Cover for No Agenda Show 1500: No Evidence
November 3rd, 2022 • 4h 32m

1500: No Evidence


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.

Mandates & Boosters
Now comes the hard part. Atonement and accepted with love
Twitter / Elon
Prime Time Purge
Brazil BOTG
Hello John and Adam,
Here is a quick election update from SÃO PAULO Brazil.
Sorry for bullet point summary...
- voting is compulsory in Brazil so a near 100% turn out is normal. All voting is through electronic machines. Options are...
*candidate X,
*candidate Y, or
*option null to abstain from either.
- vote counting is NOT the issue even though the spread was less than 2%(50.9 vs 49.1)
The issue...
- the Supreme Court is very agile in Brazil (left wing judges).
- During the campaign the Supreme censored many, many, many of the Bolsonaro campaign ads as containing fake news or untrue comments.
- ads went on the air at 10 am and by noon the Supreme Court had ruled it "fake news" and pulled it from the state political TV time slots. Yes, there are required time slots on the TVs for "political hour" Also fined the party for presenting such ads. In my humble opinion the fake-filter is much like the filter used elsewhere in the world to remove anything they don't want to hear.
The claim...
- Bolsonaro was not given equal air time as is stipulated by federal election law. (until now, this has been a very strick law)
- This unequal airtime and constant baggering from the left-wing press "illegally" shifted the results.
- the provided split split air time like 90/10 certainly assisting Lula's campaign.
- major public protests on the streets against the Supreme and overall biased election censored system.
- isolated strikes by truck drivers protesting likely fuel costs increases as Lula will likely reinstate through the roof taxes on fuel.
- likely, Bolsonaro is weighing public opinion to determine if he has support for a coup. Bolsonaro, of course, has the military on his side.
Next steps...
- watch the truck driver protests. If they can shut the economy down for 10 days this equals ONE PERCENTAGE point of the PIB. Therefore 20 days means 2% and no more tax revenue or sustainability for the incoming Lula government.
Likely outcome of this week's events....
- Nothing LOL!
- Lula will start in January as planned and further swing the nation to the left like so many neighboring countries in Latin America.
This evening I'll post some videos from today on @Caconde on my mastadom acct.
Thanks for the show!
Climate Change
Hydrogen Transition Summit | COP 27 Event
The Hydrogen Transition Summit takes place alongside COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022 at a critical moment in time for the global energy transition. This must attend summit will convene, regulators, decision-makers, and investors, providing them with a comprehensive perspective on global deployment, investment momentum and how cost, technology, and infrastructure barriers may be overcome to make hydrogen solutions competitive. The Summit will create crucial momentum through in-personal attendees and a global digital audience.
Egypt is investing heavily in green hydrogen in a bid to help phase out fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions. With a pipeline of $40 billion in funding, set up by the National Committee, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other international partners to accelerate development in the run up to COP27, hydrogen is playing a critical role in the global energy transition. A report from Rystad Energy identified the development pipeline has the potential for 11.62GW by 2035.
Europe Seeks Exemption From U.S. Rules on EV Tax Breaks - WSJ
A new task force focused on clean-energy tax credits that were included in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act will hold its first in a series of weekly meetings on Friday, an EU official said. The task force, which is being led by the U.S. National Security Council and the cabinet of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, is meant to address EU concerns that many European-made products won’t qualify for the credits because of where they were made.
One provision that has drawn particular concern is a tax rebate of up to $7,500 for electric vehicles that are assembled in North America. As of 2023, at least 40% of the critical minerals used in electric-vehicle batteries must also be sourced in the U.S. or in countries that have free-trade agreements with the U.S., according to the new rules. That threshold is set to rise each year until it reaches 80%.
Energy & Inflation
Europe Seeks Exemption From U.S. Rules on EV Tax Breaks - WSJ
A new task force focused on clean-energy tax credits that were included in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act will hold its first in a series of weekly meetings on Friday, an EU official said. The task force, which is being led by the U.S. National Security Council and the cabinet of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, is meant to address EU concerns that many European-made products won’t qualify for the credits because of where they were made.
One provision that has drawn particular concern is a tax rebate of up to $7,500 for electric vehicles that are assembled in North America. As of 2023, at least 40% of the critical minerals used in electric-vehicle batteries must also be sourced in the U.S. or in countries that have free-trade agreements with the U.S., according to the new rules. That threshold is set to rise each year until it reaches 80%.
Ukraine & Russia
Big Pharma
Great Reset
Ministry of truthiness
War on Drugs
Chris Cuomo demands new time slot at NewsNation as ratings tank
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:18
Chris Cuomo is demanding that his bosses at NewsNation move his new show to a different time slot '-- his latest desperate bid to improve his sagging viewership on the fledging cable TV network, The Post has learned.
Cuomo '-- who joined NewsNation Oct. 3 after getting fired from CNN for secretly helping his older brother, ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, navigate a slew of sex scandals '-- is fuming about the lackluster performance of his nightly broadcast, which airs at 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, sources said.
In response, Cuomo recently has met with Michael Corn '-- the former ABC producer who became NewsNation's president of news last year '-- about switching time slots with talk show host Dan Abrams, who has the 9 p.m. slot on weeknights, sources said.
''Cuomo is getting nasty about the ratings and he's starting to blame everyone but himself,'' an insider said. ''He's blaming the network, staff that he personally hired, his lead-in, the promo department and even the press department!''
Chris Cuomo is fuming over his lackluster ratings and has demanded a new time slot, sources said. NewsNation Chris Cuomo's big interview with Kanye West drew a disappointing 129,000 viewers. NewsNation''Cuomo'' saw 147,000 viewers on its debut. Since then, ratings have declined overall, with the week of Oct. 17 averaging 119,000 nightly viewers. Even Cuomo's explosive interview with artist Kanye West, now known as Ye, drew just 129,000 viewers.
''Chris was going around screaming that Newsmax is beating him,'' said the source, referring to the conservative network, which is a distant fourth behind Fox News, MSNBC and CNN.
At the 8 p.m. hour, NewsMax's Eric Bolling is consistently beating Cuomo with between 150,000 and 200,000 viewers a night, according to Nielsen.
Cuomo is frustrated that his show isn't pulling in stronger ratings and is blaming the network, a source said. Getty Images''He's a Cuomo. He doesn't blame himself. His entire life, he's been told he's special,'' the source added. ''No one is talking about his show.''
Chief among Cuomo's complaints is that NewsNation's 7 p.m. lead-in show, ''On Balance with Leland Vittert,'' is bringing in a mere 30,000 viewers a night. Usually, the lead-in show brings in carry-on viewership.
''Dan Abrams Live'' brings in between 60,000 and 100,000 viewers on a given night, but insiders were skeptical whether swapping time slots with Abrams will make any difference.
Frustrated with his lead-in, Cuomo has tried to make a play for Dan Abrams' 9 p.m. slot. Abrams (left) and Cuomo are NewsNation's top primetime anchors. NewsNationA spokeswoman for NewsNation said: ''Your information is completely, totally, 100% inaccurate. But we are glad that The Post taken such an interest in NewsNation's success.''
''We have talked to numerous people in our newsroom and on Chris' staff and they are all very happy with the growth we're seeing,'' the rep added.
Cuomo did not return requests for comment.
NewsNation was launched by corporate parent Nexstar Media in March 2021 with the hope of creating a balanced, 24/7 news network. Its buzziest hire to date is Cuomo. The former CNN anchor was brought in to juice the ratings of the fledgling network, whose top-rated shows include reruns of cop drama ''Blue Bloods.''
''They should run 'Blue Bloods' before him,'' the source joked, pointing to the cop drama's ratings of around 300,000 total viewers.
Cuomo has ranted to staffers that his show is in last place in cable news for the time slot. NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal viaEven Cuomo's best-rated show '-- which garnered 214,000 viewers and aired at 9 p.m. after the Dr. Mehmet Oz-John Fetterman debate for Pennsylvania's US Senate seat '-- drew criticism from media watchers.
''The show sucks,'' said a TV exec, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ''Cuomo talked for 12 minutes straight. He did Fetterman debate analysis with no clips illustrating his points. It was just him ranting.''
NewsNation sources said Cuomo has also been ranting off-camera. In recent days, the primetime anchor scolded NewsNation's press and marketing teams for not hyping his show enough, even as they put out a PR campaign for the anchor.
Abrams' program is the second-highest-ranked show for NewsNation in primetime behind ''Cuomo.'' Getty Images for HISTORYThat's despite the fact that the press team took unusual measures to promote ''Cuomo'' that irked insiders, including urging employees at other shows to promote Cuomo's broadcast in their email signatures.
Cuomo's outbursts have also caused some employees who work on his show to brace for layoffs, according to sources close to the network.
''Chris has zero patience,'' an insider said. ''This isn't going to end well.''
Twitter to start charging $20 per month for verification - The Verge
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:18
Now that he owns Twitter, Elon Musk has given employees their first ultimatum: Meet his deadline to introduce paid verification on Twitter or pack up and leave.
The directive is to change Twitter Blue, the company's optional, $4.99 a month subscription that unlocks additional features, into a more expensive subscription that also verifies users, according to people familiar with the matter and internal correspondence seen by The Verge. Twitter is currently planning to charge $19.99 for the new Twitter Blue subscription. Under the current plan, verified users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue checkmark. Employees working on the project were told on Sunday that they need to meet a deadline of November 7th to launch the feature or they will be fired.
Musk has been clear in the months leading up to his acquisition that he wanted to revamp how Twitter verifies accounts and handles bots. On Sunday, he tweeted: ''The whole verification process is being revamped right now.''
Platformer's Casey Newton first reported that Twitter was considering charging for verification. A spokesperson for Twitter didn't respond to a request for comment by press time.
Even though he is barely three days into being ''Chief Twit,'' Musk has moved quickly to make changes at Twitter, first by changing its homepage for logged out users. With the help of Tesla engineers he has brought into Twitter as advisors, he's also planning mass layoffs aimed at middle managers and engineers who haven't recently contributed to the code base. Those cuts are expected to begin this week with managers already creating lists of employees to cut. Employees tasked with executing projects of Musk's since he took control Thursday evening have been working late into the night and over the weekend.
The Twitter Blue subscription launched widely almost a year ago as a way to view ad-free articles from some publishers and make other tweaks to the app, such as a different color home screen icon. In the few quarters that Twitter reported earnings as a public company after that debut, advertising remained the vast majority of its revenue. Musk is keen on growing subscriptions to become half of the company's overall revenue.
Do you know more about what's going on inside Twitter? If so, I'd love to chat confidentially. You can reach me via email: or through the contact form on my Linktree. Then we can set up a secure thread on Signal.
Update October 30th at 9:25PM ET: Added detail that existing verified users will lose their checkmark in 90 days if they don't subscribe to the new Twitter Blue after it launches.
Lagarde: 'Sick' Putin behind Europe's inflation crisis '' POLITICO
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:17
The European Central Bank is having to raise interest rates because of inflation caused by Russian President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, ECB President Christine Lagarde said.
"That's what he [Putin] is trying to do, cause chaos and destroy as much of Europe as he can," Lagarde said during an appearance on RTE's Late Late Show in Ireland. "This energy crisis is causing massive inflation which we have to defeat," she said.
"Anybody who is behaving in that way has to be driven by evil forces," said Lagarde of Putin, adding that the "sick" Russian president is a "terrifying person."
Discussing her previous meetings with the Russian leader, Lagarde described him as an "unbelievably super-briefed person" with ''flashing, freezing eyes.''
Lagarde said the heightened inflation in Europe had "pretty much come about from nowhere."
The central bank on Thursday announced another interest rate increase to combat inflation, taking eurozone rates to the highest level since 2009.
"We do it because we are fighting inflation," said Lagarde, pointing also to a speedier-than-expected economic rebound from the pandemic as a cause alongside the energy crisis.
While Lagarde has come under fire from senior European politicians for the rate decisions, she said that they are aimed at keeping the cost of living in check. In September, inflation across the euro area hit 10 percent.
Russia tries to impose switch to Linux from Windows
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:13
The move is meant to insulate the country from being cut off by Microsoft.
Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and US and EU sanctions, western companies began a steady withdrawal from Russian markets. Microsoft was no exception, and in June, the company blocked Russian users from downloading the latest versions of Windows '' impacting the roughly 95% of computers and laptops that currently run on Windows.
This may not seem like a particularly drastic move to the average Windows user in Russia '' who at least in the short term, won't be hugely impacted by a loss of remote support from Microsoft, or official updates for Windows 10 and 11.
Microsoft blocked Russian users from downloading the latest versions of Windows in June 2022.
Yet the move could have far more wide-reaching implications for companies and government agencies. Crucially, these groups are responsible for running a diverse array of everyday commercial and public-facing systems: from elevators and cash registers to medical devices and industrial machinery.
To boost its resilience in the face of this mounting problem, the Russian government has now announced plans for switching from Windows to Linux, a free and open-source operating system.
The announcement: On September 20, the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant reported that the Ministry of Digital Development was preparing new changes to policies on software products.
While these changes won't be imposed directly, the ministry states that in order to receive preferences in tax benefits, as well as government contracts, companies offering software products will be required to switch to Linux-based operating systems. To make this switch, companies would need to rebuild many of their products virtually from scratch.
Because Linux is free and customizable, it is more flexible and can run far better on older computers.
At this stage, it is far from clear how they will handle such monumental logistics '' but already, leading figures in several Russian software companies have weighed in. Talking to Kommersant, Aleksey Smirnov of Basalt SPO, a company specializing in software security, suggested that the requirement should be introduced in stages for different classes of software.
Under Smirnov's proposal, easier-to-switch software products could be pressured to switch over almost immediately, while more complex systems, such as data protection and office management databases, could be introduced in Linux after around 2 years.
The benefits: The potential advantages of this plan have been highlighted by some in the Russian software industry. First and foremost, Linux is free and customizable. This not only makes it more flexible, it also means that Linux can run far better on older computers, without the need for costly hardware upgrades.
The switch may be a fundamentally important step towards a ''full-fledged domestic IT ecosystem'' in Russia.
Natalya SelinaMikhail Lebedev, at the office software developer Almi Partner, argued that the switch wouldn't require particularly heavy investments or development times. His prediction is that around 10% of software products would require a full rebuild.
For Natalya Selina at the Linux-based Astra operating system, the switch may be a fundamentally important step towards what she calls a ''full-fledged domestic IT ecosystem'' in Russia.
Yet despite such optimistic predictions, the changes proposed by the Ministry of Digital Development will inevitably face numerous challenges '' making their success a far from certain outcome.
The roadblocks: Perhaps the most pressing issue with the plan is that the number of Russian software developers specialized in Linux-based operating systems number just a fraction of those who have only ever worked with Windows. This is a particularly daunting prospect for developers whose products will need to be built entirely from scratch.
Some of the systems that will require complete rebuilds are foundational to Russia's economy.
Rustam RustamovDmitry Komissarov at New Cloud Technologies, which develops an alternative to Microsoft Office, admitted to Kommersant that the feat of rebuilding his company's products on Linux-based operating systems would be comparable in time and investment to the efforts of the developers who built Microsoft's original Office suite.
Rustam Rustamov at the Red Soft operating system added that some of the systems that will require complete rebuilds are foundational to Russia's economy. These include banking systems, which have now been written for Windows for decades.
This ultimately means that even tighter restrictions may not be enough to encourage software developers to make the switch, and will do little to boost the resilience of Russia's faltering tech economy.
We'd love to hear from you! If you have a comment about this article or if you have a tip for a future Freethink story, please email us at [email protected] .
Missing ABC producer SPOTTED for first time in months after FBI raid | The Post Millennial |
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:10
ABC producer James Hordan Meek is no longer missing after being spotted at his elderly mother's townhouse, though he refuses to answer questions surrounding the FBI raid that brought his career to a halt.
Investigative reporter and Emmy winner Meek resigned from ABC after his apartment was raided by FBI agents in April. Meek also stepped away from participating in an award ceremony one week later where he was due to collect a prize for his coverage of the fumbled withdrawal from
Afghanistan.Meek instead told organizers that he couldn't accept. Friends of his have said that he has been missing since the FBI raid and he has packed his stuff and moved out of his residency.
"I sent him a text to ask if he was OK. He said he wasn't able to talk about what was going on, on the advice of his lawyer," a confused friend told
The Daily Mail. "That's the last I heard from him."
The Daily Mail spotted Meek outside of his mother's townhouse in McLean, Virginia, though he was again not willing to answer questions. Meek has been keeping a low profile, the Mail reports.
Meek was raided on April 27, sparking fears that he was being politically targeted for his journalism that exposed shocking military cover-ups, foiled terror plots, and friendly fire deaths.
"Independent observers believe the raid is among the first '' and quite possibly, the first '' to be carried out on a journalist by the Biden administration," Rolling Stone said in a bombshell report.
According to The Mail: "The magazine alleged that agents spent ten minutes inside Meek's top-floor pad and found a laptop containing classified information, citing 'sources familiar with the matter' '' but friends and former colleagues of the popular, well-regarded reporter say that doesn't add up."
"They point out that ABC has not made any legal intervention, nor voiced its support for the star correspondent, who is said to have cited 'personal reasons' for abruptly quitting after nine successful years at the alphabet network."
"If he did have anything like that, classified documents or similar materials, that would presumably be for a story he was working on," a former colleague said.
"This is a guy who has done a lot of good in the world. ABC would be firmly in his corner if it was for legitimate journalism. None of it adds up."
Italy: Meloni's deputy minister blasted over 2005 Nazi uniform photo | Euronews
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:10
Aleksandar Brezar with
Reuters ' Updated: 01/11/2022 Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni attends a debate at the Senate ahead of a confidence vote for the new Government in Rome, 26 October 2022 -
AP Photo/Andrew MedichiniA lawmaker of the far-right Brothers of Italy party who sparked outrage after a newspaper published a picture of him wearing a swastika on his left arm in 2005, was named junior infrastructure minister on Monday.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who personally announced Galeazzo Bignami's appointment at a news conference, is the leader of Fratelli d'Italia or Brothers of Italy, a party which traces its roots to the post-fascist Italian Social Movement, MSI.
Bignami, 47, was elected last month to a second term in parliament.
The Bologna native and the son of lawyer Marcello Bignami '-- himself a far-right mainstay and former MSI representative '-- has long been part of the Italian radical right.
Before joining Meloni's Brothers of Italy, Bignami spent part of his political career in former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's conservative Forza Italia.
The photo in question shows Bignami in a Nazi uniform standing next to another man wearing an SS armband at a bachelor party.
The image has caused uproar in the past, most recently in 2021 when Bignami was banned from appearing at the Festa de l'Unit , the annual social-democratic festival in Italy organised by the centre-left Democratic Party.
He said in a statement on Monday that he felt "profound shame" for the pictures and firmly condemned "any form of totalitarianism," calling Nazism and any movement connected to it "the absolute evil".
"Since I have been in the Brothers of Italy, the controversies have been revived, creating a doubt that they are raised not to blame (me for my) individual conduct, but to damage the party to which I belong today," Bignami said according to the Italian news agency ANSA.
Meloni '-- who Bignami said he knew for three decades in an interview with the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera in September '-- did not comment on the photo.
The Italian leader repeatedly condemned the infamous racist, anti-Jewish laws enacted by dictator Benito Mussolini in 1938 and last week told parliament she "never felt any sympathy for fascism".
"I have always considered the (anti-Semitic) racial laws of 1938 the lowest point of Italian history, a shame that will taint our people forever," she said in parliament.
Bignami will serve under the right-wing League party leader Matteo Salvini, who is the infrastructure minister and deputy prime minister.
About Shefali '-- Shefali Razdan Duggal
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:10
Shefali Razdan Duggal is a San Francisco Committee member of Human Rights Watch, a nonprofit, non-governmental human rights organization which investigates abuses, exposes facts and advocates with those in power to create lasting change. Shefali also serves on the Leadership and Character Council (Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem NC) and on the National Advisory Board of Inside Washington (Miami University, Oxford OH). Shefali recently served on the National Finance Committee of Joe Biden for President 2020 and also was a National Co-Chair of Women for Biden. Shefali also served as a Deputy National Finance Chair at the Democratic National Committee. Shefali completed her term on the National Board of Directors for Emily's List (an organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to all levels of government). Shefali also served as a Vice-Chair of the Credentials Standing Committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention (Milwaukee WI). She served as an At-Large Delegate for Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention. Shefali served as a Presidential Appointee (President Barack Obama) to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, which oversees the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., and currently continues to serve as a Western Region Advisor to the USHMM. Shefali also served on the Rules Standing Committee for the 2016 Democratic National Convention (Philadelphia PA) and was also on the National Finance Committee for Hillary for America (2016 Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign, National Advisory Council).
Shefali was on the National Finance Committee for President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election Campaign, additionally serving as an Obama Victory Trustees Co-Chair and Northern California Finance Committee Member. Shefali was a member of the Credentials Standing Committee for the 2012 Democratic National Convention and was an At-Large Delegate to the Convention from the State of California. Shefali also was active during Senator Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential Campaign, where she was a Trustee for the DNC South Asian American Leadership Council. She previously worked with Senator Hillary Clinton's 2008 Presidential Campaign, where she was a member of the campaign's Northern California Steering Committee and the Women for Hillary Committee. Shefali was also on the Finance Committee for the Kamala Harris for California Attorney General Campaign and was a member of her Transition Team. In addition, Shefali was Executive Director of Indus Women Leaders (a national South Asian women's organization) and was both a graduate and on the Advisory Board of Emerge California (a political leadership training program for Democratic women). Shefali was also a Board Member of the Indian American Leadership Initiative (an organization focused on promoting South Asian political participation) and on the National Advisory Board of Doctors for America. Shefali was also on the National Advisory Board of Beyond Bollywood (Smithsonian Museum) and a Senior Advisor for South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA).
Earlier in her career, Shefali worked as a Political Analyst at Staton Hughes (political strategy firm). She also worked at the Massachusetts Democratic Party, the New Hampshire Democratic Party and the offices of Senators Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein. Shefali worked on Vice President Al Gore's 2000 Presidential Campaign, and was an an At-Large Delegate to the 2000 National Democratic Convention from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
A Kashmiri born in Haridwar U.P. India, Shefali moved to the United States at a very young age and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Shefali is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, having received a B.S. in Mass Communication, with a minor in Political Science. Shefali then went on to receive her M.A. in Media Ecology from New York University.
Return To Home
Joe Biden nominates Shefali Razdan Duggal as new US ambassador to NL -
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:09
Thursday 03 November 2022
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
American president Joe Biden has nominated Shefali Razdan Duggal as the new US ambassador to the Netherlands.
Razdan Duggal, 50, is politically active within the Democratic party and a known champion of women's rights. She was born in India and moved to the US at the age of two. She now lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.
The Netherlands has been without a US ambassador since Pete Hoekstra left after Donald Trump lost the presidential election. Since 2005, no US ambassador to the Netherlands has completed a four-year term in office.
Razdan Duggal's appointment must first be approved by the senate.
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CVS, Walgreens to Pay More Than $10 Billion to Settle Opioid Lawsuits - WSJ
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:08
Drugstore chains agree to make payments to states, cities and tribes that sued over opioid abuse
Updated Nov. 2, 2022 11:00 am ETCVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. have agreed to pay more than $10 billion in a landmark settlement to resolve opioid-crisis lawsuits brought by states, cities and other governments.
The two largest U.S. drugstore chains said they reached a framework to settle the collection of lawsuits brought by governments and Native American tribes blaming pharmacies for helping fuel the nation's opioid epidemic.
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CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. have agreed to pay more than $10 billion in a landmark settlement to resolve opioid-crisis lawsuits brought by states, cities and other governments.
The two largest U.S. drugstore chains said they reached a framework to settle the collection of lawsuits brought by governments and Native American tribes blaming pharmacies for helping fuel the nation's opioid epidemic.
Under the proposed deal, CVS would pay $4.9 billion to states and municipalities and $130 million to tribes over the next 10 years starting in 2023. The company said the agreement isn't an admission of guilt and that it would continue to defend against any litigation that the settlement doesn't resolve.
Walgreens said it has offered to pay up to $4.79 billion to states over 15 years and about $155 million to tribes. It also expects to pay up to $753.5 million in attorneys fees over six years. The company said the settlement wasn't an admission of wrongdoing.
Each state, local government and tribe still must decide whether to participate in the settlement. Plaintiffs' attorneys appointed to lead the negotiations said they encouraged governments and tribes to join the settlement, which they said holds the pharmacies accountable.
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Cities and counties have said they would use the money to bolster social services focused on the harms of opioid addiction as well as for funds for first responders. There wouldn't be direct payments to families or individuals. Unlike states' landmark settlement with tobacco companies, the money couldn't be redirected into general funds.
CVS Chief Executive Karen Lynch, on a call with analysts, said the settlement is in the ''best interests of all parties and helps put a decades-old issue behind us.'' She said she was optimistic that states would join the deal since attorneys general were part of the negotiations.
CVS has been in a separate legal battle with its insurers over whether they should cover some of the liability the company faces for the opioid lawsuits.
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Widespread opioid abuse has claimed more than half a million lives and triggered more than 3,000 lawsuits by governments, hospitals and others against players in the pharmaceutical industry, including manufacturers, distributors and drugstores.
Many of the lawsuits allege that pharmacies didn't do enough to stem the flow of pills into communities. The drugstores have argued that they had tried to stop pills from being illegally diverted and followed procedures required by regulators.
In August, a federal judge in Ohio ordered CVS, Walgreens and Walmart Inc. to pay $650 million over 15 years to two Ohio counties after a jury found the companies liable for contributing to the opioid epidemic.
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That case, closely watched by attorneys elsewhere, was the first decision reached among opioid lawsuits targeting the pharmacy chains. The judge's order came following a six-week trial; the companies said at the time that they planned to appeal the decision.
