1478: Flexitarianism

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 19m
August 18th, 2022
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Executive Producers: Sir Onymous of Dogpatch and Lower Slobbovia, Sir B Pop of the Commie state of Colorado, Thomas Pears, Kyle Allen, Craig Clifford of Communist Canada, Mark Hardwick, Kevin Piercy https://gofund.me/6b61d0fb, Matthew Vandermar, Stamatina Hunter, Anonymous, Brandy Lees, Sir Cal, of Lavender Blossoms

Associate Executive Producers: Steve Webb The OG Godcaster, Kristi Jensen, Baroness Monica, Anonymous

Cover Artist: Tante Neel


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Ukraine & Russia
Mandates & Boosters
Children forced vaxx parents BOTG
Hi Adam,
Your discussion on Sunday was interestingly timed with something my good friend is going through now.
She gave birth to a new human resource a couple of weeks ago and wants only the most necessary vaccinations for her daughter. After she declined to let them give the baby a hepatitis B shot at 5 days old, the pediatrician “wrote her up” and threatened to DROP her baby as a patient if she kept resisting more shots.
The idea that parents are being treated like misbehaved schoolchildren scares me, particularly as someone still on the fence about having human resources of my own.
Thank you for covering these important topics and letting me share this with you,
Lady Butters
Rockland County NY same playbook as MMR and COVID
I figured I’d send you a quick note regarding the polio clip from show 1478 that mentioned my home county, Rockland NY. This is not the first time that you have had a clip mentioning Rockland; we had a measles “outbreak” just before the lockdowns if I remember correctly, which you guys covered. The Mainstream Media has implied in their reporting in both cases that these diseases somehow originated here, however, they were in fact brought here from other places and only found once those people returned home. Furthermore, these cases are what the WHO and CDC calls Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus or VDPV; they are live polio cases caused directly by the polio vaccine. I do not pretend to know how this works, but I have included links to the relevant WHO and CDC articles concerning this.
Rockland has one of the largest Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities in the world, and for religious reasons, many of them choose not to accept any “jab” into their lives (rightly so), including polio and measles vaccines. This is why religious exemption was such a big issue here in NY. Because of the amount of travel between Rockland and the middle east (Israel in particular), we do occasionally have cases of measles here from time to time, so I am not surprised that this Polio virus has made the jump also. Usually our measles cases are contained pretty quickly and do not spread much, and I expect that this polio will be the same.
Having a polio “outbreak” here is especially ironic, since the polio vaccine was developed here in Rockland, at the former Lederle Laboratories (which became Pfizer Laboratories later on) in Pearl River, NY. They used to have a sign claiming that it was the “Polio Vaccine Capital of the World”.
Thanks for the great work, and I hope that you find this information useful!
Andy P.
Disney in Schools BOTG
I work for a MN (it’s not the Minneapolis one) school district, but not as a teacher thank goodness. My position is more in line with an IT specialist, but instead I run the theatre.
Doesn’t stop me from getting emailed with stuff like this:
“ Hey Everyone!
Hope you are all having a great summer. I had a teacher send me this article on Creating a Gender-Inclusive Classroom and thought I would send it to those who are interested. It is not super long and contains great information!”
Last little blurb.
Had to attended an educators conference for some theatre stuff. One of the classes ended up being about choosing shows to perform based on equity. Yikes. It was an hour and a half about how good the presenter had it coaching Broadway performers, yet, her college and high school years were some of the most traumatic experiences she had been thru. The trauma was rooted in her being one of a few black women in the theatre programs she was in. Kept asking questions that we could “consent to answer” like how many BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ members we had in our respective programs. Worst part about it is when she finally got to the “safe” musicals you could pick, it was all Disney shit. This is a nice native ad, because Disney partnered with the local theatre trust that runs this event (and a lot of the downtown theatres) to bring more Disney shows to the school stages. I recorded the lecture, but haven’t clipped it because it was so aimless mostly. If you think you’d want a copy of the lecture, or maybe some highlights lemme know and I’ll send them.
Go comrades!
Food Intelligence
Reset the Table: Meeting the Moment to Transform the U.S. Food System - The Rockefeller Foundation
Food Processing Magazine - a lot of ads for machine to detect micro particles of metal
Great Reset
Climate Change
Energy & Inflation
Inflation Reduction Act Airlines Subsidy
Did you know the “Inflation Reduction Act” included up to $1.75 per gallon for airline fuel subsidies if they use SAF? Of course SAF is more like a unicorn than a real fuel source, so I should not be too worried about taxpayers paying $1.75/gallon just for American Airlines 997 million gallons burned in the second quarter alone. That would be a $7 billion annualized subsidy just to one of the many airlines.
Monkey Pox & Polio
Lab vs Bat
German army will patrol the streets from October 1, but why? - Martin Vrijland
October 1 through April 2023 - Germany new vax every three months or test no older than 12 hours
Prime Time Purge
Big Pharma
M5M SSRI Campaign
'Snip Snip Hooray': Vasectomies Among the Young and Child-Free May Be Rising '' DNyuz
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:54
In March, Mike Pridgen, a 28-year-old comedian based in New Jersey, got a vasectomy and posted the process on TikTok. His doctor, off camera, can be heard saying ''little pinch here'' and Mr. Pridgen winces, his eyes shut tight behind his glasses, bracing for pain.
''Oh,'' Mr. Pridgen says. ''That's not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.''
That video has now been viewed more than two million times and the response has been overwhelmingly positive, he said. The comments, which were mostly from women, were celebratory and encouraging. They thanked him for ''sharing his journey'' and for encouraging other men to do the same.
Vasectomy, a quick, outpatient surgical procedure that cuts the tubes that carry sperm, is one of the most reliable and cost-effective forms of contraception available '-- with almost none of the side effects or complications of birth control methods that are geared toward women. Yet, it has remained relatively rare: in the United States, an estimated 500,000 men get the procedure each year. Some surveys suggest roughly 5 to 6 percent of men between 18 and 45 have gotten the procedure, as opposed to roughly 20 percent of women aged 15 to 49 who have gotten their tubes tied.
Middle-aged, married fathers make up the bulk of those who have gotten vasectomies, with less than two percent of unmarried men relying on vasectomy for contraception, according to one analysis of data between 2002 and 2015 by the Department of Health and Human Services.
That might be starting to change. In interviews with The New York Times, 10 urologists across the United States said they have seen a notable uptick in bookings for the procedure this summer '-- especially among younger, child-free men, whose resolve to not reproduce appears to have sharpened in the face of a precarious economy, worsening climate change, and a more restrictive family planning landscape. The weekend after the Supreme Court's decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, Google reported that searches for ''vasectomy'' and ''are vasectomies reversible?'' surged.
It is still unclear whether the increased interest in vasectomies is a blip '-- or the beginning of a long-term trend that could foster greater acceptance of the procedure.
An Uneven LandscapeOne reason men have steered clear of vasectomy as a form of voluntary birth control was, experts said, a traditional concept of masculinity '-- one that prized virility and the ability to get a woman pregnant.
Additionally, because most available birth control options '-- from the pill to I.U.D.s '-- are designed for women, there is a default social expectation that in heterosexual relationships, contraception is a woman's responsibility, said Krystale Littlejohn, a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and the author of ''Just Get On the Pill.''
''We're so used to women and people who get pregnant shouldering the responsibility for preventing pregnancy that when we see men becoming interested, it's seen as some kind of exceptional thing,'' Ms. Littlejohn said.
Dr. Brian Nguyen, an ob-gyn and the founder of Emerge Lab, a research organization that educates men about reproductive health, pointed out that who gets a vasectomy is also often determined by education levels, race and geographic access, since most urologists are concentrated in urban areas. The procedure '-- and a reversal, which is not always successful '-- can also be expensive without insurance. ''We have to also recognize that the underutilization of vasectomy is a systems issue,'' he said.
A 'Notable' Shift''When I started doing vasectomies, about 40 years ago, if you went to a cocktail party and you brought up the subject of vasectomy, everybody might have looked at you a little weird,'' said Dr. Doug Stein, a urologist and co-owner of several clinics in Florida. But the young men who called in to his clinics in July expressed that it was ''time for them to step up'' and take birth control into their own hands '-- a ''notable'' attitude shift, Dr. Stein said, that may be indicative of a wider trend of men taking more responsibility for family planning.
External circumstances can also nudge men into getting vasectomies. In 2008, the Great Recession drove a marked increase in demand. ''When the economy was bad and money was a major problem, people were less interested in having children,'' said Dr. Marc Goldstein, a professor and urologist at the Weill Cornell Urology department. An analysis published in 2014, using economic data from 2001 to 2011, found the higher the unemployment rate, the more vasectomies were performed per month.
Now, many young couples are facing yet another economic recession, as well as a spiraling climate crisis and fallout from the pandemic, both of which researchers say may further accelerate the United States' declining birthrate. A 2020 poll by Morning Consult found that almost 40 percent of millennials cited the cost of raising a child as a major reason for why they're not parents and several recent surveys, including one published in 2020, have found that climate anxiety is increasingly shaping reproductive choices.
''It is damn near impossible to raise a child, financially, in this country at this point. It's also not particularly safe,'' Mr. Pridgen, the comedian, said. ''Every day, you turn on the news, it feels as though this country is burning. So why would I want to bring a child into this?''
Roe Was the 'Final Straw'Against the backdrop of an increasingly difficult environment to raise children, having fewer family planning options in a post-Roe world was ''the nail in the coffin,'' for many young men who recently scheduled a vasectomy, Dr. Stein said. In April, May and June, 38 young, child-free men got vasectomies at his clinics, making up 4.6 percent of his clients. In the weeks after the ruling, that number more than doubled to 63 men. He added that most said they had been on the fence for a few years, but the Supreme Court decision was ''the final straw.''
Other urologists interviewed for this article reported similar trends. Before the Supreme Court decision, Dr. Johnny Hickson, a urologist in Oklahoma, said he had expected some increased interest in vasectomies if abortion was further restricted but ''I didn't expect it to be this stark, this fast.'' His clinic now sees 22 patients per day, up from about 5 to 10 a day at the start of the year, and many of his new clients are child-free.
A physician at the Ohio State University medical center said the clinic would be opening up more time slots to meet the increased demand and clinics in Utah and Kansas are booked until October with unusually high numbers of patients.
Dr. Esgar Guarin, a vasectomy surgeon in Iowa, said that in June, 6 of his patients were child-free. In July, that number surged to 25, representing over a third of all his patients. A majority of those child-free men were below the age of 30.
When he asked his patients why they were turning to the procedure, they said they had been thinking about it for years. ''And my follow up question is 'but why now?''' Dr. Guarin said. ''And they'll say, 'well, the Supreme Court.'''
In the past, it seemed to take a publicity campaign to get men talking about vasectomy. Dr. Stein helped create ''World Vasectomy Day'' in 2013. There were also ''brosectomies'' for men to get snipped together and ''March Madness'' became known as vasectomy season because patients could recover on the couch while watching basketball.
Today, posts online about the procedure are further opening up the conversation. TikTok videos with the hashtag #vasectomy have been viewed more than 500 million times. The hashtag #snipsniphooray, viewed more than 20 million times, brings up videos from the last few months of women making elaborate care packages for their partners who are getting vasectomies, creating baskets full of regular snacks refashioned into innuendoes (a box of Ding Dongs, for example, reads ''Sorry about your ding dongs.'') On Tinder, mentions of the phrase ''vasectomy'' in dating profiles surged this year by more than five times compared to last year, according to a spokeswoman for the dating platform.
Six days after the Supreme Court decision, Daddy's Dogs, a hot dog truck based in Nashville, Tenn., announced on Instagram that it would be running a 'Snip for Shake' deal, offering free milkshakes to men who can prove they have had a vasectomy. Through the entire month of July, close to 100 men showed up, many of them young and many straight from the clinic, doctor's notes in hand, said co-founder Sean Porter.
''The generation before us was like, 'Don't mess with my manhood.' Nowadays, it's not such a crazy thing for guys to do,'' Mr. Porter said. ''I think the stigma is starting to break.''
The post 'Snip Snip Hooray': Vasectomies Among the Young and Child-Free May Be Rising appeared first on New York Times.
A parasitological evaluation of edible insects and their role in the transmission of parasitic diseases to humans and animals - PMC
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:51
Journal List PLoS One PMC6613697 PLoS One. 2019; 14(7): e0219303.
Remigiusz GałÄcki,
Data curation
Formal analysis
Funding acquisition
Project administration
Writing '' original draft
Writing '' review & editing
1,* and
Rajmund Sok"ł,
Writing '' review & editing
2Remigiusz GałÄcki1Department of Veterinary Prevention and Feed Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland
Rajmund Sok"ł2Department of Parasitology and Invasive Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland
Pedro L. Oliveira, Editor
1Department of Veterinary Prevention and Feed Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland
2Department of Parasitology and Invasive Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL
Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Received 2019 Mar 19; Accepted 2019 Jun 20.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
This article has been
cited by other articles in PMC.
AbstractFrom 1 January 2018 came into force Regulation (EU) 2015/2238 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015, introducing the concept of ''novel foods'', including insects and their parts. One of the most commonly used species of insects are: mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), house crickets (Acheta domesticus), cockroaches (Blattodea) and migratory locusts (Locusta migrans). In this context, the unfathomable issue is the role of edible insects in transmitting parasitic diseases that can cause significant losses in their breeding and may pose a threat to humans and animals. The aim of this study was to identify and evaluate the developmental forms of parasites colonizing edible insects in household farms and pet stores in Central Europe and to determine the potential risk of parasitic infections for humans and animals. The experimental material comprised samples of live insects (imagines) from 300 household farms and pet stores, including 75 mealworm farms, 75 house cricket farms, 75 Madagascar hissing cockroach farms and 75 migrating locust farms. Parasites were detected in 244 (81.33%) out of 300 (100%) examined insect farms. In 206 (68.67%) of the cases, the identified parasites were pathogenic for insects only; in 106 (35.33%) cases, parasites were potentially parasitic for animals; and in 91 (30.33%) cases, parasites were potentially pathogenic for humans. Edible insects are an underestimated reservoir of human and animal parasites. Our research indicates the important role of these insects in the epidemiology of parasites pathogenic to vertebrates. Conducted parasitological examination suggests that edible insects may be the most important parasite vector for domestic insectivorous animals. According to our studies the future research should focus on the need for constant monitoring of studied insect farms for pathogens, thus increasing food and feed safety.
IntroductionThe growing demand for easily digestible and nutritious foods has contributed to the emergence of new food sources in agricultural processing. Edible insects are one such category of under-utilized foods with a high nutritional value [1]. Insects are farmed for direct consumption and for use in the production of foods and feeds [2]. The concept of ''novel foods'', including insects and their parts, has been introduced by Regulation (EU) 2015/2238 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on novel foods, which came into force on 1 January 2018. The growing popularity of exotic pets has also increased the demand for novel foods. However, edible insects are often infected by pathogens and parasites which cause significant production losses [3]. These pathogens also pose an indirect threat for humans, livestock and exotic animals. The majority of insect farming enterprises in the world are household businesses, and in Europe edible insects are rarely produced on a large scale. In European Union, entomophagy is rare, and it is regarded as a cultural taboo [4]. More than 1900 species of insects are considered to be edible. The most popular edible insects include mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) [5], house crickets (Acheta domesticus) [4], cockroaches (Blattodea) [6] and migratory locusts (Locusta migrans) [4].
Mealworms are beetles of the family Tenebrionidae. Adult beetles are generally 13-20 mm in length, and larvae have a length of around 30 mm. During their short life cycle of 1-2 months, females lay around 500 eggs. One of the largest mealworm suppliers in the world is HaoCheng Mealworm Inc. which produces 50 tons of live insects per month and exports 200,000 tons of dried insects per year [7]. Mealworms are used in human and animal nutrition, and they are a popular food source for exotic pets, including reptiles and insectivores. The nutritional value of mealworm larvae is comparable to that of meat and chicken eggs [8]. Mealworms are easy to store and transport. They are abundant in highly available nutrients and are regarded as a highly promising source of feed in poultry and fish breeding. Mealworms can also be administered to pets and livestock [4]. The popularity of mealworms consumption by humans is on the rise especially in Europe. Mealworms effectively degrade biological waste and polystyrene foam [9]. The most common mealworm parasites include Gregarine spp., Hymenolepis diminuta and mites of the family Acaridae. Mealworms are model insects in parasitological research [10''12].
The house cricket (A. domesticus) has a length of up to 19 mm, and its life cycle spans 2-3 months. It is a source of food for reptiles, amphibians and captive bred arachnids, including spiders of the family Theraphosidae. House crickets are consumed by humans in powdered form or as protein extracts [13, 14]. Whole crickets are consumed directly in Thailand [1]. These insects are frequently infested by Nosema spp., Gregarine spp. and Steinernema spp.
Cockroaches of the order Blattodea include the German cockroach (Blattella germanica), American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), Cuban burrowing cockroach (Byrsotria fumigata), Madagascar hissing cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa), speckled cockroach (Nauphoeta cinerea), Turkestan cockroach (Shelfordella lateralis) and oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis). Cockroaches can live for up to 12 months, and the largest individuals reach up to 8 cm in length. Cockroaches are increasingly popular in human nutrition, and they are a part of the local cuisine in various regions of the world [15].
Migratory locusts are members of the family Acrididae, order Orthoptera. Insects have up to 9 cm in length and live for up to 3 months. Locusts are consumed by amphibians, reptiles and humans, mainly in Africa and Asia. Locusts contain up to 28% protein and 11.5% fat, including up to 54% of unsaturated fats [16]. Nosema spp. and Gregarine spp. are the most prevalent locust parasites [17].
The aim of this study was to identify and evaluate the developmental forms of parasites colonizing edible insects in household farms and pet stores in Central Europe and to determine the potential risk of parasitic infections for humans and animals.
Materials and methodsMaterialsThe experimental material comprised samples of live insects (imagines) from 300 household farms and pet stores, including 75 mealworm farms, 75 house cricket farms, 75 Madagascar hissing cockroach farms and 75 migrating locust farms from Czechia, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. Owners/breeders of household farms and cultures from pet stores gave permission for the study to be conducted on their insect farms. The studies were carried out in the years 2015-2018. Up to 3 farms were tested from a single location (eg. city). Farm stock was purchased from suppliers in Europe, Asia and Africa. Forty insects were obtained from every mealworm and cricket farm, and they were pooled into 4 samples of 10 insects each. Ten insects were sampled from every cockroach and locust farm, and they were analyzed individually.
MethodologyInsects were immobilized by inducing chill coma at a temperature of -30°C for 20 minutes. Hibernation was considered effective when legs, mandibles and antennae did not respond to tactile stimuli. Hibernating insects were decapitated and dissected to harvest digestive tracts. Digestive tracts were ground in a sieve and examined by Fulleborn's floatation method with Darling's solution (50% saturated NaCl solution and 50% glycerol). The samples were centrifuged at 3500 x for 5 minutes. Three specimens were obtained from every sample, and they were examined under a light microscope (at 200x, 400x and 1000x magnification). The remaining body parts were examined for the presence of parasitic larvae under the Leica M165C stereoscopic microscope (at 7.2x-120x magnification) The remaining body parts were analyzed according the method proposed by Kirkor with some modifications, by grinding body parts in a mortar with a corresponding amount of water and 0.5 ml of ether. The resulting suspensions were filtered into test tubes to separate large particles and were centrifuged at 3500x for 5 minutes. After loosening the debris plug, the top three layers of suspension were discarded. Three specimens were obtained, and they were analyzed according to the procedure described above. Parasites were identified to genus/species level based on morphological and morphometric parameters with the use of an Olympus image acquisition system and Leica Application Suite program based on the reference sources in Pubmed [18''36]. Parasites were identified to species level by Ziehl-Neelsen staining [37]. The owners of farms where human parasites were detected were advised to eliminate their stock. Farm owners were surveyed with the use of a questionnaire to elicit information about the origin of insects (to determine whether the stock was supplemented with insects from other farms, whether the farm was a closed habitat, whether stock was obtained only from Europe, or also from Asia/Africa), insect nutrition (whether insects were fed specialized feeds, fresh products, kitchen discards or locally collected sources of feed), contact with other animals or animal feces.
Statistical analysisThe prevalence of parasitic species was determined for every insect species. The data were tested for normal distribution with the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. The assumptions of linearity and normality were tested before statistical analysis. Linearity was analyzed based on two-dimensional distribution of the evaluated variables with the use of histograms and normal probability plots of the residuals. The significance of the correlations between insect species and questionnaire data was analyzed in a logistic regression model, where the dependent variable was dichotomous (0 or 1, presence/absence of parasites) and the independent variables were: origin of insects (insects purchased in Europe only/insects imported from Asia and Africa), Insect stock rotation system (insects from the evaluated farm only- close rotation/the farm was supplemented with insects from other farms- open rotation), nutrition (insects fed only fresh products or specialized feeds/insects fed kitchen discards) and direct/indirect contact with animals (yes/no). The correlations between the identified parasites were analyzed with the use of Yule's Q and Cramer's V, subject to the number of the evaluated variables. The examined associations were weak when the value of V/Q approximated 0, and the correlations were stronger when V/Q approximated +1/-1. The results were processed statistically in the Statistica 13.1 program with a StatSoft medical application.
ResultsPrevalenceParasitic developmental forms were detected in 244 (81.33%) out of 300 (100%) examined insect farms. In 206 (68.67%) of the cases, the identified parasites were pathogenic for insects only; in 106 (35.33%) cases, parasites were potentially parasitic for animals; and in 91 (30.33%) cases, parasites were potentially pathogenic for humans. Nosema spp. spores were detected in 27 (36.00%) cricket farms and 35 (46.67%) locust farms. The presence of Cryptosporidium spp. was observed in 12 (16%) mealworm farms, 5 (6.67%) cricket farms, 13 (17.33%) cockroach farms and 4 (5.33%) locust farms. Forty-four (58.67%) mealworm farms, 30 (40.00%) cricket farms, 57 (76%) cockroach farms and 51 (68.00%) locust farms were infested with Gregarine spp., including Steganorhynchus dunwodyii, Hoplorhynchus acanthatholius, Blabericola haasi, Gregarina blattarum, G. niphadrones, Gregarina cuneata and Gregarina polymorpha. Isospora spp. were detected in 7 (9.33%) mealworm farms, 4 (5.33%) cricket farms, 9 (12.00%) cockroach farms and 8 (10.67%) locust farms. Eleven (14.67%) mealworm farms, 13 (17.33%) cockroach farms and 9 (12.00%) locust farms were infested with Balantidium spp. including B. coli and B. blattarum. The presence of Entamoeba spp., including E. coli, E. dispar, E. hartmanii and E. histolytica, was determined in 9 (12%) mealworm farms, 14 (18.67%) cockroach farms and 4 (5.33%) locust farms. Seventeen (22.67%) cockroach farms were colonized by Nyctotherus spp., including N. ovalis and N. periplanetae. Tapeworm cysticercoids, including Hymenolepis nana, H. diminuta and Raillietina spp., were detected in 9 (12%) mealworm farms, 3 (4%) cricket farms, 4 (5.33%) cockroach farms and 3 (4.00%) locust farms. Nematodes of the order Gordiidea colonized 6 (8.00%) cricket and locust farms. Hammerschmidtiella diesigni was detected in 35 (46.67%) cockroach farms. Steinernema spp. was identified in 22 (29.33%) cricket farms, and Pharyngodon spp.'--in 14 (18.67%) locust farms. The presence of Physaloptera spp. was observed in 4 (5.4%) mealworm farms, 2 (2.67%) cricket farms, 9 (12.00%) cockroach farms and 7 (9.33%) locust farms. Five (6.67%) mealworm farms and 7 (9.33%) cockroach farms were infested with Spiruroidea. Thelastomidae spp. was detected in 10 (13.33%) cricket and locust farms. Thelastoma spp. was identified in 58 (77.33%) cockroach farms. Acanthocephala were observed in 2 (2.67%) mealworm farms and 3 (4.00%) cockroach farms. Two (2.67%) cockroach farms were infested with Pentastomida. The presence of Acaridae, including house dust mites, was observed in 35 (46.67%) mealworm farms, 15 (20.00%) cockroach farms and 7 (9.33%) locust farms. In the group of samples collected from mealworm farms, Cryptosporidium spp. were noted in 37 (12.33%) samples, Gregarine spp. were detected in 99 (33.00%) samples, Isospora spp.'--in 12 (4%) samples, Entamoeba spp.'--in 12 (4.00%) samples, Balantidium spp.'--in 14 (4.67%) samples, cysticercoids'--in 18 (6.00%) samples, Pharyngodon spp.'--in 10 (3%) of samples, Physaloptera spp.'--in 15 (5.00%) samples, Spiruroidea'--in 6 (2.00%) samples, Acanthocephala spp.'--in 2 (0.67%), and Acaridae in 80 (26.67%) samples. In the group of samples collected from cricket farms, Nosema spp. were identified in 74 (24.67%) samples, Cryptosporidium spp.'--in 5 (1.67%) samples Isospora spp.'--in 8 (2.67%) samples, Gregarine spp.'--in 72 (24.00%) samples, cysticercoids'--in 4 (1.33%) samples, Physaloptera spp.'--in 4 (1.33%) samples, Steinernema spp.'--in 11 (3.67%) samples, and nematodes of the order Gordiidea'--in 19 (6.33%) samples. In the group of samples obtained from cockroach farms, the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. was determined in 89 (11.87%) samples, Gregarine spp.'--in 236 (31.47%) samples, Isospora spp.'--in 16 (2.13%) samples, Nyctotherus spp.'--in 57 (7.60%) samples, Entamoeba spp.'--in 34 (4.53%) samples, Balantidium spp.'--in 35 (4.67%) samples, cysticercoids'--in 4 (0.53%) samples, Pharyngodon spp.'--in 20 (2.67%) samples, Physaloptera spp.'--in 23 (3.07%) samples, Spiruroidea'--in 14 (1.87%) samples, Thelastoma spp.'--in 270 (36.00%) samples, H. diesigni'--in 143 (19.07%) samples, Acanthocephala spp.'--in 5 (0.67%) samples, Pentastomida spp.'--in 5 (0.67%) samples, and Acaridae'--in 29 (3.87%) samples. The following parasites were identified in locust farms: Nosema spp.'--in 125 (16.67%) samples, Cryptosporidium spp.'--in 13 (1.73%) samples, Gregarine spp.'--in 180 (24.00%) samples, Isospora spp.'--in 15 (2.00%) samples, Entamoeba spp. in 9 (1.20%) samples, Balantidium spp.'--in 14 (1.87%) samples, cysticercoids'--in 15 (2.00%) samples, Physaloptera spp.'--in 17 (2.27%) samples, Steinernema spp.'--in 31 (4.13%) samples, nematodes of the order Gordiidea'--in 7 (0.93%) samples, and Acaridae'--in 31 (4.13%) samples. Detailed results of the parasitological examination have been placed in Table 1 .
Table 1Type / Species and developmental forms of parasites found in the examined insects in the examined collective / individual samples depending on the place of detection.
Parasite (developmental forms)Mealworm beetleHouse cricketMadagascar hissing cockroachMigrating locustg.t.r.b.g.t.r.b.g.t.r.b.g.t.r.b.Nosema spp. (spores)--74---125-Cryptosporidium spp. (oocysts)3110525735134Gregarine spp. (oocysts, sporozoites)99-72-236-180-Isospora spp. (oocysts)31218616115Balantidium spp. (amoeba, cysts)114--298514Entamoeba spp. (amoeba, cysts)311--30719Nyctotherus spp. (amoeba, cysts)----572--Cestoda (eggs, cysticercoids)822-434215Gordiidae spp (cysts, juveniles)---19--16-H. diesigni(adult forms, eggs)----143---Pharyngodon spp. (L3 larvae)-13---22--Physaloptera spp. (L3 larvae)-19-4-42-17Spiruroidea (L3 larvae)-8---14--Thelastomatidae (adult forms, eggs)--47---31-Steinernema spp. (adult forms)---11---17Thelastoma spp. (adult forms, eggs)----270---Acanthocephala spp. (cystacanths)-2---5--Pentastomida (nymphs)-----5--Acaridae (eggs, nymphs, adult forms)480--229131Probability of parasite occurrenceThe risk of Cestoda, Acanthocephala and Acaridae infections was significantly higher in insects imported from Africa and Asia than in insects purchased from European suppliers. Farms whose stock was supplemented with insects from other farms were more frequently colonized by Nosema spp., Isospora spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Entamoeba spp., Cestoda, Pharyngodon spp., Gordius spp., Physaloptera spp., Thelastoma spp. and H. diesigni than closed farms. The risk of infection with Cryprosporidium spp., Gregarine spp, Balantidium spp, Entamoeba spp., Steinernema spp., Gordiidea, H. diesigni and Acaridae was higher in insects fed kitchen discards and locally collected feed sources than insects fed only fresh products or specialized feeds. Insects that came into direct or indirect contact with animals were at higher risk of exposure to Isospora spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Cestoda, Pharyngodon spp., Physaloptera spp., Thelastoma spp. and H. diesigni, but at lower risk of exposure to Nyctotherus spp. The statistical significant results of logistic regression were placed in Table 2 .
