1391: Clown World

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 15m
October 17th, 2021
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Executive Producers: Ally Elliott, Ocie Elliott, Sir Seth in Mina (and Deb), Duke Walkman of Ohio, Sir Shawn, The Pit of Useless Knowledge, Brad Fox, Jon Alldridge, Sir Friday of the hotshops, Sir Scovee of the Piedmont, Justin Proulx, Jon Mutschink, Vann Betzel, Eva Kise, Michael Smith, Sethuel Whitney, Andrea Cody, Mike Neumann, Josh Persello, Sir Chris Cowan, Baron of North Austin

Associate Executive Producers: Joe Weil, Salty Veteran Douchebag of Hells Canyon, Kyle McQueston, Buddy Arceneaux, Michael Haworth, Sir Dude named Jay Sheriff of the Portage Lakes, Dame Ashley, Lady of the Lake & Sir Bubba Hotep, Joe Bisesi, Rolando Gonzalez, Dame Sara + Maya and Alice, Katherine Walton, Jesse + Sarah

Cover Artist: Nessworks


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Strikes and Sickouts
The United States Postal Service began changing first-class mail delivery time frames in October
10,000 John Deere UAW workers go on strike
Chicago PD and FD
Not sure if you guys have heard word of this yet, but I just met 2
chicagoans visiting NOLA, one was a fireman and one a police officer, and
apparently the chicago police force and the firefighters are standing up to
the vaccine mandates. I guess they can't call it a strike because the union
doesn't allow them to strike or something like that..can't remember the
exact details. But they said to pay close attention to this because it's
gonna be pretty big.
They said they're not fighting the constitutionality of it, instead they're
fighting the fact that this vaccine was never in their union contract so
they can't require it.
Thought you might find that interesting if you haven't heard about it
already. I find this very encouraging. The more people I talk to, the more
I find lots of people who are starting to stand up against this bullcrap.
We have an election coming up here for mayor, and there are 2 candidates
who are very against the mask and vax mandates, and one of them, Luke
Fontana, is vocally against the great reset, and all the big pharma/CDC
Keep on fighting the good fight,
SWA HQ TOmorrow
Boeing Everett Tomorrow
Teachers taking early retirement
Report from San Diego. I have a friend that is an aide in special ed, and
he said it is really bad. Teachers that are eligible for retirement, and
taking it, and other teachers are just resigning. They are understaffed
everywhere. He is taking classes so that he can transition into a
completely different industry.
Over the weekend we talked with another friend and she is a special ed
teacher in California. They are seeing the same thing, teachers taking
retirement early, and her classroom is understaffed. Not the best of
Boy Scouts immunization policy change
Boy Scouts of America is changing their vaccine policy in June of 2022.
They will only be allowing medical exemptions in order to participate in
activities. Previously you could sign a religious or philosophical
exemption form. I know the organization has a lot of problems, but on a
local level they have been great for our kids. I'm hoping you can get the
word out about this change. Maybe if enough people stand up against it they
will back down. I'm sure they'd hate to lose more members and can't really
afford more controversy.
Silent protest of frontline workers in Quebec City today.
Protests are getting bigger and bigger here in Canada which is encouraging considering how incredibly compliant most ppl are.
Montreal also extended their mandates by 30 days for healthcare workers as they were about to lose over 4000 of them.
Federal Contractors Mandate Legality BOTG
I was listening to Episode #11391, when I heard you both comparing whether
an Executive Order is the same as a law passed in Congress. It just so
happens that my job gave me special insight into this question a couple of
weeks ago.
To preface, I work for a private company that helps federal contractors
come into compliance with respect to Affirmative Action laws. Every year,
certain federal contractors are required to develop Affirmative Action
Plans (AAPs) by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
These plans are a set of analyses that look at the racial and gender makeup
of the current workforce, the selection decisions made for hiring,
promoting, and terminating, as well as comparisons in pay between different
races and genders. This analysis is done by looking at federal census data
that is collected through the American Community Survey (ACS).
The other day, I attended a virtual seminar held by a private company that
teaches others in this industry about new changes coming, and how we can
keep our clients in compliance. We were supposed to be focused on the new
2016-2020 ACS census data that is going to be available on January 1st,
2022, but the leader in the group prefaced the meeting by talking about the
federal vaccine mandate and the new OSHA regulation. Here are a couple of
notes I took down:
1. The mandate is only for new or renewed contracts, not old ones.
2. The definition of what constitutes an "employee" is still vague (i.e.
temp employees, what time frame are they looking at that they need to have
= 100 employees, etc.)
3. After 75 days of the order, many people are going to lose jobs.
4. If things get serious, the OFCCP may push back against Biden.
and finally...
5. *"[OSHA] guidance is not law."*
I found that last phrase particularly interesting, and to be honest, I am
not quite sure what exactly he means. To me, he seemed to be pointing out
the fact that this guidance from a regulatory agency doesn't hold the same
weight as a law passed in Congress, and therefore, this controversial
decree has almost no legs to stand on.
After that, he said "there will be many lawsuits coming" as soon as the
regulation is made official, making it almost a sure thing it won't be
enacted. From this, I inferred Biden is just trying to pre-emptively scare
people into taking the shot without even having to force people to take it!
Update from CPD no pay status situation. Patrick BOTG
Lori Lightfoot pushed back the timeline and reevaluated. The first threat was just to place officers in no pay status but not face discipline, just not be paid
and 4000+ officers were on board after a raucous union meeting about holding the line against the mayor to disclose our vaccination status.
The union has been working to get in front of a judge to force the city to meet with our union to bargain about the policy that the union is requesting that
non-vaxxed officers should only be able to be tested once a week and on company time instead of what the Lightfoot wants which is 2x a week and on your own time
and dime.
To compare our policy to the Chicago teachers, they are not being threatened to not be paid for not entering vaccination status and have testing at their schools…
The city has now done the following to ram this vaccine reporting mandate
1. are going to make supervisors give direct orders to submit vaccine status in an unsecured database. If officers disobey this order they go into no pay
status but also a complaint investigation is generated and the city can now suspend and possibly terminate the officers that do not comply
2. Lori Lightfoot and the city that cannot be bothered to meet to negotiate a fair policy was able to get in front of a judge who happens to be a colleague of
hers that is the president of the gay and lesbian bar association and that judge ordered our union president cannot speak about the vaccine mandate and cannot
advise officers to defy the order. Thought democrats cared about union rights
3. Officers are still fighting but so the city doesn’t lose 4000 officers all at once they will order officers to comply 100 or so at a time so it’s never too
many officers off to make a big impact
There’s still a lot of people holding the line but just look at the lengths they’ll go to get what they want
Supply Chains
How's all that automated enterprise AI working out?
Biden worsens trucking supply chain disruption
Biden snuck into the rule allowing foreign tourists, tighter limits on trans border trucking. This is the day after a speech pledging to ease supply chain disruptions. At what point is it purposeful?
Those who were never banned from traveling across the land borders, including commercial drivers and students, will also need to show proof of vaccination when crossing starting in January, giving them some time to adjust to the new rules, officials said. Those crossing land borders will not need to show a coronavirus test.
Biden Suddenly Loves Frackers
A Reuters report says the White House is now “speaking with U.S. oil and gas producers” about “helping to bring down rising fuel costs.” Politico adds that this “outreach” to the oil industry is “an awkward shift.” No kidding, and it’s worth going down the list of ways this Administration has tried to punish U.S. producers.
At a presidential debate last year, Mr. Biden said he would “transition away from the oil industry.” His first day in office, Mr. Biden revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which was supposed to carry oil from Canada and the Bakken Shale to refineries on the Gulf Coast. A week later he issued an order placing a moratorium on new oil-and-gas leases on federal lands and waters.
Freedom Passports
Dutch parliament votes down Social Credit score ban
Climate Change
Plug-in cars are the future. The grid isn’t ready.
By 2035, the chief automakers will have turned away from the internal combustion engine. It’ll be up to the grid to fuel all those new cars, trucks and buses.
California Scrambles to Find Electricity to Offset Plant Closures
State contends with coming loss of gas-fired power plants and its last remaining nuclear facility in transition to renewable energy
California is racing to secure large amounts of power in the next few years to make up for the impending closure of fossil-fuel power plants and a nuclear facility that provides nearly 10% of the state’s electricity.
The California Public Utilities Commission has ordered utilities to buy an unprecedented amount of renewable energy and battery storage as the state phases out four natural-gas-fired power plants and retires Diablo Canyon, the state’s last nuclear plant, starting in 2024.
Pfizer Marketing
States' COVID-19 Vaccine Lotteries Didn't Boost Rates, Research Shows
At first, the answer seemed to be yes. In Ohio, the vaccination rate spiked 33% in May, with 119,394 people age 16 and up receiving the vaccine in the week after the lottery was announced. That's compared to 89,464 shots given the week prior, an Associated Press analysis found.
Before long, more than a dozen states had announced their own versions of Ohio's "Vax-a-Million," including "VaxCash" in Maryland and "Vax and Scratch" in New York.
But that early trend didn't seem to hold. Research published in JAMA Health Forum on Friday suggests that none of the states' lotteries were effective at raising vaccination rates.
New York Times Retracts Massive Exaggeration of Children Hospitalized by COVID-19
In an article published by New York Times reporter Apoorva Mandavilli on Wednesday, Times readers were told that “nearly 900,000 children have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic began.”
Provider's Errors
Sister in Law RN vaccinations BOTG
My SIL told me some VERY interesting things.
1) The RN told her that they* no longer pull back on needles* when giving
intramuscular injections. This is the new practice now and pulling back on
the needle is considered the "old way" and antiquated. *SIL was also
surprised to learn this.*
2) SIL was trained to work in a Vaxx clinic:
2a) She reported that they were *mixing vials of Pfizer vaccine doses*.
Meaning, if a vial was too low to make a full dose, they would top up from
another vial. She states that is a VERY unsafe practice as you can not
guarantee that each vial is formulated exactly the same as the last, and
this is never done in the course of regular practice for any other
medication, since any particular lot could have a bad formulation.
2b) She reported that *they were having Medical Assistants (office
people) draw up the syringes*, lay them in a line 6-10 in a row, and have
them ready for whichever person was administering the dose. This is awful! *The
administering provider is required to draw up and administer the medication
themselves* and are supposed to refuse to administer a pre-drawn medication
unless it comes from a package pre-dosed. This is to ensure quality control
and to prevent incorrect medications and doses from being administered to
2c) The paperwork was all being completed after the fact. *Lot numbers
per patient were not being recorded properly*, since they were drawing up
the doses 6-10 at a time and mixing the doses from different vials
together. The documentation staff would have to make up or guess which lot
was administered and to whom. This is especially dangerous if one
particular lot is bad and must be recalled.
Covid Down Under
Virginia Tech moves to suppress student voices due to F**k Joe Biden chants
The school released a statement that they will limit student access to games and they have encouraged them to make the experience a pleasant one for anyone that may attend the games.
In the comments, the school said that the actions that were recorded were “selfish, inappropriate, and embarrassing student behavior at home football games. What we have heard falls short of Virginia Tech standards – and most importantly, creates an unsafe environment for all who attend.”
Anyone who violates the orders of the university will be banned from events at the stadium and be subject to actions by law enforcement. The university will beef up law enforcement presence at future events.
The school’s website claims, “Virginia Tech values the educational benefits of diverse ideas, peoples, and cultures.” Apparently, that only applies if you are part of the radical agenda.
Van Jones Launches on Amazon Music
Amazon Music is launching “Uncommon Ground with Van Jones,” a new Amazon Original podcast hosted by activist Van Jones. It premieres October 27th, with new episodes every Wednesday.
The premiere episode features Spanish chef and founder of World Central Kitchen José Andrés. Upcoming guests also include Deepak Chopra, will.i.am, Sarah Silverman, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Andrew Yang, S.E. Cupp, and many more. They will discuss a variety of topics – from climate change, to prison reform, to voting rights, to spiritual evolution, to cancel culture.
DC Comics ditch mention of 'The American Way' from Superman's motto | Daily Mail Online
Superman's motto used to be 'Truth, Justice and the American Way'
But DC Comics said that his new mission statement will now be 'Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow' - losing reference to America
Mass Formation
Teen Girls Are Developing Tics. Doctors Say TikTok Could Be a Factor. - WSJ
Stop that! It's not Tourette's but a new type of mass sociogenic illness
We report the first outbreak of a new type of mass sociogenic illness (MSI) that in contrast to all previously reported episodes is spread solely via social media. Accordingly, we suggest the more specific term "mass social media-induced illness" (MSMI). In Germany, current outbreak of MSMI is initiated by a "virtual" index case, who is the second most successful YouTube creator in Germany and enjoys enormous popularity among young people. Affected teenagers present with similar or identical functional "Tourette-like" behaviours, which can be clearly differentiated from tics in Tourette syndrome. Functional "Tourette-like" symptoms can be regarded as the "modern" form of the well-known motor variant of MSI. Moreover, they can be viewed as the 21th century expression of a culture-bound stress reaction of our post-modern society emphasizing the uniqueness of individuals and valuing their alleged exceptionality, thus promoting attention-seeking behaviours and aggravating the permanent identity crisis of modern man. We wish to raise awareness of the current global "Tourette-like" MSMI outbreak. A large number of young people across different countries are affected, with considerable impact on health care systems and society as a whole, since spread via social media is no longer restricted to specific locations such as local communities or school environments.spread via social media is no longer restricted to specific locations such as schools or towns.
EQ Machine
EU Tattoo inks and permanent make-up
Tattoos are a popular form of body art – at least 12 % of Europeans have them. In the 18-35 age group, twice as many are likely to have a tattoo.
The health risks of using dirty needles to inject the inks have been under scrutiny for a long time. Now, their chemical-related concerns have also been analysed and their risks have been regulated at EU level.
To protect European citizens, thousands of hazardous chemicals found in tattoo inks and permanent make-up are restricted in the EU under the REACH Regulation from January 2022.
Think of the Children!
More Children with respiratory problems
My wife works at Children's National in DC. She's been a doctor for 10
years. She shared they had to open a new ward last week, which is unheard
of in October, for a spike in seasonal illness in children (flu, pneumonia,
etc) that we wouldn't see until December or January. She had no
explanations why nor did her peers but DC is similar to LA and NYC in
regards to masking requirements (although I think those are pretty
universal). Perhaps kids not breathing normal air or being exposed to the
elements for two years is having an impact. I don't know if similar data
would exist but wanted to share it.
Tobacco Lawyer responds to Vapewars
Hi Adam,
We met at the meet up in Delray, Florida, I work in the tobacco industry, and we chatted about that briefly. I’m writing this immediately after hearing your update on this Thursday’s show. Here’s a quick update (and correction) on a few things:
* Vuse tobacco flavored e-cigs did get Pre-Market Authorization, but the joke is no one buys them.
* Juul has not been killed off, in fact that FDA has not ruled on their application yet. And, there is an FTC case pending where a decision will be made whether to unwind the Altria investment in Juul. That investment drove up Juul’s value dramatically though Altria has only lost money on it and written down the value repeatedly. Maybe the FDA is waiting to see how the court rules before ruling on their PMTA’s though most industry players think tobacco flavors will be approved.
* BAT (British American Tobacco) recently won a case against iQos, resulting in Altria (distributor for PMI) having to halt imports of iQos into the U.S. in less than 60 days. This decision cost BAT, Altria & PMI about $17b in stock market losses on announcement day.
* Hundreds (maybe thousands) of small vapor companies submitted Pre-Market Authorization applications (PMTA) to the FDA. These were shoe-string budget submissions that were unlikely to ever get approval. 55,000 SKU’s have been rejected for not being able to prove that flavored e-cigs are “appropriate for public health”.
* The FDA regulates tobacco products made from nicotine derived from tobacco leaves. They do not regulate synthetic nicotine so the vast majority of vape liquid manufacturers have switched to synthetic to avoid being shut down. Nicotine patches, gum, etc. are not considered tobacco products as they have been approved as drugs.
* It’s the Master Settlement Agreement, not master states agreement. Killing off the vape industry doesn’t add to the MSA coffers very much as some states sold their interests to wall street and are upside down. “Politicians wanted upfront cash from a legal victory over Big Tobacco, and bankers happily obliged. The price? A handful of states promised to repay $64 billion on just $3 billion advanced.” Beyond that, cigarette sales are down overall. (See financial repot attached.)
Keep up the great work,
The Purge
Armed gang kidnaps up to 17 American Christian missionaries, including children, in Haiti – reports — RT World News
Between 15 and 17 US missionaries and their families are reportedly being held by a gang in Haiti. Although the country is infamous for kidnappings, the abduction of such a large group of foreigners is nonetheless unusual.
The group was kidnapped on Saturday, while traveling on a bus not far from the Caribbean nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince, an initial report by the New York Times stated. Citing Haitian officials, the NYT said 17 hostages – among them US missionaries and their family members – had been abducted. At least three children were believed to be with the group, CNN reported. On Sunday, local security sources confirmed to the AFP news agency that at least 15 Americans had been kidnapped, and said they were being held by an armed gang.
US envoy to Haiti resigns over ‘inhumane’ deportations and ‘catastrophic’ political meddling
The group had reportedly been heading to the airport after visiting an orphanage, when one of its members had posted an SOS message in a WhatsApp group. Cited by the Washington Post, it read, “We are being held hostage. They kidnapped our driver. Pray, pray, pray. We don’t know where they are taking us.”
Virginia Tech moves to suppress student voices due to F**k Joe Biden chants - The Liberty Loft
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 12:49
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Blacksburg, VA '-- Just a few weeks ago, the anti-Joe Biden changes started across the country. From NASCAR to college football, fans have been heard shouting the words that led to the ''Let's Go Brandon'' memes.
One of the campuses that had such an experience was Virginia Tech. The Blacksburg, Virginia university had a student section that proudly chanted against their demented president.
Old Row Sports on Twitter: ''Another FUCK JOE BIDEN 🗣 chant, this time at the Virginia Tech gameITS NOW A MOVEMENT 🚨🚨🚨 @OldRowHokies pic.twitter.com/CD4ObCqTaK / Twitter''Another FUCK JOE BIDEN 🗣 chant, this time at the Virginia Tech gameITS NOW A MOVEMENT 🚨🚨🚨 @OldRowHokies pic.twitter.com/CD4ObCqTaK
Those actions have now been met with criticism by the university who is on a mission to silence anyone who goes against the radical agenda.
The school released a statement that they will limit student access to games and they have encouraged them to make the experience a pleasant one for anyone that may attend the games.
In the comments, the school said that the actions that were recorded were ''selfish, inappropriate, and embarrassing student behavior at home football games. What we have heard falls short of Virginia Tech standards '' and most importantly, creates an unsafe environment for all who attend.''
Anyone who violates the orders of the university will be banned from events at the stadium and be subject to actions by law enforcement. The university will beef up law enforcement presence at future events.
The school's website claims, ''Virginia Tech values the educational benefits of diverse ideas, peoples, and cultures.'' Apparently, that only applies if you are part of the radical agenda.
Leaders, like these at Virginia Tech, and the mainstream media continue to coordinate in an effort to silence conservatives and those who are against the Biden regime. With these actions taking place across the country, no one believes that this man legitimately won over 80 million votes.
The statement Let's Go Brandon, which resulted as part of a NASCAR event, have taken the conservative world by storm. From meme's to cartoons, it is clear that Joe Biden is not very well liked.
Support The Liberty Loft by donating via PayPal or donate with crypto. Your support helps us achieve our mission to deliver conservative news and opinion. You can find us on a wide variety of social media channels or subscribe to our notifications to receive all the latest information as it is released.
Armed gang kidnaps up to 17 American Christian missionaries, including children, in Haiti '' reports '-- RT World News
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 12:20
Between 15 and 17 US missionaries and their families are reportedly being held by a gang in Haiti. Although the country is infamous for kidnappings, the abduction of such a large group of foreigners is nonetheless unusual.
The group was kidnapped on Saturday, while traveling on a bus not far from the Caribbean nation's capital, Port-au-Prince, an initial report by the New York Times stated. Citing Haitian officials, the NYT said 17 hostages '' among them US missionaries and their family members '' had been abducted. At least three children were believed to be with the group, CNN reported. On Sunday, local security sources confirmed to the AFP news agency that at least 15 Americans had been kidnapped, and said they were being held by an armed gang.
Read more
The group had reportedly been heading to the airport after visiting an orphanage, when one of its members had posted an SOS message in a WhatsApp group. Cited by the Washington Post, it read, ''We are being held hostage. They kidnapped our driver. Pray, pray, pray. We don't know where they are taking us.''
No further details about the missionaries or their church is currently available, but news of their abduction was disseminated among other religious aid groups via a ''special prayer alert'' sent out by Ohio's Christian Aid Ministries, which is said to have direct knowledge of the incident. It said a field director of the mission whose members have been kidnapped had been staying at a base in Haiti at the time of the incident and was now working with the US Embassy there to try to resolve the crisis.
No official statement has so far been issued by the embassy, while the US State Department said it was ''aware of these reports,'' but did not provide any further details.
Haiti has been engulfed in turmoil for years. The security and economic situation has worsened over the past several months, however, after President Jovenel Mo¯se was assassinated at his residence in July, and an earthquake hit the country in August, killing more than 2,000 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless.
Also on rt.com Chief prosecutor in Haiti SACKED after he tried to charge PM for alleged role in president's murder Kidnappings have recently become much more common in the country, often happening in broad daylight. Those abducted include schoolchildren, pastors, police on patrol and even poor street vendors. Estimated to be the highest recorded per-capita kidnapping rate in the world, the number of abductions this year has spiked dramatically and already exceeds 600. According to the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights, a civil society group based in the capital, at least 628 kidnappings, including 29 of foreigners, have taken place since January. In 2020, 234 abductions were reported to the police, according to the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti.
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Emergency Use Authorization of COVID-19 Tests: Independent Assessment of the FDA's Response | FDA
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 12:05
At the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, much of the focus in 2020 and 2021 has been dominated by the Agency's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) has significantly contributed to the COVID-19 response, including working to help grant emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for over 600 medical devices '' more than a ten-fold increase over the number authorized in all prior public health emergencies (PHEs) combined '' and authorized over 900 additional medical devices through traditional pathways, for a total of more than 1,700 medical devices authorized.
''The FDA agrees with the priority'¯recommendations'¯identified by Booz Allen Hamilton'¯in their independent assessment of our COVID-19 response.'¯From the beginning of the'¯pandemic, we have adapted our regulatory approach to address the public's testing needs and worked actively with COVID-19 test developers to adjust our policies as those needs'¯have'¯changed or the science has evolved.'¯We will continue to take a flexible approach to COVID-19 tests to meet public health needs and increase access to testing for consumers, including at-home diagnostic tests, which remain a top priority for the agency, that is grounded in sound science.'' Jeff Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health
As of October 8, 2021, the FDA authorized approximately 400 COVID-19 tests and sample collection devices and over 600 revisions to such EUAs.
In March 2021, Booz Allen Hamilton was selected by the FDA to conduct an independent assessment of the FDA's Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) response. Booz Allen Hamilton reviewed primary documents and conducted internal and external stakeholder interviews to evaluate the FDA's response and develop recommendations for improvement.
CDRH is sharing Booz Allen Hamilton's independent assessment report with the public. This page highlights the recommendations from the report, along with CDRH's perspectives and steps the Center has taken, or plans to take, to address the feedback.
Priority Recommendations to Support the EUA Process The key observations, potential recommendations, and intended impacts listed below are excerpted from Table 4-2, Priority Recommendations Identified by Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) to Support the EUA Process, in the assessment report.
KEY OBSERVATION: Precise tracking of new review metrics was encumbered by the IT system, which is not optimized to account for updated EUA processes.
BAH Priority Recommendation and Intended ImpactConsider ways to optimize the IT system to account for EUA processes ''Fully automate submission and tracking of EUA requests (e.g., linking Pre-EUA to EUA; lags while awaiting additional information from requestors; lags due to backlog or priority designation) to provide more comprehensive picture of review time from EUA submission to decision for review efficiency, performance monitoring, prioritization, process improvements, and workload management'' CDRH Perspective and Next StepsCDRH agrees with the recommendation to align IT with EUA process updates, as this will help improve tracking of EUA requests and related performance metrics.
From March 2020 to present, CDRH took several steps to identify IT system needs to improve EUA request submission tracking. In parallel, CDRH has been working to streamline EUA processes.
Further, CDRH initiated a Digital Transformation Initiative in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, which is ongoing. This initiative is focused on providing better IT infrastructures, technology solutions, and data to help both internal and external stakeholders across all regulatory programs. The goal is to improve transparency, reduce duplicative efforts, create an integrated environment, and help ensure that data is organized, curated properly, and accurate for decision making. This effort will help CDRH better track future EUA requests as well as provide better platforms for interacting with medical device sponsors when questions arise about their submissions.
KEY OBSERVATION: The approach to staff allocation was difficult to systematically quantify and analyze, making it difficult to determine what events or criteria triggered shifts in staff and how shifts were coordinated to address the triggering event or criteria.
BAH Priority Recommendation and Intended ImpactConsider developing a systematic approach (that is, a strategy and plan) for allocation and tracking of staff during public health emergencies (PHEs) ''Quick determination of staffing needs and deployment of the right staff to the right place at the right time to maximize review efficiency. Identification of most likely areas for future PHEs (e.g., emerging infectious diseases) and development of process for cross-training to prepare a subset of staff in those areas in the event of a PHE'' CDRH Perspective and Next StepsCDRH agrees with the recommendation of developing a systematic approach for allocation and tracking of staff during PHEs.
CDRH is undertaking efforts to proactively prepare for future situations by focusing on how to identify staffing needs and deploy staff to the ''right place at the right time'' by:
Outlining a blueprint for an Emergency Response Process that will provide guidelines for information sharing, staff mobilization, and operational flexibility with the goal of engaging the right people at the right time in future emergencies. Starting a process improvement effort to address how 'Surge Capacity' is defined and managed in a standardized way across the Center. The goal of this project effort is to define how staff can be seamlessly allocated to work more efficiently during a PHE. Other goals of this project will include how to define situational triggers and thresholds to 'activate' a surge capacity situation, as well as how to develop a plan to manage resources through the PHE. Using a resource pool of qualified contractors to support various activities, including EUA review activities on an 'as-needed' basis to address the demands of the PHE. In addition to identifying ways to manage resource needs, CDRH is exploring ways to simplify and streamline the EUA process. For example, the use of review templates reduced the number of manufacturer submission pages and focused on what was the most important data to submit to the FDA. This helped FDA review staff work more efficiently given the staffing challenges. KEY OBSERVATION: There was limited understanding in the test developer community on how to appropriately validate a diagnostic test.
BAH Priority Recommendation and Intended ImpactConsider developing a framework for how to conduct validation of diagnostic tests for emerging pathogens in the setting of a declared PHE ''[This should result in] Earlier access to accurate and reliable diagnostic tests''CDRH Perspective and Next StepsCDRH agrees with the recommendation to develop a framework for how to conduct validation of diagnostic tests for emerging pathogens in the setting of a declared PHE.
CDRH plans to engage with test developers to establish generic templates for commonly anticipated pathogens that may be adapted for potential future outbreaks, as well as a framework for conducting appropriate validation under different circumstances, to speed the availability of future in vitro diagnostic (IVD) devices. CDRH believes that common approaches to validating test design and performance can support development of accurate and reliable tests, regardless of whether there is an emergency.
CDRH also plans to continue strengthening communication strategies and tools that have proved effective during the COVID-19 PHE, including town halls, webinars, a telephone hotline and email boxes for stakeholder inquiries, templates, and interactions with professional and trade organizations.
Further, CDRH suggests that the U.S. government consider:
Working with international partners to establish a plan for sharing clinical specimens as soon as a public health threat emerges. Clinical specimens are needed for optimal validation of tests. Establishing the capacity to independently evaluate test performance before outbreaks occur so that independent evaluation can be performed quickly during an outbreak. CDRH's collaboration with the National Cancer Institute demonstrated the value of this approach. Combined with FDA emergency use authorization, this strategy could permit rapid independent assessment of molecular diagnostic, antigen, and serology test accuracy and minimize the need for test developers to procure specimens for clinical validation. Content current as of:10/13/2021
Earthquakes Today: latest earthquakes worldwide during the past 24 hours on Sunday, October 17, 2021 - list, stats and interactive map / VolcanoDiscovery
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 11:46
Sunday, October 17, 2021 11:40 GMT (35 earthquakes) Oct 17, 2021 11:40 GMT Oct 17, 2021 7:40 pm (GMT +8)
n/a15 km (9.3 mi) 7.2 km east of Naga City, Camarines Sur, Bicol, Philippines (preliminary) Early Alert!I FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 11:33 GMT Oct 17, 2021 8:33 pm (GMT +9)
59 km91 km (57 mi) East China Sea, JapanI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 11:16 GMT Oct 17, 2021 8:16 pm (GMT +9)
172 km60 km (37 mi) Higashitsugaru-gun, Aomori, Japan More Oct 17, 2021 11:12 GMT Oct 17, 2021 12:12 pm (GMT +1)
11 km2 km (1.2 mi) Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain More Oct 17, 2021 11:06 GMT Oct 17, 2021 12:06 pm (GMT +1)
35 km3 km (1.9 mi) La Palma Island, Canary Islands, SpainI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 10:56 GMT Oct 17, 2021 11:56 am (GMT +1)
11 km3 km (1.9 mi) La Palma Island, Canary Islands, SpainI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 10:55 GMT Oct 17, 2021 1:55 pm (GMT +3)
5 km138 km (86 mi) Heraklion Regional Unit, Crete, Greece More Oct 17, 2021 10:51 GMT Oct 17, 2021 6:51 pm (GMT +8)
4 km15 km (9.3 mi) 2.3 km southeast of Naga City, Camarines Sur, Bicol, PhilippinesI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 10:48 GMT Oct 17, 2021 5:48 am (GMT -5)
46 km356 km (221 mi) Panama District, Panama, PanamaI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 10:40 GMT Oct 17, 2021 11:40 am (GMT +1)
11 km2 km (1.2 mi) La Palma Island, Canary Islands, SpainI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 10:36 GMT Oct 17, 2021 6:36 am (GMT -4)
11 km385 km (239 mi) 5 Km SE of Maria Antonia, Puerto Rico More Oct 17, 2021 09:25 GMT Oct 17, 2021 5:25 am (GMT -4)
12 km1124 km (698 mi) Caribbean Sea, HaitiI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 09:05 GMT Oct 17, 2021 9:05 pm (GMT +12)
353 km161 km (100 mi)South Pacific OceanI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 08:40 GMT Oct 17, 2021 9:40 pm (GMT +13)
33 km125 km (78 mi) Tasman Sea, New ZealandI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 08:00 GMT Oct 17, 2021 1:00 pm (GMT +5)
190 km538 km (334 mi) Tajikistan: 170km ENE of Fayzabad, AfghanistanI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 07:38 GMT Oct 17, 2021 6:38 pm (GMT +11)
79 km208 km (129 mi) Coral Sea, Solomon IslandsI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 07:29 GMT Oct 17, 2021 4:29 am (GMT -3)
220 km73 km (45 mi) Departamento de Susques, Jujuy, ArgentinaI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 07:22 GMT Oct 17, 2021 5:22 pm (GMT +10)
301 km125 km (78 mi) Sea of Okhotsk, JapanI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 07:22 GMT Oct 17, 2021 3:22 pm (GMT +8)
133 km49 km (30 mi) 44 km southeast of Bima, West Nusa Tenggara, IndonesiaI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 06:40 GMT Oct 17, 2021 2:40 am (GMT -4)
26 km241 km (150 mi) North Atlantic Ocean, U.S. Virgin IslandsI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 06:25 GMT Oct 17, 2021 9:25 am (GMT +3)
13 km67 km (42 mi) ETHIOPIAI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 05:52 GMT Oct 16, 2021 11:52 pm (GMT -6)
10 km206 km (128 mi) North Pacific Ocean, PanamaI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 05:49 GMT Oct 17, 2021 2:49 pm (GMT +9)
221 km90 km (56 mi) 88 km northeast of Tobelo, Kabupaten Halmahera Utara, North Maluku, IndonesiaI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 05:18 GMT Oct 17, 2021 3:18 pm (GMT +10)
68 km89 km (55 mi) 91 Km ESE of Kokopo, Papua New GuineaI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 04:58 GMT Oct 16, 2021 10:58 pm (GMT -6)
10 km289 km (180 mi) SOUTH OF PANAMAI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 04:31 GMT Oct 17, 2021 9:31 am (GMT +5)
238 km479 km (298 mi) 211km N of Islamabad, PakistanI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 04:31 GMT Oct 17, 2021 9:31 am (GMT +5)
150 km533 km (331 mi) TajikistanI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 03:10 GMT Oct 17, 2021 4:10 am (GMT +1)
60 km21 km (13 mi) Tenerife, Canary Islands, SpainI FELT IT - 11 reportsMore Oct 17, 2021 02:35 GMT Oct 16, 2021 9:35 pm (GMT -5)
28 km120 km (75 mi) Arteaga, 49 km north of Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, MexicoI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 02:32 GMT Oct 17, 2021 11:32 am (GMT +9)
13 km107 km (66 mi) Philippine Sea, JapanI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 02:30 GMT Oct 17, 2021 3:30 pm (GMT +13)
10 km80 km (50 mi) New ZealandI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 02:07 GMT Oct 17, 2021 10:07 am (GMT +8)
58 km244 km (152 mi) Indian Ocean, 142 km south of Waingapu, East Nusa Tenggara, IndonesiaI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 01:29 GMT Oct 17, 2021 9:29 am (GMT +8)
10 km92 km (57 mi) Philippine Sea, 80 km northeast of Surigao City, PhilippinesI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 01:12 GMT Oct 17, 2021 10:12 am (GMT +9)
526 km226 km (140 mi) Bonin Islands, Japan RegionI FELT IT More Oct 17, 2021 00:53 GMT Oct 16, 2021 7:53 pm (GMT -5)
10 km270 km (168 mi) North Pacific Ocean, 42 km southeast of Acapulco de Juarez, Guerrero, MexicoI FELT IT MoreSaturday, October 16, 2021 23:42 GMT (44 earthquakes) Oct 16, 2021 23:42 GMT Oct 17, 2021 7:42 am (GMT +8)
10 km177 km (110 mi) Indian Ocean, 143 km south of Dompu, West Nusa Tenggara, IndonesiaI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 23:20 GMT Oct 17, 2021 7:20 am (GMT +8)
1 km4 km (2.5 mi) 41 km northeast of Maasin, Southern Leyte, Eastern Visayas, PhilippinesI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 22:56 GMT Oct 16, 2021 7:56 pm (GMT -3)
10 km1195 km (743 mi)North Atlantic OceanI FELT IT - 1 reportMore Oct 16, 2021 22:24 GMT Oct 17, 2021 4:09 am (GMT +5:45)
10 km896 km (557 mi) 98km NNW of Kathmandu, NepalI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 22:20 GMT Oct 17, 2021 6:20 am (GMT +8)
10 km110 km (68 mi) Tibet, 289 km south of Hotan, Xinjiang, ChinaI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 22:15 GMT Oct 17, 2021 11:15 am (GMT +13)
12 km1023 km (636 mi) Tasman Sea, New ZealandI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 21:52 GMT Oct 16, 2021 4:52 pm (GMT -5)
5 km273 km (170 mi) Cuajinicuilapa, 16 km southwest of Ometepec, Guerrero, MexicoI FELT IT - 2 reportsMore Oct 16, 2021 21:42 GMT Oct 17, 2021 5:42 am (GMT +8)
10 km70 km (43 mi) 52 km south of Xinyuan, Xinjiang, ChinaI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 21:42 GMT Oct 17, 2021 5:42 am (GMT +8)
31 km166 km (103 mi) 82 km southeast of Kucha, Xinjiang, ChinaI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 21:31 GMT Oct 16, 2021 2:31 pm (GMT -7)
10 km86 km (53 mi) Gulf of California, 86 km southwest of Puerto Pe±asco, Sonora, MexicoI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 20:14 GMT Oct 16, 2021 5:14 pm (GMT -3)
16 km256 km (159 mi) OFFSHORE COQUIMBO, CHILEI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 20:05 GMT Oct 17, 2021 2:35 am (GMT +6:30)
80 km279 km (173 mi) Myanmar (Burma): MyanmarI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 19:24 GMT Oct 16, 2021 12:24 pm (GMT -7)
19 km76 km (47 mi) 11 km south of Mexicali, Baja California, MexicoI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 19:07 GMT Oct 16, 2021 2:07 pm (GMT -5)
91 km161 km (100 mi) North Pacific Ocean, 35 km west of Pijijiapan, Chiapas, MexicoI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 18:49 GMT Oct 17, 2021 3:49 am (GMT +9)
148 km23 km (14 mi) Tomakomai Shi, Hokkaido, JapanI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 18:45 GMT Oct 16, 2021 1:45 pm (GMT -5)
20 km276 km (171 mi) OFFSHORE COQUIMBO, CHILEI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 18:34 GMT Oct 16, 2021 1:34 pm (GMT -5)
10 km235 km (146 mi) OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILEI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 18:27 GMT Oct 16, 2021 12:27 pm (GMT -6)
18 km84 km (52 mi) 57 Km Al Sur De Las Brisas, GuatemalaI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 18:27 GMT Oct 16, 2021 1:27 pm (GMT -5)
10 km616 km (383 mi) Cayman Islands: North of HondurasI FELT IT - 21 reportsMore Oct 16, 2021 17:47 GMT Oct 16, 2021 9:47 am (GMT -8)
45 km84 km (52 mi) Kenai Peninsula Parish, 20 mi south of Kalifornsky, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USAI FELT IT - 24 reportsMore Oct 16, 2021 17:33 GMT Oct 16, 2021 6:33 pm (GMT +1)
10 km698 km (434 mi)Southwest of AfricaI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 16:42 GMT Oct 17, 2021 12:42 am (GMT +8)
22 km109 km (68 mi) Philippine Sea, 66 km southeast of Bislig City, PhilippinesI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 16:31 GMT Oct 16, 2021 9:31 am (GMT -7)
10 km311 km (193 mi) North Pacific Ocean, 96 km southwest of Acapulco de Juarez, Guerrero, MexicoI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 16:05 GMT Oct 16, 2021 4:05 am (GMT -12)
33 km233 km (145 mi) New ZealandI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 15:41 GMT Oct 16, 2021 10:41 am (GMT -5)
5 km422 km (262 mi) Muzquiz, 26 km southwest of Sabinas, Coahuila, MexicoI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 15:39 GMT Oct 16, 2021 9:39 am (GMT -6)
33 km222 km (138 mi) North Pacific Ocean, 57 km southeast of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, MexicoI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 15:35 GMT Oct 16, 2021 11:35 pm (GMT +8)
31 km137 km (85 mi) Taiwan RegionI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 15:17 GMT Oct 16, 2021 9:17 pm (GMT +6)
10 km334 km (208 mi) EASTERN KAZAKHSTANI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 14:58 GMT Oct 17, 2021 2:58 am (GMT +12)
330 km160 km (99 mi)New ZealandI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 14:17 GMT Oct 16, 2021 9:17 am (GMT -5)
10 km64 km (40 mi) North Pacific Ocean, 44 km west of Tapachula, Chiapas, MexicoI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 14:17 GMT Oct 16, 2021 8:17 am (GMT -6)
38 km119 km (74 mi) 51 Km Al Suroeste De Tulate, GuatemalaI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 13:54 GMT Oct 17, 2021 2:54 am (GMT +13)
562 km266 km (165 mi)New ZealandI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 13:37 GMT Oct 16, 2021 10:37 pm (GMT +9)
26 km45 km (28 mi) Indonesia: Banda SeaI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 13:24 GMT Oct 16, 2021 11:24 am (GMT -2)
29 km120 km (75 mi) South Sandwich Islands RegionI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 13:23 GMT Oct 16, 2021 7:23 am (GMT -6)
1 km109 km (68 mi) 31 Km Al Suroeste De Jac", Costa RicaI FELT IT - 1 reportMore Oct 16, 2021 12:59 GMT Oct 16, 2021 4:29 pm (GMT +3:30)
10 km202 km (126 mi) 17 km northwest of Zarand, Kerman, IranI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 12:54 GMT Oct 16, 2021 7:54 am (GMT -5)
75 km439 km (273 mi) Central PeruI FELT IT - 2 reportsMore Oct 16, 2021 12:53 GMT Oct 16, 2021 7:53 am (GMT -5)
51 km612 km (380 mi) 35 Km W of Chancay, PeruI FELT IT - 8 reportsMore Oct 16, 2021 12:50 GMT Oct 16, 2021 8:50 pm (GMT +8)
10 km248 km (154 mi) BURYATIYA, RUSSIAI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 12:48 GMT Oct 16, 2021 9:48 pm (GMT +9)
13 km159 km (99 mi) Nantan-shi, Kyoto, JapanI FELT IT - 21 reportsMore Oct 16, 2021 12:47 GMT Oct 16, 2021 8:47 pm (GMT +8)
54 km124 km (77 mi) Molucca Sea, 142 km southeast of Gorontalo, IndonesiaI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 12:42 GMT Oct 16, 2021 8:42 pm (GMT +8)
10 km233 km (145 mi) Kazakhstan, 119 km north of Xinyuan, Xinjiang, ChinaI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 12:15 GMT Oct 16, 2021 6:15 pm (GMT +6)
10 km709 km (441 mi) EASTERN KAZAKHSTANI FELT IT More Oct 16, 2021 11:46 GMT Oct 16, 2021 3:16 pm (GMT +3:30)
10 km195 km (121 mi) 16 km west of Zarand, Kerman, IranI FELT IT - 6 reportsMore
Hollywood Strike Averted; IATSE Producers Reach Deal On New Film/TV Contract '' Deadline
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 11:43
EXCLUSIVE: With Hollywood on edge and picket signs at the ready, IATSE and the AMPTP have reached an agreement on a new film and TV contract, averting a threatened nationwide strike.
