1429: Puppy State

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 31m
February 27th, 2022
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Executive Producers: Dame Lauren of the Pearly Crowns, Eric Nguyen, Richard Unterberger, Beau Shiminsky, James Brown

Associate Executive Producers: Dame Aquamarine of Lake Tanglewood and the Florida Keys, Ryan Story, Chris Breaux, Anita Carrasco, Dame Sparkler of New Braunfels, Jacob Schlachter, Susan Johnson, Buddy Arceneaux, Dana Hilldale, Dame Sheila the Lady of Lisboa, Corey Tibetts, Eli King, Wirt Fuller

Cover Artist: Sizzletron


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Erin Burnett "in" Ukraine
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Gun Give-away
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Vladimir Putin's hypnotic eyes
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António Guterres
Today I urged all
@UN Member Countries to go into emergency mode around five action areas:
Fighting #COVID19
Transforming the global financial system
Tackling the climate crisis
Putting people at the centre of the digital world
Delivering sustainable peace.
Up next LIVE: Planet Rage with Larry, Darren, and Dame Jennifer
Psy-Op Ukraine
Putin Nukes
Ukraine arming citizens w/automatic *wooden* rifles
Snake Island Fake Story
Ukraine's Ministry of Defense using footage from a game
In the tweet, right below the video, Twitter classified the media as "out of context" and links to this:
Sean Penn with Zelenko
I think No Agenda has considered Sean Penn to be a CIA asset in the past. Interesting that an actor is meeting another actor.
Zelenskiy was called a comedian when running for president in Ukraine but worked as an actor in Russia for most of his life. The surname “Zelenskiy” is similar to the Russian word for “green”: zelyoni. So I am always reminded of green when I see his name.
Shut Up Slave about Putin
Noticed that they're trying not to bar any banks that work directly with the energy sector they don't want that gas cut off yet
Great Reset
Current thoughts on Ukraine and the supply chain
ITM Adam and John,
Given my military background and knowledge of the Russian military in Syria I have a few thoughts after your last show.
The Russian military is not as good as everyone thinks but they could have crushed Ukraine by now if not for U.S. equipment and the training provided over the last 8 years. The Russian tanks even the T90 cant match our old TOWs (1990s wire guided missile) that we gave to the Syrian free army. The Javelin (anti-tank guided munition) that are now free to any fighting age males in Ukraine willing to fight means Russia could pay a high death toll and equipment lost. The problem is no one is trained and that means they are $200,000 fireworks.
We trained a group of 30 Syrian civilians (farmers, smugglers and criminals) for three months. We watched in real time as they tried to assault an ISIS controlled town. The group was quickly pinned down with enemy fire killing about 5 in the first burst of fire, within 20 minutes we watched another 10 to 15 get shot or wounded, the remaining men managed to get a few of the wounded out, only 7 survived the night. Later we watched 3 ISIS fighters appear shoot all the bodies got into a truck and drove away and a hellfire ended them shortly after. Civilians with military equipment are just cannon fodder against any trained military men. This is just a waste of money and helping the military industrial complex make more money.
Russia has no chance against the U.S. in a conventional war, my good friend was involved in the bellow incident and he said "it was a turkey shoot" (also a lot closer to 300). We have everything we need in a conventional fight, but again the military industrial complex wants to make more money. Russia will take our lunch money in a Cyber War especially backed by China (OPM breach).
What we will see is a flood of high grade military weapons going to "terrorist"/criminals and probably be a good excuse for the Patriot Act 5.0 or some other crazy unconstitutional laws. Either way we loose freedom and the military industrial complex wins big new contracts to stop these weapons from being used against civilian infrastructure.
As I'm back in my civilian job in a 12 billion dollar company as a senior material flow analysist and I can tell you the supply chain is way worse than people know. WSJ published an article that explores a hack that will have extreme impacts on all U.S. industries. We are already feeling the impact of this hack and its not just us.
Stay Safe
Feets in the water
Climate Change
European Natural Gas Prices Skyrocket 60% As Russia Threatens To Cut Supply | OilPrice.com
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:39
Conflict in Ukraine continues to send European energy prices higher Thursday morning.
Dutch TTF Gas Futures are up a staggering 60%, the most since 2005, in their fourth consecutive daily gain.
German power contracts for March soared as much as 42%. Crude also increased, with Brent futures trading as high as $105 a barrel.
Despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US is unlikely to target Russian oil in the next round of sanctions for fear energy prices would continue to skyrocket.
"I expect stringent sanctions, but nothing on energy -- bankers, ships and oligarch," Bob McNally, a former White House official who is president of consultant Rapidan Energy Group, told Bloomberg. "They don't want to add upward pressure on oil prices -- they are absolutely terrified," McNally said.
Meanwhile, Putin's right-hand man, Dmitry Medvedev, warned on Tuesday that Germany's move to halt the process of certifying the Nord Stream 2 natgas pipeline would only result in soaring natural gas prices for the continent running low on supplies.
Global energy prices are soaring after Russian forces launched a barrage of artillery, airstrikes, and missiles across Ukraine early Thursday to "demilitarize" the country. Even though natural gas and crude prices jumped on Thursday, there are no reports of supply disruptions or blackouts in Ukraine, suggesting businesses as usual.
An escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict sent Dutch TTF Gas Futures up more than 41%, rising for the fourth consecutive day. Soaring gas prices are also feeding into power markets. German power contracts jumped as much as 31%.
The EU and US natural gas price spread is blowing out again, this time on geopolitical concerns. The spread blew out on unseasonably cold weather and low natgas supplies in late 2021.
And for context, the soaring price of EU and UK NatGas is equivalent to a barrel of oil costing between $175 and $220...
And has lifted US NatGas prices as potential export demand is priced in...
The crisis sent Brent crude prices higher, up 8.55% to $105 a barrel. This is the first time the international benchmark for crude surpassed the $100 mark since 2014.
WTI futures topped the $100 mark...
Soaring crude prices will only mean rising gasoline prices at the pump for Americans. The move in crude suggests $4 gasoline prices are ahead as the inflation monster crushes households.
The Ukraine crisis has given the Biden administration and their media counterparts the perfect cover to blame increased gas prices, inflation, and supply-chain issues on Russia.
Europe, already in the midst of an energy crunch, is experiencing low natgas inventories ahead of the spring/summer season. Russia is a top energy supplier to Europe, supplying about a third of its gas needs. Any gas disruption would be catastrophic for the continent.
Despite the ongoing fallout from Russia's attack on Ukraine, Bloomberg's Javier Blas noted, "Ukrainian gas pipeline company confirms that flows through the country (from Russia into the European Union) continue "smoothly.""
Blas said, "if nothing changes" today, "the UE, UK and US will buy in the next 24 hours ~3.5m barrels of Russian oil (crude and products) and another ~275m cubic meters of gas. At today's prices, that's worth >$700 million."
He added, "for now, the biggest physical disruption to Russian / Ukrainian commodities flow **appears** to be on grains (wheat would be most affected). Shipping restrictions imposed around grain export ports."
Soaring energy prices will only put further stress on EU lawmakers to resolve the Ukraine conflict.
"This will put further stress on the EU both on the energy side and diplomatic side," said Thierry Bros, a professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies.
European leaders are planning an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the crisis. Europe might compete with Asia for natgas should pipeline disruptions be seen.
"In the event of prolonged disruption, gas inventory couldn't be rebuilt through the summer," Kateryna Filippenko, principal analyst for Europe gas research at WoodMac, wrote in a note.
"We'd be facing a catastrophic situation of gas storage being close to zero for next winter. Prices would be sky-high. Industries would need to shut down. Inflation would spiral. The European energy crisis could very well trigger a global recession," Filippenko said.
As for now, there are no reports of blackouts.
By Zerohedge.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
OPEC Is Ready To Embrace $100 Oil Oil Prices Temporarily Break $99 As Russian Troops Move Into Ukraine 5 Commodities That Could Explode As The Ukraine Crisis Escalates
Apple Pay suspended in Russia with banks hit by sanctions - 9to5Mac
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:39
Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the US government and the European Union imposed economic sanctions on the country '' which include restricting foreign transactions to Russian banks. As a result, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other digital wallets have been suspended in Russia.
As informed by the Central Bank of Russia on Friday (via Business Insider), five major Russian banks have had their international operations restricted due to sanctions from other countries. Customers of these banks will no longer be able to use their cards abroad, or even make online payments to companies registered in countries that have issued sanctions.
The statement says that the affected banks are: VTB Group, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, and Otkritie. The Central Bank of Russia also notes that cards issued by these five banks no longer work with Apple Pay or Google Pay, as both platforms are US-based.
It's worth noting that Russian customers will still be able to make contactless payments using their physical cards within Russia, but as of now Apple and Google digital wallets have been suspended in the country indefinitely.
The sanctions were announced after Russian President Vladmir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, which started a war in the region. In addition to the United States and the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia have also imposed economic sanctions on Russia.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.
Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:
About the AuthorFilipe Esp"sito @filipeesposito
Filipe Esp"sito is a Brazilian tech Journalist who started covering Apple news on iHelp BR with some exclusive scoops '-- including the reveal of the new Apple Watch Series 5 models in titanium and ceramic. He joined 9to5Mac to share even more tech news around the world.
Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:38
Every company, bank, insurer and investor will need to adjust their business models, develop credible plans for the transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient future and then implement those plans. Private finance can help fund private sector initiatives and turn billions committed to climate investment through public channels into trillions of total climate investment. But unlocking systemic change will require collaborative, ambitious commitments and near-term action across the entire financial system.
GFANZ is a global coalition of leading financial institutions committed to accelerating the decarbonization of the economy.
About us
12ft | Dallas Appeals Court strips ERCOT of sovereign immunity defense
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:40
Removing Paywall
UN-Backed Banker Alliance Announces ''Green'' Plan to Transform the Global Financial System - TheAltWorld
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:37
The most powerful private financial interests in the world, under the cover of COP26, have developed a plan to transform the global financial system by fusing with institutions like the World Bank and using them to further erode national sovereignty in the developing world.
On Wednesday, an ''industry-led and UN-convened'' alliance of private banking and financial institutions announced plans at the COP26 conference to overhaul the role of global and regional financial institutions, including the World Bank and IMF, as part of a broader plan to ''transform'' the global financial system. The officially stated purpose of this proposed overhaul, per alliance members, is to promote the transition to a ''Net-Zero'' economy. However, the group's proposed ''reimagining'' of international financial institutions (IFIs), according to their recently published ''progress report'', would also move to merge these institutions with the private banking interests that compose the alliance; create a new system of ''global financial governance''; and erode national sovereignty among developing countries by forcing them to establish business environments deemed ''friendly'' to the interests of alliance members. In other words, the powerful banking interests that compose this group are pushing to recreate the entire global financial system for their benefit under the guise of promoting sustainability.
This alliance, called the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), was launched in April by John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change; Janet Yellen, US Secretary of the Treasury and former chair of the Federal Reserve; and Mark Carney, the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and former chair of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada. Carney, who is also the UK Prime Minister's Finance Advisor for the COP26 conference, currently co-chairs the alliance with US billionaire and former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg.
GFANZ Leadership; Source: GFANZUpon its creation, GFANZ stated that it would ''provide a forum for strategic coordination among the leadership of finance institutions from across the finance sector to accelerate the transition to a net zero economy'' and ''mobilize the trillions of dollars necessary'' to accomplish the group's zero emissions goals. At the time of the alliance's launch, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson described GFANZ as ''uniting the world's banks and financial institutions behind the global transition to net zero'' while John Kerry noted that ''the largest financial players in the world recognize energy transition represents a vast commercial opportunity.'' In analyzing those two statements together, it seems clear that GFANZ has united the world's most powerful private banks and financial institutions behind what they see as, first and foremost, ''a vast commercial opportunity'', their exploitation of which they are marketing as a ''planetary imperative.''
John Kerry in conversation with CNN's Christine Amanpour at COP 26; Source: CNNGFANZ is composed of several ''subsector alliances'', including the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (NZAM), the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA), and the Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). Together, they command a formidable part of global private banking and finance interests, with the NZBA alone currently representing 43% of all global banking assets. However, the ''largest financial players'' who dominate GFANZ include the CEOs of BlackRock, Citi, Bank of America, Banco Santander and HSBC, as well as David Schwimmer, CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group and Nili Gilbert, Chair of the Investment Committee of the David Rockefeller Fund.
Notably, another Rockefeller-connected entity, the Rockefeller Foundation, recently played a pivotal role in the creation of Natural Asset Corporations (NACs) in September. These NACs seek to create a new asset class that would put the natural world, as well as the ecological processes that underpin all life, up for sale under the guise of ''protecting'' them. Principals of GFANZ, including BlackRock's Larry Fink, have long been enthusiastic about the prospects of NACs and other related efforts to financialize the natural world and he has also played a key role in marketing said financialization as necessary to combat climate change.
As part of COP26, GFANZ '' a key group at that conference '' is publishing a plan aimed at scaling ''private capital flows to emerging and developing economies.'' Per the alliance's press release, this plan focuses on ''the development of country platforms to connect the now enormous private capital committed to net zero with country projects, scaling blended finance through MDBs [multilateral development banks] and developing high integrity, credible global carbon markets.'' The press release notes that this ''enormous private capital'' is money that alliance members seek to invest in emerging and developing countries, estimated at over $130 trillion, and that '' in order to deploy these trillions in invest '' ''the global financial system is being transformed'' by this very alliance in coordination with the group that convened them, the United Nations.
Proposing a TakeoverDetails of GFANZ's plan to deploy trillions of member investments into emerging markets and developing countries was published in the alliance's inaugural ''Progress Report'', the release of which was timed to coincide with the COP26 conference. The report details the alliance's ''near-term work plan and ambitions,'' which the alliance succinctly summarizes as a ''program of work to transform the financial system.''
The report notes that the alliance has moved from the ''commitment'' stage to the ''engagement'' stage, with the main focus of the engagement stage being the ''mobilization of private capital into emerging markets and developing countries through private-sector leadership and public-private collaboration.'' In doing so, per the report, GFANZ seeks to create ''an international financial architecture'' that will increase levels of private investment from alliance members in those economies. Their main objectives in this regard revolve around the creation of ''ambitious country platforms'' and increased collaboration between MDBs and the private financial sector.
Per GFANZ, a ''country platform'' is defined as a mechanism that convenes and aligns ''stakeholders'', i.e. a mechanism for public-private partnership/stakeholder capitalism, ''around a specific issue or geography''. Examples offered include Mike Bloomberg's Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI), which is partnered with Goldman Sachs and HSBC, among other private-sector institutions. While framed as being driven by ''stakeholders,'' existing examples of ''country platforms'' offered by the GFANZ are either private-sector led initiatives, like the CFLI, or public-private partnerships that are dominated by powerful multinational corporations and billionaires. As recently explained by journalist and researcher Iain Davis, these ''stakeholder capitalism'' mechanism models '' despite being presented as offering a ''more responsible'' form of capitalism '' instead allow corporations and private entities to participate in forming the regulations that govern their own markets and giving them a greatly increased role in political decision-making by placing them on equal footing with national governments. It is essentially a creative way of marketing ''corporatism,'' the definition of fascism infamously supplied by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
In addition to the creation of ''corporatist'' ''country platforms'' that focus on specific areas and/or issues in the developing world, GFANZ aims to also further ''corporatize'' multilateral development banks (MDBs) and development finance institutions (DFIs) in order to better fulfill the investment goals of alliance members. Per the alliance, this is described as increasing ''MBD-private sector collaboration.'' The GFANZ report notes that ''MDBs play a critical role in helping to grow investment flows'' in the developing world. MDBs, like the World Bank, have long been criticized for accomplishing this task by trapping developing nations in debt and then using that debt to force those nations to deregulate markets (specifically financial markets), privatize state assets and implement unpopular austerity policies. The GFANZ report makes it clear that the alliance now seeks to use these same, controversial tactics of MDBs by forcing even greater deregulation on developing countries to facilitate ''green'' investments from alliance members.
The report explicitly states that MDBs should be used to prompt developing nations ''to create the right high-level, cross-cutting enabling environments'' for alliance members' investments in those nations. The significantly greater levels of private capital investment, which are needed to reach Net-Zero per GFANZ, require that MDBs are used to prompt developing nations to ''establish investment-friendly business environments; a replicable framework for deploying private capital investments; and pipelines of bankable investment opportunities.'' GFANZ then notes that ''private capital and investment will flow to these projects if governments and policymakers create the appropriate conditions'', i.e. enabling environments for private-sector investments.
In other words, through the proposed increase in private-sector involvement in MDBs, like the World Bank and regional development banks, alliance members seek to use MDBs to globally impose massive and extensive deregulation on developing countries by using the decarbonization push as justification. No longer must MDBs entrap developing nations in debt to force policies that benefit foreign and multinational private-sector entities, as climate change-related justifications can now be used for the same ends.
BlackRock CEO and GFANZ Principal Larry Fink talks to CNBC during COP26; Source: CNBCThis new modality for MDBs, along with their fusion with the private sector, is ultimately what GFANZ proposes in terms of ''reimagining'' these institutions. GFANZ principal and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, during a COP26 panel that took place on November 2nd, explicitly referred to the plan to overhaul these institutions when he said that: ''If we're going to be serious about climate change in the emerging world, we're going to have to really focus on the reimagination of the World Bank and the IMF.''
Fink continued:
''They are the senior lender, and not enough private capital's coming into the emerging world today because of the risks associated with the political risk, investing in brownfield investments '-- if we are serious about elevating investment capital in the emerging world '... I'm urging the owners of those institutions, the equity owners, to focus on how we reimagine these institutions and rethink their charter.''
GFANZ's proposed plans to reimagine MDBs are particularly alarming given how leaked US military documents openly admit that such banks are essentially ''financial weapons'' that have been used as ''Financial Instruments and Diplomatic Instruments of US National Power'' as well as Instruments of what those same documents refer to as the ''current global governance system'' that are used to force developing countries to adopt policies they otherwise would not.
In addition, given Fink's statements, it should not be surprising that the GFANZ report notes that their effort to establish ''country platforms'' and alter the functioning and charters of MDBs is a key component of implementing pre-planned recommendations aimed at ''seizing the New Bretton Woods moment'' and remaking the ''global financial governance'' system so that is ''promote[s] economic stability and sustainable growth.''
As noted in other GFANZ documents and on their website, the goal of the alliance is the transformation of the global financial system and it is quite obvious from member statements and alliance documents that the goal of that transformation is to facilitate the investment goals of alliance members beyond what is currently possible by using climate change-related dictates, as opposed to debt, as the means to that end.
The UN and the ''Quiet Revolution''In light of GFANZ's membership and their ambitions, some may wonder why the United Nations would back such a predatory initiative. Doesn't the United Nations, after all, chiefly work with national governments as opposed to private-sector interests?
Though that is certainly the prevailing public perception of the UN, the organization has '' for decades '' been following a ''stakeholder capitalist'' model that privileges the private sector and billionaire ''philanthropists'' over national governments, with the latter merely being tasked with creating ''enabling environments'' for the policies created by and for the benefit of the former.
Speaking to the World Economic Forum in 1998, then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan made this shift explicit:
''The United Nations has been transformed since we last met here in Davos. The Organization has undergone a complete overhaul that I have described as a 'quiet revolution''...A fundamental shift has occurred. The United Nations once dealt only with governments. By now we know that peace and prosperity cannot be achieved without partnerships involving governments, international organizations, the business community and civil society'...The business of the United Nations involves the businesses of the world.''
With the UN now essentially a vehicle for the promotion of stakeholder capitalism, it is only fitting that it would ''convene'' and support the efforts of a group like GFANZ to extend that stakeholder capitalist model to other institutions involved in global governance, specifically global financial governance. Allowing GFANZ members, i.e. many of the largest private banks and financial institutions in the world, to fuse with MDBs, remake the ''global financial governance system'' and gain increased control over political decisions in the emerging world is a banker's dream come true. To get this far, all they have needed is to convince enough of the world's population that such shifts are necessary due to the perceived urgency of climate change and the need to rapidly decarbonize the economy. Yet, if put into practice, what will result is hardly a ''greener'' world, but a world dominated by a small financial and technocratic elite who are free to profit and pillage from both ''natural capital'' and ''human capital'' as they see fit.
Today, MDBs are used as ''instruments of power'' that utilize debt to force developing nations to implement policies that benefit foreign interests, not their national interests. If GFANZ gets their way, the MDBs of tomorrow will be used to essentially eliminate national sovereignty, privatize the ''natural assets'' (e.g. ecosystems, ecological processes) of the developing world and force increasingly technocratic policies designed by global governance institutions and think tanks on ever more disenfranchised populations.
Though GFANZ has cloaked itself in lofty rhetoric of ''saving the planet,'' their plans ultimately amount to a corporate-led coup that will make the global financial system even more corrupt and predatory and further reduce the sovereignty of national governments in the developing world.
UN-Backed Banker Alliance Announces ''Green'' Plan to Transform the Global Financial System
Whitney Webb Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.
Terrorist Finance Tracking Program - Wikipedia
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:37
US state program
The Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) is a United States government program to access financial transactions on the international SWIFT network that was revealed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times in June 2006. It was part of the Bush administration's War on Terrorism. After the covert action was disclosed, the so-called SWIFT Agreement was negotiated between the United States and the European Union.
Overview [ edit ] A series of articles published on June 23, 2006, by the New York Times,[1] the Wall Street Journal[2] and the Los Angeles Times[3] revealed that the United States government, specifically the US Treasury and the CIA, had developed methods to access the SWIFT transaction database after the September 11th attacks.
According to the June 2006 New York Times article, the program helped lead to the capture of an al-Qaeda operative known as Hambali in 2003, believed to be the mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombing, as well as helped identify a Brooklyn man convicted in 2005 for laundering money for an al-Qaeda operative in Pakistan.[4] The Treasury Department and White House responded to the leak the day before it was published, claiming that the leak damaged counterterrorism activities. They also referred to the program as the "Terrorist Finance Tracking Program" ("TFTP"), similar to the Terrorist Surveillance Program in the NSA wiretapping controversy.[5]
The Terrorist Finance Tracking Program was viewed by the Bush administration as another tool in the "Global War on Terrorism". The administration contends the program allows additional scrutiny that could prove instrumental in tracking transactions between terrorist cells. Some have raised concerns that the program might also be a violation of United States and European financial privacy laws, because individual search warrants to access financial data were not obtained in advance.[6] In response to the claim that the program violates US law, some have noted that the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Miller (1976) has ruled that there is not an expected right to privacy for financial transaction records held by third parties and that "the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the obtaining of information revealed to a third party and conveyed by him to Government authorities, even if the information is revealed on the assumption that it will be used only for a limited purpose and the confidence placed in the third party will not be betrayed".[7]
Immediately following the disclosure, SWIFT released a press statement asserting that they gave information to the United States in compliance with Treasury Department subpoenas, but claimed that "SWIFT received significant protections and assurances as to the purpose, confidentiality, oversight and control of the limited sets of data produced under the subpoenas".[8]
European privacy laws [ edit ] On 27 June 2006, it was revealed by the media that Belgium's central bank, the National Bank of Belgium, had known about the US government's access to the SWIFT databases since 2002.[9] The Belgian Christian Democratic and Flemish party claimed on June 28 that the actions of the CIA with SWIFT were in breach of Belgian privacy laws. The Belgian parliamentary committee that deals with the workings of the Belgian State Security Service (Comit(C) I) reported that SWIFT was indeed in violation of Belgian and European privacy laws.[10]
In addition, the New York branch of the Dutch Rabobank is said to have delivered information on its European customers to the US government, in contempt of European privacy laws. The Dutch Data Protection Authority claims that Dutch banks could face fines if they hand over data on their customers to the US government.[11]
Consequently, the European Union (EU) obtained an agreement that they could send an investigating magistrate as High Representative of the EU to the United States in order to monitor the TFTP activities. This magistrate, Jean-Louis Brugui¨re, had a permanent office in Washington, D.C., at the Department of Treasury.[12]
Disclosures by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden alleged the NSA was systematically undermining the SWIFT Agreement. No denial was issued by the American side, and the European Parliament passed a non-binding vote calling for the suspension of the agreement.[13][14] A suspension would however require the consent of a two-thirds majority of EU governments.[15]
EU-U.S. relations [ edit ] Legal treaty development [ edit ] After European concerns with wholesale SWIFT data export were raised, it became necessary for the United States to negotiate a treaty with the EU in order to be able to continue accessing the SWIFT database.[vague ] The Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging Data from the European Union to the United States for the purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program was negotiated during 2009.[citation needed ] The treaty was first rejected by the European Parliament,[16] however after a few months and a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden to the parliament,[17] the European Commission introduced a proposal with strengthened safeguards,[18] which was then adopted.[19]
Scope [ edit ] The scope of the treaty is to use financial payment messaging data to prevent, investigate, detect, and prosecute conduct pertaining to terrorism or terrorist financing. Terrorism is defined as "acts which involves violence or are otherwise dangerous to human life or create a risk of damage to property or infrastructure with the intent to intimidate a population or government or an international institution to act or abstain from acting or to seriously destabilize or destroy fundamental structures of a country or international organization."[citation needed ]
Process [ edit ] The United States Treasury serves production orders to a designated provider of financial data. SWIFT is the only designated provider today. The request shall identify as clearly as possible the data necessary for the purpose of the treaty. The request should clearly substantiate the necessity of the data, and be tailored as narrowly as possible. Payments within the Single Euro Payments Area are excluded.[citation needed ]
Safeguards [ edit ] The U.S. Treasury shall process the data only for the purpose of the treaty and data mining is not allowed. The data must be secured and cannot be interconnected with any other database. Access to data shall be limited to investigations of terrorism. All searches must be based upon preexisting information or evidence of connection with terrorism. Information may only be shared with law enforcement, public security, or counterterrorism authorities in the United States or the EU.[citation needed ]
Citizen's rights [ edit ] Any person has the right to obtain a confirmation through the data protection authority in the EU member state that the person's data protection rights have been respected. Any person has the right to seek the rectification, erasure or blocking of his or her personal data where the data is inaccurate or the processing contravenes the treaty.[citation needed ]
European TFTP [ edit ] EU may request the aid of the United States to build up a European TFTP.[citation needed ]
History [ edit ] 2013 [ edit ] October 23: Following revelations about mass surveillance by the NSA, the European Parliament passes a non-binding resolution calling on the EU Commission to suspend all data transfers according to the TFTP with the United States Treasury Department.[13][14]2012 [ edit ] February 26: Danish newspaper Berlingske reported that U.S. authorities evidently have sufficient control over SWIFT to seize money being transferred between two EU countries (Denmark and Germany), since they have seized around $26,000 which were being transferred from a Danish to a German bank. The money was a payment by a Danish businessman for a batch of Cuban cigars previously imported to Germany by a German supplier. As justification for the seizure, the U.S. Treasury stated that the Danish businessman has violated the United States embargo against Cuba.[20]2011 [ edit ] October 25European Data Protection Supervisor communication entitled Terrorist Finance Tracking System (TFTS) - European Commission Communication of 13 July 2011 (2011-0699) to Cecilia Malmstr¶m, Commissioner for Home Affairs, European Commission:"We support all the points made by the Article 29 Working Party in its letter of 29 September, based on its specific experience in analysing and monitoring the original agreement between the United States and the EU regarding the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (the "U.S. TFTP agreement"), which is the source of the developments of the Terrorist Finance Tracking System ("TFTS") at EU level"."We would like to complement the observations of the WP29, especially in relation to the context in which the TFTS is envisaged, about [the question of] its necessity and proportionality, the procedural guarantees that should be introduced and finally with regard to its consequences on the existing US TFTP agreement".European Data Protection Supervisor offers Comments on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 13 July 2011: "A European terrorist finance tracking system: Available options":[The] main reason for the development of a European terrorist finance tracking system ('EU TFTS') has its source in the present US TFTP agreement (and in particular its Article 11) and in the Council Decision of 13 July 2010 ("the Decision"). Currently, under TFTP, data are sent in bulk to the US, to be stored and filtered according to requests of the U.S. Treasury Department. This has raised serious criticism, especially by the European Parliament (and the EDPS and WP29), notably with regard to the necessity and proportionality of the 'bulk' data flows.If the filtering of data is performed within the EU under TFTS, according to criteria which should be particularly strict (in order to comply with the necessity and proportionality tests), the data sent to the United States would be restricted as a result. This is essential in order to meet the EU data protection requirements, even if the data would not totally meet the (broad) requests of U.S. authorities.September 29Article 29 Working Party letter regarding TFTP2010 [ edit ] November 19:Article 29 Working Party communication entitled EU-US General Agreement (D(2010) 837566) to Vice-President Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, European Commission:On 26 May 2010 the European Commission presented the draft negotiating mandate for an agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the protection of personal data when transferred and processed for the purpose of preventing, investigating, detecting or prosecuting criminal offences, including terrorism, in the framework of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (hereafter: the EU-US general agreement). The Article 29 Working Party understands the negotiating mandate has been under discussion in both the Council and the European Parliament in recent months and may be adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Council in early December. The Working Party regrets that it has not been consulted on the content of the negotiating mandate for this agreement, since these negotiations with the US are bound to be one of the most important steps within the area of data protection the EU is to take in the coming years.July 13: Council DecisionEDPS: In the Decision, the Council agreed to the conclusion of the agreement between the EU and the US while at the same time inviting the Commission to submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a legal and technical framework for the extraction of data on EU territory. Furthermore, in giving its approval to the conclusion of the agreement on 8 July 2010, the European Parliament explicitly acknowledged the commitment by the Council and the Commission to set up the legal and technical framework allowing for the extraction of data on EU soil. This commitment would in the mid-term ensure the termination of bulk data transfers to the U.S. authorities. The requirement for a prior filtering of data within the EU is supported by the EDPS, as it would prevent the sending of bulk data to a third country. However, the Communication goes beyond the acknowledged purpose of filtering data in the EU, as it clearly indicates that the "system should not be set up just to provide relevant information to US authorities", as the authorities of the Member States "have a real interest in the results of such a system as well". The Communication therefore seems to legitimise the setting up of a whole new TFTS scheme, in an EU specific context, on the basis of the existing TFTP agreement. In other words, the Communication seems to justify the introduction of a new system which invades the privacy of EU citizens for the benefit of the authorities of EU Member States while using as a justification the assessment of utility of a system conceived and implemented to allow the US authorities to pursue their own investigation linked to terrorism. The EDPS has strong doubts about this approach, which does not appear to respect the principles of necessity and proportionality (as developed below). (Comments on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 13 July 2011: ''A European Terrorist Finance Tracking System: Available Options'' (2011-10-25))May 26: European Commission presents draft mandate."The Article 29 Working Party understands the negotiating mandate has been under discussion in both the Council and the European Parliament in recent months and may be adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Council in early December. The Working Party regrets that it has not been consulted." - EDPS, EU-US General Agreement (D(2010) 837566, 2010-11-19.2001-2006 [ edit ] November 22, 2006: Article 29 Working Party adopts Opinion 10/2006 on the processing of personal data by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).[The] Article 29 Working Party emphasizes that even in the fight against terrorism and crime fundamental rights must remain guaranteed. It insists therefore on the respect of global data protection principles.The Article 29 Working Party calls upon SWIFT and the financial institutions to take measures in order to remedy the currently illegal state of affairs without delay.September 2006: The Belgian government declared that the SWIFT dealings with U.S. government authorities were, in fact, a breach of Belgian and European privacy laws.June/July 2006At the end of June and beginning of July 2006, press coverage in the European and US media questioned the role and responsibilities of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) in relation to the transfer of personal data to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury ("UST"). SWIFT is a Belgian based cooperative active in the processing of financial messages. It was revealed that personal data, collected and processed via the SWIFT network for international money transfers using the bank identification code ("BIC") or "SWIFT" code, had been provided to the UST since the end of 2001 on the basis of subpoenas under American law for terrorism investigation purposes. - Article 29 Working Party, Opinion 10/2006 on the processing of personal data by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). New York Times' disclosure controversy [ edit ] A number of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives criticized the New York Times for reporting on the program,[21] and Representative Peter T. King, then the House Homeland Security Committee chairman, called on the Bush administration to seek criminal charges against the Times under the Espionage Act of 1917 and other related federal statutes.[22] The Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal divulged information about the TFTP at the same time.[23] The New York Times itself argued in a June 28, 2006 editorial that its reporting about the TFTP is protected by the First Amendment and serves a vital role, providing "information the public needs to make things right again". The New York Times editorial further argued that terrorists would have to be "fairly credulous" to believe their finances were not being tracked and that the reporting bore "no resemblance to security breaches, like disclosure of troop locations, that would clearly compromise the immediate safety of specific individuals.[24]