In March, CVS agreed to pay $484 million to settle opioid-related claims by the state of Florida, without admitting wrongdoing. Walgreens later agreed to pay $683 million to settle the Florida lawsuit without admitting wrongdoing. CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid Corp. also settled with two New York counties in 2021 for a combined $26 million.
Representatives from Rite Aid and Walmart weren't immediately available.
In 2021, a group of states reached a roughly $25 billion settlement with Johnson & Johnson and drug distributors including McKesson Corp. , AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Cardinal Health Inc.
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The deal was completed this summer.
J&J said its $5 billion payment wasn't an admission of liability. The drug distributors, which are paying about $20 billion over 18 years, said they disputed the allegations against them.
Members of the Sackler family who own Purdue Pharma LP and grew wealthy from sales of OxyContin agreed earlier this year to pay up to $6 billion to settle lawsuits accusing them of helping fuel the opioid-addiction epidemic. The settlement came after an earlier $4.5 billion settlement was overturned by a federal judge.
The family didn't admit liability but will cede control of Purdue, which filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and pleaded guilty in 2020 to three federal felonies related to the marketing and sale of OxyContin.
CVS said spreading out the settlement payments would allow it to continue to invest in its business. The company for years has worked to transform itself from a pharmacy chain to an integrated provider of medical services, with the biggest step being its 2018 acquisition of insurer Aetna. In September, CVS agreed to buy home-care provider Signify Health Inc. in an all-cash $8 billion deal.
On Wednesday, CVS reported results for the quarter ended Sept. 30 that included a 10% jump in revenue and a $3.42 billion net loss, weighed down by charges for the opioid litigation and other items.
Stripping out one-time items, adjusted earnings came to $2.09 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting adjusted earnings of $2 a share.
CVS said sales were $81.16 billion for the quarter as revenue improved across segments, including a 9.9% increase in the insurance business and a 6.9% gain in the pharmacy business aided by higher prices, purchases of at-home Covid-19 test kits and more prescription sales.
The company raised its earnings-per-share targets for the calendar year and now expects cash flow from operations to be $13.5 billion to $14.5 billion, up about $1 billion from an earlier projection.
Write to Sharon Terlep at
US Cybersecurity Head Says There Will Be Errors and Glitches During Midterms
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:07
U.S. cybersecurity chief Jen Easterly said the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) does ''not censor information,'' and voters should expect ''normal'' errors and glitches, such as burst water pipes, during the midterm elections next week.
A week out from the U.S. midterm elections, Easterly, a Biden appointee, has talked about CISA's role in securing election infrastructure and the risk vector of disinformation and misinformation.
''I want to be really clear about what CISA's role is in this. You know, we are not an intel agency. We're not a law enforcement agency,'' she said during a talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.
''We don't work with the platforms on what they do around content. That is entirely their decision. It is their terms of service. And I want to be very clear about this: We do not censor information.''
''I want to be very clear,'' she added with emphasis. ''We do not censor anything. What social media platforms do, what the news does, is entirely their decision.''
CISA, which sits within the Department of Homeland Security, was set up in 2018 to ''understand, manage, and reduce risk'' to the critical cyber and physical infrastructure Americans rely on every day, Easterly said. This includes election infrastructure.
A large group of protesters on the East steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)Errors, Glitches, Burst Water Pipes Are 'Normal' in Elections: EasterlyThe cybersecurity chief said voters should expect errors and glitches in the upcoming midterms, which she insisted were normal. As such, she said election officials asked her to pass on a message to Americans.
''There are going to be errors. There are going to be glitches. That happens in every election. But that's why there are multiple layers of security controls and resilience built into the system,'' she said.
''These things are going to happen '... somebody will forget their key to the polling place, a water pipe will burst '... [These] are normal things. They're not nefarious,'' she added.
Election officials sometimes face physical intimidation as a result of misinformation about election integrity spread by foreign bad actors, Easterly said.
A voter places a ballot in a drop box outside of the Maricopa County Elections Department in Phoenix, Arizona, on Aug. 2, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)While this makes misinformation and disinformation an ongoing concern for CISA, Easterly said the agency saw no ''credible or specific'' information about efforts to ''disrupt or compromise'' election infrastructure this year.
However, she said there continue to be efforts by ''foreign adversaries to sow discord among the American people, to undermine confidence in the integration of our elections, and to incite violence against election officials.''
''It's a significant concern because you think about these adversaries that are trying to sow discord, that are trying to break us apart, about Americans that are trying to undermine, you know, integrity in our elections,'' she said.
''We are very concerned about this,'' she added.
She noted that elections are not run by the federal government but by state and local officials, who ''deserve to be safe.'' She said she's confident CISA has ''done everything we can to make election infrastructure as secure and as resilient as possible.''
Lawsuit Alleges CISA 'Directed Censorship'Easterly is one of several key officials in President Joe Biden's administration ordered to testify under oath in a deposition about their roles in a case alleging collusion between the federal government and Big Tech companies to censor users.
The plaintiffs in the case, the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri and others, allege that Easterly ''supervises the 'nerve center' of federally directed censorship,'' according to a court filing.
CISA, which sits within the Department of Homeland Security, is accused of ''directly flagging misinformation to social-media companies for censorship.''
Further, Easterly is accused of claiming that speech on social media is a form of ''infrastructure'' which therefore falls within ''her agency's mission to protect 'infrastructure.''' Easterly is quoted in the court filing as claiming that ''the most critical infrastructure is a cognitive infrastructure.''
The lawsuit also notes text messages between Easterly and a former CISA agent, Matt Masterson, who now works at a social media platform, which ultimately centers around how Easterly allegedly ''seeks greater censorship and that this would be done by federal pressure on social media platforms to increase censorship.''
Need for Depositions 'Outweigh' BurdenFormer White House press secretary Jen Psaki and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and Biden's chief medical adviser, are among the other officials ordered to be deposed.
The White House has sought to block most depositions but not Fauci's.
Lawyers for the government officials have argued in a motion filed on Oct. 27 that plaintiffs shouldn't be able to depose Easterly; Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, a Biden appointee; and Rob Flaherty, a deputy assistant to the president.
''The Court's Depositions Order would require the relevant high-ranking government officials to divert time from their professional duties to prepare for, and participate in, time-consuming depositions,'' the motion states.
The plaintiffs assert that Easterly must be deposed because she has ''unique knowledge about the scope and nature of communications between CISA, DHS, and other federal officials,'' according to a court filing.
They further assert she needs to be deposed because CISA disclosed extensive oral communications and meetings between CISA officials and social media platforms, and plaintiffs believe that as director of the agency, Easterly would have detailed knowledge of what CISA is disclosing.
When the judge originally ordered Easterly to be deposed, he found that any burden imposed on her is ''outweighed by the need to determine whether the First Amendment right of free speech was suppressed.''
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia. Contact him on
US slams Russia's 'ridiculous' British PM texted Blinken 'it's done' after Nord Stream explosion | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:06
US slams Russia's 'ridiculous' claims with 'no factual basis' that British PM Liz Truss sent a text to Antony Blinken saying 'it's done' after the Nord Stream pipeline explosionRussia has accused Britain and the U.S. of conspiring to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipesVladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov has not released any evidence to prove Liz Truss texted Blinken after the attack The claim comes after Kim Dotcom, who ran website Megaupload before he was convicted of fraud, began circulating the conspiracyKim has not released evidence of the claim either He claims the information came from Truss's iCloud after Russia hacked her phone while she was foreign secretaryRussia's claims appear inconsistent with what is known about Truss's phone hack, which was first reported by the UK Mail on SundayAccording to the paper, the hack was discovered 'over the summer' while Truss was still foreign secretary and in the running to replace Boris Johnson as PM By Morgan Phillips, Politics Reporter For Dailymail.Com and Chris Pleasance
Published: 10:16 EDT, 1 November 2022 | Updated: 15:05 EDT, 1 November 2022
The State Department slammed Russia's 'baseless' accusation that Britain and the U.S. of conspiring to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipes, claiming former Prime Minister Liz Truss texted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after the explosion saying 'it's done.'
'Russia's baseless accusations against the United Kingdom, and before that the United States, are just another attempt to distract from their brutal war against Ukraine,' State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement to
'These ridiculous claims have no factual basis. Russia has a long history of spreading disinformation and it is doing so again here.'
Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that Kremlin intelligence agents are in possession of data indicating British military specialists 'were directing and coordinating the attack' that destroyed two gas lines running from Russia to Germany in September.
Peskov has not released any evidence to back up the claim.
The claim comes after Kim Dotcom, who ran website Megaupload before he was convicted of fraud, began circulating the conspiracy that Truss had texted Blinken 'it's done' after the attack. He claims the information came from Truss's iCloud after Russia hacked her phone while she was foreign secretary.
Comes after conspiracy theory circulated online claiming Liz Truss texted Antony Blinken after the attack saying 'it's done' while her phone was hacked
Russia's claims appear inconsistent with what is known about Truss's phone hack, which was first reported by the UK Mail on Sunday.
According to the paper, the hack was discovered 'over the summer' while Truss was still foreign secretary and in the running to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.
The pipe blast did not occur until September 26, more than two weeks after the contest concluded with Truss declared the victor.
While the public did not learn about the hack until recently, the Mail on Sunday reports those in government did know about it and decided to hush it up.
It seems highly unlikely that Truss would have been allowed to keep using the phone for weeks after the breach was uncovered.
Nonetheless, Kim's claim about Truss's iPhone was also picked up and parroted by Maria Zakharova, spokesman for Russia's foreign ministry, who demanded answers.
'Frankly, I don't care who got this information or how,' she said. 'I am interested in London's response to the following question:
Russia has accused the UK of orchestrating the blasts which destroyed the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines with the US, saying security services have 'data' proving it
A series of powerful explosions on September 26 tore four large holes in the Nord Stream pipes, which may have permanently disabled them (pictured, one of the pipes)
Nord Stream 1 was the main route for Russian gas reaching Europe but had been largely shut down before the blast. Nord Stream 2 was due to double capacity, but never opened
'Did British Prime Minister Liz Truss send a message to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the immediate aftermath of the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline saying "It's done?"'
The State Department could not immediately be reached for comment on the allegations, and the UK government has yet to respond.
Western leaders have stopped short of publicly blaming Russia for the attack - which blew two holes in Nord Stream I and II and may have permanently disabled them - but have privately been briefing their suspicions that Putin was behind it.
Ukraine came out and publicly claimed Russia was behind the 'terrorist attack' which spiked gas prices.
Russia and President Putin have repeatedly denied carrying out attacks on the Nord Stream pipes, pointing the finger of blame at the US.
Nord Stream 2 was due to become the main route for Russian gas reaching Europe but was scrapped by Germany when Putin invaded.
Nord Stream 1 had been operating for a decade and ferried huge amounts of gas to the continent, which it relied upon for almost 40 per cent of its energy.
However, it was barely in use at the time of the explosion after Russia throttled supplies to just 10 per cent capacity - blaming maintenance issues.
Nobody is sure exactly how the attack was carried out, but theories include that Russia may have used one of its underwater sabotage submarines to carry it out.
Three thousand-foot wide plumes of oil leaked out into the Baltic Sea, causing significant environmental damage.
Pfizer (PFE) Q3 earnings 2022
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 16:43
Vials containing the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are displayed before being used at a mobile vaccine clinic, in Valparaiso, Chile, January 3, 2022.
Rodrigo Garrido | Reuters
Pfizer on Tuesday raised its 2022 earnings guidance after booking a strong third quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.
It now expects earnings per share of $6.40 to $6.50 for the year, up from its previous forecast of $6.30 to $6.45. The pharmaceutical company also raised the lower end of its sales guidance and now expects revenue of $99.5 billion to $102 billion for the year.
Pfizer raised its full-year sales guidance for its Covid-19 vaccine to $34 billion this year, up $2 billion from the company's previous expectations. It is maintaining revenue expectations of $22 billion for the antiviral pill Paxlovid.
Its shares rose by about 2% in morning trading.
Here's how the company performed compared with what Wall Street expected for the third quarter, based on analysts' average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:
Adjusted EPS: $1.78 per share vs. $1.39 expectedRevenues: $22.6 billion vs. $21 billion expectedBut Pfizer's third-quarter global revenue fell 6% to $22.6 billion compared to the same period last year due to softening demand for its Covid vaccines internationally. The company sold $4.4 billion of its vaccine worldwide in the quarter, a decrease of 66% compared with the third quarter of 2021.
But softer global Covid vaccine sales internationally were offset by strong demand in the U.S., where revenue increased 83% year over year due to the rollout of the new BA.5 omicron boosters. Paxlovid also had a strong quarter, generating $7.5 billion in sales worldwide though mostly in the U.S.
Sales of the Eliquis, a blood thinner to treat clots and prevent strokes, came in at about $1.5 billion, a 9% increase over the same quarter last year. And Pfizer's pneumonia vaccine, Prevnar, booked $1.6 billion in global sales, an increase of 11% over the same period in 2021.
Pfizer had net income of $8.6 billion for the third quarter, a 6% increase over the same quarter last year.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla indicated that company is looking beyond the Covid pandemic which has led to record windfalls for the pharmaceutical giant.
Bourla said in a statement that Pfizer plans to launch 19 new products or new uses for existing drugs in the next 18 months. The company, for example, reported positive clinical trial data Tuesday for its maternal RSV vaccine that protects newborns.
The RSV vaccine is administered as a single dose to the mother in the late second or third trimester of her pregnancy. Pfizer's data showed that in the first 90 days of the baby's life, the vaccine was 81% effective at preventing severe lower respiratory tract illnesses that require hospitalization or assisted breathing.
Pfizer closed major acquisitions of Biohaven and Global Blood Therapeutics in the third quarter, deals worth $11.6 billion and $5.4 billion, respectively.
Correction: Pfizer closed acquisitions of Biohaven and Global Blood Therapeutics in the third quarter. An earlier version misstated the period.
FDA reports shortage of amoxicillin
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 15:54
Amoxicillin is in short supply, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The drug is used to treat various bacterial infections in children, including acute sinusitis and urinary tract infections.
According to The Hill, drugmakers Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Sandoz have reported that the drug is in short supply.
The FDA does not say when it expects the shortage to be resolved.
It comes at a bad time for doctors and parents. RSV cases are surging across the U.S. While amoxicillin is not prescribed to treat RSV, it could help with other problems that arise due to the virus, like an ear infection.
This is the second major shortage of a popular drug to be reported in the last month. The FDA also says the U.S. is experiencing a shortage of Adderall.
It's approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
Copyright 2022 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Thousands Tell FAA to Fix Shrinking Airplane Seats - WSJ
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 15:41
Federal agency sought public comment on seat sizes and safety in emergency situations; people responded with many more thoughts on flying
The Federal Aviation Administration wanted to hear whether the public thought seat sizes on airlines posed a potential safety issue. Many people took the opportunity to complain about comfort.
The FAA got more than 25,000 comments over a 90-day period that ended Tuesday. Some commenters accused airlines of discrimination against people who may not comfortably fit in passenger seats. Others said compact passenger seats are already difficult to get in and out of even when there isn't an emergency.
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The Federal Aviation Administration wanted to hear whether the public thought seat sizes on airlines posed a potential safety issue. Many people took the opportunity to complain about comfort.
The FAA got more than 25,000 comments over a 90-day period that ended Tuesday. Some commenters accused airlines of discrimination against people who may not comfortably fit in passenger seats. Others said compact passenger seats are already difficult to get in and out of even when there isn't an emergency.
The input'--which included comments from individuals, stakeholders, organizations and advocacy groups'--showcased continuing concerns and familiar complaints about airline seat sizes. They touched not just on passenger safety issues, but also on challenges faced by taller or larger people who struggle to fit into seats on flights.
''I am 6'3'" tall and 240lbs. I am not handicapped but I CANNOT comfortably sit in one of the current dimension seats,'' one commenter wrote. ''I shouldn't be in pain because I am stuck in a undersized seat.''
Another commenter put it more simply: ''Please please please please please widen seats.''
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A spokesperson for the FAA said the agency will review ''all applicable comments.''
''Our review has no set timeframe,'' the spokesperson said.
The federal agency asked the public over the summer to comment on whether airline passenger seat sizes were safe for evacuation in case of an emergency, such as a fire. The request stems from a 2018 law tasking the agency with establishing minimum seat sizes ''necessary for the safety of passengers.''
The agency pointed commenters to a March 2022 report it conducted examining aircraft cabin evacuations. In letters to lawmakers detailing the report's findings, former FAA Administrator Steve Dickson
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wrote ''seat size and spacing did not adversely affect the success of emergency evacuations.''
Airlines for America, a trade group representing airlines including Alaska Air Group, Inc. , American Airlines Group, Inc. , Delta Air Lines, Inc. , and JetBlue Airways Corp. , said in its comments that airlines respectfully disagreed that the FAA is required to establish a minimum seat size.
''The FAA should rely on its comprehensive studies and data which affirm that the minimum seat size dimensions are safe,'' the group said in its comments.
A number of groups, lawmakers and other people disagreed.
Advertisement - Scroll to Continue, a traveler's rights group, has been fighting shrinking airline seats for years. The group filed its latest rule-making petition to the FAA in October, citing ergonomic, medical and safety studies. The group is asking the FAA to create minimum seat standards that would fit between 90% and 92% of people'--making a minimum seat pitch of 32 inches and width of 20 inches'--and allow for safe evacuations in potential emergencies.
Several Democratic senators, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, urged the FAA on Tuesday to issue a moratorium that would keep airlines from reducing seat sizes any further. Seat pitches'--which measure the space between one seat and the seat in front of it'--have shrunk since the 1990s from 32 inches to 28 inches, their letter said. And seat width has decreased from 19 inches to as low as 16 inches in some cases.
The senators said a study cited by the FAA ''failed to fully investigate health and safety risks'' and didn't capture everyone who could fly, as participants in the study were able-bodied and between the ages of 18 and 64 years old.
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''Without input from these critical communities, the FAA cannot be sure of the impact of seat size on egress during an emergency evacuation, much less on passenger health and safety,'' the senators said in their comments.
The FAA didn't respond Wednesday to requests for comment about the senators' letter. In March, Mr. Dickson said the agency's simulated emergency evacuations used adults fitting profiles ''consistent with regulatory and ethical standards for human testing.''
''As a result, they provide useful, but not necessarily definitive information, regarding the effects of seat dimensions on safe evacuations for all populations,'' Mr. Dickson wrote.
Write to Jennifer Calfas at
Ford Transit Trail 2023 targets boom in RV 'van life'
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 15:33
Ford says Transit Trail owners will have access to the Ford Pro network of upfitters and interior installers to create the interior space they desire. (Preproduction model shown with aftermarket equipment.)
DETROIT '-- Ford Motor wants to make "living in a van down by the river" a bit more comfortable than late comedian Chris Farley '-- a cousin of the automaker's CEO '-- made it out to be in a well-known "Saturday Night Live" sketch from the early 1990s.
The Detroit automaker on Thursday revealed the 2023 Ford Transit Trail Van, a new lifted model of its full-size van equipped with all-wheel-drive and more durable, off-road parts for outdoor enthusiasts. It also comes ready for customization, also known as "upfitting," to turn the vehicle into a living or sleeping space.
Ford is attempting to cash in on the boom in sales of recreational trailers and vehicles, or RVs, during the coronavirus pandemic. Ford already is one of the main companies that provides trucks and vans to upfitters to make them into RVs. It also has launched a slew of off-road vehicles in recent years such as the Ford Bronco SUVs and F-150 Tremor pickup.
"We will have more demand than supply, based on all the numbers we see," Ted Cannis, CEO of the automaker's Ford Pro commercial vehicle business, told CNBC.
2023 Ford Transit Trail
Ford is touting the Transit Trail Van as a gateway into "van life," a community of travelers who fully or partially live in their vehicles. Photos released Thursday by the automaker show the vehicle immersed in a scenic setting, including a couple who appear to be living by a river.
The phrase "living in a van down by the river" was made famous by Chris Farley during a 1993 "Saturday Night Live" sketch where he played Matt Foley, a divorced motivational speaker who lives in a van down by the river. He tries to use his situation to motivate two children '-- played by David Spade and Christina Applegate '-- to say no to smoking marijuana.
For a time, Ford CEO Jim Farley had a reference to the bit '-- and his late cousin '-- in his Twitter profile: "Mustang and racing fan. Happen to love white vans ... preferably down by the river." The auto executive has paid other tributes to his cousin on the social media platform through the use of memes and other media.
Cannis said there's no connection between the vehicle and "SNL" sketch. However, he said Jim Farley asked about getting into this segment after a trip to California in 2020.
"He's very enamored with the space, but it's really just coincidence in this case," Cannis said.
The 2023 Ford Transit Trail Van will go on sale in the spring, starting at $65,975. That's about $15,000 more than a base passenger Transit van. The vehicle will be available in three cargo van configurations, including medium- and high-roof models and a high-roof, extended-length version.
The van will be produced at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri. The vehicle does not come standard with a living or sleeping space, but Transit Trail owners will have access to Ford Pro's network of upfitters and interior installers.
The vehicle will be sold to consumers as well as commercial upfitters, which Cannis says can spend tens of thousands of dollars customizing such vehicles.
The 2023 Transit Trail comes standard with front swivel seats, according to Ford. (Preproduction model shown with aftermarket equipment.)
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC and NBC, which airs "Saturday Night Live."
Europe Seeks Exemption From U.S. Rules on EV Tax Breaks - WSJ
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 15:29
Officials to launch talks on Friday in push to avert fight over U.S. clean-energy subsidies
BRUSSELS'--U. S. and European Union environmental policies are on a collision course, prompting an urgent meeting to defuse rising tensions over clean-technology subsidies that threaten to upset a trade relationship that leaders had pledged to rebuild.
A new task force focused on clean-energy tax credits that were included in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act will hold its first in a series of weekly meetings on Friday, an EU official said. The task force, which is being led by the U.S. National Security Council and the cabinet...
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BRUSSELS'--U. S. and European Union environmental policies are on a collision course, prompting an urgent meeting to defuse rising tensions over clean-technology subsidies that threaten to upset a trade relationship that leaders had pledged to rebuild.
A new task force focused on clean-energy tax credits that were included in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act will hold its first in a series of weekly meetings on Friday, an EU official said. The task force, which is being led by the U.S. National Security Council and the cabinet of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, is meant to address EU concerns that many European-made products won't qualify for the credits because of where they were made.
One provision that has drawn particular concern is a tax rebate of up to $7,500 for electric vehicles that are assembled in North America. As of 2023, at least 40% of the critical minerals used in electric-vehicle batteries must also be sourced in the U.S. or in countries that have free-trade agreements with the U.S., according to the new rules. That threshold is set to rise each year until it reaches 80%.
South Korea'--home to Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. and Kia Corp. '--and Japan have also raised concerns about the U.S. legislation. South Korea is expected to submit a written opinion to the U.S. on the electric-vehicle tax credits this week.
Earlier this week, EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said many of the green subsidies in the U.S. legislation appear to discriminate against the EU's automotive, renewable-energy, battery and energy-intensive industries.
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''It probably will not be easy to fix it, but fix it we must,'' he said Monday, after raising the issue with U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai.
Other European officials have been more blunt in their criticism. French President Emmanuel Macron said recently that the EU should retaliate with its own measures to support electric vehicles produced within the bloc.
The European Commission, the bloc's executive body, has previously said the legislation appears to violate World Trade Organization rules and risks undermining U.S. and EU climate ambitions. A spokeswoman said in September that the bloc would have to consider all options in response to the U.S. subsidies, including bringing a case to the WTO.
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A spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative declined to comment on the assertion that the legislation may not comply with WTO rules. He said conversations with the bloc have been productive and the task force should ''help deepen the bilateral understanding of this legislation.''
Jozef Sikela, minister of industry and trade for the Czech Republic, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, said Europe is seeking the same exemption from the legislation's provisions on electric vehicles that Canada and Mexico were granted before the act was signed into law. Canadian officials and the North American auto industry successfully lobbied to have the electric-vehicle subsidies extended to cover vehicles assembled anywhere in North America, and not just in the U.S.
''This is our starting point in the negotiations, and we'll see what we manage to negotiate in the end,'' Mr. Sikela said.
EU officials said industry groups have warned of a loss of investment if the U.S. moves ahead with the legislation as planned. BusinessEurope, a lobby group, said in a letter to Mr. Dombrovskis and EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager last month that the legislation risked hampering U.S. imports of European electric vehicles and making it more expensive to fight climate change.
The Wall Street Journal reported in September that
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Tesla Inc. had decided to
pause its plans to make battery cells in Germany because of the U.S. electric vehicle and battery manufacturing tax credits.
Luisa Santos, BusinessEurope's deputy director general, said recently that she wasn't aware of other companies making similar investment decisions, but that could happen in the future if the legislation remains unchanged.
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The business group supports the U.S. government showing more ambition in addressing climate change, Ms. Santos said. ''But not the way this is being pursued.''
'--Timothy W. Martin contributed to this article.
Write to Kim Mackrael at
Adderall Shortage: Is It Real and What You Can Do
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 15:20
Share on Pinterest Experts say people with ADHD should discuss Adderall dosages with their doctor. Maskot/Getty ImagesFederal regulators have officially stated that there is a shortage of the medication Adderall.For the past month, many consumers and pharmacies have reported a shortage of Adderall, the medication used to help treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Experts say an increase in ADHD diagnoses as well as supply disruptions are factors in the shortage.They say a person with ADHD who can't find Adderall should discuss their situation with their doctor to see if there are alternatives.The United States is facing a surge of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses just as there is a shortage of a key medication used to treat it.
Officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed Adderall on their official drug shortage list this week.
''The FDA is in frequent communication with all manufacturers of amphetamine mixed salts, and one of those companies, Teva, is experiencing ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays. Other manufacturers continue to produce amphetamine mixed salts, but there is not sufficient supply to continue to meet U.S. market demand through those producers,'' the agency said in its October 12 announcement.
