Cover for No Agenda Show 1666: Wyrd
June 6th • 3h 19m

1666: Wyrd


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.

Bird Flu
Bird Flu Viral Model
Homeopathic Eye Drops Pulled From US Market in 2023 BOTG
ITM, Adam!
With Avian flu and pink eye in the news, I’d like to share something that has been extremely frustrating among naturally-minded mamas: the FDA gave the homeopathic company Similisan a warning letter about their eye drops in September 2023, causing them to voluntarily pull them from the U.S market. Every type I’ve tried have worked AMAZINGLY. Three or four of my kids got pink eye around October 2023, and thankfully I had the “contraband” Similisan Pink Eye drops, and all of them cleared up quickly without antibiotics or other medicines. In fact, we’ve never had Similisan Pink Eye drops fail us for any of our seven human resources, and you can be sure we’ve had a lot of opportunity to test their effectiveness. One of the chief ingredients is homeopathic (ultra-diluted) Belladonna, which is known as a “viral interrupter.” Very frustrating that these would leave the market before viral pink eye threats hit the news cycle.
H5N1 facts from a Nebraska vet family BOTG
Adam—From a farmer friend of mine who has a son working as a farm vet here in Nebraska.
Jon Tucker
H5N1 (bird flu) not to be confused with H1N1 (swine flu)??
As I previously stated, bird flu has long had a vaccine but politics has prevented it’s use. Several other countries have used the vaccine for years.
Transfer to humans is now supposed to be a huge concern. I don’t remember a similar panic over swine flu. We were given the usual advice, fluids and rest.
What we have seen in cattle is a surprising number of open cows last breeding season. Hunters last year were shocked at the lack of fawns last season. While many were angry at Game and Parks for mismanagement of the deer population vets were putting these two things together.
It’s suspected the transfer to hoofed animals is already at least a year old. The telling points we are watching is how many calves go to market for feedlot this fall. And how many fawns we see this spring and fall.
Dairy cows are easier to track due to confinement. How many aborted or had calves die at birth?
Long story short, we believe the transfer to hoofed animals has already happened and herd immunity may have already been met. Vaccinating cattle now would be a waste of time and money.
Nahid Bhadelia - Wikipedia
In 1999, Bhadelia worked as the Director of National Outreach for Oxfam America, working on projects related to civic engagement of young Americans in voting and policy change issues. In 2002, she worked with Massachusetts Campus Compact on a project funded by Pew Charitable trusts to promote voting among college students. She completed her medical training in New York City at Mount Sinai Hospital and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.[7]
Big Tech AI and Socials
Microsoft AI BOTG
Microsoft is still ramping up on AI. However,
the cost for that is through the roof. Most of our business
expenses are being cannibalized by AI because it costs so
much. There was a demo that someone did in my org for using
ChatGPT to answer questions about code and generate
documentation. There were between 10 and 20 people using it.
It cost $2000 a day just for that much usage! This could be
why the quantum unit was dismantled.
About making money, I think there's two parts. One is
the stock price. It's been going up quite a bit recently. It's around
$424. It was going up before too, but it got a little stuck in the past
couple years around 280-low 300s. Ever since the OpenAI deal, it's
almost been non-stop upwards.
I was speaking with my skip manager a couple of weeks ago, and I asked
him if he knew what the expense to profit ratio was for AI. He said
that's a very closely guarded secret and if we knew the answer we
wouldn't be able to sell our stocks. I guess you could take that either
way, but it's certainly good for the execs and investors.
The other reason why I think Microsoft is making money off of this is that
Microsoft is a platform company. It was true with Windows but it's
evolved into the cloud as well. Windows is no longer the cash cow. It's
Azure now. And with all the AI hype, Microsoft will ramp up its cloud
services so that it can make money off of all the companies that don't
want to miss the AI hype train.
License Plate Readers BOTG
I’ve been a 911 dispatcher for 3 years but I’ve only been given access to License Plate Reader’s (LPRs) for the last 6 months. Episode 1647 (I’m a little behind) talks about LPRs, at most Police Dept’s I know that have them, the responsibility is relegated to Dispatchers to be on alert when a stolen car hits a reader and to enter a call for police to check the area. The cameras barely work well enough to read plates, let alone faces so I wouldn’t worry about that. We can enter alerts on vehicles if we want, for example, one vehicle has an alert on it because he allegedly pulled a gun out on a drive thru fast food worker and he’s a felon so they’re trying to catch the driver with a gun because he shouldn’t have one. Dispatchers in general hardly have the time to sit in front of cameras anyway as we’re frequently on the phone. In my experience, I have seen nothing concerning about the cameras and how **we’re** using them. Whether or not some other agency has access to the cameras and what they’re doing with all this data is another story…
Climate Change
EV Trucks no good BOTG
ITM Adam,
Thought you might be interested in this information about electric trucks that were purchased for use by our DPW. Specifically, the Ford Lightning. A friend was out checking ground water wells, and that means that he has to drive through fields with high grass and bushes. These trucks have an undercarriage sensor, if grass and bushes scrape, the truck thinks that you are having an accident, and the vehicle shuts off. The truck then will not start. Then you have to tow the pick-up out of the field and replace the $3,000 sensor. What a great way to spend our tax dollars! /S
Sir Tom of the 10-15 Home team
Big Pharma
Season of Reveal
Is The "YouTube Bank" About To Be Our Next Bank Failure? | WLT Report
Savings app CEO says 85,000 accounts locked in fintech meltdown: ‘We never imagined a scenario like this’
Southwest Boarding and Seating BOTG
Actually the blog was the first to report the change for Southwest. They announced early this year they would switch to cheaper “slim” seats but they said they would not add seats to the plane or increase the space between seats in coach. The math meant they are adding a premium class of either premium coach or first class that take that extra space. No big deal right, everybody else has both already?
The question is whether you can add that and keep the rag-a-muffins as you call them out of those seats without assigning seats. In April Southwest said off the cuff on an earnings call they were evaluating a change in classes of service and also the possibility of assigned seats.
So something is changing 100%. They could potentially add this premium class and have it be open seating and just have the FAs keep squatters out, but are you going to pay for this premium class to still be in a middle seat possibly? They could also have the premium class only be assigned seats.
Ukraine vs Russia
Replacement Migration
Immigration into the UK in 10 Charts
I thought this was quite an interesting summary of the UK's immigration of late in 10 charts. The charts are presented by Professor Matt Goodwin, who appears to be quite a lone voice in trying to highlight the problems with mass immigration:
1. This chart shows that from 2010,10 million new people have arrived in the UK. That equates to 1000 extra people every day.
2. This shows how from 2020 through Boris Johnson's liberalisation of our immigration system, more non-EU nationals came to the country. So, more low-skilled, cheap labour.
3. This shows the number of visas issued from 2021-2023 according to nationality. The EU share has obviously shrunk. India is at 24% and China at 12%. This migration has been proven to be more of an economic cost rather than benefit.
4. The charts highlight the correlation between net migration and the plummeting GDP per capita. Matt also suggests that this type of migration has resulted in fewer incentives to innovate and uses hand car washes as an example of this. Hand car washes in the Uk have soared in number compared to automated ones as this is where a lot of illegal and low-skilled immigrants end up.
5. The chart shows net migration by reason for non-EU nationals. Only 15% came on work visas.
6. This chart shows the number of sponsored skilled worker visas issued. The median salary is below that of Brits.
7. The bar chart here shows whether Brits think immigration is too high according to age and voting preference. Across the board, even for 18-24-year-olds, it is seen as too high.
8. The line graph shows that the population of England and Wales born outside of the UK has more than doubled.
9. This graph shows the change in population and number of dwellings. We have a deficit of 1.3 million homes, of which 90% of that demand comes from immigrants.
10. The last graph highlights the share of new social housing going to non-UK nationals.
Matt had also predicted that Farage would throw his hat in the ring for this election and low and behold, he has declared he's running. Here is the GB News response to it and the election in general (including Professor Matt Goodwin): [](
A Proclamation on Securing the Border | The White House
Thu, 06 Jun 2024 15:43
There are more people around the world who are displaced from their homes today than at any point in time since World War II. Many factors have contributed to this problem. Failing regimes and dire economic conditions afflict many countries, including several in the Western Hemisphere. Violence linked to transnational criminal organizations has displaced substantial numbers of people in Latin America. The global COVID-19 pandemic upended societies around the globe. Natural disasters have forced people from their homes.
As a result of these global conditions, we have been experiencing substantial levels of migration throughout the Western Hemisphere, including at our southwest land border. In 2019, encounters nearly doubled from their 2018 level to almost 1 million. In 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic led countries throughout the world to shut their borders and suspend international travel; however, once the pandemic began to recede, international travel resumed, and we again experienced elevated levels of migration throughout the Western Hemisphere, including at our southwest land border.
On May 11, 2023, as part of my Administration's work to prepare for the end of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's public health order under title 42, United States Code, and to return to processing all noncitizens under immigration authorities under title 8, United States Code (title 8), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a final rule, entitled Circumvention of Lawful Pathways (Lawful Pathways rule), encouraging the use of lawful pathways and imposing a rebuttable presumption of asylum ineligibility on those who do not use them.
The Lawful Pathways rule was designed to address the high levels of migration throughout the Western Hemisphere and further discourage irregular migration by encouraging migrants to use lawful, safe, and orderly processes for entering the United States or to seek protection in other partner nations; imposing a presumptive condition on asylum eligibility for those who fail to do so; and supporting the swift return of those who do not have valid protection claims.
