Cover for No Agenda Show 1523: Tank Talk
January 22nd, 2023 • 3h 3m

1523: Tank Talk


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.

Climate Change
Great Reset
Ukraine vs Russia
Mandates & Boosters
Elon / Twitter
Big Tech
Prime Time Takedown
New podcast creation has fallen off a cliff - The Verge
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 18:26
Hope you all had a great weekend! We've got some big Hot Pod Summit updates for you all, as well as the latest in audio news. Today, Audible lands another star, Spotify experiences another outage, and creators stop bothering to make podcasts when it is so hard to get anyone to listen to them.
Who will be at Hot Pod Summit?
Hot Pod Summit in Brooklyn is coming up fast, and we've been working hard getting the lineup together. I am really excited about who we have so far, and I hope you will be, too! Summit headliners include:
Spotify's global head of audiobooks, Nir Zicherman.Dan Zitt, senior vice president of content production at Penguin Random House Audio.Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and host of the Happier podcast. Co-founder and chief content officer of Rococo Punch John Perotti.Vulture podcast critic and Hot Pod founder Nick Quah.And this year, we're trying out something new: some of our favorite memories at Hot Pod Summit come from our conversations with the audience or those moments between panels when you all let us know what's on your mind. So this year, we're trying to turn that feeling into its own segment. We'll be organizing attendees into groups to discuss some of the hottest topics of the moment so that you all can drive the conversation.
What topics? Well, we've got our own thoughts, but we want to know yours, too '-- if you're buying a ticket, there's a spot at checkout to leave a suggestion on what you most want to discuss. We'll be picking our favorites and making them topics for conversations to organize around. At the end, we'll want to hear your thoughts on what's to come.
We'll have some more announcements in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
People are launching way fewer podcasts
One thing I keep hearing over and over is that it is so much harder to launch a podcast now than it was, say, three or four years ago. And that is usually coming from people at established studios with at least some marketing might. For independent creators, it must be nearly impossible. It is not entirely surprising that, according to data compiled by Chartr from Listen Notes, fewer podcasts were created in 2022 than in the two years prior. Even so, the margin is shocking: the number of new shows created dropped by nearly 80 percent between 2020 and 2022.
Some of that can be attributed to the pandemic '-- podcast creation peaked in 2020 when people truly had nothing better to do. But the number of new shows in 2022 was even lower than pre-pandemic levels: 337,063 podcasts were launched in 2019, compared to 219,178 in 2022. New episode creation has fared somewhat better. Though still lower than 2020 and 2021 figures, Listen Notes logged 26.1 million new episodes published in 2022, up from the 18.1 million episodes in 2019.
Creators seem to recognize that until podcast discovery improves, launching a podcast may be a losing proposition. The system seemingly cannot effectively handle the number of podcasts that already exist. One small solution seems to be launching new shows on old feeds, such as what The New York Times did with Hard Fork and Sway's RSS. The feed had a built-in audience and made it much easier for listeners to discover the new show. It may not have landed well with all subscribers (or podcasters), but Sway ranks in the top five technology podcasts on Apple and Spotify several months after its launch.
Spotify outage
Spotify was down in the US for about three hours on Friday night. My Verge colleague Richard Lawler reported that the cause was a partial outage only affecting the platform's player. Users started reporting issues before 8PM ET on Friday night, and the issue was resolved after 11PM ET. It was not related to the kind of Google Cloud issue that caused Spotify's last systemwide outage.
Audible inks development and first-look deal with Daniel Dae Kim
Audible is really taking a page out of Spotify's playbook by building a roster of marquee names, from the Obamas to Gwyneth Paltrow to Queen Latifah. Next on its list is Daniel Dae Kim of Lost fame, whose production company, 3AD, has inked a multi-project development and first-look deal with the Amazon-owned audio company.
His first project for Audible will be an audio adaptation of the play Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang. Kim will star as Hwang, and Leigh Silverman will direct. This is not Kim's first time in an Audible production, having appeared in original audio thriller The Prophecy last year alongside Kerry Washington and David Oyelowo.
That's all for now! I'll be back with the latest in audio next week.
Correction January 18th, 8:15AM ET: The New York Times shifted an RSS feed from Sway to Hard Fork; this story initially referenced Pivot, a different podcast with Kara Swisher run by Vox Media.
NRC Certifies First U.S. Small Modular Reactor Design | Department of Energy
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 18:26
Historic Rule MakingThe published final rule making allows utilities to reference NuScale's SMR design when applying for a combined license to build and operate a reactor.
The design is an advanced light-water SMR with each power module capable of generating 50 megawatts of emissions-free electricity.
NuScale's VOYGR' SMR power plant can house up to 12 factory-built power modules that are about a third of the size of a large-scale reactor. Each power module leverages natural processes, such as convection and gravity, to passively cool the reactor without additional water, power, or even operator action.
The NRC accepted NuScale's SMR design certification application back in March 2018 and issued its final technical review in August 2020. The NRC Commission later voted to certify the design on July 29, 2022'--making it the first SMR approved by the NRC for use in the United States.
"We are thrilled to announce the historic rulemaking from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for NuScale's small modular reactor design, and we thank the Department of Energy (DOE) for their support throughout this process,'' said NuScale Power President and Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins. ''The DOE has been an invaluable partner with a shared common goal '' to establish an innovative and reliable carbon-free source of energy here in the U.S. We look forward to continuing our partnership and working with the DOE to bring the UAMPS Carbon Free Power Project to completion."
''SMRs are no longer an abstract concept,'' said Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dr. Kathryn Huff. ''They are real and they are ready for deployment thanks to the hard work of NuScale, the university community, our national labs, industry partners, and the NRC. This is innovation at its finest and we are just getting started here in the U.S.!''
NuScale is currently seeking an uprate to enable each module to generate up to 77 megawatts. The NRC is expected to review their application this year.
Supporting SMR DevelopmentThe U.S. Department Energy provided more than $600 million since 2014 to support the design, licensing, and siting of NuScale's VOYGR SMR power plant and other domestic SMR concepts.
DOE is currently working with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) through the Carbon Free Power Project to demonstrate a six-module NuScale VOYGR plant at Idaho National Laboratory.
The first module is expected to be operational by 2029 with full plant operation the following year. UAMPS finished subsurface field investigation activities at the proposed INL site and expects to submit a combined license application to the NRC in the first quarter of 2024.
NuScale Power has 19 signed and active domestic and international agreements to deploy SMR plants in 12 different countries, including Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Jordan in addition to the Carbon Free Power Project.
Learn more about NuScale Power design certification process with the NRC.
What explains recent tech layoffs, and why should we be worried? | Stanford News
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 18:26
Over recent months, tech companies have been laying workers off by the thousands. It is estimated that in 2022 alone, over 120,000 people have been dismissed from their job at some of the biggest players in tech '' Meta, Amazon, Netflix, and soon Google '' and smaller firms and starts ups as well. Announcements of cuts keep coming.
Recent layoffs across the tech sector are an example of ''social contagion'' '' companies are laying off workers because everyone is doing it, says Stanford business Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer. (Image credit: Courtesy Jeffrey Pfeffer)
What explains why so many companies are laying large numbers of their workforce off? The answer is simple: copycat behavior, according to Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Here, Stanford News talks to Pfeffer about how the workforce reductions that are happening across the tech industry are a result mostly of ''social contagion'': Behavior spreads through a network as companies almost mindlessly copy what others are doing. When a few firms fire staff, others will probably follow suit. Most problematic, it's a behavior that kills people: For example, research has shown that layoffs can increase the odds of suicide by two times or more.
Moreover, layoffs don't work to improve company performance, Pfeffer adds. Academic studies have shown that time and time again, workplace reductions don't do much for paring costs. Severance packages cost money, layoffs increase unemployment insurance rates, and cuts reduce workplace morale and productivity as remaining employees are left wondering, ''Could I be fired too?''
For over four decades, Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior, has studied hiring and firing practices in companies across the world. He's met with business leaders at some of the country's top companies and their employees to learn what makes '' and doesn't make '' effective, evidence-based management. His recent book Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance''And What We Can Do About It (Harper Business, 2018) looks at how management practices, including layoffs, are hurting, and in some cases, killing workers.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Why are so many tech companies laying people off right now?
The tech industry layoffs are basically an instance of social contagion, in which companies imitate what others are doing. If you look for reasons for why companies do layoffs, the reason is that everybody else is doing it. Layoffs are the result of imitative behavior and are not particularly evidence-based.
I've had people say to me that they know layoffs are harmful to company well-being, let alone the well-being of employees, and don't accomplish much, but everybody is doing layoffs and their board is asking why they aren't doing layoffs also.
Do you think layoffs in tech are some indication of a tech bubble bursting or the company preparing for a recession?
Could there be a tech recession? Yes. Was there a bubble in valuations? Absolutely. Did Meta overhire? Probably. But is that why they are laying people off? Of course not. Meta has plenty of money. These companies are all making money. They are doing it because other companies are doing it.
What are some myths or misunderstandings about layoffs?
Layoffs often do not cut costs, as there are many instances of laid-off employees being hired back as contractors, with companies paying the contracting firm. Layoffs often do not increase stock prices, in part because layoffs can signal that a company is having difficulty. Layoffs do not increase productivity. Layoffs do not solve what is often the underlying problem, which is often an ineffective strategy, a loss of market share, or too little revenue. Layoffs are basically a bad decision.
Companies sometimes lay off people that they have just recruited '' oftentimes with paid recruitment bonuses. When the economy turns back in the next 12, 14, or 18 months, they will go back to the market and compete with the same companies to hire talent. They are basically buying labor at a high price and selling low. Not the best decision.
People don't pay attention to the evidence against layoffs. The evidence is pretty extensive, some of it is reviewed in the book I wrote on human resource management, The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First. If companies paid attention to the evidence, they could get some competitive leverage because they would actually be basing their decisions on science.
You've written about the negative health effects of layoffs. Can you talk about some of the research on this topic by you and others?
Layoffs kill people, literally. They kill people in a number of ways. Layoffs increase the odds of suicide by two and a half times. This is also true outside of the United States, even in countries with better social safety nets than the U.S., like New Zealand.
Layoffs increase mortality by 15-20% over the following 20 years.
There are also health and attitudinal consequences for managers who are laying people off as well as for the employees who remain. Not surprisingly, layoffs increase people's stress. Stress, like many attitudes and emotions, is contagious. Depression is contagious, and layoffs increase stress and depression, which are bad for health.
Unhealthy stress leads to a variety of behaviors such as smoking and drinking more, drug taking, and overeating. Stress is also related to addiction, and layoffs of course increase stress.
What was your reaction to some of the recent headlines of mass layoffs, like Meta laying off 11,000 employees?
I am concerned. Most of my recent research is focused on the effect of the workplace on human health and how economic insecurity is bad for people. This is on the heels of the COVID pandemic and the social isolation resulting from that, which was also bad for people.
We ought to place a higher priority on human life.
If layoffs are contagious within an industry, could it then spread across industries, leading to other sectors cutting staff?
Of course, it already has. Layoffs are contagious across industries and within industries. The logic driving this, which doesn't sound like very sensible logic because it's not, is people say, ''Everybody else is doing it, why aren't we?''
Retailers are pre-emptively laying off staff, even as final demand remains uncertain. Apparently, many organizations will trade off a worse customer experience for reduced staffing costs, not taking into account the well-established finding that is typically much more expensive to attract new customers than it is to keep existing ones happy.
Are there past examples of contagious layoffs like the one we are seeing now, and what lessons were learned?
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, every airline except Southwest did layoffs. By the end of that year, Southwest, which did not do any layoffs, gained market share. A.G. Lafley, who was the former CEO of Procter and Gamble, said the best time to gain ground on your competition is when they are in retreat '' when they are cutting their services, when they are cutting their product innovation because they have laid people off. James Goodnight, the CEO of the software company SAS Institute, has also never done layoffs '' he actually hired during the last two recessions because he said it's the best time to pick up talent.
Any advice to workers who may have been laid off?
My advice to a worker who has been laid off is when they find a job in a company where they say people are their most important asset, they actually check to be sure that the company behaves consistently with that espoused value when times are tough.
If layoffs don't work, what is a better solution for companies that want to mitigate the problems they believe layoffs will address?
One thing that Lincoln Electric, which is a famous manufacturer of arc welding equipment, did well is instead of laying off 10% of their workforce, they had everybody take a 10% wage cut except for senior management, which took a larger cut. So instead of giving 100% of the pain to 10% of the people, they give 100% of the people 10% of the pain.
Companies could use economic stringency as an opportunity, as Goodnight at the SAS Institute did in the 2008 recession and in the 2000 tech recession. He used the downturn to upgrade workforce skills as competitors eliminated jobs, thereby putting talent on the street. He actually hired during the 2000 recession and saw it as an opportunity to gain ground on the competition and gain market share when everybody was cutting jobs and stopped innovating. And it is [an opportunity]. Social media is not going away. Artificial intelligence, statistical software, and web services industries '' none of these things are going to disappear.
Publishers lament the removal of Twitter Moments as referral traffic dips
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 18:25
Under the leadership of Elon Musk, Twitter's role as a traffic referral source to publishers' sites is largely declining.
Twitter referral traffic to a dozen major publishers' websites declined, on average, by 12% in December 2022 compared to November 2022, according to an analysis by Similarweb, a data analytics company that monitors web traffic. Some publishers '-- such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The New York Times, USA Today, the BBC and Yahoo '-- each saw referral traffic from Twitter fall between 10% and 18% month over month.
Only two publishers in the sample set '-- The New York Post and Fox News '-- saw their traffic increase while People's website traffic declined by 46%. In most cases, changes were sharper than publishers saw between November and December 2021, when most publishers in the sample set saw traffic increase rather than decrease.
Publishers Digiday spoke with mostly blamed the removal of Twitter Moments in December as the reason for this drop. As a result, they are investing in other social platforms, like LinkedIn and Facebook, and in formats like newsletters as their advertisers request to stay off the platform.
Data shows publishers' Twitter referral traffic declinesWeb publishing tech provider Automattic analyzed a random set of 21 large and small publishers and found that the sites' traffic from Twitter in the fourth quarter fell, on average by, 13%. Of that data set, 71% of publishers saw their traffic decline. That Q4 data includes traffic from before Musk took ownership of Twitter in late October.
Todd Blackmon, who oversees Automattic's global marketing agency partnerships '-- which acquired in 2021 '-- said the declines could be from a number of factors. For example, it could have dropped if publishers decreased ad spend or from people using Twitter less and therefore tweeting out fewer links to news articles. [Editor's note: is a contracted vendor with Digiday Media].
Executives at two publishers who agreed to share their own data on the condition of anonymity saw Twitter referral traffic cut in half.
A head of social at a large millennial-focused digital publisher said they saw a 36% decrease in referral traffic from Twitter from Q3 2022 to Q4 2022 across their sites. Some of its titles with a smaller audience and Twitter follower count saw up to a 99% decline in Twitter referral traffic. The company experienced a 42% drop in Twitter traffic from Q2 to Q4. Twitter accounted for an average of between 3% and 5% of the company's total traffic, which was cut in half when Twitter Moments stopped getting picked up in October.
Another head of social at a large regional news publisher said that while they have seen traffic from Twitter decline all year, traffic halved from October to December from about 5% to about 3% of overall traffic.
Impact of Twitter Moments removalBoth publishing executives blamed the removal of the Twitter Moments feature '-- which allowed publishers to curate and highlight content around a large news event '-- as the main reason for the traffic dip.
''[We] had a really strong strategy around Twitter Moments'... that was a huge traffic source. We saw an immediate dip in traffic and referrals,'' said the regional news publisher exec, who said Twitter was the company's second largest referral source after Google but is now in sixth place. ''It used to be that we could flood Twitter and even the worst story would get a respectable amount of views. And now a larger portion of our coverage is not really finding any audience whatsoever.''
As a result, the social team has ''pivoted to purely promotional, sexy, spicy tweets to get people to read our articles,'' the exec said.
''The biggest change is the disappearance of Twitter Moments,'' added the exec at the millennial-focused digital publisher. ''We're still actively publishing robustly on the platform and seeing that standard traffic come in from what I would call the baseline, normal traffic. But most of our heavy traffic '-- and definitely our spikes and virality '-- all came from Twitter Moments.''
But how much does Twitter traffic matter?Despite these sobering numbers, the impact of the decline in Twitter referral traffic isn't significant, at least to three publishers Digiday spoke with for this story.
Guardian U.S. editor Betsy Reed told Digiday that Twitter is a ''very minor'' traffic referrer. ''It's never been a major part of the strategy so we're not really vulnerable to what's going on,'' Reed said.
For the whole of 2022, referral traffic from Twitter dipped by 20% year over year, according to data from publisher analytics firm Chartbeat which includes 1,200 sites that are Chartbeat customers in the News and Media category.
At the regional news organization, the head of social said Twitter ''has been unreliable for over a year now'' as a traffic referral source. The publisher's social team was preparing for this decline by upping its distribution and experimentation on other platforms like LinkedIn, Pinterest and newsletters.
''The big, scary, existential question is, will social media continue to be a traffic source for a news organization? Or will it become just a storytelling platform or just a marketing platform?'' the news publisher exec said.
The head of social at the millennial-focused digital publisher said the traffic going away is ''not something that is deemed business critical for us.'' While they are not necessarily shifting away from Twitter, the executive said the social team ''probably would've committed more resources to Twitter if we had continued to see growth all through 2022.'' The executive said they've seen more stable referral traffic from Facebook since pivoting to publishing more short-form vertical video over the summer on the platform.
Advertisers tell publishers: no TwitterNot only is Twitter not sending as much traffic to publishers, but the platform isn't really helping their dealings with advertisers either. The regional news exec said one advertiser asked not to be tagged in sponsored content shared on Twitter, because they are no longer advertising on the platform.
''Most of our clients are currently not interested in advertising on Twitter,'' added the millennial-focused digital publisher exec. Twitter has the ability to sell ads against the publisher's video content through the Amplify program. The publisher was ''always running something with them'... But we really haven't had any programs in the last few months from Twitter,'' they said.
The exec said advertiser clients have told him they ''don't need to see Twitter on the plan'' in sales pitches.
Twitter's future with publishers is an unfinished story'‹'‹The future role of Twitter when it comes to news distribution is still left to be seen. However, when The American Press Institute recently surveyed people from nearly 50 newsrooms, 67% said they don't plan to pay in order to retain or add verified Twitter accounts, 28.3% said they're not sure and just 4.3% said they would pay. When asked if they'll continue to use Twitter as a distribution platform, 59% said they'd use it about the same, 20.5% said they plan to use it less. Others said they would use it sparingly, more, would stop using it or plan on ''taking it day by day.''
Twitter has still largely been used as a broadcast platform for publishers compared to other ways of having two-way connections with audiences such as newsletters, according to Elite Truong, vice president of product strategy at the American Press Institute.
''Twitter in the last few years kept evolving to try to keep people in the ecosystem, with Spaces, trying to make the verification or blue check more valuable,'' Truong said. ''News organizations were able to find viral things to report on more easily than other platforms. But Twitter was only one of many evolving platforms that news orgs had to navigate to reach an audience, and had to play along with product updates to get content featured and elevated above the noise.''
Japan risks turning itself into 'Ukraine of Asia' if it follows US' strategic line - Global Times
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 18:24
Japan risks turning itself into 'Ukraine of Asia' if it follows US' strategic line
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
Japan is increasingly trying to justify its ongoing militarization under the pretext of the so-called external threats. Looking around the region, it is Japan that is pushing the regional situation closer to the edge of danger, following the US strategy closely. Tokyo's move deserves much vigilance. If it continues to act as a pawn of the US in the Asia-Pacific region to stir up trouble here, Japan must be wary of becoming a victim itself of the US or even the Ukraine of East Asia.
Concluding his recent G7 trip in Washington, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday that he shared with the leaders of the bloc his "strong sense of crisis regarding the security environment in East Asia." "Ukraine may be the East Asia of tomorrow," the Japanese leader noted, adding that the security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific are "inseparable."
This is not the first time Kishida has made such a "warning." In fact, since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, "East Asia is the Ukraine of tomorrow" has become one of his favorite phrases. For instance, he repeated the exact same view in his keynote speech at the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in June and later that month at the NATO summit.
The message Kishida wants to convey is clear: It calls for more attention to the region and Japan's so-called security concerns from the US and its NATO allies, which have been focusing on countering Russia in Europe since the war broke out. In particular, Kishida's words are aimed at China. He is trying to convince other Western countries that China is the next "biggest challenge" that must be jointly dealt with by the West.
Such an idea was further hyped during the Japanese leader's recent trip to Europe and the US. In the 2+2 meeting on Wednesday, Tokyo and Washington reached a consensus on how to handle Beijing, establishing a "strategic alliance" against it, the RFI reported.
Furthermore, by pushing for cooperation with Europe in realizing a "free and open Indo-Pacific," Kishida attempts to bring more NATO members into the framework of its East Asia strategy and persuade them to strengthen military cooperation with Japan to confront China.
Lian Degui, the director of the Department of Japanese Studies at Shanghai International Studies University, said that by stating "East Asia is the Ukraine of tomorrow," what Japan and the US mean is that they will hinder China's reunification.
The US and Japan will continue to tread on China's red line to provoke the Chinese mainland to use force first. Lian pointed out that this is a plot hatched by the US and Japan - They want to put China in a dilemma where it has to use force, then shift the responsibility to the Chinese mainland and blame it for launching a war.
