1383: Spook Nation

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 24m
September 19th, 2021
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Executive Producers: Sir Jalbert, Lynn B, Sir Harvey Wallbanger, Dame Angela Castaneda, Sir Jason, Anonymous, Sir Dustiest Lizard, Sabrina Lin - www.saberlincollections.com, Sir Snoldus, William Brinkman, chris bergstrom, Danny Booch, Sir Brian of London, michael biancella, Tory Smith, Shawna Benson

Associate Executive Producers: Husband of Anonymous, Sir RJ of Grand Point

Cover Artist: Comic Strip Blogger


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The Purge
999 sealed indictments to go!
CIA or Naval Intelligence? Space Force Intelligence?
Spot the spook at rally
Build the Wall
FAA drone footage "censorship"
Pfizer Marketing
Kirby wringing hands secondary explosion
Dvorak misled about Covid actors
Let’s hope you we’re only misled, not selective editing, John.
The Australian Media Watch clip played on show 1383, supposedly exposing crisis actors in Covid videos, -if you watch the whole segment- actually debunks the claims.
ABC in Australia is as onboard with the scam as any, so I don’t trust them, but the report convincingly debunks crisis actors claims after first summarising them.
I don’t know if it’s true, but that clip can’t ethically be used as supporting claims they’re crisis actors.
Apologies if an Australian producer misled you about the Media Watch report. We are all convicts, as you know. 😀
Here’s the funny thing about what is obviously a Health Department PR piece, made to look like phone camera recordings. Ethically, you can’t record patients in hospitals, it violates their privacy, even if they give permission, because by definition, they’re probably not well enough to make that decision.
So naturally you’d need to use actors to portray patients in hospital!😀
And that’s probably the justification for faking overloaded hospital footage. They can’t record actual patients and medical staff, it violates their privacy, so they have to ‘simulate’ it. Nothing on television is real after all. 😀
Australian Party Politics eplained
The Liberal party is the right leaning party in Australia.
The Labour (note the spelling) party is the left leaning party in Australia.
The two parties are really centrists though.
In terms of policy a better description would be the right and left factions of the Democratic party.
Having said that the Victorian Labour party are very left.
To give you some idea, when the Liberal prime minister John Howard was the one who banned guns.
Australians are not as universally partisan as the US, if you asked most people to differentiate the two parties they would struggle.
Thank you.
Tom Ward
Melbourne Anti-lockdown protest report
A close friend of mine who has benefitted from the lockdowns went along to this latest protest. He’s against the lockdowns, emergency powers and vaccine mandates for the effect it has on people and society as a whole. His report was as follows:
The police came out in huge numbers (this was expected and is being reported). The reports of the protest are generally headlined as "they came ready to fight the police". What doesn’t get reported is that the protesters went out of their way to remain as peaceful as possible. It’s hard to describe in words but imagine you’re marching down the road and you see that the police have assembled in force, looking menacing and are marching towards you. The protesters changed direction and marched down a side street to avoid the confrontation. This was repeated over and over until the police basically shepherded the protesters into a confrontation that was unavoidable. There was nowhere left for the protesters to turn, they were boxed in. I wonder how it would have gone if they provided these people with a safe space to conduct their protest.
Getting punk’d.
On a couple of occasions you’ve had a source send you part of a clip from an Aussie report that when played partially still sounds legit. Most recently it was the Media Watch clip where they supposedly showed crisis actors, the end of that same report actually went on to show that the people in those clips were not actors… I mean… they still might be but just pointing out that you were only provided a portion of the clip by someone. I tagged you the full clip on Mastodon.
About me.
Great Reset
Great Reset - Tedros
ITM Gents.
I'll call myself "Anonymous Finance-Adjacent" producer.
This week my work caused me to come across a 3-day online event out of London called "The Africa Debate" from "Invest Africa". Websites are TheAfricaDebate.com and InvestAfrica.com.
The second day - Wednesday September 15th - was titled "The Great Reset?" aka "The Great Reset Debates".
Tedros from the W.H.O. was the keynote speaker.
This was an advertised online event, with "attendance" prices starting at £199 (GBP) +VAT for members standard pass, up to £349 +VAT for non-member Premium pass. Some presentations were live via Zoom, others were pre-recorded.
Tedros spoke live for only 10 minutes. There was also a presentation from the President of Ghana, and an interview or "chat" with the President of Zambia. The President of Sierra Leone was a no-show.
Here are the bullet points I can provide from what little I caught from this event:
The western countries keeping the "vaccine" to themselves are holding back the ability of Africa to overcome the "pandemic".
Africa needs the vaccine to move past Covid.
So Africa needs its own vaccine manufacturing facilities and pharma manufacturing facilities.
(There was zero mention of Ivermectin or HCQ or any other treatments that Africa has already been using to great success. The focus was on the vaccine.)
Other presentations. Summary:
There was a large focus on the importance of ESG in Africa - big finance heads pushing it as the future.
Also, big promotion of MMT as a way for Africa to spur its own development.
Soundbite from another speaker: "The Old World Order is old."
Another speaker referenced the recent attempted coups/assassination attempts on the continent as proof that some don't want Africa to get ahead of where they are. Obviously, there was zero discussion about who actually died or was targeted and who mighta done it or why.
Sorry I didn't catch much of the content, but in my opinion, Africa is screwed, just like they're doing to the western countries.
I would suggest listeners check out the website for the event at TheAfricaDebate.com to get a good understanding of who was presenting and what they were saying.
Love and lit, your Anonymous Finance-Adjacent" producer.
Buffalo NY BOTG
Please take a minute to look at what’s going on in Buffalo. It is prime show material. The local Starbucks have organized , noodle boy style, to actually get a vote with the NRLB to unionize.
The incumbent multiple term mayor, Byron Brown lost the dem primary to a socialist. Besides the fact no other party put up a candidate, it’s been a ridiculous circus. India Walton is the ONLY name on the ballot. A district judge ruled that Brown will be on the ballot anyway. Said judge’s brother is a political ally and big money contributor to Brown. The decision has since been overruled by a state judge, and federal judge in separate cases. So his only recourse is write in.
The voter turnout for the primary was somewhere around 11k people.
The new governor of NY is Kathy Hochul. A Buffalo girl. She has sided with the owners of the NFL Buffalo Bills, the only sense of pride in the area, in their quest to get an entirely tax payer funded new stadium or else they move to Austin, TX. Compounding that, they opened the season with all allowed to attend games. Now proof of vacation is required. No refund on your tickets if you don’t comply. Two star players, Cole Beasley(a Texas boy who has been outspoken and fined for his bad stance) have offered to buy unvaccinated ticket holder fans tix and trips to away games in non required vacations venues.
Such fun times here, especially through the show lens.
Love and lit.
Liverpool Protocol
Home Depot: No mandate, just recommendation
Clip of woman talking, who is sensitive to everything
That describes me as well. Highly highly sensitive to everything, I've
nearly died several times, doctors are useless, I learned to heal
myself and that's taken me 25 years of trial and error. I have several
friends who are similarly sensitive.
I'm not sensitive to the vaccine the way she is, but I'm very cautious
about any pharmaceutical drug.
The visciousness of the troll room is exactly why I don't talk about
it much. Yes people are fucking cruel.
Newsom Recall
Someone explain to me why the Gavin Newsom recall effort had 351K votes DELETED
Freedom Passports
Candanavian Border BOTG
Public Service Announcement from the Black Knight of Coventry
Last week while unvaxed I traveled to Ontario Canada by car through Buffalo, NY. Researching this in advanced I knew I had to have a negative covid test taken no more than 72 hours before my entry and I had to install an app on my phone called ArriveCAN. When I installed this it went through several questions including if I was fully, partially or not vaxed, then it tried to scan my passport but that didn’t work so I hand entered that info and then it gave me my “Exempt E-Receipt” number without asking me for anything else. One of my staff (who is vaxed) had gone up a few weeks prior and they had mentioned they had to upload their covid vaccination papers, where they were staying, and the dates of their travel but I didn’t have to do any of this. So I just had my ArriveCAN receipt number, a letter from our CEO on why I needed to travel to Canada, my Negative PCR test and my hotel reservation all printed and ready. I got to the Peace Bridge entry point and there were no other cars in any of the lanes, very unlike years ago when I was there last and you could wait 15-30 minutes to get to the border agent. I pulled up handed them my passport and my “papers”, he asked why I was going to Canada, I said for business, he asked where I would be traveling to which I answered, then he asked if I was vaccinated, I replied I was not, he picked up the phone, Said “I have a guy traveling for business but he hasn’t been vaccinated, he then replied to the other person, OK” and he hung up and said I was good to go. No other questions, total time at gate maybe a minute.
Key tip, have the letter from your company on why you need to enter Canada. The person on my staff who went up a few weeks prior didn’t have one and said they would be working with the team there, they turned them around (fully vaccinated) and sent them back until we sent an email confirming why they needed to make the trip. The second attempt they made it through. I later told them never say you are going to do work but you are just going for meetings as they get cranky if they think you are going to do work a Canadian could be doing.
When I got to my destination and met up with others in our company who were vaccinated and had come up a bit later in the day through the same entry point I learned they had been required to also upload their vaccination record, where they were staying, travel dates, etc, none of which I was prompted for. They also had to park and go in and do another covid test even though they also had negative tests they did in the 72 hours before arriving and then were asked to install another app for tracking. Later in their trip they were getting reminders on how many days until they would have to do another test on day 8, again nothing I had to do.
Coming back into the US from Canada there were zero questions on vaccination status or any covid tests. They just asked why you were there, how long you were there and if you were bringing anything back with you. So getting back was 15-30 seconds at the gate.
On the Covid tests I checked with three facilities a week before my trip so I knew how long I should expect to wait for the results and when I should take them. CVS said their results were coming back in 3-5 days which wouldn’t work for my trip, Rite-Aid said 24-48 hours and an urgent care which said same day or in 24 hours. I went ahead and did all three to make sure I had at least one in time. CVS came back in about 26 hours, the urgent care I took the test around 8:30 in the morning but the paper work stated my test was taken at 7pm that night apparently when they actually did the lab work so I got it back the next evening so it looked like I got it in about 22 hours because of their delayed posted of the “Test” time. Rite-Aid came back about 44 hours later and Rite-Aid would only accept me using a Google Account to register for my test where CVS and the Urgent care used my cell# and any email I wanted. They all said they were swamped with travelers, people trying to go to concerts and few who thought they might be sick.
While still in Canada I learned that starting next week 9/19 that all restaurants and hotels in Ontario will require you to show them your Vaccination document before you can enter their facilities. If I have to go back I may have to use fast food and sleep in my car J
Hopefully this might help someone else who needs to travel from the US into Canada for Business.
Victoria Roadmap to Freedom
Build Back Better World
Supply Chains
Healthcare Meltdown
Travelling Nurse voucher for rent credibility
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing this letter in regard to a verification of employment for XX.
XX was hired by Medical Solutions as a full time Travel RN and will begin his
assignment on 9/13/2021. His pay information is as follows:
Taxable Income
Hourly Rate: $64.40
OT Rate: $96.60
Tax Free Reimbursements
Monthly Housing Stipend: $2,880.00
Monthly Per Diem: $1,650.00
All information provided is per our company policy. Should you have any questions,
please feel free to call or email me.
Thank you and have a great day.
Vaxx is a Dud
Obama Fights Nigerian Anti-Gay Bill, Threatens To Cut Off Aid
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 14:00
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Hollywood Embraces TikTok Stars for TV, Film Projects - WSJ
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 13:18
Studios are tapping social media-minted talents like Addison Rae and Charli D'Amelio for leading roles in films and television shows
Sept. 18, 2021 9:27 am ETHollywood is learning to embrace a newer generation of stars who have a direct connection to millions of fans.
Faced with an aging audience and a younger generation more interested in social media than the silver screen and television, studio executives are increasingly hiring talent made famous on digital platforms, such as Charli D'Amelio and Addison Rae Easterling, known as Addison Rae, two of the most-followed creators on TikTok, for high-profile film and TV projects.
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Hollywood is learning to embrace a newer generation of stars who have a direct connection to millions of fans.
Faced with an aging audience and a younger generation more interested in social media than the silver screen and television, studio executives are increasingly hiring talent made famous on digital platforms, such as Charli D'Amelio and Addison Rae Easterling, known as Addison Rae, two of the most-followed creators on TikTok, for high-profile film and TV projects.
Netflix Inc. paid more than $20 million for the rights to ''He's All That,'' a romantic comedy starring the 20-year-old Ms. Rae, according to people familiar with the deal. Ms. Rae has more than 84 million followers on the video-sharing platform, the third-highest among all users. After premiering on Aug. 27, the movie became the top U.S. title on the streaming service and remained near the pole position a week later.
Last week, Netflix signed a deal with Ms. Rae to make additional films.
Ms. Rae started out in 2019 dancing and lip-syncing songs with her friends on TikTok, while Ms. D'Amelio gained followers for her dancing videos, which she also began posting in 2019. Millions of other users have copied their dance moves and styles on the platform. Ms. D'Amelio has about 124.5 million followers on TikTok.
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''The studios and streamers understand the power of social media,'' says David Freeman, co-head of digital media at Creative Artists Agency, one of Hollywood's most powerful talent agencies that represents many stars that gained notoriety on digital platforms like YouTube and TikTok.
An eight-episode documentary series featuring Ms. D'Amelio and her family launched on Walt Disney Co. 's Hulu streaming service this month. Last year, Disney secured a deal with entrepreneur and social-media mogul Kim Kardashian and members of her family to create content for Hulu.
Ms. Kardashian, considered one of the most influential reality-television stars and a social-media-influencer pioneer with her 254 million followers on Instagram, was also the voice for a character in Paramount Pictures' animated ''Paw Patrol'' film, released earlier this year.
Brent Montgomery, chief executive of content-production studio Wheelhouse Entertainment, says not only are young stars circumventing the traditional system of gatekeepers ruled by television and movie executives, but the pace at which they build outsize followings is accelerating.
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''Kim Kardashian took off faster than a regular person is used to seeing but then her sister Kendall Jenner took off even faster. Fast forward to now, and Charli D'Amelio has taken off even faster,'' he said.
Earlier this year, Mr. Montgomery sold a reality show, called ''The Hype House,'' to Netflix about a group of influencers living under the same roof. The reality series, set to debut later this year, features digital influencers who, collectively, have nearly 200 million social-media followers.
Hollywood has taken notice that younger generations are spending less time consuming movies and television. A recent study by Deloitte said that Gen Zers'--defined as ages 14 to 24'--prefer playing videogames, listening to music, browsing the internet and scrolling through social media in their leisure time over watching movies and TV at home. Every older generation ranked movies and TV as their top entertainment option.
''Traditional Hollywood is really in a weird spot right now because they're seeing TikTokers and YouTubers becoming more popular than traditional actors and actresses,'' says Reed Duchscher, an agent who represents influencers like Jimmy Donaldson, a 23-year-old YouTube creator known as MrBeast with more than 69 million subscribers. He became famous for stunts, tricks and giving money away.
Discovering potential stars on the internet isn't a new phenomenon. Comedian, actress and rapper Nora Lum, known professionally as Awkwafina, and singer Justin Bieber first attracted attention on YouTube years ago. As the number of people creating content on platforms such as YouTube and TikTok has surged, there are more opportunities for digital stars to make money online and parlay that success offline, agents and executives say. The online platforms have also evolved their algorithms to more effectively direct viewers toward popular content.
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Top influencers can make tens of millions of dollars a year raking in cash through sponsored content, ad-revenue sharing and subscriptions to exclusive content. In the U.S., the number of YouTube channels making at least $100,000 in revenue grew by more than 35% in 2020, YouTube said.
''You used to need the studios to be famous,'' says Dan Weinstein, a former United Talent Agency trainee who co-founded Underscore Talent. The company represents independent creators like Dubai-based YouTubers Vlad and Niki, school-age brothers that have nearly 72 million subscribers on the platform. Backed by elaborate sound effects, the brothers sometimes interact with their family, play, do crafts or have celebrations.
Initially studios proceeded cautiously, choosing to work with influencers on a limited basis, according to talent agents. Executives either contracted influencers to market films and TV series to their followers or cast them to play minor roles in movies and television.
Captivating audiences in the real world hasn't been easy for some online talents. After two seasons, NBC this year canceled Canadian comedian and YouTuber Lilly Singh's late-night talk show, ''A Little Late with Lilly Singh.'' After the announcement, Ms. Singh said that she signed a deal to produce television for an arm of NBCUniversal and was developing a comedy project with Netflix.
Meanwhile, veteran celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Reynolds and Will Smith are increasingly following the playbook created by online talents to foster relationships with fans and create more value for themselves or companies they invest in.
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''Digital creators have really sketched the map for what it means to be able to go directly to consumers, directly to your audience,'' says Ali Berman, who as head of UTA's digital talent division represents Ms. D'Amelio.
Dwayne Johnson '--also known as The Rock'--has spent more than 20 years in wrestling, television and film, but he initially struggled to attract viewers on YouTube. Mr. Johnson hired a team of digital-content producers who suggested making a video with top YouTubers, which helped the actor's channel take off.
Now, Mr. Johnson promotes his movies and endeavors, like his tequila brand, via both his YouTube channel and Instagram account, which have 5.7 million and 269 million followers, respectively.
''Even if he has a bad movie, it doesn't matter because of the relationship he has with his fans,'' said Mo Darwiche, one of the producers who worked on promoting Mr. Johnson's YouTube channel.
Natural-Gas Prices Surge, and Winter Is Still Months Away - WSJ
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 12:58
Low inventories around the world have made the heating fuel more expensive than it has been in years
Sept. 19, 2021 5:30 am ETNatural-gas prices have surged, prompting worries about winter shortages and forecasts for the most expensive fuel since frackers flooded the market more than a decade ago.
U.S. natural-gas futures ended Friday at $5.105 per million British thermal units. They were about half that six months ago and have leapt 17% this month.
It is supposed...
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Natural-gas prices have surged, prompting worries about winter shortages and forecasts for the most expensive fuel since frackers flooded the market more than a decade ago.
U.S. natural-gas futures ended Friday at $5.105 per million British thermal units. They were about half that six months ago and have leapt 17% this month.
It is supposed to be offseason for demand, and prices haven't climbed so high since blizzards froze the Northeast in early 2014. Analysts say that it might not have to get that cold this winter for prices to reach heights unknown during the shale era, which transformed the U.S. from a gas importer to supplier to the world.
Rock-bottom gas prices have been a reliable feature of the U.S. economy since the financial crisis. Gas crashed and never recovered thanks to the abundance extracted with sideways drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Gas is burned to generate electricity and heat homes and to make plastic, steel and fertilizer. A substantial and sustained increase in price would be felt from households to heavy industry.
Stocks have already gotten a lift from $5 gas. Energy has been the best performing sector in the S&P 500 stock index in September and one of only two that are up this month.
Monetary-policy makers often exclude energy prices when they gauge inflation because the prices move around so much. Even so, rising natural-gas prices are another factor for investors trying to tease out whether higher materials costs will fade or are here to stay.
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The Federal Reserve's monetary-policy meeting Wednesday headlines the week ahead for investors. They will look for signs that the Fed will begin tapering bond purchases after its November meeting as well as indications that more officials believe that short-term interest rates can be raised by the end of next year. Also in the coming week, rental-home firm Invitation Homes Inc . , apartment owner UDR Inc . and other landlords will update investors on rents, occupancy and return-to-work at a big real-estate conference.
Home builders KB Home and Lennar Corp . , which have faced higher materials costs, are part of a busy week of corporate earnings: Nike Inc . , Costco Wholesale Corp . , FedEx Corp . , Darden Restaurants Inc . and General Mills Inc . are scheduled to report and shed light on input expenses and consumer behavior.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Thursday will give a fresh estimate of the volume of natural gas in storage, which it last estimated to be 16.5% less than a year ago. Now is the time of year when drillers fill storage tanks and caverns to get through winter, when demand is greatest and households are most exposed to higher prices in their heating bills.
''The time to replenish stocks for the winter is rapidly running out,'' said Lindsay Schneider, an analyst with consulting firm RBN Energy LLC.
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Crude prices haven't warranted much new oil drilling, which has cut down on the amount of gas produced as a byproduct, while the Appalachian firms that swing the market have given priority to profits over production growth and held back.
The number of rigs drilling for gas has been basically flat since spring despite much higher prices. When prices rose above $5 in 2014, there were more than three times as many rigs drilling gas wells as the 100 operating now, according to Baker Hughes Co .
Meanwhile, supplies have been depleted by a series of weather events. February's freeze in Texas lifted demand while clogging wells with ice. June and July were the hottest on record and drought out West dried up hydropower production, which meant more gas than normal was needed to power air conditioners. Late last month Hurricane Ida forced nearly all of the Gulf of Mexico's gas output offline. More than a third of the Gulf's gas production remained shut as of Friday, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Similar factors are at play in Europe, where prices have been setting records all summer. In Asia, buyers are paying more than ever for deliveries of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to sail across the Pacific instead of to Europe.
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The supply deficit is particularly acute in Europe, where inventories are thin thanks to hot weather, lackluster wind-power generation and lower imports from Russia. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst Samantha Dart said that stockpiles in northwestern Europe have recently been about 24% below average.
Prices have risen so high in Europe that Ms. Dart estimates U.S. prices need to climb to $17 with no corresponding rise overseas before it becomes uneconomic to ship liquefied shale gas across the Atlantic. She recommends that gas consumers buy out-of-the-money call options, or options to pay more than current futures prices, to guard against price increases should this winter turn out colder than normal.
Intercontinental Exchange Inc . last week boosted margin requirements for trading U.S. and European gas futures to protect against the higher prices and increased volatility.
The challenge in forecasting how high prices could rise lies in the unprecedented ties between the once isolated U.S. market and international prices, said Christopher Louney, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets. LNG export facilities were built along the Gulf and East coasts to relieve the shale-gas glut and enable domestic producers to capture higher prices abroad. Now higher overseas prices are lifting those in the U.S.
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''With a more connected gas market, are there more mouths to feed or more opportunities to find balance?'' Mr. Louney said.
Write to Ryan Dezember at ryan.dezember@wsj.com
Yes, the IRS could have more access to your bank accounts | thv11.com
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 12:11
If you have at least $600 in your account, the IRS could end up monitoring your spending. It's part of President Biden's proposed tax reform and is raising concerns.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. '-- If you have at least $600 sitting in your bank account, the IRS could end up monitoring your spending. It's part of President Joe Biden's proposed tax reform and is raising questions about privacy.
A THV11 VERIFY viewer wrote in, asking: "After seeing some banks posting on social media that the IRS is going to start making them report all deposits and withdrawals over $600, can you tell me if this is true?"
Our sources -- the U.S. Department of the Treasury, testimony from the IRS commissioner and Congressman Steve Womack.
At the end of April, President Joe Biden announced the American Families Plan. Included in the proposal '' tax reform. In a testimony to the Senate finance committee on June 8, 2021, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig ''lays out what would be included in the plan. You can see here.
Financial institutions would be responsible for reporting your withdrawals and deposits '' breaking down physical cash, transactions with a foreign account and transfers to and from another account with the same owner. This would apply to all business and personal accounts with at least $600 in it.
According to the testimony, the purpose of this plan would be to "'...improve tax administration and provide the IRS with a blueprint to address various facets of the tax gap."
The plan however has been met with major criticism. Arkansas Congressman Steve Womack joined other lawmakers in writing a letter expressing their concern with the data collection proposal saying, "The requirements of this proposal would impose significant compliance costs on our banks, credit unions, and related financial institutions, but also infringe on the privacy of millions of Americans."
So we can verify, yes, it is true that under President Biden's proposed legislation, the IRS would have access to more information on accounts with more than $600. Keep in mind, this proposal still has to make its way through congress, so things could change.
Remember if there's something you'd like verified email us: verify@thv11.com or reach out to us on social media.
Members of the IC
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 12:06
The U.S. Intelligence Community is composed of the following 18 organizations:
Air Force IntelligenceArmy IntelligenceCentral Intelligence AgencyCoast Guard IntelligenceDefense Intelligence AgencyDepartment of EnergyDepartment of Homeland SecurityDepartment of StateDepartment of the TreasuryDrug Enforcement AdministrationFederal Bureau of InvestigationMarine Corps IntelligenceNational Geospatial-Intelligence AgencyNational Reconnaissance OfficeNational Security AgencyNavy IntelligenceSpace Force IntelligenceAir Force Intelligence
The U.S. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (USAF ISR) Enterprise is America's leading provider of finished intelligence derived from airborne, space, and cyberspace sensors. The USAF ISR Enterprise delivers decision advantage in order to enable commanders to achieve kinetic and non-kinetic effects on targets anywhere on the globe in support of national, strategic, operational, and tactical requirements. The AF/A2 is the USAF's Senior Intelligence Officer and is responsible for functional management of all Air Force global integrated ISR capabilities, including oversight of planning, programming, and budgeting; developing and implementing the Air Force policies and guidance for managing Air Force global integrated ISR activities; and professional development, training, education, readiness, and deployment of 50,000 military and civilian United States Air Force intelligence personnel.
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Army IntelligenceU.S. Army Intelligence (G-2) is responsible for policy formulation, planning, programming, budgeting, management, staff supervision, evaluation, and oversight for intelligence activities for the Department of the Army. The G-2 is responsible for the overall coordination of the five major military intelligence (MI) disciplines within the Army: Imagery Intelligence, Signals Intelligence, Human Intelligence, Measurement and Signature Intelligence, and Counterintelligence and Security Countermeasures.
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Central Intelligence AgencyThe Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior U.S. policymakers. The CIA director is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The director manages the operations, personnel, and budget of the CIA and acts as the National Human Source Intelligence manager. The CIA is separated into seven basic components: Directorate of Analysis, Directorate of Operations, Directorate of Science and Technology, Directorate of Support, Directorate of Digital Innovation, Mission Centers, and Offices of the Director. They carry out ''the intelligence cycle,'' the process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence information to top U.S. government officials.
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Coast Guard Intelligence The Coast Guard's broad responsibilities include protecting citizens from the sea (maritime safety), protecting America from threats delivered by the sea (maritime security), and protecting the sea itself (maritime stewardship). The Coast Guard's persistent presence in the maritime domain, due to its diverse mission sets and broad legal authorities, allows it to fill a unique niche within the Intelligence Community. Because of its unique access, emphasis, and expertise in the maritime domain Coast Guard Intelligence can collect and report intelligence that not only supports Coast Guard missions, but also supports national objectives. Coast Guard Intelligence strives to create decision advantage to advance U.S. interests by providing timely, actionable, and relevant intelligence to shape Coast Guard operations, planning, and decision-making, and to support national and homeland security intelligence requirements. The Coast Guard became a member of the Intelligence Community Dec. 28, 2001.
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Defense Intelligence AgencyThe Defense Intelligence Agency is a Department of Defense combat support agency. With more than 16,500 military and civilian employees worldwide, DIA is a major producer and manager of foreign military intelligence and provides military intelligence to warfighters, defense policymakers and force planners, in the DOD and the Intelligence Community, in support of U.S. military planning and operations and weapon systems acquisition. The DIA director serves as principal adviser to the secretary of defense and to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on matters of military intelligence. The director also chairs the Military Intelligence Board, which coordinates activities of the defense intelligence community.
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Department of Energy The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence is responsible for the intelligence and counterintelligence activities throughout the DOE complex, including nearly 30 intelligence and counterintelligence offices nationwide. The mission is to protect, enable, and represent the vast scientific brain trust resident in DOE's laboratories and plants. The office protects vital national security information and technologies, representing intellectual property of incalculable value, and provides unmatched scientific and technical expertise to the U.S. government to respond to foreign intelligence, terrorist and cyber threats, to solve the hardest problems associated with U.S. energy security, and to address a wide range of other national security issues.
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Department of Homeland SecurityThe Office of Intelligence and Analysis is responsible for using information and intelligence from multiple sources to identify and assess current and future threats to the U.S. DHS Intelligence focuses on four strategic areas: Promote understanding of threats through intelligence analysis; Collect information and intelligence pertinent to homeland security; Share information necessary for action; and Manage intelligence for the homeland security enterprise. The Under Secretary for I&A also serves as DHS' chief intelligence officer and is responsible to both the secretary of Homeland Security and the director of National Intelligence.
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Department of StateThe Bureau of Intelligence and Research provides the Secretary of State with timely, objective analysis of global developments as well as real-time insights from all-source intelligence. It serves as the focal point within the Department of State for all policy issues and activities involving the Intelligence Community. The INR Assistant Secretary reports directly to the Secretary of State and serves as the Secretary's principal adviser on all intelligence matters. INR's expert, independent foreign affairs analysts draw on all-source intelligence, diplomatic reporting, INR's public opinion polling, and interaction with U.S. and foreign scholars. Their strong regional and functional backgrounds allow them to respond rapidly to changing policy priorities and to provide early warning and in-depth analysis of events and trends that affect U.S. foreign policy and national security interests.
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Department of the TreasuryThe Office of Intelligence and Analysis was established by the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal 2004. OIA is responsible for the receipt, analysis, collation, and dissemination of foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence information related to the operation and responsibilities of the Department of the Treasury. OIA is a component of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). TFI marshals the Department's intelligence and enforcement functions with the twin aims of safeguarding the financial system against illicit use and combating rogue nations, terrorist facilitators, weapons of mass destruction proliferators, money launderers, drug kingpins, and other national security threats.
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Drug Enforcement AdministrationThe Drug Enforcement Administration is responsible for enforcing the controlled substance laws and regulations of the United States. DEA's Office of National Security Intelligence (ONSI) became a member of the IC in 2006. ONSI facilitates full and appropriate intelligence coordination and information sharing with other members of the U.S. Intelligence Community and homeland security elements. Its goal is to enhance the U.S.'s efforts to reduce the supply of drugs, protect national security, and combat global terrorism. DEA has 21 field divisions in the U.S. and more than 80 offices in more than 60 countries worldwide.
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Federal Bureau of Investigation The FBI, as an intelligence and law enforcement agency, is responsible for understanding threats to our national security and penetrating national and transnational networks that have a desire and capability to harm the U.S. The Intelligence Branch is the strategic leader of the FBI's Intelligence Program and drives collaboration to achieve the full integration of intelligence and operations, and it proactively engages with the Bureau's partners across the intelligence and law enforcement communities. By overseeing intelligence policy and guidance, the Intelligence Branch ensures the FBI's intelligence production remains objective and strikes the correct balance between strategic and tactical work. Joshua D. Skule is the executive assistant director of the Intelligence Branch.
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Marine Corps Intelligence The U.S. Marine Corps produces tactical and operational intelligence for battlefield support. Its IC component is comprised of all intelligence professionals in the Marine Corps responsible for policy, plans, programming, budgets, and staff supervision of intelligence and supporting activities within the USMC. The department supports the commandant of the Marine Corps in his role as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, represents the service in Joint and Intelligence Community matters, and exercises supervision over the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity. The department has service staff responsibility for geospatial intelligence, advanced geospatial intelligence, signals intelligence, human intelligence, counterintelligence, and ensures there is a single synchronized strategy for the development of the Marine Corps Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Enterprise. The Marine Corps' director of intelligence is the commandant's principal intelligence staff officer and the functional manager for intelligence, counterintelligence, and cryptologic matters.