As a complement to the Lawful Pathways rule and associated enforcement efforts, the Department of State and DHS have taken significant steps to expand safe and orderly pathways for migrants to enter the United States lawfully. Those steps include establishing Safe Mobility Offices in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Guatemala to facilitate access to lawful pathways; expanding country-specific and other available processes to seek parole on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit; expanding access to visa programs for seasonal employment; establishing a mechanism for noncitizens to schedule a time and place to present at ports of entry in a safe, orderly, and lawful manner through the CBP One mobile application; and expanding refugee admissions from the Western Hemisphere from 5,000 in Fiscal Year 2021 to up to 50,000 in Fiscal Year 2024.
The Lawful Pathways rule and these complementary measures have made a substantial impact. On May 12, 2023, DHS returned to processing all noncitizens under title 8 immigration authorities and is processing noncitizens at record scale and efficiency. Since then, my Administration has maximized the use of expedited removal to the greatest extent possible given limited resources, placing more than 970 individuals encountered at and between ports of entry at the southwest land border into the process each day on average and conducting more than 152,000 credible fear interviews, both of which are record highs. As a result, from May 12, 2023, to May 1, 2024, my Administration removed or returned more than 720,000 noncitizens who did not have a lawful basis to remain in the United States, the vast majority of whom crossed the southwest land border. Total removals and returns in the 12 months following May 12, 2023, exceeded removals and returns in every full Fiscal Year since 2010. The majority of all individuals encountered at the southwest land border from Fiscal Year 2021 to Fiscal Year 2023 were removed, returned, or expelled.
Despite these efforts, and after months of reduced encounter levels following the changes put in place after May 12, 2023, encounter levels increased toward the end of 2023, and December 2023 saw the highest level of encounters between ports of entry in history, as increasing numbers of people migrated through the Western Hemisphere. The challenges presented by this surge in migration, which would have been even worse had the Lawful Pathways rule and other measures not been in place, were compounded by the fact that the surge was focused increasingly on western areas of the border in California and Arizona that are geographically remote, challenging to address, and without sufficient pre-existing infrastructure or resources to respond to the surge. From January to March 2024, encounters decreased from and have remained below levels experienced in November and December 2023, including as a result of increased enforcement by the United States and partner countries. However, the factors that are driving the unprecedented movement of people in our hemisphere remain, and there is still a substantial and elevated level of migration that continues to pose significant operational challenges.
The current situation is also the direct result of the Congress's failure to update an immigration and asylum system that is simply broken '-- and not equipped to meet current needs. While my Administration has vigorously enforced the law within the constraints imposed by the existing system, the statutory framework put in place by the Congress is outdated. For the vast majority of people in immigration proceedings, the current laws make it impossible to quickly grant protection to those who require it and to quickly remove those who do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States. This reality is compounded by the fact that the Congress has chronically underfunded our border security and immigration system and has failed to provide the resources or reforms it needs to be able to deliver timely consequences to most individuals who cross unlawfully and cannot establish a legal basis to remain in the United States.
Despite the strengthened consequences in place at our border through the Lawful Pathways rule and the related measures that have led to record returns and removals, encounter levels are exceeding our capacity to deliver those consequences in a timely manner due to the outdated laws and limited resources we have available.
My Administration has repeatedly asked the Congress to update the outdated and inadequate immigration statutes, to create a legal framework that is functional and addresses current realities, and to provide additional resources so that we can more effectively deliver consequences at the border. In August 2023, I requested more than $4 billion in additional funding for border security and related migration issues, including more than $2 billion for urgent DHS border management requirements. The Congress failed to act. In October 2023, I requested $13.6 billion for border enforcement and migration management. This request included more than $5 billion for DHS to manage conditions on the southern border, as well as funding for critical capacity enhancements to keep the southern border secure. The Congress once again failed to provide our border and immigration system with the resources it needs to deliver timely consequences to those who cross unlawfully.
In early February 2024, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation (bipartisan legislative proposal) containing the toughest and fairest reforms of our asylum laws in decades that would have provided new authorities to significantly streamline and speed up immigration enforcement proceedings for individuals encountered at the border, including those who are seeking protection. Critically, the bipartisan legislative proposal included nearly $20 billion in additional resources for DHS and other departments to implement those new authorities, such as: (a) over 1,500 new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel, including Border Patrol agents and CBP officers; (b) over 4,300 new asylum officers and additional U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services staff to facilitate timely and fair decisions; (c) 100 new immigration judge teams to help reduce the asylum caseload backlog and adjudicate cases more quickly; (d) shelter and critical services for newcomers in our cities and States; and (e) 1,200 new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel for functions including enforcement and deportations. While the bipartisan legislative proposal did not include everything we wanted, senior officials from my Administration worked closely with the bipartisan group of Senators to ensure that the reforms would adequately address the challenges that we have been facing at our southern border for more than a decade. However, the Congress failed to move forward with this bipartisan legislative proposal.
The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 (Public Law 118-47) increased funding for DHS over Fiscal Year 2023, but it did not address the needs identified in various related supplemental requests, nor did it equip the Federal Government with the new authorities from the bipartisan legislative proposal. In May 2024, when the Senate again considered the bipartisan legislative proposal, the Senate failed to advance the measure.
Our broken immigration system is directly contributing to the historic migration we are seeing throughout the Western Hemisphere, exacerbated by poor economic conditions, natural disasters, and general insecurity, and this fact, combined with inadequate resources to keep pace, has once again severely strained our capacity at the border. The result is a vicious cycle in which our United States Border Patrol facilities constantly risk overcrowding, our detention system has regularly been at capacity, and our asylum system remains backlogged and cannot deliver timely decisions, all of which spurs more people to make the dangerous journey north to the United States.
The Congress's failure to deliver meaningful policy reforms and adequate funding, despite repeated requests that they do so, is a core cause of this problem. Under current law, whenever a noncitizen in expedited removal indicates an intention to apply for asylum or a fear of persecution, they are referred for an interview with an asylum officer and cannot be removed through expedited removal if there is a significant possibility that they could establish eligibility for asylum. This screening standard is a requirement imposed by the Congress, but it has not functioned well in predicting ultimate success in asylum proceedings. From 2014 to 2019, 83 percent of individuals referred for an interview with an asylum officer passed the screening stage, meaning that they were not removed pursuant to expedited removal, but less than 25 percent of cases ultimately resulted in a grant of asylum or other protection, often after waiting years to reach a final decision. By imposing a rebuttable presumption of asylum ineligibility on those who cross the border unlawfully, the Lawful Pathways rule has made a meaningful impact in reducing this disparity. The screen-in rate from May 12, 2023, to March 31, 2024, dropped to 52 percent for individuals who are subject to the rebuttable presumption of asylum ineligibility. However, the Lawful Pathways rule alone is inadequate during times of record encounter levels and cannot change the underlying statutory limitations.
Data confirm that the system has been badly strained for many years and is not functioning to provide timely relief for those who warrant it or timely consequences for those without viable protection claims. Due to an outdated and inefficient system and insufficient resources that do not allow for prompt adjudication of claims, too many people have had to be processed by the Border Patrol and released with a notice to appear in removal proceedings before an immigration judge since May 2023. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service affirmative asylum backlog is now over 1 million cases and growing, with over 300,000 applications filed prior to 2021 still pending. At the end of Fiscal Year 2023, there were over 2.4 million cases pending in the immigration courts. Pending cases more than doubled from the end of Fiscal Year 2016 to the end of Fiscal Year 2020 and doubled again between that time and the end of Fiscal Year 2023. Between Fiscal Year 2006 and the end of Fiscal Year 2023, in tandem with historic increases in filings to initiate immigration court proceedings, the immigration courts' pending caseload increased from approximately 170,000 to approximately 2.46 million. During Fiscal Year 2023, immigration judges completed more cases than they ever had before in a single year, but more than twice as many cases were received by the immigration courts than were completed.
The status quo system '-- the result of outdated laws and inadequate resources '-- has become a driver for unlawful migration throughout the region and an increasingly lucrative source of income for dangerous transnational criminal organizations and other criminal smuggling organizations that, without countermeasures, will continue to grow in strength and pose significant threats to the safety and security of United States communities and migrants, as well as countries throughout the region.
Considering these trends and the decades-long failure of the Congress to address the problem through systemic reform and adequate funding, and following the Congress's failure to pass the bipartisan legislative proposal, I must exercise my executive authorities to meet the moment. This proclamation answers the call by suspending entry of noncitizens across the southern border during this time of high border crossings. Appropriate exceptions are provided, such as for those who are particularly vulnerable or present pursuant to a process the Secretary of Homeland Security determines is appropriate to allow for safe and orderly processing into the United States. That process will continue to allow for individuals to seek entry to this country each day in a safe and orderly manner, and following their arrival, to seek protection through the appropriate process. This proclamation, in conjunction with steps to be taken by DOJ and DHS, is needed to enhance our ability to address the historic levels of migration and more efficiently process migrants arriving at the southern border given current resource levels.
These actions do not change or fully compensate for the fact that our immigration system is under-resourced and broken, nor do they change the fact that there are significant limits to what can be achieved without the Congress fulfilling its responsibility to help solve the unprecedented challenge that we are facing. No executive action can deliver the significant policy reforms and additional resources that were in the bipartisan legislative proposal. But I will continue to take actions, within these constraints, to address the situation at our southern border.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a)) and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, hereby find that, absent the measures set forth in this proclamation, the entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of this proclamation under circumstances described in section 2 of this proclamation would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and that their entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations, and exceptions. I therefore hereby proclaim the following:
Section 1. Suspension and Limitation on Entry. The entry of any noncitizen into the United States across the southern border is hereby suspended and limited, subject to section 3 of this proclamation. This suspension and limitation on entry shall be effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on June 5, 2024. The suspension and limitation directed in this proclamation shall be discontinued pursuant to subsection 2(a) of this proclamation, subject to subsection 2(b) of this proclamation.
