiberty Global PLC $235.6 MillionWaste Management $2.3 BillionGates lists himself as the sole member of Cascade Investment and makes clear that the stocks that he and Melinda own jointly through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust are completely separate from his direct ownership of what's in his family office hedge fund, Cascade Investment, which operates out of Kirkland, Washington.
We're still waiting for more clues about the Gates' "separation agreement", as well as any settlement talks.
Bill and Melinda Gates are hiring star lawyers for their divorce
Thu, 06 May 2021 13:25
Bill and Melinda Gates arrive at the Elysee Palace before receiving the award of Commander of the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Hollande.
Frederic Stevens | Getty Images
Bill and Melinda Gates have hired big-name lawyers to represent them in their divorce proceedings, two of which helped negotiate the split of Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Scott, according to reports.
Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, and his wife, Melinda French Gates, announced their split via Twitter on Monday after 27 years of marriage.
"We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives," Bill and Melinda Gates wrote in a joint statement. The two said they would continue to work together at their nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill Gates is the world's fourth-richest person, according to Forbes. Data company Wealth-X estimated his net worth to be at least $134.1 billion.
A petition for divorce, filed Monday by Melinda Gates at King County superior court in Seattle, Washington, obtained by TMZ, said their marriage was "irretrievably broken."
It also showed that they didn't sign a prenuptial agreement, which is a contract signed before getting married to specify the division of assets should the marriage fail. Instead, the divorce papers showed the Gateses had signed a separation agreement to divide their assets.
In addition, the papers showed they had each assembled a team of high profile lawyers to handle their divorce.
One of the lawyers listed as representing Melinda Gates is Bellevue-based attorney Sherri Anderson. She also reportedly represented Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in his split from MacKenzie Scott in 2019, which was the world's most expensive divorce.
Meanwhile, the attorney who was said to have represented Scott in the divorce, Ted Billbe, is listed as one of the lawyers on Bill Gates' legal team.
Ronald Olson of the firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, who is a director at Warren Buffett's investment group Berkshire Hathaway, is also on Gates' legal team.
Olson has worked on business matters with a number of other high-profile clients, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as well as Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
The attorneys cited were not immediately available to comment when contacted by CNBC. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Breakthrough Energy were also contacted for comment.
BTC
Russia Says It's Ready for Disconnection from SWIFT - Caspian News
Tue, 04 May 2021 12:50
By Vusala Abbasova April 30, 2021
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or simply SWIFT, is a global transaction network that connects more than 11,000 banks operating in at least 200 countries.
As Brussels is tightening the screws on Russia by threatening to shut the country off from one of the quickest and safest ways to receive and send money via electronic bank transfers, Moscow is getting ready for any eventuality in case of a shutdown.
Andrey Krutskikh, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for International Cyber Security Cooperation, voiced Moscow's readiness to respond if Russia is disconnected from the SWIFT global payment network. However, according to him, threats to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT system are unlikely to be realized.
''As far as the technological and military-political insurance against disconnection, one would have to ask specific specialists in these areas,'' Gazeta.ru quoted Krutskikh as saying on Wednesday. ''But our armored train stands on the side track, and, of course, we have full confidence in our strength and the power of our response.''
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or simply SWIFT, is a global transaction network that connects more than 11,000 banks operating in at least 200 countries. SWIFT is a cooperative society under Belgian law owned by its member financial institutions with offices around the world.
Earlier this week, the European Parliament called for harsh coordinated measures against Russia, including disconnecting from SWIFT. Officials in Europe accused Russia of what Manfred Weber, parliamentary head of the center-right European People's Party, called ''continuing the course of dangerous provocations'' and ''strengthening the military presence around eastern Ukraine.''
Fears that Russia might be cut off from the global system have been around since the 2014 Ukraine crisis. The same year, the United States and Europe imposed sanctions against Russia targeting multiple sectors, including financial sanctions.
Threats to prohibit Russia from using the international financial information exchange system reemerged in recent weeks amid worsening of relations between the Kremlin and Biden administration, with Washington slapping Moscow with new sanctions and threatening follow-up actions. By cutting off the Russian banks from the SWIFT system, the western countries could aim to crash the Russian payment transactions and subsequently disrupt the country's domestic and foreign economic activities.
To counter U.S. and European sanctions and protect its financial security, Russia began developing an alternative to the SWIFT payment system based on a new technological platform. Earlier, in an interview with RIA Novosti, Alexander Pankin, the deputy head of Russia's Foreign Ministry, explained that future alternatives to SWIFT would be more advanced and not dependent on being a monopoly. The emergence of such options will be ''not only a reaction to the current geopolitical situation but a response to the need to modernize the existing payment methods using the top digital innovations.''
As far back as 2014, the Russian Central Bank launched its System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) that was put into operation in 2015. The principle of operation of Russia's SPFS is kept similar to that of the worldwide payment system to reduce the concerns of Russian customers and avoid the need to change their usage habits. So far, over 400 Russian companies (mostly banks), including eight foreign banks, use this system as an alternative to SWIFT.
Russia is not alone in attempting to bypass SWIFT. Iran has already launched a homemade financial telecommunications system, known as SEPAM, to get around the U.S. unilateral sanctions imposed on the country.
Some believe that the introduction of alternative payment rails will likely make it difficult for western countries to track payments across the globe and use the SWIFT system as a political tool to threaten or put pressure on other countries.
Clips
VIDEO - (131) After 17 years of hiding, large swarm of Brood X cicadas expected to emerge - YouTube
Thu, 06 May 2021 12:20
VIDEO - U.S. backs waiving patent protections for Covid vaccines, citing global health crisis
Thu, 06 May 2021 12:18
WASHINGTON '-- The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it supports waiving intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines, as countries struggle to manufacture the life-saving doses.
"This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures. The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines," United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai wrote in a statement.
"As our vaccine supply for the American people is secured, the Administration will continue to ramp up its efforts '-- working with the private sector and all possible partners '-- to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution. It will also work to increase the raw materials needed to produce those vaccines," the statement added.
The World Health Organization's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, praised the U.S. decision as a "monumental moment in the fight against Covid-19" that reflects the "moral leadership" of the White House in the fight to end the pandemic.
Stocks of major pharmaceutical companies that have produced vaccines, including Moderna, BioNTech and Pfizer, dropped sharply after news of the potential waivers first broke. Pfizer ended its trading day flat, while Moderna lost 6.1%; Johnson & Johnson shed a modest 0.4%.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America expressed pointed opposition to the Biden administration's support for waiving IP protections. The trade group's members include vaccine makers such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
"In the midst of a deadly pandemic, the Biden Administration has taken an unprecedented step that will undermine our global response to the pandemic and compromise safety," said Stephen J. Ubi, the group's president and CEO. "This decision will sow confusion between public and private partners, further weaken already strained supply chains and foster the proliferation of counterfeit vaccines. "
World Trade Organization leaders reportedly urged member nations this week to quickly hash out the details of an agreement to temporarily ease the rules protecting intellectual property behind coronavirus vaccines. The waiver, proposed by South Africa and India, could remove obstacles to ramping up the production of vaccines in developing countries.
An administration official with knowledge of Tai's decision cautioned that the WTO's discussions over waivers could take time and, since the body's rulings are based on consensus, will require approval from all 164 members.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, added that Tai held at least two dozen meetings and calls with various industry stakeholders, including the major vaccine manufacturers. The person added that Tai plans to advocate for friendly cooperation between global firms to ease supply-chain bottlenecks.
President Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday affirmed that the White House would back the World Trade Organization's IP waiver proposal. "Yes, I'm going to talk about that later today. Yes," Biden said shortly before Tai's statement was released.
The Biden administration's move comes as coronavirus infections surge to their highest levels in countries that have struggled to procure or distribute vaccines, highlighting a contrast with other nations, including the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
Edith Arangoitia, 46, (who came as a companion to her elderly mother) is vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine by Doctor Galen Harnden at La Colaborativa in Chelsea, Massachusetts on February 16, 2021.
Joseph Prezioso | AFP | Getty Images
In recent weeks, India has grappled with a staggering rise in new coronavirus infections. Over the weekend, India reported 400,000 daily cases, bringing the nation's cumulative total to 20,665,148 cases, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The spike may have been triggered by a highly contagious Covid variant, known as B.1.617, which was first identified in India.