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National Geospatial-Intelligence AgencyThe National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency provides timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security objectives. Information collected and processed by NGA is tailored for customer-specific solutions. By giving customers ready access to geospatial intelligence, NGA provides support to civilian and military leaders and contributes to the state of readiness of U.S. military forces. NGA also contributes to humanitarian efforts such as tracking floods and fires, and in peacekeeping. NGA is a Department of Defense Combat Support Agency. Headquartered in Springfield, Va., NGA operates major facilities in the St. Louis, Mo. and Washington, D.C. areas. The agency also fields support teams worldwide.
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National Reconnaissance OfficeThe National Reconnaissance Office designs, builds and operates the nation's reconnaissance satellites. NRO products, provided to an expanding list of customers like the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense, can warn of potential trouble spots around the world, help plan military operations, and monitor the environment. As part of the Intelligence Community, the NRO plays a primary role in achieving information superiority for the U.S. Government and Armed Forces. A DOD agency, the NRO is staffed by DOD and CIA personnel. It is funded through the National Reconnaissance Program, part of the National Foreign Intelligence Program.
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National Security Agency/Central Security ServiceThe National Security Agency/Central Security Service is the nation's cryptologic organization that coordinates, directs, and performs highly specialized activities to protect U.S. information systems and to produce foreign signals intelligence information. A high-technology organization, NSA is at the forefront of communications and information technology. NSA is also one of the most important centers of foreign language analysis and research within the U.S. government and is said to be the largest employer of mathematicians in the United States and perhaps the world. Founded in 1952, NSA is part of the Department of Defense and a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community. The Agency supports military customers, national policymakers, and the counterterrorism and counterintelligence communities, as well as key international allies. Its workforce represents an unusual combination of specialties: analysts, engineers, physicists, mathematicians, linguists, computer scientists, researchers, as well as customer relations specialists, security officers, data flow experts, managers, administrative officers and clerical assistants.
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Navy IntelligenceUnder the direction of the Director of Naval Intelligence, the U.S. Navy's intelligence team is the leading provider of maritime intelligence to Navy and joint/combined warfighting forces, as well as national decision makers and other partners/consumers in the U.S. National Intelligence Community. Naval Intelligence is comprised of active duty and reserve military, and civilian personnel, serving at sea and ashore around the world.
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Space Force IntelligenceThe U.S. Space Force (USSF) is a new branch of the Armed Forces. It was established on December 20, 2019 with enactment of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and will be stood-up over the next 18 months. The USSF was established within the Department of the Air Force, meaning the Secretary of the Air Force has overall responsibility for the USSF, under the guidance and direction of the Secretary of Defense. Additionally, a four-star general known as the Chief of Space Operations (CSO) serves as the senior military member of the USSF.
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More Vaccines, More Covid: Why are Case Rates Exploding in Areas with High Levels of Vaccination? - Becker News
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 12:02
As the Covid pandemic continues to defy predictions about when it will finally be 'over,' there is a curious phenomenon taking place across the United States and around the globe: Covid-19 case rates increasing alongside vaccination rates.
The textbook examples of this disturbing trend are the nations of Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Israel is now experiencing its fourth wave, which is being accompanied by another round of 'booster shots.' Israel has 61.5% of all adults ''fully vaccinated'' (although the use of 'booster shots' throws the term into question.)
The United Kingdom is experiencing another wave despite 66.5% being ''fully vaccinated.''
The United States is seeing a wave that is now even larger than the first big wave in terms of cases. The U.S. has a 55% 'fully vaccinated' rate, which encompasses all adults, but skews older.
U.S. states vary greatly in terms of vaccination rates. Two prime examples of high case rate and high vaccination rate states are California and Washington. California has strict Covid rules, such as mask mandates and even mandatory vaccination in L.A. County.
Despite vaccination rates of 68% in the 12 and up demographic and 80% in the critical 65 and up demographic, California has experienced yet another wave in August. This has been accompanied by an increasing reported death rate.
Washington state is similar in that it has 73% 'fully vaccinated' in the 12 and up demographic, as well 89% in the 65 and up. Like California, these rates will be much higher within weeks. And like California, it is reporting soaring case and mortality rates.
In the midst of these remarkable trends is a brewing controversy: How much immunity is enough? As a baseline, there are two forms of immunity: Vaccinated and natural immunity. It was recently reported that the CDC estimated that 83% of the U.S. population had some form of Covid immunity, based on antibodies detected in blood samples. The CDC study showed that the estimation of those who had contracted Covid and recovered without knowing they had the illness was 120 million people '' far higher than then 42 million currently being reported. That was in May. Once one factors in the ongoing Delta wave, that number could be upwards of 150 million people.
Amid this massive spread of natural immunity and vaccinated immunity, the goalposts on what constitutes ''herd immunity'' has shifted dramatically. ''Since the start of the pandemic, the figure that many epidemiologists have offered has been 60 to 70 percent,'' the NY Times originally reported in December. ''That range is still cited by the World Health Organization and is often repeated during discussions of the future course of the disease.''
''In the pandemic's early days, Dr. Fauci tended to cite the same 60 to 70 percent estimate that most experts did,'' the Times went on. ''About a month ago, he began saying '70, 75 percent' in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said '75, 80, 85 percent' and '75 to 80-plus percent'.''
It is important to note that Dr. Fauci is acting as if natural immunity doesn't even exist, when we know from the CDC's studies that it could be as high as 40% in the United States. Regardless, the NIAID Director wants a vaccination target above 80 percent, while knowing that 98% of Covid deaths are among those age 40 and above. What is going on here?
One blogger, under the pseudonym el gato malo, has shown the spotlight on one possible explanation, while admitting that the author suspects ''a fair few folks are not going to like hearing it.'' In the interest of readability, I will select relevant passages and capitalize them appropriately (the author has chosen a peculiar style than shuns capitalization). The following is a ''hypothesis'' that represents what the author argues is the ''best fit'' of the current data in a number of cases under observation.
The current surge in Covid deaths is caused by the vaccinated.
The Covid vaccines are extremely leaky and may well accelerate contracting and carrying Covid.
They allow for very high viral loads to go unnoticed and generate a new and severe asymptomatic spread vector to where none existed before.
The high viral loads lead to greater contagion. they may lead to greater severity (but this data is iffy and contested).
Vaccine campaigns cause superspread events because vaccination leads to a 2 week window of 40-100% more covid risk that then gets counted as ''unvaccinated'' because the definitions are bad.
This combination makes those vaccinated with one dose or more into superspread bombs.
One might recall the case of the Texas Democrats or the Barack Obama's birthday party at Martha's Vineyard, where 'fully vaccinated' people gathered and nonetheless spurred ostensible 'superspreader events.' In August, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky changed her story and admitted that the vaccinated can indeed spread the Delta variant.
El gato malo presents evidence about why this explanation appears to fit the data in areas where there are case rates exploding despite presumably high levels of vaccinated and natural immunity.
You get a surge of spread'... and then you get the later breakthrough cases (because the vaccines do not stop infection and just mitigate severity).
These BT [breakthrough] cases have massively high VL [viral loads] in often asymptomatic superspreaders that pass on high loading doses to the unvaccinated and greatly worsen the overall pandemic.
This further inflates apparent VE [vaccine efficacy] by subjecting the unvaccinated to a more profligate and severe disease vector than they would have been had no vaccination campaign ever been undertaken.
It moves the whole system to a a different valence.
Perversely, if the vaccinated comprise a spread vector that accelerates deaths in the unvaccinated, that would make it look like vaccines work.
Ouch. (Told you you weren't going to like it).
The researcher then adds the appropriate disclaimer to the argument.
I want to stress, this is a hypothesis and a work in progress. It's just the best fit to the facts I can find right now and I REALLY hope it's wrong because if it's right, this vaccination campaign is probably the worst health blunder in human history and the epidemiology and politics of that will get stunningly, surreally bad.
But if this hypothesis proves out, then calling this an 'epidemic of the unvaccinated' is 180 degrees wrong.
Indeed, it would be generous to call it ''the worst health blunder in human history.'' It would give rise to a diabolical scenario where two opposing camps '' the vaccinated and the unvaccinated '' would be clashing incessantly over who is killing whom.
The only plausible solution: More vaccines, forever.
After FDA's Approval of Covid Vaccine, Pfizer Suddenly Recalls Drug Linked to Cancer
One dead after shooting in Cocke County; suspect in custody | wbir.com
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 11:52
Cocke County Sheriff's Office responded to a shooting complaint at 5:36 p.m. September 13 at Crane Way in Del Rio.
DEL RIO, Tenn. '-- UPDATE NOON TUESDAY: A longtime feud between neighbors preceded Monday's fatal shooting in Cocke County, an incident report shows.
James D. Raspberry, 65, shot and killed 35-year-old Joseph M. Carter, 35, as Carter sat in his van in the driveway of his Crane Way home, the report states.
Cocke County Sheriff's Office authorities were alerted shortly after 5:30 p.m. They found Carter dead when they arrived.
They also removed a 10-month-old girl from a carseat in the van; two other girls, ages 9 and 10, had fled the van, the report states.
Carter's wife told deputies "there had been a history of feuds between her husband and James Raspberry...," according to the report.
Officers found Raspberry nearby "standing behind a tree in the woodline," the document states.
PREVIOUS STORY: One man is dead following a shooting in Cocke County on Monday afternoon.
The suspect, later identified as James Dennard Raspberry, 65, was taken to the Cocke County CID office for further questioning on Monday before being arrested just after 1 a.m. on Tuesday, according to the Cocke County Sheriff's Office.
Officials said responded to a shooting complaint at Crane Way in Del Rio at 5:36 p.m. The caller said that her husband had been shot by the neighbor.
When officers arrived, they found a man, later identified as 35-year-old Joseph Maxwell Carter, dead in the driver seat of a white van parked in the roadway next to a driveway on Crane Way.
Three children ages 10 months old, 10 years old and 9 years old were inside the van of the victim, according to investigators. All three children were not injured.
Officers found a man that appeared to be involved with the shooting and took him into custody after issuing verbal commands.
Raspberry was charged with first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault and three counts of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon.
As of Tuesday at 7:52 a.m., Raspberry had made a $100,000 bond, according to the sheriff's office.
What just happened with single-family zoning in California? - Los Angeles Times
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 11:29
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed two bills meant to make it easier to build more housing in California.
The first, Senate Bill 9, makes it possible to build more than one housing unit on land that was previously designated for only one unit. The second, SB 10, allows for denser development near public transit corridors, such as bus and train lines.
Here's an explanation of the concepts and the new laws.
What is single-family zoning?Let's break the term down into two parts, starting with zoning. Zoning regulates how land can be used, or what can be built where. Can a business be built on a given plot? That area is zoned for commercial use. Can a home or condo complex be built there? That is residential zoning. In a downtown area, you might have mixed-use zoning '-- say, ground-floor retail businesses and residential units in the high-rise above.
Single-family zoning refers to a residential area where only one housing unit can be built on a given parcel of land. Think of the Southern California suburban staple of a home with no shared walls '-- in other words, not a duplex, triplex or multiunit complex. If you live in a house with a driveway, garage, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and front, back and side yards, it's almost certainly a single-family home.
In the city of Los Angeles, for example, single-family zoning is known as R1 '-- meaning one residential unit on a lot. Other zoning designations include R2 (two residential units on a lot, plus other uses) and R3 (which can include boarding houses and childcare facilities). There are many more designations and variations.
Nearly two-thirds of all the residences in California are single-family homes. And as much as three-quarters of the developable land in the state is now zoned only for single-family housing, according to UC Berkeley research.
Just as significantly, single-family housing is very much part of the mythos of Southern California.
''The life of suburbia attracted so many Americans from all over the country to come to sunny California,'' said Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de Le"n. ''Especially when the Rose Bowl was being played during the winter months. On the East Coast and the Midwest, folks would say, 'Wow, orange trees, lemon trees, frontyard, backyard, a swimming pool, a single-family home. Let's pack it up, let's leave Michigan, let's leave Ohio and let's go out to the West Coast.'''
Those behind the recent changes to state law contend that single-family-only zoning is a relic of a past that is no longer justifiable. It originated in the city of Berkeley a century ago as a segregationist practice to prevent a Black-owned dance hall from locating near a white-only subdivision.
Supporters of ending single-family-only zoning also argue that, in a state with such a deep affordability crisis, opening up neighborhoods to more development will allow less expensive housing to be built there. The median sales price in California for a single-family home was $811,000 in July, according to the California Assn. of Realtors.
Proponents of single-family zoning say they're concerned about how increased density could change the character of quiet neighborhoods and affect their property values. In a state that's facing both a drought and stress on the electrical grid, some question where additional utility resources for more housing would come from. And some fear the market will be dominated by developers looking to make a cash grab by building flashy new housing as cheaply as possible and renting it for top dollar, accelerating gentrification and not addressing the underlying issue of housing affordability at all.
For a deep dive on single-family zoning, check out Times staff writer Liam Dillon's ''Gimme Shelter'' podcast: He and co-host Manuela Tobias of CalMatters discuss the history of single-family-only zoning in California and its pros and cons on a recent episode.
What are the new laws? What problems are they trying to solve?Of the housing measures that Newsom signed this week, only one '-- SB 9 '-- would have an immediate and direct effect on local zoning. Simply put, SB 9 would give many homeowners in single-family zones the right to divide their lots into two and build up to three additional homes on them, essentially turning a single-unit lot into a four-unit lot.
That's a noticeable shift from current law, which allows up to two large units '-- a house and an accessory dwelling unit '-- per single-family lot.
SB 9 has numerous exceptions and limitations, though, that are designed to preserve rental and low-income housing, deter speculators, guard against displacement and retain local governments' control over design standards while also preventing local officials from adopting rules that undermine the law. These include:
The zoning changes apply only to urban areas or urban clusters. Farms, wetlands, lots at high risk of fire or flooding and sites in historic districts are among those that are specifically exempt.Units reserved for low-income housing or that had been rented within the previous three years could not be altered or demolished. The point is to avoid reducing the supply of rental and affordable units.Local governments can still impose safety standards and regulate the appearance of units and, to some degree, their placement on a lot. They cannot, however, require more than one off-street parking spot per unit, or any off-street parking if the units are within half a mile of public transit.Units built under the terms of this act may not be offered for short-term rentals.Anyone applying to subdivide a lot must commit to living in one of the units there for at least three years.The subdivided lots have to be at least 1,200 square feet each and roughly the same size. Cities would have to permit units to be at least 800 square feet, and could not bar them from being adjacent or connected.SB 10 does not mandate any changes in local land use. Instead, it enables local governments to change their zoning rules much more quickly to allow housing developments with up to 10 units if they're located in areas well-served by mass transit or in urban areas that are already largely zoned for residential use.
Local governments already have the power to make that sort of change in their zoning, but because the process is covered by the California Environmental Quality Act, it's costly and takes years to complete. SB 10 allows such changes to be made without triggering a CEQA review, although multiunit projects proposed in the new zones would still be subject to the environmental law.
What does that mean for a neighborhood of mostly single-family homes?In the short term, not much. Although property owners would have new rights under SB 9, local governments still have to approve plans and building permits. As anyone who's been through that process can attest, it can take months to pass through that gantlet.
Beyond that, a recent analysis by the Terner Center for Housing at UC Berkeley projects that only a small percentage of residential lots would see extra units as a consequence of the bill, simply because the extra construction wouldn't make financial sense in most places. According to the center, projects would pencil out on just 5.4% of the state's 7.5 million single-family lots.
Nevertheless, a small percentage of 7.5 million lots could still yield a lot of extra homes. The center's analysis projected that the law would result in 714,000 new units being built statewide over the coming years, with a higher-than-average concentration in Los Angeles. What property owners ultimately decide about subdividing and building duplexes will depend on a number of factors, including local bureaucratic hurdles and construction costs.
A more important factor may be the pressure that the Legislature already has placed on local governments to build more housing. Under 2017's SB 35, cities and counties whose land-use rules do not meet the demands of their Regional Housing Needs Assessment '-- a state-mandated projection of what it will take to house the growing local population '-- have less power to resist multiunit housing projects that bring more affordable housing to urban areas.
Matthew Lewis, communications director for the housing advocacy group California YIMBY, said it can take five years for cities and counties to update their land-use plans to match their housing needs assessments. SB 10 gives them ''a release valve'' for the pressure to rezone, giving them a much faster way to create areas zoned for up to 10-unit buildings, with height limits set by the local government. That could help them fend off the much larger developments that SB 35 makes possible.
Again, local governments will decide for themselves whether to adopt the denser zones that SB 10 allows for ''transit rich'' or urban ''infill'' areas. And even if they do adopt new zoning rules, each proposed development would have to go through the usual approval process.
Times staff writers Liam Dillon and Jessica Roy contributed to this report.
125 Staff Part Ways With Indiana's Biggest Hospital System After Refusing Vaccine
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 11:29
Indiana University Health, the biggest hospital system in the state, has announced that 125 staff members are no longer employed there after refusing to comply with the organization's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
''Indiana University Health has put the safety and well-being of patients and team members first by requiring employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 1,'' IU Health said in a Sept. 16 statement. ''After a two-week unpaid suspension period ending Sept. 14, a total of 125 employees, the equivalent of 61 full-time employees, chose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and have left the organization.''
While the statement did not specify whether the workers quit or were fired, a spokesperson for IU Health told Newsweek that the employees who refused to get the shot resigned.
The Epoch Times has reached out to IU Health with a request for confirmation whether the employees quit or were terminated, but did not receive an immediate response.
''Most of the employees who chose not to be vaccinated worked part time, less than part time or have not worked for a number of months and will have a minimal effect on staffing,'' the spokesperson told Newsweek, adding that, as of Friday, all employees at IU Health were compliant with the vaccine mandate.
IU Health, which operates 15 hospitals and dozens of outpatient clinics around the state, employs around 36,000 staff members.
Two weeks ago, IU Health announced that around 300 employees had been suspended and that they could return to work if they received a partial or full COVID-19 vaccination, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.
In June, IU Health announced it would require all doctors, nurses, and other staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, joining over 150 hospital systems nationwide to issue employee vaccine mandates.
IU Health's announcement came on the same day that some two dozen Republican attorneys general wrote a letter (pdf) to President Joe Biden, warning of impending legal action if his proposed vaccine requirement for tens of millions of Americans goes into effect.
Biden's sweeping mandate for private-sector employees, health care workers, and federal contractors would require businesses with more than 100 employees to have staff either vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly for the disease. The scheme would be put in place through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
''Your plan is disastrous and counterproductive,'' the prosecutors wrote in the letter sent to Biden, adding that the vaccine ''edict is also illegal.''
''If your Administration does not alter its course, the undersigned state Attorneys General will seek every available legal option to hold you accountable and uphold the rule of law,'' they wrote.
Republican leaders, as well as some union chiefs, have criticized Biden for the move, accusing him of overreach.
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
'Lie Flat' If You Want, But Be Ready to Pay the Price - Bloomberg
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 11:27
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Britain Signals Intent to Revert to the Imperial System - The New York Times
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 11:08
Europe | Britain Signals Intent to Revert to the Imperial System https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/17/world/europe/imperial-measurements-pounds-ounces-return.htmlThe government announced plans to allow shops to sell produce in pounds and ounces, rather than using the metric system, as part of an effort to ''capitalize on new Brexit freedoms.''
The British government said it would pursue plans to allow shops and market stalls to sell fruits and vegetables labeled solely in imperial units of measurement. Credit... Kevin Coombs/Reuters Sept. 17, 2021
LONDON '-- The British government said it was taking steps to return to its traditional system of imperial weights and measures, allowing shops and market stalls to sell fruits and vegetables labeled in pounds and ounces alone, rather than in the metric system's grams and kilograms, a move it hailed as an example of the country's new post-Brexit freedoms.
The plans, which David Frost, the minister overseeing Brexit, announced on Thursday, were cheered by Brexit supporters, many of whom had argued that the switch to the metric system over the decades was a sign of unwelcome European Union interference in daily life in Britain.
While the European Union currently requires members to use the metric system alone, it had allowed Britain, when it was a member, to label its produce in imperial units alongside metric units. There were also exceptions for traffic signs and beer.
As part of its exit from the European Union, the British government is now reviewing thousands of E.U. rules that it retained and determining whether they best serve the national interest. Those rules include the E.U. ban on sales in imperial units, which the British government said it would legislate changes to ''in due course.''
Since Britain formally split from the European Union on Jan. 1, after nearly 50 years of membership, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has touted his vision of a ''Global Britain'' that would flourish without being shackled by rules imposed by the 27-member bloc.
British officials have pointed to developments, such as changing the color of British passports from the European Union's burgundy to Britain's traditional blue, which was dropped in 1988, as bold and triumphant symbols of the country's new freedom.
But critics, including the 48 percent of voters who did not support Britain's exit, have said such advances seem small and not very helpful at a time when employers are struggling to fill thousands of jobs, vacant in part because of the exodus of European Union immigrants since the vote to leave the bloc.
Among the concerns about the country's fragile economic recovery are a variety of new time-consuming and confusing procedures that have made importing and exporting goods to and from the European Union more difficult, shortages at British supermarkets and a rift over unresolved trade rules for Northern Ireland.
Nevertheless, Mr. Frost, the Brexit minister, said on Thursday that the move toward the imperial system would be part of the broader changes Britain was making to ''capitalize on new Brexit freedoms.''
''Overbearing regulations were often conceived and agreed in Brussels with little consideration of the U.K. national interest,'' he said in announcing the intention to introduce legislation to change the rules. ''We now have the opportunity to do things differently and ensure that Brexit freedoms are used to help businesses and citizens get on and succeed.''
Tony Bennett, a member of Active Resistance to Metrication, a small group that has for years been pushing for England to return to its old weights and measurements, said he was celebrating the development.
Mr. Bennett said the campaign to leave the European Union and the campaign to revert to imperial measurements had to do with preserving what he saw as the gradual erosion of British culture and tradition.
''The system of weights and measures is integral to our daily life and also to our written culture, our language,'' he said, citing expressions like ''an inch is as good as a mile,'' and ''inching forward.'' He estimates that he and his group have placed stickers over thousands of signs in public parks and on roads that use the metric system in England over the last two decades.
Image A road sign in South Shropshire that Tony Bennett, 74, changed so that it would display feet and not meters. Credit... Tony Bennett Since at least medieval times, the English have used their own set measurements, including inches, feet, stones, miles and acres, many of which are still used in the United States. But for decades, the British government had been pushing people to use the metric system, used in most of the world and developed using decimalized metric standards during the French Revolution.
Supporters of the metric system say its use is necessary for companies to compete globally, since so many countries use it. Those passionate about the metric system also point to the fact that Britain began its switch to the metric system in 1965, eight years before it joined the European Union. Others said there were more pressing issues to focus on, like cuts to public services.
A poll by YouGov in 2015 of British adults found that younger people tended to favor the metric system, with more than 60 percent of those ages 18 to 39 saying they would measure short distances in meters, compared with less than 12 percent of those over 60.
'World's safest city' for 2021 revealed by Economist Intelligent Unit | CNN Travel
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 11:07
(CNN) '-- Safety has long been a paramount concern for travelers when it comes to deciding which destination to visit.
But the world has been turned on its head in recent years due to the global pandemic and the notion of exactly what makes somewhere "safe" has changed significantly.
This may help to explain the shake up at the top of the Economist Intelligence Unit's Safe Cities Index (SCI,) which ranks 60 international destinations on digital security, health security, infrastructure, personal security, as well as environmental security, a new category for this year. While Asian cities like Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka have continuously occupied the top spots year after year, it's a European destination that holds the number one position for 2021.
Copenhagen has been named the world's safest city for the first time, scoring 82.4 points out of 100 in the annual report.
Denmark's capital jumped from joint eighth place in 2019 to the top of the list, largely thanks to the introduction of an environmental security section, which the city scored particularly well in, along with personal security.
Social cohesion
Wellington was the only New Zealand city in the top 10 of the world's safest cities for 2021, according to SCI.
Mark Tantrum/Getty Images
"One key factor that makes Copenhagen such a safe city is its low crime rate, currently at its lowest level in more than a decade," Lars Weiss, lord mayor of Copenhagen, says in the report.
"Copenhagen is also characterized by great social cohesion and a relatively narrow wealth gap. It is a mixed city where both the cleaning assistant and the CEO meet each other at the local supermarket and have their kids in the same school.
"This is one of the very cornerstones of Danish culture, and it contributes greatly to the high levels of trust and safety that we benefit from."
Canada's Toronto just missed out on the top spot, taking second place with 82.2 points, while Singapore was third with 80.7 points.
Although Sydney came fourth, with 80.1 points, the Australian city topped the digital security category, while 2019 winner Tokyo was awarded 80.0 points, putting the Japanese city in fifth place.
Covid-19 impact
Hong Kong tied with Melbourne for eighth place on the list.
Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images
"Copenhagen is definitely a worthy overall leader and Toronto a well-deserving runner-up, but as much because of long-term success in making residents secure as from any particular improvements in the last two years," reads the report.
"Toronto and Copenhagen do noticeably better in the new environmental security pillar than do any of the top three cities from earlier years."
The Netherlands' Amsterdam was sixth with 79.3 points, while New Zealand's Wellington came in at number seven with 79.0 points, and was the overall leader in the environmental security category.
Asia Pacific cities Hong Kong and Melbourne scored joint eighth place after receiving 78.6 points each, while Sweden's Stockholm rounded off the top 10 with 78.0 points.
New York was the highest US city on the list, sharing the 11th spot with Spain's Barcelona (both cities received 77.8 points).
Washington DC was close behind in 14 place, while London and San Francisco tied at 15th.
There were few surprises at the other end of the list, with Nigeria's Lagos, Egypt's Cairo, Venezuela's Caracas, Pakistan's Karachi and Myanmar's Yangon making up the bottom five.
Urban resilience
Australia's Sydney was fourth on the overall list, but topped the digital security category.
Brook Mitchell/Getty Images
But while the cities with the lowest overall scores have found themselves near the bottom of all categories in recent years, this isn't the case here.
In fact, the report notes that "some signs exist of a shift mirroring that seen among the leaders," with Lagos scoring "slightly above average in environmental security, while 55th place Casablanca comes 41st in digital security."
Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 is constantly mentioned throughout, particularly in the assessments on health security, which Copenhagen scored much lower in than other categories.
According to Nima Asgari, director of the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, the subject of urban resilience has previously been focused on disasters and floods rather than health crises, "probably because people never thought the health system would collapse as a consequence of continuous demand from outbreaks."
The report suggests that this missing link may have to led to some destinations being less prepared, and ultimately less successful in limiting the impact of coronavirus.
"Covid-19 teaches that there is always a blind spot, even when there is a lot of activity," adds Michele Acuto, a professor of global urban politics at the University of Melbourne.
The report goes on to stress that the understanding of health security "needs to be revisited" as a direct result of coronavirus.
Turning point?
Sweden's Stockholm was awarded 78.0 points overall, rounding off the top 10.
Jonas Gratzer/Getty Images
Meanwhile, Naka Kondo, senior editor at The EIU and editor of the report, notes that digital security has become an even bigger priority now that "more work and commerce have moved online," and adjustments will need to be made in light of this.
"Those responsible for infrastructure safety have to adjust to dramatic changes in travel patterns and where residents consume utilities; agencies responsible for personal security need to address a large, lockdown-driven shift in crime patterns," says Kondo.
The report also acknowledges that the pandemic has brought about "a potential turning point across every pillar of urban safety," providing an opportunity for cities to "reassess longer term dangers in the way of achieving safe, sustainable, liveable cities as well as opportunities for getting there."
"A renewed, more holistic understanding of urban safety gives hope for cities that are not just more secure, in every sense, but more sustainable and enjoyable places in which to live," it adds.
Six cities, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Tokyo, Toronto, Singapore and Sydney have all made it in the top 10, every year since the report was launched back in 2015, while Copenhagen has been a regular fixture since 2019.
Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' | TheHill
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 10:51
The 26-page indictment of former cybersecurity attorney and Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation MORE campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann by special counsel John Durham John DurhamClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation MORE is as detailed as it is damning on the alleged effort to push a false Russia collusion claim before the 2016 presidential campaign. One line, however, seems to reverberate for those of us who have followed this scandal for years now: ''You do realize that we will have to expose every trick we have in our bag.''
That warning from an unnamed ''university researcher'' captures the most fascinating aspect of the indictment in describing a type of Nixonian dirty tricks operation run by '-- or at least billed to '-- the Clinton campaign. With Nixon, his personal attorney and the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) paid for operatives to engage in disruptive and ultimately criminal conduct targeting his opponents. With Clinton, the indictment and prior disclosures suggest that Clinton campaign lawyers at the law firm of Perkins Coie helped organize an effort to spread Russia collusion stories and trigger an investigation.
Durham accuses Sussmann of lying to the general counsel of the FBI in September 2016 when Sussmann delivered documents and data to the FBI supposedly supporting a claim that Russia's Alpha Bank was used as a direct conduit between former President Trump Donald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE 's campaign and the Kremlin. According to Durham, Sussman told the FBI general counsel that he was not delivering the information on behalf of any client. The indictment not only details multiple billings to the Clinton campaign as the data was collected and the documents created; it claims Sussman billed the campaign for the actual meeting with the FBI. At the time, Perkins Coie attorney Marc Elias was general counsel for the Clinton campaign. Both men have since left the firm.
The big trick in 2016 was the general effort to create a Russia collusion scandal with the help of Justice Department insiders and an eager, enabling media.
It was only last October, for instance, that we learned that then-President Obama Barack Hussein ObamaOur remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Chelsea Manning tests positive for COVID-19 MORE was briefed by his CIA director, John Brennan, on an intelligence report that Clinton planned to tie then-candidate Trump to Russia as ''a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.'' That was on July 28, 2016 '-- three days before the Russia investigation was initiated.
The problem was that both the Steele dossier and the Alpha Bank allegations fell apart soon after being fed to the FBI. A key source for dossier compiler and former British spy Christopher Steele was viewed by American intelligence as a Russian agent, and it was believed that the Clinton campaign and the dossier were being used by Russian intelligence to spread disinformation.
According to Durham, the Alpha Bank allegation fell apart even before Sussmann delivered it to the FBI. The indictment details how an unnamed ''tech executive'' allegedly used his authority at multiple internet companies to help develop the ridiculous claim. (The executive reportedly later claimed that he was promised a top cyber security job in the Clinton administration). Notably, there were many who expressed misgivings not only within the companies working on the secret project but also among unnamed ''university researchers'' who repeatedly said the argument was bogus.
The researchers were told they should not be looking for proof but just enough to ''give the base of a very useful narrative.'' The researchers argued, according to the indictment, that anyone familiar with analyzing internet traffic ''would poke several holes'' in that narrative, noting that what they saw likely ''was not a secret communications channel with Russian Bank-1, but 'a red herring,''' according to the indictment. ''Researcher-1'' repeated these doubts, the indictment says, and asked, ''How do we plan to defend against the criticism that this is not spoofed traffic we are observing? There is no answer to that. Let's assume again that they are not smart enough to refute our 'best case scenario.' You do realize that we will have to expose every trick we have in our bag to even make a very weak association.''
''Researcher-1'' allegedly further warned, ''We cannot technically make any claims that would fly public scrutiny. The only thing that drives us at this point is that we just do not like [Trump]. This will not fly in eyes of public scrutiny. Folks, I am afraid we have tunnel vision. Time to regroup?''
Clinton herself discussed the allegations as if they were the product of independent sleuths. Right before the 2016 election, she tweeted, ''Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.''