Some have also questioned whether the information in the original June 23, 2006 newspaper articles was even secret, despite its U.S. government classification, because of previous newspaper articles discussing SWIFT. Specifically, a 1998 Washington Post article, in the wake of the U.S. embassy bombings, mentioned that the "CIA and agents with Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network also will try to lay tripwires to find out when bin Laden moves funds by plugging into the computerized systems of bank transaction monitoring services '' operated by the Federal Reserve and private organizations called SWIFT and CHIPS '' that record the billions of dollars coursing through the global banking system daily."[25] Also, a September 21, 2001 Baltimore Sun article mentioned SWIFT "headquartered in Belgium" and conjectured about the ability of the U.S. National Security Agency "to follow the money through its electronic intercepts of such transactions".[26] Still others have questioned the secrecy of the TFTP because the Bush administration has made public announcements that it planned to track terrorist-related finances. For example, in a speech shortly after the September 11th attacks, George W. Bush elaborated on the Administration's intention to track terrorist funding, saying "if [financial institutions] fail to help us by sharing information or freezing accounts, the Department of the Treasury now has the authority to freeze their bank's assets and transactions in the United States".[27]
However, critics of the decision to disclose the classified program's existence, including U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, responded by arguing that there is a vast difference between stating general intentions to track terrorist finances and actually revealing the exact means employed to do so. Some of these critics called attention to the New York Times itself making no mention of either SWIFT or the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program in a November 29, 2005 article ironically detailing the Bush administration's apparent lack of progress in tracking terrorist finances.[28] Moreover, in an editorial on the press's obligations in wartime, the Wall Street Journal clarified the basic differences between its approach to the story and that of the New York Times. As for Secretary Snow, he disagreed with executive editor of The New York Times Bill Keller's claim that terrorists are now exclusively using "other means"[29] to transfer funds, by stating that terrorists "have continued to [use] the formal financial system, which has made this program incredibly valuable".[30] Testifying before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on July 11, 2006, Stuart Levey, the Department of the Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, stated:
"Since being asked to oversee this program by then-Secretary Snow and then-Deputy Secretary Bodman almost two years ago, I have received the written output from this program as part of my daily intelligence briefing. For two years, I have been reviewing that output every morning. I cannot remember a day when that briefing did not include at least one terrorism lead from this program. Despite attempts at secrecy, terrorist facilitators have continued to use the international banking system to send money to one another, even after September 11th. This disclosure compromised one of our most valuable programs and will only make our efforts to track terrorist financing'--and to prevent terrorist attacks'--harder. Tracking terrorist money trails is difficult enough without having our sources and methods reported on the front page of newspapers."[31]
On October 22, 2006, Public Editor of The New York Times Byron Calame stated that he did not think the article should have been published, reversing his strong support of the Times in his June 2 column. "I haven't found any evidence in the intervening months that the surveillance program was illegal...The lack of appropriate oversight'--to catch any abuses in the absence of media attention'--was a key reason I originally supported publication. I think, however, that I gave it too much weight".[32]
In September 2006, however, the Belgian government declared that the SWIFT dealings with U.S. government authorities were, in fact, a breach of Belgian and European privacy laws. New York Times editor Bill Keller responded to Calame's ''revisionist epiphany'' in a letter published on November 6, 2006. Keller felt that Calame's premise that ''the press should not reveal sensitive secret information unless there is a preponderance of evidence that the information exposes illegal or abusive actions by the government'' set too high a bar. Keller explained, ''The banking story landed in the context of a national debate about the concentration of executive power. The Swift program was the latest in a series of programs carried out without the customary checks and balances'--in this case, Congressional oversight. Key members of Congress who would normally be apprised of such a program and who would be expected to monitor its safeguards only learned of the program because we did''.[33]
See also [ edit ] Financial Crimes Enforcement NetworkTIPANETOfficial EU-USA TFTP Treaty textU.S Treasury TFTP informationSWIFT TFTP informationFurther reading [ edit ] Farrell, Henry and Abraham Newman. 2019. Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Struggle over Freedom and Security. Princeton University Press.References [ edit ] ^ Lichtblau, Eric and Risen, James. "Bank Data Is Sifted by U.S. in Secret to Block Terror", New York Times, June 22, 2006. Accessed June 23, 2006. ^ Simpson, Glenn R. "U.S. Treasury Tracks Financial Data In Secret Program", Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2006. Accessed June 23, 2006. ^ Meyer, Josh and Miller, Greg. "Secret U.S. Program Tracks Global Bank Transfers", Los Angeles Times. June 22, 2006. Accessed June 23, 2006. ^ Lichtblau, Eric & Risen, James (June 23, 2006). "Bank Data Is Sifted by U.S. in Secret to Block Terror". New York Times . Retrieved 2006-07-10 . ^ Blustein, Paul, Gellman, Barton, and Linzer, Dafna. "Bank Records Secretly Tapped", Washington Post, June 23, 2006. Accessed June 23, 2006. ^ Bilefsky, Dan (June 28, 2006). "Rights group complains". The Boston Globe. ^ U.S. Supreme Court. United States v. Miller, 425 U.S. 435 (1976), Argued January 12, 1976. Decided April 21, 1976. Accessed July 1, 2006. ^ "Swift Press Release on the Program [dead link ] , Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2006. Accessed June 23, 2006. ^ NBB 'aware' of Swift's actions since 2002, Expatica, June 27, 2006. Accessed June 27, 2006. ^ Brand, Constant (2005-09-28). "Belgian PM: Data Transfer Broke Rules". Washington Post . Retrieved May 25, 2010 . ^ "Bank wacht boete bij zwijgen over informeren VS" (in Dutch). NRC Handelsblad. 2007-03-10. ^ Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, Press Release - Hearings of SWIFT representatives and Judge Brugui¨re, 8 April 2009 ^ a b European Parliament Newsroom: MEPs call for suspension of EU-US bank data deal in response to NSA snooping, 23 October 2013 ^ a b Ermert, Monika (23 October 2013). "European Parliament: No More Bank Data Transfers To US For Anti-Terror Investigations". ip-watch.org. Intellectual Property Watch . Retrieved November 2, 2013 . ^ EUobserver: Merkel to seek intelligence rule book with US, 25 October 2013 ^ Legislative observatory for TFTP Act 1 ^ Remarks of VP Biden to the European Parliament ^ EuropeanVoice.com: MEPs vote to suspend SWIFT agreement with US, 23 October 2013 ^ Legislative observatory for TFTP Act 2 ^ Simon Bendtsen & Peter Suppli Benson (26 February 2012). "Dansk politimand fanget i amerikansk terrornet". Berlingske (in Danish) . Retrieved 26 February 2012 . ^ O'Connor, Patrick and Allen, Jonathan. "GOP bill targets NY Times Archived 2006-10-20 at the Wayback Machine", The Hill, June 28, 2006. Accessed June 28, 2006. ^ Devlin Barrett. "Lawmaker Wants Times Prosecuted", The Washington Post, June 26, 2006. Accessed July 3, 2006. ^ Editors. "Bush's hypocrisy once again comes into focus", The Albuquerque Tribune, June 29, 2006. Accessed June 29, 2006. ^ Editors. "Patriotism and the Press", New York Times, June 28, 2006. Accessed July 3, 2006. ^ Mintz, John (August 28, 1998). "Bin Laden's Finances Are Moving Target". The Washington Post . Retrieved 2006-07-11 . ^ Shane, Scott (September 21, 2001). "Authorities trying to track money back to bin Laden". Baltimore Sun . Retrieved 2007-12-29 . ^ President Freezes Terrorists' Assets ^ Lichtblau, Eric (November 29, 2005). "U.S. Lacks Strategy to Curb Terror Funds, Agency Says". New York Times . Retrieved 2006-07-08 . ^ Keller, Bill. "Letter From Bill Keller on The Times's Banking Records Report" New York Times, June 25, 2006. Accessed June 25, 2006. ^ Snow, John W. "Letter to the Editors of The New York Times by Treasury Secretary Snow Archived 2006-09-23 at the Wayback Machine", June 26, 2006. Accessed June 26, 2006 ^ Levey, Stuart "Testimony of Stuart Levey, Under Secretary Terrorism and Financial Intelligence U.S. Department of the Treasury Before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Archived 2006-09-23 at the Wayback Machine", July 11, 2006. Accessed July 23, 2006 ^ Calame, Byron (October 22, 2006). "Can 'Magazines' of The Times Subsidize News Coverage?". New York Times . Retrieved May 25, 2010 . ^ Calame, Byron (November 6, 2006). "Bill Keller Responds to Column on Swift Mea Culpa". New York Times . Retrieved May 25, 2010 . External links [ edit ] Information on Financial Information Sharing Agreements, request to the European Data Protection Supervisor via AskTheEU.org, 5 August 2012. (In particular, response dated 27th August).
SWIFT - Wikipedia
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:37
Financial telecommunication network
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), legally S.W.I.F.T. SC, is a Belgian cooperative society providing services related to the execution of financial transactions and payments between banks worldwide. Its principal function is to serve as the main messaging network through which international payments are initiated.[2] It also sells software and services to financial institutions, mostly for use on its proprietary "SWIFTNet", and ISO 9362 Business Identifier Codes (BICs), popularly known as "SWIFT codes".
The SWIFT messaging network is a component of the global payments system. SWIFT acts as a carrier of the "messages containing the payment instructions between financial institutions involved in a transaction."[5] However, the organization does not manage accounts on behalf of individuals or financial institutions, and it does not hold funds from third parties. It also does not perform clearing or settlement functions.[5] After a payment has been initiated, it must be settled through a payment system, such as TARGET2 in Europe. In the context of cross-border transactions, this step often takes place through correspondent banking accounts that financial institutions have with each other.
As of 2018, around half of all high-value cross-border payments worldwide used the SWIFT network,[9] and in 2015, SWIFT linked more than 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries and territories, who were exchanging an average of over 32 million messages per day (compared to an average of 2.4 million daily messages in 1995).[10]
Though widely utilized, SWIFT has been criticized for its inefficiency. In 2018, the London-based Financial Times noted that transfers frequently "pass through multiple banks before reaching their final destination, making them time-consuming, costly and lacking transparency on how much money will arrive at the other end".[9] SWIFT has since introduced an improved service called "Global Payments Innovation" (GPI), claiming it was adopted by 165 banks and was completing half its payments within 30 minutes.[9]
As a cooperative society under Belgian law, SWIFT is owned by its member financial institutions. It is headquartered in La Hulpe, Belgium, near Brussels; its main building was designed by Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura and completed in 1989.[11] The chairman of SWIFT is Yawar Shah[12] of Pakistan,[13] and its CEO is Javier P(C)rez-Tasso of Spain.[14] SWIFT hosts an annual conference, called Sibos, specifically aimed at the financial services industry.[15]
History SWIFT was founded in Brussels on 3 May 1973 under the leadership of its inaugural CEO, Carl Reuterski¶ld (1973''1989), and was supported by 239 banks in 15 countries.[16] Before its establishment, international financial transactions were communicated over Telex, a public system involving manual writing and reading of messages.[17] It was set up out of fear of what might happen if a single private and fully American entity controlled global financial flows '' which before was First National City Bank (FNCB) of New York '' later Citibank. In response to FNCB's protocol, FNCB's competitors in the US and Europe pushed an alternative "messaging system that could replace the public providers and speed up the payment process".[18] SWIFT started to establish common standards for financial transactions and a shared data processing system and worldwide communications network designed by Logica and developed by the Burroughs Corporation.[19] Fundamental operating procedures and rules for liability were established in 1975, and the first message was sent in 1977. SWIFT's first international (non-European) operations center was inaugurated by Governor John N. Dalton of Virginia in 1979.[20]
Standards SWIFT has become the industry standard for syntax in financial messages. Messages formatted to SWIFT standards can be read and processed by many well-known financial processing systems, whether or not the message traveled over the SWIFT network. SWIFT cooperates with international organizations for defining standards for message format and content. SWIFT is also Registration authority (RA) for the following ISO standards:[21]
ISO 9362: 1994 Banking '' Banking telecommunication messages '' Bank identifier codesISO 10383: 2003 Securities and related financial instruments '' Codes for exchanges and market identification (MIC)ISO 13616: 2003 IBAN RegistryISO 15022: 1999 Securities '' Scheme for messages (Data Field Dictionary) (replaces ISO 7775)ISO 20022-1: 2004 and ISO 20022-2:2007 Financial services '' Universal Financial Industry message schemeIn RFC 3615 urn:swift: was defined as Uniform Resource Names (URNs) for SWIFT FIN.[22]
Operations centers The SWIFT secure messaging network is run from three data centers, located in the United States, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. These centers share information in near real-time. In case of a failure in one of the data centers, another is able to handle the traffic of the complete network. SWIFT uses submarine communications cables to transmit its data.[23]
Shortly after opening its third data center in Diessenhofen, Switzerland in 2009,[24] SWIFT introduced new distributed architecture with two messaging zones, European and Trans-Atlantic, so data from European SWIFT members no longer mirrored the U.S. data center.[25] European zone messages are stored in the Netherlands and in part of the Swiss operating center; Trans-Atlantic zone messages are stored in the United States and in another part of the Swiss operating center that is segregated from the European zone messages. Countries outside of Europe were by default allocated to the Trans-Atlantic zone, but could choose to have their messages stored in the European zone.
The Swiss operating center was built in Diessenhofen.[26]
SWIFTNet network SWIFT moved to its current IP network infrastructure, known as SWIFTNet, from 2001 to 2005,[27] providing a total replacement of the previous X.25 infrastructure. The process involved the development of new protocols that facilitate efficient messaging, using existing and new message standards. The adopted technology chosen to develop the protocols was XML, where it now provides a wrapper around all messages legacy or contemporary. The communication protocols can be broken down into:
SWIFTNet InterAct RealtimeSWIFTNet InterAct Store and ForwardFileAct
SWIFTNet FileAct RealtimeSWIFTNet FileAct Store and ForwardBrowse
SWIFTNet BrowseArchitecture SWIFT provides a centralized store-and-forward mechanism, with some transaction management. For bank A to send a message to bank B with a copy or authorization involving institution C, it formats the message according to standards and securely sends it to SWIFT. SWIFT guarantees its secure and reliable delivery to B after the appropriate action by C. SWIFT guarantees are based primarily on high redundancy of hardware, software, and people.
SWIFTNet Phase 2 During 2007 and 2008, the entire SWIFT network migrated its infrastructure to a new protocol called SWIFTNet Phase 2. The main difference between Phase 2 and the former arrangement is that Phase 2 requires banks connecting to the network to use a Relationship Management Application (RMA) instead of the former bilateral key exchange (BKE) system. According to SWIFT's public information database on the subject, RMA software should eventually prove more secure and easier to keep up-to-date; however, converting to the RMA system meant that thousands of banks around the world had to update their international payments systems to comply with the new standards. RMA completely replaced BKE on 1 January 2009.
Products and interfaces SWIFT means several things in the financial world:
a secure network for transmitting messages between financial institutions;a set of syntax standards for financial messages (for transmission over SWIFTNet or any other network)a set of connection software and services allowing financial institutions to transmit messages over SWIFT network.Under 3 above, SWIFT provides turn-key solutions for members, consisting of linkage clients to facilitate connectivity to the SWIFT network and CBTs or "computer based terminals" which members use to manage the delivery and receipt of their messages. Some of the more well-known interfaces and CBTs provided to their members are:
SWIFTNet Link (SNL) software which is installed on the SWIFT customer's site and opens a connection to SWIFTNet. Other applications can only communicate with SWIFTNet through the SNL.Alliance Gateway (SAG) software with interfaces (e.g., RAHA = Remote Access Host Adapter), allowing other software products to use the SNL to connect to SWIFTNetAlliance WebStation (SAB) desktop interface for SWIFT Alliance Gateway with several usage options:administrative access to the SAGdirect connection SWIFTNet by the SAG, to administrate SWIFT Certificatesso-called Browse connection to SWIFTNet (also by SAG) to use additional services, for example Target2Alliance Access (SAA) and Alliance Messaging Hub (AMH) are the main messaging software applications by SWIFT, which allow message creation for FIN messages, routing and monitoring for FIN and MX messages. The main interfaces are FTA (files transfer automated, not FTP) and MQSA, a WebSphere MQ interface.The Alliance Workstation (SAW) is the desktop software for administration, monitoring and FIN message creation. Since Alliance Access is not yet capable of creating MX messages, Alliance Messenger (SAM) has to be used for this purpose.Alliance Web Platform (SWP) as new thin-client desktop interface provided as an alternative to existing Alliance WebStation, Alliance Workstation (soon)[when? ] and Alliance Messenger.Alliance Integrator built on Oracle's Java Caps which enables customer's back office applications to connect to Alliance Access or Alliance Entry.Alliance Lite2 is a secure and reliable, cloud-based way to connect to the SWIFT network which is a light version of Alliance Access specifically targeting customers with low volume of traffic.Services There are four key areas that SWIFT services fall under in the financial marketplace: securities, treasury & derivatives, trade services. and payments-and-cash management.
SWIFTNet FIX (obsolete)SWIFTNet Data DistributionSWIFTNet FundsSWIFTNet Accord for Securities (end of life October 2017)[28]Treasury and derivatives
SWIFTNet Accord for Treasury (end of life October 2017)[28]SWIFTNet AffirmationsSWIFTNet CLS Third Party ServiceCash management
SWIFTNet Bulk PaymentsSWIFTNet Cash ReportingSWIFTNet Exceptions and InvestigationsTrade services
SWIFTNet Trade Services UtilitySWIFTREF Swift Ref, the global payment reference data utility, is SWIFT's unique reference data service. Swift Ref sources data direct from data originators, including central banks, code issuers and banks making it easy for issuers and originators to maintain data regularly and thoroughly. SWIFTRef constantly validates and cross-checks data across the different data sets.[29]
SWIFTNet Mail SWIFT offers a secure person-to-person messaging service, SWIFTNet Mail, which went live on 16 May 2007.[30] SWIFT clients can configure their existing email infrastructure to pass email messages through the highly secure and reliable SWIFTNet network instead of the open Internet. SWIFTNet Mail is intended for the secure transfer of sensitive business documents, such as invoices, contracts and signatories, and is designed to replace existing telex and courier services, as well as the transmission of security-sensitive data over the open Internet. Seven financial institutions, including HSBC, FirstRand Bank, Clearstream, DnB NOR, Nedbank, and Standard Bank of South Africa, as well as SWIFT piloted the service.[31]
U.S. government involvement Terrorist Finance Tracking Program A series of articles published on 23 June 2006 in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times revealed a program, named the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, which the US Treasury Department, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and other United States governmental agencies initiated after the 11 September attacks to gain access to the SWIFT transaction database.[32]
After the publication of these articles, SWIFT quickly came under pressure for compromising the data privacy of its customers by allowing governments to gain access to sensitive personal information. In September 2006, the Belgian government declared that these SWIFT dealings with American governmental authorities were a breach of Belgian and European privacy laws.[citation needed ]
In response, and to satisfy members' concerns about privacy, SWIFT began a process of improving its architecture by implementing a distributed architecture with a two-zone model for storing messages (see Operations centers).
Concurrently, the European Union negotiated an agreement with the United States government to permit the transfer of intra-EU SWIFT transaction information to the United States under certain circumstances. Because of concerns about its potential contents, the European Parliament adopted a position statement in September 2009, demanding to see the full text of the agreement and asking that it be fully compliant with EU privacy legislation, with oversight mechanisms emplaced to ensure that all data requests were handled appropriately.[33] An interim agreement was signed without European Parliamentary approval by the European Council on 30 November 2009,[34] the day before the Lisbon Treaty'--which would have prohibited such an agreement from being signed under the terms of the codecision procedure'--formally came into effect. While the interim agreement was scheduled to come into effect on 1 January 2010, the text of the agreement was classified as "EU Restricted" until translations could be provided in all EU languages and published on 25 January 2010.
On 11 February 2010, the European Parliament decided to reject the interim agreement between the EU and the US by 378 to 196 votes.[35][36] One week earlier, the parliament's civil liberties committee had already rejected the deal, citing legal reservations.[37]
In March 2011, it was reported that two mechanisms of data protection had failed: EUROPOL released a report complaining that requests for information from the US had been too vague (making it impossible to make judgments on validity)[38] and that the guaranteed right for European citizens to know whether their information had been accessed by US authorities had not been put into practice.[38]
Sanctions against Iran In January 2012, the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) implemented a campaign calling on SWIFT to end all relations with Iran's banking system, including the Central Bank of Iran. UANI asserted that Iran's membership in SWIFT violated US and EU financial sanctions against Iran as well as SWIFT's own corporate rules.[39]
Consequently, in February 2012, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee unanimously approved sanctions against SWIFT aimed at pressuring it to terminate its ties with blacklisted Iranian banks. Expelling Iranian banks from SWIFT would potentially deny Iran access to billions of dollars in revenue using SWIFT but not from using IVTS. Mark Wallace, president of UANI, praised the Senate Banking Committee.[40]
Initially SWIFT denied that it was acting illegally,[40] but later[when? ] said that "it is working with U.S. and European governments to address their concerns that its financial services are being used by Iran to avoid sanctions and conduct illicit business".[41] Targeted banks would be'--amongst others'--Saderat Bank of Iran, Bank Mellat, Post Bank of Iran and Sepah Bank.[42] On 17 March 2012, following agreement two days earlier between all 27 member states of the Council of the European Union and the Council's subsequent ruling, SWIFT disconnected all Iranian banks that had been identified as institutions in breach of current EU sanctions from its international network and warned that even more Iranian financial institutions could be disconnected from the network.
In February 2016, most Iranian banks reconnected to the network following the lift of sanctions due to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.[43]
On 26 February 2012 the Danish newspaper Berlingske reported that US authorities have sufficient control over SWIFT to seize money being transferred between two European Union (EU) countries (Denmark and Germany), since they succeeded in seizing around $26,000 that was being transferred from a Danish businessman to a German bank. The transaction was automatically routed through the US, possibly because of the USD currency used in the transaction, which is how the United States was able to seize the funds. The money was a payment for a batch of Cuban cigars previously imported to Germany by a German supplier. As justification for the seizure, the U.S. Treasury stated that the Danish businessman had violated the United States embargo against Cuba.[44][45]
Monitoring by the NSA Der Spiegel reported in September 2013 that the National Security Agency (NSA) widely monitors banking transactions via SWIFT, as well as credit card transactions.[46] The NSA intercepted and retained data from the SWIFT network used by thousands of banks to securely send transaction information. SWIFT was named as a "target", according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The documents revealed that the NSA spied on SWIFT using a variety of methods, including reading "SWIFT printer traffic from numerous banks".[46] In April 2017, a group known as the Shadow Brokers released files allegedly from the NSA which indicate that the agency monitored financial transactions made through SWIFT.[47][48]
Use in sanctions SWIFT had disconnected all Iranian banks from its international network as a sanction against Iran. However, as of 2016, Iranian banks that are no longer on international sanctions lists were reconnected to SWIFT.[49] Even though this enables movement of money from and to these Iranian banks, foreign banks remain wary of doing business with the country. Due to primary sanctions, transactions of U.S. banks with Iran or transactions in U.S. dollars with Iran both remain prohibited.
In 2014, SWIFT rejected calls from pro-Palestinian activists to revoke Israeli banks' access to its network.[50]
Similarly, in August 2014 the UK planned to press the EU to block Russian use of SWIFT as a sanction due to Russian military intervention in Ukraine.[51] However, SWIFT refused to do so.[52] SPFS, a Russia-based SWIFT equivalent, was created by the Central Bank of Russia as a backup measure.[53]
During the 2021''2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisis, the United States developed preliminary possible sanctions against Russia, but excluded banning Russia from SWIFT.[54] Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the foreign ministers of the Baltic states called for Russia to be cut off from SWIFT. However, other EU member states were reluctant, both because European lenders held most of the nearly $30 billion in foreign banks' exposure to Russia and because Russia had developed the SPFS alternative.[55] The European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States finally agreed to remove select Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system in response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine; the governments of France, Germany, Italy and Japan individually released statements alongside the EU.[56][5]
Competitors Alternatives to the SWIFT system include:
CIPS '' sponsored by China, for trade-related deals in the Chinese currency with Chinese clearing banks[57]SFMS - sponsored by IndiaSPFS '' sponsored by Russia, mostly composed of Russian banks[58]INSTEX '' sponsored by the European Union, limited to non-USD transactions for trade with Iran, largely unused and ineffective[59][60]Security In 2016 an $81 million theft from the Bangladesh central bank via its account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank was traced to hacker penetration of SWIFT's Alliance Access software, according to a New York Times report. It was not the first such attempt, the society acknowledged, and the security of the transfer system was undergoing new examination accordingly.[61] Soon after the reports of the theft from the Bangladesh central bank, a second, apparently related, attack was reported to have occurred on a commercial bank in Vietnam.[62]
Both attacks involved malware written to both issue unauthorized SWIFT messages and to conceal that the messages had been sent. After the malware sent the SWIFT messages that stole the funds, it deleted the database record of the transfers then took further steps to prevent confirmation messages from revealing the theft. In the Bangladeshi case, the confirmation messages would have appeared on a paper report; the malware altered the paper reports when they were sent to the printer. In the second case, the bank used a PDF report; the malware altered the PDF viewer to hide the transfers.[62]
In May 2016, Banco del Austro (BDA) in Ecuador sued Wells Fargo after Wells Fargo honored $12 million in fund transfer requests that had been placed by thieves. In this case, the thieves sent SWIFT messages that resembled recently canceled transfer requests from BDA, with slightly altered amounts; the reports do not detail how the thieves gained access to send the SWIFT messages. BDA asserts that Wells Fargo should have detected the suspicious SWIFT messages, which were placed outside of normal BDA working hours and were of an unusual size. Wells Fargo claims that BDA is responsible for the loss, as the thieves gained access to the legitimate SWIFT credentials of a BDA employee and sent fully authenticated SWIFT messages.
In the first half of 2016, an anonymous Ukrainian bank and others'--even "dozens" that are not being made public'--were variously reported to have been "compromised" through the SWIFT network and to have lost money.[64]
See also ABA routing transit numberBilateral key exchange and the new Relationship Management Application (RMA)Cross-Border Interbank Payment SystemCryptocurrency / Digital currencyElectronic moneyIndian Financial System Code (IFSC)Structured Financial Messaging System (India)Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX)International sanctionsInternationalization of the renminbiISO 9362, the SWIFT/BIC code standardISO 15022ISO 20022Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)Sibos conferenceSPFSTerrorist Finance Tracking ProgramTIPANETValue transfer systemFurther reading Farrell, Henry and Abraham Newman. 2019. Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Struggle over Freedom and Security. Princeton University Press.References ^ "CBE Public Search". kbopub.economie.fgov.be. FPS Economy, SMEs, Self-Employed and Energy . Retrieved 27 February 2022 . ^ Scott, Susan V.; Zachariadis, Markos (2014). The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) : cooperative governance for network innovation, standards, and community. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 1, 35. ISBN 978-1-317-90952-1. OCLC 862930816. ^ a b c Kowsmann, Patricia; Talley, Ian (26 February 2022). "What Is Swift and Why Is It Being Used to Sanction Russia?". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved 27 February 2022 . ^ a b c Arnold, Martin (6 June 2018). "Ripple and Swift slug it out over cross-border payments". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 27 September 2019 . Retrieved 28 October 2019 . ^ "Swift Company Information". SWIFT. 9 March 2010 . Retrieved 7 December 2016 . ^ Serena Vergano, ed. (2009). Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura: Architecture in the era of local culture and international experience. RBTA. p. 130. ^ "Board members". SWIFT. 9 December 2015 . Retrieved 4 May 2016 . ^ "Yawar Shah '' 1996 '' 40 Under Forty '' Crain's New York Business" . Retrieved 23 February 2014 . ^ "SWIFT Management". SWIFT. 7 October 2015 . Retrieved 4 May 2016 . ^ "Javier P(C)rez-Tasso". SWIFT . Retrieved 15 November 2019 . ^ Susan V. Scott; Markos Zachariadis (30 October 2013). The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT): Cooperative governance for network innovation, standards, and community. Routledge. pp. 16''. ISBN 978-1-317-90953-8. ^ Annex 1: The History and Detailed Functioning of SWIFT. ECahiers de l'Institut. Graduate Institute Publications. 6 September 2011. ISBN 9782940415731. ^ Farrell, Henry; Newman, Abraham L. (July 2019). "Weaponized Interdependence: How Global Economic Networks Shape State Coercion". International Security. 44 (1): 42''79. doi:10.1162/isec_a_00351. ISSN 0162-2889. S2CID 198952367. ^ "Logica history". ^ "Carl Reuterski¶ld". SWIFT. March 2006. Archived from the original on 24 January 2012 . Retrieved 7 September 2012 . ^ "ISO - Maintenance agencies and registration authorities". ISO. ^ "RFC 3615 - A Uniform Resource Name (URN) Namespace for SWIFT Fin (RFC3615)". www.faqs.org. ^ Sechrist, Michael (23 March 2010). "Cyberspace in Deep Water: Protecting Undersea Communication Cables By Creating an International Public-Private Partnership" (PDF) . Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. For example, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), which describes itself as ''the global provider of secure financial messaging services'', uses undersea fiber-optic communications cables to transmit financial data between 208 countries ^ "SWIFT: SIBOS issues" (PDF) . SWIFT. 16 September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2015. p.12 ^ "Distributed architecture". SWIFT. 6 June 2008. ^ Multiple sources:Ritter, Dieter. "Startschuss f¼r Rechenzentrum". St.Galler Tagblatt (in German) . Retrieved 16 February 2022 . "Das Daten-Fort-Knox am Rhein". Tages-Anzeiger (in German). ISSN 1422-9994 . Retrieved 16 February 2022 . Hettich, Barbara. "Swift: Der Rohbau steht". St.Galler Tagblatt (in German) . Retrieved 16 February 2022 . Ritter, Dieter. "Swift: Mit dem Bau begonnen". St.Galler Tagblatt (in German) . Retrieved 16 February 2022 . ^ "SWIFT History". SWIFT. ^ a b "Accord". 26 November 2015. ^ "Value-Added Alliances". Surecomp. Archived from the original on 28 March 2018. ^ "Mail: simple, secure and reliable email". SWIFT. 16 May 2007. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. ^ "SWIFTNet Mail pilot phase underway". Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. ^ Brand, Constant (28 September 2005). "Belgian PM: Data Transfer Broke Rules". The Washington Post . Retrieved 23 May 2010 . ^ "European Parliament resolution of 17 September 2009 on the SWIFT Agreement". European Parliament. 17 September 2009. ^ "European Parliament to vote on interim agreement at February session". European Parliament. 21 January 2010. ^ Brand, Constant (11 February 2010). "Parliament rejects bank transfer data deal". European Voice. ^ "Euro MPs block bank data deal with US". BBC News. 11 February 2010. ^ "European parliament rejects SWIFT deal for sharing bank data with US". DW. Reuters. 11 February 2010. ^ a b Schult, Christoph (16 March 2011). "Brussels Eyes a Halt to SWIFT Data Agreement". Der Spiegel. ^ Gladstone, Rick (31 January 2012). "Iran Praises Nuclear Talks with Team from U.N." The New York Times . Retrieved 4 February 2012 . ^ a b Gladstone, Rick (3 February 2012). "Senate Panel Approves Potentially Toughest Penalty Yet Against Iran's Wallet". The New York Times . Retrieved 4 February 2012 . ^ Solomon, Jay; & Adam Entous (4 February 2012). "Banking Hub Adds to Pressure on Iran". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved 4 February 2012 . ^ "Banking's SWIFT says ready to block Iran transactions". Reuters. 17 February 2012 . Retrieved 17 February 2012 . ^ Torchia, Andrew (17 February 2016). "Iranian banks reconnected to SWIFT network after four-year hiatus". Reuters . Retrieved 21 April 2016 . ^ Bendtsen, Simon; Benson, Peter Suppli (26 February 2012). "Dansk politimand fanget i amerikansk terrornet" [Danish policeman caught in American terror net]. Berlingske Tidende (in Danish) . Retrieved 26 February 2012 . ^ "US snubs out legal cigar transaction". The Copenhagen Post. 27 February 2012 . Retrieved 12 April 2016 . ^ a b " 'Follow the Money': NSA Spies on International Payments". Der Spiegel. 15 September 2013 . Retrieved 18 September 2013 . ^ Baldwin, Clare (15 April 2017). "Hackers release files indicating NSA monitored global bank transfers". Reuters . Retrieved 15 April 2017 . ^ Lawler, Richard. "Shadow Brokers release also suggests NSA spied on bank transactions". Engadget . Retrieved 15 April 2017 . ^ "Iranian banks reconnected to SWIFT network after four-year hiatus". Reuters. 17 February 2016. ^ International banking giant refuses to cut off Israel, despite boycott calls. Haaretz. 7 October 2014. ^ Hutton, Robert; Ian Wishart (29 August 2014). "U.K. Wants EU to Block Russia From SWIFT Banking Network". Bloomberg News . Retrieved 31 August 2014 . ^ "SWIFT Sanctions Statement". swift.com (Press release). ^ Turak, Natasha (23 May 2018). "Russia's central bank governor touts Moscow alternative to SWIFT transfer system as protection from US sanctions". CNBC . Retrieved 4 October 2018 . ^ Shalal, Andrea (11 February 2022). "SWIFT off Russia sanctions list, state banks likely target -U.S., EU officials". Reuters . Retrieved 14 February 2022 . ^ "EU unlikely to cut Russia off SWIFT for now, sources say". Reuters. 24 February 2022 . Retrieved 24 February 2022 . ^ "Joint Statement on further restrictive economic measures". ec.europa.eu. 26 February 2022 . Retrieved 26 February 2022 . ^ "Exclusive - China's payments system scaled back; trade deals only: sources". Reuters. 13 July 2015. ^ "ПеÑечень ÐоÐ>>ьзоватеÐ>>ей ÐПФРБанка России | Банк России". www.cbr.ru. ^ "Iran blames EU on INSTEX ineffectiveness". Tehran Times. 18 January 2021. ^ "No transaction has been done through INSTEX: Iranian diplomat". Tehran Times. 4 March 2020. ^ Corkery, Michael, "Hackers' $81 Million Sneak Attack on World Banking", The New York Times, 30 April 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016. ^ a b Corkery, Michael (12 May 2016). "Once Again, Thieves Enter Swift Financial Network and Steal". The New York Times . Retrieved 13 May 2016 . ^ Metzger, Max (28 June 2016). "SWIFT robbers swoop on Ukrainian bank". SC Magazine UK . Retrieved 29 June 2016 . External links Official website Coordinates: 50°44'²04'"N 4°28'²43'"E >> / >> 50.73444°N 4.47861°E >> / 50.73444; 4.47861
UAWire - Kyiv: full consensus for disconnecting Russia from SWIFT has been achieved, the process has begun
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:32
Kyiv: full consensus for disconnecting Russia from SWIFT has been achieved, the process has begun Russia will be disconnected from the international payment system SWIFT. The official decision has not yet been formalized, but technical preparations for the adoption and implementation of this step have already begun, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on his Facebook page.
