Chemical manufacturer delivers sulfuric acid to MI water treatment plant, loses certification | Just The News
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:41
The Facts Inside Our Reporter's NotebookAll Michigan municipal water treatment plants were notified by the state last Wednesday that the certification of chemical manufacturer PVS Nolwood was revoked after delivering sulfuric acid instead of fluoride to New Baltimore's municipal water treatment plant.
PVS Nolwood is no longer accredited to distribute chemicals for water treatment following the mix-up, The Epoch Times reported. The chemical manufacturer was supposed to deliver hydrofluosilicic acid, also known as fluoride, to New Baltimore's municipal water treatment plant, but the mislabeled containers that were delivered ended up being sulfuric acid.
The error caused an estimated $10,000 in damages to equipment at New Baltimore's municipal water treatment plant, the outlet reported.
PVS Nolwood is a wholesaler, meaning it receives chemicals in bulk and repackages them in custom container sizes.
On July 11, a water technician at New Baltimore's municipal water treatment plant realized the error when he pumped the sulfuric acid, which was supposed to be fluoride, into a large fluoride storage tank, according to The Epoch Times. The chemical caused an unusual reaction with the fluoride, as a lot of heat was generated when the two mixed. The worker was not injured.
That day, the treatment plant was inactive, so the toxic chemical mixture was not released into the water supply system that serves 14,000 customers, the news outlet reported.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy released a bulletin on Aug. 5, describing what happened as "a serious incident" and alerting Michigan municipal water suppliers to verify the chemicals they received from PVS Nolwood were exactly what they ordered.
"This incident is an important reminder for water suppliers to review their standard operating procedures for chemical delivery and releases," the bulletin read.
"We stopped buying from PVS Nolwood as soon as we found out about the incident," New Baltimore Mayor John Dupray told The Epoch Times. "We will no longer be a customer of theirs.
"I was surprised and very concerned," he continued. "It should be a concern to everyone how this mistake happened so easily with products being mislabeled. There should be better safety precautions."
PVS Nolwood did not respond to The Epoch Times' multiple requests for comment.
The certification was revoked by National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), which is an independent, international organization that tests, audits, and certifies products and services through a worldwide network of laboratories that serves 180 countries.
The NSF revocation notice of PVS Nolwood's certification said, "certification for all products is withdrawn due to PVS Nolwood's failure to comply with NSF certification requirements, including unauthorized use of the NSF mark and applying the NSF mark to non-certified product(s). PVS Nolwood labeled a product as hydrofluosilicic acid and applied the NSF mark to the product packaging when the product was in fact sulfuric acid."
No other Michigan municipalities had reported any similar issues at their water treatment plants as of Aug. 16.
Vax-entration Camps? Australian Government Builds "Mandatory Quarantine Facilities", Officials Say Jab Is "Golden Ticket to Freedom"
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:18
Part of Australia's Mandatory Covid Quarantine Center's Master Plan Blueprints
In late 2019, before the China-virus was known to the world, very few '' if any '' people could have even imagined that a civilized western nation would be building facilities that government thugs would be forcing citizens into against their will.
Well, a year-and-a-half later, that's exactly where we are.
It didn't take long in 1938 Germany, either.
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The Government of Australia will be building what they call a ''mandatory quarantine accommodation'' which is set to open its first phase in ''early 2022.'' This will be the second of such facilities in the country and when it is finished it will be able to hold up to 3,000 in isolation as they quarantine.
Getting dark real fasthttps://t.co/CBzfpgw64L pic.twitter.com/CwCs1Fnl7b
'-- Tim Pool (@Timcast) August 17, 2021
As if it was straight out of Orwell's 1984, the camp will be named 'The Center for National Resilience' and government health officials are calling the experimental jab the golden ''ticket to freedom.''
Back to reality '' Police Officers who are accompanied by the military have already been coming to people's homes and taking them away as they conduct random ''welfare checks'' and follow-up tips about rule-breakers who have been ratted out by their fellow citizens.
This video shows the Covid Gestapo in action:
As of now, they are mostly being taken to hotels, but some will go to the already functioning and smaller Vax-entration camp in the northern part of the country.
Police have even resorted to just flat-out assaulting non-maskers, even if they are children.
It's gotten to this point after a year and a half, where will it be in a year from now?
Australians were sent letters in the mail that detailed the plans of the Government's new ''important project.'' It also informs them about an upcoming ''community information session'' where citizens can join and listen to corrupt health officials tell them why they ''need the center.''
"Conspiracy Theorists" in Australia are being validated: pic.twitter.com/48OQ8J92ZB
'-- Michael Kennedy (@NewWorldMan1967) August 17, 2021
In a project summary posted to Australia's ''quarantine hub'' website, it details their expectations for restrictions to continue for as long as 3 years and that the mandatory facilities would ''improve compliance'' and ''change attitudes'' among other things.
''With COVID-19 quarantine requirements expected to continue in some form at least over the next two to three years, the Victorian Government has further committed to investigating alternative models of mandatory quarantine, including purpose-built Alternative Quarantine Accommodation outside of Melbourne's Central Business District
The options are assessed, amongst other factors, on their ability to deliver the following benefits'...
..More tailored response options for the Government that are commensurate to risk levels and help improve compliance.''
The full project summary can be found here.
If you think there's no way this will come to America, think again.
The CDC has already published an approach that discusses building these types of covid-internment camps, using terms like ''green zone'' and ''shielding approach'' as euphemisms to make it more palatable.
It's only a matter of time until they try something like this here.
5 Ways The Pandemic Could Reshape Our Lives In The Long-Term | World Economic Forum
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 11:24
Denmark abolishes all Corona measures
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 11:19
Danish parliament recently decided in Copenhagen that all Corona measures should be ended from October 1. There will therefore no longer be a mask requirement and the test regime will be abolished. The Danes will then no longer have to provide evidence of whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated, or whether they have tested positive or negative.
CopenhagenAll Corona measures are being lifted in view of the increasing incidence figures in Denmark, reported RT Deutsch. Since the beginning of July this value has risen from 31 to 107,2 (as of August 8). At the same time, the upper limits of this Corona indicator has increased significantly.
At the same time, the incidence limits are increased significantly: In communities from 300 to 500 infected people within seven days, in the districts from 500 to 1000. However, the prerequisite is that an increasing number of Covid-19 patients does not overload the health care system.
Denmark's SSI infectious diseases agency said it no longer relied on vaccination to achieve herd immunity in the country. Tyra Grove Krause, the SSI's acting academic director, said a new wave of infections were expected after people return to work and school at the end of this summer, but it should not be cause for alarm. ''It will be more reminiscent of the flu,'' Krause said.
Overall, the current vaccination rate is just under 58,4 percent of fully vaccinated people in Denmark. In Germany, this value is only slightly lower at 54,5 percent (as of August 8) but vaccine advocates have been persistent in their fear-mongering and pressure on the unvaccinated.
Tyrolean lawyer Dr. Renate Holzeisen, meanwhile strongly recommended that all employers refrain from vaccination pressure or compulsory vaccination, because most of them were ''obviously not even aware of the far-reaching legal consequences associated with it''.
The fact that the so-called Covid-19 vaccines, according to the official approval documents of the EMA and the European Commission were not developed and approved for the prevention of infection with the SARS-COV-2 virus, but solely to prevent a more severe course of the disease, were conditionally approved for this reason alone, Holzeisen underscored.
The official approval documents therefore show that these substances cannot interrupt the chain of infection because the people treated with them can become infected and thus be infectious. Practice also proves that people who are completely ''vaccinated'' become infected with the virus and even have the same viral load as ''unvaccinated people'' as the CDC, among others, has admitted. It is therefore clear that any Covid-19 ''compulsory vaccination'' actually lacks any justification.
All pressure, including moral pressure (alleged act of solidarity with one's neighbor) is therefore illegal in terms of criminal and liability law based on the official approval documents.
''As a lawyer advising on corporate law, I strongly recommend that every employer stay away from Covid-19 vaccination pressure or compulsory vaccination, because most of them are obviously not even aware of the far-reaching legal consequences associated with it,'' she said.
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Covid-19 UK: Nearly one million people in England became addicted to alcohol during the pandemic | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 11:17
Nearly one million people in England became addicted to alcohol as a result of Covid lockdowns, official data suggests.
Government polling before the pandemic estimated 1.5million adults drank at least 50 units every week '-- the equivalent of three pints or nearly a bottle of wine every night.
But this jumped to just shy of 2.5million this summer, which experts have blamed on the endless cycle of virus-controlling restrictions.
Dr Tony Rao, a world-renowned expert on alcohol misuse in older people at King's College London, warned the impact of lockdowns had been 'devastating'.
Alcohol charities said the data showed drinking in older people has reached a level of crisis 'that is happening now'.
NHS guidelines recommend men and women do not drink more than 14 units a week.
Regularly drinking over the guideline amount can lead to dependence and health problems, including liver disease, heart disease and cancer.
It comes after Public Health England (PHE) figures last month revealed deaths directly caused by alcohol soared by 20 per cent during the first year of the pandemic.
Dr Rao, a clinical research fellow, told MailOnline: 'The impact of the Covid pandemic on alcohol use has been devastating.
'The latest data, taken together with the highest number of alcohol-specific deaths on record, is a stark warning for the Government.'
Nearly one million people in England became addicted to alcohol as a result of lockdowns, official data suggests
Government polling before the Covid pandemic estimated 1.5million adults drank more than 50 units every week '-- the equivalent of three pints or nearly a bottle of wine per day
Public Health England (PHE) has kept tabs on the population's health throughout the pandemic, monitoring smoking, gambling and exercise rates.
The Government-funded agency has also tracked alcohol intake, repeatedly quizzing thousands of participants about how much they consume.
Data from the study, which quizzed 4,061 in several different waves, showed the largest uptick in alcohol dependence was among over-65s.
Before the start of the pandemic, just over 190,000 (3.4 per cent) of people in the age group drank that much.
Covid lockdowns helped to fuel a 20% spike in alcohol-related deaths in 2020 Deaths directly caused by alcohol soared by 20 per cent during the first year of the Covid pandemic, Government figures revealed.
Public Health England chiefs say the endless cycle of lockdowns swayed people into binge-drinking at home.
Data shows there were 6,893 deaths blamed on alcohol in 2020, compared to 5,819 in 2019 before the virus reached Britain.
The North East was hit hardest, with fatalities spiking by almost 80 per cent.
Drinking too much alcohol can kill by causing liver damage, as well as cancer.
Deaths caused by alcohol have been increasing for a decade but ministers called the jump during the pandemic 'deeply concerning'.
They pledged to increase treatment options for alcohol dependence, with £3.3billion in place for public health services over the next year.
But Labour hit out at No10 for slashing addiction services and 'doing nothing to give people who need help with addiction the support they need'.
Charities urged No10 to address mounting alcohol abuse following the pandemic to prevent a 'liver disease epidemic' after 'Freedom Day' last month.
By the end of June, this jumped to more than 453,000 (8.1 per cent) '-- an increase of around 260,000 people (138 per cent).
Proportionally, the second biggest increase was seen among 18- to 24-year-olds, who jumped from 71,000 to 170,000 (140 per cent).
The huge spike in boozing comes despite the Government having slashed funding for addiction services. Eight out of England's nine regions have seen a real-term reduction in cash since 2014.
Some £162million has been cut in spending on drug and alcohol addiction services since then, falling from £877million in 2013-14 to £716million in 2017-18.
Dr Rao said: 'Ministers need to address the balance, not just in funding local authority budgets but in levelling up the ''Cinderella service'' of alcohol addiction.
'An increase of nearly 1million people drinking at levels suggestive of alcohol dependence is a huge cause of concern, particularly in older people.
'The NHS is not equipped to deal with older people's alcohol problems. Their focus has largely been on young people in pubs, as they are more likely to commit public order offences.'
He said the rise among over-65s could be down to them socialising less during lockdowns, leading to longer periods of loneliness.
Dr Rao said: 'Many people in this age group were separated from loved ones for prolonged periods of time and may now be drinking more at home.
'Home-drinking allows people to consume levels that are unchecked, compared to when they are with their loved ones and friends at the pub, for example.'
And Dr Niall Campbell, a consultant psychiatrist at Priory Hospital Roehampton, said he has seen an increase in over-65s in his practice for problem drinking since lockdowns began.
He said over 65's were particularly vulnerable because they were often more isolated from friends and family.
He told MailOnline: 'Many turned to alcohol and one or two drinks in the evening became three or four, or five or six.
'In addition, often because of boredom and isolation, people are drinking earlier and earlier in the day.
'I have seen a steady increase in my clinic of over 65's who have become alcohol dependent, with significant consequences to their physical health, mental health and relationship health with their partners and families.
'Over 65's are more vulnerable to the dangers of too much alcohol especially liver disease, stomach ulcers, pancreatitis, heart disease and brain damage.'
Lucy Holmes, director of research and policy at Alcohol Change UK, called on the Government to improve specialised addiction treatment services for older people.
Increasing alcohol duty and following Scotland and Wales in introducing a minimum price for a unit of alcohol are 'common sense' measures, she said.
The proportion of people drinking more than 50 units of alcohol a week (shaded grey) was 5.4 per cent of the adult population during June this year. It was up from 3.4 per cent before the pandemic started and was the second highest seen since (after Christmas in December), suggesting problem drinking in lockdowns has fuelled new dependence
Men drink significantly more than women with 7.7 per cent drinking more than 50 units per week (shaded grey) at the end of the pandemic compared to 3.2 per cent of women. Both saw increases in problem drinking
She told MailOnline: 'Even before the pandemic far too many people were suffering and dying as a result of alcohol harm, with only one in six alcohol dependent people receiving treatment.
'But this data suggests that, since the pandemic, a huge number of people are now drinking at high risk levels, with the biggest increases among older age groups.
'This isn't an approaching crisis '-- it's happening now, with the alcohol-related death rate increasing by 20 per cent in 2020 to the highest level since records began.'
It comes after PHE data showed there were 6,893 deaths blamed on alcohol in 2020, compared to 5,819 in 2019 before the virus reached Britain.
The North East was hit hardest, with fatalities spiking by almost 80 per cent. Drinking too much alcohol can kill by causing liver damage, as well as cancer.
Deaths caused by alcohol have been increasing for a decade but ministers called the jump during the pandemic 'deeply concerning'.
They pledged to increase treatment options for alcohol dependence, with £3.3billion in place for public health services over the next year
Do you or someone you know need help with cutting down on drinking? Find free support near you or online with Alcohol Change .
DO YOU DRINK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL? THE 10 QUESTIONS THAT REVEAL YOUR RISKOne screening tool used widely by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests). Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, the 10-question test is considered to be the gold standard in helping to determine if someone has alcohol abuse problems.
The test has been reproduced here with permission from the WHO.
To complete it, answer each question and note down the corresponding score.
0-7: You are within the sensible drinking range and have a low risk of alcohol-related problems.
Over 8: Indicate harmful or hazardous drinking.
8-15: Medium level of risk. Drinking at your current level puts you at risk of developing problems with your health and life in general, such as work and relationships. Consider cutting down (see below for tips).
16-19: Higher risk of complications from alcohol. Cutting back on your own may be difficult at this level, as you may be dependent, so you may need professional help from your GP and/or a counsellor.
20 and over: Possible dependence. Your drinking is already causing you problems, and you could very well be dependent. You should definitely consider stopping gradually or at least reduce your drinking. You should seek professional help to ascertain the level of your dependence and the safest way to withdraw from alcohol.
Severe dependence may need medically assisted withdrawal, or detox, in a hospital or a specialist clinic. This is due to the likelihood of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the first 48 hours needing specialist treatment.
Pet food linked to over 130 dog deaths, 220 illnesses, FDA warns
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 11:13
The FDA said Midwestern Pet Foods may be linked to as many as 130 dog deaths. Every dog has its day but sadly for Midwestern Pet Foods, today is not one of them.
The popular pet food brand has been linked to more than 130 dog deaths and may have caused hundreds more to fall ill after multiple violations and recalls, the Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday.
The FDA sent a ''warning letter'' on Aug. 9 to Evansville, Indiana-based Midwestern Pet Foods, noting that the branded dog food could be responsible for at least 220 sick dogs.
''The FDA is dedicated to taking all steps possible to help pet owners have confidence that the food they buy for their animal companions is safe and wholesome,'' Steven Solomon, the director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a Tuesday statement. ''We are issuing this corporate-wide warning letter because inspections of Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc.'s manufacturing plants revealed evidence of violations, which were shared across multiple plants and were associated with the illness or death of hundreds of pets who had eaten the company's dry dog food.''
According to the report, Sportmix cat and dog food products manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods ''were found to contain high levels of aflatoxin,'' which are toxins produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus that grows on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. In particular, the FDA said Sportmix dry dog food contained aflatoxin levels ''as high as 558 parts per billion (ppb)'' '-- a much higher figure than the 20 ppb of aflatoxin considered safe for consumption.
At high levels, the agency said, aflatoxins ''can cause illness and death in pets.'' Symptoms from aflatoxin poisoning include sluggishness, loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting.
In March, the company announced a voluntary recall of dozens of dog and cat foods that were believed to possibly be contaminated with salmonella. No illnesses were reported at the time, but the contaminated foods were being sold nationwide.
Shockingly that wasn't Midwestern Pet Foods' first recall this year. The FDA first issued a recall of Sportmix food in December 2020 after at least 28 dogs died and eight others fell ill from products with high levels of toxic mold. The company was also forced to recall various products in January after at least 70 dogs had died.
Recent inspections that resulted in the warning letter were conducted in four of Midwestern's plants, the FDA noted, and were directly related to food recalls from earlier this year. The inspections ''revealed evidence of significant violations'' in food safety efforts.
A grim warning from Israel: Vaccination blunts, but does not defeat Delta | Science | AAAS
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 00:49
Medical staff at a COVID-19 isolation unit in Ashkelon, Israel, last week. Officials worry a steep surge in cases will soon fill Israeli hospitals.
Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua/Getty Images By Meredith WadmanAug. 16, 2021 , 6:55 PM
''Now is a critical time,'' Israeli Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz said as the 56-year-old got a COVID-19 booster shot on 13 August, the day his country became the first nation to offer a third dose of vaccine to people as young as age 50. ''We're in a race against the pandemic.''
His message was meant for his fellow Israelis, but it is a warning to the world. Israel has among the world's highest levels of vaccination for COVID-19, with 78% of those 12 and older fully vaccinated, the vast majority with the Pfizer vaccine. Yet the country is now logging one of the world's highest infection rates, with nearly 650 new cases daily per million people. More than half are in fully vaccinated people, underscoring the extraordinary transmissibility of the Delta variant and stoking concerns that the benefits of vaccination ebb over time.
The sheer number of vaccinated Israelis means some breakthrough infections were inevitable, and the unvaccinated are still far more likely to end up in the hospital or die. But Israel's experience is forcing the booster issue onto the radar for other nations, suggesting as it does that even the best vaccinated countries will face a Delta surge.
Related ''This is a very clear warning sign for the rest of world,'' says Ran Balicer, chief innovation officer at Clalit Health Services (CHS), Israel's largest health maintenance organization (HMO). ''If it can happen here, it can probably happen everywhere.''
Israel is being closely watched now because it was one of the first countries out of the gate with vaccinations in December 2020 and quickly achieved a degree of population coverage that was the envy of other nations'-- for a time. The nation of 9.3 million also has a robust public health infrastructure and a population wholly enrolled in HMOs that track them closely, allowing it to produce high-quality, real-world data on how well vaccines are working.
''I watch [Israeli data] very, very closely because it is some of the absolutely best data coming out anywhere in the world,'' says David O'Connor, a viral sequencing expert at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. ''Israel is the model,'' agrees Eric Topol, a physician-scientist at Scripps Research. ''It's pure mRNA [messenger RNA] vaccines. It's out there early. It's got a very high level population [uptake]. It's a working experimental lab for us to learn from.''
Israel's HMOs, led by CHS and Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS), track demographics, comorbidities, and a trove of coronavirus metrics on infections, illnesses, and deaths. ''We have rich individual-level data that allows us to provide real-world evidence in near''real time,'' Balicer says. (The United Kingdom also compiles a wealth of data. But its vaccination campaign ramped up later than Israel's, making its current situation less reflective of what the future may portend; and it has used three different vaccines, making its data harder to parse.)
Now, the effects of waning immunity may be beginning to show in Israelis vaccinated in early winter; a preprint published last month by physician Tal Patalon and colleagues at KSM, the research arm of MHS, found that protection from COVID-19 infection during June and July dropped in proportion to the length of time since an individual was vaccinated. People vaccinated in January had a 2.26 times greater risk for a breakthrough infection than those vaccinated in April. (Potential confounders include the fact that the very oldest Israelis, with the weakest immune systems, were vaccinated first.)
Israel's sobering setbackIsrael, which has led the world in launching vaccinations and in data gathering, is confronting a surge of COVID-19 cases that officials expect to push hospitals to the brink. Nearly 60% of gravely ill patients are fully vaccinated.
March 2020AugustJanuary 2021MayAugustNew daily COVID''19 cases010003000500070009000First vaccinationDelta variantidentified50% vaccinated19 December15 March8 April
(Graphic) K. Franklin/Science; (Data) H. Ritchie et al., OurWorldInData.org, 2020
At the same time, cases in the country, which were scarcely registering at the start of summer, have been doubling every week to 10 days since then, with the Delta variant responsible for most of them. They have now soared to their highest level since mid-February, with hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions beginning to follow. How much of the current surge is due to waning immunity versus the power of the Delta variant to spread like wildfire is uncertain.
What is clear is that ''breakthrough'' cases are not the rare events the term implies. As of 15 August, 514 Israelis were hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19, a 31% increase from just 4 days earlier. Of the 514, 59% were fully vaccinated. Of the vaccinated, 87% were 60 or older. ''There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated,'' says Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) who has consulted on COVID-19 for the government. ''One of the big stories from Israel [is]: 'Vaccines work, but not well enough.'''
''The most frightening thing to the government and the Ministry of Health is the burden on hospitals,'' says Dror Mevorach, who cares for COVID-19 patients at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and advises the government. At his hospital, he is lining up anesthesiologists and surgeons to spell his medical staff in case they become overwhelmed by a wave like January's, when COVID-19 patients filled 200 beds. ''The staff is exhausted,'' he says, and he has restarted a weekly support group for them ''to avoid some kind of PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] effect.''
To try to tame the surge, Israel has turned to booster shots, starting on 30 July with people 60 and older and, last Friday, expanding to people 50 and older. As of Monday, nearly 1 million Israelis had received a third dose, according to the Ministry of Health. Global health leaders including Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, have pleaded with developed countries not to administer boosters given that most of the world's population hasn't received even a single dose. The wealthy nations pondering or already administering booster vaccines so far mostly reserve them for special populations such as the immune compromised and health care workers.
Still, studies suggest boosters might have broader value. Researchers have shown that boosting induces a prompt surge in antibodies, which are needed in the nose and throat as a crucial first line of defense against infection. The Israeli government's decision to start boosting those 50 and older was driven by preliminary Ministry of Health data indicating people over age 60 who have received a third dose were half as likely as their twice-vaccinated peers to be hospitalized in recent days, Mevorach says. CHS also reported that out of a sample of more than 4500 patients who received boosters, 88% said any side effects from the third shot were no worse, and sometimes milder, than from the second.
Yet boosters are unlikely to tame a Delta surge on their own, says Dvir Aran, a biomedical data scientist at Technion. In Israel, the current surge is so steep that ''even if you get two-thirds of those 60-plus [boosted], it's just gonna give us another week, maybe 2 weeks until our hospitals are flooded.'' He says it's also critical to vaccinate those who still haven't received their first or second doses, and to return to the masking and social distancing Israel thought it had left behind'--but has begun to reinstate.
Aran's message for the United States and other wealthier nations considering boosters is stark: ''Do not think that the boosters are the solution.''
Empty needle detected during Covid vaccinations in Michoacn
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 23:26
The empty vaccine needle in Michoacn on Tuesday.
State officials called the incident an error that won't happen again
Published on Wednesday, August 18, 2021
A nurse was caught on video injecting a young woman with air rather than a Covid vaccine at a vaccination center in Morelia, Michoacn, on Tuesday.
The incident, which was reported to authorities after the video began to circulate on social media, occurred on Morelia's second day of vaccination for the 18 to 28 age group.
State officials confirmed in a press release that there had been a case ''in which an inadequate application of the vaccine occurred,'' and added that it was ''without a doubt an error that we cannot overlook. The necessary measures will be taken to strength control of the vaccination process and insure it does not happen again.''
The council also pointed out that healthcare workers have been ''subject to intense work days, stress, and even putting their lives at risk.''
It is not the first mishap in the vaccination process. Various misapplied shots have been caught on camera, including one in Mexico City that President L"pez Obrador suggested was a media set-up.
In recent days, Morelia vaccination centers have seen long lines as youths and parents arrive up to 15 hours ahead of time with folding chairs and tents, eager to secure their shot.
Mexico had administered 78 million doses as of Tuesday.
With reports from El Universal
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BETRAYED BY STATE
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 18:11
AS a Marine, I was taught never to leave a comrade-in-arms behind on the bat tlefield. But that's exactly what the State Department is doing to men and women who've sacrificed everything to help our troops '' our Iraqi interpreters.
When I last left Iraq 12 months ago, I promised to save two ''terps'' marked for assassination. Last month, I received a desperate e-mail from one of them: ''Sir my situatione is so bad naw please save my life. Please help me sir.''
A year after making my promise, I'm deeply ashamed that I haven't completed the mission. And I'm not alone: To help ''their'' terps, Marines and soldiers across the country are battling a bureaucracy that is at times more maddening than the Iraqi insurgency.
Shunning those who risk death to help us deliver freedom is un-American.
On my second tour in Iraq in 2006-7, I was posted to an obscure town outside Ramadi to advise an Iraqi battalion. They were hardy soldiers with a hard mission '' roadside bombs were commonplace in the area. My team couldn't have functioned without our two interpreters, who I'll call Alex and Reyes.
Soon after a childhood friend accused Alex of collaboration for serving as an interpreter, his brother was tortured to death in a dump. His father disowned him.