Last month, experts reported that production delays, regulations, overprescription, and increased demand were all playing a role in making Adderall, the popular ADHD drug and central nervous system stimulant, hard to come by.
''Last week, I needed my ADHD prescription refilled, but no pharmacy in my area had any,'' Laura, a writer living in downtown Los Angeles, told Healthline in early September. ''Not the big chains, not the independents. I'm in Los Angeles, not some small town.''
Among small pharmacies, more than 6 in 10 reported having difficulty obtaining the drug, according to a National Community Pharmacists Association survey of around 8,000 pharmacy owners and managers.
Teva Pharmaceuticals, the biggest seller of branded and generic Adderall, reported supply disruptions that could last into the fall.
But it's not just production troubles among a single manufacturer that is responsible for shortages of the medication.
''In 2021, Adderall prescriptions went up to 41 million from 37 million the year before. The rise in demand has been linked to the ongoing pandemic as more people are struggling with anxiety,'' Dr. Harold Hong, a psychiatrist at New Waters Recovery in North Carolina, told Healthline.
''People who take high doses of Adderall without a prescription can develop a tolerance for the drug, leading them to seek out more medication,'' Hong added. ''This amplifies the demand for Adderall and creates a greater strain on the supply.''
If you find yourself short on medication, you might experience an Adderall ''crash,'' a condition that includes symptoms such as trouble sleeping, panic attacks, depression, suicidal ideation, and sluggishness.
''It will take about 50 hours for Adderall to be entirely excreted from the body, so the average person has two days of grace,'' Benjamin Gibson, PharmD, an adjunct pharmacy professor at the University of Austin in Texas, told Healthline.
''Some effects are typically more severe in those who [use] Adderall at high doses,'' Hong noted. ''If you cannot secure a supply of the medication, you must speak with a doctor about other treatment options and how to manage your withdrawal symptoms.''
Adderall and other ADHD treatments are scheduled substances that can be habit-forming, so the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sets quotas on how much of these drugs can be produced.
The quotas the DEA sets are a projection based on current usage and sometimes aren't agile enough to meet a sudden surge in demand.
Previous shortages have even seen manufacturers blaming the DEA directly, such as Shire Pharmaceuticals did during a shortage in 2011.
The DEA, for its part, says it has good reason to regulate these medications the way it does.
''While DEA has observed a significant increase in demand among domestic manufacturers to bring generic ADHD-products to a relatively stable domestic market, it has also grown increasingly concerned over how these market forces may impact the misuse of prescription stimulants among young adults,'' the agency wrote in a statement accompanying its 2022 quota recommendations. ''It is notable that major increases in diagnosis and treatment of ADHD coincide with FDA approval of various stimulants.''
Underlining this, in April 2022, the agency warned two websites accused of illegally selling Adderall online without a prescription to cease their operations.
And more legitimate telehealth companies have also fallen under scrutiny, with one company, Cerebral, facing simultaneous DEA and Department of Justice investigations involving prescriptions of the drug.
That makes figuring out just how much Adderall is being overprescribed hard to establish.
''The greater availability of Adderall tablets online amid the unlawful sale of drugs over the internet makes it difficult to decipher how much of the drug is being overprescribed,'' Hong said.
Whatever the cause, many people who use Adderall say the shortage is real.
''I called CVS and Walgreens and Rite Aid near me. They all told me they did not have it and neither did any of their other pharmacies in the area,'' Laura said in early September. ''I also called several other independent pharmacies and they didn't have it either. I asked about my dosage and other dosages.''
''Then I gave up and prepared to go through withdrawal,'' she said.
Hydrogen Transition Summit | COP 27 Event
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 14:17
November 2022 | Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
Scaling a hydrogen economy through supply chain collaboration
350+ In-Person Qualified Attendees
20+ Partners & Exhibitors
Hydrogen Transition Summit
The Hydrogen Transition Summit takes place alongside COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022 at a critical moment in time for the global energy transition. This must attend summit will convene, regulators, decision-makers, and investors, providing them with a comprehensive perspective on global deployment, investment momentum and how cost, technology, and infrastructure barriers may be overcome to make hydrogen solutions competitive. The Summit will create crucial momentum through in-personal attendees and a global digital audience.
Egypt is investing heavily in green hydrogen in a bid to help phase out fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions. With a pipeline of $40 billion in funding, set up by the National Committee, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other international partners to accelerate development in the run up to COP27, hydrogen is playing a critical role in the global energy'¯transition. A report from Rystad Energy identified the development pipeline has the potential for 11.62GW by 2035.
Abdesselam Ould Mohamed Saleh
Ministry of Petroleum, Mines and Energy (Islamic Republic of Mauritania)
Abdesselam Ould Mohamed Saleh
Ministry of Petroleum, Mines and Energy (Islamic Republic of Mauritania)
Mr. Abdesselam Ould Mohamed Saleh holds a degree in economics from the Faculty of Law and Economics of Tunis, a postgraduate degree (DEA) in economics (development economics) from the University of Paris I Panth(C)on-Sorbonne (France) and a diploma awarded in Paris by the National School of Administration (ENA) at the end of an international cycle of public administration.
He began his career in 1985 as Head of the Projects Department, before becoming Deputy Director of Finance and External Debt at the Mauritanian Ministry of Economy and Finance, from 1988 to 1989. From 1989 to 1991, he held the position of Principal Advisor to the Ministry of Planning and Employment and from 1991 to 1992, that of Director of Planning responsible for the coordination and formulation of economic development programs within the same Ministry. From 1992 to 1997 he was Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, then in 1997 he was appointed Minister of Fisheries and Marine Economy and in 1998 he became the first Commissioner for Human Rights, the fight against poverty and reintegration within the framework of the newly created Commission in Mauritania. From 2001 to 2003, he worked as an international consultant on development issues. Mr. Ould Mohamed Saleh joined FAO in 2003 as the Organization's Representative in Lebanon, before becoming Representative in Togo in 2006. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Deputy Regional Representative for the Near East and FAO Representative in Egypt. In 2010, he was appointed Director of the FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations in Geneva, then Regional Representative for the Near East on September 30, 2012. Mr. Abdesselam Ould Mohamed Saleh was appointed Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in August 2020.
Lead, Egypt's National Hydrogen Strategy
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Lead, Egypt's National Hydrogen Strategy
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Ahmed Mortada is a Senior Banker (Associate Director) at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), responsible for the Energy Sector for the EBRD in Egypt. This includes all investment-related activities mainly in the field of green hydrogen production, renewable energy generation, transmission and networks, through the provision of different financial instruments that span from project finance, corporate loans, equity and quasi-equity. Prior to the EBRD, Ahmed was part of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Advisory Services team, analysing loan book portfolios of regional banks and advising them on developing their SME banking platforms. Ahmed also brings along years of investment banking experience, having worked on multiple mergers and acquisitions and fund raising exercises at Pharos Investment Banking. Ahmed started his career at Ernst & Young '' Transaction Advisory Services, conducting independent financial due diligence and third-party equity valuations on target companies. Ahmed is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a holds a Bachelor of Accounting from the American University in Cairo.
The Honorable Amarjeet Sohi is the Mayor of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He immigrated to Canada at the age of 17, worked as a bus driver for the Edmonton Transit System and was an active member of the Transit Employee Union. He was elected to Edmonton City Council in 2007, serving for eight years before being elected as a Member of Parliament for Edmonton's Mill Woods riding. During that time, he served as Canada's Minister of Natural Resources from 2018 to 2019 and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities from 2015 to 2018. On 18 October 2021, he became the first person of a racialized minority to be elected Mayor of Edmonton.
Vice Coordinator of the Transportation Engineering Program
Vice Coordinator of the Transportation Engineering Program
Andrea S. Santos is a Brazilian Professor, 43 yrs, member of the ''Women in Green Hydrogen Network''. Andrea has Eighteen years of significant experience in the environmental area. She has been working with sustainability and climate change issues, including public policy on climate change, and the development of studies and projects for national and international institutions. Biologist, Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering, Ph.D. from COPPE '' Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute of Graduate Studies and Engineering Research of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro '' UFRJ (2014); Master in Sustainable Development from the Center for Sustainable Development of the University of Bras­lia '' UnB (2008); Bachelor in Biological Sciences from the Catholic University of Salvador (2001).
She was the coordinator of Climate Change and Sustainability in the Secretariat of Climate Change and Environmental Quality of the Ministry of Environment (SMCQ-MMA). She was a consultant at the Executive Secretariat of the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change and was hired by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-Brazil) to develop management and technical consulting activities for the project. She is currently the Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change. She acts as a senior consultant in the areas of environment, climate change policies; climate change (mitigation; vulnerabilities, impacts, adaptation; and resilience of cities); Smart cities; transportation, and sustainability. She also has consolidated experience in project and people management. Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor at COPPE/UFRJ, researcher and coordinator of the Sustainable Transport Lab (LabTS), and vice coordinator of the Transportation Engineering Program '' PET/COPPE/ Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in the research lines on Technology and Sustainability in Transportation; Cities and mobility; and works in the area of Impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation in the transportation sector. She is the coordinator of the Green Hydrogen Project supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Brazil. Andrea was Contributing Author of the Sixth Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Contributing Author of the Third Assessment Report (ARC3.3) of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) of Columbia University.
Founder and Executive Chairman
Fortescue Future Industries
Founder and Executive Chairman
Fortescue Future Industries
As Founder and Executive Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest has led Fortescue from inception to a top ten ASX listed natural resources company that has invested more than US$30 billion developing some of the world's most efficient infrastructure.
Fortescue will become zero-emissions across its operations by 2030. Key to enabling that is FFI. Established in 2020, FFI is a developer, financier and operator of a global portfolio of renewable energy resources to produce green energy at a scale equal to the oil and gas super-majors. Fortescue has been globally recognised for its industry leading work to decarbonise and has been appointed to the UN Race to Zero Coalition and the US President's First Movers' Coalition.
Dr Forrest's commercial business, Tattarang, is backing new renewable green energy projects, including Windlab wind power and Sun Cable solar power, and expanding sustainable and carbon-neutral practices within agrifood business Harvest Road. Dr Forrest has a PhD in Marine Ecology from the University of Western Australia, and serves as an IUCN Patron of Nature, a World Economic Forum Friend of Ocean Action and a member of the United Nations Environment Program's Scientific Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Marine Litter and Microplastics.
Dr Forrest holds the Australia Medal, the Australian Sports Medal and was appointed by the Prime Minister and Cabinet of Australia to develop a blueprint for eliminating Australia's Indigenous social and economic disparity through health, training and employment.
He is also Co-Chair of the Australia-China Senior Business Leaders' Forum, Global Patron of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and served as a Councillor of the Global Citizen Commission charged by the United Nations in 2016 to modernise the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In 2017, Dr Forrest was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to philanthropy, mining, employment and sustainable foreign investment.
FFI is leading the green industrial revolution, developing technology solutions for hard-to-decarbonise industries, while investing in green hydrogen and green ammonia projects '' recently announcing it will partner with Germany's largest energy distributor to supply five million tonnes of green energy per year to Europe by 2030.
In 2001, Dr Forrest co-founded Minderoo Foundation with his wife Nicola, and to date they have donated more than $2.7 billion supporting initiatives addressing modern slavery, ocean health, cancer, Indigenous disparity, childhood development, artificial intelligence, disaster resilience and plastic waste.
Ministry of Energy and Petroleum
Ministry of Energy and Petroleum
Andrew Kamau is the Principal Secretary for Petroleum and Mining in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, charged with technical undertaking on behalf of the Government of Kenya in the areas of Oil, Gas, and Mining. He has a wealth of experience in the energy sector having worked in energy trading, oil and gas operations, and the mining sector for over 30 years. Believing in steadfast leadership to deliver complex projects, Andrew has spearheaded several Government initiatives that have benefitted Kenyans. His vantage has allowed him insight on how to structure, negotiate, and navigate interventions that have lasting and positive impact. Among his greatest accomplishments in this regard, Andrew championed the rapid uptake of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) as a primary cooking fuel and moving the per capita consumption from 3kg to 7.5kg in eight (8) years. This initiative contributed to reduction of households reliant on charcoal and firewood as a cooking fuel and reduced serious indoor pollution incidence among vulnerable women and children. Andrew advocated for initiatives to shift the transportation of most refined petroleum products from road to rail and lake barges, thereby reducing costs and the carbon footprint. He oversaw the construction of a new rail siding, connecting the Kenya Pipeline Storage to the Port of Kisumu, allowing for the transportation of refined petroleum products by rail barges from Kenya to Port Bell in Uganda. Relatedly, he led the team working on the rehabilitation of the long defunct Nairobi- Nanyuki rail line, allowing for fuel, agricultural goods, and passengers to be transported after nearly 30 years' absence.
Independent Journalist & Presenter
Hydrogen Transition Summit
Independent Journalist & Presenter
Hydrogen Transition Summit
As a presenter and journalist, Anic van Damme makes TV programs and podcasts about technology and innovation and helps companies with their content strategy.
She does this for Accenture, Signify and Eneco eMobility.
Previously Anic worked for different national broadcasters in the Netherlands such as NOS and RTL, where she also was Head of Video for Bright, the tech platform of RTL.
The documentary 'Hydrogen, our new energy?' that she presented for National Geographic was broadcasted on TV last fall.
Anic loves tech that helps the world move forward. She would like to enthuse as many people as possible about the latest technological innovations and the impact they can have on our lives.
Acting Executive Secretary
UN Economic Commission for Africa
Acting Executive Secretary
UN Economic Commission for Africa
Antonio M.A. Pedro is the Acting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Africa's premier thought leadership institution focused on generating knowledge and applying policy research in support of accelerated economic diversification and structural transformation. A mineral exploration geologist with more than 40 years' experience, Pedro has broad experience of and exposure to international development issues and management at national, sub-regional, and continental levels.
He has been involved in the promotion of regional integration and cooperation on the continent since 1984. He was Managing Director of several companies in Mozambique and Deputy National Director of the country's Geological Survey.
Pedro spearheaded the formulation of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) which was adopted by the African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government in February 2009. The vision advocates for ''transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development''. Pedro was appointed Acting Executive Secretary on 1 September 2022 and is also the Deputy Executive Secretary (Programme Support), following his appointment to this role in 2021. Prior to this, he was the Director of ECA's Sub-regional Office for Central Africa based in Yaound(C) (2016-2021), where he successfully led the organization of the DRC-Africa Business Forum aimed at deepening DRC and Africa's participation in the battery and electric vehicle value chain.
As the Director of the ECA Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa, based in Kigali, Rwanda (2009-2016), he provided thought leadership and helped elucidate pathways and design practical tools and integrated solutions on issues of sustainable development and structural transformation, governance of natural resources, tourism, blue economy, ICT and infrastructure development, and regional integration. Prior to joining ECA, he was the Director General of the Southern and Eastern African Mineral Centre (SEAMIC), in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he led the modernization and corporate restructuring process of the institution.
He is a member of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and Co-Chair of the SDSN Thematic Network on the Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources (TG10). He is a former member of the International Resources Panel (IRP), and at the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Mining and Metals of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The Hydrogen Transition Summit 2022 will tackle the crucial topics facing our community through panel debates, keynotes and fireside chats.
The role of hydrogen in the clean energy transition
Funding and investment opportunities
Hydrogen production and supply: Global supply chains overview
Localised production vs. import from country with oversupply of renewables
How can governments and the private sector work together to deliver the infrastructure needed?
Integrating hydrogen as a zero carbon fuel in hard-to-abate sectors
''The sessions were prepared with outstanding professionalism and sensitivity on the selection of speakers, whose different backgrounds and expertise matched in full harmony''
''Climate Action's Hydrogen Transition Summit 2021 has been a great opportunity for Hyundai to share its vision for a sustainable future in which hydrogen economy is a reality.''
''The discussion on what policies or regulatory framework is necessary for investors or industry to be able to scale up the hydrogen technology was insightful and of utmost importance''Take part in the Hydrogen Transition Summit
Pentagon Confirms US Boots Are On The Ground In Ukraine | ZeroHedge
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 14:12
Two bombshell reports by the Associated Press and Washington Post Monday and Tuesday have confirmed that the United States has boots on the ground in the Ukraine conflict. Crucially, these troops are performing tasks separate from mere embassy security.
The American troops are said to be performing "inspections" of US weapon caches after last week the State Department and Pentagon unveiled a new plan to track US-supplied weapons in efforts to implement accountability for the billions of dollars worth of arms and ammunition transferred to Ukrainian forces since near the start of the war eight months ago.
"A small number of U.S. military forces inside Ukraine have recently begun doing onsite inspections to ensure that Ukrainian troops are properly accounting for the Western-provided weapons they receive, a senior U.S. defense official told Pentagon reporters Monday," the AP/WaPo reporting revealed.
Illustrative file image: US soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division in Jasionka, Poland earlier this year.A Pentagon briefing confirmed this "small" contingency of troops has been advised to not do inspections "close" to the front lines of fighting:
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide a military update, would not say where the inspections are taking place or how close to the battlefronts the U.S. troops are getting. The official said U.S. personnel can't do inspections "close to the front lines," but said they are going where security conditions allow.
There have already been "several inspections" overseen by U.S. Defense attache and a US Office of Defense Cooperation team based out of the Ukrainian capital. The report underscores that "U.S. President Joe Biden has ruled out any combat role for U.S. forces inside Ukraine."
However, what's clear is that despite the White House's ruling out of "combat" troops, this is the start of perhaps inevitable 'mission creep' - as has been seen in other conflict zones (such as Syria). If US troops are doing inspections of Ukrainian arms and ammo, and presumably Russia is currently targeting any and all Ukrainian military bases, this puts American troops and assets in Russia's crosshairs, greatly increasing the possibility that the US and Russia could stumble into a direct shooting war.
In a follow-up Tuesday report, The Washington Post detailed the following:
U.S. monitors have conducted in-person inspections for only about 10 percent of the 22,000 U.S.-provided weapons sent to Ukraine that require special oversight.
U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide details that have not been made public previously, said they are racing to deploy new means for tracking weapons seen as having a heightened risk of diversion, including Stinger surface-to-air missiles and Javelin antitank missiles, amid what they describe as Ukraine's "super hot conflict."
National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson says the Ukrainians have been cooperating as willing partners in weapons accountability and implementing measures ensuring proper chain of custody. "While we recognize the unpredictability of combat, the United States and Ukraine have cooperated to prevent illicit weapons diversion since Russia's further invasion began earlier this year," she said.
Like with Syria before, it's likely the White House and Pentagon will carefully avoid acknowledging wording like "boots on the ground" in their press statements...
Oh wow... US boots on the ground in Ukraine? Delivering solutions to problems you created in the first place... so you can create more problems and bring more "solutions..." Rinse, repeat.
'-- Alex (Sasha) Krainer (@NakedHedgie) November 1, 2022The initiative is broadly being seen as part of Biden admin efforts to assuage Republican anger in Congress, after complaints have grown louder over the unaccountable "wild West" way in which Pentagon weapons have proliferated in Ukraine - as even CNN months ago underscored.
This week Finland has been among the first European countries to document the spread of West-supplied weaponry outside of Ukraine's borders and into the hands of criminal elements, as we detailed previously. "Weapons shipped [by various countries] to Ukraine have also been found in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands," Finland's federal National Bureau of Investigation chief Christer Ahlgren was quoted by national broadcaster Yle as saying.
Russia has already long warned it will attack foreign weapons shipments, transport convoys, and warehouses found in Ukraine... but how long before Russian forces target American military inspectors on the ground behind the front lines? The longer the grinding conflict drags on, the greater potential for such a disastrous scenario, whether intentional or not.
* * *
While at this point we could rightly call the Ukraine conflict a "proxy war" between Russia and US-NATO, all signs point to a steady slide into direct conflict. Now that Pentagon "inspectors" are confirmed on the ground in Ukraine (notably without any Congressional vote), expect the White House to vehemently deny that this marks any level of an escalation as far as Washington's direct involvement... again, despite the evident danger of American soldiers placed in "harm's way" - potentially being under Russian bombs.
Liz Truss phone hack claim prompts calls for investigation - BBC News
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 14:11
Image source, Getty ImagesBy Jonathan Blake
Political correspondent, BBC News
The government has been urged to open an investigation into claims former prime minister Liz Truss's phone was hacked while she was foreign secretary.
The Mail on Sunday reported private messages between Ms Truss and foreign officials, including about the Ukraine war, fell into foreign hands.
The hack was discovered during the summer Tory leadership campaign but the news was suppressed, the paper said.
The government said it had "robust" cyber-threat protection in place.
The spokesperson added that the government "did not comment on individuals' security arrangements".
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove told Sky News he did not know the full details "of what security breach, if any, took place" but said the government took these issues "incredibly seriously".
Details about the hack were suppressed by then-prime minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, The Mail on Sunday claimed, citing what it said amounted to a "news blackout" imposed by Mr Case.
The newspaper also said private messages exchanged between Ms Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, her close friend whom she made chancellor when she became prime minister, were also uncovered by the alleged hack.
It is not clear how any hack happened, but opposition parties have seized on the issue.
"There are immensely important national security issues raised by an attack like this by a hostile state which will have been taken extremely seriously by our intelligence and security agencies," said shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.
"There are also serious security questions around why and how this information has been leaked or released right now which must also be urgently investigated."
The Mail on Sunday reported agents suspected of working for Russia had been responsible for the alleged hacking, citing unnamed sources, but the BBC has not been able to verify this.
Image source, UK Government
Image caption, The Mail on Sunday claims private messages were accessed in the hack (archive photo)
The Liberal Democrats foreign affairs spokesperson Layla Moran MP raised concerns about why the alleged hack had not been made public earlier.
"We need an urgent independent investigation to uncover the truth," Ms Moran said. "If it turns out this information was withheld from the public to protect Liz Truss's leadership bid, that would be unforgivable."
The government has refused to comment on any of the details reported by the Mail on Sunday.
"The government has robust systems in place to protect against cyber threats," a spokesman said. "That includes regular security briefings for ministers, and advice on protecting their personal data and mitigating cyber threats."
Did the FBI Tamper with the Frame Rate of the Jan 6 Pipe Bomb Footage? - Revolver News
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 14:04
Exclusive November 1, 2022 (1d ago)
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More than a year has passed since the FBI last released footage of the pipe bomber who allegedly planted explosive devices near the DNC and RNC party headquarters the night before January 6, 2021.
The FBI has reportedly collected 39,000 video files relating to the suspect's identity, according to Steven D'Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington D.C. Field Office. Yet since September 8, 2021, not a single new video file has been released.
At Revolver, we have been focused on the two clips of video footage from DNC building security cameras that the FBI released on March 2021 and September 2021, respectively.
In August 2022, we definitively proved the DNC camera footage from the FBI's September 2021 release should have captured the ''money shot'' of the pipe bomber taking the bomb out of the bag and planting it near a park bench in front of the DNC building. But for some reason, the FBI censored the tape so that the public could not see the alleged criminal walk back into the camera frame to commit the actual criminal act.
Over the past two months, we took a closer look at the DNC surveillance footage the FBI provided to the public. What we found was even more bizarre, and more damning than our initial discovery that the FBI is withholding critical footage of the pipe bomber actually planting the bomb.
The original ''missing moneyshot'' '' reflecting the FBI's deliberate censorship of the commission of the crime, effectively '' is a red flag of such stunning proportions that it alone merits Congressional investigation under a GOP-led House commission on FBI malfeasance.
The new findings we are about to discuss, however, are so implausible, specific, and suspicious that we are compelled to demand that a future GOP-led commission subpoena and demand the exact chain of custody for the DNC surveillance tapes that the FBI released to the public
In this piece, we will analyze problems with a basic technical feature of the DNC video called the ''frame rate.'' For the convenience of the reader, we put together a short video that sketches the argument to follow:
Implausibly Low Frame Rate Suggests Possible Tampering
In our analysis of the DNC location surveillance footage provided by the FBI, we observed that the frame rate in the footage is so low that it barely exceeds 1 frame per second. We'll explain the significance of this shortly, but first let's cut straight to the factual findings.
Below, we show the final 13 seconds of the DNC security camera footage from the FBI's September 2021 release. These are the 13 seconds during which the pipe bomber gets up from the DNC park bench and walks directly toward and past the security camera.
There are only 16 distinct frames in these 13 seconds, yielding an average frame rate of just 1.2 frames per second. This is so low that it is essentially ''stop motion.''
See for yourself:
What Is Frame Rate and Why Does It Matter?
Video has a ''motion'' look because a series of still pictures '-- or ''frames'' '-- scroll on screen so many times per second that individual frames are not discernible to the human eye, thus creating the appearance of fluid, real-life motion.
For example, a ''flipbook'' makes still pictures turn suddenly into a ''motion picture'' when the still pictures are simply flipped through quickly:
In the video above, the flipbook moves at about 12 frames per second (fps). The average industry frame rate for most CCTV security cameras currently in use is about 15 frames per second. Modern security cameras are typically 30 fps and higher-end ones shoot 60 fps footage. Some very old dinosaur security cameras on decades-old systems shoot at around 8 fps.
The reason for the variation in fps is the trade-off between video quality and storage cost. The higher the frame rate, the larger the file size, and more storage is needed for the larger sizes, and storing all that data costs money.
So there is a fairly wide variation in security camera frame rate depending on one's budget. But even at the absolute lowest end, you simply don't see surveillance cameras operating at 1 fps.
The frame rate for camera footage has gotten much faster since the early days of cameras. For example, the Apollo moon landing for Apollo 16 in 1972 was shot on the moon with a 12 fps camera setting '-- 12 frames or distinct pictures per second.
HD footage in the modern era is now often shot at 120 fps. But security cameras, which record all day, face the aforementioned trade-off in storage size and don't need all the extra frills of a super high-quality video.