Sec. 2. Applicability of Suspension and Limitation on Entry. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall monitor the number of daily encounters and, subject to subsection (b) of this section, the suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall be discontinued at 12:01 a.m. eastern time on the date that is 14 calendar days after the Secretary makes a factual determination that there has been a 7-consecutive-calendar-day average of less than 1,500 encounters, not including encounters described in subsection 4(a)(iii) of this proclamation. (b) Notwithstanding a factual determination made under subsection (a) of this section, the suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall apply at 12:01 a.m. eastern time on the calendar day immediately after the Secretary has made a factual determination that there has been a 7-consecutive-calendar-day average of 2,500 encounters or more, not including encounters described in subsection 4(a)(iii) of this proclamation, until such suspension and limitation on entry is discontinued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. (c) For purposes of subsection (a) and subsection (b) of this section, unaccompanied children (as defined in section 279(g)(2) of title 6, United States Code) from non-contiguous countries shall not be included in calculating the number of encounters.
Sec. 3. Scope and Implementation of Suspension and Limitation on Entry. (a) The suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall apply across the southern border to noncitizens, other than those described in subsection (b) of this section, during such times that the suspension and limitation on entry is in effect. (b) The suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to: (i) any noncitizen national of the United States; (ii) any lawful permanent resident of the United States; (iii) any unaccompanied child as defined in section 279(g)(2) of title 6, United States Code; (iv) any noncitizen who is determined to be a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined in section 7102(16) of title 22, United States Code; (v) any noncitizen who has a valid visa or other lawful permission to seek entry or admission into the United States, or presents at a port of entry pursuant to a pre-scheduled time and place, including: (A) members of the United States Armed Forces and associated personnel, United States Government employees or contractors on orders abroad, or their accompanying family members who are on their orders or are members of their household; (B) noncitizens who hold a valid visa or who have all necessary documents required for admission consistent with the requirements of section 1182(a)(7) of title 8, United States Code, upon arrival at a port of entry; (C) noncitizens traveling pursuant to the visa waiver program as described in section 1187 of title 8, United States Code; and (D) noncitizens who arrive in the United States at a southwest land border port of entry pursuant to a process the Secretary of Homeland Security determines is appropriate to allow for the safe and orderly entry of noncitizens into the United States; (vi) any noncitizen who is permitted to enter by the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through a CBP immigration officer, based on the totality of the circumstances, including consideration of significant law enforcement, officer and public safety, urgent humanitarian, and public health interests at the time of the entry or encounter that warranted permitting the noncitizen to enter; and (vii) any noncitizen who is permitted to enter by the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through a CBP immigration officer, due to operational considerations at the time of the entry or encounter that warranted permitting the noncitizen to enter.(c) An exception under subsection (b) of this section from the suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation does not affect a noncitizen's inadmissibility under the Immigration and Nationality Act for a reason other than the applicability of this proclamation.(d) The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General are authorized to issue any instructions, orders, or regulations as may be necessary to implement this proclamation, including the determination of the exceptions in subsection (b) of this section, and shall promptly consider issuing any instructions, orders, or regulations as may be necessary to address the circumstances at the southern border, including any additional limitations and conditions on asylum eligibility that they determine are warranted, subject to any exceptions that they determine are warranted.(e) Nothing in this proclamation shall limit the statutory processes afforded to unaccompanied children upon entering the United States under section 279 of title 6, United States Code, and section 1232 of title 8, United States Code.
Sec. 4. Definitions. (a) The term ''encounter'' refers to a noncitizen who: (i) is physically apprehended by CBP immigration officers within 100 miles of the United States southwest land border during the 14-day period immediately after entry between ports of entry; (ii) is physically apprehended by DHS personnel at the southern coastal borders during the 14-day period immediately after entry between ports of entry; or (iii) is determined to be inadmissible at a southwest land border port of entry.(b) The term ''southern coastal borders'' means all maritime borders in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida; all maritime borders proximate to the southwest land border, the Gulf of Mexico, and the southern Pacific coast in California; and all maritime borders of the United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.(c) The term ''southwest land border'' means the entirety of the United States land border with Mexico.(d) The term ''southern border'' means the southwest land border and the southern coastal borders.
Sec. 5. Severability. It is the policy of the United States to enforce this proclamation to the maximum extent possible to advance the interests of the United States. Accordingly, if any provision of this proclamation, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this proclamation and the application of its provisions to any other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.(b) This proclamation shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.(c) This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
third day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.
New sexually transmitted fungal infection detected in NYC '-- the first case in the US
Thu, 06 Jun 2024 15:36
Health experts are warning of new and highly contagious fungal strains after an NYC man in his 30s developed a sexually transmitted form of ringworm '-- the first reported case in the US.
''Healthcare providers should be aware that Trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII [TMVII] is the latest in a group of severe skin infections to have now reached the United States,'' said Dr. Avrom S. Caplan, an assistant professor in NYU Grossman School of Medicine's dermatology department.
Caplan co-authored a case study published Wednesday about an unidentified New Yorker who became infected with TMVII, with a rash appearing on his penis, buttocks and limbs.
Health experts are warning of new and highly contagious fungal strains after an NYC man in his 30s developed a sexually transmitted form of ringworm '-- the first reported case in the US. Getty ImagesCases of TMVII have been on the rise in Europe, especially in men who have sex with men.
The man in the new case study had visited England, Greece and California. He reported having sex with men during his travels, none of whom disclosed similar skin issues.
''Since patients are often reluctant to discuss genital problems, physicians need to directly ask about rashes around the groin and buttocks, especially for those who are sexually active, have recently traveled abroad, and report itchy areas elsewhere on the body,'' study senior author Dr. John G. Zampella advised.
Zampella noted that infections caused by TMVII seem to respond to standard antifungal therapies such as the medication terbinafine (also known as Lamisil), but they can take months to clear up.
They also may be confused with lesions caused by eczema, which may delay treatment.
A different itchy and contagious skin infection that causes rashes similar to TMVII is proving to be a greater challenge for dermatologists.
An unidentified New Yorker became infected with Trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII, with a rash appearing on his penis, buttocks and limbs. Doctors warn that TMVII rashes may be confused with lesions caused by eczema. Getty ImagesTrichophyton indotineae '-- which is widespread in India and was first confirmed in the US last year '-- often resists terbinafine treatment, the NYU Grossman School of Medicine researchers said.
They analyzed data from 11 men and women treated for Trichophyton indotineae in NYC hospitals between May 2022 and May 2023.
Seven of the patients received standard doses of terbinafine.
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Their rashes did not clear up, perhaps because of genetic mutations in the fungus.
The antifungal pill itraconazole yielded better results, but Caplan cautioned that the drug can interfere with other medications and cause nausea and diarrhea, among other side effects.
Caplan said that while dermatologists should be on the lookout for TMVII and Trichophyton indotineae, US rates so far remain low.
His team hopes to expand their research into the two species of fungus over the next few months.
''These [initial] findings offer new insight into how some of the fungal skin infections spreading from South Asia can evade our go-to therapies,'' Caplan said. ''Beyond learning to recognize their misleading signs, physicians will need to ensure their treatment addresses each patient's quality of life needs.''