Reyes was wounded in a bombing that targeted the US troops for whom he was translating. When he went home to reassure his family, a neighbor saw the neat bandages '' and spread the word that Reyes worked for the Americans, making him a marked man.
Iraqi interpreters are men and women without a country. By helping our troops, they're building a better future for Iraq '' but they become prime targets for the enemy, and are forsaken even by ordinary Iraqis. Spies and assassins lurk in every city. The police and the army, with their scams and tribal loyalties, don't protect the terps '' whose loyalty therefore lies with the Americans.
Alex and Reyes '' two combat veterans, proven in loyalty and fluent in Arabic '' wanted to become US Marines. Given the challenging stateside recruiting environment, I tried to get them fast-tracked '' getting a general to write glowing letters of endorsement.
It took me two months after returning home to assemble the initial documents to apply for a special visa, which included two security screenings by the US military.
The packages then made their way through another screening by the Department of Homeland Security '' which eventually forwarded them to State for its own lengthy screening and an entirely new set of paperwork.
Then a State Department clerk wrote to say that both ''interrupters'' needed new Iraqi passports. It was already clear that interrupting was exactly what State thought the terps were doing.
Bizarrely, State said the new passports were needed to prevent fraud. Yet State knows full well that anyone can get an Iraqi passport by forking over enough cash '' top terrorists have two or three.
But you also have to apply in person, waiting in chaotic lines at one of just a few ministry offices. As marked men, the terps had to dress in sweat suits and infiltrate their hometowns to survive in the hours-long wait.
Alex had to pay $750 to get his new passport. Reyes was left in tears when told to come back with his father (who's dead) to prove his identity '' or more cash.
Nine months into the whole process, State e-mailed Alex, telling him to report to Jordan with $380 for a visa interview. Another State e-mail informed Reyes that, since he'd served in the Iraqi Army, State needed his military record for its review.
State's requirement of Reyes '' finding his Iraqi Ministry of Defense records '' is dangerous, meaningless and probably impossible. Trying to get the file would expose him to assassins, and just about the only file you can easily (again, for cash) get from Iraqi government clerks is a forged one.
The problem for Alex was getting into Jordan '' where most Iraqis are turned away at the border. (The lucky ones get herded into bribery-infested processing pens like cattle.) I asked State to help him get into Jordan '' and last month was told he could pick up an ''entry letter'' '' inside Jordan.
Meanwhile, though, State had cancelled his interview. The closest date it had available would come after his State Department security clearance had expired. He had to start over.
Now I understand why some of my peers have established underground railroads to Jordan '' sneaking their terps through like hunted slaves. They've lost faith in their own government.
Iraq vets and terps now call State's paper maze the ''waiting to die list'' '' because it requires interpreters to risk death to purchase passports and cross the border undisguised.
Congress has held hearings. Reporters have done newspaper and TV stories; there's even a play about State's obscene mess. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the top US civilian in Iraq, has complained, citing ''major bottlenecks'' in a terse memo to State.
President Bush has a duty to intervene. The honorable remedy is to trust the US military: Let a returning brigade that wants to bring some of its interpreters home simply fill out the visa paperwork on base, then carry them along on the aircraft.
Whom should America trust more, the judgment of a Marine or Army brigade commander '' or a faceless bureaucrat in Nebraska or Amman?
Owen West, a commodities trader, has served two tours in Iraq with the Marines.
lyta gold, fired for doing socialism on Twitter: "I am grieved to tell you that @nathanjrobinson has effectively fired me & most of the @curaffairs staff because we were trying to organize into a worker's co-op. This isn't a bit. I wish it was. ht
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 19:07
lyta gold, fired for doing socialism : I am grieved to tell you that @nathanjrobinson has effectively fired me & most of the @curaffairs staff because we'... https://t.co/wHqxrtRbFr
Wed Aug 18 15:11:49 +0000 2021
Mary Fernandez ðð'ð¤ð'' #SOSCuba #MMIW #GC : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs https://t.co/tKmTbU1n3Q
Wed Aug 18 19:07:10 +0000 2021
Based(C)p Artment ðºð² : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Sneed
Wed Aug 18 19:06:45 +0000 2021
deptoflabor : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Good to see peterson not being resentful. He was probably just as excited t'... https://t.co/mwGwLq7JYD
Wed Aug 18 19:06:40 +0000 2021
Eirin-Senpai : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs So, you figured out why socialism doesnt work did ya?
Wed Aug 18 19:06:30 +0000 2021
ð>>ð...Gio's Bronze Age Art Critic Cornerðð¨ðð²ð' : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Ironic https://t.co/HUCFtTO4BS
Wed Aug 18 19:06:20 +0000 2021
bbuchsbaum : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Stay Tuned for Nathan Robinson's 10,000 word takedown of Nathan Robinson in'... https://t.co/UNmW7DENTU
Wed Aug 18 19:06:18 +0000 2021
Darkon Logitech : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Very typical for proponents of socialism
Wed Aug 18 19:05:42 +0000 2021
teresa hartmann : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs '¹¸
Wed Aug 18 19:04:19 +0000 2021
=( : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs left eats itself ð...
Wed Aug 18 19:03:39 +0000 2021
Barmz : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs i hope to hell he and whatever is left of this publication gets the cancellation treatment
Wed Aug 18 19:03:37 +0000 2021
austerity mindset guru : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs well, that absolutely blows. solidarity with you and the CA contributors an'... https://t.co/y2inhT5KMc
Wed Aug 18 19:03:11 +0000 2021
Jesse Benn : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs wtf
Wed Aug 18 19:02:31 +0000 2021
please don't look at me : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs I'm a little surprised a socialist magazine owner would be so narcissistic.'... https://t.co/0xHZo1lnAF
Wed Aug 18 19:01:49 +0000 2021
ð'¥JAAð(C)ð´BLMð¤ : @lyta_gold @elivalley @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs G¸dd¤mit
Wed Aug 18 19:01:41 +0000 2021
King Bear : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Not worry comrade, there is always more room for ditch diggers and sanitati'... https://t.co/jzmsBJw3mn
Wed Aug 18 19:00:43 +0000 2021
TXVB : @lyta_gold https://t.co/vjxJ2x29AB
Wed Aug 18 19:00:10 +0000 2021
ð'ð'ð'ð'(C) ð'ð'ð'®ð' ð'ð' : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs LMAO, said every socialist ever after being sent to the gulag by the "All k'... https://t.co/A7X5FkywXq
Wed Aug 18 19:00:05 +0000 2021
Ginger : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Good for him.
Wed Aug 18 18:59:18 +0000 2021
TXVB : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs #EVERYsingleTime https://t.co/wwdI2wiKuS
Wed Aug 18 18:57:44 +0000 2021
The Madeleinotaur Takes a Cigarette Break : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs As a human being but especially as a magazine editor, my heart breaks and m'... https://t.co/ThbND1Udk0
Wed Aug 18 18:56:24 +0000 2021
N8 : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs *screaming into the void intensifies*
Wed Aug 18 18:55:48 +0000 2021
Dharma : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Very good! All the wokes should be f1red!!!
Wed Aug 18 18:54:54 +0000 2021
Anton Seim ð-- : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Stalin would be proud.
Wed Aug 18 18:54:22 +0000 2021
Kayrosisðºð¸ð§ð½ð--®ð--'¥ : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Go work at Breaking Points @PointsCommunity
Wed Aug 18 18:53:47 +0000 2021
Lamont Cranston : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs "that began long before this sequence" - what did?
Wed Aug 18 18:52:11 +0000 2021
Wally The Wily white Ally : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Gosh, it's almost as if that guy's a fraud ð¤'
Wed Aug 18 18:51:16 +0000 2021
Buddy : @lyta_gold Wowwwwwww
Wed Aug 18 18:50:50 +0000 2021
henri : @lyta_gold @NathanJRobinson @curaffairs Dear comrades, you're fucked
Wed Aug 18 18:48:39 +0000 2021
Facebook's Taliban Policy Could Delete a Lot More Than Just Pro-Taliban Content '' Reason.com
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 13:40
Here's a look at some of the latest developments related to Afghanistan.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube take different approaches to Taliban content. Facebook considers the Taliban a terrorist group and will continue to ban pro-Taliban content from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, the company confirmed. Content moderators will continue to block not only content from Taliban-associated accounts but all pro-Taliban content, regardless of who is sharing it.
"The Taliban is sanctioned as a terrorist organization under U.S. law and we have banned them from our services under our Dangerous Organization policies," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "This means we remove accounts maintained by or on behalf of the Taliban and prohibit praise, support, and representation of them."
As tends to be the case, Facebook is taking a more extreme approach than some of its competitors. Both YouTube and Twitter indicated that they would block Taliban content if it violates other platform policies (such as prohibitions on certain sorts of violent content) but will not unilaterally ban pro-Taliban content.
This seems to be the right approach, from both a first-principles free speech standpoint and a desire not to inadvertently block content that could be educational, newsworthy, or shared by ordinary Afghan users trying to get the word out about what's happening in their country.
A Twitter spokesperson told CNBC "the situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving. We're also witnessing people in the country using Twitter to seek help and assistance. Twitter's top priority is keeping people safe, and we remain vigilant." And Alphabet, which owns YouTube, "said it allows content that provides sufficient educational, documentary, scientific and artistic context," CNBC notes.
Rasmus Nielsen of the University of Oxford further outlined the danger of unintended consequences from policies like Facebook's, telling CNBC that "every time someone is banned there is a risk they were only using the platform for legitimate purposes. Given the disagreement over terms like 'terrorism' and who gets to designate individuals and groups as such, civil society groups and activists will want clarity about the nature and extent of collaboration with governments in making these decisions. And many users will seek reassurances that any technologies used for enforcement preserves their privacy."
Who's Arming the Taliban? Us. American investment in the Afghan military has ultimately benefited the Taliban. "A U.S. defense official on Monday confirmed the Taliban's sudden accumulation of U.S.-supplied Afghan equipment is enormous," reports the Associated Press. Their new cache includes guns, ammunition, and combat aircraft.
"The reversal is an embarrassing consequence of misjudging the viability of Afghan government forces '-- by the U.S. military as well as intelligence agencies '-- which in some cases chose to surrender their vehicles and weapons rather than fight," the A.P. says.
This is an all too common story'--and one that suggests the futility of the U.S. trying to intervene in conflict-torn countries by supplying our preferred side with weapons and equipment.
For instance, military weapons purchased by the U.S. in 2015 made it to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fighters within two months, Conflict Armament Research (CAR) revealed in 2017. "CAR used serial numbers or key markings on the weapons to trace them back to their origin and try to piece together how they were obtained by the militants," NBC News reported at the time. "CAR found that one anti-tank missile sold to the U.S. Army made its way to ISIS in just 59 days." At least some of these weapons were initially given by American authorities to fighters in Syria that the U.S. government hoped would defeat Bashar Assad's regime and then the Islamic State. Others came from the U.S.'--and other countries'--during earlier conflicts.
Biden won't repeat Afghanistan mistake "of staying and fighting indefinitely." In a speech yesterday, President Joe Biden reiterated his commitment to continue evacuating U.S. troops, staff, and allies from Afghanistan, despite criticism from myriad angles.
"If anything, the developments of the past week reinforce that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision," Biden said. "I will not repeat the mistakes we've made in the past. The mistake of staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict that is not in the national security interest of the United States."
"We Need To Get Afghans Out of Afghanistan Too.""The Afghanistan War Was Founded on Lies. Some People Are Still Telling Them."Flights are leaving the Kabul airport again.FREE MARKETSCruise ships, vaccines, and free speech. The fight over whether cruise ships out of Florida can require proof of COVID-19 vaccination from customers implicates the intersection of economic regulations and free speech, explains the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:
On Aug. 8, a federal judge agreed to halt enforcement of a Florida law that prohibits businesses from requiring "patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or services from the business operations in this state." The company that owns Norwegian Cruise Line brought the claim, arguing, among other things, that the law violates the First Amendment.
While the case may seem attenuated from both media law and technology, it actually grapples with an emerging issue we've been covering '-- the extent to which nominally "economic" regulations that unduly burden protected speech are constitutional. That question was front-and-center in the Trump administration's efforts to use emergency economic powers to shutter the communications platforms TikTok and WeChat by effectively prohibiting other businesses from providing them certain services.
The cruise line decision, by Judge Kathleen M. Williams of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is a pretty by-the-book application of First Amendment doctrine. She first determines that the law is "content-based" because businesses are free to require COVID-19 test results and other non-COVID vaccination information, among other things. "
FREE MINDSDee Snyder of Twisted Sister talks creativity, cancel culture, and self-censorship. "As an artist, your job is to be open, creative, and a free thinker. You're supposed to let it flow and let pencil pushers worry about if you can legally get away with it," Snyder said in a recent interview with Metal Wani (transcribed here). "And I was very angry at myself that I was actually questioning something that I was writing because it might, in this current environment, offend people, because I used that word, so it sucks that we're still dealing with that, but I think it's going to be an ongoing battle for eternity." Snyder also discusses the shift from censors from the right in the 1980s to today's censorship from the left.
QUICK HITS' A Tennessee vaccination official who claimed she was sent a muzzle actually sent it to herself, an investigation found.
' Texas "Gov. Greg Abbott's position on private vaccination requirements is confused and confusing," writes Reason's Jacob Sullum.
' California police officers and prison guards have lower vaccination rates than the general population.
' The controversial campus speech app Yik Yak is back.
' A new lawsuit argues that California's recall vote is unconstitutional.
' "U.S. experts are expected to recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received their second dose of the shot, to ensure lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant spreads across the country," reports the A.P.
Democrats to hold hearings on Biden's mishandling of Afghan collapse, evacuation - Washington Times
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 13:38
House and Senate Democrats said Tuesday they will hold hearings on the Biden administration's mishandling of the government collapse in Afghanistan, a rare inquiry of the president's actions by his own party.
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, New York Democrat and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, said he has asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to testify at a hearing ''as early as possible.''
''The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly changing and it is imperative that the administration provide the American people and Congress transparency about its Afghanistan strategy,'' Mr. Meeks said in a statement.
He said he wants Mr. Blinken and Mr. Austin to describe ''what the administration's plan is to safely evacuate American citizens, [applicants for special immigrant visas], and other vulnerable Afghans from the country, and to understand our broader counter terrorism strategy in South Asia following the collapse of the Ghani government.''
Sen. Bob Menendez, New Jersey Democrat and Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, also plans to hold a hearing on Afghanistan.
He blamed in part what he called a ''wholly inadequate agreement the Trump administration made with the Taliban [that] did not get commitments for the Taliban to break ties with Al Qaeda, nor did it account for the day after our withdrawal.''
''In implementing this flawed plan, I am disappointed that the Biden administration clearly did not accurately assess the implications of a rapid U.S. withdrawal,'' Mr. Menendez said. ''We are now witnessing the horrifying results of many years of policy and intelligence failures.''
He said the panel will examine U.S. policy in Afghanistan, ''including the Trump administration's flawed negotiations with Taliban, and the Biden administration's flawed execution of the U.S. withdrawal.''
''The committee will seek a full accounting for these shortcomings as well as assess why the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces collapsed so quickly,'' he said.
On Monday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat, said he would be asking ''tough questions'' about the rapid collapse of the Afghan government and the evacuation.
Sign up for Daily NewslettersCopyright (C) 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
FBI Told Informant in Whitmer Kidnapping Case to Lie, Frame Innocent Man and Delete Text Messages
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 13:34
The Governor Whitmer kidnapping case, which we now know was comprised of virtually all FBI agents and informants took another devastating hit.
Michael Hills, an attorney for Brandon Caserta, one of the six defendants, produced text messages showing an FBI field agent telling an informant to lie, frame an innocent man and delete text messages.
This is why federal prosecutors are refusing to hand over text messages and laptops from FBI informants in the Whitmer kidnapping case.
Hills requested the government hand over all communications between ''Dan'' and the FBI.
TRENDING: Taliban Tells Joe Biden to Withdraw All US Troops from Afghanistan by September 11 - The 20th Anniversary of the 9-11 Attacks
The attorney for one of six men indicted in a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday, Aug. 13 that an FBI special agent told an informant to lie and to delete text messages between them.
Defense attorneys want to review communication between informants as well as their conversations with the FBI. Hills sought cellphone data of Dan, along with FBI special agents, Henrik Impola and Jayson Chambers.
''These text messages indicate the F.B.I. was pushing their paid agent to actively recruit people into an overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy,'' Hills wrote.
''Counsel has found further text messages between (special agent) Impola and Dan indicating Dan should destroy his text messages and instruct Dan to lie and accuse an innocent 3rd party of being a federal agent spy to the founder of Wolverine Watchmen.''
The Watchmen is a militia group whose members are allegedly tied to the kidnap plot.
Hills said Dan told Impola the Watchman founder suspected him of being a federal agent. Dan said someone else vouched for him.
''The F.B.I is instructing a paid F.B.I. informant to lie and paint an innocent citizen as an undercover federal agent to a man they claim is the head of a domestic terrorist organization, who they claim is paranoid about being infiltrated by the feds, who they claim has bragged about tossing a Molotov cocktail into a police officer's house,'' Hills said. ''This behavior, evidenced by the telephonic communication between F.B.I. handler Impola and Dan, casts a dark shadow over the credibility of this investigation and demonstrates the need for immediate disclosure as demanded.''
Screenshot of the text messages:
In the Governor Whitmer kidnapping case ''
Here is the text message from an FBI Agent to their informant telling him to ''delete these'' text messages.
'-- Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) August 17, 2021
In October 2020, the FBI announced during a press conference that it thwarted a plot by a so-called ''right-wing militia'' to kidnap and kill Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the state government.
We now know the FBI used at least 12 informants (with only 6 defendants) in the Michigan Whitmer kidnapping case and hatched the plot.
FBI informants/agents actually helped hatch the kidnapping plot which means there would be no conspiracy case without the FBI.
One FBI informant organized all the meetings early on and paid for hotel rooms and food to entice the patsies.
It is illegal for FBI informants to hatch plots and encourage violence.
(22) Erich Hartmann on Twitter: "So'... elites are exempt from the NYC #VaccineMandate? https://t.co/LP1WYuNiGa" / Twitter
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 13:24
Erich Hartmann : So'... elites are exempt from the NYC #VaccineMandate? https://t.co/LP1WYuNiGa
Wed Aug 18 01:03:21 +0000 2021
TheRealUnFeminist : @erichhartmann Where did you did this Eric?
Wed Aug 18 13:17:22 +0000 2021
Alexandra : @erichhartmann ð"ð"ð"
Wed Aug 18 13:11:25 +0000 2021
Sarah Johnson : @erichhartmann I hope the business owners don't enforce it. Don't comply.
Wed Aug 18 12:59:08 +0000 2021
Robespierre's Ghost : @erichhartmann Well then, I guess I'm Will Smith's assistant from here on out.
Wed Aug 18 12:56:43 +0000 2021
LegalSpeak : @erichhartmann That's interesting'....those facts support a constitutional challenge to a mandate.
Wed Aug 18 12:51:54 +0000 2021
NoBot Gerrry : @erichhartmann WTF?! New Yorkers resist this crap!
Wed Aug 18 12:46:19 +0000 2021
baconfarts99 : @erichhartmann Can't inconvenience people that have a platform to speak out against mandates.
Wed Aug 18 12:10:39 +0000 2021
FreshAir...GetIt! : @erichhartmann https://t.co/rYawtafKrB
Wed Aug 18 11:53:12 +0000 2021
Adam Mygrants : @erichhartmann Bro... everything I do is artistic performance. I win I guess.
Wed Aug 18 10:58:28 +0000 2021
Lorri : @erichhartmann Phew at least you can take a crap
Wed Aug 18 10:52:12 +0000 2021
sarahshore : @erichhartmann Everyone is exempt because government by decree is not constitutional. The judiciary needs to do its'... https://t.co/YtjnZ10Nua
Wed Aug 18 10:45:30 +0000 2021
Meli : @erichhartmann During this entire pandemic, the elites have always operated under different rules than the rest of'... https://t.co/AT60EtxzhA
Wed Aug 18 09:29:10 +0000 2021
@di : @erichhartmann That is a deadly pandemic, isn't it? ð¤·ð½''¸
Wed Aug 18 06:22:24 +0000 2021
Anderson Smithe : @erichhartmann @mel75801 The longer we support these mandates, or simply go along with them, the worse things will get.We need to stop this
Wed Aug 18 06:19:54 +0000 2021
Sonny : @erichhartmann Animal Farm
Wed Aug 18 05:54:57 +0000 2021
Taliban Leaders Used Twitter and WhatsApp to Help Capture Kabul
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 13:23
National SecurityJihadists disseminate messages to Afghan residents on social media platforms
TOPSHOT - Afghan militia forces stand guard at an outpost as they patrol against the Taliban fighters in the Tange Farkhar area of Taloqan in northern Takhar province on July 6, 2021. (Photo by NASEER SADEQ / AFP) (Photo by NASEER SADEQ/AFP via Getty Images) Santi Ruiz ' August 16, 2021 5:08 pm Taliban leaders used Twitter and WhatsApp to spread propaganda and establish control over Kabul as they stormed the Afghan capital over the weekend.
On Monday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that residents welcomed the Taliban and that "the situation in Kabul is under control ." The jihadist group used WhatsApp to disseminate a similar message to Kabul residents as it entered the city. In recent days, Taliban leaders have circulated WhatsApp numbers that Afghan regime officials or soldiers could call to negotiate their surrender.
The Taliban has swept across Afghanistan in the weeks following Biden's withdrawal of U.S. troops, capturing major cities with little resistance. The Pentagon on Sunday deployed an additional 1,000 troops to Afghanistan to aid evacuation efforts as Afghans and Americans swarmed Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Administration officials said in July that they expected a Taliban takeover to take months.
The Taliban has used WhatsApp and Twitter for years to share official statements, but in the past week it has escalated its use of the platforms, using WhatsApp to announce new rules for Kabul residents.
On Monday, Mujahid tweeted a warning against looting and unauthorized intimidation of Afghan officials. The Taliban's "complaint commission" posted WhatsApp numbers for city residents to call "if they face threats from anyone" and set up an emergency broadcast system via the app as well.
Twitter and Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, regularly banned ISIS members from their platforms. But the sites appear to let the Taliban broadcast its messages without incident.
A Twitter spokeswoman told the Washington Free Beacon that it was "proactively removing content that violates our policies." The spokeswoman linked to a policy banning "hateful conduct" and another that bans "threatening or promoting terrorism." The spokeswoman did not comment on whether Twitter considers the Taliban a terrorist organization. A Facebook spokesman told the Free Beacon it would take action against accounts maintained by sanctioned groups in Afghanistan, but would not comment on specific cases.
Several Taliban spokesmen have maintained Twitter accounts for years, regularly tweeting updates on negotiations and regional battles. The accounts often post photos and videos from frontlines, which are then copied and shared by pro-Taliban accounts. Only 15 percent of the Afghan population has access to the internet.
Both Twitter and Facebook removed former president Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 riots and have not restored his account, citing "incitement to violence."
Published under: Afghanistan , Facebook , Taliban , Twitter
A 29-year-old YouTube millionaire is leading in a poll to replace Gavin Newsom as next governor of California
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 13:21
YouTube influencer Kevin Paffrath could become California's youngest governor to date.
Paffrath, a 29-year-old who has made millions of dollars on his "Meet Kevin" YouTube channel, is leading in a recent poll from SurveyUSA among respondents planning to vote in next month's recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The survey shows Paffrath leading 46 candidates, including conservative talk show host Larry Elder and former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner, with 27% of the vote.
Paffrath's share in the poll was followed by six Republican candidates, including Elder, who came in second at 24%. The 29-year-old is one of nine Democrats working to unseat Newsom.
In the tally, 51% of 613 likely voters surveyed from August 2-4 said they would vote in favor of ousting Newsom. The Democratic Party is urging voters to vote against a recall, as well as skip the second question on the ballot, which asks voters to select a replacement if a recall occurs. But if more than half of California voters support the ballot recall on September 14, the next governor will be one of the 46 candidates with the most votes.
An earlier poll by the University of California, Berkeley, and the Los Angeles Times in July had only 36% in favor of a recall with 51% of registered voters against it.
"We think in the last two weeks of this campaign if the recall looks more and more likely, the Democratic party will be forced to pick a Hail Mary back-up candidate," Paffrath said at a Newsom press event in San Francisco. "Given that we're No. 1 in the polls, we hope that's us."
The YouTuber is a real estate investor out of Ventura, California. His channel has nearly 1.7 million followers and focuses on daily commentary on stocks, housing, and stimulus. The channel has turned Paffrath into a multi-millionaire. In the past year alone, he has earned nearly $10 million on YouTube, according to CNBC.
Paffrath says he voted for Joe Biden in the presidential elections and identifies as a centrist. He has been following Newsom on his "Vote No" campaign trail which started in San Francisco last week.
The recall effort has been several years in the making, but has picked up steam during COVID-19 due to concerns over state shutdowns and the gradual reopening of the state. Several major public figures have joined in on the call to get Newsom out of office over the course of the year, including billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya, who pointed to the flight of major companies like Tesla and Oracle from the state.
Paffrath says he plans to address concerns over high taxes, as well as solve issues with elevated levels of homelessness in cities like San Francisco. The 29-year-old's tax plan would have people avoid income tax on their first $250,000. He also plans to make COVID-19 safety measures optional and says he will clear the homeless population from the streets within his first 60 days in office.
(Grace Kay is a fellow at Business Insider writing about the latest business trends. She has reported for Bloomberg News and Forbes, covering anything from education and technology to commodities and trading.)
DC tunnel website contacted FBI about traffic spike days before Capitol riots | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 13:12
The operator of an obscure website about tunnels under Washington, DC, alerted the FBI about a huge spike in traffic from militia sites and apparent Trump supporters in the days before the January 6 Capitol riots.
Former Capitol Hill intern Elliot Carter is the creator and curator of WashingtonTunnels.com, a website dedicated to the underground tunnels and pipe systems in the nation's Capitol.