"We gnawed and gnawed and gnawed at it. All Ukrainian diplomacy worked '' from the President of Ukraine to the attach(C) in the Ukrainian embassy. Ukrainian diplomats dedicate this victory to all defenders of Ukraine," Kuleba wrote.
Sources close to negotiation process on the policy of sanctions told the Ukrainian news outlet LB.ua that after the consent of Hungary and Cyprus, only the position of Germany was preventing the disconnection of Russia from SWIFT. Such step requires the consent of all EU member states. The Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's editor, Rikard Jozwiak, has reported that Germany has also given its consent.
SWIFT, which stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, is controlled by the National Bank of Belgium and central banks from the US, UK, EU, Japan, Russia, China and others. It delivers secure messages to more than 11,000 financial institutions and companies in more than 200 countries and territories.
Only one country was removed from SWIFT in its history. in 2012, Iran was blocked from SWIFT as part of a series of measures aimed at curbing the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed hope that Germany and Hungary would have the courage to support the decision to disconnect Russia from SWIFT.
"The blood of innocent Ukrainian men, women and children will be on the hands of those who will block Russia's disconnection from SWIFT," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said earlier. He also called on the world community to completely isolate Russia, expel ambassadors, impose an oil embargo and destroy the aggressor's economy.
SWIFT, Ukraine, Russia
Comments We are aware of the spam upvotes on the web site. The issue is not specific to this website but is affecting the entire Disqus platform. We were informed that Disqus is looking into it. All the fake accounts which are upvoting the comments are being reported and banned from the site. Please consider turning off email notifications on your Disqus profile until this issue is resolved. Please avoid clicking on any links on these fake profiles. Thank you for your patience. UAwire.
Randy Russian soldiers bombard Ukrainian girls with flirty Tinder requests
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:03
RUSSIAN soldiers began bombarding Ukraine yesterday '-- with Tinder messages looking for love.
Ukrainian women in second city Kharkiv '-- just 20 miles from tyrannical Vladimir Putin's vast invasion force '-- have been stunned by a salvo of admirers in uniform.
Russian soldiers began bombarding Ukraine yesterday '-- with Tinder messages looking for love 7
Alexander, 29, posed in a beret with his sunglasses tucked in his tight blue and white striped vestHunky Russian troops called Andrei, Alexander, Gregory, Michail and a bearded Chechen fighter nicknamed ''Black'' were among dozens whose profiles popped up.
And they looked certain to get a rocket from Red Army commanders last night after giving away their position and posting pictures of their uniforms in flirty messages.
Dasha Synelnikova's phone lit up with snaps of dozens of randy Russians when she set her location to Kharkiv on Tinder yesterday.
The soldiers are believed to have come into range after the Russian President's commanders ordered a huge influx of tanks and troops within striking distance of the city.
Video producer Dasha, 33, told The Sun last night: ''I actually live in Kyiv but changed my location settings to Kharkiv after a friend told me there were Russian troops all over Tinder.
''And I couldn't believe my eyes when they popped up trying to look tough and cool.
''One muscular guy posed up trying to look sexy in bed posing with his pistol.
''Another was in full Russian combat gear and others just showed off in tight stripy vests.
''I didn't find any of them attractive and would never consider sleeping with the enemy.
''I automatically swiped left to reject them, but there were so many I got curious and got into a message exchange.
''It was funny but scary at the same time, knowing that they were so close.''
Dasha swapped messages with 31-year-old Andrei '-- who posed clutching his Kalashnikov rifle in full combat gear and helmet.
This is how it went:
Dasha: ''Where are you? Are you in Kharkiv?
Andrei: ''Of course I am not in Kharkiv but I am close '-- 80km.''
Dasha: ''Do you have any plans to visit us?''
Andrei: ''I would come with pleasure but Russian guys have not been welcome in Ukraine since 2014 [when pro Russian forces seized Donbas and annexed Crimea].
Dasha: ''What do you do?''
Andrei: ''I was born in Belgorod and was an engineer before 2014 and visited Kharkiv quite a lot and loved it there so much I wanted to buy a flat. I love travel to Asia, particularly Thailand. But now it's a difficult time. I wanted to travel to Europe but getting a visa is difficult because no one likes Russia right now.''
When Dasha asked outright whether Andrei was a Russian soldier, he replied with a cheeky ''gif'' video of Hollywood star Jim Carrey, as if to say: ''Oops!''
In the space of one hour, Dasha's Tinder trawl unearthed a steady stream of Russian admirers, all appearing to be among Putin's force massing north of Kharkiv.
Ukrainian military intelligence said last night that the sheer volume of troops there pointed to an attack on the city in the coming hours.
Soldiers looking for love included bearded ''Black'' '-- a 33-year-old Chechen fighter who posted a snap of himself in bed clutching a pistol '-- and another cuddling a kitten.
Alexander, 29, posed in a beret with his sunglasses tucked in his tight blue and white striped vest.
Uniformed Gregory, 25, seemed keen to show off his military watch in another snap.
Another Russian was Alexander, 31 '-- a possible Russian spy. He revealed he was working in the ''Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.''
Dasha said: ''These guys are just the same as anyone else on Tinder '-- they want love or companionship.
''So it's kind of hard to imagine that they could be coming here to attack us. I hope it won't happen.''
Russian units have been ordered to switch off mobile phones in preparation for an invasion, it has emerged.
Advanced units of the 1st and 2nd Army Corps are said to have received the order.
Uniformed Gregory, 25, seemed keen to show off his military watch in another snap 7
31-year-old Andrei posed clutching his Kalashnikov rifle in full combat gear and helmet 7
Bearded 'Black' is a 33-year-old Chechen fighter who posted a snap of himself in bed clutching a pistol 7
A bearded Chechen fighter nicknamed 'Black''' were among dozens whose profiles popped up 7
They looked certain to get a rocket from Red Army commanders
Ghislaine Maxwell juror to be questioned under oath by judge
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:00
Elizabeth Williams/AP
FILE '-- In this courtroom sketch, Judge Alison Nathan presides over the Ghislaine Maxwell hearing, Nov. 1, 2021, in New York. Judge Nathan said Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, that she'll question a juror under oath during a rare post-verdict evidentiary hearing about the answers he gave during jury selection for the criminal trial of Ghislaine Maxwell after he told news outlets that he didn't recall being asked about prior sexual abuse. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams, File)
By: The Associated Press & Scripps National
Posted at 2:34 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 14:34:34-05
NEW YORK (AP) '-- A judge plans to question a juror under oath about the answers he gave during jury selection for the criminal trial of Ghislaine Maxwell after he told news outlets that he didn't recall being asked about prior sexual abuse.
U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan said in an order Thursday that she'll question the juror on March 8 at a public court hearing.
She also said that she had rejected a request by Maxwell's attorneys that she order a new trial without gathering more information.
Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking, among other charges, after a December trial.
In early January, it was reported that the unnamed juror told media outlets that the information he conveyed convinced some jurors that a victim's imperfect memory of sexual abuse doesn't mean it didn't happen, the Associated Press reported.
The jury later returned a guilty verdict.
The unnamed juror has since retained Todd Spodek as his attorney.
Copyright 2022 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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BUSTED! Media in Ukraine caught using the same crisis actor from 2018 who survived a gas explosion. Now she survives ''missile attack'' '' Investment Watch
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 15:55
If anyone knows the name of the "paramedic" that bandaged this crisis actor's face then let me know. The level of expertise is truly exceptional. Here she is in 2 separate "scenes." Don't worry, they missed the severe head wound in the 1st scene but treated it in the 2nd! pic.twitter.com/ec8blpbhpr
'-- Craig Evans (@CraigEggyEvans) February 25, 2022
Covid: Transmissibility, severity, reinfection of Omicron BA.2 subvariant
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 15:48
Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images
A more contagious subvariant of omicron, known as BA.2, is spreading across the globe and could soon become the dominant version of Covid-19.
It's now the top variant in at least 18 countries and rapidly spreading, representing 35% of all new cases that have been genetically sequenced worldwide, up from 10 countries and 21% of cases the week before, according to new data from the World Health Organization. In the U.S, BA.2 currently makes up 3.8% of genetically sequenced Covid cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A pandemic-weary public wants to know two main things: Will BA.2 cause a second surge of omicron cases, and will it put even more people in the hospital with severe infections? So far, scientists say the answer to both questions is probably no.
However, Danish scientists confirmed this week that the new subvariant can reinfect people who've previously had omicron, although it doesn't appear to be all that common. They also agree that it's more contagious than the original version of omicron, BA.1, which is still widely circulating around the world.
But it's surprisingly not driving a second wave of omicron infections. Globally, Covid cases have plunged 21% over the past week '-- subsiding in every region except the Western Pacific '-- while deaths have fallen 8% over the past week, according to data from the WHO.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's Covid-19 technical lead, said the global health agency is closely monitoring countries that have detected BA.2, but so far the subvariant hasn't caused a fresh surge in cases.
"As we're seeing that decline in cases in countries, we're not seeing an increase again with BA.2," Van Kerkhove said during a question-and-answer session livestreamed on the WHO's social media platforms Tuesday.
Here's what's known about the subvariant so far.
More transmissibleDanish researchers have found that BA.2 is about 30% more transmissible than BA.1. Denmark was one of the first countries where BA.2 became dominant, and public health authorities around the world have paid close attention to the situation there to gather insight on what the subvariant might mean for the future course of the pandemic.
"We conclude that Omicron BA.2 is inherently substantially more transmissible than BA.1," a team of scientists affiliated with Danish public health authorities and the University of Copenhagen wrote in a study last month, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.
The U.K. Health Security Agency found in late January that BA.2 had a substantial advantage over BA.1 in England. "We now know that BA.2 has an increased growth rate which can be seen in all regions in England," said Dr. Susan Hopkins, the agency's chief medical advisor.
"If what is being reported is true that BA.2 is slightly more transmissible, then my strong inclination is to say that BA.2 will likely take over wherever BA.1 was," said Mehul Suthar, a virologist at Emory University.
However, Suthar said this doesn't necessarily mean that BA.2 will cause a surge of infection. BA.2's ability to cause another wave depends, in part, on whether it can reinfect people who have already caught and recovered from omicron, he said.
Reinfection possible, but appears rareDanish scientists confirmed Tuesday that the BA.2 subvariant can reinfect people who previously had its omicron predecessor, BA.1, though the risk of catching the virus again appears low.
The Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen analyzed a randomly selected sample of 263 reinfection cases. Forty-seven people caught BA.2 less than two months after infection with BA.1, according to the study. The majority of the people reinfected with BA.2 after BA.1 were younger than 20 years old and unvaccinated.
"The reinfection rate appears to be low given the high number of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests during the study period but still highlights the need for continuous assessment of length of vaccine-induced and/or natural immunity," the study's authors wrote.
The people reinfected had mild symptoms and none of them were hospitalized or died. The study also found that people reinfected with a BA.2 infection had a reduced viral load, indicating some crossover immunity from the first infection.
The U.K. Health Security Agency, in a separate study, found 69 cases of people reinfected with BA.2 no more than 90 days after their first infection with Covid. However, no instances of people reinfected by BA.2 after first catching BA.1 were found among the 51 cases where enough information was available. The timing of the first infections and sequencing indicated their original Covid cases were the delta variant.
Neither study has been peer-reviewed, which is the gold standard in academic publishing. Scientists have been publishing their research as quickly as possible due to the urgency of the pandemic.
The WHO, in a statement Tuesday, said data from early studies of reinfection cases in the general population shows that one infection with BA.1 provides strong protection against reinfection with BA.2.
"It may be that BA.2 has, from its perspective, the unfortunate scenario of coming into a population that has a lot of preexisting immunity that targets it and that may be part of the reason why we're not seeing it grow as quickly as the BA.1 omicron," said Andrew Pekosz, a virologist at John Hopkins University.
Doesn't appear more severeA large, real-world study in South Africa that also hasn't yet been peer-reviewed found that BA.2 causes illness similar to BA.1 omicron, which generally doesn't make people as sick as the delta variant. In other words, BA.2 generally does not cause more severe disease.
South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases found that 3.6% of people who had BA.2 were hospitalized compared with 3.4% of people who had BA.1. About 30% of the patients hospitalized with BA.2 were severely sick compared with 33% of patients hospitalized with BA.1. The study is based on more than 95,000 people who tested for Covid from December through January.
"BA.2 in terms of clinical severity is behaving very similar to BA.1 with a reduced clinical severity compared to previous variants and specifically the delta," Cheryl Cohen, one of the study's authors, told a news conference livestreamed on YouTube earlier this month.
WHO officials have repeatedly said there's no indication BA.2 is more severe. Cohen said the South Africa data is reassuring, but she also cautioned against drawing conclusions about other countries based on the results.
"We should have caution in extrapolating to other places, particularly to other countries where most of the immunity is from vaccination, in contrast to South Africa where most of the immunity is from natural infection," Cohen said. "Natural infection could potentially provide a more robust protection against BA.1 and BA.2 than vaccinated."
At least one study found that mutations on the BA.2 spike protein caused more severe lung infection in hamsters than BA.1. The virus uses the spike to invade cells, and the vaccines target that protein to block infection. The team of Japanese scientists who ran the research said the WHO should consider designating BA.2 a separate variant of concern as a result.
Suthar, the virologist at Emory, urged caution when interpreting the results of the Japanese study because it doesn't use the real version of BA.2. He said mutations on single component of the virus, such as the spike, don't necessarily determine whether the virus is more severe.
The study hasn't been peer-reviewed and one of the scientists said the results may not hold up in the real world since they used an engineered version of BA.2 to test their theory. The team took BA.2's spike protein, swapped it out and placed it on the original Wuhan virus, according to Takashi Irie, one of the authors on the study. Irie, in an email to CNBC, acknowledged more reports are showing no increase in severity in BA.2 compared with BA.1.
"Therefore, our study's finding that BA.2 is more pathogenic than BA.1 may not reflect the actual results of the isolated virus," Irie wrote. However, he said the study's results do indicate that mutations on the BA.2 spike are capable of causing more severe infection.
A separate study from Japan, which isolated the BA.2 virus from a traveler who arrived in Japan from India, found that the subvariant had a similar level of severity to BA.1 in mice and hamsters. The study has also not been peer-reviewed.
The WHO's Covid variant advisory group looked at both the South African and Japanese studies, among others, before determining BA.2 should remain classified as omicron rather than designating it a separate variant of concern. This suggests the WHO doesn't currently view BA.2 as a greater threat to global health than omicron in general.
VaccinesThe original omicron BA.1 strain demonstrated a substantial ability to escape antibodies induced by the vaccines, leading to many breakthrough infections during the recent surge. Danish scientists found that BA.2 is better at evading vaccine protections than BA.1, according to a study published last month.
However, vaccinated people who get breakthrough infections don't spread the virus as easily to others as the unvaccinated, according to the study. This is likely because people who are vaccinated have a lower viral load than people who have not received their shots, the scientists said. In other words, vaccines still help reduce spread of the virus.
Scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston found that BA.2 evades the antibodies from two doses of Pfizer's vaccine slightly more than BA.1. Neutralizing antibody levels were about 1.4 times lower against BA.2, according to a study published in early February.
"BA.2 evades antibodies from the Pfizer vaccines similarly to BA.1, maybe slightly more so but not dramatically more so," said Dan Barouch, an author of the study and principal investigator at Harvard's Center for Virology and Vaccine Research. Barouch also helped develop Johnson & Johnson's Covid vaccine.
Barouch said vaccinated people infected with BA.1 also developed robust antibodies against BA.2. "It would suggest that since BA.1 omicron has been very widespread, those people probably have a substantial degree of immunity to BA.2," he said.
The U.K. Health Security Agency, in a report published Feb. 24, also found the effectiveness of two vaccine doses against symptomatic disease declined to similar levels against BA.1 and BA.2. Booster shots increased protection to 69% against BA.1 and 74% against BA.2 two weeks after the third dose, according to the U.K. study.
Correction: The Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen analyzed a randomly selected sample of 263 reinfection cases. An earlier version misspelled the name of the institute.
A Major Backfire - Is the Canadian Financial and Banking System in Serious Trouble as a Result of Their Attack on Private Bank Accounts? - The Last Refuge
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 15:46
Has there been a massive exodus of capital out of the Canadian financial system?A few obscure but interesting data-points seem to indicate Justin Trudeau's unprecedented use of the federal government and intelligence apparatus to target the bank accounts of Canadian citizens has just created a serious problem for their financial institutions.
If I was a betting person, I would bet half my stake that something very serious is happening in the background of the Canadian financial system, and it appears the leaders inside government, as well as leaders in the international financial community, are reacting and trying to keep things quiet. Stick with me on this and stay elevated'...
BACKGROUND '' When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he was invoking the Emergency War Measures Act to seize bank accounts and block access to the financial system for people who were arbitrarily deemed as terrorists to the interest of the Canadian government, i.e. the Freedom Protest group writ large, many people immediately thought about the consequences of a government taking such action.
Indeed, the first response to many who witnessed the gleeful declarations of the Canadian government as they expressed their intent to utilize their emergency power, was that this was seriously going to undermine faith and confidence in the Canadian financial systems. The RCMP is the Canadian equivalent of the FBI.
If the government can work with the RCMP to target people based on an arbitrary political decree, and then control your bank account while simultaneously giving financial institutions liability protection for their participation, the confidence in the banking system is immediately undermined.
What might seem like a great tool for political punishment has long term consequences, especially if people start withdrawing their money and/or shifting the placement of their investments to more secure locations away from the reach of the Canadian government. Considering the rules of fractional banking and deposits, it doesn't take many withdrawals before the banks have serious issues.
DATA POINTS '' In addition to being Justin Trudeau's deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland is also the Finance Minister of Canada. Yesterday, a very twitchy, nervous and gasping for breath Freeland was noted in a very agitated state when she attended the press conference of her boss. Factually you can watch the video and see how stressed she was and incapable of keeping herself stable [SEE HERE].
Watch that video from the perspective that someone in the international financial world, IMF, World Bank or other affiliate in the world of collective finance has just had a very serious talk with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.
'... Shortly after that very awkward performance, Finance Minister Freeland's assistant deputy, Isabelle Jacques, informed a parliamentary committee that all bank accounts frozen by the federal government's use of the Emergency Act, were immediately being unfrozen.
( VIA CBC ) '' ['...] More than 200 bank accounts worth nearly $8 million were frozen when the federal government used emergency powers to end a massive protest occupation of downtown Ottawa. Federal officials report most of the accounts are now in the process of being released, a parliamentary committee heard Tuesday.
Isabelle Jacques, assistant deputy minister of finance, told a committee of MPs that up to 210 bank accounts holding about $7.8 million were frozen under the financial measures contained in the Emergencies Act. (read more)
Obviously, many people realized from the outset what the Canadian government had done was tenuously legal at best, provided no legal due process or right of challenge, and likely would not pass any serious legal scrutiny. Unfortunately, in the echo chamber that is far-left liberalism, such matters are not as important as the ideological political motives; but there are people who realize the consequences of power-lust in this application.
Without a doubt, just as you were likely stunned, amazed and then angered by the financial punishment declared by Trudeau, there are people aligned with Trudeau ''outside his government'' who could see a bigger picture of consequence than those inside the echo chamber.
Central banking finance ministers around the world obviously would pay close attention to what Trudeau just announced, and there are certainly people in the World Economic Forum (WEF) group, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and central bankers who would not be happy about the Canadian government showing just how easy it is to snatch money out of the hands of citizens.
These tools of citizen control are things well known to the central bankers and control agents of finance, but they are never spoken about in polite company '' let alone publicized, promoted and openly bragged about.
Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland essentially broke the financial code of Omerta, by highlighting how easy it is for government to seize your bank accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts, insurance, mortgages, loan access and cut you off from money.
Worse yet, the short-sighted Canadian government via Minister Freeland announced their ability to control cryptocurrency exchanges in their country and block access within a financial mechanism that exists almost entirely as an insurance policy and hedge against the exact actions the government was taking.
'... A very nervous Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, appears with Trudeau to talk about Ukraine.
'... Freeland's underling, Deputy Minister Jacques, is simultaneously telling parliament the bank accounts are being unfrozen.
'... The CBC then reports that RCMP officials are taking a 180° reversal in position, about asset seizures.
Then there's this supportive data-point from Jordan Peterson (Direct Rumble Link):
Is the Canadian government now experiencing a serious financial problem as the result of Trudeau and Freeland's totalitarian lust for power and use of finance to crush their political opposition?
Apply Occam's Razor here and the result is akin to: 'How couldn't they''.
Once that tool is deployed, there's no putting the toothpaste back into the tube.
How to Talk to Your Conspiracy Denialist Friends
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 15:39
Vaccine mandates and passports are a prelude to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Internet of BodiesThe topic of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is thoroughly documented on government websites and in other official sourcesWe might have a better chance at getting through to our conspiracy denialist friends by pointing them in the direction of policy papers that openly talk about the Fourth Industrial Revolution vs. by trying to talk to them about the harms of vaccinesWe may also point them in the direction of the ''conspiracy theories'' of the past that came trueWhile there is no official proof of graphene oxide or nanotechnology in COVID injections, there are plenty of official scholarly papers talking about both in other medical applications, including vaccinesThis story is about how to talk to your conspiracy denialist friends about ''nanobots in vaccines.'' No really, this story is about how to talk to your conspiracy denialist friends about ''nanobots in vaccines''!
The Big Picture: From Mandates to the Internet of BodiesI've thought about this quite a bit, and here's what I am thinking. The bullying and the hoopla around the COVID injections is a prelude, designed to groom us for the notorious Fourth Industrial Revolution and the so called ''convergence of biological forms with AI.''
But while the topic of ''nanobots in COVID vaccines'' is dirty to the ear of any respectable citizen '-- the plans for the Fourth Industrial Revolutions and convergence of biological life with machines are documented in abundance on official government websites and by respectable NGOs. So there is a chance to follow right in the footsteps of the holy COVID injection and break through!
The entire concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is predicated upon ''nanobots in everything,'' which makes the topic of ''nanobots in vaccines'' a mere subset of the topic of ''nanobots in everything.''
It also makes the current peasant concern about ''nanobots in vaccines'' a historical bump, a phase during which the population gets used to thinking about nanotech in our bodies in general '-- be it with peasant concern or with hearty laughter at the crazy conspiracy theorists '-- before the ''stakeholders'' actually roll out ''nanobots in everything'' in broad daylight and make it a part of our reality.
Excuses are plentiful: pandemic surveillance, financial transactions, ''fighting cancer and HIV'' '-- or whatever else they come up with to justify the invasion. There is no ''theory'' in that conspiracy theory, even though they want us to think that there is no conspiracy.
It is important to remember that while different applications are possible, the main point of ''nanotech of everything'' is efficient asset management and surveillance. We are not all that valuable in a world that is considered overpopulated, so if their tiny devices end up harming us '-- biologically, politically, or in terms of our liberties and our access to joy '-- it will be our problem, just like today, vaccine injury is the problem of the vaccine injured.
That's a fact, not a theory. And if it gets out of control, and this entire thing collapses, then that's what's it's going to be in due time, and we just don't know it. But I keep hoping '... I keep hoping that we can prevent it if more of us say no. The vision for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is so grand that the mandates '-- as abusive and obscene as they are '-- are just the very first bite by the aspiring technocrats into our bodily and other freedoms. They are just Step One, and there are hundreds of steps after that, unless we stand tall.
Are They Finally ''Giving Us Our Freedoms Back''?In the recent weeks, the script has seemingly flipped, and even the most COVID-crazy politicians started talking about rolling back the restrictions. It changed so suddenly that it almost feels weird! But something about it is off. It's insincere. They are doing it in such a wobbly way, without closing the door, while still leaving half the restrictions in place '-- that I am almost sure that they'll be back with some other brilliant idea. After all, their most important goal at the moment is to invalidate free will '-- as under the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the peasants have none of it, and free will is a luxury!
The Internet of Bodies Is Not a Conspiracy TheoryWithout further ado, let's look at the evidence. Let's talk about the Internet of Bodies at an economic policy '-- which is something that we can, with some luck, try to discuss with our conspiracy denialist friends without setting off their ''conspiracy theory'' alarm. The Internet of Bodies (IoB) is a very serious project, supported by the world's leading politicians, the UN, various NGOs, corporations, and the military.
The Internet of Bodies '-- a network of bodies, mechanically connected to the internet the way our digital devices are connected today '-- is a foundational stone of the ambitious Fourth Industrial Revolution. Here is the definition of the Fourth Industrial Revolution '-- as per Klaus Schwab '-- on a very serious website, Encyclopedia Britannica:
''The Fourth Industrial Revolution heralds a series of social, political, cultural, and economic upheavals that will unfold over the 21st century. Building on the widespread availability of digital technologies that were the result of the Third Industrial, or Digital, Revolution, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be driven largely by the convergence of digital, biological, and physical innovations.''
''It's important to appreciate that the Fourth Industrial Revolution involves a systemic change across many sectors and aspects of human life: the crosscutting impacts of emerging technologies are even more important than the exciting capabilities they represent.
Our ability to edit the building blocks of life has recently been massively expanded by low-cost gene sequencing and techniques such as CRISPR; artificial intelligence is augmenting processes and skill in every industry; neurotechnology is making unprecedented strides in how we can use and influence the brain as the last frontier of human biology; automation is disrupting century-old transport and manufacturing paradigms; and technologies such as blockchain and smart materials are redefining and blurring the boundary between the digital and physical worlds.''
''The result of all this is societal transformation at a global scale. By affecting the incentives, rules, and norms of economic life, it transforms how we communicate, learn, entertain ourselves, and relate to one another and how we understand ourselves as human beings [emphasis mine].
Furthermore, the sense that new technologies are being developed and implemented at an increasingly rapid pace has an impact on human identities, communities, and political structures.''
Here is a broadly worded 2019 agreement between the World Economic Forum and the United Nations that lists the Fourth Industrial Revolution as one of the areas for cooperation (more about it in my interview with Mary Otto-Chang, a former UN employee).
''Collaboration between the UN and the Forum to meet the needs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution [emphasis mine] will seek to advance global analysis, dialogue and standards for digital governance and digital inclusiveness; and promote public-private partnerships to address global reskilling and lifelong learning for the future requirements for work and preparing the world's 1.8 billion young people for this transition.''
Here is a 2018 tweet by Matt Hancock featuring him together with Klaus Schwab, all giddy about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, apparently (meaning, Hancock is giddy, Schwab is never giddy).
Delighted we've agreed to work even closer with the #WorldEconomicForum & their Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution to help make #AI work for everyone. #Davos18 pic.twitter.com/sEMIToa2DU
'-- Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) January 26, 2018
And here is a section on the official UK government website talking about the '... you guessed it, the Fourth Industrial Revolution! The UK presentation is called, ''Human Augmentation: The Dawn of a New Paradigm.''
Next, here is a section on the Canadian government website talking about the convergence of biological forms with machines, or ''biodigital convergence,'' which is another way to refer to the Fourth Industrial Revolution:
''Biological and digital systems are converging, and could change the way we work, live, and even evolve as a species. More than a technological change, this biodigital convergence may transform the way we understand ourselves and cause us to redefine what we consider human or natural.''
Next, here is Joe Biden on the 4IR (a World Economic Forum article from 2016 and a Washington Post article from 2020). Next, here is investor.com on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Finally, here is RAND (very serious people) on the Internet of Bodies:
''IoB devices can track, record, and store users' whereabouts, bodily functions, and what they see, hear, and even think. These devices vary greatly in how they are used '-- some are freestanding, such as infusion pumps and sensor-equipped hospital beds; others are wearable, such as health trackers and prosthetics; and others are implanted, such as cardiac devices and ingestible digital pills.''