The indictment details an operation that parallels the notorious Steele dossier, which also featured a pattern of working with FBI insiders while denying connections to the campaign.
The Clinton team denied involvement in the creation of the Steele dossier throughout the 2016 campaign despite direct media inquiries. It was only after the election that mysterious expenses for its legal counsel led reporters to discover the truth. The payments for the dossier were masked as ''legal fees'' among the $5.6 million paid to the law firm. According to New York Times reporter Ken Vogel, Elias categorically denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier; when Vogel tried to report the story, he said Elias ''pushed back vigorously, saying 'You (or your sources) are wrong.''' Times reporter Maggie Haberman Maggie Lindsy HabermanClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Juan Williams: Trump's coup attempt should bar him from 2024 race Still in the game: Will Durham's report throw a slow curveball at key political players? MORE later wrote that ''folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.''
According to the indictment, Sussman told the truth '-- and contradicted what he'd originally told the FBI general counsel '-- when interviewed under oath in December 2017 before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, telling them he did not hold the meeting of his own volition but at the request of a client.
Notably, another Clinton figure pushing the Alpha Bank conspiracy was Jake Sullivan Jake SullivanClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Senators slow Biden with holds at Pentagon, State Overnight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France MORE , who now weighs intelligence reports for President Biden Joe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE as his national security adviser. Sullivan, a senior policy adviser to Clinton, declared in an official campaign press statement that the Alpha Bank allegation ''could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow'' and portrayed it as the work of independent experts: ''Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump's ties to Russia. ... This line of communication may help explain Trump's bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich PutinClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Hillicon Valley '-- Facebook 'too late' curbing climate falsities France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE .''
So the ''very useful narrative'' was delivered to the media and the FBI and, along with the dossier, was used to launch the Russia investigation, which led to the appointment of former special counsel Robert Mueller Robert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE . The ''bag of tricks'' was supposed to be buried with the involvement of the Clinton campaign '-- until Trump Attorney General William Barr Bill BarrClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Milley moved to limit Trump military strike abilities after Jan. 6, Woodward book claims: report MORE appointed Durham as a second special counsel.
Durham's indictment of Sussman seems to have revealed quite a bit about how scandals are manufactured and manipulated in Washington. From CREEP to Clinton, lawyers discovered themselves in legal jeopardy when special prosecutors found them holding a "bag of tricks." A dirty trick in politics can be a thing of beauty for a campaign '-- until it boomerangs on the tricksters.
Durham's final report, meanwhile, could answer even more questions, but will Washington ever allow it to see the light of day without massive redactions?
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates on Twitter @JonathanTurley.
Dutch ditch social distancing, mandate COVID-19 passes - StarTribune.com
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 10:46
THE HAGUE, Netherlands '-- Social distancing will end in the Netherlands on Sept. 25, the same date that the government will begin mandating COVID-19 health passes to get into venues like bars, restaurants and theaters, caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Tuesday.
The end of what the Dutch have come to know as the 1.5-meter (3-foot) society is the most significant part of the latest round of easing the country's pandemic lockdown and ends social distancing, which has been in place for the past 18 months.
"At a time when many people were sad, we had to keep our distance," Rutte said.
But it goes hand-in-hand with the use of digital passes showing if people have been fully vaccinated, have just tested negative or have recently recovered from COVID-19. Other European countries such as France already have similar rules requiring a COVID-19 pass to get into public venues like bars and restaurants.
That has angered vaccine skeptics, who argue it's a way of compelling them to get their vaccine shots. Caretaker Health Minister Hugo de Jonge denied that, but said more vaccinations would be a good side effect.
"In neighboring countries, you see that the COVID pass also has a positive effect on the vaccination level," he said. "If that happens here, that is of course a plus."
The government did not say how long the pass would be in use, but De Jonge said it would be "as temporary as possible."
Some 62% of the Dutch population of 17.5 million people has been fully vaccinated, including 77% of adults, according to European Center for Disease Control figures from Sept. 5.
The announcement came on the day the Dutch public health institute said the number of positive tests declined 11% over the last week and COVID-19 admissions to hospitals and intensive care units also fell.
Earlier Tuesday, the government's medical advisory body said a third booster vaccine shot should be given "with high priority" to people with seriously compromised immune systems. De Jonge said the government would take up the advice, which he said covers between 200,000 and 400,000 people.
The Health Council of the Netherlands also said giving booster shots to the rest of the Dutch population is not currently necessary but said preparations should be put in place to give people a booster shot if it becomes clear that the vaccines' effectiveness in preventing serious illness is declining.
"While the protection of some COVID-19 vaccines against infection has diminished somewhat over time, protection against serious illness has not," the council said. "There is therefore currently hardly any room for improving protection against serious illness and death with a booster."
Also Tuesday, Rutte said that discos and nightclubs will be allowed to reopen but will have to shut their doors at midnight along with other bars and restaurants. Before the pandemic, most Dutch clubs closed much later than midnight. People will again be able to attend outdoor music and arts festivals if they show a COVID-19 health pass.
On Saturday, thousands took to the streets in cities across the Netherlands to demand a resumption of music festivals and similar events.
With the exception of a brief reopening early in the summer, nightclubs and discos have been closed in the Netherlands since mid-March 2020. A Dutch hospitality lobby group went to court to force the full re-opening of nightclubs and discos. A judge is to rule on the request Friday.
U.S. to sanction crypto exchanges, wallets used by ransomware
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 10:42
The Biden administration is expected to issue sanctions against crypto exchanges, wallets, and traders used by ransomware gangs to convert ransom payments into fiat money.
With ransomware attacks against US interests and infrastructure escalating over the past two years, the White House has increased its efforts to disrupt ransomware operations.
According to reporting by the Wall Street Journal, the US is expected next week to sanction crypto exchanges, wallets, and individuals who aid ransomware gangs convert cryptocurrency.
As cryptocurrency is a required component of ransomware operations, the Biden administration hopes to disrupt this payment method and associated attacks with sanctions.
When ransomware gangs attack organizations, they demand millions of dollars in cryptocurrency to receive a decryptor and prevent the release of stolen data.
REvil ransom demand in an attackAlmost all ransomware operations demand either Bitcoin or Monero for ransom payments. However, practically every ransom payment is made in Bitcoin, as Monero is considered a privacy coin and not offered for sale by almost all US crypto exchanges.
After getting paid, ransomware gangs ultimately have to cash out the crypto into fiat money, such as US dollars or local currency.
The cryptocurrency is first transferred through mixers to make the coins less traceable and then converted using crypto exchanges or their employees.
By sanctioning crypto exchanges known to be used by ransomware actors, the government hopes to disrupt this economy and make it far more difficult for ransomware gangs to operate.
''An action of this kind would be an aggressive, proactive approach to going after those who facilitate ransomware payments,'' Ari Redbord, a former senior Treasury security official, told the Wall Street Journal regarding the expected sanctions.
The expected sanctions are not the first the US government has levied against threat actors associated with ransomware gangs.
In 2019, the US charged members of the Evil Corp for stealing over $100 million and added members of the cybercrime group to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanction list.
This group is associated with multiple ransomware families, including WastedLocker, Hades, Phoenix CryptoLocker, and PayLoadBin.
The US Treasury later warned that ransomware negotiators may face civil penalties for facilitating ransomware payments to ransomware gangs on the sanction list.
Was JFK Shot From a Sewer?
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 14:21
In November 1967, Garrison sent Stephen Jaffe, a part-time investigator from Los Angeles, on a mission to Dallas. Here is the letter that Jaffe sent to Garrison - all 16 pages of it. This letter convinced Garrison that JFK was shot from a sewer on Elm Street.
On page 2, Jaffe writes that "I now believe, without reservation, that it was possible for the storm sewer to have been used in the murder of President Kennedy. I also believe that there is a strong possibility that the fatal shot was fired from this position." He noted that "a car passing in front of the opening of this drain, at approximately 11 m.p.h. is seen for approximately two seconds. Time enough to aim carefully and fire with a rifle or other type of short-range weapon."
Garrison then issued a press release. Here is a UPI report (unfortunately I don't have his actual press release).
Here is the headline from the LA Free Press:
And, here is the headline from the New York Times:
Here are the three photographs that Garrison released to the press:
Original caption: New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison has released this first of three photos to support this theory that a shot was fired from a storm sewer during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Here, an investigator steps into one of the entrances into a sewer complex under Dealey Plaza.
Original caption: New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison released these two of three pictures to support his theory that a shot was fired from a sewer during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The top picture is a sewer opening on the north side of Elm Street, which can reached from tunnels under Dealey Plaza. The bottom photo was taken from the sewer as a convertible passed by.
Does any of this make any sense?
George Lardner of the Washington Post talked to Josiah Thompson on January 2, 1968 and asked him. Here is his reply from Lardner's notes:
Garrison's theory could never hold much water. "Most of the sewers beneath Dealey Plaza are only 15 inches in diameter, leading to a search for what reporters have called "the mini-midget."
Jerry Dealey is an expert on the TSBD and Dealey Plaza. His Great Granduncle was George Bannerman Dealey, the founder of The Dallas Morning News, and for whom Dealey Plaza was named. He has published a very good article on the TSBD and the sewer system. Here are three pages from his paper.
Here is his complete paper.
jerry dealey on sewers in dallas
Download PDF ' 484KB
Oh, and if you are in Dallas, Jerry gives the best tours of Dealey Plaza.
Why carnivores host diseases that jump to humans | The Economist
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 13:19
Sep 15th 2021
I N NOVEMBER 2020, at the height of the second covid-19 wave in Europe, the Danish government revealed that a new strain of the virus had been found in farmed mink. Officials worried that the new strain could become widespread in humans, where it might prove deadlier or more resistant to vaccines. For Clare Bryant, a veterinary scientist at the University of Cambridge, this was exactly what she feared might happen. ''I thought holy moly, there you go,'' she says.
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At the time, she and her team were investigating the biology of Carnivora, an order of meat-eating mammals that includes cats, dogs, bears and mink, among others. Carnivora is a potent source of ''zoonotic'' diseases'--those that have jumped to humans from their original animal hosts. Almost half of its members carry one or more unique zoonotic pathogens. Biologists have long wondered why that should be. Dr Bryant's paper, published in Cell Reports, suggests an answer.
Diseases jump from animals to humans when a pathogen stumbles upon a mutation that allows it to infect human cells as well as animal ones. Since mutation is a random process that mostly happens when pathogens reproduce, a bug is most likely to hit the jackpot when it has plenty of time to survive in its host unmolested.
Healthy animals do not usually allow pathogens such leisure time. Infection triggers an immune response aimed at wiping out the invader. One part of that response relies on proteins governed by chemicals called receptors, adaptors and effectors. Receptors sound the alarm when a pathogen is spotted. They cause adaptors to trigger the release of effectors, which are enzymes that produce proteins capable of destroying the invader.
Dr Bryant found that, in Carnivora, some of this machinery is broken. Immunological pathways in the gut, in particular, seem not to work properly. Genes for receptors are missing or disabled, allowing pathogens to go unseen. Two effector genes are fused, compromising any response that is mounted. After spotting these anomalies in dogs, the researchers edited the fused effector genes into mice. Sure enough, the animals' immune response was hampered.
While Dr Bryant's team looked only at dogs, the mutations resemble those found in other sorts of carnivorous mammal, including cats, ferrets and bears. All share the fusion in the effector genes, though the specific faults with their receptors differ. That suggests similar defects have evolved several times in different lineages.
But that is only half the story. For an animal to act as a useful carrier from a pathogen's point of view, it not only has to let the pathogen survive but also stay alive itself in order to infect others. One possibility is that carnivores have alternative lines of defence that partially compensate for their defective immune systems. These extra defences might be potent enough to keep animals from getting sick, but not effective enough to wipe out pathogens completely.
Dietary adaptations, says Dr Bryant, may be the culprit. Earlier experiments on caterpillars have shown that animals with protein-rich diets have fewer infections. The meaty diets of Carnivora may grant its members similar protection. The key, says Dr Bryant, is likely to be the microbiome, the ecosystem of bacteria that live in animals' guts. Her guess is that these bacteria metabolise dietary protein into antimicrobial compounds which suppress pathogens. That imperfect protection may allow other bits of the animals' immune systems to fall into evolutionary disrepair.
The exact details are still to be worked out. But the pet carnivores with which so many humans share their homes are unlikely to pose much risk. The real danger comes from when such animals are herded together in close quarters, giving pathogens access to a bigger pool of individuals in which to mutate. The upshot of all this, says Dr Bryant, is that farming animals in Carnivora is a bad idea. Indeed, after discovering the mutant version of SARS-CoV-2, the Danish government culled millions of those mink'--effectively ending the world's only large industry that did so. '–
An early version of this article was published online on September 15th 2021
This article appeared in the Science & technology section of the print edition under the headline "All the better to infect you with"
Brazos County Health District now reporting breakthrough COVID-19 deaths
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 13:18
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Friday morning the Brazos County Health District began reporting breakthrough COVID-19 deaths. These are people that have been vaccinated against the virus and died from COVID-19.
The health district reported five new COVID-19 deaths and said there has been a total of four breakthrough deaths out of the 308 total deaths in Brazos County.
KBTX reached out to the health district but they would not confirm if the four breakthrough deaths are part of Friday's five new deaths.
According to BCHD, the five deaths reported were three white males in their 60'²s, 70'²s and 80'²s and two white females in their 80'²s and 90'²s. The health district said because of patient privacy, information like sex, age and race will not be released when they report breakthrough deaths.
''According to the CDC, the majority of fully vaccinated individuals who die from COVID-19 are 65 and older. In Brazos County as of Sept. 15, 98,842 individuals have been vaccinated, and only four vaccine breakthrough deaths have been reported. That is only 0.004 percent of those vaccinated,'' said the health district in the COVID-19 update Friday.
Brazos County doctors have stressed that being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best form of defense against the virus and that the vast majority who are hospitalized or die due to the virus are unvaccinated.
As of Sept. 10, Baylor Scott & White Health- College Station reported that 94 percent of their hospitalized COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated and that 96 percent of their COVID-19 patients in the ICU were unvaccinated.
Copyright 2021 KBTX. All rights reserved.
COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 13:04
Steve Kirsch is the CEO of M10 Networks which develops digital money technology for banks and central banks.
He is the inventor of the optical mouse and one of the first Internet search engines, Infoseek. As the founder of 7 high tech companies, two with billion dollar market caps, Steve is focused on modernizing payment infrastructure. He has a BS/MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.
Social media recoils as Bloomberg praises Amazon's warehouse-based exurban 'factory towns' as 'the future of working class' '-- RT USA News
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 12:16
Amazon's massive new distribution centers, soon to be surrounded by infrastructure built to serve workers, are being compared to Gilded Age company towns. While many are aghast at the idea, fellow billionaires are praising it.
The e-commerce empire founded by Jeff Bezos will offer the American working class a better option than scraping to get by in increasingly expensive cities, investment adviser Conor Sen wrote in a Friday oped for Bloomberg, the financial news outlet whose namesake is billionaire former New York mayor and failed presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.
''Let's call them 'factory towns,''' Sen suggests, apparently in an effort to avoid the baggage that accompanies the concept of ''company towns.'' Popular in the late 19th century among the new breed of mega-corporations '' railroads, steel mills, and the like '' many of these dormitory communities held workers as veritable prisoners, paying them in scrip that was only redeemable at the company-run store and retaining groups of thuggish Pinkerton ''detectives'' to stamp out any attempts to unionize.
Amazon's ''factory towns,'' however '' Sen writes '' are supposedly marked by rising wages, massive job creation and the potential for a ''higher likelihood of success'' in ''solving inequality'' than ''high-cost metropolitan areas.'' He believes that those should be encouraged, at one point even calling these 'Bezosvilles' the "future of a large segment of the working class.''
The writer waits until the conclusion to acknowledge the ''new issues'' that will ''need addressing,'' little details like ''adequate amounts of housing, schools and healthcare facilities.''
Sen is known for his ruling-class-friendly takes, which recently included a call for Americans to embrace the idea of ''build-to-rent'' communities rather than strive to attain the once-commonplace ideal of homeownership. However, many on social media couldn't help but notice that it took a financier writing for a news outlet belonging to a fellow billionaire to say anything nice at all about Amazon's silent conquest of the sprawling spaces between American cities '' and the populations that call those spaces home.
''Two out of two billionaires agree'...'' cracked one tweeter.
Others had to control their gag reflex at the idea that Amazon, which made billions of dollars off the Covid-19 pandemic that saw millions lose their livelihoods and is legendary for tight schedules forcing workers to relieve themselves in plastic bottles, was capable of being a friend to the working class.
Some saw the company inching ever closer to 'The Warehouse,' a dystopian yet increasingly realistic send-up of modern American mega-capitalism as practiced by an Amazonesque firm called ''Cloud,'' while others drew their cultural references from the era of the original ''company towns.''
You load 16 pallets, what do you get?Another day older and deeper in debt.St Peter don't you call me cause I can't goI owe my soul to Jeff Bezoshttps://t.co/srjPAGwxJE
'-- Alexander Williams (@N3v3rSayDi3) September 16, 2021Amazon has trumpeted a recent starting wage increase '' from $17 per hour to about $18 per hour '' in an effort to attract workers who sat out the pandemic collecting unemployment and now need jobs. The company reportedly plans to hire another 125,000 workers in the US and is deploying unusually generous benefits, like hefty sign-on bonuses and tuition assistance, to convince job-searchers it's a better bet than Wal-Mart or other megaretailers.
Every worker forced to live and work in perpetual debt in the company town will get a free Amazon prime account ðŸ''
'-- Read Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (@JoshuaPotash) September 16, 2021However, Amazon's reputation for union-busting '' which in one memorable case reportedly extended to changing the timing of traffic lights outside a warehouse in order to prevent workers from discussing organization efforts '' along with eerie micromanaging of employees' appearance and sloppy attempts to refute workers' stories of 'peeing in bottles' have made it a decidedly unsympathetic character in the class war.
Also on rt.com Amazon gives its employees mindfulness booths at work. Critics call them 'despair boxes' Like this story? Share it with a friend!
With $20 trillion between them, Blackrock and Vanguard could own almost everything by 2028 '' Rights and Freedoms
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 11:30
(What about WEP? You'll own nothing and be happy.)
Two towers of power are dominating the future of investing Author of the article: Rachel Evans, Sabrina Willmer, Nick Baker and Brandon Kochkodin, Bloomberg News
Publishing date:Dec 04, 2017 ' December 4, 2017 ' 6 minute read
Imagine a world in which two asset managers call the shots, in which their wealth exceeds current U.S. GDP and where almost every hedge fund, government and retiree is a customer.
It's closer than you think. BlackRock Inc. and Vanguard Group '-- already the world's largest money managers '-- are less than a decade from managing a total of US$20 trillion, according to Bloomberg News calculations. Amassing that sum will likely upend the asset management industry, intensify their ownership of the largest U.S. companies and test the twin pillars of market efficiency and corporate governance.
None other than Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, widely regarded as the father of the index fund, is raising the prospect that too much money is in too few hands, with BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Corp. together owning significant stakes in the biggest U.S. companies.
''That's about 20 per cent owned by this oligopoly of three,'' Bogle said at a Nov. 28 appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. ''It is too bad that there aren't more people in the index-fund business.''
Advertised by Ma
Vanguard is poised to parlay its US$4.7 trillion of assets into more than US$10 trillion by 2023, while BlackRock may hit that mark two years later, up from almost US$6 trillion today, according to Bloomberg News projections based on the companies' most recent five-year average annual growth rates in assets. Those gains in part reflect a bull market in stocks that's driven assets into investment products and may not continue.
Investors from individuals to large institutions such as pension and hedge funds have flocked to this duo, won over in part by their low-cost funds and breadth of offerings. The proliferation of exchange-traded funds is also supercharging these firms and will likely continue to do so.
Global ETF assets could explode to US$25 trillion by 2025, according to estimates by Jim Ross, chairman of State Street's global ETF business. That sum alone would mean trillions of dollars more for BlackRock and Vanguard, based on their current market share.
''Growth is not a goal, nor do we make projections about future growth,'' Vanguard spokesman John Woerth said of the Bloomberg calculations.
While bigger may be better for the fund giants, passive funds may be blurring the inherent value of securities, implied in a company's earnings or cash flow.
The argument goes like this: The number of indexes now outstrips U.S. stocks, with the eruption of passive funds driving demand for securities within these benchmarks, rather than for the broader universe of stocks and bonds. That could inflate or depress the price of these securities versus similar un-indexed assets, which may create bubbles and volatile price movements.
Stocks with outsize exposure to indexed funds could trade more on cross-asset flows and macro views, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The bank found that, for the average stock in the S&P 500, 77 per cent might trade on fundamentals, versus more than 90 per cent a decade ago.
That's not BlackRock's experience. ''While index investing does play a role, the price discovery process is still dominated by active stock selectors,'' executives led by Vice Chairman Barbara Novick wrote in a paper in October, citing the relatively low turnover and small size of passive accounts compared with active strategies.
Another concern is that without the prospect of being part of an index, fewer small or mid-sized companies have an incentive to go public, according to Larry Tabb, founder of Tabb Group LLC, a New York-based firm that analyzes the structure of financial markets. That's because their stock risks underperforming without the inclusion in an index or an ETF, he said. Benchmarks are governed by rules or a methodology for selection and some require that a security has a certain size or liquidity for inclusion.
We're not near a tipping point yet. Roughly 37 per cent of assets in U.S.-domiciled equity funds are managed passively, up from 19 per cent in 2009, according to Savita Subramanian at Bank of America Corp. By contrast, in Japan, nearly 70 per cent of domestically focused equity funds are passively managed, suggesting the U.S. can stomach more indexing before market efficiency suffers.
There's even further to go if you look globally: Only 15 per cent of world equity markets '-- including funds, separately managed accounts and holdings of individual securities '-- are passively managed, said Joe Brennan, global head of Vanguard's equity index group, in an interview.
BlackRock and Vanguard's dominance raises questions about competition and governance. The companies hold more than 5 per cent of more than 4,400 stocks around the world, research from the University of Amsterdam shows.
That's making regulators uneasy, with SEC Commissioner Kara Stein asking in February: ''Does ownership concentration affect the willingness of companies to compete?'' Common ownership by institutional shareholders pushed up airfares by as much as 7 per cent over 14 years starting in 2001 because the shared holdings put less pressure on the airlines to compete, according to a study led by Jose Azar, an assistant professor of economics at IESE Business School. BlackRock and Vanguard are among the five largest shareholders of the three biggest operators.
''As BlackRock and Vanguard grow, and as money flows from active to large passive investors, their per centage share of every firm increases,'' said Azar in an interview. ''If they cross the 10 per cent threshold, I think for many people that would make it clearer that the growth of large asset managers could create serious concerns for competition in many industries.''
BlackRock has called Azar's research ''vague and implausible'' while other academics have questioned his methodology. One of those is Edward Rock. A law professor at New York University, Rock says a variety of legal rules in fact discourage stakes above 10 per cent and he favors creating a safe harbor for holdings up to 15 per cent to incentivize shareholder engagement. The firms are among the biggest holders of some of the world's largest companies across a range of industries including Google parent Alphabet Inc.and Facebook Inc. in technology, and lenders like Wells Fargo & Co. In the U.S., both companies supported or didn't oppose 96 per cent of management resolutions on board directors in the year ended June 30, according to their own reports.
''We've put more and more efforts behind it but we've always had a substantial effort,'' said Vanguard's Brennan. ''We're permanent long-term holders and, given that, we have the strongest interest in the best outcomes.'' Their size could also help companies change for the good. Both firms were among the first to join the Investor Stewardship Group, a group of institutional asset managers seeking to foster better corporate governance, according to the organization's website. Vanguard has doubled its team dedicated to this over the last two years and supported two climate-related shareholder resolutions for the first time. BlackRock has more than 30 people engaging with its portfolio companies. Active managers will be watching these developments closely. While many concede that stemming the passive tide is a challenge, they may see better days as central banks start unwinding a decade of easy monetary policy that's sapped volatility.
Data show performance among active managers is improving. Some 57 per cent of large-cap stock pickers underperformed the S&P 500 in the year ended June 30, compared with 85 per cent the year before, data from S&P Dow Jones Indices show. And if indexing distorts the market so much that it's easier to beat, more investors will flock to stock pickers, says Richard Thaler, Nobel laureate, University of Chicago professor and principal at Fuller & Thaler Asset Management.
Right now, though, the duo's advance appears unstoppable, and the benefits they've brought with low-cost investments may outweigh some of the structural issues.
''Given that they've grown so big because their fees are so small, these are the kinds of monopolies that don't keep me up at night,'' said Thaler.
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IBM World Community Grid
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 11:18
3. Installation
1. Locate World Community Grid
2. Install
3. Login to World Community Grid
4. Start contributing
You have downloaded the Windows software. Download for other platforms.
What next? 3. Installation
You're almost a volunteer. Just follow these steps to begin
1. Locate World Community Grid
2. Install
3. Select Project
4. Start Contributing
You have downloaded the Mac OS software. Download for other platforms.
What next? 3. Installation
We currently don't support donating computing power from iOS devices. (Not on iOS? Click here).
Look out for an email on how to contribute with your Windows, Mac, Linux or Android devices instead!
What next?
3. Installation
We recommend installing the BOINC client directly from the Ubuntu/Debian repositories.
1. In a terminal window, run the following command:
sudo apt install boinc-client boinc-manager 2. Set the BOINC client to automatically start after you restart your computer:
sudo systemctl enable boinc-client 3. Start the BOINC client:
sudo systemctl start boinc-client 4. Allow group access to client access file:
sudo chmod g+r /var/lib/boinc-client/gui_rpc_auth.cfg 5. Add your Linux user to the BOINC group to allow the BOINC Manager to communicate with the BOINC client
sudo usermod -a -G boinc $USER 6. Allow your terminal to pick up the privileges of the new group:
exec su $USER 7. In the same terminal window, start the BOINC Manager:
boincmgr -d /var/lib/boinc-client 8. When BOINC Manager opens, select World Community Grid from the list of BOINC projects then enter your World Community Grid email address and password.
9. When these steps are completed, you should see a screen to confirm that you've been successfully signed up to World Community Grid.
You have downloaded the Linux Ubuntu/Debian software. Download for other platforms.
What next?
3. Installation
We recommend installing the BOINC client from the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux repository.
1. In a terminal window, run the following command:
sudo yum install boinc-client boinc-manager 2. If you can't find the BOINC libraries, follow these steps to enable the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux repository.
3. Set the BOINC client to automatically start after you restart your computer:
sudo systemctl enable boinc-client 4. Start the BOINC client:
sudo systemctl start boinc-client 5. Allow group access to client access file:
sudo chmod g+r /var/lib/boinc/gui_rpc_auth.cfg 6. Add your Linux user to the BOINC group to allow the BOINC Manager to communicate with the BOINC client:
sudo usermod -a -G boinc $USER 7. Allow your terminal to pick up the privileges of the new group:
exec su $USER 8. In the same terminal window, start the BOINC Manager:
boincmgr -d /var/lib/boinc 9. When BOINC Manager opens, select World Community Grid from the list of BOINC projects then enter your World Community Grid email address and password.
10. When these steps are completed, you should see a screen to confirm that you've been successfully signed up to World Community Grid.
You have downloaded the Linux Fedora software. Download for another platform.
What next?
Midazolam - Wikipedia
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 11:07
This article is about the medication. For the book of poetry, see
Midazolam, sold under the brand name Versed, among others, is a benzodiazepine medication used for anesthesia, procedural sedation, trouble sleeping, and severe agitation.[4] It works by inducing sleepiness, decreasing anxiety, and causing a loss of ability to create new memories.[4] It is also useful for the treatment of seizures.[6] Midazolam can be given by mouth, intravenously, or injection into a muscle, by spraying into the nose, or through the cheek.[4][6] When given intravenously, it typically begins working within five minutes; when injected into a muscle, it can take fifteen minutes to begin working.[4] Effects last for between one and six hours.[4]
Midazolam Pronunciation Trade namesDormicum, Hypnovel, Versed, othersAHFS/Drugs.comMonograph MedlinePlusa609003 License dataPregnancycategoryRoutes ofadministrationBy mouth, intramuscular, intravenous, buccal, intranasalDrug classBenzodiazepineATC codeLegal statusBioavailabilityBy mouth (variable, around 40%)[2][3]intramuscular 90%+Protein binding97%MetabolismLiver 3A3, 3A4, 3A5Onset of actionWithin 5 min (IV), 15 min (IM), 20 min (oral)[4]Elimination half-life 1.5''2.5 hours[5]Duration of action1 to 6 hrs[4]ExcretionKidney8-chloro-6-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine
CAS NumberPubChem CID IUPHAR/BPSDrugBankChemSpiderUNIIKEGGChEBIChEMBLCompTox Dashboard (EPA) ECHA InfoCard 100.056.140 FormulaC 18H 13Cl F N 3Molar mass 325.77 g·mol''13D model (JSmol)ClC1=CC=C2C(C(C3=CC=CC=C3F)=NCC4=CN=C(C)N42)=C1
Y (verify) Side effects can include a decrease in efforts to breathe, low blood pressure, and sleepiness.[4] Tolerance to its effects and withdrawal syndrome may occur following long-term use.[7] Paradoxical effects, such as increased activity, can occur especially in children and older people.[7] There is evidence of risk when used during pregnancy but no evidence of harm with a single dose during breastfeeding.[8][9] It belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs and works by increasing the activity of the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain.[4]
Midazolam was patented in 1974 and came into medical use in 1982.[10] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.[11] Midazolam is available as a generic medication.[8] In many countries, it is a controlled substance.[4]
Medical uses Edit Seizures Edit Midazolam is sometimes used for the acute management of seizures. Long-term use for the management of epilepsy is not recommended due to the significant risk of tolerance (which renders midazolam and other benzodiazepines ineffective) and the significant side effect of sedation.[12] A benefit of midazolam is that in children it can be given in the cheek or in the nose for acute seizures, including status epilepticus.[13][14] Midazolam is effective for status epilepticus that has not improved following other treatments or when intravenous access cannot be obtained, and has advantages of being water-soluble, having a rapid onset of action and not causing metabolic acidosis from the propylene glycol vehicle (which is not required due to its solubility in water), which occurs with other benzodiazepines.