The site includes maps and details of the underground transit rail system, along with water and sewer systems and has a steady following among local history and city planning buffs.
It also has maps of the underground tunnels on the Hill, usually used by staffers and occasional visitors to travel from the Capitol building to House and Senate Office Buildings, the Library of Congress and the Capitol Visitor Center.
In the days before the Capitol riots, Carter notified the FBI's Washington Field Office after noticing an uptick in traffic to his site with views coming from unusual sources - including anonymous message boards, sites and forums named after militias or firearms, or using Donald Trump's name.
His tip was mentioned in a Senate review of the insurrection as part of a mountain of evidence that authorities were forewarned about potential violence on January 6 but failed to prepare.
The website WashingtonTunnels.com is dedicated to the underground tunnels and pipe systems in the nation's capitol
The obscure site includes maps and details of the underground transit rail system (pictured) along with water and sewer systems and has a steady following
Included on the site are maps of the underground tunnels on the Hill, usually used by staffers and occasional visitors to travel from the Capitol building to House and Senate Office Buildings, the Library of Congress and the Capitol Visitor Center
Carter told NBC Washington his traffic is normally limited to visitors and referrals from people in DC and in nearby communities in Virginia and Maryland.
Starting on New Year's Day the website saw an unusual spike in traffic from all over the country.
'These people were suddenly obsessed with the Capitol building,' Carter said.
According to Carter, analytics revealed that the page views were coming from hyperlinks shared on anonymous message boards, sites and forums named after militias or firearms, or using Donald Trump's name.
'These were names I really didn't recognize,' he added.
Carter said he was so concerned that he decided to contact the FBI's Washington Field Office.
Although he never got a reply to his email, his the tip about his website was mentioned in the US Senate Rules Committee's June 2021 review of the U.S. Capitol insurrection.
The report cited an 'online tip' was 'received by the FBI National Threat Operations Center of a 'significant uptick' in new visitors to the website WashingtonTunnels.com.'
A Capitol Police spokesman confirmed that they were alerted by a law enforcement source about the spike in website traffic regarding the maps but they were not prepared for the incoming insurrection (pictured)
A Capitol Police spokesman confirmed to NBC Washington that they were alerted by a law enforcement source about the spike in website traffic regarding the maps but they were not prepared for the incoming insurrection.
'Ahead of January 6, the USCP knew Congress and the Capitol grounds were to be the focus of a large demonstration attracting various groups, including some encouraging violence,' the spokesman said in a statement. 'Based on this information, the Department enhanced its security posture. What the intelligence didn't reveal was the large-scale demonstration would become a large-scale attack on the Capitol Building, as there was no specific, credible intelligence about such an attack.'
'The USCP consumes intelligence from every federal agency. At no point prior to January 6 did it receive actionable intelligence about a large-scale attack,' the statement added.
NBC Washington reported that the traffic that flooded the site might have started on anonymous message boards, but went mainstream when a hyperlink to the website was shared on Twitter on January 4, which
Kristofer Goldsmith, a military veteran who studies extremist groups and their use of social media and communications technology, told NBC that it was inevitable that Carter's site would be shared on a more mainstream social media platform.
'It may start in the dark corners of the internet, but where it becomes dangerous is when it ends up on these mainstream platforms,' he said.
Following the riots, Carter took the website offline, but later brought it back online because the site does not actually contain any sensitive information that is not already public knowledge.
On January 6 Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building.
Just before the attack, Trump delivered fiery remarks at the White House and then encouraged his supporters to march to Capitol Hill.
Trump has denied any wrong doing although he spent the weeks after the November election falsely claiming he won and was the victim of voter fraud.
He was impeached a second time on charges of he incited an insurrection at the Capitol. He was acquitted by the Senate.
Four people died on the day of the violence, one shot dead by police and the other three of natural causes.
A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the following day.
Two police officers who took part in the defense of the Capitol later took their own lives. More than a hundred police officers were injured.
Afghanistan to be Integrated into China's ''Belt and Road'' | Covert Geopolitics
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 19:39
There's a reason why the Talibans are not rampaging inside Kabul to celebrate their victory over the US military '-- Afghanistan's economic cooperation with China via the Belt and Road Initiative will be in full swing.
Afghanistan hosts trillions of dollars worth of mineral deposits that China needs to continue producing industrial goods for commercial and military purposes. Obviously, the West is not in the best position to develop the country economically.
Another name has been chiseled on the tombstone in the graveyard of empires. The United States of America. 2001-2021.
Some commentators have said the abandonment of Afghanistan was the worst crisis facing the West since Suez. They are wrong. This is much worse. The canal crisis was about two empires with setting suns, the British and French, not appreciating or admitting their diminishing post-war role before the US stepped in to restore perspective.
Afghanistan is about betrayal, defeat and an increased terror threat. As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaches it is sobering to remember that the US went in to Afghanistan to topple the Taliban in 2001 and thereby reduce the terror threat. It left in 2021 and allowed the Taliban to take over. At the very least, it is difficult to explain.
The West in Asia is discredited. North Korea and China can be expected to take advantage.
It would be remiss of military planners in South Korea and Japan not to formulate a new defense strategy, one more firmly based on their own capabilities, in the light of the flight from Kabul.
America's defeat by the Taliban will also comfort terror groups.
The Chinese saw it coming. Little commented on in the West, the Chinese hosted the Taliban in Tianjin at the end of July as Western military officials kept on talking about a timescale of months before Kabul was endangered.
The Chinese realized in July that the Taliban were going to win within a matter of days or weeks. Which is why China's foreign minister Wang Yi, met Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's political chief, in Tianjin, 100km east of Beijing, at the end of July.
Just before this meeting the Chinese had hosted the US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman, also in Tianjin. When they met the Taliban a few days later it was an indicator that they were taking the Taliban seriously. It was also a snub to the US, putting the Taliban envoy on par with Sherman.
Wang, as the occasion demanded, exchanged niceties with the Taliban. Beijing expected it to ''play an important role in the process of peaceful reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan'', according to a readout of the meeting from the foreign ministry.
What this really means; China will help the Taliban in aid and investment through the conduit of Pakistan. In return the Taliban must not interfere in China's restive region of Xinjiang, where Muslims are in the majority and up to a million are incarcerated by Beijing.
There is money to be made and plenty of deals to be done.
The Belt and Road Initiative, China's plan, in part, to establish trade routes from the East to Europe that cannot be targeted by US sanctions, needs to get into Afghanistan to better access the Central Asian republics.
Beijing is constructing a major road through the narrow Wakhan Corridor'--the strip of mountainous territory connecting Xinjiang in China to Afghanistan (see map above and image right).
This will provide a key route for its Belt and Road Initiative to Pakistan and Central Asia. These routes are essential for Beijing to pursue its goals of increased trade with the region. Crucially, Afghanistan's natural resources, especially rare earths, essential for the computer and telecoms industry, can be mined and transported.
Laughable as it sounds now, Kabul had shunned participation in the initiative to avoid getting on the wrong side of Washington.
China's approach is based both on commerce as well as security. It hopes to rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure indirectly. In terms of Afghanistan, China has been described as Pakistan's ATM. This approach also gives China a hands-off deniability.
Beijing hopes to avoid the harsh lessons of history. Afghanistan is a country where history is marked in tombstones.
Geopolitical analyst Tom Clifford reporting from Beijing.
You can actually participate in the global efforts to cripple the Deep State organized criminal cabal's ability for genocide, while enjoying healthcare freedom at the same time, by boycotting Big Pharma for good.
Sarfaraz (@Sarfaraz1201) / Twitter
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 18:01
Something went wrong, but don't fret '-- let's give it another shot.
SNP proposes making powers to close schools and introduce lockdowns permanent | HeraldScotland
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 17:07
TEMPORARY powers to close schools, introduce lockdowns and require face coverings could be made permanent in the event of future pandemics under proposals tabled by SNP ministers.
The Scottish Government has put forward a host of temporary powers it would like to either make permanent or extend '' covering schools and education provision, justice and court procedures and digitising statutory processes.
But opponents have warned the SNP is heading down "a dangerous route" by proposing handing ministers permanent powers "on a whim".
Under the plans, launched in a public consultation, powers set to expire in March 2022 including ''prohibiting or limiting numbers at gatherings, introducing lockdown measures, and requiring that face coverings are worn'' could be permanently available to ministers.
READ MORE: SNP ministers start work on 'eye-wateringly' costly plan for minimum income
The proposals also include ''powers to make directions to close educational establishments''.
Under the plans, ministers would be able to order school closures ''during the remainder of the pandemic'' or for any future outbreak of an infectious disease, so long as they believe it is ''necessary and proportionate'', and the chief medical officer has been consulted.
During the Covid pandemic, SNP ministers used powers around continuity of education ''extensively'' including free school meals and childcare for children of key workers being provided during the height of the lockdown.
In its consultation document, the Scottish Government has warned that ''future pandemics may have an impact on educational provision'', adding that ''action may need to be taken to control transmission''.
It adds: ''Scottish ministers are minded to provide for permanent powers '' either in their entirety or adapted to reflect our experience of the use of the powers in the various types of educational institution during the Covid pandemic or with additional safeguards '' so they can be deployed as necessary during the remainder of the pandemic.
''In the event of a future pandemic, the broad nature of the powers will provide ministers with the flexibility to take the action needed to address the specific circumstances of the health emergency.''
The document also stresses that backlogs in court proceedings could take until 2025 to be cleared '' leading ministers to propose digitised and remote procedures continuing beyond March 2022, when many measures are due to expire.
READ MORE: SNP's advisory group for net zero economy missing anyone with climate background
Under the plans, those attending court or tribunal by electronic means such as video link could be extended beyond March 2022 '' but the court would have the power to ''require a person to physically attend in a particular case''.
The plans could also lead to rules allowing certain prisoners to be released early to be extended, as well as the extension of the use of fiscal fines as an alternative to prosecution.
If approved, nurses, midwives and paramedics will be able to permanently administer vaccinations ''to make it easier to quickly protect the population from infectious diseases''.
The proposed changes would also maintain pre-eviction protocols relating to rent arrears in the private rented sector, ensuring that tenants have all the information they need about their rights, and placing more responsibility on landlords to ensure correct procedures are followed.
Deputy First Minister and Covid Recovery Secretary, John Swinney, said: ''This consultation focuses on reviewing the legislative powers that have supported our response to Covid-19. We want to ensure we remove measures no longer needed in order to respond to the pandemic whilst keeping those where there is demonstrable benefit to the people of Scotland.
''This is an opportunity to maintain changes that have been welcomed by people who now don't want to lose transformations that have been innovative, beneficial, and increased access to services.''
He added: ''While the pandemic has been incredibly disruptive, its urgency has forced the public services we rely on to adapt and continue and still deliver, driving the pace of digital adoption, and in some cases more efficient ways of working.
''As we enter the recovery phase, we now have a unique opportunity to reimagine how health and social care, learning and justice services can be designed and delivered around the lives and needs of the people who use them.
''I invite everyone to have their say on what this future should look like to support a fair, safe and secure recovery. Your views on these proposals will inform any future legislation to be brought forward on these topics for full scrutiny and debate in Parliament.
''We remain committed to expiring or suspending any existing provisions that are no longer necessary, and will continue to report to Parliament every two months on the use of any temporary powers.''
READ MORE: NHS 'on its knees' as new record set for missed A&E waiting times in Scotland
The plans for courts and criminal processes are intended to ''facilitate the desired managed move to a more digitalised justice sector''.
Opposition MSPs have claimed the SNP is "clearly keen to avoid scrutiny" by attempting to make powers permanently available to ministers.
Scottish Conservative Covid recovery spokesperson, Murdo Fraser, said: ''These powers were intended to be temporary measures to deal with the pandemic. The fact that SNP ministers are now seeking to make many of them permanent is a clear sign they are unwilling to give up their control over people's lives.
''With the vast majority of Covid restrictions having now been eased, Scots will be asking serious questions over why these laws would need to remain in place permanently.
''It is a dangerous route to go down to allow ministers to implement sweeping powers upon society on a whim.
''The SNP already steamrolled an extension of Covid powers through Parliament and now they've snuck this consultation out while it is still in recess.
''They are clearly keen to avoid scrutiny over their plans which would include releasing prisoners early and controlling how schools operate.
''Yet again, the SNP are making rash decisions over Covid related laws, when the focus should be on accelerating our recovery from the pandemic.''
US to Advise Booster Shots for Most Americans 8 Months After Vaccination - The New York Times
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 17:00
Nursing home residents and health care workers will most likely be the first to get booster shots, as soon as September, followed by other older people who were vaccinated last winter.
A vaccination site in New York on Monday. Biden administration officials are planning to recommend third doses for recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Credit... James Estrin/The New York Times Published Aug. 16, 2021 Updated Aug. 17, 2021, 2:06 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON '-- The Biden administration has decided that most Americans should get a coronavirus booster vaccination eight months after they received their second shot, and could begin offering third shots as early as mid-September, according to administration officials familiar with the discussions.
Officials are planning to announce the decision as early as this week. Their goal is to let Americans who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines know now that they will need additional protection against the Delta variant that is causing caseloads to surge across much of the nation. The new policy will depend on the Food and Drug Administration's authorization of additional shots.
Officials said they expect that recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was authorized as a one-dose regimen, will also require an additional dose. But they are waiting for the results of that firm's two-dose clinical trial, expected later this month.
The first boosters are likely to go to nursing home residents, health care workers and emergency workers. They would probably be followed by other older people who were near the front of the line when vaccinations began late last year, then by the general population. Officials envision giving people the same vaccine they originally received.
The decision comes as the Biden administration is struggling to regain control of a pandemic that it had claimed to have tamed little more than a month ago. President Biden had declared the nation reopened for normal life for the July 4 holiday, but the wildfire spread of the Delta variant has thwarted that. Covid-19 patients are again overwhelming hospitals in some states, and federal officials are worried about an increase in the number of children hospitalized just as the school year is set to begin.
For weeks, Biden administration officials have been analyzing the rise in Covid-19 cases, trying to figure out if the Delta variant is better able to evade the vaccines or if the vaccines have waned in strength over time. According to some administration experts, both could be true, a distressing combination that is re-energizing a pandemic that the nation fervently hoped had been curbed.
Dr. Francis S. Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, told ''Fox News Sunday'' that ''there is a concern that the vaccine may start to wane.'' That, combined with the Delta variant's ferocity, could dictate boosters, he said.
Federal health officials have been particularly concerned about data from Israel suggesting that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine's protection against severe disease has fallen significantly for elderly people who got their second shot in January or February.
Israel can in some ways be viewed as a template for the United States because it vaccinated more of its population faster and has almost exclusively used the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that made up much of the U.S. stock. Unlike the United States, though, Israel has a nationalized health care system that allows it to systematically track patients.
The latest Israeli data, posted on the government's website on Monday, shows what some experts described as continued erosion of the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine against mild or asymptomatic Covid-19 infections in general and against severe disease among the elderly who were vaccinated early in the year.
One slide suggests that for those 65 years or older who got their second shots in January, the vaccine is now only about 55 percent effective against severe disease. But researchers noted that the data has a wide margin of error, and some said other Israeli government data suggested the decline in efficacy was less severe.
''It shows a pretty steep decline in effectiveness against infection, but it's still a bit murky about protection against severe disease,'' said Dr. Peter J. Hotez, a vaccine expert at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who reviewed the data at the request of The New York Times.
Dr. Jesse L. Goodman, a former chief scientist with the Food and Drug Administration who also reviewed the data, said it suggests ''worrisome trends'' that could signal waning of vaccine effectiveness. But he said he would like to see further detail from Israel and, more important, data indicating whether the United States is headed in the same direction.
Understand the State of Vaccine and Mask Mandates in the U.S.
Mask rules. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July recommended that all Americans, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in indoor public places within areas experiencing outbreaks, a reversal of the guidance it offered in May. See where the C.D.C. guidance would apply, and where states have instituted their own mask policies. The battle over masks has become contentious in some states, with some local leaders defying state bans.Vaccine rules . . . and businesses. Private companies are increasingly mandating coronavirus vaccines for employees, with varying approaches. Such mandates are legally allowed and have been upheld in court challenges.College and universities. More than 400 colleges and universities are requiring students to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Almost all are in states that voted for President Biden.Schools. On Aug. 11, California announced that it would require teachers and staff of both public and private schools to be vaccinated or face regular testing, the first state in the nation to do so. A survey released in August found that many American parents of school-age children are opposed to mandated vaccines for students, but were more supportive of mask mandates for students, teachers and staff members who do not have their shots. Hospitals and medical centers. Many hospitals and major health systems are requiring employees to get a Covid-19 vaccine, citing rising caseloads fueled by the Delta variant and stubbornly low vaccination rates in their communities, even within their work force.New York. On Aug. 3, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York announced that proof of vaccination would be required of workers and customers for indoor dining, gyms, performances and other indoor situations, becoming the first U.S. city to require vaccines for a broad range of activities. City hospital workers must also get a vaccine or be subjected to weekly testing. Similar rules are in place for New York State employees.At the federal level. The Pentagon announced that it would seek to make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for the country's 1.3 million active-duty troops ''no later'' than the middle of September. President Biden announced that all civilian federal employees would have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or submit to regular testing, social distancing, mask requirements and restrictions on most travel.Federal officials said the booster program will most likely follow much the same scenario as the initial vaccination program. The first shots for the general public in the United States were administered on Dec. 14, days after the F.D.A. authorized the Pfizer shot for emergency use. People started receiving the Moderna vaccine a week later.
While frontline health care workers and nursing home residents were among the first to get inoculated nationwide, states followed their own plans for who else was eligible for shots in the early weeks and months of the vaccination campaign.
But almost everyone 65 and older qualified for vaccination by late February, as did many police officers, teachers, grocery store employees and other people at risk of being exposed to the virus on the job.
The regulatory path for additional shots is not entirely clear. Pfizer-BioNTech filed data to the F.D.A. on Monday that it said showed the safety and effectiveness of a booster shot. But the data was preliminary, from Phase 1 of a clinical trial. Moderna is on a similar track, exploring the safety and efficacy of both a half-dose and a full dose as a third shot.
The World Health Organization has called for a moratorium on booster shots until the end of September, saying available doses should be used to help countries that are far behind in vaccinations. But Israel is already offering third shots to those at least 50 years old. Germany and France have said they plan to offer additional shots to vulnerable segments of their populations next month. Britain has a plan to do so, but is holding off for now.
Late last week, the F.D.A. authorized third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for certain people with weakened immune systems, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended them. The authorities decided those individuals, who make up fewer than 3 percent of Americans, merited extra shots because many fail to respond to the standard dosage. The agency has not yet authorized any of the vaccines for children younger than 12.
Noah Weiland contributed reporting.
Web installer | Install | GrapheneOS
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:54
This is the WebUSB-based installer for GrapheneOS and is the recommended approach for most users. The command-line installation guide is the more traditional approach to installing GrapheneOS.
If you have trouble with the installation process, ask for help on the official GrapheneOS chat channel. There are almost always people around willing to help with it. Before asking for help, make an attempt to follow the guide on your own and then ask for help with anything you get stuck on.
Table of contentsPrerequisitesEnabling OEM unlockingFlashing as non-rootBooting into the bootloader interfaceConnecting the phoneUnlocking the bootloaderObtaining factory imagesFlashing factory imagesLocking the bootloaderPost-installationBootingDisabling OEM unlockingVerifying installationReplacing GrapheneOS with the stock OSFurther informationPrerequisitesYou should have at least 2GB of free memory available and 8GB of free storage space.
You need a USB cable for attaching the device to a laptop or desktop. Whenever possible, use the high quality standards compliant USB-C cable packaged with the device. If your computer doesn't have any USB-C ports, you'll need a high quality USB-C to USB-A cable. You should avoid using a USB hub such as the front panel on a desktop computer case. Connect directly to a rear port on a desktop or the ports on a laptop. Many widely distributed USB cables and hubs are broken and are the most common source of issues for installing GrapheneOS.
Installing from an OS in a virtual machine is not recommended. USB passthrough is often not reliable. To rule out these problems, install from an OS running on bare metal. Virtual machines are also often configured to have overly limited memory and storage space.
Officially supported operating systems for the web install method:
Windows 10macOS Big SurArch LinuxDebian 10 (buster)Ubuntu 20.04 LTSUbuntu 20.10ChromeOSGrapheneOSGoogle Android on GrapheneOS-supported devicesMake sure your operating system is up-to-date before proceeding.
Officially supported browsers for the web install method:
Chromium (outside Ubuntu, since they ship a broken Snap package without working WebUSB)BromiteVanadium (GrapheneOS)Google ChromeMicrosoft EdgeMake sure your browser is up-to-date before proceeding.
Do not use Incognito or other private browsing modes. These modes usually prevent the web installer from having enough storage space to extract the downloaded release.
You need one of the officially supported devices. To make sure that the device can be unlocked to install GrapheneOS, avoid carrier variants of the devices. Carrier variants of Pixels use the same stock OS and firmware with a non-zero carrier id flashed onto the persist partition in the factory. The carrier id activates carrier-specific configuration in the stock OS including disabling carrier and bootloader unlocking. The carrier may be able to remotely disable this, but their support staff may not be aware and they probably won't do it. Get a carrier agnostic device to avoid the risk and potential hassle. If you CAN figure out a way to unlock a carrier device, it isn't a problem as GrapheneOS can just ignore the carrier id and the hardware is the same.
It's best practice to update the device before installing GrapheneOS to have the latest firmware for connecting the phone to the computer and performing the early flashing process. Either way, GrapheneOS flashes the latest firmware early in the installation process.
Enabling OEM unlockingOEM unlocking needs to be enabled from within the operating system.
Enable the developer options menu by going to Settings '-- About phone and repeatedly pressing the build number menu entry until developer mode is enabled.
Next, go to Settings '-- System '-- Advanced '-- Developer options and toggle on the 'Enable OEM unlocking' setting. This requires internet access on devices with Google Play services as part of Factory Reset Protection (FRP) for anti-theft protection.
Flashing as non-rootOn traditional Linux distributions, USB devices cannot be used as non-root without udev rules for each type of device. This is not an issue for other platforms.
On Arch Linux, install the android-udev package. On Debian and Ubuntu, install the android-sdk-platform-tools-common package.
Booting into the bootloader interfaceYou need to boot your phone into the bootloader interface. To do this, you need to hold the volume down button while the phone boots.
The easiest approach is to reboot the phone and begin holding the volume down button until it boots up into the bootloader interface.
Alternatively, turn off the phone, then boot it up while holding the volume down button during the boot process. You can either boot it with the power button or by plugging it in as required in the next section.
Connecting the phoneConnect the phone to the computer. On Linux, you'll need to do this again if you didn't have the udev rules set up when you connected it.
On Windows, you may need to install a driver for fastboot now: In Windows Update, click Check for updates. After that there might be a link "View optional updates." Download and install any driver updates. If there are no optional updates, simply continue with the installation instructions.
Unlocking the bootloaderUnlock the bootloader to allow flashing the OS and firmware:
The command needs to be confirmed on the device and will wipe all data. Use one of the volume keys to switch the selection to accepting it and the power button to confirm.
Obtaining factory imagesYou need to obtain the GrapheneOS factory images for your device to proceed with the installation process.
Press the button below to start the download:
Flashing factory imagesThe initial install will be performed by flashing the factory images. This will replace the existing OS installation and wipe all the existing data.
Wait for the flashing process to complete. It will automatically handle flashing the firmware, rebooting into the bootloader interface, flashing the core OS, rebooting into the userspace fastboot mode, flashing the rest of the OS and finally rebooting back into the bootloader interface. Avoid interacting with the device until the flashing script is finished and the device is back at the bootloader interface. Then, proceed to locking the bootloader before using the device as locking wipes the data again.
Locking the bootloaderLocking the bootloader is important as it enables full verified boot. It also prevents using fastboot to flash, format or erase partitions. Verified boot will detect modifications to any of the OS partitions and it will prevent reading any modified / corrupted data. If changes are detected, error correction data is used to attempt to obtain the original data at which point it's verified again which makes verified boot robust to non-malicious corruption.
In the bootloader interface, set it to locked:
The command needs to be confirmed on the device and will wipe all data. Use one of the volume buttons to switch the selection to accepting it and the power button to confirm.
Post-installationBootingYou've now successfully installed GrapheneOS and can boot it. Pressing the power button with the default Start option selected in the bootloader interface will boot the OS.
Disabling OEM unlockingOEM unlocking can be disabled again in the developer settings menu within the operating system after booting it up again.
After disabling OEM unlocking, we recommend disabling developer options as a whole for a device that's not being used for app or OS development.
Verifying installationVerified boot authenticates and validates the firmware images and OS from the hardware root of trust. Since GrapheneOS supports full verified boot, the OS images are entirely verified. However, it's possible that the computer you used to flash the OS was compromised, leading to flashing a malicious verified boot public key and images. To detect this kind of attack, you can use the Auditor app included in GrapheneOS in the Auditee mode and verify it with another Android device in the Auditor mode.
The Auditor app works best once it's already paired with a device and has pinned a persistent hardware-backed key and the attestation certificate chain. However, it can still provide a bit of security for the initial verification via the attestation root. Ideally, you should also do this before connecting the device to the network, so an attacker can't proxy to another device (which stops being possible after the initial verification). Further protection against proxying the initial pairing will be provided in the future via optional support for ID attestation to include the serial number in the hardware verified information to allow checking against the one on the box / displayed in the bootloader. See the Auditor tutorial for a guide.
After the initial verification, which results in pairing, performing verification against between the same Auditor and Auditee (as long as the app data hasn't been cleared) will provide strong validation of the identity and integrity of the device. That makes it best to get the pairing done right after installation. You can also consider setting up the optional remote attestation service.
Replacing GrapheneOS with the stock OSInstallation of the stock OS via the stock factory images is similar to the process described above but with Google's web flashing tool. However, before locking, there's an additional step to fully revert the device to a clean factory state.
The GrapheneOS factory images flash a non-stock Android Verified Boot key which needs to be erased to fully revert back to a stock device state. After flashing the stock factory images and before locking the bootloader, you should erase the custom Android Verified Boot key to untrust it:
Further informationPlease look through the usage guide and FAQ for more information. If you have further questions not covered by the site, join the official GrapheneOS chat channels and ask the questions in the appropriate channel.