The new three-year contract, which must now be ratified by the union's members, comes just hours before the deadline '' midnight Sunday '' imposed by IATSE president Matthew Loeb. The union and the Carol Lombardini-led AMPTP are expected to make the agreement public very shortly.
''It took a lot to get here, but this is a good deal, a fair deal for everyone concerned,'' an individual close to the sometimes strained negotiations told Deadline once all the final contract language was agreed on Saturday. ''Time to break out the cigars,'' the individual added.
''This is a Hollywood ending,'' Loeb said. ''Our members stood firm. They're tough and united. We went toe to toe with some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world, and we have now reached an agreement with the AMPTP that meets our members' needs.''
''Solidarity is more than a word,'' he added. ''It's the way to get things done.''
''Our members will see significant improvements, but our employers also will benefit,'' said Mike Miller, vice president and Motion Picture Director for IATSE. ''This settlement allows pre-production, production and post-production to continue without interruption. Workers should have improved morale and be more alert. Health and safety standards have been upgraded.''
The deal for the new contract '' called the Basic Agreement '' is now in the books, but negotiations with the AMPTP will continue for IATSE members who work under the similar Area Standards Agreement in major production hubs such as New Mexico, New York, Illinois, Georgia and Louisiana.
More details are to come, but deal points include ''improved wages and working conditions for streaming,'' 10-hour turnaround times between shifts, MLK Day is now a holiday, ''Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives,'' increased funding of the health and pension plans and a 3% rate increase every year for the duration of the yett-to-be approved contract, among other changes. The AMPTP had wanted to settle the rate increase at around 3% for the first year and then shift it down to 2.5% or even less for the subsequent two years of the contract.
With many of the larger issues resolved late this week, today's talks saw IATSE and the AMPTP going over several smaller-but-vital matters, we hear. Once that was settled, the administrative component had to be dealt with, as the deal was actually typed up for all to look over one final time.
Though the tentative deal was reached before the deadline this weekend, and things actually really started coming together midday Friday, the situation remained in a state of flux almost right up to the final hours. Union officials were cautioning members about getting too optimistic. ''Even though we are still at the bargaining table trying to get an agreement, at the time of this writing, there are no plans to call off the strike,'' said an email that went out to members of Local 80 late on October 15.updating them on talks and preparations for the 12:01 AM October 18 set labor action.
The hard-fought agreement came after two final weeks of intense bargaining, as members prepared to shut the industry down if they had to. The two sides had been talking, on and off, since mid-May. But the discussions became much more urgent two weeks ago, when the members voted overwhelmingly to authorize Loeb to call a strike if these last-ditch efforts failed to produce an acceptable deal.
On Wednesday, the union president declared that the studios, networks, and streamers still weren't taking the union's demands seriously enough, saying that ''the pace of bargaining doesn't reflect any sense of urgency.''
The AMPTP, however, said all along that it remained ''committed to making a deal.''
To that end, not long after the 98% strike authorization vote result was announced on October 4, industry elders super lawyer Ken Ziffren, Disney TV boss Peter Rice and DGA's former executive national director Jay Roth joined the talks. The power trio offered their consul to both sides in an effort to cool the increasingly heated temperature in the virtual negotiations, with phone calls and Zoom chats flying at a furious pace over the past 72 hours.
The union's chief goals were livable wages for the lowest paid crafts; more turnaround time between workdays; actual meal breaks; a rescue of the union's ailing pension and health plan, and a bigger share of the revenue from streaming shows.
If the red line had been crossed in the early hours of Monday, a national strike would have the first in the 60,000 member strong IATSE's 128-year history.
Now, Hollywood will be heading back to work on Monday. Also, union members will be heading to the ballot box in the next few days to give or refuse their stamp of approval to today's deal.
States' COVID-19 Vaccine Lotteries Didn't Boost Rates, Research Shows
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 11:42
States' vaccine lotteries did not raise COVID-19 vaccination rates, new research suggests. The tens of millions of dollars spent on those lotteries were not a good use of funds, economists say. The finding could inform plans for future public-health emergencies. Loading Something is loading.
In the spring, when Ohio announced it was holding a $1 million lottery to encourage residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19, many governors' ears perked up. Could incentivizing people to get shots '' rather than mandating them '' actually work?
At first, the answer seemed to be yes. In Ohio, the vaccination rate spiked 33% in May, with 119,394 people age 16 and up receiving the vaccine in the week after the lottery was announced. That's compared to 89,464 shots given the week prior, an Associated Press analysis found.
Before long, more than a dozen states had announced their own versions of Ohio's "Vax-a-Million," including "VaxCash" in Maryland and "Vax and Scratch" in New York.
But that early trend didn't seem to hold. Research published in JAMA Health Forum on Friday suggests that none of the states' lotteries were effective at raising vaccination rates.
To reach that conclusion, researchers analyzed state-level COVID-19 vaccination data between April and July 2021, when shots were widely available and while 19 states were running vaccine lotteries. Their results indicated that the association between those states' announcements and their respective vaccination rates was "very small in magnitude and statistically indistinguishable from zero."
"There's a lot of hype around these programs, and we can't find any evidence that they helped," Andrew Friedson, a coauthor of the research and associate professor of economics at University of Colorado Denver, told Insider.
That's despite huge sums spent on these programs.
"Each state's doing several drawings, and these drawings are around a $1 million a pop, although some of them are less. With 19 states, you're looking at a large amount of money that's been spent on this," Friedson said.
The researchers only included cash lotteries in their analysis, leaving out non-cash items like drawings to win a hunting license, which was a vaccine prize in Arkansas. They also didn't take into account private sweepstakes, such as the $1 million cash prizes that Kroger awarded to five people who got vaccinated in Kroger supermarkets.
A man walks by signs for Ohio's COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State University on May 25, 2021. Tony Dejak/AP Nor did the paper calculate exactly how much money states cumulatively spent on lottery programs. So Insider combined Friedman's estimate of lottery spending in 11 states ($50 million) with data provided by six additional state health departments ($39.4 million).
The rough grand total: At least $89.4 million.
Two states '-- Massachusetts and Maine '-- not included in Friedman's estimate did not respond to Insider's request, so that total is likely an underestimation. Additionally, a spokesperson for North Carolina's health department pointed out that the state's lottery money came from federal coronavirus relief funding.
"No state funds have been used to pay for the prizes," she told Insider.
'This may not be the first innovation we want to reach for'Friedson called the results of the paper disappointing, since many people were rooting for these programs.
"There's an opportunity cost to spending money. Every dollar that you're spending on a lottery, you could have been spending on something else. That's the really economist-y answer," he said, adding, "so to the extent that we have policies that could have helped people, that we could have been spending money on, these were not a great use of funds."
Still, it's a learning opportunity, Friedson said: "Sadly, this is not gonna be the last time we're going to have a national public-health campaign."
Whenever the next public-health emergency arrives, whether it's a campaign for COVID-19 booster shots or another pandemic, it's important to know what doesn't work as well as what does.
"With regard to policies to try to raise vaccination rates, this may not be the first innovation we want to reach for," Friedson said.
Staff Sgt. Travis Snyder receives the Pfizer vaccine at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state on December 16, 2020. Ted S. Warren/AP So which incentives, if any, do work? As an economist, Friedson said, suggesting an alternative approach that would work is beyond his purview. For the scientists focused on that, it's a process of experimentation.
"The short answer is, we don't know until we try these things," Friedson said.
Previous research may hint at an answer.
A review of scientific literature about interventions to address vaccine hesitancy, published prior to the pandemic, did not find strong evidence that monetary rewards have much effect on vaccination rates. But those campaigns largely focused on children, not adults.
That said, Nichole Lighthall, an assistant psychology professor at the University of Central Florida, told ABC News in May that guaranteed cash rewards, such as the $100 savings bonds that West Virginia offered residents for getting vaccinated, may work better than lotteries.
"People like to gamble, but people love to get money for sure even more," she said.
There's a possibility, though, that Americans' beliefs about COVID-19 vaccines are too deeply rooted for a reward to be effective, in larger part because of the way some leaders and groups politicized them.
"If you buy into the idea that vaccines are dangerous '' and I can't stress enough that that this idea is wrong '' but if you believe that there's something sinister going on with this vaccine, it's unlikely that a payment is going to convince you, regardless of how big it is," Friedson said.
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Teen Girls Are Developing Tics. Doctors Say TikTok Could Be a Factor. - WSJ
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 11:41
When teens started turning up in doctors' offices with sudden, severe physical tics, specialists suspected social media: The girls had been watching Tourette syndrome TikTok videos
Julie Jargon | Photographs by Meridith Kohut for The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 16, 2021 9:00 am ETTeenage girls across the globe have been showing up at doctors' offices with tics'--physical jerking movements and verbal outbursts'--since the start of the pandemic.
Movement-disorder doctors were stumped at first. Girls with tics are rare, and these teens had an unusually high number of them, which had developed suddenly. After months of studying the patients and consulting with one another, experts at top pediatric hospitals in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K. discovered that most of the girls had something in common:...
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Teenage girls across the globe have been showing up at doctors' offices with tics'--physical jerking movements and verbal outbursts'--since the start of the pandemic.
Movement-disorder doctors were stumped at first. Girls with tics are rare, and these teens had an unusually high number of them, which had developed suddenly. After months of studying the patients and consulting with one another, experts at top pediatric hospitals in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K. discovered that most of the girls had something in common: TikTok.
According to a spate of recent medical journal articles, doctors say the girls had been watching videos of TikTok influencers who said they had Tourette syndrome, a nervous-system disorder that causes people to make repetitive, involuntary movements or sounds.
No one has tracked these cases nationally, but pediatric movement-disorder centers across the U.S. are reporting an influx of teen girls with similar tics. Donald Gilbert, a neurologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center who specializes in pediatric movement disorders and Tourette syndrome, has seen about 10 new teens with tics a month since March 2020. Before the pandemic, his clinic had seen at most one a month.
Specialists at other major institutions have also reported similar surges. Since March 2020, Texas Children's Hospital has reported seeing approximately 60 teens with such tics, whereas doctors there saw one or two cases a year before the pandemic. At the Johns Hopkins University Tourette's Center, 10% to 20% of pediatric patients have described acute-onset tic-like behaviors, up from 2% to 3% a year before the pandemic, according to Joseph McGuire, an associate professor in the university's department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Between March and June this year, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago said it saw 20 patients with these tics, up from 10 the full year before.
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Doctors say most of the teens have previously diagnosed anxiety or depression that was brought on or exacerbated by the pandemic. Physical symptoms of psychological stress often manifest in ways that patients have seen before in others, Dr. Gilbert said. In the past, he said he has had patients who experienced nonepileptic seizures and who, in most cases, had witnessed the seizures of relatives with epilepsy.
There are plenty of tic-like behaviors to witness on TikTok. When doctors in the U.K. began studying the phenomenon in January, videos containing the hashtag #tourettes had about 1.25 billion views, according to their report'--a number that has since grown to 4.8 billion.
''The safety and well-being of our community is our priority, and we're consulting with industry experts to better understand this specific experience,'' a TikTok spokeswoman said.
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Some doctors aren't quick to blame TikTok, and say that while the number of patients they're seeing is much higher than before, it isn't an epidemic.
''There are some kids who watch social media and develop tics and some who don't have any access to social media and develop tics,'' said Dr. McGuire. ''I think there are a lot of contributing factors, including anxiety, depression and stress.''
And many doctors question the stated diagnoses of some Tourette TikTokers and say the behaviors that these mostly-female influencers display in their videos'--multiple complex motor and verbal tics'--don't look like Tourette syndrome to them. Tourette syndrome affects far more boys than girls, and tends to develop gradually over time from a young age. Also, it can be treated with medication.
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Regardless of the TikTokers' claims, Dr. Gilbert said the symptoms of the teens who have watched them are real, and likely represent functional neurological disorders, a class of afflictions that includes certain vocal tics and abnormal body movements that aren't tied to an underlying disease. To unlearn these tics, doctors recommend cognitive behavioral therapy and tell patients to stay off TikTok for several weeks.
Searching for answersKayla Johnsen, a 17-year-old high-school senior from Sugar Land, Texas, began developing tics last November, after having been diagnosed with an inherited disorder that affects connective tissues. The severity and frequency of her tics worsened after she began taking medicine for the disorder, she said, and she developed new ones.
One day, severe back spasms prompted her parents to take her to the emergency room. A doctor there suggested she might have a functional neurological disorder. When Kayla was released from the hospital, she said, the ER doctor suggested she see a therapist and a psychiatrist.
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Kayla'--who years earlier had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder'--began seeing a therapist every week and at one point attended five weeks of intensive therapy. She was prescribed medication to treat both the anxiety and the tics, but they persisted.
She was eventually referred to a movement-disorders specialist at Texas Children's Hospital. When she saw him last month, he asked about her social-media use. She said that during remote school last fall she had a hard time staying organized, and turned to YouTube to find videos of other students with ADHD to see how they were coping.
That led her to TikTok compilation videos featuring teens with ADHD or anxiety who also had tics. In one of the videos, she recalled, a woman who was baking had such bad tics that she threw eggs against a wall; in another, a girl appeared unable to control her arm movements and hit the people around her.
Kayla's mother, Brandi Johnsen, said the neurologist told her that doctors were investigating the connection between patients' tics and social media.
''These kids are trying to find support for anxiety and other things, and they're going to TikTok and other social media to find help, and it's coming back to bite them in a terrible, terrible way,'' Ms. Johnsen said.
''I do think my tics may have been triggered by these videos and that it spiraled into its own beast,'' Kayla said.
Connecting the dotsRoughly 30 teens referred to Rush University Medical Center in the past year displayed a range of involuntary actions, from jerking arm movements to curse words to head and neck twitches. Self-injurious behavior was common, according to some doctors, with many patients displaying bruises and abrasions resulting from their tics. Caroline Olvera, a movement-disorders fellow, noticed that numerous teens were saying the word ''beans,'' often in a British accent. Even patients who didn't speak English were saying it. Some patients mentioned they had seen TikTok videos of others with tics.
Dr. Olvera created a TikTok account and started watching videos of teens and adults who said they had Tourette syndrome. She discovered that one top Tourette influencer was a Brit who often blurted out the word ''beans.''
Dr. Olvera, who studied 3,000 such TikTok videos as part of her research, also found that 19 of the 28 most-followed Tourette influencers on TikTok reported developing new tics as a result of watching other creators' videos.
Clusters of tic-like disorders have happened previously, including a famous case a decade ago in which several teens in upstate New York developed tics that were diagnosed as ''mass psychogenic illness.''
Such cases were mostly confined to specific geographic locations, but social media appears to be providing a new way for psychological disorders to spread quickly around the world, according to a recent paper written by Mariam Hull, a child neurologist at Texas Children's Hospital who specializes in pediatric movement disorders.
One group of researchers reported a similar phenomenon surrounding a popular YouTuber in Germany who posted videos about having Tourette syndrome. However, for the most part, the medical community has focused on TikTok, which has grown rapidly during the pandemic. Earlier this month the company said its monthly users topped 1 billion, and it was the most-downloaded nongame app in August.
TikTok is particularly popular with teenage girls, ranking in many studies as their social-media app of choice. Many of the videos featuring people displaying tics are lighthearted, showing how difficult it is to bake or say the alphabet while dealing with uncontrollable bodily movements or verbal outbursts.
And once viewers click videos that appear on their ''For You'' page, similar ones might follow, chosen by an algorithm that bases its decisions on how much time people spend on any given piece of content.
Developing a tic would likely take more than one viewing of a video, Dr. Hull said. ''Some kids have pulled out their phones and showed me their TikTok, and it's full of these Tourette cooking and alphabet challenges.''
Starting recoveryWhen Kayla Johnsen's neurologist at Texas Children's Hospital confirmed the ER doctor's diagnosis of functional neurological disorder, he also explained to her that while she isn't exhibiting tics on purpose, she can learn to control them.
Having a firm diagnosis and knowing she has the power to stop the tics has helped them to abate somewhat, she said, but she still needs to learn techniques to quash them. She's doing exercises from a book the neurologist recommended to help her recognize thoughts and feelings that might trigger tic episodes and form better coping strategies.
Recently, a few of Kayla's school friends have developed tics. Kayla said she isn't sure if they picked up the tics from her, or from watching TikTok, but she's worried about them.
The ordeal has been hard on the family, who say it has been lonely and frustrating. Kayla said she still watches ADHD videos on TikTok but has stopped watching tic videos. She said she's trying to remain hopeful.
''I adopted a new phrase after this started: 'It's just another thing,' '' Kayla said. ''With all of the anxiety I've had for years and the symptoms I've had from the genetic disease, I've already been through quite a bit. Every time my tics got worse, I'd say, 'It's just another thing.' That's the answer I'd give whenever someone would ask how I'm doing, because if I actually thought about it, I'd break down.''
What parents can doDoctors who specialize in treating functional neurological disorders say there are some things parents can do if they notice their child exhibiting sudden new tics.
Take a social-media break. Doctors suggest asking children about the types of videos they may have seen on TikTok or other social-media sites and to stop watching any videos of people displaying tics for several weeks. Using TikTok's Family Pairing feature, parents can link their TikTok account to their children's to enable content restrictions.
Seek out a specialist. If tics are severe enough to interfere with a child's daily life, try to get an appointment with a doctor who specializes in pediatric movement disorders. Early intervention and the right diagnosis can help resolve them sooner. The Tourette Association of America recommends certain hospitals and clinics for their treatment of tics.
Maintain a normal routine. ''The worst thing you can do is sit at home and think about your symptoms,'' Dr. Gilbert said. Tics can increase during times of transition, so it's preferable for a kid to visit the school nurse during an episode than to go home for the day, he said.
Don't overreact. Parents often hover over kids with uncontrollable bodily movements to prevent harm, and they'll often react if children blurt out swear words. Doing so rewards the behavior, Dr. Gilbert said. ''Don't give them the attention,'' he said. ''It doesn't stop it, it feeds into it.'' Other doctors concur.
Get physical. ''I always encourage my patients to do a sport or yoga'--something physical that involves their mind and body together,'' Dr. Gilbert said. ''It's not evidence-based, but it gives them something to do.''
'--For more Family & Tech columns, advice and answers to your most pressing family-related technology questions, sign up for my weekly newsletter.
Write to Julie Jargon at julie.jargon@wsj.com
The End of Civilization and the Real Donald Trump '' The Health Care Blog
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 11:34
The pandemic started quietly. In the spring of 2017 A few hundred dead chickens appeared in markets in Hong Kong and a few other cities in China. Public health officials in China were slow to respond. They did not want to panic the public about an avian flu outbreak. Nor were they eager to take the steps necessary to contain such an outbreak'--the killing hundreds of thousands of chickens and poultry with devastating economic consequences. While the delay went on a few cases began to occur on Canadian and American poultry farms. Department of Agriculture experts traced the outbreak to waterfowl migrating from Northern flyways, probably from Asia. Inquiries were made about avian flu outbreaks in Asian nations. Then the unthinkable happened. Humans in Hong Kong began to get sick. Very sick. Some died. Those who died were in their twenties.
The avian flu virus had mutated. H7N9m had transformed into an agent that not only could infect humans but did so with a transmissibility and lethality that had not been seen since the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918.
Then the first American died. A young man back from a business trip to Hong Kong. The media, already primed for hysterical coverage following the severe Zika outbreak in the Southern United States in the summer and fall of 2016, went into full panic-dispensing mode. 'Experts' began to appear on the cable channels who suggested that the outbreak was the result of irresponsible genetic research in China. Still others suggested that it was the bioterror work of North Korean scientists. One or two pointed toward ISIS arguing that they had grown desperate in the face of the massive air war that the new administration had launched. Still others saw the hand of right or left wing domestic terrorists. And an accident at an American lab was put into the boiling cauldron of speculation and conspiracy.
The CDC issued advisories nearly everyday. There was no vaccine available but efforts were underway to make one since the genome of the mutated virus had been sequenced. People were urged to stay home, wear masks, cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing and to get the annual flu shot since that might confer some protection. Then President Trump decided to act.
He issued an Executive Order declaring that the border with Canada and Mexico be semi-sealed'--essential commerce only. Passengers on all international flights were to be subjected to screening and temperature measurement. Many pointed out that these measures did not work and that the mutated virus was already in the U.S. Trump, dismissed those concerns, noted that immigrants often brought disease along with them, that no one could be sure whether the outbreak was part of a conspiracy and that screening was the smartest thing to do.
As other Americans sickened and died Trump moved to quarantine those who were ill and their families. He said 'the cowards did not do it for Ebola or zika and the thing is not gonna go out of control on my watch'. Americans did not take kindly to quarantine especially when no provision had been made for getting them food or removing garbage.
Soon people began to break quarantine'--heading to supermarkets, hardware stores, and to visit relatives who themselves were homebound. Trump told every governor to get the state police involved to enforce quarantine but the numbers involved simply overwhelmed. Trump declared martial law and called out the military to enforce it supplemented by National Guard troops dispatched by cooperative governors. With lawsuits flying Trump addressed the nation, defiantly asserting that no communists would disrupt his drive to preserve a 'great America'. When two young black men were shot outside their home in Oklahoma after a mob confronted local police and national guardsmen Trump issued a statement that 'these people would either obey lawful orders or they would be jailed'. When the CDC pointed out that sending infected or exposed people to jail would only serve to boost the epidemic he ordered detention-style camps built in every state. Many state authorities simply refused. The media had long ago given up any pretense of public health education in favor of covering the political battle between Trump, recalcitrant governors in many states, his own CDC amidst catcalls from the international community.
Finally, after hundreds of deaths the first supply of vaccine became available. Trump was vaccinated on national television before ordering that the military and police receive vaccine priority. Health officials went berserk arguing that the immunosuppressed and health care workers needed priority too. Trump however was too distracted to listen. He became engaged in a vicious trade war with China to punish them for allowing an epidemic to spread to the greatest nation on earth.
As the epidemic began to fade many called for an assessment of what had gone wrong in battling the avian flu epidemic of 2017. Trump ignored them. He was too busy preparing a hand-picked slate of candidates for the 2018 mid-terms.
Art Caplan is a professor at NYU and a correspondent for NBC News.
Tina Tchen stepping up fight to quash Jussie Smollett subpoena - Chicago Sun-Times
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 11:32
Tina Tchen, former chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama, in new court filings, argues the subpoena filed by retired Judge Sheila O'Brien is improper.
By Lynn Sweet on May 29, 2019 3:00 pm WASHINGTON '-- Tina Tchen, former chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama, stepped up her fight on Wednesday to quash a subpoena digging for information about her role in Jussie Smollett's alleged fake hate crime case.
Lawyers for Tchen, an attorney who heads the Chicago office of Buckley LLP, were filing a motion to quash the subpoena in Cook County Circuit Court, the latest twist in a case that started out with Smollett, an openly gay African American actor who starred in ''Empire,'' initially claiming that he was the victim of a racially motivated and homophobic attack.
Smollett ended up being charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly staging the attack but those charges were abruptly dropped. The actor forfeited the $10,000 bond he posted and never admitted any wrongdoing.
Tchen is resisting a subpoena that is an outgrowth of a civil case filed by retired former state of Illinois Appeals Court Judge Sheila O'Brien, who has filed multiple legal bids related to the Smollett case and the handling of it by Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx.
Why O'Brien is so actively interested in the case has not yet become clear.
O'Brien jumped in the case in April, asking a judge to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Foxx.
The brief filed to support Tchen's motion to quash argues O'Brien has no business asking for a special prosecutor or any information because she ''holds no position or authority within the Illinois justice system. Yet, she claims the power not only to institute this proceeding, but to compel Ms. Tchen to participate by appearing in court to testify and produce documents, and submitting to an 'evidence deposition.'''
Moreover, the brief argues, O'Brien ''has no legal right to make her demands of Ms. Tchen and, even if Petitioner did, those demands are inconsistent with the applicable rules of discovery and not supported by any showing of good cause.''
Tchen's effort on behalf of the Smollett family has thrown a national spotlight on whether she crossed a line.
Because of her connection to former President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama, Tchen's involvement in the Smollett probe has provided fodder for right-wing outlets and conspiracy minded commentators on social media.
Tchen is linked to the Obamas for life. On Thursday, Tchen will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to participate in a White House Historical Association panel on ''Inside the White House: Behind the Scenes of the First Lady's Office.''
Given her background on gender and race issues and internal workplace investigations, it's an irony of sorts that the first major national controversy Tchen has ever faced has to do with her handling of hate crime allegations involving an African American gay man.
Tchen, in the Obama White House and now in her legal practice and other activities deals extensively with harassment, sexual assault, sexual inequity and related issues.
In the Obama administration, she was the executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls as well as Mrs. Obama's chief of staff. Tchen led the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.
Since the spawning of the MeToo! movement, Tchen has become a sought after lawyer dealing with conduct issues.
She is the co-founder of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund '-- helping women who have been harassed in the workplace '-- and was recently tapped to lead a review of the working conditions at the Southern Poverty Law Center. She also chairs the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion.
Tchen gave her side in a March statement: ''I know members of the Smollett family based on prior work together. Shortly after Mr. Smollett reported he was attacked, as a family friend, I contacted Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, who I also know from prior work together. My sole activity was to put the chief prosecutor in the case in touch with an alleged victim's family who had concerns about how the investigation was being characterized in public.''
The subpoena demands Tchen produce ''any and all documents, notes, phone records, texts, tape recordings made or received at any time, concerning your conversations with Kim Foxx in re Jussie Smollett.''
Benjamin B. Klubes, managing partner of Buckley LLP said in a statement, ''We filed a motion today asking the court not to allow Sheila O'Brien to collect documents and take testimony from Tina Tchen in connection with Ms. O'Brien's petition to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Jussie Smollett matter.
''We filed our motion because there is no basis for the appointment of a special prosecutor, and the court already has ruled that similar efforts to collect documents and take testimony from the State's Attorney's Office were improper.
''Ms. Tchen is cooperating fully with an inquiry by the Cook County Office of the Independent Inspector General, which is the government entity with an appropriate oversight role in the matter.''
Tchen's reputation took a hit with recent stories asserting she was dodging efforts to serve the subpoena. Klubes also said in his statement, ''While Ms. O'Brien apparently circulated to the media an incorrect claim that Ms. Tchen had evaded service, we contacted her directly upon learning of the subpoena from the media and accepted service on behalf of Ms. Tchen the same day the process server came to our building.''
O'Brien has also issued a subpoena for Foxx top deputy Joseph Magats, a move that was quashed on procedural grounds by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael Toomin earlier this month.
Get Ready For Messy Holiday Travel Thanks To Unvaccinated TSA Agents
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 11:28
Photo: Kevin Dietsch (Getty Images)
If you're planning on flying somewhere for Thanksgiving this year, you might want to rethink your plans. Air travel experts are expecting chaos at airports as TSA employees, who are largely unvaccinated, approach the deadline by which they are supposed to have received their shots.
One of the biggest issues will likely come before you even get on the plane. The Transportation Security Administration says that 40 percent of its workers are currently unvaccinated, and we're about a month removed from the federal government's November 22 deadline for federal workers to prove full vaccination. So, it's safe to expect that a lot of agents will not be available to grope people or whatever around the holidays.
That means that, in some cases, these TSA agents will hit that deadline and still not be fully vaccinated, even if they get the vaccine today. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine, for example, must be taken a month after the first dose, and workers must then wait two weeks before being considered fully vaccinated. The deadline to get the first vaccine in order to be fully vaccinated by November 22 has passed.
Again, November 22 is just three days before Thanksgiving '-- which are some of the busiest travel days of the year.
Some airlines are also approaching mandatory vaccination dates for staff as well. American Airlines and Jet Blue are requiring that employees based in the United States show proof of full vaccination by November 24, the day before Thanksgiving. According to Capt. Dennis Tajer, a spokesperson for the Allied Pilots Association, 4,000 out of the 14,000 pilots his union represents are currently unvaccinated '-- or about 28 percent. And that's not even taking into consideration potentially unvaccinated airline staff that ensure the smooth flow of travel in all other respects.
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While its problem wasn't vaccine-related, Southwest Airlines experienced massive problems due to inclement weather in Florida last weekend '-- but experts are using it as a potential example of what travel could look like in the wake of mass vaccine-related layoffs. You're probably going to be facing long waits to check in or go through security. There's a good chance your flight will be cancelled, rerouted, or rescheduled. All flights are likely to be jam-packed, so getting a different flight might be a challenge.
If you're going to travel this holiday season, experts are recommending a few different options. First, fly on off-peak days as much as you can, since that gives you a greater likelihood of your flight going as planned or being able to hop on a different flight. Opt for any airline that routes the most flights to your final destination, even if it's not your airline of choice '-- again, this will help you have a better chance at actually making a flight even if one gets cancelled. Try to fly as early in the day as you can to take advantage of a full day of flights as backup. And definitely get to the airport early to account for unusually long wait times.
US Set to Pay $712 Per Patient for Merck's COVID-19 Pill
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 11:25
Merck is set to get $712 per treatment course for its COVID-19 pill from the U.S. government'--even as it costs a fraction of that to produce, and is reportedly on track for a price of $12 in India.