But no matter how hard it hypes up the "China threat" theory, Japan is following Washington's steps to push the situation in East Asia toward a possible conflict. The country has been stepping up efforts to strengthen its military power to "secure a free and open Indo-Pacific." The most significant move was the approval of three key security documents last month.
The main pillar of the documents, including the new National Security Strategy, describes China as "the greatest strategic challenge" that Japan has ever faced, specifies the possession of counterstrike capabilities to destroy enemy missile launch bases and other military targets for self-defense and aims to increase the country's defense budget to about 43 trillion yen ($318 billion) for the five years from fiscal 2023. Judging from Japan's past militarization history, more regional countries have begun to worry that these actions will threaten the current peace and stability, contrary to Japan's proclaimed visions for the region.
"If Japan truly hopes to see a peaceful and stable East Asia, it should seriously reflect upon its history of militarist aggression, draw lessons from it, instead of going about stirring up trouble and fanning the flame," then Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in July.
Japan should also reflect on how tightly it wants to be tied to the US strategy. As for now, it's clear that no matter who is in power in Japan, the country's foreign policy follows that of the US. But does that really benefit Tokyo? If it continues to act as a pawn of the US in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan must be wary of becoming a victim of the US or even the Ukraine of East Asia.
Airbus H225 Super Puma: EU Imposed A Flight Ban On The Helicopter Model | NationalTurk
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 18:24
Airbus H225 Super Puma: EU imposed a flight ban on the helicopter model / What happened?
Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyj and other people died in a helicopter crash near the capital Kyiv. The crash happened in the city of Brovary near a kindergarten and an apartment building. The city borders on the eastern outskirts of Kyiv. According to the Ukrainian civil protection authority, a total of 16 people are said to have died, including three children. 30 other people were injured and taken to hospitals. According to the disaster agency, the crash caused a fire over an area of 500 square meters, which was extinguished within half an hour.
The helicopter comes from the State Service for Emergency Situations, which reports to the Ministry of the Interior. In addition to the interior minister, according to the police, his deputy Jehvhenij Jenin and state secretary Yuri Lubkovich died. There were nine people on board.
The helicopter was an Airbus H225 Super Puma, which had been used by the Home Office since at least 2018. In total, the ministry is said to have at least five of the helicopters in service.
What is known about the Minister of the Interior and what are his/her tasks?Denys Monastyrskyj was appointed Interior Minister by President Volodymyr Zelenskyj in 2021. The Ministry of the Interior is responsible, among other things, for the national police, the national guard, civil defense and is also responsible for border protection and customs. Before joining the ministry, Monastyrskyj had studied law and practiced law. In 2019 he entered the Ukrainian parliament.
In a first reaction, the Ukrainian president and the head of his presidential office, Andriy Yermak, called Monastyrskyj and his colleagues ''true patriots''.
What is known about the cause of the crash?Nothing was initially known about the cause. According to the national police, ''all relevant and specialized services'' are on site. The crime scene is being investigated. Deputy head of the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy's office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said on Ukrainian television that the helicopter was on its way to a place where hostilities were taking place, without giving any further details. Official statements from Russia were initially not available.
According to the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuri Ihnat, determining the cause will take some time. ''It won't just take a day or two, because investigating a flight disaster takes a certain amount of time,'' said Ihnat.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) imposed a temporary flight ban on the H225 in 2016 due to safety concerns. Previously, one of the helicopters was grounded in the North Sea, killing 13 people. The Bundeswehr also had three of the helicopters in service, among other things to transport the then Chancellor Angela Merkel and the ex-Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. Although the machines were not identical to the helicopter that crashed at the time, the flights were then suspended before EASA imposed the flight ban.
Interior minister killed in helicopter crash near Kyiv
With Starshield, SpaceX readies for battle - SpaceNews
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 18:22
Government-focused 'secured satellite network' positions SpaceX to heed the Pentagon's call for commercial allies
Now that SpaceX has established itself as a leading provider of U.S. national security launches, it is seeking a bigger share of the defense market with a new product line called Starshield. SpaceX quietly unveiled Starshield last month offering defense and intelligence agencies custom-built spacecraft, sensors, and secure communications services leveraging SpaceX's investment in its Starlink network of broadband satellites.
Like other commercial players, SpaceX is eyeing opportunities fueled by the United States' ''great-power competition'' with China and Russia. A U.S. national defense strategy document the Pentagon released in October calls China a ''pacing challenge'' that threatens to surpass the United States in defense and space technologies. To win this race, DoD intends to tap commercial innovation.
''We have in the United States by far the most resilient commercial space enterprise anywhere in the world. The Chinese know that, and we're going to lean into that,'' Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said Dec. 8 at an Aspen Security Forum in Washington. ''We're going to make sure we're working closely with the commercial sector and leveraging all that commercial space capability.''
Russia's war in Ukraine cast a powerful spotlight on the space industry, notably on the value of imaging satellites and on SpaceX's satellite broadband service Starlink. The system '-- with well over 3,000 satellites in orbit and thousands more to come '-- demonstrated resilience against jamming and showed the strength of this kind of proliferated architecture.
''This wasn't available before,'' John Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy, said Dec. 14 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ukraine is the first major conflict, he noted, where commercial space technology has come into play in a significant way.
The integration of commercial space into military operations is ''the way of the future,'' Plumb said. ''It's pretty clear now that the department doesn't have to build its own constellation for every mission set to introduce resilience.''
Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, in a Nov. 21 memo said the Pentagon anticipates greater dependence on the space industry and directed the Defense Science Board to recommend steps DoD should take to ensure it has access to commercial sources.
''Because of the rapidly improving commercial space capabilities, a comprehensive plan for using commercial space systems in the context of classified U.S. space capabilities is needed,'' said the memo.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR COMMERCIAL SPACESpaceX has not shared many details about its Starshield product line and the company did not respond to questions from SpaceNews about the initiative. SpaceX's website describes Starshield as a ''secured satellite network for government entities'' with an ''initial focus'' on direct delivery of processed Earth observation data, secure global communications enabled by inter-satellite laser links, and satellite buses for hosting ''the most demanding customer payload missions.''
The company also highlights its existing relationships with the U.S. military and the intelligence community, as well as know-how gained in commercial Starlink operations. Starlink's ability to operate in Ukraine with little to no disruptions did not go unnoticed by the Pentagon.
Bloomberg reported Dec. 20 that SpaceX sent 22,000 Starlink terminals to Ukraine since the war began in February, including replacements for units destroyed in combat. A Ukrainian government official told Bloomberg the country will request 10,000 more.
Starshield presumably would offer customized Starlink satellites and terminals that DoD could own or lease, said Todd Harrison, defense budget analyst and managing director of Metrea Strategic Insights.
''I think SpaceX is prepared to use the expertise and manufacturing prowess it has developed from its Starlink business, mass producing pretty sophisticated satellites,'' Harrison said.
Credit: SpaceNews illustrationNational security space is now one of the fastest growing areas of the DoD budget, and commercial players like SpaceX ''have been preparing for some time to fill a demand in the defense market,'' he noted. The 2023 spending bill Congress passed Dec. 23 to fund the government through Sept. 30 added $69.3 billion for DoD above what the Pentagon requested. The defense increase includes $1.7 billion for Space Force programs.
SpaceX's original approach was to sell Starlink communications as a commercial service to DoD, Harrison said, ''but think they're finding that that's harder than they thought'' and there are also lucrative opportunities in selling customized satellites leveraging their existing production lines.
Starshield is drawing from SpaceX's experience as a satellite supplier for the Space Force's Space Development Agency. SDA is procuring satellites to build a Transport Layer in low Earth orbit, a mesh network that will move data collected by a Tracking Layer of missile-detection satellites.
Under a 2020 contract, SpaceX teamed with Leidos Corp. to build four Tracking Layer satellites that are projected to launch in March. With a hot production line pumping out an estimated 120 Starlink satellites per month, said Harrison, ''why not just double down on that and build government-unique satellites if that's what they want?''
Combining its manufacturing might and expertise building military satellites, he said, ''SpaceX can use that to break into this market and probably out-compete a lot of the traditional primes.''
Andrew Penn, space industry analyst and principal at the consulting firm Oliver Wyman, sees Starshield as a ''logical next step for SpaceX to leverage its mass manufacturing of satellites and terminals '-- one you could argue it has already taken through its SDA and related national security work.''
SpaceX is essentially telling government buyers it is prepared to establish a separate business unit to handle built-to-order satellites for defense and intelligence customers, Penn noted. ''The company will be better positioned to serve the military with its second-generation Starlink satellite buses, which promise to be larger and capable of hosting payloads with higher power requirements.''
Considering how fast the company builds satellites, Penn said, ''there is an opportunity for DoD to take advantage of a hot manufacturing line to realize meaningful cost savings compared to more traditional bespoke acquisitions.''
DoD UNDER PRESSURE TO INNOVATEThe head of Space Force acquisitions Frank Calvelli said DoD has to move quickly to take advantage of commercially available technologies, and pivot away from traditional development programs that are perennially behind schedule and over budget.
''There's a lot of pressure on the Department to go faster in space acquisition,'' Calvelli, assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisitions and integration, said Dec. 15 at a Washington Space Business Roundtable event.
''Speed in space acquisition is a very simple formula,'' Calvelli said. ''You build smaller satellites, you use existing technology and reduce non-recurring engineering. You take advantage of commercial capabilities and you execute.''
These comments are an acknowledgment that the U.S. military ''is going to have to embrace a new model'' for procuring space systems, said Even Rogers, a former U.S. Air Force space operations officer and currently the CEO of True Anomaly, a new venture-backed space startup.
''The Space Force needs to partner with companies like SpaceX and whoever can provide fully integrated mission solutions, not just an algorithm or a singular spacecraft,'' said Rogers.
DoD prime contractors, he said, are ''really good at big and expensive programs that are sort of the backbone to security infrastructure and deterrence. What they're not good at is very quick iteration to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.''
At the same time, commercial space companies face a tough financial environment and need national security customers, he said. ''Defense is where the big growth is going to be because of the strategic competition with Russia and China. What the DoD wants is defense technologies at the innovation rate of commercial technologies. That's the Holy Grail.''
Trae Stephens, a principal at Founders Fund, whose investments include SpaceX, said venture capitalists ''are thinking about fundraising very differently than they were in 2020 and 2021.''
''Before, we kind of were complacent because we thought the world was this perfectly safe place '... and all the real money to be made was in consumer and internet products. And I think Ukraine has woken people up,'' Stephens said Dec. 3 on The Burn Bag national security and foreign policy podcast.
''With everything that we're seeing internationally, not only with Ukraine, but also what's going on in Iran, what's going on in North Korea, the potential threat to Taiwan,'' he said, ''I think everyone's kind of coming back to the drawing board and saying, if we're going to invest in things that matter, that are strategic, that are mission-oriented, there's a real opportunity here.''
PURSUIT OF DEFENSE DOLLARSWhat SpaceX has done with Starlink is to visibly demonstrate how commercial space technology serves national security applications, said Peter Arment, aerospace and defense industry analyst at Baird investment bank.
''This helps SpaceX obviously but also helps the entire industry attract investment,'' he said. ''The defense spending space is sort of a rising tide at the moment.''
Before anyone had ever heard of Starshield, other companies in the space industry started making moves to be better positioned to compete in the national security arena.
Commercial launch provider and satellite manufacturer Rocket Lab on Dec. 1 announced it is establishing a U.S.-based subsidiary for defense and intelligence work, including classified programs.
The new business, called Rocket Lab National Security, will have ''close engagement with U.S. government customers to understand their mission requirements, which may be dedicated rapid call-up launch, satellite design, build and integration, spacecraft operations or all of the above,'' Rocket Lab spokesperson Murielle Baker said in a statement.
Tess Hatch, vice president of Bessemer Venture Partners, a Rocket Lab investor, said the mood has shifted from a year ago ''when investors in boardrooms were pounding our fists on the table saying 'growth at all cost.''' Defense customers can be ''a little lumpy and unpredictable. However, there are massive potential contracts,'' Hatch said Dec. 6 at the TechCrunch Space conference.
''With markets down and maybe commercial needing to push a little more throttle, the diversity of the customer base is so important,'' Hatch said. ''The government is extra helpful for space companies right now when the commercial side isn't as efficient.''
Satellite manufacturer Terran Orbital shifted gears in late 2022 to better address military customers, canceling plans to build a commercial remote-sensing constellation and instead focus on producing space hardware for NASA, DoD and for Terran Orbital's strategic investor Lockheed Martin.
Before anyone heard of Starshield, Rocket Lab and HawkEye 360 and other commercial space companies made moves to better compete in the national security arena. Credit: HawkEyeHawkEye 360, a commercial firm that uses satellites to monitor radio-frequency emissions, decided to focus almost entirely on the national security market for signals intelligence. This sector ''has always been the purview of the big defense industrial base entities like Lockheed, Northrop and Raytheon that build very expensive spacecraft to do exquisite things,'' HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini said Nov. 17 at the Baird defense investment conference.
To compete against traditional defense contractors, Serafini said the company moved to hire more workers with security clearances, and invested in security-cleared infrastructure and accounting systems.
Like other remote sensing industry players, HawkEye 360 gained attention during the Ukraine war. ''We've performed over 1,000 individual missions over Ukraine, and it's given us bona fides that we can then go take to other places where we're required, in particular Asia Pacific with the rise of China,'' Serafini said in September at a Gabelli Funds investors conference.
DoD's attitude toward commercial firms and startups ''has definitely shifted,'' said Serafini. ''Has it shifted all the way where everyone's totally embracing commercial capabilities that are unclassified? No. But you have to find a middle ground.''
The market's emphasis on profitability will drive companies to tailor products to government needs, he said. ''For too long startup companies were run by 20-something-year-old people spending money like drunken sailors, and we know that doesn't work out in the long term. What you need is discipline to develop products that customers truly care about.''
In the satellite communications sector, commercial operator SES in March acquired Leonardo DRS Global Enterprise Solutions, a network integrator and manager of satcom services for DoD and other government agencies.
With the $450 million acquisition, SES will have a stronger presence in the national security sector. The combination of the satellite operator's U.S. subsidiary and DRS GES was recently rebranded as SES Space & Defense to ''reflect the organization's new positioning and expanded offering serving the needs of the U.S. government customers,'' the company said.
COMMERCIAL SPACE IN 'GRAY AREA'The value of commercial satellites, meanwhile, have put private-sector assets directly in the line of fire. Russian officials made that clear as they saw the essential role of Starlink communications services in support of Ukraine. These threats have compelled the Pentagon to consider options to compensate commercial companies if their satellites are damaged while supporting the U.S. military in a conflict.
This is a striking reminder of how far private players have moved into domains that previously only belonged to governments, said Casey Dreier, chief policy adviser for the Planetary Society, a nonprofit that promotes space exploration.
Starlink is the poster child of this trend, he said Dec. 13. A private company being seen as a valid target in warfare ''crystallizes how all-encompassing and integrated space is to all sorts of things that we take for granted in the current world order.''
This is raising tough questions for dual-use companies ''that are being cross-pressured by different needs,'' said Dreier. ''When the U.S. government is just one customer of many, do you make a full commitment to the U.S. government to serve exactly their needs in ways that we may not have fully considered?''
SpaceX, for example, could find itself in a sticky geopolitical situation if China invaded Taiwan, said Dreier, given Elon Musk's dual role as head of SpaceX and CEO of electric car manufacturer Tesla, which has significant operations in China.
The United States, which is committed to the defense of Taiwan, would rely on DoD contractors, including SpaceX, to support those efforts.
This article originally appeared in the January 2023 issue of SpaceNews magazine.
Kissinger Associates - Wikipedia
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 15:44
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
U.S.-based geopolitical consulting firm
Kissinger Associates, Inc. is a New York City-based international geopolitical consulting firm, founded and run by Henry Kissinger since 1982. The firm assists its clients in identifying strategic partners and investment opportunities and advising them on government relations.
History [ edit ] The firm was founded in 1982 by Henry Kissinger. In 1999 Mack McLarty joined Kissinger to expand the firm and its New York headquarters to open Kissinger McLarty Associates, with the firm's Washington office on 18th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.[1] McLarty was White House Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton. Kissinger McLarty is a corporate member of the Council of the Americas, the New York-based business organization established by David Rockefeller in 1965.[1] As of January 2008, the two firms have separated after just under a decade and McLarty Associates, headed by Mack McLarty, is an independent firm based in Washington.[2][3]
Kissinger Associates was located for nearly 40 years at 350 Park Avenue at 51st Street, in a building formerly also occupied by Peter Peterson's Blackstone Group.[4] It was established in July 1982 after loans had been secured from Goldman Sachs and a consortium of three other banks. These loans were repaid in two years; by 1987 annual revenues had reached $5 million.[4]
Kissinger Associates doesn't disclose its clients under U.S. lobbying laws. The firm once threatened to sue Congress to resist a subpoena for its client list. It has in the past advised American Express, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Daewoo, Midland Bank, H. J. Heinz, ITT Corporation, LM Ericsson, Fiat, and Volvo.[5] But the firm does belong to the U.S.''Russia Business Council, a trade group that includes ExxonMobil, JPMorgan Chase, and Pfizer.[6]
Organization [ edit ] Associated organizations [ edit ] Kissinger Associates has had strategic alliances with several firms, including:
APCO Worldwide,[7] (October 12, 2004)The Blackstone Group,[8][9] an investment and advisory firmHakluyt & Company,[10] a strategic intelligence and advisory firmCovington & Burling,[11] international law firm (2003)Prominent staff [ edit ] L. Paul Bremer, former managing director and former Iraq Director of ReconstructionNelson Cunningham, political advisor and managing partner at Kissinger McLartyLawrence Eagleburger, former U.S. Secretary of State[12]Richard W. Fisher,[13] President, Federal Reserve Bank of DallasTimothy F. Geithner, former U.S. Secretary of TreasuryJami Miscik, former president and vice chairman, former CIA Deputy Director for IntelligenceJoshua Cooper Ramo, former Managing Director, former senior editor of Time MagazineBill Richardson, former senior managing director, former U.S diplomat, past Governor of New Mexico, past Energy Secretary, past UN AmbassadorJ. Stapleton Roy, vice-chairman and former senior U.S. diplomatBrent Scowcroft, former vice-chairman and former U.S. National Security AdvisorJohn O. Brennan, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, world affairs consultant[14]Directors [ edit ] Lord Carrington,[15] former NATO Secretary-General (from 1982)Pehr G. Gyllenhammar, Volvo Chairman (from 1982)William D. Rogers, former Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs (from 1982)Eric Roll,[16] S. G. Warburg & Co Chairman (from 1984)William E. Simon,[16] former U.S. Treasury Secretary (from 1984)Saburo Okita,[17] former Japanese Foreign Minister‰tienne Davignon,[18] former European CommissionerGary Falle, Falle StrategiesClients [ edit ] Kissinger Associates does not disclose its list of corporate clients, and reportedly bars clients from acknowledging the relationship.[17] However, over time details from proxy statements and the tendency of senior businessmen to talk about their relationship with Kissinger have leaked out and a number of major corporate clients have been identified.[19]
The secrecy of their corporate client list has caused problems where Kissinger or a member of his staff were called to public service. In 1989, George H. W. Bush nominated Lawrence Eagleburger as his Deputy Secretary of State. Congress required that Eagleburger disclose the names of 16 clients, some of which were his through his Kissinger Associates affiliation.[20] Later, Kissinger himself was appointed chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States by George W. Bush. Congressional Democrats insisted that Kissinger disclose the names of clients. Kissinger and President Bush claimed that such disclosures were not necessary, but Kissinger ultimately stepped down, citing conflicts of interest.
