October 2nd, 2022 • 3h 5m
Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.
Waffle House Index
Just caught up on Thursday's show. The Waffle House Index is definitely a thing.
Has been for decades in the South. Not sure how it started but it's been mentioned during storm seasons for as long as I can remember. Been in NC for 35 years.
I had a small role in the FED GOV planning and response to IAN this last week.
I first heard of the Waffle House Index from former FEMA administrator Craig Fugate in regards to logistics.
He would say: “When you’re driving toward the affected area and you see an open Waffle House, keep driving. When you see a Waffle House that’s closed and the windows are boarded up, keep driving. When you see a concrete pad where a Waffle House used to be, stop! That’s where you set up the ISB.” (Incident Support Base)
Not sure why it made a comeback. It could perhaps indicate an unofficial relationship between FEMA and WH in disaster response.
What’s clear is folks down south loves them some Waffle House!
Hey Adam, hopefully you haven't been inundated with feedback on this, just wanted to offer some context for the Waffle House Index.
My dad was chief for the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services for the state of Florida. During his tenure he worked for Craig Fugate who was the Director and later would go on to be the FEMA director. Fugate developed the WHI initially as a way of tracking where they could find hot food for the guys who pulled emergency response duties. He noticed the correlation between how quickly Waffle House got back up and running and overall disaster recovery in the area. If Waffle House was up, they didn't need to focus as many resources in that area.
Anywayssss, just wanted to let you know it's not a native ad, although without context I can see how you could think so.
Love is lit,
‘My Carbon’: An approach for inclusive & sustainable cities | World Economic Forum
1. COVID-19 was the test of social responsibility – A huge number of unimaginable restrictions for public health were adopted by billions of citizens across the world. There were numerous examples globally of maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, mass vaccinations and acceptance of contact-tracing applications for public health, which demonstrated the core of individual social responsibility.
Tesla Robot walks just like Joe Biden
Federal Reserve announces major ‘pilot exercise’ for ESG social credit score system
“Six of the nation's largest banks will participate in a pilot climate scenario analysis exercise designed to enhance the ability of supervisors and firms to measure and manage climate-related financial risks. Scenario analysis—in which the resilience of financial institutions is assessed under different hypothetical climate scenarios—is an emerging tool to assess climate-related financial risks, and there will be no capital or supervisory implications from the pilot.”
In other words, The Fed is working with the big banks to monitor their ability to comply with the ruling class’s preferred enviro statist technocratic tyranny.
‘My Carbon’: An approach for inclusive & sustainable cities | World Economic Forum
1. COVID-19 was the test of social responsibility – A huge number of unimaginable restrictions for public health were adopted by billions of citizens across the world. There were numerous examples globally of maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, mass vaccinations and acceptance of contact-tracing applications for public health, which demonstrated the core of individual social responsibility.
United Airlines to End Service at J.F.K. Airport - The New York Times
The airline said it was too small to compete at the airport and would cease flights there at the end of October.
BLM LGBBTQQIAPPK+ Noodle Boy
Energy & Inflation
Vaccination Rate vs Excess Deaths in European Union, Quantitative Analysis
As promised, rigorous numbers on vaccination rate vs excess deaths. These are official numbers from the EU and Our World in Data.
The first graph shows October 2021 - July 2022. As one might expect, the vaccines are indeed reducing deaths.
However, the second graph, March 2022 - July 2022, shows that once the benefits against Covid deaths stop (i.e. once the pandemic petered out) there is a correlation between vaccination rate and excess deaths.
As an aside, notice that Luxembourg and Lichenstein, two similar countries (very high GDPs, small populations) have wildly different vaccination rates - 5.9% and 68% respectively.
The main difference? Luxembourg is a seat of EU governance; draw your own conclusions.
Make Iran Great Again NYC BOTG
I spent a couple hours at the NYC protest today against the Islamic regime in Iran. I wouldn’t say the turnout was enormous, but definitely a lot of people in Washington square park.
A few observations:
There was at least two people with Ukraine flags. I don’t think they were particularly welcome, thankfully. I was hoping they would get rousted, maybe I should’ve done it myself.
Someone tried to start a “silence is violence” chant, which mercifully died very quickly when people seemed to realize how dumb it was.
People tried some “hey hey, ho ho, Islamic regime has got to go” chants. Pretty lame. Also a lot of “say her name” chants which seemed to work a bit better.
My personal favorite was the the people wearing the “Make Iran great again” shirts. I never knew there was so many ULTRA MIGA folx in NYC!
Mandate & Boosters
Child vaccination refusal BOTG
Our daughter had her 2 year checkup on Wednesday. She is fully immunized but we decided we didn’t want her to get the second Hep A vaccine. We made this decision after researching childhood vaccines and weighing the benefits and risks. Our pediatrician told us that per policy, the medical care for our daughter would be terminated and we had 30 days to find a new pediatrician. Its an eviction letter! See attached.
GrubHub robots from Russia in campus. Cancelled!
When air and road travel dropped during COVID | EurekAlert!
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 16:17
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2022
Jillian McKoy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Saunders, email@example.com
During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, global road travel and commercial flight activity decreased by 50 percent and 60 percent, respectively, compared to pre-pandemic levels. During the lockdowns that cities imposed in the initial months of COVID, flight activity in particular was reduced to a near standstill, decreasing by 96 percent'--nearly triple the percentage of flight reductions that followed the 9/11 attacks.
This unexpected and widespread halt in travel provided a rare opportunity for researchers to explore the impact of these mobility changes on air pollution, specifically ultrafine particles. Now, a new study by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) has found that ultrafine particle concentration dropped by nearly 50 percent due to reduced aviation and road activity during the first few months of the pandemic.
Published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, the study analyzed measurements of ultrafine particles, referred to as particle number concentration (PNC), that were collected before and during the first year of COVID at a rooftop site near Boston's Logan International Airport. The findings revealed that during the state-of-emergency period from April-June 2020, average PNC was 48 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels, corresponding with flight activity that was 74 percent lower, highway traffic volume that was 51 percent lower, and local traffic volume that was 39 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Total air quality measurements occurred from April 2020 through June 2021 and the researchers compared them with pre-pandemic measurements from 2017 and 2018.
By June 2021, traffic volume returned to pre-COVID levels, while flight activity remained 44 percent lower than normal. Similar to traffic volume, average PNC levels also returned to normal by summer 2021'--except when the site was downwind from Logan Airport.
The findings build upon previous studies on PNC, which have focused primarily on road traffic emissions, during much shorter time periods. The new study is the first to distinguish between aviation and automobile-related contributions to PNC over several months, providing a clearer understanding of the unique emissions produced by each transportation source.
Identifying and quantifying the emissions sources that contribute most to air pollution levels in a given area or region is crucial for air quality management, the researchers say.
''Urban air pollution is a serious public health threat, and residing in neighborhoods near sources of ultrafine particles, such as major roadways, trains and airports, has been shown to have elevated adverse health impacts,'' says study lead author Sean Mueller, a PhD student in the Department of Environmental Health at BUSPH. ''Our work shows that while airplanes can contribute to some of the highest community-level exposures to ultrafine particles, these exposures occur predominantly during specific meteorological conditions. Following the differences in road and flight activity patterns before and during the pandemic allowed us to understand that PNC in the community typically follows road traffic patterns'--i.e. high during typical commuting rush hour, and lower after midnight'--but that the highest air pollution levels occur when the site is downwind of Logan Airport.''
Ultrafine particles, which are 800 times smaller than a human hair, are particularly toxic pollutants that can cause inflammation in the lungs, brain, and other organs. They are also not regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Approximately 40 million people in the US, including many in lower-income neighborhoods, live near major airports and bear the brunt of the health impacts that follow exposure to these pollutants.
In the absence of federal oversight, there are still policy changes that can help reduce exposures, including increasing the adoption of sustainable aviation fuel technology, such as low-sulfur fuel and electric engines, says study senior author Dr. Kevin Lane, assistant professor of environmental health at BUSPH.
''The EPA currently considers there to be insufficient health evidence at this time to promulgate an ultrafine particle air quality standard, so more research is needed to support regulation development,'' Lane says. ''While waiting for federal action and the development and integration of new technology to reduce exposure to air pollution, action can be taken at the local level by continuing to bring near-airport communities, researchers and airport administrators together to explore mechanisms to reduce community exposure, including integration of in-home air filtration such as HEPA filters.''
About Boston University School of Public HealthFounded in 1976, Boston University School of Public Health is one of the top five ranked private schools of public health in the world. It offers master's- and doctoral-level education in public health. The faculty in six departments conduct policy-changing public health research around the world, with the mission of improving the health of populations'--especially the disadvantaged, underserved, and vulnerable'--locally and globally
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Method of ResearchObservational study
Subject of ResearchNot applicable
Article TitleChanges in Ultrafine Particle Concentrations near a Major Airport Following Reduced Transportation Activity during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Article Publication Date15-Aug-2022
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
Facebook scrambles to escape death spiral as users flee, sales drop
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 16:09
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify following a break during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
A year ago, before Facebook had turned Meta, the social media company was sporting a market cap of $1 trillion, putting it in rarefied territory with a handful of U.S. technology giants.
Today the view looks much different. Meta has lost about two-thirds of its value since peaking in September 2021. The stock is trading at its lowest since January 2019 and is about to close out its third straight quarter of double-digit percentage losses. Only four stocks in the S&P 500 are having a worse year.
Facebook's business was built on network effects '-- users brought their friends and family members, who told their colleagues, who invited their buddies. Suddenly everyone was convening in one place. Advertisers followed, and the company's ensuing profits '-- and they were plentiful '-- provided the capital to recruit the best and brightest engineers to keep the cycle going.
But in 2022, the cycle has reversed. Users are jumping ship and advertisers are reducing their spending, leaving Meta poised to report its second straight drop in quarterly revenue. Businesses are removing Facebook's once-ubiquitous social login button from their websites. Recruiting is an emerging challenge, especially as founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spends much of his time proselytizing the metaverse, which may be the company's future but accounts for virtually none of its near-term revenue and is costing billions of dollars a year to build.