The variant has since been identified in other countries, including the United States.
In April, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed lifting the patent protections of coronavirus vaccines with Biden, according to a readout of their call. The relaxation would grant governments quicker and more affordable access to the lifesaving doses.
Last week, the Biden administration announced that it will immediately make raw materials needed for India's coronavirus vaccine production available.
Critics have argued that patents on vaccines and other protections are not the central obstacle to producing more vaccines for the nations that need them most. Some also suggest such agreements could harm companies' incentives to innovate.
"This is a huge misstep by the Biden Administration that will do nothing to increase vaccine distribution and will endorse China's ability to piggyback on U.S. innovation to further its vaccine diplomacy aims," Clete Willems, a former attorney at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, said of the decision.
"A solution more in line with the Administration's stated objectives of improving U.S. competitiveness and keeping jobs in America would be to produce and export vaccines from the United States," said Willems, who worked under both the Obama and Trump administrations.
A Washington Post editorial this week said the goal of creating a "people's vaccine" to defeat Covid is "more slogan than solution."
'-- CNBC's Kevin Breuninger and Tom Franck reported from New York.
VIDEO - Anybody making less than $400,000 a year will not pay a single penny in taxes. - ItemFix
Thu, 06 May 2021 11:25
#Biden #Taxes #Not a penny By: No Beret Views: 912 Score: 3 Used: 0 Comments: 8 Bookmark: 0 Shares: 0 Downloads: 0The reason I'm bothering to do this is I keep hearing out in the press, ''Biden is going to raise your taxes.'' Anybody making less than $400,000 a year will not pay a single penny in taxes. And we will not increase the deficit either, unlike the last gigantic tax cut, which increased the deficit by $2 trillion. It's about balancing the system and growing the economy. It means wealthy investors no longer pay lower marginal tax rates than their secretary pays '-- the secretary in their office.
VIDEO - U.S. backs waiving patent protections for Covid vaccines, citing global health crisis
Thu, 06 May 2021 11:12
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The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it supports waiving intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines.Such a waiver could remove obstacles to ramping up the production of vaccines in developing countries.The move comes as coronavirus infections surge to their highest levels in countries that have struggled to procure or distribute vaccines.WASHINGTON '-- The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it supports waiving intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines, as countries struggle to manufacture the life-saving doses.
"This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures. The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines," United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai wrote in a statement.
"As our vaccine supply for the American people is secured, the Administration will continue to ramp up its efforts '-- working with the private sector and all possible partners '-- to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution. It will also work to increase the raw materials needed to produce those vaccines," the statement added.
The World Health Organization's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, praised the U.S. decision as a "monumental moment in the fight against Covid-19" that reflects the "moral leadership" of the White House in the fight to end the pandemic.
Stocks of major pharmaceutical companies that have produced vaccines, including Moderna, BioNTech and Pfizer, dropped sharply after news of the potential waivers first broke. Pfizer ended its trading day flat, while Moderna lost 6.1%; Johnson & Johnson shed a modest 0.4%.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America expressed pointed opposition to the Biden administration's support for waiving IP protections. The trade group's members include vaccine makers such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
"In the midst of a deadly pandemic, the Biden Administration has taken an unprecedented step that will undermine our global response to the pandemic and compromise safety," said Stephen J. Ubi, the group's president and CEO. "This decision will sow confusion between public and private partners, further weaken already strained supply chains and foster the proliferation of counterfeit vaccines. "
World Trade Organization leaders reportedly urged member nations this week to quickly hash out the details of an agreement to temporarily ease the rules protecting intellectual property behind coronavirus vaccines. The waiver, proposed by South Africa and India, could remove obstacles to ramping up the production of vaccines in developing countries.
An administration official with knowledge of Tai's decision cautioned that the WTO's discussions over waivers could take time and, since the body's rulings are based on consensus, will require approval from all 164 members.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, added that Tai held at least two dozen meetings and calls with various industry stakeholders, including the major vaccine manufacturers. The person added that Tai plans to advocate for friendly cooperation between global firms to ease supply-chain bottlenecks.
President Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday affirmed that the White House would back the World Trade Organization's IP waiver proposal. "Yes, I'm going to talk about that later today. Yes," Biden said shortly before Tai's statement was released.
The Biden administration's move comes as coronavirus infections surge to their highest levels in countries that have struggled to procure or distribute vaccines, highlighting a contrast with other nations, including the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
Edith Arangoitia, 46, (who came as a companion to her elderly mother) is vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine by Doctor Galen Harnden at La Colaborativa in Chelsea, Massachusetts on February 16, 2021.
Joseph Prezioso | AFP | Getty Images
In recent weeks, India has grappled with a staggering rise in new coronavirus infections. Over the weekend, India reported 400,000 daily cases, bringing the nation's cumulative total to 20,665,148 cases, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The spike may have been triggered by a highly contagious Covid variant, known as B.1.617, which was first identified in India.
The variant has since been identified in other countries, including the United States.
In April, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed lifting the patent protections of coronavirus vaccines with Biden, according to a readout of their call. The relaxation would grant governments quicker and more affordable access to the lifesaving doses.
Last week, the Biden administration announced that it will immediately make raw materials needed for India's coronavirus vaccine production available.
Critics have argued that patents on vaccines and other protections are not the central obstacle to producing more vaccines for the nations that need them most. Some also suggest such agreements could harm companies' incentives to innovate.
"This is a huge misstep by the Biden Administration that will do nothing to increase vaccine distribution and will endorse China's ability to piggyback on U.S. innovation to further its vaccine diplomacy aims," Clete Willems, a former attorney at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, said of the decision.
"A solution more in line with the Administration's stated objectives of improving U.S. competitiveness and keeping jobs in America would be to produce and export vaccines from the United States," said Willems, who worked under both the Obama and Trump administrations.
A Washington Post editorial this week said the goal of creating a "people's vaccine" to defeat Covid is "more slogan than solution."
'-- CNBC's Kevin Breuninger and Tom Franck reported from New York.
VIDEO - CDC projects a surge in U.S. Covid cases through May due to B.1.1.7 variant before a 'sharp decline'
Thu, 06 May 2021 01:01
Published Wed, May 5 2021 11:04 AM EDTUpdated 5 Hours Ago
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The rise in cases is expected as states relax pandemic prevention strategies and the B.1.1.7 variant spreads, the CDC said.While Covid cases are expected to increase this month, hospitalizations and deaths will likely remain low nationally, the U.S. agency said.The agency projected the trajectory of the pandemic based on four different scenarios of vaccination rates and state reopenings.Covid-19 cases will likely surge again in the U.S. as the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant takes hold across the country, peaking in May before sharply declining by July, according to new data released Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The rise in Covid cases is expected as states relax pandemic prevention strategies for businesses, large-scale gatherings and schools, and the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the U.K., spreads more rapidly throughout the country, the CDC said in the report.
The agency projected the trajectory of the pandemic based on four different scenarios of vaccination rates and state reopenings. While the case numbers differed in each scenario, the general direction of the outbreak remained mostly the same in all four forecasts with cases surging in May before falling in July.
While Covid cases are expected to increase this month, hospitalizations and deaths will likely remain low nationally, the U.S. agency said, with cases expected to plummet by July as more Americans get vaccinated against the virus.
High vaccination coverage and compliance with pandemic safety measures "are essential to control COVID-19 and prevent surges in hospitalizations and deaths in the coming months," federal health officials wrote in the report.
During a White House Covid press briefing later Wednesday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the projections should remind Americans "we have a path out of this."
"Although we are seeing progress in terms of decreased cases, hospitalizations and death, variants are a wild card that could reverse this progress we have made," she said. "We are seeing that our current vaccines are protecting against the contaminant variants circulating in the country. Simply put, the sooner we get more and more people vaccinated, the sooner we will all get back to normal."
The rate of daily new infections fell below 50,000 per day over the weekend and continues to decline, according to Johns Hopkins University data, as the latest seven-day average stands at 48,100 cases per day.
The new data comes just ahead of the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays. President Joe Biden has said he hopes to see enough Americans vaccinated by Independence Day to safely hold small outdoor gatherings.
On Tuesday, Biden announced his administration's latest goals in the fight against the coronavirus: getting 70% of U.S. adults to receive at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and having 160 million adults fully vaccinated by July 4.
