An absurd and disturbing cancel campaign in public health - The Boston Globe
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 17:06
Wen is referred to as ''unscientific'' for suggesting, this spring, that vaccinated people should be able to return to a pre-pandemic normal. She is called ''unethical'' for largely agreeing with the new guidance for schools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which relaxed restrictions on distancing, masks, and automatic quarantine after the agency weighed the harms of such interventions against the fact that today COVID-19 poses a far lesser threat than it did earlier in the pandemic. She is chided for mentioning learning loss as an issue of concern related to keeping kids out of school. And, among still other complaints, Wen is accused of being ''fatphobic'' for saying that eating doughnuts every day is not healthy.
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The letter calls for Wen to be replaced by someone whose work is ''consistent with anti-racist'' and ''anti-eugenicist'' public health practices. (Wen declined to comment when I reached her this week.)
The letter reads like a parody of woke righteousness. Yet it has been signed by epidemiologists, physicians, researchers, administrators, and PhD candidates and postdocs in public health, at Harvard, Yale, Brown, Johns Hopkins, UC Berkeley, and Emory, among other institutions.
Is the public expected to take seriously the assertion that echoing the CDC's guidance is outside the parameters of acceptable academic discourse? There is an unreality to the positions espoused in the letter, and it's deeply troubling that many of the signers are in positions to influence public policy.
Until her recent pivot to moderation that has so angered her detractors, Wen was, from my perspective, an extremist whose views related to the pandemic often were flat wrong. For a while she favored maximizing restrictions and an authoritarian, punitive approach to anyone unvaccinated. In the fall of 2021, she said unvaccinated people shouldn't be allowed to leave their homes and likened them to drunk drivers. But in the main, this debacle has less to do with Wen or her views, specifically, and more to do with the culture that spawned the letter. Deplatforming speakers, refusing to hear views that differ from one's own, and hyperbolic rhetoric intended to demonize those with whom one disagrees is an intellectually bankrupt way for anyone to conduct themselves. That the attempt at cancellation is being perpetrated by scientists and academics is all the more disheartening, as some dissenters within the field have pointed out.
The campaign to cancel Leana Wen's talk at @PublicHealth is peak public health Twitter awesome.And by awesome, I mean painfully embarrassing for our field as a whole.
'-- Stefan Baral (@sdbaral) August 16, 2022 A through line in the letter is that Wen's views are unethical because they prioritize individual rights over those of the public and, in particular, those of more medically vulnerable people. The letter characterizes her positions as contrary to the philosophy of public health. ''We are not a field driven by individual risk and medicalization; our mission is to uphold the public's health and collective well-being . . . towards health equity,'' the letter states. Yet while this may be accurate in the abstract, as a specific charge against some of Wen's positions, it is a pretense. It derives from the hubris that the letter signers' values necessarily match those of everyone perceived to be at higher risk of bad outcomes from the virus '-- and that the authors ought to dictate to their colleagues and the rest of us which tradeoffs society should make in dealing with COVID.
During the pandemic, as a writer often critical of the mitigations imposed on children and shortcomings of the evidence behind some COVID-related policies, I have been contacted by numerous parents of children with medical frailties, from those with cancer to organ transplant recipients, who, through their own value judgments, nevertheless have wanted their children to be in school, and without being compelled to wear masks. Not everyone, including those more medically fragile and their caregivers, sees maximizing risk aversion as the primary goal. Good health '-- on a personal and public level '-- requires the recognition that an out-of-balance attempt to avoid a single harm creates its own harms. Different people, be they regular citizens or those within the public health and medical professions, are going to disagree about what policies are best or most reasonable. This should go without saying, but, alas, it needs to be said: A variety of opinions should be encouraged, particularly among colleagues who seek to influence those in power who decide policies that affect us all.
To argue that some of Wen's views '-- which mirror current CDC guidelines and the approaches of numerous European nations '-- are so unethical and outlandish that Wen herself should be prevented from presenting at a conference of her peers reveals a segment of the public health profession to be divorced from common value systems. It is a bit rich that Wen is due to speak on a panel about weathering ''backlash against public health.''
One positive note is that the American Public Health Association has not yielded to the letter and its campaigners' demands. When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the APHA told me the following: ''Public health has a history of healthy dialogue and disagreement. Finding the common ground in these discussions is how we move the needle forward toward creating healthy people in healthy communities. We value vigorous debate about public health and support a respectful and fact-based discussion.''
Hopefully, all APHA members will heed the wisdom of the organization's stance.
David Zweig, a writer in New York, is the author of the forthcoming book ''An Abundance of Caution.'' Follow him on Twitter @davidzweig.
Stalled monkeypox vaccines raise risk of spillover, wider outbreak
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:58
There are growing concerns that a monkeypox vaccination drive could be stalled amid a shortage of supply.
Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
Concerns are mounting that the window of opportunity for containing the escalating monkeypox outbreak may be closing, with vaccine shortages leaving some at-risk groups waiting weeks to get jabbed.
Health professionals have warned that a failure to get the outbreak under control could see it spill over into other populations or species.
The U.K. Health Security Agency has said that it expects to run out of its initial batch of 50,000 vaccines within the next two weeks, and may not receive further doses until September. Meanwhile, other high-case countries are considering new inoculation methods amid dwindling supplies.
Bavarian Nordic '-- the sole supplier of the only approved vaccine for monkeypox '-- announced Thursday that it had signed a deal with contract manufacturer Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing to help complete orders of its Jynneos vaccine in the U.S. while freeing up capacity for other countries. The process is expected to take around three months to get up and running.
It follows reports Wednesday that the Danish pharmaceutical company was no longer certain it could meet rising demand, according to Bloomberg.
More than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have so far been confirmed in 92 non-endemic countries since the first was reported in the U.K. on May 6. Twelve have been fatal.
Cases rise 20% in a weekThe World Health Organization on Wednesday warned that the spread of the virus was continuing apace, with cases rising 20% in the past week alone.
While anyone can be infected with monkeypox, the overwhelming majority of cases have so far been confirmed in gay and bisexual men who have sex with other men.
That has prompted an inoculation drive, specifically among advanced economies, aimed at protecting the most vulnerable with either pre- or post-exposure vaccinations. However, shortfalls in vaccine supply and delayed rollouts are increasing the risks of a wider outbreak, according to infectious disease specialists.
If an outbreak is to be stopped, you have a very short window of opportunity. At this point, we see this window of opportunity slowly closing.
Professor Eyal Lesham
infectious disease specialist, Sheba Medical Center
"We know from past outbreaks that if an outbreak is to be stopped you have a very short window of opportunity. At this point, we see this window of opportunity slowly closing," Professor Eyal Leshem of Israel's Sheba Medical Center, told CNBC Thursday.
That, in turn, could see the virus transmit more easily to other groups or begin to behave in different ways, said Leshem.
"As we see more cases, the chance of containing this disease are reduced. We may see spillover from the current population at risk to other populations," he said, naming close contacts and household members, including children and pets, as potentially vulnerable groups.
The first known instance in this outbreak of an animal catching monkeypox from humans was reported earlier this week in Paris.
Vaccines 'not a silver bullet'As countries await further vaccine supply, some are now trying alternate means of safeguarding vulnerable groups.
In a letter leaked to the BBC, the UKHSA said it would withhold some remaining stock purely for post-exposure patients, meaning other people seeking preventative care would have to wait.
Elsewhere, Spain '-- which has the most reported cases of a non-endemic country after the U.S. '-- last week requested permission from the European Medicines Agency to give people smaller doses of the vaccine in a bid to spread limited supplies more widely.
It follows similar dose-sparing plans backed by U.S. health regulators, which allow one vial of vaccine to administer up to five separate shots by injecting between the skin rather than below it.
A relatively short and temporary decrease in the rate of vaccine administration may not have a big impact.
Dr. Jake Dunning
senior researcher, University of Oxford
Still, the WHO's technical lead for monkeypox, Dr. Rosamund Lewis, said Wednesday that vaccines should not be seen as the only form of protection against the virus.
"Vaccines are not a silver bullet," she said, noting that more data on their efficacy is still required. Current data comes from a small study in the 1980s, which found that smallpox vaccines are 85% effective at preventing monkeypox.
She recommended those who believe themselves to be at risk to consider "reducing their number of sex partners [and] avoiding group sex or casual sex." If and when someone does receive a vaccine, they should also wait until it has the time to produce the maximum immune response before engaging in sexual intercourse, typically two weeks, she added.
Dr. Jake Dunning, senior researcher at the University of Oxford's Pandemic Sciences Institute, agreed, noting that a brief drop off in vaccinations may not necessarily derail wider efforts to combat the virus.
"If it turns out that actually a large proportion of those at greatest risk of exposure have been vaccinated already, then a relatively short and temporary decrease in the rate of vaccine administration may not have a big impact in achieving the overall aim," he said.
Recent progress of graphene oxide as a potential vaccine carrier and adjuvant - PubMed
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:58
doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2020.06.009. Epub 2020 Jun 10. Affiliations
Affiliations 1 Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences & Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, School of Medicine of University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, No. 32, West Section 2, First Ring Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China; School of Pharmacy, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, China. 2 Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences & Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, School of Medicine of University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, No. 32, West Section 2, First Ring Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China. 3 School of Pharmacy, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, China. 4 School of Materials, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China. Electronic address: email@example.com. 5 Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences & Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, School of Medicine of University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, No. 32, West Section 2, First Ring Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org. PMID: 32531395 DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2020.06.009 Item in Clipboard
Wanjun Cao et al. Acta Biomater . 2020 Aug .
doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2020.06.009. Epub 2020 Jun 10. Affiliations 1 Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences & Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, School of Medicine of University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, No. 32, West Section 2, First Ring Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China; School of Pharmacy, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, China. 2 Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences & Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, School of Medicine of University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, No. 32, West Section 2, First Ring Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China. 3 School of Pharmacy, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, China. 4 School of Materials, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China. Electronic address: email@example.com. 5 Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences & Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, School of Medicine of University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, No. 32, West Section 2, First Ring Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org. PMID: 32531395 DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2020.06.009 Item in Clipboard
Abstract Vaccine is one of the most effective strategies for preventing and controlling infectious diseases and some noninfectious diseases, especially cancers. Adjuvants and carriers have been appropriately added to the vaccine formulation to improve the immunogenicity of the antigen and induce long-lasting immunity. However, there is an urgent need to develop new all-purpose adjuvants because some adjuvants approved for human use have limited functionality. Graphene oxide (GO), widely employed for the delivery of biomolecules, excels in loading and delivering antigen and shows the potentiality of activating the immune system. However, GO aggregates in biological liquid and induces cell death, and it also exhibits poor biosolubility and biocompatibility. To address these limitations, various surface modification protocols have been employed to integrate aqueous compatible substances with GO to effectively improve its biocompatibility. More importantly, these modifications render functionalized-GO with superior properties as both carriers and adjuvants. Herein, the recent progress of physicochemical properties and surface modification strategies of GO for its application as both carriers and adjuvants is reviewed. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Due to its unique physicochemical properties, graphene oxide is widely employed in medicine for purposes of photothermal treatment of cancer, drug delivery, antibacterial therapy, and medical imaging. Our work describes the surface modification of graphene oxide and for the first time summarizes that functionalized graphene oxide serves as a vaccine carrier and shows significant adjuvant activity in activating cellular and humoral immunity. In the future, it is expected to be introduced into vaccine research to improve the efficacy of vaccines.
Keywords: Adjuvant delivery; Antigen delivery; Functionalized-GO; Immune adjuvant; Vaccine adjuvant; Vaccine nano-carrier.
Copyright (C) 2020 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Conflict of interest statement Declaration of Competing Interest Financial support from International Cooperation and Exchange Program of Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province (No. 2018HH0114), Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences & Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital clinical study and translational fund (No. 2020LZ01), University of Electronic Science and Technology of China Central University Basic Research Expenses Project (No. 2672018ZYGX2018J101) and Sichuan Science and Technology Program (No. 2020YFG0100).
Similar articles Alum-functionalized graphene oxide nanocomplexes for effective anticancer vaccination. Wang X, Cao F, Yan M, Liu Y, Zhu X, Sun H, Ma G. Wang X, et al. Acta Biomater. 2019 Jan 1;83:390-399. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2018.11.023. Epub 2018 Nov 15. Acta Biomater. 2019. PMID: 30448435
Functionalized graphene oxide serves as a novel vaccine nano-adjuvant for robust stimulation of cellular immunity. Xu L, Xiang J, Liu Y, Xu J, Luo Y, Feng L, Liu Z, Peng R. Xu L, et al. Nanoscale. 2016 Feb 14;8(6):3785-95. doi: 10.1039/c5nr09208f. Epub 2016 Jan 27. Nanoscale. 2016. PMID: 26814441
Graphene Oxides Decorated with Carnosine as an Adjuvant To Modulate Innate Immune and Improve Adaptive Immunity in Vivo. Meng C, Zhi X, Li C, Li C, Chen Z, Qiu X, Ding C, Ma L, Lu H, Chen D, Liu G, Cui D. Meng C, et al. ACS Nano. 2016 Feb 23;10(2):2203-13. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b06750. Epub 2016 Jan 19. ACS Nano. 2016. PMID: 26766427
Better Adjuvants for Better Vaccines: Progress in Adjuvant Delivery Systems, Modifications, and Adjuvant-Antigen Codelivery. Wang ZB, Xu J. Wang ZB, et al. Vaccines (Basel). 2020 Mar 13;8(1):128. doi: 10.3390/vaccines8010128. Vaccines (Basel). 2020. PMID: 32183209 Free PMC article. Review.
Adjuvants and delivery systems based on polymeric nanoparticles for mucosal vaccines. Jin Z, Gao S, Cui X, Sun D, Zhao K. Jin Z, et al. Int J Pharm. 2019 Dec 15;572:118731. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2019.118731. Epub 2019 Oct 24. Int J Pharm. 2019. PMID: 31669213 Review.
Cited by Engineered Nanoparticulate Vaccines to Combat Recurring and Pandemic Influenza Threats. Dong C, Wang BZ. Dong C, et al. Adv Nanobiomed Res. 2022 Mar;2(3):2100122. doi: 10.1002/anbr.202100122. Epub 2021 Dec 7. Adv Nanobiomed Res. 2022. PMID: 35754779
Advances in Biologically Applicable Graphene-Based 2D Nanomaterials. Jampilek J, Kralova K. Jampilek J, et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jun 2;23(11):6253. doi: 10.3390/ijms23116253. Int J Mol Sci. 2022. PMID: 35682931 Free PMC article. Review.
Immunotherapeutic nanoparticles: From autoimmune disease control to the development of vaccines. Mitarotonda R, Giorgi E, Eufrasio-da-Silva T, Dolatshahi-Pirouz A, Mishra YK, Khademhosseini A, Desimone MF, De Marzi M, Orive G. Mitarotonda R, et al. Biomater Adv. 2022 Apr;135:212726. doi: 10.1016/j.bioadv.2022.212726. Epub 2022 Apr 22. Biomater Adv. 2022. PMID: 35475005 Free PMC article. Review.
Graphene Oxide Thin Films with Drug Delivery Function. Oliveira AML, Machado M, Silva GA, Bitoque DB, Tavares Ferreira J, Pinto LA, Ferreira Q. Oliveira AML, et al. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2022 Mar 30;12(7):1149. doi: 10.3390/nano12071149. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2022. PMID: 35407267 Free PMC article. Review.
Versatile carbon nanoplatforms for cancer treatment and diagnosis: strategies, applications and future perspectives. Tang L, Li J, Pan T, Yin Y, Mei Y, Xiao Q, Wang R, Yan Z, Wang W. Tang L, et al. Theranostics. 2022 Feb 21;12(5):2290-2321. doi: 10.7150/thno.69628. eCollection 2022. Theranostics. 2022. PMID: 35265211 Free PMC article. Review.
US has doomed EU to hunger and cold '' Russia '-- RT Russia & Former Soviet Union
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:57
Washington has harmed the bloc to serve its own interests, a top Putin ally has warned
The United States has doomed the EU to hunger, cold and isolation by pressuring the bloc to cut its ties with Moscow, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Friday.
He wrote on Telegram that Washington would ''stop at nothing to cling to its power over the world as it throws under the bus the citizens' welfare and the economies of European countries to achieve this end.''
He noted that natural gas in the US costs $333 per 1,000 cubic meters. ''At the same time, Washington sells it to Europe for a price which is 7.3 [times] higher, rendering the EU economy uncompetitive,'' he wrote, adding that the eurozone's annual inflation rate had hit a record 8.9%.
Volodin said Europe had been hit by a heatwave that triggered huge problems in the agriculture sector, as well as an energy crisis which had seen prices soar six times in one year.
The EU's decision to phase out Russian energy supplies and cut economic ties with Moscow ''have been made under Washington's pressure,'' the State Duma speaker claimed.
''US policies in Europe are enforced by England that has left the EU high and dry, as well as by a number of countries that are sovereign in name only '' Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine '' with Poland, the Czech Republic and Finland joining this Russophobic coalition in the hopes of getting an American handout,'' Volodin wrote.
His comments come as the EU is plagued by an energy crisis due to rising global prices. Earlier this month, the bloc approved a plan that would see its member states reduce gas consumption by 15% in a bid to tackle the crisis.
Another factor that has exacerbated the energy crunch was the EU's decision to wean itself off natural gas from Russia, as the bloc considers these supplies to be unreliable. However, President Vladimir Putin has rejected accusations that Moscow could cut off gas supplies to the EU, stating that Russian energy giant Gazprom is ''ready to pump as much as necessary'' but that the bloc has ''closed everything themselves.''
Confirmed: 'At Least' TWENTY FBI Agents & ATF Operatives Were Embedded at Capitol on January 6, Legal Docs Show - Becker News
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:53
It has now been confirmed that at least twenty FBI and ATF agents were embedded around the capitol building on January 6, according to court documents related to a criminal case that is proceeding in federal court.
The revelation about the number of FBI and ATF agents was made in a footnote to a motion to dismiss submitted by the defense in United States v. Thomas Caldwell (U.S. v. Elmer Stewart Rhodes). It is based on witness testimony, un-Mirandized statements, and multiple 302s:
Literally tens of thousands of private communications within the Oath Keepers organization have been provided, including encrypted messages specifically addressing preparations for J6. Additionally, multiple 302s, witness statements, un-Mirandized statements, etc. from multiple Oath Keeper related witnesses and defendants have been reviewed. At least 20 FBI and ATF assets were embedded around the Capitol on J6. Additionally, discovery proves that the Oath Keepers were being monitored and recorded prior to J6.
The motion to dismiss contains no further information on the ''20 FBI and ATF assets,'' but it is a figure that confirms there were more federal agents embedded at the capitol on January 6 than previously known. The admission into court of the factual statement raises disturbing questions about the FBI's infiltration of far-right groups that showed up on January 6 to sow chaos and confusion during a Donald Trump speaking event.
It also further corroborates that the FBI were well aware of far-right groups' plans for January 6, and at a minimum, allowed the groups to carry out an operation that has since been characterized as a 'coup' attempt or a plot to 'overthrow the government.'
As Tucker Carlson noted in his interview with Revolver editor Darren Beattie last June, there is the matter of certain unindicted co-conspirators from the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. The FBI's odd treatment of ''Person Two'' and ''Person Three'' referenced in the indictment of Thomas Caldwell is reviewed in a Revolver piece from last June.
The Revolver piece draws a bright red line between the activities of 'Person Two' and 'Person Three' and similarities with the Whitmer kidnapping plot case, which led initially to two acquittals for reasons of 'entrapment.' The Whitmer kidnapping case is currently in retrial.
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''For those unfamiliar, Thomas Caldwell is a 65-year-old from Virginia and an alleged member of the Oath Keepers, which the DOJ refers to as a 'paramilitary' or 'militia' group,'' Revolver notes. ''The Caldwell case served as one of the first major indictments following the January 6 incident.''
It should be noted that Caldwell denies that he is a member of the Oath Keepers, as he told The Epoch Times in March. Caldwell is facing ''seditious conspiracy and other charges,'' according to a new case filed in January 2022 that also encompasses earlier charges.
The Department of Justice provided an overview of the case in a January 2021 release:
Jessica Marie Watkins, 38, and Donovan Ray Crowl, 50, both of Champaign County, Ohio; and Thomas Caldwell, 65, of Clarke County, Virginia, were indicted today in federal court in the District of Columbia on charges of conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1512, 1361, and 1752. Watkins and Crowl were arrested on Jan. 18; Caldwell was arrested on Jan. 19. All three individuals originally were charged by criminal complaint. The maximum penalty for Obstructing an Official Proceeding is a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
According to the charging documents, Watkins, Crowl, and Caldwell communicated with each another in advance of the Jan. 6, 2021, incursion on the U.S. Capitol and coordinated their attack. Watkins, Crowl, and Caldwell are all affiliated with the Oath Keepers, while Watkins and Crowl are also members of the Ohio State Regular Militia. Watkins claimed to be a commanding officer within the Ohio State Regular Militia in a social media post.
''A careful read of the indictment against Caldwell reveals that a certain 'Person Two' was a key co-conspirator alongside Caldwell in nearly every dimension relevant to the charges in question,'' Revolver notes in the lengthy exclusive.
''Person Two planned logistics with Caldwell days in advance of 1/6, stayed in the same hotel room for days together, and when Caldwell allegedly 'stormed the barricades' into restricted areas outside the U.S. Capitol, Person Two is alleged to have 'stormed the barricades' right beside him,'' the report adds.
''Even more suspicious than Person 2 described above is Person 3, who is yet another unindicted co-conspirator in the Caldwell indictment,'' Revolver continues. ''Note that in the Michigan Plot described in the previous section, both the main van driver and explosives supplier were undercover FBI operatives.''
''Here, the Oath Keepers' main bus driver and supposed explosives supplier remains an unindicted co-conspirator,'' the story adds before providing documentation of the claims. ''That person is simply listed as 'Person 3' in the complaints.''
The Caldwell case is far from an outlier in terms of raising questions about the FBI's handling of far-right extremists who allegedly wanted to target the capitol on January 6.
A New York Times report from September also revealed that an FBI embedded an undercover agent to monitor the activities of the Proud Boys. The text messages exchanged during the January 6 event exculpate Donald Trump from having knowledge of the groups' activities.
An FBI agent was communicating with a Proud Boys informant, who confirmed there was no centralized plot to overturn the 2020 election results based on 'orders' from Donald Trump.
As scores of Proud Boys made their way, chanting and shouting, toward the Capitol on Jan. 6, one member of the far-right group was busy texting a real-time account of the march.
The recipient was his F.B.I. handler.
In the middle of an unfolding melee that shook a pillar of American democracy '-- the peaceful transfer of power '-- the bureau had an informant in the crowd, providing an inside glimpse of the action, according to confidential records obtained by The New York Times. In the informant's version of events, the Proud Boys, famous for their street fights, were largely following a pro-Trump mob consumed by a herd mentality rather than carrying out any type of preplanned attack.
The Times provides details of how the FBI agent was working one extremist group during the developing Capitol riot:
After meeting his fellow Proud Boys at the Washington Monument that morning, the informant described his path to the Capitol grounds where he saw barriers knocked down and Trump supporters streaming into the building, the records show. At one point, his handler appeared not to grasp that the building had been breached, the records show, and asked the informant to keep him in the loop '-- especially if there was any violence'...
But the records, and information from two people familiar with the matter, suggest that federal law enforcement had a far greater visibility into the assault on the Capitol, even as it was taking place, than was previously known.
At the same time, the new information is likely to complicate the government's efforts to prove the high-profile conspiracy charges it has brought against several members of the Proud Boys.
The FBI was thus well aware of the Oath Keepers' and Proud Boys' communications and activities leading up to January 6, but again, at a minimum, undertook no aggressive action to stop their attack on the capitol from moving forward.
On January 3, 2022, the FBI had 'secret commandos' with shoot-to-kill authority training for a contingency such as the Capitol Riots days ahead of the event. Newsweek reported on this in January:
On Sunday, January 3, the heads of a half-dozen elite government special operations teams met in Quantico, Virginia, to go over potential threats, contingencies, and plans for the upcoming Joint Session of Congress. The meeting, and the subsequent deployment of these shadowy commandos on January 6, has never before been revealed.
The report lists the FBI assets that were preparing for the potential of an emergency at the convening of the Electoral College:
The contingency units meeting on January 3 included the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team, the FBI's national ''Render Safe'' team, an FBI SWAT team from the Baltimore Field Office, Special Response Teams from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Marshals Service Special Operations Group.
Furthermore, despite all of the FBI's activities, a Reuters report from August 2021 refutes that there was any 'centrally coordinated' plot to overthrow the results of the 2020 election.
''The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials,'' Reuters reported.
It turns out, the FBI is highly selective about when the bureau will and will not take aggressive action. If far-right extremists are planning to carry out an attempted 'coup' against the U.S. government, it will simply allow the entire plot to unfold without taking the slightest pre-emptive action or even warning other federal agencies to enhance security.
But if a former president takes documents that he declassified to his office in Mar-a-Lago, and the National Archives demands that he returns them after he leaves office, then the FBI will send thirty agents to raid everything at his home, ransacking rooms and even the former First Lady's wardrobe, seizing everything from privileged documents to passports, in an invasive fishing expedition to dig up some rarely charged, esoteric violation to charge him with.
If there is any ''justice'' left at the Department of Justice, it will start providing the American people with real explanations about the FBI's politicized actions '-- and fast.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Breaking! Bill Gates Made Manchin Change His Mind To Support Biden-Schumer's Deal
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:52
Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently revealed that he was influential in getting Senator Joe Manchin to support Democrats' massive spending bill. The billionaire had personally lobbied the senator for several months to support the progressive climate and energy legislation. It later passed the Inflation Reduction act with the senator's support.
The billionaire took it upon himself to discuss this bill with the senator. Manchin was one of the democrats hesitant to back some of the president's climate policies. Gates then helped persuade Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to continue pursuing a deal with Manchin after the first fell through.
Gates' involvement helped both senators reach a deal and pass the Inflation Reduction Act earlier this month.
Bill Gates Personally Lobbied Manchin to Support Democrats' Spending Bill: Report | by @brittybernstein https://t.co/v1OTNxLkkp
'-- National Review (@NRO) August 17, 2022
Gates said to the media that he had hosted a dinner in Washington, D.C., in 2019 that was attended by ''almost everyone on the energy committee.'' He added that the topic of discussion that night was the ''role of innovation in climate.'' He said, ''My dialogue with Joe has been going on for quite a while.''
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Bill Gates quietly lobbied Senator Joe Manchin for almost 3 years in a dialogue that helped shape Biden's landmark US climate plan https://t.co/4zbYUxLXk0
'-- Bloomberg (@business) August 17, 2022
The relentless billionaire also had dinner with Manchin and his wife in January, where they reportedly discussed the reliance of West Virginians on coal mining jobs. He said, ''We had a talk about what was missing, what needed to be done. And then after that, it was a lot of phone calls.''
Gates was also in contact with Schumer and had continuously motivated him to be patient to endure till the deal went through. He said, ''And all you need to do is show infinite plus one patience.''