Nahid Bhadelia - Wikipedia
Thu, 06 Jun 2024 13:57
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Indian-American infectious diseases physician and researcher
Nahid Bhadelia is an American infectious-diseases physician, founding director of Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research (CEID) at Boston University and an associate professor at the Boston University School of Medicine.[1] [2]She served as the Senior Policy Advisor for Global COVID-19 Response on the White House COVID-19 Response Team.[3] [4]
Education and early career [ edit ] Bhadelia attended Tufts University, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree. She continued her education at Tufts University School of Medicine, where she received her Doctor of Medicine.[5] While in medical school, she served as an HIV/AIDS counselor and clinic coordinator for a student-run clinic that serves underserved populations in Malden, Massachusetts.[5]
Bhadelia also holds a Master's degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, specializing in health security with a focus on pandemic response.[6]
Career [ edit ] In 1999, Bhadelia worked as the Director of National Outreach for Oxfam America, working on projects related to civic engagement of young Americans in voting and policy change issues. In 2002, she worked with Massachusetts Campus Compact on a project funded by Pew Charitable trusts to promote voting among college students. She completed her medical training in New York City at Mount Sinai Hospital and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.[7]
In 2011, Bhadelia began working at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine. With a specialization in infection control and emerging pathogens, Bhadelia served as the medical director of the Special Pathogens Unit. She was also the Director of Infection Control and an Associate Director at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories, a biosafety level 4 laboratory, which is one of six such programs for studying deadly viruses in the United States.[8] During her career, she has worked on assessing the healthcare response to the 2009 flu pandemic that resulted from Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, the 2013-2016 Ebola virus epidemic, and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.[9] She works on national task force for evaluation of experimental medical treatments for emerging infections.[10] On May 19, 2021, it was announced that Bhadelia will lead a new research center at Boston University entitled the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research (CEID).[1] CEID's mission is to improve resilience against threat of emerging & epidemic infectious diseases worldwide through transdisciplinary research, global and local capacity building, training, evidence generation for policy support, and community engagement.[11]
Role in Biocontainment Care and Special Pathogens Unit
Between 2011 and 2021, Bhadelia built from ground up and led a medical unit that specializes in the care of patients with highly communicable infectious diseases, serving as its medical director. She also served as the director of medical response to maximum containment research at NEIDL. The Special Pathogens Unit (SPU) is situated within Boston Medical Center (BMC), BU's primary teaching hospital. Her work involved everything from engineering and infection control to training hundreds of associated healthcare workers, developing clinical care policies, and taking part in national conversations about development and stockpiling treatments for emerging diseases.[1]
Role during the West African Ebola Epidemic [ edit ] During the Western African Ebola virus epidemic, which lasted from 2013 through 2016 Bhadelia worked with the World Health Organization and Partners In Health to address the epidemic on the ground and work as a physician in Ebola Treatment Units. She was deployed to Kenema, Sierra Leone to serve as a clinician in August 2014, in Port Loko in November 2014, and returned to Sierra Leone twice more in 2015.[12][13] Bhadelia applied her first-hand experience to co-developing and co-authoring a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Safety Training Course for ebola virus disease healthcare workers.[14] She also applied her expertise in international affairs and policy to co-author a white paper on strategies to strengthen healthcare systems while responding to a health crisis in the wake of the ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.[15]
In the wake of the epidemic, Bhadelia has returned to West Africa to help set up research centers to study viruses such as Ebolavirus.[16] She is also the lead investigator on a John E. Fogarty International Center grant to establish a training program for Liberian researchers in emerging infectious diseases to build local capacity for research and treatment in the aftermath of the ebola epidemic.[17] She also has campaigned to raise funds for local healthcare workers fighting the ebola epidemic, many of whom have gone unpaid.[18][19]
Role during the Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo [ edit ] Bhadelia serves as a clinical lead for the Joint Mobile Emerging Disease Intervention Clinical Capability (JMEDICC) program which is a joint US-Ugandan effort to create clinical research capacity to combat viral hemorrhagic fevers in Uganda, most recently related Ugandan response to the Ebola outbreak in 2018-2020 Democratic Republic of Congo.[20]
Role during the COVID-19 Pandemic [ edit ] On February 9, 2020, Bhadelia published an op-ed for The Atlantic warning about the burden of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare systems based on her experiences as a physician on the frontlines of past epidemics.[21] She called for the need for the international community to invest more in healthcare in the most vulnerable countries to maximize the likelihood of containing outbreaks. Even after COVID-19 reached the status of pandemic, Bhadelia continues to stress the importance of containment and mitigation strategies for healthcare workers, governments, and citizens, advocating also for the importance of COVID-19 testing in containing the virus.[22][23] Bhadelia was one of the authors of the John Snow Memorandum, which points out that from evidence-based considerations a "pandemic management strategy relying upon immunity from natural infections for COVID-19 is flawed".[24]
Medical communication and advocacy [ edit ] Bhadelia has published writing in outlets such as The Atlantic NPR, Science, Washington Post and Nature recounting her experiences as a frontline physician during the ebola epidemic, providing clinical insight on new technologies related to outbreak response, and relaying her expertise as an infectious disease expert in response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Bhadelia has spoken about devastating role of stigma during outbreaks in a TedX talk.[25] She's also an NBC News Medical contributor.[23]
Selected writing for non-scientific audiences [ edit ] "Has The World Learned The Wrong Lessons From The Ebola Outbreak?" NPR, January 16, 2016"The Best Defense Against Disturbing New Diseases" The Atlantic, February 9, 2020''We're losing ground against diseases we've already defeated'' Washington Post, November 9, 2021.Awards and honors [ edit ] Fletcher Women's Leadership Award, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, 2016[26]Woman of the Year, INDIA New England, 2015[6]Medium Elemental's ''50 Experts to Trust in a Pandemic''[27]References [ edit ] ^ a b c Most, Doug (May 19, 2021). "Nahid Bhadelia to Health Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research". ^ "Nahid Bhadelia, MD, MALD | Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research". . Retrieved 2023-12-03 . ^ Abbasi, Jennifer (2022-10-25). "White House Advisor Nahid Bhadelia, MD, MALD, on COVID-19 in Resource-Limited Nations-Undercounted Deaths, Vaccine Inequity, and More". JAMA. 328 (16): 1577''1579. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.13663 . ISSN 1538-3598. PMID 36197671. S2CID 252714486. ^ Diamond, Dan (2023-04-27). "Analysis | As pandemic experts leave the White House, some worry: what's next?". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286 . Retrieved 2023-12-03 . ^ a b "On the Front Lines Fighting Ebola". Tufts Now. 2015-01-23 . Retrieved 2020-03-29 . ^ a b Engl, India New; News (2015-06-06). "Frontline Physician Fighting Ebola Dr. Nahid Bhadelia is the 2015 Woman of the Year". INDIA New England News. Archived from the original on 2020-03-28 . Retrieved 2020-03-28 . ^ Bhadelia, Nahid. "Linkedin". ^ "Q&A: Nahid Bhadelia On Treating Ebola". Boston Magazine. 2014-11-25 . Retrieved 2020-03-29 . ^ Bhadelia, Nahid; Sonti, Rajiv; McCarthy, Jennifer Wright; Vorenkamp, Jaclyn; Jia, Haomiao; Saiman, Lisa; Furuya, E. Yoko (August 2013). "Impact of the 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) Pandemic on Healthcare Workers at a Tertiary Care Center in New York City". Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 34 (8): 825''831. doi:10.1086/671271. ISSN 0899-823X. PMID 23838223. S2CID 21548080. ^ Bhadelia, Nahid; Sauer, Lauren; Cieslak, Theodore J.; Davey, Richard T.; McLellan, Susan; Uyeki, Timothy M.; Kortepeter, Mark G.; Akers, Mary; Dierberg, Kerry; Eiras, Dan; Evans, Jared (2019-02-01). "Evaluating Promising Investigational Medical Countermeasures: Recommendations in the Absence of Guidelines". Health Security. 17 (1): 46''53. doi:10.1089/hs.2018.0092. ISSN 2326-5094. PMC 6636676 . PMID 30724616. ^ "Our Mission | Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research". . Retrieved 2021-05-20 . ^ Dutt, Ela (27 March 2020). "Spotlight Series: Indian-American infectious disease expert, Dr. Nahid Bhadelia of Massachusetts | News India Times" . Retrieved 2020-03-28 . ^ "HarvardX: PH557 Lessons from Ebola: Preventing the Next Pandemic". ^ Narra, Rupa; Sobel, Jeremy; Piper, Catherine; Gould, Deborah; Bhadelia, Nahid; Dott, Mary; Fiore, Anthony; Fischer, William A.; Frawley, Mary Jo; Griffin, Patricia M.; Hamilton, Douglas (2017-11-30). "CDC Safety Training Course for Ebola Virus Disease Healthcare Workers". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 23 (13): S217-24. doi:10.3201/eid2313.170549. ISSN 1080-6040. PMC 5711301 . PMID 29154748. ^ Cancedda, Corrado; Davis, Sheila M.; Dierberg, Kerry L.; Lascher, Jonathan; Kelly, J. Daniel; Barrie, Mohammed Bailor; Koroma, Alimamy Philip; George, Peter; Kamara, Adikali Alpha; Marsh, Ronald; Sumbuya, Manso S. (2016-10-15). "Strengthening Health Systems While Responding to a Health Crisis: Lessons Learned by a Nongovernmental Organization During the Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic in Sierra Leone". Journal of Infectious Diseases. 214 (suppl 3): S153''S163. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiw345. ISSN 0022-1899. PMC 5050485 . PMID 27688219. ^ Yong, Ed (2020-02-03). "The New Coronavirus Is a Truly Modern Epidemic". The Atlantic . Retrieved 2020-03-29 . ^ "Project Information - NIH RePORTER - NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools Expenditures and Results". . Retrieved 2020-03-29 . ^ "One Doctor's Campaign To Pay Those Who Risked Their Lives". NPR . Retrieved 2020-03-29 . ^ Maxmen, Amy (13 August 2015). "A Doctor's Gift To The Brave Nurses Of Sierra Leone". NPR . Retrieved 2020-03-29 . ^ "BU School of Medicine Section of Infectious Diseases". ^ Bhadelia, Nahid (2020-02-09). "The Best Defense Against Disturbing New Diseases". The Atlantic . Retrieved 2020-03-29 . ^ "BU Physician Stresses Importance Of Containing COVID-19". News. 2020-03-12 . Retrieved 2020-03-29 . ^ a b "US is 'behind the ball' for coronavirus response, doctor says". . Retrieved 2020-03-29 . ^ Alwan, Nisreen A; Burgess, Rochelle Ann; Ashworth, Simon; Beale, Rupert; Bhadelia, Nahid; Bogaert, Debby; Dowd, Jennifer; Eckerle, Isabella; Goldman, Lynn R; Greenhalgh, Trisha; Gurdasani, Deepti; Hamdy, Adam; Hanage, William P; Hodcroft, Emma B; Hyde, Zo; Kellam, Paul; Kelly-Irving, Michelle; Krammer, Florian; Lipsitch, Marc; McNally, Alan; McKee, Martin; Nouri, Ali; Pimenta, Dominic; Priesemann, Viola; Rutter, Harry; Silver, Joshua; Sridhar, Devi; Swanton, Charles; Walensky, Rochelle P; Yamey, Gavin; Ziauddeen, Hisham (October 2020). "Scientific consensus on the COVID-19 pandemic: we need to act now". The Lancet. 396 (10260): e71''e72. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32153-X. PMC 7557300 . PMID 33069277. ^ "TEDxSpotlights Pandemics" . Retrieved 2020-03-29 '' via YouTube. ^ "Ebola Doc". Tufts Magazine . Retrieved 2020-03-29 . ^ Editors, Elemental (2020-09-18). "50 Experts to Trust in a Pandemic". Medium . Retrieved 2020-09-20 .
