1416: Endemicity

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 36m
January 13th, 2022
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Executive Producers: Sir MFNFT of the north coast, Dame Bear of Bend and Sir Knight Ryan of Central Oregon, SirTakie, Sir Donald of the Firebottles - Duke of the lands of Idaho north of the lost trail pass, Sir-Nonymous Cop of the Bay Area, Gene Morphis, Knight of Neurogenesls, Dustin Saner, Dame Kim Keeper of the Nutty Flufflers, Chap Williams, Khalil Saman, Guy Lambert, Joshua Gridley, Baronet Nate Wilson

Associate Executive Producers: Chris K, Baron of the Gitmo Nation Coffee Pot, Paul Bedau, Erick Senkmajer, Alexander Van Abel, Nick Dice, Anonymous

Cover Artist: Rick Harris

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0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
0:53
Adam's Appearance on The Megyn Kelly Show
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7:40
Victoria Nuland-Kagan Shows Up at State Department and Demands Russia to Build Back Better
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12:28
Matt Lee Asks Vicky if Germany Will Go Along With Nord Stream 2 Sanctions Against Russia
titleguy
22:03
Media's Moment of Self Realization
Guest producer
23:52
Pfizer CEO on New Vaccines: "Version 1.1"
Guest producer
28:04
John's Omicron MSM Clips
Guest producer
35:29
Adam's Theory on End of Covid
Guest producer
42:21
Early 2020 Analysis of Early Outbreak
Guest producer
44:42
EU New Announcement on Boosters
Guest producer
45:57
CDC Mask Revision
Guest producer
50:52
COVID Updates From Around The World
Guest producer
59:50
AP Style Guide Changing COVID Data Standards
Guest producer
1:02:20
Suggested chapter: NCAA accepting natural immunity as fully vaxxed
This is a suggested chapter
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1:07:41
Prediction: Future Testing Technologies
Guest producer
1:25:29
Fauci Rand Paul Clip
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1:33:35
Cyber Pandemic Simulation
Guest producer
1:39:34
Executive Producer Credits
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2:29:39
Norwegian Military Asked to Wear Used Underwear
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2:30:09
60 Minutes Conditioning People to Not Want to Work
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2:36:49
"Following your passion" rather than making money
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2:46:54
The Catfish Filter and Botox
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2:51:54
Stimulus Money Used For Cosmetic Surgeries
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2:53:19
Trump on NPR
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2:56:14
Dumb NPR stories: Dead rat and McFlurries
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3:01:14
Honda Vehicle Clocks Showing Wrong Time and Year
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3:05:24
Prince Andrew Epstein Civil Lawsuit Update
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3:06:09
Golden Globes Won't Be Televised or Streamed This Year
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3:10:03
Donations
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3:14:40
Birthdays, Title Changes & Meetups
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3:23:47
Isos
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3:25:29
Ted Cruz Questions FBI Woman About Ray Epps
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3:28:44
Biden Harris Gaff
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3:29:49
Biden Claims He Was Arrested
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3:32:34
End of Show Mixes
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The Purge
Collective Strength Cyber Pandemic
Did China work in concert with Wallstreet to coordinate the economic shut down?
Climate Change
Germany Lays a Path to Quitting Coal, But the U.S. May Not Follow - Scientific American
An analysis UWUA published with the Union of Concerned Scientists last May argued that the Biden administration would need to invest up to $83 billion over the next 15 years to support coal workers and communities as the country shifts to a low-carbon economy.
It called for five years of wage replacement for displaced workers, and continued health care coverage and education benefits for workers and their children. The idea was that more support and better planning could ease the pain of an impending coal exit.
“The transition is happening. It’s just happening haphazardly and without foresight and without thought, and that is the most difficult way to approach it, from a community perspective, but especially for the workers,” said Jeremy Richardson, a former senior energy analyst at Union of Concerned Scientists.
The proposals in the analysis were crafted into legislation that made their way into negotiations on the reconciliation package, said Anderson. The $1.7 trillion package, known as the "Build Back Better Act," faces collapse following Manchin's announcement of opposition last month.
Bat vs Lab vs DARPA
Test To Stay
Workers / Teachers playing hooky claiming 'covid'
Why omicron is changing how media outlets report on COVID data | AP News
NEW YORK (AP) — For two years, coronavirus case counts and hospitalizations have been widely used barometers of the pandemic’s march across the world.
But the omicron wave is making a mess of the usual statistics, forcing news organizations to rethink the way they report such figures.
“It’s just a data disaster,” said Katherine Wu, staff writer who covers COVID-19 for The Atlantic magazine.
The number of case counts soared over the holidays, an expected development given the emergence of a variant more transmissible than its predecessors.
Yet these counts only reflect what is reported by health authorities. They do not include most people who test themselves at home, or are infected without even knowing about it. Holidays and weekends also lead to lags in reported cases.
If you could add all those numbers up — and you can’t — case counts would likely be substantially higher.
For that reason, The Associated Press has recently told its editors and reporters to avoid emphasizing case counts in stories about the disease. That means, for example, no more stories focused solely on a particular country or state setting a one-day record for number of cases, because that claim has become unreliable.
VAERS
Mandate and Boosters
France mandates next week
Im in France.Macron & several of his ministers are absolute MONSTERS!The things they're saying &doing.Wednesday they will vote for a generalised jab mandate. Meaning EVERYONE has to have it.Shits going to hit the fan here!Watch this space my friends.The world is about to burn.
Supply Chains / Collapse
2nd hand car prices BOTG
Hey Adam,
Listening to 1413, about cars purchases. Christmas morning my daughter
totalled her car on some ice. Insurance gave her 5k over what she paid a
year ago for a 2018 Corolla.
Shopping a replacement, used ones were at par (or more) with the new ones.
New ones are delivery delayed at least a week if you didn't want any fancy
options. Customs are months out!
She was shopping in Seattle area--a major delivery port too!
Peace. ITM
Tim
Ivermectin etc
Russia / Ukraine / Kazakhstan
Russia issues threat to GPS satellites - GPS World : GPS World
The Kremlin warned it could blow up 32 GPS satellites with its new anti-satellite technology, ASAT, which it tested Nov. 15 on a retired Soviet Tselina-D satellite, according to numerous news reports.
Russia then claimed on state television that its new ASAT missiles could obliterate NATO satellites and “blind all their missiles, planes and ships, not to mention the ground forces,” said Russian Channel One TV host Dmitry Kiselyov, rendering the West’s GPS-guided missiles useless. “It means that if NATO crosses our red line, it risks losing all 32 of its GPS satellites at once.”
The International Space Station (ISS) Flight Control team was notified of indications of a satellite breakup, causing 1,500 pieces of debris to threaten the station. “Due to the debris generated by the destructive Russian Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test, ISS astronauts and cosmonauts undertook emergency procedures for safety,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
China assistance to Kazakhstan
China Offers Kazakhstan Security & Resistance to “Outside Forces”
Beijing has offered law enforcement support to Kazakhstan to help control the chaos and "jointly oppose the interference and infiltration of any external forces" after President Xi and Tokayev spoke on Friday.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Kazakh counterpart that the recent unrest showed some foreign elements “don’t want peace and tranquility in our region,” as he offered assistance.
Singapore-based International Studies professor Li Mingjiang claimed China wanted to avoid the spread of US influence in the region where it has energy import interests and Belt and Road projects.
BTC
2022 / 2024
BLM LGBBTQQIAAPK+ Noodle Boy
OTG
Food Intelligence
Elites
STORIES
EXCLUSIVE-IMF, 10 countries simulate cyberattack on global financial system | Reuters
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 16:15
(Adds comment)
JERUSALEM, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Israel on Thursday led a 10-country simulation of a major cyberattack on the global financial system in an attempt to increase cooperation that could help to minimise any potential damage to financial markets and banks.
The simulated ''war game'', as Israel's Finance Ministry called it and planned over the past year, evolved over 10 days, with sensitive data emerging on the Dark Web. The simulation also used fake news reports that in the scenario caused chaos in global markets and a run on banks.
The simulation -- likely caused by what officials called ''sophisticated'' players -- featured several types of attacks that impacted global foreign exchange and bond markets, liquidity, integrity of data and transactions between importers and exporters.
''These events are creating havoc in the financial markets,'' said a narrator of a film shown to the participants as part of the simulation and seen by Reuters.
Israeli government officials said that such threats are possible in the wake of the many high-profile cyberattacks on large companies, and that the only way to contain any damage is through global cooperation since current cyber security is not always strong enough.
''Attackers are 10 steps ahead of the defender,'' Micha Weis, financial cyber manager at Israel's Finance Ministry, told Reuters.
Participants in the initiative, called ''Collective Strength'', included treasury officials from Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Thailand, as well as representatives from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Bank of International Settlements.
The narrator of the film in the simulation said governments were under pressure to clarify the impact of the attack, which was paralysing the global financial system.
''The banks are appealing for emergency liquidity assistance in a multitude of currencies to put a halt to the chaos as counterparties withdraw their funds and limit access to liquidity, leaving the banks in disarray and ruin,'' the narrator said.
The participants discussed multilateral policies to respond to the crisis, including a coordinated bank holiday, debt repayment grace periods, SWAP/REPO agreements and coordinated delinking from major currencies.
Rahav Shalom-Revivo, head of Israel's financial cyber engagements, said international collaboration between finance ministries and international organizations ''is key for the resilience of the financial eco-system.''
The simulation was originally scheduled to take place at the Dubai World Expo but it was moved to Jerusalem due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, with officials participating over video conference.
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Israel Hosts Cyber Pandemic Exercise Simulating Cyberattack on Financial System with 10 Countries, IMF, World Bank & BIS
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 16:15
Israel's Ministry of Finance hosts a cyber pandemic exercise similar to Cyber Polygon, where 10 countries, the IMF, BIS, and the World Bank simulate a cyberattack on the global financial system.
Held in Jerusalem on Thursday, the cybersecurity training exercise dubbed ''Collective Strength'' was aimed at increasing international ''cooperation that could help to minimize any potential damage to financial markets and banks,'' according to a Reuters exclusive.
Participants included members of the International Monetary Fund, the Bank of International Settlements, the World Bank, Tel Aviv's BeST crisis management software company, and treasury officials from the nations of:
AustriaGermanyIsraelItalyThe NetherlandsSwitzerlandThailandThe United Arab EmiratesThe United KingdomThe United StatesThe cyberattack simulation was originally slated to take place at the Dubai World Expo, but according to Reuters, it was later moved to Israel ''due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19.''
''A lack of cybersecurity has become a clear and immediate danger to our society worldwide'' '-- Klaus Schwab, Cyber Polygon 2021
Coincidentally, Dubai is where the World Economic Forum (WEF) held its Great Narrative Meeting, where WEF Founder Klaus Schwab called on fewer than 50 unelected globalists to craft a great narrative for humankind in November, 2021.
Before that, Schwab gave the opening remarks at the Cyber Polygon 2021 cybersecurity training exercise in July '-- a simulation similar to ''Collective Strength'' '-- where he announced that ''a lack of cybersecurity has become a clear and immediate danger to our society worldwide.''
A year prior, at Cyber Polygon 2020, the WEF founder warned, ''We all know, but still pay insufficient attention to, the frightening scenario of a comprehensive cyber attack, which would bring a complete halt to the power supply, transportation, hospital services, our society as a whole.''
''The COVID-19 crisis would be seen in this respect as a small disturbance in comparison to a major cyber attack,'' he added.
''We all know, but still pay insufficient attention to, the frightening scenario of a comprehensive cyber attack, which would bring a complete halt to the power supply, transportation, hospital services, our society as a whole'' '-- Klaus Schwab, Cyber Polygon 2020
Yesterday's ''Collective Strength'' simulated attack on the financial sector is a continuation of global efforts to prepare the public and private sectors for a coming cyber pandemic that would wreak havoc over all of society.
''This is the first time that such a simulation is conducted, with this vast amount of participants and such extreme financial-cyber scenarios,'' Israel's Head of Financial Innovation and International Engagement, Rahav Shalom Revivo, wrote on LinkedIn.
''All cooperating and collaborating together in order to maintain the resilience and stability of the financial eco system,'' she added.
The language coming from Revivo mirrors that of Schwab's message of resiliency and stability when he called for a great reset of society and the global economy in June, 2020.
The World Economic Forum has been exceptionally prophetic in preparing for crises just before they happen.
For example, just a few months before the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the WEF, along with the Johns Hopkins and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, held a fake pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019 called Event 201, which specifically simulated a coronavirus pandemic to gauge global preparedness.
Many scenarios coming out of Event 201 became reality in 2020 including government lockdowns, social media censorship, global economic crashes, and societal upheaval '-- all ingredients being necessary to usher in a great reset.
And in the same style as the Event 201 simulation, yesterday's ''Collective Strength'' simulation also included mock news reports '-- this time about a scenario that ''caused chaos in global markets and a run on banks,'' according to Reuters.
''A cyber attack with COVID-like characteristics would spread faster and farther than any biological virus'' '-- World Economic Forum
The unelected global elites have been saying for years that a cyber pandemic is not a question of if, but when.
According to the WEF, COVID-19 was known as an anticipated risk, and so is its digital equivalent.
What's more, ''A cyber attack with COVID-like characteristics would spread faster and farther than any biological virus. Its reproductive rate would be around 10 times greater than what we've experienced with the coronavirus.''
Discussions from last year's Cyber Polygon exercise centered around the globalists' continued call for public-private collaborations, the adoption of digital identity schemes, and the desire to censor ''misinformation'' that went against authoritative messaging.
This year's Cyber Polygon 2021 concluded with discussions paving a path towards a greater centralization of power and surveillance that furthers the great reset agenda of the global economy and all societal structures.
They included a desire to immunize the internet, demonize cryptocurrencies, and prop-up centralized systems of governance through a closer merger of corporations and states (public-private partnerships).
A supply chain of events: pandemic prophecies playing out a year after the great reset official launch
Cyber Polygon furthers great reset agenda of centralized power & surveillance
Prepping for a cyber pandemic: Cyber Polygon 2021 to stage supply chain attack simulation
A timeline of the great reset agenda: from foundation to Event 201 and the pandemic of 2020
Cyber pandemic prepping: Cyber Polygon 2021 to tackle ransomware, supply chains, digital currencies & global internet regulation
A tiny taste of what a cyber pandemic could look like? Big tech, bank, media & airline websites go down
Meat & Fish alternatives | DSM Food & Beverage
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 16:11
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NPR hosts' departures fuel questions over race. The full story is complex. : NPR
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 16:09
From left: Hosts Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Audie Cornish and Noel King have left NPR recently. NPR hide caption
toggle caption NPR From left: Hosts Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Audie Cornish and Noel King have left NPR recently.
NPR In the wake of a trio of departures, news stories and private messages shared among NPR staffers reflected the concern that Black and Latina stars are leaving the network in droves.
In November, Weekend Edition Sunday host Lulu Garcia-Navarro left to host a podcast for The New York Times opinion section. In December, Noel King departed Morning Edition and Up First for Vox. Last week, All Things Considered and Consider This host Audie Cornish decamped to be a host for CNN's new streaming service.
"The hosts ... are the reason that those shows are so successful, along with all the people working so hard every day on those shows," John Lansing, NPR's chief executive, says in an interview. "Losing anybody that we see as super-valuable is always a concern."
Listeners and colleagues have posted laments on social media. All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro said on Twitter that NPR is "hemorrhaging hosts from marginalized backgrounds." Much of the commentary reflects a belief that NPR has proven incapable of doing the right thing when race is a factor and is willfully or carelessly driving away its future stars, even as it aspires to attract more Black and Latino listeners.
NPR's senior vice president for news, Nancy Barnes, wrote in a letter to staff on Tuesday that, taken together, the resignations have "created a hole in the heart of the organization."
In addition, NPR and WBUR informed member stations last week that Tonya Mosley would leave her job as host of the network's midday show, Here & Now, at the end of the month. She will be a special correspondent for the show through the end of her contract, which lapses in August. Mosley, who is Black, is pursuing her own podcast, called Truth Be Told, for which she had acquired the rights from public radio station KQED.
"I have been honored over the past two years to be part of the biggest stories of our time at Here & Now," Mosley says. "As individual journalists and as institutions, we need to be thinking about what are the ways we serve the audience that may be different than the way we do now. This is a moment where we need to have deep reflection on who we are and what value we have to the people. Maintaining the status quo is not the way to do it."
Interviews with 12 people with direct knowledge of recent developments, including NPR hosts and executives, suggest NPR indeed struggles to retain high-profile journalists of color. Hosts have complained to the network's leadership of pay disparities along racial and gender lines. Some say the network does not keep its promises and makes contract negotiations unnecessarily contentious. And several hosts concluded they were made to be the public face of NPR but did not have the network's full support.
Yet the interviews also yield a more complex picture.
Broadcast news shows no longer hold uniform allureMajor changes within the industry have shifted where many journalists' ambitions lie. Hosting a traditional radio program no longer holds the same allure it did a generation ago, or even a decade ago. For many, it's now a combination of old-school prestige and daily grind in an era of unrelentingly grim headlines. In late 2020, former Morning Edition host David Greene, who is white, left NPR without any new gig lined up. He had been a mainstay of the network for 15 years.
"How people view those hosting jobs, I suppose, are in the eye of the beholder," Lansing says. "The magazine shows are the very definition of excellence and [the hosts] represent NPR on the radio and through the podcasts Consider This and Up First. They are the most visible form of the expression of the NPR brand and what we stand for."
Under Lansing, who is white, NPR has emphasized the need for diversity in its staffing, its story selection, and its audiences, and pursued initiatives to fulfill those needs. He has called the mission the network's "North Star" since his arrival in fall 2019, months before people took to the streets to protest racial inequality, upending American corporate life. He has pitched it both as a moral imperative and fundamental to the network's continued survival in weekly all-staff meetings.
But the new roles taken elsewhere by Cornish, King and Garcia-Navarro afford them greater individual prominence and a form of journalism that will allow them more expression of their individual sensibilities. Barnes, the NPR news chief, alluded to that fact in her note to staff.
"There are now enormous opportunities for journalists that did not exist a decade ago, and that's generally a good thing," she wrote. "This fierce competition doesn't explain all of our losses, and we will have to work harder to eliminate every obstacle '-- from processes to problems in the work environment '-- that might lead someone to leave."
"We plan to embrace and lift up new voices and build a robust, diverse pipeline of journalists ready to move into every critical role," wrote Barnes, who is white.
Data shared by NPR's corporate leadership suggest that the network has made strides in racial diversity. For the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, the turnover rate for employees of color at NPR was lower than it was for the entire staff. And 78% of all hires were people of color, up from roughly half over the previous two years. (The network did not break down those figures exclusively for editorial staffers. NPR's staff is majority female, both in its newsroom and more broadly.)
Lansing says NPR must do more to ensure its journalists of color are treated with respect and have opportunities to explore their ambitions. He also says turnover is part of the reality in media, especially with other organizations moving aggressively into the audio space with podcasts and other on-demand digital offerings.
Increasingly, outlets owned by for-profit companies, such as The New York Times and The New Yorker, are also creating programming for public radio stations that competes with NPR offerings. And NPR hosts frequently pursue outside interests. Mary Louise Kelly and Scott Simon write novels while Steve Inskeep is the author of several historical nonfiction books; Shapiro has sung on tour with Pink Martini and Alan Cumming; in April, he is scheduled to perform his solo cabaret act at a renowned cabaret bar in New York City.
Inside NPR, Shapiro, who is white, and King, who is Black, pitched podcasts built around their interests. Both felt stymied by NPR's programming division, which oversees podcasts and is run apart from the news side, according to colleagues they spoke to.
Several people interviewed for this story expressed frustrations that the two sides '-- news and programming '-- were not run in a more unified fashion. Though there have been myriad collaborations, particularly in extending the brands of those tentpole shows in daily podcasts, news executives cannot concretely promise NPR's journalists running room to develop podcasts and other projects without buy-in from the programming side.
While NPR's news magazines define the network for tens of millions of listeners, NPR now derives more sponsorship revenue from podcasts than those news shows. And the audiences for the podcasts are markedly younger and more diverse.
NPR boosts hosts' salaries after confrontation about pay gapIn May 2020, four NPR female hosts of color '-- Garcia-Navarro, King, All Things Considered host Ailsa Chang and Weekend All Things Considered host Michel Martin '-- sent a letter to Lansing seeking a more equitable pay arrangement in comparison to their male peers. Publicly available tax forms listing top-paid employees suggested female hosts were paid less than their male counterparts. In the case of Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep and Weekend Edition's Scott Simon, who are white, seniority and longevity elevated their pay.
The group met several times with Lansing and NPR's chief human resources official, Carrie Storer. Inskeep, who is white and the network's highest-paid host, separately urged executives to remedy the disparities as well, according to three people with knowledge.
According to NPR's 2019 tax records, for example, Simon's annual base pay was $75,000 more than that of Martin. He is white; she is Black. Both host two hours of programming each weekend.
Lansing proved receptive. And executives unveiled a "grid" '-- a chart intended to standardize pay, while recognizing years of service and performance. As a result of the hosts' advocacy, most female hosts received five-figure pay raises in subsequent individual contracts. Yet the grid ended up rankling the people it was supposed to reassure. Several hosts concluded that, after the initial increases, the grid imposed a rigid cap on how much pay they could earn, regardless of offers from competing news outlets or other factors.
Last week, in a meeting with Lansing, numerous hosts complained about the pay structure.
"The grid was a good-faith effort, I thought at the time, to address some concerns from the hosts of color," Lansing says. "I realized from hearing them out last week, that that's not the case."
Lansing says NPR would find another solution.
"For a very long time, the way things worked at NPR was kind of arbitrary, based on how much you knew and who you knew," says Sam Sanders, host of NPR's It's Been A Minute With Sam Sanders. "Things like pay and host pay operated under cover of darkness. You would get your deal based on your relationship with management."
Sanders, who is Black, says NPR's leadership did not expect its hosts to act in concert.
Sanders' show is both a podcast and a weekly radio show, developed out of the programming side. He argues that NPR has done more to groom a new generation of talented hosts from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups through podcasts rather than its shows.
"If there's going to be a true conversation about pay equity, it has to be about the entire company," Sanders says. "NPR is more than its news division."
Fraught contract talks hastened departures When it was time for Garcia-Navarro and King to renegotiate their contracts with the network, the talks became unexpectedly acrimonious. Each felt network officials adopted a sharp and dismissive tone, according to numerous colleagues.
Colleagues say Garcia-Navarro bristled at the network's suggestions that she dial back expression of her interests as a Cuban-American or in social justice matters. Last week, after Cornish announced her departure, Garcia-Navarro tweeted, "People leave jobs for other opportunities if they are unhappy with the opportunities they have and the way they have been treated. I'm sad to see this happening but it is not unexpected."
Lansing says the acrimony over the contract negotiations pains him. "That goes against what I stand for," Lansing says. He says in recent talks with NPR's labor unions, he had directed company negotiators to make sure new contracts were a win for both sides.
"Our people are all we have in terms of quality and credibility," Lansing says. Starting now, Lansing says, he will personally review all host contracts before they are finalized.
Network executives say they value their hosts' sensibilities. "We're headed in a direction where we want people to feel more comfortable bringing their lived experiences into the hosts' chairs," says Sarah Gilbert, NPR's vice president over its newsmagazines, who is white. "Our journalists want to feel they can have a more agile career. We want to find a way to give people an opportunity for that within our organization."
New challenges elsewhere for a fixture in public radio Cornish, a former congressional reporter, had openly chafed against some of the strictures of the daily radio show and had taken on other projects while at NPR. She had shaped the development of Consider This, a podcast spun off from All Things Considered, which allows for a fuller exploration of a single issue in 12 to 15 minutes. And she often shone at live events and in less formal venues such as NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. Several years ago, she hosted a show for BuzzFeed's video ventures.
Cornish, who is Black, wrote on Twitter last week that after 20 years in public radio, and 10 years as a host, she was ready to try something new. "I am leaving of my own accord with no malice or resentment," Cornish wrote. "I have had a great run with a company full of people I respect and admire."
But, she added, "I also understand that 4 hosts leaving in a year '' three of them POC women'' is a red flag."
It seems my assumption that I would have a quiet transition was na¯ve. So I will attempt to provide whatever insight I can'... using language the internet understands lol🧵#NPR
'-- audie cornish (@AudieCornish) January 6, 2022In 2019, Joshua Johnson left 1A, a nationally syndicated public affairs show produced by WAMU in Washington, D.C., and distributed by NPR, for MSNBC. In recent remarks online, Johnson, who is Black, focused on a more competitive landscape for NPR journalists, including people of color.
"NPR is better for having an inclusive workforce," tweeted Johnson, now a host on the NBC News Now streaming service. "But it would be far worse if that workforce thought it had nowhere to go except @NPR. Reaching our potential requires new avenues for growth and possibility. There's a huge difference between feeling safe, and feeling stuck."
NPR executives point to recent hirings and promotions of journalists of color. NPR's newest hosts '-- A Mart­nez and Leila Fadel on Morning Edition and Mosley and Scott Tong on Here & Now '-- come from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. Morning Edition's new executive producer, Erika Aguilar, is Latina. The network's new chief culture editor, Nick Charles, is Black.
"We're focused not only on those who choose to leave NPR, but also who is deciding to come," NPR's chief communications officer, Isabel Lara, who is Latina, said in a statement. "Ensuring that public media reflects the people of the United States is not a responsibility or initiative, but a necessity."
Disclosure: This story was reported and written by NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik and edited by NPR media and tech editor Emily Kopp and Managing Editor Terence Samuel. Under NPR's protocol for reporting on itself, no corporate official or news executive reviewed this story before it was posted publicly.
Why Do NATO States Commit Energy Hara Kiri ? | New Eastern Outlook
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:57
There is a great paradox in the increasingly aggressive US and NATO military stance towards Russia, and China, when measured against the clearly suicidal national Green Agenda economic policies of the USA as well as the EU NATO states . An astonishing transformation of the economies of the world's most advanced industrial economies is underway and gaining momentum. The heart of the transformation is energy, and the absurd demand for ''zero carbon'' energy by 2050 or before. To eliminate carbon from the energy industry is not at this time, or perhaps ever, possible. But the push for it will mean tearing apart the world's most productive economies. Without a viable industrial energy base, NATO countries become a military joke. We cannot speak of ''renewable'' energy for solar, wind and battery storage. We must speak of Unreliable Energy. It is one of the most colossal scientific delusions in history.
On December 31 the new German coalition government shut down three of the remaining six nuclear power plants permanently. They did so at a point where natural gas in reserves were extremely low entering hard winter, and when any severe cold front could lead to power blackouts. Because of the German refusal to allow import of a second Russian gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, Germany is facing a 500% increase in the spot price of electricity compared with January 2021.
EU Energy Crisis Preplanned
In 2011 when Chancellor Merkel declared an early end to nuclear power, her infamous Energiewende, to phase out nuclear and go to renewable sources, 17 nuclear plants reliably supplied 25% of all electric power to the country. Now the remaining 3 plants must close by end 2022. At the same time the Green Energy agenda of the government since 2016 has closed 15.8 GigaWatts of coal generation as of January 2022. To make up for the fact that solar and wind, despite glowing propaganda, do not fill the gap, Germany's electric grid must import significant electricity from EU neighbors France and Czech Republic, ironically much of it from their nuclear plants. Germany today has the highest electricity cost of any industrial nation as a result of the Energiewende.
There is now a problem with the supply of nuclear electricity from France. In December EDF the French state nuclear agency announced a total of four reactors would shut for inspection and repairs following discovery of corrosion damage. President Macron facing April elections is trying to play the nuclear champ in the EU opposing Germany's strong anti-nuclear position. But the nuclear bridge is vulnerable and France is unlikely to make any major new investment in nuclear, despite recent claims, with plans to shut down twelve reactors in the next few years, along with coal, leaving both France and Germany vulnerable to future energy shortages. Macron's France 2030 program calls for investing a pitiful $1.2 billion in small plant nuclear technology.
But the nuclear issue is not the only fly in the EU energy soup. Every aspect of the current EU energy plan is designed to wreck a modern industrial economy, and the architects who generously fund green think tanks like the Potsdam Institute in Germany know it. To bring wind and solar, the only two serious options being implemented, to replace coal, gas and nuclear, is simply said, not possible.
Wind Mills and Madness of Crowds
For Germany, a country with less than optimal sunshine, wind is the leading alternative. One problem with wind as the winter of 2021 dramatically showed, is that it does not always blow, and unpredictably so. That means blackouts or reliable backup, which means coal or natural gas as nuclear is being forced out. Wind mills are misleadingly rated in terms of gross theoretical capacity when states like Germany want to boast of renewable progress.
In reality what counts is actual electricity produced over time or what is called capacity factor or load factor. For solar, capacity factor is typically only about 25%. The sun in northern Europe or North America doesn't shine 24 hours a day. Nor are skies always cloudless. Similarly wind doesn't always blow and is hardly reliable. Germany boasts of 45% gross renewable energy but that hides the reality. Frauenhofer Institute in a 2021 study estimated Germany must install at least six to eight times present solar to reach 2045 100% carbon free goals, something the government refuses to estimate costs for, but private estimates are in the trillions. The report says from the present gross 54 GW solar capacity as much as 544 GW by 2045 is needed. That would mean a land space of 3,568,000 acres or 1.4 million hectares, more than 16,000 square kilometers of solid solar panels across the country. Add major wind stations to that. It is a suicide recipe.
The fraud of wind and solar as a sensible carbon free option is beginning to be realized. This January 5, Alberta Canada where the government is furiously building wind and solar sites, a severe cold day with temperatures near 45 F minus, Alberta's 13 grid-connected solar facilities, rated at 736 megawatts, were contributing 58 megawatts to the grid. The 26 wind farms, with a combined rated capacity of 2,269 megawatts, was feeding the grid 18 megawatts. The total from renewables was a piddly 76 megawatts out of a theoretical 3,005 megawatts of supposedly green, renewable energy. Texas during the severe snow of February 2021 had similar problems with solar and wind as did Germany. Also when it snows solar farms are worthless.
As well to reach zero carbon from renewable sources huge acreages of land must be paved with solar reflectors or dedicated to wind farms. By one estimate, the amount of land needed to accommodate the 46,480 solar PV plants envisioned for the US is 650,720 square miles, almost 20% of the US lower 48 territories. This is the areas of Texas, California, Arizona and Nevada combined. Alone in the US state of Virginia a new green law, the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) has created an enormous rise in solar project applications to date for 780 square miles of solar slabs so far. As David Wojick points out, that is about 500,000 acres of countryside, farmland or forests destroyed and paved over with some 500 separate projects blanketing much of rural Virginia that will need a staggering 160 million solar panels, mostly from China and all destined to become hundreds of tons of toxic waste.
Millions of Jobs?
The Biden administration and Renewables czar John Kerry have falsely claimed their Green Agenda or Build Back Better will mean millions of new jobs. They omit to say the jobs will be in China which produces far the most solar panels, a near monopoly after they destroyed the USA and EU competition a decade ago with cheap subsidized panels Made in China. Similarly most of wind power is made in China by Chinese companies. Meanwhile China uses record volumes of coal and postpones its pledge for zero carbon a full decade after the EU and USA to 2060. They are not willing to jeopardize their industrial dominance to a climate theory based on fake data and lies that CO2 is about to destroy the planet. The German trade union federation DGB recently estimated that since 2011 that country had lost some 150,000 jobs in the renewable sector alone, mainly as China-made solar panels destroyed leading German solar companies. And Germany is the most green-crazy EU country. Because by definition the less energy-dense renewables of wind or solar drive basic electricity costs far higher, they kill more jobs in the overall economy than they ever add.
NATO Industrial Collapse
Because solar and wind are in reality far more costly than conventional hydrocarbon or nuclear electricity, they drive up overall cost of electric power to industry forcing many companies to close or move elsewhere. Only official statistical fraud hides this. Europe and North America will need huge volumes of steel and concrete to build the expected millions of solar panels or wind parks. That needs huge amounts of conventional coal or nuclear energy. How many E-car electric charging stations will be needed to home-charge 47 million German E-cars? How much more electric demand?
A significant Green Energy think tank in the US, RethinkX ,issued a propaganda study for renewables in 2021 titled Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning . Their answer to the problems of low capacity for wind and solar is to build 500% or even 1000% more than envisioned to make up for the low 25% capacity factor. They make the absurd claim, with no concrete proof that, ''Our analysis shows that 100% clean electricity from the combination of solar, wind, and batteries (SWB) is both physically possible and economically affordable across the entire continental United States as well as the overwhelming majority of other populated regions of the world by 2030'... this superabundance of clean energy output '' which we call super power '' will be available at near-zero marginal cost throughout much of the year .'' That statement is presented without an iota of data or concrete scientific feasibility analysis, merely dogmatic assertion.
The late Canadian architect of the UN Agenda 21, Maurice Strong, a billionaire oil chum of David Rockefeller was Undersecretary of the United Nations and Secretary General of the June 1972 Stockholm Earth Day conference. He was also a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. He more than perhaps anyone else, is responsible for the de-industrialization agenda of the zero carbon ''sustainable economy.'' At the UN Rio Earth Summit in 1992 he openly stated the blunt agenda of the radical eugenics advocates such as Gates and Schwab: ''Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about ?'' That agenda is very much the Great Reset today.
War Now?
If the once-advanced, energy-intensive economies of NATO member countries in Europe and the USA continue on this suicidal journey, their ability to mount a convincing military defense or offense will become a mirage. Recently the corrupt German EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, declared that the high-tech German defense industry and its suppliers should not receive bank credit because they were not ''green'' or ''sustainable'' enough. Reportedly banks have already gotten the message. Along with oil and gas now defense production is targeted. Von der Leyen as German Defense Minister was widely blamed for allowing German defense to collapse to a catastrophic state.
In their now one-sided pursuit of their insane Agenda 2030 and Zero Carbon agenda, the Biden Administration and the EU are putting their industry on a deliberate road to destruction well before the end of this decade. Is this in turn driving the current NATO agenda towards Russia in Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia and now Kazakhstan? If the NATO Powers that Be know they will lack the basic in depth military industrial infrastructure in the near future, do they think it better to provoke a possible war with Russia now, to eliminate a potential resistor to their de-industrial agenda? Other than China, Russia holds the only potential to deal a devastating blow to NATO if provoked.
Mass Formation Psychosis or Madness of Crowds
In 1852 English historian Charles Mackay wrote a classic titled Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds , giving a little-known insight to the mass hysteria behind the religious Great Crusades of the 12 th Century, the Witch Mania or the Dutch Tulip Mania and numerous other popular delusions. It is relevant to understand the global irrational rush to economic and political suicide.
The same key actors behind the mass COVID vaccine mandates for an unproven experimental genetic-altering vaccine and the ensuing lockdowns globally, including Bill Gates and Pope Francis, are behind the Klaus Schwab World Economic Forum Great Reset and its UN Agenda 2030 green zero carbon madness, to get the world to accept unprecedented draconian economic measures.
This will require a docile and physically weak population to be railroaded, what Belgian psychology professor Dr. Mattias Desmet and Dr Robert Malone call Mass Formation Psychosis, a crowd psychosis, a kind of mass hypnosis that ignores reason. It is clear that both the myth of Global Warming and the corona pandemic agenda require such a mass hypnosis'--an ''extraordinary popular delusion.'' Without the COVID fear hysteria we would never allow the Green Agenda to get so far that our very electric grids are on the verge of blackouts and our economies on verge of breakdown. The ultimate goal of both the COVID WHO pandemic and the Green Agenda is a march to Schwab's dystopian Great Reset of the entire world economy to the benefit of a corporate dictatorship by a handful of global corporations like BlackRock or Google-Alphabet.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook''.
Pfizer Bets On Medical Cannabis With $6.7 Billion Acquisition
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:53
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Teen hacker finds bug that lets him control 25+ Teslas remotely | Ars Technica
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:52
revoke that token '-- David Colombo says it's the owners' faults, not an infrastructure vulnerability. Jonathan M. Gitlin - Jan 12, 2022 4:40 pm UTC
Enlarge / The downside with offering APIs to interact with a car is that someone else's security problem might become your own.
Getty Images
A young hacker and IT security researcher found a way to remotely interact with more than 25 Tesla electric vehicles in 13 countries, according to a Twitter thread he posted yesterday.
David Colombo explained in the thread that the flaw was "not a vulnerability in Tesla's infrastructure. It's the owner's faults." He claimed to be able to disable a car's remote camera system, unlock doors and open windows, and even begin keyless driving. He could also determine the car's exact location.
However, Colombo clarified that he could not actually interact with any of the Teslas' steering, throttle, or brakes, so at least we don't have to worry about an army of remote-controlled EVs doing a Fate of the Furious reenactment.
Colombo says he reported the issue to Tesla's security team, which is investigating the matter.
On a related note, early on Wednesday morning, a third-party Tesla app called TezLab reported that it saw the "simultaneous expiry of several thousand Tesla authentication tokens from Tesla's side." TezLab's app makes use of Tesla APIs that allow apps to do things like log in to the car and enable or disable the anti-theft camera system, unlock the doors, open the windows, and so on.
Nonbinary figure skater to compete in Winter Olympics
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:16
Mark Zaleski/AP
Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc compete in the pairs free skate program during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Posted at 7:31 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 19:31:17-05
Timothy LeDuc is set to become the first nonbinary athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics.
LeDuc earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team after winning the pairs U.S. Figure Skating Championships with Ashley Cain-Gribble.
LeDuc said understands the significance of the achievement.
''My hope is that when people see my story, it isn't focused on me and saying, 'Oh, Timothy is the first out non-binary person to achieve this level of success in sport.' My hope is that the narrative shifts more to, 'Queer people can be open and successful in sports.' We've always been here, we've always been a part of sports. We just haven't always been able to be open,'' LeDuc said in a press conference, according to NBC News.
This was the second national championship for LeDuc and Cain-Gribble. They also won in 2019.
The Beijing Winter Olympics begin on Feb. 4.
Copyright 2022 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Biden Requires Insurance Companies To Cover Free At-Home Covid Tests Starting This Weekend
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:11
ToplinePrivate insurance companies will be required to reimburse customers for up to eight at-home Covid-19 tests per month starting Saturday, according to a policy announced Monday, as the Biden Administration grapples with high demand for tests amid a soaring number of coronavirus cases from the omicron variant.
Employees of the Miami-Dade Public Library System distribute Covid-19 home rapid test kits in Miami, ... [+] Florida, on January 8, 2022. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty Images Key FactsPrivate insurers can pay for at-home tests upfront at preferred pharmacies and retailers, or reimburse people who buy the test kits elsewhere, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release.
Only tests purchased on or after January 15 are required to be reimbursed, though insurance companies can choose to reimburse tests purchased earlier.
Americans on Medicare won't be eligible for the federal reimbursement plan, though Medicare already covers Covid-19 tests conducted in labs, and Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program plans are already required to fully reimburse the costs of FDA-approved tests.
PCR tests and rapid tests administered by a healthcare provider will continue to be covered by insurance with no limit.
What To Watch ForLater this month, the Biden Administration plans to launch a website where Americans can sign up to receive free at-home Covid-19 tests through the mail. The exact date for launching the website has not been revealed, but the administration said it will make 500 million tests available.
Crucial Quote''This is all part of our overall strategy to ramp up access to easy-to-use, at-home tests at no cost,'' HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a press release. ''By requiring private health plans to cover people's at-home tests, we are further expanding Americans' ability to get tests for free when they need them.''
Key BackgroundThe White House said last month it will require insurance companies to reimburse the costs of the at-home tests, but it did not reveal the details of the plan. Over the past few weeks, demand for at-home tests has skyrocketed as new Covid-19 cases reach their highest levels since the pandemic began, leading stores like Amazon and Walmart to limit the number of tests customers can purchase. Walmart and other retailers like Kroger also raised prices of the tests as they struggle to keep them in stock.
TangentSocial media accounts known for aiding in the search for in-demand products like the Playstation 5 pivoted to searching for at-home Covid-19 tests last week, according to reports from Bloomberg and CBS News.
Further ReadingHome COVID tests to be covered by insurers starting Saturday (Associated Press)
Biden Announces Free At-Home Covid Test Kits Soon Available (Forbes)
Amazon, Walmart And Other Major Retailers Are Limiting Sales Of At-Home Covid Test Kits Amid High Demand (Forbes)
At-Home Covid-19 Test Kits Are The Hottest Product On The Internet '-- And There's A Frenzy Of Shoppers To Help People Buy Them (Forbes)
Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus
Hillary Clinton's 2024 Election Comeback - WSJ
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:11
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have become unpopular. It may be time for a change candidate.
By
Douglas E. Schoen and
Andrew Stein
Jan. 11, 2022 12:28 pm ETA perfect storm in the Democratic Party is making a once-unfathomable scenario plausible: a political comeback for Hillary Clinton in 2024.
Several circumstances'--President Biden's low approval rating, doubts over his capacity to run for re-election at 82, Vice President Kamala Harris's unpopularity, and the absence of another strong Democrat to lead the ticket in 2024'--have created a leadership vacuum in the party, which Mrs. Clinton viably could fill.
She...
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A perfect storm in the Democratic Party is making a once-unfathomable scenario plausible: a political comeback for Hillary Clinton in 2024.
Several circumstances'--President Biden's low approval rating, doubts over his capacity to run for re-election at 82, Vice President Kamala Harris's unpopularity, and the absence of another strong Democrat to lead the ticket in 2024'--have created a leadership vacuum in the party, which Mrs. Clinton viably could fill.
She is already in an advantageous position to become the 2024 Democratic nominee. She is an experienced national figure who is younger than Mr. Biden and can offer a different approach from the disorganized and unpopular one the party is currently taking.
If Democrats lose control of Congress in 2022, Mrs. Clinton can use the party's loss as a basis to run for president again, enabling her to claim the title of ''change candidate.''
Based on her latest public statements, it's clear that Mrs. Clinton not only recognizes her position as a potential front-runner but also is setting up a process to help her decide whether or not to run for president again. She recently warned of the electoral consequences in the 2022 midterms if the Democratic Party continues to align itself with its progressive wing and urged Democrats to reject far-left positions that isolate key segments of the electorate.
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In a recent MSNBC interview, Mrs. Clinton called on Democrats to engage in ''careful thinking about what wins elections, and not just in deep-blue districts where a Democrat and a liberal Democrat, or so-called progressive Democrat, is going to win.'' She also noted that party's House majority ''comes from people who win in much more difficult districts.''
Mrs. Clinton also took a veiled jab at the Biden administration and congressional Democrats in an effort to create distance: ''It means nothing if we don't have a Congress that will get things done, and we don't have a White House that we can count on to be sane and sober and stable and productive.''
Even Bill Clinton recently set the stage for his wife's potential 2024 candidacy, referring to her in an interview with People magazine as ''the most qualified person to run for office in my lifetime, including me,'' adding that not electing her in 2016 was ''one of the most profound mistakes we ever made.''
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We can infer based on these recent remarks that Mrs. Clinton would seize the opportunity to run for president again if an opening presents itself. But what are the odds that an opportunity will arise?
The Democrats' domestic agenda is in disarray given the failure of Mr. Biden's Build Back Better plan in Congress. Senate Democrats' latest desperate push to repeal the legislative filibuster to pass their secondary legislative priority, voting-rights reform, will likely weaken their agenda further.
Mr. Biden's overall approval rating is low (40%), as is his rating on issues including the economy and jobs (38%) and taxes and government spending (33%), according to a recent Economist/YouGov poll. Nearly two-thirds of independent voters disapprove of the president.
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Barring a major course correction, we can anticipate that some Democrats will lose important House and Senate races in 2022'--in part for the reasons Mrs. Clinton identified'--giving Republicans control of both chambers of Congress.
Polls generally show the GOP with a solid lead of at least 2 or 3 points in the 2022 generic congressional vote'--a margin that likely would be enough to take back the House, given the narrow Democratic majority and the anticipated outcomes of redistricting in several states that could affect key races.
Given the likelihood that Democrats will lose control of Congress in 2022, we can anticipate that Mrs. Clinton will begin shortly after the midterms to position herself as an experienced candidate capable of leading Democrats on a new and more successful path.
Mrs. Clinton can spend the time between now and midterms doing what the Clinton administration did after the Democrats' blowout defeat in the 1994 midterms: crafting a moderate agenda on both domestic and foreign policy. This agenda could show that Mrs. Clinton is the only credible alternative to Mr. Biden, Ms. Harris, and the entire Democratic Party establishment.
Hillary Clinton remains ambitious, outspoken and convinced that if not for Federal Bureau of Investigation Director
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James Comey's intervention and Russian interference that she would have won the 2016 election'--and she may be right.
If Democrats want a fighting chance at winning the presidency in 2024, Mrs. Clinton is likely their best option.
Mr. Schoen is founder and partner in Schoen Cooperman Research, a polling and consulting firm whose past clients include Bill Clinton and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Mr. Stein is a former New York City Council president, Manhattan borough president and state assemblyman.
Cryptocurrency Traders Move Into Carbon Markets - WSJ
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:11
More than 17 million metric tons of carbon offsets are now tied to digital tokens; Mark Cuban says he is among those holding them
Cryptocurrency technology is making a splash in the carbon market.
In recent months, millions of credits for offsetting greenhouse-gas emissions have been virtually tied to newly created cryptocurrency tokens and removed from circulation. Some market participants say the technology is bringing transparency to the unregulated voluntary carbon market and helping create new incentives for projects that benefit the climate. Not everybody is convinced.
Many...
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Cryptocurrency technology is making a splash in the carbon market.
In recent months, millions of credits for offsetting greenhouse-gas emissions have been virtually tied to newly created cryptocurrency tokens and removed from circulation. Some market participants say the technology is bringing transparency to the unregulated voluntary carbon market and helping create new incentives for projects that benefit the climate. Not everybody is convinced.
Many companies aiming to compensate for their emissions buy credits representing reductions in greenhouse gases. These credits, each standing for one metric ton of carbon dioxide, come from projects such as planting trees or setting up renewable-energy farms that have third-party certification of the climate benefit. They are traded on informal markets, fetching different prices depending on the carbon-removal activity.
Some participants in this fast-growing market want more transparency and common rules, saying a hodgepodge of standards and murky prices make it hard to compare credits and ensure the projects actually benefit the climate. The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, an industry group, says making it easier to trade credits and trace them, such as by recording transactions publicly, would mean more companies could use offsets to meet their climate goals.
Toucan, a decentralized finance, or DeFi, project that launched in October, says its technology can help. Toucan lets users who own carbon credits link them to digital tokens. The tokens, called BCT'--for Base Carbon Tonne'--can then be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges. That wouldn't change the nature of the underlying projects, but Toucan says it would create a forum for trading and improve transparency by providing real-time pricing data and a public record of trades to track who gets to take credit for funding climate-benefiting projects.
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''The world's rapidly scaling voluntary carbon markets need to be run on a transparent, digital and neutral system in order to maximize their impact,'' said Toucan's technology chief, James Farrell.
Toucan, a nonprofit based in Switzerland, is one of several initiatives, not all using crypto technology, aiming to overhaul the voluntary carbon market with clearer pricing and ownership data. So far, more than 17 million carbon credits have been tied to BCT tokens. BCT was recently trading at around $5.50, meaning those carbon credits are now valued at more than $90 million on cryptocurrency exchanges.
However, companies accounting for their carbon offsetting aren't Toucan's main users. Since BCT went live in October, trading has been driven by Klima, another crypto asset that was launched on the same day as Toucan. The two projects operate independently, but have a ''friendly and symbiotic relationship,'' Toucan's website says.
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Klima is operated by KlimaDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization, which is a group that organizes crypto projects collectively.
KlimaDAO lets people use BCT tokens to buy Klima tokens. The BCT tokens are kept in what KlimaDAO calls its treasury, effectively removing them from circulation so they can't be used to offset carbon emissions. Meanwhile, the Klima tokens are traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, allowing traders to speculate on a carbon-backed crypto asset.
Cryptocurrencies have a bad environmental reputation due to the energy consumption of bitcoin mining. The mostly anonymous developers of Klima, who chat on the Discord messaging app, say their tokens help the climate. By shrinking the available pool of carbon credits, they say, Klima should push up the price, making carbon-offsetting projects more profitable and encouraging more of them.
But Margaret Kim, chief executive of Gold Standard , one of the main carbon-credit registries, said Klima undermines efforts to make the market more transparent.
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''We support transparent and energy-efficient uses of blockchain technology in carbon markets, but caution strongly against those that are speculative in nature,'' she said. ''Regarding Klima, we are also concerned about the fact that the founders are anonymous, which runs contrary to the need for transparency in climate action generally and carbon markets more specifically.''
Credits in Klima's treasury might not always stay there. The KlimaDAO website describes the treasury as a ''black hole for carbon,'' but the protocol governing the project doesn't stop credits from being released if the price of Klima falls below that of BCT. So far, Klima has traded at a big premium to BCT.
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Mr. Farrell of Toucan said that while KlimaDAO's creators are anonymous, ''their actions are fully transparent,'' and said Klima has directed millions of dollars to climate-benefiting projects.
More than 14 million BCT tokens have gone to backing Klima tokens, accounting for most of the more than 17 million BCT tokens in existence.
The crypto traders have been mostly buying one specific type of carbon credit: offsets that were generated by renewable-energy projects and certified by Verra, a registry operator like Gold Standard. Roughly 4% of Verra-certified credits have been tied to BCT, according to KlimaDAO.
''Organizations and individuals buying and selling these tokens do so at their own risk,'' said Robin Rix, Verra's chief policy and markets officer. Verra certifies that carbon-removal projects meet its standards and lists credits on a registry, but has no say over what happens to them after they are purchased.
Ingo Puhl, co-founder of carbon-offset provider South Pole, said Klima has already made an impact on the market. He said the price of the credits Klima has been absorbing has risen since Klima appeared.
''[Klima] is raising the price expectations of sellers and providing additional incentives to develop new carbon projects,'' he said.
KlimaDAO says nearly 62,000 cryptocurrency wallets held Klima tokens as of Sunday. The price of a token has fallen from more than $3,000 close to when Klima launched to around $155 recently, according to pricing website CoinGecko. The rising number of Klima in circulation has weighed on the price, market participants say, while bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have also fallen in recent weeks.
The novelty of Klima and the software protocol governing it make it harder to gauge the tokens' financial performance for early buyers. People using BCT to buy Klima get a discount to its price on cryptocurrency exchanges, where they could potentially sell for a profit. The Klima protocol also regularly distributes new tokens to people who hold on to their existing ones.
Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, says he owns Klima tokens, but declined to say how many or whether he has profited.
''While the anonymity wasn't optimal and it's a bit of a learning experience, if it works, the environmental impact could be consequential,'' Mr. Cuban said.
Write to Dieter Holger at dieter.holger@wsj.com
Russia issues threat to GPS satellites - GPS World : GPS World
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:08
The Kremlin warned it could blow up 32 GPS satellites with its new anti-satellite technology, ASAT, which it tested Nov. 15 on a retired Soviet Tselina-D satellite, according to numerous news reports.
Russia then claimed on state television that its new ASAT missiles could obliterate NATO satellites and ''blind all their missiles, planes and ships, not to mention the ground forces,'' said Russian Channel One TV host Dmitry Kiselyov, rendering the West's GPS-guided missiles useless. ''It means that if NATO crosses our red line, it risks losing all 32 of its GPS satellites at once.''
The International Space Station (ISS) Flight Control team was notified of indications of a satellite breakup, causing 1,500 pieces of debris to threaten the station. ''Due to the debris generated by the destructive Russian Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test, ISS astronauts and cosmonauts undertook emergency procedures for safety,'' said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
''With its long and storied history in human spaceflight, it is unthinkable that Russia would endanger not only the American and international partner astronauts on the ISS, but also their own cosmonauts,'' Nelson said. ''Their actions are reckless and dangerous, threatening as well the Chinese space station and the taikonauts on board. All nations have a responsibility to prevent the purposeful creation of space debris from ASATs and to foster a safe, sustainable space environment.
''Russia has demonstrated a deliberate disregard for the security, safety, stability and long-term sustainability of the space domain for all nations,'' Gen. James Dickinson, commander of U.S. Space Command, said. ''Russia's tests of direct-ascent anti-satellite weapons clearly demonstrate that Russia continues to pursue counterspace weapon systems that undermine strategic stability and pose a threat to all nations.''
Photo: Stanislav Ostranitsa/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Why omicron is changing how media outlets report on COVID data | AP News
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:39
NEW YORK (AP) '-- For two years, coronavirus case counts and hospitalizations have been widely used barometers of the pandemic's march across the world.
But the omicron wave is making a mess of the usual statistics, forcing news organizations to rethink the way they report such figures.
''It's just a data disaster,'' said Katherine Wu, staff writer who covers COVID-19 for The Atlantic magazine.
The number of case counts soared over the holidays, an expected development given the emergence of a variant more transmissible than its predecessors.
Yet these counts only reflect what is reported by health authorities. They do not include most people who test themselves at home, or are infected without even knowing about it. Holidays and weekends also lead to lags in reported cases.
If you could add all those numbers up '-- and you can't '-- case counts would likely be substantially higher.
For that reason, The Associated Press has recently told its editors and reporters to avoid emphasizing case counts in stories about the disease. That means, for example, no more stories focused solely on a particular country or state setting a one-day record for number of cases, because that claim has become unreliable.
Throughout the media, there has been more caution in use of official case counts.
An NBC News story on Monday about the skyrocketing number of COVID cases relied on a one-week average of case counts. A Tuesday story simply referred to a ''tidal wave'' of cases.
During its coverage of a Senate hearing with health experts on Tuesday, the case counts CNN flashed onscreen were two-week averages. MSNBC used a variety of measurements, including a listing of the five states with highest reported numbers over the past three days.
On its website's ''Guide to the Pandemic,'' The Washington Post used a seven-day average of cases and compared that number to last Tuesday's, showing a 56% increase. The New York Times used a daily count in an online chart, yet also included a two-week trend in both cases and deaths.
An AP story Saturday by Jennifer Sinco Kelleher and Terry Tang headlined, ''Omicron explosion spurs nationwide breakdown of services'' was full of statistics from across the United States on hospitalization rates or employees calling out sick from work. The case count metric was not used.
''We definitely wanted people to go a little deeper and be more specific in reporting,'' said Josh Hoffner, the news editor who helps oversee AP's virus coverage.
Many news organizations are debating how best to use statistics now during the omicron surge, Wu said. But there are no easy answers.
''It's how journalism works,'' Wu said. ''We need the data. We need to show receipts to readers. But I try to do it carefully.''
Hospitalization and death rates are considered by some to be a more reliable picture of COVID-19'²s current impact on society. Yet even the usefulness of those numbers has been called into question in recent days. In many cases, hospitalizations are incidental: there are people being admitted for other reasons and are surprised to find they test positive for COVID, said Tanya Lewis, senior editor for health and medicine at Scientific American.
Despite the imperfections, case counts should not be ignored, said Gary Schwitzer, a University of Minnesota School of Public Health instructor and publisher of HealthNewsReview.org, which monitors health coverage in the media.
The numbers illustrate trends, giving a picture of which areas of the country are being hit particularly hard or where the surge may have peaked, he said. They can predict broader societal impacts, like where hospitals are about to be slammed or where there will be worker shortages.
''These are stories that may not be told adequately if only hospitalizations and deaths are emphasized,'' Schwitzer said.
That's a point emphasized in AP's internal guidance, as well.
''They do have value,'' Hoffner said. ''We don't want people to eliminate mention of case counts.''