A selected list of the more notable companies (from over two dozen in total) since 1982;[19] his directorships where applicable; and some countries where known advice/contacts were used:
American Express - Director (Hungary, Japan)American International Group - Director, International Advisory Committee (Argentina, China, South Korea)Atlantic RichfieldChase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase) - Chairman, International Advisory CommitteeCoca-Cola (Malaysia)FiatFreeport-McMoRan - Director (Burma, Indonesia, Panama)Heinz (Ivory Coast, Turkey, Zimbabwe)Hollinger, Inc. - DirectorLehman Brothers Kissinger McLarty Assoc. is listed as a creditor in the Bankruptcy Filings.MerckRio Tinto Group[21]VolvoWarburgReferences [ edit ] ^ a b "Council of the Americas Member: Kissinger McLarty Associates". Council of the Americas. Archived from the original on February 23, 2007. ^ ^ "Kissinger bows out of his beltway firm" . Financial Times. February 21, 2008. Archived from the original on December 10, 2022 . Retrieved March 19, 2020 . ^ a b Isaacson, Kissinger, p.732. ^ Jeff Gerth; Sarah Bartlett (April 30, 1989). "Kissinger and Friends And Revolving Doors". New York Times . Retrieved February 12, 2018 . ^ Toosi, Nahal; Isaac Arnsdorf (December 24, 2016). "Kissinger, a longtime Putin confidant, sidles up to Trump". Politico . Retrieved February 11, 2018 . ^ "Kissinger Associates, APCO Join in Strategic Alliance". APCO Worldwide. October 12, 2004. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018 . Retrieved August 21, 2006 . ^ "Strategic alliances". the Blackstone Group. Archived from the original on October 21, 2006 . Retrieved October 28, 2006 . , ^ "SEC Filings | American International Group, Inc". ^ Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson (April 10, 2001). "Survey - Corporate Security: The top players in intelligence industry". Financial Times. ^ Sarasohn, Judy (October 2, 2003). "Making an Alliance Official". Washington Post. ^ John Kerry & Hank Brown. "BCCI and Kissinger Associates". The BCCI Affair. United States Congress. ^ "Bio" Archived October 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ^ Schwartz, Mattathias (June 27, 2018). "A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows". The New York Times. Now Brennan was out, having traded world-bestriding power for a handful of gigs: adviser on world events for clients of Kissinger Associates, visiting scholar at Fordham University and the University of Texas, commentator on breaking news for MSNBC. ^ Oberdorfer, Don (August 24, 1982). "Kissinger's New Team". Washington Post. [permanent dead link ] ^ a b Gilpin, Kenneth N. (June 1, 1984). "Eagleburger Is Joining Kissinger Associates". New York Times. ^ a b Gelb, Leslie H. (April 20, 1986). "Kissinger Means Business". New York Times. ^ "Etienne Davignon delivers the plenary address on the third day of EITC 97". European Union Publications Office. ^ a b Isaacson, Kissinger: A Biography, pp.730-751. ^ Gerth, Jeff (May 20, 1989). "Disclosure Sought From Policy Group". New York Times. ^ Chellel, Kit; Wild, Franz; Stringer, David (July 13, 2018). "When Rio Tinto Met China's Iron Hand". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on July 16, 2018. Late that year, Albanese and Mivil Deschenes, a former Canadian military officer who was Rio's head of security, sat down in the New York office of one of the few people in the world with direct access to the highest levels of Chinese government: Henry Kissinger. The former U.S. secretary of state told the Rio executives he couldn't do anything about the four people in jail, but Albanese and Deschenes hired him anyway, paying what Australian media reported was at least $5 million. Bibliography [ edit ] Niall Ferguson, Kissinger: 1923-1968, New York: Penguin Press, 2015.Walter Isaacson, Kissinger: A Biography, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992, updated 2005.External links [ edit ] Kissinger Associates, Inc. by SourceWatch
how to completely own an airline in 3 easy steps
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 15:03
and grab the TSA nofly list along the way note: this is a slightly more technical* and comedic write up of the story covered by my friends over at dailydot, which you can read here
*i say slightly since there isnt a whole lot of complicated technical stuff going on here in the first place
step 1: boredomlike so many other of my hacks this story starts with me being bored and browsing shodan (or well, technically zoomeye, chinese shodan), looking for exposed jenkins servers that may contain some interesting goods. at this point i've probably clicked through about 20 boring exposed servers with very little of any interest, when i suddenly start seeing some familar words. "ACARS", lots of mentions of "crew" and so on. lots of words i've heard before, most likely while binge watching Mentour Pilot YouTube videos. jackpot. an exposed jenkins server belonging to CommuteAir.
step 2: how much access do we have really?ok but let's not get too excited too quickly. just because we have found a funky jenkins server doesn't mean we'll have access to much more than build logs. it quickly turns out that while we don't have anonymous admin access (yes that's quite frequently the case [god i love jenkins]), we do have access to build workspaces. this means we get to see the repositories that were built for each one of the ~70 build jobs.
step 3: let's dig inmost of the projects here seem to be fairly small spring boot projects. the standardized project layout and extensive use of the resources directory for configuration files will be very useful in this whole endeavour.
the very first project i decide to look at in more detail is something about "ACARS incoming", since ive heard the term acars before, and it sounds spicy. a quick look at the resource directory reveals a file called (same also for -dev and -uat). it couldn't just be that easy now, could it?
well, it sure is! two minutes after finding said file im staring at filezilla connected to a navtech sftp server filled with incoming and outgoing ACARS messages. this aviation shit really do get serious.
here is a sample of a departure ACARS message:
from here on i started trying to find journalists interested in a probably pretty broad breach of US aviation. which unfortunately got peoples hopes up in thinking i was behind the TSA problems and groundings a day earlier, but unfortunately im not quite that cool. so while i was waiting for someone to respond to my call for journalists i just kept digging, and oh the things i found.
as i kept looking at more and more config files in more and more of the projects, it dawned on me just how heavily i had already owned them within just half an hour or so. hardcoded credentials there would allow me access to navblue apis for refueling, cancelling and updating flights, swapping out crew members and so on (assuming i was willing to ever interact with a SOAP api in my life which i sure as hell am not).
i however kept looking back at the two projects named noflycomparison and noflycomparisonv2, which seemingly take the TSA nofly list and check if any of commuteair's crew members have ended up there. there are hardcoded credentials and s3 bucket names, however i just cant find the actual list itself anywhere. probably partially because it seemingly always gets deleted immediately after processing it, most likely specifically because of nosy kittens like me.
fast forward a few hours and im now talking to Mikael Thalen, a staff writer at dailydot. i give him a quick rundown of what i have found so far and how in the meantime, just half an hour before we started talking, i have ended up finding AWS credentials. i now seemingly have access to pretty much their entire aws infrastructure via aws-cli. numerous s3 buckets, dozens of dynamodb tables, as well as various servers and much more. commute really loves aws.
i also share with him how close we seemingly are to actually finding the TSA nofly list, which would obviously immediately make this an even bigger story than if it were "only" a super trivially ownable airline. i had even peeked at the nofly s3 bucket at this point which was seemingly empty. so we took one last look at the noflycomparison repositories to see if there is anything in there, and for the first time actually take a peek at the test data in the repository. and there it is. three csv files, employee_information.csv, NOFLY.CSV and SELECTEE.CSV. all commited to the repository in july 2022. the nofly csv is almost 80mb in size and contains over 1.56 million rows of data. this HAS to be the real deal (we later get confirmation that it is indeed a copy of the nofly list from 2019).
holy shit, we actually have the nofly list. holy fucking bingle. what?! :3
with the jackpot found and being looked into by my journalism friends i decided to dig a little further into aws. grabbing sample documents from various s3 buckets, going through flight plans and dumping some dynamodb tables. at this point i had found pretty much all PII imaginable for each of their crew members. full names, addresses, phone numbers, passport numbers, pilot's license numbers, when their next linecheck is due and much more. i had trip sheets for every flight, the potential to access every flight plan ever, a whole bunch of image attachments to bookings for reimbursement flights containing yet again more PII, airplane maintenance data, you name it.
i had owned them completely in less than a day, with pretty much no skill required besides the patience to sift through hundreds of shodan/zoomeye results.
so what happens next with the nofly datawhile the nature of this information is sensitive, i believe it is in the public interest for this list to be made available to journalists and human rights organizations. if you are a journalist, researcher, or other party with legitimate interest, please reach out at i will only give this data to parties that i believe will do the right thing with it.
note: if you email me there and i do not reply within a regular timeframe it is very likely my reply ended up in your spam folder or got lost. using email not hosted by google or msft is hell. feel free to dm me on twitter in that case.
support meif you liked this or any of my other security research feel free to support me on my ko-fi. i am unemployed and in a rather precarious financial situation and do this research for free and for the fun of it, so anything goes a long way.
U.S. No Fly List Left on Unprotected Airline Server
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 14:58
An unsecured server discovered by a security researcher last week contained the identities of hundreds of thousands of individuals from the U.S. government's Terrorist Screening Database and ''No Fly List.''
Located by the Swiss hacker known as maia arson crimew, the server, run by the U.S. national airline CommuteAir, was left exposed on the public internet. It revealed a vast amount of company data, including private information on almost 1,000 CommuteAir employees.
Analysis of the server resulted in the discovery of a text file named ''NoFly.csv,'' a reference to the subset of individuals in the Terrorist Screening Database who have been barred from air travel due to having suspected or known ties to terrorist organizations.
The list, according to crimew, appeared to have more than 1.5 million entries in total. The data included names as well as birth dates. It also included multiple aliases, placing the number of unique individuals at far less than 1.5 million.
On the list were several notable figures, including the recently freed Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, alongside over 16 potential aliases for him.
The aliases comprised different, common misspellings of his last name and other versions of his first name, as well as different birthdays. Many of the birthdays aligned with the recorded date Bout was born.
Suspected members of the IRA, the Irish paramilitary organization, were also on the list.
Another individual, according to crimew, was listed as 8 years old based on their birth year.
Many entries on the list were names that appeared to be of Arabic or Middle Eastern descent, although Hispanic and Anglican-sounding names were also on the list. Numerous names included aliases that were common misspellings or slightly altered versions of their names.
''It's just crazy to me how big that Terrorism Screening Database is and yet there is still very clear trends towards almost exclusively Arabic and Russian sounding names throughout the million entries,'' crimew said.
''Over last 20 years, the U.S. citizens that we've seen targeted for watchlisting are disproportionately Muslim and people of Arab or Middle Eastern and South Asian descent,'' said Hina Shamsi, director of the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties (ACLU). ''Sometimes it's people who dissent or have what are seen as unpopular views. We've also seen journalists watchlisted.''
In a statement to the Daily Dot, TSA said that it was ''aware of a potential cybersecurity incident with CommuteAir, and we are investigating in coordination with our federal partners.''
The FBI declined to answer specific questions about the list to the Daily Dot.
In a statement to the Daily Dot, CommuteAir said that the exposed infrastructure, which it described as a development server, was used for testing purposes.
CommuteAir added that the server, which was taken offline prior to publication after being flagged by the Daily Dot, did not expose any customer information based on an initial investigation.
CommuteAir also confirmed the legitimacy of the data, stating that it was a version of the ''federal no-fly list'' from roughly four years prior.
''The server contained data from a 2019 version of the federal no-fly list that included first and last names and dates of birth,'' CommuteAir Corporate Communications Manager Erik Kane said. ''In addition, certain CommuteAir employee and flight information was accessible. We have submitted notification to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and we are continuing with a full investigation.''
CommuteAir is a regional airline based out of Ohio. In June 2020, CommuteAir replaced ExpressJet as the carrier for its United Express Banner, a regional branch of United, which runs shorter flights.
In remarks to the Daily Dot, crimew said that they had made the discovery while searching for Jenkins servers on the specialized search engine Shodan. Jenkins provides automation servers that aid in the building, testing, and deployment of software. Shodan is used throughout the cybersecurity community to locate servers exposed to the open internet.
The server also held the passport numbers, addresses, and phone numbers of roughly 900 company employees. User credentials to more than 40 Amazon S3 buckets and servers run by CommuteAir were also exposed, said crimew.
The Terrorism Screening Database, according to the FBI, is a list of individuals shared across government departments to prevent the kind of intelligence lapses that occurred prior to 9/11. Within that is the smaller, more tightly controlled No Fly List. Individuals in the Terrorism Screening Database can be subject to certain restrictions and given additional security screening. Individuals explicitly on the No Fly List are barred from boarding aircraft in the United States.
''This country has a massive, bloated watchlisting system that can stigmatize people'--including Americans'--as known or suspected terrorists based on secret standards and secret evidence without a meaningful process to challenge government error and clear their names,'' Shamsi said. ''The categories of people watchlisted seem every expanding, never constricting '... The consequences are significant and have real harms for people's lives. There's the obvious stigma and embarrassment and life hardships of being unable to fly in our modern age, to being singled out, to being searched. We've had mothers and fathers stigmatized and embarrassed in front of their children.''
Estimates of both the Terrorism Screening Database and the No Fly List have long been made. The Terrorism Screening Database was been estimated to contain up to 1 million entries, with the No Fly List reportedly much smaller.
When asked for clarification, CommuteAir said it was specifically the No Fly List subset they hosted, which means it could potentially be much larger than previously reported.
But an expert familiar with the contours of the No Fly List cautioned that a list that size may be the larger Terrorism Screening Database and not the smaller No Fly List.
The Intercept in 2014 previously reported that the No Fly List held more than 47,000 names. In 2016, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) suggested that over 81,000 people were on the list.
Although the list is highly secretive and rarely leaks, it is not considered a classified document due to the number of agencies and individuals that need access to it.
In a declaration to the ACLU, G. Clayton Grigg, at the time the Deputy Director for Operations of the Terrorist Screening Center, said that while the list does contain classified national security information, ''maintaining the TDSB as a sensitive but unclassified system allows for law enforcement screening officers '.... to use the identifying information from the TSDB even though they may not possess Secret or Top Secret security clearances.''
The discovery by crimew is not the first time an unsecured version of the Terrorist Screening Database has been exposed online. Security researcher Volodymyr ''Bob'' Diachenko found a detailed copy of the terrorism watchlist with 1.9 million entries in 2021.
Names provided to Diachenko by the Daily Dot matched entries on the list he obtained, although Diachenko never received official confirmation his list was genuine.
The No Fly List has routinely been criticized by privacy and civil liberties experts. The ACLU successfully sued to allow citizens to challenge their inclusion on the list. However, more work needs to be done to improve transparency with the list, Shamsi said.
''It is already a massive and bloated system, and growth is exactly the kind of thing that happens when you have a vague and over-broad system of what's essentially government surveillance based on suspicion and without due process '... At the bare minimum, if the government is to use watchlists, it must have narrow and specific public criteria [for entry] and apply rigorous public procedures for reviewing, updating, and removing dubious entries.''
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Half a million missed out on stroke-preventing drugs
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:34
Half a million people in the UK missed out on drugs to prevent strokes and heart attacks during the pandemic, major research shows.
Scientists said the trend could mean at least 13,000 more people suffer cardiovascular events, including 5,700 more heart attacks and strokes.
The British Heart Foundation said it was clear evidence of the damage caused by the ''major disruption'' to healthcare since the first lockdown.
Independent experts said the findings suggested that the numbers put on pills for blood pressure fell by more than one quarter over the period.
The research, also involving the Universities of Liverpool and Strathclyde found 491,306 fewer people than expected started taking blood-pressure-lowering medication between March 2020 and the end of July 2021. During the same period, 316,018 fewer people started on statins.
Both types of medication are routinely offered to those at risk of heart disease - one of Britain's major killers.
Before the pandemic around nine million people were estimated to be on blood pressure medication, with eight million on statins to cut cholesterol; in many cases, patients are prescribed both.
The findings come amid deepening concern about a surge in heart deaths because of struggles to access GP care and long waits for ambulances.
Latest data show more than 21,000 excess heart deaths in the last nine months - a 14 per cent rise on before the pandemic. Meanwhile, average ambulance waits for heart attack and stroke victims last month reached 93 minutes - the worst figure on record.
Last week, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence issued new guidance, suggesting any patient who sought statins should be given them, in a desperate bid to tackle the growing crisis.
On Thursday, heart experts urged NHS to urgently identify those who have missed out, with advice to the public to get their blood pressure and cholesterol checked.
Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, an associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation and consultant cardiologist, said: ''Yet again we're seeing clear evidence of the major disruption to healthcare people in the UK experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
''It's not too late to limit the damage,'' she said.
''These findings demonstrate how getting heart healthcare back on track can curb the additional strain that untreated risk factors such as high blood pressure would otherwise place on the NHS.
''We need to make it easier and more accessible for everyone to know their numbers - particularly their blood pressure and cholesterol. This means empowering people to access the help they need when they need it so they can be supported to manage their own health.''
Whitty's concerns over excess deathsMedication to cut blood pressure includes ACE inhibitors, angiotensin-2 receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics and beta-blockers, while statins are most commonly prescribed to cut cholesterol.
Sir Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, recently raised concerns that worse access to such drugs during the pandemic was fuelling thousands more deaths among the middle aged.
The latest research by scientists from Liverpool University, Strathclyde University and others, supported by the British Heart Foundation Data Science Centre at Health Data Research UK was published in Nature Medicine.
Researchers used data on routinely dispensed prescriptions in England, Scotland and Wales.
Their estimates suggest that if those who missed out on blood pressure treatment remain untreated, there will be more than 13,500 additional cardiovascular events, with an estimated 3,474 strokes, 2,281 heart attacks and thousands more cases of heart failure and angina.
Scientists said that if those who missed out were identified and put on medication within the next five years, the toll could be reduced by four fifths.
The study found that by the first half of 2021, on average, 27,070 fewer people started taking blood pressure lowering medication each month, compared with 2019.
Detecting risk factors early is 'crucial'Before the pandemic, around 100,000 people a month started on such pills, statisticians said.
Meanwhile, the monthly data showed 16,744 fewer people started taking medication such as statins to reduce levels of fat or cholesterol in their blood.
Researchers said the study was the first use of medicines data to track changes in day-to-day management of chronic conditions.
Lead author Prof Reecha Sofat, from the University of Liverpool said: ''Despite the incredible work done by NHS staff, our data show that we're still not identifying people with cardiovascular risk factors at the same rate as we were before the pandemic.
''Detecting these risk factors early and beginning medication where appropriate is crucial to manage them, helping more people to avoid a preventable heart attack or stroke so they can live in good health for longer.''
Prof Bryan Williams, chair of medicine, UCL, said the findings showed that the current model of care needs urgent review.
He said: ''Patients shouldn't need to visit doctors to get their blood pressure checked and their treatment dispensed, there are much better and more efficient ways of doing this that would be more convenient and more effective for patients. Perhaps that is the most important take away from this study.''
CIA Chief Gave Zelensky A Personal Intel Briefing In Secret Meeting - Activist Post
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:26
By Tyler Durden
The Washington Post revealed in a bombshell Thursday evening report that CIA Director William Burns made a secret trip to Ukraine's capital last week to give a personal briefing to President Volodymyr Zelensky on what can be expected from Russian military strategy and Putin's likely vision for the war in the weeks and months ahead.
''Director Burns traveled to Kyiv where he met with Ukrainian intelligence counterparts as well as President Zelensky and reinforced our continued support for Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression,'' one US official confirmed to the Post.
While in prior months, particularly the summer, it might have been expected that such a high level trip by the head of America's top intelligence agency to Kiev might have had as top of the agenda discussion of ways forward for negotiated peace, increasingly Washington is talking a ''win'' '' or at least enough clear battlefield leverage for Ukraine to come away with victory at a future negotiating table. Part of this is the current push to get heavier US and NATO weaponry to Ukraine as fast as possible.
Crucially, there's no mention in WaPo's coverage of the Burns trip that opening a pathway for ceasefire talks was at all a point of discussion with Zelensky. This as the bloody battle for Bakhmut reportedly is resulting in immense casualties for both sides.
Instead, ''Top of mind for Zelensky and his senior intelligence officials during the meeting was how long Ukraine could expect U.S. and Western assistance to continue following Republicans' takeover of the House and a drop-off in support of Ukraine aid among parts of the U.S. electorate, said people familiar with the meeting,'' the Post writes. And importantly:
''Burns emphasized the urgency of the moment on the battlefield and acknowledged that at some point assistance would be harder to come by, the people said.''
Currently the Biden administration is finalizing another some $2.6 billion in military aid to Ukraine. Though it will include a reported 100 Stryker combat vehicles and at least 50 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, the US is expected to continue refusing to send M1 Abrams tanks.
On Wednesday the White House's undersecretary of defense for policy Colin Kahl presented this as based on specific battlefield strategy. ''What we're trying to look at is the mix of armored and mechanized forces that make sense,'' he said, explaining that ''The Russians are really digging in. '...They're digging trenches, they're putting in these dragon's teeth, laying mines. They're really trying to fortify that that FLOT, that forward line of troops.'' Kahl continued.
''To enable the Ukrainians to break through given Russian defenses, the emphasis has been shifted to enabling them to combine fire and maneuver in a way that will prove to be more effective,'' Kahl added.
Activist Post is Google-FreeSupport us for just $1 per month at Patreon or SubscribeStarOne possible reason for the sudden rush of heavier weaponry to #Ukraine: "Burns emphasised the urgency of the moment on the battlefield and acknowledged that at some point assistance would be harder to come by"
'-- Anton La Guardia (@AntonLaGuardia) January 20, 2023
Likely, Burns' briefing to the Ukrainians emphasized this. As for the reference to Burns reportedly informing Zelensky that at some point assistance would be harder to come by, this suggests the US still doesn't see Ukraine's path forward as one of an outright military ''win'' involving the regaining of all pre-Feb.24 territory, but instead would reflect something more like what the CIA director said in a PBS interview last month'...
''Most conflicts end in negotiations, but that requires a seriousness on the part of the Russians in this instance that I don't think we see,'' Burns said at the time. ''At least, it's not our assessment that the Russians are serious at this point about a real negotiation.'' Thus for the time being it's all about battlefield leverage to gain the most spoils whenever that final negotiated settlement does come. But then again the ''alternative'' is a major great power war, which the world may already be witnessing the beginnings of.
Source: ZeroHedge
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Where Did All the Workers Go? - Activist Post
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:25
By Bret Swanson
In a November 30, 2022, speech on ''Inflation and the Labor Market,'' Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell blamed most of the 3.5 million estimated shortfall in the US labor force on premature retirements. He also blamed a large portion '' between 280,000 and 680,000 '' on ''long Covid.'' In a footnote, however, Powell acknowledged a far more somber factor: an estimated 400,000 unexpected deaths among working-age people.
It's easy to blame these deaths on Covid-19. The virus is of course one significant cause. But it's not nearly the only cause, especially among young and middle-age workers. We need better government data transparency to make a full assessment. Until then, we can proceed with others who track mortality for a living '' life insurance companies.
The Great Divide '' 2020 vs. 2021In 2020, Covid-19 took many lives, even among select groups of middle-age people, specifically those with comorbidities such as diabetes. In 2020, Covid did not take very many lives of healthy young and middle-age people '' for example, the types of people who are employed at large- and mid-size companies and who have group life insurance. As you can see in the chart below, group life insurance benefit payments in 2020 were barely higher than in 2018.