How concerned are you about adverse events related to the vaccines?
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:36
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Lockdown Returns as our Last Line of Defence | Newsroom
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:02
First published AUGUST 17, 2021 Updated 5 hours ago
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is co-editor of Newsroom. He writes about politics, Auckland, and media. Twitter: @tmurphynz
Show more Newsroom
Four hundred and seventy seven days since New Zealand was last in alert Level 4 for the Covid-19 pandemic, the country returns to a status no one ever wanted to see or live through again.
One positive case found in the community on Tuesday was enough to turn back 15 months of intermittent progress from the days of hard lockdown.
One case which is almost certainly of the dreaded Delta variant that has taken over almost all infections in the United States, swept many parts of the world, stricken New South Wales and increasingly other states of Australia and accounted for 100 percent of the cases caught at the border in this country in recent times.
New Zealand is entering a hard, Level 4 lockdown for three days and Auckland and the Coromandel for at least seven days from midnight Tuesday.
For many weeks, New Zealand has been like that graphic map of the UK which used to open the Dad's Army comedy series. In Dad's Army, a range of arrows carrying Nazi German insignia prodded at the coastline of Britain, being bounced back by the old men of the Home Guard.
Here, the border of New Zealand has faced Covid's arrows from all angles - airport arrivals into MIQ, ships at Taranaki, Tauranga and elsewhere and at any weak point along our border protections. Our Home Guard - careful returnees, frontline staff, Covid testers, healthcare workers, analysts, modellers, epidemiologists and bureaucrats - have held Covid and Delta off from the community.
Until Tuesday. A 58-year-old unvaccinated man, from Devonport in Auckland who also travelled to the Coromandel Peninsula, was confirmed as positive and admitted to quarantine.
Now, many of those same defenders swing into action more robustly than before, and the five million New Zealanders return to their homes and do their bit as they did from March 25 to April 27, 2020.
The streets of Christchurch during last year's Level 4 lockdown. The whole country will be in Level 4 from midnight tonight. Photo: David Williams Then, we had numerous cases of Covid in clusters, topping out with a daily case number of 80 plus. The lockdown needed to be for four weeks and was then followed by three more weeks at Level 3.
This time, the sole case currently confirmed demands almost as much caution and sacrifice to prevent community spread of that Delta variant - with its far higher transmissibility from one person to many and its ability to still infect the single and double vaccinated, if not cause severe illness.
There was both a sense of dread and a practical, let's-get-ahead of this thing attitude among Aucklanders. The initial New South Wales political and official timidity and then progressive worsening of the spread of the virus and the extent of lockdown restrictions is a stark comparison for this city.
Confirming the news on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand had plans to "contain and stamp out Covid-19" and the "going hard and early" strategy of lockdown had worked well for this country last year. There were "benefits to being amongst the last" to face the Delta threats. New Zealand could see what worked and what didn't.
"Delta has been called a game changer and it is. It means we have to need to go hard and early to stop the spread. We have seen what happens elsewhere if we fail to get on top of it. We only get one chance.
"We want to be short and sharp rather than light and long. We've seen what happened in Sydney."
The Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said officials were assuming this case was the Delta variant because of the experience of intercepted cases lately at the border. There are 23 locations of interest - 13 in and around Coromandel township, where the man visited at the weekend, and 10 in Auckland. While it was a local case, it required a nationwide response.
This time last year, Auckland was four days into a Level 3 restriction after four new cases of the 2020 strain of the virus had been detected in the community. The city remained in either Level 3 or 2 until October 7.
And now, the clock is once again set into a countdown, until 11.59pm Tuesday night when the Level 4 lockdown takes the city and country into another Covid pause, and then it will be ticking again until the Delta variant is contained or tamed, for now, and a move to Level 3 is again possible.
Time for the Home Guard to once again do its thing.
Vliegveld Kabul heropend, Nederlands toestel vertraagd | Binnenland | Telegraaf.nl
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 12:30
Volgens het Amerikaanse ministerie van Defensie landde al een C-17 met Amerikaanse militairen en dat spoedig zou worden gevolgd door een tweede transportvliegtuig. Eerder meldde de Amerikaanse zender NBC dat een transportvliegtuig was geland, en zag daarmee de hervatting van de evacuatievluchten en de aankomst van troepen die moeten helpen bij de operatie.
Volgens het Duitse persbureau DPA landde ook een toestel van de Duitse strijdkrachten om mensen te evacueren. Het is de bedoeling dat de A400M de gevacueerde passagiers naar de Oezbeekse hoofdstad Tasjkent brengt. Daar kunnen de mensen een lijnvlucht nemen.
Eerder maandag moesten alle vluchten worden stopgezet omdat duizenden Afghanen het luchthaventerrein waren binnengedrongen. Zij wilden mee in een van de vertrekkende vliegtuigen, omdat zij voor hun leven vrezen nu de radicaalislamitische beweging Taliban de macht over het land heeft heroverd. Er speelden zich chaotische sc¨nes af, waarbij ook doden vielen.
Tekst loopt verder onder de tweet.
'Vertraagd tot nader order'Het is nog onduidelijk wanneer het Nederlandse militaire toestel, dat onderweg was naar het vliegveld om tolken, lokaal ambassadepersoneel en gezinnen te evacueren, weer richting Kabul vertrekt. Volgens het ministerie van Defensie is het vliegtuig 'vertraagd tot nader order'.
Voor zover bekend was er nog maar (C)(C)n Nederlands toestel onderweg naar Afghanistan. Waar dat zich nu bevindt, is onbekend. Defensie heeft meerdere vluchten op de planning.
Tekst loopt verder onder de tweet.
De VS kondigden maandagavond aan duizend extra militairen naar Kabul te sturen. De in totaal zevenduizend militairen helpen volgens Amerikaanse media 30.000 mensen het land uit, van wie zo'n 8000 naar andere landen dan de Verenigde Staten. Bronnen melden dat hun succes ook voor de Nederlandse evacuatievlucht essentieel is.
ChaosEerder op maandag was te zien hoe honderden mensen op de start- en landingsbaan van het vliegveld liepen. Groepen mensen die het land wilden ontvluchten probeerden vliegtuigen binnen te komen of klampten zich vast aan de buitenkant. Meerdere mensen raakten gewond of kwamen om het leven, ook door geweervuur.
Bekijk hieronder het liveblog over de situatie in Afghanistan.
T-Mobile Confirms It Was Hacked
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 23:30
Image: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
T-Mobile confirmed hackers gained access to the telecom giant's systems in an announcement published Monday.
The move comes after Motherboard reported that T-Mobile was investigating a post on an underground forum offering for sale Social Security Numbers and other private data. The forum post at the time didn't name T-Mobile, but the seller told Motherboard the data came from T-Mobile servers.
"We have determined that unauthorized access to some T-Mobile data occurred, however we have not yet determined that there is any personal customer data involved," T-Mobile wrote in its new announcement. "This investigation will take some time but we are working with the highest degree of urgency. Until we have completed this assessment we cannot confirm the reported number of records affected or the validity of statements made by others," the announcement added.
Do you work at T-Mobile and know anything else about this breach? We'd love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, or email email@example.com.
The seller told Motherboard that 100 million people had their data compromised in the breach. In the forum post, they were offering data on 30 million people for 6 bitcoin, or around $270,000.
They told Motherboard at the time that T-Mobile had seemingly kicked them out of the company's networks. T-Mobile's announcement corroborates that somewhat, saying, "We are confident that the entry point used to gain access has been closed, and we are continuing our deep technical review of the situation across our systems to identify the nature of any data that was illegally accessed."
Motherboard has seen samples of the data, and confirmed they contained accurate information on T-Mobile customers. The data includes social security numbers, phone numbers, names, physical addresses, unique IMEI numbers, and driver license information, the seller said.
"We have been working around the clock to investigate claims being made that T-Mobile data may have been illegally accessed. We take the protection of our customers very seriously and we are conducting an extensive analysis alongside digital forensic experts to understand the validity of these claims, and we are coordinating with law enforcement," T-Mobile's announcement added.
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Mon, 16 Aug 2021 22:23
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Will the real hottest month on record please stand up?
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 22:20
via NOAAAs anyone who follows the climate news is aware, July 2021 was the hottest month on record for our torrid little orb, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with a combined temperature 1.67 degrees F higher than the 20th century average of 60.4 F.
NOAA noted in a Friday press release that the previous record was set in July 2016, and tied in 2019 and 2020. But as Bill Frezza, a sharp-eyed reader of Retraction Watch noticed, the agency's website tells a different story. This press release, dated Aug. 15, 2019, and still live on noaa.gov, proclaims July 2019 to be the hottest month on record for the planet:
The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, making it the hottest July in the 140-year record, according to scientists at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. The previous hottest month on record was July 2016.
Of course, in a period of global warming, over time we'd expect the average temperature of the world to, well, warm. But 1.67 is decidedly not greater than 1.71, so either this July was the warmest month on record or it wasn't.
We put that question to NOAA's press office, and got this response, attributed to the agency's climate experts:
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information calculates the global temperature anomaly every month based on preliminary data generated from authoritative datasets of temperature observations from around the globe. The major dataset, NOAAGlobalTemp version 5, updated in mid-2019, uses comprehensive data collections of increased global area coverage over both land and ocean surfaces. NOAAGlobalTempv5 is a reconstructed dataset, meaning that the entire period of record is recalculated each month with new data. Based on those new calculations, the new historical data can bring about updates to previously reported values. These factors, together, mean that calculations from the past may be superseded by the most recent data and can affect the numbers reported in the monthly climate reports. The most current reconstruction analysis is always considered the most representative and precise of the climate system, and it is publicly available through Climate at a Glance.
Our follow-up question: Any plans to add a note to the July 2019 release, or update it? We're standing by.
Like Retraction Watch? You can make a one-time tax-deductible contribution or a monthly tax-deductible donation to support our work, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, or subscribe to our daily digest. If you find a retraction that's not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Timeline Of "The Great Reset" Agenda | ZeroHedge
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 21:54
Authored by Tim Hinchliffe via GlobalResearch.ca,
Say it's 2014 and you've had this idea for a technocratic Great Reset of the world economy for some time now, but it only works if the entire planet is rocked by a pandemic. How do you go about selling your idea?
''The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future'' '-- Klaus Schwab, WEF
If you are World Economic Forum (WEF) Founder Klaus Schwab, you attempt to sell your vision of a global Utopia via a Great Reset of the world order in three simple steps:
Announce your intention to revamp every aspect of society with global governance, and keep repeating that message
When your message isn't getting through, simulate fake pandemic scenarios that show why the world needs a great reset
If the fake pandemic scenarios aren't persuasive enough, wait a couple months for a real global crisis to occur, and repeat step one
It took Schwab and the Davos elite about six years to watch their great reset ideology grow from a tiny Swiss seed in 2014 to a European super-flower pollinating the entire globe in 2020.
The so-called ''Great Reset'' promises to build ''a more secure, more equal, and more stable world'' if everyone on the planet agrees to ''act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.''
But it wouldn't have been possible to contemplate materializing such an all-encompassing plan for a new world order without a global crisis, be it manufactured or of unfortunate happenstance, that shocked society to its core.
''In the end, the outcome was tragic: the most catastrophic pandemic in history with hundreds of millions of deaths, economic collapse and societal upheaval'' '-- Clade X pandemic simulation (May, 2018)
So, in May, 2018, the WEF partnered with Johns Hopkins to simulate a fictitious pandemic '-- dubbed ''Clade X'' '-- to see how prepared the world be if ever faced with such a crisis.
A little over a year later, the WEF once again teamed-up with Johns Hopkins, along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to stage another pandemic exercise called Event 201 in October, 2019.
Both simulations concluded that the world wasn't prepared for a global pandemic.
And a few short months following the conclusion of Event 201, which specifically simulated a coronavirus outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared that the coronavirus had reached pandemic status on March 11, 2020.
''The next severe pandemic will not only cause great illness and loss of life but could also trigger major cascading economic and societal consequences that could contribute greatly to global impact and suffering'' '-- Event 201 pandemic simulation (October, 2019)
Since then, just about every scenario covered in the Clade X and Event 201 simulations has come into play, including:
Governments implementing lockdowns worldwide
The collapse of many industries
Growing mistrust between governments and citizens
A greater adoption of biometric surveillance technologies
Social media censorship in the name of combating misinformation
The desire to flood communication channels with ''authoritative'' sources
A global lack of personal protective equipment
The breakdown of international supply chains
Rioting in the streets
And a whole lot more!
After the nightmare scenarios had fully materialized by mid-2020, the WEF founder declared ''now is the time for a ''Great Reset'' in June of this year.
Was it excellent forecasting, planning, and modeling on the part of the WEF and partners that Clade X and Event 201 turned out to be so prophetic, or was there something more to it?
TimelineBelow is a condensed timeline of events that tracks the Great Reset agenda that went from just a ''hope'' in 2014 to a globalist ideology touted by royalty, the media, and heads of state the world-over in 2020.
2014-2017: Klaus Schwab calls for Great Reset and WEF repeats message
Ahead of the 2014 WEF meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Schwab announced that he hoped the WEF would push the reset button on the global economy.
The 'Great Reset': A Technocratic Agenda that Waited Years for a Global Crisis to Exploit
The WEF would go on to repeat that message for years.
Between 2014 and 2017, the WEF called to reshape, restart, reboot, and reset the global order every single year, each aimed at solving various ''crises.''
2014: WEF publishes meeting agenda entitled ''The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.''
2015: WEF publishes article in collaboration with VOX EU called ''We need to press restart on the global economy.''
2016: WEF holds panel called ''How to reboot the global economy.''
2017: WEF publishes article saying ''Our world needs a reset in how we operate.''
Then in 2018, the Davos elites turned their heads towards simulating fake pandemic scenarios to see how prepared the world would be in the face of a different crisis.
2018-2019: WEF, Johns Hopkins & Gates Foundation simulate fake pandemics
On May 15, 2018, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted the ''Clade X'' pandemic exercise in partnership with the WEF.
The Clade X exercise included mock video footage of actors giving scripted news reports about a fake pandemic scenario (video below).
The Clade X event also included discussion panels with real policymakers who assessed that governments and industry were not adequately prepared for the fictitious global pandemic.
''In the end, the outcome was tragic: the most catastrophic pandemic in history with hundreds of millions of deaths, economic collapse and societal upheaval,'' according to a WEF report on Clade X.
''There are major unmet global vulnerabilities and international system challenges posed by pandemics that will require new robust forms of public-private cooperation to address'' '-- Event 201 pandemic simulation (October, 2019)
Then on October 18, 2019, in partnership with Johns Hopkins and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the WEF ran Event 201.
During the scenario, the entire global economy was shaken, there were riots on the streets, and high-tech surveillance measures were needed to ''stop the spread.''
Two fake pandemics were simulated in the two years leading up to the real coronavirus crisis.
''Governments will need to partner with traditional and social media companies to research and develop nimble approaches to countering misinformation'' '-- Event 201 pandemic simulation (October, 2019)
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security issued a public statement on January 24, 2020, explicitly addressing that Event 201 wasn't meant to predict the future.
''To be clear, the Center for Health Security and partners did not make a prediction during our tabletop exercise. For the scenario, we modeled a fictional coronavirus pandemic, but we explicitly stated that it was not a prediction. Instead, the exercise served to highlight preparedness and response challenges that would likely arise in a very severe pandemic.''
Intentional or not, Event 201 ''highlighted'' the ''fictional'' challenges of a pandemic, along with recommendations that go hand-in-hand with the great reset agenda that has set up camp in the nefarious ''new normal.''
''The next severe pandemic will not only cause great illness and loss of life but could also trigger major cascading economic and societal consequences that could contribute greatly to global impact and suffering'' '-- Event 201 pandemic simulation (October, 2019)
Together, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the World Economic Forum, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation submitted seven recommendations for governments, international organizations, and global business to follow in the event of a pandemic.
The Event 201 recommendations call for greater collaboration between the public and private sectors while emphasizing the importance of establishing partnerships with un-elected, global institutions such as the WHO, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the International Air Transport Organization, to carry out a centralized response.
One of the recommendations calls for governments to partner with social media companies and news organization to censor content and control the flow of information.
''Media companies should commit to ensuring that authoritative messages are prioritized and that false messages are suppressed including though [sic] the use of technology'' '-- Event 201 pandemic simulation (October, 2019)
According to the report, ''Governments will need to partner with traditional and social media companies to research and develop nimble approaches to countering misinformation.
''National public health agencies should work in close collaboration with WHO to create the capability to rapidly develop and release consistent health messages.
''For their part, media companies should commit to ensuring that authoritative messages are prioritized and that false messages are suppressed including though [sic] the use of technology.''
Throughout 2020, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have been censoring, suppressing, and flagging any coronavirus-related information that goes against WHO recommendations as a matter of policy, just as Event 201 had recommended.
Big tech companies have also deployed the same content suppression tactics during the 2020 US presidential election '-- slapping ''disputed'' claims on content that question election integrity.
2020: WEF declares 'Now is the time for a Great Reset'
After calling for a great reset in 2014, the Davos crowd repeated the same ideology for a few more years before pivoting towards simulating faux pandemic scenarios.
A few months after the WEF established that nobody was prepared to deal with a coronavirus pandemic, the WHO declared there was a coronavirus pandemic.
All of a sudden! the great reset narrative that the WEF had been nurturing for six years, found a place to pitch its tent in the ''new normal'' camp.
''The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future,'' Schwab declared on June 3, 2020.
And that's where we're at today.
The Davos elites said they wanted a global reset of the economy many years ago
They role-played what would happen if a pandemic were to occur
And now they're saying that the great reset ideology is the solution to the pandemic, and it must be enacted quickly
The great reset is a means to an end.
Next on the agenda is a complete makeover of society under a technocratic regime of un-elected bureaucrats who want to dictate how the world is run from the top down, leveraging invasive technologies to track and trace your every move while censoring and silencing anyone who dares not comply.
China Offers Taliban 'Friendship and Cooperation'
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 21:50
China quickly offered ''friendship and cooperation'' to the Islamist extremists in official statements on Monday, contrary to the Biden administration's frequent threats that the Taliban would become international pariahs if they seized control of Afghanistan by force.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday accepted the Taliban's conquest as ''the choice and will of the Afghan people.''
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying oddly referred to the Taliban's military occupation of Kabul as a ''truce'' '' at the same time as Taliban thugs were reportedly going door-to-door in captured cities to hunt down officials of the toppled civilian government, killing women who seek employment and education, and dragging 12-year-old girls off as jihad brides.
''China hopes that the Taliban will implement its previous vows to establish through negotiation an open and inclusive Islamic government and act responsibly to ensure the safety of Afghan citizens and foreign missions in Afghanistan,'' she said.
China has always played a constructive role in promoting a political solution to the Afghan issue, and maintained contacts and communications with the Afghan Taliban and other sides, on the basis of full respect for the sovereignty of the Afghan state and the wishes of the various factions in the country.
Hua refused to answer questions on Beijing plans, or lack thereof, to formally recognize the Taliban's ''Islamic Emirate,'' saying only that her government has ''maintained contact and communication'' with the extremists as they marched across Afghanistan.
Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Kandahar, southwest Afghanistan, Sunday, August 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Sidiqullah Khan)
''Afghanistan's Taliban has expressed many times a desire for good relations with China, with an expectation that China will take part in Afghanistan's rebuilding and development process, and will not allow any forces to use Afghanistan's soil to harm China,'' she said. ''We welcome this.''
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) noted on Monday that China's embassy in Afghanistan ''is continuing to operate as normal, and its ambassador and embassy staff will remain in their posts.'' Afghanistan's ambassador to China remains comfortably stationed in Beijing.
Reporting on Hua's press conference, China's state-run Global Times quoted Taliban officials who said they were working to ''ensure that the transition process is completed safely and securely, without compromising the lives, property and honor of anyone.''
The Global Times fondly recalled Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meeting with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the Taliban's ''political commission,'' in the city of Tianjin, China on July 28:
Wang pointed out, ''We hope the Afghan Taliban will make a clean break with all terrorist organizations including ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement) and resolutely and effectively combat them to remove obstacles, play a positive role and create enabling conditions for security, stability, development and cooperation in the region.''
Baradar told Wang that ''the Afghan Taliban will never allow any force to use the Afghan territory to engage in acts detrimental to China. The Afghan Taliban believes that Afghanistan should develop friendly relations with neighboring countries and the international community.''
China reportedly secured promises from Taliban leadership that they would not harbor anti-Chinese insurgents, especially those from restless Xinjiang province, home of the oppressed Uyghur Muslims. The Taliban reportedly promised it would also control Afghanistan's borders to prevent a flood of refugees from pouring into China.
A Taliban spokesman welcomed China to post-conquest Afghanistan as a ''friend'' in early July.
''We have been to China many times and we have good relations with them. China is a friendly country that we welcome for reconstruction and developing Afghanistan,'' the Taliban spokesman said, hoping for big Chinese investments ''as soon as possible.''
Chinese state media insisted in July that the Taliban was not a terrorist group and not an ''enemy of China's national interests.''
Global Times editor Hu Xijin wrote last month:
The situation around Afghanistan is rather complex, but China clearly knows what its national interests are. We should not create enemies for ourselves at this crunch time. In particular, we should not easily reject the goodwill from the Taliban, which is of great significance to our exerting influence in Afghanistan and maintaining stability in Xinjiang.
Other Chinese state media editorials expressed dismay at the departure of U.S. forces under Biden and said China would reluctantly step in to restore order after the ''turmoil'' caused by American withdrawal.
Taliban fighters take control of the Afghan presidential palace after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, August 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)
On Sunday, Hu approvingly and mirthfully quoted Chinese ''netizens'' who said, ''the power transition in Afghanistan is even smoother than the presidential transition in the U.S.''
The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported in July that China substantially increased its investments in Afghanistan as the date set by President Joe Biden for U.S. troop withdrawal approached, securing a strong interest in Afghanistan's trillion-dollar minerals industry even as the now-defunct government in Kabul refused to award contracts to the U.S. and other Western companies.
In February, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) commander Gen. Joseph Votel told the U.S. Senate that China was using its massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to ''provide access and influence'' across the Middle East, including Afghanistan.
Votel said BRI, ostensibly an international infrastructure program, ''could support and mask longer-term military and political objectives,'' which include ''trying to displace the U.S. from its position of influence.''
The Taliban announced its approval of China's huge mining projects in 2016 and said it would not attack Chinese interests in the provinces it was then contesting.
The Biden administration spent the past week frantically warning the advancing Taliban that it would be completely isolated by the international community if they seized power by force. The nadir of this effort was reached on Wednesday with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki's widely-mocked admonition that the Taliban should ''make an assessment about what they want their role to be in the international community.''
The Taliban clearly knew all along it would have all the support it needed from China, which can provide economic engagement, diplomatic recognition, and cover at the U.N. Security Council. Russia and Turkey are also reportedly preparing to recognize the Islamic Emirate of the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan.
Somalia sets up national payments system as it rebuilds country | Al-Qaeda News | Al Jazeera
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 20:58
Somalia is struggling to rebuild after 20 years of civil war and is still battling an insurgency by al-Shabab
By Mohamed Sheikh Nor Bloomberg
Somalia has set up a national payments system as part of plans to develop the financial industry in one of the world's most fragile states, following decades of political and economic instability.
The 13 lenders in the Horn of Africa nation can now ''become inter-operable, connected to the clearing and settlement system of the central bank and able to transact with each other,'' Central Bank of Somalia Governor Abdirahman M. Abdullahi said in an interview. The system will ''facilitate transactions between vendors and their customers more efficiently.''
Somalia is struggling to rebuild after 20 years of civil war and is still battling an insurgency by al Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate.
The government last year secured a debt-relief deal with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as it sought to return to the global financial system. The authorities are now in talks with lenders who aren't part of the Paris Club, an informal group of mostly rich western government creditors, to potentially further reduce the nation's liabilities that stood at $4.5 billion in June.
Under the system, the central bank connects lenders to a clearing and settlements platform to enable them to process real-time money transfers. It also includes interoperability capabilities for debit and credit cards, mobile network operators and automated cash machines.
A central payments system bodes well for the nation's financial sector after recent developments, including the launch of a visa card in July by the International Bank of Somalia. The central bank also issued the first mobile-phone based financial-services license to Hormuud Telecom, and is looking to print new Somali shilling notes.
Currently, Somalia uses mostly in U.S. dollars because of widespread counterfeit local-currency, while the few genuine notes in circulation are old and dirty. With the government yet to print new bills, transactions of everything from big-ticket projects to buying a cup of tea are done in dollars via hard cash, banks or mobile money.
The payments system ''will enable more financial inclusion in a secure and safe manner,'' said Abdullahi. ''The impact on the economy will be unprecedented. It will boost trade and business.''
Somalia's economy will likely expand 2.9% this year, in line with the IMF's forecast, according to Abdullahi. Livestock sales, telecommunication and remittances from Somalis working outside the country will spur economic growth, he said.
These restaurants are facing ingredient shortages. Here's how they're coping - CNN
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 20:43
By Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN Business
Updated 2:35 PM EDT, Mon August 16, 2021
New York (CNN Business) Earlier this summer, Nadav Mille found himself on an emergency pita run.
Mille and his wife own a small catering company in Craftsbury, Vermont called Chef Nadav LLC, which sells Mediterranean cuisine among other food. Typically, he orders items like pitas weeks ahead of time from food distributor Sysco ( SYY ) . But on this occasion, he learned about 12 hours before the order was to have arrived that it wasn't coming.
"I got a call saying that we're not delivering to you tomorrow, or any time soon," he said. "So I started calling around, and I found what I needed at Whole Foods in Boston. And the next day I was in the car, and I spent twice as much as I would have at Sysco." After driving 3.5 hours and another 3.5 back, Mille got the pitas he needed.
When asked about the situation, a spokesperson for Sysco said in a statement that the company "regrets that we have had to delay or pause service for a limited number of customers in various locations." Sysco added that it expects the issues to be temporary.
