Cover for No Agenda Show 1522: Boiling Ocean
January 19th • 3h 4m

1522: Boiling Ocean

Shownotes

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.

Prime Time Takedown
Classified theory
Adam
The decision will be, no one who has violated the rules of classified documents can ever run for office again.
Trump - Problem solved
Biden - Problem solved
Hillary - Problem solved
Our next president will be: Trans, Brown and Libtarded to the Max.
Michelle Obama
Live long and prosper
John
Ukraine vs Russia
Ukraine Helicopter Briefing
On the helicopter in crash in Ukraine, "40 minute drive" from Kiev city center, to the east. Internal Affairs Minister dead. And some other officials, including his chief of staff and another of "his closest aides.".
Peter Zalmayev, Executive Director of Eurasian Democracy Initiative on Al Jazeera:
"Apparently it was very foggy in that area. And before hitting the kindergarten they may have hit a TV tower or a radio tower, which sent the helicopter crashing into the kindergarten, killing two children. Right now as many as 18 people are reported to have died. Let me just say all of this looks very, very, very suspicious. You know, usually the helicopter drivers know which area they're flying in. They are aware of all the potential obstacles. It's looking very suspicious. I would not rule out foul play. And by that I mean a possible terrorist act by the Russian Federation. Like I said, Minister of Internal Affairs is had...is an important position within the Ukrainian government. It's been taking an active part in Ukraine's resistance to the invading army. So I would not rule out anything at this point. (11:37-12:35)
"Obviously this ministry has been responsible for rooting out, identifying and rooting out the potential diversionary groups which have infiltrated Ukraine since the beginning of the war, especially in the battle of Kiev. This were very crucial moments to try to get rid of internal enemies, agents of Russian influence, and saboteurs. And so the Internal Affairs Ministry is crucial in fighting those. And this particular minister was very active, was very effective. And so [(sirens in background begin)] it seems to me the Russian Federation would have a direct motive to neutralize this particular branch of the Ukrainian government. (13:41-14:18)
"It seems that there may have been a device planted in the helicopter." (14:40-14:44)
Marines BOTG Report
ITM Adam!!
Just listened to the last episode on the Marine Corps plan to reduce capabilities to play this littoral “one - trick” pony mission.
Background: I spent 16 years in my beloved Corps and believe it to be the best fighting force alive. During my time I travels to 3 different contents including the island of Okinawa. I was in a combat occupation my entire career and witnessed the invasion of Iraq firsthand.
The Mission: The marine Corps has ALWAYS been a light, aggressive assault force designed to respond rapidly ANYWHERE in the world and adapt to any mission needed on a moments notice. The Army by design can pack a hell of a punch, but requires MONTHS to ramp up and deploy.
To accomplish this the Marine corps HAS to be self-sustaining in a location with little to no outside logistical support. This plays well in the short term of an aggressive fast and overwhelming action against an enemy. It fails horribly when logistics span thousands of kilometer and you rely on a sole source of reinforcement and combined arms support from outside sources In this case the mentioned “rods from god”
The Result:
Complete failure. If the Marine corps continues on the path they currently are proposing they will LOOSE what makes them great and effective. The Army and greater DOD has been trying to get rid of the Marine Corps for decades, even going back to shortly after WW2. Largely based on the claim that they could fill the role.
An Example:
The Japanese tried this in WW2 where they would supply thousands of troops on what they considered to be an “island defense zone” around their held territories. This causes a massive logistical strain, to keep what are mostly uninhabitable locations supplied with food, medical aid, and munitions. What won the pacific war was the Allies ability to strangle merchant shipping and cutting of supplies to these island outpost. With these forces cut-off the island could simply be by-passed to focus on bigger more important targets. Resulting in them amounting to little more than a nuisance and much of these forces dying from starvation and disease.
I pray these woke generals are removed from position before they can poison the Corps any further.
Sir Combat rock of the Idaho highlands
Great Reset
Climate Change
PedoBear
Big Pharma
BLM LGBBTQQIAAPK+ Noodle Boy
Elon / Twitter
M5M
CBDC FTX BTC
Mandates & Boosters
STORIES
Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, others have cut more than 60,000 employees
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 18:47
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the company's Ignite Spotlight event in Seoul on Nov. 15, 2022.
SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The job cuts in tech land are piling up, as companies that led the 10-year bull market adapt to a new reality.
Microsoft said Wednesday that it's letting go of 10,000 employees, which will reduce the company's headcount by less than 5%. Amazon also began a fresh round of job cuts that are expected to eliminate more than 18,000 employees and become the largest workforce reduction in the e-retailer's 28-year history.
The layoffs come in a period of slowing growth, higher interest rates to battle inflation, and fears of a possible recession next year.
Here are some of the major cuts in the tech industry so far. All numbers are approximations based on filings, public statements and media reports:
Microsoft: 10,000 jobs cutMicrosoft is reducing 10,000 workers through March 31 as the software maker braces for slower revenue growth. The company also is taking a $1.2 billion charge.
"I'm confident that Microsoft will emerge from this stronger and more competitive," CEO Satya Nadella announced in a memo to employees that was posted on the company website Wednesday. Some employees will find out this week if they're losing their jobs, he wrote.
Amazon: 18,000 jobs cutEarlier this month, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company was planning to lay off more than 18,000 employees, primarily in its human resources and stores divisions. It came after Amazon said in November it was looking to cut staff, including in its devices and recruiting organizations. CNBC reported at the time that the company was looking to lay off about 10,000 employees.
Amazon went on a hiring spree during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company's global workforce swelled to more than 1.6 million by the end of 2021, up from 798,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Alphabet (Verily): 230 jobs cutGoogle parent company Alphabet had largely avoided layoffs until January, when it cut 15% of employees from Verily, its health sciences division. Google itself has not undertaken any significant layoffs as of Jan. 18, but employees are increasingly growing worried that the ax may soon fall.
Crypto.com: 500 jobs cutCrypto.com announced plans to lay off 20% of its workforce Jan. 13. The company had 2,450 employees, according to PitchBook data, suggesting around 490 employees were laid off.
CEO Kris Marszalek said in a blog post that the crypto exchange grew "ambitiously" but was unable to weather the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto empire FTX without the further cuts.
"All impacted personnel have already been notified," Marszalek said in a post.
Coinbase: 2,000 jobs cutOn Jan. 10, Coinbase announced plans to cut about a fifth of its workforce as it looks to preserve cash during the crypto market downturn.
The exchange plans to cut 950 jobs, according to a blog post. Coinbase, which had roughly 4,700 employees as of the end of September, had already slashed 18% of its workforce in June saying it needed to manage costs after growing "too quickly" during the bull market.
"With perfect hindsight, looking back, we should have done more," CEO Brian Armstrong told CNBC in a phone interview at the time. "The best you can do is react quickly once information becomes available, and that's what we're doing in this case."
Salesforce: 7,000 jobs cutSalesforce is cutting 10% of its personnel and reducing some office space as part of a restructuring plan, the company announced Jan. 4. It employed more than 79,000 workers as of December.
In a letter to employees, co-CEO Marc Benioff said customers have been more "measured" in their purchasing decisions given the challenging macroeconomic environment, which led Salesforce to make the "very difficult decision" to lay off workers.
Salesforce said it will record charges of $1 billion to $1.4 billion related to the headcount reductions, and $450 million to $650 million related to the office space reductions.
Meta: 11,000 jobs cutFacebook parent Meta announced its most significant round of layoffs ever in November. The company said it plans to eliminate 13% of its staff, which amounts to more than 11,000 employees.
Meta 's disappointing guidance for the fourth quarter of 2022 wiped out one-fourth of the company's market cap and pushed the stock to its lowest level since 2016.
The tech giant's cuts come after it expanded headcount by about 60% during the pandemic. The business has been hurt by competition from rivals such as TikTok, a broad slowdown in online ad spending and challenges from Apple's iOS changes.
Twitter: 3,700 jobs cutLyft: 700 jobs cut Lyft announced in November that it cut 13% of its staff, or about 700 jobs. In a letter to employees, CEO Logan Green and President John Zimmer pointed to "a probable recession sometime in the next year" and rising ride-share insurance costs.
For laid-off workers, the ride-hailing company promised 10 weeks of pay, health care coverage through the end of April, accelerated equity vesting for the Nov. 20 vesting date and recruiting assistance. Workers who had been at the company for more than four years will get an extra four weeks of pay, they added.
Stripe: 1,100 jobs cutOnline payments giant Stripe announced plans to lay off roughly 14% of its staff, which amounts to about 1,100 employees, in November.
CEO Patrick Collison wrote in a memo to staff that the cuts were necessary amid rising inflation, fears of a looming recession, higher interest rates, energy shocks, tighter investment budgets and sparser startup funding. Taken together, these factors signal "that 2022 represents the beginning of a different economic climate," he said.
Stripe was valued at $95 billion last year, and reportedly lowered its internal valuation to $74 billion in July.
Shopify: 1,000 jobs cutIn July, Shopify announced it laid off 1,000 employees, which equals 10% of its global workforce.
In a memo to staff, CEO Tobi Lutke acknowledged he had misjudged how long the pandemic-driven e-commerce boom would last, and said the company is being hit by a broader pullback in online spending. Its stock price is down 78% in 2022.
Netflix: 450 jobs cutNetflix announced two rounds of layoffs. In May, the streaming service eliminated 150 jobs after the company reported its first subscriber loss in a decade. In late June, it announced another 300 layoffs.
In a statement to employees, Netflix said, "While we continue to invest significantly in the business, we made these adjustments so that our costs are growing in line with our slower revenue growth."
Snap: 1,000 jobs cut In late August, Snap announced it laid off 20% of its workforce, which equates to over 1,000 employees.
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel told employees in a memo that the company needs to restructure its business to deal with its financial challenges. He said the company's quarterly year-over-year revenue growth rate of 8% "is well below what we were expecting earlier this year."
Robinhood: 1,100 jobs cutRetail brokerage firm Robinhood slashed 23% of its staff in August, after cutting 9% of its workforce in April. Based on public filings and reports, that amounts to more than 1,100 employees.
Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev blamed "deterioration of the macro environment, with inflation at 40-year highs accompanied by a broad crypto market crash."
Tesla: 6,000 jobs cutIn June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote in an email to all employees that the company was cutting 10% of salaried workers. The Wall Street Journal estimated the reductions would affect about 6,000 employees, based on public filings.
"Tesla will be reducing salaried headcount by 10% as we have become overstaffed in many areas," Musk wrote. "Note this does not apply to anyone actually building cars, battery packs or installing solar. Hourly headcount will increase."
One of the World's Coldest Places Is Now the Warmest it's Been in 1,000 Years, Scientists Say - Inside Climate News
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 16:02
Global warming is spiking in one of the world's coldest places, atop the 2-mile thick ice sheet in central Greenland, where new research shows that the first decade of the 2000s was clearly the warmest 10 years on record in at least 1,000 years.
The findings, published today in Nature, are based on some of the most detailed ice core sampling ever done in the region, which is a critical part of the planet's cooling system. By measuring chemical traces in the ice, the scientists were able to determine exact annual temperature readings for the region, and they found that, for the years 2001 to 2011, the temperature in the study area was 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the 20th century average.
What makes the new temperature record unique is that it's based on a consistent record of ice core data, while most other Arctic temperature histories are derived from a combination of measurements from more indirect sources like tree rings, said co-author Thomas Laepple, a climate researcher with the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany.
The study, he said, is ''clear evidence'' that the effects of global warming have reached the remote, high-elevation areas of central-north Greenland. Many previous research efforts suggested it's still hard to distinguish a clear global warming signal in the region against the backdrop of annual and decadal changes driven by regional wind shifts and atmospheric pressure patterns that also affect temperatures.
The scientists also analyzed how the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is connected with the warming they measured. The meltwater from the ice is a big contributor to global sea level rise, and they were ''amazed'' to see how the temperatures around the summit of the 3,200-meter (10,500-foot) elevation ice sheet are ''closely connected with Greenland-wide meltwater drainage,'' even though most of the melting is along the rim of the ice sheet near the coast, said lead author Maria H¶rhold.
The research team found that correlation by matching temperature records from a climate model covering the years from 1871 to 2011 with measurements of ice mass changes from 2002 to 2021 gathered by the international GRACE and GRACE-FO Earth observation missions, which use twinned satellites to make detailed gravity measurements.
The comparison enabled the scientists to convert the temperature variations identified in the ice cores into melting rates for the past 1,000 years, she said. The Greenland Ice Sheet is larger than Alaska, covering about 660,000 square miles, and if it keeps melting at the current pace, it would raise global sea level by about 50 centimeters (20 inches) by 2100, adding to the growing flooding woes in coastal communities. A 2022 study showed that the melting ice sheet will add at least 10 inches of sea level rise by the end of the century, no matter what climate actions are taken in the near future.
The study provides valuable new information that can help people vulnerable to sea level rise adapt in the decades ahead, said Jason Box, a Greenland Ice Sheet expert with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland who was not involved with the research.
''We should be very concerned about North Greenland warming because that region has a dozen sleeping giants in the form of wide tidewater glaciers and an ice stream,'' he said. Awakening those giants will ''ramp up'' Greenland's contribution to sea level rise. He said the study's finding of a quickly steepening trend line reinforces the understanding of how industrialization has driven warming.
Related Story: Greenland's Nearing a Climate Tipping Point: How Long Warming Lasts Will Decide Its Fate, Study Says
Warming has Serious ConsequencesWhile warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius may not sound like much in one of the world's ice boxes, there are other ominous signs of change. In 2012, following what the new study identified as the warmest decade on record in Greenland, there was a super-melt event, with surface melting across about 97 percent of the island's ice for several days. The National Snow and Ice Data Center called the 2012 melting ''intense,'' noting that the melt season lasted two months longer than usual, and that for the first time in the satellite record that stretches back to 1979, ''the entire ice sheet experienced melt at some point in the season.''
There have been several other extreme melting events since then, and in 2021, there was extensive surface melting during September for the first time on record, showing that the melt season is also getting longer. In that same year, it also rained for the first time ever at the top of the ice sheet. More rain triggers more melting, other recent studies show.
The findings also show that the temperature high on the ice sheet isn't increasing as fast as it is in the rest of the Arctic, which is warming at three to four times the globally average rate, Box said.
The data shows that the warming from 2001 to 2011 differs from that resulting from natural variations during the past 1,000 years, Laepple, at the Alfred Wegener Institute, said. The team was ''surprised'' by how distinctly the warming showed against the cyclical fluctuations from year to year and decade to decade, he said. Previous ice cores obtained at similar sites starting in the 1990s, did not indicate clear warming in central-north Greenland.
Laepple said the findings show that the warming in central Greenland has a ''dynamic of its own,'' distinct from the warming in the rest of the Arctic, because the ice sheet summit is so high that it's differently affected by regional wind shifts than other parts of the Arctic.
There don't seem to be any signs the warming is slowing down at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet, said Ingo Sasgen, another co-author, also with the Alfred Wegener Institute.
Keep Environmental Journalism AliveICN provides award-winning climate coverage free of charge and advertising. We rely on donations from readers like you to keep going.
Donate Now''I would say there's a lot of fluctuation, but there's a general warming trend that sort of continues what we've seen in the past decade,'' he said, noting the clusters of extreme melt years. The findings in one of the coldest places on Earth are cause for concern, he added.
''You're going and taking these cores in one of the most remote places on earth '... you expect that climate change hasn't sort of influenced this remote area that much,'' he said. ''And when you do the statistical analysis and find these results that are so far outside of this range of natural variability, I think this was most surprising.''
Research has pointed to increased warming pushing the melting at the fringes of the ice sheet upward toward its summit, he said.
''But then, all of a sudden, you get an ice sheet-wide melt event for a year, or rain,'' he said. ''And all these things that you feared could happen, maybe in some distant future, all of a sudden you detect them in your ice core.''
Bob BerwynReporter, AustriaBob Berwyn an Austria-based reporter who has covered climate science and international climate policy for more than a decade. Previously, he reported on the environment, endangered species and public lands for several Colorado newspapers, and also worked as editor and assistant editor at community newspapers in the Colorado Rockies.
Canadians are now stealing overpriced food from grocery stores with zero remorse
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 16:00
If you can't beat them, join them. If you can't join them because you weren't born into an excessively wealthy family, eat them. If you can't eat them (the rich) because they're people and that's illegal, steal from them. And then brag about it on Twitter.
This is my loose understanding of the thought pattern behind a marked increase in social media users proudly declaring for all the world to see that they've been shoplifting from major Canadian grocery stores (or supporting those who do so) in retaliation against rampant "greedflation."
Have we finally hit the point where shopliting from oligarch-owned supermarkets has become a socially-acceptable crime? Like jaywalking? Or sneaking into an R-rated movie when you're only 14?
I can't answer that, but I can tell you that consumers are starting to lose patience as grocery prices rise far beyond the rate of inflation while corporate giants pull in record profits.
Some are so fed up with this bullsh*t, it seems, that they're willing to risk criminal charges (theft under $5,000) to stick it to the system... or, you know, avoid starvation.
i steal almost all my groceries and will continue to do so but thanks for posting!
'-- Paisano Romano (@PaisanoRomano) January 12, 2023Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, a frequent media commentator and senior director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Halifax's Dalhousie University, reported this week that, while grocery theft "has always been a major problem" for the industry, it is now "worse than before" after more than a year of price hikes due to (or under the guise of) inflation.
"According to some industry data, an average-sized food retail store in Canada can have between $2,000 and $5,000 worth of groceries stolen per week," he wrote in a piece published Jan. 10.
"With the relatively narrow profit margins in grocery, this amount is huge. To cover losses, grocers need to raise prices, so in the end, we all pay for grocery theft."
With the average family of four expected to spend more than $16,000 on groceries this year '-- roughly $1,066 more (or seven per cent) than they did in 2022 '-- and food bank use spiking to new all-time highs, some might argue that Canadians are already paying dearly for "grocery theft" of a different kind.
"Galen Weston and his family are thieves who have profiteered for decades, and if you think it's wrong to steal food (product insured for loss) in order to survive... you're a clown," wrote one Twitter user of the trend this week.
"If you're too poor to afford food and the government doesn't give you any options, taking food from a corporate grocery chain to survive doesn't sound like THEFT to me," wrote another, inspiring a now-viral response from Charlebois himself.
You think it is appropriate to shoplift while grocery shopping, just because you think food prices are too high?Crazy. https://t.co/ZGOl27tkPb
'-- The Food Professor (@FoodProfessor) January 10, 2023"You think it is appropriate to shoplift while grocery shopping, just because you think food prices are too high? Crazy," wrote Charlebois when retweeting the author of the aforementioned tweet, who had been responding to another reponse on his recent grocery theft article.
Since they went live around 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, these words from the professor have now been viewed more than 6.2 million times, soliciting more than 4,300 replies but less than 1,000 likes.
The majority of people commenting on the thread appear to disagree strongly with the assertion that shoplifting from grocery stores right now is "crazy," as Charlebois put it.
"You think it's appropriate to raise food prices while people starve? Crazy," replied one Twitter user.
"I dunno, boss," wrote another. "I think suggesting that people should starve rather than take what they need from the billion dollar corporations ain't gonna get people on your side."
at no point did i agree to a system that expects money in exchange for food, a human right, so yeah shoplifting is fine and good
'-- Cryptà>>-Zà° à° là>>gᴉcal Dis'…ter 🏴 (@EatYrselfFitter) January 11, 2023Many appear to be of the mind right now that shoplifting is an appropriate response to what's been happening with grocery prices in Canada, and that consumers should avoid ratting on those who steal, as they may be in a desperate situation.
The correct response to seeing someone ''stealing'' food, especially baby food is to *not* see it. I worked in retail for years. Supermarkets waste more than is stolen. They call it shrink. You're already subsidising loss at the till; don't worry about it.
'-- Jim Egan (@gungajim1) January 12, 2023Others are going after Charlebois personally, decrying him as a shill for Galen Weston's Loblaw Companies Ltd. and surfacing how much money he makes per year (a lot.)
You make $221,562 annually. pic.twitter.com/72WIKFLPBl
'-- Dylan (@LDTG117) January 11, 2023"On the one hand, people who are starving. On the other hand, grocery chains making record profits," wrote one person in response to the professor's viral tweet.
"Takes a real dork *ss loser to take the side of the grocery chains."
Me, a simple man: ''is it a sin to steal bread to feed your family?''This guy, confidently : https://t.co/db6B1f5aKP pic.twitter.com/jAys6aZl10
'-- Tim (@tjm585) January 13, 2023Many debates are now raging within the thread about the merits of capitalism, human rights, corporate greed, excessive food waste and who, exactly, is the bad guy in all of this.
I tell you what. pic.twitter.com/anNOJaRNMJ
'-- The Six of the New Year (@SixOnTheOther) January 11, 2023"Laws are created to serve wealthy and/or powerful and in this case do nothing to protect most vulnerable," wrote a Toronto-based doctor in response to Charlebois.
"Charging a poor person who steals food for survival does nothing to address poverty and reinforces wealth of those who exploited pandemic to steal from all of us."
"Shoplift" is another word rich people invented to guilt trip exploited people from taking what has been stolen from them.Those stores appropriate common resources, then throw food away to keep prices artificially high. https://t.co/yrFWllJgq2 pic.twitter.com/GZE1BGgivL
'-- 🇨🇴á>>Œlá¹£¹pá>>Ì Ajia🇨🇴 (@idrismonsur) January 13, 2023Many retweeting the thread are including the phrase "if you see someone shoplifting, no you didn't," to express how they feel about reporting these crimes under current circumstances.
pic.twitter.com/ufWqDrvXgW
'-- TrudeBot v1.0 🤖 #ElectricSheepDreamer (@TrudePerkins) January 12, 2023Compassionate as many Canadians may be, it's important to note that shoplifting is a federal offence, punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada with fines of up to $2,000 and potential jail time.
The fact that more people than ever are willing to risk landing this charge to put food on their tables is, perhaps, something worth paying more attention to '-- and doing something about '-- than Galen Weston's potential profit losses.
Tory think tank Bright Blue calls for 'minimum income' - BBC News
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 15:58
Image source, Getty ImagesBy Ione Wells
Political correspondent
A Conservative think tank has said the welfare system is not providing enough support for people, and has called for the introduction of a "minimum income".
Bright Blue, backed by some senior Tory MPs, says households need a minimum income to meet the cost of living.
Former Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb said the welfare system has "significant gaps and weaknesses".
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) insists it still "offers a vital safety net to millions of people".
The government is currently considering options to reform the welfare system to encourage more people back into employment.
One option is letting people continue to claim sickness and disability benefits even if they find work, with a source telling the BBC there has to be a "radical rewiring" of how the benefits system operates.
A Health and Disability White Paper detailing the new plans - which are yet to be finalised - is expected later this year.
Labour has outlined plans to reform the system should it win power, announcing that claimants who take a job but then have to stop working within a year would not have to undergo another capability assessment to claim benefits again.
What does the report say?
The new report by Bright Blue was guided by a cross-party commission of politicians, including Tory MPs Mr Crabb and Shaun Bailey and Labour's Baroness Lister.
It calls for the introduction of a "minimum living income", with benchmarks for different types of households - similar to national living wage rates for people of different age groups.
The report recommends that the government's advisory committee on social security should then recommend minimum levels of uprating - or payments - to make sure households meet this minimum income.
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, The DWP says it recognises the pressures of rising living costs, and has delivered direct help to those most in need
It argues that caps on benefits should be reviewed periodically to check whether they are affecting people's ability to meet the cost of living, and that a benchmark should be set under which benefits cannot fall, even if the recipient was sanctioned.
Secondly, the report calls for a new digital platform for Universal Credit claimants, which would process all benefits and grants available to low-income working age adults.
It says this could notify claimants when they might be eligible for more support, and give people more control on how often - and where - they receive their benefit payments.
Thirdly, it argues that the government should introduce a new "Contribution Element" to Universal Credit.
They propose this could involve a new category of National Insurance that employees could voluntary opt-out of.
It would mean if people paid into the scheme and then found themselves unemployed they could receive more generous support in return than the current Jobseeker's Allowance currently allows.
Bright Blue says its report was based on extensive polling of Labour and Conservative voters, and of think tanks, over several years.
System 'meant to fail people'
In a statement, the DWP said it recognised the pressures of rising living costs, and delivered "£1,200 of direct help to those most in need this financial year, including £400 towards energy costs".
It added that benefits would be increased in April by 10.1%, in line with inflation, and other schemes were in place to help households with essential costs.
Aga, who has relied on Universal Credit since she was made redundant, told the BBC she "immediately felt like the social security system [was] meant to fail people".
"The process of accessing Universal Credit, and other forms of support, can be difficult and unclear," she said.
"With this lack of clarity, I am left feeling like I have no control and there is no-one who can help me and guide me. It leads to situations where I can't even afford to buy coats for my children this winter."
"I have tried to leave Universal Credit, whether through self-employed work or other means, but I am scared of what this will mean," she added. "Will I still be able to support my family and what happens if I need UC? Will it still continue to help me? I'm not sure."
Mr Crabb, who was the secretary of state responsible for the welfare system in 2016, said: "Our social security system continues to do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to shielding families from extreme poverty. But it is clear significant gaps and weaknesses in provision remain."
"The proposed social security digital platform will improve accessibility to the full range of benefits and a serious discussion about a positive contributory system could open the door to a fairer system overall," he added.
George Soros Suddenly Pulling Out of Davos Raises Questions
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 15:57
What To Know About The 2023 World Economic Forum In Davos
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George Soros' absence from the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland has prompted questions and fresh conspiracy theories about the event.
The billionaire financier tweeted on January 10 that his absence was "due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict," adding that he planned to deliver a speech in Munich on February 16'--a full calendar month after the WEF annual meeting began.
His non-attendance'--alongside inaccurate claims that the WEF's founder, Klaus Schwab, was also not attending his own conference'--has fuelled unfounded speculation on social media that Soros' absence was premeditated to avoid a catastrophic event.
"Is something going down?" Lavern Spicer, a Republican candidate in Florida, wondered on Twitter. "Something is brewing..." wrote James Bradley, a GOP candidate in California.
Soros' wealth, his Jewish background and the volume of his political and philanthropic donations have made him a prime target for conspiracy theories, many of which center around him being part of a global cabal that seeks to create a new world order.
Through his Open Society Foundations, grant-giving organisations, Soros has distributed $32 billion, and was the largest individual donor in the 2022 midterms, having earlier donated vast sums to Democrat presidential bids. His role as a generous benefactor to many causes has spurred theories that he uses his wealth to influence global affairs.
Soros'--a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor'--has, without evidence, been accused of being a Nazi collaborator by the likes of actress Roseanne Barr and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, a claim he has publicly refuted, as well as funding migrant crises in the U.S. and Europe.
The list goes on, with conspiracy theorists, particularly those among the QAnon movement, which promotes the view of a new world order cabal, attributing mostly anything'--from coronavirus being a means of population control, to funding civil unrest'--to Soros.
His absence from Davos has prompted fresh claims that the globalist cabal is planning something that would help bring about a new world order.
"You'll know we're in deep doo doo, if the plane trackers catch him and his cult brethren flying to their New Zealand bunkers," @RightKingTodd tweeted in response to the news.
Some have even gone further, suggesting a manufactured terrorist attack may take place at the meeting of world leaders. "I think there could be a massive security/terrorist event at Davos this week," Josh Reid, figurehead of the Redpill Project, a conspiracy theory outlet, wrote on Telegram.
"False flag incoming," @Jrseeker1963 wrote on Twitter.
If Soros were aware of a false-flag operation against the WEF, it would beg the question as to why his son, Alexander, chair of the Open Society Foundations, is attending the conference and has posted about his presence on social media.
Soros, meanwhile, is not the only international figure to shrug off the meeting: Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will not be joining other world leaders there, and neither will Rishi Sunak, the U.K. Prime Minister, French President Emmanuel Macron or Brazil's new president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
(C) FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab delivers a speech during the "Crystal Award" ceremony at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on January 16, 2023. It was erroneously suggested that Schwab would not be attending his own annual meeting. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images The dwindling popularity of the conference, with the backdrop of a war in Ukraine and a heavily sanctioned Russia, suggests that its vision for a globalised society may be waning in the current geopolitical climate.
The decline may also be a matter of relevance. Schwab, 84, has been the WEF's leader since he founded the organisation in 1971, and is reportedly reluctant to discuss his successor. Schwab's synonymity with Davos, and his advancing years, may risk tying the future of the conference to his own.
"Everyone's talking about it," one anonymous WEF strategic partner told Politico news outlet. "And the whole thing [WEF] could fall apart if they don't sort it out."
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FDA no longer needs to require animal tests before human drug trials | Science | AAAS
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 15:52
New medicines need not be tested in animals to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, according to legislation signed by President Joe Biden in late December 2022. The change'--long sought by animal welfare organizations'--could signal a major shift away from animal use after more than 80 years of drug safety regulation.
''This is huge,'' says Tamara Drake, director of research and regulatory policy at the Center for a Humane Economy, a nonprofit animal welfare organization and key driver of the legislation. ''It's a win for industry. It's a win for patients in need of cures.''
In place of the 1938 stipulation that potential drugs be tested for safety and efficacy in animals, the law allows FDA to promote a drug or biologic'--a larger molecule such as an antibody'--to human trials after either animal or nonanimal tests. Drake's group and the nonprofit Animal Wellness Action, among others that pushed for changes, argue that in clearing drugs for human trials the agency should rely more heavily on computer modeling, ''organ chips,'' and other nonanimal methods that have been developed over the past 10 to 15 years.
But pro-research groups are downplaying the law, saying it signals a slow turning of the tide'--not a tsunami that will remake the drug approval process overnight. Jim Newman, communications director at Americans for Medical Progress, which advocates for animal research, argues non-animal technologies are still ''in their infancy'' and won't be able to replace animal models for ''many, many years.'' FDA still retains tremendous discretion to require animal tests, he notes, and he doesn't expect the agency to change tack anytime soon.
In order for a drug to be approved in the United States, FDA typically requires toxicity tests on one rodent species such as a mouse or rat and one nonrodent species such as a monkey or dog. Companies use tens of thousands of animals for such tests each year. Yet more than nine in 10 drugs that enter human clinical trials fail because they are unsafe or ineffective, providing grist to those who argue that animal experiments are a waste of time, money, and lives.
''Animal models are wrong more often than they are right,'' says Don Ingber, a Harvard University bioengineer whose lab developed organ chip technology now being commercialized by the company Emulate, where he sits on the board and owns stock.
Such chips typically consist of hollow channels embedded in silicone-based polymers about the size of a computer thumb drive. The channels are lined with living cells and tissues from organs such as the brain, liver, lung, and kidney. Fluids flow through them to mimic blood flowing through tiny vessels and fluid tracking through tissues, as it does in living organs. In the body, drug damage often shows up in the liver because it breaks down drugs for excretion. A human liver chip can warn of such toxicity when an experimental drug pumped through it damages the cells.
A liver chip made by Emulate contains cells and fluids found in the human liver. EMULATE Last month, Lorna Ewart, chief scientific officer at Emulate, Ingber, and colleagues published a study highlighting the potential of this technology. The company's liver chips correctly identified 87% of a variety of drugs that were moved into humans after animal studies, but then either failed in clinical trials because they were toxic to the liver or were approved for market but then withdrawn or scaled back because of liver damage. The chips didn't falsely flag any nontoxic drugs.
Other animal alternatives include organoids'--hollow, 3D clusters of cells that are derived from stem cells and mimic specific tissues. They have shown promise in predicting liver and cardiac toxicities. Proponents also tout the potential of digital artificial neural networks for rapidly identifying the toxic effects of drugs.
Some drug companies have chafed at FDA's animal testing requirement, arguing that animal studies cost them millions of dollars, slowing drug development and making the medicines that do reach the market far more expensive. In 2019, Vanda Pharmaceuticals sued the agency, charging that its requirement of additional toxicity testing of an antinausea drug in dogs was unreasonable. A U.S. judge ruled against the company in 2020, citing the animal testing requirement in what was then the law governing FDA's drug assessments.
Now, that requirement is gone. In eliminating it, Congress seems to have responded to the emergence of nonanimal methods and growing public sentiment against animal research. Senator Rand Paul (R''KY) and Senator Cory Booker (D''NJ), who both call animal research inefficient and inhumane, introduced the changes, which the Senate passed by unanimous consent in September 2022. In December, Biden signed them into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which funds the government through this fiscal year.
Wendy Jarrett, CEO of Understanding Animal Research, an animal research advocacy group based in the United Kingdom, doesn't share animal advocates' delight at the changes. She says non-animal methods can't capture all the ways a drug might put human trial participants at risk. ''We can drop a new [candidate drug] onto a bunch of liver cells. And we can see that it doesn't damage them,'' she says. ''But what we don't know is whether it's going to make the person cough, whether it's going to damage their intestines or their brain.''
FDA's chief scientist says the agency is in favor of trying to move away from animal testing'--when other approaches are ready. ''We support alternative methods that are backed by science and provide the necessary data showing whether products are safe and effective,'' Namandj(C) Bumpus says. ''We continue to encourage developers working on alternative methods to present their work to the FDA.'' She also notes that the agency requested and received $5 million this year to launch an FDA-wide program to develop methods to replace, reduce, and refine animal testing.
Still, it remains unclear just how much the new law will change things at FDA. Although the legislation allows the agency to clear a drug for human trials without animal testing, it doesn't require that it do so. What's more, FDA's toxicologists are famously conservative, preferring animal tests in part because they allow examination of a potential drug's toxic effects in every organ after the animal is euthanized.
The main impact of the new law is that it opens the way for FDA and a company to have a serious discussion about whether alternatives are adequate, says Steven Grossman, a former deputy assistant secretary of health who advises companies on their FDA applications. ''It provides a little additional authority. It says in law: 'Congress is cool that these discussions are going on.'''
Madonna accused of child trafficking, pornography - Entertainment News
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 15:37
Pop star Madonna has been accused of child trafficking under the garb of running her orphanage named Raising Malawi. This news came to the fore as the Ethiopian World Federation urged Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera to order an investigation into the ''homosexual and transgender allegations over the adoption of the Malawian children for possible 'human trafficking and social experiments''.
The Ethiopian World Federation has since asked the country's president to restrict the pop star and her company to have restricted ''accessibility to Africa and to African children as precautionary measure until a thorough investigation is done into child trafficking, sex exploitation, sexual slavery, adoption reversal, threat of coercion, fraud, deception and abuse of power or vulnerability''.
The Ethiopian World Federation petition states of Madonna that the ''psychology behind her ability to release child pornography, religious imagery, bestiality and vulgar pornography has prompted her to open an orphanage in Malawi named 'Raising Malawi' in 2006 to host social experiments on vulnerable African children in Malawi''.
The petition makes references to a book that Madonna wrote in 1992 called 'SEX', which ''features adult content including softcore pornography and simulations of sexual acts including sadomasochism (the derivation of sexual gratification from the infliction of physical pain or humiliation either on another person or on oneself)''.
''Gay porn stars were photographed in pornographic pictures with Madonna performing vulgar sex acts with the same sex which should have been disclosed during her adoption case in 2006 in Lilongwe, Malawi. Madonna had to sign a contract that forbade the book from including images of child pornography, bestiality, or religious imagery. Shortly after signing that agreement, Madonna founded a company called Maverick, a partnership with Time Warner. She now holds total artistic control over any work released by Maverick, who is now the book's publisher. The agreement she signed with Time Warner with the sexually explicit content in the book was null and void''.