Table 2Logistic regression model, showing statistically significant relationships between the parasite species and the origin of insects, insect stock rotation system, type of feeding and contact with animals.
Nosema spp.rotation<0.0000012.280.1833.99<0.0000012.902.03-4.14Isospora spp.rotation0.00004328.880.3110.450.00122.741.49-5.06animals12.030.323.950.0471.871.01-3.48Cryprosporidium spp.rotation0.0000114.540.2215.530.000025.111.03-14.65feeding17.760.1919.220.001310.210.81-6.45animals4.030.347.810.0013.621.95-12.83Gregarine spp.feeding0.00000111.850.1121.400.0000041.651.33-2.04Nyctotherus spp.animals0.02049. spp.feeding0.0000016.430.3215.630.0000723.521.69-6.57Entamoeba spp.rotation0.0000224.500.545.780.0160.270.095-0.79feeding3.580.3411.030.0000983.131.60-6.13Cestodaorigin0.00006411.661.064.710.0310.071.25-81.05rotation8.384.464.590.0352.921.08-7.92animals2.481.506.460.01118.541.95-177.14Pharyngodon spp.rotation0.0000018.240.634.250.0400.270.078-0.93animals11.210.7314.100.0001715.733.73-66.31Steinernema spp.feeding0.04715.260.285.460.0191.941.11-3.39Gordiidaerotation0.0000011.440.415.870.022.691.21-5.97feeding4.891.0318.670.00001687.5411.51-665.54Physaloptera spp.rotation0.00000112.280.368.620.00330.350.17-0.70animals7.450.2928.18<0.0000014.752.67-8.45Thelastoma spp.rotation0.0008733.090.194.610.0311.511.04- 2.21animals9.440.164.890.00021.261.26-2.43Hammerschmidtiella diesignirotation<0.00000111.150.2214.090.000172.321.49-3.59feeding7.640.2212.410.000422.181.41-3.73animals5.820.207.470.00621.751.17-2.61Acanthocephalaorigin0.0000114.230.555. correlations were observed between the presence of Nosema spp. and Isospora spp. (V = 0.75), Gregarine spp. (Q = ''0.27) Steinernema spp. (Q = 0.42) and Gordiidae spp (Q = 0.45). The presence of Isospora spp. was also significantly correlated with Gregarine spp. (Q = -0.22), cestoda (Q = 0.63), Gordiidae spp. (Q = 0.73) Thelastoma spp. (Q = 0.96). The occurrence of Nyctotherus spp. was correlated with Spiruroidea (Q = 0.55), Thelastoma spp. (Q = 0.52) and H. diesigni (Q = 0.18). Correlations were observed between Gregarine spp. and Hymenolepis diminuta (Q = 0.48), Pharyngodon spp. (Q = 0.30), Steinernema spp. (Q = 0.33), Physaloptera spp. (Q = 0.32), Spiruroidea. (Q = 0.44), Thelastoma spp. (Q = 0.51), H. diesigni (Q = 0.31) and Acanthocephala (Q = 0.44). The presence of Cryptosporidium spp. was significantly correlated with Balantidium spp. (Q = 0.21), Entamoeba spp. (Q = 0.33), Nyctotherus spp. (Q = ''0.41), H. diesigni (Q = 0.49) and Acaridae (Q = 0.17).
DiscussionDue to the lack of registration obligation, we are currently unable to estimate the exact number of such farms in the surveyed area. The number of farms obtained for the experiment resulted from an indicatively calculated minimum number of samples. To get the most reliable results from a single location (eg. city), we tested up to 3 farms. The selection of insect species for research resulted from the dissemination of these animals among breeders. In case we have shown that insects came from the same supplier, we did not continue further research.
Survey questions regarding the tested insect farms are related to the observed activities practiced by breeders. Breeders wanting to set up or enlarge their farms often order insects from the countries of origin or from places where the import of such food is cheaper than from Europe. In our opinion, such a phenomenon is a big threat due to the fact that there may be a risk of catching animals from the environment, and thus introducing new parasites, both pathogenic for insects as well as humans and animals. Some amateur breeders are not interested in the quality of feed introduced into the farm. They obtain insect feed from the environment (green fodder, wild fruit trees) or use leftovers from feeding other animals. Edible insects may also have direct or indirect contact with animals. Among the practices we can include re-depositing insects to farms after the animal has not eaten them. These insects moving around the animal habitat (eg. terrariums) can mechanically introduce potential pathogens specific to animals.
During the research in individual farms, we observed unethical practices of individual breeders, such as feeding insects with animal feces from a pet shop, feeding insects with corpses of smaller animals, or feeding insects with moldy food and even raw meat. These practices significantly reduce the quality of the final product and undermine the microbiological / parasitological safety of such food. Currently, however, there are no regulations regarding zoohygienic conditions and the welfare of these animals as potential animals for food. Although the research was conducted on amateur insect farms, most were not found to be seriously flawed. Breeding of edible insects carried out in places not intended for this purpose (houses) can lead to additional danger for humans. In the course of the study, we recorded individual cases of spreading insects from farms, which resulted in rooms infestation, eg. by cockroaches or crickets. Another example is the possibility of transmission of parasites such as Cryptosporidium spp. on human aerogenically, therefore if the farms are unprotected well or there is a lack of hygiene in contact with insects, such invasions may occur.
Parasites pathogenic for insectsThe analyzed farm samples were colonized by developmental forms of parasites that are specific to insects, including Nosema spp, Gregarine spp., Nyctotherus spp., Steinernema spp., Gordiidae, H. diesigni, Thelastomidae, and Thelastoma spp. These pathogens constitute the most prevalent parasitic flora, and massive infections can compromise insect health and decrease farm profits [38, 39]. According to Van der Geest et al. [40] and Johny et al. [41], the above pathogens have been implicated as pseudo-parasites of humans and animals. However, the impact of insect-specific parasites on humans has not yet been fully elucidated. Pong et al. [42] argued that Gregarine spp., a parasite specific to cockroaches, could cause asthma in humans. The results of the survey conducted in our study indicate that insect farming can increase the human exposure to pathogens and allergens [43, 44].
Nosemosis is a disease caused by microsporidian parasites, and it can compromise the health of crickets and locusts. However, nosema parasites also control cricket and locust populations in the natural environment [45''47]. Lange and Wysiecki [48] found that Nosema locustae can be transmitted by wild locusts to a distance of up to 75 km. This parasite is also readily transmitted between individual insects, which can contribute to the spread of infections in insect farms. Johnson and Pavlikova [49] reported a linear correlation between the number of Nosema spp. spores in locusts and a decrease in dry matter consumption. The results of our study indicate that Nosema spp. infections can decrease profits in insect farming.
Gregarine spp. are parasitic protists which colonize the digestive tracts and body cavities of invertebrates. According to Kudo [50], Gregarines are non-pathogenic commensal microorganisms, but recent research indicates that these protists are pathogenic for insects. These microorganisms utilize the nutrients ingested by the host, compromise the host's immune function and damage the walls of host cells [41]. Massive infestations can lead to intestinal blockage in insects [38]. Lopes and Alves [39] found that cockroaches infected with Gregarine spp. were characterized by swollen abdomens, slower movement, darkened bodies and putrid smell indicative of septicemia. Gregarines were also found to compromise reproduction, shorten the life cycle and increase mortality in insects [38, 51, 52]. A study of dragonflies revealed that Gregarine spp. can decrease fat content and muscle strength in insects [52]. Johny et al. [41] demonstrated that metronidazole and griseofluvin can decrease Gregarine spp. counts in insects. The results presented by Johny et al. [41] can be used to develop parasite management strategies and minimize the negative effects of Gregarine spp. in insect farms. Lopes and Alves [39] demonstrated that cockroaches infected with Gregarine spp. were more susceptible to Metarhizium anisopliae and triflumuron, which could imply that diseased insects are more sensitive to other pathogens. A review of the literature suggests that Gregarine spp. can negatively affect the health of farmed insects [38, 39, 41, 51, 52].
Nyctotherus spp. is a parasite or an endosymbiont which colonizes the intestinal system of insects. Gijzen et al. [53] found a strong correlation between the size of the N. ovalis population and carboxymethyl-cellulase and filter paper digesting activity in cockroach intestines, which was correlated with those insects' ability to produce methane. The results of our study indicate that the ciliate N. ovalis should be consider as commensal microflora of cockroach gastrointestinal tract. Nyctotherus spp. were less likely to be detected in insects that had previous contact with animals. The above could imply that insects whose digestive tracts are colonized by these parasites are more readily consumed by animals. Nyctotherus ovalis is rarely pathogenic for animals. Satbige et al. [54] reported on two turtles where N. ovalis infection caused diarrhea, dehydration and weight loss.
Gordiidae, also known as horsehair worms, are parasitic nematodes with a length of up to 1.5 m that colonize invertebrates. When consumed by insects, parasitic larvae penetrate the intestinal wall and are enveloped by protective cysts inside the gut. Gordius spp. are generally specific to insects, but these nematodes have also been detected in humans and animals. Several cases of parasitism and pseudo-parasitism by gordiid worms from various locations, including France, Italy, Bavaria, Dalmatia, East Africa, Southeast Africa, West Africa, Transvaal, Chile, United States and Canada, were described in the literature [55]. Horsehair worms were also identified in vomit and feces [56, 57]. However, none of the described parasitic invasions were pathogenic for humans. In the present study, parasites were detected in insects fed kitchen discards or locally collected food sources.
Hammerschmidtiella diesigni, Thelastoma spp. and Thelastomatidae are nematodes specific to invertebrates. Nematodes colonizing insect digestive tracts are generally regarded as commensal organisms. Taylor [58] demonstrated that Leidynema spp. exerted a negative effect on hindgut tissues in insects. Similarly to the pathogens identified in our study, Leidynema spp. belong to the family Thelastomatidae. Capinera [59] demonstrated that these nematodes can increase mortality in cockroach farms. In our study, insects colonized by H. diesigni and Thelastoma spp. were characterized by lower fat tissue content. McCallister [60] reported a higher prevalence of H. diesigni and T. bulhoes nematodes in female and adult cockroaches, but did not observe significant variations in differential hemocyte counts or hemolymph specific gravity [60].
Steinernema spp. is an entomopathogenic nematode whose pathogenicity is linked with the presence of symbiotic bacteria in parasitic intestines. These nematodes are used in agriculture as biological control agents of crop pests [61], which can promote the spread of infection to other insects. In our study, insects infected with Steinernema spp. were probably fed plants contaminated with parasite eggs.
Parasites pathogenic for humans and animalsCryptosporidium spp. are parasites that colonize the digestive and respiratory tracts of more than 280 vertebrate and invertebrate species. They have been linked with many animal diseases involving chronic diarrhea [62''64]. According to the literature, insects can serve as mechanical vectors of these parasites. Flies may be vectors of Cryptosporidium spp. that carry oocysts in their digestive tract and contaminate food [65, 66]. Earth-boring dung beetles [67] and cockroaches [68] can also act as mechanical vectors of these parasites in the environment. However, the prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. in edible insects has not been documented in the literature. In our study, Cryptosporidium spp. were detected in the digestive tract and other body parts of all evaluated insect species. In our opinion, insects are an underestimated vector of Cryptosporidium spp., and they significantly contribute to the spread of these parasites.
Isospora spp. are cosmopolitan protozoa of the subclass Coccidia which cause an intestinal disease known as isosporiasis. These parasites pose a threat for both humans (in particular immunosuppressed individuals) and animals. The host becomes infected by ingesting oocytes, and the infection presents mainly with gastrointestinal symptoms (watery diarrhea). According to the literature, cockroaches, houseflies and dung beetles can act as mechanical vectors of Isospora spp. [69, 70]. In our study, insect farms were contaminated with this protozoan, which could be the cause of recurring coccidiosis in insectivores. Isospora spp. were detected on the surface of the body and in the intestinal tracts of insects. In our opinion, the presence of Isospora spp. in edible insects results from poor hygiene standards in insect farms.
Balantidium spp. are cosmopolitan protozoans of the class Ciliata. Some species constitute commensal flora of animals, but they can also cause a disease known as balantidiasis. According to the literature, these protozoans are ubiquitous in synanthropic insects [68, 71]. In some insects, Balantidium spp. is considered a part of normal gut flora, and it can participate in digestive processes [72]. Insects can be vectors of Balantidium spp. pathogenic for humans and animals [73]. In our study, potentially pathogenic ciliates were detected even in insect farms with closed habitats.
Entamoeba spp. are amoeboids of the taxonomic group Amoebozoa which are internal or commensal parasites in humans and animals. The majority of Entamoeba spp., including E. coli, E. dispar and E. hartmanni, identified in our study belong to non-pathogenic commensal gut microflora. However, pathogenic E. histolytica [74], and E. invadens were also detected in the presented study. Entamoeba histolytica can cause dysentery in humans and animals, whereas E. invadens is particularly dangerous for insectivorous animals such as reptiles and amphibians. Other authors demonstrated that E. histolytica is transmitted by insects in the natural environment [68, 75].
Cestoda colonize insects as intermediate hosts. Cysticercoids, the larval stage of tapeworms such as Dipylidium caninum, Hymenolepis diminuta, H. nana, H. microstoma, H. citelli, Monobothrium ulmeri and Raillietina cesticillus, have been identified in insects [76''78]. Insects have developed immune mechanisms that inhibit the development of these parasites [78, 79]. Tapeworms can induce behavioral changes in insects, such as significant decrease in activity and photophobic behavior [80]. Behavioral changes can prompt definitive hosts to consume insects containing cysticercoids. Our study demonstrated that insect farms which are exposed to contact with animals and farms which are supplemented with insects from external sources are at greater risk of tapeworm infection. Similar results were reported in studies of synanthropic insects [81, 82]. In our study, both cysticercoids and eggs were detected, which suggests that farms can be continuously exposed to sources of infection. However, the correlations between edible insects and the prevalence of taeniasis in humans and animals have never been investigated in detail. Temperature has been shown to significantly influence the development of tapeworm larvae in insects [83, 84]. In our opinion, the maintenance of lower temperature in insect farms could substantially decrease the reproductive success of tapeworms, and edible insects could be thermally processed before consumption to minimize the risk of tapeworm infection. The results of our study indicate that edible insects play an important role in the transmission of tapeworms to birds, insectivorous animals and humans.
Pharyngodon spp. are parasitic nematodes that colonize exotic animals in both wild and captive environments [85, 86]. These parasites are more prevalent in captive pets than in wild animals [85, 86], which could be correlated with edible insects. In our study, insects that had previous contact with animals were significantly more often vectors of Pharyngodon spp. our results indicate that insects act as mechanical vectors for the transmission of the parasite's developmental forms. The role of insects as definitive hosts for Pharyngodon spp. has not been confirmed by research. Human infections caused by Pharyngodon spp. had been noted in the past [87], but these nematodes are no longer significant risk factors of potential zoonotic disease.
Physaloptera spp. form cysts in the host's hemocoel approximately 27 days after ingestion [88]. Cawthorn and Anderson [89], demonstrated that crickets and cockroaches can act as intermediate hosts for these nematodes. Our study is the first ever report indicating that Physaloptera spp. can be transmitted by mealworms and migratory locusts. Insects can act as vectors in the transmission of these parasites, in particular to insectivorous mammals. Despite the above, definitive hosts are not always infected [88, 89]. Cockroaches play an important role in the transmission of the discussed parasites, including zoological gardens [90]. A study of experimentally infected flour beetles (Tribolium confusum) demonstrated that Spirurids can also influence insect behavior [91]. Behavioral changes increase the risk of insectivores selecting infected individuals.
Spiruroidea are parasitic nematodes which require invertebrate intermediate hosts, such as dung beetles or cockroaches, to complete their life cycle [92]. In grasshoppers, Spirura infundibuliformis reach the infective stage in 11-12 days at ambient temperatures of 20-30°C [93]. Research has demonstrated that these insects are reservoirs of Spiruroidea in the natural environment [94]. These parasites form cysts in insect muscles, hemocoel and Malpighian tubules. They colonize mainly animals, but human infections have also been reported. According to Haruki et al. [95], Spiruroidea can infect humans who accidentally consume intermediate hosts or drink water containing L3 larvae of Gongylonema spp. (nematodes of the superfamily Spiruroidea). The prevalence of Spiruroidea in insects has never been studied in Central European insects. In our study, these nematodes were identified mainly in farms importing insects from outside Europe.
Acanthocephala are obligatory endoparasites of the digestive tract in fish, birds and mammals, and their larvae (acanthor, acanthella, cystacanth) are transmitted by invertebrates. The prevalence of these parasites in wild insects has never been studied. In cockroaches, Acanthocephala species such as Moniliformis dubius and Macracanthorhynchus hirudinaceus penetrate the gut wall and reach the hemocoel [96]. The outer membrane of the acanthor forms microvilli-like protuberances which envelop early-stage larvae [97]. The influence of acanthocephalans on insects physiology has been widely investigated. The presence of Moniliformis moniliformis larvae in cockroach hemocoel decreases immune reactivity [98], which, in our opinion, can contribute to secondary infections. Thorny-headed worms influence the concentration of phenoloxidase, an enzyme responsible for melanin synthesis at the injury site and around pathogens in the hemolymph [99, 100]. There are no published studies describing the impact of acanthocephalans on insect behavior. A study of crustaceans demonstrated that the developmental forms of these parasites significantly increased glycogen levels and decreased lipid content in females [101]. Thorn-headed worms also compromise reproductive success in crustaceans [102]. Further research into arthropods is needed to determine the safety of insects as sources of food and feed. Acanthocephalans have been detected in insectivorous reptiles [103], which could indicate that insects can act as vectors for the transmission of parasitic developmental forms.
Pentastomida are endoparasitic arthropods that colonize the respiratory tract and body cavities of both wild and captive reptiles [104]. Pentastomiasis is considered a zoonotic disease, in particular in developing countries [105]. The presence of mites, which resemble pentastomid nymphs during microscopic observations, should be ruled out when diagnosing pentastomiasis in insect farms. The role of insects of intermediate hosts/vectors of pentastomid nymphs has not yet been fully elucidated. However, Winch and Riley [106] found that insects, including ants, are capable of transmitting tongue worms and that cockroaches are refractory to infection with Raillietiella gigliolii. Esslinger [107], and Bosch [108], demonstrated that Raillietiella spp. rely on insects as intermediate hosts. Our study confirmed the above possibility, but we were unable to identify the factors which make selected insects the preferred intermediate hosts. The choice of intermediate host is probably determined by the parasite species. We were unable to identify pentastomid nymphs to species level due to the absence of detailed morphometric data. Our results and the findings of other authors suggest that insects could be important vectors for the transmission of pentastomids to reptiles and amphibians [106, 109].
PrevalenceThe prevalence of parasitic infections in insects has been investigated mainly in the natural environment. Thyssen et al. [110] found that 58.3% of German cockroaches were carriers of nematodes, including Oxyuridae eggs (36.4%), Ascaridae eggs (28.04%), nematode larvae (4.8%), other nematodes (0.08%) and Toxocaridae eggs (0.08%). Cestoda eggs (3.5%) were also detected in the above study. Chamavit et al. [68] reported the presence of parasites in 54.1% of cockroaches, including Strongyloides stercoralis (0.8%), Ascaris lumbricoides (0.3%), Trichuris trichuria (0.3%), Taenia spp. (0.1%), Cyclospora spp. (1.3%), Endolimax nana (1.3%), B. hominis (1.2%), Isospora belli (9.6%), Entamoeba histolytica/E. dispar (4.6%), Cryptosporidium spp. (28.1%), Chilomastix mesnilli (0.3%), Entamoeba coli (4.0%), Balantidium coli (5.8%) and Iodamoeba butschlii (0.1%). Human-specific parasites such as Oxyuridae, Ascaridae, Trichuris spp. and Taenia spp. were not detected in our study, which suggests that the analyzed insects did not have access to the feces of infected humans. In a study of wild cockroaches in Iraq, the prevalence of parasitic developmental forms was nearly twice higher (83.33%) than in our study [82]. Iraqi cockroaches carried E. blatti (33%), N. ovalis (65.3%), H. diesingi (83.3%), Thelastoma bulhoe (15.4%), Gordius robustus (1.3%), Enterobius vermicularis, (2%) and Ascaris lumbricoides (1.3%). Unlike in our experiment, H. diesigni was the predominant nematode species in Iraqi cockroaches. The cited authors did not identify any developmental forms of tapeworms. Tsai and Cahill [111] analyzed New York cockroaches and identified Nyctotherus spp. in 22.85% of cases, Blatticola blattae in 96.19% of cases, and Hammerschmidtiella diesingi in 1.9% of cases. The results of our study suggest that farmed edible insects are less exposed to certain parasites (Ascaridae, Enterobius spp.) that are pathogenic for humans and animals. The absence of human-specific nematodes and roundworms could be attributed to the fact that the analyzed farms were closed habitats without access to infectious sources. In the work of Fotedar et al. [112], the prevalence of parasites was determined at 99.4% in hospital cockroaches and at 94.2% in household cockroaches. The percentage of infected cockroaches was much higher than in our study, which could indicate that environmental factors significantly influence the prevalence of selected parasites species. Our observations confirm that the risk of parasitic infections can be substantially minimized when insects are farmed in a closed environment. The high prevalence of selected developmental forms of parasites in the evaluated insect farms could be attributed to low hygiene standards and the absence of preventive treatments. Parasitic fauna in insect farms have never been described in the literature on such scale. A study of cockroaches from the laboratory stock of the Wrocław Institute of Microbiology (Poland) revealed the presence of ciliates in all insects and the presence of nematodes in 87% of insects [113]. These results could be attributed to the fact that all examined insects were obtained from a single stock, which contributed to the re-emergence of parasitic infections. Similar observations were made in several insect farms in the current study.
Edible insect processing like cooking or freezing may inactivate parasitic developmental forms. Tanowitz et al. [114] reported that Teania solium is killed by cooking the pork to an internal temperature of 65°C or freezing it at 20°C for at least 12 hours. Smoking, curing or freezing meat may also inactivate protozoa like Toxoplasma gondii [115]. The use of microwaves may be ineffective [115]. On the example of Anisakis simplex, it has been proven that cooking and freezing can significantly improve food safety in relation to this nematode [116]. Also boiling insect for 5 min is an efficient process for eliminating Enterobacteriaceae [117]. Simple preservation methods such as drying/acidifying without use of a refrigerator were tested and considered promising [117]. However, there is a need of thorough evaluation of insect processing methods, including temperatures and time of cooking / freezing to prevent possible parasitic infections. Despite, food preparation processes parasite allergens may still be detected [116].
Insects may also be a bacterial vector / reservoir, but currently there are no data available for bacteriological tests in breeding insects. It has been proven that insects can be an important epidemiological factor in the transmission of bacterial diseases [3]. One of the most important bacteria that are transmitted by insects include Campylobacter spp. [118] and Salmonella spp. [119]. Kobayashi et al. [120] showed that insect may be also a vector of Escherichia coli 0157:H7. Free-living cockroaches harbored pathogenic organisms like Escherichia coli, Streptococcus Group D, Bacillus spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Proteus vulgaris [121]. In vitro studies have shown that some species of insects may also be the reservoir of Listeria monocytogenes [122]. In our opinion further research should also focus on the microbiological safety of edible insect breeding.
Due to the fact that the identification of parasites was based on morphological and morphometric methods, further molecular research should focus on the precise determination of individual species of identified parasites in order to determine the real threat to public health. The results of this study indicate that edible insects play an important role in the epidemiology of parasitic diseases in vertebrates. Edible insects act as important vectors for the transmission of parasites to insectivorous pets. Insect farms that do not observe hygiene standards or are established in inappropriate locations (eg. houses) can pose both direct and indirect risks for humans and animals. Therefore, farms supplying edible insects have to be regularly monitored for parasites to guarantee the safety of food and feed sources. Amount of parasites is related to cause the human and animal diseases therefore in the future quantitative studies of parasite intensity in insect farms should be performed. In our opinion, the most reliable method of quantitative research would be Real-Time PCR method. Insect welfare standards and analytical methods should also be developed to minimize production losses and effectively eliminate pathogens from farms.
AcknowledgmentsThe authors would like to thank owners of household farms and pet stores for sharing research material.
Funding StatementPublication costs will be covered by KNOW (Leading National Research Centre) Scientific Consortium ''Healthy Animal-Safe Food,'' decision of Ministry of Science and Higher Education No. 05-1/KNOW2/2015. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Data AvailabilityAll relevant data are within the paper.
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Reset the Table: Meeting the Moment to Transform the U.S. Food System - The Rockefeller Foundation
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:47
America faces a hunger and nutrition crisis unlike any this country has seen in generations. Today 14 million children are missing meals on a regular basis '' a statistic that's five times worse than before the Covid-19 pandemic. It's even worse for Latino and Black families, which have seen rates of nutrition insecurity spike to 25% and 30%, respectively.
In many ways, Covid-19 has boiled over long-simmering problems plaguing America's food system. What began as a public health crisis fueled an economic crisis, leaving 33 percent of families unable to afford the amount or quality of food they want. School closures put 30 million students at risk of losing the meals they need to learn and thrive.
What Covid-19 has revealedThe images of the past few months have been both shocking and heartbreaking.
Families out of work and newly struggling with nutrition insecurity waiting in long car lines for a day's or a week's worth of food. School nutrition professionals'--wearing whatever protective equipment they or their schools could provide'--putting their own health at risk to meet the rising demand for food in their communities. Meat and poultry plant workers suffering disproportionate rates of Covid-19 infections while facing mandatory return-to-work orders. And farmers, with none of their usual buyers in a position to purchase, out of economic necessity dumping millions of gallons of milk, onions, beans, eggs, and more.
These images tell a powerful story of the economic and public health consequences of poor nutrition, with 94 percent of deaths from Covid-19 among individuals with an underlying condition, the majority of which are diet-related. They tell an equally powerful story of a food system struggling to respond to the disruptions wrought by Covid-19.
of Americans are unable to access $400 even in times of emergency
with children couldn't afford to buy the amount or quality of food they wanted
of Hispanic and Black workers, respectively, reported earning low wages even before Covid-19 struck
An Opportunity
While Covid-19 and the resulting economic downturn made the negative consequences of the food system worse and more obvious, the pandemic did not create them and its end will not solve them. Covid-19 has, however, increased both the imperative and the opportunity to address these flaws and limitations once and for all. Now is the moment to transform the U.S. food system.
Fundamental change needed in the U.S. food systemOver the past few months, The Rockefeller Foundation gathered a diverse group of more than 100 experts '' from farmers and food industry leaders to social justice, health, environmental, and nutrition security advocates. Together, we explored not just how to meet this moment, but also how to transform the U.S. food system over the long-term to more effectively promote healthy people and a healthy planet.
Working together, we have the opportunity and the obligation to transform the U.S. food system to make it more efficient, equitable, healthy, and resilient, both in good times and bad. Accomplishing this objective will require three significant shifts:
More integrated nutrition security systemImmediate actions we need to take: 1. Strengthen nutrition benefit programs to ensure children and families are fed. 2. Invest public and private funding in school food programs as anchors of community feeding. 3. Expand Food is Medicine.
Reinvigorated regional systemsImmediate actions we need to take: 1. Ensure relief and stimulus policies improve the resilience of supply chains and strengthen local systems. 2. Direct the purchasing power of large institutions along a values-based (equitable, ethical, sustainable) supply chain.
Equitable prosperity throughout the supply chainImmediate actions we need to take: 1. OSHA must set and enforce mandatory guidelines to keep workers and the food supply safe. 2. Provide credit, loan servicing, and debt relief for farmers and ranchers. 3. Increase prosperity of farmers, ranchers, and fishers by more equitably distributing risk and profit.
Download and read the full paper for more insights on how we can achieve a food system that is more equitable, resilient, sustainable, and nourishing for all.
Reset the Table: Messaging GuideOne of the consistent needs expressed by those seeking to transform the food system is a shared narrative to motivate and sustain the needed changes in the system. This narrative and messaging guide focuses on the long-term food system transformation while responding to the evolving circumstances presented by the pandemic, economic downturn, and racial justice reckoning ['...]
Download PDFReport
Reset the Table: Meeting the Moment to Transform the U.S. Food SystemWhile Covid-19 and the resulting economic downturn made the negative consequences of the food system worse and more obvious, the pandemic did not create them and its end will not solve them. Covid-19 has, however, increased both the imperative and the opportunity to address these flaws and limitations once and for all. Now is the moment to transform the U.S. food system.
Download PDF Blog Post
Five COVID-19 Reflections from a Food System Perspective'--and How We Could Take Action
More Blog Post
Coronavirus and Food Access: Four Questions Every Community Needs to Answer
More Blog Post
From Behind the School Lunch Counter to the Front Lines of Pandemic Response
FAA warns of evening delays in New York due to staffing issues
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:45
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California Appeals Court Overturns Sanctions Against Church for NOT Shutting Down During COVID-19
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:34
The California Appeals Court overturned fines levied against Calvary Chapel San Jose for refusing to shut down during the COVID-19 plandemic.
In a huge victory for Pastor Mike McClure, a judge confirmed the ''public health'' orders forcing churches to close are unconstitutional.