As of Tuesday, more than 145 million Americans age 18 and older, or 56.4% of the total adult population, have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to data compiled by the CDC. More than 105 million Americans age 18 and older, or 40.8% of the total adult population, are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
In recent weeks, the pace of individuals receiving their first vaccine doses has fallen, though U.S. health officials say they are working to improve access to the shots as well as encourage more hesitant Americans to get vaccinated.
The CDC used data from the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub, which developed six models to assess the potential course of Covid-19 in the U.S. across four scenarios. Researchers took into consideration vaccination rates and the implementation of policies such as mask-wearing and social distancing.
Additionally, the projections were based on data through late March, when Covid cases were on the rebound.
'' CNBC's Nate Rattner contributed to this report.
View the full site
VIDEO - CNN's Chris Cuomo claims he should 'get a preference' for seating at restaurants because he's vaccinated | Fox News
Thu, 06 May 2021 01:00
The liberal host said he was 'fine with incentives' if it got people to take the vaccineCNN's Chris Cuomo claimed Tuesday that he thinks he should "get a preference" for seating when he goes to restaurants because he's fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The liberal anchor argued during the transition from his show to fellow CNN anchor Don Lemon's that people should be incentivized with added benefits to get vaccinated, comparing it to paying kids to get better grades in school.
Cuomo and Lemon began the conversation by discussing why people should be willing to take the vaccine, with Lemon expressing the need to take it regardless of relaxed mask recommendations from the CDC.
GUTFELD CALLS OUT CHRIS CUOMO AS CNN DOUBLES DOWN ON REMARKS ON POLICE KILLING WHITE KIDS
Cuomo stated that the idea people would go out and get the vaccine because it was the right thing to do wasn't the reality, and that people would try to take the easiest route because they were tired of dealing with the pandemic.
"The trick is how do you make them realize that doing it is worth it, beyond information and personal satisfaction of prophylaxis," Cuomo said, to which Lemon asked, "Do you pay them?"
"I'm fine with it. I'm fine with incentives," Cuomo responded, before saying he believed the same for kids getting good grades in school, because if they didn't get good grades, then he would have to pay for a tutor anyway.
CHRIS CUOMO SAYS THERE WON'T BE POLICE REFORM UNTIL 'WHITE PEOPLE'S KIDS START GETTING KILLED'
"I think you and I, we call for a table ... We're both vaccinated. I think we should get a preference. I'm fine with it," he concluded.
Lemon responded by saying there were many things that the two men disagreed on, but this wasn't one of them.
Cuomo's suggestion for preferences for those vaccinated stood in contrast to how he handled rules concerning the coronavirus in April 2020 after he became infected himself. He was accused then of setting up a fake "reemergence" from the basement of his Long Island home, where he had been supposedly quarantining from his family for several weeks.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
After playing the video on his show of himself leaving the basement, it was reported that prior to filming the video, he allegedly got into an altercation with a cyclist who spotted him outside with his wife and children breaking quarantine measures put in place by his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
VIDEO - Dr. Fauci on People Not Getting Vaccinated, Conspiracies & Misinformation and Last Talk with Trump - YouTube
Thu, 06 May 2021 00:38
VIDEO - Coloradans Worry About Mental Health Effects Of Some Pot Products : NPR
Wed, 05 May 2021 17:39
Coloradans Worry About Mental Health Effects Of Some Pot Products Reports of psychosis associated with new cannabis concentrates have half a dozen states proposing new regulations They're also proposing more taxes to fund research about the unknowns in concentrates.
From
Coloradans Worry About Mental Health Effects Of Some Pot Products Download Embed <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/993754376/993754377" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Reports of psychosis associated with new cannabis concentrates have half a dozen states proposing new regulations They're also proposing more taxes to fund research about the unknowns in concentrates.
VIDEO - (126) Born in 96 Computer Story - Facebook supports updated internet regulations - YouTube
Wed, 05 May 2021 16:45
VIDEO - (126) Caitlyn For California - YouTube
Wed, 05 May 2021 16:23
VIDEO - Why The Bidens Look Much Larger Than The Carters In This Photo | The 11th Hour | MSNBC - YouTube
Wed, 05 May 2021 16:13
VIDEO - (126) The Real: What's Up Doc? Covid-19 Vaccines Edition with Pfizer's CPO, Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron - YouTube
Wed, 05 May 2021 16:11
VIDEO - Austin City Council members want to take another look at temporary camp sites on city land for homeless | KXAN Austin
Wed, 05 May 2021 10:45
Billy Gates and John Engel
19 hours ago
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- Austin City Council member Kathie Tovo and others are sponsoring a resolution to look into putting temporary campsites on city-owned land for people experiencing homelessness.
On the council's message board, Tovo said in 2019 the council previously asked the city manager to find areas in Austin where people experiencing homelessness could safely camp, but the City Manager declined.
That same year, a report from the U.S Dept. of Housing and Urban Development cautioned communities from using sanctioned encampments because ''limited evidence suggests that sanctioned encampments help to reduce homelessness.''
Tovo said the city's ''reality and our resources'' have changed since then, and she feels now is the time to lay the groundwork, and do it quickly.
''We have a lot to learn about whether this will be a good strategy for Austin and, if so, how we can do it well,'' she wrote on the message board. ''We can't afford to delay what could be an important component of our homelessness response system.''
The resolution reaffirms the city ''create temporary designated campsites with services such as security, lighting, restrooms, and storage,'' Tovo said. It also directs the City Manager to research best practices used by other municipalities across the country, look at where to put the campsites on land available to the city and figure out how much they cost.
Tovo said this could ''ultimately be an effective strategy to provide safer spaces for our neighbors experiencing homelessness,'' and pointed to her background of being the chairperson for the ECHO Membership Council and longtime advocacy for the homeless community.
The resolution will be discussed at Thursday's council meeting. Along with Tovo, council members Alison Alter, Ann Kitchen, Sabino Renteria and Mayor Steve Adler sponsor the resolution.
''Temporary, designated camping spaces are one way we can help mitigate the persistent safety risks for our unsheltered neighbors,'' Tovo said. ''This solution is not perfect '-- the ideal solution is more low-barrier and permanent supportive housing. I look forward to the discussion '... on the dais on Thursday.''
Housing and Planning Committee move another housing plan aheadA plan that emerged from a homelessness summit in April moved through the city's Housing and Planning Committee on Monday and will be considered by the council at its May 20 meeting.
The plan's goal is to house 3,000 people experiencing homelessness in the next three years. KXAN's John Engel reported in order to house 3,000 people in three years, 2,300 rental units would be secured by offering incentives to landlords while another 1,000 units of permanent supportive housing would be developed.
There's a funding gap of about $300 million, and it's unclear how the slices of the pie would be divided between local governments and private partners. Austin City Council member Greg Casar hopes Austin and Travis County leaders officially make their commitments this summer.
''This plan, which would need support really from the city, the county, our philanthropic community, the private sector, nonprofits, everyone would have to come together if we want to execute such an ambitious plan,'' Casar told KXAN.
ATX Helps pivots from sprung shelter planWhat started in 2019 as a plan to build ''sprung shelters'' to help house people experiencing homelessness by an Austin nonprofit is changing course.
Officials with ATX Helps started raising money in order to put the shelters up that could hold up to 300 people, but now their plan no longer includes them.
Instead, they are helping fund the homelessness plan just passed through the Housing and Planning Committee and are looking into funding micro-shelters and tiny homes, potentially.
VIDEO - CNN's Brian Stelter complains that 'free speech advocates' on Facebook board may allow Trump back on platform | Fox News
Wed, 05 May 2021 10:37
Published May 04, 2021
Last Update 6 hrs ago
The CNN host has become pro-censorship of outlets that don't promote the Democrat agendaCNN's left-wing media guru Brian Stelter seemed upset about the possibility that "First Amendment absolutists" at Facebook could allow former President Trump back on the platform.
Following the Capitol Hill riots on Jan. 6, Trump was banned from all major social media platforms, including Facebook, as his critics accused him of inciting violence.
However, an oversight board at the Mark Zuckerberg company is set to announce this week whether or not the former president will be able to return to its platform.
CNN'S BRIAN STELTER PRAISES BIDEN FOR 'COURSE-CORRECTING' ON FALSE CLAIMS THAT ARE FACT-CHECKED BY JOURNOS
During a panel discussion on Tuesday, CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota expressed her disapproval of the possibility of Trump's return to social media.