At the same time, advancements in storage space efficiencies over the past 20 years have made it very cheap and easy to capture genuine motion at the 8-10 fps level, so institutions don't even get cost savings anymore for ''stick figure'' stop motion cameras at or near 1fps like they did back in the 1980s.
For example, vendors showing off security camera frame rate comparisons on the market today tend to show a high end of 60 fps and low end of 8 fps.
As this helpful guide explains, the reason that no one uses ''1 fps'' security camera footage anymore is because when the surveillance camera only records one frame per second, one has to get extremely lucky to capture a clean shot of a suspect's face looking at the camera '-- the suspect has to look right into the camera it for a full second, and practically say ''cheese.''
This severe inadequacy helps to explain why 1fps surveillance cameras are an ancient figment of a bygone era decades ago when recording space on a camera was once expensive, and before technology and market changes two decades ago made storage space extremely cheap and better frame rates the industry standard.
Simply put '-- you don't see 1 frame per second security cameras anymore in 2022. You can't even buy anything on Amazon where 1 fps is the default or anywhere remotely close to a standard or recommended output. In fact, a comprehensive 2021 study on surveillance footage frame rates found that 0% '-- that's right, 0% '-- of surveillance cameras had a frame-rate below 5 fps.
This raises the strange and troubling question. Why does the security footage the FBI released from the DNC national headquarters depicting the alleged pipe bomber register at barely over 1 frame per second? Keep in mind, this implausibly low 1 frame per second surveillance footage is from the same camera from which Revolver proved in August that the FBI is withholding critical footage from the public of the pipe bomber actually planting the bomb.
READ MORE '-- Release the Tape: Revolver Has Definitive Proof FBI Is Hiding Critical Footage of Jan 6 ''Pipe Bomber''
Did the FBI tamper with the tape in addition to withholding critical footage? Let's dig a bit deeper.
An Unlikely Story
The DNC headquarters building is the national headquarters of one of the two major political parties in America. A lot of very important people work there and visit on a regular basis. The Vice President-elect of the United States herself, Kamala Harris, traveled to the DNC headquarters building the morning of January 6, 2021.
The historically-minded will remember that it was a break-in at the DNC headquarters 50 years ago that launched the greatest political scandal in modern American history.
For such an important place, with such important people, it is bizarre that the DNC security team was content with Jurassic Era surveillance footage at 1fps.
And keep in mind, this is Washington, D.C., the city that was once the murder capital of the country. Street crime around downtown DC, one would think, would be a concern to the DNC as a general matter, well outside the purview of VIP visits.
Heck, DNC staffer Seth Rich was, we are told, a victim of such street crime.
Given this context, can we really believe that the DNC national headquarters would have security cameras whose frame rate quality pales in comparison to old cameras at an average McDonald's?
In fact, we know the DNC building takes security seriously, and precisely at the spot where the perp planted the bomb, at the precise pipe bomb crime scene covered by the 1 frame per second camera in question.
As demonstrated in our Google Earth walkthrough last month, the DNC cared enough about security in the park bench area that they employed what appears to be full-time security during the day looking straight out at the bomb site (photo below is from October 2018, per Google Earth)
Considering all of the factors above, including the DNC's extra physical security at the exact spot the pipe bomb was allegedly planted, it is beyond odd and indeed downright suspicious that their surveillance footage would not only be poor, but at a 1 frame per second frame rate so poor as to be statistically impossible. Remember, the latest 2021 study on frame rates found that the number of currently operational surveillance cameras with a frame rate of less than 5 fps was statistically zero.
To underscore the difference between the frame rate of surveillance cameras at the Democrat National Committee Headquarters building, and that of cameras at your typical gas station or fast food establishment, Revolver put together the following amusing video:
It is important to remember that it is the exact same security camera that Revolver already proved captured footage '-- footage inexplicably withheld from the public by the FBI '-- of the the pipe bomber planting (or not planting) the bomb device that has had its footage somehow nuked back into the Stone Age with a 1 fps frame rate.
That is, we already know the FBI censored that exact tape and cut out the critical moment that would have depicted the pipe bomber planting the bomb. The question now is, beyond censoring the tape, did the FBI or their proxies tamper with it too? Did the FBI or proxies artificially degrade the version of the DNC surveillance tape they released to the public in order to make it more difficult to identify features (such as the face or the phone fidgeting) of the alleged pipe bomber?
Remember '-- two years on, the FBI still hasn't even told us the gender of the suspect. They have told us bupkis about the alleged MAGA terrorist who walked around the apex heart of Capitol Hill, on foot, for more than an hour, making cell phone calls, touching surfaces, and depositing physical devices.
The award the FBI set for the public to identify the pipe bomber '-- $100,000 '-- is ten times less than the award they offered Christopher Steele for dirt on President Trump. That tells you where their priorities are, and where they aren't.
It is painfully obvious the FBI does not want to identify the pipe bomber. And because the pipe bomber is almost assuredly a government asset of some sort, the FBI doesn't want civilians to be able to make out the suspect's identity either.
Why then did the FBI even release the DNC security tape clips in the first place? It was probably too difficult for the FBI to deny the existence of the DNC security tape altogether. And DNC officials demanded, in the early days of 2021, the trappings of a real investigation and the bogeyman of a real suspect, so the tape had the effect of getting an uninquisitive media to squawk a good tune.
It is quite possible the FBI sought to get the best of both worlds by releasing a version of the DNC tape that is so massively degraded (and key moments censored) that it is virtually useless. We see that the pipe bomb suspect has a cell phone in hand, but a degraded frame rate could be particularly useful, for instance, if the pipe bomb suspect was continually using his or her cell phone to text a third party, and the FBI wanted to hide this conspiratorial aspect of the pipe bomb affair from the public.
Here we note that it is trivially easy to artificially lower a video's quality and output a clip at a lower frame rate than the source footage captured. All that is required is engaging an output setting available in every retail video editor. Any 14 year old kid could tamper with video footage in this fashion, so it's not exactly much of an operation for a rogue FBI operative or outsourced third party multimedia contractor to do. It's a lot harder to falsify a FISA warrant than manipulate surveillance footage, and we saw how the Feds had zero qualms about doing the former.
If the FBI did tamper with the tape, it wouldn't be the first time. Merrick Garland's Justice Department, which absolutely railroaded the Oklahoma City Bombing investigation under Garland's tenure during the Clinton years, got caught editing the security camera tapes they were forced by court order to finally release to the public in 2009 '-- 14 years after the event. Even after all that time the tape was edited to remove key details. We are starting to see, perhaps, this Merrick Garland calling card again on January 6.
Members of Congress: Now Is the Time to Be Heroes '-- Demand the Chain of Custody of the Tapes
The January 6 investigation is the biggest investigation in FBI history, and the pipe bomber was the most high profile and by far the most dangerous threat of the day in terms of mass death potential and early domination of headlines that set the tone for the so-called ''insurrection.''
Besides, this would-be mass murdering superkiller is still out there, and he/she/zir evidently has a taste for bombing major political headquarter buildings.
It's been two years and the FBI says they haven't found a fingerprint, a hair follicle, a skin cell, an age range, a gender, or a cell phone ping from the exact coordinates we can see he/she/zir texting from in the surveillance footage.
The pipe bomber played Security Camera Frogger on the home turf of the center of the U.S. national security state itself for over an hour and we're supposed to believe the source tapes at the DNC national party headquarters the night before January 6 had lower resolution and frame rates than those shot on the surface of the moon 50 years ago.
Fortunately, for the DNC tapes at issue here, there's a super easy solution: Get the chain of custody for the tapes.
Those tapes were retrieved by someone at the FBI, from someone at the DNC. Those people have names. Since we only have clips of the released tapes, we know the chain of custody for the tapes should disclose who the tapes were sent to for processing and editing.
Every FBI agent who touched those tapes can be called to testify about what he/she did with them. They can be called to testify about the source footage itself '-- why the ''moneyshot'' moment went missing in the public release, and why the final released footage didn't match the source footage from the original point in the chain of custody.
Let them come back and sing the Jeffrey Epstein ''tapes malfunctioned'' song again, or ''agents fell asleep'' excuse, which they will almost surely feel forced to do if they get pressed hard enough.
But put it to them. Every episode in this sordid FBI saga over January 6 is something ordinary Americans will remember forever.
The FBI can keep its tyranny, or its legitimacy, but it cannot keep both.
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Climate activists throwing food at paintings could save the planet
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 13:48
On Sunday, two climate activists hurled mashed potatoes at ''Les Meules,'' a valuable Claude Monet painting in a German museum. The agitators glued themselves to the wall beneath the artwork for extra measure. It was the latest stunt from Last Generation, a German climate group that is calling for the government to take action to stop using fossil fuels.
The disruption is one of many in a series of protests in which environmental advocates from various organizations target iconic paintings by celebrated painters.
If climate activists focused only on symbols directly related to what is damaging the planet '-- like a pipeline or an oil refinery '-- then it may not have gotten quite the same buzz. It would've been too predictable.
In May 2022, for example, an activist smeared a pastry across the Mona Lisa in Paris' Louvre Museum. Two months later, demonstrators glued themselves to the frame of Leonardo da Vinci's ''The Last Supper'' and spray-painted the wall below it at London's Royal Academy of Arts. Earlier this month, activists tossed tomato soup at ''Sunflowers,'' one of Vincent van Gogh's most famous oil paintings, at the National Gallery in London.
These attention-seeking actions are designed to raise awareness of the climate crisis.
Pundits argue that the motivation behind this organized chaos, particularly because the artwork themselves have nothing to do with the climate, is ''daft'' and idiotic. But they couldn't be more wrong.
If climate activists focused only on symbols directly related to what is damaging the planet '-- like a pipeline or an oil refinery '-- then it may not have gotten quite the same buzz. It would've been too predictable.
Generating headlines '-- which these activists are doing in spades '-- is critical for advancing decarbonization policy at this point in time. This is because of the importance of ''agenda setting.'' While media coverage of the soup, mashed potato or pastry incidents may not change the minds or behaviors of climate deniers (although, as my research shows, there is some evidence that it can), it does increase the relevance of the issue in the eyes of the public.
As political scientist Bernard Cohen noted in 1963, ''the press may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about.''
And shifting what the public thinks about is crucial for those seeking to prompt positive change. It's part of the process of shifting the ''Overton window,'' the range of policies that are politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time. In the United States, it was once the case that the idea of granting women the right to vote was considered fringe. Now, it's common sense. This reflects progress in shifting the Overton window toward providing more rights for more people. In order to shift the public's conception of acceptable climate policies, it's essential the media cover the issue in a big way.
For decades, topics concerning the climate crisis were shrouded in obscurity within academic journals and conferences. But recently, we've seen a push for more journalists to cover the climate crisis.
Data from the Media and Climate Change Observatory '-- an international, multi-university collaboration at the University of Colorado Boulder that monitors coverage of climate change '-- found that U.S. coverage of the topic reached a historic high last year. At the same time, global coverage was the highest it had been since 2009.
''Climate change is no longer just a science story,'' said Max Boykoff, lead project investigator for the observatory. ''It's now a political, economic, societal and cultural story.''
Of course, a significant part of that is because more people see, in real time, the consequences of an overheating planet and concerns are growing, but we shouldn't underestimate disruptive activism's role in propelling this coverage. After all, when something unexpected happens, the media will cover it.
Still, some environmentalists argue that acts like these are counterproductive. Following the soup-throwing incident, Dr. Jonathan Foley, a scientist who leads the climate solutions group Project Drawdown, tweeted ''No matter the motive, damaging or destroying shared cultural treasures in the name of saving the planet is a mistake.'' Francois Gemenne, a lead author on the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, tweeted that this kind of protest is ''likely to antagonize public support for climate action.''
But that may be shortsighted because according to a 2021 United Nations Development Programme's global poll that covered 50 countries and had 1.2 million respondents, a majority of people believe climate change is an emergency and support mitigation policies. I doubt that stunts to bring more awareness to the fact that people are living through widespread droughts, rising sea levels and extreme weather will suddenly cause support for steps to address these devastating events to drop.
If Monet, da Vinci and van Gogh were alive today, they should be glad that their works are raising awareness for an important cause. Their paintings are fine (unharmed, according to the museums). The climate, however, may not be. And activists need to keep working as we are running out of time to solve the crisis.
Brian Kateman is a co-founder and the president of the Reducetarian Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing consumption of meat, eggs and dairy to create a healthy, sustainable and compassionate world. He is the author of ''Meat Me Halfway'' '-- inspired by a documentary of the same name '-- and the editor of ''The Reducetarian Cookbook'' and ''The Reducetarian Solution.'' He is an adjunct professor of environmental science and sustainability at Kean University and teaches environmental communications at Fordham University.
EU Warns Musk Not to Restore Free Speech Protections After Calls from Clinton and Other Democratic Leaders '' JONATHAN TURLEY
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 13:40
We have been discussing how Democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton called on foreign companies to pass censorship laws to prevent Elon Musk from restoring free speech protections on Twitter. The EU has responded aggressively to warn Musk not to allow greater free speech or face crippling fines and even potential criminal enforcement. After years of using censorship-by-surrogates in social media companies, Democratic leaders seem to have rediscovered good old-fashioned state censorship.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) declared Musk's pledge to restore free speech values on social media as threatening Democracy itself. She has promised that ''there are going to be rules'' to block such changes. She is not alone. Former President Obama has declared ''regulation has to be part of the answer'' to disinformation.
For her part, Hillary Clinton is looking to Europe to fill the vacuum and called upon her European counterparts to pass a massive censorship law to ''bolster global democracy before it's too late.''
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently repeated this call for global censorship at the United Nations to the applause of diplomats and media alike.
EU censors have assured Democratic leaders that they will not allow free speech to break out on Twitter regardless of the wishes of its owner and customers.
One of the most anti-free speech figures in the West, EU's Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has been raising the alarm that Twitter users might be able to read uncensored material or hear unauthorized views.
Breton himself threatened that Twitter must ''fly by [the European Union's] rules'' in censoring views deemed misleading or harmful by EU bureaucrats. Breton has been moving publicly to warn Musk not to try to reintroduce protections that go beyond the tolerance of the EU for free speech. Musk is planning to meet with the EU censors and has conceded that he may not be able resist such mandatory censorship rules.
The hope of leaders like Clinton is the anti-free speech measure recently passed by EU countries, the Digital Services Act. The DSA contains mandatory ''disinformation'' rules for censoring ''harmful'' thoughts or views.
Breton has made no secret that he views free speech as a danger coming from the United States that needs to be walled off from the Internet. He previously declared that, with the DSA, the EU is now able to prevent the Internet from again becoming a place for largely unregulated free speech, which he referred to as the ''Wild West'' period of the Internet.
It is a telling reference because the EU views free speech itself as an existential danger. They reject the notion of free speech as its own protection where good speech can overcome bad speech. That is viewed as the ''Wild West.''
Many of us are far more fearful of global censors than some whack job spewing hateful thoughts from his basement. That is why I have described myself as an Internet Originalist:
The alternative is ''internet originalism'' '-- no censorship. If social media companies returned to their original roles, there would be no slippery slope of political bias or opportunism; they would assume the same status as telephone companies. We do not need companies to protect us from harmful or ''misleading'' thoughts. The solution to bad speech is more speech, not approved speech.
If Pelosi demanded that Verizon or Sprint interrupt calls to stop people saying false or misleading things, the public would be outraged. Twitter serves the same communicative function between consenting parties; it simply allows thousands of people to participate in such digital exchanges. Those people do not sign up to exchange thoughts only to have Dorsey or some other internet overlords monitor their conversations and ''protect'' them from errant or harmful thoughts.
The danger of the rising levels of censorship is far greater than the dangers of such absurd claims of the law or science '-- or in this case both. What we can do is to maximize the free discourse and expression on the Internet to allow free speech itself to be the ultimate disinfectant of disinformation.
A rare total lunar eclipse will turn the moon red on Election Day 2022 -
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 13:39
NewsUpdated: Nov. 02, 2022, 11:16 a.m.| Published: Nov. 02, 2022, 11:14 a.m.A lunar eclipse. Marcus Schneck |
A total lunar eclipse will turn the full moon into a rust-red spectacle early in the morning on Tuesday, November 8 '-- the first time in U.S. history a total lunar eclipse will fall on Election Day.
This astronomical event is also the last total lunar eclipse until 2025, according to NASA.
While eclipses themselves aren't rare, a total lunar eclipse is special because it can only happen when the Earth, sun and moon line up so precisely that the moon passes through the darkest part of the Earth's shadow.
Under these conditions, blue and violet light waves from the sun are scattered, leaving red- and orange-hued light waves to project onto the moon and make it appear red, NASA says. Dust in the Earth's atmosphere can also amplify the reddish hue. This is why lunar eclipses are sometimes called ''Blood Moons.''
Tuesday's eclipse will span more than five hours, but the eclipse's totality '-- the period of time when the moon sits entirely in the Earth's shadow '-- will take place from 5:17 a.m. to 6:42 a.m. EST.
The eclipse will also fall just days after the peak night for the annual Taurid meteor shower, which is known for producing bright, colorful fireballs.
Under clear skies, the eclipse will be visible across North and Central America, and can be easily viewed with the naked eye, though a telescope or binoculars could help you enjoy an even more impressive view. Areas with dark skies, such as rural spots and designated dark sky parks, create the best viewing conditions.
For an hourly schedule of how the eclipse will unfold, visit
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How to Get Better Rest, According to a Sleep Expert - The New York Times
Wed, 02 Nov 2022 13:31
In a new book, a sleep scientist offers tips for better rest '-- without reaching for a pill.
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Credit... Rachel Levit Ruiz Nov. 1, 2022
A good night's sleep can make us more empathetic, more creative, better parents and better partners, according to Aric Prather, a psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco who treats insomnia and is the author of the new book ''The Sleep Prescription.'' Sleep can help us manage stress; it can make us competent and capable and better able to take on the day. But Dr. Prather says we too often view sleep as an afterthought '-- until we find ourselves frozen in the middle of the night, our thoughts racing, fumbling for rest or relief.
Some people might reach for a supplement or sleep aid. A 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found that one in eight adults with trouble sleeping reported using sleep aids. But Dr. Prather said there are simple steps we can take throughout the day and night to get better rest, which he outlines in the book, out Nov. 1 from Penguin Life. ''It's not something you do,'' he added. ''It's something that comes to you.''
Here are some of his science-backed tips for sounder sleep.
During the day Carve out time for ''scheduled worry.'' ''No one ever says, 'I was awake in the middle of the night, and I was only thinking of good things,''' Dr. Prather said. Throughout the day, we might be too busy to linger on our thoughts, but at night, when we try to let our brains pause without distractions, ''our thoughts can get very, very loud,'' Dr. Prather wrote.
To beat back nightime rumination and anxiety, Dr. Prather recommended in an interview devoting part of your day to worry. Block out 10 to 20 minutes to write down what you're anxious about, or just think about it, without searching for a solution. If you do that consistently, he said, your worries won't seep into the night '-- and if they do, you can remind yourself that you have a dedicated time to address them the next day.
Instead of reaching for caffeine, plunge your head in the freezer. If you regularly reach for coffee to get you through an afternoon slump, you'll still have caffeine in your system by bedtime, said Dr. Prather.
Instead, he recommends getting an energy boost elsewhere. You can go for a brisk walk in the afternoon, or spend five to 10 minutes taking a break from work and engaging your brain in a simple task '-- pull weeds in the garden, reorganize a bookshelf, turn on some music and really focus on a song. Focusing on a non-work task can energize our brains, Dr. Prather said, jolting us out of our routine. Or, for a more extreme option, stick your head in the freezer. That brief shock of cold activates your arousal system, Dr. Prather said, like jumper cables on a car battery to wake you up '-- no coffee run needed.
Declutter your bedroom Your computer, a heap of laundry, the pile of sticky notes reminding you of all of your unfinished tasks '-- clear those all out of the room where you sleep. If that's not possible, at least move them so you can't see them from your bed, Dr. Prather advises. You want your sleeping area to calm you down, not remind you of everything you need to get done.
To further set yourself up for sleep, get blackout curtains to block out light, or invest in a comfortable sleep mask. And consider turning down the heat '-- or turning up the air conditioning '-- so that your sleeping area is between 60 and 68 degrees at night. You want your room to be dark and cool, Dr. Prather said, in order to prod the core temperature of our bodies to drop, which happens naturally as we sleep.
Before bed Stop treating your brain like a laptop. You can't expect your brain to instantly power down the way a laptop does when you close the lid, Dr. Prather said. Instead, you should plan a transition period that lets your brain wind down. Sometimes that's not possible, he acknowledged; work deadlines and parenting responsibilities might mean you're engaged right up until you turn off the lights. But ideally, you would give yourself a two hour period to ''turn down the volume on your sympathetic nervous system,'' he said, cuing to your body and brain that you're gearing up to rest.
You should spend that time doing something pleasant and soothing, like listening to a favorite podcast, chatting on the couch with your partner or watching TV. Dr. Prather offers his patients what he calls a menu of options for that power-down period '-- they can take a luxurious bath, write in a gratitude journal or even sit outside, weather permitting, and look at the stars. The goal is to find ''low arousal'' activities that you enjoy, he said.
Rewatch your favorite show. Many clinicians caution against screen time before bed, but Dr. Prather said he pays more attention to the content of what people consume as they settle down for the night, rather than whether they're looking at a laptop, a paperback or their phone. A thriller '-- whether it's a novel or a movie '-- can prompt you to stay awake a bit longer or to mull over the answer to a mystery as you're trying to fall asleep. Instead, he recommended watching something calming, and ideally, a show you've seen before. Dr. Prather turns to ''The Office,'' which he said he's rewatched more times than he can count, because he already knows what happens next.
If you're struggling to stay asleep in the night If you can't sleep, move. As people age, especially in their fifties, sixties and seventies, sleep can become more fragmented, Dr. Prather said. People may need to urinate in the night more frequently, or pain might keep them awake. But it's essential that older adults get sufficient rest '-- a recent study found that adults over 50 who slept for five hours or less each night had a greater risk of developing chronic diseases than those who slept for at least seven hours.
In general, if you are struggling to fall or stay asleep you should get out of bed, Dr. Prather said. Give yourself 20 minutes or so to try to sleep, but if you're still wired, head to the couch or living room and do something quiet, Dr. Prather advised, like knitting or meditating. You only want to associate the position you sleep in with actually falling asleep; if your body gets used to staying awake, and struggling to sleep, in that position, you'll have a harder time conditioning yourself to sleep through the night.
If you don't want to move, or are unable to, even sitting up in the bed can help rewire your brain or flipping over and placing your head where your feet typically lay. While in that new position, you can read, listen to soft, gentle music or put on a soothing podcast '-- any activity that winds you down, until you feel sleepy again and are ready to get back into your sleeping position.
Don't beat yourself up about one night of bad sleep (or several). When people are in the throes of a sleepless night, they often stress about how the lack of sleep will clobber them the next day, Dr. Prather said. But one, or even a few, nights of little rest won't ruin the way you sleep long-term, Dr. Prather said. ''Any parent of small kids can tell you that you can survive on less sleep,'' he said. ''You can have these off nights. Your body is resilient.''
If you consistently find yourself unable to sleep, you might want to seek out a therapist or clinician trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, which Dr. Prather uses to treat insomnia. Even in chronic cases, he said, poor sleep is curable. A sleep specialist may also prescribe medication in extreme cases or treat underlying conditions that can lead to poor sleep, like sleep apnea.
''When people have insomnia, because it's so distressing, they're trying to figure out all the things they can do to allow sleep to work again, like, 'What can I fix?' And that kind of effort is actually incompatible with sleeping,'' he said. ''Sleeping's about letting go.''