There are some in public health and journalism who believe the current surge '-- painful as it is '-- may augur good news. It could be a sign that COVID-19 is headed toward becoming an endemic disease that people learn to live with, rather than being a disruptive pandemic, wrote David Leonhardt and Ashley Wu in The New York Times.
But if the past two years have taught anything, it's about the danger in predictions, Lewis said.
''We've been surprised time and again,'' she said. ''We don't know everything about the course of the pandemic. We still need to be humble and keep an open mind in terms of where things are going.''
Iran to Permit Use of Cryptocurrencies in International Settlements, Reports Reveal '' Bitcoin News
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:31
Authorities in Iran are preparing to allow the employment of cryptocurrencies for international settlements. According to local media, central bank and government officials have given the green light to adopt a mechanism using digital coins in the field of foreign trade.
Businesses in Iran to Be Able to Pay Foreign Partners With CryptoIranian companies will be allowed to use cryptocurrencies in settlements with partners in other countries, local media reported. An agreement to that end has been reached by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade. Quoted by the Financial Tribune, the head of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Alireza Peyman Pak, announced:
We are finalizing a mechanism for operations of the system. This should provide new opportunities for importers and exporters to use cryptos in their international deals.
According to the Iranian news agency IBENA, Pak, who is also deputy minister of trade, took to social media to provide details about the first meeting of a joint foreign exchange working group between his department and the CBI. The participants approved a number of measures to facilitate Iran's foreign trade, including the adoption of the crypto mechanism.
A follow-up report quotes the same official as saying that the Trade Ministry will produce a plan within two weeks for the use of locally mined cryptocurrencies and coins acquired by private companies to pay for the import of goods. The initial proposal comes from the Central Bank of Iran.
Pak emphasized that cryptocurrencies and blockchain systems have many practical applications and if Iran ignores them, it will lose business opportunities. ''In some of our target markets, especially in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, there may be restrictions on using cryptocurrencies, but in our major markets such as Russia, China, India and Southeast Asia, using cryptocurrencies is common,'' he elaborated.
Besides mining, which was legalized in 2019, Iran's crypto space remains largely unregulated. In April, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) authorized domestic banks and money exchangers to use locally minted digital coins to pay for imports to the sanctioned nation. However, Tehran authorities have been going after crypto trading and payments in the country.
Cryptocurrencies have enjoyed a growing popularity in the Islamic Republic, with up to 12 million Iranians holding one coin or another, according to a recent estimate. Some officials have opposed restrictive policies, insisting these could push innovations underground. Limitations will deprive the nation of opportunities, Iranian fintechs warned in May, pointing out that local companies have managed to bypass the economic blockade with crypto transactions.
Tags in this storyBlockchain,
Businesses,
cbi,
central bank of iran,
companies,
Crypto,
crypto payments,
Cryptocurrencies,
Cryptocurrency,
foreign trade,
international settlements,
Iran,
Iranian,
Iranians,
mechanism,
Payments,
Settlements,
trade,
Trade MinistryDo you expect Iranian businesses to expand the use of cryptocurrencies in foreign trade? Tell us in the comments section below.
Lubomir TassevLubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens's quote: ''Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.'' Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
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Bill Gates: Once omicron passes, Covid will be more like seasonal flu
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:26
Covid's omicron variant is currently tearing through the U.S. and the rest of the world at a record-breaking pace '-- but Bill Gates sees hope on the horizon.
Once the current surge abates, countries can expect to see "far fewer cases" through the rest of 2022, Gates wrote on Tuesday during a Twitter Q&A with Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh. Once that happens, Gates continued, Covid can most likely "be treated more like seasonal flu."
The Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist '-- an outspoken public health advocate who regularly weighs in on the Covid pandemic response '-- isn't the first to make similar predictions. Some experts say omicron's rapid spread, while certainly dangerous, could imbue enough people with so-called "natural immunity" to help steer the Covid pandemic into a much less severe "endemic" phase.
Gates touched on that scenario in his Twitter Q&A, predicting that "omicron will create a lot of immunity, at least for the next year." The timing matters: If enough of the country can maintain some level of simultaneous immunity against Covid, whether vaccine-induced or otherwise, the virus' circulation could slow down long enough to transition the pandemic into that endemic phase.
Once Covid eventually becomes endemic, Gates added, "we may have to take yearly shots for Covid for some time" '-- much like annual flu shots.
The U.S. reported a record 1.5 million new Covid cases on Monday, while also posting a new record for hospitalizations. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's top medical advisor, has projected that the current wave of omicron cases will peak in the U.S. by the end of January. And last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it expects a "precipitous decline" in cases once omicron passes.
US-Russia Talk About Where Not To Place Missiles - Antiwar.com Original
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 13:44
"Impasse, Deadlock" says The Washington Post describing the outcome of the high-level U.S.-Russia talks Monday, with a tone of self-congratulation (we told you so), tinged with wishful thinking.
Yes, wishful thinking. Given the very high stakes, the media is a huge part of the problem, since they keep millions in the dark about the real world and hinder progress toward reducing U.S.-Russian tensions. This should come as no surprise, since the corporate media are part '' indeed the linchpin of '' the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex that profiteers on war. The Post and other Establishment media are doing their level best '' against growing odds '' to be consistent.
Consistent: A more 'charitable' explanation for media misfeasance can be seen in Ralph Waldo Emerson's dictum: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." Emerson was writing about people who allow their ideas and opinions to be dictated by what they used to think. He noted that little minds are too afraid of change '' even when contradictory data suggests a better, more accurate idea.
So, after Monday's talks in Geneva, little minds at The Washington Post, for example, were happy to run this headline: Russia-U.S. talks hit impasse over NATO expansion, but Moscow says the situation is not 'hopeless'. In my view, those little (and/or warmongering) minds miss the the significance of what just happened in Geneva. Here's how the headline should have read: Geneva: Agreement to Discuss Where Missiles Can Be Emplaced.
As Emerson reminded us, hobgoblins don't find it necessary to keep up on significant events. This is made still easier for U.S. media stenographers who, in normal circumstances, can rely on "The Memo" from Washington with the needed guidance. What has been abundantly clear since Dec. 25, 2021 is that "mainstream" corporate media have not been fed the guidance without which they simply do not know how to spin major stories.
They were at a loss, for example, to explain Moscow's announcement on Dec. 25, that 10,000 Russian troops had been pulled back from areas near Ukraine. And editors who depend on credulousness among their readers/watchers apparently considered it too much of a stretch to take this one off the shelf: "There is always someone who doesn't get the word" '' this time 10,000 troops ended up going the wrong way for the 'planned invasion' of Ukraine.
The Dec. 30 Telephone Call
Then out of the blue came President Vladimir Putin's urgent request for a telephone conversation with President Joe Biden. That took place on Dec. 30 and set the dates and '' now we know '' at least one highly important term of reference for the bilaterals yesterday in Geneva. On Dec. 30, one could only guess at the reasons behind Putin's abrupt request, but those who took the trouble to look at the Kremlin's immediate readout could figure it out without super-analytical skills:
[Excerpt]
On December 30, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States of America Joseph Biden. The conversation focused on the implementation of the agreement to launch negotiations on providing Russia with legally binding security guarantees, reached during their December 7 videoconference. '... [at this point come a few standard, boilerplate sentences] '... The presidents agreed to personally supervise these negotiating tracks, especially bilateral, with a focus on reaching results quickly. In this context, Joseph Biden emphasised that Russia and the US shared a special responsibility for ensuring stability in Europe and the whole world and that Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike weapons in Ukraine. [Emphasis added.]
The media apparently did not get the customary guidance Memo on this, and so they ignored it. So did the pundits who feed only on mainstream media, even though Putin's top adviser on these matters, Yuri Ushakov, immediately told the Russian media: "Biden made it clear that the US does not intend to deploy offensive strike weapons in Ukraine."
Let It Be the US's Idea: No Problem
According to The NY Times Monday afternoon, "The American side raised ideas about where US and Russian intermediate-range missiles are located, Ms. Sherman said, and the United States made clear that it is open to discussing "ways we can set reciprocal limits on the size and scope of military exercises and to improve transparency about those exercises."
Earlier, we had suggested that the Biden promise to talk about locations for offensive missile emplacement was an opening "Quid" for the talks. It seems now that this turned out to be the case. In due course, one can expect a sizable Russian troop withdrawal from areas near Ukraine. (And, in all likelihood, this time corporate media will receive guidance as to how to play it.)
Wendy Sherman on the Outlook
US chief negotiator, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman gave remarks to reporters after the Monday talks: ''If Russia stays at the table and takes concrete steps to de-escalate tensions, we believe we can achieve progress,'' Sherman said. '...Sherman also said the US told Russia that it is open to discussing the future of certain missile systems in Europe related to the former Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF).
Sherman added the US is ready to continue discussions on bilateral issues and said her Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, agreed that ''negotiations on complex topics like arms control cannot be completed in a matter of days or even weeks '..."
Impasse, Deadlock? I don't think so.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President's Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
Author: Ray McGovernRay McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. In the Sixties he served as an infantry/intelligence officer and then became a CIA analyst for the next 27 years. He is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).View all posts by Ray McGovern
Project Veritas: Former DARPA Fellow Pens Letter Exposing Gov't Secrets - UncoverDC
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 13:38
U.S. Marine Corps Major Joseph Murphy wrote a letter in August of 2021 with important evidentiary attachments that have now been obtained by Project Veritas. The documents further verify previously released information, according to Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe.
Murphy, formerly a fellow with DARPA, has exposed additional ''incriminating documents'...hidden in a top-secret shared drive'' concerning the gain-of-function research on bat-borne coronaviruses and the link between NIH and EcoHealth Alliance to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. According to Murphy, the documents were placed in the folder in July 2021. To this day, Fauci denies involvement in gain-of-function research and/or contracts.
Major Joseph Murphy claims that in March of 2018, the EcoHealth Alliance approached DARPA for funding for gain-of-function research on bat-borne coronaviruses.
DARPA rejected their request, calling it too dangerous. However, Dr. Fauci and the NIAID did not reject their proposal. pic.twitter.com/W0sM8Hgfbc
'-- The Vigilant Fox (@VigilantFox) January 11, 2022
In the August 13, 2021 letter with attachments obtained by Project Veritas, Murphy discusses information and documents to which he was privy during his time as a fellow for DARPA. Project Veritas emphasizes in its video that Maj. Murphy is ''not the source of its reporting'' and has done ''nothing wrong.''
Murphy explains that the EcoHealth alliance submitted a proposal for a two-phase, $14,209,245 project named DEFUSE'--Defusing the Threat of Bat-borne Coronaviruses (2018) to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to conduct gain-of-function research of bat-borne coronaviruses. The purpose of the research was allegedly designed to ''innoculate bats in Yunnan, China caves where confirmed SARS-CoVs were found. Ostensibly doing this would prevent another SARS CoV pandemic; the bats' immune systems would be reinforced to prevent a deadly SARS-CoV from emerging.'' Ultimately, the proposal was rejected because the risks were not well-considered at the time.
DARPA says no to DEFUSEMurphy states that SARS-CoV-2 or, in his words, ''SARS-CoV-WIV'' (Wuhan Institute of Virology) is:
''less a virus than it is engineered spike proteins hitchhiking a ride on SARSr-CoV quasispecies swarm'...it is a synthetic spike protein chimera engineered to attach to human ACE2 receptors and inserted into a recombinant bat SARSr-CoV backbone.''
Murphy also explains that EcoHealth and the ''NIAID under the direction of Dr. Fauci, went ahead with the research in Wuhan, China and at several sites across the U.S.'' Incidentally, the Obama administration and the NIH announced a moratorium on funding for gain-of-function research on October 17, 2014. The moratorium was lifted in 2017.
As previously mentioned above, the virus was accidentally released before it was ''fully attenuated.'' That means it was released before it mutated sufficiently ''to be non-pathogenic'...presumably to bats and humans,'' as explained by mRNA developer Dr. Robert Malone.
Significantly, in the same article, Dr. Malone questions the logic of a construct where researchers would ''choose a chimera that attaches to the human ACE2 receptors as the target?'' Malone explains:
''Warning- tortuous logic curves ahead'...''
''Once again seeking to provide the benefit of the doubt, I suspect that the logic must have been that by vaccinating the bats with such a construct, this would reduce the risk of developing a human-adapted, ACE2-binding SARS-related virus in same bats. But if this is the case, then the logic is really convoluted. One would first develop a human-adapted SARS-like virus which binds human ACE2, then attenuate this virus, then find a way to aerosolize it, then infect the bats. And apparently, somehow, before the attenuation step to adapt the human-adapted virus to infect the bats, there was a lab leak.''
One of the more remarkable disclosures was Murphy's reflection pertaining to whether government officials who received the report adequately understood ''the significance of what [he] communicated'' and that important ''decisions with regards to the vaccines do not appear to be informed by analysis of the documents.'' He goes on to say that SARS-CoV-2:
''matches the SARS vaccine variants the NIH-EcoHealth program was making in Wuhan; that the DOD rejected the program proposal because vaccines would be ineffective and because the spike proteins being inserted into the variants were deemed too dangerous (gain-of-function); and that the DOD now mandates vaccines that copy the spike protein previously deemed too dangerous. To me, and to those who were informed by analysis, this situation meets no-go or abort criteria with regards to the vaccines until the toxicity of the spike protein can be investigated. There's also information within the documents about which drugs effectively treat the program's SARS-CoVs.'' (bold lettering added)
Murphy also emphasizes the vaccine's poor efficacy in protecting against coronavirus, explaining that the ''vaccine approach lacks sufficient epitope coverage to protect against quasispecies of coronavirus.'' This is a critical point because it bolsters the argument that natural immunity, from exposure to the full virus, almost certainly provides sturdier, long-lasting immunity to the virus than does a vaccine that only amplifies the spike protein. Moreover, evidence suggests that spike proteins from the vaccine can circulate in the blood, causing inflammation and micro clotting. And, there is growing evidence that the spike proteins in the vaccine are themselves causing harm and/or death.
Single Epitope/Murphy/Darpa '' Screenshot Project VeritasStunningly, Murphy also seems to confirm that the ''mass vaccination campaign'' will make matters worse, simulating its own ''accelerated gain-of-function,'' making the virus deattenuated'--or stronger. He states that the vaccination ''campaign'' was ''done with the world's population'' as a result of the virus' escape from the lab in Wuhan.
Murphy Letter/Mass Vaccination Campaign '' Screenshot Project VeritasOne of the more disturbing confirmations in Murphy's letter'--obtained by Project Veritas'--centers on his discussion of the known therapeutics like Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to inhibit viral replication and modulate the immune response. He appears to confirm that effective therapeutics were known and suppressed for reasons that are yet unclear. There is certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that therapeutics were purposely withheld at great cost to hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Early Treatment/Therapeutics/Murphy Letter '' Screenshot Project VeritasMurphy explains that the push to limit disease transmission should be dropped ''as a strategy'' and is not even ''feasible.'' He also says that early treatment and prophylaxis are preferred interventions over the use of vaccines.
Strategies for the Pandemic/Early Treatment '' Screenshot Project VeritasThe Project Veritas video shows a letter from Murphy asking Americans to take heart'--stating that there are ''good people striving for truth, working together in and out of government'' to provide answers.
Transparency Remains Great/Only Disinfectant (#Fauci)
Take heart friends, fellow patriots. PLEASE READ/SHARE this message from Major Joseph Murphy/USMC that is highlighted w/in Project Veritas story released last night re funding/development Covid-19.
Semper Fi 🇺🇸'¸ðŸ¥ pic.twitter.com/1Ioki7bst4
'-- Financial Bounty Hunters USA (@LWDoyleUSA) January 11, 2022
Murphy Is Not Alone: There Are Other Smoking GunsMurphy's interpretation of the information confirms other documents that UncoverDC reported with its September story on documents released by The Intercept. Murphy's account is also further bolstered by a remarkably clear point-by-point discussion of the events of the pandemic by a religious leader in Trinidad, Dr. Michael McDowell.
In the video below, McDowell logically lays out the evidence of the ''covert bioweapons industry'' that led to the current pandemic and resulting vaccines. Coincidentally, he is seen in the video on August 14, which is one day after the date on Murphy's letter.
He calls the pandemic a ''new kind of arms race'' and discusses the Biosafety Level 4 Labs (BSL4), like the ones at Fort Detrick and in Wuhan, China, that develop the kinds of deadly pathogens like SARS-CoV-2. Scientists from those labs participate in the gain-of-function experiments associated with SARS CoV-2. There are 59 maximum containment labs worldwide. The Wuhan lab is the largest. Reporting by two writers from the King's College in London states that:
''spread over 23 countries, the largest concentration of BSL4 labs is in Europe, with 25 labs. North America and Asia have roughly equal numbers, with 14 and 13 respectively. Australia has four and Africa three. Like the Wuhan Institute of Virology, three-quarters of the world's BSL4 labs are in urban centres.''
McDowell quotes Dr. Francis Boyle, a human rights lawyer in Chicago who worked with Congress on the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989. Boyle cites a February 2020 study that looks at a ''furin-like cleavage site'' on the COVID-19 virus. He says the smoking gun in the study states that this ''furin-like cleavage site'...may provide a gain-of-function to coronavirus for efficient spreading in the human population.'' He stated at the time, COVID-19 was ''a weaponized biological warfare agent, and there is no legitimate scientific or medicaluse for gain-of-function technology.''
McDowell lays out the numerous ''smoking guns,'' including Daszak's research, funding by China of labs in Australia, alleged evidence of ''elements of HIV'' present in the virus, the continuation of GOF research, in the face of a moratorium on it. He even mentions the arrest of Harvard Professor Charles Lieber and the arrest of two Chinese students at an International airport as they attempted to smuggle in 21 vials of sensitive biological material in January of 2020. Lieber was allegedly paid around $50,000 a month, beginning in 2011, to become a ''Strategic Scientist'' at Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China. According to the DOJ press release, he was also ''a contractual participant in China's Thousand Talents Plan from in or about 2012 to 2017''.
Everything McDowell says confirms Murphy's observations. His discussion also confirms information released in Fauci's and Daszak's emails, EcoHealth communications, and all of the information found in the Intercept documents. Many of the documents and communications McDowell discusses pointedly aimed to hide important life-saving information from the American public.
Additionally, McDowell discusses the work of several scientists, including Dr. Len Horowitz, author of ''Emerging Viruses: AIDS And Ebola: Nature, Accident or Intentional?'' whose 2001 interview reveals a history of behavior by scientists and bureaucrats in the U.S. government who participated in the development of AIDS vaccines'--a pattern of behavior that is eerily similar to that which has unfolded in the past two years.
Murphy's explanations are further substantiated by information from DRASTIC Research discussed by Rep. Mike Gallagher in his September 23 presentation on the furin cleavage sites that allegedly prove the COVID-19 virus could not have been a naturally occurring event. Gallagher explains:
''Now, we already know that Daszak's EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology were modifying coronaviruses and their spike proteins to infect human cells under an earlier grant from Dr. Anthony Fauci's Institute at the NIH. But what we learned from this DARPA proposal is that Daszak wanted to go even further, he wanted to further modify the coronavirus spike protein to find potential, what's called furin cleavage sites, and even introduce human-specific cleavage sites.''
''Okay, so what exactly then is a furin cleavage site? Well, by now, everyone is familiar with this distinctive image of the coronavirus with spike proteins poking out. And remember, it's the spike protein that is key to the coronavirus entering human cells. Now, if we zoom in on the spike protein itself, what we see is the furin cleavage site right in the middle of the spike protein. That's this little thing right here. But this feature is basically perfectly placed to allow the coronavirus to cleave the human cell membrane and infect the cell. It's critical to it being infectious.''
New documents released by Drastic Research show Peter Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance had applied for funds that would allow them to further modify coronavirus spike proteins and find potential furin cleavage sites.
Rep. Gallagher explains why that's so important. pic.twitter.com/6aEPyuW7Go
'-- Rep. Gallagher Press Office (@RepGallagher) September 23, 2021
Committees Send January 11 Letter to BecerraOn Tuesday, James Comer from the Committee on Oversight and Reform and Rep. Jim Jordan of the Committee on the Judiciary sent a letter with attachments to Secretary Becerra, Director of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, making public emails sent by Dr. Anthony Fauci and demanding a transcribed interview of Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The letter allegedly reveals that Fauci warned of two things:
''(1) the potential that COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute Virology (WIV) and (2) the possibility that the virus was intentionally genetically manipulated.''
The letter also states that Fauci sidestepped the moratorium on the gain-of-function research by working with EcoHealth ''allow[ing] EcoHealth to complete dangerous experiments on novel bat coronaviruses'--with very little oversight'--that would have otherwise been blocked by the moratorium.'' Members of the Committees also suggest that Fauci was aware that EcoHealth was not in compliance with the terms of its grant and failed to ''submit an annual progress report to NIAID by September 30, 2019.''
Sickening details emerge in the letter, describing numerous meetings and communications that allegedly sought to control public-facing messaging and intimate possible attempts by government officials, including Fauci, to alter language in the scientific journal Nature Medicine regarding the origins of the virus.
Evidence suggests that government officials suppressed information that indicated the origins of the virus were not natural but manufactured in the lab in Wuhan, China. The attached emails also seem to confirm the furin cleavage site as an indication that it is ''highly unlikely'' the virus occurred naturally.
Fauci Emails/Jan. 11 Letter to BecerraIncidentally, a Bayesian analysis published on January 29, 2021, by Dr. Steven Carl Quay contends, ''beyond a reasonable doubt that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is not a natural zoonosis but instead is laboratory-derived.''
There are also emails from former Director of the NIH, Francis Collins, who retired in December, that speak about hiding information from public view because ''voices of conspiracy will quickly dominate, doing great potential harm to science and international harmony'...''
Sadly, much of the dialogue in the emails seemed to focus more intently on ''doing harm to science'' than doing harm to the American citizen.
Emails/Jan. 11 Letter to Becerra
Students Are Doing What Adults Won't in the Fight Against Omicron
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 13:00
As the Omicron variant rages across the U.S., some students are expressing frustration and worry over being forced back into classrooms with minimal protections. But rather than wait around for fumbling adults, youth across the country are taking matters into their own hands: organizing strikes, participating in citywide walkouts, and laying out detailed proposals for how their wellbeing could be prioritized during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, thousands of students in New York City walked out of class to protest conditions and demand temporarily shutting down schools. Students are also planning a walkout this Friday in Boston, where 4,500 people have already signed a petition calling for a remote learning option. In Oakland, California, over 1,000 students signed a districtwide petition threatening to boycott classes entirely until the school district meets its demands'--which include KN95 masks, increased testing, and more outdoor space for students to safely eat lunch.
And in Chicago, where in-person classes have resumed after negotiation with the local teachers union, students announced a citywide walkout for this Friday at 12:30 p.m. to bring increased attention to their demands for ''physical, mental, spiritual, and structural safety.''
''We are tired of adult leadership not being able to represent the voice of the people that are affected by the shit that they're putting into place,'' Santiago De La Garza, a 16-year-old junior at Solorio Academy in Chicago who plans to participate in the walkout, told Motherboard. Garza and several organizer-friends watched Omicron cases rise and, after having flashbacks to the nightmare that was last January, formed Chi-RADS, a radical youth alliance of largely queer Black and brown youth from a multitude of high schools and neighborhoods.
''We came together on the basis of 'we need to support ourselves and our peers because no one else is doing that,''' said Catlyn Savado, a 14-year-old freshman at a public school in Chicago's South Side. ''Every single thing that young people, specifically young Black and brown people, do is speculated, it is looked upon, it is policed'... Only Chicago's youth is supporting Chicago's youth right now. While all of the adults are hollering and screaming at each other, we've been abandoned and stranded.''
Chi-RADS operates according to non-hierarchical principles, spans across the city, and, perhaps most importantly, its members have fun together. ''We laugh. We take brain breaks, we play Among Us,'' said Garza.
But the group is also serious about challenging existing power structures that, they told Motherboard, are prioritizing money over people's lives.
Garza pointed out that students and their families received increased financial support from Chicago Public Schools, including EBT cards for groceries, while they were remote learning. ''If we go back into remote learning that means refilling EBT cards, and that means offering supports that were there once when we were remote,'' Garza said. ''It all ties back to money. They do not care about what we want, they do not care about what's most beneficial. They do not care whose lives they're risking.''
In a letter of declaration addressed to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady and Chicago Public School Executive Pedro Martinez, Chi-RADS wrote that they ''believe in the reimagination of our education'' and want to ensure that ''it is not just the condition of what learning should look like in the eyes of American capitalists.'' They demanded the centering of marginalized student voices in all discussions related to COVID-19 safety plans and for officials to publicly apologize for negative statements it made about members of the Chicago Teachers Union. ''In order to genuinely take into account the best interest of students, ask us directly or include us in the conversations,'' they wrote. The letter also criticized adult leadership for being ''incompetent'' and manipulating COVID-19 data to fit their political agendas.
On Jan. 10, Chi-RADS released a detailed proposal that includes COVID-19 relief stipends, the funding of mutual aid projects, providing every student with a personal laptop, and ensuring one full-time therapist for every 30 students, alongside implementing basic safety measures, such as N95 masks, rapid antigen tests, and an efficient contact tracing system.
''There is no blanket plan that will work for every school and every student. To try to make one would deny some group, it's inevitable,'' Chi-RADS wrote. ''The schools should have their own ability to create plans that work best for their environment and their students. Every school should have a peer pod task force that makes up members of the school body, including teachers, staff, students, parents, and administration to create the school's specific Covid Response Plan.''
''We've had DMs [direct messages] from people from Seattle, New York, different parts of California, from everywhere,'' said Garza. ''People are saying that they're reading our letter in their classrooms, and they're breaking it down. That is so empowering and so liberating to know that we haven't even been formed for that long, and we're really already making what feels like history right now.''
Dora Chan, a 17-year-old student at Brooklyn Tech, was one of the students who helped organize the walkout on Tuesday. Chan told Motherboard she estimates around 400 students participated in total at her school, and said students from at least 28 other schools participated.
''The walk-out was successful beyond comprehension,'' she wrote in an email. ''We've garnered attention and support from every corner of the city, with hundreds of students walking out in a growing demand for schools to temporarily close, in light of the surge of COVID-19 cases.''
While their ultimate demand is for the city to temporarily close schools, Chan said the districts could compromise by offering remote options.
''Every day, students are forced to make a decision: Safety or education,'' she wrote. ''With no alternative schooling in place, students are forced to come into school, or they risk failing their classes. Though remote learning last year was a nightmare, the current situation warrants a temporary return to remote learning, but the school district and the city fail to understand this. The reality of being a student in NYC right now is incredibly bleak and dark.''
School administrators in Oakland and New York City were forced to respond quickly.
OUSD communications director John Sasaki told local news outlet KRON that the district ordered enough KN95 masks for all students and would distribute them once they are delivered. Sasaki claimed supply-chain issues disallowed schools from constructing shaded structures for outdoor seating.
In New York City, David Banks, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, tweeted that he would invite student leaders to meet with him so they can ''work together for safe and open schools.'' Chan said Banks has not yet responded to student organizers who have tweeted at him, and is skeptical about his tweet but is ''looking forward to a response.''
Chi-RADS organizers echoed a similar skepticism toward adult engagement. ''There's always power dynamics, there's always taking advantage, there's always tokenization,'' said Savado.
''I've been in conversations with adults, or with people in power and there's a lot of adultism, and ageism. They'll ask you for your opinion, but they don't really believe anything you're saying,'' said Andrea Cespedes, a junior at Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Chicago.
''And it's kind of like, dude, this is the community that I am a part of every single day. I know how it works. I know how these systems operate, and how they never favor young people. The system has been going on for hundreds of years, and nothing is getting better. We're still stuck in the same exact place. So obviously, something that they're doing is wrong. And they always fail to ask young people how we feel about it.''
While many students are demanding better COVID protections, some are using the opportunity to radically reimagine the education system'--and demand learning that prioritizes student safety over profits and productivity.
''Why don't we radically reimagine school? When they say we are 'behind,' we are 'behind' what? All of this stuff is made up,'' said Judai Smith, a senior at Kenwood Academy in Chicago. ''We could literally change education. What is the stuff that we really need? What is the stuff that is actually going to help us grow?''
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Professor Ehud Qimron: ''Ministry of Health, it's time to admit failure'' '' Swiss Policy Research
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:44
Professor Ehud Qimron (center) at Tel Aviv University (Haaretz)Published: January 10, 2022Share on: TW / FB / TG
Professor Ehud Qimron, head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Tel Aviv University and one of the leading Israeli immunologists, has written an open letter sharply criticizing the Israeli '' and indeed global '' management of the coronavirus pandemic.
Original letter in Hebrew: N12 News (January 6, 2022); translated by Google/SPR. See also: Professor Qimron's prediction from August 2020: ''History will judge the hysteria'' (INN).
'—'—'—
Ministry of Health, it's time to admit failureIn the end, the truth will always be revealed, and the truth about the coronavirus policy is beginning to be revealed. When the destructive concepts collapse one by one, there is nothing left but to tell the experts who led the management of the pandemic '' we told you so.
Two years late, you finally realize that a respiratory virus cannot be defeated and that any such attempt is doomed to fail. You do not admit it, because you have admitted almost no mistake in the last two years, but in retrospect it is clear that you have failed miserably in almost all of your actions, and even the media is already having a hard time covering your shame.
You refused to admit that the infection comes in waves that fade by themselves, despite years of observations and scientific knowledge. You insisted on attributing every decline of a wave solely to your actions, and so through false propaganda ''you overcame the plague.'' And again you defeated it, and again and again and again.
You refused to admit that mass testing is ineffective, despite your own contingency plans explicitly stating so (''Pandemic Influenza Health System Preparedness Plan, 2007'', p. 26).
You refused to admit that recovery is more protective than a vaccine, despite previous knowledge and observations showing that non-recovered vaccinated people are more likely to be infected than recovered people. You refused to admit that the vaccinated are contagious despite the observations. Based on this, you hoped to achieve herd immunity by vaccination '-- and you failed in that as well.
You insisted on ignoring the fact that the disease is dozens of times more dangerous for risk groups and older adults, than for young people who are not in risk groups, despite the knowledge that came from China as early as 2020.
You refused to adopt the ''Barrington Declaration'', signed by more than 60,000 scientists and medical professionals, or other common sense programs. You chose to ridicule, slander, distort and discredit them. Instead of the right programs and people, you have chosen professionals who lack relevant training for pandemic management (physicists as chief government advisers, veterinarians, security officers, media personnel, and so on).
You have not set up an effective system for reporting side effects from the vaccines, and reports on side effects have even been deleted from your Facebook page. Doctors avoid linking side effects to the vaccine, lest you persecute them as you did with some of their colleagues. You have ignored many reports of changes in menstrual intensity and menstrual cycle times. You hid data that allows for objective and proper research (for example, you removed the data on passengers at Ben Gurion Airport). Instead, you chose to publish non-objective articles together with senior Pfizer executives on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines.
Irreversible damage to trust
However, from the heights of your hubris, you have also ignored the fact that in the end the truth will be revealed. And it begins to be revealed. The truth is that you have brought the public's trust in you to an unprecedented low, and you have eroded your status as a source of authority. The truth is that you have burned hundreds of billions of shekels to no avail '' for publishing intimidation, for ineffective tests, for destructive lockdowns and for disrupting the routine of life in the last two years.
You have destroyed the education of our children and their future. You made children feel guilty, scared, smoke, drink, get addicted, drop out, and quarrel, as school principals around the country attest. You have harmed livelihoods, the economy, human rights, mental health and physical health.
You slandered colleagues who did not surrender to you, you turned the people against each other, divided society and polarized the discourse. You branded, without any scientific basis, people who chose not to get vaccinated as enemies of the public and as spreaders of disease. You promote, in an unprecedented way, a draconian policy of discrimination, denial of rights and selection of people, including children, for their medical choice. A selection that lacks any epidemiological justification.
When you compare the destructive policies you are pursuing with the sane policies of some other countries '-- you can clearly see that the destruction you have caused has only added victims beyond the vulnerable to the virus. The economy you ruined, the unemployed you caused, and the children whose education you destroyed '-- they are the surplus victims as a result of your own actions only.
There is currently no medical emergency, but you have been cultivating such a condition for two years now because of lust for power, budgets and control. The only emergency now is that you still set policies and hold huge budgets for propaganda and psychological engineering instead of directing them to strengthen the health care system.
This emergency must stop!
Professor Udi Qimron, Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
'—'—'—
See alsoOpen Letter from Professor Bhakdi (March 2020)On Corona, the Media, and Propaganda (March 2020)Facts about Covid-19 (March 2020 to January 2022)Share on: Twitter / Facebook / TelegramTotal views: 2,711,749
'It's For Their Health': Ronald McDonald House Charity in Canada Set To Begin EVICTING Cancer-Stricken Children Over Their Vax Status
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:43
The Vancouver British Columbia Ronald McDonald House (RMH) has reportedly begun serving eviction notices to the families of children battling serious illness because they have not taken the COVID injection.
The well-known charity accommodates families with hospitalized children under 21 years of age, but Ronald McDonald Houses in British Columbia and Yukon, Canada plan to kick out child cancer patients and their parents if they don't get the COVID-19 shot by the end of January.
Austin Furgason, the father of a 4-year-old child with leukemia who has been housed with the charity since October while undergoing chemotherapy, posted a video to his Facebook showing the notice announcing the vaccine-related eviction his family received from Ronald McDonald House Charities British Columbia.
Furgason called the RMH decision ''wicked and vile:''
TRENDING: BOMBSHELL: Veritas Documents Reveal DC Bureaucrats Had Evidence Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine Were Effective in Treating COVID -- BUT HID THIS FROM PUBLIC
''All tenants, adults and children over the age of 5 who are not vaccinated are out by the end of January. How absolutely wicked and vile.''
They are evicting my son with leukemia and any other children or adults who are suffering with sick children into the snow.
The Covid cult is far more dangerous than Covid. If they will evict families with cancer, what won't they do.''
Furgason and his family are supposed to be staying with the facility for the next couple of months, and they are not scheduled to leave until later this year, but now their housing arrangement has been thrown into chaos thanks to the new authoritarian mandate.
In the video, Furgason confronts a manager in the Vancouver RMH, demanding answers on why the charity is requiring the experimental vaccine especially when the shot clearly doesn't stop the spread of COVID-19.
''What we're doing is protecting the safety of everybody in the house,'' the manager explained.
''No, you're not,'' Furgason replied. ''Because a vaccinated person could still get it and transmit it.''
''You're evicting kids with leukemia, kids who have strokes. Kids with Down syndrome. Do you understand how evil this is?''
''This is just so messed up.''
Watch:
The letter, written by RMH British Columbia & Yukon Senior Director of Family Services Leslie Louie, states that the new policy requires all children five or older and their family members to show proof of ''full vaccination'' '' specified as ''two doses'' '' in order to use the charity's services and benefit from the goodwill of others.
The notice was sent to all families on Monday and only gives them a few weeks with a Jan. 31 grace period deadline to submit their vaccine passports to the RMHBC administration.
The only way around the vaccine mandate is by obtaining an ''accommodation'' from RMH BC, which is unlikely to happen even though children and young people have an astounding 99.995% recovery rate from Covid-19.
Latest UK Study Reveals 99.995% of Children And Young People SURVIVE Covid-19; Only Two-in-A-Million Chance to Be Fatal
From the RMH Vancouver letter:
''Beginning January 17, 2022, everyone five years and older who are working, staying, or visiting our facilities (both the House at 4567 Heather St, Vancouver and at the Family Room in Surrey Memorial Hospital) must show proof of full vaccination (two doses), in addition to completing our existing screening, unless an Accommodation has been sought and has been explicitly approved and granted by RMH BC in writing.''
As for the families like the Furgason's, who are relying on the support of charities like this one to get through these terribly difficult '' and expensive '' treatments, the vaccine mandate is a devastating blow, especially since the children are already dealing with their own severe health complications that can easily be worsened by this experimental mRNA vaccine.
Despite the jarring eviction notice, Furgason told a Canadian news outlet that his son, Jack, is doing ''really good'' because ''God's been doing miracles'' for his son '' But Furgason also blasted RMHBC and the Canadian Government for ''dividing the people over such a unifying cause '' helping sick kids '' and legislating the ''segregation'' of people based on their vaccination status.
From his comments to True North News Canada:
''No matter what people's beliefs are, everyone donates to this place because everyone wants to save dying kids,'' he said. ''If there was anything left to unite our country, this would have been it. And still, they find a way to segregate us and divide us even more. '... I'm broken inside for our country just how fast this has accelerated.''
RMH Vancouver has not confirmed how many sick kids and their families would be displaced as a result of the policy, but the organization did claim that it would ''work to find alternate housing for families who refuse to get everyone over the age of five vaccinated by the Jan. 31 deadline.''
FRIGHTENING: WHO Joins EU and Changes Direction -- Suddenly Warns Against Taking Continued COVID Booster Shots
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:43
On Tuesday European regulators warned that the COVID booster shots could adversely affect the immune system.
This was a huge admission for European officials after pushing booster shots just weeks earlier. What happened?
Then later on Tuesday the World Health Organization joined the EU and also condemned the continued booster regimen.
That was quick.What happened?
What do they now see about the experimental mRNA vaccines that they did not see just a month ago?
TRENDING: BOMBSHELL: Veritas Documents Reveal DC Bureaucrats Had Evidence Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine Were Effective in Treating COVID -- BUT HID THIS FROM PUBLIC
In a statement released by WHO on Tuesday, it said, ''a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable.''
Via Alex Berenson on Substack.
Now the World Health Organization has waved the white flag on Covid vaccine boosters too.
WHO released a statement about Covid vaccines yesterday. It's filled with the usual public health jargon and ass-covering, but one line stands out:
a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable.
It's over, people.
Aside from a few unlucky Israelis, no one is going to receive a fourth dose of the original vaccine; everyone with eyes can see it doesn't work against Omicron. (And if you haven't gotten a third dose, at this point, why would you? You are getting at most weeks of marginally improved protection for potentially severe side effects.)
Instead the WHO is now promising/demanding vaccines based on whatever the dominant Sars-Cov-2 strain is at the moment.
That promise is as empty as all the others the health bureaucrats and vaccine companies have made.
At least five major variants (''variants of concern'') have developed in the last year, and two have become globally dominant. Even the mRNA vaccines cannot be cooked up and delivered fast enough to match whatever strain of virus becomes dominant. Covid is faster than the scientists.
Read the rest here.
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AI, Directed Energy - Inherently Synergistic
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:42
1/10/2022 ByJoe Shepherd
iStock illustration
As military technology becomes more advanced, the line between tactician and mathematician begins to blur. Coordination between global defense systems and troop movements '-- counterbalanced against adversarial efforts '-- can be broken down into mathematical formulas, equations and variables.
Until the 20th century, military organizations were constrained by the computational power of the human brain. The introduction of advanced intelligence systems has upended that calculus entirely.
While imperfect, computational assets expanded the way leading minds could gather, synthesize and act upon intelligence. This pattern laid the foundation for the modern military landscape and the proliferation of information warfare.
It is in this spirit, creating an ecosystem that consumes terabytes of data to give combatants any conceivable edge, that artificial intelligence is becoming an obvious necessity in military systems.
This is already taking place within the U.S. military. In fact, the Defense Department in June launched an AI accelerator initiative aimed at transitioning applications from the purely analytical to the tactical, improving the way warfighters approach decision-making in split-second scenarios.
This is a critical shift, as it expands AI's role away from pureplay analysis and toward operational scenarios that would otherwise overwhelm a warfighter.
As the Defense Department explores battlefield applications for artificial intelligence, opportunities to test its synergy with other cutting edge technologies are emerging.
One technology with enormous upside for this intersection is directed energy, which includes a range of capabilities like high-energy lasers and high-powered microwaves.
As a part of the nation's defense architecture, directed energy offers unique solutions to defeat complex threats, from hypersonic missiles to drone swarms. AI can be brought to bear as a partnering technology in a number of areas to augment a human operator's abilities in tasks such as target acquisition, collateral damage mitigation, predictive system maintenance and battle planning.
But what makes directed energy a natural companion for AI? It's a matter of complexity. Such weapon systems operate at the speed of light, with extremely complex variables affecting every engagement. Capitalizing on the highly precise nature of a high-energy lasers system, for example, requires factoring in variables such as moving target trajectories, environmental and atmospheric influences, and situational awareness of collateral damage to be avoided.
Only AI could achieve the level of calculation required under the time constraints of a live battlefield scenario and provide the resulting guidance to a human operator to make an informed decision, especially in a drone swarm attack scenario.
For example, consider a high-energy laser emplaced to defend a forward operating base. Its overall effectiveness to defeat a target is subject to the influence of atmospheric turbulence, aerosol content and wind speed, as any one of these can alter the efficacy of the laser beam delivered to the desired aimpoint.
In the hands of a lone operator, no amount of experience can accurately inform the exact adjustments needed to offset these variables.
However, AI integration coupled with a comprehensive weather database can provide an operator the meta-analysis needed to make task execution not only achievable, but consistent '-- enhancing the probability of destroying a target.
The threat of non-state actors as adversaries has greatly increased the risk of collateral damage and loss of life, calling for more precision strike capabilities but at an affordable price. These actors can easily comingle their assets and infrastructure among civilian populations, making larger-scale kinetic weaponry completely non-viable.
Another relevant scenario is the increasing threat from a drone swarm. Such an attack could easily overwhelm personnel responsible for a high-energy laser engagement of incoming platforms. With so many simultaneous targets in their field of regard, only a system augmented with AI stands a chance to accomplish its mission.
Laser systems enable highly precise and rapid engagements that can be ''dialed'' from non-lethal to lethal, greatly reducing the risk of collateral damage and providing a much more cost-effective weapon-target pairing. But the precision that makes directed energy so attractive for modern warfare cannot be fully achieved without the advanced computing that AI can provide.
Artificial intelligence and DE are both still relatively nascent technologies, and their full potential is still developing and maturing. In the case of AI, this is a function of its core design: for AI to be effective, it needs a massive, clean and current pool of data from which to learn and draw insights. The more the two technologies integrate, the more scenarios they can address and the more variables they can consider in the most complicated swarm or multi-target scenarios.
That's not to suggest that the partnership of these technologies cannot deliver real-world results today. Process automation is a prime example.
In directed energy systems, numerous processes must be executed to ensure proper lethality, which are currently left to be managed by human operators. AI's capacity for automation allows for delegation of those tasks to background processing, freeing up otherwise saturated operators to focus on human-centric engagement strategies.
By their own design, applications and strengths, AI and directed energy are destined to work in tandem. Combining the precision nature of DE weapons and the ability to leverage artificial intelligence to augment an otherwise overwhelmed operator is a perfect parallel for the reigning ethos of modern operational success. The Defense Department should prioritize the application of AI in directed energy systems experimentation and implementation to accelerate their operational relevance and adoption as a cost-effective complement to their existing arsenal of solutions against these evolving threats.Joe Shepherd is vice president of directed energy innovation at Booz Allen Hamilton.
Topics: Emerging Technologies
Athletes Who Had COVID Will Be Considered 'Fully Vaccinated,' NCAA Says in New Guidelines - Foundation for Economic Education
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:41
The NCAA on Thursday released its new COVID-19 guidance for winter sports, and the guidance contains some important news.
As ESPN reports, the NCAA's COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group updated its definition of "fully vaccinated" to account for various new vaccinations, boosters, and immunity factors.
''Fully vaccinated individuals now include those within two months of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, five months of receiving the Pfizer vaccine series or six months of receiving the Moderna vaccine series;'' reports ESPN staff writer Jeff Borzello, ''and individuals who are beyond the aforementioned timeline and have received the booster vaccine.''
But perhaps the biggest development came in the following line.
''Individuals within 90 days of a documented COVID-19 infection fall within the equivalent of 'fully vaccinated.'''
Natural Immunity Is Now Considered Fully Vaccinated by NCAAIn many parts of the world, including the United States, vaccine passports are required for travel.
Vaccine passports are morally dubious for several reasons, but they seem particularly unjust for people who've already had COVID-19, since they've already been exposed to the virus and have acquired natural immunity. Some evidence, such as a medical study out of Israel published in October, suggests that people with natural immunity actually have more protection from COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institutes of Health and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, was recently asked on CNN about the Israeli study'--specifically if people naturally infected with COVID-19 had a lower risk of contracting the virus than those who received the vaccine. He declined to give a clear answer.
''I don't have a really firm answer for you on that,'' Fauci said. ''That's something that we're going to have to discuss regarding the durability of the response.''
@andersoncooper and I spoke with Dr. Fauci tonight. He tells us how he thinks @POTUS plans could have gone further and that we need to better understand the durability of protection from natural infection. pic.twitter.com/I7PcPUo35s
'-- Dr. Sanjay Gupta (@drsanjaygupta) September 10, 2021Harvard Medical School professor Martin Kulldorff disagrees.
''Based on the solid evidence from the Israeli study, the Covid recovered have stronger and longer-lasting immunity against Covid disease than the vaccinated,'' Kulldorff wrote. ''Hence, there is no reason to prevent them from activities that are permitted to the vaccinated.''
'No Federal Solution'Getting vaccinated after getting COVID-19 might provide additional protection.
''Recent research,'' the Mayo Clinic says, ''suggests that people who got COVID-19 in 2020 and then received mRNA vaccines produce very high levels of antibodies that are likely effective against current and, possibly, future variants. Some scientists call this hybrid immunity.''
Kulldorff is right, however, that it is unnecessary and indeed discriminatory to treat people with natural immunity differently than those who've been vaccinated. (Vaccine passports themselves are morally dubious, as noted above, since they deprive individuals of fundamental freedoms.)
Moreover, Kulldorff says the NCAA's decision to consider those who've had COVID ''fully vaccinated'' for just three months'--a smaller window than those who've received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines'--is strange since evidence indicates that natural immunity offers stronger protections against COVID than the vaccines.
''It is good that the NCAA recognizes natural immunity for those who have recovered from Covid, but, since natural immunity is stronger and longer lasting than vaccine induced immunity, there are no public health reasons to only acknowledge it for three months after infection,'' Kulldorff, an epidemiologist and biostatistician who has studied infectious disease outbreaks for years, told me in an email.
Still, while Dr. Fauci may not have made up his mind on natural immunity yet, it's clear that other organizations are reaching their own conclusions as the federal government's clumsy attempts to contain COVID-19 continue to fail.
"The omicron variant has presented another surge of cases across the country," NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline said. "Given how the pandemic continues to evolve, it's important that staff on member campuses continue to work with their local and state health officials on protocols most suitable for their locations."
It's unclear precisely what Hainline meant with these comments, but his use of the terms ''local and state-health officials'' may reflect President Biden's recent admission that ''there's no federal solution'' to the pandemic.
This would certainly be a step in the right direction. But the real epiphany will be when they realize the heavy hand of the state has only made the pandemic worse.
Project Veritas Confirms My Reporting On Fauci & DARPA
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:39
Project Veritas released a trove of documents today that originated from DARPA '-- which is the secret research & development wing of the U.S. military. The military documents directly contradict Dr. Fauci's testimony under oath to Congress regarding ''gain of function'' bioweapons research '-- and reveal much more.
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The documents outline how Peter Daszak's EcoHealth Alliance approached DARPA in March 2018 with a request for funding ''gain of function'' (bioweapons) research using bat coronaviruses. The proposal was ultimately rejected by DARPA over safety concerns '-- though DARPA did not voluntarily share these documents with the American public while Daszak and Fauci misrepresented their research work on a daily basis in the national media for two years.
There are bombshells everywhere you look in these documents '-- particularly in the report for the Department of Defense's Inspector General written by DARPA fellow and Marine Corps Major Joseph Murphy. The first sentences of Murphy's report state: ''SARS-CoV-2 is an American-created recombinant bat vaccine, or its precursor virus. It was created by an EcoHealth Alliance program at the Wuhan Lab of Virology'...'' This tells you right away that not only Dr. Fauci but the U.S. intelligence services and the U.S. corporate media have been deliberately lying to the American public for two years about everything related to COVID.
Major Murphy seems to confirm this nightmare scenario in a curious sentence at the end of his report: ''The massive ''Manhattan Project''-level of information suppression executed by the government and the Trusted News Initiative indicates that it would be covered-up if something bad happened.'' Major Murphy seems to be asserting that the U.S. government has collaborated with the vast majority of corporate media outlets to deliberately and knowingly mislead the American people about the COVID pandemic.
James O'Keefe asked DARPA the following question: ''Who at DARPA made the decision to bury the original report? They could have raised red flags to the Pentagon, the White House, or Congress, which may have prevented this entire pandemic that has led to the deaths of 5.4 million people worldwide and caused much pain and suffering to many millions more.'' Who thinks that an honest answer to that question will ever be revealed?
O'Keefe is not the only one who has asked DARPA some troubling questions recently. Three months ago, DARPA began directly responding to some of my tweets regarding their role in Moderna's mRNA vaccine. The responses came from DARPA's official Twitter account. Here's a sample:
DARPA was apparently quite proud of the fact that it provided grant money to Moderna for vaccine development. It did not occur to them that it's an unprecedented conflict of interest for the U.S. federal government to be coercing Americans into getting an experimental vaccine when the supposedly private company that creates the experimental vaccine is basically a subsidiary of the federal government.
DARPA wanted to assure me that no federal conflict of interest rules had been violated. This seemed preposterous to me since DARPA was actively investigating why Moderna had obscured its funding provided by DARPA for the new vaccine! (In fact, the federal government is most likely the actual owner of Moderna's COVID vaccine.) My response was a bit cheeky.
Why was DARPA interested in experimental DNA vaccines in the first place? Since when does DARPA get involved in healthcare? Well, it turns out that DARPA is actually interested in an implantable microchip ''that can change human DNA.''
Here's where things get very dark and very interesting. In a 2019 article title ''The Government Is Serious About Creating Mind-Controlled Weapons'' the author Edd Gent explains that DARPA wants to genetically ''tweak'' human beings. How is that possible? The article explains that DARPA ''plans to use viruses modified to deliver genetic material into cells '-- called viral vectors '-- to insert DNA into specific neurons that will make them produce two kinds of proteins.''
Are you awake yet? They want to use viruses that have been modified to deliver genetic material into your cells to change your DNA. How would that work? The article explains:
The first type of protein absorbs light when a neuron is firing, which makes it possible to detect neural activity. An external headset would send out a beam of infrared light that can pass through the skull and into the brain. Detectors attached to the headset would then measure the tiny signal that is reflected from the brain tissue to create an image of the brain. Because of the protein, the targeted areas will appear darker (absorbing light) when neurons are firing, generating a read of brain activity that can be used to work out what the person is seeing, hearing or trying to do.
The second protein tethers to magnetic nanoparticles, so the neurons can be magnetically stimulated to fire when the headset generates a magnetic field. This could be used to stimulate neurons so as to induce an image or sound in the patient's mind. As a proof of concept, the group plans to use the system to transmit images from' the visual cortex of one person to that of another.
The words that should stick out for you are: magnetic nanoparticles. That's usually another name for: graphene oxide. There are numerous reports that graphene oxide is an undisclosed ingredient showing up in the experimental vaccines. If that's true, then the question must be asked: why is such a thing being distributed secretly into the population (without their consent) using the experimental vaccines?
Let's be clear what we do know now: American taxpayers actually paid the Chinese Communist Party to create COVID-19. Fauci and Peter Daszak and Dr. Ralph Baric did everything they could to create this bioweapon. When things ''went bad'' the U.S. government actively suppressed the truth to the American people about its origins. Then the U.S. government actively suppressed cheap cures like Ivermectin and HCQ in order to push experimental vaccines being developed by DARPA. (How many people died because of that decision?) The American corporate media also actively collaborated with the U.S. federal government to suppress the truth about COVID '-- including by branding honest journalists as ''conspiracy theorists'' who accurately reported the truth.
These are the broad outlines of a criminal conspiracy the likes of which we have never seen before. The vaccine mandates are a direct assault on the concept of ''informed consent'' and violate the most basic tenets of the Nuremberg Code. The United States government has been caught conducting the largest unauthorized medical experiment in the history of mankind. It's not just that the mRNA vaccines are ''leaky'' and don't work well '-- it's that they produce the very spike protein which was considered too toxic for research purposes in the first place.
Major Murphy's report states this problem explicitly: ''Decisions with regards to the vaccines do not appear to be informed by analysis of documents. The main points being that ['...] the DoD rejected the [EcoHealth] program proposal because vaccines would be ineffective and because the spike proteins being inserted into the variants were deemed too dangerous (gain of function); and that the DoD now mandates vaccines that copy the spike protein previously deemed too dangerous.''
We've already injected that spike protein into 206 million people in the United States.
May heaven help us.
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EU to Stage Large-Scale Cyberattack Exercise on Supply Chains - BNN Bloomberg
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:33
(Bloomberg) -- European Union governments will launch later this week a large-scale simulation of cyberattacks against multiple member states.
Participants will be confronted with attacks on their supply chains and some spillover socio-economic effects in other member states, before having to coordinate public communications and a diplomatic response, according to people familiar with the matter and documents seen by Bloomberg.
The aim of the six-week exercise is to stress-test Europe's resilience, strengthen preparedness and cooperation among member states, and improve the effectiveness of a joint response.
The EU simulation comes amid concerns that Russia could couple any aggressive act toward Ukraine with cyberattacks directed at the West.
One of the EU documents cites the recent hack against the software company SolarWinds Corp., which according to U.S. and U.K. intelligence assessments was carried out by Russian intelligence and affected companies on both sides of the Atlantic.
Though the EU has various tools at its disposal to counter and sanction acts of cyber aggression, it doesn't currently have a framework for effectively coordinating a joint response to a major crisis, the document says.
The exercise will be structured around a gradual escalation toward a major crisis that culminates in an attack that could qualify as an armed aggression under the United Nations Charter, according to one of the documents. In order to be as realistic as possible and better prepare the bloc for a real-world attack, it will be modeled on incidents that have taken place or could occur in the near future.
The simulation, which is being proposed by the French presidency of the EU, is expected to begin this month and conclude during a meeting of the bloc's foreign ministers at the end of next month.
A French spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
(C)2022 Bloomberg L.P.
Petition · Sign To Have Siena College Change the Booster Requirement to Optional · Change.org
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:27
On Wednesday, January 5th, Siena College mandated that all returning students this spring must receive the COVID-19 Booster before returning to campus.
Those who sign this petition asks the college to change the requirements for the booster from mandatory to optional.
Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants | Journal of Natural Products
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:24
Caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the COVID-19 pandemic includes at least 272 million cases worldwide, 5.3 million deaths, and over 600'¯000 new cases daily as of December 2021.
(1) Vaccines have been developed, but due to their limited availability and the rate of virus mutation, SARS-CoV-2 infections are likely to continue for many years. As the pandemic continues, several SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged that are circulating globally, including the variant B.1.1.7 (alpha, first detected in the United Kingdom), variant B.1.351 (beta, first detected in South Africa), and variant B.1.617.2 (delta, first detected in India).
(2) These variants of concern are reported to have the capacity to escape humoral immunity elicited by natural infection or the current vaccinations. Moreover, the variants are associated with increases in infections and hospitalizations, suggesting a competitive fitness advantage over the original strain.
(3)A member of the Coronaviridae family, SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped, nonsegmented, positive sense RNA virus that is characterized by crown-like spikes on the outer surface.
(4,5) SARS-CoV-2 contains RNA strands 29.9 kb long
(6) that encode the four main structural proteins, spike, envelope, membrane, and nucleocapsid, 16 nonstructural proteins, and several accessory proteins.
