Cover for No Agenda Show 1633: Noise Machine
February 11th • 0m

1633: Noise Machine


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.

Swift Op
Taylor Swift NORAD BOTG
M5M outlets pitched NORAD tracks Taylor for the superbowl to the Public Affairs Office (AKA information control office) General “Gooey” Guillot (The new Commander) said not only No, but hell no. We’ll track Santa, but that’s about as far as we go apparently.
Biden 25th
Tucker / Putin
Season of Reveal
Jobs - report - many now two jobs
Government Jobs BOTG
I work in HR for CBP. A major part of my team's job at work is to help on board new CBP employees. We are set to hire alot of new CBP employees this year. To be fair, we are planning on retiring alot of people and need to replace them. But you and John made a joke about creating alot of goverment jobs and its true!
The funny thing is that the people we hire will not be allowd to do their jobs. Meanwhile, the people on our end, in Hr, are not organized well. Certain parts seem to have too many people and others don't seem to have enough people.
So, everyone, at least where I work, feels understaffed, but I kind of think if our management did somthing more than just go to meetings all day and instead actually did somthing, they could make it better.
I need to stop complaining about management. Sometimes, I worry that God has a since of humor and all my armchair qourterbacking will bite me in the butt someday :).
Big Tech & AI
Big Pharma
Replacement Migration
Climate Change
Ukraine vs Russia
In The Region
Rumored withdrawal from Syria & Iraq BOTG
According to multiple sources, preparations are underway for a full or partial withdrawal of U.S. and coalition forces from eastern Syria and Iraq due to continued pressure and escalation from Iranian-backed groups, including the Kata' ib Hezbollah, while at the same time the priority is to keep American military personnel safe from a regional war;
The full withdrawal could take up to 90 days, but that depends on its size, scope and urgency.
Trump Colorado - Oral Argument Summary BOTG
And here’s Law360’s take from yesterday, highlighted FYRP. This article summarizes some additional things. The writer believes (as do I) that SCOTUS seems willing to reverse the Colorado Supremes’ decision. Whatever their decision, the question remains what grounds they’ll rely on. If they reverse, it’s entirely possible that a plurality or majority will rely on multiple grounds, while some Justices (especially Kagan or Jackson) will concur, but only on narrower grounds. Based strictly on her demeanor, I’d say the odds are good that Justice Sotomayor will dissent—but of course I’m just guessing.
I wish I could tell you when a decision will happen, but I honestly have no idea. They realize that they can’t sit around, but they’ll also want to be fastidious. Whenever it does happen, I’ll be sure to give you a timely summary.
White House to 'Cryptographically Verify' Official Communications As AI Deep Fakes Surge
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:32
The White House is increasingly aware that the American public needs a way to tell that statements from President Joe Biden and related information are real in the new age of easy-to-use generative AI.
People in the White House have been looking into AI and generative AI since Biden became president in 2020, but in the last year, the use of generative AI has exploded with the release of OpenAI's ChatGPT. Big Tech players such as Meta, Google, Microsoft, and a range of startups have raced to release consumer-friendly AI tools, leading to a new wave of deepfakes '-- last month, an AI-generated robocall attempted to undermine voting efforts related to the 2024 presidential election using Biden's voice.
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission declared that such calls are illegal. Yet, there is no end in sight for more sophisticated new generative-AI tools that make it easy for people with little to no technical know-how to create fake images, videos, and calls that seem authentic.
That's a problem for any government looking to be a trusted source of information. Ben Buchanan, Biden's Special Advisor for Artificial Intelligence, told Business Insider that the White House is working on a way to verify all of its official communications due to the rise in fake generative-AI content.
Buchanan said the aim is to "essentially cryptographically verify" everything from the White House, whether a statement or a video.
While last year's executive order on AI created an AI Safety Institute at the Department of Commerce tasked with creating standards for watermarking content to show provenance, the effort to verify White House communications is separate. And Buchanan said it's "a longer process," though it is "in the works."
Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that anyone who sees a video of Biden released by the White House can immediately tell it is authentic and unaltered by a third party.
"This is a case where we recognize the potential for harm," Buchanan said. "We're trying to get ahead of it."
Are you a tech employee or someone with a tip or insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at or on secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267. Reach out using a non-work device.
How Walmart, Delta & Starbucks are using AI to check employee messages
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:21
Klaus Vedfelt | Digitalvision | Getty Images
Cue the George Orwell reference.
Depending on where you work, there's a significant chance that artificial intelligence is analyzing your messages on Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and other popular apps.
Huge U.S. employers such as Walmart , Delta Air Lines , T-Mobile , Chevron and Starbucks , as well as European brands including Nestle and AstraZeneca , have turned to a seven-year-old startup, Aware, to monitor chatter among their rank and file, according to the company.
Jeff Schumann, co-founder and CEO of the Columbus, Ohio-based startup, says the AI helps companies "understand the risk within their communications," getting a read on employee sentiment in real time, rather than depending on an annual or twice-per-year survey.
Using the anonymized data in Aware's analytics product, clients can see how employees of a certain age group or in a particular geography are responding to a new corporate policy or marketing campaign, according to Schumann. Aware's dozens of AI models, built to read text and process images, can also identify bullying, harassment, discrimination, noncompliance, pornography, nudity and other behaviors, he said.
Aware's analytics tool '-- the one that monitors employee sentiment and toxicity '-- doesn't have the ability to flag individual employee names, according to Schumann. But its separate eDiscovery tool can, in the event of extreme threats or other risk behaviors that are predetermined by the client, he added.
Aware said Walmart, T-Mobile, Chevron and Starbucks use its technology for governance risk and compliance, and that type of work accounts for about 80% of the company's business.
CNBC didn't receive a response from Walmart, T-Mobile, Chevron, Starbucks or Nestle regarding their use of Aware. A representative from AstraZeneca said the company uses the eDiscovery product but that it doesn't use analytics to monitor sentiment or toxicity. Delta told CNBC that it uses Aware's analytics and eDiscovery for monitoring trends and sentiment as a way to gather feedback from employees and other stakeholders, and for legal records retention in its social media platform.
It doesn't take a dystopian novel enthusiast to see where it could all go very wrong.
Jutta Williams, co-founder of AI accountability nonprofit Humane Intelligence, said AI adds a new and potentially problematic wrinkle to so-called insider risk programs, which have existed for years to evaluate things like corporate espionage, especially within email communications.
Speaking broadly about employee surveillance AI rather than Aware's technology specifically, Williams told CNBC: "A lot of this becomes thought crime." She added, "This is treating people like inventory in a way I've not seen."
Employee surveillance AI is a rapidly expanding but niche piece of a larger AI market that's exploded in the past year, following the launch of OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot in late 2022. Generative AI quickly became the buzzy phrase for corporate earnings calls, and some form of the technology is automating tasks in just about every industry, from financial services and biomedical research to logistics, online travel and utilities.
Aware's revenue has jumped 150% per year on average over the past five years, Schumann told CNBC, and its typical customer has about 30,000 employees. Top competitors include Qualtrics, Relativity, Proofpoint, Smarsh and Netskope.
By industry standards, Aware is staying quite lean. The company last raised money in 2021, when it pulled in $60 million in a round led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Compare that with large language model, or LLM, companies such as OpenAI and Anthropic, which have raised billions of dollars each, largely from strategic partners.
'Tracking real-time toxicity'Schumann started the company in 2017 after spending almost eight years working on enterprise collaboration at insurance company Nationwide.
Before that, he was an entrepreneur. And Aware isn't the first company he's started that's elicited thoughts of Orwell.
In 2005, Schumann founded a company called According to his LinkedIn profile, the business developed software that "enhanced the digital and mobile viewing experience" of the CBS reality series "Big Brother." In Orwell's classic novel "1984," Big Brother was the leader of a totalitarian state in which citizens were under perpetual surveillance.
"I built a simple player focused on a cleaner and easier consumer experience for people to watch the TV show on their computer," Schumann said in an email.
At Aware, he's doing something very different.
Every year, the company puts out a report aggregating insights from the billions '-- in 2023, the number was 6.5 billion '-- of messages sent across large companies, tabulating perceived risk factors and workplace sentiment scores. Schumann refers to the trillions of messages sent across workplace communication platforms every year as "the fastest-growing unstructured data set in the world."
When including other types of content being shared, such as images and videos, Aware's analytics AI analyzes more than 100 million pieces of content every day. In so doing, the technology creates a company social graph, looking at which teams internally talk to each other more than others.
"It's always tracking real-time employee sentiment, and it's always tracking real-time toxicity," Schumann said of the analytics tool. "If you were a bank using Aware and the sentiment of the workforce spiked in the last 20 minutes, it's because they're talking about something positively, collectively. The technology would be able to tell them whatever it was."
Aware confirmed to CNBC that it uses data from its enterprise clients to train its machine-learning models. The company's data repository contains about 6.5 billion messages, representing about 20 billion individual interactions across more than 3 million unique employees, the company said.
When a new client signs up for the analytics tool, it takes Aware's AI models about two weeks to train on employee messages and get to know the patterns of emotion and sentiment within the company so it can see what's normal versus abnormal, Schumann said.
"It won't have names of people, to protect the privacy," Schumann said. Rather, he said, clients will see that "maybe the workforce over the age of 40 in this part of the United States is seeing the changes to [a] policy very negatively because of the cost, but everybody else outside of that age group and location sees it positively because it impacts them in a different way."
But Aware's eDiscovery tool operates differently. A company can set up role-based access to employee names depending on the "extreme risk" category of the company's choice, which instructs Aware's technology to pull an individual's name, in certain cases, for human resources or another company representative.
"Some of the common ones are extreme violence, extreme bullying, harassment, but it does vary by industry," Schumann said, adding that in financial services, suspected insider trading would be tracked.
For instance, a client can specify a "violent threats" policy, or any other category, using Aware's technology, Schumann said, and have the AI models monitor for violations in Slack, Microsoft Teams and Workplace by Meta . The client could also couple that with rule-based flags for certain phrases, statements and more. If the AI found something that violated a company's specified policies, it could provide the employee's name to the client's designated representative.
This type of practice has been used for years within email communications. What's new is the use of AI and its application across workplace messaging platforms such as Slack and Teams.
Amba Kak, executive director of the AI Now Institute at New York University, worries about using AI to help determine what's considered risky behavior.
"It results in a chilling effect on what people are saying in the workplace," said Kak, adding that the Federal Trade Commission, Justice Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have all expressed concerns on the matter, though she wasn't speaking specifically about Aware's technology. "These are as much worker rights issues as they are privacy issues."
Schumann said that though Aware's eDiscovery tool allows security or HR investigations teams to use AI to search through massive amounts of data, a "similar but basic capability already exists today" in Slack, Teams and other platforms.
"A key distinction here is that Aware and its AI models are not making decisions," Schumann said. "Our AI simply makes it easier to comb through this new data set to identify potential risks or policy violations."
Privacy concernsEven if data is aggregated or anonymized, research suggests, it's a flawed concept. A landmark study on data privacy using 1990 U.S. Census data showed that 87% of Americans could be identified solely by using ZIP code, birth date and gender. Aware clients using its analytics tool have the power to add metadata to message tracking, such as employee age, location, division, tenure or job function.
"What they're saying is relying on a very outdated and, I would say, entirely debunked notion at this point that anonymization or aggregation is like a magic bullet through the privacy concern," Kak said.
Additionally, the type of AI model Aware uses can be effective at generating inferences from aggregate data, making accurate guesses, for instance, about personal identifiers based on language, context, slang terms and more, according to recent research.
"No company is essentially in a position to make any sweeping assurances about the privacy and security of LLMs and these kinds of systems," Kak said. "There is no one who can tell you with a straight face that these challenges are solved."
And what about employee recourse? If an interaction is flagged and a worker is disciplined or fired, it's difficult for them to offer a defense if they're not privy to all of the data involved, Williams said.
"How do you face your accuser when we know that AI explainability is still immature?" Williams said.
Schumann said in response: "None of our AI models make decisions or recommendations regarding employee discipline."
"When the model flags an interaction," Schumann said, "it provides full context around what happened and what policy it triggered, giving investigation teams the information they need to decide next steps consistent with company policies and the law."
WATCH: AI is 'really at play here' with the recent tech layoffs
White House frustration with Garland grows - POLITICO
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:07
In White House meetings, aides have questioned why Garland felt the need to appoint a special counsel in the first place, though Biden has publicly said he supported the decision.
While Biden himself has not weighed in on Garland's future, most of the president's senior advisers do not believe that the attorney general would remain in his post for a possible second term, according to the two people.
''This has been building for a while,'' said one of those people. ''No one is happy''
Frustration within the White House at Garland has been growing steadily.
Last year, Biden privately denounced how long the probe into his son was taking, telling aides and outside allies that he believed the stress could send Hunter Biden spiraling back into addiction, according to the same two people. And the elder Biden, the people said, told those confidants that Garland should not have eventually empowered a special counsel to look into his son, believing that he again was caving to outside pressure.
In recent weeks, President Biden has grumbled to aides and advisers that had Garland moved sooner in his investigation into former President Donald Trump's election interference, a trial may already be underway or even have concluded, according to two people granted anonymity to discuss private matters. That trial still could take place before the election and much of the delay is owed not to Garland but to deliberate resistance put up by the former president and his team.
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice declined to comment. But one former senior Justice Department official noted that some of the frustrations being directed at Garland are better directed toward the White House. The president's team had the option to exert executive privilege over elements of Hur's report but declined to do so. And had Garland made edits to the report, he would have had to explain those redactions to Congress.
Beyond that, Garland felt the need to appoint a special counsel in the classified documents case in part because the president's team bungled when the first documents were discovered.
''The way in which the White House story kept changing at the outset made it much more difficult for the Justice Department to resist having a special counsel,'' said the former official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ''Had there been a very clear story at the beginning, it would have been easier.''
Biden picked Garland as his attorney general with the stated desire to restore a semblance of independence at the Department of Justice that he and others believed was lost under Donald Trump. He announced the nomination the day after the Jan. 6 attacks at the Capital '-- a backdrop that Biden offered up as proof that someone of Garland's stature and temperament was needed in the post.
''Your loyalty is not to me,'' Biden said. ''You won't work for me. You are not the president or the vice president's lawyer.''
Democrats close to Biden fear Garland has become too consumed by that instruction to appear impartial.
''What Democrats do is they bend over backwards not to look partisan, and then they end up hiring people that are partisan but in the other direction,'' said a Biden donor, granted anonymity to speak freely about the top law enforcement official in the country. ''There's no question in my mind that the villain here is Merrick Garland.''
But others say Garland has done a commendable job balancing out extremely thorny legal and political matters while maintaining the DOJ's credibility.
''If you look at each one of these decisions, they are very thoughtful. They are not reflexively ducking responsibility as some would suggest. Rather, they are looking at what the department is supposed to do in any given circumstance,'' said Jamie Gorelick, a former United States Deputy Attorney General. ''I understand the cumulative impact [but] you have to play out what the alternatives are.''
With the Trump probe already in hands of a special counsel, Garland not appointing a special counsel over the classified Biden documents and simply closing the investigation himself ''would not have been credible to the country,'' she said.
Justice Department officials say Garland has delivered on a number of fronts '-- many of them closely identified with Biden or his priorities. Soon after arriving, he announced reorganizations and new initiatives aimed at cracking down on a wave of violent crime that beset many cities in the wake of the pandemic. There are signs those efforts are bearing fruit.
Garland and his deputies have also reinvigorated federal law enforcement in areas Republican administrations often downplay: fighting to preserve abortion access in the wake of the Dobbs Supreme Court decision, aggressively investigating claims of civil rights violations by police, and filing a flurry of often successful cases opposing mergers and alleged monopolistic practices.
But it has been his handling of the overtly political cases that has prompted Democratic agitation. And chief among those decisions now is his selection of Hur, a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney, to oversee the classified documents case.
''I had refused to criticize him but appointing Hur, who is obviously a Republican tool and who issued what I think is an irresponsible report which violates DOJ standards, was a mistake,'' said Robert Shrum, a longtime consultant in the Democratic Party. ''I think Garland will be criticized by historians. We've had some terrific attorneys general and some not so good attorneys general. And I think he's going to rank in the not so good.''
Biden, for his part, has kept his frustrations with Garland private, even after publicly admonishing Hur in a press conference on Thursday for saying he couldn't remember the year his son Beau died. On Friday, the White House distributed a list of quotes critical of Hur that did not mention Garland. Senate Democrats, questioned about Garland on Friday, declined to weigh in on his tenure.
''I'm not gonna get into criticizing the attorney general at all,'' Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) told POLITICO.
Asked on Friday whether the president had confidence in Garland, Ian Sams, a White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations, noted Biden's comments from the day before saying he supported the appointment of a special counsel.
But even as the frictions between the White House and DOJ remain relatively contained, outside Democrats are now openly airing their disapproval with Garland's conduct, and their fears that his selection as attorney general may end up being fatal for Biden.
''Garland is far and away Biden's worst appointee by an order of magnitude,'' Robert Kuttner, co-founder of the liberal American Prospect. ''And we all pay the price. If Biden goes down the drain because Garland has mishandled the investigation of Trump and gave Republicans a weapon '... then the country pays the price. It's not just that Biden gets punished for the stupidity of appointing Garland.''
Josh Gerstein, Anthony Adragna and Hailey Fuchs contributed to this report.
US senators seek heightened scrutiny around AI's use in healthcare
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:06
US senators seek heightened scrutiny around AI's use in healthcare
Meanwhile Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, touted the need for ''responsible and ethical'' AI deployment, with appropriate safeguards for privacy and security. In cases such as algorithms, applied by insurers to expedite utilization management, ''improper denials or delays of needed services warrant government scrutiny.'' But in other instances, including AI-related challenges stemming from insufficient provider experience and education, a lighter legislative touch is needed.
''Along these lines, AI highlights the need for adaptability,'' Crapo said in his remarks. ''One-size-fits-all, overly rigid, and unduly bureaucratic laws and regulations risk stifling life-saving advances and becoming outdated before they are even codified.''