In 2021, however, group life payments exploded by 20.7 percent over the five-year average and by 15 percent over the acute pandemic year of 2020. Why would healthy young and middle-age people suddenly begin dying in large numbers in 2021 when they'd navigated 2020 with relative success?
Especially when we consider that in 2021, the US administered 520 million Covid-19 vaccine doses. Shouldn't healthy people employed in good jobs with good benefits, now protected with vaccines, have fared better in 2021 than in 2020? Surely, overdoses and suicides have risen in recent years. But those causes of death are less prominent among the group life cohorts in general, and the latest data confirm these were not drivers of the group life surge. Curiously, two of the largest spikes in 2021 came from deadly automobile accidents and non-automobile accidents.
Millennial MortalityLet's look at a few of these young-adult age groups in more detail. In the charts below, we've broken out total all-cause deaths into three groups '' 30-34, 35-39, and 40-44. Eyeballing the age-group charts alone shows that factors other than Covid-19 itself must have driven large portions of the mortality spike in young and middle-age workers. (We are using official statistics, which likely overstate Covid mortality and understate non-Covid mortality. It's the best we've got for now.)
The most important overall point is that 2021 was far worse for young and middle-age people than 2020.Another key point is that 2022 was also worse than 2020, though not as bad as 2021.Mortality rates in 2022 were still dramatically higher than the pre-pandemic baseline.In the three charts above, we estimate 2022* total deaths because November and December are still provisional and subject to upward revisions. We've made what we believe are reasonable projections. The % change figures are relative to the 2018-19 average. These are absolute numbers not adjusted for population growth or cohort size.Covid-19 hit hard in 2020, especially for the old, vulnerable, and comorbid. In other words, Covid-19 took many of the most unhealthy from us in 2020. In principle, therefore, a smaller number of unhealthy people might have been susceptible to Covid-19 in 2021 and 2022. High-mortality years are often followed by low-mortality years. After two successive high-mortality years, the third year is even more likely to be low mortality. For 2022 to be as bad, or somewhat worse, than 2020, is thus a big surprise. Last year's milder Omicron variants make 2022's stubbornly high mortality rate even more baffling.
All-cause mortality is crucial to understand whether public health policies are working. All-cause numbers can also help expose faulty reasoning when overly narrow, overly complicated, or overly clever analyses miss or hide important signals. For example, an analysis which purported to show lockdowns reduced Covid deaths but which neglected to show other deaths rose even more, would not reflect the totality of the policy's effects. Likewise, a chemotherapy which shrinks tumors but kills patients may be successful in its narrow task yet fail the larger mission. Most analysts and health authorities studiously ignored all-cause over the last three years. The all-cause figures above show our Covid policies were far from successful.
Activist Post is Google-FreeSupport us for just $1 per month at Patreon or SubscribeStarFor other purposes, however, it's helpful and even necessary to drill down on specific causes. Important signals can also be lost in large groupings '' Simpson's paradox, for example, is a common statistical illusion. (Few have dug deeper, with as much specificity, as John Beaudoin, an engineer from Massachusetts who gained access to his state's digital death records for the last eight years. He shows that specific causes of death spike and fall at important moments and periods. CDC data is not organized with such granularity. More on Beaudoin's analysis in coming weeks'...)
We know that recent years saw an upswing in drug overdoses and suicides, which accelerated with the pandemic lockdowns. Although these troubling trends cannot explain the enormous and unprecedented all-cause mortality seen above, we should attempt to account for them. Likewise, although Covid-19 did not cause all these record deaths, it was a significant factor.
Employment AberrationSo we dig deeper. If we remove both Covid-19 and unnatural deaths (homicide, suicide, overdose, etc.), we see a dramatic spike of natural, non-Covid-19 deaths among working-age people beginning in the spring and summer of 2021. The CDC then stopped publishing the detailed data breaking out these particular categories.
But we know this trend continued. In fact, it got much worse. The life insurance companies told us so. On a December 30, 2021, videoconference with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, OneAmerica CEO Scott Davison reported with shock:
''And what we saw just in third quarter, we're seeing it continue into fourth quarter, is that death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic.''
''40% is just unheard of.''
''It may not all be COVID on their death certificate, but deaths are up just huge, huge numbers.''
Several months later, Lincoln National reported its 2021 payouts were $1.4 billion, versus $548 million in 2020, a 164 percent rise.
As you will remember seeing in our three all-cause charts, August, September, and October of 2021 showed a gigantic upward bubble '' the worst ever period of concentrated young and middle-age deaths, at least in modern times.
Heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary embolisms, accidents, and many seemingly-inexplicable sudden deaths, which continued into 2022, and now in 2023. Here is the Society of Actuaries November 2022 update, which goes through June 2022.
Source: Society of Actuaries, Group Life Covid-19 Mortality Survey Report, November 2022.It's true that the late summer and fall period of 2021 coincided with the Delta wave in the US, which was more infectious and appeared to be more pathogenic than previous variants. (We've suggested the mass vaccination programs may have, by exerting extreme evolutionary pressure, driven convergence onto more infectious, vaccine-evading variants. Brand new research just published in the New England Journal of Medicine continues to bolster our escape variant thesis: Substantial Neutralization Escape by SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variants BQ.1.1 and XBB.1.)
Federal officials and the medical establishment, you will recall, argued in 2021 that it was a ''pandemic of the unvaccinated.'' Even the Society of Actuaries attempts to explain away its alarming findings by implying the deaths are due to lack of vaccination. It does so with crude regressions of excess mortality and bulk statewide vaccination totals as of June 30, 2021.
But remember those 520 million vaccine doses. How can you generate far more deaths in 2021 '' ascribing them to unvaccination '' with a dramatically smaller number of unvaccinated people? In 2021, perhaps 20-40 percent of these group-life insureds were unvaccinated. In 2020, 100 percent of them were unvaccinated, yet mortality barely rose. The math doesn't come close to working.
The 40-44 age group, for example, suffered 21.5 percent more total deaths in 2021 than 2020. This terrible outcome occurred with less than half the so-called susceptible population due to their unvaccinated status. It's difficult to assert robust vaccine effectiveness when both dose delivered and deaths are skyrocketing.
On the other hand, the group life insurance data show vaccinated groups may have suffered the worst outcomes. By August, most large and mid-size companies and organizations across the country had vaccine mandates, and most employees complied. Yet these workers suffered extraordinary '' indeed, totally unprecedented death rates '' in 2021, especially the second half of 2021.
Source: Society of Actuaries, Group Life Covid-19 Mortality Survey Report, November 2022.Ed Dowd, a former BlackRock portfolio manager, points to a crucial peculiarity in his book Cause Unknown. Employed people with group-life insurance policies are far healthier than their overall population cohort. They typically die at a significantly lower rate, just 30-40 percent of the overall population. This is an iron actuarial law. In 2021, however, as you can see in the chart directly above, these employed Americans died at excess rates far higher than their larger pool of less healthy peers.
We could also point to fast-rising disability as a key factor in the worker shortage. Fed chair Powell blames it on long Covid. Once again, however, the timing doesn't fit that story very well.
To overgeneralize:
In 2020, the vulnerable died of Covid at unusually high rates. In 2021 and 2022, Covid continued its assault, but the young, middle-aged, and healthy also died in aberrantly high numbers of something else.
These patterns are repeating across the high-income developed world '' Germany, the UK, Japan, South Korea, Australia.
Reprinted from the author's Substack
Sourced from Brownstone Institute
Bret Swanson is president of the technology research firm Entropy Economics LLC, a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and writes the Infonomena Substack.
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Edinburgh becomes first European city to commit to vegetarian menu in schools to reduce footprint | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:24
Edinburgh becomes first European capital to commit to taking meat off the menu in schools in bid to reduce city's carbon footprintThe move comes days before Burns Night '' the centrepiece of which is haggisEdinburgh is the second place in the UK after Haywards Heath Town CouncilIt was slammed as 'anti-farming' by the Scottish Countryside Alliance By Colin Fernandez Environment Editor For The Daily Mail
Published: 20:30 EST, 18 January 2023 | Updated: 08:39 EST, 19 January 2023
Edinburgh is now the first European capital to commit to axing meat from its menus in schools, hospitals and nursing homes.
The city has voted to adopt the 'plant-based treaty' '' including a pledge to promote vegan food over animal products.
The move comes days before Burns Night '' the centrepiece of which is haggis, traditionally made from a sheep's liver, lungs, heart and stomach.
Edinburgh is the second place in the UK to adopt the treaty, launched in 2021, after Haywards Heath Town Council in West Sussex. It is one of 20 worldwide, including Los Angeles.
Edinburgh is now the first European capital to commit to axing meat from its menus in schools, hospitals and nursing homes
The move comes days before Burns Night '' the centrepiece of which is haggis, traditionally made from a sheep's liver, lungs, heart and stomach
The move '' which could also mean refusing permission to open slaughterhouses in the Edinburgh area '' was slammed as 'anti-farming' by the Scottish Countryside Alliance.
The alliance's director Jake Swindells said that it was 'pandering to misinformation about livestock farming'.
But supporters said that by changing local diets the city will be able to reduce the greenhouse gases it produces.
A council report said: 'Overall, the science is clear: Meat and dairy consumption must reduce to achieve climate targets.'
Council Leader Cammy Day said:
'By endorsing the Plant Based Treaty the Council is expressing support for a treaty to be negotiated at a global level as a companion to the Paris Agreement on climate. The Plant Based Treaty is not legally binding and is modelled on the Fossil Fuel Treaty, which Edinburgh endorsed in March 2022 as the first city in Scotland.'
Davos 2023: CBDCs Are the Future of Central Bank Money but They Are Still Not Ready '' Fintech Bitcoin News
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:23
A World Economic Forum (WEF) panel comprised of central bankers and global tech providers has profiled central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as the future of central bank money, presenting them as one of the solutions for limitations in the payments sector today. However, they have also stated these present several limitations still to be addressed.
WEF Panel Explains Advantages of CBDCsA central bank digital currency panel, part of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos meetings, stressed it has high expectations for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as part of the future of central bank money.
The panel, consisting of central bankers like Julio Velarde, governor of the Central Bank of Peru, Lesetja Kganyago, governor of the South African Reserve Bank, and Amir Yaron,governor of the Central Bank of Israel, noted several supposed advantages these new financial tools might present, but also highlighted the difficulties in implementing them efficiently.
Governor Velarde explained that, in his opinion, CBDCs are rising as a solution for payments and credit that goes beyond banking integration. To him, the implication of central banks in building these tools has to do with establishing standards and also integrating private banks into the loop, while providing financial inclusion to people still out of the traditional banking system. About this, he stated:
We have learned the hard way that revolution has to come from the central banks. We don't know the way in which CBDCs will be implemented'... but we are looking closely at what will happen around the world.
Governor Amir Yaron explained that payments are now part of the forefront of the financial markets, and that is why central banks are currently interested in this. To Yaron, CBDCs could have a transitional function between the digital world and private bank institutions. He stated:
We are seeing faster payments, smart contracts, e-money, crypto assets, and stablecoins, and CBDC is a public good that can be complementary but can also crowd out some of these things. CBDC could be the bridge between the new digital economy and the standard economy.
Israel has been experimenting with CBDCs. Their central bank is part of Project Icebreaker, which involves cross-border CBDC-based payment between Israel, Norway, and Sweden with the collaboration of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS).
A Smarter Solution, With CaveatsFor governor Kganyago, one of the main issues for more than 100 banks at worldwide levels to be studying CBDCs, is to breach the digital gap involving new kinds of money, like cryptocurrency, that is currently rising as an alternative to central bank-issued money, and modernizing payments systems.
In this sense, he believes that the environment is changing and some central banks consider they need to change with it, and offer these digital alternatives. For Kganyago, ultimately, there needs to be a national discussion on the demand side, where the big issues have to do with public choice on the usage of CBDC.
He concluded by explaining that the problems of the implementation of CBDCs for national and cross-border payments will lie more on the regulatory side than on the technological side, as these will need to comply with the regulations of several jurisdictions from all over the world.
What do you think about the role that CBDCs might play in the future of bank-issued money? Tell us in the comment section below.
Sergio GoschenkoSergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.
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Sydney morgues struggling to cope with number of people dying
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:10
As the city returns from its pandemic lull, we reveal its untold stories.
See all 6 stories.Everyone dies. But last year in NSW, far more people than usual did. Every single week up to September, dozens more deaths were reported than the state's average. The cause is no secret: a rapidly ageing population combined with the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
But behind those numbers stands a colossal and often misunderstood industry that deals with everything from palliative care and burials to cremation and counselling.
And under immense pressure, 2022 changed it forever.
Crematorium operators spent the year dealing with a ''high volume'' of requests, funeral directors have been forced to increase their services and, as if to prove bureaucracy stays with you to the grave, the city's cemeteries are set to be full within 10 years.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, from January to September 2022, reveals deaths in the year far exceeded the baseline average for every single week, apart from two weeks at the end of September.
At its worst, during the peak of the Omicron crisis in January 2022, there were 367 extra deaths in a single week. After a slight slump, the number trended up once again to August.
Guardian Funerals, a giant provider of funerals across the state, said they assisted ''more families than ever before in 2022 and as we have commenced 2023, there continues to be an increased demand for our services.''
At their funeral parlour in Lidcombe, the work piled up for morticians Irini Papanikolaou and Jo Place. Working as an embalmer for parent company InvoCare '' which also runs White Lady Funerals, Simplicity Funerals and more than 50 other Australian funerals and crematorium brands ''Papanikolaou cares for the dead: she dresses them in clothes, styles their hair and makes them look presentable for their family's final viewing.
''I absolutely love what I do,'' she says. ''I've been doing this for many years, and it's just an honour to be able to prepare a deceased.'' She says there are challenges associated with the job, particularly in times of traumatic or early death.
The work is made harder when it's busy '' Papanikolaou sometimes works up to 12-hour days.
At Guardian Funerals in Lidcombe, morticians Katie Cassidy, Jo Place and Thalia McMurray clean their station. Credit: Steven Siewert
Colleague Jo Place says arranging memorials at peak periods can be challenging.
''It's about having the conversations with the families about understanding when the funerals can happen,'' she says. ''It's really about the scheduling of the funeral service itself.''
Nick Maurer, the third-generation leader of Maurer Family Funerals in Chatswood, says his family business felt the pinch but kept up with demand.
''We've got a relatively small market share. If we go from 40 to 50 funerals a month, that's a big increase for us,'' he says.
While it can take between five and 10 days to organise a funeral, his business has helped organise funerals in far shorter time periods for clients turned away by other companies due to lack of capacity.
It's only now, after a few years of increased focus on dying, that the public is experiencing what those in the industry have known for decades: when it comes to dealing with death, Sydney is headed for a crisis.
Sydney's cemetery crisisIn the most dire state are Sydney's cemeteries: they're rapidly running out of space. Rookwood Cemetery, located between Lidcombe and Strathfield, is about as large as Sydney's CBD. But less than five per cent of its burial space remains open. Space for Maori and Russian Orthodox groups, among others, are set to be full within a matter of years.
Government modelling says state-owned cemeteries will fill up by 2029 '' at the latest. And across the city, we'll run out of space to bury our dead entirely by 2051.
(Catholic Cemeteries and Crematoria began work on Macarthur Memorial Park in Varroville, in Sydney's south-west, late last year. It was the first new cemetery opened in the state in more than 50 years '' but will do little to solve the major structural issues of the city's overcrowding cemeteries.)
It's a horrifying thought, with grave public health consequences as well as the cultural, spiritual and familial impact on those who mourn. How did it come to this?
Bad planning, for one thing: the most recent government-owned cemetery was opened in 1948. But constant bickering over who should own Sydney's cemeteries '' the state government, churches or councils '' has played a major role in slowing any progress.
Contemporary discussions about the issue, which resulted in the state government forcibly amalgamating 17, and then a further five, cemetery trusts into single state-owned entity OneCrown in 2021, have much deeper roots to the pre-federation era. The NSW government attempted to create a ''general'' cemetery at Moore Park, where the dead would be buried without being grouped according to religion. Church leaders argued the government was taking control of their own ancient spiritual practices.
''It was just uproar,'' says Sydney historian Lisa Murray, who has written a book on Sydney's cemeteries. ''The Catholics just said, 'Nah, we're not doing it', and so did the Church of England.''
Determined to create a general cemetery for its growing population, the state government found a compromise in creating a cemetery for everyone, with land for each denomination apportioned based on the proportion of religious affiliations of the population at the time.
So Rookwood was born. Now the largest cemetery in the Southern Hemisphere, it is home to more than 640,000 bodies and is - possibly - the single most ethnically and religiously diverse postcode in the world.
Most of the cemetery's space was originally set aside for Anglicans, Catholics and other Christian denominations. But as Sydney has grown, so too has the cemetery. Jewish and Muslim graves have been added on its edges, between the Catholic graves and the neighbouring golf course. The Druze and Khmer communities have found a resting place for their people among the war graves and gardens. The garden of the dead now tells the rich and living story of Sydney's people and culture over time.
But not for much longer. While there are only a few decades until Sydney's cemeteries will be full for good, one factor has kept the worst at bay so far: cremation.
More than three in four people across the state are cremated (in Sydney, around 66 per cent choose cremation, lower than the state average given the greater number of migrants who practice faiths that prohibit the practice).
41,448 grave spots were saved over the past financial year with next of kin receiving the deceased's ashes in urns in lieu of burial.
Cremation facilities are like any other industrial equipment. They're big and loud. It can take about an hour to burn a body '' but the exact length of time depends on a body's size and the time of day (incinerators are hotter towards the end of the day, when they have been burning the longest).
But dying is an expensive exercise, regardless of how you do it. Data from 2021 shows a no-frills cremation in Sydney costs an average of $7253, while a simple memorial-free burial costs $6331 '' not including a plot, which costs an average of $15,000 (but at Waverley Cemetery, the resting place with a view, a plot can cost as much as $28,000).
And while death is as certain as the high fees you'll pay for it, there are ways to make it more comfortable. It's what drove palliative care specialist Rachael Zielinski to become a full-time nurse to the dying.
''I feel this deep connection with someone when they're coming to the end of their life, she says. ''I feel so lucky to be in that time with someone.''
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Dead bodies stored in make-shift morgues across UK including grit depot as hospital mortuaries reach full capacity | The Sun
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:09
BODIES are being stored at a council gritting yard as hospital mortuaries reach full capacity.
The refrigeration unit, tucked away in a corner of the site, is under 24-hour guard.
Dead bodies are being stored in make-shift morgues across the UK including a grit depot Credit: Simon Jones 3
The refrigeration unit, tucked away in a corner of the site, is under 24-hour guard Credit: Not known, clear with picture deskHospital vehicles were seen delivering and collecting the dead from the nearest hospital, which is a 15-minute drive away in Salisbury, Wilts.
Two other units have been set up at Royal Liverpool Hospital.
Temporary morgues '-- typically inside 40ft shipping containers and each holding about 35 bodies '-- were last seen during the height of the pandemic, when there were at least 1,000 deaths a day.
Although not at that rate, bleak figures showed Christmas week was the deadliest in England and Wales for almost two years.
There were more than 1,600 deaths above the norm as the cold weather, surging flu infections and long waits for ambulances and in A&E combined to raise mortality rates by a fifth.
It was the third week running when there were more than 1,000 excess deaths in England and Wales.
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine claimed the spike in deaths was undoubtedly linked to record delays for urgent care.
It said: ''If you can't get an ambulance to someone who's having a heart attack or a stroke, then some of those patients may die as a result.''
College president Adrian Boyle said the death rates were ''shockingly high''.
He added: ''Our own analysis indicates that an estimated 300 to 500 patients are dying per week across the UK associated with long waiting times in emergency departments.
''This is awful, distressing and completely unacceptable.''
Yesterday 999 call handlers joined paramedics in a second day of strikes in the ambulance service, with an estimated 25,000 staff on the picket line.
It came days after bosses at the Human Tissue Authority, which regulates the storage of bodies, issued a national alert about ''mortuary capacity issues''.
It said organisations must ensure they had contingency plans.
Last week one refrigeration unit, housed in a grey container, was delivered to High Post Salt Store just outside Salisbury.
Health bosses requested use of the site to take corpses from Salisbury District Hospital, where the morgue is understood to be full.
The gritter site is adjacent to a business park, home to a car parts company, a gym and an art supply business. It is also a short distance from an 18-hole golf course.
Joyce Robins, founder of Patient Concern, said: ''It's all very disappointing. It's the sort of thing that should be planned for.
''Putting them in a gritting yard makes it look like we just don't care about these people when they die. It's terribly sad for the families. A bit of respect is what we need.''
Last week one refrigeration unit, housed in a grey container, was delivered to High Post Salt Store just outside Salisbury Credit: Simon JonesLast night, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust said: ''We can confirm that we have opened additional mortuary capacity to accommodate an increase in need across the local community.
''Our mortuary service operates to the national standards treating the deceased and loved ones with dignity and respect at all times regardless of location. All our additional capacity provides privacy and has 24/7 security.''
The two units at the Royal Liverpool were also delivered last week and set up on hospital grounds.
According to its website, the hospital morgue deals with about 2,000 deaths annually but it is believed to be at capacity.
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Liverpool Hospital, said: ''It is common practice for mortuaries to have purpose-built temporary systems available.