Gates said to the media, ''I will say that it's one of the happier moments of my climate work. I have two things that excite me about climate work. One is when policy gets done well, and this is by far the biggest moment like that.''
When Manchin and Schumer announced this deal at the end of July, it shocked all Americans. This was because of his recent opposition to the big-spending bills President Joe Biden had backed, including the Build Back Better legislation and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The democrats needed every vote they could get, and Manchin's opposition alone was enough to sink them both last year. However, the billionaire continued to meet with Manchin to discuss with him. He said, ''I kept trying because I just didn't see another chance.''
Gates was not even the only one trying to convince the senator to agree with this spending bill. Several other lobbyists and activists had also convinced him that the climate, tax, and healthcare bill that eventually passed would benefit the economy.
The House passed the ''Inflation Reduction Act'' in a 220''207 vote on Friday, and signed it into law on Tuesday.
In related news, this bill will allocate $369 billion for energy and climate initiatives, while another $64 billion will be used to extend expiring federal subsidies for people buying health insurance for another three years. Meanwhile, the West Virginia AFL-CIO and United Mine Workers of America ''drove home the chance to fund black lung health benefits for miners who are legion in Manchin's home state.
More taxes will be imposed, especially on the middle class, to pay this sum. More so, the ''Inflation Reduction Act'' impact is ''expected to be statistically indistinguishable from zero.''
However, all democrats still voted in support of this idea, and Gates called the bill's passage ''one of the happier moments'' of his climate work.
Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.
About | Gays Against Groomers
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:52
Gays Against Groomers is a coalition of gay people who oppose the recent trend of indoctrinating, sexualizing and medicalizing children under the guise of ''LGBTQIA+''
Our community that once preached love and acceptance of others has been hijacked by radical activists who are now pushing extreme concepts onto society, specifically targeting children in recent years.
The overwhelming majority of gay people are against what the community has transformed into, and we do not accept the political movement pushing their agenda in our name.
Gays Against Groomers directly opposes the sexualization and indoctrination of children. This includes drag queen story hours, drag shows involving children, the transitioning and medicalization of minors, and gender theory being taught in the classroom.
The activists, backed by school boards, government, woke media, and corporations, have been speaking on our behalf for too long. When fighting for equality, our goal was to successfully integrate ourselves into society, but now these radicals aim to restructure it entirely in order to accommodate a fringe minority, as well as seek to indoctrinate children into their ideology.
We're saying NO.
There are millions of gays within the community that want nothing to do with this Alphabet religion and join the fight with parents and concerned people everywhere to protect children. We also aim to return sanity and reclaim the community we once called our own.
The gay community is not a monolith. Those pushing this agenda do not represent or speak for us all, nor do we want to be associated with them in any way. What we are witnessing is mass scale child abuse being perpetrated on an entire generation, and we will no longer sit by and watch it happen.
It is going to take those of us from within the community to finally put an end to this insanity, and that's exactly what we're going to do.
Aviation Consumer Protection | US Department of Transportation
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:51
Welcome to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Aviation Consumer Protection website. The Office of Aviation Consumer Protection reviews and responds to consumer complaints and promotes awareness and understanding of consumer rights through online consumer information and education. If you would like information on DOT rules, guidance, and enforcement orders related to aviation consumer and civil rights matters, please visit the left navigation bar. For helpful information related to consumers' rights, please select from the options below.
New ResourceAirline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of RightsThe U.S. Department of Transportation worked with members of the Air Carrier Access Act Advisory Committee, which includes voices from the disability community and industry stakeholders, to create the Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights. This easy-to-use summary will empower travelers to understand their rights and help the travel industry uphold those rights.
Last updated: Friday, July 8, 2022
Flight delayed, canceled? New dashboard to show what airlines owe you
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:50
It's about to get easier to find out what airlines owe you when your flight is canceled or delayed.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is creating a new interactive dashboard where travelers will be able to find "easy to-read, comparative summary information on the services or amenities that each of the large U.S. airlines provide when the cause of a cancelation or delay was due to circumstances within the airline's control," according to a letter Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sent to all U.S. airlines Thursday.
Existing Transportation Department rules require airlines to offer customers refunds if their flights are canceled for any reason, but policies on delays can be opaque, even though the information is required to be part of federally mandated Customer Service Plans.
Help!:My return flight was canceled and now I'm stuck far from home. What do I do?
Flight delayed?:You may be eligible for compensation from your airline
"When passengers do experience cancelations and delays, they deserve clear and transparent information on the services that your airline will provide, to address the expenses and inconveniences resulting from these disruptions," Buttigieg wrote.
The consumer dashboard is expected to be live on the department's Aviation Consumer Protection website by Sept. 2, ahead of Labor Day weekend.
Nearly a quarter of domestic flights were delayed and just over 3% were canceled in the first half of this year, according to Secretary Buttigieg.
The Department of Transportation is currently seeking public comment on when airlines should be required to refund passengers whose flights are canceled or delayed.
"We are also contemplating options for rulemaking that would further expand the rights of airline passengers who experience disruptions," Buttigieg wrote. "The Department asks that airlines, at a minimum, provide meal vouchers for delays of 3 hours or more and lodging accommodations for passengers who must wait overnight at an airport because of disruptions within the carrier's control."
Disruptions due to severe weather, faulty equipment, air traffic control issues and other scenarios beyond airline control are handled differently, but refunds are still required to be offered for cancellations.
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Ukraine war veterans on how Kiev plundered US aid, wasted soldiers, endangered civilians, and lost the war - The Grayzone
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:49
''The weapons are stolen, the humanitarian aid is stolen, and we have no idea where the billions sent to this country have gone,'' a Ukrainian complained to The Grayzone.In a video sent via Facebook messenger in July, Ivan* can be seen standing next to his car, an early 2010s model Mitsubishi SUV. Smoke is pouring out of the rear window. Ivan laughs and pans his phone ' s camera across the length of the vehicle, pointing out bullet holes. ''The turbocharger died in my car,'' he said, panning his phone toward the front of the vehicle. '' My commander says I should pay to repair it myself. So to use my own car in the war, I need to buy a new turbocharger with my own money.''
Ivan flipped the camera toward his face. ''Well, you fucking motherfucker members of parliament, I hope you fuck each other. Devils. I wish you were in our place,'' he said.
Last month, Ukraine ' s parliamentarians voted to give themselves a 70% salary increase. Filings indicate the raise was enabled and encouraged by the billions of dollars and euros of aid that have poured in from the US and Europe.
'' We, the Ukrainian soldiers, have nothing,'' said Ivan. ''The things the soldiers have been given to use in the war came directly from volunteers. The aid that goes to our government will never reach us.''
Ivan has been a soldier since 2014. Currently, he ' s stationed in the Donbas region, where he is tasked with using small, consumer-grade drones to spot Russian positions for artillery targeting. '' There are so many problems on the frontline now,'' he said. '' We don ' t have an internet connection, which makes our work basically impossible. We have to drive to get a connection on mobile devices. Can you imagine?''
Another soldier in Ivan ' s unit sent us a video of himself from a trench near the frontlines in Donbas. '' According to documents, the government has built us a bunker here,'' he says. '' But as you see, there are only a few centimeters of a wood covering over our heads, and this is supposed to protect us from tank and artillery shelling. The Russians shell us for hours at a time. We dug these trenches ourselves. We have two AK-47s between 5 soldiers here, and they jam constantly because of all the dust.
'' I went to my commander and explained the situation. I told him it ' s too hard to hold this position. I told him I understand this is a strategically important point, but our squad is broken, and no relief is coming for us. In 10 days, 15 soldiers died here, all from shelling and shrapnel. I asked the commander if we could bring some heavy equipment to build a better bunker and he refused, because he said the Russian shelling could damage the equipment. Does he not care that 15 of our soldiers died here?''
'' If you tried to explain the situation Ukrainian soldiers are facing to an American soldier, they would think you were insane,'' said Ivan. '' Imagine telling an American soldier that we are using our personal cars in the war, and we ' re also responsible for paying for repairs and fuel. We ' re buying our own body armor and helmets. We don ' t have observation tools or cameras, so soldiers have to pop their heads out to see what ' s coming, which means at any moment, a rocket or tank can tear their heads off.''
Illya*, a 23 year-old soldier from Kiev, says his unit is facing the same conditions in another part of the Donbas region. He joined the Ukrainian Army shortly after the war started. He has a background in IT and knew such expertise was in high demand. '' If I had known how much deception there was in this Army, and how everything would be for us, I never would have joined,'' he said. '' I want to go home, but if I flee, I face prison.''
Illya and the other soldiers in his unit lack weapons and protective gear. '' In Ukraine, people cheat each other even in war,'' he said. '' I ' ve watched the medical supplies donated to us being taken away. The cars that drove us to our position were stolen. And we have not been replaced with new soldiers in three months, though we should have been relieved three times by now.''
A billboard calls on Ukrainians to report ''Russian collaborators.'' Photo by Cory Popp.''Everyone is lying'': US doctor describes shocking corruptionSamantha Morris*, a doctor from Maine, went to Ukraine in May to try to help provide medical training for soldiers. '' The first time I crossed the border from Poland, I had to hide my medical supplies under mattresses and diapers to prevent them from being stolen,'' she said. '' The border guards on the Ukrainian side will just take things, and tell you, ' we need this for our war, ' but then, they just steal the items and resell them. Honestly, if you don ' t hand-deliver donations to the intended recipients, the items will never reach them.''
Morris and a few other American medical professionals began to hold training courses in Sumy, a mid-sized city in northeastern Ukraine. '' We drew up a contract with the governor in Sumy, though all they provided to us were meals and lodging, and the lodging was just us sleeping in the same public university we held our training courses in,'' she said. '' The Sumy governor had a friend, a local businessman, and he demanded that this businessman be added to the contract as a ' liaison ' between us and the city of Sumy. And as a liaison, he would get a percentage fee of the contract. Our lawyers tried to negotiate the businessman out of the contract, but the governor of Sumy wouldn ' t budge. We ultimately just signed the contract so we could hold our trainings.''
In the two months she spent in Ukraine, Morris says she encountered theft and corruption more times than she could count. '' The lead doctor at the military base in Sumy has ordered medical supplies from and for the military at different points in time, and he has had 15 trucks of supplies completely disappear,'' she said. The military first aid kits she had intended to give to soldiers once they graduated her training program were stolen. She saw the same kits for sale at a local market days later.
'' I got a call from a nurse at a military hospital in [the Ukrainian city of] Dnipro,'' Morris recalled. ''She said the president of the hospital had stolen all the pain medications to resell them, and that the wounded soldiers being treated there had no pain relief. She begged us to hand-deliver pain medications to her. She said she would hide them from the hospital president so that they ' d reach the soldiers. But who can you trust? Was the hospital president really stealing the medications, or was she trying to con us into giving her pain medications for her to sell or use? Who knows. Everyone is lying.''
Donated protective military equipment and combat medical supplies have flooded Ukraine's online marketplaces. Sellers are careful to hide their identities, often creating new vendor accounts for each sale and willing to fulfill orders exclusively by mail. ''We have found armored helmets given as aid from the Americans for sale on websites,'' Ivan said. ''You know, inside the helmet, the class of protection and brand are written. We saw this brand before and realized the helmets were the ones given to us as aid. Some of us tried to contact the sellers to set up a meeting, so we could prove they were selling stolen aid, but they were suspicious and stopped responding to us.''
Ivan says he has heard about the theft of weapons donated from Western countries, but pointed out that several soldiers in his unit are sharing a single AK-74. ''I wouldn't know about how they're stealing the weapons, because the weapons never reach the Ukrainian soldiers in the first place,'' he said. ''And if they were giving more than small missiles and rifles, if they were giving us what we actually need to fight Russia, they would be weapons too big to steal.''
A Ukrainian army vehicle on the road to Dnipro. Photo by Cory Popp. ''I don't think they want us to win'': Ukrainians scoff at Western aid Ivan is not optimistic about Ukraine ' s chances to win the war. '' There won ' t be a Donbas left,'' he said. '' The Russians will destroy it, or they ' ll control all of it, and then they ' ll move on to the south. And now, as it is, I ' d say 80% of the civilians who have stayed in Donbas support Russia and leak all of our location information to them.''
When asked if he thought the US and European countries truly want Ukraine to win the war, Ivan laughed. '' No, I don ' t think they want us to win,'' he said. '' The West could give us weapons to make us stronger than the Russians, but they don ' t do this. We know Poland and the Baltic countries want us to win, 100%, but their support isn ' t enough.''
'' It is obvious that the US doesn ' t want Ukraine to win the war,'' said Andrey*, a Ukrainian journalist based in Mykolayiv. '' They only want to make Russia weak. No one will win this war, but the countries the US is using like a playground will lose. And the corruption related to the war aid is shocking. The weapons are stolen, the humanitarian aid is stolen, and we have no idea where the billions sent to this country have gone.''
Andrey is especially appalled by the lack of services provided to internally displaced Ukrainians. ''It really isn't a mystery why everyone wants to go to Europe,'' he said. ''There ' s a refugee center near Dnipro, for example, and displaced people are only allowed to stay there for three days. And it ' s 45 or 50 people in one big, open room with one bathroom and a tiny kitchen. Horrible conditions. So after the three days, if they have no money, no clothes, nothing, they are kicked out and have no choice but to go back to their homes in dangerous areas. We must ask our government where all the aid money has gone, when our soldiers don't have what they need, and our civilians don't have safe places to stay.''
Foreign journalists cover up grim reality with triumphalist delusionsBefore the war started, Andrey spent several years reporting on corruption and crooked politicians in Ukraine. After an investigation into a government official in Odessa resulted in death threats against his wife and young daughter, Andrey sent them to live with relatives in France. '' Ukraine is a democracy, right? So the government won ' t press on you in an official way. First, you get phone calls warning you to stop. Then, they offer you money to stop. And then, if you refuse to be bought, you should be prepared for an attack.
'' Real journalism is dangerous here,'' he continued. ''You see, since the war started, we have these new star reporters, and every day, they write that ' Putin is bad, the Russian soldiers behave very badly'...today, the Ukrainian army killed 1,000 Russians and destroyed 500 Russian tanks. ' They get a million followers on Twitter because they lie, and this isn ' t real reporting. But if you write about the corruption in the Armed Forces, and have real examples'...you won ' t be famous, and you ' ll be in trouble.''
Andrey has been picking up extra work as a fixer, arranging interviews and translating for foreign journalists in Ukraine to cover the war. ''I have worked with about a dozen journalists from different countries in Europe,'' he said. ''All of them have been shocked. They left Ukraine shocked. They said they could not believe the situation here. But this shock did not make it into any of their articles about the war. Their articles said that Ukraine is on the road to victory, which is not true.''
A billboard promoting the Azov Battalion in Kramatorsk. Photo by Cory Popp. Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers confirm Ukraine's Armed Forces endanger civilians In July, we spent the night at a hotel in Kramatorsk and were concerned to see that neo-Nazi Azov battalion soldiers were among the hotel ' s guests. On August 4th, Amnesty International published a study revealing that since the start of the war in February, Ukrainian forces have endangered civilians by establishing bases in schools and hospitals and operating weapons systems in civilian areas, which is a violation of international law.
Amnesty International now plans to '' re-assess'' its report, in response to a massive public outcry after its publication, but Ukrainian soldiers and foreign volunteers have confirmed that Ukrainian armed forces maintain a heavy presence in civilian areas. '' Our bases were mostly built in Soviet times,'' said Ivan. '' So now, Russia knows our bases inside and out. It ' s necessary to spread the soldiers and weapons out to other places.''
A former US serviceman who goes by the moniker '' Benjamin Velcro'' was a volunteer fighter for the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Armed Forces ' official unit for foreign volunteers. He spent five months in various parts of Ukraine, and says that soldiers being stationed in civilian areas was a common occurrence.
'' Whenever I hear that Russia bombed a school, I just kinda shrug,'' the American foreign fighter said. '' Because I garrisoned inside a school. That ' s a fact. The school didn ' t have kids in it, so it ' s not like they were endangering children. So all it takes is for Ukraine to say, ' Ah! They hit a school! ' And that cumulates into an easy media narrative on their part.''
Like Ivan, Velcro is also pessimistic about Ukraine's chances to win the war. ''Man, I want everything in the world for Ukraine to win this. I want Ukraine to get its pre-2014 borders back. But do I think that's tenable? No. You can't sustain a war by crowdfunding forever.''
*Several interview subjects requested to be quoted under assumed names to protect themselves from potential danger
The century of climate migration: why we need to plan for the great upheaval | Migration | The Guardian
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:49
A great upheaval is coming. Climate-driven movement of people is adding to a massive migration already under way to the world's cities. The number of migrants has doubled globally over the past decade, and the issue of what to do about rapidly increasing populations of displaced people will only become greater and more urgent. To survive climate breakdown will require a planned and deliberate migration of a kind humanity has never before undertaken.
The world already sees twice as many days where temperatures exceed 50C than 30 years ago '' this level of heat is deadly for humans, and also hugely problematic for buildings, roads and power stations. It makes an area unliveable. This explosive planetary drama demands a dynamic human response. We need to help people to move from danger and poverty to safety and comfort '' to build a more resilient global society for everyone's benefit.
Large populations will need to migrate, and not simply to the nearest city, but also across continents. Those living in regions with more tolerable conditions, especially nations in northern latitudes, will need to accommodate millions of migrants while themselves adapting to the demands of the climate crisis. We will need to create entirely new cities near the planet's cooler poles, in land that is rapidly becoming ice-free. Parts of Siberia, for example, are already experiencing temperatures of 30C for months at a time.
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Arctic areas are burning, with mega-blazes devouring Siberia, Greenland and Alaska. Even in January, peat fires were burning in the Siberian cryosphere, despite temperatures below ''50C. These zombie fires smoulder year round in the peat below ground, in and around the Arctic Circle, only to burst into huge blazes that rage across the boreal forests of Siberia, Alaska and Canada.
In 2019, colossal fires destroyed more than 4m hectares of Siberian taiga forest, blazing for more than three months, and producing a cloud of soot and ash as large as the countries that make up the entire European Union. Models predict that fires in the boreal forests and Arctic tundra will increase by up to four times by 2100.
Wherever you live now, migration will affect you and the lives of your children. It is predictable that Bangladesh, a country where one-third of the population lives along a sinking, low-lying coast, is becoming uninhabitable. (More than 13 million Bangladeshis '' nearly 10% of the population '' are expected to have left the country by 2050.) But in the coming decades wealthy nations will be severely affected, too.
This upheaval occurs not only at a time of unprecedented climate change but also of human demographic change. Global population will continue to rise in the coming decades, peaking at perhaps 10 billion in the 2060s. Most of this increase will be in the tropical regions that are worst hit by climate catastrophe, causing people there to flee northwards. The global north faces the opposite problem '' a ''top-heavy'' demographic crisis, in which a large elderly population is supported by a too-small workforce. North America and Europe have 300 million people above the traditional retirement age (65+), and by 2050, the economic old-age dependency ratio there is projected to be at 43 elderly persons per 100 working persons aged 20''64. Cities from Munich to Buffalo will begin competing with each other to attract migrants.
An aerial view of Fairbourne village in Gwynedd, north Wales, expected to be abandoned by 2045. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/APThe coming migration will involve the world's poorest fleeing deadly heatwaves and failed crops. It will also include the educated, the middle class, people who can no longer live where they planned because it's impossible to get a mortgage or property insurance; because employment has moved elsewhere. The climate crisis has already uprooted millions in the US '' in 2018, 1.2 million were displaced by extreme conditions, fire, storms and flooding; by 2020, the annual toll had risen to 1.7 million people. The US now averages a $1bn disaster every 18 days.
More than half of the western US is facing extreme drought conditions, and farmers in Oregon's Klamath Basin talk about illegally using force to open dam gates for irrigation. At the other extreme, fatal floods have stranded thousands of people from Death Valley to Kentucky. By 2050, half a million existing US homes will be on land that floods at least once a year, according to data from Climate Central, a partnership of scientists and journalists. Louisiana's Isle de Jean Charles has already been allocated $48m of federal tax dollars to move the entire community due to coastal erosion and rising sea levels; in Britain, the Welsh villagers of Fairbourne have been told their homes should be abandoned to the encroaching sea as the entire village is to be ''decommissioned'' in 2045. Larger coastal cities are at risk, too. Consider that the Welsh capital, Cardiff, is projected to be two-thirds underwater by 2050.
The UN International Organization for Migration estimates that there could be as many as 1.5 billion environmental migrants in the next 30 years. After 2050, that figure is expected to soar as the world heats further and the global population rises to its predicted peak in the mid 2060s.
The question for humanity becomes: what does a sustainable world look like? We will need to develop an entirely new way of feeding, fuelling and maintaining our lifestyles, while also reducing atmospheric carbon levels. We will need to live in denser concentrations in fewer cities, while reducing the associated risks of crowded populations, including power outages, sanitation problems, overheating, pollution and infectious disease.
At least as challenging, though, will be the task of overcoming the idea that we belong to a particular land and that it belongs to us. We will need to assimilate into globally diverse societies, living in new, polar cities. We will need to be ready to move again when necessary. With every degree of temperature increase, roughly 1 billion people will be pushed outside the zone in which humans have lived for thousands of years. We are running out of time to manage the coming upheaval before it becomes overwhelming and deadly.
Migration is not the problem; it is the solution.
How we manage this global crisis, and how humanely we treat each other as we migrate, will be key to whether this century of upheaval proceeds smoothly or with violent conflict and unnecessary deaths. Managed right, this upheaval could lead to a new global commonwealth of humanity. Migration is our way out of this crisis.
M igration, whether from disaster to safety, or for a new land of opportunity, is deeply interwoven with cooperation '' it is only through our extensive collaborations that we are able to migrate, and it's our migrations that forged today's global society. Migration made us. It is our national identities and borders that are the anomaly.
The idea of keeping foreign people out using borders is relatively recent. States used to be far more concerned about stopping people from leaving than preventing their arrival. They needed their labour and taxes.
Some may think that it's flags, anthems and an army to guard your territory that's needed to develop a sense of nationhood. But in fact, the credit should go to a successful bureaucracy. Greater government intervention in people's lives and the creation of a broad systemic bureaucracy were needed to run a complex industrial society and these also forged national identity in its citizens. For instance, Prussia began paying unemployment benefit in the 1880s, which was issued initially in a worker's home village, where people and their circumstances were known. But it was also paid to people where they migrated for work, which meant a new layer of bureaucracy to establish who was Prussian and therefore entitled to benefits. This resulted in citizenship papers and controlled borders. As governments exerted greater control, people got more state benefits from their taxes, and more rights, such as voting, which engendered a feeling of ownership over the state. It became their nation.
Nation states are an artificial social structure predicated on the mythology that the world is made of distinct, homogenous groups that occupy separate portions of the globe, and claim most people's primary allegiance. The reality is far messier. Most people speak the languages of multiple groups, and ethnic and cultural pluralism is the norm. The idea that a person's identity and wellbeing is primarily tied to that of one invented national group is far-fetched, even if this is presupposed by many governments. The political scientist Benedict Anderson famously described nation states as ''imagined communities''.
An Afghan family relocating from a drought-stricken area the country's Badghis province in 2021. Photograph: Hoshang Hashimi/AFP/Getty ImagesIt is hardly surprising that the nation-state model so often fails '' there have been about 200 civil wars since 1960. However, there are plenty of examples of nation states that work well despite being made up of different groups, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Tanzania, or nations created from global migrants like Australia, Canada and the US. To some degree, all nation states have been formed from a mixture of groups. When nation states falter or fail, the problem is not diversity itself, but not enough official inclusiveness '' equity in the eyes of the state, regardless of which other groups a person belongs to. An insecure government allied to a specific group, which it favours over others, breeds discontent and pitches one group against others '' this results in people falling back on trusted alliances based on kinship, rather.
A democracy with a mandate of official inclusiveness from its people is generally more stable '' but it needs underpinning by a complex bureaucracy. Nations have navigated this in various ways, for example, devolving power to local communities, giving them voice and agency over their own affairs within the nation state (as is the case in Canada, or Switzerland's cantons). By embracing multiple groups, languages and cultures as equally legitimate, a country like Tanzania can function as a national mosaic of at least 100 different ethnic groups and languages. In Singapore, which has consciously pursued an integrated multi-ethnic population, at least one-fifth of marriages are interracial. Unjust hierarchies between groups make this harder, particularly when imposed on a majority by a minority.
In April 2021, Governor Kristi Noem tweeted: ''South Dakota won't be taking any illegal immigrants that the Biden administration wants to relocate. My message to illegal immigrants '... call me when you're an American.''
Consider that South Dakota only exists because thousands of undocumented immigrants from Europe used the Homestead Act from 1860 to 1920 to steal land from Native Americans without compensation or reparations. This kind of exclusive attitude from a leader weakens the sense of shared citizenship among all, creating divisions between residents who are deemed to belong and those who are not.
Official inclusion by the national bureaucracy is a starting point for building national identity in all citizens, particularly with a large influx of migrants, but the legacy of decades or centuries of injustice persists socially, economically and politically.
T he frontline in Europe's war against migrants is the Mediterranean Sea, patrolled by Italian warships tasked with intercepting small EU-bound vessels and forcing them instead to ports in Libya on the north African coast. One such warship, the Caprera, was singled out for praise by Italy's anti-migrant interior minister for ''defending our security'', after it intercepted more than 80 migrant boats, carrying more than 7,000 people. ''Honour!'' he tweeted, posting a photo of himself with the crew in 2018.
However, during an inspection of the Caprera that same year, police discovered more than 700,000 contraband cigarettes and large numbers of other smuggled goods imported by the crew from Libya to be sold for profit in Italy. On further investigation, the smuggling enterprise turned out to involve several other military ships. ''I felt like Dante descending into the inferno,'' said Lt Col Gabriele Gargano, the police officer who led the investigation.
The case highlights a central absurdity around today's attitude to migration. Immigration controls are regarded as essential '' but for people, not stuff. Huge effort goes into enabling the cross-border migration of goods, services and money. Every year more than 11bn tonnes of stuff is shipped around the world '' the equivalent of 1.5 tonnes per person a year '' whereas humans, who are key to all this economic activity, are unable to move freely. Industrialised nations with big demographic challenges and important labour shortages are blocked from employing migrants who are desperate for jobs.
Currently, there is no global body or organisation overseeing the movement of people worldwide. Governments belong to the International Organization for Migration, but this is an independent, ''related organisation'' of the UN, rather than an actual UN agency: it is not subject to the direct oversight of the general assembly and cannot set common policy that would enable countries to capitalise on the opportunities immigrants offer. Migrants are usually managed by each individual nation's foreign ministry, rather than the labour ministry, so decisions are made without the information or coordinated policies to match people with job markets. We need a new mechanism to manage global labour mobility far more effectively and efficiently '' it is our biggest economic resource, after all.