"President Trump's lies led to a bloody, deadly insurrection! Why would they ever let him back on to peddle more of the crap?" Camerota asked.
"There are a lot of members of this board that are free speech advocates, First Amendment absolutists in some cases that are going to make an argument that these platforms should not be in a position of making these choices at all," Stelter responded. "If Trump is brought back on Facebook, it will likely be for those reasons.
Stelter, who was previously known as the media's "hall monitor" and an outspoken defender of the free press during the Trump presidency, has become pro-censorship in recent months pressuring cable companies to de-platform any media outlet that doesn't blindly promote the Democrat agenda and often remains silent when other news organizations are censored by Big Tech.
Meanwhile, Trump himself launched a communications platform on Tuesday, which will serve as "a place to speak freely and safely," and will eventually give him the ability to communicate directly with his followers.
The platform, "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump," appears on www.DonaldJTrump.com/desk.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The space allows Trump to post comments, images, and videos.
"In a time of silence and lies," a video Trump posted to the platform Tuesday night says. The video then plays news reports describing his suspension from Twitter.
"A beacon of freedom arises. A place to speak freely and safely," the video continues, showing the new platform. "Straight from the desk of Donald J. Trump."
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Your city just got hotter. NOAA announced new climate normals Tuesday - CNN
Wed, 05 May 2021 04:13
By Jackson Dill and Monica Garrett, CNN
Updated 1:07 PM EDT, Tue May 04, 2021
(CNN) The new climate normals released by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday reveal that weather across the US is warming.
The current normals data set, which represent the average temperature, precipitation and rainfall for 1991 through 2020, highlight that most of the country has warmed compared to normals for 1981 through 2010, except for the north-central US. The West is becoming drier and the East is turning wetter.
NOAA releases the climate normals every 10 years and they reflect data from the past 30 years.
Fairbanks, Alaska, typically viewed as a cold location compared to the rest of the country, is now categorized as a warm summer continental climate in the K¶ppen climate classification.
The average temperature for May in Fairbanks rose to over 50 degrees, which triggered the reclassification from the sub-Arctic climate.
"The Arctic is among the fastest warming regions in the world and is heating at twice the global average," according to the World Meteorological Organization.
In a warm summer continental climate, four months must average a temperature of at least 50 degrees, all months must average below 71.6 degrees and the coldest month has an average temperature below freezing.
In the Northeast, a heatwave is often recognized as high temperatures measuring at least 90 degrees for three or more consecutive days.
Washington, DC, now averages 22 days of 90 degrees in a row. In the previous normals from the 1981-2010 data set, DC's high temperature peaked at 89 degrees for 16 days but never averaged at 90 degrees.
SEE HOW THE CLIMATE HAS CHANGED IN YOUR CITY HERE >>>
Other Northeast cities are also heating up. New York City and Boston's average high temperature in the summer have slightly risen, and the short-term, 15-year average is even greater than the baseline, 30-year average.
The window of three decades of observations is considered long enough to offset any variations you would expect from one year to the next. However, with so many weather extremes in recent years, enhanced by human-caused climate change, the short-term average was added for the first time to represent a period closer to today.
Annual U.S. temperature compared to the 20th-century average for each U.S. Climate Normals period from 1901-1930 (upper left) to 1991-2020 (lower right). Places where the normal annual temperature was 1.25 degrees or more colder than the 20th-century average are darkest blue; places where normal annual temperature was 1.25 degrees or more warmer than the 20th-century average are darkest red. Maps by NOAA Climate.gov, based on analysis by Jared Rennie, North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies/NCEI.
Despite the rising temperatures in New York City, the average snowfall increased by nearly half a foot. Annual precipitation in New York has also increased overall.
In Atlanta, the city averages 20 more 90+ degree highs in the summer, using the 15-year average compared to the new baseline average.
One city with a larger change in annual temperatures is Chicago. The temperature rose by more than 1 degree with the new average.
Salt Lake City's average temperature has also risen dramatically -- by 1 degree, and the 15-year average shows an even warmer average temperature to reflect more recent weather.
In a city like Los Angeles, the average high temperature has actually cooled while lows have slightly warmed, decreasing the daily temperature variation. These warmer nights can make periods of hotter weather more dangerous because your body can't cool as efficiently.
Most notably in Los Angeles is the decrease in precipitation. In the winter, which is typically the wet time of the year for Southern California, the city actually had a slight increase in precipitation from 1991 to 2020 compared to 1981 to 2010, but the short-term average is more than 2 inches less than the new average. This shows how in more recent times, rainfall has decreased in the city.
This is seen across other parts of the West, including in San Francisco and Phoenix. The drier and generally warmer weather is fueling longer wildfire seasons.
CNN's Judson Jones and Brandon Miller contributed to this report
VIDEO - Mehdi Hasan on Twitter: "Fauci: "I'm really quite agnostic [on Covid patent waivers]." Me: "How can you be agnostic, you're the chief medical adviser [to the President]?" Watch my exchange with Dr Anthony Fauci on whether the U.S. should vote to w
Wed, 05 May 2021 04:11
Mehdi Hasan : Fauci: "I'm really quite agnostic [on Covid patent waivers]."Me: "How can you be agnostic, you're the chief medica'... https://t.co/3SyUSbEOzD
Wed May 05 00:20:52 +0000 2021
Chandan Kumar : @mehdirhasan Why can't both the things can happen in parallel?! Waive patents for vaccine and transfer technology w'... https://t.co/QMtHZgbbGl
Wed May 05 04:07:18 +0000 2021
VIDEO - BREAKING: Michigan lawsuit claims to have 'cracked' Dominion election code |
Wed, 05 May 2021 02:48
Breaking NewsMay 4, 2021
Last month, Michigan constitutional attorney Matthew DePerno released his much anticipated Michigan Elections Forensics Report.
In the report, expert witnes Dr. Douglas Frank concluded that in nine Michigan counties, including counties in the Detroit metro, over 66,000 ballots were recorded that are not associated with a registered voter from the October 2020 database. Frank also asserted that voter registration was either near or exceeded the population of those counties. Dr. Frank concluded that an algorithm based on census and registration data shifted votes in Michigan.
Today, DePerno released another expert exhibit, which claims to have cracked the Dominion code. In court filings, DePerno alleges his expert, Jeff Lenberg, conducted tests that ''replicate the vote tally errors'' seen in Antrim county. DePerno asserts these errors run counter to the ''human error'' narrative.
1. We can flip votes from top of the ticket to the bottom. We can flip only selected races. We can flip all. We can flip just a few precincts in a county and shave 5% from one candidate. Want a constitutional amendment to pass or fail?
'-- Matthew S. DePerno, Esq. (@mdeperno) May 4, 2021Specifically, the court filings show DePerno's expert conducted a test by running ballots into the tabulator at the precinct/township level. The suit alleges the ''tally tape'' shows Joe Biden receiving more votes than ballots that were actually cast for him. This occurred because the election system's security protocols can be easily and quickly bypassed, the suit claims.
The suit further alleges that because a manipulated vote count can be transferred to the election management system, a ''flip'' in the count would never be caught by canvassers. ''There will be no reason to doubt the election results because the number of votes on the printed tape will match the numbers in the poll pad,'' the suit says.
Has this data been filed with the court? If so could you provide a link to the relevant exhibit, please?
'-- Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen_Poll) May 4, 2021The court filings further allege in Antrim County, Michigan, 9 out of 16 precincts were flipped from the indepedant candidate Jo Jorgenson to Trump, then flipped again to Biden.
Read the court latest filings here.
Click here to see a video explaining the expert's test results.
Categories: Breaking News, Election, Politics
VIDEO - Digital Dollar Project Plans First 5 Pilot Projects for US CBDC - CoinDesk
Tue, 04 May 2021 19:49
Former CFTC Boss' Digital Dollar Project Ready to Kick Off First US CBDC TestsThe U.S.-based Digital Dollar Project is kicking off a handful of pilot projects to test how a Federal Reserve-issued central bank digital currency (CBDC) may operate.
The organization, which is led by former U.S. regulators and executives from the consulting firm Accenture, announced its intention to launch within the next year its first five pilot projects to evaluate different aspects of a digital dollar.