''This ensures that patients continue to be treated with dignity and respect, in facilities which are equivalent to a permanent mortuary, during periods of increased demand. Two of these systems, which meet standards set out by the Human Tissue Authority, have been deployed at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.''
As well as having round-the-clock security, staff at both sites are under strict instructions to monitor the units, ensuring the temperature inside stays between 4C and 7C.
Both NHS England and the Department of Health refused to comment.
EU Excess Deathes
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:08
EuroMOMO pooled estimates show an elevated level of excess mortalityThis week's pooled EuroMOMO estimates of all-cause mortality for the participating European countries show elevated level of excess mortality, overall and in all age groups.
Data from 25 European countries or subnational regions were included in this week's pooled analysis of all-cause mortality.
Note on interpretation of data: The number of deaths shown for the three most recent weeks should be interpreted with caution, as adjustments for delayed registrations may be imprecise. Furthermore, results of pooled analyses may vary depending on countries included in the weekly analyses. Pooled analyses are adjusted for variation between the included countries and for differences in the local delay in reporting
Cautionary note on cumulated excess mortality reported by EuroMOMO for the pandemic yearsThe excess mortality is calculated by EuroMOMO every week as the difference between the observed number of deaths and the estimated expected number of deaths (the baseline). The cumulated excess mortality is shown for each calendar year by week and is calculated by adding up the weekly excess number of deaths over the weeks of surveillance.
Because of the unexpected and varying mortality experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the calculated baseline applied in the EuroMOMO estimation of excess number of deaths do not include data from 2020 and onwards, as these data will distort the estimated level of baseline number of deaths.
Due to the exclusion of data from the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend incorporated in the statistical estimation of the baseline are presently forecasted beyond the intended duration. This prolonged forecast has introduced an increasing bias over time, which can cause incorrect estimations of the excess mortality, particularly when the numbers are cumulated.
Because of this enhanced bias when cumulating data, the cumulated outputs should not be considered reliable at this point and must be interpreted very cautiously. An example is number of deaths in the age group 0-14 years, where the EuroMOMO countries in the years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic experienced a decrease in mortality. The model extends this declining baseline mortality in a linear fashion. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a mean of 361 deaths per week in this age group. In week 40, 2022, there is approximately 8.5% bias due to this linear trend meaning that the expected number of deaths (the baseline) is predicted to be 29 deaths lower than in week 1, 2020. This means that even though the number of reported weekly deaths is equal in week 40, 2022 and week 1, 2020, the lower baseline in week 40, 2022 means that there will be 29 deaths higher excess mortality in this week. When cumulating the weekly number of excess deaths, this bias due to the extension of the linear trend in the baseline gets high and may therefore lead to incorrect estimates. During the COVID-19 pandemic the lock-down period (week 1, 2020 to week 21, 2021) had a mean of 326 deaths per week and the following period (week 22, 2021 to week 40, 2022) had a mean of 345 deaths per week which both are lower than the average of 361 deaths per week observed in the period before the COVID-19 pandemic (week 1, 2018 to week 52, 2019). In other words, the EuroMOMO mortality surveillance system does actually not detect more deaths among the 0 to 14-years old during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic than in the period before the COVID-19 pandemic, even if the cumulated outputs reported on the EuroMOMO website suggest so.
In summary, the bias in the weekly estimates of excess number of deaths are still relatively small and considered to be within reasonable and acceptable levels to be used in accordance with its initial purpose, i.e. evaluating weekly changes in mortality.
The EuroMOMO hub, together with the participating countries, are working on solutions to mitigate the bias; however, a revised model is not expected to be ready for use in 2022.
Note about data from UkraineThe EuroMOMO hub regrets to inform that weekly data from Ukraine will not be provided in the coming period, due to the current war in Ukraine.
About EuroMOMO network data sharing and collaborationDuring the current COVID-19 pandemic, information on its mortality impact is of major concern. The EuroMOMO network hub receives many questions about the weekly mortality data we present, as well as requests to share the underlying national data. While the network fully supports data sharing, the network hub is not mandated by the participating countries to release any national data. If you are interested in accessing national data, please approach countries individually.
The EuroMOMO network welcomes collaboration with external partners, e.g. about additional analyses and modelling to be performed. If you are interested in engaging with the network about any such collaboration, please forward your ideas to the hub, for wider sharing and dialogue with the network.
Kindly note that any use of data or information originating from the EuroMOMO website must be appropriately quoted and acknowledged.
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes attempted to flee US, prosecutors claim - BBC News
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 01:25
Image source, Getty Images Image caption, Elizabeth Holmes launched Theranos after dropping out of Stanford University at age 19
By Madeline Halpert
BBC News, New York
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes attempted to flee the US shortly after her conviction on fraud charges last year, prosecutors claim.
According to a new court filing, the 38-year-old bought a one-way ticket to Mexico last January.
"Only after the government raised this unauthorised flight... was the trip cancelled," prosecutors said.
Holmes was convicted for defrauding investors in her blood testing start-up that was once valued at $9bn (£7.5bn).
The former Silicon Valley star falsely claimed the technology could diagnose disease with just a few drops of blood. But it did not work and - facing multiple lawsuits - the company was dissolved in 2018.
The latest court filing, which was submitted on Thursday, also said Holmes's partner had bought a one-way ticket to Mexico.
"The government anticipates [Holmes] will note in reply that she did not in fact leave the country as scheduled - but it is difficult to know with certainty what [she] would have done had the government not intervened," prosecutors said.
The BBC has contacted a lawyer for Holmes to request comment.
Holmes was convicted in early January 2022 of defrauding investors, and then sentenced in November to more than 11 years in prison. During her sentencing hearing, she was ordered to self-surrender to prison on 27 April this year.
But she appealed her conviction shortly after and is asking a judge to let her remain free beyond April while her appeal is heard in federal court. That process could take a year.
Her lawyers also claimed Holmes would raise "substantial questions" that could warrant a new trial.
The latest court filing in California said Holmes has been paying $13,000 (£10,500) a month to live on an estate as her appeal is heard.
Prosecutors want her to surrender as planned in April. "The time has come for Elizabeth Holmes to answer for her crimes committed nearly a decade ago," they said. "There are not two systems of justice - one for the wealthy and one for the poor."
A judge will hear her motion to delay her prison sentence pending appeal on 17 March.
Holmes launched Theranos after dropping out of Stanford University at age 19. The company's value skyrocketed after executives claimed it could bring about a revolution in disease diagnosis.
The rise and fall of the start-up was chronicled in several popular podcasts and TV shows, including a Hulu series called The Dropout, with Amanda Seyfried starring as Holmes.
Holmes's business partner, Sunny Balwani, the former president of Theranos, was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison in December.
Holmes has apologised for her business "failings" and said she has "felt deep pain for what people went through, because I failed them".
Media caption, The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes
Story of cities #37: how radical ideas turned Curitiba into Brazil's 'green capital' | Cities | The Guardian
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 23:45
I n the late 1960s, Bras­lia cast a long shadow across Brazil. Built from scratch in just four years, the city was a symbol of modern, rational, functional planning. ''President Kubitschek wanted to build a new capital,'' architect Oscar Niemeyer said in a BBC interview. ''He wanted a city that would represent Brazil. So I dedicated myself to finding a new solution, something that would attract attention.''
Niemeyer, along with the architect Lºcio Costa, designed the city to look like a bird in flight '' a network of highways in the wings, and the administrative offices in its head. Among political elites, if not all architecture critics, Bras­lia was viewed as a triumph over Brazil's urban chaos.
A thousand miles to the south in the city of Curitiba, capital of the agricultural state of Paran, urban planners were hard at work replicating the Bras­lia model. New lanes would be added to Curitiba's downtown roads, with historic buildings demolished to make room for them. A new viaduct would link with the central square at Rua Quinze de Novembro to ease traffic congestion.
''But we said no!'' exclaims Jaime Lerner. The former mayor of Curitiba is speaking over the phone from his office in Curitiba, where he now directs his eponymous private architecture firm. Back then, Lerner was a recently graduated architecture student, leading a movement against the existing mayor's vision of a Curitiba for cars. ''We were starting to lose our history, our identity,'' he says.
Alden Square in Curitiba. One of Lerner's first major projects as mayor was to pedestrianise parts of the city. Photograph: Alamy Over the next two decades '' first as planner, then as mayor '' Lerner would develop a radically different vision for Curitiba: ''It was a change in the conception of the city. Working, moving, living leisure ... we planned for everything together. Most cities in South America separate urban functions '' by income, by age. Curitiba was the first city that, in its first decisions, brought everything together.''
Today, while Bras­lia is viewed as a white elephant city, Curitiba has become the gold standard in sustainable urban planning: variously the ''green capital'', the ''greenest city on Earth'', and the ''most innovative city in the world''.
''Curitiba is not a paradise,'' Lerner insists. ''But it is a model for many cities in the world. Why?'' He takes a long, dramatic pause: ''Because in about two decades, a few young professionals made some very important changes.''
From chaos to creativity
Curitiba is an unlikely setting for such radical innovation. For centuries, the city was little more than an outpost for travellers moving between S£o Paulo and the surrounding agricultural regions. Curitiba was the ''sleeping city'', a place where cattle drivers would hibernate in the winter en route to their next destination.
When a wave of European immigration hit southern Brazil, Curitiba's sleepy farmland was an obvious attraction. Germans arrived in the 1830s, Polish and Italians arrived in the 1870s, and Ukrainians two decades later. Each group occupied a section of the city, developing their own local industries and beginning to populate the downtown area with churches, shops and restaurants.
Jaime Lerner was mayor of Curitiba three times. Photograph: Alamy By the 1940s, however, Curitiba's growth was impossible to contain. The mechanisation of soybean production pushed Paran's agricultural workers off their land and into the city. Between 1940 and 1960, the city's population more than doubled '' from 140,000 to 360,000 residents. Curitiba was quickly becoming the archetypal Brazilian mid-size city. Favelas grew around its periphery; cars jammed into its centre.
Curitiba's planners could do little to regulate their city's chaos. In 1964, following Brazil's military coup, mayor Ivo Arzua solicited a new masterplan to guide Curitiba toward growth, order, and extra room for the automobile. Over the course of several months, his government held a series of seminars known as ''Curitiba of Tomorrow'', seeking to convince the public on the merits of the new masterplan.
''But as usual, from 1965 to 1970, nothing happened,'' says Jonas Rabinovitch, a UN senior adviser and former planner at the Curitiba Research and Urban Planning Institute (IPPUC). Despite Arzua's best intentions the plan remained in the drawer, and the IPPUC, set up in 1965 to implement this masterplan, remained largely idle. ''The institute was basically colouring paper, producing plans, examining studies,'' Rabinovitch says.
Lerner and a team of architects at the IPPUC were, however, determined to turn this tide '' ''and they started at the exact right time,'' according to Rabinovitch. ''Had they waited 10 or 15 more years, it could have been too late for Curitiba.''
Under the new military regime, Lerner was appointed mayor, and the IPPUC moved into the driving seat: ''When Jaime became mayor, the plan finally began to transform into a reality,'' Rabinovitch says.
Lerner's first project in 1972 earned him an early reputation as an enforcer. He proposed transforming the Rua Quinze de Novembro from an automobile thoroughfare into a pedestrian mall. ''At first, the shopkeepers were furious with the mayor,'' Rabinovitch says. ''People had the habit of stopping their cars in front of the stores, buying what they wanted, and then getting back into their cars. But that meant that when the shops closed down, the city centre was dead.''
The shopkeepers organised resistance to the new plan, and resolved to file an injunction to stop it '' a typical tactic for arresting the implementation of urban projects in Brazil.
Curitiba became a model for quality public transport, with policies including the rapid bus transit system. Photograph: Alamy ''Every time, you always have a big resistance,'' Lerner says. ''When we first proposed the project, we tried to convince the merchants. We showed them designs, information ... it was a big discussion. Then we realised we had to have a demonstration effect.''
So Lerner took the plan to his director of public works, saying: ''I need this [built] in 48 hours ... He looked at me and asked, 'Are you crazy? It will take at least four months.'''
If you want creativity, cut one zero from the budget. If you want sustainability, cut two zeros!Regardless, Lerner and his team '' impatient, wily or both '' prepared to begin work at sundown that very Friday, waiting only until after the city's courthouse had closed so that shopkeepers could no longer file their injunction.
''If I'd received a juridical demand to stop the project, we would never have made it,'' Lerner recalls. ''So we finished in 72 hours '' Friday night to Monday night. And at the end, one of the merchants who wrote the petition to stop the work told me: 'Keep this petition as a souvenir, because now we want the whole street, the whole sector pedestrianised!'''
The project encapsulates Lerner's planning philosophy: act now, adjust later. ''We had to work fast to avoid our own bureaucracy, and to avoid our own insecurity, because sometimes we start to think: 'That's a good idea but I cannot make it happen.' So the key issue in Curitiba was to start '' we had the courage to start.''
When I press Lerner on the political implications of this kind of strong-arming '' which some have described as a ''technocratic approach without participation'' '' he has a ready response: ''Democracy is not consensus. Democracy is a conflict that is well managed. It's about how you manage that conflict '' sometimes for the minority, sometimes for the majority. But it has to happen.''
Today Curitiba boasts more than 50 sq metres of green space per person. Photograph: AlamyGuided by this learning-by-doing philosophy, Curitiba became a laboratory for urban planning innovation. In 1974, Lerner and the IPPUC introduced a new street design that provided express lanes for buses. Passengers would board from new stations along the medians of the city's main streets, so that buses could move uninterrupted through the city.
At the time, most planners were calling for the development of extensive subway systems as the cutting-edge mode of urban transport. But Lerner was '' and remains '' a major advocate of surface transport, while critical of subway projects that drain public funds and disrupt city life. As one of his most oft-cited sayings goes: ''If you want creativity, cut one zero from the budget. If you want sustainability, cut two zeros!''
With the new bus transit scheme, public ridership grew steadily, as buses became both the cheapest and fastest mode of transport. But Lerner and his planners were not satisfied. In the late 1980s, he observed that the inflow and outflow of passengers was dragging the speed of the bus at each station.
Three innovations followed: a new system of raised platforms (the futuristic ''tube'' station system for which Curitiba has grown famous) that allow passengers to move straight from the station into the bus without the hassle of stairs; longer buses to add extra capacity to the fleet; and a system of pre-payment so that bus drivers do not have to issue tickets and collect money on the go.
Curitiba's futuristic 'tube' station system for buses. Photograph: AlamyThe impact was marked: today, roughly 85% of Curitiba uses the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). ''It's about creating a complete network,'' Lerner explains. ''We are transporting two million each day, while the London subway carries three million.'' His pride in the system is clear: ''We started BRT in 1974; now 300 cities around the world are using it.''
For Lerner and his team, the social implications for the city were all-important. ''We realised people were taking such a long time to get to the city centre,'' Rabinovitch says. ''So the idea was to incorporate the essential features of a subway system '' and in doing that, people coming from the periphery were spending 20 to 25 minutes less per journey.''
Other projects have built on this social mission. Under the Green Exchange programme, developed by Lerner's assistant Nicolau Kl¼ppel in 1989, Curitiba residents trade trash for tokens '' four pounds of trash for a pound of produce. Today, 90% of the city participates in its recycling programme, and more than 10,000 residents make use of the trash-for-tokens exchange. Where most cities develop mountains in landfills along the periphery, Curitiba recycles 70% of its garbage. ''We can't have landfills forever, and we can't ask others to accept our trash,'' Lerner said. ''Garbage removal is a citizen responsibility.''
Alongside these efforts to clean the city were new programmes to green it. Back in 1971, Curitiba had only one park at the Passeio Pºblico downtown; today it has more than 50 sq metres of green space per person '' compared to neighbouring Buenos Aires's two per person. Lerner and his team were aggressive in developing parks and city gardens, and in protecting the city's main river Iguacu from being channelised along concrete walls.
According to Lerner: 'When you look at the parks the architecture is just great, because it is silent architecture.' Photograph: AlamyLerner focuses less on these big projects, however, than on the smallest details of sustainable planning. ''If you visit Curitiba, the private architecture is normal '' some terrible buildings, some good ones. But when you look at the parks, the architecture is just great, because it is silent architecture. We bought treated, wooden poles from the energy company and used them for all the architecture in the parks '' so, existing tree poles could substitute concrete poles ... Like I said, if you want creativity, cut some zeros!''
A sustainable future
Among many observers, Curitiba's list of accolades generates some suspicion. Can it all be true? Did Curitiba really avoid so many pitfalls of planning in Latin America?
The short answer, according to Bill McKibben '' an environmentalist and author who writes extensively on the city in Hope, Human, and Wild '' is yes: ''Curitibanos were cynical themselves, and somewhat introverted '' they are not the gregarious Brazilians of Rio or Recife. But against their own conservatism, they came to like their city a lot.''
''Many people ask me about how Curitiba did all this,'' says Rabinovitch. ''They say the population of Curitiba is more educated, or more European. But what we usually say is that the population is not made by Swiss clockmakers. Up to 8% of Curitiba still lives in favelas; it is not a socio-economic island within the Brazilian context.''
Yet for Rabinovitch and many others, Curitiba still offers inspiration: ''When I go to visit my mother-in-law in Jardim das Americas, I can see parakeets, birds, trees in her backyard. In other Brazilian capitals, this doesn't happen '' growth was unplanned, and uncontrollable.''
Since Lerner's departure, Curitiba has begun a backslide that threatens its status as the singular case of enlightened planning. Car-use is up, bike- and bus-use down, and crime statistics continue to linger around national averages.
Yet Curitiba's early accomplishments remain. ''Administrations change, people change, leaders change. But there is still ownership by the population,'' says Rabinovitch. ''The city centre is already preserved. No one would be so crazy as to eliminate the pedestrian streets now, or to pull down the old buildings and construct high-rises, as they were doing in the 60s and 70s.''
''Politics is about providing a collective dream,'' Lerner says, ''and creating a scenario that everyone can understand and see is desirable. Then they will help you make it happen.''
Does your city have a little-known story that made a major impact on its development? Please share it in the comments below or on Twitter using #storyofcities
Japan to lower COVID-19 to seasonal flu status | Toronto Sun
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 19:51
The move that would further relax mask wearing and other preventive measures
Author of the article:
Associated Press
Mari Yamaguchi
Published Jan 20, 2023 ' Last updated 1 day ago ' 2 minute read
7 Comments Visitors wearing protective face masks walk under decorations for the New Year at Nakamise street leading to Senso-ji temple at Asakusa district, a popular sightseeing spot, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, Japan, January 9, 2023. Photo by Issei Kato / REUTERSTOKYO '-- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday announced plans to downgrade the legal status of COVID-19 to the equivalent of seasonal influenza in the spring, a move that would further relax mask wearing and other preventive measures as the country seeks to return to normalcy.
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Kishida said he has instructed experts and government officials to discuss the details on lowering COVID-19's status. A change would also remove self-isolation rules and other anti-virus requirements and allow COVID-19 patients to seek treatment at any hospital instead of only specialized facilities.
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''In order to return to our ordinary daily life in Japan while pursuing measures to adapt to living with the coronavirus, we will study concrete measures to gradually move on to a next step,'' Kishida said.
In Japan, COVID-19 is currently categorized as a Class 2 disease, along with SARS and tuberculosis, and is subject to restricting movements of patients and their close contacts, while allowing central and local governments to issue emergency measures. Downgrading it to Class 5 would mean scrapping those rules.
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The planned change would mark a major turning point in Japan's COVID-19 policy toward normalizing social and economic activities.
The move, however, comes as Japan faces widespread infections and record levels of deaths in what is considered its eighth wave of outbreak since the pandemic began three years ago.
According to the Health Ministry, daily deaths totaled a record high of 503 last Saturday. Experts say the latest increase could be linked to worsening chronic illnesses among older patients.
Downgrading the legal status of COVID-19 under the infectious disease law could remove ongoing hospitalization and self-isolation rules and help to free up hospital beds reserved for COVID-19 patients, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters.
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The idea is to create a system where COVID-19 can be treated as part of ordinary medical services, he said. But he cautioned: ''Changing its classification doesn't mean coronavirus is gone. We still need everyone to take voluntary measures by using masks and precautions.''
Kato said mask wearing is unnecessary outdoors now and that indoor use would also be eased once the downgrade is in place.
Kato said it will require some adjustments for people, workplaces, municipalities and hospitals, and declined to set an exact timeline, other than to say it would occur in ''the spring.''
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Details are still being worked out but the cost of COVID-19 treatments and vaccinations are expected to still be covered by the government for now.
Japan last fall stopped requiring COVID-19 tests for entrants who had at least three shots '-- part of the country's careful easing of measures after virtually closing its borders to foreign tourists for about two years.
Japan is now reporting known daily cases of between 100,000 and 200,000.
Adam Curry to Joe Rogan ''You're going to need a Bitcoin, at least one'' - YouTube
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 16:48
Dr. Peterson Pierre: No Life Insurance Payouts for the "Vaccinated"
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 16:10
Dr. Peterson Pierre: No Life Insurance Payouts for the "Vaccinated"
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Meat cultivated from cow cells is kosher, Israel's chief rabbi rules | The Straits Times
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 15:52
January 20, 2023 at 3:50 AM
January 20, 2023 at 3:49 AM
JERUSALEM - Israel's chief rabbi has given a kosher stamp of approval this week to a company looking to sell steak grown from cow cells - while effectively taking the animal itself out of the equation.