The Planetary Health Diet - EAT
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 14:50
The planetary health diet is a global reference diet for adults that is symbolically represented by half a plate of fruits and vegetables.
The other half consists of primarily whole grains, plant proteins (beans, lentils, pulses, nuts), unsaturated plant oils, modest amounts of meat and dairy, and some added sugars and starchy vegetables.
The diet is quite flexible and allows for adaptation to dietary needs, personal preferences and cultural traditions. Vegetarian and vegan diets are two healthy options within the planetary health diet but are personal choices.
Learn more: The EAT-Lancet Summary Report.
The Planetary Health ChallengeThe #planetaryhealthchallenge is based on the EAT-Lancet findings that introduce the planetary health diet '' the optimal diet for people and planet. Join us by eating more vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts. You can find the recipes here!
Every day we hope to inspire you with practical tips, tempting recipes, interviews with cool chefs, podcast episodes or other surprises. Let's waste less food and eat more plants! Who is with us? Follow us on Instagram @eatfoundation for more.
Join the movementThe diet is not set in stone. Adjust it to where you live and what you like. Share recipes, meals, motivation and struggles with us by using #planetaryhealthchallenge on Instagram.
Take Action & Join the Movement:EAT's new podcast: Let's Rethink Food!EAT x Iman Meskini: How to eat to save the world EAT's Instagram: Get updates and get involvedEAT-Lancet Report: Read the Summary ReportEAT's blog: Read how Dr. Sonja Vermeulen explored the diet
Viagra users are 25% less likely to suffer early death | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 14:33
The little blue pill is good for more than just one body part.
Viagra lowers the risk of heart disease in men by up to 39 percent, according to a new study. And men who take the drug also appear less likely to suffer an early death from any cause.
Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) looked at 70,000 adult men with an average age of 52, all of whom had an erectile dysfunction diagnosis at some point in their life.
Experts believe the drug increases blood flow into the heart's arteries and improves oxygen flow throughout the body. For this reason, previous research has also linked the use of Viagra to a decreased risk of Alzheimer's, which can be caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain.
Using ED drugs such as Viagra can significantly reduce a person's likelihood of suffering severe heart conditions and dying an early death, a new study suggests (file photo)
While the results of this study are promising, physicians do not recommend taking the drug off-label and it has only been approved for treating ED.
The medication works by relaxing muscles in a man's penis, which allows the flow of more blood to it. It also thins the blood, making it flow easier in the body.
When aroused, the increase in blood flow allows for the man to have a stronger erection.
Elderly men are more likely to suffer high blood pressure and other issues that thicken the blood and reduce its flow around the body.
In turn, they will often suffer from ED because of these conditions.
The latest study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, gathered data from over 70,000 men diagnosed with ED from 2006 to 2020.
Using medical records, they determined which had taken ED drugs - and any subsequent heart problems they may have suffered during the follow-up period.
Among the population, 23,816 used the drugs to help in the bedroom, while 48,682 others did not.
They found that those who used these medications were less likely to suffer heart issues after adjusting for factors such as race, height and weight.
Overall, deaths from heart conditions steeply dropped by almost 40 percent.
Users of ED drugs were also 17 percent less likely to suffer heart failure - when the heart does not pump as well as it should.
Users were 15 percent likely to require a coronary revascularization procedure - used to clear blockages in the heart's arteries - down the line.
There was also a 22 percent decreased likelihood of developing unstable angina, when plaque in the coronary artery denies oxygen and blood to the heart.
Each of these conditions can be deadly if left untreated and significantly increase the likelihood of a person suffering a fatal heart attack.
Men who used ED drugs also lived longer on average, with their risk of early death dropping by a quarter over the study period.
'[Use of the drugs] was associated with lower incidence of [heart complications], cardiovascular death, and overall mortality risk compared to non-exposure,' researchers wrote.
While researchers did not investigate why the medications were linked to better heart health, they cite previous research in their speculations.
This found that use of the drugs lowers a person's blood pressure, which helps flow throughout the body and decreases the risk of clotting and other blockages that cause severe heart problems.
This is because the drug thins the blood in order to help it flow to the penis, leading to stronger erections.
It also improves flow through the brachial artery, a major blood vessel that supplies blood to the upper arm, elbow and hand.
Studies on mice cited by the researchers found that those exposed to the drugs suffered less severe heart attacks.
Increase in blood flow can be good for the brain too. A 2014 study found men who used the drugs suffered a decreased risk of developing dementia.
A Danish study in 2018 found that 52 percent of men will suffer from ED at some point, with the risk increasing with age.
It is estimated that more than 10million American men, and 40million men worldwide, suffer from the condition now.
Many men will use drugs like Viagra or Cialis to handle these problems.
While data is flimsy, there are anecdotal reports of younger men in their 20s even turning to the drugs to deal with performance anxiety and other issues in the bedroom.
Why Viagra use has grown in men under 30: Little blue pills are becoming readily available on the internet Viagra is more widely available in America than ever, and with the rise of telehealth platforms that allow a man to easily and discretely receive a prescription for the little blue pill online - younger men are also using the drug more than ever.
The drug, which has been manufactured by pharma-giant Pfizer since it first hit the market in 1998, was initially for older men dealing with erectile dysfunction.
It's use among young men has grown in recent years as well, though, as rates of mild to moderate erectile dysfunction have reached up to 20 percent among men in their 20s and 30 percent among those in their 30s, according to City Care Family Practice.
Younger men may feel reservations about approaching their doctor about the issue, though.
This has led to the rise of companies like Hims, Lemonaid and Roman, which allow a person to quickly get a prescription for the drug after an online consultation.
While the drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and deemed ok for proper use by regulators, it - like all drugs - can be dangerous if misused.
It can cause priapism, where a person has an erection that lasts for hours and causes permanent damage to the penis. It also has a few dangerous interactions with drugs for high cholesterol.
Thunberg says Davos elite 'fuelling destruction of planet'
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 14:32
/ Live news Issued on: 19/01/2023 - 02:42 Modified: 19/01/2023 - 13:29
Thunberg and fellow climate activists present a petition asking fossil fuel companies to "Cease and Desist" their activities (C) Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP Davos (Switzerland) (AFP) '' Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg slammed business and political leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, saying it was "absurd" to listen to them while they fuelled "the destruction of the planet".
Two days after police briefly detained her at a protest against a coal mine in Germany, Thunberg and other young campaigners took part in a debate on the sidelines of the summit of global investors, CEOs and political leaders in the Swiss Alps.
"We are right now in Davos where (there are) basically the people who are mostly fuelling the destruction of the planet," the 20-year-old said, explaining that the world should not rely on them "for solving our problems".
She added that it was "absurd ... we seem to be listening to them rather than the people who are actually affected by the climate crisis".
"Without massive public pressure from the outside, these people are going to go as far as they possibly can... They will continue to throw people under the bus for their own gain," she said.
The Swede spoke on the sidelines of the WEF with fellow activists Helena Gualinga of Ecuador, Vanessa Nakate of Uganda and Luisa Neubauer of Germany at a CNBC panel that included International Energy Agency head Fatih Birol.
The Swede made a splash when she attended the forum as a teenager in January 2020, warning that "our house is still on fire" and complaining that her demands had been "completely ignored".
Then-US president Donald Trump used his speech at the same forum to bash "the perennial prophets of doom" as Thunberg looked on stony-faced from the audience.
This week, she and Gualinga, Nakate and Neubauer launched an online petition demanding that energy firms stop any new oil, gas or coal extraction projects -- or face possible legal action.
More than 900,000 people had signed the petition by Thursday.
"We are taking a very dangerous path. We are already seeing how people are suffering on the ground," Gualinga said.
"It's completely insane that we are allowing this and we have people here in Davos that are enabling that, through government, through investing in fossil fuel and at some point there needs to be a stop. This is criminal behaviour," she said.
Big Oil's 'big lie'Birol, as head of a multilateral energy agency that advises mostly Western governments, said that his presence alongside activists was "a very important signal that I want to give the world".
"We have to see that the climate change needs to get more attention. Unfortunately, the attention to climate change is sliding down," he said.
The energy sector had to be transformed or "we have no chance whatsoever to reach our climate targets".
The IEA said in a report in October that the energy crisis triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine was causing changes that could hasten the transition to a "more sustainable and secure energy system".
Thunberg was among a group of people hauled away by police on Tuesday during a protest near the German village of Luetzerath, which is being razed to make way for a coal mine expansion. They were not formally arrested.
Her actions were praised in Davos by former US vice president Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change.
"I agree with her efforts to stop that coal mine," Gore told a panel discussion on global warming, adding that young people around the world despaired of efforts by leaders to tackle the climate crisis.
"We are not winning" the fight against global warming, he said.
Climate change is a major topic at the World Economic Forum, where businesses and governments have come under pressure to do more to ensure that the world meets the increasingly elusive goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
In a speech on Wednesday, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres drew a parallel between the actions of oil companies and those of tobacco firms, which were eventually hit by costly lawsuits over the harmful effects of cigarettes.
Guterres pointed to a study published in the journal Science last week that said ExxonMobil had dismissed the findings of its own scientists, who had accurately predicted global warming due to fossil fuels as far back as the late 1970s.
"Some in Big Oil peddled the big lie," he said. "And like the tobacco industry, those responsible must be held to account."
(C) 2023 AFP
Viruses | Free Full-Text | The Combination of Bromelain and Acetylcysteine (BromAc) Synergistically Inactivates SARS-CoV-2
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 13:39
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by
1,2,'
, 3,' , 2,' , 1,4,' , 1,5 , 1,2,5 , 3,6,' , 1,2,5,' and 1,2,5,*,' 1
Department of Surgery, St. George Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2217, Australia
2
Mucpharm Pty Ltd., Sydney, NSW 2217, Australia
3
CIRI, Centre International de Recherche en Infectiologie, Team VirPatH, Univ Lyon, Inserm, U1111, Universit(C) Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS, UMR5308, ENS de Lyon, F-69007 Lyon, France
4
Hospices Civils de Lyon, EMR 3738 (CICLY), Lyon 1 Universit(C), F-69921 Lyon, France
5
St. George & Sutherland Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2217, Australia
6
Laboratoire de Virologie, Institut des Agents Infectieux (IAI), Hospices Civils de Lyon, Groupement Hospitalier Nord, F-69004 Lyon, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
'
These authors contributed equally to this work.
'
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 31 January 2021 / Revised: 25 February 2021 / Accepted: 1 March 2021 / Published: 6 March 2021
Abstract:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection is the cause of a worldwide pandemic, currently with limited therapeutic options. The spike glycoprotein and envelope protein of SARS-CoV-2, containing disulfide bridges for stabilization, represent an attractive target as they are essential for binding to the ACE2 receptor in host cells present in the nasal mucosa. Bromelain and Acetylcysteine (BromAc) has synergistic action against glycoproteins by breakage of glycosidic linkages and disulfide bonds. We sought to determine the effect of BromAc on the spike and envelope proteins and its potential to reduce infectivity in host cells. Recombinant spike and envelope SARS-CoV-2 proteins were disrupted by BromAc. Spike and envelope protein disulfide bonds were reduced by Acetylcysteine. In in vitro whole virus culture of both wild-type and spike mutants, SARS-CoV-2 demonstrated a concentration-dependent inactivation from BromAc treatment but not from single agents. Clinical testing through nasal administration in patients with early SARS-CoV-2 infection is imminent.
1. IntroductionThe recently emergent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which can range from asymptomatic to severe and lethal forms with a systemic inflammatory response syndrome. As of 21 February 2021, over 111 million confirmed cases have been reported, with an estimated overall mortality of 2.2% [
1]. There are currently few therapeutic agents proven to be beneficial in reducing early- and late-stage disease progression [
2]. While there are fortunately many vaccine candidates, their widespread availability for vaccination may not be immediate, the length of immune protection may be limited [
3,
4], and the efficacy of the vaccines may be reduced by novel SARS-CoV-2 variants. The continued exploration of effective treatments is therefore still needed.
Structurally, SARS-CoV-2 contains surface spike proteins, membrane proteins, and envelope proteins, as well as internal nucleoproteins that package the RNA. The spike protein is a homotrimer glycoprotein complex with different roles accomplished through dynamic conformational modifications, based in part on disulfide bonds [
5]. It allows the infection of target cells by binding to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2) receptors, among others, which triggers proteolysis by transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), furin, and perhaps other proteases, leading to virion and host cell membrane fusion [
6,
7].
The entry of viruses into mammalian cells, or ''virus internalization'', is a key mechanism of enveloped virus infection and is based on dynamic conformational changes of their surface glycoproteins, namely, as mediated by disulfide bond reduction and regulated by cell surface oxydoreductases and proteases [
5,
8,
9,
10,
11]. SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells has been shown to start with destabilization of the spike protein through allosteric mechanical transition, which induces a conformational change from the closed ''down'' state to open ''up'' state of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein [
12,
13]. The conformational changes of RBD and virus binding are induced by TMPRSS2 or Cathepsin L, which trigger the transition from the pre-fusion to post-fusion state [
5,
12,
13]. The energy liberated by disulfide bond reduction increases protein flexibility, which is maximal when the reduced state is complete [
8], thus allowing the fusion of host''virus membranes, which is otherwise impossible due to the repulsive hydration forces present before reduction [
5].
Bromelain is extracted mainly from the stem of the pineapple plant (
Ananas comosus
) and contains a number of enzymes that give it the ability to hydrolyze glycosidic bonds in complex carbohydrates [
14]. Previous studies have indicated that Bromelain removes the spike and hemagglutinin proteins of Semliki Forest virus, Sindbis virus, mouse gastrointestinal coronavirus, hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus, and H1N1 influenza viruses [
15,
16]. As a therapeutic molecule, it is used for debriding burns. Acetylcysteine is a powerful antioxidant that is commonly nebulized into the airways for mucus accumulation and is also used as a hepatoprotective agent in paracetamol overdose. Most importantly in the present context, Acetylcysteine reduces disulfide bonds [
17]. Moreover, the association of the spike and envelope proteins by their respective triple cysteine motifs warrants the hypothesis of impacting virion stability following disulfide bridge disruption by the action of Acetylcysteine [
18]. The combination of Bromelain and Acetylcysteine (BromAc) exhibits a synergistic mucolytic effect that is used in the treatment of mucinous tumors [
19,
20] and as a chemosensitizer of several anticancer drugs [
21]. These different actions are due to the ability of BromAc to unfold the molecular structures of complex glycoproteins, thus allowing binding to occur because of the high affinity between RBD and ACE2.
Therefore, in the current study we set out to determine whether BromAc can disrupt the integrity of SARS-CoV-2 spike and envelope proteins and subsequently examine its inactivation potential against in vitro replication of two viral strains, including one with a spike mutant alteration of the novel S1/S2 cleavage site.
2. Materials and Methods 2.1. MaterialsBromelain API was manufactured by Mucpharm Pty Ltd (Kogarah, Australia) as a sterile powder. Acetylcysteine was purchased from Link Pharma (Cat# AUST R 170803; Warriewood, Australia). The recombinant SARS-COV-2 spike protein was obtained from SinoBiological (Cat# 40589-V08B1; Beijing, China). The recombinant envelope protein was obtained from MyBioSource (Cat# MBS8309649; San Diego, CA, USA). All other reagents were from Sigma Aldrich (St. Louis, MO, USA).
2.2. Recombinant Spike and Envelope Gel Electrophoresis The spike or envelope proteins were reconstituted in sterile distilled water according to the manufacturer's instructions, and aliquots were frozen at ''20 °C. Two and a half micrograms of spike or envelope protein were incubated with 50 or 100 µg/mL Bromelain, 20 mg/mL Acetylcysteine, or a combination of both in Milli-Q water. The control contained no drugs. The total reaction volume was 15 µL each. After 30 min incubation at 37 °C, 5 µL of sample buffer was added into each reaction. A total of 20 µL of each reaction was electrophoresed on an SDS-PAGE (Cat# 456-1095; Bio-Rad Hercules, CA, USA). The gels were stained using Coomassie blue.
2.3. UV Spectral Detection of Disulfide Bonds in Spike and Envelope ProteinsThe method of Iyer and Klee for the measurement of the rate of reduction of disulfide bonds has been used to detect disulfide bonds in spike and envelope proteins [
22]. The recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein at a concentration of 3.0 µg/mL in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) (pH 7.0) containing 1 mM ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) was incubated with 0, 10, 20, 40, and 50 µL of Acetylcysteine (0.5 M), agitated at 37 °C for 30 min followed by equivalent addition of Dithiothreitol (DTT) (0.5 M), and agitated for a further 30 min at 37 °C. The spike protein was incubated in parallel only with DTT (0.5 M) as before without any Acetylcysteine and agitated at 37 °C for 30 min. The absorbance was then read at 310 nm. UV spectral detection of disulfide bonds in the envelope protein was performed in a similar manner.
2.4. SARS-CoV-2 Whole Virus Inactivation with BromAc Fully respecting the World Health Organization (WHO) interim biosafety guidance related to the coronavirus disease, the SARS-CoV-2 whole virus inactivation tests were carried out with a wild-type (WT) strain representative of early circulating European viruses (GISAID accession number EPI_ISL_578176). A second SARS-CoV-2 strain (denoted as '†S), reported through routine genomic surveillance in the Auvergne-Rh´ne-Alpes region of France, was added to the inactivation tests due to a rare mutation in the spike S1/S2 cleavage site and its culture availability in the laboratory (GISAID accession number EPI_ISL_578177).
These tests were conducted with incremental concentrations of Bromelain alone (0, 25, 50, 100, and 250 µg/mL), Acetylcysteine alone (20 mg/mL), and the cross-reaction of the different Bromelain concentrations combined with a constant 20 mg/mL Acetylcysteine formulation, against two virus culture dilutions at 105.5 and 104.5 TCID50/mL. Following 1 h of drug exposure at 37 °C, all conditions, including the control, were diluted 100-fold to avoid cytotoxicity, inoculated in quadruplicate on confluent Vero cells (CCL-81; ATCC(C), Manassas, VA, USA), and incubated for 5 days at 36 °C with 5% CO2. Cells were maintained in Eagle's minimal essential medium (EMEM) with 2% Penicillin-Streptomycin, 1% L-glutamine, and 2% inactivated fetal bovine serum. Results were obtained by daily optical microscopy observations, an end-point cell lysis staining assay, and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of supernatant RNA extracts. Briefly, the end-point cell lysis staining assay consisted of adding Neutral Red dye (Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany) to cell monolayers, incubating at 37 °C for 45 min, washing with PBS, and adding citrate ethanol before optical density (OD) was measured at 540 nm (Labsystems Multiskan Ascent Reader, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA, USA). OD was directly proportional to viable cells, so a low OD would signify important cell lysis due to virus replication. In addition, RNA from well supernatants was extracted by the semi-automated eMAG® workstation (bioM(C)rieux, Lyon, FR), and SARS-CoV-2 RdRp IP2-targeted RdRp Institute Pasteur RT-PCR was performed on a QuantStudio' 5 System (Applied Biosystems, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Foster City, CA, USA). Log10 reduction values (LRV) of viral replication were calculated by the difference between treatment and control wells per condition divided by 3.3 (as 1 log10 '‰ 3.3 PCR Cycle thresholds (Ct)).
2.5. Replication Kinetics by Real-Time Cell AnalysisTo compare the in vitro replication capacity of both WT and '†S SARS-CoV-2 strains, replication kinetics were determined by measuring the electrode impedance of microelectronic cell sensors on the xCELLigence Real-Time Cell Analyzer (RTCA) DP Instrument (ACEA Biosciences, Inc., San Diego, CA, USA). Vero cells were seeded at 20,000 cells per well on an E-Plate 16 (ACEA Biosciences, Inc., San Diego, CA, USA) and incubated with the same media conditions as described previously at 36 °C with 5% CO2. After 24 h, SARS-CoV-2 culture isolates were inoculated in triplicate at a multiplicity of infection of 10''2. Mock infections were performed in quadruplicate. Electronic impedance data (cell index) were continuously collected at 15-min intervals for 6 days. Area under the curve analysis of normalized cell index, established at time of inoculation, was then calculated at 12-h intervals. At each interval, cell viability was determined by normalizing against the corresponding cell control. Tukey multiple comparison tests were used to compare each condition on GraphPad Prism (software version 9.0; San Diego, CA, USA).
3. Results 3.1. Alteration of SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Envelope ProteinsTreatment of the spike protein with Acetylcysteine alone did not show any alteration of the protein, whereas concentrations of Bromelain at 50 and 100 µg/mL and BromAc at 50 and 100 µg/20 mg/mL resulted in protein alteration (
Figure 1A). Treatment with Acetylcysteine on the envelope protein did not alter the protein, whereas treatment with Bromelain at 50 and 100 µg/mL and BromAc at 50 and 100 µg/20 mg/mL also resulted in near complete and complete fragmentation, respectively (
Figure 1A).
3.2. UV Spectral Detection Demonstrates the Alteration of Disulfide Bonds in Spike and Envelope Proteins The comparative reduction of disulfide bonds on the spike protein between DTT alone and DTT with Acetylcysteine demonstrated a 42% difference (
Figure 1B), based on the slope of the graphs [0.002599/0.006171 (100) = 42 %]. Acetylcysteine was thus able to reduce 58% of the disulfide linkages in the sample, after which the remaining disulfide bonds were reduced by DTT to produce the chromogen that was monitored in the spectra. Similarly, the differential assay between Acetylcysteine and DTT for the reduction of disulfide bonds found in the envelope protein [0.007866/0.01293 (100) = 60%] indicates that Acetylcysteine reduces 40% of the disulfide bonds before the addition of DTT (
Figure 1C).
3.3. In Vitro SARS-CoV-2 Inactivating Potential of Bromelain, Acetylcysteine, and BromAcFor both SARS-CoV-2 strains tested, the untreated virus controls at 10
5.5 and 10
4.5 TCID
50/mL yielded typical cytopathic effects (CPE), and no cytotoxicity was observed for any of the drug combinations on Vero cells. Optical CPE results were invariably confirmed by end-point Neutral Red cell staining. Overall, Bromelain and Acetylcysteine treatment alone showed no viral inhibition, all with CPE comparable to virus control wells, whereas BromAc combinations displayed virus inactivation in a concentration-dependent manner (
Figure 2). Treatment on 10
4.5 TCID
50/mL virus titers (
Figure 2B,D) yielded more consistent inhibition of CPE for quadruplicates than on 10
5.5 TCID
50/mL virus titers (
Figure 2A,C).
Based on the virus inactivation guidelines established by the WHO, a robust and reliable process of inactivation will be able to reduce replication by at least 4 logs [Log
10 reduction value (LRV) = (RT-PCR Ct treatment '' RT-PCR Ct control)/3.3; as 1 log
10 '‰ 3.3 Ct]. As such, RT-PCR was performed on the RNA extracts to directly measure virus replication. For the wild-type (WT) strain at 10
4.5 TCID
50/mL, successful LRV > 4 were observed with 1 out of 4 wells, 2 out of 4 wells, 3 out of 4 wells, and 4 out of 4 wells for 25, 50, 100 and 250 µg/20 mg/mL BromAc, respectively (
Figure 3). It is worth noting that at 10
5.5 TCID
50/mL, LRV were slightly below the threshold at, on average, 3.3, with 3 out of 4 wells and 2 out of 4 wells for 100 and 250 µg/20 mg/mL BromAc, respectively (
Table 1). For the spike protein mutant ('†S) at 10
4.5 TCID
50/mL, no successful LRV > 4 was observed for 25 µg/20 mg/mL BromAc, but it was observed in 4 out of 4 wells for 50, 100, and 250 µg/20 mg/mL BromAc (
Figure 3). Of note, at 10
5.5 TCID
50/mL, LRV were slightly below the threshold at, on average, 3.2, with 1 out of 4 wells, 2 out of 4 wells, and 4 out of 4 wells for 50, 100, and 250 µg/20 mg/mL BromAc, respectively (
Table 1). Overall, in vitro inactivation of both SARS-CoV-2 strains' replication capacity was observed in a dose-dependent manner, most strongly demonstrated at 100 and 250 µg/20 mg/mL BromAc against 10
4.5 TCID
50/mL of virus.
Real-time cell analysis demonstrated comparable replication kinetics for both WT and '†S SARS-CoV-2 strains (
Figure 4). No significant difference in cell viability was observed between WT and '†S at any time point. From 48 h post-infection, WT and '†S cell viability were significantly different compared to the mock infection (
p
< 0.05).
4. DiscussionThe combination of Bromelain and Acetylcysteine, BromAc, synergistically inhibited the infectivity of two SARS-CoV-2 strains cultured on Vero cells. Protein confirmation and its molecular properties are dependent on its structural and geometric integrity, which are dependent on both the peptide linkages and disulfide bridges. Acetylcysteine, as a good reducing agent, tends to reduce the disulfide bridges and hence alter the molecular properties of most proteins. This property has been widely exploited in the development of several therapies (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, allergic airways diseases, cystic fibrosis, pseudomyxoma peritonei, etc.) [
20,
23,
24,
25,
26,
27]. More recently, Acetylcysteine has been used in the development of therapies for respiratory infections such as influenza and COVID-19 [
28,
29,
30], where the integrity of the spike protein is vital for infection [
12,
13]. A hypothesized mechanism of action could be the unfolding of the spike glycoprotein and the reduction of its disulfide bonds.
The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is the cornerstone of virion binding to host cells and hence represents an ideal therapeutic target. A direct mechanical action against this spike protein is a different treatment strategy in comparison to most of the existing antiviral drugs, which prevents viral entry in host cells rather than targeting the replication machinery. BromAc acts as a biochemical agent to destroy complex glycoproteins. Bromelain's multipotent enzymatic competencies, dominated by the ability to disrupt glycosidic linkages, usefully complement Acetylcysteine's strong power to reduce disulfide bonds [
17]. Amino acid sequence analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein identified several predetermined sites where BromAc could preferentially act, such as the S2' site rich in disulfide bonds [
31], together with three other disulfide bonds in RBD [
32]. In parallel, the role of the glycosidic shield in covering the spike, which is prone to being removed by BromAc, has been highlighted as a stabilization element of RBD conformation transitions as well as a resistance mechanism to specific immune response [
5,
33,
34].
Mammalian cells exhibit reductive functions at their surface that are capable of cleaving disulfide bonds, and the regulation of this thiol-disulfide balance has been proven to impact the internalization of different types of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 [
8,
35,
36,
37,
38]. Both ACE2 and spike proteins possess disulfide bonds. When all the spike protein RBD disulfide bonds were reduced to thiols, ACE2 receptor binding to spike protein became less favorable [
8]. Interestingly, the reduction of ACE2 disulfide bonds also induced a decrease in binding [
8]. Moreover, other reports suggested that Bromelain alone could inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection in VeroE6 cells through an action on disulfide links [
39,
40]. As such, the loss of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity observed after pre-treatment with BromAc could be correlated to the cumulative unfolding of the spike and envelope proteins, with a significant reduction of their disulfide bonds by Acetylcysteine, demonstrated in vitro.
Interestingly, a similar effect of BromAc was observed against both WT and '†S SARS-CoV-2. The main difference in amino acid sequences between SARS-CoV-2 and previous SARS-CoV is the inclusion of a furin cleavage site between S1 and S2 domains [
41]. This distinct site of the spike protein and its role in host spill-over and virus fitness is a topic of much debate [
41,
42,
43,
44]. Of note, '†S, which harbors a mutation in this novel S1/S2 cleavage site and alters the cleavage motif, exhibits no apparent difference in replication capacity compared to the WT strain. The slightly increased sensitivity of '†S to BromAc treatment is therefore not due to a basal replication bias, but the mutation could perhaps be involved in enhancing the mechanism of action of BromAc. These results would nevertheless suggest that, from a threshold dose, BromAc could potentially be effective on spike mutant strains. This may be a clear advantage for BromAc over specific immunologic mechanisms of a spike-specific vaccination [
3,
4].
To date, different treatment strategies have been tested, but no molecules have demonstrated a clear antiviral effect. In addition, given the heterogeneous disease outcome of COVID-19 patients, the treatment strategy should combine several mechanisms of action and be adapted to the stage of the disease. Thus, treatment repurposing remains an ideal strategy against COVID-19, whilst waiting for sufficient vaccination coverage worldwide [
45,
46]. In particular, the development of early nasal-directed treatment prone to decreasing a patient's infectivity and preventing the progression towards severe pulmonary forms is supported by a strong rationale. Hou et al. demonstrated that the first site of infection is the nasopharyngeal mucosa, with secondary movement to the lungs by aspiration [
47]. Indeed, the pattern of infectivity of respiratory tract cells followed ACE2 receptor expression, decreasing from the upper respiratory tract to the alveolar tissue. The ratio for ACE2 was five-fold greater in the nose than in the distal respiratory tract [
40]. Other repurposing treatments as a nasal antiseptic have been tested in vitro, such as Povidone-Iodine, which has shown activity against SARS-CoV-2 [
48]. In the present study, we showed the in vitro therapeutic potential of BromAc against SARS-CoV-2 with a threshold efficient dose at 100 µg/20 mg/mL. As animal airway safety models in two species to date have exhibited no toxicity (unpublished data), the aim is to test nasal administration of the drug in a phase I clinical trial (ACTRN12620000788976). Such treatment could help mitigate mild infections and prevent infection of persons regularly in contact with the virus, such as health-care workers.
Although our results are encouraging, there are a number of points to consider regarding this demonstration. Namely, the in vitro conditions are fixed and could be different from in vivo. Any enzymatic reaction is influenced by the pH of the environment, and even more so when it concerns redox reactions such as disulfide bond reduction [
9]. The nasal mucosal pH is, in physiological terms, between 5.5 and 6.5 and increases in rhinitis to 7.2''8.3 [
49]. Advanced age, often encountered in SARS-CoV-2 symptomatic infections, also induces a nasal mucosa pH increase [
49]. Such a range of variation, depending on modifications typically induced by a viral infection, may challenge the efficacy of our treatment strategy. Further in vitro experiments to test various conditions of pH are ongoing, but ultimately, only clinical studies will be able to assess this point. Our experiments were led on a monkey kidney cell line known to be highly permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. With the above hypothesis of S protein lysis thiol-disulfide balance disruption, BromAc efficacy on SARS-CoV-2 should not be influenced by the membrane protease pattern. Reproducing this experimental protocol with the human pulmonary epithelial Calu-3 cell line (ATCC
® HTB-55') would allow these points to be addressed, as virus entry is TMPRSS2-dependent and pH-independent, as in airway epithelium, while virus entry in Vero cells is Cathepsin L-dependent, and thus pH-dependent [
50].
Overall, results obtained from the present study in conjunction with complementary studies on BromAc properties and SARS-CoV-2 characterization reveal a strong indication that BromAc can be developed into an effective therapeutic agent against SARS-CoV-2.
5. ConclusionsThere is currently no suitable therapeutic treatment for early SARS-CoV-2 aimed at preventing disease progression. BromAc is under clinical development by the authors for mucinous cancers due to its ability to alter complex glycoprotein structures. The potential of BromAc on SARS-CoV-2 spike and envelope proteins stabilized by disulfide bonds was examined and found to induce the unfolding of recombinant spike and envelope proteins by reducing disulfide stabilizer bridges. BromAc also showed an inhibitory effect on wild-type and spike mutant SARS-CoV-2 by inactivation of its replication capacity in vitro. Hence, BromAc may be an effective therapeutic agent for early SARS-CoV-2 infection, despite mutations, and even have potential as a prophylactic in people at high risk of infection.
Author ContributionsConceptualization, J.A., K.P., S.J.V., and D.L.M.; methodology, J.A., G.Q., K.P., S.B., and A.H.M.; validation, J.A., G.Q., K.P., V.K., S.B., and A.H.M.; investigation, J.A., G.Q., K.P., V.K., S.B., and A.H.M.; writing'--original draft preparation, G.Q., K.P., V.K, A.H.M., E.F., and S.J.V.; supervision, D.L.M. and E.F.; project administration, S.J.V.; funding acquisition, S.J.V. and D.L.M. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.
FundingThis research is partly funded by Mucpharm Pty Ltd., Australia.
Data Availability StatementA preprint of this manuscript was archived on
www.biorxiv.org (accessed on 31 January 2021) due to the emergency of COVID-19.
Conflicts of InterestDavid L. Morris is the co-inventor and assignee of the Licence for this study and director of the spin-off sponsor company, Mucpharm Pty Ltd. Javed Akhter, Krishna Pillai, and Ahmed Mekkawy are employees of Mucpharm Pty Ltd. Sarah Valle is partly employed by Mucpharm for its cancer development and is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. Vahan Kepenekian thanks the Foundation Nuovo Soldati for its fellowship and was partly sponsored for stipend by Mucpharm Pty Ltd.
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Chloroquine does not inhibit infection of human lung cells with SARS-CoV-2. Nature 2020, 585 , 588''590. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]Figure 1.(A) Bromelain and Acetylcysteine present a synergistic effect on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) spike and envelope protein destabilization. SDS-PAGE of the recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 + S2 subunits (150 kDa) and envelope protein (25 kDa). Proteins were treated with 20 mg/mL Acetylcysteine alone, 100 and 50 µg/mL Bromelain alone, and a combination of 100 and 50 µg/20 mg/mL BromAc. (B) Disulfide reduction of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein by Acetylcysteine. The differential assay between Acetylcysteine (Ac) and Dithiothreitol (DTT) for the reduction of disulfide bonds found on the spike protein indicates that Acetylcysteine reduces 42% of the disulfide bonds before the addition of DTT. The remaining bonds are reduced by DTT to produce the chromogen detected at 310 nm. (C) Disulfide reduction of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 envelope protein by Acetylcysteine. The differential assay between Acetylcysteine (Ac) and Dithiothreitol (DTT) for the reduction of disulfide bonds found on the envelope protein indicates that Acetylcysteine reduces 40% of the bonds before the addition of DTT.
Figure 1.(A) Bromelain and Acetylcysteine present a synergistic effect on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) spike and envelope protein destabilization. SDS-PAGE of the recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 + S2 subunits (150 kDa) and envelope protein (25 kDa). Proteins were treated with 20 mg/mL Acetylcysteine alone, 100 and 50 µg/mL Bromelain alone, and a combination of 100 and 50 µg/20 mg/mL BromAc. (B) Disulfide reduction of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein by Acetylcysteine. The differential assay between Acetylcysteine (Ac) and Dithiothreitol (DTT) for the reduction of disulfide bonds found on the spike protein indicates that Acetylcysteine reduces 42% of the disulfide bonds before the addition of DTT. The remaining bonds are reduced by DTT to produce the chromogen detected at 310 nm. (C) Disulfide reduction of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 envelope protein by Acetylcysteine. The differential assay between Acetylcysteine (Ac) and Dithiothreitol (DTT) for the reduction of disulfide bonds found on the envelope protein indicates that Acetylcysteine reduces 40% of the bonds before the addition of DTT.
