1423: Baby Stealers

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 3m
February 6th, 2022
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Executive Producers: Zack Welch, Knight of Mandalay, Baron of South East Asia, Justin Varner, Anonymous, The Baron of Old Bay, Shawna Benson, Black Dame Loca of the Lost Pines, Jodi Atkinson, Jennifer Schurter, Khalil Saman

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Twenty-Threes, Knight of the Electric Ocean, Richard Garrett, Miss Lee, Nancy Chardavoyne, Sir Christopher, Knight of the Sipsey Valley, Matthew Scarpati, Patrick Masterson

Cover Artist: Tante Neel

Chapters

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Start of Show
Woodstock
3:54
“Truck Stuff” in Canada
Regenblitz
7:05
Gofundme commits harakiri
Guest producer
11:35
BOTG Canada: NA Producer interviews feeders of truckers
Guest producer
20:40
Messaging: Word soup, Class Warfare, and Translation
Regenblitz
25:51
Bridges, Boats, and Billionaires - Size Matters
Regenblitz
30:45
God Save the Queen!?
Regenblitz
33:13
CNN Supercut, The Circus we call “The Media”
Regenblitz
45:12
John’s Hopkins Intelligence Agency - Narrative Switch
Regenblitz
48:28
Baby Stealers!
Regenblitz
51:34
Suggested chapter: Vax adverse reactions including death during sex in young men
This is a suggested chapter
Guest producer
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55:39
Suggested chapter: Israel coronavirus update
This is a suggested chapter
Guest producer
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56:53
Shaq’s Slam Dunk on the Media Vaccines
Regenblitz
59:19
Suggested chapter: More aviation emergency codes than normal?; F35 crash update
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Guest producer
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1:04:14
Suggested chapter: Newly discovered HIV variant
This is a suggested chapter
Guest producer
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1:07:47
“We’re checking your poop!”
Regenblitz
1:09:42
JCD: Cocaine or batteries?
Regenblitz
1:10:27
Turbidity? Delicious!
Regenblitz
1:12:12
Suggested chapter: Senator Luhan (49) had a stroke, but don't blame the...
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Guest producer
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1:16:00
Suggested chapter: Edward Dowd (ex-exec at BlackRock) talks about fraud during the pandemic on Bannon's War Room
This is a suggested chapter
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1:16:03
Interesting Dude talks Central Banks
Regenblitz
1:23:34
Executive Producer Credits
Regenblitz
1:29:23
“Muting yourself is illegal in 24 States” - Dvorak Comes Clean
Regenblitz
1:53:10
Russia Russia Russia!
Guest producer
2:06:19
Matt Lee questions Ned Price's "evidence"
Guest producer
2:22:11
Adam nails NPR voice on BS clip
Guest producer
2:25:22
Biden lies about cannons and the second amendment
Guest producer
2:31:17
Donations
Guest producer
2:44:02
ISOs
Guest producer
2:51:53
Vegan Friday at New York City Public Schools
Guest producer
2:53:30
Dutch reporters get pushed around by Chinese police at the Olympics (Kijk = look)
Guest producer
2:57:32
EOS Mixes
Sweejak
Suggest a new chapter
Great Reset
Unemployment numbers are bullcrap
Well, here's what happened. First, looking at just the December to January change we find that while the seasonally adjusted number rose by an impressive 467K, the unadjusted number collapsed, tumbling from 150.349 million to 147.525 million, a 2.8 million drop (as it tends to do every time the year shifts from December to January) meaning that the entire delta in the January number - somewhere in the 3+ million range - is due to arbitrary adjustments overlaid on top of the data.
Cancel Cannon
Is JRE a distraction?
Rogan episodes removed
Regarding today's purge of JRE episodes from Spotify...most are with
comedians. I've seen at least a thousand episodes from start to finish over
the past six years or so and most of the best ones are with comedians. On a
related note, only one episode went up this week (yesterday and later than
usual) when they normally do three a week--even though Dvorak keeps
insisting it's every day. That used to be the case five years ago. Anyway,
this story is starting to get interesting when it seemed like a
nothingburger just days ago.
Boule Oprah Megan Harry Obamas against JRE
Mandates & Boosters
TMobile BOTG
HiAdam
I was only able to listen to the first half of the show today before I had to leave but I heard you talking about T-Mobile. My daughter works for T-Mobile prior to that she was with Sprint and has now 23 years under her belt. She advised me that the company was forced to have all employees vaccinated, except the sales people in the stores, for the insurance company or they would lose coverage. You will find AT&T and Verizon etc. are all the same. The insurance companies are holding them hostage so my daughter took the J&J vaccine .
Hope this info helps
Dame 4NladyB4
Dutch Flu stats
TMobile Vax mandate BOTG
company FAQ that does not currently include boosters, though I'm sure they
reserve the right to change that at any time) will be fired from the
company. The way this works is the vaccine cards are uploaded to a third
party verification service that verifies the dates and name on the card,
which then puts a magenta checkmark on your ID badge which you use to enter
corporate property.
Ironically the requirement does not extend to "mobile experts" aka the
boots on the ground retail employees in the store selling to the unwashed
consumers IE the most likely people to get exposed to the virus compared to
corporate employees.
This week there was an all-hands employee webcast featuring the CEO mike
sievert. It was full of the usual corporate nonsense - but at the end the
floor was opened up for questions. There was a web submission question
asking "if vaccines dont stop the spread of covid why are you mandating it
for employment"
From a deconstruction standpoint - Mike shifted from jovial, head bobbing
corporate shill to his shoulders immediately tensing up, his hands in his
pockets, and for the first time in an hour he seemed completely off his
game. What followed was a freeform odyssey of emotional appeal, outdated
scientific buzzphrases (safe and effective!) and logical fallacies. This
included but was not limited to:
- we just love our employees so much we don't want to see them die
- he knows two employees in the past week who have "died of covid"
(didn't mention their vaccination status)
- admits that the vaccine doesn't stop the spread but that it is the
"best chance we have to avoid the hospital or death"
this is no surprise for a company that sold t-shirts and stickers with the
BLM logo with their magenta color. I looked up their ESG score and it
looks like they have a lot of work to do before they start raking in the
real dough....I'm sure this is no coincidence...
VAERS
Sudden ‘deaths’ of collapsing athletes: Following the coronavirus misinformation trail - The Washington Post
Here’s the rub: This claim has been debunked repeatedly. The story of athletes dropping dead from coronavirus vaccines has its roots in mysterious Austrian websites with ties to that country’s far-right populist party, the Freedom Party. Those stories were then recycled by right-wing media in the United States and then eventually came out of the mouth of a U.S. senator.
As is often the case, a kernel of truth — some people have reported an inflammation of the heart muscle known as myocarditis after taking mRNA-based vaccines — has been exploited by purveyors of falsehoods. Medical research shows the risk of getting myocarditis from the coronavirus itself is about 100 times higher than getting it from a vaccine.
Israel's rise in Covid deaths: why it's happening, and the lessons for the UK
Test To Stay
Freedom Passports
The Purge
Do your own research
Food Intelligence
'Meetballs' fuel Ikea hiring spree
As talent wars heat up, companies are getting, ahem, creative with their recruitment strategies. Nothing proves that point quite like Ikea’s quest to fill 150 technology and innovation jobs across Europe. The Swedish retailer hopes its new Taste the Future campaign — which invites candidates to interview for open roles while chowing down on 3D-printed, plant-based versions of its famous meatballs — will lure people “with imagination” to the company and ultimately advance its sustainability efforts. Sadly for anyone with a serious 3D-printed-food craving, these “meetballs” are for candidates only. Bon appétit?
Ukraine
Eurasia
China
Climate Change
Climate change is altering the smell of snow - The Washington Post
Climate change is affecting the way snow smells, said Parisa A. Ariya, a chemist and chair of the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department at McGill University. As the ground and air get warmer, that encourages the circulation — and intensity — of the odor molecules.
HVDC Line to Apple Campus
OTG
Truckers For Freedom
Talking points: occupation
M5M
HIV
New study: HIV can evolve to be more severe — and contagious
The good news: Existing medications work very well to treat even very virulent variants like this one, cutting down on transmission and reducing the chance of developing severe illness, he says.
"Nobody should be alarmed," Wymant says. "It responds exactly as well to treatment as HIV normally does."
There's no need to develop special treatments for this variant, he adds. It shows no signs at all of resisting medications, as some HIV variants do. But because the variant moves quickly, people need to receive medicine as fast as possible.
ISIS
MKUltra
DEW
STORIES
New ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraish is a 'nobody', says US official | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:18
New ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraish is a 'nobody' who is 'not too long for the world' if he's in Iraq or Syria, says US officialUS official says the new ISIS leader is a 'nobody' with little apparent reputation Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi was announced as the new leader last week Official said IS social media suggests even followers don't know much about himBy Afp
Published: 13:33 EST, 6 November 2019 | Updated: 13:34 EST, 6 November 2019
The new leader of the Islamic State group is 'a nobody' with little apparent reputation but the United States hopes he will be killed soon, a US official said Wednesday.
The group last week announced Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi as its new leader after a US commando raid killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of the ultra-violent movement.
A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that monitoring of Islamic State social media indicates that even followers did not know much about Hashimi.
The group last week announced Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi as its new leader after a US commando raid killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (pictured), the chief of the ultra-violent movement
'That has become a major issue in, if you will, the ISIS social media world. This guy appears to be a nobody,' the official told reporters.
'What little we know about him, we're not impressed. And if he's in Iraq or Syria, we don't think he's too long for the world anyway,' he said.
The official declined to offer further details, including whether, like Baghdadi, Hashimi had been detained at some point by US forces.
Former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during his only public appearance in 2014. Mystery surrounds the true identity of his replacement Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi
President Donald Trump last week tweeted of the group's new leader that 'we know exactly who he is,' but few details have emerged about Hashimi.
Baghdadi, who led the Islamic State group since 2014, had become the world's most wanted person for the militants' grisly attacks both in the region and abroad.
The Islamic State group confirmed that the 48-year-old Iraqi died in the raid in Syria's northwestern Idlib province.
Advertisement
NOT a great look! January 6 Committee members FREAKING OUT over Jeff Zucker's departure from CNN (Gosh, wonder why) '' twitchy.com
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:17
Gosh, why oh why would members of the January 6 committee be upset about Zucker leaving CNN? Hrm.
Almost as if he's been covering their efforts in a way they like.
C'mon, let's not pretend ol' Zuck has ever encouraged his network to be unbiased in the least, and it sounds like the new owners of CNN may be a little different.
''The first calls I got'...were from four members of the January 6 committee, who felt devastated for our democracy, because Jeff was not going to be around to make sure that CNN is able to do its job'' -Jamie Gangel
Best argument for leadership change yet: https://t.co/Vdr65zdkj3
'-- Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) February 4, 2022
Gangel didn't just get calls from them, they were the FIRST CALLS received.
In essence, the committee is losing their public relations guy.
From Vanity Fair:
Toward the end of the meeting, in which prominent CNN journalists went hard at Kilar over Zucker's resignation, special correspondent Jamie Gangel spoke up. ''The first calls I got this morning were from four members of the January 6 committee, who felt devastated for our democracy, because Jeff was not going to be around to make sure that CNN is able to do its job,'' she said.
Steve Krakauer gets it:
If you're a journalist, you are doing your job correctly when politicians are celebrating your departure.
If politicians are ''devastated" when you leave, you failed.
'-- Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) February 4, 2022
Boomity.
The fact that so many CNN employees are lionizing Zucker while the network's ratings continue to plummet suggests that the network has grown myopic and complacent and is indeed long due for an overhaul.
'-- JVW (@jvward) February 4, 2022
The fact that certain lawmakers needed this con man's cover to "save democracy" is an indictment of them and the current state of politics and journalism. Honestly sickening.
'-- William Berndt (@WilliamBerndt) February 4, 2022
Best summation of this situation I have seen yet.
'-- david (@davidsaidwhat) February 4, 2022
What a joke CNN fabricates the majority of its news
'-- Baseballmom524 (@baseballmom524) February 4, 2022
And that's probably what these four members of the January 6 committee will miss the most.
***
Related:
BOOM goes the dynamite! Travis Tritt RAINS all over David Crosby's 'fight the Spotify man' parade with ONE seriously painful fact-drop
'You can even rent a TANK!' Stephen Gutowski breaks out the puppets and crayons to SCHOOL Biden on the 2nd Amendment in PERFECT thread
'You are on the LOSING side of history!' VA Mom goes OFF on superintendent and school board STILL masking in spite of Youngkin's EO (watch)
Recommended Twitchy Video
Freetesting HIV | Free HIV Kits for Self-testing at Home
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:13
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Preventative HIV medicationLiving with HIVSex, drugs and alcoholAbuse, violence or assaultHepatitis vaccinationsCommon concerns about sexContraception & pregnancyWhat's in the kit?About HIVAbout syphilisSpecialist servicesSelf-sampling HIV & syphilis test kits are available to anyone over 16 that lives in England.Return your sample to our lab, and we will text you with your result.
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Death during sex isn't just something that happens to middle-aged men, new study finds
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:13
Sex has many beneficial physical and psychological effects, including reducing high blood pressure, improving the immune system and aiding better sleep. The physical act of sex and orgasm releases the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which is important in building trust and bonding between people. But there's a dark side: people sometimes die during or shortly after sex. The incidence is, thankfully, extremely low and accounts for 0.6% of all cases of sudden death.
There are many reasons why this happens to people. In most cases, it is caused by the physical strain of the sexual activity, or prescription drugs (drugs to treat erectile dysfunction, for example), or illegal drugs, such as cocaine '' or both.
The risk of any sudden cardiac death is higher as people age. A forensic postmortem study from Germany of 32,000 sudden deaths over a 33-year period found that 0.2% of cases occurred during sexual activity. Sudden death occurred mostly in men (average age 59 years) and the most frequent cause was a heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction. Studies of sudden cardiac death and sexual activity from the US, France and South Korea show similar findings.
Cocaine can increase the risk of sudden cardiac death during sex. Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo Not just the middle-aged menRecently, however, researchers at St George's, University of London, found that this phenomenon is not just limited to middle-aged men. The study, which is published in JAMA Cardiology, investigated sudden cardiac death in 6,847 cases referred to the centre for cardiac pathology at St George's between January 1994 and August 2020. Of these, 17 (0.2%) occurred either during or within one hour of sexual activity. The average (mean) age of death was 38 years, and 35% of the cases occurred in women, which is higher than in previous studies.
These deaths were typically not caused by heart attacks, as seen in older men. In half of the cases (53%), the heart was found to be structurally normal and a sudden abnormal heart rhythm called sudden arrhythmic death syndrome or Sads was the cause of death. Aortic dissection was the second largest cause (12%). This is where the layers in the wall of the large artery from the heart supplying blood around the body tear and blood flows between the layers causing it to bulge and burst.
The remaining cases were due to structural anomalies such as cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of your body), or from a rare group of genetic conditions known as channelopathies. This is where the ion channels that let sodium and potassium in and out of the cells in the heart muscle don't work properly. The change to the sodium and potassium in the cells can alter the electrical current through the heart muscle and change the way it beats. An altered heart rhythm can cause a lack of oxygen (myocardial ischemia) and can lead to a sudden cardiac arrest where the heart stops beating.
This new study suggests that sudden cardiac death in people under the age of 50 is mainly due to sudden arrhythmic death syndrome or cardiomyopathies. Younger adults who have been diagnosed with these conditions should seek advice from their cardiologist on the risk associated with sexual activity. However, the low incidence of death in these studies suggests the risk is very low '' even in people with existing heart conditions.
Saving journalism: views on how to pay for reliable information - J-Source
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:09
Many countries are experimenting with different forms of government support and policies but the question is what works best and is sustainable in each contextJournalism globally faces a sustainability crisis. It largely stems from declining advertising revenue, loss of revenue to technology giants, control of news media by political actors and individuals with business interests, disinformation and dwindling public trust.
Twisting the knife in the wound, the financial pressure on media organizations has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, for example, at least 21 local newspapers merged and about 1,400 newsroom staffers lost their jobs. African journalism also felt the economic impact.
Without journalism, the foundations on which democratic societies operate will be weaker. Public and private institutions and their actors will be less accountable in their use of power.
A year ago, a team of researchers at Columbia University published a report assessing interventions and new initiatives to sustain journalism. Now this team, including myself, has gone back to assess the status of the promising measures we documented. We've also looked at worldwide strategies that show promise in stemming declines in revenue of media outlets and loss of journalism jobs.
Many countries are experimenting with different forms of government support and policies but the question is what works best and is sustainable in each context.
What we foundWe interviewed 60 respondents: economists, policy makers, journalists, editors, academics, and media development workers from Asia, North America, South America, Australia and Africa.
In our earlier report, we found that there was a big appetite for sweeping changes in the business of journalism. Several funding organizations we spoke to in 2021 had made significant progress in 2020 with their support for quality journalism. Some had increased the amount of funding; others had extended funding to more media outlets.
Globally, there is experimentation with different forms of government support and policies. Indonesia gave a series of tax credits to local media. Australia's News Media Bargaining Code channelled hundreds of millions of dollars from Google and Facebook to different journalism outlets.
The people we interviewed for our latest report agree these interventions are necessary, though they believe that there is no perfect fix for saving journalism. The economists take the pragmatic view that in the absence of detailed data showing what is the most effective, interventions are worth pursuing as long as they are not harmful and can garner support.
We found more divided opinions in the journalism community. Some felt governmental support for journalism was crucial. However, when compared to niche players or digital startups, the larger, established outlets benefit more from many government programs. So the bigger outlets are more in favour of government intervention.
Smaller outlets, particularly in Africa and Latin America, had genuine apprehensions about governmental support. Some felt that government subsidies and tax breaks wouldn't help small outlets. Others expressed concerns about the potential influence of government on media reportage.
Yet they were open to accepting money from large foundations, foreign governments and tech giants. Some sub-Saharan African journalists believed that supporting quality information was of secondary importance to governments and the public in a region where so many basic needs were not met.
African journalism felt the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Ghanaian media houses lost a third of their revenue. Journalists faced layoffs, while some newsrooms had to cut back, close or put staff on compulsory leave. Some fear a media extinction event is inevitable.
Most outlets in Africa received little governmental financial support. African journalists competed with journalists in other regions for donor funding. Most government support available was not media-specific. In sub-Saharan Africa it was mainly in the form of personal protective equipment.
Likewise, much of the support that came from media development organizations and international donors was in the form of capacity-building training to help journalists cover the pandemic effectively, and to support educational programs.
Some lingering concernsOur interviewees believe that substantial investment is needed in finding systemic solutions to make journalism sustainable. Government support and donor funding could be useful, even though some have reservations about it.
There is a perception that donors support journalism purely to buy goodwill. As big tech companies lobby governments to shape new regulations and intensify their giving where they fear regulation, or are being required to pay local news publishers for news content liked on their platforms (as in Australia), these concerns seem to be justified.
We believe that journalism can't depend on the unpredictable philanthropy of tech companies. There are also questions around their possible influence on journalism content. Some of our participants suggested that to stem big tech's possible control of media outlets, big tech must be made to pay more taxes, partly to support journalism.
Looking into the futureThere is consensus that the amount of money needed to save journalism is not huge. Estimates are as low as US$1 billion a year. As a participant said, it is important to look from the ground up.
Systemic solutions like tax on tech (earmarking the revenue for journalism), a levy on turnover to support public interest journalism, government subsidies and tax credits may be useful without interfering in the work journalists do.
Additionally, African countries can take a cue from the Australian Code. They can build consensus to negotiate a good deal that African media will benefit from. The technical, moral, and economic support of competition regulators across countries will have a radical bearing on how negotiations turn out.
For donors, criteria like public trust, relevance and meeting basic information needs can guide which outlet to fund.
Theodora Dame Adjin-Tettey, Research Associate, School of Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes University, South Africa / Lecturer, Department of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Rhodes University
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.
Balloon boy hoax - Wikipedia
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:08
2009 hoax event
The Balloon Boy hoax occurred on October 15, 2009, when a homemade helium-filled gas balloon shaped to resemble a silver flying saucer was released into the atmosphere above Fort Collins, Colorado, by Richard and Mayumi Heene. They then claimed that their six-year-old son Falcon was trapped inside it. Authorities confirmed the balloon reached 7,000 feet (2,100 m) during its 90-minute flight.[1][2][3][4] The event attracted worldwide attention,[1][5] and Falcon was nicknamed "Balloon Boy" in the media.[6]
National Guard helicopters and local police pursued the balloon. After flying for more than an hour and approximately 50 miles (80 km),[7] the balloon landed about 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Denver International Airport. When Falcon was not found inside and it was reported that an object had been seen falling from the balloon, a search was begun.[3] Later that day, the boy was found hiding in the attic of his home, where he had apparently been the entire time.[8]
Suspicions of a hoax soon arose, particularly after an interview with Wolf Blitzer on Larry King Live that same evening. Asked why he was hiding, Falcon said to his father, "You guys said that, um, we did this for the show."[9] On October 18, 2009, Larimer County sheriff Jim Alderden announced his conclusion that the incident was a hoax and that the parents would likely face several felony charges.[10][11] On November 13, 2009, Richard Heene pleaded guilty to attempting to influence a public servant. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and ordered to pay $36,000 in restitution, and Mayumi Heene was sentenced to 20 days of weekend jail.[12][13]
Following the incident, the Heene family has maintained their innocence, claiming that they were pressured into a guilty plea under the threat of Mayumi Heene's deportation.[14] On December 23, 2020, the Heenes were pardoned by Governor Jared Polis.[15]
Background Richard Heene () and Mayumi Iizuka (飯åšé›…å¼' , Iizuka Mayumi ) met at an acting school in Hollywood, California, and married in 1997.[16][17][18] Heene had tried acting and stand-up comedy without success and, for a time, he and his wife ran a home business producing demo reels for actors. Heene is also a handyman. Associates described him as a shameless self-promoter who would do almost anything to advance his latest endeavor.[19] Heene became a storm chaser in the 1970s after a storm took the roof off a building he was working on.[19] Heene's storm chasing has included riding a motorcycle into a tornado and reportedly flying a plane around the perimeter of Hurricane Wilma in 2005.[19] He regularly involved his children in his endeavors, taking them along on UFO-hunting expeditions and storm-chasing missions.[19][20] The Heenes have three sons named Falcon, Bradford and Ryo.
A domestic violence investigation was launched at the Heenes' home in February 2009, after Mayumi was seen with a mark on her cheek and broken blood vessels in her left eye. No charges were filed due to lack of evidence.[21]
The family had been featured on the reality television show Wife Swap on two occasions, the second time as a fan-favorite choice for the show's 100th episode.[20][22] During his time on the show, Heene expressed his belief that humanity descended from aliens and spoke of launching home-made flying saucers into storms.[19] Heene had unsuccessfully sought the media's interest in a proposed reality show called The Science Detectives, which he envisioned as a documentary series "to investigate the mysteries of science".[20] Months before the balloon incident Heene had pitched a reality show idea to the television channel TLC, but the network passed on the offer. After the balloon incident, the producer of Wife Swap said that a show involving the Heenes had been in development, but that the deal was now off. The producer declined to provide specifics.[20] The Lifetime channel had been set to air one of the Wife Swap episodes involving the Heenes on October 29, 2009, but the station pulled the episode because of the balloon incident.[23]
Helium balloon Richard Heene said the saucer-shaped balloon was an early prototype of a vehicle which "people can pull out of their garage and hover above traffic".[24] He also stated that, once "the high voltage timer" was switched on, the balloon "would emit one million volts every five minutes for one minute"[25] in order to "move left and right'--horizontal".[26]
The balloon, 20 feet (6.1 m) in diameter and 5 feet (1.5 m) high,[1] was constructed from plastic tarps taped together, covered with an aluminum foil and held together with string and duct tape. Its base, in which Falcon allegedly rode, was a box made from a very thin piece of plywood and cardboard on the side, also held together by string and duct tape.[27][28]
Fully inflated, a balloon of this size would contain just over 1,000 cubic feet (28 m3) of helium.[29] Helium's lift capacity at sea level and 0 °C is 1.113 kg/m3 (0.07 lbs/ft3) and decreases at higher altitudes and at higher temperatures. The volume of helium in the balloon has been estimated as being able to lift a total load, including the balloon material and the structure beneath it, of 65 pounds (29 kg) at sea level and 48 pounds (22 kg) at 8,000 feet (2,400 m).[29]
Fort Collins is at an elevation of about 5,000 feet (1,500 m) and the balloon was estimated to have reached 7,000 feet (2,100 m).[1][30][31]
Incident Location of Fort Collins in Larimer County in Colorado
The family said they first suspected Falcon Heene was missing when, immediately after the balloon had taken off, Falcon's brother told them that he had seen the six-year-old climb into the balloon's basket beforehand. A home video released the following day shows the launch of the balloon. Richard inspects the basket, then his family count down in unison "three, two, one" before releasing the cord.[32][33] Apparently believing the balloon to be tethered a few feet from the ground,[32] the family starts screaming in distress when it floats off into the sky. Richard Heene, who can be seen kicking the wood frame that supported the balloon, yelled amidst a myriad of obscene words, "You didn't put the fucking tether down!"[33] Falcon is nowhere to be seen and nobody mentions the possibility of Falcon being in the balloon.[32]
According to initial reports from the sheriff, the family first called the Federal Aviation Administration, although later the sheriff's office stated that "they had no confirmation that Richard Heene actually made the call to the FAA."[34] They then called Denver NBC affiliate KUSA-TV; they reportedly requested that the station send a news helicopter to track the balloon's progress,[35][36][37] and then called emergency services. During the call to 911 at 11:29 AM local time (MDT) Richard Heene said, "I don't know whether it's possible you guys could detect the electricity that it emits ... it emits a million volts on the outer skin."[38][39]
The balloon, tracked by helicopters, drifted for 60 miles (97 km), passing through Adams County and Weld County. Planes were rerouted around the balloon's flight path. Reports that Denver International Airport was briefly shut down were later determined to be incorrect.[40] The balloon finally landed two hours later at around 1:35 PM local time near Keenesburg, 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Denver International Airport.[41][42]
When the boy was not found inside the balloon, officials expressed concern that he might have fallen out during the flight. Although it was reported that it did not appear breached,[1] Margie Martinez of the Weld County Sheriff's Office said that the door was unlocked in the balloon. A sheriff deputy reported seeing something fall from the balloon near Platteville, Colorado and a photograph of the balloon in flight with a small black dot below was said to suggest the boy may have fallen out or that something had detached from the balloon.[43] Search and rescue crews in Colorado searched for the boy.[44]
At approximately 4:14 PM, CNN and other news reported that the boy was found hiding in a cardboard box in rafters above the garage,[1] but county sheriff Jim Alderden later said, "For all we know he may have been two blocks down the road playing on the swing in the city park."