Read the David DePape Court Filing on the Paul Pelosi Attack - The New York Times
Wed, 02 Nov 2022 13:07
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 BROOKE JENKINS (SBN 276290) District Attorney Allison Garbutt Macbeth (SBN 203547) Assistant District Attorney Phoebe H. Maffei (SBN 271346) Assistant District Attorney 350 Rhode Island Street North Building, Suite 400N San Francisco, California 94103 Telephone: 628-652-4316 Facsimile: 628-652-4001 Email: Attorneys for the People PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, V. DAVID DEPAPE, SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO Plaintiff, FILED San Francisco County Superior Court Defendant. HOV-1 2022 CLERK OF THE COVAT Mag DIROCCE JE BY: For Case No. 22012966 NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO DETAIN; REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE Date: November 1, 2022 Time: 1:30 p.m. Dept.: 9 TO DEFENDANT BY AND THROUGH HIS ATTORNEY AND TO THE HONORABLE COURT: PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT on November 1, 2022 at 1:30 p.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard before the court in Department 9 of the above-titled Court, located at the Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco, California, the People of the State of California will move to detain under the California Constitution. This motion will be based on the following memorandum of points and authorities, and on any subsequent exhibits hereinafter lodged or filed with the Court, on such People v. DePape, Court No. 22012966, Notice of Motion and Motion to Detain, p. 1 Scanned with CamScanner
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 supplemental memoranda of points and authorities as may hereafter be filed with the Court or stated orally at the conclusion of the hearing on the motion, on the following declaration, on all the papers and records on file in this action, and on such oral and documentary evidence as may be presented at the hearing of the motion. November 1, 2022 BROOKE JENKINS District Attorney bc By: Allison Garbutt Macbeth Assistant District Attorney Attorneys for the People People v. DePape, Court No. 22012966, Notice of Motion and Motion to Detain, p. 2 Scanned with CamScanner
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES INTRODUCTION Defendant forcefully broke into the Pelosi home intending to take the Speaker of the United States House of Representative, Nancy Pelosi, as his hostage. But when Defendant learned that he could not execute his plan, he proceeded instead to attack the 82-year-old man that stood in his way, Speaker Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi. There is clear and convincing evidence to support a hypothetical verdict of guilty for the charges here; clear and convincing evidence shows that there is a substantial likelihood that Defendant, if released, would cause great bodily injury to others; and clear and convincing evidence demonstrates that no less restrictive alternative is sufficient to protect victim and public safety. This case demands detention. Nothing less. STATEMENT OF THE CASE The Felony Complaint charges Defendant with attempted murder (Pen. Code, §§ 664, 187, Count 1) with allegations that the attempted murder was willful, deliberate, and premeditated, that Defendant personally used a deadly or dangerous weapon (Pen. Code, § 12022, subd. (b)(1)), and that Defendant inflicted great bodily injury on a person 70 years of age or older (Pen. Code, § 12022.7, subd. (c)). The Complaint also charges Defendant with first degree residential burglary (Pen. Code, § 459, Count 2) with an allegation that another person was present in the residence during the commission of the burglary (Pen. Code, § 667.5, subd, (c)(21)), assault with a deadly weapon (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(1), Count 3) with an allegation that Defendant inflicted great bodily on a person 70 years of age or older (Pen. Code, § 12022.7, subd, (c)), inflicting unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on an elder adult (Pen. Code, § 368, subd. (b)(1), Count 4) with allegations that Defendant inflicted great bodily injury (Pen. Code, §§ 368, subd. (b)(2)(B)) and that Defendant personally used a deadly or dangerous weapon (Pen. Code, § 12022, subd. (b)(1)), false imprisonment of an elder by violence or menace (Pen. Code, § 368, subd. (f), Count 5) with an allegations that Defendant inflicted great bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 368, subd. (b)(2)(B)) and that Defendant personally used a deadly or dangerous weapon (Pen. Code, § People v. DePape, Court No. 22012966, Notice of Motion and Motion to Detain, p. 3 Scanned with CamScanner
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 12022, subd. (b)(1)), and threatening the life of or threatening serious bodily harm to andar elected public official or their immediate family (Pen. Code, § 76, Count 6) with allegations that Defendant inflicted great bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 12022.7, subd. (c)) and that personally used a deadly or dangerous weapon (Pen. Code, § 12022, subd. (b)(1)). Among the circumstances in aggravation alleged in the Complaint are: the crime involved great violence, great bodily harm, threat of great bodily harm or other acts disclosing a high degree of cruelty, viciousness, or callousness; the defendant was armed with or used a weapon at the time of the commission of the crime; the victim was particularly vulnerable; the manner in which the crime was carried out indicates planning, sophistication, or professionalism; and the defendant has engaged in violent conduct that indicates a serious danger to society. Based on the charges in the Complaint, Defendant faces between 13 years, 8 months and life in prison. STATEMENT OF THE FACTS¹ In the middle of the night, Defendant smashed through a window in a back door of the Pelosi home in search of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. But Speaker Pelosi was not home, only her 82-year-old husband, Paul, who slept upstairs in his pajama top and boxer shorts. for Standing over Mr. Pelosi's bedside just after 2:00 a.m., Defendant startled Mr. Pelosi awake by asking "Are you Paul Pelosi?" Defendant carried a large hammer in his right hand and several white, plastic zip ties in his left hand. Defendant then repeated, "Where's Nancy? Where's Nancy?" Still groggy from being suddenly awoken, Mr. Pelosi responded, "She's not here." Defendant then demanded, "Well, when is she going to be back?" "She's in Washington, she's not going to be back for a couple of days." Defendant responded, "Okay, well, I'm going to tie you up."² 1 The following Statement of Facts is based on San Francisco Police Department Incident Report number 220 741 717, the Chronological of Investigation, body worn camera footage, the 911 call, and law enforcement interviews, exhibits to this motion, to be filed under seal. 2 In total, Defendant threatened to tie up Mr. Pelosi about 10 times. People v. DePape, Court No. 22012966, Notice of Motion and Motion to Detain, p. 4 Scanned with CamScanner
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Mr. Pelosi stood up and tried to leave by the elevator near the bedroom, but Defendant held the door, preventing Mr. Pelosi from escaping. Mr. Pelosi then returned to the bedroom, sat on the bed, and asked Defendant why he wanted to see or talk to Nancy. "Well, she's number two in line for the presidency, right?" When Mr. Pelosi agreed, Defendant responded that they are all corrupt and "we've got to take them all out." When Mr. Pelosi asked if he could call anyone for Defendant, Defendant ominously responded that it was the end of the road for Mr. Pelosi. Still trying to escape from Defendant, Mr. Pelosi asked to use the bathroom; Defendant allowed him to do so. Mr. Pelosi stood up and walked to the bathroom where his phone was charging. Standing in the bathroom, Mr. Pelosi grabbed his phone, turned it on, called 911, and put the phone on speaker. Watching Mr. Pelosi, Defendant stood about three feet away, still holding the large hammer and the zip ties. During the 911 call itself, Mr. Pelosi said that there was a gentleman there waiting for his wife-Nancy Pelosi-to come back. But Mr. Pelosi said they would have to wait because his wife would not be coming back for about a day. Mr. Pelosi could see Defendant gesturing and heard Defendant tell him to get off the phone. To diffuse the situation, Mr. Pelosi told the dispatcher that he did not need police, fire, or medical assistance. Trying to be calm and discreet while also trying to help dispatch to understand the situation, Mr. Pelosi then asked for the Capitol Police because they are usually at the house protecting his wife. The dispatcher clarified that Mr. Pelosi was calling San Francisco police; Mr. Pelosi said that he understood and then asked someone, "I don't know, what do you think?" Another man responded, "Everything's good." Mr. Pelosi then stated, "Uh, he thinks everything's good. Uh, I've got a problem, but he thinks everything's good." When the dispatcher told Mr. Pelosi to call back if he changed his mind, Mr. Pelosi quickly responded, "No, no, no, this gentleman just uh came into the house uh and he wants to wait for my wife to come home[.]" The dispatcher then asked Mr. Pelosi if he knew the person and Mr. Pelosi said that he did not. Mr. Pelosi then said that the man was telling him not to do anything. The dispatcher then asked Mr. Pelosi for his name and address and Mr. Pelosi gave the dispatcher both. Mr. Pelosi then said that the man told him to put the phone People v. DePape, Court No. 22012966, Notice of Motion and Motion to Detain, p. Scanned with CamScanner
1 down and just do what he says. The dispatcher then asked for the man's name and the man 2 responded, "My name is David." When the dispatcher asked who David is, Mr. Pelosi said, "I don't know," but David said, "I'm a friend of theirs." Mr. Pelosi then confirmed with the dispatcher that he did not know the man. "He's telling me I am being very lazy, so I've 3 4 5 gotta to stop talking to you, okay?" When the dispatcher offered to stay on the line with Mr. Pelosi to make sure everything is okay, Mr. Pelosi said, "No, he wants me to get the hell off the phone." The call ended. Based on her training and what she heard, dispatcher Heather Grives issued an "A" priority well-being check. After the call, Defendant said that he was tired and needed to sleep; he also told Mr. Pelosi that he had a backpack downstairs with a whole bunch of stuff inside. They proceeded downstairs with Defendant walking behind Mr. Pelosi still holding the large hammer and the zip ties. Turning on the lights, Mr. Pelosi could see where Defendant entered the house; Defendant commented that he had to bash the window several times to break through and enter. Defendant also said that the police would be there any minute; Mr. Pelosi tried to calm Defendant by saying that they would not. But Defendant responded, "I can take you out." Defendant came around to Mr. Pelosi's right with the large hammer upright in his hand. Afraid that Defendant would strike him with that hammer, Mr. Pelosi reached out and put his hand on the handle of the hammer. Ender Shortly after the initial call, Officers Kolby Wilmes and Kyle Cagney responded to the residence. When Off. Wilmes rang the doorbell, Defendant directed Mr. Pelosi not to open the door. But Mr. Pelosi opened the door with his left hand. As the door opened, the two men stood in the dimly lit foyer facing the officers. Mr. Pelosi nervously but calmly greeted them. When the officer asked what was going on, Defendant smiled and said, "everything's good" and pulled his hands toward his body. When an officer turned on his flashlight, Defendant could be seen holding the bottom handle of the hammer with one hand and Mr. Pelosi's right arm with the other. Mr. Pelosi had his hand on the top of the handle near the hammer itself. One officer ordered, "Drop the hammer!" At the same time, Defendant raised the hammer and said, "um, nope." Defendant tried to pull the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi, which twisted Mr. Pelosi's arm back. Simultaneously, Mr. Pelosi pleaded, "hey, 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 People v. DePape, Court No. 22012966, Notice of Motion and Motion to Detain, p. 6 Scanned with CamScanner
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 hey, hey!" The officer asked again, "what is going on here?" But Mr. Pelosi could not maintain his grip on the hammer. A second later, Defendant wrenched the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi, immediately stepped back, and lunged at Mr. Pelosi, striking Mr. Pelosi in the head at full force with the hammer, which knocked Mr. Pelosi unconscious. The officers rushed into the house, tackled Defendant, and disarmed him. Mr. Pelosi remained unresponsive for about three minutes, waking up in a pool of his own blood. While on scene, Off. Wilmes asked Defendant if there were any more suspects. Defendant said that he acted alone; Defendant then looked at the glass door and said that was where he broke into the house. Officers later recovered Defendant's bag outside the damaged glass doors. Inside, there was another hammer, a laptop, and more bags of zip ties. Without any questioning, Defendant told officers and medics at the scene, "I'm sick of the insane fucking level of lies coming out of Washington, D.C. I came here to have a little chat with his wife." Defendant added: "I didn't really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission. I'm not going to stand here and do nothing even if it cost me my life." "Hurting him was not my goal. I told him before I attacked him, that he's escalating things, and I will go through him if I have to." San Francisco Fire Department Medics responded immediately, rendered aid to Mr. Pelosi, and transported him to San Francisco General Hospital. At SFGH, Mr. Pelosi underwent emergency surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. Mr. Pelosi remains hospitalized. Upon arrest, Defendant admitted that he intended to enter the home to take Speaker Nancy Pelosi hostage and, if Speaker Pelosi lied to him, he intended to break her kneecaps. Seeing Ring security cameras everywhere, Defendant knew he would be caught on camera. Defendant was surprised when he found Mr. Pelosi still asleep after making some so much noise to gain entry. When Mr. Pelosi attempted to enter the elevator near the bedroom, Defendant held the elevator door, thinking it would lead to a saferoom. When Mr. Pelosi called 911, Defendant knew the call was being recorded. But by calling 911, Defendant believed that Mr. Pelosi pushed him into a corner. Back in the bedroom, Defendant told Mr. Pelosi that he cannot be stopped; he has other targets. And later when police arrived, Scanned with CamScanner
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Defendant, not willing to surrender, yanked the hammer away and hit Mr. Pelosi with full force. When asked if he had any other plans, Defendant named several targets, including a local professor, several prominent state and federal politicians, and relatives of those state and federal politicians. REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE The People request that this Court take judicial notice of the statutes listed in the charging document(s) and court records offered as exhibits. (Evid. Code §§ 451, subd. (a), 452, subd. (d).) The People notice their intent to request that this Court to take judicial notice of the court records attached as exhibits to this motion. (Evid. Code § 453.) ARGUMENT I. The California Constitution Authorizes Courts to Detain Persons Charged with Violent Felony Offenses Pending Trial. Under the California Constitution, a court may detain a person pending trial for ES LET felony offenses involving violence "when the facts are evident or the presumption great and the court finds based on clear and convincing evidence that there is a substantial likelihood the person's release would result in great bodily harm to others[.]" (Cal. Const., art. I, § 12, subd. (b).) A pretrial detention order under Article I, section 12 requires the trial court make three specific factual findings. (In re White (2020) 9 Cal.5th 455, 471; In re Harris (2021) 71 Cal.App.5th 1085, 1105-1106, review granted, Mar. 9, 2022, S272632.) First, the record must contain evidence of a qualifying offense sufficient to sustain a hypothetical verdict of guilt on appeal. (In re White, supra, 9 Cal.5th at p. 471.) Second, a trial court must find by clear and convincing evidence of a substantial likelihood that the defendant's release would result in great bodily harm to others. (Ibid.) Third, a trial court must find by clear and convincing evidence that no less restrictive alternative will ensure the compelling retter government interest. (In re Harris, supra, 71 Cal.App.5th at pp. 1105-1106.) These findings may be satisfied by a proffer of evidence. (In re Harris, supra, 71 Cal.App.5th at p. 1101.) A trial court's decision to deny bail is reviewed for abuse of discretion. (White, People v. DePape, Court No. 22012966, Notice of Motion and Motion to Detain, p. 8 Scanned with CamScanner
4 5 6 supra, 9 Cal.5th at p. 469.) In exercising its discretion, the trial court must consider, ''at a minimum, 'the protection of the public, the seriousness of the offense charged, the previous criminal record of the defendant, and the probability of his or her appearing at [the] trial or at a hearing of the case'-and among those factors, 'public safety shall be the primary consideration."" (White, supra, 9 Cal.5th. at p. 470, quoting Pen. Code § 1275, subd. (a)(1).) For the qualifying offense, the reviewing court considers whether any reasonable trier of fact could find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the prosecution. (White, supra, 9 Cal.5th at pp. 463''464, 472.) "That the circumstances might also reasonably be reconciled with the defendant's innocence does not render inadequate the evidence pointing towards guilt." (Id. at p. 464.) A trial court must also address any less restrictive alternatives and articulate its analytical process as to why such alternatives are insufficient to protect the government's interest of protecting public safety. (In re Harris, supra, 71 Cal.App.5th at pp. 1096, 1105-1106.) 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 1 2 3 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 II. Defendant's Brutal, Early-Morning Attack of the 82-Year-Old Victim in His Own Home and in Front of Law Enforcement Justifies Detention Here. The violent nature of the attack in the victim's own home in front of law enforcement justifies detention in this case. First, as set forth in White, sufficient evidence supports the qualifying offenses here. Not only did body worn camera footage capture Defendant's unprovoked and brutal attack on Mr. Pelosi, but Defendant himself admitted to committing the attack. Defendant planned this early-morning break in, bringing a hammer and zipties with more to spare. And so determined was Defendant to enter the house, he slammed his body through the window to gain entry. Defendant also admitted that he intended to enter the house to take Speaker Pelosi hostage and cause great bodily harm to her, making her an example for all to see. More than sufficient evidence supports a hypothetical verdict of guilt. Second, clear and convincing evidence shows that if released, there is a substantial likelihood that Defendant would inflict great bodily injury to others. Defendant's intent People v. DePape, Court No. 22012966, Notice of Motion and Motion to Detain, p. 9 Scanned with CamScanner
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 could not have been clearer: he forced his way into the Pelosi home intending to take the person third in line to the presidency of the United States hostage and to seriously harm her. Thwarted by Speaker Pelosi's absence, Defendant continued on his quest and would not be stopped, culminating in the near fatal attack on Mr. Pelosi. Defendant also described other persons who served as his targets. But Defendant repeated, nothing would stop him. Defendant's self-proclaimed determination, execution, and other planned targets illustrates his danger to public safety. Therefore, clear and convincing evidence shows that there is a substantial likelihood that Defendant's release will result in great bodily harm to others. Third, less restrictive alternatives to detention are insufficient to protect public or victim safety. Defendant knew that the Ring cameras outside the house captured his entry and that the 911 phone call was being recorded. But Defendant remained undeterred. In fact, Defendant knew law enforcement officers were watching him when brutally attacked Mr. Pelosi with the hammer. All of this shows that nothing will prevent Defendant from engaging in the same dangerous activity. Thus, less restrictive alternatives like home detention, electronic monitoring, or a criminal protective order simply cannot protect public safety. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, this Court should detain Defendant pending trial. November 1, 2022 Respectfully submitted, BROOKE JENKINS District Attorney K By:s Allison Garbutt Macbeth Assistant District Attorney Attorneys for the People People v. DePape, Court No. 22012966, Notice of Motion and Motion to Detain, p. 10 Scanned with CamScanner
2 I, Phoebe Maffei, state: 4 5 6 That I am a citizen of the United States, over eighteen years of age, an employee of the Cit and County of San Francisco, and not a party to the within action; that my business address is 350 Rhode Island Street, North Building, Suite 400N, San Francisco, California 94103. I am familiar with the business practice at the San Francisco District Attorney's Office (SFDA) for collecting and processing electronic and physical correspondence. In accordance with that practice, correspondence placed in the internal mail collection system at the SFDA is deposited in the United States Postal Service with postage thereon fully prepaid that same day in the ordinary course of business. Correspondence that is submitted electronically is transmitted using the TrueFiling electronic system, FileAndServeXpress electronic system, or electronic mail. Participants who are registered with either TrueFiling or FileAndServeXpress will be served through electronic mail at the email addresses listed below. Participants who are not registered with either TrueFiling or FileAndServeXpress will receive hard copies through the mail via the United States Postal Service. 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 3 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 DECLARATION OF SERVICE That on November 1, 2022, I electronically or personally served, as noted below, NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO DETAIN; REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE by transmitting a true copy of through TrueFiling, FileAndServeXpress, or through electronic mail. Because one or more of the participants have not registered with the Court's system or are unable to receive electronic correspondence, on November 1, 2022, I placed a true copy thereof enclosed in a sealed envelope in the internal mail collection system at the SFDA at 350 Rhode Island Street, North Building, Suite 400N, San Francisco, California 94103, addressed as follows: Adam Lipson Deputy Public Defender 555 Seventh Street San Francisco, California 94103 I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed November 1, 2022, at San Francisco, California. attik reff Phoebe Maffei Scanned with CamScanner
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Suspect in Pelosi Attack Had Other Targets, Authorities Say - The New York Times
Wed, 02 Nov 2022 13:04
The man accused of breaking into the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and assaulting her husband told the police that he also planned to confront other state and federal politicians.
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Adam Lipson, a public defender, told reporters that he would mount a vigorous defense for the man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi. Credit... Carlos Barria/Reuters Nov. 1, 2022
SAN FRANCISCO '-- After an intruder broke into the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and bludgeoned her husband with a hammer, leaving him unconscious for three minutes as he lay in a pool of blood, the attacker told the police that he had other targets: a local professor and several prominent state and federal politicians.
The new details of the attack, which police officers say was motivated by the assailant's desire to take Ms. Pelosi hostage, interrogate her and break her kneecaps if she ''lied,'' emerged on Tuesday from prosecutors as the suspect appeared in court for the first time.
The suspect, David DePape, 42, pleaded not guilty to several state felony charges after investigators say he broke into the Pelosi residence last week in the well-to-do Pacific Heights neighborhood and demanded to see Ms. Pelosi, the country's third most powerful politician, who was in Washington at the time.
The filing by local prosecutors on Tuesday provided chilling details, including how Mr. Pelosi, in a terrifying situation, was able to surreptitiously call 911 while he was in the bathroom and the intruder was in the house. It also offered insights into a disturbed man seemingly enthralled by the conspiracy theories that have portrayed Ms. Pelosi as an enemy of the country.
After breaking into the home by slamming his body through a glass door on the back porch, the intruder found Mr. Pelosi, 82, asleep in his bedroom just after 2 a.m., according to the filing. He demanded to see Ms. Pelosi, and when he was told she wouldn't be back for days, the suspect said he would wait for her.
Mr. Pelosi, sitting on his bed, asked why.
''Well, she's No. 2 in line for the presidency, right?'' the intruder said, according to the police. Soon after, he told Mr. Pelosi that ''we've got to take them all out.''
At another point, when Mr. Pelosi asked if he could call anyone for Mr. DePape, the suspect ''ominously responded that it was the end of the road for Mr. Pelosi,'' the authorities said.
The police said that without any questioning, Mr. DePape told them that he was on a suicide mission. The authorities said he believed he had been captured by home security cameras and recorded on the 911 call, but remained undeterred.
Image A police officer closed the scene near the Pelosi home in San Francisco. Credit... Eric Risberg/Associated Press The ''defendant's intent could not have been clearer,'' the prosecutors wrote as they asked the court to detain Mr. DePape without bail, saying that he forced his way into the Pelosi home intending to take her hostage and ''to seriously harm her.''
The latest filing came a day after federal prosecutors filed a complaint against Mr. DePape that said that he directly targeted Ms. Pelosi and intended to make an example of her to other members of Congress.
''I'm sick of the insane fucking level of lies coming out of Washington, D.C.,'' he told officers at the scene, according to the local filing. ''I came to have a little chat with his wife.''
During the 911 call that prompted a dispatcher to send officers, Mr. Pelosi left the phone on speaker and, trying to keep the assailant calm, was able to gently imply to the dispatcher that something was amiss.
At one point, to defuse the situation, prosecutors wrote, Mr. Pelosi told the dispatcher that he didn't need the police. When the dispatcher told him to call back if he changed his mind, he said, ''No, no, no, this gentleman just, uh, came into the house, uh, and he wants to wait for my wife to come home.''
In the days since the attack, those who know Mr. DePape have described a shy man who once seemed to live the lifestyle of a Bay Area hippie, making hemp jewelry and attending protests against a ban on public nudity, but who in recent years fell into homelessness, isolation and darkness, spending his time immersed in an online world of conspiracy theories and bigotry.
About six years ago, according to his most recent employer, Mr. DePape was down on his luck, living under a tree in a park and hanging around outside a lumber store in Berkeley, Calif., looking for work.
''You know how people sit outside and wait for someone to come and offer them work?'' recalled Frank Ciccarelli, a carpenter who builds houses and makes furniture. ''He was sitting there. So I picked him up. So he started working for me. And he really worked out well.''
For the next several years, Mr. Ciccarelli became close to Mr. DePape, even as he worked less and seemed to spend more time online, immersed in right-wing conspiracy theories '-- right up until a week ago, when he paid Mr. DePape his most recent wages.
At his court appearance on Tuesday, Mr. DePape, with long brown hair, wore a jail uniform of a long-sleeve orange shirt and orange pants, as well as a black face mask. He did not turn around to face the assembled news outlets, but his attorney spoke in his ear several times and he nodded. When the judge asked him if he was prepared to waive his right to a hearing within 10 days, Mr. DePape nodded slightly and said, ''Yes.''
Mr. DePape was assigned a public defender, Adam Lipson, to represent him. In comments after Tuesday's court appearance, Mr. Lipson said that Mr. DePape was recently moved to the county jail from a hospital, where he was treated for a dislocated shoulder he sustained during the arrest.
Mr. Lipson promised to mount a ''vigorous defense'' and signaled that one possible strategy could be to highlight his client's ''vulnerability'' to the misinformation and conspiracy theories that have become so prominent in American political life.
Mr. Ciccarelli, 76, described Mr. DePape as a quiet person and diligent worker '-- an easygoing guy, at least until the topic of politics came up. He said he spent several hours a day with Mr. DePape, four or five days a week. ''I think I know him better than anyone does.''
Over the six years he has known Mr. DePape, Mr. Ciccarelli said, he witnessed a transformation from a shy and hardworking, but troubled, man into someone who was increasingly isolated and captive to his darkest thoughts.
''If you got him talking about politics, it was all over,'' Mr. Ciccarelli recalled in an interview this week. ''Because he really believed in the whole MAGA, 'Pizzagate,' stolen election '-- you know, all of it, all the way down the line.''
Image Frank Ciccarelli helped the landlord of David DePape, Malcolm Lubliner, not pictured, remove Mr. DePape's belongings from a home in Richmond, Calif. Credit... Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group, via Associated Press Mr. DePape's sympathies for the most extreme right-wing conspiracy theories are one piece of the growing investigation into his background.
The state charges against Mr. DePape came on Monday, along with several federal charges, including the attempted murder of Mr. Pelosi, who remains in intensive care at a local hospital after undergoing surgery on Friday, according to a person familiar with the situation. In a statement on Monday, Ms. Pelosi said her husband, ''is making steady progress on what will be a long recovery process.''
Mr. DePape grew up in British Columbia in Canada and moved to California about two decades ago to pursue a relationship with a woman he had met in Hawaii. For a time, he house-sat for a woman in the East Bay area who ran an urban farm for low-income residents, and sometimes helped take care of the chickens.
From 2002 to 2009, Mr. DePape was registered to vote in San Francisco County and declared himself affiliated with the Green Party, according to county records that showed he voted once, in 2002. He attested to being eligible to vote.
After working together for a few years, Mr. Ciccarelli helped Mr. DePape get away from the streets, moving him into a friend's garage studio in Richmond, Calif.
''Once he was housed, he had much more time to spend on his computer,'' Mr. Ciccarelli said. ''Because when you're living under a tree, you don't have a plug.''
On Saturday, the F.B.I. raided the garage in Richmond and seized two hammers, a sword and a pair of gloves.
As he spent more time on his computer in recent months, Mr. DePape appeared to have produced a voluminous record of his political leanings '-- ranting about the 2020 election being stolen, appearing to deny the gassing of Jews at Auschwitz and claiming that schoolteachers were grooming children to be transgender. Mr. DePape's blog was registered at the Richmond address where he resided.
Mr. Ciccarelli, who said he was scheduled to work with Mr. DePape on Monday, said he never heard Mr. DePape make racist comments, but said he had become increasingly isolated the last few years and wanted to work less in the carpentry business.
''He was completely caught up in the fantasy, in the MAGA fantasy,'' he said.
Over the last few days, Mr. Ciccarelli has struggled to make sense of the news about his friend. ''He did a monstrous thing, but he's not a monster,'' he said. ''He's really decent, gentle '-- it sounds crazy to say gentle '-- but he was a very gentle soul. But he was going downhill. He went down the rabbit hole.''
Charlie Savage, Alan Feuer, Luke Broadwater and Livia Albeck-Ripka contributed reporting.
Capitol Police cameras caught break-in at Pelosi home, but no one was watching - The Washington Post
Wed, 02 Nov 2022 03:46
Inside the command center for the U.S. Capitol Police, a handful of officers were going through their routines early Friday morning, cycling through live feeds from the department's 1,800 cameras used to monitor the nearby Capitol complex as well as some points beyond, when an officer stopped. On a screen showing a darkened street nearly 3,000 miles away, police lights were flashing outside the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), officials say.