(7) Any step of the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection and replication cycle is a potential target for antiviral intervention including cell entry, genome replication, viral maturation, or viral release. However, binding of the viral spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 to the human cell surface receptor angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) is a critical step during the infection of human cells. Therefore, cell entry inhibitors could be used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as to shorten the course of COVID-19 infections by preventing virus particles from infecting human cells.
A transmembrane protein with a molecular mass of '¼150 kDa, the spike protein forms homotrimers protruding from the SARS-CoV-2 surface. Subunits of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein trimer consist of an S1 subunit that binds to ACE2 of the host cell to initiate infection, an S2 subunit that mediates virus fusion with host cells, and a transmembrane domain (
Figure 1A). The infection of host cells by SARS-CoV-2 begins with the attachment of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the S1 protein,
(8) which has been identified as residues 331 to 524,
(9) to the host cell receptor ACE2. An enzyme on the outer cell membrane of host cells, ACE2 is expressed abundantly on human endothelial cells in the lungs, arteries, heart, kidney, and intestines.
(10) TMPRSS2 protease on the host cell membrane activates the spike protein by cleaving it at S1/S2 and S2 sites,
(11) leading to conformational changes that allow the virus to fuse with the host membrane and enter the cytoplasm. The S1 subunit is primarily responsible for the determination of the host virus range and cellular tropism.
(12)Figure 1Figure 1. Affinity selection''mass spectrometric (AS-MS) discovery of natural ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. (A) The spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 consists of trimers of a protein containing an S1 subunit, an S2 subunit, and a transmembrane domain. The S1 subunit binds to human ACE2 to initiate cell entry. Recombinant S1 containing a His-tag was immobilized on magnetic microbeads for affinity selection of ligands. (B) AS-MS was used to isolate and identify natural ligands to the spike protein S1 subunit. A magnetic probe retained the microbeads containing the S1 subunit and bound ligands, while unbound compounds were washed away. Ligands were released using organic solvent and then analyzed using UHPLC-MS. (C) During AS-MS, the SBP-1 peptide bound to immobilized S1 (equivalent to 0.17 μM) (positive control) but not to immobilized denatured S1 (negative control). (D) MagMASS was used for the affinity selection and identification of cannabinoid acids (0.10 μM each in this confirmatory chromatogram) as ligands from hemp extracts. Negative controls using denatured S1 showed no significant binding of cannabinoid acids.
Ligands with high affinity to the receptor binding domain on the S1 protein have the potential to function as entry inhibitors and prevent infection of human cells by SARS-CoV-2.
(13) For example, small peptides derived from the heptad repeat regions of SARS-CoV-1 spike S2 subunit have been shown to inhibit SARS-CoV infection by the interference of fusion with target cells.
(14,15) The approach of utilizing compounds that block virus''receptor interaction has also been useful for other viruses, including HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus.
(16,17)Natural products are the most successful source of drugs and drug leads in the history of pharmacology.
(18,19) Although combinatorial chemistry currently receives more emphasis for lead discovery by the pharmaceutical industry,
(20) nature continues to be a source of unique chemical structural diversity for new drug discovery.
(21) Approximately two-thirds of new small-molecule drugs since 1981 have been natural products, derivatives of natural products, natural product pharmacophores, or mimics of natural products.
(18,22) Less than 10% of the world's biodiversity has been evaluated for potential biological activity, so that many more useful natural lead compounds await discovery.
(18) As an example of a natural product with anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, panduratin from the medicinal plant
Boesenbergia rotunda was reported recently to be active against SARS-CoV-2 at both pre-entry and postinfection phases.
(23)Although bioassay-guided fractionation is widely used for natural products drug discovery, affinity selection''mass spectrometry (AS-MS) provides a more efficient alternative.
(24) AS-MS involves incubating a therapeutically important receptor like the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with a mixture of possible ligands such as a botanical extract. The ligand''receptor complexes are separated from nonbinding molecules using one of several methods such as ultrafiltration,
(25) size exclusion,
(26) or magnetic microbeads,
(27) and then ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography''mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS) is used to characterize the affinity-extracted ligands. In this investigation, we used the AS-MS approach of magnetic microbead affinity selection screening (MagMASS).
(28,29)Hemp (
Cannabis sativa L., Cannabaceae) is used for fiber, food, and animal feed, and various hemp extracts and compounds have become popular additions to cosmetics, body lotions, dietary supplements, and food. Over 170 secondary metabolites including some unique compounds are produced by hemp
(30,31) including flavonoids, diterpenes, triterpenes, lignans, and cannabinoids. Orally bioavailable,
(32) there are at least 70 cannabinoids including cannabidiols, Î--
9-tetrahydrocannabinols, Î--
8-tetrahydrocannabinols, cannabigerols, cannabinols, cannabichromenes, and cannabitriols, and in 2018, the U.S. FDA approved a cannabidiol isolate (Epidiolex), for the treatment of seizures associated with certain types of epileptic seizures.
(33)Using MagMASS to screen hemp extracts for ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, several cannabinoid ligands were identified and ranked by affinity to the spike protein. Two cannabinoids with the highest affinities for the spike protein, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), were confirmed to block infection of human epithelial cells by a pseudovirus expressing the spike protein. More importantly, both CBDA and CBGA block infection of the original live SARS-CoV-2 virus and variants of concern, including the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351.
Discovery of Hemp Ligands against SARS-CoV-2To discover natural ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, a MagMASS
(27) assay was developed using the spike protein S1 subunit immobilized on magnetic microbeads (
Figure 1). To confirm that the immobilized S1 subunit retained selectivity for the human cell surface protein ACE2, magnetic microbeads containing the S1 subunit were incubated with SBP-1, which is a peptide containing the amino acid sequence of human ACE2 to which the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein recognition site binds (amino acid residues 331 to 524). After processing using MagMASS (
Figure 1B), SBP-1 showed selective binding to the immobilized spike protein S1 subunit (positive control), whereas SBP-1 did not bind to the denatured S1 subunit that had been immobilized in an identical manner (
Figure 1C).
During screening of botanical extracts using MagMASS, extracts of hemp (
C. sativa L.) produced several hits (
Figure 1D). Based on dereplication of the hits and follow-up assays using cannabinoid standards, the spike protein ligands with the highest affinities were identified as CBGA, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA-A), and CBDA (
Figures 2''
4,
Supporting Information). The cannabinoids Î--
9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Î--
8-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabichromene, cannabigerol, cannabinol, and cannabidiol showed only weak or no binding based on competitive binding MagMASS assays
(34) using equimolar mixtures (
Table 1).
Table 1. MagMASS Ranking of Hemp Cannabinoids for Binding to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein
aFigure 2Figure 2. Computational based modeling of the binding of cannabinoid acids to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 C-terminal domain using AutoDock Vina. The active site residues of the S1 subunit are shown in yellow. (A) CBGA (pink) is predicted to bind to the anallosteric site (''6.6 kcal/mol free energy of binding). (B) Although less favorable (''6.2 kcal/mol), CBGA (magenta) can also bind to the orthosteric site on the S1 C-terminal domain. (C) THCA-A (cyan) and (D) CBDA (teal) are predicted to bind at the orthosteric site with free energies of binding of ''6.5 kcal/mol and ''6.3 kcal/mol, respectively.
Figure 3Figure 3. CBD compounds block viral entry of SARS-CoV-2 through spike binding. Neutralization of spike protein pseudotyped lentivirus and multiple variants of live SARS-CoV-2 virus by cannabinoids CBDA and CBGA. (A) Representative images of high-resolution microscopy of SARS-CoV-2 (WA1/2020)-infected Vero E6 cells treated with 25 μg/mL CBDA, CBGA, or vehicle (control). Cells were stained with anti-ds-RNA (red) antibody to visualize replication sites formed during infection. DAPI (blue) was used to stain nuclei. (B) Infection of ACE2 293T cells with SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped lentivirus in the presence of CBDA or CBGA. Percent neutralization was determined by quantification of total GFP signal resulting from successful pseudovirus infection, normalized to vehicle control (n = 3). (C) Table of IC50 values for pseudovirus experiments. (D and E) Live-virus infection of Vero E6 cells with SARS-CoV-2 variants (WA1/2020, B.1.1.7, and B.1.351) in the presence of CBDA (D) or CBGA (E). Percent neutralization was normalized to vehicle control wells (n = 3). (F) Table of IC50 values for live-virus experiments shown in D and E. IC50 values were determined by fitting data to a three-parameter model for pseudotype infection (C) and live-infection (F) experiments.
Figure 4Figure 4. Orthosteric site residues of the spike S1 receptor binding domain. The residues in magenta are mutated in the B.1.351 variant (K417N, E484 K, N501Y). The B.1.1.7 variant mutation occurs at N501Y.
Dissociation Constants and Ligand DockingThe Kd values for the binding of CBGA and CBDA to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 subunit were determined using equilibrium dialysis. The optimum time for full equilibration of CBGA was 5 h, while that of CBDA was 4 h. The Kd values for CBGA and CBDA were 19.8 ± 2.7 and 5.6 ± 2.2 μM, respectively. Because THCA-A is a controlled substance, insufficient quantities were available for determination of binding affinity or antiviral activity.
The binding interactions of CBDA, THCA-A, and CBGA with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 C-terminal domain were modeled using AutoDock Vina (
Figure 2). In agreement with the MagMASS rank ordering of ligands (
Table 1), the free energy of binding was greatest for CBGA (''6.6 kcal/mol) followed by THCA-A (''6.5 kcal/mol) and CBDA (''6.3 kcal/mol). The optimum binding mode for CBGA was at an allosteric site with a binding pocket dominated by hydrophobic residues within a van der Waals distance of 4 …, namely, F374, L368, F342, W436, A344, and L441 (
Figure 2A). The hydrophobic isoprenyl group of CBGA interacted with the hydrophobic residues L368, F342, F374, and W436, while the pentyl group interacted with A344, L441, and the amide of T345. The carboxylic acid group formed a hydrogen bond with the D343 amide side chain, while the hydroxy groups at positions 1 and 5 formed hydrogen bonds with the side chains of D343 and R509, respectively. Although less favorable, CBGA was also predicted to bind orthosterically to the spike protein S1 C-terminal domain with ''6.2 kcal/mol free energy of binding (
Figure 2B).
Unlike CBGA, CBDA and THCA-A were predicted to bind preferentially within the orthosteric site of the spike protein S1 subunit. The key interactions for CBDA include hydrogen bonding between the carboxylic acid group and the R403 side chain and hydrophobic interactions between the CBDA aromatic ring and the Y495 side chain (
Figure 2C). Additional hydrophobic contributions were made by Y505, G496, and Y453. The hydroxy group at position 5 of CBDA formed a hydrogen bond with the amide group of G496. THCA-A was predicted to bind at the surface of the orthosteric site in a hydrophobic region consisting of Y495, F497, Y505, and G496 (
Figure 2D). Hydrogen bond interactions could form between the carboxylic acid and D501 as well as between the hydroxy group at position 1 and the carbonyl group of Y505.
Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 Cell EntryTo determine if CBDA or CBGA could prevent infection by blocking SARS-CoV-2 cell entry, pseudovirus and live SARS-CoV-2 virus cell infection assays were carried out. We incubated the live SARS-CoV-2 virus with 25 μg/mL of either CBDA, CBGA, or vehicle control (DMSO) and then infected Vero E6 cells. At 24 h postinfection, cells were stained with anti-double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) antibody known to bind specifically to viral RNA. We found an absence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in cells treated with either cannabinoid (
Figure 3A). To quantify the level of inhibition, we produced spike protein pseudotyped lentiviral particles with a GFP reporter gene, and HEK 293T cells overexpressing ACE-2 were infected for 48 h with these lentiviral particles following treatment with varying concentrations of CBDA, CBGA, or vehicle control. The number of infected cells was quantified by fluorescence microscopy, and the concentration that reduced pseudovirus infections by half (IC
50) was 7.7 μg/mL for CBDA and 8.4 μg/mL for CBGA (
Figure 3B,C). The cytotoxicity of these compounds was insignificant at concentrations below 50 μg/mL for Caco2, 293T-ACE2, and Vero cell lines (
Figure 4,
Supporting Information).
To validate the virus neutralizing capabilities of CBDA and CBGA, we next performed focus forming assays using authentic SARS-CoV-2 virus (Isolate USA-WA1/2020). We utilized Vero E6 cells for these experiments due to their high susceptibility to the virus and common use in SARS-CoV-2 live-virus studies. Focus forming assays were performed using serial dilutions of CBDA or CBGA that were incubated with infectious SARS-CoV-2 for 1 h prior to infection. As in the pseudovirus neutralization assay, CBDA and CBGA prevented SARS-CoV-2 entry into Vero E6 cells with IC
50 values of 24 and 37 μg/mL (
Figure 3D''F), respectively.
Emerging variants of concern (VOC), including B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, have been shown to resist neutralization by antibodies generated against earlier lineages of SARS-CoV-2. To assess whether blockage of cell entry by CBDA and CBGA is variant dependent, we performed additional focus forming assays using the live SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.1.7, containing the N501Y spike protein mutation, and B.1.351, containing the K417N, E484 K, and N501Y spike mutations. Like WA1/2020 infections, CBDA and CBGA both blocked B.1.1.7 infection with IC
50 values of 11 and 26 μg/mL, respectively. B.1.351 was neutralized as well by both compounds with IC
50 values of 19 and 37 μg/mL, respectively (
Figure 3D''F), indicating no substantial loss of activity against these VOCs.
Originally invented for high-throughput screening of pools of combinatorial libraries,
(35) the selectivity, sensitivity, and speed of AS-MS approaches like MagMASS are also ideal for screening natural products mixtures such as botanical extracts.
(36) Compared with conventional high-throughput screening utilizing fluorescence or absorbance readouts (such as FRET or fluorescence polarization), AS-MS offers advantages such as compatibility with any type of ligand mixture, matrix, and assay buffer and no requirement for fluorescent tags. Uniquely, AS-MS does not suffer from interference from samples containing fluorophores or chromophores, which are common in natural products. One of the newer AS-MS techniques,
(27,37) MagMASS offers advantages compared with the other AS-MS approaches that use ultrafiltration or size exclusion such as ease of automation and faster separation of receptor''ligand complexes from unbound compounds, which minimizes ligand loss due to premature dissociation from the receptor and maximizes sensitivity.
(24) Therefore, MagMASS is an ideal platform for the discovery of natural ligands of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
Recently, the crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in complex with the human ACE2 receptor was solved. The key interactions involve residues along the spike protein C-terminal domain interface that contribute to a network of hydrogen bonding and salt-bridge interactions with the ACE2 receptor. The residues on the spike protein involved in the binding to ACE2 include A475, N487, E484, Y453, K417, G446, Y449, G496, Q498, T500, G502, Y489, and F486. The interaction of the virus with the ACE2 receptor is mainly contributed by the polar interactions resulting from hydrophilic residues on the surface of the spike protein C-terminal domain.
(38)In the AutoDock Vina docking program, the ligand docking in the active site is based on algorithms that take into consideration the steric, hydrophobic bonding, and hydrogen bonding interactions between the ligand and active site residues. The best predicted binding conformation should have the lowest free energy of binding (kcal/mol). CBGA gave the lowest free energy of binding (''6.7 kcal/mol) to an allosteric site, with a root-mean-square deviation of 24.3 from the orthosteric site. On the other hand, THCA-A and CBDA had slightly higher energies of binding at ''6.5 and ''6.3 kcal/mol, respectively. Overall, the MagMASS data show that CBGA binds to the spike protein S1 subunit strongly in cannabinoid mixtures, suggesting that it binds allosterically and does not compete for binding with orthosteric cannabinoid ligands.
Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus such as B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 include amino acids in the spike protein S1 subunit that interact with the ACE2 receptor.
(39) For example, the N501Y mutation was identified by bioinformatics analysis of data derived by metagenomics sequencing of samples obtained from a patient with persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Other highly infectious variants identified that include mutation of the active site residues include N501T, K417, and E484 K (
Figure 4).
(40) With the rapid mutations occurring, a novel inhibitor capable of binding to an orthosteric site would be of great interest in the intervention of SARS-CoV-2 variants characterized by active site mutations.
Our infection inhibition assay results clearly indicate that CBDA and CBGA are both able to block cell entry by SARS-CoV-2. The concentrations needed to block infection by 50% of viruses is high but might be clinically achievable. For example, CBDA administered orally to human volunteers at 0.063 mg/kg showed greater bioavailability than CBD and produced maximum plasma concentrations of 0.21 μM.
(32) In beagle dogs, oral administration of CBDA at 1 mg/kg was well tolerated, was 2-fold more bioavailable than CBD, and produced serum levels up to 1.42 μM.
(41) Although no data on the bioavailability of CBGA are yet available, the data for CBDA suggest that μM plasma and serum concentrations for CBGA should also be possible.
Previous reports have indicated that one possible mechanism for inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 by decarboxylated cannabidiol (CBD) is activation of innate immune mechanisms.
(42) However, our live-virus data indicate that inhibition by CBDA and CBGA occurs at the point of cell entry. These mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and it remains possible that multiple cannabinoids in complex mixtures from plant extracts could act independently to inhibit SARS-CoV-2, potentially leading to enhanced effectiveness when compared to individual compounds.
One of the primary concerns in the ongoing pandemic is the spread of viral variants, of which there are many, with some of the most concerning and widespread being B.1.1.7 and B.1.351. These variants are well known for evading antibodies against early lineage SARS-CoV-2, which is particularly concerning due to the fact that current vaccination strategies rely on the early lineage spike RBD as an antigen. Our data show minimal impact of the variant lineages on the effectiveness of CBDA and CBGA, a trend that will hopefully extends to other existing and future variants. Because we believe that the primary binding site for CBGA is allosteric, there may even be reduced evolutionary pressure for SARS-CoV-2 to mutate their binding sites compared to the orthosteric binding sites typically favored by neutralizing antibodies. With widespread use of cannabinoids, resistant variants could still arise, but the combination of vaccination and CBDA/CBGA treatment should create a more challenging environment with which SARS-CoV-2 must contend, reducing the likelihood of escape.
General Experimental ProceduresMass spectrometric analyses were carried out using a Shimadzu (Kyoto, Japan) Nexera UHPLC system interfaced with an LCMS-9030 Q-ToF hybrid high-resolution mass spectrometer or an LCMS-8050 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer.
Plant MaterialExtracts of hemp and isolates of specific cannabinoids were obtained from the Global Hemp Innovation Center (Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA). Plant taxonomy was confirmed by Jay S. Noller of the Global Hemp Innovation Center. Certified cannabinoid standards were purchased from Cayman Chemical (Ann Arbor, MI, USA).
Affinity Selection''Mass SpectrometryRecombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (RayBiotech; Peachtree Corners, GA, USA) ('¼72 kDa) containing an N-terminal His-tag was immobilized on Ni2+-nitrilotriacetic acid-derivatized magnetic microbeads (EmerTher; Parsippany, NJ, USA) for use in the affinity selection''mass spectrometry approach MagMASS. As a negative control, denatured spike protein was immobilized on identical magnetic microbeads. The spike protein for the negative control incubations was denatured by incubating in a 95 °C water bath for 15 min. Positive control incubations used SBP-1 (RayBiotech), a 23 amino acid peptide with the sequence of IEEQAKTFLDKFNHEAEDLFYQS, which is identical to the ACE2 α1 helix sequence recognized by the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. SBP-1 (33 nM) was incubated for 60 min with magnetic microbeads containing 50 pmol of immobilized active or denatured S1 protein in 300 μL of binding buffer. After washing twice with 500 μL of 30 mM ammonium acetate to remove unbound ligand while the beads were retained by a magnetic field, ligand was released from the beads using 90% methanol in water (200 μL) and analyzed using UHPLC-LC/MS. SBP-1 was measured using positive ion electrospray with selected reaction monitoring on a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer at unit resolution. For SBP-1, the selected reaction monitoring transitions were m/z 701.6 ([M + 4H]4+) to m/z 136.2 (quantifier) and m/z 701.6 ([M + 4H]4+) and m/z 120.2 (qualifier) at collision energies of ''30 and ''45 V, respectively, with a dwell time of 25 ms per transition.
Extracts (10 μg), mixtures of cannabinoid standards (0.10 μM each), or cannabinoid standards (0.10 μM) were incubated with 50 pmol of immobilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and screened using MagMASS as described above. The released ligand was analyzed using UHPLC-LC/MS with reversed phase UHPLC separation on a Waters (Milford, MA, USA) Acquity UPLC BEH C18 column (1.7 μm, 130 …, 2.1 mm — 50 mm) with a 5 min linear gradient from 20% to 80% acetonitrile in 0.1% aqueous formic acid at a flow rate of 0.3 mL/min for the analysis of SBP-1 peptide. Cannabinoid separations were similar except that a 100 mm Waters Acquity UPLC BEH C18 column was used with a 1 min gradient from 50% to 75% acetonitrile followed by an 11 min gradient to 80% acetonitrile. The column was equilibrated to initial conditions for 1 min between analyses.
Ligands eluting from the column were detected using positive ion or negative ion electrospray mass spectrometry on the Q-ToF mass spectrometer at a resolving power of 30'¯000. The electrospray temperature was 300 °C, and voltages of 4.5 and ''3.5 kV were used for positive or negative ion mode, respectively. The nitrogen gas flow rates for the electrospray ion source were 10 L/min for drying, 10 L/min for heating, and 3 L/min for nebulization. Data-dependent product ion tandem mass spectrometry was used such that mass spectra and product ion tandem mass spectra were acquired every 100 ms over the scan range of m/z 100''1200 and m/z 70''1200, respectively. For product ion MS/MS, the collision energy was 35 V with an energy spread of 17 V.
Following affinity selection, the UHPLC-MS chromatograms of each sample and corresponding negative control were compared using the metabolomics software Online XCMS (Scripps Research, La Jolla, CA, USA) to identify peaks enriched due to specific binding to the S1 protein.
(43) High-resolution mass spectra for each enriched peak were processed using Shimadzu LabSolutions V5.2 software. Natural product ligands for which structures have been reported in the literature were identified by comparison with authentic standards based on their elemental compositions determined using high-resolution accurate mass measurements, tandem mass spectra, and UHPLC retention times.
Equilibrium Dissociation ConstantsThe affinity constants for the binding of active compounds to the spike protein S1 subunit were determined by rapid equilibrium dialysis. First, the optimum time for full equilibration of the RED device obtained from ThermoFisher (Waltham, MA, USA) was determined with each of the compounds by adding 1 μM spike protein in buffer (300 μL) to the protein chamber and adding blank phosphate-buffered saline, pH 7.2 (500 μL), to the buffer chamber. CBGA or CBDA was spiked into the protein chamber at a final concentration of 2.5 μM. During incubation at 37 °C on an orbital shaker at 200 rpm, aliquots (30 μL) were sampled from the sample and buffer chambers at 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 h, mixed with equal volumes of buffer, 300 μL of ice-cold 90% aqueous acetonitrile containing 0.1% formic acid, and 500 ng/mL d4-daidzein (internal standard), vortex mixed, and incubated on ice for 1 h. After centrifugation at 18000g for 30 min, the supernatant was removed and ligand concentration was measured using UHPLC-MS/MS with selected reaction monitoring MS/MS and negative ion electrospray on a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. For the measurement of CBGA, the selected reaction monitoring transitions were m/z 359 to m/z 341 (quantifier) and m/z 359 to m/z 315 (qualifier). For the measurement of CBDA, the selected reaction monitoring transitions were m/z 357 to m/z 339 (quantifier) and m/z 357 to m/z 245 (qualifier).
Next, the equilibrium dissociation constants of CBGA and CBDA were determined by incubating the spike protein S1 subunit with different concentrations of the ligands ranging from 0.05 to 500 μM in triplicate. After 5 h for CBGA or 4 h for CBDA, the concentrations of each ligand in the sample and buffer chambers were measured using UHPLC-MS/MS with a triple quadruple mass spectrometer as described above. Data analysis and fitting was carried out using Microsoft Excel (Seattle, WA, USA) and KaleidaGraph v4.1 (Reading, PA, USA).
Ligand DockingThe computational aided modeling of cannabinoids was carried out using AutoDock Vina (Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA).
(44) The coordinates of the crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein C-terminal domain were downloaded from the Protein Data Bank (PDB, ID number
6LZG).
(45) The ChemDraw structures of the ligands were converted to .pdb files using Pymol. The protein data were loaded into the AutoDock Vina program, the search space was defined around the known orthosteric site, and the file was converted to .pdbqt. Similarly, the ligands were individually loaded and converted to .pdbqt files.
Pseudotyped Lentivirus ProductionPseudovirus was prepared as previously described.
(46) 293T cells, seeded 1 day ahead with 2 million cells in 6 cm TC-treated dishes, were transfected with lentivirus packaging plasmids, SARS-CoV-2 S plasmid, and lzGreen reporter plasmid.
(47) After transfection, cells were incubated at 37 °C for 60 h. Viral media were filtered with a 0.45 μm syringe filter and snap frozen in liquid nitrogen before storing at ''80 °C. Virus stocks were titrated on 293T-ACE2 cells treated with 50 μL of 5 μg/mL Polybrene (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO, USA). Titer was determined by fluorescence microscopy using a BZ-X700 all-in-one fluorescent microscope (Keyence, Itasca, IL, USA).
SARS-CoV-2 Virus PropagationSARS-CoV-2 isolates USA/CA_CDC_5574/2020 [lineage B.1.1.7] (NR-54011), hCoV-19/South Africa/KRISP-K005325/2020 [lineage B.1.351] (NR-54009), and USA-WA1/2020 1 [lineage A] (NR-52281) were obtained through BEI Resources, diluted 1:10, and added onto 70% confluent Vero E6 cells. The cells were incubated for 1 h at 37 °C with rocking every 15 min. Additional media were added according to the manufacturer's recommended culture volume, and the cells were incubated for 72 h in a tissue culture incubator. Supernatant was centrifuged at 3000g for 5 min before aliquoting and freezing at ''80 °C.
Pseudovirus Neutralization AssayPseudovirus neutralization was performed as previously described.
(46) Briefly, 293T-ACE2 cells were seeded at 10'¯000 cells per well on tissue culture treated, poly lysine treated 96-well plates. Cells were grown overnight at 37 °C. LzGreen SARS-COV-2 S pseudotyped lentivirus was combined with 2-fold serial dilutions of CBDA and CBGA in DMSO or vehicle control. The virus''drug mixture was incubated at 37 °C for 1 h, after which virus was added to 293T-ACE2 treated with 5 μg/mL Polybrene. Cells were incubated with neutralized virus for 44 h, then fixed with 4% formaldehyde for 1 h at room temperature, incubated with DAPI for 10 min at room temperature, and imaged with a BZ-X700 all-in-one fluorescent microscope (Keyence, Itasca, IL, USA). Total areas of DAPI and GFP fluorescent signal were calculated using included microscope software (Keyence). To account for variability in cell count, green fluorescent signal was normalized to DAPI signal. For conditions with fewer DAPI foci, the modal value of DAPI signal for each set of replicates was used for normalization across that condition. Otherwise DMSO control values were used in normalization to manage DAPI inconsistency across replicates. IC
50 values were calculated with combined replicate data in python using a three-parameter logistic model and plotted with the matplotlib data visualization library.
Focus Forming Assay for Live SARS-CoV-2Focus forming assays were performed as previously described.
(46,48) In brief, 96-well plates with subconfluent Vero E6 cells were infected with 50''100 virus titer per well of the original SARS-CoV-2 strain (WA-1/2020) or the variants (B.1.1.7 or B.1.351) in buffer containing CBDA or CBGA ranging from 100 to 0.625 μg/mL. DMSO was used as a vehicle control. The virus and drug mixtures were incubated for 1 h at 37 °C prior to addition to cells. The mixture was incubated with cells for 1 h at 37 °C before addition of overlay media (Opti-MEM, 2% FBS, 2% methylcellulose). Infection was allowed to proceed for 48 h; then plates were fixed for 1 h in 4% formaldehyde in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Cells were permeabilized (PBS, 0.1% saponin, 0.1% bovine serum albumin) for 30 min. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein alpaca immune serum was diluted 1:5000 in permeabilization buffer and incubated on plates overnight at 4 °C. Plates were washed three times with PBS with 0.1% Tween-20 (wash buffer) and incubated with antillama-HRP at 1:20'¯000 for 1 h at room temperature. Following three more washes in wash buffer, plates were developed with TrueBlue (Seracare) for 30 min before being imaged (CTL immunospot) and counted (Viridot).
(49) Three separate dilution series were prepared for each experiment, each of which was used to prepare three technical replicates. IC
50 values were calculated with combined replicate data in python using a three-parameter logistic model and plotted with the matplotlib data visualization library.
ImmunofluorescenceVero E6 cells were seeded on 96-well glass-bottom optical plates coated with poly lysine solution; 20'¯000 cells were seeded per well. Cells were infected with SARS-CoV-2 as described above. At 24 h postinfection, cells were fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde in PBS for 1 h. The 96-well plates with SARS-CoV-2-infected Vero E6 cells were permeabilized with 2% bovine serum albumin and 0.1% Triton-X-100 in PBS. Transfected cells were incubated for 2 h at room temperature with a mouse anti-dsRNA antibody (Millipore Sigma) to stain SARS-CoV-2 replication sites in infected cells. Anti-mouse IgG AF555 conjugated secondary antibodies were added at 1:500 dilution for 1 h at RT (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA, USA). Confocal imaging was performed with a Zeiss LSM 980 using a 63— Plan-Achromatic 1.4 NA oil immersion objective. Images were processed with Zeiss Zen Blue software. Maximum intensity z-projections were prepared in Fiji.
The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.1c00946.
Tandem mass spectra of affinity selected CBDA, CBGA, and THCA-A and the corresponding standards; cytotoxicity of CBDA in mammalian cell lines (PDF)
Terms & Conditions Most electronic Supporting Information files are available without a subscription to ACS Web Editions. Such files may be downloaded by article for research use (if there is a public use license linked to the relevant article, that license may permit other uses). Permission may be obtained from ACS for other uses through requests via the RightsLink permission system: http://pubs.acs.org/page/copyright/permissions.html.
Ruth N. Muchiri - LinusPauling Institute, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Collegeof Pharmacy, Oregon State University, 2900 SW Campus Way, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, United States
Timothy A. Bates - MolecularMicrobiology & Immunology, Oregon Health& Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97239, United States
Jules B. Weinstein - MolecularMicrobiology & Immunology, Oregon Health& Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97239, United States
Hans C. Leier - MolecularMicrobiology & Immunology, Oregon Health& Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97239, United States
Scotland Farley - MolecularMicrobiology & Immunology, Oregon Health& Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97239, United States
Fikadu G. Tafesse - MolecularMicrobiology & Immunology, Oregon Health& Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97239, United States
The authors declare no competing financial interest.
The authors thank Shimadzu Scientific Instruments for mass spectrometry support, the Global Hemp Innovation Center for supplying hemp extracts, and the EmerTher company for providing the Ni-NTA magnetic microbeads used in this investigation
This article references 49 other publications.
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A review. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a newly emerging infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus, SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The SARS-CoV spike (S) protein is composed of two subunits; the S1 subunit contains a receptor-binding domain that engages with the host cell receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and the S2 subunit mediates fusion between the viral and host cell membranes. The S protein plays key parts in the induction of neutralizing-antibody and T-cell responses, as well as protective immunity, during infection with SARS-CoV. In this Review, we highlight recent advances in the development of vaccines and therapeutics based on the S protein.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BD1MXhsFeqs7Y%253D&md5=610a46a8fed820bf5d0076e7c7d03c13 14 Sainz, B., Jr ; Mossel, E. C. ; Gallaher, W. R. ; Wimley, W. C. ; Peters, C. J. ; Wilson, R. B. ; Garry, R. F. Virus Res. 2006 , 120 , 146 '' 155 , DOI: 10.1016/j.virusres.2006.03.001 [
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Sainz, Bruno; Mossel, Eric C.; Gallaher, William R.; Wimley, William C.; Peters, C. J.; Wilson, Russell B.; Garry, Robert F.
Virus Research ( 2006 ), 120 ( 1-2 ), 146-155 CODEN: VIREDF ; ISSN: 0168-1702 . ( Elsevier B.V. )
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-assocd. coronavirus (SARS-Co-V) is the cause of an atypical pneumonia that affected Asia, North America and Europe in 2002-2003. The viral spike (S) glycoprotein is responsible for mediating receptor binding and membrane fusion. Recent studies have proposed that the carboxyl terminal portion (S2 subunit) of the S protein is a class I viral fusion protein. The Wimley and White interfacial hydrophobicity scale was used to identify regions within the Co-V S2 subunit that may preferentially assoc. with lipid membranes with the premise that peptides analogous to these regions may function as inhibitors of viral infectivity. Five regions of high interfacial hydrophobicity spanning the length of the S2 subunit of SARS-Co-V and murine hepatitis virus (MHV) were identified. Peptides analogous to regions of the N-terminus or the pretransmembrane domain of the S2 subunit inhibited SARS-Co-V plaque formation by 40-70% at concns. of 15-30 μM. Interestingly, peptides analogous to the SARS-Co-V or MHV loop region inhibited viral plaque formation by >80% at similar concns. The obsd. effects were dose-dependent (IC50 values of 2-4 μM) and not a result of peptide-mediated cell cytotoxicity. The antiviral activity of the Co-V peptides tested provides an attractive basis for the development of new fusion peptide inhibitors corresponding to regions outside the fusion protein heptad repeat regions.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BD28Xms1egtbY%253D&md5=75ac62c39705ba25f468dab2f8912ae3 15 Yuan, K. ; Yi, L. ; Chen, J. ; Qu, X. ; Qing, T. ; Rao, X. ; Jiang, P. ; Hu, J. ; Xiong, Z. ; Nie, Y. ; Shi, X. ; Wang, W. ; Ling, C. ; Yin, X. ; Fan, K. ; Lai, L. ; Ding, M. ; Deng, H. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2004 , 319 , 746 '' 752 , DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.05.046 [
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Yuan, Kehu; Yi, Ling; Chen, Jian; Qu, Xiuxia; Qing, Tingting; Rao, Xi; Jiang, Pengfei; Hu, Jianhe; Xiong, Zikai; Nie, Yuchun; Shi, Xuanling; Wang, Wei; Chen, Ling; Yin, Xiaolei; Fan, Keqiang; Lai, Luhua; Ding, Mingxiao; Deng, Hongkui
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications ( 2004 ), 319 ( 3 ), 746-752 CODEN: BBRCA9 ; ISSN: 0006-291X . ( Elsevier Science )
Heptad repeat regions (HR1 and HR2) are highly conserved sequences located in the glycoproteins of enveloped viruses. They form a six-helix bundle structure and are important in the process of virus fusion. Peptides derived from the HR regions of some viruses have been shown to inhibit the entry of these viruses. SARS-CoV was also predicted to have HR1 and HR2 regions in the S2 protein. Based on this prediction, we designed 25 peptides and screened them using a HIV-luc/SARS pseudotyped virus assay. Two peptides, HR1-1 and HR2-18, were identified as potential inhibitors, with EC50 values of 0.14 and 1.19 μM, resp. The inhibitory effects of these peptides were validated by the wild-type SARS-CoV assay. HR1-1 and HR2-18 can serve as functional probes for dissecting the fusion mechanism of SARS-CoV and also provide the potential of further identifying potent inhibitors for SARS-CoV entry.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BD2cXkslWnu7o%253D&md5=9764a88c9fc49e1e3bfaaefa5c681f87 16 DeClercq, E. J. Clin. Virol. 2001 , 22 , 73 '' 89 , DOI: 10.1016/S1386-6532(01)00167-6 [
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Google Scholar 16 Antiviral drugs: current state of the art
De Clercq, E.
Journal of Clinical Virology ( 2001 ), 22 ( 1 ), 73-89 CODEN: JCVIFB ; ISSN: 1386-6532 . ( Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. )
A review. The chemotherapy of virus infections has definitely come of age. There are now 15 antiviral agents that have been formally licensed for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus infections (zidovudine, didanosine, zalcitabine, stavudine, Lamivudine, Abacavir, Nevirapine, Delavirdine, Efavirenz, Saquinavir, Ritonavir, Indinavir, Nelfinavir, Amprenavir, Lopinavir) and several others, such as Tenofovir Disoproxil, Emtricitabine, Capravirine, Emivirine, T-20 (Pentafuside), and AMD3100 (bicyclam), are under clin. development. Lamivudine has been approved, and several other compds. (such as Adefovir Dipivoxil, Emtricitabine, and Entecavir) are under clin. development, for the treatment of hepatitis B virus infections. Among the anti-herpesvirus agents, Aciclovir, Valaciclovir, Penciclovir, Famciclovir, Idoxuridine, Trifluridine, and Brivudin are used in the treatment of herpes simplex virus and varicella-zoster virus infections, and Ganciclovir, Foscarnet, Cidofovir, Fomivirsen, and Maribavir (the latter in the developmental stage) are used in the treatment of cytomegalovirus infections. Following amantadine and Rimantadine, the neuraminidase inhibitors, Zanamivir and Oseltamivir, have now become available for the therapy and prophylaxis of influenza virus infections, and so is Ribavirin for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus infections and the combination of Ribavirin with interferon-α for the treatment of hepatitis C virus infections.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BD3MXksVGqur0%253D&md5=c6a22c42d6d86c0c7241472997eb19f1 17 VanCompernolle, S. E. ; Wiznycia, A. V. ; Rush, J. R. ; Dhanasekaran, M. ; Baures, P. W. ; Todd, S. C. Virology 2003 , 314 , 371 '' 380 , DOI: 10.1016/S0042-6822(03)00406-9 [
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VanCompernolle, Scott E.; Wiznycia, Alexander V.; Rush, Jeremy R.; Dhanasekaran, Muthu; Baures, Paul W.; Todd, Scott C.
Virology ( 2003 ), 314 ( 1 ), 371-380 CODEN: VIRLAX ; ISSN: 0042-6822 . ( Elsevier Science )
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a causal agent of chronic liver infection, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma infecting more than 170 million people. CD81 is a receptor for HCV envelope glycoprotein E2. Although the binding of HCV-E2 with CD81 is well documented the role of this interaction in the viral life cycle remains unclear. Host specificity and mutagenesis studies suggest that the helix D region of CD81 mediates binding to HCV-E2. Structural anal. of CD81 has enabled the synthesis of small mols. designed to mimic the space and hydrophobic features of the solvent-exposed face on helix D. Utilizing a novel bis-imidazole scaffold a series of over 100 compds. has been synthesized. Seven related, imidazole-based compds. were identified that inhibit binding of HCV-E2 to CD81. The inhibitory compds. have no short-term effect on cellular expression of CD81 or other tetraspanins, do not disrupt CD81 assocns. with other cell surface proteins, and bind reversibly to HCV-E2. These results provide an important proof of concept that CD81-based mimics can disrupt binding of HCV-E2 to CD81.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BD3sXnsVWqsb4%253D&md5=9c3dab64e81daeb818c1d433f5fef65c 18 Cragg, G. M. ; Newman, D. J. Pure Appl. Chem. 2005 , 77 , 7 '' 24 , DOI: 10.1351/pac200577010007 [
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Cragg, Gordon M.; Newman, David J.
Pure and Applied Chemistry ( 2005 ), 77 ( 1 ), 7-24 CODEN: PACHAS ; ISSN: 0033-4545 . ( International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry )
A review. Nature has been a source of medicinal agents for thousands of years and continues to be an abundant source of novel chemotypes and pharmacophores. With only 5 to 15% of the approx. 250 000 species of higher plants systematically investigated, and the potential of the marine environment barely tapped, these areas will remain a rich source of novel bioactive compds. Less than 1% of bacterial and 5% of fungal species are currently known, and the potential of novel microbial sources, particularly those found in extreme environments, seems unbounded. To these natural sources can be added the potential to investigate the rational design of novel structure types within certain classes of microbial metabolites through genetic engineering. It is apparent that Nature can provide the novel chem. scaffolds for elaboration by combinatorial approaches (chem. and biochem.), thus leading to agents that have been optimized on the basis of their pharmacol. activities. The proven natural product drug discovery track record, coupled with the continuing threat to biodiversity through the destruction of terrestrial and marine ecosystems and the current low no. of new chem. entities in pharmaceutical industry pipelines, provides a compelling argument in favor of expanded multidisciplinary and international collaboration in the exploration of Nature as a source of novel leads for the development of drugs and other valuable bioactive agents.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BD2MXisVWmsrk%253D&md5=e50b8c45b05a0abe0c272e710449e26d 19 Dias, D. A. ; Urban, S. ; Roessner, U. Metabolites 2012 , 2 , 303 '' 336 , DOI: 10.3390/metabo2020303 [
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Dias, Daniel A.; Urban, Sylvia; Roessner, Ute
Metabolites ( 2012 ), 2 ( 2 ), 303-336 CODEN: METALU ; ISSN: 2218-1989 . ( MDPI AG )
A review. Historically, natural products have been used since ancient times and in folklore for the treatment of many diseases and illnesses. Classical natural product chem. methodologies enabled a vast array of bioactive secondary metabolites from terrestrial and marine sources to be discovered. Many of these natural products have gone on to become current drug candidates. This brief review aims to highlight historically significant bioactive marine and terrestrial natural products, their use in folklore and dereplication techniques to rapidly facilitate their discovery. Furthermore a discussion of how natural product chem. has resulted in the identification of many drug candidates; the application of advanced hyphenated spectroscopic techniques to aid in their discovery, the future of natural product chem. and finally adopting metabolomic profiling and dereplication approaches for the comprehensive study of natural product exts. will be discussed.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BC38Xnt1SltLs%253D&md5=d02ea918e56b6cc7de17053adaf47650 20 vonNussbaum, F. ; Brands, M. ; Hinzen, B. ; Weigand, S. ; Habich, D. Angew.Chem. Int. Ed. 2006 , 45 , 5072 '' 5129 , DOI: 10.1002/anie.200600350 [
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von Nussbaum, Franz; Brands, Michael; Hinzen, Berthold; Weigand, Stefan; Haebich, Dieter
Angewandte Chemie, International Edition ( 2006 ), 45 ( 31 ), 5072-5129 CODEN: ACIEF5 ; ISSN: 1433-7851 . ( Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA )
A review. To create a drug, nature's blueprints often have to be improved through semi-synthesis or total synthesis (chem. post-evolution). Selected contributions from industrial and academic groups highlight the arduous but rewarding path from natural products to drugs. Principle modification types for natural products to drugs. Principle modification types for natural products are discussed herein, such as decoration, substitution, and degrdn. The biol., chem., and socioeconomic environments of antibacterial research are dealt with in context. Natural products, many from soil organisms, have provided the majority of lead structures for marketed anti-infectives. Surprisingly, numerous "old" classes of antibacterial natural products have never been intensively explored by medical chemists. Nevertheless, research on antibacterial natural products is flagging. Apparently, the "old fashioned" natural products no longer fit into modern drug discovery. The handling of natural products is cumbersome, requiring nonstandardized workflows and extended timelines. Revisiting natural products with modern chem. and target-finding tools from biol. (reversed genomics) is one option for their revival.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BD28Xot12guro%253D&md5=4521f405a693b7090394a5df52f44b05 21 Mishra, B. B. ; Tiwari, V. K. Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2011 , 46 , 4769 '' 4807 , DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2011.07.057 [
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Mishra, Bhuwan B.; Tiwari, Vinod K.
European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry ( 2011 ), 46 ( 10 ), 4769-4807 CODEN: EJMCA5 ; ISSN: 0223-5234 . ( Elsevier Masson SAS )
A review. The therapeutic areas of infectious diseases and oncol. have benefited from abundant scaffold diversity in natural products, able to interact with many specific targets within the cell and indeed for many years have been source or inspiration for the majority of FDA approved drugs. The present review describes natural products (NPs), semi-synthetic NPs and NP-derived compds. that have undergone clin. evaluation or registration from 2005 to 2010 by disease area i.e. infectious (bacterial, fungal, parasitic and viral), immunol., cardiovascular, neurol., inflammatory and related diseases and oncol.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BC3MXht1amt7zP&md5=62a6656e02e672ec35a35d30dd9c4397 22 Newman, D. J. ; Cragg, G. M. J. Nat. Prod. 2016 , 79 , 629 '' 661 , DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b01055 [
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Newman, David J.; Cragg, Gordon M.
Journal of Natural Products ( 2016 ), 79 ( 3 ), 629-661 CODEN: JNPRDF ; ISSN: 0163-3864 . ( American Chemical Society-American Society of Pharmacognosy )
This contribution is a completely updated and expanded version of the four prior analogous reviews that were published in this journal in 1997, 2003, 2007, and 2012. In the case of all approved therapeutic agents, the time frame has been extended to cover the 34 years from Jan. 1, 1981, to Dec. 31, 2014, for all diseases worldwide, and from 1950 (earliest so far identified) to Dec. 2014 for all approved antitumor drugs worldwide. As mentioned in the 2012 review, we have continued to utilize our secondary subdivision of a "natural product mimic", or "NM", to join the original primary divisions and the designation "natural product botanical", or "NB", to cover those botanical "defined mixts." now recognized as drug entities by the U.S. FDA (and similar organizations). From the data presented in this review, the utilization of natural products and/or their novel structures, in order to discover and develop the final drug entity, is still alive and well. For example, in the area of cancer, over the time frame from around the 1940s to the end of 2014, of the 175 small mols. approved, 131, or 75%, are other than "S" (synthetic), with 85, or 49%, actually being either natural products or directly derived therefrom. In other areas, the influence of natural product structures is quite marked, with, as expected from prior information, the anti-infective area being dependent on natural products and their structures. We wish to draw the attention of readers to the rapidly evolving recognition that a significant no. of natural product drugs/leads are actually produced by microbes and/or microbial interactions with the "host from whence it was isolated", and therefore it is considered that this area of natural product research should be expanded significantly.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BC28Xit1Kqu7k%253D&md5=c9f2a44ab6b66331b7ef6ca64029328a 23 Kanjanasirirat, P. ; Suksatu, A. ; Manopwisedjaroen, S. ; Munyoo, B. ; Tuchinda, P. ; Jearawuttanakul, K. ; Seemakhan, S. ; Charoensutthivarakul, S. ; Wongtrakoongate, P. ; Rangkasenee, N. ; Pitiporn, S. ; Waranuch, N. ; Chabang, N. ; Khemawoot, P. ; Sa-Ngiamsuntorn, K. ; Pewkliang, Y. ; Thongsri, P. ; Chutipongtanate, S. ; Hongeng, S. ; Borwornpinyo, S. ; Thitithanyanont, A. Sci. Rep. 2020 , 10 , 19963 , DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-77003-3 [
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Kanjanasirirat, Phongthon; Suksatu, Ampa; Manopwisedjaroen, Suwimon; Munyoo, Bamroong; Tuchinda, Patoomratana; Jearawuttanakul, Kedchin; Seemakhan, Sawinee; Charoensutthivarakul, Sitthivut; Wongtrakoongate, Patompon; Rangkasenee, Noppawan; Pitiporn, Supaporn; Waranuch, Neti; Chabang, Napason; Khemawoot, Phisit; Sa-ngiamsuntorn, Khanit; Pewkliang, Yongyut; Thongsri, Piyanoot; Chutipongtanate, Somchai; Hongeng, Suradej; Borwornpinyo, Suparerk; Thitithanyanont, Arunee
Scientific Reports ( 2020 ), 10 ( 1 ), 19963 CODEN: SRCEC3 ; ISSN: 2045-2322 . ( Nature Research )
Abstr.: Since Dec. 2019, the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused severe pneumonia, a disease named COVID-19, that became pandemic and created an acute threat to public health. The effective therapeutics are in urgent need. Here, we developed a high-content screening for the antiviral candidates using fluorescence-based SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein detection in Vero E6 cells coupled with plaque redn. assay. Among 122 Thai natural products, we found that Boesenbergia rotunda ext. and its phytochem. compd., panduratin A, exhibited the potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. Treatment with B. rotunda ext. and panduratin A after viral infection drastically suppressed SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in Vero E6 cells with IC50 of 3.62μg/mL (CC50 = 28.06μg/mL) and 0.81μÎ' (CC50 = 14.71μM), resp. Also, the treatment of panduratin A at the pre-entry phase inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection with IC50 of 5.30μM (CC50 = 43.47μM). Our study demonstrated, for the first time, that panduratin A exerts the inhibitory effect against SARS-CoV-2 infection at both pre-entry and post-infection phases. Apart from Vero E6 cells, treatment with this compd. was able to suppress viral infectivity in human airway epithelial cells. This result confirmed the potential of panduratin A as the anti-SARS-CoV-2 agent in the major target cells in human. Since B. rotunda is a culinary herb generally grown in China and Southeast Asia, its ext. and the purified panduratin A may serve as the promising candidates for therapeutic purposes with economic advantage during COVID-19 situation.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BB3cXitl2nsLvO&md5=85efcfa2ea697cdb22d7300e2e1ac37f 24 Muchiri, R. N. ; van Breemen, R. B. J. Mass Spectrom. 2021 , 56 , e4647 , DOI: 10.1002/jms.4647 [
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Muchiri, Ruth N.; van Breemen, Richard B.
Journal of Mass Spectrometry ( 2021 ), 56 ( 5 ), e4647 CODEN: JMSPFJ ; ISSN: 1076-5174 . ( John Wiley & Sons Ltd. )
A review. Invented to address the high-throughput screening (HTS) demands of combinatorial chem., affinity selection-mass spectrometry (AS-MS) utilizes binding interactions between ligands and receptors to isolate pharmacol. active compds. from mixts. of small mols. and then relies on the selectivity, sensitivity, and speed of mass spectrometry to identify them. No radiolabels, fluorophores, or chromophores are required. Although many variations of AS-MS have been devised, three approaches have emerged as the most flexible, productive, and popular, and they differ primarily in how ligand-receptor complexes are sepd. from nonbinding compds. in the mixt. These are pulsed ultrafiltration (PUF) AS-MS, size exclusion chromatog. (SEC) AS-MS, and magnetic microbead affinity selection screening (MagMASS). PUF and SEC AS-MS are soln.-phase screening approaches, and MagMASS uses receptors immobilized on magnetic microbeads. Because pools of compds. are screened using AS-MS, each contg. hundreds to thousands of potential ligands, hundreds of thousands of compds. can be screened per day. AS-MS is also compatible with complex mixts. of chem. diverse natural products in exts. of botanicals and fungi and microbial cultures, which often contain fluorophores and chromophores that can interfere with convention HTS. Unlike conventional HTS, AS-MS may be used to discover ligands binding to allosteric as well as orthosteric receptor sites, and AS-MS has been useful for discovering ligands to targets that are not easily incorporated into conventional HTS such as membrane-bound receptors.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BB3cXhvVymt7%252FN&md5=fa2b0774631da4dff58d761f277cefc1 25 vanBreemen, R. B. ; Huang, C. R. ; Nikolic, D. ; Woodbury, C. P. ; Zhao, Y. Z. ; Venton, D. L. Anal. Chem. 1997 , 69 , 2159 '' 2164 , DOI: 10.1021/ac970132j [
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van Breemen, Richard B.; Huang, Chao-Ran; Nikolic, Dejan; Woodbury, Charles P.; Zhao, Yong-Zhong; Venton, Duane L.
Analytical Chemistry ( 1997 ), 69 ( 11 ), 2159-2164 CODEN: ANCHAM ; ISSN: 0003-2700 . ( American Chemical Society )
In response to the need for rapid screening of combinatorial libraries to identify new lead compds. during drug discovery, we have developed an online combination of ultrafiltration and electrospray mass spectrometry, called pulsed ultrafiltration mass spectrometry, which facilitates the identification of soln.-phase ligands in library mixts. that bind to soln.-phase receptors. After ligands contained in a library mixt. were bound to a macromol. receptor, e.g., human serum albumin or calf intestine adenosine deaminase, the ligand-receptor complexes were purified by ultrafiltration and then dissocd. using methanol to elute the ligands into the electrospray mass spectrometer for detection. Ligands with dissocn. consts. in the micromolar to nanomolar range were successfully bound, released, and detected using this method, including warfarin, salicylate, furosemide, and thyroxine binding to human serum albumin, and erythro-9-(2-hydroxy-3-nonyl)adenine binding to calf intestine adenosine deaminase. Repetitive bind-and-release expts. demonstrated that the receptor could be reused. Thus, pulsed ultrafiltration mass spectrometry was shown to provide a simple and powerful new method for the screening of combinatorial libraries in support of new drug discovery.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADyaK2sXivVertb8%253D&md5=2fbae2fe277ad721bba9477c12eef120 26 Kaur, S. ; McGuire, L. ; Tang, D. ; Dollinger, G. ; Huebner, V. J. Protein Chem. 1997 , 16 , 505 '' 511 , DOI: 10.1023/A:1026369729393 [
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Kaur, Surinder; McGuire, Lisa; Tang, Dazhi; Dollinger, Gavin; Huebner, Verena
Journal of Protein Chemistry ( 1997 ), 16 ( 5 ), 505-511 CODEN: JPCHD2 ; ISSN: 0277-8033 . ( Plenum )
The screening of diverse libraries of small mols. created by combinatorial synthetic methods is a recent development which has the potential to accelerate the identification of lead compds. in drug discovery. We developed a direct and rapid method to identify lead compds. in libraries involving affinity selection and mass spectrometry. In our strategy, the receptor or target mol. of interest is used to isolate the active components from the library phys., followed by direct structural identification of the active compds. bound to the target mol. by mass spectrometry. In a drug design strategy, structurally diverse libraries can be used for the initial identification of lead compds. Once lead compds. have been identified, libraries contg. compds. chem. similar to the lead compd. can be generated and used to optimize the binding characteristics. These strategies have also been adopted for more detailed studies of protein-ligand interactions.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADyaK2sXks1aqt7Y%253D&md5=5a83b161e45e515d18c85bf6687f086b 27 Choi, Y. ; van Breemen, R. B. Combin. Chem. High Throughput Screen. 2008 , 11 , 1 '' 6 , DOI: 10.2174/138620708783398340 [
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Choi, Yongsoo; van Breemen, Richard B.
Combinatorial Chemistry & High Throughput Screening ( 2008 ), 11 ( 1 ), 1-6 CODEN: CCHSFU ; ISSN: 1386-2073 . ( Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. )
A high throughput screening assay for the identification of ligands to pharmacol. significant receptors was developed based on magnetic particles contg. immobilized receptors followed by liq. chromatog.-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). This assay is suitable for the screening of complex mixts. such as botanical exts. For proof-of-principle, estrogen receptor-α (ER-α) and ER-β were immobilized on magnetic particles functionalized with aldehyde or carboxylic acid groups. Alternatively, biotinylated ER was immobilized onto streptavidin-derivitized magnetic particles. The ER that was immobilized using the streptavidin-biotin chem. showed higher activity than that immobilized on aldehyde or carboxylic acid functionalized magnetic particles. Immobilized ER was incubated with exts. of Trifolium pratense (red clover) or Humulus lupulus (hops). As a control for non-specific binding, each botanical ext. was incubated with magnetic particles contg. no ER. After magnetic sepn. of the particles contg. bound ligands from the unbound components in the ext., the particles were washed, ligands were released using methanol, and then the ligands were identified using LC-MS. The estrogens genistein and daidzein were identified in the red clover ext., and the estrogen 8-prenylnaringenin was identified in the hop ext. These screening results are consistent with those obtained using previous screening approaches.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BD1cXitVSgs78%253D&md5=50e9fbfab98b56836fe724e3f4024c09 28 Rush, M. D. ; Walker, E. M. ; Prehna, G. ; Burton, T. ; van Breemen, R. B. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2017 , 28 , 479 '' 448 , DOI: 10.1007/s13361-016-1564-0 [
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Rush, Michael D.; Walker, Elisabeth M.; Prehna, Gerd; Burton, Tristesse; van Breemen, Richard B.