The gap between production costs and the price for molnupiravir is gigantic and emblematic of a problem some say requires Congress or the U.S. government to intervene, implementing price caps or utilizing so-called march-in rights. Others, though, warn that such measures would curb innovation and lead to fewer drugs coming onto the market.
Merck filed for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its drug this week, after it said an interim analysis of trial data show it cut hospitalizations in COVID-19 patients. An FDA's advisory panel will consider the drug in November.
The treatment, a collection of pills given over five days, would be the first of its kind since the pandemic started.
Originally developed by Emory University with U.S. government funding, the drug was licensed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics last year. Efforts to get authorization during the Trump administration were stymied, leading Ridgeback to turn to Merck.
Researchers this month pegged the cost of production for the 5-day treatment course at $17.74 (pdf) and estimated Merck could make a sustainable amount even if it priced a course as low as $19.99.
Melissa Barber of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Dzintars Gotham of the King's College Hospital used the cost of the active pharmaceutical ingredient and other numbers to calculate the estimate.
The U.S. government committed last year to obtain 1.2 billion treatment courses if the drug received regulatory clearance. According to a contract (pdf) obtained by Knowledge Ecology International, the cost of each treatment would be $712.
''This price is equal to about 35 times the estimated sustainable generic price,'' Barber and Gotham said.
It's also 46 times as much as Indian manufacturers plan to charge for a generic version, according to Leena Menghaney, the South Asia head of M(C)decins Sans Fronti¨res Access Campaign.
''The molnupiravir case illustrates why the 'TRIPS Waiver' is so urgently needed, which would waive intellectual property for COVID-19 medical tools during the pandemic and would remove legal barriers so that countries the world over could produce versions of these medicines and more lives could be saved,'' she said in a statement, referring to a proposal to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
Merck did not respond to requests for comment for this article. After public criticism of the cost of the company's antiviral, an executive, Dr. Nicholas Kartsonis, said the price it charged the U.S. government isn't the final figure.
''We set that price before we had any data, so that's just one contract,'' Kartsonis told the Associated Press. ''Obviously we're going to be responsible about this and make this drug as accessible to as many people around the world as we can.''
Merck in a press release Monday said it was ''committed to providing timely access to molnupiravir globally, if it is authorized or approved, and plans to implement a tiered pricing approach based on World Bank country income criteria to reflect countries' relative ability to finance their health response to the pandemic.''
A logo of drugs and chemicals group Merck is pictured in Darmstadt, Germany in a file photograph. (Ralph Orlowski/Reuters)Cheaper Than Other TreatmentsHydroxychloroquine and other drugs approved for various afflictions but used as off-label COVID-19 treatments cost much less, though they aren't recommended by federal authorities to treat COVID-19. The few cleared as COVID-19 treatments cost more than Merck's drug.
Remdesivir, the only approved treatment for hospitalized patients, cost an estimated $5 (pdf) to produce and was sold to the U.S. government for $2,340 a course'--a price now pegged too high for many patients. Monoclonal antibody courses, used to treat mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, cost around $2,100 per course. The cost of production for the monoclonals is not clear.
Merck's drug ''is lower than a lot of the other treatments right now for COVID'' and ''certainly a lot cheaper in the United States of ending up in a hospital,'' James Love, director of Knowledge Ecology International, told The Epoch Times.
''On the face of it, that doesn't seem to be, initially, an irresponsible pricing decision for Merck,'' he said.
The average COVID-19 hospitalization costs between $34,662 and $45,683, according to data crunched by FAIR Health (pdf).
If regulators do find the drug safe'--there are concerns it could lead to the development of cancer'--and authorize it in the United States, the calculus could change.
''Suppose that a new variant ended up infecting a significant percentage of the U.S. population and the drug was needed for 1 million, 10 million, or 50 million persons. At some point, the price just isn't reasonable,'' Love said in an email.
Dr. Roger Klein, a health policy expert who currently advises The Heartland Institute, doesn't see the gap as a big deal, given that developing treatments are ''really high-risk endeavors'' that cost a lot of money, including millions of dollars just to run clinical trials.
''We don't know how long these drugs are going to have a market within the United States, which is the world's most important drug market in many ways,'' he told The Epoch Times, adding that he believes the public health crisis from the pandemic is close to being over because of an increasing number of people gaining immunity through vaccination or prior infection.
Every treatment costs much more than vaccines. The shots have all been priced under $20 a dose, according to contracts between vaccine makers and the U.S. government.
A sign is posted in front of the Gilead Sciences headquarters in Foster City, Calif., on April 29, 2020. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)March-in RightsOne possible approach to lowering drug prices is utilizing various provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, some experts say.
The act let the federal government retain some rights for inventions produced with government funding. It also enables federal agencies to use known as march-in rights, through which the government in certain circumstances can require a company to grant a license for a drug to an applicant. The government can grant the license itself if the patent owner refuses.
Some experts and advocates say march-in rights can be used to combat drug prices or leverage in negotiations on prices.
Thirty-one state attorneys general called last year on the federal government to exercise march-in rights on remdesivir to boost supply and lower its price.
''Here, we think it is clear that Gilead has not established a reasonable price, nor has it met the health and safety needs of the public given the COVID-19 pandemic,'' they wrote (pdf).
However, no federal agency has ever exercised the power, according to the Congressional Research Service and opponents say the law has only narrow application.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has said multiple times the act doesn't authorize it to set prices, Dr. Mark Rohrbaugh, special adviser for technology transfer at the NIH, said during a panel discussion last year held by the Bayh-Dole 40 Coalition and Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. No other federal agency has disagreed with this position, he said.
Both the Trump and Biden administrations have rebuffed those calls and other efforts to cap prices during the pandemic.
''We can't control that price because we need the private sector to invest,'' Alex Azar, the health secretary at the time, said during a congressional hearing in February 2020.
Even if march-in rights can't be used, the government can negotiate prices, others say.
The government's funding and involvement with setting contracts with hospitals for remdesivir should have led to price concessions, Dr. Peter Bach director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said during an Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) panel discussion last year.
Public Citizen, an advocacy group, has urged the Biden administration to use executive authority to impose ''a reasonable pricing requirement'' so that ''taxpayers don't pay twice for medicine developed with public funds'--first funding research and development, and again through excessive prices.''
Gilead and Eli Lilly, which produces monoclonals, did not respond to requests for comment. A GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman declined to provide information on the cost of production for the antibodies. A Regeneron spokesman told The Epoch Times in an email that monoclonals ''are complex to develop and manufacture, requiring time, specialized facilities and expertise, hence the higher cost of this class vs. vaccines.''
''Monoclonal antibodies are intended primarily as treatment, and so also have cost effectiveness in being administered only to high-risk patients who are otherwise likely to be hospitalized, as opposed to vaccines which are intended to be administered to all,'' he added.
A Regeneron monoclonal antibody infusion bag is seen during a news conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, on Aug. 19, 2021. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)Quest to Revamp PricingPrices can vary based on a number of factors, Merck says in a fact sheet, including value to patients and healthcare systems and the investment into research and development.
Other factors include what the market is willing to pay and the number of alternatives, according to Joey Mattingly, associate professor and vice chair of academic affairs at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research. The volume of sales also play a role, as do getting large contracts from governments.
Drugmakers have long been accused of charging too much for product, especially drugs for rare diseases. Some experts and lawmakers have pushed to revamp the drug pricing system, but the issue has bedeviled Congress since the 1950s.
An agreement was close in the 1960s on a proposal by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-Tenn.) to implement pricing caps and other ideas currently supported among some members of both parties. But Kefauver couldn't ultimately secure enough votes, and the Kefauver-Harris Amendment that eventually passed focused primarily on drug safety and efficacy.
''There's a lot of proposals out there, good or bad, and we'll just see if it has the votes and the things that don't have the votes will fall out and we'll keep talking about it and then depending on how elections go over the next 10 years, maybe there will [be a change], but I'm not holding my breath, just because I know we've been on this journey for 60 years,'' Mattingly said.
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
DC Comics ditch mention of 'The American Way' from Superman's motto | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 11:20
DC Comics has ditched the mention of 'The American Way' from Superman's motto in favor of the superhero fighting for a 'better tomorrow.'
The 83-year-old character's longstanding adage used to be 'Truth, Justice and the American Way'.
But the publisher said that his new mission statement will be 'Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow.'
DC did not specifically address why they had ditched America from the slogan, but instead maintained that they were focused on 'evolving.'
'To better reflect the storylines that we are telling across DC and to honor Superman's incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world, Superman's motto is evolving,' DC Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee said at the DC FanDome fan event on Saturday.
'Superman has long been a symbol of hope who inspires people, and it is that optimism and hope that powers him forward with this new mission statement.'
Superman: The last time a specifically Clark Kent centered film hit the big screen was 2013's Man Of Steel with Henry Cavill playing the titular character; pictured in Man Of Steel
Superman goes modern: DC Comics announced a departure from Superman's longstanding motto 'Truth, Justice and the American Way' on Saturday and replaced the patriotic portion with 'a Better Tomorrow'
The superhero's backstory is about as American as it gets '-- a boy raised in Kansas by two farmers who wears a costume in shades of red and blue that nod to the American flag.
The last time a Clark Kent-centered film hit the big screen was 2013's Man Of Steel with Henry Cavill playing the titular character.
He also appeared as Superman in 2017's Justice League and the 2021 extended cut: Zack Snyder's Justice League.
A nod to his American identity, in Justice League his character even says: 'I'm from Kansas. It's about as American as it gets,' but Snyder said he had to fight to keep the line in the movie as he strove to portray 'that perfect mix of Americana'.
Fans are torn on the new motto, with some proud of the superhero's new motto and suggesting 'the American Way' isn't as 'American' as people think, while others slam the notion that Superman is anything other than American.
One fan wrote: 'I'm a fan of #Superman 's new motto: ''Truth, Justice, And a Better Tomorrow.'' It fits the character really well, sounds impactful, and hopeful. Overall I think it's something a lot of people could stand to hear.'
Another fan encouragingly wrote: 'Superman doesn't fight for exclusively America. Him fighting for a better tomorrow is a better motto. He's not the man of America, he's for everyone.'
Fans are divided over the new motto, which some favoring the more inclusive stance, while others slammed it being that the character is born in Kansas by American parents and wears red and blue
The iconic superhero is known around the world, but others slam DC Comics for making 'America' the problem.
'An American icon, raised in America by American parents - created by a pair of Americans for an American comic book publisher. But "the American way" is a problem,' one critic wrote on Twitter.
Others questioned if 'the American Way' was even worth fighting, even by Superman. And that the new motto goes beyond just making Superman a fighter for everyone.
'Changing Superman's motto tells you that the American Way has just come to mean ''for profit and with as little concern for humanity as possible.'' Fix that and maybe it's worth fighting for.'
History professor Julian Chambliss who specializes in superheroes and the American experience said in a statement to USA Today in 2013 that the 'US experience' is at the character's core.
American hero: The decision to drop the American Way essentially denounces the character's fundamental core, which is about as American as it gets '-- a boy raised in Kansas by two farmers who wears a costume in shades of red and blue that nod to the American flag; character pictured on US postage stamps issued September 2021
'The core narrative in Superman has been and continues to be the values and belief about the US experience being strong enough and good enough to address the troubles facing the generation engaged with the character.'
'He's always been the ultimate immigrant story,' added comic book writer Mark Waid.
Evolution: 'To better reflect the storylines that we are telling across DC and to honor Superman's incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world, Superman's motto is evolving,' said DC Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee said at the event
Superman's motto isn't the only thing changing in DC Comics.
The company recently announced that the current Superman of Earth, Jon Kent (Clark's son) would be coming out as bisexual and begin dating a refugee 'hacktivist' reporter.
The change will come in a November issue of Superman: Son of Kal-El.
The series, which debuted in July, has seen the legendary superhero take on a much more woke stance than former iterations of the character.
In place of sinister supervillains, Jon takes on several hot-button issues, including high school shootings, climate change, and the deportation of refugees - all of which are a world away from the old-school evil that the Man of Steel once fought.
Former Superman actor Dean Cain slammed the new moves as 'bandwagoning.'
'They said it's a bold new direction... I say they're bandwagoning,' Cain said in his on-air interview. 'Robin, of Batman and Robin, just came out as bi or gay recently and honestly who's really shocked about that one? I had some thoughts about that a long time ago.'
Cain also took aim at these issues, insisting that DC Comics could have done much more to highlight the impact of 'real evil in the world' like human trafficking, w omen's rights in Afghanistan, or corruption.
'Brave would be having him fighting for the rights of gay people in Iran where they'll throw you off a building for the offence of being gay,' he said.
'They're talking about him fighting real-world problems like climate change and the deportation of refugees and he'll be dating a "hacktivist" whatever a "hacktivist" is, I don't know.
Plot twist: DC Comics announced on Monday that the new Superman, Jonathan Kent, the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, will begin dating a refugee 'hacktivist' reporter in a new issue
'Why don't they have him fight the injustices that created the refugees whose deportation he's protesting? That would be brave, I'd read that. Or fighting for the rights of women to attend school and have the ability to work and live, and boys not to be raped by men under the new warm and fuzzy Taliban. That would be brave.
'There's real evil in this world today, real corruption and government overreach, plenty of things to fight against. Human trafficking, real actual slavery going on... it would be brave to tackle those issues, shine a light on those issues. I'd like to see the character doing that. I'd read that comic.'
Additionally the next Superman film is rumored to be starring a Black Superman for the first time.
It was previously reported that J.J. Abrams would be producing the project and Hollywood Reporter insiders said that Warner Bros. and DC were committed to hiring a Black director.
The Flash film producer Barbara Muschietti, also hinted that Cavill's Superman may be making an appearance in the 2022 movie by way of a 'liked' Instagram comment.
When one fan commented that they were hoping to see a '#henrycavillsuperman cameo' Muschietti like the comment, as seen in a Twitter video obtained by The Flash Film News.
Outcry: Former Superman actor Dean Cain has accused DC Comics of 'bandwagoning' after the company announced that the legendary superhero is bisexual
'Coffee cup Gestapo': Australian cops slammed for checking man's beverage to verify his excuse for not wearing Covid-19 mask '-- RT World News
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 11:18
Video footage of Melbourne police checking whether a man's coffee cup was empty to verify his excuse for not wearing a mask is stirring the latest round of online outrage over Australia's dystopian Covid-19 policies.
While it is unclear when exactly the video was recorded, the clip went viral on social media on Friday and Saturday, showing several police officers confronting a man on what appears to be a park trail. One of the officers grabs the man's coffee cup while asking, ''Do you mind if I check if there's actually anything in that?'' He shakes the cup, and after apparently establishing that there was liquid inside, he backs away and tells the man, ''Enjoy your coffee.''
The 10-second clip ends with the coffee drinker telling the police, ''Jesus loves you all. God bless. I'll be praying for you all.''
While the parkgoer dealt with the confrontation calmly and cordially, and it remains unclear when exactly the footage was recorded, online observers expressed shock over yet another example of Australia's apparent Covid-19 ''authoritarianism.''
Melbourne Police grabs a guy's coffee cup to check if there is coffee in it otherwise, he would of fined him for not wearing a mask ðŸ‘Coffee is known to kill COVID ðŸƒ'•¸ pic.twitter.com/7wUB1lBXDF
'-- DIOGO THE FIVE8 (@Diogothefive8) October 16, 2021Australian podcast host Diogo Correa Coelho said the man would have been fined if police had found his cup to be empty. Pointing out the absurdity of the beverage crackdown, he quipped, ''Coffee is known to kill Covid.''
Other Twitter users pointed to the incident as an indication of how severely personal freedoms have been crushed in the Covid-19 era. One commenter tweeted: ''Two years ago, if anybody had said, in the future, groups of police officers will be checking to see whether you are carrying an empty coffee cup to avoid wearing a mask'... we would have laughed in their face.''
Also on rt.com Australian cop quits after bombshell interview, claims most colleagues 'suffering' & don't want to enforce tough Covid-19 rules Many observers pointed out the ridiculousness of supposedly protecting people against the spread of a virus by touching a man's coffee cup while wearing a presumably dirty glove and giving it back to him. As one critic noted, the police officer ''touched the coffee cup, thereby increasing the likelihood of transmission, all because someone is enjoying a walk '' outside, where the likelihood of transmission is extremely low. But science.''
It's a police state, when you have a policeman checking your coffee cup so he can fine you for not wearing a mask if it's empty. Defunding the police seems like the natural next step. This country is in a big authoritarian mess with no leaders
'-- antoniopablo1967 (@APablo1967) October 16, 2021Others made Nazi comparisons, such as calling the Melbourne police the ''coffee cup Gestapo.'' One commenter argued that only in a ''police state'' would officers check someone's coffee cup so they can fine the citizen for not wearing a mask if it's empty.
Also on rt.com 'Literally fascism': Australian man sentenced to maximum of 8 months in prison for organizing 'unauthorized' anti-lockdown protest Social media users appeared to give the police no slack for just following orders from higher-ups. Still other observers tried to illustrate the alleged police overreach through humor.
''I am about to go long coffee beans,'' one Twitter user said. ''This gentleman just found another utility for java. It's a face-diaper exemption card.'' Another commenter sarcastically praised the officers for their bravery, saying, ''If just one person is saved, it is worth losing your freedom.''
But many critics suggested that the obliteration of individual liberties in the name of fighting the pandemic won't be easily reversed. ''These people aren't getting their freedom back unless there's a complete turnaround of their entire government,'' one commenter tweeted.
READ MORE: Melbourne sets world record for most time spent in lockdown
Australia has imposed some of the world's most stringent pandemic restrictions under its so-called ''Covid zero'' strategy of trying to completely shut down the virus. New South Wales chief health officer Dr. Kerry Chant, who advised residents in July to refrain from having conversations with people, later said Australians may have to continue wearing masks for years.
Residents of Melbourne have been subjected to the world's longest Covid-19 lockdown, which has dragged on for more than eight months. The restrictions were eased marginally on September 29, when the state of Victoria hit its 80% first dose vaccination goal. The state's premier, Daniel Andrews, promised to finally lift the lockdown on October 22, when 70% of residents aged over 16 are projected to be doubled-dosed.
Also on rt.com NSW health official tells Australians to refrain from TALKING to people to blunt spread of Covid-19 Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Delta Air Lines CEO ditches 'divisive' COVID vaccine mandate; marks 90% employee vaccination rate | Fox Business
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 18:44
Delta Air Lines is the only U.S. carrier to hold off on enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for employees and CEO Ed Bastian reported that it's been an effective tactic for vaccination rates and compliance.
The Delta head revealed on "The Claman Countdown" that the company has reached a more than 90% vaccination rate and expects it to rise another 5% within the next month without a mandate in place.
"The reason the mandate was put in by president, I believe, was because they wanted to make sure companies had a plan to get their employees vaccinated," he said. "A month before the president came out with the mandate, we had already announced our plan to get all of our people vaccinated. And the good news is the plan is working."
Bastian acknowledged that there will need to be religious and medical accommodations made for those who wish to remain unvaccinated while avoiding having to threaten employment status.
"By the time we're done, we'll be pretty close to fully vaccinated as a company without going through all the divisiveness of a mandate," he said. "We're proving that you can work collaboratively with your people, trusting your people to make the right decisions, respecting their decisions and not forcing them over the loss of their jobs."
Despite a "very choppy" coronavirus recovery for the air travel industry, Bastian celebrated Delta's low cancelation rate and overall operational balance. The CEO shared that the company has recorded 116 "perfect days" this year without cancelations which is right on par with pre-pandemic 2019 numbers.
"Delta's done a great job all year long with making certain that we're managing supply and demand in equilibrium," he said. "Our people are doing a great job."
"I can't give enough thanks to the Delta team, providing a great product for our customers and it's one of the reasons we were profitable this quarter."
Walmart vs. Whiteness
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 15:01
Walmart Inc. has launched a critical race theory training program that denounces the United States as a ''white supremacy system'' and teaches white, hourly wage employees that they are guilty of ''white supremacy thinking'' and ''internalized racial superiority.''
According to a cache of internal documents I have obtained from a whistleblower, Walmart launched the program in 2018 inpartnership with the Racial Equity Institute, a Greensboro, North Carolina, consulting firm that has worked extensively with universities, government agencies, and private corporations. The program is based on the core principles of critical race theory, including ''intersectionality,'' ''internalized racial oppression,'' ''internalized racial inferiority,'' and ''white anti-racist development.'' Since the program's launch, Walmart has trained more than 1,000 employees and made the program mandatory for executives and recommended for hourly wage workers in Walmart stores. When reached for comment, Walmart confirmed that the company has ''engaged REI for a number of training sessions since 2018'' and has ''found these sessions to be thought provoking and constructive.''
The program begins with the claim that the United States is a ''white supremacy system,'' designed by white Europeans ''for the purpose of assigning and maintaining white skin access to power and privilege.'' American history is presented as a long sequence of oppressions, from the ''construction of a 'white race''' by colonists in 1680 to President Obama's stimulus legislation in 2009, ''another race neutral act that has disproportionately benefited white people.'' Consequently, the Walmart program argues, white Americans have been subjected to ''racist conditioning'' that indoctrinates them into ''white supremacy,'' or the view ''that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions.''
Following the principle that ''diagnosis determines treatment,'' the Walmart program seeks to create a psychological profile of whiteness that can then be treated through ''white anti-racist development.'' Whites, according to the trainers, are inherently guilty of ''white privilege'' and ''internalized racial superiority,'' the belief that ''one's comfort, wealth, privilege and success has been earned by merits and hard work'' rather than through the benefits of systemic racism. Walmart's program argues that this oppressive ''white supremacy culture'' can be summarized in a list of qualities including ''individualism,'' ''objectivity,'' ''paternalism,'' ''defensiveness,'' ''power hoarding,'' ''right to comfort, ''and ''worship of the written word'''--which all ''promote white supremacy thinking'' and ''are damaging to both people of color and to white people.''
The training program recommends that ''discussions about racist conditioning'' should be conducted in racially segregated ''affinity groups,'' because ''people of color and white people have their own work to do in understanding and addressing racism.'' Walmart employees who are racial minorities, in the framework of the training program, suffer from ''constructed racist oppression'' and ''internalized racial inferiority.'' Their internal psychology is considered shattered and broken, dominated by internal messages such as ''we believe there is something wrong with being a person of color,'' ''we have lowered self-esteem,'' ''we have lowered expectations,'' ''we have very limited choices,'' and ''we have a sense of limited possibility.'' Minorities thus begin to believe the ''myths promoted by the racist system,'' develop feelings of ''self-hate,'' ''anger,'' ''rage,'' and ''ethnocentrism,'' and are forced to ''forget,'' ''lie,'' and ''stop feeling'' in order to secure basic survival.
The solution, according to Walmart's program, is to encourage whites to participate in ''white anti-racist development'''--a psychological conditioning program that reorients white consciousness toward ''anti-racism.'' The training program teaches white employees that ideas such as ''I'm normal,'' ''we're all the same,'' and ''I am not the problem'' are racist constructs, driven by internalized racial superiority. The program encourages whites to accept their ''guilt and shame,'' adopt the idea that ''white is not right,'' acknowledge their complicity in racism, and, finally, move toward ''collective action'' whereby ''white can do right.'' The goal is for whites to climb the ''ladder of empowerment for white people'' and recreate themselves with a new ''anti-racist identity.''
Walmart's training program seems a study in opportunism. For years, activists have attacked the company's business practices; the critical race theory program helps the giant retailer shift blame to forces beyond its control. As the company denounces ''white supremacy culture'''--with components including ''objectivity,'' ''individualism,'' and ''hoarding'''--its entire nine-member top executive leadership, except technology chief Suresh Kumar, is white, and its top six leaders made a combined $112 million in salary in 2019. Chief executive officer Doug McMillon, whom the whistleblower described as a ''true believer'' in critical race theory, hopes to export the ideology to every Fortune 100 company through his role as chairman of the Business Roundtable.
The formula is clear: American executives, among the most successful people on the planet, can collect accolades and social status by promoting fashionable left-wing ideologies. Meantime, their hourly workers, making between $25,000 and $30,000 yearly, are asked to undergo dishonest and humiliating rituals to confront their ''white privilege'' and ''white supremacy thinking.'' McMillon gets the social justice credit; his workers pay the price.
Originally published in City Journal.
Original Source Documents
Just Half of Workers at Two Critical Shipyards Are Vaccinated - Defense One
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:37
Only about half of the workers at two of the Navy's shipbuilders are vaccinated against COVID-19, top executives from the two companies said.
The sobering numbers, which were revealed during Defense One's State of the Navy event Thursday morning, offer a snapshot of defense contractors' struggle to get workers vaccinated. The Biden administration is expected to release vaccination guidelines for federal contractors on Friday.
''We're waiting to see what either the [Federal Acquisition Regulations] or the OSHA rules, once promulgated, do,'' said Mark Vandroff, CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. ''That would give us additional requirements and potentially additional authorities, since right now we can't force our employees to be vaccinated.''
The Wisconsin shipyard, which borders Michigan's Upper Peninsula, makes Freedom-class littoral combat ships. Last year, it won a contract to build Constellation-class frigates for the Navy. It also builds warships for Saudi Arabia.
''Right now, we're masked when we're around other people when we're not outdoors,'' Vandroff said. ''We'll keep that mask requirement in place for as long as we remain a high transmission area.''
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 330 of the shipyard's 1,350 workers'--about 25 percent of the workforce'--have been infected with COVID-19, Vandroff said. None have died.
''North of 50 percent'' of workers at Marinette Marine are vaccinated, Vandroff said. That's slightly more than the general population of Marinette County itself.
The company has offered workers free vaccines at the shipyard. Workers are also given paid time off to get vaccinated, Vanddroff said.
''We're going to continue to make vaccines available to our workforce and continue to urge that,'' he said.
Meanwhile, at General Dynamics Electric Boat, the employee vaccination rate ''is in the neighborhood of about 50 percent,'' according to Kevin Graney, the company's president.
Electric Boat'--which builds Virginia-class and Columbia-class nuclear submarines'--employs more than 14,000 workers, most of whom work in Groton, Connecticut, and Quonset Point, Rhode Island. That's far below the average in the surrounding New London and Washington counties, where the overall vaccine rate is 69 percent, according to the New York Times vaccine tracker.
''We're continuing to make sure that [vaccines are] available to everyone,'' Graney said.
Graney said workers at Electric Boat's Connecticut and Rhode Island facilities are required to wear masks indoors.
Many Navy shipbuilding are located in states and counties with low vaccination rates. For instance, Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding is in Pascagoula, Mississippi, where the vaccination rate is 37 percent. HII's Newport News Shipbuilding is located in a community that has a 45 percent vaccination level. The vaccine rate in Mobile, Alabama, where Austal USA builds the Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship, is 41 percent.
The Pentagon has mandated COVID-19 vaccines for all uniformed military personnel; all federal civilian workers must be vaxxed by November. Guidance for contractors is expected to be announced on Friday.
''We'll see what OSHA and what the [federal acquisition regulations] does as far as additional rules, and we'll be ready to comply with those rules,'' Vandroff said.
The United Launch Alliance was the first major defense contractor to require employees to get vaccinations.
Leidos has said its employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 1 or provide a negative COVID-19 test result to gain access to a company facility, a company spokesman said.
Beyond Evergrande, China's Property Market Faces a $5 Trillion Reckoning - WSJ
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:36
Developers have run up huge debts. Now home sales are down, Beijing is imposing borrowing curbs and buyers are balking at high prices.
Oct. 10, 2021 12:07 pm ETChina Evergrande Group, the embattled property developer, is the first high-profile real-estate company to run into serious trouble in Beijing's campaign to tame a roaring property market.
It might not be the last.
As China enters what many economists say is the final stage of one of the largest real-estate booms in history, it is confronting...
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China Evergrande Group , the embattled property developer, is the first high-profile real-estate company to run into serious trouble in Beijing's campaign to tame a roaring property market.
It might not be the last.
As China enters what many economists say is the final stage of one of the largest real-estate booms in history, it is confronting a staggering bill: More than $5 trillion in debt that developers took on when times were good, according to economists at Nomura Holdings Inc.
That debt is nearly double what it was at the end of 2016 and is more than the entire economic output of Japan, the world's third-largest economy, last year.
Global markets are braced for a possible wave of defaults, with warning signs flashing over the debt of about two-fifths of development companies that have borrowed from international bond investors.
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Chinese leaders are getting serious about addressing the debt, with a series of moves meant to curb excessive borrowing. But doing so without torpedoing the property market, crippling more developers and derailing the country's economy is quickly turning into one of the biggest economic challenges Chinese leaders have faced in years, and one that could reverberate globally if mismanaged.
Luxury developer Fantasia Holdings Group Co. failed to repay $206 million in dollar bonds that matured Oct. 4. In late September, Evergrande, which has more than $300 billion in obligations, missed two interest-payment deadlines for bonds.
Asia's junk-bond markets suffered a wave of selling last week. On Friday, bonds from 24 of the 59 Chinese development companies in an ICE BofA index of Asian corporate dollar bonds were trading at yields of above 20%, levels that indicate high risk of default.
Some prospective home buyers are balking, forcing the companies to cut prices to raise cash, and potentially accelerating their slide if the trend continues.
Total sales among China's 100 largest developers were down by 36% in September from a year earlier, according to data from CRIC, a research unit of property services firm e-House (China) Enterprise Holdings Ltd. It showed that the 10 biggest developers, including China Evergrande, Country Garden Holdings Co. and China Vanke Co.
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, saw sales down 44% from a year ago.
Economists say that most Chinese developers remain relatively healthy. Beijing also has the firepower and tight control of the financial system needed to prevent a so-called Lehman moment in which a corporate collapse snowballs into a financial crisis, they say.
In late September, The Wall Street Journal reported that China had asked local governments to prepare for problems potentially intensifying at Evergrande.
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But many economists, investors and analysts agree that even for healthy ventures, the underlying business model'--in which developers use debt to fund a steady churn of new construction despite demographics becoming less favorable for new housing'--is likely to change. Some developers might not survive the transition, they say.
Of particular concern is some developers' practice of relying heavily on ''presales,'' in which buyers pay in advance for still-uncompleted apartments.
The practice, more common in China than the U.S., means developers are in effect borrowing interest-free from millions of households, making it easier to continue expanding but potentially leaving buyers without finished apartments should the developers fail.
Presales and similar deals were the sector's biggest funding source this year through August, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China.
''There is no return to the previous growth model for China's real-estate market,'' said
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Houze Song, a research fellow at the Paulson Institute, a Chicago think tank focused on U.S.-China relations. He said China is likely to keep in place a set of limits on corporate borrowing it imposed last year, known as the ''three red lines,'' which helped trigger the recent distress at some developers, though he said China might ease some other curbs.
While Beijing has avoided clear public statements on its plans for dealing with the most indebted developers, many economists believe leaders have no choice but to keep the pressure on them.
Policy makers appear determined to revamp a model driven by debt and speculation as part of President Xi Jinping's broader efforts to defuse hidden risks that could destabilize society, especially ahead of important Communist Party meetings next year. Mr. Xi is widely expected then to break with precedent and extend his rule into a third term.
Beijing is worried that after years of rapid home-price gains, some people may be unable to get on the housing ladder, potentially fueling social discontent as wealth gaps widen, economists say. Young couples in large cities are beginning to get priced out, making it harder for them to start families. The median apartment in Beijing or Shenzhen now costs more than 40 times the median family annual disposable income, according to J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
Authorities have said they are worried about the property market posing risks to the financial system. Reining in the developers' business models and limiting debt, however, is almost certain to slow investment and cause at least some downturn in the property market, which is one of the biggest drivers of China's growth.
The real-estate and construction industries account for a large part of China's economy. A 2020 paper by researchers Kenneth S. Rogoff and Yuanchen Yang estimated that the industries, broadly construed, accounted for 29% of China's economic activity, far more than in many other countries. Slower growth in housing could spill into other parts of the economy, affecting consumer spending and employment.
Government statistics show about 1.6 million acres of residential floor space was under construction at the end of last year. That was equal to about 21,000 towers with the floor area of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest building.
As restrictions on borrowing imposed last year kicked in, housing construction tumbled in August to 13.6% below its pre-pandemic level, calculations by Oxford Economics show.
The revenue local governments earn by selling land to developers fell by 17.5% in August from a year earlier. Local governments, which are also heavily indebted, count on land sales for much of their revenue.
A further slowdown also would risk exposing banks to more bad loans. Outstanding property loans'--primarily mortgages, but also loans to developers'--accounted for 27% of China's total $28.8 trillion in bank loans at the end of June, according to Moody's Analytics.
As pressure on housing mounts, several research houses and banks have cut China's growth outlook. Oxford Economics on Wednesday lowered its forecast for China's third quarter year-on-year gross domestic product growth to 3.6% from 5% previously. It trimmed its 2022 growth forecast for China to 5.4% from 5.8%.
As recently as the 1990s, most of China's city residents lived in drab dwellings provided by state-owned employers. When market reforms started transforming the country and more people moved to cities, China needed a massive new supply of higher-quality apartments. Private developers stepped in.
Over the years, they added millions of new units in modern, well-maintained high-rises. In 2019, new homes made up more than three-quarters of home sales in China, versus less than 12% in the U.S., according to data cited by Chinese property broker KE Holdings Inc. in a listing prospectus last year.
In the process, the developers became much bigger than anything seen in the U.S. The largest U.S. home builder by revenue, D.R. Horton Inc., reported $21.8 billion of assets at the end of June. Evergrande had some $369 billion. Its assets included vast land reserves and 345,000 unsold parking spaces.
For much of the boom, the developers were filling a need. In more recent years, policy makers and economists began to fret that much of the market was driven by speculation.
Chinese households are restricted from investing abroad, and domestic bank deposits offer low returns. Many people are wary of the country's boom-and-bust stock markets. So some have poured money into housing, in some cases buying three or four units without any intention of living in them or renting them out.
As developers bought more locations to build on, land sales pumped up national growth statistics. Dozens of entrepreneurs who had founded development companies showed up in lists of Chinese billionaires. Ten of the 16 soccer clubs in the Chinese Super League are wholly or partly owned by developers.
The real-estate giants have borrowed not only from banks but also from shadow-banking outfits known as trust companies and from individuals who put their savings into investments called wealth-management products. Abroad, they became a mainstay of international junk-bond markets, offering juicy yields to get deals done.
One builder, Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. , defaulted on its debt in 2015, yet was able to keep borrowing and expanding afterward. Two years later it spent the equivalent of $2.1 billion to buy 25 land parcels, and in 2020 spent $7.3 billion for land. This summer, Kaisa sold $200 million of short-term bonds yielding 8.65%.
Nomura estimated that as of June, Chinese developers had racked up debts of $5.2 trillion. It said the biggest share, 46%, was in bank loans. Bond markets accounted for about 10%, including the equivalent of $217 billion of dollar bonds, many of them junk-rated.
By last year, Chinese policy makers had had enough. In August 2020, they introduced the three-red-lines rules limiting how much borrowing developers could do. Some companies with short-term obligations they couldn't pay without new funding had to start discounting apartments to raise money.
Authorities have tried to curb demand in some places by slowing mortgage lending. They have put caps on existing-home prices in about a dozen cities to tame speculation, according to state media reports.
When old-fashioned funding sources like bank loans grew harder to access, developers became more reliant on presales of unfinished apartments. These made up 26% of the debt in Nomura's tally.
Presales are often recorded as contract liabilities, an item that shows up on the balance sheets of sector heavyweights such as Evergrande, Country Garden, China Vanke, Sunac China Holdings Ltd. and China Resources Land Ltd. For these five combined, contract liabilities have jumped 42% in the past three years to the equivalent of $341 billion as of the end of June, FactSet data show.