Wall Street Of The South: Texas Stock Exchange To Challenge NYSE & Nasdaq ZeroHedge
Thu, 06 Jun 2024 12:50
The booming Texan economy has spurred BlackRock, Citadel Securities, and other investors to back a new challenger to the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq: Texas Stock Exchange.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the TXSE has raised $120 million from big investment firms, such as the ones noted above, and plans to file registration documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission later this year. Trades on the new exchange could begin in 2025, with the first listing as early as 2026.
The allure of low taxes and living costs, coupled with relaxed regulatory oversight and an overall friendly business environment, along with law and order, unlike imploding blue cities and states, have been major factors for the growing number of Fortune 500 companies relocating to Texas in recent years.
Notable companies in Texas include Exxon, Tesla, AT&T, American Airlines, Oracle, Dell, and Caterpillar, underscoring the state's economic appeal.
Even though California tops the list of 57 Fortune 500 companies, Texas now has 52 Fortune 500 companies, tied with New York for second.
TXSE plans to attract companies with less compliance costs than Nasdaq and NYSE and make the exchange more CEO-friendly. We doubt the new exchange will enforce Nasdaq's woke board diversity rule.
"This morning, we are announcing TXSE Group plans to launch the Texas Stock Exchange (TXSE). TXSE will be a fully electronic, national securities exchange that will seek registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission," TXSE CEO James Lee wrote in a post on LinkedIn.
Lee added, "Texas and the other states in the southeast quadrant of the U.S. have become economic powerhouses."
Wall Street of the South is rising.
Maybe Elon Musk will take Starlink public on TXSE in 2026, if not by 2030.
Europe's fertility crisis: Which European country is having the fewest babies? | Euronews
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 22:02
For the first time since 1960, the number of live births in the EU has fallen below 4 million, one of the lowest fertility rates in the world.
ADVERTISEMENTIn 2022, the number of live births in the European Union reached its lowest level since 1960, according to the latest available data. That year, only 3.88 million babies were born in the EU, marking the first time the figure fell below 4 million.
The fertility rate also declined, nearing levels last seen two decades ago. The EU had one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, defined as the number of live births per woman.
How do fertility rates compare across different parts of Europe? And how has the fertility rate change in Europe compared to the rest of the world?
There has been a downward trend since 1960 in the number of children born in the EU. The lowest number was recorded in 2022 at 3.88 million.
In 1990, 5.1 million babies were born in the EU, marking the last year that births exceeded 5 million.
Fertility rates vary considerably across Europe
In 2022, the fertility rate, which reflects the number of live births per woman, significantly varied in the EU, ranging from 1.79 in France to 1.08 in Malta according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.
The average for the EU as a whole was 1.46. Including the broader European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the UK, and EU candidate countries, Georgia (1.83) and Moldova (1.81) reported higher rates than France.
While the highest fertility rate is observed in France, a Mediterranean country, other Mediterranean nations like Malta (1.08), Spain (1.16), Italy (1.24), Greece (1.32), and Cyprus (1.37) have notably lower rates.
Slightly higher fertility rates were recorded in countries like Romania (1.71), Turkey (1.63), the UK (1.56), Germany (1.46), and Finland (1.32).
Is the fertility rate in Europe rising or falling ?Examining the long-term changes in the EU's fertility rate reveals a clear downward trend.
It was 2.35 in 1970, its highest recorded level recorded before slumping to its lowest level in the late 1990s, bottoming out at 1.4 in 1998, according to World Bank data.
It then began to rise gradually, reaching a recent peak of 1.57 in 2016.
In 2022, the total fertility rate in the EU was 1.46 live births per woman, approaching the levels seen in the early 2000s, which were around 1.4.
The fertility rate has changed significantly in EU countries over the last 20 years, decreasing in 13 of the 27 EU Member States between 2002 and 2022.
Ireland and Finland reported the most significant decreases in fertility rates, each dropping by over 0.4 points, corresponding to declines of more than 20 percent.
Conversely, Czechia, Romania, and Bulgaria experienced the highest increases, each rising by more than 35 percent.
This rate remained stable in the EU, with only a 2 percent increase.
ADVERTISEMENT The EU has one of the lowest fertility rates in the worldIn 2021, the EU reported a fertility rate of 1.52, the lowest after the East Asia and Pacific region, which had a rate of 1.49, according to World Bank data.
Western and Central Africa had the highest fertility rate at 4.98, followed by Eastern and Southern Africa at 4.35 and the Arab world at 3.14.
The global average fertility rate was 2.27, with North Africa and the Middle East reporting a higher rate of 2.63. North America's rate of 1.64 was just above the OECD average of 1.59.
Since 1970, there has been a notable downward trend in fertility rates across almost all regions, although this decline has been significantly slower in Africa.
Fertility rates in all 41 European countries, including EU, EFTA, and candidate countries, are below the global average.
'Yes, Lego car!': why small electric cars could be about to break the grip of SUVs | Automotive industry | The Guardian
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 22:01
Driving through central London in a tiny Microlino electric car, barely visible between the hulking SUVs, it's surprising to be the focus of so much attention. ''Yes, Lego car!'' shouts a scaffolder.
Made by Micro, the family-owned Swiss company behind the mini-micro kick scooters, and modelled on the bubble cars that had a brief heyday in the 1950s, the two-seater is only 2.5 metres long '' marginally smaller than a Smart car. The most unusual feature is its one and only door (there is also a rear hatch for accessing the boot), which is at the front. The windscreen and bonnet swing open to let you in.
The Microlino goes on sale in the UK this month, in the face of a trend that is pushing the car industry in the opposite direction. Despite global heating, and the warnings of environmental scientists, the demand for ever larger cars just keeps growing.
Nearly half of global car sales were sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in 2023, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), a respected forecaster. The definition of SUVs can be vague (usually something to do with a higher seating position and off-road styling), but the IEA this week said ''the shift towards ever larger and heavier cars'' is the ''defining automobile trend of the early 21st century''.
Tiny cars are still a rarity, and the Microlino is enough to cause a stir. Uncountable people double take, wave, laugh and take pictures. Cyclists lean over to chat at traffic lights; a bus driver delays his passengers a few seconds to give a double thumbs up; a taxi driver suggests it could help this reporter's romantic life.
The driver and passenger climb into the Microlino using its swinging front door. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/The GuardianIt feels at home nipping around town, although with 136 miles of range and a 56mph top speed it could manage jaunts farther afield.
Squeezing into a tiny space between a Bentley and a Land Rover Defender, the Microlino parks face-out under the watchful gaze of a bystander who turns out to be the owner of both luxury cars. This is in the posh London district that gave its name to the ''Chelsea tractor'', where the four-wheel drive has become standard issue even if the residents rarely need off-road vehicles to make it to the shops and back.
The reach of the SUV now goes far beyond Chelsea, however. David Bailey, a professor of business economics at the University of Birmingham, said different pressures have contributed towards bigger cars. Customer demand for the space and a commanding seating position is part of it. Regulation is another: airbags and emissions control systems (such as AdBlue for diesels) add a larger percentage to costs in smaller cars.
''If a firm produces a small car that takes up a space on the production line, and that is an opportunity cost where they could make a more profitable bigger car,'' Bailey said. However, he added, ''if you make it at volume you can still make a decent profit margin''.
Even the Mini has outgrown its name. Perhaps Britain's best-known car, it was conceived at a time when postwar fuel rationing made efficiency attractive. The original was 3.05 metres long. Then, at a 2011 relaunch, it grew to 3.7 metres. One of the latest versions, the steroidal electric Mini Countryman (''the biggest Mini ever'') has more in common with a Land Rover, at 4.4 metres.
The Microlino attracted interest when it squeezed into the gap between a Bentley and a Land Rover Defender. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/The GuardianSome other brands have gone the same way. Smart's Fortwo was the most familiar tiny car on European roads, but the new electric models (under part-Chinese ownership) are significantly bigger five-seaters.
The results of car growth are not good for the environment. Two hundred kilograms or more in extra weight for SUVs plus the extra drag from a bigger frontal surface area mean burning more fossil fuels. That pushes up carbon emissions by 20%, the IEA said. A quarter of global growth in oil demand last year can be ascribed to petrol SUVs. Electric SUVs use up far more valuable minerals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt than smaller vehicles, making decarbonisation goals harder.
Bigger vehicles also add to tyre pollution, and they make pedestrian deaths much more likely, for women and children in particular.
And they take up more space. SUVs need 0.3 sq metres extra, which adds to parking requirements and gums up city streets. By contrast, the tiny Microlino can slip into the smallest of gaps.
Colin Walker, head of transport at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit thinktank, is hopeful that the imminent launch of smaller, cheaper electric models such as the Renault 5 and the £14,995 Dacia Spring will help speed the transition from fossil fuels.
The £9,100 Baojun Yep offers SUV styling in a tiny package. Photograph: Baojun''One of the main barriers that is holding people back is the lack of smaller, cheaper EVs,'' he said. ''I'd argue that [manufacturers] were a little slow in trying to build these models.''
Of the big western manufacturers, only Stellantis '' the owner of Citron, Peugeot, Chrysler, Vauxhall and others '' has ventured into the truly tiny electric car segment. Its £8,095 Citron Ami has gained something of a cult following despite its 28mph top speed and 46-mile range. It is particularly popular with high school students in France, where the self-proclaimed ''urban mobility object'' is classed as a light quadricycle, meaning it can be driven by anyone aged 14 or over without a full licence.
Yet it is China that is extending its growing electric car dominance into the realm of tiny cars, often based on cheap lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. Those on sale in China (but not yet in Europe) include Geely's £6,000 Geometry Panda, the £3,400 Mini EV from Wuling Hongguang and the £9,100 Baojun Yep, a joint production between SAIC and the US's General Motors, which offers SUV styling in a tiny package.