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry ( 2017 ), 28 ( 3 ), 479-485 CODEN: JAMSEF ; ISSN: 1044-0305 . ( Springer )
To overcome limiting factors in mass spectrometry-based screening methods such as automation while still facilitating the screening of complex mixts. such as botanical exts., magnetic microbead affinity selection screening (MagMASS) was developed. The screening process involves immobilization of a target protein on a magnetic microbead using a variety of possible chemistries, incubation with mixts. of mols. contg. possible ligands, a washing step that removes nonbound compds. while a magnetic field retains the beads in the microtiter well, and an org. solvent release step followed by LC-MS anal. Using retinoid X receptor-α (RXRα) as an example, which is a nuclear receptor and target for anti-inflammation therapy as well as cancer treatment and prevention, a MagMASS assay was developed and compared with an existing screening assay, pulsed ultrafiltration (PUF)-MS. Optimization of MagMASS involved evaluation of multiple protein constructs and several magnetic bead immobilization chemistries. The full-length RXRα construct immobilized with amylose beads provided optimum results. Addnl. enhancements of MagMASS were the application of 96-well plates to enable automation, use of UHPLC instead of HPLC for faster MS analyses, and application of metabolomics software for faster, automated data anal. Performance of MagMASS was demonstrated using mixts. of synthetic compds. and known ligands spiked into botanical exts.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BC28XitVylt7zK&md5=3559923c001633605cd534903e08a653 29 vanBreemen, R. B. Curr. Trends Mass Spectrom. 2020 , 18 , 18 '' 25 [
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Google Scholar 29 Affinity selection-mass spectrometry: defining the bioactive compounds in complex mixtures of natural products and combinatorial libraries
van Breemen, Richard
Current Trends in Mass Spectrometry ( 2020 ), 18 ( 1 ), 18-25 CODEN: CTMSAX ISSN: . ( MultiMedia Pharma Sciences, LLC )
Drug discovery from combinatorial libraries typically utilizes high-throughput screening of discreet compds., and the discovery of natural products with pharmacol. mechanisms of action relies on bioassay-guided fractionation. Both processes can be expedited through the application of affinity selection-mass spectrometry (AS-MS). AS-MS includes a family of MS-based affinity screening methods, including pulsed ultrafiltration (PUF)-AS-MS, size exclusion chromatog. AS-MS, and magnetic microbead affinity selection screening (MagMASS). All AS-MS approaches begin by incubating a pharmacol. important receptor with a mixt. of possible ligands, sepg. the ligand-receptor complexes from non-binding mols. (the approaches differ in this sepn. step), and then using LC-MS to characterize the affinity-extd. ligands. The speed, selectivity, and sensitivity of mass spectrometry and ultrahigh-pressure liq. chromatog. (UHPLC)-compatible MS ionization techniques, like electrospray and atm. pressure chem. ionization, make AS-MS ideal for characterizing ligands. Recent applications of AS-MS include allosteric as well as orthosteric ligand discovery, and finding ligands to membrane-bound proteins and RNA targets.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BB3cXit1CgtLzM&md5=8bbbd21bf76d9f5ea4ae51741cfae3fd 30 Citti, C. ; Linciano, P. ; Panseri, S. ; Vezzalini, F. ; Forni, F. ; Vandelli, M. A. ; Cannazza, G. Front. Plant Sci. 2019 , 10 , 120 , DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00120 [
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Google Scholar 30 Cannabinoid Profiling of Hemp Seed Oil by Liquid Chromatography Coupled to High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry
Citti Cinzia; Linciano Pasquale; Vezzalini Francesca; Forni Flavio; Vandelli Maria Angela; Cannazza Giuseppe; Citti Cinzia; Cannazza Giuseppe; Panseri Sara
Frontiers in plant science ( 2019 ), 10 ( ), 120 ISSN: 1664-462X .
Hemp seed oil is well known for its nutraceutical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical properties due to a perfectly balanced content of omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Its importance for human health is reflected by the success on the market of organic goods in recent years. However, it is of utmost importance to consider that its healthy properties are strictly related to its chemical composition, which varies depending not only on the manufacturing method, but also on the hemp variety employed. In the present work, we analyzed the chemical profile of ten commercially available organic hemp seed oils. Their cannabinoid profile was evaluated by a liquid chromatography method coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry. Besides tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, other 30 cannabinoids were identified for the first time in hemp seed oil. The results obtained were processed according to an untargeted metabolomics approach. The multivariate statistical analysis showed highly significant differences in the chemical composition and, in particular, in the cannabinoid content of the hemp oils under investigation.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A280%3ADC%252BB3cfosFCjuw%253D%253D&md5=d84097c06eebd8798e0d84c30e4cc374 31 Hazekamp, A. ; Fischedick, J. T. ; D­ez, M. L. ; Lubbe, A. ; Ruhaak, R. L. In Comprehensive Natural Products II; Mander, L. ; Lui, H.-W. ; Eds.; Elsevier : Oxford, UK , 2010 ; pp 1033 '' 1084 . 32 Pellesi, L. ; Licata, M. ; Verri, P. ; Vandelli, D. ; Palazzoli, F. ; Marchesi, F. ; Cainazzo, M. M. ; Pini, L. A. ; Guerzoni, S. Eur. J. Clin. Pharmacol. 2018 , 74 , 1427 '' 1436 , DOI: 10.1007/s00228-018-2516-3 [
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Google Scholar 32 Pharmacokinetics and tolerability of oral cannabis preparations in patients with medication overuse headache (MOH)-a pilot study
Pellesi, Lanfranco; Licata, Manuela; Verri, Patrizia; Vandelli, Daniele; Palazzoli, Federica; Marchesi, Filippo; Cainazzo, Maria Michela; Pini, Luigi Alberto; Guerzoni, Simona
European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology ( 2018 ), 74 ( 11 ), 1427-1436 CODEN: EJCPAS ; ISSN: 0031-6970 . ( Springer )
Purpose: The recent release of a medical cannabis strain has given a new impulse for the study of cannabis in Italy. The National Health Service advises to consume medical cannabis by vaporizing, in decoction or oil form. This is the first study that explores the pharmacokinetics and tolerability of a single oral dose of cannabis as decoction (200 mL) or in olive oil (1 mL), as a first step to improve the prescriptive recommendations. Methods: This is a single-center, open-label, two-period crossover study designed to assess the pharmacokinetics and tolerability of oral cannabis administered to 13 patients with medication overuse headache (MOH). A liq. chromatog. tandem-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was conducted for the quantification of THC, CBD, 11-OH-THC, THC-COOH, THC-COOH-glucuronide, THCA-A, and CBDA. Blood pressure, heart rate, and a short list of symptoms by numerical rating scale (NRS) were assessed. Results: Decoctions of cannabis showed high variability in cannabinoids content, compared to cannabis oil. For both prepns., THCA-A and CBDA were the most widely absorbed cannabinoids, while THC and CBD were less absorbed. The most important differences concern the bioavailability of THC, higher in oil (AUC0-24 7.44, 95% CI 5.19, 9.68) than in decoction (AUC0-24 3.34, 95% CI 2.07, 4.60), and the bioavailability of CBDA. No serious adverse events were reported. Conclusions: Cannabis decoction and cannabis oil showed different pharmacokinetic properties, as well as distinct consequences on patients. This study was performed in a limited no. of patients; future studies should be performed to investigate the clin. efficacy in larger populations.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BC1cXht12qu7rI&md5=ce0b1bfcb797eb45df5f0447000d9a5e 34 Sun, Y. ; Gu, C. ; Liu, X. ; Liang, W. ; Yao, P. ; Bolton, J. L. ; van Breemen, R. B. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2005 , 16 , 271 '' 279 , DOI: 10.1016/j.jasms.2004.11.002 [
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Google Scholar 34 Ultrafiltration tandem mass spectrometry of estrogens for characterization of structure and affinity for human estrogen receptors
Sun, Yongkai; Gu, Chungang; Liu, Xuemei; Liang, Wenzhong; Yao, Ping; Bolton, Judy L.; van Breemen, Richard B.
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry ( 2005 ), 16 ( 2 ), 271-279 CODEN: JAMSEF ; ISSN: 1044-0305 . ( Elsevier Inc. )
Although hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is used by post-menopausal women for the relief of menopausal symptoms and the potential redn. of osteoporosis, HRT also increases their risk of Alzheimer's disease, stroke, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer. Since the majority of these effects are assocd. primarily with estrogen binding to only one of the estrogen receptors (ER), new assays are needed that can more efficiently evaluate ER-binding and identify ligands selective for ER-α and ER-β. HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) was combined with ultrafiltration as a new method to investigate the relative binding of compds. to the ERs and to evaluate the structures of these estrogens. Mixts. of estradiol and six equine estrogens, including equilin, equilenin, 8,9-dehydroestrone, and their 17β-hydroxyl derivs., were assayed simultaneously to det. their relative binding to human ER-α and ER-β. Estrogens contg. a 17β-OH group were found to have higher relative affinities for the estrogen receptors than their ketone analogs. In addn., 17β-EN showed selectivity for binding to ER-β over ER-α. The results were compared to the IC50 values obtained by using a conventional radiolabeled estradiol competitive binding assay. Finally, the utility of neg. ion electrospray tandem mass spectrometry for the unambiguous identification of these estrogen isomers was investigated. Several characteristic recyclization pathways during tandem mass spectrometry were identified, which might be useful for distinguishing related estrogens.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BD2MXht1Cqtbc%253D&md5=7a6f2771791223985049a0b6bfe0a8cd 35 Zhao, Y. Z. ; van Breemen, R. B. ; Nikolic, D. ; Huang, C. R. ; Woodbury, C. P. ; Schilling, A. ; Venton, D. L. J. Med. Chem. 1997 , 40 , 4006 '' 4012 , DOI: 10.1021/jm960729b [
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Google Scholar 35 Screening Solution-Phase Combinatorial Libraries Using Pulsed Ultrafiltration/Electrospray Mass Spectrometry
Zhao, Yong-Zhong; van Breemen, Richard B.; Nikolic, Dejan; Huang, Chao-Ran; Woodbury, Charles P.; Schilling, Alexander; Venton, Duane L.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry ( 1997 ), 40 ( 25 ), 4006-4012 CODEN: JMCMAR ; ISSN: 0022-2623 . ( American Chemical Society )
A method is described whereby a family of homologues is synthesized in a one-pot reaction, without isolation or purifn., and the reaction mixt. is screened using a competitive binding assay based on pulsed ultrafiltration/electrospray mass spectrometry (PUF/ESMS) to tentatively identify those derivs. having the highest affinity for a target receptor. As a model system to test this approach, a synthetic scheme designed to prep. a series of analogs of the adenosine deaminase inhibitor erythro-9-(2-hydroxy-3-nonyl)adenine (EHNA), as diastereomeric mixts., was carried out. Pulsed ultrafiltration screening of the crude reaction mixt. against controls without protein detected protonated mols. corresponding to EHNA-type derivs. and three of its linear, alkyl homologues but did not show protonated mols. for an iso-Bu or benzylic EHNA deriv., suggesting the latter was inactive. To verify this conclusion, we prepd. E/THNA, the linear homologues, and the benzylic deriv. (each as a diastereomeric mixt.) and bioassayed them for their adenosine deaminase inhibition index ([I]/[S]0.5). The bioassay results for the individually synthesized analogs were in good agreement with that predicted by the obsd. relative ion enhancement in the PUF expts. Thus, the PUF protocol might be used as a general method to quickly provide direction to the chemist in search of drug candidates.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADyaK2sXnt1OgtLY%253D&md5=8f783c80c74421d1214a5831730df855 36 Liu, J. ; Burdette, J. E. ; Xu, H. ; Gu, C. ; van Breemen, R. B. ; Bhat, K. P. ; Booth, N. ; Constantinou, A. I. ; Pezzuto, J. M. ; Fong, H. H. ; Farnsworth, N. R. ; Bolton, J. L. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2001 , 49 , 2472 '' 2479 , DOI: 10.1021/jf0014167 [
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Google Scholar 36 Evaluation of Estrogenic Activity of Plant Extracts for the Potential Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms
Liu, Jianghua; Burdette, Joanna E.; Xu, Haiyan; Gu, Chungang; van Breemen, Richard B.; Bhat, Krishna P. L.; Booth, Nancy; Constantinou, Andreas I.; Pezzuto, John M.; Fong, Harry H. S.; Farnsworth, Norman R.; Bolton, Judy L.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry ( 2001 ), 49 ( 5 ), 2472-2479 CODEN: JAFCAU ; ISSN: 0021-8561 . ( American Chemical Society )
Eight botanical prepns. that are commonly used for the treatment of menopausal symptoms were tested for estrogenic activity. Methanol exts. of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus L.), and hops (Humulus lupulus L.) showed significant competitive binding to estrogen receptors α (ERα) and β (ERβ). With cultured Ishikawa (endometrial) cells, red clover and hops exhibited estrogenic activity as indicated by induction of alk. phosphatase (AP) activity and up-regulation of progesterone receptor (PR) mRNA. Chasteberry also stimulated PR expression, but no induction of AP activity was obsd. In S30 breast cancer cells, pS2 (presenelin-2), another estrogen-inducible gene, was up-regulated in the presence of red clover, hops, and chasteberry. Interestingly, exts. of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) and North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) induced pS2 mRNA expression in S30 cells, but no significant ER binding affinity, AP induction, or PR expression was noted in Ishikawa cells. Dong quai [Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels] and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.) showed only weak ER binding and PR and pS2 mRNA induction. Black cohosh [Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt.] showed no activity in any of the above in vitro assays. Bioassay-guided isolation utilizing ER competitive binding as a monitor and screening using ultrafiltration LC-MS revealed that genistein was the most active component of red clover. Consistent with this observation, genistein was the most effective of four red clover isoflavones tested in the above in vitro assays. Therefore, estrogenic components of plant exts. can be identified using assays for estrogenic activity along with screening and identification of the active components using ultrafiltration LC-MS. These data suggest a potential use for some dietary supplements, ingested by human beings, in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BD3MXitFentLs%253D&md5=5433658c43caff5f53645c5c638efe94 37 Rush, M. D. ; Walker, E. M. ; Burton, T. ; van Breemen, R. B. J. Nat. Prod. 2016 , 79 , 2898 '' 2902 , DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b00693 [
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Google Scholar 37 Magnetic Microbead Affinity Selection Screening (MagMASS) of Botanical Extracts for Inhibitors of 15-Lipoxygenase
Rush, Michael D.; Walker, Elisabeth M.; Burton, Tristesse; van Breemen, Richard B.
Journal of Natural Products ( 2016 ), 79 ( 11 ), 2898-2902 CODEN: JNPRDF ; ISSN: 0163-3864 . ( American Chemical Society-American Society of Pharmacognosy )
To expedite the identification of active natural products in complex mixts. such as botanical exts., a Magnetic Microbead Affinity Selection Screening (MagMASS) procedure was developed. This technique utilizes target proteins immobilized on magnetic beads for rapid bioaffinity isolation of ligands from complex mixts. A MagMASS method was developed and validated for 15-lipoxygenase. As a proof of concept, several North American prairie plants used medicinally by Native Americans were extd. with MeOH and screened. A hit from an ext. of Proserpinaca palustris, also known as mermaid weed, was flagged for further characterization using high-resoln. tandem mass spectrometry, dereplication, and identification using XCMS online. Through the application of high-resoln. product ion tandem mass spectrometry, comparison with natural product databases and confirmation using stds., the hit was identified as quercitrin, which is a known inhibitor of 15-lipoxygenase. The overall workflow of MagMASS is faster and more amendable to automation than alternative methods designed for screening botanical exts. or complex mixts. of combinatorial libraries.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BC28XhslGqt7nE&md5=274bfaf440ae494133c764360dc6e937 38 Wang, Q. ; Zhang, Y. ; Wu, L. ; Niu, S. ; Song, C. ; Zhang, Z. ; Lu, G. ; Qiao, C. ; Hu, Y. ; Yuen, K. Y. ; Wang, Q. ; Zhou, H. ; Yan, J. ; Qi, J. Cell 2020 , 181 , 894 '' 904 , DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.03.045 [
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Google Scholar 38 Structural and Functional Basis of SARS-CoV-2 Entry by Using Human ACE2
Wang, Qihui; Zhang, Yanfang; Wu, Lili; Niu, Sheng; Song, Chunli; Zhang, Zengyuan; Lu, Guangwen; Qiao, Chengpeng; Hu, Yu; Yuen, Kwok-Yung; Wang, Qisheng; Zhou, Huan; Yan, Jinghua; Qi, Jianxun
Cell (Cambridge, MA, United States) ( 2020 ), 181 ( 4 ), 894-904.e9 CODEN: CELLB5 ; ISSN: 0092-8674 . ( Cell Press )
The recent emergence of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in China has caused significant public health concerns. Recently, ACE2 was reported as an entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we present the crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2-CTD) spike (S) protein in complex with human ACE2 (hACE2), which reveals a hACE2-binding mode similar overall to that obsd. for SARS-CoV. However, at. details at the binding interface demonstrate that key residue substitutions in SARS-CoV-2-CTD slightly strengthen the interaction and lead to higher affinity for receptor binding than SARS-RBD. Addnl., a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and polyclonal antibodies (pAbs) against SARS-CoV-S1/receptor-binding domain (RBD) were unable to interact with the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, indicating notable differences in antigenicity between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. These findings shed light on the viral pathogenesis and provide important structural information regarding development of therapeutic countermeasures against the emerging virus.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BB3cXmvFGrur4%253D&md5=188108e44f104860d4a2b83707ce7230 39 Yi, C. ; Sun, X. ; Ye, J. ; Ding, L. ; Liu, M. ; Yang, Z. ; Lu, X. ; Zhang, Y. ; Ma, L. ; Gu, W. ; Qu, A. ; Xu, J. ; Shi, Z. ; Ling, Z. ; Sun, B. Cell Mol. Immunol. 2020 , 17 , 621 '' 630 , DOI: 10.1038/s41423-020-0458-z [
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Google Scholar 39 Key residues of the receptor binding motif in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 that interact with ACE2 and neutralizing antibodies
Yi, Chunyan; Sun, Xiaoyu; Ye, Jing; Ding, Longfei; Liu, Meiqin; Yang, Zhuo; Lu, Xiao; Zhang, Yaguang; Ma, Liyang; Gu, Wangpeng; Qu, Aidong; Xu, Jianqing; Shi, Zhengli; Ling, Zhiyang; Sun, Bing
Cellular & Molecular Immunology ( 2020 ), 17 ( 6 ), 621-630 CODEN: CMIEAO ; ISSN: 1672-7681 . ( Nature Research )
Abstr.: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is currently a major threat to public health worldwide. The viral spike protein binds the host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) via the receptor-binding domain (RBD), and thus is believed to be a major target to block viral entry. Both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV share this mechanism. Here we functionally analyzed the key amino acid residues located within receptor binding motif of RBD that may interact with human ACE2 and available neutralizing antibodies. The in vivo expts. showed that immunization with either the SARS-CoV RBD or SARS-CoV-2 RBD was able to induce strong clade-specific neutralizing antibodies in mice; however, the cross-neutralizing activity was much weaker, indicating that there are distinct antigenic features in the RBDs of the two viruses. This finding was confirmed with the available neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2. It is worth noting that a newly developed SARS-CoV-2 human antibody, HA001, was able to neutralize SARS-CoV-2, but failed to recognize SARS-CoV. Moreover, the potential epitope residues of HA001 were identified as A475 and F486 in the SARS-CoV-2 RBD, representing new binding sites for neutralizing antibodies. Overall, our study has revealed the presence of different key epitopes between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, which indicates the necessity to develop new prophylactic vaccine and antibody drugs for specific control of the COVID-19 pandemic although the available agents obtained from the SARS-CoV study are unneglectable.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BB3cXpsVOitLc%253D&md5=6386997d8670e5b9e863dc423839b07c 40 Tegally, H. ; Wilkinson, E. ; Giovanetti, M. ; Iranzadeh, A. ; Fonseca, V. ; Giandhari, J. ; Doolabh, D. ; Pillay, S. ; San, E. J. ; Msomi, N. ; Mlisana, K. ; von Gottberg, A. ; Walaza, S. ; Allam, M. ; Ismail, A. ; Mohale, T. ; Glass, A. J. ; Engelbrecht, S. ; Van Zyl, G. ; Preiser, W. ; Petruccione, F. ; Sigal, A. ; Hardie, D. ; Marais, G. ; Hsiao, N. Y. ; Korsman, S. ; Davies, M. A. ; Tyers, L. ; Mudau, I. ; York, D. ; Maslo, C. ; Goedhals, D. ; Abrahams, S. ; Laguda-Akingba, O. ; Alisoltani-Dehkordi, A. ; Godzik, A. ; Wibmer, C. K. ; Sewell, B. T. ; Louren§o, J. ; Alcantara, L. C. J. ; Kosakovsky Pond, S. L. ; Weaver, S. ; Martin, D. ; Lessells, R. J. ; Bhiman, J. N. ; Williamson, C. ; de Oliveira, T. Nature 2021 , 592 , 438 '' 443 , DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03402-9 [
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Tegally, Houriiyah; Wilkinson, Eduan; Giovanetti, Marta; Iranzadeh, Arash; Fonseca, Vagner; Giandhari, Jennifer; Doolabh, Deelan; Pillay, Sureshnee; San, Emmanuel James; Msomi, Nokukhanya; Mlisana, Koleka; von Gottberg, Anne; Walaza, Sibongile; Allam, Mushal; Ismail, Arshad; Mohale, Thabo; Glass, Allison J.; Engelbrecht, Susan; Van Zyl, Gert; Preiser, Wolfgang; Petruccione, Francesco; Sigal, Alex; Hardie, Diana; Marais, Gert; Hsiao, Nei-yuan; Korsman, Stephen; Davies, Mary-Ann; Tyers, Lynn; Mudau, Innocent; York, Denis; Maslo, Caroline; Goedhals, Dominique; Abrahams, Shareef; Laguda-Akingba, Oluwakemi; Alisoltani-Dehkordi, Arghavan; Godzik, Adam; Wibmer, Constantinos Kurt; Sewell, Bryan Trevor; Lourenco, Jose; Alcantara, Luiz Carlos Junior; Kosakovsky Pond, Sergei L.; Weaver, Steven; Martin, Darren; Lessells, Richard J.; Bhiman, Jinal N.; Williamson, Carolyn; de Oliveira, Tulio
Nature (London, United Kingdom) ( 2021 ), 592 ( 7854 ), 438-443 CODEN: NATUAS ; ISSN: 0028-0836 . ( Nature Portfolio )
Continued uncontrolled transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in many parts of the world is creating conditions for substantial evolutionary changes to the virus. We describe a newly arisen lineage of SARS-CoV-2 (designated 501Y.V2; also known as B.1.351 or 20H) that is defined by 8 mutations in the spike protein, including 3 substitutions (K417N, E484K, and N501Y) at residues in its receptor-binding domain that may have functional importance. This lineage was identified in South Africa after the 1st wave of the epidemic in a severely affected metropolitan area (Nelson Mandela Bay) that is located on the coast of the Eastern Cape province. This lineage spread rapidly, and became dominant in Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal provinces within weeks. Although the full import of the mutations is yet to be detd., the genomic data, which show rapid expansion and displacement of other lineages in several regions, suggest that this lineage is assocd. with a selection advantage that most plausibly results from increased transmissibility or immune escape.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BB3MXnslyju7Y%253D&md5=5c506e6dfc5abc7ed82669c3214a286b 41 Wakshlag, J. J. ; Schwark, W. S. ; Deabold, K. A. ; Talsma, B. N. ; Cital, S. ; Lyubimov, A. ; Iqbal, A. ; Zakharov, A. Front. Vet. Sci. 2020 , 7 , 505 , DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2020.00505 [
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Google Scholar 41 Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol, Cannabidiolic Acid, Î--9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid and Related Metabolites in Canine Serum After Dosing With Three Oral Forms of Hemp Extract
Wakshlag Joseph J; Schwark Wayne S; Deabold Kelly A; Talsma Bryce N; Cital Stephen; Lyubimov Alex; Iqbal Asif; Zakharov Alexander
Frontiers in veterinary science ( 2020 ), 7 ( ), 505 ISSN: 2297-1769 .
Cannabidiol (CBD)-rich hemp extract use is increasing in veterinary medicine with little examination of serum cannabinoids. Many products contain small amounts of Î--9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and precursor carboxylic acid forms of CBD and THC known as cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). Examination of the pharmacokinetics of CBD, CBDA, THC, and THCA on three oral forms of CBD-rich hemp extract that contained near equal amounts of CBD and CBDA, and minor amounts (<0.3% by weight) of THC and THCA in dogs was performed. In addition, we assess the metabolized psychoactive component of THC, 11-hydroxy-Î--9-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC) and CBD metabolites 7-hydroxycannabidiol (7-OH-CBD) and 7-nor-7-carboxycannabidiol (7-COOH-CBD) to better understand the pharmacokinetic differences between three formulations regarding THC and CBD, and their metabolism. Six purpose-bred female beagles were utilized for study purposes, each having an initial 7-point, 24-h pharmacokinetic study performed using a dose of 2 mg/kg body weight of CBD/CBDA (~1 mg/kg CBD and ~1 mg/kg CBDA). Dogs were then dosed every 12 h for 2 weeks and had further serum analyses at weeks 1 and 2, 6 h after the morning dose to assess serum cannabinoids. Serum was analyzed for each cannabinoid or cannabinoid metabolite using liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS). Regardless of the form provided (1, 2, or 3) the 24-h pharmacokinetics for CBD, CBDA, and THCA were similar, with only Form 2 generating enough data above the lower limit of quantitation to assess pharmacokinetics of THC. CBDA and THCA concentrations were 2- to 3-fold higher than CBD and THC concentrations, respectively. The 1- and 2-week steady-state concentrations were not significantly different between the two oils or the soft chew forms. CBDA concentrations were statistically higher with Form 2 than the other forms, showing superior absorption/retention of CBDA. Furthermore, Form 1 showed less THCA retention than either the soft chew Form 3 or Form 2 at weeks 1 and 2. THC was below the quantitation limit of the assay for nearly all samples. Overall, these findings suggest CBDA and THCA are absorbed or eliminated differently than CBD or THC, respectively, and that a partial lecithin base provides superior absorption and/or retention of CBDA and THCA.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A280%3ADC%252BB3s7mtVCmsg%253D%253D&md5=05de36433eefc7bcf3814aa2b5bbf7d1 42 Nguyen, L. C. ; Yang, D. ; Nicolaescu, V. ; Best, T. J. ; Ohtsuki, T. ; Chen, S.-N. ; Friesen, J. B. ; Drayman, N. ; Mohamed, A. ; Dann, C. ; Silva, D. ; Gula, H. ; Jones, K. A. ; Millis, J. M. ; Dickinson, B. C. ; Tay, S. ; Oakes, S. A. ; Pauli, G. F. ; Meltzer, D. O. ; Randall, G. ; Rosner, M. R. bioRxiv 2021 , 2021.03.10.432967. 43 Tautenhahn, R. ; Patti, G. J. ; Rinehart, D. ; Siuzdak, G. Anal. Chem. 2012 , 84 , 5035 '' 5039 , DOI: 10.1021/ac300698c [
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Tautenhahn, Ralf; Patti, Gary J.; Rinehart, Duane; Siuzdak, Gary
Analytical Chemistry (Washington, DC, United States) ( 2012 ), 84 ( 11 ), 5035-5039 CODEN: ANCHAM ; ISSN: 0003-2700 . ( American Chemical Society )
Recently, interest in untargeted metabolomics has become prevalent in the general scientific community among an increasing no. of investigators. The majority of these investigators, however, do not have the bioinformatic expertise that has been required to process metabolomic data by using command-line driven software programs. Here, we introduce a novel platform to process untargeted metabolomic data that uses an intuitive graphical interface and does not require installation or tech. expertise. This platform, called XCMS Online, is a web-based version of the widely used XCMS software that allows users to easily upload and process liq. chromatog./mass spectrometry data with only a few mouse clicks. XCMS Online provides a soln. for the complete untargeted metabolomic workflow including feature detection, retention time correction, alignment, annotation, statistical anal., and data visualization. Results can be browsed online in an interactive, customizable table showing statistics, chromatograms, and putative METLIN identities for each metabolite. Addnl., all results and images can be downloaded as zip files for offline anal. and publication. XCMS Online is available at https://xcmsonline.scripps.edu.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BC38XmtFWjsb0%253D&md5=b4274a19cfc55b1de51208178c36fc0d 44 Trott, O. ; Olson, A. J. J. Comput. Chem. 2009 , 31 , 455 '' 461 , DOI: 10.1002/jcc.21334 45 Berman, H. M. ; Westbrook, J. ; Feng, Z. ; Gilliland, G. ; Bhat, T. N. ; Weissig, H. ; Shindyalov, I. N. ; Bourne, P. E. Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 , 28 , 235 '' 242 , DOI: 10.1093/nar/28.1.235 [
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Nucleic Acids Research ( 2000 ), 28 ( 1 ), 235-242 CODEN: NARHAD ; ISSN: 0305-1048 . ( Oxford University Press )
The Protein Data Bank (PDB; http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/)is the single worldwide archive of structural data of biol. macromols. This paper describes the goals of the PDB, the systems in place for data deposition and access, how to obtain further information, and near-term plans for the future development of the resource.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BD3cXhvVKjt7w%253D&md5=227fb393f754be2be375ab727bfd05dc 46 Bates, T. A. ; Weinstein, J. B. ; Farley, S. ; Leier, H. C. ; Messer, W. B. ; Tafesse, F. G. Cell Reports 2021 , 34 ( 7 ), 108737 , DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108737 [
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Bates, Timothy A.; Weinstein, Jules B.; Farley, Scotland; Leier, Hans C.; Messer, William B.; Tafesse, Fikadu G.
Cell Reports ( 2021 ), 34 ( 7 ), 108737 CODEN: CREED8 ; ISSN: 2211-1247 . ( Cell Press )
In the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there remain unanswered questions regarding the nature and significance of the humoral immune response toward other coronavirus infections. Here, we investigate the cross-reactivity of antibodies raised against the first severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) for their reactivity toward SARS-CoV-2. We extensively characterize a selection of 10 antibodies covering all of the SARS-CoV structural proteins: spike, membrane, nucleocapsid, and envelope. Although nearly all of the examd. SARS-CoV antibodies display some level of reactivity to SARS-CoV-2, we find only partial cross-neutralization for the spike antibodies. The implications of our work are two-fold. First, we establish a set of antibodies with known reactivity to both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, which will allow further study of both viruses. Second, we provide empirical evidence of the high propensity for antibody cross-reactivity between distinct strains of human coronaviruses, which is crit. information for designing diagnostic and vaccine strategies for COVID-19.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BB3MXjtFKrt7k%253D&md5=2f5d98ec147aa43608c916ec343d6183 47 Crawford, K. H. D. ; Eguia, R. ; Dingens, A. S. ; Loes, A. N. ; Malone, K. D. ; Wolf, C. R. ; Chu, H. Y. ; Tortorici, M. A. ; Veesler, D. ; Murphy, M. ; Pettie, D. ; King, N. P. ; Balazs, A. B. ; Bloom, J. D. Viruses 2020 , 12 , 513 , DOI: 10.3390/v12050513 [
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Crawford, Katharine H. D.; Eguia, Rachel; Dingens, Adam S.; Loes, Andrea N.; Malone, Keara D.; Wolf, Caitlin R.; Chu, Helen Y.; Tortorici, M. Alejandra; Veesler, David; Murphy, Michael; Pettie, Deleah; King, Neil P.; Balazs, Alejandro B.; Bloom, Jesse D.
Viruses ( 2020 ), 12 ( 5 ), 513 CODEN: VIRUBR ; ISSN: 1999-4915 . ( MDPI AG )
SARS-CoV-2 enters cells using its Spike protein, which is also the main target of neutralizing antibodies. Therefore, assays to measure how antibodies and sera affect Spike-mediated viral infection are important for studying immunity. Because SARS-CoV-2 is a biosafety-level-3 virus, one way to simplify such assays is to pseudotype biosafety-level-2 viral particles with Spike. Such pseudotyping has now been described for single-cycle lentiviral, retroviral, and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) particles, but the reagents and protocols are not widely available. Here, we detailed how to effectively pseudotype lentiviral particles with SARS-CoV-2 Spike and infect 293T cells engineered to express the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, ACE2. We also made all the key exptl. reagents available in the BEI Resources repository of ATCC and the NIH. Furthermore, we demonstrated how these pseudotyped lentiviral particles could be used to measure the neutralizing activity of human sera or plasma against SARS-CoV-2 in convenient luciferase-based assays, thereby providing a valuable complement to ELISA-based methods that measure antibody binding rather than neutralization.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BB3cXhtF2gtLnF&md5=da4f1a5b2f0a2e4e52432c3d2a0798f1 48 Case, J. B. ; Bailey, A. L. ; Kim, A. S. ; Chen, R. E. ; Diamond, M. S. Virology 2020 , 548 , 39 '' 48 , DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2020.05.015 [
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Case, James Brett; Bailey, Adam L.; Kim, Arthur S.; Chen, Rita E.; Diamond, Michael S.
Virology ( 2020 ), 548 ( ), 39-48 CODEN: VIRLAX ; ISSN: 0042-6822 . ( Elsevier B.V. )
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 is the agent responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is closely related to SARS-CoV, which caused the 2003 SARS outbreak. Although numerous reagents were developed to study SARS-CoV infections, few have been applicable to evaluating SARS-CoV-2 infection and immunity. Current limitations in studying SARS-CoV-2 include few validated assays with fully replication-competent wild-type virus. We have developed protocols to propagate, quantify, and work with infectious SARS-CoV-2. Here, we describe: (1) virus stock generation, (2) RT-qPCR quantification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA; (3) detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen by flow cytometry, (4) quantification of infectious SARS-CoV-2 by focus-forming and plaque assays; and (5) validated protocols for virus inactivation. Collectively, these methods can be adapted to a variety of exptl. designs, which should accelerate our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 biol. and the development of effective countermeasures against COVID-19.
https://chemport.cas.org/services/resolver?origin=ACS&resolution=options&coi=1%3ACAS%3A528%3ADC%252BB3cXht1CjsLbO&md5=20d47cfc966206ecf1e6ce94fbe153b0 49 Katzelnick, L. C. ; Coello Escoto, A. ; McElvany, B. D. ; Chvez, C. ; Salje, H. ; Luo, W. ; Rodriguez-Barraquer, I. ; Jarman, R. ; Durbin, A. P. ; Diehl, S. A. ; Smith, D. J. ; Whitehead, S. S. ; Cummings, D. A. T. PLOS Neglect. Trop. Dis. 2018 , 12 , e0006862 , DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006862 This article has not yet been cited by other publications.
Biden imposes first sanctions over North Korea weapons program after missile tests | Reuters
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:04
WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The Biden administration on Wednesday imposed its first sanctions over North Korea's weapons programs following a series of North Korean missile launches, including two since last week.
The sanctions targeted six North Koreans, one Russian and a Russian firm Washington said were responsible for procuring goods for the programs from Russia and China.
The U.S. Treasury said the steps aimed both to prevent the advancement of North Korea's programs and to impede its attempts to proliferate weapons technologies.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comThe United States also proposed that five of those individuals also be blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council, which would need consensus agreement by the body's 15-member North Korea sanctions committee. read more
The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has sought unsuccessfully to engage Pyongyang in dialogue to persuade it to give up its nuclear bombs and missiles since taking office in January last year.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States remained committed to pursuing diplomacy with North Korea.
"What we have seen in recent days ... only underscores our belief that if we are going to make progress, that we will need to engage in that dialogue," he told a regular news briefing.
The Treasury Department said the sanctions followed six North Korean ballistic missile launches since September, each of which violated U.N. Security Council resolutions.
South Korea, a U.S. ally that has pushed Washington to back more engagement with North Korea, said it did not believe the move meant that Biden's administration had hardened its position.
"We think the U.S. measure reflected the existing U.S. position that implementing sanctions is also important, together with dialogue," a South Korean foreign ministry spokesperson told a briefing.
U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said the moves targeted North Korea's "continued use of overseas representatives to illegally procure goods for weapons."
North Korea's latest launches were "further evidence that it continues to advance prohibited programs despite the international community's calls for diplomacy and denuclearization," Nelson said in a statement.
It said the State Department had designated Russia-based North Korean Choe Myong Hyon, Russian national Roman Anatolyevich Alar and the Russian firm Parsek LLC for "activities or transactions that have materially contributed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery."
It said Choe Myong Hyon, a Vladivostok-based representative of North Korea's Second Academy of Natural Sciences (SANS), had worked to procure telecommunications-related equipment from Russia.
A missile is launched during what state media report is a hypersonic missile test at an undisclosed location in North Korea, January 11, 2022, in this photo released January 12, 2022 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERSFour China-based North Korean representatives of SANS-subordinate organizations - Sim Kwang Sok, Kim Song Hun, Kang Chol Hak and Pyon Kwang Chol - and one other Russia-based North Korean, O Yong Ho, were also targeted.
Sim Kwang Sok, based in Dalian, had worked to procure steel alloys and Kim Song Hun, who was based in Shenyang, software and chemicals, Treasury said.
In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that between at least 2016 and 2021, O Yong Ho had worked with Parsek LLC and Alar, the firm's director for development, to procure multiple goods with ballistic missile applications, including Kevlar thread, aramid fiber, aviation oil, ball bearings, and precision milling machines.
ROCKET FUEL MIXTURES
Blinken said Alar also provided O Yong Ho with instructions for creating solid rocket fuel mixtures.
"The procurement and supply relationship between O Yong Ho, Roman Anatolyevich Alar, and Parsek LLC is a key source of missile-applicable goods and technology for the DPRK's missile program," his statement said.
It also said O Yong Ho had worked to procure items including aramid fiber, stainless steel tubes and ball bearings from "third countries" it did not name.
North Korea's U.N. mission, Russia and China's embassies in Washington and the Russian firm did not respond to requests for comment.
North Korean media said leader Kim Jong Un observed the test of a hypersonic missile on Tuesday, the second in less than a week after he vowed in a New Year speech to bolster the military with cutting-edge technology. read more
Tuesday's test came hours after the U.S. mission to the United Nations, joined by Albania, France, Ireland, Japan and the United Kingdom, condemned last week's launch and called on U.N. states to fulfill sanctions obligations. read more
U.N. resolutions ban North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear tests and impose sanctions.
Anthony Ruggiero, a sanctions expert in the former Trump administration that failed to persuade Kim to roll back his nuclear program despite unprecedented engagement, called the new sanctions "a good start."
However, he said the Biden administration had allowed a reversal of sanctions pressure and added: "Biden needs to continue the designations to increase the pressure on the Kim regime."
Price did not respond when asked why no Chinese individuals or entities were targeted, or specifically when asked if China and Russia were doing enough to enforce sanctions, but stressed the importance of all U.N. states doing so, while adding: "Obviously we've not seen all of that."
Wednesday's actions freeze any U.S.-related assets of those targeted and prohibit all dealings with them.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Chris Gallagher; Additional reporting by Simon Lewis and Michelle Nichols, and Hyonhee Shin in Seoul; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Howard Goller, Grant McCool and Michael Perry
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Omicron Puts China's Zero-Covid Strategy to Its Toughest Test - WSJ
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:03
The country's effort to remain in a bubble points to more frequent and longer-lasting lockdowns with the arrival of the highly contagious variant
Updated Jan. 12, 2022 1:15 pm ETOver the past two years, China has used some of the strictest measures anywhere to keep Covid-19 out and long succeeded in holding numbers down. But as Omicron poses the biggest challenge since the start of the pandemic, the country is looking more boxed in by its own formula.
Beijing has repeatedly pointed to Western countries where the virus has run rampant as cautionary examples. But as the Omicron variant spreads inside China ahead of February's 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, an uncomfortable reality is setting in: The...
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Over the past two years, China has used some of the strictest measures anywhere to keep Covid-19 out and long succeeded in holding numbers down. But as Omicron poses the biggest challenge since the start of the pandemic, the country is looking more boxed in by its own formula.
Beijing has repeatedly pointed to Western countries where the virus has run rampant as cautionary examples. But as the Omicron variant spreads inside China ahead of February's 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, an uncomfortable reality is setting in: The country's ability to keep the virus at bay has meant low levels of natural immunity. Vaccination rates are high, but how effective Chinese vaccines are against Omicron remains in question.
China has held fast to its ''zero-Covid'' strategy despite a mounting toll on its people and economy, and as other countries have moved away from lockdowns. The highly contagious Omicron variant will be harder to manage, health experts say, likely leading to more frequent and longer-lasting restrictions.
''Covid-zero is great when you're at zero, but when you're not, it can become very disruptive to the community,'' said Ben Cowling, chair professor of epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong's School of Public Health.
Central-government authorities show no intention of changing their approach to Covid-19, which they continue to see as a success amid the Omicron surge, according to officials familiar with the government's thinking. Beijing is concerned that any relaxation in controls could lead to a big breakout of coronavirus cases, given the relatively low efficacy of Chinese vaccines and remaining pockets of unvaccinated people in the countryside, some of the officials said.
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''An outbreak would put a huge strain on the country's resources,'' said one of the officials, referring to China's limited healthcare facilities, especially in rural areas.
On Sunday, authorities in Tianjin'--a port city a half-hour from Beijing by high-speed train'--said they had found two locally transmitted Omicron infections. A day later, two people some 300 miles away in Henan province were linked to the same transmission chain.
The discoveries kicked off a now-familiar choreography: lockdown, mass testing and warnings of further restrictions to come.
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Tianjin suspended train and bus service to Beijing and on Wednesday embarked on a second round of testing everyone in the city of 14 million. Henan has closed most schools and banned public gatherings, including temple fairs and other celebrations ahead of the Lunar New Year. Several local governments in the province of 99 million have issued stay-at-home orders.
Under President Xi Jinping, China has veered toward a more top-down approach to any issue, and local officials, fearful they might be punished if they let Covid-19 gain a foothold, tend to err on the side of aggressive interpretation of the central government's policy instructions.
The strains the resulting measures are putting on communities throughout China were on display in the city of Xi'an, whose 13 million people have been ordered to stay in their homes for almost three weeks. Some complained of a lack of access to food. The account of a woman losing her unborn baby after waiting outside a hospital for hours for lack of a valid Covid-19 test sparked a wave of anger online in response to the harsh measures.
Two other Xi'an women told similar stories online, while others said family members with chest pain had faced deadly delays, incidents that seemed to mark a turning point in the public's patience with inflexible zero-Covid policies. The confusion around access to healthcare prompted a rare and direct public admission of wrongdoing. At a news conference, Liu Shunzhi, head of Xi'an's health commission, bowed in apology to residents. ''We feel deeply sorry,'' he said.
Xi'an's lockdown is one of the biggest since the sealing off of Wuhan in early 2020, and one of many carried out across China since the start of the pandemic. Ruili, a town of about 200,000 on China's border with Myanmar, has endured at least four lockdowns in a little more than a year, with residents spending months at a time in isolation. In October, more than 30,000 visitors were locked in Shanghai Disneyland and forced to undergo Covid-19 testing after one visitor tested positive.
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Economists are increasingly citing the potential for Omicron to take a greater toll on China's slowing growth this year, as restrictions and spreading infections keep many from work and make others reluctant to spend.
In a Jan. 3 note, Eurasia Group called China's zero-Covid policy'--and its possible failure to contain infections'--its top risk for the year, saying that continuing in the same way would lead to greater economic disruptions, more state intervention and a more dissatisfied population at odds with the narrative propagated by state media that China has defeated Covid-19.
China's recent Covid-19 flare-ups are prompting factory closures and clogging up ports, heightening fears of global supply disruptions. The world's third-busiest container port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, near Shanghai, risks worsening backlogs after more than two dozen Covid-19 infections were confirmed in the surrounding area. In August, the port was temporarily closed after the detection of a single case.
China isn't facing any easy choices. About 86% of its population have been fully vaccinated, but the vaccines most widely used, developed by Sinopharm and Sinovac, use inactivated virus. Those are widely believed to be less effective against Omicron infections than the mRNA vaccines developed by Moderna Inc. and by Pfizer Inc. with
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BioNTech SE .A Sinovac spokeswoman referred to a preliminary study published in December that showed that three doses of its vaccine provided some protection against Omicron but two were less effective. The study, which hasn't been peer reviewed, was based on blood samples of 120 participants in China. Sinopharm couldn't be reached for comment.
Zhong Nanshan, China's top Covid-19 expert, who has defended the zero-Covid policy, said last week that in theory China has reached herd immunity through its high level of vaccinations. He acknowledged that Chinese vaccines have been less protective against Covid-19 compared with mRNA vaccines but said that based on studies involving the Delta variant, they are still able to limit severe disease. He said that around 24% of people in China have received a booster shot.
China is accelerating its efforts to produce domestic mRNA vaccines and medicines for Covid-19, said an official familiar with the matter.
China has reported a total of 104,189 Covid-19 cases, and 4,636 deaths from the virus. China tallies both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases but includes only the former in its official count of confirmed cases.
One model from Peking University late last year projected that new daily cases could top 600,000 if China were to abandon its zero-Covid strategy.
Some health experts said that China could potentially address Omicron with different mitigation measures because Omicron generally causes less-severe disease, China's vaccination rate is high and doctors there, as world-wide, now have better information about how to treat Covid-19.
''The world is in a different stage of the pandemic,'' said Tulio de Oliveira, director of South Africa's Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation. He referenced the experience in South Africa, which emerged from a recent surge in Omicron cases with manageable outcomes.
Even if China were willing to take the risk, managing public perceptions in a country used to living in the relative safety of the bubble the harsh restrictions have created would be tricky. ''State and social media have been focused on highlighting the threat of the virus and at times exaggerating how serious the problem has been in Western countries,'' said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Observers say that if China were to pivot away from its zero-Covid strategy, it would likely be after the Winter Olympics, which close Feb. 20, and before a Communist Party congress on a yet-to-be-disclosed date in the fall. China's leaders would likely try to engineer the shift without what is known as an exit wave, such as the surge in infections now seen in countries such as Australia.
Before then, Beijing is taking no chances, setting up a ''closed loop'' around the events and going as far as warning residents not to try to assist Olympic vehicles even if they are involved in a road accident, and instead wait for authorities to respond, because of Covid-19 controls.
That intense focus on stamping out Covid-19 cases at all costs is what is concerning people such as a Xi'an man locked down at home, with the oranges he stockpiled when the restrictions were announced weeks ago now starting to rot. He is in his 30s and identified himself by his surname, Zhang, and is supportive of the overall Covid-19 policies but has concerns about the use of one yardstick for every outbreak.
''Without the lockdown and control measures, the situation would have been much worse than now,'' he said. In the first days of Xi'an's lockdown, he could still see from his window people walking their dogs. ''But all of a sudden, the local government shifted to a one-policy-fits-all mode: Everything was about Covid control, without considering special circumstances at all.''
Write to Natasha Khan at natasha.khan@wsj.com, Liyan Qi at liyan.qi@wsj.com and Keith Zhai at keith.zhai@wsj.com
Corrections & Amplifications About 86% of China's population have been fully vaccinated, mostly with vaccines developed by Sinopharm and Sinovac. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said only vaccines by Sinovac and Sinopharm have been approved for use in China. (Corrected on Jan. 12)
Teen hacker finds bug that lets him control 25+ Teslas remotely '' Ars Technica
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 11:56
Enlarge / The downside with offering APIs to interact with a car is that someone else's security problem might become your own.
Getty Images
A young hacker and IT security researcher found a way to remotely interact with more than 25 Tesla electric vehicles in 13 countries, according to a Twitter thread he posted yesterday.
David Colombo explained in the thread that the flaw was "not a vulnerability in Tesla's infrastructure. It's the owner's faults." He claimed to be able to disable a car's remote camera system, unlock doors and open windows, and even begin keyless driving. He could also determine the car's exact location.
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However, Colombo clarified that he could not actually interact with any of the Teslas' steering, throttle, or brakes, so at least we don't have to worry about an army of remote-controlled EVs doing a Fate of the Furious reenactment.
Colombo says he reported the issue to Tesla's security team, which is investigating the matter.
On a related note, early on Wednesday morning, a third-party Tesla app called TezLab reported that it saw the "simultaneous expiry of several thousand Tesla authentication tokens from Tesla's side." TezLab's app makes use of Tesla APIs that allow apps to do things like log in to the car and enable or disable the anti-theft camera system, unlock the doors, open the windows, and so on.
Many Americans Wondering Why Giant Barrier is Going Up Around White House and Live Feed is Off
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 11:47
What's going on at the White House?
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That's the question many people have right now, as they noticed something very odd happening outside.
There is construction equipment, and a huge concrete barrier going up.
Why on earth are they installing this?
MORE NEWS: Joe Biden's Approval Craters to Shocking New Low in Latest Poll
Concrete wall going up around the WH right now. Make of that what you will. pic.twitter.com/bweBIWctcB
'-- Bob (@B_W3T) January 12, 2022
Here's a closeup of the photos:
so uh why are they installing concrete barriers in front of the White House? pic.twitter.com/FDzkkanqMB
'-- Dr Bitcoin MD (@DrBitcoinMD) January 12, 2022
People also said the webcam feed has been cut off.
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I checked and as of this writing; they are cut off.
All WH feeds are cut. Does anybody know wtf is going on?https://t.co/uLd9lI89rvhttps://t.co/ePi7lMsQj6https://t.co/rky7iyPLELhttps://t.co/znKdpSpmQj https://t.co/drKCdgPB1k
'-- Akyra 🤍🇺🇸'š--¸ðŸ´ (@AkyraJera) January 12, 2022
At this writing, I haven't been able to find any information on why these barriers are up or why the White House feed is not working.
Here's what folks online are saying:
''Now all they gotta do is seal the exits and fill it up with more concrete.''
''Biden building the wall''
''Strong USSR 1991 energy here''
''They've declared war on us and are digging in.''
''It's to keep Brandon from wandering off.''
''Joe Biden is just making a cool sculpture Stop fearmongering''
''Definitely a rational act of a free and fair republic''
''And the border remains open'...''
''I'd say somebody's planning to do something people won't like''
The person who mentioned keeping Joe from wandering made me recall the local Delaware resident who said there's a rumor around town that Jill erected a fence around the Biden beach house to keep Joe from wandering off.
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I don't know if that's what they're doing here. I can't imagine Joe wandering out the front door of the White House, but he is pretty far-gone, so who knows?
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Pfizer Bets On Medical Cannabis With $6.7 Billion Acquisition
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 11:34
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Biden Warned Now Faces Same ''I Did Him In! I Saved All Of You!'' Deadly Fate As Soviet Leader Stalin
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 04:54
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January 12, 2022
Biden Warned Now Faces Same ''I Did Him In! I Saved All Of You!'' Deadly Fate As Soviet LeaderStalin
By: Sorcha Faal, and asreported to her Western Subscribers
A beyond stunning new SecurityCouncil (SC)report circulating in the Kremlin todaynoting that the first meeting of the Russia-NATOCouncil in over two-and-a-half years ended after four hours of crisis talks ,says the meeting is a follow-up of the negotiations between Russia and the United States held in Genevaon 10 January, and will be followed by a meeting of the OSCE PermanentCouncil that will take place in Viennaon 13 January'--and in a broadoutline, Russia's stance boils downto three key points: '' The pullout of USnuclear weapons from Europe, the termination of the practice of deployingNATO's conventional forces near Russia's borders and creating its militaryinfrastructure there and NATO's official refusal to draw Ukraine and Georgiainto the alliance ''.
Preceding today's Russia-NATO Councilmeeting, this report notes, AmericanAmbassador to NATO Julianne Smith declared: '' This alliance is not going to be rolling back time andreturning to a completely different era where we had a very different alliancethat was smaller, and a very different footprint'...I think we're operating intoday's world with NATO as it stands today, and I don't think anyone inside theNATO alliance is interested in going back in time to revisit an era where NATOlooked a lot different than it does today '''--when themeeting ended it saw NATO SecretaryGeneral Jens Stoltenberg revealing an impasse to further talks, with himstating: '' The Russian side has made it clear that it is not ready toschedule a meeting today '''--and when asked by the presswhat President Putin's next movewill be, it saw top Kremlin advisor Fyodor Lukyanov stating: '' The expert opinion that I can authoritatively declare is: Whothe heck knows? ''.
Security CouncilMembers in this transcript discussing these moves to avert warundertaken by the Kremlin note withalarm former CIA Director Leon Panettainsanely demanding that the socialist BidenRegime punish Russia with cyber attacks on infrastructure, electricgrid and pipelines '--an insane demand because these areacts of war that would result in an immediate retaliatory thermonuclear strikeby Russia against the United States'--today sees the leftist New York Times screaming to the Biden Regime '' We should break off talks with Russia now '',that they support with the lying claim '' In August 2008, Russia invaded Georgia and took control oftwo of its provinces '''--in factual reality saw thesetwo provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia having broken away from Georgia during the 1991''1992South Ossetia War, and then: '' On the 7th of August 2008, Georgia's president MikheilSaakashvili, a known risk taker and political gambler, launched his armyagainst the breakaway province of South Ossetia '''--anunprovoked invasion Russia quicklyresponded to in order to stop Georgia from massacring helpless citizens '--butas to what the lying leftist New YorkTimes is really in terror of, sees it being revealed in this screed whenthey reveal what happens if the BidenRegime slams sanctions on Russia:'' It responds to sanctions by cutting off gas supplies inmidwinter to the European Union '-- which gets more than 40 percent of its gasfrom Russia'...Such a move would force Washington to either escalate or abaseitself...It would be to America's global standing what the Suez Crisis was toBritain's'...At least Pax Britannica could, in itstwilight, give way to Pax Americana'...But to what does Pax Americana give way? ''.
While discussing the fact that, no matter if it accepts it or not, the age of American hegemony over the world has ended ,this transcript sees Chairwoman ValentinaMatviyenko astonishingly observing that '' Biden's about to get himself Stalined '''--anobservation she based on SupremeSocialist Leader Joe Biden, once again, publically referencing '' President Harris '', thus stronglysuggesting he knows what fate is about to be delivered to him'--a fate whoseclues about are further evidenced in Biden'smain leftist CNN mouthpiece discovered to be filled with deviant child rapists '--andis fate known about by the leftist newspaper USA Today, that yesterday shocked the world when it tried to destigmatizepedophilia .
Following Chairwoman Matviyenkomaking this astonishing observation about the fate awaiting Socialist Leader Biden, this transcriptsees Security Council Members havinga lengthy discussion about one of the most consequential years in modernhistory 1953 '--ayear that saw the immoveable object of the SovietUnion colliding with the unstoppable force United States on the KoreanPeninsula'--a Korean War that fundamentally transformed Cold War competition between Moscowand Washington, driving a massive buildup of US strength, and at its mostperilous moment nearly ignited World War III .