Developers have also made more use of other liabilities that, like presales, don't strictly count as debt, such as borrowing more from business partners by taking longer to pay contractors or suppliers.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts recently estimated Evergrande had the equivalent of $156 billion of off-balance-sheet debt and contingent liabilities, including mortgage guarantees to help home buyers get loans.
The other problem for developers, and for China's property market overall, is the way some of the trends that fueled the boom are reversing.
China's population is aging. Its workforce has been shrinking since 2012, and official forecasts last year predicted the total population would peak in 2027.
Homeownership is already over 90% for urban households in China, among the highest in the world, according to Mr. Rogoff and Ms. Yang. They cited earlier Chinese research saying that as of late 2018, 87% of home purchases were by buyers who already had at least one dwelling.
Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said his firm has looked at developers' ability to meet their obligations from cash holdings and doesn't think most are on the brink of default. But, citing changing demographics and reduced internal migration, he said ''we're now at a turning point where actually demand for new urban housing is going to decline over the coming decade. So they're going to be fighting over a shrinking pie.''
Deng Lin, a 33-year-old lawyer in Shanghai, planned to sell two properties she owns to buy a bigger one after she gave birth to twins this summer. The government's clampdown on debt risks derailing her plan of upgrading to a three-bedroom, which she estimates could cost up to $1.86 million.
Tightened mortgage rules means she would have to pay 80% upfront. Banks have been slow to approve her loan application.
''There's simply too much uncertainty in the market,'' she said.
'--Anniek Bao contributed to this article.
Write to Quentin Webb at quentin.webb@wsj.com and Stella Yifan Xie at stella.xie@wsj.com
Germany's largest mosque to broadcast call to prayer on ...
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:29
BERLIN, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Germany's largest mosque will be permitted to broadcast the call to prayer over loudspeakers on Friday afternoons, after an agreement between the city of Cologne and the Muslim community to ease restrictions, the city said on Monday.
All 35 mosques in Cologne will now be permitted to broadcast the call to prayer for up to five minutes on Fridays between noon and 3 p.m., under a two-year initiative. That includes the Cologne Central Mosque, which was opened in 2018 after becoming a flashpoint for anti-Muslim sentiment from far right parties, particularly following an influx of asylum seekers in 2015-2016.
"Permitting the muezzin call is for me a sign of respect," Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker wrote on Twitter https://twitter.com/HenrietteReker/status/1446750751913619460?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1446750751913619460%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bild.de%2Fpolitik%2Finland%2Fpolitik-inland%2Fmuslimischer-gebetsruf-ab-sofort-erlaubt-jetzt-ruft-der-muezzin-ueber-koeln-77926248.bild.html. The call to prayer would join the bells of Cologne's cathedral - northern Europe's largest Gothic church - as sounds heard by those arriving at the city's main train station, she said.
"It shows that diversity is appreciated and lived in Cologne."
During controversy surrounding the construction of the large mosque, backers made a point of assuring the public that it would not routinely broadcast the call to prayer, or azan, which is heard five times a day in Muslim countries.
The city said mosques seeking to broadcast the call on Friday afternoons would have to comply with limits on the volume of their loudspeakers, and notify neighbours in advance.
Some 4.5 million Muslims live in Germany, the largest religious minority group. (Reporting by Miranda Murray Editing by Peter Graff)
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China bans British beef again over mad cow disease - BBC News
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:14
Image source, Getty Images
China has banned British beef imports of cattle under 30 months of age after a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in the UK last month.
The ban took effect from 29 September, according to a statement from the General Administration of Customs.
China has yet to restart buying beef from the UK after agreeing in 2018 to lift previous restrictions.
Beijing imposed a ban in the 1990s during earlier outbreaks of BSE.
In September, the UK's Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) said a case of BSE had been confirmed on a farm in Somerset.
In 2018, China ended a two-decades-long ban on imports of beef from the UK, which was first introduced after the outbreak of BSE in the 1990s.
At the time, the UK government said the lifting of the ban would be worth £250m to British producers over the next five years.
It came after years of site inspections and negotiations between officials in London and Beijing.
In response to the latest move, the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it was working to reassure Chinese authorities that the case of BSE had been successfully managed and to ensure that import conditions can be met.
The UK's chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, said: "We have some of the highest levels of biosecurity in the world, which are supported by robust control systems. Our products are safe and should continue to be traded."
In September this year, the US announced it was lifting its decades-old ban on imports of British lamb.
The US had stopped British lamb imports since 1989, following the first outbreaks of BSE.
The previous year British beef exports to the US resumed for the first time in more than 20 years.
British beef was banned by Washington after the BSE outbreak in 1996.
More on this story
Immunization Policy Changes | Boy Scouts of America
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:02
The BSA encourages all members of the Scouting community to utilize available vaccines that can provide protection in preventing infectious diseases. Based on the recommendations of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it is the national policy of the BSA that all participants attending events, activities, programs, or camps requiring an Annual Health and Medical Record (AHMR) must be up to date on all the immunizations listed as required below:
REQUIRED for everyone:
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (DTaP or Tdap)Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) (if born in 1957 or later)Varicella (VAR) (chicken pox) (if born in 1980 or later)Polio (IPV)Although not required, the following immunizations are strongly recommended by both the BSA and the CDC. Please review your age-appropriate immunization status with your personal health care provider:
COVID-19Hepatitis A (HepA)Hepatitis B (HepB)Pneumonia (Pneumococcus): PVC13 or PPSV23)Influenza (annually)Haemophilus Influenza Type B (HIB)Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)Meningococcus Conjugate (MenACWY)Meningococcus Type B (MenB)Shingles '-- Zoster recombinant (RZV)Let's review some of our most frequent asked questions regarding this policy change.
Why are the immunization requirements being changed?
Today, there is an unprecedented need for proper immunizations to protect those among us who cannot tolerate a vaccine for a medical reason. While measles and COVID-19 are top of mind now, this policy reflects the BSA's commitment to the health and safety of our members.
Who must have these immunizations?
All participants in all Scouting activities. The exact requirement we have for the annual health and medical record.
When does this go into effect?
June 1, 2022.
Is the current AHMR (Annual Health and Medical Record) valid after 6/1/2022?
An updated AHMR reflecting the changes to immunization requirements will be available in December 2021. A valid existing AHMR Part C can continue to be used after 6/1/2022 until it expires, or if you are claiming a medical exemption to immunization.
Will my child or I have to have a COVID vaccine?
No. However, we recommend that all eligible individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccine in consultation with their health care provider.
I / My child has a condition that will not allow immunizations. How will that be handled?
Documented medical conditions that prevent safe administration of immunizations will be the only exemption to this policy. Using Part C of the AHMR available December 2021, individuals must have their medical professional record and sign their medical exemption during the pre-participation exam. A valid Part C will be required if claiming a medical exemption even for events under 72 hours.
Review the policy in the Guide to Safe Scouting: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf
Flu vaccination requirement for UC students, faculty and staff issued for 2021-2022 | UCnet
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:42
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, the potential confluence of infections from COVID-19 and influenza poses a threat to the health and safety of the UC community and the public at large. The University of California issued a systemwide executive order on Oct. 8, 2021, requiring all covered students, faculty, other academic appointees and staff to, by Nov. 19, 2021, get vaccinated against influenza or opt out using a form supplied by their location after receiving information about flu vaccine.
More restrictive measures may apply at some locations as a result of statewide or local public health orders.
The executive order creates a uniform policy for the 2021-2022 flu season applicable to all students, faculty, other academic appointees and staff learning, living or working at UC locations. Those who wish to do so may affirmatively opt out in writing but will be required to wear masks or face coverings on campus through the end of the flu season even if COVID-19 requirements are loosened.
The University's employee and student health plans cover flu vaccination without copays. Although flu vaccination only applies to students, faculty, other academic appointees and staff who will learn, live or work on premises at a UC facility between Nov. 19, 2021, through the end of the flu season, all UC community members are strongly encouraged to receive a flu vaccination.
Influenza vaccinations have proven effective in reducing risk of flu-related hospitalizations and the most serious forms of the disease. With both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses circulating at the same time, vaccination against both is needed to mitigate against overburdening health care systems as well as the threat to the health and safety of the UC community and the public at large.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the best source for information on this year's flu vaccination, which is readily available. See frequently asked questions about UC's 2021-2022 flu vaccination requirement to learn more about UC's policy.
Some Americans May Be Able to Get 4 Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine: FDA
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:40
Some Americans may be able to get two additional doses of messenger RNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, with the possibility of the primary series being expanded from two to three doses, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists said Thursday.
Moderna has sought authorization for a third dose, or a booster, for its COVID-19 vaccine and the FDA was discussing the emergency use application with its vaccine advisory panel.
The FDA in August already cleared a Moderna booster, but only for certain people with weak immune systems.
Dr. Michael Kurilla, a panel member who works for the National Institutes of Health, wondered how a new emergency use authorization would interact with the one for immunocompromised, especially considering the new application is for a 50-microgram dose given six months after the primary series and the one already in place is for a 100 microgram dose given one month after the initial series.
In response, Sudhakar Agnihothram, an FDA official said the immunocompromised may get a third dose and later get another booster.
Dr. Peter Marks, another FDA official, said that the agency would make clearer when reissuing fact sheets about the boosters ''the distinction between the third doses for the immunocompromised and the issue of a booster for an individual who has received three doses as a primary series.''
That stoked fresh confusion, since the primary series for the Moderna and Pfizer shots is currently two jabs.
''You have changed the primary vaccination series then to a three dose?'' Kurilla wondered.
''We have not changed it but we have allowed and permit this,'' Marks said. ''If a third dose is desired based on the considerations of that individual, such as an individual who has been through solid organ transplant, where there's good evidence that they often don't make a good immune response to two doses, that at the discretion of a provider, a third dose could be administered.''
In this image from video, Food and Drug Administration officials discuss with the agency's vaccine advisory committee matters relating to an emergency use authorization expansion application from Moderna for its COVID-19 vaccine, in a virtual meeting on Oct. 14, 2021. (The Epoch Times via FDA)Kurilla asked to confirm that some people would be able to get four doses of a shot and Marks said he hoped the panel would discuss the matter later in the meeting.
''This is far enough in the future that I don't want to make a definitive statement here,'' he said.
''There's potential for a lot of confusion,'' Kurilla said.
The meeting moved on to other questions and panel members later heard from two Israeli scientists about the effectiveness of booster shots there. Israel was one of the first countries to greenlight boosters. The country primarily uses the Pfizer vaccine.
Some Israelis have been able to get four doses, but many are advised to get three at present.
The scientists said that the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections dropped after boosters began being administered in July, and that the number of adverse events following a third dose were smaller than the adverse events seen after a second dose.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
Contagious cancers in animals are a warning to humans.
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:30
It’s like a bad zombie movie: A growling individual lunges at you, mouth open, and bites off a chunk of your face. If you are a Tasmanian devil, this is just a regular part of your everyday social life. Aggressive contact like this is routine for Tasmanian devils. But it comes with more risks than just a painful bite wound: The carnivorous marsupials are now endangered because of a transmissible cancer, called devil facial tumor disease, that transmits through fighting and biting.
We like to think that the apocalypse is a far-off, highly unlikely event; it is the stuff of Hollywood, with stories written and produced for our entertainment. But apocalypses are happening all around us—just not always to us. This is particularly true for the species facing transmissible cancer. In addition to the Tasmanian devil, that includes several species of bivalves (e.g., clams and mussels) and our beloved domestic dogs.
In the history of life on earth, the three examples of widespread transmissible cancer that we know of all appear to involve human interference in one way or another. This growing epidemic of contagious cancer in several species could be a harbinger of a new ecological order, or lack thereof. Usually, organisms’ cells keep to themselves, staying inside the organism they originated from or dying and shedding in an orderly way. The increasing incidence of contagious cancers is a wake-up call to the massive changes we have wreaked on global ecosystems—and an invitation for us to acknowledge and do something about the ecological apocalypses that are currently underway on our planet.
Cancer is one of those things that organisms evolved to be able to deal with and suppress pretty damn well. Over about 500 million years—since the origins of multicellularity—evolution has been selecting for organisms that can keep cancer at bay. Our bodies are constantly monitoring for aberrant cells and regulating cellular behavior so that we don’t succumb to cancer. Occasionally these systems for suppressing cancer do fail, leading to the emergence and spread of cancer within an organism. Transmissible cancer happens when cancer cells evolve and gain the ability to spread to new individuals, a biologically rare event and something that almost never happens in humans.
When it happens in any organism, it is often because of a lack of genetic diversity among individuals in the population in addition to close contact that allows the transmission of cells (e.g., through biting or intercourse). Basically, the other individuals in the population become like a genetically homogenous extension of the first individual, with cells spreading and taking hold, creating a sort of multi-individual metastatic monster.
Shellfish—including clams, mussels, and cockles—are facing a pandemic of contagious cancer spreading across the Atlantic and also into the Pacific. A recent study discovered genetically identical contagious cancer cells in French and Chilean mussels, showing that this transmissible cancer has made its way across thousands of miles by water. In some locations where the researchers looked, the infection rate was as high as 13 percent. Shellfish have also experienced massive die-offs in recent years, with up to 90 percent mortality in some cases. Michael Metzger, my friend and colleague who studies transmissible cancer in shellfish, tells me that these die-offs are most likely a result of contagious cancer spreading, though it is hard to prove in retrospect.
If you’re a shellfish fan like I am, you might be wondering if it’s still OK to eat those delicious mussels from your favorite brasserie. The simple answer is yes—the cancer cells from shellfish can’t spread to humans.
But they can spread readily to other shellfish that are of the same species. Shellfish have a way of life that makes them vulnerable to catching and transmitting contagious cancer: They are filter feeders, which means that cancer cells from one clam can make their way into the water and then get caught in the filters of other clams. Our ways of cultivating bivalves in massive, often genetically homogenous aquacultures may create prime conditions for the spread of transmissible cancers. Furthermore, the cancer was most likely spread by international shipping activities; mussels often grow on the sides of ships, and this would have made it possible for the transmissible cancer cells to get from one side of the equator to the other. (Mussels don’t grow in equatorial waters.)
Not only do these transmissible cancer cells spread from one clam to another; they are able to cross the species barrier as well—but only among closely related species—starting in one species of clam and ending in another species of clam. We still don’t know what the consequences will be for bivalve populations or the ecosystems they are embedded within.
Another contributor to the emergence and spread of transmissible cancer is aggressive or otherwise invasive interactions between individuals. Hence, the zombie apocalypse that Tasmanian devils are now facing. For Tasmanian devils, “normal” social behavior involves aggressive encounters that can end in severe bite wounds. The wounds themselves rarely threaten the lives of the Tasmanian devils, but the transmissible cancer cells that transmit in the process can be deadly. Disfiguring tumors grow on the devil’s otherwise-adorable faces, and then, during fighting and face biting, transmissible cancer cells can flake off and fall into the wounds of the other devil. These wounds can then become breeding grounds for transmissible cancer cells, which can grow into lethal tumors.
Humans accidentally set the devils up for this bizarre problem. Tasmanian devils’ populations were decimated by European settlers in the 19th century, leading to a population bottleneck that left them genetically quite homogeneous (exacerbating the already low genetic diversity that is often an issue for island-living species). For a transmissible cancer cell in a population with low genetic diversity, potential new hosts can be very similar to the previous host, immunologically speaking, making it much easier for the transmissible cancer to take hold. Despite spontaneous regression in a few cases, the transmissible cancer is still a huge threat to vulnerable Tasmanian devil populations and is landing them on the endangered species list.
Domestic dogs make up another species that has low genetic diversity and is susceptible to transmissible cancer—specifically, canine transmissible venereal tumors. Like the Tasmanian devil cancer, this dog transmissible cancer spreads through close contact. In dogs, intercourse can sometimes result in wounding in the genital area. When dogs have sex, the male dog’s penis often becomes stuck inside the female dog for many minutes afterward; if the dogs try to separate during this time (or if humans try to separate them), this can result in wounding.
As with the Tasmanian devil cancer, this dog transmissible cancer can grow in these resulting wounds. Thankfully, dogs infected with the transmissible cancer do surprisingly well; the cure rate is about 90 percent with treatment. And many of these canine transmissible cancers spontaneously regress even without treatment, because the immune system starts to be able to “see” the previously immunologically invisible tumor as special cells called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes get inside the tumor and uncloak it. And as with the Tasmanian devils, these canine cancers are likely our fault. Domestic dogs have low genetic diversity because of selective breeding by humans to create (often highly inbred) dog breeds.
How about us humans? Are we vulnerable to a contagious cancer apocalypse? In theory, but not really in practice. There are only very rare circumstances when it can happen, like when the immune system is compromised and/or there is high genetic similarity. Cancer has been transmitted during pregnancy (a time of immune suppression) from the fetus mother as well as from one twin to another inside the womb. Transmissible cancers also sometimes happen as a result of organ transplants (but the risk of dying on the waiting list for an organ is much higher than the chance of getting cancer from an organ donor, so this miniscule risk is no reason to refuse an organ donation if you need one). Recipients of organ transplants have to take immunosuppressive drugs so they do not reject the transplanted organ. But these drugs lower the body’s defenses against foreign cells, which includes any cancer cells that may have been transplanted along with the new organ.
Transmissible cancers have also happened in freak accidents in medical and research settings when the skin (our most important immune organ) is breached, since this allows foreign cells access to the tissues of the body. The wound-healing environments can actually help these transmissible cancer cells get a foothold in the tissues of the new individual, because wounds are filled with growth factors and other features that create an environment that can encourage cancer cells to proliferate. For example, during an operation to remove a sarcoma, a surgeon accidentally cut his left hand; five months later, there was a tumor growing there that was genetically confirmed to have originated with the patient. In another freak accident leading to transmission of cancer cells, a laboratory worker accidentally punctured herself with a needle containing colonic adenocarcinoma cells and developed a tumor. In both cases, the tumors were successfully removed.
We humans are mostly protected because our immune systems have many redundant layers of protections and we are reasonably genetically diverse. Also, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for cancer cells to transmit because we aren’t particularly aggressive or bitey.
But this doesn’t mean we can afford to ignore contagious cancers. The prospect of losing species to these cancers is just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg. Transmissible cancers in multiple species may suggest that we are pushing our ecological systems and the organisms within them to some sort of biological brink, where basic properties of individual organisms that we take for granted—like the continuity and unity of their cells—can break down. From a more selfish human perspective, understanding how and why these transmissible cancers evolve will help us to ensure they do not ever emerge in human populations. The zombie apocalypse may not be upon us—yet—but many other species are currently facing apocalyptic fates because of human activities.
What can we do to reduce the risk and burden from transmissible cancers as we move into the future? We can work to protect our ecosystems and preserve genetic diversity. Maybe we can even discourage zombielike aggressive social behavior (“Kumbaya,” anybody?) to make sure we stay not-bitey. And really, these are all great strategies for reducing the risk of apocalypse—zombie or otherwise—whether you’re a human, a clam, or a face-biting marsupial.
Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.
US Treasury deputy sec warns unvaxxed Americans that shortages will continue until EVERYONE is jabbed '-- RT USA News
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:21
The deputy secretary at the US Treasury has put Americans on notice that the only way to end the plague of empty shelves around the country is for every resident to be vaccinated. The frank warning came off as a threat to many.
Wally Adeyemo, the Biden administration's second-highest official in the Treasury Department, appeared to publicly blackmail the still-sizable portion of Americans who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 during a Thursday ABC interview, seemingly blaming them for the ongoing shortages of consumer goods that have led many to mock the president as 'Empty Shelves Joe'.
Despite viral photos depicting thousands of cargo ships lined up at the Port of Los Angeles ready to unload their goods, Adeyemo claimed that the supply chain issues plaguing so many US retailers are an international issue and will only let up when a sufficient percentage of the country has been vaccinated.
Also on rt.com #EmptyShelvesJoe trend dominates Twitter as ships back up at ports and Biden administration blames'... Trump? Describing the disastrous economic conditions as ''an economy that's in transition,'' Adeyemo acknowledged that ''we are seeing high prices for some of the things that people have to buy.'' While he praised the administration's stimulus payments, he also pinned the blame squarely on the unvaccinated.
The reality is that the only way we're going to get to a place where we work through this transition is if everyone in America and everyone around the world gets vaccinated.
While the ABC reporter repeatedly suggested that the country's shortages of toilet paper and other panic-buy items could be traced to international supply chain disruptions, a growing number of Americans are demanding answers regarding the weirdly specific nature of certain products missing from store shelves. Some have even voiced doubt concerning whether the shortages are being introduced deliberately, either to gin up hatred against the unvaccinated or keep Americans economically off-balance as they grow accustomed to the wild disruptions of the pandemic.
Adeyemo did the Biden cabinet no favors by adding fuel to the conspiratorial fire, explaining the primary reason Biden continued to push for everyone to be vaccinated was that only then could the White House ''provide the resources the American people need to make it to the other side'' of the supply chain problem.
Despite blaming the international shipping industry for empty shelves in the US, the media establishment has acknowledged that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach - which together process 40% of the nation's imports - had their busiest years on record last year, giving the lie to the notion that the products missing from American shelves simply don't exist. However, many truckers working for shipping companies have balked at the idea of mandatory vaccination, leaving their firms' fleets woefully understaffed, and others have gone on strike to demand better working conditions.
Also on rt.com How Covid catastrophizing & a colossal crimewave are causing America's second Great Retail Panic The Biden administration has attempted to address the supply chain problem by calling for the Port of Los Angeles to run 24 hours, but while he praised his own promised move as a ''game changer,'' the executive director of the port has made it clear that there is no timetable in place for the promised schedule shift. Meanwhile, Biden's cabinet has come across as woefully out of touch - White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, for example, pooh-poohed the issue of empty shelves as a ''high class'' problem earlier this week, eliciting criticism from both Left and Right. And Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been quietly vacationing on paternity leave since mid-August, leaving the country without even a semblance of logistical oversight as the cargo clog shows no signs of dissipating.
Labor shortages are being felt far beyond the US, though often for similar reasons. In Italy, thousands of protesters turned out to block cargo ships from unloading their bounty earlier this week. The demonstrators were outraged over the country's adoption of a mandatory vax-to-work policy similar to that threatened by the Biden administration. And the UK government has begged lorry drivers to return to work, even luring foreign drivers in with temporary visas as the country frets over its own empty shelves issues.
Australian 'truckies' have united with other unions to exert pressure on the government, which has kept cities like Melbourne under lockdown for months despite vanishingly few reported cases of Covid-19. The government was already floating policies like 'no jab, no job' over a year ago and has led the way in leveraging the pandemic to turn Five Eyes 'democracies' into police states.
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Marburg virus disease
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:19
Two large outbreaks that occurred simultaneously in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany, and in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1967, led to the initial recognition of the disease. The outbreak was associated with laboratory work using African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) imported from Uganda. Subsequently, outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa (in a person with recent travel history to Zimbabwe) and Uganda. In 2008, two independent cases were reported in travellers who had visited a cave inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies in Uganda.
Transmission Initially, human MVD infection results from prolonged exposure to mines or caves inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies.
Marburg spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed MVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced. Transmission via contaminated injection equipment or through needle-stick injuries is associated with more severe disease, rapid deterioration, and, possibly, a higher fatality rate.
Burial ceremonies that involve direct contact with the body of the deceased can also contribute in the transmission of Marburg.
People remain infectious as long as their blood contains the virus.
Symptoms of Marburg virus disease The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) varies from 2 to 21 days.
Illness caused by Marburg virus begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and severe malaise. Muscle aches and pains are a common feature. Severe watery diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramping, nausea and vomiting can begin on the third day. Diarrhoea can persist for a week. The appearance of patients at this phase has been described as showing ''ghost-like'' drawn features, deep-set eyes, expressionless faces, and extreme lethargy. In the 1967 European outbreak, non-itchy rash was a feature noted in most patients between 2 and 7 days after onset of symptoms.
Many patients develop severe haemorrhagic manifestations between 5 and 7 days, and fatal cases usually have some form of bleeding, often from multiple areas. Fresh blood in vomitus and faeces is often accompanied by bleeding from the nose, gums, and vagina. Spontaneous bleeding at venepuncture sites (where intravenous access is obtained to give fluids or obtain blood samples) can be particularly troublesome. During the severe phase of illness, patients have sustained high fevers. Involvement of the central nervous system can result in confusion, irritability, and aggression. Orchitis (inflammation of one or both testicles) has been reported occasionally in the late phase of disease (15 days).
In fatal cases, death occurs most often between 8 and 9 days after symptom onset, usually preceded by severe blood loss and shock.
Diagnosis It can be difficult to clinically distinguish MVD from other infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever, shigellosis, meningitis and other viral haemorrhagic fevers. Confirmation that symptoms are caused by Marburg virus infection are made using the following diagnostic methods:
antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)antigen-capture detection testsserum neutralization testreverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assayelectron microscopyvirus isolation by cell culture. Samples collected from patients are an extreme biohazard risk; laboratory testing on non-inactivated samples should be conducted under maximum biological containment conditions. All biological specimens should be packaged using the triple packaging system when transported nationally and internationally.
Treatment and vaccinesCurrently there are no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved for MVD. However, s upportive care '' rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids '' and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival.
There are monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) under development and antivirals e.g. Remdesivir and Favipiravir that have been used in clinical studies for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that could also be tested for MVD or used under compassionate use/expanded access.
In May 2020, the EMA granted a marketing authorisation to Zabdeno (Ad26.ZEBOV) and Mvabea (MVA-BN-Filo). against EVD . The Mvabea contains a virus known as Vaccinia Ankara Bavarian Nordic (MVA) which has been modified to produce 4 proteins from Zaire ebolavirus and three other viruses of the same group (filoviridae). The vaccine could potentially protect against MVD, but its efficacy has not been proven in clinical trials.
Marburg virus in animals Rousettus aegyptiacus bats are considered natural hosts for Marburg virus. There is no apparent disease in the fruit bats. As a result, the geographic distribution of Marburg virus may overlap with the range of Rousettus bats.
African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) imported from Uganda were the source of infection for humans during the first Marburg outbreak.
Experimental inoculations in pigs with different Ebola viruses have been reported and show that pigs are susceptible to filovirus infection and shed the virus. Therefore, pigs should be considered as a potential amplifier host during MVD outbreaks. Although no other domestic animals have yet been confirmed as having an association with filovirus outbreaks, as a precautionary measure they should be considered as potential amplifier hosts until proven otherwise.
Precautionary measures are needed in pig farms in Africa to avoid pigs becoming infected through contact with fruit bats. Such infection could potentially amplify the virus and cause or contribute to MVD outbreaks.
Prevention and control Good outbreak control relies on using a range of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe and dignified burials, and social mobilization. Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Raising awareness of risk factors for Marburg infection and protective measures that individuals can take is an effective way to reduce human transmission.
Risk reduction messaging should focus on several factors:
Reducing the risk of bat-to-human transmission arising from prolonged exposure to mines or caves inhabited by fruit bat colonies. During work or research activities or tourist visits in mines or caves inhabited by fruit\r\n bat colonies, people should wear gloves and other appropriate protective clothing (including masks). During outbreaks all animal products (blood and meat) should be thoroughly cooked before consumption.Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission in the community arising from direct or close contact with infected patients, particularly with their body fluids. Close physical contact with Marburg patients should be\r\n avoided. Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill patients at home. Regular hand washing should be performed after visiting sick relatives in hospital, as well as after taking care\r\n of ill patients at home.Communities affected by Marburg should make efforts to ensure that the population is well informed, both about the nature of the disease itself and about necessary outbreak containment measures. Outbreak containment measures include prompt, safe and dignified burial of the deceased, identifying people who may have been in contact with someone infected with Marburg and monitoring their health for 21 days, separating the healthy\r\n from the sick to prevent further spread and providing care to confirmed patient and maintaining good hygiene and a clean environment need to be observed.Reducing the risk of possible sexual transmission. Based on further analysis of ongoing research, WHO recommends that male survivors of Marburg virus disease practice safer sex and hygiene for 12 months from onset of symptoms\r\n or until their semen twice tests negative for Marburg virus. Contact with body fluids should be avoided and washing with soap and water is recommended. WHO does not recommend isolation of male or female convalescent patients whose\r\n blood has been tested negative for Marburg virus.Controlling infection in healthcare settings Healthcare workers should always take standard precautions when caring for patients, regardless of their presumed diagnosis. These include basic hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (to block splashes or other contact with infected materials), safe injection practices and safe and dignified burial practices.
Healthcare workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed Marburg virus should apply extra infection control measures to prevent contact with the patient's blood and body fluids and contaminated surfaces or materials such as clothing and bedding. When in close contact (within 1 metre) of patients with MVD, health-care workers should wear face protection (a face shield or a medical mask and goggles), a clean, non-sterile long-sleeved gown, and gloves (sterile gloves for some procedures).
Laboratory workers are also at risk. Samples taken from humans and animals for investigation of Marburg infection should be handled by trained staff and processed in suitably equipped laboratories.
Marburg viral persistence in in people recovering from Marburg virus diseaseMarburg virus is known to persist in immune-privileged sites in some people who have recovered from Marburg virus disease. These sites include the testicles and the inside of the eye.
In women who have been infected while pregnant, the virus persists in the placenta, amniotic fluid and foetus.
In women who have been infected while breastfeeding, the virus may persist in breast milk.
Relapse-symptomatic illness in the absence of re-infection in someone who has recovered from MVD is a rare event, but has been documented. Reasons for this phenomenon are not yet fully understood.
Marburg virus transmission via infected semen has been documented up to seven weeks after clinical recovery. More surveillance data and research are needed on the risks of sexual transmission, and particularly on the prevalence of viable and transmissible virus in semen over time. In the interim, and based on present evidence, WHO recommends that:
Male Marburg survivors should be enrolled in semen testing programmes when discharged (starting with counselling) and offered semen testing when mentally and physically ready, within three months of disease onset. Semen testing should be offered upon obtention of two consecutive negative test results.
All Marburg survivors and their sexual partners should receive counselling to ensure safer sexual practices until their semen has twice tested negative for Marburg virus.
Survivors should be provided with condoms.
Marburg survivors and their sexual partners should either:
abstain from all sexual practices, or
observe safer sexual practices through correct and consistent condom use until their semen has twice tested undetected (negative) for Marburg virus.
Having tested undetected (negative), survivors can safely resume normal sexual practices with minimized risk of Marburg virus transmission.
Male survivors of Marburg virus disease should practice safer sexual practices and hygiene for 12 months from onset of symptoms or until their semen twice tests undetected (negative) for Marburg virus.
Until such time as their semen has twice tested undetected (negative) for Marburg, survivors should practice good hand and personal hygiene by immediately and thoroughly washing with soap and water after any physical contact with semen, including after masturbation. During this period used condoms should be handled safely, and safely disposed of, so as to prevent contact with seminal fluids.
All survivors, their partners and families should be shown respect, dignity and compassion.
WHO response WHO aims to prevent Marburg outbreaks by maintaining surveillance for Marburg virus disease and supporting at-risk countries to develop preparedness plans. The following document provides overall guidance for control of Ebola and Marburg virus outbreaks:
Ebola and Marburg virus disease epidemics: preparedness, alert, control, and evaluation When an outbreak is detected WHO responds by supporting surveillance, community engagement, case management, laboratory services, contact tracing, infection control, logistical support and training and assistance with safe burial practices.
WHO has developed detailed advice on Marburg infection prevention and control:
Infection prevention and control guidance for care of patients with suspected or confirmed Filovirus haemorrhagic fever in health-care settings, with focus on EbolaTable: Chronology of major Marburg virus disease outbreaks YearCountryCasesDeathsCase fatality Rate 2017Uganda33100%2014Uganda 11100%2012Uganda15427%2008Netherland (ex-Uganda)11100%2008United States of America (ex-Uganda)100%2007Uganda4250%2005Angola37432988%1998 to 2000Democratic Republic of the Congo 15412883%1987Kenya11100%1980Kenya2150%1975South Africa3133%1967Yugoslavia200%1967Germany29724%","datePublished":"2021-08-07T16:01:00.0000000+00:00","image":"https://www.who.int/images/default-source/imported/marburg-treatment-unit.jpg?sfvrsn=b05dc678_0","publisher":{"@type":"Organization","name":"World Health Organization: WHO","logo":{"@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://www.who.int/Images/SchemaOrg/schemaOrgLogo.jpg","width":250,"height":60}},"dateModified":"2021-08-07T16:01:00.0000000+00:00","mainEntityOfPage":"https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/marburg-virus-disease","@context":"http://schema.org","@type":"Article"};
Federal Judges or Their Brokers Traded Stocks of Litigants During Cases - WSJ
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:06
Dozens of judges have reported share purchases and sales made while they presided in suits involving those companies, a WSJ investigation found
Mary Geiger Lewis acquired Walmart Inc. stock. Charles Norgle Sr. reported nearly a dozen buys and sells of Pfizer Inc. shares. Charles Siragusa had two accounts that bought Medtronic PLC stock.
None of that would be a problem, except for this: All are federal judges, and at the time of the trades, all were hearing cases involving those companies.
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Mary Geiger Lewis acquired Walmart Inc. stock. Charles Norgle Sr. reported nearly a dozen buys and sells of Pfizer Inc. shares. Charles Siragusa had two accounts that bought Medtronic PLC stock.
None of that would be a problem, except for this: All are federal judges, and at the time of the trades, all were hearing cases involving those companies.
The Wall Street Journal discovered this trading in a broad investigation that identified 131 federal judges who heard hundreds of cases between 2010 and 2018 involving companies in which they or a family member owned stock'--in violation of federal law and judicial-ethics rules.
Judges Lewis, Norgle and Siragusa were among 61 judges who didn't just own stocks of companies that were litigants in their courtrooms. Accounts held by the judges or their families traded shares as suits were progressing, the Journal's investigation found. Nearly half of the judges reported more than one trade while a case was in progress.
Federal law and ethics rules say judges must recuse themselves if they, their spouse or any minor children own even a single share of a company that is a plaintiff or defendant in a case before them.
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Some judges, when contacted by the Journal, said they were unaware that brokers or advisers who managed accounts for them traded shares of the companies during the cases. But there is no exception for holdings in managed accounts. And federal law requires judges to inform themselves about their financial interests and make a reasonable effort to do the same regarding their spouse and any minor children.
Other judges said they failed to update their ''recusal lists'''--tallies that judges keep of parties they shouldn't have in their courtrooms'--in the middle of hearing cases. Federal courts use software to identify such parties, but the software can't spot stocks judges buy unless the judges update their conflict lists.
Trading during a case ''can happen only if the judge is recklessly indifferent to the conflict-of-interest rules in the statute and the Canons of Ethics,'' said Arthur Hellman, an ethics specialist and law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, who was briefed on the Journal's findings.
While Judge Walter Rice
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was hearing a case involving International Paper Co., his financial disclosure form shows, he sold between $15,001 and $50,000 of the company's stock in December 2015. The sale earned a profit of between $15,001 and $50,000, the form shows. Judge Rice said that later that month, he gave his remaining shares to five charities. International Paper doesn't appear on his later disclosure forms.
The case involved an effort to recoup cleanup costs from International Paper and other companies that operated a mill in Dayton, Ohio. During the case, which is pending, Judge Rice, an appointee of former President Jimmy Carter who serves in the Southern District of Ohio, has issued rulings both favorable and unfavorable to International Paper.