Figure 2.Cell lysis assays demonstrated in vitro inactivation potential of Acetylcysteine and Bromelain combined (BromAc) against SARS-CoV-2. Cell viability was measured by cell staining with Neutral Red, where optical density (OD) is directly proportional to viable cells. Low OD would signify important cell lysis due to virus replication. The wild-type (WT) SARS-CoV-2 strain at 5.5 and 4.5 log10TCID50/mL titers (A and B, respectively) showed no inhibition of cytopathic effect (CPE) for single agent treatment, compared to the mock treatment virus control condition. BromAc combinations were able to inhibit CPE, compared to the mock infection cell controls. Treatment of a SARS-CoV-2 spike protein variant ('†S) with a mutation at the S1/S2 junction at 5.5 and 4.5 log10TCID50/mL titers (C and D, respectively) showed similar results. Bars represent the average of each quadruplicate per condition, illustrated by white circles. Ordinary one-way ANOVA was performed, using the mock treatment virus control as the control condition (**** p < 0.0001, *** p < 0.0005, ** p < 0.003, and * p < 0.05).
Figure 2.Cell lysis assays demonstrated in vitro inactivation potential of Acetylcysteine and Bromelain combined (BromAc) against SARS-CoV-2. Cell viability was measured by cell staining with Neutral Red, where optical density (OD) is directly proportional to viable cells. Low OD would signify important cell lysis due to virus replication. The wild-type (WT) SARS-CoV-2 strain at 5.5 and 4.5 log10TCID50/mL titers (A and B, respectively) showed no inhibition of cytopathic effect (CPE) for single agent treatment, compared to the mock treatment virus control condition. BromAc combinations were able to inhibit CPE, compared to the mock infection cell controls. Treatment of a SARS-CoV-2 spike protein variant ('†S) with a mutation at the S1/S2 junction at 5.5 and 4.5 log10TCID50/mL titers (C and D, respectively) showed similar results. Bars represent the average of each quadruplicate per condition, illustrated by white circles. Ordinary one-way ANOVA was performed, using the mock treatment virus control as the control condition (**** p < 0.0001, *** p < 0.0005, ** p < 0.003, and * p < 0.05).
Figure 3.Threshold matrix of log10 reduction values (LRV) of in vitro virus replication 96 h after BromAc treatment on WT and '†S SARS-CoV-2 strains at 5.5 and 4.5 log10TCID50/mL titers. LRV were calculated with the following formula: LRV = (RT-PCR Ct of treatment'--RT-PCR Ct virus control)/3.3; as 1 log10 '‰ 3.3 Ct. The color gradient matrix displays the number of quadruplicates per condition yielding an LRV > 4, corresponding to a robust inactivation according to the WHO. WT = wild-type; '†S = S1/S2 spike mutant.
Figure 3.Threshold matrix of log10 reduction values (LRV) of in vitro virus replication 96 h after BromAc treatment on WT and '†S SARS-CoV-2 strains at 5.5 and 4.5 log10TCID50/mL titers. LRV were calculated with the following formula: LRV = (RT-PCR Ct of treatment'--RT-PCR Ct virus control)/3.3; as 1 log10 '‰ 3.3 Ct. The color gradient matrix displays the number of quadruplicates per condition yielding an LRV > 4, corresponding to a robust inactivation according to the WHO. WT = wild-type; '†S = S1/S2 spike mutant.
Figure 4.SARS-CoV-2 replication capacity of WT and '†S SARS-CoV-2 measured by Real-Time Cell Analysis. Data points correspond to area under the curve analysis of normalized cell index (electronic impedance of RTCA established at time of inoculation) at 12-h intervals. Cell viability was then determined by normalizing against the corresponding cell control. WT = wild-type; '†S = S1/S2 spike mutant.
Figure 4.SARS-CoV-2 replication capacity of WT and '†S SARS-CoV-2 measured by Real-Time Cell Analysis. Data points correspond to area under the curve analysis of normalized cell index (electronic impedance of RTCA established at time of inoculation) at 12-h intervals. Cell viability was then determined by normalizing against the corresponding cell control. WT = wild-type; '†S = S1/S2 spike mutant.
Table 1.Log10 reduction values (LRV) of in vitro virus replication 96 h after BromAc treatment on WT and '†S SARS-CoV-2 strains at 5.5 and 4.5 log10TCID50/mL titers. LRV were calculated with the following formula: LRV = (RT-PCR Ct of treatment '' RT-PCR Ct virus control)/3.3; as 1 log10 '‰ 3.3 Ct. Each replicate is described. TCID50/mL = Median Tissue Culture Infectious Dose; WT = wild-type; '†S = S1/S2 spike mutant.
Table 1.Log10 reduction values (LRV) of in vitro virus replication 96 h after BromAc treatment on WT and '†S SARS-CoV-2 strains at 5.5 and 4.5 log10TCID50/mL titers. LRV were calculated with the following formula: LRV = (RT-PCR Ct of treatment '' RT-PCR Ct virus control)/3.3; as 1 log10 '‰ 3.3 Ct. Each replicate is described. TCID50/mL = Median Tissue Culture Infectious Dose; WT = wild-type; '†S = S1/S2 spike mutant.
BromAc (µg/20 mg/mL)Virus Titer 5.5 log10TCID50/mL4.5 log10TCID50/mLWT250.033 0.104 0.250 0.2130.463 0.356 4.390 0.173500.050 0.304 0.446 0.6980.471 4.378 0.404 4.6511003.415 3.323 0.360 3.3134.418 4.463 0.423 4.5082500.033 3.423 0.200 3.3894.496 4.370 4.419 4.506'†S250.010 0.153 NA 0.4140.330 0.313 0.172 0.075503.252 0.297 0.278 0.2754.762 4.612 4.618 4.5711003.191 3.260 0.210 0.3016.054 4.518 5.155 4.7472503.287 3.298 3.308 3.3084.333 4.302 4.410 4.361Publisher's Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
(C) 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).Share and CiteMDPI and ACS Style
Akhter, J.; Qu(C)rom¨s, G.; Pillai, K.; Kepenekian, V.; Badar, S.; Mekkawy, A.H.; Frobert, E.; Valle, S.J.; Morris, D.L. The Combination of Bromelain and Acetylcysteine (BromAc) Synergistically Inactivates SARS-CoV-2. Viruses 2021, 13, 425.https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030425
AMA StyleAkhter J, Qu(C)rom¨s G, Pillai K, Kepenekian V, Badar S, Mekkawy AH, Frobert E, Valle SJ, Morris DL. The Combination of Bromelain and Acetylcysteine (BromAc) Synergistically Inactivates SARS-CoV-2. Viruses. 2021; 13(3):425.https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030425
Chicago/Turabian StyleAkhter, Javed, Gr(C)gory Qu(C)rom¨s, Krishna Pillai, Vahan Kepenekian, Samina Badar, Ahmed H. Mekkawy, Emilie Frobert, Sarah J. Valle, and David L. Morris. 2021. "The Combination of Bromelain and Acetylcysteine (BromAc) Synergistically Inactivates SARS-CoV-2" Viruses 13, no. 3: 425.https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030425
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Akhter, J.; Qu(C)rom¨s, G.; Pillai, K.; Kepenekian, V.; Badar, S.; Mekkawy, A.H.; Frobert, E.; Valle, S.J.; Morris, D.L. The Combination of Bromelain and Acetylcysteine (BromAc) Synergistically Inactivates SARS-CoV-2. Viruses 2021, 13, 425.https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030425
AMA StyleAkhter J, Qu(C)rom¨s G, Pillai K, Kepenekian V, Badar S, Mekkawy AH, Frobert E, Valle SJ, Morris DL. The Combination of Bromelain and Acetylcysteine (BromAc) Synergistically Inactivates SARS-CoV-2. Viruses. 2021; 13(3):425.https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030425
Chicago/Turabian StyleAkhter, Javed, Gr(C)gory Qu(C)rom¨s, Krishna Pillai, Vahan Kepenekian, Samina Badar, Ahmed H. Mekkawy, Emilie Frobert, Sarah J. Valle, and David L. Morris. 2021. "The Combination of Bromelain and Acetylcysteine (BromAc) Synergistically Inactivates SARS-CoV-2" Viruses 13, no. 3: 425.https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030425
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigns a month after hot mic insult | Fox News
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 13:35
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday that she would not seek re-election and will be stepping down next month.
Ardern made the shocking announcement at her Labor party's annual caucus meeting, saying she "no longer had enough in the tank" to do the job.
"I'm leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility," she said. "The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It's that simple."
NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT TRIES TO SEIZE GUARDIANSHIP OF BABY AFTER PARENTS DEMAND UNVACCINATED BLOOD FOR SURGERY
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that she will step down next month after leading the nation since 2017. (Robert Kitchin - Pool/Getty Images)
Her resignation takes effect Feb. 7.
Ardern became prime minister in 2017 and led New Zealand through a period of major incidents, including the COVID-19 pandemic and an attack on two mosques in Christchurch in which 51 people were killed. During the pandemic, she imposed some of the strictest lockdown rules in the world.
In August 2021, the country was put on lockdown for at least three days after a single case of the coronavirus was found in one community.
In December, she was caught on a hot mic calling opposition leader David Seymour an "arrogant p----" during an exchange in which Seymour asked if Ardern could "give an example of her making a mistake, apologizing for it properly and fixing it," The Guardian reported.
Ardern replied by acknowledging the difficulties of her government's "managed isolation" plan for COVID-19, but she told her deputy, Grant Robertson, that Seymour was "such an arrogant p----" as she sat down '' the microphones caught the comment.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses members of the media during a news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Sydney on July 8, 2022. (Reuters)
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She is the country's youngest-ever leader.
"I hope I leave New Zealanders with a belief that you can be kind, but strong, empathetic but decisive, optimistic but focused. And that you can be your own kind of leader '' one who knows when it's time to go," she said, according to the Guardian.
The Rise Of The Single Woke (And Young, Democratic) Female | ZeroHedge
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 13:28
Authored by Joel Kotkin and Samuel J. Abrams via RealClear Wire,
Soccer Moms are giving way to Single Woke Females '' the new ''SWFs'' '' as one of the most potent voting blocs in American politics.
Unmarried women without children have been moving toward the Democratic Party for several years, but the 2022 midterms may have been their electoral coming-out party as they proved the chief break on the predicted Republican wave. While married men and women as well as unmarried men broke for the GOP, CNN exit polls found that 68% of unmarried women voted for Democrats.
The Supreme Court's August decision overturning Roe v. Wade was certainly a special factor in the midterms, but longer-term trends show that single, childless women are joining African Americans as the Democrats' most reliable supporters.
Their power is growing thanks to the demographic winds. The number of never married women has grown from about 20% in 1950 to over 30% in 2022, while the percentage of married women has declined from almost 70% in 1950 to under 50% today. Overall, the percentage of married households with children has declined from 37% in 1976 to 21% today.
The Single Wave A new Institute for Family Studies analysis '‚¬¯of 2020 Census data found that one in six women do not have children by the time they reach the end of their childbearing years, up from one in ten in 1990. Single adult women now total some 42 million, comparable to the key African American voting bloc (46 million), while vastly larger than key groups like labor union members (14 million) or college students (20 million).
The Pew Research Center notes that since 1960, single-person households in the United States have grown from 13% to 27% (2019). Many, particularly women, are not all that keen on finding a partner. Pew recently found that ''men are far more likely than women to be on the dating market: 61% of single men say they are currently looking for a relationship or dates, compared with 38% of single women.''
There's clearly far less stigma attached to being single and unpartnered. Single women today have many impressive role models of unattached, childless women who have succeeded on their own '' like Taylor Swift and much of the U.S. women's soccer team. This phenomenon is not confined to the United States. Marriage and birthrates have fallen in much of the world, including Europe and Japan. Writing in Britain's Guardian newspaper, columnist Emma John observed that, ''Singleness is no longer to be sneered at. Never marrying or taking a long-term partner is increasingly seen as a valid choice.''
Rise of Identity Politics The rise of SWFs '' a twist on the personal ad abbreviation for single white female '' is one of the great untold stories of American politics. Distinct from divorced women or widows, these largely Gen Z and Millennial voters share a sense of collective identity and progressive ideology that sets them apart from older women. More likely to live in urban centers and to support progressive policies, they are a driving force in the Democratic party's and the nation's shift to the left. One paradox, however: Democrats depend ever more on women defined in the strict biological sense while much of the party's progressive wing embraces the blurred and flexible gender boundaries of its identity politics.
Attitudes are what most distinguish single women from other voters. An American Enterprise Institute survey shows that married men and women are far more likely than unmarried females to think women are well-treated or equally treated. As they grow in numbers, these discontented younger single women are developing something of a group consciousness. Nearly two-thirds of women under 30, for example, see what happens to other women as critical to their own lives; among women over 50, this mindset shrinks to less than half.
This perception of linked fate stands in contrast to survey results regarding single men, who report that they are increasingly disconnected from each other while women bond more closely. This is not a temporary phenomenon, and it is much bigger than the bohemian movements of the past. There is even a sense in which women are redefining families, and themselves, by choosing to neither get married nor have offspring. And social observers such as Bella DePaulo, a University of California, Santa Barbara professor and singles advocate, are all in favor. As she told Nautilus magazine:
''[It's] a tremendously positive thing! Once upon a time, just about everyone in the United States thought that they needed to squeeze themselves into the heterosexual nuclear family box, even if they weren't heterosexual or weren't interested in getting married or had no interest in raising kids. Now, people can create the lives and the families that allow them to live their best, most authentic, and most meaningful lives. They can choose to put friends at the center of their lives. Or they can assemble their very own combination of friends and family to be the social convoys that sail beside them as they navigate their lives. They can have kids in their lives without having children of their own.''
The key driver of these attitudes may be universities, where feminist ideology often holds powerful sway. Women now predominate on college campuses. In the late 1960s they were about 39% of college graduates; now they are about 59%. The percentage of full-time female professors has risen dramatically; at the full professor level the percentage has grown by roughly one-third.
Women now earn more than half of advanced degrees, not only in education but health and medical sciences, and are making great strides in engineering and law. With this growth, a feminist agenda has become increasingly de rigueur in colleges. According to theNational Center for Education Statistics, the number of women's and gender studies degrees in the United States has increased by more than 300% since 1990, and in 2015, there were more than 2,000 degrees conferred. There are widespread movements to establish women's centers almost everywhere, even as men are abandoning college and university life in record numbers, and those who remain are hit with messaging about behavior and status from diversity, equity, and inclusion offices along with various student life offices that regularly call them toxic, aggressive, and born misogynists.
More recently, anti-family attitudes have become more pronounced. ''Queer studies'' often advocate replacing the ''nuclear family'' with some form of collectivized childrearing. Progressive groups like Black Lives Matter made their opposition to the nuclear family a part of their basic original platform, even though evidence shows family breakdown has hurt African American boys most of all.
The Economics of Singleness While both married and unmarried women have made impressive gains in the workplace, family status appears to be driving a big cleavage in politics among women. Research shows that having children tends to make one more conservative '' critically, divorce does not change this calculus decisively, although it moderates leftism. The AEI 2022 data shows that divorced women '' of all age cohorts '' tend to be more conservative than liberal. In aggregate, 23% of divorced women are liberal while 31% are conservative '' the plurality (38%) are somewhere in the moderate middle. The fault lines, however, run deeper and appear to be generational. The data show that 40% of Millennial women '' those born between 1981-1996 '' identify as liberal and 20% identify as conservative. For single women of the baby boom generation (born between 1946-1963) the number of liberals drops to 25% and the number of conservative women increases to almost 30%.
We are witnessing, as sociologist Daniel Bell noted a half century ago in ''The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society,'' a new type of individualism, unmoored from religion and family, something fundamentally transforming the foundations of middle-class culture. This echoes what the popular futurist Alvin Toffler in 1970 described as a growing immersion in work at the expense of family life. He envisioned a revolution in marriage that would result in a ''streamlined family,'' and, if children are in the picture, relying on professional child-raisers. The ideal of long-term marriage would give way, he expected, to more transient relationships and numerous partners at different stages of life.
There is a clear economic divergence between married and unmarried women, if for no other reason than that two incomes provide more resources and children present different demands. There are plenty of renting couples and home-owning singles, but married people account for 77% of all homeowners, according to the Center for Politics. Married women tend also to do far better professionally and economically, and their rate of marriage has remained constant while those without spouses have declined by 15% over the past four decades, notes the Brookings Institution. Single-parent households, they find, do far worse.
This economic reality impacts political choices. Not part of an economic familial unit, they tend to look to government for help, whether for rent subsidies or direct transfers. The pitch of Democratic presidents as reflected in Barack Obama's ''Life of Julia'' and Joe Biden's ''Life of Linda'' '' narratives that advertised the government's cradle-to-grave assistance for women '' is geared toward women who never marry, with the occasional child-raising addressed not by family resources but government transfers.
Critically, unmarried women also tend to be employed heavily in ''helping professions'' like medical care and teaching, an expanding field even as many traditional male jobs, particularly in manufacturing, construction, and transportation, have disappeared. Whereas high taxes and regulation pose problems in the general economy, women predominate in fields that actually benefit from more government spending. This now includes the once GOP-leaning medical profession, nurses as well as doctors who now lean Democratic. In contrast, heavily male professions like engineers, masons, and police officers tend toward the GOP.
These differences are also showing up in backlashes against leftwing education policy, epitomized by such programs as Drag Queen Story Hour for K-12 students. Parents have been at the forefront of movements to replace progressive school board members from Virginia to California.
Geography Is Destiny The divisions between married and unmarried women are reenforced and amplified by the geographic divisions in the country '' what some call ''the big sort'''' as Americans increasingly settle into distinct communities of likeminded individuals. Urban centers, for example, are particularly friendly to singles. In virtually all high-income societies, high density today almost always translates into low fertility rates, led by San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, and Boston. In urban cores like Manhattan, single households constituted nearly 50% of households, according to American Community Survey 2019 data. And with many businesses and cultural opportunities moving away from cities and diffusing and becoming more diverse and family friendly with varied amenities, the polarization between cities and their narrowly left residents and the rest of the nation may increase.
According to the recent AEI data, even married women in the Northeast are conservative. This gap, unsurprisingly, widens in the South and Midwest. But the major divides are in terms of type of community. Married women who live in urban settings are evenly split between conservative and liberal, but among single women, just 18% are conservative with 44% liberal (the rest identify as moderate or refused to say). In the suburbs, the key political battleground, 35% of married women are conservative and 22% liberal. For unmarried women, 23% are conservative and 34% are liberal. In rural areas, 42% of married women are conservative compared to 14% liberal while single women divide evenly.
Unlike the wave of immigrants or rural migrants who flooded the American metropolises of the early 20th century, urbanites today generally avoid raising large families in cramped and exceedingly expensive spaces. According to analysis by demographer Wendell Cox, households in suburbs and exurbs are roughly four times more likely to have children in their household than residents of the urban core.
The lowest birthrates are found in ultra-blue cities and states, magnets largely for singles and the childless. Six years ago the New York Times ran a story headlined ''San Francisco Asks: Where Have All the Children Gone?'' and stories abound about the Golden Gate City having the fewest children of all major American cities. Many other major cities lost families with children during the pandemic. Between 2020 and 2021, Manhattan saw a whopping 9.5% decline in the number of children under 5 '' and many families are not returning.
Some of this reflects policies associated with driving housing prices up more than elsewhere. Like other blue states, California has adopted policies that discourage single family housing favored by married couples with children in favor of dense, usually small urban apartments. Given the political orientation of single women, urban areas can be expected to go further left, while the suburbs, and particularly the exurbs, with their concentrations of married families, will likely shift towards the center and right.
The Great Demographic Race In the near future, American politics, both national and local, may turn on the degree to which people remain single, and also whether they decide to have children. Right now, the short run demography favors the Democrats. People are getting married at the lowest rate in American history and the birth rate remains depressed. The longer people stay single, and perhaps never marry, the better things will be for the Democrats.
The wild card may be age '' specifically whether historic patterns hold and women, like men, tend to become conservative as they get older. This is hard to gauge as the evolution has usually taken in place of the context of marriage and motherhood. Unmarried women, in particular, may hold onto their youthful ideology far longer than those whose lives are transformed by marriage and parenting.
In many places, particularly on the coasts, single women have become a politically rising force. Twelve women were elected governor in 2022, a record. Maura Healey's election as the nation's first openly lesbian chief executive shows that in states like Massachusetts, once a Catholic conservative bastion culturally, there is enough support for single women in politics to overcome traditional reluctance to elect childless and non-heterosexual candidates. ''It's thrilling to see Maura break down historical obstacles to both women and LGBTQ candidates to lead Massachusetts,'' says Janson Wu, executive director of the Boston-based GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. ''It really shows the progress we've made as a society, in understanding that what counts is really the quality of the leader and not who they are.''
Future Policy Conflicts Public policy may have a strong influence on this dynamic. The single, the unattached, and the unmarried are already demanding state provisions to guarantee ''affordable'' urban housing, more money for transit, and steps toward a guaranteed income for individuals '' all of which will, in turn, provide incentives to remain unattached. In contrast, the demands of family-oriented voters may be more focused on economic growth, safety, improving basic education, and ways to save money for their offspring.
If the policy preferences of singles become more significant, the United States may have to brace for the kind of long-term demographic decline already evident in Japan and parts of Europe. Some suggest that one possible solution, attractive to some on the left, would be to adopt the ''Nordic way'' which encourages reproduction (if not marriage) by transferring much of the burden of child-raising from families to the state. Other countries have also adopted pro-birth policies '' like free or low-cost childcare, or even cash payments. These schemes have been applied in places as dissimilar as Poland and South Korea, as well as Quebec. But according to United Nations data, all of them, including the Scandinavian states, still suffer well below replacement rate fertility rates.
Some women in particular embrace singleness not just as a lifestyle, but a chance to redefine the role of women in society. Author Rebecca Traister, herself married with children, has followed this movement, calling it a ''a radical upheaval, a national reckoning with massive social and political implications '... a wholesale revision of what female life might entail.''
''We are living through the invention of independent female adulthood as a norm, not an aberration,'' she adds, ''and the creation of an entirely new population: adult women who are no longer economically, socially, sexually, or reproductively dependent on or defined by the men they marry.''
The likely best way to overcome the demographic decline may lie instead in boosting the economic prospects of the next generation. This includes steps that could allow for easier purchase of homes or lower cost apartments suitable for families. As Richard Florida, among others, has suggested: Efforts should be made to lower housing prices, which correlates to higher rates of fertility.
Reforms that encourage home-based businesses could spark greater fertility rates, as historian Alan Carlson suggested almost two decades ago. The rise of home-based businesses and work, now taking off, offers a unique opportunity for increased family formation. Indeed a recent study by the Federal Reserve of Kansas City suggests that the current rise in remote work could spark a family friendly housing boom, as people can live further away, and spend more time being parents. For that to occur, however, it would require that such housing can be constructed, which would require loosening of regulations that seek to restrain construction both in cities and suburban areas.
Ultimately the question remains what kind of society Americans want to have. Historically, here in the U.S. and elsewhere, the family perspective has generally been prevalent and tied intimately to the sense of a common polity. But as the country changes and becomes ever more single and female-influenced, the historical pattern is likely to be challenged and significantly modified.
Joel Kotkin is Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Urban Reform Institute. Samuel J. Abrams is a professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College and a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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U.S. asks court to reverse order banning airplane mask mandate to combat COVID | Reuters
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 23:49
WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The Justice Department on Tuesday asked an appeals court panel to reverse an April 2021 ruling that declared unlawful a government order requiring masks on airplanes, buses, trains, ridesharing services and at airports and other transportation hubs.
A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on the government's appeal of a ruling by a U.S. district court judge in Florida that found the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lacked legal authority to issue a nationwide travel mask mandate to combat COVID-19.
The CDC issued the sweeping mask mandate in January 2021, days after Joe Biden became president.
A report from U.S. lawmakers in October said the Trump administration in 2020 blocked the CDC from adopting a federal transportation mask mandate.
Much of the arguments in the appeal focus on the CDC's decision to put in place the requirements immediately rather than give the public a chance to comment on the mandate.
Justice Department lawyer Brian Springer said the CDC could impose mask requirements without giving the public time to comment given the pandemic emergency, arguing it was necessary "to prevent the possible infections and deaths that could result if people didn't do the simple thing of just putting on a mask while they were traveling."
Lawyer Brant C. Hadaway representing the five people who had sued to challenge the mandate noted the CDC last year had not sought a stay of the district court's ruling.
"This is not about an urgent matter of public health," Hadaway told the court. He argued that had the CDC believed the issue was a "matter of life and death" the agency would have sought a faster ruling.
The European Union earlier this month recommended face masks for passengers flying to its member countries from China, which is experiencing a major COVID-19 outbreak after lifting its zero-COVID policy.
Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by Bill Berkrot
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Russia needs opportunity to rejoin an international system, Kissinger says
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 15:55
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger attends a luncheon at the US State Department in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2022.
Roberto Schmidt | Afp | Getty Images
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Tuesday said Russia must be given the opportunity to one day rejoin the international system following any peace deal in Ukraine and dialogue with the country must be ongoing.
"This may seem very hollow to nations that have been under Russian pressure for much of the Cold War period," Kissinger told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, via video link.
However, he said it was important to avoid an escalation of conflict between Russia and the West as a result of it feeling the war had become "against Russia itself."
This, he said "may cause Russia to reevaluate its historic position, which was an amalgam of an attraction to the culture of Europe and a fear of domination by Europe."
"The destruction of Russia as a state that can pursue its own policies will open up the vast area of its 11 time zones to internal conflict and to outside intervention at the time when there are 15,000 and more nuclear weapons on its territory."
"So this is why I believe in dialogue with Russia while the war continues, an end of fighting when the prewar line is reached, and a continuing process of discussion by Europe, America and at that point Russia ... while the conditions of sanctions and other pressures will be maintained until a final settlement is reached."
"I believe this is the way to prevent the war from escalating," he said.
Ukrainian membership in NATOKissinger was criticized by a Ukrainian politician in May when he suggested Ukraine should cede some land to Russia to achieve a peace deal.
Kissinger further said Tuesday that the U.S. should continue to provide military support and if necessary intensify that support until a cease-fire line is reached or accepted in preliminary discussions.
He also said he wanted to express admiration for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the "heroic conduct of the Ukrainian people;" and that he now believed Ukrainian membership in NATO one day would be an "appropriate outcome."
Kissinger was secretary of state between 1973 and 1977 under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and served as national security advisor between 1969 and 1975. He was a key part of the U.S. detente with the Soviet Union and rapprochement with China, and oversaw hugely controversial decisions including bombing and military operations in Cambodia.
Wyoming is set to BAN sales of new electric vehicles by 2035 | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 15:54
Wyoming is set to BAN sales of new electric vehicles by 2035 to 'ensure the stability' of its oil and gas industryWyoming is set to become the first state to phase out electric vehicles by 2035The move, announced Friday, aims to preserve the state's oil and gas industryThe bill notes that Wyoming lacks a charging station infrastructure and is weary of the waste caused by used electric vehicle batters that cannot be recycled By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com
Published: 10:41 EST, 16 January 2023 | Updated: 15:27 EST, 16 January 2023
Wyoming has introduced state legislation to ban the sale of new electric vehicles by 2035 to 'ensure the stability' of its oil and gas industry.
The announcement comes as several states, including New York, California and Oregon, move to phase out the sale of new gas-powered vehicles to combat climate change.
Wyoming officials argue that the oil and gas production has created 'countless jobs' and contributed 'revenues to the state of Wyoming throughout its history.'
The bill also notes that Wyoming lacks charging stations and that 'the critical minerals used in electric batteries are not easily recyclable or disposable.'
Wyoming is set to ban the sale of new electric vehicles by 2035 to preserve its booming oil and gas industry
The proposed legislation, introduced Friday, comes from a group of lawmakers led by Senator Jim Anderson.
In 2021, Wyoming placed as the eighth top oil producer in the US, producing 85.43 million barrels.
Today, approximately 100 companies are operating 30,000 miles of pipelines in Wyoming, not including all gathering systems or all inactive or abandoned pipelines.
And there are more than 68,000 jobs in the state's oil and gas industry.
The bill praises gas-powered vehicles as enabling the state's industries and businesses to ship goods and resources across the US.
Lawmakers also note that the US 'has consistently invested in the oil and gas industry to sustain gas-powered vehicles and that investment has resulted in the continued employment of thousands of people in the oil and gas industry in Wyoming and throughout the country.'
On the other hand, the shift to electric vehicles would 'have deleterious impacts on Wyoming's communities and will be detrimental to Wyoming's economy and the ability for the country to efficiently engage in commerce.'
The bill encourages Wyoming residents to limit the sale and purchase of new EVs and aim to phase them out entirely by 2035.
Sen. Brian Boner, R-Douglas, said the Wyoming resolution would be entirely symbolic.
'One might even say tongue-in-cheek, but obviously it's a very serious issue that deserves some public discussion,' Boner told the Cowboy State Daily.
'I'm interested in making sure that the solutions that some folks want to the so-called climate crisis are actually practical in real life.
'I just don't appreciate when other states try to force technology that isn't ready.'
California first announced the ban on gas-powered cars in 2020, but the legislation went into effect in August 2022.
The announcement comes as several states, including New York, California and Oregon, move to phase out the sale of new gas-powered vehicles to combat climate change
The state requires that 35 percent of new passenger vehicles sold by 2026 produce zero emissions, then 68 percent by 2030 and 100 percent five years after.
New York was the second state to announce the same ban in October 2022, and Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington recently followed.
However, nearly a dozen more could join the ranks in the coming months.
The other states that follow the emission standards but have not yet committed to the ban are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, District of Columbia and Rhode Island.
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Permalancing: The Good, The Bad, And The Mildly Horrific
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 15:26
The other month, fellow freelancer Stacy Lipson interviewed me for a story on permalancing in The Fiscal Times.* An interesting piece, to be sure, but I felt a bit put off by the fact that the Times portrayed permalancers as disposable victim-types.
Because, in my opinion, it goes both ways.
I've had several permalance-style gigs in the past four years. All of them were pursued as a means to an end. Most of them were taken on because I wanted some sort of financial safety net while still having the time to pursue the projects that mattered most to me. None of them were meant to be permanent.
I suppose you could say that I was taking advantage of them.
Still, Stacy's right. A permalance situation is far from perfect. Which is why I think it's about time I touch upon the good, the bad, and the mildly horrific when it comes to permalancing.
The Good :
Regular income. I took classes. I read books. I networked like hell. I built up a portfolio. I even got married! (Health insurance for the win!) But when it came down to going full-time freelance, I didn't feel ready to leave my staff position at an academic book publisher until I'd secured a good number of regular freelance copy editing hours at the New York Sun.
Freelance income can be irregular, especially at the beginning. But there's no rule that says you have to go all-or-nothing. Securing a regular freelance gig with part-time hours could very well be just the thing you need to achieve that beautiful balance of stability and intelligent risk.
Camaraderie. After the New York Sun folded, I took a definite financial hit. But what was even tougher to deal with was being alone all the time. All the freelance work I did was off-site. And I took on as much of it as I could, until work/life balance devolved into work/work/(and more work). As friends and family would be happy to tell you, I became a bit of a recluse. And as a result, my marriage suffered, partially because I was relying on my husband to be my sole social outlet. (Well, him and my three cats. They're fantastic conversationalists.)
What I found most attractive about the job I eventually took at YourTango was the team. I wanted very badly to be a part of that. And despite the fact that I'm not officially a staff member, I've never felt any less involved than anyone else there.
An open door or five. In addition to moolah and sweet, sweet human contact, my permalance gigs have helped me beef up my resume and portfolio, make valuable contacts within the industry, and gain higher visibility. And while no one should be paid in PIE alone (P.aid I.n E.xposure), the exposure that comes with certain gigs is certainly a huge benefit. In fact, such exposure has led to new gigs'... gigs that came to me magically, without me having to seek them out.
The Bad :
Isolation. I know, I know. I already listed camaraderie as one of the benefits of a permalance gig. And being part of an ongoing team is nice'... and a nice change of pace from'... um'... talking to yourself. But not every company will be as welcoming and inclusive as YourTango was with me. (I've found that the smaller the company, the more intimate the environment. Obvs.) At one on-site, permalance gig I had, I felt almost invisible. ‚ It was lonelier than being at home. So not being a salaried employee can definitely affect how staffers treat you.
Lack of benefits. This one's a doozie for all freelancers but, when you're putting in regular hours with one company, you can't help but feel that you deserve health benefits, too. Unfortunately, they most likely hired you '-- a freelancer '-- because they didn't want to spend the money on a full benefits package. Pretty shady when you consider the hours some permalancers put in.
The Horrific :
Scope creep. To you, a lack of benefits may the most horrifying thing ever. But I'm lucky. I have a sugar da'... um, a husband. So what I find especially troubling is the tendency at certain permalance gigs for scope creep. Without the promise of additional pay.
Listen people. I'm running a business. This gig isn't my only gig. So I don't care if your staffers are working overtime every damn day. I won't do it. It's just not worth it to me. You're not offering me more money. You're not offering me additional benefits. You're trying to intrude on my other billable hours. I'm not having it.
How can you deal with scope creep at a permalance gig? Set boundaries. Stick to your previously-agreed-upon work hours. Keep the lines of communication open between you and your direct superior so that they know what's on your plate, and can help you prioritize.
Don't allow scope creep to happen. Don't let them take advantage. Because then you will be a victim. But it'll be your own damn fault.
Becoming strangled by your safety net. With every permalance gig I've ever had, I've come to a point where I started to resent the time I was spending on it. Because it was time I wasn't spending on the work that truly mattered to me. And then I had to ask myself: Am I dooming these other projects to failure because I'm not giving them my all? Is the gig that was once a safety net only holding me back? Am I going to fail in my endeavors because I'm not really taking that risk?
The danger of putting all your eggs in one basket. Finally, the biggest drawback in giving too much of your time to one client is the possibility that the whole damn thing will fall through. And then? Well, you'll be screwed. Think about it.
Are you '-- or were you ever '-- a permalancer? Were your experiences mostly positive or negative?
Related: Wanted: The Career Equivalent of an Open Marriage, 10 Side Jobs for Freelancers, How To Juggle Multiple Careers
*I would link to the piece, but I'm getting an error message on the site right now.
Trump Dismisses COVID-19 Vax Safety Claims, Says He Saved 100 Million Lives
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 15:07
Former President Donald Trump has dismissed claims that COVID-19 vaccines are broadly unsafe while asserting that his own role in the development of the vaccines may have saved 100 million lives.
Trump touted the effectiveness of Operation Warp Speed, his administration's program to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, during a Monday interview on the conservative podcast The Water Cooler.
Host David Brody asked the former president if he would "acknowledge" that the vaccines "were not as safe or effective as we were told by the medical community at the time," after repeating a number of unsubstantiated anti-vaccine claims.
"I was able to get something approved that, you know, that has proven to have saved a lot of lives," Trump said, ignoring Brody's request to weigh in on the anti-vaccine narrative. "Some people say that I saved 100 million lives worldwide."
Above, former President Donald Trump attends the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas on August 6, 2022. Inset: a health care worker prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot in San Rafael, California on April 6, 2022. Trump on Monday touted the vaccines for saving "100 million lives" while dismissing conspiracy theories that claim they are broadly unsafe. Brandon Bell; Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesTrump touted the speed of vaccine development under his program, saying that he was "able to get [the vaccines] done in nine months," as opposed to what he claimed would have been "five years to 12 years."
The former president said that it was "very important" to note that he did not order lockdowns or a federal vaccine mandate and had "never forced anyone" to get the shots. He also praised Republican governors for refusing mandates and lockdowns at the state level.