The aftermath of wildfires that burned more than 1m hectares of forests in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk territory in 2019. Photograph: Donat Sorokin/TassThe conversation about migration has become stuck on what ought to be allowed, rather than planning for what will occur. Nations need to move on from the idea of controlling to managing migration. At the very least, we need new mechanisms for lawful economic labour migration and mobility, and far better protection for those fleeing danger.
Within days of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, EU leaders enacted an open-border policy for refugees fleeing the conflict, giving them the right to live and work across the bloc for three years, and helping with housing, education, transport and other needs. The policy undoubtedly saved lives but additionally, by not requiring millions of people to go through protracted asylum processes, the refugees were able to disperse to places where they could better help themselves and be helped by local communities. Across the EU, people came together in their communities, on social media, and through institutions to organise ways of hosting refugees.
They offered rooms in their homes, collected donations of clothes and toys, set up language camps and mental health support '' all of which was legal because of the open-border policy. This reduced the burden for central government, host towns and refugees alike.
M igration requires funds, contacts and courage. It usually involves a degree of hardship, at least initially, as people are wrenched from their families, familiar surroundings and language. Some countries make it almost impossible to move for work, and in others, parents are forced to leave behind children who they may never see grow up. An entire generation of Chinese children has reached adulthood seeing their parents only for a week or so once a year, during spring festival.
In China, hundreds of millions of people are caught in limbo between the village and cities, unable to fully transition due to archaic land laws and the lack of social housing, childcare, schools or other public facilities in the cities. The villages are sustained through remittances from absent workers, who cannot sell their farms for fear of losing their land, which is their only social security. Left-behind, isolated children then become primary caregivers for their ageing relatives. Migrant workers cannot afford to buy homes in the city and so return to the village on retirement, restarting the cycle.
In other cases, migrants pay huge fees to people traffickers for urban or foreign work, only to find themselves in indentured positions that are little better than slavery, working out their ''contracts'' until they can get their passports back and return home. What little money they do earn will be sent home. These include Asian construction workers and domestic workers in the Middle East and Europe, who have little protection and may end up in forced labour in the sex industry or in inhumane conditions in food processing or garment factories. Most migrants are trying to improve their lives, as we all do, by moving. Some are migrating to save their lives.
I've visited people in refugee camps in different countries across four continents, where millions of people live in limbo, sometimes for generations. Around the world, whether the refugee camps were filled with Sudanese, Tibetans, Palestinians, Syrians, Salvadorans or Iraqis, the issue was the same: people want dignity. And that means being able to provide for their families '' being allowed to work, to move around, and to make a life for themselves in safety. Currently, too many nations make this wish '' though it is very simple and mutually beneficial '' impossible for those most in need of it. As our environment changes, millions more risk ending up in these nowhere places. Globally, this system of sealed borders and hostile migration policy is dysfunctional. It doesn't work for anyone's benefit.
A woman takes animals to safety as flood water rises in the coastal area in Khulna, Bangladesh, in August 2022. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesWe are witnessing the highest levels of human displacement on record, and it will only increase. In 2020, refugees around the world exceeded 100 million, tripling since 2010, and half were children. This means one in every 78 people on earth has been forced to flee. Registered refugees represent only a fraction of those forced to leave their homes due to war or disaster.
In addition to these, 350 million people are undocumented worldwide, an astonishing 22 million in the US alone, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates. These include informal workers and those who move along ancient routes crossing national borders '' these are the people who increasingly find themselves without legal recognition, living on the margins, unable to benefit from social support systems.
As long as 4.2 billion people live in poverty and the income gap between the global north and south continues to grow, people will have to move '' and those living in climate-impacted regions will be disproportionately affected. Nations have an obligation to offer asylum to refugees, but under the legal definition of the refugee, written in the 1951 Refugee Convention, this does not include those who have to leave their home because of climate crisis.
Things are beginning to shift, though. In a landmark judgment, in 2020, the UN Human Rights Committee ruled that climate refugees cannot be sent home, meaning that a state would be in breach of its human rights obligations if it returns someone to a country where '' due to the climate crisis '' their life is in danger. However, the rulings of the committee are not internationally binding.
Today, the 50 million climate-displaced people already outnumber those fleeing political persecution. The distinction between refugees and economic migrants is rarely a straightforward one, and further complicated by the climate crisis. While the dramatic devastation of a hurricane erasing whole villages can make refugees of people overnight, more often the impacts of climate breakdown on people's lives are gradual '' another poor harvest or another season of unbearable heat, which becomes the catalyst/crisis that pushes people to seek better locations.
This should give the world time to adapt to the mass migrations to come '' that ultimate climate adaptation. But instead, as environments grow ever more deadly, the world's wealthiest countries spend more on militarising their borders '' creating a climate ''wall'' '' than they do on the climate emergency. The growth in offshore detention and ''processing'' centres for asylum seekers not only adds to the death toll, but is among the most repugnant features of the rich world's failure to ease the impact of the climate crisis on the poorest regions. We must be alert to ''climate nationalists'' who want to reinforce the unequal allocation of our planet's safer lands.
The planetary scale crisis demands a global climate migration pact, but in the meantime, regional free movement agreements '' of the kind EU member states enjoy '' would help. Such agreements have helped residents of disaster-hit Caribbean islands find refuge in safer ones.
Climate change is in most cases survivable; it is our border policies that will kill people. Human movement on a scale never before seen will dominate this century. It could be a catastrophe or, managed well, it could be our salvation.
This article was amended on 19 August 2022 to remove the suggestion that there were arboreal forests in Greenland.
This is an edited extract from Nomad Century: How to Survive the Climate Upheaval by Gaia Vince, published by Allen Lane on 25 August. To order a copy, go to guardianbookshop.com
Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, listen to our podcasts here and sign up to the long read weekly email here.
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Fact Check-Study of Thai teenagers did not find one third experienced heart effects after COVID vaccination | Reuters
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:45
A study of 301 teens in Thailand found mild and temporary heart rhythm changes after a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine among one in six teenagers, not one-third as social media posts claim. The study also saw possible signs of heart inflammation in just seven of those teens with rhythm changes and confirmed myocarditis in only one of the seven.
Social media users are circulating the study of post-vaccination heart effects in Thai teenagers with the claim that a third of participants experienced heart effects, and the suggestion that the results indicate a new danger level for children. These posts are missing context: the study's authors concluded, ''We found the risk of these symptoms to be not as low as reported elsewhere, but in all cases, symptoms were mild with full recovery within 14 days.''
A Twitter post shared more than 11,000 times (here) contains a link to the preprint study by Suyanee Mansanguan of Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital in Bangkok and colleagues, with the comment, ''BREAKING: A new study has found cardiovascular adverse effects in around a third of teens following Pfizer vaccination, and heart inflammation in one in 43, raising fresh concerns about the risks of vaccination for young people. This is beyond concerning.''
Similar versions of the post on Facebook can be seen (here) (here) (here) (here).
The original tweet garnered responses that include comments suggesting the study is a new cause for concern, such as ''I am so worried about my teen-aged-children finding a healthy life partner in the future. My understanding is that ~61% of kids ages 12-17y.o. are (sorry for putting it bluntly) damaged goods now'' (here) and ''Makes me so angry that my very healthy son, a college athlete, was required to get this vaccine, or not continue his collegiate career'' (here).
Mansanguan and colleagues note in their draft study, released as a preprint on Aug. 8 (here), that they likely saw higher rates of heart rhythm disturbance and signs of inflammation than in other studies because they did tests that detected mild changes in participants with no symptoms who would not ordinarily have been screened.
The analysis included 301 people aged 13-18 recruited from two Bangkok schools before receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in November and December of 2021. The students were mostly male (67%) and none had ''abnormal'' symptoms after their first vaccine shot, the study notes.
Before receiving the second vaccine shot, each participant had a physical exam, a heart ultrasound called an echocardiogram, heart rhythm measurements by electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) and blood tests to look for heart-related biomarkers including Troponin-T and CK-MB, both markers of damage to heart muscle. The exam and the tests were repeated on days 3 and 7 following the second vaccine shot, and on day 14 for some of the teenagers. The participants also kept symptom diaries throughout the study period and were able to contact or visit the study team doctors at any time to ask questions or discuss unusual symptoms.
Overall, 50 of the 301 students reported fever after the second vaccine shot and 35 reported headache, both common general side effects following COVID-19 vaccination.
Among cardiovascular effects detected only by ECG, 54 participants (18%, so roughly one in six, not one in three as social media rates) had rapid heartrate or abnormal heart rhythm. Of these, 39 had reported symptoms such as palpitations or chest pain. Fifteen reported no symptoms at all.
Among the participants with abnormal ECG, seven '' all males -- also had elevated biomarkers of heart muscle injury or inflammation. Of these seven, four had reported chest discomfort or pain, but three had no symptoms other than the elevated biomarkers. All seven also had normal heart function and no sign of reduced pumping ability that can signal heart failure.
One young man was admitted to the hospital intensive care unit for observation of his arrhythmia over four days, treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, and his symptoms resolved within days, with no detectable damage to his heart, according to the report.
Of that patient -- the only one formally diagnosed with myocarditis -- the study authors write, ''One patient with myopericarditis in our study follow-up with [cardiac MRI] at 5 months after vaccination showed complete recovery and no scar.''
Although the study authors note in their paper that many of the survey participants (44%) had other underlying diseases including asthma, allergies, blood or thyroid disorders and migraine, the study does not analyze whether these conditions were associated with differences in risk for side effects or cardiovascular effects after the vaccine. The authors also note that they were unable to do baseline testing of kids prior to the first vaccine shot, which is a limitation of the study. Reuters contacted the study's senior author for comment.
The rates of heart effects or suspected heart effects detected by prospectively testing everyone in the Thai study are higher than seen in many studies that rely on voluntary reporting of possible adverse events to databases such as the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) (vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html), or studies that rely on retrospective analysis of medical records for people diagnosed with myocarditis.
The Thai team confirmed one case of myocarditis (heart inflammation) in the 301 students -- not one in 43 as suggested in social media posts.
The 1 in 301 myocarditis rate in the Thai study would translate to roughly 332 per 100,000. In contrast, one retrospective study in Israel (here) found that the odds of myocarditis following vaccination were nearly twice as high after the second shot than after the first. The rates were also highest among young men aged 16-19, at 13.60 per 100,000.
A recent study by CDC researchers looking at data from 40 U.S. health systems found that myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination was diagnosed at a rate of 22.0''35.9 per 100,000 among males aged 12-17 (here).
However, a U.S. pediatric cardiologist who reviewed the Thai study at sciencebasedmedicine.org (here) questioned whether the heart readings that the study calls abnormal really were indicative of adverse effects on the heart, especially in teenagers with no other symptoms.
Abnormal ECG alone is not sufficient to diagnose myocarditis in someone without symptoms, writes Dr. Eric Han, who notes that the reader also cannot tell how abnormal any readings might have been because data from before vaccination isn't provided for comparison.
Of the different types of heart rhythm described as abnormal in the study, all but one could be considered normal in a child depending on the circumstances, Han notes. ''Elevated troponin has its own causes as well, not all of which are myocarditis,'' he also writes.
''To the trained observer,'' Han concludes, ''there are no shocking findings in this study. Overall, it supports the current body of knowledge regarding COVID vaccination myocarditis.''
VERDICTFalse. The study of teenagers in Thailand following a second COVID-19 vaccination found that 18% -- not one third -- experienced any detectable cardiac effect, and that 1 in 301, not 1 in 43, had confirmed myocarditis. A large proportion of purported abnormalities detected by testing were without symptoms, and 100% of the teens in the study fully recovered after 14 days, the authors reported.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .
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Erectile dysfunction drug may lower Alzheimer's risk - Harvard Health
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:44
In the journalsIf you take sildenafil (Viagra, Revatio) to treat erectile dysfunction or pulmonary arterial hypertension, here's good news: the little blue or white pill may also be protecting you from Alzheimer's disease. Researchers analyzed insurance claims data of 7.23 million people and found sildenafil users were 69% less likely to develop Alzheimer's over a six-year period than non-users. The possible link? As part of the study, the researchers also examined brain cells from Alzheimer's patients and found sildenafil users had more brain cell growth and slower formation of neurofibrillary tangles in the brain, an early biomarker of Alzheimer's.
It's important to note that the results showed only an association between sildenafil use and lower Alzheimer's risk. Randomized controlled studies are needed to confirm the findings. But so far, it looks like sildenafil could have far-reaching health benefits. The results were published online Dec. 6, 2021, by Nature Aging.
Image: Rpsycho/Getty Images
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Astronomers looking at Webb: What if the Big Bang didn't happen? '' HotAir
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:43
Like me, I'm guessing that many of you have been enjoying the new, deep-space images being delivered by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) since it came fully online. We've been seeing remarkable star fields and beautiful dust cloud formations. We've also been seeing galaxies far from the Milky Way that have never been seen before. And I mean lots of new galaxies. To the average layman, that's really just more pictures to ''ooh'' and ''ahhh'' at. But for astronomers and cosmologists reviewing all of this new data, it isn't turning out to be a wonderful experience at all. Many of them have already begun reporting that there's something not quite right with the seemingly endless parade of ancient and frequently small galaxies out there. Few are saying it out loud yet, but they are speculating that one theory that has been taken as fact for a very long time now may not have been correct. The dreaded conclusion could turn out to be that the big bang theory is wrong and it may never have happened. (ia.tv)
To everyone who sees them, the new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) images of the cosmos are beautifully awe-inspiring. But to most professional astronomers and cosmologists, they are also extremely surprising'--not at all what was predicted by theory. In the flood of technical astronomical papers published online since July 12, the authors report again and again that the images show surprisingly many galaxies, galaxies that are surprisingly smooth, surprisingly small and surprisingly old. Lots of surprises, and not necessarily pleasant ones. One paper's title begins with the candid exclamation: ''Panic!''
Why do the JWST's images inspire panic among cosmologists? And what theory's predictions are they contradicting? The papers don't actually say. The truth that these papers don't report is that the hypothesis that the JWST's images are blatantly and repeatedly contradicting is the Big Bang Hypothesis that the universe began 14 billion years ago in an incredibly hot, dense state and has been expanding ever since. Since that hypothesis has been defended for decades as unquestionable truth by the vast majority of cosmological theorists, the new data is causing these theorists to panic.
Alison Kirkpatrick, an astronomer at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, is quoted as saying, ''Right now I find myself lying awake at three in the morning and wondering if everything I've done is wrong.''
I'm not going to pretend that I have the scientific mental horsepower to understand the mechanics behind all of this, but science journals are quoting people who certainly should be able to understand it. If the universe has been expanding since its inception 14 billion years ago, the galaxies the furthest away from us should appear huge and have a certain amount of ''red shift'' in their light. But what Webb is showing us is almost exactly the opposite.
That's a problem for the big bang theory. If the universe was born in a monumental blast with everything traveling outward at incredible speed, all of that matter should still be traveling and expanding. But it doesn't appear to be. In fact, the universe might not really be expanding at all. And if it's not expanding, then it probably didn't come from a massive explosion at a single point in the void. If that's the case'... where did all of this stuff come from?
There are more issues to deal with. The most distant galaxies Webb has located are being seen when they were as little as 400 million years old, as determined by when the big bang is assumed to have happened. That means their stars should all still be hot and blue in color as all young stars are. But many of them are cooler and reddish in color, signifying that they should be at least a billion years old.
According to Big Bang theory, the most distant galaxies in the JWST images are seen as they were only 400-500 million years after the origin of the universe. Yet already some of the galaxies have shown stellar populations that are over a billion years old. Since nothing could have originated before the Big Bang, the existence of these galaxies demonstrates that the Big Bang did not occur.
Scientists are obviously more worried about having gotten the science wrong and having to figure out a new theory if that's the case. But assuming this is true, it also could have ramifications for both religious and spiritual contemplation of the origins of everything. Creationists assure us that God (whomever you take that to be) created everything we see in a very short amount of time. With a bit of squinting, you can match that up as a non-scientific analogy to the big bang theory. But what's the scientific explanation for trillions of galaxies that appear to all just be ''hanging around?''
Perhaps the faithful have a better escape hatch from this dilemma than the scientists. If God was able to create everything all at once in one tiny spot and send it careening across the void, why couldn't He create trillions of things wherever He wanted them to be and whenever He felt like it over a longer span of time than we've been able to imagine thus far? Food for thought, to be sure.
New Zealand Judge Declares 12-Year-Old Children Can Consent To Sex With Adults - News Punch
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:43
A New Zealand judge has told a jury that 12-year-old children can consent to sexual intercourse with adults.
Judge Richard Earwaker was addressing the jury during the trial of Tulisi Leiataua, a 45-year-old pedophile charged with abusing two girls, aged 8 and 12. According to Leiataua, the 12-year-old girl ''pursued him'' and ''wanted it'' and therefore it was consensual and not rape.
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''I know she was a child but the way she came to me was like a mature woman. I refused her but she kept coming back to me. She truly wanted to do this,'' the 45-year-old said of the child who was 12 at the time.
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In the final days of the trial, Judge Earwaker addressed the issue of consent on a person under 16 years, the New Zealand Herald reported.
''Legally, a person under 16 cannot give consent for charges of indecent acts, therefore as a jury, all you need to decide is if the indecent acts took place,'' he said. Then came the kicker. ''But as for sexual intercourse, a person under 16 can give consent. You need to consider whether or not the consent was given based on the evidence you have.''
On Monday, Judge Earwaker closed the trial, urging the jury to stay utterly dispassionate when judging whether the Crown prosecution had proved its case or not.
''It is not enough for the Crown to persuade you that he is most likely guilty, it needs to be beyond a reasonable doubt.''
The defense used an element of New Zealand's laws not widely understood by the public '' that while the age of consent is broadly 16 years in New Zealand, consent is still a legal defense available to those charged with raping children.
''There definitely needs to be change,'' said Kathryn McPhillips, executive director of sexual abuse organisation HELP. McPhillips said it was ''immoral to be putting those ideas forward that a child could consent '... It's way out of sync with what the general population thinks our law is.''
Manukau Crown Solicitor Gareth Kayes told to the jury that Leiataua had lied over and over again.McPhillips said being accused in court of lying and of consenting to sexual activity as a young child resulted in added trauma for victims, particularly children. ''As an adult, it's bad enough to be blamed for something that was done to you, intentional harm that was done to you. That's bad enough '' but to be a child?''
''When an adult has done this to you, and then another adult accuses you of it in court '... that is layer upon layer of being the world turned upside down, where the rights of all of these adults to hurt you are sanctioned by the state.''
Leiataua was found guilty this week of 33 charges of sexual abuse against two girls. The youngest victim was just an 8-year-old child when the abuse began. Both children faced two weeks of grueling cross-examination, and it was the nature of Leiataua's defense, rather than the trial's final outcome, that has revealed a shameful chapter in New Zealand legislation.
About Latest PostsBaxter DmitryBaxter Dmitry is a writer at News Punch. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.
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The Tower of Babel and the Modern Day Internet - ichthyoid
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:41
While many today may disparage old stories as irrelevant myths and fairy tales, I think the old ancient stories have never been more important for our day. They not only allow us to see from the perspective of people who lived long ago, but I think that, if we're really paying attention, we realize just how humanity has, more or less, stayed the same, even across millennia.
Because of this'--the lessons they learned'--we can learn as well.
One of the most confusing stories I learned as a kid in Sunday School was the story of the Tower of Babel. In our modern world, we tend to think that uniting and doing things together is the greatest good that human beings can achieve. That in humanity's various races, sexes, and other traits, if we can somehow get this diverse group to work together, humanity will be at its greatest potential. And so this strange story about God coming down to man and causing division by language was deeply puzzling to a child like me, not to mention that it seemed a little mean.
As it turns out, no, it wasn't. And not only was it not mean, but it may have been one of the fundamental things for the survival of humanity. And in that way, it informs on so many of the problems of today's modern Internet.
So let's dive in.
The story of the Tower of Babel is in the first book of the Bible, called Genesis, and is a short length of only 9 verses. Here it is in it's entirety:
1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.3 And they said to one another, ''Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.'' And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.4 Then they said, ''Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.''5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built.6 And the Lord said, ''Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.''8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
(Genesis 11:1-9, ESV)As we can see, on the surface, it seems to be a story of humanity attempting to unite, and God coming down and breaking it up for some unknown reasons. And of course, the obvious question arises as one reads: why would God'--as the standard of ultimate moral goodness'--divide humanity up with a confusion of language?
It's important to understand the context of the people saying, ''Let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.'' This is a direct contrast to a commandment given earlier in Genesis (Gen 1:28, Gen 9:1). But why is there such an emphasis on dispersion? What is so wrong about people uniting instead of dispersing?
Notice, again, what God is saying in the story of the Tower of Babel. God didn't say that people were unable to disperse. In fact, He acknowledges the ability of human beings to do anything they want (verse 6). This would presumably include dispersing after building the city and tower they desired (though it's implied that they won't). So what was so important about dispersion before the building could be finished? How does the building of the city and tower, around which humanity could theoretically gather around, conflict morally with the design of humanity?
My readers and followers may detect what I'm getting at here, a topic I've frequently write about. I'm talking, of course, about the idea of decentralization, and its necessity for human beings to live maximally moral lives as well as free ones.
The principle is quite simple: at no time in all of human history has a centralized authority been able to bring and maintain peace and freedom to humanity. In fact, the track record of history tells us that any centralization of authority will often bring the opposite. From ancient tyrannical monarchs to modern day communist dictators, when political figures claim all authority, corruption and suffering are very surely soon to follow. There may have been pockets of time when a single benevolent ruler did well. But in the long-term, moral corruption soon takes hold in any institution. This is because once a central authority is established, its prerogative is to keep and extend that authority.
This trend isn't isolated in small polities either. I've done a review of Walter Scheidel's excellent book, Escape from Rome, where he documents the effects of empire building (a trait of centralization) and why the fall of Rome and the subsequent decentralization of western Europe resulted in the far better lives we enjoy today.
And of course, I'm currently running through Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics, a book that provides proof upon proof that a centrally planned economy is always disastrous, while a free market where competition can thrive has, so far, produced better resultant societies.
This now leads us to the second part of the topic that I want to explore today '-- namely the modern day Internet, and how decentralization figures into it all.
It's not difficult to look around and see the uniformity of the Internet we use today. If we need to search, whether for websites or local businesses, we use Google. If we want to catch up with our friends, we use Facebook (or one of its services like Instagram or Messenger). If we want to watch videos, we go to Youtube, and if we want to watch film, we stream Netflix or Disney+. If we want news, or to catch up on world going-ons, we go to Twitter. And the behemoth of Amazon's online shopping is basically impossible to ignore (not to mention its web services).
Describing each of these services above may make it seem like the Internet today is quite decentralized. But notice how each service we use is associated with a single brand. Does anyone really use Bing? Not really. Let's hang out on MySpace! Said no one ever, at least, not in comparison to Facebook. And when was the last time you visited Vimeo or Dailymotion?
The centralized nature of today's modern Internet is an interesting landscape. On the one hand, we certainly do have a plethora of services to choose from. On the other, each of these services mentioned above actually serve very different niches, so much so that they don't really compete with each other. The lack of competition allows these platforms to do whatever they want with little to no consequence.
And thus we have an ''open'' internet that is actually not really that open at all. This has, in turn, led to so much censorship and banning that there isn't much of a case to be made against filing anti-trust lawsuits on these companies'--except for the fact that, on the whole, politicians just have no idea what they're doing.
Of course, given that political authorities have little knowledge to truly deal with these kinds of oligopolies, the only true way to lessen their control is to provide competition. And so, services like Coil, Cinnamon, Parler, Ruqqus, and others have risen up. Time will tell how well these new technologies and services match up to the others from before.
There's an interesting principle to be mined from the story of the Tower of Babel. First, there seems to be a certain tendency for human beings to want to wholly unite around something, despite historical precedent that says such actions would be detrimental to a large majority of human beings in the long term. Second, division is necessitated when unity reaches some kind of apex. What is that apex?
It seems built-in within the statements made by the people building the city and tower: ''and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed.'' In other words, when the priority becomes an intention for self-exaltation, to evangelize the brand above voice, to act against the necessity of decentralization, then it seems (according to the story) division has become necessary.
This is an interesting pattern that can be said to occur across all kinds of organizations, not just government. From social and religious groups to corporations and conglomerates, there isn't a single area in human society that doesn't fall under this pattern. The first time this was pointed out to me was while listening to Kenny Werner, a jazz musician, in a masterclass on Youtube, explaining how to master music (or really, anything) effortlessly.
Here's the video:
I've started the video above at 26:02 '-- though, really, the entire thing is worth listening to. But the part that I want to highlight is when he said this:
In a way that's where jazz has suffered for quite a while. It's so respectful of the institution of jazz, that it doesn't have any, or little, of the danger that jazz used to have.
He goes on to say:
It's obvious why'--the way we got into this thing about jazz and just honoring it as an institution'--I mean it must be the same thing with religion'...it's just a feeling amongst everybody until we externalize it and make it an institution, and then we worship the institution. Then we don't realize that the way the institution started was with beings who did not worship institutions. That's how it started! It always started with somebody who was suffocating from the previous institution.
It seems like even musical genres can't avoid the dangers of centralization! And thus the cycle goes.
I hope this has been thought-provoking. In a future post, I may explore the other part of the story of the Tower of Babel that I find intriguing '-- that God divided according to language. But that will be for another day.
Until then, thanks for reading!
Four revelations from the Webb telescope about distant galaxies
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:40
Astronomers found these two distant galaxies in the same small part of the sky. They estimate that the one on the right is from 300 million years after the Big Bang. Credit: JWST GLASS Survey NASA/CSA/ESA/STScI; Pascal Oesch/University of Geneva
NASA built its state-of-the-art James Webb Space Telescope to peer into the distant Universe and back towards the dawn of time '-- and it's already doing so spectacularly. In the two weeks since Webb's first science images and data became available for astronomers to work with, they have reported a flood of preliminary discoveries, including multiple contenders for what could be the most distant galaxy ever seen.
Webb's images reveal a wealth of galaxies glimmering in the distant cosmos, appearing as they did just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago. The telescope's astonishingly sharp pictures have shattered astronomers' preconceptions about the early Universe.
''We had in mind an idea of what galaxies at these [distances] would look like, and how much detail we'd be able to see, but I think the reality is just kind of blowing our mind,'' says Jeyhan Kartaltepe, an astronomer at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.
Here are some things astronomers are learning from Webb's first observations.
There are an awful lot of galaxies way out thereBecause Webb detects infrared light, and because the expansion of the cosmos stretches light to redder wavelengths, the telescope is well suited to spotting galaxies that formed early in the Universe's history. In its first observing programmes, which kicked off in June, Webb discovered many distant galaxies that lie beyond the reach of other observatories, such as the Hubble Space Telescope.
''It suggests what many of us have been arguing, that there are galaxies out there beyond what we saw with Hubble,'' says Richard Ellis, an astronomer at University College London.
The era of early galaxies began at 'cosmic dawn', starting perhaps around 250 million years after the Big Bang, when the first stars formed and lit up the Universe. Later generations of stars amassed themselves into galaxies, which are the faint red blobs that Webb is beginning to discover.