For slightly larger hatchbacks, the competition is fierce. SAIC's MG4 has already conquered the UK market, where the brand originated. BYD's impressive Dolphin is expected to make a big splash in the market for small family cars.
Judging by the reaction of Londoners, tiny cars are still somewhat of a novelty. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/The GuardianMerlin Ouboter, who oversaw the Microlino project and whose father, Wim, made Micro into a household name with its scooters, is hoping that he can steal a march on European rivals in the tiny car segment (although a premium £22,000 price tag and some flimsy parts suggest it has a fair way to go to be a mass seller).
''Most of the cars we see on the road today are completely overengineered for their daily use case,'' Ouboter said. The Microlino is aimed at the vast majority of journeys (94% in the UK) that are less than 25 miles. For the rest, he envisages greater use of occasionally shared or rented cars.
James Nix of the Brussels-based campaign group Transport & Environment says other governments should emulate France, which imposes higher parking fees in Paris for big cars, and higher sales taxes nationally. That could help halt the annual swelling in the size of new cars towards the scale of metal monsters in the US.
''Do we as Europeans want to replicate the evolution of the North American car fleet?'' Nix asked. ''I don't think that question has been asked at a political level yet.''
We became 'asexual' after taking antidepressants for just a few WEEKS - now our genitals have shrunk and we're worried we'll never have sex again | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 21:59
Patients left sexless, joyless and infertile after taking antidepressants are speaking out about what they are calling a silent health crisis. has heard from people across the US, Canada and Europe devastated by symptoms they claim have persisted years after they stopped taking commonly prescribed antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs.
Maxxwell Martinis, 24, from Ohio, said he has been robbed of his vitality and confidence since he came off Prozac, one of the most popular SSRIs on the market, two years ago.
He has struggled to get and maintain an erection and is completely indifferent toward sex, which has made it hard to hold down a stable romantic relationship.
Lexi Laios, 26, from DC, claimed that taking Prozac for just a few days caused her genitals to shrink - and they've still not returned to normal years later.
Maxxwell Martinis, 24, told that the drug Prozac has left him without a sex drive and with erectile dysfunction. He was only on the drug for about seven weeks and, though he has not taken it in two years, still experiences devastating sexual side effects
Lexi Laios, 26, was only three days into Prozac when she noticed that her clitoris had shrunk and tissue there felt thinner. She took the drug over a year and a half ago and still experiences numbness and lack of libido
She fears she will never be able to share an intimate relationship with someone again.
Their striking accounts come on the heels of a lawsuit filed by doctors against the FDA, accusing the agency of failing to adequately warning patients of sexual side effects that can last long after they stop taking the drugs.
The FDA has mandated for decades that SSRI makers include a label warning telling users they may cause erectile dysfunction, low libido, vaginal dryness and trouble orgasming.
But thousands of former patients say the symptoms persist long after use.
According to the lawsuit, the FDA dragged its feet in addressing their petition to attach warnings to antidepressants about permanent zapped libido and fertility issues.
Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD) has been acknowledged by the Canadian government and the European Medical agency since 2019.
Mr Maxxwell told 'The impact of PSSD has been profound, affecting not only my physical health but also my mental and emotional well-being.
'It is difficult to overstate how demoralizing it is to live with this condition, especially when it feels like it could have been prevented with a different treatment approach.'
The landscaper was given Prozac as a long-term solution to manage his severe anxiety.
While it seemed to help his anxious thoughts at first, the loss in sexual function - reduced libido, inability to maintain an erection, and overall lack of sexual satisfaction - has become more distressing than the initial anxiety.
He discontinued the drug less than two months after starting it.
Yet two years later, he still suffers from the same issues, leaving him 'frustrated and hopeless'. But he hopes his story will help spare people like him from a similar fate.
'Looking back, I wish there had been more thorough communication about the potential side effects of Prozac, and a more personalized approach to my treatment,' he said.
'My experience highlights the importance of considering all possible treatment options and being fully informed about the potential risks.'
It is not certain how SSRIs affect sexual dysfunction long-term, even if the patient no longer takes them.
Dr Bobby Berookim, a men's sexual health expert in New York, said: 'We definitely see it all the time in practice, and absolutely the SSRIs have an effect on erection.'
Ms Laios believes that just three doses of Prozac led to sexual side effects that she fears will impair her ability to maintain an intimate romantic relationship with a man
Ms Laios added that while she feels attracted to the opposite sex, and can identify men she finds appealing, her sexual urges are nonexistent
It could be due to structural or chemical changes in the brain brought on the medications that impede sexual arousal.
SSRIs can also impact hormone levels, including those of estrogen and testosterone, which are connected to our arousal levels.
Dr Berookhim added: 'It's hard to say what the reasoning of it is, there's some evidence that ehe receptors in the brain in patients on these drugs longer term tend to get upregulated and maybe that's why they're seeing a prolonged response.
'My own personal thought is I think some of these patients, they're coming off them and now have a mood disorder that can in and of itself cause sexual dysfunction.'
An estimated 58 to 70 percent of antidepressant users experience some sexual side effects such as low libido.
Ms Laios, now 26, stopped taking Prozac after just three days in 2022.
She said: 'The first thing that I really noticed after taking it, it's just like, where your genitals kind of shrink to one degree or another.
'I just noticed my clitoris had gotten smaller and it seemed like just all the tissue had just kind of withered away a little bit. It just felt thinner, the vaginal tissue and stuff
'And that kind of that was like the first thing I noticed. My libido had just largely disappeared.'
She added that while she still may feel attracted to a member of the opposite sex, the sexual urges do not appear.
She does not experience normal arousal, saying that there is no 'genital-brain connection'.
'I don't see myself being able to fully experience [an intimate relationship] that with someone the way things are. I think that I could have kids, I just I don't think I'll ever feel as close with someone intimately.'
Amanda Clark, 51 from Newfoundland, Canada, took Celexa for 20 years and experienced such severe emotional and sexual blunting that romantic relationships, including an engagement, fell apart
Amanda Clark stopped taking antidepressants months ago, and while she is finally able to feel a wide spectrum of human emotion again, she still suffers genital numbness and low sex drive
It comes as doctors are doling out prescriptions for depression medications at rates never seen before. At least 6.5 million teens and at least 38 million adults have a prescription for an antidepressant in the US.
Decreased libido, changes in ejaculation, and an inability to achieve an orgasm are adverse reactions listed on the labels for Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, Paxil, and Celexa.
But none of those labels warn that these sexual side effects could last years after the person stops taking the medicine.
In Canada, health regulators there acknowledged in 2021 that these side effects can last for years.
Signs of post-SSRI sexual dysfunction Loss of libido (also known as sexual apathy)
Erectile dysfunction
Inability to achieve an orgasm
Weak or pleasureless orgasm
Intimate dryness
Genital numbness
Nipple insensitivity
Symptoms last months or years without antidepressant
Officials said: 'Health Canada will work with manufacturers to update the product safety information for all SSRIs and SNRIs to recommend that healthcare professionals inform patients about the potential risk of long lasting (possibly weeks to years) sexual dysfunction despite discontinuation of SSRIs or SNRIs.'
That language has not yet been put into place, though, according to some patients.
In Newfoundland, Amanda Clark, now 51, was prescribed the antidepressant Prozac when she was in her early 20s to deal with bulimia as well as depression.
She stopped taking it after seeing how much it dulled her emotions and sensations.
But in 2002, a doctor prescribed Celexa for her bulimia and for a time, it worked wonders. But in the last five years, she described become numb emotionally and sexually.
Her lack of a sex drive strained her romantic relationships, including an engagement that ended up crumbling.
She told 'It's hard to have a partner who wants to stay with you when you have zero sex drive. I couldn't have long-term relationships.'
Ms Clark added: '[Libido] kind of just dwindled, then it got to the point where I was shocked that we even slept in the same bed. That was the year I was going to get married and start a family.'
She decided to safely wean herself off all antidepressants a few months ago, hoping to regain the capacity to feel joy and sadness, as well as her sex drive.
While she does not experience the same blunted emotions as before, her sexual function has not returned to normal.
She blames the medication baby and a family, she said, leaving her 'alone and scarred emotionally'.
There have not been any sweeping estimates in the US or elsewhere for the number of people dealing with PSSD, but advocates at the PSSD Network show that more and more people are searching for answers online from people like them
The condition known as PSSD is relatively knew, with Drs Antonei Csoka and Stuart Shipko first giving it a name in 2006.
The doctors reported in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics reported that the condition is far more common than researchers previously believed.
Dr Csoka said at the time: 'On the individual level the consequences are catastrophic, and there may be population-level effects as well.
'Increasing our knowledge and understanding of these increasingly-prevalent disorders is paramount.'
1 in 4 UK adults now prescribed antidepressants - leafie
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 21:59
A new report has revealed that nearly one in four adults living in the UK are currently being prescribed a psychiatric drug such as an antidepressant, and those under 25 are taking more than double the amount of these pills than they were a decade ago.
Beyond Pills is the cross-party parliamentary group behind the scathing report on the crisis in the UK's mental health services titled Shifting the Balance Towards Social Interventions . The group has called for a complete re-think of the way we help people living with mental health issues in the UK. They claim that despite a record-breaking number of prescriptions, and huge amounts of investment, patient outcomes for mental health are the worst they have been since the 1980s.
''We have reached a crisis point in the nation's mental health. Nearly a quarter of the adult population is prescribed a psychiatric drug in any given year, and a similar proportion of young people now meet the criteria for a mental health diagnosis,'' the report says. ''Waiting lists for NHS treatment are up to three years, NHS provision for psychotherapy is patchy and often of low quality, and interventions directed at the social and psychological causes of distress have been under-prioritised.''