Thus, I can state with the uttermost confidence: Is the 4IR real? FACT-CHECK: TRUE. The idea that we'll converge with machines and get hooked up to the internet like devices '-- and that our bodies will intake multiple nano-sized sensors and devices (a.k.a ''nanobots'') to monitor, report, and influence our functions, thoughts, and feelings might very well be a very crazy idea '-- but it is none the less an idea that the people in power are currently quite obsessed with. Their idea, not mine!
Behavioral ModificationFor decades, behavioral modification has been a topic of intensive military research and corporate ambition. Many people have written about this subject in-depth '-- including yours truly '-- but for the sake of keeping this story on point, I will just mention one thing. For those who want to dig in, here is just one ''signature'' presentation by the expert in weaponized neuroweapons, James Giordano at Georgetown University' Medical Center.
See that bit about ''manipulation of neural structure and cognitive, emotional, and behavioral function(s)?'' His slide, not mine!
And if you think that all this is about ''foreign enemy powers,'' take a look at the treatment of domestic citizens in New Zealand and in Canada.
NZ ðŸ‡"🇠Anti Mandate ðŸ'£ðŸ--¥ Absolute Insanity 👇Shocking Scenes, Cops going to town on Peaceful People'...👊 pic.twitter.com/CuAWgKNO9t
'-- ð'ð'ð'Žð'ð'ð'ð'‡ð'½ð'Šð'ð'ð'‰ð' (@risemelbourne) February 10, 2022
8. Trudeau has made outrageous threats and the Ottawa Police have disgraced themselves by carrying out those threats with shocking brutality. This video has 3M views in two days. This is Trudeau's vibe now. But how can he back down? He can't lose face. pic.twitter.com/3jaCH3Kl9N
'-- Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) February 10, 2022
Transhumanism, Singularity, and Other Big WordsIn March 2019, Fast Company published an article, titled, ''Privacy in 2034: A corporation owns your DNA (and maybe your body)'':
''The year is 2034. The world is divided into protected biometric data zones, and every time you go anywhere, your DNA and other biological elements of your body are authenticated across vast databases to confirm your identity (and that you haven't broken any corporate or legal rules). A new economic and social class system has emerged, where the wealthy can pay to anonymize and protect their data.
Powerful companies mine everyone else's biodata, while governments create universal genetic databases to keep tabs on citizens. You have no idea where your data really is, who owns it, and who has access to it.''
''It sounds like a hellish dystopia, but it's not coming from a science fiction author. It's one overarching trajectories that Amy Webb, a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and the founder of the consulting firm Future Today Institute, and her team identified and published in their 12th annual Emerging Tech Trends report '...
She laid out this dystopian scenario at the South By Southwest conference in Austin over the weekend. It's based on one of the biggest societal trends Webb is seeing right now: that privacy is dead.''
Sometimes, in order to get an idea about where the wind is blowing, it helps to look at cultural trends. It does not mean that a particular cultural trend will necessarily fully develop or succeed, it just gives us an idea about what's ''hip,'' what's being financed and supported. Earlier, when talking about the mind of a technocrat, I wrote about Ray Kurzweil and Anthony Levandowski of Google, both of whom are rather extreme in their love of AI.
Another interesting character is the best-selling author who has been lauded by famous people like Obama, and a World Economic Forum collaborator, Yuval Noah Harari.
In his 2021 60 Minutes presentation, he talks about how we are on the verge of becoming a new species due to augmentation and merging with AI, how human beings are going to be intrinsically hackable '-- and how all the soul and such is out of the window. He talks about this with much confidence and palpable anxiety in his eyes.
My response to him: This is Theranos. Luscious funding of the IoB proves only that human beings can act foolish, not that the underlying premise means ''progress.'' And yes, it is possible to mess people up in the process of trying to hack them. It sure is possible. But we are of water and spirit, so the transhumanist house of cards will fall '-- and hopefully not on millions of people!
From Conspiracy Theory to Conspiracy Practice: A Life CycleHere's my conspiracy theory about the life cycle of conspiracy theories. Usually, when there is a nefarious or agenda or a corporate practice that is harmful to the people, the word first gets out in the form of a ''crazy conspiracy theory.'' Those who notice a problem (the toxicity of Teflon; Vioxx harms; the issue with asbestos, etc.,) try to speak out '-- and they get initially rejected based on sounding ''too weird.'' (By the way, if there were no conspiracies, why would there be RICO?)
As it happens, at first, the media denies the existence of any conspiracy or wrongdoing. At the same time, corporate spies and professional infiltrators '-- some posing as ''respectable citizens,'' and some, as extra obnoxious and unruly conspiracy theorists '-- make sure that there is noise but no clarity and no serious debate.
Academics, if they acknowledge it at all, snub the issue with an air of great arrogance '-- while the people attracted to sensationalism and dogma go for the most dogmatic and sensationalized version of the conspiracy theory '-- which is then used by conspiracy theory skeptics, academics, agents of the state, and corporate spies to ''prove'' that the entire thing is ungrounded and ridiculous.
And so it goes! And as long as the talk is harmless to the conspirators or wrongdoers in practical terms and doesn't get in their way, no one in power cares. Which is why, for example, in the USSR, where people took art and language the seriously, censorship was real '-- whereas in the ''old normal'' West, for the most part, people could talk all they wanted as long as they didn't move the dial. Those who moved the dial though got the same treatment as the Soviet political prisoners.
Which is also why prior to 2020, it was mostly okay to talk about transhumanism with suspicion '-- but now that the superwealthy folks are pursuing transhumanism in a practical manner, it's important for them to make sure that bringing it up is perceived by the general public as ''crazy'' '-- which will be the case up until the moment the beast is released.
The moment it's out, it will stop being a ''crazy conspiracy theory'' and become the ''great new idea that will change our lives for the better,'' TED talks and all. And it will be a ''crazy conspiracy theory'' to suggest that it's bad for us!
Progression of punditry:
40 years ago: "A" is a conspiracy theory. Shame. 10 years ago: 5 reasons we should all do "A" NOW.20 years from now: 5 reasons we should have NEVER done "A." Also, "B" is a conspiracy theory. Shame.
'-- Tessa Lena a.k.a. Tessa Fights Robots ''¤¸ (@TessaMakesLove) May 12, 2020
Now, the amusing part of the story '-- the exhibits.
Exhibit A: The ChipFirst, let's look at the mother of all crazy conspiracy theories, ''the chip.'' Remember ''the chip''? The tinfoil-hatted-folk have been whispering about ''the chip'' for decades, and they were obviously laughed at in the respectable circles. ''Yeah sure, they are trying to chip us, that's right, and you were probably abducted by the aliens?'' And so people laughed '-- but fast-forward to now, and ''the chip'' is suddenly ready for prime time '-- but of course, it's not ''that'' chip, not the crazy conspiratorial chip, it's the respectable chip, the good chip, the chip for our good and convenience!
And, funny as it is, we are suddenly hearing that the aliens are probably real '-- and, in the light of the new memo, it now takes a special tinfoil-hatted conspiracy theorist to suggest that the media is making up the aliens to distract us from the COVID abuses!
The mother of all conspiracy theories is now conspiracy practice. Perhaps it's time to thank your friendly conspiracy theorist for astute analysis that was so much ahead of its time that many laughed? And realize the world is a bit more complex than TV? "https://t.co/HcIklaALEI
'-- Tessa Lena a.k.a. Tessa Fights Robots ''¤¸ (@TessaMakesLove) December 27, 2021
And here is Klaus Schwab advertising ''the chip'' '-- the respectable chip:
Exhibit B: Apple Slowing Down Older iPhone ModelsThis one is a very innocent conspiracy theory comparing to the other ones. Remember the one about Apple deliberately slowing down older devices to ''incentivize'' people to buy newer ones? Well, it turned out, it was true!
Apple agreed to pay up to $500M to settle a lawsuit alleging it intentionally slows down iPhones to force users to buy new ones. It will pay $25 to users w/ eligible iPhones (models 6 through 7 Plus).
Apple previously admitted it slows down phones so older batteries don't die. pic.twitter.com/2HozRIbBuI
'-- AJ+ (@ajplus) March 2, 2020
Exhibit C: Weather ModificationIt could easily be one of the ''craziest'' conspiracy theories out there, alongside with ''the chip.'' But lookie here! Scientific American, Insider, EcoWatch, the New York Times, USA Today '-- all telling us about weather modification and cloud-seeding. Crazy times!
Exhibit D: Vaccine Passports Come Digital WalletsI do still remember the time when any mention of a vaccine passport by a ''crazy conspiracy theorist'' was met with laughter!
I still remember the time (like 6 months ago) when vaccination passports were an obviously, obviously crazy conspiracy theory.
"Developed in Partnership with IBM."
The notorious IBM punched cards come to mind somehow. But nothing to see here!https://t.co/j6B3ixt01Q
'-- Tessa Lena a.k.a. Tessa Fights Robots ''¤¸ (@TessaMakesLove) March 5, 2021
And here is the Diet ID, the ''first electronic health record integration, streamlining diet quality assessment for healthcare providers.'' And here is Dichotomy, a project in collaboration with MasterCard to limit our purchases based on our carbon footprint:
And here's a very helpful digital ID from Thales in the UK:
''Why is Digital ID needed now? Over the last 18 months, the digitalisation of public and private services has accelerated like never before. Due to limitations on physical contact and lockdowns around the globe, citizens '' often out of necessity '' have had to turn to the digital equivalent of services they previously accessed in person. From internet banking to filling out tax returns online, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for a wholesale change in consumer behaviour.''
''Even as we start to return to a sense of normality, this digitalisation of services looks set to gather momentum. This is, in part, due to governments around the world asking their citizens to carry digital health passes to prove they are doubly vaccinated or have a negative test before they can access certain services. As a recent example of this, the UK government made proof of 'full vaccination' a requirement for entering nightclubs from September and countries like Italy or France are following a similar path.''
''So-called digital 'vaccination passports' will play a key role in enabling citizens to access all manner of services and will act as a precursor to the rollout of mobile digital ID.''
Graphene-based Materials and Nano-tech in VaccinesHooray, we can finally talk about graphene oxide and ''nanobots in vaccines''! An important point for talking to our conspiracy denialist friends though: As we know, at the moment, there are no official records of either graphene-based materials or nanotech specifically in COVID injections. There are indeed reports by independent scientists, and there is a concern '-- which is still not going to impress our respectable friends!
But it doesn't matter! Like I mentioned earlier, the Internet of Bodies is on the rise, and it's bad on its own '-- and there are official records of graphene oxide and nanotech used in other medical and non-medical applications, including non-COVID vaccines. There is proof! Furthermore, we don't need proof of conspiracy to discuss a substance that has the potential to become the new glyphosate with an added bonus of being a perfect material for surveillance!
Intranasal Influence Vaccine Using Graphene Oxide From Georgia State University and EmoryFor example here is a paper called, ''Intranasal vaccination with influenza HA/GO-PEI nanoparticles provides immune protection against homo- and heterologous strains.'' It talks about new investigational intranasal influenza vaccines with graphene oxide and states that ''two-dimensional (2D) graphene oxide (GO) nanoparticles have great potential as a novel vaccine platform due to their extraordinary attributes.'' More commentary:
''Researchers at Georgia State University and Emory University have developed an intranasal influenza vaccine using recombinant hemagglutinin (HA), a protein found on the surface of influenza viruses, as the antigen component of the vaccine '... The study, conducted in mice and cell culture, found the nanoparticles significantly enhanced immune responses at mucosal surfaces and throughout the body in mice. The robust immune responses conferred immune protection against influenza virus challenges by homologous (same) virus strains and heterologous (different) virus strains.''
There you have it! Graphene oxide! In a vaccine! No longer a conspiracy theory! We are talking graphene oxide in an intranasal vaccine application, very close to the brain '-- and it's known that in the area of biosensing, graphene oxide is used to, in the words of Science Daily, ''hear your brain whisper.'' And now shall we inquire about toxicity?
Toxicity of Graphene-based MaterialsA paper in Particle and Fiber Toxicology, titled, ''Toxicity of graphene-family nanoparticles: a general review of the origins and mechanism,'' talks about multiple hazardous properties of graphene materials, including a negative impact on the female reproductive system:
''FNs can induce acute and chronic injuries in tissues by penetrating through the blood-air barrier, blood-testis barrier, blood-brain barrier, and blood-placenta barrier etc. and accumulating in the lung, liver, and spleen etc.'' ''The toxicological mechanisms of GFNs demonstrated in recent studies mainly contain inflammatory response, DNA damage, apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis etc., and those mechanisms can be collected to further explore the complex signalling pathways network regulating the toxicity of GFNs.
It needs to point out that there are several factors which largely influence the toxicity of GFNs, such as the concentration, lateral dimension, surface structure and functionalization etc.'' ''In the chicken embryo model, pristine graphene flakes decreased the ribonucleic acid level and the rate of deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis, leading to harmful effects on brain tissue development and the atypical ultrastructure was observed in the brain.''
''Pregnant mice had abortions at all dose, and most pregnant mice died when the high dose of rGO was injected during late gestation. Notably, the development of offspring in the high dosage group was delayed during the lactation period.''
Another article titled, ''Effects of Graphene Oxide Nanoparticles on the Immune System Biomarkers Produced by RAW 264.7 and Human Whole Blood Cell Cultures,'' talks about the impact of graphene oxide on the immune system: ''The current study shows that GONPs modulate immune system biomarkers and that these may pose a health risk to individuals exposed to this type of nanoparticle.''
In other words, move fast, surveil, and break things!! And, briefly, on the topic of nanobots, here is a scholarly article, titled: ''Aerosolized Nanobots: Parsing Fact from Fiction for Health Security '-- A Dialectical View.''
''Nanoscalar robotics can be used as both sensors and receiver-delivery devices, and the controllability of these technologies enable their directed activity in biological organisms. Such devices '-- either operating in tandem as distinct sense-and-engage systems, or as single devices with both sense and delivery modes '-- could be employed to assess, respond to, or modify molecular and chemical characteristics of a biological target.
As recent studies have indicated, these approaches can be used in clinical care to more precisely monitor tissue, organ, and overall bodily states and to alter the structure and function of biological tissues and systems at a variety of scales, from the subcellular to the systemic and organismic''
And here is from Rice University: ''Nanotubes assemble! Rice introduces 'Teslaphoresis.'''
''These nanotube wires grow and act like nerves, and controlled assembly of nanomaterials from the bottom up may be used as a template for applications in regenerative medicine '... There are so many applications where one could utilize strong force fields to control the behavior of matter in both biological and artificial systems.''
And the list goes on!
In Conclusion:True, it may be tough to get your conspiracy denialist friends to discuss the topic of ''nanobots in vaccines'' '-- but maybe you can interest them in an inquiry into the Internet of Bodies?
About the AuthorTo find more of Tessa Lena's work, be sure to check out her bio, Tessa Fights Robots.
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One Sick Day Proves We Need More Voices in Truthful MediaOn October 19, I was sick. It crossed my mind that I had finally gotten the 'rona, but my wife's cream of chicken soup and a few extra hours of sleep into mid-afternoon had be back up and running after a sleepless night before.
When I finally stumbled over to my computer in the evening, I was met with a deluge of concern from readers. They asked what had happened as only one article had been posted that day. Generally, we post between 10-20 daily between all of the sites, not included curated and aggregated content. Seeing that we'd only posted my super-early morning article before taking the rest of the day off had readers assuming the worst.
We have a wonderful and talented group of writers who volunteer their time for the sites and their readers. Sharing their amazing perspectives has always been a blessing to us because we cannot afford to hire anyone at this time. But having great writers is meaningless if we don't have great editors, or at least one additional. My wife helps me read and edit stories from time to time, but I'm a one-man show when it comes to getting the stories posted.
Whenever I highlight our desperate need for donations, I note that we do not receive money from Google ads even though most in conservative media are beholden. I often ambiguously note that the money donated will help us grow. Today, I'm highlighting a specific need. We must get an editor to help take some of the load and to expand on our mission of spreading the truth to the world. One sick day proved that.
The great news is that there is no shortage of people who CAN help. I am emailed variations of resumes every week by people who are much smarter than I am. As much as I'd love to hire some of them, we simply cannot. That takes money and as blessed as we've been to receive donations and collect ad money (though not from Google or Facebook), we have still fallen short.
Those who have the means, PLEASE consider donating. We have the standard Giving Fuel option and people can donate through PayPal. We are also diving into what we believe is extremely disruptive technology at LetsGo.finance, the world's first major donation portal for crypto. I'll be talking a lot more about them in the near future. Those who prefer Bitcoin can send to my address here: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
We can get the voices out there and we're willing to shine a spotlight on new talent. We just need the resources to make it happen. If you can help, we would be extremely grateful.
Thank you and God bless!
JD Rucker
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WHO making moves on international vaccine 'passport'- POLITICO
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 14:23
With help from Ben Leonard and Erin Banco
Countries and regions currently have a number of different digital vaccine credential standards, which can make international travel difficult.
BUILDING A 'TRUST FRAMEWORK' '-- The World Health Organization will convene member states and leaders of Covid-19 immunization credential technology groups to recognize different vaccine certificates across nations and regions, a top Vaccination Credential Initiative official told POLITICO's Ben Leonard.
The WHO is bringing together the groups to develop a ''trust framework'' that would allow countries to verify whether vaccine credentials are legitimate, said Brian Anderson, chief digital health physician at MITRE and a co-founder of the VCI.
Why it matters: The effort would aid international travel by allowing proof of vaccination to be more easily shared and verified, Anderson said. Many countries and regions have different standards for proof of inoculation, creating confusion for travelers and officials.
''It's piecemeal, not coordinated and done nation to nation,'' Anderson said. ''It can be a real challenge.''
The WHO would say only that news on the topic should be coming ''soon.''
The VCI is behind SMART Health Cards, which have become the de facto standard for digital vaccine credentials in the U.S., with dozens of states developing or adopting the technology. The group will participate in the initiative.
It's unclear whether the U.S. would participate. The White House and the Departments of State and HHS didn't respond to requests for comment.
Background: The move would be the most significant coordinated international push to enable interoperable credentials among nations and regions.
Existing standards include a digital Covid certificate for European Union member nations. The U.S. has no official standard despite SMART Health Cards' dominance.
Advocates have touted the vaccine credentials, commonly known as passports, as a way to facilitate travel and reopening efforts. Many red-leaning states have opposed the technology, but that hesitancy appears to be softening as several of those states have adopted the technology.
No U.S. database: The Biden administration has said it wouldn't issue digital credentials and hasn't rolled out standards for vaccine credentials it said it would issue. Complicating the situation is that the U.S. doesn't have a national inoculation database.
The CDC- and HHS-stamped Covid-19 paper vaccination cards are relatively easy to forge, which has raised concerns about fraud.
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PANDEMIC TREATY TALKS UNDERWAY '-- GENEVA '' Loyce Pace, the assistant secretary for global affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, is in Geneva meeting with WHO and other global health leaders about a potential treaty to help lay the framework for an international response to the next pandemic, POLITICO's Erin Banco writes. It's Pace's first trip to this city as assistant secretary.
Backdoor talks: The U.S. has been involved in backdoor discussions with the WHO on the treaty and how to strengthen the organization. A focus of the Biden administration's combating Covid-19 and preparing for the next pandemic: Equity.
''It's clear to us that an important question that needs to be addressed through any instrument is the question of equity. How that happens, the approach we take '... is something that we need to discuss with member states starting tomorrow,'' Pace said in a briefing with reporters Wednesday. She added that the equity conversation, while important, is unlikely to come up in any significant way until the procedural and process discussions around the formation of a body to oversee the drafting of the convention take place.
''We are just as anxious as anyone to really start to build that out,'' she said.
Mind the details: Pace offered few details about U.S. treaty or amendment proposals to the International Health Regulations that govern WHO (another topic under discussion alongside the pandemic treaty talks).
But during Pace's trip, POLITICO's Ashleigh Furlong broke the news that, in January, the U.S. sent the WHO an outline of a series of amendments it's proposing for the IHRs. Those amendments would require swift action by countries and the WHO during an emergency and give the WHO greater powers to act during a crisis, Furlong reports. The U.S. will hold negotiations with member states on the amendments with the intention of reaching a consensus by May.
'There for a reason': Of the IHR amendments, Pace said: ''We know that we can make improvements to those systems and mechanisms. Otherwise, we wouldn't have found ourselves in the position we have been with Covid-19. But the reality is the IHRs are there for a reason. And there are tweaks or other improvements we could make to those existing mechanisms, alongside looking towards something longer term like an international instrument, which will also still be critically important to closing gaps or solving some outstanding problems.''
PRIVATE SECTOR WANTS MORE INPUT '-- The Global Business Coalition sent a letter to the WHO requesting more of a say in the agency's decisions.
The business coalition '-- which includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, BusinessEurope, the Confederation of Indian Industry and others across six continents '-- argues that the private sector has been a key part of controlling Covid-19 and needs to be further engaged by the WHO.
''The current pandemic represents a paradigm shift in the way governments, business, and civil society forge deep bonds to respond to emergency situations and to develop sustainable health policies,'' the coalition writes.
The WHO did not immediately respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.
AFRICA CDC ASKS FOR A TEMPORARY DELAY IN COVID-19 VACCINE DONATIONS '-- Until the second half of the year, the Africa CDC is asking for a pause on Covid-19 vaccine donations so it can use its current supplies and reduce waste, POLITICO first reported.
The request marks a shift in the main challenges the continent is facing, from a shortage of doses to the complicated logistics of distributing shots and overcoming reluctance to get vaccinated. The Africa CDC expects to resume receiving new shipments in the third or fourth quarter of the year.
SOUTH KOREA TO HOST DRUG MANUFACTURING TRAINING HUB '-- South Korea and the WHO announced the creation of a program to train developing countries to manufacture their own biologicals '-- including vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, insulin and cancer treatments.
The biomanufacturing training hub, a large facility outside of Seoul, is another effort '-- after the creation of the mRNA tech transfer hub '-- to boost the ability of low- and middle-income countries to produce their own drugs.
mRNA TECH TRANSFER HUB EXPANDS '-- The WHO said Wednesday that five more countries will join the South African hub to eventually produce their own vaccines: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Serbia and Vietnam.
MORE RESTRICTIONS LIFTED IN EUROPE '-- Poland and the U.K. are lifting more Covid-19''related restrictions, POLITICO's Wojciech Kość and Andrew McDonald report. Poland is scrapping all but basic restrictions, and the U.K. lifted all remaining regulations '-- even as it plans fourth shots for the elderly and vulnerable.
STORIES REMEMBERING A REVOLUTIONARY '-- Paul Farmer, humanitarian, physician and giant in global health, died this week.
Bill Gates wrote in The Atlantic that ''Paul is a hero, and I was fortunate to call him a friend,'' adding: ''I have never known anyone who was more passionate about reducing the world's worst inequities in health '-- or who did more to live by his values.''
The New York Times reported that he ''gained global acclaim for his work delivering high-quality health care to some of the world's poorest people,'' adding that Anthony Fauci broke down in tears in an interview, saying he and Farmer were ''soul brothers.''
The Washington Post's report characterized Farmer as ''a doctor, a humanitarian and, by all accounts, an almost otherworldly force whose aspirations for global public health seemed unattainable until he showed they were within reach.''
Perhaps most important, he is remembered by those he helped treat throughout the world. In a 2000 New Yorker profile, Haitians he knew called him Dokt¨ Paul, Polo, or Blan Paul. One said of Farmer: ''God gives everyone a gift, and his gift is healing.''
Google blocks RT, other Russian channels from earning ad dollars | Reuters
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 14:10
The logo for Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comFeb 26 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google barred on Saturday Russia's state-owned media outlet RT and other channels from receiving money for ads on their websites, apps and YouTube videos, similar to a move by Facebook after the invasion of Ukraine.
Citing "extraordinary circumstances," Google's YouTube unit said it was "pausing a number of channels' ability to monetize on YouTube." These included several Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions, such as those by the European Union.
Ad placement is largely controlled by YouTube.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comGoogle added later that it was also barring Russian state-funded media outlets from using its ad technology to generate revenue on their own websites and apps.
In addition, the Russian media will not be able to buy ads through Google Tools or place ads on Google services such as search and Gmail, spokesman Michael Aciman said.
"We're actively monitoring new developments and will take further steps if necessary," Aciman said.
On Wednesday, the European Union unveiled sanctions on individuals such as Margarita Simonyan, whom it called RT's editor-in-chief and "a central figure" of Russian propaganda.
Videos from affected media will also come up less often in recommendations, YouTube spokesperson Farshad Shadloo said. He added that RT and several other channels would no longer be accessible in Ukraine after a Ukrainian government request.
On Saturday, Ukraine Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said on Twitter he contacted YouTube "to block the propagandist Russian channels '-- such as Russia 24, TASS, RIA Novosti."
RT and Simonyan did not respond to requests for comment. YouTube declined to identify the other channels restricted.
For years, lawmakers and some users have urged Google for more action on channels linked to the Russian government, concerned that they spread misinformation and should not profit by it.
Russia received an estimated $7 million to $32 million over the two years to December 2018 from ads across 26 YouTube channels it backed, digital researcher Omelas told Reuters at the time.
YouTube has previously said it did not treat state-funded media channels that comply with its rules differently from others when it comes to sharing ad revenue.
On Friday, Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O) barred Russian state media from running ads or generating revenue from ads on its services. read more
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com Reporting by Paresh Dave in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Clarence Fernandez
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Massive cyber attack could trigger NATO response: Stoltenberg | Reuters
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 13:45
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg briefs the media during a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
BERLIN (Reuters) - A major cyber attack could trigger a collective response by NATO, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview published by Germany's Bild newspaper on Thursday.
''A severe cyber attack may be classified as a case for the alliance. Then NATO can and must react,'' the newspaper quoted Stoltenberg as saying. ''How, that will depend on the severity of the attack.''
He spoke after a decision this week by NATO ministers to designate cyber as an official operational domain of warfare, along with air, sea, and land.
In 2014 the U.S.-led alliance assessed that cyber attacks could potentially trigger NATO'S mutual defense guarantee, or Article 5. That means NATO could potentially respond to a cyber attack with conventional weapons, although the response would be decided by consensus.
The NATO chief told Bild that the alliance needed to adjust to the increasingly complex series of threats it faces, which is why NATO members have agreed to defend against attacks in cyberspace just as they do against attacks launched against targets on land, in the air and at sea.
The United States and other NATO states have become increasingly vocal about cyber attacks launched from Russia, China and Iran, but officials say it remains hard to determine if such attacks stem from government bodies or private groups.
Recognizing cyber as an official domain of warfare will allow NATO to improve planning and better manage resources, training and personnel needs for cyber defense operations, said a NATO official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official stressed that NATO's cyber activities would remain purely defensive. ''We have no offensive cyber doctrine or offensive cyber capability. And there are no plans for NATO as a body to use such capabilities. NATO's core cyber defense task is to defend NATO's own networks,'' said the official.
Individual members have already declared cyber an operational warfare domain, including the United States, which said in 2011 that it would respond to hostile attacks in cyberspace as it would to any other threat.
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Stunning Discovery '' Evidence Suggests U.S. Intel Baited Russia in December by Telling China Ukraine Was Coming Into NATO - Deplorable RamblingsDeplorable Ramblings
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 13:42
By Sundance from The Conservative Treehouse '' Original Article Here
Major HatTip to [PTC on Twitter] for finding this article and quote. First, the context:
Yesterday the New York Times reported on U.S. intelligence and diplomatic officials from the State Dept sharing intelligence with Chinese officials in the three months leading up to the Russian invasion. {Go Deep on Analysis} The narrative from the article tells the story of the U.S. trying to convince China in December, January and February to intervene and persuade Russia not to cross the border into Ukraine.
Many people have looked at this story from the perspective of incompetence, ie. why would the Biden team think China would not share the intel, etc.
However, when it comes to these types of issues, never ascribe to incompetence that which can be explained by intent.
There's every reason to believe what the Biden intelligence community and state department were sharing with China was done so with the intention of Beijing giving it to Moscow.
From that perspective the question around intent becomes, what did they push and why did they push it?
Now we get to the story, quote and critical Reuters article from December of 2021. What was being said by Joe Biden to Ukraine President Vladimir Zelenskyy?
Reuters, December 9, 2021 '' ''U.S. President Joe Biden assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that Kyiv's bid to join the NATO military alliance was in its own hands, Zelenskiy's chief of staff said after the two leaders spoke on Thursday.
Biden and Zelenskiy had a call two days after Biden held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to defuse a crisis over Russian troop movements near Ukraine's borders. (read more)
This is a red line for Russia, Joe Biden knew it. Vladimir Putin had been very clear about his opposition, and everyone knew it. Russia would never concede allowing Ukraine to enter NATO.
Worth noting, this is the same December 2021, timeframe when the U.S. intel community and Dept of State were talking to China about the Russian troop buildup, per the New York Times info.
The Biden administration is not stupid enough to tell Zelenskyy he's about to enter NATO without knowing this would trigger a definitive military response from Putin.
There's only one way to look at this. The Biden administration was purposefully baiting Putin, and provoking Putin to invade Ukraine, because the team around Biden wanted Putin to invade Ukraine.
The question then becomes why? Why would the people in/around Biden want to provoke Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine?
Again, a critical frame of reference is needed to answer that question: never ascribe to incompetence that which can be explained by intent.
With the scale of economic bad news and catastrophic policy outcomes overwhelming the White House, a geopolitical crisis to distract the world's attention does have major benefits. However, this specific motive is also deeper than that'....
This crisis actually helps advance the goals and objectives of domestic policy in multiple ways.
The people around Biden want soaring energy costs, they want huge increases in gasoline costs as part of their Green New Deal agenda. These are ideological travelers, the most intense elements within the Obama crowd, and Biden has been installed as a disposable figurehead allowing them to operate a policy agenda without any concern for political damage.
Paving the path to 'the great reset', also known as 'Build Back Better' is much easier when the fundamental change crowd can just plow full speed ahead.
These are the most entrenched ideologues who consider federal deficit spending as a means to an end, where the U.S. is fundamentally changed and forever diminished because we are broke.
Through this prism of consequence, all of the negative domestic outcomes from Russia entering Ukraine and our responses therein, are not viewed as bad outcomes. These consequences are domestic and economic pains to be embraced, not avoided. After all, the people delivering these outcomes will never, themselves, feel any of it.
Watch what happens if our own government, these same entrenched ideologues, are successful in leveraging the sanctions against Russia to include the removal of Russia from the SWIFT financial exchanges.
Russia, China and Iran will immediately respond to the ''west'' blocking Russia from the SWIFT financial system. If they launch a counter trade currency to work around the petro-dollar, it will not take long before the dollar is weakened or removed as the global trade currency. If that happens, it's game over for the United States of America as we know it.
Now, think about the Obama crew, the most ideological of all ideological traveling globalists'.... the same crew who wanted to see the decolonialization of western culture. The crew who wants 'fundamental and permanent change''.... For this crew, the collapse of the United States is their goal. For this crew, getting to that place by putting SWIFT sanctions on Russia is a net positive.
From that perspective, what is happening in Ukraine-Russia becomes a completely different dynamic.
Why would the people in/around Biden want to manipulate information, stoke, trigger and provoke Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine?
Well, there's your answer.
Cargill becomes majority shareholder of its joint venture Neptune at Port Pivdennyi on the Black Sea | Cargill
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 13:10
Kyiv, Ukraine (July 16, 2021) '-- Cargill has finalized its commitment to become the majority (51%) shareholder of its joint venture Neptune. The deep water port terminal in the Odessa region of the Black Sea provides Ukrainian farmers with another highly competitive access to global grain markets, enabling them to further increase their crop production.