After being contacted by the Journal, Judge Rice informed parties to the case of the appearance of the conflict. ''In all candor, I am remiss at checking this as thoroughly as I should,'' he said.
Judge Rice said the stock was in an account whose manager ''can buy or sell without getting my permission.'' He said he wasn't aware he owned International Paper shares, likely because he wasn't reading the statements.
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A spokeswoman for International Paper declined to comment.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on Wednesday warned judges in a memo they are required to keep informed about their finances and maintain timely lists of parties that are off limits. Judge Roslynn Mauskopf, director of the office, wrote that judges may not rely on accounts managed by financial advisers to avoid their recusal obligations. ''Up-to-date recusal lists are the most effective tool for conflict screening,'' she wrote.
In response to Journal articles on judges' recusal failures, lawmakers are proposing far-reaching changes. A bill being drafted by House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.) and Rep. Hank Johnson
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(D., Ga.), would require judges to report financial transactions, such as stock trades, within 90 days, a congressional aide said. Judges would also have to post their financial disclosures in a searchable database, and there would be civil penalties for recusal violations. The committee plans a hearing this month, the aide said.
Judge Lewis, who owned Walmart stock, reported on a disclosure form five purchases of the shares in a six-day span while she presided in a suit against the company in August 2017.
Walmart and the plaintiff, a former employee seeking short-term disability benefits, told the judge early in August of that year that they were exploring a settlement. Judge Lewis extended court deadlines to give them time to resolve the matter.
Her financial disclosure form recorded five purchases from three different accounts in quick succession. The form shows Walmart stock bought on Aug. 25, Aug. 29 and Aug. 30, the day Judge Lewis dismissed the case.
At the time, her retirement account and a trust each held as much as $15,000 of Walmart stock, and another trust held $15,001 to $50,000 worth, her disclosure form shows.
Judge Lewis, who is based in Columbia, S.C., and was named to the court by former President Barack Obama, declined requests for comment. After the Journal contacted her, the court clerk notified parties to the suit about her stock ownership, saying it ''neither affected nor impacted'' her court decisions but would have required her to recuse herself.
The clerk's letter invited the parties to respond and said a different judge would consider any response they filed. The parties didn't reply by an Aug. 9 deadline the letter set. Walmart didn't respond to requests for comment.
Judge Norgle's 2010 financial disclosure form shows 11 purchases or sales of Pfizer shares while he oversaw a suit against the pharmaceutical company.
Before the suit, he acquired Pfizer shares worth between $15,001 and $50,000 on Feb. 3, 2010, and made three smaller purchases that month, the last on Feb. 17. Less than a week later, Judge Norgle was assigned to hear a lawsuit alleging that Pfizer falsely marketed an expired patent on packaging of Advil products.
His disclosure form shows trading continued in March with four more purchases and one sale of Pfizer stock'--three of the purchases valued at up to $15,000 each and one purchase and one sale valued at between $15,001 and $50,000. The form records six additional Pfizer trades in April and May, the last a sale of $15,001 to $50,000 of Pfizer stock on May 20.
Judge Norgle rejected Pfizer's motion to dismiss the case early the next year, and in May 2011 granted Pfizer's motion to transfer it to New Jersey federal court.
Judge Norgle, a Ronald Reagan appointee based in Chicago, didn't respond to requests for comment. The court clerk sent the lawsuit's parties a notice this month saying that the judge's stock ownership didn't affect his courtroom decisions but would have required his recusal. The parties hadn't filed a response as of Tuesday. Pfizer declined to comment.
Some judges ruled in favor of companies in which they reported purchasing shares during the case. An example was Judge Siragusa, who heard a suit against Medtronic involving an injured boy.
When the boy was 8, he fell off a motorized toy car and broke his neck, requiring surgery to implant a titanium rod. A surgeon inserted a Medtronic bone graft in his neck when he was 12. His family sued Medtronic in April 2014 alleging the graft was defective.
Judge Siragusa handled pretrial motions, scolding the family's attorney for missing deadlines. Eight months into the case, on Jan. 27, 2015, two purchases of Medtronic shares, each valued at up to $15,000, were made in two separate brokerage accounts of Judge Siragusa, his financial disclosure form shows.
Later in the year, Judge Siragusa asked the family's attorney at a hearing, ''So where are you going with this case? I don't know how'...there would be a manufacturing defect.''
He dismissed the case ''with prejudice,'' meaning the plaintiff couldn't amend and refile it. His 2015 financial disclosure form wasn't filed until 10 months later, in August 2016.
Judge Siragusa, a Bill Clinton appointee based in Rochester, N.Y., said an investment adviser made the purchases without consulting him.
''They control what stocks are bought and sold,'' he said. ''I'm sure they'll send me notifications of what's bought and sold.'' He said he doesn't keep track.
''That's not to say I shouldn't have picked up on some of these, but we have a conflict checking system that is supposed to alert me if there's a conflict,'' the judge said.
A spokesman for Medtronic declined to comment. An attorney for the family didn't respond to requests for comment.
In some cases, judges or their families made repeated trades in cases that spanned years. Judge Janis Sammartino in California heard 18 cases during which her family traded shares of plaintiffs or defendants in the suits.
In one, her family owned Pfizer stock in two trusts when she was assigned a Pfizer case in 2011. A biotech company accused Pfizer of infringing its patents for technologies used to research cancer treatments.
Judge Sammartino's disclosure forms recorded 14 trades of Pfizer shares during the nearly six years the case was in her court or on appeal, including eight sales that brought combined profit of $7,506 to $19,500.
The first trade, a sale for a profit of up to $1,000, came in December 2011, nearly a year after plaintiff AntiCancer Inc. filed suit.
Judge Sammartino, a George W. Bush appointee, threw out part of AntiCancer's case the following year. She offered the plaintiff a choice: Accept defeat on the remaining claims or amend its filing and continue, but only if it paid Pfizer's legal fees.
AntiCancer appealed that ruling in late 2012. The judge's family continued to trade Pfizer stock in the trusts, gaining a total of as much as $6,000 in profit in two sales, then buying more Pfizer shares in the latter half of 2014.
AntiCancer won its appeal. ''The district court exceeded its discretionary authority in imposing a fee-shifting sanction as a condition of proceeding with the litigation,'' a federal appellate court said in October 2014, sending the case back to Judge Sammartino's court.
The judge's family traded Pfizer stock nine more times'--four purchases and five sales, each for a profit of $1,001 to $2,500'--before the parties reached a settlement in October 2016, according to disclosure reports. In it, AntiCancer agreed that Pfizer hadn't infringed its patents. Each side bore its own legal costs.
After the Journal asked Judge Sammartino about the matter, she directed a court clerk to tell parties to the suit that she should have recused herself and that she hadn't been aware a family member owned Pfizer stock.
Robert Hoffman, AntiCancer's founder and chief executive, said that though his company settled, he believed Pfizer had infringed. ''We got this funny ruling in front of [Judge Sammartino], and here we are against this giant, and they aren't budging, and we were afraid we were going to have to pay the fees,'' he said.
Dr. Hoffman said he wants to reopen the case. ''This is such a disappointment. This never should have happened, ever,'' he said. Pfizer declined to comment.
Some judges' violations stem from a spouse's trading. In Philadelphia, Judge Petrese Tucker presided over a suit against Eli Lilly and Co. for four years while her husband traded the drug company's stock, according to her financial disclosure forms and a letter filed in court after the Journal reached out to her for comment.
In the suit, several female former sales representatives made employment-discrimination claims against Eli Lilly. They alleged that their boss at the company insisted on hugging them, called them ''dolls'' and ''Barbie girls,'' referred to one as ''honey'' and permitted rowdy behavior and nudity at work functions.
Judge Tucker got the case in 2011. At the time, her husband owned two chunks of Eli Lilly stock, each worth up to $15,000, according to her financial disclosure form.
Over the next two years, as she ruled on pretrial motions, he bought or sold Eli Lilly stock on five occasions, for total profit of as much as $3,000, disclosure forms show.
In April 2013, Judge Tucker threw out all but one claim against Eli Lilly, writing that the boss's alleged conduct wasn't ''severe or pervasive enough'' to make out a claim for a hostile work environment.
Judge Tucker's husband made two more Eli Lilly trades after the rulings. He sold up to $15,000 of the stock in December 2013, for a profit of as much as $1,000, and in January 2014 bought shares in the same value range as the sale, according to a disclosure form.
Eli Lilly went to trial on the sole surviving claim of retaliation by one former sales representative. A jury found for the company in December 2014.
While the case was on appeal, Judge Tucker's husband made two more sales of Eli Lilly stock, each involving up to $15,000 worth.
In February 2016, an appeals court upheld Judge Tucker's spiking of most claims. Her husband still held up to $15,000 of Eli Lilly at the time, her 2016 disclosure form shows.
After the Journal reached out to Judge Tucker, a Clinton appointee, the court clerk notified the parties of the recusal violation. The clerk's letter said that Judge Tucker recently had become aware of her husband's Eli Lilly stock and that it had no effect on her decisions.
Maggie Tourtellotte, one of the plaintiffs, said she told her lawyer she wanted a new judge to hear her case after learning of the recusal violation. She has until Oct. 22 to respond to the clerk's letter.
''I was shocked. I was relieved,'' Ms. Tourtellotte said. ''We never even got to tell our side of the story.'' Eli Lilly declined to comment.
Although a 1974 law requires judges to disqualify themselves from cases if they have a financial interest in a lawsuit party, Congress updated the law in 1988 to create an exception. It says that if judges discover this interest ''after substantial judicial time has been devoted to the matter,'' they can sell the stock and stay on the case.
Lawmakers intended the exception for complex, multidistrict cases where a disqualifying financial interest might not be apparent to a judge until deep into the litigation, making recusal disruptive and costly for litigants, according to a House Judiciary Committee report on the bill. An aide to the committee said on Thursday that lawmakers are drafting legislation to tighten these rules to narrow the exception.
The Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges sets no such condition. And the ethics committee for the federal judiciary said in an advisory opinion, published in 1981 and later updated, that a judge can sell a stock and continue to preside regardless of how much or how little time the judge has spent on the case.
Stephen Gillers, a judicial ethics specialist at New York University School of Law, said a judge is bound by both documents, ''so the most restrictive controls.''
Federal courts seem divided on when divestiture fixes a conflict. Some district courts have said Congress never meant to curb the practice of judges' getting rid of disqualifying financial interests at the outset of a case to fix a conflict. By contrast, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said judges could remain on a case only if they had already devoted substantial time to it.
Judges themselves appear to be at odds over whether it is OK to sell all of a stock and stay on a case.
Four who owned shares of companies that were in their courtrooms told the Journal they didn't believe they had violated recusal rules, since they had divested themselves of the shares. The Journal excluded those cases from its list of 685 recusal violations.
Twelve other judges also got rid of their conflicting stock while cases were already under way, but these judges later said in court filings they should have disqualified themselves. The statements came in notices filed by court clerks after the Journal contacted them about their stockholdings.
Only one judge's notices mentioned the stock sales made during the cases.
'--Ava Sasani contributed to this article.
'--Illustrations by Art Lien for The Wall Street Journal
Write to Coulter Jones at Coulter.Jones@wsj.com and Joe Palazzolo at joe.palazzolo@wsj.com
Ben Simmons May Have Faked Covid Exposure to Miss 76ers Game
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:06
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images
Ben Simmons surprisingly rejoined the Philadelphia 76ers, with the disgruntled star returning just one week before the regular season tips off, but all does not appear to be resolved.
Simmons was brutal during the NBA Playoffs last year. So bad that the 25-year-old believed his relationship with the team was damaged beyond repair. Philly fans were sick of Simmons, and the versatile guard once dubbed the franchise's savior similarly seemed finished with the city.
But according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the fractured relationship stems from more than just his poor performance on the court. On Friday, Shelburne shared a bombshell report about Simmons nearly missing the Sixers Game 7 playoff matchup with the Atlanta Hawks over what some believe was a made-up exposure to Covid-19.
''Simmons was being held out of the team's shootaround, he told them, due to a possible exposure to a team masseuse, who'd returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test,'' Shelburne wrote.
Others on the team were reportedly questioned about having any interaction with the masseuse, but Simmons was the only player to say he did.
''According to multiple sources,'' Shelburne reports, ''many within the team questioned whether Simmons had actually seen the masseuse '-- or was just trying to get out of playing as he battled the basketball version of the yips.''
Simmons ended up playing in the Sixers Game 7, but he was later blasted for a putrid performance. The All-Star shot 2-4 from the field and 4-14 from the free throw line. But the most egregious play came when Simmons refused to attempt an open layup while the Sixers were down by two late in the game.
Simmons was called out by the team's co-star Joel Embiid, as well as Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O'Neal who said he would have ''knocked his ass out.'' The disdain between Philly and Simmons has been clear for months, but just as it appears they might be ready to overcome their differences, leaking that he may have attempted to duck the team's Game 7 is a new low.
Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com
Report shows Babbitt not a deadly threat - Security Studies Group
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:01
A DC Metropolitan Police Report on the Ashli Babbitt shooting was obtained by Judicial Watch. It shows one thing clearly. There was no legitimate justification for Lt. Michael Byrd to shoot and kill Ashli Babbitt.
The standard requirement for use of deadly force was in effect which requires an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. None of the statements by officers at the scene show that standard was met.Metro PD Babbitt attachments
''Sergeant [redacted] observed Lieutenant Byrd step back just after hearing the gunshot. He did not see anything in the female protester's hands prior to the gunshot''
All of them agree that no one saw Ashli Babbitt with a weapon of any kind and the only possible threat she posed was simply climbing through a window. Officers present stated she had not made any threats or shown any violent action toward them.
One officer advance the rationale that since Byrd was threatening to shoot them, it would have emboldened the crowd if he had not. That is an absurd line of reasoning. Another said that if Byrd had not killed Ashli Babbitt the protesters could have taken his gun and used it against them.
Yet Babbitt was nowhere near Byrd and had shown no violent actions to justify that. It's as if she was chosen at random to teach the protesters a lesson or to serve as an example. This is noted in the statement of one of the other officer's present.
''She was just dressed the part'...she had a Trump flag around her neck'...if it wasn't her, I mean it would have been someone else.''
This same officer noted that Babbitt had committed no actions other than yelling and climbing through the window. So it implies they felt justified to shoot a random protester
The Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia declined to charge Lt. Byrd with any crimes. If this is now the standard it means police can use deadly force to stop protesters from trespassing. That is a horrible precedent and this is a failure to hold Lt. Byrd responsible for the murder he committed.
About the Author
Jim HansonJim served in US Army Special Forces and conducted Counter-Terrorism, Counter-Insurgency as well as Diplomatic, Intelligence and Humanitarian operations in more than a dozen countries. He is the author of Cut Down the Black Flag '' A Plan to Defeat the Islamic State, and has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, BBC, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle, C-Span, and numerous national radio shows.
Tattoo inks and permanent make-up - ECHA
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 12:53
Tattoos are a popular form of body art '' at least 12 % of Europeans have them. In the 18-35 age group, twice as many are likely to have a tattoo.
The health risks of using dirty needles to inject the inks have been under scrutiny for a long time. Now, their chemical-related concerns have also been analysed and their risks have been regulated at EU level.
To protect European citizens, thousands of hazardous chemicals found in tattoo inks and permanent make-up are restricted in the EU under the REACH Regulation from January 2022.
The restriction covers, for example: chemicals that cause cancer or genetic mutations and chemicals that are toxic to reproduction as well as skin sensitisers and irritants. The aim is not to ban tattooing but to make the colours used in tattoos and permanent make-up safer.
Over 1 000 cases of chronic allergic reactions will be prevented every year as a result of the restriction. Several other skin reactions and serious effects originating from tattoos and permanent make-up will also decrease.
What are tattoo inks and permanent make-up?
A tattoo is made by penetrating the outer layer of the skin with a needle and injecting ink into the area beneath to create a design. The top layer of skin '' the epidermis '' regenerates itself continuously, so to make a tattoo last, the ink is injected into the second, deeper layer of skin '' the dermis.
Permanent make-up is similar to a tattoo and is used to produce designs that resemble make-up. For instance, it is commonly used to resemble eye liner or to enhance colours in the skin, face, lips and eyelids.
Tattoo inks and permanent make-up are a mix of several chemicals. They may contain hazardous substances that cause skin allergies and other more serious health impacts, such as genetic mutations and cancer.
Ink pigments can also migrate from the skin to different organs, such as the lymph nodes and liver. Sometimes tattoos are removed using a laser that breaks down pigments and other substances into smaller particles. If these include harmful chemicals, the removal process will free them to circulate in the body.
As chemicals used in tattoo inks and permanent make-up may stay in the body for life, there is also the possibility for long-term exposure to the potentially harmful ingredients.
What has the EU done to protect its citizens?
In 2015, the European Commission asked ECHA to assess the health risks of chemicals in tattoo inks and permanent make-up and to examine the need for an EU-wide restriction on their use. ECHA did this assessment together with Norwegian, Italian and Danish authorities. German authorities also contributed to the work.
The investigation covered chemicals known to be used in tattoo inks and permanent make-up that may be hazardous to our health. Special attention was given to chemicals that are carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction (CMRs); sensitisers, irritants and corrosive to the skin; substances that are corrosive or damaging to the eye; metals; and other substances in the Council of Europe's resolution on requirements and criteria for the safety of tattoos and permanent make-up.
The authorities examined the health risks of these chemicals and investigated the availability of safer alternatives. They also looked at the socio-economic impact of restricting their use, considering its effects on manufacturing and on service sector jobs.
The restriction proposal was submitted in October 2017 to the Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) for their evaluation. A wide consultation on the proposal ran from December 2017 to June 2018. Subsequently, there was a consultation on the SEAC draft final opinion from December 2018 to February 2019.
Committee opinions
The consolidated opinion of RAC and SEAC was sent to the European Commission in June 2019. RAC looked at the risks of chemicals to people's health by assessing available scientific evidence on the hazards and risks of the substances included in the proposal. SEAC evaluated the benefits of the proposal to people's health and the associated costs and other socio-economic impacts.
Both committees agreed that '' with a few modifications '' the restriction proposal would be the most appropriate means to control the risks of hazardous chemicals in tattoo inks and permanent make-up at EU-level.
RAC also evaluated whether certain pigments or colourants should not be restricted as proposed. It concluded that the risks of cancer and other negative health effects could not be ruled out. RAC noted that information received during the consultation indicated that safer and technically adequate alternatives were currently unavailable for only two colourants '' Pigment Blue 15:3 and Pigment Green 7. SEAC considered the socio-economic impacts of restricting these two pigments and recommended that industry is given additional time to identify and switch to suitable safer alternatives.
Overall, SEAC concluded that the restriction would not have significant negative economic impacts on supply chains nor would it lead to significant price increases to consumers. The committee also agreed that the restriction would minimise risks of regrettable substitution.
Both committees agreed that the suggested 12-month transition period would give the necessary time for the concerned actors to adjust their operations.
Decision by the European Commission and EU Member States
The restriction was supported by EU Member States in July 2020 and adopted by the Commission in December 2020.
The restriction harmonises the measures on hazardous chemicals used in tattoo inks and permanent make-up at EU level and ensures that all EU citizens are equally protected from them. Before, there was no specific EU-wide legislation in place although some Member States had similar national legislation.
The use of more than 4 000 hazardous chemicals in tattoo inks and permanent make-up will be limited. The restriction introduces maximum concentration limits either for individual or groups of substances used in tattoo inks or permanent make-up. Examples of chemicals are certain azodyes, carcinogenic aromatic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals and methanol.
The new rules apply in the EU/EEA as of 4 January 2022, and for Pigment Blue 15:3 and Pigment Green 7 '' where the Commission and EU Member States agreed on a 24-month transition '' as of 4 January 2023.
The restriction also requires that mixtures meant for tattooing and permanent make-up have this use mentioned on their labels. The label also needs to include a list of ingredients and relevant safety statements.
To guarantee the protection of people also in the long-term, the Commission decided that the restriction will, in the future, automatically limit chemicals that:
1. have an EU-wide classification as:
carcinogen, mutagen or as toxic to reproduction;skin sensitiser;skin corrosive;skin irritant;eye irritant; oreye damaging.2. are included in the Cosmetic Products Regulation (CPR (EC) No 1223/2009) as:
substances prohibited in cosmetic products, i.e. Annex II to the CPR.substances/colorants listed in Annex IV to the CPR with following conditions on their use:not to be used in products applied on mucus membranes;not to be used in eye products;allowed only in rinse-off products; andother conditions, such as for purity, listed in Annex IV.
Note: This video describes the status in February 2018.
Netflix Workers Staging Walkout Over Chappelle Special
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 12:46
Photo: Stacy Revere / Staff (Getty Images)
Following Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos' continued defense of the anti-trans sentiments in comedian Dave Chappelle's new special, The Closer, at least 1,000 incensed employees are now reportedly planning to participate in a virtual work stoppage on Oct. 20.
For nearly a week now, trans and trans-allied staffers have been voicing concerns over Chappelle's ridicule of the LGBTQ community throughout the special, during which he self-identifies as a TERF (or ''trans-exclusionary radical feminist'') and repeatedly dismisses the concept of a gender identity altogether. But in the wake of heated criticisms from both employees and customers, Netflix execs have made the bizarre decision to double down on their defense of the special, issuing a series of increasingly tone-deaf memos to staff.
In the most recent of these memos, a copy of which was obtained by Variety , Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos dismisses the trans allies who had claimed that Chappelle's comments had the potential to instigate real-life violence against the community, arguing that ''while some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn't directly translate to real-world harm.''
''The strongest evidence to support this is that violence on screens has grown hugely over the last 30 years, especially with first-party shooter games, and yet violent crime has fallen significantly in many countries,'' Sarandos wrote. ''Adults can watch violence, assault and abuse'--or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy'--without it causing them to harm others.''
As anyone who has ever picked up a book, read a newspaper article, or simply existed outside in the real world for more than five seconds knows, media representation'--and particularly the stereotypes and tropes about the trans individuals that have proliferated throughout films and TV shows'--have the direct potential to shape attitudes about the LGBTQ community, something GLAAD acknowledged in a Monday statement to Deadline:
Netflix has a policy that content 'designed to incite hate or violence' is not allowed on the platform, but we all know that anti-LGBTQ content does exactly that.
While Netflix is home to groundbreaking LGBTQ stories, now is the time for Netflix execs to listen to LGBTQ employees, industry leaders, and audiences and commit to living up to their own standards.
G/O Media may get a commission
On Thursday, The Hollywood Reporter spoke to one Netflix employee who confirmed that those comments had directly inspired the trans employee resource group at Netflix to organize support for the walkout, during which employees will halt their work and instead focus their energy on providing support and resources for the trans community and its affiliated charities.
''The memo was very disrespectful,'' the staffer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said. ''It didn't invite a robust conversation about this hard topic, and that's normally how things go.''
Although it's unclear how much of a punch a ''virtual work stoppage'' actually packs, what's clear is that Netflix employees are standing in solidarity with their trans colleagues and the community writ large, and that sends a message in and of itself.
Pelosi's trip to Rome was disrupted by violent anti-vaccine mandate protests : NPR
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 12:45
Anti-riot police officers face demonstrators trying to reach the Chigi Palace government office in Rome during a protest Saturday against green pass. Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Anti-riot police officers face demonstrators trying to reach the Chigi Palace government office in Rome during a protest Saturday against green pass.
Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nearly crossed paths with thousands of people protesting vaccine mandates in Italy this weekend.
Pelosi, who was in Rome for a meeting with foreign leaders, was attending Mass in the city at St. Patrick's Church. Outside the church, chaos was erupting as thousands of Italians took to the streets over Italy's new requirement for workers to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine in the form of a "green pass."
Just minutes into the service, Pelosi and her husband were reportedly removed from the church by government officials concerned about her safety, according to a representative from Pelosi's office.
People participate in a demonstration organized by the No Vax and far-right movements against the "green pass" in Piazza del Popolo on Saturday in Rome. Stefano Montesi/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Stefano Montesi/Corbis via Getty Images People participate in a demonstration organized by the No Vax and far-right movements against the "green pass" in Piazza del Popolo on Saturday in Rome.
Stefano Montesi/Corbis via Getty Images At the heart of protesters' complaints is the "green pass" mandate '-- required documentation that details whether a person has been fully vaccinated, tested negative or has recently recovered from the virus. Starting Oct. 15, any worker who doesn't show a vaccine certificate to their employer will be suspended without pay for up to five days.
It's considered one of the strictest COVID-19 mandates in the world. Italy has already made this pass a requirement to eat indoors at restaurants or visit museums and gyms.
Italy's prime minister condemns acts of violenceProtests that continued into the night on Saturday turned violent.
Images showed tear gas being deployed by police to scatter large crowds of people across Rome. Some officers are seen hitting demonstrators with batons and hauling away bloodied men and women.
At least 12 people were reportedly arrested during the violence.
Other videos and pictures of the protests show people using flags and other weapons to attack police officers.
The violence spread to other parts of the city, including the headquarters of the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL), one of Italy's biggest trade unions. The group supports the health pass mandate, viewing it as a worker safety issue.
A wounded demonstrator clashes with the Italian police during a demonstration against the "green pass" near Palazzo Chigi on Saturday in Rome. Antonio Masiello/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Antonio Masiello/Getty Images A wounded demonstrator clashes with the Italian police during a demonstration against the "green pass" near Palazzo Chigi on Saturday in Rome.
Antonio Masiello/Getty Images Rioters marched to the union's offices, broke windows and managed to push their way into the union's building. Once inside, they caused other damage, including smashing computers.
The union called it a "fascist assault" on the group.
Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi condemned the weekend violence.
"The right to express one's ideas can never degenerate into acts of aggression and intimidation," his office said.
Draghi also visited the CGIL headquarters following the attack in solidarity with the union.
Draghi's office said, "Trade unions are a fundamental defense of democracy and workers' rights" and that any intimidation of them is unacceptable.
Far-right groups were tied to the demonstrationsAt least two people arrested for their participation in the protests include Giuliano Castellino and Roberto Fiore, two leaders of the extreme far-right party Forza Nuova.
"The popular revolution will not stop, with or without us, until the Green Pass is definitively withdrawn," the group said in a statement, according to news reports. "Saturday was a watershed between the old and the new. The people decided to raise the level of the clash."
Giuliano Castellino (center), a leader of the extreme-right political party Forza Nuova, shouts during clashes Saturday following a protest against the mandatory "green pass" intended to limit the spread of COVID-19. Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images Giuliano Castellino (center), a leader of the extreme-right political party Forza Nuova, shouts during clashes Saturday following a protest against the mandatory "green pass" intended to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images As of Monday, politicians and leaders of the CGIL were calling for banning Forza Nuova altogether.
According to EuroNews, members of the center-left Democratic Party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement signed a motion in parliament calling for Forza Nuova's dissolution.
The general secretary of the CGIL, Maurizio Landini, said in a statement that Draghi, in conversations with the union, had committed to dissolving such neo-fascist groups in Italy.
Teachers told to offer books with 'opposing' Holocaust views
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 12:43
SOUTHLAKE, Texas (AP) '-- A Texas school district administrator told teachers that if they have books about the Holocaust in their classrooms, they should also have books that offer ''opposing'' or ''other'' viewpoints on the subject.
Gina Peddy, the executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, which is in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, issued the directive last week during a training session about which books teachers can have in their classroom libraries. A staff member secretly made an audio recording of the training session and shared it with NBC News, which broke the story.
In the recording, Peddy told the teachers to remember a new Texas law that requires teachers to present multiple perspectives when discussing ''widely debated and currently controversial'' issues. She said: ''And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.''
''How do you oppose the Holocaust?'' one teacher asked.
''Believe me,'' Peddy said. ''That's come up.''
Peddy did not respond to a message seeking comment left Friday by The Associated Press.
Texas and some other Republican-controlled states this year moved to regulate what can be taught about race-related ideas in public schools and colleges amid the nation's racial reckoning after last year's police killing of George Floyd.
Many Republicans have invoked the teaching of ''critical race theory,'' which argues that laws have preserved the unequal treatment of people on the basis of race and that the country was founded on the theft of land and labor.
Karen Fitzgerald, a spokeswoman for the Carroll school district, said in a written statement to NBC News that the district is trying to help teachers comply with the law. She said the district's interpretation of it requires teachers to provide balanced perspectives during classroom instruction and in books offered in the classroom. She said the district won't require that books be removed.
Fitzgerald said teachers who are unsure about a specific book ''should visit with their campus principal, campus team and curriculum coordinators about appropriate next steps.''
Clay Robison, a spokesman for the Texas State Teachers Association, a union representing educators, said the district's book guidelines are an ''overreaction'' and a ''misinterpretation'' of the law. Three other Texas education policy experts agreed.
''We find it reprehensible for an educator to require a Holocaust denier to get equal treatment with the facts of history,'' Robison said. ''That's absurd. It's worse than absurd. And this law does not require it.''
Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes, who wrote the Texas bill, denied that it requires teachers to provide opposing views on what he called matters of ''good and evil'' or to get rid of books that offer one perspective on the Holocaust.
''I'm glad we can have this discussion to help elucidate what the bill says, because that's not what the bill says,'' Hughes said.
The school district posted a statement on Facebook from Superintendent Lane Ledbetter offering an ''apology regarding the online article and news story.'' He said Peddy's advice to teachers was ''in no way to convey that the Holocaust was anything less than a terrible event in history.''
He also said: ''Additionally, we recognize there are not two sides of the Holocaust,'' and, ''we also understand this bill does not require an opposing viewpoint on historical facts.'' He said the district will work to clarify expectations for teachers and ''apologize for any hurt or confusion this has caused.''
Vaccinated Travelers From Abroad Can Enter U.S. on Nov. 8. - The New York Times
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 12:37
Politics | Vaccinated travelers from abroad, including Canadians with mixed doses, can enter the U.S. starting Nov. 8. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/15/us/politics/vaccine-mandate-travel-us.html The specific date for when the Biden administration would lift travel restrictions for those traveling by air or hoping to cross the land border was previously unclear. Credit... Tony Cenicola/The New York Times International travelers fully vaccinated against the coronavirus who have been barred from entering the United States during the pandemic will be able to enter the country on Nov. 8, according to a White House official, marking an end to restrictions that had walled off tourists and relatives seeking to visit their families.
The specific date for when the Biden administration would lift travel restrictions for those traveling by air or hoping to cross the land border was previously unclear. The administration last month said it would be implementing a new system in which fully vaccinated foreigners who show proof of a negative coronavirus test would be able to fly to the United States in early November.
Earlier this week, administration officials said those hoping to enter from Mexico or Canada who are fully vaccinated would be able to cross at the same time. But thousands around the world eager to organize their travel plans were still left wondering what specific date they would be able to enter.
7''day average
About this data Source: Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. The daily average is calculated with data that was reported in the last seven days.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers people fully inoculated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Those who have received vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization, such as the AstraZeneca vaccine, would also be considered fully vaccinated, according to the C.D.C.
The C.D.C. also updated its guidelines on vaccine mixing, which is particularly relevant to Canada. At least 3.88 million Canadians have received mixed vaccine doses, according to media reports '-- and that number does not account for mixed doses administered in Quebec. The agency now considers full vaccination possible with mixed doses, so long as they are approved either by the F.D.A. or the W.H.O.
The new travel system also comes with stringent requirements.
Unvaccinated foreigners will be broadly barred from entering the United States, although the White House official said there will be limited exemptions, including for young children.
Those who were never banned from traveling across the land borders, including commercial drivers and students, will also need to show proof of vaccination when crossing starting in January, giving them some time to adjust to the new rules, officials said. Those crossing land borders will not need to show a coronavirus test.
Foreigners hoping to fly to the United States will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding and a negative coronavirus test within three days of entering.
What to Know About Covid-19 Booster Shots
The F.D.A. authorized booster shots for a select group of people who received their second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months before. That group includes: vaccine recipients who are 65 or older or who live in long-term care facilities; adults who are at high risk of severe Covid-19 because of an underlying medical condition; health care workers and others whose jobs put them at risk. People with weakened immune systems are eligible for a third dose of either Pfizer or Moderna four weeks after the second shot.
The C.D.C. has said the conditions that qualify a person for a booster shot include: hypertension and heart disease; diabetes or obesity; cancer or blood disorders; weakened immune system; chronic lung, kidney or liver disease; dementia and certain disabilities. Pregnant women and current and former smokers are also eligible.
The F.D.A. authorized boosters for workers whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure to potentially infectious people. The C.D.C. says that group includes: emergency medical workers; education workers; food and agriculture workers; manufacturing workers; corrections workers; U.S. Postal Service workers; public transit workers; grocery store workers.
It is not recommended. For now, Pfizer vaccine recipients are advised to get a Pfizer booster shot, and Moderna and Johnson & Johnson recipients should wait until booster doses from those manufacturers are approved.
Yes. The C.D.C. says the Covid vaccine may be administered without regard to the timing of other vaccines, and many pharmacy sites are allowing people to schedule a flu shot at the same time as a booster dose.
Unvaccinated Americans traveling from overseas will need to test negative for the coronavirus one day before returning home and show proof that they have bought a test to take after arriving in the United States.
The U.S. Travel Association, an industry group, applauded the moves.
''The date is critically important for planning '-- for airlines, for travel-supported businesses, and for millions of travelers worldwide who will now advance plans to visit the United States once again,'' Roger Dow, the group's president, said in a statement. ''Reopening to international visitors will provide a jolt to the economy and accelerate the return of travel-related jobs that were lost due to travel restrictions.''
A spokeswoman for Airlines for America, another industry group, noted that even before the announcement of the date, airlines had seen an uptick in ticket sales to the United States from abroad.
''The full reopening of international travel is also critical to reviving economies around the globe, reinvigorating communities and supporting millions of jobs in the U.S. and abroad,'' Katherine Estep, the spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Food Shortages Disrupt School Lunches
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 12:36
Latest News Children buy school lunches in 2002 / Getty Images Philip Caldwell ' October 15, 2021 2:10 pmNational supply-chain shortages have disrupted meal programs in schools, causing some schools to ask parents to pack food for their children.
Raw foods have been particularly affected by the shortages, according to Randy Jones, who helps coordinate food purchases for Wisconsin schools.
"It's impacting everything from food items, which are common, like, you have your beef, your chicken, and non-food items, such as serving trays and plastic ware, and things of that nature," Jones told Milwaukee's WISN 12.
The public school district in Menomonee Falls, Wis., sent parents a message warning them that "some food and/or beverage products normally provided to students may not be available or arrive as scheduled."
In Alexander City, Ala., parents were warned that their children could experience menu changes because of suppliers' shortages in food, drivers, and warehouse employees.
"If possible, we ask that you feed your student breakfast prior to school or try to send a snack," Alexander City Schools told parents. "This is a situation that is frustrating for you as a parent, and for us as well as our ability to feed our students is being greatly impacted."
The United States has seen massive shortages in recent weeks that have driven inflation, which spiked last month to a 13-year high. Oil and gas prices have surged to multi-year highs. Critics have blamed President Joe Biden for the rise in energy prices because of his executive actions to limit natural gas extraction.
Published under: Biden Administration , Economy , Public School , Schools
German state allows ALL businesses to ban unvaxxed customers, even for groceries & other essentials '-- RT World News
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 12:35
The German state of Hesse has become the first to allow businesses to deny the unvaccinated access even to basic necessities, setting a troubling precedent as its neighbors wrestle with protests against vaccination mandates.
Hessian supermarkets have been granted permission to deny the unvaccinated the right to buy food and other essentials, the state chancellery confirmed to German magazine BILD on Friday. Under the new policy, stores can decide whether to implement the '2G rule', which means allowing entry only to the vaccinated and recovered ('geimpft' and 'genesen' in German) or the more lax '3G rule', encompassing those who have tested negative for the virus (getestet).