Zuckerberg said he hopes that within the next decade, the metaverse "will reach a billion people" and "host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce." He told CNBC's Jim Cramer in June that the "North Star" is to reach those sorts of figures by the end of the decade and create a "massive economy" around digital goods.
Investors aren't enthusiastic about it, and the way they're dumping the stock has some observers questioning if the downward pressure is actually a death spiral from which Meta can't recover.
"I'm not sure there's a core business that works anymore at Facebook," said Laura Martin of Needham, the only analyst among the 45 tracked by FactSet with a sell rating on the stock.
Nobody is suggesting that Facebook is at risk of going out of business. The company still has a dominant position in mobile advertising and has one of the most profitable business models on the planet. Even with a 36% drop in net income in the latest quarter from the prior year, Meta generated $6.7 billion in profit and ended the period with over $40 billion in cash and marketable securities.
The Wall Street problem for Facebook is that it's no longer a growth story. Up until this year, that's the only thing it's known. The company's slowest year for revenue growth was the pandemic year of 2020, when it still expanded 22%. Analysts this year are predicting a revenue drop.
The number of daily active users in the U.S. and Canada has fallen in the past two years, from 198 million in mid-2020 to 197 million in the second quarter of this year. Globally, user numbers are up about 10% over that stretch and are expected to increase 3% a year through 2024, according to FactSet estimates.
"I don't see it spiraling in terms of cash flows in the next few years, but I'm just worried that they're not winning the next generation," said Jeremy Bondy, CEO of app marketing firm Liftoff.
Sales growth is expected to hover in the single digits for the first half of 2023, before ticking back up. But even that bet carries risks. The next generation, as Bondy describes it, is now moving over to TikTok, where users can create and view short, viral videos rather than scrolling past political rants from distant relatives with whom they mistakenly connected on Facebook.
Meta has been trying to mimic TikTok's success with its short video offering called Reels, which has been a major focus across Facebook and Instagram. Meta plans to increase the amount of algorithmically recommended short videos in users' Instagram feeds from 15% to 30%, and Bondy speculates the company will likely "get tremendous revenue flow from that" algorithmic shift.
However, Facebook acknowledges it's early days for monetizing Reels, and it's not yet clear how well the format works for advertisers. TikTok's business remains opaque because the company is privately held and owned by China's ByteDance.
Sheryl Sandberg, who's leaving the company Friday after more than 14 years as chief operating officer, said in her final earnings call in July that videos are harder than photos in terms of ads and measurement, and that Facebook has to show businesses how to use the ad tools for Reels.
"I think it's very promising," Sandberg said, "but we've got some hard work ahead of us."
Skeptics such as Martin see Facebook pushing users away from the core news feed, where it makes tons of cash, and toward Reels, where the model is unproven. Martin says Zuckerberg must know something important about where the business is headed.
"He wouldn't be hurting its revenue at the same time he needs more money, unless he felt like the core business wasn't strong enough to stand alone," Martin said. "He must feel he has to try to move his viewership to Reels to compete with TikTok."
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment for this story.
Zuckerberg has at least one major reason for concern beyond just stalled user growth and a slowing economy: Apple.
The 2021 iOS privacy update, called App Tracking Transparency, undermined Facebook's ability to target users with ads, costing the company an estimated $10 billion in revenue this year. Meta is counting on artificial intelligence-powered advertising to eventually make up for Apple's changes.
That may amount to little more than a Band-Aid. Chris Curtis, an online marketing expert and consultant, has seen social networks rise and fall as trends change and users move along. And that problem isn't solvable with AI.
"I'm old enough, and I was there when MySpace was a thing," said Curtis, who previously worked at Anheuser-Busch and McKinsey. "Social networks are switchable, right?"
When you look at Meta's user numbers, Curtis said, they suggest the company is "not in a good position."
'Force for good or evil'The last time Facebook's market cap was this low, it was early 2019 and the company was dealing with the continued fallout of the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. Since then, Facebook has suffered further reputational damage, most notably from the documents leaked last year by whistleblower and former employee Frances Haugen.
The main takeaway from the Haugen saga, which preceded the name change to Meta, was that Facebook knew of many of the harms its products caused kids and was unwilling or unable to do anything about them. Some U.S. senators compared the company to Big Tobacco.
Former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing entitled 'Protecting Kids Online: Testimony from a Facebook Whistleblower' on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., October 5, 2021.
Jabin Botsford | Reuters
Denise Lee Yohn, author of brand-building books including "What Great Brands Do" and "Fusion," said there's little evidence to suggest that Facebook's rebranding to Meta late last year has changed public perception of the company.
"I think the company still suffers from a lot of criticism and skepticism about whether they are a force for good or evil," Yohn said.
Rehabilitating a damaged brand is difficult but not impossible, Yohn said. She noted that in 2009, Domino's Pizza was able to successfully come back from a crisis. In April of that year, a video made as a prank by two restaurant employees went viral, showing one of them doing disgusting acts with food while cooking in one of the company's kitchens. Both employees were arrested and charged with food contamination.
In December 2009, Domino's launched a marketing blitz called the "Pizza Turnaround." The stock climbed 63% in the first quarter of 2010.
Yohn said the company's approach was, "We've been told our pizzas suck, and so we're actually going to make substantive changes to what we are offering and change people's perceptions." While it sounded initially like "just marketing speak," Yohn said, "they actually really did change."
Zuckerberg, on the other hand, is not "coming across as a leader who is serious about changing his culture and about changing himself and about kind of creating a company that will be able to step into the future that he's envisioning," she said.
Meta's reputational hit could also harm the company's ability to recruit top-tier talent, a stark contrast to a decade ago, when there was no more prized landing spot for a hotshot engineer.
A former Facebook ad executive, who spoke on condition that his name not be used, told CNBC that even though TikTok is owned by a Chinese parent, it now has an edge over Meta when it comes to recruiting because it's viewed as having less "moral downside."
Ben Zhao, a computer science professor at University of Chicago, said he's seeing that play out on the ground as an increasing number of students in his department are showing interest in working for TikTok and ByteDance.
In order to stay competitive, given how the market has punished tech stocks this year, Zhao said, Meta and Google are "having to pay more and are having certainly to hand out more lucrative stock options and packages."
The bull caseStill, Zuckerberg has a history of proving his doubters wrong, said Jake Dollarhide, the CEO of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Dollarhide remembers when investors ran from Facebook not long after its 2012 IPO, scoffing at the company's ability to move "from the PC to the mobile world." Facebook's mobile business quickly caught fire and by late 2013, the stock was off to the races.
Zuckerberg's success in pivoting to mobile gives Dollarhide confidence that Meta can cash in on its bet-the-farm move to the metaverse. In the second quarter, Meta's Reality Labs division, which houses its virtual reality headsets and related technologies, generated $452 million in revenue, about 1.5% of total Meta sales, and lost $2.8 billion.
"I think Zuckerberg is very bright and very ambitious," said Dollarhide. "I wouldn't bet against Zuckerberg just like I wouldn't bet against Elon Musk."
Dollarhide's firm hasn't owned Facebook shares, though, since 2014, preferring the trajectory of tech companies such as Apple and Amazon, two of his top holdings.
"The reality is they can be perceived as a value company and not a growth company," Dollarhide said, regarding Meta.
No matter what happens in the next year or two or even three, Zuckerberg has made clear that the future of the company is in the metaverse, where he's banking on new businesses forming around virtual reality.
Zhao, from University of Chicago, says there's immense uncertainty surrounding the metaverse's prospects.
"The real question is '-- are daily users ready for the metaverse yet?" Zhao said. "Is the underlying technology ready and mature enough to make that transition seamless? That's a real question and that may not be all up to Facebook or Meta at this point."
If Zuckerberg is right, perhaps 10 years from now Meta's stock price from the depths of 2022 will look like the discount of the decade. And if that happens, predictions of a death spiral will be mocked like a 2012 cover story from Barron's, headlined "Facebook is worth $15" with a thumb pointing down. Four years later, it was trading near $130.
WATCH: Needham's Martin is a Meta skeptic
Elon Musk's Texts Shatter the Myth of the Tech Genius - The Atlantic
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 16:08
Yesterday, the world got a look inside Elon Musk's phone. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO is currently in litigation with Twitter and trying to back out of his deal to buy the platform and take it private. As part of the discovery process related to this lawsuit, Delaware's Court of Chancery released hundreds of text messages and emails sent to and from Musk. The 151-page redacted document is a remarkable, voyeuristic record of a few months in the life of the world's richest (and most overexposed) man and a rare unvarnished glimpse into the overlapping worlds of Silicon Valley, media, and politics. The texts are juicy, but not because they are lurid, particularly offensive, or offer up some scandalous Muskian master plan'--quite the opposite. What is so illuminating about the Musk messages is just how unimpressive, unimaginative, and sycophantic the powerful men in Musk's contacts appear to be. Whoever said there are no bad ideas in brainstorming never had access to Elon Musk's phone.
In no time, the texts were the central subject of discussion among tech workers and watchers. ''The dominant reaction from all the threads I'm in is Everyone looks fucking dumb,'' one former social-media executive, whom I've granted anonymity because they have relationships with many of the people in Musk's texts, told me. ''It's been a general Is this really how business is done? There's no real strategic thought or analysis. It's just emotional and done without any real care for consequence.''
Appearing in the document is, I suppose, a perverse kind of status symbol (some people I spoke with in tech and media circles copped to searching through it for their own names). And what is immediately apparent upon reading the messages is that many of the same people the media couldn't stop talking about this year were also the ones inserting themselves into Musk's texts. There's Joe Rogan; William MacAskill, the effective altruist, getting in touch on behalf of the crypto billionaire and Democratic donor Sam Bankman-Fried; Mathias D¶pfner, the CEO of Axel Springer (and the subject of a recent, unflattering profile); Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist, NIMBY, and prolific blocker on Twitter; Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, who was recently revealed to have joined a November 2020 call about contesting Donald Trump's election loss; and, of course, Jack Dorsey, Twitter's co-founder and former CEO. Musk, arguably the most covered and exhausting of them all, has an inbox that doubles as a power ranking of semi- to fully polarizing people who have been in the news the past year.