While staring into the abyss of WorldWar III in 1953, this reportdetails, the Soviet Union wasdespotically ruled over by Supreme Socialist LeaderJoseph Stalin, but in spite of the massive leftist propaganda effortsto conceal the truth, this was the year the Russian people learned to their shock and horror that Stalin was a child rapist who forced 13-year-old girl child Lidia Pereprygina to marry him '--in knowing that child rapist Stalin was insane enough to conceal hischild rape crime by unleashing World WarIII, on 9 March 1953 it saw Minister Lavrentiy Beriaof the People's Commissariat forInternal Affairs taking matters in his own hands and poisoning Stalin to death '--on 1 May 1953, during May Day celebrations, MinisterBeria admitted his poisoning of Stalinand declared to his comrade Sovietleaders '' I did him in!'...I saved all of you! '''--andwith Minister Beria himself being a child rapist , he wasthen arrested on 26 June 1953 , after which he was executed on 23 December 1953 .
The conclusion section of this transcript sees Security Council Members noting that just like Soviet leftist media propagandists did to keep the child rapecrimes of Stalin hidden, today American leftist media propagandistsare keeping hidden the truth that the FBI confirmed that Biden took nakedshowers with his young daughter and sexually molested her '--atruth that explains why Biden hasjust been '' poisoned by the documents that werehidden in a top secret shared drive '' belonging to theDefense Advanced Research ProjectsAgency, better known as DARPA,that prove beyond all doubt prove Covid was deliberately createdto kill millions '--military documents that prove beyond alldoubt that Ivermectin '' Works Throughout All Phases '' tocure Covid'--military documentsexposing the truth about Covid immediately blacklisted by leftist big tech giant Twitter '--whenconfronted yesterday by US Senatorsabout these beyond shocking military documents, yesterday, it caused Biden's top advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci to meltdownand visibly shake uncontrollably '--after viewing thesemilitary documents it saw mRNAexperimental Covid vaccine inventor Dr. Robert Malone exclaiming '' These are bigger than the Pentagon Papers '''--andafter viewing these military documents it saw world renowned American investigative journalist andaward winning author Naomi Wolfexclaiming: '' I can't overstate this, this is a premeditated kind ofmanslaughter of millions of people coordinated at the highest levels accordingto these documents ''. Note: Some words and/or phrases appearingin quotes in this report are English language approximations of Russianwords/phrases having no exact counterpart.]
Mass murdering genocidalsupreme socialist leaders like Joseph Stalin (top photo) and Joe Biden (bottomphoto) are always revealed to be demonic child rapists.
January 12, 2022 (C) EU and US all rights reserved.Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition itis linked to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase contentlicensed under CC-BYand GFDL.
[ Note :Many governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against theinformation found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about themany catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faal strongly disagree with in believing that it is every human being's right toknow the truth. Due to our mission's conflicts with that of those governments,the responses of their 'agents' has been a longstandingmisinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit us, and others likeus, that is exampled in numerous places, including HERE .]
[ Note: The WhatDoesItMean.com website was created for anddonated to the Sisters of Sorcha Faal in 2003 by a small group of Americancomputer experts led by the late global technology guru Wayne Green (1922-2013) tocounter the propaganda being used by the West to promote their illegal 2003invasion of Iraq.]
[ Note: The word Kremlin (fortress inside a city) as used inthis report refers to Russian citadels, including in Moscow, having cathedrals wherein femaleSchema monks (Orthodox nuns) reside, many of whom are devoted to the mission ofthe Sisters of Sorcha Faal.]
SupremeCourt Starts 15 Day Countdown To Save America
AmericansHave Been Warned'-- But They Forgot How To Think
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Jan Nieuwenhuijs on Twitter: ""We Failed" One of the largest newspapers in Denmark is apologizing for its journalistic failure during COVID-19 by only publishing official government messages without questioning them. Via @Niemandsknecht https://t.co/0DfZA
Thu, 13 Jan 2022 04:02
Jan Nieuwenhuijs : "We Failed"One of the largest newspapers in Denmark is apologizing for its journalistic failure during COVID-19 b'... https://t.co/Knp4NsuXBA
Tue Jan 11 12:57:54 +0000 2022
zzzbbll : @JanGold_ @Niemandsknecht Waiting for @CTV @CBC @CNN ðŸ¤--ðŸ¤--ðŸ¤--
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Thu Jan 13 03:50:16 +0000 2022
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Thu Jan 13 03:40:33 +0000 2022
'šSatoshi Nakamoto : @JanGold_ @Niemandsknecht https://t.co/tKoI4FJ8u6
Thu Jan 13 03:38:05 +0000 2022
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Thu Jan 13 03:37:04 +0000 2022
crypt🌖vðŸŒ-- : @JanGold_ @Niemandsknecht @BVeritatis
Thu Jan 13 03:36:11 +0000 2022
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Thu Jan 13 03:33:16 +0000 2022
NPC #123-666 ðŸ'‰ðŸ'‰ðŸ'‰ðŸ'‰ðŸ'‰ðŸ'‰ðŸ'‰ : @JanGold_ @Niemandsknecht https://t.co/IayybpCFg2
Thu Jan 13 03:31:25 +0000 2022
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Thu Jan 13 03:27:46 +0000 2022
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On Verra Ben : @JanGold_ @Niemandsknecht "les vaccins sont syst(C)matiquement appel(C)s notre super-arme>>. Et nos h´pitaux sont appel'... https://t.co/tOsi062C02
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Barry C. : @JanGold_ @Niemandsknecht You participated in fraud, collusion, cover up, deception, and damage to your citizens. Y'... https://t.co/lRe4nZFU0N
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Thu Jan 13 03:17:23 +0000 2022
thempiricalkid : @JanGold_ @Niemandsknecht It's way past apologies.They willing pushed the narrative when they knew it was bullsht.'... https://t.co/xODFrzJyPI
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Why Do NATO States Commit Energy Hara Kiri ? | New Eastern Outlook
Wed, 12 Jan 2022 22:00
Why Do NATO States Commit Energy Hara Kiri ? P 12.01.2022 U F. William Engdahl
There is a great paradox in the increasingly aggressive US and NATO military stance towards Russia, and China, when measured against the clearly suicidal national Green Agenda economic policies of the USA as well as the EU NATO states . An astonishing transformation of the economies of the world's most advanced industrial economies is underway and gaining momentum. The heart of the transformation is energy, and the absurd demand for ''zero carbon'' energy by 2050 or before. To eliminate carbon from the energy industry is not at this time, or perhaps ever, possible. But the push for it will mean tearing apart the world's most productive economies. Without a viable industrial energy base, NATO countries become a military joke. We cannot speak of ''renewable'' energy for solar, wind and battery storage. We must speak of Unreliable Energy. It is one of the most colossal scientific delusions in history.
On December 31 the new German coalition government shut down three of the remaining six nuclear power plants permanently. They did so at a point where natural gas in reserves were extremely low entering hard winter, and when any severe cold front could lead to power blackouts. Because of the German refusal to allow import of a second Russian gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, Germany is facing a 500% increase in the spot price of electricity compared with January 2021.
EU Energy Crisis Preplanned
In 2011 when Chancellor Merkel declared an early end to nuclear power, her infamous Energiewende, to phase out nuclear and go to renewable sources, 17 nuclear plants reliably supplied 25% of all electric power to the country. Now the remaining 3 plants must close by end 2022. At the same time the Green Energy agenda of the government since 2016 has closed 15.8 GigaWatts of coal generation as of January 2022. To make up for the fact that solar and wind, despite glowing propaganda, do not fill the gap, Germany's electric grid must import significant electricity from EU neighbors France and Czech Republic, ironically much of it from their nuclear plants. Germany today has the highest electricity cost of any industrial nation as a result of the Energiewende.
There is now a problem with the supply of nuclear electricity from France. In December EDF the French state nuclear agency announced a total of four reactors would shut for inspection and repairs following discovery of corrosion damage. President Macron facing April elections is trying to play the nuclear champ in the EU opposing Germany's strong anti-nuclear position. But the nuclear bridge is vulnerable and France is unlikely to make any major new investment in nuclear, despite recent claims, with plans to shut down twelve reactors in the next few years, along with coal, leaving both France and Germany vulnerable to future energy shortages. Macron's France 2030 program calls for investing a pitiful $1.2 billion in small plant nuclear technology.
But the nuclear issue is not the only fly in the EU energy soup. Every aspect of the current EU energy plan is designed to wreck a modern industrial economy, and the architects who generously fund green think tanks like the Potsdam Institute in Germany know it. To bring wind and solar, the only two serious options being implemented, to replace coal, gas and nuclear, is simply said, not possible.
Wind Mills and Madness of Crowds
For Germany, a country with less than optimal sunshine, wind is the leading alternative. One problem with wind as the winter of 2021 dramatically showed, is that it does not always blow, and unpredictably so. That means blackouts or reliable backup, which means coal or natural gas as nuclear is being forced out. Wind mills are misleadingly rated in terms of gross theoretical capacity when states like Germany want to boast of renewable progress.
In reality what counts is actual electricity produced over time or what is called capacity factor or load factor. For solar, capacity factor is typically only about 25%. The sun in northern Europe or North America doesn't shine 24 hours a day. Nor are skies always cloudless. Similarly wind doesn't always blow and is hardly reliable. Germany boasts of 45% gross renewable energy but that hides the reality. Frauenhofer Institute in a 2021 study estimated Germany must install at least six to eight times present solar to reach 2045 100% carbon free goals, something the government refuses to estimate costs for, but private estimates are in the trillions. The report says from the present gross 54 GW solar capacity as much as 544 GW by 2045 is needed. That would mean a land space of 3,568,000 acres or 1.4 million hectares, more than 16,000 square kilometers of solid solar panels across the country. Add major wind stations to that. It is a suicide recipe.
The fraud of wind and solar as a sensible carbon free option is beginning to be realized. This January 5, Alberta Canada where the government is furiously building wind and solar sites, a severe cold day with temperatures near 45 F minus, Alberta's 13 grid-connected solar facilities, rated at 736 megawatts, were contributing 58 megawatts to the grid. The 26 wind farms, with a combined rated capacity of 2,269 megawatts, was feeding the grid 18 megawatts. The total from renewables was a piddly 76 megawatts out of a theoretical 3,005 megawatts of supposedly green, renewable energy. Texas during the severe snow of February 2021 had similar problems with solar and wind as did Germany. Also when it snows solar farms are worthless.
As well to reach zero carbon from renewable sources huge acreages of land must be paved with solar reflectors or dedicated to wind farms. By one estimate, the amount of land needed to accommodate the 46,480 solar PV plants envisioned for the US is 650,720 square miles, almost 20% of the US lower 48 territories. This is the areas of Texas, California, Arizona and Nevada combined. Alone in the US state of Virginia a new green law, the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) has created an enormous rise in solar project applications to date for 780 square miles of solar slabs so far. As David Wojick points out, that is about 500,000 acres of countryside, farmland or forests destroyed and paved over with some 500 separate projects blanketing much of rural Virginia that will need a staggering 160 million solar panels, mostly from China and all destined to become hundreds of tons of toxic waste.
Millions of Jobs?
The Biden administration and Renewables czar John Kerry have falsely claimed their Green Agenda or Build Back Better will mean millions of new jobs. They omit to say the jobs will be in China which produces far the most solar panels, a near monopoly after they destroyed the USA and EU competition a decade ago with cheap subsidized panels Made in China. Similarly most of wind power is made in China by Chinese companies. Meanwhile China uses record volumes of coal and postpones its pledge for zero carbon a full decade after the EU and USA to 2060. They are not willing to jeopardize their industrial dominance to a climate theory based on fake data and lies that CO2 is about to destroy the planet. The German trade union federation DGB recently estimated that since 2011 that country had lost some 150,000 jobs in the renewable sector alone, mainly as China-made solar panels destroyed leading German solar companies. And Germany is the most green-crazy EU country. Because by definition the less energy-dense renewables of wind or solar drive basic electricity costs far higher, they kill more jobs in the overall economy than they ever add.
NATO Industrial Collapse
Because solar and wind are in reality far more costly than conventional hydrocarbon or nuclear electricity, they drive up overall cost of electric power to industry forcing many companies to close or move elsewhere. Only official statistical fraud hides this. Europe and North America will need huge volumes of steel and concrete to build the expected millions of solar panels or wind parks. That needs huge amounts of conventional coal or nuclear energy. How many E-car electric charging stations will be needed to home-charge 47 million German E-cars? How much more electric demand?
A significant Green Energy think tank in the US, RethinkX ,issued a propaganda study for renewables in 2021 titled Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning . Their answer to the problems of low capacity for wind and solar is to build 500% or even 1000% more than envisioned to make up for the low 25% capacity factor. They make the absurd claim, with no concrete proof that, ''Our analysis shows that 100% clean electricity from the combination of solar, wind, and batteries (SWB) is both physically possible and economically affordable across the entire continental United States as well as the overwhelming majority of other populated regions of the world by 2030'... this superabundance of clean energy output '' which we call super power '' will be available at near-zero marginal cost throughout much of the year .'' That statement is presented without an iota of data or concrete scientific feasibility analysis, merely dogmatic assertion.
The late Canadian architect of the UN Agenda 21, Maurice Strong, a billionaire oil chum of David Rockefeller was Undersecretary of the United Nations and Secretary General of the June 1972 Stockholm Earth Day conference. He was also a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. He more than perhaps anyone else, is responsible for the de-industrialization agenda of the zero carbon ''sustainable economy.'' At the UN Rio Earth Summit in 1992 he openly stated the blunt agenda of the radical eugenics advocates such as Gates and Schwab: ''Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about ?'' That agenda is very much the Great Reset today.
War Now?
If the once-advanced, energy-intensive economies of NATO member countries in Europe and the USA continue on this suicidal journey, their ability to mount a convincing military defense or offense will become a mirage. Recently the corrupt German EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, declared that the high-tech German defense industry and its suppliers should not receive bank credit because they were not ''green'' or ''sustainable'' enough. Reportedly banks have already gotten the message. Along with oil and gas now defense production is targeted. Von der Leyen as German Defense Minister was widely blamed for allowing German defense to collapse to a catastrophic state.
In their now one-sided pursuit of their insane Agenda 2030 and Zero Carbon agenda, the Biden Administration and the EU are putting their industry on a deliberate road to destruction well before the end of this decade. Is this in turn driving the current NATO agenda towards Russia in Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia and now Kazakhstan? If the NATO Powers that Be know they will lack the basic in depth military industrial infrastructure in the near future, do they think it better to provoke a possible war with Russia now, to eliminate a potential resistor to their de-industrial agenda? Other than China, Russia holds the only potential to deal a devastating blow to NATO if provoked.
Mass Formation Psychosis or Madness of Crowds
In 1852 English historian Charles Mackay wrote a classic titled Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds , giving a little-known insight to the mass hysteria behind the religious Great Crusades of the 12 th Century, the Witch Mania or the Dutch Tulip Mania and numerous other popular delusions. It is relevant to understand the global irrational rush to economic and political suicide.
The same key actors behind the mass COVID vaccine mandates for an unproven experimental genetic-altering vaccine and the ensuing lockdowns globally, including Bill Gates and Pope Francis, are behind the Klaus Schwab World Economic Forum Great Reset and its UN Agenda 2030 green zero carbon madness, to get the world to accept unprecedented draconian economic measures.
This will require a docile and physically weak population to be railroaded, what Belgian psychology professor Dr. Mattias Desmet and Dr Robert Malone call Mass Formation Psychosis, a crowd psychosis, a kind of mass hypnosis that ignores reason. It is clear that both the myth of Global Warming and the corona pandemic agenda require such a mass hypnosis'--an ''extraordinary popular delusion.'' Without the COVID fear hysteria we would never allow the Green Agenda to get so far that our very electric grids are on the verge of blackouts and our economies on verge of breakdown. The ultimate goal of both the COVID WHO pandemic and the Green Agenda is a march to Schwab's dystopian Great Reset of the entire world economy to the benefit of a corporate dictatorship by a handful of global corporations like BlackRock or Google-Alphabet.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook''.
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An Open Letter to Spotify '' An Open Letter to Spotify
Wed, 12 Jan 2022 21:36
An Open Letter to Spotify: A call from the global scientific and medical communities to implement a misinformation policy
On Dec. 31, 2021, the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE), a Spotify-exclusive podcast, uploaded a highly controversial episode featuring guest Dr. Robert Malone (#1757). The episode has been criticized for promoting baseless conspiracy theories and the JRE has a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals. JRE #1757 is not the only transgression to occur on the Spotify platform, but a relevant example of the platform's failure to mitigate the damage it is causing.
We are a coalition of scientists, medical professionals, professors, and science communicators spanning a wide range of fields such as microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, and neuroscience and we are calling on Spotify to take action against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform. With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE is the world's largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Though Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, the company presently has no misinformation policy.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine. He has discouraged vaccination in young people and children, incorrectly claimed that mRNA vaccines are ''gene therapy,'' promoted off-label use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 (contrary to FDA warnings ), and spread a number of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. In episode #1757, Rogan hosted Dr. Robert Malone, who was suspended from Twitter for spreading misinformation about COVID-19. Dr. Malone used the JRE platform to further promote numerous baseless claims, including several falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and an unfounded theory that societal leaders have ''hypnotized'' the public. Many of these statements have already been discredited . Notably, Dr. Malone is one of two recent JRE guests who has compared pandemic policies to the Holocaust . These actions are not only objectionable and offensive, but also medically and culturally dangerous.
The average age of JRE listeners is 24 years old and according to data from Washington State, unvaccinated 12-34 year olds are 12 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID than those who are fully vaccinated. Dr. Malone's interview has reached many tens of millions of listeners vulnerable to predatory medical misinformation. Mass-misinformation events of this scale have extraordinarily dangerous ramifications. As scientists, we face backlash and resistance as the public grows to distrust our research and expertise. As educators and science communicators, we are tasked with repairing the public's damaged understanding of science and medicine. As physicians, we bear the arduous weight of a pandemic that has stretched our medical systems to their limits and only stands to be exacerbated by the anti-vaccination sentiment woven into this and other episodes of Rogan's podcast.
This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform. We, the undersigned doctors, nurses, scientists, and educators thus call on Spotify to immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform.
Signed,
Adriana Sosa, DO: Medical Resident
Adrianna Tseretopoulos, MBBS, MRCGP: Physician
Alexis Paulson, MSN, APRN: Nurse Practitioner
Alie Ward: Host/Science Correspondent, Ologies Podcast
Allison Myers, MD, MPH: Nurse Practitioner
Allison Neitzel, MD: Physician
Alyssa Fears, PhD, MPH&TM: Postdoctoral Fellow; University of Texas Medical Branch
Anand Swaminathan, MD, MPH: Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, St. Joseph's University Medical Center
Andrea Love, PhD: Immunologist/Microbiologist
Andrei Mayer, PhD: Assistant Professor, Federal University of Santa Catarina
Andrew Bauman, MD: Medical Faculty; Geisle School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Angela Lindsay, AGPCNP: Nurse Practitioner
Angharad Ames, MD: Chief Resident, University of California Riverside
Anita Patel, MD: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Childrens National Medical Center
Anna Stovall, PhD: Associate Medical Writer, Apothecom
April English, MPH: Science Correspondent, Unbiased Science Podcast
Arden Heath: Clinical Microbiology MS Student
AS Richards: Research Fellow, Science Communicator
Asher Williams, PhD: Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University
Ashim Ahuja, MD: Physician
Ashley Pacheco, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC: Nurse Practitioner
Atoosa Kourosh, MD, MPH: Clinical Faculty, Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Autumn Schuster, MSW, LCSW: Licensed Clinical Social Worker, University of California Irvine
Avisha NessAiver, MS: Chief Science Officer, MedStartr Direct
Azad Gucwa, PhD, MT(ASCP): Assistant Professor; Farmingdale State College
Azizul Rehman, MD: Interventional Cardiologist
Azza Gadir, PhD: Immunologist
Baptiste Lacoste, PhD: Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa
Barry Jarvis, MD: Attending Physician
Ben Rein, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University
Benjamin Steinberg, PsyD: Psychologist
Bianca Patel, MD, MPH: Pediatrician
Blair Bentley, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Bnar Talabani, MBBCh: Clinical Nephrologist
Boris Tezak, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University Medical Center
Breann Abernathy, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota
Brianna Soreth, MA: Clinical Research Coordinator
Bridget Scallen, MS: Editor, Unbiased Science Podcast
Cara Grome, MD: Psychiatrist
Cara L Santa Maria, MS, MA: Psychotherapist, PhD Candidate, Cedars Sinai Medical Center
Carl Nathan, MD: Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine
Carrie Ingersoll-Wood: PhD Candidate, Syracuse University
Cassandre Gousse, BSN, RN: Registered Nurse
Chelsea Matos, MSN, FNP-C: Family Nurse Practitioner
Christian Capitini, MD: Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Christine Garvey, DVM: Associate Veterinarian
Christopher McMillan, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Queensland
Cole Kraten: Director of Research, Grasshopper Farms
Colleen Trecartin-Frost, DMD: Dentist
Courtney Kennedy, MS, PA-C: Physician Assistant
Crissi Stokes, DHSc: Professor
Crystal Pawula, MSN: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Cydney Jardine, MPH: Epidemiological Researcher, Colorado State University
Daniel Anthony Barone, MD: Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology; Weill Cornell Medicine
Daniel Wilson, PhD: Analytical Scientist, Eurofins
Danielle Jones, MD, FACOG: Consultant, Southland DHB
Danielle Levitt, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
David Craig, MD: Emergency Medicine Physician
David Levine, MA: Writer/Researcher, Johns Hopkins University
David Stukus, MD: Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Nationwide Childrens Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Dee Chohan, MBBChir, FACEM: Staff Specialist in Emergency Medicine
Divya Ramjee, MS: PhD Candidate, Adjunct Professor, American University
Dorothy Zahor, MS: Eastern Michigan University
Eden Maness, MA: Psychiatry Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School
Elisabeth Marnik, PhD: Assistant Professor of Molecular Biochemistry and Microbiology
Elissa Tremblay, MSN: Nurse Practitioner
Elizabeth Cebul, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow
Elizabeth Delery, PhD: Assistant Professor, Marian University
Elle Michel, LMFT: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Emily Cheng, BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC: ICU Nurse
Emily Scott, RN, BSN: Registered Nurse
Emma Fite-Wassilak, MD: Family Physician
Eric Burnett, MD, MBS: Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
Eric Topol, MD: Professor and EVP, Scripps Research
Erica Wilson, PharmD, BCPS: Assistant Professor, Notre Dame of MD University School of Pharmacy
Erin MacMillan, PA: Physician Associate
Esther Sandoval, MSc: Associate Professor, College of the Sequoias
Ethan Chapin, MD: Emergency Physician
Forrest Valkai: Masters Student, University of Tulsa
Flyne Anderson, RN, BSN: Registered Nurse
Francis Barany, PhD: Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine
Gabriel Evaristo, MD: Obstetrician-Gynecologist
Gabrielle Hood, MD: Staff Physician
Georgina Morley, PhD
Glen Pyle, PhD: Professor, University of Guelph
Gregory Baker, MD: Attending Anesthesiologist
Haley Amplo: Graduate Researcher, Rutgers University Newark
Hayley Dewey-Hagborg, MS: Associate Scientist, Intellia Therapeutics
Heather Caslin, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University
Heather Irobunda, MD: Attending Physician
Imogen R Coe, PhD: Professor, Ryerson University
Inna Kanevsky, PhD: Professor, San Diego Mesa College
Jaclyn Steinbach, BVetMed MRCVS: Head of Veterinary Translational Medicine
Jaclyn Usuriello, RN, BSN: Research Nurse
Jaclyn Wolfe: Senior Biochemist
James Bradac, PhD: Former Chief, Preclinical R&D, Division of Aids, NIAID, NIH
Jason Prystowsky, MD, MPH: Emergency Physician
Jen Gunter, MD: Physician
Jen Nossokoff, PA-C: Physician Assistant
Jena Hales, PhD: Associate Professor of Neuroscience, University of San Diego
Jenna Lizewski, DNP, FNP-C: Family Nurse Practitioner
Jenna Meyers, MSN, CPNP: Emergency Medicine Nurse Practitioner
Jennifer Hickey: Senior Research Associate, Sherlock Biosciences
Jennifer Lincoln, MD: Attending Physician
Jennifer Wenzel, PhD: Assistant Professor, University of San Diego
Jessica Malaty Rivera, MS: Infectious Disease Epidemiology Research Fellow, Boston Children's Hospital
Jessica Steier, DrPH: Public Health Scientist
Jessica Stokes-Parish, PhD, RN, MNurs: Assistant Professor of Medicine, Bond University
Jessie Brown, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University
Jilyan Decker, MD: Resident Physician
Joan Chandra, MD: Instructor in Medicine, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Johanna Hild, DO: Resident Physician
John Brownstein, PhD: Professor, Harvard Medical School
John P Moore, PhD: Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medicine
Jonathan Alessi: MD/PhD Candidate
Jonathan Jarry, MSc: Science Correspondent, McGill University
Jonathan Laxton, MD, FRCPC: Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Manitoba
Jonathan N Stea, PhD: Clinical Psychologist, Adjust Assistant Professor, University of Calgary
Joseph Osmundson, PhD: Clinical Assistant Professor, New York University
Joseph Zundell, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
Juan R Cubillos-Ruiz, PhD: Associate Professor of Immunology, Weill Cornell Medicine
Justin Trotter, PhD: Instructor, Stanford University
Justyna Kulpa, PhD: Senior Scientist, Canopy Growth Corporation
Kaitlyn Gooding, MD: Medical Resident
Karen Nguyen: Public Health Microbiologist, Cal State University Fullerton
Karen Tang, MD, MPH: Senior Physician
Karl Nadolsky, DO: Endocrinologist, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Michigan State University
Katie Ruschman, RN, BSN: Nurse
Katie Stiles, PhD: Assistant Professor of Research, Weill Cornell Medicine
Katrine L Wallace, PhD: Epidemiologist, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
Kayla A Nichols, PharmD: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Emory University
Kirsta Hoffman, MD: Physician
Korinne Bricker: COVID-19 Laboratory Supervisor
Kristen Watt, RPh: Pharmacist
Kristin Fontes, MD: Emergency Medicine Physician
Lace Riggs, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow; Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lara Lambert, MD: Physician
Laur Rubino, PhD
Laura Dees, BSN, MS, APRN, CRNA
Laura Hlohinec, RN: Registered Nurse
Lauren Bello-Matricaria, MPH: Clinical Research Monitor
Laren Seserko, OTR/L
Leah Steinberg: Medical Student
Lexi Goldstein, MD: Medical Resident
Lia Griffiths, PsyD: Psychologist
Lindsey Shultz, MD: Public Health Advisor
Lisa Boone, PA-C: Physician Assistant
Lisle Winston, MD: Medical Resident
Loralee Richter, PA-C, MS: Physician Assistant
Lorna Tychostup, MS: Senior Communications Consultant, NYU
Maddy Lewis, MPH: Infectious Disease Epidemiologist
Madelyn Pecyne, PA-C:Physician Assistant
Maike Neuhaus, PhD: Honorary Research Fellow, University of Queensland
Mallory Harris: PhD Student, Stanford University
Marcia Miller, MD: Physician
Maren Abromowitz, MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
Maria Victoria Dreher Wentz, MSc: Science Communicator
Marie-Helene Lofland ANP-BC, CCRN, NEA: Nurse Practitioner
Mary Colasanto, PhD: Clinical Genomic Scientist, PerkinElmer Genomics
Mauricio Gonzales-Arias, MD: Attending Physician
Megan Hanley, NAR: Nursing Assistant
Melanie Evans Jakle, MSc: Research Scientist
Melissa Aswad, MPAS, PA-C: Physician Assistant
Merridee Lefner, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas at San Antonio
Michael Aptman, MD: Professor, University of Miami School of Medicine
Michael LaFontaine, PhD: Professor of Medical Biochemistry, Marian University COM
Michael Lederman, MD: Professor of Medicine (Emeritus), Case Western Reserve University
Michael Natter, MD: Endocrinology Fellow
Michelle Krogsgaard, PhD: Associate Professor, New York University School of Medicine
Milene Vandal, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Calgary
Mirella Salvatore, MD: Assistant Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine
Miriam Merad, MD, PhD: Director, Precision Immunology Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mirvat Termos, MPH: PhD Student
Moira Rashid, MD, MPH
Molly Nowels: PhD Candidate, Rutgers School of Public Health
Monique L. Smith, PhD: Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, University of San Diego
Morgan Freney: PhD Candidate, University of Queensland
Natalie Soto, MSc: Science Teacher
Natasha Bolotinsky, MD: Attending Physician
Navinder Jassil, MD: Endocrinologist
Neil Harrison, PhD: Professor, Columbia University
Nils-Petter Rudqvist, PhD: Assistant Professor, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Nini Mu±oz, PhD: Senior Design Engineer, Garmin Intl.
Oc(C)ane Sorel, DVM, PhD
Olivia Grant: PhD Student
Pascal S.C. Juang, MD: Physician, Former Chief Resident at Harvard Emergency Medicine
Paul Ian Cross, MSc, PhD: Clinical Research Consultant
Poorvi Desai, MD: Hematologist/Oncologist
Pushpendra Patel, MS, MD: Medical Student
Rachael Zemek, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Western Australia
Rachel Aslanian, BSN
Rachel Mirabai Moore Troll, BSN, RN: Registered Nurse
Rashmi Advani, MD, DABOM: Gastroenterology Fellow, Stony Brook University Hospital
Rayna Sobieski, MD: Attending Physician
Renee Cavanagh, PsyD: Subject Matter Expert, DHA
Risa Hoshino, MD: Pediatrician
Robert Duff, PhD: Clinical Neuropsychologist
Robin Hills, MMSci, MSRCS: Instructor, Shoreline Community College
Roger Nattrass, MD: Anesthesiologist
Romy Blacklaw, RN, IPN: Registered Nurse
Roshni Rao, PhD: Director, Johns Hopkins University
Ruben Diaz, DNP, FNP-BC: Nurse Practitioner
Ryan Marino, MD: Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Sabina Vohra-Miller, MSc: DrPH Student
Sallie Permar, MD, PhD: Professor and Chair of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medicine
Samantha Yammine, PhD: Neuroscientist, University of Toronto
Samira Jeimy, MD, PhD, FRCPC: Program Director and Assistant Professor, Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Western University
Sampril Banerjee, PhD, MStat: Associate Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine
Samuel Cohn, MD: Neurologist
Sandra Demaria, MD: Professor of Radiation Oncology and Pathology, Weill Cornell Medicine
Sara Gering, RN, BSN: Registered Nurse
Sara Pentlicky, MD, MPH: Chief, Division of Complex Family Planning
Sarah J McAnulty, PhD: Executive Director, Skype a Scientist, University of Connecticut
Sarah Perl, LCSW-R: Licensed Clinical Worker
Sasha Strul, MD: Pediatric Ophthalmologist and Strabismus Surgeon, University of Minnesota
Saskia Popescu, PhD, MPH, MA: Assistant Professor, George Mason University
Scott Fujimoto, DO: Assistant Professor, Loma Linda University
Sean Adwar, MD: Interventional Radiologist
Seth Trueger, MD, MPH, FACEP: Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Seth Turner, MD: Physician
Shari K Moore, DO: Resident Physician
Shauna O'Neal, CNM, FNP-C, RN, MSN: Registered Nurse
Shawn Carbonell, MD, PhD: CEO, Brazen Bio
Sheridan Nygard, MPH: Behavioral Health Case Manager, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Shoshana Ungerleider, MD: Internal Medicine / Host, TED Health Podcast
Silvia Chiara Formenti, MD: Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine
Sindhu Sathyanarayana, MBBS: Physician
Siyamak Saleh, MD: Medical Doctor, Department of Health South Africa
Spencer R Scott, PhD
Staci Tanouye, MD: Staff Physician
Stacey De-Lin, MD: Associate Medical Director
Steve Rathje: PhD Candidate
Stuart Horowitz, PhD, MBA: President and CEO, Institution Insights, LLC
Susanna Harris, PhD: Senior Manager of Communications, Xontogeny
Sushmita Mukherjee, PhD: Associate Professor of Research, Weill Cornell Medicine
Sydney Vita, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, Louisiana State University Health Sciences College
Tanya Lama, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, SUNY Stony Brook
Taylor Nichols, MD: Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor, University of California San Francisco
Teagan Wall, PhD
Teresa Albernas, MSN: Nurse Practitioner
Terra Kater, MSN, AGNP-C: Nurse Practitioner
Tessa Cremer: MPH Student, University of Minnesota
Thierry Alquier, PhD: Associate Professor, University of Montreal
Timothy Caulfield: Professor, University of Alberta
Todd Wolynn, MD: Pediatrician, CEO, Kids Plus Pediatrics
Tracy Ruscetti, PhD: Science Correspondent
Troy Wood, PhD: Associate Professor, University at Buffalo
Tyler Kuhk, MN, ARNP, AGNP-C: Nurse Practitioner
Valentina Martinez Damonte, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University
Veronica Certeza, RN: Nurse Practitioner
Victor Ruthig, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow, Weill Cornell Medicine
Walter Ian Lipkin, MD: Professor, Columbia University
Wen H Shen, PhD: Associate Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine
Willem Hanekom, MBChB: Professor, University College London
William Giardino, PhD: Assistant Professor, Stanford University
William Hanage, PhD: Associate Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Yasmin Mohseni, PhD: Scientist, Quell Therapeutics
Yevgeniya Sergeyenko, MD, MPH: Medicine Fellow, Emory University School of Medicine
Zachary Rubin, MD: Clinical Immunologist
Zainab Tanvir, MS: PhD Student,
Doctors Demand Spotify Puts an End to Joe Rogan's Covid Lies - Rolling Stone
Wed, 12 Jan 2022 21:34
As an infectious disease epidemiologist and research fellow at Boston's Children's Hospital who debunks health misinformation on Instagram '--where she has more than 380,000 followers '-- Jessica Malaty Rivera regularly receives tips from her followers about viral content to debunk. A few weeks ago, her followers started sending her a link to an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, the most popular podcast in the world. The episode was an interview with Dr. Robert Malone, a virologist who touts himself as one of the architects of mRNA technology.
Rivera was familiar with Rogan, as well as Malone. She knew that Malone had been banned from Twitter for promoting Covid-19 misinformation, and that he had been making the rounds in conservative media circles undermining the efficacy of the vaccine. When she watched the interview, she was horrified to see that he espoused various conspiratorial and baseless beliefs, from the idea that ''mass formation psychosis'' is responsible for people believing in the efficacy of vaccines; to the claim popular among anti-vaxxers that hospitals are financially incentivized to falsely diagnose Covid-19 deaths. The episode featuring Malone went viral, and was shared widely in right-wing media circles as well as on Facebook, where the link on Spotify has been shared nearly 25,000 times, according to CrowdTangle data.
Yet Rivera was even more horrified to discover that people in her life, whom she considered to be ''quite wise and discerning,'' were hoodwinked by Malone's patina of academic credibility, considering his views on the vaccine legitimate. ''When I saw they were falling victim to this, I spoke to some colleagues and we said something has to be done at this point,'' she says.
Rivera is one of 270 doctors, physicians, and science educators who signed an open letter calling on Spotify, which obtained exclusively streaming rights to the Joe Rogan Experience in a reported $100 million deal, to take action against misinformation on the platform, such as that contained in the interview with Malone. ''With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world's largest podcast and has tremendous influence,'' the letter reads. ''Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.''
The letter was initially appended with a lengthy fact-check of all of the claims presented in Malone's interview with Rogan, from the ''mass formation psychosis'' supposition to Malone's claim that the Biden administration is suppressing evidence supporting the efficacy of ivermectin as a Covid-19 treatment. ''P eople who don't have the scientific or medical background to recognize the things he's saying are not true and are unable to distinguish fact from fiction are going to believe what [Malone is] saying, and this is the biggest podcast in the world. And that's terrifying,'' says Dr. Ben Rein, a neuroscientist at Stanford University who co-authored the letter with Rivera and other doctors and educators.
The Malone segment is far from the first time Rogan has been accused of platforming misinformation on his podcast. In an April 23, 2021 episode, for instance, Rogan actively discouraged young people from getting the vaccine, saying in a conversation with comedian Dave Smith, ''if you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, 'Should I get vaccinated?' I'll go no.'''
Rogan has also promoted taking ivermectin to treat Covid-19 symptoms, despite the fact that there is no evidence to support ivermectin's efficacy as a treatment and that ingesting it can lead to such side effects as dizziness and uncontrolled vomiting. ''This doctor was saying ivermectin is 99 percent effective intreating Covid, but you don't hear about it because you can't fund vaccines when it's an effective treatment,'' he said on the same April episode of his podcast, as Rolling Stone previously reported. ''I don't know if this guy is right or wrong. I'm just asking questions.'' Rogan has also platformed many discredited physicians and academics who have spoken out against the vaccine, such as Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist who inaccurately claimed that COVID-19 vaccines are ''experimental'' and that the pandemic was ''planned.''
Katrine Wallace, PhD, an epidemiologist at University of Illonis Chicago School of Public Health, says that she considers Rogan ''a menace to public health'' for continuously platforming anti-vaccine ideology to his enormous audience. ''Having things like this on the Joe Rogan podcast gives a platform to these people and makes it a false balance. This is what really bothers me,'' she tells Rolling Stone. ''These are fringe ideas not backed in science, and having it on a huge platform makes it seem there are two sides to this issue. And there are really not. The overwhelming evidence is the vaccine works, and it is safe.''
Although many have criticized Spotify for hosting Rogan on its platform, the open letter to Spotify does not request that Rogan's show be taken off Spotify, nor does it demand that Spotify remove the Malone episode in particular. Rather, it is calling on Spotify to develop a comprehensive policy prohibiting misinformation. ''A ny podcast that platforms dangerous people, people spreading dangerous ideas and misinformation, should not be allowed to go unchecked on the Spotify platform,'' says Abbie Richards, a researcher specializing in misinformation. Richards gave Rein the idea of penning an open letter to Spotify when he approached her with his concerns over the Malone episode. ''We're not focused on something as small as just one episode or Rogan. They need to implement a policy and carry it out.''
Though Spotify does not appear to have a clear policy regarding misinformation in its terms of service, in the past the platform has removed episodes containing misinformation regarding vaccines. ''Spotify prohibits content on the platform which promotes dangerous false, deceptive, or misleading content about Covid-19 that may cause offline harm and/or pose a direct threat to public health. When content that violates this standard is identified it is removed from the platform,'' it said in a statement to the Verge last April. But it has been reluctant to take action against Rogan's podcast, which reaches an estimated 11 million people per episode; nor does it include a warning label regarding potential misinformation on any podcast episodes. Spotify did not immediately return Rolling Stone's requests for comment.
Considering the size of Rogan's audience, as well as the staggering reported value of his contract with the platform, not everyone involved with the open letter is convinced that Spotify will ever be willing to take a stand on his content. Yet Rivera believes Spotify has an enormous ethical obligation to do so. '' Considering their role in society is disseminating content, there is a responsibility in a global public health emergency to not exacerbate the problem,'' she says. ''We have an infodemic going on that is prolonging the pandemic and it is causing people to make bad choices and actually die. These are preventable illnesses that folks like Joe Rogan and Dr. Robert Malone are directly responsible for.''
Bulgarian Protesters Clash With Police In Front Of Parliament Over COVID Restrictions
Wed, 12 Jan 2022 20:57
Protesters opposed to Bulgaria's COVID-19 restrictions have clashed with police in front of the parliament building in Sofia as the country notched up a record number of infections from the virus.
Protesters were able to break through a police cordon in the unrest on January 12 and make it to the stairs of parliament before being pushed back.
Eight police officers were injured, the Interior Ministry said.
Some protesters then moved to the Council of Ministers building and the Ministry of Health but were contained by police.
Around 1,000 supporters of the nationalist Vasrazhdane (Rebirth) party, which holds 13 seats in parliament's 240-seat chamber, attended the protest.
They said they would remain in front of parliament until their demands for an end to mandatory face masks and so-called green vaccine passes are met.
Anti-pandemic measures require Bulgarians to show a health pass proving vaccination, recovery from infection, or a recent COVID-19 negative test to get into such venues as restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, and gyms.
People are also required to wear masks indoors and on public transport.
Bulgaria is the least vaccinated country in the 27-member European Union, with only a third of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
To incentivize vaccinations, the new centrist government has offered 75 levs ($43.59) to pensioners who get fully vaccinated or receive a booster.
Bulgaria is experiencing a fifth wave of coronavirus infections driven by the omicron variant, with the number of cases reaching a record high of 7,062 on January 12.
The virus has killed 89 people in the past 24 hours in the country, according to official numbers.
With reporting by AP, dpa, and Trud.bg
Why you're seeing empty grocery store shelves - The Washington Post
Wed, 12 Jan 2022 15:31
It's barely 2022 and already social media is swamped with pictures of empty grocery shelves '-- from cream cheese to paper towels, children's juice boxes and cat food.
Some of the culprits for this round of shortfalls are the same as in the early days of the pandemic, and some can be chalked up to new problems bumping up against old ones.
Here are some of the reasons an array of your favorite items may be out of stock at grocery stores.
The omicron variant surge has meant more work for stores '-- more deep cleaning, a return to masking and social distancing '-- just as more employees can't work and are calling out due to illness or quarantine.
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In a Monday call with 27 food industry chief executives, Geoff Freeman, CEO of the industry organization Consumer Brands Association, said more employee absences were reported in the past two weeks than in all of 2020.
''That's remarkable,'' he said. ''Throw on top of that being down 80,000 truck drivers nationally, and another 10 percent of workers being absent at food manufacturing facilities, and you're putting a lot of pressure on the system all at one time.''
Covid has swept through supermarket chain Stew Leonard's, which has stores in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Some 200 of its 2,500 employees are out sick or in quarantine, said owner Stew Leonard Jr.
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''It puts a challenge, for example, on making every kind of pizza you want: The pineapple and ham pizza, we've decided not to make,'' Leonard said. ''And most manufacturers out here have done the same thing. Everyone is hit with a shortage of labor. Some because of the Great Resignation, but a lot of it is the omicron surge.''
Omicron pulls workers back to the eye of the storm, as workplace outbreaks grow
Access to rapid coronavirus tests is also making it challenging to get employees back to work swiftly, he added.
''Two weeks ago, our No. 1 selling item at Stew Leonard's was filet mignon. Right now, the No. 1 seller is the rapid tests. We have a warehouse in New Jersey where we pick them up. We sent a tractor trailer and asked them to load them up. They said, 'Not so fast. How much do you want to pay for them?' It was a bidding war right there on the loading dock.''
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The National Grocers Association has requested its grocers be prioritized for testing supplies from federal and state governments, and they've also asked for flexibility with new federal vaccination and testing mandates with the aim of minimizing further workforce disruptions, said Jim Dudlicek, the trade group's communications director. With the prevalence of the omicron variant, even among vaccinated workers, many grocery chains are operating stores with less than half of their normal workforce, which makes it harder to stock and display grocery items or to prepare foods made on-site.
''While there is plenty of food in the supply chain, we anticipate consumers will continue to experience sporadic disruptions in certain product categories as we have seen over the past year and a half due to the ongoing supply and labor challenges,'' Dudlicek said.
Coronavirus outbreaks among workers at meat processing plants are disrupting the supply chain. (Sarah Hashemi, Jayne Orenstein/The Washington Post) Hot economy collides with huge virus surge in pandemic's latest twist
Winter storms dumped more than a foot of snow across parts of the Mid-Atlantic just after the New Year, and sweeping weather systems have made road conditions difficult in many parts of the country in the past two weeks.
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For example, the 20-plus-hour traffic jam last week on Interstate 95 near Stafford, Va., paralyzed a fair number of grocery delivery semi trucks.
''The winter months are always challenging,'' said Doug Baker, vice president of industry relations for FMI, a food industry organization. ''But we've seen weather patterns that we're not used to in terms of frequency and magnitude, from the West Coast to the East Coast.''
In addition to weather delaying the delivery to grocery stores around the country, Baker said bad weather also influences consumer psychology, which played into some items getting sold out.
''There are certain products people ritually buy when there is an impending weather event,'' Baker said. ''And then when people see images of stores low on stock, it's not out of the ordinary for people to buy two of something instead of one, just in case.''
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And with more than 5,000 schools delaying their reopening this month due to the omicron surge and storms, families are feeling a greater urgency to lay in supplies of bread, milk, meat and cereal to make up for meals not eaten at school.
Canceled buses and a superintendent in the classroom: How omicron has thrown schools into crisis
Supply chain problems are no longer just about shipping containers sitting in ports or out at sea, waiting to be unloaded. They are also about the slowing of the production of goods that the United States imports.
In China and the United Kingdom, some municipalities have once again shut down factories and thus slowed orders for certain ingredients and food products for U.S. imports.
''A lot of our ingredients and products come from countries that have had their own spikes,'' Baker said. ''Some countries have taken a very strict approach and shut down manufacturing, so that slows the whole process down. It's not just a domestic issue, it's about how other countries are dealing with omicron.''
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Fruits and vegetables have seen fewer instances of shortfalls and supply problems than other food categories, but currently there are some empty shelves that are more about food safety. The Food and Drug Administration last week issued a voluntary recall on certain bagged salads and other vegetables due to possible listeria contamination. In general, though, there have been fewer food recalls during the pandemic.
More people eating at home
A combination of factors from rising inflation to surging omicron cases are prompting households to eat at home more '-- meaning grocery stores are being inundated with shoppers once again.
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Grocery sales climbed more than 8 percent in December, according to national retail sales tracker Mastercard SpendingPulse. Stores are still restocking from that surge and have been struggling to keep shelves fully stocked in several categories since the beginning of this year, according to data firm IRI's consumer packaged goods supply index.
''We're seeing a lot of restocking and replenishment going on,'' said Jessica Dankert, vice president of supply chain for the Retail Leaders Industry Association. The heavy shopping season has come at a particularly difficult time, coming out of the holiday period, when families traditionally cook more at home anyway.
Inflation emerging as top economic challenge in 2022
Widespread storms and the increased hesitancy around dining out because of the omicron surge have contributed to more demand at grocers.
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''You'll see that replenishment build back up,'' Dankert predicted, ''but we'll see these disruptions for months to come.'' Inflation has also been influencing consumer behavior, driving them to eat more at home and travel and eat out less.
Grocery prices rose 6.4 percent over the past 12 months ending in December, the largest increase since 2008, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics index of prices. And for subcategories such as beef, prices rose a staggering 20.9 percent.
Here's why your food prices keep going up
Datassential's analysts say consumers turn away from restaurants and back to home dining when food prices surge. Restaurant-going becomes more of a splurge. Couple that with consumer hesitancy due to omicron, and consumers are swinging back to eating more grocery store food.
Cannabis compounds stopped COVID virus from infecting human cells in lab study | Fortune
Wed, 12 Jan 2022 14:24
A vastly improved search engine helps you find the latest on companies, business leaders, and news more easily.
Frank Rodriguez pleads guilty to federal charges after Statesman probe
Wed, 12 Jan 2022 09:33
A former Austin city staffer has pleaded guilty to taking payments from a nonprofit that won a federal contract he promoted while working as Mayor Steve Adler's aide.
Frank Rodriguez, 71, who left his job as a senior policy adviser to the mayor after the American-Statesman investigated his actions in 2017, pleaded guilty this month to conspiring to misapply federal funds and to falsifying records. He faces up to five years in prison and will be sentenced March 24 in federal court.
Rodriguez's attorney said Tuesday they would not be commenting on the case before the sentencing. Adler also declined comment.
Rodriguez stepped down from the nonprofit to join the mayor's office in 2015. However, he still applied for federal Affordable Care Act grant funding on behalf of the nonprofit, calling himself the organization's chief development officer who would work full time as the project's director, investigators said.
FBI investigators confirmed Statesman reporting that Rodriguez used his city job to influence the success of his own application, then benefited financially from the application's success.
In September 2015, Rodriguez emailed an unnamed city official about the distribution of the city's ACA enrollment funding between Latino HealthCare Forum and an unnamed organization that was competing for the funds, according to court records filed Jan. 6.
"Rodriguez wrote that he and the previous director of the Austin Health and Human Services Department had had an 'understanding' that (Latino HealthCare Forum) would receive a no-bid renewal of its enrollment contract," court records say. "Shortly thereafter, (the nonprofit) secured a $200,000 contract extension with the city."
More: Texas House Democrat Celia Israel announces run for Austin mayor
Also, in January 2016, Rodriguez emailed Latino HealthCare Forum staff details about the competitor, coaching his nonprofit about how to present their performance in a better light, federal investigators said.
In January 2017, while Rodriguez was still a city employee, he emailed other city staffers a document entitled ''Crisis.docx,'' after learning about the Statesman's investigation.
"In the document, Rodriguez wrote, among other things, that (the nonprofit's) 'narrative is very important,' that he was 'not working on any (of the nonprofit's) projects and had not been involved in any (of the nonprofit's) business arrangements,''' court records say.
FBI investigators also zeroed in on roughly $20,000 in consulting fees that Rodriguez received from the nonprofit after its application was accepted. Court records do not name the nonprofit's employees with whom he corresponded.
''I budgeted myself in the grant as a contract employee ... in order to draw the 10% over the three years so it wouldn't affect (the nonprofit's) finances," he wrote in an email to the nonprofit. "I wrote myself in as project manager, but (a different employee) can do this role, and I'll be a project coordinator or some other role.''
Austin returns to Stage 5 of COVID guidelines. What will change for you?
The nonprofit's employees corresponded in a subsequent email that someone in the nonprofit had "mentioned we will be audited by the feds, so I guess he's trying to cover himself ... throwing us under the bus in case we do get audited," court records show.
Rodriguez later emailed a nonprofit employee a draft consulting agreement, writing "please keep this confidential as well as that I'm getting paid. ... I especially don't want (nonprofit employee who raised concerns) to see any of this.''
During a city ethics investigation, Rodriguez falsely testified under oath that the money he requested from the nonprofit was reimbursement for previous expenses, investigators said.
Despite representing to members of city government that he was discontinuing his role at Latino HealthCare Forum, "Rodriguez continued to work on the nonprofit's behalf while a city employee by, among other things, providing confidential city information to the nonprofit, recommending that the nonprofit receive continued city funding and undermining the nonprofit's competitors for city funding," investigators said in a statement from the U.S. Justice Department.
The Statesman also discovered that Latino HealthCare Forum received no-bid contracts for $75,000 set aside for a health care study in North Austin's Rundberg neighborhood. The City Council approved the payment after Rodriguez sponsored the request as a chair of the city's Hispanic/Latino Quality of Life Resource Advisory Commission.
Interviews and records showed Rodriguez did not disclose the conflict to his fellow commission members or the City Council.
In August 2017 '-- after he had stepped down from the commission to work for Adler '-- Rodriguez emailed an unnamed city employee a draft commission resolution regarding the creation of a continuing funding source for City Quality of Life commissions. In the email, Rodriguez wrote, ''Cut and paste. You didn't get this from me," court records say.
The Austin Ethics Review Commission determined in 2019 that Rodriguez's actions violated four sections of city code. During the city hearing, Rodriguez said he never believed he had done anything wrong and said Adler's office should have offered better ethics training.
''It's kind of an emotional thing for someone to suggest I was selling myself for $17,000 in consulting fees,'' he told the commission in 2019.
Kazakhstan's New National Laboratory is a Regional Resource for a Global Cause | James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
Wed, 12 Jan 2022 08:39
This article is part of World War ''V'': The COVID-19 Pandemic, a collection of all CNS COVID-19-related articles.
May 18, 2020Andrew WeberRichard Pilch
Recently, some voices in China and the Russian Federation have questioned the impetus for the Republic of Kazakhstan's new national biosafety level (BSL)-2 and BSL-3 laboratory, which was established in partnership with the United States. [1] Construction of the laboratory was funded by the US Department of Defense's Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, [2] which for more than two decades has partnered with nations around the world '' including Russia [3] and China [4] '' to reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and naturally occurring infectious diseases of global concern. As COVID-19 has demonstrated, these naturally occurring diseases pose a serious risk, not only to local populations but to regional and international populations as well.
Opening ceremony, Source: www.hnc.usace.army.mil, William S. Farrow
In Kazakhstan, high-risk, naturally occurring diseases include Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (hantaviruses), tickborne encephalitis (TBE), rickettsial diseases, and Q fever. [5] Historically, Kazakhstan monitored these diseases in laboratories of the former Soviet anti-plague system (APS), [6] which fell into severe disrepair after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent lack of funding. As a result, the potential for accidents and mishaps in these labs compounded the risk to surrounding populations.
The central APS laboratory in Kazakhstan, called the Kazakh Scientific Center for Quarantine and Zoonotic Diseases (KSCQZD), housed the most dangerous activities to this end. The work it routinely conducted required international biosafety level (BSL)-2 and BSL-3 standards spanning personnel practices, safety equipment, and facility administrative and engineering controls. When the United States engaged with this lab through the CTR program, none of these controls had been in place.
A Joint AgreementKazakhstan and the United States jointly agreed to construct a new, national BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratory called the Central Reference Laboratory (CRL) to replace KSCQZD, after which the original facility would be fully decommissioned. The US funded the CRL's construction, while Kazakhstan assumed full operational ownership and funding of the facility upon construction completion. The CRL formally opened its doors on January 1, 2020, and currently provides the national testing capability for COVID-19. [7]
Russia and China raise valid safety concerns regarding the increasing number of laboratories around the world that work with dangerous biological agents like SARS-CoV-2. Such laboratories are necessary to understand and address infectious diseases. They do, however, pose a significant biosafety risk, whether they're located in Russia, China, Kazakhstan, the United States, or anywhere else. [8] Laboratory-acquired infections happen: one review identified more than 1,000 of them over a 25-year period, or approaching 1 infection per week on average. [9] An international dialogue is long overdue to establish standards for consolidating the global laboratory footprint based on scientific and public health need and cumulative risk. But in the case of Kazakhstan, replacing KSCQZD's substandard facility with an international standard CRL has unequivocally reduced the risk of both natural infectious disease and laboratory accidents that might impact the region and world.
The new US-funded lab in Kazakhstan reduces natural infectious disease and laboratory accident risks.
''Dr. Richard Pilch, MD, MPH
It is also true that laboratories like the CRL '' and similar laboratories in Russia, China, the United States, and elsewhere '' are inherently dual-use in nature, meaning that the same biological agents, equipment, and expertise required for peaceful research could be diverted toward weapons-related applications with relative ease. Such activity would be in breach of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), a multilateral disarmament treaty of 183 states parties '' including Russia, China, Kazakhstan, and the United States '' that prohibits biological-weapons development and related activities. Kazakhstan regularly submits confidence-building measures under the BWC demonstrating its compliance with the Convention, and provides assurances to regional neighbors and other states parties that no such activities are being conducted. However, the only way to know for certain is to cooperate.
Collaboration for the Greater GoodKazakhstan, Russia, and China must work together to prevent, detect, and respond to the infectious disease threats that endanger the region. Such partnership is critical not only to enable early warning and management of public health emergencies of international concern, but also to improve the global community's understanding of these biological agents and enable development of targeted countermeasures that serve the greater good. Most importantly, it is critical to establishing transparency and trust. As Kazakhstan opens the CRL's doors to its neighbors, the United States, WHO, and other international stakeholders can only hope that a new era of much-needed collaboration is born.
Infectious diseases do not respect borders. In order to be effective, the regional and global efforts to address them must follow suit.
The Honorable Andrew Weber is Senior Fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks. He previously served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs under the Obama Administration.
Dr. Richard Pilch is the Director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).