Today's commitment marks a significant milestone to finalize a project which started in 2016 when Cargill and its local partners, Andrey Stavnitser and Yegor Grebennikov, signed an agreement to construct a terminal in Port Yuzhni, since renamed Port Pivdennyi. The terminal was constructed by MV Cargo and became operational in 2019.
Neptune offers modern equipment that meets the highest standards. With technical trans-shipment capacity of around 5 million tons of grain per year, it is one of the largest infrastructures of this type in the region and is able to load all the different grains and oilseeds exported from Ukraine. Neptune has a deep-water berth of 16 meters to attract high tonnage vessels, connecting farmers with new and more remote markets in an economically feasible way.
''The investment in Neptune allows Cargill to better leverage its operations to feed a growing population by moving crops to areas around the world where they are most in need,'' said Philippa Purser, president of Cargill's Agriculture and Supply Chain business in Europe, Middle East and Africa. ''Neptune adds to Cargill's footprint of port facilities in the Black Sea region and confirms our intention to continue investing in Ukraine's agricultural sector.''
''By partnering with Cargill to form this joint venture, we have expanded our global reach and internationalized Neptune's customer service,'' said Andrey Stavnitser, co-owner of Neptune. ''Neptune's major goal is to provide every Ukrainian farmer with access to the global markets, enabling the farmers to increase added value.''
Neptune serves a number of customers - primarily exporters of corn, barley and wheat - and is continually looking to grow its customer portfolio. Cargill remains an important customer of the terminal, exporting a significant amount of its Ukraine grain export volumes through the new port.
Cargill as the majority shareholder will manage the strategic direction of Neptune while the local team at the terminal will manage the daily operations. Neptune employees around 200 workers
as well as an additional 100 contractors. A further 1,000 jobs will also be created indirectly through partner organizations.
About CargillCargill's 155,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 155 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.
From missile strikes to employee safety, Cargill, other Minn. companies, scramble in Ukraine - StarTribune.com
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 13:10
Minnesota's multinational businesses with interests in Ukraine and Russia scrambled Thursday to connect with their people on the ground as war broke out.
The threat of violence loomed over the region for weeks, but the scope and speed of the attack took many by surprise, forcing U.S. companies '-- including Medtronic, Ecolab and Cargill '-- to make fast decisions as the situation quickly deteriorated.
"Right now, our priority is the safety of our people in the region. This is a rapidly evolving situation with a great deal of uncertainty," said April Nelson, a Cargill spokeswoman, in an e-mail. "We are currently gathering information and assessing potential impacts to Cargill and our customers."
Minnetonka-based Cargill has 500 employees in the country. It sent many people home and told others not to come in to work Thursday so they, like all Ukrainians, could try to secure a safe location for themselves and their families.
A shipping vessel chartered by Cargill Inc. was struck by a missile early in the day as it was leaving a strategic Black Sea port on Ukraine's southern border.
The entire crew is safe and accounted for and the ship was rerouted to Romania to undergo further inspection, Cargill said.
Cargill owns a majority stake in a deep-sea port on the outskirts of Odessa where it runs a major export operation sending grains and oils around the world. That port, along with several other Ukrainian commercial ports, closed Thursday.
All of Cargill's operations were running as usual Wednesday '-- pressing grain into cooking oil, processing wheat, corn and soybeans, and sending ships full of food ingredients to sea. But Russia's all-out invasion Thursday flipped a switch on life in Ukraine as attacks came by air, land and sea.
Cargill immediately implemented its contingency plan that had been prepared in case of attack. Often called a "business continuity" plan in industry parlance, Cargill's plan is focused on ensuring its global customers still have access to foodstuffs.
The Minnesota agribusiness is one of the world's largest commodities traders with an outsized role in the global food supply chain. And Ukraine is a critical player, often called the breadbasket of Europe for its significant agricultural output.
Ukraine and Russia account for nearly one-third of all global wheat exports. The turmoil prompted Chicago wheat prices to rise to their highest level in nine years on Thursday. Other commodities also rose since the region is a major exporter of sunflower oil, corn and soybeans.
Executives at Cargill's Minnetonka headquarters scrambled Thursday to gather information on its operations scattered across Ukraine as well as ensure the safety of hundreds of employees in the besieged nation.
Other Minnesota companies were also piecing together the situation on the ground through accounts from colleagues there.
Inver Grove Heights-based CHS Inc. said it has been "drawing down" its commodities inventory in Ukraine.
"We remain focused on the safety of our 46 employees in the region and continue to maintain close communications," CHS said in a statement. "We have been drawing down our export activity in Ukraine for the last few weeks as part of our business continuity planning."
Medtronic, which is operationally-based in Fridley, said its global security team was in touch with its 40 employees in Ukraine's capital city of Kyiv and 240 staff members in Moscow, providing assistance where needed.
Every U.S.-based corporation is trying to figure out what Western sanctions will mean for their operations in Russia.
"We are closely following the developments and are evaluating the effects of the sanctions as they are issued," said Erika Winkels, a Medtronic spokeswoman. "The situation is changing rapidly. We will follow legal requirements while doing our best to mitigate impacts on patients."
Ecolab said its small team in Ukraine has been on high alert for many weeks, creating various plans depending on the degree of escalation in the conflict.
On Thursday, the company said, "[We] have encouraged them to do what is needed to protect themselves and their families. Our hope is that our associates will remain safe and peace quickly returns to the region."
Maplewood-based 3M, which has offices in Kyiv, Moscow and two production plants in Russia, echoed this sentiment about its employees' safety.
Other Minnesota manufacturers with offices in Ukraine '-- including Minneapolis-based SPS Commerce and Blaine-based Crown Iron Works '-- did not respond to a request for comment.
Star Tribune staff writers Burl Gilyard, Brooks Johnson and Patrick Kennedy contributed to this report.
After Success with Chavez and El Chapo, Hollywood Actor Sean Penn Heads to Ukraine to Document Russian Invasion Against Zelenskyy - Deplorable RamblingsDeplorable Ramblings
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 13:06
By Sundance from The Conservative Treehouse '' Original Article Here
Like a bad penny, the Hollywood actor shows up right before bad things happen; Vice News is likely in the background of the cinematography.
Previously Sean Penn headed to Venezuela to showcase support for Hugo Chavez, that led to millions suffering under starvation. A few years later he turns up in Mexico supporting infamously brutal drug lord Joaqu­n Archivaldo ''El Chapo'' Guzmn. Conspicuously, right before the FBI nabbed El Chapo. Now Penn resurfaces in Ukraine to document the downfall of Russian President Voldoymyr Zelenskyy.
Hollywood is one of the more famous State Department Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's). They have been involved in deep state shaping of public opinion for quite some time.
(Via Yahoo) ['...] Penn was photographed in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, on Thursday attending a press briefing about the conflict. The Ukrainian government publicly thanked the Oscar-winning actor for coming to the country.
''The director specially came to Kyiv to record all the events that are currently happening in Ukraine and to tell the world the truth about Russia's invasion of our country. Sean Penn is among those who support Ukraine in Ukraine today. Our country is grateful to him for such a show of courage and honesty,'' the Office of the President of Ukraine said in a statement to Newsweek.
Penn has visited the Office of the President during his visit. He has also spoken with Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, local journalists and members of the Ukrainian military.
According to a translation, the statement continued: ''Sean Penn is demonstrating bravery that many others have been lacking, in particular some Western politicians. The more people like that'--true friends of Ukraine, who support the fight for freedom '-- the quicker we can stop this heinous invasion by Russia.''
Penn previously visited Ukraine in November 2021 to prepare for the documentary. Yahoo Entertainment reached out to a rep for the director for comment. (read more)
A documentary about the invasion of Russia that was planned in November of 2021?
Suspicious cat remains, well, suspicious'...
Amid all this Sean Penn is in Ukraine. Is chatting with him the best use of the president's time right now? pic.twitter.com/iyAHi9DOtz
'-- Bashkarma (@Karmabash) February 24, 2022
After Russia takes Chernobyl, radiation spikes in exclusion zone
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 13:05
Radiation levels spiked near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster after Russia seized control of the area in its invasion of Ukraine, authorities said Friday.
The control levels of gamma radiation in the exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl's nuclear power plant ''were exceeded,'' the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine said in a statement.
The cause was a disturbance soil by ''heavy military machinery'' and increased air pollution through the exclusion zone, according to the agency.
''The condition of Chernobyl nuclear facilities and other facilities is unchanged,'' the statement said.
Russian forces confirmed they had taken control of the plant on Thursday but said in a statement Friday that said radiation levels ''are normal'' in the area, according to Interfax.
''The NPP personnel continue to operate the power plant as usual and to monitor radiation levels,'' Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, according to Interfax.
The plant meltdown in April 1986 prompted the evacuation of nearly 50,000. The site is roughly 10 miles from Ukraine's border with Russia and 80 miles north of Ukraine capital city Kyiv.
Russian forces have captured several cities as Ukrainians battle to defend the capital city of Kyiv. NY Post Illustration Russian tanks are allegedly spotted in front of a reactor in Chernobyl on Feb. 24, 2022. Forgotten Chernobyl/FacebookUkraine President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted Thursday that ''defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated.''
''This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe,'' he said.
NRC rescinds reactor license extensions - Beyond Nuclear
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 13:02
A legal appeal filed by Beyond Nuclear to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has yielded a landmark February 24, 2022 decision and agency orders (CLI-22-02, CLI-22-03, CLI-22-04) rescinding the federal agency's second 20-year operating license renewal of US reactors (60- to 80-year period) without first creating and applying an updated environmental analysis for reactor operations into the extension period.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires all major federal actions, in this case the ''Subsequent License Renewal'' of US nuclear power stations, to go through an extensive review of the associated risks, cost, and consequences as compared to the reasonable alternatives with less harmful impacts.
The NRC Commissioners' recent 2-1 decision now requires plant owners and the agency's staff to go back to the drawing board and update their review of the potential impacts of a worsening climate crisis, such as rising sea levels, and to provide an updated analysis of age-related degradation of the reactor systems, structures and components before approving operating extreme license extension requests.
As importantly, the ruling opens the reactor license extension process to a NEPA comparative review with more reliable, less harmful and least cost energy alternatives.
The NRC order affects all pending and prospective subsequent license renewal proceedings, including North Anna Units 1 & 2 (Virginia), Peach Bottom Units 2 & 3 (Pennsylvania, pictured), Oconee Units 1, 2 &3 (South Carolina), Point Beach Units 1 & 2 (Wisconsin), and Turkey Point Units 3 & 4 (Florida).
All of these reactors had already been granted the 60- to 80-year license extension which is now rescinded pending the development of a more in-depth and inclusive environmental review. It suspends further the acceptance of applications until that updated generic environmental review is completed.
As an Associated Press story noted, ''The reversal gives environmental groups a chance to reiterate concerns that federal regulators didn't adequately consider the risks of climate change and flooding from sea level rise when granting the last extension. The NRC plans to hold hearings after staff completes a new site-specific environmental impact statement.''
Diane Curran, the attorney who contested license extensions on behalf of Beyond Nuclear, heralded the reversal as a major breakthrough.
''The decision is a tremendous advance for nuclear reactor safety and environmental protection, because it commits NRC to evaluate the unique risks of renewing reactor licenses for a second term,'' she said.
Paul Gunter, Director of Reactor Oversight at Beyond Nuclear said: ''This decision requires that the NRC and the nuclear industry take the necessary hard look into the climate crisis future that they had deliberately avoided. As importantly, it will require a NEPA comparative analysis of extending nuclear power plant operations to an extreme versus ramping up renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation as the most reliable and deployable alternative to provide a greater carbon reduction at less cost.''
Beyond Nuclear and the other groups had challenged the Generic Environmental Impact Statement used to justify the license extensions at the five nuclear sites (11 units), as being out of date by nearly a decade and failing to consider dramatically different circumstances brought on by the climate crisis. The GEIS used had been left unchanged since 1996 and lightly amended in 2013 without factoring present day and future projected climate conditions such as sea-level rise, increased precipitation and flooding, contrasted by severe drought and more frequent wildfires and more frequent, more severe storms. More
From COVID to Ukraine anxiety, 5 ways to cope with the news cycle : NPR
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 13:01
Illustration by LA Johnson/NPR Illustration by LA Johnson/NPR
Russia invaded Ukraine this week, and the world seems to have shifted.
Even after weeks of bracing for an attack amid speculation, global tensions and diplomatic attempts to stave off invasion '-- the reality of conflict is always a shock to the system.
Subscribe to Life Kit's newsletter
This story originally appeared in a newsletter from Life Kit, NPR's branch of service journalism. Subscribe here.
There are still so many more questions than answers.
Perhaps among the first batch on your mind: How did we get here? What does this all mean? Or maybe, What does this mean for my life? What can I do about it?
We've been asking ourselves the same things. What we have to offer you is the simple truth that sometimes when you don't have all the answers, it's OK to look for what you can control and seek comfort where you can.
A few ways you can support people in Ukraine include making donations to or spreading the word on this non-exhaustive list of organizations: UNICEF, M(C)decins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders, Voices of Children, Sunflower of Peace and International Committee of the Red Cross. (Read more on ways you can help.)
While we wait for more information, don't forget to care for yourself in other ways:
Breathe. If you're feeling your body contracting or overheating, step away from whatever you're doing and take a deep breath. Here's a five-finger breathing exercise that can bring you back to the moment. Or if you want to take it a step further, try these meditation and mindfulness exercises for beginners.
Get moving. Do something that feels good for your body and helps you get out of your head. We've got lots of tools to help: whether that's deep cleaning or comfort decorating to create a cozier space, tips on learning a new skill or jump starting your exercise routine.
Nourish yourself. The kitchen is a safe space for a lot of us. Maybe this is the weekend that you finally re-create Grandpa's famous lasagna, or learn how to make a prettier pie, or maybe just lose yourself in some kitchen organization. Don't have every ingredient for that lovely Deb Perelman dessert? Don't stress '-- we've got you covered on how to make food substitutions, simple.
Stay connected. When the news is scary, it's easy to get lost in our own heads. Reach out to loved ones instead. That could look like sitting down to write an actual letter to a relative, spending time with neighbors, playing (or creating!) games with family, or even taking the time to write down those generational stories. If your little ones are struggling to go to bed at the end of the day, try talking to them about the heavy news head-on.
Or sign off. Remember that it's OK not to be plugged into the news. By turning off your alerts or checking the headlines once or twice a day, you may be able to feel more grounded and prioritize yourself and loved ones.
Life Kit is uniquely positioned in the NPR newsroom. As a service journalism team, it's our mission not only to inform but to be helpful. We deal not only in cold hard facts but also in caring and in kindness.
In this turbulent time, we invite you to do the same. It's important for all of us to stay informed citizens of the world, and also to remember: take it easy on yourself, and on each other.
Subscribe to our newsletter here.We'd love to hear from you. If you have a good life hack, leave us a voicemail at
202-216-9823 or email us at LifeKit@npr.org. Your tip could appear in an upcoming episode.
A National Vaccine Pass Has Quietly Rolled Out '' And Red States Are Getting On Board
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 13:00
A national standard for vaccine verifications has been quietly rolling out across the country. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar)
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesEven as the omicron variant loosens its grip on the world, destinations continue to require travelers to show proof of vaccination. And, increasingly, a paper CDC vaccination card is not cutting it.
While the United States government has not issued a federal digital vaccine pass, a national standard has nevertheless emerged. To date, 21 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico offer accessibility to the SMART Health Card, a verifiable digital proof of vaccination developed through the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI), a global coalition of public and private stakeholders including Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, the Mayo Clinic and other health and tech heavyweights.
And very soon, at least four more states will be rolling out access to SMART Health Cards. ''We've seen a notable uptick in states that have officially launched public portals where individuals can get verifiable vaccination credentials in the form of SMART Health Cards with a QR code,'' says Dr. Brian Anderson, co-founder of the VCI and chief digital health physician at MITRE.
Half of US states either already offer accessibility to SMART Health Cards or have it in the works.
Datawrapper There is already an impressively widespread availability of SMART Health Cards in the U.S. More than 200 million Americans can now download, print or store their vaccination records as a QR code. When the QR code is pulled up, only the individual's name, date of birth and vaccination information is visible. No other medical information or personal data is shared. This code is also digitally signed to ensure that the card was issued from a verified location and to prevent forgery.
SMART Health Cards Ease Travel For individuals, the benefits of having access to personal digital vaccine record is three-fold. First, it's a huge plus for travel in the U.S. and abroad.
Many indoor cultural attractions and performance venues in the U.S. require proof of vaccination. ''We believe it gives people peace of mind when the folks around them are unlikely to be contagious,'' says Gus Warren, CEO of Bindle, a health verification app that allows venues to verify the vaccination status of patrons.
Bindle's growing list of clients spans more than 30 states, from blue strongholds like California and New York to red leaners like Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri and Georgia. At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., for example, there's a Bindle lane that offers fastpass-like efficiency in scanning QR codes from a number of vaccine verification platforms used around the world.
''The SMART Health Card is such an important development and the Vaccine Credential Initiative has been phenomenal in getting this out there,'' says Warren, noting that while Bindle recognizes several interoperable standards, the SMART Health Card has emerged as the most important. ''Absolutely, it has become the standard across the U.S. and North America.''
''And at an international level, we are continuing to see intense interest in a coordinated international approach,'' says Anderson. ''And that has not diminished at all. I think quite the opposite.''
To wit: Every Canadian province has now adopted SMART Health Card verification, as has Aruba, the Cayman Islands, Singapore and Japan. And in Africa, the SMART Health Card has rolled out in Kenya and Rwanda, just the first of 32 African countries in the ''Smart Africa'' alliance to adopt a digital-first approach to healthcare records.
The Case For Red StatesThe second argument for adopting a digital vaccine verification system is the one swaying red-state governors: Having digital access to personal health records empowers the individual.
More than a dozen states have launched their own SMART Health Card-based portals. At least seven others '-- including Arizona, Mississippi and West Virginia '-- have turned to a third-party, MyIRMobile, to issue SMART Health Cards. Minnesota has chosen Docket, another third-party option.
Most right-leaning states offering SMART Health Cards do it quietly, without any fanfare. But big red South Carolina expects to roll out a portal for SMART Health Cards by the end of March, reports Politico.
''This isn't a passport,'' South Carolina's director of immunizations told Politico. ''This is essentially a Covid card that people get at their convenience because it's their record.''
Utah was one of the first red states to get on the SMART Health Card train. For former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, a Republican who was the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the George W. Bush administration, the issue boils down to individual rights. ''There's always a question about who owns the data and the rights to access that data,'' Leavitt said at a recent global forum on SMART Health Cards. ''But one thing is unchallengeable. And that is, I own a right to have my own data. And to have it in a form that I can present it conveniently for the kinds of things I want to do.''
''The idea of being able to have trustworthy copies of your own health records is not a red or blue state issue,'' echoes Anderson. '' It is an individual empowerment of your own health data. What we're going to see over the next month is a growing number of red states recognizing and appreciating the importance of empowering their individual citizens in their states.''
This Won't Be The Last PandemicLastly, having a vaccine verification system in place prepares the U.S. for the next coronavirus variant as well as the inevitability of a future pandemic.
Today the main threat to our health and economy remains the omicron variant, says Anderson. ''But it's going to be pi in a couple months, and it's going to be the same situation. Yes, we're going to get to an endemic phase of all of this, but that doesn't change the need to continue to protect the citizens of a nation from highly transmissible and communicable diseases.''
''Vaccination verification will be increasingly important at an international level,'' Anderson says. ''And so if we want to enable all of our citizens from every state to be able to participate in the safe travel across international boundaries and to participate in international commerce, it'd be important for our government officials from every state to enable this.''
Where Else To Get A SMART Health CardGiven the political landscape, Anderson recognizes that some states may never get on board. ''We're not going to have all 50 states leveraging this approach,'' he says. ''But the vast majority of the vaccinated individuals in the US '' over 200 million of them '' already have the ability right now to go and get one of these credentials.''
That includes anyone vaccinated at any branch of Walmart, Sam's Club, CVS, Duane Reade, Walgreens, Costco, Kroger, Rite-Aid or any of the dozens of other companies participating in the retail pharmacy program. To access an electronic version of your vaccination record, log into the online Covid portal of the brand where you got your shots.
And whether your state is red or blue, your healthcare provider is increasingly likely to offer a digital vaccination record. More than 100 major health systems and hospital groups across the country now offer SMART Health Cards to patients. These include Kaiser Permanente, Tenet Health, Scripps Healthcare, Cerner and other healthcare heavy hitters. Big regional healthcare groups in the SMART consortium span the country, from Centra Health in Virginia to UCHealth in Colorado and from CoxHealth in Missouri to SoutheastHEALTH in Alabama and Georgia.
Putin Tells Trump, ''We're Burning the Trash.'' Biolaboratories Destroyed - Real Raw News
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 12:49
Vladimir Putin has kept frequent contact with Donald J. Trump as Russian soldiers, aircraft, and warships continue to bombard eastern Ukraine, targeting not civilians but Western-sponsored bioweapons laboratories that zigzag the countryside like a child's connect-the-dots puzzle, a Mar-a-Lago source told Real Raw News.
Our source emphasizes he is reporting only what Putin has told Trump; he is not attesting to the veracity of Putin's statements, and Trump, he said, has yet to independently verify Putin's claims.
On Thursday Trump reportedly took a third telephone call from Putin and was told the Russian military had obliterated 13 bioweapon facilities across Ukraine. Some were subterranean and struck several times to ensure their destruction.
Putin contended the West'--the American NIH, France's Institute of Health and Medical Research, and Germany's Center for Infection Research''had funneled billions of dollars into the labs under the pretense of research grants. He claimed to have evidence, which he would eventually make public ''when the world is willing to listen.''
According to Putin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy knew about the laboratories and had received kickbacks in exchange for letting them operate clandestinely and without official oversight.
''Putin told Trump he gave Zelenskyy many warnings to dismantle the labs, as far back as February 2020, and warned he'd do it himself if Zelenskyy didn't comply. He admitted to minor collateral damage, but told Trump that Zelenskyy had only himself to blame, for putting the people of the Ukraine in danger,'' our source said.
Putin also namedropped Israel. He said the Israeli Health Ministry and the MOSSAD ran a biolab on Snake Island, a land mass that belonged to Ukraine, located in the Black Sea, near the Danube Delta, with an important role in delimiting Ukrainian territorial waters.
On Thursday, a Russian Slava-class cruiser approached Snake Island and warned the inhabitants to surrender at once or be fired upon. ''We are a Russian warship, proposing you put down arms to avoid bloodshed and unjustified deaths. In worst case, you will be hit with bomb strike,'' the Russian's warning continued for five minutes. The occupants replied: ''Fuck you, Russian warship.''
The Slava cruiser opened fire, pummeling and razing the island's structures until only dust and rubble were left in the wake of the attack. There were no survivors.
Putin said to Trump that the biolab on Snake Island had been involved in researching a weaponized type of airborne rabies that, if aerosolized, could have ravaged the earth with nearly a 100% mortality rate.
''He assured Trump he'd taken precautions to guarantee all pathogens were hit hard and effective enough to render them inert. He wouldn't say if he used thermobaric ordnance, but that seems a likely possibility,'' our source said.
''Make no mistake, President Trump. We're not hitting cities. If we were, more than one building in Kyiv would be hit, and there'd be no electricity, no water, no nothing. We're burning the trash,'' Putin purportedly told Trump.
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The Pentagon Bio-weapons - Dilyana.bg
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 12:48
The US Army regularly produces deadly viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN Convention on the prohibition of Biological Weapons. Hundreds of thousands of unwitting people are systematically exposed to dangerous pathogens and other incurable diseases. Bio warfare scientists using diplomatic cover test man-made viruses at Pentagon bio laboratories in 25 countries across the world. These US bio-laboratories are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program'' Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.
Georgia as a testing ground
The Lugar Center is the Pentagon bio laboratory in Georgia. It is located just 17 km from the US Vaziani military airbase in the capital Tbilisi. Tasked with the military program are biologists from the US Army Medical Research Unit-Georgia (USAMRU-G) along with private contractors. The Bio-safety Level 3 Laboratory is accessible only to US citizens with security clearance. They are accorded diplomatic immunity under the 2002 US-Georgia Agreement on defense cooperation.
The Lugar Center, Republic of GeorgiaThe US Army has been deployed to Vaziani Military Air Base, 17 km from the Pentagon bio-laboratory at The Lugar Center.
The USA-Georgia agreement accords diplomatic status to the US military and civilian personnel (including diplomatic vehicles), working on the Pentagon program in Georgia.Information obtained from the US federal contracts registry clarifies some of the military activities at The Lugar Center '' among them research on bio-agents (anthrax, tularemia) and viral diseases (e.g. Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever), and the collection of biological samples for future experiments.
Pentagon contractors produce bio agents under diplomatic cover
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has outsourced much of the work under the military program to private companies, which are not held accountable to Congress, and which can operate more freely and move around the rule of law. US civilian personnel performing work at The Lugar Center have also been given diplomatic immunity, although they are not diplomats. Hence, private companies can perform work, under diplomatic cover, for the US government without being under the direct control of the host state '' in this case the Republic of Georgia. This practice is often used by the CIA to provide cover for its agents. Three private American companies work at the US bio-laboratory in Tbilisi '' CH2M Hill, Battelle and Metabiota. In addition to the Pentagon, these private contractors perform research for the CIA and various other government agencies.
CH2M Hill has been awarded $341.5 million DTRA contracts under the Pentagon's program for bio-laboratories in Georgia, Uganda, Tanzania, Iraq, Afghanistan, South East Asia. Half of this sum ($161.1 million), being allocated to The Lugar Center, under the Georgian contract. According to CH2M Hill, the US Company has secured biological agents and employed former bio warfare scientists at The Lugar Center. These are scientists who are working for another American company involved in the military program in Georgia '' Battelle Memorial Institute.
Battelle as a $59 million subcontractor at Lugar Center has extensive experience in research on bio-agents, as the company has already worked on the US Bio-weapons Program under 11 previous contracts with the US Army (1952-1966). Source: US Army Activities in the US, Biological Warfare Programs, vol. II, 1977, p. 82
The private company performs work for the Pentagon's DTRA bio laboratories in Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Uganda, Tanzania, Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Battelle conducts research, development, testing, and evaluation using both highly toxic chemicals and highly pathogenic biological agents for a wide range of US government agencies. It has been awarded some $2 billion federal contracts in total and ranks 23 on the Top 100 US government contractors list.
The CIA-Battelle Project Clear Vision
Project Clear Vision (1997 and 2000), a joint investigation by the CIA and the Battelle Memorial Institute, under a contract awarded by the Agency, reconstructed and tested a Soviet-era anthrax bomblet in order to test its dissemination characteristics. The project's stated goal was to assess bio-agents dissemination characteristics of bomblets. The clandestine CIA-Battelle operation was omitted from the US Biological Weapons Convention declarations submitted to the UN.
Top Secret Experiments
Battelle has operated a Top Secret Bio laboratory (National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center '' NBACC) at Fort Detrick, Maryland under a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contract for the last decade. The company has been awarded a $344.4 million federal contract (2006 '' 2016) and another $17.3 million contract (2015 -2026) by DHS.
NBACC is classified as a US Top Secret facility. Photo credit: DHSAmongst the secret experiments, performed by Battelle at NBACC, are: Assessment of powder dissemination technology ; Assessment of hazard posed by aerosolized toxins and Assessment of virulence of B. Pseudomallei (Meliodosis) as a function of aerosol particle in non-human primates. Melioidosis has the potential to be developed as a biological weapon, hence, it is classed as a category B. Bioterrorism Agent. B. Pseudomallei was studied by the US as a potential bioweapon in the past.
Besides the military experiments at the Lugar Center in Georgia, Battelle has already produced bioterrorism agents at the Biosafety Level 4 NBACC Top Secret Laboratory at Fort Detrick in the US. A NBACC presentation lists 16 research priorities for the lab. Amongst them to characterize classical, emerging and genetically engineered pathogens for their BTA (biological threat agent) potential; assess the nature of nontraditional, novel and non-endemic induction of disease from potential BTA and to expand aerosol-challenge testing capacity for non-human primates.
Scientists engineer pathogens at the NBACC lab. Photo credit: NBACCThe US Company Metabiota Inc. has been awarded $18.4 million federal contracts under the Pentagon's DTRA program in Georgia and Ukraine for scientific and technical consulting services. Metabiota services include global field-based biological threat research, pathogen discovery, outbreak response and clinical trials. Metabiota Inc. had been contracted by the Pentagon to perform work for DTRA before and during the Ebola crisis in West Africa and was awarded $3.1 million (2012-2015) for work in Sierra Leone '' one of the countries at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.
Metabiota worked on a Pentagon's project at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis, where three US biolabs are situated.
A July 17, 2014 report drafted by the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, accused Metabiota Inc. of failing to abide by an existing agreement on how to report test results and for bypassing the Sierra Leonean scientists working there. The report also raised the possibility that Metabiota was culturing blood cells at the lab, something the report said was dangerous, as well as misdiagnosing healthy patients. All of those allegations were denied by Metabiota.
2011,The Lugar Center, Andrew C. Weber (on the right) '' US Assistant Secretary of Defense (2009-2014), US DoD Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response (2014-2015), is currently a Metabiota ( the US contractor) employee.Military Experiments on biting insects
Entomological warfare is a type of biological warfare that uses insects to transmit diseases. The Pentagon has allegedly performed such entomological tests in Georgia and Russia. In 2014 The Lugar Center was equipped with an insect facility and launched a project ''Raising Awareness about Barcoding of Sand Flies in Georgia and Caucasus''. The project covered a larger geographic area outside of Georgia '' Caucasus. In 2014-2015 Phlebotomine sand fly species were collected under another project ''Surveillance Work on Acute Febrile Illness'' and all (female) sand flies were tested to determine their infectivity rate. A third project, also including sand flies collection, studied the characteristics their salivary glands.
A biting fly in a bathroom in Tbilisi (photo 1), flies in Georgia (photo 2, 3)
As a result Tbilisi has been infested with biting flies since 2015. These biting insects live indoors, in bathrooms, all year long, which was not the typical behaviour of these species in Georgia previously (normally the Phlebotomine fly season in Georgia is exceptionally short '' from June to September). Local people complain of being bitten by these newly appeared flies while naked in their bathrooms. They also have a strong resistance to cold and can survive even in the sub-zero temperatures in the mountains.
Biting Flies in Dagestan, Russia
Since the start of the Pentagon project in 2014 flies similar to those in Georgia have appeared in neighboring Dagestan (Russia). According to local people, they bite and cause rashes. Their breeding habitats are house drains.
Flies in Georgia (on the left). The same species in Dagestan (on the right)
Flies from the Phlebotomine family carry dangerous parasites in their saliva which they transmit through a bite to humans. The disease, which these flies carry, is of high interest to the Pentagon. In 2003 during the US invasion of Iraq American soldiers were severely bitten by sand flies and contracted Leishmoniasis. The disease is native to Iraq and Afghanistan and if left untreated the acute form of Leishmoniasis can be fatal.
A 1967 US Army report ''Arthropods of medical importance in Asia and the European USSR'' lists all local insects, their distribution and the diseases that they carry. Biting flies, which live in drains, are also listed in the document. Their natural habitats, though, are the Philippines, not Georgia or Russia.
Source: ''Arthropods of medical importance in Asia and the European USSR'', US Army report, 1967Operation Whitecoat: Infected flies tested to bite humans
Sand fly In 1970 and 1972, Sand Fly Fever tests were performed on humans according to a declassified US Army report '' US Army Activities in the US, Biological Warfare Programs, 1977, vol. II, p. 203. During operation Whitecoat volunteers were exposed to bites by infected sand flies. Operation Whitecoat was a bio-defense medical research program carried out by the US Army at Fort Detrick, Maryland between 1954 and 1973.