It's an egregious 1st Amendment violation that We the People should NEVER tolerate.
Breaking News:
Today a CA Appeals court overturned over $300k in sanctions issued against Calvery Chapel San Jose for not shutting down during COVID.
The government could not shut them down because of 1st Amendment, so a judge could not sanction for refusing to obey the order.
'-- Mark Meuser for U.S. Senate (@MarkMeuser) August 16, 2022
*HUGE* victory for Pastor Mike McClure & Calvary Chapel San Jose. CA appeals court confirms the ''public health'' orders forcing churches to close are UNCONSTITUTIONAL, period.
Contempt charges and sanctions fully reversed. Court ordered the opinion published. THIS IS SO HUGE!
'-- Kick Em All Out (@tebohn1962) August 16, 2022
Victory for hero Pastor Mike McClure & Calvary Chapel in San Jose, CA.The appeals court confirmed that the ''public health'' orders forcing churches to close, while Walmart or Home Depot stores remained open, are UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
Contempt charges and sanctions were reversed. pic.twitter.com/8LufCDiHHP
'-- CaliforniaRealtorCristy 🏠🐸ðŸ'ƒ (@RealtorCristyB) August 16, 2022
Churchgoers at Calvary Chapel refused to allow county and state ''public health'' orders from stopping their indoor Christmas Eve Candlelight Service in 2020.
Local media attempted to vilify the church for practicing their 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion.
Katy McDowell attended the indoor service. She told us she thinks ''#COVID is exaggerated and not that many people are dying''
Full story: https://t.co/x0bdAyRqRm pic.twitter.com/eQ4lc8Nhw5
'-- Stephanie Sierra (@StephanieABC7) December 25, 2020
#Breaking : Judge just issued a preliminary injunction effective immediately ordering Calvary Chapel San Jose to adhere to Santa Clara County public health orders. Church has been having hundreds gather : some without face masks and social distancing. pic.twitter.com/JscFSFU8Du
'-- Marianne Favro (@mariannefavro) December 1, 2020
From the court ruling:
Calvary Chapel now seeks review of the trial court's contempt orders and orders to pay monetary sanctions in the three cases before us, including H048708, People v. Calvary Chapel; H048734, Calvary Chapel v. Superior Court; and H048947, McClure v. Superior Court.2 For the reasons stated below, we conclude that the temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are facially unconstitutional pursuant to the recent guidance of the United States Supreme Court regarding the First Amendment's protection of the free exercise of religion in the context of public health orders that impact religious practice (see, e.g., Tandon v. Newsom (2021) 593 U.S. __ [141 S. Ct. 1294] (Tandon).) As the underlying orders which Calvary Chapel violated are void and unenforceable, we will annul the orders of contempt in their entirety and reverse the orders to pay monetary sanctions. (See In re Berry (1968) 68 Cal.2d 127, 140, 157 (Berry).)
From NASA To Amtrak, These Are All The Government Agencies With Tactical Teams
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:33
The Government Accountability Office, a Congressional watchdog, has released a new audit of "federal tactical teams," or specialized law enforcement units, often generically referred to as SWAT teams, across the U.S. federal government. These range from better-known organizations, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Hostage Rescue Team and the U.S. Secret Service's Counter Sniper Team, to much more obscure ones, including those that fall under the National Institutes of Health and Amtrak.
The report first appeared online on Sept. 10, 2020. It is a non-sensitive version of a restricted report that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had published last month. GAO's analysts identified 25 such teams spread across 18 different entities, as of the end of 2019, but this only reflects the total number of distinct types of units. For example, the review treats the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) SWAT teams as a single collective organization, despite there being teams in each field office across the country and on call at the national level. A 2015 report from the Congressional Research Service identified 271 individual tactical teams across the federal government at that time.
This new report primarily also covers the activities of these units between 2015 and 2019, but there are added appendixes that cover some events in 2020. This includes the controversial deployments of tactical law enforcement units across the country in recent months. This has been in response to continued protests, which have at times led to violence, that have emanated from the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May, as well as other instances of police brutality that seem to disproportionately impact African Americans. Federal tactical teams have also taken part in aspects of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Many federal agencies employ law enforcement officers to carry out the agency's law enforcement mission and maintain the security of federal property, employees, and the public," the report says in its executive summary. "Some of these agencies have specialized law enforcement teams '' referred to as federal tactical teams in this report '' whose members are selected, trained, equipped, and assigned to prevent and resolve critical incidents involving a public safety threat that their agency's traditional law enforcement may not otherwise have the capability to resolve."
A table showing the various tactical teams across the U.S. federal government as of the end of 2019., GAOThe bulk of the federal government's tactical teams, 17 of the total 25, are within agencies that fall under the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice. The remaining eight are spread between the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as NASA, an independent agency, and Amtrak, a U.S. government-managed corporation.
The GAO report also provides a basic overview of specialized weapons and equipment that tactical teams typically use and how many U.S. government teams have access to these assets. These general categories range from small arms and crowd control munitions to armored vehicles, small drones, and helicopters.
GAOOnly three tactical teams operate their own helicopters, while six utilize aerial drones, though the review does not say which units have these capabilities. Of course, many others receive aviation support from other units. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) is one of the ones known to have its own helicopters, including a number of UH-60M Black Hawks, which you can read about in more detail in this previous War Zone piece.
An FBI HRT UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter, behind, and one of its Bell 407 helicopters, in front, take part in an exercise to stop a suspect vehicle and detain its occupants., GAO Another FBI HRT Bell 407 helicopter., GAOSome of these organizations are very high-profile. For instance, the FBI's HRT is a national-level top-tier direct-action counter-terrorism unit. The U.S. Secret Service's Counter Assault, Counter Sniper, and Emergency Response Teams, which are charged with protecting and otherwise responding to threats to the President of the United States, the Vice President, their families, and foreign heads of state visiting the United States.
Members of the US Secret Service's Counter Assault Team during training., GAOOthers are perhaps less well-known by their formal names. It is generally public knowledge that most major federal law enforcement agencies, including FBI, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE), the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), have what would generally be considered SWAT teams of some kind.
Members of an ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Response Team help provide security in Minneapolis, Minnesota during Super Bowl LII in 2018., ICEMany of these units are structured and trained to perform higher-risk missions, including counter-terrorism operations, protecting high profile government gatherings and other public events, and helping with disaster response. The U.S. Coast Guard, by law, straddles military and law enforcement functions, as well, and its Maritime Security Response Teams (MSRT), in particular, are closer in many respects to military special operations units. Its Tactical Law Enforcement Teams (TACLET) deploy on U.S. Navy ships and with other U.S. military elements specifically to perform law enforcement duties, especially as part of counter-drug operations.
A number of these teams have also been in the news more recently as part of the aforementioned controversial deployments in response to ongoing protests around the country. GAO says the following 16 specific units or types of teams have taken part in some way in what President Donald Trump's Administration has dubbed Operation Legend:
BATFE Special Response TeamsBureau of Prisons (BOP) Special Operations Response Teams (SORT)FBI's HRTFBI SWAT TeamsU.S. Coast Guard's Maritime Security Response TeamU.S. Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security TeamsCBP's Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC)CBP Office of Field Operations Special Response TeamsICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Special Response TeamsICE Homeland Security Investigations Special Response TeamsThe Pentagon Force Protection Agency's (FPA) Emergency Response TeamUSMS Special Operations Group (SOG)U.S. Park Police's SWAT TeamU.S. Secret Service's Counter Assault TeamU.S. Secret Service's Counter Sniper TeamU.S. Secret Service's Emergency Response TeamBeyond the units that have been on the news lately, or those that regularly appear in blockbuster movies and popular television shows, especially procedural crime dramas, there are still more federal tactical teams that receive far less public attention. Despite their obscurity, many of these have very important functions.
For instance, GAO's report includes the National Nuclear Security Administration's Special Response Force, which supports the safe and secure movement of nuclear material, including nuclear weapons, around the country. This includes escorting highly-modified tractor-trailers, known as Safeguards Transporters, or SGTs, which have James Bond-esque security features that you can read about in more detail in this past War Zone story.
Members of NNSA's Special Response Force train to protect an SGT tractor-trailer. This picture offers a rare look at the inside of the armored doors on the cab., GAOThere is also the oddly named Mobile Security Deployments, which fall under the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, are prepared to respond to various crises abroad and at home. This includes contingencies that require added security at diplomatic facilities overseas and helping to safeguard major diplomatic events within the United States, such as the annual gathering of the United Nations General Assembly.
GAO's review also makes mention of tactical units most Americans probably don't even know exist, such as the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Special Response Team (SRT) and Amtrak's Special Operations Unit (SOU).
NIH's SRT, formally established in 2005, had previously been a hazardous materials response unit, but evolved to be able to respond to active shooters and other serious incidents at the Institute's campus in Bethesda, Maryland. NIH works with radioactive materials for medical research and infectious diseases, among other hazards, all of which present potential security risks.
Members of NIH's SRT., GAOAmtrak's SOU, part of the corporation's larger Police Department, is on call to respond to terrorist attacks, active shooters, and other major crises that might happen along America's critical railway networks. It also provides security details to protect VIPs traveling by train.
A rare picture of members of Amtrak's SOU during training. Note the ladder that personnel could use to engage threats inside the train or otherwise gain access during a crisis., GAOIt's also worth noting that a not insignificant number of the U.S. government's tactical teams emerged, perhaps not surprisingly, in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The total number continues to grow, as well. Just while GAO was working on its report, it received word from DEA that it formally established a standardized tactical team organization, known as Special Response Teams, to replace more ad hoc tactical units within 20 of its 23 field divisions.
You can read more about all of the U.S. federal government's tactical teams in the GAO's report, which a mirrored copy of which is available via The War Zone
here. It is likely to continue to be a valuable resource as these units look set to be an important, but often controversial component of federal law enforcement capabilities for the foreseeable future.
Contact the author: Joe@thedrive.com
Veterans Affairs says worker 'inappropriately' discussed medically assisted death with veteran - National | Globalnews.ca
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:33
A Canadian Forces veteran seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury was shocked when he was unexpectedly and casually offered medical assistance in dying by a Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) employee, sources tell Global News.
Sources say a VAC service agent brought up medical assistance in dying, or MAID, unprompted in the conversation with the veteran. Global News is not identifying the veteran who was seeking treatment.
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But multiple sources tell Global News the combat veteran never raised the issue, nor was he looking for MAID and was deeply disturbed by the suggestion. Multiple sources and VAC have told Global News that the discussion took place.
Sources close to the veteran say he and his family were disgusted by the conversation, and feel betrayed by the agency mandated to assist veterans. The sources said the veteran was seeking services to recover from injuries suffered in the line of duty, and had been experiencing positive improvements in his mental and physical health. They say the unprompted offer of MAID disrupted his progress and has been harmful to the veteran's progress and his family's wellbeing.
Read more: Former case manager says high workload is hurting Canadian veterans
Global News has also learned of follow-up calls in which the agency apologized to the veteran but only after he lodged multiple complaints with VAC.
In a statement, Veterans Affairs confirmed the department is aware of what they called an incident between a veteran and VAC employee ''where medical assistance in dying was discussed inappropriately.''
''VAC deeply regrets what transpired,'' the statement reads, adding the agency is investigating the incident and that ''appropriate administrative action will be taken.'' VAC would not discuss the nature of the ongoing investigation or specifics of what consequences the employee might face, citing privacy concerns.
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The department also did not answer Global News' questions about how many times assisted dying has been offered to veterans through this particular VAC employee or others at Veterans Affairs, or what guidance employees have been given about providing such advice.
Sources who spoke to Global News are concerned this is not an isolated incident and that more veterans could be inappropriately offered assisted dying, putting their lives and mental health at risk. They added they are worried other veterans have already received similar offers, which have not been verified by Global News.
Read more: Parliamentary committee calls for 'clear guidelines' in assisted dying interim report
2:17 Struggling Canadian veteran offered medically assisted death by VAC employee Struggling Canadian veteran offered medically assisted death by VAC employeeMedical assistance in dying became legal in Canada in 2016, with further amendments passed in 2021 that broadened who could request the procedure. Another change allowing people with mental disorders to access assisted dying is set to go into effect in March 2023.
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The law clearly states that requesting assisted dying is subject to discussions between patients and primary care providers, which the Veterans Affairs statement also highlighted.
''Providing advice pertaining to medical assistance in dying is not a VAC service,'' the statement reads, adding agency employees ''have no mandate or role to recommend medical assistance in dying to veteran clients.''
The department did note, however, that it may offer assistance to veteran clients and their families after the veteran has already made the decision to pursue an assisted death with their primary care provider.
Veterans Affairs did not answer Global News' questions about how many veterans have accessed agency resources to proceed with assisted dying.
Veterans who spoke to Global News said their concern about VAC offering assisted dying stems from the mental health impact it could have on veterans.
A 2017 Veterans Affairs report showed that Canadian Forces veterans have a higher risk of suicide compared with the average population.
The federal government introduced a suicide-prevention strategy for military personnel and veterans that same year after a rash of suicides during the last few years of the war in Afghanistan cast a spotlight on the issue.
2:14 Veteran calls for better mental health education, training Veteran calls for better mental health education, training '' May 27, 2019The strategy promised to improve the services and support available to military members and veterans in the hope of increasing awareness and reducing the number of suicides in both populations.
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That included adding more medical staff, training personnel on how to respond if someone shows warning signs of suicide and introducing new measures to ease the transition to civilian life for those leaving the Forces.
The latest report from the Department of National Defence found that 12 Canadian Forces members died by suicide in 2021, while 69 others died between 2015 and 2019.
Veterans advocates told Global News they are concerned the numbers may be higher than what is formally being tracked by the federal government.
'-- with files from the Canadian Press
(C) 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Germany plans China-style color code vaccine passport upgrade with multiple tiers of "rights"
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 15:53
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has announced that the nation's digital contact tracing and vaccine passport app, Corona-Warn-App (CWA), will start assigning different colors to citizens based on whether they received a COVID-19 vaccine within the last three months.
The CWA will assign one color to citizens who add proof that they received a vaccine within the last three months and a different color to citizens who add proof of vaccination that's more than three months old. Only those with the color showing that they're ''freshly vaccinated'' (have received a vaccine within the last three months) will be exempt from Germany's mask requirement in public indoor spaces.
Other citizens, including those who received multiple vaccines but had their last vaccine more than three months ago, will have to show proof of recent recovery from COVID or a current negative test to get an exemption from this mask requirement.
Germany's Berliner Zeitung noted that the colors codes in the vaccine passport app would ''give different rights in the future'' and said the system would put citizens who are already quadruple vaccinated on the same legal footing as those who are unvaccinated.
Berliner Zeitung also reported that this new German vaccine passport system would be similar to China's color code vaccine passport system. China's system assigns a green, yellow, or red code to citizens. Those with a green code are allowed to move freely, those with a yellow code may be asked to stay home for seven days, and those with a red code have to quarantine for two weeks.
Despite moving to this color code vaccine passport system, Lauterbach has admitted that the goalposts could shift at any time and that if too many freshly vaccinated people make use of the mask exception, Germany will change the rules and close the exception.
Lauterbach, who is quadruple vaccinated, announced this new color code vaccine passport system four days after he contracted COVID. The new vaccine passport system is being introduced as part of Germany's ''Infection Protection Act.''
Related: How vaccine passports are crushing freedom, privacy, and civil liberties
Health agencies defended the rollout of vaccine passports and other COVID surveillance measures by claiming that they would prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, in recent weeks, government health experts have admitted that COVID vaccines don't prevent infection.
Despite this admission, Germany and other nations are continuing to push far-reaching, restrictive vaccine passport systems. Some countries are also combining vaccine passports with digital ID or rolling out more invasive COVID surveillance devices such as wristbands and ankle bracelets.
Facebook blocks #diedsuddenly hashtag
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 15:52
Facebook has hidden posts with the '' #diedsuddenly '' hashtag because it claims that some of these posts violate its far-reaching community standards. When users search for this hashtag, no results are displayed and Facebook shows a message stating that the results are hidden.
While Facebook doesn't specify which rules these posts allegedly violated, Twitter users have been using the hashtag to share news stories about people who died suddenly. Most of these Twitter posts note that those who died were fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and allude to there being a connection between the vaccines and their deaths.
If Facebook users are posting similar content under this hashtag, the posts are likely to violate the tech giant's ban on a wide range of COVID-19 vaccine claims. Facebook prohibits claims that ''vaccines are toxic, dangerous, or cause autism'' and reduces the distribution of ''shocking stories'' about the vaccines. One of Facebook's examples of a shocking story is ''Uncovered: See the 632 reports made of people who died within a week of having the new COVID-19 vaccine.''
The blocking of this hashtag is the latest of many examples of Facebook censoring content that is critical of or raises questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. Throughout the pandemic, Facebook has also mass censored anti-mask content, anti-lockdown content, and content that said the coronavirus came from a lab (a censorship policy that was suddenly reversed after the Biden admin announced that it would be investigating the origins of COVID).
Not only does Facebook mass censor content that goes against or questions government guidance and the legacy media narrative on COVID but it also partnered with the Pfizer-backed CDC Foundation to increase ''vaccine uptake'' and maintained a close relationship with US federal agencies on COVID messaging.
The tech giant has previously used hashtag blocking to censor many other topics including ''#buchamassacre'' (a block that it later said was a mistake), ''#Revolution'' (which was blocked on a July 4th weekend), and ''#SaveTheChildren.''
Shaun Ryder's brother Paul was going deaf 48 hours before his death | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 14:27
Happy Mondays' Shaun Ryder has revealed his brother was going deaf 24 hours before he died as mystery grows over what the singer has branded his sibling's 'iffy' passing.
In an exclusive joint statement issued to Mail Online as they wait for autopsy results, the Ryder family said the symptom came three weeks after Paul got a Covid booster '' which Shaun, 59, is convinced 'triggered' his younger sibling's passing.
World Health Organisation officials admitted in March they were investigating 'rare instances' of hearing loss and 'other auditory disturbances' '' including tinnitus '' associated with Covid-19 vaccinations
Tragedy: Shaun Ryder's brother Paul, (left), was going deaf 24hours before his death as mystery deepens over his passing - weeks after WHO admits it is probing 'rare' hearing issues linked to Covid jabs
The Ryders said in a statement that Paul was complaining of severe headaches in the two days leading up to his death - (Shaun pictured right with Bez)
The Ryders said: 'The coroner has reported that Paul passed away as a result of Ischaemic heart disease and diabetes. At this point in time we have no further information until the full coroner's report is released.
'As previously reported, he was complaining of severe headaches in the two days leading up to his death.
'And the day before his death was having trouble hearing. Paul had no prior knowledge of having heart disease and was given a clean bill of health, aside from the diabetes for which he was taking medication, just months before his passing.
Can a Covid vaccine cause hearing loss? Doctors have uncovered a 'possible link' between Covid vaccines and short-term hearing loss.
World Health Organization researchers found 164 people reported temporary deafness and 367 said they tinnitus up to 19 days after their first jabs, according to a report in March.
The cases were recorded up to February 22, 2021, and were reported across 10 countries including the US, UK and Italy.
Some 71 of the hearing loss cases were recorded as 'serious', with five people hospitalised and two suffering 'life threatening' symptoms.
Patients also suffered with headaches, dizziness and nausea after their jabs.
Researchers said the hearing loss may have happened when the vaccine caused inflammation in the cranial nerve inside the ear.
The nerve delivers balance and hearing signals from the ear to the brain.
They said doctors should be aware of the link so they can better prescribe treatment to patients who suffer with the jab's side effects.
The report, published in the WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletters, tracked reports of hearing loss and tinnitus '-- which causes a ringing in the ears '-- after a Covid vaccine in a global database.
Sixty six of the hearing loss reported were in the US, with 36 in the UK and 15 in Italy.
Some 142 came after a dose of Pfizer's vaccine, while 15 were Moderna and seven were AstraZeneca.
Patients developed the hearing loss either immediately after the jab or anywhere up to 19 days after receiving their vaccination.
Most of the cases were non-serious (57 per cent), but 43 per cent were recorded as serious.
Meanwhile, of the 367 tinnitus reports, 293 (80 per cent) were recorded after Pfizer vaccinations.
Eleven per cent came after Moderna and 8.4 per cent were after AstraZeneca.
Both hearing loss and tinnitus cases suffered similar other side effects.
Researchers, led by Dr Christian Rausch, a doctor at the WHO's Upsala Monitoring Centre, said further research is need to assess the long-term impact of the vaccines on hearing loss.
Writing in the report, the authors said: 'Awareness of this possible link may help healthcare professionals and those vaccinated to monitor symptoms and seek care, as appropriate.
'As there is still only limited data in the literature providng evidence for this link, further monitoring is required.'
'It was reported to the coroner that he received a COVID booster shot three weeks prior to his death and he was not warned of any special risks for his medical condition in connection with it.'
They continued: 'We will let everyone know as soon as we have further details. The family would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of love and support from family, friends and fans.
'We remain devastated by his untimely death and know that he would be so moved by the outpouring of love from so many people. Love each other '' that's what he would've wanted.'
It comes 10 days after Shaun started to call for answers over his brother and bandmate Paul's death after he suddenly died aged 58 on July 15.
The musician was found dead last month, hours before the Happy Mondays were due to play at Kubix Festival in Sunderland.
In an exclusive chat with MailOnline from his home in Manchester, Shaun said that with a lack of answers he had begun to fixate on the Covid vaccine after learning Paul had a booster weeks before his passing.
He said: 'It's a bit iffy to me '' he's a 50-something-year-old bloke, he'd had a clean bill of health, and he has his booster, flies over here and dies.'
'I don't think our kid really paid attention to any of that (scare stories about Covid jabs) he just went and had his booster '' I think that triggered something.'
Paul's full autopsy is expected to be revealed at the start of next week.
Shaun added about plans for Paul's ashes after his funeral earlier this month: 'I don't think he left a will, or anything like that. He just lived '' I think our kid just thought he couldn't die, like me, so he didn't leave a will.
'Me mam said he wanted to be cremated.
'He's getting half scattered in Los Angeles. Some of it is being scattered in the sea near where he was out in LA, and the other bit is here.
'There will be a little headstone but what it says on it is entirely up to me mam. We've not even spoken about the inscription on the headstone or what's being put on the urn.'
Shaun '' an avid UFO hunter '' has also said he believes Paul will live on as 'energy'.
He added: 'I'm sure if our kid was buzzing about, he'd f*****g let me know. Energy '' it's always here. It can't be f*****g destroyed, it's always there. I've not heard from our kid, but I will let people know if I do.
'I'm sure quantum physics is going to explain a lot more to us in the years to come about energy and everything else.'
The statement comes a week after it was revealed that Paul's funeral was also a secret farewell for Bez's dad.
The dancer's Life on Mars-style police officer father died hours after Paul passed away in a double heartbreak for the band.
While Bez, also 58, was comforting Shaun, 59, at his house, he got news his dad was seriously ill so left his grieving bandmate to rush to his family home in Blackpool.
His dad '' who battled to keep Bez, aka Mark Berry, on the straight-and-narrow when he was a tearaway teenager and whose dad instilled a love of beekeeping in his son '' passed away hours after Paul in the early hours of Saturday.
His funeral took place a week before Paul's but he was talked about a lot at Paul's funeral.
A family source told MailOnline: 'The band have taken two really big hits in the past few weeks. First Paul goes, then Bez had to cope with his dad's death.
'But Bez is really, really private when it comes to his parents and family and he didn't want to make a big public announcement or make a big show of it.
'He dealt with his grief quietly while comforting Shaun at the same time.'
Mourners: The family, friends and old bandmates of Happy Mondays bassist Paul paid tribute to Paul and laid him to rest at his funeral on August 4. Shaun (pictured centre) helped to carry the coffin into St Charles Church in Swinton, Manchester - Bez's father's funeral was the week before
Through thick and thin: The Happy Mondays have turned their lives around after years of publicised wild partying
There for him: 'But Bez didn't want to overshadow the goodbye to Paul by talking about his dad, and he won't be giving any interviews about it and doesn't want to talk about it in public '' he sees it as totally private'
Cute! Last October Bez revealed he was engaged to personal trainer Firouzeh Razavi,, 34, after a sweet mountain top proposal
Paul was cremated after a funeral service at St Charles Church in Swinton, Manchester, on August 4.
Celebrity mourners included Stone Roses lead singer Ian Brown, 59, and Peter Hook, 66, bassist and co-founder of New Order and Joy Division.
Ian McCulloch, 63, from Echo & The Bunnymen for mourners was his band's tear-jerking ballad Nothing Lasts Forever '' which contains the lines: 'I need to live in dreams today, I'm tired of the song that sorrow sings'... The love that always gets me on my knees.'
The family insider added: 'The funeral was a big deal, quite rightly, and loads of people there knew about Bez's dad, so it was really a double-farewell in some ways.
'Glasses were not only raised to Paul but also to Bez's dad at the wake.
'But Bez didn't want to overshadow the goodbye to Paul by talking about his dad, and he won't be giving any interviews about it and doesn't want to talk about it in public '' he sees it as totally private.'
The source said Bez is so private when it comes to his parents he doesn't like giving out his dad's name.
It is understood the dancer's father was in his 80s and had been ill for some time before he passed peacefully at home 'basically from old age'.
The source said: 'He lived a good life and always did his best by Bez, so it's just a really sad time for the whole of the Mondays.'
Meanwhile, Bez was chucked out of his house as a teen before he went to prison as he fell into crime and had 'delinquent ways'.
He told The Guardian in 2015 during a rare chat about his past: 'My early childhood was really happy because I hadn't fallen into my delinquent ways, so aged one to seven was pretty good. We are from quite a close family; we all visited each other, my grandparents on both sides. It was quite conventional.
'One of my major problems growing up was my father's occupation: he was a policeman. So I had a strong authoritarian background, and that was difficult. I became quite unruly.'
Bez added his sister, who is 18 months younger than him, went to Oxford University and works in the City 'as a high-flying lawyer' and his mother was an auxiliary nurse.
His dad was a 'hard-working' Life on Mars-style chief inspector in the anti-terrorist squad in and 'hard-living.'
After years of wild living and drug taking with Shaun and Co, Bez is now settled and is fanatical about fitness.
He lives in Herefordshire with girlfriend, Firouzeh Razavi, and has three children, Arlo, 30, Jack, 28, and Leo, 13, plus a grandson, Luca, nine.
He added about his upbringing: 'I went to live with my grandparents when my parents threw me out. Then I went to prison at the age of 17, to detention centre, and I remained there until I was 20. That '' and having kids '' made me change how I wanted to live as I didn't want my kids growing up thinking that was the way to live your life.'
Bez added about his paternal grandfather inspiring him to keep bees: 'My dad's dad made me into a honey monster. He fought against Rommel in Africa, then spent the rest of the war in Italy.
'The only thing he came home with was these tins of honey, and, ever since, it has been an integral part of our family's life. Every time I have honey, I always think of my grandad.'
WHY VACCINES ARE IMPORTANTImmunisation is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting people against harmful diseases before they come into contact with them.
Immunisation not only protects individuals, but also others in the community, by reducing the spread of preventable diseases.
Research and testing is an essential part of developing safe and effective vaccines.
In Australia, vaccines must pass strict safety testing before the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will register them for use. Approval of vaccines can take up to 10 years.
Before vaccines become available to the public, large clinical trials test them on thousands of people.
High-quality studies over many years have compared the health of large numbers of vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Medical information from nearly 1.5 million children around the world have confirmed that vaccination does not cause autism.
People first became concerned about autism and immunisation after the medical journal The Lancet published a paper in 1998. This paper claimed there was a link between the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Since then, scientists have completely discredited this paper. The Lancet withdrew it in 2010 and printed an apology. The UK's General Medical Council struck the author off the medical register for misconduct and dishonesty.
Source: Australian Department of Health
Iceland's Food Club credit scheme: How it works and who is eligible | Evening Standard
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 14:26
Iceland Foods has partnered with social enterprise Fair For You to launch a scheme that will allow eligible customers to access micro loans during the school holidays.
A Food Club trial found that 92% of members said access to ethical credit had stopped or reduced their reliance on food banks, according to Iceland, while 71% said they were less likely to fall behind on rent, council tax and other bills.
Simon Dukes, CEO of Fair for You, said: "Nobody should have to go hungry in order to feed their kids, or be forced into making impossible decisions between putting food on the table or having hot water.
''Our mission at Fair for You is to provide affordable credit to those who need it, to ensure they are not ripped off by exploitative lenders. We're proud to be working with Iceland to operate the Iceland Food Club.
''Now that it has launched nationally, it gives plenty more families the opportunity to get the groceries they want, improve their diet and enjoy family meals together, while also getting a better handle on their finances."
But how does Iceland's Food Club work and who is eligible?
How does Iceland's Food Club credit scheme work?
Iceland's Food Club scheme will provide micro-loans of £25-£100 in the form of pre-loaded cards that can be used to shop in store or online at Iceland.
The repayments are set at £10 per week and customers can choose which day of the week they make the repayments. Customers can also make early repayments if it's easier for them to do so.
All loans will be completely interest-free, meaning customers will not have to pay back more than they borrowed.