Many of the Webb images are peppered with never-before-seen galaxies in the distant Universe. ''There's hardly any empty space that doesn't have something,'' Kartaltepe says.
One study combed through data from many of the distant galaxy fields Webb has observed so far, to analyse the rate at which stars formed in the early Universe. It found 44 previously unknown galaxies stretching back to within 300 million years of the Big Bang. Combined with 11 previously known galaxies, the findings show that there was a significant population of galaxies forming stars in the early Universe1. The results ''re-affirm the enormous potential of forthcoming larger [Webb] programmes to transform our understanding of the young Universe'', wrote the team, led by Callum Donnan at the University of Edinburgh, UK, in a paper on the arXiv preprint server.
Many galaxies are competing for the 'most distant' titlePerhaps the highest-profile rush is the stampede of research teams vying to identify the most distant galaxy in the Webb data. A number of candidates have been spotted that will need to be confirmed through further studies, but all of them would break Hubble's record for the most-distant galaxy, which dates to around 400 million years after the Big Bang2,3.
Maisie's Galaxy: Astronomer Steven Finkelstein nicknamed this distant galaxy after his daughter. He estimates that it is from 280 million years after the Big Bang. Credit: Steven Finkelstein (UT Austin), Micaela Bagley (UT Austin), Casey Papovich (Texas A&M) and the CEERS Team
One contender popped up in a Webb survey called GLASS that included another, slightly less faraway galaxy in the same image4. ''The fact that we found these two bright galaxies, that was really a surprise,'' says Marco Castellano, an astronomer at the National Institute for Astrophysics in Rome. He and his colleagues weren't expecting to find any galaxies that distant in this small part of the sky. A second team also independently spotted the two galaxies5.
Astronomers characterize the distance of galaxies with a measure known as redshift, which quantifies how much a galaxy's light has been shifted to redder wavelengths; the higher the redshift, the more distant the galaxy. The GLASS candidate has a redshift of about 13. But on 25 and 26 July, days after astronomers reported the GLASS galaxies, papers claiming even higher redshifts flooded the arXiv preprint server. ''This is just the beginning of the beginning,'' says Rohan Naidu, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
One candidate, at a redshift of 14, emerged in a survey called CEERS, one of Webb's highest-profile early projects. The CEERS principal investigator, Steven Finkelstein at the University of Texas at Austin, nicknamed the object Maisie's Galaxy, after his daughter6. Another study looked at the very first deep-field image from Webb, released by US President Joe Biden on 11 July, and found two potential galaxies at a redshift of 16, which would place them just 250 million years after the Big Bang7. And arXiv papers speculate on other candidates, even out to redshifts of 208.
Some early galaxies are surprisingly complexWebb's distant galaxies are also turning out to have more structure than astronomers had expected.
One study of Webb's first deep-field image found a surprisingly large number of distant galaxies that are shaped like disks9. Using Hubble, astronomers had concluded that distant galaxies are more irregularly shaped than nearby ones, which, like the Milky Way, often display regular forms such as disks. The theory was that early galaxies were more often distorted by interactions with neighbouring galaxies. But the Webb observations suggest there are up to ten times as many distant disk-shaped galaxies as previously thought.
US President Joe Biden released this deep-field image on 11 July '-- the first scientific view from Webb revealed publicly. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI
''With the resolution of James Webb, we are able to see that galaxies have disks way earlier than we thought they did,'' says Allison Kirkpatrick, an astronomer at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. That's a problem, she says, because it contradicts earlier theories of galaxy evolution. ''We're going to have to figure that out.''
Another preprint manuscript suggests that massive galaxies formed earlier in the Universe than previously known. A team led by Ivo Labb(C) at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, reports finding seven massive galaxies in the CEERS field, with redshifts between 7 and 1010. ''We infer that the central regions of at least some massive galaxies were already largely in place 500 million years after the Big Bang, and that massive galaxy formation began extremely early in the history of the Universe,'' the scientists write.
And studies of galactic chemistry also show a rich and complicated picture emerging from the Webb data. One analysis of the first deep-field image examined the light emitted by galaxies at a redshift of 5 or greater. (Spectral lines that appear at various wavelengths of light correlate with the chemical elements composing the galaxies.) It found a surprising richness of elements such as oxygen11. Astronomers had thought that the process of chemical enrichment '-- in which stars fuse hydrogen and helium to form heavier elements '-- took a while, but the finding that it is under way in early galaxies ''will make us rethink the speed at which star formation occurs'', Kirkpatrick says.
Closer galaxies are smaller than expectedThe surprises from Webb continue even a little later in the Universe's evolution. One study looked at Webb's observations of 'cosmic noon', the period approximately three billion years after the Big Bang. This is when star formation peaked in the Universe, and the most light was created.
Wren Suess, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, compared Hubble images of galaxies at cosmic noon with Webb images of the same galaxies. At the infrared wavelengths detected by Webb, most of the massive galaxies looked much smaller than they did in Hubble images12. ''It potentially changes our whole view of how galaxy sizes evolve over time,'' Suess says. Hubble studies suggested that galaxies start out small and grow bigger over time, but the Webb findings hint that Hubble didn't have the whole picture, and so galactic evolution might be more complicated than scientists had anticipated.
With Webb just at the beginning of a planned 20-plus years of work, astronomers know they have a lot of changes ahead. ''Right now I find myself lying awake at three in the morning,'' Kirkpatrick says, ''wondering if everything I've ever done is wrong.''
Breitbart Enters Film Distribution Business with 'My Son Hunter'; Directed by Robert Davi, Starring Laurence Fox and Gina Carano
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 16:12
LOS ANGELES, California '-- Breitbart is announcing its first foray into scripted entertainment with My Son Hunter, directed by Robert Davi (Licensed to Kill, Die Hard, Goonies) and starring Laurence Fox (Victoria, Inspector Lewis, The Professor and the Madman), and Gina Carano (The Mandalorian, Dead Pool, Heist). The film follows the ''smartest guy'' the President of the United States knows as he navigates a tangled web of prostitution, partying, international business dealings, drugs, sex, Chinese spies, a laptop from Hell, Ukrainian oligarchs, more sex, more drugs, and, of course, his responsibilities to the leader of the free world. With midterm elections around the corner, select committee investigations and FBI raids on the home of a former president, the new film, My Son Hunter could not be more aptly timed.
The trailer will be released on August 26, 2022 and the film will follow on September 7, 2022, on mysonhunter.com and is available for Pre-Purchase NOW.
''Breitbart has always believed freedom flourishes with more voices, not less,'' said Breitbart CEO Larry Solov. ''As we begin distributing films, that belief will be a guiding light. In 2020, Big Tech colluded with the mainstream media to bury one of the biggest political scandals to protect their chosen presidential candidate. It was unprecedented and outrageous. My Son Hunter is a film they never wanted you to see, which is precisely why Americans must.''
''This is not a true story, except for all the facts.'' That is the opening line of the brand new narrative film My Son Hunter. The line is delivered by Gina Carano, who not only plays a Secret Service agent, but also serves as a narrator of sorts, guiding viewers through the insane world of President Biden's now infamous son, Hunter.
This slick looking film is not a documentary, but it may as well be, with a storyline built upon the unbelievable details of Hunter Biden's personal life and corrupt business dealings that only those hungry for the truth may be aware of.
THIS is the story that the mainstream media and Big Tech hid from the American people. It's also the film that had Hunter Biden's attorney so nervous that he infiltrated the set during filming, posing as a documentarian.
Actor Laurence Fox plays Hunter Biden'.....and friends. (Courtesy of MySonHunter.com)
Working with producers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, and off a script from Brian Godawa, My Son Hunter director Robert Davi went to great lengths to create a visually stunning world in order to present Hunter Biden on full display and with a sense of irony, comedy, and maybe even a tiny bit of dark humanity. Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow said, ''Robert Davi is a true industry pro and has had a storied career in Hollywood, but what people might not know about him is that he was a friend to Andrew Breitbart, as well as the rest of us at Breitbart News. He's made a wildly entertaining film that looks unlike anything that's come out of the conservative movement.''
Director Robert Davi discusses a scene with Gina Carano on the set of My Son Hunter. (Courtesy of MySonHunter.com)
''Working with Breitbart on this project made perfect sense to me. They've always been the first ones through the door, taking on the media, and waging the culture war,'' Davi said. ''Given my friendship with Andrew, it's a poignant moment for me to have this film represent Breitbart's entry into the world of cinema, especially since the establishment media covered up the story of Hunter Biden in the most cynical of ways.''
Hunter, who is played by Laurence Fox, finds himself doing all the wrong things in all the wrong places with all the wrong people, when he meets a young naive stripper. Grace Anderson (Emma Gojkovic) doesn't know much about politics, but gets a crash course as she gets closer and closer to the son of President Biden (John James). My Son Hunter puts the lens squarely on Hunter, his corrupt business dealings, his relationship with his father, and a lifestyle that would make rock stars jealous. But through the haze of a crack pipe and above the din of the parties and the outbursts '...somewhere lies the truth.
You can PRE-ORDER your copy of My Son Hunter RIGHT NOW at MySonHunter.com.
Gina Carano as a Secret Service Agent. John James as President Joe Biden. (Courtesy of MySonHunter.com)
What is 'tomato flu'? 'Very contagious' virus detected in kids
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 15:46
As the world continues its fight against COVID-19 and the ever-spreading monkeypox virus, it seems as though there's another illness gaining a foothold.
''Tomato flu'' was first identified in India on May 6 and has so far infected 82 children, who are all under the age of 5, according to a study by the Lancet Respiratory Medicine Journal.
A further 26 kids up to the age of 10 are suspected of having cases of tomato flu.
Aptly named for the red blisters that appear on the skin, the new virus comes armed with fever and joint pain.
''Just as we are dealing with the probable emergence of fourth wave of COVID-19, a new virus known as tomato flu, or tomato fever, has emerged in India in the state of Kerala in children younger than 5 years,'' the Lancet reported.
''The rare viral infection is in an endemic state and is considered non-life-threatening; however, because of the dreadful experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, vigilant management is desirable to prevent further outbreaks.''
The virus has so far been detected in the Kollam district of Kerala, India, and nearby areas of Anchal, Aryankavu and Neduvathur.
''Children are at increased risk of exposure to tomato flu as viral infections are common in this age group and spread is likely to be through close contact,'' Lancet's report added.
Medics say the infection, which currently has no drug to fight it, is ''very contagious'' and has striking similarities to hand, foot and mouth disease.
Aptly named for the red blisters that appear on the skin, the new virus comes armed with fever and joint pain. Getty Images''Given the similarities to hand, foot and mouth disease, if the outbreak of tomato flu in children is not controlled and prevented, transmission might lead to serious consequences by spreading in adults as well,'' the study added.
Other reported symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and body aches.
Some cases, albeit very few, reported a change in limb color.
''It is not a fatal disease, but it is contagious and can spread from person to person, although the actual ways in which the infection spreads are still being studied,'' Dr. Subhash Chandra, assistant professor of Internal Medicine at Amrita Hospital told India Today.
''Patients who develop tomato fever should drink plenty of fluids and rest in bed, as it is also advised for other viral fevers, to keep the body hydrated and well-rested.''
Those who contract the virus are placed in isolation for 5 to 7 days.
Lockdowns killed more than COVID
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 15:05
The effects of lockdown may now be killing more people than are dying of Covid, official statistics suggest.
Figures for excess deaths from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that around 1,000 more people than usual are currently dying each week from conditions other than the virus.
The Telegraph understands that the Department of Health has ordered an investigation into the figures amid concern that the deaths are linked to delays to and deferment of treatment for conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Over the past two months, the number of excess deaths not from Covid dwarfs the number linked to the virus. It comes amid renewed calls for Covid measures such as compulsory face masks in the winter.
But the figures suggest the country is facing a new silent health crisis linked to the pandemic response rather than to the virus itself.
The British Heart Foundation said it was ''deeply concerned'' by the findings, while the Stroke Association said it had been anticipating a rise in deaths for a while.
Dr Charles Levinson, the chief executive of Doctorcall, a private GP service, said his company was seeing ''far too many'' cases of undetected cancers and cardiac problems, as well as ''disturbing'' numbers of mental health conditions.
''Hundreds and hundreds of people dying every week '' what is going on?'' he said. ''Delays in seeking and receiving healthcare are no doubt the driving force, in my view.
''Daily Covid statistics demanded the nation's attention, yet these terrifying figures barely get a look in. A full and urgent government investigation is required immediately.''
Figures released by the ONS on Tuesday showed that excess deaths are currently 14.4 per cent higher than the five-year average, equating to 1,350 more deaths than usual in the week ending Aug 5.
Although 469 deaths were because of Covid, the remaining 881 have not been explained and the ONS does not break down the remaining deaths by cause.
Since the beginning of June, the ONS has recorded nearly 10,000 more deaths than the five-year average '' around 1,089 a week '' none of which is linked to Covid. The figure is more than three times the number of people who died because of the virus over the same period, which stood at 2,811.
Even analysis that takes into account ageing population changes has identified a substantial ongoing excess.
There were 103 Covid deaths in England on August 11 and the seven-day average is currently around 111 fatalities per day.
Questioned by The Telegraph, the Department of Health admitted it had asked the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities to look into the figures and had discovered that the majority were linked to largely preventable heart and stroke and diabetes-related conditions.
Many appointments and treatments were cancelled as the NHS battled the pandemic throughout 2020 and last year, leading to a huge backlog that the health service is still struggling to bring down.
This week, an internal memo from the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan, leaked to the Health Service Journal, warned it was becoming ''increasingly common'' for patients to die in A&E as they waited for treatment.
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, the British Heart Foundation chief executive, said: ''We're deeply concerned by the initial findings that excess deaths in recent months seem to be being driven by cardiovascular disease.
''Without significant help for the NHS from the Government now, this situation can only get worse.''
Last week, official England-wide statistics showed emergency care standards had hit an all-time low.
Juliet Bouvier, the Stroke Association chief executive, said: ''We know people haven't been having their routine appointments for the past few years now, so we've been anticipating a rise in strokes for quite a while now.
''This lack of opportunity to identify risk factors for stroke, coupled with increasing ambulance delays, is a recipe for increased stroke mortality and disability in those that survive.''
Read more here: Silent crisis of soaring excess deaths gripping Britain is only tip of the iceberg
Ukraine live updates: US to ship $775M aid package of arms to Ukraine
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 15:05
The United States will ship another package of arms to Ukraine, including long-range artillery ammunition used to devastating effect on Russian forces, according to a senior defense official.
The $775 million aid package includes ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, which has been employed masterfully by Ukrainian forces, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity under guidelines set by the Pentagon. The rockets with a range of more than 40 miles have been used to destroy Russian command posts, ammunition depots and logistics hubs.
The Russian military advance, begun in February, has ground to halt. Ukrainian attacks are weakening Russian positions but have yet to retake territory, the official said.
The military aid package includes drones, conventional artillery ammunition and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to protect Ukrainian troops from Russian roadside bombs, the official said.
The United States has provided $12.6 billion in military aid to Ukraine since 2014, more than $10 billion of it in the last year.
'ºAbout 1,100 people in two villages in Russia's Belgorod region on Ukraine's northeastern border were evacuated late Thursday after a fire at a munitions depot. There were no casualties, the Belgorod region's governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said Friday.
'ºA Russian cargo ship Ukraine claims holds stolen wheat from territory seized by Russia appears to have reached Tartus, a Syrian port, according to satellite images analyzed by the Associated Press. Another ship recently docked in Syria with Ukrainian corn that was legally purchased as part of a United Nations effort to combat a global food crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
'ºA key Russian natural gas pipeline will shut down for three days of maintenance at the end of this month, the state-owned energy company Gazprom announced Friday. The shutdown raises economic pressure on Germany and other European countries that depend on the fuel to power industry, generate electricity and heat homes.
'ºNo breakthroughs appear to have come out of Thursday's meeting among Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, U.N. Secretary-General Ant"nio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as the conflict with Russia approaches the six-month mark with no end in sight.
'ºAmid the tense international climate created by the war, Russia deployed warplanes carrying state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles to its Kaliningrad region, which is surrounded by two NATO countries, Poland and Lithuania.
Response to Ukrainian refugees should be a model, UN refugee head saysEurope's embrace of millions of Ukrainians who fled Russia's invasion showed that it's possible to welcome large numbers of asylum-seekers, and the approach should be replicated to receive those fleeing other nations, the head of the U.N. refugee agency told The Associated Press.
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi described the EU's response as ''exemplary,'' noting that nearly 4 million Ukrainians have registered with the bloc's emergency protection system since, activated for the first time at the start of the war nearly six months ago. It allows Ukrainians to move around the bloc, work and access housing, education and health care.
''If that's possible for such a large number of people, and since that has proven so effective, why not use some of these approaches also for other people that are coming to knock at Europe's doors?'' Grandi asked.
Grandi called the distinction some European leaders have tried to make between Ukrainians and other refugees "racist." Some leaders have taken efforts to keep African and Middle Eastern migrants out of Europe.
Ukraine energy firm warns Russia may try to disconnect nuclear plant from electricity gridRussia has ordered staff members at Europe's largest nuclear plant to stay home Friday amid mounting tensions over the possibility that military conflict near the plant may lead to a nuclear catastrophe.
Russia ordered the facility to limit personnel Friday to only those who operate the plant's power units, Ukraine's state-run energy firm, Energoatom, said in a statement. The firm also said it has information that Russian forces plan to turn off the plant's power units and disconnect them from Ukraine's electricity grid.
Such a move would deprive the country of a major electricity source as the plant accounted for about half the electricity generated by nuclear power in Ukraine before the war.
Russian troops took over the Zaporizhzhia plant in southern Ukraine, one of the 10 largest nuclear plants in the world, shortly after invading the country in February. Ukraine and Russia have since accused each other of risking nuclear fallout by shelling the plant.
US 'deeply concerned' about Russia's control of nuclear power plantThursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U.N. head Antonio Guterres agreed on the terms of a trip by the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, according to the presidential website.
The U.S. is "deeply concerned" about Russia's continued control of the plant, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, calling for the IAEA to be allowed to monitor the safety and security of the plant. But it's not certain the Kremlin will accede to a visit from the IAEA.
Ivan Nechayev, a spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry, rejected a proposal to demilitarize the area around the plant, Reuters reported. Nechayev said during a briefing that Russian troops are ensuring the plant runs smoothly and the demilitarization proposals would make the facility "even more vulnerable."
UN chief says global food markets beginning to stabilizeDuring a Friday visit to the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there were "signs that global food markets are beginning to stabilize" after a U.N.-led agreement to facilitate the transport of Ukrainian grain.
"Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I have been clear: There is no solution to the global food crisis without ensuring full global access to Ukraine's food products and Russian food and fertilizers," Guterres said at a news conference.
Guterres said more than 560,000 metrics tons of grain and other Ukrainian foodstuffs are being transported to global markets, adding that wheat prices have dropped by as much as 8% after the U.N. agreement. Still, he warned that supply chains are still disrupted and food prices remain "very high."
Russian strikes claim casualties near KharkivRussian missile strikes that began Wednesday night and continued Thursday morning in and around the northeastern city of Kharkiv killed at least 17 and wounded 42, Ukrainian authorities said.
A dormitory housing deaf Ukrainians was destroyed in the attack. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the assault "despicable and cynical."
Russia's military also claimed that it struck a base for foreign mercenaries in Kharkiv, killing 90, though Ukraine did not immediately confirm.
Meanwhile, on Russian soil near Ukraine's border, an ammunition dump caught fire in a village in the Belgorod region, the regional governor said. No casualties were reported.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Former FBI agent pleads guilty to destroying records in connection with former state senator's trial
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 15:03
by: C.C. McCandless
Posted: Aug 18, 2022 / 12:08 PM CDT
Updated: Aug 19, 2022 / 09:25 PM CDT
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) '-- On August 17, a former FBI agent signed a plea agreement, admitting that he destroyed records on a computer hard drive.
A criminal information filing in the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court states that Robert Cessario ''did corruptly alter, destroy, and mutilate an object, that is, a computer hard drive'' in 2017. The hard drive he destroyed contained records pertaining to the federal prosecution of former Arkansas State Senator Jon Woods of Springdale.
Woods was found guilty of corruption in May 2018 and sentenced to 18 years and four months in prison. After he began serving his sentence in a Texas prison, Woods sent a letter to then-President Donald Trump volunteering to help build a proposed border wall. The names and signatures of 80 inmates volunteering were included in the letter.
The August 17 plea agreement states that Cessario was a special agent with the FBI and was ''one of the primary agents investigating, and assisting in the prosecution of, defendants in United States vs. Woods, et al.''
In my capacity as a special agent and as part of the investigation, I obtained recordings from a cooperating defendant. I placed these recordings on a government computer that had been issued to me for use in conducting covert operations that would not be traceable to a government computer. I knew that these recordings pertained to the prosecution in United States vs. Woods, et al.
I took the computer to a commercial computer business and paid that company to ''wipe'' the computer. I personally performed another procedure to ''wipe'' the computer. I erased the contents of the computer hard drive knowing that the Court had ordered that the computer be submitted for a forensic examination. I did so with the intention of making the contents of the computer's hard drive unavailable for forensic examination.
I am guilty of the violation alleged.
Robert Cessario, in his August 17 plea agreement signed in Federal CourtHis August 17 court appearance took less than 20 minutes. Cessario was issued a $5,000 bond and he awaits sentencing.
He faces up to 20 years in prison followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
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Eco-friendly couple spend just £8 a month on their water bill | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 14:54
An Italian couple spend just £8 a month on their water bill - thanks to re-using their waste shower water to cook with, drink and water the plants.
Anna Masiello, 28, and her husband, Diogo Masiello, 29, from Triesete, Friuli Venezia Giulia, northern Italy, aim to lead a zero-waste lifestyle by swapping old clothes with friends, using shampoo and soap bars and opting for a plant based diet.
Anna, an eco-influencer, also wears period pants and menstrual cups instead of using disposable period products.
The couple live Triesete, Friuli Venezia Giulia in north east Italy, and live an eco-lifestyle
The thrifty couple save money by eating veggie meals and buying cheap dried beans
Instead of buying shampoo in plastic bottles, they use eco-friendly bars to wash their hair
In a mission to save water, the pair stopped using toilet paper in May 2022 - instead opting for a portable bidet which is attached to a plastic bottle that they can use in their own home or take with them camping.
They also save their shower water in a jar which they clean and reuse afterwards to drink, cook and water plants with.
As a result, the canny pair only spend £8.43 a month on water.
They also claim their actions of ditching loo roll - which uses water in its production - and re-using their waste water saves nearly 14,000 litres of water a year.
Anna said, 'It wasn't hard to ditch loo roll - you'd be surprised how easy it is to go without it.
'So many people were confused by the concept of the portable bidet.
'When I shared it on social media, someone even commented they would rather die than use one.
'There's a bottle that you fill up with water - you attach a small shower-style head to and release water to wash yourself with.
'You simply wipe your privates with a towel after you are done.
'It's perfectly clean and hygienic.
'We're doing our bit for the planet by ditching loo roll and our water bill is £8 a month because we re-use shower run off'
The couple use a portable bidet to clean themselves with after going to toilet. It is perfectly hygienic and saves using toilet roll, which uses a large amount of water in its production
To re-use their shower water, they place a four-litre jar in the shower until it is hot enough to get in
The sustainability advocate explained the average person gets through 100 rolls of toilet paper per year, which use 14k litres of water when it's manufactured.
To re-use shower water they place a four-litre jar in the shower until it's hot enough to get into - saving the excess water which they reuse to drink, cook and water plants with.
So the water is safe to consume, they put a charcoal water filter into the jar to clean the contents.
'It's so simple and we save 600 litres a water by doing so,' explained Anna.
'When I started my zero-waste journey I felt the weight of the world of my shoulders as I was trying to do everything perfectly.
'I've soon come to realise you can't do everything perfectly and it's a completely personal journey you have to take.
'We just do what we can and what works for us.
'I recommend people start with what is important to them, whether that's food fashion and waste and then go from there.'
Anna started her own journey by looking at how much waste she was producing and trying to reduce it.
The couple only produce one black bin of waste every six months and save the synthetic fibres from their washing machine which they hope one day to use to stuff a pillow.
'I haven't bought any clothes from fast fashion stores for five years,' Anna said.
'I absolutely love thrifting and going to swap events. I try to appreciate everything I have.'
The married couple say it is easy to make simple changes to save both money and the environment
Anna provides tips online on how to lead a more sustainable life, including being vegetarian and using a bamboo toothbrush
She suggests starting small with making changes so as not to get overwhelmed
Anna has her own sustainable fashion brand R-Coat which creates clothing items from old umbrellas.
Her top tips to live a more sustainable life are -
Start small and don't try and do everything at once. Pick something like food, fashion, waste or transportation and go from there.
Don't try and be perfect and don't beat yourself up if you mostly eat vegan but occasionally eat something vegetarian when you are out
Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one , use toothpaste tabs and shampoo bars.
Make your Mondays meatless. Cutting meat from your diet on a Monday is a fun way to refresh your menu and cut your carbon footprint.
Buy a Guppyfriend - a washing bag that collects all the synthetic fibres from your washing, stopping them from going into the ocean.
Chris Hollman for Novi School Board
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 14:53
Copyright (C) 2022 Chris Hollman - All Rights Reserved.
Paid for by Friends of Chris Hollman PO Box 211 Novi, MI 48376
Off-campus UC Berkeley housing bans white people from common areas
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 14:42
An off-campus housing co-op for University of California, Berkeley students bans white people from entering common spaces to ''avoid white violence'' '-- sparking criticism that the policy inflames racial tensions.
The five-story, 30-room ''Person of Color Theme House'' near the school requires students to declare their race when signing in and to announce when they're bringing white guests in to the building, according to house rules leaked on Reddit.com.
''Many POC moved here to be able to avoid white violence and presence, so respect their decision of avoidance if you bring white guests,'' the rules declare. ''White guests are not allowed in common spaces.''
The co-op bans white people from common spaces. Berkeley subredditThe building, which houses up to 56 students a few blocks from the university, also urges students to avoid bringing family members that ''express bigotry,'' according to the College Fix.
''Queer, Black, and Indigenous members should not have to avoid common spaces because of homophobic or racist parents/family members,'' the rules state.
The building was set up by the Berkeley Student Cooperative to bring affordable ''housing to low-income, first generation, immigrant and marginalized students of color'' in the Bay Area.
But some of the rules sparked outrage, with students saying they're too aggressive and defy the spirit of inclusion.
One mixed-race student, who claimed to have lived at the house, said that their ''presence as a light skinned person was not received well'' and that they were called slurs.
Former residents claimed that they felt marginalized in the house. Berkeley Student Cooperative'[I] was not allowed to let my dad enter the house because he's white,'' the student wrote on Reddit.
Another former member wrote a Medium article saying the house had earned a reputation for its aggressive ''call-out culture'' and ''lack of intersectionality.''