However, he singled out his potential 2024 GOP primary opponent Ron DeSantis for pandemic policy criticism, pointing out that the Florida governor had shut down his state "for a period of time."
Brody then pushed Trump to declare whether he had "concerns about the safety concerns of these vaccines."
Trump said that he "always" had concerns but argued that some "reports" were saying the vaccines were "the greatest thing that's ever happened," while those that claimed safety issues involved "relatively small numbers."
"You have to understand, there are the pros and cons," said Trump. "Some reports [say] that it's the greatest thing that's ever happened and we saved tens of millions of lives. Then you'll read other reports [that] say there were some problems with the vaccine...but relatively small numbers.
"But you know, you have many reports that say the vaccines save tens of millions of lives," he continued. "That without the vaccines you would have had a thing...where perhaps 100 million people died."
Brody began the discussion on vaccines by claiming that a had been "sudden death spikes." A popular but debunked anti-vaccine conspiracy video called "Died Suddenly" makes similar claims.
The host also pointed out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week said an early warning system had flagged an unconfirmed "safety signal" concerning a link between the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot and strokes in the elderly.
Brody did not mention that the agency later determined that there was no link following an extensive review of data.
Monday was far from the first time that Trump has spoken positively about COVID vaccines, despite his position inspiring anger from some of his supporters.
The former president has at times seemingly attempted to avoid mentioning vaccines, possibly due to the shots remaining unpopular among Republicans.
"After China unleashed this deadly virus onto the rest of the world, President Trump and his administration worked tirelessly to secure medical equipment to save the lives of Americans who were infected," Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement given to Newsweek. "Operation Warp Speed was a once-in-a-lifetime initiative that gave people the option of utilizing therapeutics if they wished to do so.
"He also fought against any attempt to federalize the pandemic response by protecting every state's right to ultimately decide what is best for their people because of the unique challenges each state faced. In coordination with governors across the country, President Trump provided assistance and equipment as requested or if needed.
"By contrast, Joe Biden incomprehensibly failed to continue the Trump Administration's successes he inherited, with more COVID deaths under Biden than President Trump in the same amount of time."
Update 01/16/23, 10:04 p.m. ET: This article has been updated to include a statement from Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung.
Rutte: Nederland gaat Patriot-luchtafweer aan Oekra¯ne leveren
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 14:46
Op zijn inmiddels vertrouwde stoel naast de Amerikaanse president, en tegen de achtergrond van een knapperend haardvuur ('de eerste keer in mijn vijf bezoeken dat die aan is'), schudde premier Mark Rutte zowaar een nieuwtje uit de mouw. Tijdens de sessie voor de pers in het Witte Huis, midden in zijn beleefde dankwoorden aan Joe Biden, zei Rutte dinsdag dat Nederland 'de intentie' heeft om het geavanceerde Patriot-luchtafweersysteem aan Oekra¯ne te leveren.
Daarmee zou Nederland aanhaken bij de Verenigde Staten en Duitsland, die onlangs dezelfde stap hebben gezet. ''Ik denk dat het belangrijk is dat we daaraan meedoen'', zei Rutte in het presidentile Oval Office. ''Ik besprak dat vanmorgen met de Duitse bondskanselier Olaf Scholz.''
Over hoeveelheden en andere details van de Nederlandse Patriot-leveranties is nog niets bekend. Nederland beschikt over drie complete en parate Patriot-systemen, inclusief radarapparatuur. Het systeem kan tot op grote hoogte (20 kilometer) onder meer helikopters, drones en kruisraketten neerschieten.
Omgaan met het geavanceerde en kostbare luchtafweersysteem vereist een maandenlange training. Op een Amerikaanse basis in Oklahoma beginnen ongeveer honderd Oekra¯ense militairen binnenkort aan zo'n Patriot-training.
Biden noemt Nederland 'een van onze sterkste bondgenoten' Tijdens het persmoment van Ruttes bezoek aan Biden, voor de open haard, wisselden beide regeringsleiders complimenten uit voor de betrokkenheid van hun landen bij de ondersteuning van Oekra¯ne tegen de Russische invasie. ''Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat de geschiedenis zal oordelen dat als de Verenigde Staten in 2022 niet waren opgestaan zoals u heeft gedaan, dat de zaken er op dit moment heel anders hadden uitgezien in de strijd tussen Oekra¯ne en de Russische agressie'', zei Rutte.
Biden, die voor zijn welkomstwoord een spiekbriefje nodig had, noemde Nederland 'een van onze sterkste bondgenoten en persoonlijke vrienden'.
ASML een van de pijnpunten Toen de twee leiders hun gesprek achter gesloten deuren voortzetten, zullen vermoedelijk ook enkele hardere noten zijn gekraakt. Zo dringen de Verenigde Staten er al lange tijd op aan dat de Europeanen, en de Nederlanders in het bijzonder, stoppen met het leveren van hoogwaardige chip-technologie aan China. Het Nederlandse ASML is een van 's werelds belangrijkste producenten daarvan. 'De uitdagingen van China', zo liep Biden tegenover de pers alvast op die discussie vooruit.
ASML levert onder meer lithografiemachines aan China, extreem geavanceerde apparaten waarmee 's werelds krachtigste halfgeleiders kunnen worden gemaakt. Washington vreest dat de Chinese militaire dreiging met dat soort technologien onbeheersbaar wordt. De VS hebben zichzelf vorig najaar exportbeperkingen opgelegd en hopen dat Nederland dat voorbeeld volgt, maar de onderhandelingen daarover verlopen moeizaam.
De Europese Unie heeft op haar beurt grote moeite met een gigantisch Amerikaans subsidieprogramma om groene investeringen te stimuleren. Europa vreest oneerlijke concurrentie omdat bedrijven daarmee worden geprikkeld om de EU te verlaten om zich tegoed te doen aan de Amerikaanse subsidieruif. Ongetwijfeld hebben Biden en Rutte het ook daarover gehad.
Lees ook:Biden en Rutte bespreken oude en nieuwe dreigingen De oorlog in Europa eist alle aandacht op bij het Nederlandse bezoek aan het Witte Huis. Maar de Amerikaanse president zal het breder willen trekken.
Druk op Duitsland groeit om tanks te gaan leveren aan Oekra¯ne De Duitse buitenlandminister Baerbock riep maandag in Den Haag op tot de oprichting van een Oekra¯ne-tribunaal. Over de in Berlijn zeer gevoelige levering van tanks hield ze zich op de vlakte.
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Hoe de Amsterdamse politie preventief fouilleren zelf om zeep hielp: 'Door alle eisen zagen de agenten door de bomen het bos misschien niet meer'
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 14:44
Een agent in Amsterdam fouilleert iemand preventief, september 2021. Beeld Arie Kievit
Het is donderdag 10 november als het ernstig misgaat. Rond half negen 's avonds gaat een groep van zo'n tien politieagenten naar een jongerencentrum in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. Een aantal agenten blijft buiten staan, terwijl de anderen het pand, dat door veel jongeren wordt beschouwd als hun tweede huis, binnenstormen. Alle aanwezigen worden preventief gefouilleerd op wapens. Ze zijn geschokt, en niet alleen zij. 'De hele driehoek heeft lopen vloeken', reageert burgemeester Femke Halsema niet veel later in de gemeenteraad.
Vrijwel meteen na het incident trekt de burgemeester de stekker uit de proef met preventief fouilleren. En niet veel later kondigt de Amsterdamse politiechef Frank Paauw een intern onderzoek aan. Want de agenten hadden helemaal geen bevoegdheid voor de inval: het jongerencentrum valt niet in het gebied waar op wapens mocht worden gecontroleerd. De fout is extra pijnlijk, omdat over de proef fel is gedebatteerd in de Amsterdamse gemeenteraad. De pilot werd met allerlei waarborgen omkleed om etnisch-profileren te voorkomen. Maar juist in het onterecht binnengevallen jongerencentrum waren veel tieners met een migratieachtergrond aanwezig.
Dat agenten die dag niet alleen de fout ingingen in het jongerencentrum, bleek maandag toen de uitkomsten van het intern politieonderzoek werden gepubliceerd. Op die 10de november werd zeven keer preventief gefouilleerd buiten het aangewezen veiligheidsrisicogebied, bovendien werd er ook tien keer 'inpandig' gefouilleerd. Wettelijk is dit toegestaan, maar de bedoeling was dat het bij deze proef niet zou gebeuren. Zo werden bezoekers van een snackbar gefouilleerd, en reizigers '' inclusief de buschauffeur '' van een stadsbus.
Hoe kon het zo misgaan in Amsterdam? En hoe zit dat in andere gemeenten? 'Je zou verwachten: dit ligt z" gevoelig. De politie doet extra zijn best om geen fouten te maken', zegt hoogleraar Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard van het Nederlands Studiecentrum Criminaliteit en Rechtshandhaving (NSCR).
De eerste pilot: absurde taferelen Preventief fouilleren is al jaren een heikel punt in Amsterdam. In 2014 zegt toenmalig burgemeester Eberhard van der Laan dat hij het een 'naar instrument' vindt. De methode is een te grote inbreuk op het leven van de Amsterdammers, stelt hij. Bovendien leveren de controles weinig wapens op.
Maar in 2019 laait de discussie opnieuw op. Aanleiding zijn snel groeiende zorgen over messengeweld onder jongeren: er zijn onder meer incidenten met drillrappers die elkaar online uitdagen om anderen neer te steken. En in januari 2020 plaatst een wijkagent op Facebook foto's van kapmessen die hij aantrof bij een groepje kinderen. 'U ziet hier het wapenarsenaal van de verdachten... leeftijd gemiddeld 12-13 jaar... ik heb er geen woorden voor, u wel?'
Agenten tijdens de eerste proef met preventief fouilleren in Amsterdam, september 2021. Beeld Arie Kievit
In de meeste gemeenten wordt slechts incidenteel preventief gefouilleerd, bijvoorbeeld als de openbare orde verstoord dreigt te worden. Een paar andere steden die kampen met veel wapengeweld, zoals Zaanstad en Rotterdam, doen dit al enkele jaren structureel. Hoewel uit onderzoek van het Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum (WODC) van het ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid blijkt dat de effectiviteit van deze wapencontroles lastig te meten is, wordt de methode door die gemeenten toch noodzakelijk geacht om het wapengeweld tegen te gaan. 'Uit een paar kleine internationale studies blijkt dat de criminaliteit in bepaalde gebieden wat omlaag kan gaan door wapencontroles, maar dat dit niet opweegt tegen de negatieve effecten van preventief fouilleren', zegt criminoloog Marc Schuilenburg van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. 'Het vermindert het vertrouwen in de politie, omdat het risico bestaat dat sommige groepen vaker gecontroleerd worden. En burgers blijken erdoor minder snel geneigd om naar de politie te stappen.'
Aanvankelijk voelt burgemeester Halsema weinig voor gerichte wapencontroles. Toch raakt ze door gesprekken met politiechef Paauw overtuigd. Ze wil de effectiviteit ervan onderzoeken. Het resulteert in 2021 in een eerste proef, een die al snel verzandt in absurde taferelen.
Om te kijken of agenten zich niet door onderbuikgevoelens laten leiden, worden ze gecontroleerd door zogenoemde burgerwaarnemers. Dit tot irritatie van de politiebonden, en enkele agenten. In De Telegraaf vertellen twee anonieme agenten dat ze zich 'vernederd voelen' door de burgerwaarnemers, 'alsof we kleine kinderen zijn die op de vingers moeten worden gekeken'. De politiebonden sturen op hun beurt eigen waarnemers naar Amsterdam '' om te controleren of de burgerwaarnemers hun taak wel goed uitvoeren.
Het resultaat van de pilot: er is geen sprake van etnisch profileren. De opbrengst qua wapens is daarnaast gering: bij 3 procent van de 2.368 gecontroleerde personen worden wapens gevonden. In de meeste gevallen gaat het om pepperspray, ploertendoders en boksbeugels. Uit de evaluatie blijkt wel dat eenderde van de buurtbewoners zich door de controles veiliger voelt.
De tweede pilot: jongeren worden vaker gefouilleerd Burgemeester Halsema wil na deze eerste pilot een nog beter beeld krijgen van het effect van de controles. Daarom kondigt ze '' hoewel de meerderheid van de gemeenteraad tegen is '' een tweede pilot aan. Ditmaal observeren 'undercover'-onderzoekers, onder leiding van hoogleraar Lindegaard van het NSCR, de agenten.
De politie krijgt bovendien van de gemeente uitgebreide instructies mee. Er mag alleen gecontroleerd worden in vijf aangewezen gebieden en de wapencontroles moeten 'zonder aanziens des persoons' worden uitgevoerd. Om dat te bereiken, wordt onder meer gebruikgemaakt van een selectiezuil die willekeurig bepaalt wie er moet worden gecontroleerd. 'Je loopt erdoorheen en drukt op een knop', zegt Lindegaard, die het team van 'undercover-observanten' begeleidde. 'Om de x-aantal personen zegt de zuil: deze persoon moet gefouilleerd worden.'
Agenten tijdens de eerste proef met preventief fouilleren in Amsterdam, september 2021. Beeld Arie Kievit
In praktijk, constateren haar onderzoekers, 'bleek het een heel gedoe om die zuil op te tuigen. Daar waren agenten zo een half uur mee bezig. Het was vooral symbolic policing, een soort poppenkast. De meeste mensen met een wapen op zak hadden genoeg tijd om zich uit de voeten te maken en anderen uit hun netwerk te waarschuwen.'
Haar team, dat in totaal zes actiedagen observeerde, ontdekt dat agenten het pragmatischer proberen aan te pakken. 'Ze zetten gebieden af, bijvoorbeeld een skatebaan of een terras bij de McDonald's en iedereen binnen dat gebied werd gefouilleerd. Maar deze methode stond niet in de instructies.'
Daarnaast valt de onderzoekers nog iets op. 'Uit onze analyse blijkt een duidelijke selectiviteit, twintigers hebben een veel grotere kans om te worden gefouilleerd. In Rotterdam zegt de gemeente dat ze vooral bij jongeren controleren. Amsterdam heeft die keuze heel bewust niet gemaakt, omdat de gemeente willekeurige controles wilde en geen enkele vorm van discriminatie.'
Uit een toelichting van politiechef Paauw bleek maandag dat hierover verwarring bestond bij agenten. Een deel van hen dacht juist dat het de bedoeling was vooral jongeren te controleren, in een flyer stond immers dat de acties ten doel hadden om het wapenbezit onder jongeren terug te brengen.
En dat is niet de enige 'menselijke fout', aldus de politiechef maandag. Op de sheets die zijn gebruikt tijdens de briefings voor de acties worden acht in plaats van de aangewezen vijf risicogebieden genoemd waarin gefouilleerd mag worden. Ook is er een zinnetje in de toelichting voor de agenten dat controles in bijvoorbeeld horecagelegenheden ook een optie zijn.
Definitief voorbij Eigenlijk, constateert criminoloog Schuilenburg, 'is in Amsterdam juist alles misgegaan wat men met al die waarborgen had willen voorkomen. Er was dan wel geen sprake van etnisch profileren, maar wel van leeftijdsdiscriminatie.'
Agenten tijdens de eerste proef met preventief fouilleren in Amsterdam, september 2021. Beeld Arie Kievit
En dat schuurt: 'Neem Rotterdam, waar de focus ligt op repressie en het signaal dat je wapens niet tolereert. De negatieve effecten van deze methode worden daar door de politiek voor lief genomen. In Amsterdam zocht men juist naar een manier om die negatieve effecten te voorkomen. Alleen gebeurde op die 10de november juist alles waardoor die effecten worden versterkt.'
Inmiddels is de pilot in Amsterdam definitief beindigd. De politie heeft excuses gemaakt aan het jongerencentrum, en zijn er gesprekken geweest met de jongeren om het vertrouwen te herstellen. 'Daaruit blijkt dat de controle grote indruk op hen heeft gemaakt', schrijft Paauw aan de gemeenteraad. Binnenkort komt Halsema met nieuwe plannen om wapengeweld tegen te gaan.
Voor onderzoeker Lindegaard bewijst de pilot 'dat je in een papieren werkelijkheid wel eisen kunt stellen', maar dat de praktijk weerbarstig is. 'De gemeente had zo veel waarborgen meegegeven, ze had zo ontzettend haar best gedaan om te voorkomen dat het misging, dat de agenten door de bomen het bos misschien niet meer zagen.'
Lees ook
At Least 6% Of Students Identify As Transgender At One California School District, Data Analysis Finds | The Daily Wire
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 14:40
A California public school district has seen a surge of children and adolescents identifying as transgender and ''nonbinary.''
A new survey found soaring numbers of trans-identified students at California's Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD). According to a data analysis on Reality's Last Stand, an average of 6% of surveyed DJUSD students identified as neither male nor female during the 2020-2021 school year. Given the nature of the survey question, this number did not include students who identified as the opposite sex.
''This floor estimate is nearly 4.3 times the national average, and 3 times California's average,'' the data analysis said.
According to a 2020-2021 Main Report of the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS), 1,443 students in grades 7, 9, and 11 were surveyed for DJUSD secondary schools.
When asked, ''What is your gender?'' 6% of 7th graders, 5% of 9th graders, 7% of 11th graders, and 16% of students attending an alternative school (continuation, community day, etc.) answered that they were ''nonbinary'' or ''something else'' besides male or female.
Image provided by Reality's Last Stand
When presented with the question, ''Some people describe themselves as transgender when how they think or feel about their gender is different from the sex they were assigned at birth. Are you transgender?'' 2% of students in grades 7, 9, and 11 responded ''Yes,'' while 4% of 7th graders and 3% of 9th graders and 11th graders said they were ''not sure'' if they are transgender. Additionally, 4% of continuing education students said they were transgender, while another 8% answered ''not sure.''
Image provided by Reality's Last Stand
''Pooled together, this gives us an absolute floor estimate of 6 percent for surveyed DJUSD students who can be considered transgender for the 2020-2021 sample, as this does not even include students with cross-sex identities,'' the data analysis concluded.
According to Reality's Last Stand, the definition of ''transgender'' most commonly used by proponents of gender ideology is someone who identifies as something other than their birth sex, identifying as the opposite sex, as well as identifying as neither male nor female. Because of this, the 6% of children identifying as neither male nor female represent a ''floor estimate'' of the number of DJUSD students who most would consider as having a transgender identity. This number is likely higher, but the nature of the survey questions did not account for students who identify as the opposite sex.
The survey included several questions on social and emotional health, and found that students who identify as ''nonbinary'' and ''something else'' other than male or female reported experiencing much higher rates of social emotional distress, chronic sadness/hopelessness, and considered suicide.
Image provided by Reality's Last Stand
Students that identify as ''nonbinary'' in the 7th grade (60%), 9th grade (56%), and 11th grade (75%) reported experiencing chronic sadness and hopelessness, and 47% of 7th graders, 25% of 9th graders, and 55% of 11th graders who identify as ''nonbinary'' said they considered suicide.
According to the data collected from the survey, the majority of DJUSD students are white, come from an upper-middle-class background, and over 80% of parents had obtained college degrees. In the city of Davis, California, Democrat voters outnumbered Republican voters over 6 to 1 in the 2020 presidential election.
A YouthTruth survey document indicated that lower social-emotional health scores reported by trans-identifying students in these types of surveys are used to increase the amount of ''inclusive'' curriculum dedicated to transgender topics.
''Every time we do a gender inclusiveness training, we incorporate this data; the clarity of the data has supported the foundational argument for staff that our newer policies about gender inclusivity are relevant and important,'' the document states.
Ukraine Defense Minister Offers Ukraine as a 'Testing Ground' for NATO Weapons - News From Antiwar.com
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 14:36
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov on Tuesday openly offered Ukraine as a venue to test NATO weapons against Russia in an online conversation with the director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center.
Reznikov said that Ukraine ''is essentially a testing ground'' for the advanced weaponry the US and its allies are pouring into the country. ''Many weapons are now getting tested in the field in the real conditions of the battle against the Russian Army, which has plenty of modern systems of its own,'' he said.
The Ukrainian military chief made the offer in a fresh pitch for more Western arms. ''We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we are inviting arms manufacturers to test the new products here,'' he said.
One weapons system that is getting its first use on the battlefield in Ukraine is the Polish Krab artillery system that was provided by Warsaw. ''So, I think for our partners in Poland, in the United States, France, or Germany, it's a good chance to test the equipment. So, give us the tools. We will finish the job and you will have all the new information,'' Reznikov said.
The Western response to the war in Ukraine has been a boon for US arms makers, who are making money sending weapons into the war zone, replenishing NATO stockpiles, and selling arms to European countries that have decided to boost military spending.
Kyiv has been asking for more advanced arms than it has been sending, including F-15 and F-16 fighter jets. Ukrainian pilots would need to be trained to fly the US aircraft, and the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act includes $100 million to go towards that training, although the massive spending bill has not yet been finalized.
full faith and credit | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 05:33
Full faith and credit is the requirement, derived from Article IV, Section I of the Constitution, that state courts respect the laws and judgments of courts from other states. This clause attempts to prevent conflict among states and ensure the dependability of judgments across the country. This does so by requiring courts to follow the judgments made on the same issue in another state. Otherwise, individuals could simply go to another state to relitigate issues that did not receive favorable judgments in previous cases, and this would result in states having different judgments that could cause competition among states. Therefore, the full faith and credit clause prevents this kind of relitigation, under the doctrines of res judicata and issue preclusion, as long as the state issuing the original judgment had jurisdiction to do so. This same principle also applies to certain kinds of laws among different states like marriage.
While the full faith and credit clause typically applies, sometimes courts may disregard the judgments of other courts based upon the prior court not having jurisdiction or following constitutionally required procedures. For example, a court in New York may ignore the judgment from California where the defendant was never properly served.
[Last updated in December of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]
India's imports of Russian oil increase 33 times '' data '-- RT Business News
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 20:35
Purchases of sanctions-hit crude in December saw a nearly 30% surge month-on-month
India's purchases of Russian crude oil increased year-over-year by a factor of 33, marking an all-time high in December, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing data from Vortexa.
The world's third-biggest importer of crude bought an average of 1.2 million barrels per day from Russia last month, 29% more than in November, according to the data. Russia has reportedly become India's biggest fuel supplier, having outpaced Iraq and Saudi Arabia several months ago.
Indian refiners have increasingly favored imports of Russian oil at steep discounts since the beginning of last year, after many Western buyers shunned the shipments amid escalating sanctions. The latest round of sanctions agreed by the G7, EU and allies included a $60-a-barrel price cap on Russian sea-borne oil and led to a sharp increase in Indian imports.
''Russia has likely offered its crude at an attractive discount to Indian refiners, which have surpassed China as the largest importer of Russian crude,'' Serena Huang, lead Asia analyst at Vortexa told Bloomberg, adding that India stepped up imports of other Russian grades like Arco, Sakhalin and Varandey apart from Urals in recent months.
India is highly vulnerable to price volatility, as over 85% of the country's oil demand is covered through imports. The state-owned refiners have been boosting cheaper Russian imports after New Delhi prevented them from raising pump prices of diesel and gasoline in May.
India's crude imports from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, its other major suppliers, also increased in December. Purchases from Iraq grew by 7% to nearly 886,000 barrels per day, while those from Saudi Arabia jumped by 12% to nearly 748,000 barrels per day.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
The FAA has very quietly tacitly admitted that the EKGs of pilots are no longer normal. We should be concerned. Very concerned.
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 19:54
The FAA just telegraphed the fact that a substantial number of airline pilots have had serious heart damage from the COVID vaccine by widening the ECG parameters for pilots.In the October 2022 version of the FAA Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners, the FAA quietly widened the EKG parameters beyond the normal range (from a PR max of .2 to unlimited). And they didn't widen the range by a little. They widened it by a lot. It was done after the vaccine rollout.
This is extraordinary. They did it hoping nobody would notice. It worked for a while. Nobody caught it.
But you can't hide these things for long.
This is a tacit admission from the US government that the COVID vaccine has damaged the hearts of our pilots. Not just a few pilots. A lot of pilots and a lot of damage.
The cardiac harm of course is not limited to pilots.
My best guess right now is that over 50M Americans sustained some amount of heart damage from the shot.
That's a lot of people who will be very upset when they realize the vaccine they took to reduce their chance of dying from COVID actually worked in reverse making it:
More likely that people will get COVID
Be hospitalized from COVID and other diseases
Die from COVID (and other diseases)
You also have an excellent chance of getting a lifetime of heart damage for no extra charge.
But don't worry; you can't sue them. They fixed the law so none of them aren't liable (the doctors, the drug companies, the government). After all, you took the vaccine of your own free will. It's not like you were forced (or coerced) to take it or anything like that! And there were plenty of people warning you not to take the shots (even though they censored most of them).
In this article, I will explain the evidence and thinking behind all my claims.
As I learn more, I will refine the estimate.
On October 24, 2022, the FAA quietly, without any announcement at all, widened the EKG requirements necessary for pilots to be able to fly.
The PR (a measure of heart function) used to be in the range of .12 to .2.
It is now: .12 to .3 and potentially even higher.
This is a very wide range; it accommodates people who have cardiac injury. Cardiologist Thomas Levy is appalled at this change:
Why would they do that?
I'll take an educated guess as to why they did that. I believe it is because they knew if they kept the original range, too many pilots would have to be grounded. That would be extremely problematic; commercial aviation in the US would be severely disrupted.
And why did they do that quietly without notifying the public or the mainstream media?
I'm pretty sure they won't tell me, so I'll speculate: it's because they didn't want anyone to know.
In other words, the COVID vaccine has seriously injured a lot of pilots and the FAA knows it and said nothing because that would tip off the country that the vaccines are unsafe. And you aren't allowed to do that.
There are several clues that are consistent with ''it was the vaccine and not COVID'':
They were quiet about it. If it was COVID, you can be public. But the vaccine is supposed to be safe.
The timing. October 2022 is late for COVID. If it was due to COVID, it would have happened well before now. They can make changes every month.
The vaccine creates far more injury to the heart than COVID ( which creates NO added risk per this large-scale Israeli study of 196,992 unvaccinated adults after Covid infection).
Anecdotally, cardiologists only started to notice the damage post-vaccine.
All the sudden deaths started post-vaccine.
I know from a study of 177 people in Puerto Rico (97% of whom were vaccinated) ages 8 to 84, that 70% of those people, when screened for cardiac injury using an FDA-approved testing device (from Heart Care Corp), exhibited objective signs of cardiac injury .
There was a study done on pilots. It will be published in The Epoch Times later this week. That indicated heart damage in over 20% of pilots screened (The Epoch Times will release the exact number).
The Thailand study showed nearly 30% of kids were injured. But kids are indestructible so a 30% injury rate in kids translates into a higher rate for adults.
VAERS shows that cardiac damage happens at all ages, not just the young:
Bottom line: The most logical conclusion is that the FAA knows the hearts of our nations pilots have been injured by the COVID vaccine that they were coerced into taking, the number of pilots affected is huge, the cardiac damage is extensive, and passenger safety is being compromised by the lowering of the standards to enable pilots to fly.
The right thing would be for the FAA to come clean and admit to the American public that the COVID vaccine has injured 20% or more of the pilots (based on their limited EKG screening), but I doubt that they will ever do that.
The changes were made on October 24, 2022 to the GUIDE FOR AVIATION MEDICAL EXAMINERS .
Here is the change log where you can see the change listed (see page 4):
Here is what the policy was before the change. It was just one row:
Here are what it looks like as of Oct 24, 2022 (click the image to see the context):
So it's now two rows, one for less than 300 ms (it used to be 200 ms), and a second row to handle 300 ms or more.
For more information about the change, see Myocarditis: Once Rare, Now Common .
In the US, we are not allowed to do lab tests on people before and after the vaccine.
The reason for that is simple: it would make it crystal clear that the vaccines are unsafe. That is why there are no before/after studies in the US. There never will be.
Why? Because that is how science works in America today: it's unethical to design a study that might expose that the COVID vaccines that they forced us to take cause harm.
Think I'm kidding about how they game the trials? Get yourself a copy of Turtles All the Way Down and just read the first chapter. It's eye opening.
Even though we can't do a before/after study in the US, they did such a study in Thailand on 301 kids. They found that 29.24% of the participants developed cardiac injuries within days after they got the second shot:
But here's the most important part about that study that nobody points out:
None of the tests that were done in the Thailand study included doing a cardiac MRI with contrast on all the participants since that would be expensive and invasive. That test is the gold-standard for cardiac injury.
In other words, the 29% rate of injury was a lower bound of injury .
If you did a cardiac MRI on all those kids, you are going to find stuff that you will not find using the cheap and easy tests. Maybe a lot of stuff.
I believe that the actual rate of heart injury from these vaccines will be found to be well over the 29.7% rate of heart damage in the Thailand study.
At a more conservative 20% injury rate, we are looking at 50M Americans with heart damage caused by the jab.
As more studies are done, it's going to be crystal clear why so many people are dying suddenly, especially kids. It's also going to explain why nursing homes have lost up to 33% of their residents in 12 months where before they were losing only 1 or 2% a year. It's going to explain why I was unable to find even a single nursing home where the all-cause mortality dropped after the vaccines rolled out. And it's going to explain why none of the nursing homes wanted to talk to me about what happened to people after the shots rolled out.
Confidence in the CDC and the medical community should hit rock bottom after it is revealed how extensive the damage caused by these vaccines is.
The fact that the Thailand study was published in a peer-reviewed journal, that they only did the easy-to-do assessments (which only found a portion of the damage), and the FAA quietly changed their EKG guidance should at least open your mind to the possibility that I might be right.
This narrative is going to start falling apart at an accelerated rate.
Stay tuned. The best is yet to come. And it's going to be epic.
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Nearly 50 class actions filed over Meta Pixel's video tracking
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 17:54
Consumers have filed nearly 50 proposed class-action lawsuits against dozens of companies since February claiming Meta Platforms' Pixel video tracking tool shared video consumption data without consent, Bloomberg Law reports. The suits allege companies that host videos '-- including news outlets and streaming services '-- are in violation of the federal Video Privacy Protection Act. Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein Partner Douglas Cuthbertson said it's important ''that people can watch what they want to watch and not have the whole world know about it and have it be monetized and exploited and correlated and aggregated with other data.''Full Story
Meta Pixel's Video Tracking Spurs Wave of Data Privacy Suits (1)
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 17:53
Consumers are suing dozens of companies ranging from the NFL to NPR for sharing tracking data on what videos they watch, in a growing privacy class action trend that exploded in September.
At least 47 proposed class actions filed since February claim that Meta Platforms Inc.'s Pixel tracking tool sent the plaintiffs' personal video consumption data from online platforms to Facebook without their consent, violating the federal Video Privacy Protection Act, a Bloomberg Law analysis of court dockets found. Almost half of the new cases (22) were filed in September alone. Five cases have been voluntarily dismissed.
A wide variety of entities that host videos are facing lawsuits, including news outlets, streaming services, and sports organizations. The complaints allege they knowingly disclosed protected information by allowing Meta's embedded Pixel code to share a digital subscriber's viewing activity and unique Facebook ID with the social media platform.
''It's of importance that people can watch what they want to watch and not have the whole world know about it and have it be monetized and exploited and correlated and aggregated with other data,'' said Douglas Cuthbertson, a partner with Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP in New York whose practice includes digital privacy work. His firm is litigating several proposed class actions targeting Meta Pixel data-sharing under the VPPA.
Three firms are responsible for over half of the lawsuits filed so far. Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane Conway & Wise LLP and Bailey & Glasser LLP jointly filed 12 lawsuits in September, and Bursor & Fisher P.A. has also filed 12 lawsuits over the course of the year, individually and with other firms. The firms either declined or did not respond to requests for comment.
The rising number of cases is evidence of how plaintiff's counsels are creatively applying traditional causes of action to litigate modern privacy issues in the absence of federal consumer privacy legislation, attorneys said.
While the video privacy law only applies to actions of the provider, hospital websites' similar data-sharing with Facebook has sparked legal action by patients against both the health-care providers and Meta. Because only the US government can sue under the federal health privacy law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the complaints in those proposed class actions accused them of violating other state or federal laws that focus on invasions of privacy or consumer protection.
A Meta spokesperson declined to comment on the litigation, but highlighted the termsfor Facebook Business Tools, which require companies to obtain ''all necessary consents'' before using its tracking technology.
''Advertisers should not share Business Tools Data with Meta that they know or reasonably should know is either from or about children under the age of 13, or includes health or financial information, or other categories of sensitive information,'' the spokesperson wrote in an email. ''This includes any information defined as sensitive under applicable laws, regulations and applicable industry guidelines.''
The Pixel class actions join other creative emerging class action trends'--such as filing state wiretapping suits against companies that use third-party browser surveillance software'--that demonstrate how lawyers are seeking out new avenues to litigate consumer privacy without a specific federal law, said Odia Kagan, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP in Philadelphia who specializes in privacy and data security.
If the Pixel litigation proves successful, liable companies would face a heavy financial toll: VPPA violations can result in statutory damages of up to $2,500 per class member, and several lawsuits estimated potential class sizes to be in the hundreds of thousands.
The VPPA cases highlight ''the growing importance of taking seriously people's rights with respect to the collection and use of their information, specifically with respect to sharing with third parties for a purpose that benefits the third party,'' Kagan said.
Proper DisclosureThe 1988 video privacy law was originally crafted to safeguard consumers' videotape rental records, but has since been broadened to bar digital video providers from disclosing identifiable information about a consumer's viewing habits without their express consent.
The VPPA requires a provider to obtain informed and written consent before disclosing an individual's video viewing information to third parties.
Attorneys handling several of the new cases have claimed that basic privacy policies don't meet the required standard.
Cuthbertson of Lieff Cabraser said that consent must be obtained via a separate form from other user agreements, adding that the platforms he has investigated in VPPA cases have failed to do so.
The plaintiffs in most of the proposed class actions Bloomberg Law reviewed make similar allegations.
Viable Claims?One of the first VPPA cases addressing Meta Pixel privacy concerns, filed against Boston Globe Media Partners LLC in February, recently moved to the discovery phase after a judge from the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts denied the defendant's motion to dismiss.
In doing so, Chief District Judge Kimberly Mueller wrote that the class action's allegations presented a ''viable VPPA claim'' based on the facts presented.
Mueller's opinion ''might be typical'' of other rulings on cases involving similar VPPA claims, Cuthbertson said.
Of the nearly 50 cases currently filed, Bloomberg LP is among the companies facing these kinds of claims. Bloomberg Law is operated by entities controlled by Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP.
While most of the video privacy cases have yet to reach discovery, cases involving National Public Radio, Gamestop, NYP Holdings, Nexstar Media, and Bloomberg LP have been voluntarily dismissed. Attorneys for the companies that reached voluntary dismissals didn't respond to requests for comment or declined to comment.
Arbitration ObstacleThe merits of the lawsuits are ''extraordinarily strong,'' said Jason Zweig, a consumer class action attorney at Keller Postman LLC in Chicago who is not involved in any of the VPPA litigation.
Zweig raised concerns that some class actions may not pan out if companies include arbitration or class waiver clauses in their terms and conditions.
''Maybe there will be some arguments about whether there was really an agreement by the user to arbitrate claims against the website; in other words, they didn't properly form a contract to agree to arbitrate,'' Zweig said. ''But if you've been alive for the last 10 years and following class action litigation, you would know that those are all arguments that are going to be very difficult to overcome.''