Drawbacks include a high degree of breakthrough seizures'--due to the short half-life of midazolam'--in over 50% of people treated, as well as treatment failure in 14''18% of people with refractory status epilepticus. Tolerance develops rapidly to the anticonvulsant effect, and the dose may need to be increased by several times to maintain anticonvulsant therapeutic effects. With prolonged use, tolerance and tachyphylaxis can occur and the elimination half-life may increase, up to days.[7][15] There is evidence buccal and intranasal midazolam is easier to administer and more effective than rectally administered diazepam in the emergency control of seizures.[16][17][18]
Procedural sedation Edit Intravenous midazolam is indicated for procedural sedation (often in combination with an opioid, such as fentanyl), for preoperative sedation, for the induction of general anesthesia, and for sedation of people who are ventilated in critical care units.[19][20] Midazolam is superior to diazepam in impairing memory of endoscopy procedures, but propofol has a quicker recovery time and a better memory-impairing effect.[21] It is the most popular benzodiazepine in the intensive care unit (ICU) because of its short elimination half-life, combined with its water solubility and its suitability for continuous infusion. However, for long-term sedation, lorazepam is preferred due to its long duration of action,[22] and propofol has advantages over midazolam when used in the ICU for sedation, such as shorter weaning time and earlier tracheal extubation.[23]
Midazolam is sometimes used in neonatal intensive care units. When used, additional caution is required in newborns; midazolam should not be used for longer than 72 hours due to risks of tachyphylaxis, and the possibility of development of a benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, as well as neurological complications. Bolus injections should be avoided due to the increased risk of cardiovascular depression, as well as neurological complications.[24]Midazolam is also sometimes used in newborns who are receiving mechanical ventilation, although morphine is preferred, owing to its better safety profile for this indication.[25]
Sedation using midazolam can be used to relieve anxiety and manage behaviour in children undergoing dental treatment.[26]
Agitation Edit Midazolam, in combination with an antipsychotic drug, is indicated for the acute management of schizophrenia when it is associated with aggressive or out-of-control behaviour.[27]
End of life care Edit In the final stages of end-of-life care, midazolam is routinely used at low doses via subcutaneous injection to help with agitation, myoclonus, restlessness or anxiety in the last hours or days of life.[28] At higher doses during the last weeks of life, midazolam is considered a first line agent in palliative continuous deep sedation therapy when it is necessary to alleviate intolerable suffering not responsive to other treatments,[29] but the need for this is rare.[30]
Contraindications Edit Benzodiazepines require special precaution if used in the elderly, during pregnancy, in children, in alcohol- or other drug-dependent individuals or those with comorbid psychiatric disorders.[31] Additional caution is required in critically ill patients, as accumulation of midazolam and its active metabolites may occur.[32] Kidney or liver impairments may slow down the elimination of midazolam leading to prolonged and enhanced effects.[33][34] Contraindications include hypersensitivity, acute narrow-angle glaucoma, shock, hypotension, or head injury. Most are relative contraindications.
Side effects Edit Injectable midazolam in 1 and 5 mg/ml strengths
Side effects of midazolam in the elderly are listed above.[7] People experiencing amnesia as a side effect of midazolam are generally unaware their memory is impaired, unless they had previously known it as a side effect.[35]
Long-term use of benzodiazepines has been associated with long-lasting deficits of memory, and show only partial recovery six months after stopping benzodiazepines.[7] It is unclear whether full recovery occurs after longer periods of abstinence. Benzodiazepines can cause or worsen depression.[7] Paradoxical excitement occasionally occurs with benzodiazepines, including a worsening of seizures. Children and elderly individuals or those with a history of excessive alcohol use and individuals with a history of aggressive behavior or anger are at increased risk of paradoxical effects.[7] Paradoxical reactions are particularly associated with intravenous administration.[36] After nighttime administration of midazolam, residual 'hangover' effects, such as sleepiness and impaired psychomotor and cognitive functions, may persist into the next day. This may impair the ability of users to drive safely and may increase the risk of falls and hip fractures.[37] Sedation, respiratory depression and hypotension due to a reduction in systematic vascular resistance, and an increase in heart rate can occur.[14][33] If intravenous midazolam is given too quickly, hypotension may occur. A "midazolam infusion syndrome" may result from high doses, and is characterised by delayed arousal hours to days after discontinuation of midazolam, and may lead to an increase in the length of ventilatory support needed.[38]
In susceptible individuals, midazolam has been known to cause a paradoxical reaction, a well-documented complication with benzodiazepines. When this occurs, the individual may experience anxiety, involuntary movements, aggressive or violent behavior, uncontrollable crying or verbalization, and other similar effects. This seems to be related to the altered state of consciousness or disinhibition produced by the drug. Paradoxical behavior is often not recalled by the patient due to the amnesia-producing properties of the drug. In extreme situations, flumazenil can be administered to inhibit or reverse the effects of midazolam. Antipsychotic medications, such as haloperidol, have also been used for this purpose.[39]
Midazolam is known to cause respiratory depression. In healthy humans, 0.15 mg/kg of midazolam may cause respiratory depression, which is postulated to be a central nervous system (CNS) effect.[40] When midazolam is administered in combination with fentanyl, the incidence of hypoxemia or apnea becomes more likely.[41]
Although the incidence of respiratory depression/arrest is low (0.1''0.5%) when midazolam is administered alone at normal doses,[42][43] the concomitant use with CNS acting drugs, mainly analgesic opiates, may increase the possibility of hypotension, respiratory depression, respiratory arrest, and death, even at therapeutic doses.[41][42][44][45] Potential drug interactions involving at least one CNS depressant were observed for 84% of midazolam users who were subsequently required to receive the benzodiazepine antagonist flumazenil.[46] Therefore, efforts directed toward monitoring drug interactions and preventing injuries from midazolam administration are expected to have a substantial impact on the safe use of this drug.[46]
Pregnancy and breastfeeding Edit Midazolam, when taken during the third trimester of pregnancy, may cause risk to the neonate, including benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, with possible symptoms including hypotonia, apnoeic spells, cyanosis, and impaired metabolic responses to cold stress. Symptoms of hypotonia and the neonatal benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome have been reported to persist from hours to months after birth.[47] Other neonatal withdrawal symptoms include hyperexcitability, tremor, and gastrointestinal upset (diarrhea or vomiting). Breastfeeding by mothers using midazolam is not recommended.[48]
Elderly Edit Additional caution is required in the elderly, as they are more sensitive to the pharmacological effects of benzodiazepines, metabolise them more slowly, and are more prone to adverse effects, including drowsiness, amnesia (especially anterograde amnesia), ataxia, hangover effects, confusion, and falls.[7]
Tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal Edit A benzodiazepine dependence occurs in about one-third of individuals who are treated with benzodiazepines for longer than 4 weeks,[7] which typically results in tolerance and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome when the dose is reduced too rapidly. Midazolam infusions may induce tolerance and a withdrawal syndrome in a matter of days. The risk factors for dependence include dependent personality, use of a benzodiazepine that is short-acting, high potency and long-term use of benzodiazepines. Withdrawal symptoms from midazolam can range from insomnia and anxiety to seizures and psychosis. Withdrawal symptoms can sometimes resemble a person's underlying condition. Gradual reduction of midazolam after regular use can minimise withdrawal and rebound effects. Tolerance and the resultant withdrawal syndrome may be due to receptor down-regulation and GABAA receptor alterations in gene expression, which causes long-term changes in the function of the GABAergic neuronal system.[7][49][50]
Chronic users of benzodiazepine medication who are given midazolam experience reduced therapeutic effects of midazolam, due to tolerance to benzodiazepines.[38][51] Prolonged infusions with midazolam results in the development of tolerance; if midazolam is given for a few days or more a withdrawal syndrome can occur. Therefore, preventing a withdrawal syndrome requires that a prolonged infusion be gradually withdrawn, and sometimes, continued tapering of dose with an oral long-acting benzodiazepine such as clorazepate dipotassium. When signs of tolerance to midazolam occur during intensive care unit sedation the addition of an opioid or propofol is recommended. Withdrawal symptoms can include irritability, abnormal reflexes, tremors, clonus, hypertonicity, delirium and seizures, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tachycardia, hypertension, and tachypnea.[38] In those with significant dependence, sudden discontinuation may result in withdrawal symptoms such as status epilepticus that may be fatal.
Overdose Edit A midazolam overdose is considered a medical emergency and generally requires the immediate attention of medical personnel. Benzodiazepine overdose in healthy individuals is rarely life-threatening with proper medical support; however, the toxicity of benzodiazepines increases when they are combined with other CNS depressants such as alcohol, opioids, or tricyclic antidepressants. The toxicity of benzodiazepine overdose and risk of death is also increased in the elderly and those with obstructive pulmonary disease or when used intravenously. Treatment is supportive; activated charcoal can be used within an hour of the overdose. The antidote for an overdose of midazolam (or any other benzodiazepine) is flumazenil.[33] While effective in reversing the effects of benzodiazepines it is not used in most cases as it may trigger seizures in mixed overdoses and benzodiazepine dependent individuals.[52][53]
Symptoms of midazolam overdose can include:[52][53]
Detection in body fluids Edit Concentrations of midazolam or its major metabolite, 1-hydroxymidazolam glucuronide, may be measured in plasma, serum, or whole blood to monitor for safety in those receiving the drug therapeutically, to confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in hospitalized patients, or to assist in a forensic investigation of a case of fatal overdosage. Patients with renal dysfunction may exhibit prolongation of elimination half-life for both the parent drug and its active metabolite, with accumulation of these two substances in the bloodstream and the appearance of adverse depressant effects.[54]
Edit Protease inhibitors, nefazodone, sertraline, grapefruit, fluoxetine, erythromycin, diltiazem, clarithromycin inhibit the metabolism of midazolam, leading to a prolonged action. St John's wort, rifapentine, rifampin, rifabutin, phenytoin enhance the metabolism of midazolam leading to a reduced action. Sedating antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs such as phenobarbital, phenytoin and carbamazepine, sedative antihistamines, opioids, antipsychotics and alcohol enhance the sedative effects of midazolam.[7] Midazolam is metabolized almost completely by cytochrome P450-3A4. Atorvastatin administration along with midazolam results in a reduced elimination rate of midazolam.[55] St John's wort decreases the blood levels of midazolam.[56] Grapefruit juice reduces intestinal 3A4 and results in less metabolism and higher plasma concentrations.[57]
Pharmacology Edit Midazolam is a short-acting benzodiazepine in adults with an elimination half-life of 1.5''2.5 hours.[5] In the elderly, as well as young children and adolescents, the elimination half-life is longer.[36][58] Midazolam is metabolised into an active metabolite alpha1-hydroxymidazolam. Age-related deficits, renal and liver status affect the pharmacokinetic factors of midazolam as well as its active metabolite.[59] However, the active metabolite of midazolam is minor and contributes to only 10 percent of biological activity of midazolam. Midazolam is poorly absorbed orally, with only 50 percent of the drug reaching the bloodstream.[7] Midazolam is metabolised by cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes and by glucuronide conjugation. The therapeutic as well as adverse effects of midazolam are due to its effects on the GABAA receptors; midazolam does not activate GABAA receptors directly but, as with other benzodiazepines, it enhances the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA on the GABAA receptors ('†‘ frequency of Cl'' channel opening) resulting in neural inhibition. Almost all of the properties can be explained by the actions of benzodiazepines on GABAA receptors. This results in the following pharmacological properties being produced: sedation, induction of sleep, reduction in anxiety, anterograde amnesia, muscle relaxation and anticonvulsant effects.[33]
History Edit Midazolam is among about 35 benzodiazepines currently used medically,[60] and was synthesized in 1975 by Walser and Fryer at Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc in the United States.[61] Owing to its water solubility, it was found to be less likely to cause thrombophlebitis than similar drugs.[62][63] The anticonvulsant properties of midazolam were studied in the late 1970s, but not until the 1990s did it emerge as an effective treatment for convulsive status epilepticus.[64] As of 2010[update], it is the most commonly used benzodiazepine in anesthetic medicine.[65] In acute medicine, midazolam has become more popular than other benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam and diazepam, because it is shorter lasting, is more potent, and causes less pain at the injection site.[60] Midazolam is also becoming increasingly popular in veterinary medicine due to its water solubility.[66] In 2018 it was revealed the CIA considered using Midazolam as a "truth serum" on terrorist suspects in project "Medication".[67]
Society and culture Edit Cost Edit Midazolam is available as a generic medication.[8]
Availability Edit Midazolam is available in the United States as a syrup or as an injectable solution.[68]
Dormicum brand midazolam is marketed by Roche as white, oval, 7.5-mg tablets in boxes of two or three blister strips of 10 tablets, and as blue, oval, 15-mg tablets in boxes of two (Dormonid 3x) blister strips of 10 tablets. The tablets are imprinted with "Roche" on one side and the dose of the tablet on the other side. Dormicum is also available as 1-, 3-, and 10-ml ampoules at a concentration of 5 mg/ml. Another manufacturer, Novell Pharmaceutical Laboratories, makes it available as Miloz in 3- and 5-ml ampoules. Midazolam is the only water-soluble benzodiazepine available. Another maker is Roxane Laboratories; the product in an oral solution, Midazolam HCl Syrup, 2 mg/ml clear, in a red to purplish-red syrup, cherry in flavor. It becomes soluble when the injectable solution is buffered to a pH of 2.9''3.7. Midazolam is also available in liquid form.[7] It can be administered intramuscularly,[14] intravenously,[69] intrathecally,[70] intranasally,[17] buccally,[71] or orally.[7]
Legal status Edit In the Netherlands, midazolam is a List II drug of the Opium Law.Midazolam is a Schedule IV drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.[72] In the United Kingdom, midazolam is a Schedule 3/Class C controlled drug.[73] In the United States, midazolam (DEA number 2884) is on the Schedule IV list of the Controlled Substances Act as a non-narcotic agent with low potential for abuse.[74]
Marketing authorization Edit In 2011, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) granted a marketing authorisation for a buccal application form of midazolam, sold under the trade name Buccolam. Buccolam was approved for the treatment of prolonged, acute, convulsive seizures in people from three months to less than 18 years of age. This was the first application of a paediatric-use marketing authorisation.[75][76]
Use in executions Edit The drug has been introduced for use in executions by lethal injection in certain jurisdictions in the United States in combination with other drugs. It was introduced to replace pentobarbital after the latter's manufacturer disallowed that drug's use for executions.[77] Midazolam acts as a sedative to render the condemned prisoner unconscious, at which time vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride are administered, stopping the prisoner's breathing and heart, respectively.[78]
Midazolam has been used as part of a three-drug cocktail, with vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride in Florida and Oklahoma prisons.[79] Midazolam has also been used along with hydromorphone in a two-drug protocol in Ohio and Arizona.[79]
The usage of midazolam in executions became controversial after condemned inmate Clayton Lockett apparently regained consciousness and started speaking midway through his 2014 execution when the state of Oklahoma attempted to execute him with an untested three-drug lethal injection combination using 100 mg of midazolam. Prison officials reportedly discussed taking him to a hospital before he was pronounced dead of a heart attack 40 minutes after the execution began. An observing doctor stated that Lockett's vein had ruptured. It is not clear which drug or drugs caused his death or what quantities of vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride were released before the execution was cancelled.[80][81]
Notable incidents Edit The state of Florida used midazolam to execute William Frederick Happ in October 2013.[78]
The state of Ohio used midazolam in the execution of Dennis McGuire in January 2014; it took McGuire 24 minutes to die after the procedure started, and he gasped and appeared to be choking during that time, leading to questions about the dosing and timing of the drug administration, as well as the choice of drugs.[82]
The execution of Ronald Bert Smith in the state of Alabama on December 8, 2016, "went awry soon after (midazolam) was administered"[83]again putting the effectiveness of the drug in question.[77]
In October 2016, the state of Ohio announced that it would resume executions in January 2017, using a formulation of midazolam, vecuronium bromide, potassium chloride, but this was blocked by a Federal judge.[84][85] On July 26, 2017, Ronald Phillips was executed with a three-drug cocktail including midazolam after the Supreme Court refused to grant a stay.[86] Prior to this, the last execution in Ohio had been that of Dennis McGuire.[87] Murderer Gary Otte's lawyers unsuccessfully challenged his Ohio execution, arguing that midazolam might not protect him from serious pain when the other drugs are administered. He died without incident in about 14 minutes on September 13, 2017.[88]
On April 24, 2017, the state of Arkansas carried out a double-execution of Jack Harold Jones, 52, and Marcel Williams, 46. The state of Arkansas attempted to execute eight people before its supply of midazolam expired on April 30, 2017. Two of them were granted a stay of execution, and another, Ledell T. Lee, 51, was executed on April 20, 2017.[89]
Legal challenges Edit In Glossip v. Gross, attorneys for three Oklahoma inmates argued that midazolam could not achieve the level of unconsciousness required for surgery, meaning severe pain and suffering was likely. They argued that midazolam was cruel and unusual punishment and thus contrary to the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they had failed to prove that midazolam was cruel and unusual when compared to known, available alternatives.[90]
The state of Nevada is also known to use midazolam in execution procedures. In July 2018, one of the manufacturers accused state officials of obtaining the medication under false pretenses. This incident was the first time a drug company successfully, though temporarily, halted an execution.[91] A previous attempt in 2017, to halt an execution in the state of Arizona by another drug manufacturer was not successful.[92]
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"Medicines Management Update" (PDF) . United Kingdom: National Health Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 December 2010. ^ "US DEA Schedules". Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. ^ "Monthly Report" (PDF) . Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). 5 July 2011. p. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 January 2012. ^ PR Newswire (6 September 2011). "ViroPharma's Buccolam (Midazolam, Oromucosal Solution) Granted European Marketing Authorization for Treatment of Acute Seizures". ^ a b Schulz S (10 December 2016). "Die fahrl¤ssige Hinrichtung des Ronald Smith" (in German). der Spiegel. Archived from the original on 10 December 2016 . Retrieved 10 December 2016 . ^ a b Watkins M (15 October 2013). "Happ executed using new drug". The Gainesville Sun. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. ^ a b "State by State Lethal Injection". Death Penalty Information Center. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015 . Retrieved 10 April 2015 . ^ Ekholm E (29 April 2014). "One execution botched, Oklahoma delays the next". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 13 March 2017. ^ Fretland K (30 April 2014). "Oklahoma execution: Clayton Lockett writhes on gurney in botched procedure". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 30 April 2014. ^ Ford D, Fantz A (16 January 2014). "Controversial execution in Ohio uses new drug combination". CNN. Archived from the original on 17 January 2014. ^ Sanburn J (9 December 2016). "The Drug Used in Alabama's Problematic Execution Has a Controversial History". Time Magazine. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016 . Retrieved 10 December 2016 . ^ Rebecca H (26 January 2017). "Federal Judge Blocks Ohio's Lethal Injection Protocol". NPR. Archived from the original on 16 March 2017 . Retrieved 15 March 2017 . ^ Blinder A (13 March 2017). "When a Common Sedative Becomes an Execution Drug". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017 . Retrieved 15 March 2017 . ^ "Ohio puts killer of 3 year-old to death in first execution in more than three years". 25 July 2017. ^ "Ohio to resume executions with new jab". BBC News. 3 October 2016. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016 . Retrieved 3 October 2016 . ^ "Ohio executes man convicted of killing two in back-to-back robberies". CBS News. AP. ^ McCausland P (21 April 2017). "Arkansas Executes Ledell Lee, State's First Inmate Put to Death Since 2005". NBC. Archived from the original on 28 April 2017 . Retrieved 28 April 2017 . ^ "US Supreme Court backs use of contentious execution drug". BBC News Online. 29 June 2015. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015 . Retrieved 29 June 2015 . ^ Porter T (6 January 2019). "Death row prisoner kills himself after execution halted". Tom Porter on Sunday. Newsweek . Retrieved 6 January 2019 . ^ Bowden J (5 January 2019). "Nevada inmate on death row whose execution was delayed commits suicide". Report. TheHill . Retrieved 6 January 2019 . External links Edit "Midazolam". Drug Information Portal. U.S. National Library of Medicine. "Midazolam hydrochloride". Drug Information Portal. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Inchem - Midazolam
United Airlines Stops All of Its U.S. and Canadian Flights - The New York Times
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 10:56
Business | United Airlines briefly stops all of its U.S. and Canadian flights. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/17/business/united-airlines-ground-stop.html United Airlines issued a ground stop on all its traffic in the United States and Canada, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's website. Credit... Chris Helgren/Reuters United Airlines briefly paused flights nationwide on Friday morning amid reports of a system outage.
The airline issued a ground stop on all its traffic in the United States and Canada, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's website.
In a statement before 8 a.m., the airline said it had ''experienced technical system issues'' and that all systems were working normally again.
''We are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible,'' the company wrote on Twitter, addressing consumer complaints. ''We're sorry for the inconvenience.''
Airlines occasionally pause flights, known as a ground stop, for technical reasons. Often, the stops are temporary and service resumes quickly after, though not without causing delays and possibly even some cancellations. Sometimes, a ground stop can be part of a more lasting disruption.
Gina Haspel Said Trump Was 'Like a 6-Year-Old With a Tantrum': Book
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 10:55
Former CIA Director Gina Haspel. Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo Haspel said Trump was "acting out like a six-year-old" after the 2020 election, a new book says. "We are on the way to a right-wing coup. The whole thing is insanity," Haspel said, the book adds. Haspel was particularly unnerved by Trump's firing of Defense Sec. Mark Esper, the book says. See more stories on Insider's business page. Then-CIA Director Gina Haspel told the US's top general that former President Donald Trump was "acting out like a six-year-old with a tantrum" in the wake of the 2020 election, according to a new book.
In addition to refusing to concede the 2020 election to President-elect Joe Biden and pushing groundless claims of election fraud, Trump fired (or tried to fire) a number of top officials '-- most prominently, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on November 9.
"Yesterday was appalling," Haspel said in a November 10 conversation with Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to Bob Woodward and Robert Costa's forthcoming book "Peril."
"We are on the way to a right-wing coup. The whole thing is insanity. He is acting out like a six-year-old with a tantrum," Haspel, a 35-year veteran of the agency, said, with the authors writing that she, too, was afraid of being canned.
Milley assured Haspel that "we're going to be steady," according to the book. "Steady as a rock," he added. "We're going to keep our eye on the horizon. Keep alert to any risks, dangers. Keep the channels open."
"Peril" and other books on the Trump administration released this summer appear to give insight into the final months of Trump's term, with the president's behavior alarming many senior officials.
In "Peril," Woodward and Costa say Milley placed a call to his counterpart in China to tell him "that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay" and that he would warn him if the US were to attack China.
One official told Politico that the conversation was "grossly mischaracterized" in the book, and the Pentagon has defended Milley, with the Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby recently telling reporters that "it is not only common, it's expected that a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would continue to have counterpart conversations."
The Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender says in his book "Frankly We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost" that then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also expressed concerns to at least one person that Trump would enter into a foreign conflict to try and stay in office after losing the 2020 election.
Trump's firing of Esper not only unnerved Haspel but also alienated another top advisor, David Urban, who told the president's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner that it was "a dick move" that made Trump "look out of control," Bender's book says.
The book also says both Pompeo and Milley feared that the new officials brought into the Defense Department and White House after the 2020 election were conspiracy theorists and could even have "links to neo-Nazi groups."
Tim Cook Faces Surprising Employee Unrest at Apple - The New York Times
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 10:46
Hundreds of current and former Apple workers are complaining about their work environment, a rarity for the once tight-lipped company.
When employees return en masse to Apple's campus in Cupertino, Calif., they may find a more activist workplace. Credit... Jim Wilson/The New York Times Sept. 17, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO '-- Apple, known among its Silicon Valley peers for a secretive corporate culture in which workers are expected to be in lock step with management, is suddenly facing an issue that would have been unthinkable a few years ago: employee unrest.
On Friday, Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, answered questions from workers in an all-staff meeting for the first time since the public surfacing of employee concerns over topics ranging from pay equity to whether the company should assert itself more on political matters like Texas' restrictive abortion law.
Mr. Cook answered only two of what activist employees said were a number of questions they had wanted to ask in a meeting broadcast to employees around the world, according to a recording obtained by The New York Times. But his response was a notable acknowledgment that the workplace and social issues that have been roiling Silicon Valley for several years have taken root at Apple.
Over the past month, more than 500 people who said they were current and former Apple employees have submitted accounts of verbal abuse, sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination at work, among other issues, to an employee-activist group that calls itself #AppleToo, said Cher Scarlett and Janneke Parrish, two Apple employees who help lead the group.
The group has begun posting some of the anonymous stories online and has been encouraging colleagues to contact state and federal labor officials with their complaints. Their issues, as well as those of eight current and former employees who spoke to The Times, vary; among them are workplace conditions, unequal pay and the company's business practices.
A common theme is that Apple's secrecy has created a culture that discourages employees from speaking out about their workplace concerns '-- not with co-workers, not with the press and not on social media. Complaints about problematic managers or colleagues are frequently dismissed, and workers are afraid to criticize how the company does business, the employees who spoke to The Times said.
''Apple has this culture of secrecy that is toxic,'' said Christine Dehus, who worked at Apple for five years and left in August. ''On one hand, yes, I understand the secrecy piece is important for product security, to surprise and delight customers. But it bleeds into other areas of the culture where it is prohibitive and damaging.''
Mr. Cook and Deirdre O'Brien, Apple's human resources chief, said in response to a question about pay equity on Friday that Apple regularly scrutinized its compensation practices to ensure it paid employees fairly.
''When we find any gaps at all, which sometimes we do, we close them,'' Ms. O'Brien said.
Asked what Apple was doing to protect its employees from Texas' abortion restrictions, Mr. Cook said that the company was looking into whether it could aid the legal fight against the new law and that its medical insurance would help pay for Apple workers in Texas if they needed to travel to other states for an abortion.
Mr. Cook's comments received a mixed reception from Apple employees on Slack, the workplace message board, Ms. Parrish said. Some employees cheered for Mr. Cook, while others, including her, were disappointed.
Ms. Parrish said she had submitted a question about what concrete steps Apple had taken to ensure that pay gaps were resolved and that more women and people of color were being promoted to leadership roles. ''With the answers Tim gave today, we weren't heard,'' she said.
Apple has about 160,000 employees around the world, and it was unclear if the newly public complaints reflected systemic problems or isolated issues that happen at many larger corporations.
''We are and have always been deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace,'' the company said in a statement. ''We take all concerns seriously and we thoroughly investigate whenever a concern is raised and, out of respect for the privacy of any individuals involved, we do not discuss specific employee matters.''
While the airing of Apple's workplace issues is remarkable to many people who have followed the company over the years, employee activism has become commonplace in Silicon Valley.
Three years ago, Google employees marched out of their offices around the world to protest sexual harassment policies. Last year, Facebook employees protested their company's handling of posts by President Donald J. Trump. And some companies have explicitly banned discussions that aren't work-related.
Image Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, in front of a photo of the company's late co-founder, Steve Jobs, in 2017. Credit... Jim Wilson/The New York Times But at Apple, the rank and file had until recently appeared to be doing their jobs with little fuss. Secrecy was a trait pushed by the company's late co-founder, Steve Jobs, who was obsessed with preventing leaks about Apple's new products to maximize the public's surprise when he unveiled them onstage. The employees who spoke to The Times said that, over time, that culture had extended to the broader workplace.
''Never have I met people more terrified to speak out against their employer,'' said Ms. Scarlett, who joined Apple as a software engineer in April and has worked at eight other companies.
An Apple spokesman pointed to a company policy that said employees could ''speak freely about your wages, hours or working conditions.''
Slack has been a key organizing tool for workers, several current and former employees told The Times. Apple's siloed culture kept different teams of employees separate from one another, another result of efforts to prevent leaks. There was no wide-scale, popular internal message board for employees to communicate with one another, until Apple began using Slack in 2019.
When employees were told to work from home at the beginning of the pandemic, Slack became particularly popular. ''For a lot of us, this was the first chance to interact with people outside our own silo,'' Ms. Parrish said. Previously, ''none of us were aware that anybody else was going through this.''
The complaints seem to be making an impact. When Apple this year hired Antonio Garc­a Mart­nez, a former Facebook manager, more than 2,000 employees signed a protest letter to management because of what they called ''overtly racist and sexist remarks'' in a book he had written, based in part on his time at Facebook. Within days, Apple fired him. Mr. Garc­a Mart­nez declined to comment on the specifics of his case.
In May, hundreds of employees signed a letter urging Apple to publicly support Palestinians during a recent conflict with Israel. And a corporate Slack channel that was set up to organize efforts to push Apple to be more flexible about remote-work arrangements once the pandemic ended now has about 7,500 employees on it.
Beyond the group activism, Apple is dealing with individual fights that are slipping into public view.
Ashley Gjovik, a former engineering program manager at Apple for six years, said she had complained to Apple for months about what she believed was inadequate testing for toxic chemicals at her office, as well as sexist comments from a manager.
After taking her complaints public this year, Ms. Gjovik was placed on leave and later fired. She said Apple had told her that she was fired for leaking product information and not cooperating with its investigation. She has filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Justice Department, she said.
Apple declined to comment on specific employees' cases.
Ms. Dehus, who worked at Apple to mitigate the impact of mining valuable minerals in conflict zones, said she had left Apple after spending several years fighting a decision to reassign her to a role that she said had involved more work for less pay. She said Apple had begun trying to reassign her after she complained that the company's work on the minerals was not, in some cases, leading to meaningful change in some war-torn countries.
Richard Dahan, who is deaf, said he had struggled at his former job at an Apple Store in Maryland for six years because his manager refused to provide a sign-language interpreter for him to communicate with customers, which federal law requires under some circumstances. He said that he had communicated with customers by typing on an iPad, and that some customers had refused to work with him as a result. When he told his manager, the manager said it was the customers' right, he said.
''Would it be OK if they said they didn't want to work with a person of color?'' Mr. Dahan asked in an interview via a sign-language interpreter.
He was eventually assigned an interpreter. But by that time, he said, upper management viewed him as a complainer and refused to promote him.
''Their culture is: Drink our Kool-Aid, buy into what we're telling you, and we'll promote you,'' he said. ''But if you're asking for anything or making noise, then they won't.''
AppleToo '' Medium
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 10:46
#AppleToo: Digest #3One of the goals of #AppleToo is to ensure that all those who have not had a voice, all those who sought help and found none, get a voice. Each of the stories included in this digest was submitted by a current or former Apple employee. These stories represent a systemic issue and the need to'...
Lame Cherry: The Expiration Date of a Dictator
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 04:43
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
Dictator Biden is being questioned by the same Bob Woodward press which is performing a coup against General Mark Milley. The question is the Biden cough.
‘Not a concern’: White House downplays Biden’s recent ‘repeated’ coughs at public appearances
Biden coughed often, and apologized for doing so, during his remarks Wednesday and Thursday at the White House and Tuesday evening at an anti-recall campaign rally for Gov. Gavin Newsom in California. “Many of us were in the East Room watching the president,” NBC News’s Kelly O’Donnell first posed to White House press secretary Jen Psaki during Thursday’s briefing. “We’ve seen him on many occasions where he has a repeated cough. What is the situation with that cough?” “It’s not a concern,” Psaki responded flatly. “We have a doctor who travels with him, obviously, who checks in if there is ever warranted, and certainly …
The reason Dictator Biden is coughing is as was exposed before the stolen election, he has Parkinson's Disease. His hands shook as Vice President. 
I have been around Parkinsons. I know the cough, the phlegm in the throat, the trouble swallowing, the degrading medical condition. The Lame Cherry informed you of this.
Now Dictator Biden, is exhibiting a problem. His handlers have re animated him with high doses of uppers and with Parkinson's meds, and only what DARPA knows. Now the DIA media is calling attention to the Biden cough. That means the groundwork is being laid to remove Dictator Biden.
It is vital to understand that Jen Psaki knows damn certain the Dictator is in a degraded state and there is a cover up by the medical team. It is vital to comprehend that with all the DARPA tricks and potions, Joe Biden is degrading.  He is choking on his own spit.
Defective Motor Control of Coughing in Parkinson's DiseaseMay 30, 1997 ...  These findings suggest that coughing  is impaired in patients with Parkinson's disease , and also indicate that, at least in patients in the less ...
http://arquivosdeorl.org.br/additional/acervo_eng.asp?id=762Deglutition and Cough in Different Degrees of Parkinson DiseaseThe reasons why TR is damaged in PD patients  are not clearly explained. It is known that deglutition disorders and  ineffective cough  reflex contribute to the ...