Adam Ratliff, Assistant Director of Media Relations and Critical Communications, told The Post the ''co-op housing is not run by the university'' and that it's not the school's role to comment.
''To be clear, it is not campus operated. This property is operated by a private landlord, and it is not the role of the campus to comment on what private landlords are 'allowed' to do,'' he said.
Reportedly, residents had to tell their housemates when they'd be bringing a white person over. Google MapsHe said the university's housing programs ''have no such policies like the one alleged in the Reddit image'' and ''do not discriminate on the basis of race, consistent with UC and campus policy.''
Russia offers Mother Heroine medal and $16,000 for having 10 children
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 14:39
Russian women who birth and raise 10 children will be awarded a "Mother Heroine" medal.
The Russian government announced it is reviving the Soviet-era honorary title "Mother Heroine" for women who have 10 or more children, as it confronts a population decline that has accelerated since its invasion of Ukraine.
According to a decree signed this week by President Vladimir Putin, the title will be awarded to those who "birth and raise" 10 Russian citizens, with a lump sum of 1 million Russian rubles ($16,645) received when the 10th child turns one.
There are some additional qualifications, however.
The children must have been given the "appropriate level of care for health, education, physical, spiritual and moral development," the assessment process for which is not specified.
Meanwhile, all 10 children must be alive, unless they died during military, official or civic service, or in a terrorist attack.
The "Mother Heroine" title was established in 1944 and bestowed until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Recipients will receive a medal of a five-pointed star, the decree states.
They will be an equivalent rank to those with the titles "Hero of the Russian Federation," usually awarded for bravery; and "Hero of Labor," awarded for service to the state.
Demographic challengeRussia's unprovoked onslaught in Ukraine since Feb. 24 may have accelerated these trends.
The Russian population fell by a record 86,000 people a month from January to May, the Moscow Times reports, citing official figures. The previous record was a decline of 57,000 people a month in 2002.
Despite Russia suffering heavy casualties since its invasion, data from state statistics agency Rosstat showed a decline in the number of deaths year-on-year, with the difference instead being fueled by migration and a decline in births.
Rosstat said the overall population now totaled 145.1 million.
The Unexpected Food Magic Spoon's Creators Made Before Cereal
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 14:31
(C) Provided by Mashed Magic Spoon cereal o's falling on rainbow background With fun flavors and candy-colored boxes that beg to be picked up off the shelf, keto cereal newcomer Magic Spoon is likely to appeal as much to kids as to health-conscious grown-ups (via the company's website). Inventive flavors include cinnamon roll, maple waffle, and blueberry muffin, as well as cereal-aisle classics like cocoa, peanut butter, frosted, and even rainbow-colored fruity rings that are a dead ringer for Fruit Loops (via Magic Spoon). Fruity, the gluten-free Fruit Loops dupe, even features a giant brightly colored bird on the box. The ring-shaped cereals share a shape with Fruit Loops and Cheerios, but when it comes to their composition, the similarities stop there.
Magic Spoon creators Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz relied on outside-the-box ingredients for this project just like they did with their last project, protein bars (via Forbes). Besides having few ingredients, Magic Spoon cereals are gluten-free, artificial colorant-free, and high in protein. According to Magic Spoon, each serving packs 13-14 grams without milk. Though the cereal may not be the "perfect protein" that eggs are, add a half-cup of milk and you've got more protein in your bowl than two eggs. According to the USDA, how much protein an egg has varies up to 2 grams by size, but even a jumbo egg contains just under 8 grams.
Now think about one of the absolute last things you'd want to see in the cereal aisle (or the egg cooler for that matter). Then imagine that thing in your bowl.
Not-So-Creepy Crawlies? (C) John Ramkhamhaeng/Shutterstock Crickets feeding on a cricket farm As we said, Magic Spoon's Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz are good at flexing their creative muscles when it comes to finding protein sources for their foods -- the company gets its super-powered protein from whey -- milk protein that's a byproduct of cheese making (via Mayo Clinic). But as Forbes notes, a few years back the partners and Brown University graduates were using quite a different source to fuel their protein bars -- crickets!
Lewis and Sewitz weren't the first to explore cricket protein (what's up cricket flour). Because crickets require so little space and resources to farm (so to speak), environmental advocates have long called for the introduction of more cricket-based protein as a way to offset the environmental impact of the meat industry (via NBC News). While the average consumer might still squirm at the thought of cooking with bugs, cricket-fueled protein brand EXO landed Lewis and Sewitz on Forbes' coveted 30 Under 30 list in 2015. Their goal was to create a sustainable protein bar made without the unhealthful mystery ingredients that clog most mass market bars. Kind of a high bar, but apparently they felt they'd met it, as they sold the company before moving on to their cheerfully-packaged gluten-free cereals (thankfully, leaving the crickets behind).
Read this next: The 15 Absolute Best Burgers In The US
THE CREATION OF THE CENTRAL BANKS - anon_fa_mous threads
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 14:29
Part 1 - The French Revolution and the End of the Ottoman Empire
Part 2 - Modernization and the Destabilization of the Old World
Part 3 - The End of Colonization and the Creation of the United Nations
Part 4 - The End of the Soviet Union and the Rise of the European Union
In my Rothschild Family Thread I found this picture and was very curious at the origin of Central Banks and why / how they were created.
The truth is that all the countries above have had a central bank decades before 2000 and there was a completely different and more organized way of how they were established. So the picture above is false and the truth is more shocking. This thread will show you how the majority of central banks were not created from War but the Independence of nations.
The oldest banks in the world were all created in Europe so it's easy to figure out why European bankers have always been the most powerful people in the world since the 19th century. The idea of printing bank notes from a single bank is the origin of central banking and it all started in these early banks of Europe. Some of the banks in this section were founded way earlier but the date listed is the best date when central banking became part of the operation. The French Revolution saw the rise of Napolean and was the precursor to the Napoleanic Wars. This is where everything began because the Rothschild Family financed both sides of the war and many countries became bankrupt after the war. These countries relied heavily on loans and thus started the 'debt built monetary system' we still live in today. Another big reason for creating this thread was to distinguish patterns that would arise from digging this information up. The biggest one I found was the ending of a great empire that matched perfectly with the creation of central banks. The fall of the Ottoman Empire was deeply organized by the cabal and you will notice how this pattern first appears with the creation of these banks. 15 central banks were created during this time period.
French Revolution Established - January 18, 1800 Event that caused creation - French Revolution Person responsible - Napoleon Bonaparte, 1st Emperor of France
Established - March 1, 1812 Event that caused creation - Napoleanic Wars and Finland being conquered by Russia Person responsible - Alexander I, Emperor of Russia
Established - March 25, 1814 Event that caused creation - Napoleanic Wars and the creation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands Person responsible - William I, King of the Netherlands (1815 - 1840)
Established - June 1, 1816 Event that caused creation - Napoleanic Wars Person responsible - Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor and the 1st Emperor of Austria In 1823, the Francis I made the five Rothschild brothers barons. The family became famous as bankers in the major countries of Europe.
Napoleanic Wars Established - June 14, 1816 Event that caused creation - Economic crisis due to the Napoleanic Wars and Union with Sweden Person responsible - Charles XIII, King of Norway and Sweden (1814 - 1818)
Established - August 1, 1818 Event that caused creation - Napoleanic Wars caused country to go bankrupt Person responsible - Frederick VI, King of Denmark
Established - 1844 (The Bank Charter Act 1844 gave the bank sole rights to issue banknotes in England. The bank was originally founded in 1694) Event that caused creation - In 1825''26 the bank was able to avert a liquidity crisis due to the Napoleonic Wars when Nathan Mayer Rothschild succeeded in supplying it with gold. This gave him complete power over the bank. Person responsible - Nathan Mayer Rothschild, banker (1777 - 1836)
Established - November 19, 1846 Event that caused creation - Portuguese Civil War and 1842 coup d'etat Person responsible - Ant"nio Bernardo da Costa Cabral, Prime Minister of Portugal (1842 - 1846)
Portugese Civil War Established - May 5, 1850 Event that caused creation - Revolutions of 1848 Person responsible - Louis Blanc, one of the leaders of the Revolutions
Established - 1860 Event that caused creation - Crimean War (1853 - 1856) Person responsible - Alexander II of Russia, Emperor of Russia (1855 - 1881)
Established - 1874 ( Started issuing notes then but the bank was founded in 1782) Event that caused creation - Glorious Revolution (1868) Person responsible - Francisco Serrano, Prime Minister (1869-1874)
Established - January 25, 1879 Event that caused creation - Russo-Turkish War (1877''1878) and Independence from the Ottomans Person responsible - Louis Blanc, one of the leaders of the Revolutions
Established - April 1880 Event that caused creation - Russo-Turkish War (1877''1878) and Independence from the Ottomans Person responsible - Carol I of Romania, King of Romania (1866 - 1914)
Established - June 27, 1882 Event that caused creation - Boshin War, the fall of the shogunate and the Meiji Restoration Person responsible - Emperor Miji, Emperor of Japan (1867 - 1912)
Established - July 2, 1884 Event that caused creation - Russo-Turkish War (1877''1878) and Independence from the Ottomans Person responsible - Milan I, King of Serbia (1868 - 1882)
Russo-Turkish WarWhen people think of the Industrial Revolution they think of cars, technology and the advacement of humankind. The people that are responsible for creating central banks in this time period only cared about one thing: destroying the old cultures of the nations around the world. By slowly dissolving these cultures, the cabal can set up puppets who crave modernization for the betterment of their country. What these old leaders didn't understand was, that it was a plan to destabilize the nation by forcing countries to accept this new modern culture.
The best example of this is what happened in Latin America (South / Central America) during this time. The majority of these Latin American coutries that added a central bank, had a coup d'(C)tat and was replaced with a military dictator. In my research, I noticed that the CIA had their hands in these countries being taken over. This time period includes WWI, WWII, and the creation of the League of Nations. The most surprising thing about making this thread is the lack of central banks that were created around the countries that participated in these world wars. The cabal was setting up their plan that would arise post-WWII. 27 central banks were created during this time period.
League of Nations Established - 1897 (Started issuing bank notes then but was founded in 1668) Event that caused creation - Modernization of Sweden (1860 - 1910) much like Japan at the same time Person responsible - Oscar II, King of Sweden (1872 - 1907)
Established - June 20, 1907 Event that caused creation - Modernization of Switzerland (1848 - 1914) Person responsible - Robert Comtesse, Swiss Federal Council (1899 - 1912)
Established - December 23, 1913 Event that caused creation - Panic of 1907 and the sinking of the RMS Titanic (1912) Person responsible - Nelson W. Aldrich and other members of the Jekyll Island Club met in 1910 to discuss the planning of the central bank
Sinking of the Titanic Established - 1919 Event that caused creation - End of WWI and the fall Austro-Hungarian Empire Person responsible - TomÅ Masaryk, co-founded and 1st President of Czechoslovak Republic
Established - February 24, 1919 Event that caused creation - End of WWI, the collapse of the Russian Empire and Independence of Estonia Person responsible - Konstantin P¤ts, 1st President of Estonia
Established - 1920 ( Founded in 1911 but received Central Bank powers in 1920 ) Event that caused creation - Became member of the League of Nations Person responsible - Billy Hughes
Established - June 30, 1921 Event that caused creation - WWI and the resulting financial crisis Person responsible - Sydney Buxton, 2nd Governor-General (1914 - 1920)
Established - March 9, 1922 Event that caused creation - The Legua Dictatorship Person responsible - Augusto B. Legua, 40th President of Peru (1919 - 1930)
Established - September 27, 1922 Event that caused creation - WWI and Independence from Germany Person responsible - Antanas Smetona, 1st President of Lithuania
Established - July 25, 1923 Event that caused creation - The influence of Edwin W. Kemmerer, American economist Person responsible - Pedro Nel Ospina, 11th President of Columbia
Established - June 24, 1924 Event that caused creation - Became member of the League of Nations 1922 Person responsible - Istvn Bethlen, Prime Minister of Hungary
Established - September 2, 1925 Event that caused creation - Partnership with Benito Mussolini and the Axis Powers Person responsible - Ahmet Zogo, leader of Albania from 1922 to 1939
Established - August 22, 1925 Event that caused creation - 1925 Chilean coup d'(C)tat Person responsible - Arturo Alessandri Palma, 1st President of the Republic of Chile
1925 Chilean coup d'(C)tat Established - September 1, 1925 Event that caused creation - Mexican Revolution (1910 - 1920) Person responsible - Plutarco Elas Calles, 47th President of Mexico
Established - 1926 ( started issuing banknotes ) but founded in 1893 Event that caused creation - Joined League of Nations in 1920 and Rise of Italy Fascism Person responsible - Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister of Italy (1922 -1943)
Established - August 10, 1927 Event that caused creation - 1925 Ecuadorian coup d'(C)tat Person responsible - Isidro Ayora, 22nd President of Ecuador
Established - May 14, 1928 Event that caused creation - WWI and the end of Greece Monarchy Person responsible - Pavlos Kountouriotis, 1st President of the Second Hellenic Republic
Established - July 20, 1928 Event that caused creation - 1920 Bolivian coup d'(C)tat Person responsible - Hernando Siles Reyes, 31st President of Bolivia
1920 Bolivian coup d'(C)tat Established - October 3, 1931 Event that caused creation - Turkish War of Independence (1917 - 1923) and Independence from France (1923) Person responsible - Mustafa Kemal Atat¼rk, 1st President of Turkey (1923 - 1938)
Established - 1934 Event that caused creation - The Great Depression Person responsible - George Forbes, 22nd Prime Minister of New Zealand
Established - June 19, 1934 Event that caused creation -1931 Salvadoran coup d'(C)tat Person responsible - Maximiliano Hernndez Martnez, 27th President of El Salvador
Established - July 1934 Event that caused creation - Great Depression in Canada Person responsible - Freeman Freeman-Thomas, Governor General of Canada and the 22nd Viceroy and Governor-General of India
The Great Depression Established - April 1, 1935 Event that caused creation - Great Depression in India Person responsible - Freeman Freeman-Thomas, Governor General of Canada and the 22nd Viceroy and Governor-General of India
Established - May 28, 1935 Event that caused creation - The Great Depression and Argentina's Infamous Decade, full of coup's, election fraud and corruption Person responsible - Agustn Pedro Justo
Established - 1939 Event that caused creation - Joined League of Nations in 1934 and received foreign assistance from Axis Powers. Person responsible - Mohammed Zahir Shah
Established - September 8, 1939 Event that caused creation - Discovery of oil (1929) Person responsible - Eleazar L"pez Contreras, President of Venezuela (1935 - 1941)
Venezuela oil fields Established - December 10, 1942 Event that caused creation - Military Dictatorship and Franco-Thai War (1940 - 1941) Person responsible - Plaek Phibunsongkhram, 3rd Prime Minister (1938 - 1957)
The cabal's post world wars plan took effect during this time period. The creation of the UN and the end of the British Empire was front and center in their plan. When we all think of the British Empire, we all think 'how did they lose that much power so fast?'. Well this thread answers that question: it was part of the cabal's plan. The Rothschild's were in their prime at this time and they had total control of the UK since 1800's. All the lands of the British Empire were owned by the monarchs in England and they needed another way to control these lands. They knew the best way to control a nation is to control their money supply through central banks. The UN was their cornerstone because it influenced the foreign leaders to add a central bank into their country and it fed the desire for their country to be modernized. These people were led to accept modernation and globalization within their country at the head. So when these colonial empires felt the countries were ready to be independent, they had a puppet leader to take over and set up a central bank. These leaders are responsible for the bank being created in their new country but it wasn't entirely their fault. They were brainwashed and influenced by the prior heads of state from Europe that ran the country.
85 central banks were created during this time period.
United NationsWestern colonial empires in Asia and Africa all collapsed in the years after 1945. Established - February 1, 1943 Event that caused creation - Irish Independence from the UK Person responsible - Douglas Hyde, 1st President of Ireland (1938 - 1945)
Established - April 15, 1943 Event that caused creation - Ethiopia Independence from Italy Person responsible - Makonnen Endelkachew, 1st Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Established - 1945 Event that caused creation - WWII, government in exile and became member of the UN Person responsible - WÅadysÅaw Raczkiewicz, President of Poland (1939 - 1947)
Established - July 1946 Event that caused creation - 1944 military coup and the start of the Guatemalan Revolution Person responsible - Juan Jos(C) Ar(C)valo, 1st President of Guatemala
Guatemalan Revolution Established - November 16, 1947 Event that caused creation - Anglo-Iraqi War and became member of the UN in 1945 Person responsible - Faisal II of Iraq, last King of Iraq
Established - October 9, 1947 Event that caused creation - Became member of the UN in 1945 Person responsible - Rafael Trujillo, Dominican Dictator
Established - March 1948 Event that caused creation - WWII and the destruction of Germany's political and economic infrastructure Person responsible - Theodor Heuss, 1st President of Germany
Established - July 1, 1948 Event that caused creation - Independence from UK in 1947 Person responsible - Louis Mountbatten, last viceroy of British India
Established - December 1, 1948 Event that caused creation - Chinese Civil War, Communists took over in 1949 Person responsible - Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China
Established - January 3, 1949 Event that caused creation - End of WWII and Independence from Japan / US Person responsible - Manuel Roxas, 5th President of the Philippines
Established - January 1950 Event that caused creation - Costa Rica Civil War Person responsible - Otilio Ulate Blanco, 31st President of Costa Rica
Established - June 12, 1950 Event that caused creation - Division of Korea, Korean War and became member of the UN in 1948 Person responsible - Syngman Rhee, 1st President of South Korea
Korean War Established - July 1, 1950 Event that caused creation - Became member of the UN 1945 Person responsible - Juan Manuel Glvez, 39th President of Honduras
Established - August 28, 1950 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK in 1948 Person responsible - Herwald Ramsbotham, Governor-General (1949 - 1954)
Established - May 6, 1951 Event that caused creation - August Revolution (1945) and Independence from France (1945) Person responsible - Ho Chi Minh, 1st President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1945 - 1969)
August Revolution Established - March 25, 1952 Event that caused creation - Paraguay's transition to dictatorship, which involved many revolutions and coup d'(C)tats Person responsible - Higinio Mornigo, 35th President (1940 - 1948)
Established - October 4, 1952 Event that caused creation - Between 1939 and 1953, oil revenues from Saudi Arabia increased from $7 million to over $200 million, and the kingdom began to be entirely dependent on oil income. Saudi Arabia also became member of the UN in 1945. Person responsible - Ibn Saud, King of Saudi Arabia (1932 - 1953)
Established - July 1, 1953 Event that caused creation - Indonesia Independence from Japan after WWII Person responsible - Sukarno, 1st President of Indonesia
Established - August 24, 1954 Event that caused creation - Creation of Israel and Independence from UK controlled Palestine in 1948 Person responsible - Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, 2nd President of Israel
The day Israel became a nation Established - December 23, 1954 Event that caused creation - Independence from France Person responsible - Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia (1941 - 1955)
Established - April 26, 1956 Event that caused creation - 1951 Nepalese Revolution and became member of the UN in 1955 Person responsible - Matrika Prasad Koirala, 1st President of the Nepali Congress (1950 - 1955)
Established - 1957 Event that caused creation - Ghana Independence from UK Person responsible - Kwame Nkrumah, 1st President of Ghana
Established - April 1, 1957 Event that caused creation - Gained self-government, while the Netherlands retained control of defence and foreign affairs (1954) Person responsible - Johan Ferrier, Prime Minister (1955 - 1958)
Established - December 1958 Event that caused creation - Independence from France (1956) and became a member of the UN (1956) Person responsible - Habib Bourguiba, 1st President of Tunisia (1956 - 1987)
Tunisia Independence Established - 1959 Event that caused creation - Independence from France in 1956 Person responsible - Abdallah Ibrahim, 3rd Prime Minister of Morocco (1958 - 1960)
Established - January 26, 1959 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK and became member of the UN in 1957 Person responsible - Tunku Abdul Rahman, 1st Prime Minister of Malaysia (1957 - 1970)
Established - July 1, 1959 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK and became member of the UN Person responsible - James Wilson Robertson, 2nd Governor-General of Nigeria
Established - 1960 Event that caused creation - Became member of the UN (1956), First Sudanese Civil War (1956 - 1969) and Independence from the UK (1958) Person responsible - Ibrahim Abboud, 1st President of Sudan (1958 - 1964)
First Sudanese Civil War Established - August 9, 1960 Event that caused creation - 1953 Iranian coup d'(C)tat organized by the CIA Person responsible - Manouchehr Eghbal, 37th Prime Minister of Iran
Established - January 1, 1961 Event that caused creation - Somoza family dictatorship Person responsible - Luis Somoza Debayle, 26th President of Nicaragua (1956 - 1963)
Established - January 1961 Event that caused creation - The 1952 coup that overthrew the Egyptian monarchy and established the modern Republic of Egypt Person responsible - Gamal Abdel Nasser, 2nd President of Egypt
The 1952 Egyptian Coup Established - April 7, 1961 Event that caused creation - Cod Wars Person responsible - sgeir sgeirsson, 2nd President of Iceland and Grand Master of the Icelandic Order of Freemasons
Established - May 1, 1961 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK Person responsible - Kenneth Blackburne, 1st Governor-General of Jamaica
Established - 1962 Event that caused creation - Algerian War and becoming 109th member of the UN Person responsible - Ahmed Ben Bella, leader of the FLN
Algerian War Established - May 12, 1962 Included countries - Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo Event that caused creation - Independence from Belgium, France or UK Person responsible - Houari Boum(C)di¨ne, leader of the FLN
Established - March 27, 1963 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK and became member of the UN in 1961 Person responsible - Maurice Henry Dorman, Governor-General (1956-1962)
Established - August 1, 1963 Event that caused creation - 1958 Lebanon Crisis Person responsible - Fouad Chehab, President of Lebanon (1958 - 1964)
Established - December 14, 1963 Event that caused creation - Cyprus Independence from UK Person responsible - Markarios III, 1st President of Cyprus
Established - 1964 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK (1964) and became member of the UN (1964) Person responsible - Kenneth Kaunda, 1st President of Zambia (1964 - 1991)
Established - 1964 Event that caused creation - Rwanda Revolution (1959 - 1961), Independence from Belgium and became a member of the UN in 1962 Person responsible - Gr(C)goire Kayibanda, 1st President of Rwanda (1962 - 1973)
Rwanda Revolution Established - July 23, 1964 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK Person responsible - Glyn Jones, Governor-General of Malawi (1964 - 1966)
Established - October 1, 1964 Event that caused creation - 1958 Iraqi coup d'(C)tat and Independence from the UK Person responsible - Hussein of Jordan, King of Jordan (1952 - 1999)
Established - December 12, 1964 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK and became member of the UN (1962) Person responsible - Solomon Hochoy, 1st Governor-General (1960 - 1972)
Established - December 31, 1964 Event that caused creation - 1964 Brazilian coup d'(C)tat Person responsible - Castelo Branco, 1st President of the Brazilian military dictatorship
1964 Brazilian coup d'(C)tat Established - October 15, 1965 Event that caused creation - Guyana Independence from UK Person responsible - Forbes Burnham, 1st Prime Minister
Established - 1966 Event that caused creation - Became member of the UN (1961) and Independence from the UK (1964) Person responsible - Julius Nyerere, 1st President of Tanzania (1964 - 1985)
Established - 1966 Event that caused creation - Became member of the UN (1962) and Independence from the UK (1963) Person responsible - Mutesa II, 1st President of Uganda (1963 - 1966)
Established - 1966 Event that caused creation - Became member of the UN (1963) and Independence from the UK (1964) Person responsible - Jomo Kenyatta, 1st President of Kenya (1964 - 1978)
Kenya Independence Established - April 1967 Event that caused creation - Independence from Belgium and 1965 Burundian coup d'(C)tat attempt Person responsible - Michel Micombero, 1st President and military dictator of Burundi
Established - July 6, 1967 Event that caused creation - Constitution of Uruguay of 1967, which ended the colegiado ( when Uruguay was ruled by a group of people instead of one person ) Person responsible - 'scar Diego Gestido, 1st President post-colegiado
Established - September 1967 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK Person responsible - John Shaw Rennie, Governor of Mauritius (1962 - 1968) who oversaw Mauritius' transition to independence
Established - April 17, 1968 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK and became member of the UN in 1964 Person responsible - Maurice Henry Dorman, Governor-General of Malta (1964 - 1971)
Established - June 30, 1968 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK in 1963 Person responsible - Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait (1977 - 2006)
Kuwait Independence Established - 1969 Event that caused creation - Bermuda gained a constitution but stayed territory Person responsible - Henry Tucker, 1st government leader of Bermuda
Established - 1971 Event that caused creation - North Yemen Civil War (1962 - 1970) and Independence from the UK (1967) Person responsible - Abdul Rahman al-Eryani, President of the Yemen Arab Republic (1963 - 1974)
Established - January 1, 1971 Event that caused creation - Independence from Malaysia and became of a member of the UN in 1965 Person responsible - Yusof Ishak, 1st President of Singapore (1965-1970)
Established - March 1971 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK Person responsible - Dawda Jawara, 1st President of the Gambia
Established - November 1971 ( changed name from Bank of Libya to Central Bank of Libya ) Event that caused creation - 1969 Libyan coup d'(C)tat Person responsible - Muammar Gaddafi, de facto leader of Libya (1969 - 2011)
1969 Libyan coup d'(C)tat Established - December 16, 1971 Event that caused creation - Bangladesh Liberation War Person responsible - Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Established - May 2, 1972 Event that caused creation - Barbados Independence from UK Person responsible - Arleigh Winston Scott
Established - November 1972 Included countries - Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo Event that caused creation - Independence from France and Belgium and all countries became members of the UN in 1960, Year of Africa Person responsible - Ahmed Ben Bella, leader of the FLN
Established - 1973 Event that caused creation - Independence from Australia in 1975 Person responsible - Michael Somare, 1st Prime Minister (1975 - 1982)
Established - 1973 Event that caused creation - Bahrain Independence from UK, UN Security Council Resolution 278 Person responsible - Isa bin Salaman Al Khalifa
Bahrain Independence Established - May 13, 1973 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK and became member of the UN in 1971 Person responsible - Ahmad bin Ali Al Thani, Emir of Qatar (1960 - 1972)
Established - June 12, 1973 Event that caused creation - Independence from France Person responsible - Gabriel Ramanantsoa, 2nd President of Madagascar
Established - April 1, 1974 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK and became member of the UN (1968) Person responsible - Sobhuza II, Ngwenyama (1899 - 1982)
Established - June 1, 1974 Event that caused creation - Bahama Independence from UK Person responsible - Lynden Pindling
Established - December 1974 Event that caused creation - 1970 Omani coup d'(C)tat and became member of the UN in 1971 Person responsible - Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman (1970 - 2020) purportedly informed British commanders of his intent to overthrow his father.