In 2011 prescriptions for antidepressants totaled 47.3 million in the UK, since then it has almost doubled to 85.6 million. These prescriptions are being handed out to around 8.6 million people, although this number is expected to rise significantly over the next ten years.
In 2019 around one in nine children met the criteria required for a mental health diagnosis, the figure has since risen to one in five. The under-25 age group have seen the steepest rise in the amount of antidepressants issued with the total number more than doubling from 2.5 million in 2015 to 4.1 million in 2023.
One of the group's recommendations to help bring these numbers down is to steer patients away from pharmaceutical-only treatments, and towards more social-based interventions, emphasising patient-focused treatment rather than the use of generic drugs.
''Mental health outcomes have not improved despite substantial investments in services and research, with rates of poor mental health worsening in the general population and the mortality gap widening between individuals with severe mental health problems and the general population. The dominant biomedical model of mental health care has led to over-reliance on psychiatric drugs and neglect of effective social, community and relational approaches. This approach fails to address the underlying social, economic and psychological determinants of mental distress and is contributing to worsening outcomes,'' the report says.
The report contains nine specific recommendations which would amount to a ''paradigm shift'' in mental health care that could ''improve mental health outcomes, reduce the rising economic burden of poor mental health and promote overall societal health and well-being.''
The nine recommendations are:
Services Boost provision for social interventions including social prescribing Fund community-based mental health hubs for all ages Fund drug deprescribing services as well as a national withdrawal support helpline Reverse rates of unnecessary antidepressant prescribing Regulation Reform the MHRA, the regulator of medicines in the UK Implement a UK Sunshine Act to improve transparency of conflicts of interest in medicine Education Integrate Social and Emotional Learning programmes within the national curriculum Improve the education and training of health professionals Public and professional awareness De-medicalise mental health language However, in their conclusion the group stresses that changes can not come from the government alone, stating that the challenge ''requires everyone involved in the UK mental health system to play an active part.''
Kevin Dinneen Kevin is leafie's cofounder and head of the news desk. He is passionate about cannabis, the countryside and fish and chips.
Now doctors are warning of 'Ozempic tongue' - the latest bizarre symptom of weight loss drug | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 21:58
READ MORE: Graphic reveals all of Ozempic's weird side effects By Luke Andrews Senior Health Reporter For Dailymail.Com
Published: 10:17 EDT, 3 June 2024 | Updated: 10:24 EDT, 3 June 2024
Ozempic users have been complaining of weird changes to their sense of taste while taking the weight-loss drug '-- particularly when it comes to sweet treats.
And now scientists in Europe believe they have found out what is causing so-called 'Ozempic tongue'.
A study showed that some people who take semaglutide '-- the active drug in Ozempic '-- experience a change to a gene on the tongue involved in taste.
They also found that participants experienced sweet tastes 'more intensely' than those who had not used the drug.
The above show two patients on Ozempic who said their craving for sweet treats was lowered while they were taking the drug
It could explain why Ozempic forums are filling up with comments complaining over being unable to consume favorite treats, from chocolate to wine to donuts.
Dr Mojca Jensterle Sever, an endocrinologist in Slovenia who led the research, said: 'People with obesity often perceive tastes less "intensely" and they have an inherently elevated desire for sweet and energy-dense food.'
'[But] the present study demonstrated that semaglutide improved taste sensitivity in women with obesity.
'It means that the detection threshold for different concentrations of four basic tastes [including sweetness] were improved.'
Semaglutide may have caused the shift because if mimics the fullness hormone GLP-1, which studies show is also linked to taste perception.
Studies in mice, for example, show that those who don't have the GLP-1 hormone suddenly have a greatly reduced desire for sweet foods.
Ozempic has taken the US by storm, for its promise to help people lose weight with little more than a weekly injection
Patients have also described reduced cravings for other foods while on the drug, including fast foods and alcoholic beverages such as wine
It is also possible that not eating sweet treats for a long period while on Ozempic may make someone more sensitive to sweet treats when they return to consuming them.
The study was presented at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday.
It is yet to be peer reviewed
In the paper, scientists recruited 30 obese women and administered half of them with Ozempic for four months.
During the trial, their taste sensitivity was measured by placing strips containing all four basic tastes '-- sweet, salty, sour or bitter '-- on the tongue.
Scientists placed strips with differing taste intensity of each on the tongue, with participants asked to reveal when they detected a flavor.
Participants also had some tongue cells removed for genetic testing during the study and underwent MRIs before and after tasting something sweet following a standard meal.
Dr Sever added: 'Clinicians will likely correlate the findings with reports from their patients on changes in desire for certain foods, which go beyond broad changes in appetite and satiety that help them lose weight.'
Scientists decided to study semaglutide's effect on taste after noting mice that didn't have GLP-1 were much less sensitive to sweet treats.
Drinking alcohol before a flight then falling asleep in the air could KILL you, heart doctors warn passengers | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 21:57
Research shows alcohol lowers oxygen and raises heart rate of travellers flyingEffect increases as more alcohol is consumed, especially for older passengersHeart changes were seen in young and healthy passengers sleeping on a flightBy Xantha Leatham Deputy Science Editor
Published: 18:38 EDT, 3 June 2024 | Updated: 05:31 EDT, 4 June 2024
There's nothing quite like that first glass of wine or pint of beer to get you in the holiday mood at the airport.
However, it's not all cheery news as consuming alcohol before falling asleep on a plane puts such strain on the heart that it could be fatal.
Researchers found that this combination lowers the amount of oxygen in travellers' blood and raises the heart rate, even in those who are young and healthy.
The bigger the amount drunk, the greater these effects could be, particularly among older passengers and those with medical conditions, they warned.
The academics suggested that it may be time to consider limiting on-board access to alcohol, particularly on long-haul flights.
Researchers found alcohol consumed by sleeping plane passengers lowers the amount of oxygen in their blood and raises the heart rate, even in those who are young and healthy
The bigger the amount drunk, the greater these effects could be, particularly among older passengers and those with medical conditions
Dr Eva-Maria Elmenhorst, of the German Aerospace Centre in Cologne, said: 'The situation might be different for passengers with pre-existing medical conditions.
'Their oxygen saturation might be low to begin with and then drop to even lower levels. So medical conditions might exacerbate leading to in-flight medical emergencies.
'I would advise people with heart or lung conditions to avoid drinking alcohol on planes.'
For their study, they recruited 48 people aged 18 to 40. Half slept in a laboratory with normal air pressure and the others in an altitude chamber mimicking the cabin pressure of a plane at cruising height.
Then the groups slept for four hours, half in each one having drunk no alcohol while the others drank the equivalent of two cans of beer or two glasses of wine.
Those who slept in normal conditions with no alcohol had steady blood oxygen levels at around a healthy 96 per cent with a sleeping heart rate of 64 beats per minute (bpm).
But those who drank and were in the altitude chamber had a fall in blood oxygen levels to an average 85 per cent and their heart rates typically rose to nearly 88bmp during sleep.
This compared to an average blood oxygen level of 88 per cent and a sleeping heart rate of 73bpm for those in the altitude chamber who had no alcohol.
The participants slept lying down so the findings may differ for those who fly economy, said a report in the journal Thorax by the team from the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne, Germany.
Academics have suggested that it may be time to consider limiting on-board access to alcohol, particularly on long-haul flights
They concluded: 'Together these results indicate that, even in young and healthy individuals, the combination of alcohol intake with sleeping under hypobaric conditions (cabin pressure) poses a considerable strain on the cardiac system and might lead to exacerbation of symptoms in patients with cardiac or pulmonary diseases.'
These effects might be even greater in older people, they suggest, adding: 'Cardiovascular symptoms have a prevalence of 7 per cent of inflight medical emergencies, with cardiac arrest causing 58 per cent of aircraft diversions.'
Exodus as 25,000 Ukrainians leave Ireland after crackdown on payments and free housing as numbers to fall further | The Irish Sun
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 21:55
Some 41,000 who originally arrived are classed by the Government as 'category unknown'
Published : 17:46, 24 May 2024 Updated : 17:46, 24 May 2024 THE number of Ukrainians living in Ireland has dropped by around 25,000, the latest Government data shows.
Ministers have been told they have either returned home, despite the war with Russia, or moved on to other countries.
People wait to board a train to Dnipro and Lviv during an evacuation effort from war-affected areas of eastern Ukraine in 2022 Credit: Reuters 4
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee Credit: PAJust under 107,000 Ukrainians came here and claimed temporary protection when Vladamir Putin's army invaded in 2022.
But, as of May 19, 45,000 are in state-serviced accommodation, such as hotels and B&Bs.
This number has fallen from 60,000 only last September.
Around 8,000 Ukrainian people currently live in homes pledged and provided by the public. Their rooms are paid for by the State.
Since March, new arrivals from Ukraine have to stay in designated accommodation centres and there are currently 6,000 there.
This means 65,500 are accounted for in state-provided or pledged accommodation.
The remaining 41,000 who originally arrived are classed by the Government as ''category unknown''.
These have either returned home, gone to another country or are staying in privately sourced accommodation.
Previous Central Statistics Office data from late last year estimated that only 78 per cent of PPS numbers which were given to Ukrainian refugees were active, a clear indication that many had left Ireland.
A Government insider said: ''Essentially the numbers of Ukrainians arriving are well down and all the data shows at least 25,000 appear to have moved on since 2022.''
Ministers expect the numbers to continue falling after the recent crackdown on Government payments and free accommodation for refugees.
Justice Minister Helen Ms McEntee said the reduction in payments was ''to bring everybody in line to make sure those who are here, those who have access to work, those who are available to provide for themselves, that they can provide for themselves.
She added: ''That's why these payments are changing.''