The New York Post estimated that the total cost of the rescue operation would be about $2 million, although this has yet to be verified.[45] The helicopter flights alone during the rescue operation cost about $14,500.[46] The Colorado National Guard assisted the effort with UH-60 Black Hawk and OH-58 Kiowa helicopters.[47]
Hoax allegations and criminal investigation Investigation After the incident, several news agencies began questioning whether it was a hoax.[48] Editor & Publisher pointed out that "few had raised the issue of whether such a balloon could even lift off with a 50-pound (23 kg) kid inside and then float the way it did" during the flight.[49] The police initially said it did not appear to be a hoax,[50] but when Falcon and his family were being interviewed later in the day by Wolf Blitzer on CNN's Larry King Live he asked Falcon, "Why did you not come out of the garage?" After his parents repeated the question, he responded, "You guys said that, um, we did this for the show."[9] Blitzer questioned Heene and Falcon further after the statement was made. The next day, during interviews on ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today, the boy vomited when he was asked about his comment and again when his father was asked about it, fueling more suspicion.[51]
Falcon's answers prompted the sheriff's office to pursue further investigations as to whether the incident was part of a publicity stunt.[52] On October 16, Alderden said that "the suggestion that the boy ... was coached to hide seems inconceivable."[53]
Researcher Robert Thomas sold a story to Gawker alleging that he had helped plan a publicity stunt involving a weather balloon and investigators expressed a desire to interview him.[54] Larimer County Sheriff's officials had consulted a Colorado State University physics professor, Brian Jones, who initially determined, based on the dimensions provided by Richard Heene, that the balloon could plausibly lift off with a boy of Falcon's reported size (37 pounds or 17 kilograms). However, when authorities later measured the balloon, they concluded it was not large enough to lift the child.[7][27] Upon inspecting the balloon, authorities learned it weighed 18 pounds (8.2 kg) more than Heene had said. Alderden said the base of the balloon could have handled 37 pounds (17 kg) without breaking, but to get airborne with those 37 pounds (17 kg) inside it would have to have been attached to a more powerful balloon.[28]
After viewing the home video of the balloon launch, Alderden said the balloon appeared to have been rising very quickly.[32]
During a press conference on October 18, Alderden called the incident a hoax, stating "we believe we have evidence at this point to indicate that this was a publicity stunt in hopes to better market themselves for a reality show." He also said that charges in the case have not yet been filed but that the parents could face both misdemeanor and felony charges, including conspiracy to commit a crime, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, filing a false report with authorities and attempting to influence a public servant.[10][11] Alderden stated that his comments on October 16 were part of a "game plan" to keep the Heenes' trust.[55]
Richard Heene's lawyer, David Lane, announced on October 19 that Richard and Mayumi Heene would surrender to police as soon as charges were filed, and plead not guilty.[56]
According to the supporting affidavit that law enforcement submitted with their application for a search warrant, Mayumi later admitted that she "knew all along that Falcon was hiding in the residence."[57] The affidavit alleges that the couple planned the hoax about two weeks before releasing the balloon on October 15 and "instructed their three children to lie to authorities as well as the media regarding this hoax", for the purpose of making the family "more marketable for future media interests."[58]
Guilty plea Richard Heene's attorney announced on November 12, 2009, that both parents intended to plead guilty to the charges filed against them, for which the prosecutor would recommend probation.[59] The attorney's statement said that the threat of deportation of his wife, Mayumi Heene, who is a Japanese citizen, was a major factor in the plea negotiations.[60] On November 13, Richard Heene pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempting to influence a public servant. Mayumi Heene did not appear with him, but still faced a misdemeanor charge of false reporting to authorities.[61]
On December 23, 2009, a judge sentenced Richard Heene to 90 days in jail and 100 hours of community service. He was also ordered to write a formal apology to the agencies that searched for Falcon. Mayumi Heene was sentenced to 20 days in jail, to be served through jail-supervised community service for two days a week. Mayumi was also allowed to begin her sentence after her husband's ended in order to ensure her children would be cared for, and the Heenes were also banned from receiving any profits from the hoax for several years.[62] Richard Heene was also ordered to pay $36,000 in restitution.[13]
Post conviction developments On January 7, 2010, Richard Heene began to claim in media interviews that he only pleaded guilty to prevent his wife's potential deportation.[63] In a 2015 interview with Today, Heene repeated the claim that the incident was not a hoax.[64] In a 2019 interview with ABC News, the Heene family continued to maintain that the incident was not a hoax, with Mayumi Heene claiming to have confessed out of fear of deportation.[65] On December 23, 2020, Governor Jared Polis issued pardons to the Heenes, saying they had already "paid the price in the eyes of the public" and that it was time for Colorado to move on from the case.[15]
In an interview with the family for 5280, Mayumi brought forth handwritten notes for her attorney recounting the days preceding the event.[66] In them, she details the original plan was to have Falcon hide in the basement, where the family would discover him and call off the search. However, Falcon instead hid in the attic above the garage, creating genuine confusion and genuine tearfulness at their reunion. When 5280 confronted Richard about the existence of the notes, he reacted angrily towards Mayumi, during which she admitted to fabricating the story in the handwritten notes to save her family's reputation.
Media attention For hours, the incident received extensive media coverage in many parts of the world, with local TV helicopters broadcasting live video of the balloon and rescue operation.[67]The incident also sparked a "balloon boy" Internet meme, as the events were closely followed in blogs and social networking sites in real time, generating speculation, image editing jokes and parodies[68][69] of the story, which started even when the boy's safety was uncertain.[70][71] "Balloon boy" became the No. 1 search on Google within hours of the event and 34 of the top 40 searches on Google were related to Falcon Heene and the incident.[72] On Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, the balloon was interviewed by Seth Meyers.[73]
In July 2011, Richard Heene auctioned the balloon, selling it to Mike Fruitman'--an Aurora, Colorado, businessman'--for $2,502.[74] Heene said that proceeds would go to victims of the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.[74]
Criticism Editor & Publisher noted that "only after the crash did TV hosts stress that reports of [a] boy in it were 'unverified' and raise the possibility of a hoax."[75]
Experts and commentators also criticized the media's vetting process, questioned the separation between journalism and reality television and raised concerns about the exploitation of children for news stories.[76] Robert Thompson, of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, said that the incident "was a wake-up call to the media but it's a wake-up call that every single one of us is going to sleep through." Thompson blamed technology rather than the media for the problem: "There are two technological phenomena driving this'--one is television satellite trucks and the ability to broadcast from anywhere and two is an unlimited number of platforms to place this stuff."[77]
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"Calling Story of Boy and Balloon a Hoax, Sheriff Seeks Felony Charges". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 29, 2016 . Retrieved October 20, 2009 . ^ Balloon boy parents are sent to jail for hoax Archived December 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine ^ a b Karin Devlin (April 21, 2010). "Balloon hoax dad must pay restitution". CNN. Archived from the original on April 24, 2010 . Retrieved December 17, 2021 . ^ Riccardi, Nicholas (January 7, 2010). "Father of 'balloon boy' denies hoax". Los Angeles Times. ^ a b "Parents convicted in 2009 'balloon boy' hoax pardoned". Associated Press. December 23, 2020 . Retrieved December 23, 2020 . ^ Elliott, Dan (October 18, 2009). "Sheriff: Boy-in-balloon was hoax, charges expected". Fort Collins, Colorado. Associated Press. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009 . Retrieved November 12, 2009 . ^ "Friend: Balloon mom will 'go down with the ship' ". Associated Press. October 22, 2009. 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Retrieved December 17, 2021 . ^ a b Pew, Glenn. "Balloon Boy - Some Math Behind The Story". AVweb . Retrieved December 17, 2021 . ^ Kates, Brian; Goldsmith, Samuel (October 19, 2009). "Balloon boy's dad Richard Heene was arrested in 1997, spent 4 days in gaol". New York Daily News. New York City, New York. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009 . Retrieved December 17, 2021 . ^ Owens, Ryan; McCarthy, Tom; Schabner, Dean (October 18, 2009). " "A Hoax ... a Publicity Stunt": Sheriff Lowers Boom on Heene Family Over Balloon Gambit". ABC News. Archived from the original on October 20, 2009 . Retrieved October 20, 2009 . ^ a b c d Gathright, Alan (October 16, 2009). "Raw Home Video Of Balloon Launch Fuels Questions". KMGH-TV. Fort Collins, Colorado. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009 . Retrieved October 20, 2009 . ^ a b Braidwood, Joe (October 17, 2009). "Balloon Drama Video Fuels Hoax Claims". Sky News. United Kingdom. Archived from the original on October 20, 2009 . Retrieved October 20, 2009 . ^ " 'Balloon boy' father called FAA, then 9NEWS, before calling 9-1-1". Thaindian.com. Archived from the original on November 26, 2009 . Retrieved November 18, 2009 . ^ Banda, P. Solomon; Moreno, Ivan (October 17, 2009). "Was balloon drama all a gag?". thestar.com. Toronto. Archived from the original on October 20, 2009 . Retrieved December 17, 2021 . ^ Brian Stelter and Dan Frosch (October 16, 2009). "Doubts Came Early in Balloon Incident". The New York Times. ^ Neil Katz (January 15, 2007). "Balloon Boy Falcon Heene 911 Call Released - Crimesider". CBS News. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009 . Retrieved December 17, 2021 . ^ "Larimer County Sheriff's Office Incident Blotter (Thursday, October 15, 2009)". [dead link ] ^ "TRANSCRIPT: Frantic 911 Call From Parents of 'Balloon Boy' - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News". FOXNews. October 16, 2009. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009 . 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Retrieved October 20, 2009 . ^ "Colo. sheriff calls balloon saga a hoax". MSNBC. April 21, 2010 . Retrieved December 18, 2021 . ^ "DefenseLink News Article: Guard Called in for 'Balloon Boy' Rescue". Defenselink.mil. March 12, 2009 . Retrieved October 18, 2009 . [dead link ] ^ "The Family behind the "Balloon Boy" Story". CBS News. October 15, 2009. ^ " 'Boy in Balloon' Captivates Media: Balloon Lands And He's Not Inside--Hiding in Attic--Hoax?". Editor and Publisher. Archived from the original on October 18, 2009. ^ "Balloon aftermath...Recovery warning...Lindsay Lohan". Archived from the original on July 23, 2011 . Retrieved October 16, 2009 . ^ "Balloon boy gets sick twice during TV interviews' ". Associated Press. October 16, 2009. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009 . Retrieved November 12, 2009 . ^ "Home Video Raises Questions Over Heene Family Balloon Ordeal". Fox News. January 14, 2015. Archived from the original on October 16, 2009 . Retrieved December 18, 2021 . ^ "Sheriffs Say Boy Could Have been In Balloon". KION. Associated Press. October 16, 2009. Archived from the original on August 14, 2013 . Retrieved August 14, 2013 . ^ "Americas | Balloon family 'ready for arrest' ". BBC News. October 19, 2009. Archived from the original on October 20, 2009 . Retrieved December 18, 2021 . ^ "Balloon boy family feels "under siege," lawyer says". CNN. Fort Collins, Colorado. October 19, 2009. Archived from the original on October 20, 2009 . Retrieved December 18, 2021 . ^ Frosch, Dan (October 19, 2009). "Parents in Balloon Case to Surrender". New York Times. Archived from the original on June 5, 2015 . Retrieved October 19, 2009 . ^ "Authorities: Balloon Boy's Mom Says Saga a Hoax". FOXNews. October 23, 2009. Archived from the original on May 8, 2018. ^ "Documents: 'Balloon boy' dad had hoax in mind, wife says". CNN. October 23, 2009. Archived from the original on October 25, 2009 . Retrieved December 18, 2021 . ^ "Lawyer: 'Balloon boy' parents to plead guilty to hoax-related charges". CNN. November 12, 2009. Archived from the original on November 13, 2009 . Retrieved November 12, 2009 . ^ "Balloon boy parents to plead guilty". CBC News. November 2009. Archived from the original on November 15, 2009 . Retrieved November 12, 2009 . ^ "Father of 'balloon boy' pleads guilty". CNN.com. November 13, 2009. Archived from the original on November 15, 2009 . Retrieved November 13, 2009 . ^ "US balloon boy parents are given gaol sentences". BBC. December 23, 2009 . Retrieved December 23, 2009 . ^ Riccardi, Nicholas (January 7, 2010). "Father of 'balloon boy' denies hoax". Los Angeles Times. ^ Murray, Elizabeth (September 20, 2015). " 'It wasn't a hoax': Heene family reflects on 'balloon boy' headlines". TODAY.com . Retrieved January 13, 2020 . ^ Staff (October 29, 2019). "10 years later, 'balloon boy' and his family speak out". ABC News . Retrieved January 13, 2020 . ^ Sanchez, Robert (October 2019). "The Balloon Boy Hoax'--Solved!". 5280 . Retrieved February 3, 2022 . ^ Davies, Anne (October 17, 2009). "A balloon ride to fame, or maybe just hot air' ". The Age. Melbourne. ^ "New iPhone App Detects Balloon Hoaxes". Borowitz Report. Archived from the original on October 30, 2009 . Retrieved October 20, 2009 . ^ "Balloon Boy Jiffy Pop". Notthelatimes.com. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009 . Retrieved October 20, 2009 . ^ "Boy in balloon captivates news-hungry Web' ". ^ "Balloon Boy - Quickest Meme Ever?' ". Archived from the original on July 23, 2012 . Retrieved October 16, 2009 . ^ " 'Balloon boy' dominates Google search engine". The Gazette. October 15, 2009. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009 . Retrieved December 18, 2021 . ^ "SNL Mocks News Coverage Of Balloon Boy Hoax (VIDEO)". HuffPost. March 18, 2010 . Retrieved December 18, 2021 . ^ a b Cox, John Woodrow (July 20, 2011). "Balloon Boy's flying machine sold to Colorado business owner". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on October 1, 2017 . Retrieved December 1, 2011 . ^ " 'Boy in Balloon' Captivates Media: Did They Blow the Story?". Editorandpublisher.com. October 15, 2009. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009 . Retrieved October 20, 2009 . ^ Amster, Sara-Ellen (October 22, 2009). "Up, Up and Away: How TV News Blew It". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on October 25, 2009 . Retrieved October 22, 2009 . ^ Woollard, Rob (October 20, 2009). "Lessons of balloon hoax to go unlearned: analysts". AFP. Archived from the original on April 15, 2010 . Retrieved November 12, 2009 . External links Richard Heene at IMDbMayumi Heene at IMDbFalcon Heene at IMDbRyo Heene at IMDbBradford Heene at IMDbUncut home video of the balloon's liftoff, released to media by the Heene familyAudio of the Heenes' 911 emergency call, released by the Larimer County Sheriff's OfficeHeene 2009 AffidavitApproximate flight path
US Dollar Share of Global Foreign Exchange Reserves Drops to 25-Year Low '' IMF Blog
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:08
(photo: MicroStubHub/iStock by Getty Images)By Serkan Arslanalp and Chima Simpson-Bell
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The share of US dollar reserves held by central banks fell to 59 percent'--its lowest level in 25 years'--during the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the IMF's Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves (COFER) survey. Some analysts say this partly reflects the declining role of the US dollar in the global economy, in the face of competition from other currencies used by central banks for international transactions. If the shifts in central bank reserves are large enough, they can affect currency and bond markets.
Our Chart of the Week looks at the recent data release from a longer-term perspective. It shows that the share of US dollar assets in central bank reserves dropped by 12 percentage points'--from 71 to 59 percent'--since the euro was launched in 1999 (top panel), although with notable fluctuations in between (blue line). Meanwhile, the share of the euro has fluctuated around 20 percent, while the share of other currencies including the Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, and Chinese renminbi climbed to 9 percent in the fourth quarter (green line).
Exchange rate fluctuations can have a major impact on the currency composition of central bank reserve portfolios. Changes in the relative values of different government securities can also have an impact, although this effect would tend to be smaller since major currency bond yields usually move together. During periods of US dollar weakness against major currencies, the US dollar's share of global reserves generally declines since the US dollar value of reserves denominated in other currencies increases (and vice versa in times of US dollar strength). In turn, US dollar exchange rates can be influenced by several factors, including diverging economic paths between the United States and other economies, differences in monetary and fiscal policies, as well as foreign exchange sales and purchases by central banks.
The bottom panel shows that the value of the US dollar against major currencies (black line) has remained broadly unchanged over the past two decades. However, there have been significant fluctuations in the interim, which can explain about 80 percent of the short-term (quarterly) variance in the US dollar's share of global reserves since 1999. The remaining 20 percent of the short-term variance can be explained mainly by active buying and selling decisions of central banks to support their own currencies.
Turning to this past year, once we account for the impact of exchange rate movements (orange line), we see that the US dollar's share in reserves held broadly steady. However, taking a longer view, the fact that the value of the US dollar has been broadly unchanged, while the US dollar's share of global reserves has declined, indicates that central banks have indeed been shifting gradually away from the US dollar.
Some expect that the US dollar's share of global reserves will continue to fall as emerging market and developing economy central banks seek further diversification of the currency composition of their reserves. A few countries, such as Russia, have already announced their intention to do so.
Despite major structural shifts in the international monetary system over the past six decades, the US dollar remains the dominant international reserve currency. As our Chart of the Week shows, any changes to the US dollar's status are likely to emerge in the long run.
Why, Oh Why, Did the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony Continue the ''Imagine'' Tradition? | Vanity Fair
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:07
No one envies the task that was set in front of the organizers of the 2022 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony. The background geopolitical mood is grim, the ceremonies are always more low-key for the Winter Games, and it's difficult to address the circumstances of the pandemic in a snappy dance number. Still, the show went on in the ''Bird's Nest'' National Stadium, first built for the 2008 Summer Games, and it contained a rendition of the John Lennon and Yoko Ono song ''Imagine,'' as has become custom in these proceedings.
The song was a centerpiece of last July's Tokyo Summer Games Opening Ceremony, as arranged by Hans Zimmer and sung by international pop stars John Legend, Ang(C)lique Kidjo, Keith Urban, and Alejandro Sanz. This Friday's cover was more anonymous with no singer on stage, proof that it really has become an all-purpose Olympics anthem.
In general, the song has become a stand-in for a wish for a peaceful world. But for anyone who has actually listened to the lyrics of the 1971 hit, its real message of renunciation and spiritual unity is weirdly opposed to the existence of the Olympics, which is a competition for hunks of precious metal. What's the point of saying, ''Imagine there's no countries,'' when we've just spent 90 minutes watching a parade of flags?
The tradition seems to have started when Stevie Wonder sang ''Imagine'' at the Closing Ceremony for the 1996 Atlanta Games (after singing ''Very Superstitious'') and was picked up again when Peter Gabriel contributed his rendition to the Opening Ceremony for the 2006 Winter Games in Turin. It was elevated to a real event for the 2012 Summer Games in London, and then made a comeback at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games Opening Ceremony, which was peace themed. It made the most sense in the U.K, where Lennon is still a national hero. That year, Ono premiered a short film called Imagine Peace at the sites throughout the U.K. where people could gather to watch the Games on large screens. Still, it drew some degree of controversy at the time, best seen in reports that Turkish state TV censored the ''Imagine no religion'' line.
Lennon himself had a pretty considered explanation for what that line really means. In 1980 he told Playboy, ''If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion'--not without religion but without this my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing.'' It's easy to appreciate his message in the context of the Beatles' late-'60s forays into Eastern religion. But the song's overuse as a global anthem has stripped it of Lennon's extremely specific brand of spiritualism, and most listeners are not taking its implications very seriously. Stripped of that understanding, the opening line, ''Imagine there's no heaven,'' is more foreboding than uplifting.
By the end of the ceremony, the misappropriation of enforced peace and secularism was hard to ignore. The proceedings concluded when the torch was lit by two Chinese athletes born in 2001, Nordic combined skier Zhao Jiawen and cross-country skier Dinigeer Yilamujiang. Yilamujiang is a member of the country's Uyghur minority population, and commentators interpreted Chinese officials' choice to have her light the torch as a response to criticism about the government's human rights violations, included the reported policy of detaining and ''reeducating'' members of the Xinjiang Province''based Muslim community. When mixed with the treacly exhortations of ''Imagine,'' the choice is even more obvious as insulting propaganda.
We usually ignore all this because the simplicity of the song functions a bit like musical Esperanto. But if meaning really doesn't matter, couldn't we pick an Olympics anthem that isn't quite so contradictory and lugubrious? What about ''One Love'' by Bob Marley or ''In the Air Tonight'' by Phil Collins? Or we could really go crazy and choose something motivating like UGK's ''Int'l Players Anthem'' or ''Bad and Boujee'' by Migos? As Gal Gadot learned at the beginning of the pandemic, anything would be better than embarrassing ourselves with ''Imagine.''
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Supercut: It's a Real Mystery Why No One Trusts CNN Anymore - YouTube
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:00
At-home COVID tests shipped through cold weather might not be accurate
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 15:59
At the same time most Americans are facing cold fronts and winter storms, they're also expecting their at-home COVID-19 tests from the government to arrive in the mail.
Most at-home COVID-19 test brands recommend storing the tests above 35 degrees. The liquid reagent inside the cartridge that comes with the at-home tests is susceptible to freezing, and if that happens, the accuracy of the results decreases, Cindy Prins, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Florida, told USA TODAY.
With the federal government launching a program to send free at-home COVID-19 tests to Americans who sign up through the website COVIDTests.gov, 1 billion tests have been ordered for distribution via the U.S. Postal Service.
But could prolonged cold or freezing temperatures affect the results of the government-sent tests? It depends on how long it's been cold, experts said.
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What does it mean if your at-home tests comes in the mail and it's cold?Dr. Geoffrey Baird, chair of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Washington's School of Medicine, said the issue with the at-home tests is that if the liquid inside the cartridge is frozen, the results can be skewed.
If the test is outside for a few hours, odds are the test is fine, although not as accurate as it once was. If your test is in your mailbox for a day or more, Baird advises using a PCR test instead. Baird said if your test spent a night in your mailbox in 25-degree weather, it may be best to order another test.
"Just as anything with liquid, if it's chilled or frozen, it changes. That's the same with these at-home tests," Baird said. "At a time where temperatures are freezing in most places, it's safer to choose another test."
Most studies have found a change in the temperature of the at-home test may result in a false-negative test rather than a false-positive, she added. She said if someone is exposed and tests negative with the at-home test, they should receive a PCR test to confirm the results.
"The sensitivity to coronavirus on these tests can be decreased with temperature changes, and it's always tricky to tell by how much," Prins said. "But more often than not, a wrong test shows a false-positive, so then you should get a PCR test."
Antigen tests exposed for extended periods of time to temperatures below 36 degrees or above 86 degrees can deliver inaccurate results, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health.
''Consequences may include false-negative test results,'' the researchers wrote. ''Storage and operation of [antigen tests] at recommended conditions is essential for successful usage during the pandemic.''
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What to do if your test comes in the mail cold or frozenAs soon as you get an email confirming your at-home test has arrived, Prins recommends immediately storing it indoors. If the test arrives cold, the room temperature environment will help thaw the liquid inside. But Prins said not to place the test in immediate sun because high temperatures can also affect the results.
"Your best bet is room temperature," Prins said. "Nothing colder or hotter because the test is sensitive to those temperatures."
Baird recommends waiting at least four to five hours before using the cold or frozen at-home test. Fortunately, the packaging of the tests was created to be durable through the shipping and arrival process.
The U.S. Postal Service said tests will ship within seven to 12 days of ordering, and all orders are mailed through First Class Package Service.
Abbott BinaxNOW recommends that its tests remain between 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, adding "test kit reagents must be at room temperature before use," a spokesperson for Abbott told USA TODAY.
However, if a test is stored outside the recommended temperature "for a relatively short period of time," it will be fine to use after being placed back in room temperature, the spokesperson said.
If the test lines on your at-home test appear in the incorrect order or color, Baird said that's an indicator it's been contaminated by the weather.
"When you freeze and thaw something, the solutions in it may not actually get back into solution as it once was before," Baird said. "That's where the inaccuracy in these at-home tests can come from."
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda
Sudden 'deaths' of collapsing athletes: Following the coronavirus misinformation trail - The Washington Post
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 15:48
We have explored before how Johnson routinely raises concerns about vaccines by citing data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a database co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. Anyone can submit a report to VAERS, and the reports are not verified. The numbers are basically meaningless.
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In this instance, we are more interested in his comment about ''athletes dropping dead on the field.'' His staff says, as with his references to VAERS, that Johnson is just asking questions, not making factual claims.
''Senator Johnson stated he has heard stories of athletes dying on the field and those should be investigated,'' spokeswoman Alexa Henning said. ''The Senator's point in raising these issues has always been that our federal health agencies should be concerned about reports on adverse reactions related to covid-19 vaccines and they should fully investigate and make their findings available to the American people.''
She provided a link to a website called Good Sciencing, maintained by anonymous people, that has a blog post with the headline, as of Jan. 31: ''577 Athlete Cardiac Arrests, Serious Issues, 352 Dead, After COVID Shot.''
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Here's the rub: This claim has been debunked repeatedly. The story of athletes dropping dead from coronavirus vaccines has its roots in mysterious Austrian websites with ties to that country's far-right populist party, the Freedom Party. Those stories were then recycled by right-wing media in the United States and then eventually came out of the mouth of a U.S. senator.
As is often the case, a kernel of truth '-- some people have reported an inflammation of the heart muscle known as myocarditis after taking mRNA-based vaccines '-- has been exploited by purveyors of falsehoods. Medical research shows the risk of getting myocarditis from the coronavirus itself is about 100 times higher than getting it from a vaccine.
Let's follow the misinformation trail.
A Danish soccer player collapses
On June 12, during the Euro 2020 match between Denmark and Finland, 29-year-old Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest shortly before halftime. Almost immediately, there was speculation online that the midfielder, who had seemed healthy, had a reaction to a coronavirus vaccine '-- even though his club football team, Inter Milan, said he had not been vaccinated.
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Lubos Motl, a blogger and physicist with a history of making false claims about coronavirus vaccines, tweeted that Eriksen had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 12 days earlier. He claimed his source was a radio interview with Inter Milan's chief medic and cardiologist, an interview that never happened and was quickly denied by Inter Milan and Radio Sportiva.
Motl deleted his tweet, but it was amplified by other vaccine skeptics who did not delete their tweets, such as Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter, and Brazilian journalist Allan dos Santos. (Their Twitter accounts were later suspended, as was Motl's.) The false claim quickly spread to Facebook, in many languages.
One entity that jumped on the story was Report24, a German-language website based in Austria. A commentary by a staff member identified as ''Willi Huber'' cited another Berenson tweet to claim that Inter Milan actually had started vaccinating players in March. (In reality, the Italian team did not schedule vaccinations until July, according to Italian news reports, before the start of the new season.) ''If Eriksen was vaccinated with the Pfizer/Biotech vaccine, a possible side effect would be myocarditis,'' Huber wrote.
Austrian websites fan the flames
On Sept. 14, another Austrian website, Wochenblick, posted a story with a provocative headline: ''Dead doctors, dead mothers: Why have so many people suddenly dropped dead?'' The article included a list of unexplained deaths, claiming that many appeared to be vaccinated and asserting that heart damage was one possible side effect. ''Is this just coincidence, or could there be something that connects all of these deaths?'' the article asked. If it's related to the coronavirus vaccines, ''there could very well be many more of these 'unexplained' deaths very soon.''
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It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. A few weeks later, on Oct. 4, Wochenblick zeroed in on athletes: ''Young people die after vaccination '-- athletes suddenly collapse!'' Deaths were becoming a ''Twitter trend,'' the article said, promoting a Twitter hashtag to collect reports of sudden, unexpected deaths. ''The number of cases of this heart disease is apparently literally shooting through the roof at the moment,'' the article said.
Correctiv, a German fact-checking organization, in September exposed how Wochenblick and Report24 appear to operate in tandem to spread false information, including attempting to influence elections in Germany. Report24 was created in March apparently by a group of Wochenblick employees after an editorial dispute.
But Correctiv concluded that virtually all Report24 authors ''seem to use pseudonyms or do not exist at all,'' and the listed address for both organizations do not lead to an editorial office. The address is also associated with another online site, Info-Direkt, that also publishes false reports. Correctiv found numerous links between identified people working for these websites and the Freedom Party of Austria, a link that is ''little disguised'' given the editorial tone and subjects covered by the three websites.
Myocarditis can be a side effect of coronavirus vaccines. But experts agree that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the rare and often mild risks. (John Farrell/The Washington Post)After Wochenblick focused on dead athletes, Report24 picked up the ball. On Oct. 28, under Huber's byline, the website published what it claimed was ''a long list of 'suddenly' deceased or seriously ill athletes,'' more than 75 in the previous five months. Buried in the story was this caveat: ''We do not claim that all of these people became ill and died because of the vaccination, nor that there is a proven connection in the case of vaccination.''
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The long list of Report24 articles on the coronavirus appears to demonstrate a bias against coronavirus vaccination. But in an email exchange with The Fact Checker, a person who responded to emails addressed to Huber said, ''Our editorial policy is not anti-vax, it is pro-truth.''
''If there are studies available, which prove government claims regarding vaccinations are wrong, we will report,'' the emailer wrote. ''If there is trustworthy, independent proof, that vaccinations work, we will report. If we can prove that people died close after their vaccination, we will report.''
After an exchange of questions about the Correctiv report '-- which indicated Huber was a pseudonym '-- the emailer wrote: ''Analyzing your style of questions and topics, you are part of politically biased fake news media, so our communication ends here. Sadly, you are not interested in truth but in leftist prejudices.''
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Norbert Geroldinger, managing director of Wochenblick, did not respond to a request for comment.
The 'news' travels to the United States
Report24's post caught the attention of vaccine skeptics in the United States.
On Nov. 4, the HighWire tweeted a translation of the Austrian article to its more than 100,000 followers. The HighWire is associated with the anti-vaccination group Informed Consent Action Network, which is headed by Del Bigtree, a major voice in the anti-vaccination movement.
Two days later, Granite Grok '-- run by what it calls ''fire-breathing, right-wing, hard-charging, gun-toting, opinionated, outspoken, rabble-rousing, letter-writing, radio microphone stomping, Conservatives and Rational Libertarians'' '-- also posted about the Report24 article.
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The report then spread across Facebook and on social media. On Nov. 10, it was fact-checked and labeled as false by PolitiFact as part of its partnership with Facebook. ''The athletes listed in the German news story did not all die, nor did they all have heart attacks,'' the fact check said, noting the caveat buried in the story.
But that same day, Wochenblick upped the ante: ''At least 69 athletes collapsed in one month, many dead.'' The article asserted that the mainstream media was ignoring the obvious connection to coronavirus vaccines.
By Nov. 16, the HighWire had produced a video titled ''Why Are Healthy Athletes Collapsing?'' that restated the debunked Report24 list. That led to another fact check by PolitiFact on Dec. 1 that flagged the video as false, limiting its circulation on the Facebook platform. A few weeks later, the HighWire reedited the video to remove names of players who had not been vaccinated.
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The headline was not changed, but a disclaimer was added: ''To be clear, a causal link has not been established between the covid vaccine and the conditions of the athletes in this video. This video represents an ongoing investigation into the question 'When have we ever seen this many athletes collapse on the field of play?' ''
That same month, the website Good Sciencing jumped on the bandwagon, posting a list of nearly 200 athletes and almost 100 deaths '-- which quickly grew. On Dec. 6, the popular right-wing website Gateway Pundit reported on an updated Good Sciencing list that now claimed nearly 300 athletes had collapsed or suffered cardiac arrests after getting a coronavirus vaccine in 2021, with many dying. That list, apparently assembled in part with help from a closed ''sudden injuries and deaths'' Telegram messenger group, was fact-checked by FactCheck.org and found riddled with errors.