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4219343/Decreased Cough Sensitivity and Aspiration in Parkinson DiseaseAspiration pneumonia is a leading cause of death in people with idiopathic Parkinson disease  (PD). ... Although the pathogenesis of these infections is largely ...
There are five stages of Parkinson's before death. Dictator s actingBiden is closing out on Stage 3 and entering Stage 4. His outcome is more falls which will shatter bones which will not repair, requiring morphine and a lingering death of two weeks or drowning in pneumonia fluids, due to the Parkinsons.
The Dictator is prone to hallucinations. This is not an acceptable condition due to the Dictator's access to nuclear warheads and those around him as President.
There are five stages of Parkinson’s disease:
Stage 1During this stage, the symptoms are mild and unlikely to affect day-to-day functioning or life expectancy. The early signs of the disease may include tremors or shakes and changes in posture, gait, and facial expressions.
Learn more about the early signs of Parkinson’s disease.
Stage 2Stage 2 symptoms are moderate and become more noticeable than those in stage 1. They may begin to affect daily life and tasks but are unlikely to affect life expectancy. Symptoms in this stage include:
difficulty walkingmuscle stiffnessnoticeable changes to posturespeech difficultiesProgression to this stage may take months or years.
Stage 3At this stage, people experience greater difficulty with balance and movement. They are still independent, but daily tasks can be challenging. Falls are more common once people reach stage 3.
While the symptoms in stage 3 are still unlikely to affect life expectancy, a serious fall may cause injuries and other complications.
Stage 4Stage 4 symptoms are severe and limiting, and people in this stage are unable to live alone due to safety concerns. While they may be able to stand without assistance, they will require help to move and perform other tasks.
Complications arising in stage 4, particularly those resulting from the increased risk of falling, may affect a person’s quality of life.
Stage 5The symptoms at this advanced stage are debilitating. A person may be unable to stand or walk, and they may require a wheelchair. Those in stage 5 require assistance at all times and for all activities.
Hallucinations and delusions are common and affect 20–40% of people with the condition. This number increases with disease progression.
In stage 5, people may be more prone to injuries and infections, which could cause complications or be fatal. However, most people will still have a normal or near-normal life expectancy.
The Dictator complicated this in having Obama the Birther choose for him another unqualified Vice President.
The United States is in jeopardy. It has a degraded leadership, a corrupt leadership and an out of oversight police state and military junta.
Nuff Said
Chantix recall: Pfizer recalls smoking cessation drug for cancer risk
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 03:58
Pfizer is voluntarily recalling all lots of its popular anti-smoking drug Chantix for high levels of nitrosamine, which can increase the risk of cancer.
According to the notice posted on the Food and Drug Administration website, the recall is for all lots of 0.5 mg and 1 mg varenicline tablets.
The recall notice says that long-term ingestion can lead to a "potential increased cancer risk in humans, but there is no immediate risk to patients taking this medication."
The FDA said in an update Friday that patients should ''continue taking their current medicine until their pharmacist provides a replacement or their doctor prescribes a different treatment."
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Pfizer recalled some lots of the smoking cessation treatment in July and expanded the recall to additional lots in August.
The recalled drugs were distributed nationwide to wholesalers and distributors in the U.S., Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico from May 2019 to September 2021.
The FDA acknowledged the ongoing recall could cause a drug shortage and said to lessen the impact to patients, it will "not object to certain manufacturers distributing varenicline tablets containing N-nitroso-varenicline above FDA's acceptable intake limit of 37 ng per day but below the interim acceptable intake limit of 185 ng per day until the impurity can be eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels."
The agency said the "health benefits of stopping smoking outweigh the cancer risk from the nitrosamine impurity in varenicline.''
Patients with Chantix tablets should contact Stericycle Inc. at 888-276-6166 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET for instructions on how to return their product and obtain reimbursement for their cost.
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Victoria Nuland, key American figure in Ukraine's bloody 2014 'Maidan,' wants meeting with Moscow despite visa ban '' Kommersant '-- RT Russia & Former Soviet Union
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 15:22
One of America's most prominent diplomats, widely cast as the leading foreign force behind calls for regime change in the unrest that hit Ukraine in 2014, is hoping for a summit with officials in Moscow, Russian media reports.
Victoria Nuland, who serves as US President Joe Biden's Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, is said to have opened up bilateral channels with the Kremlin in an effort to secure a meeting with counterparts in Russia. Moscow daily Kommersant, which is known to have good sources in the diplomatic sphere, reported on Friday that authorities are considering the request and that "sources have made it clear that such a visit is highly likely," but that no date has been set at present.
"The meeting is being discussed '' maybe for November, but this isn't yet confirmed. So far, we haven't discussed the specifics of negotiators," a source in Washington told the publication.
Also on rt.com Victoria Nuland, US midwife to Maidan-2014, denied visa to Russia Nuland previously served as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs under former President Barack Obama. In 2014, she played a leading role in Ukraine's Maidan, handing out snacks and taking pictures with activists railing against the country's government. In the aftermath, she promised the troubled nation a $1-billion-dollar loan guarantee program and to provide assistance to its military, in response to Kiev's attempt to turn towards the West.
In a leaked recording of a call between Nuland and the US's then-Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, the pair appeared to discuss which opposition politicians should and shouldn't be included in the post-Maidan government, hinting that they were actively involved in discussions with activists. At the same time, Nuland suggested bringing in then-Vice President Biden to ''midwife this thing.'' She also famously expressed her view that they should "f**k the EU," by ignoring its input.
In 2019, the diplomat was denied a visa to attend a closed-door conference in Russia, with her name included on a blacklist maintained by authorities in response to sanctions against Russian officials by Washington.
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Fully Vaccinated Woman's Family Blames Unvaxxed For Her Death: 'She Was Infected by Others Who Chose Not to Be Vaccinated - The Cost Was Her Life'
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 14:31
Candace Ayers
A fully vaccinated 66-year-old grandmother died of Covid earlier this month and her family is blaming unvaccinated Americans for her death.
Candace Ayers, a beloved grandmother from Springfield, Illinois, traveled to Mississippi in July after receiving her second dose of the Moderna vaccine in early March.
''I took my parents to get that second jab, and we were all so excited,'' said their son, Marc Ayers. ''We are a family that believes in science. We believe in masks, and we believe in vaccines. We were ready to get back to normal.''
After her trip to the south, Ayers tested positive for Covid and was hospitalized for three weeks and put on a ventilator before passing away.
TRENDING: The Gateway Pundit Announces: AMERICAN GULAG - The Informational Website on the Jan. 6 Political Prisoners
The family blasted unvaccinated Americans in Ayers' obituary because she traveled to a state with a 'low vaccination rate.'
''This all could have been avoided,'' Ayers said. ''This could have been prevented by a few acts of kindness. They were in a state that had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. Getting a vaccine and wearing a mask for others '... had this been done, she would be here today.''
''She was vaccinated but was infected by others who chose not to be. The cost was her life,'' the obituary read.
''She is survived by her loving husband of nearly 43 years, Terry of Springfield; her children Marc (Samantha) Ayers of Springfield, and Amanda Foster and her triplet 5-year-old grandchildren Andie, Daniel, and Charlotte Foster of Springfield who were the loves of her life.''
The CDC has made it abundantly clear that 'fully vaccinated' people still spread Covid (and can die from the virus).
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky last month said that people who received the Covid vaccine early on are at an increased risk for severe disease.
''We are seeing concerning evidence of waning vaccine effectiveness over time and against the Delta variant,'' Walensky said.
Walensky continued, ''Reports from our international colleagues, including Israel, suggest increased risk of SEVERE disease amongst those VACCINATED EARLY.''
Australian conspiracy theorists and anti-lockdown groups share fake Covid check-in apps | Health | The Guardian
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 14:24
A fake check-in app is being used by Covid-19 conspiracy theorists and anti-lockdown groups to dupe business owners and keep location data out of the hands of contact tracers in at least three states.
Guardian Australia can reveal that conspiratorial websites and Telegram groups with at least 15,000 followers are sharing links that allow users to generate fake check-in confirmations on their phones.
The user simply enters their name and a check-in location, and the app instantly generates a check-in confirmation screen that is near-identical to those displayed on government-run apps in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
The app passes no information to government, making it difficult for contact tracers to find people in the event of an outbreak.
A side-by-side comparison of NSW's genuine check-in confirmation app (left) and the almost identical fake version (right), generated by Guardian Australia for illustrative purposes. Composite: The GuardianOne Covid conspiracy website, which the Guardian has chosen not to name, says the app will let people enter a premises ''without arguing with the business owner''.
''This simple workaround creates what looks like a covid QR tick of approval, but it doesn't send your private information to the government,'' the website says.
Users are instructed to ''flash the tick quickly'' to avoid business owners asking questions about the IP address that appears above the confirmation screen.
''Most people will see the tick and not examine the screen too closely,'' users are told.
Geolocation data suggests the app is hosted by a Russian web address and is coded in a way that suggests the involvement of someone with professional web development skills or, at the least, a skilled amateur.
Links to the app are being shared by some of the same Telegram groups that organised nationwide anti-lockdown rallies last month.
A fake check-in confirmation designed to imitate the official Queensland government app, generated by Guardian Australia for illustrative purposes. Photograph: Christopher Knaus/The GuardianThe Guardian has found links being promoted in at least six anti-lockdown groups which have almost 15,000 members between them.
''It's a false one to mimic the app that we all supposedly must 'use','' one Telegram user wrote after the link was shared in her group. ''Keeps no data on your phone and you can show the store person and they won't ask any questions.''
Deakin University epidemiology chair Catherine Bennett said she could not fathom why people would use such an app. She said data was only accessed by authorities in the event of an outbreak.
Deliberately avoiding checking in would only hamper contact tracing and extend the lockdown further, she said.
''Every time we slow down the identification of people at risk of infection, we potentially expose many more and the outbreak grows,'' Bennett said. ''Every time a case goes undetected in the community, we end up with not only more cases, but more infected people that won't even be aware they have been exposed, so they won't be tested until they are sick themselves.
''Failing to check in, or using a fake check-in app, is the surest path to extending lockdown.''
Nobody in ICU fully vaccinated: how one small mistake became fodder for conspiracy theorists '' videoUniversity of New South Wales public health professor Mary-Louise McLaws said Covid check-ins were critical for helping speed up contact tracing and ensuring proper isolation.
She said the fake-app threatened to undermine the current response to the Delta variant.
''Contact tracers are always catching up and if their speed of catching up is significantly reduced by fake QR codes, then the outbreak has the potential to be uncontrolled,'' she said.
How U.S. Generals Lied on 9/11 Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 14:16
Army Gen. David Petraeus is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on April 25, 2007.
Photo: Lawrence Jackson/AP
Pretty much every day since 9/11, the U.S. military has disciplined soldiers who failed to do their jobs properly. They have been punished for minor offenses, like being late for duty, and for serious crimes, such as murder or assault. Since 2001, there have been more than 1.3 million cases of discipline in the armed forces, according to the Pentagon's annual reports on military justice.
But the generals who misled Congress and the American public about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have not needed to worry about negative consequences for their careers. After 20 years of conducting a disinformation campaign about what was really happening on the ground, not a single U.S. general has faced any punishment. The reverse happened '-- they were praised for their deceptively upbeat assessments and given more stars, and when they retired with generous military pensions, they landed high-paying jobs on corporate boards, further profiting from their disingenuousness.
This disconnect is getting new scrutiny after the collapse of the American campaign in Afghanistan. Last month, a Marine officer posted a video in which he scorched the country's generals for the chaos of the evacuations from Kabul. His video went viral, especially on right-wing platforms that prefer to focus only on the war's final act under President Joe Biden. But Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller's video '-- which elicited a rapid reaction from the military's machinery of discipline, with Scheller being relieved of his command in hours '-- has stirred up a deeper critique of America's generals.
''Four-star general officers are treated with great respect in the U.S. military '-- akin to modern day viceroys,'' wrote Andrew Milburn, a retired colonel, in an article in Marine Corps Times last week. ''Their exalted position shouldn't ­permit them to execute without ­question an interminable and costly war to no end. Or, worse, to offer ­continuous assurance that the war was going well when it wasn't. '... Despite two wars that have seen their shares of disasters '-- not a single general officer has been relieved of his duties for incompetence.''
In Afghanistan and Iraq, several hundred thousand civilians and combatants have perished (including more than 7,000 American soldiers), millions of people have become refugees, and trillions of dollars have been wasted. Politicians were responsible for this, pundits were responsible, and so-called experts from think tanks were responsible too. But the generals were closest to these wars and most aware, or should have been, of what was happening. Few were closer or profited more than two in particular: Gen. Lloyd Austin, who is now secretary of defense, and Gen. David Petraeus, one of the most lauded military figures of the past 20 years.
Gen. Lloyd Austin prepares to hold a media briefing on Operation Inherent Resolve, the international military effort against the Islamic State, on Oct. 17, 2014, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images
A Meeting in BaghdadBack in 2003, Austin strode into a meeting at Baghdad's oil refinery and demonstrated how the U.S. military was well on its way to catastrophe in the forever wars.
At the time, Austin was the assistant commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, the backbone of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. A month earlier, U.S. forces had seized the Iraqi capital, which quickly descended into chaos. Austin was meeting on May 12 with the director of the Daura refinery, which was the target of nightly waves of looters trying to steal whatever they could '-- gasoline, cars, cash, office furniture.
Dathar Khashab, the refinery director, had one item on his agenda.
''The problem is security,'' he told Austin. ''The most irrational things are happening in Baghdad. Yesterday I lost one of my pickups.''
Austin did not want to hear that the occupation was wobbling. He blamed looting on criminals released from prison by ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, even though the looting was being done by pretty much anyone with a wheelbarrow or AK-47. He said things were improving every day, which they were not.
''We never promised to get rid of all crime in a city of 6 million, but we're getting our hands around it,'' he said. ''We're setting up new police, and we're doing it quickly.''
Khashab, dressed in work overalls, was having none of it.
''Things are getting worse, not better,'' he replied. ''Continuous theft is still here.''
Since 9/11, U.S. generals have consistently failed to see what was happening before their eyes, or they knew what was happening and lied about it. The conversation at the Daura refinery was an early look at this syndrome. There was little doubt to anyone with a clear mind that Baghdad, at that moment, was getting more dangerous. Austin insisted on his own reality.
''You compare the crime statistics today, after a war, to any major city in the world '-- the crime you have here is less,'' Austin said. ''There is a perception that crime is rampant. It is not.''
Khashab, whom I had been shadowing for a magazine article, was about to explode.
''But the Iraqi people in Baghdad are comparing the crime now to what they had two months ago!''
Austin was now visibly irritated.
''What you had two months ago was a brutal dictator who killed thousands of people,'' he shot back.
''Yes,'' Khashab replied, ''but we did not have people stealing cars and robbing houses.''
The meeting came to a cold end. After Austin left, Khashab started talking about setting up booby traps to ward off the looters.
A few years after the invasion, Austin returned to Iraq as the commander of U.S. forces there, and later he took charge of Central Command, the headquarters for military operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan. His charmed path became even more charmed after he retired from the military. In addition to drawing a monthly pension of about $15,000, Austin joined several corporate boards, including the board of directors of United Technologies Corporation, the military contractor that merged with Raytheon in 2020, from which he has received more than $1.5 million, and advisory boards at Booz Allen Hamilton and a private equity firm called Pine Island Capital Partners. Biden's secretary of defense owns a $2.6 million mansion in the Washington, D.C., area with seven bedrooms, a five-car garage, two kitchens, and a pool house.
Fatal ErrorsIn congressional testimony, in media interviews, and in speeches to their troops, Austin and the other generals who oversaw the 9/11 wars did the opposite of telling the truth.
''The Afghan forces are better than we thought they were,'' Marine Gen. John Allen told Congress in 2012, when he was commanding U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. ''This has been dramatic progress.''
Allen's successor, Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., was just as bullish.
''I talk a lot about winning these days, and I firmly believe that we're on a path to win,'' he said in Kabul in 2013.
In the same ceremony, Dunford's deputy voiced similar optimism.
''You will win this war, and we will be there with you every step of the way,'' said Gen. Mark Milley, who is now the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Austin, when he took his turn atop Central Command, parroted the happy talk of his predecessors. In Senate testimony in 2016, he said the Afghan military was fending off the Taliban and getting ''stronger and more capable.'' He added, ''Afghanistan remains a worthwhile and strategically necessary investment.''
It's crucial to understand what the generals were not saying. Austin, for instance, congratulated the Afghan military for having ''retaken and reestablished security in key areas, such as Kunduz.'' He did not mention that the battle for Kunduz involved a U.S. aircraft attacking a hospital and killing 42 civilians '-- doctors, nurses, patients. It was the kind of civilian slaughter that typified U.S. and Afghan military operations, and that doomed the war. Austin and an entire generation of generals did their best to avoid mentioning these inconvenient details, denying them unless they were confronted with irrefutable evidence, and then doing little in the aftermath to prevent these atrocities from reoccurring.
It would be dismal enough if the generals believed their own optimism, but they didn't, as journalist Craig Whitlock's new book, ''The Afghanistan Papers,'' explains. Based on secret interviews the government conducted with officers and civilians who served in Afghanistan, Whitlock's book offers overwhelming evidence that military leaders knew the war was failing and lied about it. The book cites an Army colonel, Bob Crowley, as saying that ''every data point was altered to present the best picture possible.'' Whitlock described the military's upbeat assessments as ''unwarranted and baseless,'' adding that they ''amounted to a disinformation campaign.''
A wounded staff member of Doctors Without Borders, a survivor of U.S. airstrikes on the organization's hospital in Kunduz, receives treatment in Kabul on Oct. 6, 2015.
Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images
Failures and LiesUnlike their counterparts in the worlds of politics or journalism, members of the armed forces belong to an institution that claims to aggressively regulate itself with an internal justice system that punishes troops who violate its code of conduct. Thousands of officers and enlisted troops are court-martialed every year; some are incarcerated in military prisons, and tens of thousands face lesser punishments, such as reductions in rank and other-than-honorable discharges. A review by The Intercept of the Pentagon's annual reports on military justice, going back to 2001, shows more than 1.3 million cases of nonjudicial punishment and courts martial. While a handful of top military officers have been punished for bribe-taking and other offenses in recent years, there has not been a whisper of the possibility of holding combat generals to account for the carnage they perpetuated.
''An officer who misrepresented, misled, and lied to Congress, under the standards of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, has committed a crime,'' noted Paul Yingling, a retired Army officer and author of a widely read article on generals evading responsibility. ''Captains and sergeants face consequences all the time if they lie or otherwise engage in dishonorable conduct. All I would ask is that we apply the same standards to the conduct of war that we apply to falsifying travel documents.''
Yingling's 2007 article was titled ''A Failure of Generalship'' and included a now-famous line: ''As matters stand now, a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war.'' A few years later, a similar critique came from Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, whose article in Armed Forces Journal, headlined ''Purge the Generals,'' suggested that ''a substantial chunk'' of military leaders should be fired. In 2012, the journalist Thomas Ricks, who had spent much of his life covering and studying the U.S. military, wrote a slashing article that described the history of American generals after 9/11 as ''a tale of ineptitude exacerbated by a wholesale lack of accountability.'' Ricks went on: ''Ironically, our generals have grown worse as they have been lionized more and more by a society now reflexively deferential to the military.''
Whitlock's book pointed to one reason the generals failed: cowardice. In one of the secret military interviews, a British general, Peter Gilchrist, who served as deputy commander of U.S. and NATO forces in the early years of the Afghanistan War, described his American counterparts cowering during meetings with then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. ''This was a real cultural shock for me,'' Gilchrist said. ''You should see these guys '-- and they're great men, grown up, intelligent, sensible, but like the jellies when it came to going in front of the SecDef.''
A Narrative of SuccessIt was 2005, still early in the disaster in Iraq, and the most famous general of the 9/11 era, David Petraeus, was telling me how wonderfully things were going.
At the time, Petraeus was charged with creating new Iraqi security forces after the original Iraqi army was disbanded at the start of the U.S. occupation. The bureaucracy he presided over went by the acronym MNSTC-I '-- Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq '-- and was headquartered in Baghdad's Green Zone, which was ringed by miles of blast walls, razor wire, and stop-or-die checkpoints. Petraeus had four computers on his desk, giving it the look of a currency trader's workstation, and there was a fruit bowl atop a mahogany table. He wielded a laser pointer to highlight statistics on a PowerPoint that was titled ''Commanders Brief'' and projected onto a flat-screen TV for his audience of two '-- me and another U.S. reporter.
The U.S. had distributed 98,000 sets of body armor to the new Iraqi forces, Petraeus said with enthusiasm, or what he wanted to be understood as enthusiasm. These Iraqi fighters had also been provided with 230 million rounds of ammunition, 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles, and 5,400 heavy machine guns. Four bases the size of Fort Drum had been established across the country, he added, with a total of 92 operational battalions of more than 40,000 troops. ''People keep asking when will the Iraqis take over,'' Petraeus said. ''They have taken over in certain areas.''
This was largely a fiction. The security forces in question were embryonic, generally ineffectual, and entirely dependent on not just American supplies but on American soldiers leading the fight. Petraeus was doing what pretty much every general who served in Iraq and Afghanistan would do, stringing together any data he could find that would masquerade as a narrative of success. The statistics on his PowerPoint were vintage Vietnam '-- find big numbers and call them victory.
I was in Petraeus's office to get his support for an embed with one of the handful of Iraqi forces that seemed willing to fight. They were called the Special Police Commandos, and Petraeus had dispatched one of his top advisers, Jim Steele, to work with them. I got a green light for the embed and caught rides on Blackhawks to Tikrit and then Samarra, north of Baghdad, where the Iraqi commandos were engaged in an offensive alongside U.S. forces.
The tactics employed by these U.S.-trained commandos were violently illegal. I saw detainees beaten up, I heard a prisoner scream from torture, and I witnessed a mock execution. After it became clear that I was seeing a lot of war crimes, I was abruptly told that my embed was over '-- grab my backpack and get on the next chopper to anywhere. I quickly made satphone calls to as many officials as I could reach in the few minutes available before being driven off the small U.S. base where I was staying; at the last moment, I was told I could continue for a few more days.
The cynicism of America's most famous general emerged after the publication of my story, which had the cover headline ''The Salvadorization of Iraq?'' '-- referring to the dirty war in El Salvador in the 1980s. I expected that Petraeus would be upset, because the tactics of his Iraqi pupils were clear violations of the Geneva Conventions. Instead, a few hours after my story was posted online, Petraeus emailed me to request a correction that would state he was responsible for standing up the Special Police Commandos. He was upset that I hadn't given him sufficient credit for creating these thugs in combat fatigues.
In 2007, Petraeus was named the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and became famous for implementing a strategy of counterinsurgency that he portrayed as focusing on protecting civilians and winning their hearts and minds. It was the opposite of what he was hoping to get credit for with his brutish commandos two years earlier; the contrast showed the lack of sincerity in either strategy. Yet those strategies had one thing in common: They provided a justification for keeping the war going, offering an illusion of victory on the horizon.
''The casualty figures showed that Afghanistan was growing more unstable and insecure '-- the exact opposite of what the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy was supposed to accomplish.''
Petraeus, hailed as a savior in Iraq, went on to command U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. While there, he painted a deceptively rosy picture of what was happening. As Whitlock notes in ''The Afghanistan Papers,'' Petraeus told Congress in 2011 that U.S. and Afghan soldiers were engaged in ''precise, intelligence-driven operations'' that killed or captured ''some 360 targeted insurgent leaders'' in a typical 90-day period and that the number of surveillance blimps and towers had increased from 114 to 184. ''The past eight months have seen important but hard-fought progress,'' he told the House Armed Services Committee. ''Key insurgent safe havens have been taken away from the Taliban. Numerous insurgent leaders have been killed or captured.''
But as Whitlock's book notes, ''military officers in the field knew the blizzard of numbers meant nothing.'' The more important truth was that civilian casualties were rising. ''The casualty figures showed that Afghanistan was growing more unstable and insecure '-- the exact opposite of what the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy was supposed to accomplish. U.S. intelligence assessments also cast doubt on the war's progress. Intelligence analysts in the CIA and the military prepared reports that were far more pessimistic than the pronouncements from commanding generals in the field. But intelligence officials rarely spoke in public and their reports remained classified.''
Public assessments from the generals were akin to a grift. In a scathing article last week, one of Petraeus's advisers in Afghanistan, Sarah Chayes, recalled how she made a flurry of proposals for stemming corruption in the U.S.-backed government in Kabul. ''None of those plans was ever implemented,'' Chayes wrote. ''I responded to request after request from Petraeus until I realized that he had no intention of acting on my recommendations; it was just make-work.''
Petraeus continued to float upward. In late 2011 he was tapped by President Barack Obama to head the CIA, but in 2012 he was caught sharing highly classified information with his girlfriend and biographer. He resigned from the CIA but avoided the felony charges and lengthy prison sentences that ruined the lives of other people who leaked classified information. Instead, Petraeus landed a lucrative partnership at the private equity giant KKR. He often gives speeches to friendly audiences, and he frequently appears on cable television, where in recent days he has sharply criticized the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
For military critics like Yingling, Petraeus should be answering hard questions from Congress, not getting softballs from TV hosts.
''Congress has the power to subpoena witnesses and compel testimony,'' Yingling told The Intercept. ''They can subpoena Gen. Petraeus, compel him to testify. They can put documents before him to ask him what he knew, when he knew it. And if they don't, that failure itself is complicity.''
Yingling knows that his desire for an honest congressional investigation is likely a fantasy, because America's political leaders have been co-conspirators with the generals in sustaining the bloodshed overseas. As the dust settles on 20 years of American warfare in Afghanistan, Congress is on track to approve a military budget that will be the largest ever.
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Why San Francisco Marathon runners will need to wear masks
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 13:48
Participants in four races must wear masks on some portions of the course, race officials announced in updates to the race's health protocols over the last two weeks. Photo credit Getty Images Updated on Runners in this weekend's San Francisco Marathon will need to carry some additional weight, or else they risk having lighter pockets afterward.
Participants in four races must wear masks on some portions of the course, race officials announced in updates to the race's health protocols over the last two weeks. Stretches of Sunday's marathon, half marathon and 10K races, as well as all of Saturday's 5K, are in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area run by the National Park Service, and the agency announced last month masks are required indoors and in "crowded outdoor spaces" on park property amid the COVID-19 delta variant's nationwide spread.
Runners who don't wear masks could be fined by the National Park Service or face disqualification, race officials said. The National Park Service has said visitors who violate the mask requirement on its properties "may be subject to citations as appropriate."
Julian Espinoza, Public Affairs Specialist with Golden Gate National Recreation Area, told KCBS Radio in an email that the event organizers are responsible for mask enforcement.
Kyle Meyers, Production Director for the San Francisco Marathon, told KCBS Radio's Eric Brooks runners won't immediately be pulled from the course, but they could be disqualified if officials get word they weren't wearing a mask.
"(Those portions) are significantly more congested than the roadways around San Francisco, so we're just doing our part to help mitigate any transmission," Meyers said of the race sections on National Park Service property. "We'll have all of our course volunteers in masks. We actually have signage for mask zones where those end."
Meyers said he expects the San Francisco Marathon is "probably" the largest foot race in California since the state started lifting COVID-19 restrictions, and "100%" the largest with masking requirements at any point on the course.
The San Francisco Marathon had not posted about the updated mask requirement on its Twitter or Facebook pages as of press time. Meyers said race officials have continually notified runners with emails about "any changes" to race information, as well as updating the race website.
Race organizers announced on the website last month runners would be required to wear masks at the starting line, strongly encouraging them to wear masks at the finish line and in areas where people congregate before and after the race. Runners are required to be vaccinated if they are picking up their race packet inside of the Sports Basement's Presidio location, while non-vaccinated runners have to pick up their packet outdoors on Saturday and must provide a proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within 72 hours of their race.
The San Francisco Marathon's race week health protocols first required masks for parts of the marathon, half-marathon and 10K races, all of which start and finish along the Embarcadero, in a Sept. 8 update. Meyers said race organizers waited to provide an update until then in order to see that the National Parks Service requirement would remain in place on race day.
"There's just been so many changes," Meyers said of evolving COVID-19 safety protocols this summer. "We try and keep up with them, but we also don't want to make multiple changes and confuse people."
Espinoza, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area spokesperson, told KCBS Radio in an email that the agency "greatly appreciate (organizers') flexibility in changing the parameters of the event to meet local, state and federal public health guidance."
The marathon goes through Fort Mason, the Presidio and along the Golden Gate Bridge, all of which are part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The half marathon goes through Fort Mason and the Golden Gate Bridge in the upper Presidio, whereas the 10K only includes Fort Mason. Organizers updated the website on Tuesday to include Saturday's 5K, the entirety of which takes place in the Presidio.
Marathon runners must wear masks for just shy of 6.7 miles, all of which occur in the first half of the race. Those runners can take off their masks at Mile 13.15, shortly after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge a second time and just shy of a half-mile into the steeper of the course's two climbs.
Masks will be required on the blue-highlighted portions of the San Francisco Marathon on Sunday. Photo credit San Francisco MarathonHalf marathon and 10K runners need to wear masks for 1.5 and 1.3 miles, respectively, outside of the start and finish lines. Each set will have to contend with small, rolling hills during their masked portions, but masks won't be required during the largest inclines of either race.
Masks will be required on the blue-highlighted portions of the half marathon on Sunday. Photo credit San Francisco Marathon Masks will be required on the blue-highlighted portions of the 10K on Sunday. Photo credit San Francisco MarathonMeyers said officials have received "pretty good buy-in from our participants" since announcing the changes.
"For the most part, people here are receptive," Meyers said. "It's kind of an expectation. From a conservative standpoint, San Francisco has been leading the charge on doing all things they can to keep everyone safe and protected, and we need to do our part."
1/9857 NOTAM Details
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 13:42
NOTAM Number : FDC 1/9857 Download shapefiles Issue Date : September 16, 2021 at 2218 UTC Location : Del Rio, Texas near LAUGHLIN VORTAC (DLF) Beginning Date and Time : September 16, 2021 at 2230 UTC Ending Date and Time : September 30, 2021 at 2230 UTC Reason for NOTAM : Temporary flight restrictions for Special Security Reasons Type : Security Replaced NOTAM(s) : N/A Jump To: Affected Areas Operating Restrictions and Requirements Other Information
Anti-vaxxers are calling themselves 'pure bloods' in a bizarre TikTok trend inspired by Harry Potter | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 13:24
'Don't call me unvaccinated, I'm a Pure Blood': Anti-vaxxers start Harry Potter-inspired TikTok trend declaring that their blood will be 'gold' in years to come - but are blasted for white supremacist undertonesUnvaccinated American people are calling themselves 'pure blood' on TikTok Term is inspired by J.K Rowling's Harry Potter saga, were villains use qualifierSome noted it could also be taken to have Aryan and Nazi ramifications as well By Claire Toureille For Mailonline
Published: 11:48 EDT, 16 September 2021 | Updated: 16:13 EDT, 16 September 2021
People who oppose vaccination have come up with a name of their own on social media in a new bizarre trend.
Unvaccinated Americans, who are often referred to as 'anti-vaxxers,' have started calling themselves 'pure bloods' on TikTok.
The term references J.K Rowling's Harry Potter saga, where old families in the magical realm consider themselves pure bloods and look down on those who married muggles - people who aren't born with magic powers.