The officer in D.C. quickly pulled up additional camera angles from around Pelosi's home and began to backtrack, watching recordings from the minutes before San Francisco police arrived. There, on camera, was a man with a hammer, breaking a glass panel and entering the speaker's home, according to three people familiar with how Capitol Police learned of the break-in and who have been briefed on or viewed the video themselves.
The 911 call and the struggle inside the home that followed have led to charges of attempted homicide of the speaker's husband, and attempted kidnapping of the speaker, who is second in line to the presidency. The incident has also put a spotlight on the immensity '-- and perhaps the impossibility '-- of law enforcement's task to protect the 535 members of Congress at a time of unprecedented numbers of threats against them.
If the Capitol Police were going to stop an attack at the home of any member of Congress, they had perhaps the best chance to do so at Pelosi's, according to several current and former law enforcement officials, many of whom spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity because the break-in remains under investigation.
Accused Pelosi attacker's history shows blurry lines of radicalization
The Capitol Police first installed cameras around Pelosi's home more than eight years ago; she has an around-the-clock security detail; and for many months after the attacks of Jan. 6, 2021, a San Francisco police cruiser sat outside her home day and night. But hours after Pelosi left San Francisco last week and returned to D.C., much of the security left with her, and officers in Washington stopped continuously monitoring video feeds outside her house.
The targeted security and lack of full-time, active surveillance '-- even at the home of the member of Congress with the most death threats '-- reflect the competing demands facing local and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as the balances that lawmakers, their families and security officials have tried to strike in the nearly two years since the attack on the Capitol.
The Capitol Police have been working to implement more than 100 security improvements recommended by outside experts, including enhancements to officer training, equipment, protocols and staffing. But the department has simultaneously faced a tenfold increase in threats to members of Congress, who regularly return to their home districts and crisscross the country.
In a statement Tuesday, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said that while there have been improvements '-- for instance, the department is on track to hire 280 additional officers this year '-- the country's ''political climate'' is going to necessitate ''additional layers of physical security.''
Manger said the department would emphasize adding ''redundancies'' to the measures that are already in place for congressional leaders, but he would not describe those, saying they needed to remain confidential to be most effective.
Since the attack on Paul Pelosi, lawmakers have had informal conversations about including additional security measures in a government funding bill that must pass before mid-December. Manger's statement Tuesday upped the ante, but House Democratic members and aides acknowledged that lawmakers probably will not craft proposals until after the midterm elections.
Threats to lawmakers are not rare but have dramatically increased in the past several years. Since 2016, when Donald Trump was elected president, threats of violence against lawmakers recorded by the Capitol Police have surged from roughly 900 cases in 2016 to 9,625 in 2021. Meanwhile, the share of threats that federal authorities pursue for criminal prosecution in the same period ranged from 7 percent to 17 percent of cases referred by the Capitol Police.
The Capitol Police twice instituted changes to member security '-- following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in 2011, and the 2017 shooting that targeted Republican lawmakers practicing for the yearly Congressional Baseball Game and gravely wounded then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (La). After that shooting, lawmakers were allowed to spend up to $4,000 on installing security systems in their district offices back home.
In the months after Jan. 6, 2021, House Democrats repeatedly reminded leaders that their campaign coffers were not enough to pay for personal security or upgrades to their homes. Congress has, in turn, approved increases to office budgets for individual lawmakers '-- allowing them to pay for private security to assist them at events back home '-- and set aside nearly $5 million in a separate fund to allow for security upgrades to their personal residences.
Starting Aug. 15, lawmakers were given up to $10,000 for setting up security systems in their homes. Lawmakers have been told to work with security officials in the Capitol or with their local police to install devices such as indoor and outdoor security cameras; motion sensors; duress buttons; and window, door and broken-glass monitors.
Attack had lawmakers sharing security tips
On Monday morning, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.) heard from a friend who pleaded, ''Don't give out Halloween candy tonight.'' The attack on Paul Pelosi rattled lawmakers on the Hill who had survived Jan. 6 and who had seen an escalation of physical confrontation between Republicans and Democrats since. But it also had friends and family worried for lawmakers' safety, even at home.
After a threatening incident in her neighborhood weeks before the Jan. 6 attack, Escobar worked with the Capitol Police to secure her home. But it did not stop her children from expressing worry Friday that more was needed.
''It's already a challenging job. It's definitely a privilege and an honor, but there's different considerations now to serve than ever before,'' Escobar said. ''I feel so much guilt that the work I do causes them to stress sometimes.''
The Pelosi attack caused a buzz on a group text among Democrats who were trapped in the House chamber on Jan. 6. Many were upset by the violence and were looking for solace. Members began trading tips on what they had done to secure their personal property, encouraging parents to post fewer pictures of their children on social media to decrease chances of identification, and sharing the discussions they have had with family in case an attack happens at their front door.
Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.), who is in the middle of a tough reelection fight in a swing district, said Friday's attack added stress to an already draining campaign season. With such focus on their campaigns, Wild said, there has been ''no time to deal with upgrading our security'' at home, on the trail or legislatively.
There is an understanding among some lawmakers that it would be fiscally impossible to protect all 535 members of Congress, since that would require boosting the already lagging Capitol Police force, paying those additional officers and coordinating with local police daily.
Manger's ''urgent'' plea Tuesday to soothe the political climate runs into the reality that his police force is staffed far below the recommended levels to provide the kind of protection needed for lawmakers, both in Washington and across the country.
Manger said the Capitol Police are on track to meet their goal of hiring 280 more officers by the end of the year and to continue that pace next year. The department now has just over 1,900 officers, slightly more than it had on Jan. 6, but that's a fraction of what it needs, according to some estimates. An external review ordered by Pelosi shortly after the January 2021 attack found that there were more than 230 vacancies in the two months after the insurrection and recommended that the Capitol Police eventually increase the size of its force by roughly 850 officers. That would take years, given that about 100 officers leave or retire each year, and the force is now accepting only about 1 in every 16 candidates.
The result is a police force already stretched incredibly thin, needing more staff to properly secure the nearly 60-acre Capitol campus and provide around-the-clock protection to the increasing number of lawmakers facing serious threats of violence. Congress jumped the Capitol Police budget from $516 million for 2021 to a recommended $708 million for 2023, according to the House Appropriations Committee.
After the midterm elections, lawmakers may debate how much more money is needed after Congress passed about $1 billion in emergency funding in the summer of 2021 to escalate security around the Capitol. Whether security is expanded to leadership's family members at all times, or to their homes, is also likely to be debated, according to aides familiar with what could be discussed when members return.
Lawmakers have praised the Capitol Police for being accessible whenever they have asked for advice in recent years. In the days since the Paul Pelosi attack, senior congressional aides and Manger have reminded worried lawmakers about the resources available to them for their personal security at home and for their offices in their districts.
Rep. Rodney Davis (Ill.), the top-ranking Republican on the House Administration Committee and a survivor of the 2017 shooting, when asked whether more funding is necessary, said it's incumbent upon leaders, more than ever, to alert members to what is available to them.
''Democrats need to work with the sergeant-at-arms office to immediately expedite security upgrades at homes of interested members,'' he said. ''I've witnessed political violence first hand, and security needs to be a priority for all members back home.''
Threats against Pelosi are unique
While other members of Congress may face episodic threats, Pelosi is the subject of the most violent death threats against any lawmaker, and their volume is both high and continuous, a law enforcement official said.
Police attribute the scale of the threats to her being demonized by Republicans, being a woman and being second in line to the presidency. She has a protective detail of two to three diplomatic security agents of the Capitol Police wherever she travels, including inside the Capitol, as well as a police officer who is a driver, the official said.
Ten members of House and Senate leadership receive full-time Capitol Police details when traveling, though Pelosi's is the largest based on the comparatively high volume of continuous threats against her. Two more lawmakers currently have security details because of specific recent death threats.
The Capitol Police determine when lawmakers who are not in leadership or the line of succession get protection, based on the gravity of threats against them. It has become common over the years to see members on Capitol Hill with agents walking alongside them everywhere they go. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) had personal security in 2017 after a death threat that came from Venezuela, while liberal targets like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) often appear with security.
Members of the Jan. 6 congressional investigative committee receive Capitol Police security protection when they are in Washington and protection from local law enforcement when they are in their home districts.
What concerns the Capitol Police is that threats against Pelosi have been unrelentingly high, and rose considerably after Trump took office in 2017.
When Pelosi is staying at her San Francisco residence, officers actively monitor the external camera feeds to ensure perimeter security, one official said. A former senior member of the Capitol Police said that cameras were installed simultaneously at the homes of congressional leaders many years ago, during the speakership of Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). The quality of the cameras has improved over the years, as well as the ability of Capitol Police to maintain a video archive of the footage.
But the threats against Pelosi have increased exponentially since then.
Security was ratcheted up for months after her home was vandalized with spray paint, fake blood and a pig's head in the days before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Along with Pelosi's residence, vandals also defaced the home of then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after Congress adjourned without passing a bill approving $2,000 stimulus checks.
Officials with the San Francisco Police Department repeatedly declined to comment on security measures around Pelosi's house in the city's posh Pacific Heights neighborhood, including whether there was an alarm system at the residence that would have triggered an alert with the department.
San Francisco police officials also are facing growing questions nationally and locally, including from Pelosi's neighbors, about why there wasn't a more consistent presence outside the speaker's home, given the intensity of the threats that she and other lawmakers have faced as well as previous incidents at the residence. Since Friday, neighbors said, at least three San Francisco police squad cars have been positioned outside the residence, along with unmarked black SUVs and plain-clothed security officers '-- often signals that the speaker is at home.
Pelosi's house is also protected by a private security system, two people said. When tripped, that alarm is supposed to notify San Francisco police and, secondarily, the Capitol Police, one of them added.
On Friday, the Capitol Police never received an alert from the home security company, that person added. It was unclear if the system was armed at the time of the break-in.
Officials with the San Francisco Police Department repeatedly declined to comment on whether there was an alarm system at the house and if the department received an alert about the break-in besides the 911 call.
Holly Bailey, Tom Jackman and Jacqueline Alemany contributed to this report.
Let's Declare a Pandemic Amnesty - The Atlantic
Mon, 31 Oct 2022 16:49
In April 2020, with nothing else to do, my family took an enormous number of hikes. We all wore cloth masks that I had made myself. We had a family hand signal, which the person in the front would use if someone was approaching on the trail and we needed to put on our masks. Once, when another child got too close to my then-4-year-old son on a bridge, he yelled at her ''SOCIAL DISTANCING!''
These precautions were totally misguided. In April 2020, no one got the coronavirus from passing someone else hiking. Outdoor transmission was vanishingly rare. Our cloth masks made out of old bandanas wouldn't have done anything, anyway. But the thing is: We didn't know.
I have been reflecting on this lack of knowledge thanks to a class I'm co-teaching at Brown University on COVID. We've spent several lectures reliving the first year of the pandemic, discussing the many important choices we had to make under conditions of tremendous uncertainty.
Some of these choices turned out better than others. To take an example close to my own work, there is an emerging (if not universal) consensus that schools in the U.S. were closed for too long: The health risks of in-school spread were relatively low, whereas the costs to students' well-being and educational progress were high. The latest figures on learning loss are alarming. But in spring and summer 2020, we had only glimmers of information. Reasonable people'--people who cared about children and teachers'--advocated on both sides of the reopening debate.
Derek Thompson: School closures were a failed policy
Another example: When the vaccines came out, we lacked definitive data on the relative efficacies of the Johnson & Johnson shot versus the mRNA options from Pfizer and Moderna. The mRNA vaccines have won out. But at the time, many people in public health were either neutral or expressed a J&J preference. This misstep wasn't nefarious. It was the result of uncertainty.
Obviously some people intended to mislead and made wildly irresponsible claims. Remember when the public-health community had to spend a lot of time and resources urging Americans not to inject themselves with bleach? That was bad. Misinformation was, and remains, a huge problem. But most errors were made by people who were working in earnest for the good of society.
Given the amount of uncertainty, almost every position was taken on every topic. And on every topic, someone was eventually proved right, and someone else was proved wrong. In some instances, the right people were right for the wrong reasons. In other instances, they had a prescient understanding of the available information.
The people who got it right, for whatever reason, may want to gloat. Those who got it wrong, for whatever reason, may feel defensive and retrench into a position that doesn't accord with the facts. All of this gloating and defensiveness continues to gobble up a lot of social energy and to drive the culture wars, especially on the internet. These discussions are heated, unpleasant and, ultimately, unproductive. In the face of so much uncertainty, getting something right had a hefty element of luck. And, similarly, getting something wrong wasn't a moral failing. Treating pandemic choices as a scorecard on which some people racked up more points than others is preventing us from moving forward.
Read: You were right about COVID, and then you weren't
We have to put these fights aside and declare a pandemic amnesty. We can leave out the willful purveyors of actual misinformation while forgiving the hard calls that people had no choice but to make with imperfect knowledge. Los Angeles County closed its beaches in summer 2020. Ex post facto, this makes no more sense than my family's masked hiking trips. But we need to learn from our mistakes and then let them go. We need to forgive the attacks, too. Because I thought schools should reopen and argued that kids as a group were not at high risk, I was called a ''teacher killer'' and a ''g(C)nocidaire.'' It wasn't pleasant, but feelings were high. And I certainly don't need to dissect and rehash that time for the rest of my days.
Moving on is crucial now, because the pandemic created many problems that we still need to solve.
Student test scores have shown historic declines, more so in math than in reading, and more so for students who were disadvantaged at the start. We need to collect data, experiment, and invest. Is high-dosage tutoring more or less cost-effective than extended school years? Why have some states recovered faster than others? We should focus on questions like these, because answering them is how we will help our children recover.
Many people have neglected their health care over the past several years. Notably, routine vaccination rates for children (for measles, pertussis, etc.) are way down. Rather than debating the role that messaging about COVID vaccines had in this decline, we need to put all our energy into bringing these rates back up. Pediatricians and public-health officials will need to work together on community outreach, and politicians will need to consider school mandates.
The standard saying is that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. But dwelling on the mistakes of history can lead to a repetitive doom loop as well. Let's acknowledge that we made complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty, and then try to work together to build back and move forward.
Of Course Instant Groceries Don't Work - The Atlantic
Mon, 31 Oct 2022 08:21
Obstacles include: space, time, reality.
Erik Carter / The AtlanticOctober 30, 2022, 7 AM ETMore than 20 years ago, as the rubble of the dot-com boom was still smoking, Wired magazine published an autopsy of the grocery-delivery start-up Webvan. The company had just filed for bankruptcy after evaporating the better part of a billion dollars of investment funds in about a year and a half, and the tale of its downfall opens with a sentence that, in retrospect, is pretty funny: ''In the sober days of 2001, it's hard to imagine a time when a company with an untested plan for an online grocery shopping service could inspire private investors to instantly part with hundreds of millions of dollars.''
For a while, that was true'--Webvan's failure, along with that of its contemporaries HomeGrocer and, briefly made food delivery the third rail of Silicon Valley. But in the 2010s, as consumers showed interest in delivery apps such as DoorDash and Instacart, mail-order meal kits such as Blue Apron, and ultra-fast delivery from Amazon Prime, the itch to once again invent Webvan began anew. Today, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists still seem convinced that the company, which held its own grocery inventory and had plans to spend a billion dollars on new delivery warehouses before shutting down, got one thing exactly right: Going to the grocery store really is a problem that aches to be solved.
In the past few years, a spate of instant-grocery start-ups with names like Gopuff, Getir, Buyk, and Fridge No More have hoovered up billions of dollars in venture investment. They've spent these windfalls lavishly'--opening hundreds of new warehouses, poaching executives from Amazon and Uber, adding new product categories, and hiring a standing army's worth of new staff, all in an attempt to become the One True Deliverer of, say, a couple pints of ice cream, a six-pack, and that one ingredient you forgot to buy for the new recipe you're trying out. The companies flourished amid a surge in pre-vaccine demand for grocery delivery, bolstered by the apparent belief that growth would continue even as the pandemic waned. But according to a story earlier this week in Bloomberg, that theory hasn't panned out for these companies any more profitably than it did for their predecessors'--some are shutting down, others are looking for cash infusions or buyers, and the ones that are trying to stick it out, such as Gopuff, are doing rounds of layoffs and closing warehouses they just paid to set up in order to preserve cash.
So far, inventing the new Webvan is proceeding in a strikingly similar manner to inventing the old Webvan. What's fascinating about these failures isn't their repetitive nature'--lots of start-ups of all kinds fail, even if their founders and investors have hit on a genuinely good idea. What's fascinating is that nationally scaled, near-instant grocery delivery is a bad idea, and people keep trying to invent it anyway.
Read: America's need for speed never ends well
For basically all of the start-ups in question, the elevator pitch is convenience. Everyone needs food and beer and toilet paper, and getting it can be kind of a hassle. Sometimes that's because you forgot a key element of a dish you've already started cooking and can't leave the house with the oven on. Sometimes it's because you've gotten too stoned and are in life-threatening need of Doritos. Sometimes it's because you just can't or don't want to go to the grocery store. The model ''caters to millennials and college students, consumer populations that prioritize convenience over almost every other variable'--sometimes even price,'' according to a 2017 article on Gopuff's early success in the trade publication Grocery Dive. As this convenience-minded cohort has aged into an even larger place in the grocery market, tech companies have invested heavily in attempts to reshape the industry in their image and gain an advantage over their fellow upstarts.
The pandemic strengthened the industry's conviction that we've reached a turning point in the appetite for instant groceries. People rapidly switched their consumption to delivery services that many of them had never used before, such as DoorDash and Target's Shipt service, and delivery apps and instagrocers began to expand their product offerings beyond convenience items and into a wider array of perishable foods to meet the sudden explosion in demand. Even as interest rates and inflation rose earlier this year, making large funding infusions difficult to secure and prompting consumers to rethink their spending, a Gopuff co-founder, Yakir Gola, told The New York Times that the eventual dominance of his company's business model was practically fait accompli. ''The world is moving toward instant,'' he said in April, ''and Gopuff is at the forefront of that.''
So far, the industry's rosy outlook hasn't actually become reality. Even established delivery start-ups such as DoorDash and Instacart, which largely skip the enormous expense of holding their own inventory in warehouses in favor of relying primarily on third-party restaurants and grocers to store and supply the food they deliver, are struggling to maintain their footing and reach profitability as people fall back into pre-pandemic habits. And DoorDash and Instacart avoid many of the functional downsides of the newer crop of apps. Pandemic or no pandemic, delivering highly perishable goods to millions of people, often with the promise that those goods will arrive in as little as 15 minutes, has proved a very tricky business: The unit economics are bad, the margins are bad, and the logistics infrastructure necessary to make the actual service function, even unprofitably, is extraordinarily complicated (bad). At base, these app-based, Silicon Valley''hyped start-ups keep running into two very inescapable IRL limitations: space and time.
Consider the inherent nature of groceries: They rot. That is, in fact, sort of their whole thing. That's one of the primary reasons that hyper-fast delivery of, say, raw chicken thighs or salad greens or a loaf of bread might seem enticing at first glance'--you don't have to guess during your Sunday grocery trip whether you'll be in the mood for a chicken Caesar salad on Thursday. But the risk of choosing wrong and tossing out food doesn't entirely disappear. Instead, it's absorbed by the instagrocer. By encouraging capriciousness, companies such as Gopuff make demand difficult to predict and create a prodigious amount of food waste, which is bad on its own terms and also very bad for a company trying to make money by selling food. In April, a former Gopuff manager told The New York Times that at least once or twice a week, he threw away thousands of dollars of perishable food immediately on arrival because he was being sent things he didn't have any room to store.
Quick expansion makes it impossible to do the kind of market research that a more traditional grocery business might conduct before moving into a new market, which would then guide how a company stocks new stores in order to reduce waste. Those new stores also tend to be part of long-standing regional chains, which have heaps of data on when and where their shoppers buy certain things. Weekly bulk shoppers, whose habits are steadier and more predictable, mix with last-second drop-ins. Fresh foods nearing their expiration date can be marked down for quick sale or used by the store's internal kitchens in prepared foods, which are a booming business for grocery retailers.
Then there's the problem of real estate. To have any hope of making short-turnaround grocery ordering work, new companies have had to open up huge numbers of warehouses that are close enough to residential neighborhoods that assembling and delivering a couple bags of groceries in half an hour is broadly feasible. That means putting a large range of highly perishable products into many distinct locations. To do this in highly competitive markets like New York, some of the companies rented out neighborhood storefronts that used to sell things directly to the public, covered their windows, and used them as mini fulfillment centers or ''dark stores,'' but only for app orders. If you were out walking your dog after work and wanted to pick up some ingredients for pasta on the way home, you couldn't just stop in and grab a few things. In real terms, that means these companies built huge networks of what are essentially grocery stores, occupying what is sometimes very expensive commercial real estate, but mainly for people who had forgotten something at the real grocery store, and only for people who had downloaded a special app to fix their mistake.
None of this is to say that grocery delivery as a concept is without merit, or that it doesn't have some real and obvious upsides in some circumstances. Delivery services offer flexibility for caregivers, people with erratic schedules, and those with disabilities that make errands difficult. And the service can be successfully offered at smaller scales; FreshDirect, for example, has operated in New York City for decades. It's also the opposite of a start-up looking to gobble up market share from traditional grocery stores. It currently has one warehouse, charges significant order fees, and requires that most orders be made a day in advance. Gopuff itself was profitable before venture capitalists took an interest in expanding the company, delivering mostly shelf-stable snacks, alcohol, and smoking paraphernalia in the areas around a handful of large universities.
Read: The booming, ethically dubious business of food delivery
According to the people leading the instagrocers that remain, all is not lost. Gopuff told Bloomberg that it still has a billion dollars in the bank, and dialing back its push into a mind-boggling number of new markets should indeed help conserve cash and buy some time to make its existing business more stable. Like Gopuff, some of these apps had genuine, profitable success at smaller scales, delivering fewer things in fewer markets before the push for exponential growth began, and there are lessons to be learned from that past stability. Inventories can be simplified and adjusted for their markets; processes can be made more efficient; prices can be raised; delivery times can be lengthened. This type of service is almost certainly possible at some scale, even if the end product cannot be as quick or as omnipresent as it is envisioned by venture capitalists.
But if even Instacart, with its low overhead costs and middleman business model, can't be made consistently profitable under favorable business conditions, then there's good reason to believe that large-scale rapid grocery delivery is just not possible at the scale and speed that tech investors desire. These start-ups are expanding their services to meet a customer demand that, by all indications, does not yet exist. Their biggest problem might just be that people like going grocery shopping. Not everyone, and not all the time, but it's hardly the universally reviled task that investors and entrepreneurs seem to assume. Some regional grocery stores, such as Publix and Wegmans, have ardent fan bases. Many people genuinely prefer to pick out their own meat and produce from a selection of possibilities, or see what looks good before deciding what they'll eat for dinner. (Delivery services, meanwhile, have to rely on stock images of, say, raw chicken or romaine hearts.) And going out into the world and having interactions with others'--even the momentary kind that you're likely to have at the grocery store'--is good for people in ways that most of us instinctively understand, even if we've never really thought about it. When I was a kid, my mom liked going to the grocery store because she had developed a rapport with one of the cashiers, Miss Linda, over the course of years, and enjoyed going through her line.
Venture capitalists do not have much to offer these very normal people. The notion that true convenience is staying at home with everything you need brought to you, instead of living in a neighborhood where the things you need are available nearby in the course of your day, is, in my mind, a huge tell as to why investors refuse to stop losing money on these companies. It's a consistent blind spot of the industry, and one that betrays the limited imagination with which wealthy investors envision the lives of regular Americans'--if they really bother to envision our lives at all. To many billionaires, isolation away from the hoi polloi must sound luxurious and desirable'--or, at least, that belief is commonly reflected in the lives they lead, the businesses they fund, and the policies they champion. But as many Americans realized during the worst days of the early pandemic, when demand for grocery delivery soared, that kind of isolation isn't all that fantastic of a lifestyle choice. Mostly, it's just kind of lonely.
Tremors in Treasury bonds worry Wall Street and Washington - The Washington Post
Mon, 31 Oct 2022 03:35
Trouble is brewing in the world of U.S. Treasury bonds, prompting concern among investors and some Washington policymakers.
U.S. Treasury bonds are a key pillar of the global financial system, but there are signs that the pool of interested buyers could be in danger of drying up as an unintended consequence of rising U.S. interest rates.
For now, no one is panicking. But the market for U.S. Treasury bonds has lately displayed a level of volatility not seen since the beginning of the pandemic-related crisis in 2020, when the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to zero and went on to buy $1 trillion of treasuries and other financial assets to keep the global financial system functioning.
Top government officials have in recent weeks acknowledged that dysfunction in U.S. government bond markets risks triggering a spike in the federal government's borrowing costs and a wider upheaval in financial markets. They are beginning to take preventive steps.
''We have been looking very carefully at the Treasury market,'' Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen told The Washington Post on Thursday, stressing that the market has continued to function normally. ''It's, of course, critical that it continue to function well.''
As recession fears rise, Washington begins to weigh how to respond
The Treasury Department auctions bonds to pay for government operations, effectively borrowing money from investors in return for a guarantee of repayment with interest. These bonds are crucial for a healthy financial system, because other, riskier assets '-- stocks and corporate bonds '-- are priced in relation to the cost of Treasurys.
But as central banks such as the Federal Reserve engage in one of the biggest interest-rate-hike campaigns in decades, demand for U.S. government bonds already in circulation has fallen in part because most of that debt carries lower interest rates than the bonds being issued today. That could mean a glut of cheap, low-yielding debt with few buyers.
There's been no emergency thus far, but the market for Treasury bonds is drawing increased attention out of concern that as liquidity dries up across the globe, there may at some point not be enough buyers of debt issued by the U.S. government. With prices falling, yields on 10-year Treasury bonds have already risen from less than 1.5 percent to roughly 3.8 percent this year. (Bond prices and bond yields move in opposite directions.)