The wave of litigation for similar claims may continue to rise for the next year, Zweig said, but he expects the volume to dwindle after that as companies decide that ''using this Pixel is just not worth it.''
Escort agencies booked solid for Davos forum '' media '-- RT World News
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 17:03
Sexual harassment by wealthy men at WEF is ''so common'' that female guests are advised not to attend events alone, an Austrian outlet has reported
The Swiss escort agencies near Davos are already fully booked ahead of this year's World Economic Forum, the elite gathering that brings together heads of state, corporate executives, and influential non-profiteers, Austrian outlet Exxpress reported on Sunday, citing a missive purportedly sent from one such agency.
In a message to unnamed hospitality staff and published by Exxpress, escort agency Sensuallounge Escort urges readers to book their ''fine selection of ladies and gentlemen'' ahead of time to ensure ''the best possible care and company during the World Economic Forum.''
Sensuallounge reportedly offers ''services for all sexual orientations,'' and the outlet claims one night with one of their employees costs '‚¬2,350 (just over $2,500). The service does not appear to accept cash as payment, offering clients the option of paying with a major credit card or via PayPal.
Explaining that the WEF's annual get-together is high season for Swiss prostitutes, Exxpress revealed the agencies set up dedicated websites for the conference. Their roster seemingly fully booked, Sensuallounge's site had already disappeared as of Monday.
While the WEF invited about 2,500 people as accredited delegates this year, over 30,000 more are expected to descend upon the ski resort for the dinners, parties, and, according to a growing body of journalism documenting the ''dark side of Davos,'' sex for payment that occurs outside the forum.
Sex workers also await in hotels and bars frequented by guests, according to a 2020 report from the Times UK, and women - even if they are accredited WEF attendees - are ''routinely harassed'' by the men who dominate the conclave. Indeed, the event began warning women that year not to go out alone after dark, ''because if something happens with some big CEO, who is going to be believed? You or them?''
Prostitution at Davos has caused controversy in years past, though the bigger concern appears to be keeping the working class under control. The Swiss Army has been authorized to deploy as many as 5,000 troops if needed to provide security to the billionaires.
The theme for 2023's conference, which runs from January 16-20, is ''Cooperation in a Fragmented World.'' Protesters were already onsite ahead of the event's official opening on Monday, denouncing attendees' use of private jets to deliver climate-change platitudes, and the presence of fossil-fuel executives at the supposedly sustainability-conscious forum.
A powerful laser can redirect lightning strikes
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 16:45
Like a high-tech hammer of Thor, a powerful laser can grab hold of a lightning bolt and reroute its path through the sky.
In a mountaintop experiment, such a laser bent lightning toward a lightning rod, researchers report online January 16 in Nature Photonics. Scientists have used lasers to wrangle electricity in the lab before, but this is the first demonstration that the technique works in real-world storms and could someday lead to better protection against lightning.
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Today's most common anti-lightning tech is the classic lightning rod, a meters-long metal pole rooted to the ground. The metal's conductivity lures in lightning that might otherwise strike nearby buildings or people, feeding that electricity safely into the earth. But the area shielded by a lightning rod is limited by the rod's height.
''If you want to protect some large infrastructure, like an airport or a launching pad for rockets or a wind farm '... then you would need, for good protection, a lightning rod of kilometer size, or hundreds of meters,'' says Aur(C)lien Houard, a physicist at Institut Polytechnique de Paris in Palaiseau, France. Such a tall metal pole would be impractical. But a laser could reach that far, intercepting distant lightning bolts and ushering them down to ground-based metal rods.
Houard and his colleagues tested this idea atop the S¤ntis mountain in northeastern Switzerland. They set up a high-power laser near a telecommunications tower tipped with a lightning rod that is struck by lightning around 100 times every year. The laser was beamed at the sky for about six hours total during thunderstorms from July to September 2021.
On July 24, 2021, fairly clear skies allowed a high-speed camera to capture the moment that a laser bent the path of a lightning bolt between the sky and a lightning rod atop a tower. The lightning followed the route of the laser light for some 50 meters. A. Houard et al/Nature Photonics 2023The laser blasted short, intense bursts of infrared light at the clouds about 1,000 times per second. This train of light pulses ripped electrons off air molecules and knocked some air molecules out of its way, carving out a channel of low-density, charged plasma. Sort of like clearing a path through the woods and laying down pavement, this combination of effects made it easier for electric current to flow along this route (SN: 3/5/14). That created a path of least resistance for lightning to follow through the sky.
Houard's team tuned their laser so that it formed this electrically conductive pathway just above the tip of the tower. This allowed the tower's lightning rod to intercept a bolt snagged by the laser before it zipped all the way down to the laser equipment.
The tower was hit by lightning four times while the laser was on. One of those strikes happened in a fairly clear sky, allowing two high-speed cameras to capture the moment. Those images showed lightning zigzagging down from the clouds and following the laser light for some 50 meters toward the tower's lightning rod.
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To track the paths of the three bolts that they could not see, the researchers looked at radio waves shed by the lightning. Those radio waves showed that the three strikes followed the path of the laser much more closely than other strikes that happened when the laser was off. This hinted that the laser guided these three strikes to the lightning rod, as well.
This 3-D reconstruction models a lightning strike captured by high-speed cameras in July 2021. It shows the moment that the lightning bolt hit a metal rod atop a tower, its path guided through the sky by a powerful laser.''It's a real achievement,'' says Howard Milchberg, a physicist at the University of Maryland in College Park not involved in the work. ''People have been trying to do this for many years.'' Scientists' main goal in bending lightning to their will is to increase safety, he says. But ''if this thing ever became really, really efficient, and the probability of guiding a discharge was increased way beyond what it is now, it could potentially even be useful for charging things up.''
Atmospheric and space scientist Robert Holzworth is more cautious about imagining the applications. ''They only showed 50 meters of [guiding] length, and most lightning channels are kilometers long,'' says Holzworth, of the University of Washington in Seattle. So scaling the laser system up to have a useful reach may take a lot of work.
Using a higher-frequency, higher-energy laser could extend its reach, Houard says. ''This is a first step toward a kilometric-range lightning rod.''
Is 'Orthrus' in YOUR area? Time-lapse maps show the rise of the new Covid variant | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 16:03
Covid variant Orthrus now accounts for one fifth of Covid cases in England, figures show.
Surveillance data shows how the strain, scientifically called CH.1.1, has snowballed since it was first detected in November.
Health chiefs have warned that it '-- or another Omicron sub-lineage nicknamed the 'Kraken' '-- could soon become dominant.
The latter, or XBB1.5, has sparked fears it could trigger a Covid resurgence, putting even more pressure on the NHS at a time when it is being battered by its worst ever winter.
Maps, taken from the Sanger Institute, which tracks Covid variants in England using data from genomic testing, show Omicron spin-off Orthrus has spread up and down the nation as of January 7, the latest available data. It now accounts of 23.3 per cent of all Covid test analysed up from 1 per cent on November 12 when it was first spotted in Blaby in the south west of Leicestershire
Data from the Sanger Institute, one of the UK's largest surveillance sites tasked with analysing strains circulating in the UK, shows Orthrus, nicknamed after a mythical two-headed dog, accounted for 23.3 per cent of all Covid tests analysed in England on January 7, the latest data available.
Fascinating maps show it now accounts for 100 per cent of genomic tests of the virus in some boroughs.
These include Northumberland, Bradford, Wakefield, Blackburn with Darwen, North West Leicestershire, Breckland, Central Bedfordshire, Oxford, Reading, Woking, Enfield, Havering, Sevenoaks, Crawley, and Adur.
It shows how far the new variant has come since when it was first spotted in Blaby in the south west of Leicestershire on November 12.
But the Sanger data is only based on hundreds of samples, meaning it does not reflect the true picture.
The majority of Covid-positive samples are not sequenced by the lab, which was analysing thousands every day during the height of the pandemic.
Kraken, nicknamed after a mythical sea monster, currently accounts for 3.6 per cent of cases in England, according to the same data.
However, it was only spotted in mid-December.
While Orthrus is behind more infections, experts have said Kraken appears to be growing faster and is thought to be more transmissible and immune evasive than other strains in circulation.
UK Health Security Agency data suggested that Kraken has a 39 per cent growth rate advantage over BQ.1, the current dominant variant.
This chart, taken from the Sanger Institute, shows the growth of both Orthrus (salmon colour) and Kraken (purple) since November 12. However, Omicron strain BQ.1 (yellow) is still the dominant variant. Other Covid variants on the chart include other BA.5 sub-lineages (maroon), BA.2 (light blue) and BA.4 (thin orange line)
The latest ONS Covid infection survey shows that 4 per cent of England's population was infected on any given day last week '-- a drop from 4.5 per cent last week. In Scotland, levels increased by 3 per cent in Scotland to 219,600, meaning one in 25 people (4.1 per cent of the population) were infected in the week to December 31. Around 157,000 people in Wales (one in 18, 5.7 per cent) were thought to be carrying the virus in the seven days to January 3, down 9.4 per cent in a week. In Northern Ireland, 129,100 people were infected (one in 14, 7 per cent) '-- an increase of 9.3 per cent. However, the ONS said the weekly trend is uncertain
COVID: The number of people infected with Covid taking up hospital beds in England fell 11 per cent from 9,414 in the week to January 4 to 8,404 in the seven days to January 11. NHS data shows the figure peaked at 9,533 on December 29 and has since fallen 19 per cent to 7,743
Meanwhile, the advantage rate for Orthrus was 22 per cent.
However, the UKHSA cautioned Kraken's current low prevalence in the UK makes any estimate of its growth 'highly uncertain'.
Neither Covid variant has been escalated to being declared a 'variant of concern' by the UKHSA.
This suggests there are no signs they cause more severe disease than other, similarly mild Omicron strains, nor are sufficiently genetically divergent as to cause Covid vaccines to be less effective.
However, scientists have found both host concerning genetic quirks.
Orthrus has a mutation called P681R '-- which was also on the Delta variant '-- and is thought to make it better attack cells and cause more severe illness.
Scientists have also spotted it has R346T, which is thought to help the strain fight-off antibodies that were generated in response to vaccination or previous infection.
And Kraken has one called F486P, which helps it to bypass Covid-fighting antibodies. Another mutation '-- S486P '-- is thought to improve its ability to bind to human cells.
Concerns over the two new strains, combined with the unfolding NHS crisis and a 'flu-nami', has triggered calls for the return of pandemic-era restrictions like masks and working-from-home in a bid to ease pressure on the ailing health service.
But the latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggests Covid cases have actually fallen in England.
According to the data, 2.2million people, or one in 25 people, were infected with the virus in the week to January 3.
ONS analysts estimated that the total was 11 per cent lower than the week before.
However, as many as one in 14 people were still infected in the worst-affected parts of the UK.
And some have suggested it could be the calm before another wave of infections.
Data for England showed cases fell in all regions apart from the North East, where 4.1 per cent of people were infected '-- up from 3.8 per cent one week earlier.
Infections were highest in the East Midlands, South West and South East, where 4.5 per cent were thought to be carrying the virus.
Cases were lowest in London and the North West, where 3.5 per cent were infected, according to ONS estimates.
But the ONS, which swabs thousands of people across the UK to estimate how prevalent the virus is, noted that these estimates are based on a lower than usual number of swabs due to the festive period.
Warnings about the new variants also came as the number of people infected with Covid taking up hospital beds in England is falling.
The figure dropped 11 per cent from 9,414 in the week to January 4 to 8,404 in the seven days to January 11.
NHS data shows Covid patients peaked at 9,533 on December 29 and has since fallen 19 per cent to 7,743.
Just one in three so-called Covid patients are primarily admitted to hospital because of the virus. The remaining two-thirds were taken into NHS care for another ailment, such as a broken leg, but happened to test positive.
If the downwards trend continues, it means the wave will have peaked below 10,000, which is well below the figures seen in previous waves.
The number topped 14,000 during summer 2022 and reached 17,000 last winter.
Force Design 2030
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 16:02
The Threat that Informs the Design We are redesigning the Corps because current and future threats call for a significantly more capable force, with new operating concepts.
Advancements in sensors, signal processing, and machine learning, coupled with robotic applications, will give rise to new use cases for autonomous systems. Even undercapitalized collections of people can use relatively inexpensive and risk-worthy drones and loitering munitions to conduct effective intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; strike; and command and control within a contested airspace to counter armor and mechanized units.
Potential adversaries are building a robust, lethal force with capabilities spanning the air, maritime, space and information domains, enabling them to impose their will on others. Contested norms and persistent disorder confrontations will likely become violent and will include competition below the threshold of traditional armed conflict.
Future adversaries use ground-based, long-range, precision anti-surface and air defense system '' integrated with air, maritime, cyberspace, and space strike capabilities '' to deny forces access to the conflict zone.
If entry is achieved, enemy extended range, massed fires, augmented with precision munitions engaging in high payoff targets, challenge traditional large-scale land assembly, maneuver, and sustainment.
The reach of modern stand-off weapons like hypersonic glide vehicles and associated targeting systems are so great that Marines will constantly operate under threat rings of these systems; they will not be guaranteed freedom of movement without the enemy's cognizance. Near-peer states will have an anti-access/area-denial capability, but numerous adversaries will also have at least some capabilities to challenge US operational access.
Implications for Marines:
Marine formations must operate within the adversary's weapons engagement zone and under technical surveillance that is ubiquitous in nature. Smaller and lighter units of action must be capable of disaggregated reconnaissance and counter reconnaissance operations. (Return to top)
Rep. Jackson Lee Introduces Bill Banning Criticism of Non-White People
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 15:35
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced a House Bill criminalizing ''conspiracy to commit white supremacy,'' which includes criticism of non-white people which influences an individual to commit a hate crime.
The legislation, H.R.61 ''Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023,'' introduced last Monday by Democratic congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, seeks to ''prevent and prosecute white supremacy inspired hate crime and conspiracy to commit white supremacy inspired hate crime.''
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has introduced a House Bill to criminalize ''conspiracy to commit white supremacy,'' which includes any criticism of non-white people that influences (such as something published or said online) someone who commits a hate crime. https://t.co/QD93bVJmA9 pic.twitter.com/ROwLtvYIha
'-- Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) January 15, 2023
The congressional bill, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, states that someone engages in a white supremacy inspired hate crime ''when white supremacy ideology has motivated the planning, development, preparation, or perpetration of actions that constituted a crime or were undertaken in furtherance of activity that, if effectuated, would have constituted a crime.''
Accordingly, ''conspiracy'' to engage in white supremacy inspired hate crime entails the publishing of material ''advancing white supremacy, white supremacist ideology, antagonism based on 'replacement theory', or hate speech that vilifies or is otherwise directed against any non-White person or group.''
It also calls for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to gain ''authority to conduct operations and activities pursuant'' to what it deems ''necessary and appropriate to interdict, mitigate, or prevent such action from culminating in violent activity.''
The bill would grant the department authority to ''prosecute'' persons engaged in such actions, with ''records of white supremacy inspired hate crimes'' maintained and annual reports provided.
In response, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) accused Democrats of ''making a mockery of the First Amendment.''
''In case you weren't aware of what the Democrats were prioritizing in the 118th Congress, just take a look,'' she wrote. ''When they're not bankrupting our country, they're busy making a mockery of the First Amendment.''
In case you weren't aware of what the Democrats were prioritizing in the 118th Congress, just take a look.
When they're not bankrupting our country, they're busy making a mockery of the First Amendment. https://t.co/Q8DEEEioTI
'-- Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 16, 2023
''Who wants to tell her about the First Amendment?'' asked conservative attorney Harmeet Dhillon.
''Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee just introduced a bill that would make it a federal crime for White people, and White people only, to criticize mass immigration or to say anything that she claims would vilify 'a non-White person or group,''' wrote one Twitter user.
''Sheila Jackson Lee should be introduced to the Bill of Rights. Particularly the first amendment pertaining to free speech,'' another wrote .
''This is a disturbing, yet not surprising, piece of #AntiWhite legislation,'' yet another user wrote .
Previously, Jackson Lee has argued that institutional and systemic racism ''taints and spoils'' the way America treats minorities, adding that there are ''aspects of America's laws, America's structure as relates to the black community in particular and other communities that is racist.''
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.
Republic Broadcasting Network >> GOP Bill Abolish IRS /End Income Tax '' Another Trap
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 14:55
source: newswithviews
By: Devvy
January 16, 2023
'''....We're confiscating property now'....That's socialism. It's written into the Communist Manifesto. Maybe we ought to see that every person who gets a tax return receives a copy of the Communist Manifesto with it so he can see what's happening to him.'' '--T. Coleman Andrews, IRS Commissioner, May 25, 1956
Last week the Internet blew up over a bill to abolish the IRS and end the federal income tax: House Republicans to vote on bill abolishing IRS, eliminating income tax '' Vote on abolishing IRS part of deal between Speaker McCarthy and House Freedom Caucus, Jan. 10, 2023 (H.R. 25)
''Republicans in the House of Representatives will vote on a bill that would abolish the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), eliminate the national income tax and replace it with a national consumption tax.
''Fox News Digital has learned that the House will be voting on Georgia Republican Rep. Buddy Carter's reintroduced Fair Tax Act that aims to reel in the IRS and remove the national income tax, as well as other taxes, and replace them with a single consumption tax.''
Hooray! Those Congress critters are going to deliver! Hope abounds just like with the Brunson case which the U.S. Supreme Court correctly denied and dismissed. That case was DOA. The people's hope balloon deflated. Again.
In my opinion this is a stunt to appease GOP voters being fleeced in taxes until there's nothing left out of your paycheck. Remember, Kevin McCarthy agreed to that bill knowing full well the U.S. Senate is still controlled by the Democrat/Communist Party USA; the walking corpse in the WH said he would veto the bill. Members of the Freedom Caucus know how the game is played but it sure sounds good to the desperate.
The so-called Fair Tax Act people have been around a long time and we have been fighting them every step of the way. How many Americans have any understanding of what a consumption tax is? 5%, 10% of adults? All they see with this cheese in the mouse trap is a burden lifted and a ''fair'' tax. How many members of Congress have any understanding '' other than the propaganda pumped out by the people behind the Fair Tax Act '' what is a consumption tax? 1%, 5% out of the 535?
Back in August 2010, I wrote about H.R. 25 and the ''Fair'' Tax Act so let me recap:
''The other night on the boob tube I caught a commercial featuring a talk show host named Neal Boortz, Michael Reagan (adopted son of former president, Ronald Reagan) and the vile Newt Gingrich. All pushing for another dangerous taxing scheme that will not cure the cancer, only continue to feed the beast.
''Boortz has been on this ''fair'' tax bandwagon for years. It's obvious he has zero understanding of the Federal Reserve and why such a taxing scheme would only continue to steal the fruits of our labor to fund massive government spending.
''Michael Reagan is also a talk show host who, like Boortz, has zero understanding of our monetary system and its feeding artery: the IRS.
''Newt Gingrich sold out this country decades ago with his votes. Besides being a serial adulterer and ethtically bankrupt [1], Newt Gingrich is the global master's trophy boy. He hopes the Republicans take control of Congress in November because there's no doubt in my mind, Gingrich is out to be president of these united States of America. We can never let that happen. Do you know Newt was caught on tape saying the ridiculous ''Contract with America'' was nothing but a PR tool for incoming freshmen members of Congress? Yes, that's a fact. They were obtained by Roll Call. Old Newt pulled a fast one on faithful conservatives. His votes killed MILLIONS of jobs and sent them south of the border and overseas.
''In order to understand why H.R. 25 is just another tool of tyrants, you have to go back and see where and when the problem started. Prior to 1913, we had no federal income tax. There was no unconstitutional ''Federal'' Reserve Banking system and there was no Seventeenth Amendment. This nation thrived in agriculture, manufacturing and industrial output. America became the most prosperous, debt free country on earth.
''The shadow government that has been controlling Congress for well over a hundred years had the downfall of America well planned. First, an income tax to syphon off the fruits of our labor. Even though the Sixteenth Amendment wasn't legally ratified and did not give Congress any new power of taxation, we all know what that Gestapo criminal syndicate will do to you if you don't voluntarily submit (with a gun to your head) to looting your earnings.
''In order to strip the States of the Union equal suffrage in the U.S. Congress and turn over that purse to the mobs, the Seventeenth Amendment was declared ratified even though it clearly was not. The states then became dependent upon the whims of crooks and scoundrels like John McCain, Chuckie Schumer, Dick Durbin, Diane Feinstein, Lindsay Graham and all the rest of them.
''The big granddaddy came in December of 1913 when Congress passed the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Banking Act. As long as the FED exists, there can be no economic freedom for we the people.''
Simply explained and screwed again. (Deceased) Congressman John William Wright Patman's words from a speech he made on September 30, 1941, entered into the Congressional Record. Patman was a Democrat who sat on the United States House Committee on Banking and Currency. He was always after the ''Federal'' Reserve. (Emphasis mine)
''When our Federal Government, that has the exclusive power to create money, creates that money and then goes into the open market and borrows it and pays interest for the use of its own money, it occurs to me that that is going too far. I have never yet had anyone who could, through the use of logic and reason, justify the Federal Government borrowing the use of its own money'... I am saying to you in all sincerity, and with all the earnestness that I possess, it is absolutely wrong for the Government to issue interest-bearing obligations. It is not only wrong: it is extravagant. It is not only extravagant, it is wasteful. It is absolutely unnecessary.
''Now, take the Panama Canal bonds. They amounted to a little less than $50,000,000 '-- $49,800,000. By the time they are paid, the Government will have paid $75,000,000 in interest on bonds of less than $50,000,000. So the Government is paying out $125,000,000 to obtain the use of $49,800,000. That is the way it has worked all along. That is our policy. That is our system. The question is: Should that policy be continued? Is it sane? Is it reasonable? Is it right, or is it wrong? If it is wrong, it should be changed.
''The Constitution of the United States does not give the banks the power to create money. The Constitution says that Congress shall have the power to create money, but now, under our system, we will sell bonds to commercial banks and obtain credit from those banks.
''I believe the time will come when people will demand that this be changed. I believe the time will come in this country when they will actually blame you and me and everyone else connected with this Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue. I make that statement after years of study.
''We have what is known as the Federal Reserve Bank System. That system is not owned by the Government. Many people think that it is, because it says `Federal Reserve'. It belongs to the private banks, private corporations. So we have farmed out to the Federal Reserve Banking System that is owned exclusively, wholly, 100 percent by the private banks '-- we have farmed out to them the privilege of issuing the Government's money. If we were to take this privilege back from them, we could save the amount of money that I have indicated in enormous interest charges.'' End
(On Dec. 31, 1999, ''our'' government via a treaty turned over control of the Panama Canal to Panama. So, we paid for those bonds '' raped in interest to the ''Fed'' '' and now are simply customers. Losing strategic control of the Panama Canal to the People's Republic of China, Nov. 2, 2021)
''It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.'' ''Thomas Jefferson to A. L. C. Destutt de Tracy, 1820. FE 10:175
Returning to my 2010 column:
''As long as the FED exists, the Outlaw Congress will continue to borrow more and more worthless fiat currency to fund these grotesque, illegal invasions of foreign countries, royal treatment to the tune of HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS for ILLEGAL aliens who have no right to be on U.S. soil.
''Fund massive unconstitutional welfare programs like the Department of Health and Human Services, unconstitutional cabinets like the Federal Department of Education and the EPA. The Outlaw Congress will continue to rape we the people to send hundreds of billions of BORROWED ''dollars'' to the communist UN, the USAID (United States Aid for International Development), BIS (Bank of International Settlements) and the World Bank. That's the short list.
''For decades I have said, along with millions of others: A limited form of republican government means just that and mandatory at the top of the list is to get rid of the income tax, the FED, get us out of Bretton Woods and all the foreign financial entanglements looting the people's purse.''
In order to fully understand the truth about these fake ''solutions'' (fair tax, flat tax), you have to do the research. Those taxing schemes are nothing new and we must stop it. If Congress wanted to get rid of the income tax, they could have done it decades ago.
Republicans had control of Congress from January 1995 '' December 2006. All they did was continue spending us into unpayable debt. And, yes, the debt is unpayable. Republicans controlled Congress for 18 months under Trump but they did NOTHING to stop this racket fleecing us into rags. Continuing from 2010:
''Once Americans began to understand the ludicrous hype in Boortz' argument, out came another book to ''clarify'' the lies: There is Still No Such Thing As a Fair Tax
''Boortz is right. There are some eye-opening new insights unique to this sequel. Like the disclosure that you might ''owe more in taxes in the first year of a Fair Tax system than you do today.''[1] Or the admission that ''the Fair Tax could be even more progressive than our current system.''[2] Or the confession that the ''implementation of the Fair Tax doesn't mean complete annihilation of the IRS.''[3] Or the proposal that ''a procedure should be set up in the Treasury Department to collect taxes on Internet and catalog sales, remitting the state and local governments' share to them.''[4]
If you want to understand this so-called Fair Tax Act you MUST read the article above which fully and succinctly rips apart clever propaganda aimed at the middle class. This ''new'' bill reintroduced by Georgia Republican Rep. Buddy Carter is a trap. The Fair Tax Act will continue to feed THE HEAD OF THE BEAST, the ''Federal Reserve Banking System.
Here's the bill. Collection will be done by the states, ''SEC. 1. Principles of interpretation. (6) To increase the role of State governments in Federal tax administration because of State government expertise in sales tax administration. SEC. 602. Power to levy, etc. ''(a) In General.'--The sales tax administering authority may levy and seize property, garnish wages or salary and file liens to collect amounts due under this subtitle.'' And to look even more altruistic, Chapter 3 is all about A Family Consumption Allowance. Time to say OMG (Oh my God) because you're looking at a monster MESS and the same old ''pay up or else'' collections. You consume, you pay.
Remember: EVERY penny stolen from you by the IRS thanks to Congress, goes towards transfer payments and to the ''Federal'' Reserve Banking system for the national debt created by Congress with their unconstitutional spending. They have to borrow every penny those liars and crooks are spending because the treasury '' OUR purse '' is in the hole $31 TRILLION dollars.
Unpayable. You, me, our children and grand children have slaved all of our lives to pay interest on a national debt that IS going to bring down this country and there's no way to stop it. US Government Debt Problem Even Worse Than Advertised, April 19, 2021 '' ''When you include unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare, that actual US debt stands at $123.11 trillion, according to the Financial State of the Union 2021 published by Truth in Accounting.
''In order to pay off all of Uncle Sam's liabilities, every taxpayer in the US would have to write a check for $796,000. I don't know about you, but I don't have it. The federal government has $5.95 trillion in assets and $129.06 trillion in liabilities. If it were a private company, the US government would be bankrupt.''
Why an Income Tax is Not Necessary to Fund the U.S. Government, Mine updated January 25, 2012 '' You need to take the time to read the whole piece. It's a bit dated but I don't have the time to keep posting.
''Can this statement possibly be true? In order to answer this question, Americans must first understand what is the source of the money that funds the government and where it goes. Contrary to the sound bites issued by the two mainstream political parties, the reality of how the system actually works will not only open your eyes, but hopefully stimulate the American people to demand that the thievery underway come to an end.
''Where do your ''income'' tax dollars go?
''The best place to look for an answer to this question would be a government report, so let's take just one at random: ''President's Private Sector Survey On Cost Control '' A Report to The President (Reagan)
''January 15, 1984. Available from the Congressional Research Service. The excerpt below can be found on page 12.
Resistance to additional income taxes would be even more widespread if people were aware that:With two-thirds of everyone's personal income taxes wasted or not collected, 100% of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal Government contributions to transfer payments.In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services which taxpayers expect from their government.''''So what we have is a central bank issuing worthless paper ''money'' that controls our economy, our lives and our future. This private banking cartel was unconstitutionally granted this power by a devious, scheming group of senators back in 1913. In essence what they did was place the American people into indentured servitude by forcing We The People to pay usury on worthless fiat currency (paper money created out of nothing), not to fund the government, but to enrich the bankers and fund wars in which America should never be involved.
''This system exists not to fund the government, but to allow the U.S. Congress carte blanche power to continue funding unconstitutional agencies and programs by providing them with a bottomless source of worthless ink.''
Endless undeclared wars. Endless trillions poured into cabinets like HHS '' ALL BORROWED with the interest slapped on our backs. We have been lied to all our lives about the income tax and who's required by law to file those tax returns. Domestic Americans are NOT required by the IRS' Tax Code to file a federal income tax return despite what cowardly judges and U.S. Prosecutors say as well as gutless career politicians.
Even if, God forbid, that bill ever passed and signed into ''law'', the IRS would still be necessary for constitutional taxes such as excise taxes.
Millions of Americans now know the truth about those dangerous gene editing experimental injections being passed off as safe vaccines. Americans have been lied to by Dr. Death Fauci, Birx, the Center for Disease Creation (CDC), the Altzheimer impostor president, career criminal, liar and cheat, Joe Biden, the impostor VP, Kamala ''Legs in the Air'' Harris, governors, state legislators, state ''health'' officials '' all of them.
In February 2021, Gov. Ron DeSantis was pushing hard for everyone to take those injections. As time has gone by and the carnage is getting harder to hide and I think out of genuine concern, DeSantis announced a grand jury to investigate Covid injection injuries. At least he publicly feels it's so bad it requires a grand jury. I'm sorry to say, President-Election Donald Trump became the Grand Marshall riding in the parade as he bragged about Operation Warp Speed.
Trump said he is 'not allowed' to say the word 'vaccine' while talking about COVID-19 at Alaska rally, July 10, 2022 '' ''We did so much in terms of therapeutics and a word that I'm not allowed to mention,'' Trump said. ''But I'm still proud of that word because we did that in nine months, and it was supposed to take five years to 12 years. Nobody else could have done it. But I'm not mentioning it in front of my people.''
Trump either lives in a cave, the truth about those injections never reaches him or, knowing it's political Kryptonite, chooses simply to play the Texas Two-Step and hope not enough voters find out the truth.
More than 20 million people have watched the 'Died Suddenly' film featuring interviews with embalmers and the horror of blood clots. In Oct. 2022, the CDC said the blood clots were rare. Someone is 'cooking the books' because that is a huge lie just like all their other lies over the past two years.
They all lied about the safety of those experimental injections and among the biggest liars are Twitter, Google and Fakebook, er, Facebook by censoring the truth and unleashing their phony ''fact checkers.'' The deaths and life-long injuries will continue at a rapid pace. Those who choose to call it conspiracy are the ones who've taken the injections and are scared to death about what's really going on inside their body.
The same applies to the federal ''income'' tax. FEAR is the big hammer that's kept Americans in bondage for more than 100 years. We all know what the IRS is and how brutal they are in ''collecting''. This PR stunt by the U.S. House Republicans is just that. Will your rep vote for it? Burn down their phone lines both in DC and district offices. If it moves to the Senate will your senator vote it even though it's purely symbolic since the Democrat/Communist Party USA still controls that chamber?
IRS Agents confirm that you are not required to pay income tax '' This is a 5:01 short video you should watch. It was probably filmed close to two decades ago. I know everyone featured in the video. Some of them have paid a horrible price to bring the truth to YOU. Are they all liars? Conspiracy nuts? Tin-foil hat disinformation people?
So, keep reelecting the same U.S. Reps and Senators while you keep filing those returns and they keep lying to you.
For a thorough, comprehensive education on the Fed, the income tax, education, Medicare, SS, the critical, fraudulent ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment and more, be sure to order my book by calling 800-955-0116 or click the link, ''Taking Politics Out of Solutions''. 400 pages of facts and solutions. Order two books and save $10.00
(C) 2022 NWV '' All Rights Reserved
E-Mail Devvy: devvyk@npn.net
Related:
Joe Banister is a former CI (Criminal Investigator) for the IRS. I've known Joe for decades. A man of rare courage and principles. Is he just another conspiracy nut or tax cheat? Joe quit his very high paying job when he found out the truth. On his web site: Internal IRS Manuals Expose The Deceit, Federal Law Does Not Make The Average American Liable For The Federal Income Tax, The American People Have Been Deceived As To What ''Income'' Is
Also on his web site: Bogus Charges Brought Against Joe In Retaliation For His Whistle-blowing Against The IRS: The U.S. Department Of Justice prosecuted Joe based on bogus charges cooked up by the IRS. Joe was acquitted of the bogus charges after an enormous fight to restore his good name. A copy of the Jury's Verdict is here. Here is a video of what some members of the jury said just after Joe was acquitted.'' (I attended his trial and just prayed every minute.)
Americans love the IRS and the income tax, 4-7-12
Below is a short video by my good friend, Tommy Cryer, an attorney with nearly four decades of fighting for his clients, both civil and criminal, always seeking the truth. In the end, I believe the HELL the IRS put Tommy through is what killed him; he died sitting in his lounge chair during the night of June 4, 2012.
Tommy was found not guilty, but another jury will find an individual guilty on the same charge: Willful failure to file, seize your assets and likely you'll do jail time. Not to mention retaining a good criminal defense attorney at a minimum retainer of $15,000.00.
WATCH: U.S Income Tax is a fraud (Tommy Cryer) (3:38)
This is Tommy's Memorandum. Most people won't read it. They're busy trying to put food on the table chained to massive government debt and spending and too afraid of the truth. Or, they've got their fancy phone glued to their ear or playing video games, an $8 billion dollar a year industry. The prostitute media and barking dogs in Congress and the rest of the liars won't read it. How about your tax attorney? Well, a big chunk of their yearly income is derived from the ''income tax season''.
For those who didn't know Tommy, this is from my ''In Memory of'' ''
''For those who didn't know Tommy, he lived a rich and vibrant life. Tommy graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor from LSU Law School in 1973 and was inducted into the Order of The Coif, the world's most prestigious honorary society for legal scholars and practitioners. He served in U.S. Army in the Adjutant General Corps, discharged honorably as a Captain.
''He served as a Special Advisor and Draftsman at the Louisiana Constitutional Convention in 1973 and that he has argued cases before the Louisiana Supreme Court. Tommy made new law by winning a number of landmark cases and was inducted into the LSU Law School's Hall of Fame after only 14 years of practice. Tommy had been a trial and appellate lawyer for 36 years.''B
Related
12ft | $5 million for each longtime Black resident? S.F. has a bold reparations plan to consider
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 13:29
Removing Paywall
American Lawmakers Wine And Dine With Klaus Schwab, Business Leaders At World Economic Forum In Davos: Report | The Daily Wire
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 13:27
Several American officials reportedly enjoyed a lavish lunch with some of the planet's most powerful corporate leaders and World Economic Forum Chair Klaus Schwab during the organization's annual conference in Davos, Switzerland.
The organization is a leading proponent of stakeholder capitalism, an approach to investments that says executives must consider the needs of communities and other parties in addition to shareholders, as well as increased cooperation between public and private actors. Officials such as Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), and ''a few members of the House of Representatives'' took part in a luncheon at the conference alongside prominent executives on Monday, according to a report from CNBC.
One attendee told the outlet that Coons and Manchin each addressed the crowd of business leaders. Coons reportedly discussed efforts to fund the Ukrainian war effort against Russia, while Manchin commented on the merits of American energy independence.
Coons told the outlet that ''about 50 CEOs'' would attend the luncheon at the Hotel Schatzalp, a property situated in the Alps and decorated in belle (C)poque style. Among the executives in attendance at the lunch was Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri.
European leaders are currently incensed by the Inflation Reduction Act, a law signed by President Joe Biden last year, because the package subsidized American electric vehicle manufacturing and neglected to offer the same benefits to European automakers. Manchin said during an interview with POLITICO Europe that the continent's leaders are ''hyper-hypocritical'' following several decades of their own protectionist measures.