Chefs Nadav Mille and Amanda Cohen.
After months of shutdowns, restaurants have reopened their doors. But that doesn't mean they can bounce right back. The Delta variant is hampering the industry's recovery. Many are still short-staffed. And a stressed supply chain means some restaurant operators are having problems buying ingredients. That could change what diners see on their plates.
"The food-away-from-home supply chain is under significant pressure," Kevin Hourican, CEO of Sysco ( SYY ) , said during a conference call earlier this month with analysts.
The problem, he said, is that demand is outstripping supply in certain categories. Some of the suppliers Sysco works with have been having a hard time filling orders, leaving Sysco short on certain products, Hourican noted.
Given the surge in Covid-19 cases, demand for restaurant food could once again slow if customers avoid dining out. For now, the supply chain issues mean even more uncertainty during an already precarious period for restaurants.
"We've been hearing stories related to supply chain disruptions since the pandemic began," said Erika Polmar, executive director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which advocates for independent restaurants. "There are certainly products that used to flow through the marketplace that [now] are not," she added.
"When the pandemic began, we saw the restaurant supply chain turned off," Polmar said. "And that's not something you can turn right back on with the flip of a switch."
Nadav Mille has had a hard time tracking down pitas.
Mille is still looking to Boston purveyors to fill his pita orders. He's also had a hard time finding chickpeas. He has been able to find produce, which he buys from local suppliers. But he's worried that once the summer ends and harvesting season is over, he won't be able to have those items delivered.
"I've started reaching out to purveyors in Boston [for vegetables and other products] and opening accounts with local Boston purveyors that don't deliver to Vermont," he said. And he's increased his freezing capacity. "I just bought a new freezer ... in anticipation of shortages that are inevitably coming," he said.
He's not the only one having a tough time securing ingredients. In New York City, Amanda Cohen, chef and owner of the celebrated vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy, has been struggling to find the vegetables she needs.
For a specific beet dish, "we really wanted it to be candy cane beets," she said. Unlike other beets, when you cut through candy cane beets you see pink and white rings '-- like a candy-cane colored bulls-eye. But, Cohen hasn't been able to find candy cane beets of the right size, so she's switched instead to golden or red beets.
Amanda Cohen has swapped in golden or red beets for candy cane beets like the ones seen here.
That might seem like a small change '-- but to Cohen, it's not. "Two years ago that would not have been acceptable," she said. "We would have found the right candy cane beets from some purveyor ... now they're just not available."
Cohen has had to simplify the menu in other ways throughout the pandemic.
"We don't do a ton of rainbow vegetables anymore, because those more elusive colors '-- they're just not as available," she said. And she has had to make other adjustments. She's started to place multiple orders from a variety of distributors, with the assumption that some will never come or be hours late. Cohen didn't name the purveyors she worked with, but noted that she doesn't get her food from Sysco.
She's also making much more use of her refrigerator than she has in the past, because she has to keep vegetables fresh for longer. Typically "our walk-in [fridge] is sort of a holding place for prepared food that we're going to use that night. And now it's become almost like a grocery store. It's a warehouse of vegetables," she said.
"We'd like to get fresh vegetables every day," she noted. "And we can't do that anymore."
Re-evaluation of work-life priorities drive labor shortage in Southwest Colorado '' The Durango Herald
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 20:39
By Shannon Mullane Herald Staff Writer
Monday, Aug. 16, 2021 5:00
Employees share complex reasons behind job transitions
Erin Cwiertniewicz serves lunch Friday at the Durango Diner. The service industry, along with others nationwide, is trying to figure out what to do about workforce shortages and transitions. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
La Plata County employers, with ''now hiring'' signs posted, are asking why candidates are not showing up.
Their absence could signal a long-term shift in the way Americans do business.
Employers in Durango and across the country are struggling to fill open positions during the busy tourism season, saying high housing costs and generous unemployment benefits are keeping people from signing up.
But stress, low job satisfaction, new opportunities, difficult housing options, low wages and other factors are driving employee decisions, according to service industry workers and advocates, human resources representatives and local business groups.
''I don't think that things are going to go back to normal,'' said Mike French, executive director of the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance.
He has helped organize a local survey to try to understand the issue. The Economic Alliance has refocused its next summit on what might be happening with the workforce transformation, inviting national experts to speak about the issue.
''This is bigger than our area. This is a national and systemic challenge,'' he said. ''So, it's not unique to us. What's important is how we respond.''
'I don't think people saw this coming'
Managers in short-staffed restaurants are working dish pits in the kitchen. Existing employees are pulling longer days and working double shifts, while at the same time businesses are shortening hours of operation.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in La Plata County is 5.8%.
Some say early September will mark a return to ''normal.'' That is when the federal government plans to stop offering an extra $300 per week in unemployment benefits in addition to state benefits.
Such an expectation might be a misjudgment, French said.
''People have reset their values and their expectations,'' he said. ''They have modified their lifestyles as a result of the pandemic and the lockdown, and they've re-evaluated what they're expecting out of work. Some have found new opportunities that didn't exist before.
''I don't think people saw this coming.''
Ryan Dorsey, cook at the Durango Diner, serves his dad, Skip Dorsey, lunch Friday at the diner. The service industry has been hard-hit by an ongoing, nationwide workforce transition. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Engines of a workforce transition
Blaine Bailey used to work as sous chef at El Moro Spirits and Tavern in Durango before he essentially laid himself off during the shutdowns at the start of the pandemic.
Now, he is the executive director of In the Weeds, a nonprofit that supports restaurant and hospitality staff members.
''I love our industry. ... We connect through our food, drink and atmosphere,'' he said. ''But burnout is a huge thing. I try to help prevent that, and help people see that. I see what In the Weeds is doing as more important.''
Locally, there is not enough data to clearly show the causes behind the workforce shortage. But anecdotally, it comes down to several factors: stress, child care costs, housing prices, wage equality and new opportunities.
''Almost daily, you see people bowing out in online forums,'' Bailey said.
Employees wanted better pay for the work they were doing '' a challenge for employers, said Bailey and Dave Woodruff, general manager at El Moro Spirits and Tavern and president of the Durango chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association.
Higher wages and other rising expenses can result in higher menu prices, which customers are not yet ready to accept, they each said.
Some employees were stressed about their health and COVID-19 exposure. Frequently, service industry workers are subject to other people's anger over face mask mandates and public health restrictions.
Woodruff said some of his employees were even spit on by angry customers.
Then, stress doubled as employees were asked to work even harder to cover for short-staffed businesses.
Erin Cwiertniewicz, a server at the Durango Diner, smiles as she works Friday. Cwiertniewicz never left the service industry despite added stressors during the pandemic. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Erin Cwiertniewicz quit her second service job because of the extra demands, double shifts and added work, during the pandemic.
''I think it was the pressure, the demands, not getting enough sleep, enough to eat '' just the volume and the amount of customers we had to handle,'' she said. Working at the Durango Diner is now her main gig.
Bailey worked 50 hours a week for In the Weeds and 20 hours each week as a bar back for several months.
''I left simply because of exhaustion,'' he said.
Across multiple industries, people opted to stay home to care for their children rather than pay thousands of dollars each year for child care. Rising housing prices deterred others from accepting or keeping jobs.
Ryan Dorsey, cook at the Durango Diner, works the grill during lunch Friday. Dorsey said friends in the service industry have left to pursue other opportunities. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
New candidates with the city of Durango were leaving old positions to be closer to family or because of layoffs. People are looking for stability and seeking flexible or remote options, said Erin Heider, human resources director.
People also had more of a scarce resource: time. Days during shutdowns to re-evaluate what they want and need from their work.
In the service industry, people re-evaluated and left for construction jobs, Cwiertniewicz said. Ryan Dorsey, a cook at the Durango Diner, said a friend left the industry to pursue a career in business.
''COVID has provided an opportunity to reflect on what folks are doing now, and what they may want to do instead, and they are taking the opportunity to seek a new path,'' Heider said.
Gary Broad, owner of the Durango Diner, talks Friday about the challenges of keeping and attracting employees during the pandemic. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
What to do?
The workforce transition has caught experts, strategists and human resources staff members by surprise, French said.
''I think the most important thing for employers to do right now is to listen to what the employees are asking for and what their newfound care-abouts are,'' he said. ''I think they need to get their arms around that with their employees and have an open dialogue.''
He questioned the impact of sunsetting federal unemployment benefits.
''Will that be a silver bullet? I'm not sure. It'll help, but I don't think it's going to resolve it,'' he said. ''We'll soon find out.''
Woodruff said attracting people to Durango is easy. Retaining them means thinking differently about the ''trifecta'' of retainment: child care, affordable housing and affordable health care. Restaurants might need to work collaboratively to shift into new operations, like dropping tips for higher hourly wages.
But the brunt of the work is falling on business owners, and other entities, like the state and the federal government need to step up, he said.
''I think it's forcing the conversation,'' Woodruff said. ''I think this is going to be a more long-term conversation around, 'How do we do this better?' Maybe that's the silver lining to all of this.''
Pfizer Gang Is Pfinished - The Atlantic
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 20:37
In April, Nicholas was stoked to have gotten Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, the ''status vaccine,'' which was also the vaccine for ''hot people,'' and the vaccine that got a person conditionless admission to the ''Pfizer Gang.'' He made a new forum on Reddit'--r/pfizergang, obviously'--where people like him could engage in celebration and memes and funny jokes about how Pfizer was better than Moderna, but not make jokes containing misinformation, because Moderna is actually very good also, and everyone should get vaccinated. There was to be no anti-vaccine discussion whatsoever, and why would there be?
At the time, I had just gotten the first Pfizer shot myself and then written that my trip to CVS had been ''as thrilling as prom.'' I liked the Pfizer jokes on TikTok and Twitter and in my group chats; on Reddit, as Nicholas intended, people did post memes and they did celebrate. It was an incredible spring: Uptake of the vaccine was on the rise, and the president was dropping hints about a perfect, normal summer. ''It seemed like things were finally going to resolve,'' Nicholas told me. ''Not that we could treat COVID as a joke, but we could be more lighthearted about it.''
Read: The hot-person vaccine
But actually: By July, hearts were getting heavy again. The Delta variant was ripping through an unvaccinated population still numbering in the tens of millions, much of which continued to refuse a shot that was readily available. Resentment had been building around the vaccine divide; there was frustration from the White House and widespread unease about the ''hot vax summer'' that now felt like something else.
As the mood turned nationwide, the fun of r/pfizergang, too, would crumble. Things got so bad among the vaxxed elite, in fact, that on July 26, Nicholas felt he had no choice but to shut his forum down. ''I wanted to create a social pressure where it was like, These people in Pfizer Gang seem like they're having a lot of fun,'' he said, and then that fun would inspire other people to get vaccinated. ''That was the goal. And when that failed, I failed.''
More StoriesWhen I got in touch with Nicholas this week, he asked me to leave his last name out of this story to avoid having people associate his Reddit account with his professional life. But he also gave a second reason for the request: remorse. ''I'm genuinely concerned that there may have been people who ended up not getting the vaccine because of this subreddit,'' he said. ''I already have to, like, come to terms with that.''
Although the r/pfizergang subreddit had been created for joking and festivity, it quickly became a place for people who got the Pfizer vaccine to discuss the side effects they experienced. At first, Nicholas said, this was fine. He was glad to see that people were finding the forum a useful place for commiseration and reassurance. But even just a month into the forum's life, the posts were getting weirder. A lot of them were about side effects that supposedly didn't show up until weeks after receiving the vaccine, or those that seemed like they could have been symptoms of other problems, like anxiety and overattentiveness. Some seemed entirely fake.
''I have had diarrhea for 2 MONTHS after my first dose!'' one person wrote at the end of May. (Nicholas gave me access to the private, archived version of the forum so that I could read the posts myself.) ''I got mine yesterday and then around midnight I started bringing up random concerns to my boyfriend that I couldn't even make sense of myself,'' another wrote a few days later. ''I had tons of horrible nightmares.'' One person said they started ''burping so bad'' five days after receiving the shot; another said they had no side effects until nine days later, when they woke up exhausted, but they couldn't tell if that was from the vaccine or their period. ''Anyone got a feeling of a hairball in their throat?'' someone asked. ''Anyone experiencing testicle pain?''
Nicholas tried to even out the tone of the forum by offering encouraging comments, but to no avail. ''Ask yourself the following before you post here about potential symptoms,'' he suggested on July 5. ''Am I noticing this symptom only because I'm now hyper aware of my own body? Is what I'm noticing within the normal function of my body or perhaps a symptom of another common ailment? Are my symptoms wildly different from the symptoms found on the FDA's website?'' He admitted that he wasn't a doctor'--offline he's a graduate student in astrophysics'--but still he asked that people consider whether they might be connecting unrelated events and drawing inappropriate conclusions. ''After I posted that, there were even more posts about really weird symptoms,'' he said.
There were about 350 active users of his forum at this time, but Nicholas knew that most people on Reddit don't even post. A popular folklore estimate says that more than 90 percent of the site's users only lurk and read other people's conversations'--so Nicholas imagined that, for every one person writing in the forum to say they were getting nervous about the vaccine because of other people's reports of bizarre side effects, nine more were feeling the same way but not saying so. On July 21, he made one more post insisting that people look at the list of common side effects and try to remember that a lot of people don't experience side effects at all, and, also, please get vaccinated. Meanwhile, a newcomer had joined the subreddit and started linking to ''terribly sourced and really questionable'' articles about vaccine safety. Though Nicholas banned that person after only a few posts, it was too late. ''At that point, the conversation started to get a little more conspiratorial,'' he said. Another commenter started complaining about how Nicholas was suppressing earnest conversation, and then, when Nicholas removed that person's comments, the same accusations came back worse.
Nicholas shut down the forum after giving a six-hour warning. If you visit the page now, it displays only a goodbye message: ''get vaccinated we love you.''
''I'm never going to try any pro-vaccine online movement again, because I can see that that just doesn't work,'' Nicholas told me.
This may be a little histrionic, but it's not beyond reason. The online anti-vaccine movement is known for being coordinated and persistent, and for derailing productive conversation with a single-mindedness that pro-vaccine social-media users can't possibly share. And a series of events similar to those that derailed r/pfizergang seems to be playing out in the much larger Reddit forum r/CovidVaccinated: Scrolling through its early posts tagged with Pfizer, one finds reports from those who either experienced mild side effects or none at all, and who felt exuberant about being able to get the vaccine after months of waiting. Now there's less of that, and more worry. ''I want to get the vaccine on Friday, but some of you here are freaking me out with long term side effects and heart issues,'' one commenter wrote last week, under the heading ''Shouldn't have started reading posts here.'' That may have less to do with coordinated disinformation campaigns than the fundamental dynamics of vaccine demand: The people who were most enthusiastic about getting vaccinated, and thus most likely to be posting in these forums back in April and May, are also the ones who would be least inclined to fixate on the possibility of vaccine-induced burping fits or hairballs or testicle pain. When those people moved on with their lives, the boards were left to those who had more qualms.
Read: America's health will soon be in the hands of very minor internet celebrities
It was hard to tell on r/pfizergang where, exactly, those with doubts were coming from. Emily Irish, an 18-year-old Reddit user who got their first Pfizer shot in late April, posted in the r/pfizergang forum a few days later to ask whether anyone else had lost their voice after receiving the vaccine. (Irish uses they/them pronouns.) To my eyes, this was one of the odder questions, and I wondered at first if it was sincere. But in an email, Irish told me that they were totally serious and that their voice hadn't come back for a week. Irish had Googled their question first and hadn't seen any useful results, so they went to Reddit as a last resort. ''I really hope no one thought I was anti-vax, as I voluntarily got both doses of the vaccine,'' Irish told me. ''Although the side effects really sucked, I'm glad I got it.''
Do intentions matter if the end result is still a digital burn book of horror stories about a safe and necessary public-health intervention? In the end, r/pfizergang started looking less like a community than a litany of product reviews'--as if the good-natured bickering about the best brand of vaccine had steered people to think of their Pfizer shots as things they'd purchased on Amazon.
Of course, most product reviews don't have these kinds of stakes. As time went on, Nicholas realized that any newcomers to his subreddit would see only reviews of the oddest and least-common vaccine reactions, presented without context. ''The science says that COVID is infinitely worse than these side effects,'' he said, a little bitterly. ''But no one who dies from COVID is going to give you a testimonial.''
To hold Nicholas personally responsible for anyone's decision not to get the vaccine would be unfair. He was only trying to do something fun; he didn't want to be the person behind another predictable internet mess. Still, he says he's learned something from the experience. ''I won't say I was completely negligent, but I wasn't checking every single post every day,'' he told me. ''I've come to realize that without extraordinarily careful and thorough moderation, any public conversation on the internet about vaccines is going to become anti-vaccine.''
Kaitlyn Tiffany is a staff writer at
The Atlantic, where she covers technology.
MESSAGE FROM FRANCE '' The Burning Platform
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 15:21
Submitted by Hardscrabble Farmer
Here in France it has gone to the extreme with the ''Health'' Pass. Last week on the 21st ALL restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and any leisure activities like sporting events, theaters, cinemas, museums, were closed to anyone without ''the pass'' and all staff at these places are mandated to get the jab to keep their job.
It is now a 6 Month prison sentence if you are caught inside any of these places without the pass (the man who slapped the president in the face got only 3 months prison time). Business owners will get a fine of 45,000 euros and 1 year prison sentence if they do not comply with the use of ''the pass'' and force all their employees to get the jab. (If you know France, you can commit murder and have less of a sentence)
So the result? All the low paid employees quit, they can make more on welfare here. (for now) We can still technically ''get take out food'' but I just tried last night and every restaurant in our town (that is dine in with take out) has closed their doors due to the lack of staff.
As of last week ALL doctors, nurses and health industry workers have been mandated to get the jab or lose their license, practice, job, business etc. (ALL health care here is Govt paid positions and there are no private health care Doctors or Hospitals etc.)
Since the Health care system is state run and funded, it has been run into the ground. All the good doctors left France 5 Years ago, all the hospitals look like they are 3rd world hospitals since there is no money to repair them, half of the equipment doesn't work and not every hospital is stocked with supplies needed for daily needs (masks, gels, disposable gowns etc).
For 5 years Nurses have been understaffed and doing double the work because the Health care system is nearly bankrupt'.... So add to this the mandatory jab.
So the result? Well they took to the streets by the millions and now all the hospitals just lost another 50% of staff capacity. My doctor just went into early retirement (a.k.a. he quit) and I have yet to find a replacement.
As of Aug 1st ALL large malls, retail stores and grocery store owners and their staff need to be jabbed and the health pass is required to enter for employees and customers. This would be the equivalent to closing ALL Targets, Walmarts, Costcos, Home Depots, and all major grocery stores. (basically any building over 20,000 squre meters) to those without ''the pass''.
Result.?? Aug 15th Truckers will be going on strike nation wide; Blocking all access roads in and out of Paris.
Yesterday an entire airport in Northern France closed due to the majority of staff quitting.
As of Sept 15th All public areas and access will be off limits. No farmers markets, no parks, no national parks, lakes, rivers, beaches, recreation areas, campsites etc. and no gathering over 100 people, no churches, no weddings, etc.
As of Oct 1st ALL small vendors such as, delis, pizza trucks, sandwich shops, butchers, bakers, vegetable stands etc.
So as of Oct 1st I will only be able to purchase food by internet and pick up (if allowed).
Food shortages, Truckers strike, hospitals and airports shutting down unemployment going through the roof. Its going to be a bumpy ride folks.
Is it me or does all this seem a bit extreme for a ''pass'' that isn't exactly working?
America Canada England Australia New Zealand you'd better wake up.
The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like mine by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from this site, please keep it running with a donation. [Burning Platform LLC - PO Box 1520 Kulpsville, PA 19443] or Paypal
As Taliban advances, China lays groundwork to accept an awkward reality | The Japan Times
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 15:18
Beijing '' A series of photos published last month by Chinese state media of Foreign Minister Wang Yi standing shoulder to shoulder with visiting Taliban officials decked out in traditional tunic and turban raised eyebrows on the country's social media.
Since then, China's propaganda machinery has quietly begun preparing its people to accept an increasingly likely scenario that Beijing might have to recognize the Taliban, the hard-line Islamist movement in Afghanistan, as a legitimate regime.
''Even if they can't control the whole country, they would still be a significant force to reckon with,'' an influential social media commentator known to be familiar with China's foreign policy thinking wrote on Thursday. The commentator, who goes by the pen name Niutanqin, or ''Zither-Playing Cow,'' made the remarks on his WeChat channel.
On Friday, the Global Times, a major state-backed tabloid, published an interview with the leader of an Afghan opposition party who said ''the transitional government must include the Taliban.''
The Taliban's momentum as U.S. forces withdraw is awkward for China, which has blamed religious extremism as a destabilizing force in its western Xinjiang region and has long worried that Taliban-controlled territory would be used to harbor separatist forces.
But China also hews to a policy of noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries.
It has also drastically tightened security in Xinjiang, hardening its borders and putting what U.N. experts and rights groups estimate were at least a million ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in detention centers that China describes as vocational training facilities to help stamp out Islamist extremism and separatism.
Last month's meeting in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin followed a similar visit by a Taliban delegation in 2019, but comes as the group is much more powerful, with Wang saying he hoped Afghanistan can have a ''moderate Islamist policy.''
''Isn't this the same Taliban that blew up the Buddhas of Bamiyan in front of world media? Shouldn't we have a bottom line?'' a Chinese netizen commented on the Twitter-like Weibo below a news clip showing Wang standing next to a Taliban official.
In dealing with the Taliban, an increasingly powerful China may be able to leverage the fact that, unlike Russia or the United States, it has never fought them.
When the Taliban were last in power between 1996-2001, China had already suspended relations with Afghanistan, having pulled out its diplomats in 1993 following the outbreak of civil war.
''This is us being pragmatic. How you want to rule your country is largely your own business, just don't let that affect China,'' said Lin Minwang, a South Asia expert with Shanghai's Fudan University.
''When a major Asian power like China shows it recognizes Taliban's political legitimacy by meeting them so openly, it is giving the Taliban a big diplomatic win,'' Lin said.
State media published at least two analytical stories last week highlighting that Afghanistan had been the ''graveyard of empires'' and cautioning China not to be mired in the ''Great Game,'' reinforcing a message that China harbors neither the intentions of sending troops into Afghanistan nor the illusion that it can fill the power vacuum left by the United States.
After their meeting with Wang, the Taliban said they hope China can play a bigger economic role.
''This shows that China might have dangled promises of economic aid and investment to a postwar Afghanistan as a carrot to encourage both sides to stop fighting and reach a political settlement,'' said Zhang Li, a professor of South Asian studies at Sichuan University.
The risks to China of regional instability were highlighted last month when 13 people, including nine Chinese workers, were killed in Pakistan in a suicide bombing on a bus. China is building massive infrastructure projects in Pakistan under its Belt & Road initiative.
''China's No. 1 priority is for the fighting to stop, as chaos breeds religious extremism and terrorism,'' Zhang said.
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Shelter-in-place lifted for La Porte, Seabrook following odor, officials say
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 14:07
LA PORTE, Texas - La Porte and Seabrook issued the "all clear" late Sunday night after asking residents to shelter in place after reports of an odor.
The La Porte Office of Emergency Management said they received multiple calls regarding "an odor and irritant in the air" in La Porte.
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La Porte officials asked the city to shelter in place until they could gather more information. Seabrook also issued a shelter-in-place and said it was the result of an incident that occurred in Deer Park. Residents were asked to go indoors and turn off their A/C systems.
Harris County Pollution Control was investigating the source of the odor.
On Sunday night,, HCPC said their emergency responders were responding to the Lubrizol Plant at 41 Tidal Road in Deer Park where a chemical leak was reported.
HCPC initially said the chemical compound that was released was hydrogen sulfide, but officials later determined that hydrogen sulfide was not the primary chemical compound of interest in the odor nuisance.
In a CAER message, Lubrizol DP said there was an odor incident tied to a rail car vapor release. The company said they were working with local authorities to resolve the issue and were monitoring air quality. Lubrizol DP said, "Other than nuisance odors, there is no impact or risk to the surrounding community."
Just before 6:30 a.m. Monday, Lubrizol DP said they were downgrading the odor incident to Level 2. In the CAER message, Lubrizol DP said, "There may still be potential for nuisance odors, however there remains no impact or risk to the surrounding community. We continue to mitigate this issue while working with local authorities."
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Media blackout: Renowned German pathologist's vaccine autopsy data is shocking... and being censored -- Health & Wellness -- Sott.net
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 13:45
Dr. Peter Schirmacher is not just an average pathologist. The German doctor is world-renowned in his field, honored by
The Pathologist as one of the 100 most influential in the world. He is the acting chairman of the German Society of Pathology, director of the Institute of Pathology at Heidelberg University Hospital, and president of the German Association for the Study of the Liver. Bottom line, this professor and doctor understands pathology like very few on the planet.
This is why it's so perplexing that a bombshell report he released this week has been absolutely censored. Mainstream media won't report on it and Big Tech has eliminated accounts who attempt to share it. Considering the incessant push towards universal vaccinations by government, academia, media, and Big Tech, it really shouldn't be perplexing at all that his work is being quashed because it details mind-blowing data about the dangers of the so-called Covid "vaccines."
In short, Dr. Schirmacher performed autopsies on 40 people who had died within two weeks of receiving a Covid jab. Of those, 30%-40% could be directly attributed to the "vaccines." He is calling for more autopsies of those who die shortly after getting injected to see if his numbers pan out. But Germany has thus far been reluctant to act. Meanwhile, the report of this highly respected pathologist and pro-vaccine doctor is being suppressed.
Through all of our searches, we found one respected German publication, Welt.de, that posted it. On a tip from our friends at Press California, we had the page translated. Here's what it says; apologies for the poor translation at times. And as you'll see, mainstream media in Germany reported on it but clearly tried to downplay the implications of Dr. Schirmacher's research: Heidelberg chief pathologist calls for more autopsies of vaccinated peopleIn order to better understand the effect of vaccines, many more corpses would have to be autopsied, demands the Heidelberg chief pathologist. Peter Schirmacher assumes a considerable number of unreported cases of vaccination deaths - but reaps clear opposition.