Iceland customers can take out one loan a time during six windows that coincide with the school holidays.
Approved customers will receive the cards within five to seven business days.
Who's eligible for Iceland's Food Club credit scheme?
Iceland's Food Club Card is open exclusively to new customers.
To find out if you could be eligible for the scheme, you can try Fair For You's eligibility checker, which doesn't leave a footprint on your credit file.
Once you apply, Fair For You will perform credit searches but says it doesn't do generic credit scoring.
People who are on benefits may still be eligible as long as they have a stable, regular income and bank account to make the repayments from.
American Airlines places big bet on supersonic travel
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 14:20
Startups, NASA pursuing supersonic commercial flight
American Airlines has put down a nonrefundable deposit for 20 supersonic passenger jets that are still being designed and years away from flying.
It's unclear how long it will take for the planes to be built, let alone ready to take off with commercial passengers aboard, as the aircrafts '-- made by Boom Supersonic '-- do not yet have an engine maker. Boom said it expects the airplanes to be operational by 2029, which would mark the first time a private company has made a supersonic aircraft.
Experts suggest the timeline could be even longer, given that the plane American has agreed to purchase only exists in computer-generated renderings and noting the long process for winning federal clearance.
But other competitors are also planning supersonic passenger jets. Spike Aerospace is developing an ultra-fast business jet, and startup Hermeus is developing a plane that would travel five times the speed of sound.
"I would describe it as possible '-- I wouldn't describe it as likely that these planes will fly by then," Craig Jenks, president of Airline/Aircraft Projects, an airline industry consultancy, told CBS MoneyWatch. "Everything about it is completely new. If you consider how long it takes to make airplanes that are much less novel, then it would be logical to say that it would be later [than 2029]."
(C) Provided by CBS News A computer-generated rendering of Boom's plane, called the Overture. / Credit: Boom The amount of American's deposit was not disclosed. The novel aircraft, called the Overture, carries a list price of $200 million, but manufacturers typically give airlines deep discounts.
The agreement puts American, the largest U.S. airline, in a position to have the world's largest fleet of supersonic jets. The deal includes an option for the carrier to purchase an additional 40 aircraft, which would carry 65 to 80 passengers, Boom Supersonic said in an announcement Tuesday.
American believes supersonic travel will play a key role for airlines.
"Looking to the future, supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver for our customers," Derek Kerr, chief financial officer at American, said in a statement. "We are excited about how Boom will shape the future of travel both for our company and our customers."
Last year, United Airlines agreed to purchase 15 of the same planes.
"A lot of people got burned the first time"It has been nearly 20 years since the last supersonic passenger flight by the Concorde, the British-French plane that failed to catch on because of stratospheric costs and safety concerns.
"The idea that you could bring back supersonic is an exciting idea, but a heck of a lot of people got burned the first time around, especially with the cost," Jenks said. "It's got this fantastic cost-inefficiency once you break through the sound barrier that you have to compensate for by having sufficiently high fares."
Jenks noted that American's investment suggests the company is bullish about business travel rebounding from pandemic lows.
"It's interesting that this order is being placed around the same time as everyone worrying about the return of business travel," he said. "This goes against the whole idea that people aren't going to fly for business in the same way, or at the same volume. This is a statement that says there is always going to be demand for premium and a faster, more efficient way to travel for business."
Cost-prohibitive for most flyers A ticket to fly from New York to London in about three and a half hours will cost between $4,000 to $5,000, about 30% more than it costs to fly the same route on a business class ticket today.
"Back in the 1960s, a lot of airlines signed on to order these planes but never ended up flying them because of the cost," travel analyst Henry Harteveldt told CBS MoneyWatch.
They're expected to be cost-prohibitive for the majority of consumers this time around as well.
"The first version of this plane is not for the vast majority of us who sit in the back of the plane behind the curtain. But for senior-level executives and business travelers, people for whom time is money, supersonic travel might be viewed as very attractive," he said.
Overture is expected to carry passengers at roughly twice the speed of today's fastest commercial aircraft.
"There are tens of millions of passengers every year flying in business class on routes where Overture will give a big speed-up," Boom CEO Blake Scholl said in an interview. He also believes airlines will be able to turn a profit selling tickets.
That's if they can get their hands on the planes.
Engine-maker wantedBoom is talking with Rolls Royce and others in its search for an engine manufacturer. Another ambition the company has that might not be as speedy as the aircrafts themselves: getting the planes to fly exclusively on sustainable aviation fuel, often made from plant material, which is costly and in short supply.
"I'm really surprised American decided to announce this given all the questions that exist about when an engine will become available for this plane," Harteveldt said. "It takes a lot of years to design, test and develop a new engine need to make sure it's safe."
Sustainable aviation fuels are also in their infancy.
The bottom line: "This plane is not showing up at an airport in the next few years. This is several years away, and it's possible it could slip further," he said.
Boom says the Overture program will cost between $6 billion and $8 billion.
Last month, Boom announced changes to the plane's design to make it simpler and less expensive to build and maintain. The most striking change was switching from three engines, including a different type on the tail, to four identical engines under the delta-shaped wings.
The union representing American's pilots questioned the timing of the airline's investment in planes that won't be available for at least several years. American has struggled this summer, canceling more than 9,300 flights since June 1 '-- more than double the number of cancellations at United, Delta or Southwest, according to FlightAware.
"Investing in today's operation should be management's sole focus," said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union. "If there aren't any changes to how management schedules this airline and its pilots, these will just be supersonic cancellations."
'-- The Associated Press contributed to this report
UK to receive shipment of Australian gas next week - BBC News
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 14:16
By Noor NanjiBusiness reporter, BBC News
Image source, Getty ImagesThe UK is expected to take delivery of a shipment of gas all the way from Australia next week, as the pressure on European energy supplies grows.
The liquid natural gas (LNG) is due to arrive on 22 August, according to commodities analysts Kpler.
Australia doesn't usually sell gas this far afield, but European countries have been seeking alternatives to Russian gas following the invasion of Ukraine.
The UK stopped importing gas from Russia in April.
While the UK bought only a small fraction of its gas from Russia before the conflict began, the country is connected to the European gas network. Continental Europe is much more reliant on Russian gas, and deliveries via the Nordstream pipeline have already been curtailed.
Moscow has been accused of using gas as a political weapon and there are fears it could cut supplies to European countries altogether, if there is no resolution to the crisis.
Energy analyst David Cox said the Australian shipment was a sign of how "desperate" European countries were to secure alternative sources of gas before winter.
"European nations are desperately trying to store up before the winter comes," he told the BBC.
"This shipment isn't necessarily for the UK, because we don't have the storage to keep it anyway. But I imagine most of it will be exported to Europe where they're racing to increase their supplies."
This is the first time Australia has shipped a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo to Europe in at least six years, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news.
Australia's decision to sell to Europe could also be partly due to reduced demand from China, where Mr Cox said repeated Covid lockdowns had reduced the need for energy.
The UK gets about half of its gas directly from the North Sea. A further third comes via pipelines from Norway and it also buys LNG from Qatar, the US and a handful of other countries.
Commodities intelligence firm Kpler confirmed to the BBC that the LNG vessel Attalos is headed to the UK's Isle of Grain terminal near London, bringing with it a cargo from the North West Shelf liquefaction plant in Australia.
CDC Changes Guidance After Gay Couple Likely Infected Their Dog With Monkeypox | The Daily Wire
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 14:14
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance related to animals and the monkeypox virus after a gay couple in France is suspected of transmitting the virus to their dog.
According to a paper published in The Lancet, two male partners, who were sleeping with other partners too, passed monkeypox to their Italian greyhound 12 days after they started showing symptoms.
The males, one aged 44 and the other 27, started seeing symptoms of the virus in a matter of days after sleeping with other partners.
''The men had presented with anal ulceration 6 days after sex with other partners,'' the paper said. ''In patient 1, anal ulceration was followed by a vesiculopustular rash on the face, ears, and legs; in patient 2, on the legs and back. In both cases, rash was associated with asthenia, headaches, and fever 4 days later.''
Nearly two weeks after the couple had symptoms, their dog tested positive for the virus, too.
''Twelve days after symptom onset, their male Italian greyhound, aged 4 years and with no previous medical disorders, presented with mucocutaneous lesions, including abdomen pustules and a thin anal ulceration,'' The Lancet outlined. ''The dog tested positive for monkeypox virus by use of a PCR protocol adapted from Li and colleagues that involved scraping skin lesions and swabbing the anus and oral cavity.''
''The men reported co-sleeping with their dog. They had been careful to prevent their dog from contact with other pets or humans from the onset of their own symptoms,'' the paper added.
The paper's authors concluded, ''To the best of our knowledge, the kinetics of symptom onset in both patients and, subsequently, in their dog suggest human-to-dog transmission of monkeypox virus.''
''Given the dog's skin and mucosal lesions as well as the positive monkeypox virus PCR results from anal and oral swabs, we hypothesise a real canine disease, not a simple carriage of the virus by close contact with humans or airborne transmission (or both),'' the authors continued. ''Our findings should prompt debate on the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus-positive individuals. We call for further investigation on secondary transmissions via pets.''
The monkeypox virus has hit the LGBTQ community hardest across continents, spreading via close contact, including rashes and bodily fluids, according to the CDC.
Since The Lancet paper, the CDC has updated its guidance to include dogs as animals that can catch the virus, CBS News reported.
''People with monkeypox should avoid contact with animals, including pets, domestic animals, and wildlife to prevent spreading the virus,'' the CDC says.
''If your pet is exposed to monkey pox: Do not surrender, euthanize, or abandon pets just because of a potential exposure or Monkeypox virus,'' the agency said, adding, ''Do not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other products, such as hand sanitizer, counter-cleaning wipes, or other industrial or surface cleaners.''
Related: Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Monkeypox Outbreak
Minneapolis schools defend plan to ax white teachers first
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 14:12
Minneapolis Public Schools is defending its deal with the teachers' union to lay off white educators ahead of their less-senior minority colleagues, arguing that it is a necessary measure to remedy ''the effects of past discrimination.''
The school district released a statement to the Washington Times on Tuesday, offering a full-throated defense of the groundbreaking deal with the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, led by president Greta Callahan.
''To remedy the continuing effects of past discrimination, Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) mutually agreed to contract language that aims to support the recruitment and retention of teachers from underrepresented groups as compared to the labor market and to the community served by the school district,'' the district said in an email.
The agreement was signed after a two-week teachers' strike in Minneapolis in March. UCG/Universal Images Group via GIt was previously reported that the terms of the labor contract were to protect ''underrepresented populations'' and keep the district's predominantly white staff from becoming more homogenous.
Under the agreement between the Minneapolis school district and the teachers union, minority instructors ''may be exempted from district-wide layoff[s] outside seniority order,'' according to Minnesota outlet Alpha News.
The language of the contract reportedly states: ''starting with the Spring 2023 Budget Tie-Out Cycle, if excessing [reducing] a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the site, the District shall excess the next least senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population.''
The agreement, which was reached in the spring of 2022 in the wake of a two-week teachers' strike, has been labeled ''illegal'' and ''unconstitutional'' by some critics.
James Dickey, senior trial counsel at the Upper Midwest Law Center, told Alpha News the contract ''openly discriminates against white teachers based only on the color of their skin, and not their seniority or merit.''
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported in June that 16% of the district's tenured teachers and 27% of its probationary teachers were people of color.
The Minneapolis School District is defending its new contract with the teachers union, which stipulates that white teachers with more seniority would be laid off ahead of less experienced instructors of color. Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesMany GOP politicians and conservative activists strongly condemned the new teachers' contract as ''racist.''
Minnesota state Rep. Jeremy Munson wrote on his Facebook page: ''The Minneapolis teachers Union has taken a racist approach and agreed to protect your job based on your skin color, over your job performance or seniority. I don't know who needs to hear this, but racist employment contracts have no place in our society.''
Heritage Foundation fellow Jonathan Butcher told Fox News Digital that the Minneapolis contract violates the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.
Minneapolis Federation of Teachers president Greta Callahan led the strike in the spring and helped orchestrate the deal with the district. Instagram / @gretacallahan612''This is, I think, political posturing,'' he said of the race-based approach to teachers' layoffs. ''It is not dealing with the most important issue which is helping students right now with math and reading.''
Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who famously went to war with teachers' unions in his state, slammed the agreement as both racist and illegal.
''This is another example of why government unions should be eliminated,'' he tweeted.
Moderna to Commence Construction of World's First mRNA Factory on Australian College Campus
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 14:03
The U.S. pharmaceutical giant Moderna has finalised arrangements with the Australian and Victorian governments to build the world's first mRNA production facility located on a university campus.
The construction at Melbourne's Monash University is expected to commence at the end of 2022, with production anticipated to begin by the end of 2024.
The company said that the facility is expected to produce up to 100 million mRNA respiratory vaccine doses annually, targeting respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, seasonal influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, ''and other potential respiratory viruses, pending licensure.''
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel speaks at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on May 23, 2022. (Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Images)''We look forward to being a part of the Monash Clayton precinct and contributing to the R&D ecosystem in Melbourne and across Australia,'' Moderna General Manager Michael Azrak said in a statement on Aug. 15.
The prime minister of Australia and the premier of Victoria said that the plan for the ten-year partnership to create a ''homegrown'' mRNA ecosystem has been completed.
It is designed to reduce Australia's dependence on imported mRNA vaccines, vulnerability to supply disruptions, and delays, according to the Australian ministers.
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews said that this agreement means that Australia will be home to Moderna's only mRNA manufacturing centre in the Southern Hemisphere.
''We're not wasting a second in making sure we have access to the vaccines we need to keep Victorians safe,'' Andrews said.
Vaccine Development RushedHowever, a professor of medicine at Australia's Flinders University has said that, in his opinion, the mRNA development was rushed, and that this may have contributed to issues with adverse reactions.
''I think there was early leadership by Oxford University [AstraZeneca] with the adenovirus viral vector being put into human trials very quickly, you saw that similarly with Moderna and its mRNA approach,'' Nikolai Petrovsky told The Epoch Times previously.
''This created a 'follow the leader'-type mentality with (manufacturers) Sputnik and Johnson and Johnson copying the Oxford approach and Pfizer following Moderna with the mRNA approach.''
Last year, the Victorian government made a significant $50 million (US$35 million) investment to establish ''mRNA Victoria,'' an initiative responsible for leading the mRNA vaccine industry for future generations.
As part of this initiative, they granted Monash University $5.4 million to create the mRNA production facility on its campus.
Jessie Zhang is a reporter based in Sydney covering Australian news, focusing on health and environment. Contact her at jessie.zhang@epochtimes.com.au.
Ukraine planning nuclear provocation on Friday '' Moscow '-- RT Russia & Former Soviet Union
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 14:01
Kiev is set on attacking the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant during a visit by the UN chief, the Russian military claims
Ukraine plans to carry out artillery strikes on the Russia-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on Friday, and then accuse Russia of causing a disaster at the site, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
The predicted attack will be timed to coincide with the ongoing visit to Ukraine by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the ministry claimed.
The Russian ministry said it has detected movements of Ukrainian troops, indicating a looming ''provocation.''
Kiev has deployed units trained in responding to the use of weapons of mass destruction, pre-positioning them to report a radiation leak and demonstrate a purported action to mitigate it, Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
The ministry said it expects a Ukrainian artillery unit to attack the plant on Friday from the city of Nikopol. ''The blame for the consequences [of the strike] will be attributed to the Russian armed forces,'' the statement said.
In a separate statement on Thursday, Igor Kirillov, who heads Russia's Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defense Troops, said his directorate has modeled possible scenarios for a disaster at the Zaporozhye plant. A plume of radioactive materials from the site may reach Poland, Slovakia and Germany, he warned.
Russia has accused Ukraine of conducting frequent drone and artillery strikes against the nuclear power plant in the city of Energodar over the past few weeks. Kiev has denied responsibility and said Russian forces were attacking the plant to discredit Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have also claimed that Russia is using the Zaporozhye facility as a military base.
During the briefing, Konashenkov denied Ukrainian claims that Russia has deployed heavy weapons at the Zaporozhye plant and is attacking Ukrainian troops from the site. The only Russian troops at the facility are lightly armed guards providing physical security, the official said.
The ministry pledged to do its best to prevent damage to the nuclear facility.
Backlash as Dundee man appointed period dignity officer for Tay region in Scotland | STV News
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 13:48
The decision to appoint a man into the post of period dignity officer as part of a new law passed in Scotland has been branded ''ridiculous''.
On Monday, Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce a legal requirement for the provision of period products free of charge to those who need them.
The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 also makes it a legal requirement for local authorities and educational settings to employ a period dignity officer.
For the Tay region, Dundee resident Jason Grant has been appointed to the role.
He said he will work to ''break down barriers, reduce stigma and encourage more open discussions'' in the role and is employed by a project team which includes Dundee and Angus College, Perth College, Angus Council and Dundee City Council.
Mr Grant said: ''Too many women and families cannot afford to buy period products, so this new legislation is both transformational and long-overdue.
''With our partners, we will be looking at fine-tuning the existing distribution and availability of products, including sustainable options and even plan performing art workshops in schools and colleges to improve education around periods.''
The appointment has proven controversial, with many zeroing in on the need to employ women in positions such as this.
In an interview with Sky News, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said that ''as a principle, it would be far better if women were in these posts than anyone else''.
He continued: ''It's a policy that we should all be proud of '' all the steps that have been taken. I think, at the end of the day, there should be a priority of having women in place in these posts.
Should a man hold the first Period Dignity Officer position in Scotland?Ian Blackford MP says as a principle it would better if 'women were in these posts' and adds that Scotland should be proud of its actions against period poverty.
Read more here 👉 https://t.co/JPlZp5wSoG pic.twitter.com/3bIVM2oZeo
'-- Sky News (@SkyNews) August 16, 2022Tennis icon Martina Navratilova took to social media to express her displeasure, calling Grant's appoint ''f****** ridiculous''.
She later said to a follower: ''Have we ever tried to explain to men how to shave or how to take care of their prostate or whatever?!? This is absurd.''
Scottish hip hop artist Darren McGarvey, added: ''You would think this kind of stuff would be choreographed a little more delicately.
''Yes, it's a Dundee Council appointment but people are not going to care. The optics are unnecessarily bad.''
Actress Frances Barber also criticised the appointment, tweeting: ''I don't know how Scottish women feel about this, but as an English lover of Scotland, I'm fuming.''
In a statement announcing the appointment, Jason Grant said that being a man would help him ''break down barriers, reduce stigma and encourage more open discussions''.
He said: ''Although affecting women directly, periods are an issue for everyone. We'll also raise awareness of the menopause, which, although a natural process for women, has wider repercussions in the world of work and family.
''It's time to normalise these topics and get real around the subject.
''I believe I can make progress by proving this isn't just a female topic, encouraging conversations across all genders and educating and engaging new audiences.''
The role was advertised online with a salary between £33,153 and £36,126 a year on a fixed term contract until 2024.
The legislation to offer free period products was proposed by Labour MSP Monica Lennon and it was unanimously backed in the Scottish Parliament in 2020.
Of the launch's success, Lennon told STV News: ''It's a major milestone for the period dignity campaign.
''Councils and charities, community groups, have been doing the hard work already to improve access to period products, to make people aware of how they can access them.
''But now people know that they have this legal right, so that's really, really important.
''And I hope it also sends out a message to other countries, other governments, that they can do this too.''
A spokesperson for the Period Dignity Working Group, which comprises Dundee and Angus College, Angus Council, Dundee City Council and Perth College said: ''This new role, funded by the Scottish Government, was created to promote and implement new legislation, specifically focused on project management.
''The role builds on some fantastic work which has been gathering speed across the Tay region for several years, led by a passionate group of people of all genders, ages and backgrounds.
''With all partners in the working group Equal Opportunities Employers, Jason was the strongest candidate.
''By changing the culture, encouraging debate and removing the stigma around periods, we look forward to supporting the delivery of this important work across the region.''
Dundee and Angus College, Perth College, Angus Council and Dundee City Council have been contacted for comment.
Why Burger King Austria Made Plant-Based The Default
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 13:32
A one-time Burger King campaign in Austria required customers to specifically request meat in their burgers.
The fast food chain recently revealed that one in three of its burgers sold in Belgium is vegetarian. (In some central city stores, the ratio rises to one in two.)
Burger King Austria has since conducted an experimental campaign to encourage more meat-free diners. Those who wanted meat in their burgers had to explicitly ask for it. The standard variation, however, was a vegetarian patty in all sandwiches.
The consumer trial took place in a restaurant in Margareteng¼rtel in Vienna.
'Normal or with meat?'The meat-free-as-standard stunt launched earlier this month. It directly asked consumers to think about what they are ordering by showcasing a provocative slogan that reads ''Normal oder mit fleisch?''(''Normal or with meat?'')
At the point of ordering, a Burger King server asked if customers wanted their burgers made as standard, or with meat in them. In many cases, this led to an explanation that the chain no longer considers animal meat as the only norm for its menu items.
The campaign has spurred debate. A YouTube video with more than 80,000 views shows customers reacting both positively and negatively to the one-time ordering system.
''So what, should I order my coke with meat as well?'' asks one disgruntled consumer, before swearing about wanting a ''normal'' patty on his Whopper. Conversely, another says: ''Got it, got it'...nice. Like it.''
In Austria, more than a quarter (25.8 percent) of the population identified as flexitarian in 2021. This figure is expected to continue increasing as more consumers reduce their meat intake.
Creating conversationBurger King Austria's YouTube video garnered more than 20,000 views in one day. Using the hashtag #normalodermitfleisch, it was intended to spark debate.
''With this question, we want to stimulate the social debate and show that our plant-based alternatives have a confusing taste,'' Jan-Christoph K¼ster, marketing director of the TQSR Group, Austrian master franchisee of Burger King, said in a statement.
He continued: ''Meat is one option, but it is not the only one. We leave it open to our guests what is normal for them: everyone should have the same taste.''
Burger King caters to meat-free dinersThe Burger King Austria restaurant experiment comes after a slew of other Burger King locations turned vegetarian or vegan for limited periods. Notable amongst them was London's flagship restaurant in Leicester Square, which embraced a fully plant-based menu in March this year.
''At Burger King, we are making meatless indulgence a permanent fixture on our menu, because meat no longer comes naturally to everyone.''
''With the provocative question 'Normal or meat?', we want to show that we take our customers and their needs seriously. Because from now on, we also serve almost our entire range on a plant-based basis,'' K¼ster said.
Shocking: UK Government Admits COVID Vaccinated Children Are 4423% More Likely to Die of Any Cause & 13,633% More Likely to Die of COVID-19 Than Unvaccinated Children - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 13:20
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First published on July 29, 2022
The UK Government has quietly confirmed that the Covid-19 vaccines are killing children at an unprecedented rate.
Shocking figures contained in an official report, published just hours before Boris Johnson announced his resignation as Prime Minister of the UK, reveal Covid-19 vaccinated children are 4423%/45x more likely to die of any cause than unvaccinated children and 13,6333/137x more likely to die of Covid-19 than unvaccinated children.
A UK Government agency, known as the Office for National Statistics (ONS), recently published new data on deaths by vaccination status in England.
The latest dataset from the ONS is titled 'Deaths by Vaccination Status, England, 1 January 2021 to 31 May 2022', and it can be accessed on the ONS site here, and downloaded here.
Table 6 of the dataset contains data on deaths involving Covid-19, deaths not involving Covid-19 and all-cause deaths by age group in England between 1st January 2021 and 31st May 2022, and it includes the number of deaths among children aged 10 to 14 by vaccination status, and teenagers aged 15 to 19 by vaccination status.
However, it is quite clear from the data that the ONS are not being as transparent as we would like to believe. This is because they fail to provide the death rate per 100,000 person-years among children or teenagers, whereas they have provided it for all other adult age groups in every other table contained in the dataset.
For example, here's a snapshot of the data from table 1 of the dataset showing the death rate per 100,000 person-years by vaccination status in April 2022 ''
Unfortunately for the ONS, they have failed in their attempts to disguise the horrific mortality rates among Covid-19 vaccinated children because they still provide us with enough information for us to calculate the mortality rates ourselves.
Here's a snapshot of the ONS data on deaths among children aged 10 to 14 between 1st Jan 2021 and 31st May 2022 by vaccination status ''
The data above includes the number of deaths and the number of person-years among each vaccination group.
Therefore, all we need to do is divide each vaccination group's 'person-years' by 100,000, and then divide the number of deaths among each vaccination group by the answer to the previous equation, to work out the mortality rates by vaccination status.
e.g. Unvaccinated 2,881,265 Person-years / 100,000 = 28.81Unvaccinated Covid-19 Deaths (9) / 28.81 = 0.3 Deaths per 100,000 person-years
The following two charts show the mortality rates by vaccination status per 100,000 person-years among children aged 10 to 14 in England for the period 1st January 2021 to 31st May 2022, according to the figures provided by the ONS ''
Due to the large amount of information contained in the above two charts we've cherry-picked the most significant findings to create the following chart ''
In regard to Covid-19 deaths, the ONS reveals that the mortality rate among unvaccinated children aged 10 to 14 equates to 0.31. But in regards to one-dose vaccinated children the mortality rate equates to 3.24 per 100,000 person-years, and in regards to triple vaccinated children the mortality rate equates to a shocking 41.29 per 100,000 person-years.
These figures reveal that unvaccinated children are much less likely to die of Covid-19 than children who have had the Covid-19 injection.
Based on Pfizer's vaccine efficacy formula, this data reveals that the Covid-19 injections are now proving to have negative effectiveness against death among children, with the real-world effectiveness between January 2021 and May 2022 being as follows ''
Unvaccinated Death Rate '' Vaccinated Death Rate / Unvaccinated Death Rate x 100 = Vaccine Effectiveness against Death
The Covid-19 injections are proving to have real-world negative effectiveness against death of minus-966.67% among partly vaccinated children, and a shocking real-world negative effectiveness against death of minus-13,633.33% among triple vaccinated children.
This isn't anywhere near the claimed 95% effectiveness against death made by Pfizer, is it?
In other words, partly vaccinated children are 11x/966.67% more likely to die of Covid-19 than unvaccinated children, and triple vaccinated children are 137.3x/13,633.33% more likely to die of Covid-19 than unvaccinated children.
And unfortunately, there is little improvement when it comes to non-Covid-19 deaths. Here's the chart again showing the mortality rates by vaccination status among children in England ''
The all-cause death mortality rate equates to 6.39 per 100,000 person-years among unvaccinated children, and is ever so slightly higher at 6.48 among partly vaccinated children.
However, the rate goes from bad to worse following the administration of each injection. The all-cause death mortality rate equates to 97.28 among double-vaccinated children, and a shocking 289.02 per 100,000 person-years among triple-vaccinated children.
This means, according to the UK Governments own official data, double vaccinated children are 1422% / 15.22x more likely to die of any cause than unvaccinated children. Whilst triple vaccinated children are 4423% / 45.23x more likely to die of any cause than unvaccinated children.
Unfortunately, we see much of the same when it comes to vaccinated teenagers.
The following two charts show the mortality rates by vaccination status per 100,000 person-years among teenagers aged 15 to 19 in England for the period 1st January 2021 to 31st May 2022, according to the figures provided by the ONS ''
Again, due to the large amount of information contained in the above two charts we've cherry-picked the most significant findings to create the following chart ''
What we discover from the above is that triple vaccinated teenagers are 136% / 2.35x more likely to die of Covid-19 than unvaccinated teenagers, and 38% more likely to die of any cause than unvaccinated teenagers.
The worst figures in terms of all-cause deaths are however among double-vaccinated teenagers. Official UK Government data reveals that double vaccinated teenagers, with a mortality rate of 36.17 per 100,000 person-years, are 149.3% / 2.5 x more likely to die of any cause than unvaccinated teenagers with a mortality rate of 14.51 per 100,000 person-years.
To summarise, the official UK Government figures published by the UK's Office for National Statistics, prove that COVID-vaccinated children and teenagers are more likely to die of both Covid-19 and any other cause than unvaccinated children and teenagers.
This indicates that in regard to Covid-19, vaccination is actually worsening the immune response to the alleged virus and increasing the risk of both hospitalisation and death. But in regards to all-cause deaths, this indicates the Covid-19 injections are directly killing children.
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BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Trump Got'em - Huge Concerns About Peter Strzok Working for the CIA Are Likely at the Heart of Mar-a-Lago RAID
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 13:18
The brazen raid of President Trump's home in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, likely has its roots in the Russia collusion story with a particular focus on Peter Strzok and his affiliation with the CIA.
We reported back in May 2020 that Peter Strzok was somehow connected to the CIA. General Michael Flynn's attorney Sidney Powell even said so on Hannity's show on FOX News at that time:
Sidney Powell was on Hannity last night on FOX News after the breaking news that her client, General Michael Flynn, had his case dismissed by the DOJ earlier in the day. Powell shared:
This was a deliberate, malevolent, concerted effort to destroy an honest man and thereby get to the President of the United States to destroy him. There's no doubt about it whatsoever. I would encourage people to read the actual documents themselves. The governments own reports, the agents own notes, they're all attached as exhibits to the government's filing today and our filings in the last 10 days or so. It's important for people to see it for themselves, the actual evidence in the government's own handwriting and documents'....