Cultivated meat, grown from animal cells in a laboratory or manufacturing plant, has been getting a lot of attention as a way to sidestep the environmental toll of the meat industry and address concerns over animal welfare.
This method, however, has raised questions over religious restrictions, like kashrut in Judaism or Islam's halal.
Jewish dietary law designates kosher meat as having come from a cow slaughtered in accordance with ritual - and requires that it be kept and consumed separately from dairy.
Chief Rabbi David Lau weighed in on the issue for the first time, telling the Israeli firm Aleph Farms, which last year closed a US$105 million (S$138 million) funding round co-led by Abu Dhabi's ADQ, that the cultivated thin-cut steaks it hopes to start selling this year are indeed kosher.
Aleph Farms says it collects sample cells from a living animal and then grows more in a cultivator that mimics conditions in the animal's body. This is different from popular plant-based alternatives that do not have animal origins.
In an 11-page letter dated Jan 17 to the company outlining the production process and referencing Jewish legal precedent, Rabbi Lau said the product falls into the category of ''parve'' - meaning neither meat nor dairy.
But he required it be clearly marketed as a meat alternative to avoid confusion with conventional meats.
While the decision was specific for Aleph Farm's process, it sets a foundation for others. A spokesman for Rabbi Lau said they have received similar requests from a number of companies.
Aleph Farm chief executive officer Didier Toubia called the Rabbi's ruling a ''benchmark, a reference-point for many other kosher organisations in Israel and abroad.''
And beyond that, Mr Toubia said, it was a first step that will hopefully be followed by certification in the much bigger halal food market and even approval for Hindus, many of whom consider cows holy and do not eat beef.
Aleph Farms, which has actor Leonardo DiCaprio as an advisory board member, hopes to start selling its cultured thin-cut steaks to Israeli restaurants this year, pending approval by the Health Ministry, and in Singapore.
It is working on approval from the US Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration ahead of an expected rollout there next year. REUTERS
Ukraine War: Zelensky adviser resigns over Dnipro remarks - BBC News
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 15:36
Image source, Getty Images Image caption, Mr Arestovych initially said Ukraine air defences appeared responsible for Saturday's deadly strikes, before rowing back
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych has offered his resignation after suggesting a Russian missile which hit a building in Dnipro, killing 44 people, was shot down by Kyiv.
Mr Arestovych apologised and said he had made a "fundamental error".
The original remark caused widespread anger in the country, and was used by Russian officials to blame Ukraine.
The adviser is a well-known figure because of his daily updates on YouTube, watched by millions.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has not yet commented on Mr Arestovych's decision to resign.
Hours after Saturday's missile strike hit an apartment building in Dnipro, Mr Arestovych initially said it appeared that the Russian missile had fallen on the building after it was shot down by Ukrainian air defences.
Ukraine said the building was hit by a Russian Kh-22 missile, which it does not have the capability to shoot down and is reportedly extremely inaccurate.
Ukrainians reacted angrily to Mr Arestovych's initial comments, with some accusing him of strengthening the position of Russian propagandists. Some Ukrainian parliamentarians signed a petition calling for Mr Arestovych to be dismissed as a government official.
He later posted a letter tendering his resignation and said he had made a "fundamental error".
"I offer my sincere apologies to the victims and their relatives, the residents of Dnipro and everyone who was deeply hurt by my prematurely erroneous version of the reason for the Russian missile striking a residential building," he wrote in a longer post on Telegram.
Mr Arestovych is one of the most public Ukrainian faces of the war, using his YouTube channel to hold daily discussions on issues related to the conflict. The channel has more than 1.6 million subscribers, and his videos often have more than 200,000 views. Unusually for Ukrainian officials, he speaks in Russian rather than Ukrainian.
Before his resignation offer, his comments had been used by Russian officials to blame Kyiv for the strike.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian attacks "do not strike residential buildings" and suggested it was caused by Ukrainian air defences, a conclusion he said had also been reached by "some representatives of the Ukrainian side".
Ukrainian officials have so far said that at least 44 people died in Saturday's strikes with several others missing, and that there is "minimal" chance of finding others alive.
Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa were also hit on Saturday in attacks which Moscow said were targeted at Ukraine's military and energy infrastructure.
Roe Was Never Roe After All - The Atlantic
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 13:55
The landmark decision never gave women the rights that people wanted to believe it did.
Joanne Imperio / The Atlantic; Getty; Library of Congress*January 21, 2023, 7:05 AM ETTomorrow will mark 50 years since Roe v. Wade was decided, but the landmark ruling did not make it to its semicentennial, having been overturned by Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization last summer. Many people viewed this as the end of abortion rights in America. But that's not what it was. Both practically and theoretically, Roe was never the guarantor of those rights that people believed it to be.
The ''Roe'' that has occupied the center of the abortion debate for decades bears only a passing resemblance to anything the Supreme Court said in 1973. Roe has become much more than a legal text; it's a cultural symbol created not only by judges but by voters, politicians, and grassroots movements. And the history of America's fixation on Roe is a story not just about the power of the Supreme Court, but about how the Court alone does not'--and should not'--dictate what the Constitution says.
Mary Ziegler: If the Supreme Court can reverse Roe, it can reverse anything
In 1973, a Supreme Court stacked with Republican nominees handed down a 7''2 decision holding that the constitutional right to privacy was broad enough to protect an abortion choice made by a ''woman and her responsible physician.'' The text of Roe would be deeply foreign to almost anyone who reads it today. Justice Harry Blackmun's majority opinion spoke mostly about the prerogatives of doctors, not women, and breezily dismissed the idea that ''one has an unlimited right to do with one's body as one pleases.'' Ultimately, the Court's ruling did not so much embrace a sweeping notion of women's rights as it made regulating abortion harder, at least during the first trimester.
From the beginning, many people celebrated Roe as a feminist triumph, especially for women of color, who generally suffered most when abortion was a crime. But life under Roe was in some ways disappointing for those who believed in abortion rights'--or, in many cases, for those who sought an abortion. In 1976, Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, which banned Medicaid reimbursement for abortion, and in 1980, the Supreme Court upheld it. Already, less than a decade after the Court's decision, the right to choose abortion was functionally out of reach for some of the nation's poorest women.
The gap between the fantasy and the reality of Roe grew wider after 1992, when the Supreme Court functionally overruled key parts of its 1973 decision and made a new precedent, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the law of the land. Under Casey, states could regulate abortion as long as a law did not have the purpose or effect of creating a substantial obstacle for those seeking abortion'--a standard that seemed relatively easy to satisfy (the Court struck down only one of the many restrictions before it in Casey). After Casey, states passed an ever-growing number of restrictions, some of which the Court upheld. And yet even after the Court had wiped part of Roe away, Americans kept believing that Roe ruled everything, and they kept arguing over it'--promising to undo its legacy or codify it.
Grassroots movements developed new ideas about what Roe ought to stand for. The leader of one reproductive-justice group formed by women of color argued that Roe had ''never fully protected Black women'--or poor women.'' Anti-abortion activists made Roe a symbol of ''judicial activism'' and jump-started conversations about the legitimacy of the federal courts. Roe may have been on the books, but it never settled debates about abortion'--or even its own meaning'--in any significant way.
Jerusalem Demsas: The fate of states' rights after Roe
The Dobbs decision echoed common anti-abortion-rights talking points about Roe being an undemocratic decision, and even repeated the argument that Roe resembled Plessy v. Ferguson, the notorious case that upheld racial segregation. In the Court's opinion, Justice Samuel Alito also seemed interested in ending constitutional conversations about abortion once and for all, rejecting not only the arguments raised in Roe and Casey but also a rationale for abortion rights based on sex equality that was neither briefed by the petitioner or respondent nor a part of either Roe or Casey.
Since Dobbs came down, constitutional conflicts about abortion have only multiplied. Abortion-rights supporters have pursued what reporters call ''mini Roes'' in state supreme courts, asking for the recognition of state constitutional rights. Six ballot initiatives have put the question directly to voters, and many more will likely follow. State lawmakers will have their say on what reproductive rights ought to mean'--and whether it's constitutional to apply one state's laws to what happens in another, or to criminalize information about abortion. Maybe (though it's unlikely) Congress will pass a federal bill recognizing either an abortion right or fetal protections. All of these efforts make explicit something that had been clear to anyone looking closely enough while Roe was good law: Americans' rights don't come just from the Supreme Court. Even when the Court intervenes, it often'--as in Dobbs'--responds to political pressures and decades of fighting between grassroots groups and political parties. And sometimes our rights have nothing to do with the federal courts'--they are also the result of state or federal legislation, state constitutional rulings, and ballot-initiative decisions passed by ordinary voters.
Roe's legacy is complex, and its aftereffects'--on partisan politics, on fights about the separation of powers, and on battles about gender'--will be felt for years to come. Those who support abortion rights may experience this anniversary as a loss. But they should look to history for the lesson Samuel Alito, the author of Dobbs, will soon learn'--the lesson that Harry Blackmun had to learn years ago: The Court does not get the final word, even on the meaning of its own most important decisions.
*Lead image: Illustration by Joanne Imperio. Sources: Bettmann / Getty; Bill Peters / Getty; Cheriss May / Getty; Erin Schaff-Pool / Getty; Ferrell, Scott J. / Library of Congress; Keystone / Getty; Kyle Rivas / Getty; Mark Reinstein / Getty; Ron Sachs / Getty; Yvonne Hemsey / Getty
Breez | SDK
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 20:16
Lightning as a Service Breez wants to help you thrive in the P2P Lightning economy. That's why we're developing this SDK. It's the easiest way to tailor Lightning to your own environment, letting your users send and receive P2P bitcoin payments directly from your app.
The Breez SDK enables mobile developers to integrate Lightning and bitcoin payments into their apps with a very shallow learning curve. The use cases are endless '' from social apps that want to integrate tipping between users to content-creation apps interested in adding bitcoin monetization. Crucially, this SDK is an end-to-end, non-custodial, drop-in solution powered by Greenlight, a built-in LSP, on-chain interoperability, third-party fiat on-ramps, and other services users and operators need.
Become a Design Partner
It's End-to-end Including built-in liquidity services, on-chain interoperability, and third-party fiat on-ramps
It's Interoperable Multiple apps can interact with the same user node
It's Frictionless No KYC is required, lowering barriers to adoption
It's Effortless Integrate Lightning payments into your app with just a few lines of code
It's Trustless Breez's non-custodial infrastructure never takes possession of users' funds
It's Global Our P2P solution avoids regulatory hurdle
Podcast Index Statistics, visualized
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 20:14
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CIA director briefed Zelensky on US expectations for Russia's battlefield planning | CNN Politics
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 13:43
CNN '--
CIA Director Bill Burns briefed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv last week on the US' expectations for Russia's battlefield planning in the spring, according to a US official and two Ukrainian sources familiar with the meeting.
The secret meeting comes as US officials are closely monitoring a potential Russian offensive in the coming months '' and in the midst of a fraught debate between the US and its European allies over whether to send increasingly sophisticated and long-range weaponry to Ukraine. Western defense leaders are scheduled to meet Friday to discuss further weapons shipments to Ukraine.
''Director Burns traveled to Kyiv where he met with Ukrainian intelligence counterparts as well as President Zelensky and reinforced our continued support for Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression,'' a US official said in a statement.
The Washington Post first reported the meeting.
Burns, a veteran diplomat, has become a trusted interlocutor in Kyiv, and last week's trip was not his first. He made two known back-to-back trips to Kyiv in October and November of last year, including one that took place amid a spate of Russian missile strikes across the country.
The winter months have seen brutal fighting on the front lines, particularly around the city of Bakhmut, but no major strategic gains by either side. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, speaking at the Davos World Economic Forum on Wednesday, called it ''not a stalemate but really a grinding conflict at this stage.''
But both sides are thought to be girding for potential offensives in the spring and Kyiv has continued to press the United States and its Western allies for more support in its fight to beat back Russia. One Ukrainian source emphasized to CNN that Kyiv has become concerned about the pace of weapons supplies to Ukraine '' a growing fear as Republicans, some of whom are skeptical of aid to Ukraine, have a majority in the US House of Representatives.
The Pentagon on Thursday announced a $2.5 billion security package for Ukraine '' the second largest ever announced by the United States. The aid featured for the first time Stryker combat vehicles and included more Bradley fighting vehicles.
The Biden administration, though, remains in a standoff with Germany over whether to send tanks to Ukraine, with German officials having indicated in recent days that they won't send their Leopard tanks to Ukraine, or allow any other country with the German-made tanks in their inventory to do so, unless the US also agrees to send its M1 Abrams tanks to Kyiv.
The Pentagon has said for months it has no intention of doing so given the logistical costs of maintaining them.
Spotify Pens Joint Letter Calling Apple 'Harmful' and 'Anti-Competitive,' Claims App Store Ruins Business - MacRumors
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 13:32
Spotify and eight companies and associations have written a letter to the EU Commission's executive vice president calling Apple a harmful, anti-competitive, and monopolistic company that must be regulated through "urgent action."
The letter, signed by the CEOs and heads of Basecamp, Deezer, Proton, Schibsted, Spotify, European Publishers Council (EPC), France Digitale, and News Media Europe, was sent to Margrethe Vestager of the EU. The letter urges the EU to take regulatory action and conclude an ongoing investigation triggered by Spotify against Apple's app distribution practices.
The group claims Apple's App Store has hindered their businesses and consistently makes it difficult for them to grow due to the platform's policies and its "capricious changes to terms and conditions."
For years, Apple has imposed unfair restrictions on our businesses. These restrictions hamper our development and harm European consumers. They include the tying of the App Store to Apple's proprietary payment system, with its excessive commissions for app developers; the creation of artificial obstacles that prevent our businesses from freely communicating with our customers; restrictions to developers' access to data of their own users; and capricious changes to terms and conditions. Apple benefits from a monopoly position over its mobile ecosystem and extracts exorbitant rents from app developers who have no choice but to remain on the App Store to reach European consumers.
"The time has come for urgent action from the EU to end Apple's abusive behaviors," the letter says, citing the newly passed Digital Markets Act (DMA) and calling for its swift enforcement. "The EU has the opportunity to take the lead, but it must act fast, as every day that passes is a loss for innovation and for the welfare of European consumers," it continues.
In April 2021, the EU published the Commission's Statement of Objections against Apple, outlining its findings after an investigation of unfair 'ŒApp Store'Œ practices. In the statement, the EU said Apple "abused its dominant position for the distribution of music streaming apps through its 'ŒApp Store'Œ" and that it takes issue with the "mandatory use of Apple's own in-app purchase mechanism imposed on music streaming app developers to distribute their apps." Now, the group of companies claims these alleged wrongdoings are experienced by "countless other app providers" and not just music streaming apps.
We therefore call for a rapid decision in the competition case against Apple for its illegal, anti-competitive behavior involving music streaming services. Many of the anti-competitive behaviors described in the Commission's Statement of Objections against Apple are felt not only by music streaming services but by countless other app providers who wish to offer goods and services via the iOS App Store. That Statement of Objections is nearly two years old and the abuses and consumer harm will continue until a remedy is enforced. Beyond the specific App Store case, the EU authorities urgently need to look at Apple's abusive behavior in other areas as well, such as publishing, web software, communications, and marketplaces.
Apple has been repeatedly accused of unfair and anti-competitive business practices in its 'ŒApp Store'Œ, with Spotify being one of the most vocal critics. In October, Spotify published a press release accusing Apple of damaging "Spotify's and other developers' abilities to provide a seamless user experience" and stated these restrictions "hurt both creators and consumers alike."
Although Spotify has been vocal about its disapproval of Apple's 'ŒApp Store'Œ, the music streaming service has neglected widespread requests to add HomePod support to its app, despite many of its competitors doing so. As a result, some Spotify customers have switched to other platforms, such as Apple Music. In an independent blog post on its website this week, Spotify said, "Apple has been enabled by the lack of decisive action by regulators, who continue to move hesitantly, even in the face of a groundswell of support."
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A difficult decision to set us up for the future
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 13:20
Sundar sent the following email to Google employees earlier today.
I have some difficult news to share. We've decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles. We've already sent a separate email to employees in the US who are affected. In other countries, this process will take longer due to local laws and practices.
This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with. I'm deeply sorry for that. The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.
Over the past two years we've seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.
I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI. To fully capture it, we'll need to make tough choices. So, we've undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company. The roles we're eliminating reflect the outcome of that review. They cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions.
To the Googlers who are leaving us: Thank you for working so hard to help people and businesses everywhere. Your contributions have been invaluable and we are grateful for them.
While this transition won't be easy, we're going to support employees as they look for their next opportunity.
In the US:
We'll pay employees during the full notification period (minimum 60 days).We'll also offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google, and accelerate at least 16 weeks of GSU vesting.We'll pay 2022 bonuses and remaining vacation time.We'll be offering 6 months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support for those affected.Outside the US, we'll support employees in line with local practices.As an almost 25-year-old company, we're bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important moments to sharpen our focus, reengineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.
Being constrained in some areas allows us to bet big on others. Pivoting the company to be AI-first years ago led to groundbreaking advances across our businesses and the whole industry.
Thanks to those early investments, Google's products are better than ever. And we're getting ready to share some entirely new experiences for users, developers and businesses, too. We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.
All this work is a continuation of the ''healthy disregard for the impossible'' that's been core to our culture from the beginning. When I look around Google today, I see that same spirit and energy driving our efforts. That's why I remain optimistic about our ability to deliver on our mission, even on our toughest days. Today is certainly one of them.
I'm sure you have many questions about how we'll move forward. We'll be organizing a town hall on Monday. Check your calendar for details. Until then, please take good care of yourselves as you absorb this difficult news. As part of that, if you are just starting your work day, please feel free to work from home today.
Federal agencies withholding data behind pilot heart condition change, COVID vax stroke reversal | Just The News
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 13:12
Federal agencies are withholding the data behind recent decisions that relate or may relate to COVID-19 vaccines and severe adverse events, fueling speculation that they are putting both vaccinated and unvaccinated lives at risk.
The Federal Aviation Administration told Just the News it widened the acceptable range of heart rhythms for commercial pilots, who were initially subject to industry-wide vaccine mandates, in light of "[n]ew scientific evidence" that it has yet to specify.
The Oct. 26 update to the heart arrhythmias section of the FAA Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners made two key changes.
The agency raised the maximum so-called PR interval for first-degree atrioventricular block to 300 milliseconds, with no regard to age, on the list of "normal variants" that don't require deferment in the absence of "symptoms or AME concerns."
For intervals longer than 300 ms, the FAA will make the call based on evaluations by examiners. The previous maximum PR interval for AV block was 210 milliseconds, but only in pilots under age 51.
FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor provided a modified version of the statement the agency released last spring after American Airlines pilot Robert Snow blamed his in-flight cardiac arrest on coerced vaccination.
Federal Air Surgeon Susan Northrup has deemed all U.S.-authorized COVID vaccines safe for pilots, the FAA said, claiming it had "seen no evidence" of vaccine-related complications that caused "aircraft accidents or pilot incapacitations."
The agency followed "standard processes based on data and science" to determine it could "safely raise the tolerance used to screen for a certain heart condition" and notified AMEs of the change. Gregor didn't respond to queries for the specific evidence.
Such representations may not assuage those who have more flight options. U.S. Freedom Flyers cofounder Joshua Yoder, whose group collects and analyzes adverse event reports from pilots, tweeted that "wealthy businessmen" have contacted him "looking for unvaccinated pilots."
Yoder started getting requests in fall 2021, "a mix of charter companies and private individuals who own personal jets," he wrote in an email. "I've spoken to 30 plus individuals myself and have also heard from an aircraft broker recently who told me he's receiving similar requests."
Sheumas McGonnegal, a self-described veteran in London, claimed his charter company had received such requests. He didn't answer Just the News requests for more details.
Vaccine-skeptic philanthropist Steve Kirsch, once courted by Democratic presidential hopefuls, called attention to the three-month-old FAA change Tuesday, claiming it showed the agency has conceded "the EKGs of pilots are no longer normal." He interviewed cardiologist Thomas Levy, who pointed Just the News to his Jan. 5 essay.
The FAA change is "arguably a shocking one, as many pilots are in the age range when heart attacks occur without any early symptoms but with a normal ECG, the ECG being the only mandatory heart-related test," Levy wrote. "A fatal heart attack from very advanced coronary artery disease could occur 10 minutes after the normal ECG was recorded."
The FAA declined to provide the "data and science" when Tucker Carlson asked for it in response to Kirsch's essay, the Fox News host said.
Military flight surgeon Theresa Long, who blew the whistle on a spike in possibly vaccine-related adverse events in a military medical database in 2021, told Carlson the expanded interval "does not improve safety" and called on Northrup to release the data.
She said the military requires annual EKGs of pilots regardless of age, in contrast to commercial pilots, who get EKGs at age 35 and then annually starting at 40, a problematic "five-year gap."
Other medical experts who are concerned about COVID vaccine side effects pushed back on the portrayal of the FAA change.
Former Ivy League epidemiologist Andrew Bostom, who was slated to lead a threatened class-action lawsuit against Twitter before Elon Musk's purchase, provided an "unhysterical review" Wednesday.
He cited a "classic" analysis from 2009 in the decades-old Framingham Heart Study, where he once worked as a cardiovascular epidemiologist.
Starting from a mean age of 46 and tracking pilots for 35 years '-- past their FAA-mandated retirement at 65 '-- the study suggests a 90-millisecond increase is associated with small annual increased risks for all-cause mortality (1%), atrial fibrillation (1.5%) and permanent pacemaker placement (3%), Bostom said.