A dearth of buyers could cause a ripple effect by forcing down the price of bonds, some economists and analysts warn. A panicked sell-off of U.S. Treasurys could wreak havoc on markets '-- giving investors leverage to demand higher returns, or yield, on their bond purchases. That would mean higher prices for all kinds of financial instruments pegged to those rates. It would also drive up the cost to the government of financing its debt.
As the Fed fights inflation, worries rise that it is overcorrecting
''If we were to have a buyers' strike, or a failed series of Treasury auctions, interest rate increases could accelerate '-- and all of a sudden, the financing of debt with credit cards, auto purchases, [and] housing purchases would rise in cost,'' said Joe Brusuelas, the chief economist at the management consultancy RSM. ''That could drive down living standards for Americans, and you could find yourself with a very difficult problem for your economy.''
Experts have raised other concerns as well. New regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis have discouraged banks from acting as intermediaries by requiring them to hold more capital to cover potential losses on government securities. In addition, the Federal Reserve and other central banks are either selling Treasurys or just no longer reinvesting them, as part of their attempts to cool the economy and fight inflation, removing one backstop purchaser of U.S. bonds.
And the recent panic in Britain over its own government debt '-- which recently fell dramatically in value, leading to an intervention by the Bank of England '-- has further amplified concerns that a similar market panic could occur here. But most economists downplay the risk.
''You're worried about the fire sale, the situation where some selling comes in and because there's not enough demand you have more selling and more selling and you get kind of a spiral,'' said Donald Kohn, a former vice chair of the Federal Reserve's board of governors and now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a D.C.-based think tank. ''I don't think anyone sees that right now.''
''But the fact that the dealers may not have the capacity to step in and smooth things out is a worry,'' he noted.
Analysts at JPMorgan Chase expressed similar worries in a report this month, citing the lack of ''structural demand for.''
''The reversal in demand has been stunning as it has been rare,'' they added.
Yellen has been focused on instability in U.S. bond markets since well before the current flare-up, working to implement new rules aimed at shoring them up. These measures include improving data collection; requiring more oversight of Treasury-trading platforms; and expanding the number of eligible dealers to allow more entrants into market bidding.
Despite her comments Thursday emphasizing calm, Yellen appears to be intensifying these efforts amid the latest signs of volatility. Treasury officials have asked traders in the market about a possible program to buy back government debt, a potential sign the U.S. government is worried. The matter also was recently discussed by the Financial Stability Oversight Council, which Yellen chairs, and is expected to come up at its next meeting.
A key concern for Yellen, as she relayed to Bloomberg News this month, is the potential for ''a loss of adequate liquidity in the market.''
But she also sees a countervailing trend: As the payouts on Treasury bonds rise, more foreign investors are stepping into the market to absorb excess capacity.
''You asked who is going to buy Treasurys, and I think part of the answer is they have very attractive yields,'' Yellen said Thursday.
Komal Sri-Kumar, the president of the economic consultancy Sri-Kumar Global Strategies, also thinks higher interest rates will make U.S. debt more lucrative to investors, pulling more buyers into the market and easing concerns about liquidity.
And more broadly, many economists and financial analysts say concerns about market weakness may be overblown, especially for now, as healthy levels of U.S. government bonds '-- roughly $600 billion worth '-- continue to be traded every day.
Historically speaking, warnings about the danger of investors refusing to buy U.S. government debt have not held up. Under the Obama administration, for example, Republicans and other deficit hawks said that large deficits would risk a financial meltdown should bond purchasers lose faith in the U.S. government. No such crisis materialized.
Sri-Kumar calls those warnings ''a ridiculous thing.''
''If I refuse to buy [long-term] bonds, what happens then? The Treasury will have to offer a higher yield, and we reach a better equilibrium,'' Sri-Kumar said. ''This is not Argentina or Zimbabwe or Turkey, where investors have said: 'Interest rates are insufficient; keep hiking.' That's why I think a buyers' strike does not make sense.''
That sentiment was stressed by a senior Treasury official, who told The Washington Post that American policymakers have confidence in the U.S. debt markets in part because so many investors worldwide seek to purchase those bonds. There are countries that are major buyers, among them Japan, but even in that case, it is just 4 percent of the total pool.
And while volatility is up in the bond markets, volatility also is hitting the financial sector more broadly '-- suggesting no specific risk to U.S. bonds despite their outsize importance, the Treasury official said.
Poorer nations could suffer from U.S. efforts to slow inflation
It was a different picture recently in Britain, where much of the country's long-term government debt has been held by pension funds. That made British bonds, or gilts, much more vulnerable to price swings when the pension funds moved in unison to shed those assets as their value fell.
That kind of contagion is less likely to emerge in the United States, analysts say.
''If you [expect] demand will go higher for a higher-yielding asset, [this] would make the fear kind of silly or misplaced,'' said Bob Hockett, a former Fed official and public policy expert now at Cornell University. ''I don't want to be complacent about this '... but there's nothing foreseeable on the horizon that's a serious competitor to the U.S. dollar.''
Still, rising bond rates can harm the U.S. economy and government without causing a catastrophe. If bond yields have to spike to lure investors, capital will flow into government debt '-- and out of more productive uses, such as the corporate debt that fuels investment.
''The crisis scenario is a mass sell-off of those low-yielding bonds at once. That would be the scenario of a global financial crisis,'' said Marc Goldwein, the senior vice president for policy at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a D.C.-based think tank. ''But I think that's unlikely. '... The more likely scenario is it will be very costly to the U.S. government and very costly to the U.S. economy.''
VIDEO - Biden lost temper with Zelenskyy during phone call over Ukraine aid
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:14
It's become routine since Russia invaded Ukraine: President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speak by phone whenever the U.S. announces a new package of military assistance for Kyiv.
But a phone call between the two leaders in June played out differently from previous ones, according to four people familiar with the call. Biden had barely finished telling Zelenskyy he'd just greenlighted another $1 billion in U.S. military assistance for Ukraine when Zelenskyy started listing all the additional help he needed and wasn't getting. Biden lost his temper, the people familiar with the call said. The American people were being quite generous, and his administration and the U.S. military were working hard to help Ukraine, he said, raising his voice, and Zelenskyy could show a little more gratitude.
Administration officials said Biden and Zelenskyy's relationship has only improved since the June phone call, after which Zelenskyy made a statement praising the U.S. for its generous assistance. But the clash reflects Biden's early awareness that both congressional and public support for sending billions of dollars to Ukraine could begin to fade. That moment has arrived just as the president prepares to ask Congress to greenlight even more money for Ukraine.
President Joe Biden speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy from the Oval Office of the White House on Dec. 9, 2021. Susan Walsh / AP fileBiden now faces resistance from some Republicans and Democrats that wasn't present when Congress approved previous Ukraine funds. The White House has discussed asking Congress for billions of dollars during the lame-duck legislative session after the midterm elections.
The White House hasn't specified an amount publicly. Lawmakers and Ukraine lobbyists hope for $40 billion to $60 billion, and some officials familiar with the discussions expect the number to be roughly $50 billion.
A source familiar with the conversation said that Biden was direct with Zelenskyy about handling the issues in the appropriate military channels but that the exchange wasn't heated or angry.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council declined to comment on the story.
A spokesperson for Zelenskyy didn't respond to a request for comment.
Top U.S. officials warn there are no signs the war is ending any time soon.
Ukrainian soldiers prepare to fire a BM-21 'Grad' multiple rocket launcher near Kharkiv, on Oct. 4, 2022. Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP - Getty ImagesBefore the June 15 phone call, the president's frustrations with Zelenskyy had been building for weeks, three people familiar with the call said. Biden and some of his top aides felt that the administration was doing as much as it could as quickly as it could but that Zelenskyy continued to focus publicly on only what wasn't being done.
From Zelenskyy's perspective '-- as well as that of some Eastern European governments and U.S. lawmakers from both parties '-- there has been repeated frustration that the Biden White House moves too slowly on weapons requests, initially hesitating to approve certain capabilities Ukraine requested most urgently, only to relent weeks or months later under pressure, according to two sources familiar with the Ukraine government's view, congressional aides and two European officials.
After the pushback Zelenskyy got in their June phone call, his team decided to try to defuse tensions, concluding it wasn't productive to have friction with the U.S. president, according to two sources familiar with the Ukraine government's view, congressional aides and two European officials.
Zelenskyy responded publicly that day by thanking Biden for the promised assistance.
''I had an important conversation with U.S. President Biden today,'' he said in videotaped remarks. ''I am grateful for this support. It is especially important for our defense in Donbas.''
In his statement after the call, Biden said he had informed Zelenskyy of the $1 billion in aid and vowed the U.S. ''will not waver in our commitment to the Ukrainian people as they fight for their freedom.''
The effort to get Ukraine weapons and equipment has intensified in recent weeks as Ukraine tries to make significant gains before harsh winter temperatures set in.
The Ukrainian military is focused on driving thousands of Russian troops away from Kherson, trying to encircle them and retake the southern city from Russian control. The battle for Kherson could be one of the most consequential battles in Ukraine since the invasion. If Ukraine is able to retake the area, it could be a major morale booster for Zelenskyy's forces and a serious blow to Russian troop confidence. But if Russia holds on, it could maintain its grip on the south, including the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, through the winter months. ''This could be a turning point,'' a defense official said.
Concerns about fading support for Ukraine are also driving the current offensives, according to a defense official and a former official, as Ukraine tries to show momentum on the battlefield to encourage the flow of more weapons.
On Oct. 12, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin convened a meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group in Brussels, a periodic gathering of allies, to discuss how to get more weapons and equipment into Ukrainian military hands. While past meetings have yielded assistance from ammunition to missile launchers, this month's meeting took on new urgency, according to three defense officials familiar with the discussions.
''Everyone was stepping up,'' said an official in the meeting. Countries were scouring their stockpiles and warehouses to find anything that could help the Ukrainian military, the official said. ''There was an urgency to get them air defenses and anything we could before winter and so they can be successful in this current offensive.''
The meeting was so successful that Austin was giddy as he walked out, two defense officials said.
Ukraine still needs more air defense systems to defend against Russian military aircraft, missiles and drones, and the U.S. continues to discuss providing longer-range missile systems like the ATACMS and even some advanced fighter aircraft in the future.
The proportion of Americans who are extremely or very concerned about Ukraine's losing the war has dropped by 17 percentage points since May, from 55% to 38%, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last month. And the proportion of Americans who say they're not too concerned or not at all concerned about Russia's winning was up from 16% to 26%, according to the survey.
The potential change in political will in the U.S. for continuing to send aid to Ukraine could upend how both the White House and Zelenskyy have approached the issue so far.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the Biden administration has been criticized for moving too cautiously. Now the president faces potential pushback from some Republican lawmakers and progressive Democrats that he's providing too much aid.
The shifting dynamics on Capitol Hill also could force Zelenskyy's team to rethink how it engages with Washington, as it has often tried to leverage its support in Congress to get more out of the White House.
VIDEO - (17) CNN on Twitter: "Astronomers have spotted three near-Earth asteroids that were lurking undetected within the glare of the sun. One of the asteroids is the largest potentially hazardous object to Earth to be discovered in the last eight years.
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VIDEO - (14) Rukshan Fernando on Twitter: "Why is the White House trying to distance itself from the recently revealed secret portal that was set up by Facebook for Governments and NGOs to submit "mis/disinformation"? We know they were definitely involved
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 17:04
Rukshan Fernando : Why is the White House trying to distance itself from the recently revealed secret portal that was set up by Facebo'...
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VIDEO - Watch: Schumer Says Democrats Are 'Going Downhill' in Georgia on Hot Mic
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 16:56
Now Playing 10/28/2022 12:00PM Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was caught on a hot mic informing President Biden of midterms progress for Democrats on Thursday. He said Georgia is ''the state we're going downhill.'' Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press
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VIDEO - Snap, Meta stocks pop after FCC commissioner floats U.S. TikTok ban
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 16:20
Shares of U.S. social media companies Snap and Meta spiked on the news that a Federal Communications Commissioner said the U.S. government should ban TikTok.
"I don't believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban," Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr told Axios in an interview.
Snap shares rose 3.4% and Meta shares were up 2.2% Tuesday.
The comments from Carr, one of four current commissioners at the Democrat-led agency, do not necessarily signal any pending actions against TikTok.
Brendan Carr, FCC Commissioner, speaking at the State of the Net Conference 2019 at the Newseum in Washington, DC.
Michael Brochstein | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) in the Treasury Department is reviewing the company's potential national security implications, given its ownership by a Chinese company, ByteDance. And the Department of Justice is the one leading negotiations over a security deal, The New York Times reported in September.
Concerns over TikTok's potential security risks are generally bipartisan. Both the Trump and Biden administrations have expressed concerns and reviewed the company's relationship with its Chinese owner. TikTok has maintained that it stores U.S. user data outside of China so that it would not have to turn over that information to the government, but U.S. officials have maintained their skepticism.
"Commissioner Carr has no role in the confidential discussions with the U.S. government related to TikTok and appears to be expressing views independent of his role as an FCC commissioner," a TikTok spokesperson said a statement.
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WATCH: Lawmakers grill TikTok, YouTube, Snap executives
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Thu, 03 Nov 2022 16:19
VIDEO - Just Stop Oil climate activist explains why they threw soup on van Gogh : NPR
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 16:18
Phoebe Plummer, pictured at a demonstration in London's Piccadilly Circus in early October, spoke to Morning Edition about the tactics Just Stop Oil is using to draw attention to the urgency of climate change. Isabel Infantes/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Isabel Infantes/AFP via Getty Images Phoebe Plummer, pictured at a demonstration in London's Piccadilly Circus in early October, spoke to Morning Edition about the tactics Just Stop Oil is using to draw attention to the urgency of climate change.
Isabel Infantes/AFP via Getty Images Phoebe Plummer has recently gone viral, but they're not interested in being popular. They're more focused on helping stop climate change.
Plummer was one of two climate activists with the group Just Stop Oil who raised eyebrows worldwide after they threw tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers at London's National Gallery of Art in mid-October. It's one of the many public actions the group has taken in recent weeks alone, including blocking streets, spray-painting buildings orange and smashing a King Charles III wax figure with chocolate cake.
While the painting itself was covered by glass and unharmed, critics have questioned this method of protest. Even so, more people around the world are staging similar demonstrations to draw attention to the climate change crisis '-- and, in the case of Just Stop Oil, calls for their governments to stop new fossil fuel licensing and production.
Plummer, a 21-year-old university student who uses they/them pronouns, says they're looking to create a cleaner, better future for future generations.
"I'm doing this so that one day I can look at my niece or nephew in the eye and say, 'I fought for your future,'" Plummer explains.
Plummer spoke with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep about why the group chose these tactics and what they hope will happen next.
This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
Interview highlightsOn why they joined Just Stop Oil and what the organization does
I joined back in August, largely out of a sense of fear and despairing. I tried all the more traditional forms of activism, I guess you could say. I've written to [lawmakers], I've signed petitions, I've gone on marches. I did all the things I felt I could do for the climate and eventually went vegan, stopped buying clothes firsthand. And I was so frustrated that I saw it not going anywhere. I saw it not making any meaningful change. So I saw what Just Stop Oil was doing, and for the first time I felt a bit of hope that I could do something to secure myself a future.
Just Stop Oil started going out into action in April. And all through April, we went to the heart of the fossil fuel industry. We climbed up on tankers to stop them moving. We formed blocks in front of oil depots, so none of the tankers could come and leave. We had incredibly brave people dig tunnels under oil terminals, so the roads had to be closed off, and staying in these tunnels for weeks sometimes. We went to petrol stations and smashed up petrol pumps and destroyed the machines that are destroying us.
Digging a tunnel under the road, so the person is essentially saying, "If you want to drive on this necessary road, you're going to have to kill me?"
Yeah, it risks the driver's life, the tunneler's life.
When did the group begin targeting museums and paintings?
Since October, we have been engaging in disruptive acts all around London because right now what is missing to make this change is political will. So our action in particular was a media-grabbing action to get people talking, not just about what we did, but why we did it.
And what did you do?
Me and my amazing friend Anna threw soup on the Vincent van Gogh sunflower painting.
🥠JUST STOP OIL SUPPORTERS CHOOSE LIFE OVER ART ðŸ¥ðŸŽ¨ Human creativity and brilliance is on show in this gallery, yet our heritage is being destroyed by our Government's failure to act on the climate and cost of living crisis.#VanGogh #FreeLouis #FreeJosh #CivilResistance
'-- Just Stop Oil 'š–¸ðŸ'🛠(@JustStop_Oil) October 14, 2022 The two of you glued your hands to the wall. What did that feel like?
Well, I've glued quite a few times, and people always ask me, "Doesn't it hurt? Isn't it uncomfortable?" It really isn't. I mean, the police have this solvent that they use, which just de-bonds you from the wall. It's not painful at all.
It seems like it'd be annoying, until they get you off, to be stuck on the wall.
Yeah. Admittedly, we didn't choose the most comfy positions [laughs].
Why tomato soup?
One, to grab people's attention '-- it hasn't been done before, and it was something new. But almost more importantly, to draw attention to the cost of living crisis. In the U.K., we are facing a horrendous cost of living crisis and it is part of the cost of oil crisis.
How did you choose that particular painting?
Because of its notoriety. And it's a beautiful work of art and I think a lot of people, when they saw us, had feelings of shock or horror or outrage because they saw something beautiful and valuable and they thought it was being damaged or destroyed. But, you know, where is that emotional response when it's our planet and our people that are being destroyed.
Just Stop Oil protesters block the roads at a major intersection on Thursday in London, England, the latest in its series of public demonstrations. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Just Stop Oil protesters block the roads at a major intersection on Thursday in London, England, the latest in its series of public demonstrations.
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images What does Just Stop Oil want?
So our demand is that the government immediately halts all new fossil fuel licenses. In the U.K., we have eight years worth of oil in reserves, so those eight years need to be used to make a just and fair transition to a renewable future. And that transition needs to include training for people who work in the fossil fuel industry currently. There's a lot of transferable skills so that they have job security in a renewable future. It needs to include the insulation of British homes and it needs to include subsidized public transport.
You understand, if you were to stop oil in a way that raised energy prices dramatically, it would harm the same low-income people that you want to help?
Oh yeah ... and that's the last thing we want. Nobody should be left behind in a renewable future. But renewables are nine times cheaper. The largest solar farm in the U.K. was built in just six weeks, whereas these new oil licenses that the government are proposing '-- it takes 15 to 25 years for any oil to even come out of the ground from these.
It seems you would need to build not just a momentary political majority, but a long-term political majority in favor of change.
Yes, this is why Just Stop Oil uses these tactics of civil resistance, because history has shown us that civil resistance works. I'm sitting here today as a queer person. And the reason I'm able to vote, I'm able to go to university, hopefully someday marry the person I love is because of people who have taken part in acts of civil resistance before me.
How do you respond to people who may agree with your policies, but say that with with Russia's war in Ukraine and energy prices, we need to make compromises?
The fact is we don't have any time to waste. Last year, the former chief scientific adviser for the U.K., Sir David King, said that what we do in the next three to four years will determine the future of humanity ... When are we going to start listening to the scientists? When are we going to wake up and realize that if we don't act now, we are going to see catastrophic outcomes?
The audio for this interview was edited by HJ Mai. Rachel Treisman adapted it for the web.
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Thu, 03 Nov 2022 16:11
Posted October 26, 2022
The Montreal Children's Hospital emergency room is operating at over 200% capacity, causing wait time to surge well over 20 hours in some cases. As doctors struggle to keep up with the demand, parents are desperate to find alternatives to the long wait. Global's Elizabeth Zogalis reports.
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Johnny, Antifa Rebel : @greg_price11 Good but about 2 years late.
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VIDEO - mRNA Vaccines: The CIA and National Defense
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Transcript of the video above: mRNA Vaccines: Fact Versus Fiction.
My purpose is not to overwhelm you with all of the various clips, newspaper clippings, scientific journal articles, et cetera, et cetera, but rather to help you to comprehend the technology and why it's being pushed and how it's being pushed. I'm going to present this as being focused on comprehension, not politics.
Now that may elicit some, "Oh, you're just controlled opposition." That seems to be a favorite theme that's hitting me and Jordan Peterson and Peter McCullough and a number of others, which is extremely divisive right now and isn't helping any of us. But just to set the record straight, two months ago in the Global COVID Summit Declaration IV we made unequivocal statements about the need to prosecute, that the need for accountability is there, that the vaccine should be stopped. They're neither saved nor effective, et cetera. I just want to make it clear that I put out, and my colleagues in Global COVID Summit and the International Alliance of Physicians and Medical Scientists have been very clear about our position regarding these products. I won't call them vaccines. I think that's really not an appropriate term given their activity, but that's not my purpose here. I'm hoping that by, if I can make the slides work, there we go, that by the time we're through with this, you'll kind of understand these core things. What are the drivers of COVID crisis response and the multiple truths behind them?
Looking at understanding the RNA technology as a way to start to make sense out of what we've all experienced. Paul has just given you another lens that through which you can view what has occurred. There are many others. He, for instance, just barely touched on the World Economic Forum and the World Health Organization, the collusion with the UN, et cetera. He hasn't really talked about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiatives. There is so many different ways that we can understand and begin to process what we've experienced over the last two and a half years. I speak about those various ways in different forums. But this one, I'm just going to focus on the RNA tech. It's enough to handle that in the time we have here.
What was the unmet medical need that was being addressed? I think it's important for us to understand at least those points of view of the other side that are comprehensible. There are clearly aspects that are nefarious, but I want you to understand at least some of the underlying rationale. Understand genetic vaccine technology, including mRNA. What is really the tech? It has been presented to a lot of people as a black box. It has this acronym that seems very intimidating to many people. I hope that when you leave here, you'll feel that you have a good grasp of what the technology is, what its fundamentals are so that you can process information and read the papers and make your own decisions about what you think things mean.
I want you to understand the difference between the payload and the platform. We're talking about the fundamentals of the pharmacology of this product category. I want you to understand how and why it's being pushed. This is more about me trying to give you insight and understanding about what is going on here as seen through this one lens of the mRNA technology and the falsehoods and truths that are behind it. It is only one of many lenses. I've spoken about mass formation. I've spoken about the World Economic Forum. I've spoken about the administrative state. There's so many variables going on here that we could talk for eight hours, but I'm just going to focus on the RNA.
Why mRNA vaccines? Why is this being pushed? There is this universal global, and understand what you've experienced here in Virginia is mirrored by the people that I was just speaking to at a conference in Padua, Italy about an hour and a half ago. The same things have been experienced in Brazil, all over the Western world. Why has this been pushed? What is the unmet need that's being addressed? Now, I'm not placing a value on whether they're right or wrong. I just want you to understand the underlying logic, at least at the surface of this.
The problem we have is that the technology to enable individuals to engineer bio-weapons has become so trivial that a college senior working out of their, or somebody of similar education level, they can self-train, working out of their garage with stuff they can get off of eBay, can easily recreate the most lethal pathogen combinations that our government came up with in the bio-warfare program that we ran for years. I'm not saying we're not still running it. We do it under a different moniker. We call it defensive bio-weapons research, not offensive bio-weapons research. I'm not sure what the difference is, but that's the language that's imposed from the bio-warfare treaty that was signed. It leaks like a sieve.
But I want you to understand, and if you don't mind keeping the slides up on the monitor because I need those because I'm of a certain age that I need these visual connections. Just to frame it, with traditional vaccine technology, we anticipate having vaccines, if everything goes well, for all of the bio-warfare agents deployed up until the end of World War II, that's tularemia and smallpox and all those things. Vaccines for all of the warfare agents deployed up until the end of World War II, and we'll have all those by the year 2050 if everything goes well.
Clearly, now we're in an environment in which a young adult or a bad actor in any part of the world can create very potent bio-weapons. Clearly, we don't have the capability to respond to that efficiently. That is the underlying unmet medical need. That's the problem set. We need to be all clear about that. We get all wound up. I'm not defending in any way the way this has been deployed. I'm not saying that this solution is the best solution. I'm just saying there is an unmet medical need, which is there is a very significant threat. It is not trivial. It's not a figment of Cheney's imagination that bio-warfare agents can be engineered.
I'm convinced we have been doing most of the engineering up until this point, and the stuff that is going to come out in Bobby's (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.) next book is going to blow your circuits in terms of what we have done in Georgia and Ukraine. We'll park that. These things are being done. The problem is that once they're let loose, which we've all experienced over the last three years, it's almost three years now really. It's the end of September, the data shows that the beginning of the outbreak was at least September of 2019, if not earlier. We've got three years of experience now in what this means.
Once those things are let loose, they can sweep the world. The technology is now advanced to the point where pathogens can be engineered so they're relatively specific for different ethnic groups based on their genetics. Pathogens can be engineered. I can tell you my friends, or what used to be my buddies at DTRA, Defense Threat Reduction Agency Chem Bio Division, are extremely acutely aware that agents can be engineered to target ethnic groups. That's the battlefield. That's the real environment we're in. We have to have some technology to enable rapid response.
We have to have some technology to enable rapid response for special forces teams that are going to go in to wherever the bad guys are when we detect them and address that problem and take them out. Those special forces need to be protected. We need to have capabilities that can be deployed at the battalion level. We need to have capabilities that can be deployed at the population level. This RNA tech was one of the ones, together with monoclonal antibodies, that the government has long believed had huge potential to enable that type of rapid response.
They actually like monoclonal antibodies better. The idea behind monoclonal antibodies that they really like is you can administer these products to a special forces group. They go in theater, do their business, come back out, go see their wife, monoclonal antibody is gone. It's cleared. Yay. The problem is that the technology just has not performed. The monoclonal antibody technology is too cludgy. It's too cumbersome. What we've learned over the last three years is that viruses and pathogens can evolve to escape that fairly rapidly because they're fairly specific. We've all seen the viral evolution in real time. We experienced it.