Established - May 17, 1975 Event that caused creation - Portuguese Colonial War (1961 - 1974) and Independence from Portugal in 1975 Person responsible - Samora Machel, 1st President of Mozambique (1975 - 1986)
Portuguese Colonial War Established - July 1, 1975 Event that caused creation - Independence from UK in 1966 and then withdrew from the RMA in 1974 Person responsible - Seretse Khama, 1st President of Botswana
Established - August 17, 1979 Event that caused creation - The Duvalier Dynasty Dictatorship Person responsible - Jean-Claude Duvalier, 35th President of Haiti
Established - 1980 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK (1980) and became member of the UN (1980) Person responsible - Canaan Banana, 1st President of Zimbabwe (1980 - 1987)
Established - January 2, 1980 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK 1966 Person responsible - Leabua Jonathan, 2nd Prime Minister of Lesotho (1965 - 1986)
Established - December 11, 1980 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK (1971) and became member of the UN (1971) Person responsible - Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, 1st President of the UAE (1971 - 2004)
UAE Independence Established - 1981 Event that caused creation - The Comoros Independence from France, 1974 Person responsible - Ahmed Abdallah, 1st President of the Comoros
Established - January 1, 1982 Event that caused creation - Belize Independence from UK Person responsible - Elmira Gordon, 1st governor general of Belize
Established - January 1, 1981 Event that caused creation - Coconut War (1980) and Independence from France (1980) Person responsible - Ati George Sokomanu, 1st President of Vanuatu (1980 - 1989)
Established - 1982 Event that caused creation - Joined UN in 1971 Person responsible - Jigme Dorji Wangchuck
Established - January 1, 1983 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK and became member of the UN in 1976 Person responsible - James Mancham, 1st President of Seychelles (1970 - 1977)
Established - February 1983 Event that caused creation - Independence from the UK and became member of the UN in 1978 Person responsible - Peter Kenilorea, Prime Minister (1978 - 1986)
Established - October 1983 Included countries - Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Monsterrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinque Event that caused creation - The islands Independence from UK Person responsible - John Compton, 1st Prime Minister of Saint Lucia
Queen of England of Easter Caribbean bank note Established - 1984 Event that caused creation - Fiji Independence from UK and became member of UN Person responsible - Penaia Ganilau, 1st President of Fiji
Established - 1984 Event that caused creation - Independence from New Zealand in 1962 and became member of the UN in 1976 Person responsible - Malietoa Tanumafili II, O le Ao o le Malo of Samoa (1962 - 2007)
Established - January 1, 1986 Event that caused creation - Aruba Independence from Netherlands Person responsible - Henny Eman, 1st Prime Minister of Aruba
Established - July 1, 1989 Event that caused creation - Joined Commonwealth of Nations (1970) Person responsible - Fatafehi Tu'ipelehake, 11th Prime Minister (1965 - 1991)
Established - July 9, 1990 Event that caused creation - Tripartite Accord and Independence from South Africa Person responsible - Sam Nujoma, 1st President of Namibia
In this time period, the cabal had massive world power with the establishment of their central banks but how does the dissolution of the Soviet Union fit into all of this. Ready to have your mind blown? The Cold War's sole purpose was to force nations to become independent from their colonial empires. The US government supported anti-communist and right-wing governments and uprisings across the world, while the Soviet government funded left-wing parties and revolutions around the world. As nearly all the colonial states achieved independence in the period from 1945-1960. The Cold War was never about which superpower was greater, it was a cover up for the cabal to go into colonies, set up governments and establish central banks. After the cabal created central banks in these colonies, the Soviet Union's purpose was met. The Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian government and executed the Romanov family during WWI and the plan ended with the Dissolution of the Soviet Union. Most of the countries that added central banks in this timeline were all part of the Soviet Union and were near Europe. Cabal headquarters are in Europe and this last phase of the plan would strenghen Europe as a whole. The European Union was formally established in 1992, right after the breakup of the Soviet Union. The European Central Bank represents the Euro and all the countries that are apart of it, print Euros from their own central banks.
24 central banks were created during this time period.
End of the Soviet Union Established - December 21, 1990 Event that caused creation - Croata Independence from Communist Yugoslavia Person responsible - Franjo TuÄman, 1st President of Croatia
Established - 1991 Event that caused creation - Independence from the Soviet Union Person responsible - Askar Akayev, 1st President of Kyrgyzstan
Established - 1991 Event that caused creation - Independence from the Soviet Union Person responsible - Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat, 1st President of Mongolia ( 1990 - 1997 )
Established - 1991 Event that caused creation - 1990 Dushanbe riots and Independence from the Soviet Union Person responsible - Qahhor Mahkamov, 1st President of Tajikistan (1990 - 1991)
Established - 1991 Event that caused creation - Independence from the Soviet Union (1991) Person responsible - Leonid Kravchuk, 1st President of Ukraine (1991 - 1994)
Ukraine Independence Established - June 4, 1991 Event that caused creation - Independence from the Soviet Union Person responsible - Mircea Snegur, 1st President of Moldova (1990 - 1997)
Established - June 25, 1991 Event that caused creation - The Ten-Day War and the Independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 Person responsible - Milan KuÄan, 1st President of Slovenia (1986 - 2002)
Established - October 1991 Event that caused creation - Georgian Independence from Soviet Union Person responsible - Zviad Gamsakhurdia, 1st President of Georgia
Established - December 1991 Event that caused creation - Armenia Independence from Soviet Union Person responsible - Levon Ter-Petrosyan
Armenia Independence Established - 1992 Event that caused creation - Belarus Independence from USSR Person responsible - Stanislav Shushkevich, 1st Head of State of Belarus
Established - February 12, 1992 Event that caused creation - Azerbaijan Independence from Soviet Union Person responsible - Ayaz Mutallibov, 1st President of Azerbaijan
Established - March 4, 1992 Event that caused creation - Independence from USSR Person responsible - Anatolijs Gorbunovs, Head of State (1991 - 1993)
Established - April 26, 1992 Event that caused creation - Independence from the former Republic of Yugoslavia Person responsible - Kiro Gligorov, 1st President of Macedonia
North Macedonia Independence Established - January 1, 1993 Event that caused creation - Independence from Czechoslovakia and became a member of the UN in 1993 Person responsible - Michal KovÄ, 1st President of Slovakia (1993-1998)
Established - April 1, 1993 Event that caused creation - Sino-British Joint Declaration and preparation for the ''one country, two systems'' governance after UK rule in 1997 Person responsible - Chris Patten, last Governor of Hong Kong
Established - April 13, 1993 Event that caused creation - Independence from the Soviet Union Person responsible - Nursultan Nazarbayev, 1st President of Kazakhstan (1991 - 2019)
Kazakhstan Independence Established - 1997 Event that caused creation - Contacts between Cubans and foreign visitors were made legal in 1997 Person responsible - Fidel Castro
Established - January 1, 1997 Event that caused creation - Government changes and the addition of Premier of the Cayman Islands Person responsible - Truman Bodden, 2nd Premier of the Cayman Islands
Established - June 20, 1997 Event that caused creation - Dissolution of the USSR leading into Bosnian War Person responsible - Alija IzetbegoviÄ, 1st President of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Established - June 1, 1998 Event that caused creation - Maastricht Treaty , the treaty of the European Union Person responsible - Wim Duisenberg, 1st president of the European Central Bank
Established - June 1, 1998 Event that caused creation - Maastricht Treaty , the treaty of the European Union Person responsible - Jean-Claude Juncker, 21st Prime Minister of Luxembourg ( 1995 - 2013 )
Established - December 20, 1999 Event that caused creation - Independence from Portugal to join China through the ''one country, two systems'' formula Person responsible - Edmund Ho, 1st Chief Executive of Macau
Established - March 15, 2001 Event that caused creation - Dissolution of the USSR leading into Bosnian and Croatian Wars Person responsible - Milo ÄukanoviÄ, 2nd President of Montenegro
Croatian Wars Established - 2005 Event that caused creation - Became member of the UN in 1992 Person responsible - Claudio Muccioli, captain-regent of San Marino in 2005
The patterns that arose from creating this thread shocked me to the core multiple times but answered many questions I had about the 20th century:
The British Empire never lost power, they replaced their colonies with a self-sufficient government and a central bank to control the lives of every citizen.
The chase towards modernization destroyed the cultures of many countries who adopted the UN / central bank policy.
The Cold War was never about the US vs Soviet Union, it was about the cabal establishing central banks.
Many countries around the world are celebrating Independence days but really these days represent the cabal taking control of their countries.
Everything in this thread can be found on Wikipedia . Feel free to double check my work on other websites but the information on this thread is all factual. Creating this thread required a lot of research. For source purposes this was the method I used:
Search Central bank and find the date it was established.
Search the history of the country that the central bank is located in, go to the time period the central bank was established and look for major events that happened right before the creation of the bank.
Search for the leader of the country at the time and determine if they were responsible for the bank entering their country. If not look for the major influencers.
Thank you for reading this thread. This is the most research and work I've put into a thread to date. It was incredible the patterns that arose while researching more and more central banks. I really want this thread to be used for future research so we can uncover even more truth about our past. Hope you enjoyed it! ð
RNA for Moderna's Omicron Booster Manufactured by CIA-Linked Company
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 14:27
Earlier this week, the United Kingdom became the first country to approve Moderna's reformulated version of its COVID-19 vaccine, which claims to provide protection against both the original form of the virus and the significantly less lethal but more transmissible Omicron variant. The product was approved by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) with the support of the UK government's Commission on Human Medicines.
Described by UK officials as a ''sharpened tool'' in the nation's continued vaccination campaign, the reformulated vaccine combines the previously approved COVID-19 vaccine with a ''vaccine candidate'' targeting the Omicron variant BA.1. That vaccine candidate has never been previously approved and has not been the subject of independent study. The MHRA approved the vaccine based on a single, incomplete human trial currently being conducted by Moderna. The company promoted incomplete data from that trial in company press releases in June and July. The study has yet to be published in a medical journal or peer reviewed. No concerns have been raised by any regulatory agency, including the MHRA, regarding Moderna's past history of engaging in suspect and likely illegal activity in past product trials, including for its original COVID-19 vaccine.
The approval comes shortly before several Western countries, including the UK, plan to conduct a massive COVID-19 booster vaccination campaign this fall. Moderna has also noted that approval for its Omicron booster vaccine are pending in the US, EU, Australia and Canada '' all of which are also planning fall vaccination campaigns focused on COVID-19. The company's CEO, St(C)phane Bancel, has called the reformulated vaccine ''our lead candidate for a Fall 2022 booster.''
However, unlike the company's original COVID-19 vaccine, the genetic material, or messenger RNA (mRNA), for this new vaccine, including the newly formulated genetic material meant to provide protection against the Omicron variant, is being manufactured, not by Moderna, but by a relatively new company that has received hardly any media attention, despite its overt links to US intelligence. Last September, it was quietly announced that a company called National Resilience (often referred to simply as Resilience) would begin manufacturing the mRNA for Moderna COVID-19 vaccine products. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, ''Resilience will produce mRNA for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at its facility in Mississauga, Ontario, for distribution worldwide.''
''Reinventing Biomanufacturing''National Resilience was founded relatively recently, in November 2020, and describes itself as ''a manufacturing and technology company dedicated to broadening access to complex medicines and protecting biopharmaceutical supply chains against disruption.'' It has since been building ''a sustainable network of high-tech, end-to-end manufacturing solutions with the aim to ensure the medicines of today and tomorrow can be made quickly, safely, and at scale.'' It furtherplans to ''reinvent biomanufacturing'' and ''democratize access to medicines,'' namely gene therapies, experimental vaccines and other ''medicines of tomorrow.''
In pursuit of those goals, the company announced it would ''actively invest in developing powerful new technologies to manufacture complex medicines that are defining the future of therapeutics, including cell and gene therapies, viral vectors, vaccines, and proteins.'' It was founded with the reported intention ''to build a better system for manufacturing complex medicines to fight deadly diseases'' as a way to improve post-COVID ''pandemic preparedness.''
The company initially marketed its manufacturing capabilities as ''the Resilience platform'', and offers principally ''RNA Modalities'', including RNA development for vaccines, gene editing and therapeutics; and ''Virus Production'', including viral vectors, oncolytic viruses (i.e. a virus engineered to preferentially attack cancer cells), viruses for use in vaccine development and gene-edited viruses for unspecified purposes. It is worth noting that, to date, many controversial ''gain-of-function'' experiments have justified modifying viruses for the same purposes as described by National Resilience's Virus Production capabilities. In addition, National Resilience offers product formulations and other modalities, such as biologics and cell therapies, to its clientele and the ''Virus Production'' of its website has since been removed.
Resilience CEO Rahul Singhvi, Source: ResilienceNational Resilience, being such a young company, has very few clients and there is little publicly available information on its manufacturing capabilities aside from the company's website. The firm only acquired its first commercial manufacturing plant in March 2021, located in Boston, MA and purchased from Sanofi, followed shortly thereafter by the acquisition of another separate plant located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Makeovers were announced for the plants, but little is publicly known about their progress. Prior to the acquisitions, the company had been subleasing a Bay area facility in Fremont, California. Reporters were puzzled at the time as to why a company with roughly 700 employees at the time had acquired a total of 599,00 square feet of manufacturing space after having only emerged from stealth less than 6 months prior.
In April 2021, National Resilience acquired Ology Bioservices Inc., which had received a $37 million contract from the US military the previous November to develop an advanced anti-COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment. This acquisition also provided National Resilience with its first Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory and the ability to manufacture cell and gene therapies, live viral vaccines and vectors and oncolytic viruses.
Despite being in the earliest stages of developing its ''revolutionary'' manufacturing capabilities, National Resilience entered into a partnership with the Government of Canada in July of last year. Per that agreement, the Canadian government plans to invest CAD 199.2 million (about $154.9 million) into National Resilience's Ontario-based subsidiary, Resilience Biotechnologies Inc. Most of those funds are destined for use in expanding the Ontario facility that Resilience acquired last March and which is now manufacturing the mRNA for Moderna's COVID-19 products. Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Fran§ois-Philippe Champagne, asserted at the time that the investment would ''build future pandemic preparedness'' and help ''to grow Canada's life science ecosystem as an engine for our economic recovery.'' More recently, in 2022, the company has announced a few new clients '' Takeda, Opus Genetics and the US Department of Defense.
According to National Resilience's executives, the company's ambitions apparently go far beyond manufacturing RNA and viruses. For instance, Resilience CEO Rahul Singhvi has claimed that the company is seeking to build ''the world's most advanced biopharmaceutical manufacturing ecosystem.'' Yet, Singhvi has declined to offer much in the way of specifics when it comes to exactly how the company plans to become the planet's most elite biomanufacturing company.
In an interview with The San Francisco Business Times, Singhvi states that Resilience is looking to fill its massive manufacturing plants with ''technologies and people that can set and apply new standards for manufacturing cell therapies and gene therapies as well as RNA-based treatments.'' Prior to Resilience, Singhvi was CEO of NovaVax and an operating partner at Flagship Pioneering, which played a major role in the creation and rise of Moderna.
Singhvi has further insisted that National Resilience is ''not a therapeutics company, not a contractor and not a tools company'' and instead aims ''to boost production using the new therapeutic modalities'' such as RNA-based treatments, which have become normalized in the COVID-19 era. Whereas contract manufacturers ''are like kitchens, with pots and pans ready for any recipe,'' ''what we're trying to do is fix the recipes,'' Singhvi has explained. One member of Resilience's board of directors, former FDA Commissioner and Pfizer Board member Scott Gottlieb, has described the company as seeking to act as the equivalent of Amazon Web Services for the biotechnology industry.
Essentially, Resilience bills itself as offering solutions that will allow ''futuristic'' medicines, including mRNA vaccines, to be produced more quickly and more efficiently, with the apparent goal of monopolizing certain parts of the biomanufacturing process. It also appears poised to become the manufacturer of choice for mRNA vaccines and experimental therapeutics in the event of a future pandemic, which some public health ''philanthropists'' like Bill Gates have said is imminent.
Perhaps the company's most noteworthy ambition relates to their claims that they support clients through the government regulatory process. Given the company's emphasis on speedy mass production of experimental gene therapies, its stated intention of getting the ''futuristic'' medical products it manufactures to market as quickly as possible seems at odds with the slower, traditional regulatory processes. Indeed, one could easily argue that the approvals of mRNA vaccines for the first time in human history during the COVID-19 crisis were only possible because of the major relaxing of regulatory procedurse and safety testing due to the perceived urgency of the situation.
Resilience seems intent on seeing that phenomenon repeat itself. As previously mentioned, the company claims to allow for the setting and application of ''new standards for manufacturing cell therapies and gene therapies'' and also says it plans to become a ''technology-aggregating standards bearer that helps therapies come to market more efficiently.'' It previously offered on its website ''regulatory support'' and ''strategy consulting'' to clients, suggesting that it would seek to mediate between clients and government regulators in order to fulfill its goal of having the products it manufactures taken to market more quickly. In addition, upon launch, the company claimed it planned to obtain unspecified ''regulatory capabilities.'' If so, it is certainly notable that former top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials are either on the company's board or, as will be noted shortly, played a major role in the company's creation.
The People Behind ResilienceResilience was co-founded by Biotech venture capitalist Robert Nelsen, who is known for listening ''to science's earliest whispers, even when data are too early for just about anyone else.'' Nelsen was one of the earliest investors in Illumina, a California-based gene-sequencing hardware and software giant that is believed to currently dominate the field of genomics. As mentioned in a previous Unlimited Hangout investigation, Illumina is closely tied to the DARPA-equivalent of the Wellcome Trust known as Wellcome Leap, which is also focused on ''futuristic'' and transhumanist ''medicines.'' Nelsen is now chairman of National Resilience's board, which is a ''Who's Who'' of big players from the US National Security State, Big Pharma and Pharma-related ''philanthropy.''
Bob Nelsen of ARCH Venture Partners, Source: ARCH Venture PartnersHowever, while Nelsen has been given much of the credit for creating Resilience, he revealed in one interview that the idea for the company had actually come from someone else '' Luciana Borio. In July of last year, Nelsen revealed that it was while talking to Borio about ''her work running pandemic preparedness on the NSC [National Security Council]'' that had ''helped lead to the launch of Nelsen's $800 million biologics manufacturing startup Resilience.''
At the time of their conversation, Borio was the vice president of In-Q-tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA that has been used since its creation in the early 2000s to found a number of companies, many of which act as Agency fronts. Prior to In-Q-Tel, she served as director for medical and biodefense preparedness at the National Security Council during the Trump administration and had previously been the acting chief scientist at the FDA from 2015 to 2017.
Borio is currently a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, a consultant to Goldman Sachs, a member of the Bill Gates-funded vaccine alliance CEPI, and a partner at Nelsen's venture capital firm ARCH Venture Partners, which funds Resilience. Nelsen's ARCH previously funded Nanosys, the company of the controversial scientist Charles Lieber. Around the time of her conversation with Nelsen that led to Resilience's creation, Borio was co-writing a policy paper for the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security that recommended linking COVID-19 vaccination status with food stamp programs and rent assistance as a possible means of coercing certain populations to take the experimental vaccine.
Borio is hardly Resilience's only In-Q-Tel connection, as the CEO of In-Q-Tel, Chris Darby, sits on the company's board of directors. Darby is also on the board of directors of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation. Darby was also recently a member of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), where members of the military, intelligence community and Silicon Valley's top firms argued for the need to reduce the use of ''legacy systems'' in favor of AI-focused alternatives as a national security imperative. Among those ''legacy systems'' identified by the NSCAI were in-person doctor visits and even receiving medical care from a human doctor, as opposed to an AI ''doctor.'' The NSCAI also argued for the removal of ''regulatory barriers'' that prevent these new technologies from replacing ''legacy systems.''
Resilience Board Member Drew Oetting, Source: 8VCAnother notable board member, in discussing Resilience's intelligence ties, is Drew Oetting. Oetting works for Cerberus Capital Management, the firm headed by Steve Feinberg who previously led the President's Intelligence Advisory Board under the Trump administration. Cerberus is notably the parent company of DynCorp, a controversial US national security contractor tied to numerous scandals, including scandals related to sex trafficking in conflict zones. Oetting is also part of the CIA-linked Thorn NGO ostensibly focused on tackling child trafficking that was the subject of a previous Unlimited Hangout investigation.
Oetting is also the co-founder of 8VC, a venture capital firm that is one of the main investors in Resilience. 8VC's other co-founder is Joe Lonsdale and Oetting ''started his career'' as Lonsdale's chief of staff. Lonsdale is the co-founder, alongside Peter Thiel and Alex Karp, of Palantir, a CIA front company and intelligence contractor that is the successor to DARPA's controversial Total Information Awareness (TIA) mass surveillance and data-mining program. In addition, Oetting previously worked for Bill Gates' investment fund.
Also worth noting is the presence of Joseph Robert Kerrey, former US Senator for Nebraska and a former member of the conflict-of-interest-ridden 9/11 Commission, on Resilience's board. Kerrey is currently managing director of Allen & Co., a New York investment banking firm which has hosted an annual ''summer camp for billionaires'' since 1983. Allen & Co. has long been a major player in networks where organized crime and intelligence intersect, and is mentioned repeatedly throughout my upcoming book One Nation Under Blackmail. For instance, Charles and Herbert Allen, who ran the firm for decades, had considerable business dealings with organized crime kingpins and frontmen for notorious gangsters like Meyer Lansky, particularly in the Bahamas. They were also business partners of Leslie Wexner's mentors A. Alfred Taubman and Max Fisher as well as associates of Earl Brian, one of the architects of the PROMIS software scandal '' which saw organized crime and intelligence networks cooperate to steal and then compromise the PROMIS software for blackmail and clandestine intelligence-gathering purposes. Allen & Co. was a major investor in Brian's business interests in the technology industry that Brian used in attempts to bankrupt the developers of PROMIS, Inslaw Inc. and to market versions of PROMIS that had been compromised first by Israeli intelligence and, later, the CIA.
In addition to these intelligence-linked individuals, the rest of Resilience's board includes the former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Desmond-Hellmann; former FDA Commissioner and Pfizer board member, Scott Gottlieb; two former executives at Johnson & Johnson; former president and CEO of Teva Pharmaceuticals North American branch, George Barrett; CalTech professor and board member of Alphabet (i.e. Google) and Illumina, Frances Arnold; former executive at Genentech and Merck, Patrick Yang; and Resilience CEO Rahul Singhvi.
To Boost or Not to BoostIt is certainly telling that the normally publicity hungry Moderna has said so little about its partnership with Resilience and that Resilience, despite its ambitious plans, has also avoided the media limelight. Considering Moderna's history and Resilience's connections, there may be more to this partnership that meets the eye and concerned members of the public would do well to keep a very close eye on Resilience, its partnerships, and the products it is manufacturing.
Given that we now live in a world where government regulatory decisions on the approval of medicines are increasingly influenced by corporate press releases and normal regulatory procedures have fallen by the wayside for being too ''slow,'' there is likely to be little scrutiny of the genetic material that Resilience produces for the ''medicines of tomorrow.'' This seems to be already true for Moderna's recently retooled COVID-19 vaccine, as there has been no independent examination of the new genetic sequence of mRNA used in the Omicron-specific vaccine candidate or its effects on the human body in the short, medium or long term. For those who are skeptical of the outsized role that intelligence-linked companies are playing in the attempted technological ''revolution'' in the medical field, it is best to consider Resilience's role in the upcoming fall vaccination campaign and in future pandemic and public health scenarios before trying its ''futuristic'' products.
Nationalist unit executes 100 fellow Ukrainian troops '' Russian MoD '-- RT Russia & Former Soviet Union
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 14:03
Moscow says the execution of soldiers who abandoned their positions was meant to intimidate other Ukrainian fighters
Some 100 Ukrainian soldiers have been executed by nationalist fighters from the ''Kraken'' regiment for abandoning their positions, Russia's Ministry of Defense claimed in a daily briefing on Friday.
After Russian forces carried out an assault on Ukraine's 58th motorized infantry brigade on August 14 near the settlement of Udy in the Kharkov region, the remnants of the formation fled their positions and retreated, ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.
In order to ''suppress panic and intimidate the personnel of the Armed forces of Ukraine,'' fighters from the neo-Nazi ''Kraken'' regiment ''demonstratively executed 100 servicemen of the 58th motorized infantry brigade who abandoned their positions'' near Udy, the official said.
The ''Kraken'' regiment describes itself as a special reconnaissance and sabotage unit under the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, operating separately from the Armed Forces. Moscow considers it to be an offshoot of the notorious neo-Nazi ''Azov'' regiment which suffered a crushing defeat in the city of Mariupol back in May.
Russia's Defense Ministry has accused the battalion of committing several war crimes since the beginning of the conflict, and believes it to be responsible for brutally mistreating Russian POWs.
While there is no information on how many fighters the ''Kraken'' regiment has, some estimates suggest it is about 1,800 soldiers strong, most of whom are Azov veterans and volunteers. Over the course of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, the Ministry of Defense has regularly reported the elimination of hundreds of fighters from the ''Kraken'' regiment as well as from other nationalist divisions.
In its Friday update, Russia's MoD reported destroying temporary deployment points of the ''Azov'' and ''Aidar'' formations near the city of Soledar in the Donetsk People's Republic, and claimed to have eliminated over 50 neo-Nazi fighters as well as 12 units of military equipment.
Where's the cure for the infodemic? Our World Vs Virus podcast | World Economic Forum
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 13:50
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Too Punk for Rock and Roll 'º American Greatness
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 13:46
Recently, a minor-selling but extremely important rock and roll relic was unearthed. ''Demo 83,'' a 1983 recording by the German punk band Rosa Beton, was reissued. ''Demo 83'' is part of the series ''GDR Undergroundtapes 1980-1990'' by the German label tapetopia .
These are reissues of punk rock records made in East Germany under communism. Hearing the music now, in an America where an out-of-control deep state harasses, intimidates and sets up dissidents, and where academia and the government encourage racism, and where the popular culture is empty and uninspired, I wondered where all the defiant, freedom-loving, and anti-war punk bands are now.
Then it hit me: abrasive, anti-war, and over-the-top Donald Trump is probably our last punk rocker.
Leftist bands like Rage Against the Machine, which echo the liberal company line, charge huge ticket prices for their concerts, and don't make a peep when the American Stasi raids the president's home, have become, in the words of journalist Salena Zito, ''the musical equivalent of the swamp.''
It's true. When I was in college in the 1980s bands like the Replacements, the Dead Kennedys, and the Clash revolted against racism, economic inequality, war, and the intrusive arm of the state. Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra was particularly angry and articulate about being spied on by government agents. Biafra was arrested, and in 1987 faced off against the people who wanted to shut him down'-- most notably, Tipper Gore.
The punks at the time who were really up against it were the ones in Germany. In Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall , Tim Mohr explores how the postwar German Stasi harassed, monitored and beat punk rockers. Between 1981 and 1985 one of the most popular bands behind the Iron Curtain was Wutanfall (''Tantrum''), a Leipzig six-piece who, Mohr writes, ''represented a loose but dedicated opposition to the state.''