A PR interval over 300 ms could be "a benign finding in isolation" that requires "clinical correlation," without which it "makes even less sense to revoke flight privilege," he wrote. Normal PR intervals rise with age, but a short-term rise above 350 ms could be cause for concern, Bostom told Just the News.
"The most likely explanation [for the change] is very benign and practical: the airlines are losing pilots by attrition," both before COVID and since vaccine mandates pushed them out, and the FAA "wanted to liberalize these unreasonable criteria," he wrote in an email. This is "much ado about nothing."
"The rate of progression to more advanced heart block is slow enough and rare enough that it would seem reasonable to allow pilots to fly with mild PR prolongation if you're doing an annual Ecg," tweeted Philadelphia cardiologist Anish Koka, who has highlighted research finding heart scarring in children after COVID vaccination but not infection.
Shortly after the CDC and FDA told the public Jan. 13 they found a signal for ischemic stroke in elderly recipients of Pfizer's bivalent vaccine, unidentified officials told The Washington Post the signal disappeared after the CDC used a "different methodology" to analyze the data in its Vaccine Safety Datalink system.
"[Y]ou can't just run different stat tests until you get the result you want," Johns Hopkins medical professor and National Academy of Sciences member Marty Makary wrote on Twitter. "Make the data public."
A CDC official told the Post that non-CDC officials, "including at the FDA," argued against publicizing the stroke signal because it could "fuel anti-vaccine sentiment and scare older Americans into avoiding the boosters." Makary blasted the FDA for "working so hard to sup[p]ress data."
The CDC didn't answer requests to respond to Makary's allegations or explain why it's withholding the VSD safety-signal data. The FDA didn't respond when asked to confirm the Post's reporting.
Macron issues warning on Europe's future -- Puppet Masters --
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 13:08
(C) Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during an award ceremony, at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris on January 17, 2023.
Europe has found itself in the throes of an "unprecedented crisis" over the Ukraine conflict, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday. He added that the continent has to choose whether it wants to be free or become totally dependent on either the US or China.
In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, the French leader noted that Europe's economic model was being "profoundly affected by the direct and indirect consequences of this war."
In terms of economics, the world is defined by the "polarity" between the US and China, and Europe has yet to decide whether it wants "to become the vassal of one of the two" or pursue the path of freedom and solidarity, Macron said.
While Europe has so far been unable to fully reply to this question, the answer is "an economically, technologically and militarily sovereign Europe. In other words, a truly powerful Europe," the French president stressed.
Macron believes that the crisis Europe is now experiencing also hinges on the fact that the continent has not fully "digested" the period after the end of the Cold War. The EU rushed to rapidly expand to the east in the belief that "the problems had been solved" once the Cold War ended, the French president said. Now, the EU has two groups of nations that have different views on the bloc's future, he said, adding that eastern Europe seeks more national autonomy within the EU, and "we have to know how to listen to them."
This crunch, however, is plaguing not only Europe but all Western democracies, which are "experiencing a kind of fatigue, a loss of collective references," Macron believes. The global capitalist system itself is in a crisis since it no longer lifts people out of poverty but only causes "inequalities to skyrocket," causing a "crisis of conscience for democracies," he added.
The French president has long championed the creation of a tighter European political community that would share democratic values and closely cooperate in energy, transport and security. Macron has also insisted that Europe should be less dependent on NATO and pursue "strategic autonomy" from the US-led military bloc.
Cold snap could cause strokes and heart attacks, doctors warn | UK News | Sky News
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 13:05
This week's cold snap could have a "serious impact on health", potentially leading to strokes and heart attacks, medics have warned.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is urging anyone with a pre-existing condition, and the elderly, to heat their homes to at least 18C if possible.
Treacherous conditions are possible until Friday, with temperatures "well below average for the time of year", the Met Office has said, the mercury dropping below zero overnight.
Find out the weather forecast where you are
It has yellow warnings in place for snow and ice covering northwest England and Northern Ireland until midday on Tuesday.
A similar warning covers large parts of northern Scotland until 9am on Wednesday, while there is a warning for ice in Devon and Cornwall for the first nine hours of Tuesday.
"Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly older people and those with pre-existing health conditions, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections," said the UKHSA's head of extreme events and health protection, Dr Agostinho Sousa.
Image: Pic: Met OfficeJason Kelly, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said ice is "likely to be a hazard for much of the week".
He added: "Cold, icy and sometimes snowy conditions are in the forecast with the UK seeing more of a northwesterly regime, with temperatures well below average for the time of year.
"Wintry showers are likely at points through the week in the north of England.
"Maximum temperatures will largely only reach the low single figures, with temperatures below freezing through most nights this week."
Image: Gulls on a snowy fence in HexhamPeople are advised to heat a living room during the day and their bedroom just before going to sleep.
Met Office senior meteorologist Alex Burkill said the weather will become "more changeable" on Friday ahead of "milder" conditions.
"By the weekend there will be a real upturn in temperatures," he added.
Google is delaying a portion of employee bonus checks
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 12:10
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at a panel at the CEO Summit of the Americas hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on June 09, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images
Google executives are deferring a portion of employees' year-end bonus checks, according to documents viewed by CNBC, as the company moves toward permanently pushing back payouts.
In past years, employees received their full bonuses in January. However, Google will pay qualifying full-time employees 80% of their bonus checks this month and the remaining 20% in March or April, the documents say.
Google described the January payout as an "advance" in correspondence to employees. Leadership said it will be a one-time change due to ''transition" of its employee-evaluation system and the altered timing for future bonuses.
"After 2023, full bonuses will be paid in March," the company said in the memo.
Following publication of this story, a Google spokesperson told CNBC in an email, "This one-time 80% bonus advance was extensively communicated to employees in May 2022 and in subsequent communications since, as part of the transition to our new performance management timeline."
The delayed payment comes as Google CEO Sundar Pichai seeks to reel in costs while still avoiding mass layoffs. Unlike large tech peers Meta , Microsoft and Amazon , Google parent Alphabet has thus far skirted significant job cuts and focused instead on eliminating lagging products and groups. Last week, Alphabet's Verily health sciences unit said it will cut headcount by 15%, accounting for about 240 lost jobs, and the company also reduced staff in its robotics unit Intrinsic.
In the latter part of 2022, Alphabet canceled the next generation of its Google Pixelbook laptop, slashed funding to its Area 120 in-house incubator and said it would be shuttering its digital gaming service Stadia. Pichai said in September he wants to make the company 20% more efficient.
Meanwhile, Google has been overhauling its performance ratings system. The company recently released new details, showing a larger number of employees will more easily fall into lower-rated categories, CNBC reported last month. Employees said they feared it could be used as a way to reduce headcount without conducting layoffs.
Internal Google employee memes take on company's bonus check deferrals.
Staffers also expressed concerns with the latest changes to bonus payments. Some told CNBC they weren't aware of the partial deferment, and said they received little help internally as they tried to search for answers.
One graphic on Memegen, an employee meme generator, showed a split screen of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, with a quote from Markle that's edited to say, ''Harry is adjusting great to Google'' next to an image of a disturbed-looking Prince Harry with the text ''Where the hell did 20% of my bonus go?''
Sources also described a meme with the text reading "Got my BONU," referring to the realization that they didn't receive their whole bonus as expected.
Alphabet is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 2. Analysts expect revenue growth of less than 2% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv, while earnings per share is expected to drop to $1.18 from $1.53. The stock has dropped 31% in the past year.
Correction: A prior version of this story inaccurately tied the timing of bonus payments to quarterly costs. The sentence has been removed.
WATCH: Google could see some upside from AI
Coverup: The Paul Pelosi Story Has Been so Thoroughly Muzzled, News Outlets Now Sue to Get Information '' RedState
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 12:23
The Paul Pelosi attack story disappeared from the news for a reason; the courts are blocking the details from getting out.
It was in late October when the dire news broke that the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been attacked in their home with a hammer. For a couple of weeks, the story raged, as conservative news outlets and loose-tongued Republicans were blamed as being the force behind the attack on Paul Pelosi. But soon, details emerged that countered the initial outrage reports, and before long, the story began to rapidly fade from news cycles.
Suddenly, it went from being the story reporters could not shut up about to the story no one was allowed to discuss . At NBC News, a report about the night of the attack was taken down entirely, with the reporter suspended as their story was memory-holed. At the Washington Post, columnist Philip Bump forgot that he was a journalist as he delivered a screed that explained why we should not want to have the footage and other evidence from that night released to the public.
By December, the story had all but vanished, and this was despite the fact that there was a preliminary hearing on the 14th of last month, as the San Francisco DA brought up charges against David Depape, the man accused of attacking Pelosi. During that hearing, a raft of evidence was brought forward, including police body cam footage, tapes of the 911 call, interview details taken from the scene that night, and video from the security system monitored by the Capitol Police in D.C.
None of these particulars have been made available to the public, or the press. As a result, a number of news organizations have come together to file a court motion to have those items revealed. Philip Bump might be interested to learn his own paper is working to defy his insistence that this evidence remain hidden.
A coalition of news organizations, including The Associated Press, filed a court motion in San Francisco seeking access to evidence against the man charged in last year's attack on former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband. The coalition also includes The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Press Democrat, CNN, Fox News, CBS, ABC, NBC and KQED, an NPR-member radio station.
That a dozen outlets are banding together to get this access is a sign of how unique it has been to have these particulars held back from the public. It is a clear sign of controlled messaging taking place from a higher position. Just take as one item that police officers being outfitted with body cameras was pushed in order to have greater transparency with the public. This is footage intended to be revealed, and yet we are seeing it completely blocked from being released.
The preeminent question in the face of this is, of course, ''Why?'' Even given the sensitive nature of things, you would expect that if this were as clear a crime as we're led to believe, there would be no need for this level of obfuscation. The argument of this being a public official and that personal or sensitive details might be revealed in the footage from inside the home is mitigated by having editing done or aspects of the video blurred out.
What justification would there be to prevent the 911 call recording from being shared? Why can we not see the police interview with Depape from that night? It becomes a question of whether there is any form of a cover-up taking place, feeding only more speculation and creating more curiosity. The very fact that such a group of news outlets is banding together to get the details released dispels claims that this is conspiracy theory rantings.
This filing also shows a bit of an evolution on the part of the news outlets. After weeks of showing a willingness to sit on this story, major news divisions are beginning to fight to get the facts revealed. It will be compelling to see just how long this effort at obscuring the details will last.
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VIDEO - 6 arrested after Atlanta protests over controversial 'Cop City' and fatal police shooting of activist | CNN
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 16:29
CNN '--
Six people were arrested Saturday evening in downtown Atlanta, authorities said, during protests that came in response to a proposed police training facility and the fatal police shooting of an activist earlier in the week.
The protesters marched in a ''peaceful manner'' down a central Atlanta street but a group within the crowd later began ''committing illegal acts,'' including breaking windows and attacking police cruisers, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said in a news conference.
Police arrested six people and were continuing to investigate whether there were any others involved in illegal activity, the chief said. Three businesses sustained damage to their windows, he added.
Social media footage showed a police cruiser on fire in the downtown area, and video from CNN affiliate WANF showed broken windows at a Wells Fargo bank.
The protests come in response to a planned $90 million, 85-acre law enforcement training facility '' dubbed ''Cop City'' by its opponents '' and just days after the police killing of a 26-year-old activist near the site of the training center.
CNN has reached out to a local movement opposing the project for comment.
Some of the people arrested Saturday have ''already been involved in other criminal activity and are involved in a manner to deter the building of the public safety training center,'' Schierbaum said.
''My message is simple to those who seek to continue this type of criminal behavior,'' Mayor Andre Dickens said during the news conference. ''We will find you and we will arrest you and you will be held accountable.'' Dickens was among the city council members who voted in favor of the training center in 2021.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said on Twitter ''violence and unlawful destruction of property are not acts of protest. They are crimes that will not be tolerated in Georgia and will be prosecuted fully.''
During the news conference, Dickens said many of those arrested ''don't even live in Atlanta or in the state of Georgia'' and some were found ''with explosives.''
The activist's fatal police shooting unfolded Wednesday morning, during what authorities said was a clearing operation to remove people from the site of the future facility. Opponents of the center have camped out in the area for months in an attempt to halt construction.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said law enforcement officers spotted an individual in a tent in the woods and gave verbal commands, but the individual allegedly did not comply and shot a Georgia State Patrol trooper, according to a news release.
Officers returned fire and fatally wounded the individual. A handgun recovered from the individual's possession matched the projectile from the trooper's wound, the GBI said.
The person killed was identified as Manuel Esteban Paez Tern.
Activists associated with movements protesting the facility, who dispute law enforcement's account, said Tern was a ''forest defender'' working to fight environmental racism. Local justice groups said Tern, known as Tortuguita and who identified as nonbinary, was a ''sweet, warm, very smart and caring'' person.
Tern's mother told CNN by phone Saturday night that she felt angry and powerless over Tern's death.
Speaking from Panam City, Panam, Belkis Tern expressed her disbelief in law enforcement's recounting of the incident, saying ''I know they said he shot first, but I don't believe it.''
''He was attacked,'' she added.
The mother said while law enforcement said Tern had a gun, she was not aware of the activist having one and that, ''if he had one, it was for protecting himself against the animals in the forest. That's what I understand.''
''He was not a violent person. He was a pacifist. He would tell me that all the time. 'I am a pacifist.' He wouldn't even kill an animal,'' Belkis Tern told CNN. ''Tortuguita,'' the nickname Tern went by, was because of their love for turtle conservation, the mother said.
She described Tern as a generous, ''sweet soul'' who from a young age always helped others.
The injured trooper was taken to a local hospital for surgery and was in stable condition Wednesday night, authorities said. The Georgia Department of Public Safety said it will not release the trooper's name because ''disclosure would compromise security against criminal or terroristic acts due to retaliation.''
Additionally, the GBI said that during its clearing operation on Wednesday it found and removed about 25 campsites and arrested and charged seven people with domestic terrorism and criminal trespass.
Authorities recovered ''mortar style fireworks, multiple edged weapons, pellet rifles, gas masks and a blow torch,'' it added.
The Atlanta Police Foundation has said the planned training center is needed to help boost morale and recruitment efforts, and previous facilities used by law enforcement are substandard.
But the facility, which will include a shooting range, mock city and burn building, has been met with fierce resistance.
While some critics of the project see it as a response to the 2020 police brutality and racial injustice protests, city leaders have said the center will also help address police reform, but have not provided further details.
Some residents have accused the city of blindsiding neighbors with what they said has been a largely secretive development process with little community input. Taxpayers will foot about $30 million of the facility's cost, with the rest coming from private philanthropic and corporate donations, city officials have said.
And activists have also long expressed concern over the project's environmental impact: The training center would carve out a chunk of forested land and fragment what local advocates hope will become a network of connected green spaces across parts of Atlanta and DeKalb County.
VIDEO - Media Blackout: German Party Reveals Smoking Gun 'Vaccine' Data, Explosion of 'Sudden and Unexpected' Deaths (Videos) - RAIR
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 14:23
January 3, 2023
5 min read
Germany's Conservative AfD party released what might be considered the most critical data yet that indicates the harms the mRNA covid injections are inflicting upon populations worldwide.
In a press conference held shortly before Christmas, Germany's Conservative Alternative f¼r Deutschland (AfD party) released what might be considered the most important data yet that indicates the harms that mRNA covid injections are inflicting upon populations worldwide.
Thanks to Germany's statistical tracking system for vaccine injuries, data scientists have been able to perform comparison studies for vaccine injuries of many types, comparing data from 2016 to the first quarter of 2022. And while under-reporting for Covid vaccines is likely by order of 90 percent, the German data collected before the administration of Covid mRNA vaccines allow for a useful comparison group before and after the start of this inoculation campaign.
''We have come across various increases in 2021,'' explains Martin Sichert, health policy spokesman for the AfD, the only German political party to oppose vaccine mandates. ''In cancer cases, in cases of intestinal diseases, and so on. However, we also found figures that are so shocking that we said, I said, this has to be the focus of our press conference.''
Sickert and his data analyst Tom Lausen found a massive increase in sudden and unexpected deaths. For nearly a year now, there have been anecdotal stories from insurance companies about the staggering increase in excess mortality figures. Still, the release of this data appears to be the first time correlated numbers confirm what on-the-ground stories have been telling us.
''In 2017, there were 14 deaths per day. In 2018 there were 14 deaths per day. In 2019 there were 18 deaths per day. Then, in 2021 suddenly, there's a jump to 97 deaths per day. We have, in fact, since the first quarter of 2021, in each subsequent quarter, more 'sudden and unexpected' deaths than in all previous years combined. So that's more than a quadrupling of 'sudden and unexpected' that we see here,'' said Sickert. ''It was completely unexpected and really shocking. So effectively, this means that 70 or more 'sudden and unexpected' deaths occurred per day.''
This sounds much like the tally of vaccine injuries reported to the American system VAERS, which long ago surpassed the number of injuries reported for these Covid vaccines than for all injury reports for all other vaccines combined since reporting began. And that's to say nothing of deaths.
The German data has been brought to light by an access to information request brought by AfD to the KBV, an association that represents all German physicians who receive insurance; that's 72 million people who receive statutory health insurance in Germany.
However, this information has been disputed by legacy media and ZI, a medical research institute in Germany, over questions of data interpretation. As anyone who has been following the Covid story and subsequent vaccine debate must surely know, data can lie and has been used to do so widely over the last three years. An excellent essay on the release of this data can be found here: it is important to read the comments where there's an open discussion.
As the writer, A MidWestern Doctor, rightfully points out, Big Pharma has been afforded a special type of privilege absent critical thinking, whereby it has become almost impossible to demonstrate that a vaccine can ever be at fault for anything. This starting point and the collusion of mainstream media, combined with censorship and a flood of propaganda, almost ensures that even startling data such as this release by AfD will not receive widespread balanced coverage.
But this graph simplifies all the codes provided by KBV and is an easy read for the lay data scientist. And the explosion of deaths from 2021 is clear.
However, while correlation does not prove causation, it's mighty suspicious. ''We can't say it is definitely from the vaccination, but it is one of the factors that we know started in the first quarter of 2021,'' says Sickert. ''Until the opposite is proven, the suspicion that there is a connection is so strong that the inoculation with these vaccines should be suspended, just as it would have been with all other medicines.''
Sickert and Lausen pointed the finger at the Robert Koch Institute and the Paul Ehrlich Institute for failing to do their jobs to evaluate data to ensure safety of medical products. He asserts that, in fact, they've done their best not to evaluate data in order to ascertain the safety of these experimental vaccines. Moreover, the Paul Ehrlich Institute concedes that over 90 percent of deaths and adverse events are not reported by doctors but by relatives, which is likely to lead to severe underreporting.
Sickert called for the resumption of autopsies as a clear and easy way to understand the cause of death and demonstrate possible links to vaccine status.
Watch the following Alternative f¼r Deutschland press conference, which RAIR Foundation USA has exclusively translated:
Part One:Part Two:Part ThreePart Four:Part Five: Miranda SellickMiranda Sellick has been a journalist for more than 25 years. She has worked for newspapers in the U.K. and Canada and is the author of two books. She was aware that the covid play was not what it appeared to be very soon after it was unleashed on the world.
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VIDEO - Davos Plans For The Next Pandemic - Suggests National Digital Infrastructures To Track Vaccination - Activist Post
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:27
By Tyler Durden
The World Economic Forum's Davos discussions often require some ''reading between the lines'' to understand what is really being said by the globalist participants, but not much interpretation is needed these days. Ever since the pandemic event, along with the lockdowns and the attempts to introduce vaccine passports, establishment representatives have been far more open about their agenda and their intentions for the future.
After all, it was Klaus Schwab who called covid a ''rare but narrow window of opportunity'' to implement the ''Great Reset'' of the current economic and political order. The past few years have shown that the Davos crowd still clings to the fading pandemic panic as the ''good old days'' when they could have had anything they wanted, including total centralization.
The globalists continue to refuse to address their many failures, but panels like the following say it all '' They realize that the truth has hit the mainstream and far too many people are now questioning the validity of the restrictions, mandates, masks and the mRNA vaccines. All of these measures have proven to be mostly useless in preventing viral spread, and now the negative side effects of the vaccines are being admitted to, at least to a point. All in all, the pandemic was not the golden opportunity that Klaus Schwab and the WEF expected.
Their hopes and dreams now turn to a future pandemic, perhaps one with a far higher death rate that creates more exploitable public fear.
Of special note in this panel, which includes former British PM Tony Blair and current head of Pfizer Albert Bourla, are comments made about the lack of unified agreement on political response. They do not go into detail here, but they may be referring to the refusal of some governments to pursue ongoing mandates and vaccine passports. Public resistance to such actions led directly to apprehension among government officials as to how far they could push their luck. Clearly, they decided they were playing with fire because many of these leaders backed off. It was as if someone flipped a switch and the covid doom mongering suddenly slowed to a mere flicker of its former intensity.
The group concludes that global institutions in the future need to put constant pressure on governments and, ostensibly, constant pressure on national populations in order to get the results they desire.
By extension, Africa is mentioned a few times during the panel as an example of the need for ''equity'' in pandemic response. What they don't talk about is Africa's lack of covid deaths despite around 65% of the continent being unvaccinated according to the New York Times world vaccine tracker. The African example as a control group for the unvaccinated has been a thorn in the side of globalists for the past couple years and obviously they want to change that.