TRENDING: BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Trump Got'em - Huge Concerns About Peter Strzok Working for the CIA Are Likely at the Heart of Mar-a-Lago RAID
Hannity asked what did Obama know and when did he know it, to which, Powell replied:
Probably Susan Rice and Peter Strzok, who was working for both Mr. Brennan in the CIA and the FBI on the quote 'counterintelligence investigation'. We have to go back to at least August 15, of 2016 when Strzok and Page text each other about the insurance policy they discussed in McCabe's office.
It's the very next day, August 16, 2016, before the election when they opened the file on General Flynn.
The day after that they slipped an agent [believed to be Joe Pientka] into the Presidential briefing to spy on General Flynn.
BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: It's Likely Dirty Cops Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka Both Worked for the FBI and John Brennan's CIA
Could Peter Strzok have worked for both the FBI and CIA, or only one entity? If that entity was the CIA, how could Peter Strzok have been fired from the FBI if he never worked for the FBI?
These are HUGE questions. Did the Deep State lie to President Trump when they claimed they fired Peter Strzok from the FBI because he never worked for the FBI? How could he have been fired from the FBI if he worked for the CIA?
Confirmed: Dirty Cop Robert Mueller Destroyed Peter Strzok's Text Messages Before He was Fired
Did President Trump trump the Deep State?There is no evidence that Peter Strzok ever worked or served in any FBI field office. Nor is there any evidence that Strzok attended the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia. There is no evidence Strzok ever graduated from Quantico. Any of these would indicate his attachment to the FBI but they cannot be found.
Strzok's history shows that he left the Army and was immediately assigned to the White House. (See picture above of Strzok in the late 1990's in the Clinton White House.) When did Strzok have time to attend the FBI academy if he went directly to the White House?
Another indication of Strzok's connection to the CIA is that he signed a document with the title not of an FBI employee but with a CIA title.
It appears Peter Strzok was under the FBI to allow the CIA to operate in the US and that Crossfire Hurricane was a political operation by the CIA disguised as an FBI operation.
More to be revealed'...
FBI Sought Documents Trump Hoarded for Years, Including about Russiagate
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 13:12
Donald Trump's cache of documents included some about Russiagate. Here, the former president arrives at the America First Policy Institute Agenda Summit in Washington, DC, on July 26, 2022 MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesThe FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago last Monday was specifically intended to recover Donald Trump's personal "stash" of hidden documents, two high-level U.S. intelligence officials tell Newsweek.
To justify the unprecedented raid on a former president's residence and protect the source who revealed the existence of Trump's private hoard, agents went into Trump's residence on the pretext that they were seeking all government documents, says one official who has been involved in the investigation. But the true target was this private stash, which Justice Department officials feared Donald Trump might weaponize.
"They collected everything that rightfully belonged to the U.S. government but the true target was these documents that Trump had been collecting since early in his administration," says the source, who was granted anonymity to discuss sensitive issues.
The sought-after documents deal with a variety of intelligence matters of interest to the former president, the officials suggest'--including material that Trump apparently thought would exonerate him of any claims of Russian collusion in 2016 or any other election-related charges.
When Trump left the White House in January 2021, many of the normal processes of transition were not followed, especially because the president would not admit that he had lost the election or that he would be leaving office. As a result, we now know, some 42 boxes of documents were shipped to Mar-a-Lago by mistake: officials papers under U.S. law, which the National Archives is supposed to take custody of and catalog.
Over the past 18 months, the Trump camp and the Archives were engaged in a back-and-forth which resulted in the return of 15 boxes (and some additional documents). As late as June 3, when officials from the FBI and Justice visited Mar-a-Lago to serve a Grand Jury subpoena for specific documents, these negotiations were largely cordial.
But in the course of its investigation, the FBI and Justice became aware of Trump's private collection. As Newsweek previously reported, a confidential human source revealed that the former president wasn't planning to divulge that he had possession of some of his own documents and that he did not intend to return them.
Trump administration officials, including former national security advisor John Bolton, have described how the president regularly tore out pages from intelligence reports, or took away documents which interested him to his White House residence. Most of those documents had the potential to reveal U.S. intelligence "sources and methods," as Newsweek reported.
The Washington Post reported that those documents dealt with nuclear weapons, adding on Tuesday, "People familiar with the investigation did not offer additional details, such as whether the documents being sought involved weapons belonging to the United States or another nation."
The two U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the situation tell Newsweek that while some of the intelligence documents might have dealt with nuclear weapons, that was not the main focus. "Donald Trump kept documents that interested him," one of those officials says, "sometimes Iranian or North Korean nukes, sometimes Ukraine or Russia, some foreign leaders." It wasn't the subject matter per se that was of interest to Justice as it was fear that Trump might "weaponize" the information, including for personal gain, the official says.
"Trump was particularly interested in matters related to the Russia hoax and the wrong-doings of the deep state," one former Trump official tells Newsweek. "I think he felt, and I agree, that these are facts that the American people need to know." The official says Trump may have been planning to use them as part of a 2024 run for the presidency.
The high-level U.S. government officials explain that it was not necessarily the classification level of the documents nor even their subject matter that investigators were focused on.
"All official documents, regardless of classification, are required to be returned to the Archives under the Presidential Records Act," one of the officials says. "And surely the FBI was going about its business of retrieving everything."
But it is accurate to think about what was retrieved at Mar-a-Lago as two distinct sets of documents'--those that are being openly sought under the Presidential Records Act and those that formed part of Donald Trump's stash.
"What we're talking about here is not just documents that the Archives was seeking to fulfill the provisions of the Act," one of the officials says. "They were also after some number of documents that they considered more sensitive, but also documents that they felt the former president had no intention to return."
The decision to search Mar-a-Lago was prompted by concern that the documents might be moved as the negotiations dragged on, or that former President Trump might use them, revealing secrets or revealing intelligence sources and methods (including agents on the U.S. payroll or other secrets, such as what was being intercepted electronically).
Trump has said that the FBI broke into his personal safe, one evidently located in his office or bedroom, a claim that the government has not confirmed. The two government sources agree that the private cache was located separately from the storage room that contained the 11 sets of classified documents that were the bulk of what the FBI retrieved.
On Monday, the Justice Department returned three passports that the FBI says it inadvertently seized in the search: a quasi admission that a Trump safe might have been the specific target, the U.S. officials say.
Also on Monday, in response to a filing with the Florida court by numerous news media organizations asking that the Affidavit that justified the search be made public, the Justice Department said that releasing it would undermine an "ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security."
The Affidavit, Justice said in their opposition to unsealing the Affidavit, would reveal "highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government; specific investigative techniques; and information required by law to be kept under seal."
In laymen's terms, the Affidavit reveals human sources ("witnesses") and the possibility that "specific investigative techniques," including information from the intelligence community about what they believed Donald Trump had, or about surveillance of Mar-a-Lago, would be compromised.
"I know it is hard for people to understand that the classification of the documents was not the main concern per se," says one of the high-level government officials. "It is Donald Trump's potential law-breaking that is the focus. That applies to the Records Act stuff. As for his private stash? I don't know what that material is, but Justice was alarmed that Trump was planning to keep his possession secret."
"People are too focused on sensitivity and not the law," says the other official. It is what they knew (or believed) about Donald Trump's plans that prompted the search now. The official, who is confident that the search was legally valid, questions whether it was the smartest move. "We've still got to unpack all of these terms'--nuclear, espionage, classified'--so the public understands. That will be tricky because the issues and technicalities are in fact extremely complicated."
Correction: 8/17; 8:45 p.m.: The number of boxes shipped to Mar-a-Lago was 42, not 27 as originally reported.
Doctor Warns of Suspicious Pattern Behind Monkeypox Outbreak
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 13:10
There has been much speculation that the novel coronavirus was a bioweapon developed in a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lab. Now, an American doctor has a theory that the new monkeypox outbreak may also have similar nefarious origins.
Dr. Syed Haider told The Epoch Times that the development of the monkeypox outbreak seems identical to the way COVID-19 was introduced to the world.
Dr. Syed Haider. (Courtesy of Haider)According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox, but are much milder and rarely fatal.
Monkeypox was discovered in 1958, after two outbreaks of the pox-like disease infected colonies of monkeys being kept for research. However, the source of the disease remains unknown. While African rodents and monkeys might harbor the virus and infect people, the first human case of monkeypox wasn't recorded until 1970.
Prior to the 2022 outbreak, cases of monkeypox in humans had been reported in several Central African and West African countries. However, nearly all cases outside of Africa were linked to international travel.
About a year after the COVID-19 outbreak, Haider said he learned about ''Event 201,'' which was a tabletop exercise conducted a few months before the coronavirus began to spread.
''It really set the tone for the response by governments all around the world,'' Haider explained. ''They followed the recommendations that were developed during that tabletop exercise in terms of lockdowns and masks and how to deal with misinformation online. They addressed all of these topics.''
Haider noted that in March 2021, before the current monkeypox outbreak, there was another tabletop exercise hosted by the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Munich Security Conference. This time, it was for ''a strange variant of monkeypox'' that was hypothetically bioengineered and released to the world on May 15, 2022, by a terrorist group as a weapon. This hypothetical strain of monkeypox was also defined as resistant to the vaccines that are already available for smallpox, which Haider said are supposed to work on monkeypox as well.
''The bizarre thing is the actual outbreak started within a day or two of the date predicted in the tabletop exercise,'' Haider said.
An 'Unusual Variant'''It's an unusual variant,'' Haider said. ''We've never had a variant of monkeypox that primarily spreads between gay men.''
Haider said there are other signs that lead him to believe the current strain of monkeypox was engineered.
He said the monkeypox virus mutates very slowly and that the last known precursor to this variant is so different that it could not have happened naturally, adding that there just wasn't enough time for natural evolution to create the variant spreading right now.
While it isn't ''proof'' or considered to be the proverbial ''smoking gun,'' Haider said it is very suspicious and that there is ''concern that this is also a bioweapon or some sort of bioterrorism event that's unfolding.''
Haider said that during the monkeypox tabletop exercise, the researchers involved recommended that mandatory masking and lockdowns be instituted and that people should be vaccinated.
''My main concern is to make people aware that this could be used to take away our freedoms the same way the COVID pandemic was used,'' he said.
Haider did note that this does not mean that monkeypox may not harm some people or that it's not a real virus.
''Some people may end up being hospitalized and some might die eventually, especially with the health care system being overwhelmed,'' he said. ''Right now what we're seeing is 10 percent of people with monkeypox have been hospitalized just for the sheer pain of the lesions. It can last for weeks, and they may need strong pain killers.''
Repurposed for ControlThe important message Haider wants to give to people is that authorities shouldn't be insisting on trying to control an outbreak with measures they know don't work. Rather than widespread lockdowns of entire societies, it's best to establish a program that involves ''isolation of the cases.''
''That works,'' Haider said. ''That's what stops the spread of monkeypox. It's a pretty slow-moving virus. It doesn't spread as quickly as COVID. If you just isolate the cases until they are no longer symptomatic, that's all you really need to do. At this point, there is no asymptomatic spread, or it's vanishingly rare. In terms of public health, if something is vanishingly rare, it doesn't really enter into the equation of public health.''
As Haider explained, what people should be concerned about is the usual route of transmission.
''While it might be possible to get it from kissing someone or being one inch from their face for six hours, that's not what's going to drive the pandemic forward,'' he explained. ''It's not going to lead to a wildfire spread through society. What's going to lead to widespread transmission is contact with lesions or contact with the fluid that comes out of the lesions. So we need to educate people to know that if you think you have monkeypox, isolate yourself and you won't spread it to other people. This is the way to stop a pandemic. Masking is a ridiculous measure for monkeypox, even more ridiculous than it was for COVID.''
That being said, Haider explained that the monkeypox outbreak ''can all be easily repurposed as a way to take control away from people, especially going into the midterm elections to try to get us to avoid going to the polls or to use mail-in voting rather than in-person voting.'' He said it can also be sued as ''an economic weapon.''
''COVID ended up being an economic weapon that destroyed economies around the world and impoverished people,'' Haider recalled. ''It destroyed medium and small businesses and concentrated wealth at the top. Then it spreads beyond economics into people's health.''
Inflating the NumbersAs Haider explained, people end up dying when an economy is destroyed through a phenomenon known as ''deaths of despair.''
According to the American Council on Science and Health, ''deaths of despair'' are defined as ''mortality resulting from suicide, drug overdose, and alcohol-related liver disease,'' which became increasingly problematic during the extended isolation during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Statistics show that easy access to handguns, alcohol, and opioids'--either prescribed, diverted, or obtained through illicit means'--increases the likelihood of these deaths.
Haider also noted how'--just as they did during the COVID-19 pandemic'--people may also die at home of a heart attack or a stroke simply because they are too afraid of contracting monkeypox to leave their homes to go to a hospital. Haider also noted that most of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 were actually people who died ''with COVID, not from COVID.''
According to a report by the CDC, 95 percent of the Americans who died from COVID-19 as of Aug. 7, 2022, had comorbidities that played a role in their deaths, such as influenza or pneumonia (44.2 percent), hypertension (18.2 percent), diabetes (13.6 percent), Alzheimer's disease and other dementias (10.3 percent), and sepsis (11 percent). Deaths from heart attacks, and even a death caused by a motorcycle accident, were coded as COVID-19 deaths.
Resist the FearAccording to Haider, the preventable death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what should be avoided with this monkeypox outbreak, is the self-inflicted death tolls caused by mismanagement, lockdowns, and unnecessary mandates that force people into depressive conditions of isolation.
Haider said most people aren't at risk of contracting monkeypox because it's primarily being sexually transmitted among gay men.
''I don't want to be fear-mongering,'' Haider insisted, citing the fear he saw in younger patients who had essentially no risk to COVID-19 asking him how many masks they needed to wear or if a biohazard suit would keep them safe.
''Fear itself is harmful to your immune system,'' he said. ''It triggers immunosuppressants, which will actually make your body more susceptible to infections and illness.''
The main message Haider wants to pass on to people is ''don't be afraid of this thing.''
''If it does get bigger and spread more we will develop protocols, just like we did during COVID,'' Haider assured, noting there are already promising preparedness protocols, which he is already offering his patients through his online practice.
''We should not allow governments to seize control the way they did last time,'' Haider admonished. ''Anyone who thinks it's laughable and that we're not going to put up with that again, think again. Once the mainstream media gets going and decides to give monkeypox 24/7 coverage the way they did with COVID, people are going to be convinced again, afraid again, and will accept society-wide lockdowns again.
''We need to start working now to prevent that from happening, again.''
Jan Jekielek contributed to this report.
Sex between men, not skin contact, is fueling monkeypox, new research suggests
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 13:00
Since the outset of the global monkeypox outbreak in May, public health and infectious disease experts have told the public that the virus is largely transmitting through skin-to-skin contact, in particular during sex between men.
Now, however, an expanding cadre of experts has come to believe that sex between men itself '-- both anal as well as oral intercourse '-- is likely the main driver of global monkeypox transmission. The skin contact that comes with sex, these experts say, is probably much less of a risk factor.
In recent weeks, a growing body of scientific evidence '-- including a trio of studies published in peer-reviewed journals, as well as reports from national, regional and global health authorities '-- has suggested that experts may have framed monkeypox's typical transmission route precisely backward.
Reconceiving the primary risk factors for transmission is crucial because of how it may affect guidance on reducing the risk of infection, including the question of whether demanding that people with the virus self-isolate has any substantial impact on transmission.
''A growing body of evidence supports that sexual transmission, particularly through seminal fluids, is occurring with the current MPX outbreak,'' said Dr. Aniruddha Hazra, medical director of the University of Chicago Sexual Wellness Clinic, referring to monkeypox and to recent studies that found the virus in semen.
Consequently, scientists told NBC News that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health authorities should update their monkeypox communication strategies to more strongly emphasize the centrality of intercourse among gay and bisexual men, who comprise nearly all U.S. cases, to the virus' spread.
On Aug. 14, Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, an infectious disease physician at the University of Southern California, and Dr. Lao-Tzu Allan-Blitz, a resident physician in global health at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, published an essay on Medium in which they reviewed the science supporting the argument that during the current outbreak, monkeypox is largely transmitting through anal and oral intercourse between men.
''It looks very clear to us that this is an infection that is transmitting sexually the vast majority of the time,'' Allan-Blitz said.
This debate, however, is far from settled.
Dr. Rosamund Lewis, technical lead for monkeypox at the World Health Organization, told NBC News it was ''unfortunate but true'' that ''we don't know yet'' whether the virus is predominantly transmitted through intercourse.
''Completely reading the situation as uniquely due to anal or oral sex is highly likely to be overreach,'' she said. ''The correlation may appear to be strong, but that does not explain the whole picture of disease caused by this virus. So we need to keep an open mind.''
Some experts in infectious disease see evidence supporting the argument that monkeypox at least transmits more readily through intercourse.
''At this point,'' said Dr. Paul Adamson, an infectious disease specialist at the UCLA School of Medicine, ''I'm not sure we can say it is primarily the sexual transmission and not the skin-to-skin contact that also occurs during sex that is contributing to the most transmission during this current outbreak. However, emerging data seem to suggest that monkeypox might be more efficiently transmitted sexually.''
Parsing the evidenceIn an interview, Klausner, who has submitted a version of his and Allan-Blitz's essay to a scientific journal for publication, distilled the evidence that he said supports the hypothesis that sex itself fuels the global outbreak into four major points.
First, he noted that, according to the WHO, more than three quarters of global monkeypox cases are among men 18 to 44 years old. This is a typical age breakdown for diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections among gay and bisexual men, he said. What's more, in recent studies of pooled monkeypox cases among this demographic, 17% to 32% of those diagnosed with the virus received a sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis at the same time.
Second, during the global outbreak, atypical to what has historically been seen in the 11 African nations where the virus has become endemic since first being identified in humans in 1970, monkeypox lesions have in the majority of cases occurred in men's genital and anorectal areas. This, experts told NBC News, suggests that these were the sites where the virus first passed into the body.
In a study of 197 monkeypox cases in London men published July 28 in The BMJ, the British Medical Association's journal, researchers found that 56% had lesions in the genital area and 42% had them in their anorectal regions. And in a study published July 21 in The New England Journal of Medicine, a global team of researchers pooled 538 monkeypox cases '-- also all in men '-- from around the world and found that 73% had lesions in the genital or anorectal areas.
Third, researchers have found monkeypox in semen and have been able to culture that virus, which suggests it could transmit through ejaculation. Also, the authors of two recent studies have detected the virus after taking anal swabs among men who had monkeypox but were asymptomatic, which indicates that the virus might transmit from the anorectal area during anal intercourse before people develop symptoms. Experts say more research is needed on both these fronts.
Referring to bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal fluids and blood, the WHO's Lewis said, ''Research is underway to find out more about whether people can spread monkeypox through the exchange of these fluids during and after symptomatic infection.''
Finally, Klausner noted that scientists have identified an association between specific sexual acts and the location of monkeypox lesions.
The authors of a paper published Aug. 8 in The Lancet documenting 181 cases of the virus in Spain found that 38% of the men who reported having receptive anal intercourse, called ''bottoming,'' developed proctitis, or inflammation of the rectum. Just 7% of the men who reported sex with men without bottoming developed this potentially excruciating symptom. Additionally, 95% of the men with tonsillitis reported performing oral sex on a man.
Dr. Oriol Mitj , an associate professor in infectious disease at the University Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol in Spain and the joint senior co-author of the study in The Lancet, said monkeypox transmits most efficiently when lesions come into contact with mucus membranes in the anorectal area, genitals, mouth and throat.
Monkeypox is more likely to transmit through oral or anal sex than through contact with external skin, which would need some sort of defect, such as a wound, to allow entry of the virus, Mitj said.
Dr. Dimie Ogoina, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Niger Delta University in Nigeria, acknowledged Mitj 's research supporting the connection between types of sex between men and monkeypox outcomes.
''This is not to say that females or heterosexuals are not at risk of monkeypox or that the female genital mucosa is not prone to abrasions during sexual activity,'' Ogoina said.
Global trends Some experts, like the WHO's Lewis, maintain that the main mode of monkeypox transmission remains skin-to-skin contact '-- including during sex. Others, like Klausner and Adamson, say a number of infectious disease experts may resist believing intercourse is a predominant driver of the current outbreak because that is not how monkeypox has tended to spread in past decades.
''Historically, the primary mode of transmission of monkeypox was through skin-skin contact, though there might have been some suggestion of sexual transmission in prior outbreaks. It takes some time and additional data to overturn our understanding of transmission,'' Adamson said.
Monkeypox has been diagnosed in 38,019 people in 93 countries during this current global outbreak, according to the CDC. And the WHO reports that among cases with proper data, 97% have been diagnosed in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. The consistency with which cases have remained so overwhelmingly in this demographic, some experts argue, is further evidence that the virus transmits among them through a behavior that is exclusive to the group '-- anal intercourse and oral sex between men.
Meanwhile, across the global outbreak, the virus is also apparently following the same transmission patterns traditionally seen in Africa. But experts assert that just as in those African nations, when the virus transmits through nonsexual means, it does so with dramatically lower efficiency '-- and thus at a rate similar to the relatively slow spread seen in Africa.
Specifically, the authors of The New England Journal of Medicine paper estimated that just 0.8% of the cases they analyzed were due to nonsexual close contact and 0.6% were due to household contact. By contrast, 95% of these cases were likely acquired during sex between men. The authors of the Lancet paper estimated that 3% of the cases they analyzed transmitted through nonsexual household contact.
Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician at University of California, San Francisco, said the small number of global monkeypox cases in children have likely been transmitted through cuddling or hugging. She pointed to various STIs, including herpes, that in rare cases can also transmit nonsexually.
''STIs such as syphilis or chancroid are commonly found in children in the tropics, where abrasions on the arms and legs are common,'' Mitj said.
Referring to the recent rapid expansion of the global outbreak, Ogoina said, ''It is all about numbers '-- the more sexual partners, the greater the likelihood for many to become exposed.''
If monkeypox is indeed overwhelmingly being transmitted through intercourse and rarely through more casual means, this challenges burdensome public health guidelines recommending that people with the virus isolate for the course of their illness, which can last for weeks, Mitj and his coauthors argued in their paper.
Klausner called for updated communications from the CDC and other health authorities to emphasize the importance of sexual intercourse to monkeypox's transmission.
''If we accept that this is how it's spread, we know how to reduce the spread: by awareness and education and encouraging people for the time being to reduce sex with multiple partners until they get vaccinated,'' Klausner said ''And if they can't reduce the behavior, to try to use a condom.''
CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said the agency's recent analyses ''show most diagnosed cases of monkeypox in the United States are associated with sexual and intimate contact, which can involve a range of behaviors. Additional analyses are needed to understand if specific sexual and intimate behaviors that occur during sex are disproportionately contributing to spread.''
Harvard's Lao-Tzu Allan-Blitz acknowledged the pervasive concern that telling the public that monkeypox transmits sexually among gay men will fuel homophobia. He said there is, however, also a cost to keeping quiet about how the virus apparently transmits: This keeps people at risk from best understanding how to protect themselves.
''In our silence, we can also do harm,'' he said.
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How the IRS is about to become sneaker resellers' worst nightmare
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 12:56
Tucked into the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion bill passed in response to the pandemic and subsequent recession, is a measure impacting a crowd who may have thought they had little reason to pay attention: sneaker and streetwear resellers.
Beginning in January 2022, third-party platforms such as eBay, Etsy, and StockX are now required to report to the IRS when anyone sells $600 or more in goods. The previous rules only applied to sellers with cumulative sales of $20,000 or more in at least 200 transactions, but now those generating much smaller revenues will receive a 1099-K form to report their income.
Technically speaking, the obligation to report such revenue hasn't changed. The difference comes in increased scrutiny from the IRS regarding online sales, and filing your taxes without noting sales on platforms like eBay, StockX, and GOAT is more likely to cause issues because the agency has already been tipped off on your activity.
Input spoke to several sneaker and streetwear resellers who said that, while they've already been careful to report their income to the IRS, they're more concerned about people who flip product more irregularly and may not have realized they've been generating taxable income.
Show Me The MoneyTom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc./Getty Images
One seller, who lives in St. Louis and wished to stay anonymous so as not to have his name attached to his finances, has generated more than $150,000 in sales since he began reselling sneakers in late 2019. The majority of his business is done through Instagram and involves in-person exchanges or virtual payment through third-party processors such as Venmo and PayPal. He estimates approximately 10 percent of his business involves used sneakers sold on eBay or Goat, and he's been careful to check in with his family accountant to make sure he's operating above water with the IRS.
So far, his net profits haven't risen to the level of obligation required to pay taxes. And while doing business on Instagram may still be a way to avoid scrutiny from the IRS, he says that hasn't been the motivation for his choice of platforms. ''In the St. Louis area, the sneaker community is mostly on Instagram,'' he says. ''A lot of people use Instagram, and it's an easy way for people to see the shoes [I offer]. It's just a good platform, even though that's not what it was designed for.''
''It's important to have comprehensive information so that individuals can't game the system.''Another reseller operating out of Chicago since 2020 says he files his taxes as a sole proprietorship '-- but another avenue for high-level resellers is to create a single-member LLC.
It's important to note that just because a seller is required to report their income from online sales, that isn't a guarantee that it'll necessarily be taxable. The 1099-K form doesn't, however, take into account business costs '-- so even infrequent sellers should keep careful records of their transactions in order to avoid overpaying on their taxes.
ThresholdSean Drakes/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
To give an example of just how easy it is to hit the $600 threshold for sneaker sales, just two or three pairs of Air Jordans sold over the course of the year could push you over that figure. Your actual profit may be just a fraction of that, however, so you'd want to keep track of how much you originally spent on each pair of sneakers and include those figures in your filing. You can also write off other costs of doing business, such as packaging and shipping expenses, as well as any mileage you may have accrued on your vehicle while engaging in business activities.
''The government is always coming in for every dollar they can get.''According to a 2016 study by the Pew Research Center, 18 percent of Americans (or nearly one in five) earned money online by selling products online, most often used or secondhand goods. The sneaker resale market alone is already worth at least $2 billion, according to the banking firm Cowen & Company, which also estimates the market will climb to $6 billion by just 2025.
eBay, which has sought to carve out a piece of the market with new seller-friendly policies specific to sneakers, has voiced its displeasure with the new regulations it must follow under the American Rescue Plan Act. ''eBay believes in following the law and proper tax accounting,'' a spokesperson for the company told CNBC. ''Sending confusing 1099-Ks to nearly every occasional or casual seller that uses an online platform to earn extra income, however, is not the right approach.''
Coming For YouMaja Hitij/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Because eBay now has to issue 1099-K forms for a wider swath of its sellers, it and other similar platforms are now requiring users to disclose their social security numbers '-- which Garret Watson, a senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation, told CNBC could be a turnoff to potential sellers.
In response to criticism, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen '-- who oversees the IRS '-- defended the new policy earlier this month in an appearance on CNBC. While admitting that cumulative sales closer to the $600 threshold aren't exactly a source of massive fraud, Yellen said ''it's important to have comprehensive information so that individuals can't game the system and have multiple accounts.''
Regardless of any trepidation, the policy has already been signed into law and will go into effect at the beginning of next year. And even if reselling hasn't become a bonafide business for you, you'll need to be more careful when filing your taxes if you're generating $600 or more in online sales. The IRS is one agency you don't want to trifle with, and the St. Louis-based reseller who spoke to Input issued a warning: ''The government is always coming in for every dollar they can get. So if they find out people aren't paying taxes, they're gonna come get it.''
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What, Exactly, Is 'Paxlovid Mouth,' and How Do You Get Rid of It? - WSJ
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 12:21
The Covid-19 antiviral drug can leave a foul taste. The afflicted are scouring for remedies online.
Updated Aug. 16, 2022 4:33 pm ETJeanette Witten recently rummaged through her pantry for Red Hots, the cinnamon-flavored candy.
The 56-year-old in Montclair, N.J., was looking for a reprieve from a persistent residual taste'--''like your mouth is just clenched around a grapefruit rind'''--that came after she took Paxlovid, Pfizer's antiviral drug to treat Covid-19.
Ms. Witten...
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Jeanette Witten recently rummaged through her pantry for Red Hots, the cinnamon-flavored candy.
The 56-year-old in Montclair, N.J., was looking for a reprieve from a persistent residual taste'--''like your mouth is just clenched around a grapefruit rind'''--that came after she took Paxlovid, Pfizer's antiviral drug to treat Covid-19.
Ms. Witten is one of many people who have scouted remedies for what is informally known as Paxlovid mouth, a taste that can linger for as long as you take the drug. Patients who have taken Paxlovid have described it as sun-baked trash-bag liquid, a mouthful of dirty pennies and rotten soymilk. They have tried to erase the taste with salves from cinnamon to milk to pineapple. They are also trading strategies online.
A Pfizer spokesperson acknowledged the side effect, called dysgeusia, and pointed to a study that found the symptom occurred 5.6% of the time people took the drug. The study was funded by Pfizer and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The company said most patients' dysgeusia symptoms were mild.