Peter Shen, head of digital health, North America, at Siemens Healthineers also testified during the hearing. He highlighted work that is already underway to improve transparency around imaging AI. Shen cited the American College of Radiology's new program, which asks AI manufacturers to disclose details about how they created algorithms. Its aim is to aid radiology practices in selecting products tailored to their needs.
Siemens Healthineers was among the first eight vendors to sign up for the initiative, Shen noted. He said the company has sought to build algorithms that are accurate and unbiased, using training data from individuals of different ages, genders, ethnicities and healthcare profiles.
Shen believes concerns around AI bias are currently addressed under existing risk management processes, quality systems, and compliance with requirements from the FDA and other regulators.
''With the rapid acceleration in development and innovation of AI, the need for the regulatory environment to be able to balance safety, effectiveness, as well as update and improve functionality, without hampering innovation and adoption, is critical,'' Shen said in his testimony. ''While we believe the current regulatory framework is sufficient to support AI innovation, we support the continuation of flexibility in the approval process, as a one-size-fits-all approach could seriously inhibit the potential of AI, as well as efforts to facilitate global harmonization and the development of appropriate international consensus standards.''
You can watch a recording of the hearing, and read testimony from other witnesses, here.
Tucker Carlson interview with Putin to test EU law regulating tech companies | Vladimir Putin | The Guardian
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:06
The EU's far-reaching new laws to regulate tech companies including X and Facebook will face their first big test on Thursday night when former Fox News host Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin is aired in the US.
A spokesperson for the European Commission said it anticipated that the interview would provide a platform for Putin's ''twisted desire to reinstate'' the Russian empire.
''We can all assume what Putin might say. I mean he is a chronic liar,'' said the EU's spokesperson for foreign affairs.
The interview has raised concerns within the EU that it will be used as part of Putin's wider ''information war'', with the likelihood that clips would spread across social media, particularly on Elon Musk's X platform, providing the Russian leader with a propaganda coup.
However, at the daily press conference of the European Commission officials made clear that X and other platforms would be obliged to remove illegal content under the bloc's Digital Services Act, which came into force last year.
The law is aimed at stamping out illegal content or harmful content that incites violence or hate speech from social media.
All the large platforms, bar X, have signed up to a code of conduct to help them accelerate and build their internal procedures in order to comply with the law.
Musk's platform is currently under formal investigation over alleged failure to comply with the new law.
The onus is on platforms to ensure content is lawful, said a spokesperson for the digital tsar, Thierry Breton. But he added: ''They need to expeditiously remove content they are aware of if it is illegal.''
''This is a new law; we have never been here before,'' said one insider, adding there had not been any contact with Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg of Meta relating to the interview as the onus was entirely theirs to operate legally in the EU.
If a social media platform does not comply with the new EU law it can be sanctioned with a hefty fine, or banned from operating in the EU.
The foreign affairs spokesperson pointed out that Putin and a wide network of oligarchs and other associates had already been issued with sanctions in the EU but said there had been ''no discussion'' of doing the same with Carlson, as had been suggested by some, over the interview.
Asked if the Putin interview was not a justifiable opportunity to counter the ''one-sided media'' operating in Brussels, as Carlson has characterised it, the foreign affairs spokesperson said Putin was killing people, bombing infrastructure and conducting a disinformation campaign that ''is directed against the European Union and is considered as a threat to our societies''.
''And he is trying to kill as many Ukrainians as he can for no reason. There is only one reason for his twisted desire to reinstate the now imperialistic Russian empire where he controls everything in his neighbourhood and imposes his will. But this is not something we are able to tolerate or are willing to tolerate in Europe or the world in the 21st century.''
Carlson is a former Fox News host, a key ally of 2024 election candidate Donald Trump, and a vocal opponent to US military aid for Ukraine. He travelled to Moscow for Putin's first interview with a western journalist since Russia's February 2022 invasion.
His visit to Moscow has been covered heavily by Russian state media, which has long highlighted the US celebrity's anti-Ukraine talking points.
On X, Tucker thanked Musk for giving him a platform for the interview.
''Elon Musk, to his great credit, has promised not to suppress or block this interview once we post it on his platform X and we are grateful for that.
''Western governments, by contrast will certainly do their best to censor this video on other, less principled platform, because that is what they do,'' he said.
Tucker Carlson Could Be 'Prosecuted' for Putin Interview, Lawyer Warns
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:06
Tucker Carlson risks "bogus" prosecution under the Espionage Act for interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin, one legal expert warns.
Carlson, a former Fox News host who remains popular among conservatives, is set to interview Putin, he confirmed in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday. He said that he is interviewing Russia's leader because most Americans "are not informed" about what is happening there and that it's his "duty to inform people."
But the interview has brought a backlash from critics, who have in the past accused Carlson of promoting Kremlin talking points during the Russia-Ukraine war.
"Most Americans have no idea why Putin invaded Ukraine or what his goals are now," Carlson said in a video posted to X. "They've never heard his voice. That's wrong. Americans have a right to know all they can about a war they're implicated in, and we have a right to tell them about it because we are Americans too."
Carlson is taking a risk by interviewing Putin, lawyer Ian Corzine said in a video posted to X on Wednesday, with his analysis drawing some pushback. He said that while interviewing Putin may be legal, there may be "some big problems ahead" for Carlson, pointing to the "super broad" language of the Espionage Act, which prohibits Americans from spying on behalf of foreign countries.
Tucker Carlson speaks at Politicon at the Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018. A lawyer says Carlson's interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin could open him up to "bogus" prosecution. Tucker Carlson speaks at Politicon at the Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018. A lawyer says Carlson's interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin could open him up to "bogus" prosecution. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for PoliticonCorzine warned that the language of the law "could be construed to prohibit any sharing of information with another country with intent to harm the U.S."
Carlson sharing questions with Putin's team before the interview, or Putin's team providing the American with evidence supporting the war with Ukraine, could be covered by the Espionage Act, Corzine said. But he explained why the case for prosecution would still be weak.
"Does Tucker Carlson have an intent to harm the U.S.?" he asked. "This is where the Espionage Act case against Tucker gets weaker, and it gets even more weak when you consider that the U.S. government is duty bound to follow the dictates of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution guarantees freedom of the press, and the U.S. Supreme Court has done everything it can to protect this provision and journalists."
Corzine also said Carlson is ultimately taking a risk that he could be "prosecuted later on in time on bogus charges."
Newsweek reached out via email to the Tucker Carlson Network and Corzine for comment.
Corzine's analysis on X has gone viral, amassing more than 1 million views by Thursday. But critics argue that the interview will be covered by the First Amendment's guaranteed freedom of the press.
"Please watch this video and see for yourself how completely unhinged, authoritarian and repressive American liberals have become," responded journalist Glenn Greenwald. "This is from a lawyer, very seriously discussing whether Tucker Carlson will be prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act for interviewing Putin."
Conservative commentator Ian Miles Cheong posted: "It's legal for CNN to interview Putin but it's not legal for Tucker Carlson to do it, apparently."
Corzine responded to some of the criticism on X, writing, "It surely is legal, but that doesn't stop the US Department of Justice from bringing lawsuits and having defendants had to spend thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in their defense."
While it is unclear whether Carlson would face legal action in the U.S., he has faced sanction calls in Europe. Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister and current member of the European Parliament, previously told Newsweek that Carlson could be subject to European Union sanctions for the interview.
Uncommon KnowledgeNewsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.
Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.
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Top U.S. Treasury Officials to Visit Beijing for Economic Talks - The New York Times
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:05
National Debt Jobs Report Interest Rates G.D.P. Inflation 'Magnificent Seven' Stocks The Bull Market, Explained U.S. World Business Arts Lifestyle Opinion Audio Games Cooking Wirecutter The Athletic National Debt Jobs Report Interest Rates G.D.P. Inflation 'Magnificent Seven' Stocks The Bull Market, Explained A meeting of the new economic working group comes as the U.S. and China are trying to prevent any escalation of hostilities.
The visit could pave the way for a second trip to China by Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. She traveled to Beijing last summer. Credit... Loren Elliott/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images The Biden administration is dispatching a high-level delegation of Treasury Department officials to Beijing this week for a round of economic talks as the world's largest economies look to continue engagement efforts that President Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed to pursue last year.
A Treasury official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the trip has not been publicly announced, said that the two days of meetings would include ''frank conversations'' about China's use of nonmarket economic practices like government subsidies. The U.S. officials also plan to discuss concerns about industrial overcapacity, which could flood international markets with cheap products.
They will also talk about ways to resolve sovereign debt burdens that have been weighing on low-income countries and preventing some of those countries from investing in sustainable development and climate initiatives. China is one of the world's largest creditors and has faced international pressure to make concessions that would unlock a global effort to restructure hundreds of billions of dollars of debt owed by poor countries.
More broadly, the two governments will discuss the macroeconomic outlooks for their countries, whose economies are critical to the health of the overall global economy. The United States is proving to be the most resilient economy in the world. China, meanwhile, continues to be haunted by a financial industry that's struggling to contain enormous amounts of local government debt, a volatile stock market and a crisis in its real estate sector.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund, in its latest economic outlook, projected that China's economy would grow at a rate of 4.6 percent in 2024, a faster pace than previous projections. But it also urged China to make longer-term structural changes to its economy, such as overhauling its pension program and reforming its state-owned enterprises, to prevent its output from slowing more dramatically.
''Without those reforms, there is risk that Chinese growth would fall below 4 percent,'' Kristalina Georgieva, the I.M.F.'s managing director, told reporters on Thursday.
The American and Chinese officials will also discuss mutual efforts to combat climate change and the mechanics of investment screening programs that are creating new economic barriers between the two countries.
The revival of a formal economic dialogue structure is intended to prevent misunderstandings between the United States and China from spiraling into economic warfare.
The five-person group from Treasury will be led by Jay Shambaugh, the department's under secretary for international affairs. It is the first such meeting in Beijing of the economic working group that was established last September. In January, a group of Treasury officials with a focus on financial issues held talks Beijing.
The visit could pave the way for a second trip to China by Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, who traveled to Beijing last summer.
The Biden administration has been trying to persuade Chinese officials that President Biden's efforts to diversify American supply chains away from China are not meant to hurt Beijing's economic development.
The Treasury official would not elaborate on what specific concerns Mr. Shambaugh would raise with his counterparts during this trip. But Biden administration officials have continued in recent months to complain about China's subsidies for its domestic industries and discrimination against foreign competitors.
In a speech to the U.S.-China Business Council in December, Ms. Yellen lamented that China continued to use unfair economic practices, limit access to foreign firms and coerce American companies.
''For too long, American workers and firms have not been able to compete on a level playing field with those in China,'' Ms. Yellen said.
Although the increased levels of engagement appear to have eased some of the public displays of tension between the United States and China, it is unclear how much progress is being made in practice.
The Biden administration moved forward last August with plans to initiate new rules to restrict American investments in certain Chinese sectors that the United States considers to be national security risks. Two months later, China announced that it would restrict exports of graphite, which is an important component of electric vehicle batteries.
But the two countries say they want to continue looking for areas of collaboration.
''These trips have considerable significance for preventing any further escalation of hostilities, especially as election-year rhetoric in the U.S. ramps up,'' said Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University professor and former head of the International Monetary Fund's China division. ''I think both sides are very eager to tamp down any further escalation of hostilities.''
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Shell Is Immediately Closing All Of Its California Hydrogen Stations
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:05
Shell Hydrogen will permanently close all seven of its California pumping stations immediately, the company confirmed this week. It will no longer operate light-duty hydrogen stations in the U.S., and represents another blow to the struggling hydrogen car market in the only state where the fuel is widely available at all.
The outlet Hydrogen Insight first reported the news on Thursday. Shell had, until recently, operated seven of the 55 total retail hydrogen stations in California, per the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership (H2FCP). That makes this a blow, but not apocalyptic news for the (small) hydrogen community.
Get Fully ChargedHydrogen Is Stalling Out
Car manufacturers and gas giants alike have long promoted hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles as an alternative to battery electric vehicles. The technology is promising for commercial trucking and heavy-duty applications, but the light-duty market has failed to materialize in the United States.
Unfortunately, the reason why Shell is closing up shop should give Toyota Mirai, Hyundai Nexo, and Honda Clarity Fuel Cell owners'--God bless 'em'--even more cause for concern. In the letter announcing the closure, Shell Hydrogen Vice President Andrew Beard said they were shutting them down "due to hydrogen supply complications and other external market factors." It's not hard to see what Beard is referencing here.
The second-generation Mirai looks great. But unless you live in Southern California or the Bay Area, you won't be able to buy fuel for it.
A brief scan of H2FCP's fantastic station map shows that a majority of the Hydrogen stations in Southern California are offline or operating with reduced hours. Hydrogen Insight reports that this shortage has been disrupting stations since August 13. During my one experience in a Mirai, the Uber driver behind the wheel noted that it had become even more of a nightmare to find fuel, and the situation has gotten worse since then. Each station has a slightly different notice posted on H2FCP's map, but this one from an Iwatani hydrogen filling station captures the spirit of them all:
"Our primary hydrogen supplier has experienced a disruption that will impact our access to hydrogen for the Hawaiian Gardens station. We currently do not have an ETA to return to normal service levels and will provide updates as soon as we have more information. We greatly appreciate your patience for the additional downtime this will cause."
Some are also down for repairs, as many hydrogen stations suffer from serious reliability issues. Iwatani, a Japanese gas company that is one of the two largest names in American hydrogen filling stations, is currently suing the company that provided the core technology for its stations. In a court filing viewed by Hydrogen Insight, Iwatini alleges that its provider did not test its equipment in a real-world commercial scenario, hid defects, and misled the company. It is, in short, a big mess.
The Honda FCX Clarity was the first production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle to reach the U.S., way back in 2008. A decade and a half later, most Americans still aren't familiar with hydrogen cars.
All of this makes the future of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the United States even more uncertain. The technology has struggled to catch on, as the stations and their fuel remain expensive. Though hydrogen car manufacturers usually include a large amount of free fuel in the purchase of a vehicle, once that runs out consumers are left with eye-watering prices from stations that are often broken, out of fuel, or swarmed with long lines. It's why used hydrogen cars are so cheap, and why they still aren't a good deal.
Few companies can make a better case for it than Shell, though, as the cheapest way to produce hydrogen involves a lot of natural gas. Its proximity to the fossil-fuel industry was supposed to make it cheaper, and provide incentive for robust fueling infrastructure. That hasn't played out, though, and one of the largest oil giants is throwing in the towel. If even a fossil giant like Shell can't justify investing in the future of light-duty hydrogen infrastructure, we're not sure who can.
Robert K. Hur - Wikipedia
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:04
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
American attorney (born 1973)
Robert Kyoung Hur (born 1973)[2] is an American lawyer who served as the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland from 2018 to 2021. He previously served as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General with the U.S. Department of Justice. Hur oversaw the 2023/2024 investigation into President Joe Biden's alleged mishandling of classified documents during Biden's time as vice president.