Anyone with human blood is known as a half-blood, while those without magical ancestors who still have powers, like Hermione Grainger, are mudbloods.
The pure bloods were typically villains and enemies of Harry Potter, and his friends.
The term also has Nazi connotations, because Adolf Hitler believed blood purity would ensure the survival of the Aryan race, and implemented the Nuremberg Laws to avoid what he called 'blood pollution' from Jews marrying non-Jews and having children.
The fact that people who reject vaccination have started using the term has caused a stir online, with many saying those who are calling themselves 'pure blood' are missing the point.
Unvaccinated American people have started calling themselves the 'Pure Bloods' in a bizarre TikTok trend, pictured
It is unknown where the trend originated from, but several women have taken to TikTok to share similar videos on the pure blood theme.
One person said 'I want everyone to know I refuse to be referred to as "unvaccinated".
'From now on, you can call me a "Pure Blood",' they went on.
In the comments, people rallied behind the new moniker, boasting that their blood will be 'gold' in future years.
The short videos follow the same pattern: the person looked away while a text read they don't want to be referred to as 'unvaccinated,' before the text changes to 'pure blood'
However, not everyone was charmed by the use of pure blood and many pointed out the people using the terms did not understand why it was used by villainous characters in the Harry Potter saga.
'OK Draco Malfoy,' one joked, referencing Harry Potter's nemesis.
'Yeah, that "pure blood" Harry Potter reference isn't hitting like you think,' one said.
'Tell me you didn't understand the entire plot of Harry Potter without telling me you didn't understand the entire plot of Harry Potter,' one said.
One person said they didn't want to 'comply' and wanted to be called a 'pure blood' instead of getting the jab
Others were quick to point out the link with white supremacy, with one writing: 'You know who also appreciates being pure blood? Racists.'
Another commenter wrote: 'Our blood will be like gold in a few years. That doesn't sound white-supremisty [sic] at all.'
'Yes and none of you have ever had a vaccine in your lives,' pointed out another.
'This term has been used in history before... I can't quite put my finger on it but something to do with blue eyes and blonde hair,' one said, in an allusion to the Nazi pure blood ideology.
The use of the 'pure blood' terminology in Harry Potter was reminiscent of the same words used under Nazi Germany during the second World War.
The Nazi believed that the German, Aryan blood was the purest form of blood, and that Jewish or traveler blood, the blood of a gay person or of disabled person was 'sullied.'
The Nazis also believed that if you had a Jewish descendent, your blood was 'polluted.
Before the international conflict erupted in 1939, in 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were introduced, which forbade Germans to marry Jewish people in the name of keeping blood purity of the Aryan race intact.
Several women shared similar videos online, pictured, where they rejected the term 'unvaccinated
People pointed out that the people who used the term 'pure blood' didn't understand that the characters who used the word in the Harry Potter saga were villains
Europe vaccine update: Italy forces green pass, France suspends workers
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 12:08
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According to data from the European Centre for Disease and Control, 73.8% of Italians are fully vaccinated against the virus. But authorities want to avoid another surge in cases.France suspended around 3,000 health workers for being unvaccinated against Covid-19.A "No Green Pass" protest on Sept. 11, 2021 in Turin, Italy.
Stefano Guidi | Getty Images News | Getty Images
LONDON '-- Italy has become the first European country to make a Covid certificate mandatory for all workers, as countries start to take stronger measures in an effort to boost inoculation rates.
From mid-October, any Italian worker that fails to present a valid certificate will face suspension and could have their pay stopped after five days, the government said on Thursday.
The document, which can be digital or paper, outlines whether a person has been vaccinated, recovered recently from the virus, or tested negative for Covid. It was originally created at the EU level to support intra-European travel, but Italy was among the first countries to also use it as a requirement to enter venues such as museums and gyms.
According to data from the European Centre for Disease and Control, 73.8% of Italians are fully vaccinated against the virus.
However, authorities want to avoid another surge in cases as the winter approaches.
"We are extending the obligation of the green pass to the entire world of work, public and private, and we are doing so for two essential reasons: to make these places safer and to make our vaccination campaign even stronger," Roberto Speranza, Italy's health minister, told journalists on Thursday, according to euronews.
There have been a number of protests in Italy this summer against the use of the green pass. However, political parties and trade unions have so far supported the decision to avoid further lockdowns, which have hit many sectors hard.
The announcement in Italy followed a decision in France to suspended around 3,000 health workers for being unvaccinated against Covid-19.
France suspends unvaccinated health workersFrench authorities estimated last week that about 12% of hospital staff and 6% of doctors in private practices were unvaccinated against the coronavirus, according to France24. Earlier this summer, the government made vaccination mandatory for workers in the health sector by Sept. 15.
The country's Health Minister Olivier Veran said the suspensions were temporary and that continued healthcare was assured, during a radio interview Thursday. He told RTL that "responsibly caregivers were vaccinated to protect themselves and their patients."
Other European countries have taken a similar approach: Greece has also made vaccination compulsory for nursing home staff and healthcare workers and Italy has said that health workers who are unvaccinated could be suspended without pay.
In France, 80.7% of the population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The average across the EU stands at 71.5%.
Candace Ayers of Springfield, Illinois: In her obituary, a family says a mother's Covid-19 death could have been prevented if more people were vaccinated - CNN
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 01:28
(CNN) The day Candace and Terry Ayers got their second Covid-19 vaccination in early March was a day of hope and excitement for the entire family.
"I took my parents to get that second jab, and we were all so excited," said their son, Marc Ayers. "We are a family that believes in science. We believe in masks, and we believe in vaccines. We were ready to get back to normal."
But his mother, Candace Ayers, died nearly six months later following a July trip with her husband to Mississippi. Her death certificate says she died of Covid-19.
Her obituary, in the local newspaper, the State Journal Register, in Springfield, Illinois, read in part:
"Candace Cay (Kruger) Ayers, 66, of Springfield, passed away on September 3, 2021, at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, IL. She was preceded in death by more than 4,531,799 others infected with Covid-19. She was vaccinated but was infected by others who chose not to be. The cost was her life."
The tally represents the total global coronavirus death toll.
Marc Ayers believes his mother was infected when she visited Mississippi, where vaccination rates remain among the lowest in the nation. Only 42% of Mississippi's population was fully vaccinated by mid-September, according to the state's health department.
"This all could have been avoided," Ayers said. "This could have been prevented by a few acts of kindness. They were in a state that had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. Getting a vaccine and wearing a mask for others ... had this been done, she would be here today."
Full vaccination gave relatives confidenceBecause Candace had an underlying condition, her family was hesitant for her to leave town.
"My mother had severe rheumatoid arthritis. We were always the most concerned about her getting it because she was immunocompromised," Ayers said. "We were wrestling with whether they should have traveled.
"But things were looking so good, and with them being fully vaccinated, we just didn't have any thoughts of them going to Mississippi. The Delta variant was just hitting the radar. Breakthrough cases were rare at that point. Our worst nightmare came true."
Breakthrough cases occur when someone tests positive for Covid-19 at least 14 days after they have been fully vaccinated, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such infections can cause disease with symptoms, and some people can have no symptoms at all. Research has shown that if people become infected after vaccination, typically they get a milder case.
Between early April and mid-July -- as the Delta variant was gaining dominance -- fully vaccinated people represented 8% of all Covid-19 cases, 8% of hospitalizations and 9% of deaths, according to a CDC study published this month.
And Candace Ayers was especially vulnerable because she was older and had an underlying health condition. About 70% of breakthrough cases resulting in hospitalization were among adults 65 and older and about 87% of breakthrough cases resulting in death were among adults 65 and older, according to the CDC data.
The Ayers family is having a tough time processing Candace's death and wanted to try to inspire others to get a vaccine and wear a mask, Marc Ayers said. Sharing daily worldwide Covid-19 death numbers in her obituary aimed to make people take pause, he said.
"This was to illustrate that this isn't just an issue contained to the US, but it has a global impact," Ayers said. "My mom was a fighter. She kept fighting and fighting and fighting. We wanted to send a point."
The family has gotten positive and negative feedback to the obituary, he said.
"It's been really wonderful to hear from friends and strangers regarding the obituary. Because of our story," Ayers said, "people have told us they are getting vaccinated.
"Of course, there are negative comments as well, but the majority has been positive."
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also mischaracterized breakthrough infections.
CNN's Deidre McPhillips and Aya Elamroussi contributed to this report.
Trinidad & Tobagao Debunks Nicki Minaj's Claim of Testicle Side Effects in Press Conference
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 22:38
Everybody, hands out of your pants. We have a topic of interest to discuss. The health minister of Trinidad & Tobago, Dr. Terrence Deyalsingh, has issued a statement saying that there is no reported case of swollen testicles in the country, nor has there been a case reported anywhere in the world. Why is this something worth reporting on? Because on Monday, Nicki Minaj went on a Twitter tirade about the Covid-19 vaccine and reasons that she is holding off on getting vaccinated. Let's recap.
I suppose the best place to start is the first tweet, sent about ten minutes before Met Gala attendees were supposed to arrive. Minaj confirmed that she would not be in attendance, adding that if she were going to get the vaccine, it would not be for the Met Gala.
No need to get into my thoughts on that because there are bigger fish to fry. Much bigger fish. A mere fifteen minutes later, she launched another tweet, offering an anecdote about her cousin's friend who lives in Trindad & Tobago. Allegedly, after receiving the vaccine, his testicles became swollen, leading to his impotence. His fianc(C)e, in a particularly gruesome move, then left him.
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Heaven have mercy.
The internet had a real treat on its hands, making fun of poor Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend and his large testicle. For the record, no instance of swole gonads have been reported in the United States, though allegations of "infertility" have become a common conspiracy theory surrounding the vaccines.
Anyway, back to the balls. Minaj made no more mention of them the rest of the night, outside of telling Meghan McCain to "eat shit" when she quoted the tweet. Instead, she opted to post a poll about which vaccine she should get (Pfizer won, if you're curious). People started questioning if Minaj should be using her platform to question vaccines or encourage research, but to me, we aren't spending enough time talking about these allegedly-vaccine stricken huevos.
The next day, she posted that her cousin was trying to get in touch with her.
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On the third day, the Health Minister from Trinidad & Tobago rose, responding in an official statement.
One of the reasons we could not respond yesterday in real time to Ms. Minaj is that we have to check and make sure that what she was claiming was either true or false. We did'--unfortunately, we spent so much time running down this false claim. It is, as far as we know at this point in time, there has been no such reported side effect or adverse effect. And what was sad about this is that it wasted our time yesterday, trying to track down. Because we take all these claims seriously.
Dr. Deyalsingh continues on for a few more seconds, but it's that one line'--and what's sad about this is that it wasted our time'--that really stings.
To conclude, a few lessons:
Let us only post first hand accounts that we know to be true.Actually, just don't post at all.Do your Covid-19 vaccine research and only seek out trusted, medically-based sources.Marry someone who will stay with you, regardless of how large or small your testicles are.Pour one out for the Barbz.
Justin Kirkland Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
French Health Care Workers Suspended For Not Getting A COVID-19 Shot : Coronavirus Updates : NPR
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 21:28
Medical staff members tend to COVID-19 patients at the AP-HP Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris in April. Anne-Christine Poujouat/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Anne-Christine Poujouat/AFP via Getty Images Medical staff members tend to COVID-19 patients at the AP-HP Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris in April.
Anne-Christine Poujouat/AFP via Getty Images France's health minister has said that thousands of health care workers across the country have been suspended without pay for failing to get a required COVID-19 vaccine.
"Some 3,000 suspensions were notified yesterday to employees at health centers and clinics who have not yet been vaccinated," Olivier V(C)ran told France's RTL radio on Thursday, according to a France24 translation.
French regulations set a Sept. 15 deadline for health care employees to have at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine and show a negative coronavirus test as a condition for working, unless they have an exemption for health reasons or because they've recovered from COVID-19. By Oct. 16, health care workers must show they are fully vaccinated.
Defending the decision to suspend those who did not meet the deadline, V(C)ran said that "the continuity of care, the security of care, and the quality of care were assured yesterday in all hospitals and health-care facilities" in the country.
Several dozen employees resigned rather than meet the vaccine requirement, he said.
Despite the suspensions, "continued health care is assured," he said, noting that France has some 2.7 million health workers.
V(C)ran said that most of the suspensions were mainly support staff and only "very few nurses." He said most of them were "temporary."
France's main health authority reported that by Sunday, nearly 90% of care workers in nursing homes for the elderly had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to Euro News.
In recent months, France has seen mass demonstrations, turning out thousands of protesters who oppose the government's vaccine policies '-- including a "health pass" system introduced by President Emmanuel Macron '-- that they believe violates the rights of people who refuse to be inoculated.
As many as 200,000 marched one weekend last month and tens of thousands filled the streets for other weekend marches in some of France's largest cities, including Montpellier along the French Riviera, Bordeaux in the west and Strasbourg near the German border.
Macron's health pass, which began to be introduced in July, would require anyone wanting to enter a restaurant, large shopping mall, theater or long-distance train to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
This story originally published in the Morning Edition live blog.
Texas governor orders six points of entry along the southern border to be shut down - CNNPolitics
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 21:22
By Rosa Flores, Kacey Cherry, Rosalina Nieves and Melissa Alonso, CNN
Updated 4:37 PM EDT, Thu September 16, 2021
(CNN) Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday he has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to shut down six points of entry along the US-Mexico border amid a surge in migrants.
The Republican called the crisis dire and said "agents are overwhelmed by the chaos" at the border.
"The sheer negligence of the Biden Administration to do their job and secure the border is appalling. I have directed the Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to surge personnel and vehicles to shut down six points of entry along the southern border to stop these caravans from overrunning our state," Abbott said in a statement.
"The border crisis is so dire that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is requesting our help as their agents are overwhelmed by the chaos. Unlike President Biden, the State of Texas remains committed to securing our border and protecting Americans."
Earlier in the day, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Victor Escalon said that all the points of entry to Del Rio, Texas, will be shut down due to the overwhelming number of migrants there.
"Six, seven days ago, Del Rio saw 400 migrants sitting, underneath the bridge, the (point of entry) in downtown Del Rio ... there's about 6,000 sitting there right now and more are coming," said Escalon.
"Before I came here today, my last instructions are, we're going to shut down all the POEs in Del Rio," he said, following an update on Operation Lone Star.
CNN previously reported Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano said there were over 8,500 migrants under the Del Rio International Bridge waiting to get processed.
According to the US Customs and Border Protection website, the "Del Rio Sector is responsible for detecting and preventing the smuggling and unlawful entry of undocumented immigrants into the United States along 245 miles of the Rio Grande River and Lake Amistad that forms the border between the U.S. and Mexico. The area covers 55,063 square miles of Texas, and reaches 300 miles into Texas from the U.S.-Mexico border."
The crisis at the southern border has been a key focus of the Biden administration, though President Joe Biden has had to contend with losses in court cases over some of the policy changes they have made.
On Thursday, a federal judge blocked the administration from turning away migrant families with children under a public health order related to the coronavirus pandemic, marking a defeat for the administration which has relied on the order amid an influx of arrivals. The order takes effect in 14 days.
And last month, a federal judge in Texas ordered the administration to revive a Trump-era border policy that required migrants to stay in Mexico until their US immigration court date. Biden had ended the program earlier this year.
Meanwhile, border arrests remain at the highest level in decades, reaching one million before the end of the fiscal year and more than 208,000 in August alone. Some of those apprehended at the US-Mexico border are repeat crossers.
This story has been updated with additional details Thursday.
CNN's Priscilla Alvarez and Devan Cole contributed to this report.
France Cancels Gala Celebrating U.S. Alliance in Protest of America's Australia Deal - The New York Times
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 21:20
Politics | Expressing fury over the Australia submarine deal, France cancels a gala celebrating relations with the U.S. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/16/us/politics/france-us-biden-australia-submarine.html President Emmanuel Macron of France, second from left, and Malcolm Turnbull, then prime minister of Australia, third from left, on an Australian submarine during a 2018 visit by Mr. Macron to Sydney. Credit... Ludovic Marin/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images Sept. 16, 2021 Updated 2:49 p.m. ET Furious over President Biden's announcement of a deal to help Australia deploy nuclear-powered submarines, French officials in Washington on Thursday angrily canceled a gala at their Washington embassy to protest what they called a rash and sudden policy decision that resembled those of former President Donald J. Trump.
The event commemorating the ''240th Anniversary of the Battle of the Capes,'' which was to have taken place Friday evening at the French embassy and aboard a French frigate in Baltimore, will not happen, according to the official. France's top naval officer, who had traveled to Washington for the event celebrating their navy's help with America's battle for independence in 1781, will return to Paris early instead.
The gala's cancellation was an immediate reflection of the rage felt among French officials and diplomats in the wake of the submarine deal, which Mr. Biden announced at the White House on Wednesday with the leaders of Australia and Britain joining virtually.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, the foreign minister, in an interview with Franceinfo radio, called the deal a ''unilateral, brutal, unpredictable decision'' like those by Mr. Trump. That followed a statement from him and Florence Parly, the minister of the Armed Forces, calling ''the American choice to exclude a European ally and partner such as France'' a ''regrettable decision'' that ''shows a lack of coherence.''
The degree of French anger recalled the acrimonious rift between Paris and Washington in 2003 over the Iraq war and involved language not seen since then. ''This is not done between allies,'' Mr. Le Drian said. His specific comparison of Mr. Biden to his predecessor appeared certain to infuriate the American president.
Mr. Le Drian's indignation reflected the fact that France had its own deal with Australia, concluded in 2016, for conventional, less technologically-sophisticated submarines. That $66 billion deal is now defunct, but a harsh legal battle over the contract appears inevitable.
''A knife in the back,'' Mr. Le Drian said of the Australian decision, noting that Australia was rejecting a deal for a strategic partnership that involved ''a lot of technological transfers and a contract for a 50-year period.'' At issue is whether the United States intentionally hid the submarine deal from the French.
French officials in Washington said the Biden administration blindsided France and accused top American officials of hiding information about the deal despite repeated attempts by French diplomats, who suspected that something was in the works, to learn more. One official said the French government made attempts to talk to Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, but were rebuffed.
The official, who declined to be named in order to discuss private diplomatic conversations, said the American actions undermine the trust between the two allies and validated the belief of President Emanuel Macron and other top French officials that America is no longer a reliable partner '-- a belief that gained traction during Mr. Trump's four years in office.
The French officials said that the move by Mr. Biden on the submarine deal, along with his lack of consultation on the withdrawal from Afghanistan, will accelerate France's move toward European sovereignty that relies less on the United States in the future.
One U.S. official conceded that the administration did not tell the French about the deal before it was announced because they knew they weren't going to like it. The official, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the discussions, said the Biden administration decided that it was up to Australia to tell the French since they were the ones with a contract with them. The official acknowledged the French are right to be annoyed and that the decision is likely to fuel France's continued desire for E.U. defense independence.
But another senior administration official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the diplomatic discussions said that top aides to Mr. Biden had been in touch with their French counterparts before the announcement to discuss a new security arrangement between the Australians and the British.
In a statement that did not specifically mention the submarine deal, the official said: ''As the president said yesterday, we cooperate closely with France on shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific and will continue to do so.''
Friday's gala was supposed to have been a celebration of the U.S.-France alliance, with diplomats, lobbyists, journalists and others invited to mingle together. But the French official said that it would have been ''ridiculous'' to continue with the event in the wake of Mr. Biden's deal, as if everything between the two countries was happy.
Zolan Kanno-Youngs contributed reporting.
Italy to make COVID 'Green Pass' mandatory for workers -minister | Reuters
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 21:08
A man shows his COVID-19 certificate at Naples Central Station, Italy, September 1, 2021. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca
ROME, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Italy is set to make its COVID-19 "Green Pass" mandatory for all workersfrom next month, a minister said on Wednesday, becoming the first European country to do so as it tries to accelerate vaccinations and stamp out infections.
The pass, a digital or paper certificate showing someone has received at least one vaccine dose, tested negative or recently recovered from the virus, was originally conceived to ease travel among EU states.
But Italy was among a group of countries that also made it a requirement for people to access venues such as museums, gyms and indoor dining in restaurants.
It subsequently extended use of the pass for teachers and school staff, despite frictions over the issue in Prime Minister Mario Draghi's national unity coalition.
Regional Affairs Minister Mariastella Gelmini said the cabinet was ready to go still further when it met on Thursday.
"We are heading towards a mandatory Green Pass not only for public sector workers but also private sector ones," she told RAI radio. "The vaccine is the only weapon we have against COVID and we can only contain infection by vaccinating a great majority of the population."
Failure to have a Green Pass could result in workers being suspended and losing their pay. It wasn't immediately clear if it could be used as grounds for dismissal.
Italy has the second-highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe after Britain, with more than 130,000 people dying of the disease since the pandemic first surfaced in early 2020.
Around 73% of its 60-million-strong population have had at least one COVID shot and 65% are fully vaccinated, figures broadly in line with most other European Union countries.
Thursday's cabinet meeting may be a tense one. Right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, leader of the co-ruling League, has repeatedly resisted extending the use of the Green Pass, but his party is internally split on the issue.
Draghi met union leaders on Wednesday to spell out the plans. Maurizio Landini, the head of the country's largest union, CGIL, told reporters afterwards it was important that tests should be free for workers who did not want a jab.
"People should not pay to work," he said.
Opponents of the Green Pass say it tramples on freedoms and is a back-door way of forcing people to vaccinate.
Talk of making it mandatory for public sector workers alone has already triggered muted protests, which would probably be stronger if it were extended to private firms.
Several other European countries use the health pass for leisure activities and travel, but none has made it mandatory for all public or private sector workers.
Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and Emilio Parodi, writing by Gavin Jones and Crispian Balmer, editing by Nick Macfie
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Europe's energy crisis is making the market nervous ahead of winter
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 14:02
Round bales of straw drying on the field are seen in front of the power station operated by RWE AG near Rommerskirchen, Germany on August 10, 2021. The cost of natural gas and electricity has surged across Europe.
Ying Tang | NurPhoto | Getty Images
LONDON '-- European power prices have spiraled to multi-year highs on a variety of factors in recent weeks, ranging from extremely strong commodity and carbon prices to low wind output.
What's more, the record run in energy prices is not expected to end any time soon, with energy analysts warning market nervousness is likely to persist throughout winter.
The October gas price at the Dutch TTF hub, a European benchmark, was seen to climb to a record high of 79 euros ($93.31) a megawatt-hour on Wednesday. The contract has risen more than 250% since January, according to Reuters, while benchmark power contracts in France and Germany have both doubled.
In the U.K., where electricity bills are now the most expensive in Europe, power prices have soared amid the country's high dependence on gas and renewables to generate electricity.
British day-ahead electricity prices rose nearly 19% to reach 475 pounds ($656.5) on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The contract was already trading near record highs shortly after a fire at a U.K.-France power link cut electricity imports to Britain.
"By far the biggest factor is gas prices," Glenn Rickson, head of European power analysis at S&P Global Platts Analytics, told CNBC via email.
Higher gas prices have also been a "big driver" in lifting carbon and coal prices to record highs too, Rickson said, although he noted there are other supporting factors at play, such as low wind generation and nuclear plant unavailability across the continent.
Carbon prices in Europe have nearly trebled this year as the European Union reduces the supply of emissions credits. The EU's benchmark carbon price climbed above 60 euros per metric ton for the first time ever in recent weeks, trading slightly below this threshold on Thursday.
Read more about clean energy from CNBC ProThe EU's Emissions Trading System is the world's largest carbon trading program, covering around 40% of the bloc's greenhouse gas emissions and charging emitters for every metric ton of carbon dioxide they emit. Record carbon prices have made highly polluting sources of energy generation even less attractive because coal, for example, emits more carbon dioxide when burnt.
Rickson said the outlook for European power prices this winter will be "highly dependent" on gas prices, adding that he expects gas prices to rise even further in the coming months. "Aside from the 'average' picture, we expect prices to be highly volatile, with swings from low or even negative hourly prices when wind generation is high, to very high prices as already seen when wind is low, and demand is high."
How did we get here?European gas prices have accelerated since the start of April, when unseasonably cold weather conditions meant Europe's gas in storage dipped below the pre-pandemic five-year average, indicating a potential supply crunch.
Europe has since struggled to bring gas supplies that are necessary for the winter period back to where they should be. An economic rebound as countries eased Covid-19 restrictions also coincided with higher-than-expected demand that led to a shortage of gas.
This deficit is "making the market nervous as we approach winter," Stefan Konstantinov, senior analyst at ICIS Energy, a commodity intelligence service, told CNBC. "That is coupled with the very significant competition for LNG supplies from Asia and South America, which is driving gas prices up."
Further to this, Russia has been seen to slow its delivery of piped natural gas to the region, raising questions about whether this may be a deliberate move to bolster its case for starting flows via Nord Stream 2.
The controversial pipeline, bringing natural gas to Europe from Russia, bypassing Ukraine and Poland, is soon expected to be fully operational and could potentially resolve some of the region's supply problems.
"It is worth noting our view is that the start-up of flows in Nord Stream 2 is not going to materially reduce prices this winter," Murray Douglas, research director at Wood Mackenzie, told CNBC's "Street Signs Europe" on Thursday.
"We look like we are going to be locked into pretty high prices through the winter and I think particularly once we get into the New Year in January and February, where we get more of those cold snaps, we are going to be quite vulnerable to some sort of big intraday spikes," he added.
Climate crisis concernsEarlier this month, soaring gas prices and low wind output prompted the U.K. to fire up an old coal power plant to meet its electricity needs.
The move raises serious questions about the government's environmental commitments amid the climate crisis. To be sure, coal is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel in terms of emissions and therefore the most important target for replacement in the proposed pivot to renewable alternatives.
When asked how the U.K.'s decision to turn to coal could possibly be squared with the urgent need to dramatically scale down fossil fuel use, Konstantinov replied: "It's a bit ironic isn't it?"
Activists march with flags and placards, during the march at Extinction Rebellion's Nature Protest held in Central London about how nature is in crisis.
Loredana Sangiuliano | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
"If there was enough wind, it could maybe meet more than half or two-thirds of U.K. power demand on a relatively low power demand day. But instead what we are seeing is that actually we've got no wind and we are forced to fire up polluting coal-fired generation."
"At first glance, that doesn't tally up with the government's ambition to decarbonize. But this is very much driven by the intermittent nature of renewables: both wind and solar," he added.
The U.K. has committed to phasing out coal power completely by Oct. 2024 to cut carbon emissions.
"The fundamental drivers, i.e. high gas prices and high carbon prices, we at ICIS believe they are here to stay for the coming months," Konstantinov said.
Energy Prices in Europe Hit Records After Wind Stops Blowing - WSJ
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 13:59
Heavy reliance on wind power, coupled with a shortage of natural gas, has led to a spike in energy prices
Sept. 13, 2021 6:17 am ETNatural gas and electricity markets were already surging in Europe when a fresh catalyst emerged: The wind in the stormy North Sea stopped blowing.
The sudden slowdown in wind-driven electricity production off the coast of the U.K. in recent weeks whipsawed through regional energy markets. Gas and coal-fired electricity plants were called in to make up the shortfall from wind.
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Natural gas and electricity markets were already surging in Europe when a fresh catalyst emerged: The wind in the stormy North Sea stopped blowing.
The sudden slowdown in wind-driven electricity production off the coast of the U.K. in recent weeks whipsawed through regional energy markets. Gas and coal-fired electricity plants were called in to make up the shortfall from wind.
Natural-gas prices, already boosted by the pandemic recovery and a lack of fuel in storage caverns and tanks, hit all-time highs. Thermal coal, long shunned for its carbon emissions, has emerged from a long price slump as utilities are forced to turn on backup power sources.
The episode underscored the precarious state the region's energy markets face heading into the long European winter. The electricity price shock was most acute in the U.K., which has leaned on wind farms to eradicate net carbon emissions by 2050. Prices for carbon credits, which electricity producers need to burn fossil fuels, are at records, too.
''It took a lot of people by surprise,'' said Stefan Konstantinov, senior energy economist at data firm ICIS, of the leap in power prices. ''If this were to happen in winter when we've got significantly higher demand, then that presents a real issue for system stability.''
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At their peak, U.K. electricity prices had more than doubled in September and were almost seven times as high as at the same point in 2020. Power markets also jumped in France, the Netherlands and Germany.
Prices for power to be dispatched the next day rocketed to £285 a megawatt hour in the U.K. when wind speeds dropped last week, according to ICIS. That is equivalent to $395 a megawatt hour and marked a record on figures going back to 1999.
In electricity markets, the cost of generation at the most expensive supplier determines prices for everyone. That means that when countries derive power from thermal plants with comparatively high running costs, it boosts prices for the whole market. Operating costs at fossil-fuel power plants are high right now after a relentless climb in prices for gas, coal and carbon permits.
Energy prices could shoot even higher if cool temperatures stop gas stores replenishing before the period of peak winter demand, said Tom Lord, a carbon trader at U.K.-based Redshaw Advisors. ''You've got a gas market that's extremely tight,'' he said.
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Electricity, gas, coal and carbon markets have a way of feeding on one another. High gas prices prompted utilities to burn more coal, so they had to buy more emissions allowances. Expensive carbon permits then prodded energy companies to turn back to gas, whose price rose again because the fuel is in short supply.
The feedback loop has the potential to ripple into the broader economy. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde this month referred to energy markets as one of the main forces driving inflation higher.
Wind accounted for about a quarter of Great Britain's power last year, according to the system operator National Grid . After the wind dropped this month, National Grid asked ‰lectricit(C) de France SA to restart its West Burton A coal power station in Nottinghamshire. That won't be possible in the future: The government has said all coal plants must close by late 2024.
To be sure, abundant wind power has at times led to periods of cheap electricity. This month, however, U.K. wind farms produced less than one gigawatt on certain days, according to Mr. Konstantinov. Full capacity stands at 24 gigawatts. Maintenance work on subsea cables restricted electricity imports from France.
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Losers from the jump in prices include power-intensive companies that are due to renew multiyear energy deals and firms that haven't hedged their electricity bills.
Two U.K. energy retailers'--PFP Energy and MoneyPlus Energy'--went out of business when electricity prices spiked this month. The companies, with a combined 94,000 gas and power customers, didn't return requests for comment.
Winners include U.S. and Russian companies exporting gas to Europe, as well as renewable-power suppliers producing electricity with near-zero operating costs. Shares of Cheniere Energy Inc., a major U.S. exporter of liquefied natural gas, have risen 47% this year.
The price surge shows the need to have backup power supplies for moments when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine, said Mark Dickinson, chief executive of Inspired PLC, which advises companies on energy costs and climate change.
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Options include reserve thermal power plants, battery storage or cables for importing electricity from other markets.
Write to Joe Wallace at Joe.Wallace@wsj.com
Office tensions rise between the vaccinated and unvaccinated
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 13:58
Protesters rally against vaccine mandates at City Hall on August 25, 2021 in New York City.
Michael Loccisano | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Office politics have been a thing of the past for most of us over the last 18 months, as millions of people worked from home throughout Covid-induced lockdowns.
Now, as many employees return to their offices, tensions appear to be emerging along new lines: those who are vaccinated against Covid, and those who are not.
In the U.S. in particular, companies have taken a rigorous approach toward employees' Covid vaccination status, with many announcing that their staff must be fully vaccinated in order to return to the workplace.
Then, in late August, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid shot.