The culprit is likely ritonavir, a part of the drug that is used to boost levels of antiviral medicines, doctors say. Ritonavir has a known association with dysgeusia. It is a small price to pay given the nearly 90% reduction in hospitalization and death among those at risk for severe disease from Covid-19, say doctors and people who have taken the medication.
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But it's still hard for many patients to stomach.
Lisa Crawford, 35, scoured the internet for potential remedies after the taste hit her: ''It was like the smell that hot garbage has, but in your mouth.''
Ms. Crawford, who lives in Phoenix, and has asthma, says she spent the night in and out of sleep after being woken up by the bad taste. She came across a comment on Reddit recommending pineapple and asked her father to pick some up.
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She considered stopping the course altogether, but the fruit provided some relief. She snacked on it every 10 to 15 minutes, day after day.
''I probably have no tooth enamel left,'' she says, ''but it was the only thing that saved my sanity.''
Unless a patient cannot keep the medication down, even with anti-nausea medication, or is displaying signs of an allergic reaction, they should stay the course, doctors say. Stopping the drug too early could increase the likelihood of a rebound case.
''If you do not take the full course, you are adding an opportunity for the virus to hang around with less drug presence to block replication,'' says Yale School of Medicine infectious disease specialist Scott Roberts.
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If a patient is vomiting or experiencing an allergic reaction, they should stop the course and talk to their doctor about other antivirals. In some cases, doctors may prescribe medication to help treat other potential side effects of Paxlovid, such as nausea.
Otherwise, Dr. Roberts suggests people try sucking on things that bind to the mouth's taste receptors, such as lozenges and mints. Shivanjali Shankaran, a doctor and infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, recommends sipping chocolate milk or eating a spoonful of peanut butter to coat the mouth before taking each dose.
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Cinnamon gum is also effective for two reasons: The flavor is overpowering and almost numbing, and the gum helps improve the flow of saliva, which can prevent dryness that can worsen the taste.
While holed up in a Chicago hotel room with Covid in May, Jacklyn Grace Lacey, 36, tweeted about taking Paxlovid. She got a direct message from a former student recommending mouthwash and other mint-flavored things. She opened a food-delivery app and ''ordered, like, every mint item they had,'' she said.
She also ordered a half gallon of milk in hopes that it would help coat her throat. To fit the milk in the hotel's minibar refrigerator, she had to take out the hotel-stocked bottles.
''I called down to the front desk and I was like, 'Listen, it's going to look like we just drank the entire minibar of alcohol, but I actually just removed everything because I'm storing milk,''' she recalls.
Chantal McLaughlin ended up forgoing the drug altogether.
''I actually strained my neck because the gag response was so strong,'' she recalls.
Despite the label's instructions to ingest the pills whole, she crushed the first dose up and stirred it into a glass of lemon water. Ms. McLaughlin, who is 51 and based in New York City, has a condition that makes it difficult for her to swallow large pills.
''The minute I took a sip, my taste buds just rejected it,'' she says. She tried the same process in a thick peanut butter-banana smoothie. She only managed to get a few sips down.
The FDA and Pfizer advise that the tablets should be taken whole and not chewed, broken or crushed. A Pfizer spokesperson said the company is working to develop a different formulation of the drug for people who have difficulty swallowing pills.
Andrea Freire, a paralegal in Tampa, Fla., says she downed four bottles of strawberry-flavored Pedialyte daily for three to four days to try to mask the taste.
For Mrs. Freire, 40, who has a heart defect, it was still a no-brainer to take the drug a second time when she got Covid-19 a month later.
''I would take it again 100 times over,'' she says.
Write to Alex Janin at alex.janin@wsj.com
Corrections & AmplificationsAndrea Freire is a paralegal in Tampa, Fla. An earlier version of this article misspelled her surname as Friere in one instance. (Corrected on Aug. 16)
Peter Hotez Sees Aggression Everywhere But In The Mirror
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 12:04
8 minute readJeffrey Sachs, economics professor at Columbia University and chair of an international commission on COVID-19, charged in a wide-ranging interview last week that the National Institutes of Health and allied scientists were impeding an investigation into how the COVID-19 pandemic started. Since the pandemic's beginning, virologists have been attacking anyone who asks hard questions about what might have started this outbreak.
Predictably, Baylor School of Medicine's Peter Hotez went on the assault, tweeting that Sachs, as leader of the Lancet Commission, did not represent the views of science. Much like a Pentagon general wrapping himself in freedom and the flag to demand more federal monies for another foreign war'--no questions, you anti-war hippie!'--Hotez has been shrouding himself in the mantle of science to denigrate anyone who questions taxpayer funding for dangerous virus research by the National Institutes of Health.
Unfortunately for Sachs, he is just Hotez's latest target.
Shortly after the outbreak, The Lancet put Sachs in charge of their COVID-19 Commission'--experts gathered to find equitable, and lasting solutions to the pandemic. But last Fall, Sachs shut down the Commission's task force that was looking into how the pandemic started. This group's work was critical to stopping the next outbreak, but Sachs said that he was concerned about conflicts of interest and financial ties between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and one of the task force members'--Peter Daszak, who runs the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance.
Emails released through freedom of information requests caught Daszak orchestrating a February 2020 letter in The Lancet that warned against the '' conspiracy theory '' that the virus could have come from a Wuhan lab. Daszak's letter did not disclose that he funds Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. That same month, a group of virologists orchestrated another essay that also labeled a Wuhan lab accident a ''conspiracy theory'' in the journal ''Emerging Microbes & Infections.'' Emails find that the authors secretly passed the essay by the Wuhan Institute's Shi Zhengli for editing.
Sachs disclosed last week that after appointing Daszak to run the task force, he realized that Daszak was not always telling the truth. After he asked Daszak to leave, Sachs said he was then attacked for being ''antiscience'' by other task force members:
And so I told him, ''Look, you have to leave.'' And then the other scientists in that task force attacked me for being anti-scientific. And I asked them: ''What are your connections with all of this?'' They didn't tell me. Then when the Freedom of Information Act released some of these documents that NIH had been hiding from the public, I saw that people that were attacking me were also part of this thing. So I disbanded that whole task force. So my own experience was to witness close up how they're not talking. And they're trying to keep our eyes on something else. And away from even asking the questions that we're talking about. We don't have the answers. But we have good reasons to ask. And we have good reasons to know that NIH is not doing its job properly right now.
Although Sachs did not name specific task force members who assailed him, it's not hard to imagine who they were. The Lancet has removed the task force's website, but an archived webpage shows that, besides the EcoHealth Alliance's Peter Daszak, members included:
Hume Field, a policy advisor with Daszak's EcoHealth Alliance. Hume also signed the Lancet letter that Daszak orchestrated calling a Wuhan lab leak a ''conspiracy theory'';
Gerald T. Keusch, co-investigator on a 2020-2025 NIH grant awarded to Peter Daszak, Keusch also signed the Lancet letter that Daszak orchestrated calling a Wuhan lab leak a ''conspiracy theory'';
Supaporn Wacharapluesadee, a Thai researcher who is co-investigator on a 2020-2025 NIH grant awarded to Peter Daszak;
Danielle Anderson, a Duke University researcher who claimed in a fake fact check , ''It is 'simply false' to label the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as a bioweapons research lab.'' The State Department later released a fact sheet on China's bioweapons research and secret military activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Anderson is also co-investigator on a 2020-2025 NIH grant awarded to Peter Daszak;
Linda Saif, a researcher at Ohio State University, and one of the authors of the ''Emerging Microbes & Infections'' essay that was secretly passed for editing to Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and labeled any accident at the WIV a ''conspiracy theory.'' Saif also signed the Lancet letter that Daszak orchestrated calling a lab leak a ''conspiracy theory;''
Stanley Perlman, a virologist at the University of Iowa, and proponent of ''gain-of-function'' research . Perlman also signed the Lancet letter that Daszak orchestrated calling a Wuhan lab leak a ''conspiracy theory;''
Sai Kit Lam, an emeritus professor at the University of Malaysia, and signatory to the the Lancet letter that Daszak orchestrated calling a lab leak a ''conspiracy theory.''
With so many undue financial ties and conflicting interests, one would think that Hotez would be alarmed at the researchers Daszak gathered to run this task force for Sachs. But no.
Instead, Hotez has spent the last year defending Daszak from any criticism for his documented dishonesty and hidden ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. ''Dr. Daszak has now been proven to have concealed several extreme situations of conflict of interest, withheld critical information and misled public opinion by expressing falsehoods,'' wrote a group of experts last October, calling on Daszak to step down from his leadership role at EcoHealth Alliance.
Hotez responded by condemning reporters for publishing a ''hit piece'' by scientists who were ''antiscience.''
The Washington Post's editorial board then called on Daszak to testify before Congress and explain to the public his funding for dangerous virus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where the pandemic may have started:
Mr. Daszak must answer these questions before Congress. His grants were federal funds, and it is entirely appropriate for Congress to insist on accountability and transparency. He might also help the world understand what really happened in Wuhan.
Coming to the rescue, Science Magazine's Jon Cohen then penned a somewhat flattering profile of Daszak, portraying him as a political na¯f, unfairly vilified and buffeted by controversy. Hotez rose to Daszak's defense, telling Cohen , ''It's really awful to see this kind of witch hunt.''
Anyone interested in joining the Hotez crusade against antiscience, should be forewarned: his scripture can be difficult to follow. The registry of the sinful often changes, with names of heretics rotating in and out of sermons, depending on political expediency.
In late 2020 when members of QAnon seemed to be hiding under every American bed, Hotez preached that members of the online conspiracy were mixing with anti-vaxxers and neo-Nazis to create a ''globalizing anti-science confederacy or empire.''
A year later, QAnon fell out of the news, prompting Hotez to refocus his gaze and pen a September 2021 essay in the Daily Beast. The threat of anti-science aggression now arose from three sources: far right members of Congress and conservative news outlets; an online ''disinformation dozen''; and Russian propaganda.
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By March 2021, Hotez concluded in Scientific American that antiscience had ''emerged as a dominant and highly lethal force, and one that threatens global security, as much as do terrorism and nuclear proliferation.'' Forever citing himself as the leading scholar in antiscience theology, Hotez referenced a book he authored where he had traced the antiscience global threat back to a measles outbreak in Southern California. ''Given the role of state actors such as Russia, and antivaccine organizations that monetize the internet, we should anticipate that any counteroffensive could be complex and multifaceted.''
Four months later'--surprise!!!'--Hotez discovered antiscience was more complex and multifaceted. Forgetting to cite Russia, Hotez identified a ''troubling new expansion of antiscience aggression'' and railed in PLOS Biology against the three new horsemen of the antiscience apocalypse:
Far-right members of the US Congress;
The conservative news outlets and;
A group of thought leaders who provide intellectual underpinnings to fuel the first two elements.
Cobbling together a set of disconnected thoughts, Hotez centered the threat to science on various accusations made against the NIH's Anthony Fauci, as well as media reports on Peter Daszak. The essay touched on Nazis'--of course!!!'--and ended with a plea for swift and positive action that included ''federal hate-crime protections'' for scientists who were being criticized. ''As Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel once pointed out, neutrality or silence favors the oppressor.''
But Hotez's defense of Fauci seems a tad strained'--less about antiscience, more about pedestrian matters like protecting colleagues and research money. Prior to pandemic, Hotez had posed with Fauci, identifying him as a mentor.
And Hotez failed to disclose that Fauci's NIH institute, the NIAID, has awarded him millions of dollars in grants since 1993. When Hotez mounts the pulpit to rail about his personal beliefs on antiscience, he never explains to his choir that a threat to Peter Daszak is also a threat to the very person who has been funding him '--Anthony Fauci.
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Like any charismatic religious leader battling the world's evils, Hotez often shows the logical consistency of a small-minded hobgoblin. In late 2020, the New York State Assembly introduced a bill to mandate COVID19 vaccines . Right on cue, Hotez began berating the ''far right'' and ''antivaccine groups'' for putting out ''dog whistles'' that the government would mandate vaccines.
When people later protested federal vaccines mandates, Hotez dismissed these stories as ''antiscience.''
Only those who don't follow Hotez on Twitter would be amazed to find that after calling vaccine mandates a far-right dog whistle, Hotez then began demanding vaccine mandates. Because unlike the average Joe, Hotez is never burdened with shame when he fails to meet to his own lofty standards of science piety.
After hopping on MSNBC last September to argue that school children should be mandated to wear masks to stop the virus spreading, Hotez then appeared at several media events mugging it for the camera without a mask.
A month later in October, at the India consulate in Houston.
At a speaking event in November for medical students.
Plus a Thanksgiving Day parade with Houston's Mayor. Are these pictures helping you to get the picture?
Like pretty much every NIH-funded virologist on Twitter, Hotez is quick to pounce on anyone questioning if a Wuhan lab accident happened, while simultaneously claiming that a lab accident is possible.
Until someone asks to investigate if a lab accident happened.
Sachs and a colleague published a May essay in PNAS calling for an independent inquiry into how the pandemic began. ''Only an independent and transparent investigation, perhaps as a bipartisan Congressional inquiry, will reveal the information that is needed to enable a thorough scientific process of scrutiny and evaluation.''
By this time, the COVID-19 virus had killed over 1 million Americans and caused more damage to the economy than anything since the Great Depression. But instead of joining the call to explore how so much death and destruction occurred, Hotez rallied his Twitter faithful to shout down this blasphemy.
Hotez also lashed out this month, when Congress held the first hearings on NIH-funded research called ''gain-of-function'' and invited three experts to testify on these dangerous virus studies:
Richard H. Ebright, PhD
Laboratory Director, Waksman Institute of Microbiology
Rutgers University
Steven Quay, MD, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Atossa Therapeutics, Inc.
Kevin M. Esvelt, PhD
Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
MIT Media Lab
Instead of reaching for his handy antiscience cudgel, Hotez chastised the invited experts for promoting ''conspiracies.''
He then accused Senator Rand Paul of promoting conspiracies for daring to hold the hearing on dangerious gain of function research funded by taxpayers.
With a final flourish, Hotez proposed a new threat to science a couple days back: gain of function ''conspiracy guys'' allaying themselves with antivaccine activists. But it's not hard to imagine that Russians and Nazis will make another appearance in a Hotez tweet or essay soon to come.
Inside bizarre TikTok trend that sees young men getting VASECTOMIES on camera as cases rocket across the US | The US Sun
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 11:59
AS America grapples with a crackdown on abortion and a looming financial crisis, more young men are turning to vasectomies - and filming it for TikTok.
Demand for vasectomies appears to have shot up dramatically in every corner of the US since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in July, which guaranteed a woman the right to an abortion.
Mike Pridgen filmed the procedure and was surprised by how little it hurt Credit: Tiktok/@mikepridgen 3
A woman filmed her husband going in for a vasectomy Credit: Tiktok/@giustinatorres 3
Keith Laue decided to get a vasectomy at 23 Credit: Tikktok/keith_laueFor most people, getting "the snip" is a decision you make in later life.
It refers to male sterilisation and it cuts or seals the tubes that carry a man's sperm to permanently prevent pregnancy.
Many men go for this option when they don't want any more kids - as it's 99 per cent effective.
But an increasingly turbulent post-Covid economy and a clampdown on women's rights means a growing number of young men are turning to clinics for different reasons '' and sharing their experience on TikTok.
TikTok videos with the hashtag #vasectomy have been viewed more than 500 million times, and the hashtag #snipsniphooray viewed more than 20 million times.
As well as men filming themselves having the op, videos from the last few months show women making thoughtful care packages for their partners while they recover.
Even on Tinder, mentions of ''vasectomy'' in dating profiles surged this year by more than five times compared to last year, a spokeswoman for the dating platform told The New York Times.
And demand for the procedure itself has skyrocketed, particularly in the US, with many medical staff overwhelmed and unprepared for the level of interest.
A doctor in Iowa who normally carries out 40 to 50 vasectomies each month was on track to do 100 in July after the Roe v. Wade decision.
Dr Charles Monteith, medical director of a clinic in North Carolina, told Vice News: ''I'm normally scheduled out for two to four weeks. Now, I'm scheduled out for three months.
''We have seen a dramatic increase in inquiries and contacts through our website and calls."
In Alabama and Texas - two states that have brought in draconian abortion laws since the Supreme Court ruling - medics said there has been a ''crazy'' rise in vasectomy appointments and weekly calls have doubled.
Tim McAuliff, a Texas-based vasectomist, said: "We've had some people call and say because of Roe v. Wade they want to be more proactive or preventative."
And it's not just happening in states where new abortion laws have been introduced - doctors in New York said business has tripled since July.
Men without children are also enquiring about vasectomies as a method of contraception in the post-Roe world, while others are having the snip as more and more people make a conscious decision not to have kids.
With just one child, Keith Laue, 23, made the decision to have "the snip".
He and his partner Taylor Ribar said they felt disempowered by laws which were being bought in, in their home state in Texas.
In the summer of 2021, the state banned abortions as early as the first six weeks of pregnancy.
The couple knew they didn't want another child, and decided that a vasectomy would be the most cost effective option available to them.
He explained that the cost of contraception had been a roadblock for the couple, and said it shouldn't just be his partner's responsibility to take care of birth control.
I don't think it's fair that it took overturning a woman's reproductive rights for this subject to get attention
Keith Laue He told Health: "It felt like almost immediately afterward, maybe two or three weeks later, Roe was overturned. And I was even more glad I did it.
"I don't have anymore anxiety now around having a healthy sex life, and that's a really nice feeling."
And now Keith is sharing his journey on TikTok in order to help other men who might be considering the procedure.
He added: "I'm really thankful for the traction my video has gotten. But I don't think it's fair that it took overturning a woman's reproductive rights for this subject to get attention."
The full-time TikTok influencer said vasectomies aren't talked about very much when it comes to the conversation on contraceptives and birth control - and he wants to change that.
Another man, Mike Pridgen, a 28-year-old comedian from New Jersey, filmed his surgery and popped it on TikTok.
He even caught the moment a doctor made the ''little pinch''.
He said: ''That's not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be."
The video has been viewed millions of times and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Mike's decision was wrapped in his choice not to have kids - for both financial and person reasons.
He said: ''It is damn near impossible to raise a child, financially, in this country at this point. It's also not particularly safe.
"Every day, you turn on the news, it feels as though this country is burning. So why would I want to bring a child into this?"
Like Keith, he aims to educate his followers about vasectomies and promote them as an alternative to other forms of birth control.
Iowa-based Dr Esgar Guar­nsaid said his latest wave of patients are men in their 30s who don't want children as attitudes change and now they feel an urgent push to get snipped.
He said: "At least men are waking up in our country and saying this is something we can do. That's very nice.
"The problem to me is that it took restricting the right of an individual to be able to make decisions about her own body for men to start waking up.
"Men need to be more aware of their participation in reproductive health, because if we don't do that, we aren't going to change the behavior."
While less than two percent of unmarried men currently rely on vasectomy for contraception, it appears the trend could be changing as men decide to take more of a role in family planning.
How does the procedure work?Surprisingly, the life-changing operation can be carried out in just 15 minutes.
The procedure is typically carried out under local anaesthetic, so is often relatively painless.
There are two ways to carry out a vasectomy, using the conventional or the no-scalpel method.
The conventional vasectomy involves making two 1cm long incisions in the scrotum using a surgical knife.
This allows the surgeon to remove a small section from the tubes linking the testicles and the penis, which are then tied or sealed shut.
Medical professionals often use dissolvable stitches to close the incision.
The second method is no-scalpel vasectomy, which is typically carried out under local anaesthetic.
During the operation, surgeons puncture a small hole in the skin of the scrotum, which allows them to access the same tubes without using a scalpel.
After the passage is closed, the puncture is closed in the same way as a conventional vasectomy.
Patients that have had the sterilisation surgery are often able to return to work one or two days after getting it done.
Plant-Based Meat Now Costs Less Than Animal Meat In The Netherlands
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 11:45
Plant-based meat is cheaper than animal meat in the Netherlands, according to new research.
In February, ProVeg International commissioned supermarket researcher Questionmark to carry out a cost analysis. At that time, meat was found to be cheaper. But a further analysis conducted in June found that meat had increased in cost significantly. This made vegan options cheaper per kilogram.
The findings are attributed to inflation and rising costs of raw materials, creating a price hike in meat products. Plant-based items are largely unaffected by increased supplier charges.
For some time, consumers in The Netherlands have been moving away from meat products in favor of plant-based alternatives. But demand has not been addressed as a potential factor in the pricing battle.
The changing tide of meat versus plant proteinResearchers compared meat and plant-based products within strict parameters. All items were the lowest priced options and vegan alternatives matched their animal counterparts in terms of portion size.
In total, 36 products were compared. ProVeg acknowledges that the differences between supermarket chain ranges remain large, with identifiably different target consumers. However, overall findings confirm that animal meat has become more expensive than vegan meat across the board.
In February, plant-based burgers were found to be 56 cents per kilo more costly than meat alternatives. Last month they came in at 78 cents per kilo cheaper.
Similarly, vegan chicken pieces were more expensive, by an average of '‚¬1.16 per kilo, than animal varieties. Now, they are 37 cents cheaper.
Previously, plant-based mince was 29 cents per kilo more expensive than meat. Last month it came in at '‚¬1.36 less per kilo.
Cost is no longer a plus point for meatCost is frequently cited as a stumbling block to turning vegan. Consumers fear spending more on products they aren't familiar with, but the idea that plant protein always costs more than animal alternatives appears to be a misnomer.
Oxford University states that the misunderstanding often stems from comparing conventional meat to specialist substitutes or surviving on takeaways.
The institution conducted research that found vegan and vegetarian diets are the most cost-effective options in high-income countries.
''We think the fact that vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian diets can save you a lot of money is going to surprise people,'' Dr. Marco Springmann, a researcher at Oxford University, said in a statement.
Despite being heavily subsidized, the meat industry now faces increased costs, which it is having to pass on to consumers. ProVeg states that meat has seen an average 21 percent price increase between its analysis in February and June. Comparatively, plant-based protein rose by around two percent.
''Meat has always been a product that requires an enormous amount of raw materials. To make one kilogram of meat, you need up to ten kilograms of grain. Now, in times of scarcity, that takes its toll,'' Pablo Moleman of ProVeg Netherlands said in a statement.
He continued: ''Due to the large use of raw materials, meat is much more sensitive to disruptions in the world market than meat alternatives.''
''Plant-based meat clearly wins out on efficiency, and we now see that reflected in the price.''
'Operation Paperclip,' by Annie Jacobsen - The New York Times
Wed, 17 Aug 2022 20:19
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Among the trophies of the Second World War captured by Allied intelligence agents were Nazi scientists and their research on biological and chemical weapons. In a classified memorandum titled ''Exploitation of German Scientists in Science and Technology in the United States,'' the Joint Chiefs of Staff described these men as ''chosen, rare minds whose continuing intellectual productivity we wish to use.'' Such intellectual spoils were not to fall into Soviet hands. In 1945, Operation Overcast (renamed Operation Paperclip for the paper clips attached to the dossiers of the most ''troublesome cases'') began. More than 1,600 Germans were secretly recruited to develop armaments ''at a feverish and paranoid pace that came to define the Cold War.''
Although some of these men had been Nazi Party members, SS officers and war criminals, they were valued as vital to American national security. Thus it was O.K., American government officials reasoned, to ignore these scientists' roles in developing biological and chemical weapons, in designing the V-2 rockets that shattered London and Antwerp and in the countless deaths of concentration camp inmates who fell victim to medical experiments at Dachau and Ravensbr¼ck.
The journalist Annie Jacobsen's ''Operation Paperclip'' is not the first unveiling of the program. The New York Times, Newsweek and other media outlets exposed Paperclip as early as December 1946. Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt and Rabbi Steven Wise publicly opposed the program, and according to a Gallup poll, most Americans at the time considered it a ''bad'' idea. But Jacobsen's book is the first on the topic to appear since President Clinton signed the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act in 1998, which pushed through the declassification of American intelligence records, including the F.B.I., Army intelligence and C.I.A. files of German agents, scientists and war criminals. Jacobsen's access to these documents, along with her research in various special collections and her interviews with former intelligence personnel and relatives of the scientists, make her study the most in-depth account yet of the lives of Paperclip recruits and their American counterparts.
Jacobsen tracks 21 of these Nazi scientists and technicians. Eight of her subjects had worked directly with Hitler, Himmler or G¶ring; 15 were active Nazi Party members; 10 served in paramilitary squads like the SA and SS; and six were tried at Nuremberg. A few familiar figures pop up, including several pioneers in space exploration '-- Wernher von Braun, Hubertus Strughold, Walter Dornberger and Arthur Rudolph.
Image Nazi scientists, from top: J¼rgen von Klenck, Fritz Hoffmann, Otto Ambros, Theodor Benzinger. Credit... Illustration by The New York Times; Photographs from National Archives and Records Administration The ''classified body of secrets and lies'' behind Operation Paperclip is complex and crowded, and in some places the narrative becomes muddled, as infamous Nazis and American intelligence operatives appear alongside present-day historians and archivists who are unnecessarily cited to provide basic facts. To her credit, Jacobsen deftly untangles the myriad American and German government agencies and personnel involved, though not without repetitious reminders of who is who.
More gripping and skillfully rendered are the stories of American and British officials who scoured defeated Germany for Nazi scientists and their research. One well-known find was the Osenberg list of thousands of German scientists and facilities, which was retrieved from a toilet at Bonn University. Another was a huge cache of tabun (a sarin-like chemical). While searching the I. G. Farben laboratories on the German-Polish border, British soldiers uncovered 175 forested bunkers storing aerial bombs with a powerful organophosphorus nerve agent. They called in American Army chemists, who tested the chemical and found that just a drop on the skin would kill a rabbit in minutes. In 1945, 530 tons of tabun were shipped to various locations in the United States including Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland.
There, Jacobsen writes, American soldiers became unknowing guinea pigs for Dr. L. Wilson Greene, an American. In a gassing chamber, soldiers were exposed to low levels of tabun. Greene was pleased with the effects: Though the soldiers were ''partially disabled'' for one to three weeks, they eventually recovered. Thus nerve agents and hallucinogenic drugs could serve as more ''gentle'' weapons, immobilizing the enemy but, Greene hoped, avoiding the ''wholesale killing of people or the mass destruction of property.'' Greene assigned his colleague, the German chemist Fritz Hoffmann, to research other toxic agents for military use. Hoffmann (who died in 1967) studied everything from street drugs to Mongolian hallucinogenic mushrooms, and may have contributed his research to the development of Agent Orange. Hoffmann's daughter remembered that her father was interested in producing a substance that could defoliate trees in Vietnam ''so you could see the enemies.'' In an interview with Jacobsen, she remarked: ''Agent Orange turned out not only to defoliate trees but to cause great harm in children. Dad was dead by then, and I remember thinking, Thank God. It would have killed him to learn that. He was a gentle man. He wouldn't hurt a fly.''
American intelligence agents, Jacobsen argues, were blinded by brinkmanship. Some became consumed by the search for weapons and were double-crossed by German scientists. One such man was Gen. Charles E. Loucks, chief of intelligence for chemical warfare stationed in Heidelberg. So dedicated was Loucks that he found the task of securing the German arsenal of chemical weapons for his country to be ''more interesting than going down to Paris on weekends.'' He became charmed by the notorious SS Brig. Gen. Walter Schieber, who eventually worked as a chemist for the American Army's Chemical Corps and then for the C.I.A. Schieber turned out to have been a Soviet mole and international weapons dealer, as Jacobsen discovered in the declassified files.
There are few satisfying explanations in Jacobsen's account of this ''tawdry group of amoral war opportunists, many of whom were linked to war crimes.'' In the end, it is not clear who was exploiting whom '-- the Nazi scientists or their American recruiters. What is clear is that contemporary public opinion had it right: Operation Paperclip was a bad idea. By shining light on the human, ethical and monetary costs of the program, Jacobsen's book reveals just how bad. Nazi scientists were generously remunerated for developing biological and chemical weapons whose cleanup and disposal took decades and cost approximately $30 billion. American experimentation on humans continued during the Cold War in violation of the Nuremberg Code. A lethal chemical might have been developed for warfare, with terrible consequences.
Jacobsen ends her study by asking Gerhard Maschkowski, a Jewish survivor of the I. G. Farben camp at Auschwitz, ''What matters, what lasts?'' In response, Maschkowski reveals his blue-ink tattoo. Yet certain truths are obscured in Jacobsen's disturbing account. She writes that the Germans didn't use any chemical or biological weapons in World War II. Although they may not have deployed such weapons on the battlefield, the Germans did use carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide (Zyklon B, a pesticide) in mobile gas vans and gas chambers. In 1942-43, the Allies threatened retaliation if the Germans used chemical weapons. Apparently this warning applied only to Allied soldiers in combat and civilians in Allied cities, not to the Jews, Soviet P.O.W.s and others who were murdered in Auschwitz, Birkenau and other Nazi extermination sites.