A digital dollar '' a central bank-issued, tokenized form of the U.S. currency '' could help improve financial access for the unbanked and make it easier to disburse government aid, proponents argue. Opponents say existing technologies may be better suited for those tasks. A number of countries are already experimenting with the concept, with China's digital yuan perhaps the most advanced so far.
The Digital Dollar Foundation was formed last year by Accenture, former U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, former LabCFTC director Daniel Gorfine and investor Charles Giancarlo to design and advocate for the digital dollar. It's a private effort separate from the Federal Reserve's own research into a CBDC, though the two groups have been in contact, said David Treat, one of the directors of the project.
The five pilot projects will evaluate whether and how a digital dollar would benefit individuals who are unbanked or underbanked, individuals who do have access to banking services and small businesses.
''What we're announcing is a funding structure, a process structure and a framework for how the Digital Dollar Project is going to form a testing ground for these (efforts),'' Treat said.
Treat, who is a senior managing director at Accenture, said that the projects would receive support from Accenture, but would also be self-funded. He declined to share any specific details about the projects.
He did say, however, that they are designed to be ''as close '... as we can get'' to a real-world application.
''Of course, until it's something that is minted and issued by the Federal Reserve, it won't be a central bank digital currency, but the advantage we have is it's the same underlying structure,'' Treat said. ''We can use a stablecoin structure to directly demonstrate how a CBDC would perform, and the only difference is who the issuer is.''
Treat said he expects results to come in fairly quickly.
''Some of them we'll be able to get results fairly quickly, measured in months, not quarters, and we'll extend well into 2022,'' Treat said. ''As individual pilots are completed, we're going to share those results.''
UPDATE (May 3, 2021, 12:15 UTC): Updated to clarify that the Digital Dollar Project is a private enterprise.
VIDEO - Pfizer reports earnings beat for first quarter, raises 2021 guidance
Tue, 04 May 2021 14:54
CNBC Duration: 01:31 4 hrs ago
CNBC's Meg Tirrell breaks down Pfizer's earnings results for the first quarter. The company beat Wall Street analysts' expectations on both the top and bottom lines and raised its full-year guidance.
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Tue, 04 May 2021 14:09
VIDEO - Jake Lobin on Twitter: "OMGGGG 🭠Joy Reid just OBLITERATED Tucker Carlson to the point that she's about to claim him on her taxes ðŸ‚🂠Watch this. All of this. https://t.co/Zrh9EpvVgf" / Twitter
Tue, 04 May 2021 12:41
Jake Lobin : OMGGGG ðŸ­Joy Reid just OBLITERATED Tucker Carlson to the point that she's about to claim him on her taxes ðŸ‚ðŸ‚Watc'... https://t.co/VqYdLv5Qi7
Tue May 04 01:04:25 +0000 2021
donja : @JakeLobin Joy Reid ....just saying https://t.co/jTeucf7y3S
Tue May 04 12:41:10 +0000 2021
SmallTownGirl ~ 🇱🇷 : @JakeLobin They must've had @TuckerCarlson in mind when they named these. https://t.co/wGboCVRQ8o
Tue May 04 12:39:48 +0000 2021
magdiel... Ramos : @JakeLobin You tell him girl.
Tue May 04 12:38:07 +0000 2021
Christine Condon : @JakeLobin That was epic!
Tue May 04 12:36:41 +0000 2021
Terra Cotta : @JakeLobin This is how you defeat Nazis. Blast them with the truth. Not quietly tiptoe away shaking your head.
Tue May 04 12:35:59 +0000 2021
Madeline : @JakeLobin Joy Reid for President!
Tue May 04 12:35:50 +0000 2021
Godmother👑Glamma : @JakeLobin Sis ain't playing!
Tue May 04 12:35:49 +0000 2021
Marie Robinson : @JakeLobin https://t.co/vCzKxfX1Vz
Tue May 04 12:35:48 +0000 2021
Lucatiel : @JakeLobin I knew it was a wrap as soon as she called him Tuckems that first time ðŸ­
Tue May 04 12:35:14 +0000 2021
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Tue May 04 12:35:04 +0000 2021
princess. : @JakeLobin Jesus 🥴ðŸ­
Tue May 04 12:34:42 +0000 2021
Tig and Caicos : @JakeLobin ''Tuckems'' bahahahahahaha
Tue May 04 12:34:31 +0000 2021
Patricia Parker : @JakeLobin Whoa! You go girl! 👏ðŸ>>
Tue May 04 12:34:27 +0000 2021
Tiger : @JakeLobin Yeah she did ðŸ'–
Tue May 04 12:34:16 +0000 2021
KT : @JakeLobin ðŸ‚
Tue May 04 12:33:57 +0000 2021
SailboatSeance'›µ¸ðŸ--® : @JakeLobin https://t.co/IIbdkjBzjS
Tue May 04 12:33:16 +0000 2021
Annie : @JakeLobin ''Tuckums'' ðŸ†ðŸ†ðŸ¤£ðŸ¤£ðŸ¤£ðŸ¤£
Tue May 04 12:33:15 +0000 2021
Kennedy : @JakeLobin She doesn't watch a lot of Fox News, yet... all she does is talk about them? Seems legit.
Tue May 04 12:32:02 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Black Woman Unloads on Virtue-Signaling Alyssa Milano in Viral Video: 'You Are Everything You Preach Against'
Tue, 04 May 2021 12:31
Commentary It's a blast that should wake the woke.
TikTok user Savannah Edwards, who goes by ThisisSavvy on her social media account, proved how well that handle applies on Saturday with a diatribe against Hollywood hypocrite Alyssa Milano and every other liberal who patronizes the black population of the country with infantilizing insults.
And she slammed the message home with one sentence: ''You are everything you preach against.''
Check out the video here. It's only about a minute long, but it's worth every second.
@thisissavvy##stitch with @alyssa_milano'¬ Window '' The Album LeafIt begins with a clip from Milano, apparently in the middle of a recent episode of her ''Sorry Not Sorry'' podcast, getting ready to lay a guilt trip on her audience about the portrayal of black criminals on the television news.
''For those of us who are not black men, imagine watching the news and seeing people '...''
Edwards had clearly heard enough, cutting off Milano's words and launching into her own.
Will liberals like Milano listen to this message?
Yes: 2% (3 Votes)
No: 98% (172 Votes)
''Imagine being a black man and being told by some white lady with a microphone that you and the criminal on TV are one and the same because you look alike,'' she said.
''Imagine being told by society that white people can be all that they can be but you as a black man, the content of your character is completely irrelevant. You are the color of your skin and that is all you will ever be.
''Imagine being told you can't figure out how to vote because of the color of your skin.
''Socioeconomics affects everyone, but apparently you're not as smart as the poorest white person.''
Of course, liberals will never admit that that's the message they're sending to the country's black population. But it's exactly what any sane person would derive from progressive policies and attitudes that see skin color as more important than behavior.
''Lady, I don't want to hate you,'' Edwards said, addressing Milano. ''I'm a '90s kid. I grew up with you. So I know you're very talented. I understand your heart is in the right place. But you are everything you preach against.''
That last line is what liberals will never understand. Their constant public, preening sympathies for criminals who happen to be black apparently leave little room to care for crime victims who also happen to be black.
Their virtue-signaling smugness about voter integrity laws conveys the implicit idea that the population they're claiming to protect is too immature and ignorant to achieve the most basic level of responsibility in modern society, such as, say, obtaining identification to vote.
Their distortion of the role of American police officers '-- presenting law enforcement as a threat to life and property rather than the protection of them '-- actually increases the dangers faced by those who aren't fortunate enough to live in leafy suburban enclaves or behind the walls of estates guarded by private security.
''Statistically speaking, I am more likely to be shot and killed by my black elderly neighbor across the street than the cop who patrols my neighborhood,'' Edwards said.
''Statistically speaking, homicide by cop is very rare, but people like you find power in fear so you keep it front-page news.''
Even in the modern liberal morass of social media, the video drew a tsunami of support:
These white liberals with their white savior capes are so patronizing it's nauseating uuugh! Makes me sick.
'-- Melissa Tate (@TheRightMelissa) May 2, 2021
Savvy is awesomehttps://t.co/HpROSl3LrU
'-- Ruthven78 (@ruthven78) May 2, 2021
Even if @Alyssa_Milano never sees this video, she must have surely felt the sting of that slap no matter where in the world she is.