The chief pathologist at the University of Heidelberg, Peter Schirmacher, urges many more autopsies of vaccinated people. In addition to corona deaths, the corpses of people who die in connection with a vaccination would also have to be examined more frequently, said Schirmacher of the German Press Agency in Stuttgart.
The director of the Pathological Institute in Heidelberg even warns of a high number of unreported cases of vaccination deaths and complains: The pathologists do not notice anything about most of the patients who die after and possibly from a vaccination. However, other scientists disagree with him on this point, as do the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) and the Paul Ehrlich Institute.
For a year now, corona deaths have been autopsied at the university clinics in the southwest in order to better understand the disease. The state supports the Covid-19 autopsy research of the university pathologies with around 1.8 million euros. Schirmacher heads the autopsy project.
The findings of more than 200 autopsies so far have led, among other things, to better treatment and ventilation of Covid sufferers, he says. "The knowledge gained here helps to treat the sick better and more successfully and to save lives," says Science Minister Theresia Bauer (Greens). Schirmacher, a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina since 2012, hopes that the funding will continue next year.
The doctor now wants to get to the bottom of rare, serious side effects of vaccination - such as cerebral vein thrombosis or autoimmune diseases. The problem from his point of view: Vaccinated people usually do not die under clinical observation. "The doctor examining the corpse does not establish a context with the vaccination and certifies a natural death and the patient is buried," reports Schirmacher. "Or he certifies an unclear type of death and the public prosecutor sees no third-party fault and releases the corpse for burial."
40 vaccinated people autopsied within two weeks
In Baden-W¼rttemberg, the pathologists therefore worked with public prosecutors, the police and resident doctors, reports Schirmacher. More than 40 people have already been autopsied who died within two weeks of being vaccinated. Schirmacher assumes that 30 to 40 percent of them died from the vaccination. In his opinion, the frequency of fatal consequences of vaccinations is underestimated - a politically explosive statement in times when the vaccination campaign is losing momentum, the delta variant is spreading rapidly and restrictions on non-vaccinated people are being discussed.
Schirmacher received a clear contradiction from other scientists. The statements that there is currently too little knowledge about side effects and the dangers of vaccination are underestimated are incomprehensible, said the Paul Ehrlich Institute. In particular for serious reactions, which also include when a person dies after a vaccination, there is a reporting obligation under the Infection Protection Act. "I do not know of any data that would allow a reasonable statement to be made here and I am not starting from an unreported number," said the head of the Standing Vaccination Commission, Thomas Mertens.
There is no reason to assume a high number of unreported vaccination complications or even deaths, emphasized the immunologist Christian Bogdan from the Erlangen University Hospital. "There can also be no question of neglecting the possible dangers of COVID-19 vaccines." The last few weeks and months in particular have shown that the surveillance system is working well. In Germany, for example, the rare occurrence of cerebral vein thrombosis after vaccination with Astrazeneca (1-2 cases per 100,000 vaccinations) was recognized as a complication, says Bogdan.
Schirmacher insists on his opinion. "My colleagues are definitely wrong because they cannot assess this specific question competently," he responded. He doesn't want to spread panic and is by no means opposed to vaccinations, says the professor, who says he himself had himself vaccinated against corona. Vaccination is an essential part of the fight against the virus, he clarifies. But you have to weigh up the medical reasons for vaccination individually. From his point of view, the "individual protection consideration" is overlaid by the idea of ''a rapid vaccination of society.
The Federal Association of German Pathologists is also urging more autopsies of vaccinated people. This is the only way to exclude or prove connections between deaths and vaccinations, says Johannes Friemann, head of the autopsy working group in the association. However, from his point of view, too little autopsies are carried out to speak of an unreported number. "You don't know anything yet." General practitioners and health authorities need to be made aware of this. The federal states would have to instruct the health authorities to order autopsies on site. The Federal Association of Pathologists requested this in a letter to Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) in March. It went unanswered, says Friemann.
The publication seems to go out of its way to find dissenting views while only giving a sentence to the most important takeaway from the research. Whether one is fighting for the pro-vaccine agenda or not, they should not dismiss that this respected pathologist is calling for more autopsies to confirm or debunk his claims of 30%-40% death by vaccine. One would think that if they're such strong believers in the efficacy and safety of the experimental drugs, they'd want the autopsies to reaffirm their beliefs.
The only English report that we've found so far from a known news outlet came from our friends at Free West Media: The director of the Pathological Institute of the University of Heidelberg, Peter Schirmacher, has carried out over forty autopsies on people who had died within two weeks of their vaccination. Schirmacher expressed alarm over his findings.The regional daily Augsburger Allgemeine reported: "Schirmacher assumes that 30 to 40 percent of them died from the vaccination. In his opinion, the frequency of fatal consequences of vaccinations is underestimated - a politically explosive statement in times when the vaccination campaign is losing momentum, the Delta variant is spreading rapidly and restrictions on non-vaccinated people are being discussed."
The Merkel administration quickly moved to respond to this "politically explosive" statement from Heidelberg. According to the German Press Agency (dpa), the Paul Ehrlich Institute announced that Schirmacher's statements were "incomprehensible". The Chancellor's lackey, senior German immunologist Thomas Mertens dismissed the findings right away: "I don't know of any data that would allow a justifiable statement to be made here and I am not assuming an unreported number."
The immunologist Christian Bogdan from the Erlangen University Hospital, member of the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO), also contradicted Schirmacher's assumption of a "high number of unreported vaccination complications or even deaths".
The pathologist however received support from his own ranks, and the Federal Association of German Pathologists stated that more autopsies of vaccinated people who died within a certain time frame after vaccination should be performed.
The head of the "Autopsy Working Group" in this association wanted to make general practitioners and health authorities aware of this. In other words, doctors of the patients who die within a few days or weeks after vaccination should apply for an autopsy in case of doubt or the health authorities should take action.
The Federal Association of Pathologists had already requested this in March in a letter to Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), but it went unanswered.
Schirmacher's warning could of course ruin a multi-digit long-term billion-dollar business for various pharmaceutical companies, while the already low willingness to get the jab in the remaining unvaccinated group could further decrease dramatically and ultimately the entire pandemic strategy of the federal government could unravel.
But the seriousness and reputation of the director of the Pathological Institute at the University of Heidelberg are unassailable.
Schirmacher himself is already leading an autopsy project on people who have died from Covid-19, which is subsidized by the state. He himself then expanded the focus and also autopsied more than 40 deceased vaccinated people. Even if his results are only a snapshot, it is a dramatic one: 30 to 40 percent died from the vaccination itself. The pathologist cited "rare, severe side effects of the vaccination - such as cerebral vein thrombosis or autoimmune diseases".
Schirmacher responded to the criticism from some colleagues. He denied a lack of competence: "The colleagues are definitely wrong because they cannot assess this specific question competently." Moreover, he has not tried to spread panic, and he is not an opponent of vaccinations - Schirmacher himself has been vaccinated.
The Robert Koch Institute meanwhile refers to the regular safety reports of the Paul Ehrlich Institute on its website. However, should it become apparent in the coming weeks that politics, science and the media are campaigning against Schirmacher and his alarming results are being completely ignored, it would be another red flag regarding the safety of the products.
Twitter meanwhile suspended the account of former New York Times science correspondent Alex Berenson for sharing details of a Pfizer clinical trial with similar findings which completely obliterates the narrative of the political establishment.
According to Pfizer: "During the blinded, controlled period, 15 BNT162b2 and 14 placebo recipients died; during the open-label period, 3 BNT162b2 and 2 original placebo recipients who received BNT162b2 after unblinding died. None of these deaths were considered related to BNT162b2 by investigators." It stated that the causes of death were balanced between BNT162b2 and placebo groups: 15 people who took the vaccine died and 14 people who took the placebo died.
But tons of people who were in the placebo group have now taken the jab, thus "the trial blind is broken now" and "this is all the data we will ever have," Berenson pointed out.
All of this is reminiscent of the election audits happening in the United States. The Democrats who claim that there was not widespread election fraud are so adamant about stopping the audits from proving them correct. Meanwhile, the pro-vaxxers are so sure the "vaccines" are safe that they are attempting to prevent the very autopsies that could prove it.
Here's the thing: just as Democrats know there were major challenges to the 2020 election that would be discovered through audits, so too do the pro-vaxxers know that a close examination of people dying after they received the jabs would spark questions about the safety of the injections. Those who have nothing to hide do not try so hard to keep it all hidden.
We must demand autopsies be performed on everyone who dies within two weeks of getting the injections. The initial data is so striking, anyone who objects to this is pushing an agenda, not science or healthcare.
Sloppy practices by CDC scientist cited in lab mishap
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 13:23
Sloppy lab practices by an experienced but overworked scientist rushing to get to a noon meeting is likely how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cross-contaminated a specimen of a benign bird flu virus with a dangerous strain that can kill people, according to an internal agency investigation released Friday.
The CDC investigation found a wide range of serious lapses and revealed additional flu research that was jeopardized because of the contaminated samples. The CDC scientist may have even handled both the benign strain of bird flu and the dangerous H5N1 strain inside a biosafety cabinet at the same time, the report concludes, which would be a significant breach of basic procedures that carries risks of cross-contaminating specimens.
The CDC report revealed for the first time that contaminated bird flu specimens were not just sent to a U.S. Department of Agriculture lab in Athens, Ga., which discovered the contamination issue May 23 after chickens in their research became seriously ill and died '-- something that shouldn't have happened from the virus strain they thought they were working with.
A contaminated sample of the benign bird flu virus also was sent to another CDC lab, where it was still being used in experiments more than a month after the mistake was discovered because nobody alerted that lab to the problem. In addition, CDC had also planned to send a sample from the contaminated virus batch to the infectious disease department at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which has a prestigious influenza research facility.
The investigators' report provides the first detailed account the bird flu virus contamination incident that occurred earlier this year and the troubling six-week delay between its discovery and notification of top CDC officials. The case is one of several recent, serious safety and security lapses at federal research labs, which have also involved mishandling of anthrax by the CDC and the discovery of forgotten vials of deadly smallpox in a cold-storage room at the National Institutes of Health.
CDC officials emphasized that the bird flu incident did not appear to have posed a safety risk because all of those who worked with the contaminated virus samples handled them with the same precautions that would have been used if scientists would have knowingly been working with the dangerous H5N1 strain. The H5N1 flu strain, which primarily causes disease in birds, has the potential to significantly harm the U.S. poultry industry if it spreads to flocks outside the labs. In rare instances, the H5N1 virus has caused severe and fatal illnesses in people.
"We were very lucky, in this episode, there was no risk to human health," said Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in an interview with USA TODAY. "But being lucky with that doesn't mean we're not taking this seriously."
Schuchat said the series of mistakes made in the incident by experienced lab scientists was "unacceptable," adding: "We just don't think shortcuts are permissible when working with these kinds of dangerous pathogens."
The report outlines a number of actions the CDC is taking to improve lab safety at the agency and within its influenza lab, including new quality-assurance procedures, better record-keeping, and prioritizing workloads for lab scientists. The agency had already closed the flu lab involved in the incident and has been reviewing safety and security procedures at all of the agency's labs that work with dangerous viruses, bacteria and toxins.
The CDC said it is testing all cultures and other preparations done in the past year by the scientist involved in the cross-contamination incident. If other contamination is discovered, additional testing of all preparations done by the scientist may be warranted, the report said. 'It's unclear how long this will take, Schuchat said, but it is important that all specimens leaving the agency only contain what they should.
The lab scientist is not named in the report, which gives no indication of whether the employee has been disciplined. Schuchat said the agency is not going to release names of staff or specifics of any personnel actions being taken in the bird flu and anthrax incidents. "There are a number of disciplinary actions in process for the two incidents," she said, including suspension, reassignment, written reprimand and counseling of staff.
The head of CDC's bioterrorism response lab at the agency's Atlanta headquarters resigned July 22 after being reassigned to other duties in the wake of his staff's mishandling live anthrax spores in June, prompting concerns that dozens of the agency's employees may have been exposed to a particularly lethal strain of the bacteria. None has shown any signs of infection, and CDC officials have said the risks are remote.
"We are holding individuals accountable," Schuchat said Friday. "But we also are focusing very much on the system. We want redundant systems so that when an individual makes a mistake, we have a second or third protective layer."
An investigation of CDC's bird flu bungling by lab regulators from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, sent to the CDC on July 29, found many of the same things found by the internal investigation, the CDC said. The CDC and USDA jointly run the Federal Select Agent Program, which that monitors labs working with potential bioterror agents. Neither CDC nor USDA lab staff made a required timely report to select agent regulators about the bird flu incident, the report said.
According to the CDC report, the contamination of the sample occurred on Jan. 17, when the CDC lab scientist worked on multiple tasks with cell cultures involving samples of the dangerous H5N1 bird flu strain that had recently arrived from Vietnam, as well as a sample of the benign H9N2 bird flu virus that had arrived from China.
The scientist initially told investigators that best practices and procedures had been followed that day in one of the agency's biosafety Level 3 labs '-- where scientists wear special protective gear, including respirators, and manipulations of dangerous viruses and bacteria are done inside of special biological safety cabinets. The surrounding lab space is also operated under negative air pressure to keep dangerous viruses and bacteria contained should a spill occur outside the safety cabinet.
The scientist said that work was first done with the benign strain sample, then the biosafety cabinet was decontaminated, and then the work was done with the dangerous H5N1 samples. The entire process done properly would have taken at least 90 minutes, the report said. At least 30 minutes would have been needed just to clean the biosafety cabinet.
But investigators' review of key card logs showed the work couldn't have been done in the manner described by the scientist. Just 51 minutes elapsed between the time the scientist accessed a specimen freezer to obtain the virus samples and when the scientist exited the biosafety Level 3 lab suite. The scientist manually signed out of the suite at 11:45 a.m.
"During the 51 minutes, the Team 1 laboratory scientist also would have been required to shower out of the suite and change into street clothes. Therefore, the time that this staff member performed the cell culture work was substantially less than the 1.5 hours that would have been required if the protocol had been followed," the report said.
Because there were no lab notebooks or other documentation of what the scientist did in the lab, the CDC investigation concluded that it's not possible to say conclusively what actions occurred and in what order. "When interviewed, the Team 1 laboratory scientist acknowledged being rushed to attend a laboratory meeting at noon." The scientist said it was difficult to remember specifics of what had happened almost six months earlier.
At the time of the incident, the flu division had a heavy workload because of an approaching World Health Organization vaccine meeting, the scientist and others in the division told investigators.
The report said possible explanations for how the contamination occurred include that the scientist handled both virus types in the biosafety cabinet at the same time, or that the scientist handled the dangerous H5N1 samples first and then didn't follow appropriate decontamination procedures before working with the benign strain.
"You don't want to have these multiple strains in the same place at the same time," Schuchat said, noting that what happened wasn't a result of a lack of training, as the scientist had "great experience."
CDC investigators said that failures of the scientist and the scientist's supervisor to notify those above them of the incident for weeks after it was discovered May 23 was partially a result of "ambiguous" guidance on what kind of incident requires reporting and is considered a notifiable release. Still, the report said, "sound professional judgment would have warranted that the Team 1 lead report it immediately to a supervisor."
Instead, higher-ranking CDC officials not involved in the mistake weren't notified until June 23. On that day, a CDC researcher who had been unwittingly using a specimen from the contaminated batch became concerned that there was a problem with the virus sample after it produced unexpected results in the experiment. This researcher contacted the scientist and supervisor whose lab had provided the contaminated sample and raised concerns that a lab error had occurred.
Only then did the scientist and supervisor report the mistake to their branch chief. Still, as the branch chief gathered more information, it took until July 9 before CDC's senior leadership was notified, the report said. CDC disclosed the incident to the public on July 11.
The CDC's investigation found that the delays were a result of "poor judgment" and confusion about what needed to be reported to others. "There's absolutely no cover-up," said Schuchat,
The CDC closed the flu and anthrax labs involved in the recent mistakes and, on July 11, imposed a moratorium on all transfers of biological specimens to and from CDC's high-containment labs until each lab's safety practices are assessed. High-containment labs work with the most dangerous viruses, bacteria and toxins.
On July 24, an internal CDC lab safety work group had given the OK for CDC's Clinical Tuberculosis Laboratory to resume transfers of certain TB samples used in tests to quickly tell doctors whether their patients carry multi-drug-resistant TB strains and which drugs will be most effective in their treatment. But the moratorium remained in place for the agency's other high-containment labs, the CDC said. The agency is conducting lab-by-lab reviews of safety procedures, giving priority to those directly involved in patient care. So far, specimen shipments have resumed involving 12 of the 23 labs covered by the moratorium, including the Ebola lab, Schuchat said.
Follow USA TODAY investigative reporter Alison Young on Twitter: @alisonannyoung
Biden boosts food stamp benefits by 25%...
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 12:13
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- The Biden administration has approved a significant and permanent increase in the levels of food stamp assistance available to needy families'--the largest single increase in the program's history.
Starting in October, average benefits for food stamps (officially known as the SNAP program) will rise more than 25 percent above pre-pandemic levels. The increased assistance will be available indefinitely to all 42 million SNAP beneficiaries.
The aid boost was first reported by The New York Times and the details were confirmed by a spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture. They will be formally announced Monday by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The aid boost is being packaged as a major revision of the USDA's Thrifty Food Plan. In concrete terms, the average monthly per-person benefits will rise from $121 to $157.
The increase is part of a multi-pronged Biden administration effort to strengthen the country's social safety net. Poverty and food security activists maintain that longstanding inadequacies in that safety net were laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, presenting an opportunity to make generational improvements that reach beyond the current public health crisis.
Activists say the previous levels of pre-pandemic SNAP assistance simply weren't enough, forcing many households to choose cheaper, less nutritious options or simply go hungry as the funds ran low toward the end of the month.
Top general warns terrorists will reemerge on American soil...
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 12:12
JOINT Chiefs of Staff chair Mark Milley warned of an increased threat of terror attacks on US soil after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban on Sunday, according to a new report.
Milley told a bipartisan group of Senators on a call earlier today that the Islamist outfit captured the country far quicker than President Joe Biden and other top military leaders had anticipated, Axios reported.
Mark Milley warned of an increase in terror threats against the US after the Taliban seized Kabul on Sunday Credit: Reuters 11
Taliban forces surrounded Afghan's capital city on Sunday and later stormed the presidential palace Credit: AFPThe Taliban's return to power was all but solidified on Sunday morning after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the fanatics stormed the capital city of Kabul and seized his palace.
They have now captured every city in Afghanistan, with 28 of the country's 34 provinces now under the group's control.
INCREASED THREATAs a result, Milley warned that a previous assessment of how soon terrorist groups will likely reemerge in the nation will now speed up due to the events of the last week.
The ominous warning is of incredible significance because protecting the US against terrorist threats on domestic soil was the original reason for engaging in the 20-year conflict to begin with.
During the call with Milley, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham asked whether they will revise an assessment to Congress in June that classified a "medium" risk of terrorist groups reconstituting within two years of withdrawal.
"Yes," Milley responded about changing the threat assessment, three sources on the call told Axios.
Milley also said that he'd be willing to brief senators in classified settings on the unfolding situation in the Middle East.
Senators on the call reportedly pressed Milley and Austin on efforts to evacuate US personnel and Afghan allies out of the country as images of a helicopter evacuation at the US Embassy in Kabul emerged.
A source on the call said the sad reality is there is no way they can evacuate the more than 20,000 Afghans who want to escape the country by August 31.
Many of them aren't in Kabul, the source said according to Axios, and "if you're not in Kabul now how do you get to Kabul?"
"Two takeaways for me," the source continued. "We're gonna leave tens of thousands of people behind... and the timeline in terms of threats has accelerated."
MISCALCULATIONIn July, the Biden administration said it believed it could take months for Afghanistan's national forces and government to fall.
However, following Biden's total troop withdrawal, the Taliban was able to take over almost the entire country in just a week.
Similar to Milley, Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted to CNN on Sunday that the White House had made a miscalculation.
Mark Milley admitted that the White House had made a miscalculation 11
The White House thought it would take months for Kabul to fall, but it only took seven days Credit: AFP 11
Trump previously negotiated to start withdrawing all troops from the region on May 1, before he left office Credit: UK MOD Crown copyright"The fact of the matter is we've seen that that force has been unable to defend the country," Blinken said of Afghanistan's national forces. "And that's happened more quickly than we anticipated."
Despite the swiftly escalating situation, the Biden administration has stood by its decision to withdraw from the nation while, at the same time, shifting blame onto former President Donald Trump for the unfolding crisis.
BIDEN BLAMES TRUMPBiden said on Saturday that Trump had left the Taliban "in the strongest military position since 2001" and blasted his decision to set a May 1, 2021 deadline for the drawdown during his final months in office.
"When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor'--which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019'--that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on US forces," a statement read.
"Shortly before he left office, he also drew US forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500.
"Therefore, when I became President, I faced a choice'--follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our forces and our allies' forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country's civil conflict."
Biden said on Saturday that Trump had left the Taliban 'in the strongest military position since 2001' Credit: AFP 11
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (left) fled the country as the fanatics stormed the capital city of Kabul Credit: CNP / Polaris A Chinook helicopter flies over the US Embassy in Kabul, AfghanistanBlinken also blamed Trump for setting the drawdown deadline, which he claims forced Biden's hand.
"Like it or not, there was an agreement that the forces would come out on May 1,' Blinken told CNN.
"Had we not begun that process, which is what the president did and the Taliban saw, then we would have been back at war with the Taliban, and we would have been back at war with tens of thousands of troops having to go in because the 2,500 troops we had there and the airpower would not have sufficed," he said.
TALIBAN ON VERGE OF POWERTwenty years after they were ejected by the US and its allies in the wake of 9/11 the Taliban stand on the brink of being back in power.
In scenes that echoed the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War, helicopters were seen ferrying US embassy staff to safety at a secure area near the airport earlier today.
Taliban forces also released 5,000 prisoners from a jail on the outskirts of Kabul and took control of an airbase.
Kabul airport is to remain open for foreigners to leave, the Taliban said, and flights were continuing to operate.
Terrified residents have already begun fleeing in their cars leading to traffic jams, with a huge number of people now massing at the country's borders.
The Taliban appeared to offer an amnesty for government forces and said they want a "peaceful transfer of power".
"No one's life, property, and dignity will be harmed and the lives of the citizens of Kabul will not be at risk," the Taliban said.
Taliban soldiers embrace one another in the streets of Kabul Credit: EPA 11
Sen. Lindsey Graham was on the call with Milley earlier Sunday Credit: The Mega Agency 11
The Taliban said they're seeking a 'peaceful transition of power' Credit: AP Moment diplomats escape US Embassy in helicopter rescue as Taliban fighters storm Kabul
Can Germany manage without natural gas? [Gas in Transition]
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 12:05
Natural Gas News Aug 16, 2021 7:30:am
Summary Can a large industrialised society like Germany run securely and smoothly on a power system largely fed by intermittent renewable energy sources? It is a question that not only concerns Germany, but the rest of the world as well. If they can do it, anyone can. [Gas in Transition, Volume 1, Issue 4]
by: Karel BeckmanIn Germany there sometimes is a lot of optimism about the potential of renewable energy and scepticism about natural gas and oil. As a telling example, recently a group of politicians from Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party published a position paper '' more properly called a manifesto '' proclaiming that Germany can become ''the world's first industrialised country running on 100% renewable energy.'' They envisage reaching this goal as early as 2030.What is more, according to the group, which calls itself KlimaUnion, ending the use of natural gas and oil completely by 2030 will make transport, heating and power consumptioncheaper than it is now, in part because it will save Germany '¬63bn ($74bn)/year that it now spends on the import of fossil fuels. ''Better to spend 63 billion on the sun and on dikes than on Putin or sheikhs,'' they write, describing the change to 100% clean energy as a ''money savings festival.''The KlimaUnion's manifesto, which may be seen as an effort by CDU party members to make the party more attractive to climate-conscious voters in the upcoming federal elections in September, argues that all the requ...
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WHO COVID-19 library contains hundreds of papers from hijacked journals '' Retraction Watch
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 12:03
Anna AbalkinaA World Health Organization (WHO) database of papers about COVID-19 contains hundreds of articles published in hijacked journals whose publishers have stolen titles and legitimacy from the original publications.
That's what I found when I analyzed the WHO's ''COVID-19 Global literature on coronavirus disease,'' which as of August 1 included more than 318,000 papers sourced from typically trusted databases including the U.S. National Library of Medicine's Medline, Elsevier's Scopus, and Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science.
But the collection hosts hundreds of papers published in hijacked journals with fraudulent publishing practices. Hijacked, or clone, journals mimic legitimate publishers by creating a clone website or registering an expired one. They accept papers '-- often wildly out of scope of the original publication '-- without peer review, and collect fees from the authors.
My review found 383 papers from three hijacked journals in the database that were imported from Scopus. Following a post on Retraction Watch about how hijacked journals duped Scopus, Scopus removed these papers, but they are still in the WHO library. (Scopus does not announce or otherwise publicly register these removals.) Ten appeared in the hijacked version of Linguistica Antverpiensia, 169 in the fraudulent edition of the Turkish Journal of Computer and Mathematics Education (TURCOMAT), and 204 were published in the compromised version of the Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology.
It's obvious that papers about the pandemic don't correspond to these journals' typical coverage areas. Take, for example, a paper on ''The Technology of Mobile Banking and Its Impact on the Financial Growth during the Covid-19 Pandemic in the Gulf Region'' in TURCOMAT. What, exactly, does that have to do with mathematics and education? Or ''Covid-19 and its repercussion on the nutritional status and gestational anemia from socio-demographic-obstetric factors,'' a paper in Linguistica Antverpiensia that has nothing to do with linguistics. This is very typical for hijacked journals, which accept all submitted multidisciplinary papers to collect fees.
Papers published in hijacked journals pollute academic communication and provide non-peer-reviewed and often poor-quality material, frequently containing plagiarism or other types of academic misconduct. The presence of papers from hijacked journals in ''COVID-19 Global literature on coronavirus disease'' confers false legitimacy on them.