Also on rt.com 'It's about fairness': Germany scraps Covid quarantine compensation for unvaccinated workers Minister-President Volker Bouffier somewhat bafflingly told BILD he hoped the new rule wouldn't be widely implemented, explaining: ''We expect that this option will only be used on some days and that businesses which cater to everyday needs will not make use of it.''
''The greatest protection is provided by vaccination. And still it is uncomplicated, unbureaucratic and free to get,'' he boasted, noting that masking and social distancing requirements would remain in place for businesses that failed to adopt the more exclusionary 2G Rule. In exchange for admitting only vaccinated or recovered people, 2G businesses are allowed to forgo social distancing and mask mandates '' perhaps a tempting tradeoff after 18 months of burdensome face coverings.
In addition to the new 2G option, hospital staff who remain unvaccinated must be tested for Covid-19 twice a week, and students are still required to mask up while seated in class.
While at least eight other German states have opened up the 2G option for certain businesses like bars, restaurants, gyms, cinemas and brothels, Hesse is the first to allow the rule at grocery stores and other retail shops.
Though other European nations like Italy and France have implemented strict vaccine requirements forbidding the unvaxxed from working (Italy) or eating at cafes (France), most leaders have stopped short of directly mandating jabs for their citizens. However, concerns about vaccine passports have sent hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to protest, even while countries like the US begin to reopen for travel '' to the vaccinated only, of course.
Also on rt.com Hundreds blockade Italian ports as mandatory Covid-19 passes come into effect for all workers (VIDEOS) Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
It's Obvious What Phase-2 of Biden's Private Sector Vaccine Mandate Will Include Yet Everyone Seems to Be Ignoring It, by Sundance
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 04:31
First it's vaccine mandates for workers, next it's for customers. From Sundance at conservativetreehouse.com:
If you have followed the natural progression of things'.... and if you have taken a good look at what the Biden-aligned EU and Australian vaccine passport mandates cover'.... and if you are smart enough to see the difference in the U.S. effort, based on constitutional limitations of the federal government'.... then you know exactly how Joe Biden will execute the next phase of vaccine passports without actually implementing a vaccine passport.
Joe Biden almost tweeted it out earlier today [LINK]. I have modified the tweet with the addition of two words (in red) that will tell you what comes next:
Because the United States is a very unique constitutional republic with limitations put upon the federal government; and just like we have seen with the OSHA workaround; it would be almost impossible for the feds to put a national vaccine passport process in place that would apply in all fifty states.
However, if they successfully execute the mandatory vaccine for all companies with 100 workers, their next predictable move will be to require all customers who enter those ''virus protection zones'' to also be vaccinated. It's a logical sequence. The continuum is following exactly as one would suspect. Establish the fear, then start pushing the solution. If you know the players and know the Alinsky goals, then you can predict the sequence.
Continue reading'†'
An IATSE Strike Will Be Especially Confusing in New York '' Variety
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 04:14
Courtesy of Netflix
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees is threatening to go on strike on Monday morning if it cannot reach a new contract. The strike will put up to 60,000 workers on the picket lines, shutting down film and TV production nationwide, and causing a lot of chaos.
It will be especially confusing in New York, where most workers from several IATSE-affiliated locals '-- including Local 52 and United Scenic Artists Local 829 '-- will not be on strike, even while other IATSE locals will be.
Local 52 represents about 4,500 workers, including electricians, grips and carpenters, in five states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania (except for Pittsburgh). USA 829 represents another 5,000 workers around the country, including costume designers and art directors who work in film and TV in the New York area. Both guilds work under their own contracts with the major studios, which are called Majors Agreements. Those contracts have not expired and will remain in force even if IATSE goes on strike on Monday.
But those members do work alongside camera operators, camera assistants, directors of photography and technicians from the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600, which would be on strike. Those workers are expected to be picketing job sites on Monday morning, unless the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers can strike a deal with IATSE by midnight on Sunday.
That means that non-striking IATSE members could be faced with a decision about whether to cross picket lines.
''How you respond to the picket line is your choice,'' Local 52 told members in an email this week.
The Local 52 contract contains a provision '-- similar to the provision in Teamsters contracts '-- that grants members the right to refuse to cross picket lines.
''This provision was negotiated to provide each of you working under the Majors Agreement the right to make a personal choice as to whether to honor such a picket line,'' the local told members.
It's also not clear how employers will respond. If a show's cinematographer goes on strike, the producers could simply shut down production '-- relieving the rest of the crew of having to make a choice. But they could also try to find a non-union cinematographer.
Meanwhile, shows like ''Saturday Night Live'' and other late-night shows are expected to continue production, because they are not covered by the expired contracts.
Jonas Loeb, a spokesman for the International union, said that the union itself was struggling to understand precisely how a strike would play out, and which shows would and would not be affected.
''The lack of precedent and complex patchwork of contracts within the industry makes it difficult to anticipate, even for us,'' Loeb said. ''The confusion around this speaks to how incredibly disruptive a strike has the potential to be, and we're hoping to keep working with the studios to make a deal that addresses core issues like reasonable rest, meal breaks, living wages, and a fair share of streaming success so we are never forced to find out.''
Work is expected to continue on HBO shows, as well as shows made for Starz, BET and Showtime '-- as well as low-budget films and commercials.Jazz Tangcay and Brian Steinberg contributed to this story.
Cities, police unions clash as vaccine mandates take effect
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 04:03
Police departments around the U.S. that are requiring officers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are running up against pockets of resistance that some fear could leave law enforcement shorthanded and undermine public safety.
Police unions and officers are pushing back by filing lawsuits to block the mandates. In Chicago, the head of the police union called on members to defy the city's Friday deadline for reporting their COVID-19 vaccination status.
Seattle's police department sent detectives and non-patrol officers to emergency calls this week because of a shortage of patrol officers that union leaders fear will become worse because of vaccine mandates.
The standoffs are playing out at a time when many police departments already are dealing with surging homicide rates and staff shortages unrelated to the vaccine. Cities and police leaders are now weighing the risk of losing more officers to resignations, firings or suspensions over their refusal to get vaccinated.
Chicago's mayor on Friday filed a complaint in court against the leader of the local Fraternal Order of Police, accusing him of ''engaging in, supporting and encouraging work stoppage or strike'' by saying the city's more than 12,000 uniformed officers should ignore the order to report their vaccination status.
On Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said officers would not be sent home if they showed up to work Friday and refused to provide their information. Instead, she said, they would be put on unpaid leave after the weekend, because confirming compliance would take a few days.
Refusing to provide the information, Lightfoot said, would constitute an act of insubordination.
John Catanzara, president of the FOP local in Chicago, said about half of his members have not been vaccinated and called a mandate requiring inoculation ''absolutely wrong.''
''They were willing to go into a no-pay status at midnight tonight and get sent home,'' he said, suggesting during an appearance on Fox News that the city could not afford to lose police officers.
''You know, the reality is we have a profession nobody else wants to do right now. They cannot get anybody to go into this police academy,'' he said.
In Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he won't force his 18,000 employees to be vaccinated despite a county mandate. ''I don't want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight,'' he said last week.
Hundreds of police officers in San Diego said they would consider quitting instead of complying with a vaccination mandate.
Resistance is bubbling up even though first responders have been hit hard by COVID-19. More than 460 law enforcement officers have died from the virus, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks deaths in the line of duty.
Disputes over government and business vaccine requirements have spilled over into a variety of workplaces, including one of the nation's premier nuclear weapons laboratories and the NBA.
Workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory '-- the birthplace of the atomic bomb '-- faced a deadline Friday to get vaccinated or risk being fired. A New Mexico judge denied a last-minute request by dozens of scientists and others to block the mandate.
In the NBA, the Brooklyn Nets are not allowing star Kyrie Irving to practice or play until he is vaccinated.
In Italy, protests erupted Friday as vaccine requirements went into effect for all workers, from magistrates to maids, to help control the spread of the coronavirus
The number of Americans getting vaccines has steadily increased over the past three months as boosters have become available and mandates have taken effect. The number of shots administered per day has topped 840,000 on average.
No national statistics show the vaccination rate for America's first responders, but individual police and fire departments across the country have reported figures far below the national rate of 77% for adults who have had at least one dose.
Police departments in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver are also among those under vaccine mandates or facing one. New York's mayor has said he is looking at the idea despite opposition from the city's largest police union.
The union representing some 1,000 Seattle police personnel suggests that the mandate could worsen staffing shortages, which in turn could risk public safety. The union's president, Mike Solan, said the city's police force lost some 300 officers over the past 18 months and anticipates another ''mass exodus'' in the coming weeks.
As of last week, nearly 300 of the 1,000 uniformed officers in Seattle had either not turned in paperwork showing they were vaccinated or were seeking an exemption, the mayor's office said. But scores more are believed to have been vaccinated since then.
''People believe in personal choice, and we as a union have to represent everybody,'' Solan said. ''We're not going to play the games of segregating between the vaxxed and the unvaxxed, It's not about that. This is about saving jobs.''
In recent weeks, judges have rejected attempts by a group of Oregon State Police troopers and Denver police officers to block vaccine mandates.
Associated Press writers Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Don Babwin in Chicago contributed to this report.
A comparison of official Government reports suggest the Fully Vaccinated are developing Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome '' The Expose
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 03:36
Breaking NewsLatest UK PHE Vaccine Surveillance Report figures on Covid cases show that doubly vaccinated 40-70 year olds have lost 40% of their immune system capability compared to unvaccinated people. Their immune systems are deteriorating at around 5% per week (between 2.7% and 8.7%). If this continues then 30-50 year olds will have 100% immune system degradation, zero viral defence by Christmas and all doubly vaccinated people over 30 will have lost their immune systems by March next year.
By a concerned reader
The 5 PHE tables below from their excellent Vaccine Surveillance Report, separated by 4 weeks, clearly show the progressive damage that the vaccines are doing to the immune system's response. People aged 40-69 have already lost 40% of their immune system capability and are losing it progressively at 3.3% to 6.4% per week.
Weekly Decline in doubly vaccinated immune system performance compared to unvaccinated people'...
Everybody over 30 will have lost 100% of their entire immune capability (for viruses and certain cancers) within 6 months. 30-50 year olds will have lost it by Christmas. These people will then effectively have full blown acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and destroy the NHS.The vaccine booster shots have to be the same as the vaccines themselves, because it takes forever to do clinical trials and get approval for something different. So if you take a booster shot, these figures show that you are giving yourself an even faster progressive form of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (after a couple of months of effectiveness).
Table 2. COVID-19 cases by vaccination status'...
Cases reported by specimen date between week 32 and week 35 2021 '' https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1016465/Vaccine_surveillance_report_-_week_36.pdf
Cases reported by specimen date between week 33 and week 36 2021 '' https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1018416/Vaccine_surveillance_report_-_week_37_v2.pdf
Cases reported by specimen date between week 34 and week 37 2021 '' https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1019992/Vaccine_surveillance_report_-_week_38.pdf
Cases reported by specimen date between week 35 and week 38 2021 '' https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1022238/Vaccine_surveillance_report_-_week_39.pdf
Cases reported by specimen date between week 36 and week 39 2021 '' https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1023849/Vaccine_surveillance_report_-_week_40.pdf
Pfizer originally claimed a 95% efficiency for their vaccine (calculated as in the last column above). The figures above indicate that their figures may well have been correct immediately after vaccination (the younger age groups have had the vaccine for the shortest time).
But the figures above also show that the vaccines do NOT merely lose efficiency over time down to zero efficiency, they progressively damage the immune system until a negative efficiency is realised. They presently leave anybody over 30 in a worse position than they were before vaccination For more see here.
Categories: Breaking News, Did You Know?, Latest News
Wie die Niederlande mit naiver Drogenpolitik die Mafia groŸ machten: K¤se, Koks und Killer - DER SPIEGEL
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 20:04
Wie die Niederlande mit naiver Drogenpolitik die Mafia groŸ machten K¤se, Koks und Killer In den Niederlanden r¼sten Kokainbanden mit Kalaschnikows auf, Polizisten, Anw¤lte und Journalisten riskieren ihr Leben. Die Geschichte eines Landes, das sich bereitwillig den Drogen ausgeliefert hat. Die SPIEGEL-Titelstory.
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China thumbs nose at climate targets as it plans to build more coal power stations | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:41
China is making a mockery of climate targets as it announced plans to build more coal-fired power plants and increase oil and gas exploration, just weeks ahead of the COP26 summit where world leaders were expected to agree to ambitious emission cuts.
Beijing's National Energy Commission said late Tuesday it is important 'to build advanced coal-fired power plants' and intensify domestic oil and gas exploration after the country was hit by blackouts last week.
Li Keqiang, China's second-in-command, made the announcement after the meeting and hinted that a pledge to cap the country's carbon emissions by 2030 - which already lags behind commitments made by other major economies - could be torn up.
His announcement will cause alarm ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in two weeks, and is a major blow to the UK's plans for securing a global agreement on phasing out coal.
Amidst a global energy crisis caused as economies reopen post-Covid, China has also ordered its 682 coal mines to raise their annual output capacity to 55.3 million tonnes while imports soared by 76% last month.
Elsewhere, India has also ordered its own mines to increase production amid shortages and blackouts, and has increased its own imports as well.
China is already the world's largest polluter, with more than 50% of its energy coming from coal, which is considered the most-polluting source.
China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal, and is set to increase its use further before 2030 - after which it has promised to start phasing the fuel out
While China's overall coal consumption has increased, viewed as a share of its total energy usage it has started to come down as the country has used more natural gas - and started to develop renewables and nuclear energy
The UN has said if global emissions are not cut by 50% by 2030, the climate crisis will lead to further wide-ranging and more destructive natural disasters, such as flood and drought.
But with every passing day, that goal seems to be moving further out of reach - with the boss of a South African coal mine saying today that he sees demand for coal continuing for the next two decades at least.
Beijing had previously committed to hitting peak emissions in 2030 and being carbon neutral by 2060 - a target which would involve the closure of more than 600 coal plants.
But Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hinted that this commitment may be up for debate as he said Beijing will build more coal-fired plants as China seeks to enhance the 'capacity for energy self-supply' and create a 'modern energy system'.
Keqiang said: 'Energy security should be the premise on which a modern energy system is built and and the capacity for energy self-supply should be enhanced,' the Guardian reported.
'Given the predominant place of coal in the country's energy and resource endowment, it is important to optimise the layout for the coal production capacity, build advanced coal-fired power plants as appropriate in line with development needs, and continue to phase out outdated coal plants in an orderly fashion.
'Domestic oil and gas exploration will be intensified.'
China has been suffering from widespread power outages that have shut factories and hit production and global supply chains amid a global energy shortage that has seen demand for fossil fuels soar despite the UN warning of the devastating effects.
July Ndlovu, the boss of the South African coal mine Thungela, said the demand for coal production will last for the next two decades.
Inlovu told Radio 4's Today programme that while Europe and the US will be at the forefront of the transition from coal toward renewable energies, countries such as China and India - which have far younger fossil fuel infrastructure - will follow much later.
He said: 'You can considerably see the US and Europe returning their coal plants earlier and then the rest of the developing economies on the back end of that.
'Clearly there is uncertainty on how long that will be, but we certainly see demand lasting until into the next decade-and-a-half or even two decades.'
Chinese premier Li Keqiang said officials want to gather new evidence to rethink a roadmap for reaching peak emissions, with the deadline likely to be extended beyond 2030
Keqiang added officials want to gather new evidence to rethink a roadmap for reaching peak emissions, with the deadline likely to be extended beyond 2030.
The premier said he had ordered 'in-depth studies and calculations in light of the recent handling of electricity and coal supply strains, to put forward a phased timetable and roadmap for peaking carbon emissions.'
It came after blackouts hit cities across China last week amid a spike in demand for energy around the globe.
The country was so short on power that cities were hit by blackouts with factories forced to close or else open for just a couple of hours per week.
The crisis, which began biting a fortnight ago, was caused by the cost of coal spiking as the economy reopened post-Covid, meaning power stations were operating at a loss and began to shut down. As a result, China's imports of coal surged by 76% in September.
Power outages were reported in southern Guangdong province, but are most severe in the north eastern manufacturing hubs of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning.
And an additional 16 provinces were forced to ration energy due to a shortage in supply, but avoided full-scale blackouts.
In response, Shanxi - China's biggest coal-producing region - ordered its 98 coal mines to raise their annual output capacity by 55.3 million tonnes and allowed 51 coal mines that had hit their maximum annual production levels to keep producing.
In China's No. 2 coal region, Inner Mongolia, 72 mines were told that they could operate at higher capacities immediately, provided they ensure safe production.
India is ramping up its coal production from 1.94 million to 2 million tonnes per day within a week following supply shortages - causing some utility providers to resort to unscheduled power cuts
But incessant rain has flooded 60 mines in Shanxi, as four mines with a combined annual output capacity of 4.8 million tonnes remained shut in the region.
The flooding has worsened the supply outlook, with electricity shortages and rationing expected to continue into early next year.
Former UK Labour leader Ed Miliband, who now serves as the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said China must 'step up' in reducing their emissions but also criticized the UK government for not putting pressure on Beijing to make them act.
Miliband told the Radio 4's Today Programme: 'The Chinese need to step up and it is a problem. This is happening because the UK haven't built the coalition to put the pressure on countries like China to make them step up.
He added: 'The Paris Agreement succeeded because we had an alliance of developing and vulnerable countries and developing countries like ours that put maxiumum pressure on the biggest emitters like China.
'Now the problem is, because the (UK) government hasn't had a proper strategy for this COP23 summit, we haven't built that coalition.'
It comes amid a wider energy crisis that has seen shortages and soaring prices in Europe, India and China.
In response, India is ramping up its coal production from 1.94 million to 2 million tonnes per day within a week following supply shortages which caused some utility providers to resort to unscheduled power cuts, reports The Statesman.
India was said to have been close to running out of coal, but government sources said coal-powered plans are maintaining stock for five days. The sources said in a month's time, the levels of coals will be back to usual levels.
Coal accounts for nearly 70 percent of India's electricity generation and around three-quarters of the fossil fuel is mined domestically.
As Asia's third-largest economy rebounds following a coronavirus wave, heavy monsoon rains have flooded coal mines and disrupted transport networks, leading to a sharp rise in prices for coal buyers, including power stations.
International coal prices have also soared.
Even before the current energy crisis erupted, the world was far behind on efforts to avert catastrophic climate change.
The United Nations estimates that global emissions will be 16 per cent higher in 2030 than they were in 2010 based on countries' current pledges.
Big Pharma mRNA Vaccine will be used to Patent Humans '' Civilian Intelligence Network 3.0
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:13
A gene patent is the exclusive rights to a specific genetic sequence given by a government to the individual or corporation who claims to have first identified that gene segment. Gene patents have often resulted in companies having ''sole ownership'' of genetic testing for patented genes. But what if Big Pharma's patented viral mRNA genetic sequence vaccine is now merged with your own DNA? Are you now property of Big Pharma?
On June 13, 2013, in the case of the Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that ''human genes'' cannot be patented in the U.S. because DNA is a ''product of nature.'' The Court decided that because nothing new is created when discovering a gene, there is no intellectual property to protect, so patents cannot be granted. Prior to this ruling, more than 4,300 human genes were patented. The Supreme Court's decision invalidated those gene patents, making the genes accessible for research and for commercial genetic testing.
The Supreme Court's ruling did allow ''that DNA manipulated in a lab is eligible to be patented because DNA sequences altered by humans are not found in nature.'' The Court specifically mentioned the ability to patent a type of DNA known as ''Complementary DNA'' (cDNA). Complimentary DNA (cDNA) is produced from mRNA genetic sequences within cells, that integrate with cellular DNA; the cells genetic genome.
The Judgement handed down by Justice Antonin Scalia, is at odds with science itself; the cDNA comments make little sense since it's difficult to distinguish between ''natural'' DNA and cDNA. It is not correct to insist that cDNA is not a product of nature! There are several examples of cDNA in nature; Retroviruses such as HIV convert their RNA-based genomes into cDNA before they integrate into a host genome. So why this judgement in particular? Why not rule all types of human cellular DNA natural and therefore unpatentable? Did Scalia have insight on what was coming down the line with viral mRNA vaccines? Was he aware of the NWO plan involving the mass vaccination of citizens with patented biological material?
Scalia once told students and staff at a faculty lunch, that internment camps could happen again:
''But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again,'' Scalia cited a Latin expression meaning, ''In times of war, the laws fall silent.''
Many believe viral mRNA vaccines have the ability to incorporate themselves into host DNA or the cellular genome. Despite assurances from Government, medical authorities, the CDC, the WHO and the Pharmaceuticals themselves who have repeatedly stated all viral RNA is destroyed by the body post-vaccination, in a postmortem study of a patient who had been vaccinated with the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, viral RNA was found in all his body cells and there was no evidence what-so-ever that he was infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus! But was this viral RNA genetic material located inside the nucleus of the cell where the human DNA is stored? If so did the viral genetic sequence merge with the host DNA?
The First Victim of the COVID-19 Vaccine: Patient dies from Antibody-Dependent Enhancement!Recently, a team of prominent scientists published a controversial hypothesis that genetic material of the pandemic coronavirus can integrate into our chromosomes (DNA) and stick around long after the infection is over. If they are right these viral insertions could explain the rare finding that people can recover from COVID-19 but then test positive for SARS-CoV-2 again months later. The researchers emphasized that viral integration did not mean people who recovered from COVID-19 remain infectious. The authors were able to demonstrate that the SARS-CoV-2 viral sequence can be copied by an enzyme in human cells into DNA and then insert them into our chromosomes. Critics of this research charged them with stoking unfounded fears that COVID-19 vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) might somehow alter human DNA. The evidence suggests that this is indeed possible!
Viral Vector mRNA vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Pfizer's & Moderna's mRNA vaccines all have the capacity of ''genomic integration'' with host DNA. Both use viral mRNA segments that code for ''spike protein'' and operate on a similar delivery principle; AstraZeneca's viral vector vaccine uses a weakened virus devoid of genetic material (called a vector) to deliver viral mRNA into human cells thereby initiating an immune response, whereas in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, the delivery of the viral mRNA segment is done using lipid nanoparticles. It is clearly stated in this table from Sinobiologicals, a pharmaceutical company also producing vaccines, that one of the disadvantages with viral vector (mRNA) vaccines is the ''Possible genomic integration of foreign DNA''; simply put, viral genetic material can integrate with the genetic material of the host itself'.... your DNA! We believe that the lipid nanoparticle mRNA delivery system used by Pfizer and Moderna would also cause a similar problem! After all, viral mRNA is viral mRNA'... is viral mRNA!
Here is a short video explaining how the different vaccines work. At the 2 minute mark, the video introduces viral vector mRNA vaccines (AstraZeneca) and mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna. Note: They both deliver mRNA vaccines. Odd how NO ONE even mentions viral mRNA when they talk about AstraZeneca?
Now should the viral mRNA vaccine incorporate it's viral genome into your DNA a precedent has already been set and your ''tainted'' DNA is now considered a biological patent of the Pharmaceutical Company that provided you with the vaccine! Does this means that everyone who has had the vaccine in now technically owned and will be defined as ''Trans-human'' or ''Transgenic''? And as such, do ''Transgenic'' individuals have rights under the law?
The idea that advances in molecular genetics would put human individuals or parts of their bodies under someone else's control has been stirring emotions and terrifying people. It was this notion of ''patenting humans'' that mobilized members of Congress to pass legislation prohibiting the issuance of patent claims ''directed to or encompassing a human organism.'' The values underlying this legislation was agreeable, yet its execution was deeply flawed and the potential outcomes, hazardous. The legislation's numerous flaws include primarily, the lack of an agreed-upon definition of ''human organism.''
The idea of ''patenting humans'' tends to evoke images of helpless fellow humans ''tagged'' with patent numbers who are the property of someone, perhaps a heartless regime or corporate entity. Many believe that patents convey property rights on ''human organisms'' which would allow the right to sell, offer for sale, make, use, and import such ''human organisms.'' On the moral front, critics are concerned with the potential to erode human dignity and ''play God.'' The thing is'... all of this is true!
The U.S. Congress responded to the moral concerns with the America Invents Act (AIA); passed by Congress and was signed into law by Rothschild's puppet, President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011. Section 33 of the AIA states that ''notwithstanding any other provision of law, no patent may issue on a claim directed to or encompassing a human organism.'' This provision was intended to ban the patenting of ''human beings'' at any stage of development, including embryos, fetuses, human/non-human chimeras, and clones. However, the vague wording of section 33 and the absence of a definition for ''human organism,'' will give courts wide latitude when interpreting section 33; whereas ''human beings'' would have had more of a legal standing the term ''human organism'' has placed mankind at the same level of an amoeba!
https://www.bitlaw.com/source/America-Invents-Act/33.htmlThe language of section 33 was originally proposed by Representative David Weldon in 2003 as an amendment to the Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations Bill. Responding to criticism from lobbyist groups opposing the amendment, Weldon said it was ''absurd'' that ''patents on stem cell lines, procedures for creating human embryos, prosthetic devices, and . . . any drug or product that might be used in or for human beings would be affected by the amendment. He argued before Congress that his amendment did nothing more than provide congressional backing for the USPTO's (The United States Patent and Trademark Office is an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce that issues patents) policy against patenting human beings. Why did Weldon not define ''human beings'' in the Bill? The man was a distinguished medical doctor and scientist? He knew there was definitely a difference between ''human being'' and ''human organism''; one is Divine whereas the other is a laboratory test animal? Could it be his Jesuit upbringing or the freemason secret societies he was involved with like Phi Beta Kapa?
The Weldon amendment applies to patents on claims directed to or encompassing a ''human organism'' at any stage of development and includes: a human embryo, fetus, infant, child, adolescent, or adult, regardless of whether the organism was produced by technological methods. This amendment applies to patents on ''human organisms'' and as such these ''human organism'' are NOT patentable under the law. The term ''human organism'' includes an organism of the human species that has incorporated one or more genes taken from a nonhuman organism (i.e. viral genetic material). For those that have been vaccinated with viral mRNA and have viral genomic inserts in their DNA, they would be considered a ''human organism,'' and as such can not be patented. However some legal experts say that this is entirely possible and all those containing biologically patented genes can indeed be patented! Wonder if ''you are now the property of'...'' that was included in the small-print on the vaccine medication package insert? Oh snap'... there weren't any inserts!
Human Rights laws specifically state that ''human beings'' are born human and as such have rights under the law. For a ''human organism'' who was human at birth and with ''human rights'' this definition holds true. However, their ''genetically modified offspring'' will technically be born as ''non-human'' or ''transgenic'' since their gene pool has been tarnished with viral genetic material! And as ''non-humans'' they are thus patentable! Congratulations on taking the jab! Your children and future generations will now be considered the biological patents of Pharmaceutical Companies! In perpetuity!
2013, The US Supreme Court Case:Pathology v Myriad Genetics, Inc. ''People who are legally identified as ''transhuman'' do not have access to human rights or rights granted by the state. This is because they are not classified as 100% biological or human.''
Vaccinated will be considered ''Human Organisms'' The UN has already defined ''Human Being'' as having a ''Human genome'' and thus worthy of ''Human Rights''.
What the NWO did with these vaccines is not only diabolical but also far-reaching. It will not end with humans being vaccinated against COVID-19. Autonomy is lost in genetically modified embryos and children born to vaccinated parents, who are deemed ''transgenic''. As such they no longer have rights under these patent laws. Should there be long-term health complications from these vaccines a state may enact laws allowing for the legalization of mandatory abortions, sterilization and even'... euthanasia! Eugenics is how Hitler's Nazi Germany dealt with the ''genetically unfit'' and for that matter, adults and the elderly were included in their death panels. This is the NWO depopulation agenda; if the jab doesn't kill you, they will!
Furthermore, if a ''transgenic'' organism were patented, the patent owner would have a right to prevent others from interacting with the patented ''transgenic'' as well as having the right to constrain the actions or free will of the ''transgenic.'' The transgenic would become property of the patent holder and could be transferred to another person through a sale of the patent. Whether a ''transgenic'' is property under the control of others will affect the likelihood and extent of experimentation performed upon it: because an owner need not ask property for its consent! The patent rights over humans would be equivalent to slavery!
In drawing this line between naturally occurring DNA and cDNA, were the courts trying to encourage innovation within the industry? Or were they already aware at the time, that viral mRNA vaccines could be integrated into the human genome thus making individuals biological patents of Corporations? All premeditated and pre-planned for their ''Plandemic''!
Transhumanism Is Eugenics TodayContinued Reading:
Sperm counts are falling precipitously across the rich world | The Economist
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 14:50
Harmful chemicals commonly found in the home could be to blameMay 19th 2021
IN STANLEY KUBRICK'S film ''Dr. Strangelove'', set during the Cold War, an American air-force general orders a retaliatory nuclear strike against the Soviet Union. It is later revealed that the Soviets did not attack first. Instead the commander, who had a mental breakdown, ordered the strike because he had become convinced that communists had fluoridated America's water supply in an effort to damage the ''precious bodily fluids'' of America's men.
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The paranoid commander's fears about his fertility were easy to mock in 1964, when Kubrick's film was first released. But the premise may be getting closer to reality with each passing day. In 2017, Shanna Swan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and Hagai Levine of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Jerusalem, along with six other researchers, estimated the average sperm count for 43,000 men in 55 countries across the world. The data, from 185 previously published studies, suggest that sperm counts fell by about 25% between 1973 and 2011 (see chart). But the academics performed a regression analysis that controlled for variation in the studies' sampling technique, their potential sample bias, the age of men and their level of abstinence before a sample was taken. They found that sperm counts had in fact fallen by about 50% in Western countries over the period. Although the data were less plentiful, similar trends were observed in developing countries, too.
Dr Swan's new book, ''Count Down'', released earlier this year, investigates why this decline has occurred. The most likely culprit, she argues, is the proliferation of harmful chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA)'--which is most commonly found in household plastic goods. Humans' endocrine systems, which produce hormones including testosterone and oestrogen, can be adversely affected by these chemicals. In some cases they reduce fertility among both men and women. One study, conducted in Boston, looked at nearly 500 young men who hoped to donate sperm. It found that the share of applicants who were sufficiently fertile to donate had fallen from 69% to 44% in the ten years to 2013.
BPA chemicals may not be solely to blame. Another study, published by Environmental Pollution in 2018, collected the semen samples of 5,000 men living in northern Italy between 2010 and 2016. By geocoding the men's home addresses it found that sperm counts deteriorated most when air pollution was highest.
Even if BPA chemicals are not the sole cause of the decline in sperm counts, regulators have been slow to catch on to the proven harm they cause. In 2007 the European Union implemented REACH, a set of regulations on the import and production of hazardous chemicals. America and the EU have since banned the use of BPA in baby bottles but the chemical is still allowed in the linings of food cans. The decline in sperm counts, were it to deteriorate further, could have dire consequences. Alarmingly, if the rich-world trend observed by Dr Swan in her 2017 study continued until 2045, it might render half the men of Europe and North America impotent. That looks unlikely for two reasons. The effect of BPAs on sperm may diminish as their counts decline; and already fewer BPA chemicals are being used.
Former Atlanta Hawks guard Brandon Goodwin claims COVID-19 vaccine ended his season - Peachtree Hoops
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 14:48
Former Atlanta Hawks point guard Brandon Goodwin's season ended early last year due to ''minor respiratory condition,'' according to a team report this past May. The Hawks went on a deep postseason run to the Eastern Conference Finals and the team decided not to bring the Norcross graduate back after drafting Sharife Cooper and signing Delon Wright. Goodwin has not signed with another NBA team since.
Recently, on a Twitch stream, Goodwin revealed his side of the story, and it all starts with him receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
''I got sick and I never quite recovered from it,'' Goodwin said on the stream, as posted on YouTube by Cosign Zee. ''I would always have back pain, I was just super tired in the games.''
Goodwin used Atlanta's back-to-back against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 28 and April 30 as an example.
''Bro, I was so tired,'' he said. ''I felt like I couldn't run up and down the court. My back was hurting.''
The Hawks then had a three-game homestand from May 1-5.
''My back really started hurting bad,'' Goodwin recalled. ''Then, I'm like, 'OK. I need to go to the doctor. That's when I found out I had blood clots. That all within the span of a month.''
Goodwin then left nothing up to the imagination when he revealed what he believed caused the health issues.
''I was fine until then,'' Goodwin said. ''I was fine up until I took the vaccine, I was fine.''
Blood clots have been reported as rare side effects of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Women under the age of 50 are advised to remain cautious about the rare but increased risks of developing a blood clot from the J&J vaccine, the CDC says, a risk that ''has not been seen'' in other vaccine options.
''People trying to tell you, 'No. It's not the vaccine.' How do you know?'' Goodwin asked. ''You don't know.''
In seemingly another Twitch streaming clip (same link as above), Goodwin doubled down on his belief the vaccine caused his health issues.
''Yes, the vaccine ended my season,'' Goodwin said. ''One thousand percent.''
The point guard then said someone from the Hawks organization called him while he was in the hospital to let him know a press release announcing his condition was on the horizon.
'''We're going to tell the press that your season's over with,''' Goodwin recalled. ''I'm like, 'Damn. How? Like I don't even, we don't even know what it is.' But it's whatever. I'm not even going to get into all that, bruh. I still got love for the Hawks. Mad love for the Hawks.''
Goodwin also said he knew he would have had an impact on the team if he was still available to play down the stretch. In his two seasons with Atlanta, Goodwin averaged 5.5 points in 13 minutes per game through 81 games. Goodwin earned a full season contract with the Hawks for 2020-21 after breakout performances in the previous season, including a 19-point fourth quarter in a 102-95 comeback win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 22, 2020.
''It would have been way different,'' Goodwin said. ''We needed somebody to get in the paint, make some plays.
''I don't know where I'm playing at this year. I'm not going to lie to y'all, I don't know. (The Hawks) were just like, 'Don't say anything about it, don't tell anybody. I'm like, 'Bruh, what?'''
Goodwin, who turned 26 on Saturday, remained optimistic about the future of his playing career on the stream.
''I'll be back on somebody's team soon,'' Goodwin said. ''I don't really know who yet.''
He did confirm the Boston Celtics, a franchise he recently worked out with, and Golden State Warriors, a team he declined to sign with, weren't in the running for his services.
(20) Lavern Spicer on Twitter: "They let Magic Johnson play basketball with FULL-BLOWN HIV but won't let Kyrie Irving play because he won't get a COVID shot." / Twitter
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 13:28
Lavern Spicer : They let Magic Johnson play basketball with FULL-BLOWN HIV but won't let Kyrie Irving play because he won't get a COVID shot.
Tue Oct 12 20:17:16 +0000 2021
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Fri Oct 15 13:25:43 +0000 2021
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Fri Oct 15 13:24:18 +0000 2021
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Fri Oct 15 13:23:50 +0000 2021
David Mister : @lavern_spicer So you're saying you have no I understand of science'...maybe go to elementary school before seeking government office.
Fri Oct 15 13:17:40 +0000 2021
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Fri Oct 15 13:09:32 +0000 2021
Maria Rosa : @lavern_spicer HIV is not contagious like COVID, are you serious?
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Fri Oct 15 12:54:20 +0000 2021
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Fri Oct 15 12:54:11 +0000 2021
Pilot Mark Forkner indicted for allegedly lying in Boeing 737 investigation - The Washington Post
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 12:40
A former chief test pilot for Boeing has been charged with fraud for allegedly deceiving federal authorities about a part of the flight controls on 737 Max airplanes, a model that led to horrific crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed hundreds of people.