Notes[1] See, for example, https://www.newsweek.com/china-russia-unite-condemn-hazardous-american-laboratories-former-soviet-states-1500952
[2] See, for example, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6958332/
[3] See, for example, http://www.istc.int/en/article/7528; https://www.russiamatters.org/facts/cooperative-threat-reduction-timeline
[4] See, for example, https://www.energy.gov/articles/us-energy-secretary-moniz-and-chinese-atomic-energy-authority-open-new-nuclear-security; https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/03/31/us-china-joint-statement-nuclear-security-cooperation
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26870722/
[6] https://nonproliferation.org/stories-soviet-anti-plague-system/; https://nonproliferation.org/the-soviet-anti-plague-system/
[7] https://www.facebook.com/byelzhan/posts/2607733202628489
[8] See, for example, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/05/28/biolabs-pathogens-location-incidents/26587505/; https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-108T; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC174631/pdf/080389.pdf
[9] Harding AL, Byers KB. Epidemiology of laboratory-associated infections. In: Fleming DO, Hunt DL, eds. Biological safety: principles and practices. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: ASM Press; 2000:35''54.
International Finance Leaders Hold 'War Game' Exercise Simulating Global Financial Collapse. Should We Be Worried? ' Children's Health Defense
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 18:56
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High-level international banking officials and organizations last month gathered in Israel for a global ''war game'' exercise simulating the collapse of the global financial system.
The tabletop exercise was reminiscent of ''Event 201'' '-- the pandemic simulation exercise that took place in October 2019, shortly before COVID-19 entered the global scene.
The ''Collective Strength'' initiative was held for 10 days, beginning Dec. 9, 2021, at the Israeli Finance Ministry in Jerusalem. It was relocated to Jerusalem from the Dubai World Expo over concerns about the Omicron variant.
Israel led a 10-country contingent that also included treasury officials from the U.S., Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.
Representatives from supranational organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and Bank of International Settlements (BIS), also participated.
Described as a simulated ''war game,'' the exercise sought to model the response to various hypothetical large-scale cyberattacks on the global financial system, including the leaking of sensitive financial data on the ''Dark Web,'' hacks targeting the global foreign exchange system, and subsequent bank runs and market chaos fueled by ''fake news.''
However, the main theme of ''Collective Strength'' appears not so much the simulation of such cyberattacks but, as the name of the initiative implies, the strengthening of global cooperation in cybersecurity and the financial sector.
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As reported by Reuters, participants in the simulation discussed multilateral responses to a hypothetical global financial crisis.
Proposed policy solutions included debt repayment grace periods, SWAP/REPO agreements, coordinated bank holidays and coordinated delinking from major currencies.
The idea of simulated delinking from major currencies raised some eyebrows because of its timing '-- on the same day participants gathered to launch ''Collective Strength,'' reports circulated that the Biden administration was considering removing Russia from the global electronic-payment-messaging system known as SWIFT, short for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.
This measure would be part of a package of economic sanctions the U.S. would levy against Russia should it attack Ukraine.
However, what may raise even more eyebrows is the list of participants in the ''Collective Strength'' simulation, which includes: the IMF and World Bank, and indirectly, the World Economic Forum (WEF).
It was the WEF, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which ran the simulated ''Event 201'' in October 2019.
As previously reported by The Defender, the WEF also supported the development of financial instruments, such as credit and debit cards, that would track ''personal carbon allowances'' on an individualized basis.
An executive summary issued in November 2020 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in collaboration with the WEF, provided a rundown of just the type of scenario that was simulated as part of ''Collective Strength.''
The report's authors, Tim Maurer and Arthur Nelson, described a world whose financial system is undergoing ''an unprecedented digital transformation '... accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.''
In such a world, the authors argued, ''cybersecurity is more important than ever.''
Describing protection of the global financial system as an ''organizational challenge,'' the report pointed out there is no clear global actor in charge of protecting the global financial system or its digital infrastructure.
The executive summary went so far as to describe a ''disconnect between the finance, the national security and the diplomatic communities.''
The solutions identified by Maurer and Nelson included:
The need for ''greater clarity'' regarding roles and responsibilitiesBolstering international cooperationReducing fragmentation and increasing ''internationalization'' among ''siloed'' financial institutionsDeveloping a model that can then be used in unspecified ''other'' sectors.But which ''other'' sectors?
This set of recommendations was classified by the authors in their report under ''Digital Transformation: Safeguard Financial Inclusion.''
One such recommendation reads as follows:
''The G20 should highlight that cybersecurity must be designed into technologies used to advance financial inclusion from the start rather than included as an afterthought.''
Technology that is ''used to advance financial inclusion from the start'' would appear to include digital ''health passports'' and accompanying ''digital wallets.''
It also seems to be aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals '-- in particular, Goal 16.9, which calls for the provision of a digital legal identity for all, including newborns, by 2030.
Goal 16.9 also brings to mind the European Union's insistence that its vaccine passport, the so-called ''Green Pass,'' which is used in numerous European countries to bar the unvaccinated and those with natural immunity from all sorts of public and private spaces, protects individuals' privacy.
In a further connection between two distinct issues '-- security of the global financial system and public health '-- the GAVI Vaccine Alliance called for ''innovations that leverage new technologies to modernize the process of identifying and registering the children who are most in need of life-saving vaccines.''
However, the use of these technologies would not stop with registering childhood vaccinations. GAVI described potential uses of these ''new technologies'' as encompassing ''access to other services,'' including the broadly defined ''financial services.''
The authors of the Carnegie Endowment executive summary mirrored their proposals in a spring 2021 article that appears on the IMF's website, although issues of ''financial inclusion'' are left out.
While the two authors of the Carnegie report, and the participants in the ''Collective Strength'' initiative, emphasize the need for the financial system and its digital data to be better protected, it remains unclear how a continued transformation toward a fully digital, cloud-based environment can indeed be considered ''secure.''
Consider, for instance, the following remark by Micha Weis, financial cyber manager at the Israeli finance ministry, in reference to ''Collective Strength'': ''[a]ttackers are 10 steps ahead of the defender.''
Such words don't offer much comfort to those who are already wary of ''FinTech,'' or the increasing proximity between ''Big Tech'' and ''Big Finance.''
Similarly, yet another ''simulation'' of a large-scale and destructive global catastrophe will, for some, bring back recollections of ''Event 201'' and what followed thereafter '-- infamously described on March 20, 2020, by then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a ''live exercise.''
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children's Health Defense.
Treasury warns of delayed tax refunds due to 'enormous challenges' | TheHill
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 15:35
The Treasury Department is warning that tax refunds and other services may be delayed this year because of ''enormous challenges" including the coronavirus pandemic and previous budget cuts made at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Treasury officials told reporters during a phone all on Monday that they are predicting a ''frustrating season'' for taxpayers and tax preparers because of factors that also included federal stimulus actions, according to The Washington Post.
The IRS is also entering filing season with a large backlog of unaddressed returns, officials told reporters. The agency usually has about one million unaddressed returns, but this year's number could be ''several times'' that, a Treasury official said, according to the Post. They declined to provide a more exact prediction.
An independent watchdog revealed in June that the IRS ended last year's filing season with more than 35 million individual and business tax returns that had not been processed, reportedly a fourfold increase from the year before the pandemic.
With the pandemic triggering lockdowns, a number of in-person tax centers that typically processed paper forms were forced to close, the Post noted. Additionally, the IRS is grappling with GOP-led budget cuts that led to a roughly 25 percent decrease in staff size.
All those existing challenges were magnified by the U.S.'s economic response to the pandemic, which included trillions of dollars for new programs to support Americans.
IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig wrote in a statement that the COVID-19 pandemic ''continues to create challenges,'' but said the agency ''reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax return and refund don't face processing delays.''
The deadline for filing taxes for 2021 income is April 18. The IRS will start accepting individual income-tax returns for 2021 on Jan. 24.
Rettig said planning for filing season in the U.S. is ''a massive undertaking,'' adding that teams at the agency ''have been working non-stop these past several months to prepare.''
Treasury officials told reporters that there is no plan in place at this moment to prolong that deadline, encouraging individuals to file early, according to the Post. They also urged individuals to make an account on the IRS website and file returns online.
''Filing electronically with direct deposit and avoiding a paper tax return is more important than ever this year. And we urge extra attention to those who received an Economic Impact Payment or an advance Child Tax Credit last year. People should make sure they report the correct amount on their tax return to avoid delays,'' Rettig said in a statement.
Paul Tudor Jones says pandemic trades face 'tough sledding' as Fed tightens policy
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 14:49
Published Tue, Jan 11 2022 9:13 AM EST Updated 20 Min Ago
Red Alert: President Biden & Vice President Harris Both Flown To Area 51 For Emergency Briefing | Alternative | Before It's News
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 14:33
Setting the stage, Biden's approval ratings plummeting, COVID 19 Vaccines being exposed as the bio-weapon they are'... They have to have war now, would this surprise anyone?
FLASH UPDATE '' SEE BOTTOM '' 7:45 PM EST '-- Satellites Would Be Attacked First, Then These Radar Stations if WW3 Commences next weekWORLD HAL TURNER 08 JANUARY 2022 HITS: 24502
The situation between the US/NATO and Russia has become critical. If you hear news that any of these radar stations has had ''an incident'' that's your proof that WW3 has commenced and nuclear attack against the USA is in progress.
Ukraine Continues to Prepare to Attack Donetsk and LuhanskUS F-16'²s have been positioned into Ukraine properUS F-15'²s have been positioned into Romania1,000 M1A1 and M1A2 tanks have been shipped to Romania/GreeceRussia has asked NATO for Security Guarantees, and been rejectedUS/EU/NATO Attempted to Overthrow Gov't of Kazakhstan Last WeekNATO Again Rejects Russian request for Security Guarantees; Russia says will obtain them ''by other means'' (war?)Russia Begins Airlift of ''Strategic Supplies'' To Doomsday Bunker at Mt. Yamantau in Ural MountainsRussian Aircraft Capable of Anti-Satellite Launches being fueled and Readied throughout RussiaUS Military has been recalling Active-Reservists for Immediate Deployment to Europe all week.Fairly significant Russian airlift fleet on the ground in Kazakhstan right now. https://t.co/CFGfnvpefP
'-- OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) January 8, 2022
Most of you are aware from reports in mass media for several months saying ''Russia is massing troops along Ukraine's border.'' What those reports completely failed to say is that this was in response to Ukraine massing almost fifty percent of its entire army along the border of two breakaway states: Luhansk and Donetsk.
Those two states in eastern Ukraine, want to leave Ukraine and join Russia, but the government of Ukraine won't allow it.
The reason those two states want to leave Ukraine is that back in 2014, the US, the European Union (NATO) fomented riots and protests inside Ukraine that resulted in their President, Viktor Yanukovich, being overthrown.
It all started years earlier when the US/EU tried to ''woo'' Ukraine into moving away from Russia's sphere of influence, and into the sphere of influence of Europe and the US. The US/EU spent billions through non-governmental organizations (NGO's) to provide ''aid'' to Ukraine. The aid went to citizens and to groups inside Ukraine, NOT to the Ukraine government.
After a number of years of providing this ''aid'' the US/EU approached the Ukraine government and said ''Look, we've supported you and your people, we are the future for Ukraine. You really have no future if you remain loyal to Russia, we want you to officially come to us and become part of the EU.''
Then-President, Viktor Yanukovich, thought about it, talked with his Ministers about it, and they all decided that it would be better if Ukraine remained loyal to Russia. They basically told the EU and the US ''Thanks, but no thanks.''
Russia responded angrily on Saturday to a comment by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Kazakhstan might have a hard time getting rid of Russian troops. https://t.co/LAuymlEEDe
'-- OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) January 9, 2022
Well, that just wasn't what the US/EU wanted to hear. So they fomented protests, civil unrest, riots, snipers, the burning of government buildings. It started fast and large. Within months, the Ukraine government found itself basically under siege from all these protests and riots.
When the bloodshed got bad, and it appeared the country was going to destroy itself through all these troubles, Yanukovich fled the country and the Ukraine government collapsed.
Quite conveniently, the US/EU were right there to lend a hand . . . and backed new government candidates that would be favorable to the West. A puppet government was installed.
Everyone in Ukraine saw what happened. They lived through it. And they '' like most free people '' did not like that their President, a man THEY voted for, had been forcibly overthrown. They didn't want any part of this new puppet government.
Now, in southern Ukraine is a peninsula called Crimea. It sits on the Black Sea. There's a major Russian Navy Base there and that base is of particular importance to Russia because it is the only warm water port they have in the coldest parts of Winter. All their other ports freeze.
So it is in the national security interests of Russia to make sure they keep that port. Keeping the port with a new, puppet government in Ukraine, may not have been possible.
So Russia started using the Treaty they had with Ukraine, to add the number of troops the Treaty allowed, to that port. They raised their troop presence to about twenty five thousand.
Then they went door to door in Crimea and talked with the people there. Those people are almost ALL of Russian descent. After all, up until only 50 years ago, when then-Soviet Secretary General Kruschev GAVE Crimea to Ukraine, it had been part of Russia. For over 300 years, it had been called ''Russian Crimea.'' They asked the people in Crimea if they would vote to come back to Russia. Most agreed.
A Referendum was held asking if citizens in Crimea wanted to return the land to Russia. About ninety percent of the vote said ''Yes.''
After the Referendum, the Russian Duma (their version of what Americans know as Congress) enacted legislation accepting Crimea back into Russia and the people there would all be granted Russian citizenship. Done deal, right? Wrong.
The EU and US refused to accept the results of the Referendum. The EU and US slapped Sanctions upon Russia, calling the Crimea an ''invasion'' or an ''Annexation'' and demanding Russia ''give back'' the land. That is not going to happen.
After Crimea was able to return to Russia, two other parts of Ukraine, Luhansk and Donetsk, wanted to return to Russia too. But Ukraine wouldn't allow it and sent troops to take over those two breakaway states. Heavy fighting ensued as the militias of each state engaged the Ukrainian army in battle.
The fighting went on for a couple years and suddenly ''Little Green Men'' started appearing in Luhansk and Donetsk. They were fully trained, professional soldiers, with full gear, but no patches or flags on their uniforms.
It was clear very fast that these were, in fact, troops from the Russian Army, sent in to help the two breakaway states defend themselves from being taken over by the Ukraine puppet government in Kiev, it's capital.
Over 14,000 died in the fighting between the Ukraine Army and the breakaway states of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Then in 2016, all the troubles just . . . stopped. It was like someone flipped a switch. That switch was the November, 2016, US Presidential election, wherein Donald Trump won and Hillary Clinton lost. Like magic, most of the troubles in Ukraine simply just stopped.
For the four years of the Trump Administration, Ukraine remained quiet.
The November 2020 US election rolled around and the Democrats in the US stole the election through rampant and brazen election fraud.
Like magic, when Joe Biden got sworn in, the troubles in Ukraine started again with gusto. Ukraine began massing more and more troops and armor near Luhansk and Donetsk. So, in February of this year, Russia started massing troops along the Russian border with Ukraine. Russia was going to protect the Russian-speaking populations in Luhansk and Donetsk.
WHAM! Like magic, the western mass-media began talking up ''Russian aggression.'' Russia, they claimed, was massing troops. They never bothered to mention it was in response to Ukraine massing troops. Russia, they claimed, was a ''threat.'' They never mentioned what Ukraine was planning to do: take Luhansk and Donetsk by force to prevent them from leaving.
Things got dicey for awhile and then, Russia moved some (but not all) of their troops, from the Ukraine border area to elsewhere. Things quieted down.
THE PLAN REVEALED
It finally became publicly known that the US and EU, through NATO, wanted to place US Missile ''Defenses'' on the territory of Ukraine. This had been their plan all along . . . all the way back to the overthrow of Yanukovich.
They want to place US high speed missiles in Ukraine because at that location, those missiles will only have a flight time of about 5 minutes to Moscow and about 7 minutes to Russia's strategic nuclear missile silos. The flight time would mean Russia would be unable to defend itself in time; a threat the Russians take very seriously and have publicly stated they will not allow.
This is reminiscent of what Americans recall as ''The Cuban Missile Crisis'' in the early 1960'²s. At that time, US military spy planes got photos of then-Soviet Union Medium range, and Intermediate Range nuclear missiles being assembled at launch sites in Cuba. The military alerted then-President John F. Kennedy.
Kennedy asked his Generals how long it would take missiles launched from Cuba to reach Washington, DC. They replied ''5 minutes.'' Then they added information that the other missiles, the longer range Intermediate'' missiles, could reach almost all the other cities in the US within about 7-10 minutes, and if a First Strike was done, the US would lose about eighty percent of our population in the first strike.
President Kennedy decided right then and there that those missiles had to go. Either the Soviet Union had to take them out, or the US would invade Cuba and destroy those missiles.
It turned out that the Soviets put those missiles there BECAUSE . . . the US had placed Jupiter Missiles, that could hit the Soviet Union within about 5 minutes, in Turkey. So the Soviets, fearing they would be attacked in a first strike, responded by putting missiles of their own on Cuba, within 5 minutes strike time of the USA.
For thirteen days, the world teetered on the brink of actual nuclear war. Because once the Soviet Union found out that the US knew about the missiles in Cuba and would attack, the Soviets had a choice: Use them or lose them.
Thank God there were men of good will on both sides, and the missiles were removed by the Soviet Union. Word of this removal came via shortwave radio broadcast from Radio Moscow and was later confirmed via teletype between Russia and the USA. But for about eight hours, no one knew if the Soviets would use them. The world was literally eight hours away from all-out nuclear war.
Here we are fifty years later, and the US is doing the same thing to Russia. We want to place our missiles within five minutes strike time of Russia and President Vladimir Putin, just like former President John F. Kennedy, won't allow it. It simply cannot be.
No reasonable person can blame him. Because the nasty little secret about those US missile ''defenses'' that we want to put in Ukraine, is that the warheads can be swapped-out in less than an hour, changing them from defensive missiles with conventional warheads, to offensive missiles with nuclear warheads, and no one would know the warheads had been swapped-out.
The Russians could then be attacked, and decapitated of their capital city and their defensive nuclear missile silos, and be left defenseless all within ten minutes.
There is no way on God's earth, that Russia is going to sit back and let this happen. They can't. It's a matter of survival for them.
Seeing increased movement over the last few days of Russian eastern military district units heading west.
'-- OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) January 9, 2022
RUSSIA PROPOSES SECURITY GUARANTEES
So the Russians, two weeks ago, put forth what they propose as legally enforceable security guarantees that they want from the US/EU (NATO). Russia points out that NATO has expanded and expanded since the fall of the Soviet Union, and that NATO has now, literally, come right up to Russia's front porch in Ukraine. Russia says ''we have nowhere else to retreat to.''
They put out their proposals twice. The first one went to NATO and, within eight short hours, NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg dismissed them out of hand by simply saying ''no.'' ''Russia'' he said ''could not have the guarantees it wants.''
So three or four days later, Russia issued the same proposals, only this time, had them delivered by official Diplomatic Staff to the leaders of each NATO country. In that second proposal, Russia made clear that they MUST have security guarantees and if they cannot achieve that by Diplomatic means, then they will achieve that ''by other means.''
Most rational people understand ''other means'' to mean, war.
The proposals sat for a couple weeks, and a meeting date was set by NATO for January 10. The two sides will meet, in Brussels, Belgium, at NATO Headquarters, this coming Monday.
All good, right? WRONG.
Four days ago, trouble popped-up in . . . Kazakhstan.
Protests and riots began suddenly in almost every major city, with tens of thousands taking to the streets. But while they tried to claim these were grass roots protests against a government that raised fuel prices, video emerged showing private cars pulling up at these protests, popping the trunks, and out came dozens of . . . machine guns!
The West (US/EU/NATO) was doing in Kazakhstan, what they did in Ukraine back un 2014. They are trying to forcibly overthrow the government of Kazakhstan and install a puppet government there, too.
Why? A map tells the story:
Kazakhstan borders Russia. In fact, they share ''the longest land border in the world.'' Oh, and Russia's space launch facilities; are in Kazakhstan. So the location of Kazakhstan, and Russia's space capabilities, are all at stake of Kazakhstan gets overthrown.
Geographically, if Kazakhstan falls, and a NATO-favorable government is installed there, US missiles can go there and still have only a short flight time of about 7 minutes to Moscow and about 10 minutes to Russia's nuclear missile silos.
The West is not only NOT giving Russia any security guarantees, it is actively trying to worsen Russia's situation by taking over Kazakhstan.
This time, Russia did not wait to act as they did when Ukraine went sour. This time, when the President of Kazakhstan asked for help, it took only thirty minutes for Russia to approve deployment of troops into Kazakhstan to assist that government.
Russia, and other members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSO) sent troops immediately. What did they encounter? In Almaty, Kazakhstan alone, they arrested twenty-thousand (20,000) men with machine guns, hand-grenades, and rocket-propelled grenades!
What ''grass-roots'' protests have YOU ever seen where the protesters come armed with machine guns, grenades, and rocket launchers? This was the US/EU/NATO going at it again, just like they did in Ukraine. Want proof?
'--- INSERTED UPDATE SECTION 5:52 PM EST ''
Proof:
03/04/2021 . (April 4, 2021)US allocates USD 1.5 million for ''human rights preservation in Kazakhstan.''
19/04/2021 (April 19, 2021)US Embassy in Kazakhstan begins official ''tender'' to find ''willing organizations'' to distribute money.
22.04.2021 (April 22, 2021)US again allocates money to ''strengthen the media landscape in Kazakhstan.''
20.05.2021 (May 20, 2021)The USA provides money in the amount of 240 million USD to build up military bases in 20 countries, including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan (whether the governments of the countries ever agreed to this? ).
Thus, as you can see above, once Russia began moving its troops back toward the Ukraine Border in February into March, and the West realized they were going to have an actual fight on their hands over Ukraine, the West (i.e. U.S. Congress) regrouped and began throwing money at Kazakhstan. They decided THEN, back in March, they were going to move to destabilize Kazakhstan, and in April they started openly allocating the money to make it happen.
But wait . . . there's more!
Dec 16, 2021.The US Embassy in Kazakhstan issues a travel warning for major Kazakh cities because of ''upcoming demonstrations and warns of possible riots and mass arrests.
Source:[https://kz.usembassy.gov/demonstration-alert121521/]
Well, well, well. That's some magic Crystal Ball the US Embassy in Kazakhstan has. They issued travel warnings about demonstrations and mass riots three full weeks BEFORE there was even any sign of such things. Gee, I wonder how they could have known? Maybe because THEY THEMSLEVES were arranging all of it?
'--- END INSERTED UPDATE OF 5:52 PM EST '--'--
With that uprising in Kazakhstan, Russia got its answer from the West. There will be no security guarantees, and NATO will continue encircling Russia.
After troops from CTSO countries basically halted the uprising in Kazakhstan, and it became clear the US/EU/NATO had been caught fomenting another Ukraine, Jens Stoltenberg from NATO came out publicly yesterday and told Russia ''No. There will be no security guarantees.''
So NATO (the US and EU) are deliberately choosing war. They are deliberately provoking war with Russia. There is no doubt about it.
Apparently NATO thinks they can win such a war.
Apparently, they think Russia ''wouldn't dare'' use nuclear weapons in such a situation.
I think NATO is wrong. I not only think Russia WOULD use nuclear weapons to protect itself, I think Russia is now forced into using them FIRST!
So, as of the writing of this article on Saturday, January 8, we are just two days away from the meeting in Brussels between the US and Russia, at NATO Headquarters. I do not expect that meeting to go well at all.
The Russians have already indicated that if the meeting does not cover the items on its agenda of security guarantees, or tries to cloud the issues with extraneous items, Russia will declare the meeting useless and walk out.
At that point Russia will have no choice but to take care of its security ''by other means.''
What that actually translates to, is really up in the air. No one knows.
Might they place Russia nuclear missiles in Cuba again? Maybe.
Might they place nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad, a small patch of land between Lithuania and Poland which is still ''Russia?'' This would afford five minute flight times of nukes to all European capitals. Maybe.
Or might Russia do something else? Seeing the writing on the wall, and knowing that NATO is never going to stop, might Russia launch their new anti-satellite weapons and take out NATO GPS and Communications satellites? I think this is VERY LIKELY.
Now, no one but governments would know '' at least initially '' if Russia takes out satellites. People on the ground in Europe would simply see their GPS not working. Only governments would immediately know what happened.
The very next thing that Russia might do, is something that average Americans can watch for: Attacks against our over-the-horizon radar sites.
There are FIVE (5) over-the horizon radar sites, four on north America, three being in US, one on Greenland and the last in the UK. They are:
Cape Cod, MA
Beale AFB, California
Clear Air Force Base, Alaska,
a fourth in Greenland at Thule Air Force Base and a fifth at Flyingdales Air Base in the United Kingdom.
The map below shows the base locations and the area covered by their over-the-horizon radars: (Click map to enlarge)
Of all these sites, Cape Cod is the most likely to be hit. It protects the US east coast, and putting that out of service would open the door to submarine launched missiles coming in from the Atlantic. We would be blind as a bat and deaf as a post without the Cape Cod radar station.
A single missile could hit the giant radar array building and knock it out. Here is what the facility looks like:
Here's a up-close image of the radar building:
And here's a super-up-close image of what the stop-sign-shaped radar emitters look like:
With these types of radar stations, we can see literally over-the-horizon and get several MORE minutes of advance notice if we are being attacked. Without these particular radar stations, we'd have less than five minutes warning that missiles were inbound.
If you hear reports that anything has taken place at any or all of these particular radar stations, that is your confirmation that World War 3 has already started and that nuclear missiles are inbound.
These radar would have to be taken out shortly before Russian missiles come out of their silos or out of their submarines off our coasts.
Under normal circumstances, our satellites would normally detect missile launches. The heat signature of the rocket motors is very visible to our satellites. After a satellite missile LAUNCH detection, we would next go to our radar to confirm and to track the missiles.
If Russia takes out our satellites, as they have now proven they can, we won't know if there's a launch.
Intelligence information given to me last night reports that, incidentally, all the Russian MiG aircraft which are capable of launching anti-satellite rockets, are now being fueled, and made ready for flight in Russia.
With our Satellites gone, we would then have to rely solely on our radar. If these radar get taken out, then you have confirmation that an attack is already underway and the nukes are already inbound. There would be no other reason whatsoever, to take out the radar, except to prevent tracking of the inbound missiles.
Nukes launched from inside Russia would arrive in about 30 minutes, unless they use their new Hyper-sonic, which would arrive in about ten minutes. Nukes launched from Russian submarines at sea, would arrive in about 6 minutes.
So if you hear of any incidents at any of these radar stations, you have literally only minutes to get to shelter to ride it out.
RUSSIA PREPPING NOW
Two days ago, seven IL-76 cargo aircraft from the Russian Air Force, took off from a base in Belarus. They were initially THOUGHT to be heading to Kazakhstan with troops and equipment. They weren't.
The aircraft headed to Mount Yamantau in the south Ural Mountains. Here's a scalable map of the complex:
Satellite images show the planes offloaded cargo of a type that is best described as ''Strategic Resources.'' That means they are the final supplies one might expect to see being brought into a Doomsday Bunker.
Since the Soviet era, the military in Russia has been building a vast '' gigantic- doomsday city, thought to be the literal size of about Washington, DC, deep underground at that mountain.
The fact that Russia is now flying ''strategic supplies'' to that doomsday bunker is evidence they anticipate using it soon.
Many will fall back to the old '' and no longer valid '' concept of ''Mutual Assured Destruction'' (MAD) and tell you there's no way Russia would launch a nuclear strike at us because it means they would be destroyed too.
Not true anymore.
Russia has hypersonic missiles. We do not.
Their hypersonic missiles can be launched and strike us before the order for our missiles to launch ever gets them out of their silos. Their missiles can hit before ours get launched.
Russia has the S-500 air defense system. We do not.
The S-500, and its brand new incarnation, the S-550, can take out our inbound nukes. Maybe not get all of them, but get enough of them for Russians to survive.
We have no reliable missile defense, despite having spent billions over decades. In fact, the sum total of our missile defense, is forty (40) missile interceptors. Some in Alaska and others at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. What the hell are forty interceptors going to do against a full scale first strike?
Russia has specially constructed bomb shelters stocked with food, water, medicine, tools. We do not.
Last year, Russia held a special, well-announced-in-advance,, bomb shelter drill with its civilian population. They successfully put FORTY MILLION civilians into bomb shelters throughout the country, very fast. The US and NATO, have no such bomb shelters and conduct no such civilian drills. Our people are left out in the open, to fend for themselves.
These inconvenient facts kind of take the ''mutual'' out of mutual assured destruction.
Russians can survive. We . . . it don't look too good for us . . . at all.
We will get a huge indication of how things will go when the meeting between the US and Russia kicks off on Monday.
Brussels, Belgium is 6 hours AHEAD of New York City time. So by the time most of us wake up for work on Monday, the meetings will already be underway . . . or, God forbid . . . walked-out of.
Depending on how that meeting goes, we will have a very good idea if war is coming as soon as next Tuesday, January 11.
'' Hal Turner
UPDATE 6:24 PM EST ''
The US has discussed shipping Stinger missiles to Ukraine. A US State Department representative reportedly said that the Biden administration could send the lethal weapons to Ukraine by a third side, such as Estonia, thus escalating the ongoing war preps in Ukraine.
MORE:
Reports that employees of the US Consulate General in Almaty, together with family members, left Kazakhstan. (HT Remark: If they had nothing to do with all this, why are they fleeing?)
FLASH TRAFFIC '' URGENT
7:45 PM EST ''
Things just took the single most dramatic turn for the worse imaginable. Both the President, and the Vice-President of the United States were quietly flown to AREA 51 in Nevada, about 80 miles north-northwest of Las Vegas, for a personal briefing and demonstration of the United States most advanced, and most secret, ''deployable'' military weaponry.
Air Force One is now back in the air after leaving Area-51:
Air Force Two, with the Vice President, is now also airborne after leaving Area-51:
This seems to indicate that the United States is, in fact, heading into an actual major war with Russia and that our most advanced and secret weaponry will be deployed.
I do NOT have any specific, credible, ''inside'' information indicating we are going to war, but it LOOKS that way to me. This visit by both the President and Vice President, is unprecedented.
I strongly recommend you prepare yourselves for actual War. I suspect we will be hit here in the USA.
SOURCE: Texas News Studio
The World's Most Powerful Space Telescope Is Moving - The Atlantic
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 14:22
''We hope pirates don't take it,'' one astrophysicist said.
Getty / NASA / Adam Maida / The AtlanticNASA's new space telescope has had a rough go. Name a problem, and this telescope'--meant to be the most powerful of its kind, a worthy successor to the famous Hubble'--has faced it: poor management, technical errors, budget overruns, schedule delays, and a pandemic. So, naturally, the people responsible for the telescope's safety are now thinking about pirates.
Yes, pirates.
The topic came up at a recent meeting about NASA's James Webb space telescope, named for a former administrator of the space agency. Later this year, the telescope will travel by ship to a launch site in South America, passing through the Panama Canal to reach French Guiana. Webb, with a mirror as tall as a two-story building and a protective shield the size of a tennis court, is too large for a plane. Its departure date will be kept secret, someone said at the meeting, to protect against pirates who might want to capture the precious cargo and hold it for ransom. Christopher Conselice, an astrophysicist at the University of Manchester who attended the meeting, was at first baffled by the concern because, well, pirates, but it quickly clicked.
''Why would you announce that you're going to be shipping on a certain day something that is worth over $10 billion,'' he explained to me, ''that you could easily put in a boat'' and sail away with?
When Conselice tweeted about the meeting, other scientists responded with jokes about swashbucklers and starrrs. But the playful commentary carried a hint of unease. The James Webb space telescope has taken far longer to develop than anyone anticipated; after more than 20 years of work, it's finally supposed to launch in late October. This is the homestretch. There are many more realistic circumstances that could derail the mission than marauders at sea, but for a project that has been through so much'--for a telescope that was initially supposed to launch in 2007, the year the first iPhone was released'--pirates might as well happen too.
Read: Galaxy brain is real
A NASA spokesperson told me Webb will sail sometime in late July or mid-August, but did not respond to questions about specific measures, such as whether the U.S. military will escort the vessel. All this secrecy is just one more precaution. But the concern is not entirely unfounded. Telescopes are strange, elaborate, expensive objects, and they attract attention. (Webb is particularly enticing; with 18 gold-plated mirrors arranged in a honeycomb shape, the instrument will be perhaps the most ornate telescope in space.) The history of astronomy research is sprinkled with shipping mishaps and sinister plots, driven by very earthly motivations.
One of the earliest known calamities of this category occurred at the Allegheny Observatory, in Pittsburgh, in 1872. The astronomer Samuel Langley, the observatory's director, had just returned from a conference when his employees rushed him to the top of the building. The lens of the observatory's telescope had been stolen. ''The story goes that Langley receives a letter in the mail from the foul fiend, and he says, 'Meet me in the woods behind the observatory at midnight, or you'll never see your lens again,''' Lou Coban, the observatory's manager, told me. Langley and the thief met and ''argued into the night''; the astronomer refused to pay the thief's ransom, believing that it would spur ''lens-napping'' at other institutions. Langley managed to persuade the thief to divulge the location of the lens in exchange for keeping the man's identity out of the papers. The hardware was found stuffed in the trash behind a nearby hotel, so scratched up that the observatory had to send it off for repairs.
Perhaps the most dramatic mishap in modern history is the story of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, or JCMT for short. In 1984, a steel structure for the observatory was prepared for transport from England, where it was built, to Hawaii, where it would protect the telescope. According to Richard Hills, a JCMT project scientist, the vessel hired to transport the structure broke down at the last minute, and the job was given to a commercial captain and his small boat. The captain was supposed to sail right to Hawaii.
Read: The spacecraft that filled the galaxy with planets
Instead, the boat sailed to Holland, where it picked up a shipment of dangerous explosives, presumably for a side job. The boat then idled outside the Panama Canal, purportedly awaiting special clearance for its explosive cargo, before heading to Ecuador, where it unloaded the stuff. The JCMT team had no line of communication to the captain during this quite unauthorized trek. Officials could track the boat's whereabouts only by frantically checking shipping ledgers. And all the while, JCMT's steel exterior sat piled up on the boat's deck.
After 10 long weeks, the boat eventually made it to Hawaii. By then, the penalty fees that the captain had incurred for the late arrival nearly matched the payment he was owed for the delivery itself. The captain, floating just outside territorial waters, sent a threatening message to shore, Hills told me: ''Either you pay me in full or I'm just going to dump this steel into the sea and say goodbye.'' The JCMT team managed to get a court order that instructed the captain, under laws that governed ''piracy on the high seas,'' to give up the boat. According to Hills, the Coast Guard delivered the document to the rogue boat, nailed the paper to the mast of the ship'--a maritime custom, apparently'--and arrested the captain at gunpoint. Hills suspects that the man was not paid for the rather subpar job.
Most incidents of this nature have not been so dramatic. In 2002, telescope mirrors shipped to Chile arrived damaged and broken, an unfortunate result of the long journey from Europe. NASA also has a lengthy history of going incognito when transporting its expensive, universe-exploring machines. In most cases, the telescopes traveling in disguise arrive at their destinations without issue. Karen Knierman, an astrophysicist at Arizona State University, told me that in 2003 she spotted a truck on the highway that turned out to be carrying the Spitzer space telescope to Florida, the only indication of the hidden freight being a small NASA logo on the vehicle. But in 2012, a trailer carrying a NASA telescope disappeared on its way from Minnesota to Texas. When NASA officials panicked, an employee from the trucking company set off in search of the missing cargo and found the driver asleep in the truck, with the telescope-toting trailer nowhere in sight. It was eventually discovered abandoned at a car wash in Dallas, and the driver claimed that it had been stolen.
Read: Hubble and the painful era of aging spacecraft
There's no particular reason to think something untoward will happen to the James Webb telescope. And the voyage to South America isn't even the most dangerous part of the mission. Nor is the rocket launch, which one scientist described to me as ''quite literally putting all our eggs in one basket, and then attaching this basket to about 2,000 tons of high explosives.'' For scientists and engineers, the most stressful event will come as Webb travels to its orbit, 1 million miles from Earth, and begins to deploy itself in a complicated, automated sequence of hundreds of tiny maneuvers. The telescope can sustain only so many glitches in this process. If something goes wrong, there's no fixing it. The Hubble space telescope, which launched in 1990 and orbits a relatively cozy 340 miles from home, was made for visits from astronauts to repair the observatory. Webb is not.
Even if this new telescope encounters some obstacles in transit'--pirates or otherwise'--history suggests that it should reach its distant orbit just fine. JCMT is still in operation, and most recently provided data for the controversial detection of a possible sign of life in the clouds of Venus. The replacement lens at the Allegheny Observatory still works, and, on clear nights, Coban uses it to show visitors Jupiter and Saturn. If Webb's deployment goes smoothly, the telescope should spot the faint light from the most distant stars and galaxies, the very first in the universe, and detect potentially life-giving molecules in the atmospheres of faraway planets. In the story of our existence'--the rise of tiny organisms in Earth's oceans, the creation of the planet, the birth of the solar system, the formation of the Milky Way galaxy'--Webb will reach into the earliest chapter, to the moments after the universe began.
''It could really revolutionize the entire field,'' Conselice said, ''so we hope pirates don't take it.''
FBI's McCabe Calls For Feds To Surveil 'Mainstream' Conservatives
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 14:05
Have you ever wondered what disgraced former deputy FBI directors do after trying to stage a coup and lying under oath? Apparently, they give talks about ''protecting democracy'' at top-rated institutions of higher learning. Indeed, this last Thursday the University of Chicago invited former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe to join a panel of partisans to discuss the Jan 6 ''insurrection.''
McCabe was fired as the deputy FBI director for leaking sensitive information about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation and then lying about it under oath. He also took part in spying on the Donald Trump campaign through a secret warrant granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.
The dossier he used to obtain the surveillance warrant was funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign and, in an ironic twist, was itself the product of Russian disinformation. McCabe and his allies in corporate media justified all sorts of similar illegal and undemocratic tactics to discredit and attempt to unseat President Trump.
Of course, neither the University of Chicago nor McCabe acknowledged the irony in him discussing the integrity of ''democracy'' in America on Thursday evening. In fact, what McCabe said at the University of Chicago event on Jan. 6, 2022 is even more shocking than his invitation to speak in the first place. Below are four of the most appalling assertions and policy proposals McCabe made at the public event.
1. Conservatives Are in The Same Category As Islamic Terrorists McCabe likened conservatives to members of the Islamic Caliphate: ''I can tell you from my perspective of spending a lot of time focused on the radicalization of international terrorists and Islamic extremist and extremists of all stripes'... is that this group shares many of the same characteristics of those groups that we've seen radicalized along entirely different ideological lines,'' he said.
McCabe went on to describe the rise of the Islamic caliphate in Syria and how Islamic extremists were radicalized across socioeconomic, educational, and racial lines, likening it to the ''mass radicalization'' of the political right across demographics. That's right, according to McCabe a grandma who shares a Federalist article on Facebook and your uncle with a ''Let's Go Brandon'' coffee mug are in the same category as a jihadist who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub.
2. Parents at School Board Meetings Pose A 'Threat To National Security' ''Political violence [is] not just confined to the Capitol,'' McCabe asserted. ''It's going on in school boards around the country. It's going on in local elections. It's happening, you know, even to health-care workers.'' According to this politically protected former FBI no. 2, the ''political violence'' occurring recently at school board meetings and during local elections is a ''very diverse and challenging threat picture.''
If you haven't heard already, Democrats are branding parents who oppose child mask mandates and racist critical race theory indoctrination as ''domestic terrorists.''
McCabe said moms and dads who stand up for their children's health and education at school board meetings in ways Democrats disagree with are very dangerous. So dangerous that it is actually ''essential'' we have a ''rapid and complete response by law enforcement at the state, local and federal level to this sort of political violence'...''
Holding America's parents ''accountable'' is not enough for McCabe. He wants to make sure that federal agencies also put ''out that message that this sort of conduct that both horribly victimizes individuals, but also serves to undermine our democratic process'' is ''considered a threat to national security [that is] not tolerated.''
3. McCabe Wants More Surveillance of 'Mainstream' Conservatives ''I'm fairly confident,'' McCabe said, ''[that] the FBI [and other agencies] have reallocated resources and repositioned some of their counterterrorism focus to increase their focus on right-wing extremism and domestic violent extremists. And I think that's obviously a good idea.''
But McCabe wants more. McCabe asserted that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FBI need to stop merely focusing on the ''fringes of the right-wing movement,'' in order to ''catch this threat'' of the ''right.''
''Are you going to catch this threat if your focus is only on the traditional, right-wing extremist, those groups that we know about, the quote-unquote, fringes of the right-wing movement?'' asked McCabe. ''And I think the answer to that is no.''
''It's entirely possible that when the intelligence community and the law enforcement community looks out across this mainstream,'' McCabe continued, ''they didn't assume [on January 6] that that group of people '-- business owners, white people from the suburbs, educated, employed '-- presented a threat of violence, and now we know very clearly that they do.''
McCabe wants to get around constitutional obstacles that restrict the abuses of federal agencies. He explained that the path to granting the feds more power to spy on and punish ''extremists,'' a.k.a. conservatives, is by implementing federal penalties against ''domestic terrorism.''
A measure like this would grant domestic agencies the intelligence capabilities of the international terrorism-focused National Counterterrorism Center. It would, McCabe says, ''give investigators the ability to begin investigating when folks are plotting or planning or organizing to use violence for the purpose of coercing the population or influencing government'...''
Joshua Geltzer, President Joe Biden's advisor on ''countering domestic violent extremism,'' made the same proposal in a 2019 hearing before a subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee. In his proposal, Geltzer suggested that we need to ''polic[e] [tech company] platforms to remove not just incitement to violence, but also, the ideological foundations that spawn such violence.''
McCabe claims these proposed federal laws against domestic terrorism can be implemented without infringing on Americans' First Amendment right to free speech. That seems quite impossible, however, given Geltzer is proposing government oversight of social media, for example.
It is even more difficult to believe when you consider that Democrats are not going after real domestic terrorists and have literally defined parents speaking out at school board meetings as national security threats. As McCabe said himself, to Democrats, the extreme right is the mainstream right.
4. McCabe Believes No One Is Above The Law (Except Himself)Ironically, one of McCabe's last remarks was a proclamation of equality under the law. ''Whether you are a Trump supporter or a Biden supporter, right, left, or otherwise, we should all be able to agree on the principle that no one is above the law,'' stated McCabe.
'''... [F]rom the lowliest trespasser on January 6, up to the highest-ranking government officials who may have been aware of a plan that would ultimately lead to violence in the Capitol''''those people should be held accountable, period,'' he announced. ''And if we can't do that, that is just another sign that we are becoming a non-functioning democracy.''
Ironically, McCabe's firing for repeatedly breaking the law was expunged from the record only because he settled with a partisan Biden Department of Justice. If no one is above the law, as McCabe claims to support, then he would be in jail. Of course, McCabe is above the law. Only dissenting conservatives, in his view, deserve the suspicion and wrath of unelected federal agencies.
Disturbingly, the University of Chicago does not care about national introspection post-January 6, 2021. If it did, it would not have invited McCabe, of all people, to speak about ''protecting democracy.''
UChicago allowed McCabe to spin lies about what truly happened one year ago and filtered student questions via Zoom, refusing to ask him any tough questions. Consequently, McCabe was given a platform to teach young, impressionable college students without question that the federal government should be weaponized against fellow Americans whom leftists brand as ''extremists.''
To the elites in America '-- Democrats like McCabe, university administrators, and professors '' January 6 is the key to labeling their political opponents as dangerous, ''white supremacist extremists'' and enacting new policy accordingly.
America's universities are now indoctrination machines that shape the minds of the next generation. Academia openly exploits its power and rewrite history to serve their illiberal agenda.
Sadly, McCabe's dishonest version of January 6 is happily accepted by the academic elites who invited him Thursday night. His frighteningly despotic views and policy prescriptions will likely be accepted and implemented by his young listeners.
This story was originally published in the Chicago Thinker.
Evita Duffy is a senior contributor to The Federalist, co-founder of the Chicago Thinker, and a senior at the University of Chicago, where she studies American History. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, & her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1 or contact her at evitapduffy@uchicago.edu
US drops support for EastMed pipe
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 12:37
The US state department announced on January 10 it was dropping its support for the EastMed pipeline in favour of renewables.
"We remain committed to physically interconnecting East Med energy to Europe," the state department said in a statement. "We are shifting our focus to electricity interconnectors that can support both gas and renewable energy sources."
The US is now backing projects such as EuroAfrica, which proposes to build a power link between Egypt and Greece, and EuroAsia, which would establish an electricity connection between Israel, Cyprus and mainland Europe.
"Such projects would not only connect vital energy markets but would also help prepare the region for the clean energy transition," the state department said.
EastMed would enable Israel and Cyprus to pump gas from recent offshore discoveries to Europe. According to studies, the pipeline would have a capacity of 10bn m3/year, although a final investment decision has not yet been taken.
'We have gone backwards': Covid confusion snarls Biden White House
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 12:10
Jan. 10, 2022, 8:34 PM EST
By Shannon Pettypiece and Natasha Korecki
WASHINGTON '-- President Joe Biden is urging schools to stay open, but there's a widespread Covid testing shortage.
He calls it the ''pandemic of the unvaccinated,'' but that's only confused boosted Americans home sick with the omicron variant.
And the administration hasn't changed its guidance to urge high-filtration masks despite calls from the medical community, while recent isolation guidance has only added to the uncertainty.
The White House's stay-the-course strategy on Covid is increasingly colliding with the realities of a roaring pandemic that is forcing schools and businesses to close.
A half dozen former health policy makers, including some members of Biden's transition team, told NBC News the Biden administration needs an urgent reset on its Covid strategy or the White House could rapidly lose credibility with the public.
''Biden was elected president, in large part, based on a message of 'I'm competent, I'm capable, I will tell you the truth and I will get a handle on Covid in a way my predecessor could not and refused to do,' and that continues to be the number-one issue for most people,'' said Kathleen Sebelius, who served as Health and Human Services secretary in the Obama administration.
While praising the administration for quickly being able to make the vaccines widely available, she said that Americans' ''lives are still pretty chaotic and kind of messy and when they thought they were getting out of this they are back in it.''
She added, ''I do think it's about competence and capability and telling the truth and using all of the tools that are at the president's disposal.''
As the omicron variant began to metastasize across the country last month, Biden and his top health officials largely focused on urging people to get vaccinations and boosters, and on prescribing a mask indoors while greenlighting holiday gatherings for those fully vaccinated.
He has called on schools and businesses to remain open with a strategy that emphasized testing, reassured vaccinated Americans that they are unlikely to get severely ill if they become infected, and promised that the federal government is ready to address testing shortages and overrun hospitals.
But the rapid spread of the variant has created a level of disruption in many Americans' lives not seen since the early days of the pandemic. Staffing shortages have forced schools and businesses to close and have led to absences in police and fire departments with large numbers of sick first-responders. Airlines have canceled thousands of flights because of staffing shortages, transit systems have shut down bus and subway routes, and the surge in cases has once again crippled the cruise industry.
The demand for testing has overwhelmed the country's capacity in places that are hardest hit, creating long lines and delaying results for days.
At-home tests are still in short supply, and the administration was widely criticized last month for what appeared to be confusing recommendations for those infected as cases soared.
The isolation period was shortened to five days rather than 10 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not recommend a negative test before leaving isolation after the shortened period '-- concerning some public health experts and prompting criticism from the American Medical Association, which said in a statement that ''a dearth of tests at the moment does not justify omitting a testing requirement to exit a now shortened isolation.''
''In terms of the communication and the trust in the CDC, it feels like we have gone backwards,'' said Leana Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner.
Wen said some of the decisions and the fallout reminded her of the early days of the pandemic response under the Trump administration.
The health experts said that at least part of a new way of communicating should include preparing Americans to accept Covid as endemic, while still attempting to reduce the most disruptive impacts of the virus, like keeping people out of the hospital and reducing serious or fatal illness by promoting vaccinations.
''There's agreement that the messaging has to be better and that it would be important to be simpler for people and more targeted towards what people need and action guided,'' said Ezekiel Emanuel, a key member of Biden's transition team and a former health policy adviser to the Obama administration. ''I think we just need a clear message so people know what the 'to do' is.''
They also say Biden needs to acknowledge the extent of testing shortages and ramp up a remedy to it.
RecommendedBiden has promised to send 500 million free at-home Covid tests to Americans, with the first batch going out this month, but it will take months for the administration to be able to procure and ship that many tests, based on production estimates from the test makers. On Monday, the administration announced it would mandate that insurance companies and group health plans cover the cost of at-home Covid-19 tests starting Jan. 15 and held up the move as another way it is attempting to improve testing access.
''There has to be an admission at the federal level [about] what is not going well now and frankly, we have a testing mess,'' Sebelius added. ''While I think the president stepped up in the beginning to purchase the test kits and get them to people, even mail them to people, we're late to this game for a whole variety of reasons. The United States has not done well on testing since March of 2020. That's a problem and I think it needs to be said out loud that it's a problem because that's what a lot of people are experiencing every day.''
In an acknowledgement of the need to improve its messaging, the CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said Friday she would begin holding regular news briefings with other CDC officials, apart from the weekly White House Covid briefings that typically last for 30 minutes and leave time for only a handful of questions. It's a move former administration officials had been urging.
She spent that first briefing Friday detailing the thinking behind the agency's isolation and testing guidelines released last month.
''One of the things that was very distressing was that the CDC had not really explained itself directly to the American public,'' former Obama administration CDC director Thomas Frieden said, adding he was very encouraged the CDC would begin holding more of its own briefings going forward. ''That's a problem. In past outbreaks, the CDC was regularly briefing, explaining the science and explaining how the guidance might apply.''
Since the arrival of the omicron variant in early December, the White House has increased the time Biden has spent addressing Covid publicly, stressing the need for vaccinations and the higher risk of infection, even to those who are vaccinated. The administration has also ramped up its support to states, sending thousands of federal personnel to hospitals along with medical supplies and equipment.
But the president hasn't pushed for stricter measures, like a return to remote learning or a nationwide lockdown, because officials believe they have the tools with vaccines, masks, and testing to manage the pandemic, administration officials say.
''Now we're in a different place than we were a year ago,'' White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday, citing the number of Americans now vaccinated. ''We have a range of tools at our disposal, including antivirals and other treatments. So we're going to continue to expand that, but we are in a different place than we were a year ago.''
Psaki said the president continues to refer to Covid as the ''pandemic of the unvaccinated'' because CDC data shows that those who are unvaccinated are significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die if they are infected then those who have been vaccinated.
The White House referred requests for comment to the Department of Health and Human Services, which said in a statement Monday that the administration has ''led with transparency, and data '' no matter how complex the science is amid a once in a generation pandemic '' and have focused squarely on getting Americans the information they need to stay safe and protect others.''
''Importantly, President Biden has not wavered from his core campaign promise that he would let the science lead, even as we face the challenges posed by an ever-evolving pandemic,'' HHS spokeswoman Kirsten Allen said, in part.
One aspect of the guidance that has also been confusing, health policy leaders said, has to do with masks. Last month, Biden and his top Covid advisers, including chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and Walensky, gathered for a video call with governors. The group sat together in the type of high-filtration masks they haven't been urging the public to wear.
The masks, referred to as N95 or KN95, have been strongly recommended by public health experts outside the White House who say cloth and ordinary paper masks don't provide enough protection against the omicron variant. But the CDC's website still recommends cloth and disposable paper masks, and officials haven't made any specific recommendation for the public to switch to the more protective face coverings.
''I cannot imagine that the CDC or anyone would disagree that at this point in the pandemic with omicron being so contagious, and the virus being omnipresent, that a cloth mask is still the way to go,'' said Wen. ''There are a lot of people who are still walking around in cloth masks thinking that they are protected and they're getting infected. That is just unconscionable.''
The White House said it is following the CDC's guidance on masks, which does not advise wearing N95 masks but rather advises people to wear a ''well-fitting mask'' that could include ones made of cloth. A spokesman said Biden has been explicit and consistent in urging mask wearing, including in schools.
On the political front, Biden could be better off acknowledging the virus is here to stay, despite his repeated promises as a candidate that he would ''shut down the virus,'' said Paul Maslin, a Democratic pollster.
''Is Covid ever going to be the great success Biden or his people or any Democrats had hoped it would be? The answer's no,'' Maslin said. ''He's lost the opportunity of making it a great success. But there are definitely going to be plenty of other things he's going to be judged by.''
Shannon Pettypiece Shannon Pettypiece is the senior White House reporter for NBCNews.com.
Natasha Korecki Natasha Korecki is a senior national political reporter for NBC News.
North Carolina voters sue to ban Madison Cawthorn from ballot | The Independent
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 12:07
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A Bernie Sanders-backed group has launched a long-shot bid to keep North Carolina Representative Madison Cawthorn off the ballot in this year's midterms by claiming his alleged support for the 6 January insurrection renders him ineligible to serve in Congress.
A petition by a group of Tarheel State voters who are making the challenge to Mr Cawthorn's eligibility was filed with the North Carolina state board of elections last week as part of a campaign progressive groups Free Speech for People and Our Revolution are staging in hopes of using an obscure section of the 14th Amendment to keep a number of GOP figures from seeking reelection.
Enacted in 1868 as part of the Reconstruction process after the US Civil War, the 14th Amendment is now mainly known for guaranteeing birthright citizenship to anyone born on American soil, and for its guarantees of ''due process'' and ''equal protection'' to all citizens.
But the challengers opposing Mr Cawthorn's candidacy hope the board will apply a North Carolina law allowing them to challenge a candidate's eligibility by filing an affidavit articulating their ''reasonable suspicion'' that he is barred from holding officer under the third section of the amendment, which states that ''no person shall be a '... representative in Congress '... or hold any office '... under the United States '... who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress '... to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof''.
The amendment does not lay out how such ineligibility would be determined, but in practice the House and Senate have invoked it by a simple majority vote against prospective members. Congress has done so only once since the end of the 19th century when it blocked a Socialist Party of America member named Victor Berger from taking office as a representative from Wisconsin.
Berger, who had been convicted of violating the Espionage Act by opposing the US entry into the First World War, later successfully sued to have his conviction overturned, removing his ineligibility and allowing him to serve three terms in Congress.
The petition against Mr Cawthorn does not accuse him of violating any laws that would bar his eligibility, but alleges that his support for the protests organised on 6 January '-- including his appearance at the rally on the Ellipse which later featured then-president Donald Trump '-- combined with his vote against certifying the election amount to involvement ''with, at minimum, the planning of events that led to the insurrection''.
One of the voters who signed the petition, Claude Boisson, said in a statement that he did so because he thought the events of 6 January were on par with the coup in his native Haiti that put dictator ''Papa Doc'' Duvalier into power.
''As I watched the Capitol insurrection, I realized that I've seen this movie before. As a child, I saw ''Papa Doc'' Duvalier take control of Haiti and rule as a dictator '... I joined this action because I want to do everything I can to prevent authoritarians from taking power here,'' he said.
A spokesperson for Mr Cawthorn, Luke Ball, told the Miami Herald in response that the petitioners ''are comically misinterpreting and twisting the 14th amendment for political gain''.
Cybersecurity, space add to climate change, pandemic challenges, WEF reports : NPR
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 12:02
Attendees walk past an electronic display showing cyberattacks in China at the 2017 China Internet Security Conference in Beijing. Mark Schiefelbein/AP file photo hide caption
toggle caption Mark Schiefelbein/AP file photo Attendees walk past an electronic display showing cyberattacks in China at the 2017 China Internet Security Conference in Beijing.