I asked Tomas Allen, of the WHO library, to comment. He said:
At the moment, a colleague is reviewing the matter of potential hijacked journals. As you are probably aware, we are compiling the citations from various resources such as PubMed, Embase, DOAJ etc. The complete search strategy is located at this link.
For transparency, we will need to review carefully the various titles and determine the best way forward.
Currently the research community is seeing an increasing amount of publications being produced, both peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed, from many resources. WHO staff always critically grades the evidence before incorporation into any guidance.
As soon as we have had a moment to review the citations, we will be able to respond to you with more details. At this moment it would be too soon for us to make any comment.
Like Retraction Watch? You can make a one-time tax-deductible contribution or a monthly tax-deductible donation to support our work, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, or subscribe to our daily digest. If you find a retraction that's not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at email@example.com.
Delta Variants, PCR Tests and Cognitive Dissonance
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 03:48
Delta Variants, PCR Tests and Cognitive Dissonance By F. William Engdahl11 August 2021 Image: Attribution: Credit: Photo by Tumisu / Pixabay license https://pixabay.com/de/photos/lockdown-virus-selbst-quarant%C3%A4ne-5041623/
To paraphrase a famous quip from then Presidential candidate Bill Clinton in a debate with his Republican opponent in 1992, ''It's the vaccine, stupid!'' The daily mainstream media and government narrative we are being inundated all over the world with is confusing to most, to put it mildly. So-called Delta or ''Indian'' variant is spreading like chicken pox we are told, but not what that ''spreading'' means. Unvaccinated are accused of spreading COVID-19 to those supposedly vaccinated. The USA, UK and EU are leading this confusing and deadly narrative.
Children are told by political appointees to get the jab despite official recommendation from WHO and national medical authorities such as STIKO in Germany to wait. PCR tests that define policy, but which do not tell anything about a person's having a specific virus, are treated as a ''Gold Standard'' of infection. Yet as of this writing not one lab has successfully isolated purified samples of the alleged SARS-CoV-2 virus said to cause the COVID-19 disease. How can PCR tests be calibrated if the claimed pathogen is not clear? If we take a step back it becomes clear that we are being subjected to a deliberate worldwide operation in cognitive dissonance whose intended consequences for the future of our civilization are not being told to us.
Cognitive dissonance is a term in psychology for a person's experience of two contradictory or inconsistent experiences whose inconsistency causes them great stress. The stress is resolved in the brain by the person playing unconscious tricks to resolve the contradiction. The Stockholm Syndrome comes to mind. In this case it is the traditional trust in Authority'--governments, WHO, CDC, RKI, Bill Gates and other self-appointed epidemiological experts, in many cases with no medical degree. These authorities are imposing draconian lockdowns, masking and travel restraints and what is rapidly becoming de facto forced vaccination with untested jabs whose adverse effects now number in the millions in the EU and USA.
The ordinary brain says, ''Why would the authorities want to harm us? Don't they want the best for us and the country or the world?'' The real experiences of the past 18 months since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic over an alleged virus first proclaimed in Wuhan China suggest that either politicians and health officials across the world have lost their minds, are deliberately evil, or willfully destructive or simply corrupt. To resolve that frightening contradiction, millions of us take an experimental concoction known as mRNA genetically-edited substance assuming then they are protected against infection or severe illness from an alleged deadly pathogen called COVID-19. Some even attack those around them who view the dissonance differently and who refuse a vaccine out of distrust and caution. Yet even the ever-present Dr. Fauci in Washington admits the novel mRNA vaccines do not prevent getting the alleged disease or being infectious, only maybe helps lessen its impact. That is not a vaccine, but rather something else.
At this point it is useful to look at several demonstrated facts around this coronavirus and its apparently unlimited ''variants.'' The current scare in the UK and EU as well as the USA is a so-called Delta variant of the coronavirus. The only problem is that we are not being told by the relevant authorities anything useful about that variant.
Since the alleged Delta variant of an alleged but nowhere scientifically proven Wuhan novel coronavirus is being used to justify a new round of draconian lockdowns and pressure to vaccinate, it is worth looking into the test to determine if a Delta variant is present in a tested person tested with the standard WHO-recommended PCR test.
The Delta Variant back in May was originally called the Indian variant. It was soon blamed for up to 90% of new COVID-19 positive tests in the UK, which also has a significant Indian population. What is not being told is that in just two months the alleged Delta positives in India dropped dramatically from 400,000 daily in May to 40,000 in July. Symptoms were said to be suspiciously like that for ordinary hay fever, so the WHO quickly renamed it the Delta variant according to the Greek alphabet just to muddy the waters more. Similar Delta declines came in the UK. ''Experts'' claimed it was because terrified Indians stayed at home as only a tiny 1-3% of the population had been vaccinated. In UK experts there claimed it was because so many had been vaccinated that Delta cases plunged. If you get the impression they are just inventing explanations to feed the vaccine narrative, you are not alone.
It gets worse. Virtually no one in the UK, India the EU or the USA who is claimed to have been tested positive for Delta has had a specific Delta variant test as such a direct variant test does not exist. Complex and very costly tests are claimed to exist, but no proof is offered that they are being used to claim such things as ''90% of UK cases are Delta'...'' Labs around the world simply do the standard, highly inaccurate PCR tests and health authorities declare it is ''Delta.'' There is no simple test for Delta or any other variant. If that were not true, the CDC or WHO or other health institutes should explain in detail those tests. They haven't. Ask relevant health ''experts'' how they prove presence of a Delta variant virus. They cannot. Testing labs in the USA admit that they do not test for any variants.
Worthless PCR Tests
Even the PCR test itself is not a test for any virus or disease. The scientist who won a Nobel Prize for inventing the PCR test, Dr. Kary Mullis, went on TV to attack by name NIAID head Tony Fauci as incompetent for claiming the PCR tests could detect any pathogen or disease. It was not designed for that, but rather as a laboratory analytical tool for research. PCR tests cannot determine an acute infection, ongoing infectiousness, nor actual disease. The PCR test is not actually designed to identify active infectious disease, instead, it identifies genetic material, be it partial, alive, or even dead.
A January 21, 2020 published paper by two Germans, Corman and Drosten, was used to create the PCR test immediately adopted by the WHO to be the world standard to detect cases of the novel coronavirus from Wuhan. At that point a mere six persons had been identified having the novel coronavirus. In November 2020 a group of scientific external peers reviewed the Drosten paper and found an incredible number of major scientific flaws as well as brazen conflict of interest by Drosten and colleagues. The scientists noted the Drosten PCR design and paper suffered from, ''numerous technical and scientific errors, including insufficient primer design, a problematic and insufficient RT-qPCR protocol, and the absence of an accurate test validation. Neither the presented test nor the manuscript itself fulfils the requirements for an acceptable scientific publication. Further, serious conflicts of interest of the authors are not mentioned. Finally'... a systematic peer review process was either not performed here, or of problematic poor quality.'' Yet the Drosten PCR design was immediately recommended by the WHO as the world corona test.
The PCR amplifies genetic material by using cycles of amplification until it reaches what is called Cycle threshold (Ct), the number of amplifications to detect genetic material before the sample becomes worthless. Mullis once said if you amplify by enough cycles you can pretty much find anything in anybody as our bodies carry huge numbers of different viruses and bacteria, most harmless. Even Dr. Fauci in a 2020 interviews stated that a CT at 35 or above is worthless. Yet the CDC is believed to recommend testing labs to use a CT of 37 to 40! At that level perhaps 97% of COVID positives are likely false.
Neither the CDC nor the WHO makes public their Ct recommendations, but reports are that the CDC now recommends a lower Ct threshold for testing vaccinated so as to minimize COVID positives in the vaccinated, while recommending a Ct above 35 for the unvaccinated, a criminal manipulation if it is true.
For those interested in the evolution of perverting the PCR tests to supposedly diagnose specific presence of a disease, look into the sordid history beginning in the 1980s of Fauci and his underling then, Dr Robert Gallo, at NIAID, using Mullis' PCR technology to wrongly claim a person is HIV-positive, a criminal enterprise that resulted in unnecessary deaths of tens or hundreds of thousands of people.
Notably nearly every prominent COVID vaccine advocate from Fauci to WHO head Tedros have come out of the HIV/AIDS swamp and its fake PCR testing. The entire panic measures imposed since 2020 around the world are based on the false premise that ''Positive'' RT-PCR test means being sick or infected with COVID. The COVID-19 scare that emanated from Wuhan, China in December of 2019 is a pandemic of testing as many doctors have pointed out. There is no proof that a pathogenic virus is being detected by the test. Nor is there a proven reference value, or ''gold standard'' to determine positive. It is purely arbitrary. Do the research and you will find it.
Pushing Experimental Vaccines
If it is the case that we have destroyed trillions of dollars in the world economy since early 2020 and ruined countless lives based on worthless PCR tests and now the same fraud extends the insanity for an alleged Delta variant, the clear conclusion is that some very influential actors are using that fear to drive experimental genetic vaccines never before tested on humans nor extensively on animals.
Yet the vaccine-related official death toll in the EU and USA continue to break records. As of this writing, according to the official EU database for recording vaccine injuries, EduraVigilance, by August 2 a total of 20,595 deaths had been reported of people who previously received the experimental genetic mRNA jabs! Such numbers have never before been seen. In addition there have been reported 1,960,607 injuries and 50% of them serious including blood clots, heart attacks, menstrual irregularities, paralysis, all following COVID-19 mRNA injections. The USA data at the CDC VAERS database is being manipulated openly, but even they show more than 11,000 post-mRNA vaccine deaths. The major news media never mention this.
Authorities and politicians reply that there is no evidence the deaths or injuries were vaccine related. But they cannot prove that they were not because they prohibit doctors from doing any autopsy. If we are told to follow science, why are doctors being told by health officials to not do autopsies on patients who died AFTER receiving two mRNA vaccines? After thousands of vaccine-related deaths only one autopsy has been reported, that in Germany, and the findings were horrific. The mRNA spike protein had spread through the entire body. The CDC stopped monitoring non-severe COVID-19 cases among vaccinated people in May. That hides the alarming number of vaccinated who get seriously ill.
Something is terribly wrong when respected experienced medical experts are being banned for suggesting alternative hypotheses to the entire COVID drama. When other scientists adhering to the official line call for any criticism of Tony Fauci or other mainstream COVID doctors, they are to be labelled as doing a ''Hate Crime.'' Or when cheap and proven remedials are prohibited in favor of the costly deadly mRNA vaccines in which Fauci's NIAID holds a financial interest.
Already vaccine advocates such as Fauci are speaking of the need for booster mRNA shots and warning of yet a new ''Lambda variant'' looming. How will they test for that? Or are we to take it on faith because he or she is said by CNN or BBC to be a ''respected authority''? How far will sane citizens allow this cognitive dissonance to destroy our lives?
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine''New Eastern Outlook''
VIDEO - Palantir buys $50M worth of gold bars to counter 'black swan event'
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 13:15
Data analytics firm Palantir, best known for its secretive work with the Central Intelligence Agency and other government bodies, has bought $50 million worth of gold bars in preparation for another ''black swan event.''
The Colorado-based company purchased $50.7 million worth of 100-ounce gold bars sometime in August, Palantir said in a short note buried in its 93-page second-quarter earnings report last week.
''Such purchase will initially be kept in a secure third-party facility located in the northeastern United States and the Company is able to take physical possession of the gold bars stored at the facility at any time with reasonable notice,'' it added.
Bloomberg also reported that Palantir will accept payment from its customers in gold.
The company previously announced that it would accept bitcoin as a form of payment, though it hasn't said that it's invested in any bitcoin yet, unlike some other companies including Elon Musk's electric car firm Tesla.
Shyam Sankar, Palantir's chief operating officer, said in an interview with Bloomberg that the shift toward gold ''reflects more of a worldview.''
''You have to be prepared for a future with more black swan events,'' he said, referring to major unexpected events that can have negative consequences.
Investing in gold is seen as a way to hedge against negative events in the future as well as inflation, as proponents see gold retaining its inherent value throughout any economic downturn.
Data analytics firm Palantir, best known for its work with the CIA, has bought $50 million worth of gold bars in preparation for a ''black swan event.'' Arnd Wiegmann/REUTERSThe price of an ounce of gold shot past $2,000 for the first time ever last year as concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic spiked.
But while some investors have recently voiced confidence in gold as inflation spiked in recent months, the price of the precious metal is down about 7 percent since Jan. 1.
The purchase of gold bricks is just one of Palantir's unusual investment strategies.
In its latest quarter, the company also began buying up stakes in its customers, which increasingly include privately held startups as well as companies that have recently gone public through mergers with SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies.
Shares of Palantir, which was co-founded by billionaire Peter Thiel and CEO Alex Karp, have fared much better. The stock was up almost 5 percent in midday trading Wednesday and its up about 150 percent since its IPO in September.
VIDEO - Gov. Andy Beshear - Briefing on COVID-19 in Kentucky - 8.17.2021 - YouTube
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:49
VIDEO - LUKAS LION - 1984 - YouTube
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:35
VIDEO - (20) New Day on Twitter: "CNN's @clarissaward reports on what Afghanistan looks like as the Taliban take over. https://t.co/pJuaHC3iBC https://t.co/zx9shFE8Lj" / Twitter
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:30
New Day : CNN's @clarissaward reports on what Afghanistan looks like as the Taliban take over.https://t.co/pJuaHC3iBC https://t.co/zx9shFE8Lj
Mon Aug 16 11:32:07 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Cuomo, Lemon Fantasize About Beating up Maskless Guy on the Subway | Newsbusters
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:29
CNN Prime Time host Chris "Fredo" Cuomo was known for being the network's faux tough guy; threatening to throw Trump supporters down flights of stairs and glorifying Antifa violence. But on Tuesday, Don Lemon tried his hand at the tough guy routine by suggesting he would ''throw hands'' with a maskless guy on the New York City subway.
This fantasy throwdown with the maskless was kicked off by Cuomo lashing out at those against mask mandates. ''And it's getting better, especially with the vaccines, but when it comes to masks and mask mandates you make it sound like someone is trying to put an '... iron helmet on your head. You know, trying to seal up your kids' mouth for the rest of their lives,'' he chided.
Lemon followed up by condescendingly comparing masks to sunglasses (obviously missing the point that you don't need to wear them everywhere and they're not mandated). ''Well, can we look at it like this? I put on my sunglasses because I want to protect my eyes from the sun,'' he sneered. ''I put on the mask because I want to protect my nose and body from breathing something in that's not good for me. It's the same thing.''
It was then that Lemon brought up how he saw a story about a guy harassing a woman and telling her to take off her mask while down in the subway. And with a chuckle, Fredo opined about how he was surprised the guy didn't get beat up and Lemon asserted he would have done it if he was there:
CUOMO [With a chuckle]: I can't believe in a New York City subway that that guy didn't get tuned up, by the way.
CUOMO: I'm glad he didn't. I know that wouldn't have been the best of us. But I got to tell ya--
LEMON: Oh, he might have if I was on there. I'm not kidding.
The two went on to joke about a Toby Nwigwe song where the chorus was ''Try Jesus; Please don't try me; Because I fight'' and ''throw hands.'' ''As I always say, play lotto, don't play me,'' Lemon added.
Earlier in the handoff, they also took to bashing Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) because he tested positive for Covid and was taking Monoclonal antibodies as part of his treatment. Lemon even tried to suggest Abbott was lying about having a mild case. ''And if it's such a mild case, and let's hope it is, why is he taking this experimental treatment that the former president took,'' he spat.
In reality, there were government PSAs out there telling people to ask for monoclonal antibodies if they got sick.
Lemon added: ''But he's telling people 'Don't wear masks, it's your freedom to get the whatever.' Well, it is. But it is not your freedom to put other people in jeopardy which is what he did last night at the Republican meeting.''
But Abbott was vaccinated. And the agreement was, if you get vaccinated, you don't need to wear a mask.
What made this whole thing even more ridiculous was that they ended the handoff with Don bloviating about how the duo tries to persuade people with ''love'' and ''grace.'' Last time I checked, you don't say grace over knuckle sandwiches.
This maskless face bashing fantasy was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Kraft and DoorDash. Their contact information is linked so that you can tell them about the biased news they fund.
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
CNN's Don Lemon TonightAugust 17, 202110:00:49 p.m. Eastern
DON LEMON: In the land of the free tonight as well, we have people who are doing everything they can to try to keep this virus in the headlines and in people's bodies and spreading among other people. You did the story on the Texas governor. Now he has Covid. And if it's such a mild case, and let's hope it is, why is he taking this experimental treatment that the former president took?
CHRIS CUOMO: Monoclonal antibodies from Regeneron.
LEMON: Monoclonal antibodies. When he was in dire straits.
CUOMO: Cause it works, that's why.
LEMON: Cause it works. And so '' But he's telling people "Don't wear masks, it's your freedom to get the whatever." Well, it is. But it is not your freedom to put other people in jeopardy which is what he did last night at the Republican meeting. And then you have Florida. Thousands of students who are now in quarantine and young people now getting the virus and the governor there telling people no mask mandate.
I don't know where we are right now, as you said. I have no idea why we have gotten to this place -- well, I have some idea. I just don't understand it. I don't understand it. It doesn't make sense, Chris.
CUOMO: There is nothing political about a virus, and yet every time we show you guys numbers, about who's anti-mask, who's anti-vaccine, who's anti-this, the numbers are always lopsided. And it's getting better, especially with the vaccines, but when it comes to masks and mask mandates ''
CUOMO: -- you make it sound like someone is trying to put an iron '' you know, an iron helmet on your head. You know, trying to seal up your kids' mouth for the rest of their lives.
LEMON: Well, can we look at it like this? I put on my sunglasses because I want to protect my eyes from the sun. I put on the mask because I want to protect my nose and body from breathing something in that's not good for me. It's the same thing.
I saw this video of this guy in New York City talking about '' really going after this woman on a train saying ''take off your mask'' on the subway'--
CUOMO: ''I believe in freedom!''
LEMON: ''I believe in freedom.'' She's free to put on her face whatever the hell she wants!
CUOMO [With a chuckle]: I can't believe in a New York City subway that that guy didn't get tuned up, by the way.
CUOMO: I'm glad he didn't. I know that wouldn't have been the best of us. But I got to tell ya--
LEMON: Oh, he might have if I was on there. I'm not kidding.
CUOMO: I was getting ready for the Toby Nwigwe song "Try Jesus." You ever hear that song?
LEMON: ''Try Jesus, don't try me.''
CUOMO: ''Because I throw hands.''
LEMON: ''I throw hands.'' As I always say, play lotto, don't play me. I gotta go.
CUOMO: We're in a bad place, brother.
LEMON: We're in a bad place. But I think we can get out. It's going to be up to people like me and you, we have a platform. We can talk about it. We can try to move people in the right direction, give them the facts every night with passion and with love and with grace as you do every night. I love you, I'll see you soon.
CUOMO: I love you, D. Lemon.
VIDEO - (20) Clown World on Twitter: "Jimmy Fallon tells his audience that for the first time in history, according to the latest census, the number of white people went down. The audience whoops and cheers. https://t.co/ye9oRqwNpi" / Twitter
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:24
Clown World : Jimmy Fallon tells his audience that for the first time in history, according to the latest census, the number of w'... https://t.co/JV8IenLjUy
Wed Aug 18 15:39:22 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Trump Hannity full interview | Fox news Trump speech | Sean Hannity show tonight | Bidem afghanistan - YouTube
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:22
VIDEO - (20) Hillel Neuer on Twitter: "ðºð¸ Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield says U.S. expressed "in no uncertain terms" at the United Nations through "a very strongly worded press statement" from the Security Council that "we expect the Taliban to
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:17
Hillel Neuer : ðºð¸ Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield says U.S. expressed "in no uncertain terms" at the United Nations through "a'... https://t.co/ujIkYtGa4W
Wed Aug 18 02:42:54 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Nothing can stop what is coming!
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:08
First published at 12:41 UTC on August 17th, 2021.
SW Ohio school board meeting. I told them what the jabs were going to do to them. It was if I had said nothing. Masks were reinstituted for all people inside all buildings on this night as well. Tyrants. Mass non-participation, permanently, is'...
SW Ohio school board meeting. I told them what the jabs were going to do to them. It was if I had said nothing. Masks were reinstituted for all people inside all buildings on this night as well. Tyrants. Mass non-participation, permanently, is the only way.
VIDEO - Biden begs people to get vaccinated and flees podium as reporters beg for answers on Afghanistan. - YouTube
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:02
VIDEO - Biden Defense Sec: ''Don't Have The Capability To...Extend Operations'' & Evacuate Stranded Americans - YouTube
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:01
VIDEO - Nobel Prize Winner Professor Luc Montagnier Says Vaccine Is Creating Variants
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 12:00
Professor Luc Montagnier is a French virologist who won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
In this interview he states that the mass vaccination program is an "enormous mistake" and a "medical error" because "it is clear that the new variants are created by antibody-mediated selection due to the vaccination."
In other words, the vaccine is creating the variants.
To better understand this concept here is a 2015 NIH-funded study which found "imperfect vaccination can ehance the transmission of highly virulent pathogens."https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4516275/
In other words, a so-called "leaky vaccine" or a vaccine that lowers the chances of severe illness, but still allows for transmission of a virus, can create conditions that promote the evolution of more virulent pathogens.
VIDEO - Justin Trudeau says Canadians need to "counter the 'she-cession' and turn it into a 'she-covery'" - YouTube
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 11:29
VIDEO - US Military Lost Several Aircraft that Were Flown Out of Country - They Have No Idea How Many
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 00:50
Rumble '-- REVEALED: US Military Lost Several Aircraft that Were Flown Out of Country - They Have No Idea How Many Were Taken
COVID-19 Oral Treatment Now Available in Israeli Drug That Treat Patients in 5 Days With Possible 90% Recovery Rate | Science Times
Thu, 19 Aug 2021 00:33
A new drug for COVID-19 treatment has recently been developed, and the good news is that it was able to treat up to 93 percent of the patients treated at hospitals in just five days.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the Phase II trial for an Israeli drug in the fight against COVID-19 saw some 29 patients out of 30, moderate to severe, recover from the illness within days.
About 93 percent of 90 patients with severe COVID-19 were treated in various Greek hospitals with the new Israeli drug developed by a team of researchers at Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center, as part of the said trial of the treatment within days.
This Phase II trial verified the Phase I results, which was carried out in Israel last winter. More saw, it found 29 of 30 patients in moderate in severe condition recover in just a few days.
ALSO READ: Volunteer for Pfizer's Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Shares Side Effects from Trial
(Photo: CEDRICK ISHAM CALVADOS/AFP via Getty Images)A new Israeli drug for COVID-19 treatment has recently been developed, and patients at hospitals can get treated in just five days.
Clinical DeteriorationAccording to Professor Nadir Aber, the study's main objective was to confirm the safety of the use of the drug, as indicated in the US National Library of Medicine. To this day, he added, they have not registered any substantial side effects in any COVID-19 patient from both groups.
The Phase II trial was done in Athens as Israel did not have enough appropriate patients. The principal investigator was the coronavirus commissioner of Greece, Prof. Sotiris Tsiodras.
Arber, together with his team, including Dr. Shiran Shapira, developed a COVID-19 drug based on a molecule that the professor has been examining for more than two decades, also known as CD24, which naturally exists in the body.
The professor explained, it is important to remember that out of 20 COVID-19 patients, 19 of them don't require any treatment. After a five- to 12-day window, roughly five percent of the patients begin to deteriorate.
Aber also said the main reason for the clinical deterioration is excessive immune system stimulation, also called a cytokine storm.
In the COVID-19 patients, the system begins to attack healthy cells in the lungs, which is exactly the problem the new Israeli drug is targeting, explained Aber.
CD24 MoleculeAs specified in this report, CD24 is a tiny protein attached to the cells' membrane. It serves a lot of functions that include controlling the mechanism responsible for the cytokine storm.
Arber highlighted that their COVID-19 treatment, EXO-CD24, is not affecting the immune system in general, although it only targets the specific mechanism, helping search again for its right balance.
This isn't the first time this protein type is described and introduced as a medical breakthrough. Earlier on, in February this year, Medical Advise mentioned in an article that EXO-CD24 has been investigated as a treatment for ovarian cancer. However, doctors realized it had potential in combating the pandemic by using it for COVID-19.
The professor said, one breakthrough element of this COVID-19 treatment is its delivery. He explained that they are employing exosomes, very tiny vesicles derived from the cells' membrane, responsible for the information exchange between them.
Many side effects are avoided by managing to deliver the drug exactly in the sites they are needed. Currently, the team is all set for the launch of its last phase of the study.
More than 150 COVID-19 patients will partake in the study. Two-thirds of these participants will be given the drug, and one-third will be provided with a placebo.
The research will be carried out in Israel, and it might also be conducted in other areas if the number of infected patients in the country will not be enough.
Related information about the Israeli drug for COVID-19 is shown on ILTV Israel News's YouTube video below:
RELATED ARTICLE: CLAIM: Vaccines Cause COVID-19 Delta Variants, But Report Shows 'Space-Time Continuum' As One Major Flaw
Check out more news and information on COVID-19 and Vaccine on Science Times.
VIDEO - (20) Amy Tarkanian on Twitter: "Yesterday, the White House said that Joe Biden has not taken any calls with world leaders in regards to Afghanistan. Justin Trudeau stated that he spoke with Hillary Clinton yesterday about Afghanistan. What is goin
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 23:24
Amy Tarkanian : Yesterday, the White House said that Joe Biden has not taken any calls with world leaders in regards to Afghanistan'... https://t.co/yA8DnjKfTm
Wed Aug 18 10:53:29 +0000 2021
Woke Brian Bowman ð ð''ð''ªð''>>ð''¸ð''ð'-- ð''ð''¬ð''¬ð''¸ð''¾ð''·ð''½ : @MrsT106 Why is it everytime there's a crisis involving the sitting President of the United States that somehow'... https://t.co/Fbxv81GdGp
Wed Aug 18 23:21:07 +0000 2021
Heather Le Donne : @MrsT106 I am so disgusted! Let's put the real President in charge, TRUMP!!!