The leader of Wutanfall was a frontman calling himself Chaos. Chaos was interrogated every week by the Stasi, whose harassment and beatings became so severe that Chaos ultimately gave up. ''I'm not doing anything!'' he once told his parents, who advised him to abandon music. ''I just play music and spike my hair up with shaving cream, OK? I just want to have my own brand of fun, that's all. That's no reason for them to beat me half to death!''
In the end, it was too much and Wutanfall collapsed. ''It had always been so fun,'' Mohr eulogizes, ''the little gang of punks against the idiot overlords. All the difficulties had just brought them closer together. But now he felt overwhelmed. Beaten down. The Stasi's strategy of degradation had worked.''
The best punk rock of the 1970s and 1980s was about questioning liberalism as much as any socialist vision of ''social justice.'' In a piece in the Washington Examiner , Daniel Wattenberg, who had been part of the New York punk scene in the 1970s, describes it well :
New York punks were unapologetic about their comfortable suburban origins, playful and irreverent in tone, and pretty affirmative about modern American life. Indeed, in many ways, New York punk represented a first skirmish within American popular culture with the then-gathering forces of political correctness.
He goes on:
A small but very influential segment of the punk community . . . explicitly rejected at one time or another just about every one of the reverse pieties then associated with the Left: anti-commercialism, anti-Americanism, reverse racism, you name it. This was coupled with an assault on the stale residue of the sixties counterculture, the whole sleepy, slit-eyed, vegetative, sexually, intellectually, and emotionally subdued, value-neutral, tie-dyed, and forever-fried cannabis cult that worked its way through suburban basements and college dorm rooms in the seventies.
This was true of the scene when I was a college student in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s. My friends and I were punk fans, and a lot of it had to do with the ability of the bands to question not only Reagan's America, but Manhattan and Hollywood's as well. My favorite band, the Replacements, ridiculed androgyny and blasted corporate MTV as fake and boring . The Dead Kennedys, sneered at rich clueless liberals in '' Hop with the Jet Set '':
We'll save the whales We'll watch them feed, Buzz around them in boats 'Til they won't breed Just here for the ride Then we hop with the jet set tonight
Johnny Ramone of the Ramones once said: ''People drift towards liberalism at a young age, and I always hope they change when they see how the world really is.'' Ian Curtis, the singer of the seminal band Joy Division, voted for Margaret Thatcher in 1979. Tony Hadle, the lead singer for Spandau Ballet, also supported Margaret Thatcher and has remained true to what he calls his politics of ''one nation conservatism.''
David Bowie and other rock stars befriended the writer William S. Burroughs, who was called ''the godfather of punk'' and whose politics were all over the place . Burroughs would be high on the cancel list today.
In 2016, Washington Post music critic Chris Richards argued that musicians should self-censor in deference to prevailing political orthodoxies. Richards describes a band who wanted to cover a song originally played by black artists. They decided not to, a move praised by Richards: ''A band of white indie rockers performing the songs of a black R & B singer? No way. It would be seen as cultural appropriation.'' Richards writes that ''as badly as I wanted to hear their covers they were right'' to not attempt the song.
It's hard to imagine anything more antithetical to the spirit of rock and roll, especially punk rock. I am under no delusion that if a brilliant punk band were around today they would refrain from mocking President Trump for MAGA, his mansions, his kids, and his ties. Those would all be fair game. Yet I also know that such a band would find themselves pausing at the site of the recent Stasi raid on Ma-a-Lago'--to say nothing of their likely sympathy for Trump's hatred of foreign wars. The raid would get them wondering. And they would probably conclude that it was too reminiscent of Jello Biafra getting hauled into court on obscenity charges in the 1980s.
Today's punks, if there are any, might even recall the words of the great Dead Kennedys song ''Where do Ya Draw the Line?'' :
Ever notice hard line radicals Can go on start trips too Where no one's pure and right Except themselves? ''I'm cleansed of the system'' ('Cept when my amp needs electric power) Or ''The Party Line says no. Feminists can't wear fishnets.'' You want to help stop war? Well, we reject your application You crack too many jokes And you eat meat What better way to turn people off Than to twist ideas for change Into one more church That forgets we're all human beings.
Germany announces new Covid measures for fall, expecting another wave of infections
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 13:28
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach speaks during a news conference about the situation of the coronavirus disease (COVID 19) pandemic, in Berlin, Germany June 17, 2022.
Annegret Hilse | Reuters
The German government on Wednesday presented its plans for new coronavirus measures for the coming fall and winter as it expects virus cases to go up again during the colder season.
Wearing masks on planes and during long-distance travel by train and bus will be mandatory from October to early April all over Germany. Mandatory mask-wearing and the presentation of a negative coronavirus test will apply to hospitals, nursing homes and similar institutions with vulnerable people.
Many other rules will be implemented individually by the country's 16 states depending on how severely the virus spreads in their regions. This could include the wearing of masks on local public transportation, in schools for students in grade five and up, and at public indoor events.
Some community facilities such as schools, prisons or asylum-seeker shelters may also implement regular testing again if virus numbers rise, the German health and justice ministers said in a joint statement.
"Germany should be better prepared for the next coronavirus winter than in previous years," Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said, adding that a vaccination campaign would start in the fall as well, with new vaccines.
Justice Minister Marco Buschmann added that special efforts will be made to keep schools open.
"Children have a right to school education and a school day that is as carefree as possible. School closures must therefore not be allowed," Buschmann said, adding that states will "only be able to impose a mask requirement at schools if this is necessary in order to be able to continue to provide in-person teaching."
The new regulations still need to go to Cabinet and parliament but are expected to pass.
Bank Australia announces it will BAN loans for petrol, diesel cars from 2025 to fight climate change | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 13:27
An Australian bank will stop approving personal loans for new petrol and diesel-powered cars from 2025 as the federal government flags tough new fuel efficiency standards.
Electric vehicles this year have a minuscule 1.6 per cent market share even when Tesla sales were included, with starting prices of $47,000 and a lack of charging stations turning off many potential motorists.
But the customer-owned Bank Australia wants to change that, in a bid to reduce carbon emissions linked to climate change.
Its chief impact officer Sasha Courville told the National Electric Vehicle Summit in Canberra on Friday the bank's new policy was 'an important step in decarbonising the Australian economy'.
'By ceasing car loans for new fossil fuel vehicles, we are sending a signal to the Australian market about the rapid acceleration in the transition from internal combustion to electric vehicles we expect to see in the next few years,' she said.
An Australian bank will stop approving personal loans for new petrol and diesel-powered cars from 2025 as the federal government flags tough new fuel efficiency standards. Bank Australia's chief impact officer Sasha Courville told the National Electric Vehicle Summit in Canberra on Friday the bank's new policy was 'an important step in decarbonising the Australian economy' (pictured is a new Ford Ranger ute)
'We've chosen 2025 because the change to electric vehicles needs to happen quickly, and we believe it can with the right supporting policies in place to bring a greater range of more affordable electric vehicles to Australia.'
Australia's new electrical vehicle plan CHARGING STATIONS : Average interval of 150km as part of a plan for a national network
COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT CAR FLEET : Low emissions target to apply to 75 per cent of purchased or leased vehicles by 2025
HYDROGEN HIGHWAYS : Refuelling network for another renewable energy-powered vehicle
Bank Australia made the announcement as Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen and Transport Minister Catherine King jointly announced that new fuel efficiency standards would be introduced as part of a National Electric Vehicle Strategy.
'Apart from Russia, Australia is the only OECD country to not have, or be in the process of developing, fuel efficiency standards,' their joint media release said.
Under Labor's plan, a low emissions target would apply to 75 per cent of the Commonwealth government's car fleet by 2025, with that figure including purchases and leases.
'Up until now, Australian households and businesses have had very little choice regarding low-emissions and fuel-efficient vehicles, and they have been paying for it,' Mr Bowen said.
The ministers have also promised to have electric vehicle charging stations at average intervals of every 150km on major roads along with a national hydrogen highways refuelling network.
Ms Courville said Bank Australia would continue allowing loans for secondhand petrol and diesel cars from 2025, as it banned financing for new fossil fuel-powered vehicles.
Electric vehicles this year have a minuscule 1.6 per cent market share even when Tesla (recharging stations in California, pictured) sales were included, with more expensive prices and a lack of charging stations turning off many potential motorists
'Importantly Bank Australia will continue to support customers who can't yet access an electric vehicle,' she said.
'While we will cease car loans for new fossil fuel cars from 2025, we are deeply aware that we need to support people not yet able to afford an electric vehicle while the market grows.
'We'll continue to offer loans for second hand fossil fuel vehicles until there is a viable and thriving market for electric vehicles.'
In Australia last year, just 5,149 fully-electric vehicles were sold among the 1,049,831 that left showrooms. That Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries data didn't include Tesla cars.
However, from January to July, 10,289 EVs were sold out of 622,319 vehicles, with this market share of 1.6 per cent in 2022 so far now including Tesla.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber described the government's polices as 'a major step on our journey to delivering low emission vehicles to Australian customers'.
'This is a good day,' he said.
The Chinese-made MG ZS EV is Australia's cheapest electric car with prices starting at $46,990 for the Excite model (pictured is a UK market model)
'It also is critical to ensure all Australians are included, rather than excluded because of where they live and what they can afford, and ensure ambition is matched with reality.'
The Chinese-made MG ZS EV is Australia's cheapest electric car with prices starting at $46,990 for the Excite model - one of just eight EVs available in Australia for less than $60,000 compared with 26 in the UK.
The Nissan Leaf costs start at $55,240 driveaway while the Tesla Model 3 starts at $65,500 before on-road costs.
Australia's top selling cars are all petrol or diesel-powered with the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger utes taking first and second positions in July.
The third-placed Toyota RAV4 is available as a petrol-electric hybrid, as are the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Tucson, which are also in the top 10.
Ford from the middle of next year will be selling the American F-150 pick-up trucks in its dealerships but the fully-electric Lightning version sold in the U.S. won't be available in Australia.
Australia has a net zero by 2050 target with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's Labor government this month securing from the Greens support to legislate a 43 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.
Bank Australia has a net zero by 2035 target.
Rise in heart disease may be explained by extreme weather conditions: Study - ABC News
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 13:25
Dr. Martha Gulati will never forget the first time she saw a young, healthy athlete die of heat stroke.
It was 1995 in Chicago, in the middle of a heat wave that would ultimately claim nearly 700 lives. In the decades that followed, Gulati watched in alarm as the climate warmed and heat catastrophes grew even more intense.
"The medical community was not prepared for what these temperatures would do to people; we were ultimately learning on the fly," said Gulati, now associate director of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and president of the American Society of Preventive Cardiology.
Since that heat wave in 1995, climate change has intensified globally with wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, heat waves and cold spells leading to famine and drought. As a result of these extreme changes, the medical community is noticing an increasing rate of heart disease.
"The world we live in right now is not a very hospitable environment for the heart," Gulati said. "With heart disease prevention, we tend to focus on controlling blood pressure and lipids, but we should consider the other aspects of prevention, like our environment."
Sixty-two percent of deaths attributed to climate change were from cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in Lancet in 2020.
A woman wipes her brow as people wait in line to see Phantom of the Opera in midtown Manhattan as temperatures reach into the 90s on July 21, 2022, in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images, FILE
"We know that air pollution is a cause of heart disease." said Dr. Sadeer Al-Kindi, a cardiologist at University Hospitals in Ohio and assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Evidence shows that air pollution increases heart disease, heart failure and insulin resistance."
Particulate matter, tiny particles in the air invisible to the naked eye, are produced by greenhouse gasses and carbon emissions. These particles can enter your lungs and bloodstream, wreaking havoc on tissues that are vital to a healthy cardiovascular system. Over time, prolonged exposure to pollution can contribute to increased clotting, high blood pressure and sleep disturbances.
Dr. Kai Chen, assistant professor at the Yale School of Public Health and director of research at the Yale Center on Climate Change and Health, said that when inhaled, these pollutants cause stress and inflammation in the body that can result in cardiometabolic syndromes, such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Experts say it's difficult to directly blame individual heart attacks on heat waves based on currently available data. However, there is research to suggest a close relationship, as regions with excessive heat or freezing temperature had alarmingly higher episodes of heart attack, according to a June study in Nature Reviews Cardiology.
It's not clear exactly why temperature shifts are correlated with higher rates of heart attacks. Experts believe that temperature shifts affect the body's ability to regulate normal body temperatures in response to the extreme temperatures.
Al-Kindi said that a concept called "climate penalty" could explain these patterns. Extreme weather conditions from climate change are able to increase and distribute those invisible molecules that are detrimental to our body, he said.
"Fires, winds, heat and cold driven by climate change increases the production and distribution of these pollutants," Al-Kindi said. "[Climate change] both directly elevates the number of particles in the air that people breathe in, but also indirectly by causing droughts, famine, malnutrition and limiting accessibility to care."
An aerial view of boats anchored near a "bathtub ring" of mineral deposits left by higher water levels at the drought-stricken Elephant Butte Reservoir on Aug. 16, 2022, near Truth or Consequences, N.M.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
A study published earlier this month in the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research found that even medications used to treat heart disease may work differently during heat waves.
Chen, who was the lead author in the study, found that patients who were taking two medications used to treat heart disease had higher rates of heart attacks on days with record heat waves.
Regardless of the age, people who were on beta blockers and antiplatelet medications had a number of heart attacks, explained Chen.
"What is interesting," Chen said, "is that young people on the same medications, who we typically do not expect to have heart disease, also had higher episodes of heart attacks than those who were not taking these medications."
Al-Kindi, who was not involved in the study, believes this paradox of medications treating heart disease causing more heart attacks on extremely hot days could be from blunting our nervous system that regulates our "fight or flight" response and regulates the way we respond to temperature.
While avoiding cigarettes, eating healthy, sleeping well and exercising are ways to prevent heart disease, doctors agree that protecting yourself from the impacts of climate change is essential to your heart health.
A boy refreshes himself in a fountain during hot weather as a heat wave hits Europe, in Brussels, Belgium, July 19, 2022.
Yves Herman/Reuters, FILE
Experts advise changes should be made as a community by reducing plastic waste, using public transport, recycling, avoiding red meat and advocating for policies to help prevent worsening climate change.
On an individual level, Al-Kindi said people should stay inside on extremely hot and cold days, avoid pollutants by wearing a mask, move away from fossil fuels and move toward clean energy.
"The impact of climate change is not a question of whether it's happening -- it is happening and we are seeing evidence of it every day," said Gulati. "If we don't act now, we won't save lives and our job as physicians is to save lives."
Lily Nedda Dastmalchi, D.O., M.A., is a cardiology fellow at Temple University Hospital and a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.
Venezuela halts oil shipments to Europe - Mehr News Agency
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 13:24
According to OilPrice, with natural gas imports from Russia cut by 80% through Nord Stream 1 along with the majority of oil shipments, the EU is going to be scrambling for whatever fuel sources they can find to supply electricity and heating through the coming winter. Two sources that were originally suggested as alternatives were Iran and Venezuela.
Increased Iranian oil and gas exports to the west are highly dependent on the tentative nuclear deal, but as Goldman Sachs recently suggested, such a deal is unlikely anytime soon as deadlines on proposals have not been met.
Venezuela had restarted shipments to Europe after 2 years of US sanctions under a deal that allows them to trade oil for debt relief. However, the country's government has now suspended those shipments, saying it is no longer interested in oil-for-debt deals and instead wants refined fuels from Italian and Spanish producers in exchange for crude.
This might seem like a backward exchange but Venezuela's own refineries are struggling to remain in operation because of a lack of investment and lack of repairs. Refined fuels would help them to get back on their feet in terms of energy and industry. Some of Venezuela's own heavy oil operations require imported diluents in order to continue. The EU says it currently has no plans to lift restrictions on the oil-for-debt arrangement, which means Europe has now lost yet another energy source.
Sanctions on Venezuela along with declining investments have strangled their oil industry, with overall production dropping by 38% this July compared to a year ago. Joe Biden's initial moves to reopen talks with Maduro triggered inflated hopes that Venezuelan oil would flow once again and offset tight global markets and rising prices. Europe in particular will soon be desperate for energy alternatives, which will probably result in the scouring of markets this autumn to meet the bare minimum requirements for heating.
If this occurs and no regular sources of energy can be found to fill the void left by Russian sanctions, prices will rise precipitously in the EU. Not only that but with European countries buying up energy supplies wherever they can find them, available sources will also shrink for every other nation including the US.
OnlyFans: Rising number of NHS staff and carers ditch jobs to become adult entertainers | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 13:04
A growing number of NHS and social care staff are quitting their jobs and becoming OnlyFans stars because of the cost of living crisis, charities claim.
They are swapping tireless and poorly-paid roles in frontline health and care for the adult site '-- where some make up to £50,000 a month.
Unions have warned staff are leaving in droves for 'better paid, less stressful jobs', with record inflation making this year's 4 per cent pay rise a 'massive pay cut'.
Campaigners said the high number of women in the sectors meant it 'isn't surprising' they are being lured into online adult work.
Belle Grace, 26, from Yorkshire, left her job as a carer for children and adults with autism last year, where she was paid roughly £1,600 a month.
She has now become an OnlyFans sensation and makes between £7,000 and £51,000 monthly.
Former healthcare assistant James Cowe, 23, from Bournemouth, also made the switch last year after being 'insulted' by the Government's proposed pay rise.
And Hollie Munroe, 25, from Hertfordshire, has been able to move to Marbella on the back of funds she got from quitting her job as a carer for an OnlyFans career.
Increasing numbers of nurses and carers are turning their back on the field to service another kind of need on adult content site OnlyFans. Belle Grace (pictured), from Yorkshire, previously cared for disabled people but now earns around £51,000 a month on OnlyFans
James Cowe, 23, from Bournemouth, started his OnlyFans account last year after being 'insulted' by the Government's proposed pay risefor NHS staff
Hollie Munroe, 25, from Hertfordshire, quit her job caring for the elderly to jet off to Marbella in Spain, where she lives off her cash earned on the site
OnlyFans is a social media platform used primarily by adult content creators, who sell personalised pictures and videos to followers who pay a monthly subscription.
Adult worker support charity Beyond The Street said it is 'deeply concerned' by the rise in care workers turning to the website.
A spokesperson told MailOnline: 'Financial vulnerability can be a driver into the sale of sex and online sexual content.
OnlyFans' top 10 highest earners: How celebrities like Bella Thorne and Blac Chyna rake in MILLIONS a month on the site OnlyFans has become a hugely lucrative endeavor for many of its users - particularly celebrities like Blac Chyna, Bella Thorne, and Mia Khalifa who are among its highest-earning creators.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, these A-listers rake in millions of dollars a month, with Blac Chyna topping the list of the site's biggest earners with an estimated monthly income of $20 million.
Here, MailOnline reveals the site's top 10 earners - and their estimated monthly incomes:
1. B lac Chyna : £16.5million ($20million)
2. Bella Thorne : £9.1million ($11million)
3. Cardi B : £7.7million ($9.34million)
4. Tyga : £6.4million ($7.69million)
5. Mia Khalifa : £5.3million ($6.43million)
6. Erica Mena : £3.7million ($4.49million)
7. Pia Mia : £1.8million ($2.22million)
8. Safaree Samuels : £1.6million ($1.91million)
9. Megan Barton Hanson : £877,000 ($1.06million)
10. J em Wolfie : £745,000 ($900,000)
'We are a charity who works alongside many women who have been exploited whilst in vulnerable situations and are deeply concerned by any increase of involvement due to the impact of the cost of living crisis.'
The charity is supporting at least one former healthcare worker who has made a similar change.
The English Collective of Prostitutes, a campaign group which supports women in adult work, told MailOnline: 'Women, especially mums, have been the hardest hit by the cost of living crisis.
'As nearly 80 per cent of NHS staff are women, and wages are now lower than they were in 2010, it isn't surprising that growing numbers of NHS staff are turning to sex work to supplement wages that don't cover the cost of living.'
Ms Grace said while she misses her old work, she prefers the new lifestyle OnlyFans has afforded her.
She started her account in May 2020 while still working as a team leader in a care institution for children and adults with autism.
Her bosses found out and confronted her with pictures she had shared on the platform and she quit in January 2021 because she was already earning £7,000 per month from the side gig.
Now, on a good month, she can earn her entire old yearly salary in a fortnight.
But it isn't easy work, she said, as she still puts in 16 hours a day, seven days a week, to grow her account.
Mr Cowe earned more in his first three days after joining OnlyFans than he was getting in a month as a healthcare assistant.
He would work three 12-hour shifts a week in a dementia care home and 'was always exhausted'.
After the Government announced a 1 per cent proposed pay rise for NHS workers last year, he said felt he 'had no choice but to look for another industry to go into'.
He said switching to OnlyFans was 'by far one of the best decisions' he has ever made.
The Government has since increased the NHS pay rise to at least £1,400 for nurses, paramedics and midwives. They received a 3 per cent pay rise last year.
Care workers in the private sector do not receive the same rises, with many staff still paid minimum wage.
Doctors and nurses have threatened to strike over their salary hikes, which unions argue amounts to a 'pay cut' given soaring inflation.
Ms Munroe was previously earning around £8 an hour in her job as a carer for the elderly.
But she made £3,000 in her first week on the subscription site in 2019 and never looked back.
Ms Munroe moved to Marbella after a fortnight on OnlyFans for what was supposed to be a holiday, but never came back.
As well as OnlyFans, carers and NHS staff have been leaving in large numbers for jobs at Amazon, Lidl and restaurants, which often pay better.
Hospitals are already short of 50,000 staff across England, according to a Government report last month.
And the problem in social care is even worse - with an estimated 100,000 vacancies.
Unite has started to ballot its 100,000 health and social care workers on possible strike action amid staffing and pay concerns.
The Royal College of Nursing also started asking its 465,000 members if they want to strike.
Dr Denise Chaffer, president of the Royal College of Nurses, said nurses are relying on food banks and staff retention is now a 'critical issue'.
A spokesperson for Unison, the largest trade union in Britain, told MailOnline: 'Many health and care staff have had enough of barely-there pay rises, exhaustion and stress.
'The cost-of-living crisis is the final straw. They know they can find work in other sectors that pay far better and don't have the same pressure.
'The government must pay better wages to retain and recruit workers.'
Meet the Brits who've traded in NHS and social care work to earn thousands taking their clothes off for strangers online Belle Grace, from Yorkshire
Belle Grace, from Yorkshire, was a team leader in a care institution for children and adults with autism but now earns up to £51,000 a month on OnlyFans.
She started her account in May 2020 while still working there and her bosses found out later that year.
They called her into a meeting and spread pictures she had shared on the site across the table, she claims.
She broke down in tears and asked her boss if she would be sacked, who said the private care home would have to take legal advice.
After taking a week off work, she returned on weekend shifts to minimise how many other staff members she would have to interact with.
She told the Daily Star: 'I was so upset. I never wanted work to find out. I always wanted to keep it separate because it's my private life, not because I'm ashamed.
'If I was going to quit work, I would have told them why I was leaving and that I do OnlyFans.
'I didn't mind that part but it was seeing my naked images from my OnlyFans. Nobody at work knew other than me and my boss.'
Belle Grace once got paid nearly £300 by a follower for a video of herself just washing her hair
Ms Grace started her account in January 2021 and was earning £10,000 a month by November, she claims.
While she misses her old work, she says she prefers the new lifestyle OnlyFans has afforded her
She quit in January 2021 because she was already earning £7,000 per month from the side gig, she claims.
Ms Grace once got paid nearly £300 by a follower for a video of herself just washing her hair.
She told YorkshireLive: 'I get requests for tickle videos, hair washing or hair plaiting videos as my hair is really long.
'Once a guy paid £295 just for me to wash and brush my hair whilst in the shower and watch the water drip from the bottom.'
Her family and friends were 'very supportive' when she made the move to adult content, she said.
But she has also received death threats from commenters on TikTok, which she uses to advertise her less explicit content.
She now works 16 hours a day, seven days a week to grow her account, which has more than 1million followers.
While she misses her old work, she says she prefers the new lifestyle OnlyFans has afforded her.
James Cowe, from Bournemouth
And it is not just female carers who are making the switch to OnlyFans.
A former healthcare assistant for dementia patients left his job because of the Government's pay increase for workers in the sector.
James Cowe, 23, from Bournemouth, started his OnlyFans account in March last year when No10 announced a 1 per cent proposed pay increase for workers.
He said he felt 'insulted' by the proposal and felt he 'had no choice but to look for another industry to go into'.
Mr Cowe told Twisted Male Mag: 'The low pay, huge work load, shortage of staff & general workplace morale were all starting to take a toll on my mental health around the start of the pandemic.'
He would work three 12-hour shifts a week and 'was always exhausted' after work, which had become financially unviable by his final year.
A week after Boris Johnson proposed the 1 per cent pay rise for NHS workers, Mr Cowe decided to quit.
James Cowe, a 23-year-old former healthcare assistant from Bournemouth, started his account last year when No10 announced a 1 per cent proposed pay increase for workers
After huge blowback from the profession, nurses received a £1,400 pay rise '-- around 4 per cent for most '-- in June, although unions have argued this amounts to a 'real-terms pay cut' because of sky-high inflation rates of around 11 per cent.
Mr Cowe went on to earn more in his first three days than he was getting in a month after joining OnlyFans.
He left his job after six years and has already amassed more than 7,000 OnlyFans followers, charging £9.88 ($11.99) a month for subscriptions.
He told Pink News: 'With the pressure from the coronavirus pandemic causing all healthcare industries huge amounts of strain, I felt unappreciated and actually insulted.
'I worked a total of six years in the healthcare industry and I found the workload to be increasingly demanding and exhausting for very little pay at the end of the month.
'Starting OnlyFans is by far one of the best decisions I have made in my career to date. I made over a year's salary in 22 days by OnlyFans.'
Hollie Munroe, from Hertfordshire
For some carers, switching to OnlyFans hasn't just allowed for a better life in Britain.
Hollie Munroe, 25, from Hertfordshire, quit her job caring for the elderly to jet off to Marbella in Spain, where she lives off her cash earned on the site.
After five years of being a carer '-- in which she would work up to 60 hours in a week '-- she decided to give it up for some of the easiest money she's ever made.
She told the Daily Star: 'I get paid for doing basically nothing. I just sit on my phone for a few hours and that's about it really.
'Every day I get up, go to the beach, go shopping and come home. I just got sick of England and thought I could rent in Spain while doing a lot less. I don't miss England at all.'
After five years of being a carer '-- in which she would work up to 60 hours in a week '-- Hollie Munroe decided to give it up to become an OnlyFans creator
Hollie Munroe said she has no plans to move back to the UK because she is enjoying the Spanish lifestyle too much
She was previously earning around £8 an hour but made £3,000 in her first week on the subscription site in 2019 and never looked back.
Ms Munroe moved to the Spanish city after a fortnight on OnlyFans for what was supposed to be a holiday, but never came back.
She said: 'I was going to loads and loads of houses for really s*** money.
'Of course, there are bits to it that I miss. I enjoyed my job, I liked all of it because it was rewarding. But it was the money for me '-- I only got paid £8 an hour.'