Early life and education Hur was born in New York City to South Korean parents, Dr. Young Hur, an anesthesiologist, and Haesook Hur, who works for Young as his office manager.[2][3]
Hur studied English and American literature at Harvard University, graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, with high honors. From 1995 to 1996, Hur did graduate study in philosophy at King's College, Cambridge University, and from 1996 to 1998 he worked for Boston Consulting Group. He then attended Stanford Law School, where he was an executive editor of the Stanford Law Review and won the school's Kirkwood Moot Court Competition. He graduated in 2001 with a Juris Doctor and membership in the Order of the Coif.[2]
Career After law school, Hur was a law clerk for Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 2001 to 2002 and for Chief Justice William Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court from 2002 to 2003.[2]
He then served as Special Assistant and Counsel to Christopher A. Wray, then Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. From 2007 to 2014, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Maryland, where he prosecuted gang violence, drug trafficking and firearms offenses, and white-collar crimes. He was formerly a partner with King & Spalding in Washington, D.C., where his practice focused on government investigations and complex litigation.[4]
United States Attorney Hur rejoined the Department of Justice as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, a top aide to Rod Rosenstein after Rosenstein became Deputy Attorney General. He was a liaison to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.[5]
On November 1, 2017, Hur was nominated by President Donald Trump to be the next United States Attorney for the District of Maryland.[6] On March 22, 2018, his nomination was reported out of committee by voice vote.[7] He was unanimously confirmed in the US Senate by voice vote later the same day.[8][9] He was sworn in on April 9, 2018.[10]
Appointment of Robert K. Hur as Special CounselOn February 3, 2021, Hur announced his resignation, effective February 15.[11] Following his departure from the U.S. Attorney position, Hur became a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Gibson Dunn, a national law firm.[12]
Special Counsel On January 12, 2023, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Hur to oversee the United States Department of Justice's investigation into President Joe Biden's alleged mishandling of classified documents during his time as vice president.[13]
Garland notified Congress on February 7, 2024 that Hur had concluded his investigation, and no charges were recommended.[14][15] As part of this investigation, Hur found that Biden "willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen."[16] He concluded that "no criminal charges are warranted in this matter ... even if there was no policy against charging a sitting president", because the "evidence does not establish Mr. Biden's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." He also cited Biden's memory as a factor, concluding that "Biden would likely present himself to a jury ... as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."[17][18][19] The White House rebuked Hur's characterization as inappropriate, politicized commentary that veered from standards of unbiased, legal analysis, despite the mention of Biden's limitations being included as the reason why the decision was made for Biden not to be charged.[20][21][22] Others with longstanding Democratic Party ties, such as James Carville and David Axelrod, admitted that the report's mention of Biden's memory issues would be seen by the public as confirming a well-established concern about Biden's mental acuity.[23]
Personal life Hur married Cara Brewer, an attorney, in 2004. They'd met two years earlier on a Washington, D.C. subway.[3]
According to an NBC News article, Hur has made small donations to the campaigns of at least three Republican political candidates, all of whom are considered moderate. The same profile noted that Hur is well respected by both Republicans and Democrats.[24] A Washington Post profile also noted that Hur is widely respected, and seen as a straight shooter.[25]
See also List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States (Chief Justice)References ^ Marimow, Ann E.; Stein, Perry (January 12, 2023). "Robert Hur, a 'No Nonsense' Former Prosecutor, Will Examine Biden Documents". The Washington Post . Retrieved January 13, 2023 . Hur is a registered Republican, according to Maryland voter records. ^ a b c d "Robert K. Hur, U.S. Attorney (Maryland)". Maryland Manual On-line. Maryland State Archives . Retrieved 2023-01-13 . ^ a b "Cara Brewer, Robert Hur". The New York Times. December 19, 2004. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved January 12, 2023 . ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Eighth Wave of United States Attorney Nominations". November 1, 2017 . Retrieved February 13, 2018 '' via National Archives. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. ^ Jones, Dustin (14 January 2023). "Who is Robert Hur, the special counsel leading the Biden classified documents inquiry". NPR . Retrieved 14 January 2023 . ^ "Eleven Nominations Sent to the Senate Today". November 2, 2017 . Retrieved February 13, 2018 '' via National Archives. ^ Results of Executive Business Meeting '' March 22, 2018, Senate Judiciary Committee ^ PN1209 '-- Robert K. Hur '-- Department of Justice, ^ ^ "Robert K. Hur is Sworn in as the 48th United States Attorney for the District of Maryland". 9 April 2018. ^ "United States Attorney Robert K. Hur to Leave Department of Justice After Serving as Chief Federal Law Enforcement Officer in Maryland Since 2018" (Press release). Baltimore, Maryland: United States Attorney's Office. February 3, 2021 . Retrieved February 17, 2021 . ^ "People: Robert K, Hur - Partner". LawTally . Retrieved 3 February 2023 . ^ "Garland Appoints Special Counsel to Handle Biden Documents Inquiry". The New York Times. January 12, 2023. ^ Gerstein, Josh (7 February 2024). "Biden classified document probe ends without charges". Politico. ^ "Takeaways from the special counsel's report on Biden's handling of classified documents". Associated Press. February 8, 2024 . Retrieved February 9, 2024 . ^ Lim, Clarissa-Jan (February 8, 2024). "Special counsel issues final report in Biden classified docs probe". MSNBC . Retrieved February 9, 2024 . ^ Shear, Michael D. (February 8, 2024). "Special Counsel's Report Puts Biden's Age and Memory in the Spotlight". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved February 9, 2024 . ^ Thomas, Pierre; Mallin, Alexander; Bruggeman, Lucien; Faulders, Katherine (February 9, 2024). "Special counsel won't charge Biden in classified docs probe, despite evidence he 'willfully retained' materials". ABC News . Retrieved February 9, 2024 . ^ Woodruff Swan, Betsy (February 8, 2024). "Special counsel passes on charging Biden but paints damning portrait of him". Politico. ^ Kanno-Youngs, Zolan; Green, Erica L.; Glueck, Katie (2024-02-09). "White House Calls Special Counsel Report on Biden Politically Motivated". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 2024-02-10 . ^ "Biden angrily pushes back at special counsel's report that questioned his memory, handling of docs". AP News. 2024-02-08 . Retrieved 2024-02-10 . ^ Hutzler, Alexandra (February 9, 2024). "White House fires back at special counsel report, Harris calls descriptions 'politically motivated' ". ABC News . Retrieved 2024-02-10 . ^ ^ Shabad, Rebecca (January 12, 2023). "Who is Robert Hur? The special counsel looking into Biden's classified documents". NBC News . Retrieved February 9, 2024 . ^ External links Appearances on C-SPAN
Rapportageverplichting werkgebonden personenmobiliteit | Leasemaatschappij Arval
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:03
Een hele mond vol. Je hebt er inmiddels waarschijnlijk al veel over gelezen. Maar we kunnen ons voorstellen dat een duidelijk overzicht ontbreekt. Daar kunnen wij je bij helpen.
Bekijk het webinar
In het kort: Wat is het?
Een verplichting om de CO2-uitstoot van het zakelijke verkeer (C)n woon-werkverkeer van je medewerkers te registreren.
Voor wie geldt het?
Bedrijven met meer dan 100 werknemers
Vanaf wanneer?
1 juli 2024
Voldoen aan milieudoelstellingenIn het klimaatakkoord van Parijs staat onder andere dat EU-lidstaten in 2030 minimaal 40% minder CO2 moeten uitstoten. Nederland heeft besloten (net als een aantal andere landen) deze doelstellingen te verhogen naar 55%. Je kunt je wel voorstellen dat hier nog een hoop voor moet gebeuren. In 2019 hebben meer dan 100 partijen (overheden, bedrijfsleven, maatschappelijke organisaties etc.) daarom gewerkt aan verschillende maatregelen waarmee dit doel haalbaar moet worden. Deze maatregelen worden in stappen uitgevoerd. Je hoeft dus niet bang te zijn dat je morgen ineens je hele onderneming op z'n kop moet gooien. Wel is het goed om je in te lezen zodat je weet wat eraan komt.
Op de website van Rijksoverheid vind je meer informatie over de maatregelen per branche.
Rapportageverplichting werkgebonden personenmobiliteitMeer dan de helft van de kilometers op de weg is werkgerelateerd (vrachtvervoer niet meegerekend). Om de doelstelling binnen het klimaatakkoord te halen en de CO2-uitstoot te verminderen, moeten dus vooral werkgevers aan de bak. Een manier hoe je hier als werkgever wat van gaat merken is de Rapportageverplichting werkgebonden personenmobiliteit (WPM).
In deze regeling staat dat vanaf 1 juli 2026 de totale CO2-uitstoot van de gereisde zakelijke kilometers van iedereen binnen je onderneming niet hoger mag zijn dan de maximumnorm. Deze norm wordt iedere vier jaar opnieuw vastgesteld. Om te controleren of je als werkgever voldoet aan deze norm ben je verplicht om jaarlijks te rapporteren over de gereden zakelijke kilometers. Blijkt uit je rapportage dat je boven deze norm zit? Dan heb je vier jaar de tijd om de CO2-uitstoot te verlagen.
Dat betekent dat je dus nogal wat gegevens van je werknemers moet hebben.
Wat is het doel van de rit?Wat is de afstand?Wat is het merk en type auto?Wat is de leeftijd van de auto?Met welke brandstof is er gereisd?Bekijk de veelgestelde vragen
VoorbereidingIn eerste instantie zou de regeling al ingaan op 1 juli 2022. Maar mede door de lange duur van de formatie is dit uitgesteld naar 1 juli 2024 . Je hebt dus nog even om je voor te bereiden op deze wijzigingen.
Kijk eens naar je wagenpark. Zitten daar bijvoorbeeld nog oude dieselauto's tussen? En hoeveel elektrische auto's bied je aan?Pak je administratie aan. Je hebt straks een hoop informatie van je medewerkers nodig. Hoe ga je dit opvragen en hoe ga je dit bijhouden? Wij kunnen je hierbij helpen. Sterker nog: we zouden ons werk niet goed doen als we niet gewoon al een oplossing voor je hebben. Kijk even op Arval Mobility Link. Wil je meer weten? Neem dan gerust contact met ons op via de contactknop op dezelfde pagina.Op de website van de Rijksoverheid vind je meer informatie over de WPM met de handreiking en handleiding voor werkgevers.
Lees meer toon minder
'Where I live, many people don't have teeth'
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:03
By Nick Triggle, Kris Bramwell & Emma Pengelly BBC News
Stephen Davies has had to pay for emergency dental treatmentDentists in England are to be given cash incentives to take on new NHS patients under government plans to improve access. And those willing to work in the areas with the fewest dentists are to get a £20,000 bonus. Patients explain just how bad it has got trying to see an NHS dentist.
When Stephen Davies walks around his Lancashire village of Rawtenstall he says the impact of the NHS dentistry crisis is clear for all to see.
"There are people walking around with no teeth," says the 67-year-old. "I notice it amongst my friends. There's a whole generation of people with no teeth because they can't get a dentist."
He, like many others, has been unable to access an NHS dentist and has had to resort to emergency treatment to have 10 teeth pulled out. He ended up taking out a loan to pay for four false teeth.
"I've paid my National Insurance all my working life and I can't find a dentist. It's just not fair."
It is a story that will be familiar across the country. NHS England's national patient survey last year found just over half of people had tried to access an NHS dentist in the past two years - with nearly a quarter of them unsuccessful.
Those who were not registered with a practice already found it the most difficult - chiming with a BBC investigation in 2022 that found nine in 10 NHS dentists were not taking on new adult patients.
'I pull out my own teeth'Teresa Kemp, 66, says that since moving to County Durham three years ago she has not been able to find an NHS dentist.
She suffers with loose teeth, which cause swollen, painful gums. "It feels like this country is falling apart. It is terribly sad."
Peter Williams is another person who has been unable to find an NHS dentist. He and his family last saw one in 2019.
Peter Williams: "I think it is really unfair, particularly on children""Very soon after our dentist reopened its doors after Covid, we received a letter saying they were no longer treating NHS patients and we would have to take out a private dentistry plan or pay for our treatment."
Despite regularly trying local dentists close to him in West Sussex, he has not been able to find one willing to take on new NHS patients.
"They either only accept private patients or their NHS slots are all full.
"It is impossible. My children are 19 and 17 and they haven't had a check-up for four years. I think it is really unfair, particularly on children."
Has spending on NHS dentists fallen? Fruitless 200-mile round tripGeorge Filer, 80, from South Gloucestershire, has found himself in the same position.
"I have not seen an NHS dentist now for over four years as our local dentist was taken over and now only accepts private patients.
"I have contacted the NHS for a dentist and the nearest one offered was in Basingstoke. A round trip of over 200 miles."
He is not optimistic the government's plans will work.
"It won't go anywhere. Will what the government is proposing be enough to overcome a private patient's income? I doubt it very much."
Naomi Minto's son Ruben has never been able to access an NHS dentistBut it is not only adults who struggle. Town planner Naomi Minto's seven-year-old son Ruben has never been able to get a dental appointment on the NHS.
"It's quite sad. As a youngster I always had access to an NHS dentist. Maybe I took that for granted. But for children now not to be able to see one is quite worrying when you are trying to teach them about dental hygiene, and you haven't got that support."
Recently Naomi has resorted to using a private dentist.
The use of private dentistry is becoming more common.
The patient survey found that of the people who did not try to see an NHS dentist, half had relied on private dentistry or went without because they assumed they would not be able to find an NHS one.
Tommy Benn, 28, from Berkshire, has not been able to find an NHS dentist since 2019 when he moved house.
No practices in his area are taking on new NHS patients. The closest dentist doing so is 17 miles away and neither Tommy nor his partner drive, so that option is off the table.
In September, Tommy resorted to booking a private appointment because he was suffering with toothache. His consultation and treatment for fillings including one root canal came to £1,720.
Tommy could not afford the fee upfront, but has been able to opt for a payment plan to spread the cost.
"It's a large amount of money we can't afford. With an NHS dentist it would have been maybe a quarter of the price or a little more."
Have you been affected by the issues in this story? Share your experiences by emailing
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:
WhatsApp: +44 7756 165803Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSayUpload pictures or videoPlease read our terms & conditions and privacy policyIf you are reading this page and can't see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at Please include your name, age and location with any submission.
Prince William Returns to Royal Duties After News of King Charles's Cancer - The New York Times
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:02
Cancer Diagnosis How the News Was Disclosed A Not Unheard-Of Diagnosis What It Means for William and Harry Royal Line of Succession U.S. World Business Arts Lifestyle Opinion Audio Games Cooking Wirecutter The Athletic Cancer Diagnosis How the News Was Disclosed A Not Unheard-Of Diagnosis What It Means for William and Harry Royal Line of Succession Returning to royal duties after his wife's surgery and the news of King Charles's cancer, the heir to the throne will confront new demands on his time.
Prince William during an honors ceremony at Windsor Castle on Wednesday. Credit... Yui Mok/Press Association, via Associated Press Prince William, the heir to the British throne, stepped back onto the public stage Wednesday, trying to project a steely sense of normalcy, two days after the announcement that his father, King Charles III, had been struck by cancer.
But as William carried out an honors ceremony at Windsor Castle and attended a charity fund-raiser in London, a shadow of uncertainty hung over the 41-year-old prince. Nobody, aside from Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla, faces more lingering disruption from the king's cancer diagnosis than his eldest son.
The advocacy work, family life, and zone of privacy that William has carved out for himself is very different than that of his father, when he served as the Prince of Wales. Whether William will be able to preserve those qualities while stepping in for his father during his treatment is, at best, uncertain.
''William has tended toward less of the day-to-day routine work of the monarchy, compared to his father, instead focusing on bigger, glitzier engagements,'' said Ed Owens, a royal historian. ''But now he'll be expected to fill in on many of these more mundane public outings.''
It is not just a question of managing his calendar: William's professional focus, members of his staff say, has been about pouring his energy into a couple of high-impact social issues '-- most recently, climate change and homelessness '-- where he believes he can make a tangible difference.
The scope of William's ambition is evident in a looming shake-up at his office in Kensington Palace. He and his wife, Catherine, are expected to appoint, for the first time, a chief executive. Using a corporate title rather than the traditional title of private secretary, a person with knowledge of the office said, is calculated to attract candidates with business credentials and to reinforce the office's professional nature.
Image Prince William and his wife, Catherine, last year. Credit... Pool photo by Chris Jackson Among the prince's marquee projects is a five-year program that seeks to end homelessness in six towns and cities in Britain. While Charles had a similar attachment to pet issues like organic farming and architecture, he pursued them on more of an ad hoc basis. Much of his time, as for other royals of his generation, was eaten up by ribbon-cuttings and other ceremonial duties.
Now, some of that burden will fall to his son.
''William was trying to explore the boundaries of what he could do as heir that he couldn't do as king,'' said Peter Hunt, a former royal correspondent for the BBC. ''The tension is how to pursue his own activities while supporting the monarch. William is going to feel that at an earlier stage than his father did.''
A spokesman for William, Lee Thompson, said Kensington Palace was conferring with Buckingham Palace about how to parcel out the king's public commitments (William's events on Wednesday were in his diary before the disclosure of his father's illness).
In the meantime, Mr. Thompson said, William continues to drop off and pick up his children from their school in Berkshire, west of London. That is another break from the more remote parenting style of the royal family in previous generations.
It is a ritual William and Catherine usually share but that he took on as a solo parent when she was unexpectedly hospitalized last month (he had suspended his public engagements until Wednesday to take care of her).
The zeal with which William has thrown a cloak of privacy around his family was dramatized by his wife's medical treatment. Kensington Palace offered scant information on her condition, beyond saying she was undergoing abdominal surgery. There were no photographs of the couple's children '-- George, Charlotte, and Louis '-- visiting their mother in the hospital. Nor were there any images of her going home almost two weeks later.
Image Prince William at the wheel last month while leaving a London clinic where his wife Catherine underwent surgery. Credit... Henry Nicholls/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images The contrast to Charles was striking. Buckingham Palace disclosed that he would be undergoing a procedure for an enlarged prostate. Camilla was photographed visiting her husband, and the couple left the hospital together, waving to cameras as they walked to their car.
Some of those differences can be explained by history. While Charles has taken his share of lumps from Britain's tabloid press, he has continued to work with those papers in what is essentially a transactional relationship.
William, however, still bears the scars of the pitiless coverage of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, which ended with her death in a car accident in Paris in 1997, pursued by the paparazzi. In 2021, the prince bitterly criticized the BBC for a sensational interview it aired with Diana in 1995, during which she discussed the marital infidelities of her ex-husband, Charles.
The BBC apologized for the report after an outside investigation concluded that its correspondent, Martin Bashir, had used deceitful methods to obtain the interview and the BBC's management had covered it up.
''It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC's failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia, and isolation that I remember from those final years with her,'' William said in a video statement.
The prince's younger brother, Harry, has claimed that William was not above dishing dirt about family members to the tabloids. William has also not hesitated to use lawyers to go after press, winning a ''huge sum of money'' in 2020 from Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group to settle claims that its journalists had hacked his cellphone, according to a legal filing submitted by Harry.
Image The Prince of Wales and his family attending a Christmas Day service last year. Credit... Chris Radburn/Reuters Not surprisingly, William's emotional scars extend to his brother. The two fell out after Harry and his wife, Meghan, moved to California in 2020, and there are no signs of a rapprochement. Harry flew to London this week to visit his father, but the brothers did not meet, according to a person familiar with their schedules.
As the ranks of the royals have thinned, William's family has come to the foreground at events like the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the coronation of Charles. That has inevitably drawn the camera's glare. The couple's 5-year-old son, Prince Louis, has become a latter-day version of a young Harry, squirming and making faces at solemn occasions.
A charming image for the papers, to be sure, but also a reminder that William and Catherine still have a young family.
Charles had to wait decades to become king. If his health deteriorates, his elder son may confront the opposite problem, thrust into a job before he gets a chance to explore his social and philanthropic ambitions, and exposing his children '-- especially his eldest son and heir, George '-- to unwanted attention.
''That will be quite an issue for him,'' Mr. Hunt said. ''George is only 10. You can imagine William saying to himself, 'How can I create a buffer for him?'''
Mark Landler is the London bureau chief of The Times, covering the United Kingdom, as well as American foreign policy in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He has been a journalist for more than three decades. More about Mark Landler
A version of this article appears in print on
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Prince William, Back at Work, Navigates an Expanding Royal Role
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Porn star Ron Jeremy, accused of rape, to be released to private residence
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:02
Former adult film star Ron Jeremy has been released to a ''private residence,'' due to deteriorating health.
Jeremy, whose full name is Ronald Jeremy Hyatt, 70, was being held in the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles for months since he was declared incompetent to stand trial earlier this year.
Jeremy, who has dementia, was waiting to be placed in a state medical facility, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In 2021, he entered a not-guilty plea after a grand jury indicted him on over 30 counts of sexual assault, including 12 counts of forcible rape.
According to an email obtained by The Times, a judge on Friday ruled that Jeremy should be released to a private residence to receive medical care since ''no medical facility will take him.''