Few of the men in Musk's phone consider themselves his equal. Many of the messages come off as fawning, although they're possibly more opportunistic than earnest. Whatever the case, the intentions are unmistakable: Musk is perceived to have power, and these pillars of the tech industry want to be close to it. ''I love your 'Twitter algorithms should be open source' tweet,'' Joe Lonsdale, a co-founder of Palantir, said, before suggesting that he was going to mention the idea to members of Congress at an upcoming GOP policy retreat. Antonio Gracias, the CEO of Valor Partners, cheered on the same tweet, telling the billionaire, ''I am 100% with you Elon. To the mattresses no matter what.''
Read: Elon Musk, baloney king
Few in Musk's phone appeared as excitable as the angel investor Jason Calacanis, who peppered his friend with flattery and random ideas for the service. In the span of 30 minutes, not long after Musk's bid to take the company private, Calacanis suggested a five-point plan for Twitter that would introduce a membership tier, creator revenue splits, algorithmic transparency, and changes to the company's operations'--including but not limited to moving the company from San Francisco to Austin. After pledging his loyalty (''You have my sword,'' he texted Musk), Calacanis pushed new ideas for weeks. ''Just had the best idea ever for monetization,'' he wrote out of the blue, before suggesting a way that users could pay Twitter in order to spam their followers with promotional DMs.
''Imagine we ask Justin Beaver to come back and let him DM his fans '... he could sell 1m in merchandise or tickets instantly. Would be INSANE,'' he wrote, apparently adding an unfortunate instance of autocorrect to the historical record. According to the court document, Musk didn't respond. Later on, Musk chastised Calacanis for trying to whip up public investments to finance Musk's acquisition. This leads to a string of messages that read straight out of Succession:
Morgan Stanley and Jared think you are using our friendship not in a good way
This makes it seem like I'm desperate.
Only ever want to support you.
During Musk's April media frenzy, the billionaire frequently demonstrated a shallow understanding of Twitter, suggesting contradictory policies such as banning spam and bot armies but also leaving up all content that is ''legal.'' (Spam, bot armies, and crypto scam hawkers are all technically legal.) Many of the ideas coming from his peanut gallery were equally poor. D¶pfner, who is in charge of numerous media companies, including Insider and Politico, offered to run Twitter for Musk but seemed woefully unprepared for the task. In a novel-length text, D¶pfner laid out his ''#Gameplan'' for the company, which started with the line item: ''1.),, Solve Free Speech.'' He alluded to vague ideas such as making Twitter censorship resistant via a ''decentralized infrastructure'' and ''open APIs.'' He's similarly nonspecific with his suggestion that Twitter have a ''marketplace'' of algorithms. ''If you're a snowflake and don't want content that offends you pick another algorithm,'' he wrote Musk.
At one point in early April, Musk appears infatuated with his own idea to replace Twitter with a blockchain-based payment-and-message system. In a string of texts to his brother, the entrepreneur Kimbal Musk, he manages to convince himself that the idea could be huge and a way to crush spam while preserving free speech. In this preposterous scenario, users would have to pay a fractional amount of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin to post or retweet. Roughly 10 days later, Musk sends a different text noting that ''blockchain Twitter isn't possible.''
Read: Elon Musk already showed us how he'll run Twitter
The texts also cast a harsh light on the investment tactics of Silicon Valley's best and brightest. There's Calacanis's overeager angel-investing pitches, and then you have the more chill tactics of people like Andreessen, who in a tossed-off Twitter DM offered Musk ''$250M with no additional work required.'' ''Thanks!'' Musk responded. In a separate exchange, Musk asks Ellison if he'd like to invest in taking Twitter private. ''Yes, of course,'' Ellison replies. ''A billion '... or whatever you recommend.'' Easy enough.
''This is one of the most telling things I've ever seen about how investing works in Silicon Valley,'' Jessica Lessin, the founder of the tech publication The Information, tweeted of the Andreessen exchange. Indeed, both examples from the document offer a look at the boys' club and power networks of the tech world in action. Is it surprising that rich people (including one of the world's 10 richest men) are throwing money at their friends the way you might on a low-stakes poker night? Not really'--and especially not when that man is the richest man in the world. But the eagerness to pony up for Musk and the lazy quality of this dealmaking reveal something deeper about the brokenness of this investment ecosystem and the ways that it is driven more by vibes and grievances than due diligence. Looking at these texts, it seems much easier to understand Andreessen Horowitz's recent $350 million investment in WeWork founder Adam Neumann's new real-estate start-up, or Bankman-Fried's admission that most venture-capitalist investments are not ''the paragon of efficient markets'' and driven primarily by FOMO and hype. ''Like, all the models are made up, right?'' he infamously told Bloomberg last April.
What's immediately clear is that many of the men in Musk's phone are having fun with his Twitter escapade. It is an opportunity to blithely throw shit at the wall and see what sticks. They toss out phrases like ''hard reboot'' and ''Day Zero. Sharpen your blades boys'''--to cleave through what they see as an unnecessary and ineffective workforce, perhaps. They imagine massive revenue opportunities and sweeping changes that only they can usher in. For this crew, the early success of their past companies or careers is usually prologue, and their skills will, of course, transfer to any area they choose to conquer (including magically solving free speech). But what they are actually doing is winging it.
''I'm on 20 threads with people,'' the former social-media executive told me. ''And it's literally like, Damn, they were just throwing shit at the wall. The ideas people were writing in, in terms of who would be CEO'--it's some real fantasy-baseball bullshit.'' Despite all the self-mythologizing and talk of building, the men in these text messages appear mercurial, disorganized, and incapable of solving the kind of societal problems they think they can.
There is a tendency, especially when it comes to the ¼ber-rich and powerful, to assume and to fantasize about what we can't see. We ascribe shadowy brilliance or malevolence, which may very well be unearned or misguided. What's striking about the Musk messages, then, is the similarity between these men's behavior behind closed doors and in public on Twitter. Perhaps the real revelation here is that the shallowness you see is the shallowness you get.
Superclass Child Abuse Research Center (SCARE) | ISGP
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 16:07
"Liberal CIA" owns rock and metal
"Liberal CIA" owns Hollywood
Le Cercle: CIA-MI6-Vatican shadow govern.
Secret police report on Opus Dei
Psychedelics & elitism
Four dozen cases of CIA drug trafficking
Rockefeller NGOs and Pim Fortuyn's death
Le Cercle: CIA-Opus Dei politics
Boston 2013: Bizarre CIA ties of bombers
Bush, Rumsfeld, FAA inactivity on 9/11
The Kay Griggs story investigated
Arab crime in Holland - since 1980s
$150 bn in foundations attacking Trump
"Liberal CIA": NGOs, media, activism, etc.
Alex Jones' disinfo and CIA family in detail
Elite child abuse networks in France
ISIS' rise: US, Turkey, Arab League role
47 pro-immigration psywar tactics
Violent black crime: 5-30x the white rate
Pizzagate: truth, lies, X-Dossier ties
Global racial IQ: numbers and variations
Cult of national security trolls
Norway: 95% of street rapes by migrants
The 1001 Club
The Disclosure Project scam explained
On this site the reader can find about 60 articles with a total of 1.25 million words, not counting (fully written-out) sources, press reports, membership lists with biographies, and outside work. If the information is reorganized, it would be possible to publish it in ten 400+ page books. ~ Joel
Crop circles: the ultimate psyop?
World history in timelines
Deceptions of Graham Hancock explained
Why Atlantis couldn't have existed
Cult of national security trolls
7 signs of quiet firing to look for at work
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 16:05
If you've noticed your boss isn't acknowledging your hard work and contributions like they used to, they might be quiet firing you.
According to Team Building, a team development company, quiet firing is a "passive-aggressive approach to performance management." This concept can show up in different ways '-- both deliberately and inadvertently. Instead of outright firing employees, these managers will make the workplace as unpleasant as possible, by encouraging employees to quit or neglecting them through lack of feedback or resources.
Annie Rosencrans, director of people and culture at HiBob, says that despite the new terminology, quiet firing is a concept that's existed for quite some time. A recent LinkedIn News poll with over 20,000 respondents found that 48% of employees have seen quiet firing in the workplace, and 35% have faced it during their careers.
"I think this idea of quiet firing is done unintentionally, or subconsciously, by managers who are fearful or hesitant to give direct feedback when things aren't going well with an employee," Rosencrans tells CNBC Make It. "Managers who know that someone's not working out and know they want them to leave'... [may] just ignore them, in hopes that they will leave on their own. That's a very unhealthy thing."
Here are three things you should know about quiet firing that could help you in the workplace.
What to look out forThough it can be hard to decipher whether or not you're being quiet fired, experts say there are several hints to watch out for. According to Rosencrans and Paul Lewis, chief customer officer at Adzuna, employees should look out for these red flags:
You haven't seen a salary increase after one to two years.You don't receive any meaningful feedback from your manager.Your manager avoids engaging with you.You've been singled out to answer tough questions at team or company meetings.Your ideas are disregarded.You aren't being challenged or given additional opportunities and projects.You're left out of meetings, events and/or social gatherings.How to avoid itThere are several things an employee can do to try to avoid quiet firing, the biggest one being communicating, according to Lewis.
"If you're being quiet fired, you're more likely to quiet quit. It's really tough, but you've got departments like HR that you can go to," Lewis explains. "You can make sure you've got your complaints logged and that they're aware of how you're feeling. And a good company will take those complaints seriously."
Lewis also recommends employees talk to their managers directly to try to fix the issue.
"Talk to your manager, challenge them, ask for growth, continue to push, and try to show them how ambitious, how engaged and how up for the mission you are."
Quiet firing is management's issue, not yoursBeing mistreated or ignored at work can put a damper on an employee's mental health, which will require them to make the tough decision of remaining persistent or leaving the role. However, Lewis reassures workers that quiet firing, which he refers to as "workplace bullying" is more telling of your manager's work ethic than yours.