''That bill was designed to basically strengthen the United States so that we can help our allies and friends, which need it right now,'' the centrist lawmaker remarked. ''And if anybody needs it, the E.U. needs it. And without that, we're not going to be and maintain the superpower status of the world if we're not energy independent.''
Manchin said that he has admonished European leaders to refrain from regulations on fossil fuels and instead emphasize technological innovations. ''I told them, I said, the most important thing is basically you cannot eliminate your way to clean your climate,'' he added. ''You can innovate it, and that's what we're doing in the U.S.''
Coons told the outlet that European powers grew ''too reliant on Russian energy,'' commenting that he desires to ''find a path forward'' and discuss ''the alignment of values and priorities.''
The theme of this year's World Economic Forum conference is ''Cooperation in a Fragmented World,'' which involves ''how we can tackle the numerous and interlinked challenges the world is facing and find solutions through public-private cooperation,'' according to a press release from the organization. Executives scheduled to speak or participate in panel events include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, while political leaders such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska will attend the conference.
Several officials from the Biden administration, which has partnered with the World Economic Forum through the First Movers Coalition, a ''public-private partnership to commercialize clean technologies through advance purchase commitments,'' are representing the United States. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will speak on a panel about government and corporate actors using ''the power of catalytic philanthropy'' for climate investments.
Representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) will likewise make the pilgrimage to Davos in spite of hesitancy toward the World Economic Forum among conservatives. The officials have released statements claiming that they will attempt to bring American founding principles to the controversial event.
Bitcoin Surge Causes Over $500M in Liquidations, Highest in 3 Months
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 05:00
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Crypto markets surged to regain the $1 trillion market capitalization mark over the weekend amid signs of bottoming and a record number of short liquidations contributing to the uptick.
Nearly $500 million in shorts, or bets against higher prices, were liquidated since Friday to mark the highest such levels since October 2022, data from Coinalyze shows.
Shorts liquidations were at their highest since 2021. (Coinanylze)
The liquidation figure mean over 70% of traders booked losses as exchanges closed leveraged positions due to a partial or total evaporation of the trader's initial margin. Crypto exchange OKX saw $256 million worth of short losses on Friday alone, the most among all crypto exchanges, followed by $125 million on Binance and $42 million on Huobi, CoinGlass data show.
Aptos' native APT tokens saw over $10 million in liquidations in an unusual move as prices doubled over the past week.
Major cryptocurrencies are up an average of 20% since last week, CoinGecko data shows. Bitcoin surged 22% to over $21,000 on strong CPI data, ether jumped to as much as nearly $1,600, while solana jumped almost 70%, trading at $24 on Monday from just $9 in the last week of December.
The run wasn't wholly irrational, as the underlying networks of several major tokens saw favorable fundamentals.
Strong transactional activity on Cardano and Solana may have contributed to a surge in their native ADA and SOL tokens, respectively, over the past week. Elsewhere, the upcoming Shanghai upgrade for ether has added to its fundamentals, while Polygon is scheduled for a hard fork '' a term for a network upgrade '' this week, triggering a 22% rise in MATIC over the past week.
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Royal Mail ransomware attack leaves firms in limbo - BBC News
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 03:46
Image source, David MacDonald Image caption, International customers make up 45% of David MacDonald's vinyl business
By Dearbail Jordan
Business reporter, BBC News
The record collecting community are a pretty understanding bunch, according to David MacDonald.
The 60 year-old, who runs Blue Sky Vinyl, is lucky but he admits: "Their patience will only go so far."
Why? Because Mr MacDonald, like many other small business owners, has been waiting for nearly a week to send out international orders via Royal Mail.
And, as others have told the BBC, he has absolutely no idea when his shipments can resume.
Last Wednesday, Royal Mail asked customers to stop sending letters and parcels overseas after criminals launched a ransomware attack on the company.
It has impacted a system used by Royal Mail to prepare mail for despatch abroad, and to track and trace overseas items.
The problem first emerged on Tuesday, 10 January. Customers were told of the problem the following day.
"As with all technical issues, we had to rule out a lot of things to ensure we only shared accurate information," said a spokesman for Royal Mail.
'Disappointing'
The company has assured customers that it is "working around the clock" to resolve the issue.
But Mr MacDonald says a "disappointing" lack of regular updates has left his business in stasis.
"There is no indication of when things will be fixed," he says. "It could be a week, it could be a month, it could be six months.
"If it is going to be a month or six months then at least give us the opportunity as small businesses to make decisions that can overcome this hurdle."
Around 45% of Blue Sky Vinyl's business comes from overseas including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and China.
There are even buyers in Ukraine though Mr MacDonald recently had to explain to a customer there why his order was delayed. "He said he'll be patient and wait," says Mr MacDonald.
Royal Mail says: "We understand how frustrating this situation is for our customers, and we apologise for the disruption.
"As with all such technical issues, we are exploring multiple workarounds to restore our systems as quickly and safely as possible."
Image source, Getty Images
But a week is a long time in business.
Firms say that the delay to international shipments is compounding problems they have been facing since before Christmas when Royal Mail workers went on strike.
Mr MacDonald said: "We are giving out refunds from parcels that haven't arrived that were posted in November and the refund compensation system for Royal Mail is running at a snail's pace."
It is "a big problem on top of a big problem", according to Andrew Bradley who runs Lello Living, a family business which makes prints, picture frames and homeware.
Even before the ransomware attack on Royal Mail, Mr Bradley said some international customers had been waiting for more than a month for parcels.
"At the moment I am just trying to placate customers," he said. But as a small business, his hands are tied.
Once a parcel is sent "we can't get it back", he said, so the package is just sitting there.
It is expensive to send a replacement and doubly difficult for a firm such as Lello Living which produces personalised prints.
"We sell a lot on websites like Etsy and we are seeing one or two star reviews," he said.
"At the moment, the majority of people are understanding and patient but we are seeing that patience start to dissipate."
Simon Thompson, chief executive of Royal Mail, is likely to face questions about how the company has responded to the attack on Tuesday when he appears before MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.
In the meantime, freelance illustrator Danielle English, aged 31, says that the delays caused by the ransomware attack have "been quite a big blow" financially.
Image source, Danielle English
Image caption, Illustrator Danielle English says she has been unable to fulfil international orders
The artist specialises in fantasy and sci-fi images and relies on her online shop, Kanizo, for half of her income.
"Just today I've had to refund a few orders that were made over the weekend that I now can't fulfil and I would say about 70% of those were international," she says.
Ms English said that she is trying her best to keep her customers up to date "but obviously that is so limited".
"I don't want to keep them waiting too long because I don't want them to think I'm not a legit business by not sending out their order, but there is only so much I can tell them really."
Others such as Karen Gilroy don't know whether to go ahead and book a courier service to send deliveries to countries such as the US or wait until Royal Mail can start shipping again.
The 62 year-old retired civil servant runs a sewing business, called KraftyKoriginal, and says it usually costs around £20 to send packages overseas with Royal Mail.
She could use a specialist parcel company but they are more expensive - a cost she is not comfortable passing onto her customers.
"I suppose I could ask them but it's not really their fault is it?" she says. "If I decide to send via courier I think it is for me to eat up the cost."
At the moment she is not sure what to do - book a courier in advance and risk losing money if Royal Mail services resume or wait and see?
"I'm sort of hanging on and hanging on thinking 'surely this week they'll sort it out' but who knows?"
Warner Bros Discovery & EBU Land Olympic Games TV Rights In Europe '' Deadline
Mon, 16 Jan 2023 17:52
Warner Bros Discovery and the European Broadcasting Union have won the auction for Olympic Games broadcasting rights between 2026 and 2032.
Following a competitive tender put out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the pair's joint bid was successful and will take the rights in 49 territories.
This covers the Olympic Winter Games in Milano Cortino in 2026, the Olympic Games in L.A. in 2028, the Winter Olympics of 2030 and the Brisbane Olympics in 2032, along with the Youth Olympic Games during the six-year period.
WBD, in its previous guise as Discovery, first won the rights to the rights to the Games in 2015 in a '‚¬1.3BN ($1.4BN) deal struck through subsidiary Eurosports for the 2018-2024 period. It then broadcasted or sub-licensed those rights across the continent.
The deal guarantees the Games will remain free-to-air across Europe, ensuring every EBU member gets more than 200 hours of coverage of the Olympics and 100 hours of the Winter Olympics across TV, streaming, radio, social media and websites. In the UK, where the Games legally have to be shown free-to-air, the BBC has already re-upped its agreement with WBD and will remain as the local host broadcaster until 2032 at least.
''The EBU and its Members provide unparalleled broadcast expertise and reach across Europe, and Warner Bros. Discovery, through the recent combination of Warner Media and Discovery, represents one of the world's largest media and entertainment companies across all programming genres and platforms. It demonstrates the ongoing appeal of the Olympic Games across Europe,'' said IOC President Thomas Bach.
''As the IOC redistributes 90% of the revenues it generates, this long-term agreement also provides critical financial stability to the wider sporting movement and ultimately supports the athletes themselves.''
The agreement is a huge boon for Europe's public broadcasting and free TV channels, which are under increasing threat from subscription streaming services over sports rights. While many countries' sports media laws dictate the Games must have a free-to-air broadcast, this hasn't stopped many speculating those systems could be ended as more companies circle the lucrative global event. The IOC and the EBU first struck an agreement together in 1956, meaning this latest deal extends that long relationship.
Delphine Ernotte Cunci, President of the EBU and CEO of France T(C)l(C)visions, said: ''We're proud to have secured the Olympic Games for audiences to enjoy free to air until 2032. This deal is a game-changer for public service media and demonstrates the abiding strength and solidarity of our union.
''Through its members, the EBU has the potential to reach over 1 billion viewers across Europe via linear and non-linear platforms. And that's why I'm so pleased to welcome this partnership with the IOC and Warner Bros. Discovery, which will ensure the Games will be available to the widest possible audience across Europe.''
The next Olympic Games will be held in Paris in 2024. WBD's previous agreement led to agreements with 45 free-to-air partners and EBU members. WBD claims 372 million people across Europe engaged with the Tokyo Games in 2020, a record, with 175 million of those coming through the Discovery+ streaming platform. Last year the Beijing Winter Olympics saw 156 million watch through WBD platforms, 19 times the previous winter event.
Reports: Twitter's third-party client lockout is intentional | Ars Technica
Mon, 16 Jan 2023 17:26
Rest (in peace) API '-- Internal chats suggest company has only "started to work on comms." Kevin Purdy - Jan 16, 2023 5:22 pm UTC
Enlarge / Twitter is blocking many third-party clients' access to its API while continuing to provide no explanation.
Ryan J Lane/Getty Images
Twitter has not yet explained why third-party clients like Twitterific and Tweetbot stopped working late last week. But a new report and testing by one app developer suggest the outages and lack of communication are intentional.
Internal Twitter Slack chat messages viewed by The Information (subscription required) show a senior software engineer writing in a "command center" channel that "third-party app suspensions are intentional." Another employee, asking about talking points to use when addressing the outages with product partners, was told by a product marketing manager that Twitter had "started to work on comms," but there was no delivery date, according to The Information's report.
Some Tweetbot users seemed to briefly regain access to their accounts early Sunday, without the ability to post, only to lose access again later. That was the result of Tweetbot co-creator Paul Haddad swapping out the app's API keys, but all of his keys were later revoked. That result "proves that this was intentional and we and others were specifically targeted," Haddad wrote on Mastodon Sunday evening, as noticed by The Verge.
"I wouldn't have swapped out the keys in the first place if there was even a shred of communication," Haddad wrote. "Figured if nothing else, this would push the issue. Oh well, on to smaller but greener pastures."
Neither Twitter nor owner Elon Musk has mentioned the failure of third-party clients to connect. Twitter's status page early Monday said that all systems were operational, with no past incidents listed as far back as January 2. "Enterprise" clients, such as business-minded apps that monitor Twitter engagement and track topics, appear to be functioning, as do some versions of third-party clients, like Twitterific for Mac.
Advertisement Twitter has long kept third-party clients, which allow users and small teams to customize how they view, track, and engage with tweets, at arm's length. Prior to Musk's ownership, Twitter asked developers not to make them, restricted its API, and took away push notifications and auto-refresh for the clients.
Elon Musk's ownership, which commenced with large-scale layoffs and has consistently seen the company rapidly changing policy and making its intent hard to decipher, led some industry watchers and tech pundits to wonder if the third-party API shutdown was simply an infrastructure failure that the company couldn't quickly fix.
But a more likely explanation involves ad revenue. By way of explaining his deep cuts across the company, Musk said in mid-December that Twitter was on track for a "negative cash flow of $3 billion." The cash crunch largely seems due to the $1.5 billion debt servicing needed for Musk's takeover debt, as well as drastically declining advertising revenue since his takeover. Twitter has been sued multiple times by landlords for lapsed rent.
Twitter recently changed its iOS app to default to a tab showing an algorithm-based "For You" feed, requiring users to regularly tap over to view a more reverse-chronological "Following" feed. Third-party clients have traditionally offered far more control over how users can sort their feeds'--and, most notably, they don't show Twitter's "promoted" tweet advertising. The company has recently offered deeply incentivized advertising packages following drastic downturns in its ad sales.
We could not contact Twitter for comment, as its public relations and communications departments reportedly no longer exist. Elon Musk's latest tweet, just after midnight ET on January 16, is a lightly coded swipe at media as being quietly state-run.
Pfizer gives $1 million to Republican Party of Kentucky to expand its headquarters - Kentucky Lantern
Mon, 16 Jan 2023 16:56
11:19 News Story Politics Corporations have put $1.65 million into party's building fundFRANKFORT, Ky. '' In what may be the largest political contribution ever given to a political party in Kentucky, the drug maker Pfizer Inc. gave $1 million last month to the building fund of the Republican Party of Kentucky.
A report filed by Republican Party of Kentucky Building Fund last week with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance listed the $1 million from Pfizer along with five other big corporation contributions in the final quarter of 2022 totalling $1.65 million.
That is an extraordinarily large haul for the fund which had raised only $6,000 during the first three quarters of 2022.
The other large corporate donors to the fund in late 2022 were:
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., New York, $300,000;Altria Client Services LLC, of Richmond, VA., $100,000;Comcast Corp., of Philadelphia; $100,000;AT&T, of St. Louis; $100,000;Delta Air Lines, of Atlanta, $50,000.State and federal campaign finance laws set limits on how much a person or political action committee can give to the executive committee of either political party. (A person can give no more than $15,000 per year.) And corporation contributions to a party's executive committee are prohibited.
But part of a campaign finance bill passed by the General Assembly in 2017 allowed each party to establish a building fund that can accept contributions of unlimited amounts. It also allowed the building funds to accept contributions from corporations.
The Kentucky Democratic Party's building fund has not yet filed a report on its contributions and expenses for the last quarter of 2022.
The election registry website says that money in a party building fund ''may be used for expenditures related to the purchase, construction, maintenance, renovation, and repair of the state executive committee's main headquarters facility.''
In response to questions from Kentucky Lantern, Sean Southard, spokesman for the Republican Party of Kentucky, released a statement Monday that said in part ''the Republican Party purchased the lot next door to our Frankfort headquarters and is planning an expansion project. Our current headquarters was acquired in 1974. With the growth of the Republican Party in Kentucky, we have a need for additional space.''
The $1.65 million added to the GOP building fund would be plenty to pay for a major expansion and upgrade for the party headquarters. The Franklin County Property Valuation Administrator's website currently lists the taxable value of the current headquarters property at $485,000. The Franklin PVA lists the taxable value of the adjacent vacant lot owned by the Republican Party at $150,000.
A sign identifies the party headquarters as the Mitch McConnell Building, in honor of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
In response to a question about the huge size of the corporate contributions, Southard's statement said, ''As we raise funds into the building fund account, we are following both federal and state law. The funds raised into this account can only be used for certain expenditures related to the building and are not eligible to be spent on candidate or issue advocacy.''
Pfizer has long had a lobbying presence in Kentucky and for years it has retained the lobbying firm headed by John McCarthy to represent its interests in Frankfort.
McCarthy, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky who is still a member of its executive committee, referred questions about the contribution to the Pfizer media relations department in New York which did not immediately respond to an email and phone call from Kentucky Lantern.
Pfizer is a multinational pharmaceutical and biotech company based in New York; its brands include Viagra, Zoloft and Lipitor and more recently the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the antiviral Paxlovid.
Fueled by sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer's revenue doubled to $81.3 billion from 2020 to 2021. The company ranks 43rd on the Fortune 500 list.
For the first three quarters of 2022, Pfizer reported $76 billion in revenues.
Pfizer is no stranger to political spending. In 2022, the company spent $11.6 million lobbying the federal government, putting it in the top dozen lobbying spenders, according to Open Secrets.
Its affiliates and PAC contribute generously to federal candidates of both parties.
Pfizer announced in November that it will triple or even quadruple the price of its COVID-19 vaccine once it goes on the commercial market next year, according to Kaiser Health News.
Comcast, Altria Client Services (formerly Phillip Morris), AT&T and Delta Air Lines, also are registered to lobby the Kentucky General Assembly. Metropolitan Life Insurance does not retain a lobbyist in Frankfort, according to records of the Legislative Ethics Commission.
This article has been updated with new information.
Republican Party of Kentucky headquarters at the corner of Capitol Avenue and 3rd Street in Frankfort. (Photo for Kentucky Lantern by Tom Loftus)Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.
GPs to prescribe statins at a lower risk under updated draft NICE guidance - Pulse Today
Mon, 16 Jan 2023 16:03
GPs can consider prescribing statins in people with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) under updated draft guidance from NICE.
Recommendations out for consultation say while the current risk threshold has not changed, statins can now be offered as an option in individuals with a 10-year CVD risk score of less than 10%.
The updated guidance recommends that doctors consider atorvastatin 20 mg for the primary prevention of CVD in those with a lower risk threshold where there is patient preference for taking a statin or concern that risk may be underestimated.
NICE has estimated that under the new recommendation '' an update to the 2014 guidance '' for every 1,000 people with a risk of 5% over the next 10 years who take a statin, about 20 people will not get heart disease or have a stroke.
This figure doubles to 40 for people with a risk of 10%, and 70 for people with a risk of 20%, the committee said.
GPs can consider prescribing at the lower risk thresholds under shared-care decision making with patients after assessing risk with the QRISK3 tool, the committee said but advise should also be offered on diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle factors such as smoking.
But they added that focusing on increasing uptake among people with the highest risk of CVD events would have more impact.
Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: 'What we're saying is that, for people with a less than 10% risk over 10 years of a first heart attack or stroke, the decision to take a statin should be left to individual patients after an informed discussion of benefits and risks.
'The evidence is clear, in our view, that for people with a risk of 10% or less over 10 years, statins are an appropriate choice to reduce that risk.
'We are not advocating that statins are used alone. The draft guideline continues to say that it is only if lifestyle changes on their own are not sufficient, and that other risk factors such as hypertension are also managed, that people who are still at risk can be offered the opportunity to use a statin, if they want to.
'They don't have to, and their decision should be informed by an understanding of the risks and tailored to their values and priorities.'
He added it would be the responsibility of GPs to explain the ways in which people can reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, presenting all the options promoted by the draft guidance, including lifestyle changes, blood pressure control, avoidance of diabetes and cholesterol (lipid) lowering, and then letting patients to make their own decisions.
'Finally, it should be stressed that people who want to talk to their GP team about this should do so at their next routine appointment, they don't need to take urgent action.'
The guidance comes with an updated decision aid to help people make informed choices about taking statins for primary prevention.
Updated draft guidance on cardiovascular disease: risk assessment and reduction, including lipid modification 1.1.8 Use the QRISK3 tool to calculate the estimated CVD risk within the next 10 years for people aged between 25 and 84 without CVD
1.1.9 Use the QRISK tool for people with type 2 diabetes aged between 25 and 841.1.11 Recognise that CVD risk tools may underestimate risk in certain groups of people, including but not limited to:' people treated for HIV' people already taking medicines to treat CVD risk factors' people who have recently stopped smoking' people taking medicines that can cause dyslipidaemia such asimmunosuppressant drugs' people with autoimmune disorders, and other systemic inflammatorydisorders.
1.1.12 Consider people aged 85 or older to be at increased risk of CVD because of age alone, particularly people who smoke or have raised blood pressure.
1.1.17 Consider using a lifetime risk tool to inform discussions on CVD risk and to motivate lifestyle changes, particularly for people with a 10-year QRISK3 score less than 10%, and people under 40 who have CVD risk factors
Source: NICE
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Stable Diffusion litigation · Joseph Saveri Law Firm & Matthew Butterick
Mon, 16 Jan 2023 15:51
Jan­u­ary 13, 2023
Hello. This is Matthew Butterick. I'm a writer, designer, pro­gram­mer, and law­yer. In Novem­ber 2022, I teamed up with the amaz­ingly excel­lent class-action lit­i­ga­tors Joseph Saveri, Cadio Zir­poli, and Travis Man­fredi at the Joseph Saveri Law Firm to file a law­suit against GitHub Copi­lot for its ''unprece­dented open-source soft­ware piracy''. (That law­suit is still in progress.)
Since then, we've heard from peo­ple all over the world'--espe­cially writ­ers, artists, pro­gram­mers, and other cre­ators'--who are con­cerned about AI sys­tems being trained on vast amounts of copy­righted work with no con­sent, no credit, and no com­pen­sa­tion.
Today, we're tak­ing another step toward mak­ing AI fair & eth­i­cal for every­one. On behalf of three won­der­ful artist plain­tiffs'--Sarah Ander­sen, Kelly McK­er­nan, and Karla Ortiz'--we've filed a class-action law­suit against Sta­bil­ity AI, DeviantArt, and Mid­jour­ney for their use of Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion, a 21st-cen­tury col­lage tool that remixes the copy­righted works of mil­lions of artists whose work was used as train­ing data.
Join­ing as co-coun­sel are the ter­rific lit­i­ga­tors Brian Clark and Laura Mat­son of Lock­ridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.
Today's fil­ings:
Class-action com­plaint
Class-action com­plaint: Exhibits
As a law­yer who is also a long­time mem­ber of the visual-arts com­mu­nity, it's an honor to stand up on behalf of fel­low artists and con­tinue this vital con­ver­sa­tion about how AI will coex­ist with human cul­ture and cre­ativ­ity.
The image-gen­er­a­tor com­pa­nies have made their views clear. Now they can hear from artists.
''The Con­cert'' by Johannes Ver­meer, stolen from the Gard­ner Museum
Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion is an arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI) soft­ware prod­uct, released in August 2022 by a com­pany called Sta­bil­ity AI.
Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion con­tains unau­tho­rized copies of mil­lions'--and pos­si­bly bil­lions'--of copy­righted images. These copies were made with­out the knowl­edge or con­sent of the artists.
Even assum­ing nom­i­nal dam­ages of $1 per image, the value of this mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion would be roughly $5 bil­lion. (For com­par­i­son, the largest art heist ever was the 1990 theft of 13 art­works from the Isabella Stew­art Gard­ner Museum, with a cur­rent esti­mated value of $500 mil­lion.)
Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion belongs to a cat­e­gory of AI sys­tems called gen­er­a­tive AI. These sys­tems are trained on a cer­tain kind of cre­ative work'--for instance text, soft­ware code, or images'--and then remix these works to derive (or ''gen­er­ate'') more works of the same kind.
Hav­ing copied the five bil­lion images'--with­out the con­sent of the orig­i­nal artists'--Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion relies on a math­e­mat­i­cal process called dif­fu­sion to store com­pressed copies of these train­ing images, which in turn are recom­bined to derive other images. It is, in short, a 21st-cen­tury col­lage tool.
These result­ing images may or may not out­wardly resem­ble the train­ing images. Nev­er­the­less, they are derived from copies of the train­ing images, and com­pete with them in the mar­ket­place. At min­i­mum, Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion's abil­ity to flood the mar­ket with an essen­tially unlim­ited num­ber of infring­ing images will inflict per­ma­nent dam­age on the mar­ket for art and artists.
Even Sta­bil­ity AI CEO Emad Mostaque has fore­cast that ''[f]uture [AI] mod­els will be fully licensed''. But Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion is not. It is a par­a­site that, if allowed to pro­lif­er­ate, will cause irrepara­ble harm to artists, now and in the future.
The prob­lem with dif­fu­sionThe dif­fu­sion tech­nique was invented in 2015 by AI researchers at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity. The dia­gram below, taken from the Stan­ford team's research, illus­trates the two phases of the dif­fu­sion process using train­ing data in the shape of a spi­ral.
The first phase in dif­fu­sion is to take an image (or other data) and pro­gres­sively add more visual noise to it in a series of steps. (This process is depicted in the top row of the dia­gram.) At each step, the AI records how the addi­tion of noise changes the image. By the last step, the image has been ''dif­fused'' into essen­tially ran­dom noise.
The sec­ond phase is like the first, but in reverse. (This process is depicted in the bot­tom row of the dia­gram, which reads right to left.) Hav­ing recorded the steps that turn a cer­tain image into noise, the AI can run those steps back­wards. Start­ing with some ran­dom noise, the AI applies the steps in reverse. By remov­ing noise (or ''denois­ing'') the data, the AI will pro­duce a copy of the orig­i­nal image.
In the dia­gram, the recon­structed spi­ral (in red) has some fuzzy parts in the lower half that the orig­i­nal spi­ral (in blue) does not. Though the red spi­ral is plainly a copy of the blue spi­ral, in com­puter terms it would be called a lossy copy, mean­ing some details are lost in trans­la­tion. This is true of numer­ous dig­i­tal data for­mats, includ­ing MP3 and JPEG, that also make highly com­pressed copies of dig­i­tal data by omit­ting small details.
In short, dif­fu­sion is a way for an AI pro­gram to fig­ure out how to recon­struct a copy of the train­ing data through denois­ing. Because this is so, in copy­right terms it's no dif­fer­ent than an MP3 or JPEG'--a way of stor­ing a com­pressed copy of cer­tain dig­i­tal data.
Inter­po­lat­ing with latent imagesIn 2020, the dif­fu­sion tech­nique was improved by researchers at UC Berke­ley in two ways:
They showed how a dif­fu­sion model could store its train­ing images in a more com­pressed for­mat with­out impact­ing its abil­ity to recon­struct high-fidelity copies. These com­pressed copies of train­ing images are known as latent images.
They found that these latent images could be inter­po­lated'--mean­ing, blended math­e­mat­i­cally'--to pro­duce new deriv­a­tive images.
The dia­gram below, taken from the Berke­ley team's research, shows how this process works.
The image in the red frame has been inter­po­lated from the two ''Source'' images pixel by pixel. It looks like two translu­cent face images stacked on top of each other, not a sin­gle con­vinc­ing face.
The image in the green frame has been gen­er­ated dif­fer­ently. In that case, the two source images have been com­pressed into latent images. Once these latent images have been inter­po­lated, this newly inter­po­lated latent image has been recon­structed into pix­els using the denois­ing process. Com­pared to the pixel-by-pixel inter­po­la­tion, the advan­tage is appar­ent: the inter­po­la­tion based on latent images looks like a sin­gle con­vinc­ing human face, not an over­lay of two faces.
Despite the dif­fer­ence in results, in copy­right terms, these two modes of inter­po­la­tion are equiv­a­lent: they both gen­er­ate deriv­a­tive works by inter­po­lat­ing two source images.
Fur­ther read­ing:
Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion con­verts train­ing images to latent images using a vari­a­tional autoen­coder (or VAE). For a gen­eral overview, see Intu­itively Under­stand­ing Vari­a­tional Autoen­coders (which notes that these sys­tems are designed to ''explore vari­a­tions on data you already have'' and that they are ''specif­i­cally use­ful for recon­struct­ing [their] own input.''). For exam­ples of Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion's vari­a­tional autoen­coder in use, see Sta­ble dif­fu­sion using Hug­ging Face'--Look­ing under the hood (includes sam­ple Python code and notes that ''the encoder acts like a com­pres­sor that squishes the image '... and the decoder recre­ates the orig­i­nal image''). For exam­ples of its lossy-com­pres­sion char­ac­ter­is­tics, see Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion Based Image Com­pres­sion.
Math­e­mat­i­cally, the latent images pro­duced by an autoen­coder are mod­eled as points in a mul­ti­di­men­sional geo­met­ric space called latent space. For a gen­eral overview of how latent images are stored and inter­po­lated in latent space, see Under­stand­ing Latent Space in Machine Learn­ing and Latent Space Visu­al­iza­tion (both of which have excel­lent dia­grams and exam­ples). For exam­ples of latent-image inter­po­la­tion using Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion, see A walk through latent space with Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion (includes sam­ple Python code).
Con­di­tion­ing with text promptsIn 2022, the dif­fu­sion tech­nique was fur­ther improved by researchers in Munich. These researchers fig­ured out how to shape the denois­ing process with extra infor­ma­tion. This process is called con­di­tion­ing. (One of these researchers, Robin Rom­bach, is now employed by Sta­bil­ity AI as a devel­oper of Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion.)
Only the dog in the lower left seems to be eat­ing ice cream. The two on the right seem to be eat­ing meat, not ice cream.
The most com­mon tool for con­di­tion­ing is short text descrip­tions, also known as text prompts, that describe ele­ments of the image, e.g.'--''a dog wear­ing a base­ball cap while eat­ing ice cream''. (Result shown at right.) This gave rise to the dom­i­nant inter­face of Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion and other AI image gen­er­a­tors: con­vert­ing a text prompt into an image.
The text-prompt inter­face serves another pur­pose, how­ever. It cre­ates a layer of mag­i­cal mis­di­rec­tion that makes it harder for users to coax out obvi­ous copies of the train­ing images (though not impos­si­ble). Nev­er­the­less, because all the visual infor­ma­tion in the sys­tem is derived from the copy­righted train­ing images, the images pro­duced'--regard­less of out­ward appear­ance'--are nec­es­sar­ily works derived from those train­ing images.
How Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion com­bines these piecesWithin Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion, the pieces described above are imple­mented as three sep­a­rate AI mod­els that coop­er­ate. For details of how these three mod­els work together, see Sta­ble dif­fu­sion using Hug­ging Face'--Look­ing under the hood and The Illus­trated Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion.
The defen­dantsSta­bil­ity AISta­bil­ity AI, founded by Emad Mostaque, is based in Lon­don.
Sta­bil­ity AI funded LAION, a Ger­man orga­ni­za­tion that is cre­at­ing ever-larger image datasets'--with­out con­sent, credit, or com­pen­sa­tion to the orig­i­nal artists'--for use by AI com­pa­nies.
Sta­bil­ity AI is the devel­oper of Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion. Sta­bil­ity AI trained Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion using the LAION dataset.
Sta­bil­ity AI also released Dream­Stu­dio, a paid app that pack­ages Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion in a web inter­face.
DeviantArtDeviantArt was founded in 2000 and has long been one of the largest artist com­mu­ni­ties on the web.
As shown by Simon Willi­son and Andy Baio, thou­sands'--and prob­a­bly closer to mil­lions'--of images in LAION were copied from DeviantArt and used to train Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion.
Rather than stand up for its com­mu­nity of artists by pro­tect­ing them against AI train­ing, DeviantArt instead chose to release DreamUp, a paid app built around Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion. In turn, a flood of AI-gen­er­ated art has inun­dated DeviantArt, crowd­ing out human artists.
When con­fronted about the ethics and legal­ity of these maneu­vers dur­ing a live Q&A ses­sion in Novem­ber 2022, mem­bers of the DeviantArt man­age­ment team, includ­ing CEO Moti Levy, could not explain why they betrayed their artist com­mu­nity by embrac­ing Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion, while inten­tion­ally vio­lat­ing their own terms of ser­vice and pri­vacy pol­icy.
Mid­jour­neyMid­jour­ney was founded in 2021 by David Holz in San Fran­cisco. Mid­jour­ney offers a text-to-image gen­er­a­tor through Dis­cord and a web app.
Though hold­ing itself out as a ''research lab'', Mid­jour­ney has cul­ti­vated a large audi­ence of pay­ing cus­tomers who use Mid­jour­ney's image gen­er­a­tor pro­fes­sion­ally. Holz has said he wants Mid­jour­ney to be ''focused toward mak­ing every­thing beau­ti­ful and artis­tic look­ing.''
To that end, Holz has admit­ted that Mid­jour­ney is trained on ''a big scrape of the inter­net''. Though when asked about the ethics of mas­sive copy­ing of train­ing images, he said'--
There are no laws specif­i­cally about that.And when Holz was fur­ther asked about allow­ing artists to opt out of train­ing, he said'--
We're look­ing at that. The chal­lenge now is find­ing out what the rules are.We look for­ward to help­ing Mr. Holz find out about the many state and fed­eral laws that pro­tect artists and their work.
The plain­tiffsOur plain­tiffs are won­der­ful, accom­plished artists who have stepped for­ward to rep­re­sent a class of thou­sands'--pos­si­bly mil­lions'--of fel­low artists affected by gen­er­a­tive AI.
Sarah Ander­sen
Sarah Ander­sen is a car­toon­ist and illus­tra­tor. She grad­u­ated from the Mary­land Insti­tute Col­lege of Art in 2014. She cur­rently lives in Port­land, Ore­gon. Her semi-auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal comic strip, Sarah's Scrib­bles, finds the humor in liv­ing as an intro­vert. Her graphic novel FANGS was nom­i­nated for an Eis­ner Award.
Sarah also wrote The Alt-Right Manip­u­lated My Comic. Then A.I. Claimed It for the New York Times.
Kelly McK­er­nan
Kelly McK­er­nan is an inde­pen­dent artist based in Nashville. They grad­u­ated from Ken­ne­saw State Uni­ver­sity in 2009 and have been a full-time artist since 2012. Kelly cre­ates orig­i­nal water­color and acryla gouache paint­ings for gal­leries, pri­vate com­mis­sions, and their online store. In addi­tion to main­tain­ing a large social-media fol­low­ing, Kelly shares tuto­ri­als and teaches work­shops, trav­els across the US for events and comic-cons, and also cre­ates illus­tra­tions for books, comics, games, and more.
Karla Ortiz
Karla Ortiz is a Puerto Rican, inter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized, award-win­ning artist. With her excep­tional design sense, real­is­tic ren­ders, and char­ac­ter-dri­ven nar­ra­tives, Karla has con­tributed to many big-bud­get projects in the film, tele­vi­sion and video-game indus­tries. Karla is also a reg­u­lar illus­tra­tor for major pub­lish­ing and role-play­ing game com­pa­nies.
Karla's fig­u­ra­tive and mys­te­ri­ous art has been show­cased in notable gal­leries such as Spoke Art and Hashimoto Con­tem­po­rary in San Fran­cisco; Nucleus Gallery, Think­space, and Maxwell Alexan­der Gallery in Los Ange­les; and Galerie Arludik in Paris. She cur­rently lives in San Fran­cisco with her cat Bady.
If you're a mem­ber of the press or the pub­lic with other ques­tions about this case or related top­ics, con­tact stablediffusion_inquiries@saverilawfirm.com . (Though please don't send con­fi­den­tial or priv­i­leged infor­ma­tion.)