That approval is already inflaming workplace conflicts because it has meant that fewer employees can remain "on the fence" regarding vaccine safety, with some workers now hardening their stance on whether vaccines should be mandatory, particularly when it comes to their co-workers, according to one workplace consultancy.
Seyfarth at Work conducted surveys of hundreds of employees through to late August and found there was an increasing number of workplace conflicts related to vaccination.
Dividing respondents into two camps '-- the "vexed vaxxed" and "unnerved unvaxxed" '-- it reported that both sides of the debate, those for vaccination and those against it, felt a growing sense of resentment.
Darren Ford reacts to a mask mandate while presenting his vaccine card at Liberty Theatre on May 14, 2021 in Camas, Washington.
Nathan Howard | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Some 37% of companies surveyed by Seyfarth at Work reported that vaccinated staff were angry and frustrated at the transmission risk posed by unvaccinated workers. The consultancy cited one East Coast fix-it company worker as saying: "I have a grandma and a toddler at home. Why should some twenty-something science denier put them both at risk?"
Vaccinated staff are also reportedly annoyed at the prospect of having to cover for colleagues who may become ill, while others object to differing workplace rules (such as two sets of masking protocols) due to those that are unvaccinated.
The unvaccinated, meanwhile, are complaining about their treatment at work, with 21% of the companies surveyed noting that unvaccinated staff are "crying foul at what they consider harsh judgment by others or better opportunities for vaccinated office-mates" as well as the burdens of regular testing requirements.
Read more: Mask-wearing becomes a new battleground in England as Covid rules are eased
At one engineering firm, a group of unvaccinated staff have formed an ad-hoc support group (calling itself the "Vexcluded") with one group member explaining that "our vaccine fears have turned us into veritable office outcasts."
Corporate law expert Philippe Weiss, the president of Seyfarth at Work, told CNBC that workplace disputes fell into four categories:
Verbal and email/Slack/intranet altercations/argumentsSeparation '-- people refusing to sit or work near one-otherProtest '-- conflicts between employees and managers over policies affecting vaxxed vs. unvaxxed workersAngry online posts"In some workplaces we have seen a significant spike in hostility," Weiss said. "Human Resources contacts report the stress of attempting to manage the introduction of oft-changing Covid safety policies with, in some cases, an inundation of gripes from both the vaxxed and unvaxxed."
A protest against vaccine mandates in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 28, 2021.
UCG | Universal Images Group | Getty Images
Weiss said he expected the divisions to grow as more people returned to the office.
"Those individuals who were required to remain on site '-- or had to come to offices regularly during the last year '-- are already accustomed to changing workplace rules and have often developed some understanding and elasticity," he said.
"Now, millions of formerly remote workers returning, many of whose views on vaccine and other measures were reinforced after months associating with like-minded acquaintances, and they are apt to be less adaptable and open-minded."
Vaccine mandatesAnthony Mingione, an employment lawyer and partner in the New York office of law firm Blank Rome, said disputes and resentment over vaccination and mask-wearing in the workplace are coming to the fore '-- and it's having an impact on the return to the office.
"The tension between vaccinated and unvaccinated colleagues is a key issue behind the slowing rate of large-scale office returns," he told CNBC on Wednesday.
"One of the conflicts we are seeing is the clash between vaccinated workers who have returned to the workplace and unvaccinated workers who continue to work remotely," he said. "Many times vaccinated employees feel like they are being unfairly forced to shoulder work responsibilities for unvaccinated colleagues."
Read more: Fully vaccinated people are still getting infected with Covid. Experts explain why
Mingione said employers were now having to impose their own Covid policies, as governments relax the required safety protocols, finding themselves in a gray area.
"Without the cover provided by hard and fast rules, businesses seeking a return to the office must adopt work rules that get employees back onsite while also keeping them safe '-- all against the backdrop of a polarizing political climate," he said.
A sign is viewed at a restaurant in New York's Upper West Side on August 17, 2021, the first day where you have to show proof of having a Covid-19 vaccination to participate in indoor dining.
Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images
Lucy Lewis, a partner with global HR lawyers Lewis Silkin, agreed that this was proving difficult for businesses.
"Almost invariably, employers want to act in a way which is both fair and protects the health and safety of their workforce and customers," Lewis told CNBC Tuesday. "The biggest challenge is the lack of specific government guidance on the parameters of what they should be doing to achieve that and, in particular, the part that vaccinations should play."
Job retentionThere are a growing number sectors, both public and private, where employees are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Although the U.S. ruled out making Covid vaccination mandatory earlier this year, some states are moving to make the shots compulsory for some trades and activities. Such action has proved controversial, sparking large protests in parts of the country.
Last week, President Joe Biden was notably tougher on the issue, however, pressuring more private employers to immunize their workforce, as well as mandating the shots for federal employees, contractors and health-care workers.
The U.S. is not alone in this, with similar moves being introduced in the U.K. and other parts of Europe.
Vaccine policies in the workplace could determine whether employees remain in or leave their jobs, however, according to one study of more than 1,051 American workers over the age of 21 by Qualtrics, a customer experience company.
The survey, conducted in August, found that while most (60%) of employees support vaccine mandates for in-person work, almost a quarter of employees (23%) said they would strongly consider leaving their place of work if their employers mandated vaccines.
The survey found that support for vaccine mandates differs across industries, with 75% of workers in tech supporting vaccine mandates at work, while 58% of government employees support mandates.
More men (63%) support vaccine mandates at work than women (56%), and political affiliation also affected the evident level of support, with 81% of those who identifying as Democrats saying they support vaccine mandates at work, while only 45% of Republicans said the same.
Some employers have been reluctant to enforce workplace rules on vaccines and masks in an effort to avoid conflict, Blank Rome's Mingione added, but that could lead to more conflicts down the road.
"Selective enforcement of any policy '-- even with good intentions '-- can lead to dropping morale, employee conflicts and low productivity," he said. "As the Delta variant runs rampant and stories of breakthrough infections permeate the news cycle, these workplace conflicts have continued to increase.
Read more: Fully vaccinated people are still getting infected with Covid. Experts explain why
Youth Climate Anxiety - Launch of global study Tickets, Tue, Sep 14, 2021 at 2:00 PM | Eventbrite
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 13:53
Event description
Join us for the launch of a groundbreaking new scientific study - largest international survey of climate anxiety in children & young people
About this eventTo watch the livestream of this launch, visit:
The event will:
reveal findings from a survey* of 10,000 children and young peopleshow clearly how the reality of climate change, together with government inaction, is linked to high levels of psychological distress bring together world-leading experts in the field of mental health and human rights, alongside powerful youth activists, to discuss the problem and what can be done Panelists:
Caroline Hickman: lead author of the study, psychotherapist, academic and researcher at the University of Bath, Climate Psychology Alliance.Elizabeth Marks: lead author of the study, clinical psychologist, lecturer in Psychology at the University of Bath. Luisa Neubauer: German youth activist.Jennifer Uchendu: Nigerian youth activist.Elouise Mayall: co-author of the study, Member of the UK Youth Climate Coalition, and co-organiser of the Local Council of Youth 2019.Natasa Mavronicola: human rights expert at the University of Birmingham.*This is the first large-scale, global study of climate anxiety in children and young people. It was funded by Avaaz and conducted by an international group of psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and young people with expertise in mental health, trauma and climate change, across six different universities:
Caroline Hickman, University of Bath | Dr. Elizabeth Marks, University of BathDr. Panu Pihkala, University of HelsinkiDr. Susan Clayton, The College of WoosterDr. Eric Lewandowski, NYU Langone Health, Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryElouise E. Mayall, University of East AngliaDr. Britt Wray, Stanford University and London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineDr. Catriona Mellor, Oxford Health NHS Foundation TrustDr. Lise van Susteren, Climate Psychiatry AllianceDate and timeLocationOnline event
VIDEO - Psaki: Not 'concerned' by President Biden's cough
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 14:30
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki offered no explanation as to the reason behind President Biden's persistent cough. She classified it as not being "an issue of concern." (Sept. 16)
VIDEO - Australia had 'deep and grave' concerns about French submarines' capabilities, PM says - CNN
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 12:36
(CNN)Australia was concerned the conventional submarines it ordered from France would not meet its strategic needs before it canceled the multibillion defense deal in favor of an agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom earlier this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday.
Seeking to explain the sudden U-turn that caused
huge anger in Paris, Morrison said that while he understood France's disappointment over the issue, "Australia's national interest comes first."
"It must come first and did come first and Australia's interests are best served by the trilateral partnership I've been able to form with President Biden and Prime Minister Johnson," he said at a news conference on Sunday.
The decision by Australia to ditch the French deal and
attain nuclear-powered submarines through a new agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom appeared to have taken France by surprise earlier this week.
French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said on Sunday that President Emmanuel Macron will hold a phone call with the US President Joe Biden in the next few days "to move forward."
Speaking to the France 2 TV channel on Saturday, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the decision to scrap the deal that had been in the works since 2016 amounted to a "crisis."
"There has been lying, duplicity, a major breach of trust and contempt. This will not do. Things are not going well between us, they're not going well at all," he said.
In a sign of just serious the escalation was, France had recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia for consultation in response to the announcement, the diplomatic equivalent of slamming the door shut following an argument.
The cancellation of the deal has real economic consequences for France. French submarine builder Naval Group said 500 of its employees in Australia and a 650 in France are affected by the breakdown of the agreement.
The company said Sunday it suspended its recruitment efforts in order to prioritize the needs of those affected by the contract coming to an end.
But Morrison defended the decision on Sunday, saying there had been concerns about the deal with France even before it was canceled.
"We had deep and grave concerns that the capability being delivered by the Attack-class submarine was not going to meet our strategic interests and we had made very clear that we would be making a decision based on our strategic national interest," he said.
Le Drian also criticized the UK for its role in the deal, saying: "Great Britain, there is no need, we know their permanent opportunism, so there is no need to bring our ambassador to explain it to us. In fact, in this matter, Great Britain is a bit of a fifth wheel."
UK's new Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the UK was seeking to build partnerships with "like-minded countries." Writing in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, she said the new deal with Australia and the US shows Britain's "readiness to be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices and malign acts."
CNN's Martin Goillandeau in London and CNN's Joseph Ataman in Paris contributed reporting.
VIDEO - Trudeau focused on pressing through the weekend | CP24.com
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 11:57
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VIDEO - Mum interrupts school board Covid meeting to go on utterly bizarre anal sex rant - Daily Star
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 11:34
A mum took a serious school board meeting on a wild detour when she complained about finding a sexually explicit book in the library of one of its middle schools.
Kara Bell, who is also Lake Travis School board candidate, interrupted a Covid-19 related board meeting to request that the book be removed from her daughter's school.
The board meeting, which was livestreamed online, sees Kara walking up to the podium and quoting an excerpt from the book Out of Darkness, a book displayed in the school library.
She says the phrases and words suggest anal sex, adding: "I do not want my children to learn about anal sex in middle school.
Kara Bell read out an excerpt from a book she found in a school library and said it is sexually explicit to students (Image: Lake Travis School Board) Read MoreRelated ArticlesSicko who wrote 'ped dad' on his penis asked mum if he could rape her daughtersRead MoreRelated Articles'I'm a stay-at-home mum at 22, my man showers me with cars as he knows how hard I work'"I've never had anal sex. I don't want to have anal sex.
"I don't want my kids having anal sex. I want you to start focusing on education and not public health."
Her microphone is muted and her time at the podium is cut short.
The book Kara mentioned is written by Ashley Hope P(C)rez and it chronicles a "love affair between an African American boy and a Mexican American girl against the backdrop of a horrific 1937 explosion in East Texas, which killed nearly 300 schoolchildren and teachers".
Lake Travis Independent School District confirmed on Thursday that they pulled the book from the libraries of its two middle schools following Bell's complaint.
She then went on to tell the committee about her opinion on having anal sex (Image: Lake Travis School Board) "A district possesses significant discretion to determine the content of its school libraries," a spokesperson told KXAN.
"A district must, however, exercise its discretion in a manner consistent with the First Amendment.
"A district shall not remove materials from a library for the purpose of denying students access to ideas with which the district disagrees.
"A district may remove materials, because they are pervasively vulgar or based solely upon the educational suitability of the books in question."
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Read MoreRelated ArticlesHorrified woman finds snakes 'having an orgy' on top of her washing machineRead MoreRelated ArticlesSchool suspends teacher following huge outcry after he allegedly called pupils 'r*****s'
Sun, 19 Sep 2021 11:25
VIDEO - Michael P Senger on Twitter: "Bill Maher: ''Survey in @nytimes'...chances that you would have to go to the hospital if you got COVID?'... The answer is between 1 and 5%'...but 41% of Democrats thought it was over 50%'... 79% of Democrats thought it w
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 23:10
Michael P Senger : Bill Maher: ''Survey in @nytimes'...chances that you would have to go to the hospital if you got COVID?'... The answer is'... https://t.co/ygAxQRwtzv
Sat Sep 18 19:55:18 +0000 2021
borisfly : @MichaelPSenger @nytimes Low incidence, big numbers, big troubles, 2600 deaths just yesterday.
Sat Sep 18 22:58:46 +0000 2021
Matthew Winings : @MichaelPSenger @nytimes There is another worthless piece of dog shit bill hefner.. You are sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sat Sep 18 22:48:53 +0000 2021
Jan Brauner : @MichaelPSenger @nytimes Hard to grapple with ALL the *IS* that AREN'T! 🂠https://t.co/eIf1mpfF1n
Sat Sep 18 22:47:20 +0000 2021
trustno1mrmulder : @MichaelPSenger @ThomasEWoods @nytimes New research shows incidental and mild infections account for a large and ri'... https://t.co/geprKv46g2
Sat Sep 18 22:38:28 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Nicki Minaj Posts Phone Numbers of Reporters Harassing Her Family in Trinidad '' Freedom First Network
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 22:55
Singer Nicki Minaj is mad. She's so mad she's posting phone numbers and screen captures of conversations with reporters trying to get the scoop on her family members in Trinidad. Some of her millions of fans have taken it on themselves to harass the reporters as a result.
It all started earlier in the week when Minaj expressed her hesitancy over the Covid-19 injections. She told a story about a friend of her cousin in Trinidad who had a very bad experience following his jabs.
Media outlets have been trying to score interviews with the cousin and the cousin's friend with no luck. At least two reporters have gone too far in Minaj's book, so she posted their phone numbers on Instagram. She called out one of the reporters who was making veiled threats against her cousin.
Note: Explicit language. Phone numbers omitted.
Minaj began by posting the conversation between her cousin and The Guardian reporter Sharlene Rampersad:
Next, Minaj made threats.
Minaj then posted the contact information for Daily Mail reporter James Fielding.
Minaj then turned her attention back to Rampersad:
Shortly after the posts went up and Minaj started Tweeting at her, Rampersad deleted her Twitter account.
Less than an hour after deleting her accounts, Rampersad appeared to reactivate them. Here are Minaj's Tweets that were directed at her:
So far, neither Instagram nor Twitter has taken action against Minaj, though they probably will. Twitter suspended her account temporarily after the anti-vaxx Tweets. Adding this spat to the mix may get her banned permanently. Let's hope not. Any voice of resolve regarding the innjections is a necessary one as we fight the medical dictatorship.
VIDEO - Gianni Russo on Having a Role in the Mafia Killing JFK (Part 6) - YouTube
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 14:20
VIDEO - Teacher Believes That Students Following Directions Is A Form Of White Supremacy - YouTube
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 14:09
VIDEO - Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee '' 9/17/2021 - YouTube
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 12:51
VIDEO - Nicki Minaj Blasts Don Lemon, Calls Him "Uncle Tomiana": "Def Has A Little D*ck"
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 10:59
Lemon suggested that anyone who does not get the vaccine & believes "the lies on the internet" should be shamed and left behind.
It has been a story that has trended for days, and it does not look like Nicki Minaj's battle with pro-vaxxers is slowing down anytime soon. The Rap icon has been in the middle of a social media war after being accused of spreading misinformation about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. This has somehow snowballed into accusations that Nicki is being silenced for not being vaccinated and questioning the vaccine, and now Don Lemon seemingly addressed the controversy on CNN's Cuomo Prime Time.
"The people who aided and abetted Trump are stupid because they believed his big lie," said Lemon. "The people who are not getting vaccines, who are believing the lies on the internet instead of science, it's time to start shaming them or leave them behind because they are keeping the majority of Americans behind," Lemon said on CNN's Cuomo Prime Time Wednesday night.
Frazer Harrison / Staff / Getty Images"The people talking about, 'I don't know what's in the shot,'" he continued. "You know what they get shots in nowadays? In their rear ends, they're getting shots to make it bigger. They're getting shots in their face. They don't know what's in Botox... You don't have to listen to a minority of people who are being harmful to the greater good and who are not acting on logic, reason, and science."
Nicki took to her Instagram Story to target Lemon and some believe she was speaking about his sexuality in her opening line. "Now if I start discussing what you get in YOUR rear end, I'd be wrong right?" she stated. "If you're ever discussing facts with a person who's telling you how to buy, or get smthng & you go 'ok cool, tell me more about it' and they start insulting you, RUN."
She once again rehashed her "Uncle Tomiana" insult and suggested that she is being demonized for "asking questions" about the vaccine. "I'm stuck in a fkng Will Ferrell movie," Minaj added before making another joke about Lemon's "rear end" remark. "He couldn't wait to deliver that line. He rehearsed it all night. Def has a little d*ck. Mad cuz the shot couldn't fix THAT. 3-4 inches max."
Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj's fans have been protesting outside of the Center of Disease Control's headquarters with picket signs. Check it out below.
VIDEO - After years of being 'squeaky clean,' the Federal Reserve is surrounded by controversy
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 10:24
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The Federal Reserve has a big meeting on tap next week, one that will be held under the cloud of an ethical dilemma.Reports in recent days indicate that Fed officials have been trading stocks and bonds that could be influenced at least indirectly by their decisions.The Fed lives on its credibility, and some of the recent problems could dent that.The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Federal Reserve has a big meeting on tap next week, one that will be held under the cloud of an ethical dilemma and will be run by a policymaking committee that finds itself with fairly pronounced divisions about the path ahead.
Markets largely expect the Fed to follow the two-day session with no major decisions, but rather just the first but significant nods that the historically easy money pandemic-era accommodation is coming to an end soon if slowly.
"Tapering" will be the word of the day when the post-meeting statement is issued Wednesday, at which time individual officials also will release their forecasts on the future arc of interest rates as well as economic growth and inflation.
All of that will be set against a backdrop of controversy: News reports in recent days indicate that Fed officials have been trading stocks and bonds that could be influenced at least indirectly by their policy decisions.
At the same time, speeches over the past several weeks indicate a schism between those who say the time is now to start tightening policy and those who'd rather wait.
For the normally staid Fed, the present circumstances are unusual and could yield some interesting dynamics.
"I think it's embarrassing for the Fed. It had such a squeaky-clean reputation," Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments, said of the trading controversy that largely involved regional Presidents Robert Kaplan of Dallas and Eric Rosengren of Boston. "But I don't think it's going to change policy in any regard at all. I think it will be rearview mirror pretty soon, assuming there's no other shoe to drop."
Valliere did note the issue will help fuel Fed critics such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who had been a vocal detractor of the Fed's looser regulatory approach in the years since the 2008-09 financial crisis.
A matter of credibilityMore than that, though, the Fed lives on its credibility, and some of the recent problems could dent that.
There's the market credibility issue '' Wall Street and investors need to believe that the Fed is at least mostly unified in its monetary policy approach to setting interest rates and associated moves that have market impact. Then there's the public credibility '' at a time when faith in Washington's institutions has plunged, ethical missteps only add to that and can have repercussions, especially at such a delicate time.
"The ethics here look bad. They should have known better," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief economist for the Americas at Natixis and former chief economist of the National Economic Council during the Trump administration. "Once you lose that moral authority, it's a problem."
Rosengren, Kaplan and any other Fed officials who traded stocks didn't violate laws or policies. In fact, that's become part of the criticism leveled in some circles '' that following the financial crisis the Fed didn't do a housecleaning when it came to internal rules to make sure it avoided the kinds of conflicts that came to light during the crisis.
"Keep in mind, they already have [trading] rules they imposed on banks, for example, and yet the Fed's governors don't live by those same rules," said Christopher Whalen, a Fed veteran and now chairman of Whalen Global Advisors. "After Dodd-Frank [the post-crisis banking reforms], every agency in Washington tightened up little conflicts like insider trading. And yet the Fed is somehow exempt from those rules? They look ridiculous."
For its part, the Fed has noted that it is following rules for other government agencies and has supplemental rules as well.
Jerome Powell, nominee to be chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, shakes hands with US Senator Elizabeth Warren (R), Democrat of Massachusetts, prior to testifying during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
Still, a spokesman for the central bank said Thursday that Chairman Jerome Powell has directed Fed staff "to take a fresh and comprehensive look at the ethics rules around permissible financial holdings and activities by senior Fed officials."
"This review will assist in identifying ways to further tighten those rules and standards. The Board will make changes, as appropriate, and any changes will be added to the Reserve Bank Code of Conduct," the official added.
The controversy comes against a delicate set of circumstances for the Fed.
The central bank is preparing to take its first steps to normalize policy again, after slashing benchmark interest rates to zero and doubling the size of its balance sheet through more than $4 trillion in bond purchases.
Fed officials are divided on policy: By Goldman Sachs' count, six officials who have spoken publicly on the issue of tapering asset purchases are for it and six are against. On inflation, while Powell has said he expects price pressures to recede fairly soon, at least six Fed officials, including Governor Christopher Waller, have said they anticipate inflation to remain above the central bank's 2% target beyond 2021.
One more complication thrown into the mix is that Powell's term is set to expire in February, and President Joe Biden is expected to announce soon his preferred choice to lead the bank ahead. Most on Wall Street expect Powell to be nominated again, but there's growing sentiment that Biden will move out Randal Quarles as vice chairman in charge of bank supervision and replace him with Governor Lael Brainard, who likely would use a heavier hand in bank regulation.
Amid all those pressures, Powell will have to make sure the Fed gets policy right and is able to clear away some of the contentiousness of late.
"It's not a fait accompli that Jerome Powell is reappointed," said LaVorgna, the Natixis economist. "The administration is understandably going to wait and see how the Fed handles the taper and what the markets do. That could be the determining factor in whether he's reappointed."
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VIDEO - Funeral Directer John O'Looney Blows the Whistle on Covid
Sat, 18 Sep 2021 03:39
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VIDEO - Fed Chief Powell owned same type of assets bank bought during Covid
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 19:23
Published Fri, Sep 17 2021 10:40 AM EDTUpdated 25 Min Ago
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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has ordered a review of ethics rules for the central bank after an outcry over officials owning individual securities.CNBC found Powell owned municipal bonds of the same type bought by the Fed during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.Two regional Fed presidents likewise owned assets of the same type the Fed was buying as the coronavirus threatened the U.S. economy's health.The central bank's code of conduct says officials "should be careful to avoid any dealings or other conduct that might convey even an appearance of conflict between their personal interests, the interests of the system, and the public interest."Amid an outcry about Federal Reserve officials owning and trading individual securities, an in-depth look by CNBC at officials' financial disclosures found three who last year held assets of the same type the Fed itself was buying, including Chairman Jerome Powell.
None of these holdings or transactions appeared to violate the Fed's code of conduct. But they raise further questions about the Fed's conflict of interest policies and the oversight of central bank officials.
Powell held between $1.25 million and $2.5 million of municipal bonds in family trusts over which he is said to have no control. They were just a small portion of his total reported assets. While the bonds were purchased before 2019, they were held while the Fed last year bought more than $5 billion in munis, including one from the state of Illinois purchased by his family trust in 2016.Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren held between $151,000 and $800,000 worth of real estate investment trusts that owned mortgage-backed securities. He made as many as 37 separate trades in the four REITS while the Fed purchased almost $700 billion in MBS.Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin held $1.35 million to $3 million in individual corporate bonds purchased before 2020. They include bonds of Pepsi, Home Depot and Eli Lilly. The Fed last year opened a corporate bond-buying facility and purchased $46.5 billion of corporate bonds.Among those questions: Should the Fed have banned officials from holding, buying and selling the same assets the Fed itself was buying last year when it dramatically widened the types of assets it would purchase in response to the pandemic?
The Fed's own code of conduct says officials "should be careful to avoid any dealings or other conduct that might convey even an appearance of conflict between their personal interests, the interests of the system, and the public interest."
In response to CNBC questions asked in the process of our research, a Fed spokesperson released a statement Thursday saying Powell ordered a review last week of the Fed's ethics rules surrounding "permissible financial holdings and activities by senior Fed officials."
A Fed spokesperson told CNBC that Powell had no say over the central bank's individual municipal bond purchases and no say over the investments in his family's trusts. A Fed ethics officer determined that the holdings did not violate government rules.
Barkin declined to comment but he did not appear to have any say over the individual corporate bonds purchased by the Fed.
Rosengren has announced he would sell his individual positions and stop trading while he is president. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, who actively traded millions of dollars of individual stocks, also said he would no longer trade and would sell his individual positions. But he said his trade did not violate Fed ethics rules.
A spokesman for Rosengren told CNBC that he "made sure his personal saving and investment transactions complied with what was permissible under Fed ethics rules."
But Dennis Kelleher, CEO of the nonprofit Better Markets, said if some of these Fed actions are not against the rules, the rules need to change.
"To think that such trading is acceptable because it is supposedly allowed by Fed's current policies only highlights that the Fed's policies are woefully deficient," Kelleher told CNBC.
While trading by Rosengren and Kaplan was not conducted during the so-called blackout period, when Fed officials are not allowed to talk publicly about monetary policy or trade, Kelleher said during a crisis like last year, "the whole year should be considered a blackout period" because Fed officials are constantly talking and crafting policy in response to fast-moving events.
Correction: The Fed itself bought $5 billion to $6 billion in municipal securities last year. The previous figure used in the story incorrectly included money that came from the Treasury used to buffer against losses.
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VIDEO - Benny on Twitter: "Someone explain to me why the Gavin Newsom recall effort had 351K votes DELETED from the YES total LIVE on CNN. What explanation is there for this? We need to know. Hundreds of thousands of votes subtracted. It's not unbelieva
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 17:07
Benny : Someone explain to me why the Gavin Newsom recall effort had 351K votes DELETED from the YES total LIVE on CNN.Wh'... https://t.co/xEYjNhkIuD
Wed Sep 15 15:53:29 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Immunization expert: 'Unvaccinated people are not dangerous; vaccinated people are dangerous for others' - America's Frontline Doctors
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 13:32
World Health Organization European Advisory Group of Experts in Immunization former Vice President Professor Christian Perronne yesterday said that all vaccinated people must quarantine over the winter months or risk serious illness.
Perronne specializes in tropical pathologies and emerging infectious diseases. He was Chairman of the Specialized Committee on Communicable Diseases of the High Council of Public Health.
Confirming the rapidly deteriorating situation in Israel and the UK, the infectious disease expert stated: ''Vaccinated people should be put in quarantine, and should be isolated from the society.''
He went on to say: ''Unvaccinated people are not dangerous; vaccinated people are dangerous for others. It's proven in Israel now '' I'm in contact with many physicians in Israel '' they're having big problems, severe cases in the hospitals are among vaccinated people, and in UK also, you have the larger vaccination program and also there are problems.''
The current working group on the COVID-19 pandemic in France was reported to be ''utterly panicked'' on receipt of the news, fearing pandemonium if it follows the guidance of the experts.
Israeli doctor Kobi Haviv told Channel 13 News: ''95% of seriously ill patients are vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people account for 85-90% of hospitalizations. We are opening more and more COVID branches. The effectiveness of vaccines is declining or disappearing.''
VIDEO - Summary of findings of the Corona Investigative Committee Status 09/15/2021
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 13:15
Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, an experienced trial lawyer licensed in Germany and California (USA) and co-founder of the 'ž¥ Corona Investigative Committee, summarizes the Committee's findings to date and reviews the current status.
"If I had been '...
Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, an experienced trial lawyer licensed in Germany and California (USA) and co-founder of the 'ž¥ Corona Investigative Committee, summarizes the Committee's findings to date and reviews the current status.
"If I had been told this a year ago, I would not have considered it to be possible. Now, after questioning hundreds of experts, it is clear beyond doubt and provable: at no time was it about health."
RA Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, go to channel here:@ReinerFuellmichEnglish
VIDEO - Could Austin City Limits Music Festival be the next event canceled?
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 21:34
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New guidelines have left Austin festivals like Bat Fest and the Pecan Street Festival canceled because the city denied their special event permit.
AUSTIN, Texas - The Pecan Street Festival and Bat Fest have each been canceled recently after the City of Austin denied them special event permits. With the Austin City Limits Music Festival only three weeks away, many are wondering if ACL is next.
"The Austin Center for Events understands how important special events are to Austin's culture and our economy," said Brydan Summers, consumer services manager at Austin Center for Events.
Summers with Austin Center for Events, or ACE, says that's why ACE has been actively reviewing its COVID-19 safety guidelines to allow events to come back to Austin.
"At the beginning of the pandemic, ACE did not authorize special events, but back in April, we put a new process in place when conditions improved. and ACE began issuing special event permits," said Summers.
However, newly released ACE guidelines for indoor and outdoor events have left popular Austin festivals like Bat Fest and the Pecan Street Festival canceled because the city denied their special event permit.
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Full refunds will be offered or there will be an option to transfer tickets to next year's event which is scheduled for August 27, 2022.
"Right now, the current permit requirements for indoor events with over 1000 attendees or outdoor events with over 2500 attendees must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to the event, you must maintain social distancing, and you must have masked zones and outdoor events where social distancing is not possible," said Summers.
The Pecan Street Festival was one of the events unable to follow these updated guidelines. The festival has already had to cancel three times before due to COVID and had to cancel again weeks out of its scheduled date.
"The city that met with us and it told us that more than likely they would have to turn us down if we could not provide vaccination proof or non-COVID testing proof," said Shannon Sedgwick, president of Old Pecan Street Association and Pecan Street Festival. "First of all, we don't sell tickets so there's no place that we could check that and there's no gates because it's wide open on Sixth Street so anyone can walk in."
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Mayor Steve Adler put out an open letter to the community as Travis County COVID-19 deaths surpass 1,000. He and county officials also outlined what's working inside schools and what's not.
However, Austin City Limits Festival announced on its social media it will be following those protocols, a leg up that could mean the festival is still on pending any further ACE COVID protocol additions.
"[ACL] could still be canceled if things are as bad as they are right now in the City of Austin and our numbers are still growing and deaths so it's very possible that they could find out at the last minute as well," said Sedgwick.
ACE says public safety is their top priority. They will continue to work closely with Austin Public Health and review its COVID safety requirements as necessary.
___DOWNLOAD: FOX 7 AUSTIN NEWS APPSUBSCRIBE: Daily Newsletter | YouTubeFOLLOW: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
VIDEO - 'ŽThe Megyn Kelly Show: The COVID Numbers Game and the Toxicity of Big Tech with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Prof. Scott Galloway | Ep. 160 on Apple Podcasts
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 21:06
Megyn Kelly is joined by Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, to discuss the latest study on COVID hospitalizations, why the numbers are misleading and the important distinction between patients who are hospitalized ''with'' COVID and ''from'' COVID. Entrepreneur and author of ''Woke, Inc.'' Vivek Ramaswamy and Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business Scott Galloway also join Megyn to discuss the geopolitical consequences of wokeism, Facebook's secret study on it's platforms' harmful effects on teenage girls, why young men are not going to college, why our idolatry of innovators is so dangerous, why Elon Musk may not be a great role model, and much more.