Executive Order 14067'--Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets | The American Presidency Project
Wed, 17 Aug 2022 17:00
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. Advances in digital and distributed ledger technology for financial services have led to dramatic growth in markets for digital assets, with profound implications for the protection of consumers, investors, and businesses, including data privacy and security; financial stability and systemic risk; crime; national security; the ability to exercise human rights; financial inclusion and equity; and energy demand and climate change. In November 2021, non-state issued digital assets reached a combined market capitalization of $3 trillion, up from approximately $14 billion in early November 2016. Monetary authorities globally are also exploring, and in some cases introducing, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
While many activities involving digital assets are within the scope of existing domestic laws and regulations, an area where the United States has been a global leader, growing development and adoption of digital assets and related innovations, as well as inconsistent controls to defend against certain key risks, necessitate an evolution and alignment of the United States Government approach to digital assets. The United States has an interest in responsible financial innovation, expanding access to safe and affordable financial services, and reducing the cost of domestic and cross-border funds transfers and payments, including through the continued modernization of public payment systems. We must take strong steps to reduce the risks that digital assets could pose to consumers, investors, and business protections; financial stability and financial system integrity; combating and preventing crime and illicit finance; national security; the ability to exercise human rights; financial inclusion and equity; and climate change and pollution.
Sec. 2. Objectives. The principal policy objectives of the United States with respect to digital assets are as follows:
(a) We must protect consumers, investors, and businesses in the United States. The unique and varied features of digital assets can pose significant financial risks to consumers, investors, and businesses if appropriate protections are not in place. In the absence of sufficient oversight and standards, firms providing digital asset services may provide inadequate protections for sensitive financial data, custodial and other arrangements relating to customer assets and funds, or disclosures of risks associated with investment. Cybersecurity and market failures at major digital asset exchanges and trading platforms have resulted in billions of dollars in losses. The United States should ensure that safeguards are in place and promote the responsible development of digital assets to protect consumers, investors, and businesses; maintain privacy; and shield against arbitrary or unlawful surveillance, which can contribute to human rights abuses.
(b) We must protect United States and global financial stability and mitigate systemic risk. Some digital asset trading platforms and service providers have grown rapidly in size and complexity and may not be subject to or in compliance with appropriate regulations or supervision. Digital asset issuers, exchanges and trading platforms, and intermediaries whose activities may increase risks to financial stability, should, as appropriate, be subject to and in compliance with regulatory and supervisory standards that govern traditional market infrastructures and financial firms, in line with the general principle of "same business, same risks, same rules." The new and unique uses and functions that digital assets can facilitate may create additional economic and financial risks requiring an evolution to a regulatory approach that adequately addresses those risks.
(c) We must mitigate the illicit finance and national security risks posed by misuse of digital assets. Digital assets may pose significant illicit finance risks, including money laundering, cybercrime and ransomware, narcotics and human trafficking, and terrorism and proliferation financing. Digital assets may also be used as a tool to circumvent United States and foreign financial sanctions regimes and other tools and authorities. Further, while the United States has been a leader in setting international standards for the regulation and supervision of digital assets for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), poor or nonexistent implementation of those standards in some jurisdictions abroad can present significant illicit financing risks for the United States and global financial systems. Illicit actors, including the perpetrators of ransomware incidents and other cybercrime, often launder and cash out of their illicit proceeds using digital asset service providers in jurisdictions that have not yet effectively implemented the international standards set by the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The continued availability of service providers in jurisdictions where international AML/CFT standards are not effectively implemented enables financial activity without illicit finance controls. Growth in decentralized financial ecosystems, peer-to-peer payment activity, and obscured blockchain ledgers without controls to mitigate illicit finance could also present additional market and national security risks in the future. The United States must ensure appropriate controls and accountability for current and future digital assets systems to promote high standards for transparency, privacy, and security'--including through regulatory, governance, and technological measures'--that counter illicit activities and preserve or enhance the efficacy of our national security tools. When digital assets are abused or used in illicit ways, or undermine national security, it is in the national interest to take actions to mitigate these illicit finance and national security risks through regulation, oversight, law enforcement action, or use of other United States Government authorities.
(d) We must reinforce United States leadership in the global financial system and in technological and economic competitiveness, including through the responsible development of payment innovations and digital assets. The United States has an interest in ensuring that it remains at the forefront of responsible development and design of digital assets and the technology that underpins new forms of payments and capital flows in the international financial system, particularly in setting standards that promote: democratic values; the rule of law; privacy; the protection of consumers, investors, and businesses; and interoperability with digital platforms, legacy architecture, and international payment systems. The United States derives significant economic and national security benefits from the central role that the United States dollar and United States financial institutions and markets play in the global financial system. Continued United States leadership in the global financial system will sustain United States financial power and promote United States economic interests.
(e) We must promote access to safe and affordable financial services. Many Americans are underbanked and the costs of cross-border money transfers and payments are high. The United States has a strong interest in promoting responsible innovation that expands equitable access to financial services, particularly for those Americans underserved by the traditional banking system, including by making investments and domestic and cross-border funds transfers and payments cheaper, faster, and safer, and by promoting greater and more cost-efficient access to financial products and services. The United States also has an interest in ensuring that the benefits of financial innovation are enjoyed equitably by all Americans and that any disparate impacts of financial innovation are mitigated.
(f) We must support technological advances that promote responsible development and use of digital assets. The technological architecture of different digital assets has substantial implications for privacy, national security, the operational security and resilience of financial systems, climate change, the ability to exercise human rights, and other national goals. The United States has an interest in ensuring that digital asset technologies and the digital payments ecosystem are developed, designed, and implemented in a responsible manner that includes privacy and security in their architecture, integrates features and controls that defend against illicit exploitation, and reduces negative climate impacts and environmental pollution, as may result from some cryptocurrency mining.
Sec. 3. Coordination. The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA) and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (APEP) shall coordinate, through the interagency process described in National Security Memorandum 2 of February 4, 2021 (Renewing the National Security Council System), the executive branch actions necessary to implement this order. The interagency process shall include, as appropriate: the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Director of the National Science Foundation, and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development. Representatives of other executive departments and agencies (agencies) and other senior officials may be invited to attend interagency meetings as appropriate, including, with due respect for their regulatory independence, representatives of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and other Federal regulatory agencies.
Sec. 4. Policy and Actions Related to United States Central Bank Digital Currencies. (a) The policy of my Administration on a United States CBDC is as follows:
(i) Sovereign money is at the core of a well-functioning financial system, macroeconomic stabilization policies, and economic growth. My Administration places the highest urgency on research and development efforts into the potential design and deployment options of a United States CBDC. These efforts should include assessments of possible benefits and risks for consumers, investors, and businesses; financial stability and systemic risk; payment systems; national security; the ability to exercise human rights; financial inclusion and equity; and the actions required to launch a United States CBDC if doing so is deemed to be in the national interest.
(ii) My Administration sees merit in showcasing United States leadership and participation in international fora related to CBDCs and in multi country conversations and pilot projects involving CBDCs. Any future dollar payment system should be designed in a way that is consistent with United States priorities (as outlined in section 4(a)(i) of this order) and democratic values, including privacy protections, and that ensures the global financial system has appropriate transparency, connectivity, and platform and architecture interoperability or transferability, as appropriate.
(iii) A United States CBDC may have the potential to support efficient and low-cost transactions, particularly for cross border funds transfers and payments, and to foster greater access to the financial system, with fewer of the risks posed by private sector-administered digital assets. A United States CBDC that is interoperable with CBDCs issued by other monetary authorities could facilitate faster and lower-cost cross-border payments and potentially boost economic growth, support the continued centrality of the United States within the international financial system, and help to protect the unique role that the dollar plays in global finance. There are also, however, potential risks and downsides to consider. We should prioritize timely assessments of potential benefits and risks under various designs to ensure that the United States remains a leader in the international financial system.
(b) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall submit to the President a report on the future of money and payment systems, including the conditions that drive broad adoption of digital assets; the extent to which technological innovation may influence these outcomes; and the implications for the United States financial system, the modernization of and changes to payment systems, economic growth, financial inclusion, and national security. This report shall be coordinated through the interagency process described in section 3 of this order. Based on the potential United States CBDC design options, this report shall include an analysis of:
(i) the potential implications of a United States CBDC, based on the possible design choices, for national interests, including implications for economic growth and stability;
(ii) the potential implications a United States CBDC might have on financial inclusion;
(iii) the potential relationship between a CBDC and private sector-administered digital assets;
(iv) the future of sovereign and privately produced money globally and implications for our financial system and democracy;
(v) the extent to which foreign CBDCs could displace existing currencies and alter the payment system in ways that could undermine United States financial centrality;
(vi) the potential implications for national security and financial crime, including an analysis of illicit financing risks, sanctions risks, other law enforcement and national security interests, and implications for human rights; and
(vii) an assessment of the effects that the growth of foreign CBDCs may have on United States interests generally.
(c) The Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Chairman of the Federal Reserve) is encouraged to continue to research and report on the extent to which CBDCs could improve the efficiency and reduce the costs of existing and future payments systems, to continue to assess the optimal form of a United States CBDC, and to develop a strategic plan for Federal Reserve and broader United States Government action, as appropriate, that evaluates the necessary steps and requirements for the potential implementation and launch of a United States CBDC. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve is also encouraged to evaluate the extent to which a United States CBDC, based on the potential design options, could enhance or impede the ability of monetary policy to function effectively as a critical macroeconomic stabilization tool.
(d) The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, shall:
(i) within 180 days of the date of this order, provide to the President through the APNSA and APEP an assessment of whether legislative changes would be necessary to issue a United States CBDC, should it be deemed appropriate and in the national interest; and
(ii) within 210 days of the date of this order, provide to the President through the APNSA and the APEP a corresponding legislative proposal, based on consideration of the report submitted by the Secretary of the Treasury under section 4(b) of this order and any materials developed by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve consistent with section 4(c) of this order.
Sec. 5. Measures to Protect Consumers, Investors, and Businesses. (a) The increased use of digital assets and digital asset exchanges and trading platforms may increase the risks of crimes such as fraud and theft, other statutory and regulatory violations, privacy and data breaches, unfair and abusive acts or practices, and other cyber incidents faced by consumers, investors, and businesses. The rise in use of digital assets, and differences across communities, may also present disparate financial risk to less informed market participants or exacerbate inequities. It is critical to ensure that digital assets do not pose undue risks to consumers, investors, or businesses, and to put in place protections as a part of efforts to expand access to safe and affordable financial services.
(b) Consistent with the goals stated in section 5(a) of this order:
(i) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and the heads of other relevant agencies, including, as appropriate, the heads of independent regulatory agencies such as the FTC, the SEC, the CFTC, Federal banking agencies, and the CFPB, shall submit to the President a report, or section of the report required by section 4 of this order, on the implications of developments and adoption of digital assets and changes in financial market and payment system infrastructures for United States consumers, investors, businesses, and for equitable economic growth. One section of the report shall address the conditions that would drive mass adoption of different types of digital assets and the risks and opportunities such growth might present to United States consumers, investors, and businesses, including a focus on how technological innovation may impact these efforts and with an eye toward those most vulnerable to disparate impacts. The report shall also include policy recommendations, including potential regulatory and legislative actions, as appropriate, to protect United States consumers, investors, and businesses, and support expanding access to safe and affordable financial services. The report shall be coordinated through the interagency process described in section 3 of this order.
(ii) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Chief Technology Officer of the United States, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall submit to the President a technical evaluation of the technological infrastructure, capacity, and expertise that would be necessary at relevant agencies to facilitate and support the introduction of a CBDC system should one be proposed. The evaluation should specifically address the technical risks of the various designs, including with respect to emerging and future technological developments, such as quantum computing. The evaluation should also include any reflections or recommendations on how the inclusion of digital assets in Federal processes may affect the work of the United States Government and the provision of Government services, including risks and benefits to cybersecurity, customer experience, and social safety net programs. The evaluation shall be coordinated through the interagency process described in section 3 of this order.
(iii) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall submit to the President a report on the role of law enforcement agencies in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting criminal activity related to digital assets. The report shall include any recommendations on regulatory or legislative actions, as appropriate.
(iv) The Attorney General, the Chair of the FTC, and the Director of the CFPB are each encouraged to consider what, if any, effects the growth of digital assets could have on competition policy.
(v) The Chair of the FTC and the Director of the CFPB are each encouraged to consider the extent to which privacy or consumer protection measures within their respective jurisdictions may be used to protect users of digital assets and whether additional measures may be needed.
(vi) The Chair of the SEC, the Chairman of the CFTC, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Comptroller of the Currency are each encouraged to consider the extent to which investor and market protection measures within their respective jurisdictions may be used to address the risks of digital assets and whether additional measures may be needed.
(vii) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Energy, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, the Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall submit a report to the President on the connections between distributed ledger technology and short-, medium-, and long-term economic and energy transitions; the potential for these technologies to impede or advance efforts to tackle climate change at home and abroad; and the impacts these technologies have on the environment. This report shall be coordinated through the interagency process described in section 3 of this order. The report should also address the effect of cryptocurrencies' consensus mechanisms on energy usage, including research into potential mitigating measures and alternative mechanisms of consensus and the design tradeoffs those may entail. The report should specifically address:
(A) potential uses of blockchain that could support monitoring or mitigating technologies to climate impacts, such as exchanging of liabilities for greenhouse gas emissions, water, and other natural or environmental assets; and
(B) implications for energy policy, including as it relates to grid management and reliability, energy efficiency incentives and standards, and sources of energy supply.
(viii) Within 1 year of submission of the report described in section 5(b)(vii) of this order, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Energy, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall update the report described in section 5(b)(vii) of this order, including to address any knowledge gaps identified in such report.
Sec. 6. Actions to Promote Financial Stability, Mitigate Systemic Risk, and Strengthen Market Integrity. (a) Financial regulators'--including the SEC, the CFTC, and the CFPB and Federal banking agencies'--play critical roles in establishing and overseeing protections across the financial system that safeguard its integrity and promote its stability. Since 2017, the Secretary of the Treasury has convened the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to assess the financial stability risks and regulatory gaps posed by the ongoing adoption of digital assets. The United States must assess and take steps to address risks that digital assets pose to financial stability and financial market integrity.
(b) Within 210 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury should convene the FSOC and produce a report outlining the specific financial stability risks and regulatory gaps posed by various types of digital assets and providing recommendations to address such risks. As the Secretary of the Treasury and the FSOC deem appropriate, the report should consider the particular features of various types of digital assets and include recommendations that address the identified financial stability risks posed by these digital assets, including any proposals for additional or adjusted regulation and supervision as well as for new legislation. The report should take account of the prior analyses and assessments of the FSOC, agencies, and the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, including the ongoing work of the Federal banking agencies, as appropriate.
Sec. 7. Actions to Limit Illicit Finance and Associated National Security Risks. (a) Digital assets have facilitated sophisticated cybercrime related financial networks and activity, including through ransomware activity. The growing use of digital assets in financial activity heightens risks of crimes such as money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing, fraud and theft schemes, and corruption. These illicit activities highlight the need for ongoing scrutiny of the use of digital assets, the extent to which technological innovation may impact such activities, and exploration of opportunities to mitigate these risks through regulation, supervision, public private engagement, oversight, and law enforcement.
(b) Within 90 days of submission to the Congress of the National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other relevant agencies may each submit to the President supplemental annexes, which may be classified or unclassified, to the Strategy offering additional views on illicit finance risks posed by digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, CBDCs, and trends in the use of digital assets by illicit actors.
(c) Within 120 days of submission to the Congress of the National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other relevant agencies shall develop a coordinated action plan based on the Strategy's conclusions for mitigating the digital asset-related illicit finance and national security risks addressed in the updated strategy. This action plan shall be coordinated through the interagency process described in section 3 of this order. The action plan shall address the role of law enforcement and measures to increase financial services providers' compliance with AML/CFT obligations related to digital asset activities.
(d) Within 120 days following completion of all of the following reports'--the National Money Laundering Risk Assessment; the National Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment; the National Proliferation Financing Risk Assessment; and the updated National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing'--the Secretary of the Treasury shall notify the relevant agencies through the interagency process described in section 3 of this order on any pending, proposed, or prospective rulemakings to address digital asset illicit finance risks. The Secretary of the Treasury shall consult with and consider the perspectives of relevant agencies in evaluating opportunities to mitigate such risks through regulation.
Sec. 8. Policy and Actions Related to Fostering International Cooperation and United States Competitiveness. (a) The policy of my Administration on fostering international cooperation and United States competitiveness with respect to digital assets and financial innovation is as follows:
(i) Technology-driven financial innovation is frequently cross-border and therefore requires international cooperation among public authorities. This cooperation is critical to maintaining high regulatory standards and a level playing field. Uneven regulation, supervision, and compliance across jurisdictions creates opportunities for arbitrage and raises risks to financial stability and the protection of consumers, investors, businesses, and markets. Inadequate AML/CFT regulation, supervision, and enforcement by other countries challenges the ability of the United States to investigate illicit digital asset transaction flows that frequently jump overseas, as is often the case in ransomware payments and other cybercrime-related money laundering. There must also be cooperation to reduce inefficiencies in international funds transfer and payment systems.
(ii) The United States Government has been active in international fora and through bilateral partnerships on many of these issues and has a robust agenda to continue this work in the coming years. While the United States held the position of President of the FATF, the United States led the group in developing and adopting the first international standards on digital assets. The United States must continue to work with international partners on standards for the development and appropriate interoperability of digital payment architectures and CBDCs to reduce payment inefficiencies and ensure that any new funds transfer and payment systems are consistent with United States values and legal requirements.
(iii) While the United States held the position of President of the 2020 G7, the United States established the G7 Digital Payments Experts Group to discuss CBDCs, stablecoins, and other digital payment issues. The G7 report outlining a set of policy principles for CBDCs is an important contribution to establishing guidelines for jurisdictions for the exploration and potential development of CBDCs. While a CBDC would be issued by a country's central bank, the supporting infrastructure could involve both public and private participants. The G7 report highlighted that any CBDC should be grounded in the G7's long-standing public commitments to transparency, the rule of law, and sound economic governance, as well as the promotion of competition and innovation.
(iv) The United States continues to support the G20 roadmap for addressing challenges and frictions with cross-border funds transfers and payments for which work is underway, including work on improvements to existing systems for cross-border funds transfers and payments, the international dimensions of CBDC designs, and the potential of well-regulated stablecoin arrangements. The international Financial Stability Board (FSB), together with standard-setting bodies, is leading work on issues related to stablecoins, cross border funds transfers and payments, and other international dimensions of digital assets and payments, while FATF continues its leadership in setting AML/CFT standards for digital assets. Such international work should continue to address the full spectrum of issues and challenges raised by digital assets, including financial stability, consumer, investor, and business risks, and money laundering, terrorist financing, proliferation financing, sanctions evasion, and other illicit activities.
(v) My Administration will elevate the importance of these topics and expand engagement with our critical international partners, including through fora such as the G7, G20, FATF, and FSB. My Administration will support the ongoing international work and, where appropriate, push for additional work to drive development and implementation of holistic standards, cooperation and coordination, and information sharing. With respect to digital assets, my Administration will seek to ensure that our core democratic values are respected; consumers, investors, and businesses are protected; appropriate global financial system connectivity and platform and architecture interoperability are preserved; and the safety and soundness of the global financial system and international monetary system are maintained.
(b) In furtherance of the policy stated in section 8(a) of this order:
(i) Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Commerce, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall establish a framework for interagency international engagement with foreign counterparts and in international fora to, as appropriate, adapt, update, and enhance adoption of global principles and standards for how digital assets are used and transacted, and to promote development of digital asset and CBDC technologies consistent with our values and legal requirements. This framework shall be coordinated through the interagency process described in section 3 of this order. This framework shall include specific and prioritized lines of effort and coordinated messaging; interagency engagement and activities with foreign partners, such as foreign assistance and capacity-building efforts and coordination of global compliance; and whole of government efforts to promote international principles, standards, and best practices. This framework should reflect ongoing leadership by the Secretary of the Treasury and financial regulators in relevant international financial standards bodies, and should elevate United States engagement on digital assets issues in technical standards bodies and other international fora to promote development of digital asset and CBDC technologies consistent with our values.
(ii) Within 1 year of the date of the establishment of the framework required by section 8(b)(i) of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Commerce, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the heads of other relevant agencies as appropriate, shall submit a report to the President on priority actions taken under the framework and its effectiveness. This report shall be coordinated through the interagency process described in section 3 of this order.
(iii) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall establish a framework for enhancing United States economic competitiveness in, and leveraging of, digital asset technologies. This framework shall be coordinated through the interagency process described in section 3 of this order.
(iv) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall submit a report to the President on how to strengthen international law enforcement cooperation for detecting, investigating, and prosecuting criminal activity related to digital assets.
Sec. 9. Definitions. For the purposes of this order:
(a) The term "blockchain" refers to distributed ledger technologies where data is shared across a network that creates a digital ledger of verified transactions or information among network participants and the data are typically linked using cryptography to maintain the integrity of the ledger and execute other functions, including transfer of ownership or value.
(b) The term "central bank digital currency" or "CBDC" refers to a form of digital money or monetary value, denominated in the national unit of account, that is a direct liability of the central bank.
(c) The term "cryptocurrencies" refers to a digital asset, which may be a medium of exchange, for which generation or ownership records are supported through a distributed ledger technology that relies on cryptography, such as a blockchain.
(d) The term "digital assets" refers to all CBDCs, regardless of the technology used, and to other representations of value, financial assets and instruments, or claims that are used to make payments or investments, or to transmit or exchange funds or the equivalent thereof, that are issued or represented in digital form through the use of distributed ledger technology. For example, digital assets include cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and CBDCs. Regardless of the label used, a digital asset may be, among other things, a security, a commodity, a derivative, or other financial product. Digital assets may be exchanged across digital asset trading platforms, including centralized and decentralized finance platforms, or through peer-to-peer technologies.
(e) The term "stablecoins" refers to a category of cryptocurrencies with mechanisms that are aimed at maintaining a stable value, such as by pegging the value of the coin to a specific currency, asset, or pool of assets or by algorithmically controlling supply in response to changes in demand in order to stabilize value.
Sec. 10. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
The White House,
March 9, 2022.
Joseph R. Biden, Executive Order 14067'--Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/354823
Biden planning to 'protect' us from cash '' beginning Dec. 13!
Wed, 17 Aug 2022 16:56
Some of America's smartest men, including Robert Kiyosaki, investment guru and author of the personal finance book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," have some choice words for Executive Order 14067.
It would behoove you to listen to them.
Kiyosaki called President Joe Biden's signed executive order "the most treasonous act in U.S. history" and the creation of Central Bank Digital Currencies, or CBDC, as "communism in its purest form," encouraging Americans to "stay awake."
He is joined by Jim Rickards, another economist, investor and former CIA official who is calling it a step toward the end of cash, the greenback, in circulation since the founding fathers. The new "digital tokens" can be "turned off" if the government doesn't like what you are doing. Rickards has four decades of experience on Wall Street.
Rickards criticized CBDC and labeled it as "Bitcoin's Evil Cousin." He also exposed the supposed singular event called C-Day, which according to him, will take place on Dec. 13, 2022, and will disrupt the traditional financial systems in the U.S.
TRENDING: An IRS that's armed and dangerous
He said when what he calls "C-Day" happens, paper money would be worthless and the U.S. dollar would crash. He further added that consumer spending and access to basic needs would also be restricted, and people holding too much money would be penalized.
Executive Order 14067, titled "Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets," includes developing policy plans and the organization of federal regulators. "Any future dollar payment system should be designed in a way that is consistent with United States priorities '... and democratic values, including privacy protections, and that ensures the global financial system has appropriate transparency connectivity, and platform and architecture interoperability or transferability, as appropriate."
The International Monetary Fund said in a blog released last month that CBDCs can be a more effective solution compared to credit and debit cards, particularly in terms of energy efficiency.
"Depending on the specific details of how they are configured, CBDCs and some kinds of crypto assets can be more energy-efficient than much of the current payment landscape, including credit and debit cards," the blog read.
Is the elimination of cash part of the inability to buy or sell unless you have the 'mark of the beast'?
98% (1283 Votes)
2% (24 Votes)
Notes Rickards, "Thanks to Section 4 of Biden's Executive Order 14067, calling for urgent research into developing the digital dollar, I believe the U.S. dollar, the standard of the world since 1792 '... will be REPLACED by a new currency, the digital dollar."
"I call the digital dollar 'Biden Bucks' because I want him to take full credit for what I consider to be crimes," says Rickards. "This is not like the money in your online bank account '... No, this is new and different. Every digital dollar will be a programmable token, like bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. But there's a big difference '... Cryptocurrencies are decentralized digital currencies. Instead, if it plays out the way I see it '... Biden Bucks will have the full backing of the U.S. Federal Reserve. They will REPLACE the cash ('fiat') dollar we have now. And will soon be the sole, MANDATORY currency of the United States."
Kiyosaki agrees. But in this climate of fear Biden is creating '' over the possibility of Donald Trump making a comeback '' he has the Fed in his corner.
"When Biden Bucks are rolled out, many experts '' myself included, believe they will begin an era of total government control and surveillance," Rickards stated. "This is not hyperbole. This would dramatically expand the power and influence of the federal government '... essentially acting as a new type of 'spyware.' With Biden Bucks, the government will be able to force you to comply with its agenda. Because if you don't, they could turn off your money. This won't be like freezing a bank account, it will be so much easier."
Just think what this will mean if Biden gets his way '' or whoever is behind this plot.
You want to keep your internal combustion engine car? Your digital dollars suddenly won't pay for gas. You'll be forced to buy an electric vehicle.
Rickards calls it "the tip of the fascist iceberg."
"America would become a surveillance state like China or North Korea," he says.
Is this scare talk? No, it's just Executive Order 14067. Biden signed it March 09, 2022 '' "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America." Look it up!
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The Hacking of Starlink Terminals Has Begun | WIRED
Tue, 16 Aug 2022 14:01
To design the modchip, Wouters scanned the Starlink dish and created the design to fit over the existing Starlink board. The modchip requires soldering to the existing Starlink PCB and connecting it using a few wires. The modchip itself is made up of a Raspberry Pi microcontroller, flash storage, electronic switches, and a voltage regulator. When creating the user terminal's board, Starlink engineers printed ''Made on Earth by humans'' across it. Wouters' modchip reads: ''Glitched on Earth by humans.''
To get access to the dish's software, Wouters used his custom system to bypass security protections by using the voltage fault injection attack. When the Starlink dish is turning on, it uses a series of different bootloader stages. Wouters' attack runs the glitch against the first bootloader, known as the ROM bootloader, which is burned onto the system-on-chip and can't be updated. The attack then deploys patched firmware on later bootloaders, which allows him to take control of the dish.
''From a high-level view, there are two obvious things that you could try to attack: the signature verification or the hash verification,'' Wouters says. The glitch works against the signature verification process. ''Normally you want to avoid shorts,'' he says. ''In this case we do it on purpose.''
Initially, Wouters attempted to glitch the chip at the end of its boot cycle'--when the Linux operating system has fully loaded'--but ultimately found it easier to cause the glitch at the start of the boot. This way was more reliable, Wouters says. To get the glitch to work, he says, he had to stop decoupling capacitors, which are used to smooth out the power supply, from operating. Essentially, the attack disables the decoupling capacitors, runs the glitch to bypass the security protections, and then enables the decoupling capacitors.
This process allows the researcher to run a patched version of Starlink's firmware during the boot cycle and ultimately allows access to its underlying systems. In response to the research, Wouters says, Starlink offered him researcher-level access to the device's software, although he says he declined as he had gone too deep with the work and wanted to build the modchip. (During testing, he hung the modified dish out of this research lab's window and used a plastic bag as a makeshift waterproofing system.)
Starlink also issued a firmware update, Wouters says, that makes the attack harder, but not impossible, to execute. Anyone wanting to break into the dish in this way would have to put a lot of time and effort into doing so. While the attack isn't as devastating as being able to take down satellite systems or connectivity, Wouters says it can be used to learn more about how the Starlink network operates.
''What I am working on now is communicating with the backend servers,'' Wouters explains. Despite making the details of the modchip available for download on Github, Wouters does not have any plans to sell finished modchips, nor is he providing people with patched user terminal firmware or the exact details of the glitch he used.
Opinion | Wonking Out: Is 2022 Like 1980? - The New York Times
Mon, 15 Aug 2022 14:50
Opinion | Wonking Out: Is 2022 Like 1980? https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/12/opinion/inflation-1980s-recession-biden.htmlIt has been a good week on the inflation front. First we had a flat month for the Consumer Price Index '-- zero inflation in July. Then we saw an actual decline in the Producer Price Index.
Naturally, there is a lot of pushback against the good news. I've been seeing many warnings against believing those who claim that the problem of inflation has been solved. The thing is, I don't know who is supposed to be making that claim. Every economist I know believes that America still has high underlying inflation. The real question is how hard it will be to get that underlying inflation down '-- whether we're going to need an extended slump like the one we went through in the 1980s. And the answer to that question depends a lot on whether you think our current situation resembles that in 1980.
First, about the good news: One of the most durable and successful concepts in macroeconomics is the distinction between headline inflation and ''core'' inflation, which excludes highly volatile prices. The traditional calculation of core inflation excludes food and energy; that calculation has been called into question given the strange disruptions and price movements we've seen in the era of Covid, but the traditional measure is good enough for today's newsletter. Here are recent monthly rates of overall and core inflation:
Image Good news, qualified. Credit... FRED Until July, headline rates were more or less consistently running well above core inflation; now, with gasoline prices falling, supply chain problems easing and so on, we're seeing that difference reverse itself. The result is likely to be several months, at least, of fairly low inflation.