Despite the official termination of the US bio-weapons program, in 1982 USAMRIID performed an experiment if sand flies and mosquitoes could be vectors of Rift Valley Virus, Dengue, Chikungunya and Eastern Equine Encephalitis '' viruses, which the US Army researched for their potential as bio-weapons.
Killer Insects
A. Aegupti The Pentagon has a long history in using insects as vectors for diseases. According to a partially declassified 1981 US Army report , American bio warfare scientists carried out a number of experiments on insects. These operations were part of the US Entomological Warfare under the Program for Biological Weapons of the US .
The Pentagon: How to kill 625,000 people for just $0.29 cost per death
A US Army report in 1981 compared two scenarios '' 16 simultaneous attacks on a city by A. Aegupti mosquitoes, infected with Yellow Fever, and Tularemia aerosol attack, and assesses their effectiveness in cost and casualties.
Operation Big Itch: Field tests were performed to determine coverage patterns and survivability of the tropical rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis for use as a disease vector in biological warfare.
Operation Big Buzz: 1 million A. Aeugupti mosquitoes were produced, 1/3 were placed in munitions and dropped from aircraft, or dispersed on the ground. The mosquitoes survived the airdrop and actively sought out human blood.
Source: Evaluation of Entomological Warfare as a potential Danger to the US and European NATO nations, US Army, March 1981 ReportOperation May Day: Aedes Aegupti mosquitoes were dispersed through ground based methods in Georgia, USA, during a US Army operation codenamed May Day.
Parts of the 1981 US Army report such as the ''Mass production of Aedes Aegypti'' have not been declassified, potentially meaning that the project is still ongoing.
Aedes Aegypti, also known as yellow fever mosquito, have been widely used in US military operations. The same species of mosquitoes are alleged to be the vectors of dengue, chikungunya and the Zika virus, which causes genetic malformations in newborns.
Operation Bellweather
The US Army Chemical Research and Development Command, Biological Weapons Branch, studied outdoor mosquito biting activity in a number of field tests at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, in 1960. Virgin female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which had been starved, were tested upon troops out in the open air.
For reference: Outdoor Mosquito Biting Activity Studies , Project Bellweather I, 1960, Technical Report, US Army, Dugway Proving Ground
Military Experiments with Tropical Mosquitoes and Ticks in Georgia
Such species of mosquitoes and fleas (studied in the past under the US Entomological Warfare Program) have also been collected in Georgia and tested at The Lugar Center.
Under the DTRA project ''Virus and Other Arboviruses in Georgia'' in 2014 the never-before-seen tropical mosquito Aedes albopictus was detected for the first time and after decades (60 years) the existence of Aedes Aegypti mosquito was confirmed in West Georgia.
Aedes Albopictus is a vector of many viral pathogens, Yellow fever virus, Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika.These tropical mosquitoes Aedes Albopictus having never been seen before in Georgia, have also been detected in neighboring Russia (Krasnodar) and Turkey, according to data provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Their spread is unusual for this part of the world.
Aedes Aegupti Mosquitoes have been distributed only in Georgia, Southern Russia and Northern Turkey. They were detected for the first time in 2014 after the start of the Pentagon program at The Lugar Center.
Under another DTRA project ''Epidemiology and Ecology of Tularemia in Georgia'' (2013-2016) 6,148 ground ticks were collected ; 5,871 were collected off the cattle and 1,310 fleas and 731 ticks were caught. In 2016 a further 21 590 ticks were collected and studied at The Lugar Center.
Anthrax Outbreak in Georgia and NATO Human Trials
In 2007 Georgia ended its policy of having compulsory annual livestock anthrax vaccination. As a result, the morbidity rate of the disease reached its peak in 2013. The same year NATO started human based anthrax vaccine tests at The Lugar Center in Georgia.
In 2007 despite the anthrax outbreak the Georgian government terminated the compulsory vaccination for 7 years, 2013 saw NATO start human trials on a new anthrax vaccine in Georgia.
Pentagon Research on Russian Anthrax
Anthrax is one of the bio agents weaponized by the US Army in the past. Despite the Pentagon's claims that its program is only defensive, there are facts to the contrary. In 2016 at The Lugar Center American scientists carried out research on the ''Genome Sequence of the Soviet/Russian Bacillus anthracis Vaccine Strain 55-VNIIVViM'', which was funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency's (DTRA) Cooperative Biological Engagement Program in Tbilisi, and administered by Metabiota (the US contractor under the Pentagon program in Georgia).
In 2017 the DTRA funded further research '' Ten Genome Sequences of Human and Livestock Isolates of Bacillus anthracis from the Country of Georgia, which was performed by USAMRU-G at The Lugar Center.
34 people infected with Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in Georgia
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is caused by infection through a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus). The disease was first characterized in Crimea in 1944 and given the name Crimean hemorrhagic fever. It was then later recognized in 1969 as the cause of illness in Congo, thus resulting in the current name of the disease. In 2014 34 people became infected (among which a 4-year old child) with CCHF. 3 of which died. The same year Pentagon biologists studied the virus in Georgia under the DTRA project ''Epidemiology of febrile illnesses caused by Dengue viruses and other Arboviruses in Georgia''. The project included tests on patients with fever symptoms and the collection of ticks, as possible vectors of CCHV for laboratory analysis.
34 people became infected with CCHF, 3 of them died in Georgia. Source: NCDC-Georgia
The cause of the CCHF outbreak in Georgia is still unknown. According to the local Veterinary Department report, only one tick from all of the collected species from the infected villages tested positive for the disease. Despite the claims of the local authorities that the virus was transmitted to humans from animals, all animal blood samples were negative too. The lack of infected ticks and animals is inexplicable given the sharp increase of CCHF human cases in 2014, meaning that the outbreak was not natural and the virus was spread intentionally.
In 2016 another 21 590 ticks were collected for DNA database for future studies at The Lugar Center under the Pentagon project ''Assessing the Seroprevalence and Genetic Diversity of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHFV) and Hantaviruses in Georgia''.
Symptoms of CCHFMilitary bio-lab blamed for deadly CCHF outbreak in Afghanistan
237 cases of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) have also been reported across Afghanistan, 41 of which were fatal as of December 2017. According to Afghanistan's Ministry of Health most of the cases have been registered in the capital Kabul where 71 cases have been reported with 13 fatalities, and in the province of Herat near the border with Iran (67 cases).
Afghanistan is one of 25 countries across the world with Pentagon bio-laboratories on their territory. The project in Afghanistan is part of the US bio-defense program '' Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), which is funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The DTRA contractors, working at The Lugar Center in Georgia, CH2M Hill and Battelle have also been contracted for the program in Afghanistan. CH2M Hill has been awarded a $10.4 million contract (2013-2017). The Pentagon contractors in Afghanistan and Georgia are the same and so are the diseases which are spreading among the local population in both countries.
Why the Pentagon collects and studies bats
Bats are allegedly the reservoir hosts to the Ebola Virus , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and other deadly diseases. However, the precise ways these viruses are transmitted to humans are currently unknown. Numerous studies have been performed under the DTRA Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) in a search for deadly pathogens of military importance in bats.
221 bats were euthanized at the Lugar Center for research purposes in 2014.
Bats have been blamed for the deadly Ebola outbreak in Africa (2014-2016). However, no conclusive evidence of exactly how the virus ''jumped'' to humans has ever been provided, which raises suspicions of intentional and not natural infection.
Engineering deadly viruses is legal in the US
MERS-CoV is thought to originate from bats and spread directly to humans and/or camels. However, like Ebola, the precise ways the virus spreads are unknown. 1,980 cases with 699 deaths were reported in 15 countries across the world (as of June 2017) caused by MERS-CoV.
3 to 4 out of every 10 patients reported with MERS have died (Source: WHO)
MERS-CoV is one of the viruses that have been engineered by the US and studied by the Pentagon, as well as Influenza and SARS. Confirmation of this practice is Obama's 2014 temporary ban on government funding for such ''dual-use'' research. The moratorium was lifted in 2017 and experiments have continued. Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens (PPPs) experiments are legal in the US. Such experiments aim to increase the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens.
Tularemia as Bioweapon
F. Tularensis is a highly infectious bacterium and has the potential to be weaponized for use through aerosol attacks.Tularemia, also known as Rabbit Fever, is classified as a bioterrorism agent and was developed in the past as such by the US. However, the Pentagon's research on tularemia continues, as well as on possible vectors of the bacteria such as ticks and rodents which cause the disease. The DTRA has launched a number of projects on Tularemia along with other especially dangerous pathogens in Georgia. Especially Dangerous Pathogens (EDPs), or select agents, represent a major concern for the public health globally. These highly pathogenic agents have the potential to be weaponized with proof of their military importance seen through the following Pentagon projects: Epidemiology and Ecology of Tularemia in Georgia (2013-2016) (60 000 vectors were collected for strain isolates and genome research); Epidemiology of Human Tularemia in Georgia and Human Disease Epidemiology and Surveillance of Especially Dangerous Pathogens in Georgia (study of select agents among patients with undifferentiated fever and hemorrhagic fever/septic shock).
Tularemia is one of the bio-weapons that the US Army developed in the past. Source: 1981 US Army Report
Pentagon bio-laboratories spread diseases in Ukraine
The DoD Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has funded 11 bio-laboratories in the former Soviet Union Country Ukraine, bordering on Russia.
The US military program is sensitive information
Ukraine has no control over the military bio-laboratories on its own territory. According to the 2005 Agreement between the US DoD and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine the Ukrainian government is prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information about the US program and Ukraine is obliged to transfer to the US Department of Defense (DoD) dangerous pathogens for biological research. The Pentagon has been granted access to certain state secrets of Ukraine in connection with the projects under their agreement.
Biowarfare scientists under diplomatic cover
Among the set of bilateral agreements between the US and Ukraine is the establishment of the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU) '' an International organization funded mainly by the US government which has been accorded diplomatic status. The STCU officially supports projects of scientists previously involved in the Soviet biological weapons program. Over the past 20 years the STCU has invested over $285 million in funding and managing some 1,850 projects of scientists who previously worked on the development of weapons of mass destruction.
The US personnel in Ukraine work under diplomatic cover.364 Ukrainians died from Swine Flu
One of the Pentagon laboratories is located in Kharkiv, where in January 2016 at least 20 Ukrainian soldiers died from Flu-like virus in just two days with 200 more being hospitalized. The Ukrainian government did not report on the dead Ukrainian soldiers in Kharkiv. As of March 2016 364 deaths have been reported across Ukraine (81.3 % caused by Swine Flu A (H1N1) pdm09 '' the same strain which caused the world pandemic in 2009).
According to DPR intelligence information the US bio lab in Kharkiv leaked the deadly virus.
Police investigate infection with incurable disease
A highly suspicious Hepatitis A infection spread rapidly in just few months across South East Ukraine where most of the Pentagon biolabs are located.
37 people have been hospitalized for Hepatitis A in the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv as of January 2018. Local police have launched an investigation into ''infection with human immunodeficiency virus and other incurable diseases''. Three years ago more than 100 people in the same city became infected with Cholera. Both diseases are alleged to have spread through contaminated drinking water.
In the summer of 2017 60 people with Hepatitis A were admitted to hospital in the city of Zaporizhia, the cause of this outbreak is still unknown.
In the Odessa region, 19 children from an orphanage were hospitalized for hepatitis A in June 2017.
29 cases of Hepatitis A were reported in Kharkiv in November 2017. The virus was isolated in contaminated drinking water. One of the Pentagon bio-labs is located in Kharkiv which was blamed for the deadly Flu outbreak a year ago which claimed the lives of 364 Ukrainians.
Ukraine and Russia hit by new highly virulent cholera infection
In 2011 Ukraine was hit by a cholera outbreak. 33 patients were reportedly hospitalized for severe diarrhea. A second outbreak struck the country in 2014 when more than 800 people all across Ukraine were reported to have contracted the disease. In 2015 at least 100 new cases were registered in the city of Mykolaiv alone.
Vibrio choleraA new highly virulent variant of the cholera agent Vibrio cholera, with a high genetic similarity to the strains reported in Ukraine, hit Moscow in 2014. According to a 2014 Russian Research Anti-Plaque Institute genetic study the cholera strain isolated in Moscow was similar to the bacteria which caused the epidemic in neighboring Ukraine.
Southern Research Institute, one of the US contractors working at the bio-laboratories in Ukraine, has projects on Cholera, as well as on Influenza and Zika '' all pathogens of military importance to the Pentagon.
Along with Southern Research Institute, two other private American companies operate military bio-labs in Ukraine '' Black&Veatch and Metabiota.
Black & Veatch Special Project Corp. was awarded $198.7 million DTRA contracts to build and operate bio-laboratories in Ukraine (under two 5-year contracts in 2008 and 2012 totaling $128.5 million), as well as in Germany, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Thailand, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Armenia.
Metabiota has been awarded a $18.4 million federal contract under the program in Georgia and Ukraine. This US company was also contracted to perform work for the DTRA before and during the Ebola crisis in West Africa, the company was awarded $3.1 million (2012-2015) for work in Sierra Leone .
Southern Research Institute has been a prime subcontractor under the DTRA program in Ukraine since 2008. The company was also a prime Pentagon contractor in the past under the US Biological Weapons Program for research and development of bio-agents with 16 contracts between 1951 and 1962.
Source: US Army Activities in the US, Biological Warfare Programs , vol. II, 1977, p. 82
Soviet Defector produced anthrax for the Pentagon
Southern Research Institute was also a subcontractor on a Pentagon program for anthrax research in 2001. The prime contractor being Advanced Biosystems, whose president at that time was Ken Alibek (a former Soviet microbiologist and biological warfare expert from Kazakhstan who defected to the US in 1992).
Ken AlibekKen Alibek was the First Deputy Director of Biopreparat, where he oversaw a program for biological weapon facilities and was the Soviet Union's main expert on anthrax. After his defection to the US, he was engaged on Pentagon research projects.
$250 000 for lobbying Jeff Sessions for ''research for US intelligence''
Southern Research Institute lobbied the US Congress and US Department of State hard for ''issues related to research and development for US intelligence'' and ''defense related research and development''. The lobbying activities coincided with the start of the Pentagon projects on bio-labs in Ukraine and other former Soviet states.
The company paid $ 250 000 for lobbying the then Senator Jeff Sessions in 2008-2009 (currently the US Attorney General appointed by Donald Trump), when the institute was awarded a number of federal contracts.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, US Senator from Alabama (1997-2017)
Watson DonaldFor a 10-year period (2006-2016) Southern Research Institute paid $1.28 million for lobbying the US Senate, House of Representatives , the State Department and the Department of Defense (DoD). Senator Jeff Sessions' aide on Capitol Hill '' Watson Donald, is now a Senior Director at Southern Research Institute.
Police investigate Botulism toxin poisoning in Ukraine
115 Botulism cases, with 12 deaths, were reported in Ukraine in 2016. In 2017 the Ukrainian Ministry of Health confirmed a further 90 new cases , with 8 deaths, of botulinum toxin poisoning (one of the most poisonous biological substances known). According to the local health authorities, the cause of the outbreak was food poisoning into which police launched an investigation . The Pentagon biolaboratories in Ukraine were among the prime suspects, as botulinum toxin is one of the bioterrorism agents which have already been produced at a Pentagon bioweapons facility in the US. (see below)
T he Ukrainian government stopped supplying antitoxin in 2014 and no botulism vaccines in stock were available during the 2016-2017 outbreak.
Botulism is a rare and extremely dangerous illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
1 gm of the toxin can kill as many as 1 million people
Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bio-weapon threat because of its extreme potency, ease of production and transport. It causes muscles paralyses, respiratory failure and ultimately death if not treated immediately. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled can kill more than one million people. It could be disseminated via aerosol, or by contamination of water and/ or food supplies.
The Pentagon produces live Viruses, Bacteria & Toxins
Botulinum Toxin was tested as a bio-weapon by the US Army in the past, as well as Anthrax, Brucella and Tularemia. Although the US bio-weapons program was officially terminated in 1969 documents show that the military experiments have never ended. Presently the Pentagon produces and tests live bio- agents at the same military facility as it did in the past '' Dugway Proving Ground.
Current Field Tests
Source: Capabilities Report 2012 , West Desert Test Center
Past Field Tests
Source: 1977 US Army Report , p. 135
Bioweapons factory in the US
The US Army produces and tests bio-agents at a special military facility located at Dugway Proving Ground (West Desert Test Center, Utah), as proven in a 2012 US Army Report. The facility is overseen by the Army Test and Evaluation Command.
The Life Sciences Division (LSD) at Dugway Proving Ground is tasked with the production of bio-agents. According to the Army report, scientists from this division produce and test aerosolized bio-agents at Lothar Saloman Life Sciences Test Facility (LSTF).
Lothar Saloman Life Sciences Test Facility (LSTF) where bio-terrorism agents are produced and aerosolized. Photo Credit: Dugway Proving GroundBiological Agents produced by the US Army at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, USASource: Capabilities Report 2012, West Desert Test CenterThe Life Sciences Division consists of an Aerosol Technology branch and a Microbiology Branch. The Aerosol Technology Branch aerosolizes biological agents and simulants. The Microbiology branch produces toxins, bacteria, viruses and agent-like organisms which are used in chamber and field testing.
The fermentation laboratories at the Life Sciences Test Facility grow bacteria in fermentors ranging from a small 2 L to a large 1500 L system. The fermentors are tailored specifically to the requirements of the microorganism that is being engineered '' pH, temperature, light, pressure, and nutrient concentrations that give the microorganism optimal growth rates.
A large 1500 L fermentatorA post-production laboratory dries and mills test materials. Photos credit: Dugway Proving GroundAfter the bio-agents are produced, the scientists challenge them at containment aerosol chambers.
Technicians disseminate live biological agents for identification sensitivity tests (photos: Dugway Proving Ground)
Aerosol experiments with Botulinum Neurotoxin and Anthrax
Documents prove that the US Army produces, possesses and tests aerosols of the most lethal toxin in the world '' Botulinum Neurotoxin. In 2014 the Department of the Army purchased 100 mg of Botulinum Toxin from Metabiologics for tests at Dugway Proving Ground.
The experiments date back to 2007 when an unspecified quantity of the toxin was procured to the Department of the Army by the same company '' Metabiologics. According to the 2012 West Desert Test Center Report, the military facility performs tests with Botulinum Neurotoxin Aerosol, as well as with aerosolized Anthrax, Yersinia pestis, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (VEE).
Source: Capabilities Report 2012, West Desert Test Center Outdoor field test programs at Dugway Proving Ground
US Army documents and photos show that the Pentagon has developed various dissemination methods for bioterrorism attacks including by explosives.
Source: Capabilities Report 2012, West Desert Test CenterDissemination of contaminants for biological/chemical tests. Photo credit: Dugway Proving GroundDissemination of simulants by explosives. Photo Credit: Dugway Proving GroundLiquid DisseminationPowder DisseminationDissemination on the test grid. Photos Credit: Dugway Proving GroundAerosol SprayerThe US Army report lists numerous dissemination techniques including by bio-aerosol sprayers. Such sprayers called Micronair disseminators have already been developed by the US Army and tested at Dugway Proving Ground. According to the documents, they can be vehicle-mounted, or worn as a backpack, with a pump system which can be fitted to the unit to increase the accuracy of the release. Micronair sprayers can release 50 to 500 mL of bio-liquid simulant per minute from 12 L tanks.
The US stole bacteria from Saddam Hussein's bio weapons factory
Bacillus thuringiensisBacillus thuringiensis is an insect pathogen that is widely used as a bio-pesticide. B. thuringiensis (BT) Al Hakam was collected in Iraq by the UN Special Commission led by the US in 2003. It is named after Al Hakam '' Iraq's bio-weapons production facility. Apart from Pentagon field tests, this bacterium is also used in the US for the production of GM corn, resistant to pests. Photos posted by the CIA prove that the bacteria was collected by the US in Iraq. According to the CIA, the vials containing bio-pesticide, were recovered from an Al Hakam scientist's home.
CIA: A total of 97 vials-including those with labels consistent with the al Hakam cover stories of single-cell protein and bio-pesticides, as well as strains that could be used to produce BW agents were recovered from a scientist's residence in Iraq in 2003. Photo credit: CIA Information from the US federal contracts registry shows that the Pentagon performs tests using the bacteria stolen from Saddam Hussein's bio-weapons factory in Iraq.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) federal project for laboratory analysis and field tests with bacteria. Source: govtribe.comThe tests are performed at Kirtland Air Force Base (Kirtland is the home of the Air Force Materiel Command's Nuclear Weapons Center). Here weapons are being tested, meaning that the field tests with biological simulants (bacteria) also fall into this group.
The DTRA contractor on this project '' Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute (LBERI), operates an Animal Bio-safety 3 Level (ABSL-3) laboratory which has Select Agent status. The facility is designed to conduct bioaerosol studies. The company has been awarded a 5-year contract for field tests with biological simulants at Kirtland Air Force Base.
Photo Credit: Kirtland Air Force BaseSome of the tests are performed in a wind tunnel. Photo credit: Dugway Proving GroundField tests with Biological Simulants (bacteria)
What the Pentagon is now doing is exactly what it did in the past, meaning that its bio-weapons program was never terminated. The US Army performed 27 field tests with such biological simulants, involving the public domain from 1949 to 1968, when President Nixon officially announced the end of the program.
Source: US Army Activities in the US , Biological Warfare Programs, vol. II, 1977, p. 125-126
Field tests in Chechnya
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), which runs the US military program at the Lugar Center in Georgia, is alleged to have already performed field tests with an unknown substance in Chechnya, Russia. In the spring of 2017 local citizens reported on a drone disseminating white powder close to the Russian border with Georgia. Neither the Georgian border police, nor the US personnel operating on the Georgia-Russia border, commented on this information.
$9.2 million US military project on Russia-Georgia border
DTRA has full access to the Russia-Georgia border, granted under a military program called ''Georgia Land Border Security Project''. The activities, related to the project have been outsourced to a private American company '' Parsons Government Services International. DTRA has previously contracted Parsons for similar border security projects in Lebanon, Jordan, Libya and Syria. Parsons have been awarded a $9.2 million contract under the Pentagon border security project on the Russia-Georgia border.
Local citizens in Chechnya noticed a UAV sprayer near the Russian border with Georgia in 2017.US Defense Agency tests GM Insects to transmit GM Viruses
The Pentagon has invested at least $65 million in gene editing. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded 7 research teams to develop tools for genome engineering in insects, rodents and bacteria under DARPA's Safe Gene program, using a novel CRISPR-Cas9 technology.
Under another military program ''Insect Allies, GM insects are engineered to transfer modified genes to plants. The $10.3 million DARPA project includes both gene editing in insects and in the viruses that they transmit. Ecological Niche-preference Engineering is a third ongoing military program for genome engineering in insects. The Pentagon's stated objective is to engineer GM organisms so that they can resist certain temperatures, change their habitat and food sources.
Source: fbo.govGenetically engineered humans
Besides gene editing in insects and in the viruses they transmit, the Pentagon wants to engineer humans as well. DARPA Advanced Tools for Mammalian Genome Engineering Project seeks to create a biological platform inside the human body, using it to deliver new genetic information, and thus altering humans at the DNA level.
DARPA wants to insert an additional 47th artificial chromosome into human cells. This chromosome will deliver new genes that will be used for engineering the human body. SynPloid Biotek LLC has been awarded two contracts under the program totaling $1.1 million (2015-2016 '' $ 100,600 for the first phase of the research; 2015-2017 '' $ 999,300 for work which is not specified in the federal contracts registry. The company has only two employees and no previous record on bio-research.
Top Secret Research on Synthetic Viruses
Between 2008 and 2014, the United States invested approximately $820 million in synthetic biology research, Defense being a major contributor. Most of the military projects on synthetic biology are classified, among them are a number of classified studies by the secretive JASON group of US military advisors '' e.g. Emerging Viruses and Genome Editing for the Pentagon, and Synthetic Viruses for the National Counterterrorism Center.
JASON is an independent scientific advisory group that provides consulting services to the U.S. government on matters of defense science and technology. It was established in 1960 and most of their resulting JASON reports are classified. For administrative purposes, the JASON's projects are run by the MITRE Corporation, which has contracts with the Defense Department, CIA and the FBI. Since 2014 MITRE has been awarded some $27.4 million in contracts with the DoD.
Although the JASON Reports are classified, another US Air Force study titled Biotechnology: Genetically Engineered Pathogens, sheds some light on what the secretive JASON group has researched '' 5 groups of genetically engineered pathogens that can be used as bio-weapons. These are binary biological weapons (a lethal combination of two viruses), host swapping diseases (animal viruses that ''jump'' to humans, like the Ebola virus), stealth viruses, and designer diseases. Designer diseases can be engineered to target a certain ethnic group, meaning that they can be used as ethnic bio-weapons.
Ethnic Bioweapons
Ethnic biological weapon (biogenetic weapon) is a theoretical weapon that aims to primarily harm people of specific ethnicities, or genotypes.Although officially the research and development of ethnic bio-weapons have never been publicly confirmed, documents show that the US collects biological material from certain ethnic groups '' Russians and Chinese.
The US Air Force has been specifically collecting Russian RNA and synovial tissue samples, raising fears in Moscow of a covert US ethnic bio-weapons program.
Source: fbo.govApart from Russians, the US has been collecting biological material from both healthy and cancer patients in China. The National Cancer Institute has collected biological samples from 300 subjects from Linxian, Zhengzhou, and Chengdu in China. While another federal project, titled Serum Metabolic biomarkers discovery study of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in China, includes analysis of 349 serum samples which have been collected from Chinese patients.
The US National Cancer Institute has been collecting biological material from patients of the Chinese Cancer Hospital in Beijing.Chinese biological material has been collected under a series of federal projects including saliva and cancer tissue. Among them, Genotyping DNA Samples from Lymphoma cases and from controls (healthy patients), Breast cancer tissue blocks from breast cancer patients, Saliva samples of 50 families who have 3 or more cases of UGI cancer, Genotype 50 SNP'S for DNA samples from the Cancer Hospital, Beijing, Genotypes from 3000 cases of gastric cancer and 3000 controls (healthy patients) in Beijing.
Tobacco Vaccines: How the Pentagon helped tobacco companies to profit from Ebola
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has invested $100 million in vaccines production from tobacco plants. The companies, involved in the project, are owned by the biggest American tobacco companies '' Mediacago Inc. is co-owned by Philip Morris, and Kentucky BioProcessing is a subsidiary of Reynolds American which is owned by British American Tobacco. Currently they are producing Flu and Ebola vaccines from tobacco plants.
The $100 million program Blue Angel was launched as a response to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. Medicago being awarded $21 million to produce 10, 000 million doses of an influenza vaccine within one month.
Blue Angel program manager Dr. John Julias explains: ''Although there are multiple plant species and other organisms being explored as alternative protein production platforms, the US Government has continued to make an investment in tobacco-based manufacturing.''
The plant-based vaccine production method works by isolating a specific antigen protein that triggers a human immune response from the targeted virus. A gene from the protein is transferred to bacteria, which is used to infect plants. The plants then start producing the protein that will be used for vaccinations (photos: DARPA)
It is not clear why the Pentagon chose to invest in vaccines produced from tobacco plants amongst all other plant species, which they explored. Medicago, co-owned by Philip Morris, paid $495,000 for lobbying the Department of Defense, the Congress and The Department of Health and Human Services for ''funding to advance technology to support public health preparedness applications''. The Pentagon funded tobacco companies to develop new technology and to profit from vaccines.
Biological Experiments are war crimes
Article 8 of The Rome Statute of The International Criminal Court (ICC) defines biological experiments as war crimes. The US, however, is not a state party to the international treaty, and cannot be held accountable for its war crimes.
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White House Asks Congress For $6.4 Billion For Ukraine Crisis | ZeroHedge
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 12:46
Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,
On Friday, the White House asked Congress for $6.4 billion for military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine and to help US allies in Europe to bolster their security in response to Russia's attack on Ukraine.
According to Bloomberg, $2.9 billion will go towards security and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, the Baltics, Poland, and other regional countries. The remaining $3.5 billion will go to the Pentagon ''to respond to the crisis.''
Getty Images''In a recent conversation with lawmakers, the administration identified the need for additional US humanitarian, security, and economic assistance to Ukraine and Central European partners due to Russia's unprovoked and unjustified invasion,'' a White House Office of Management and Budget official said, according to Reuters.
The total amount could change as the White House and Congress work it out. Some members of Congress think more money needs to be spent. Sen. Chris Coon (D-DE) said the US might need to spend around $10 billion to respond to Russia's attack on Ukraine.
Over the past year, the US has given Ukraine over $650 million in military aid and $52 million in humanitarian assistance. The Pentagon said Friday it wants to send more weapons to Ukraine and is working out ways to do so.
Ukraine's defense minister is asking for Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.
''We're continuing to look for ways to support Ukraine to defend themselves,'' Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. ''And we're very actively engaged in those efforts to help them better defend themselves through both lethal and non-lethal assistance.''
So much for the rhetorical cudgel that nobody in Washington is even considering let alone advocating the deployment of the US military to Ukraine. Here's one of the media's 3 or 4 most popular members of Congress advocating that in the most explicit and dangerous way possible: https://t.co/Z0ziFvLnCt
'-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 26, 2022US military aid to Ukraine used to arrive by plane, but the country's airspace is no longer safe. ''The airspace over Ukraine is contested, the Russians don't have superiority of it, it's contested,'' Kirby said.
Maxwell Judge Schedules Hearing To Consider Granting New Trial For Ghislaine | ZeroHedge
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 12:46
It seems Ghislaine Maxwell's legal team has actually raised a credible reason for a judge to consider granting the woman known as "Jeffrey Epstein's madam" a new trial. Because the judge in her case has ordered a hearing during which a juror will be questioned about the veracity of their answers during voir dire.
According to the New York Times, Maxwell Judge Alison Nathan is trying to determine whether a juror who served on Maxwell's trial may have lied during her initial jury selection interviews and questionnaires. Judge Nathan (the same judge who presided over Maxwell's original trial, and who is currently expected to sentence Maxwell in June) said she would question the juror, who has been identified as Juror 50, under oath during a hearing set for March 8. This isn't the first time that we have discussed the possibility of the Maxwell verdict being tossed. But it's looking increasingly likely now that Judge Nathan has decided to question the juror about some very glaring inconsistencies.
Maxwell was convicted a couple of days before New Year's Eve on charges including sex trafficking and conspiracy for her role in providing a steady stream of underage girls to Epstein and his powerful coterie of friends.
Judge Nathan confirmed that the reason for the hearing was that Juror 50 had apparently made statements to the media that raised questions about his responses during voir dire.
Judge Nathan said in a brief order on Thursday that after the trial, ''Juror 50 made several direct, unambiguous statements to multiple media outlets about his own experience that do not pertain to jury deliberations and that cast doubt on the accuracy of his responses during jury selection."
She said Juror 50's statements were "clear, strong, substantial and incontrovertible evidence" that an "impropriety - namely, a false statement during jury selection - has occurred."
Judge Nathan emphasized that the potential impropriety was not that someone with a history of sexual abuse might have served on the jury.
"Rather," she wrote, "it is the potential failure to respond truthfully to questions during the jury selection process that asked for that material information so that any potential bias could be explored."
The incident in question appears to have been an interview with Reuters where the juror said they had quickly completed the jury questionnaires and that they did not recall being asked about sexual abuse history. The juror also said that there was a point during deliberations where they doubted two of Maxwell's accusers stories, while also opening up about his own history of being sexually abused. Judge Nathan told the NYT that the inconsistencies being reviewed did not pertain to sexual abuse.