VIDEO - Tom Elliott on Twitter: "CNN's @DonLemon: Like Trump voters, we should call unvaxxed Americans ''stupid'' and ''start shaming them'' "Or leave them behind. Because they're keeping the majority of Americans behind." https://t.co/6Ga4oQ7kic"
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 20:53
Tom Elliott : CNN's @DonLemon: Like Trump voters, we should call unvaxxed Americans ''stupid'' and ''start shaming them''"Or leave'... https://t.co/9501k7gbEI
Thu Sep 16 10:36:39 +0000 2021
D.K. : @tomselliott @donlemon Interesting how suddenly you can bully and denigrate people you are opposed to since you are now 'the majority'.
Thu Sep 16 20:53:28 +0000 2021
J Truth Finder : @tomselliott @donlemon I guess we bury the information that doesn't fit that narrative: https://t.co/lh8gnoAmi4
Thu Sep 16 20:53:07 +0000 2021
Skrech13 : @tomselliott @donlemon Idiot
Thu Sep 16 20:53:05 +0000 2021
Jcmcgrath : @tomselliott @donlemon Don Lemon, Most people who listen to you do not know what lies are in what you say. Your ref'... https://t.co/P9QYhJ5T85
Thu Sep 16 20:50:41 +0000 2021
VIDEO - (22) Avaaz on Twitter: "''I grew up being afraid of drowning in my own bedroom'' - #ClimateAnxiety affects young people globally and #WeFeelThisToo Join the launch of the first global study linking #ClimateAnxiety in children and young people to
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 13:53
Avaaz : ''I grew up being afraid of drowning in my own bedroom'' - #ClimateAnxiety affects young people globally and'... https://t.co/HqUeKqls8h
Mon Sep 13 17:37:19 +0000 2021


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All Clips

CBS Evening News - anchor David Martin - drone strike was a tragic mistake (1min32sec).mp3
Psaki - Not concerned by President Biden's cough.mp3
FDA Meeting - Dr Rose States Based on The VAERS - The Risks Far Outweigh The Benefits.mp3
FDA Meeting Early Treatment center CEO lays down the smack.mp3
FDA meeting Israel Health Chief Covid AERs.mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Lester Holt - Dr Ashish Jha (1) no booster means vaccine is working (29sec).mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Lester Holt - Dr Ashish Jha (2) moderna j&j boosters coming (20sec).mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Lester Holt - Dr Ashish Jha (3) any harm in taking 3rd dose if under 65 (27sec).mp3
Australia had deep and grave' concerns about French submarines capabilities.mp3
CBSN - anchor Anne Marie Green - texas reverses decision to shut down border crossings (31sec).mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Lester Holt - Andrea Mitchell france US spat over submarine sale (54sec).mp3
Cruz on drone TFR censorship.mp3
Dictator dan on 3rd jab passports.mp3
CEO of WV Hospital Association -1- Hospitals are 'stretched' because of STAFFING.mp3
Boosters One NBC.mp3
Boosters TWO NBC.mp3
California Democrats sign removal.mp3
Hannity opening BS.mp3
homeless vaccinations inJapan.mp3
iso crazy.mp3
John Kennedy aginst Jennifer 2.mp3
John Kennedy aginst Jennifer 3.mp3
John Kennedy aginst Jennifer Sung.mp3
Localweaterman Climate change.mp3
mandates one NBC.mp3
mandates two NBC.mp3
mettalica concert.mp3
SKNEWS Biden translated REL.mp3
Woodward anecdoteone SA.mp3
Woodward anecdoteone TWO SA.mp3
100 years old Japan.mp3
Biden Robert E Lee.mp3
Bongino on Sussman 2.mp3
Bongino on Sussman.mp3
Funeral Director John O'looney - Milton Keyenes Care home residents were sedated to death LIverpool Protocol.mp3
Bill Maher on Kimmel liberal media has scared liberals into misinformation.mp3
Don Lemon CNN non vaxxers are republicans and trump supporters.mp3
MSNBC - anchor Joy Reid - it was rational to be vaccine hesitant during trump (45sec).mp3
MSNBC - anchor Joy Reid - republicans lost california recall because they love covid (47sec).mp3
CBS 2 Chicago - anchor Tim McNicholas - bus driver shortage plaguing schools (42sec).mp3
CBSN - anchor Haley Ott - france deadline for healthcare workers to get vaccinated (36sec).mp3
CNN - anchor Pete Muntean - massachusetts gov. activates national guard to drive school buses (13sec).mp3
Fauci_May 2019_Mask Paranoia.mp3
london breed mea culpa.mp3
Newsome MAX mandates.mp3
TikTok - The Black JUST Guy - thedamanifelder.mp3
CBS Evening News - anchor Norah ODonnell - north korea uses a train to launch ballistic missile (14sec).mp3
CBSN - anchor Anne Marie Green - gaggle software used to spy on students school computers (41sec).mp3
Chris Rock with Gayle King - vaccines are like tylenol.mp3
Trudeaux Variants will be DEVELOPED - Gaffe.mp3
After years of being squeaky clean the Federal Reserve is surrounded by controversy.mp3
CBSN - anchor Anne Marie Green - micheal sussmann charged with lying to the FBI (35sec).mp3
CBSN - anchor Chris Van Cleeve - protestors allege persecution of jan. 6th rioters (1min38sec).mp3
CNN - anchor Brian Stelter - trump & qanon say J6 rally is a setup (29sec).mp3
ABC GMA3 - anchor T.J. Holmes - Dr Jen Ashtons daughter test postive after being vaccinated (54sec).mp3
CBSN - anchor Imtiaz Tyab - putin test postive for covid -has been vaccinated (41sec).mp3
  • 0:00
    John: I didn't say I never talked to the guy didn't say that. Adam Curry John C. Dvorak. Sunday September 19 2021. This is your award winning give our nation media assassination Episode 1383. This is no agenda 999 to go and broadcasting live from the heart of Texas Hill Country here in FEMA Region number six in the morning, everybody. I'm Adam Curry, and from Northern Silicon Valley, where we're all saying, well is we're not in Australia. I'm John Dvorak, buzzkill.
  • 0:32
  • 0:34
    Adam: You see that breakthrough in
  • 0:36
    John: Melbourne? Yeah, I didn't see anything though. Yeah, I'm
  • 0:40
    Adam: sure you did. This was fantastic. Because like there was a crowd of people. In fact, I have a report. I have a boots on the ground report from one of our producers on our second under the heading Australia, Melbourne, anti lockdown protests. Let's see. Here's the report. Police came out in huge numbers. This was expected this was a there was a demonstration. So people were walking.
  • 1:03
    John: There was the one where they knocked down the old lady and sprayed the crap out of her with spray cans.
  • 1:08
    Adam: No, this is the one where the well let me read this to you. So it's short. The reports of protests are generally headlined as they came ready to fight the police. What doesn't get reported as the protesters went out of their way to remain as peaceful as possible parts of describing words but imagine you're marching down the road you see the police have assembled in force looking menacing and marching towards you. The protesters changed direction marched down a side street to avoid the confrontation. This was repeated over and over until the police basically Shepherd It is called kettling, the protesters into a confrontation that was unavoidable there was nowhere left for the protesters to turn they were boxed in and then they they surge you got to see this video they surged to just knock the cops down. Just the cops were trying. They were really trying just so many people was done and just rush through them and they yelling like with like the Braveheart charge.
  • 1:59
    John: We know how that ended.
  • 2:02
    Adam: Don't do that. Don't do that. That's not good. Oh, I think we need a Chris since we're talking about Australia, we need to correction on the we were duped. Specifically you were duped by the clip of the actors, the COVID actors,
  • 2:21
    John: but I wasn't I don't believe I was completely duped. I believe that it was like a double dupe
  • 2:26
    Adam: a double dupe. And now that you put the double Do you know
  • 2:30
    John: that there's these crisis actors because we see them here, they're local. They they find some guy can use just get it remembering. In fact, I had a that. I don't have any clips from this because it was too long. And I wasn't feeling like clipping it. You thought probably I thought it would be a funeral home guy. Oh, I have a very short clip from him. Well, at the beginning of his spiel, and he's a funeral home guy from Milton Keynes, I believe Milton Keynes.
  • 2:56
    Adam: Yeah. And he. I said it's not a short clip, but it is the fundamental clip.
  • 3:04
    John: He's feels that a lot of because he during the original part of COVID, there wasn't he didn't see any more deaths than usual. And he's a funeral home guy. And it's worth probably soliciting your local funeral home guy and talking to him and seeing what's going on. And but he did, but the thing that got me is at the very beginning of his spiel, which goes on forever, and people can look it up. He says, Well, first, you know, they, when this all began, they gussied me up to you know, dressed up, and he went on camera on the BBC. And he saw y'all rah, rah. And he told me, he said, What do you want me to say? And they said, Well, you know, the script. he regretted it. And then he regretted it because he realized, you know, a year later is all bullcrap and is a lot of bad information going around. He was part of the problem. And so I've told I'm not too concerned about the fact that there was a whipsaw. action on the crisis actors in Australia.
  • 4:05
    Adam: Oh, I see what you're saying. Okay, I got you. So he was in effect without being a paid crisis actor, as is often with M five m, they show up at your door, you're enamored, you're like, Oh, okay. I mean, I used to still get sucked into that trap. Last time was when Michael Jackson died. When I spent the whole day with CBS News. I was gonna be on tonight. For 20 seconds, maybe 17.
  • 4:31
    John: Crews come over the house, a huge group of people. And they talk to me for 20 minutes, and I get and go to the show. I'm there say, yeah, I think that guy's right. Yeah, boom, done. That's it.
  • 4:43
    Adam: I didn't I don't think I even got a lower third. That's how bad it was. Didn't even qualify for that.
  • 4:50
    John: I got a lower third when I did it. Yeah.
  • 4:53
    Adam: This funeral director did say something interesting about what we've categorized as the Liverpool protocol. Did you Cuz that was a little that was like 12 minutes in Did you watch that?
  • 5:02
    John: I watched the whole thing. Yeah, I saw it. Do you want me to play that? Or is it do you think? Yeah, play it is I like this I actually collected it, I have it in the archives to maybe go back to one of these days. What are you saying with numbers now?
  • 5:15
    Unknown: So well kind of rewind it back to 2020. In March and April, we saw a brief spike for about two weeks, two and a half weeks, maybe three weeks, were unusually the phone started ringing and, and as a
  • 5:30
    Adam: society, the way this being difficult to clip without going long on the clip, is exactly why the BBC prep the guy dressed the guy did everything gave him the script. That's exactly the point that's they have to do that. Otherwise, they'll never get the sound bite they need. But that's when you're in linear media, and you got to hit the top of the hour, or the commercial break. That's why you need to just pressure the message into whatever you need it to be for the peace,
  • 5:57
    Unknown: hey, we're very good, again, people to pass away in hospital. And I would say if I have 10 collections of deceased, I have them would be hospital removals. One of them would be from a care home. And one of them would be either a residential address where someone's gone home to die, or a hospice where people go to die for palliative care, we suddenly had an announcement on the TV from government that they were going to try and protect the most vulnerable in care homes. And that these care homes would be the places that were hit the hardest, which I kind of at a time for was really strange, because I don't understand how a virus can attack attack a specific building. You know, it either is in a community or it isn't in the community. And this
  • 6:41
    Adam: is important because we saw this very same scenario play out in Washington State in New York State in California, in Michigan and Illinois,
  • 6:51
    Unknown: kind of, you know, it was thing of the thing that I just wasn't they were saying that wasn't making sense on the coalface, as as an undertaker, I got called every night for three weeks to care homes. And this was at a time when Matt Hancock has since been dismissed from government transferred all of the elderly in hospitals into care homes. He'd been very careful to label them all as COVID. And he put them into care homes. And I've since found out that at the exact same time, there was 1,000% increase in the amount of midazolam sedative purchased at that time,
  • 7:23
    Adam: but dazzle lambs sedative mudassar lamb is yes benzo
  • 7:28
    John: did the interesting thing he has a theme running through his whole presentation, which is that they're killing people literally.
  • 7:37
    Adam: That's what this piece is about. So mudassar lamb sold on the brand name versa, among others is a benzo Diop day as a pain medication used for anesthesia, procedural sedation, trouble sleeping and severe agitation. So it's it's a sedative,
  • 7:54
    Unknown: and there's an extensive paper trail documents that very clearly now, I worked for the big funeral provider for 10 years who have 60% market share. And in that time, I was never ever ever, ever called to a care home three consecutive nights, you know so for, for me being a small family Undertaker, to suddenly be called every night for nearly three weeks exclusively to care homes and nowhere else is. Remarkably, it's probably about as likely as me winning the lottery several times in three weeks. It just doesn't happen. It's impossible. I would hasten to add that all of those people will over with COVID I never saw a doctor in attendance once no doctor ever attended to my knowledge. I never saw a COVID test once I never saw a ventilator. So there was no need for those patients to be overdosed, shall we say or heavily sedated to be intubated? Because there were no ventilators? And I suspect that 1000s of people were killed, euthanized in these care homes using midazolam. And on the odd occasion, I did in fact see small files, perhaps on the bedside cabinet or in a band because I was actually looking for them at that point, you know, where they had perhaps been as careful as they ought to have been doing that kind of thing. So that was something that was, you know, kind of raised alarm for me.
  • 9:18
    John: I'll say well, you know, New York, this is part of a thematic thing that we've actually not really taken to the front of the of their analysis. But the but I've suggested it that they're trying to get rid of the old people because they're a burden society burden on eater as far as these people are concerned. These people are Google's
  • 9:43
    Adam: their their burden on the taxpayer their Berg taxpayers burden on the on the insurance company. That's really the big one insurance,
  • 9:51
    John: the insurance companies I
  • 9:52
    Adam: believe we've talked about this how they want to Junio to basically send your mom to go die this we've seen them that we know of a million different Aren't examples and yet
  • 10:02
    John: people like, like your Cuomo and that they won't investigate what happened in New York and
  • 10:09
    Adam: they really been the guy in Kirkland, Washington. What's the governor up there?
  • 10:13
    John: Inslee Hinsley.
  • 10:15
    Adam: Yeah, hey, I can't confirm this. But one of our producers certainly can my dazzle lamb if that's used to sedate before intubation because that would be even more. Now stops your lungs. Well, while we're, while we're debunking the bullcrap on M, five M. Let's go straight to I think a fantastic clip, one of our producers dug up, he spent a lot of time it's a local story, local radio show, I think his radio show, but it's local, and he's been in West Virginia and has been trying to get it to me because it was rather big file. We figured it all out. This is the CEO of the West Virginia Hospital Association, explaining the ICU and the bed shortage and the over capacity of the hospitals being full. Jim Kaufman's with is president and CEO of West Virginia Hospital Association.
  • 11:04
    Unknown: I continue to hear anecdotally, from some who suggest who suggest that well, these challenges to the hospital have less to do with the number of patients and more to do with the staffing issue that if you had more staff, that the would not be as serious in terms of handling the number of patients, is that accurate? Or is that what is your read on that?
  • 11:29
    We do have a staffing issue. And this is a national problem. Just give you a perspective, there's about 47,000 vacant traveling nurses positions open this week, across the country. So this just shows you that huge demand for clinical staff not just here in West Virginia, but the entire country. And that actually is putting more pressure on West Virginia, because hospitals around the country actually have better resources than we do. And they're able to recruit staff away.
  • 11:57
    Adam: Does this state Do we need more ICU beds in the state?
  • 12:01
    Unknown: We don't need more ICU beds, we need more staff. We we actually have the beds. It's the staffing. That's the challenge. And that's why all the hospitals are trying to work together to figure out how do we maximize the limited staff that we have to serve the needs of the patient. But workforce issues was a challenge in West Virginia prior to COVID. financial challenges with the hospitals was a condition prior to COVID. And it's been exacerbated for the past 19 months.
  • 12:26
    Adam: And it's not just the United States. It's happening in France where I think up to three or 4000 will be leaving the health care system. The UK is starting to see strains the Netherlands just instituting mandates and the corona passport. You and so they'll see demand for health care professionals rise there. So it's exactly what we thought it was. And I'm happy this guy said.
  • 12:54
    John: Yeah, you know, he just said it out. Right. But it's if you look at the entire episode, entire pandemic from the beginning, it began with exaggerated claims or needs for ventilators to the point where they've staffed up
  • 13:12
    Adam: well let's let's be honest, they they actually put people on ventilators unnecessarily and with the wrong protocol, as was directed by the CDC.
  • 13:21
    John: Yes, but there's another method for killing people but it's a good one is a more dramatic one. But at the same time they were they opened up to you know phony bears and jack jack Jake. Jacob Javits Center in New York. And then they brought in a big giant of liberty, your ship, a big hospital ship.
  • 13:40
    Adam: We forget how quickly we forget these things. We
  • 13:43
    John: do two of them to want to hospital, one on East Coast, Navy got used so we didn't need those. And in the same time, they furloughed, a ton of nurses and some doctors, but mostly nurses who went out and got other jobs or find other things to do or realize that maybe this wasn't for them. They never came back. And then they went then because there was still enough staff. Then they decided that you all you staffers, you now have to get the vaccine, whether you like it or not, which made another 50% of them quit In fact, the hospital down in Houston was a huge walkout of nurses who had seen the results of the of the shots, they just didn't want to get the shot for whatever reason they've already been exposed to the back to the virus and was had vaccine exposure to the vaccine. I was hoping to hoping to get that clip. And they decided no, so they so they've done so this is a fake. This is bold crap. They created the situation themselves for some onerous reason. This was like planned
  • 14:47
    Adam: hotep been told you it's my new one.
  • 14:54
    John: By the way, that hotep ties back I saw him.
  • 14:59
    Adam: Oh Peter Hotez. From the he's from the hotel he's from, oh, no, that guy's actually just just to lighten the mood for a second, I got a couple of clips to play about the M five M. And, and we could also say this is a clip about disinformation. But let's just first start with Bill Maher, who got to love the guy when he does this stuff. And it makes him unpopular. And I love him even more for that he was on Jimmy Kimmel really promoting his appearances, which he can't go he can't go to democrat controlled states, because you know, they just can't have a concert there. By the way, it looks like there, we have 10 more days until they cancel Austin City Limits, which is huge outdoor to weekend festival, guys. So here's here's Bill Maher with some interesting statistics.
  • 15:48
    Unknown: But I have to cite a survey that was in the New York Times just liberal paper, so they weren't looking for this answer. But they were talking about this. The question was, what do you think the chances are that you would have to go to the hospital if you got COVID. And democrats thought that was way higher than Republicans? 41% of Democrats? And the answer is between one and 5%. Okay. 41% of Democrats thought it was over 50%. Another 28% thought it was 20 to 49%. So 70% of Democrats thought it was way, way, way higher than it really was. liberal media has to take a little responsibility for that, for scaring the better people. And the reason why I'm bringing this up is because it's much harder for every touring act to sell tickets in blue states. Oh, they were afraid to go out of the house. red states, it's all good to go. So I just want to say to those people in rougher yellow in Pittsburgh, in New York, ain't gonna give it to you. It's safe. We're doing everything we can. There's distancing, there's masking, enjoy live life,
  • 17:00
    you did get it embrace like you did get it. I got an answer. I
  • 17:05
    was vaccinated. You got to answer eventually. Right. And you didn't you wouldn't I had no symptoms. That may be because I was vaccinated. But let's not even get into that because I know you and your boyfriend, Howard Stern, very paranoid about this. But it's it's a little weird that I got it after. But now many, many, many people have had same situation.
  • 17:24
    Adam: Yes, we have people. That means it's working boys. So I thought that was interesting. He literally did a Trump there. Enjoy your life. Don't let it Don't let the virus dominate what's going on. But by definition, what Bill Maher just said there, whether it's intentional or not, by definition, people who watch as he says and read liberal media, they're getting misinformation. No matter how its projected. They're they're taking away wrong information from it. So the source by definition has to be missed information look bad, it's bad. Let's see if we can
  • 18:06
    John: launch it. Well, I mean, this is our theme of our show, all we do is take part in the art don't all we do is even though it sounds like we do a lot more.
  • 18:18
    Adam: So let's take it all the way down to the to the root level, the root cause as our vice president Kamala Harris would say, Let's find out. Why are people being mis informed by the message from and I'll just take two, I'll take MSNBC and I'll take CNN, that's probably the easiest, although, again, I say the most watched cable news network is Fox. And they spend 40% of their time playing dumb clips from the other guys, which actually propagates the dumb message. So you know, shame on everybody. Let's see. Hmm, we have a small controversy still raging on? This is the Nicki Minaj hesitancy. It's gone back and forth. I don't want to belabor it. Let's put let's see, if what one of the actors is doing on MSNBC, a joy read, let's see if this could maybe scare people or give them the wrong idea.
  • 19:10
    Unknown: I understand the hesitancy one. Listen, I was hesitant when Donald Trump was out there controlling the CDC and controlling the FDA and manipulating them and making them put out falsehoods. Anybody rational was hesitant. But the reality is now by
  • 19:24
    Adam: the way, she's talking with Eric Dyson, who is a professor so the guy is going Yeah, right. Right. Right. Right. Like like Diamond and Pearl. Right. Right. Right, right. This is
  • 19:34
    Unknown: what we what I really fear is masses of more masses of people dying. 666,000 people have died, and disproportionately they look like you and me, Michael. What scares me is that people are creating the cultural imperative to set themselves up for death. When the people pushing them to do it like tuck homes are vaccinated and safe and even if they got COVID are going to get all the monoclonal antibodies monoclonal humanize gets COVID and dies they don't care about us.
  • 20:05
    Adam: Okay, little little loaded that statement but I think maybe when you're throwing out 666 and saying more people are going to die, and disproportionately they look like you and me. She says to the black professor, which is a lie that's just a lie. It's equal amongst the poor certainly. And there's a go look at it more Caucasian stop with the lie and then she takes spins that around and says But no, of course needs to make it political. which triggers you know, the anti Trump thing in the in the liberal viewers, and but they really don't care they want they want Nicki Minaj has messaged, but they want it to die because they're racist. That's what joy Reid just said. I wonder if that could, you know, bring other people to be unhinged when they see that? Or maybe when they see this?
  • 20:57
    Unknown: We're going to read it out tonight with a message to republicans Okay, we get it. COVID is the precious and you love it. You love COVID so much you want it to spread into schools at the office in the Walmart on the cruise ships and at the club. That gray spongy ball with the red spikes you want it pumping through your veins? Why do you love it so daggone much? Well, we have absolutely no bloody idea. But here's the thing. You weirdos. Everyone else. Everyone knows hates. COVID you you Republicans seem to be okay with COVID running wild is your thirst for COVID is why you lost. Nobody likes your policies that threaten our safety and our kids. You You may want COVID you may want to ingest or Steve wormer and attend far too many funerals. But we we don't.
  • 21:45
    Adam: I think we could call that misinformation.
  • 21:47
    John: Wow, that was good. It's hate to say it but it's misinformation like that's that's good. gavels would be proud. gerbils.
  • 21:57
    Adam: gerbils? Yes. So but that is, I mean, obviously, what she said was factually not true. But when you pull in the Trump meme, that's what makes every that's what gets your 70%. And that's what makes it misinformation. There's no reason to bring politics into the game. Unless you're trying to desperately get ratings up. And you work at CNN, and you're Don Lemon.
  • 22:21
    Unknown: Hey, we have to stop coddling people when it comes to this and the vaccine thing. Oh, you can't shame them. You can't call them stupid. You can't call them silly. Yeah, Yes, they are. The people who aided and abetted Trump are stupid because they believed his big lie. The people who are not getting vaccines who are believing the lies on the internet, instead of science, it's time to start shaming them what else or leave them behind. Because they are keeping the majority of Americans behind. You didn't feel that way about the polio vaccine. You don't feel that way about measles, mumps, rubella, when it comes to your children, and all of a sudden this vaccine is different. What's different about it? The only different thing about it is because of your politics today, the people talking about well, I don't know what's in the shot, Chris. I don't know what's in that shot. I tell you what's not in it. Hold
  • 23:12
    on tracking device. Yeah,
  • 23:13
    let me let me let me finish this. You know what, you know what they get shots in. Nowadays, in the rear ends. They're getting shots to make it bigger. They're getting shots in their face. They don't know what's in Botox. They don't know what's in the sights. Nothing wrong with Botox.
  • 23:30
    I don't know what they eat.
  • 23:32
    my eyebrow went up. I don't have it. Now. As you can see, I got all these wrinkles. Everybody asked me when I'm going to get Botox, but nothing, nothing wrong with Botox. Clear, but I'm saying Do people really know what's in stuff that they inject in their bodies all the time, and they're like, what they drink? Stop it. Stop it with the ignorance. And we have to stop saying oh, well, you know, you have to listen to people and No, you don't. These people are being harmful to the greater good. You don't have to listen to a minority of people who are being harmful to the greater good and who are not acting on logic, reason and science. I had the I had an issue I told you, Chris, when my family was here, and they were saying Well, I don't know. I just I said you know how you got here to visit me in New York. You took an airplane. What is that science? Right? You know why people live to be older than 40 5060 years old days? science science medicine matzo one questions that you know why people you know what, what is so contradictory about it? when people get sick, they go into the hospital and they say throw it all give it to me injected put it in me and you're gonna pay a whole lot of money and you can attack the medical system when you could have gotten it for free.
  • 24:46
    John: So guys off the rails, there's actually a
  • 24:48
    Adam: there. I
  • 24:51
    John: wanted to back this a borderline clip of the day. It's what the Dyson sees clinically insane.
  • 24:58
    Adam: Yes. Like it sounds like so that's what's going on and then you know over on fox news or Newsmax they all take those clips and say look at these unhinged people and none of this is healthy. And we're seeing the disengagement of the
  • 25:16
    John: audience's which we just know the same thing you're condemning them for doing with is that well, that's
  • 25:21
    Adam: part of the problem is this is our gig. receive what they don't what they do is they go, wow. We break it down. We discuss it. We and we have time. That's why they all they can do is just show that's what 95% of all podcasts are like that to talk about news. Just outrage, outrage, outrage, what about we for 14 years, almost go to the source tell you how it works, understand the mechanisms that put this into place. So what something
  • 25:55
    John: really pathetic about Don Lemon and these rants is I don't understand why they keep them on the air. It's not as though it's entertaining in the sense that you had with like Michael Savage, the talk show guy at Radio guy who's not just a podcaster and he's not as successful. But he like
  • 26:13
    Adam: us. You mean, podcasts are not as successful? That's a T shirt.
  • 26:19
    John: Considering is making 10 million a year or something the ISO Okay,
  • 26:23
    Adam: yeah, true.
  • 26:23
    John: So he he would go he was he's believed to be bipolar. Oh, and so you'd listen to his show. And then once in a while, he just flip and he'd go after the producers go nuts. I stopped to him. I was kind of like that was like, you know, somewhat entertaining for the moment because it was like, Oh, the guys on edge and he's always on edge. You know, don't worry, he's gonna blow up. And it was kind of a different phenomenon. There's some guy who's just pathetic, like Don Lemon. he's not. He's not like bipolar that we know of or anything. He's just like, I don't know how to even hear his phony, his. He's a phony and he's unprofessional. He should be taken off the air. He's unprofessional
  • 27:14
    Adam: Nicki Minaj his retort to him talking about? Well, you know, people put all kinds of stuff, they get shots. They put shots in there, but her retort was Let's not talk about what you put in your butt Don Lemon, like, whoa.
  • 27:27
    John: That was whatever lines Yes. Your lines are unbelievable.
  • 27:34
    Adam: Mind you, it was Lil Wayne, who was kind of her mentor. And that was, you know, Lil Wayne was pardoned by Trump. So there may be some connections there. It's possible. Now let's I think we need to just dive into boosters for a second because everyone's jacked. You know that we got boosters. Oh, do we not have do it boosters? I'll do. I'm sure you have some clips. I'll do 3/22 clips. We can just get a quick rundown for
  • 27:59
    Unknown: those in our audience who might have a Johnson and Johnson or Madonna vaccines? are they likely to see the same thing in terms of this decision making?
  • 28:06
    Yeah, I think majorna is coming very soon. Probably the next three, four weeks we should get an update on maternal j&j is a little bit further behind. It may be another couple of months before we get an update on j&j. I'm hoping the FDA might provide some guidance before that.
  • 28:19
    Adam: That's the Pfizer marketing letting you know that they are trouncing the competition.
  • 28:23
    Unknown: We know the third dose has already been recommended for those who are immunocompromised, but there have been other people getting them. We've heard stories of folks walking into stores and getting that third shot. Is there any potential in the stores?
  • 28:36
    Yeah, I think at this point, if you're young and healthy, there really isn't any benefit there. Oh, boy, don't listen to Joe Rogan. there probably isn't any harm either. But I think right now, we should really focus on getting high risk people that third shot for young healthy people. Just wait till we get more data.
  • 28:54
    Adam: Whatever it is, it was still kind of good news.
  • 28:56
    Unknown: Just a short time ago, I spoke with Dr. Ashish john dean at the Brown University School of Public Health. And I asked him if today's decision to not recommend boosters for everyone is in some ways, an endorsement of the two doses. Many of us already have a sign they're working.
  • 29:11
    Vaccines we're using right now are working. They're keeping people out of the hospital. They're keeping people alive. For high risk people. A third shot really does look like it's going to be beneficial for the rest of us. I think the two doses really are doing a great job.
  • 29:27
    Adam: It's just delaying the obvious but man, that eight hour meeting the FDA advisory board had where they ultimately came out and said Nast 65 plus immunocompromised. Good no one else. That was quite some something that was something else, particularly the open discussion part.
  • 29:46
    John: But it was quite, it was amusing. Do you get some clips from Yeah.
  • 29:50
    Adam: Do you have anything else to play about this before I play?
  • 29:52
    John: I have the I have the earlier booster. Oh yeah. That was on NBC. The promo those are NBC. You guys are stepping on whoever got to Except for yours stepping on my territory all right click custodian domains you
  • 30:03
    Adam: were no, this is my main stream clip custodian that's what he does
  • 30:08
    John: well he should go mainstream other than NBC Okay, that's no problem but so that's a nice NBC for this from Monday This is Monday when they're just getting right and this is before the FDA meeting and all the rest of they're getting they're getting ready to get into pre year they got to sales guys are out in force, they're ready to sell, sell, sell. And they're you know, they're getting primed and they're tender showing the drug companies that they're on their side. And here's where we go with boosters one.
  • 30:33
    Unknown: Good evening, everyone that debate over COVID booster shots may be coming to a head and FDA advisory panel set to meet tomorrow to examine key questions whether a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine is safe or even necessary for everyone. They're critical questions and a source of rare open disagreement among COVID experts. The booster is backed by the rare administration regarding
  • 30:58
    Adam: misinformation.
  • 30:59
    John: Now all we all we have on this show is, I guess, extremely rare, rare, rare cases rare disagreements because the devil was all in agreement or was lockstep except a few outliers. Well, what a lie that is
  • 31:17
    Adam: our disagreements between each other are rare.
  • 31:21
    John: If we'd ever had a fight
  • 31:22
    Unknown: Gulf rare, open disagreement among COVID experts. The booster is backed by the Biden administrator
  • 31:28
    Adam: I noticed he said rare among open, open one.
  • 31:32
    Unknown: They're critical questions and a source of rare open disagreement