But, as I said, underlying inflation remains high, at least by the standards of the past 30 or so years. There are many competing estimates of that underlying rate, but by and large they tend to be in the range of 4 percent to 5 percent, compared with a Federal Reserve target of 2 percent inflation.
So how hard will it be to achieve that target?
The last time we saw inflation rates this high was at the beginning of the 1980s. Comparisons between data then and now are a bit tricky, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics has changed the way it estimates inflation. But it has produced estimates of the inflation rates it would have reported in the past if it had been using modern methods. If we compare those estimates for 1980 with recent inflation '-- this time over the past year '-- you can see that today's inflation is lower than it was in 1980, but not all that much lower:
Image A return of that '80s show? Credit... Bureau of Labor Statistics And getting 1980's inflation down was a painful process. We tend to look at the Reagan-era economy through rose-colored glasses, partly because conservatives have spent decades glorifying it. But the reality was that America went though a long period of very high unemployment after the Fed began cracking down on inflation:
Image The forgotten pain of the Reagan era. Credit... FRED And one point I haven't seen made is that all this unemployment didn't get inflation down to 2 percent; back in the 1980s the Fed was content to stabilize inflation at around 4 percent. So right now we're faced with the need to achieve a disinflation comparable with the one engineered by Paul Volcker (unless the Fed changes its target '-- but that's a discussion for another day).
So why imagine that this time will be easier? The answer goes back to the reason (most) economists believe that disinflation was so hard in the 1980s. Back then, the story goes, everyone had come to expect high inflation in perpetuity. Wages and prices were being set based on that expectation, so inflation became self-sustaining. Disinflation required squeezing the economy hard and long enough to break that self-sustaining cycle.
And while actual inflation now doesn't look very different from what it was in the 1980s, expectations about future inflation look very different indeed. We can compare expected inflation rates over the next year and the next five years from then and now; the 1980 data (for February 1980) are from the Michigan Survey, the 2022 data from the New York Fed:
Image Expectations are different now. Credit... University of Michigan, New York Fed Back then, the public expected roughly 10 percent inflation in perpetuity; today, the public expects inflation to be somewhat elevated in the near term but drop back to normal levels soon.
The story for professional economic forecasters is similar. In the early 1980s Blue Chip forecasters expected around 8 percent inflation over the next 10 years; now they expect less than 3 percent, and financial markets expect inflation of less than 2.5 percent.
You might ask why, if expected inflation remains low, actual inflation is so high. The answer probably is that the U.S. economy is currently overheated in a way it wasn't in 1980. And if that's right, getting inflation down requires cooling the economy off, but not putting it through an extended slump.
So that's the case for saying that 2022 isn't 1980. Should we believe it?
Well, this relatively optimistic story isn't concocted on the spot to downplay our problems; it's squarely based on standard economic models. And my own experience is that when I make big prediction errors, it's usually because I've decided that standard models won't apply, then been unfavorably surprised to find them working after all. So I believe in a (relatively) optimistic inflation scenario '... I think.
But even this optimistic scenario still involves cooling off the U.S. economy through interest rate hikes. So if there really are economists who believe that the inflation problem has already been solved, I'm not one of them.
50 rijden in de bebouwde kom is straks overal voorbij: snelheid gaat flink omlaag | Economie Groene Hart | AD.nl
Mon, 15 Aug 2022 14:45
VIDEO - vinnie payne on Twitter: "@alexandrosM OMG @adamcurry have you seen this interview?" / Twitter
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 17:07
vinnie payne : @alexandrosM OMG @adamcurry have you seen this interview?
Thu Aug 18 15:53:22 +0000 2022
VIDEO - About Us | Redefine Meat
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:35
To create a world where anyone can enjoy great meat without compromise
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We've come a long way over a short period. See our most impressive and memorable highlights.
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Diners at a fancy restaurant in Israel were served an elegantly plated kebab, garnished with an eye-catching swipe of crimson sauce and thin slices of red onion.
World's first 3D printed plant-based steak
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Get to know our all-star team, whose talent and experience is surpassed only by their passion for great meat.
Investors and partnersHelping Us Build the World's Largest Meat Company
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Grants & AwardsA company on the Cutting Edge
The Israel Innovation Authority is the support arm of the Israeli government, charged with fostering the development of industrial R&D within the State of Israel. Redefine Meat received the IIA largest grant ever for a technological startup within the food segment, and is the first Alt-Meat company to receive support for the transfer of technology from development to production.
EIT Food accelerator program '' Redefine Meat chosen as winner in the first ever cohort of the prestigious food tech accelerator managed by the European Institute of innovation and technology (Funded by the European Union). The winners were selected out of 41global agrifood technology startups involved in the EIT FAN Program and over a four-month acceleration period.
Redefine Meat won the 2018 Start up Innovation Challenge category for Most Innovative Plant-based Finished Product. For the Fi Europe Innovation Awards, a jury of eight experts from various fields of the F&B industry selected the most innovative submissions from the international entries.
Out of hundreds of participants and 15 international finalists, Redefine Meat received the "people choice award" for ground-breaking, sustainable solutions for the food and agriculture (F&A) industry. FoodBytes! by Rabobank is a global pitch competition and networking platform '' hailed for identifying leading innovation and insight, judged by an esteemed panel of experts.
VIDEO - New Covid boosters expected soon for everyone over age 12
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:29
White House Covid coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said on Wednesday that the newly updated Covid boosters will be available to teens and adults "in a few short weeks."
"I believe it's going to be available and every American over the age of 12 will be eligible for it," Jha told NBC News' Lester Holt.
The new boosters target the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, as well as the original strain of the virus. BA.5 accounts for nearly 90% of new Covid cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Full coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic
The Food and Drug Administration will determine how well the updated shots protect against the virus, Jha said, adding that he expects that they should "work much better at preventing infection transmission and serious illness" than the current boosters.
When should you get another booster?Currently, adults ages 50 and up, as well as the immunocompromised, are eligible for a second booster four months after receiving their first.
With the new shots coming soon, should eligible people get their next shot now, or wait for the updated versions?
At first glance, when to get your next shot may seem straightforward: Waiting sounds like a reasonable option because the redesigned boosters should provide the best level of protection against the dominant circulating forms of the virus.
But it's become an increasingly complicated question in a country where vaccine uptake has varied considerably and people carry different levels of risk.
Many eligible people in the U.S. are vaccinated, but have not received a booster shot. Some are double-boosted. Confounding matters further is whether a person has been infected or reinfected.
The level of immunity across the country is "strikingly different now than it was just a year ago," Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases specialist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said.
To make matters even more confusing, if people get their next shot early this fall, there is some concern among scientists about whether they'll still have enough immune protection against the virus during the winter months, when Covid cases are expected to rise again.
Research has shown that antibodies generated from the existing vaccines begin to decline after only a few months.
''There's not a clear-cut answer,'' said Dr. Katherine Poehling, a vaccine expert and pediatrician at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in North Carolina. Timing your next vaccine, she said, is about as tricky as ''timing the stock market.''
The best way to time your next Covid shot may be to look at your individual risk factors '-- such as age and underlying conditions '-- as well as the level of spread in your community and the time since your last vaccine dose, experts say.
The elderly and those with weakened immune systems are often at the highest risk of severe complications from Covid, but so are other groups, such as those with diabetes, asthma or chronic lung disease.
''I'd say that if somebody were in a community with a high transmission rate and they were very vulnerable, they may want to avail themselves immediately with a booster that is currently available,'' said Dr. Ofer Levy, the director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Boston Children's Hospital.
On the other hand, someone who is young, healthy and lives in a community where Covid transmission is low may be able to make the decision to wait for the updated booster, he said.
The existing vaccines that a young healthy individual already received should still provide ''protection against the worst outcomes, which is intensive care unit admission and death,'' he said.
To be sure, putting off vaccination until the updated booster becomes available is still a gamble for anyone: Covid cases are still high in the U.S., with more than 98,000 cases per day, on average, according to data from the CDC.
Furthermore, federal health officials still haven't decided whether they will immediately distribute the updated doses to all U.S. adults or start with those most at risk, such as the elderly,
Whether officials make the vaccine immediately available to everyone who is eligible will depend on how much supply Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are able to manufacture and distribute by next month, according to a person familiar with the discussions. If supply is initially limited, the updated doses may first go to those most at risk, such as the elderly or the immunocompromised.
That strategy could mirror the U.K.'s, which is offering updated boosters next month to people over 50 and those whose jobs or health conditions put them at high risk. (The U.K.'s new boosters differ from the ones that will be offered in the U.S., in that they target the original version of omicron, called BA.1, that circulated earlier this year.)
Speaking at a webinar with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce webinar Tuesday, Jha said people, if eligible, should get a booster shot now, and that they should still be able to get the updated booster shot in a few months.
"My general feeling is no reason to wait, go get it, even if we're only a few weeks away" from the updated booster, he said.
Schaffner, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, agreed that people shouldn't wait, noting that there's no guarantee that they'll be able to get the updated vaccines.
Levy, of Boston Children's Hospital, said there's no downside to getting an additional shot now if eligible: "I think folks should take advantage. We have safe and effective vaccines. Get immunized. That's the bottom line."
Follow NBC HEALTH on Twitter & Facebook.
VIDEO - (21) Darvio Morrow on Twitter: "From the ''State of the Black Union'' in 2007. Parents rights is a hot topic now, but watch this. This is why what happens in our community should matter 2 people outside of it. Like @RealKiraDavis said, ''the po
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:25
Darvio Morrow : From the ''State of the Black Union'' in 2007. Parents rights is a hot topic now, but watch this. This is why what ha'... https://t.co/bDMZGgLEh1
Thu Aug 11 00:52:57 +0000 2022
Rxpain : @DTheKingpin @RealKiraDavis She's 100% right. There's no discipline happening in the schools now. Back when we were'... https://t.co/f6cbFv98Vs
Thu Aug 18 11:33:37 +0000 2022
Dumisani Washington : @DTheKingpin @RealKiraDavis Yep. We clapped and let them do it anyway. Voted for it early and often and twice on Su'... https://t.co/GIpRY76Onq
Thu Aug 18 02:33:01 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Video: MSNBC Suggests Trump Is ''Trafficking'' Nuclear Secrets To Putin And Saudis '' Summit News
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:08
GOP Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry warned Sunday that everyday Americans should now plan for ''tyranny'' to enter their homes in the form of federal agents if they refuse to play nice with the authorities.
Perry, the House Freedom Caucus chair, revealed how the FBI recently seized his phone, just hours after the feds raided President Trump's Mar-a-Lago complex.
''A day after the raid on the president's home FBI agents showed up when I was traveling with my family, my wife and our two small children, my in-laws, extended family,'' Perry stated in an appearance on Fox News.
The Congressman related how the feds ''showed up and demanded my cell phone they said they were going to image it they were not going to search it and and then they eventually did return it.''
Perry, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, further declared to ''have always supported law enforcement. I always have, we have revered the FBI, but this is an abuse of power.''
''There's been no accountability,'' Perry continued, explaining that ''James Comey, the director of the FBI used classified information improperly to get a second special counsel, no, no, no accountability for that.''
''Whether it's John Eastman, whether it's Scott Perry, whether it's President Trump, and with passing a bill that will pay for hiring of 87,000 IRS agents, tyranny is going to come right into everyone's living room very, very shortly,'' Perry proclaimed.
While the 87,000 figure is disputed, the Senate last week approved nearly $80 billion in IRS funding, with $45.6 billion for ''enforcement''.
''This is about intimidating anyone who refuses to bend the knee to the narrative,'' the Congressman further warned.
''This is an abuse of power,'' Perry claimed, ''and of course they're using these taxes tactics to intimidate people to coerce people.''
Referring to Hillary Clinton, Perry said ''People that BleachBit their their phones and hit him with hammers, smash them with hammers and those types of things have something to hide. People that keep the same phone a year and a half after the election aren't worried about what's on their phone, and so that's me, but apparently they want to destroy me politically.''
''Anybody that doesn't bend the knee, that isn't intimidated, that isn't parroting the narrative is now subject to these kind of third world Banana Republic tactics politically,'' Perry stressed.
Elsewhere during the interview, Perry told viewers that ''It should be pretty apparent to anybody that's been alive for the past 5 years that the Biden family is completely compromised by the Communist Party of China.''
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VIDEO - UK authorizes booster vaccine that targets 2 COVID variants l GMA - YouTube
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:01
VIDEO - (20) Jay in Kyiv on Twitter: "Prime Minister of Finland says Russians should no longer be allowed to enter EU. And she's 100% correct. The sooner they are banned from all civilized countries, the better. https://t.co/FrTPf8x9ZT" / Twitter
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 15:17
Jay in Kyiv : Prime Minister of Finland says Russians should no longer be allowed to enter EU.And she's 100% correct.The soon'... https://t.co/4h2AJI0MMW
Tue Aug 16 18:24:59 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (20) Efrat Fenigson on Twitter: "Australia mainstream media surprises me in revealing deaths & injuries from blood clots / vaccines. AstraZeneca & Pfizer are starring here. How come they're not hiding it like in all other countries? 🧐
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 15:14
Efrat Fenigson : Australia mainstream media surprises me in revealing deaths & injuries from blood clots / vaccines. AstraZeneca &'... https://t.co/S8WzJTWnpC
Wed Aug 17 21:41:14 +0000 2022
Michelle Topham : @efenigson We had several people die in Austria right after the AstraZeneca "vaccine". Govt. suspended its use then'... https://t.co/OGx6eXCpNK
Thu Aug 18 15:11:09 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (20) Bernie's Tweets on Twitter: "U.K. - Will launch the emergency alert system in October reaching 85% of the population through smart phones. A sinister nudge by government, to shift citizens to relying more on the authorities. Wait until this b
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 15:11
Bernie's Tweets : U.K. - Will launch the emergency alert system in October reaching 85% of the population through smart phones.A si'... https://t.co/6AhpqlkVxD
Tue Aug 16 09:21:41 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (20) 🍁Antonio Tweets ðŸ'£ on Twitter: "Remember the PCR tests? Well the MSM have confirmed that they were laced with poisonous chemical Sodium Azide.👇 https://t.co/ZeG79xbSmk" / Twitter
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 15:04
🍁Antonio Tweets ðŸ'£ : Remember the PCR tests? Well the MSM have confirmed that they were laced with poisonous chemical Sodium Azide.👇 https://t.co/ZeG79xbSmk
Mon Aug 15 12:49:03 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Los Angeles Strippers Are Unionizing - YouTube
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 15:02
VIDEO - (24) Libs of TikTok on Twitter: "Yale Pediatric Gender Program director says she treats kids as young as THREE on their ''gender journey'' including medical intervention https://t.co/WoCrr9Utnb" / Twitter
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 14:56
Libs of TikTok : Yale Pediatric Gender Program director says she treats kids as young as THREE on their ''gender journey'' including m'... https://t.co/v0qJEiFCyW
Thu Aug 18 05:38:23 +0000 2022
👑ミ'… ð'ð'–ð'¨ð'(C)ð'šð'§ ð'‚ð'–ð'ð'šð'§ '…å½ðŸ‘‘ #AllRacesMatter : @libsoftiktok Sick MFrs
Thu Aug 18 14:56:43 +0000 2022
Ulysses S. Rant : @libsoftiktok Twist that into "phobia" ya transtrenders ðŸ https://t.co/2THXmsgnuE
Thu Aug 18 14:56:32 +0000 2022
Mistah J : @libsoftiktok Sickening
Thu Aug 18 14:55:38 +0000 2022
Wendy Swenson : @libsoftiktok @beyond_reasons What the what!?!a 3yr old?? This is child abuse. I thought I was wonder woman when I'... https://t.co/utHwtbQND7
Thu Aug 18 14:55:22 +0000 2022
VIDEO - How The CDC's Plans To Reorganize Will Speed Up Response To Health Emergencies - YouTube
Thu, 18 Aug 2022 13:14
VIDEO - (1467) Trump FBI Warrant Reveals Classified Intel, Possible Nuclear Espionage | Pod Save America Podcast - YouTube
Tue, 16 Aug 2022 15:33
VIDEO - MSNBC Host: All Republicans Are ''Extremists'''... | Weasel Zippers
Tue, 16 Aug 2022 16:27
Speaking of extremists.
ZIP |August 16, 2022 11:31 am


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Audio Clips

CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - over the counter hearing aids (19sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - florida pill mill bust (19sec).mp3
Los Angeles Strippers Are Unionizing - Strippers United.mp3
Yale Pediatric Gender Program director helps with gender journey.mp3
Kira davis From the State of the Black Union in 2007.mp3
CBS - Climate change is respinsible for obese children.mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Ben Tracey - colorado river water shortage (1min54sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - extreme heat prediction (24sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - extreme weather -megafloods (1min27sec).mp3
Fireman on TikTok Anne Heche.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Mona Abdi - california issues flex alert (14sec).mp3
Amy Goodman Trigger Warning.wav
Code Pink Founder Medea Benjanin on the slow corruption of Krysten Sinema [Amy Trigger Warning].mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Mona Abdi - biden signs inflation bill (39sec).mp3
RedfineMeatdorCom promo.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - apple ads apps podcast (18sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Will Ganss - FAA warning leads to confusion (28sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Elise Preston - job unhappiness soars (1min47sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - US test ICBM in pacific (17sec).mp3
Will launch the emergency alert system in October.mp3
DeSantis vs Warren 3cnbc.mp3
Gender talk Ptssburg Childrends.mp3
Insect grease 2.mp3
Insect grease.mp3
LLamas Show cult and wtf.mp3
Llamas SHow dr Oz 1.mp3
Llamas SHow dr Oz 2.mp3
Llamas SHow Welker on Pence 1.mp3
Llamas SHow Welker on Pence 2.mp3
MOS Trump supporter in Portland.mp3
smith show on Cheney 1.mp3
smith show on Cheney 2.mp3
smith show on Cheney 3.mp3
Some Taiwan china rundown one.mp3
Some Taiwan china rundown two.mp3
TOCK boston on 17 year olds.mp3
TOCK School instr Bully.mp3
CDC shakeup 2.mp3
CDC shakeup 3.mp3
CDC shakeup 4wtf.mp3
CDC shakeup one.mp3
DeSantis vs Warren 1 cnbc.mp3
DeSantis vs Warren 2 kicker.mp3
Home tests contain toxic chemical sodium azide.mp3
How The CDC's Plans To Reorganize Will Speed Up Response To Health Emergencies [NBC].mp3
NBC News CDC overhaul and NEW vaccines - Dr Jha [FDA PUSH WTF].mp3
The McCullough Report - New vaccines not tested.m4a
UK authorizes booster vaccine that targets 2 COVID variants - GMA.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Rhiannon Ally - variant specific vaccine UK (19sec).mp3
ABC Start Here - anchor Sony Salzman - bivalent vaccine (1min51sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Erielle Reshef - 8th child and dog monkeypox (59sec).mp3
[REDUX] Polio in NYC [Rockland County].mp3
NBC - anchor Tom Costello (3) astronaut test dummies (13sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Mona Abdi - artemis 1 [short] (17sec).mp3
NBC - anchor Tom Costello (1) artemis 1 (1min12sec).mp3
NBC - anchor Tom Costello (2) diiversity in space (18sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Cecilia Vega - gulliani target in criminal probe (1min14sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Jeff Pegues -Trump Induced FBI threat -bulletin (1min14sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Robert Costa - liz cheney (1) down in primary (47sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Robert Costa - liz cheney (2) presidenial run (31sec).mp3
Pod Save America OKK STOP in Nashville - Macron in Trump archives.mp3
Sam Harris on left wing conspiracy Hunter Laptop.mp3
Trump on The Beast wheel grabbing story from Jan6.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Mona Abdi - liz cheney (3) loses primary (1min40sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Mona Abdi - trump obstuction (51sec).mp3
Prime Minister of Finland says Russians should no longer be allowed to enter EU.mp3
PHARMA WARS DOWN UNDER - Australia deaths & injuries from blood clots ASTRAZENICA - Phizer Marketing - SuperCut.mp3
  • 0:00
    It's ludicrous but let's listen in Adam curry, John C.
  • 0:04
    Devora. Thursday August 18 2022. This is your award winning get
  • 0:08
    my nation media assassination episode 1478.
  • 0:11
    This is no agenda, shaking up the CDC
  • 0:16
    and broadcasting live from the heart of the Texas hill country
  • 0:19
    here in FEMA Region number six in the morning, everybody. I'm
  • 0:22
    Adam curry
  • 0:22
    in from Northern Silicon Valley where everybody's celebrating
  • 0:27
    the fact that Liz Cheney's running for President. I'm Jesse
  • 0:31
    borax. Greg Vaughn
  • 0:33
  • 0:36
    This is the most boring news item to me ever. Yet it is
  • 0:41
    dominating the headlines. Live yours was at Liz Cheney who run
  • 0:46
  • 0:46
    Ay, ay ay. Who cares about Liz Cheney, and what kind of an
  • 0:52
    egomaniac would get drubbed? 29%? Is 66% in a primary, just
  • 1:02
    wiped out? Yeah. And then say I'm gonna run for president now.
  • 1:08
    She even she even had that x ABC News executive who did the Jan
  • 1:13
    six production was there to see her, you know, concede with a
  • 1:22
    camera crew.
  • 1:25
    every news outlet I went to then dug around for this stuff
  • 1:28
    because it was worth deconstructing, as far as I'm
  • 1:31
    concerned because it has so much propaganda in it. And it was
  • 1:35
    loaded. NBC being the worst loaded with they're interviewing
  • 1:40
    her and they're bringing her here and they're bringing her
  • 1:42
    there and they say, Well, it's a Trump victory, but blah, blah,
  • 1:45
    blah. She's gonna stop Trump because she's Superwoman. And
  • 1:49
    she's dour. She has no appeal at all. She could win in Wyoming as
  • 1:55
    a as a congresswoman, because it was nobody is a Republican state
  • 2:00
    and she was the Republican candidate, but now that they
  • 2:02
    have anybody going, anybody could beat her. They were even
  • 2:06
    now she thinks she's gonna run for president. It's pathetic.
  • 2:08
  • 2:09
    Well, I ever thought I've thought I've thought I mean,
  • 2:11
    this was known before the night before. I think CBS was already
  • 2:17
    talking about her running for president. Here's a short clip.
  • 2:19
    And Robert, I took a look at her campaign finances today. She's
  • 2:22
    raised nearly $14 million and still has seven and a half
  • 2:27
    million cash on hand. What does that mean for Liz Cheney's
  • 2:31
    future? Nora,
  • 2:32
    it shows she has a strong fundraising base for a national
  • 2:36
    campaign. And Cheney has not ruled out a potential 2024
  • 2:41
    presidential bid.
  • 2:42
    But in the meantime, on Tuesday night, she is planning to
  • 2:45
    deliver a major speech warning that Trump is a threat to
  • 2:49
    American democracy
  • 2:51
    threat to democracy.
  • 2:55
    So that Trump's threat to democracy we have to get there
  • 2:59
    we got it. We got this. The Cheney thing the only thing that
  • 3:02
    could be interesting is what if she runs not as a Republican?
  • 3:06
    What if she runs as an independent that would shore up
  • 3:08
    Trump for sure that would make him press this Oh, and
  • 3:11
    everyone knows that.
  • 3:12
    That would be the Ross Perot gag.
  • 3:14
    You have to consider a couple of things. One, is it possible that
  • 3:19
    this whole this is ridiculous what I'm going to say all right.
  • 3:26
    Is it possible the idea is to get her to run as an independent
  • 3:29
    to make sure Trump wins? Well, this was where I was part of the
  • 3:34
    whole Republicans this is where I was headed because that's the
  • 3:38
    only thing I could say yes so idiotic said this morning.
  • 3:43
    I said the only thing I can think of is that this will be a
  • 3:46
    Ross Perot situation she runs as an independent because she was
  • 3:50
    in on it from the beginning. But that seems unlikely
  • 3:55
    especially with the old man coming out and yeah, you know,
  • 3:58
    degrees a threat to democracy in this and she can hear all her
  • 4:01
    speeches which is always the same thing with
  • 4:03
    it. But wait, you have to understand she can still run as
  • 4:07
    an independent, say threat to democracy and she will be loved
  • 4:12
    by the left.
  • 4:14
    Well, we was loved by the left in it. I have a serious Eclipse
  • 4:20
    unfortunately. Oh
  • 4:21
    goodness. Okay,
  • 4:22
    but let's go with it. Go over to CNBC, which I always thought was
  • 4:26
  • 4:27
    CNBC. Now. The real the real news man that those guys they
  • 4:30
    can't mess around.
  • 4:32
    Well, it turns out that that's not true. Oh, so we have oh,
  • 4:36
    Kelly coming over there to do this Shepard Smith's show. And
  • 4:39
    she's got her you know, Kelly Kelly Evans is gorgeous brunette
  • 4:45
    with a funny she moves around her mouth when she talks in a
  • 4:48
    funny ways reminds me of Robert Tilton, the televangelists who
  • 4:53
    those always stretch up his mouth. You watch him. With this
  • 4:57
    guy's mouth.
  • 4:59
    He As she wore her mouth is so manufactured was a little
  • 5:04
    jealous of you know, going through my own my own teeth
  • 5:06
    renovation. I'm
  • 5:07
    like she's got a great smile a great smile.
  • 5:10
    Yeah, I want those Kelly Evans teeth. That's what I want.
  • 5:14
    So here she goes, let's go on and she's gonna do a whole thing
  • 5:16
    to start the show. And by the way, you could tell what was
  • 5:19
    going on but the various networks by what they started
  • 5:22
    the show with. Fox, for example, started off by using a Bret bear
  • 5:27
    show he started off as CDC stuff. Yeah. And then they lost
  • 5:31
    his plot completely. But she started off in most NBC all the
  • 5:35
    NBC show started off. Cheney, Cheney, Cheney as if Cheney the
  • 5:39
    lone report, the lone Congress, woman, or man from Wyoming is
  • 5:46
    top of the news. It's ludicrous, but let's listen in.
  • 5:50
    Former President Trump exacting revenge on his biggest critic in
  • 5:55
    his own party, Congresswoman Liz Cheney facing a brutal loss and
  • 5:59
    Wyoming pre election polls indicated she was almost certain
  • 6:02
    to lose her reelection bid but she went down even worse than
  • 6:06
    expected. She finished nearly 40 points behind her trump back
  • 6:10
    opponent Harriet Hagerman, former President Trump calling
  • 6:13
    Congresswoman Cheney a fool now the two rivals could be facing
  • 6:17
    off in 2024. Congresswoman Cheney telling the Today Show
  • 6:20
    Savannah Guthrie this morning that she is considering a run
  • 6:24
    for president.
  • 6:25
    That's a decision that I'm going to make in the in the coming
  • 6:27
    months today. And I'm not going to make any announcements here
  • 6:29
    this morning. But but it is something that I am thinking
  • 6:32
    about and I'll make a decision in the coming months.
  • 6:35
    Well, she's not wasting any time taking on her next big move, NBC
  • 6:39
    News confirming she failed to transfer her campaign cash to a
  • 6:42
    new organization. And she's promising to do whatever it
  • 6:45
    takes to keep former President Trump back out of the Oval
  • 6:48
  • 6:49
    I believe that Donald Trump continues to pose a very grave
  • 6:53
    threat and risk to our republic. And I think that defeating him
  • 6:57
    is going to require a broad and united front of Republicans,
  • 7:02
    Democrats and independents. And that's what I intend to be to be
  • 7:06
    part of.
  • 7:08
    There. She's also targeting election deniers and offices
  • 7:12
    across the country.
  • 7:13
    I don't think that anybody in any political party should
  • 7:16
    support election deniers. That's true here in Wyoming. And it's
  • 7:20
    true all across the country. You know,
  • 7:22
    just as a slight aside, the mean that they've tried to launch
  • 7:27
    here with election deniers is so stupid. You know, it's like I
  • 7:33
    understand when they're trying to make it into birthers you
  • 7:35
    know, stuff like that, you know, you you, you deny you you
  • 7:39
    disagree that Trump last night you deny so you just deny the
  • 7:43
    election election deniers. It's a little too, as we say in the
  • 7:47
    old country too short through the corner. I don't know why
  • 7:51
  • 7:52
    pride on a couple of things that should be noted. One is why are
  • 7:58
    they made keeping keep? They're the ones that keep making the
  • 8:01
    fuss about election deniers in election election that lies the
  • 8:04
    lies, the Trump's lies about the election, The Big Lie is about
  • 8:10
    the election and on and on. It's like why don't you aren't you
  • 8:14
    making this a little? I mean, we never did that with gore. Who
  • 8:17
    would you go on and on? No,
  • 8:19
    no, no, no, but it's a it's Plan B it's insurance. Because they
  • 8:24
    figure that if they can't lock them up, if they give me the
  • 8:27
    final thing they could do is kill them. I mean, I'm I'm
  • 8:29
    getting a little concerned about it because they're so nuts. Then