Nevertheless, the list circulated ''like wildfire'' among players in Europe's top soccer league, according to the New York Times, hampering vaccination efforts among players. Reports also spread that 108 FIFA soccer players had died in a six-month period in 2021. That was fact-checked as false by Reuters.
For fact checkers, it's like a game of whack-a-mole. By late January, Good Sciencing claimed its list had grown to 577 players, with 352 dead. (Any close scrutiny finds links of deaths to a vaccine to be highly tenuous.) On Jan. 21, the HighWire posted a new video, titled ''Healthy athletes are still inexplicably collapsing.''
Johnson's staff suggested we speak with Ken Ruettgers, a former Green Bay Packers offensive tackle who started a website that collects information on bad reactions to coronavirus vaccinations after his wife suffered what he called ''a severe neurological reaction'' after her first Moderna shot.
''People are observing what they believe to be an increase,'' Ruettgers said in a phone interview after emailing links to his sources: the Good Sciencing list, the Granite Grok post and a report on Wochenblick's estimate of 69 collapsed athletes in a month. ''Based on what we have been seeing and what the CDC has said, it is a legitimate question,'' he said, referring to a CDC advisory of rare reports of mild myocarditis after vaccination, especially adolescent males and men under the age of 30. ''I think it is a good hypothesis. Maybe something is there or it's just our bias.'' As he put it in a later email, ''Bias (confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, etc.) plays a role in human and public perceptions and opinions,'' so ''further research would be a good action.''
But respected medical experts say there is no question: Contracting the coronavirus is much more dangerous to an athlete than getting vaccinated.
''Those lists are total misinformation. Most of the cases are from other established causes of sudden cardiac arrest in athletes, and some cases even occurred before the pandemic began,'' said Jonathan A. Drezner, editor in chief of the British Journal of Sports Medicine who conducts research with the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, which monitors all cases of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and death in athletes across the United States.
''The risk of myocarditis from mRNA vaccines is about 1 in 20,000,'' he said. ''The risk of cardiac involvement in young athletes from [covid] infection is about 1 in 200.'' The risk estimates come from peer-reviewed studies published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Drezner, director of the University of Washington Center for Sports Cardiology and a team physician for professional sports teams, added: ''Importantly, myocarditis represented 4 to 9 percent of SCA in athletes before the pandemic began, so these numbers are well within what has been routinely captured for viral-related SCA.''
Dermot Phelan, director of sports cardiology at Atrium Health in Charlotte, says he constantly gets questions about these lists from players, coaches, teams and leagues.
''Sports Cardiology remains a small subspecialty, and I personally know most, if not all, of the main practitioners in this country. We discuss this regularly as we do not want to miss any issue that will put our athletes at risk,'' he said. ''None of us have seen a true confirmed on-field death related to vaccination. While there is clearly a very, very small risk of mild myocarditis with vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh the risks.''
This depressing saga shows how ''just asking questions'' is used as a get-out-of-jail card for those peddling falsehoods about the coronavirus vaccines. Any vaccine carries some risk, but these lists of athletes, often assembled by anonymous individuals with no apparent medical credentials, are sketchy and anecdotal; there is no baseline comparison that would put these figures in context. Caveats that would detract from the scare headlines are buried.
Meanwhile, these reports have had their intended effect: spreading fear among athletes about covid vaccinations. A responsible politician would determine the facts, not ''ask questions'' premised on unverified claims made by bottom feeders of the Internet.
Anyone who spreads this misinformation, in whatever form, earns Four Pinocchios.
Send us facts to check by filling out this form
CIA Funded Experiments On Danish Orphans For Decades
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 15:47
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An extraordinary Danish Radio report exposed how scores of children in Denmark, many of them orphans, were subject to CIA-funded experiments for at least two decades.
The purpose of these activities remains unknown, as authorities continue to actively suppress the truth of what happened in the 1960s and early 1970s.
The startling expos(C) is based on the work of documentarian Per Wennick, who was one of 311 participants in the mysterious trials. The children never learned the objective of the tortuous assessments to which they were exposed, even after they ended.Such trials are in conflict with the Nuremberg Code, which enforces the vital requirement of obtaining consent from human subjects in all medical research.
According to Wennick, when he was 11 years old, he was asked at an authoritarian orphanage in Copenhagen if he wanted to try something ''fun'' at the local municipal hospital. It was vaguely described as an examination of how children ''feel''. Believing it would be a welcome diversion, he acquiesced and even received a small sum for his participation.
Wennick went on to undergo a series of regular tests, which included being forced to listen to recordings on headphones of loud noises, screams, and statements intended to scare him. Staff strapped him to a chair while electrodes were placed on his arms, legs, and chest, measuring his heart rate, temperature, and sweat levels.
These experiments continued until 1973, when Wennick was 24-years-old. However, a decade later, while in a hospital due to a skin complaint, he learned his visit'--in fact, his every contact with healthcare services'-- was reported to the Danish Psychological Institute for reasons never made clear to him.
Fast forward to 2018. While at a film festival in the United States, he saw the documentary ''Three Identical Strangers,'' which tells the story of triplets deliberately separated at birth and offered up for adoption to families of differing socioeconomic backgrounds, in a covert and highly unethical scientific ''nature versus nurture'' study.It occurred to Wennick he too may have been unwittingly caught up in a similar experiment.
The Search For More Records On Human ExperimentsDiligent digging in local archives unearthed a number of papers revealing that the project in which Wennick became embroiled was the brainchild of Zarnoff A. Mednick, a U.S. psychologist interested in what distinguishes schizophrenic patients from neurotypical people and patients with other disorders.
Denmark was an attractive testing ground. Unlike the U.S., it boasted a central population register, meaning participants could be tracked over the course of many years.
Mednick collaborated with Danish professor Fini Schulsinger, constructing a study of 207 children with schizophrenic mothers, and a control group of 104 children without schizophrenic mothers, including Wennick. He sought to ascertain how many would develop schizophrenia and how it might manifest. Over a third of the participants were orphans.
In 1977, Schulsinger published a doctoral dissertation on the project. Denmark's Ministry of Justice intervened to ensure, contrary to standard practice, he was not required to undertake a 'viva,' which is a public defence of his thesis. That kept the survey's background a secret.
Having piqued his curiosity, Wennick went off in search of more records related to the experiments.
Eventually, he identified 36 boxes of material stored in the basement of a psychiatric center in a Copenhagen suburb. He asked Josef Parnas, a psychiatrist he interviewed for his documentary series, to assist him. But when the center learned of his request, it began shredding the documents, on the alleged basis it was unable to store research papers after a project's conclusion. This may have been a violation of Danish law..
There are further reasons to doubt the psychiatric center's stated rationale. The project was lavishly funded and received around $700,000 when adjusted for inflation.Roughly a quarter of that money flowed from the Human Ecology Fund, a CIA front and outgrowth of QKHILLTOP, one of a cluster of mind control programs launched by the agency in the 1950s to study alleged communist brainwashing techniques and develop interrogation strategies. It was eventually absorbed into the notorious MKULTRA.
This may explain why, along with invasive and cruel psychological exams, the Danish children were also subject to extensive physiological and mental assessments. In one of the Fund's experiments, participants had to agree or disagree with around 600 different statements, a test originally designed to screen soldiers for fascist sympathies around World War II.
Scant information is available publicly on QKHILLTOP's dimensions even today, although an academic paper published in June 2007 shed significant light on the Human Ecology Fund's cloak-and-dagger activities.
Originally named the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, it was founded in 1954 by Harold G. Wolff. A renowned neurologist and leading authority on stress, migraines, and bio-physiological mechanisms of human pain, he was personally recruited for the project by CIA chief Allen Dulles, who fostered business in Adolf Hitler's Germany.
Thereafter, the Society provided sizable financing to social scientists and medical researchers, primarily in furtherance of the CIA's behavior modification and persuasion goals. They also identified ''specific cultural information'' about Cold War enemy populations, such as China or Russia.Sexuality was a subject of intense study. ''Both pleasure and pain were areas of interest for those studying interrogation,'' the paper recorded.
Projects were awarded smaller grants that likely had no intelligence or national security applications but provided the organization with ''a necessary false appearance of legitimacy for the public and the academic community,'' such as studies on cranial analysis and Puerto Rican migration.
'Becoming More Childlike'A 1963 CIA Inspector General review of MKULTRA opaquely noted that in certain cases academics employed under its auspices ''may be aware of our interest'' in a research program.It added ''experience has shown that qualified, competent individuals in the field of pharmacological, physiological, psychiatric, and other biological sciences are most reluctant to enter into signed agreements of any sort which connect them with this activity, since such a connection would jeopardize their professional reputations.''
Langley got around this problem by simply keeping most participating scientists in the dark as to the agency's role in commissioning the research program. They hoodwinked scientists and hid the malign purposes behind their labor.
For example, in the late 1950s the Human Ecology Fund bankrolled a trip to Nigeria for psychiatrist Raymond Prince to undertake ''transcultural psychological studies.''Prince had no idea the CIA intended for his work to ''add somewhat to our understanding of native Yoruba psychiatry, including the use of drugs, many of which are unknown or not much used by Western practitioners.'' and ''assist in the identification of promising young [redacted] who may be of direct interest to the agency.''
He later concluded that overseas trips sponsored by the Fund were attempts to recruit foreign nationals and collect data ''on cultures and countries of interest to the CIA for psychological warfare purposes.''
Seemingly innocuous surveys of the personality types and family structure of Chinese nationals residing in the U.S. could be maliciously exploited, ''to identify disgruntled refugees with suitable personality profiles who had fled the communist regime 10 years earlier and might be persuaded to act as CIA agents back in China.''
Research findings from the Fund's assorted initiatives furthermore appear to have provided major components of the CIA's 1963 KUBARK interrogation manual, given that document, which advocates the use of electric shock, threats, fear, sensory deprivation and isolation, repeatedly cited the work of Human Ecology-supported scholars.
As historian Alfred W. McCoy recorded, most confirmed MKULTRA research efforts did not actually relate to propaganda or brainwashing at all but involved physical and psychological torture techniques.
It is, therefore, disturbing that the Fund's 1961''1963 progress report lists several studies related to childhood, which it supported, such as ''conceptual development in children and young adults.''This may relate to the KUBARK manual, given the document discusses how, when its assorted techniques are applied, ''the usual effect'...is regression,'' and a subject's ''mature defenses crumbles [sic] as he becomes more childlike [emphasis added].'' The CIA considered it ''usually useful to intensify'' such feelings.
Did the Danish experiments inform CIA torture techniques, which were employed in recent years?Agency chemist Sidney Gottlieb, who headed MKULTRA from its inception until retiring in 1973, died in March 1999. He helped hatch numerous assassination plots that targeted leaders in the Global South.
A New York Times obituary quoted a nameless Langley operative as saying MKULTRA specifically targeted mental patients, prisoners, drug addicts, and prostitutes as ''human guinea pigs.'' They were considered good subjects because they were ''people who could not fight back.''
Altogether, Wennick's investigation raises grim questions. Where else in the world might the CIA have supported unethical human experiments on vulnerable and defenseless youths, and why?
This is the first installment of a two-part series. Part two will be posted next week.
GoFundMe backtracks on redistributing money for Canadian truckers, under threat of fraud investigation | Fox Business
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 15:41
Facing a potential fraud investigation by the state of Florida, GoFundMe reversed a decision to redistribute money given by thousands of donors to the Canadian "Freedom Convoy" protesting COVID-19 regulations.
On Friday, the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe froze the convoy's official campaign, claiming law enforcement convinced the company that the convoy had become violent and unlawful.
GoFundMe encouraged donors to submit a refund form, and said that any funds not properly returned to donors would be donated to a charity chosen by the Freedom Convoy.
Within hours, however, GoFundMe walked back the refund applications, instead announcing it would be refunding donors automatically.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that he would "investigate" the company, accusing them of fraud.
"GoFundMe supports peaceful protests and we believe that was the intention of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser when it was first created. We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity," GoFundMe announced. There has been little to no reports of documented violence at the protest.
CANADIAN PASTOR WHO DEFIED COVID BAN BY HOLDING SERVICES SINGS 'AMAZING GRACE' AT US BORDER
GoFundMe also drew the ire of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who stated on social media that he would be launching a fraud investigation.
"Patriotic Texans donated to Canadian truckers' worthy cause using GoFundMe. This BLM-backing company went woke, froze the funds, & failed to deliver Texans' money," Paxton said. "Today I assembled a team to investigate their potential fraud & deception. Texas donors will get Justice!"
The GoFundMe page to support the "Freedom Convoy" of Canadian truckers was approaching $10 million as of Monday evening, which is more money than the major federal political parties of Canada raised during the last quarter of 2021.
The last truck blocking the southbound lane moves after a breakthrough resolved the impasse where anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators blocked the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alberta, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. (Jeff McIntosh /The Canadian Press via AP / AP Newsroom)
"Our current government is implementing rules and mandates that are destroying the foundation of our businesses, industries and livelihoods," read the convoy's GoFundMe page. "We are a peaceful country that has helped protect nations across the globe from tyrannical governments who oppressed their people, and now it seems it is happening here."
The company additionally cited the group of trucks' evolution from convoy to stationary protest in Ottawa as the reason for the campaign's termination.
Truckers point to where their sleeper cab was egged while they participate in a protest against COVID-19 restrictions in Ottawa, on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. (Justin Tang /The Canadian Press via AP / AP Newsroom)
"Organizers provided a clear distribution plan for the initial $1M that was released earlier this week and confirmed funds would be used only for participants who traveled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest. Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers '-- we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities chosen by the Freedom Convoy 2022 organizers and verified by GoFundMe."
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GoFundMe faced immediate backlash for the announcement with tens of thousands of comments on their social media posts about the cancellation.
A protester carries empty cans for fuel as a protest against COVID-19 restrictions continues into its second week, in Ottawa, on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. (Justin Tang /The Canadian Press via AP / AP Newsroom)
Critics of the company's haphazard cancellation include Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who questioned whether there is a "double-standard," given past fundraisers for legal funds in defense of antifa members and criminal protesters.
FOX Business' Jon Brown contributed to this report.
Flight Alerts and Emergencies - RadarBox Flight Tracker
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 15:18
DateFlightOriginSTDDestinationSTAAircraftStatusDurationReplaySquawk2022 Feb 6First seen nearCizre, Turkey- Status N/A 2022 Feb 5Dover, DE (DOV/KDOV)Dover, DE (DOV/KDOV)C17 (07-7173)Landed 02:20 ESTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
00h29m 2022 Feb 4Natal (NAT/SBSG)16:25 BRT
S£o Paulo, SP (GRU/SBGR)19:50 BRT
A321 (PT-MXB)Landed 19:38 BRTTime aircraft arrives at gate derived from company/airport information
03h16m 2022 Feb 4First seen nearMindelheim, GermanyZZZZ (TACTICAL)Status N/A 2022 Feb 4First seen nearChristchurch, New ZealandTimaru Airport (TIU/NZTU)P68 (ZK-MIR)Landed 15:27 NZDTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
2022 Feb 3Belo Horizonte, MG (CNF/SBCF)10:35 BRT
Campinas, SP (VCP/SBKP)E195 (PR-AYE)Landed 19:38 BRTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
09h05m 2022 Feb 3First seen nearJohannesburg, South AfricaBE9L (ZS-MBZ)Status N/A 2022 Feb 3Mal(C) (MLE/VRMM)Mal(C) (MLE/VRMM)DHC6 (8Q-TMG)Landed 11:57 MVTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
01h47m 2022 Feb 3First seen nearThailandBangkok (DMK/VTBD)C130 (L8-11/35)Landed 12:51 ICTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
2022 Feb 2Brize Norton (BZZ/EGVN)Angelsey (VLY/EGOV)TEX2 (ZM323)Landed 15:22 GMTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
01h02m 2022 Feb 1Del Rio, TX (DLF/KDLF)Last seen nearDel Rio, TX, United StatesTEX2 (00-3573)Landed 2022 Feb 1First seen nearBamarni, Iraq- Status N/A 2022 Feb 1First seen nearYuksekova, Turkey- Status N/A 2022 Feb 1First seen nearBamarni, Iraq- Status N/A 2022 Feb 1Hartford, CT (BDL/KBDL)07:53 EST
Miami, FL (MIA/KMIA)B738 (N834NN)Landed 09:16 ESTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
01h16m 2022 Feb 1Al Dhafra Air Base (DHF/OMAM)Al Dhafra Air Base (DHF/OMAM)P180 (1207)Landed 18:33 GSTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
02h17m 2022 Feb 1First seen nearKamishly, Syria- Status N/A 2022 Feb 1Toowoomba, QLD (TWB/YTWB)08:30 AEST
Brisbane, QLD (ACF/YBAF)08:58 AEST
AC11 (VH-PJO)Landed 09:34 AESTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
00h38m 2022 Jan 31Miami, FL (MIA/KMIA)17:30 EST
Shannon (SNN/EINN)B744 (LX-NCL)Landed 05:47 GMTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
07h10m 2022 Jan 31Macei", AL (MCZ/SBMO)19:00 BRT
S£o Paulo, SP (GRU/SBGR)22:00 BRT
A320 (PR-MYH)Landed 21:59 BRTTime aircraft arrives at gate derived from company/airport information
02h57m 2022 Jan 31First seen nearSan Andreas, CA, United StatesC172 (N737DE)Status N/A 2022 Jan 30First seen nearVacaville, United StatesSacramento, CA (SAC/KSAC)P28A (N9445J)Landed 14:29 PSTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
2022 Jan 30First seen nearAdelaide, SA, AustraliaAdelaide, SA (YPPF)DA40 (VH-YNL)Landed 08:44 ACDTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
2022 Jan 30Tallahassee, FL (TLH/KTLH)Tallahassee, FL (TLH/KTLH)P28A (N4639R)Landed 15:12 ESTLanding time derived from ADS-B/Radar data
00h25m More flight data is available for purchase. Please check our On Demand API.
'Meetballs' fuel Ikea hiring spree | LinkedIn
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 14:25
As talent wars heat up, companies are getting, ahem, creative with their recruitment strategies. Nothing proves that point quite like Ikea's quest to fill 150 technology and innovation jobs across Europe. The Swedish retailer hopes its new Taste the Future campaign '-- which invites candidates to interview for open roles while chowing down on 3D-printed, plant-based versions of its famous meatballs '-- will lure people ''with imagination'' to the company and ultimately advance its sustainability efforts. Sadly for anyone with a serious 3D-printed-food craving, these ''meetballs'' are for candidates only. Bon app(C)tit?
Unique perspectives from professionals around the worldRead and share thoughts with a community that collaborates and helps each otherJoin the community
Digital COVID-19 vaccine records in Nevada now available using QR codes
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 14:24
LAS VEGAS '-- A newly-launched tool by Nevada state officials gives digital access to their COVID-19 vaccination records through QR codes.
SMART Health QR Code uses data stored in Nevada WebIZ, the statewide immunization information system.
The codes, unique to each individual, have the same information as a CDC vaccine card: name, date of birth, vaccine date, and type.
It serves as an official State of Nevada digital record that a SMART Health verifier app can only scan.
How to get a SMART Health QR Code
To get a unique QR code that contains the same information as your CDC vaccine card, visit izrecord.nv.gov and search for your record.
According to a FAQ sheet from the state, the SMART Health Card QR Code will be visible at the bottom of the COVID-19 Vaccination Record.
Download your record and save your QR code as a digital file on your phone, computer, or anywhere you store your digital information.
Is the information secure?
The state says the SMART Health QR Codes are generated at random each time you pull the immunization record. They are not stored on a server.
SMART Health QR Codes do not link to Nevada WebIZ to verify the information.
All patient and COVID-19 vaccine information is stored in the SMART Health QR Code, protected by cryptography.
A regular smartphone camera cannot scan this QR code, and only verified mobile apps can interpret the data.
How to get help
If your record is incorrect or you can't find it, the state has a COVID-19 Helpline at 1 (800) 401-0946.
To learn more, check out the FAQ sheet or visit nvhealthresponse.nv.gov.
Information provided by Nevada Health Response.
Copyright 2022 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Jan. 6 speaker Madison Cawthorn isn't allowed to be in Congress, challenge says : NPR
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 13:53
Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., speaks during the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas. Brandon Bell/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Brandon Bell/Getty Images Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., speaks during the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images North Carolina Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn has developed a national following as one of the most far-right members of Congress.
But now his ability to run for reelection in the fall is being challenged, in part because of his actions on the day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol more than a year ago.
A team of lawyers says he violated U.S. Constitution. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was passed after the Civil War to prevent Confederates from holding public office, states that no one can hold office if they had taken an oath to support the Constitution and then "engaged in insurrection."
Cawthorn '-- who is the youngest member of Congress at 26 '-- promoted President Donald Trump's Jan. 6 rally near the Capitol, writing on Twitter that "the future of this Republic hinges on the actions of a solitary few."
And he was a prominent speaker at the rally, pushing baseless claims of election fraud.
"My friends, the Democrats with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting '-- they are trying to silence your voice," Cawthorn said during the rally, which preceded the Capitol riot.
Months later, he said that if elections are stolen there would be "more bloodshed."
Ron Fein is the legal director for Free Speech for People, an organization that's funding the challenge to Cawthorn's candidacy.
"It's not just that Cawthorn spoke at that pre-attack demonstration '-- one of only two members of Congress who spoke there '-- alongside other speakers who were demanding trial by combat and talking about sacrificing blood to fight for America," Fein said. "But we also have reliable reporting that Cawthorn and his team were communicating with the planners ahead of Jan. 6 and helped to plan some of these events."
And that is the crux of their challenge. They say Cawthorn is an insurrectionist, just like Confederates who took up arms against the United States 160 years ago.
Eligibility challenges in North Carolina '-- or any state '-- usually revolve around simple questions like: Does the candidate live in their district?
The state's framework for resolving eligibility questions will likely be used for the challenge against Cawthorn. And under state law, the burden is on Cawthorn to show he is eligible, that his candidacy does not violate the Reconstruction-era amendment.
Former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr, a former Republican, is working on the case and said there is local precedent, albeit from two centuries ago: A former North Carolina Confederate sheriff was disqualified from serving after the Civil War when the 14th Amendment was invoked.
Orr said Cawthorn took an oath and there was an insurrection. He said the only remaining question is how involved was Cawthorn?
"Did he provide aid and comfort and engage in this?" Orr said. "And we think there is certainly enough evidence on the public record that we know of now, and will certainly be looking for additional evidence."
By additional evidence, Orr means being able to depose Cawthorn under oath, to learn about any involvement he may have had with Jan. 6 plotters.
Cawthorn tries to fend off the effortBut Cawthorn filed a lawsuit in federal court this week to stop the challenge.
One of his attorneys, James Bopp Jr., said the eligibility dispute against Cawthorn is a "despicable attempt by the Democrats to undermine democracy."
Bopp said the challenge fails on several levels. The first, he said, is that it violates Cawthorn's First Amendment rights.
"The word in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is, quote, 'engage,' " Bopp said. "Engage connotes conduct, not speech."
Bopp also said he doesn't believe the Capitol attack was an insurrection.
"[The challenge] spits in the grave of all those Union soldiers that fought in the Civil War to preserve the Union and free the slaves and who fought a bona fide rebellion and insurrection," he said.
Fein, of Free Speech For People, said Bopp is rewriting history. Immediately after the Jan. 6 attack, people widely acknowledged there had been an insurrection.
"President Trump's lawyer in his impeachment trial conceded that it was an insurrection," Fein said.
Depending on what happens with Cawthorn's lawsuit, his eligibility will be taken up by a special panel of local elections officials from the counties in his district in the mountains of Western North Carolina. They are supposed to make a final determination as to Cawthorn's eligibility. Any appeal would be considered by the State Board of Elections, which consists of three Democrats and two Republicans.
Fein said his group will use the same insurrectionist challenge against other candidates '-- including the former president.
"If Mr. Trump decides to file for reelection, then we absolutely intend to challenge his candidacy," he said.
Havana Syndrome may be caused by 'directed energy' - BBC News
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 13:41
By Gordon CoreraSecurity correspondent
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, It was first reported among US diplomatic staff in Cuba
Directed energy "plausibly explains" some of the cases of the mysterious "Havana Syndrome" illness, a new US intelligence community report says.
There has been a contentious debate over whether symptoms afflicting US staff around the world were caused by some kind of device or were psychological in nature.
The latest report from a US intelligence community panel of experts says the symptoms are "genuine and compelling" and could in some cases have been caused by a concealed device.
But the panel does not look at who might be responsible.
Beginning in Havana, Cuba in 2016, US intelligence officers and diplomats began complaining of an array of unusual symptoms. At first, the claims were largely dismissed within government.
But in the last year, they have been taken more seriously with US officials encouraged to report similar symptoms. That has led to a flood of cases, numbering at least a thousand from around the world.
A January CIA study found no evidence of a widespread campaign by a foreign state and said many cases could be explained by natural causes or stress. However, it acknowledged that a small number, thought to be around two dozen, remained unexplained.
This new study examined more than 1,000 classified documents and interviewed witnesses to focus on a group of people suffering a particular set of symptoms (officials will not disclose the exact number).
They concluded that this subset of cases cannot be explained by environmental or medical conditions and could have been caused by some kind of external source or device. "We've learned a lot," said one intelligence official familiar with the work of the panel.
The panel found four "core characteristics" or symptoms - including the sudden onset of sound or pressure in one ear or one side of the head; vertigo, loss of balance and ear pain and a "strong sense of locality or directionality" with no other explanations.
It examined the plausibility of five potential causes: acoustic signals, chemical and biological agents, ionizing radiation, natural and environmental factors, and radiofrequency and other electromagnetic energy and studied whether some kind of concealed device could create the reported symptoms.
The panel found that psychological or social factors could not alone explain the symptoms although they could have compounded some of the problems for those affected. It also found that they could not be explained by environmental or medical conditions.
"Several aspects of this unique neurosensory syndrome make it unlikely to be caused by a functional neurological disorder," the panel said. That pointed towards an "external stimuli" or source, in the view of the panel.
Image source, Chesnot
Image caption, The US embassy in Paris, where a number of American diplomats reportedly fell sick in January
The study found that pulsed electromagnetic energy, particularly in the radiofrequency range, "plausibly explains" the core characteristics, although it says that there remain gaps in the information.
It says that non-standard antennas could create the effects on the human body. Such a source could be concealed and require only moderate power. It could also travel through the air and through walls of buildings.
A BBC report and documentary in 2021 looked at the potential role of pulsed, directed energy or microwaves in causing the symptoms of Havana Syndrome.
There is no detail in the report of what such a device might be, nor whether the intention was to cause harm or carry out some kind of surveillance. The panel did not look at who might have been behind such activity.
A number of people within the US government believe Russia could be responsible and the issue has been raised in meetings although no conclusive evidence has been discovered to back up the assertion.
The other plausible explanation for the symptoms, the panel says, is some kind of ultrasound although this travels less easily through buildings meaning the source would need to be close to the target.
The panel makes a series of recommendations, including collecting more standardised data, but some including a section on detection technology remain classified.
A joint statement by two of the most senior officials in the US intelligence community vowed to continue the pursuit for the truth, while caring for those affected.
"We will stay at it, with continued rigour, for however long it takes," said US Director of National Intelligence Avril D Haines and CIA Director William J Burns.
A White House spokesman told the BBC they welcomed the findings of the report.
So how significant is this new report?
This is another major twist in the long-running Havana Syndrome mystery.
The debate over the causes has been fierce and contentious. Last month's CIA study led many to conclude that perhaps there was less sign of any hostile activity and that the causes were medical or psychological conditions.
That still may be true in the vast majority of cases.
But this panel restores the possibility of some kind of malicious activity back to the agenda by saying that, at least in a specific sub-set of cases, pulsed energy or microwaves are a plausible cause.
That will lead to the question of whether it is due to some kind of surveillance which causes harm or the use of a weapon and, if so, who might be involved.
Here Is What's Behind Today's Stunning Payrolls Beat | ZeroHedge
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 13:02
For those who only look at headlines, today's payrolls report was a veritable shock: coming in at 467K, it was almost 4x the consensus median expectation of 125K, and was orders of magnitude above Goldman's forecast of -250K. Putting the stunning, 3-sigma beat in context, it came above all 78 estimates, and was more than double the highest forecast of 225K from HSBC. Even more ludicrous were historical adjustments which saw December increased from 199K to 510K, November from 249K to 647K and so on.
How is that possible?
After all even CNBC - while interviewing labor secretary Marty Walsh - couldn't believe the BLS data, prompting the secretary to repeat on many occasions that the numbers are "credible" and he "stands behind them" and of course he will: after all, taken at face value the numbers signal a resilient labor market and demand for workers despite omicron's hit. The gains were broad-based, spanning retail, hospitality, transportation and warehousing, business services and others. In short, contrary to data from even the Atlanta Fed whose GDPNow shows Q1 GDP rising just 0.1%, the labor data indicates an economy firing on all cylinders and growing strong.