The Justice Department announced the indictment Thursday of Mark A. Forkner, 49, charging that he withheld vital safety information and ''affirmatively deceived'' the Federal Aviation Administration during the agency's certification of the 737 Max.
The two 737 Max jets crashed in late 2018 and early 2019, killing 346 people and prompting airlines to ground the plane while authorities investigated how an automated flight control system may have led to the crashes.
Boeing chief executive apologizes for lives lost in 737 Max crashes
''In an attempt to save Boeing money, Forkner allegedly withheld critical information from regulators,'' said Chad E. Meacham, acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. ''His callous choice to mislead the FAA hampered the agency's ability to protect the flying public and left pilots in the lurch, lacking information about certain 737 MAX flight controls.''
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The charges against Forkner include two counts of fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce and four counts of wire fraud. He is due in federal court in Fort Worth on Friday. The most serious charge against him carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
An attorney representing Forkner did not respond to requests for comment. According to the indictment, Forkner led the 737 Max Flight Technical Team and had a responsibility to provide accurate and complete information to the FAA about differences between that plane and another version of the 737.
In late 2016, federal prosecutors say, Forkner discovered information about an important change made to part of the plane's flight controls, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). He allegedly decided not to share the information with the FAA. As a result, authorities say, the manual that instructs pilots how to maneuver that model of plane did not contain critical information needed to understand the MCAS system.
Boeing to pay fine to resolve charge over 737 Max conspiracy
On Oct. 29, 2018, a 737 Max operating as Lion Air Flight 610 crashed near Jakarta, Indonesia after the automated MCAS system repeatedly forced the nose of the plane down, overpowering pilots who were unable to right the aircraft, crash investigators said. While the investigation into the MCAS system was underway, a second 737 Max, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, crashed minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa.
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After the crashes, probes by congressional investigators, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of Transportation's internal watchdog documented problems in the federal government's oversight of Boeing.
Investigators with the House Transportation Committee concluded the crashes ''were the horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing's engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing's management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA.''
Congressional investigators found Boeing was intent on minimizing costly training requirements for its customers' pilots during a period of intense competition with rival Airbus. In January, Boeing agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion as part of a settlement agreement with the Justice Department, which alleged company employees had engaged in ''fraudulent and deceptive conduct'' concerning the Max planes.
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Boeing declined to comment Thursday on Forkner's indictment or the company's role in creating the environment that provided the context for Forkner's alleged fraud. Earlier this year, the company said the behavior of Forkner and another employee was not reflective of the company.
Messages show Boeing employees knew of 737 Max problems
The FAA gives manufacturers such as Boeing broad responsibility for overseeing the safety of their aircraft. That system's weaknesses became a focus of criticism in Congress, which late last year passed legislation meant to tighten oversight.
The FAA declined to comment on the indictment.
Forkner's prolific trail of instant messages and emails made him a target for investigators and provided a revealing look at Boeing.
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In a 2016 email, Forkner told an FAA official he would be ''jedi-mind tricking regulators'' around the world into accepting a lower level of training for pilots.
The indictment Thursday included an exchange between Forkner and a colleague that took place after Forkner had taken the Max on a simulated test flight in November 2016.
During that simulation, the automated MCAS system engaged at a much lower speed than Forkner and Boeing had told the FAA it would. That meant it would kick in more frequently, requiring expensive simulator training for cost-conscious airlines.
''So I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly),'' Forkner wrote in an instant message to a colleague. Prosecutors said that shortly after that simulated test flight, an FAA official asked how it had gone.
Inspector general calls for Boeing oversight in 737 Max crashes
Forkner withheld ''the material fact that MCAS could now operate during nearly the entire speed range for the 737 MAX,'' according to the indictment. After the FAA sent out a report on training requirements for the Max, Forkner told agency officials a pilot's manual did not need a reference to MCAS, according to the indictment.
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The Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General found that a separate group of FAA employees had been told about ''the increased maximum range of MCAS.'' But that information didn't reach agency certification officials, who deemed the plane safe.
Kenneth A. Polite Jr., the head of the Justice Department's criminal division, said in a statement that Forkner ''allegedly abused his position of trust by intentionally withholding critical information about MCAS during the FAA evaluation and certification of the 737 MAX and from Boeing's U.S. based airline customers. In doing so, he deprived airlines and pilots from knowing crucial information about an important part of the airplane's flight controls.''
U.S. Navy sets up new command to enforce discharges for vaccine refusers - UPI.com
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 12:35
Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy announced Thursday it has set up a special command to force out active-duty sailors who don't comply with a Nov. 28 deadline to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Navy reservists have until Dec. 28 to comply or face disciplinary action from the new COVID Consolidated Disposition Authority for failing to obey a lawful order, possibly resulting in a less-than-honorable discharge, naval authorities said.
"To date, over 98 percent of active-duty U.S. Navy service members have met our readiness responsibility by completing or initiating a COVID-19 vaccination series, ensuring the continued readiness of our worldwide deployable Navy," Adm. William Lescher, vice chief of naval operations, said in a release.
There have been 164 deaths within the Navy due to COVID-19, "far exceeding the combined total of all other health or mishap related injuries and deaths over the same time period," added Vice Adm. John B. Nowell Jr., the chief of naval personnel.
Of those, he noted, 144 were not immunized.
Discharge proceedings before the COVID Consolidated Disposition Authority -- set up to "ensure a fair and consistent process for separation determinations" -- will begin as soon as service members meet the definition of "refusing the vaccine," officials said.
The Pentagon announced in August that vaccinations would become mandatory for all 2.1 million U.S. military personnel, and since then each service branch has laid down its own deadlines for compliance and with associated penalties.
Like the Navy, the U.S. Army has set a Nov. 28 deadline for members' compliance. The Marine Corps has a deadline of Nov. 14 for full vaccination, while the Air Force has the most ambitious deadline of Nov. 2.
With the quick deadline looming, more than 60,000 Air Force personnel remained unvaccinated as of last week, the Washington Post reported.
The electric car future is coming fast, but the power grid isn't ready. - The Washington Post
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 12:23
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There, at an installation opened earlier this year by a car-sharing company called Revel, on the site of the old Pfizer pharmaceutical headquarters, this carbon-free power can help juice up a whole fleet of sleek vehicles that aim to leave the internal combustion engine behind.
But that's on a good day. Even now '-- before this state and the country's grand ambitions for an electric future are fully in motion '-- there are too many bad ones.
Seventy-four times last year, the wind across Upstate New York dropped so low that for stretches of eight hours or more barely any electricity was produced. Nearly half the year, the main transmission line feeding the metropolitan area was at full capacity, so that no more power could be fed into it. Congestion struck other, smaller lines, too, and when that happened some of the wind turbine blades upstate fell still.
And in New York City this summer, the utility Con Edison appealed to customers to cut back on their electricity usage during the strain of five separate heat waves, while Tropical Storms Elsa, Henri and Ida cut power to thousands.
Converting the nation's fleet of automobiles and trucks to electric power is a critical piece of the battle against climate change. The Biden administration wants to see them account for half of all sales by 2030, and New York state has enacted a ban on the sale of internal combustion cars and trucks starting in 2035.
But making America's cars go electric is no longer primarily a story about building the cars. Against this ambitious backdrop, America's electric grid will be sorely challenged by the need to deliver clean power to those cars. Today, though, it barely functions in times of ordinary stress, and fails altogether too often for comfort, as widespread blackouts in California, Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere have shown.
''We got to talk about the grid,'' said Gil Quiniones, head of a state agency called the New York Power Authority. ''Otherwise we'll be caught flat-footed.''
By 2030, according to one study, the nation will need to invest as much as $125 billion in the grid to allow it to handle electric vehicles. The current infrastructure bill before Congress puts about $5 billion toward transmission line construction and upgrades.
The grid's big looming problem: Getting power to where it's needed
Even in this progressive, wealthy state, where policymakers are spending billions on climate change initiatives and the governor has announced plans for two big new transmission lines feeding the New York metropolitan area, the challenge is enormous.
By 2050, the state projects, electric cars, trucks and buses will use 14 percent of New York's total output. That's equivalent to half of all the electricity used in New York City in 2019 '-- so it's like powering a new city of four million people. Overall demand could grow by as much as 50 percent.
Three places, hundreds of miles apart, tell the story of the grid in New York, and by extension in the country as a whole:
In the hard-hit dairy country of upstate Lewis County, wind power has been an economic lifeline, but its room for expansion is severely limited. Other renewables face similar limits.
In a control room in East Greenbush, outside Albany, the agency that oversees New York's grid must manage the flow of electricity through transmission lines that without significant rebuilding will be totally inadequate in connecting upstate to the big metropolitan area.
And in New York City, stressed utility equipment will need expensive upgrades '-- and perhaps a totally new model of energy production '-- if they are to handle an eventual 2 million electric vehicles.
All in all, it shows how the country's 20th-century point-to-point grid, delivering energy over long distances, will not be adequate to serve this century's needs.
''The grid of the future isn't going to be a grid at all,'' said Shuli Goodman, executive director of a Linux Foundation project called LF Energy. ''It will be more like the Internet,'' she said, with power generation happening all over the place.
''Something,'' she said, ''like a forest.''
It's been 20 years since the first wind farm was built in Lewis County, and since then more have followed, bringing a steady income stream to the small dairy farmers whose land hosts the towering white turbines. Theirs has been a life of struggle, squeezed on price by their larger competitors, selling milk through a co-op to the big yellow Kraft Heinz factory in Lowville that goes through a reported 20 million pounds a month to make string cheese and cream cheese.
Vaughn Moser's parents were able to retire from farming when the turbines came. With four kids, ages 3 to 11, he keeps plenty busy making ends meet: tending about 250 head of cattle (beef and dairy), running 10,000 taps on maple trees to make syrup, operating a lumber mill and making furniture in his spare time.
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In a year when the dairy co-op is dumping milk because there's too much for the market to use, he's glad to see the turbine blades churning, grabbing electricity from the wind and sending it away down the wires. ''It's going where it's needed, and that's okay,'' he said. ''Everything gets bigger and needs more power.''
Government officials speak with similar confidence about the role of wind power and its renewable cousin, solar, in powering a low-emissions electric grid that could undergird an electric vehicle future. Without a renewable source of electricity, electric vehicles will still contribute to climate change '-- where fossil fuels are burned at power plants rather than in tailpipe emissions.
New York has adopted what it calls the 70-30 goal: 70 percent carbon-free power by 2030. The Biden administration has spelled out similar, longer-term goals for the nation as a whole.
Officials have been depending on wind to be a big part of that. Earlier this year, then-Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) boasted, ''We are proposing the largest wind programs in the nation and advancing our green manufacturing capacity and the jobs that go with it.''
In August, the Energy Department reported that 2020 had seen record-high levels of new land-based wind farm installations nationwide. ''These reports contain such terrific news,'' Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said. ''They underscore both the progress made and the capacity for much more affordable wind power to come.''
But in New York and nationally, wind will have trouble meeting the expectations.
Lewis County and adjoining Jefferson County encompass the Tug Hill Plateau, a high forested region west of the Adirondacks. It's the best location for onshore wind farms in the entire state. Turbines stretch out along the eastern escarpment of the plateau, just where the winds off Lake Ontario pick up speed as they flow down into the fertile Black River Valley.
This fall, the Roaring Brook wind farm, with the latest in European turbine blades mounted to each of 20 250-foot-tall towers, goes into operation. It strides across 5,000 mostly forested acres on the eastern escarpment of the plateau.
All that power doesn't amount to much. Wind contributes about 3 percent of the output in New York.
Two proposed wind farms for Tug Hill could still get through the planning process and become operational.
''And that's probably about it for this region,'' said Jason Du Terroil, director of East Coast development for Avangrid, which will operate Roaring Brook. ''The rest of New York, the topography doesn't really lend itself to wind. Up and down the East Coast, it's more difficult to site wind farms.''
Nationally, wind accounts for about 8.4 percent of power production, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects some growth of onshore wind in the years ahead, especially in the Midwest.
Additional growth will occur offshore, at least for the East Coast. Stronger, steadier winds and more powerful turbines in the waters from Martha's Vineyard to Virginia could reach a capacity of 20 to 30 gigawatts by 2030, according to an American Wind Energy Association report.
New York's share of that, probably nine gigawatts, would not be sufficient to replace all its fossil-fuel-powered generation plants, which in 2020 had a capacity of 26 gigawatts.
Solar energy is growing nationally, especially in the South and Southwest, but a combination of terrain and weather will limit its impact in the Northeast. It takes up too much room, for one thing.
Moser points out that he can plant his crops right up to the bases of the wind turbines standing in his fields. ''To see good farmland covered with solar, it's disappointing,'' he said.
But wind farms aren't welcome everywhere. Wind has meant money for Lewis County, though it still has the second-lowest median household income of New York's 62 counties after the Bronx. Elsewhere '-- up near the Thousand Islands along the St. Lawrence River, for instance '-- wealthy part-time residents have had the means to fight off proposed wind farms.
And even in Lewis County, Roaring Brook met opposition. The Tug Hill Land Trust, a private nonprofit, objected to its placement on forest land, instead of farmers' fields, said Linda Garrett, the executive director of the group. She cited concerns about water pollution and the loss of a wilderness feeling in the state's third-largest forest. Avangrid has cut more than 10 miles of roads through the tract to connect the turbines.
''If you're cutting down trees to put up windmills to fight climate change, it doesn't make sense to me,'' she said. ''It would be a lot easier to swallow if it was a community project, with community benefits.''
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Currently, 57 proposed wind projects in New York '-- on land and at sea '-- are awaiting a green light. Approval depends on there being enough transmission capacity to handle their output. Some have been in the queue since 2012.
If every project eventually won approval, and moved toward operation over the next decade, the capacity would be about 30 gigawatts, enough in theory to replace the fossil fuel plants.
But every project won't win approval. A new study of selected U.S. regions by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that fewer than a quarter of all proposed projects actually make it to commercial operation.
Nuclear power is expected to decline from 20 percent of national output in 2019 to 12 percent in 2050, according to a projection by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. There are no nuclear proposals in New York's plans. Earlier this year, the state shut down an old nuclear plant at Indian Point, on the Hudson. Its capacity was picked up by two new gas-fired plants.
''Getting to 70 percent in nine years is going to be a big push,'' said Cullen Howe, a grid specialist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. ''It's going to be a heavy lift. There's no question about it. Is it technically feasible? Yeah, I think it is.''
But generating all that power will be one thing. Even assuming the goal can be met, that clean power still has to make its way to where the electric cars will be.
The electricity generated in Moser's hayfield heads about nine miles to the northwest, where it joins the New York grid at a substation in East Watertown. There it falls under the control of the state's Independent System Operator and enters a transmission line that shows up as a thin yellow connector on a dauntingly complicated and huge schematic screen that dominates the ISO control room in a tightly secured building in East Greenbush, just across the Hudson from Albany. The line interconnects with other lines in magenta, blue, red, green and orange, each representing a different level of voltage.
The ISO operators like to talk about what they call the state's Tale of Two Grids: on one side, the rural north and Rust Belt west, and on the other, the Hudson Valley, New York City metropolitan area and Long Island. Both produce nearly the same amount of electricity '-- about 65,000 gigawatt-hours in 2020 '-- but one has plenty of renewable power and the other does not. One has vast rural stretches; the other does not. They operate like two nearly separate systems.
''When the system's running well, there's not a lot to do,'' said Richard Dewey, president of the New York ISO. ''It's, like, 95 percent boredom and 5 percent hysteria.''
One main transmission line connects the two grids, carrying power from the north and west to where it's needed downstate, which uses about two-thirds of the state's overall energy. Running roughly between Utica and Albany, that line is called the Central East Constraint, and it is congested about half the year, meaning no more power can flow along it.
And at least 11 pockets within the two regions have their own local constraints: high-tension lines that don't have enough capacity even today.
Colonial shutdown shows how Americans pay the price of efficiency
It is not a problem specific to New York state. Similar constraints exist in Texas, California, Maryland, Illinois and elsewhere. Across the country, long-distance transmission lines can only carry so much electricity, just the way a pipe can only carry so much water. When they're at full capacity, they can't carry any more, even if a downstream customer '-- a local utility, for instance '-- is trying to obtain some.
The limits of these constraints will become even more significant as the nation moves to send more clean energy across long distances. It's much easier to cut back on wind and solar generation in what are called curtailments than it is to dial down a traditional power plant or hydroelectric dam, and easier to bring them back on again, so renewables always take the brunt of curtailment orders.
By 2030, a study suggests, the potential output of renewables in some of the smaller pockets in New York could face curtailments of as much as 63 percent without improvements in transmission. This would make it virtually impossible for the state to meet the 2030 goal.
Keeping energy flowing from upstate to downstate is critical to the state's goals. Last year, 90 percent of the electricity produced upstate was zero-emission, a little bit of it from the Moser farm but the bulk from nuclear plants and the Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station. Downstate, by contrast, 77 percent of the electricity was from fossil fuels.
To meet its needs, New York state is planning to spend $1.2 billion on upgrades, and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced on Sept. 20 a plan to spend $11 billion on a new transmission line skirting the Catskills, as well as another line that would bring hydropower straight down from Quebec. At the national level, the federal infrastructure bill includes $5 billion to address congestion.
Even with the improvements, Dewey said, meeting the state's emissions target by getting cleaner power downstate ''is going to be a stretch.''
In New York and across the country, engineers also expect to enhance lines on existing rights of way. A technology called dynamic line rating, which uses sensors to provide much greater visibility into conditions on transmission lines, could allow them to carry significantly more power, without new construction.
A different workaround to the transmission problem involves numerous new small but local power generators. Hochul announced a plan in September to build vast numbers of rooftop installations.
The panels would be installed where the demand is '-- predominantly in and around New York City.
The main transmission line from upstate to New York City comes right down the Hudson Valley, with secondary lines providing some backup. Electricity imported from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey can also feed the metropolitan area.
At substations around the region, the voltage is stepped down and the power is distributed on local lines '-- strung on familiar poles in parts of the outer boroughs and Westchester County, but underground in Manhattan.
Moshe Cohen, the CEO of a start-up called Gravity, hoped this year that at the end of one of these lines would be what he needed to get his electric taxi vehicle company up and running '-- quickly, and at scale.
He approached major parking garage operators about setting up 50 fast chargers, which can replenish a car in as little as 20 minutes but gulp huge amounts of electricity.
Building out the equipment for such a site would be possible. ''This is what we do for a living,'' said Patrick McHugh, vice president of engineering and planning for Con Edison. ''It's nothing that we haven't done.''
But it would take years. If you plugged in 50 cars at once to 50 chargers, it would draw as much electricity as a high-rise office building for as long as the cars were being refueled.
The Texas grid got crushed because its operators didn't see the need to prepare for cold weather
''We face some very tight constraints,'' Cohen said.
The plan didn't work out. Instead Gravity is going with reduced, scattered charging sites around the city.
But that was a plan for only 50 cars. As the country turns toward electric vehicles, New York City is expected to have 2 million of them on the streets by 2040, according to the New York Power Authority.
Con Ed does not intend to be the obstacle to the electric vehicle future. ''This is coming,'' McHugh said. ''We're working to be ahead of that.''
But Gil Quiniones, head of the New York Power Authority, has a less optimistic view. He lives in the West Village of Manhattan, and there's a big UPS depot just around the corner on Greenwich Street.
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''What if Amazon and FedEx and UPS say, 'We're going to go electric,' '' he said. ''Con Ed is going to be scrambling.''
As CEO of the Power Authority '-- a state agency established by Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1931 '-- Quiniones has had an up-close look at what ails the power grid.
The heat is a big headache for Con Ed and the utilities nationwide that distribute electricity up and down every street. Block by block, transformers and substations can overheat, from both the air temperature and the heavy burdens placed upon them by the demand from air conditioning. Heat pushes the system on a grand scale to its limits, but also neighborhood by neighborhood, even house by house.
In June, July, August and September, Con Ed urged customers to conserve power so the system wouldn't crash.
As recently as the summer of 2019, Con Ed had to sever power to 50,000 customers in Brooklyn and Queens to keep its system from crashing in the face of 100-degree heat.
A crucial component as electric vehicles become more prevalent will be the ability to spread demand over 24 hours.
''You don't want everybody charging when it's 96 degrees at 2 p.m. That'll crash the system,'' Quiniones said.
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McHugh said that Con Ed expects the move to electric cars to be gradual, much the way the adoption of home air conditioners was in the 1970s and 1980s. ''It will slowly build up,'' he said, ''and we'll monitor that accordingly.''
To power a city's worth of electric vehicles, New York by the 2030s will have to call on a wide array of resources. New or enhanced transmission lines, for instance, will carry more juice from the renewable producers of western New York down to the metropolis '-- likely even some from Moser's hayfield, unless it's needed closer to home.
But at the same time, a dramatic transformation of the grid will be necessary, experts say. Rooftop solar panels will need to be sprouting everywhere. Enthusiasts believe that microgrids could one day be powered by long-elusive hydrogen fuel, or small, next-generation nuclear reactors. All these sources would be local but deeply interconnected, supporting each other.
''We have the technology to do it,'' Howe said. ''The question is, do we have the will?''
10,000 John Deere UAW workers go on strike
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 04:14
More than 10,000 John Deere workers went on strike Thursday after rejecting a contract proposal from the company.
The workers are represented by the United Auto Workers union and the strike affects members at 14 Deere & Co. facilities across the US, the company said in a statement.
''Our members at John Deere strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules,'' Chuck Browning, director of the union's agricultural department, said in a statement. ''We stay committed to bargaining until our members' goals are achieved.''
''The almost one million UAW retirees and active members stand in solidarity with the striking UAW members at John Deere,'' UAW president Ray Curry said.
About 90 percent of the union's members voted down the company's contract proposal earlier this month. On Sunday, the union set the Thursday strike deadline if another agreement could not be reached.
Due to the strike, John Deere's stock has fallen about 20 percent to $330 per share after hitting an all-time high of $400 per share. AP Photo/Nati Harnik, FileThe UAW's negotiators said the company's proposal included ''substantial hard-fought gains,'' but it wasn't enough for rank-and-file workers, who roundly rejected it.
''These are skilled, tedious jobs that UAW members take pride in every day,'' said Mitchell Smith, UAW Region 8 director. ''Strikes are never easy on workers or their families but John Deere workers believe they deserve a better share of the pie, a safer workplace, and adequate benefits.''
The strike comes five months after Deere & Co.'s stock hit a new all-time high of just over $400 per share.
Ninety percent of the union's members voted down the company's contract proposal earlier this month. TwitterThe stock's since fallen about 20 percent to $330 per share, but it's still up over 22 percent this year, outpacing the broader market's gains.
The company has posted record earnings throughout the pandemic, and in August it said it expects to turn a record profit of almost $6 billion this year.
''John Deere is committed to a favorable outcome for our employees, our communities, and everyone involved,'' said Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations for Deere & Co. ''We are determined to reach an agreement with the UAW that would put every employee in a better economic position and continue to make them the highest-paid employees in the agriculture and construction industries.
UAW officials had set a deadline of October 14, 2021, for John Deere to come up with a contract that provided a livable wage for its workers.''We will keep working day and night to understand our employees' priorities and resolve this strike, while also keeping our operations running for the benefit of all those we serve.''
The strike comes amid a wave of worker unrest about 19 months into the pandemic as companies grapple with a nationwide labor shortage and current employees take advantage of their increasingly strong bargaining advantage.
Last week, production at Kellogg's US cereal plants ground to a halt as the company's roughly 1,400 US factory workers went on a nationwide strike over pay and benefits issues as well as alleged threats from the company to move production overseas.
Workers at Mondelez International, the company behind Oreos and other snacks, also went on strike earlier this summer.
And a Hollywood union that represents about 150,000 off-screen workers has voted to authorize a strike that threatens to bring the industry to a halt. If an agreement isn't reached by Monday, the union said, it will strike.
Spotify is breaking podcasts | WIRED UK
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 03:53
When Spotify agreed to pay Joe Rogan more than $100 million to make his show exclusive, it sent a clear message: the Swedish firm wants to be the main podcast game in town. That purchase had been preceded by the acquisition of The Ringer, in 2020. The latest move has taken popular podcast Heavyweight exclusive, two years after Spotify bought the show's owner Gimlet. Such moves have left some industry-watchers worrying that Spotify is turning the podcast world upside down. To understand why, you need to look at the history of the web.
In a series of articles criticising Spotify, Matt Stoller, director of research at the American Economic Liberties Project, compares the current podcast ecosystem to the web between 2000 and 2006. The web, he claims, was broadly an open market, and it was good: if you built a website, you could finance it yourself through advertising. Giant platforms didn't control distribution, production and advertising. Between 2004 and 2014, Google and Facebook put paid to that, he explains, and ''the flow of ad money'' was redirected from publishers to the tech giants.
Podcasting is still somewhat like the old web. It uses an open standard called RSS, creativity and diversity flourish, and there's little targeted advertising. The chief virtue of this open format, explains Richard Tee, an associate professor at Surrey Business School, is that it's inherently more democratic. ''In the centralised model or proprietary model it's one single party that decides whatever those barriers are, that's just inherently less democratic,'' he says. And as a 'platform' for podcast distribution, RSS is also unique. ''Most platforms, like YouTube or Facebook, are proprietary. There is essentially a single firm governing the platform. It's quite different in podcasting,'' he says.
Then along came Spotify. Stollar argues the company is trying to pull off the same power grab as Google and Facebook: take control of the advertising and distribution process and control and monetise the entire ecosystem through targeted advertising '' a process known as streaming ad insertion. This grab would destroy the current, open system because the only viable way to get listeners '' and money '' would be through Spotify.
YouTube is a good comparison here. ''If you want to put a video out into the world and you don't put it on YouTube, you are not going to get much audience,'' says Kerri Hoffman, chief executive of PRX, a non-profit media company specialising in audio journalism and storytelling. ''That doesn't mean it's the only place to go, but it does mean it's the dominant place to go. We don't have that in podcasting, partly because of Apple's, let's just call it, 'passive innovation' over so many years. And, in that gap, it allowed others to form.''
So how worried should the podcast industry be? One thing to bear in mind is that many of these acquisitions weren't from the independent community, says Hoffman. Acquisitions generally favour the already successful (and don't typically favour women and people of colour, she explains); that's not representative of the podcast industry at all, which is actually growing. ''The content acquisitions are fairly big companies like Gimlet and Wondery,'' says Hoffman. ''It's not putting a damper on the independent community, because that's not representative of the independent community.''
Focusing on acquisitions can tend to be a bit of a red herring as well, explains Tee. Due to the size of the podcasting ecosystem, a company can only acquire a certain number of shows '' and that number only represents a small subset of the whole industry. A better way of putting the question, Tee says, is to find out to what extent Spotify can coexist with the RSS-based ecosystem. ''I think it's an open question to what extent these proprietary solutions will fully replace the open ecosystem,'' he says. ''Historically the web hasn't been replaced by Facebook, but clearly there is a trend where non-web elements have grown significantly.''
VIDEO - Biden official on supply chain crunch: 'Bumps along the way' to reopen economy - YouTube
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 14:24
VIDEO - 4Patrick on Twitter: "New biking laws ~ Bikers can't display tattoos, gather in public, wear their insignias in Australia. Penalty? 1-5 years in prison. https://t.co/oBLT1coM7P" / Twitter
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 05:34
4Patrick : New biking laws ~Bikers can't display tattoos, gather in public, wear their insignias in Australia.Penalty? 1-5 y'... https://t.co/sgySTspmcn
Sat Oct 16 17:05:54 +0000 2021
Heading for OtherSideoftheMountain : @4Patrick7 I think it's called provocation.
Sun Oct 17 05:32:59 +0000 2021
judy.lewis07@gmail.com : @4Patrick7 @Jay9Hinch Omg
Sun Oct 17 05:29:57 +0000 2021
Carlo Fabio : @4Patrick7 There's a difference between wearing a vest or having tattoos, and assaulting someone.One is a crime ('... https://t.co/p9ZJQzQkGC
Sun Oct 17 05:25:24 +0000 2021
PeaknikMicki : @4Patrick7 @Kasia78802585 Banning visible tattoos hardly stops shootings.
Sun Oct 17 05:25:10 +0000 2021
aThirdOfDuane : @4Patrick7 Are they ''bikers'' now? I'm pretty sure it was ''Bikies'' when I lived there.I love the Aussie propensity for diminutives.
Sun Oct 17 05:22:48 +0000 2021
Jeff H Reynolds - Outspoken Texas Conservative : @4Patrick7 @5mutmeg this is why we have a FIRST AMENDMENT .. to stop over reach of government.
Sun Oct 17 05:19:42 +0000 2021
KRenner : @4Patrick7 This can't be the whole story. Something's missing, right?
Sun Oct 17 05:17:13 +0000 2021
Hank : @4Patrick7 If people think the bikers aren't packing they are sadly mistaken
Sun Oct 17 05:15:42 +0000 2021
NomuraThe8th : @4Patrick7 @Nuevocentos @pico87mn @Dominicoon09 WTFAUSTRALIA
Sun Oct 17 05:14:52 +0000 2021
herf88 : @4Patrick7 @truthseeker6761 criminals in government don't like competition
Sun Oct 17 05:14:43 +0000 2021
VIDEO - President Biden Speaks at Dodd Center Dedication | C-SPAN.org
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 18:47
October 15, 2021 2021-10-16T06:05:30-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/18b/20211015160903013_hd.jpg President Biden delivered remarks at the Dodd Center for Human Rights in Storrs, Connecticut. He spoke about his friendship with former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) and addressed the fight for human rights around the world. Introducing the president was former Sen. Dodd.President Biden delivered remarks at the Dodd Center for Human Rights in Storrs, Connecticut. He spoke about his friendship with former'... read more
President Biden delivered remarks at the Dodd Center for Human Rights in Storrs, Connecticut. He spoke about his friendship with former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) and addressed the fight for human rights around the world. Introducing the president was former Sen. Dodd. close
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VIDEO - Liam sparling comedy on Twitter: "@AllAmerican202 @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK" / Twitter
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 18:46
Liam sparling comedy : @AllAmerican202 @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK
Sat Oct 16 17:37:35 +0000 2021
VIDEO - (40) Kelly Bee ðŸ' on Twitter: "Devolution of COVID vaccine efficacy. https://t.co/Tlm3SAG0OT" / Twitter
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 17:15
Kelly Bee ðŸ' : Devolution of COVID vaccine efficacy. https://t.co/Tlm3SAG0OT
Fri Oct 15 09:01:03 +0000 2021
Emmanuel Goldstein : @ke11ybender @EmeraldRobinson Slow down the headlines'....
Sat Oct 16 17:03:13 +0000 2021
shawnmesaros : @ke11ybender because weak old afraid men create policy that only serves their weakness
Sat Oct 16 17:02:40 +0000 2021
Brandi Peterson : @ke11ybender Devolution huh? KEK
Sat Oct 16 16:59:03 +0000 2021
Simply Irredeemable : @ke11ybender @EmeraldRobinson the ''mRNA'' vaccine is not a vaccine
Sat Oct 16 16:55:45 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Daz Nez | Stick Your New World Order Up Your Arse - YouTube
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 17:13
VIDEO - Aldous Huxley interviewed by Mike Wallace : 1958 (Full) - YouTube
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 17:06
VIDEO - 2 Bad Fatal Plane Crashes Explained! N128EE and N7022G. - YouTube
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:45
VIDEO - Flu and COVID-19 'twindemic 'could hit UK - YouTube
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:30
VIDEO - Actor George Clooney compares Biden to a 'battered child' to explain his low poll approval - TheBlaze
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:25
Hollywood actor and director George Clooney explained the low approval ratings for President Joe Biden by comparing him to a "battered child" in a new interview.
The 60-year-old Clooney made the comments in an interview with Andrew Marr of the BBC.
"You're a friend of President Biden, you've known him for a long time. And looking at his poll numbers, which are really quite bad at the moment, things have gone wrong," Marr said. "What would you say about what's happened to the White House since he's taken over, and what's happened to America since he's taken over?"
"Well, I mean it's good, you know, you can't, it's like taking a battered child and thinking everything's going to be OK his first day in school. There's a lot of things that have to be repaired, there's a lot of healing that has to happen, and it's going to take time," Clooney replied.
"Poll numbers come up and go down, I would expect them to go back up again," he concluded.
Biden's poll numbers have continued to tumble since he entered office after a series of damaging incidents that have many questioning his ability to lead the country. Last week, the latest Quinnipiac poll found that only 38% of Americans gave Biden a positive approval rating, the lowest he has garnered since he entered the White House.
Clooney went on to deride the support among Americans for former President Donald Trump in the interview.
"It's so funny, because he was just this knucklehead,'' Clooney said of Trump.
"I knew him before he was a president. He was just a guy who was chasing girls. Every time you went out he'd be like, 'What's the name of that girl?' That's all he was," he added.
"And the idea that there's this whole group of people that think he's the champion, of which he certainly can't stand in real life," Clooney concluded, "but he's gonna play this out for a while."
He also said he had no interest in making a foray into politics, explaining that he would rather have "a nice life," instead.
Here's Clooney comparing Biden to being a battered child: George Clooney rules out going into politics and attacks 'knucklehead' Donald Trumpwww.youtube.com
VIDEO - A History Teacher's Warning - YouTube
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:11
VIDEO - How Israeli Ministry of Health, deleted thousands of testimonies | Avi Barak Media
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 14:07
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#avibarak#israel#censorship11th October, 2021 - On September 30th, Israeli Ministry of Health, deleted thousands of comments and testimonies about vac(x)ine adverse effects. This is how it unfolded. ב×(C)×'ו×(C)××' ב×פ×מבר, מ×(C)ר×' ×--בר×אות מחק ××(C)רות ת×'ובות ו××'ו×ות ××' × ×¤×'×× ×--ח××ון, זאת ×--'...
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VIDEO - Al Roker Swoons Over Unhinged Climate Radical Greta Thunberg | Newsbusters
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:46
On NBC's 3rd Hour Today on Tuesday, co-host and weatherman Al Roker conducted a gushing interview with radical climate crusader Greta Thunberg, hailing her as ''the face of the climate movement.'' He even fondly recalled Thunberg's melodramatic meltdown in front of the United Nations in 2019 as ''one of the most memorable speeches in U.N. history.''
''Climate activist Greta Thunberg is back. After holding rallies virtually for more than a year, she's taking to the streets once again, challenging world leaders,'' Roker excitedly announced as the segment began. After playing a sounbite of Thunberg bitterly mocking world leaders for making ''blah, blah, blah'' statements about climate change, Roker touted: ''Thunberg's Fridays for Future marches resumed last month and are gaining momentum ahead of the United Nation's climate change conference, known as COP26, later this month.''
He then lobbed his first of several softballs: ''If you could fill in the 'blah, blah, blah,' what words would you want to hear from these leaders?'' Thunberg ranted: ''I mainly wouldn't want to hear words because we've heard many words, but as it is now, these words aren't really leading to anything.''
''In 2019, Thunberg grabbed the world's attention by sailing to New York City on an emissions-free solar powered racing yacht to attend the United Nations General Assembly, giving what became one of the most memorable speeches in U.N. history,'' Roker happily recounted. He failed to mention that Thunberg's sea voyage gimmick was not actually ''emissions-free'' because two crew members had to fly to New York from Europe in order to pick up the boat and sail it back.