'-- Nick Fury's Cat (@NickFurysCat1) May 2, 2021
Who is this woman? Simply saying what these far-leftits say is so effective! It's absurd what some people say or assume about black people.
'-- Matt Cruz (@Mattheu76981245) May 2, 2021
That last tweet sums it up. ''Simply saying what these far-leftists say is so effective!''
Of course, liberals use different language when they blame high crime on cops or when they complain that voting laws like Georgia's are ''racist.''
But the message is the same.
In an honest society, of course, progressives and their Orwellian use of language would be the topic of skewering sarcasm from late-night comedians. Instead, the comics come to liberalism's defense.
In an honest society, the mainstream media would be the forum for a discussion of just how devastating liberal policies have been on black Americans going back to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society program (the one the current president is trying to emulate). Instead, Americans are fed pablum and propaganda.
In an honest society, schools would be aimed at educating young people to see life as it must be lived, rather than the version propagated by the leftists who call themselves ''woke'' but are actually living in a dreamworld of campus dorm delusions.
But fortunately, in a still-free society, reality has a way of breaking loose.
The Edwards video on Saturday was just one of those instances.
''You don't have to be a white supremacist,'' she said, addressing Milano and her fellow groupthinkers. ''You can be better.''
And it was a blast that could even wake the woke.
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Viral VideoSummaryMore Biographical Information Recent Posts ContactJoe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.
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VIDEO - Doctor creates ImmunaBand to digitally access and show coronavirus vaccination
Tue, 04 May 2021 12:14
Doctor creates ImmunaBand to digitally access and show coronavirus vaccinationImmunaband is a new&nbsp;ID bracelet with a QR code that shows you are vaccinated.
PHILADELPHIA - Face masks aren't the only accessory brought into our lives by the pandemic. Now, there is a bracelet that lets you access your vaccination information digitally.
As Central American specialties sizzle on the grill at a Reading Terminal restaurant you may notice the employees are wearing a blue bracelet.
"No, I didn't notice. I thought it was a fashion statement," diner Mike Schramm said.
It's a new ID bracelet with a QR code that proves you are vaccinated. It's something that was important to restaurant owner of El Merkury Sophia Deleon.
"We partnered with Immunaband to upload our vaccine cards that lets customers know we were all vaccinated," Deleon explained.
Immunaband is a wearable ID for anyone who wants it. Dr. Tashof Bernton developed the product with the help of his son, a Wharton school grad, and made the connection to El Merkury.
"As we come back together as a society, it's nice to have to have a way to tell each other I'm safe and I've been vaccinated," Bernton said. "You get the Immunaband, you upload your card, and it's with you all the time if you want it. You just use the QR code."
Everything is password protected.
For more information, please click here.
RELATED: CDC: Fully vaccinated Americans can do some outdoor activities without mask
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VIDEO - The CIA's woke recruitment video gets panned | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 04 May 2021 12:13
The CIA's woke recruitment video gets panned: Don Jnr leads ridicule as recruit describes herself as 'intersectional cisgender millennial' diagnosed with 'generalized anxiety disorder'The CIA officer, who is not named, 36, tells viewers she is 'unapologetically me'The clip has sparked a fierce reaction online with users labelling it 'woke' Donald Trump Jr. shared the clip and tweeted: 'China and Russia will love this'One former CIA officer tweeted: 'The CIA used to be about mission to country. America is less safe with this new CIA, and dangerously more political'Another Twitter user compared it to a Saturday Night Live skitBy Dailymail.com Reporter
Published: 12:26 EDT, 3 May 2021 | Updated: 14:52 EDT, 3 May 2021
A new CIA recruitment video has been widely ridiculed online after the recruit described herself as an 'intersectional cisgender millennial'.
The unnamed CIA officer, 36, tells viewers she is 'unapologetically me', adding that she to suffer from 'imposter syndrome' but now refuses to 'internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be.'
But the clip has sparked a fierce reaction online with users labelling it 'woke'. Another said: 'The world is laughing at us.'
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: 'China and Russia will love this.'
Former CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright, tweeted: 'The CIA used to be about mission to country. (I speak from experience).
'Now it's now about demanding '-- and getting '-- accommodation to fix an emotional wound or advance a personal agenda. America is less safe with this new CIA, and dangerously more political.'
Another Twitter user compared it to a Saturday Night Live skit.
Glenn Greenwald, part of a team that won a Pulitzer for reports about government surveillance programs based on leaks by Edward Snowden, tweeted: 'Lots of people who pay no attention to the CIA and the security state seem to think this CIA video is the first time they've promoted, endorsed and embraced woke ideology.
'They've been doing it for years. I wrote about back in 2015.'
The clip was shared to Twitter on April 28 in a post which read: 'I am unapologetically me. I want you to be unapologetically you, whoever you are.
'Whether you work at #CIA, or anywhere else in the world. Command your space. Mija, you are worth it.'
The CIA officer tells viewers she is 'unapologetically me', adding that she to suffer from 'imposter syndrome' but now refuses to 'internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be'
The clip was shared to Twitter on April 28 in a post which read: 'I am unapologetically me. I want you to be unapologetically you, whoever you are'
But the clip has sparked a fierce reaction online with users labelling it 'woke'. Another said: 'The world is laughing at us.' Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: 'China and Russia will love this'
The agent tells viewers: 'I am intersectional, but my existence is not a box-checking exercise. I am a walking declaration, a woman whose inflection does not rise at the end of her sentences, suggesting that a question has been asked.'
The clip does not detail the qualifications needed to work at the CIA or what the role entails.
She adds: 'I am a woman of color. I am a mom. I am a cisgender Millennial who has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.'
In the TV show Homeland agent Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes, attempts to keep her bipolar disorder hidden from the CIA over fears of losing her security clearance.
One Twitter user commented: 'I hope the CIA actually is hiring fail brain millennials with debilitating anxiety like in the ad. that would be hilarious.
'Sam Fisher getting captured and tortured because the analyst working on his mission is hyperventilating due to being quote tweeted.'
Matt Taibbi added: 'The really telling thing about this video os that it speaks to the CIA's assessment of who would be interested in working for them. Clearly, they think they have appeal to woke millenials - and they're probably right.'
Commentator Liz Wheeler said: 'Watch this insane CIA recruitment video & tell me the CIA isn't a woke swamp creature... capable & willing to weaponize their power to target their political opponents: conservatives.'
The clip begins with the agent - shot in slow motion - walking towards the camera talking about being a 17-year-old student.
She says: 'I can change a diaper in one hand and console a crying toddler with the other.
'I earned my way in and I earned my way up the ranks.
'I am tired of feeling like I am supposed to apologize for the space I occupy.'
Journalist Rania Khaled said: 'I remember warning about this danger like 7 years ago and getting smeared for it by tumblr types.'
Michael Treacy added: 'I don't know if the CIA invented/funded/disseminated Woke Ideology but let's just say it would make perfect sense.'
Assistant professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Asheesh Kapur Siddique said: 'Looking forward to @cia's next video, which will explain how 'enhanced interrogation' is actually super woke.'
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Tue, 04 May 2021 12:07
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Tue, 04 May 2021 11:54
VIDEO - Austin's homeless residents fear what's next once camping ban takes effect | KXAN Austin
Tue, 04 May 2021 11:29
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- While a controversial ban on public camping motivated Austin voters to get to the polls '-- and passed Saturday with nearly 58% of the vote '-- by Monday, many of Austin's homeless still seemed unaware that the proposition existed, let alone passed.
Dozens of tents remain set up downtown beneath the I-35 overpass at 6th and 7th streets.
Abigail Wilson is among those who just found out about the Prop B ban. She said she had no interest in going to a shelter, and instead would seek refuge in a more isolated spot.
''I like to live off the grid. And living outside and in a tent,'' she said. ''And living like I want to.''
Rebecca Shivers said she came here from Missouri and was surprised to find there weren't more homeless resources in a state as wealthy as Texas.
''Texas has got all this money, they should not be out here like this,'' she said. ''They got all them apartments coming to them, they need to give us all one.''
Speaking outside his tent, Gared Goff was aware of the new law. He admitted he's worried, unsure of where he'll go.
''The fear of the unknown, that's where we're at now with everybody,'' he said. ''Everybody can put on a fa§ade, but in the end where are we going to go? We've got a lot of women out here, kids, what are they going to do?''