But is that true?
Well, here's what happened. First, looking at just the December to January change we find that while the seasonally adjusted number rose by an impressive 467K, the unadjusted number collapsed, tumbling from 150.349 million to 147.525 million, a 2.8 million drop (as it tends to do every time the year shifts from December to January) meaning that the entire delta in the January number - somewhere in the 3+ million range - is due to arbitrary adjustments overlaid on top of the data.
The plot thickens, and indeed one thing that analysts apparently forgot when they were submitting their forecasts for January's payrolls is that this is the month when the BLS adjusts data for the past 10 years as part of its population estimates revisions, which impact both the Household and more important, Establishment, surveys.
In summary, what these revisions did was to revise 2017 job growth lower by by -61,000, 2018 lower by -26,000, 2019 revised lower by -43,000, while 2020 was revised higher by 124,000, and 2021 was also revised up 217,000, or in total a 211,000 upward revision over 5 years or 3,500 jobs per month.
Focusing on just 2021, we find something curious: the stunning print from the summer which saw June and July print at or over 1 million, have been slashed by almost 50%, at the expense of most recent months such that October added 29K, November added 398K and December added 311K jobs to what was the original print only as a result of seasonal adjustments. Said otherwise, March-July was revised lower by -1,061,000 while Aug-Dec was revised up by +817,000.
At this point the answer what is behind the massive January beat should be becoming clear: how did a -2.8 million actual drop in jobs translate into an adjusted 467K? If you said seasonal, covid and population control adjustments, you are right. And to be sure, this is something both we and others flagged, when we lamented that month after month, the BLS appeared to be using stale seasonal adjustments.
But digging deeper shows that this was not just an ordinary seasonal adjustment.
As SouthBay Research notes in his NFP postmortem, "there has never been a January Seasonal Adjustment of this magnitude" and visually:
If only normalizes the January seasonal adjustment, the payrolls number is some 309K lower, or ends up being 166K, right on top of expectations.
The seasonal adjustment for Private payrolls was even more ridiculous:
Where it gets even more bizarre, is that as SouthBay notes, January's Private NFP (NSA) of -2391K was almost exactly the 10-year and 20-year median 2384K. So why the BLS is applying such a grotesque seasonal adjustment to it, is unclear (actually, if one assumes that the Biden admin tapped the BLS secretary on the shoulder, then it is very clear).
It's not just outside analysts who reach this conclusion: in Table C to its report, the BLS showed "December 2021-January 2022 changes in selected labor force measures, with adjustments for population control effects" and confirmed that if one had used an apples-to-apples basis for the January numbers, the number of Employed workers (from the Household Survey) would be down -272K. Instead, thanks to the population control effect adjustment of 1.471 million, the final number was 1.199 million!
In summary, while the markets had been trading for months on fake data when the BLS failed to catch up to covid reality, and was applying stale seasonal adjustments, they are doing so again today, only in the opposite direction with the BLS now overextending itself in the opposite direction, with a January seasonal adjustment that has never been greater!
So for those who feel like discounting the Seasonally Adjusted data, please do: the bizarre Seasonal Adjustment that created distortion and distorted the underlying trend for much of 2021 is back, only now it's in the other direction.
What is the take home message? It's two fold:
First, we can effectively ignore covid's effect going forward. As Southbay notes, "It would appear that COVID is no longer a brake on employment or on the economy" which is good news: the end of the artificial covid restrictions couldn't come too soon.Second, while the January report was stellar, its all downhill from here, because "January's win is a loss for February payrolls" or put otherwise, this month's strong payrolls will come at a price: i) Seasonal Adjustment will unwind - reducing payrolls in future months and ii) Seasonal workers will be laid off, resulting in a roughly 100K downside to February and/or subsequent months.
New study: HIV can evolve to be more severe '-- and contagious : Goats and Soda : NPR
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 12:36
A colorized electron microscope image from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a single human immunodeficiency virus budding from a human immune cell. AP hide caption
toggle caption AP A colorized electron microscope image from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a single human immunodeficiency virus budding from a human immune cell.
AP A variant of HIV that is faster at progressing to serious illness and more contagious than other versions of the virus has been circulating in the Netherlands for decades, researchers have found.
The findings, which were published in the journal Science on Thursday, demonstrate how HIV can mutate to create more severe disease and more rapid transmission.
"Even after 100 years of HIV infecting humans, it still has the capacity to evolve and change," says Joel Wertheim, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved in the study but wrote a perspective about the research findings, also published in Science on Thursday.
The study serves as a reminder '-- in the age of COVID variants '-- that viruses don't always weaken over time. "We should never underestimate the potential for viral evolution," Wertheim says. "Let this study stand in stark contrast to the claim that all viruses will inevitably evolve to be benign."
A contagious new discoveryThe discovery of the HIV variant was sparked by a curious set of samples.
In late 2018, Chris Wymant, the lead author of the study and senior researcher at the Big Data Institute at University of Oxford, noticed something interesting in a database for a project called BEEHIVE, which collects HIV samples from Uganda and several countries in Europe to help scientists understand how the virus is evolving.
There was a recent cluster of 17 samples that showed a lot of unusual mutations, he says '-- and 15 of the samples came from the Netherlands.
Wymant and his co-authors wanted to know more, so they dived into another Dutch study with more data. They discovered a total of 109 people who had this particular variant and never knew it, dating all the way back to 1992. The variant probably emerged in the late '80s, Wymant says, picking up steam around 2000 and then eventually slowing down around 2010.
People with this variant have a viral load that is three to four times higher than usual for those with HIV. This characteristic means the virus progresses into serious illness twice as fast '-- and also makes it more contagious, says Wymant.
The good news: Existing medications work very well to treat even very virulent variants like this one, cutting down on transmission and reducing the chance of developing severe illness, he says.
"Nobody should be alarmed," Wymant says. "It responds exactly as well to treatment as HIV normally does."
There's no need to develop special treatments for this variant, he adds. It shows no signs at all of resisting medications, as some HIV variants do. But because the variant moves quickly, people need to receive medicine as fast as possible.
How to slow down the variantThis research was "nicely done" and "well-designed," says Adeeba Kamarulzaman, president of the International AIDS Society and professor of medicine at the University of Malaya, who did not work on the study.
It also helps answer a pressing question in the field of HIV research, she notes. Previously, researchers wondered whether people get sicker or are more contagious because of how their immune systems respond to the virus. The study found that individual responses are part of it but not all. It can also happen if a virus evolves to cause more severe illness and readier transmission.
Kamarulzaman warns that a mutation like this could happen in other places. If a number of HIV patients in a particular area have this kind of variant but isn't taking medication, "you are going to have a lot more people with advanced disease a lot more quickly," she says.
To prevent this from happening, she says, "early tests or frequent testing and immediate initiation of treatment is the way to go." The goal isn't to identify a specific variant but rather to diagnose new cases of HIV so that treatment may start as soon as possible. But some countries still struggle to do that, and they need more support, she adds.
That's how this variant eventually slowed down in the Netherlands before researchers even identified it.
"The public health intervention that's been rolled out and expanded in the Netherlands over the last decade or so '-- improving access to treatments, getting people tested as soon as possible, getting them onto treatment as soon as possible '-- has helped reduce the numbers of this variant, even though we didn't know that it existed," Wymant says.
Rapid treatment also helps slow viral evolution, so variants like these are less likely to emerge.
"This doesn't mean we need to change strategy," Wertheim says. "It just means we need to do more of what we're already doing."
Melody Schreiber (@m_scribe) is a journalist and the editor of What We Didn't Expect: Personal Stories About Premature Birth.
Climate change is altering the smell of snow - The Washington Post
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 12:32
How would you describe the scent of winter?
Unlike spring, summer and fall, which have strongly defined aromas (flowers in bloom, beaches, decaying leaves), the current season is marked by the scent of nothing. Nothing's growing. Nothing's dying. It's a kind of olfactory pause.
But snow has a scent, and researchers say that scent depends on what's in the ground and the air. And as both the atmosphere and the land are getting warmer, the scent of snow is getting stronger.
Johan Lundstrom, a professor of clinical neuroscience who describes himself as a ''smell researcher'' at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, said because snow's smell reflects the impurities in the air, the flakes in Wisconsin smell different from snow in Sweden, and from snow in a city.
The scent of a season: Explaining the aromas of fall
Lundstrom said that people notice smells more in the summer because the humid and warmer air intensifies odor molecules, in the same way perfume smells more intense and different on the skin than when it is sprayed in the air. But the cold and dry air of winter makes for a ''poor odor environment.''
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''It's the same reason why the worst place to smell things is on a transcontinental airplane,'' he said. ''You have dry air, you have different air pressure, and it's often colder than we would normally have in a room.''
The snow '-- particularly the top layer covering the ground '-- picks up compounds mostly from the air, Lundstrom said. As time passes, the snow absorbs more of those odor compounds, increasing the scent. And some molecules hit the nose harder than others.
''For example, decaying biological material creates the chemical geosmin, a chemical we are so sensitive to [it's the odor of mold] so that if you take one drop and put that in an Olympic-size swimming pool and stir the water well, you can still smell the odor,'' he said. ''In other words, it often does not take much pollution for us being able to smell it.''
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Climate change is affecting the way snow smells, said Parisa A. Ariya, a chemist and chair of the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department at McGill University. As the ground and air get warmer, that encourages the circulation '-- and intensity '-- of the odor molecules.
Climate change is shrinking the odds of a white Christmas, this year included
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What's on the ground gets pulled into the air, so a polluted area might see more trace metals in the snow, and an agricultural area might have more nitrogen [from fertilizer], Ariya said. Once the snow melts, some of that pollution is released into the soil, the water supply and back into the atmosphere. And the cycle begins again.
''The increases in temperature have been suggested to increase the toxicity of certain contaminants and enhance the chemical reaction rates and degradation processes,'' Ariya said.
Deadly air pollutant 'disproportionately and systematically' harms Americans of color, study finds
The reason people often say they can ''smell snow coming'' is similar to differences in the air when a thunderstorm comes in during the summer, Lundstrom said. The air feels a little warmer, and gets more humid, which carries scent better, and there's a change in the barometric pressure.
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Lundstrom, who heads two research centers, one at Monell, another at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, said that snow in the city has an odor to it, whether it is exhaust from cars or the rubber from tires.
But when he goes to his cabin in Bjurstrask, which is about 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, it smells ''extremely clean,'' he said.
It's not only snow that carries a scent, he said. Ice does as well. Think of old ice in the fridge '-- it smells odd and musty, as it has absorbed food odors. But ice can also carry fragrances that invoke happy memories.
When Lundstrom was 4 years old, growing up in Sweden, he would go ice fishing with his father and grandfather. He distinctly remembers the smell of the ice shavings as they drilled a hole for perch and pike.
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''I would lie on a reindeer fur, and your face is right there next to the hole and you smell the shavings, and it smells like the lake,'' he said, adding that it's a sweet water lake, so ice smells fresh with a tinge of sea grass and sediment. ''So every time I go back with my daughter and make a hole in the ice I'm right back, I'm 4-years-old lying on the reindeer fur trying to get fish. It's a very positive emotion.''
Trying to explain what snow smells like is a challenge. When perfumer Christopher Brosius was creating the scent he called ''Snow,'' he was looking for a burst of something fresh and cold. Nothing really worked '-- until he talked to a friend about her first snow.
''She reminded me of a line from a French book, 'Claudine at School,' where she bites into a snowball and says 'It always smells a little of dust, this first [snow]fall,' '' Brosius, founder of the ''CB I Hate Perfume'' line, said. ''So I had something that was earthy and wet and slightly green, but the thing missing was dust. That's when I grabbed a bunch of bottles out of the archive and started creating.''
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The result, which he created for his former perfume line Demeter, won awards for both male and female fragrance of the year in 2000. Brosius, who goes by ''CB,'' later created other snow iterations, including ''Winter 1972,'' and ''Walking in the Air,'' each of them slightly different based on the place and time of the snowfall.
In 2018, he created an art installation based on the smell of snow for the Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum based in New York. The project involved a room with a wool carpet below and pale blue balls of felted wool above, both of which were infused with a scent of snow. Compared with his other ''snow'' scents, he described this one as ''fresher, wetter, more frozen and colder.''
''It was about that smell of snow when you put woolen mittens up to your face to keep your nose warm, with a bit of pine trees that were about 50 to 75 yards away at the edge of a field,'' CB said. ''Some people said that it even smelled cold.''
Rumors of deadly Variant outbreak at Waldorf Astoria in Beijing'... Putin staying there'... '' CITIZEN FREE PRESS
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 12:31
Posted by Kane on February 5, 2022 5:16 pmNEWS JUNKIES -- CHECK OUT OUR HOMEPAGE
Miles Guo is the original source. Keep that in mind. This very easily could be propaganda to damage China during the Olympic Games.
The story is being reported by Benjamin Harnwell who works as Beijing correspondent for War Room.
''Vladimir Putin is staying at the Waldorf Astoria In Beijing and three people have died at Beijing's Waldorf Astoria hotel '-- reports noted violent spasms and convulsions before death.''
Dr. Malone mentioned a new hemorrhagic fever virus in China
Virus Infection Emergency at the Beijing Winter Olympics
1. An hour before the live broadcast, 16 confirmed virus cases were detected among Vladmir Putin's aides. There were also three deaths in the hotel where Putin resided, although it is unknown so far whether the three deaths are Putin's aides or hotel employees. Furious at the incident, Putin cursed in the hotel. Mr. Miles Guo indicated this incident is very abnormal from any perspective.
2. A sniper security guard stationed in Pangu Hotel fell to the ground and died, which shocked Xi Jinping.
SOURCE '-- G NEWS
There have been rumors for a few weeks of a new deadly variant in China.
Dr Malone was right. There are tons of articles talking about a hemorrhagic fever virus circulating in China now that is triggering the CCP to lock down again
Beijing Olympics start in 25 days pic.twitter.com/C7CHOigJfo
'-- Truckistan Amb. Poso 🏁 (@JackPosobiec) January 10, 2022
This morning, our community notified the start of the hemorrhagic fever vaccination. This is really fast. When we went there, there was already a long queue, and there were so many people. pic.twitter.com/mFe1BKvmn9
'-- 觉é†'è… (@Theresa75226936) January 27, 2022
About 86 miles from Beijing, the capital of China where #Beijing2022 will be hosted, Tianjin is implementing a large scale throughout lockdown as covid variant epidemic grows. #å¤(C)æ´¥ #包子@SolomonYue pic.twitter.com/vfdQfVxrmq
'-- Northrop Gundam Freedom 🇺🇸 🍊 (@GundamNorthrop) January 8, 2022
Bloomberg Had Phony "Russia Invades Ukraine" Headline Up For 30 Minutes
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 12:28
The Mainstream Press is a complete disaster.
Bloomberg News ran a fake headline on their site today titled ''Russia Invades Ukraine.''
It was up for 30 minutes.
Here is an image of it:
They released a statement admitting to the mistake.
From Zero Hedge:
At a moment the White House has curiously been pushing hard a 'Russian false flag' narrative, Bloomberg has apologized for prematurely placing a headline at the top of its homepage Friday afternoon which said: ''Live: Russia Invades Ukraine.''
Bloomberg admitted that it had the headline ready to go, despite an ''invasion'' not at all being the reality. The hugely influential global financial news company said late in the day Friday: ''We prepare headlines for many scenarios and the headline 'Russia Invades Ukraine' was inadvertently published around 4 p.m. ET today on our website. We deeply regret the error. The headline has been removed and we are investigating the cause.''
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30 states working on digital drivers licenses, TSA will allow them soon | AppleInsider
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 12:23
AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.
Trade groups central to the adoption of mobile drivers' licenses say that the US transition to digital is "well underway," leading to many more potential applications including adoption by the US Transportation Security Administration.
Following Apple's announcement of the first states to use Apple Wallet for drivers' ID, a conference called the Mobile Driver's License (mDL) Workshop has been held in Houston. Run by the Secure Technology Alliance, it was held in conjunction with an American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).
"Smartphones carry everything, from payment cards to precious photos," said keynote speaker Christine Nizer, administrator of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and chair of the AAMVA International Board of Directors. "It is only natural that the devices are becoming a platform for storing identity credentials too."
"The success of mobile driver's licenses depends on stakeholders and relying parties banding together to create an mDL environment that is convenient and secure for the end user," she continued.
Secure Technology Alliance claims that, according to data from GET Group North America, the pace of mDL adoption has tripled in 2021. The group further claims that digital drivers' licenses "are gaining traction in at least 30 US states."
Describing its event as the first Mobile Drivers' License Workshop, Secure Technology Alliance says that its speakers detailed how adopting mDL will lead to wider forms of use.
"Several states including Utah, Maryland, Virginia and Louisiana have conducted pilots or have begun using mobile driver's licenses for age-based transactions such as purchasing alcohol and certain medications," said the company in a statement. "It is also being used at event concessions, in financial institutions like banks and more."
The group's speakers also predicted that age-based transactions that use mDL ID would go beyond alcohol. They predict self-drive rental cars being available without the need for staff to verify the renter's driving license, for instance.
A spokesperson for the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) told the event that its phased rollout using Apple Wallet would begin a pilot test at two airports from February. TSA intends to add two more states "around March 2022."
Originally formed as the Smart Card Alliance, the Secure Technology Alliance changed its name in 2017 to reflect the non-profit group's expanded charter. Having worked to champion digital ID, and ensure its security, speakers at the event said that "Apple's recent plan to integrate ISO/IEC 18013-5 mobile driver's licenses into its Wallet app has garnered significant media attention for the mDL movement."
Separately, Apple has revealed that it has delayed its rollout of the digital driver's license support in Apple Wallet until "early 2022."
Israel's rise in Covid deaths: why it's happening, and the lessons for the UK
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 12:21
Israel is a vaccine star of the pandemic. It rolled out its initial jabs with great speed this time last year amid the deadly alpha wave. It saw off delta in the summer by pioneering booster shots. And, as omicron hit, it made fourth doses available to medics and the elderly.
But late last week charts started to do the rounds on social media, showing Israel's deaths apparently soaring.
''Israel is among the most highly vaccinated and boosted countries on the planet. [Yet] they are breaking daily records for Covid deaths'', tweeted Aaron Kheriaty, a professor of psychiatry who was recently fired by the University of California for refusing to abide by its vaccine mandate.
''Our public health establishment needs to explain this'.... because people are dying''.
We are all jittery having suffered the strictures of SARS-CoV-2 for almost two years now, so the ex-professor's tweet and others like it grabbed some attention. It plays to anti-vaxxers and the biases of those - like Dr Kheriaty - who continue to erroneously insist that ''natural immunity is our only way out of this pandemic.''
Things have not been helped by a data glitch. On Friday the Israeli ministry of health issued an alert warning that the data being displayed on global dashboards was giving a ''false picture of reality'' regarding the daily number of deaths in Israel.
Yet, even once this is accounted for, deaths in Israel have climbed sharply over the last month. Using the Ministry of Health's own data, deaths per million currently stand at about five a day in Israel, up from next to nothing at the start of January and approaching the record rate of 6.98 per million the country recorded at the peak of the alpha wave.
So what is happening? Why should a country that is so well vaccinated still be suffering like this?
According to experts, there are a number of answers. First, although Israel's headline vaccination rate once sat at the top of all vaccine charts, it has gradually slipped down a middling position.
But more importantly, perhaps, vaccination rates among the vulnerable are not as good as they might be. While in the UK nearly all the most vulnerable are fully vaccinated, in Israel 10 per cent or more of the over 60s remain unprotected.
Another issue is that - like here - the omicron wave has been dramatic. ''Israel has basically let Omicron rip, eschewing almost all the layers of protections we had including PCR testing, quarantine for contacts of infected etc'', one local expert told the Telegraph..
Barak Raveh, an assistant professor of biological modelling at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said the number of those unvaccinated and the omnipotence of omicron only provided a ''partial explanation''. The waning of initial vaccinations also helped explain why, of 822 deaths recorded since the start of the year, only 293 were unvaccinated.
''I do not mean to suggest the vaccine is ineffective at all - it is still 90 per cent effective if we normalize by population size. But what I think happened is some attrition in the effect of August's booster shots'', said Dr Raveh.
Israel was the first to provide them back in August, and their effect may have waned considerably. It was believed at first that this affected only infection rates, but apparently, it also caused more cases of severe disease.
The uptake of the fourth vaccine dose to combat this waning has also been poor.
''Israel was the first country to authorize a fourth dose back in early January to both medical staff and the elderly, but only half of those eligible took it, in part because early reports about its effectiveness were mixed,'' said Dr Raveh.
In fact, a fourth dose turns out to be incredibly effective. Recent real-world data from Israel shows it leads to a 4.3-fold decrease in severe disease in the over 60s, compared to a third dose given more than four months earlier.
''Giving the fourth dose to individuals who were at risk of developing severe disease has been instrumental in limiting the burden on hospitals in Israel during the fast and wide-spreading Omicron surge'', said the study's authors.
We are not out of the woods yetSo what lesson can the UK take from Israel's omicron wave? And what might it tell us about the pandemic going forward?
One clear message must be to keep vaccine-induced immunity topped up. For the moment at least, it is vaccines that are keeping us safe. Omicron may not be as dangerous as the alpha or delta variants but it remains on a par with the Wuhan original.
''I think as a country, we may have been a bit too relaxed in terms of letting Omicron cases soar under the conception that it is a relatively mild disease'', Dr Raveh told the Telegraph.
''Even if the disease is milder in some instances, we ended up with crowded hospitals amidst an intense flu season and suffered a larger than expected number of severe cases and deaths''.
For the moment, we must keep our guard up.
Truckers are starting a working-class revolution -- and the left hates it
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 12:14
So we're finally seeing a genuine, bottom-up, working-class revolution. In Canada, and increasingly in the United States, truckers and others are refusing to follow government orders, telling the powerful that, in a popular lefty formulation, if there's no justice, there's no peace.
Naturally, the left hates it.
For more than a century, lefties have talked about such a revolt. But if you really paid attention, the actual role of the working class in their working-class revolution was not to call the shots '-- it was to do what it was told by the ''intellectual vanguard'' of the left.
A working-class revolution led by the working class is the left's worst nightmare because the working class doesn't want what the left wants. The working class wants jobs, a stable economy, safe streets, low inflation, schools that teach things and a conservative, non-adventurous foreign policy that won't get a lot of working-class people killed. It's not excited about gender fluidity, critical race theory, ''modern monetary theory,'' foreign adventures and defunding police.
Canadian truckers are engaged in a working-class protest against left-wing COVID restrictions. AFP via Getty ImagesWorse yet, a huge part of the lefty self-image revolves around feeling superior to the working class and openly expressing disdain for it. One need spend only a few minutes tuning into left media like NPR, CNN or MSNBC to hear the disdain for working-class Americans, inhabitants of ''flyover country,'' people who live in the middle of nowhere.
The left has vilified the Canadian trucker protesters as Russian agents, Nazis and white supremacists. REUTERSSo naturally, the idea that those people might be staging a revolution is intolerable.
That's why, even as they legitimize and valorize outright rioting and violence by leftist groups, lefties vilify every working-class protest movement, going back before the Tea Party. In Canada, the press even tried to pretend that the thousands of truckers driving to the capital city of Ottawa were actually Russian agents. When that failed, it fell back on its old standard, calling them fascists, Nazi sympathizers and white supremacists.
But nobody believes that because it's as obvious a lie as the claims about Russians. Leftists talk about race because they don't want people to notice they've been waging class war.
The left valorized the violent and destructive BLM protests while attacking the working-class Canadian truckers' revolt. APAnd that class war, which has been going on for a couple of decades of working-class stagnation and upper-class prosperity, went into overdrive during the pandemic.
Under COVID, we got ''lockdowns'' in which the laptop class stayed home ''keeping safe'' while the working class delivered groceries to their doors. Meatpacking plants, grocery checkout lines and especially trucking stayed open, while law firms, universities and media organizations closed their doors and sent staff home to work.
For a brief period, those non-remote workers were heroes. Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told people to thank a trucker for his service. But that didn't last.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once told Canadians to thank truckers, but now that they are revolting against his COVID restrictions, he says they are a ''fringe minority.'' APNow that truckers and other working-class people are pushing back against the laptop class' nonsensical COVID restrictions, they're a fringe, a minority, a bunch of white supremacists.
But they're none of these things.
The ''white supremacist'' bit we can write right off. If white supremacy were a serious thing, leftists '-- like hate-crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett '-- wouldn't have to invent it.
As for a ''fringe minority,'' as Trudeau called them, well, as Elon Musk noted in a tweet, if the Canadian government's positions had substantial support, the truckers would have faced significant numbers of counterprotesters. But they did not. The government itself is the fringe minority, with its only support coming from the loyal sycophants of the media.
Elon Musk said the Canadian government was the ''fringe minority'' in a tweet defending the truckers' protest. APIn the United States, meanwhile, Joe Biden '-- whom a self-described ''cabal'' of media, tech and political types organized to put in office just over a year ago '-- is polling in ''worst president ever'' territory, according to Rasmussen and Gallup polls.
Gallup's survey shows that voter satisfaction has hit a ''gloomy'' new low, and Rasmussen found that 54% of voters see Biden as the ''worst'' president in recent memory.
''Collectively, satisfaction at the start of 2022 in a variety of areas is about as bad as it's been in two decades of Gallup measurement,'' the pollster declared. And in the highly respected General Social Survey, Americans' happiness has reached record lows.
Once again, Biden's main source of support is the press, which will always back a Democrat, especially against working-class opposition.
But as Twitter user Greg Price noted: ''If truckers quit their jobs, society would immediately collapse. If politicians quit their jobs, the world would become a better place. We need truckers more than anybody else.''
Truckers have figured that out. Right now Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden are worrying about truckers coming out. They should really worry about truckers staying home.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds is a professor of law at the University of Tennessee and founder of the InstaPundit.com blog.
Energy Bills in the UK Will Rise a Cruel and Unusual 54% in April - The Daily Upside
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 12:13
An afternoon spot of tea might soon come with an afternoon spot of energy, as struggling Britons seek to ration power during the largest utility hike in memory.
Energy bills in the UK are set to jump to the highest level in over a decade, after regulator Ofgem announced Thursday it is raising the upper limit utilities can charge for electricity and gas. Beginning in April, 22 million households can expect their annual energy bills to rise 54%, or £693 ($940), to an average of £1,971 ($2,670).
Between a Watt and a Hard PlaceOfgem is trying to strike a delicate balance in a case with few clear winners. In the last year, the price cap it imposes on energy suppliers has devastated the utility sector while wholesale gas prices skyrocketed. At least 25 UK suppliers went out of business in 2021 and the cost of taking on the price-capped customers of bankrupt rivals has squeezed the companies still standing, leading to fears of a self-perpetuating cycle of bankruptcies.
On the other hand, Britain is dealing with a cost of living crisis. In December, the inflation rate was 5.4%, the highest in three decades, and many households are struggling to make ends meet. But to alleviate the utility crisis, Ofgem acknowledged it may exacerbate the affordability crisis:
When the price cap is raised in April, Ofgem estimates as many as 1 in 10 people in the UK will fall into ''energy poverty'' '-- which means spending over 10% of income on heat and electricity. 2.2 million people already fit the definition, and that will triple to 6.6 million.About 4.5 million vulnerable households who prepay for electricity and gas will see their bills rise even more than the average, from £708 to £2,017 a year.Too Little, Too Late: On Thursday, the government announced a £9 billion package to reduce energy bills by £200 that will be paid out in October. But analysts predict another big increase to the energy cap by then, taking household costs above £2,400 a year. To make matters worse, a £12 billion hike in national insurance contributions and a freeze on income tax thresholds will cost households £600 a year beginning in April, according to the Resolution Foundation.