"Ultimately, if [the quiet firing] continues, then I would question the individual in that role," Lewis explains. "Do you really want to be working for a toxic company? Do you really want to be working for a business that doesn't respect you? That doesn't embody the values that you probably have yourself?"
Rosencrans adds that managers should ensure they're creating opportunities for "development, growth and learning," especially for millennial and Gen Z employees if they want to retain workers.
"Managers should open up opportunities for employees who are ambitious and want to continue developing. That's a really effective retention tool and engagement tool," Rosencrans says. "And if it's an underperforming employee, that inquiry from them to their manager may open up the door for their manager to say, 'Hey, I appreciate that you want to grow and develop into these new areas. But first, I really need you to focus on your core responsibilities. And these are the gaps that I'm seeing.'"
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United Airlines to End Service at J.F.K. Airport - The New York Times
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 16:05
Business | United Airlines to End Service at J.F.K. Airport https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/30/business/united-airlines-jfk-airport.htmlThe airline said it was too small to compete at the airport and would cease flights there at the end of October.
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In the year ending in September, United operated fewer than 3,000 flights in and out of Kennedy Airport, accounting for less than 1 percent of airport traffic there. Credit... Stephen Chernin/Getty Images Sept. 30, 2022
United Airlines said it would temporarily stop flying in and out of Kennedy International Airport in New York at the end of October after struggling to gain a competitive foothold there.
In a note to employees on Friday, the airline said it had had ''constructive'' conversations with the Federal Aviation Administration about expanding United's presence at J.F.K., where flights are tightly regulated. The agency was committed to making improvements, but such changes would take time, United said.
''Given our current, too-small-to-be-competitive schedule out of J.F.K. '-- coupled with the start of the winter season, where more airlines will operate their slots as they resume J.F.K. flying '-- United has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend service at J.F.K.,'' it said.
The airline had formally restarted flights out of the airport last year after a five-year hiatus. United had offered service at J.F.K. earlier in the pandemic by taking advantage of unused takeoff and landing authorizations, known as slots, that had been awarded to other airlines. But now that travel demand has recovered, those airlines have reclaimed those slots.
The announcement comes amid a court trial in which American Airlines and JetBlue Airways are defending an alliance they formed in New York and Boston, which they argue is necessary to compete with the dominant airlines in those cities: United and Delta Air Lines. The Justice Department is suing to break up that partnership, arguing that it is anticompetitive.
United had warned weeks earlier that it might leave J.F.K., where about 100 United employees work. All of its J.F.K. workers are being moved to nearby airports, the airline said. Newark Liberty International Airport, which is just outside New York, is a United hub.
In the year ending in September, United operated fewer than 3,000 flights in and out of J.F.K., accounting for less than 1 percent of airport traffic there, according to Cirium, an aviation data provider. United operated about 266,000 flights over the same period at Newark, accounting for about 70 percent of that airport's traffic.
The F.A.A. said in a statement that it was working to accommodate more flight capacity at airports in the New York City region.
''We will follow our fair and well-established process to award future slots to increase competition between airlines so passengers have more options,'' it said. ''We are encouraged United will retain and relocate its J.F.K. staff to its other New York City airports.''
United said its decision to leave J.F.K. is temporary. The last flights into the airport are scheduled for Oct. 29, and United said it is working to accommodate customers whose plans are affected by the move.
That isn't me, Kwarteng tells Mirror over wrong image - BBC News
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 16:00
By Andre Rhoden-PaulBBC News
Image source, Getty Images Image caption, The Mirror said it would "redouble our efforts" against racism after mistaking another man for the chancellor
The Mirror newspaper has apologised for a "terrible error" after it mistook another man for Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in an online story.
Mr Kwarteng called out the newspaper on Twitter with a screenshot of the story about him, which erroneously used a picture of a different man outside a Treasury building.
"That isn't me," tweeted the chancellor.
The Mirror said it would "redouble our efforts" against racism.
The story headlined "Kwasi Kwarteng says he had to do 'something different' after causing budget chaos" instead pictured Bernard Mensah, the president of international for Bank of America.
Mr Mensah had been among representatives of US banks meeting the chancellor at the Treasury on Wednesday.
The Mirror said in a statement on Twitter: "This morning a picture in a story about Kwasi Kwarteng was wrongly captioned on the Mirror website.
"This was a terrible error and we apologise to Mr Kwarteng and all our readers.
"The Mirror has a long history of working against racism and we will redouble our efforts on this."
The wrong image appeared underneath a link promoting Black History Month stories on the Mirror website.
Hornsey and Wood Green Conservative chairman Ben Obese-Jecty said: "Good to see the Daily Mirror kicking off its coverage of Black History Month with this they-all-look-the-same-don't-they clanger.
"You'd think, given the coverage he's received this week, that most people in the press would know what Kwasi Kwarteng looked like'..."
Another person tweeted: "Bad from the Mirror, but they corrected their error over two hours before Kwasi Kwarteng tweeted about it.
"Now ask him a question about the economy and he'll go into hiding again."
Mr Kwarteng became the first black chancellor of the UK when he took up his role last month.
Amazon to Close 4 of its 5 US Call Centers, Shifts to Work-from-Home, after Closing 44 Warehouses, Halting Construction on 7 Office Towers | Wolf Street
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 14:08
The giant's footprint reduction to cut costs sinks Commercial Real Estate.By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.Amazon, which booked net losses in Q1 and Q2 totaling nearly $6 billion and whose shares are down 38% from their high in July last year, is undertaking large-scale efforts to cut costs '' including commercial real estate costs. It is closing or cancelling 44 warehouses across the US; it's halting construction on six office towers, and won't start construction on a seventh. And now it emerges that it plans to close four of its five call centers in the US and switch those customer service representatives to working from home.
Amazon currently operates five call centers in the US. Kennewick, WA; Lexington, KY; Phoenix, AZ; Huntington, WV; and Houston, TX. It plans to close four of them. Either the Houston or the Huntington facility will likely remain open, according to Bloomberg, citing a source.
Amazon confirmed to Bloomberg that the call center work will be shifted to work from home. Even before the pandemic, it already allowed some call center workers to work from home.
''We're offering additional members of our customer service team the increased flexibility that comes with working virtually,'' an Amazon spokesman told Bloomberg. ''We're working with employees to make sure their transition is seamless while continuing to prioritize best-in-class support for customers.''
For many call center workers, not having to commute is a big benefit, and this should make recruitment easier and reduce turnover, in an economy where hiring and employee turnover are tough challenges for employers. In addition, Amazon can recruit call center workers around the US '' essentially anywhere with a good internet connection '' and is no longer tied to particular cities.
By cutting out four of its five call centers, Amazon will save on the costs of running them, including administrative and real estate costs.
Footprint reduction.In July, it emerged that Amazon was halting construction on five office towers, and will not even start construction on a sixth tower, all of them in downtown Bellevue, Washington. Amazon also halted construction on its office tower in Nashville, Tennessee, where it already has a tower. And it slashed the amount of office space it had planned on leasing at Hudson Yards, in Manhattan, where it has been leasing space since 2019, and this would be for additional space.
The entire office sector of commercial real estate is already in trouble with sky-high vacancy rates and a very uncertain future as demand for office space has plunged amid working from home and the sudden recognition that the future these office towers were built for in huge number may not come.
Prices of office REITS have plunged below their March 2020 lows. Boston Properties [BXP] is down 50% from February 2020, most of which over the past five months. Vornado Realty Trust [VNO] plunged to the lowest in about 20 years and is down 66% from February 2020. Etc.
In terms of warehouses, in May, it emerged that Amazon would shed between 10 million square feet to 30 million square feet of warehouse space that it took on during the pandemic, but that it won't need anymore. It is leasing these warehouses and will try to sublease them to some other companies.
This instantly pulled the rug out from under what was then the still red-hot industrial segment of commercial real estate. Amazon is the giant in the industrial space.
In late June, it emerged that Amazon has delayed or cancelled plans for 13 warehouses around the country. It more recently emerged that Amazon in fact has closed or cancelled 44 warehouse facilities and delayed the opening of 25 additional facilities.
Shares of Prologis [PLD], the giant among the warehouse REITS and a super-hot stock during the pandemic as Amazon was ramping up in the industrial sector, has plunged by 42% from its high on April 28, just days before Amazon's warehouse footprint reduction became publicly known, which took the whole sector down.
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Army major, doctor wife charged in plot to give Russia medical information
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 14:04
A sign of Fort Bragg is seen in Fayetteville, North Carolina September 26, 2014.
Chris Keane | Reuters
A U.S. Army major doctor and their physician wife were arrested for an alleged criminal plot to give Russia confidential medical information about people connected to the American military and government.
The couple, 39-year-old Maj. Jamie Lee Henry, and anesthesiologist Anna Gabrielian, 36, aimed to help Russia in its ongoing war against Ukraine, according to federal prosecutors.
The Rockville, Maryland, couple believed they were passing medical information to a Russian Embassy employee, according to an eight-count indictment unsealed Thursday in Baltimore federal court. But in reality, the recipient of the confidential material was an undercover FBI agent.
The information related to a handful of patients at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where Henry was a staff internist, and at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where Gabrielian works, the indictment said.
The indictment accuses the couple of giving the purported embassy worker that information to demonstrate their level of access to such material about "U.S. personnel" and to show "the potential for the Russian government to gain insights into the medical conditions of individuals associated with the U.S. government and military, to exploit this information."
That complaint charges the couple with conspiracy and wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information.
Henry had secret-level security clearance while working at Fort Bragg, the largest military post in the U.S. Fort Bragg is the home of the Army's XVIII Airborne Corps, the headquarters of the Army's Special Operations Command and the Womack Army Medical Center.
Henry in 2015 was reported to be the first known active-duty Army officer to come out as transgender.
Gabrielian speaks both English and Russian, according to the webpage of Johns Hopkins.
Both defendants appeared Thursday in federal court in Baltimore.
Magistrate Judge Brendan Hurston ordered Gabrielian released on an unsecured $500,000 bond into home detention, with electronic monitoring, while Henry was released without bond into home detention and electronic monitoring.