Here's an excerpt from the original Reuters story:
This juror, who asked to be identified only by his first and middle names, said some of the jurors had issues with the credibility of witnesses known as Jane and Carolyn, two of the four women who testified that Maxwell set them up with the late financier Jeffrey Epstein as teenagers.
He said that after some of the jurors questioned the accuracy of the two women's memories, he decided to share his own experience of being sexually abused as a child. He said that he remembered most important elements of what happened to him, but not every single detail. That swayed some jurors, he said.
"When I shared that, they were able to sort of come around on, they were able to come around on the memory aspect of the sexual abuse," Scotty David, a 35-year-old Manhattan resident, told Reuters in a phone interview. He gave an earlier interview to The Independent.
In a separate interview with the Daily Mail, the juror allegedly said that he had helped the other jurors understand the subject matter from a survivor's point of view.
He also told the Mail that after the trial, he had been left with the conclusion that Maxwell was "as guilty as Epstein".
Maxwell's motion for a new trial was finally unsealed Thursday. It argued that had Juror 50 "answered truthfully" during the jury selection process "he would have been subject to a challenge for cause."
Ultimately, Judge Nathan will decide whether a new trial will be called for.
What Is the Great Reset? - Imprimis
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 12:37
Michael RectenwaldChief Academic Officer, American Scholars
Michael Rectenwald is the chief academic officer for American Scholars. He has a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.A. from Case Western Reserve University, and a Ph.D. in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. He has taught at New York University, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of numerous books, including Nineteenth-Century British Secularism: Science, Religion, and Literature; Google Archipelago; Beyond Woke; and Thought Criminal.
The following is adapted from a talk delivered at Hillsdale College on November 7, 2021, during a Center for Constructive Alternatives conference on ''The Great Reset.''
Is the Great Reset a conspiracy theory imagining a vast left-wing plot to establish a totalitarian one-world government? No. Despite the fact that some people may have spun conspiracy theories based on it'--with some reason, as we will see'--the Great Reset is real.
Indeed, just last year, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF)'--a famous organization made up of the world's political, economic, and cultural elites that meets annually in Davos, Switzerland'--and Thierry Malleret, co-founder and main author of the Monthly Barometer, published a book called COVID-19: The Great Reset. In the book, they define the Great Reset as a means of addressing the ''weaknesses of capitalism'' that were purportedly exposed by the COVID pandemic.
But the idea of the Great Reset goes back much further. It can be traced at least as far back as the inception of the WEF, originally founded as the European Management Forum, in 1971. In that same year, Schwab, an engineer and economist by training, published his first book, Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering. It was in this book that Schwab first introduced the concept he would later call ''stakeholder capitalism,'' arguing ''that the management of a modern enterprise must serve not only shareholders but all stakeholders to achieve long-term growth and prosperity.'' Schwab and the WEF have promoted the idea of stakeholder capitalism ever since. They can take credit for the stakeholder and public-private partnership rhetoric and policies embraced by governments, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and international governance bodies worldwide.
The specific phrase ''Great Reset'' came into general circulation over a decade ago, with the publication of a 2010 book, The Great Reset, by American urban studies scholar Richard Florida. Written in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Florida's book argued that the 2008 economic crash was the latest in a series of Great Resets'--including the Long Depression of the 1870s and the Great Depression of the 1930s'--which he defined as periods of paradigm-shifting systemic innovation.
Four years after Florida's book was published, at the 2014 annual meeting of the WEF, Schwab declared: ''What we want to do in Davos this year . . . is to push the reset button'''--and subsequently the image of a reset button would appear on the WEF's website.
In 2018 and 2019, the WEF organized two events that became the primary inspiration for the current Great Reset project'--and also, for obvious reasons, fresh fodder for conspiracy theorists. (Don't blame me for the latter'--all I'm doing is relating the historical facts.)
In May 2018, the WEF collaborated with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security to conduct ''CLADE X,'' a simulation of a national pandemic response. Specifically, the exercise simulated the outbreak of a novel strain of a human parainfluenza virus, with genetic elements of the Nipah virus, called CLADE X. The simulation ended with a news report stating that in the face of CLADE X, without effective vaccines, ''experts tell us that we could eventually see 30 to 40 million deaths in the U.S. and more than 900 million around the world'--twelve percent of the global population.'' Clearly, preparation for a global pandemic was in order.
In October 2019, the WEF collaborated with Johns Hopkins and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on another pandemic exercise, ''Event 201,'' which simulated an international response to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus. This was two months before the COVID outbreak in China became news and five months before the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic, and it closely resembled the future COVID scenario, including incorporating the idea of asymptomatic spread.
The CLADE X and Event 201 simulations anticipated almost every eventuality of the actual COVID crisis, most notably the responses by governments, health agencies, the media, tech companies, and elements of the public. The responses and their effects included worldwide lockdowns, the collapse of businesses and industries, the adoption of biometric surveillance technologies, an emphasis on social media censorship to combat ''misinformation,'' the flooding of social and legacy media with ''authoritative sources,'' widespread riots, and mass unemployment.
In addition to being promoted as a response to COVID, the Great Reset is promoted as a response to climate change. In 2017, the WEF published a paper entitled, ''We Need to Reset the Global Operating System to Achieve the [United Nations Sustainable Development Goals].'' On June 13, 2019, the WEF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations to form a partnership to advance the ''UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.'' Shortly after that, the WEF published the ''United Nations-World Economic Forum Strategic Partnership Framework for the 2030 Agenda,'' promising to help finance the UN's climate change agenda and committing the WEF to help the UN ''meet the needs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,'' including providing assets and expertise for ''digital governance.''
In June 2020, at its 50th annual meeting, the WEF announced the Great Reset's official launch, and a month later Schwab and Malleret published their book on COVID and the Great Reset. The book declared that COVID represents an ''opportunity [that] can be seized''; that ''we should take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to reimagine our world''; that ''the moment must be seized to take advantage of this unique window of opportunity''; and that ''[f]or those fortunate enough to find themselves in industries 'naturally' resilient to the pandemic'''--think here of Big Tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon'--''the crisis was not only more bearable, but even a source of profitable opportunities at a time of distress for the majority.''
The Great Reset aims to usher in a bewildering economic amalgam'--Schwab's stakeholder capitalism'--which I have called ''corporate socialism'' and Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben has called ''communist capitalism.''
In brief, stakeholder capitalism involves the behavioral modification of corporations to benefit not shareholders, but stakeholders'--individuals and groups that stand to benefit or lose from corporate behavior. Stakeholder capitalism requires not only corporate responses to pandemics and ecological issues such as climate change, ''but also rethinking [corporations'] commitments to already-vulnerable communities within their ecosystems.'' This is the ''social justice'' aspect of the Great Reset. To comply with that, governments, banks, and asset managers use the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) index to squeeze non-woke corporations and businesses out of the market. The ESG index is essentially a social credit score that is used to drive ownership and control of production away from the non-woke or non-compliant.
One of the WEF's many powerful ''strategic partners,'' BlackRock, Inc., the world's largest asset manager, is solidly behind the stakeholder model. In a 2021 letter to CEOs, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink declared that ''climate risk is investment risk,'' and ''the creation of sustainable index investments has enabled a massive acceleration of capital towards companies better prepared to address climate risk.'' The COVID pandemic, Fink wrote, accelerated the flow of funds toward sustainable investments:
We have long believed that our clients, as shareholders in your company, will benefit if you can create enduring, sustainable value for all of your stakeholders. . . . As more and more investors choose to tilt their investments towards sustainability-focused companies, the tectonic shift we are seeing will accelerate further. And because this will have such a dramatic impact on how capital is allocated, every management team and board will need to consider how this will impact their company's stock.
Fink's letter is more than a report to CEOs. It is an implicit threat: be woke or else.
In their recent book on the Great Reset, Schwab and Malleret pit ''stakeholder capitalism'' against ''neoliberalism,'' defining the latter as ''a corpus of ideas and policies . . . favouring competition over solidarity, creative destruction over government intervention, and economic growth over social welfare.'' In other words, ''neoliberalism'' refers to the free enterprise system. In opposing that system, stakeholder capitalism entails corporate cooperation with the state and vastly increased government intervention in the economy.
Proponents of the Great Reset hold ''neoliberalism'' responsible for our economic woes. But in truth, the governmental favoring of industries and players within industries'--what used to be known as corporatism or economic fascism'--has been the real source of what Schwab and his allies at the WEF decry.
While approved corporations are not necessarily monopolies, the tendency of the Great Reset is toward monopolization'--vesting as much control over production and distribution in as few favored corporations as possible, while eliminating industries and producers deemed non-essential or inimical. To bring this reset about, Schwab writes, ''[e]very country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed.''
Another way of describing the goal of the Great Reset is ''capitalism with Chinese characteristics'''--a two-tiered economy, with profitable monopolies and the state on top and socialism for the majority below.
Several decades ago, as China's growing reliance on the for-profit sectors of its economy could no longer be credibly denied by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), its leadership approved the slogan ''socialism with Chinese characteristics'' to describe its economic system. Formulated by Deng Xiaoping, the phrase was meant to rationalize the CCP's allowance of for-profit development under a socialist political system. The CCP considered the privatization of the Chinese economy to be a temporary phase'--lasting as long as 100 years if necessary'--on the way to a communist society. Party leaders maintain that this approach has been necessary in China because socialism was introduced too early there, when China was a backward agrarian country. China needed a capitalist booster shot.
Stripped of its socialist ideological pretensions, the Chinese system amounts to a socialist or communist state increasingly funded by capitalist economic development. The difference between the former Soviet Union and contemporary China is that when it became obvious that a socialist economy had failed, the former gave up its socialist economic pretenses, while the latter has not.
The Great Reset represents the development of the Chinese system in the West, but in reverse. Whereas the Chinese political class began with a socialist political system and then introduced privately held for-profit production, the West began with capitalism and is now implementing a Chinese-style political system. This Chinese-style system includes vastly increased state intervention in the economy, on the one hand, and on the other, the kind of authoritarian measures that the Chinese government uses to control its population.
Schwab and Malleret write that if ''the past five centuries in Europe and America'' have taught us anything, it is that ''acute crises contribute to boosting the power of the state. It's always been the case and there is no reason it should be different with the COVID-19 pandemic.''
The draconian lockdown measures employed by Western governments managed to accomplish goals of which corporate socialists in the WEF could only dream'--above all, the destruction of small businesses, eliminating competitors for corporate monopolists favored by the state. In the U.S. alone, according to the Foundation for Economic Education, millions of small businesses closed their doors due to the lockdowns. Yelp data indicates that 60 percent of those closures are now permanent. Meanwhile companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google enjoyed record gains.
Other developments that advance the Great Reset agenda have included unfettered immigration, travel restrictions for otherwise legal border crossing, the Federal Reserve's unrestrained printing of money and the subsequent inflation, increased taxation, increased dependence on the state, broken supply chains, the restrictions and job losses due to vaccine mandates, and the prospect of personal carbon allowances.
Such policies reflect the ''fairness'' aspect of the Great Reset'--fairness requires lowering the economic status of people in wealthier nations like the U.S. relative to that of people in poorer regions of the world. One of the functions of woke ideology is to make the majority in developed countries feel guilty about their wealth, which the elites aim to reset downwards'--except, one notices, for the elites themselves, who need to be rich in order to fly in their private jets to Davos each year.
The Great Reset's corporate stakeholder model overlaps with its governance and geopolitical model: states and favored corporations are combined in public-private partnerships and together have control of governance. This corporate-state hybrid is largely unaccountable to the constituents of national governments.
Governance is not only increasingly privatized, but also and more importantly, corporations are deputized as major additions to governments and intergovernmental bodies. The state is thereby extended, enhanced, and augmented by the addition of enormous corporate assets. As such, corporations become what I have called ''governmentalities'''--otherwise private organizations wielded as state apparatuses, with no obligation to answer to pesky voters. Since these corporations are multinational, the state essentially becomes globalist, whether or not a one-world government is ever formalized.
As if the economic and governmental resets were not dramatic enough, the technological reset reads like a dystopian science fiction novel. It is based on the Fourth Industrial Revolution'--or 4-IR for short. The first, second, and third industrial revolutions were the mechanical, electrical, and digital revolutions. The 4-IR marks the convergence of existing and emerging fields, including Big Data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, quantum computing, genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics. The foreseen result will be the merging of the physical, digital, and biological worlds, which presents a challenge to the ontologies by which we understand ourselves and the world, including the definition of a human being.
There is nothing original about this. Transhumanists and Singularitarians (prophets of technological singularity) such as Ray Kurzweil forecasted these and other revolutionary developments long ago. What's different about the globalists' vision of 4-IR is the attempt to harness it to the ends of the Great Reset.
If already existing 4-IR developments are any indication of the future, then the claim that it will contribute to human happiness is false. These developments include Internet algorithms that feed users prescribed news and advertisements and downrank or exclude banned content; algorithms that censor social media content and consign ''dangerous'' individuals and organizations to digital gulags; ''keyword warrants'' based on search engine inputs; apps that track and trace COVID violations and report offenders to the police; robot police with scanners to identify and round up the unvaccinated and other dissidents; and smart cities where residents are digital entities to be monitored, surveilled, and recorded, and where data on their every move is collected, collated, stored, and attached to a digital identity and a social credit score.
In short, 4-IR technologies subject human beings to a kind of technological management that makes surveillance by the NSA look like child's play. Schwab goes so far as to cheer developments that aim to connect human brains directly to the cloud for the sake of ''data mining'' our thoughts and memories. If successful, this would constitute a technological mastery over decision-making that would threaten human autonomy and undermine free will.
The 4-IR seeks to accelerate the merging of humans and machines, resulting in a world in which all information, including genetic information, is shared, and every action, thought, and motivation is known, predicted, and possibly precluded. Unless taken out of the hands of corporate-socialist technocrats, the 4-IR will eventually lead to a virtual and inescapable prison of body and mind.
In terms of the social order, the Great Reset promises inclusion in a shared destiny. But the subordination of so-called ''netizens'' implies economic and political disenfranchisement, a hyper-vigilance over self and others, and social isolation'--or what Hannah Arendt called ''organized loneliness'''--on a global scale. This organized loneliness is already manifest in lockdowns, masking, social distancing, and the social exclusion of the unvaccinated. The title of the Ad Council's March 2020 public service announcement'--''Alone Together'''--perfectly captures this sense of organized loneliness.
In my recent book, Google Archipelago, I argued that leftist authoritarianism is the political ideology and modus operandi of what I call Big Digital, which is on the leading edge of a nascent world system. Big Digital is the communications, ideological, and technological arm of an emerging corporate-socialist totalitarianism. The Great Reset is the name that has since been given to the project of establishing this world system.
Just as Schwab and the WEF predicted, the COVID crisis has accelerated the Great Reset. Monopolistic corporations have consolidated their grip on the economy from above, while socialism continues to advance for the rest of us below. In partnership with Big Digital, Big Pharma, the mainstream media, national and international health agencies, and compliant populations, hitherto democratic Western states'--think especially of Australia, New Zealand, and Austria'--are being transformed into totalitarian regimes modeled after China.
But let me end on a note of hope. Because the goals of the Great Reset depend on the obliteration not only of free markets, but of individual liberty and free will, it is, perhaps ironically, unsustainable. Like earlier attempts at totalitarianism, the Great Reset is doomed to ultimate failure. That doesn't mean, however, that it won't, again like those earlier attempts, leave a lot of destruction in its wake­'--which is all the more reason to oppose it now and with all our might.
Russia Joins Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network > Press releases | World Economic Forum
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 12:19
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The Russian Federation and the World Economic Forum announced the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Russia The Centre is an autonomous non-for-profit organisation hosted by ANO Digital Economy and will be a platform for public-private cooperation Artificial Intelligence and IoT are key areas of focus for the new Centre Policies and frameworks will be shared and scaled through the global Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network. Moscow, Russia, 13 October 2021 '' Russia will take a leading role in shaping the trajectory of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Today, leaders from the Russian Federation and the World Economic Forum announced the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Russia.
Part of the Forum's global Network, the new Centre will bring together leading businesses, policy makers and members of civil society to co-design and pilot innovative approaches to technology governance.
Over the past five years, the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network has expanded to 15 countries. Project teams worked across public and private sectors to built new policies for drones and commercial aircraft to fly in the same airspace, government procurement of artificial intelligence and accelerated responsible blockchain deployment across the global supply chain.
The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Russia will be hosted by ANO Digital Economy in Moscow. It will work across the global network to maximize the benefits of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, while minimizing its risks.
The President of the World Economic Forum, B¸rge Brende and the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Chernyshenko, on behalf of the Russian government signed the agreement today in Moscow.
''Rapid technological discovery is disrupting our economic and social systems. Coordinated, impact-orientated action is needed to manage this change,'' says B¸rge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum. ''The new Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Moscow will be an important part of the Forum's global network. It is important we work across borders to shape a future that leaves no one behind.''
"Today, Russia is building digital economy actively in industrial and social spheres as well as in public administration,'' said Dmitry Chernyshenko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. ''We are now witnessing an unprecedented breakthrough development. The main purpose of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Moscow is to grow awareness of Russia's role as part of the global expert community. This is an opportunity to share experience and expertise gained by the World Economic Forum and its partners around the world.''
Chernyshenko continued, ''There are plans of launching pilot projects on legal protocols, AI and IoT together with the Forum at the Centre. The first projects will be launched before the end of this year and will include self-driving cars, drones, medicine and data processing. Russia has been actively implementing AI technologies over the past few years. Today there are more than 800 such solutions and some of them are already visible on international markets. In general, cooperation with the Forum will be carried out in various areas such as data policy, smart cities, export support and promotion of Russian IT technologies to foreign markets."
''We are glad to join the global network of Centers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,'' said General Director of ANO "Digital economy" Evgeny Kovnir. ''Our organization brings together leading Russian technology companies. We will work together with leaders from these companies and across the network to explore and implement the best international AI, IoT, and data policy solutions. We will bring Russia's advancements in these areas to the global network and help to shape global progress in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.''
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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.
How science solved the mystery of feet washing ashore in the Pacific Northwest
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 12:05
A view of Howe Sound, part of the Salish Sea north of Vancouver, shows the mountains of Gambier Island and the mainland coast in silhouette.
Photographer John Zada, Alamy Stock PhotoPlease be respectful of copyright. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Science Gory Details The unsettling discoveries along the Salish Sea prompted talk of serial killers, aliens, and psychics. The truth is even more unexpected.
By Erika Engelhaupt
Published March 15, 2021
' 15 min read
This story is an excerpt from the book Gory Details: Adventures From the Dark Side of Science by Erika Engelhaupt.
On August 20, 2007, a 12-year-old girl spotted a lone blue-and-white running shoe'--a men's size 12'--on a beach of British Columbia's Jedediah Island. She looked inside, and found a sock. She looked inside the sock, and found a foot.
Six days later on nearby Gabriola Island, a Vancouver couple enjoying a seaside hike came across a black-and-white Reebok. Inside it was another decomposing foot. It, too, was a men's size 12. The two feet clearly didn't belong to the same person; not only were the shoes themselves different, but they both contained right feet.
Police were stunned. ''Two being found in such a short period of time is quite suspicious,'' Garry Cox of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told the Vancouver Sun. ''Finding one foot is like a million to one odds, but to find two is crazy. I've heard of dancers with two left feet, but come on.''
The next year, five more feet appeared on nearby Canadian beaches. The discoveries ratcheted up the public's fears, and media speculation soared. Was a serial killer on the loose? Did he have something against feet?
Over the course of the next 12 years, a total of 15 feet washed ashore in the area around Vancouver Island, a network of waterways called the Salish Sea. Six more turned up in Puget Sound, which lies across the U.S. border at the southern end of the sea. With the exception of one foot wearing an old hiking boot, all of them were encased in sneakers. The sneaker-clad feet became famous, even garnering their own Wikipedia page. And with fame came hoaxes: pranksters stuffed shoes with chicken bones or skeletonized dog paws and scattered them along Canadian shorelines.
Tipsters called police with all manner of theories about the origins of the feet. ''We get some very interesting tips that come in about serial killers, or containers full of migrants that are sitting at the bottom of the ocean. Aliens'--had that one as well,'' says Laura Yazedjian, a forensic anthropologist who works as a human identification specialist for the British Columbia Coroners Service. ''And occasionally a psychic. Actually, pretty much every single time, a psychic will call and offer to help.''
But this type of mystery, it turns out, requires scientific, rather than criminal investigation (or psychics). In fact, science can answer all of the obvious questions'--for example, why are feet, and not entire bodies, washing ashore? And why are they showing up on this particular stretch of British Columbia's shores? But the research that has addressed these questions is anything but obvious. To understand how the feet got where they did, we have to follow some unexpected lines of inquiry, involving everything from the science of sinking to the decomposition of pigs and spreading oil spills.
To sink or swimTo begin, we must understand what happens to a dead body once it's in the water. So let's follow the adventures of a seafaring cadaver.
Once in the water, a cadaver's first move will be either to float or to sink. This is a surprisingly crucial step, as it will help determine what happens next. A floating object will be carried with the winds and by surface currents, and might soon wash ashore. A sinker, on the other hand, might remain in place, or be tugged in a different direction by deeper currents. What's more, a floating body, exposed to air, will decompose differently from one that sinks, with ramifications for the fate of its feet.
One might assume that a drowned person will sink because their lungs are full of water, and that a cadaver's air-filled lungs would otherwise act as a flotation device. But the reality is not so simple. Using data collected in 1942, E.R. Donoghue of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology set out to settle the matter in a 1977 article titled ''Human Body Buoyancy: A Study of 98 Men.'' The 98 men in question were ''healthy U.S. Navy men in the 20-to-40-year age group.'' Each was suspended underwater and weighed both with his lungs full of air, and after expelling as much air as possible. It's no easy task to wait to be weighed underwater with no air in your lungs'--but again, these were Navy men.
With their lungs fully inflated with air, all the men floated. But once they had emptied their lungs (as would be the case with a dead body) most of the men sank in freshwater; only 7 percent floated. In seawater, though, people are more buoyant: 69 percent of the Navy men would float if they were dead and naked in the ocean, Donoghue estimated. But it was a close call; just a little added weight, such as heavy clothing or water in the lungs, could cause a body to sink. In the end, the data suggest, cadavers are overall more likely to sink than to float, and people who drown are the most likely to sink.
What's more, once a body sinks, it tends to go straight to the bottom. Sometimes, an underwater cadaver will eventually bloat, just like a body on land, causing it to bob to the surface. But that doesn't always happen, says Yazedjian, the investigator from the Coroners Service. In a deep lake or ocean, it may never come back up. Not only does the cold inhibit decay in deep waters, but the greater water pressure there also prevents any gases from expanding and causing bodies to float. Instead, other microbial processes take over and convert a sunken body's tissues to adipocere, ''this kind of waxy, soaplike tissue,'' she says. Adipocere can persist for years, even centuries, in a low-oxygen environment.
And that's exactly what Yazedjian saw on the feet she examined from the Salish Sea. They were covered in adipocere, suggesting that the cadavers sank, and remained underwater as they decomposed. That could explain where the remainders of the bodies were: They sank and stayed sunken.
But why didn't the feet stay down with the bodies?
Feet set sailTo understand how the feet set sail sans bodies, we need to know how a human body might decompose underwater, and whether its feet are prone to pop off and float away. Scientists study the process of human cadaver decomposition at several U.S. forensic research sites, but these are all on land; none had ventured to drop a body into the ocean. (Find out how cadavers help advance all kinds of scientific research.)
But our investigation is not dead in the water. In the summer of 2007, forensic scientist Gail Anderson of Simon Fraser University was conducting a study for the Canadian Police Research Centre to understand how quickly a homicide victim would decompose in the ocean. Because ethics rules preclude using a human body, she used a dead pig instead. Pigs have often been used in forensic research as stand-ins for a human body; they are roughly comparable in size and are quite similar biologically.
It was as if a Red Lobster buffet had risen up to exact its revenge.
Even better, Anderson conducted her study in the Salish Sea, not far from where the third human foot would be found six months later. Her team dropped the dead pig into the water, and it promptly sank 308 feet to the seafloor. What happened next was not pretty. The pig carcass was quickly eaten by a large and unruly mob of shrimp, lobsters, and Dungeness crabs, starting with the ''expected areas, the anus region and the facial orifices,'' Anderson reported. It was as if a Red Lobster buffet had risen up to exact its revenge.
Since then, Anderson has dropped more pigs even deeper in the Strait of Georgia, a main channel of the Salish Sea, and found that in some cases scavengers can skeletonize a carcass in less than four days.
So what about the feet? It turns out that underwater scavengers like crustaceans will work around bones and other tough obstacles, preferring to pick apart softer tissues. And unlike the bony ball-and-socket joints that join our legs to our hips, our ankles are made up mostly of soft stuff: ligaments and other connective tissue. So it follows that a sunken, shoe-wearing cadaver in the Salish Sea is likely to be chewed apart by scavengers, and to have its feet disarticulated from the rest of the body in short order.
And as Yazedjian tells me, all of the Salish Sea feet appeared to have been separated from their bodies by natural processes, like scavenging and decomposition. ''Please don't call them 'severed feet,''' she warns. Severed means that someone cut them off, she explains, and the Coroners Service never found cut marks on any of the bones to suggest that.
What's more, feet wearing sneakers made in the last decade or so would almost certainly float. Not only have gas-filled pockets become common in sneaker soles (and they're visible in some sneakers found in the Salish Sea), but around that time, the foams used in sneaker soles started to be noticeably lighter, with more air mixed in. In other words, they've become buoyant.
Blowing in the windSo now we have a seafaring foot, sneaker-clad and ready to sail. But why the Salish Sea? If feet are likely to float away from dead bodies, why aren't beaches everywhere littered with them?
Possibly the man who knows the most about how and where things end up in the Salish Sea is Parker MacCready, a professor of oceanography at the University of Washington in Seattle. He's built a three-dimensional computer simulation of the coastal ocean of the Pacific Northwest, including the Salish Sea. ''It's all realistic,'' he says, ''in the sense that it has realistic tides, winds, rivers, and ocean conditions.'' The simulation is called LiveOcean, and as we talk on the phone, we both watch it running on his website: Brightly colored water sloshes around a map according to that day's weather and tides.
Strength in Numbers: Tiny Sea Creatures Could Create Big Ocean Currents
These tiny sea creatures may have a not-so-tiny effect on the ocean. While it is believed that wind and tidal currents are the primary causes of the mixing of ocean waters ... Scientists at Stanford University discovered zooplankton can also have this effect.
MacCready uses the model to predict where an oil spill would travel over the course of three days. As we watch, black blobs appear near Seattle and Tacoma, simulating the hypothetical oil spill, and immediately start flowing north into Puget Sound, sailing on rainbow-colored swirls that depict moving waters of various salinities. Soon, the blobs break apart into thin streamers and dots, splitting and sloshing in every direction as tides and currents push them around.
As it turns out, LiveOcean reveals an important key to the mystery'--why so many feet are washing up here in particular. The answer? The Salish Sea has the perfect storm of feet-ensnaring properties.
The reasons add up. First, it's an unusually large and complex body of inland water, which acts as a trap. As MacCready's model shows, once something goes in the water, it might wash ashore in plenty of places'--but it's still within the Salish Sea. Second, the prevailing winds are westerlies, so they bring stuff in from the ocean, rather than pushing it out to sea. And finally, there's something MacCready's model doesn't show, but he points it out. You see a lot of folks wearing sneakers at the beach in the Pacific Northwest, where many choose to hike among the slippery rocks. Taken together, all these factors'--plus the cold deep waters and healthy scavenger populations'--make the Salish the ideal foot magnet.
But who were the owners of the Salish Sea feet? The first place investigators looked was missing person reports. The Coroners Service has now compared DNA from each foot to a database of more than 500 missing people in British Columbia, plus Canada's new National Missing Persons DNA Program, launched in 2018.
Using DNA, the team linked nine of the feet to seven missing people. (For two, both feet were found; most had been missing for a year or more.) The longest-missing person had disappeared in 1985; his foot in a hiking boot was found in 2011. In the most recent case, the foot of a young man who disappeared in 2016 was documented to have washed up on an island in Puget Sound in 2019.
The Coroners Service in British Columbia reports that none of the Canadian cases so far have been found to result from homicide. In some cases, it became clear that the person had died by accident or suicide, as in the case of one woman who jumped from a bridge. Other times, circumstances were hazier. In the case of a young man whose foot was found in Puget Sound in 2019, U.S. police said they couldn't rule out either homicide or suicide. And for those who vanished without witnesses, it's nearly impossible to glean a cause of death from a foot alone.
As of this writing, five of the feet in British Columbia remain unidentified.
Some, no doubt, will be disappointed to learn that a serial killer wasn't stalking the rocky shores of the Pacific Northwest. Although The Mystery of the Floating Feet would make a great title, it probably won't become a Netflix original documentary'--especially once producers discover that their footage would mostly feature crabs dragging pig entrails across the ocean floor, rather than lingering shots of a serial killer's high school yearbook photo.
That's the difference between armchair CSI fans and actual forensic scientists: A scientist wants to know the right answer, even if it's mundane. But if you think about it, it's actually pretty exciting that nature hands us clues to what would otherwise probably remain cold cases. Even years later, a missing person might be found, his or her death investigated, all because of a peculiar combination of foot physiology, scavenger behavior, and footwear technology.
Sometimes, such unexpected clues lead us places we never thought we'd go, if only we are willing, patient, and brave enough to follow them. And sometimes they do it wearing sneakers.
Hey, remember how they told you the mRNA in the vaccines could NEVER wind up in human DNA?
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 12:03
A new study out of Sweden suggests otherwise (at least in lab-grown cells).Don't worry, everything is fine.
After all, we have all that long-term placebo-controlled clinical trial data proving the safety of these mRNA shots.*
All that careful preclinical work too.**
*No we don't.
**Not that either.
Facebook Allows Praise of Ukraine's Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion
Sat, 26 Feb 2022 17:40
Facebook will temporarily allow its billions of users to praise the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi military unit previously banned from being freely discussed under the company's Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, The Intercept has learned.
The policy shift, made this week, is pegged to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and preceding military escalations. The Azov Battalion, which functions as an armed wing of the broader Ukrainian white nationalist Azov movement, began as a volunteer anti-Russia militia before formally joining the Ukrainian National Guard in 2014; the regiment is known for its hardcore right-wing ultranationalism and the neo-Nazi ideology pervasive among its members. Though it has in recent years downplayed its neo-Nazi sympathies, the group's affinities are not subtle: Azov soldiers march and train wearing uniforms bearing icons of the Third Reich; its leadership has reportedly courted American alt-right and neo-Nazi elements; and in 2010, the battalion's first commander and a former Ukrainian parliamentarian, Andriy Biletsky, stated that Ukraine's national purpose was to ''lead the white races of the world in a final crusade '... against Semite-led Untermenschen [subhumans].'' With Russian forces reportedly moving rapidly against targets throughout Ukraine, Facebook's blunt, list-based approach to moderation puts the company in a bind: What happens when a group you've deemed too dangerous to freely discuss is defending its country against a full-scale assault?
According to internal policy materials reviewed by The Intercept, Facebook will ''allow praise of the Azov Battalion when explicitly and exclusively praising their role in defending Ukraine OR their role as part of the Ukraine's National Guard.'' Internally published examples of speech that Facebook now deems acceptable include ''Azov movement volunteers are real heroes, they are a much needed support to our national guard''; ''We are under attack. Azov has been courageously defending our town for the last 6 hours''; and ''I think Azov is playing a patriotic role during this crisis.''
The materials stipulate that Azov still can't use Facebook platforms for recruiting purposes or for publishing its own statements and that the regiment's uniforms and banners will remain as banned hate symbol imagery, even while Azov soldiers may fight wearing and displaying them. In a tacit acknowledgement of the group's ideology, the memo provides two examples of posts that would not be allowed under the new policy: ''Goebbels, the Fuhrer and Azov, all are great models for national sacrifices and heroism'' and ''Well done Azov for protecting Ukraine and it's white nationalist heritage.''