That's the unmet medical need and the justification underlying this. That there is an unmet need for some technology, that will now allow rapid response to both emerging pathogens and engineered pathogens such as bio-warfare or terrorism-based pathogens. I think we can all agree that we would like such a technology to exist.
The truth is that DARPA, which is the operational development arm, basically the CIA, fell in love with the RNA technology over a decade ago. They decided to capitalize it and force it into the market space. For instance, they're the ones that have capitalized through In-Q-Tel, their investment arm, the new RNA manufacturing facilities up in Canada. This is a CIA program. There's no ambiguity here. I'm not telling state secrets.
The technology was basically pulled out of the trash can, because it had been suppressed by Merck after I developed it over 30 years ago. Then it was advanced very aggressively by DARPA. DARPA funded and basically built Moderna. They're continuing to push all this. They're pushing it through the government. What you're seeing is the power of the intelligence community and the new bio-defense industrial complex that's developed since the anthrax attacks and it really goes beyond that in being able to push their agenda through the government.
When you see all these circumventing of normal procedures and rules, that's happening because largely our intelligence community is pushing that through the administrative state structure. Why are they doing it? I think if we just back up for a minute and say, "Okay, let's try to give them the benefit of the doubt for a moment." What I think they are believing is that they have to push this, they have to get acceptance for this technology because there are no alternatives. The threat is so severe, in their opinion, in their spooky world, the threat is so severe that something has ...
spooky world. The threat is so severe that something has to exist, and this is something they've latched onto. Now, I'm saying this not to defend them. I'm saying this to try to help you to understand what you've been subjected to. DNA versus RNA vaccines. I had come up with both ideas back at the Salk in '89. DNA can also be used for vaccine purposes. This is the core idea, the little brilliant insight that I had. I don't think I'm being arrogant in saying that. This little thing that popped into my brain when I was at this gene therapy lab at the Salk, and I realized that we had a problem. The gene therapy wasn't going to work because the new genes that are the good genes are seen by the immune system as just different. They're producing different proteins, and your immune system doesn't know whether it's a good protein or a bad protein. It just knows that it's a different protein. It will attack it.
And that turned out to be the logic flaw in gene therapy. And they still haven't solved that. The only way to solve it is to put the genes into an immunocompromised compartment like the back of your eye or to immunosuppressed people. And I basically was there as a student passionately wanting to develop gene therapy, realized that the whole field that I'd committed my life to was never going to work. And came up with the idea, oh, well, it could be used to elicit a vaccine response. Gene therapy could be used for vaccines. Which is why I've said all the way through, these are not really vaccines. These are gene therapy technologies applied to vaccination. That includes the adenovirus vectors. It's explicit.
And the first embodiment, I filed these patents, and they included use of mRNA in particular. I thought it had advantages, but also, DNA. And the world picked up on the DNA part because it worked in mice. Merck bought the rights, and they spent well over a billion dollars that could never make it work. And they just abandoned it until, like I said, the CIA basically picked up the RNA part out of the trash can and pushed it forward and made it work. So, that's what's happening here. It's about the idea that we can use gene therapy technology, deliver genes into your body and cause your cells to become little manufacturing factories, to produce a part of a virus, a foreign protein, and generate an immune response, both a T-cell and a B-cell. So, cellular and humoral immunity against that foreign protein in a way that would be very similar as if you got infected by the virus. But there's no virus. That was the logic.
The problem is like everything, it all sounds great on paper, and then, you got to make it work, and you got to deal with the consequences when things don't go right. I just wanted you to understand that. The logic for why mRNA was because mRNA typically only lasts for a few hours or maybe half a day after it's manufactured in your body. The idea that I had way back then was that this RNA could be used like a drug, administered, and that if somebody has a toxicity, a toxic reaction, it'll be degraded and gone. Just like you clear most drugs. And then, a physician can decide, let's not do that again. That was the idea behind RNA as opposed to DNA, which sticks around for a long, long time in your body once it's in a cell. That's where this started from.
Now, let's talk about, remember, my goal is that you walk out of this understanding. This is not a focus on passing judgment. This is a focus on empowering you to comprehend what's going on. And the starting point is you have to understand that DNA makes RNA, and RNA makes protein. Not everybody has been through modern biology and understands the central dogma, but that's where this is going. mRNA is one of many different types of RNA. It's an acronym. It sounds scary to some people. It means messenger RNA. There's other kinds of RNA. Ribosomal RNA, transfer RNA. They do different things. RNA is just a molecule, a polymer that your body uses for many different things.
And one of them is to transfer information from DNA to the protein manufacturing machinery. And so, the idea of using mRNA as a drug is basically like hijacking the normal apparatus. If you think of RNA like a ticker tape to tell the little machine that makes protein what to make, you're taking and sticking in a foreign molecule, a foreign RNA that's not made from a copy of your DNA, and that's going to make the protein manufacturing machinery make a different protein, protein from a virus. I just wanted you to understand that. And this is just a diagram of those different types of RNAs and the machinery. We don't need to go into the molecular biology of it.
And we all know this virus now. Everybody's become a virologist and an epidemiologist over the last three years. And the spike protein on the right, as you can see, has kind of two parts. One is a part that sticks into the cell. And by the way, it exists as a trimer. I like to think of it as a treble hook, anybody go fishing. It's a trimer. And the little hook's on the end, so the barbs or the receptor binding domain, and the part that you tie the string to is the S1 subunit that sticks itself into the cell when it's being manufactured. That's the basic structure of the virus and the protein. Now, these are images, and they're hard to see from where you are. I'm going to talk to you about the tech, the formulation platform.
These are not liposomes. These are positively-charged fats, and RNA is negative. And you take these fats and you mix them with the RNA, and it all collapses into a glob. The problem with that is that when it collapses into a glob like this, it can stick to other globs. It produces very large aggregates. That's why the people that are administering these vaccines have very strict guidelines. Once they open the bottle and they hydrate it, they need to use it within a short period of time because otherwise, it forms big aggregates. And those big aggregates can be toxic to people. And there is a technology used to keep this aggregation from happening. And it's one of those different little parts that are in that upper panel that shows examples schematically of the chemicals that are used, these positively charged fats, and some of the other things that are added into the formulation, which includes cholesterol, among other things.
And one of those is polyethylene glycol. And polyethylene glycol is probably responsible for a lot of the short-term anaphylaxis. These are people that die within an hour or two after administration. Some people have hypersensitivity to polyethylene glycol. Polyethylene glycol is in there to keep these things from aggregating, and it's specifically engineered in this case so that it falls off of the particle soon afterwards because otherwise, it would keep the particle from binding to cells and delivering the RNA. That's kind of all I want to talk about, about the core idea. And as you can see from that little spiral, all of this aggregates and forms around a synthetic RNA that's made in the test tube. It's not really RNA. The stuff that's being administered is not natural RNA. That's another... Paul has his list of lies.
Another one of the lies is that the stuff that's being injected with these vaccines is not truly RNA. It's modified. One of the four parts, AUGC, that forms the bead, the string of pearls. Think of string of pearls with four different colors. That's RNA. But one of those colors, the U, is actually a modified U. It's pseudouridine. And it's put in there because the RNA has two problems as a mechanism for vaccination, as a delivery mechanism.
One is that these formulations are incredibly inflammatory. They provoke... If you want to generate pus, take these formulations without all the bells and whistles they've had to put on them, and inject them into an animal. They are highly inflammatory, and they're still inflammatory now. We know that now. We've experienced over the last three years. That's always been the problem with the tech. And they tried to solve it by incorporating this modified U called pseudouridine, which depresses the immune response to the RNA and a lot of other things. And it makes the RNA last a much longer time so it can keep making protein.
Pseudouridine is what's put all the way through this RNA rather than regular uridine. And because it has, it confers these activities, but it is not a natural RNA. It's not what the ideas that I originally came up with. The stuff would only stick around for a few hours. Now, this is too small for me to read and probably is too small for you to read, but the bottom line, as I said, is that pseudouridine greatly modifies this whole equation in so many different ways. And when it was developed and patented at UPenn as a modification to the core patents and technology, it wasn't really understood what it does.
The biology of pseudouridine is still not understood. And that's part of the story of all of this is that folks have kind of gotten ahead of their skis all the way through. They've pushed the technology because they want it so badly because the unmet medical need is so profound. They're so afraid of the risk, in part because we're creating that risk. But that's another story. And they wanted to have something that would be universal, that they could apply for any new pathogen and that could go straight from gene to vaccine. That's the idea.
And what they did is they kind of rushed things without understanding it. Now, you'll recall that we're administering, we're all receiving... Those that have received the vaccine, receive it in their deltoid. And what the FDA has told all the docs and Pfizer has told all the docs, is that that RNA, those complexes go to draining lymph nodes, and they do. The axillary lymph nodes that drain from that deltoid take that complex, it's piped into there through the lymphatics, and a lot of it does go there. Unfortunately, the data show that it also goes all over the body. But back in the day when this was just getting started, three years ago, well, we could argue about that, but as these particular products were being developed, they were being sold, the technology was being sold that the formulations used would only go to those lymph nodes. Now, we know that that's not true, but that's how it was pitched.
Now, what happens when that's done? The big story here underlying all this fraud and everything that Paul is talking about is the FDA did not do its job. FDA did not do its job, I think, because it was being pushed into a position of having to go along with what the intelligence community wanted and all of the push from the White House and everywhere else that we needed to have this technology, we needed to have this technology deployed globally. And so, we're going to just allow a lot of corners to be cut.
Finally, at the beginning of this year, with this paper published in January, a group from Stanford University asked the questions. How long is the RNA there? How long is the protein, spike protein being made? How much spike protein is being made? Fundamental questions that should have been known at the very beginning. But the FDA did not force the pharmaceutical companies to do those tests because they justified it. They did a little hand waving.
... because they justified it, they did a little hand waving. They said, "These are not gene therapy products. These are vaccine products." Now that's a lie, a convenient lie, but that's what they did and that allowed them to justify only applying the vaccine safety checklist at the FDA rather than also applying the gene therapy checklist. This is why when I first started talking about this and I said, "This is gene therapy." I got so much blow back from all the fact checkers in the press, et cetera, is because they could not allow the narrative to come out that this is actually a gene therapy product applied for vaccine purposes. But we know that the manufacturers knew that to be the case because they had said so in their SEC filings before all this happened years ago, okay? So this is another one of the little slights of hand that was used.
But this group at Stanford went and finally did the work that should have been done before this was administered to all of us, and what did they find? Well, among other things they documented, this is one of the first key papers that immune imprinting is happening, which is why when you get multiply jabbed, and I think these boosters are going to make it even worse, you actually become more susceptible to the viral infection because your immune system is tuned to only responding to the historic strain, not the current strain.
But they found some other things in here, and I'm sorry this is too much text, so I'll just tell you. What they found was that the levels of protein, these are actual patients, this isn't animal models or anything else, this is patients that have received vaccine, the levels of spike protein in the blood of these patients were much higher than the levels of spike protein found after infection. With infection, the virus is slowly starting to replicate in your nose and your oral pharynx and your mouth and your upper respiratory tract and your immune system is kicking in and starting to neutralize that, and they're having a fight as a gradual balance and it results in a slow growth in the amount of antigen.
With the RNA, when that young gentleman there that's going to sleep gets his vaccine, which hopefully he didn't take, what happens is his body gets a truckload of spike antigen that's basically dumped into his bloodstream on a very short time course, very different from natural infection. And so when people say, "Well, why would you see toxicity with the spike protein from the vaccines and not see the same... Why would it be worse with the vaccines than with the infection?" Well, because of dosing, there's so much more protein being produced, and by the way, it's being produced for a long time, about 60 days or longer. They didn't test beyond 60 days. Furthermore, the RNA doesn't just go away after a few hours like real RNA, this RNA that has pseudouridine in it lasts for up to 60 days as long as they test it. Again, this is not theoretical, this is putting needles into patients axillary lymph nodes, taking a sample and asking is the RNA there and taking blood samples and asking how much protein is in those blood samples. So that explains a lot of what we've experienced.
Then there's this issue, and this is part of the lies that Paul was talking about that we've all experienced, that natural immunity is not as good as vaccine-induced immunity. There are many, many papers out now that show that that's not true. And from first principles it's easy to understand why it's not true. When they built these vaccines they chose to basically start with what had been done before and failed with MERS and SARS 1 vaccine development and only use a single protein, only used the spike protein and used the whole spike protein because they were in denial that the whole spike protein was a toxin and they still are, but they're kind of starting to have to concede that point.
But they only used one antigen. When you get infected by the virus, you mount a antibody and a cellular immune response against a whole bunch of antigens, and so if the virus starts to evolve to evade immune surveillance on the spike protein, which is what's happened in the face of all these jabs that everybody's got all over the world, if it starts with a natural immunity, if it starts to evolve to escape that immune suppression, immune pressure on the spike, it can't do that at the same time that it's evolving to escape all the other forms of immune pressure that are there because of all the other proteins that it makes. This is fundamental. Everybody knows this in my field, but they've been in denial about this and this is this insistence that their approach is the best and is accurate and it won't drive the immune escape, et cetera, et cetera. But the data are in now, natural immunity is more robust, longer lasting, more protective, and likely, results in much less [inaudible 00:33:50] development.
What are the risks? Let's see if I can read them here. This is actually the Cumulative Analysis of Post-Authorization Adverse Event Report from Pfizer, this is from the data that was forced to be released by Pfizer by court order instead of being delayed for 7 years, like Paul was talking about. Central general disorders, nervous system disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory disorders, skin disorders, infections, cardiac, vascular, psychiatric, blood and lymphatic, eye, immune, it goes on and on. In the Pfizer disclosure, it's 11 pages, okay? They've known all this stuff. This isn't what they thought might happen, this is coming from pharmaco vigilance at Pfizer with their licensed vaccines, because the stuff that's here in the United States is not the licensed product, by the way. This is data coming from all over the world accumulated by Pfizer by the pharmaco vigilance team, and this is what they're reporting to the FDA, which the FDA of course then denied was actually happening.
The list of adverse events is huge, it's like nothing any of us have ever really seen with a product like this. I've certainly never seen anything like with this vaccine, let alone the mortality. And why our government and our regulatory agencies, both in the US and globally, aren't willing to address that is another whole discussion about the politics and the corruption that's gone on, and Paul kind of touched on that a little bit, but we could go on for hours.
Now, the last key thing I kind of want you to understand as we talk about this, we talk about these genetic vaccine technologies, and I guarantee they're going to be deployed on you for years now, but you need to understand some of these fundamentals, platform versus payload, and everybody gets mixed up in this. There's the platform technology, which has the potential to enable a whole new class of pharmaceuticals, therapeutics, customized treatments for individuals for their cancer, all kinds of good stuff, this is why these companies have their market cap, potentially to enable a new class of pharmaceuticals based on delivery of genetic information.
The idea, as I mentioned with the platform, is that you can go direct from genetic sequence to product and shorten the development time because the manufacturing is the same no matter what the sequence is. You just key it into the computer. That's why they love it. They think that once they get one standard manufacturing process with all the characterization associated with it, they don't have to do it again. They can just go to the computer, key it in, sequence whatever the thing is, make customized medicines for your wife because she's got cancer or any new pathogen that's come out of Central Africa or whatever the thing is. That's their belief system.
The mRNA platform includes all of the things that are required to manufacture and deliver the RNA, that's separate from the thing that's made, the protein that's made, that's called the payload. It's kind of important for you to understand going forward to make sense out of all this stuff. Okay, so you understand platform versus payload, the spike protein and the RNA coating the spike protein is the payload. The way that it's packaged, assembled, manufactured, tested, et cetera, is the platform. The platform consists of these fats, the polyethylene glycol, other RNAs, the synthetic mRNA, other components.
Is there graphene oxide? The problem I have with that question, which has been coming at me for almost two years now, is there's no way for me to know whether there's graphene oxide or not. There's a lot of graphene oxide in the general environment, and the only way that this can ever be demonstrated to either true or false is either if, number one, the pharmaceutical companies come clean with the components that are in these products, and they will not release that, okay? They will not release a full component list. Or, a regulatory agency or someone else empowered will test the lots coming off of the line rigorously in a controlled way with a clear chain of custody as they have always done in the past, and which they are forbidden from doing by contract from these manufacturers.
So the problem I have with the graphene oxide and the other contaminants is that in most cases there is no good way to answer that question because we are forbidden from answering that question because, through contract, the regulatory agencies aren't able to do their job all over the world and assess what's actually in those vials. Are they truly pure? Is the identity what's defined? Is the potency what's defined? The pharmaceutical companies have executed contracts that prevents that from being known.
There's no question that we have contaminants of small glass fragments and small metal fragments in many lots, not necessarily all lots, and those are known types of contaminants that come from existing pharmaceutical manufacturing processes like fill/finish, and they're absolutely toxic. And again, that's evidence that the regulatory agencies have not been doing their job. That's their job is to ensure purity, potency, and identity.
The payload also includes the manufacturing, purification and testing processes, which I've just talked about, have been co-opted. It includes the regulatory package, including the nonclinical testing. So this is the notorious animal testing that was done not with the spike encoding RNA, but with the firefly protein called luciferase, using the least sensitive method for detecting where the product goes, which is whole body imaging as opposed to dissecting the tissues and analyzing them. Somehow the FDA allowed the wool to be pulled over their eyes by the pharmaceutical companies and they allowed them to use the least sensitive method for determining where this stuff goes and where it's making protein. That's another huge failure.
But the platform includes all of that data, fill, finish, distribution and storage, all of that goes into the platform tech. And the payload is, as I mentioned, the RNA, which causes your cells to become the manufacturing facilities. And that RNA itself can have biologic activity, so I've talked about the pseudouridine immunosuppression, increased half life. Another major problem with these products is that during the manufacturer of the RNA itself or the pseudouridine RNA, what happens is that the polymerase, the thing that's making it in this biologic reaction stops periodically and when it does that it releases a fragment of RNA that's incomplete. Those RNA fragments...
RNA that's incomplete. Those RNA fragments are biologically active. They can interfere, they can elicit immune responses, all kinds of things. And they don't have a good way to purify those. So the material that's being injected, it's not just a false RNA, a pseudo uridine, including RNA, but it's a whole mixture of stuff of which they hope the majority is the thing they want. But they haven't created any purification guidelines for all these other contaminants. If it was a normal drug or a normal biologic, the FDA would be rigorously scrutinizing and ensuring that it is only the biologic that it's claimed to be and doesn't have any other contaminants or so, if they're contaminants there's strict guidelines about how much. That doesn't exist here.
The payload also includes the protein. And the primary protein in this case is spike. In other cases is the influenza hemagglutinin for the new flu vaccines. But that protein we now know can have other things embedded in it. And I mentioned the snake venom story. I don't think that the sequence analysis supports that thesis of Dr. Artis. I'm absolutely not convinced. But the possibility that these proteins can be engineered to include other antigens, or do include other antigens is absolutely feasible, is absolutely viable. So the payload and the sequence of the payload and what it causes your cells to manufacture are crucial.
Now, how and why is this being pushed? Obviously, we've all experienced the propaganda and censorship, and Paul's talked about that. I've experienced it personally. This is uncontrolled information warfare, unrestricted information warfare at a level the world has never seen before. We have a situation in which all of the major media is controlled by large financial entities that happen to be the same ones that control the pharmaceutical industry. And functionally, control our government. What we've seen is that the propaganda information warfare blocking of anybody disclosing adverse events, like all of you that got up and said you've known of people directly that have either died or been damaged. I've been vaccine damaged. That's not allowed to be discussed.
It's not allowed to be discussed because of the potential impact on the deployment of this product, which they believe that the ends justify the means. That it is absolutely essential that they get the world to be able to accept this new technology because if they don't... And there's all the other agendas about the vaccine card, and the personal ID and central bank digital currency, et cetera. But, at the fundamental level, there's a belief that this technology is so important that we have to push it through the entire population. And we have to get people to accept it. And so, that's so important that they believe that they were justified in deploying the largest propaganda effort the world has ever seen.
Paul underestimated. It was over a billion dollars spent by the CDC, okay? And it's still ongoing. What that results in is that people cannot have informed consent. So I have a colleague who blames me, says that because I talk about mass formation psychosis, I'm saying that everybody is responsible and the global predators are not responsible. In no way is that true. That's a false narrative. And I'm in no way saying that individuals are responsible if they, like I, took the vaccine. We were not able to obtain informed consent.
In my case, I had a teleconference because of who I am and my background. I had a teleconference specifically with Peter Marks at the FDA early on where I said, "Peter, I'm concerned about these things that are in this non-clinical package. You guys have been hoodwinked." And he told me, basically, "Robert, give me some time to get this out. I have the new data package from Pfizer. I have no concerns now. Please don't make a big issue out of this." And I stayed silent for a few months based on that, and I took the jab. And I got the toxicity. My point is I was fooled. We were all fooled. And we were all prevented from having informed consent. So forgive each other, please. Forgive me.
Now, this is new information that was just published. In April of 2021 there was a World Health Organization consultation. Now, that's fancy bureaucratic talk for we all get together and figure out what we're gonna do. It was chaired by Margaret Liu of Merck, who was the person that was at the forefront of the team trying to get DNA vaccines developed back in the '90s and failed. But she was the chairperson, very much an industrial scientist. In this meeting that brought together all the regulatory agencies from all over the world, it was decided to circumvent normal preclinical and clinical testing based on this shared core platform concept. That's why I wanted you to understand what the platform was as opposed to the payload.
So there was a conference at WHO in which all the Western regulatory agencies got together and China, and they all agreed that we're gonna treat this as a platform technology, and we're going to push it through with very limited testing. And then once we've done that, new products can be rapidly developed by grandfathering in that old inadequate data package. Now, I'm not saying this as a conspiracy theory. It's published. And we are now seeing that being deployed. The only new data that will be required for these new vaccine and mRNA based therapeutic products is going to be that associated with the payload. So they're gonna assume that the platform is safe now because it's been deployed in billions of people. That's another reason why they have to deny all the adverse events 'cause the whole logic collapses otherwise.
The FDA position, and we've now seen this deployed, thank you for five minutes... We've now seen this deployed with the new boosters. The FDA position is that changes in the mRNA sequence for similar payloads do not require substantial non-clinical or clinical data. What that means is what we've seen. They went to manufacturing, sales, and deployment of these new vaccines with virtually no real testing. To the extent that they did any testing in mice what they found was that it didn't in any way interfere with infection of those mice by the pathogen. It didn't work in the mice. It doesn't matter. They've all agreed that this is the new rules.
So now, we have over 100 clinical trials for mRNA vaccines, 51 of which are currently enrolling, the rest are about to start enrolling in the United States, and they're all grandfathered based on what they assert is the clear evidence that there is no safety risks associated with this technology because it's been deployed in billions of people in the United States and worldwide.
In addition, there's over 200 clinical trials for mRNA based drugs based on this same logic. This all grandfathers in a technology platform, ignores that what's being delivered is not natural RNA. And what it creates is a situation. This is how things work in regulatory space. There's only two companies right now that have those approved data packages. And what that means is that these two companies now have a monopoly on any new drugs, or vaccines developed and deployed with this technology. Because anybody else that's gonna try to come in with their own version of it is gonna have to go through all of that other testing and demonstrate that their stuff is at least as safe and effective as the stuff that's been deployed on all of us. So what the FDA has done is granted a monopoly in perpetuity to Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna.
So I hope that instead of talking about this toxicity or that toxicity, the event rate for the cardio toxicity, or whether or not we're all going to die in five years that have taken the vaccines, what I've tried to do is to help you to comprehend what's really going on underneath all of this. And remember my statement at the start, that's not to say that this outbreak and the situation was not exploited for economic and power reasons by a bunch of other bad actors. It's not to say that there wasn't planning aforehand. It's not to say that Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Bill Gates has not made book on this. It's not to say that in any way I'm denying that the corruption in the FDA, and the CDC and academia, as Paul was talking about, is profound and deep and systemic. I'm only giving you this little lens of looking through the RNA technology environment so that you can comprehend at least that part as you try to make sense out of everything else.
I thank you for your time. I hope it was helpful.
VIDEO - Barack Obama Deals With Heckler During Speech in Arizona
Thu, 03 Nov 2022 12:25
Former President Barack Obama dealt with a heckler in Arizona on Wednesday night while campaigning for Sen. Mark Kelly and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
Kelly is seeking reelection against Republican Blake Masters and Hobbs hopes to defeat Republican Karie Lake to become the state's next governor.
Obama was delivering remarks to a large crowd in Phoenix, where he said Republicans want ''an economy that's very good for folks at the very top, but not always so good for ordinary people.''
The heckler seized his opportunity.
''Like you, Obama!'' he shouted.
''Are you gonna start yelling?'' Obama asked, as the crowd rained down boos upon the verbal intruder.
''Don't start yelling,'' Obama calmly told him. ''Come on. Why you start yelling?''
The man continued yelling.
Perhaps sensing increasing hostility among the crowd, the former president tried to de-escalate the situation.
''Hold on, everybody,'' he said. ''Don't get distracted. Hold up. Hey, young man, just listen for a second.''
The young man did not ''hold up'' and kept shouting.
''You have to be polite and civil when people are talking,'' Obama told him.
The heckler did not relent and Obama was essentially done with the guy.
''Set up your own rally!'' Obama told him. ''A lot of people worked hard for this. Come on, man.''
As he spoke the man was led out of the event as people apparently jeered him.
''Hey everybody,'' Obama told rally-goers. ''Listen up for a second, please. This is what happens in our politics these days. We get distracted. You got one person yelling and everybody's yelling. You get one tweet that's stupid and suddenly everybody's obsessed with the tweet. We can't fall for that. We have to stay focused.''
Obama has been stumping for Democrats across the country in recent days ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections. On Saturday, he also dealt with hecklers at a rally in Michigan.
Watch above via Fox 10 Phoenix.
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