Mark Schiefelbein/AP file photo LONDON '-- Cybersecurity and space are emerging risks to the global economy, adding to existing challenges posed by climate change and the coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum said in a report Tuesday.The Global Risks Report is usually released ahead of the annual elite winter gathering of CEOs and world leaders in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, but the event has been postponed for a second year in a row because of COVID-19. The World Economic Forum still plans some virtual sessions next week.
Here's a rundown of the report, which is based on a survey of about 1,000 experts and leaders:
World outlook: As 2022 begins, the pandemic and its economic and societal impact still pose a "critical threat" to the world, the report said. Big differences between rich and poor nations' access to vaccines mean their economies are recovering at uneven rates, which could widen social divisions and heighten geopolitical tensions.
By 2024, the global economy is forecast to be 2.3% smaller than it would have been without the pandemic. But that masks the different rates of growth between developing nations, whose economies are forecast to be 5.5% smaller than before the pandemic, and rich countries, which are expected to expand 0.9%.Digital dangers: The pandemic forced a huge shift '-- requiring many people to work or attend class from home and giving rise to an exploding number of online platforms and devices to aid a transformation that has dramatically increased security risks, the report said.
"We're at the point now where cyberthreats are growing faster than our ability to effectively prevent and manage them," said Carolina Klint, a risk management leader at Marsh, whose parent company Marsh McLennan co-authored the report with Zurich Insurance Group.
Cyberattacks are becoming more aggressive and widespread, as criminals use tougher tactics to go after more vulnerable targets, the report said. Malware and ransomware attacks have boomed, while the rise of cryptocurrencies makes it easy for online criminals to hide payments they have collected.
While those responding to the survey cited cybersecurity threats as a short- and medium-term risk, Klint said the report's authors were concerned that the issue wasn't ranked higher, suggesting it's a "blind spot" for companies and governments.
Space race: Space is the final frontier '-- for risk.
Falling costs for launch technology has led to a new space race between companies and governments. Last year, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' space tourism venture Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson took off, while Elon Musk's Space X business made big gains in launching astronauts and satellites.
Meanwhile, a host of countries are beefing up their space programs as they chase geopolitical and military power or scientific and commercial gains, the report said.
But all these programs raise the risk of frictions in orbit.
"Increased exploitation of these orbits carries the risk of congestion, an increase in debris and the possibility of collisions in a realm with few governance structures to mitigate new threats," the report said.
Space exploitation is one of the areas that respondents thought had among the least amount of international collaboration to deal with the challenges.
Climate crisis: The environment remains the biggest long-term worry.The planet's health over the next decade is the dominant concern, according to survey respondents, who cited failure to act on climate change, extreme weather, and loss of biodiversity as the top three risks.
The report noted that different countries are taking different approaches, with some moving faster to adopt a zero-carbon model than others. Both approaches come with downsides. While moving slowly could radicalize more people who think the government isn't acting urgently, a faster shift away from carbon intense industries could spark economic turmoil and throw millions out of work.
"Adopting hasty environmental policies could also have unintended consequences for nature," the report added. "There are still many unknown risks from deploying untested biotechnical and geoengineering technologies."
Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida to Resign - WSJ
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 05:24
Clarida's departure follows criticism of February 2020 financial transactions
Updated Jan. 10, 2022 6:44 pm ETFederal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said he would resign from the central bank on Friday, two weeks before his term on the central bank's board is set to end.
His resignation follows questions raised over financial transactions he conducted at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The Fed announced Mr. Clarida's resignation on Monday afternoon, on the eve of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's Senate confirmation hearing.
President...
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Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said he would resign from the central bank on Friday, two weeks before his term on the central bank's board is set to end.
His resignation follows questions raised over financial transactions he conducted at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The Fed announced Mr. Clarida's resignation on Monday afternoon, on the eve of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's Senate confirmation hearing.
President Biden had earlier nominated Fed governor Lael Brainard to become vice chairwoman. The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to consider her confirmation on Thursday.
News reports revealed last week that Mr. Clarida had amended his financial disclosures to show he sold a stock fund three days before he purchased the same investment in late February 2020.
When the initial disclosures first received public scrutiny last year, Mr. Clarida said three financial investment transactions that he executed on Feb. 27, 2020, were part of a preplanned portfolio rebalancing.
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The amended disclosures filed last month raised questions over his initial explanation because they showed that three days earlier, on Feb. 24, 2020, Mr. Clarida had sold shares in three stock funds, including the same one he would purchase shares of on Feb. 27 for a similar amount. Stocks fell during those three days amid news reports about the novel coronavirus's global spread.
The Fed said the amended disclosures followed inadvertent errors by Mr. Clarida.
In a letter included with the updated disclosures, a Fed ethics officer said Mr. Clarida had complied with applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest.
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The last week of February 2020 kicked off a period of intense volatility in financial markets, with stocks falling and bonds rallying as coronavirus case counts rose around the world, prompting U.S. health authorities to warn the public about the potential for severe disruptions to daily life.
The timing of Mr. Clarida's Feb. 27, 2020, transactions had raised concerns from some ethics watchdogs because Mr. Powell signaled in a rare statement the following day, Feb. 28, that the central bank stood ready to cut interest rates if the pandemic began to roil financial markets and the U.S. economy. The two men spoke by phone on Feb. 27 at 4:45 p.m.
The Fed cut rates in March and launched a slew of programs to stop a financial crisis.
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During a virtual interview at an international finance conference in October, Mr. Clarida indirectly addressed the trading controversy. ''I've always acquitted myself honorably and with integrity with respect to the obligations of public service,'' he said.
Mr. Clarida, in a resignation letter to Mr. Biden on Monday, didn't mention his financial disclosures and instead focused on the Fed's response to the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.
Mr. Clarida's Feb. 27, 2020, financial transactions were disclosed in May 2021. But they drew attention after the resignations of two other Fed officials in late September following news reports of their financial trading histories, triggering a major reputational crisis for the central bank. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, citing health reasons, stepped down from his position on Sept. 30. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan resigned Oct. 8. Disclosure forms released in early September showed both men traded extensively in individual stocks in 2020.
In a letter to Mr. Powell on Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) asked the central bank to provide more information about Fed officials' trading activities, including the circumstances that prompted Mr. Clarida's amended disclosures. Those disclosures, she wrote, were ''just the latest evidence of a deep-rooted ethics failure at the Fed.''
Last fall, Ms. Warren called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate all three officials' trading, which she said was ''ethically questionable'' and potentially illegal. The trades ''reflect atrocious judgment,'' she wrote in a letter to SEC Chairman
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Gary Gensler.
The Fed's inspector general has launched an investigation of officials' trades.
Mr. Powell approved a sweeping revamp of the central bank's personal-investment practices for senior officials last October. In testimony before Congress last September, he conceded that the rules allowing the trading by Messrs. Kaplan and Rosengren to occur were inadequate to sustain the public's confidence, even if they appeared to satisfy each bank's existing protocols. ''We understand now that we need to modify our practices,'' he said.
Under the new rules, sales and purchases must be limited to broad-based investments such as mutual funds, and they will have to be preapproved by the Fed and pre-scheduled, minimizing the potential for any appearance that officials were benefiting from inside information to bolster their personal investments.
Those new rules will require Fed officials and senior staff to provide at least 45 days' advance notice of their transactions, which won't be allowed during periods of ''heightened market stress.''
Mr. Clarida was a top lieutenant to Mr. Powell, who played a key role in securing Mr. Clarida's appointment from then-President Donald Trump in 2018. Mr. Clarida is set to return to teaching economics at Columbia University this week, where he is a professor. He is former economist at bond giant Pacific Investment Management Co.
Most notably, Mr. Clarida played a leading role overseeing the Fed's framework review in 2019, which culminated in 2020 with a significant shift in how the central bank conducts interest-rate policy. Those changes effectively raised the Fed's inflation target by saying the central bank should take past periods of inflation below the 2% target into account by seeking periods of inflation moderately above that level, especially after intervals in which it was unable to provide more stimulus because interest rates had been cut to zero.
The framework revamp also said officials wouldn't raise interest rates simply because unemployment rates fall below a level estimated to fuel price pressures'--an important turn away from a consensus that had guided central bank policy since the 1980s.
His departure isn't expected to have a meaningful near-term effect on Fed policy because it was already anticipated he would leave in early 2022.
Write to Nick Timiraos at nick.timiraos@wsj.com
Chinese foreign minister condemns Kazakh unrest, vows to help fight 'three evil forces' | South China Morning Post
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 04:07
Wang Yi refers to Kazakhstan's anti-government protests as terrorism and offers cooperation from Chinese law enforcement and security agenciesBeijing will help to 'safeguard the political system and regime safety of the two countries', he saysTopic |
Diplomacy E3B1C256-BFCB-4CEF-88A6-1DCCD7666635
Published: 12:00am, 11 Jan, 2022
Updated: 12:45am, 11 Jan, 2022
China's Xi'an under lockdown amid surge in COVID-19, hemorrhagic fever cases '-- Radio Free Asia
Tue, 11 Jan 2022 00:40
Authorities in the northern Chinese city of Xi'an have placed the city of 13 million under lockdown, amid a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and fears over a recent outbreak of epidemic hemorrhagic fever, local residents told RFA.
A resident of Xi'an's Xixian New District surnamed Wang said her community had been placed under lockdown on Wednesday evening.
"I am guessing that the latest wave of cases in Xi'an must be higher than the original wave in Wuhan," Wang told RFA, saying there are rumors that the city is going to be "the next Wuhan."
"No hemorrhagic fever was found in Wuhan [in early 2020], but Xi'an is now faced with a double epidemic," she said. "Everyone in China is paying attention to Xi'an right now," she said.
The move comes after dozens of COVID-19 cases were reported by authorities in Xi'an over several consecutive days, with mass PCR testing already under way across the city.
However, the city has also seen a growing number of hemorrhagic fever cases in recent weeks, according to media controlled by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The Global Times, which has close ties to CCP mouthpiece the People's Daily, quoted a medical staff member at the infection unit of the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University as saying that the hospital had admitted a patient with non-life-threatening hemorrhagic fever in the past few days.
"Hemorrhagic fever is a common infectious disease in northern China," the paper said. "Starting from October every year, some areas of Shaanxi [of which Xi'an is the provincial capital] enter the high incidence season of hemorrhagic fever."
The disease, also known as epidemic hemorrhagic fever, is caused by hantavirus, with rodents as the main source of infection, it said.
Wang said some restrictions were already in place ahead of Thursday's lockdown, as China pursues a zero-COVID strategy ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
"What I'm really worried about this time around is that we don't know how long this lockdown will go on for; there's the question of getting hold of supplies," she said. "Even if we can get them, the prices will go up."
Spot checks for compliance
City authorities have told people to stay home and order deliveries of food and other essentials, or to delegate a single person to go out and buy groceries every other day.
Anyone needing to leave their homes will require special certification from local residential committees, who will carry out spot checks to ensure residents are complying with the new restrictions, officials told a news conference on Wednesday.
The news prompted chaotic scenes across retail outlets in the city, as people scrambled to stock up on supplies, leaving their cars and motorbikes parked anyhow in the streets.
Public transportation hubs have been shut down, with more than 85 percent of flights in and out of Xi'an grounded, according to the flight tracker service VariFlight late on Wednesday.
A manager at a Holiday Inn hotel in Xi'an said nobody has been allowed in or out of the premises since midnight, and that it's currently unclear how long the lockdown will last.
"We're no longer accepting reservations, and no one will be allowed in or out after midnight," the manager said. "We have no way to guarantee that we can feed all our guests, so we are telling them to cancel."
"It's for disease control and prevention."
He said all employees who can go home have already done so, with some guests laying in stores of instant noodles to last them through the lockdown.
A staff member who answered the phone at the Xi'an Epidemic Control and Prevention Center said they had no information about the duration of the lockdown.
"Not yet, no," the staff member said. "I have no way to answer your question in the absence of any specific instructions."
He added: "We just implement policy; we don't make it."
A local resident who gave only the surname Liu said there is now no public transportation operating in Xi'an, and all the restaurants in his neighborhood have shut down.
"The moment they put you under lockdown, you have no freedom," he said. "The restaurants have all been shut down to protect residents, but if there's no food, then we can't live."
"This is the government doing this ... all the people can do is try to do our own thing without being a burden on society," he said.
New cases of COVID-19 have also been confirmed in the eastern province of Zhejiang, the southern province of Guangdong, the northern port city of Tianjin, Shanghai, and the northeastern province of Liaoning in recent days.
Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.
Moxie Marlinspike has stepped down as CEO of Signal - The Verge
Mon, 10 Jan 2022 22:57
Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike is stepping down as CEO of the company, he announced in a blog post on Monday. Executive chairman Brian Acton will serve as acting CEO until a replacement is found.
''Every day, I'm struck by how boundless Signal's potential looks, and I want to bring in someone with fresh energy and commitment to make the most of that,'' Marlinspike wrote. ''I now feel very comfortable replacing myself as CEO based on the team we have.''
The company has met with several CEO candidates ''over the last few months,'' Marlinspike wrote, but the search remains ongoing.
Founded in 2014, Signal has grown into one of the most trusted and robust apps for encrypted messaging. The service has more than 40 million monthly users and is regularly recommended in security guides. Established as a nonprofit, the company is not supported by advertising or app sales, instead relying on donations and a recently launched sustainer program.
The app saw a rush of new users in early 2021 in response to a new privacy policy from its competitor WhatsApp '-- but the success wasn't without controversy. Workers within Signal raised concerns to The Verge that the company's refusal to maintain content policies could lead to potential misuse of the service. Signal's recent efforts to incorporate cryptocurrency payments through MobileCoin have only heightened those concerns.
Marlinspike gave no indication of his plans after leaving Signal, although he has published a number of satirical NFT experiments on his personal blog, including a derivatives market for NFTs and a token that turns into the poop emoji when viewed from a personal wallet.
REVEALED: AP source who 'fact checked' Mass Formation Psychosis theory encouraged 'behavioral nudging' people into Covid compliance, quoted Goebbels | The Post Millennial
Mon, 10 Jan 2022 21:36
After podcaster Joe Rogan's wildly popular interview with Dr. Robert Malone aired on "The Joe Rogan Experience," fact checkers jumped into the fray to try to disprove assertions made by Malone.
One of those cited authoritative in the AP "fact check" tweeted in favor of cajoling the public into following COVID-19 restrictions, and now claims that the collective group think around COVID-19, termed by Malone as "mass formation psychosis," isn't real.
New York University assistant professor of psychology and neural science Jay Van Bavel, who "co-authored a book on group identities," has made claims that the only way to fight COVID-19 is for everyone to change their behavior until such time as a vaccine came along. And how to get everyone to change? "We have to think through the lens of behavioral science," Van Bavel wrote. "What can we do to nudge and encourage and cajole and motivate people to do the right thing?"
This is the guy AP used to Fact Check Dr Malone on Mass Formation Psychosis pic.twitter.com/RmotohiTGo
'-- Jack Posobiec ? (@JackPosobiec) January 10, 2022Van Bavel also used a quote from notorious Nazi general Joseph Goebbels to point out that propaganda is most insidious when the "manipulated" public believes they are "acting on their own free will."
Van Bavel seems to believe that he is not guilty of either spreading or believing propaganda, manipulating people or being manipulated.
A horrifying feature of cult psychology:"Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will." - Joseph Goebbels
'-- Jay Van Bavel (@jayvanbavel) September 30, 2021In a Nature article in 2020, Van Bavel posited that "insights from the social and behavioural sciences can be used to help align human behaviour with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts." What is this if not an attempt to push people to do what they're told?
The article addresses using fear as a means to control people, in the right doses: "A meta-analysis found that targeting fears can be useful in some situations, but not others: appealing to fear leads people to change their behaviour if they feel capable of dealing with the threat, but leads to defensive reactions when they feel helpless to act. The results suggest that strong fear appeals produce the greatest behaviour change only when people feel a sense of efficacy, whereas strong fear appeals with low-efficacy messages produce the greatest levels of defensive responses."
Van Bavel deals with how to deal with "optimism bias" in a population, as well as risk perception, emotional responses, and how the "global pandemic may also create opportunities to reduce religious and ethnic prejudice."
He wrote that "People's behaviour is influenced by social norms," but that "Changing behaviours by correcting such misperceptions can be achieved by public messages reinforcing positive (for example, health-promoting) norms."
Malone offered Rogan a comparison of the current era of COVID-19 panic in American to Germany in the early 20th century, when Hitler and his Nazi Party rose to power. Like happened then, Malone claimed, the United States is in the midst of a "mass formation psychosis."
"It was from, basically, European intellectual inquiry into what the heck happened in Germany in the 20s and 30s. Very intelligent, highly educated population, and they went barking mad. And how did that happen? The answer is mass formation psychosis. When you have a society that has become decoupled from each other, and has free floating anxiety, in a sense that things don't make sense. We can't understand it. And then their attention gets focused by a leader or series of events on one small point, just like hypnosis. They literally become hypnotized and can be led anywhere," said Malone.
"I try really hard to give people the information and help them to think, not to tell them what to think. Okay? But the point is if I'm not '-- if it's not okay for me to be part of the conversation, even though I'm pointing out scientific facts that may be inconvenient, then who is who can be allowed?" Malone, who noted that Fauci "lies all the time," told Rogan in reference to his Twitter ban.
The AP's fact check listed Malone's claims, and then cited "psychology experts" who say "there is no support for the 'psychosis' theory described by Malone."
But that includes Van Bavel, who advocated for a group think mentality and the dissemination of propaganda in oder to get Americans to behave in the way that he thought was best during the early days of the pandemic.
Van Bavel is the director of NYU's "Social Identity and Morality Lab," which "examine[s] how collective concerns'--group identities, moral values, and political beliefs'--shape the mind, brain, and behavior."
They are trying to convince you propaganda does not exist pic.twitter.com/SHC3z33wmW
'-- Drew Hernandez (@DrewHLive) January 9, 2022"To my knowledge," Van Bavel is quoted as saying to the AP, "there's no evidence whatsoever for this concept." Van Bavel gained his "expert" status by being an assistant professor at NYU in psychology and neural science.
But it wasn't just that Van Bavel claimed there was no evidence for Malone's supposition that the United States is facing a mass formation psychosis, it's that Van Bavel had never even heard the phrase. The AP sourced an "expert" on a subject that "expert" had never even heard of.
"Van Bavel," the AP writes, "said he had never encountered the phrase 'mass formation psychosis' in his years of research, nor could he find it in any peer-reviewed literature." Why did the AP ask Van Bavel to speak on a subject that he didn't even know existed?
In response to Malone's interview on Rogan's podcast, so-called "fact checkers" attacked his resume, his claims at having worked on early iterations of mRna technology which is now used in two major COVID-19 vaccines, and the AP went so far as to fact check Malone's claim that a "mass formation psychosis" had manifested with regard to COVID-19.
The real point of the AP's "fact check" was not to discredit Malone, which they were unable to do given that one of the experts cited didn't even know what he was talking about, by his own admission, but to further press Americans to behave in the way they would prefer.
"Health officials have found the COVID-19 vaccines to be safe and effective '-- especially in terms of protecting against serious illness," the AP writes.
Van Bavel took issue with the critique of his "fact-check" about something he claimed he didn't know anything about, and went into a Twitter thread rant about it. After saying there was no such thing as a "mass formation psychosis," he claimed that there was a "massive collective effort to bolster false beliefs."
If you want to see how people respond to a fact check over something that is seemingly trivial (eg about the pseudoscientific term "mass formation psychosis") read the thousands of comments on this AP Fact Check.There is a massive collective effort to bolster false beliefs. https://t.co/CckU2pufow
'-- Jay Van Bavel (@jayvanbavel) January 9, 2022Van Bavel argued that those who go along and conform are not doing so "because they believe in the false consensus," but that "they are conforming due to social pressure."
And Van Bavel leaned on the same premise that the AP did in their fact check when he was confronted with those who claimed his "fact-check" was flawed. He pressed for vaccine efficacy, and claimed that those who disagreed with his contradiction of Malone's "mass formation psychosis" idea were merely conspiracy theorists, which is a handy way to discredit those with whom you disagree.
Malone's interview with Rogan was removed by YouTube from their platform over claims of COVID-19 misinformation. Malone was banned from Twitter.
The Central Bankers' Long Covid: An Incurable Condition - The Philosophical Salon
Mon, 10 Jan 2022 20:36
Sheep spend their entire lives being afraid of the wolf, but end up eaten by the shepherd. (Popular proverb)
By now it should be clear that COVID-19 is, essentially, a symptom of financial capital running amok. More broadly, it is a symptom of a world that is no longer able to reproduce itself by profiting from human labour, thus relying on a compensatory logic of perpetual monetary doping. While the structural shrinking of the work-based economy inflates the financial sector, the latter's volatility can only be contained through global emergencies, mass propaganda, and tyranny by biosecurity. How can we break out of this vicious cycle?
Since the third industrial revolution (microelectronics in the 1980s), automated capitalism has been engaged in abolishing wage labour as its own substance. We have now passed the point of no return. Due to escalating technological advance, capital is increasingly impotent vis-a-vis its mission of squeezing surplus-value out of labour-power. With the unleashing of artificial intelligence this truly becomes mission impossible '' game over.
This means that the foundations of our world no longer reside in the socially necessary labour contained in commodities such as cars, telephones, or toothpaste. Rather, they reside in highly flammable debt-leveraged speculations on financial assets like stocks, bonds, futures, and especially derivatives, whose value is securitised indefinitely. Only the religious belief that the mass of these assets produces value prevents us from seeing the yawning abyss beneath our feet. And when our faith dwindles, divine providence intervenes by sending us into collective hypnosis through apocalyptic tales of contagion and attendant narratives of salvation.
Yet, reality is stubborn, and keeps knocking on our door. As the financial tumour spreads through the social body, capital opts to unleash its Leviathanic doppelganger, a vampire that feeds on global emergencies and business models anchored in digital technology with the potential to securitize the entirety of life on earth. The writing is on the wall, a 'soft dictatorship' is already staring at us. Today, resisting the tide means defending the inviolable dimension of human dignity, a non-negotiable starting point for the construction of an alternative social project. There is still time, but we need critical awareness, courage, and collective awakening.
Pandexit in the land of unicorns
How close are we to Pandexit? The following excerpt from a recent Bloomberg piece has the most likely answer: ''For anyone hoping to see light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel over the next three to six months, scientists have some bad news: brace for more of what we've already been through.'' To unpack this statement, let us surmise that our future is characterised by the following events: 1. Central banks will continue to create inordinate amounts of money, mostly destined to inflate financial markets; 2. The contagion narrative (or similar) will continue to hypnotise entire populations, at least until Digital Health Passports are fully rolled out; 3. Liberal democracies will be dismantled, and eventually replaced by regimes based on a digitised panopticon, a Metaverse of control technologies legitimised by deafening emergency noise.
Too dark? Not if we consider how the health crisis rollercoaster (lockdowns followed by partial openings alternating with new closures caused by mini-waves) looks increasingly like a global role-play, where actors pass the buck to make sure the emergency ghost continues to circulate, albeit in a weakened capacity. The reason for this depressive scenario is simple: without Virus justifying monetary stimulus, the debt-leveraged financial sector would collapse overnight. At the same time, however, rising inflation coupled with supply-chain bottlenecks (especially microchips) threatens a devastating recession.
This catch-22 appears impossible to overcome, which is why the elites cannot let go of the emergency narrative. From their perspective, the only way out would seem to imply the controlled demolition of the real economy and its liberal infrastructure, while financial assets continue to be artificially inflated. The latter comprises cynical tricks of financial greenwashing such as investment in ESG securities, an environmentally disguised loophole to legitimise further debt expansion. With all due respect to the Greta Thunbergs in our midst, this has nothing to do with saving the planet.
Rather, we are witnessing the accelerating dissolution of liberal capitalism, which is now obsolete. The outlook is objectively depressing. Global financial and geopolitical interests will be secured by mass data harvesting, blockchain ledgers, and slavery by digital app peddled as empowering innovation. At the heart of our predicament lies the ruthless evolutionary logic of a socioeconomic system that, to survive, is ready to sacrifice its democratic framework and embrace a monetary regime supported by corporate-owned science & technology, media propaganda, and disaster narratives accompanied by nauseating pseudo-humanitarian philanthro-capitalism.
By appealing to our personal sense of guilt for 'destroying the planet', the coming climate lockdowns are the ideal continuation of Covid restrictions. If Virus was the scary appetiser, a generous portion of carbon-footprint-mixed-with-energy-scarcity ideology is already being served as main meal. One by one we are being persuaded that our negative impact on the planet deserves to be punished. First terrified and regimented by Virus and now shamed for harming Mother Earth, we have already internalised the environmental command: our natural right to live must be earned through compliance with ecological diktats imposed by the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, and ratified by technocratic governments with their police. This is capitalist realism at its most cynical.
The introduction of Digital Health Passports (only a year ago ridiculed as conspiracy theory!) represents a critical juncture. The tagging of the masses is crucial if the elites are to gain our trust in an increasingly centralised power structure sold as an opportunity for emancipation. After crossing the digital-ID Rubicon, the crackdown is likely to continue smoothly and gradually, as in Noam Chomsky's famous anecdote: if we throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will immediately come out with a prodigious leap; if, on the other hand, we immerse it in lukewarm water and slowly raise the temperature, the frog will not notice anything, even enjoying it; until, weakened and unable to react, it will end up boiled to death.
The above prediction, however, needs to be contextualised within a conflictual and deeply uncertain scenario. Firstly, there is now evidence (however heavily censored) of genuine popular resistance to the pandemic psy-op and the Great Reset more widely. Secondly, the elites appear deadlocked and therefore confused as to how to proceed, as demonstrated by several countries opting to de-escalate the health emergency. It is worth reiterating that the conundrum is, fundamentally, of economic nature: how to manage extreme financial volatility while holding on to capitals and privileges. The global financial system is a huge Ponzi scheme. If those who run it were to lose control of liquidity creation, the ensuing explosion would nuke the entire socio-economic fabric below. Simultaneously, a recession would deprive politicians of any credibility. This is why the elites' only viable plan would seem to lie in synchronizing the controlled demolition of the economy (collapse of global supply-chain resulting in an 'everything shortage'), with the rolling out of a global digital infrastructure for technocratic takeover. Timing is of the essence.
Emergency addiction
With regard to a potential recession, financial analyst Mauro Bottarelli summarised the communicating-vessels logic of the pand-economy as follows: ''a state of semi-permanent health emergency is preferable to a vertical market crash that would turn the memory of 2008 into a walk in the park.'' As I tried to reconstruct in a recent article, the 'pandemic' was a lifeboat launched to a drowning economy. Strictly speaking, it is a monetary event aimed at prolonging the lifespan of our finance-driven and terminally ill mode of production. With the help of Virus, capitalism attempts to reproduce itself by simulating conditions that are no longer available.
Here is a summary of Covid's economic rationale. The September 2019 bailout of the financial sector '' which, after eleven blissful years of Quantitative Easing, was again on the verge of a nervous breakdown '' involved an unprecedented expansion of monetary stimulus: the creation of trillions of dollars with the magic wand of the Federal Reserve. The injection of this inordinate amount of money into Wall Street was only possible by turning the engine of Main Street off. From the point of view of the short-sighted capitalist mole, there was no alternative. Computer money created as digital bytes cannot be allowed to cascade onto economic cycles on the ground, as this would cause an inflationary tsunami la Weimar 1920s (which ushered in the Third Reich), only much more catastrophic for a stagnant and globally interconnected economy.
Inevitably, the (cautious) reopening of credit-based transactions in the real economy has caused inflation to rise, hence further impoverishment on the ground. The purchasing power of salaries has been dented, along with revenues and savings. It is worth recalling that commercial banks are positioned at the interface between the magical world of Central Banks digital money, and the emergency-swept wasteland inhabited by most mortals. Thus, any wild expansion of Central Bank reserves (money created out of thin air) triggers price inflation as soon as commercial banks leak cash (i.e. debt) into society.
The purpose of the 'pandemic' was to accelerate the pre-existing macrotrend of monetary expansion, while postponing inflationary damage. Following the Federal Reserve, the world's central bankers have created oceans of liquidity, thus devaluing their currencies to the detriment of populations. While this continues, the transnational turbo-capital of the elites keeps expanding in the financial orbit, absorbing those small and medium size businesses it has depressed and destroyed. In other words, there is no such thing as a free lunch (for us). The Central Bank's money-printer works only for the 0.0001% '' with the help of Virus, or a global threat of equal traction.
At present, it looks as if central bankers are indulging in the noble art of procrastination. The Fed's board will convene again in early November 2021, with taper (reduction of monetary stimulus) announced to start in December. However, with the Covid bubble deflating, how will the elites deal with zero interest rates and direct deficit financing? In more explicit terms: what new 'contingent event' or 'divine intervention' will get them out of trouble? Will it be aliens? A cyber-terrorist attack on the banking system? A tsunami in the Atlantic? War games in Southeast Asia? A new War on Terror? The shopping list is long.
In the meantime, ordinary people are caught in a suffocating double bind. If credit needs to be made available to businesses, Central Banks must keep a lid on inflation, which they can do only'... by draining credit! Runaway inflation can be avoided only by containing the disruptive effects of excessive money creation; that is, by bringing work-based societies to their knees. Most of us end up squashed between price inflation of essential goods, and deflationary liquidity drainage via loss of income and erosion of savings. And in a stagnant economy with inflation off the chart, each suppressed business transaction is channeled into financial assets.
A tool preventing liquidity from reaching the real economy is the Federal Reserve's Overnight Reverse Repo facility (RRP). While continuing to flood financial markets with freshly printed money, thanks to reverse repos the Fed mops up any excess of that very cash it pumps into Wall Street. Effectively, a zero-sum game of give and take: at night, financial operators deposit their excess liquidity with the Federal Reserve, which delivers as collateral the same Treasuries and Mortgage-Backed Securities it drains from the market during the day as part of its QE purchases. In August 2021, the Fed's usage of RRP topped $1 trillion, which led the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to double the RRP limit to $160 billion, starting from 23 September 2021.
Here, then, is the elephant in the room: how will the Fed's taper square with reverse repos of this astronomical magnitude? Is the much-anticipated reduction of monetary stimulus even possible with a global financial bubble fuelled by zero-interest-rate leveraging and structural borrowing? But, at the same time, how can central bankers continue to expand their balance sheet, when the double whammy of stagnation and rising inflation (stagflation) is just around the corner?
The logic of this monetary mechanism is perverse. The solipsistic 'mad dance' of financial capital has spun out of control well beyond its customary madness, and the day of reckoning is fast approaching. Can a devastating recession be avoided? Today's political answer would seem to mobilise the ancient wisdom that 'extreme times call for extreme measures', which translates as: no crime against humanity can be ruled out when systemic implosion is so stubbornly denied. Is this not what history has always taught us?
The crisis we are experiencing is not epidemiological. In the first instance, it is meant to take care of the potentially cataclysmic financial exposure to toxic risk and the associated management of inflation. Suffice it to note that central bankers do not succeed in increasing interest rates to 2%, when in the 1970s they were brought up to 20% to combat inflation. However, as Covid reminds us, financial acrobatics of the current magnitude only work under emergency cover: blockades, lockdowns, restrictions, etc. The purpose of the cover-up is twofold: 1. To conceal the sinking of the Titanic (finance-driven 'work society'); 2. To coordinate the implementation of a colossal monetary reset based on economic depression and centralised control of people's lives.
Digital fascism
The consequences of emergency capitalism are emphatically biopolitical. They concern the administration of a human surplus that is growing superfluous for a largely automated, highly financialised, and implosive reproductive model. This is why Virus, Vaccine and Covid Pass are the Holy Trinity of social engineering. 'Virus passports' are meant to train the multitudes in the use of electronic wallets controlling access to public services and personal livelihood. The dispossessed and redundant masses, together with the non-compliant, are the first in line to be disciplined by digitalised poverty management systems directly overseen by monopoly capital. The plan is to tokenise human behaviour and place it on blockchain ledgers run by algorithms. And the spreading of global fear is the perfect ideological stick to herd us toward this outcome.
As public debates are silenced by censorship and intimidation, we are being escorted to a bio-techno-capitalist dystopia whose hellish character is likely to manifest itself fully with the next global crisis. This would justify the rolling out of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), which, in the words of Agustin Carstens (general manager of the Bank for International Settlements), will grant ''absolute control on the rules and regulations that will determine the use of that Central Bank liability [i.e., money], and we will have the technology to enforce that.'' Digital cash linked to digital identity is shorthand for hi-tech monetary serfdom, which will be extended to the unemployed first (e.g., UBI recipients), and potentially to most of us. When Larry Fink (BlackRock CEO) says that ''markets prefer totalitarian governments to democracies,'' we should better believe him.
Separating the population on the basis of vaccination status is an epoch-making achievement typical of totalitarian regimes. If resistance is quashed, a compulsory digital ID will be introduced to record the 'virtuousness' of our behaviour and regulate our access to society. Covid was the ideal Trojan horse for this breakthrough. A global system of digital identification based on blockchain technology has long been planned by the ID2020 Alliance, backed by such giants as Accenture, Microsoft, the Rockefeller Foundation, MasterCard, IBM, Facebook, and Bill Gates' ubiquitous GAVI. From here, the transition to monetary control is likely to be relatively smooth. CBDCs would allow central bankers not only to track every transaction, but especially to turn off access to liquidity for any reason deemed legitimate. The 'digitisation of life' project also includes an 'Internet passport' which, subject to periodic review, would exclude from the web anyone considered undeserving. Should the social credit score fall below a certain level, finding a job, traveling, or obtaining loans would depend on willing subjection to 'rehabilitation programmes'. Presumably, there will be a black market for the outcasts.
A cornerstone of historical fascism was industry controlled by government while remaining privately owned. It is quite astonishing that, despite the overwhelming evidence of systematic revolving doors between public and private sector, most public intellectuals have not yet realized that this is where we are heading. Italian writer Ennio Flaiano once said that the fascist movement is made of two groups: the fascists, and the anti-fascists. Today, when most self-proclaimed anti-fascists are quietly or enthusiastically supporting the medically driven authoritarian turn, this paradox is more relevant than ever.
From conspiracy theory to successful paranoia
The epistemology of conspiracy theory drives much of today's propaganda as a rhetoric of exclusion. The a priori rejection of 'paranoid thinking' leaves the official narrative as the sole bearer of truth, irrespective of empirical verification. Therefore, as argued by Ole Bjerg, ''the real pathology emerges on the side of the mainstream reactions to so-called conspiracy theorists ['...] in the form of an epistemic state of exception, which threatens to undermine the functioning of public debate and intellectual critique.''[i] In other words, paranoia qualifies the position of those modern-day Torquemadas whose inquisition tribunals silence any 'heretical' thinking that dares to depart from the dogmas of emergency capitalism. The blanket accusation levelled at 'paranoid Covid-deniers' and 'anti-vaxxers' is symptomatic not only of the dissolution of the democratic bond, but especially of a top-down contagion of ideological sickness never experienced before on such a global scale.
As Jacques Lacan argued in the 1960s, capitalist power works by vanishing, by making itself secret and invisible, thereby dissimulating not only its authority but also its impotence. Everything seems to function spontaneously in capitalism, as if no-one was giving or obeying orders, but just following their spontaneous desires: ''What is striking, and what no one seems to see, is that by virtue of the fact that the clouds of impotence have been aired, the master signifier only appears even more unassailable ['...] Where is it? How can it be named? How can it be located'--other than through its murderous effects, of course.''[ii] Should this prompt us to enlist Lacan in the army of wacky conspiracy theorists? While the traditional master relies on symbolic authority, the capitalist master delegates authority to the intangible objectivity of its modus operandi. As made abundantly clear by neoliberalism, mastery is officially relinquished but simultaneously reasserted in its relinquished form, for example as 'leadership'. And Lacan's point is that this stratagem opens the space for deeper, more insidious forms of manipulation.
Just like corporate-owned mainstream media, today many Lacanians love to ridicule 'conspiracy theorists'. Typically, they do so by citing Lacan's motto that ''there is no such thing as a big Other'' '' so, ultimately, no-one can possibly be plotting behind the curtains. Or, to quote from a recent piece by Slavoj Žižek, ''there is no need to invent pandemics and weather catastrophes, since the system produces them by itself.'' But these arguments miss the target, for they overlook how power functions precisely by occupying the ontological inconsistency of the big Other, manipulating it in its favour. Differently stated: if there is an unconscious, conspiracy and manipulation are inevitable. The success of any power-structure depends on its ability to weaponise the self-contradictory status of its universe of sense against the neurotic masses.
For all his Hegelianism, here Žižek misses the speculative character of (capitalist) power: systemic contradictions are the very foundation and lifeblood of any power edifice. The elementary speculative ruse of power is that it turns ontological inconsistency into condition of possibility. This is clearly visible in the 'authoritarian turn' of contemporary capitalism as predicated upon the ideological use of emergencies. Ultimately, these emergencies are real only insofar as they are capitalist emergencies, deployed at the right time to further the interests of capital. The assumption that they will escape or subvert the existing power structure ignores the extent to which they already function for capitalist power. My reading of Covid as a product of financial volatility is consistent with this speculative stance: pandemic contingency is capitalist necessity, and as such it was supported from the start by a formidable ideological apparatus.
The rhetoric of exclusion that animates the public discourse on Covid can be described through what Lacan, borrowing from Freud, named ''successful paranoia'', which ''might just as well seem to constitute the closure of science.''[iii] Essentially, ''closure'' refers to the positivistic belief in scientific objectivity, which is built on the rejection (foreclosure) of the 'subject of the unconscious' as source of questioning, doubt, and error. In the context of Lacan's discourse theory, successful paranoia aligns with a hyper-efficient belief-system secured by the ''curious copulation between capitalism and science''.[iv] The power of what today is unilaterally promoted as 'real science' (so real that it bans doubt, prohibits debate, and promotes censorship) is akin to the power of a new religion, as Lacan cautioned in 1974: ''Science is in the process of substituting itself for religion, and it is even more despotic, obtuse and obscurantist''.[v] And capitalism banks on science & technology just as it capitalizes on health, one of the most profitable businesses in the world.
The 'science' we are ordered to follow is hijacked by the financial elites and their political cronies, thus working as a barrier against the awareness that 'our world' is crumbling. Real science, which continues to operate behind the thick curtain of censorship, would never impose dictatorial mandates like those still in place in democratic countries around the world. Blind faith in 'Covid science', then, betrays a desperate desire to hang on to capitalist power, inclusive of its authoritarian mutation. Yet the history of scientific progress shows that science is, fundamentally, a discourse emphatically centred on what it lacks. All major scientific advances are based on a principle of insufficiency: the awareness that truth as cause of knowledge is ontologically lacking. Or, to quote Lacan: ''Il n'y a de cause que de ce qui cloche'' (''There is cause only in what doesn't work'').[vi] This is the science worth fighting for.
While the system's driving presuppositions (the value-creating relation between capital and labour) have stopped working, the Covid decoy allows capitalism, once again, to suspend any serious enquiry into its structural sickness and ongoing transformation. The clinic of neurosis shows us the extent to which the average neurotic wants a master, whose role is to reassure them that their world lies on solid foundations. Neurotics are often so desperately attached to their power-structure that they turn into perverts to secure its functioning '' like a masochist eagerly handing the whip to his dominatrix. Perversion works as a command to enjoy the power relation, and contemporary subjects often readily submit to power in a desperate bid to consolidate it. Unfortunately, the conservative structures of neurosis and perversion are often shared by 'progressive minds' (including liberal and radical leftists) whose commitment stops at virtue-signaling or participation in conspiracy theory shame games.
And yet, not all is lost. Despite the unstoppable convergence of science and capitalism in establishing a watertight belief-system that excludes dissent, our successfully paranoid universe will fail to totalise its structure. Paradoxically, the current crackdown on humanity may be the best chance yet for radical opposition to the coming regime of capitalist accumulation and its relentless emergency blackmail.
Notes:
[i] Ole Bjerg, ''Conspiracy Theory: Truth Claim or Language Game?'', Theory, Culture & Society, 2016, pp. 1-23 (6).
[ii] Jacques Lacan, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, book 17, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, trans. Russell Grigg (New York: Norton, 2007), pp. 177-78.
[iii] Jacques Lacan, ‰crits. The First Complete English Edition, trans. Bruce Fink (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006), p. 742.
[iv] Lacan, 2007, p. 110.
[v] Jacques Lacan, Freud Forever: An Interview with Panorama, trans. Philip Dravers, Hurly Burly 12, 2015, pp. 13-21 (18).
[vi] Jacques Lacan, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book 11, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: W. W. Norton, 1998), p. 22.
Jobs Report: Everyone Has One and Nobody's Happy
Mon, 10 Jan 2022 15:51
Why full employment doesn't mean what it used to. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
First, the good news about the economy: The unemployment rate found a new pandemic-era low of 3.9 percent in December, according to the jobs report released Friday. The new data came with some pretty big caveats, though '-- only 199,000 people joined the workforce last month, while Goldman Sachs analysts had expected more than double that for new jobs, and the number of people who aren't working at all because of the pandemic didn't budge. And while wages are going up, they're not rising as quickly as prices for rent, gas, and the other goods that are fueling inflation.
The unemployment rate is a rosy data point that seems to be detached from a broader disaffection in the economy, but it's still a crucial one in understanding what's going on right now. The majority of Americans blame President Biden for his handling of the economy, according to a recent poll, and consumer sentiment is at its lowest point in a decade. It's not really a surprise that there would be so much malaise '-- inflation is high, the pandemic is nearing its second anniversary '-- but what's surprising is that Biden is now the third straight U.S. president to learn the hard way that low unemployment doesn't mean that people feel that they're any better off.
It used to be that when the economy was humming and jobs were plentiful, it was a pretty reliable indicator that people were happy with who was nominally leading the country. Thirty years ago, James Carville's quip that ''it's the economy, stupid,'' helped Bill Clinton crystalize his successful bid for the White House, ultimately taking it over from incumbent George H. W. Bush, who saw the unemployment rate rise to 7.8 percent. Before that, Ronald Reagan got voters to ask themselves ''are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to buy things in the store than it was four years ago?'' Jimmy Carter oversaw the painful stagflation of the late 1970s and they answered no.
What's changed since then, especially after the 2008 financial crisis, economists tell me, is even though the number of jobs may be outstanding, the quality of those jobs have been eroding. This has been the case since Barack Obama's second term, when the unemployment rate fell to a low of 4.7 percent, but the weakness of the jobs market left an opening for Donald Trump to win support on his anti-free trade platform, betting on disaffected Midwesterners who'd seen their manufacturing jobs outsourced to countries with lower wages such as Mexico and China. When Trump became president, unemployment continued to slide to 3.5 percent, a 50-year low, even though he did very little to actually bring any of those manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. And these unemployment rates are all based on a shrinking workforce, largely because of the number of Boomers aging out of their jobs, though that's accelerated during the pandemic as people stayed home to do childcare or protect their health. When you factor in those people, and those who'd like to work even more than they are now, it makes for a wide cross-section of discontent.
While politics plays a significant role in how people see the economy '-- essentially flipping people's views of how things are going depending on who's in the Oval Office '-- the broader picture is a bleaker one. Work, in general, has just been getting harder and paying off less. ''The scales really have been tipped towards employers in general,'' said Elise Gould, a labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute. ''Workers feel disenfranchised. Even higher-wage workers feel like they can't quit their jobs to take another one because they are bound by non-compete agreements or other factors that have not allowed them to have the freedom to go and get another job in their field.'' Another way to look at it is through labor productivity, essentially a measure of a worker's output, which has been steadily rising since the 1950s, while real wages didn't really go anywhere for decades until recently. So when the pandemic hit, lingering problems of job insecurity, low wages, and paltry benefits only became more evident. ''People don't look at the unemployment rate and decide how they feel about jobs. They look at their paycheck. They look at the career path that they have, if they have one,'' said Claudia Sahm, a former staff economist and section chief at the Federal Reserve. ''They look at the benefits, if they have them.''
At the end of December, Biden touted his record on jobs: ''When I came into office, our economy was in crisis. But over the last 11 months, we've added nearly 6 million jobs. That's the largest increase in recorded history.'' But in the coming months, it won't be the White House that sets the agenda on hiring, but the Federal Reserve. The central bank, which has a dual mandate of keeping employment high and inflation low, is likely to escalate its war on rising prices some time next year by raising interest rates and making it more expensive to borrow money. Even though it's evident that there are much more people who want to work than actually can, the swift decrease in the unemployment rate brings the U.S. closer to full employment. So when rates rise, Sahm says, that would double as a way of saying that hiring needs to slow down to keep the economy from overheating. ''The Fed has the biggest bully pulpit on the economy,'' Sahm said. ''When the Fed says the labor market is as good as it gets, that is a signal to every policymaker, every business person.''
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They're skeptical the Defense Department will share what it learns about unidentified aerial phenomena.
covid-19
Will the Omicron Wave Break Nursing?
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The profession lured people with secure, high-paying jobs. After two years of COVID, many nurses are reconsidering.
heels
Novak Djokovic Is Still Caught in Australian Limbo
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As the country continues its effort to deport him per its vaccination rules, the star's family and supporters are casting him as a political prisoner.
2022 midterms
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january 6
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By Ed Kilgore
A warning from election-law expert Rick Hasen suggests options for stopping state legislatures from stealing electoral votes may be limited.
covid-19
Where to Get Home COVID Tests and Why They're So Hard to Find
By Margaret Hartmann
Free home COVID tests are supposedly coming later this month. Here are your current options, where to buy them, and why they're often sold out.
covid-19
America's Omicron Wave Already Looks More Severe Than Europe's
By David Wallace-Wells
New York's hospitalization data may not bode well for the rest of the country.
covid
USPS to Deliver Free COVID Tests '... Sometime Soon?
By Margaret Hartmann
The Biden administration is ''finalizing'' plans to send an unknown number of COVID tests to Americans who want them at some point in the coming weeks.
politics
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By Nia Prater
Banks was previously named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal corruption investigation.
politics
Why Biden Finally Went After Trump on January 6
By Ed Kilgore
It was a no-brainer for a commemoration of the insurrection Trump incited, but the bigger question is whether Biden keeps at it.
business
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After poaching some of Wall Street's stars with a reputation as the best WFH bank, they're enforcing a vaccine mandate.
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By Margaret Hartmann
Viral videos show people getting positive results from water and soda. They only prove that people are willing to waste home COVID tests.
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Why full employment doesn't mean what it used to.
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Battered by Omicron, many feel hung out to dry by the city and even their own union.
1/6/2022the national interest
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By Jonathan Chait
Cruz traded one of his few remaining scraps of dignity for a kind word on Fox News on Thursday night.
january 6
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By Ed Kilgore
The former Speaker's description of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address as a ''unity'' speech suggests he hasn't read it in a while.
january 6
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By Ed Kilgore
Even as Joe Biden noted with horror January 6 insurrectionists carrying rebel flags, he was surrounded by images of Confederate leaders and officers.
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Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene Speak for the GOP on January 6
By Ben Jacobs
Establishment Republicans stay away, leaving the MAGA fringe to play.
1/6/2022never stop never trumping
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Stephanie Grisham says the resistance inside the (former) Trump administration is working on a plan. This will surely work.
2022 midterms
Oregon Says Nick Kristof Can't Run for Governor, As He Doesn't Live There
By Ed Kilgore
The state said the former New York Times columnist doesn't meet residency requirements. He plans to challenge the decision in court.