Trans Bay Cable - Wikipedia
Sat, 05 Feb 2022 16:38
The Trans Bay Cable is a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) underwater transmission cable interconnection between San Francisco, California and Pittsburg, California.[1] The 53 mi (85 km) cable under San Francisco Bay and through the Carquinez Strait can transmit 400 megawatts of power at a DC voltage of ±200 kV, enough to provide 40% of San Francisco's peak power needs.[2]
The line connects PG&E's Potrero Substation (formerly the switchyard for Potrero Generating Station) to its 230 kV transmission line in Pittsburg. The system was completed in November 2010.[2] The Trans Bay Cable project was the first HVDC system to use the Modular Multi-Level Converter (MMC) system.[3][4]
History [ edit ] 1998 San Francisco power outage [ edit ] Until recently, San Francisco had two power plants within city limits to support local demand: Hunters Point Power Plant (shut down in 2006) and Potrero Generating Station (shut down in 2011); the remaining electric load for the city is supplied through the grid. Located at the northern tip of San Francisco Peninsula, the city was connected to the rest of California's grid through a single transmission path, including the San Mateo Substation near Coyote Point Recreation Area. On December 8, 1998, a disturbance at that substation tripped it offline; the resulting chain reaction also would knock the transmission lines out of service and shut down both Hunters Point and Potrero electric generating stations, causing a power outage covering most of the city for eight hours.[5][6]
Reliability initiatives [ edit ] Following the prolonged outage, the utility (Pacific Gas and Electric), the City and County of San Francisco, and the California Public Utilities Commission formed the San Francisco Stakeholder Study Group (SFSSG) to determine immediate transmission solutions to ensure electric reliability, which led to the upgrading of PG&E transmission lines and towers paralleling Interstate 280 under the Jefferson-Martin transmission line project to diversify the path.[7] After the Jefferson-Martin project was complete, PG&E decommissioned Hunters Point in 2006.[8]
The SFSSG also studied projects to enhance long-term reliability, which included an evaluation of several proposals for transmission lines across San Francisco Bay. In September 2005, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) identified the Trans Bay Cable (TBC) project as the preferred option over alternatives from PG&E, which had proposed building AC lines to Potrero from East Bay substations in Moraga or Fremont. The capital costs of the alternatives were approximately equal, but the HVDC technology proposed for the TBC project would have reduced transmission losses.[9]:'Š16'Š The submarine route also avoided siting concerns for high-voltage overhead transmission lines and towers in residential neighborhoods; in addition, adding the new transmission line could obviate the need to build peaking power plants within city limits,[10] including the removal of the Potrero Generating Station.[11]
Babcock & Brown (B&B) executed a development agreement with the City of Pittsburg in January 2004, and introduced the project to CAISO in February. The original intent was for B&B to develop the cable project and finance it, then transfer ownership to the city's municipal utility (Pittsburg Power) and convey transmission rights to CAISO.[12] The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 9''2 to approve the TBC project in August 2007[13] and the final discretionary permit was granted by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission on August 16, 2007.[14]
Construction [ edit ] Construction on the TBC officially began on December 15, 2007.[15] A joint venture between Siemens Energy and Prysmian Construction Services (formerly Pirelli Cable) were responsible for building the turnkey project;[16] the Siemens/Prysmian joint venture subcontracted electrical equipment installation to Cupertino Electric.[17] After B&B declared bankruptcy in 2009, the management of B&B partnered with John Hancock Life Insurance Company, creating SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners to complete the cable.[18]
Cable laying operations began on October 11, 2009 using the cable vessel Giulio Verne and the barge Manson 73 for the shallower eastern approaches. The starting point for both vessels was just west of the Benicia''Martinez Bridge. By November 6, Giulio Verne had laid cable to the north side of the San Francisco''Oakland Bay Bridge and Manson 73 had completed its 24 km (15 mi) segment to Pittsburg; a total of 78 kilometres (48 mi) of cable had been placed. Another Manson Construction Company barge, Hagar, was used to perform post-lay burial activities, including placing flexible concrete mats for protection.[19] The cable was laid, buried, and connected at each end by December 3, 2009, and a preliminary test was conducted on January 15, 2010, successfully transmitting 400 MW to the San Francisco grid. However, during subsequent testing, the converter modules failed at a higher than expected rate. Final testing was completed on November 3, 2010, with substantial completion declared a week later; the Trans Bay Cable entered revenue service on November 23.[20] After the Trans Bay Cable was completed, Potrero (then owned by Mirant) was decommissioned in 2011.[21]
TBC was damaged in September 2014 after M/V Ocean Life dropped anchor after losing power near the Benicia''Martinez bridge;[22] repairs took four months to complete.[23] In 2018, Siemens upgraded the control system, allowing black start capability, which enables the TBC to support critical infrastructure needs in San Francisco as the sole source of power, without relying on the local grid. Under black start conditions, up to 300 MW electric can be supplied through the TBC; normally, the TBC can transmit up to 400 MW, which is approximately 40% of the total load for San Francisco under peak demand.[24] SteelRiver sold its interest in the cable to NextEra Energy Transmission in July 2019 for a reported $1 billion.[25][26]
Design [ edit ] In the original plan, there were five major components in the Trans Bay Cable project:[27][28]
57 miles (92 km) of submarine and underground HVDC cable bundleNew 5.4-acre (2.2 ha) converter station in Pittsburg, converting AC grid power to DCNew 6.8-acre (2.8 ha) converter station in San Francisco, converting DC to AC5.5 miles (8.9 km) of single-circuit 3-phase 230 kV AC lines connecting converter station with PG&E substation in Pittsburg0.3 miles (0.48 km) of double-circuit 3-phase 115 kV AC lines connecting converter station with PG&E substation in San FranciscoThe original design for the HVDC cable bundle included a 400 kV transmission line (approximately 4.5 in (114 mm) in diameter), a 12 kV metallic return (ground) cable (3.4 in (86 mm) diameter), and a fiber optic communication cable (1 inch (25 mm) diameter); the total bundle was 10 in (250 mm) in diameter.[29] With the adoption of HVDC Power Link Universal System (PLUS) technology, two cables of identical size were used instead for the transmission line, along with the fiber optic cable. Each cable is energized to 200 kV (one positive, one negative).[12][28] The HVDC converter for HVDC PLUS uses a half-bridge topology; the system is rated to carry up to 400 MW of electric power in a symmetrical monopole configuration.[30]
Prysmian Group manufactured the HVDC and terrestrial AC cables in its Arco Felice (Naples) factory and laid the submarine HVDC cable using its own ship, the Giulio Verne (IMO number: 8302014).[31][32]
Each converter station consists of a valve hall originally designed to be 64 feet (20 m) high, a DC hall, and a control building; the total area for the buildings is 23,000 square feet (2,100 m2); in addition, a switchyard will handle the connection to the existing grid after conversion.[29] With the update to HVDC PLUS, the building height and size were reduced:[12] height was reduced to 35 feet (11 m) and the required footprint is reduced by approximately 25 percent.[28][33]
The original route for the AC lines connecting the Pittsburg substation with the converter site (near the Delta Energy Center) were mainly underwater, running approximately north from the substation, east around the northern end of Browns Island, southeast along the slough between Browns and Winter islands, east to the southern tip of Winter Island, then south and back on land to the converter site.[34] However, the Pittsburg converter station later was moved to a site near West Tenth Street, just south of the existing PG&E substation,[35] reducing the AC interconnect lines to less than 1 mile (1.6 km) and shortening the HVDC cable bundle to 53 miles (85 km).[12] The San Francisco converter station is near the intersection of 23rd and Illinois, between Piers 70 and 80.[36][37]
The submarine HVDC cable is buried at a depth of 3 to 6 feet (0.91 to 1.83 m) below the floor of the Bay to protect it from anchor strikes. In certain locations, such as where the cable crosses existing utilities, it is unable to be buried, and flexible concrete mats were placed atop the cable for protection.[38]
References [ edit ] ^ Wald, Matthew L. (March 16, 2010). "Underwater Cable an Alternative to Electrical Towers". New York Times . Retrieved 2010-03-17 . ^ a b "Pattern Energy Announces Completion of the Trans Bay Cable Project Under San Francisco Bay" (Press release). Pattern Energy Group LP. 2010-11-29 . Retrieved 2011-03-02 . ^ Lesnicar, A.; Marquardt, R. (June 23''26, 2003). An innovative modular multi-level converter topology for a wide power range. Power Tech Conference. Bologna, Italy: IEEE. doi:10.1109/PTC.2003.1304403. ISBN 0-7803-7967-5. ^ Westerweller T.; Friedrich, K.; Armonies, U.; Orini, A.; Parquet, D.; Wehn, S. (2010). Trans Bay cable '' world's first HVDC system using multilevel voltage-sourced converter. B4 Study Committee Session, reference B4-101_2010. Paris: CIGR‰ . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ Epstein, Edward (December 10, 1998). "PG&E Blackout Cost S.F. A Pretty Penny". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ Howe, Kenneth (December 15, 1998). "Backups Should Have Stopped Blackout in Its Circuits / PG&E lapses did more harm than crew, PUC says". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ URS Corporation (May 2006). "C: CAISO Documents" (PDF) . Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Trans Bay Cable Project (Report). City of Pittsburg . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ Fulbright, Leslie (May 15, 2006). "Big victory for Hunters Point activists / As PG&E closes its old, smoky power plant, the neighborhood breathes a sigh of relief". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . ^ San Francisco Peninsula Phase 2 Long-Term Electric Transmission Planning Technical Study (PDF) (Report). California Independent System Operator. November 14, 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 8, 2006. ^ Baker, David R. (July 10, 2005). "Transbay electric connection / $300 million project would send power through buried cables". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ https://www.eenews.net/stories/1059942594 ^ a b c d Babcock & Brown (April 18, 2007). Trans Bay Cable Project: Presentation To Board of Governors, California Independent System Operator (PDF) (Report). California Independent System Operator . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ Buchanan, Wyatt (August 8, 2007). "Supes approve 53-mile Trans Bay power cable". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . ^ "Trans Bay Cable Project, SCH Number 2004082096". State of California, Governor's Office of Planning and Research, California Environmental Quality Act . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . ^ Scanlon, Mavis (December 16, 2007). "Trans Bay Cable officially breaks ground" . San Francisco Business Times . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ "Trans Bay Cable Project" (PDF) . Siemens . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . ^ "TransBay Cable". Cupertino Electric Inc . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . ^ Tsarouhis, Fotios (November 20, 2018). "Trans Bay transmission asset could be headed for NextEra yieldco". S&P Global Market Intelligence . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ "Executive Officer's Report" (PDF) . California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Bay Region. November 10, 2009 . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . ^ Boyle, Jason (February 2011). "An Introduction to Trans Bay Cable" (PDF) . SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ Cot(C), John (December 21, 2010). "SF shutting down power plant Jan. 1". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . ^ Minutes (PDF) (Report). The Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun. August 2016 . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . ^ Iacuessa, Michael (November 2016). "Trans Bay Cable Pumps Pittsburg Power into San Francisco". The Potrero View . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . ^ "Black start upgrade for the San Francisco bay cable". Modern Power Systems. July 18, 2018 . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . ^ "Trans Bay Cable". SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ "NextEra Energy Transmission completes acquisition of underwater transmission cable system" (Press release). NextEra Energy. July 16, 2019 . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ URS Corporation (May 2006). "A.1 Detailed Project Description: Introduction". Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Trans Bay Cable Project (Report). City of Pittsburg . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ a b c URS Corporation (2007). "2.0 Project Description". Addendum to the Final Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Trans Bay Cable Project (Report). City of Pittsburg . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ a b URS Corporation (May 2006). "A.3 Detailed Project Description: Project Component Design". Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Trans Bay Cable Project (Report). City of Pittsburg . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ "HVDC PLUS '' the decisive step ahead" (PDF) . Siemens Energy. December 2016 . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . ^ "Prysmian Secures 125 Million $ Contract With Trans Bay Cable Llc For A New Submarine Power Link In San Francisco (USA)" (Press release). Prysmian Group. 2007 . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ Breslin, Mike (January 2011). "Trans Bay Cable Completed Under San Francisco Bay". Electrical Contractor . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ URS Corporation (2007). "1.0 Executive Summary". Addendum to the Final Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Trans Bay Cable Project (Report). City of Pittsburg . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ URS Corporation (May 2006). "Figure A.1-3 Proposed Converter Site/Standard Oil". Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Trans Bay Cable Project (Report). City of Pittsburg . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ URS Corporation (2007). "Figure 2.6-2: Pittsburg Converter Station Plan View (West Tenth Street HVDC PLUS)". Addendum to the Final Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Trans Bay Cable Project (Report). City of Pittsburg . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ URS Corporation (May 2006). "Figure A.1-2 Proposed Converter Site/HWC". Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Trans Bay Cable Project (Report). City of Pittsburg . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ URS Corporation (2007). "Figure 2.5-2: San Francisco Converter Station Plan View (HWC mitigated HVDC PLUS)". Addendum to the Final Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Trans Bay Cable Project (Report). City of Pittsburg . Retrieved 8 March 2021 . ^ "SPN-2004-285120 Trans-Bay Cable Maintenance Regional General Permit". Department of the Army, San Francisco District, Corps of Engineers. October 1, 2018 . Retrieved 9 March 2021 . External links [ edit ] transbaycable.comHDVC Plus Technology provided by SiemensURS Corporation (May 2006). Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Trans Bay Cable Project (Report). City of Pittsburg . Retrieved 8 March 2021 .
Opinion | Senators Have Re-Introduced the Highly Unpopular EARN IT Bill That Would Scan All Online Messages | Joe Mullin
Sat, 05 Feb 2022 16:16
People don't want outsiders reading their private messages'--not their physical mail, not their texts, not their DMs, nothing. It's a clear and obvious point, but one place it doesn't seem to have reached is the U.S. Senate.
A group of lawmakers led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have re-introduced the EARN IT Act, an incredibly unpopular bill from 2020 that was dropped in the face of overwhelming opposition. Let's be clear: the new EARN IT Act would pave the way for a massive new surveillance system, run by private companies, that would roll back some of the most important privacy and security features in technology used by people around the globe. It's a framework for private actors to scan every message sent online and report violations to law enforcement. And it might not stop there. The EARN IT Act could ensure that anything hosted online'--backups, websites, cloud photos, and more'--is scanned.
New Internet Rules, From Juneau to JacksonThe bill empowers every U.S. state or territory to create sweeping new Internet regulations, by stripping away the critical legal protections for websites and apps that currently prevent such a free-for-all'--specifically, Section 230. The states will be allowed to pass whatever type of law they want to hold private companies liable, as long as they somehow relate their new rules to online child abuse.
The goal is to get states to pass laws that will punish companies when they deploy end-to-end encryption, or offer other encrypted services. This includes messaging services like WhatsApp, Signal, and iMessage, as well as web hosts like Amazon Web Services. We know that EARN IT aims to spread the use of tools to scan against law enforcement databases because the bill's sponsors have said so. In a "Myths and Facts" document distributed by the bill's proponents, it even names the government-approved software that they could mandate (PhotoDNA, a Microsoft program with an API that reports directly to law enforcement databases).
The document also attacks Amazon for not scanning enough of its content. Since Amazon is the home of Amazon Web Services, host of a huge number of websites, that implies the bill's aim is to ensure that anything hosted online gets scanned.
Separately, the bill creates a 19-person federal commission, dominated by law enforcement agencies, which will lay out voluntary "best practices" for attacking the problem of online child abuse. Regardless of whether state legislatures take their lead from that commission, or from the bill's sponsors themselves, we know where the road will end. Online service providers, even the smallest ones, will be compelled to scan user content, with government-approved software like PhotoDNA. If EARN IT supporters succeed in getting large platforms like Cloudflare and Amazon Web Services to scan, they might not even need to compel smaller websites'--the government will already have access to the user data, through the platform.
A provision of the bill that purports to protect services using encryption (Section 5, Page 16) doesn't come close to getting the job done. State prosecutors or private attorneys would be able to drag an online service provider into court over accusations that their users committed crimes, then use the fact that the service chose to use encryption as evidence against them'--a strategy that's specifically allowed under EARN IT.
It's hard to imagine anyone daring to use this supposed defense of encryption. Instead, they'll simply do what the bill sponsors are demanding'--break end-to-end encryption and use the government-approved scanning software. Just as bad, providers of services like backup and cloud storage who don't currently offer user-controlled encryption are even less likely to protect their users by introducing new security features, because they will risk liability under EARN IT.
A Lot of Scanning, Not A Lot of ProtectionSenators supporting the EARN IT Act say they need new tools to prosecute cases over child sexual abuse material, or CSAM. But the methods proposed by EARN IT take aim at the security and privacy of everything hosted on the Internet.
Possessing, viewing, or distributing CSAM is already written into law as an extremely serious crime, with a broad framework of existing laws seeking to eradicate it. Online service providers that have actual knowledge of an apparent or imminent violation of current laws around CSAM are required to make a report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a government entity which forwards reports to law enforcement agencies.
Section 230 already does not protect online service providers from prosecutions over CSAM'--in fact, it doesn't protect online services from prosecution under any federal criminal law at all.
Internet companies are already required to report suspected CSAM if they come across it, and they report on a massive scale. That scale already comes with a lot of mistakes. In particular, new scanning techniques used by Facebook have produced many millions of reports to law enforcement, most of them apparently inaccurate. Federal law enforcement has used the massive number of reports produced by this low-quality scanning to suggest there has been a huge uptick in CSAM images. Then, armed with misleading statistics, the same law enforcement groups make new demands to break encryption or, as with EARN IT, hold companies liable if they don't scan user content.
Independent child protection experts aren't asking for systems to read everyone's private messages. Rather, they recognize that children'--particularly children who might be abused or exploited'--need encrypted and private messaging just as much as, if not more than, the rest of us. No one, including the most vulnerable among us, can have privacy or security online without strong encryption.
Senate to U.S. Public: Can We Please Have a Surveillance State Now?In their "Myths and Facts" sheet, the bill's supporters have said the quiet part out loud. Some of the document's falsehoods are breathtaking, such as the statement that internet businesses are provided "blanket and unqualified immunity for sexual crimes against children." It (falsely) reassures small business owners who dare to have websites that the government-ordered scanning they will be subject to will come "without hindering their operations or creating significant costs." And it says that using automated tools that submit images and videos to law enforcement databases is "not at odds with preserving online privacy."
The Senators supporting the bill have said that their mass surveillance plans are somehow magically compatible with end-to-end encryption. That's completely false, no matter whether it's called "client side scanning" or another misleading new phrase.
The EARN IT Act doesn't target Big Tech. It targets every individual internet user, treating us all as potential criminals who deserve to have every single message, photograph, and document scanned and checked against a government database. Since direct government surveillance would be blatantly unconstitutional and provoke public outrage, EARN IT uses tech companies'--from the largest ones to the very smallest ones'--as its tools.
The strategy is to get private companies to do the dirty work of mass surveillance. This is the same tactic that the U.S. government used last year, when law enforcement agencies tried to convince Apple to subvert its own encryption and scan users' photos for them. (That plan has stalled out after overwhelming opposition.) It's the same strategy that U.K. law enforcement is using to convince the British public to give up its privacy, having spent public money on a laughable publicity campaign that demonizes companies that use encryption.
We won't waver in our support for privacy and security for all, and the encryption tools that support those values. This bill may be voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee in just a few days. We've told the U.S. Senate that we will not back down in our opposition to EARN IT. We need you to speak up as well.
Vigan² Rips Big Pharma, Deep Church Cabal
Sat, 05 Feb 2022 15:54
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Sign up today!As was foreseeable, my open Letter to the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about the moral liceity, effectiveness and dangerous nature of the experimental gene serums (which are supposedly vaccines against COVID) received no response. This shows that the question I have raised is not considered relevant by either the American episcopate or the former Holy Office '-- or perhaps that, precisely because of its importance, it has been decided to ignore it following the official narrative embraced by the Vatican.
Dr. Massimo CitroThe multiple Vatican endorsements of the criminal mass-vaccine campaign confirm the full adherence of the hierarchy to the globalist vulgate, without taking even the slightest account of the serious critiques of the so-called vaccines (in terms of their production as well as their demonstrated ineffectiveness, the weakness of the immune system that they induce and, finally, the serious side effects they entail).
Prelates who betray their mandate, who are almost always just as corrupt in doctrine as they are in morals, have occupied the Church of Christ in order to transform Her into a State church, a zealous servant of the New World Order and apostate in its faith.
What was an infiltration up until a few decades ago has been transformed into a true and proper invasion '-- in all of the Roman dicasteries and in the peripheral organs of the Holy See.
The Pontifical Academy for Life is no exception. It has become an organ of neo-Malthusianism, even to the point of declaring that subjecting oneself to inoculation with the experimental drug is an act of love and a moral duty, incontrovertibly denying not only the evidence of the facts but also the existence of a global plan that has deliberately caused this psycho-pandemic in order to bring about a ruthless reduction of the world population (especially the elderly) and impose forms of control and restriction of the natural rights of citizens.
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, after having displayed a collectivist mentality worthy of the worst communist dictatorships, denies that there is a "conspiracy" '-- just as the United Nations' "Agenda 2030" (that is, the "Great Reset" of the World Economic Forum) is explicitly mentioned by the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Access to the Vatican and the offices of the Roman Curia is now forbidden to employees and anyone who does not have the "super green pass." Cardinals and prelates who are healthy or who have recovered from COVID are not permitted to carry out their duties in the Roman dicasteries and unvaccinated employees are left at home without any salary. As a practical example of inclusivity and mercy, the Bergoglian "pontificate" repudiates itself.
The Pontifical Academy for Life has become an organ of neo-Malthusianism.
If it is surprising neither that the deep Church is totally subservient to the deep state, nor that Bergoglio wants to put himself forward as a candidate for the presidency of the "religion of humanity" that the New World Order intends to establish, on the other hand we see that the pandemic represents only one aspect of the complex network of complicity between the globalist oligarchy, the financial power of the pharmaceutical companies, international institutions and national governments all over the world.
We find confirmation of this in the Argentine's confidential meetings with the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, denounced by Edward Pentin at the National Catholic Register and by Jules Gomes at Church Militant (in which there also emerges the substantial funding, to the tune of $1.6 billion per year since 2014, that the communist dictatorship of Beijing is said to have paid to the disastrous Vatican coffers as payment for the Holy See's silence about the persecution of Catholics of the clandestine Church in China '-- whose martyrs have been betrayed and ruthlessly ignored by the very people who should instead be defending them and denouncing the violations of their human rights).
These joint interests are much broader and also involve other characters. Time will do justice to the complicity of the Bergoglian church with the protagonists of the global coup that is currently underway and, along with the masks that have been imposed on the population, time will also make the masks fall from those who have disguised themselves as saviors of humanity (while, in fact, they sought to subjugate the peoples of the world and exterminate citizens or make them chronically ill).
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The Vortex: Vatican Vax
Anyone who is not blinded by prejudice or discredited by macroscopic conflicts of interest has now understood that the moral evaluation of the experimental gene serum cannot, and should not, be limited to an analysis of its individual elements but must also extend to the overall picture, which alone can show the relation between the emergency pandemic, the vaccine campaign, the boycott of available treatments, the imposition of the "green pass" and the destruction of the social and economic fabric of many nations.
Looking at the gene serum as if it were a real vaccine that prevents a serious illness is useless because its effectiveness in preventing contagion is zero, and COVID is not a fatal disease if treated promptly. The news of the falsification of official data regarding deaths as a result of COVID by health institutions is accompanied by the inefficiency of the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) in reporting adverse cases, to which is added the passive supervision of the European health system '-- in violation of the regulations in force for experimental drugs.
Someone maintained that my intervention on this topic was a sort of "invasion of the field [of medicine]" by a bishop, especially because of the scientific topics that I addressed. And in order to teach me not to meddle in specialized issues, a paper was published by Dr. Gwyneth A. Spaeder that was intended to refute my arguments. The affair was so badly orchestrated, with such bias, that it ended up bringing to light Dr. Spaeder's conflicts of interest. Dr. Massimo Citro Della Riva wanted to intervene in my defense, responding point-by-point, backing up his answers with hundreds of authoritative sources and unequivocal proofs. Dr. Spaeder's second paper, in reply to Dr. Citro, did not present any valid element to even minimally rebut Dr. Citro's statements. Dr. Citro now sets forth a conclusion to the dispute with a new irreproachable letter (below).
As a practical example of inclusivity and mercy, the Bergoglian 'pontificate' repudiates itself.
With the courtesy and refinement that always distinguish him, Dr. Citro has demonstrated the groundlessness of what Dr. Spaeder has affirmed (in particular by highlighting the conflict of interest that involves doctors, pharmaceutical companies, scientific publications, drug agencies, university bodies and public institutions). But, according to some, pointing out the evidence of a malicious intention in the management of the pandemic is an indication of psychiatric disturbance or diabolical possession '-- which says a lot about the professionalism of certain journalism outlets and the decline of certain news agencies.
Having taken note of the scandalous apostasy of the hierarchy, on the one hand, and the criminal plan of the globalist oligarchy on the other, one then understands why Bergoglio and his court are necessary supporters of the coup in progress. The corruption of the pharmaceutical industry, although it is well known, is deliberately ignored because Big Pharma is one of the principal allies of the elite in the pursuit of the Great Reset. The Bergoglian church is also a supporter of the New World Order, and the crimes committed under the pretext of the pandemic are culpably silenced by Bergoglio because he hopes to gain political advantage. This coup will be thwarted and, along with it, the sect of heretics and corrupt men that now occupies the Vatican will inexorably collapse.
But, in order for the truth to triumph and the guilty to be condemned, it is necessary to open our eyes, recognizing the crisis of authority both at the political and religious levels. Both of these, having denied their origin in God the Creator, Lord and Redeemer, have lost their legitimacy and, as a result, they have also lost the obligation on the part of citizens and the faithful to obey them. Let us pray, therefore, that both civil and ecclesiastical rulers may understand that only by returning to God and His law will they be able to merit the respect that today it is a duty to deny them. And may the Lord protect and give courage to those who oppose the kingdom of Satan on earth.
+ Carlo Maria Vigan², Archbishop
Jan. 27, 2022S. Joannis Chrysostomi Episcopi et Confessoris et Ecclesiae Doctoris
Dr. Massimo Citro's Second Reply to Dr. Gwyneth A. SpaederDear Dr. Spaeder,
Thank you for your reply. I have the highest esteem for you and for the world-famous institution from which you graduated, so I am sure that you will not be able to deny that coronaviruses cause a brief (and poor) antibody response (they may not even respond, sometimes) which does not allow the creation of effective vaccines against single-chain RNA viruses '-- for which failed attempts have been made in which the grave and frequent risks (Antibody-Dependent Enhancement, first of all) are superior to the benefits, that with these types of viruses you can never achieve the so-called herd immunity and that you should not vaccinate during the period of an epidemic, especially with these families of viruses, in order not to favor the mutations which flee from the vaccine as well as ADE and vaccine-resistance.
Dr. Gwyneth A. SpaederOur common scientific preparation must make us recognize that these are gene-based vaccines and, as such, are subject to the regulations of GMO drugs. This must be made clear to the public, just as it must be made clear that, although they have obtained conditional authorization, they do not de facto lose the characteristic of experimentation (since there is not yet sufficient data to establish their efficacy and safety). These molecules are already used in various oncological and lung diseases (such as cystic fibrosis and so on) but it is the first time ever that they are being used as vaccines. Personally, I think that all compulsory vaccines, including vaccines used on children, in the military and those imposed for work reasons, constitute a violation of the ethical codes of individual freedom.
We come to what you call the crux of our disagreement the way we assign value to medical research and publications. As an independent researcher, I usually study mainly serious publications in serious journals, selecting studies not polluted by partisan sponsorships or conflicts of interest. There is a need to be very cautious and attentive because self-referential or partisan studies (which today, as you well know, unfortunately constitute the majority) lack credibility. I remind you of the "Lancet-Gate" scandal: On May 22, 2020, in two of the most prestigious scientific journals, The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine, two studies claimed to have analyzed more than 96,000 records of COVID-19 patients from more than 600 hospitals in the world to prove that hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin are not only useless but even dangerous.
The studies were withdrawn two weeks later because they were phony, completely invented (the obvious purpose was to withdraw hydroxychloroquine from consideration as an excellent drug during the first phase of infection), as even the directors of the two journals admitted. Richard Horton himself (editor of The Lancet) had acknowledged in 2015 that "half of the scientific literature could be false" while the well-known epidemiologist John Ioannidis already argued in 2005, "most of the published studies are false, and many experiments are not replicable." So we must be very careful not to fall into the trap of "it is valid since it is published in an authoritative magazine." I am also in favor of rigorous and intellectually serious scientific investigation, and that is why I only consider works that bear the words "no financing, no conflicts of interest."
I only consider works that bear the words 'no financing, no conflicts of interest.'
For example, with regard to spike prefusion (which I also talk about in my book Apocalisse [Apocalypse] '-- in the process of publication), you cite the article by the esteemed cardiologist Glen Pyle[1], which criticizes numerous studies from which, through pseudoviruses, it is clear that the spike alone is able to seriously damage the endothelium, causing the deadly damage that we know.
Pyle argues that the vaccinal spike does not go into the circulation and therefore cannot damage the endothelium since "the vaccine remains largely contained near the injection site," and he states this based on the Ols study[2], which, however, does not refer to SARS-CoV-2 but to HIV-1 '-- and he limits himself to arguing that "the intradermal administration of an mRNA vaccine (there is no mention of the vaccine for SARS-CoV-2) led to a more efficient activation of antigen-presenting cells at the injection site than intramuscular vaccination and was accompanied by transiently higher levels of vaccine-specific T cell responses and antibody concentrations."
This does not mean that the spike does not go into the circulation. In addition, the Ols study is funded by the NIH (historical partner of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and by IAVI (in turn funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation): conflicts of interest. Pyle reiterates that no significant amount of vaccine enters the circulation since the EMA has established this.
But what scientific credibility can an entity that is 84% funded by the pharmaceutical industry have? Pyle claims that this would happen thanks to the conformational change due to prefusion, and he does so by citing the article by Cross[3], which reports the claims of the two inventors of prefusion, but note that Barney S. Graham and Jason McLellan work with NIH, NIAID and Moderna and are entirely biased. There is no credible scientific validity in these claims. According to Pyle, the spike thus engineered would not be able to make the shape change necessary to bind effectively to cells and cites Corbett's study[4], in which several different authors, including Graham himself, are inventors who have made patent applications for spike prefusion and for a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2: conflicts of interest.