Henry's lawyer, David Walsh-Little, declined to comment on the case beyond confirming the details of his client's appearance in court. Teresa Whalen, a lawyer for Gabrielian, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The indictment said an FBI agent posing as a Russian Embassy employee in mid-August approached Gabrielian and asked her about the assistance she had offered to the embassy several months earlier via phone and email.
Gabrielian agreed to meet the agent in a Baltimore hotel room on Aug. 17, the indictment says.
Later that same day, she called the agent "to reaffirm" the couple "were committed to helping Russia," the indictment alleges.
During the meeting, Gabrielian told the FBI agent "she was motivated by patriotism toward Russia to provide any assistance she could to Russia, even if it meant being fired or going to jail," the indictment says.
The charging document says the couple allegedly discussed with the agent the need for them "to maintain 'plausible deniability' regarding their interactions."
"Gabrielian suggested a cover story for their interactions, and a plan for Gabrielian and Henry's children [to] flee the U.S. quickly if Gabrielian and Henry were told to act in a way that could expose their communications and actions to the U.S. government," the indictment says.
Gabrielian allegedly told the agent that Henry "was currently a more important source for Russia than she was, since Henry had more helpful information, including on how the U.S. military establishes an army hospital in war conditions, and about previous training the U.S. military provided to Ukrainian military personnel."
When Gabrielian and Henry jointly met with the agent at the hotel on the night of Aug. 17, the indictment said, "Henry explained to the [undercover agent that they were] committed to assisting Russia, and he had looked into volunteering to join the Russian Army after the conflict in Ukraine began, but Russia wanted people with 'combat experience,' and he did not have any."
"Henry further stated: 'the way I am viewing what is going on in Ukraine now, is that the United States is using Ukrainians as a proxy for their own hatred toward Russia,'" the charging document alleges.
At the same meeting, Henry said Gabrielian had recommended the book "Inside the Aquarium: The Making of a Top Soviet Spy," the indictment alleged. That 1986 book, by Viktor Suvorov, describes the author's training inside the then-Soviet Union's military intelligence system.
Henry also allegedly told the undercover agent, "My point of view is until the United States actually declares war against Russia, I'm able to help as much as I want. At that point. I'll have some ethical issues I have to work through," according to the indictment.
"Gabrielian replied: 'you'll work through those ethical issues,'" the indictment alleges.
Two weeks later, during a meeting with the agent in a hotel in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the couple gave the agent health information related to several individuals, the indictment said.
Gabrielian allegedly gave the agent information related to "the spouse of a person currently employed by the Office of Naval Intelligence" and "highlighted to the [agent] a medical issue reflected in the records [of that person] that Russia could exploit," the indictment said. She also turned over records related to "a veteran of the United States Air Force."
Henry at that same meeting gave the agent medical information related to a current Defense Department employee, a retired Army veteran, the spouse of an Army veteran, and the spouse of two deceased Army veterans, the indictment says.
If convicted, Henry and Gabrielian face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for conspiracy, and a maximum of five years in prison for disclosing individually identifiable health information.
U.S. Army spokesman Matt Leonard in a statement to CNBC said, "As this is an open case, we are referring you to the Department of Justice." A DOJ spokesman referred questions to the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore, which issued a press release detailing the case.
A spokeswoman for Johns Hopkins said, "We were shocked to learn about this news this morning and intend to fully cooperate with investigators."
Clarification: This article was updated several times after it was first published Thursday to change pronouns and other words related to Army Maj. Jamie Lee Henry, who in 2015 was reported to be the first known active-duty Army officer to come out as transgender. At the time, Henry identified as a transgender woman. However, the indictment against Henry unsealed Thursday refers to Henry using male pronouns, such as "he." A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore told CNBC that the indictment was written that way because more recently Henry has used male pronouns and Henry's wife had also used male pronouns to refer to Henry. During a court appearance Thursday, Henry also used male pronouns. When asked by CNBC what pronouns Henry currently prefers to use, Henry's defense attorney declined to say.
Federal Reserve announces major 'pilot exercise' for ESG social credit score system
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 13:35
The Federal Reserve has taken a major step in the direction of facilitating an ESG compliant monetary network that effectively acts as a parallel system to that of the Chinese Communist Party's infamous social credit scoring system.
The Fed said in a statement Thursday:
''Six of the nation's largest banks will participate in a pilot climate scenario analysis exercise designed to enhance the ability of supervisors and firms to measure and manage climate-related financial risks. Scenario analysis'--in which the resilience of financial institutions is assessed under different hypothetical climate scenarios'--is an emerging tool to assess climate-related financial risks, and there will be no capital or supervisory implications from the pilot.''
In other words, The Fed is working with the big banks to monitor their ability to comply with the ruling class's preferred enviro statist technocratic tyranny.
The unaccountable people behind the American money printer claim that this exercise is ''exploratory in nature and does not have capital consequences.''
The statement adds that the ''scenario analysis can assist firms and supervisors in understanding how climate-related financial risks may manifest and differ from historical experience.''
What exactly does this mean?
The Fed is clearly leaning in to the climate hoax narrative, or the pseudoscientific idea that humans are catastrophically impacting the climate, but not because they somehow care about the environment. The climate narrative is the chief rhetorical facilitator for the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) movement.
ESG acts as a trojan horse for the continuing centralization of the American financial system. ESG finance, popularized by hyper political asset management behemoths like BlackRock and Vanguard, acts to prevent outsiders from challenging the regime-connected insiders on Wall Street and in Washington, under the guise of acting to manifest a healthier planet. In other words, pro-ESG institutions are committed to attacking free market principles by means of deception, preferring the CCP-style ''stakeholder capitalism'' that allows for a small group of technocratic elites to make broad determinations about society.
Unsurprisingly, the legacy media has thus far cheered The Fed's plan, with The New York Times reporting ''that it often lagged behind its global peers when it comes to talking about and coming up with a plan for policing risks related to climate change.''
The ESG ''green transition,'' frequently popularized by powerful world governments and the Davos elite, has served as the main vehicle for this movement. Akin to the Chinese social credit score, which is used to coerce businesses, and, by extension, individuals, into specific actions, ESG rules force individuals and businesses in America to deploy capital through the gatekeepers of the system.
The Federal Reserve statement continues:
''By considering a range of possible future climate pathways and associated economic and financial developments, scenario analysis can assist firms and supervisors in understanding how climate-related financial risks may manifest and differ from historical experience.''
The banks involved in this pilot program are Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.
Of course, it's just a scenario, until it's not. The Fed pilot program is set to launch in early 2023.
Adams close to deal for Norwegian Cruise ship full of migrants in NYC waters
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 13:25
Mayor Eric Adams is finalizing a deal with the Norwegian Cruise Line to house migrants on one of its massive cruise ships and dock it at Staten Island's Homeport, The Post has learned.
Adams wants to lease the luxury liner for at least six months and use it to house and process migrants before they enter the city's shelter system, a source familiar with the matter said Friday.
The migrants would be allowed to come and go while staying on the ship, the source said.
Preliminary estimates show the plan will be ''cheaper'' than erecting another tent city similar to the one the city plans to open in the Bronx at the Orchard Beach parking lot, the source said.
The tent city, now under construction, is expected to cost $15 million a month to operate, The Post exclusively reported last week.
In addition to the Norwegian Cruise Line deal, the source said City Hall was negotiating the possible use of another ship owned by the Estonian company Tallink, which was hired by the Estonian government to house Ukrainian refugees who fled their country following Russia's invasion.
About 15,500 migrants have flooded into the Big Apple since May amid a surge tied to President Biden's southern border crisis, according to the latest City Hall estimate.
The Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship in the Hudson River in front of the Empire State Building. Getty ImagesAdams '-- who's said the influx is straining the shelter system to near its ''breaking point'' '-- predicted last week that the number could soon swell to 75,000.
Meanwhile, the mayor has been pleading with the White House for at least $500 million in emergency funding to pay for just one year of migrant services.
It's unclear whether Adams has already struck a deal to use the Homeport, a former naval station on the northeastern shore of Staten Island between the St. George Ferry Terminal and the Verrazano Narrows BridgeBut City Hall has discussed Hizzoner's plan with Staten Island officials, the source said.
During an unrelated news conference outside City Hall, Adams didn't deny his plan was nearing fruition.''When we get an announcement of any type of deal, we will make it public with a level of transparency,'' he said after being asked about The Post's report.''And so any premature announcement of a deal that was reached, they know more than I do.''
Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella told The Post that City Hall alerted him to the plan recently and that he'd asked the Independent Budget Office for a cost estimate of the impact of the migrant crisis on the city.''This thing is still very preliminary which is good because how is this becoming a Staten Island problem? This is a federal problem,'' he said.''Also, this pier is problematic. There's no electricity there. Whatever they're doing here it's unsustainable.''Fossella added: ''I am not for this cruise. Let's avoid cruising for a bruising. What's next? RVs on the street? These problems should not become Staten Island's problem.''US Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) also fumed: ''This is a ludicrous idea that could only come out of an incompetent administration.''
''Both Biden and Adams refuse to address the root of the problem and, instead, continue to incentivize illegal immigration,'' she said.
''Secure our borders, reinstate 'Remain in Mexico' and add judges to hear legitimate asylum cases quickly. Democrats have abdicated their responsibility but when Republicans take the House we will put an end to this nonsense.''
City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli (R-SI) all but endorsed the idea as the best way to deal with a bad situation created by the federal government.
''I knew this was a possibility but until Biden shuts off the border I am not sure how we can continue to accommodate these people without taking over every inch of parkland with tent cities,'' he said of the president, who has been criticized for having a de facto open border policy.
''This arguably may be a more reasonable way to cope with the crisis than people might think.''
Near the Homeport, lifelong Staten Islander Tim Hitchcock, 54, said his ''big issue'' with the mayor's plan was that ''it's not sustainable.''
''I don't like any plan where they take a bunch of people, throw a label on them and throw them all in one place,'' he said.