Background:Ron Jeremy found unable to stand trial for sexual assault charges due to 'neurocognitive decline'
Court says Ron Jeremy too ill to harm anyoneThe Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office did not respond to USA TODAY's request for comment but told Fox News that the court granted the conditional release despite the office's concerns for public safety.
"According to them, he is 'practically bedridden' and does not have the ability to leave a residence. We expressed concern that even if that is true, he could assault caregivers, which he has allegedly attempted to do at other facilities. The judge said the public guardian is responsible for that and could hire male caregivers and overruled our objection," the office said.
What accusers say:Testimony from 21 women reveals Ron Jeremy used fame to lure, rape accusers
Sexual assault allegationsJeremy was charged for allegedly sexually assaulting 21 women between the 1990s and 2019.
Transcripts of grand jury testimony from women and girls obtained by The Associated Press, showed how Jeremy would assault women. According to the testimony, Jeremy would lure them into a small secluded space, often the bathroom of a West Hollywood bar and grill he frequents, trap them and sexually assault them.
Here are the 55 ingredients in a Chick-fil-A Sandwich. Should you eat them?
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 18:01
Chick-fil-A's famous chicken sandwich has 55 ingredients, including MSG, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Potassium Iodate, and Dimethylpolysiloxane. These additives are linked to several health risks, and some are banned or heavily restricted in other countries. Chick-fil-A has made some good progress in eliminating antibiotics, high fructose corn syrup, and TBHQ from their supply chain, but they still have a long way to go. Chick-fil-A's new Mac & Cheese is made primarily with ''Pasteurized Processed Cheese Spread'' '' which is like that cheese in a can '' and ''Margarine''. Food Babe investigates food brands and restaurants, revealing the truth about what is in their food. She has influenced how major food giants create their products, steering them towards more healthful policies. Read More Investigations Exposing The Food Industry Here
I had an early love affair with Chick-fil-A. While in college, I'd eat there at least 3 to 4 times a week, sometimes more. I'd pick up one of their sandwiches on my way back from the gym and thought they were healthy because they were only around 400 calories. If only I knew then what I do now.
One of my first restaurant investigations was into Chick-fil-A (about 7 years ago!) That's when I posted the ingredients in their chicken sandwich on my personal Facebook page and got an intense reaction from my friends and family '' everything from horrified to ''no one is going to stop me from eating those 100 ingredients of deliciousness'....''
Ha ha, yeah, I once thought those sandwiches were delicious too. But I finally came to a point in my life where I realized that eating ''food'' full of artificial additives was making me feel and look horrible. It was not worth it.
I went on to write several blog posts about Chick-fil-A during the summer of 2012, exposing the unholy ingredients in the company's sandwiches from antibiotics, to MSG, to artificial food dyes, to GMOs and TBHQ (1). This eventually got the attention of the executives at Chick-fil-A, and to my surprise they invited me to their headquarters to consult with them on how they could change their ingredients. I came to them prepared with a laundry list of what it would take to improve their food. I tried my hardest to convince them that they'd be surprised by how many people would choose clean, organic chicken sandwiches, if offered. And if Chick-fil-A did make their menu items additive-free, I promised them that I'd rent a cow costume or whatever they wanted and run up and down the street on live TV. That promise still stands!
Unfortunately it may be a while before you see me running around in a cow costume cheering for Chick-fil-A'...They did some outstanding work in implementing a No Antibiotics Ever policy for their chicken '' the #1 suggestion I made to them (2). They also dropped the TBHQ and high fructose corn syrup '' another suggestion I made (3). And then they made a big announcement about dropping artificial dyes from their sauces a few years back (4). Well'...
Those same artificial dyes are still in the pickles found on nearly every Chick-fil-A sandwich. And there are dozens more health-wrecking additives still in their food.
What's still in a Chick-fil-A sandwich, and should you be eating it or feeding it to your kids? Let's take a look, it's eye-opening'...
This is the complete list of ingredients in the Chick-fil-A Sandwich '' some items appear more than once because they are used in multiple items, like in the chicken, and again in the bun.
1. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Filet '' Not organic or pasture-raised, Chick-fil-A's chicken is raised in large barns where the chickens likely spend little to no time outdoors (5).
2. Salt
3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) '' What is it that makes Chick-fil-A sandwiches so addicting? This ingredient is the main culprit! MSG is a flavor-enhancer and excitotoxin that excites brain cells to death, increases food cravings, and makes you eat more than you should (6).
4. Sugar '' Refined likely from GMO sugar beets.
5. Spices '' We asked Chick-fil-A what exactly is in their ''spices'' in the Chick-fil-A sandwich and they said the spices are: ''black pepper, paprika, and mustard'' and confirmed that this is the complete list in this sandwich.6. Paprika
7. Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour '' Heavily processed flour treated with bleach to quickly make it white. It has no nutritional value and is essentially dead food, so they ''enrich'' it with synthetic vitamins that are not from nature (6).
8. Sugar '' Again, likely from GMO sugar beets.
9. Salt
10. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) '' There wasn't enough MSG added to the chicken itself, so they add it to the coating too.
11. Nonfat Milk
12. Baking Soda
13. Sodium Aluminum Phosphate '' Stabilizer additive that contains aluminum, linked to neurological problems, and on EWG's Dirty Dozen Additive Watch List (9).
14. Monocalcium Phosphate '' Rising agent found in baking powder
15. Spice '' This ingredient is listed twice in this sandwich.
16. Soybean Oil '' One of the most unhealthy vegetable oils, known to increase the risk of obesity, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases (6). It's most likely made from GMO soybeans, which have been shown to contain high levels of residues from the herbicide glyphosate (Monsanto's Roundup) compared to non-GMO soybeans. Glyphosate was deemed a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO). To extract the oil, the soybeans are typically subjected to intensive chemical refining with toxic hexane, bleach, and deodorizers (6).
17. Color (Paprika)
18. Water
19. Nonfat Milk
20. Egg
21. Fully Refined Peanut Oil '' A heavily processed oil that is treated with bleach and deodorizing chemicals. All of the heat and processing that it goes through creates free radicals (10) '' which are renegade molecules that damage cells in the body, triggering a host of diseases from liver damage (11) to cancer (12). Peanut oil is also very high in omega-6 fatty acids which promote harmful inflammation in the body.
22. Dimethylpolysiloxane '' The main ingredient in Silly Putty is used as an anti-foaming agent in their cooking oil. This substance was also commonly used as a filler fluid in breast implants, which is being phased out due to safety concerns, but supposedly it's ''safe'' to eat (6). It also can be preserved by formaldehyde according to the FDA.
23. Enriched Wheat Flour '' Refined wheat flour in which the healthy part of the wheat is removed. The refining process removes most of the fiber, vitamin E, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins from the wheat. Some synthetic vitamins (not from nature) are added back in to ''enrich'' it (6).
24. Water
25. Sugar '' This is the 3rd time refined sugar is added, this time in the bun. There are 5 grams of sugar in the entire sandwich '' equivalent to eating about one heaping teaspoon of sugar.
26. Yeast
27. Soybean Oil '' The 2nd time this unhealthy oil is found in this sandwich, and it will show up again.
28. Wheat Gluten '' This additive is an isolated form of gluten, which is already present in the wheat flour used in the buns. It's added to improve texture.
29. Salt
30. Cultured Wheat Flour
31. Vinegar '' Likely made from GMO corn like most white vinegar in the U.S.
32. Calcium Sulfate '' Also known as ''plaster of paris'', this ingredient is used in some breads for many reasons, commonly as a dough conditioner/strengthener (13).
33. Monoglycerides '' An emulsifier made from oil byproducts including partially hydrogenated canola and soybean oils '' which contain artificial trans fat, making this additive a potential source of trans fat. Even trace amounts of trans fat are considered harmful to the heart (6).34. DATEM '' Another potential source of trans-fat, this dough conditioner is usually derived from soybean or canola oil (GMO crops) (6).
35. Calcium Propionate '' Considered a safer preservative, but research published in the Journal of Pediatric Child Health links it to ''irritability, restlessness, inattention and sleep disturbance in some children'' and long term consumption has been shown to damage the stomach lining and induce ulcers (6). 36. Ascorbic/Citric Acid '' Although citric acid is naturally found in lemon and other fruits, the additive form is typically derived from mold made with GMO corn. Ascorbic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin C typically derived from corn too.
37. Enzymes
38. Soy Lecithin '' Another super processed additive that comes from GMOs. Just like the soybean oil, it's extracted from GMO soybeans with the neurotoxin hexane (14).
39. Potassium Iodate '' This additive is banned from flour in Europe and several more countries as it can negatively affect thyroid function (15) but in the U.S. it can be used as a maturing agent in dough.
40. Soybean Oil '' That buttery-looking substance on their buns is not butter at all. Instead of real butter, Chick-Fil-A uses oils that are colored and flavored to taste and look like butter. Unhealthy soybean oil is the main ingredient.
41. Palm Kernel Oil '' This semi-solid oil is used by the industry as a trans-fat-free replacement for partially hydrogenated oils (which were recently banned). Unfortunately, not only is it unhealthy for the body, but the cultivation of it is killing orangutans and destroying rainforests (16). This ingredient should be banned.
42. Soy Lecithin '' The 2nd time this processed emulsifier is found in this sandwich.
43. Natural Flavor '' The only difference between natural and artificial flavors, is that natural flavors are derived from things found in nature. Natural flavors are a proprietary mixture of chemicals and each flavor may contain up to 100 ingredients, including sodium benzoate, glycerin, potassium sorbate, and propylene glycol (none of which are labeled) (17).
44. Beta Carotene '' A yellow color additive derived either from vegetables or synthesized in a lab from chemicals (18). This makes their ''buttery'' spread look yellow.
UPDATE 3/11/22 : Chick-fil-A quietly changed their pickles recently. The new pickles do not contain artificial colors (Yellow 5, Blue 1), Alum, or Polysorbate 80. New Pickle Ingredients as of 3/11/22 : Cucumbers, Water, Vinegar, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate [Preservative], Turmeric Extract [Color], Natural Flavor, Dill Pickle Spice, Beta Carotene [Color], Garlic Emulsion.
45. Cucumbers
46. Water
47. Vinegar
48. Salt
49. Alum '' This ingredient used to make the pickles more firm is comprised of aluminum (a neurotoxin) which can build up in your body over time (19).
50. Calcium Chloride '' Another additive used to make pickles more firm.
51. Potassium Sorbate ''This preservative has been shown to be genotoxic to white blood cells, which could lead to cancer (20).
52. Natural Flavor '' The 2nd time this proprietary ingredient is added to this sandwich.
53. Polysorbate 80 '' An emulsifier linked to weight gain, inflammation and digestive problems (21).
54. Yellow 5 '' Artificial dye derived from petroleum that is linked to allergies and hyperactivity in children. Artificial dyes have been found to be contaminated with carcinogens, such as benzidine (6). This is used to brighten up the color of the pickles, but simple turmeric could be used instead.
55. Blue 1 '' One of the worst artificial dyes because it has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. This dye is also linked to hyperactivity and an increased risk of kidney tumors. Some research suggests it is a potential neurotoxin (6).
Does Chick-fil-A really need all these risky and artificial ingredients to make one delicious tasting sandwich??? Of course not. Most of these ingredients cut costs and make their food addicting so we keep coming back for more. This all means more money in their pocket, which comes at a great expense of our health if we continue to eat there.
And, how about Chick-fil-A's new Mac & Cheese that everyone's talking about?
When I heard Chick-fil-A say their Mac & Cheese is a ''classic'' blend of cheddar, Parmesan and Romano'... I didn't believe it for one second.
It's mostly made out of ''Pasteurized Processed Cheese Spread'' '' which is like that cheese in a can.
This is NOT real cheese. It's made by mixing and heating cheese together with colors, emulsifiers, whey, salt and preservatives. This makes a ''cheese food'' like product that doesn't separate when heated or get moldy as fast as real cheese.
Then they blend this FAKE cheese with FAKE butter'... ''Margarine''.
Margarine is made by heavily processing vegetable oils so that they're solid at room temperature. Since partially hydrogenated oils were banned by the FDA (due to trans fats that are horrible for the heart) the food industry has found out how to skirt by this issue by blending unhealthy refined oils with ''mono- and diglycerides'' and palm oil.
I can only imagine how many kids are going to be eating this Mac & Cheese along with chicken nuggets.
Chick-fil-A gets kids hooked with MSG'...
Does Chick-fil-A have healthier choices? When I examined the ingredients in the Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Grilled Cool Wrap, I still found soybean oil, yeast extract (alternative form of MSG), and natural flavors.
The chicken on their salads is spiked with MSG, unhealthy refined oils, flavors, and more preservatives. Those colorful chips on top are artificially colored with Red 40 and Blue 1. Why can't they just use uncolored chips?
The cheese comes with a side order of ''powdered cellulose'' (i.e. wood), which keeps the shredded cheese from sticking together but is also linked to weight gain and digestive problems (22).
And then there's the healthy-sounding Superfood Side'...What COULD be a super healthy menu item '' kale and broccoli '' is ruined with the addition of yeast extract (a form of MSG), natural flavors, synthetic preservatives, and unhealthy oils (soybean and canola). It even rings in with over 30 ingredients '' many of them completely unnecessary. Chick-fil-A really missed the mark here.
If I absolutely HAD to eat at Chick-fil-A'... What would I eat?I'd order their Market Salad without the chicken, nuts, granola, or dressing, as that is where most of the unhealthy ingredients are in this item. Or maybe the Superfood Side without the unhealthy dressing and toppings, which just leaves me with kale and broccoli. But'... we both know that's not going to happen '' it's just as easy for me to just make a salad at home and no one is forcing me to eat there. And, who really wants to go to Chick-fil-A and not have their chicken?!?
If I totally just ruined the Chick-fil-A Sandwich for you, I have great news'...I figured out how to make a ''Chick-fil-A sandwich'' at home that tastes exactly the same (even better, seriously!) with none of the nasty preservatives, dyes, and MSG. Ok, yes, it takes a bit more effort than standing in line at Chick-fil-A, but it's actually pretty simple to make and you can even enjoy it on Sunday!
Get my ''Open on Sunday'' Chicken Sandwich recipe hereIf you know anyone in a serious love affair with Chick-fil-A, please share this blog post with them. Who knows, maybe they'll surprise you with a deliciously organic homemade ''Chick-fil-A'' sandwich next time you see them!
Sign up here for my free email newsletter to get more breaking investigations like this sent straight to your inbox. Xo,
P.S. There's a newer fast food chain that I love, The Organic Coup (in California) that makes certified organic chicken sandwiches that are out of this world. The founders are friends of mine, but no, they didn't pay me to mention them. I just love what they are doing to bring organic fast food to more people!
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Senate Republicans sink border bill ahead of separate Israel and Ukraine aid vote
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 17:59
WASHINGTON '-- Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan border security and foreign aid bill Wednesday, leaving the path for additional U.S. aid for allies Ukraine and Israel unclear.
The Senate voted 49-50 to shoot down the border bill Wednesday afternoon with Republicans voting en masse to filibuster the agreement they had demanded, arguing that it wouldn't do enough to crack down on an overwhelmed border.
After the failed vote on the $118 billion package, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he would bring up an Israel and Ukraine aid package stripped of border security provisions. But the Senate broke for the night just after 7 p.m. ET unable to secure the 60 votes needed to move ahead with it.
Schumer said he would recess the chamber until noon Thursday to ''give our Republican colleagues the night to figure themselves out.'' Leaving the Capitol, he didn't engage with reporters about potential amendments or sticking points.
A Senate Republican lunch earlier Wednesday turned heated as members discussed whether to support the new foreign aid bill, three sources in the room said. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the Republican whip, told senators that the vote would happen at some point regardless, so ''we need to stop being pussies and just vote,'' two sources said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., discusses next steps for Ukraine and Israel aid at the Capitol on Wednesday. J. Scott Applewhite / APSen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, the lead Democratic negotiator, said he was aghast that Republicans sank the border legislation their leadership had negotiated and signed off on just three days ago.
''This is the most outrageous thing that I have been a part of in my 16 years in Congress,'' Murphy told NBC News moments after the vote. ''Within a couple of hours are releasing available they all ran for the hills. ... We've learned that Trump is fully and completely in charge of the party, and they are rudderless otherwise.''
Five Democrats joined the bulk of Republicans in opposing the border bill, which failed to get the necessary 60 votes. Just four Republicans voted for it: Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and James Lankford of Oklahoma, the top Republican negotiator on the deal.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., another leading negotiator of the border bill, blasted critics for seeking to prolong a broken system for political gain. ''I have a very clear message for anyone using the southern border for staged political events: Don't come to Arizona. Take your political theater to Texas,'' she said. ''Do not bring it to my state.''
Schumer now hopes to turn to the pared-down foreign aid package, which includes assistance to the warring countries and Taiwan. It will still include provisions targeting fentanyl trafficking, the Democratic aide said. The bill will need support from at least 60 votes just to proceed, with additional floor votes needed to pass it and send it to the House.
The White House supports the plan. White House spokesman Andrew Bates said Wednesday that the foreign aid bill "would protect America's national security interests by stopping Putin's onslaught in Ukraine before he turns to other countries," as well as help Israel defend itself and provide "humanitarian aid to innocent Palestinian civilians."
Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., gave no indication Wednesday that he'd allow a vote in the House if it does pass the Senate.
''We'll see what the Senate does. We're allowing the process to play out. And we'll handle it as it's sent over. I have made very clear that you have to address these issues on their own merits," Johnson told reporters before the Senate voted.
According to two sources, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met privately with Johnson on Wednesday morning; the speaker told McConnell that he couldn't deliver any assurances about the fate of the immigration-less foreign aid bill in the House.
Separately, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., also met with Johnson.
''I'm not taking it up,'' Scott said Johnson told him. ''He said he needs to break it up into individual bills. ... If that passes the Senate, he is not going to bring it up over there.''
In response, an official in Johnson's office said: ''The Speaker's messages to Senators McConnell and Scott were consistent: the House will review the Senate's product. The Speaker believes the House should review each issue individually on its merits.''