Wed Aug 18 23:05:14 +0000 2021
Ruth a Hall : @MrsT106 Why do you think? Who do you think is in charge now?
Wed Aug 18 23:05:08 +0000 2021
@ChicagoLibune : @MrsT106 Who is this Clinton person and why should we care about her?
Wed Aug 18 23:01:40 +0000 2021
Betting Blab : @MrsT106 They are coming for this guy, he needs to keep his eyes open now.
Wed Aug 18 23:01:27 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Pope urges people to receive Covid-19 vaccine - YouTube
Wed, 18 Aug 2021 23:23
VIDEO - (26) Liam McCollum on Twitter: "The Taliban spokesman got a question about freedom of speech and he said the question should be asked to US companies like Facebook who claim to promote it while still censoring https://t.co/woXd5RRCWK" / Twitter
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 19:33
Liam McCollum : The Taliban spokesman got a question about freedom of speech and he said the question should be asked to US compani'... https://t.co/nNQNhIDC6B
Tue Aug 17 15:46:31 +0000 2021
peaceful warmonger : @MLiamMcCollum I mean hes not wrong
Tue Aug 17 19:33:04 +0000 2021
Airdemon1 : @MLiamMcCollum Now that Facebook has started mass deleting all positive feedback towards the Taliban, this just pro'... https://t.co/ObTWbW43ot
Tue Aug 17 19:32:56 +0000 2021
Julia : @MLiamMcCollum Exactly - The Taliban have a platform on twitter and facebook while 45 is banned.
Tue Aug 17 19:32:56 +0000 2021
D&P horner : @MLiamMcCollum sadly he is correct.
Tue Aug 17 19:32:51 +0000 2021
XRPGoonieð±'' : @MLiamMcCollum The Taliban have the moral high ground over Twitter and Facebook. Never thought I'd see the day!
Tue Aug 17 19:32:48 +0000 2021
Airborne Heel : @MLiamMcCollum He's not wrong
Tue Aug 17 19:32:45 +0000 2021
Zach' : @MLiamMcCollum https://t.co/jpeELsN0sz
Tue Aug 17 19:32:34 +0000 2021
Libtards are hoes : @MLiamMcCollum We need leaders like this here!
Tue Aug 17 19:32:33 +0000 2021
Very'ª¸Small'ª¸World : @MLiamMcCollum Taliban made a Valid point!? Damn! I would never have imagined.
Tue Aug 17 19:32:30 +0000 2021
Hadi Nasrallah : @MLiamMcCollum Can't believe I'm saying this. But Based
Tue Aug 17 19:32:28 +0000 2021
klotzilla ð' : @MLiamMcCollum The #Talibums don't do analogies well at all.
Tue Aug 17 19:32:23 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Jon Miltimore on Twitter: "Madness - New Zealand to impose nationwide lockdown after detecting 1st local case -- in 170 days: "Do not talk to your neighbors." https://t.co/S3r2GBsvCf" / Twitter
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 16:51
Jon Miltimore : Madness - New Zealand to impose nationwide lockdown after detecting 1st local case -- in 170 days: "Do not talk to'... https://t.co/3jhp6DmhEe
Tue Aug 17 12:56:19 +0000 2021
Kent Hilbert : @miltimore79 Citizens may, however, say "Stay Safe" or "Heil Hitler" interchangeably.
Tue Aug 17 16:50:23 +0000 2021
H'Ker : @miltimore79 ya everyone should be locked up ð¤¨https://t.co/nLOu03XK7L
Tue Aug 17 16:37:12 +0000 2021
Smashley : @miltimore79 @adamcurry
Tue Aug 17 16:33:50 +0000 2021
TTD : @miltimore79 ''Delta can be spread simply by people walking past one another'' - hey NZ you're being lied to and beli'... https://t.co/84Gb8ntono
Tue Aug 17 16:26:34 +0000 2021
Donception : @miltimore79 The next step is the best Korea method. Shoot the person infected and you'll no longer have cases. It just makes sense.
Tue Aug 17 15:58:31 +0000 2021
Steve : @miltimore79 They need to import some tools to get rid of the government
Tue Aug 17 15:43:37 +0000 2021
Marlo, Pro-Vaccine, Anti-Mask, Augustus : @miltimore79 If they do this for 10 more years they can jump straight to Covid 29 Skip a few variants but Covid is going to get everywhere
Tue Aug 17 15:39:56 +0000 2021
VIDEO - (13) Marie Oakes on Twitter: "It is now illegal to get ''fresh air'' in South-West Sydney, Australia. https://t.co/BQbGqIplES" / Twitter
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 18:54
Marie Oakes : It is now illegal to get ''fresh air'' in South-West Sydney, Australia. https://t.co/BQbGqIplES
Tue Aug 17 04:51:26 +0000 2021
Euclid of Megera : @TheMarieOakes What would his mother say?
Tue Aug 17 18:54:05 +0000 2021
ð'ð'ð'' : @TheMarieOakes Australians descended from prisoners and it shows.
Tue Aug 17 18:48:07 +0000 2021
Silent Deshi ð(C)ðª ð²ð½ : @TheMarieOakes Nazis 2.0
Tue Aug 17 18:44:24 +0000 2021
Crispy-Crypto-Tripper : @TheMarieOakes https://t.co/i6BWLGrbJb
Tue Aug 17 18:37:51 +0000 2021
John Jones : @TheMarieOakes 'Lost the plot' springs to mind.
Tue Aug 17 18:32:00 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Ajaxfriend''''''2 on Twitter: "#klaarmetRutte Ook is het schokkend hoe ze in Australi nu oproepen om alle kinderen naar een stadion te sturen ZONDER ouders en toezicht? Wat gaan ze daar met die kinderen doen dan?ð¤--ð¤-- https://t.co/ITYDKB3q
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 16:50
Ajaxfriend''''''2 : #klaarmetRutte Ook is het schokkend hoe ze in Australi nu oproepen om alle kinderen naar een stadion te sturen ZO'... https://t.co/pa1UA8iAFj
Tue Aug 17 12:11:16 +0000 2021
VIDEO - The Waters Below, Lightning & Earth's Magnetic Disaster - YouTube
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:49
VIDEO - Dr. Fauci admits the truth. The vast majority of the world already knew - GreatAwakening - WWG1WGA!
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:42
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VIDEO - CNN reporter previews new bombshell Trump book - YouTube
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:37
VIDEO - Record-breaking Box Demand, Stranded Containers Lead to Worst Shipping Delays in Years
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:36
Welcome to Thomas Insights '-- every day, we publish the latest news and analysis to keep our readers up to date on what's happening in industry. Sign up here to get the day's top stories delivered straight to your inbox.
Welcome to the Thomas Index Report for the week of August 16th.
Last month, a series of COVID-19 outbreaks in Chinese ports caused the worst shipping delays in years, the impacts of which we will likely still be feeling by the time the holiday season arrives. But port closures are only part of the story behind the recent shipping delays impacting virtually every sector, from furniture deliveries to food product shortages.
Shipping containers, especially refrigerated ones, have been extremely hard for manufacturers and distributors to find and fill with goods over the past few months. A key element of the supply chain, shipping containers transport large volumes of goods along global shipping routes. Problems first arose in early 2020 when shipping lines canceled some routes amid growing COVID-19 case numbers worldwide, but shipping container availability worsened as unpredictable port closures, the Suez Canal blockage, and intensifying labor shortages left containers stranded. As a result, international freight costs have also grown dramatically, with limited availability, lengthy delays, and lackluster service causing issues throughout the global supply chain.
These shortages are not limited only to shipping containers. On Thomasnet.com, our data shows that sourcing for shipping boxes is up 289% percent year over year and 500% over last quarter averages. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that 2020's monumental surge in e-commerce led Americans to use more corrugated cardboard boxes last year than ever before, causing a global shortage of packaging materials.
While shipping box availability has been improving, with few regulatory options available to address the shipping container challenges, industry experts expect those shortages and associated shipping delays to last until early 2022.
I'm Tony Uphoff, and this is the Thomas Index Report.
Top 10 Categories Month Over MonthCleaners: 7,103%Filters: 6,494%Prototype Printed Circuit Boards (PCB): 6,336%Measuring Instruments: 4,780%Plastic Materials: 3,417%Lead Acid Batteries: 3,140%Hospital, Dental & Surgical Equipment & Supplies: 3,072%Semiconductor Processing Equipment: 3,000%Assemblies: 2,670%Vertical Blinds: 2,616%Check Out Other Recent Thomas Index Report Videos: Pet Collars, Toys, Food Sourcing Up Amid Wave of Pet AdoptionsHouses Are Getting More Expensive Because of Building Material ShortagesLa-Z-Boy, Wayfair Say Furniture Shipments Are Being Delayed Up to 9 MonthsQ3 Procurement Predicted to Focus on 3D Printing, ShippingWhy Beer Could Get More Expensive This SummerOut of Key Ingredients, Starbucks' Store Shortages Reflect National Supply Chain DisruptionsAfter Chipotle, General Mills, More Sound Alarm on Food Supply Chain Issues, USDA Invests $4 Billion Image Credit: Thomas Index Report
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VIDEO - La-Z-Boy, Wayfair Say Furniture Shipments Are Being Delayed Up to 9 Months
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:34
Welcome to Thomas Insights '-- every day, we publish the latest news and analysis to keep our readers up to date on what's happening in industry. Sign up here to get the day's top stories delivered straight to your inbox.
Welcome to the Thomas Index Report for the week of July 26th.
If you're eagerly awaiting a newly purchased office desk chair or living room couch, odds are you're unfortunately going to be waiting quite a while for your new furniture to arrive.
Fortune is reporting that furniture deliveries are growing increasingly severe, with shipments from brands like La-Z-Boy delayed up to nine months. These delays are reaching unexpected lengths as supply chain and shipping struggles remain unresolved and furniture demand surges amid the pandemic. In March 2021 alone, Americans spent $11.3 billion on furniture and home furnishings, a 12% increase from 2020, according to U.S. Commerce Department data.
On the Thomasnet.com platform, our data confirms this big spike in demand. Searches for office furniture '-- fueled by the massive shift to remote work '-- are up 108% year over year. Sourcing for patio furniture, which has become especially popular as people not only spend more time at home but particularly more time outside enjoying their yards and outdoor space, is up 51% year over year. And finally, with people trying to stay comfortable while at home over the past year, searches for upholstered furniture are up 130% percent while wooden furniture interest is up 362% percent year over year.
While these furniture shipping delays are foundationally caused by the continued impacts of COVID-19 on the manufacturing sector and industrial supply chain, they've grown particularly bad because of three factors: the winter storm in Texas in February, which knocked out production for key materials like the foam used in furniture cushions, the Suez Canal blockage in March, and ongoing nationwide shipping challenges, including the shortage of truck drivers and continued port congestion.
Patio furniture manufacturers told the Associated Press that they expect the shortages and associated delays to continue until 2022 or 2023, though as lawmakers better understand the importance of fixing the supply chain and take steps to address it, experts are hopeful these challenges will be addressed sooner than anticipated.
I'm Tony Uphoff, and this is the Thomas Index Report.
Top 10 Categories Month Over MonthAdvertising Novelties & Specialties: 5597%Control Systems 3693%General Contractors: 3466%Lasers: 3278%Film: 3193%EDM: 3192%Locks: 2990%Sneeze Guards: 2808%Cable Installation: 2755%Benches: 2516%Check Out Other Recent Thomas Index Report Videos: Q3 Procurement Predicted to Focus on 3D Printing, ShippingWhy Beer Could Get More Expensive This SummerOut of Key Ingredients, Starbucks' Store Shortages Reflect National Supply Chain DisruptionsAfter Chipotle, General Mills, More Sound Alarm on Food Supply Chain Issues, USDA Invests $4 BillionResidual Impacts of Winter Storm Drive Spike in PVC Prices, DemandAfter Record-setting 2020 Storm Season, Meteorologists Urge Caution in 2021 Image Credit: Thomas Industry Update
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VIDEO - Nets SLAM Biden Speech Giving al-Qaeda 'Propaganda Tool,' 'Miss[ed] the Moment' | Newsbusters
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:17
The major broadcast networks continued their welcome stance on Monday afternoon of holding President Biden accountable for the embarrassing collapse of Afghanistan and the peril Americans and Afghans have found themselves in. After Biden's speech, ABC, CBS, and NBC lambasted it for having ''missed the moment'' in failing to ''accept responsibility'' for this ''catastrophe'' he's caused and explain how the U.S. and Afghan allies move forward.
ABC was by far the harshest, wasting no time to take Biden to task with senior foreign correspondent Ian Pannell in Kabul saying that while Biden leveled a ''pretty harsh assessment'' blaming the country's collapse on the Afghan government and military, ''a lot of the criticisms were unfair.''
Pannell also took aim at Biden's claim that the terror threat has expanded beyond Afghanistan, noting that ''[t]here are people who disagree about the threat on the ground'' as terrorist groups will now have ''vast, ungoverned spaces allowing extremism and terrorism to flourish again.''
All in all, Pannell said Biden's remarks ''will leave a lot of people dumbfounded.''
Chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz concurred that, contrary to Biden's framing, the debate wasn't about whether withdrawing from Afghanistan was the right decision, but it's instead how it took place (click 'expand''):
But just going forward with Ian's point, this really isn't about withdrawing from Afghanistan. That is a debatable point. There are many people who think that is a good idea. What they want to talk about is how this was done. Just look at those pictures. There was not a plan in place on how to deal with that. The President also said we didn't get them out earlier because many didn't want to go. Well, many didn't want to go because people like President Biden were saying it was highly unlikely that the Taliban would overtake that country, so there are failures on so many levels here, David. Failure of diplomacy, failure of that military training. The President talked about how we had trained those Afghan troops for 20 years and this happened. What did we do wrong? And a failure of intelligence, David. Yes, people were predicting that possibly, at some point, the Taliban may take over, but they were not predicting that it could be so fast and we have been dealing with the Taliban now for 20 years.
I've talked to so many veterans and Gold Star families are shattered watching these scenes and asking themselves, ''what was this for?'' Because many just feel like we've gone backwards 20 years. The Taliban has taken over this country. You know, President Biden talks about human rights. How are they going to do that? How are they going to help those women in educating people and human rights with the Taliban in charge? And the veterans? They are asking themselves the same question, what was this for? They fought honorably, they fought for the men and women next to them, but they look at these scenes in horror, David.
Chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl slammed Biden for possessing a falsehood that ''the options here'' were ''a simple choice between withdrawing all American forces or having a war that never ends,'' which drew an assist from chief national correspondent Terry Moran.
Moran was scathing, saying Biden ''seem[ed] to miss the moment'' with a misplaced speech that ''didn't answer the question as to how his administration bungled this'' and instead ''shifted the blame'' to everyone from Afghans to Donald Trump.
''He did not, in any way, accept responsibility for the catastrophe that's unfolded in Kabul and I think missed a moment to demonstrate the kind of leadership to live up to that saying the buck stops here,'' Moran added.
CBS wasn't any less charitable. After correspondent Roxanna Sabieri gave a description of the hellscape (from an undisclosed location to protect her safety), longtime Pentagon correspondent David Martin brutally and methodically tore into Biden's speech and said ''the honor of the United States depends on getting'' Afghan allies out (click ''expand,'' emphasis mine):
NORAH O'DONNELL: But what's the thinking with inside the Pentagon about what a mess this is?
MARTIN: Well, everybody was surprised including the Taliban at the '' the speed of this collapse. But, you know, there is humiliation of the moment but the real problem is getting that airport working and getting people out because you're talking about first, the Americans. He said thousands of Americans. That's not counting the embassy diplomats, so there's thousands of Americans out there in '' in Afghanistan, and then there are tens of thousands of Afghans who work for the U.S., the State Department, the CIA, the military during the war who now have good reason to fear for their lives. Are we going to be able to get them out? There is no provision that I know of for getting them to the airport. They have to get to the airport on their own and of course we know that getting to the airport is not necessarily the answer to your problem because of the chaos that reigns there. So, when Roxanna said she heard planes landing during that speech, that's good news cause that means that's more troops coming, more troops to establish order at that airfield and then with every plane that goes in, that's one more plane to fill up with about 250 passengers to take out. But we still don't understand what's going to happen to all those Afghans who have to make it to the airport on their own and frankly, I think the honor of the United States depends on getting those Afghans out.
O'DONNELL: And David, answer that question. Because while people may agree with President Biden that it's time to end the war in Afghanistan, the way it ended and the way that the Taliban was able to so swiftly take control and the way that we have thousands of not only U.S. citizens there but also those who have helped our forces on the ground as you mention, that they'd they are left in harm's way, that that aftermath was handled poorly. Is that where some of the blame will be placed within the Biden administration for failing to anticipate that?
MARTIN: I think everybody recognizes that we pumped way too much money into Afghanistan, to the point where it fueled corruption so that corruption became as big an enemy as the Taliban. And then when the U.S. started to withdraw, all the things that the U.S. military is good at, air strikes, medivac, resupply of food and ammunition went away and those Afghan soldiers were left out there in the provinces knowing no one was going to come to rescue them. They'd be lucky if they got fed. And so, this military that we had tried to inculcate with the motto of no man left behind, suddenly turned into a military of every man for himself.
O'DONNELL: Well put, David Martin.
Chief foreign correspondent Charlie D'Agata agreed, saying Martin's points were ''extremely crucial'' as the sudden withdrawal caused Afghans to ''lose confidence'' and ''morale.''
Over on NBC, White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell took note of what Biden didn't explain in ''why this has been such a devastating unfolding at the airport and what he will do right now.''
O'Donnell acknowledged there's ''symmetry'' and ''symbolism of exiting Afghanistan by the anniversary of 9/11,'' but Biden's actions ''will certainly be on his watch and something he will have to take credit for and take all of the slings and arrows that come with it.''
For once, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd made himself useful as even he realized there ''was the big gap in his remarks was not explaining why this is happening, why this is so chaotic'' and cited Biden's attempt to blame Trump for the chaos.
Todd conceded that ''the next month...is to be horrendous for him, public relations-wise'' because al-Qaeda has been handed ''a propaganda tool on the 20th anniversary of 9/11'' and only time will tell if Biden made the right decision.
To further embarrassment, longtime NBCer Andrea Mitchell had nothing to offer as a defense (click ''expand''):
Well, the State Department has been very defensive about why they were so slow to get those special visas for Afghan translators and others who had worked for the U.S. military and that is a criticism that he has not really addressed. Bipartisan criticism, I should add from Democratic members of Congress. who has said that they passed legislation in July specifically to speed this up and it's not just them. Of course it's the women, the girls who are left behind and don't even qualify for the special visa, so he hasn't really addressed the Afghan people while criticizing understandably the political leadership in Afghanistan and the Afghan military.
Also, he said that the original mission to make sure that they could never be another 9/11 attack on the homeland from this country as his base for terror and that was accomplished 10 years ago with the killing of Osama bin laden and that that could still be accomplished from ''over the horizon from outside the country.'' That is not the case, though. According to former CIA director John Brennan, who was in a Democratic administration as well as working for Republicans and others who say you cannot accomplish from outside what you have lost by the withdrawal because once you close the Bagram Air Force Base, which you know so well. Lester, you lost the ground truth and that that is going to be far more difficult than that, under the Taliban, these terrorists could reform.
And despite Biden's attempts to say the U.S. would stand up for ''human rights,'' chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel said Afghans ''believe that the U.S. has abandoned them, abandoned hope, abandoned women in this country and they will say how could it possibly be '-- faced with the '-- what we '-- the scenes we saw at this airport just a few hours ago that the President comes on national television and makes an address and says human rights are his '-- at the cornerstone of his policy.''
When even your friends have nothing but bad things to say (minus MSNBC), you know it's a bad day at the White House.
To see the relevant network transcripts from August 16, click here.
VIDEO - David Parker and Dawn Lester - 'What really makes you ill?' - YouTube
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 12:59
VIDEO - Whitney Robertson on Twitter: "U.S. Army veteran Matt Zeller goes off on MSNBC about Biden's remarks on Afghanistan: Zeller: ''I feel like I watched a different speech than the rest of you guys. I was appalled.'' https://t.co/eGC5tMBvy4" / Twi
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 00:47
Whitney Robertson : U.S. Army veteran Matt Zeller goes off on MSNBC about Biden's remarks on Afghanistan:Zeller: ''I feel like I watch'... https://t.co/MfuEUTTb0H
Mon Aug 16 21:49:07 +0000 2021
JohnInCharlotte : @whitneyleerob Horrendous way to leave. Worse then Saigon
Tue Aug 17 00:47:16 +0000 2021
Emanuel ð¸ð¾ ð§ð´ ð¸ð(C)ð>>ðªð®ð·ð°ðµð¨ðºð±ð§ð¾ðª : @whitneyleerob https://t.co/YVrRUe22yq
Tue Aug 17 00:47:15 +0000 2021
Merlin&Freyja, Cattorneys at Law : @whitneyleerob Preach it, brother. Preach it.
Tue Aug 17 00:47:14 +0000 2021
kmbmurph : @whitneyleerob amen
Tue Aug 17 00:46:49 +0000 2021
Debra : @whitneyleerob He sounds like he knows what he's talking about. Another catastrophe on the hands of this administra'... https://t.co/5Tky0RAWid
Tue Aug 17 00:46:33 +0000 2021
pearlking : @whitneyleerob Wow! Bravo to this guy
Tue Aug 17 00:46:27 +0000 2021
Virginia Smith : @whitneyleerob WOW!! Continue to tell this TRUTH to the American citizens! Thanks for your courage to stand up for'... https://t.co/erCyQ5c7zW
Tue Aug 17 00:46:25 +0000 2021
June PISSED OFF Cleaver ðºð¸ : @whitneyleerob Well said, Matt Zeller!!! ð
Tue Aug 17 00:46:20 +0000 2021
reclaimthenest : @whitneyleerob @ACaitnop Stud
Tue Aug 17 00:46:11 +0000 2021
Faith over fear, an Absolute Amendment User : @whitneyleerob Media doucherocket is like, but but but umm umm umm
Tue Aug 17 00:45:56 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Vaccinated people should quarantine
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 21:45
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VIDEO - Page asks council to stop antisemitic crowd comments during meetings
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 17:50
Kim Hudson and Becky Willeke
6 hours ago
ST. LOUIS '' St. Louis County Executive Sam Page spoke out this morning about antisemitic comments during a recent county council meeting. He said there has been a lot of false information about the vaccine and that some involve lies about Jewish people.
Page said that in the push back against science, some people are comparing the efforts of saving lives to Nazi Germany.
''Wearing a mask or being asked to get a vaccine is not like being asked to wear a yellow star,'' said Page.
Page said he has sent a letter to the chairwoman of the St. Louis County Council asking her to use her gavel to stop reprehensible behavior during meetings.
''I've had members of the Jewish community hurt and bewildered by the behavior allowed to proceed at recent council meetings,'' said Page.
Page invited other members of the Jewish community to this morning's briefing. Rabbi Susan Talve from Central Reform Congregation took part.
''I am afraid for my Jewish family,'' said Rabbi Talve.
She said the overt antisemitism displayed at recent meetings makes me afraid for my congregation and our Jewish community in our region.
Talve says she was also upset that during the recent county council meeting none of the hate speech was gaveled down. She says nothing was done to stop the antisemitism or say it was out of order.
''By daring to dismiss the horrors of the holocaust by comparing the loss of freedom of over 11 million who were slaughtered, gassed, and burned including a million and a half children, comparing that to a mask mandate is not only disrespectful, it is dangerous,'' said Rabbi Talve.
Hon. Stacey Newman, a member of the Jewish community and a former state legislator who now represents Progress Women, wants an apology to the Jewish community after hateful comments were allowed during the meeting.
She is also demanding the county council cut off and refuse any further hate speech in public commentaries.
Newman also stresses COVID is the evil that kills and harms, nothing else.
Jewish leaders across the world also are worried hate speech online could turn into real-world violence as the St. Louis area continues to reopen.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate said researchers found more than 700 messages of hate speech posted between May 18 and June 29 in 2021. The messages were viewed more than 7 million times. Some of the messages included hashtags that included #HoloHoax, #KillTheJews, and #SynagogueOfSatan.
The CCDH said more than 80 percent of these messages were still online across multiple platforms.
VIDEO - (20) Sophia Fisher on Twitter: "CNN reporter on the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan: ''They're just chanting 'Death to America,' but they seem friendly at the same time.'' #Afghanistan #Talibans https://t.co/hYtCBVqeTc" / Twitter
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 15:36
Sophia Fisher : CNN reporter on the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan: ''They're just chanting 'Death to America,' but they seem frien'... https://t.co/qPV2RV0ANG
Mon Aug 16 14:32:46 +0000 2021
yrrep savid : @sophiabfisher A Group of 5 CI@ agents scream death to America ð¤ð¤ð¤
Mon Aug 16 15:36:19 +0000 2021
stacey cook : @sophiabfisher @joerogan This is just wow. Wow. Death to America and friendly at the same time!
Mon Aug 16 15:36:15 +0000 2021
Dizzy ð¨ð... : @sophiabfisher Glass them.
Mon Aug 16 15:36:15 +0000 2021
Matt : @sophiabfisher Mostly peaceful
Mon Aug 16 15:36:07 +0000 2021
Mackdammobeley : @sophiabfisher She is being utterly bizarre
Mon Aug 16 15:35:58 +0000 2021
DarkCloud : @sophiabfisher Bizarre? Journalism today is dead, they are a joke.
Mon Aug 16 15:35:58 +0000 2021
Invisible Blue Checkmark : @sophiabfisher Several presidents share blame for entire Afghan War but Biden is president now and needs to say som'... https://t.co/ZAbmYQP5lK
Mon Aug 16 15:35:57 +0000 2021
yrrep savid : @sophiabfisher https://t.co/WoWKMI9IRe
Mon Aug 16 15:35:55 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Firefighters protest for freedom in Melbourne - YouTube
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 14:52
VIDEO - Pomp Podcast #299: Dave Collum Explores Big, Dangerous Ideas - YouTube
Mon, 16 Aug 2021 12:48