But what scientific credibility can an entity that is 84% funded by the pharmaceutical industry have?
In the end, Pyle quotes verbatim that "in addition to designing the spike protein so that it cannot be fully activated, the protein is labeled with an extra piece still called transmembrane" and is based on Polack's well-known study[5] regarding the efficacy and safety of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a study funded by Pfizer and BioNTech '-- zero credibility!
You will know that Derek Lowe has also tried to argue that the vaccine is drained from lymph and not from blood, but, unfortunately, Lowe has conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry, having worked for Bayer, Vertex, Schering-Plough and Novartis and is a columnist for the Royal Society of Chemistry, whose "editorial policies meet the guidelines established by major funders" '-- including Wellcome, Research England, NIH, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, HHMI, UKRI and the European Commission. There is no evidence that spike vaccines do not go into circulation and produce damage, so how can it be said with certainty that the spike produced is harmless and that the contrary thesis is unfounded?
In contrast, Charles Hoffe states that only 25% of the vaccine remains at the injection site, while the other 75% reaches the circulation via the lymphatic system, damages the endothelium and increases coagulation (increase in the D-dimer) in more than 60% of patients. Hoffe has been harshly attacked, including by a study done by Imperial College London (repeatedly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), which has continually produced erroneous models of the epidemic. There is no evidence that the spike does not go into circulation; indeed, on the contrary, it has been seen that the spike vaccine circulates and is even conveyed by exosomes.[6]
In addition, C-terminal truncated and soluble spike variants spill into the lymphatic and blood circulation and tend to escape HLA (immune evasion syndrome) causing "serious side effects when they bind to endothelial cells that express ACE-2 in blood vessels, vaccine-induced COVID-19 mimicry syndrome."[7]
The danger of these vaccines is beyond question.
Similar incompletely translated proteins enter the lymphatic and blood circulation and are picked up by different receptors (which, over time, are increasing) also in the brain tissue (neuropilin-1 above all) being able to damage the vessels and the nervous system.[8] Truncated spikes can arrive in vivo to 26% of all those produced.[9] Spike vaccines circulate in our body, so much so that "mRNA vaccines cause inflammation of the endothelium (endotheliitis) and infiltration of T lymphocytes into the cardiac muscle."[10]
Thus, spike vaccines are responsible for serious vaccine damage and adverse reactions, including the death of many of those who have been vaccinated. The danger of these vaccines is beyond question.
Sorry to contradict you, but it is not at all true that these vaccines prevent hospitalization and death. There is no evidence that they have saved lives, on the other hand, they have killed many. Since this infection is treatable, it does not require vaccines as long as it is treated immediately and well. It is not so extraordinary that I have avoided hospitalization for my patients. I am only a doctor, not a specialist. I treat them in the way I have learned from literature and experience and hundreds of doctors in Italy, and other European nations have done the same as me and with even better results than me.
COVID-19 does not evolve into the severe form if it is treated, immediately and well, within the first 48 hours. It is medicine based on evidence. People heal, this is a piece of factual data. The tens of thousands of deaths or serious injuries among those who have undergone these serums are also evidence, above all among young people. The ineffectiveness of the vaccine is demonstrated by the epidemic itself, which is more ferocious than last year when the vaccines were not present.
The ineffectiveness of the vaccine is demonstrated by the epidemic itself, which is more ferocious than last year when the vaccines were not present.
The regime's propaganda has made the president of France say that the unvaccinated minority of about 7 million people in a nation where more than 90% of the people are vaccinated is the cause of the large number of infected people, about 300,000 per day. But, if mathematics is not an opinion, if it were only the unvaccinated who infect, then the infection would have run out in less than a month. Instead, it is the vaccinated themselves who become infected and infect others.
Quasispecies can also be induced by traditional vaccines (attenuated viruses), but in those used against SARS-CoV-2, engineered starting from a unique sequence for the spike, these variants are even more frequent, making vaccine effectiveness critical and favoring reinfections.[11]
Dear doctor, we are doctors; ours is a sacred role, and it has been so since ancient times, from Asclepius onwards. We must treat, reassure and protect our patients, and we must do so both in science and in conscience, without following the protocols written by the industry. If we are on the side of the patients, we cannot stand with the industry since the pharmaceutical industry does not want the good of others and certainly is not a sacred profession as that of the doctor must be.
Probably, each of us will remain in our positions. I am not interested in convincing anyone or in undermining the powerful financial oligarchic system that now rules everywhere. You will see that even this answer of mine will be accompanied by articles by some journalist who, not being able to argue about the contents, will invent nonsense concerning my person, confirming that they do not know how to make information but only propaganda.
Dear Dr. Spaeder, it has been a pleasure to discuss this issue with you, and I wish you all the best.
With esteem,
Massimo Citro, M.D.
Turin, 21 January 2022
[1] "COVID-19 Vaccines and Spike Proteins '' COVID-19 Resources Canada"covid19resources.ca
[2] Route of Vaccine Administration Alters Antigen Trafficking but Not Innate or Adaptive Immunity, (Cell Rep. 30(12): 3964-71. 2020)
[3] "The tiny tweak behind COVID-19 vaccines" (Chem Eng News. 98(38)
[4] SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine design enabled by prototype pathogen preparedness. Nature. 586(7830): 567-571. 2020
[5] Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine
[6] Bansal S et al, Cutting Edge: Circulating Exosomes with COVID Spike Protein Are Induced by BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) Vaccination prior to Development of Antibodies: A Novel Mechanism for Immune Activation by mRNA Vaccines J Immunol. 2021; 207(10):2405-10
[7] Kowarz, E. et al., Vaccine-Induced Covid-19 Mimicry" Syndrome: Splice reactions within the SARS-CoV-2 Spike open reading frame result in Spike protein variants that may cause thromboembolic events in patients immunized with vector-based vaccines
[8] Bolgan, L., COVID-19 - the vaccine, in www.studiesalute.it
[9] D'Alessandro A, High rate of SARS-CoV-2 nonsense spike genomes coding for prematurely truncated proteins. arXiv:2105.10074[q-bio. GN
[10] Gundry S, Observational Findings of PULS Cardiac Test Findings for Inflammatory Markers in Patients Receiving mRNA Vaccines. Circulation, 2021; 144: A10712
[11] Bolgan L., COVID-19 - the vaccine, in www.studiesalute.it
Read the first refutation by Dr. Citro Della Riva.
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Russia Agrees To To Supply Gas To China, Pays With Euro To Separate From Dollar
Sat, 05 Feb 2022 15:10
By
Donald Standeford, Correspondent
Date Published: February 5, 2022 06:53AM UTC
Last Modified: February 5, 2022 06:53AM UTC
MOSCOW - Russia has agreed on a 30 year contract to supply gas to China which will be fed to China through a new pipeline. China will be paying Russia for the gas in Euros in order to separate themselves from the US dollar which was outlined in the Russia-China Joint Statement published yesterday.
Gazprom, a Russian majority state-owned multinational energy corporation which currently holds a monopoly on gas exports via pipeline has agreed to send a fuel supply to Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) which is one of the largest energy groups in the world.
Gazprom has agreed to send CNPC 10 billion cubit meters of fuel per year according to Gazprom and CNPC officials. Gazprom is set to begin sending fuel through the pipeline to China in two to three years time according to announcements form the companies.
A Reuters source in Beijing stated that gas from Russia's Far East island of Sakhalin will be transported by pipeline across the Sea of Japan to northeast China's Heilongjiang province, 'reaching up to 10 bcm a year' around the year 2026.
The Reuters source said "China's coal shortage last year served as another wake-up call that natural gas has its special value, that's why CNPC decided to top up with the new pipeline deal".
Ken Kiat Lee, an analyst at consultancy FGE said "Piped gas from Russia can be supplied to northern China at prices that are competitive when compared with LNG".
Russia and China had announced in 2020 their intention to reduce their dependence upon the U.S. dollar and become more financially independence from the United States, creating a 'financial alliance' between the two countries.
Alex Maslov, director of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences told the Nikkei Asian Review in 2020 that the Russian-China 'dedollarization' was soon approaching a 'breakthrough moment' that could elevate their relationship to a 'de facto alliance'.
"The collaboration between Russia and China in the financial sphere tells us that they are finally finding the parameters for a new alliance with each other" Maslov had stated. "Many expected that this would be a military alliance or a trading alliance, but now the alliance is moving more in the banking and financial direction, and that is what can guarantee independence for both countries".
Heavy sanctions on China from the United States, as well as promised sanctions to Russia has seemingly influenced Russia and China to move into a closer, mutually beneficial economic relationship with one another, while becoming more and more independent from the West.
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Joe Rogan: Podcast star apologises over past use of racist language - BBC News
Sat, 05 Feb 2022 14:24
Image source, Getty Images
The US podcast host Joe Rogan has issued an apology over his past use of racist language on his popular show.
A widely-shared compilation video showed him repeatedly using the N-word in early episodes of his show, which has been running for over a decade.
The 54-year offered his "deepest" apologies and called his past use of the slur "shameful".
Rogan also apologised for making a racist comment about visiting a predominantly black neighbourhood.
He said he "felt sick" watching the compilation, and wished he could take his comments back.
During a six minute video posted to his Instagram page, the MMA commentator also said that he hoped his errors could help to educate others.
"I do hope that this can be a teachable moment for anybody that doesn't know how offensive that word can be coming out of a white person's mouth," the Spotify star said.
But Rogan also sought to defend himself, saying that many of the clips had been "taken out of context of twelve years of conversations on my podcast".
He said that he had often used the slur while quoting comedians such as Paul Mooney and Lenny Bruce, or while discussing the use of the word in movies directed by the filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
India Arie, the Grammy-winning artist who first posted the compilation video on her Instagram page, condemned Rogan's use of the slur and said she would remove her music from Spotify in protest.
"He shouldn't even be uttering the word. Don't even say it, under any context. Don't say it. That's where I stand. I have always stood there," Arie said.
Several artists have recently quit Spotify in protest at what they allege is Rogan's role in spreading coronavirus misinformation.
Spotify is thought to have paid more than $100m (£74m) for exclusive rights to the podcast in 2020.
Media caption, Ros Atkins looks at the controversy surrounding the US podcast presenter Joe Rogan and his Spotify show
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Barack and Michelle Obama 'preparing to shop for a new podcast partner' amid outcry over Joe Rogan
Sat, 05 Feb 2022 13:49
The Obamas are reportedly shopping around for new deals with other servicesSources say they're dissatisfied with the slow pace of production and Spotify's desire for more wide-reaching contentThe duo Higher Ground Audio signed a deal with the streaming service in 2019 Since then, Barack and Michelle have hosted their own shows, though they haven't posted new episodes in monthsThe news comes as Spotify faces backlash over podcaster Joe Rogan's COVID-related content The Obamas are said to be shopping for a new podcasting partner because they're frustrated with the slow pace of development at Spotify, where they're more interested in introducing new voices than on hosting shows themselves.
Former President Barack Obama, 60, and former First Lady Michelle, 58, are looking at new deals with other companies, three podcast industry sources told Insider.
The duo's Higher Ground Audio company signed a three-year deal with Spotify in June 2019, but sources say it can be hard to get a show green-lit at the Swedish music streamer.
Moreover, the Obamas are more interested in putting forth 'young new voices' rather than on carrying shows themselves, according to Vanity Fair, which first reported rumblings of the couple's dissatisfaction.
The news comes as Spotify faces backlash over Joe Rogan, the most popular podcaster on the platform, over what some call his peddling of COVID-19 misinformation.
In July 2020, the Michelle Obama Podcast debuted with the former president as the first guest. Above, the former First Lady interviews her brother Craig Robinson Barack Obama interviews Bruce Springsteen during the former president's eight-part podcast, Renegades: Born in the USA The Obamas are said to be shopping for a new podcasting partner because they're frustrated with the slow pace of development at SpotifyThe Obamas signed a deal to 'develop, produce and lend their voices' to select podcasts to be featured on the music streaming service back in June 2019.
Under the deal, Obama has hosted the eight-episode podcast Renegades: Born in the USA alongside Bruce Springsteen. It premiered on April 5, 2021.
In July 2020, the Michelle Obama Podcast debuted with the former president as the first guest. The last episode was released on September 16 of that year.
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Other podcasts produced by the Obamas include Tell Them, I Am, which features stories from Muslim voices, and The Big Hit Show, which premiered in January.
The Big Hit Show is hosted by journalist Alex Pappademas. Its first season focuses on the impact of the Twilight book and film series.
One source told Insider that it's possible the Obamas could renew their Spotify deal, though they now face stiffer competition than before as streaming services from Amazon and Apple have upped their investment in podcasts.
Another source said that Higher Ground's pitches don't always align with Spotify's interest in popular, wide-reaching shows.
News of the Obamas' dissatisfaction comes as Spotify faces backlash for Joe Rogan's peddling of alleged misinformation on his show Neil Young in Santa Monica, California on September 9, 2019Joni Mitchell in Washington, DC, on December 5, 2021Late last month, folk singer Neil Young told Spotify in an open letter that he wanted his music off the streaming service because Joe Rogan's podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, 'is spreading fake information about vaccines '' potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.'
Spotify complied and began pulling the singer-songwriter's catalogue from the service on Wednesday. A few days later, Joni Mitchell also demanded that her music be removed.
The Joe Rogan Experience is Spotify's highest-rated show, with each episode bringing over 10 million listeners.
The streaming service cut a deal believed to be worth over $100 million in late 2020 for the exclusive rights to host the former Fear Factor host's podcast. The Obama's deal was reportedly worth a similar amount.
Meanwhile, Taylor Swift fans are calling for the pop star, 32, to remove her music from the service in solidarity with Young and Mitchell.
'The fact is that Taylor Swift could probably end Joe Rogan with one tweet to Spotify,' one fan tweeted on Sunday to more than 6,700 likes.
Rogan addressed the controversy in an Instagram video on January 31.
'It's a strange responsibility to have this many viewers and listeners. It's nothing that I've prepared for. I'm going to do my best to balance things out.
'I'm just a person who sits down and talks to people and has conversations with them. I'm interested in telling the truth and finding out what the truth is.
'I'm very sorry that [Neil Young and Joni Mitchell] feel that way. I most certainly don't want that,' he said.
Rogan spoke hours after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have their own deal with the outlet, were in touch with Spotify to express their concerns the outlet could be spreading 'pandemic-related misinformation'.
Spotify boss Daniel Ek pushed back at employees demanding the ouster of Joe Rogan, saying the controversial podcaster is vital to the platform's future and it's not the company's place to 'dictate the discourse' of his show.
Fans are calling for Taylor Swift to remove her music from the Swedish streaming giant'There are many things that Joe Rogan says that I strongly disagree with and find very offensive,' Chief Executive Daniel Ek said at a company town hall on Wednesday, according to a transcript published by The Verge.
But 'if we want even a shot at achieving our bold ambitions, it will mean having content on Spotify that many of us may not be proud to be associated with.'
'Not anything goes, but there will be opinions, ideas, and beliefs that we disagree with strongly and even makes us angry or sad,' he added.
Spotify has found itself stuck between its $100million flagship talent and a popular backlash over COVID-19 misinformation on his shows.
Benjamin Bellamy: "Boostagram has an icon. [🗨¸+'š]=BOOST https://podc'..." - PodcastIndex Social
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 23:42
Intended for all stake holders of podcasting who are interested in improving the eco system
Sudden 'deaths' of collapsing athletes: Following the coronavirus misinformation trail - The Washington Post
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 21:12
We have explored before how Johnson routinely raises concerns about vaccines by citing data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a database co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. Anyone can submit a report to VAERS, and the reports are not verified. The numbers are basically meaningless.
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In this instance, we are more interested in his comment about ''athletes dropping dead on the field.'' His staff says, as with his references to VAERS, that Johnson is just asking questions, not making factual claims.
''Senator Johnson stated he has heard stories of athletes dying on the field and those should be investigated,'' spokeswoman Alexa Henning said. ''The Senator's point in raising these issues has always been that our federal health agencies should be concerned about reports on adverse reactions related to covid-19 vaccines and they should fully investigate and make their findings available to the American people.''
She provided a link to a website called Good Sciencing, maintained by anonymous people, that has a blog post with the headline, as of Jan. 31: ''577 Athlete Cardiac Arrests, Serious Issues, 352 Dead, After COVID Shot.''
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Here's the rub: This claim has been debunked repeatedly. The story of athletes dropping dead from coronavirus vaccines has its roots in mysterious Austrian websites with ties to that country's far-right populist party, the Freedom Party. Those stories were then recycled by right-wing media in the United States and then eventually came out of the mouth of a U.S. senator.
As is often the case, a kernel of truth '-- some people have reported an inflammation of the heart muscle known as myocarditis after taking mRNA-based vaccines '-- has been exploited by purveyors of falsehoods. Medical research shows the risk of getting myocarditis from the coronavirus itself is about 100 times higher than getting it from a vaccine.
Let's follow the misinformation trail.
A Danish soccer player collapses
On June 12, during the Euro 2020 match between Denmark and Finland, 29-year-old Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest shortly before halftime. Almost immediately, there was speculation online that the midfielder, who had seemed healthy, had a reaction to a coronavirus vaccine '-- even though his club football team, Inter Milan, said he had not been vaccinated.
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Lubos Motl, a blogger and physicist with a history of making false claims about coronavirus vaccines, tweeted that Eriksen had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 12 days earlier. He claimed his source was a radio interview with Inter Milan's chief medic and cardiologist, an interview that never happened and was quickly denied by Inter Milan and Radio Sportiva.
Motl deleted his tweet, but it was amplified by other vaccine skeptics who did not delete their tweets, such as Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter, and Brazilian journalist Allan dos Santos. (Their Twitter accounts were later suspended, as was Motl's.) The false claim quickly spread to Facebook, in many languages.
One entity that jumped on the story was Report24, a German-language website based in Austria. A commentary by a staff member identified as ''Willi Huber'' cited another Berenson tweet to claim that Inter Milan actually had started vaccinating players in March. (In reality, the Italian team did not schedule vaccinations until July, according to Italian news reports, before the start of the new season.) ''If Eriksen was vaccinated with the Pfizer/Biotech vaccine, a possible side effect would be myocarditis,'' Huber wrote.
Austrian websites fan the flames
On Sept. 14, another Austrian website, Wochenblick, posted a story with a provocative headline: ''Dead doctors, dead mothers: Why have so many people suddenly dropped dead?'' The article included a list of unexplained deaths, claiming that many appeared to be vaccinated and asserting that heart damage was one possible side effect. ''Is this just coincidence, or could there be something that connects all of these deaths?'' the article asked. If it's related to the coronavirus vaccines, ''there could very well be many more of these 'unexplained' deaths very soon.''
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It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. A few weeks later, on Oct. 4, Wochenblick zeroed in on athletes: ''Young people die after vaccination '-- athletes suddenly collapse!'' Deaths were becoming a ''Twitter trend,'' the article said, promoting a Twitter hashtag to collect reports of sudden, unexpected deaths. ''The number of cases of this heart disease is apparently literally shooting through the roof at the moment,'' the article said.
Correctiv, a German fact-checking organization, in September exposed how Wochenblick and Report24 appear to operate in tandem to spread false information, including attempting to influence elections in Germany. Report24 was created in March apparently by a group of Wochenblick employees after an editorial dispute.
But Correctiv concluded that virtually all Report24 authors ''seem to use pseudonyms or do not exist at all,'' and the listed address for both organizations do not lead to an editorial office. The address is also associated with another online site, Info-Direkt, that also publishes false reports. Correctiv found numerous links between identified people working for these websites and the Freedom Party of Austria, a link that is ''little disguised'' given the editorial tone and subjects covered by the three websites.
Myocarditis can be a side effect of coronavirus vaccines. But experts agree that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the rare and often mild risks. (John Farrell/The Washington Post)After Wochenblick focused on dead athletes, Report24 picked up the ball. On Oct. 28, under Huber's byline, the website published what it claimed was ''a long list of 'suddenly' deceased or seriously ill athletes,'' more than 75 in the previous five months. Buried in the story was this caveat: ''We do not claim that all of these people became ill and died because of the vaccination, nor that there is a proven connection in the case of vaccination.''
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The long list of Report24 articles on the coronavirus appears to demonstrate a bias against coronavirus vaccination. But in an email exchange with The Fact Checker, a person who responded to emails addressed to Huber said, ''Our editorial policy is not anti-vax, it is pro-truth.''
''If there are studies available, which prove government claims regarding vaccinations are wrong, we will report,'' the emailer wrote. ''If there is trustworthy, independent proof, that vaccinations work, we will report. If we can prove that people died close after their vaccination, we will report.''
After an exchange of questions about the Correctiv report '-- which indicated Huber was a pseudonym '-- the emailer wrote: ''Analyzing your style of questions and topics, you are part of politically biased fake news media, so our communication ends here. Sadly, you are not interested in truth but in leftist prejudices.''
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Norbert Geroldinger, managing director of Wochenblick, did not respond to a request for comment.
The 'news' travels to the United States
Report24's post caught the attention of vaccine skeptics in the United States.
On Nov. 4, the HighWire tweeted a translation of the Austrian article to its more than 100,000 followers. The HighWire is associated with the anti-vaccination group Informed Consent Action Network, which is headed by Del Bigtree, a major voice in the anti-vaccination movement.
Two days later, Granite Grok '-- run by what it calls ''fire-breathing, right-wing, hard-charging, gun-toting, opinionated, outspoken, rabble-rousing, letter-writing, radio microphone stomping, Conservatives and Rational Libertarians'' '-- also posted about the Report24 article.
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The report then spread across Facebook and on social media. On Nov. 10, it was fact-checked and labeled as false by PolitiFact as part of its partnership with Facebook. ''The athletes listed in the German news story did not all die, nor did they all have heart attacks,'' the fact check said, noting the caveat buried in the story.
But that same day, Wochenblick upped the ante: ''At least 69 athletes collapsed in one month, many dead.'' The article asserted that the mainstream media was ignoring the obvious connection to coronavirus vaccines.
By Nov. 16, the HighWire had produced a video titled ''Why Are Healthy Athletes Collapsing?'' that restated the debunked Report24 list. That led to another fact check by PolitiFact on Dec. 1 that flagged the video as false, limiting its circulation on the Facebook platform. A few weeks later, the HighWire reedited the video to remove names of players who had not been vaccinated.
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The headline was not changed, but a disclaimer was added: ''To be clear, a causal link has not been established between the covid vaccine and the conditions of the athletes in this video. This video represents an ongoing investigation into the question 'When have we ever seen this many athletes collapse on the field of play?' ''
That same month, the website Good Sciencing jumped on the bandwagon, posting a list of nearly 200 athletes and almost 100 deaths '-- which quickly grew. On Dec. 6, the popular right-wing website Gateway Pundit reported on an updated Good Sciencing list that now claimed nearly 300 athletes had collapsed or suffered cardiac arrests after getting a coronavirus vaccine in 2021, with many dying. That list, apparently assembled in part with help from a closed ''sudden injuries and deaths'' Telegram messenger group, was fact-checked by FactCheck.org and found riddled with errors.
Nevertheless, the list circulated ''like wildfire'' among players in Europe's top soccer league, according to the New York Times, hampering vaccination efforts among players. Reports also spread that 108 FIFA soccer players had died in a six-month period in 2021. That was fact-checked as false by Reuters.
For fact checkers, it's like a game of whack-a-mole. By late January, Good Sciencing claimed its list had grown to 577 players, with 352 dead. (Any close scrutiny finds links of deaths to a vaccine to be highly tenuous.) On Jan. 21, the HighWire posted a new video, titled ''Healthy athletes are still inexplicably collapsing.''
Johnson's staff suggested we speak with Ken Ruettgers, a former Green Bay Packers offensive tackle who started a website that collects information on bad reactions to coronavirus vaccinations after his wife suffered what he called ''a severe neurological reaction'' after her first Moderna shot.
''People are observing what they believe to be an increase,'' Ruettgers said in a phone interview after emailing links to his sources: the Good Sciencing list, the Granite Grok post and a report on Wochenblick's estimate of 69 collapsed athletes in a month. ''Based on what we have been seeing and what the CDC has said, it is a legitimate question,'' he said, referring to a CDC advisory of rare reports of mild myocarditis after vaccination, especially adolescent males and men under the age of 30. ''I think it is a good hypothesis. Maybe something is there or it's just our bias.'' As he put it in a later email, ''Bias (confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, etc.) plays a role in human and public perceptions and opinions,'' so ''further research would be a good action.''
But respected medical experts say there is no question: Contracting the coronavirus is much more dangerous to an athlete than getting vaccinated.
''Those lists are total misinformation. Most of the cases are from other established causes of sudden cardiac arrest in athletes, and some cases even occurred before the pandemic began,'' said Jonathan A. Drezner, editor in chief of the British Journal of Sports Medicine who conducts research with the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, which monitors all cases of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and death in athletes across the United States.
''The risk of myocarditis from mRNA vaccines is about 1 in 20,000,'' he said. ''The risk of cardiac involvement in young athletes from [covid] infection is about 1 in 200.'' The risk estimates come from peer-reviewed studies published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Drezner, director of the University of Washington Center for Sports Cardiology and a team physician for professional sports teams, added: ''Importantly, myocarditis represented 4 to 9 percent of SCA in athletes before the pandemic began, so these numbers are well within what has been routinely captured for viral-related SCA.''
Dermot Phelan, director of sports cardiology at Atrium Health in Charlotte, says he constantly gets questions about these lists from players, coaches, teams and leagues.
''Sports Cardiology remains a small subspecialty, and I personally know most, if not all, of the main practitioners in this country. We discuss this regularly as we do not want to miss any issue that will put our athletes at risk,'' he said. ''None of us have seen a true confirmed on-field death related to vaccination. While there is clearly a very, very small risk of mild myocarditis with vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh the risks.''
This depressing saga shows how ''just asking questions'' is used as a get-out-of-jail card for those peddling falsehoods about the coronavirus vaccines. Any vaccine carries some risk, but these lists of athletes, often assembled by anonymous individuals with no apparent medical credentials, are sketchy and anecdotal; there is no baseline comparison that would put these figures in context. Caveats that would detract from the scare headlines are buried.
Meanwhile, these reports have had their intended effect: spreading fear among athletes about covid vaccinations. A responsible politician would determine the facts, not ''ask questions'' premised on unverified claims made by bottom feeders of the Internet.
Anyone who spreads this misinformation, in whatever form, earns Four Pinocchios.
Send us facts to check by filling out this form
EU Actively Looking for Alternatives to Russian Gas, May Block Nord Stream 2, EC Prez Says
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 16:34
https://sputniknews.com/20220204/eu-actively-looking-for-alternatives-to-russian-gas-may-block-nord-stream-2-ec-prez-says-1092756727.html
EU Actively Looking for Alternatives to Russian Gas, May Block Nord Stream 2, EC Prez Says
EU Actively Looking for Alternatives to Russian Gas, May Block Nord Stream 2, EC Prez Says
European officials have threatened to include restrictions against the brand new pipeline among other sanctions to be levied against Moscow in the event of a... 04.02.2022, Sputnik International
2022-02-04T15:32+0000
2022-02-04T15:32+0000
2022-02-04T15:32+0000
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The European Union is actively looking for alternatives to Russian gas supplies, primarily from the United States, and the fate of the recently-completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will depend on Russia's actions, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said.The official accused Russian gas giant Gazprom of delivering less gas to Europe than it is capable of, and suggested that the company should increase deliveries as much as possible to account for the current spike in demand in the region.Gazprom has indicated repeatedly in recent months that it meets all of its obligations under existing agreements, and is willing to boost supplies to Europe immediately via new long-term contracts. The company has also encouraged Germany to speed up the certification of Nord Stream 2, which would bring up to 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year in additional capacity online. The Russian gas giant has also doubled exports to Europe through Ukraine this week, booking 108 million cubic meters of pipeline capacity for this purpose.The politician argued that Europe's reliance on Russian gas is fraught with risks over the long term, and pledged her support for the construction of a new liquefied natural gas terminal in Germany.''Generally, we speak to everyone, starting with Norway '' a supplier with whom we have had reliable cooperation for a long time, and also with Qatar, Azerbaijan, and Egypt. Of course, the United States also plays a big role. We will hold an energy summit in Washington on 7 February,'' von der Leyen said.SanctionsThe EC president also commented on new sanctions being drawn up by Brussels against Russia in the event of an ''invasion'' of Ukraine, saying that restrictions may include a ban on the sale of high-tech items to Russia which the country ''simply cannot replace on its own'' in fields including ''artificial intelligence and armaments, quantum computers, lasers and space flights. Russia needs to urgently modernize its economy. This cannot be done without technologies in which we undoubtedly hold a leading position in the world,'' she stressed.The European Commission chief visited Finland on Thursday, where she told reporters that the buildup of Russian military forces near Ukraine and in Belarus was the largest of its kind since the Second World War.Moscow has dismissed the West's sanctions threats over Ukraine, saying it has plans to hedge risks in place if new restrictions go into effect. Russian officials have also insisted repeatedly that the country has no plans to invade its neighbour, chalking up the claims made by Western officials and media on the subject to fearmongering aimed at justifying the continued buildup of NATO forces near Russia's border.Russia's concerns proved justified this week, with the Pentagon announcing that 1,000 US troops would be redeployed to Romania, with 2,000 more shipped to Germany and Poland. The US and its allies have also continued their deliveries of lethal arms aid to Kiev, citing the threat of Russian aggression.In an exceptional development possibly sparked by domestic economic and political instability, Ukrainian officials have sought to reign in their Western patrons' claims about the ''Russian threat'' in recent weeks, making statements both behind closed doors and publicly that NATO allegations are overblown, or even criticizing Western media for fearmongering.
https://sputniknews.com/20220131/eu-trade-commissioner-says-nord-stream-2-on-pause-pending-review-of-compliance-with-european-laws-1092643478.html
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ukraine, russia, gazprom, sanctions, european union, ursula von der leyen
Subscribe European officials have threatened to include restrictions against the brand new pipeline among other sanctions to be levied against Moscow in the event of a Russian ''invasion'' of Ukraine. Russian officials have dismissed the ''invasion'' claims and accused the West of stoking tensions to justify beefing up NATO's footprint in Eastern Europe.