McConnell, who supported the $118 billion border security bill, which a group of Republican senators negotiated with Democrats, had acknowledged it didn't have the votes and voted against it Wednesday. He expressed support for a vote on the supplemental aid bill without the border provisions at a leadership news conference Tuesday.
''There are other parts of this supplemental that are extremely important, as well '-- Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan," McConnell said. "We still, in my view, ought to tackle the rest of it because it's important. Not that the border isn't important, but we can't get an outcome. So that's where I think we ought to head."
Less than 48 hours after the text of the bipartisan border security bill was released Sunday, Republican senators made it clear that the legislation had no viable pathway to passage.
Former President Donald Trump decried the bipartisan border security package as a ''terrible bill.'' Johnson also swiftly stated his opposition, saying the legislation would be ''dead on arrival'' if it reached the House.
The White House indicated it would still push for immigration reforms. "Even if some congressional Republicans' commitment to border security hinges on politics, President Biden's does not," Bates said Wednesday. "We must still have reforms and more resources to secure the border. These priorities all have strong bipartisan support across the country.''
The House rejected a stand-alone bill to provide aid to Israel on Tuesday amid congressional infighting over the Senate border bill. The House vote, 250-180, fell short of the two-thirds' majority needed to pass the bill under an expedited process.
Johnson announced the vote on the separate Israel bill after the Senate reached its immigration deal. The House bill included $17.6 billion in military aid to Israel, ''as well as important funding for U.S. Forces in the region,'' Johnson's office said. And it lacked spending offsets that Johnson said Democrats had objected to in previous legislation. But Democrats rejected it as a political ploy to capitalize on the GOP's rejection of the Senate immigration deal.
Sahil Kapur Sahil Kapur is a senior national political reporter for NBC News.
Julie Tsirkin Julie Tsirkin is a correspondent covering Capitol Hill.
Frank Thorp V Frank Thorp V is a producer and off-air reporter covering Congress for NBC News, managing coverage of the Senate.
Summer Concepcion Summer Concepcion is a politics reporter for NBC News.
Monica Alba and Kate Santaliz contributed.
Australia Plots Digital ID Launch For This Year
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 17:59
The Australian government is planning a nationwide digital ID launch, which is tentatively set for this year.
While it could be delayed for logistical reasons, it's clear that the government is fully intent on pushing a new digital ID agenda in the country.
Having first entered Parliament last year, the Digital ID Bill in Australia finished its final stage at the end of January, garnering input from business and finance groups. The country's authorities are currently communicating with the individual states.
An announcement from the Department of Finance revealed that the novel system would empower users to select their preferred digital ID provider for the accessibility of both government and private services. Private entities can apply for accreditation to provide digital ID services under the Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF), which is the government's recognition framework.
As stated by an official spokesperson, the legislative step will set in motion the enlargement of the Australian Government Digital ID System to encompass state, territory and private sector organizations opting to participate.
The national digital ID will essentially serve as a comprehensive version of MyGovID that Australians currently utilize for the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink and Medicare access. The strategy to retain other digital IDs issued by other state governments.
An individual user will have the capability to create a multipoint image on a device, to be validated against their passport photo or eventually, their driver's license. Officials state that users need only establish their credentials once.
Digital IDs often involve the collection and storage of personal data, including biometric information such as fingerprints or facial recognition data. This concentration of sensitive data can be a tempting target for hackers and cybercriminals. A successful breach could lead to identity theft, fraud, or even blackmail. Moreover, there is the risk of unauthorized surveillance and tracking. Governments or other entities could potentially misuse digital ID systems to monitor individuals without their consent, infringing on personal freedoms and privacy.
If you're tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.
As gambling addiction rates rise, keep an eye on grandma this Super Bowl | Edith Langford | The Guardian
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 13:08
I have been a psychotherapist for 40 years and I still remember the first time, back in 1984, that I led an in-patient addiction therapy group. Joe, a retired marketing executive in his 60s and a compulsive gambler, abruptly exited the room and disappeared into the dark snowy Long Island evening in his pajamas and slippers.
Devastated, I thought I had done something wrong. ''No,'' my clinical supervisor explained, ''it's just post time at the Belmont racetrack.''
Flash-forward four decades and such cases of elder compulsive gambling, once rare, now dominate my caseload. The US is facing a catastrophe, with seniors at its heart. Each week I see out-of-control gamblers, including 80-year-olds, in my specialized addiction therapy practice.
My grandparent gambler base has exploded since 2018, when the supreme court struck down a law that had banned sports betting across most of the country. Over the next three years, as gambling apps and websites launched in newly legal states, the National Council on Problem Gambling estimates the risk of gambling addiction in the general population grew by 30%.
Lonely seniors, grappling with the pandemic and intense isolation, were drawn in. Cellphones became the sole companions of many of them in 2020, as coronavirus drastically curbed their social contact. Just as legal gambling boomed, and operators spent heavily to market their platforms, seniors were lured in by advertisements on their screens.
Take Rose, a former city worker and single mother who began betting on numbers in her bodega and moved online. At 80, she has a fraud conviction and owes tens of thousands of dollars to bookies. After her grandson showed her how to bet on football games and feed the online slots, she spent four years bent over her phone, betting.
Legal sports betting is exploding, with $106bn in wagers placed during the first 11 months of last year, according to the American Gaming Association. We are totally unprepared for this boom in the general population, and all the accompanying collateral damage. Most have not even considered the devastating consequences for seniors.
Seniors cannot recover financially when they lose. Their social security checks don't go far in today's terms for basics, let alone bets or debtsMuch of the focus on the rise in problem gambling has been on the young. But problem gambling rates appear to be rising among most age groups. And the ageing of America, combined with the lifting of the online betting ban, endless gambling advertisements, Covid-19 isolation and a loneliness epidemic, is proving to be a particularly volatile mix.
We will soon be mirroring our cousins in Britain, where hundreds of thousands of seniors are thought to have started gambling online during the pandemic. About 13.5% of people in the UK over 65 were doing so at least once a month by 2021, the Royal College of Psychiatrists estimated '' up from 8.7% in 2019. ''Online gambling brings potential risks due to its 24/7 availability,'' it noted.
The US is behind on data, but therapists are seeing elderly addicts on our couches weekly. We see the ruinous effects of gambling on all aspects of their lives first-hand. Seniors cannot recover financially when they lose. Their social security and pension checks don't go far in today's terms for basics, let alone bets or debts.
It's not just sports betting that's a problem. Boris, a retired Manhattan doorman with a neurological disorder, has not paid his rent in six months. He had been spending his $900 social security check on Lotto tickets. We are working to ensure he averts homelessness.
Imagine the predicament of a pathological senior gambler. These are the boomers who won and lost the American dream. Ashamed and addicted, some are dead broke. Unable to recover, some perish at home, alone.
Between 7% and 30% of individuals in clinical populations and in treatment services for problem gambling have attempted suicide, according to a 2022 academic review of quantitative evidence. Seniors are more susceptible to suicides. Even though they comprise just 16.8% of the population, the National Council on Aging estimates they make up 22% of suicides.
Society needs to treat the root causes of this crisis among its elders: senior abandonment and isolation. Our current lack of attention to senior gambling will be deadly.
Sunday's Super Bowl, in Las Vegas, is due to break records for legal sports betting. An unprecedented 67.8 million Americans are set to wager $23.1bn, according to an industry survey. As the market continues to swell, hope for the effective assessment, treatment and recovery of America's elder compulsive gamblers continues to shrink.
The names of people affected by problem gambling in this article have been changed.
Dr Edith Langford, a psychotherapist specializing in addictions, is writing a book about senior gambling addiction issues in the US
In the US, call the National Council on Problem Gambling at 800-GAMBLER or text 800GAM. In the UK, support for problem gambling can be found via the NHS National Problem Gambling Clinic on 020 7381 7722, or GamCare on 0808 8020 133. In Australia, Gambling Help Online is available on 1800 858 858 and the National Debt Helpline is at 1800 007 007
Sharp rise in people waiting over 12 hours in A&E, NHS England figures show | UK News | Sky News
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 13:05
The number of people who waited more than 12 hours in A&E departments in England increased by nearly 25% in January compared with the month before, the latest NHS figures show.
In January, 54,308 people waited more than 12 hours from a decision to admit to actually being admitted - the second-highest figure on record.
It also marks an increase of just over 23% compared with the figure for December 2023 - when 44,045 people waited more than 12 hours.
NHS England has said the figures come after A&E and ambulance services experienced their busiest-ever January.
It said there were 2.23 million A&E attendances, with more than a 10% increase in emergency admissions from A&E compared with the same month last year.
The number who waited at least four hours in A&E from the decision to admit to admission rose by 7% from 148,282 in December to 158,721 last month - again the second-highest figure on record.
Some 70.3% of patients in England were seen within four hours in A&Es last month, up from 69.4% in December.
The figure hit a record low of 65.2% in December 2022.
What are the NHS waiting times in your area? Search your postcode here
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2:37 January: NHS England failing targetsThe NHS recovery plan sets a target of March 2024 for 76% of patients attending A&E to be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.
Nearly one in three patients who arrived by ambulance at hospitals in England last week waited more than 30 minutes to be handed over to A&E teams.
Some 27,905 delays of half an hour or longer were recorded across all hospital trusts in the week to 4 February.
This was 31% of the 90,861 arrivals by ambulance, where the handover time was known.
The figure is down from 34% the previous week but is higher than at this point last year when it stood at 24%.
Paramedics responded to a record 81,866 category one ambulance callouts in January.
The NHS said despite the increased pressure, ambulances responded to category one callouts 20 seconds faster than in December, with the response to category two callouts being nearly six times faster.
Demand is growing - but resources aren't
This latest data covers one of the most important periods over winter.
It gives us an understanding of the pressures the NHS was under during December and January at a time when A&E departments are traditionally busy and staffing levels might be lower because of absence.
This time there was the added stress of strike action by junior doctors staging the longest walkout in history.
Despite all of this, the NHS in England made a marginal reduction in the number of operations and procedures people are still waiting for.
But at 7.6 million, it is still unacceptably high.
The prime minister has admitted defeat in his attempt to bring this number down. It is higher now than it was a year ago. It's the same for 18-month lists and A&E waits '' both up.
Some people think this winter has been easier. But January recorded the highest ever numbers of people going to A&E for that month than any January previously.
The figures show demand for care is growing but the resources to provide it are not.
Read more:Nurse faces debt as immigrant charge nearly doublesList of illnesses pharmacies will now be able to diagnosePatients waited over five years for operations
NHS England's figures also show the proportion of patients in England who waited longer than 62 days in December from an urgent suspected cancer referral or consultant upgrade to their first definitive treatment for cancer was 65.9%, up from 65.2% in November.
The target is 85%.
A total of 74.2% of patients urgently referred for suspected cancer in December 2023 were diagnosed or had cancer ruled out within 28 days, up from 71.9% the previous month, according to NHS England.
The target is 75%.
Meanwhile, the number of people who waited more than 18 months to start routine hospital treatment nearly doubled in six months from 7,079 in July 2023 to 13,164 in December, the NHS England figures show.
The government and NHS England had set the ambition of eliminating all waits of more than 18 months by April 2023, excluding exceptionally complex cases or patients who choose to wait longer.
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It comes as an estimated 7.6 million treatments were waiting to be carried out in England at the end of December, relating to 6.37 million patients, down slightly from 7.61 million treatments and 6.39 million patients at the end of November.
A total of 337,450 people in England had been waiting more than 52 weeks to start routine hospital treatment at the end of December 2023, down from 355,412 at the end of November.
The government and NHS England have set the ambition of eliminating all waits of more than a year by March 2025.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak admitted earlier this week that the government had "not made enough progress" in cutting the overall NHS waiting list.
However, he said industrial action in the health service "has had an impact".
Senior and junior doctors have engaged in walkouts in recent months in disputes over pay.
Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said winter pressures and strikes had been challenging "so the further fall in the number of patients waiting for treatment and improvements in ambulance response times, is a testament to the continued hard work and dedication of NHS staff".
He added: "We know the NHS is seeing more patients coming forward with complex and severe conditions, with the number of emergency admissions from A&E up by more than 10% on last year, while category one calls are up 12% on the year before, which puts greater pressure on the services and staff treating them."
Grindr is slammed by Stonewall Riots hero for banning searches for biological men because it's 'transphobic' while allowing users to purposefully seek out trans partners | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 13:04
The app's gender filtering policy has angered members of the gay community Currently, users can filter for trans users, but can't filter for cis users By Sophie Mann For Dailymail.Com
Published: 09:48 EST, 7 February 2024 | Updated: 13:11 EST, 7 February 2024
Gay hook-up app Grindr has been blasted by a Stonewall rioter for not letting users search specifically for biological men and claiming that doing so is transphobic.
But Grindr, which is largely used by gay men, does let users search specifically for transgender users, claiming that it is 'critical for this community to be able to find each other easily.'
The policy has angered veteran gay rights activist Fred Sargeant, who rioted at Stonewall in 1969 and others who say it's hypocritical.
The app, which is run by George Arison, a conservative gay man, claims that allowing users to filter out transgender users would 'further perpetuate discrimination and harm for the trans and non binary community.'
Veteran gay rights protester Fred Sargeant has blasted Grindr for homophobia, after the gay hook-up app banned users from searching for non-trans dates - but let people filter specifically for transgender users
Gay hook up app Grindr has fallen out of the good graces of some members of the community due to its gender filtering policy
Sargeant, who helped establish the first Pride and participated in the Stonewall riots, took aim at the app's policy on X earlier this week.
'So, filtering for gay men is bad but filtering for trans and nonbinary is okay @Grindr?' he wrote.
'You recognize trans/nonbinary needs to discriminate while invalidating precisely the same need for gay men.
'Delete your service @Grindr. You're no longer needed.'
Grindr's policy had been spotlighted by X account @TransHomophobia, whose stated cause is 'Highlighting homophobia from trans activists.'
The policy, which is listed in the app's Frequently Asked Questions section as a response to the question 'Why can't I filter for Cis Men or Cis Women?' reads:
'When designing gender settings on Grindr, it was important to us to not further perpetuate discrimination and harm for the trans and nonbinary community.
'For this reason, we allow filtering based on gender - you can specify that you want to see men or women - but this will include all men or all women, because trans men are men and trans women are women.
'You can also filter for trans and nonbinary people, as we know it's critical for this community to be able to find each other easily.'
Grindr is predominantly used by gay men, as well as transgender men and women, with biological women largely avoiding it.
Some users are ticked off by the perceived hypocrisy that trans and nonbinary users are able to filter for and find exclusively members of their own community, with no such option given to search for biological men, or the few biological women who use the app.
So, filtering for gay ð'—ºð'—²ð'—>> is bad but filtering for trans and nonbinary is okay @Grindr? You recognize trans/nonbinary needs to discriminate while invalidating precisely the same need for gay men. Delete your service @Grindr. You're no longer needed.
'-- Fred Sargeant (@FredSargeant) February 4, 2024Grindr is currently run by George Arison, a conservative gay man who has previously been criticized for some of his right-leaning political positions
In response to Sargeant's post, one user responded: 'So fascinating that they think it's OK to keep the trans filter active though. Apparently trans people are allowed to find each other because that's important, but gay males shouldn't be able to.'
'Trans people can have filters to exclude you but you can't have filters to exclude them,' wrote another.
The app is currently run by George Arison, a conservative, gay man, who has previously been criticized by some members of the LGBT community for some of his stated political positions.
He backed Donald Trump and Virginia's Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, insisting that it's possible to be both a proud gay man and a conservative.
When he was appointed in 2022, some users said they were going to delete the app and encouraged others to do the same.
Arison has thus far led the company through a successful IPO.
Fluoride to be added to drinking water under new legal powers
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 13:03
Fluoride will be added to drinking water for millions of Britons under new legal powers, in the biggest expansion of the health measure since the 1980s.
In plans to improve the nation's teeth, an initial 1.6 million people will see the mineral added to their water supply, following a consultation in areas including Northumberland, Teesside, Durham and South Tyneside.
The Government said its long-term ambition was to bring fluoridation to deprived areas of the country, highlighting Ireland and the US, where 73 per cent of people live in areas where fluoride is added to the water.
It is part of the NHS Dental Recovery Plan, which was released on Wednesday.
The issue has sparked controversy in the past, and currently only five water companies add fluoride to water in the UK, mainly in the North-East and West Midlands, covering less than 10 per cent of Britons.
In a letter to dentists, Andrea Leadsom, Minister for Public Health, said: ''Under new legislation, we have made it simpler to start new water fluoridation schemes.
''Our long-term ambition is to systematically bring fluoridation to more of the country, with a particular focus on the most deprived areas, which stand to benefit most from fluoridation.''
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water in varying amounts depending on location, and is known to make teeth stronger and reduce decay. For that reason, it is often added to toothpaste and mouthwash.
It has been included in drinking water in some parts of the UK since 1964, while in some areas of the country natural fluoride levels already reach the target concentration.
Sir Chris Witty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, has claimed that adding fluoride to water supplies could reduce cavities by 17 per cent among the richest and 28 per cent among the poorest.
It is damaging in larger quantities, however, and in the past it has been linked to health conditions such as fluorosis '' a build-up in the teeth and bones '' as well as bone cancer, impaired brain development and Down's syndrome.
Fear of harm has left some local authorities reluctant to introduce fluoride, which led to the Government taking the decision out of their hands in the recent Health and Care Act.
Campaigners argue that nothing should be added to water supplies, and claim the scheme removes the right of consent to medical treatment. They argue that less coercive interventions, such as teeth-brushing programmes, would do more good.
A 2007 Nuffield Council on Bioethics report concluded that good evidence for or against water fluoridation was lacking and advised that local communities should be left to decide.
In 2014, Southampton abandoned its fluoridation scheme following public opposition led in part by the Green Party.
Responding to the new plans, a spokesman for the Green Party said: ''The Green Party is opposed to the artificial mass fluoridation of drinking water. There is conflicting evidence on the benefits to dental health of this practice and major concerns on the cumulative negative wider health effects.