Her monthly income varies depending on how much she chooses to post on the site.
But she said she has no plans to move back to the UK because she is enjoying the Spanish lifestyle too much.
Anonymous NHS worker, from East Yorkshire
Some NHS workers have set up accounts while still working in the health service, to try and stump up some extra cash.
A middle-aged single mother from East Yorkshire sends pictures and videos to men on the service alongside her day job as a health worker.
The woman, who preferred to stay anonymous, also offers sex advice to couples whose sex lives have turned stale.
She told HullLive: 'People might think it's crazy, but this is about empowering myself as a woman and finally doing something for me, that I want to do.
'This is a real liberation for me, it's about taking control of my life and my independence and not being reliant on anyone else financially or emotionally.
'With this secret job I can keep a roof over our heads and not be forced to ask anyone else for help or money.'
She said last year's pay rise left her with no option but to top up her earnings with OnlyFans.
The NHS worker said her salary was nowhere near enough to pay for her house and bills and didn't want to have to ask anyone for money.
Starting the account was 'liberating' for her, she said, allowing her to be more adventurous after coming out of a long-term relationship.
She said she likes being in control of what content she produces and being able to experiment.
And she said she wants to help women using the site to give them sex advice and act as a 'therapist'.
A winter energy reckoning looms for the west | Financial Times
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 13:00
World economic growth still requires fossil fuel production but long-term climate ambitions must stay in place
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The writer is professor of political economy at the University of Cambridge and author of 'Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century'
Across the world, politicians are ever more desperately looking to contain the explosive consequences of the energy crisis. In those parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa already mired in multiple economic and political difficulties, the crisis is proving catastrophic.
Those who import liquid natural gas must now compete with European latecomers to the LNG market seeking an alternative to pipelined Russian gas. In early summer, Pakistan was unable to complete a single LNG tender. In poor countries, a large proportion of the state's resources go on subsidising energy consumption. At prevailing prices, some cannot: earlier this month, the Sri Lankan Electricity Board imposed a 264 per cent increase on the country's poorest energy users.
In Europe, governments want to alleviate the dire pressures on households as well as energy-intensive and small businesses, while letting spiralling prices, pleas to consume less and fear about the coming winter drive down demand. Fiscally, this means state funding to reduce rising energy bills by subsidising distributors, as in France, or transferring money to citizens to pay those bills, as in the UK.
What is not available anywhere is a quick means for increasing the physical supply of energy. This crisis is not an inadvertent consequence of the pandemic or Russia's brutal war against Ukraine. It has much deeper roots in two structural problems.
First, unpalatable as this reality is for climate and ecological reasons, world economic growth still requires fossil fuel production. Without more investment and exploration, there is unlikely to be sufficient supply in the medium term to meet likely demand. The present gas crisis has its origins in the Chinese-driven surge in gas consumption during 2021. Demand grew so rapidly that it was only available for European and Asian purchase at very high prices. Meanwhile, respite from rising oil prices this year has only materialised when the economic data from China is unpropitious. In the International Energy Agency's judgment, it is quite possible that global oil production will be inadequate to meet demand as soon as next year.
For much of the 2010s, the world economy got by on the shale oil boom. Without US production more than doubling between 2010 and 2019, the world would have been trapped in a permanent oil crisis since 2005, when conventional crude oil production '-- oil drilled without hydraulic fracturing or from tar sands '-- stagnated.
But American shale cannot expand at the same rate again. Although the largest US shale oil formation '-- the Permian Basin in western Texas and south-eastern New Mexico '-- is projected to reach record output next month, overall US output is still more than 1mn barrels per day below what it was in 2019. Even in the Permian, daily production per well is declining.
More offshore drilling, of the kind opened up in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska by the Inflation Reduction Act, will require higher prices, or investors willing to pour in capital regardless of the prospects for profit. The best geological prospects for a game changer akin to what happened in the 2010s lie with the huge Bazhenov shale oil formation in Siberia. But western sanctions mean that the prospect of western oil majors helping Russia technologically is a geopolitical dead end.
Second, little can be done that would immediately accelerate the transition from fossil fuels. Britain's planned micro nuclear reactors will not be completed until the 2030s. Running electricity grids on solar and wind base loads will require technological breakthroughs on storage. It is impossible to plan with any confidence what progress will have materialised in 10 years, let alone next year. But precisely because an energy transition is essential to reduce fossil fuel consumption, large-scale, blue-sky investment is imperative.
The only way forward is realism for the short term, recognising that there is no way back to cheap energy, allied to radical, long-term ambition. A grasp of geopolitical realities is also essential. The US remains by some distance the world's dominant power. Its naval power guarantees open waters for international trade. World credit markets depend on dollars. But Washington does not have the power to direct China and India's energy relations with Russia.
This coming winter will bring a reckoning. Western governments must either invite economic misery on a scale that would test the fabric of democratic politics in any country, or face the fact that energy supply constrains the means by which Ukraine can be defended.
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Crowds try to flee Shanghai Ikea store to avoid strict COVID-19 lockdown in China - ABC News
Sun, 21 Aug 2022 12:59
Just two possible COVID-19 cases have sparked chaotic scenes in Shanghai, with crowds of people seen running out of a building and an Ikea store, trying to escape a lockdown under China's strict coronavirus rules.
Key points: Authorities tried to lock people in a Shanghai building and Ikea store over COVID-19 concerns Video clips shared online show a large group of people trying to leave China has recently reported an increase in coronavirus casesThe country's zero-COVID strategy involves snap lockdowns and quarantines, sometimes over just a handful of cases, and the measures have sparked anxiety and anger in some cities.
Videos widely shared on social media and verified by AFP news agency showed a small group of PPE-clad personnel trying to keep the main doors of a Shanghai building closed on Friday, after a worker there was identified as a close contact of a COVID case.
A large crowd is then seen bursting past the outnumbered staff, running away from the building as onlookers film the scene on their mobile phones.
Some people were seen dragging what appeared to be a metal barricade several metres as they fled the mall.
Close contacts could face days of quarantine and monitoring under China's health rules.
A large group of people tried to escape a Shanghai Ikea store over a COVID-19 scare. ( Supplied: Yuezhianmian520Sunny/Weibo )Similar scenes unfolded at an Ikea store in Shanghai's Xuhui district on Saturday, when health authorities tried to lock down customers in the store over an "abnormal" test result.
Video clips shared online showed a large group of people trying to leave.
In one clip, screams are heard as personnel try to keep doors closed. The crowd eventually pushes its way through the door and people are seen running past to try to get out.
The 25 million residents of Shanghai '-- China's biggest city '-- have grappled with harsh COVID rules since earlier this year, when the city was sealed off for two months to contain an outbreak of the virus.
The measures battered business activity and some residents reported trouble accessing food and non-COVID medical care.
They also sparked protests by frustrated residents against the authorities.
China reported 2,526 new coronavirus cases on August 15, of which 591 were symptomatic and 1,935 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said.
That's compared with 2,478 new cases a day earlier '-- 770 symptomatic and 1,708 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.
There were no new deaths, keeping the nation's fatalities at 5,226.
Hainan island COVID-19 outbreak cancels holiday plans for some Anger spilled over in the southern island of Hainan, where more than 80,000 tourists were stranded in the resort city of Sanya earlier this month because of a COVID flare-up.
The holiday city is battling an outbreak and reported 3,596 symptomatic and 4,497 asymptomatic cases between August 1 and August 15.
Li Zefeng had to cancel his trip to Xinjiang because he was locked down in Sanya.( Supplied: Li Zefeng )Travellers in Sanya have been protesting, with social media posts last weekend showing crowds on the street shouting for local leaders to meet with them.
Li Zefeng, 25, was looking forward to a long-awaited trip to Xinjiang after spending weeks locked up after Shanghai's coronavirus lockdown.
But he found out himself locked down again in a rental property in Sanya on August 5.
"When I went down to the ground floor around eight or nine o'clock in the morning, I found that the gate of our building was chained up, and there was a barrier in front of the doorway," Mr Li said.
"A child living on the first floor has been confirmed positive, and residents living on the same floor have been taken to the quarantine centre. We were also asked to be quarantined at home as close contacts."
Now on day 12 of quarantine, Mr Li had to cancel his highly anticipated Xinjiang trip.
"I'm disappointed that I have to cancel the trip. I even quit my job in order to go to Xinjiang this March," he said.
In Tibet, authorities closed the Potala Palace, former home of the exiled Dalai Lama, on Tuesday last week after 22 COVID-19 cases were reported in the Himalayan region.
Tibet's economy is dependent on tourism and the Potala Palace is a key attraction, with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
China is the only major economy still holding fast to a zero-COVID strategy.( Reuters )China is the only major economy still holding fast to a zero-COVID strategy, stunting local tourism during peak travel seasons.
The country's borders have been largely closed since early 2020, halting international tourism.
AFP/Reuters '-- with additional reporting by Nicole Gong
(20) Ari Lamm on Twitter: "Why Read The Bible In Hebrew? Let's talk about one of the most influential stories *ever* for thinking about the nature of human progress'--the Tower of Babel. What exactly did Babel's builders do wrong? A thread (for non-Hebrew
Sat, 20 Aug 2022 21:20
Ari Lamm : Why Read The Bible In Hebrew?Let's talk about one of the most influential stories *ever* for thinking about the n'... https://t.co/zQP6A1Teo3
Fri Aug 19 12:56:18 +0000 2022
Tom Ebbutt : @AriLamm Fascinating
Sat Aug 20 21:17:35 +0000 2022
Lºcia Stedile ð§ð·ðºð... : @AriLamm @EliotHiggins Excellent Sir. The biblical message remains very current. It's humanity that never seems to change
Sat Aug 20 21:07:04 +0000 2022
Luther_ConflictSymmetry : @AriLamm @DarrenJBeattie It cleans out your throat and sinuses.
Sat Aug 20 21:05:51 +0000 2022
Ina Hartgers #JustSad #Refugees #Syria #Palestine : @AriLamm Interesting, especially in light of what Quran says about diversity. O mankind, We have created you male a'... https://t.co/90E4qDBY7M
Sat Aug 20 20:59:54 +0000 2022
Robbert65 : @AriLamm Nice painting
Sat Aug 20 20:59:29 +0000 2022
Pendolino70DoomScrolling : @AriLamm @EliotHiggins Thank you!
Sat Aug 20 20:52:13 +0000 2022
ð´Jabroni Whisperer ð´ : @AriLamm @GraceDependent
Sat Aug 20 20:44:06 +0000 2022
Lºcia Stedile ð§ð·ðºð... : @AriLamm @EliotHiggins @threadreaderapp please unroll
Sat Aug 20 20:42:06 +0000 2022
YaBoyHeem : @AriLamm @EliotHiggins You'd think an all powerful, omnipotent God wouldn't make it so that his word is open to cou'... https://t.co/lyTiA3273W
Sat Aug 20 20:30:41 +0000 2022
Report: Royal Air Force Stops Hiring White Men To Keep With Diversity Quotas, Female Head Of Recruiting Quits In Protest | The Daily Wire
Sat, 20 Aug 2022 15:58
The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has allegedly hit an ''effective pause'' on offering jobs to white male recruits to keep up with diversity quotas, according to a report from Sky News.
Several defense sources told Sky News that Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, the head of the RAF, seems willing to compromise U.K. security at a dangerous time in the name of diversity.
''You look at the head of the RAF and he's prepared to break the operational requirement of the air force just to meet diversity [targets],'' one source said.
''I think he needs to be hauled up by the Ministry of Defence and told: This is the defence agenda, get on it,'' the source added.
The head of recruitment for the RAF, who is a female officer, has even resigned from her post to protest the alleged change, Sky News reported.
The senior officer handed in her notice of resignation in recent days as reports leaked about the racially-restrictive hiring, fearing the change would undermine the strength of the RAF, sources told the outlet.
Rishi Sunak, a hopeful to be the next prime minister, slammed the RAF for the alleged change.
''The only thing that should matter in recruitment is the content of your character, not your sex or the color of your skin,'' Sunak said via a spokesperson, according to Fox News. ''That the Ministry of Defence would allow Britain's security to potentially be put at risk by a drive for so-called 'diversity' is not only disgraceful, it is dangerous.''
The RAF has denied the pause but emphasized its commitment to ''a diverse workforce.''
''There is no pause in Royal Air Force recruitment and no new policy with regards to meeting in-year recruitment requirements,'' a spokesperson for the RAF said.
''Royal Air Force commanders will not shy away from the challenges we face building a service that attracts and recruits talent from every part of the UK workforce,'' the statement continued. ''As with the Royal Navy and British Army, we are doing everything we can to encourage recruiting from under-represented groups and ensure we have a diverse workforce.''
''The Royal Air Force has a well-earned reputation for operational excellence that is founded on the quality of all our people,'' the RAF added. ''We will always seek to recruit the best talent available to us.''
Related: Teachers Union Requires White Teachers Be Fired Before 'Educators Of Color' 'To Remedy '... Past Discrimination'
HBO Max removes nearly 200 episodes of 'Sesame Street' - The Washington Post
Sat, 20 Aug 2022 05:39
It's not a sunny day for HBO Max, which has caused social media uproar for removing almost 200 older episodes of the beloved kids show ''Sesame Street'' from its streaming service.
The platform now offers 456 episodes of the classic series, down from the estimated 650 episodes it used to have, Variety reported.
The change comes after HBO Max announced earlier this week it would remove 36 titles from its lineup to prepare for its merge into a single streaming platform with Discovery Plus.
''As we work toward bringing our content catalogues together under one platform, we will be making changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and discovery+,'' the statement said. ''That will include the removal of some content from both platforms.''
'Sesame Street' models inclusivity, but it has left Black viewers behind
Some of the works set to disappear from HBO Max include the teen drama ''Generation,'' the ''Sesame Street'' spinoff ''The Not-Too-Late-Show with Elmo,'' and the animated series ''Aquaman: King of Atlantis.'' The streaming platform also announced last month all eight ''Harry Potter'' movies would be removed. Other shows, such as the comedy series ''Mrs. Fletcher'' and rock-and-roll drama ''Vinyl'' were pulled without a direct announcement.
HBO Max did not announce why the TV shows and films were going to be cut from the service, but the move will help the company save money that would have gone toward paying residuals.
''Sesame Street is and has always been an important part of television culture and a crown jewel of our preschool offering,'' an HBO Max representative wrote in a statement. ''We are committed to continuing to bring Sesame Street into families' homes, including the newest season premiering this fall and the nearly 400 episodes of the most current and historic seasons that remain on Cartoonito on HBO Max.''
Representatives for Sesame Workshop did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
''Sesame Street'' first aired on PBS in 1969, introducing Big Bird, Kermit the Frog and Cookie Monster to early Generation Xers starting preschool and kindergarten. It began airing on HBO in 2016 and then HBO Max in 2020.
The decision drew many fans to tweet their discontent.
''I deeply and truly hate this. I watch Sesame Street with my kids,'' a Twitter user wrote. ''My oldest is at an age where he has specific episodes he likes to rewatch.''
''It is so sad that a child like my brother may have just lost access to one of their favorite things and there is no explanation that a parent can give them,'' another person commented.
I deeply and truly hate this. I watch Sesame Street with my kids. My oldest is at an age where he has specific episodes he likes to rewatch. https://t.co/fde5GBzf1M
'-- Richard Newby (@RICHARDLNEWBY) August 19, 2022''Sesame Street,'' which airs on PBS, has been widely celebrated for its accessible children's education and commitment to portraying diversity and inclusion.
HBO owning Sesame Street is already a slap in the face to Sesame fans. This show was created to give children from low-income families access to early education they might otherwise miss. It's should be a free public resource, not something you need a subscription to access. https://t.co/yBK6yqlpoM
'-- Janine Melnitz (@BugEyes64) August 19, 2022''This show was created to give children from low-income families access to early education they might otherwise miss,'' another fan noted, arguing that the kids show ''should be a free public resource, not something you need a subscription to access.''
Podcasting 2.0 Hackathon
Fri, 19 Aug 2022 18:43
Nothing to see here.
Watch this space for updates on the upcoming Podcasting 2.0 Hackathon.
Posts misrepresent study on COVID-19 vaccine's side effects for teens | AP News
Fri, 19 Aug 2022 13:32
CLAIM: A new study found cardiovascular adverse effects in a third of teens who received a second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, casting doubt on its safety.
AP'S ASSESSMENT: Missing context. While the unpublished study found that roughly 29% of the study's teenage participants experienced cardiovascular side effects, the vast majority of those effects were mild, such as heart palpitations, and the few patients who did experience heart inflammation quickly recovered, experts say. The study is consistent with the general medical consensus that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the risks, which are rare.
THE FACTS: A new study concerning cardiovascular effects of COVID-19 vaccines in teenagers has circulated widely on social media in recent days, as some users have pointed to its findings to argue that the vaccines are dangerous.
''BREAKING: A new study has found cardiovascular adverse effects in around a third of teens following Pfizer vaccination, and heart inflammation in one in 43, raising fresh concerns about the risks of vaccination for young people,'' one Twitter user wrote on Saturday. ''This is beyond concerning.''
An Instagram user who shared a link to the study wrote, ''The #risk of the #covid #vaccine for young people is serious.''
The study, conducted by researchers in Thailand and not yet published or peer reviewed, is being misrepresented. It examined cardiovascular side effects among 301 Thai students, ages 13 to 18, who received a second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Cardiovascular side effects '-- from heart palpitations to myopericarditis, a type of heart inflammation '-- were found in roughly 29% of the patients. However, the most common effects were rapid heart rate and shortness of breath, and the paper notes that the ''clinical presentation of myopericarditis after vaccination was usually mild, with all cases fully recovering within 14 days.'' Only one case of myopericarditis was ''confirmed.''
The study has almost ''no value,'' said Dr. Eric Adler, cardiologist and director of cardiac transplant and mechanical circulatory support at University of California, San Diego Health. He noted that the study included no placebo to compare the results to. Its findings are also consistent with the general medical consensus, he said: there is an increased risk of myocarditis, which is inflammation specifically affecting the heart muscle, among young males following COVID-19 vaccination, but the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.
Most of the other symptoms that the study documented, such as shortness of breath, are insignificant and could be due to anxiety from receiving the vaccine, Adler added.
''Most of the symptoms could occur if I gave someone an injection with water,'' he said. ''There's really no insight gained from this study.''
''When you're talking about cardiac side effects, people think of very serious outcomes,'' Shane Crotty, a vaccine expert at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, told the AP. But of the roughly 29% of study participants who were flagged as having cardiac side effec ts following the shot, only one '-- the teen with myopericarditis '-- developed anything concerning, he said.
Myocarditis can cause lasting, debilitating damage to the heart. That's why the possibility of myocarditis being triggered by COVID-19 vaccines in young patients was initially so concerning to doctors, Crotty said. But the few adolescent patients who have developed myocarditis linked to the vaccine have recovered quickly, he said, without suffering those longer-term effects.
''Pfizer is aware of rare reports of myocarditis and pericarditis, predominantly in male adolescents and young adults, after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination,'' Pfizer said in a statement provided to the AP. The company added, ''It is important to note that viral infections are a common cause of myocarditis. With hundreds of millions of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine administered globally, the benefit risk profile of our vaccine remains positive.''
Reached by email, Dr. Chayasin Mansanguan, an assistant professor in the department of clinical tropical medicine at Mahidol University in Thailand and one of the authors of the study, declined to comment on specifics of the study prior to publication. But she also indicated that the study was being misrepresented on Twitter.
According to data compiled by the National Institutes of Health , roughly two people out of every 100,000 who receive either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will develop myocarditis as a result. Only 1% of those myocarditis cases become life-threatening. Men and boys between the ages of 16 and 29 have been most affected, usually days after their second dose. But federal agencies and medical organizations have emphasized the rarity of this side effect, as the AP reported.
This is part of AP's effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.
Fauci and Walensky Double Down on Failed Covid Response - WSJ
Fri, 19 Aug 2022 13:27
Lockdowns were oppressive and deadly. But U.S. and WHO officials plan worse for the next pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention belatedly admitted failure this week. ''For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for Covid-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,'' Director Rochelle Walensky said. She vowed to establish an ''action-oriented culture.''
Lockdowns and mask mandates were the most radical experiment in the history of public health, but Dr. Walensky isn't alone in thinking they failed because they didn't go far enough. Anthony Fauci, chief medical...
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention belatedly admitted failure this week. ''For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for Covid-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,'' Director Rochelle Walensky said. She vowed to establish an ''action-oriented culture.''
Lockdowns and mask mandates were the most radical experiment in the history of public health, but Dr. Walensky isn't alone in thinking they failed because they didn't go far enough. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, recently said there should have been ''much, much more stringent restrictions'' early in the pandemic. The World Health Organization is revising its official guidance to call for stricter lockdown measures in the next pandemic, and it is even seeking a new treaty that would compel nations to adopt them. The World Economic Forum hails the Covid lockdowns as the model for a ''Great Reset'' empowering technocrats to dictate policies world-wide.
Yet these oppressive measures were taken against the longstanding advice of public-health experts, who warned that they would lead to catastrophe and were proved right. For all the talk from officials like Dr. Fauci about following ''the science,'' these leaders ignored decades of research'--as well as fresh data from the pandemic'--when they set strict Covid regulations. The burden of proof was on them to justify their dangerous experiment, yet they failed to conduct rigorous analyses, preferring to tout badly flawed studies while refusing to confront obvious evidence of the policies' failure.
U.S. states with more-restrictive policies fared no better, on average, than states with less-restrictive policies. There's still no convincing evidence that masks provided any significant benefits. When case rates throughout the pandemic are plotted on a graph, the trajectory in states with mask mandates is virtually identical to the trajectory in states without mandates. (The states without mandates actually had slightly fewer Covid deaths per capita.) International comparisons yield similar results. A Johns Hopkins University meta-analysis of studies around the world concluded that lockdown and mask restrictions have had ''little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality.''
Florida and Sweden were accused of deadly folly for keeping schools and businesses open without masks, but their policies have been vindicated. In Florida the cumulative age-adjusted rate of Covid mortality is below the national average, and the rate of excess mortality is lower than in California, which endured one of the nation's strictest lockdowns and worst spikes in unemployment. Sweden's cumulative rate of excess mortality is one of the lowest in the world, and there's one particularly dismal difference between it and the rest of Europe as well as America: the number of younger adults who died not from Covid but from the effects of lockdowns.
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Even in 2020, Sweden's worst year of the pandemic, the mortality rate remained normal among Swedes under 70. Meanwhile, the death rate surged among younger adults in the U.S., and a majority of them died from causes other than Covid. In Sweden, there have been no excess deaths from non-Covid causes during the pandemic, but in the U.S. there have been more than 170,000 of these excess deaths.
No one knows exactly how many of those deaths were caused by lockdowns, but the social disruptions, isolation, inactivity and economic havoc clearly exacted a toll. Medical treatments and screenings were delayed, and there were sharp increases in the rates of depression, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, fatal strokes and heart disease, and fatal abuse of alcohol and drugs.
These were the sorts of calamities foreseen long before 2020 by eminent epidemiologists such as Donald Henderson, who directed the successful international effort to eradicate smallpox. In 2006 he and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh considered an array of proposed measures to deal with a virus as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu.
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Should schools be closed? Should everyone wear face masks in public places? Should those exposed to an infection be required to quarantine at home? Should public-health officials rely on computer models of viral spread to impose strict limitations on people's movements? In each case, the answer was no, because there was no evidence these measures would make a significant difference.
''Experience has shown,'' Henderson's team concluded, ''that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted.'' The researchers specifically advised leaders not to be guided by computer models, because no model could reliably predict the effects of the measures or take into account the ''devastating'' collateral damage. If leaders overreacted and panicked the public, ''a manageable epidemic could move toward catastrophe.''
This advice was subsequently heeded in the pre-Covid pandemic plans prepared by the CDC and other public-health agencies. The WHO's review of the scientific literature concluded that there was ''no evidence'' that universal masking ''is effective in reducing transmission.'' The CDC's pre-2020 planning scenarios didn't recommend universal masking or extended school and business closures even during a pandemic as severe as the 1918 Spanish flu. Neither did the U.K.'s 2011 plan, which urged ''those who are well to carry on with their normal daily lives'' and flatly declared, ''It will not be possible to halt the spread of a new pandemic influenza virus, and it would be a waste of public health resources and capacity to attempt to do so.''
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But those plans were abruptly discarded in March 2020, when computer modelers in England announced that a lockdown like China's was the only way to avert doomsday. As Henderson had warned, the computer model's projections'--such as 30 Covid patients for every available bed in intensive-care units'--proved to be absurdly wrong. Just as the British planners had predicted, it was impossible to halt the virus. A few isolated places managed to keep out the virus with border closures and draconian lockdowns, but the virus spread quickly once they opened up. China's hopeless fantasy of ''Zero Covid'' became a humanitarian nightmare.
It was bad enough that Dr. Fauci, the CDC and the WHO ignored the best scientific advice at the start of this pandemic. It's sociopathic for them to promote a worse catastrophe for future outbreaks. If a drug company behaved this way, ignoring evidence while marketing an ineffective treatment with fatal side effects, its executives would be facing lawsuits, bankruptcy and probably criminal charges. Dr. Fauci and his fellow public officials can't easily be sued, but they need to be put out of business long before the next pandemic.
Mr. Tierney is a contributing editor to City Journal and a co-author of ''The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It.''
Musk targets ad tech firms in Twitter suit over takeover deal | Reuters
Fri, 19 Aug 2022 05:58
Elon Musk photo, Twitter logos and U.S. dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration, August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comAug 18 (Reuters) - Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is attempting to walk away from his deal to acquire Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), is seeking documents from advertising technology firms as part of his quest to gain more information on bot and spam accounts on Twitter, according to filings in a Delaware court on Thursday.
Twitter has sued the Tesla chief executive, who has accused Twitter of hiding information about how it calculates the percentage of bots on the service, for attempting to walk away from the $44 billion agreement. A trial is scheduled for Oct. 17. read more
Musk's lawyers have subpoenaed both Integral Ad Science (IAS) (IAS.O) and DoubleVerify (DV.N) for any documents or communications on their involvement in reviewing accounts or participation in any audit of Twitter's user base.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comIAS and DoubleVerify, which are both based in New York, use technology to independently verify that digital ads are viewed by real people. Advertisers use the services to ensure the ads they pay for are seen by potential customers and not automated bots.
Twitter, IAS and DoubleVerify did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In response to a tweet by a user who questioned how Twitter audits its service and also linked to a Reuters story on Musk targeting the ad firms, Musk tweeted: "Those are the questions that Twitter is doing everything possible to avoid answering '..."
In a countersuit earlier this month, Musk claimed that Twitter's monetizable daily active users are 65 million lower than what the company has touted. Twitter has said it stands by its disclosures.
The metric measures users who log onto Twitter through the website or apps that are able to serve ads or used paid products like subscriptions, according to Twitter filings.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comReporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Leslie Adler and Deepa Babington
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.