''I don't think it allows people to become involved in society as equal people. You've labeled them and then all of a sudden it just puts everybody three steps backward towards any kind of assimilation.''
Another native Staten Islander, Ray Scro, 69, said, ''I have no problem with migrants being part of the community'' but added: ''I do feel that the boat is a little bit isolated from being in the community.''
''But as far as if it was here, I don't care if it's here,'' he said
Robert Hampton, 56, who lives across from the Homeport and was walking his dog, with his dog, said he didn't oppose Adams' plan.
''No, not at all. Put them on the boat, give them a job on the cruises,'' he said.
Rap Lyrics Can No Longer Be Used as Evidence in California: New Bill - Variety
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 13:24
In a big win for creative expression, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed The Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act, which restricts the use of rap lyrics as evidence in court in California.
In August, the Calif. Senate and Assembly unanimously approved the bill, AB 2799. Speaking to the importance of the legislation at a virtual bill signing ceremony were rap artists Killer Mike, Meek Mill, Too $hort, Ty Dolla $ign, YG, E-40 and Tyga, as well as CEO of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason Jr. Leaders from the Black Music Action Coalition and Songwriters of North America also joined the signing ceremony.
In a press release, the Black Music Action Coalition called the bill a ''crucial step in the right direction'' of not injecting racial bias into court proceedings, especially given the recent indictment of Young Thug and Gunna, whose lyrics were directly quoted and used against them in an ongoing RICO trial.
''For too long, prosecutors in California have used rap lyrics as a convenient way to inject racial bias and confusion into the criminal justice process,'' said Dina LaPolt, entertainment attorney and co-founder of Songwriters of North America. ''This legislation sets up important guardrails that will help courts hold prosecutors accountable and prevent them from criminalizing Black and Brown artistic expression. Thank you, Gov. Newsom, for setting the standard. We hope Congress will pass similar legislation, as this is a nationwide problem.''
Willie ''Prophet'' Stiggers, co-founder and co-chair of Black Music Action Coalition, added: ''The signing of AB 2799 (The Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act) into California law is a huge victory for the artistic and creative community, and a big step in the right direction towards our federal legislation '' The RAP Act (Restorating Artistic Protection Act) '' preventing the use of lyrics as the sole basis to prosecute cases. The Black Music Action Coalition applauds Governor Newsom for his willingness to stand with Artists and defend our First Amendment right to freedom of speech.''
Further advocating for legislation in the form of a Federal bill '-- the Restoring Artistic Protection or RAP Act, introduced in the House this summer '-- Rep. Hank Johnson (Georgia) and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (New York) took the stage at the RIAA offices in Washington DC on Sept. 29 ahead of a panel discussion on ''Rap and the Rules of Evidence.'' Moderated by Variety executive editor Shirley Halperin, the panel featured Stiggers and LaPolt along with Kevin Liles, CEO of 300 Elektra Entertainment, Prof. Jack Lerner of the University of Irvine School of Law and Attorney Shay Lawson, Esq., SONA Board member and outside counsel to BMAC, and advocacy chair of the Atlanta branch of the Recording Academy. The wide-ranging discussion addressed the dangers to the constitutional rights of free speech and to a fair trial. Liles, who testified on behalf of jailed rap artists Young Thug and Gunna during their bond hearings, connected what's happening today to decades of systemic racism that disadvantages Black men.
Courtesy of RIAA
Speaking to Variety in May, LaPolt said the use of Young Thug's lyrics as evidence against him in court is ''unprecedented racism.'' Legal expert Jack Lerner pointed out the judicial system's hypocritical focus on hip-hop as a genre, and added that this process ''could really affect the way people make music.''
Read reactions to the new law below:
Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy: ''Today we celebrate an important victory for music creators in the state of California. Silencing any genre or form of artistic expression is a violation against all music people. The history that's been made in California today will help pave the way forward in the fight to protect creative freedom nationwide. We extend our gratitude to Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer for his leadership on this issue and to Governor Newsom for recognizing the importance of protecting artistry and signing the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act into law.''
Mitch Glazer, RIAA Chairman & CEO: ''Today we applaud Governor Newsom on this pivotal decision that will allow all creators to express themselves and follow their artistic vision without barriers of prejudice! The RIAA has been a vocal advocate for AB 2799 because all too often rap and hip-hop artists have suffered for the same kind of hyperbole and imagery other genres routinely use without consequence. With the signing of the California rap lyrics bill into law, voices that may have been stifled are now fully open to expression.''
Additional reporting by Shirley Halperin.
Box Office: ''Bros'' May Score Just $5 Million Weekend After Disastrous Opening Night | Showbiz411
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 13:11
Home business Box Office: ''Bros'' May Score Just $5 Million Weekend After Disastrous Opening... ''Bros,'' billed as an all gay comedy, is a box office disaster.
Total receipts for Thursday and Friday came to just $1.84 million. With another $2.5 million coming on Saturday and Sunday, ''Bros'' stands to make less than $5 million for its entire opening weekend.
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''Bros'' doesn't have a huge budget '-- $25 million at most. But the movie has had a tremendous amount of publicity and marketing, a blanketing that most films would give their popcorn up for. This just means that the public at large had no interest in seeing not only a gay rom com, but one with graphic sex scenes.
''Bros'' comes from Universal, which will also release a second film in this genre through its Focus Features soon called ''Spoiler Alert.'' Once that's over, this genre may be severely curtailed. What a disappointment for Billy Eichner and Judd Apatow, but this is an example of Hollywood being insulated from reality even when it has the best of intentions.
National anti-corruption commission will be able to intercept WhatsApp messages: A-G
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 13:02
National anti-corruption commission will be able to intercept WhatsApp messages: A-G
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Skip to sections navigationSkip to contentSkip to footerThe government's national anti-corruption commission will be able to intercept messages sent on encrypted apps like WhatsApp and Signal, the attorney-general has confirmed, while clarifying union officials will not be immune and political donors will not be targeted.
''Interception is available and the commission will have the same powers available to it, subject to warrant, that the police and our intelligence agency have,'' Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus told the ABC's Insiders on Sunday morning.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says the government has ''got the balance right'' with its national anti-corruption commission. Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
He refused to say whether the government's move to restrict public hearings in its national anti-corruption commission was Opposition Leader Peter Dutton's idea, saying only that ''some legal experts think this is exactly right. Others expressed the contrary view.''
Asked if politicians sending WhatsApp or Signal messages should ''watch out'', Dreyfus said: ''Everyone needs to watch out. We don't want corrupt activity infecting our system of government.''
He said the establishment of the ''powerful and transparent'' commission would not be partisan and was ''not an exercise in political payback [or] a way to go after political opponents''.
''There is overwhelming support across the parliament for the model we've put forward,'' Dreyfus said.
Lobby groups who donated money to political parties with the aim of influencing government decisions would not be the target of the commission, he said.
''It's possible for anyone to make suggestions to the government, to opposition parties, to other participants in our political system to put forward particular policies '' that's to be encouraged,'' the attorney-general said.
''That's what an open democracy has in it. That's not a corrupt activity.''
Dreyfus said political donations were regulated and lawful, and that while the government had promised to deliver more transparency by lowering the disclosure threshold, ''we're not about to ban donations''.
He rejected shadow attorney-general Julian Leeser's claim that union officials would be shielded from the commission's investigatory powers, saying this was simply ''wrong''.
''Union officials are not excluded,'' Dreyfus said. ''Any third party who was seeking to adversely affect public decision-making in a corrupt way is going to be the subject of investigation by this commission.''
The attorney-general said the Optus hack should serve as ''a wake-up call for corporate Australia'' and promised to introduce laws tough new privacy laws by the end of this year so ''companies think harder about why they are storing the personal data of Australians''.
''We will look very hard at the settings in the Privacy Act,'' he said.
Dreyfus said the act already stated that personal information was only to be used for the purpose for which it had been collected.
''If the purpose here was to identify someone who is opening an account, or getting a phone from Optus, that's the end of it,'' he said.
He repeated his earlier comments that companies should stop treating personal data as an asset and start thinking of it as a liability and said the telco had failed in its duty to keep customers' personal information safe.
Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.
Dana Daniel is a federal health reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Canberra.
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'My Carbon': An approach for inclusive & sustainable cities | World Economic Forum
The First Central Bank Casualty - WSJ
Fri, 30 Sep 2022 20:24
Britain's financial turmoil is part of the inevitable monetary correction after central banks let inflation loose.
Updated Sept. 29, 2022 9:29 am ETThe Bank of England's decision Wednesday to buy British bonds is being portrayed as a rebuke to new Prime Minister Liz Truss's economic program, and BOE Governor Andrew Bailey may have meant it to be. The intervention calmed bond and equity markets, at least for now, though at the cost of showing again that central bankers are easily spooked into rescue mode.
Investors are cheering their success in coaxing the Bank of England back into the market to underwrite bond prices. On Monday the BOE issued a statement saying it would...
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The Bank of England's decision Wednesday to buy British bonds is being portrayed as a rebuke to new Prime Minister Liz Truss's economic program, and BOE Governor Andrew Bailey may have meant it to be. The intervention calmed bond and equity markets, at least for now, though at the cost of showing again that central bankers are easily spooked into rescue mode.
Investors are cheering their success in coaxing the Bank of England back into the market to underwrite bond prices. On Monday the BOE issued a statement saying it would evaluate market movements ''at its next scheduled meeting,'' which is in November. Two days later it had forgotten all that and said it would ''carry out temporary purchases'' of longer-term gilts ''to restore orderly market conditions.''
The cause of the market ructions is supposedly the Truss government's proposals for new tax cuts and spending to ease the burden of rising energy prices. That's a convenient scapegoat for Mr. Bailey and other central bankers, but that isn't the half of it.
Markets began heading south last week when the Federal Reserve lifted rates by 75 basis points again and signaled that more increases are coming to fight inflation. Mr. Bailey's BOE followed by raising its target rate only 50 basis points.
The different central bank moves widened the disparity in monetary tightening that has pushed the dollar to new heights against nearly all of the world's currencies. The Chinese yuan fell Wednesday to its lowest rate to the dollar, 7.2 per buck, since 2008. The euro is now below parity with the greenback.