''There are further concerns on the links with the chemical industry that supplies artificial fluoride and the compulsory nature of its addition to drinking water that denies consumers choice.''
Lord Reay, a Conservative peer, has said he has ''grave concerns'' about the risks posed by widespread fluoridation, claiming studies have shown that IQ levels drop significantly in bottle-fed babies in fluoridated Canadian communities.
''You can repair a damaged tooth but not a damaged brain,'' he told the House of Lords during a debate on the Health and Care Bill.
A court case is ongoing in San Francisco to determine whether the US environmental protection agency should ban fluoridation of drinking water to protect foetuses and children from the risk of neurodevelopmental problems.
A recent report from the University of Manchester, which looked at the dental records of 6.4 million Britons, also questioned the benefit, after finding fluoride reduced invasive dental treatments by just three per cent and prevented decayed, missing and filled teeth by just two per cent.
The team argued that since fluoride toothpastes became available in the mid-1970s, water schemes were unlikely to bring the same benefits as in the past.
But Barry Cockcroft, the former chief dental officer for England, and now British Fluoridation Society chairman, said: ''There is a lot of very good evidence of benefit and no robust evidence of harm.
''We know that areas like the East Midlands are keen to expand so I think the appetite is greater now than it used to be.''
Tooth decay is the most common reason for hospitalisation in children aged six to ten in England and previous studies have shown children who drink fluoridated water have 2.2 fewer teeth affected by decay than those in non-fluoridated areas.
Dr Charlotte Eckhardt, dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, added: ''Adding fluoride to drinking water can significantly reduce tooth cavities and extractions among children and young people, with those in deprived areas benefiting most from fluoridation schemes.
''The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England supports targeted fluoridation to these low socioeconomic areas and the introduction of supervised tooth brushing. Expanding water fluoridation will help to tackle the inequalities in dental care.''
Millions will get fluoride added to their tap water in biggest expansion of controversial scheme since the 1980s | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 13:02
Millions more Brits will get fluoride added to their drinking water under Government plans.
As part of the long-awaited dental recovery plan, ministers have vowed to embark on the biggest fluoridation expansion since the 1980s.
Around 1.6million people in the North East will, if the contentious proposals are given the go ahead, get the mineral added to their water supplies initially.
Ministers say their long-term ambition is to bring fluoride to more of the country with a 'particular focus' on deprived areas.
Fluoride helps strengthen the hard outer protective layer of teeth, called the enamel, which in turn protects teeth from damage and wear and tear.
Millions more Brits will get fluoride added to tap water in a Government plan to improve their oral health (stock image)
Just 6.1million Britons '-- around 10 per cent of the population '-- currently received water with fluoride levels sufficient to benefit oral health, according to the British Fluoridation Society. These areas include Hartlepool, Easington, parts of North Hampshire and South Berkshire
But adding fluoride to water supplies isn't without controversy.
Some studies have linked excessive quantities of the mineral to babies being born with Down's syndrome, as well as kidney stones and some cancers.
However, the NHS and experts like the Government's chief medical officer Sir Chris Whitty say these claims are not backed up by evidence, with the latter previously describing them as 'exaggerated and unevidenced'.
Around 5.8million Britons live in areas where fluoride - also added to toothpastes and mouthwashes - is already placed in tap water.
And 300,000 drink supplies naturally fluoridated by rocks in the ground.
In total, only 10 per cent of the UK's population currently get water with sufficient fluoride levels, according to the British Fluoridation Society.
What is included under the NHS Dentistry Recovery Plan? The measures announced by the government include:
An extra £15 for dentists on top of the standard payment of £28 for seeing a patient who has not visited a dentist for two yearsAn increase of up to £50 per patient needing complex workUp to 240 NHS dentists '-- around 1 per cent of the workforce '-- will be paid a £20,000 'golden hello' bonus to encourage them to work in under-served areas for three yearsMobile dental teams will visit schools in deprived areas to provide advice and deliver fluoride varnish treatments to more than 165,000 pupils Mobile dental services in rural and coastal areas with poor dental coverageExpansion of water fluoridation to new parts of the country to help prevent tooth decayFamily hubs will educate parents on how to protect their baby's gums and milk teeth. Nurseries will teach children to see toothbrushing as part of their daily routine, as part of a 'Smile for Life' scheme Health bosses have estimated that adding fluoride to more water supplies could prevent two-thirds of hospital admissions for tooth decay, an issuing costing the NHS, and by extension the taxpayer, millions.
While adding fluoride to water, a process called fluoridation, has been done before in the UK, expansion of the scheme has largely stalled since the 1980s.
Modern attempts to bring to British communities have largely failed during the consultation stage, with the public not convinced of the benefits compared to the perceived risk.
Fluoridation is a flashpoint issue in the US, with Presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr earlier this week labelling it a 'neurotoxic' and vowing to remove it from drinking supplies if elected.
The Government's dental recovery plan, published this week, includes fluoridation as a core component.
'Under new legislation, we have made it simpler to start new water fluoridation schemes,' it reads.
'Our long-term ambition is to systematically bring fluoridation to more of the country, with a particular focus on the most deprived areas, which stand to benefit most from fluoridation.'
The plan also states that despite the benefits of fluoridation to public dental health, there has been no 'significant' expansion of the scheme since the 1980s.
It noted that only one in 10 people in England are drinking water containing the mineral, compared to almost three in four in Ireland and the US, and 9 in 10 Australians.
In 2021, Professor Whitty and colleagues said if all five-year-olds with drinking water containing less than 0.2 milligram per litre (mg/l) of fluoride started drinking water boosted to 0.7 mg/l, the number with cavities would fall by up to 28 per cent among the poorest communities.
Fluoridation is a flashpoint issue in the US, with Presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr earlier this week labelling it a 'neurotoxic' and vowing to remove it from drinking supplies if elected
Fluoridation is considered to be a low cost high impact public health initiative as it is passive and not reliant on people actively changing their behaviour compared to encouraging them to stop smoking, exercise more or eat healthier food.
But some experts have argued that since fluoride is now added to a number of toothpastes and mouthwashes adding it to tap water is not as beneficial as it once was.
While the more serious dangers of fluoridation are a point of contention, one minor risk that is known is fluorosis.
This where a child has too much fluoride while their teeth are developing, causing very white lines to appear on the tooth when when mild and discolouration of the teeth when severe.
It is partly for this reason that the World Health Organization recommends that fluoride in drinking supply should not go above 1.5 mg/l.
The risk of fluorosis in the UK is considered low due because fluoride levels in drinking water are carefully monitored in Britain.
About 25 countries around the world already add fluoride to tap water, including Ireland, the majority of the US and Australia.
Other parts of PM Rishi Sunak's bold blueprint plan to to improve dental care in England include fixing the NHS dentist appointments crisis plaguing millions.
Under the plan dentists will be offered up to £50 to see patients who haven't had a check-up in the last two years.
Up to 240 dentists willing relocate to the nation's 'dental deserts', where people struggle to get appointments, will also be paid a £20,000 'golden hello' to do so.
But the plan '-- unveiled 10 months after it was promised '-- has been slammed by dental bosses and politicians for not going far enough, with one saying that it amounted to 'rearranging the deckchairs'.
Health leaders instead called for 'radical reform' of the dental contract, which governs how much dentists are paid for doing NHS work, accusing Mr Sunak of U-turning on his pledge to restore the crippled industry.
The crisis in NHS dentistry has been brewing for years, with some Brits forced to pull out their own teeth with pliers or travel abroad to see a dentist due to a lack of slots in the UK.
One even went to war-stricken Ukraine because it was half the price of paying privately.
Others have queued from 4am to gain a spot at dentistry practices that have opened up their list to NHS patients.
Shocking pictures of hundreds of desperate Brits queuing outside a newly-opened practice in Bristol this week were described as being 'reminiscent of Soviet-era Eastern Europe'.
The queue, which lasted for six hours on its first day and then continued for a second day, eventually saw dozens of patients turned away as the practice had run out of patient slots.
I had to pull out my own tooth with pliers because I couldn't get an NHS dentist appointment for six months | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 13:01
A father was forced to pull out a loose tooth with a pair of pliers after failing to get an NHS dentist appointment.
Chris Langston, from Oswestry in Shropshire, was left in agony after his back molar became loose, causing pain when he ate, drank and spoke.
But the 50-year-old was unable to get an NHS appointment for six months.
He was left with the choice of paying £90 to get his tooth removed privately, 30 miles away at his nearest emergency dentist, or taking matters into his own hands.
Out of 'necessity', Mr Langston, a metal detecter, grabbed his pliers and ripped the tooth out in the bathroom of his home.
Chris Langston, 50, who runs metal detecting holidays, removed his back molar with pliers after it became loose
Mr Langston admitted he felt 'weak at the knees' when he came out of the bathroom after pulling his tooth out and nearly fainted, but says the pain relief was worth it. An appointment at a private dentist would have cost Mr Langston £40 for a check up and up to £50 for the removal, which he could not afford
Mr Langston said his loose tooth left him in the 'worst pain' of his life and forced him to eat just soup and rolls.
Mr Langston said: 'I've never had a major toothache. As it got looser it was really painful every time I spoke. I could hear it niggling.
'Every time I spoke or swallowed or drank or ate, it was agony.'
But an appointment at a private dentist would have cost him £40 for a check-up and up to £50 for the removal, which he could not afford.
On top of the cost, going private would have involved a 60-mile round trip.
Mr Langston said: 'I couldn't get there with the kids. So I took the pliers.
How much does NHS dentistry cost? There are 3 NHS charge bands:
Band 1: £25.80
Covers an examination, diagnosis and advice. If necessary, it also includes X-rays, a scale and polish, and planning for further treatment.
Band 2: £70.70
Covers all treatment included in Band 1, plus additional treatment, such as fillings, root canal treatment and removing teeth (extractions).
Band 3: £306.80
Covers all treatment included in Bands 1 and 2, plus more complex procedures, such as crowns, dentures and bridges.
For comparison, check-ups can cost between £20 and £120 at private dentists, according to Which?.
Dentures and bridges can also cost up to £2,520, the consumer watchdog says.
'I heard the prices and thought I had to suck this up.'
Describing the process, he said: 'As soon as I touched it, it hurt.
'When I grabbed hold of it, it was like do I or not. It was a shock. Quite a pull but it came out quite clean.'
Mr Langston said: 'A little tug and a pull down on the pliers and it was done. I wouldn't recommend it. Not to anyone. It was horrible.'
'There were two roots in and half a root out. It took quite a pull. It makes me cringe. The metal on the teeth is not a nice feeling.'
Although he claims the tooth came out 'nice and easy' he does admit there was a 'little bit of blood'.
But yanking out the tooth brought 'relief', even though it left a 'void' in his mouth, Mr Langston said.
Mr Langston admitted he felt 'weak at the knees' when he came out of his bathroom and nearly fainted but says the pain relief was worth it.
He said: 'The kids were horrified. I did it in the bathroom, I nearly passed out, I was weak at the knees. To psych yourself up, it's a lot of adrenaline.'
His sister was in shock when Mr Langston admitted to yanking his own tooth out, but he hasn't shown his mother the extracted tooth as she would find it 'disgusting'.
As he was looking after his children, he said he had a 'strong cup of tea' after pulling out his tooth instead of brandy.
'It was just out of necessity at the time, it was the circumstances. I can imagine there's a dentist rolling their eyes reading this,' Mr Langston added.
Since tugging the tooth out last week, Mr Langston said his pain has reduced to a dull ache and he can eat again.
'The week before, all I could eat was soup and a roll. Now I can eat steak. The pain is not nearly as bad as it was. It just aches,' he said.
This chart shows the number of dentists who carried out NHS activity each year, the figure dropped sharply during the Covid pandemic but has slightly recovered to just over 24,000 according to the latest data
He fears he could be left in a similar situation again if the Government doesn't get a grip on the dentistry crisis.
'It should never have got to this stage where I was forced to pull out my own teeth. The Government needs to do something urgently,' Mr Langston said.
'It's impossible to get an NHS appointment in Oswestry. In the future, I'm still left without a dentist, I can't afford to pay private.
'Fingers crossed everything stays in place so that I don't have to get these out again.'
He said he used to be able to get an NHS dentist appointment the same day, and that getting an emergency dentist by going private is out of his 'realm of affordability'.
Mr Langston is one of many adults who have bene unable to access NHS dentistry.
The latest figures, for June last year, show roughly 26million adults (about 60 per cent of the population) haven't had a check-up in the last two years.
This is one of the lowest proportions since modern records start in 2006.
The crisis has led to a rise in desperate Brits resorting to DIY dentistry to rid them of their pain.
A lack of NHS appointments has also been blamed for rising numbers of mouth cancer cases being missed, which is usually spotted in their earliest, and most treatable, stages during routine dental check-ups.
It comes after No10 this week unveiled its long-awaited NHS dental recovery plan, described as 'putting NHS dentistry on a sustainable footing'.
Under Rishi Sunak's bold blueprint to fix the appointments crisis plaguing millions, dentists will be offered up to £50 to see patients who haven't had a check-up in the last two years.
Around 240 dentists '-- roughly one per cent of the current workforce '-- will be offered a one-off 'golden hello' bonus of up to £20,000 for working in under-served areas for up to three years.
'Dental vans' will also be rolled out in rural and coastal areas so people in the most isolated communities will still be able to access help.
The Government is also planning to controversially add fluoride to the drinking water of millions more Brits in a bid to passively protect their oral health.
Officials hope the measures could see up to 2.5million additional NHS appointments delivered for patients over the next 12 months.
But the plan '-- unveiled 10 months after it was promised '-- was slammed by dental bosses and politicians for not going far enough, with one saying that it amounted to 'rearranging the deckchairs'.
Police were even forced to turn some patients away. Pictured, patients outside St Pauls Dental Practiceon Wednesday
In the new Labour ad, headlined 'Dentistry Isn't Working', snaking queues of would-be patients are pictured waiting to register with the newly-opened NHS dental practice in Bristol
Health leaders instead called for 'radical reform' of the dental contract, accusing Mr Sunak of U-turning on his pledge to restore the crippled industry.
Labour has also accused the Government of lifting much of the blueprint from their own plans.
NHS dentistry has been in crisis for years, with leaders claiming the sector has been chronically underfunded, making it financially unviable to carry out treatments.
Exacerbating the problem is that, as more dentists leave the NHS, those that remain become swamped by more and more patients.
Some Brits have been forced to travel abroad '-- including to war-torn Ukraine '-- to see a dentist because of dire lack of NHS access.
Others have been left with no choice but to queue from 4am outside newly-opened NHS practices in hope of securing a check-up. Scenes outside one surgery in Bristol this week were described as being 'reminiscent of Soviet-era Eastern Europe'.
UK: Soaring UK Migration Gives Hunt Up to £18 Billio...
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 12:57
08/02/24 As published on:, Thursday 8 February, 2024.
Soaring migration to the UK could hand Chancellor Jeremy Hunt an £18 billion ($22.7 billion) windfall for tax cuts in next month's budget by lifting economic growth, according to new analysis.
Using revised population projections from the Office for National Statistics, Bloomberg Economics calculated that the economy would be £43 billion bigger in 2028-29, the year the government has to deliver on its fiscal rules.
The development potentially puts the government in the difficult position of benefitting from a policy it opposes. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to clamp down on record migration after a backlash from the right of his party and a surge in popular support for Reform, the successor to the anti-migrant UKIP party.
''This leaves the ruling Conservative Party potentially facing the awkward situation whereby unwanted record-high migration helps deliver tax cuts,'' economists Ana Andrade and Dan Hanson wrote in an analysis published Wednesday.
Last month, the ONS's new estimates showed that the population is set to grow twice as fast by 2030 as previously thought, driven mainly by migrant flows. Over the 15 years from 2021, the UK population will rise from 67 million to 73.7 million, with migrants accounting for 6.1 million of the increase.
The statistics office is now forecasting net migration to settle at 315,000 in the long run, up from a previous estimate of 245,000.
Hunt and Sunak have made no secret of their desire to cut taxes in the budget on March 6 as they seek to win over voters ahead of the general election later this year. But doing so on the back of receipts from rising migration would risk inflaming its core voter base.
Net migration peaked at 745,000 in 2022, three times higher than before Britain split from the European Union. To bring it down, dependent visas for students and care workers have been scrapped and the minimum salary requirement for the skilled worker visa has been increased. The government said the policies would have reduced net migration in 2022 by 300,000.
Hunt is in a bind, though. The fiscal position is tight, with chancellor warning last week that ''it doesn't look like I'll have the kind of room that I had for those very big tax cuts in the autumn.'' Bloomberg reported that the Office for Budget Responsibility told the chancellor he has around £14 billion of headroom against his commitment to lower debt as a share of GDP, roughly the same buffer for bad news as last November.
Andrade and Hanson said the OBR will ''almost certainly incorporate'' the new population projections into the next iteration of its budget forecast on February 14.
However, they said the £18 billion is ''a top-end estimate'' which the OBR may adjust lower to account for the new tighter controls on legal migration. There is also a question mark over whether migrants post-Brexit generate as much economic output as when there was free movement of labor inside the EU.
The tax benefit would also assume no change to planned spending on public services, which would imply less spending per head. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said the current spending plans already look implausible.
Tags UK Migration Tax cuts
Immigration Will Boost the US Economy by $7 Trillion Through 2034: CBO
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 12:55
The US economy will grow by an extra $7 trillion over the next decade, according to estimates from the CBO.The CBO said the additional growth will be driven by an influx of immigrants."More workers mean more output and that in turn leads to additional tax revenue," CBO director Phillip Swagel said.The US economy will grow an additional $7 trillion over the next decade as a surge in immigration creates a larger labor force and increases demand for goods and services, according to a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.
The findings from the CBO reinforce commentary from economists that suggests immigration trends in the US have aided the economy in avoiding a recession, as more workers help boost productivity without causing a spike in wage inflation.
"The labor force in 2033 is larger by 5.2 million people, mostly because of higher net immigration. More workers mean more output and that in turn leads to additional tax revenue," CBO director Phillip Swagel said on Wednesday.