Teri Klima poked her head out of her tent to express frustration with the new law, which she also already knew about. She also is without a plan for shelter.
''I don't know what I would do,'' Klima said. ''I have to go live out in the streets. Can't take your tent or nothing, you know. I just pray to God that it works out.''
Latasha Price said she's struggled to secure a spot in a shelter '-- and only recently secured a spot at the Salvation Army. Proposition B and its passage was news to her. Now she's worried about her friends still living on the streets.
''They don't have no openings for the people at the Salvation Army, so it's women that's out here that's getting raped and stuff at night,'' she said. ''So this is really like needed for the people that don't have nowhere to go.''
The 2020 count of Austin's homeless population showed 2,506 people experiencing homelessness, with 932 living unsheltered.
That represents an 11% increase in overall homelessness over 2019 and a 45% increase in unsheltered homelessness.The 2021 homeless count did not happen in person because of the pandemic.
VIDEO - John Legend & Walgreens | The Impact of COVID-19 on Black and Brown communities - YouTube
Tue, 04 May 2021 02:38
VIDEO - Breaking911 on Twitter: "NY Gov. Cuomo to people who choose not to be vaccinated against COVID: ''Maybe you go home and kiss your grandmother and wind-up killing your grandmother." https://t.co/krM5XtGKRe" / Twitter
Mon, 03 May 2021 22:15
Breaking911 : NY Gov. Cuomo to people who choose not to be vaccinated against COVID: ''Maybe you go home and kiss your grandmoth'... https://t.co/inQDiklpu6
Mon May 03 18:56:43 +0000 2021
Jeff Hogancamp : @Breaking911 Maybe they can't go home and kiss grandma because you already killed her..
Mon May 03 22:13:12 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Charlotte''¤¸ðŸŒ¸ on Twitter: "''Klaus Schwab, Founder and President of the World Economic Forum in Davos (2016): "We will have a chip implanted under the skin or in the brain within 10 years." To avoid losing or having your health pass stolen,
Mon, 03 May 2021 12:54
Charlotte''¤¸ðŸŒ¸ : ''Klaus Schwab, Founder and President of the World Economic Forum in Davos (2016): "We will have a chip implanted un'... https://t.co/tJFI09lYaN
Sun May 02 12:07:43 +0000 2021
Craig Cassells : @CharlieEmmaUK These people need locking up
Mon May 03 12:52:37 +0000 2021
Keen Eddie : @CharlieEmmaUK Im not sure I know anyone who has lost their health records.
Mon May 03 12:22:00 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Covid Vaccines: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) - YouTube
Mon, 03 May 2021 11:13

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All Clips

USA not meeting its fertility goals.mp3
Vaxxed doc -1- Colleen Boyle CDC Dir - Bill Posey FLA on MMR studies with unvaxxed children.mp3
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UK sends navy patrol boats to Jersey in Brexit fishing row with France - BBC News.mp3
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ABC America This Morning - anchor Mona Kosar Abdi - 11th Madison Park going meatless (32sec).mp3
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Europe reopening to vaccinated people only.mp3
Sonny Hostin The View unvaxed to have no liberty.mp3
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Brian Williams commenting on Michael Steele - He's got a podcast now.wav
Charles Hoffman Two.mp3
Cicadas 2 CBS.mp3
Cicadas X 3 CBS Zoo.mp3
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crystal ball slamming Gates One.mp3
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Jessica Mason Blue America fav One.mp3
Jessica Mason Blue America fav Two.mp3
melber Chai trump blogger MSNBC.mp3
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PMQT cash for curtains 3.mp3
PMQT cash for curtains ONE.mp3
PMQT cash for curtains two.mp3
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Trans kids sports one TWO.mp3
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White men are bac DN.mp3
Brian tatum redux.mp3
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Charles Hoffman 3.mp3
Charles Hoffman 4.mp3
Charles Hoffman One.mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Kenneth Moton - FL suspends covid restrictions - DC mayor bans dancing (13sec).mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Mona Kosar Abdi - end to snow days for schools in NYC - remote learning expected (14sec).mp3
CBS Face the Nation - anchor John Dickerson - Dr. Scott Gottlieb (1) weekly update -San Franciscos numbers -locking in these gains (1min3sec).mp3
CBS Face the Nation - anchor John Dickerson - Dr. Scott Gottlieb (2) virus blooming -not just in one market -convergent evolution (53sec).mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Tom Costello - FAA reports increase in unruly passengers - $35000 fine and lifetime ban (1min2sec).mp3
A third of Basecamp's workforce quits after CEO bans political talk at work.mp3
Virtue Signaling Pandora Jewelry will only sell fake diamonds now. GenZ loves it. GemZ.mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Faith Abubey - Amazon pay with the palm of your hand (21sec).mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Faith Abubey - consumer reports was able to trick a tesla to drive without anyone in the drivers seat (59sec).mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Kenneth Moton - out of control chinese rockets falling to earth - large metal rods (58sec).mp3
Tucker UFO Pentagon 'whistleblower' bullcrap.mp3
Ivermectin use allowed after court fight in Illinois now that patient is nearly dead.mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Faith Abubey - incentives to vaccinate - chance to win a car - free beer (16sec).mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Ike Ejiochi - vaccine demand down - micro targeting - surplus in TX (36sec).mp3
biden vaccines dot gum.mp3
Cuomo Kiss and Kill Grannie.mp3
Dr. Fauci tells Wolf Blitzer that we are at the bottom of the 6th inning BROLF.mp3
Dr. Leana Wen on CNN -1- lies again about herd immunity.mp3
Dr. Leana Wen on CNN -2- How to reach those who are hesitant.mp3
Gov Inslee of Washington - Not your Grandma's covid it's covid 2.0
John Legend & Walgreens for black community.mp3
John Oliver on vaccine hesitancy.mp3
Missy Modell -Trust Fauci - TikTok.mp3
NPR - Giving 2 Doses Of Different COVID-19 Vaccines Could Boost Immune Response.mp3
Obama vaccine PSA.mp3
The REAL sponsored by pfizer vlog - What's Up Doc.mp3
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  • 0:00
    John: Tell you what, I'm gonna go do that by gum.
  • 0:02
    Adam: Adam Curry Jhansi devorah amazings 2021 This is your award winning gitmo-nation Media assassination Episode 1344
  • 0:11
    Unknown: This is no agenda
  • 0:14
    Adam: still hesitant and broadcasting live from opportunity zone 33 here in the frontier of Austin, Texas capital of the drone Star State. Morning everybody.
  • 0:23
    John: I'm Adam Curry from Northern Silicon Valley where it's cold and dreary. Not quite dark yet. I'm John Dvorak buzzkill
  • 0:33
    Unknown: we
  • 0:35
    Adam: did give you guys the stick a couple shows. shows ago is it raining or is it just cold and dreary is foggy? Did you got the rain you needed though? Did
  • 0:43
    John: you not plug in and windy
  • 0:46
    Adam: which is the worst the California got got what they needed the rain
  • 0:49
    John: know what took more than a half shake. But then it was reckoned to have it
  • 0:54
    Adam: written on the back end of the stick who just killed Texas man we had the hail size six inches hail
  • 1:04
    John: Yeah, but that's pretty fluffy hail is this is not a solid rock eyes.
  • 1:10
    Adam: Okay, I did not test it out. So
  • 1:13
    John: check it if it was a solid six inch blocker. I mean, there have been big vise softball size two three inch solid blocks of ice and those are the ones that dent the cars right
  • 1:23
    Adam: Right. Well there was a lot of damage a lot of damage and
  • 1:26
    John: maybe there's maybe some bass in there. It doesn't take much but reminding me of my like my IKEA lamp. Which is which I really it's just plastic on this outside this lamp is so cheesy. That is it's crumbling is literally crumbling like a like a dried up. Icing on a cake. It's what it's like exactly what it's like you can grab it and pull off little pieces and crunch it in your fingers and make a powder. Wow. Okay,
  • 1:58
    Adam: if plastic is this is it's made in China.
  • 2:04
    John: They can't eat before we start I did the morning check of the three
  • 2:10
    Adam: networks. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, three by three. What is going on? This is an eyewitness report. JOHN, what are you learning?