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Central bankers have given up on monetary policy coordination, so investors are betting on (and contributing to) rapid exchange-rate shifts as they play the policy margins. This uncertainty is damaging to investment and trade flows, and it also contributes to disorderly market moves that catch some investors naked on the beach. Ditto for sharp moves in bond prices, as the 10-year British gilt popped above 4.5%. On Sept. 22 it was 3.3%.
Amid this turmoil, markets understandably loved the BOE's intervention, and the scuttlebutt is that the central bank moved in part because big British pension funds and financial institutions were caught on the wrong side of these rapid shifts in market prices. We can't judge without knowing the details.
But there's no doubt that the BOE's intervention now has the bank working at cross purposes with its monetary mission. The BOE's Monetary Policy Committee wants to tighten policy to break inflation. At its last meeting it said it would be selling down its quantitative-easing bond portfolio. But the BOE's Financial Policy Committee is now buying bonds to ease financial conditions. This can't help the BOE's credibility as it navigates the fraught path away from the historic monetary mistakes that have produced our current inflation.
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This is one of the reasons that sneering at Ms. Truss and the Brits from the American cheap seats is a mistake. There but for the relative strength of the dollar go we. For all the fretting about British debt, the U.K.'s total debt to GDP ratio (86%) is lower than America's (127.5%) and its interest expense as a share of GDP is lower. The saving U.S. grace is the dollar's status as a global reserve currency.
***The larger story here goes back to the blunders by the Fed and other central banks in letting policy run amok, and then dismissing the signs of emerging inflation as ''transitory.'' Too many investors began to believe the Fed's advertising and thought money would be risk-free forever. They made bets that made sense at near-zero interest rates but that look a lot uglier when fed funds are heading to 4% and maybe 5% or higher.
The big surprise so far during this great monetary correction has been the lack of a big financial casualty. There's been no Orange County (1994), no Long-Term Capital Management (1998), and no Fannie Mae (2008). But then again, maybe the British pound and bond panic is a sign of what is coming.
One policy response would be for the big central banks to start coordinating again to reduce uncertainty and volatility. The Fed could also reopen dollar swap lines to help other economies with liquidity as the greenback keeps rising. The hard truth is that correcting for the inflation blunder was always going to be painful, and that is what the banker and Bailey circus is telling us.
LSAT: Authentication and Payments for the Lightning-Native Web | Lightning Labs
Fri, 30 Sep 2022 18:36
Today we're excited to announce the release of our draft of a specificationfor Lightning Service Authentication Tokens (LSAT). LSAT isa new protocol standard for authentication and paid APIs (using the Internet'spreferred currency: sats!) developed by Lightning Labs which leverages thewidely underused HTTP 402 (payment required) status code. LSATs can serve bothas authentication, as well as a payment mechanism (one can view it as a ticketof sorts) for paid APIs. By leveraging LSATs, a service or business is able tooffer a new tier of paid APIs that sits between free and subscription: metered,with no login, email or passwords required! Alongside this specification,we're also releasing Aperture, ourimplementation of an HTTP-402 (Payment Required) LSAT reverse proxy which isused in production today by LightningLoop. Aperture can be used to easilycreate a new LSAT-aware paid API or service, and even seamlessly upgrade anexisting web resource or API to make it LSAT-enabled, creating a portal fromthe existing web to the new Lightning-native web.
One can view LSATs as a fancy authentication token or cookie. They differ fromregular cookies in that they're a cryptographically verifiable bearercredential. An LSAT token encodes all its capabilities within a macaroonwhich can only be created by the end service provider. The LSAT specificationuses a combination of HTTP as well as the Lightning Network to create aseamless end-to-end payment+authentication flow for the next-generation of paidAPIs built on top of the Lightning Network.
In the remainder of this blog post, we'll explore the motivation, lineage, andworkflow of LSATs at a high level. We'll also examine Aperture to see how it'sused today in production by Lightning Loop, and explore some of its initialfeatures. For readers that are interested in more details, we encouragedevelopers and other interested parties to check out the full LSAT draftspecification. The spec itself is opensource, and we're actively acceptingcontributions!
The Forgotten HTTP Error CodeHTTP as we know it today uses a number of error codes to allow developers toeasily consume APIs or resources created by users on the web. As an example,the well known 200 OK error code indicates a successful HTTP response. The404 Not Found is sent when a client attempts to access a page or resourcethat couldn't be found by the server. A large number of other error codesexist, with some more commonly used than others. One error code which haswidely been underutilized is: 402 Payment Required. As the name entails, thiscode is returned when a client attempts to access a resource that they haven'tpaid for yet. In most versions of the HTTP specification, this code is markedas being "reserved for future use". Many speculate that it was intended to beused by some sort of digital cash or micropayment scheme, which didn't yetexist at the time of the initial HTTP specification drafting.
However, several decades later, we do have a widely used digital cash system:Bitcoin! On top of that, a new network oriented around micropayments has alsoarisen: the Lightning Network. Early in the lifetime of Lightning Labs, we weredrawn to the potential for paid metered APIs enabled by the Lightning Network.We'd solved the payment portion with LN itself, the next challenge was tocreate a protocol that would be easy to drop into existing APIs in an easyand extensible manner. Our solution to this is the LSATprotocol.
Authentication and API Payments in a Lightning-Native WebLightning has the potential to serve as the de facto payment method to accessservices and resources on the web. In this new web, rather than a user beingtracked across the web with invisible pixels to serve invasive ads, or usersneeding to give away their emails subjecting themselves to a lifetime of spamand tracking, what if a user were able to pay for a service and in theprocess obtain a ticket/receipt which can be used for future authentication andaccess?
In this new web, email addresses and passwords are a thing of the past. Insteadcryptographic bearer credentials are purchased and presented by users toaccess services and resources. In this new web, credit cards no longer serve asa gatekeeper to all the amazing experiences that have been created on the web.LSATs enable the creation of a new more global, more private, more developerfriendly web.
HTTP + Macaroons + Lightning = LSATAn LSAT is essentially a ticket obtained over Lightning for a particularservice or resource. The ticket itself encodes what resource it's able toaccess (and potentially much more!). It can be copied, or given to a friend sothey can access that same resource. It can also be attenuated to provide afriend access to a slightly weaker version of that resource (able to streamvideo at only 480p as an example). On the other end, services can mint specialtickets for particular users, rotate, upgrade, and even revoke the tickets.
The tickets themselves are actually macaroons. Macaroons are a flexiblestandard for API credentials which are already used by lnd as its defaultauthentication mechanism. The LSAT protocol allows a user to atomicallypurchase one of these tickets for sats over the Lightning Network. PartialLSATs are served over HTTP (or HTTP/2) when a user attempts to access aresource that requires payment (402 Payment Required) along with aLightning invoice. This partial LSAT can then be converted into acomplete LSAT by paying the invoice, and obtaining the payment pre-image(the invoice pays to a payment hash: payment_hash = sha256(pre_image)).
With proper integration at end clients, Lightning wallets, mobile applications,browsers (and extensions), the above flow has potential to be even moreseamless than the credit card flow users are accustomed to today. It's alsomore private as the server doesn't need to know who paid for the ticket,only that it was successfully paid for. For a glimpse at how this newLSAT-aware web can look like, check out thisdemo created byOliver Gugger (one of our Infrastructure Engineers) which leverages Joule tocreate a seamless experience for a user seeking to obtain information about the''best'' nodes on the Lightning Network.
Example Applications and Use CasesThe LSAT standard enables a number of new use cases, pricing models, andapplications to be built, all using the Lightning Network as a primary moneyrail. As the standard is also defined overHTTP/2, it can be naturally extendedto also support gating access to existing gRPC services.This is rather powerful as it enables a strong decoupling of authenticationand payment logic from application logic. Today Lightning Loop uses LSAT inthis very manner to provide a lightweight authentication mechanism for ourusers.
As LSATs leverage the Lightning Network for its payment capabilities, they alsoenable the easy creation of metered APIs. A metered API is one where the useris able to pay for the target resource or service as they go rather thanneeding to commit to a subscription up front. Developers can use LSATs tocreate applications that charge users on an ongoing basis for resources likecompute, file hosting, or just raw disk space. If the user stops paying, thenthe resource can be suspended, collected, and re-allocated for another payinguser. Once again, as the standard supports gRPC which supportsbi-directional streaming APIs, one could even create a metered streamingvideo or audio service as well!
Additionally, LSATs also enable innovation at the API architecture level. Oneexample is automated tier upgrades. Many APIs typically offer several tierswhich allow users to gain access to more or additional resources as they climbup the ladder. Typically, a user must manually navigate a web-page to requestan upgrade to a higher tier, or downgrade to a lower tier. With the LSATstandard, tier upgrades can easily be automated: the user hits a new endpointto obtain an upgraded LSAT which encodes additional functionality orincreased resource access compared to the prior tier. Services can evenleverage LSATs for A/B Testing by giving subsets of users distinct LSATs whichwhen submitted to the service, render a slightly different version of thetarget resource or service.
Excited to give the LSAT protocol a spin and develop the next generation ofLightning-native web services? Well you're in luck as we're also releasing thecode for Aperture, our implementation of an LSAT aware reverse-proxy which isused in our production systems today. Aperture sits between an API server orweb resource and the web itself, seamlessly handling the authenticationprotocol, macaroon minting and verification, along with payment verification.Using a simple YAML-basedconfigdevelopers can easily create or upgrade an existing web service to beLSAT-aware. This initial release of Aperture supports minting for targetedservices, LSATs that restrict the path/resource a user can access, expiringLSATs (access to resources for just 1 day as an example), proxying REST andgRPC calls, and it even natively supports exposing services over Tor! Thedefault storage backend for Aperture is etcd a reliabledistributed key-value store, which is used as the backbone for many projectssuch as Kubernetes.
We plan to continue developing Aperture over the coming months, add morefeatures, and generalize its deployment in order to make it more widely usable.We've also populated the issuetracker with some low hangingfruit, and some longer term goals, for aspiring contributors to dive into.