"As a result of those changes in the labor force, we estimate that from 2023 to 2034, GDP will be greater by about $7 trillion and revenues will be greater by about $1 trillion than they would have been otherwise," Swagel added.
The CBO also found that net immigration has risen since 2022, and it expects it to remain elevated through 2026.
The US labor force is expected to surge over the next decade thanks to strong net immigration trends. CBO America's surge in immigration, while a hot-button political issue, does highlight one of its biggest strengths: its ability to avoid the ticking demographic time bombs of other developed countries, such as Japan, which is facing economic challenges due to its massive aging population.
The CBO said that a large portion of immigrants coming to America are in the prime-working ages of 25 through 54, which tends to benefit the economy significantly as they continue to work for years after their arrival.
Another knock-on effect of America's net immigration trends is its impact on the housing market, since it should result in continued demand for new homes.
"Because immigrants tend to live with family or friends initially and form their own house holds gradually, high rates of immigration from 2022 to 2026 will continue to stimulate construction of new homes during the second half of the 2020s," the CBO said in its outlook report.
Immigration trends are also on the mind of Fed chairman Jerome Powell, who told "60 Minutes" last week that in the long-term, "the US economy has benefited from immigration."
"Immigrants come in and they tend to work at a rate that is at or above that for non-immigrants. Immigrants who come to the country tend to be in the workforce at a slightly higher level than Americans do," Powell said.
WHO's Pandemic Treaty negotiations are failing; they are blaming it on vaccine patents '' The Expose
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 12:54
Breaking News Maybe 5% of the negotiations regarding the World Health Organisation's Pandemic Treaty and amendments to the International Health Regulations (''IHR'') are about a trade agreement. The other 95% are about global control of information, pandemics and medicine through the World Health Organisation (''WHO''), says Dr. Meryl Nass.
In an article published at the end of last month, Nature wrote that for almost a year nations have been negotiating the terms of a Pandemic Treaty and the talks are due to conclude this year, but countries are poles apart on key issues. WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has recently acknowledged that the talks were in trouble, meaning that the deadline might not be met.
''The ideal outcome would be for high- and low-income countries to have the same access to life-saving vaccines, drugs and other tools to combat a global health emergency, at a fair and transparent price,'' Nature wrote.
One of the ways Nature suggested this could be achieved was ''funders could retain certain intellectual property (IP) rights to be used only when there's a necessity to develop and distribute products equitably.''
The Nature article lamented that the latest version of the treaty text does not include, for example, the waiver of IP rights. ''Some European countries say that the World Trade Organisation (WTO), not the WHO, is the organisation to host discussions relating to IP rights,'' Nature explained.
A controversy over IP rights has ensued.
Five days later, on 5 February, Forbes reported that vaccine and drug IP protections are ''under attack'' as the WTO is considering a proposal this month that would waive IP rights for covid-19 therapeutics and diagnostics. ''Doing so would undermine the interests of not just innovative American companies but patients worldwide who depend on them to churn out groundbreaking therapies,'' Forbes wrote.
In 2022, the WTO's member nations agreed to a TRIPS waiver for covid-19 vaccines. The argument was that developing countries lacked easy access to vaccines. They sought the ability to manufacture them cheaply to dispense to their own populations. But they needed the WTO's member nations to give them permission to ignore the IP protections undergirding those vaccines.
No country has yet taken advantage of this waiver.
Unfortunately, that 2022 vaccine waiver opened the door to scrapping IP rights in other instances. Covid-19 therapeutics and diagnostics are the target this time around.
This multiyear assault on IP rights is troubling. Voiding patents didn't get patients faster access to covid vaccines. And it won't do so for covid tests or treatments. But it would have devastating consequences for medical research and development.
This Policy Helped Make Covid Vaccines Possible. It Could Soon Disappear, Forbes, 5 February 2024Reading between the lines, it seems that the reason for the Pandemic Treaty talks being in trouble is being sold as an ''equity'' problem that would be solved by a ''multiyear assault'' on drugs and vaccine IP rights. In short, the reason the Pandemic Treaty negotiations are failing is being portrayed as the inability of developing nations to access cheap vaccines.
In an article published yesterday, Dr. Meryl Nass gives some insight into what is really going on.
Let's not lose touch'...Your Government and Big Tech are actively trying to censor the information reported by The Expos(C) to serve their own needs. Subscribe now to make sure you receive the latest uncensored news in your inbox'...
By Dr. Meryl Nass
It is true that the developing nations were promised cheap drugs and vaccines and assistance for their health systems if they went along with the WHO, and that this would come in part from the promised loosening of patent protections.
But with the sinking of Moderna and Pfizer's stock prices, Big Pharma does not want to give up any patent protections and expects the developed nations to be the ones providing charitable donations, not themselves. No surprises here.
This apparent conflict is really of little consequence, because when a pandemic hits, what you need is access to what is already available. You don't want to wait for newly patented drugs and vaccines; you want repurposed (existing) drugs, maybe vaccines, and most of them are already off-patent.
Patent exclusivity and the cost of newly developed drugs and vaccines '' which may not work and could be harmful '' are not the developing nations' primary concern. Framing what the WHO proposed as such is simply wrong.
The real controversy is whether the developing nations can be inveigled (tricked or bribed) into giving up human rights, imposing massive surveillance and sharing the data with the WHO, censoring their citizens, and allowing the WHO to issue orders they will have to obey. Will they be given enough goodies to go along with the WHO programme, or not?
The developing nations have nothing to gain from most of what is in the treaty and amendment drafts, and so it is no surprise they are unimpressed and holding back. Good for them!
Furthermore, they know they dodged a bullet by NOT vaccinating their populations. They aren't stupid. They know they have been targeted for mandatory vaccinations next time. They know their birth rate '' 5 babies per female in Africa '' is yet another target.
If this was only about a trade agreement, why is everyone talking about the loss of sovereignty, the imposition of global censorship, and global governance being brought in under the guise of ''pandemic preparedness''? Because those are the real issues.
Don't let yourself be fooled that this is merely a trade disagreement.
WHO has been co-opted in an attempt at a global ''soft coup'' in which most Western governments are sadly complicit, and there really cannot be any argument about what the issues are, since it is all right there in the documents themselves. A trade disagreement is only a minuscule piece of what these documents are really about.
Here are a number of examples I collected that show we have been lied to about WHO's agenda. I have made it easy for you to look them up for yourself, as I link to the WHO documents below the image.
WHO documents:
Latest treaty draft HERE.Proposed IHR amendments, which the World Council for Health has colour-coded to make it very easy to see what has been proposed as changes and additions HERE.About the AuthorMeryl Nass is a board-certified internal medicine physician. She has given 6 Congressional testimonies and testified for legislatures in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Alaska, Colorado and New Brunswick, and Canada on bioterrorism, Gulf War syndrome and vaccine safety/vaccine mandates.
She has consulted for the World Bank, the Government Accountability Office, the Cuban Ministry of Health and the US Director of National Intelligence regarding the prevention, investigation and mitigation of chemical and biological warfare and pandemics.
Dr. Nass regularly publishes articles on a Substack page titled 'Meryl's COVID Newsletter' which you can subscribe to and follow HERE.
US Army spent billions on a new helicopter that now will never fly
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 12:53
The U.S. Army is ending its latest effort to build a new armed scout helicopter, known as the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, an abrupt change of direction that marks one of the department's most significant program cancellations of the last decade.
The service had already spent at least $2 billion on the program and had requested another $5 billion for the next five years, according to budget documents.
The helicopter program arrived in 2018 with lofty expectations. Army leaders hoped it would serve as a model for new acquisition approaches for its most complex and most expensive weapon systems. Prototypes from Bell Textron and Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky were expected to fly later this year. And, perhaps most importantly, the aircraft was slated to provide a long-needed armed scout solution after decades of starts and stops.
But Thursday, the Army's top acquisition officials described a new vision and major aviation overhaul. In addition to ending FARA, the Army plans to get rid of its entire Shadow and Raven unmanned aircraft fleets, said Doug Bush, the service's acquisition chief.
It will also stop fielding its new replacement for UH-60 Lima-model Black Hawk utility helicopter '-- the Victor-model '-- to the Army National Guard and instead field UH-60 Mike-models, the latest variant used in the active force, Bush said.
Finally, the service will delay procurement of its next-generation helicopter engine, which was set to be used in all UH-60s, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters as well as to power FARA.
Instead, Bush said the Army will spend the newly available money on Black Hawks, the latest variant of the CH-47F Block II Chinook cargo helicopter, the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft and research and development efforts to accelerate its unmanned aerial reconnaissance capability.
Gen. James Rainey, an acquisition leader overseeing the program, said he doesn't view the cancellation ''as a failure'' for Army Futures Command, the Austin, Texas-based office heading the service's modernization efforts.
''We are making great progress, we have momentum, the overwhelming majority of our signature modernization efforts are either on time or ahead of schedule and are starting to translate into capabilities,'' he told reporters Thursday.
Top priorityThe Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, or FARA, was meant to fill Army aviation's No. 1 mission gap: armed reconnaissance. For the last 10 years, following the retirement of the Vietnam-era OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter, which long performed that mission, the service has relied on the more expensive AH-64E Apache attack helicopter paired with the Shadow unmanned aircraft system.
An RQ-7 Shadow drone takes off during a training flight at Volk Field, Wis. (Vaughn R. Larson/U.S. Army)
The Army has already twice canceled potential replacement efforts for the armed scout. In 2004, it terminated the Comanche program after spending $9 billion to produce two prototypes.
Four years later, it canceled the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter.
In the last attempt before FARA, the service asked industry to bring commercial off-the-shelf aircraft to a ''fly-off'' to fill the armed scout mission, but the Army walked away from the effort in 2013, finding nothing that met all of its requirements.
Five years ago, the service unveiled Army Futures Command, a new command meant to improve the service's modernization program track record. FARA quickly became a signature effort of the command, which was tasked with outfitting a fully modernized force by 2030.
At the same time, the Army has been advancing a second helicopter program, the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft. Bell Textron won the contract to provide its V-280 tiltrotor aircraft for the program at the end of 2022.
Skeptics have wondered if the Army can successfully procure two aircraft simultaneously, but service leaders have said they have no choice.
Asked which program he'd choose if future budgets didn't allow for both, Maj. Gen. Wally Rugen, then director of AFC's Future Vertical Lift cross-functional team, said the efforts are ''not a 'want to have,' it's an imperative.''
''Modernization is an imperative, so as long as that remains the Army priority, which I believe it will, then we're going to continue to find ways to execute these programs,'' he told Defense News in 2021. ''I don't see it as a choice.''
In a statement Thursday evening, Sikorsky said its prototype, the X2, offers ''speed, range and agility that no other helicopter in the world can match.''
''We remain confident in X2 aircraft for U.S. and international mission needs now and in the future,'' the statement read. ''We are disappointed in this decision and will await a U.S. Army debrief to better understand its choice.''
Vision for vertical liftArmy officials said the service still needs armed reconnaissance '-- but the technology has changed. The service will no longer rely on a manned helicopter to execute the majority of armed scout missions and will instead look to unmanned aircraft and sensors to conduct those missions.
''The future is going to be about who can properly integrate humans and machines effectively, how do you optimize those two things,'' Rainey said.
In a statement, Army Chief of Staff Randy George said the service was influenced by the battlefield in Ukraine. It has seen there ''that aerial reconnaissance has fundamentally changed.''
''Sensors and weapons mounted on a variety of unmanned systems and in space are more ubiquitous, further reaching, and more inexpensive than ever before,'' he added.
The service plans to conclude FARA prototyping activities at the end of fiscal 2024, which will give the service and industry a chance to finish up technology development transferable to other programs.
While Bush would not specify exactly how much money would be available to spend on other efforts to strengthen the Army's aerial tier, he said the Army plans to spend more on reconnaissance UAS that are more capable of surviving high-end fights, including the Future Tactical UAS and launched effects.
The Army's inventory of small, runway independent UAS includes more than 575 Shadows and 19,000 Ravens.
The service had long planned to retire a portion of its Shadow fleet, grown during the counterinsurgency years. Raven, a small unmanned aircraft, is also an aging platform and the service considers it no longer effective in multidomain operations against near-peer adversaries.
The Army has sought to replace Shadow with a Future Tactical UAS. In 2022, after a roughly four-year competition, the Army awarded AeroVironment an $8 million contract to provide its Jump 20 system as an interim FTUAS capability for a single brigade.
To buy more, the Army held a second competition and, about a year ago, chose five companies to advance. It quickly eliminated incumbent AeroVironment. By September 2023, the Army whittled the group to just two companies '-- Shadow manufacturer Textron and Griffon Aerospace. Both are still building prototypes in hopes of winning an FTUAS production contract.
According to Brig. Gen. David Phillips, program executive officer for Army aviation, the Army is planning to get FTUAS prototypes into operational users' hands by FY25.
And the Army is pushing to award a contract for a short-range launched effect in early 2025, he said. The service has plans to acquire short, medium and long-range launched effects as part of its modernization push.
The FLRAA program will continue as planned, Bush said, and the Army will work to stay on track to field the first operational unit by FY30.
U.S. Army Spc. William Ellison launches an RQ-11 Raven drone during an operators course at Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti, on Oct. 13, 2021. (Pfc. Gauret Stearns/U.S. Army)
Making adjustmentsWith the absence of a second future vertical lift platform as part of the Army's modernization plans, the service will commit more money to modernizing its current fleet.
The service wants a new multiyear contract to procure UH-60Ms beginning in FY26, when the current multiyear comes to an end, according to Bush.
After planning not to buy CH-47F Block II Chinooks for the active force to free up funding for FVL efforts in 2018, the Army is now reversing that decision and plans to formally enter production leading to future full-rate production, Bush said.
Meanwhile, the Army says it will curb its Victor-model Black Hawk utility helicopters, which feature digital cockpits and were intended to replace older Lima-model aircraft for the Army National Guard. Bush said the program experienced ''significant cost growth.''
The Army has said it considered the V-model technology a stepping stone in its pursuit of a digital backbone for its FVL fleet, which will allow mission systems to seamlessly plug into the architecture of the aircraft.
Redstone Defense Systems won a contract in spring 2014 to take a Northrop Grumman-designed cockpit and integrate the technology into V-model prototypes. The Army then partnered with Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas, to convert Lima-models into Victor-models at the rate of 48 aircraft per year, which some called too slow, as it would take roughly 15 years for the service to produce all 760 V-model aircraft to replace the L-models in the Guard.
Phillips said the Army has delivered 60 V-models to the Guard and plans to continue fielding through fiscal 2024. The service will provide the Guard Mike-model Black Hawks to fill out the fleet requirements instead.
The V-model experienced software reliability issues in its initial operational test and evaluation in 2019, which partly delayed the program. The program was further delayed when the Army was unable to reschedule a new operational test and receive certification to fly in national airspace during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic. The Army wrapped up its second initial operational test and evaluation of the V-model in summer 2022.
Bush said the Army still intends to buy its next-generation engine, but will delay production for an indefinite period. The effort, known as the Improved Turbine Engine Program, has already been running years behind schedule.
According to Phillips, there are six ITEP engines in tests, two with the FARA competitors and two more that will go into the first UH-60s in May for testing.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.
UK defence industry spending tops £25 billion for first time - GOV.UK
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 12:50
Defence spending with UK industry by the Ministry of Defence has topped £25 billion for the first time, official statistics have revealed.
Official breakdowns show increases in almost all areas and nations Notable increases in spending recorded in Northern Ireland and Wales Figures show more than 200,000 jobs are supported through the UK's defence industryThe 2022/23 statistics, published today, detail the money spent by the MOD with UK defence companies. The breadth of spending highlights the government's commitment to continually improving the defence sector, while supporting the economy and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country.
Yorkshire and The Humber saw a doubling in overall expenditure, the highest of all areas, while Wales saw a 25 per cent rise in the same figure.
An average of £370 is being spent with the UK defence industry for each person living in the UK, showing the level of spending that helps keep the nation protected.
The latest jobs figures '' published in the summer - also show 209,000 UK jobs are supported through the MOD's expenditure with our defence industry.
Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps said:As threats increase across the globe, it's crucial that investment in our Armed Forces matches that picture.
That's why we're spending more than £50 billion annually on helping equip our military with cutting-edge capabilities, so they can continue to protect our freedoms around the clock.
These statistics demonstrate how all parts of the UK are playing their part in that crucial work, delivering through our fantastic defence industry and boosting local prosperity.
The UK has experienced its third consecutive year of increased spending, with the Southeast of England receiving the highest MOD Expenditure with UK Industry, followed by the Southwest.
Wales and Northern Ireland saw an increased level of expenditure compared to last year's statistics, highlighting the key role the Nations play, with Scotland leading the investment with more than £2 billion spent annually.
Background The stats published on Thursday 8 February regarding spend with UK industry can be found here. The latest figures on jobs supported through UK industry can be found here. Published 8 February 2024
Museums hit with losses as selfie-takers walk backwards into paintings
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 12:49
Insurer blames impact of phones on 'normal brain function' amid rise in artwork damage
Selfie-takers are damaging valuable art at museums around the world by walking backwards into paintings and objects, according to specialist insurer Hiscox.
Robert Read, head of art and private clients at Hiscox, said that venues are being forced to cover mounting costs from selfie-related accidents when objects are damaged or knocked over.
He said that the ''pandemic of selfies'' was forcing museums and galleries to install protective barriers, and hire enforcers responsible for stopping people about to have an accident.
Mr Read said: ''Pre-mobile phones people had a sense of what was acceptable and what wasn't. Now when people have a phone in their hand, it's as though they have no inhibitions.
A pumpkin sculpture by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama was damaged when a selfie-snapper lost her balance Credit : OLI SCARFF/AFP''It sort of neutralises what their normal brain function would be in terms of stepping away from something or not putting themselves in danger.
''But somehow that feeling of getting a picture means whether it's damaging a painting or damaging yourself, those barriers no longer seem to exist.''