In a statement to The Intercept, company spokesperson Erica Sackin confirmed the decision but declined to answer questions about the new policy.
Azov's formal Facebook ban began in 2019, and the regiment, along with several associated individuals like Biletsky, were designated under the company's prohibition against hate groups, subject to its harshest ''Tier 1'' restrictions that bar users from engaging in ''praise, support, or representation'' of blacklisted entities across the company's platforms. Facebook's previously secret roster of banned groups and persons, published by The Intercept last year, categorized the Azov Battalion alongside the likes of the Islamic State and the Ku Klux Klan, all Tier 1 groups because of their propensity for ''serious offline harms'' and ''violence against civilians.'' Indeed, a 2016 report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights found that Azov soldiers had raped and tortured civilians during Russia's 2014 invasion of Ukraine.
The exemption will no doubt create confusion for Facebook's moderators, tasked with interpreting the company's muddled and at time contradictory censorship rules under exhausting conditions. While Facebook users may now praise any future battlefield action by Azov soldiers against Russia, the new policy notes that ''any praise of violence'' committed by the group is still forbidden; it's unclear what sort of nonviolent warfare the company anticipates.
Facebook's new stance on Azov is ''nonsensical'' in the context of its prohibitions against offline violence, said Dia Kayyali, a researcher specializing in the real-world effects of content moderation at the nonprofit Mnemonic. ''It's typical Facebook,'' Kayyali added, noting that while the exemption will permit ordinary Ukrainians to more freely discuss a catastrophe unfolding around them that might otherwise be censored, the fact that such policy tweaks are necessary reflects the dysfunctional state of Facebook's secret blacklist-based Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy. ''Their assessments of what is a dangerous organization should always be contextual; there shouldn't be some special carveout for a group that would otherwise fit the policy just because of a specific moment in time. They should have that level of analysis all the time.''
Though the change may come as welcome news to critics who say that the sprawling, largely secret Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy can stifle online free expression, it also offers further evidence that Facebook determines what speech is permissible based on the foreign policy judgments of the United States. Last summer, for instance, Motherboard reported that Facebook similarly carved out an exception to its censorship policies in Iran, temporarily allowing users to post ''Death to Khamenei'' for a two-week period. ''I do think it is a direct response to U.S. foreign policy,'' Kayyali said of the Azov exemption. ''That has always been how the '... list works.''
(20) fiatjaf on Twitter: "A glance at some interesting thoughts on the bolt12 project and its multiple independent parts from @alexbosworth. https://t.co/6YmTo1SRbf" / Twitter
Fri, 25 Feb 2022 19:01
fiatjaf : A glance at some interesting thoughts on the bolt12 project and its multiple independent parts from @alexbosworth. https://t.co/6YmTo1SRbf
Wed Feb 23 17:54:50 +0000 2022
Fri, 25 Feb 2022 17:53
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Julie Hamill on Twitter: "Here is the literal memo to the Dems from Biden's polling firm. Declare a win over Covid and move on. I suspect CDC will get the memo. Will @GavinNewsom and @lapublichealth? We shall see. SOTU is Tuesday. https://t.co/1Enk5SIITk"
Fri, 25 Feb 2022 15:45
Julie Hamill : Here is the literal memo to the Dems from Biden's polling firm. Declare a win over Covid and move on. I suspect CDC'... https://t.co/jxtETBJ9Uy
Fri Feb 25 13:41:47 +0000 2022
Tad : @hamill_law @GavinNewsom @lapublichealth The party of #TheScience about to pivot because of polling data. How wonderfully hollow.
Fri Feb 25 15:43:13 +0000 2022
FPSMommy : @hamill_law @GavinNewsom @lapublichealth I'm sure a lot of small business owners will take issue with the ''kept sma'... https://t.co/eCFJU787pP
Fri Feb 25 15:42:18 +0000 2022
Craig Long : @hamill_law @GavinNewsom @lapublichealth I don't think they got the memo as they are requiring masks and 50% capacity for the SOTU.
Fri Feb 25 15:36:37 +0000 2022
Steve : @hamill_law @GavinNewsom @lapublichealth Wonder how much they paid for this - I could have written that in about 10'... https://t.co/bMh3KjAnKz
Fri Feb 25 15:29:49 +0000 2022
David Schroeder : @hamill_law @GavinNewsom @lapublichealth ðŸ'¯ðŸ'¯ðŸ'¯ðŸ'¯ðŸ'¯
Fri Feb 25 15:28:59 +0000 2022
Wombo Man : @hamill_law @GavinNewsom @lapublichealth This is such a bad fake'... yawn. Thumbs down for your lil conspiracy fanfic
Fri Feb 25 15:26:01 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (25) Saturday Night Live - SNL on Twitter: "''Prayer for Ukraine'' performed by Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York https://t.co/5pi2l1Olpx" / Twitter
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:35
Saturday Night Live - SNL : ''Prayer for Ukraine'' performed by Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York https://t.co/5pi2l1Olpx
Sun Feb 27 04:41:45 +0000 2022
C. : @nbcsnl 🇵🇹ðŸ'ðŸ'›ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡...
Sun Feb 27 16:34:24 +0000 2022
Jean Callison : @nbcsnl Brilliant!
Sun Feb 27 16:33:44 +0000 2022
Daniel Z. Brito : @nbcsnl @zoyashef Who asked for this?
Sun Feb 27 16:33:24 +0000 2022
Randolph Johnson : @nbcsnl NATO should defend all European Nations, regardless of whether they are members or not. The solidarity woul'... https://t.co/3NnneC9ylQ
Sun Feb 27 16:33:12 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Floridians running out of options for home insurance
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 16:27
Five insurance companies are pulling out of Florida, leaving homeowners with no choices in providers and major price increases. It is an issue that has been ongoing in Florida and with each season, is becoming worse.
Lawmakers know there is a problem and they are working on a solution that is controversial because critics say it favors insurance companies at the expense of homeowners.
A bill lawmakers are debating would allow companies to not offer replacement coverage for roofs more than 10-years-old.
WINK News asked Mark Friedlander of the Insurance Information Institute if he would do business as an insurer in Florida, ''Haha, a loaded question. Thank you. I have to compose myself for that.''
Friedlander operates out of northwest Florida but he feels the pain of the whole state.
''The state of homeowners insurance in Florida right now is in crisis, we are in serious crisis mode, where we're on a trajectory that the private insurance market could collapse,'' said Friedlander.
If that happens, Ken Skelton, and just about every other homeowner in Florida, will feel the pain.
Skelton said his insurance, ''It was almost doubled, went up. $1,700.''
Skelton's insurance company jacked up his premium.
The Insurance Information Institute says only three out of 52 insurance companies in Florida actually made a profit last year.
Friedlander said, ''every insurer is losing money, and they're losing a lot of money.''
Those 52 insurance companies writing policies in Florida lost more than $1.6 billion.
This year, fewer insurance companies will write policies in Florida because of those losses.
That is forcing more homeowners to rely on Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state's insurer of last resort.
777,000 Floridians now use Citizens Property Insurance to protect their homes. That is up 222,000 policies compared to 2020.
Florida State Senator Jeff Brandes said, ''We have to fix it via legislation, the courts are never going to fix it.''
Senator Brandes is frustrated by the fact Citizens Insurance is taking on policies at a breathtaking rate and criticized the governor for ignoring the problem.
''Yeah, property insurance is one of my big areas,'' said Brandes.
Brandes has been thinking about this for a long time. ''The state of insurances, state of Florida is it's essentially in collapse.''
A collapse that we cannot afford
''A people homeowners are going to find it very difficult to find affordable coverage going forward unless the legislature acts,'' Brandes said. ''Legislation fixes the incentive to sue your insurance company.''
Brandes believes state law makes it too easy to file suit against insurance companies.
He points to the fact Floridians filed 100,000 lawsuits against insurance companies in 2021 alone.
Friedlander, with the Insurance Information Institute, said, ''more than 90% are considered frivolous. So very few would be considered legitimate.''
Not everyone agrees with that.
''Yeah, there are some frivolous lawsuits. But for the bulk part of it, they're not. They're just denied claims. It's a numbers game for the insurance company, if they deny 10 claims, maybe one gets awarded,'' said Property Attorney Chris Ligman.
Either way, something has to give. Ligman said, ''we need to create alternative dispute resolutions so that everybody doesn't wind up in court. And these insurance companies don't end up going under because of litigation.''
State lawmakers are considering a bill that would force state-run Citizen Insurance to stop renewing policies if a private company offers a premium that is not more than 20% more than Citizens' rate.
Copyright 2022 Fort Myers Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written consent.
VIDEO - Pfizer Vaccine Becomes DNA in Liver Cells. (In-vitro Swedish Study) - YouTube
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 15:39
VIDEO - (21) Zach Vorhies on Twitter: "Moderna President get's called out on Fox for having the same genetic sequence patented 3 years before the pandemic. https://t.co/JpN6JZjTVd" / Twitter
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 15:35
Zach Vorhies : Moderna President get's called out on Fox for having the same genetic sequence patented 3 years before the pandemic. https://t.co/JpN6JZjTVd
Fri Feb 25 07:13:48 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (21) ASB News / MILITARY㽸 on Twitter: "Everyone needs to watch this on Ukraine: the legendary American political scientist John Mearsheimer predicts '-- in 2015.. exactly what will happen in Ukraine. https://t.co/DW9a3Y38fd" / Twitter
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 15:31
ASB News / MILITARY㽸 : Everyone needs to watch this on Ukraine: the legendary American political scientist John Mearsheimer predicts '-- in'... https://t.co/VcNmgQdz0e
Fri Feb 25 23:01:24 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Former Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton Discusses Russia-Ukraine On MSNBC's Morning Joe(FULL) - YouTube
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 15:07
VIDEO - 10 Steps To Protect YOUR Money From Massive Coming Changes - YouTube
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 13:51
VIDEO - The West's response to Russia-Ukraine Conflict so far |John Mearsheimer - YouTube
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 13:39
VIDEO - Russia Liberation of Ukraine Feb.24, 2022 - Romeo Romania Discussion - Putin, Zelenskyy, Donbass - YouTube
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 12:58
VIDEO - Ned Prices loses to AP reporter Matt Lee'... '' CITIZEN FREE PRESS
Sun, 27 Feb 2022 12:54
Maybe if reporters like this one had been doing their jobs to begin with, we wouldn't be where we are today. Just a thought.
Vote Up 4 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 1:24 pm
The obvious question still goes unasked'... Why do you suck so badly at playing government?
Vote Up 3 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 12:58 pm
Ned Prices loses to AP reporter Matt Lee Daily'...'...'...'...'...'...'...
Vote Up 4 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 11:37 am
There are a bunch of children with feminine women's studies degrees running the American government. This is unsustainable!
Vote Up 5 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 11:21 am
Meanwhile, we import 600,000 barrels of Russian oil everyday. Biden '-- on Day One '-- shut down the Keystone Pipeline, which would've brought 832,000 barrels of crude to the U.S. a day.
Vote Up 5 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 10:44 am
I believe we imported 63,000,000 barrels from Russia in the last 12 months.
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 11:02 am
Yes '' it's 63 millions barrels. For reference, In 2020, the United States consumed an average of about 18.19 million barrels of petroleum per day, or a total of about 6.66 billion barrels of petroleum. This was the lowest level of annual consumption since 1995.Sep 7, 2021
Vote Up 1 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 11:04 am
The aroma of this BS made me vomit.
Vote Up 2 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 9:22 am
Matt Lee should be at the podium and pencil-neck Price should be sitting with the obsequious reporters.
Vote Up 5 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 9:02 am
honestly, i almost feel sorry for that pencil-neck. when he first started you could see the usual arrogance wherein he thought the aura of his title and position would awe people in to submission. now he is not only in over his head, he *knows* he's in over his head. i picture part of his daily routine is staring at his resume, trying to work up the courage to push the ''post'' button, dreaming of moving on to a Matt-Lee-Free-Zone '' then sighing and going out to film another day of getting hit in the face with a fish.
Vote Up 8 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 8:42 am
Protect your children from the vegan. He is likely a closet carnivore who deprives himself until he cannot stand it any more. You will see, you will see, you will see. STOP interrupting the man asking questions.
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 8:13 am
It's called journalism'.... a lost art, sadly.
Vote Up 3 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 8:02 am
A Republic. If You can keep it.
Another corrupt to the bone soyboy in the Biden admin. No one is surprised.
Vote Up 9 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 6:01 am
Did Price just ask him to report by using his imagination?! (facepalm/smh) IOW, so do what the rest of the MSM has always done.
Vote Up 1 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 5:56 am
What a joke. These sanctions mean nothing.
Vote Up 7 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 5:22 am
Vote Up 1 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 1:04 am
Beata Soy Boy
Vote Up 4 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 1:03 am
These metrosexual talking heads are in positions of power. WTF happened? Communist public school indoctrination. It started in the late 1960s.
Vote Up 11 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 11:49 pm
In other words, it's all flash no substance. And that is no surprise coming from the US Dept of State.
Vote Up 2 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 9:50 pm
This pinhead was an intelligence officer? God help us'....
Vote Up 11 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 9:30 pm
That's why he's not an intelligence officer anymore. He's unintelligent.
Vote Up 2 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 9:51 pm
This DUNDERHEAD'...wat?..''SAFETY of AMERICA'' went out the door on day one when Joey OPENED our SOUTHERN BORDER!
Vote Up 8 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 8:51 pm
Our national Interest as the Kleptocrats define them
Vote Up 1 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 8:39 pm
Does Ned ever get tired of being Matt's bitch?
Vote Up 5 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 8:28 pm
No. He likes being on bottom.
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 10:43 pm
Nuke button: Cameltoe is bunkered; then Nancy
They all have the same speech therapist '' same way of emphasising key words, same condescending attitude, same impenetrable lack of personality, same sounding prose. They all had the same teacher and practice reciting news together in a room, hour after hour, being wound up for the public. I'm guessing in a WEF classroom funded by your tax dollars and supervised by Killary's puppeteers.
Vote Up 6 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 8:20 pm
Nuke button: Cameltoe is bunkered; then Nancy
Wag the Dog, much.
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 8:21 pm
They do not seem to be able to give a straight answer to a direct question.
Vote Up 1 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 8:06 am
Nuke button: Cameltoe is bunkered; then Nancy
This guy shares his safe space with Trudeau.
Vote Up 2 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 8:15 pm
Vote Up 9 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 8:04 pm
Ned Price proves once again, he's completely in over his head'... His Kamala word salads work just as well as hers but She never gets challenged.
Vote Up 12 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 7:59 pm
Obfuscation is his mission. Hmmmm what would Jay Carney do?
Vote Up 5 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 7:50 pm
Congratulations, Ned. You are two IQ points north of Raggedy Ann and four north of AOC!!!
Vote Up 16 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 7:35 pm
Maybe single digit I.q., but. It's a high single digit!
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 6:29 am
I like this AP guy. I assume he will be banned from the press room shortly.
Vote Up 11 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 7:25 pm
Too bad he isn't getting the chance to question the White House this vigorously.
Vote Up 3 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 8:13 pm
My God, what a effeminate little woke sissy, it's no wonder why Putin felt emboldened and safe to attack the West.
Vote Up 18 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 7:22 pm
I think Biden did that all by himself.
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 8:11 am
Vote Up 10 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 7:10 pm
These people are all clones. Thank God for the people who are challenging and exposing them for the academic fakes that they are.
Vote Up 9 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 7:08 pm
Matt Lee has had major health issues for years'....and finally succumbed to those unfortunate health issues.
Just sayin '...do not be surprised.
The 'Clinton Way' has shown to be very successful over the last 4 decades.
Vote Up 4 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:58 pm
I've not seen Matt Lee in front of Peppermint Patty. I wonder why? (sarcasm intended)
Vote Up 4 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:58 pm
Is he related to Psaki or has he just had the same training?
Vote Up 2 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:55 pm
Matt Lee once again runs circles around the mental midget 👏👏👏 He hadNed sighing , tongue tied , spewing word salads and wishing he'd called in sick! 🤣
Vote Up 9 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:49 pm
The Xiden Regime Clowns are for certain from the Top Of The List '.... of Asshos '... 🂠🂠ðŸ‚
Vote Up 3 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:49 pm
Matt Lee you Russian troll you. War is hell. War is not always avoidable. There are many kinds of warfare that destroy lives and cause deaths, but the 100k that died last year from drugs crossing the Southern border are not the focus of the puppet regime here in the USA. No cbp is being sidelined to help with Ukraine while the fentynl keeps coming in.
Vote Up 2 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:48 pm
Neville Chamberlin
Vote Up 3 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:46 pm
When the MSM finally figures this is sham government. They are really F@$^ed.
Vote Up 1 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:45 pm
Sorry to be critical..but you must me smarter than that. The MSM well knows, and is part of, our current Sham government!
Vote Up 4 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 7:01 pm
I have to disagree with you. This not the smartest people in the room. They just thought they were. That's why we have Brandon today. FJB/LGB
Vote Up -1 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 7:07 pm
See! They have made a deal with Putin and offered up Ukraine to him so that he can deliver a war for them (right on cue) so they can distract (they hope) from what they've done, which is murder millions with their poison jab. These elite are beyond pure evil. Our own govt is being run by thieving, illegitimate, communist, traitors.
Vote Up 14 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:45 pm
I spoke to a few dipshits today and they had no idea Russia invaded Ukraine. Keep smoking your pot bro'...
Vote Up 8 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:42 pm
Price = pencil necked yes man
Vote Up 5 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:40 pm
Is just one person even minimally qualified in the Biden Regime? Just one name one please?
Vote Up 21 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:38 pm
Hunter seems to be doing well as the Artist in Residence'....
Vote Up 2 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:47 pm
Such a smart young innocent tike.
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:52 pm
Wait, I think they put him in charge of The Crack Pipe Distribution Program so, there's that too ðŸ‚
Vote Up 4 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:55 pm
Every one of them are very qualified you imbecile!
Sorry about that, I thought you said the Xiden Regime. Sarc Button was stuck for a bit!
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 7:04 pm
So long story short, we can't shut off 500 billion barrels per day coming in from Russia overnight. Maybe we should consider finishing keystone Pipeline and allow fracking on public lands again???
Vote Up 10 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:36 pm
500*million barrels
Vote Up 4 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:36 pm
Nope gotta keep bleeding ourselves out to empower our enemies.
This administration would rather pay higher prices and now it sounds like paying Iran, then employee and pay Americans to extract our own natural resources.
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:45 pm
The elite wants to save natural resources for 2030
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 26, 2022 8:37 am
Who? No seriously, who? Other than Hyena Ho Harris and Rachiddity Ann, aka Jen ''ball, hacky'' Psaki, I couldn't name one person in the Bi-dumb regime.
Vote Up 2 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:34 pm
Wait. Eurovision Song Contest is actually a real thing?I thought it was just another silly Will Ferrell movie.
Vote Up 1 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:32 pm
This guy is in so far over his head.
Vote Up 6 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:30 pm
He's not running the show. He is told what to do and is the perfect puppet because he has dementia. Susan Rice, Obama, Soros, Schwab/Davos are pulling the strings.
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:45 pm
He's Hilarious as he serial lies
Vote Up 4 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:28 pm
Ukraine delivers the methane gas to Europe. Think about the truckers and you'll know who is dispensable.
Vote Up 2 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:27 pm
In my family I'm the one that delivers the methane gas
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:45 pm
It is a gift.
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:51 pm
Vote Up 0 Vote Down Reply
February 25, 2022 6:24 pm
VIDEO - Liz Wheeler on Twitter: "I literally can't believe Joy Behar said this. https://t.co/IsNy6TA6Oc" / Twitter
Fri, 25 Feb 2022 22:33
Liz Wheeler : I literally can't believe Joy Behar said this. https://t.co/IsNy6TA6Oc
Thu Feb 24 23:18:34 +0000 2022
Carolroswell : @Liz_Wheeler Not surprising I'm am really shocked she made it to her age being so stupid!
Fri Feb 25 22:31:43 +0000 2022
Scott VLentine Brother : @Liz_Wheeler SUNNY. An afghan
Fri Feb 25 22:29:45 +0000 2022
Jersey Jack : @Liz_Wheeler How can she be on a show? https://t.co/dduKttBPuW
Fri Feb 25 22:29:31 +0000 2022
Scott VLentine Brother : @Liz_Wheeler She's in her 80's & early Alzheimers ðŸ" 🂠🤣 🐠JOY GO HOME!!
Fri Feb 25 22:29:18 +0000 2022
Wayne Gower : @Liz_Wheeler Thoughts are with Joy and her family at this time. God bless you.
Fri Feb 25 22:28:06 +0000 2022
Political Winter : @Liz_Wheeler Wow. That is the left in a nutshell: It only matters if it affects me. I stand with Defund Police crow'... https://t.co/lwRWXEu0Qc
Fri Feb 25 22:25:52 +0000 2022
Joellen : @Liz_Wheeler Most of the country can
Fri Feb 25 22:25:37 +0000 2022
Jane Doe.Doge : @Liz_Wheeler It was a very narcissistic thought ðŸ'­
Fri Feb 25 22:24:49 +0000 2022
Jes : @Liz_Wheeler Terrible.
Fri Feb 25 22:23:46 +0000 2022
Terri Rasmussen : @Liz_Wheeler Always showing who she is. View sucks as always. Get rid of her and Woop Woop
Fri Feb 25 22:23:45 +0000 2022
sherry rinck : @Liz_Wheeler wow all that lady with the glasses is worried about is wanting trips to europe lol
Fri Feb 25 22:22:55 +0000 2022
pete peters : @Liz_Wheeler Priorities
Fri Feb 25 22:21:57 +0000 2022
FEDUPvet : @Liz_Wheeler What a self absorbing karen, how is this show still.on?? Soo much negativity and whinning.#canceltheview
Fri Feb 25 22:21:54 +0000 2022
Russ : @Liz_Wheeler Be careful. The more you watch this monstrosity the stupider you become.
Fri Feb 25 22:10:54 +0000 2022
Joseph Rio : @Liz_Wheeler She seems to be that sort of person.
Fri Feb 25 22:08:11 +0000 2022
Crystal : @Liz_Wheeler Wow insensitive af
Fri Feb 25 22:06:08 +0000 2022
JSK : @Liz_Wheeler Im not at all surprised
Fri Feb 25 22:03:07 +0000 2022
veronica coronado : @Liz_Wheeler Can't you though?
Fri Feb 25 22:02:03 +0000 2022
Sonia L : @Liz_Wheeler https://t.co/wbmqUQ8W4q
Fri Feb 25 21:58:56 +0000 2022
Kimberly Sebastian : @Liz_Wheeler Could Joy be any more shallow! I don't watch this show.
Fri Feb 25 21:56:48 +0000 2022
Geoffrey Jones : @Liz_Wheeler Heartless Karen.
Fri Feb 25 21:52:31 +0000 2022
Norton Diaz : @Liz_Wheeler Not surprised.
Fri Feb 25 21:51:21 +0000 2022
Lisa Ambrose : @Liz_Wheeler Poor little rich girl Joy'..... not being able to take your trip while people are dying'.... You should be ashamed of yourself'....
Fri Feb 25 21:50:44 +0000 2022
Toni Glover : @Liz_Wheeler Poor Joy can't get to Italy. She's absolutely disgusting.
Fri Feb 25 21:48:07 +0000 2022
Dgreer76 : @Liz_Wheeler I thought lying black face woman said she would wear a mask at all times
Fri Feb 25 21:47:35 +0000 2022
Julianne Roach Moore : @Liz_Wheeler She is disgusting!
Fri Feb 25 21:46:45 +0000 2022
Mark Johnson : @Liz_Wheeler https://t.co/O7lRd2MuN9
Fri Feb 25 21:43:17 +0000 2022
Steve Smith : @Liz_Wheeler What an absolutely horrible person she is. One of the most heartless comments I've ever heard
Fri Feb 25 21:43:14 +0000 2022
Archduke Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph ... : @Liz_Wheeler I mean, is it surprising?
Fri Feb 25 21:42:16 +0000 2022
Carol reynolds : @Liz_Wheeler Trouble is, you never really are aware you are privileged .Joy needs to apologize and retract her insensitive remarks.
Fri Feb 25 21:41:28 +0000 2022
D Todd Sutton : @Liz_Wheeler It's called being selfish. And not caring about others
Fri Feb 25 21:39:26 +0000 2022
Billyraybob (He/Haw) : @Liz_Wheeler ðŸðŸ¼ prayers for Joy. The real victim in all of this
Fri Feb 25 21:36:24 +0000 2022
montereykimmie : @Liz_Wheeler @WhoopiGoldberg "YEAH" "YEAH" "YEAH" Is that all you are allowed to say now??
Fri Feb 25 21:27:53 +0000 2022
ΑρÎ"υριÎς ÎεÎφιÎ>>ης : @Liz_Wheeler Does anyone listen to Joy Behar?
Fri Feb 25 21:27:12 +0000 2022
Ekgavras : @Liz_Wheeler White privilege, much?
Fri Feb 25 21:23:45 +0000 2022
Dav jones : @Liz_Wheeler hey bohair hotair we'll send u over with a one way ticket...
Fri Feb 25 21:22:46 +0000 2022
Raymond Forrey : @Liz_Wheeler Poor begatðŸ'(C)ðŸ'(C)ðŸ'(C)🤥
Fri Feb 25 21:19:33 +0000 2022
Susie Terry : @Liz_Wheeler Oh my God, what was I thinking? Here I am just all wrapped up in the devastation and lives lost in Uk'... https://t.co/Nen65oOXyO
Fri Feb 25 21:18:24 +0000 2022
akroncrackronohio : @Liz_Wheeler who eeeeeeeeven listens to what any chick on this show has to say anyways?????
Fri Feb 25 21:17:19 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Telegram: Contact @TheStormHasArrived17
Fri, 25 Feb 2022 15:43
Don't have Telegram yet? Try it now! Context Embed View In Channel Copy
VIDEO - (13) Leana Wen, M.D. on Twitter: "New study shows that covid school closures affected cognitive and motor development in preschoolers. Learning loss is most pronounced in kids most at risk. We must focus on keeping kids in school and on closing ed
Fri, 25 Feb 2022 14:41
Leana Wen, M.D. : New study shows that covid school closures affected cognitive and motor development in preschoolers. Learning loss'... https://t.co/6Xy2S4XQIt
Wed Feb 23 22:08:15 +0000 2022
KickSmark My Heart : @DrLeanaWen @biannagolodryga You know, It's so refreshing to be proven right time and time again after years of bei'... https://t.co/7EAeH34CtO
Fri Feb 25 14:39:31 +0000 2022
The Average Joe : @DrLeanaWen @biannagolodryga How about you stay home and let those that were warning of this all along lead our res'... https://t.co/jniZwSRDNH
Fri Feb 25 14:25:35 +0000 2022
Barry Lawhorn : @DrLeanaWen @biannagolodryga Day late and a year short. We already knew that.
Fri Feb 25 13:53:26 +0000 2022
Nolenut19 : @DrLeanaWen @biannagolodryga Hasn't Dr Atlas been screaming this from the roof top while you and your friends said he was a danger?
Fri Feb 25 13:17:25 +0000 2022
Michael Mena : @DrLeanaWen @biannagolodryga How you have not been arrested is beyond me.
Fri Feb 25 13:05:32 +0000 2022


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Audio Clips

CNN Pooper re-evaluating Biden.mp3
Moderna President Bancel get's called out by Money Honey for having the same genetic sequence patented 3 years before the pandemic.mp3
Pfizer Vaccine Becomes DNA in Liver Cells. (In-vitro Swedish Study).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - 26 billion dollar opiod settlement (25sec).mp3
BIS Pesident on CBDC special advantages in tracking etc.mp3
Floridians running out of options for home insurance.mp3
China initiastive 4.mp3
China initiastive One npr.mp3
CPACX Summary Kennedy.mp3
Erin Burnett in Ukraine 3 hungry.mp3
Erin Burnett in Ukraine one.mp3
Erin Burnett in Ukraine two range.mp3
FOMO Ads NPR.mp3
FOMO Nft.mp3
Germany supplying arms to Ukraine.mp3
Hemp cakes.mp3
ISO Barbaric.mp3
ISO chills.mp3
KB Jackson nominated.mp3
Macron vs Nukes in Belarus.mp3
Pam Brown and colonel CNN.mp3
Poland crossing Ukraine 2 NPR.mp3
Poland crossing Ukraine NPR.mp3
Post Office crap cars.mp3
RT blocked.mp3
RT news tibits reukraine.mp3
RT on negotiations and plaqn.mp3
RT opening rundown.mp3
Russia sanctions plus clip AlJ.mp3
Shelling on Rostok RT.mp3
Ukraine rundown 2 AlJ.mp3
Ukraine rundown AlJ.mp3
Van deleyen 2 golden passports RT.mp3
Van deleyen 3 counter RT.mp3
Van deleyen pulls plug on Russia RT.mp3
zelensky 18-60 to stay.mp3
Alex Jones Trailer for CNN.mp3
China initiastive 2 npr.mp3
China initiastive 3.mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Mola Lange - new CDC mask guidance (1min40sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Whit Johnson - districts dropping mask mandates (18sec).mp3
ABC GMA - anchor Col. Steve Ganyard - (1) russia hasnt surrounded kyiv yet (53sec).mp3
ABC GMA - anchor Col. Steve Ganyard - (2) ukrainians celebrating holding out (1min1sec).mp3
ABC GMA - anchor Ian Panell - ukraine mounting a solid defense (1min30sec).mp3
ABC News Special Report Ukraine Russia Crisis (13sec).mp3
American political scientist John Mearsheimer predicts — in 2015.. exactly what will happen in Ukraine.mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - A. Blinken (1) will kyiv fall to russia (25sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - A. Blinken (2) putin wants a new soviet union (33sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - A. Blinken (3) accidently attack draw US in (25sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - A. Blinken (4) did putin mean nuclear strike (35sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - A. Blinken (5) cut off oil and gas purchases (27sec).mp3
CBS Evening -Good Opener- anchor Weijia Jiang - sanctions against putin himself (1min29sec).mp3
CIA shill Gen Jack Keane promotes the idea of new Victoria Newland style Ukraine Coup on Fox.mp3
Matt Lee questioning Ned n exemptions which is huge.mp3
Russian kicked out of the Eurovison song contest.mp3
Sky News Headlines preview - Same woman on all front pages.mp3
SNL - Prayer for Ukraine performed by Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York.mp3
ABC GMA - anchor Dierdre Bolton - facebook taking action against russia (1min18sec).mp3
BBC - former US Ambassador to Russia MIchael McFaul .mp3
BBC - Russian Vs US View Ukraine-Russian MP Fatali Melanoff.mp3
CSPAN Calls - this will be a nuclear holocaust (29sec).mp3
TikTokker says it's not about Gas, but Water to Crimea.mp3
Biden’s sanctions WTF moment.mp3
BillBrowder on Putin CRONIE sanctions.mp3
Ursula van der Leyen - SWIFT - Statement on further measures to react to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.mp3
WSJ - anchor Sabrina Siddiqui - Biden why not SWIFT sanctions (30sec).mp3
ABC GMA - anchor MaryAlice Parks - key russian banks cut from SWIFT system (58sec).mp3
Clinton Russia MSNBC -1- We need to call out those at home supporting Putin.mp3
Clinton Russia MSNBC -2- It's Trump's fault [with Joe intro question].mp3
Clinton Russia MSNBC -3- Sanctions on yachts and airplanes talking point.mp3
Clinton Russia MSNBC -4- What we can do - Techno Experts.mp3
Hillary Putin Dyke.mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Whit Johnson - DC security ahead of SOTU address (26sec).mp3
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