  • 2:18
    John: Well, first, we got three networks and let's go with one of them. NBC. Do hf flip it on. This is just a quick, quick sampling of what they're doing on those morning shows. NBC is celebrating nurses. Okay.
  • 2:32
    Adam: Well, nurses should always be celebrated.
  • 2:35
    John: So they're celebrating nurses and and they have a QR code on the screen and everything else. And what can you do to celebrate nurses?
  • 2:45
    Adam: I have a lot of ideas. None are show worthy.
  • 2:49
    John: Get a vaccine.
  • 2:50
    Adam: Oh, of course. That's how you celebrate the nurse.
  • 2:54
    John: you celebrate dinners by getting a vaccine and you can click on a QR code and it'll show you where we're all boarding go get a shot right now. Yeah,
  • 3:02
    Adam: nice. All right. This goes right along with what I thought would be in your three by three report today. Okay, celebrating nurses with the backs. Cool.
  • 3:09
    John: Okay, now it gets a little more stranger. So CBS, we slipped the CBS. We've got the teacher of the year on the National Teacher of the Year. Oh, we have a CBS host in the middle National Teacher of the Year on the left. And another famous teacher on the
  • 3:28
    Adam: right. Well, hold on. Teachers also need to be celebrated. I'm a strong proponent of teachers who teach not indoctrinate or propagandize but teach Yes. And who was the other famous? Oh, wait, let me guess. Was it Dr. Joe?
  • 3:44
    John: Yes, it was.
  • 3:50
    Number 12345678 cars Zephyr no nine.
  • 3:55
    Adam: Oh, what's going on? what's what's the final count 10 Ladies and gentlemen, I learnt the Squawk Box over at CNBC we have a 10 cars Zephyr stuff is going out of control Bitcoin 57,135
  • 4:13
    Unknown: Oh my god.
  • 4:17
    hard sell sell sell.
  • 4:21
    John: So anyway, the 10 cars Zephyr that was that's crazy
  • 4:24
    Adam: was it was it sure was an extra locomotive. No,
  • 4:28
    John: there were the two I did where I may have missed one of them locomotion. I just caught it as the wow motors 10 cars. And the last they're all the same type of car. But the last one was like a weird looking thing. I don't know what I mean wasn't like
  • 4:44
    Adam: about that. That's we've never had we ever had a 10 car Zephyr I ever think so?
  • 4:48
    John: No, it was first time in the show's history. By the way that big deal, folks. It is right back to the back to the shows. So Joe Biden's there she's nodding her head and everything is was the woman his teacher of the year national TV. talks with a cry
  • 5:04
    Unknown: students.
  • 5:07
    John: It is so great to be the Teacher of the Year. You got this horrible whining cry where she talks. She's just I can't imagine what the students are like in her classes. She dropped in a new buzz phrase. What's the key to success?
  • 5:21
    Adam: vaccine? vaccine? Well,
  • 5:24
    John: sorry. It should have been. No. The key is and Joe would agree with this that nowadays what you want is for what for your education. You want a joyous and just education?
  • 5:42
    Unknown: Hmm,
  • 5:43
    Adam: joyous and just
  • 5:45
    John: as enjoy and doesn't need to learn how to read or write or do man just have joy because that's racist. You want a joyous and just Okay, so I thought that was interesting. Oh, man, you learn a lot in just a few minutes. Okay, last is.
  • 6:04
    Adam: Can I ask you a question about about the shot? Did Dr. Jill did she look 18 feet tall on the screen?
  • 6:10
    John: Those three heads, three heads three Adam Curry. headbox. Okay. So ABC was I thought you'd be interested in this as well. I saved it for last huh? It's all about real estate. Oh, okay. And a new new trend. The new trend, which by the way, I believe that I believe the ABC report was a ope was a native ad for open door.
  • 6:37
    Adam: Oh, what's open door is that
  • 6:38
    John: yeah, that's what I said.
  • 6:41
    Adam: What's open door
  • 6:43
    John: open door open door are the is the kind of a mock competitor to and they didn't mention that these Zillow and Redfin but
  • 6:52
    Adam: this is a sell it yourself. websites or your home yourself.
  • 6:57
    John: This is for the new eye buyer.
  • 7:01
    Adam: Oh, the eye buyer. Oh god. No, when you're locked in your house, you're afraid to go out and you still want to buy a home and then you buy it online. I guess.
  • 7:11
    John: Everything is online, online online. And they describe open door as online flippers.
  • 7:19
    Adam: Online flippers.
  • 7:22
    John: I don't know what it meant either. But they did point out that that opened it opened at these guys bought somebody's house for $388,000 just sight unseen. Here's a few photos they give you here's the money, and then they flipped it for 348. Like within a week.
  • 7:39
    Adam: Yeah. Yeah, there's definitely some of that going on. Yeah,
  • 7:43
    John: so they're online slippers. And it was a big promotion of the eye buyer online only and how you can really take it's better. This is better.
  • 7:55
    Adam: Is it cheaper? Did they take a percentage as
  • 7:57
    John: I do that? Yeah, they do. They take a 5% cut five? Yeah. Wait a minute. If I'd given it away,
  • 8:04
    Adam: nobody these days I think you can get like three and a half percent for buyer and seller broker. I mean, that's negotiable. These guys are doing five and you're not even the brokers not even driving you around.
  • 8:18
    John: taking you to lunch. Yeah.
  • 8:22
    Adam: All right. Well,
  • 8:23
    John: not for me. So that's your morning rap.
  • 8:26
    Adam: Wow, a lot of promotion there. A lot of promotion. And I would have to say that I need to go straight into more promotion. Because the mainstream media has stopped pretty much all reporting and medical reporting, and they've just turned to marketing. It's all marketing 100% it's all about marketing to your potential vaccine hesitancy. And what's great about this marketing is of course, you know, a lot of it is sponsored by Pfizer not even bashful about it. And all of it is, is you know, go find out more go here, learn this, get it here. places to get the shot, get the shot, get the shot. Are you black, get the shot. Don't worry about it. Just get shot cha cha cha cha black back camera community chat chat,
  • 9:13
    Unknown: chat, chat, chat, chat, chat chat.
  • 9:16
    John: So let is a question that needs to be asked. I've been meaning to do it for weeks on end, and I've been meaning to look it up and then I start the show and then it's after the show I think about it. Okay. One of those things. How much does Pfizer get per shot from the government? Because these shots are free. They're free, but they're only free to you? Well,
  • 9:33
    Adam: all I know is that Pfizer did about $4 billion in in the first quarter, and they're projected to do $26 billion this year. So extrapolate that out you got to remove the boner pills. And then the rest is all shots I guess so. I
  • 9:50
    Unknown: don't know. I don't know the bugs that pop.
  • 9:54
    Adam: I think it may be more than that actually. Oh wait for room is weighing in there. See some $30 numbers? Huh? I don't know. All that to me All that matters is just look at the report $4 billion in the first great few guys way to go 26 billion for this year and I think they'll exceed it. They'll probably hit 30 billion Yeah. Okay. And and with with a nice assist you know from from the president who is trying to help the promotional now. So now the we're changing it up since people are no longer going to the mass vaccination sites. Now we're going to incentivize all the drugstores now they're getting in on the money to Walgreens CVS, your doctors, and now the Pfizer, the Pfizer reps finally get to go to your doctor. Hey, I got some presidents here. Yeah, let me let me give you some money on the table. Let me see it on vacation. We got to get some shots go and boys now this is the system that works. We know that when you put it into the doctors and the pharmacies and the trusted sources, people, definitely there'll be an uptake. And how do you find this? Well, there's all kinds of handy websites. Unfortunately, our president still has problems with the new technology or maybe even reading a prompter visit vaccines.gm.gm that's where you need to go vaccines.gm What is wrong with this man? Listen to the whole thing.
  • 11:25
    Unknown: Is it vaccines calm.gov vaccines calm or text to us? Check your zip code 23333
  • 11:40
    Adam: not quite sure what happened PRESIDENT JOE went on on the blink no it's it's all about getting it skipped still need to scare away
  • 11:48
    John: But hold on a second. I know you're on a roll but you got to stop Yeah sure. Went on the blink
  • 11:56
    Adam: Yeah. You don't know
  • 11:58
    John: that. That's a phrase from the shade.
  • 12:00
    Adam: Thank you. Yes, it's right up there with Fiddlesticks Yes. I think going on the blink maybe that maybe when