The ''memorable speech'' Roker referred to was actually a nasty tantrum that showed how unhinged Thunberg was. A clip was featured of the screed:
Roker justified the extreme rhetoric: ''The then-16-year-old was angry that promises made in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement were not being met, namely by the U.S. and China, who are responsible for 80% of global emissions.''
''What do you think it is going to take for that change to happen?,'' the NBC host asked Thunberg. She demanded: ''It's a very big task that's ahead of us. We need to change social norms....if we do not start to treat the crisis like a crisis, then the people around us will not understand that we are in an emergency.''
Of course Roker never pressed her on what she meant by a ''change to social norms.''
Wrapping up the segment, Roker assured viewers: ''President Biden has pledged to make a major reduction in U.S. greenhouse emissions in order to meet the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement...'' He also promoted how ''we conducted this interview as part of NBC's news partnership with Covering Climate Now.'' On Earth Day in April of 2020, Roker hailed that ''partnership'' with the group of radical climate activists masquerading as journalists.
The left-wing media infatuation with Thunberg has been going on for years and shows no signs of abating any time soon, especially as reporters press Democrats to shove through a costly environmental agenda.
This cheering of the extreme climate crusader was brought to viewers by Febreze and Hershey. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content.
9:14 AM ET
AL ROKER: We are back with our series Today Climate. At just 18 years old, Greta Thunberg is arguably the face of the climate movement. I got a chance to speak with her about the action she wants to see now and her hope for our planet's future.
PROTESTERS: The people, united, will never be defeated!
GRETA THUNBERG: Hope is this! Hope is us, the people! Hope is when people gather to make change!
ROKER: Climate activist Greta Thunberg is back. After holding rallies virtually for more than a year, she's taking to the streets once again, challenging world leaders.
GRETA THUNBERG [SEPTEMBER 2021]: Build Back Better, blah, blah, blah. Green economy, blah, blah, blah. Net zero by 2050, blah, blah, blah. Net zero, blah, blah, blah. Climate neutral, blah, blah, blah.
ROKER: Thunberg's Fridays for Future marches resumed last month and are gaining momentum ahead of the United Nation's climate change conference, known as COP26, later this month. If you could fill in the ''blah, blah, blah,'' what words would you want to hear from these leaders?
THUNBERG: I mainly wouldn't want to hear words because we've heard many words, but as it is now, these words aren't really leading to anything.
ROKER: In 2019, Thunberg grabbed the world's attention by sailing to New York City on an emissions-free solar powered racing yacht to attend the United Nations General Assembly, giving what became one of the most memorable speeches in U.N. history.
THUNBERG: How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation, and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil and that I refuse to believe.
ROKER: The then-16-year-old was angry that promises made in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement were not being met, namely by the U.S. and China, who are responsible for 80% of global emissions.
What would you say is the price of waiting as opposed to globally trying to take action, no matter how small or large?
THUNBERG: I think that already we are seeing devastating effects of inaction and of waiting. And if we continue to wait, that will only get worse. These damages will be irreversible.
ROKER: The U.N. says global warming has already pushed our planet into a code red for humanity. And Greta is challenging more than 100 countries to renew their vow to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 and actually fulfill those promises.
What do you think it is going to take for that change to happen?
THUNBERG: It's a very big task that's ahead of us. We need to change social norms. One thing that it will take is honesty. We need to be honest about what we are doing and we need to be brave. Because if we do not start to treat the crisis like a crisis, then the people around us will not understand that we are in an emergency.
ROKER: So it's going to be interesting. President Biden has pledged to make a major reduction in U.S. greenhouse emissions in order to meet the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement but, you know, you've other countries, China being one of the other major ones, that needs to make those reductions as well. So it's going to be kind of interesting. And we conducted this interview as part of NBC's news partnership with Covering Climate Now.
JACOB SOBEROFF: She always brings it home. Something else this morning I wanted to show you guys that brings it home for me. This side by side of what the Santa Monica Pier is going on look like in a hundred '' not even in a hundred years, by 2100.
JONES: Wait, what?
SOBEROFF: So in our children's lifetime, they say '' correct me if I'm wrong, Al '' but if we continue on the trajectory of emissions ''
ROKER: Yeah, if this '' if this is a three-degree temperature rise, this is what the Santa Monica Pier will look like.
SOBEROFF: In 2100.
ROKER: In 2100.
SOBEROFF: This is the lifetime of kids living today.
ROKER: Yeah.
MELVIN: So all those businesses and homes gone.
ROKER: Yeah, because of '' because of ice cap melt.
JONES: That puts it in perspective.
ROKER: So if you go on the Climate Central website, they have a number of those comparisons, New York City, Washington, D.C.
SOBEROFF: I grew up going out there, it gave me the chills to see that, yeah.
MELVIN: Thank you for that.
JONES: Those are the kind of things, I think, that will resonate. Because I think sometimes people almost lose sight of it. You almost hear climate change and there are some, like Greta, who like take it seriously...
SOBEROFF: Exactly.
JONES: ...and then others just kind of say, ''Okay, let me just recycle that,'' and keep it moving. But it is so much more than that.
ROKER: And it's already happening in cities like Miami, places like that, where you have, you know, blue-sky flooding because of high tides, winds, and sea level rise.
JONES: That was good.
VIDEO - 'View' Scolds Gun-Owning Host: Gun Ownership 'Leads to Violence, Hatred' | Newsbusters
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:43
The View held an interesting discussion on gun ownership and whether more blacks owning guns should be celebrated or reviled. Joy Behar started off by pointing out fellow co-host Sherri Shepherd was now a gun owner.
Shepherd admitted she was: ''Yes, I did, I bought a 9 millimeter gun,'' explaining to her co-hosts that she bought it for self-protection and to keep her family safe:
During the quarantine I felt really helpless, Joy, we're talking about depression, I felt like Jeffrey would look at me like he was so scared and I'd get these alerts in my neighborhood app about it's going to be a march through the neighborhood and I started feeling like 'how am I going to protect my son if something happens?' and I went to -- I got some of my girlfriends who are actresses and we all went to a gun shop in California. There's only two black owned gun shops, I think it was like a Redstone Firearms, Geneva and Jonathan and we went and felt very empowered when I bought the gun. I took lessons, I took the test. I go to the range with my girlfriends like every other week and it just makes me feel like at least if something happens, I can protect my child.
Conservatives would applaud Shepherd taking the initiative to protect herself and her family from danger, and utilizing her gun ownership rights under the Second Amendment. But self-reliance and responsible gun ownership isn't something that resonated with her anti-gun co-hosts.
Sunny Hostin jumped in to lecture Shepherd about all the horrible things that gun ownership supposedly leads to, like suicide and homicide. Hostin also blamed the rise in black gun owners to the looming threat of white supremacists:
I will tell you, I've had so many friends, my black girlfriends also get guns, especially during the pandemic, they wanted me to get a gun and as a former federal prosecutor and someone who has seen -- been to crime scenes and has seen a lot of gun violence in my career, you know, I know the statistics and that when you do have a gun in your home you are more likely to kill a loved one or a relative and the suicide rate goes up in your own home when you have a gun and I understand about the training, but I will say when I asked them why are you getting a gun, one said, 'I googled civil war and 2020.' One said, 'it's the propensity of certain people to initiate violence when they don't get their way.' And in the article that we were given, it said when you are being targeted you hear stories like Breonna Taylor and Sandra Bland and have these incidents going on around the country and 'want to know you have a chance of survival because some people are radical.' We have to remember that the FBI has made it clear that the white supremacy is the most persistent and lethal threat to the country and I think that is why so many black women and black people in general are now arming themselves but I still believe that in this country, our readiness to sort of allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at will has led to violence and hatred becoming a really popular pastime.
Behar also tried to have it both ways. Admitting she was strongly for gun control, she complained that the NRA supported gun control in the1960s, ''Because there was an effort to keep the guns out of the hands of African-Americans as racial tensions grew.'' That's not exactly the whole story. If Behar was referring to the Mulford Act passed by then-Governor of California Ronald Reagan in 1967, that was in response to members of the radical Black Panthers brandishing loaded guns on the steps of the California state capitol building to intimidate lawmakers.
Regardless, Behar warned, ''More black people get guns you're going to see bigger gun control laws, watch!'' So is she against or for gun control laws, exactly?
This isn't the first time in recent months that the show has gone after gun owners and tied the rise in black gun ownership to white supremacy. Last July, they made the same argument and Hostin even claimed the Second Amendment was designed to protect slavery.
The View trashing gun owners is paid for by sponsor CeraVe. Contact them at the Conservatives Fight Back page here.
Read the transcript below:
The View
JOY BEHAR: We recently talked in "Hot topics" about how more black women were becoming gun owners. You just became one of them, Sherri, didn't you?
SHERRI SHEPHERD: Yes, I did, I bought a 9 millimeter gun.
BEHAR: Why? [Crowd laughs]
SHEPHERD: I don't know why you are laughing but um. During the quarantine I felt really helpless, Joy, we're talking about depression, I felt like Jeffrey would look at me like he was so scared and I'd get these alerts in my neighborhood app about it's going to be a march through the neighborhood and I started feeling like 'how am I going to protect my son if something happens?' and I went to -- I got some of my girlfriends who are actresses and we all went to a gun shop in California. There's only two black owned gun shops, I think it was like a Redstone Firearms, Geneva and Jonathan and we went and felt very empowered when I bought the gun. I took lessons, I took the test. I go to the range with my girlfriends like every other week and it just makes me feel like at least if something happens, I can protect my child.
SUNNY HOSTIN: I will tell you, I've had so many friends, my black girlfriends also get guns, especially during the pandemic, they wanted me to get a gun and as a former federal prosecutor and someone who has seen -- been to crime scenes and has seen a lot of gun violence in my career, you know, I know the statistics and that when you do have a gun in your home you are more likely to kill a loved one or a relative and the suicide rate goes up in your own home when you have a gun and I understand about the training, but I will say when I asked them why are you getting a gun, one said, 'I googled civil war and 2020.' One said, 'it's the propensity of certain people to initiate violence when they don't get their way.' And in the article that we were given, it said when you are being targeted you hear stories like Breonna Taylor and Sandra Bland and have these incidents going on around the country and 'want to know you have a chance of survival because some people are radical.' We have to remember that the FBI has made it clear that the white supremacy is the most persistent and lethal threat to the country and I think that is why so many black women and black people in general are now arming themselves but I still believe that in this country, our readiness to sort of allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at will has led to violence and hatred becoming a really popular pastime.
JOY BEHAR: Let me give you a piece of information. [ Applause ] Okay, because I'm a big gun control person. Back in the '60s the NRA fought alongside the government for stricter gun regulations. Why? Because there was an effort to keep the guns out of the hands of African-Americans as racial tensions grew.
HOSTIN: Yeah, they wouldn't even give Dr. King a concealed carry permit. The same man that was killed by gun violence.
BEHAR: As more black people get guns you're going to see bigger gun control laws, watch.
SHEPHERD: I hear what you're saying. As a single woman, the helplessness I felt and when I looked at my son and he looked at me like, mom, I'm scared, I knew physically I'm not able to combat, take self-defense lessons.
VIDEO - (9) Brick Suit on Twitter: "Someone just paged EMPTY SHELVES JOE at the airport. https://t.co/rGs3k4tbAV" / Twitter
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:39
Brick Suit : Someone just paged EMPTY SHELVES JOE at the airport. https://t.co/rGs3k4tbAV
Thu Oct 14 21:00:54 +0000 2021
VIDEO - One World Religion Headquarters To Open 2022 - Believers Portal
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:34
One World Religion '' ChrislamThe announcement of the Abrahamic Family House, on the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, follows a visit by Pope Francis to the UAE in February, the first by a pope to the Arabian Peninsula. During the trip, the pope signed a joint declaration with the grand imam of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, that called for religious tolerance and dialogue. An interfaith council to oversee projects advancing tolerance was formed as a result of the declaration, and named the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. The Abrahamic Family House is its first initiative.
Muslims Turning To Christ In Great Numbers Through Dreams And Visions
The United Arab Emirates will build a new synagogue as part of an Chrislam interfaith compound that will also house a mosque and church and is reportedly set to open in 2022.
As far as advancing the end times timeline goes, 2019 has been a banner year for Pope Francis and the coming One World Religion. We told you back in February that the pope has travelled to Abu Dhabi where he met with Sunni Muslim leader Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb. There the two men signed a global peace covenant called the Document On Human Fraternity For World Peace. From that covenant, the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity was created to implement this end times religious peace treaty. Now that committee has announced that there will be a fancy new headquarters for this endeavor. The shiny, new center of global Chrislam opening in 2022.
''Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.'' Isaiah 28:15,16 (KJV)
Poland Declares: ''Jesus Christ Is Our King, Muslims Should Leave Us''
The end times are unfolding before our very eyes, people, things are speeding up very quickly, if you blink you'll miss it. This might be Chrislam, a new foundation of the coming One World Religion the Bible says will assemble n the last days. The Catholic Church might call the shots, and Islam will provide the muscle with their tens of millions of jihad warriors, now they will be martyrs for Chrislam under the command of a Roman king. But be that as it may,
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19
UAE To Open Chrislam Interfaith Headquarters In 2022FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: The announcement of the Abrahamic Family House, on the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, follows a visit by Pope Francis to the UAE in February, the first by a pope to the Arabian Peninsula. During the trip, the pope signed a joint declaration with the grand imam of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, that called for religious tolerance and dialogue.
I Was A Buddhist, Living In Darkness For Over 30 Years, But Jesus Christ Saved Me
An interfaith council to oversee projects advancing tolerance was formed as a result of the declaration, and named the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. The Abrahamic Family House is its first initiative.
Abrahamic Family House, Abu Dhabi, UAE '' Animation_Adjaye Associates, Architects, London, UK
One World Religion
One world religion refers to the merging of all existing religions, to establish a single global religion. In the picture shown above, Pope Francis meets with religious leaders from all around the world, urging them to build a future together or there will be no future at all. Many premillennialist Christians believe that the Antichrist will establish one world religion, based on Satanism and the occult, associated with one world government. In ROME REPORTS, an article published on April 3, 2019 reveals Pope Francis speaking with an audience of Muslims, telling them that God wants a fraternity among Muslims and Catholics. ''Conversion is not your mission, pope tells Catholics in Morocco'', according to an article in REUTERS. He encourages everyone to live in brotherhood with other faiths, which is opposite of what the bible teaches.
One World Currency
The WAll STREET JOURNAL mentions how central banks are getting closer to issuing their own digital currency, which means the dollar might face competition as the world's dominant currency. Central banks such as the Federal Reserve already issue digital money with the Commercial banks that have accounts with them. With a digital currency, transactions could happen in real time, and fees would be lower or nonexistent. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said technological developments provide the potential for such a world to emerge, but also highlighted the risks of the current dollar-dominant system and how many large nations have experimented with exploring the digital currency.
One World Government
The concept of one world government is that there can be one common political authority for all of humanity. Such a government can have jurisdiction over the entire world. This type of government can be formed through force, or peaceful and voluntary. Globalists have the belief that uniting people of all nations will prevent conflicts and wars, creating a utopia for humanity. Conservative Christians believe the one-world government is a rebellion against God, leading to the Antichrist.
Regardless all religions do not worship the same God, so the push for ''Oneness'' speaks a questionable volume.
Digital COVID Certificate (Green Pass) Now Required For Access Into Vatican From 1 October
Lifelong, Famous Atheist Bill Hayden Receives Jesus At 85
Which countries are using a green pass? ·
Austria ·
Belgium ·
Cyprus ·
Denmark ·
France ·
Germany ·
Greece ·
VIDEO - Antarctica's last 6 months were the coldest on record - CNN
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 12:39
(CNN)In a year of extreme heat, Antarctica's last six months were the coldest on record.
"For the polar darkness period, from April through September, the average temperature was -60.9 degrees Celsius (-77.6 degrees Fahrenheit), a record for those months," the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said.
The last six months is also the darkest period at the South Pole, which is where the name polar darkness (also
called polar night) comes from. Here, the sun sets for the last time around the spring equinox, and does not rise again until near the autumn equinox six months later.
For the entire Antarctic continent, the winter of 2021 was the second-coldest on record, with the "temperature for June, July, and August 3.4 degrees Celsius (6.1 degrees Fahrenheit) lower than the 1981 to 2010 average at -62.9 degrees Celsius (-81.2 degrees Fahrenheit)," according to a
new report from the NSIDC.
"This is the second-coldest winter (June-July-August months) on record, behind only 2004 in the 60-year weather record at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station," the NSIDC said.
"The unusual cold was attributed to two extended periods of stronger-than-average encircling winds around the continent, which tend to isolate the ice sheet from warmer conditions," the NSIDC explained. "A strong upper-atmosphere polar vortex was observed as well, leading to a significant ozone hole. The ozone hole appears to have peaked as of this post, with initial measurements reporting that it is in the upper quartile (top 25 percent) of ozone reduction events since 1979."
Even in the austral summer months of November through February, it never really gets "warm" at the South Pole. The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which sits at an elevation of 2,835 meters (9,300 feet), has an
average monthly temperature in the austral summer of -28°C (-18°F).
The National Science Foundation, which runs the US Antarctic program, points out the winter temperatures have had minimal impact in science support from the South Pole, since most of the deep fieldwork occurs in the austral summer. However, the polar environments are still challenging.
"Everyone adapts to the cold differently, and today's gear makes it much safer than in the days when Shackleton and the other explorers had little specialized gear; they had only wool socks and leather shoes to protect their feet!" a NSF spokesperson said. "All of NSF's US Antarctic Program (USAP) participants are given extreme cold weather gear and are trained in how to recognize the dangers of extreme cold."
One extremely cold winter is intriguing from a record keeping standpoint, but one season alone does not change the long-term progression, which is rapid warming.
Weather versus climate
It is important to understand weather is different from climate. Weather is what happens over shorter periods of time (days to months), such as the seven-day forecast. Climate is what happens over much longer periods of time, such as several years, or even entire generations.
"One such example is a cold snap, which can happen due to sudden changes in atmospheric circulation and may not be linked to climate change," says Tom Slater, Research Fellow at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds. "Texas is a good example of this; even though parts of it experienced extreme cold weather earlier this year when air from the Arctic was pushed south, looking at the long-term change in temperature tells us that Texas is 1.5 degrees warmer on average now than it was 100 years ago. That's climate."
Scientists also agree that since the 1950s extreme cold snaps do occur, but climate change is bringing far more heat records than cold records.
"In other words, while the globe may be warmer than average as a whole, some areas will still observe colder temperatures and even severe cold outbreaks," says Zack Labe, Climate Scientist at Colorado State University. "This regional variation is due to the influences of the oceans, mountains, deserts, ice sheets, and other geographic features that all affect our weather and climate. It's also from changes in weather patterns that are related to the position of the jet stream (storm track), which can vary from day-to-day or even month-to-month."
So, this recent winter stretch from June-August is definitely interesting from a research standpoint, but it doesn't necessarily reflect what Antarctica is doing in the long term.
One great example of this is while June-August of this year may have been quite cold, February of the previous year recorded the new
all-time record high for the Antarctic continent. On February 6, 2020, the Esperanza Research Station recorded a high temperature of 18.3°C degrees (64.9°F). This broke the previous record for the Antarctic region (continental, including mainland and surrounding islands) of 17.5°C (63.5°F) recorded in March 2015 at the same station.
"There were thousands upon thousands of these penguins just in distress because they were so overheated and there was no snow," Camille Seaman, a photographer who has traveled to Antarctica,
told CNN in August.
"They were looking for any little patch of snow or ice to lay on."
Polar opposites
What is happening at one pole, does not mean it is happening at the other.
Thanks to the extreme cold near the South Pole, Antarctic sea ice extent has been above average the last few months, peaking in late August when it reached the 5th highest in the satellite record.
However, ice near the North Pole has done quite the opposite.
The summer of 2021 was relatively cool near the North Pole compared to many recent years, according to the NSIDC, which allowed September's ice extent to be the
highest since 2014.
However, while it may sound good, keep in mind the last 15 years (2007 to 2021) have had the 15 lowest September ice extents on record.
Arctic sea ice extent for September averaged 1.90 million square miles (4.92 million square kilometers), which made it the 12th lowest in 43 years of record keeping.
Literally everywhere else is warming
What is happening at Earth's poles, does not mean it is happening across the globe equally.
"Although global temperatures have risen by about 1.1 degrees in the past 150 years on average, different parts of the globe have warmed at different rates due to natural variations in the climate system such as cloud cover, land cover and atmospheric circulation patterns," Slater said.
"Earth's poles have warmed faster than anywhere else, primarily due to melting ice and snow. Although Antarctica has had a cold winter this year, over the past few decades the most northerly parts of Antarctica have warmed five times faster than the global average -- that's faster than anywhere else in the Southern Hemisphere."
While scientists take note of the changes occurring at Earth's poles, the bigger danger lies in the more populated continents where people live and work.
"As a climate scientist, I am particularly alarmed at how extreme heatwaves, such as the one which impacted the Pacific Northwest this summer, are projected to become more common in the future," Labe said. "But right now we have a big opportunity. We can help reduce the severity and frequency of future extreme heatwaves (and overall climate change) by systematically reducing our consumption of fossil fuels."
The impact to humans and animals takes center stage in the climate crisis.
"Extreme heat and humidity can pose severe health risks to people who have to endure them -- on average the world now experiences an extra 14 days a year with temperatures of 45 C than 40 years ago," Slater says. "That's why I hope we will see nations enhancing their commitments to tackling climate change at COP26 in just a few week's time."
VIDEO - Covid-1984 on Twitter: "Texas Senator Hall Shares What He Believes Is One of The Biggest Problems We Face... Big Pharma's Liability Exemption Granted By The Federal Gov... Personally... I Believe There Would Be ZERO Mandates! If The Manufacturers
Sat, 16 Oct 2021 03:48
Covid-1984 : Texas Senator Hall Shares What He Believes Is One of The Biggest Problems We Face...Big Pharma's Liability Exempt'... https://t.co/vsWZbx5p6J
Fri Oct 15 19:38:10 +0000 2021
VIDEO - EXCLUSIVE Facebook to change rules on attacking public figures on its platforms | Reuters
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:42
Oct 13 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc(FB.O) will now count activists and journalists as "involuntary" public figures and so increase protections against harassment and bullying targeted at these groups, its global safety chief said in an interview this week.
The social media company, which allows more critical commentary of public figures than of private individuals, is changing its approach on the harassment of journalists and "human rights defenders," who it says are in the public eye due to their work rather than their public personas.
Facebook is under wide-ranging scrutiny from global lawmakers and regulators over its content moderation practices and harms linked to its platforms, with internal documents leaked by a whistleblower forming the basis for a U.S. Senate hearing last week.
How Facebook, which has about 2.8 billion monthly active users, treats public figures and content posted by or about those figures has been an area of intense debate. In recent weeks, the company's "cross check" system, which the Wall Street Journal reported has the effect of exempting some high-profile users from usual Facebook rules, has been in the spotlight.
A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Facebook also differentiates between public figures and private individuals in the protections it affords around online discussion: for instance, users are generally allowed to call for the death of a celebrity in discussions on the platform, as long as they do not tag or directly mention the celebrity. They cannot call for the death of a private individual, or now a journalist, under Facebook's policies.
The company declined to share a list of other involuntary public figures but said they are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Earlier this year, Facebook said it would remove content celebrating, praising or mocking George Floyd's death, because he was deemed an involuntary public figure.
Facebook's Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis said the company was also expanding the types of attacks that it would not allow on public figures on its sites, as part of an effort to reduce attacks disproportionately faced by women, people of color and the LGBTQ community.
Facebook will no longer allow severe and unwanted sexualizing content, derogatory sexualized photoshopped images or drawings or direct negative attacks on a person's appearance, for example, in comments on a public figure's profile.
Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in Birmingham, England; additional reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; editing by Richard Pullin and Richard Chang
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
VIDEO - Carl Nassib asked Raiders for personal after Jon Gruden emails
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:23
Carl Nassib, the Las Vegas Raiders lineman and first active NFL player to come out as gay, requested a personal day to ''process'' emails sent by former coach Jon Gruden which used homophobic language, GM Mike Mayock said Wednesday.
''He just said he's got a lot to process, there's a lot that's been going on the last few days, and of course we support that request,'' Mayock said, addressing media for the first time since Gruden resigned on Monday.
Mayock said he's already had multiple conversations with Nassib, and planned do meet with him after the Wednesday press conference.
The GM also said he's addressed the team over Gruden's emails, spanning from 2011-2018, which also used misogynistic language and referred to NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith with a racial trope.
''The captains spoke up at the meeting '... and boy, were they eloquent,'' Mayock said. ''I'm trying to work with everyone and we're going to continue to do that.''
He described his meeting with player as ''a gamut of emotion,'' with ''a spectrum of opinions'' among players. He reiterated that the team is staying ''focused'' and professional.''
The Raiders (3-2) visit the Broncos (3-2) on Sunday
VIDEO - Epidemic of Plane Crashes linked to Covid-19 Jab
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:21
As more pilots get the covid jab you will start to see more strokes, clots and seizures during flights. Your playing Russian roulette if you take a flight.
Have you heard of the emerging theory of what viruses might be: Are you absolutely certain that Covid-19 is contagious or even real? How confident are you in the results from the PCR test? Is there something in the back of your mind telling you maybe this pandemic is not what we are being told? And that the vaccines may not be as safe as they claim!!!
Well experts all agree that the Covid-19 vaccine is not a vaccine. It was designed to make you sick with multiple diseases This shot is injecting the disease into your cells and it cannot be removed. Once you take it, your life spam is reduced.Firstly, viruses are not living organisms or living microbes. They do not have a respiratory system, nor do they have a nucleus or digestive system. Viruses are not alive and viruses are not contagious. The fear behind Coronavirus, for instance, is wholly unwarranted. Forget everything you think you know about viruses and bacteria. You have been lied to.
Covid-19 shots are not vaccines, but deadly bioweapons designed to kill human beings. The Covid-19 hoax is a long planned agenda that has been put in place and orchestrated by the psychopathic Governments around the world, to destroy our lives, take away our freedoms and control us forever. If people don't wake up now and refuse to take these vaccines, it could be what really ends up destroying civilization all together, which is exactly what Governments want to happen..
Covid-19 does not exist, there is no scientific proof for the existence of the Covid19 virus, as it has NEVER been isolated, purified in a laboratory using Koch's Postulates or demonstrated under an electron microscope. PCR test shows only an RNA sequence COMPUTER model of the virus, not a real virus. No one has seen how this "virus" looks in reality. The problem is that what they are showing in "positive" PCR tests is our body's own harmless exosomes which look exactly like Covid-19. The scientist who invented the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test Kary B. Mullis. According to Mullis himself, PCR should never be used as a tool in ''the diagnosis of infectious diseases.'' These tests do not detect viruses or infectious diseases, but RNA which we all have. You can test anyone or anything positive to Covid-19 because of harmless exosomes and something called amplification. They increase amplification for more positive cases and decrease it for negative cases. They can have as many or as little cases they like to push the Covid-19 agenda.
We have been demanding that the Government provide evidence that this virus actually exists [as well as] evidence that lockdowns actually have any impact on the spread of viruses; that face-masks are safe, and do deter the spread of viruses - They don't. No such studies exist; that social distancing is based in science - It isn't. it's made up; that contact tracing has any bearing on the spread of a virus - of course it doesn't. The Governments are making it up as they go along." - This is the biggest crime ever perpetrated against mankind. It needs to be exposed before it's too late.
Vaccine Death Report: An Unprecedented Genocidehttps://theexpose.uk/2021/10/06/the-vaccine-death-report-an-unprecedented-genocide/The Deception Of Virology & Vaccines Why Coronavirus Is Not Contagious
https://www.thebernician.net/the-deception-of-virology-vaccines-why-coronavirus-is-not-contagious-2/CANADIAN PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE NO RECORD OF SARS-COV-2 ISOLATION/PURIFICATION PERFORMED ANYWHERE. EVER
https://peopleforjusticecanada.com/2021/01/05/canadian-public-health-officials-have-no-record-of-sars-cov-2-isolation-purification-performed-anywhere-ever/10 REASONS THAT SARS-CoV-2 IS AN IMAGINARY AND THEORETICAL VIRUS
https://thefreedomarticles.com/10-reasons-sars-cov-2-imaginary-digital-theoretical-virus/CLINICAL LAB SCIENTIST PROVES COVID-19 IS FAKE, THERE IS NO VIRUS
https://joerizoliopinions.onlinegroups.net/groups/joe-rizoliopinions/messages/topic/5TCwkDUfl9Q9h0OpKZKf0E?fbclid=IwAR0UC-YrfdZOrVOS409wvV-5NtTJFlZn-oveGBS67Yl_tIcQTx-SFLRf7ysThe COVID-19 RT-PCpR Test: How to Mislead All Humanity. Using a ''Test'' not testing for the virus but RNA we all have
https://www.globalresearch.ca/covid-19-rt-pcr-how-to-mislead-all-humanity-using-a-test-to-lock-down-society/5728483COVID-19 HAS NEVER BEEN ISOLATED IN A LAB OR PROVEN TO EXIST THROUGH A KOCH'S POSTULATES
https://reviveyourself.co/covid-19-has-never-been-isolated-in-a-lab-and-never-been-proven-through-kochs-postulates/CORONAVIRUS: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PCR TEST KIT FROM THE INVENTOR
https://www.weblyf.com/2020/05/coronavirus-the-truth-about-pcr-test-kit-from-the-inventor-and-other-experts/Coronavirus: Dr. Andrew Kaufman and the Exosomes
VIDEO - A MUST SEE: Best Concise Explanation of the Covert BioWeapon Agenda by Dr. McDowell
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:10
Updated 10-11-21: Access solution resource document at https://sarahwestall.com/important-proven-solutions-to-keep-from-getting-sick-even-if-you-have-the-mrna-shot/
Dr. Zelenko's Vitamin Pack protects you from getting sick (a weapon to protect you from the "vaccine" weapon): https://zstacklife.com/products/z-stack?ref=hpkvvpuhn0
In a Vaccine Response News Conference in Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Michael McDowell explains the covert agenda of the creation of the SARSCoV2 pandemic. This is the best most concise explanation I have seen on the COVID mRNA BioWeapon agenda. This is a must see for everyone.
Goto https://godsharvest.co/ to save over $100 on a months supply of the world's most nutritious organic bioavailable superfoods. Food your body was meant to have!
Email [email protected] - "Tell him Sarah Sent You" and get the lowest prices in the country on silver/gold guaranteed.
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MUSIC CREDITS: "Do You Trust Me" by Michael Vignola, licensed for broad internet media use, including video and audio
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
Disclaimer: "As a journalist, I report what significant newsmakers are claiming. I do not have the resources or time to fully investigate all claims. Stories and people interviewed are selected based on relevance, listener requests, and by suggestions of those I highly respect. It is the responsibility of each viewer to evaluate the facts presented and then research each story further.
VIDEO - Jen Psaki Updates Us on the State of Biden's Agenda | Pod Save America Podcast - YouTube
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 14:37
VIDEO - New Climate Models Show Much Of Southern California Underwater '' CBS Los Angeles
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 14:33
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) '' A climate centered nonprofit has shown in models how some 50 cities around the world could potentially change or even disappear as a result of climate change.
''Their ability to exist into the future depends on the actions we take,'' said Benjamin Strauss, CEO of Climate Central.
READ MORE: Bill Clinton Hospitalized At UCI Medical Center In Orange: 'He Is On The Mend'Strauss's nonprofit Climate Central did the research and created startling images of landmarks around the world, including a few parts of Southern California like Long Beach and Huntington Beach, being impacted by rising sea levels.
The Santa Monica Pier is a landmark seen from both the ground and the skies above, but these models show it could all disappear and, in 100 years, might look quite different.
The model shows the Santa Monica Boardwalk underwater, projections climate scientists said could come true in the next few centuries if temperatures and sea levels rise without humans intervening.
''It's really sad to think it could disappear one day beneath the rising sea,'' Strauss said.
RELATED: Report: Nearly 5.7 Million Los Angeles County Residents Vulnerable To Extreme Heat, Drought, And Flooding By 2050
The projections range from 1 to 4 degrees of warming, with the worst case scenarios showing seas rising by more than 20 feet.
Climate model visualization of Long Beach. (credit: Climate Central)
In pictures of Long Beach, high tides push in all the way to the 405 Freeway and much of Huntington is also underwater.
READ MORE: Section Of MacArthur Park To Close Beginning Friday To Clear Out Homeless Camps''Really, neighborhoods from Golden West all the way out to Los Altos would be all well below sea level, could be 10 feet almost,'' said Strauss.
While images like these could be thousands of years into our future, scientists said climate change is already wreaking havoc along our coastline.
''This is not some thing that's off into the future. This is happening right now,'' said John Dorsey, a Loyola Marymount Professor.
Dorsey studies rising sea levels and points out out losing our beaches and the tourists they bring could drain our local economy. He also said we'd lose infrastructure, like water lines, sewer lines and highways.
''IF we get this coastal erosion that could erode in and start destroying that kind of infrastructure, we will be paying billions of dollars to try to move that inlands,'' Dorsey said.
Climate scientists say some of this could be avoided if we take major steps to cut emissions in the next decade.
On Thursday, it was announced that President Biden will travel to Europe for the United Nations Annual Climate Change Conference in just a few weeks.
MORE NEWS: Car Hits, Kills Bear On 210 Freeway In La Canada Flintridge CBSLA Staff
VIDEO - Paradigms Collapsing, Nova Pushes Planet | S0 News Oct.14.2021 - YouTube
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 12:56
VIDEO - Checking in on Texas' truck driver shortage
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 04:21
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- For Jerome Woods, all roads have led to a life on the road.
''Since I was a little kid, I've always wanted to be a truck driver,'' he told KXAN.
Woods graduated Thursday with his commercial driver's license from locally-based Community Truck Driving School. He also graduated amid a supply chain shortage that's left store shelves empty and restaurant menu items unavailable across the country. That's made Woods a hot commodity.
''It's perfect timing for me,'' he said. ''That means I definitely have a place to be.''
Six months after KXAN's last visit, the school said its 20-person classes are filling up faster than ever. Operations Manager Eldon Featherston said because of the supply chain issues, companies that once only hired experienced truckers are now taking his students straight out of school.
''Nobody's applying for these jobs, and (the companies) don't understand why,'' Featherston said. ''The money is out there to be made.''
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of July, roughly 33,000 trucking industry jobs remained unfilled from pre-pandemic levels. There was already a shortage before COVID-19.
The head of the Texas Trucking Association said the Lone Star State faces unique challenges due its sheer size and its amount of international commerce with Mexico.
''We're set up geographically to handle a lot of freight to feed the rest of the country, not to mention North America,'' said President and CEO John Esparza.
It will soon become more difficult to obtain a CDL in Texas. Right now, a potential driver only needs to pass the required test to get a license. As of next February, a delayed change in federal law will kick in, requiring classroom and hands-on training.
VIDEO - thehardhatintellectual on Twitter: "Conspiracy theories from 2009 became our reality in 2021. How long before they take this clip down? https://t.co/XqhSqeXxZm" / Twitter
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 00:49
thehardhatintellectual : Conspiracy theories from 2009 became our reality in 2021. How long before they take this clip down? https://t.co/XqhSqeXxZm
Thu Oct 14 22:12:40 +0000 2021
ElVatoDeLoganHeights : @hardhatintellec @nachoibarras
Fri Oct 15 00:48:36 +0000 2021
J Jimenez : @hardhatintellec @FlooritHammer It's all bullshit by global governments
Fri Oct 15 00:45:19 +0000 2021


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