Another very interesting comment is made by Tony Blair, who calls for national digital infrastructure for tracking vaccinations. Blair suggests that to keep various national governments on board with the agenda, they would have to be convinced pandemic issues are ''continuing issues.''
The Great Reset and the Struggle for Liberty: Unraveling the Global Agenda by Michael Rectenwald
Albert Bourla addresses the possibility and challenges of producing vaccines in an even faster time frame to respond to new viral events. His conclusion? That regulators need to continue to keep doors open for Big Pharma in terms of expediency even when there is not a pandemic in play. The average vaccine takes at least 10 years of study for safety and long-term side effects; the covid vaccines were developed and administered in less than a year under emergency authorization. This new standard of minimized safety obstacles is what Big Pharma and the WEF want for all vaccines and drugs in the future.
Bourla then admits to something, in an offhanded way, that many people have suspected: that the biggest challenge in the enforcement of mandates and widespread vaccination was public skepticism. Bourla and others refer to this as the ''politicizing'' of the mandates, but it was really just resistance to authoritarianism, and it is something that frustrated globalist planning at every step. This can only be a good thing.
At no point do the panel participants acknowledge the numerous studies showing the ineffectiveness of masking, the ineffectiveness of the lockdowns, the ineffectiveness of the vaccines, and the risks they entail. The reasons for public resistance are not important to them, only the ways in which they can gain greater compliance during the next viral event.
Source: ZeroHedge
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VIDEO - Hackable Humans at WEF: 'We Can Decode Faces in Your Mind, Your PIN'
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:14
If you thought freedom of speech was worth preserving, next comes freedom of thought: perspectiveThanks to AI and the Internet of Bodies (IoB) ecosystem, decoding the human brain is already well underway, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) presentation.
Five years after historian Yuval Noah Harari told the WEF that humans were hackable and that organisms were algorithms, Harari's insights have been fully realized.
Thursday's WEF Annual Meeting 2023 session on ''Ready for Brain Transparency?'' opened with a short video showing a dystopian scenario where employees' brainwaves were not only decoded to determine their performance in the workplace, but also to determine whether they participated in illegal activity.
While the scenario in the video below is fictional, the technological framework is already in place.
''We can pick up and decode faces that you're seeing in your mind '-- simple shapes, numbers, your PIN number to your bank account'' '-- Nita Farahany, World Economic Forum, 2023
A dystopian glimpse at the potential future of Hackable Humans: "The government has subpoenaed employee brainwave data from the past year ['...] They are looking for co-conspirators through synchronized brain activity": #wef23 'Ready for Brain Transparency?' session
'-- Tim Hinchliffe (@TimHinchliffe) January 19, 2023''Artificial intelligence has enabled advances in decoding brain activity in ways we never before thought possible'' '-- Nita Farahany, World Economic Forum, 2023
The above video illustrates just one of the many dystopian scenarios that can occur when the human brain is no longer autonomous.
In her presentation at Davos on Thursday, Nita Farahany from Duke University explained that the technology to decode brainwaves already existed and was currently being rolled out in some use cases.
Nita Farahany''What you think, what you feel '-- it's all just data '-- data that in large patterns can be decoded using artificial intelligence'' '-- Nita Farahany, World Economic Forum, 2023
''Artificial intelligence has enabled advances in decoding brain activity in ways we never before thought possible,'' said Farahany.
''What you think, what you feel '-- it's all just data '-- data that in large patterns can be decoded using artificial intelligence,'' she added.
And the devices to decode the human brain don't have to be as invasive as a brain implant.
The devices can be as non-invasive as a ''Fitbit for your brain.''
''We're not talking about implanted devices of the future; I'm talking about wearable devices that are like Fitbits for your brain'' '-- Nita Farahany, World Economic Forum, 2023
Your thoughts are not your own. With smart headbands, hats, ear buds, tattoos:"We can pick up emotional states like are you happy or sad or angry. We can pick up & decode faces that you're seeing in your mind. Your PIN number to your bank account": Nita Farahany #wef23
'-- Tim Hinchliffe (@TimHinchliffe) January 19, 2023''We can pick up emotional states '-- like are you happy or sad or angry'' '-- Nita Farahany, World Economic Forum, 2023
''We're not talking about implanted devices of the future; I'm talking about wearable devices that are like Fitbits for your brain,'' said Farahany.
''These are headbands, hats that have sensors that can pick up your brainwave activity, ear buds, headphones, tiny tattoos that you can wear behind your ear '-- we can pick up emotional states '-- like are you happy or sad or angry.
''We can pick up and decode faces that you're seeing in your mind '-- simple shapes, numbers, your PIN number to your bank account.''
''Surveillance of the human brain ['...] has a dystopian possibility of being used to exploit and bring to the surface our most secret self'' '-- Nita Farahany, World Economic Forum, 2023
"Surveillance of the human brain ['...] has a dystopian possibility of being used to exploit & bring to the surface our most secret self. It threatens fundamentally what our own self-identity is in some ways & threatens to become a tool of oppression": Nita Farahany, #WEF23
'-- Tim Hinchliffe (@TimHinchliffe) January 19, 2023Farahany would go on to say that while decoding the human brain had its benefits, it could also be used for very nefarious purposes.
''Surveillance of the human brain can be powerful, helpful, useful, transform the workplace, and make our lives better,'' she said, adding, ''It also has a dystopian possibility of being used to exploit and bring to the surface our most secret self.
''It threatens fundamentally what our own self-identity is in some ways, and threatens to become a tool of oppression.''
''We are no longer mysterious souls; we are now hackable animals'' '-- Yuval Harari, World Economic Forum, 2020
Farahany's 2023 presentation falls right in-line with what Yuval Harari had been saying for years at Davos '-- that ''We are no longer mysterious souls; we are now hackable animals.''
According to Harari, ''To hack human beings you need a lot of biological knowledge, a lot of computing power, and especially a lot of data.
''If you have enough data about me and enough computing power and biological knowledge, you can hack my body, my brain, my life. You can reach a point where you know me better than I know myself.''
''Just imagine North Korea in 20 years where everybody has to wear a biometric bracelet, which constantly monitors your brain activity 24 hours a day.
''You listen to a speech on the radio by the 'Great Leader,' and they know what you actually feel '-- you can clap your hands and smile, but if you're angry, they know you'll be in the gulag tomorrow morning.''
''Just imagine North Korea in 20 years where everybody has to wear a biometric bracelet, which constantly monitors your blood pressure, your heart rate, your brain activity 24 hours a day,'' said Harari in his ''How to Survive the 21st Century'' speech at the 2020 WEF meeting.
''You listen to a speech on the radio by the 'Great Leader,' and they know what you actually feel '-- you can clap your hands and smile, but if you're angry, they know you'll be in the gulag tomorrow morning.
''And if we allow the emergence of such total surveillance regimes, don't think that the rich and powerful in places like Davos will be safe,'' he added.
''Biological knowledge multiplied by Computing power multiplied by Data equals the Ability to Hack Humans'' '-- Yuval Harari, World Economic Forum, 2020
The historian even came up with a ''danger formula'' for hacking human beings, which he believes ''might be the defining equation of life in the 21st Century.''
That equation is B x C x D = AHH '-- which means Biological knowledge multiplied by Computing power multiplied by Data equals the Ability to Hack Humans.
''The power to hack human beings can of course be used for good purposes like provided much better healthcare,'' said Harari in 2020, adding, ''but if this power falls into the hands of a 21st Century Stalin, the result will be the worst totalitarian regime in human history, and we already have a number of applicants for the job of 21st Century Stalin.''
The Internet of Bodies ''might trigger breakthroughs in medical knowledge ['...] Or it might enable a surveillance state of unprecedented intrusion and consequence'' '-- RAND Corporation, 2020
Aiding the process of collecting the massive amounts of data needed to hack human beings is the Internet of Bodies (IoB).
The IoB is an ecosystem of wearable, attachable, implantable, or consumable devices that connect the human body to the internet, much like the Internet of Things (IoT), but for people.
According to a RAND Corporation report from 2020, the IoB ''might trigger breakthroughs in medical knowledge ['...] Or it might enable a surveillance state of unprecedented intrusion and consequence.''
Additionally, ''Increased IoB adoption might also increase global geopolitical risks, because surveillance states can use IoB data to enforce authoritarian regimes.''
Internet of Bodies Examples, RAND CorporationThe IoB is emerging from the so-called fourth industrial revolution, which WEF founder Klaus Schwab says will lead to the fusion of our physical, biological, and digital identities '-- transhumanism.
The WEF is fully behind widespread adoption of the IoB despite recognizing the enormous ethical concerns that come with having ''an unprecedented number of sensors attached to, implanted within, or ingested into human bodies to monitor, analyze, and even modify human bodies and behavior.''
''After the Internet of Things, which transformed the way we live, travel and work by connecting everyday objects to the Internet, it's now time for the Internet of Bodies,'' wrote Xiao Liu, Fellow at the WEF's Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
''This means collecting our physical data via devices that can be implanted, swallowed or simply worn, generating huge amounts of health-related information.''
''Surveillance of the human brain ['...] threatens fundamentally what our own self-identity is in some ways, and threatens to become a tool of oppression'' '-- Nita Farahany, World Economic Forum, 2023
With the ability to decode brainwaves, humanity is on the cusp of what could be the worst totalitarian surveillance regime in human history.
What would you do if you woke up one day and your thoughts were no longer yours alone?
If you thought freedom of speech was worth preserving, just wait until they come for your thoughts, your feelings, your dreams.
In this nightmare scenario, anything you think can and will be used against you by the pre-crime thought police.
VIDEO - Telegram: Contact @DowdEdward
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:12
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VIDEO - Neil Oliver: Excess Deaths Are Causing 'Palpable Panic'
Sun, 22 Jan 2023 13:05
Neil Oliver: "Excess deaths are rising around us. The fact these deaths are happening world-wide means the attempt to blame them on a failing NHS or striking ambulance drivers is for the birds. It is another bid to distract people's attention from the elephant in the room."
Video Source:
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VIDEO - Issue #1305: A few notes on the Gathering of the Ghouls
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 19:45
This week, the annual Gathering of the Ghouls was held in Davos, Switzerland. More commonly referred to as the World Economic Forum, the ghouls who gather in Davos include heads of state, the leaders of large corporations, and the intelligence community among others. I'm sure you've seen a ton of content about the gathering throughout the week, but I wanted to highlight particular soundbites that highlight how completely disconnected the counterproductive class is from reality.
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VIDEO - Could continued US support for Ukraine be hampered by the Republicans? | DW News - YouTube
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VIDEO - Is the Ukraine war driving a wedge between the US and the EU? - YouTube
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VIDEO - Defense leaders meet amid dissent over tanks for Ukraine ' FRANCE 24 English - YouTube
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 15:54
VIDEO - (5) Australian Army to replace helicopter fleet with 40 Black Hawks - YouTube
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 15:40
VIDEO - Utah doctor allegedly destroyed vaccines, gave fake shots
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 15:26
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) '' A Utah plastic surgeon, his neighbor, and two others are facing charges after allegedly giving people fake vaccination cards and destroying government-provided COVID-19 vaccinations.
Dr. Michael Kirk Moore Jr., 58, and his neighbor, Kristin Jackson Andersen, 59, have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to convert, sell, convey, and dispose of government property, conversion sale, conveyance, and disposal of government property, and aiding and abetting.
The Plastic Institute of Utah Inc. along with office manager Kari Dee Burgoyne, 52, and receptionist Sandra Flores, 31, face the same charges.
According to court documents, Moore and his co-defendants allegedly ran a scheme out of Plastic Surgery Institute of Utah Inc. to defraud the United States and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The documents say Moore and Andersen were members of a private organization seeking to ''liberate the medical profession from government and industry conflicts of interest.''
In the allegations, the four destroyed at least $28,000 worth of COVID-19 vaccinations and distributed at least 1,900 doses' worth of fake completed vaccination record cards. The court documents allege the fake vaccination cards were sold either for direct cash payments of $50 per person per occurrence or required ''donations to a specified charitable organization.''
The court documents estimate the fake vaccination cards have a total value of nearly $97,000.
Moore and his co-defendants also allegedly gave children saline shots at the request of their parents so the children would think they were receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
''By allegedly falsifying vaccine cards and administering saline shots to children instead of COVID-19 vaccines, not only did this provider endanger the health and well-being of a vulnerable population, but also undermined public trust and the integrity of federal health care programs,'' said Special Agent in Charge with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General Curt L. Muller.
The defendants are scheduled for their initial appearance in court on Jan. 26 at 2 p.m.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
VIDEO - (5) Divisions Dominate in DavosーNHK WORLD-JAPAN NEWS - YouTube
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 15:02
VIDEO - (5) Is German reluctance to send tanks undermining the country as a reliable European partner? | DW News - YouTube
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 15:00
VIDEO - (5) Notorious McDonald's location shuts down - YouTube
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 14:59
VIDEO - (5) US continues African charm offensive as Yellen visits Senegal | Eye on Africa - France 24 - YouTube
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 14:58
VIDEO - (5) UK's Online Safety Bill nears completion: What it means for internet oversight ' FRANCE 24 English - YouTube
Sat, 21 Jan 2023 14:57
VIDEO - (18) Wall Street Silver on Twitter: ""It's not just about Covid. We are going to have a whole new slew of vaccines ... injectables." -- Tony Blair (former UK Prime Minister) ðŸ--Š #WEF #KlausSchwab #Davos" / Twitter
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 17:04
Wall Street Silver : "It's not just about Covid. We are going to have a whole new slew of vaccines ... injectables."-- Tony Blair (for'...
Fri Jan 20 15:52:28 +0000 2023
The Fabulous Crypto Sisters : @WallStreetSilv He needs to be tried by an international criminal court and IF found guilty of war crimes, executed publicly.
Fri Jan 20 17:03:52 +0000 2023
Robin And The Dog 'Π: @WallStreetSilv WTF he is massaging the mind of the politicians with evil poison, can someone cause an unexpected a'...
Fri Jan 20 17:03:26 +0000 2023
VIDEO - UK Doctors Call For Government Investigation Of mRNA Vaccines
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 15:13
UK Doctors Call For Government To Urgently Pause and Investigate the Use of Novel mRNA Covid Vaccines
Doctors for Patients UK (DfPUK) was established in September 2022 and has become a fast-growing group of UK doctors dedicated to practising evidence-based, ethical and patient-centred medicine. Our group is borne out of increasing concerns that core principles of medical ethics are being disregarded, such as the oath to ''First do no harm'', the respect for individual bodily autonomy and the need to obtain fully informed consent for all medical interventions.
Many doctors in the UK, and internationally, have become increasingly concerned about the safety profile of Covid-19 vaccines and the continued rollout of these products to the public, including children and pregnant women. Several doctors in DfPUK have submitted multiple Yellow Card reports of adverse events following their covid vaccinations to the MHRA. Not only this, but we have also signed letters to the JCVI, MHRA, RCOG, Prime Minister and others to express their concerns but have received little to no response or action taken.
Our members created this video as they felt the need to voice their perspectives, clinical experiences and serious ethical concerns. This was done in hope that our message is received and acknowledged by the relevant authorities with prompt and appropriate action taken.
For any enquiries about DfPUK or our press release video , contact Please review the information under our resources page for further information and our 'videos' page for our presentations on this issue.
VIDEO - How fast-food robots are helping address the labor shortage
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 13:34
Struggling to find workers and eager to relieve staff from boring, repetitive tasks, fast-food restaurant chains are adding robots to their kitchens.
Using artificial intelligence, computer vision technology and a mechanical arm, Miso Robotics' Flippy 2 has been deployed to Chipotle, White Castle and Wing Zone. White Castle said it plans to add 100 Flippy robots to work the fry station at its restaurants nationwide.
"The tide has turned, this is no longer a question of are robotics coming to the industry," said Jake Brewer, chief strategy officer at Miso Robotics. "It's a foregone conclusion. The question is at what pace and in what form."
Up to 82% of restaurant positions could, to some extent, be replaced by robots, according to a forecast by restaurant consultancy Aaron Allen & Associates. Automation could save U.S. fast-food restaurants more than $12 billion in annual wages, the group said.
Other companies in the space include Picnic, whose pizza station can make up to 130 oven-ready pizzas per hour, and Autec, with a line of sushi robots.
So what impact will robots have on the fast-food industry and the livelihood of its workers? CNBC got a behind-the-scenes look at restaurant robot maker Miso Robotics to find out.
Watch the video to learn more.
VIDEO - (3) Study: Rainwater is unsafe due to "forever chemicals" - YouTube
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 12:56
VIDEO - (3) James Cintolo, RN FN CPT on Twitter: "🚨BREAKING '-- Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair Calls For A Digital Database To Monitor Who Is Vaccinated And Who Is Not For A Future ''Pandemic'' During Live Broadcast At Klaus Schwab's World Econo
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 12:06
James Cintolo, RN FN CPT : 🚨BREAKING '-- Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair Calls For A Digital Database To Monitor Who Is Vaccinated And Who I'...
Thu Jan 19 19:06:26 +0000 2023
ken mccroskey : @healthbyjames Evil
Fri Jan 20 12:06:20 +0000 2023
Rumulus : @healthbyjames Hey douchnozzle, show me ANY proof that these shots work! When you can show me some hard data and pr'...
Fri Jan 20 12:06:13 +0000 2023
Dwight : @healthbyjames The digital ID would help get the antidote to the vaccinated.Oh wait, there is no antidote. Never mind.
Fri Jan 20 12:05:31 +0000 2023
Michael CLARK 🇬🇧 : @healthbyjames How about, instead - and just a thought: Tony Blair, go and f**k yourself, shut up, and go and retire quietly?!
Fri Jan 20 12:03:35 +0000 2023
BigRed : @healthbyjames @CaldronPool Every single one of these corrupt World Economic Forum Globalist scum needs to be locked up! ðŸ'°ðŸ'°ðŸ'°ðŸ¤¬ðŸ¤¬ðŸ¤¬ðŸ¤¬
Fri Jan 20 12:02:48 +0000 2023

Clips & Documents

All Clips
$75 gift card for COVID-19 vaccine at clinic in Holyoke Mass.mp3
6 Antifa arrested after Atlanta protests over controversial Cop City - CNN.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Andrea Fujii - desantis no to AP african studies (1min28sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Andrew Dymburt - simply orange juice contains forever chemicals (14sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Ike Ejiochi - eggs smuggled from mexico (12sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Ike Ejiochi - massachusetts school cant turn off lights (18sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor David Muir - 5 officers charged in ketamin death (23sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor David Muir - google layoffs in favor of AI (21sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor David Muir - trump fined for frivolous lawsuit (23sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor David Muir - zelenskyy meets CIA director (30sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Martha Raddatz - russian spy ship off coast of hawaii (1min30sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Mary Bruce - biden there is no there there (1min30sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Matt Gutman (1) zelenskyy pleading for tanks (1min56sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Matt Gutman (2) abrams tank from US (33sec)).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Pierre Thomas - 3 marines arrested for jan 6th (1min7sec).mp3
Atlantic CEO moderates panel -1- Ready for Brain Transparency - Singularity.mp3
Atlantic CEO moderates panel -2- Ready for Brain Transparency - Singularity.mp3
Australian Army to replace helicopter fleet with 40 Black Hawks -Screwing France again.mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Adriana Diaz - FBI finds 6 more documents at biden home (20sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Jan Crawford - supreme court leak investigation (1min28sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Janet Shamlain - massive tech layoffs (1min17sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Jeff Pegues - multiple fentanyl raids in arizona (2min).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Nancy Chen - no snow in northeast -global warming (1min50sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - 50 years since roe v wade (41sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - former navy seal killed in ukraine (17sec).mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - russian spy ship off coast of hawaii (19sec).mp3
CBS washed_out_road_isolates_Castro_Valley_nudist_camp.mp3
CBS Weekend - anchor Adriana Diaz - peru protest -machu picchu closed (21sec).mp3
CNBC - it's Stroke Season after flu season.mp3
CNN - whos talking to chris wallace - Nancy Pelosi - pauls health [1].mp3
Director of FBI Christopher Wray says “the level of collaboration between the private sector and the government, especially the FBI has made significant strides”.mp3
Doctors from The Peds Squad recommend vaccinating every single child for COVID-19 - TikTok.mp3
Germany won't deliver tanks even after defense ministers in Berlin.mp3
Is the Ukraine war driving a wedge between the US and the EU - TRT.mp3
Moderna CEO Admits On Live Air At Davos They Were Making A COVID-19 Vaccine In January Of 2020 Before SARS-CoV-2.mp3
Neil Oliver - Excess Deaths Are Causing Palpable Panic.mp3
Notorious McDonald's location shuts down - Houston.mp3
reverend_al morning joe Dem should not-get_jiddy.mp3
Siemens AG Chairman Jim Hagemann at WEF - Stop eating meat.mp3
Study -PFAS- Rainwater is unsafe due to forever chemicals.mp3
Tony Blair - It’s not just about Covid. We are going to have a whole new slew of vaccines - injectables DAVOS.mp3
Tony Blair -2- Need digital identity DAVOS.mp3
Tony Blair -Full VAccines Digital ID and political will - DAVOS.mp3
UK's Online Safety Bill nears completion - Digital-ID - F24.mp3
US continues African charm offensive as Yellen visits Senegal - F24.mp3
WEF Richard Edelman CEO worlds largest PR company - bring platforms to heel by freezing advertising.mp3
Who are the protesters in Peru and what do they want - DW.mp3
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