This web page is infor­ma­tional. Gen­eral prin­ci­ples of law are dis­cussed. But nei­ther Matthew Butterick nor any­one at the Joseph Saveri Law Firm or Lock­ridge Grindal Nauen is your law­yer, and noth­ing here is offered as legal advice. Ref­er­ences to copy­right per­tain to US law. This page will be updated as new infor­ma­tion becomes avail­able.
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VIDEO - Al Gore flew to Davos just so he could sit on a stage and yell about boiling oceans and 'rain bombs' '' twitchy.com
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 14:31
The World Economic Forum in Davos is well underway, and we've heard from quite a few annoying and fabulously wealthy and out-of-touch elitists. But as we all know, it's not a real World Economic Forum party until Al Gore shows up.
Well, he's definitely there, sitting on piles of money while having no problem whatsoever with the Colombian president's trash talk about capitalism and wealth. And sounding the alarm about climate change, of course.
He started off sounding relatively normal (relatively normal for Al Gore, anyway):
At #wef23, @algore claims "renewable" energy is "now the cheapest source of electricity in almost the entire planet." pic.twitter.com/arBE8Suo9W
'-- Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 18, 2023
But it didn't take long for him to dial it up to eleventy:
Al Gore goes on unhinged rant, claims we're "boiling the oceans" and creating "rain bombs" and "sucking the moisture out of the land and creating the droughts and melting the ice and raising the sea level" pic.twitter.com/LKPzJHevBw
'-- Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 18, 2023
If you don't like him when he's calm, you definitely won't like him when he's angry. And we don't. He's just a very unlikable guy. A very insane and unlikable guy. Emphasis on the ''unlikable'' part. And also the ''insane'' part.
I could have sworn we solved all these problems in 2008. https://t.co/v6gvasPnl2
'-- Chief Impact Officer BT (@back_ttys) January 18, 2023
Guess not.
The only thing he got wrong was the part where none of that is actually happening.
'-- Area Man (@lheal) January 18, 2023
pic.twitter.com/vTryOrg81V
'-- 🇺🇸Redrivergrl🇺🇸 Freedom isn't free (@redrivergrl) January 18, 2023
If he wasn't at Davos in an expensive suit you'd hold your kids' hands tighter as you hurry past and hope he gets the help he needs https://t.co/hVoPoNxqF3
'-- Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) January 18, 2023
*If he wasn't at Davos in an expensive suit and hadn't gotten to Davos via high-emissions air transportation. Something tells us we and our kids wouldn't be allowed on Al Gore's special plane. Which is fine with us, given what absolute torture being stuck on a plane with Al Gore must be.
Gore always seems to dial up the crazy at Davos. Here he was 3 years ago https://t.co/7L7FRu3q1I
'-- Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 18, 2023
Al should've been committed years ago. At the very least, he should've been laughed out of any serious discussion of policies, climate-related or otherwise.
But yet he's never cut back his lifestyle.
'-- RockinDad72 (@UPpaulie) January 18, 2023
Of course he hasn't. Because, like pretty much everyone else who takes the stage at the World Economic forum, Al Gore thinks he's better than you.
Did anyone tell these geniuses about the existence of Zoom, or do the rules they want to impose not apply to them? BTW, this is a rhetorical question. https://t.co/E6r9JmPoKh
'-- Chief Impact Officer BT (@back_ttys) January 18, 2023
***
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***
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VIDEO - Alex Stein #99 is running for Dallas school board'... '' CITIZEN FREE PRESS
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 14:30
Doesn't come off as a serious candidate
This moment, start generating income. Spend more time with your family and loved ones by working from home on tasks that just require a computer and internet ka207 connectivity. Start earning between $75,220 and $95,430 every month. I began this job, which pays well, and I'm now trading it with you so you may do it too. Here's where I began'...'....https://c2d.in/lznXQ
Vote Up -3 Vote Down Reply
At the 1:35 mark of the video, Alex says the standardized test scores of the kids in the school district are ''garbage''. Alex is telling a joke there, and he knows that. He went to Highland Park High School. Meanwhile, good luck to him in his race.
https://www.hpisd.org/apps/news/article/1436848
excerpt:
''Highland Park High School is in the Top 250 high schools in America'...''
''A closer look at the Texas rankings reveals Highland Park High School is the first and only traditional comprehensive public high school in the state listed among the Top 47, making HP the #1 Comprehensive Traditional Public High School in Texas.''
The two women are just doing their jobs. He's trying to be funny, but comes across as a dick. I 'd prefer the guy running for real and straight up and kick a member off the board. To use this as material is weak and shows he's not sincere.
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Actually, this is Alex being sincere.
My lord, I love this man!!!! Jesus, Alex and Mark Dice rock!
I'd like to see Alex take a Davos trip.That would be fun.
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Excellent idea '' liven up the place!
OMGosh! Thinking about it is priceless!
6 applications because he's helping other candidates run against him ? Sounds like he is planning on getting name recognition and splitting the rest of the vote with additional names that people will NOT recognize. Who knows who they're voting when voting for school board ? (not 90% of the people voting)
Much like other elected school boards their election is in the Spring. Not the Fall. That ensures the lump of voters are PTA, Teachers' Unions, other unions and those that foam at the mouth at the sign of a MAGA cap.
Al stein you go get school board and turn that school on its head. Change it like we all are doing nationwide
Careful Alex'...I think either Whoopi or Stacy Abrams may have '' Blimp on a Shrimp''already copyrighted.
the kids would luv the pimp on a blimp representing them!
Who da F is that ass clown?
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I'll send him a $10 if it doesn't go through winred.
Highland Park School District is where the VERY rich in Dallas live, and they rank in the top districts in the state. Would be fantastic if he won!
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At the 1:35 mark of the video, he says the standardized test scores of the kids in the school district are ''garbage''. Alex is telling a joke, and he knows that. He went to Highland Park High School.
https://www.hpisd.org/apps/news/article/1436848
excerpt:
''Highland Park High School is in the Top 250 high schools in America'...''
''A closer look at the Texas rankings reveals Highland Park High School is the first and only traditional comprehensive public high school in the state listed among the Top 47, making HP the #1 Comprehensive Traditional Public High School in Texas.''
I believe him! Let me know how I can donate Alex. The kids NEED ADULT LEADERSHIP and you will probably provide just that!
Salute!
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Pimp on a blimp? I would drop that line in your campaign'...'.....
Atomic Reverend Alexander
He is officially kicking off his political career I think.I hope he wins and keeps advancing over the next few decades all the way to congress.
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so wrong its right'...'..... why are our tests scores so bad'....
Well, well, well, any Pimp On A Blimp (POAB) school board election debates will be an absolute ball to watch!!POAB 2023!
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Go Alex! Let's go Branden. FJB. Trump won!
Vote Up 23 Vote Down Reply
He's nutty to the point where he's actually cool.
Vote Up 16 Vote Down Reply
His level of intelligence and wisdom shines.
Oh man I hope he wins'... Get Em' Prime Time Stein! 🇺🇸
Vote Up 25 Vote Down Reply
They already said he will win in the article.
Pimp on a blimp, let's GO!!!
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''I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases. The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.''
Thomas Jefferson
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××§× ××(C)רא×'×
[url=https://lookingforclan.com/user/sidneycraig]× ×רות ×'×וו×[/url]
Vote Up -3 Vote Down Reply
January 19, 2023 12:53 am
Yep. Totally.
Vote Up -1 Vote Down Reply
He didn't need to be a d*ck to the ladies working there. Just saying'.....
Vote Up -20 Vote Down Reply
January 19, 2023 12:12 am
He wasn't. It was funny.
Vote Up 16 Vote Down Reply
Atomic Reverend Alexander
They are guilty by association.It's time for men to be A-holes again and take our country back from these communists.
Board seats have been controlled by unscrupulous real estate developers who destroyed many historic school buildings to build new expensive box buildings leaving UP with huge debts. All based on erroneous growth projections. Alex knows this
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January 18, 2023 11:59 pm
I grew up in Highland Park and graduated high school there. I currently live less than a mile from its border, with several high school friends and their families who still live there. Highland Park (with its sister town, University Park) is like an island in the sea of Dallas; it is its own town, with a separate school district, police force, fire department, etc. Homes there start at $1.5M with many over $20M+. I have seen prime lots for sale over $10M. Gets pretty nuts.
Of course my days growing up there were back when the world made sense, you didn't have to be exceptionally wealthy, and the majority of our neighbors had children and were Christian, gun-owning conservatives (most of my friends' dads hunted; mine unfortunately did not). It was safe and a great place to be a kid and grow up. I consider myself lucky.
Today, like other wealthy enclaves in relatively successful states like Texas, there has been an infiltration of new, moneyed residents from failed states. Unfortunately, many bring failed ideas and voting habits with them.
Alex is going to be up against some of these. Perhaps he will be successful. But even if he is not, it will be quite the show.
Vote Up 31 Vote Down Reply
January 18, 2023 11:48 pm
''new, moneyed residents from failed states''and its a big problem all over N America now.We really let our grandkids down.
I work in the airline industry, this shot hit them hard. Covid was just a virus that was pumped up to be this huge paper Goliath as many coward beneath its shadow. What is completely out of my thought range is when I bump into a coworker who still believes in this crap being pushed. ''More shots, Im fine, more shots for all.''The business has piled bodies laying around ( analogy) and they walk by on their walk to work and still think this shot was good. Government is good. It's early retirement, a cure all for every disease every problem.Take the shot and your marriage is bliss. Of course your not in it because your dead, but someone can enjoy it now.Car payment house payments, all gone, your dead. Forget about all the times you are sick FROM COVID, take the shot, lay down and boom, all problems solved.And seriously, this is what these globalists clowns wanted to begin with. Keep pumping shots in til you want to die.A very few trying to make everyone miserable because they are.
Stephen/shaken, not stirred.
The Davos agenda is to get rid of all the excess ''eaters'' and that means you and me. The Covid 19, second shot out of 3 gave me severe pain on the left side of my neck for 30 hours relived by constant change out of a hot water bottle. Now when I climb stairs or ride my bike hard I get a pain in my chest, esophagus, and down both arms. The pain under my tongue is the same as when I had the mumps. This has happened for more than one year and a half since I completed the 3 shot series, and has not diminished. I am reading where mortuary technicians in the processing/embalming bodies are pulling 2 and 3 foot strings of blood clots out of cadavers. I think my life has been shortened with a real possibility of a sudden fatal heart attack like many young athletes and hundreds of young doctors in Canada.
General Flynn emphatically states this is how constitutional conservatives win it all starts at the local level '... showing up to city, county, township commission meetings and school board meetings which are open to the public to learn how the sausage is made '... and then run for office!
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January 18, 2023 11:47 pm
He's got my Vote!!! 🇺🇸
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January 18, 2023 11:05 pm
I like when he brings ''his wife's boyfriend'' along with him.
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January 18, 2023 11:05 pm
Time to start stuffing ballot boxes and vote harvesting for prime time 99.
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January 18, 2023 11:00 pm
Does his wife's boyfriend approve? This guy is too much!
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January 18, 2023 10:58 pm
Yep, Dontarius is his campaign mgr.
Vote Up 9 Vote Down Reply
January 18, 2023 11:01 pm
Is that his ''pimp on a blimp'' photo at the bottom of the article? With male buttocks artwork 🧐
Vote Up -3 Vote Down Reply
January 18, 2023 10:53 pm
My favorite nutcase.
Vote Up 4 Vote Down Reply
January 18, 2023 10:49 pm
if Alex Stein and 'Bronx' Tina were in charge, this whole damn thing would turn around right quick!
Vote Up 27 Vote Down Reply
January 18, 2023 10:12 pm
And the shelves would be nicer.
Where can we send donations to his campaign?
Vote Up 21 Vote Down Reply
January 18, 2023 10:09 pm
You go Alex! I wish I could vote for you.
Vote Up 12 Vote Down Reply
January 18, 2023 10:05 pm
I can't wait to see footage of the meetings with him on the board.
Vote Up 24 Vote Down Reply
My side hurts. What a trip. At one time, it was OK to believe in absolute truth; it was OK to disagree with someone and not be an enemy; it was OK to win against the other team & not want to fight them. ONCE UPON A TIME. I am definitely tired of the crazy.
Vote Up 11 Vote Down Reply
I'm dead and I'm voting for him!!!! Go Alex!!!! I'll see if I can get my neighbors from the graveyard to vote for you too.
Vote Up 17 Vote Down Reply
Is Alex running as a democrat?
Go Alex
Vote Up 14 Vote Down Reply
I would vote for him twice if I lived in his district.To win, you have to out cheat the cheaters.
Vote Up 27 Vote Down Reply
I'd vote for him if he ran here in Virginia!
Vote Up 11 Vote Down Reply
Good for you!
Vote Up 10 Vote Down Reply
Like a Pimp on a Blimp!
Vote Up 15 Vote Down Reply
PrimeTime plays to the camera even better than Michael Scott
VIDEO - Poszar Was Right: Saudis Confirm Non-Dollar Oil Trade Plans In Davos | ZeroHedge
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 14:30
Earlier this month, former NY Fed repo guru Zoltan Pozsar wrote one of his most important reports of 2022, in which he described how Putin could unleash hell on the Western financial system by demanding that instead of dollars, Russian oil exporters are paid in gold, effectively pegging oil to gold and launching Petrogold.
Then, China's President Xi visit with Saudi and GCC leaders marked the birth of the petroyuan and a leap in China's growing encumbrance of OPEC+'s oil and gas reserves: that's because with the China-GCC Summit, "China can now claim to have built a 'special relationship' not only with the '+' sign in OPEC+ (Russia), but with Iran and all of OPEC+."
At the time, Zoltan urged the reader to think of the timing of this statement in a diplomatic sense:
"President Xi communicated his message on ''renminbi invoicing'' not during the first day of his visit '' when he met only the Saudi leadership '' but during the second day of his visit '' when he met the leadership of all the GCC countries '' to signal the following:
GCC oil flowing East + renminbi invoicing = the dawn of the petroyuan."
And now, according to Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia is open to discussions about trade in currencies other than the US dollar, according to the kingdom's finance minister.
''There are no issues with discussing how we settle our trade arrangements, whether it is in the US dollar, whether it is the euro, whether it is the Saudi riyal,'' Mohammed Al-Jadaan told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday in an interview in Davos.
''I don't think we are waving away or ruling out any discussion that will help improve the trade around the world,'' Al-Jadaan said.
And echoing Poszar's comments above, Al-Jadaan appeared to confirm The Kingdom's goal seeking to strengthen its relationship with crucial trade partners, most notably China:
''We enjoy a very strategic relationship with China and we enjoy that same strategic relationship with other nations including the US and we want to develop that with Europe and other countries who are willing and able to work with us,'' Al-Jadaan said.
Saudi Arabia is also working with multilateral institutions to provide support to Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt, as part of the kingdom's largesse to nations it deems ''vulnerable,'' Al-Jadaan said.
''We are providing even oil and derivatives to support their energy needs,'' Al Jadaan said.
''So there is a lot of efforts, but we wanted this to be conducted.''
Watch the full interview below:
It doesn't sound like the Biden administration is high up in The Kingdom's strategic planning; and given the comments from The Kingdom's FinMin, Zoltan's ominous warning appears ever closer to reality: "dusk for the petrodollar'... and dawn for the petroyuan."
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VIDEO - (35) æ‘é‚£è...‡ç'Ÿå­ Masako Ganaha on Twitter: "I encountered Klaus Schwab! And here is what happened. He is afraid of our resistance! @ WEF Davos2023 https://t.co/QMVixy2wyE" / Twitter
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 13:48
æ‘é‚£è...‡ç'Ÿå­ Masako Ganaha : I encountered Klaus Schwab! And here is what happened.He is afraid of our resistance!@ WEF Davos2023 https://t.co/QMVixy2wyE
Wed Jan 18 21:22:21 +0000 2023
Larry Diaz : @ganaha_masako you should have ran away befor they started the car you never know what could have happened when the'... https://t.co/cnoW8BUcaK
Thu Jan 19 13:48:01 +0000 2023
Taylor Schon : @ganaha_masako Haha you're SO very sweet and polite which is the admirable Japanese way, but doesn't work with putr'... https://t.co/h8Z3t3UEAH
Thu Jan 19 13:46:51 +0000 2023
J Ryan : @ganaha_masako Is his car electric?
Thu Jan 19 13:46:00 +0000 2023
Scotty : @ganaha_masako He obviously prefers dependent media. Such a congenial fellow, isn't he...
Thu Jan 19 13:45:42 +0000 2023
JTHep : @ganaha_masako thank you for doing actual journalism, unlike the corporate journalists that lick Schwab's boots.
Thu Jan 19 13:45:04 +0000 2023
woopycheeseburger : @ganaha_masako Thank you for your work! We should learn to say no and boycott everything! Considering his blackout'... https://t.co/LmCsRAc8er
Thu Jan 19 13:44:40 +0000 2023
Doug Hawkins : @ganaha_masako She wanted to know about your fashion choices. https://t.co/N8Qt7VpFcS
Thu Jan 19 13:44:22 +0000 2023
Non-dual Mind : @ganaha_masako You're going to need to grow a pair if you want to succeed as an independent journalist. Get in fron'... https://t.co/8ocXbSO2SO
Thu Jan 19 13:43:31 +0000 2023
linda irving : @ganaha_masako The independent media ask real questions that he doesn't want to answer. He looked prepared at one p'... https://t.co/uxVWDkb7vB
Thu Jan 19 13:43:16 +0000 2023
Tron : @ganaha_masako Should have said you were with CNN, he would have happily answered some softball questions then
Thu Jan 19 13:43:10 +0000 2023
Patrick McDowell Q.C.D : @ganaha_masako @DescargarVid
Thu Jan 19 13:43:01 +0000 2023
Robby : @ganaha_masako Why is he stepping into the Audi? I know Davis very well, it is just a long street. Can't he walk to the conference center?
Thu Jan 19 13:42:26 +0000 2023
Meine Freiheit : @ganaha_masako #Heisafraidofourresistance
Thu Jan 19 13:41:45 +0000 2023
gregory wolff : @ganaha_masako You had the chance to snuff him. Cmon man
Thu Jan 19 13:41:24 +0000 2023
Benjamin : @ganaha_masako Why are they running away from journalistsðŸ‘
Thu Jan 19 13:41:22 +0000 2023
BarelyCivil🗣 : @ganaha_masako Nice journalism, too bad he shut you down, laughed, because you would have told the truth, which is the last thing they want.
Thu Jan 19 13:39:50 +0000 2023
BarelyCivil🗣 : @ganaha_masako They will not be able to walk down the streets... Q
Thu Jan 19 13:39:20 +0000 2023
bigjack35 : @ganaha_masako She's a horrible journalist ask ur damn question already
Thu Jan 19 13:38:35 +0000 2023
mountainx : @ganaha_masako 🤣
Thu Jan 19 13:37:40 +0000 2023
Flux of Boredom : @ganaha_masako You vill eat zee bugs and you vill be happy!
Thu Jan 19 13:37:27 +0000 2023
Sensej 2.0 : @ganaha_masako They have no courage to face single reporter and they want to run this planet
Thu Jan 19 13:37:05 +0000 2023
Amanda MacLean \\\FYMM\\\ : @ganaha_masako Thanks for trying!! Too bad he behaved that way though.
Thu Jan 19 13:36:34 +0000 2023
M Hamilton : @ganaha_masako I hate to be critical'... but scared of what resistance? Klaus walked right past you for 2 minutes and'... https://t.co/QVM9g9zKMQ
Thu Jan 19 13:35:54 +0000 2023
A mezőőr : @ganaha_masako A pokolban fog rohadni ez a f(C)reg is!
Thu Jan 19 13:35:46 +0000 2023
chris : @ganaha_masako I don't think these are electric vehicles in the video. Just big fat lux vehicles. They'll tell us'... https://t.co/5C7Mpp945M
Thu Jan 19 13:35:45 +0000 2023
Dave : @ganaha_masako Well done for trying. He is Evil No. 1
Thu Jan 19 13:35:27 +0000 2023
Enrico Enrico🐁 Natale Giuseppe Maria 🇷🇺 anti-EU : @ganaha_masako Nu scapizzn manc ngopp a neve. Mio zio poverello scivolato 6 giorni in ospedale ricoverato per non p'... https://t.co/bcKXsM38bb
Thu Jan 19 13:35:11 +0000 2023
Richard N Cutt : @ganaha_masako Evil hides in darkness.
Thu Jan 19 13:35:04 +0000 2023
Critical Thinker : @ganaha_masako Also, isn't he killing the earth by driving off with 3 cars?
Thu Jan 19 13:33:21 +0000 2023
'†ãã¤ã§ã‚‚ãã¾'† : @ganaha_masako Thank you for your good job. You helped me know his attitude.
Thu Jan 19 13:31:56 +0000 2023
VIDEO - WHO Director Tedros Warns Rich Countries a Resurgence of Tuberculosis May Be Coming Their Way
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 13:37
Chief Nerd
25K followers
1 day ago
935
5
''Sooner or later it [TB] may come''
Loading 5 comments...
3:34Chief Nerd1 day ago
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VIDEO - Avi Yemini on Twitter: "🚨WE CAUGHT HIM! Watch what happened when @ezralevant and I spotted Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, on the street in Davos today. We finally asked him all the questions the mainstream media refuses to ask. Full story: h
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 03:18
Avi Yemini : 🚨WE CAUGHT HIM! Watch what happened when @ezralevant and I spotted Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, on the street'... https://t.co/pHjctphPHq
Wed Jan 18 17:51:35 +0000 2023
Robert Padgett : @OzraeliAvi @ezralevant It's time for Nuremberg 2.0. Arrest and try these criminals for crimes against humanity.
Thu Jan 19 03:17:59 +0000 2023
MW319 : @OzraeliAvi @ezralevant Get em !!!!!
Thu Jan 19 03:17:40 +0000 2023
Steven Flood : @OzraeliAvi @SharylAttkisson @ezralevant Actual reporting!
Thu Jan 19 03:16:59 +0000 2023
Lisa W : @OzraeliAvi @ezralevant Murderer!
Thu Jan 19 03:16:51 +0000 2023
VIDEO - (14) Interview with EC President Ursula von der Leyen - YouTube
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VIDEO - (13) Davos 2023: EU's von der Leyen on her Green Deal Industrial Plan ' FRANCE 24 English - YouTube
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VIDEO - French far-right plot: 'A microcosm of a pattern that is repeating itself all the way across Europe' - YouTube
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VIDEO - NYC Mayor Eric Adams visits border, asks for more federal help to handle migrant arrivals - CBS News
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 15:57
NYC mayor asks for aid amid migrant influx
New York City mayor visits southern border and asks for aid for cities taking in migrants 07:14 New York City Mayor Eric Adams traveled to the Texas border city of El Paso over the weekend to implore the federal government to provide additional funds and support to American cities receiving tens of thousands of migrants seeking refuge from economic crises and political tumult in Latin America.
During the trip, his first visit to the U.S.-Mexico border as mayor, Adams said cities like New York and El Paso were on the "front lines" of an unprecedented migrant crisis that recently prompted the Biden administration to adopt a new strategy designed to discourage illegal border crossings.
Adams, a Democrat who issued an emergency declaration in October over the migrant arrivals in New York, said cities across the U.S. are shouldering most of the operational and financial burden of accommodating migrants released from federal border custody.
"What is happening in Chicago right now, and New York, and Houston, and Los Angeles, and Washington, our cities are being undermined. And we don't deserve this," Adams said during a Sunday press conference. "Migrants don't deserve this. And the people who live in these cities don't deserve this."
"We expect more from our national leaders to address this issue in a real way," Adams continued.
The New York City mayor called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to "step up" and launch a nationwide operation to coordinate assistance and funding to cities and other local communities receiving migrants processed by U.S. border authorities.
New York City "cannot take more" migrants, Adams stressed, noting the depleted shelter space there. "We can't."
On the ground in El Paso last night. This is a national crisis and we need a national solution. Mayors like @OscarLeeser and I are on the front lines and we need federal support. pic.twitter.com/MkD8xZelNf
'-- Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) January 15, 2023For the past few months, El Paso has struggled to handle a sharp increase in arrivals of migrants, mainly from crisis-stricken countries like Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The Democratic-led Texas city has converted a convention center and two vacant middle schools into makeshift migrant housing facilities to alleviate overwhelmed city shelters. Many migrants have still found themselves sleeping on El Paso's streets.
New York City, for its part, has also received tens of thousands of migrants in recent months who entered the U.S. along the southern border. Some of them traveled to the city with the help of volunteers or family members in the U.S. Others have been bused to New York by Texas' Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has been transporting migrants to Democratic-led cities to protest President Biden's border policies.
For several months last year, El Paso city officials also sent dozens of buses of migrants to New York. But its operation was designed to reduce overcrowding in local shelters, not to send a political message.
Since last year, Adams has warned that New York would face dire fiscal and operational challenges without increased state and federal help to welcome migrants. The city has set up 74 shelters and four processing centers to accommodate the new arrivals, including at repurposed hotels. In all, New York has offered roughly 40,000 migrants shelter, food and other services, an effort city officials project will cost over $1 billion.
Last week, Adams told New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a fellow Democrat, that the situation was "pushing New York City to the brink" and urged state officials to help shelter 500 migrants.
"We are at our breaking point," Adams said. "Based off our projections, we anticipate being unable to continue sheltering arriving asylum seekers on our own and have submitted an emergency mutual aid request to the State of New York beginning this weekend."
A Nicaraguan family crosses the Rio Grande river from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico to El Paso, Texas, US to ask for political asylum on December 27, 2022. - / Getty Images During his trip to El Paso on Saturday and Sunday, Adams met with local volunteers, shelter officials, migrants and city leaders, including Mayor Oscar Leeser, another Democrat who also asked for, and secured, assistance from the Biden administration to shelter, feed and transport arriving migrants.
On Sunday, Adams elicited cheers and applause from a group of migrants when he told them he would fight for their ability to work in the U.S. and fulfill the "American dream," video of the encounter shows.
One of the main frustrations Adams has voiced is that migrants arriving in New York City can't legally work because of a federal law that prevents them from obtaining work permits until after their asylum applications have been pending for several months. While he has asked the federal government to lift that requirement, it can only be changed by Congress, which has not passed a major immigration law since the 1990s.
In his remarks Sunday, Adams acknowledged that only Congress can offer a long-term plan to manage migration along the southern border. "Real, true immigration reform is going to come through the Senate, Congress and the White House," he said.
Other Democrats have joined Adams in calling for additional federal action to help cities accommodate migrants who have been allowed by border officials to stay in the country while their asylum cases are adjudicated.
On Sunday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she "wholeheartedly" agreed with Adams' call for increased federal support. While she expressed appreciation for the Biden administration's efforts to deal with the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, she said additional steps needed to be taken to help address the "urgent needs" of migrants arriving in Chicago, where Texas state officials have also been busing migrants .
"Months and thousands of migrants later, we continue to strain under the challenge of how to accommodate the rise in asylum-seekers and the escalating associated costs, which have been left primarily to cities to manage," Lightfoot wrote on Twitter.
The Biden administration earlier in this month unveiled its most comprehensive strategy yet to deal with the unprecedented number of migrant arrivals along the southern border. It announced it would expand expulsions of migrants who crossed into the U.S. illegally, while expanding opportunities for certain migrants to enter the country legally, including through a program for those with U.S.-based financial sponsors.
Biden administration officials have insisted the federal government has been assisting local communities receive migrants, including by issuing funding grants through a FEMA program.
More In: Immigration El Paso Mexico-United States Border New York City Camilo Montoya-Galvez Camilo Montoya-Galvez is the immigration reporter at CBS News. Based in Washington, he covers immigration policy and politics.
Thanks for reading CBS NEWS.
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VIDEO - (13) Ukrainian first lady speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos - YouTube
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 15:52
VIDEO - (13) Greta Thunberg released after detention at German mine protest - YouTube
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 15:38
VIDEO - (13) Dutch PM signals 'intention' to send Patriots to Ukraine ' FRANCE 24 English - YouTube
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Wed, 18 Jan 2023 14:47
VIDEO - Brian Stelter moderating panel of 'fascists' on 'disinformation' at WEF accidentally total comedy GOLD '' twitchy.com
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 14:39
Brian Stelter moderated a panel on disinformation at the World Economic Forum.
No, really.
Stop laughing.
IT'S TRUE.
We can't even make this level of embarrassment up '...
Brian Stelter moderating a panel at the World Economic Forum on the ''Clear & Present Danger of Disinformation'' is pure gold
pic.twitter.com/Y91wNGaU3l
'-- Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) January 17, 2023
Clear and Present Danger of Disinformation.
He does realize he's Brian Stelter and that even CNN didn't want him anymore, right? And why is he so sweaty? And wow, what a bunch of nonsense this other bald guy on the panel spews.
As you can all imagine, the jokes do indeed write themselves.
Brian Stelter just sitting there instead of challenging this petty fascist is a big reason why he's unemployed. https://t.co/HLKCvvqNTV
'-- Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 17, 2023
Sitting there sweating like the little tater he is.
Doesn't say a word to her about outlawing speech.
We'd say this is unreal but sadly with our joke of a media, it's all too real.
When they outlaw hate speech, any speech they don't like will become hate speech.
'-- Jim Pacing His Cage ðŸ¤...''‚¸ðŸ¤žðŸ§¨ðŸšðŸ†' 🐱'ðŸ‘¤ðŸ•Š (@iamisgo11) January 17, 2023
Unfortunately he, and a lot of his guests like @davidfolkenflik, are of that same worldview on "hate speech." And then they wonder why the NYC/DC news media is absolutely abhored by a broad swath of the public.
'-- Sarcastic Cupcake (@SarcasticCupcak) January 17, 2023
Also the reason he was invited'...
'-- Grn (@GrnMtnBoys) January 17, 2023
Exactly.
They know he won't push back.
"Illegal speech"'...
Damn'...
'-- Reverend Rachel Profiling (@Two_Words_JOBS) January 17, 2023
Brian Stelter being Brian Stelter is a big reason why he's unemployed.
'-- StateOfJefferson (@St8ofJefferson) January 17, 2023
There's no such thing as hate speech. There is speech you either like or dislike.
'-- Captain Spaulding (@NuisanceMajor) January 17, 2023
He agrees with her why would he challenge?
'-- Paul Bartomioli (@SouthernOver) January 17, 2023
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall'.....
'-- _ _ (@PinocchioJoeB) January 17, 2023
And fin.
***
Related:
Super BLUE account claims he still has faith in Biden, asks others if they do and OMG-LOL the replies
Eric Swalwell getting all big and bad trying to make a bet with Ted Cruz accidentally HILARIOUS
John Fugelsang tries weaseling his way out of false MLK claim in heated back and forth (he fails)
***
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VIDEO - Congress' FTX Problem: 1 in 3 Members Got Cash From Crypto Exchange's Bosses
Wed, 18 Jan 2023 13:19
More than one in three of the 535 senators and representatives in the U.S. Congress showed up to the new session with FTX baggage, having received campaign support from one of the senior executives of the fraud-ridden crypto giant.
CoinDesk has identified 196 members of the new Congress '' many of whom were just sworn in last week '' who took cash from Sam Bankman-Fried or other senior executives at FTX, a crypto exchange that filed for bankruptcy in Delaware in November after CoinDesk revealed unusually close ties between FTX and Alameda Research, an affiliated hedge fund. The names in Congress range from the heights of both chambers, including new Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), down to a list of recipients new to high-level politics.
After the lawmakers received the money, it became clear '' according to the work of journalists, the criminal charges and admissions of guilt from FTX insiders '' that the funds sprang from this colossal financial swindle. CoinDesk reached out to all 196 lawmakers to ask what they would do with the money.
Most of the politicians who responded said they handed it over to charities to remove the taint of contributions from executives such as former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried, whose federal fraud charges also include an accusation that he violated campaign-finance laws. Others have revealed they had conversations with the U.S. Department of Justice about setting aside the money until it can be dropped into a fund to compensate FTX victims.
(Rachel Sun/CoinDesk)
Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) was among dozens of current or incoming members of Congress who took FTX contributions, in his case the full limit of $2,900 directly from Bankman-Fried.
"I don't know the gentleman '' never talked to him,'' Correa told CoinDesk. But Correa said he intended to donate that same amount to his alma mater, California State University, Fullerton, ''to support their Dreamer education fund."
Of the 53 campaigns that responded on the record, 64% decided to forward the donated amounts to nonprofit causes.
Incoming Rep. Greg Casar (D-Texas) planned to forward contributions from an FTX executive and Bankman-Fried's brother to the advocacy group Fight Corporate Monopolies, while Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) said he would give to a ''crisis pregnancy center'' back home because, a spokeswoman said, he ''believes these funds should be donated to a worthy cause, given the information that has come to light about FTX and its leaders.''
However, the campaigns channeling tainted money to favored charities may not escape the reach of FTX's bankruptcy case. And even the organizations they give to could be roped in.
''Making a payment or donation to a third party (including a charity) in the amount of any payment received from a FTX contributor does not prevent the FTX debtors from seeking recovery,'' FTX warned in a December statement. The company is now controlled by CEO John Ray III, whose primary job is to recover money for the company's fleeced creditors, though it isn't yet clear whether political donations '' nominally made directly from the individual's personal accounts '' will be subject to clawbacks.
The company said it's inviting any recipients of donations from FTX executives to return the money soon, according to the statement. If the money was stolen, it was never theirs to give. Several of the campaigns told CoinDesk that they're in touch with the bankruptcy team or government authorities and are trying to determine how to give the money back.
''We have received guidance from the Department of Justice that dollars received from FTX executives should be set aside for when a victims' compensation fund is created in the future,'' said Chris Carroll, campaign manager for Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), whose campaign accepted a contribution from Nishad Singh, one of the executives who contributed millions last year.
The current chaos at FTX means giving the money back is easier said than done. Of the recipients who responded to CoinDesk's inquiries, 38% said they were holding the money and waiting for guidance on how to give it back. Only five politicians said they had already successfully returned the money.
If, during FTX's bankruptcy process, the money its executives gave to campaigns (as well as other causes) is deemed ''fraudulent conveyances,'' the recipients have to give it back to FTX's estate.
Anthony Sabino, a bankruptcy expert and professor of law at St. John's University, told CoinDesk that the courts will work out whether this cash is tied to fraud, though clawing it back to FTX creditors could take years. Victims of Bernie Madoff are still receiving payments 14 years after his arrest.
According to Sabino, the game of hot potato that campaigns play by giving donations to charity is a "political move" that doesn't magically absolve them from their responsibility to pay back the money.
''The law does not care if you gave it to Mother Teresa,'' Sabino said.
And if the money has already been spent? Sabino says, ''tough luck.''
''If you no longer have the money, too bad,'' he said. ''You are still liable. You might go bankrupt yourself.''
Though the charity hot potato was the most common response CoinDesk received from politicians, another sizable group of respondents said they were working on giving the money back.
(Federal Election Commission)
Some, like Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), say they have already returned the donations to FTX. Others, including Reps. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) and Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), say they're holding the funds and waiting for instructions from either the courts or government agencies on what to do with them.
Still others are simply confused. Several campaign managers who spoke to CoinDesk expressed frustration with the situation, saying they don't know how to give the funds back.
Matt Lusty, a campaign adviser for Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who received money from Ryan Salame, the co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, told CoinDesk the campaign was ''looking for an appropriate place to make a donation in that amount.''
''There is nowhere to return the donation since his assets have been seized,'' Lusty said.
Lee's fellow Utah Senator, Mitt Romney (R-Utah), chose not to let the FTX founder's dirty money linger while he waited for clear instructions on how to return what Bankman-Fried had donated. Instead, he gave the $5,800 to the U.S. Treasury.