The European Union is actively looking for alternatives to Russian gas supplies, primarily from the United States, and the fate of the recently-completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will depend on Russia's actions, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said.
''Moscow is using gas as a tool to put pressure on us, so Nord Stream 2 cannot be excluded from sanctions lists,'' von der Leyen
said in an interview with French financial newspaper Les Echos on Friday.
The official accused Russian gas giant Gazprom of delivering less gas to Europe than it is capable of, and suggested that the company should increase deliveries as much as possible to account for the current spike in demand in the region.
Gazprom has indicated repeatedly in recent months that it meets all of its obligations under existing agreements, and is willing to boost supplies to Europe immediately via new long-term contracts. The company has also encouraged Germany to speed up the certification of Nord Stream 2, which would bring up to 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year in additional capacity online. The Russian gas giant has also
doubled exports to Europe through Ukraine this week, booking 108 million cubic meters of pipeline capacity for this purpose.
In a separate
interview with German business newspaper Handelsblatt, also on Friday, von der Leyen admitted that Gazprom was fulfilling all of its contracts with European countries, but maintained that the company was ''doing the minimum,'' with ''other gas suppliers increasing supplies amid rising demand and record prices, but Gazprom not doing so. This is how the Russian-owned company is sowing doubts about its own reliability,'' she suggested.
The politician argued that Europe's reliance on Russian gas is fraught with risks over the long term, and pledged her support for the construction of a new liquefied natural gas terminal in Germany.
''Generally, we speak to everyone, starting with Norway '' a supplier with whom we have had reliable cooperation for a long time, and also with Qatar, Azerbaijan, and Egypt. Of course, the United States also plays a big role. We will hold an energy summit in Washington on 7 February,'' von der Leyen said.
The EC president also commented on new sanctions being drawn up by Brussels against Russia in the event of an ''invasion'' of Ukraine, saying that restrictions may include a ban on the sale of high-tech items to Russia which the country ''simply cannot replace on its own'' in fields including ''artificial intelligence and armaments, quantum computers, lasers and space flights. Russia needs to urgently modernize its economy. This cannot be done without technologies in which we undoubtedly hold a leading position in the world,'' she stressed.
Von der Leyen warned that the European Commission's ''comprehensive'' package of economic and financial sanctions would also include restrictions on access to foreign capital. ''This will make Russia's economy even more fragile,'' she suggested.
The European Commission chief visited Finland on Thursday, where she told reporters that the buildup of Russian military forces near Ukraine and in Belarus was the largest of its kind since the Second World War.
Moscow has dismissed the West's sanctions threats over Ukraine, saying it has
plans to hedge risks in place if new restrictions go into effect. Russian officials have also insisted repeatedly that the country has no plans to invade its neighbour, chalking up the claims made by Western officials and media on the subject to fearmongering aimed at justifying the continued buildup of NATO forces near Russia's border.
Russia's concerns proved justified this week, with the Pentagon announcing that 1,000 US troops would be redeployed to Romania, with 2,000 more shipped to Germany and Poland. The US and its allies have also continued their deliveries of lethal arms aid to Kiev, citing the threat of Russian aggression.
In an exceptional development possibly sparked by domestic economic and political instability, Ukrainian officials have sought to reign in their Western patrons' claims about the ''Russian threat'' in recent weeks, making statements both
behind closed doors and
publicly that NATO allegations are overblown, or even criticizing Western media for fearmongering.
Jens Stoltenberg to become next governor of Norway's central bank | Euronews
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 15:28
Norway
By Euronews with AP, AFP ' Updated: 04/02/2022 - 15:01
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will become Norway's next central bank governor, the government announced on Friday.
Stoltenberg's tenure at NATO ends later this year and he is expected to start his new role around 1 December.
The 62-year-old twice served as Norway's prime minister before becoming NATO secretary-general in 2014. After a successful first term, his mandate at the trans-Atlantic alliance was extended.
The announcement comes amid heightened tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine.
"Until my tenure at NATO ends on 1 October, I will use all my strength and attention on the leadership of the alliance," Stoltenberg said at a video conference on Friday.
"This is absolutely necessary at a time when Europe and North America must stand together," he added.
Stoltenberg has been praised for steering NATO through a difficult period under the Trump administration when the US threatened not to aid member countries that weren't spending enough on defence.
"I have been keen to find the best central bank governor for Norway and ... I am convinced that it is Jens Stoltenberg," said Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.
The current governor of Norges Bank -- 70-year-old ystein Olsen -- is retiring this year after holding the position for two terms since January 2011.
Stoltenberg was appointed ahead of the current Central Bank vice-president Ida Wolden Bache, who would have been the first woman to hold the role.
Norwegian opposition parties have argued that Stoltenberg's appointment could damage the independence of the central bank, given his close ties to the country's Socialist government.
The psychological reason that so many fall for the ''Big Lie''
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 15:18
Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels coined the term ''Big Lie.'' According to the supposed quote, Goebbels said that if you tell ''a lie big enough'' and regularly repeat it, ''people will eventually come to believe it.'' That said, Adolf Hitler actually did use the phrase ''big lie'' '-- but not to describe his own propaganda strategy. In a darkly ironic case of psychological projection, he came up with the expression to defame the Jewish community.
''In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility,'' Hitler wrote in ''Mein Kampf,'' his 1925 autobiographical manifesto. He observed that most people are only comfortable telling small lies, and imagined others would be as uncomfortable as themselves perpetuating big ones. ''It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously,'' Hitler explained. ''Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.''
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More Aggressive HIV Strain That Leads To AIDS Twice As Fast Discovered...
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 15:16
OXFORD, United Kingdom '-- A more aggressive HIV strain that can cause patients to develop AIDS twice as fast has been discovered in the Netherlands.
The new variant is highly virulent and potentially lethal without early detection, according to researchers from the University of Oxford. Individuals with an HIV infection need quick treatment, before the virus can ravage their immune system.
Scientists call this variant ''VB'' (virulent subtype B) and add that it may also have implications for COVID-19, since continuous mutations keep fueling the ongoing pandemic.
For many years, there have been concerns this could arise in HIV and the new study appears to confirm this possibility. The AIDS-causing virus affects 38 million people worldwide and has claimed 33 million lives.
''Before this study, the genetics of the HIV virus were known to be relevant for virulence, implying that the evolution of a new variant could change its impact on health. Discovery of the VB variant demonstrated this, providing a rare example of the risk posed by viral virulence evolution,'' says lead author Dr. Chris Wymant in a media release.
What makes VB so much more dangerous?Patients with VB had a viral load '' the virus level in the blood '' between 3.5 and 5.5 times higher than the typical HIV strain. They were also more likely to transmit the virus to others.
Moreover, the rate of decline in T cells '' the hallmark of immune system damage '' occurs twice as fast in patients with VB. Also known as CD4 cells, T cells are special cells in the immune system that fight off infections. By the time of a patient's diagnosis with the new variant, they were vulnerable to full-blown AIDS within two to three years.
''Our findings emphasize the importance of World Health Organization guidance that individuals at risk of acquiring HIV have access to regular testing to allow early diagnosis, followed by immediate treatment. This limits the amount of time HIV can damage an individual's immune system and jeopardize their health. It also ensures that HIV is suppressed as quickly as possible, which prevents transmission to other individuals,'' says senior author Professor Christophe Fraser.
Scientists first identified VB in 17 HIV-positive individuals from the BEEHIVE project that collects samples from across Europe and Uganda. Since 15 of those cases come from the Netherlands, the researchers analyzed data from a cohort of over 6,700 Dutch HIV patients.
This identified an additional 92 cases from around the country, bringing the total to 109. An analysis of genetic patterns suggests VB developed during the late 1980s or 1990s in the Netherlands. It spread more quickly than other variants during the 2000s, but cases have been declining since around 2010.
HIV researchers divide the virus into two main types '' HIV-1 and HIV-2. The former is more virulent and responsible for most cases. VB belongs to a subgroup of this strain.
New HIV strain is 'not a public health crisis'All of these variants pass from person to person in the same ways, such as unprotected sex and sharing needles. However, researchers say some are easier to pass on than others. Study authors believe VB emerged in spite of widespread treatment and awareness campaign regarding HIV '' not because of it. Effective drugs can suppress transmission.
Patients showed typical characteristics for people living with HIV in the Netherlands including age, sex, and suspected mode of transmission. This indicates the increased transmissibility is due to a property of the virus itself '' rather than any differing behaviors of the people with the virus.
Reassuringly, after starting treatment, immune system recovery and survival rates were similar to those involving other strains. However, the researchers stress that VB causes a more rapid decline in immune system strength. This makes it critical individuals receive early diagnosis and treatment after an infection. Further research to understand the mechanisms could reveal new targets for next-generation antiretroviral drugs.
The study also notes VB displays many mutations throughout its genome. A single genetic cause for this is not clear at this stage.
Dr. Joel Wertheim, an HIV expert at the University of California-San Diego, who did not take part in the study, says sexually active individuals should not panic.
''Observing the emergence of more virulent and transmissible HIV is not a public health crisis,'' Dr. Wertheim tells SWNS in a statement. ''Let us not forget the overreaction of the claim of 'Super AIDS' in 2005.''
''Alarm was raised over a rapidly progressing, multidrug-resistant HIV infection found in New York that was ultimately restricted to a single individual,'' Wertheim concludes.
The findings appear in the journal Science.
South West News Service writer Mark Waghorn contributed to this report.
Cyberattack on NEWS CORP, Believed Linked to China, Targeted Emails of Journalists, Others...
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 15:15
The attack, discovered on Jan. 20, affected units including The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and the U.K. news operation
Updated Feb. 4, 2022 9:41 am ETNews Corp was the target of a hack that accessed emails and documents of some employees, including journalists, an incursion the company's cybersecurity consultant said was likely meant to gather intelligence to benefit China's interests.
The attack, discovered on Jan. 20, affected a number of publications and business units including The Wall Street Journal and its parent Dow Jones; the New York Post; the company's U.K. news operation; and News Corp headquarters, according to an email the company sent to staff Friday.
...
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News Corp was the target of a hack that accessed emails and documents of some employees, including journalists, an incursion the company's cybersecurity consultant said was likely meant to gather intelligence to benefit China's interests.
The attack, discovered on Jan. 20, affected a number of publications and business units including The Wall Street Journal and its parent Dow Jones; the New York Post; the company's U.K. news operation; and News Corp headquarters, according to an email the company sent to staff Friday.
News Corp said it notified law enforcement and hired cybersecurity firm Mandiant Inc. to support an investigation.
''Mandiant assesses that those behind this activity have a China nexus, and we believe they are likely involved in espionage activities to collect intelligence to benefit China's interests,'' said David Wong, vice president of incident response at Mandiant.
News Corp disclosed the hack in a securities filing Friday, saying its preliminary analysis indicates that data was taken.
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Representatives for the Chinese Embassy in Washington didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
News Corp said in the memo to staff it believes the threat activity is contained. The company has been offering guidance to affected employees.
''We are committed to protecting our journalists and sources. We will not be deterred from our purpose'--to provide uniquely trusted journalism and analysis. We will continue to publish the important stories of our time,'' said Almar Latour, chief executive of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
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The company's investigation indicates that systems housing financial and customer data, including subscriber information, weren't affected, according to the securities filing and a person familiar with the matter.
Law-enforcement officials and cybersecurity experts say that journalists are often high-priority targets for hackers seeking to gain intelligence on behalf of foreign governments, because they speak to sources who might have valuable or sensitive information. Powerful surveillance tools have been used against journalists and human-rights activists.
U.S. authorities have accused China-based hackers for years of targeting a range of American businesses and government institutions. FBI Director Christopher Wray said this week that Beijing is running a ''massive, sophisticated hacking program that is bigger than those of every other major nation combined.'' The FBI has more than 2,000 active investigations related to allegations of Chinese-government-directed theft of U.S. information or technology, Mr. Wray said.
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China has repeatedly denied allegations that it has carried out cyberattacks.
In 2013, Chinese hackers trying to monitor news coverage of China hacked into the Journal's network, apparently aiming to spy on reporters covering China and other issues, the Journal reported. The New York Times had experienced a similar attack. At the time, a Chinese embassy spokesman condemned allegations of Chinese cyberspying and said Beijing prohibits cyberattacks.
In February 2020, China revoked the press credentials of three Journal reporters based in Beijing. China's Foreign Ministry said the move was punishment for an opinion piece published by the Journal. The three journalists work for the Journal's news operation, which operates with a strict separation from the opinion staff.
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The following month, the Trump administration announced a personnel cap in the U.S. on four state-run Chinese media outlets. Later that March, China expelled from the country American journalists from multiple news organizations, including the Journal.
In November 2021, each country agreed to ease visa restrictions for the other's reporters. The Journal was among a handful of U.S. outlets set to receive new press credentials for some staff.
Write to Alexandra Bruell at alexandra.bruell@wsj.com and Sadie Gurman at sadie.gurman@wsj.com
Plan to dismantle bridge forr Bezos yacht sparks anger...
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 15:14
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) '-- A plan to temporarily dismantle a recently restored historic bridge in the heart of Dutch port city Rotterdam so that a huge yacht, reportedly being built for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, can get to the North Sea is unlikely to be plain sailing.
Reports this week that the city had already agreed to take apart the Koningshaven Bridge, known locally as De Hef, sparked anger with one Facebook event set up calling for people to pelt the multimillion dollar yacht with rotten eggs.
However, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told The Associated Press on Friday that while a request has been submitted by a shipbuilder for the bridge to temporarily be taken apart over the summer, no permit has yet been sought or granted.
''I think it's easy to understand why it's so controversial because this is a very beautiful, recently restored old bridge,'' said Rotterdam resident Lizette Touber. ''It really is our heritage. And I think that if the rich can pay for it to be opened, which normally nobody else could do, then you get controversy.''
In a written statement, Aboutaleb, who is on a visit to Colombia, said that once a request for a permit is submitted it will be assessed based on factors including economic impact, environmental nuisance and possible risks to the ''monumental structure'' of the bridge.
''When the permit has been applied for, the municipality can make a decision about this, details can be further elaborated and a plan can be made in the event of a positive decision,'' the statement said.
The municipality declined to comment on who owns the yacht in question or identify the shipbuilder. An email sent to Amazon seeking comment went unanswered.
The current Hef railway bridge was opened for trains to cross the Maas River in 1927 and taken out of service in 1993 when it was replaced by a tunnel. Public protests spared it from demolition and it eventually underwent a three-year renovation that ended in 2017. The middle section of the bridge can be raised to allow ships to pass underneath, but apparently not high enough for the new yacht's masts.
Ton Wesselink, chairman of a Rotterdam historical society, feared that a decision to allow one yacht through the bridge could set a precedent for others.
''The thing we don't want is that this yacht issue will open the possibility for shipbuilders to use it the same way,'' he said in an email to AP.
But there were voices of support for the proposal.
''I think it's fine. Let Bezos pay a high price. It creates work. I only see upsides,'' said Rotterdam resident Ria van den Vousten.
''If it is paid for and everybody makes some money, don't complain. Don't talk, but act, as we say in Rotterdam,'' she added.
____
Corder reported from The Hague.
Why Are Millionaires From All Over the Country Moving to This Little-Known Arizona Suburb? - WSJ
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 15:12
In Paradise Valley, home prices are roughly double what they were just three years ago
Updated Feb. 3, 2022 11:13 am ETFor Tina Garrity, the decision to relocate from Chicago to Paradise Valley, Ariz., in the early months of the pandemic was an easy one.
Ms. Garrity, 57, who has a management consulting business, has been visiting the Phoenix area for decades to see family. In March 2019, she bought a roughly 6,400-square-foot home for $1.85 million in Paradise Valley to stay in a few times a year. But when the pandemic hit, she began working remotely and decided to make it her primary residence.
In...
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For Tina Garrity, the decision to relocate from Chicago to Paradise Valley, Ariz., in the early months of the pandemic was an easy one.
Ms. Garrity, 57, who has a management consulting business, has been visiting the Phoenix area for decades to see family. In March 2019, she bought a roughly 6,400-square-foot home for $1.85 million in Paradise Valley to stay in a few times a year. But when the pandemic hit, she began working remotely and decided to make it her primary residence.
In contrast to her two-bedroom Chicago rental with no outdoor space, Ms. Garrity's Paradise Valley property spans just over an acre with a guesthouse, tennis court and putting green.
''Having a backyard and having space made a huge difference in work and life in general,'' said Ms. Garrity, who has kept her Chicago apartment for when she needs to see clients in the city.
Ms. Garrity is one of many out-of-state buyers who have relocated to Paradise Valley since the onset of the pandemic, creating unprecedented demand in the affluent town between Phoenix and Scottsdale, according to real-estate agent Joan Levinson.
The suburb has long been little-known outside Arizona, even as it attracted high-profile residents such as Randy Johnson, Mike Tyson, Stevie Nicks and Muhammad Ali. But since Covid, agents said, droves of buyers from New York, California and elsewhere'--now able to work remotely'--have set their sights on Paradise Valley. They are drawn by Arizona's warm weather and low taxes, as well as Paradise Valley's privacy, spacious lots and proximity to city life in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
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Before the pandemic, the majority of the activity in the Paradise Valley market came from wealthy locals, with some coming from out-of-state buyers mostly looking for second homes, according to Ms. Levinson. Now, out-of-state buyers are flooding the market looking for primary homes, she said.
''Pre-pandemic, we always had some out-of-state buyers but the largest proportion of buyers were Arizona people,'' said local broker Greg Hague.
Prices in Paradise Valley have skyrocketed, according to Mr. Hague. The median listing price of Paradise Valley homes is now just over $5 million, roughly double what it was just three years ago, he said. On PropertyShark's 2021 ranking of the most expensive U.S. ZIP Codes, Paradise Valley ranked 50th with a median sales price of $2.175 million, up 41% from 2020. That is a dramatic change from 2019, when the town made its first appearance on the list at 93rd.
Meanwhile, the town is drawing wealthier people than ever before.
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''Our mainstream client probably had a net worth of $50 million about three years ago,'' said Rich Brock, president and founder of Paradise Valley-based home builder BedBrock Developers. ''Now, it's definitely over $100 million, and a good handful are over half a billion.''
Nestled between Scottsdale and Phoenix, Paradise Valley is surrounded by mountains. The town has multiple golf courses and high-end resorts, including Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, which was recently acquired by New York-based Gurney's Resorts. Later this year, the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley at The Palmeraie will open with villas and a resort.
Other than its resorts, the town is almost exclusively residential, with most single-family lots zoned to span an acre or more, according to Paradise Valley Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner, who said the large lots have been a major draw during the pandemic.
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In June 2021, Samantha and Morgan Dollard listed their San Francisco home and set off on a road trip to find a new place to live. Mrs. Dollard, 38, is a stay-at-home mom and Mr. Dollard, 42, works remotely in product management in the tech industry. They have three children in elementary school. In October 2020, they became overwhelmed with the challenges of remote learning and switched to home schooling. With their children no longer in school in California, they decided to sell.
''We were looking for something less busy,'' Mrs. Dollard said. ''We were looking for more space. We were looking for more peace. We felt like we were always stressed and running in the Bay Area.''
After considering locations such as Orange County, San Diego, Boulder, and Denver, they decided on Paradise Valley, she said. About two weeks into their road trip, they sold their roughly 2,700-square-foot home in San Francisco for $3.25 million, she said. About a month later, they bought a roughly 5,800-square-foot, 5-bedroom home in Paradise Valley for $2.875 million.
''Each of the kids have their own room, my husband has his own office,'' Ms. Dollard said. ''It feels like we have space to just be.''
For many buyers, Ms. Levinson said, Paradise Valley is appealing because of its proximity to urban amenities; the town is located about 4 miles from downtown Scottsdale and 15 miles from downtown Phoenix.
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That was a major plus for Connie De Groot and her fianc(C), Richard Engel, a real-estate developer, who moved to Paradise Valley from Santa Monica, Calif., in 2021. Ms. De Groot, a real-estate agent, has family in Phoenix and Mr. Engel has been developing properties in Arizona for about three decades. They were drawn to Paradise Valley, they said, because it has spacious lots, quiet streets, greenery and its own police department, all while being close to the Phoenix and Scottsdale city life. ''We wanted to be close to restaurants and things, because that's what we have in Santa Monica,'' Ms. De Groot said.
Like a number of other transplants, Ms. De Groot, 58, and Mr. Engel, 76, also said politics played a role in their decision to move their primary residence to Arizona. In California, they feel local policies have led to rising crime, higher taxes, congestion and homelessness. In addition, everything was locked down in California, Ms. De Groot said, but in Arizona they were able to go to restaurants and gyms.
In March 2021, they bought a home in Paradise Valley for about $3.3 million. A few months later, a newer home in the town with more space became available, so they bought it for $5.799 million and sold the first house for about $350,000 more than what they paid. Their new property spans over 2 acres with a pool, two casitas, a pickleball court, a citrus orchard and a koi pond. It is about 2,500 square feet larger than their California home, which sits on less than an acre. Still, their taxes are considerably less, Mr. Engel said.
While Ms. De Groot and Mr. Engel have made Paradise Valley their primary residence, they still own their California home and plan on spending time there, especially during Paradise Valley's hotter months, which are typically June through August. During those months, agents said, many area residents seek refuge in their second homes, which are either out of state or in the mountains about two hours' drive from the town.
Like other high-end markets across the country, inventory in Paradise Valley has shrunk, driving up prices even more. ''For all the years I've sold real estate in Paradise Valley, there were typically 300 to 400 homes on the market at any given time,'' Mr. Hague said; by contrast, on Jan. 25 there were just 78 homes listed.
For David Wurtz, a 37-year-old tech industry executive, the warm weather is what pushed him to move to Arizona from Boulder, Colo., with his wife and family last year. Mr. Wurtz, who was familiar with Arizona because he visited growing up, said they moved because pandemic-related lockdowns halted many of their children's indoor activities. In Paradise Valley, by contrast, most extracurriculars can be held outdoors.
They sold their Boulder home and bought a roughly 14,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial in Paradise Valley for about $13.5 million. The approximately 2.5-acre property includes a swimming pool, a basketball court, and an exercise track that wraps around the perimeter.
''We're having fun in Paradise Valley,'' Mr. Wurtz said.
Lord Ahmed: Ex Labour peer jailed for child sex offences
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 15:10
Image source, Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Image caption, Lord Ahmed, pictured arriving at court in late November, resigned from the House of Lords in November 2020
A former Labour peer convicted of sexually abusing two children has been jailed for five years and six months.
Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, 64, was found guilty in January of a serious sexual assault against a boy and the attempted rape of a young girl in the 1970s.
The repeated sexual abuse happened in Rotherham when he was a teenager, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Lavender said his actions had had "profound and lifelong effects" on the victims.
The court heard Lord Ahmed, who was tried under his real name Nazir Ahmed, attempted to rape the girl in the early 1970s, when he was aged 16 or 17 but she was much younger.
The attack on the boy, who was aged under 11 at the time, also happened during the same period.
Ahmed had denied the charges, calling them a "malicious fiction", but a phone recording of a conversation between the two victims in 2016 showed they were not "made-up".
The judge said the offences were "so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified".
He added: "You were a child yourself when you committed these crimes. It makes sentencing extremely difficult.
"The fact that it happened so long ago only adds to the difficulty."
Lord Ahmed, who was convicted following a retrial, resigned from the House of Lords in November 2020 after a conduct committee report concluded he had sexually and emotionally exploited a vulnerable woman who sought his help.
The inquiry into his behaviour followed a BBC Newsnight investigation.
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VIDEO - Tense moments in Situation Room as Biden oversaw raid on ISIS leader that was months in the making - CNNPolitics
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:20
(CNN)President Joe Biden watched in real time Wednesday as US commandos landed in Syria to raid a three-story home, surrounded by olive trees, where the top leader of ISIS was living with his wife and members of his family.
From the head of the Situation Room table, Biden watched anxiously as an American helicopter suffered mechanical problems on the ground.
There was relief in the room when children emerged from the first floor of the building, running to safety.
Moments later, an explosion rocked the site: a suicide detonation that killed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, his wife and his children, blowing their bodies outside the building and onto the surrounding land.
The details of how Biden monitored the raid came from senior administration officials, who recounted it in detail on Thursday morning. Their description was of a successful operation that took out a critical terror leader while avoiding any American casualties. The US officials insisted the only civilian casualties were those caused by the leader himself when he blew apart his residence with his family inside.
It was the highest-profile counter-terror operation of Biden's tenure, and officials appeared intent on using it to cast the President in a decisive light. In some ways, it mirrored raids ordered by Biden's two predecessors to take out terror leaders in their homes, each of which was monitored in real time on a secure feed.
Like after those missions, the White House has capitalized on the moment. It quickly released a photograph of a jacket-less President in the Situation Room, staring intently ahead as the raid unfolded.
Biden emerged midmorning to deliver a brief statement about the mission from the White House Roosevelt Room.
"This operation is a testament to America's reach and capability to take out terrorist threats no matter where they try to hide anywhere in the world," he said, issuing a message to terrorists who are still at large: "We will come after you and find you."
He added that every precaution had been made to protect civilians, saying, "We do know that as our troops approached to capture the terrorist, in a final act of desperate cowardice with no regard to the life of his own family or those of others in the building, he chose to blow himself up ... rather than face justice for the crimes he has committed."
When Biden was vice president, he had opposed the risky mission to take out al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at his compound in Pakistan, an ultimately successful operation that was designed to limit civilian casualties.
Biden's mission mirrored that operation in some ways, and he similarly decided upon using American special forces to take out the ISIS leader instead of ordering an airstrike on the home, a sign his views of the risks had shifted in the more than 10 years since bin Laden's death.
"Knowing that this terrorist had chosen to surround himself with families, including children, we made a choice to pursue a Special Forces raid at a much greater risk to our own people rather than targeting him with an airstrike. We made this choice to minimize civilian casualties," Biden said on Thursday morning.
US descriptions of the raid were derived from accounts on the ground and the real-time feed. In the past, early US accounting has later turned out to be incomplete or wrong. Sources on the ground reported at least 13 fatalities during the raid, including six children and four women, according to the Syrian civil defense group the White Helmets.
'Tremendous tension'
In Washington, officials described an operation months in the making meant to incapacitate a shadowy leader of a terror group that some feared was regrouping.
"We think the impact of (the killing of Qurayshi) is going to be a blow to
ISIS," a senior administration official said, saying the terrorist "was heavily involved in running many of the operations."
Officials said he oversaw ISIS branches abroad -- including the one in Afghanistan responsible for the deaths of US Marines last year -- and played a key role in the genocide of the Yazidi ethnic minority.
The US' intelligence gathering on the leader of ISIS had ramped up over the fall and culminated in a detailed briefing to Biden on December 20 on an operation to capture Qurayshi, another senior administration official said.
That official declined to detail how the US had finally zeroed in on the precise location of the terror organization's leader but noted that Qurayshi had had couriers to communicate with the outside world that were part of the intelligence that led to his location.
Five days before Christmas, Biden sat down with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the commander of US Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie, and others to work through in painstaking detail how an operation to capture Qurayshi would work and what risks it would entail. The operation was fraught with risk because of the civilians who occupied the same building as the ISIS leader.
At one point, top Pentagon officials brought a tabletop model of the location to the Situation Room to walk the President through their plans.
The target, Qurayshi, never left his compound. Living on the third floor with his family, he emerged only occasionally to bathe on the roof. Families with no connection to ISIS lived on the first floor, apparently without knowledge of the terrorist two stories above them.
It was months ago that the US had learned the leader of ISIS was living there, running his terror operation through the network of couriers. When Biden was briefed by operational commanders in December, he ordered the Pentagon to take precautions to minimize civilian deaths -- a difficult proposition for a target who appeared to intentionally surround himself with children and families as protection.