Half of the losses incurred by Hiscox's art underwriting business are caused by accidental damage, which includes from selfie-takers.
In 2017, one careless selfie-taker reportedly destroyed $200,000 (£158,000) of artwork after losing her balance at a Los Angeles-based art exhibition displaying the sculptures of UK-born artist Simon Birch.
Increasing art vandalism by climate activists could force galleries to introduce 'airport style security' Credit : DAVID CANTINIAUX/AFPMeanwhile, a pumpkin sculpture by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama in her renowned Infinity Mirror Rooms was damaged when a selfie-snapper lost her balance in 2017.
The National Gallery in London and the British Museum for years have banned the use of selfie-sticks amid concerns over safety, individual privacy and the overall visitor experience.
Mr Read also warned increasing art vandalism by climate activists and other protest groups could force galleries to introduce ''airport style security'' and confiscate liquids from visitors.
VIDEO - San Bernardino County helicopter crash: 6, including CEO of Nigerian bank, killed - YouTube
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VIDEO - Harris calls Biden report 'gratuitous, inaccurate' - YouTube
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 14:30
VIDEO - 'A nightmare': Special counsel's assessment of Biden's mental fitness triggers Democratic panic
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 14:25
WASHINGTON '-- President Joe Biden sidestepped any criminal charges as the investigation into his handling of classified documents concluded, but the political blowback from the special counsel's report Thursday could prove even more devastating, reinforcing impressions that he is too old and impaired to hold the highest office.
Special counsel Robert Hur's portrait of a man who couldn't remember when he served as Barack Obama's vice president, or the year when his beloved son Beau died, dealt a blow to Biden's argument that he is still sharp and fit enough to serve another four-year term.
In deciding not to charge Biden with any crimes, the special counsel wrote that in a potential trial, ''Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview with him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.''
It was tough enough for Biden to reassure voters about his health before Hur's report hit like a thunderclap Thursday afternoon, prompting members of his own party to question whether he could remain the nominee in November.
''It's a nightmare,'' said a Democratic House member who asked to speak anonymously to provide a frank assessment, adding that ''it weakens President Biden electorally, and Donald Trump would be a disaster and an authoritarian.''
''For Democrats, we're in a grim situation.''
Biden wasted little time before attempting to minimize the fallout. He held an unexpected exchange with reporters in the White House on Thursday night, in which he disputed Hur's assessment of his mental acuity.
Biden grew emotional when invoking the part of the report addressing the date of his son's death.
"How in the hell dare you raise that?" Biden said. "Frankly, when I was asked the question I thought to myself, 'It wasn't any of their damn business.' "
'Beyond devastating'Polling has long shown that age looms as Biden's greatest liability in his expected rematch with Trump. A January poll by NBC News found that 76% of voters have major or moderate concerns about Biden's mental and physical health.
''It's been a problem since way before this ever happened,'' said a longtime Democratic operative who noted that when focus groups are asked to apply one word to Biden, it is often ''old.''
Just this week, Biden twice referred to conversations he's had as president with foreign leaders who've long since died. In his remarks Thursday night defending his competency, while talking about the war in Gaza, he referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi as being the head of Mexico. White House press aides have downplayed such lapses as the sort of mistake anyone in public life can make.
The Hur report strips away the defenses that Biden's press operation has used to protect him and raises fresh doubts about whether Biden is up to the rigors of the presidency, Democratic strategists said in interviews.
''This is beyond devastating,'' said another Democratic operative, speaking on condition of anonymity to talk candidly about Biden's shortcomings. ''It confirms every doubt and concern that voters have. If the only reason they didn't charge him is because he's too old to be charged, then how can he be president of the United States?''
Asked if Hur's report changes the calculus for Democrats who expect Biden to be the party's nominee, this person said: ''How the f--- does it not?''
Another Biden ally called it ''the worst day of his presidency.''
''I think he needs to show us this is a demonstrably false characterization of him and that he has what it takes to win and govern.''
Biden has overwhelmingly won the first primary contests '-- notching victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. It would be virtually impossible for anyone else to challenge him at this point; the deadline has passed in more than 30 states to get on primary ballots.
Some of the president's allies were quick to defend him. They pointed to the timing of the interview with the special counsel '-- days after Hamas' attack on Israel, which had captured much of the president's focus. Others said that in their own dealings with Biden, he shows no sign of infirmity.
''He did so well in this discussion with members,'' Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., told NBC News after seeing the president on Thursday. ''He's very sharp, no memory issues, and his only stumbling is when he trips over words consistent with his lifelong speech impediment.''
'Prejudicial language'Though Biden was fortunate to escape indictment, the special counsel report may give Trump additional fodder as he fights charges for allegedly mishandling classified records at his Mar-a-Lago social club. Republicans are already accusing Biden of benefiting from a double standard. Trump will likely brandish the Hur report as proof that Biden has ''weaponized'' the Justice Department for political advantage.
What's more, Democrats will now be hard-pressed to capitalize on Trump's indictment over retaining classified records. Before Hur's report came out, Democrats argued that the two cases were very different. Whereas Trump failed to turn over classified records even after he was asked to do so, Biden willingly cooperated with authorities and relinquished all the material he had, Biden allies had argued.
''The public understands the essential difference between presidents or vice presidents like Joe Biden who occasionally behaved in sloppy ways with respect to where they were taking documents, and a president like Trump, who deliberately makes off with hundreds of classified government documents and then hides them and refuses to return them,'' Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said on Wednesday, before the report was released. (Trump has denied any wrongdoing.)
Now, the distinctions may be harder for Biden allies to draw, given that Hur wrote that there was evidence Biden ''willfully retained and disclosed classified material after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.''
The report mentions an instance in February 2017, when he was no longer vice president, when Biden read notes containing classified information ''nearly verbatim'' to a ghostwriter helping him with his book, ''Promise Me, Dad.''
Storage of sensitive government secrets was haphazard. The report describes certain classified records involving the war in Afghanistan in Biden's Delaware garage inside a ''badly damaged box surrounded by household detritus.''
Before the report was released, Biden aides had been bracing for a finding that he had simply been careless in his treatment of classified records, a person familiar with the White House's thinking said.
The political fallout from the report, though, is likely to be ''worse,'' this person said. What will stick in people's minds is what Hur said about Biden's memory, the person added.
Biden's lawyers disputed the report's description of Biden's forgetfulness.
''We do not believe that the report's treatment of President Biden's memory is accurate or appropriate,'' two of his lawyers wrote in a letter to Hur. ''The report uses highly prejudicial language to describe a commonplace occurrence among witnesses: a lack of recall of years-old events.''
In the hours after the report was released, people close to the Biden campaign rolled out a different rebuttal. Jim Messina, who ran Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, wrote on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, that Hur is a Republican who ''knew exactly how his swipes could hurt Biden politically.''
That's a familiar argument. Trump has also claimed that law enforcement is trying to sway the election, meaning both sides are now claiming victimization at the hands of partisan prosecutors.
''Hur knew exactly what he was doing here,'' Stephanie Cutter, a veteran Democratic operative, wrote on X. ''To provide political cover for himself for not prosecuting, he gratuitously leveled a personal (not legal) charge against the president that he absolutely knows is a gift to Trump. And, guess what we are all talking about?''
Peter Nicholas Peter Nicholas is a senior national political reporter for NBC News.
Jonathan Allen, Monica Alba, Katherine Doyle, Mark Murray and Scott Wong contributed.
VIDEO - Penn State Berks to offer 'Taylor Swift, Gender and Communications' course in fall 2024 - 6abc Philadelphia
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 14:21
Friday, February 9, 2024 10:17PM
Taylor Swift course to be offered at Penn State campus this fall
READING, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Swifties, are you ready for it? Taylor Swift fans will soon be able to fill "Blank Space" and become a "Mastermind" with a new course that will soon be offered at Penn State Berks campus.
The school, near where the popstar grew up, announced Friday that it will begin offering a unique course starting in the fall 2024 semester that "explores Swift's impact and her portrayal in the media."
RELATED: 'Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour (Taylor's Version)' will stream exclusively on Disney+
The course, titled "Taylor Swift, Gender, and Communication," will hold 100 seats with 50 spots reserved for current Berks students and the other 50 spots available for incoming first-year students.
The course, developed by longtime self-proclaimed Swiftie Michele Ramsey, is cross-listed as both a communications arts and sciences and a women's studies class.
"When you watch social media posts of the concerts or 'Eras Tour' movie screenings, you see so many important things happening," Ramsey said. "You see legions of women - grandmothers, moms, young women, teens, tweens, younger girls and those who don't fit into our strict social constructions of gender and sex identity - daring to take up space to enjoy something they love together."
While university officials say this course is different than one's offered at other universities, there is no "Bad Blood" because it examines Swift's cultural and musical impact, as well as her portrayal in the media rather than focusing on Swift's marketing strategies or how her lyrics fit into literary canon.
RELATED: Taylor Swift named TIME magazine's 2023 Person of the Year
"Taylor Swift is not only loved by younger generations, and there's a good reason for that," Ramsey said. "She shows vulnerability in her music by speaking honestly about her life and many of those tribulations are linked to how we treat most women in our society. Taylor's songs speak to generations of people whose stories have not been the center of civilization, movies, TV shows or music."
To learn more about the course, visit the Penn State Berks website.
Copyright (C) 2024 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.
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VIDEO - Butler County sheriff changes how it arms, trains deputies after FBI director's ominous warning
Sun, 11 Feb 2024 12:26
HAMILTON, Ohio (WXIX) - Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones is changing how his agency arms and trains deputies based on an ominous warning from FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Sheriff Jones just got back from the National Sheriff's Association's annual winter conference in Washington D.C., where Wray's update for them has him convinced a terror attack in the U.S. is imminent.
He says he wants Butler County to be ready.
''It's gonna happen here,'' Sheriff Jones said Tuesday. ''It's going to be all hands on deck. We want you to be concerned now. You are a fool if you don't listen to the chatter.''
He said the FBI director warned that:
Terror threats are at an unprecedented level against the U.S., even compared to the weeks leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, since Hamas' attack on Israel last fall. These are remarks Wray made at a Senate committee hearing last year. Chinese hackers are ready to ''wreak havoc'' on critical US infrastructure such as American water treatment plants, electrical grids, oil and natural gas pipelines and transportation systems to disrupt our daily lives if the U.S. and China ever go to war. Wray first publicly revealed this last week in a U.S. House committee hearing along with: There's been far too little public focus on a cyber threat that affects every single American. China's hacking force outnumbers FBI cyber and intelligence analysts ''at least 50-to-1.'' The 2024 NSA Winter Conference has officially commenced! The National Sheriffs' Association Executive Committee and FBI Director Chris Wray met yesterday to discuss national security priorities to ensure the safety of our communities. Collaborative endeavors between our Sheriffs'...
'-- National Sheriffs' Association (@NationalSheriff) February 3, 2024Some attacks like hacking are already underway in Butler County and have been for years, according to Sheriff Jones.
Russian hackers got into their computer system in late 2020, he said.
It put down their dispatch center's automated computer system for about 10 days, requiring dispatchers to do their job with pen and paper.
''I was told today China tries to hack our computer system five times a day. Three times a day from Iran and Russia. It's constant,'' Sheriff Jones said. ''All we are doing is keeping them away the best we can. The FBI can't help us. It's too much. Last time they couldn't help us.''
He's ordered AR-15 rifles immediately into every single cruiser, not just a few, along with ammunition and clips.
The sheriff's office also is changing how it trains staff and civilians.
They've ordered more Hazmat equipment with plans to expand their current Hazmat team of 10.
He's also planning to expand their Citizens On Patrol program.
In addition, sign-ups just opened up for the public to start training May 17-18 to help respond to natural disasters and attacks.
The class is called ''When Disaster Strikes: Prepare, Act, Survive.''
It's designed to teach and encourage community members impacted by a disaster to prepare, take preservation actions and to perform, as appropriate, light search and rescue response to aid their family and other community members in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster or human-made incident.
''You've got to expect they will do something with chemicals or drugs and train derailments,'' Sheriff Jones said. ''What will people do if their cell phones don't work? People will freak out. They can't call anybody. We are not prepared for things like that.''
The sheriff says he plans to announce more new proposals at an 11 a.m. press conference Wednesday.
Sheriff Jones says local first responders including law enforcement will be the front-line defense for attacks on U.S. soil just like it was on Sept. 11, 2001.
Some of those who want to harm us are already living among us and the military and National Guard can't just be instantly activated, he said.
''We are going to train with local police for terror attacks. We are going to be the Army, Marines, Air Force and National Guard,'' he said. ''We have to train people to be better prepared for terror attacks. Police were trained to keep local communities safe. You don't think you were going to be attacked by terrorists.
''We have to train as though the military is not coming to help us. The National Guard is not coming to help us. Everybody is on their own. I want the public to know you are in a terrible spot right now. Pay attention to what you see, where you see it, watch people. There are people here who don't like us.''
Asked if he was just being ''Doomsday Jones'' and encouraging racial discrimination and profiling of foreigners by calling for closed U.S. borders, the sheriff responded:
''You don't have to believe me at all. You don't have to be trained in firearms. When we call you, you can go hide in your basement. Build a safe room. Good luck to you. I give you the information. If you don't like what I say, don't vote for me. Fire me. Don't elect me. But I've been elected five times. I am concerned with my country and the people who are here legally.''
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Clips & Documents

All Clips
A dream come true Las Vegas, Super Bowl - and Taylor Swift DW.mp3
ABC GMA - Gio Benitez (1) Finnair weighing passengers.mp3
ABC GMA - Gio Benitez (2) outro.mp3
ABC GMA - Mary Bruce (1) intro - the president angry last night.mp3
ABC GMA - Mary Bruce (2) Biden clearly frustrated as his age comes under increasing scrutiny.mp3
ABC The View (3) Sunny Hostin reveals her family were slave traders.mp3
ABC The View (4) Sunny Hostin the slave thing is a bummer.mp3
Arizona Body Chop Shop.mp3
Biden docs analysis 1 ntd.mp3
Biden docs analysis 2.mp3
Biden docs analysis THREE_ONE RUssia.mp3
Biden docs analysis THREE_TWO.mp3
BIDEN memory overview ntd.mp3
Biden old guy presse - hostage ceasefire - without revealing - deal BEFORE oct 7th.mp3
BIDEN oyr lady off gaffe.mp3
Biden presser - teh entire reason summed up in this question.mp3
Butler County sheriff changes how it arms, trains deputies after FBI director’s ominous warning.mp3
CBS Evenings - Steve Hartman - prop bets [the dog dont catch the ball].mp3
CBS Mornings - Ed Okeefe (1) Bidens memory called into question.mp3
CBS Mornings - Ed Okeefe (2) is Robert Hur a political hack.mp3
Chris Wallace slams Eager Puppy Tucker Carlson on Putin interview.mp3
CLARE DALY cut off.mp3
CLARE DALY on Hungary deal.mp3
EC 120 crash 4 pax is too much.mp3
elections in Pakistan.mp3
Europe's farmers protest against EU measures, rising prices.mp3
Germany AFD Coverages 3.mp3
Germany AFD Coverages PBS.mp3
Germany AFD Coverages TWO.mp3
Global temperatures breach 1.5C warming limit over 12-month period, a first F24.mp3
GOOD NEWS the stuck coyote.mp3
Hillary on Tucker [REDUX] talking points puppy dog useful idiot.mp3
Hungarian President Novak resigns over child sexual abuse pardon F24.mp3
If it's covid - paxlovid commercial ad.mp3
Immigration results lower wages ntd.mp3
Israel gaza update ntd.mp3
Israelmild updte PBS.mp3
Kamala Setup Question to elevate her to war POTUS status.mp3
Lunar New Year celebrations have begun DW.mp3
Mail-in Ballots no good ntd.mp3
Mail-in Ballots no good TWO Fraud.mp3
META vs AI vs PBS 1.mp3
META vs AI vs PBS 2DUD.mp3
META vs AI vs PBS 3stooge.mp3
Michigan Mom on trial DN.mp3
NBC MTP Now - Kristen Welker (1) Chuck Todd - language in special report damning.mp3
NBC MTP Now - Kristen Welker (2) Chuck Todd - Biden declines to do Super Bowl interview.mp3
NBC NN -[FEB 1 2024] Ken Dilanian - china hackers aim to 'wreak havoc'.mp3
NBC Today - Hallie Jackson (1) body blow to Biden gut punch.mp3
NBC Today - Peter Alexander (1) Presiden Biden angry and defiant.mp3
NBC Today - Peter Alexander (2) Biden kept notebooks implicating intelligence sources and methods.mp3
NYC kids would rather starve than eat revised public school meal plans.mp3
NYC New shooting.mp3
odd weird education news DN.mp3
PALKI SHARMA - Singapore Urges Birth of Little Dragons France Proposes Fertility Tests.mp3
PBS Finding My Roots - Henry Louis Gates Jr. (1) Sunny Hostin finds out family was in the slave trade.mp3
PBS Finding My Roots - Henry Louis Gates Jr. (2) Sunny Hostins mother is deeply white.mp3
Penn State Berks to offer 'Taylor Swift, Gender and Communications' course in fall 2024 - 6abc Philadelphia.mp3
Pro-Palestinians disrupt Hillary Clinton, UN ambassador speeches.mp3
REV AL Mayoriokas.mp3
San Bernardino County helicopter crash 6, including CEO of Nigerian bank, killed FoxNews Local.mp3
San Francisco being sued over race base guaranteed income programs.mp3
SCOTUS Chief justice Roberts goose gander Trump Biden - Ballot ony a few states will run election.mp3
Smerconish with Axlrod on Michelle Obama running.mp3
Studio 10 History of Joe Cain Day.mp3
Taylor Swift cut away calm down.mp3
Tedros pleds for the Pandemic Treaty (agreement).mp3
Tucker is not a journalist supercut.mp3
Tucker Putin on Bush jr and Trump vs Elites.mp3
Zelensky thanks EU for new aid but requests more military assistance in Ukraine.mp3
‘NBC - A nightmare’ -Special counsel’s assessment of Biden’s mental fitness triggers Democratic panic.mp3
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