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computeStackTraceFromStackProp(e){if(!e||!e.stack)return null;for(var n,a,r,t=[],c=e.stack.split("\n"),s=0;s eval")>-1&&(n=geckoEval.exec(a[3]))?(a[1]=a[1]||"eval",a[3]=n[1],a[4]=n[2],a[5]=""):0!==s||a[5]||void 0===e.columnNumber||(t[0].column=e.columnNumber+1),r={url:a[3],func:a[1]||UNKNOWN_FUNCTION,args:a[2]?a[2].split(","):[],line:a[4]?+a[4]:null,column:a[5]?+a[5]:null}}!r.func&&r.line&&(r.func=UNKNOWN_FUNCTION),t.push(r)}return t.length?{message:extractMessage(e),name:e.name,stack:t}:null}function computeStackTraceFromStacktraceProp(e){if(!e||!e.stacktrace)return null;for(var n,a=/ line (\d+).*script (?:in )?(\S+)(?:: in function (\S+))?$/i,r=/ line (\d+), column (\d+)\s*(?:in (?:]+)>|([^)]+))\((.*)\))? in (.*):\s*$/i,t=e.stacktrace.split("\n"),c=[],s=0;s"}0!==e.length&&core_1.getCurrentHub().addBreadcrumb({category:"ui."+t.name,message:e},{event:t.event,name:t.name,global:t.global})},t.prototype._xhrBreadcrumb=function(t){if(t.endTimestamp){if(t.xhr.__sentry_own_request__)return;var e=t.xhr.__sentry_xhr__||{},r=e.method,a=e.url,o=e.status_code,s=e.body;core_1.getCurrentHub().addBreadcrumb({category:"xhr",data:{method:r,url:a,status_code:o},type:"http"},{xhr:t.xhr,input:s})}else;},t.prototype._fetchBreadcrumb=function(t){t.endTimestamp&&(t.fetchData.url.match(/sentry_key/)&&"POST"===t.fetchData.method||(t.error?core_1.getCurrentHub().addBreadcrumb({category:"fetch",data:t.fetchData,level:types_1.Severity.Error,type:"http"},{data:t.error,input:t.args}):core_1.getCurrentHub().addBreadcrumb({category:"fetch",data:tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign({},t.fetchData),{status_code:t.response.status}),type:"http"},{input:t.args,response:t.response})))},t.prototype._historyBreadcrumb=function(t){var e=utils_1.getGlobalObject(),r=t.from,a=t.to,o=utils_1.parseUrl(e.location.href),s=utils_1.parseUrl(r),n=utils_1.parseUrl(a);s.path||(s=o),o.protocol===n.protocol&&o.host===n.host&&(a=n.relative),o.protocol===s.protocol&&o.host===s.host&&(r=s.relative),core_1.getCurrentHub().addBreadcrumb({category:"navigation",data:{from:r,to:a}})},t.id="Breadcrumbs",t}();exports.Breadcrumbs=Breadcrumbs;}, {"388":388,"389":389,"390":390,"391":391}];window.modules["403"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var tslib_1=require(388),core_1=require(389),types_1=require(390),utils_1=require(391),eventbuilder_1=require(387),helpers_1=require(394),GlobalHandlers=function(){function e(t){this.name=e.id,this._onErrorHandlerInstalled=!1,this._onUnhandledRejectionHandlerInstalled=!1,this._options=tslib_1.__assign({onerror:!0,onunhandledrejection:!0},t)}return e.prototype.setupOnce=function(){Error.stackTraceLimit=50,this._options.onerror&&(utils_1.logger.log("Global Handler attached: onerror"),this._installGlobalOnErrorHandler()),this._options.onunhandledrejection&&(utils_1.logger.log("Global Handler attached: onunhandledrejection"),this._installGlobalOnUnhandledRejectionHandler())},e.prototype._installGlobalOnErrorHandler=function(){var t=this;this._onErrorHandlerInstalled||(utils_1.addInstrumentationHandler({callback:function(n){var r=n.error,i=core_1.getCurrentHub(),a=i.getIntegration(e),o=r&&!0===r.__sentry_own_request__;if(a&&!helpers_1.shouldIgnoreOnError()&&!o){var l=i.getClient(),s=utils_1.isPrimitive(r)?t._eventFromIncompleteOnError(n.msg,n.url,n.line,n.column):t._enhanceEventWithInitialFrame(eventbuilder_1.eventFromUnknownInput(r,void 0,{attachStacktrace:l&&l.getOptions().attachStacktrace,rejection:!1}),n.url,n.line,n.column);utils_1.addExceptionMechanism(s,{handled:!1,type:"onerror"}),i.captureEvent(s,{originalException:r})}},type:"error"}),this._onErrorHandlerInstalled=!0)},e.prototype._installGlobalOnUnhandledRejectionHandler=function(){var t=this;this._onUnhandledRejectionHandlerInstalled||(utils_1.addInstrumentationHandler({callback:function(n){var r=n;try{"reason"in n?r=n.reason:"detail"in n&&"reason"in n.detail&&(r=n.detail.reason)}catch(e){}var i=core_1.getCurrentHub(),a=i.getIntegration(e),o=r&&!0===r.__sentry_own_request__;if(!a||helpers_1.shouldIgnoreOnError()||o)return!0;var l=i.getClient(),s=utils_1.isPrimitive(r)?t._eventFromRejectionWithPrimitive(r):eventbuilder_1.eventFromUnknownInput(r,void 0,{attachStacktrace:l&&l.getOptions().attachStacktrace,rejection:!0});s.level=types_1.Severity.Error,utils_1.addExceptionMechanism(s,{handled:!1,type:"onunhandledrejection"}),i.captureEvent(s,{originalException:r})},type:"unhandledrejection"}),this._onUnhandledRejectionHandlerInstalled=!0)},e.prototype._eventFromIncompleteOnError=function(e,t,n,r){var i,a=utils_1.isErrorEvent(e)?e.message:e;if(utils_1.isString(a)){var o=a.match(/^(?:[Uu]ncaught (?:exception: )?)?(?:((?:Eval|Internal|Range|Reference|Syntax|Type|URI|)Error): )?(.*)$/i);o&&(i=o[1],a=o[2])}var l={exception:{values:[{type:i||"Error",value:a}]}};return this._enhanceEventWithInitialFrame(l,t,n,r)},e.prototype._eventFromRejectionWithPrimitive=function(e){return{exception:{values:[{type:"UnhandledRejection",value:"Non-Error promise rejection captured with value: "+String(e)}]}}},e.prototype._enhanceEventWithInitialFrame=function(e,t,n,r){e.exception=e.exception||{},e.exception.values=e.exception.values||[],e.exception.values[0]=e.exception.values[0]||{},e.exception.values[0].stacktrace=e.exception.values[0].stacktrace||{},e.exception.values[0].stacktrace.frames=e.exception.values[0].stacktrace.frames||[];var i=isNaN(parseInt(r,10))?void 0:r,a=isNaN(parseInt(n,10))?void 0:n,o=utils_1.isString(t)&&t.length>0?t:utils_1.getLocationHref();return 0===e.exception.values[0].stacktrace.frames.length&&e.exception.values[0].stacktrace.frames.push({colno:i,filename:o,function:"?",in_app:!0,lineno:a}),e},e.id="GlobalHandlers",e}();exports.GlobalHandlers=GlobalHandlers;}, {"387":387,"388":388,"389":389,"390":390,"391":391,"394":394}];window.modules["404"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var tslib_1=require(388),utils_1=require(391),helpers_1=require(394),DEFAULT_EVENT_TARGET=["EventTarget","Window","Node","ApplicationCache","AudioTrackList","ChannelMergerNode","CryptoOperation","EventSource","FileReader","HTMLUnknownElement","IDBDatabase","IDBRequest","IDBTransaction","KeyOperation","MediaController","MessagePort","ModalWindow","Notification","SVGElementInstance","Screen","TextTrack","TextTrackCue","TextTrackList","WebSocket","WebSocketWorker","Worker","XMLHttpRequest","XMLHttpRequestEventTarget","XMLHttpRequestUpload"],TryCatch=function(){function t(e){this.name=t.id,this._options=tslib_1.__assign({XMLHttpRequest:!0,eventTarget:!0,requestAnimationFrame:!0,setInterval:!0,setTimeout:!0},e)}return t.prototype.setupOnce=function(){var t=utils_1.getGlobalObject();(this._options.setTimeout&&utils_1.fill(t,"setTimeout",this._wrapTimeFunction.bind(this)),this._options.setInterval&&utils_1.fill(t,"setInterval",this._wrapTimeFunction.bind(this)),this._options.requestAnimationFrame&&utils_1.fill(t,"requestAnimationFrame",this._wrapRAF.bind(this)),this._options.XMLHttpRequest&&"XMLHttpRequest"in t&&utils_1.fill(XMLHttpRequest.prototype,"send",this._wrapXHR.bind(this)),this._options.eventTarget)&&(Array.isArray(this._options.eventTarget)?this._options.eventTarget:DEFAULT_EVENT_TARGET).forEach(this._wrapEventTarget.bind(this))},t.prototype._wrapTimeFunction=function(t){return function(){for(var e=[],n=0;n=this._limit)return t;var i=tracekit_1.computeStackTrace(r[e]),n=parsers_1.exceptionFromStacktrace(i);return this._walkErrorTree(r[e],e,tslib_1.__spread([n],t))},r.id="LinkedErrors",r}();exports.LinkedErrors=LinkedErrors;}, {"388":388,"389":389,"391":391,"396":396,"397":397}];window.modules["406"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var tslib_1=require(388),core_1=require(389),utils_1=require(391),global=utils_1.getGlobalObject(),UserAgent=function(){function e(){this.name=e.id}return e.prototype.setupOnce=function(){core_1.addGlobalEventProcessor(function(r){var t,s,i;if(core_1.getCurrentHub().getIntegration(e)){if(!global.navigator&&!global.location&&!global.document)return r;var n=(null===(t=r.request)||void 0===t?void 0:t.url)||(null===(s=global.location)||void 0===s?void 0:s.href),l=(global.document||{}).referrer,o=(global.navigator||{}).userAgent,a=tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign({},null===(i=r.request)||void 0===i?void 0:i.headers),l&&{Referer:l}),o&&{"User-Agent":o}),u=tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign({},n&&{url:n}),{headers:a});return tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign({},r),{request:u})}return r})},e.id="UserAgent",e}();exports.UserAgent=UserAgent;}, {"388":388,"389":389,"391":391}];window.modules["407"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var tslib_1=require(388),core_1=require(389),types_1=require(390),utils_1=require(391),CATEGORY_MAPPING={event:"error",transaction:"transaction",session:"session",attachment:"attachment"},BaseTransport=function(){function t(t){this.options=t,this._buffer=new utils_1.PromiseBuffer(30),this._rateLimits={},this._api=new core_1.API(t.dsn,t._metadata,t.tunnel),this.url=this._api.getStoreEndpointWithUrlEncodedAuth()}return t.prototype.sendEvent=function(t){throw new utils_1.SentryError("Transport Class has to implement `sendEvent` method")},t.prototype.close=function(t){return this._buffer.drain(t)},t.prototype._handleResponse=function(t){var e=t.requestType,r=t.response,s=t.headers,i=t.resolve,n=t.reject,a=types_1.Status.fromHttpCode(r.status);this._handleRateLimit(s)&&utils_1.logger.warn("Too many "+e+" requests, backing off until: "+this._disabledUntil(e)),a!==types_1.Status.Success?n(r):i({status:a})},t.prototype._disabledUntil=function(t){var e=CATEGORY_MAPPING[t];return this._rateLimits[e]||this._rateLimits.all},t.prototype._isRateLimited=function(t){return this._disabledUntil(t)>new Date(Date.now())},t.prototype._handleRateLimit=function(t){var e,r,s,i,n=Date.now(),a=t["x-sentry-rate-limits"],o=t["retry-after"];if(a){try{for(var l=tslib_1.__values(a.trim().split(",")),u=l.next();!u.done;u=l.next()){var _=u.value.split(":",2),p=parseInt(_[0],10),d=1e3*(isNaN(p)?60:p);try{for(var f=(s=void 0,tslib_1.__values(_[1].split(";"))),h=f.next();!h.done;h=f.next()){var c=h.value;this._rateLimits[c||"all"]=new Date(n+d)}}catch(t){s={error:t}}finally{try{h&&!h.done&&(i=f.return)&&i.call(f)}finally{if(s)throw s.error}}}}catch(t){e={error:t}}finally{try{u&&!u.done&&(r=l.return)&&r.call(l)}finally{if(e)throw e.error}}return!0}return!!o&&(this._rateLimits.all=new Date(n+utils_1.parseRetryAfterHeader(n,o)),!0)},t}();exports.BaseTransport=BaseTransport;}, {"388":388,"389":389,"390":390,"391":391}];window.modules["408"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var tslib_1=require(388),core_1=require(389),utils_1=require(391),base_1=require(407);function getNativeFetchImplementation(){var e,t,r=utils_1.getGlobalObject();if(utils_1.isNativeFetch(r.fetch))return r.fetch.bind(r);var s=r.document,i=r.fetch;if("function"==typeof(null===(e=s)||void 0===e?void 0:e.createElement))try{var n=s.createElement("iframe");n.hidden=!0,s.head.appendChild(n),(null===(t=n.contentWindow)||void 0===t?void 0:t.fetch)&&(i=n.contentWindow.fetch),s.head.removeChild(n)}catch(e){utils_1.logger.warn("Could not create sandbox iframe for pure fetch check, bailing to window.fetch: ",e)}return i.bind(r)}var FetchTransport=function(e){function t(t,r){void 0===r&&(r=getNativeFetchImplementation());var s=e.call(this,t)||this;return s._fetch=r,s}return tslib_1.__extends(t,e),t.prototype.sendEvent=function(e){return this._sendRequest(core_1.eventToSentryRequest(e,this._api),e)},t.prototype.sendSession=function(e){return this._sendRequest(core_1.sessionToSentryRequest(e,this._api),e)},t.prototype._sendRequest=function(e,t){var r=this;if(this._isRateLimited(e.type))return Promise.reject({event:t,type:e.type,reason:"Transport for "+e.type+" requests locked till "+this._disabledUntil(e.type)+" due to too many requests.",status:429});var s={body:e.body,method:"POST",referrerPolicy:utils_1.supportsReferrerPolicy()?"origin":""};return void 0!==this.options.fetchParameters&&Object.assign(s,this.options.fetchParameters),void 0!==this.options.headers&&(s.headers=this.options.headers),this._buffer.add(new utils_1.SyncPromise(function(t,i){r._fetch(e.url,s).then(function(s){var n={"x-sentry-rate-limits":s.headers.get("X-Sentry-Rate-Limits"),"retry-after":s.headers.get("Retry-After")};r._handleResponse({requestType:e.type,response:s,headers:n,resolve:t,reject:i})}).catch(i)}))},t}(base_1.BaseTransport);exports.FetchTransport=FetchTransport;}, {"388":388,"389":389,"391":391,"407":407}];window.modules["409"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var tslib_1=require(388),core_1=require(389),utils_1=require(391),base_1=require(407),XHRTransport=function(e){function t(){return null!==e&&e.apply(this,arguments)||this}return tslib_1.__extends(t,e),t.prototype.sendEvent=function(e){return this._sendRequest(core_1.eventToSentryRequest(e,this._api),e)},t.prototype.sendSession=function(e){return this._sendRequest(core_1.sessionToSentryRequest(e,this._api),e)},t.prototype._sendRequest=function(e,t){var s=this;return this._isRateLimited(e.type)?Promise.reject({event:t,type:e.type,reason:"Transport for "+e.type+" requests locked till "+this._disabledUntil(e.type)+" due to too many requests.",status:429}):this._buffer.add(new utils_1.SyncPromise(function(t,r){var n=new XMLHttpRequest;for(var o in n.onreadystatechange=function(){if(4===n.readyState){var o={"x-sentry-rate-limits":n.getResponseHeader("X-Sentry-Rate-Limits"),"retry-after":n.getResponseHeader("Retry-After")};s._handleResponse({requestType:e.type,response:n,headers:o,resolve:t,reject:r})}},n.open("POST",e.url),s.options.headers)s.options.headers.hasOwnProperty(o)&&n.setRequestHeader(o,s.options.headers[o]);n.send(e.body)}))},t}(base_1.BaseTransport);exports.XHRTransport=XHRTransport;}, {"388":388,"389":389,"391":391,"407":407}];window.modules["410"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var utils_1=require(391),SENTRY_API_VERSION="7",API=function(){function t(t,e,n){void 0===e&&(e={}),this.dsn=t,this._dsnObject=new utils_1.Dsn(t),this.metadata=e,this._tunnel=n}return t.prototype.getDsn=function(){return this._dsnObject},t.prototype.forceEnvelope=function(){return!!this._tunnel},t.prototype.getBaseApiEndpoint=function(){var t=this.getDsn(),e=t.protocol?t.protocol+":":"",n=t.port?":"+t.port:"";return e+"//"+t.host+n+(t.path?"/"+t.path:"")+"/api/"},t.prototype.getStoreEndpoint=function(){return this._getIngestEndpoint("store")},t.prototype.getStoreEndpointWithUrlEncodedAuth=function(){return this.getStoreEndpoint()+"?"+this._encodedAuth()},t.prototype.getEnvelopeEndpointWithUrlEncodedAuth=function(){return this.forceEnvelope()?this._tunnel:this._getEnvelopeEndpoint()+"?"+this._encodedAuth()},t.prototype.getStoreEndpointPath=function(){var t=this.getDsn();return(t.path?"/"+t.path:"")+"/api/"+t.projectId+"/store/"},t.prototype.getRequestHeaders=function(t,e){var n=this.getDsn(),o=["Sentry sentry_version="+SENTRY_API_VERSION];return o.push("sentry_client="+t+"/"+e),o.push("sentry_key="+n.publicKey),n.pass&&o.push("sentry_secret="+n.pass),{"Content-Type":"application/json","X-Sentry-Auth":o.join(", ")}},t.prototype.getReportDialogEndpoint=function(t){void 0===t&&(t={});var e=this.getDsn(),n=this.getBaseApiEndpoint()+"embed/error-page/",o=[];for(var r in o.push("dsn="+e.toString()),t)if("dsn"!==r)if("user"===r){if(!t.user)continue;t.user.name&&o.push("name="+encodeURIComponent(t.user.name)),t.user.email&&o.push("email="+encodeURIComponent(t.user.email))}else o.push(encodeURIComponent(r)+"="+encodeURIComponent(t[r]));return o.length?n+"?"+o.join("&"):n},t.prototype._getEnvelopeEndpoint=function(){return this._getIngestEndpoint("envelope")},t.prototype._getIngestEndpoint=function(t){return this._tunnel?this._tunnel:""+this.getBaseApiEndpoint()+this.getDsn().projectId+"/"+t+"/"},t.prototype._encodedAuth=function(){var t={sentry_key:this.getDsn().publicKey,sentry_version:SENTRY_API_VERSION};return utils_1.urlEncode(t)},t}();exports.API=API;}, {"391":391}];window.modules["411"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var utils_1=require(391),noop_1=require(412),BaseBackend=function(){function t(t){this._options=t,this._options.dsn||utils_1.logger.warn("No DSN provided, backend will not do anything."),this._transport=this._setupTransport()}return t.prototype.eventFromException=function(t,e){throw new utils_1.SentryError("Backend has to implement `eventFromException` method")},t.prototype.eventFromMessage=function(t,e,n){throw new utils_1.SentryError("Backend has to implement `eventFromMessage` method")},t.prototype.sendEvent=function(t){this._transport.sendEvent(t).then(null,function(t){utils_1.logger.error("Error while sending event: "+t)})},t.prototype.sendSession=function(t){this._transport.sendSession?this._transport.sendSession(t).then(null,function(t){utils_1.logger.error("Error while sending session: "+t)}):utils_1.logger.warn("Dropping session because custom transport doesn't implement sendSession")},t.prototype.getTransport=function(){return this._transport},t.prototype._setupTransport=function(){return new noop_1.NoopTransport},t}();exports.BaseBackend=BaseBackend;}, {"391":391,"412":412}];window.modules["412"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var types_1=require(390),utils_1=require(391),NoopTransport=function(){function e(){}return e.prototype.sendEvent=function(e){return utils_1.SyncPromise.resolve({reason:"NoopTransport: Event has been skipped because no Dsn is configured.",status:types_1.Status.Skipped})},e.prototype.close=function(e){return utils_1.SyncPromise.resolve(!0)},e}();exports.NoopTransport=NoopTransport;}, {"390":390,"391":391}];window.modules["413"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var tslib_1=require(388),hub_1=require(414),types_1=require(390),utils_1=require(391),integration_1=require(415),BaseClient=function(){function t(t,e){this._integrations={},this._processing=0,this._backend=new t(e),this._options=e,e.dsn&&(this._dsn=new utils_1.Dsn(e.dsn))}return t.prototype.captureException=function(t,e,n){var r=this,i=e&&e.event_id;return this._process(this._getBackend().eventFromException(t,e).then(function(t){return r._captureEvent(t,e,n)}).then(function(t){i=t})),i},t.prototype.captureMessage=function(t,e,n,r){var i=this,s=n&&n.event_id,o=utils_1.isPrimitive(t)?this._getBackend().eventFromMessage(String(t),e,n):this._getBackend().eventFromException(t,n);return this._process(o.then(function(t){return i._captureEvent(t,n,r)}).then(function(t){s=t})),s},t.prototype.captureEvent=function(t,e,n){var r=e&&e.event_id;return this._process(this._captureEvent(t,e,n).then(function(t){r=t})),r},t.prototype.captureSession=function(t){this._isEnabled()?"string"!=typeof t.release?utils_1.logger.warn("Discarded session because of missing or non-string release"):(this._sendSession(t),t.update({init:!1})):utils_1.logger.warn("SDK not enabled, will not capture session.")},t.prototype.getDsn=function(){return this._dsn},t.prototype.getOptions=function(){return this._options},t.prototype.flush=function(t){var e=this;return this._isClientProcessing(t).then(function(n){return e._getBackend().getTransport().close(t).then(function(t){return n&&t})})},t.prototype.close=function(t){var e=this;return this.flush(t).then(function(t){return e.getOptions().enabled=!1,t})},t.prototype.setupIntegrations=function(){this._isEnabled()&&(this._integrations=integration_1.setupIntegrations(this._options))},t.prototype.getIntegration=function(t){try{return this._integrations[t.id]||null}catch(e){return utils_1.logger.warn("Cannot retrieve integration "+t.id+" from the current Client"),null}},t.prototype._updateSessionFromEvent=function(t,e){var n,r,i=!1,s=!1,o=e.exception&&e.exception.values;if(o){s=!0;try{for(var a=tslib_1.__values(o),u=a.next();!u.done;u=a.next()){var l=u.value.mechanism;if(l&&!1===l.handled){i=!0;break}}}catch(t){n={error:t}}finally{try{u&&!u.done&&(r=a.return)&&r.call(a)}finally{if(n)throw n.error}}}var _=t.status===types_1.SessionStatus.Ok;(_&&0===t.errors||_&&i)&&(t.update(tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign({},i&&{status:types_1.SessionStatus.Crashed}),{errors:t.errors||Number(s||i)})),this.captureSession(t))},t.prototype._sendSession=function(t){this._getBackend().sendSession(t)},t.prototype._isClientProcessing=function(t){var e=this;return new utils_1.SyncPromise(function(n){var r=0,i=setInterval(function(){0==e._processing?(clearInterval(i),n(!0)):(r+=1,t&&r>=t&&(clearInterval(i),n(!1)))},1)})},t.prototype._getBackend=function(){return this._backend},t.prototype._isEnabled=function(){return!1!==this.getOptions().enabled&&void 0!==this._dsn},t.prototype._prepareEvent=function(t,e,n){var r=this,i=this.getOptions().normalizeDepth,s=void 0===i?3:i,o=tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign({},t),{event_id:t.event_id||(n&&n.event_id?n.event_id:utils_1.uuid4()),timestamp:t.timestamp||utils_1.dateTimestampInSeconds()});this._applyClientOptions(o),this._applyIntegrationsMetadata(o);var a=e;n&&n.captureContext&&(a=hub_1.Scope.clone(a).update(n.captureContext));var u=utils_1.SyncPromise.resolve(o);return a&&(u=a.applyToEvent(o,n)),u.then(function(t){return"number"==typeof s&&s>0?r._normalizeEvent(t,s):t})},t.prototype._normalizeEvent=function(t,e){if(!t)return null;var n=tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign({},t),t.breadcrumbs&&{breadcrumbs:t.breadcrumbs.map(function(t){return tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign({},t),t.data&&{data:utils_1.normalize(t.data,e)})})}),t.user&&{user:utils_1.normalize(t.user,e)}),t.contexts&&{contexts:utils_1.normalize(t.contexts,e)}),t.extra&&{extra:utils_1.normalize(t.extra,e)});return t.contexts&&t.contexts.trace&&(n.contexts.trace=t.contexts.trace),n},t.prototype._applyClientOptions=function(t){var e=this.getOptions(),n=e.environment,r=e.release,i=e.dist,s=e.maxValueLength,o=void 0===s?250:s;"environment"in t||(t.environment="environment"in e?n:"production"),void 0===t.release&&void 0!==r&&(t.release=r),void 0===t.dist&&void 0!==i&&(t.dist=i),t.message&&(t.message=utils_1.truncate(t.message,o));var a=t.exception&&t.exception.values&&t.exception.values[0];a&&a.value&&(a.value=utils_1.truncate(a.value,o));var u=t.request;u&&u.url&&(u.url=utils_1.truncate(u.url,o))},t.prototype._applyIntegrationsMetadata=function(t){var e=Object.keys(this._integrations);e.length>0&&(t.sdk=t.sdk||{},t.sdk.integrations=tslib_1.__spread(t.sdk.integrations||[],e))},t.prototype._sendEvent=function(t){this._getBackend().sendEvent(t)},t.prototype._captureEvent=function(t,e,n){return this._processEvent(t,e,n).then(function(t){return t.event_id},function(t){utils_1.logger.error(t)})},t.prototype._processEvent=function(t,e,n){var r=this,i=this.getOptions(),s=i.beforeSend,o=i.sampleRate;if(!this._isEnabled())return utils_1.SyncPromise.reject(new utils_1.SentryError("SDK not enabled, will not capture event."));var a="transaction"===t.type;return!a&&"number"==typeof o&&Math.random()>o?utils_1.SyncPromise.reject(new utils_1.SentryError("Discarding event because it's not included in the random sample (sampling rate = "+o+")")):this._prepareEvent(t,n,e).then(function(t){if(null===t)throw new utils_1.SentryError("An event processor returned null, will not send event.");if(e&&e.data&&!0===e.data.__sentry__||a||!s)return t;var n=s(t,e);return r._ensureBeforeSendRv(n)}).then(function(t){if(null===t)throw new utils_1.SentryError("`beforeSend` returned `null`, will not send event.");var e=n&&n.getSession&&n.getSession();return!a&&e&&r._updateSessionFromEvent(e,t),r._sendEvent(t),t}).then(null,function(t){if(t instanceof utils_1.SentryError)throw t;throw r.captureException(t,{data:{__sentry__:!0},originalException:t}),new utils_1.SentryError("Event processing pipeline threw an error, original event will not be sent. Details have been sent as a new event.\nReason: "+t)})},t.prototype._process=function(t){var e=this;this._processing+=1,t.then(function(t){return e._processing-=1,t},function(t){return e._processing-=1,t})},t.prototype._ensureBeforeSendRv=function(t){var e="`beforeSend` method has to return `null` or a valid event.";if(utils_1.isThenable(t))return t.then(function(t){if(!utils_1.isPlainObject(t)&&null!==t)throw new utils_1.SentryError(e);return t},function(t){throw new utils_1.SentryError("beforeSend rejected with "+t)});if(!utils_1.isPlainObject(t)&&null!==t)throw new utils_1.SentryError(e);return t},t}();exports.BaseClient=BaseClient;}, {"388":388,"390":390,"391":391,"414":414,"415":415}];window.modules["414"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var scope_1=require(424);exports.addGlobalEventProcessor=scope_1.addGlobalEventProcessor,exports.Scope=scope_1.Scope;var session_1=require(425);exports.Session=session_1.Session;var sessionFlusher_1=require(426);exports.SessionFlusher=sessionFlusher_1.SessionFlusher;var hub_1=require(423);exports.getActiveDomain=hub_1.getActiveDomain,exports.getCurrentHub=hub_1.getCurrentHub,exports.getHubFromCarrier=hub_1.getHubFromCarrier,exports.getMainCarrier=hub_1.getMainCarrier,exports.Hub=hub_1.Hub,exports.makeMain=hub_1.makeMain,exports.setHubOnCarrier=hub_1.setHubOnCarrier;}, {"423":423,"424":424,"425":425,"426":426}];window.modules["415"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var tslib_1=require(388),hub_1=require(414),utils_1=require(391);function filterDuplicates(e){return e.reduce(function(e,t){return e.every(function(e){return t.name!==e.name})&&e.push(t),e},[])}function getIntegrationsToSetup(e){var t=e.defaultIntegrations&&tslib_1.__spread(e.defaultIntegrations)||[],n=e.integrations,r=tslib_1.__spread(filterDuplicates(t));Array.isArray(n)?r=tslib_1.__spread(r.filter(function(e){return n.every(function(t){return t.name!==e.name})}),filterDuplicates(n)):"function"==typeof n&&(r=n(r),r=Array.isArray(r)?r:[r]);var i=r.map(function(e){return e.name});return-1!==i.indexOf("Debug")&&r.push.apply(r,tslib_1.__spread(r.splice(i.indexOf("Debug"),1))),r}function setupIntegration(e){-1===exports.installedIntegrations.indexOf(e.name)&&(e.setupOnce(hub_1.addGlobalEventProcessor,hub_1.getCurrentHub),exports.installedIntegrations.push(e.name),utils_1.logger.log("Integration installed: "+e.name))}function setupIntegrations(e){var t={};return getIntegrationsToSetup(e).forEach(function(e){t[e.name]=e,setupIntegration(e)}),t}exports.installedIntegrations=[],exports.getIntegrationsToSetup=getIntegrationsToSetup,exports.setupIntegration=setupIntegration,exports.setupIntegrations=setupIntegrations;}, {"388":388,"391":391,"414":414}];window.modules["416"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0}),exports.SDK_VERSION="6.7.2";}, {}];window.modules["417"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var tslib_1=require(388);function getSdkMetadataForEnvelopeHeader(e){if(e.metadata&&e.metadata.sdk){var t=e.metadata.sdk;return{name:t.name,version:t.version}}}function enhanceEventWithSdkInfo(e,t){return t?(e.sdk=e.sdk||{},e.sdk.name=e.sdk.name||t.name,e.sdk.version=e.sdk.version||t.version,e.sdk.integrations=tslib_1.__spread(e.sdk.integrations||[],t.integrations||[]),e.sdk.packages=tslib_1.__spread(e.sdk.packages||[],t.packages||[]),e):e}function sessionToSentryRequest(e,t){var n=getSdkMetadataForEnvelopeHeader(t),s="aggregates"in e?"sessions":"session";return{body:JSON.stringify(tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign({sent_at:(new Date).toISOString()},n&&{sdk:n}),t.forceEnvelope()&&{dsn:t.getDsn().toString()}))+"\n"+JSON.stringify({type:s})+"\n"+JSON.stringify(e),type:s,url:t.getEnvelopeEndpointWithUrlEncodedAuth()}}function eventToSentryRequest(e,t){var n=getSdkMetadataForEnvelopeHeader(t),s=e.type||"event",a="transaction"===s||t.forceEnvelope(),i=e.debug_meta||{},r=i.transactionSampling,o=tslib_1.__rest(i,["transactionSampling"]),d=r||{},g=d.method,_=d.rate;0===Object.keys(o).length?delete e.debug_meta:e.debug_meta=o;var l={body:JSON.stringify(n?enhanceEventWithSdkInfo(e,t.metadata.sdk):e),type:s,url:a?t.getEnvelopeEndpointWithUrlEncodedAuth():t.getStoreEndpointWithUrlEncodedAuth()};if(a){var p=JSON.stringify(tslib_1.__assign(tslib_1.__assign({event_id:e.event_id,sent_at:(new Date).toISOString()},n&&{sdk:n}),t.forceEnvelope()&&{dsn:t.getDsn().toString()}))+"\n"+JSON.stringify({type:s,sample_rates:[{id:g,rate:_}]})+"\n"+l.body;l.body=p}return l}exports.sessionToSentryRequest=sessionToSentryRequest,exports.eventToSentryRequest=eventToSentryRequest;}, {"388":388}];window.modules["418"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var hub_1=require(414),utils_1=require(391);function initAndBind(e,i){var n;!0===i.debug&&utils_1.logger.enable();var t=hub_1.getCurrentHub();null===(n=t.getScope())||void 0===n||n.update(i.initialScope);var r=new e(i);t.bindClient(r)}exports.initAndBind=initAndBind;}, {"391":391,"414":414}];window.modules["419"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var tslib_1=require(388),hub_1=require(414);function callOnHub(t){for(var e=[],r=1;r0?t.breadcrumbs:void 0,this._notifyEventProcessors(tslib_1.__spread(getGlobalEventProcessors(),this._eventProcessors),t,s)},t.prototype._notifyEventProcessors=function(t,s,e,i){var n=this;return void 0===i&&(i=0),new utils_1.SyncPromise(function(r,_){var o=t[i];if(null===s||"function"!=typeof o)r(s);else{var a=o(tslib_1.__assign({},s),e);utils_1.isThenable(a)?a.then(function(s){return n._notifyEventProcessors(t,s,e,i+1).then(r)}).then(null,_):n._notifyEventProcessors(t,a,e,i+1).then(r).then(null,_)}})},t.prototype._notifyScopeListeners=function(){var t=this;this._notifyingListeners||(this._notifyingListeners=!0,this._scopeListeners.forEach(function(s){s(t)}),this._notifyingListeners=!1)},t.prototype._applyFingerprint=function(t){t.fingerprint=t.fingerprint?Array.isArray(t.fingerprint)?t.fingerprint:[t.fingerprint]:[],this._fingerprint&&(t.fingerprint=t.fingerprint.concat(this._fingerprint)),t.fingerprint&&!t.fingerprint.length&&delete t.fingerprint},t}();function getGlobalEventProcessors(){var t=utils_1.getGlobalObject();return t.__SENTRY__=t.__SENTRY__||{},t.__SENTRY__.globalEventProcessors=t.__SENTRY__.globalEventProcessors||[],t.__SENTRY__.globalEventProcessors}function addGlobalEventProcessor(t){getGlobalEventProcessors().push(t)}exports.Scope=Scope,exports.addGlobalEventProcessor=addGlobalEventProcessor;}, {"388":388,"391":391}];window.modules["425"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var types_1=require(390),utils_1=require(391),Session=function(){function t(t){this.errors=0,this.sid=utils_1.uuid4(),this.duration=0,this.status=types_1.SessionStatus.Ok,this.init=!0,this.ignoreDuration=!1;var s=utils_1.timestampInSeconds();this.timestamp=s,this.started=s,t&&this.update(t)}return t.prototype.update=function(t){if(void 0===t&&(t={}),t.user&&(!this.ipAddress&&t.user.ip_address&&(this.ipAddress=t.user.ip_address),this.did||t.did||(this.did=t.user.id||t.user.email||t.user.username)),this.timestamp=t.timestamp||utils_1.timestampInSeconds(),t.ignoreDuration&&(this.ignoreDuration=t.ignoreDuration),t.sid&&(this.sid=32===t.sid.length?t.sid:utils_1.uuid4()),void 0!==t.init&&(this.init=t.init),!this.did&&t.did&&(this.did=""+t.did),"number"==typeof t.started&&(this.started=t.started),this.ignoreDuration)this.duration=void 0;else if("number"==typeof t.duration)this.duration=t.duration;else{var s=this.timestamp-this.started;this.duration=s>=0?s:0}t.release&&(this.release=t.release),t.environment&&(this.environment=t.environment),!this.ipAddress&&t.ipAddress&&(this.ipAddress=t.ipAddress),!this.userAgent&&t.userAgent&&(this.userAgent=t.userAgent),"number"==typeof t.errors&&(this.errors=t.errors),t.status&&(this.status=t.status)},t.prototype.close=function(t){t?this.update({status:t}):this.status===types_1.SessionStatus.Ok?this.update({status:types_1.SessionStatus.Exited}):this.update()},t.prototype.toJSON=function(){return utils_1.dropUndefinedKeys({sid:""+this.sid,init:this.init,started:new Date(1e3*this.started).toISOString(),timestamp:new Date(1e3*this.timestamp).toISOString(),status:this.status,errors:this.errors,did:"number"==typeof this.did||"string"==typeof this.did?""+this.did:void 0,duration:this.duration,attrs:utils_1.dropUndefinedKeys({release:this.release,environment:this.environment,ip_address:this.ipAddress,user_agent:this.userAgent})})},t}();exports.Session=Session;}, {"390":390,"391":391}];window.modules["426"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var types_1=require(390),utils_1=require(391),hub_1=require(423),SessionFlusher=function(){function e(e,s){var t=this;this.flushTimeout=60,this._pendingAggregates={},this._isEnabled=!0,this._transport=e,this._intervalId=setInterval(function(){return t.flush()},1e3*this.flushTimeout),this._sessionAttrs=s}return e.prototype.sendSessionAggregates=function(e){this._transport.sendSession?this._transport.sendSession(e).then(null,function(e){utils_1.logger.error("Error while sending session: "+e)}):utils_1.logger.warn("Dropping session because custom transport doesn't implement sendSession")},e.prototype.flush=function(){var e=this.getSessionAggregates();0!==e.aggregates.length&&(this._pendingAggregates={},this.sendSessionAggregates(e))},e.prototype.getSessionAggregates=function(){var e=this,s=Object.keys(this._pendingAggregates).map(function(s){return e._pendingAggregates[parseInt(s)]}),t={attrs:this._sessionAttrs,aggregates:s};return utils_1.dropUndefinedKeys(t)},e.prototype.close=function(){clearInterval(this._intervalId),this._isEnabled=!1,this.flush()},e.prototype.incrementSessionStatusCount=function(){var e,s;if(this._isEnabled){var t=hub_1.getCurrentHub().getScope(),n=null===(e=t)||void 0===e?void 0:e.getRequestSession();n&&n.status&&(this._incrementSessionStatusCount(n.status,new Date),null===(s=t)||void 0===s||s.setRequestSession(void 0))}},e.prototype._incrementSessionStatusCount=function(e,s){var t=new Date(s).setSeconds(0,0);this._pendingAggregates[t]=this._pendingAggregates[t]||{};var n=this._pendingAggregates[t];switch(n.started||(n.started=new Date(t).toISOString()),e){case types_1.RequestSessionStatus.Errored:return n.errored=(n.errored||0)+1,n.errored;case types_1.RequestSessionStatus.Ok:return n.exited=(n.exited||0)+1,n.exited;case types_1.RequestSessionStatus.Crashed:return n.crashed=(n.crashed||0)+1,n.crashed}},e}();exports.SessionFlusher=SessionFlusher;}, {"390":390,"391":391,"423":423}];window.modules["427"] = [function(require,module,exports){var LogLevel;Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0}),function(e){e[e.None=0]="None",e[e.Error=1]="Error",e[e.Debug=2]="Debug",e[e.Verbose=3]="Verbose"}(LogLevel=exports.LogLevel||(exports.LogLevel={}));}, {}];window.modules["428"] = [function(require,module,exports){var Severity;Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0}),function(r){r.Fatal="fatal",r.Error="error",r.Warning="warning",r.Log="log",r.Info="info",r.Debug="debug",r.Critical="critical"}(Severity=exports.Severity||(exports.Severity={})),function(r){r.fromString=function(e){switch(e){case"debug":return r.Debug;case"info":return r.Info;case"warn":case"warning":return r.Warning;case"error":return r.Error;case"fatal":return r.Fatal;case"critical":return r.Critical;case"log":default:return r.Log}}}(Severity=exports.Severity||(exports.Severity={}));}, {}];window.modules["429"] = [function(require,module,exports){var SessionStatus,RequestSessionStatus;Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0}),function(e){e.Ok="ok",e.Exited="exited",e.Crashed="crashed",e.Abnormal="abnormal"}(SessionStatus=exports.SessionStatus||(exports.SessionStatus={})),function(e){e.Ok="ok",e.Errored="errored",e.Crashed="crashed"}(RequestSessionStatus=exports.RequestSessionStatus||(exports.RequestSessionStatus={}));}, {}];window.modules["430"] = [function(require,module,exports){var Status;Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0}),function(t){t.Unknown="unknown",t.Skipped="skipped",t.Success="success",t.RateLimit="rate_limit",t.Invalid="invalid",t.Failed="failed"}(Status=exports.Status||(exports.Status={})),function(t){t.fromHttpCode=function(e){return e>=200&&e=400&&e=500?t.Failed:t.Unknown}}(Status=exports.Status||(exports.Status={}));}, {}];window.modules["431"] = [function(require,module,exports){var TransactionSamplingMethod;Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0}),function(e){e.Explicit="explicitly_set",e.Sampler="client_sampler",e.Rate="client_rate",e.Inheritance="inheritance"}(TransactionSamplingMethod=exports.TransactionSamplingMethod||(exports.TransactionSamplingMethod={}));}, {}];window.modules["432"] = [function(require,module,exports){function forget(e){e.then(null,function(e){console.error(e)})}Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0}),exports.forget=forget;}, {}];window.modules["433"] = 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document.location.href}catch(e){return""}}exports.getGlobalObject=getGlobalObject,exports.uuid4=uuid4,exports.parseUrl=parseUrl,exports.getEventDescription=getEventDescription,exports.consoleSandbox=consoleSandbox,exports.addExceptionTypeValue=addExceptionTypeValue,exports.addExceptionMechanism=addExceptionMechanism,exports.getLocationHref=getLocationHref;var SEMVER_REGEXP=/^(0|[1-9]\d*)\.(0|[1-9]\d*)\.(0|[1-9]\d*)(?:-((?:0|[1-9]\d*|\d*[a-zA-Z-][0-9a-zA-Z-]*)(?:\.(?:0|[1-9]\d*|\d*[a-zA-Z-][0-9a-zA-Z-]*))*))?(?:\+([0-9a-zA-Z-]+(?:\.[0-9a-zA-Z-]+)*))?$/;function parseSemver(e){var t=e.match(SEMVER_REGEXP)||[],n=parseInt(t[1],10),r=parseInt(t[2],10),a=parseInt(t[3],10);return{buildmetadata:t[5],major:isNaN(n)?void 0:n,minor:isNaN(r)?void 0:r,patch:isNaN(a)?void 0:a,prerelease:t[4]}}exports.parseSemver=parseSemver;var defaultRetryAfter=6e4;function parseRetryAfterHeader(e,t){if(!t)return defaultRetryAfter;var n=parseInt(""+t,10);if(!isNaN(n))return 1e3*n;var r=Date.parse(""+t);return isNaN(r)?defaultRetryAfter:r-e}function addContextToFrame(e,t,n){void 0===n&&(n=5);var r=t.lineno||0,a=e.length,o=Math.max(Math.min(a,r-1),0);t.pre_context=e.slice(Math.max(0,o-n),o).map(function(e){return string_1.snipLine(e,0)}),t.context_line=string_1.snipLine(e[Math.min(a-1,o)],t.colno||0),t.post_context=e.slice(Math.min(o+1,a),o+1+n).map(function(e){return string_1.snipLine(e,0)})}function stripUrlQueryAndFragment(e){return e.split(/[\?#]/,1)[0]}exports.parseRetryAfterHeader=parseRetryAfterHeader,exports.addContextToFrame=addContextToFrame,exports.stripUrlQueryAndFragment=stripUrlQueryAndFragment;}).call(this)}).call(this,typeof global !== "undefined" ? global : typeof self !== "undefined" ? self : typeof window !== "undefined" ? window : {})}, {"441":441,"444":444}];window.modules["444"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var is_1=require(434);function truncate(t,n){return void 0===n&&(n=0),"string"!=typeof 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t=this;this._state=States.PENDING,this._handlers=[],this._resolve=function(e){t._setResult(States.RESOLVED,e)},this._reject=function(e){t._setResult(States.REJECTED,e)},this._setResult=function(e,n){t._state===States.PENDING&&(is_1.isThenable(n)?n.then(t._resolve,t._reject):(t._state=e,t._value=n,t._executeHandlers()))},this._attachHandler=function(e){t._handlers=t._handlers.concat(e),t._executeHandlers()},this._executeHandlers=function(){if(t._state!==States.PENDING){var e=t._handlers.slice();t._handlers=[],e.forEach(function(e){e.done||(t._state===States.RESOLVED&&e.onfulfilled&&e.onfulfilled(t._value),t._state===States.REJECTED&&e.onrejected&&e.onrejected(t._value),e.done=!0)})}};try{e(this._resolve,this._reject)}catch(e){this._reject(e)}}return e.resolve=function(t){return new e(function(e){e(t)})},e.reject=function(t){return new e(function(e,n){n(t)})},e.all=function(t){return new e(function(n,r){if(Array.isArray(t))if(0!==t.length){var i=t.length,o=[];t.forEach(function(t,s){e.resolve(t).then(function(e){o[s]=e,0===(i-=1)&&n(o)}).then(null,r)})}else n([]);else r(new TypeError("Promise.all requires an array as input."))})},e.prototype.then=function(t,n){var r=this;return new e(function(e,i){r._attachHandler({done:!1,onfulfilled:function(n){if(t)try{return void e(t(n))}catch(e){return void i(e)}else e(n)},onrejected:function(t){if(n)try{return void e(n(t))}catch(e){return void i(e)}else i(t)}})})},e.prototype.catch=function(e){return this.then(function(e){return e},e)},e.prototype.finally=function(t){var n=this;return new e(function(e,r){var i,o;return n.then(function(e){o=!1,i=e,t&&t()},function(e){o=!0,i=e,t&&t()}).then(function(){o?r(i):e(i)})})},e.prototype.toString=function(){return"[object SyncPromise]"},e}();exports.SyncPromise=SyncPromise;}, {"434":434}];window.modules["447"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var logger_1=require(442),misc_1=require(443);function supportsErrorEvent(){try{return new ErrorEvent(""),!0}catch(r){return!1}}function supportsDOMError(){try{return new DOMError(""),!0}catch(r){return!1}}function supportsDOMException(){try{return new DOMException(""),!0}catch(r){return!1}}function supportsFetch(){if(!("fetch"in misc_1.getGlobalObject()))return!1;try{return new Headers,new Request(""),new Response,!0}catch(r){return!1}}function isNativeFetch(r){return r&&/^function fetch\(\)\s+\{\s+\[native code\]\s+\}$/.test(r.toString())}function supportsNativeFetch(){if(!supportsFetch())return!1;var r=misc_1.getGlobalObject();if(isNativeFetch(r.fetch))return!0;var e=!1,t=r.document;if(t&&"function"==typeof t.createElement)try{var o=t.createElement("iframe");o.hidden=!0,t.head.appendChild(o),o.contentWindow&&o.contentWindow.fetch&&(e=isNativeFetch(o.contentWindow.fetch)),t.head.removeChild(o)}catch(r){logger_1.logger.warn("Could not create sandbox iframe for pure fetch check, bailing to window.fetch: ",r)}return e}function supportsReportingObserver(){return"ReportingObserver"in misc_1.getGlobalObject()}function supportsReferrerPolicy(){if(!supportsFetch())return!1;try{return new Request("_",{referrerPolicy:"origin"}),!0}catch(r){return!1}}function supportsHistory(){var r=misc_1.getGlobalObject(),e=r.chrome,t=e&&e.app&&e.app.runtime,o="history"in r&&!!r.history.pushState&&!!r.history.replaceState;return!t&&o}exports.supportsErrorEvent=supportsErrorEvent,exports.supportsDOMError=supportsDOMError,exports.supportsDOMException=supportsDOMException,exports.supportsFetch=supportsFetch,exports.isNativeFetch=isNativeFetch,exports.supportsNativeFetch=supportsNativeFetch,exports.supportsReportingObserver=supportsReportingObserver,exports.supportsReferrerPolicy=supportsReferrerPolicy,exports.supportsHistory=supportsHistory;}, {"442":442,"443":443}];window.modules["448"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var misc_1=require(443),node_1=require(441),dateTimestampSource={nowSeconds:function(){return Date.now()/1e3}};function getBrowserPerformance(){var e=misc_1.getGlobalObject().performance;if(e&&e.now)return{now:function(){return e.now()},timeOrigin:Date.now()-e.now()}}function getNodePerformance(){try{return node_1.dynamicRequire(module,"perf_hooks").performance}catch(e){return}}var platformPerformance=node_1.isNodeEnv()?getNodePerformance():getBrowserPerformance(),timestampSource=void 0===platformPerformance?dateTimestampSource:{nowSeconds:function(){return(platformPerformance.timeOrigin+platformPerformance.now())/1e3}};exports.dateTimestampInSeconds=dateTimestampSource.nowSeconds.bind(dateTimestampSource),exports.timestampInSeconds=timestampSource.nowSeconds.bind(timestampSource),exports.timestampWithMs=exports.timestampInSeconds,exports.usingPerformanceAPI=void 0!==platformPerformance,exports.browserPerformanceTimeOrigin=function(){var e=misc_1.getGlobalObject().performance;if(e&&e.now){var r=e.now(),o=Date.now(),n=e.timeOrigin?Math.abs(e.timeOrigin+r-o):36e5,t=n"}try{o.currentTarget=is_1.isElement(i.currentTarget)?browser_1.htmlTreeAsString(i.currentTarget):Object.prototype.toString.call(i.currentTarget)}catch(e){o.currentTarget=""}for(var n in"undefined"!=typeof CustomEvent&&is_1.isInstanceOf(e,CustomEvent)&&(o.detail=i.detail),i)Object.prototype.hasOwnProperty.call(i,n)&&(o[n]=i);return o}return e}function utf8Length(e){return~-encodeURI(e).split(/%..|./).length}function jsonSize(e){return utf8Length(JSON.stringify(e))}function normalizeToSize(e,r,t){void 0===r&&(r=3),void 0===t&&(t=102400);var n=normalize(e,r);return jsonSize(n)>t?normalizeToSize(e,r-1,t):n}function serializeValue(e){var r=Object.prototype.toString.call(e);if("string"==typeof e)return e;if("[object Object]"===r)return"[Object]";if("[object Array]"===r)return"[Array]";var t=normalizeValue(e);return is_1.isPrimitive(t)?t:r}function normalizeValue(e,r){return"domain"===r&&e&&"object"==typeof e&&e._events?"[Domain]":"domainEmitter"===r?"[DomainEmitter]":"undefined"!=typeof global&&e===global?"[Global]":"undefined"!=typeof window&&e===window?"[Window]":"undefined"!=typeof document&&e===document?"[Document]":is_1.isSyntheticEvent(e)?"[SyntheticEvent]":"number"==typeof e&&e!=e?"[NaN]":void 0===e?"[undefined]":"function"==typeof e?"[Function: "+stacktrace_1.getFunctionName(e)+"]":"symbol"==typeof e?"["+String(e)+"]":"bigint"==typeof e?"[BigInt: "+String(e)+"]":e}function walk(e,r,t,n){if(void 0===t&&(t=1/0),void 0===n&&(n=new memo_1.Memo),0===t)return serializeValue(r);if(null!=r&&"function"==typeof r.toJSON)return r.toJSON();var i=normalizeValue(r,e);if(is_1.isPrimitive(i))return i;var o=getWalkSource(r),a=Array.isArray(r)?[]:{};if(n.memoize(r))return"[Circular ~]";for(var s in o)Object.prototype.hasOwnProperty.call(o,s)&&(a[s]=walk(s,o[s],t-1,n));return n.unmemoize(r),a}function normalize(e,r){try{return JSON.parse(JSON.stringify(e,function(e,t){return walk(e,t,r)}))}catch(e){return"**non-serializable**"}}function extractExceptionKeysForMessage(e,r){void 0===r&&(r=40);var t=Object.keys(getWalkSource(e));if(t.sort(),!t.length)return"[object has no keys]";if(t[0].length>=r)return string_1.truncate(t[0],r);for(var n=t.length;n>0;n--){var i=t.slice(0,n).join(", ");if(!(i.length>r))return n===t.length?i:string_1.truncate(i,r)}return""}function dropUndefinedKeys(e){var r,t;if(is_1.isPlainObject(e)){var n=e,i={};try{for(var o=tslib_1.__values(Object.keys(n)),a=o.next();!a.done;a=o.next()){var s=a.value;void 0!==n[s]&&(i[s]=dropUndefinedKeys(n[s]))}}catch(e){r={error:e}}finally{try{a&&!a.done&&(t=o.return)&&t.call(o)}finally{if(r)throw r.error}}return i}return Array.isArray(e)?e.map(dropUndefinedKeys):e}exports.fill=fill,exports.urlEncode=urlEncode,exports.normalizeToSize=normalizeToSize,exports.walk=walk,exports.normalize=normalize,exports.extractExceptionKeysForMessage=extractExceptionKeysForMessage,exports.dropUndefinedKeys=dropUndefinedKeys;}).call(this)}).call(this,typeof global !== "undefined" ? global : typeof self !== "undefined" ? self : typeof window !== "undefined" ? window : {})}, {"388":388,"433":433,"434":434,"438":438,"440":440,"444":444}];window.modules["450"] = [function(require,module,exports){Object.defineProperty(exports,"__esModule",{value:!0});var lastHref,tslib_1=require(388),is_1=require(434),logger_1=require(442),misc_1=require(443),object_1=require(449),stacktrace_1=require(440),supports_1=require(447),global=misc_1.getGlobalObject(),handlers={},instrumented={};function instrument(e){if(!instrumented[e])switch(instrumented[e]=!0,e){case"console":instrumentConsole();break;case"dom":instrumentDOM();break;case"xhr":instrumentXHR();break;case"fetch":instrumentFetch();break;case"history":instrumentHistory();break;case"error":instrumentError();break;case"unhandledrejection":instrumentUnhandledRejection();break;default:logger_1.logger.warn("unknown instrumentation type:",e)}}function addInstrumentationHandler(e){e&&"string"==typeof e.type&&"function"==typeof e.callback&&(handlers[e.type]=handlers[e.type]||[],handlers[e.type].push(e.callback),instrument(e.type))}function triggerHandlers(e,t){var r,n;if(e&&handlers[e])try{for(var o=tslib_1.__values(handlers[e]||[]),a=o.next();!a.done;a=o.next()){var i=a.value;try{i(t)}catch(t){logger_1.logger.error("Error while triggering instrumentation handler.\nType: "+e+"\nName: "+stacktrace_1.getFunctionName(i)+"\nError: "+t)}}}catch(e){r={error:e}}finally{try{a&&!a.done&&(n=o.return)&&n.call(o)}finally{if(r)throw r.error}}}function instrumentConsole(){"console"in global&&["debug","info","warn","error","log","assert"].forEach(function(e){e in global.console&&object_1.fill(global.console,e,function(t){return function(){for(var r=[],n=0;n2?t[2]:void 0;if(n){var o=lastHref,a=String(n);lastHref=a,triggerHandlers("history",{from:o,to:a})}return e.apply(this,t)}}}exports.addInstrumentationHandler=addInstrumentationHandler;var debounceTimerID,lastCapturedEvent,debounceDuration=1e3;function shouldShortcircuitPreviousDebounce(e,t){if(!e)return!0;if(e.type!==t.type)return!0;try{if(e.target!==t.target)return!0}catch(e){}return!1}function shouldSkipDOMEvent(e){if("keypress"!==e.type)return!1;try{var t=e.target;if(!t||!t.tagName)return!0;if("INPUT"===t.tagName||"TEXTAREA"===t.tagName||t.isContentEditable)return!1}catch(e){}return!0}function makeDOMEventHandler(e,t){return void 0===t&&(t=!1),function(r){if(r&&lastCapturedEvent!==r&&!shouldSkipDOMEvent(r)){var n="keypress"===r.type?"input":r.type;void 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addAggregation(e={},o){const{body:t={}}=e;return o?(t.aggs?_set(e,"body.aggs",Object.assign(t.aggs,o)):_set(e,"body.aggs",o),e):e}function formatAggregationResults({aggregationName:e="",field:o="",subfield:t="",skipEmpty:r=!0}){return function(s={}){let u=_get(s,`aggregations.${e}${t?"."+t+".":"."}buckets`,[]);return r&&(u=u.filter(e=>0!==_get(e,"doc_count",0))),u.map(e=>e[o]||"")}}function addGeo(e,o){if(!_isArray(o))throw new Error("Second argument is required to be an Array");if(2!==o.length)throw new Error("Array must be length 2");if(o.some(isNaN))throw new Error("Array must only contain numbers");return _set(e,"body.query.geo_shape.location.shape.type","point"),_set(e,"body.query.geo_shape.location.shape.coordinates",o),e}function combineFunctionScoreQueries(e,o){let t=_cloneDeep(_get(e,"body.query",{})),r=_cloneDeep(_get(o,"body.query",{})),s=_get(e,"body.sort");return 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r=`//${t.site.host}${80!==t.site.port?`:${t.site.port}`:""}${t.site.path}/_agora/_search`;return universalRest.post(r,e,!0)}function buildMerchantsByUrlQuery(e){const t=queryService(PRODUCTS_INDEX);return prependElasticPrefix(t),queryService.addNestedObjQuery(t.body.query,"merchants",{match:{"merchants.buyUrl":e}}),t}function getAffiliatesByLocale(e,t){const r=queryService(AFFILIATES_INDEX);return prependElasticPrefix(r),queryService.addMust(r,{match:{locale:e}}),queryService.addSize(r,1e3),queryService.addSort(r,{name:"asc"}),searchByQueryWithRawResults(r,t).then(e=>_get(e,"hits.hits",[]).map(e=>_get(e,"_source",{})))}function buildRetailersQuery({search:e="",limit:t=50,start:r=0,direction:a="asc",locale:i="US",sortColumn:s="retailers"}){const n=queryService(RETAILERS_INDEX);if(prependElasticPrefix(n),queryService.addMust(n,{match:{locale:i}}),e&&queryService.addMultiMatch(n,{fields:["name","domains^2"],string:e,type:"phrase_prefix"}),"retailers"===s&&queryService.addSort(n,{"name.keyword":a}),"affiliates"===s){let e={};queryService.addNestedObjQuery(e,"affiliateRetailers",{match_all:{}}),queryService.addMust(n,e),queryService.addSort(n,{"affiliateRetailers.affiliateName.keyword":{order:a,nested_path:"affiliateRetailers"}})}return queryService.addSize(n,t),queryService.addFrom(n,r),n}function getRetailersList(e,t){return searchByQueryWithRawResults(buildRetailersQuery(e),t).then(e=>({total:_get(e,"hits.total",0),retailers:_get(e,"hits.hits",[]).map(e=>_get(e,"_source",{}))}))}function getRetailersByAffiliateId(e,t,r){const a=queryService(RETAILERS_INDEX);return e?(prependElasticPrefix(a),queryService.addMust(a,{match:{locale:r}}),queryService.addMust(a,[queryService.addNestedObjQuery({},"affiliateRetailers",{match:{"affiliateRetailers.affiliateId":e}})]),queryService.addSize(a,1e4),queryService.addSort(a,{"name.keyword":"asc"}),searchByQueryWithRawResults(a,t).then(e=>_get(e,"hits.hits",[]).map(e=>_get(e,"_source",{})))):Promise.reject()}function getMerchantsList(e){return searchByQueryWithRawResults(buildMerchantsAggregation(1e6,_get(e,"site.agoraLocale")),e).then(queryService.formatAggregationResults({aggregationName:"merchants",field:"key",subfield:"name"}))}function queryRetailersByUrl(e,t,r){const a=urlParse(e).host.split("www.").join(""),i=queryService(RETAILERS_INDEX);return queryService.addMust(i,{match:{locale:r}}),queryService.addMust(i,{match:{domains:a}}),prependElasticPrefix(i),queryService.addSize(i,10),searchByQueryWithRawResults(i,t).then(e=>_get(e,"hits.hits",[]).map(e=>_get(e,"_source",{})))}function queryRetailersByName(e,t,r){const a=queryService(RETAILERS_INDEX);return queryService.addMust(a,{match:{locale:r}}),queryService.addMust(a,{match:{"name.keyword":e}}),prependElasticPrefix(a),queryService.addSize(a,10),searchByQueryWithRawResults(a,t).then(e=>_get(e,"hits.hits",[]).map(e=>_get(e,"_source",{})))}require(246),module.exports={buildProductsQuery:buildProductsQuery,buildMerchantsAggregation:buildMerchantsAggregation,getProducts:getProducts,getProduct:getProduct,postProduct:postProduct,putProduct:putProduct,patchProduct:patchProduct,deleteProduct:deleteProduct,getMerchantList:getMerchantList,getMerchant:getMerchant,postMerchant:postMerchant,patchMerchant:patchMerchant,putMerchant:putMerchant,deleteMerchant:deleteMerchant,migrateMerchants:migrateMerchants,getRetailers:getRetailers,getRetailersList:getRetailersList,getRetailer:getRetailer,postRetailer:postRetailer,putRetailer:putRetailer,deleteRetailer:deleteRetailer,getRetailersByAffiliateId:getRetailersByAffiliateId,getAffiliates:getAffiliates,getAffiliateRetailers:getAffiliateRetailers,getAffiliateRetailer:getAffiliateRetailer,postAffiliateRetailer:postAffiliateRetailer,putAffiliateRetailer:putAffiliateRetailer,deleteAffiliateRetailer:deleteAffiliateRetailer,isURL:isURL,filterByLocale:filterByLocale,patchLocale:patchLocale,postLocale:postLocale,buildMerchantsByUrlQuery:buildMerchantsByUrlQuery,getAffiliatesByLocale:getAffiliatesByLocale,searchByQueryWithRawResults:searchByQueryWithRawResults,getMerchantsList:getMerchantsList,queryRetailersByUrl:queryRetailersByUrl,queryRetailersByName:queryRetailersByName,linkAutomation:agoraLib.linkAutomation,findVariationsQuery:findVariationsQuery};}).call(this)}).call(this,require(36),"/services/universal/agora.js")}, {"14":14,"17":17,"24":24,"36":36,"78":78,"88":88,"89":89,"125":125,"171":171,"246":246,"379":379,"1532":1532}];window.modules["1534"] = [function(require,module,exports){"use strict";const _map=require(88),_mapValues=require(241),_reduce=require(128),_assign=require(175),_get=require(17),_pickBy=require(176),{getAffiliateMetadata:getAffiliateMetadata,getAffiliateByUrl:getAffiliateByUrl}=require(84),affiliateFields=["siteShortKey","pageUri","productId","utmMedium","utmSource","sessionCount","format","utmCampaign","itmSearch","referrer","deviceAbbreviation","zone"],affiliateSettings={"Amazon Associates":{domains:_get(getAffiliateMetadata("Amazon Associates"),"domains",[]),subtagKey:"ascsubtag",maxLength:99,delimiter:"standard",encode:!1},Narrativ:{domains:_get(getAffiliateMetadata("Narrativ"),"domains",[]),subtagKey:"u1",maxLength:99,delimiter:"standard",encode:!0},Rakuten:{domains:_get(getAffiliateMetadata("Rakuten"),"domains",[]),subtagKey:"u1",maxLength:72,delimiter:"standard",encode:!1},Shareasale:{domains:_get(getAffiliateMetadata("Shareasale"),"domains",[]),subtagKey:"afftrack",maxLength:99,delimiter:"standard",encode:!1},Skimlinks:{domains:_get(