Of the 196 members of Congress who accepted campaign contributions from FTX's former executives, 73% didn't respond to CoinDesk's requests for comment, and so it's unclear what they are doing with the money.
Some of Congress' most crypto-friendly members, including Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), who received $8,700 from Salame and Zach Dexter (the CEO of FTX US subsidiary LedgerX), have kept mum on the subject. Emmer has largely treated the FTX crash like a blip, continuing his rhetorical crusade on behalf of the industry in speeches and appearances since the exchange filed for bankruptcy in November.
Emmer, who is co-chairman of the Congressional Blockchain Congress, has argued that the FTX collapse was a ''failure of character,'' not of crypto, but added that the industry will keep growing. ''You do not get growth without taking risk,'' he told a cryptocurrency industry crowd in Washington, D.C., the week after FTX went down.
Other members of the caucus who received money from FTX executives '' like Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), another of the co-chairs '' seemed eager to distance themselves from their donors, telling CoinDesk the money has already been donated to charity or returned to FTX.
Most of the attention on Bankman-Fried's campaign largesse has focused on the firehose of indirect money he aimed at congressional Democrats in the primary elections last year, through his own and other political action committees. He spent $40 million in the past two years '' donations that are now under scrutiny by the FTX bankruptcy team and federal prosecutors '' though the cash was largely spent on such things as television advertisements and political mailers.
Thad Wilson, a bankruptcy attorney at law firm King & Spalding, said that vendors could find the FTX estate knocking on their doors, taking back money that '' for instance '' paid television or radio stations to air political advertisements.
Wilson said that clawbacks in previous fraud cases, such as the Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme, set a legal precedent. In that case, several campaigns and politicians were hit with clawback claims, including former President Barack Obama, who had given the money to charity and balked at returning it. Even the Golf Channel, which had allegedly been paid with money from the scheme, was sued for fraudulent transfers.
The drama over FTX cash could get even messier than dragging the Golf Channel through the courts. Bankman-Fried's family '' including brother Gabe '' was highly involved in his political engagement, and Wilson said it's not uncommon for litigation to extend to family members, ''particularly where the size of the donations were significant.''
While Bankman-Fried and his colleagues made a staggering number of highly visible, direct donations, those actual dollar amounts represent a sliver of their political investment. The type of PACs they favored, which don't carry the same limits for the amount of cash individuals can shovel in, focus on what are known as ''independent expenditures,'' meaning political help that's not officially tied to campaigns. The dollars that flow through such PACs can also be ''dark money,'' coming from unnamed donors through nonprofit intermediaries '' something like the crypto mixer services of political spending.
The 30-year-old disgraced CEO said after his resignation that he had taken public credit for Democratic spending, but he had also funneled money to Republicans. That remark seems to have been echoed in his criminal proceedings in which he was charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and commit campaign-finance violations, specifically accused of propping up ''wealthy co-conspirators'' as straw donors contributing funds that he was secretly supplying.
A spokesman for Bankman-Fried declined to comment for this story.
The bulk of FTX spending on Republican candidates came from one of Bankman-Fried's underlings, Salame, who hasn't been accused of criminal involvement as of press time. While Bankman-Fried's 2022 giving had stunned national politics by raising him to a one-time rank as fourth-largest individual political donor, Salame's spending had also lifted his name to 11th place, according to OpenSecrets.org. Salame didn't respond to a request for comment.
(Federal Election Commission)
Salame was a fixture in the Republican congressional primaries as the companion of Michelle Bond, a crypto advocate who ran as a Republican candidate for New York's 1st District. The two were even seen hobnobbing with Donald Trump Jr., the former president's son. But Salame was more influential as a donor, giving about $24 million to the party's candidates and causes.
Another major contributor was Singh, one of the inner circle of top FTX employees running the global business. He gave almost $10 million to Democratic candidates and progressive political action committees in the last cycle, according to Federal Election Commission records. A lawyer representing Singh declined to comment.
One other FTX donor was Mark Wetjen, a former commissioner and acting chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, who FTX hired in 2021 to head its policy work in Washington. The campaigns he gave to generally overlapped with Bankman-Fried donations, though Wetjen gave modest amounts and made fewer than two dozen contributions. He also declined to comment.
All of the direct donations that politicians are scrambling to cleanse from their campaigns came from the executives' personal money, and so until a legal determination emerges that the funds really should be considered part of the company's bankruptcy, Sabino, the St. John's professor, said a clawback process ''does not affect donations [Bankman-Fried] made with his own money.''
''Likewise for other [executives] of FTX who donated their personal money,'' Sabino added.
Bankman-Fried has been charged with campaign fraud, and prosecutors have alleged that he hid the true source of funds he donated. But the accusations are scant in detail about what exactly is being alleged. And authorities haven't yet hinted at whether the same level of scrutiny will be applied to donations made by Salame and others.
Some additional confusion could arise over the mess Bankman-Fried made in his direct giving, often donating repeatedly and well beyond federal limits for individual contributions, according to an analysis of federal records. The maximum per election was capped at $2,900 during this cycle, which could amount to $5,800 for both a primary and general election.
For instance, in the case of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bankman-Fried apparently contributed six times for a $17,400 total, according to federal records. A representative of the campaign said the amount over the limit was given back in September and October of 2021.
And on one date in 2021, Bankman-Fried apparently contributed to Romney six times for $31,900, though the campaign returned all but the legal limit of $5,800.
The FTX executives typically targeted candidates already in power who weren't likely to lose it, and they only sent money to a couple of dozen candidates who lost. Despite the abundance of conspiracy theories around Bankman-Fried's financial relationship with Democrats, he openly gave to 10 Republican lawmakers.
Some of his cash went to prominent senators who weren't even running in last year's election, such as Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Romney and John Boozman (R-Ark.).
The 37% of Congress who took FTX money will now be among lawmakers deciding how the U.S. should regulate cryptocurrencies '' and whether to follow the route Bankman-Fried lobbied for. This session is expected to produce at least some initial attempts at laws governing crypto assets, and the damage wrought by FTX will be in the forefront of that debate.
While Bankman-Fried sits in his parents' Stanford, Calif., home wearing an ankle monitor and awaiting the developments of his criminal prosecution, a key figure '' Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee '' has begun talks about the contours of a crypto bill. And despite loud crowing on social media that Bankman-Fried's arrest heralds the death of the controversial crypto regulation bill he supported (the bipartisan Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act, or DCCPA), experts say that and other legislative efforts will continue.
Though the discourse on Capitol Hill will remain hyper-aware of Bankman-Fried's recent Washington ties, the fact of his widespread relationships with lawmakers won't itself kill the work, said Jenny Lee, a partner at law firm Reed Smith's Financial Industry Group and a former enforcement attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
''With the FTX bankruptcy, there is a public focus that is intense enough that we might have a chance at more thoughtful rulemaking,'' Lee said. ''We've been regulating these underlying issues for more than 100 years, and it will take some thoughtful analysis, reference back to history and deep understanding of the technical issues on the part of regulators and lawmakers to apply it to crypto in a manner that does not do more harm than good.''
Many of the lawmakers who temporarily benefited from the sudden crypto riches of FTX's political novices are now issuing scathing comments about the recklessness of company officials '' and calling for tough industry oversight. So as crypto regulation progresses, the industry may face politicians who feel they had been burned before by digital-asset advocates.
A comment from Craig '' a congresswoman from Minnesota who accepted money from Bankman-Fried and Singh and who now hopes to return it to the bankruptcy effort '' is typical of many of the sentiments shared with CoinDesk.
''Congress must take immediate action to regulate the crypto industry, implement strict oversight standards and shield consumers from schemes like this in the future,'' she said.
A spokesperson for Romney said that the prominent lawmaker ''condemns Sam Bankman-Fried's reprehensible behavior and believes he must be held accountable for his actions '' which have caused harm to many.''
Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), who received a contribution from an FTX executive who wasn't among the biggest donors, said the company's implosion is definitely shaping how Congress is viewing the industry.
"Shields are up here,'' he told CoinDesk TV on Thursday. ''The industry '' broadly speaking '' and the players in the industry no longer have the benefit of the doubt."
Himes said U.S. lawmakers are now looking with more suspicion at other platforms, such as Binance.
"None of us has any confidence, really, that there aren't other FTXs brewing out there," he said.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.
VIDEO - (13) Special Address by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission | Davos 2023 - YouTube
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 22:14
VIDEO - (22) Drew Hernandez on Twitter: "DAVOS WATCH: Al Gore goes on an anti fossil fuel rant claiming anything ''anti climate'' needs to be defunded He proclaims the WEF and it's global affiliates need to ''reign in'' the anti climate activities o
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 22:12
Drew Hernandez : DAVOS WATCH: Al Gore goes on an anti fossil fuel rant claiming anything ''anti climate'' needs to be defundedHe pro'... https://t.co/AKGpS3OEiU
Tue Jan 17 09:40:51 +0000 2023
Dolomite : @DrewHLive What a hack.
Tue Jan 17 22:11:38 +0000 2023
LtCol. Ronald Peter S. : @DrewHLive https://t.co/EYcqxjPrlj https://t.co/vFVnNpgOQv
Tue Jan 17 22:10:08 +0000 2023
Michael Crane : @DrewHLive He's right our government is a drain, let's stop funding it.
Tue Jan 17 22:09:51 +0000 2023
reg : @DrewHLive https://t.co/YvcaHnYmbG
Tue Jan 17 22:09:07 +0000 2023
pat pat : @DrewHLive We got get em this dude has made a killing off tax's payers
Tue Jan 17 22:08:38 +0000 2023
Marc Demillequand, PhD, Chem Lc. : @DrewHLive More the Forum gets older, more it is attended by anti-science adepts. @algore https://t.co/HKup8CqkZK
Tue Jan 17 22:05:32 +0000 2023
Sean : @DrewHLive https://t.co/x49K5t30Qn
Tue Jan 17 22:03:47 +0000 2023
VIDEO - (13) An Earth-Directed Solar Storm Launch & Solar Flux Tops a Record | Solar Storm Forecast 01.17.2023 - YouTube
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 21:08
VIDEO - Woman warns others how manicure may have given her cancer
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 19:59
Published January 11, 2023 10:54PM
Updated January 12, 2023 10:21AM
Manicure gave woman cancer under her nail, doctors believe LOS ANGELES - A woman was shocked to discover she developed cancer beneath her nail. Even more shocking, her doctor believes it was caused by a manicure.
It was Thanksgiving 2021 and mother of three, Grace Garcia, had no idea a last-minute manicure was about to change her life.
"It was a new salon. I did not want to go to my original place because they were booked. The tech was aggressive with my cuticle...it hurt a lot. It looked like a blister," Garcia told FOX 11.
Her right ring finger wouldn't fully heal and within three months she knew something was wrong. Her doctor sent her a dermatologist who biopsied her finger.
"On my way to the car he called me. That scared me. He said need to come back."
Garcia then went to UCLA health to see specialist Dr. Soleymani who she says may have saved her life.
"She had squamous cell carcinoma. Hers was caused by high-risk HPV," Dr. Teo Soleymani said.
He says her manicure may have triggered the cancer to develop.
It's not clear exactly how many of these nail cancers are caused by HPV but Dr. Soleymani says he's seen an increasing number of cases nationwide.
"Interestingly almost every single skin cancer I've dealt with that involved fingers or nails '...have been associated with high-risk HPV. That is alarming - and it's in younger patients."
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation and American Academy of Dermatology, up to 85% of squamous cell carcinomas of the fingers or fingernails are due to high-risk HPV. They can spread throughout the body if left untreated and an estimated 80,000 cases occur worldwide.
Dr. Soleymani says he's only seen a handful caused by manicures.
"Rarely do we see high-risk squamous cell carcinoma arising from this but I have had half dozen with this phenomenon," he said.
"I couldn't believe it... something as simple as a manicure could've killed me," Garcia exclaimed.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs told FOX 11 a state board has established disinfection procedures for all tools used in a salon setting and conducts random and targeted inspections.
Any consumers that believe the Board's regulations are not being followed are encouraged to file a complaint with the Board at barbercosmo.ca.gov or by calling 1(800) 952-5210.
VIDEO - (13) Macron assassination plot: 'Barjols' go on trial ' FRANCE 24 English - YouTube
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 17:57
VIDEO - (13) Western tanks a game changer for Ukraine? ' FRANCE 24 English - YouTube
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 17:55
VIDEO - California law allows non-U.S. Citizens to become police officers | cbs8.com
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 17:02
With the new year, comes new state laws, including a 2023 law that changed the qualifications to become a police officer in California.
SAN DIEGO '-- With the new year, comes new state laws, including one that changed the qualifications to become a police officer in California.
Now, anyone who can legally work in the state under federal law, can be a police officer, regardless of citizenship.
CBS 8 cleared up some misconceptions about the new law by going directly to the State Senator who wrote the bill, and we talked with the San Diego Police Officers Association about their concerns.
''The San Diego Police Department has lost over 500 officers since July of 2020. That's drastic. We need everyone we can to be able to be a police officer. However, we are not in favor of reducing the requirements and lowering the standards,'' said Sgt. Jared Wilson, speaking as President and on behalf of the San Diego Police Officer's Association.
Wilson said they do have concerns about the new California law that changed the qualifications to become a police officer in the state.Prior to Jan. 1, 2023, you had to be a United States citizen or permanent resident to qualify for the job.
Now, that's no longer the case. Anyone who is legally authorized to work in the state of California, under federal law, with the proper green card or visa, is eligible to become a police officer.
State Senator Nancy Skinner is the author of Senate Bill 960, which changed the requirement.''When you look at California's rules, almost every other profession, lawyers, doctors'... even firefighters'... are able to be part of that profession as long as they have full legal authorization, full federal legal work authorization. It was only our sworn officers we restricted that way,'' said Skinner. She added, ''Ironically in the military, you could be an officer in the military, and you could not be a peace officer in California. So that's why we felt it was totally right to fix the rule.''
To make things perfectly clear, Skinner said this in no way applies to undocumented workers. She said a person has to have full legal work authorization, under federal law; people who pay taxes and have every ability to work legally in the U.S.Senator Skinner said it was the University of California Police Department that first reached out and pushed for the change. During a time when police departments across the state are struggling to fill positions, UC David Police Chief Joe Farrow testified at an Assembly Public Safety Committee Hearing on June 1, 2002, that they see a lot of stellar candidates in their programs, who they ultimately can't hire.
''We wanted to come to the legislature to see if we can't change that law and that's why i'm here today,'' said Chief Farrow.SB 960 passed, changing things for people like UC Davis graduate and DACA recipient Ernesto Moron, who attended the UC Police Academy and passed the background check, but wasn't eligible to be hired as an officer, until now.
''This bill will allow me, and countless others, the opportunity to fulfill my dream to serve the communities where I was raised, educated and live as a sworn police officer,'' testified Moron.
The SDPOA says, while they don't support the new law, they do acknowledge it will help people like Moron.
''The public demands and deserves a high quality police force and officers that meet stringent standards, so we're not in favor of low in these standards at all,'' said Wilson. ''However, I think there's a handful of people who have been in this country a long time we'll be able to hire as a result of this, and hopefully they become citizens, but lowering standards is not the right answer to fill in our ranks,'' he added.
Senator Skinner said removing this requirement is not lowering the standards of what it takes to be a peace officer.
''They would still have to meet every other qualification,'' she said, including a rigorous background checking, graduating from a police academy, and every other requirement that all candidates must meet.
''We are not forcing any police department or law enforcement agency to hire that category of people,'' Skinner explained. ''We're just removing the restriction that has been removed in the military. It has been removed for firefighters, for lawyers, for doctors. So we felt like it was appropriate to also remove it for our police officers.''
Senator Skinner says the California Police Chiefs Association supports this new law. She said they ''Were completely in support of the bill because they are struggling to fill vacancies. They are struggling to recruit people for their academies, so they felt like, 'why would we restrict people that otherwise meet all of our requirements from being able to serve their communities in this way?'''
CBS 8 contacted the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department to see if they will be hiring based on the new law.
The San Diego Police Department spokesperson said:
''We have worked with City Human Resources to change our bulletin to reflect the changes of SB 960 and citizenship requirements for applicants. Each applicant, no matter their citizenship status, would go through the same testing and background process.''
A Sheriff's Department spokesperson told CBS 8, among all other requirements, applicants ''must be able to meet this requirement: Be legally authorized to work in the United States under federal law.''
WATCH RELATED: San Diego approves nation's first childcare center for police officers (July 2022).
VIDEO - MSNBC Hack Calls GOP Opposition to Gas Stove Bans a Culture War 'Addiction' to 'Bad Bathtub Meth' | Newsbusters
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 17:01
A babbling MSNBC analyst with a history of Trump Derangement Syndrome is in no place to throw the word ''addiction'' at legitimate concerns of government reaching into American kitchens.
MSNBC National Affairs Analyst John Heilemann kicked off Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a tirade on GOP opposition to gas stove bans. On the Jan. 16 edition of Morning Joe, he said ''[The GOP is] addicted to this culture of lies and conspiracy theories that they have fomented, right?'' Except, the proposed ban wasn't fictitious nor conspiratorial.
Bloomberg News released a story Jan. 9 headlined: ''US Safety Agency to Consider Ban on Gas Stoves Amid Health Fears.'' But according to Heilemann's rant, the concern over a gas stove ban is just a conspiracy theory directed at stoking furor in the GOP base. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Commissioner Richard Trumka reportedly propagandized to Bloomberg News about the ''hidden hazards'' of gas stoves and proclaimed that ''[a]ny option is on the table. Products that can't be made safe can be banned.'' Trumka was forced to backtrack his comments later following severe political backlash, but Heilemann treated Trumka's initial dystopian remarks as if they didn't exist.
''[T]hat is the sugar high, you know, but political parties get addicted to sugar highs. It just happens that the sugar high that the Republican Party is addicted to is like bad bathtub meth,'' Heilemann spewed. It's telling that Heilemann happens to host a show on Showtime called The Circus, because acting like a collection of rambling liberal clowns ''addicted'' to ''bad bathtub meth'' is pretty much all MSNBC does at this point.
Heilemann's diatribe continued to devolve. ''[Republicans are] high on that [conspiracy] sugar,'' Heilemann belched. ''It's not just rotting their teeth. It's like rotting their brains at the same time, and it's rotting their ability to be competitive outside this very narrow piece of the electorate that's willing to believe this bullshit, as I will call it even on this most holy of secular holy days.''
Heileman is in no position to be whining about ''conspiracy theories'' when he's the same person who concocted a nutty one of his own. He blamed the GOP for Russia invading Ukraine, despite Democrats controlling both Congress and The White House at the time.
Even MSNBC's sister network, NBC News, released a story Jan. 10 headlined: ''Ban new gas stoves, a federal safety commissioner proposes; CPSC says no such official plan yet.'' But Heilemann railed how the allegations were somehow indicative of the ''economy'' and ''culture'' of conspiracy theories. The Washington Post noted in a Jan. 14 newsletter that "one of the four commissioners of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission surprised the entire country by saying in an interview that the agency was considering a "ban on gas stoves." [Emphasis added.]
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board ripped apart the media gaslighting on Trumka's remarks: ''[W]e didn't make up Mr. Trumka's quote. We and others responded to it.'' There ''really is a culture war coming over gas stoves,'' said The Journal. ''Progressives want to impose their values on the lifestyle of everyone else, including in the kitchen. If subsidies don't work, coercion follows. When they can't win the political debate, they resort to brute government force. They really are coming for your stove.''
Take a seat, Heilemann.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact MSNBC at (800) 952-5210 and hold it to account for gaslighting people over Trumka's dystopian remarks on gas stoves.
VIDEO - (13) Hydrogen Will Not Save Us. Here's Why. - YouTube
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 16:23
VIDEO - 15 minute city style concept where people no longer need cars
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 16:08
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VIDEO - (14) Melinda Richards ðŸ‡...🇺🇺🇸 on Twitter: "''For god's sake'...get the jab. Take one for the team'' https://t.co/8v3hZ8hRXy" / Twitter
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 16:05
Melinda Richards ðŸ‡...🇺🇺🇸 : ''For god's sake'...get the jab. Take one for the team'' https://t.co/8v3hZ8hRXy
Mon Jan 16 20:56:16 +0000 2023
Loca : @goodfoodgal We were segregated, harassed , discriminated tortured. Some lost the ability to put food on their tab'... https://t.co/kFMiSnNENq
Tue Jan 17 15:41:49 +0000 2023
Lilac : @goodfoodgal Haha, did that really convince anyone to get it? What a snearing, arrogant c7nt that last prick was
Tue Jan 17 15:41:11 +0000 2023
Loca : @goodfoodgal Take a cardiac arrest you mean. For the sake of agenda 2020 aka 2030. No thanks.
Tue Jan 17 15:40:22 +0000 2023
Dr. Joseph Sansone : @goodfoodgal Pfizer's clinical trial showed the C19 shots were not safe or effective. https://t.co/oTF7UJK44Z
Tue Jan 17 15:18:21 +0000 2023
Bill White Nurseries🌸 : @goodfoodgal Sick! When the tide turns I hope they have good hiding places?
Tue Jan 17 15:10:53 +0000 2023
Hannibal Lecter : @goodfoodgal who is that pr*ck on the right end?
Tue Jan 17 15:08:58 +0000 2023
CollinðŸš' : @goodfoodgal Disgusting
Tue Jan 17 14:59:58 +0000 2023
robwolters : @goodfoodgal your country is calling you...after they dumped you for not doing what they tried forcing on you. Why'... https://t.co/FZTVJ3Eep2
Tue Jan 17 14:47:57 +0000 2023
Larry N. Jaytis : @goodfoodgal When those muppets said take one for the team, does that taking the risks of developing myocarditis and dying of ''coincidence''.
Tue Jan 17 14:19:50 +0000 2023
Gary : @goodfoodgal Yeah cos a heart attack is much better than catching a cold.
Tue Jan 17 14:17:16 +0000 2023
Richard Miller : @goodfoodgal Yeah allot of people getting the jab are DYING from it but THE HEADS OF NZ are ignoring it !! Going t'... https://t.co/1baj2gEDw9
Tue Jan 17 14:10:07 +0000 2023
T.P W L : @goodfoodgal https://t.co/ocjbLtnHzT
Tue Jan 17 14:02:43 +0000 2023
T.P W L : @goodfoodgal https://t.co/ayUcgo3EqV
Tue Jan 17 14:01:25 +0000 2023
Steven J. Daniels : @goodfoodgal Stats say it's like putting one round in a revolver, spinning and pulling the trigger. Fun for the whole family, right?
Tue Jan 17 13:53:31 +0000 2023
Kira : @goodfoodgal This is tragic! Guilt tripping talking heads!
Tue Jan 17 13:47:05 +0000 2023
Freddy York : @goodfoodgal The team wants you dead lol.
Tue Jan 17 13:41:36 +0000 2023
Manic Bard : @goodfoodgal Who would have thought NZ would become a 'Nancy State,' run by the WEF via a brainwashed woman?Makes'... https://t.co/Khdtoi30S4
Tue Jan 17 13:31:21 +0000 2023
Mark (my words) : @goodfoodgal Pro-vaccin3, pro-bloodclot, pro-cardiac arrest'...whatever'...take one for the team!! #nothanks #notonthatteam
Tue Jan 17 13:23:03 +0000 2023
By Grace Alone : @goodfoodgal Whew, so glad I'm not on their team!
Tue Jan 17 13:22:08 +0000 2023
Philip Jarman : @goodfoodgal Funny person.... A "just do it" mentality. Take something into your body that statistically has pro'... https://t.co/SKtQEn31zl
Tue Jan 17 13:14:37 +0000 2023
justicewillbeserved : @goodfoodgal Take one for the team, and be isolated, ignored and gaslit when you get myocarditis! Sounds awesome!
Tue Jan 17 13:14:18 +0000 2023
Flowback J : @goodfoodgal Mind virus disguised as a respiratory virus. Glad I'm immune 🥴
Tue Jan 17 13:13:12 +0000 2023
VIDEO - Bills QB Josh Allen Says He Became a Better 'Christ Follower' After Damar Hamlin Incident
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 15:47
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has admitted that the frightening medical emergency suffered by Damar Hamlin helped him to a ''spiritual awakening'' and made him a better Christian.
Appearing on ESPN's Kyle Brandt's Basement, Allen confided about how hard Hamlin's medical emergency hit him.
''[There was] just kind of kind of a spiritual awakening really for me, and I know for a lot of other people that maybe didn't have the strongest belief, or wasn't one of the biggest [or] strongest Christian followers.''
He added that he learned to ''accept it and lean on your brothers and share that moment with them.''
''That kickoff return was pretty crazy, too. So there's a lot of things that went on and a lot of '... eye-opening situations that have stumbled upon us, or we've stumbled upon them,'' he said, adding, ''I think it's been crazy, it's been not fun, but at the same time it's been very validating.''
The ESPN host asked Allen if he thought ''some sort of miracle happened.''
On Sunday, Allen had spoken about how ''God's real'' and felt something ''spiritual'' was happening.
''I was just going around and, I was just going around my team saying, 'God is real.' You can't draw that one up, write that one up any better.''
.@JoshAllenQB reacts to his own reaction of Nyheim Hines' kickoff return for a TD.
ðŸ--—: https://t.co/25bCCxNSV1 pic.twitter.com/Q9Cl86o618
'-- Kyle Brandt's Basement (@KBBasement) January 10, 2023
''I'll be the first to admit, I haven't been the most devoted Christ-follower in my life, and I've had my different beliefs and thoughts and ideas '... but something got hold of me there, and it was [something] extremely powerful that '... I couldn't deny,'' the QB said.
.@JoshAllenQB describes the moment the Bills captains went to tell the Bengals that they couldn't resume last Monday night's game'... only to realize that Joe Burrow and the Bengals were on their way to tell them the same thing.
ðŸ--—: https://t.co/25bCCxNSV1 pic.twitter.com/ZDjORHsPNU
'-- Kyle Brandt's Basement (@KBBasement) January 10, 2023
.@JoshAllenQB describes the moment the Bills saw Damar Hamlin on FaceTime for the first time.
ðŸ--—: https://t.co/25bCCxOqKz pic.twitter.com/mrubefSCRY
'-- Kyle Brandt's Basement (@KBBasement) January 10, 2023
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston, or Truth Social @WarnerToddHuston
VIDEO - (13) Mastering New Energy Economics | Davos 2023 | World Economic Forum - YouTube
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 15:04
VIDEO - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, Davos | World Economic Forum
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 15:00
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VIDEO - We need more Border Patrol agents, not IRS agents: Mark Green | Fox News Video
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 14:55
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VIDEO - Microsoft Plans to Build OpenAI Capabilities Into All Products - WSJ
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 14:50
Offering for businesses and end users to be transformed by incorporating tools like ChatGPT, CEO Satya Nadella says
DAVOS, Switzerland'--Microsoft Corp. plans to incorporate artificial-intelligence tools like ChatGPT into all of its products and make them available as platforms for other businesses to build on, Chief Executive Satya Nadella said.
Speaking Tuesday at a Wall Street Journal panel at the World Economic Forum's annual event here in the Swiss mountains, Mr. Nadella said that his company will move quickly to commercialize tools from OpenAI, the research lab behind the ChatGPT chatbot as well as image generator Dall-E 2, which turns...
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DAVOS, Switzerland'-- Microsoft Corp. plans to incorporate artificial-intelligence tools like ChatGPT into all of its products and make them available as platforms for other businesses to build on, Chief Executive Satya Nadella said.
Speaking Tuesday at a Wall Street Journal panel at the World Economic Forum's annual event here in the Swiss mountains, Mr. Nadella said that his company will move quickly to commercialize tools from OpenAI, the research lab behind the ChatGPT chatbot as well as image generator Dall-E 2, which turns language prompts into novel images. Microsoft was an early investor in the startup.
Microsoft said Monday that it is giving more customers access to the software behind those tools through its cloud-computing platform Azure. Mr. Nadella said at the panel Tuesday that the aim was to make Azure ''the place for anybody and everybody who thinks about AI,'' both for businesses and end users, including making ChatGPT available to business users.
''Every product of Microsoft will have some of the same AI capabilities to completely transform the product,'' Mr. Nadella said.
OpenAI has been the center of the tech industry's recent surge in excitement about AI, and Microsoft has been in advanced talks to increase its investment in the startup, the Journal has previously reported.
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The lab has been in talks to sell existing shares in a tender offer that would value the company at around $29 billion.
Mr. Nadella said in the interview that the new excitement around the tools was based on the fast growth in their capabilities in the past year, something he said he expected to continue. ''I'm not claiming by the way that this is the last innovation in AI,'' Mr. Nadella said. ''This is not linear progress.''
The Microsoft chief executive also struck an optimistic tone about the broader economic potential for tools like ChatGPT, which can quickly generate fluid-sounding text based on short queries or prompts. He said such tools are needed to boost human productivity, which he said would increase economic growth and wages for lower-income jobs. ''We need something that truly changes the productivity curve so we can have real economic growth,'' he said.
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People with office jobs involved in so-called knowledge work should embrace the new tools, rather than assuming they will steal their jobs, Mr. Nadella said, citing the example of computer-software developers who currently use tools to help them generate some of the code they write.
''The best way to prepare for it is not to bet against this technology, and this technology helping you in your job and your business process,'' Mr. Nadella said. Asked by a member of the audience about the impact of these tools on The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Nadella responded: ''I think they'll be able to write great articles in the future relying on GPT . ''
In the interview, Mr. Nadella also defended the software giant's $75 billion acquisition of gaming company Activision Blizzard Inc., which has come under criticism from antitrust authorities on both sides of the Atlantic. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit aimed at blocking the transaction, while the European Union has opened an in-depth investigation of the deal, a process that could potentially lead to a similar challenge.
Mr. Nadella said that his deal would boost competition. Microsoft has argued that it is a small player in videogame development and that it is trying to bulk up its game-development studio. It has said it won't favor its own games on its Xbox consoles.
''Being a No. 4 player trying to add some content and create more opportunity for more publishers, more gamers to be able to enjoy'--I mean if you believe in competition, you should believe in this deal,'' Mr. Nadella said. ''I hope the competition authorities get focused more on competition and that would be a good day.''
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Write to Sam Schechner at Sam.Schechner@wsj.com
VIDEO - 'Amateur Hour': Scarborough Goes Nuclear On Biden Admin | The Daily Caller
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 13:22
MSNBC's ''Morning Joe'' host Joe Scarborough said Monday that the Biden administration is botching its handling of the document story amid transparency calls from various media outlets.
Several classified documents belonging to President Joe Biden have been found at multiple non-secure locations. At least five additional pages were discovered in Biden's Delaware home on Saturday. The initial batch of documents were found on Nov. 2 but the public was only recently made aware of them.
''Well, since November, when they first started discovering these documents and you know, they keep, you know, they'll have a press conference and say, 'Well, we really '' we think that's it. We don't think there are anymore.' They don't know. They haven't known what's happened here. I guess, again, transparency I think works best for the Biden administration and works best for Biden himself, because they find the documents, they reported immediately, a far different situation than Donald Trump's,'' Scarborough said.
''It's very clear to see politically and legally that there is a huge difference in the two cases,'' he continued. ''And yet, Biden's own worst enemy has been the way Biden's staff and the way the Biden team has run this. What's going on?''
Scarborough said the administration has been ''stumbling and bumbling'' around.
''At this stage, we're two months in. They need to clean this up. They need to get, you know, amateur hour is over. They need complete transparency, and they just mishandled it from day one because I'm only saying it because it's true.''
Others have also questioned the lack of transparency surrounding the documents. (RELATED: 'They Want To Disable Oversight': Vince Coglianese Breaks Down 'Stunt' Story About Biden And Secret Documents)
CBS' Errol Barnett and Lana Zak called out press sec. Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday for avoiding answering any specifics about the classified documents.
''She has not answered a single question, outside of a prewritten statement by the president's lawyers,'' Barnett said.
Zak chimed in, saying Jean-Pierre continues to ''say the same thing again and again '... even in response to very simple questions about the timeline, about the specific location, clarifying questions, and continuing to use the word 'transparent' and saying that they did things in a transparent manner.''
CBS White House reporter Ed O'Keefe also questioned the administration about the lack of transparency, with Jean-Pierre saying she should not ''go beyond what the president laid out.''
Newsmax's James Rosen also questioned Jean-Pierre on Thursday, asking why the administration waited months to inform the public that classified documents were found prior to the midterms.
VIDEO - Lawmakers demanding MSG stop using facial recognition technology - YouTube
Mon, 16 Jan 2023 15:58
VIDEO - Kevin McCarthy Shares 'Best Way' To Release January 6 Tapes | The Daily Wire
Mon, 16 Jan 2023 15:39
The ''Twitter Files'' serve as a model for how U.S. Capitol security footage from January 6, 2021, could be released to the public, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said on Sunday.
McCarthy told Maria Bartiromo, host of Fox News's ''Sunday Morning Futures,'' he is looking to release the tapes because of the ''politicization'' he believes has been fostered by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the January 6 Committee.
The speaker referred to how Twitter, under the leadership of CEO Elon Musk, gave access to troves of internal communications to a group of independent journalists who have been sharing details via ''Twitter Files'' threads.
''The best way to handle this is exactly the way Elon Musk [did]: Just put all the information out there and let people see what is truth and what is not,'' McCarthy said. ''So, the best way to do that is to release the tapes. People can know for themselves instead of picking and choosing what views they want people to see.''
.@SpeakerMcCarthy: I don't know what's in the January 6 tapes, but I think they need to be released so the people can see for themselves what transpired. pic.twitter.com/XXUnM7pUWD
'-- The Dirty Truth (Josh) (@AKA_RealDirty) January 15, 2023
Capitol Police say the system of cameras captured more than 14,000 hours of footage between noon and 8 p.m. on the day a crowd of people entered the U.S. Capitol, disrupting lawmakers meeting to certify President Joe Biden's 2020 election victory.
One particular member of the House Republican conference, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), has hit the airwaves insisting this footage ''would give more full context to that day rather than the cherry-picked moments the January 6 Committee tried to use to inflame and further divide our country.''
In an interview with CNN, Gaetz said the footage could provide exculpatory evidence to January 6 defendants. He also dismissed concerns about how disclosing the tapes could jeopardize security. ''I think that it's an argument made by the Department of Justice because they don't want to expose the extent to which there might have been federal assets or agents enhancing criminal acuity,'' he said.
.@RepMattGaetz Responds To Claim That Releasing The 14k Hours Of 1/6 Footage Would Jeopardize Security
"I think that it's an argument made by the DOJ because they don't want to expose the extent to which there might have been federal assets or agents enhancing criminal acuity." pic.twitter.com/Jv1Fycyfyz
'-- The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) January 15, 2023
McCarthy told reporters last week he wants to be ''very thoughtful'' about releasing Capitol security footage but stressed that he is ''engaged to do that.''
The speaker told Bartiromo on Sunday that he had not yet seen the videos.
''I just think they should be released,'' he added.
VIDEO - HELL FREEZES OVER: Don Lemon Calls Out Schumer's Blatant Hypocrisy to His Face '' The First TV
Mon, 16 Jan 2023 15:38
''There's a Special Prosecutor. Let's see what they have to say,'' said Schumer.
''I have to say this, you seem much more measured about this than with the Trump documents,'' fired-back Lemon.
Watch the exchange above.
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