In this post, we've introduced LSAT, a new standard for authentication and paidAPIs for the web. LSATs use the Lightning Network for payments, and acombination of HTTP-402 and macaroons for authentication and forgeryresistance. The LSAT protocol gives us a glimpse into a Lightning-Native webthat is more global, private and extensible. We encourage the community toreview our recently published specification and also give Aperture a spin aswell. We look forward to all the amazing things developers will build with thisnew standard and our supporting tooling!
Fri, 30 Sep 2022 17:26
Web-Based Station Management Upload media, manage playlists, create local mount points and remote relays, view analytics and reports and much more, all from the convenience of your web browser.
Multi-Station Administration Host multiple stations on a single installation, create new user accounts and unique roles with granular permissions. Back up your installation and keep track of every station from one central location.
VIDEO - Patriot King 23 (@pklives23) on TikTok
VIDEO - (16) End Wokeness on Twitter: "Kamala on Hurricane Ian relief: The Biden administration will focus on ''giving resources based on equity'' by directing funds to ''communities of color'' https://t.co/uixPpyQWdU" / Twitter
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 16:09
End Wokeness : Kamala on Hurricane Ian relief: The Biden administration will focus on ''giving resources based on equity'' by dire'... https://t.co/wLUFSQmgjx
Fri Sep 30 20:26:39 +0000 2022
Pat Moore : @EndWokeness Racism is from the pit of hell. I cannot believe help is going to be given to people based on race. Pr'... https://t.co/pLJRBQuh6b
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VIDEO - Greece-Bulgaria pipeline starts operations to boost non-Russian gas flows | Euronews
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 16:01
By Euronews with Reuters ' Updated: 01/10/2022 - 14:51
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, right, meets with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, left, in Sofia, Bulgaria, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. -
AP Photo/Visar KryeziuGreece and Bulgaria have started commercially operating a long-delayed gas pipeline, which will help decrease southeast Europe's dependence on Russian gas and boost energy security.
The 182-kilometre pipeline will provide a relief to Bulgaria, which has been struggling to secure gas supplies at affordable prices since the end of April, when Russia's Gazprom cut off deliveries over Sofia's refusal to pay in roubles.
Russia has decreased its gas deliveries to Europe after the West imposed sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, leaving European Union countries scrambling to secure alternative supplies amid surging prices.
The European Commission president welcomed the pipeline's launch on Saturday, which she said was key to breaking away from Russian energy.
"This pipeline is a game changer. It's a game changer for Bulgaria and for Europe's energy security. And it means freedom. It means freedom from dependency on Russian gas," Ursula von der Leyen said during an inauguration ceremony in Sofia attended by the leaders of Bulgaria, Greece, Azerbaijan, Romania, Serbia and North Macedonia.
"Both here in Bulgaria and across Europe people are feeling the consequences of Russia's war. But thanks to projects like this, Europe will have enough gas for the winter," she said.
The Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) pipeline will transport 1 billion cubic metres (bcm) of Azeri gas to Bulgaria.
With an initial capacity of 3 bcm per year and plans to later raise this to 5 bcm, the pipeline could provide non-Russian gas to neighbouring Serbia, North Macedonia, Romania and further to Moldova and Ukraine.
It will carry gas from the northern Greek city of Komotini to Stara Zagora in Bulgaria. IGB is linked to another pipeline, part of Southern Gas Corridor that carries Azeri gas to Europe.
On Friday, gas operators in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia proposed to transport increased Azeri shipments through their networks to central Europe.
The '¬240 million pipeline is controlled by a joint venture between Bulgarian state energy company BEH, Greek gas utility DEPA and Italy's Edison.
Baltic Pipe gas pipeline opensGas started flowing to Poland through the new Baltic Pipe pipeline from Norway via Denmark and the Baltic Sea on Saturday morning, Polish gas pipeline operator Gaz-System said.
The pipeline is at the centre of Poland's strategy to diversify its gas supplies away from Russia that began years before Moscow's February invasion of Ukraine triggered a global energy crisis.
A Gaz-System spokeswoman told Reuters that flows started at 06.10 CET and nominations, or requests for sending gas through the pipeline on October 1, totalled 62.4 million kilowatt-hours (kwh).
The pipeline, with an annual capacity of 10 billion cubic meters, was officially inaugurated on Tuesday, a day after leaks were detected in the subsea Nord Stream gas pipelines linking Russia to Europe.
Russia cut gas supplies to Poland in April when it refused to pay in roubles.
Denmark and Sweden said on Friday that leaks in the Nord Stream pipelines were caused by "at least two detonations" with "several hundred kilos" of explosives.
EU leaders warned that leaks discovered on the two natural gas pipelines earlier in the week could be "sabotage".
While the pipelines connecting Russia to Germany still contained some natural gas, the EU said the leaks hadn't affected the bloc's gas supply.
VIDEO - (59) Democrats' "Stolen" Election Claims | FLASHBACK - YouTube
VIDEO - Lindsey Graham, The Patriot Barbie on Instagram: ''This makes me sick. And it's probably making your kids sick too. My kids do NOT go to public school. We made the hard decision two years'...''
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 15:44
Lindsey Graham, The Patriot Barbie on Instagram: "This makes me sick. And it's probably making your kids sick too. My kids do NOT go to public school. We made the hard decision two years ago to set aside the funds and make it work for two kids. There is no way I want my kids indoctrinated. Now to find out that those kids are being fed pesticides and heavy metals. It's heartbreaking. I've been detoxing my kids for nearly two months, removing the heavy metals that get into our lives regularly through water, soaps, food, skin care.. mind you I am now filtering everything through toxic free companies and going completely toxic free make up, home goods etc. BUT if anything is getting in, we're removing it!! I never thought I would be this mom. I never thought I would need to be this focused on the genuine health care of my family and not trusting what's in our system anymore. Please be diligent moms and dads. Please focus on the health of your kids. These toxins are clearly causing mental health problems in the generations below us as we're seeing and behavioral issues. If you need help, go check out my link tree. I have vitamins, detox sprays, toxic free home goods, resources you name it. All patriotic partner companies that I trust. @zstackproducts @twc.health @momsacrossamerica @the_good_inside @tracy_melchior"
VIDEO - Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue: Food shortages are very real | Fox News Video
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 15:15
Video This video is playing in picture-in-picture. Tucker Carlson Tonight
September 29, 2022
Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue weighs in on the climbing food prices and inflation under the Biden administration on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight.'
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VIDEO - Tackling disinformation - how can we combat the lies that go viral? | World Economic Forum
Sanibel Causeway: At least 2 dead on Sanibel Island, which is cut off from Florida's mainland after Ian's storm surge severs causeway | CNN
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 16:18
Hurricane Ian has left at least two people dead on Sanibel Island and ripped away several parts of the causeway that was the island's only access to Florida's mainland.
On Thursday night, dozens of people remained stranded, according to Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith. At least five sections of the Sanibel Causeway '' which connects the barrier islands, including Sanibel and Captiva, to the mainland '' were washed away by the storm, Lee County officials said. (Lee County includes Fort Myers in addition to Sanibel and Captiva islands and Cape Coral.)
Twelve people were rescued off Sanibel Island with injuries and about 40 people were rescued without injuries, the mayor told CNN on Thursday. Sanibel City Manager Dana Souza reported the two fatalities.
When asked if the city is currently livable, the mayor said, ''Frankly, no.''
Kim Carman was among those who left ahead of the storm. She has been staying in Fort Myers since, and doesn't expect to be back on Sanibel Island '' where she was preparing to move into a new condo in a matter of days '' for several weeks.
''It's total devastation. I never dreamed I'd see anything like this in my lifetime. Especially on Sanibel,'' Carman told CNN's Erin Burnett Thursday night. ''You look at it and it does not look real, it is just so overwhelming.''
''I don't think any of us have totally processed it yet,'' she said, adding many people are now facing ''total financial devastation'' after losing everything in the storm.
Some rescue teams were transported by helicopter to the islands, where they went door-to-door checking on residents, according to Florida State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis. Florida's National Guard was assisting in the efforts, Patronis added.
An estimated 6,400 people lived in the City of Sanibel as of April 2021, per the US Census Bureau. The islands are home to a number of hotels and resorts, as their beaches draw a significant amount of tourists each year.
A 2017 City of Sanibel count measured annual bridge traffic over the causeway at over 3 million vehicles.
Lee County officials were assessing damage and also conducting search and rescue operations, Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said Thursday.
Federal urban search and rescue teams were deployed from across the country.
All 15 shelters in the county that opened prior to the storm's arrival remained open, Desjarlais said. Roughly 4,000 people took shelter by late Wednesday.
''Given the amount of damage in the community, I think it's reasonable to expect that those shelters will begin to fill up a little more. We have space for about 40,000 people,'' the county manager added.
A boil water order was in place countywide, he said. Bridge inspections were also underway across the county. Officials hope all bridges will be inspected by Friday, Desjarlais said.
''In the meantime, avoid them if you can,'' he said. ''When you think about the failures that have taken place on the Sanibel Causeway and the bridges on the way to Pine Island, I would never have thought that those bridges would fail the way they have, so exercise an awful lot of caution.''
There was also ''extensive damage to the buildings'' on Sanibel Island, he said.
''I can tell you that in all these years I have not seen damage to Lee County from a storm like this. When you take a look at the barrier islands, particularly from the air, it's very clear to see where the storm came onshore,'' Desjarlais said.
Sanibel was devastated, Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters Thursday, adding the area was hit with a ''biblical storm surge.''
''It washed away roads, it washed away structures that were not new and could withstand that,'' he said.
The causeway will be rebuilt, DeSantis said. ''But that's not something that will happen overnight.''
Residents were urged to stay inside to avoid injuries and to allow first responders to assess the damage, Lee County officials said Thursday.
Watch US Coast Guard rescue woman from flooded neighborhood
Smith, the mayor of Sanibel, planned to fly out to the island Friday. She told CNN's John Berman that she was seeing some images of the damage for the first time on CNN and ''it's pretty emotional for me.''