US forces who carried out the mission rehearsed the operation, including the safeguards to protect innocents. When the American team landed, they announced their presence loudly, asking those inside the building to leave and for others in the surrounding residential area to stay away.
The military had planned for a two-hour operation at the scene, underscoring the need to minimize civilian casualties.
Biden gave final approval of the operation on Tuesday in the Oval Office, where he was briefed by Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
There was "tremendous tension" in the Situation Room a day later as the President, Vice President Kamala Harris and members of Biden's military and national security teams monitored the situation in "real time."
Others in the room included national security adviser Jake Sullivan, deputy national security adviser Jonathan Finer, homeland security adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, White House chief of staff Ron Klain and Brett McGurk, the White House coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa.
Austin and Milley watched from the Pentagon.
Months in the making
Biden had been "very steeped in the operational details" after months of planning, a senior administration official said, which included the model of the building housing the top ISIS leader brought by military leaders into the Situation Room in December. He engaged in a "constant give and take" with his military commanders.
By early December, US intelligence officials were certain Qurayshi was living in the residence.
Planning was incredibly complex, the official said. Qurayshi was living in a residential neighborhood on the third floor of a building housing families, including children.
Qurayshi himself rarely left the building and his "human shields," officials said, save for occasional baths on the roof.
The objective was to capture Qurayshi alive. He had revealed valuable information when the US detained him in Iraq in 2008, and there was a distinct possibility he could do so again, this time as the head of ISIS. Adding to Qurayshi's perceived intelligence value was the fact that while in US custody, "he sang like a canary," a top former counterterrorism official familiar with the interrogation reports said.
"Investigators gained enormous insights about [al Qaeda in Iraq] because of what he told them," said Ambassador Nathan Sales, the US coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department under President Donald Trump.
US officials "of course" considered that Qurayshi might detonate himself during the operation, in the same way ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had done during the raid that killed him in 2019. It was Biden himself who had asked about the possibility that Qurayshi would be armed with a suicide vest or other type of explosive.
That is precisely what happened. Inside the Situation Room, Biden received a report of a "significant explosion," which officials say ultimately killed Qurayshi and his family.
"That happened fairly early in the operation," the senior administration official explained. From there, things ran in a "linear fashion," and all deaths and casualties were a result of actions of members of ISIS, the White House alleged.
The blast occurred before any US forces entered the building, destroying the third floor and sending bodies into the surrounding area.
The explosive was far larger than what US officials assumed Qurayshi would use when they modeled how an explosion might affect the building -- beyond what a suicide vest could do, a senior administration official said -- tearing apart the top of the building. As a result, US officials believe the entirety of the third floor itself may have been wired with explosives, the official added.
Military engineers had determined ahead of time the blast would not cause the building to collapse.
"I doubt he knew that when he set off that detonation," a senior administration official said. "It was probably his intent to kill everyone in that building."
Still, the operation was not complete. A top ISIS lieutenant was on the floor beneath Qurayshi, facilitating day-to-day operations of the terrorist organization. When US forces entered the building, he barricaded himself in his quarters with his wife on the second floor and engaged American forces. The ISIS lieutenant was killed.
After his death, a number of children emerged from the second floor. They were removed to safety.
A US helicopter had "mechanical issues" during the raid and was "properly disposed of at some distance from the site," an official said. Those issues had nothing to do with "any kind of hostile action."
"Ultimately, that helicopter was able to extract itself from the immediate target area and, under control, able to land in another location where the decision was made to disable it and destroy it," the official said.
As the US forces departed the site, they obtained "a visual ID jackpot" of Qurayshi -- military jargon for a positive identification of the target using his facial features. They also ran biometrics on Qurayshi's fingerprint, which matched.
Tension in the Situation Room turned to "relief" when the first reports came in from the raid. A family on the first floor, including a man, a woman and several children, who officials believed were unaware of the ISIS members living around them, were "led to safety" away from the building.
But the situation remained "tense" even as the troops left the area. While departing, another group described as "hostile" by the Pentagon opened fire on the US helicopter. Officials say it was members of an al Qaeda affiliate, since the area is a stronghold for Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham. Helicopters targeted the group, killing two members before the rest fled.
When the operation had concluded, Biden offered only a few words.
"The President was obviously pleased with the reports from his commanders," officials said. Biden had "tremendous praise" for our team.
The officials said that as he left the Situation Room, Biden said, "God bless our troops."
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN's Natasha Bertrand, Oren Liebermann, Alex Marquardt and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.
VIDEO - (30) Gregario Ivini"Fringe"itivitch on Twitter: "@miltimore79 @adamcurry" / Twitter
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:11
Gregario Ivini"Fringe"itivitch : @miltimore79 @adamcurry
Fri Feb 04 19:20:48 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Ep 89 Osterholm Update COVID-19: Understanding Immunity - YouTube
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 15:51
VIDEO - Austin Water users issued boil water notice
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 15:43
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- A boil water notice has been issued for Austin Water users Saturday night. Additionally, emergency water restrictions have been issued, meaning residents are asked to conserve water.
A release from Austin Water says the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant is out of service due to an ''internal treatment process issue that resulted in high turbidity within the plant.''
''It appears this will be over in a couple of days,'' Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in the release.
Austin Water says it is increasing water production at two other water treatment plants, Davis and Handcox, and managing the water pipelines to keep water service coming to customers. There have been no power disruptions at drinking water plants, as of the last time of this report.
''We have no indication that there was a contamination,'' Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros said Saturday night.
Meszaros said the boil water notice is not connected to the winter storm that swept through Central Texas Thursday, calling the timing ''coincidental.''
This is Austin Water's first boil water notice since the February 2021 winter storm. Austin Water issued a boil water notice that lasted nearly a week on Feb. 17, 2021 when the city's largest water treatment plant temporarily lost electricity during winter storm power outages.
What to do during a boil water noticeDuring a boil water notice, you should use bottled water or boil tap water for drinking and to prepare and cook food. When boiling water, let the water bubble vigorously for two minutes before letting it cool for use. Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as ice or water from a refrigerator, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
In many cases, you can use tap water to wash your hands. When it comes to bathing or showering be careful not to swallow any water. Only use boiled water to brush your teeth, the CDC says.
The CDC says it is generally safe to use laundry machines and wash clothes as normal. When it comes to your dishwasher, that too is generally safe as long as your final rinse temperatures reaches at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the CDC says.
Who is affected by the boil water noticeThe release says all Austin Water customers and retail customers of Austin Water Wholesale Districts and Utilities should follow the notice.
Here's a list of the retail customers affected according to Austin Water:
Night HawkTravis County WCID 10WindermereCreedmoor-Maha WSCMorningsideRivercrestSan LeannaMarsha WSCWells Branch MUDNorthtown MUDManorRollingwoodSunset ValleyHigh ValleyMid-Tex UtilitiesNorth Austin MUD 1Who should conserve water?Emergency water use restrictions were issued by Austin Water Saturday at 7:30 p.m., meaning all customers should limit indoor water usage and stop outdoor water usage.
Residents should not use water for irrigation or foundations, wash vehicles (including at commercial car wash locations), wash pavement, add water to pools and spas or operate an ornamental fountain or pond unless it's necessary for a pet.
Commercial users should reduce water unless it's needed for health and safety. Commercial customers should not use water for irrigation or commercial car washing. Manufacturing groups that use an average over 100,000 gallons per day should reduce water as much as possible.
City of Austin water stationsAustin Water is setting up water distribution sites Saturday night for anyone who needs it at the following locations:
Glen Bell Service Center: 3907 South Industrial Dr.North Service Center: 901 W Koenig Ln. Potable water will also be available at those sites. Austin Water's director said they will add more locations for water pickup Sunday.
KXAN will update this story as more information becomes available.
VIDEO - (21) Michael Tracey on Twitter: "Please watch this video in which journalist Matt Lee accuses State Dept. spokesman Ned Price of veering into "Alex Jones territory" by making the claim that Russia plans to stage a "false flag" attack with "crisis
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 15:37
Michael Tracey : Please watch this video in which journalist Matt Lee accuses State Dept. spokesman Ned Price of veering into "Alex'... https://t.co/hytdbChwE1
Thu Feb 03 22:49:55 +0000 2022
salute the bute : @mtracey @DownloaderBot
Sun Feb 06 13:57:17 +0000 2022
Bodney Baritonos : @mtracey I keep watching this because I can't quite believe what I'm seeing
Sun Feb 06 12:59:32 +0000 2022
VIDEO - BLACKROCK MANAGER Ed Dowd
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 15:02
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VIDEO - (20) Chris Loesch on Twitter: "Biden JUST LIED that you couldn't own cannons when the 2nd Amendment was written'... He also said the right wasn't for everyone. Who does he think ''the people'' are? https://t.co/uzKcntcpZC" / Twitter
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 13:43
Chris Loesch : Biden JUST LIED that you couldn't own cannons when the 2nd Amendment was written'... He also said the right wasn't for'... https://t.co/1oFi9d7Shf
Thu Feb 03 18:45:31 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Queen jokes at reception: 'I don't matter!' and cuts cake - BBC News
Sun, 06 Feb 2022 12:43
The Queen has cut a cake to mark her Platinum Jubilee as she met members of the Sandringham community on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her reign.
Ahead of Accession Day, she hosted a reception for volunteer groups, pensioners and fellow members of the local Women's Institute group.
Watch as the monarch makes a joke to members of the press.
VIDEO - CDC to ramp up wastewater monitoring program to track COVID-19 - CBS News
Sat, 05 Feb 2022 13:51
Hundreds of wastewater treatment sites across the country will start submitting water samples to laboratories to detect the presence of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday. Data from the water samples can help communities detect the virus early on, and is now published to the CDC's COVID Data Tracker.
The updated data tracker allows people to see virus level changes in participating communities' wastewater over the last 15 days and will be updated daily, according to Dr. Amy Kirby, who leads the National Wastewater Surveillance program. The percentage of positive tests over the last 15 days will also be made available using the data tracker.
"The advantage of this CDC-supported dashboard is that it allows you to compare data across states directly," Kirby said.
The information that wastewater and sewage can provide is "uniquely powerful" due to its ability to detect infections from both those who present COVID symptoms and those who do not, she said.
According to Kirby, between 40 and 80% of people with COVID-19 shed viral RNA in their feces. Research has shown that such shedding begins "very early" after infection '-- it is one of the first signs of having the virus, she said. The wastewater data does not affect access to healthcare or the availability of clinical testing, she said.
"These built-in advantages can inform important public health decisions, such as where to allocate mobile testing and vaccination sites," Kirby said. "Public health agencies have also used wastewater data to forecast changes in hospital utilization, providing additional time to mobilize resources and preparation for increasing cases."
She did note that wastewater data comes with its limitations: surveillance cannot be used to determine if communities are entirely free from COVID-19, and is limited in areas where there is minimal or no sewer infrastructure. The wastewater data can also be skewed in transient populations, including parts of the country with a lot of tourists.
Samples are collected by utility operators dipping a bottle into wastewater flow. The sample is then shipped off to a laboratory. The lab concentrates virus material out of the sample before extracting genetic material from the virus to test, analyze and then publish results.
The wastewater program, which was launched in September 2020, is active across 37 states, with more than 400 testing sites across the country. Over the following weeks, Kirby said an additional 250 sites will open across the nation.
She said she is working with various health departments to expand the program further so that it can also gather data on other pathogens.
More Tori B. PowellTori B. Powell is a breaking news reporter at CBS News. Reach her at tori.powell@viacomcbs.com
VIDEO - State Department Pressed on Russian False Flag Video Claim as Pretext for Invading Ukraine | C-SPAN.org
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 15:22
February 3, 2022 | Clip Of State Department Spokesperson Holds Briefing 2022-02-03T14:12:49-05:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/14d/20220203141619011_hd.jpg State Department Spokesman Ned Price is pressed repeatedly by AP Reporter Matt Lee on his claim that the U.S. has intelligence that the Russians are planning on creating a false flag propaganda video with "graphic scenes of false explosions, depicting corpses, crisis actors pretending to be mourners and images of destroyed locations" as a pretext for invading Ukraine. Lee says the statement is not evidence in itself and asks for the evidence to be provided. Price responds, saying his statement is the evidence and that Russia continues to engage in disinformation. "What we know is what I've just said. They have engaged in this activity," Price says.State Department Spokesman Ned Price is pressed repeatedly by AP Reporter Matt Lee on his claim that the U.S. has intelligence that the'... read more
State Department Spokesman Ned Price is pressed repeatedly by AP Reporter Matt Lee on his claim that the U.S. has intelligence that the Russians are planning on creating a false flag propaganda video with "graphic scenes of false explosions, depicting corpses, crisis actors pretending to be mourners and images of destroyed locations" as a pretext for invading Ukraine. Lee says the statement is not evidence in itself and asks for the evidence to be provided. Price responds, saying his statement is the evidence and that Russia continues to engage in disinformation. "What we know is what I've just said. They have engaged in this activity," Price says. close
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VIDEO - Clay Travis on Twitter: "Shaq comes out against vaccine mandates on his podcast. I have gained so much respect for many different people in public positions who have had the courage to stand up for individual freedoms despite all the pressures aga
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 04:56
Clay Travis : Shaq comes out against vaccine mandates on his podcast. I have gained so much respect for many different people in'... https://t.co/uO1Ifz22pu
Fri Feb 04 02:15:16 +0000 2022
Eric Armstrong : @ClayTravis And Zero logic was used By a Shaq in this case
Fri Feb 04 04:54:06 +0000 2022
Virginia Tech Hokie : @ClayTravis I've always loved Shaq. Excellent.
Fri Feb 04 04:52:33 +0000 2022
Matt Ernest : @ClayTravis Clay
Fri Feb 04 04:51:19 +0000 2022
Jade : @ClayTravis And there will actually be people who get upset with him over this. It's insane
Fri Feb 04 04:49:04 +0000 2022

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Audio Clips

NBC4 NY - anchor David Ushery - Mayor Eric Adams apologizes for using epithet (58sec).mp3
Youtube - Mayor Eric Adams (2019) - I kicked those crackers ass (1min39sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Will Ganss - olympic bubble another world entirely (52sec).mp3
Queen jokes at platinum jubilee reception - I don't matter and cuts cake.mp3
dutch_bridge_besoz.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Andrea Fujii - vegan fridays for NYC schools (23sec).mp3
Victor Adebowale - Chair of NHS Confederation Spread the Vaccine.mp3
Conservative MP Crispin Blunt - Lethal Vaccine.mp3
Edward Downd frmr DLJ and Blackrock -2- End days of credit markets - riots.mp3
Edward Downd frmr DLJ and Blackrock -1- Intro credentials.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Mona Abdi - new HIV variant (10sec).mp3
FOX2 KTVU - anchor Julie Haener - moderna mRNA vaccine for HIV trials underway (31sec).mp3
Tense moments in Situation Room as Biden oversaw raid on ISIS leader that was months in the making.mp3
Canada protests 2 npr.mp3
Canada protests one npr.mp3
Corona virus infections NPR.mp3
Dutch reporter bum rished.mp3
ISO Same story.mp3
jan 6 BS NPR analysis.mp3
MO Health 2.mp3
MO Health dirrector falls.mp3
Odd Viva Frei comments.mp3
outin and xi one.mp3
Russian bombers NPR.mp3
Storm report san antonio tidbit.mp3
Supply chain florists.mp3
Tucker Carson Aileen Gu.mp3
USSR NATO NPR 2.mp3
USSR NATO NPR 3 tidbit.mp3
USSR NATO NPR 4-op.mp3
USSR NATO NPR One.mp3
America competes Act 3.mp3
America competes Act One.mp3
America competes Act two.mp3
Supercut - It’s a Real Mystery Why No One Trusts CNN Anymore.mp3
Matt Lee and Ned Price - Matt questions the Russian actions.mp3
Baby taken off mum due to COVID.mp3
James Carville and Al Hunt (Judy Woodruffs husband) on what they want to do to the unvaccinated.mp3
Osterholm Vaccine Hostile.mp3
Psaki on Johns Hopkins Lockdown report.mp3
Shaq on vaxx attack.mp3
Austin Boil Water Mandate.mp3
ABC GMA - anchor Whit Johnson - (1) meta stock fall -intro (53sec).mp3
ABC GMA - anchor Whit Johnson - (2) meta stock fall -reasons (42sec).mp3
Democratic Senator from NM Ben Ray Lujan stroke.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Mona Abdi - flowers more expensive (16sec).mp3
CDC to ramp up Poop water testing for covid.mp3
CNN International - anchor Paula Newton (2) police surge and contain (1min20sec).mp3
David Naus Ottawa BOTG -1- Romainians from communist country.mp3
David Naus Ottawa BOTG -2- Chinese escapee.mp3
Canadian Broadcast - anchor Evan Dwyer (1) trucker protest -2nd weekend (2min3sec).mp3
Canadian Broadcast - anchor Evan Dwyer (2) police surge and contain (1min3sec).mp3
CNN International - anchor Paula Newton (1) trucker protest -deafening (30sec).mp3
Biden lies about 2nd amendment and cannons.mp3
  • 0:01
    We're checking your poop.
  • 0:02
    Adam curry Jhansi Devorah.
  • 0:05
    Sunday February 6 2022. This is your award winning combination
  • 0:08
    media assassination episode 1423. This is no agenda. Hong
  • 0:14
    Kong, in broadcasting live from the heart of the Texas hill
  • 0:18
    country here in orange number six in the morning, everybody.
  • 0:21
    I'm Adam curry,
  • 0:22
    and from Northern Silicon Valley where we're all hoping that
  • 0:25
    Maxine Waters becomes the next Supreme Court justice. I'm John
  • 0:30
    C. Dvorak.
  • 0:35
    Think you already use that one? Yep. Okay. It's not often that
  • 0:41
    we get a repeat from you.
  • 0:43
    Well, I mean, no one's paying attention.
  • 0:46
    What do you mean, I'm paying attention? I hear you. She
  • 0:49
    doesn't.
  • 0:50
    She doesn't get mentioned in the news coverage. To be a perfect
  • 0:56
    Supreme Court justice.
  • 0:58
    Well, why are they not considering her? Because she's a
  • 1:01
    horrible person. Maybe? Oh, maybe. I mean, just
  • 1:05
    just as in stopped him in the past
  • 1:07
    now. Has not a lot to cover today. We started off light for
  • 1:14
    a Sunday and redeem ourselves for missing the Whoopi Goldberg
  • 1:19
    vaccine GAFA and bring to two new one read about that. I am I
  • 1:23
    have two new ones. Luckily, pride. Let's start with that.
  • 1:27
    Yes, Prime Minister's question time was filled with gas. This
  • 1:32
    is the Conservative Member of Parliament Crispin blunt,
  • 1:36
    it now appears that the evidence around Omnicom and how much less
  • 1:41
    lethal it is than its predecessor versions of the
  • 1:44
    vaccine.
  • 1:48
    That's right. All Macron is a different version of the
  • 1:51
    vaccine. Yeah, I like that one. And then we have the chair of
  • 1:55
    the National Health System Confederation. Victor Addabbo
  • 2:00
    aid.
  • 2:00
    Just think that we need to
  • 2:02
    be we need to be really clear about the individual responsible
  • 2:05
    for the individual. Right? Absolutely. But you also have
  • 2:07
    the individual responsibility to understand the consequences of
  • 2:11
    that choice on other people, you are more likely to spread the
  • 2:14
    vaccine, you are more likely to hospital.
  • 2:19
    Stop spreading the vaccine people Yeah, like that one
  • 2:22
    better. Well, that's why it was the second one. Oh, I know when
  • 2:25
    I've been around, man, Rick, you play the hit last baby just
  • 2:29
    before the commercial break.
  • 2:32
    Or you tease it and go into commercial
  • 2:33
    now. Hey, man, I'm really bummed about that kid in the well.
  • 2:38
    That's not how it's supposed to end.
  • 2:40
    No. Well, that was when I don't. I didn't I didn't know the whole
  • 2:44
    story. But then when I saw what they were doing to get him out.
  • 2:47
    Yeah, we're gonna rise a hill out and raise everybody in the
  • 2:51
    country. I said, Oh, brother, this is not gonna work out.
  • 2:54
    Well.
  • 2:55
    Well, it works. I mean, we usually have happy endings. You
  • 2:58
    know, we had baby Jessica in Texas. We had the miners number
  • 3:02
    the miners. That was crazy. The miners was crazy. And we had the
  • 3:06
    kids and Elon Musk's and the submarine. It always has kind of
  • 3:11
    a good ending. But this one didn't. It's just a bummer. Like
  • 3:14
    now Hey, Elon
  • 3:15
    Musk's submarine didn't do the trick. Make sure that's
  • 3:19
    true. You know, we need we need a good old fashioned something
  • 3:23
    like the Balloon Boy hoax.
  • 3:26
    Remember, that was a great I forgot about that. Was a fan,
  • 3:31
    son.
  • 3:32
    He's in the balloon. I remember everyone covering it live
  • 3:35
    nonstop. It was fantastic. That thing was going 190 miles an
  • 3:39
    hour. And that lands like Oh yeah. Oh, I'm sorry. That was
  • 3:47
    good. Yeah, that's what we need. And there's no Kuma anymore
  • 3:49
    everyone's all pissed off.
  • 3:51
    Yeah, well, let's take it a day time soon. No. Well, maybe
  • 3:55
    watching I'm watching the truck stuff up in Canada. I don't have
  • 3:59
    lips. Yeah, I got clips. Good. You play those? I got to play
  • 4:01
    one clip. Sure. So I'm watching it live because there's a couple
  • 4:05
    of people streaming it this guy a couple. A couple 100 Everyone
  • 4:10
    streaming
  • 4:11
    everyone's the streaming each other. The streams are crossing
  • 4:15
    doing interviews with each other while their live streaming is
  • 4:18
    hilariously good.
  • 4:20
    So this guy Viva fry. I guess everyone knows who he is a
  • 4:24
    candidate because he does a lot of live streaming and he roams
  • 4:27
    around he does hours and hours and hours of material just going
  • 4:29
    around us glad handing everyone Yeah. So I'm looking watching
  • 4:35
    him do this report live. And then Where's where's the clip
  • 4:40
    here that mentions him?
  • 4:43
    Canada protests maybe?
  • 4:45
    Maybe Canada here? No, no, it's odd. Viva fry comments. And so
  • 4:51
    out of the blue. He talks about some old thing he used he once
  • 4:56
    did about I guess the Cavanaugh hearings in the United States,
  • 5:03
    you know, whatever. Just a score rating this poor guy. Yeah. And
  • 5:07
    he says the following play this
  • 5:09
    the Capitol. In retrospect, my analysis of the Cavanaugh was
  • 5:13
    too objective. Because I know what I thought about the
  • 5:16
    Cavanaugh hearings. Yeah, but you gotta wait. I had no idea
  • 5:21
    how corrupt the FBI was, in the cap market. Maybe Maybe this
  • 5:26
    give the benefit of the doubt. I now know better
  • 5:30
    than those two things. He was talking about the FBI corrupt in
  • 5:33
    the Capitol building, and also about Cavanaugh?
  • 5:36
    I don't know. All I know is he says this and when the point
  • 5:40
    that I'm going to make is that the FBI has got some serious
  • 5:43
    issues, out of the blue. Stuff like this, because the FBI needs
  • 5:49
    it needs to be a trusted institution. It can't be seen by
  • 5:53
    Canadians out of the blue because they dealt with him once
  • 5:57
    as corrupt. And then of course, then we see the things that
  • 6:00
    happened to with the kind of low underhanded approach to Flynn,
  • 6:05
    Michael Flynn and some of the other stuff and Thomas Drake,
  • 6:08
    who is busted. Who is one of the whistleblowers, NSA
  • 6:11
    whistleblowers who said, never talked to the FBI, in every
  • 6:15
    public speech he ever gives.
  • 6:17
    This is the reason why this came up in context of the truckers is
  • 6:21
    the people there are worried that there's going to be, you
  • 6:24
    know, some Zhaan provocateurs and would create a January 6
  • 6:28
    type insurrection situation. Could be no accident. That's
  • 6:34
    what people are talking about. So I think that's probably what
  • 6:37
    he was referring to. Okay. Well,
  • 6:38
    he was, you know, you couldn't hear half of the heat here
  • 6:41
    himself. But you couldn't hear much of what everyone's saying.
  • 6:44
    But so I just found that to be a discouraging, or it should be
  • 6:47
    discouraging for our institutions. And somebody needs
  • 6:52
    to kick ass and clean up these places. Well,
  • 6:55
    I approach it from a different aspect. I see what's happening.
  • 6:58
    So I got
  • 6:59
    by the way, there's no approach. Oh, it's just a one shot?
  • 7:03
    No, I'm just saying, I know, you're saying someone needs to
  • 7:06
    kick their ass at the FBI. I'm saying, this is beautiful. We're
  • 7:10
    watching every institution that we know of committee hierarchy
  • 7:13
    theory, including GoFundMe, what a bunch of idiots. We would not
  • 7:19
    have advise that to them. What were they thinking? I mean, and
  • 7:23
    when you have an aim, like GoFundMe, you know, this, the
  • 7:26
    memes make themself. This is so stupid. And then. So for anyone
  • 7:33
    to unfollow it, they constantly explain what you're talking
  • 7:36
    about, hey, so GoFundMe, I think there was for the truckers, the
  • 7:40
    trucker, convoy, Hong Kong, they raised $9 million. Now that's
  • 7:44
    Canadian. So it's like 100 grand, but still a lot of money
  • 7:48
    in Canada Navia. And they, I think they let a million through
  • 7:53
    and they won't show us your plan. We have to see your plan
  • 7:55
    to see if you're legit. And they released a million bucks. And
  • 7:58
    they held on to the rest. And they say Well, no, it's it's not
  • 8:03
    a legit protest. Now we've spoken to the government, I'm
  • 8:05
    paraphrasing their statement that we spoken to the
  • 8:07
    government. Turns out this is anything but a peaceful protest.
  • 8:11
    And so you can write to us and request your money back. And
  • 8:15
    immediately smart people started posting and it went viral
  • 8:19
    operation chargeback, call your credit card company say they've
  • 8:22
    defrauded you and they'll cost them I think 10 bucks for
  • 8:26
    between five and $10 for a chargeback. And then the company
  • 8:30
    immediately went Oh, no, don't worry, we'll we'll just give you
  • 8:32
    your money back. Well, that's just the end of GoFundMe. How
  • 8:36
    can people forget this? These guys are stupid. Um so I have a
  • 8:43
    couple clips. I have a wait.
  • 8:45
    To me. I want to mention. This is another example of what I
  • 8:49
    like to think of as a theme. Don't hire woke people to work
  • 8:56
    in your company, no matter how minor no matter how minor the
  • 9:01
    job? No.
  • 9:04
    Well, and, of course the number one employer for woke people as
  • 9:09
    governments. Number two is the extension of government the M
  • 9:13
    five mainstream media. Let's listen to some candy Navion
  • 9:17
    broadcast, see if we can pick up some information into memes
  • 9:21
    seven
  • 9:21
    hello to you. Now we were told that more people were joining
  • 9:24
    the demonstration today the second weekend of the protest.
  • 9:28
    Are you seeing more people at this point?
  • 9:31
    Yes, we absolutely are. We've seen much larger crowds than
  • 9:35
    during the week. Most of them appear to be people who have
  • 9:39
    come just as pedestrians or in passenger vehicles. We're not
  • 9:42
    necessarily seeing large Big Rig trucks coming into downtown but
  • 9:47
    what we are seeing is large crowds of people milling around
  • 9:50
    where you're parked up on Parliament Hill, and on streets
  • 9:54
    all around here. I mean, this is Wellington Street, which is a
  • 9:56
    sort of epicenter of the protests, but you can walk off
  • 9:59
    blocks for and you will still see people walking on the
  • 10:01
    street, many of them carrying Canadian flags and provincial
  • 10:05
    flags or symbols, other symbols like the Matey flag, and so on.
  • 10:10
    We've seen that all over the city. There are also depots set
  • 10:13
    up in various different locations of the city where they
  • 10:16
    they're either parking vehicles serving food, and so on. There's
  • 10:21
    a kind of a party atmosphere, which began last night with a
  • 10:24
    dance party with a DJ, there's still a dance party going on
  • 10:27
    right now. And if you look at this yellow and green structure,
  • 10:30
    there, that is a bouncy castle, like, that's just one of the few
  • 10:34
    there appear to be about five of them set up right here on
  • 10:37
    Wellington Street in front of the parliament building. And
  • 10:40
    protesters have packed straw bales around them in case anyone
  • 10:43
    falls off, presumably. So that's just an indication of the kind
  • 10:47
    of atmosphere on the streets and of the organization, the
  • 10:51
    coordination and cooperation between these protesters. Just
  • 10:55
    the amount of logistical effort that has gone into these
  • 10:58
    protests. I'll give you another example. We can show three
  • 11:01
    things that arrived in Ottawa last night saunas, full sized
  • 11:05
    wooden barrel saunas, which have been set at the protesters
  • 11:09
    staging point at Coventry road where there's a baseball
  • 11:12
    stadium. So we're seeing all kinds of signs that the