THE new payment cut will target those who remained on the higher rates after the new reduced rate was introduced for new refugees to Ireland.
The payment cut will apply to Ukrainian refugees who are living in State-provided serviced accommodation such as hotels where meals are provided for them.
The cut will not apply to those living in a state facility that is not serviced and meals are not provided.
It will also not apply to those who living in what the Government deem as "pledged accommodation."
This means despite not being in a state facility, their housing is leased to the state.
Around 27,000 Ukrainian refugees will receive reduced payments.
Upon arriving in Ireland Ukrainians can apply for Temporary Protection in the Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin or Rosslare Port.
The directive was started in response to the war in Ukraine and has been extended until March 2025.
But payments will be cut from the jobseekers rate of '‚¬232 to a lower amount over the next three months.
Ukrainians who arrived in Ireland from March 2024 were already receiving a reduced rate of '‚¬38.80 per week for an adult and '‚¬29.80 for a child.
A camp with military tents which was used to house hundreds of Ukrainian refugees Credit: PA:Press Association 4
Pictures of the military camp in Co Meath Credit: PA:Press Association
Snow in June on Scotland's mountains as Arctic air sweeps in
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 21:51
Peter Jolly/NorthpixA dusting of snow at Cairngorm Mountain snowsports centre near Aviemore on Tuesday
Snow has been falling over some of Scotland's highest mountains with wind chill forecast to be -10C in the most exposed areas.
The Cairngorms were among upland areas to see a dusting on Tuesday.
Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) said Arctic air was affecting the hills, especially in the Highlands, and there had been significant wind chill.
BBC Weather said snow on mountain tops in June was not that unusual, and usually happened every three to five years on average.
Low pressure in charge brings snow to Scotland's hills
In 2010, more than 100 skiers took advantage of ski tows being open at the Cairngorm Mountain resort near Aviemore for the first time in midsummer.
Previously at this time of year people were able to ski in the Cairngorms, however, they had to trek to where the snow was.
Two temporary rope tows were provided over two days.
Cairngorm Mountain, along with Scotland's other mountain ski centres, had benefited from lengthy periods of freezing conditions over the winter.
Snow on the Cairngorms on Wednesday
Cairngorm MountainA cold winter ensured midsummer skiing at Cairngorm Mountain resort in June 2010
MWIS said the latest weather included a forecast for a mix of hail and snow falling over high ground.
It added: "Temperatures are likely to recover a little by the weekend and conditions will tend to improve, but good mountain weather is expected only from Monday onward."
WHO confirms first fatal human case of bird flu A(H5N2) - The Globe and Mail
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 21:39
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday a death was caused by the first laboratory-confirmed human case of infection with a subtype of avian influenza.
WHO said the 59-year-old resident of Mexico had died on April 24 after developing a fever, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, nausea and general discomfort.
This was the first laboratory-confirmed human case of infection with A(H5N2) subtype of bird flu reported globally and the first H5 virus infection in a person reported in Mexico.
The victim had no history of exposure to poultry or other animals, WHO said. Cases of A(H5N2) subtype of avian influenza have been reported in poultry in Mexico.
The person had multiple underlying medical conditions and had been bedridden for three weeks, for other reasons, prior to the onset of acute symptoms, WHO said.
Extreme Heat Exacerbates Brain Conditions from Alzheimer's to Migraines to Strokes | Scientific American
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 21:36
This Is Your Brain on Climate Change
Extreme heat caused by climate change can exacerbate a variety of neurological ailments, from Alzheimer's disease to migraines to epilepsy, new research shows
By Francisco "A.J." Camacho & E&E News
FG Trade/Getty Images
CLIMATEWIRE | A broad range of brain conditions, from migraines to strokes, are made worse by extreme heat, new research shows.
The most direct impact of high temperatures is that they can mess with the brain's wiring. But extreme heat creates a variety of other problems, too, for those diagnosed with epilepsy, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases, according to a May study from 24 researchers published in The Lancet Neurology journal.
The human brain does best when outside temperatures are between 68 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit, said Sanjay Sisodiya, the lead author of the study and a neurologist at University College London. It's where ''we feel thermally comfortable without having to do additional things.''
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But if the ''temperature's taken out of that range,'' he added, then the way the body's components interact ''can be disrupted.''
A scientist not affiliated with The Lancet Neurology study made a similar observation.
While the brain's temperature ''is really well regulated,'' excessive outside temperatures distort some of the brain's support network '-- especially for those of advanced age, said George Perry, a biology professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
''At high temperatures you have less oxygen being transported and [altering] metabolic processes to end up stressing a lot of different systems that keep the brain functioning normally," he said.
Perry was one of the first scientists to speculate about the link between climate change and neurological disorders back in the early 2010s.
The new study says impaired communication between brain cells can result from heat-induced ''dehydration, electrolyte losses, and psychological intolerance of heat.''
As part of their research, Sisodiya and his co-authors surveyed 332 academic papers. They found extreme heat had ''broad and complex adverse effects'' on a variety of brain conditions '-- sometimes for very different reasons.
For example, Sisodiya said that heat waves themselves can contribute to strokes, but extreme heat also is associated with increased pollution that compounds the probability of having a stroke. High temperatures also can interrupt sleep and disrupt supply chains for medication.
The study found that climate change can influence factors such as ''admissions to hospital for psychiatric disorders, or vector range extension and sociopolitical upheaval'' that might indirectly aggravate mental disease systems.
One indirect example Sisodiya cited was epilepsy.
''When the temperature at night is elevated,'' he said, ''many people find they can't sleep properly. If you can't sleep properly, then, for some people with epilepsy, that can increase the number of seizures they have.''
A 2023 paper published in Health Science Reports that was not reviewed by Sisodiya's team found those minor disruptions can impact almost everyone's mental health: ''High temperatures can increase discomfort, interfere with sleep, and alter daily routines, potentially leading to an escalation in stress, anxiety, and even cognitive impairment if unattended.''
But while some consequences won't outlast a given heat wave, others ''can prove lethal for many people,'' Sisodiya said.
He cited one of the studies the team surveyed, published in 2006 by the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, when saying: ''In the 2003 European heat wave, around 20 percent of the excess deaths were of people with neurological conditions.'' In comparison, only 10 percent of the population had a neurological disease.
Sisodiya added that the 2022 heat waves also resulted in a high proportion of heat-related deaths in the U.K. ''due to neurological conditions.''
The British Office for National Statistics reported that ''dementia and Alzheimer's disease was the leading cause of excess deaths in England and Wales during 2022 heat-periods.'' Their figures showed the two illnesses could have represented 27 percent of excess heat-related deaths.
The mounting data has put health authorities on alert. Agencies now warn that people with dementia face additional risks in the heat.
''Dementia is a risk factor for hospitalization and death during heat waves,'' the CDC said on its website. ''Hot weather poses a risk for patients with severe mental illness like schizophrenia, as medications may affect temperature regulation.''
Perry cautions that climate change may go beyond agitating existing brain disease symptoms: It is likely to create more patients '-- at least with Alzheimer's. ''The main part of the pathology is stress responses of the brain,'' Perry said.
''Heat stress,'' he said, ''is going to push people to convert from normal aging to Alzheimer's disease with greater frequency.''
Reprinted from E&E News with permission from POLITICO, LLC. Copyright 2024. E&E News provides essential news for energy and environment professionals.
An AI tool used in thousands of criminal cases is facing legal challenges
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 21:21
Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors from Colorado to New York have turned to a little-known artificial intelligence tool in recent years to help investigate, charge and convict suspects accused of murder and other serious crimes.
But as the software, called Cybercheck, has spread, defense lawyers have questioned its accuracy and reliability. Its methodology is opaque, they've said, and it hasn't been independently vetted.
The company behind the software has said the technology relies on machine learning to scour vast swaths of the web and gather ''open source intelligence'' '-- social media profiles, email addresses and other publicly available information '-- to help identify potential suspects' physical locations and other details in homicides and human trafficking crimes, cold cases and manhunts.
The tool's creator, Adam Mosher, has said that Cybercheck's accuracy tops 90% and that it performs automated research that would take humans hundreds of hours to complete. By last year, the software had been used in nearly 8,000 cases spanning 40 states and nearly 300 agencies, according to a court decision that cited prosecutors in a New York case that relied on the tool.
In the New York case, a judge barred authorities from introducing Cybercheck evidence last year after having found that prosecutors hadn't shown that it was reliable or well-accepted, the decision shows. In another ruling last year, an Ohio judge blocked a Cybercheck analysis when Mosher refused to disclose the software's methodology.
''We're being asked to trust a company to present evidence that could eventually put people in prison,'' said William Budington, a senior staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group. ''That goes against the right to due process.''
In a motion filed last month in a fatal robbery in Akron, Ohio, defense lawyers representing two defendants charged with murder demanded that Mosher provide the software's proprietary code and algorithm.
In the April 10 filing, the lawyers also made an alarming series of allegations: Mosher lied under oath about his expertise and made false claims about when and where the technology has been used.
Donald Malarcik, one of the defense lawyers who filed the motion, said in an email that it was ''shocking'' that prosecutors continued to rely on Mosher as an expert.
Mosher didn't respond to a detailed list of questions about Malarcik's comments or the filing. An executive for the Canadian company that makes Cybercheck, Global Intelligence Inc., cited ongoing court matters and said it wouldn't comment.
Mosher has said he wouldn't provide Cybercheck's software to defense experts because it is proprietary, according to an appeals filing in the Ohio homicide case that was ruled on last year.
A spokesman for the Akron Police Department, which investigated the fatal robbery, didn't respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for the Summit County Prosecutor's Office, which is handling the case, wouldn't comment, citing pending litigation.
At a hearing last year, the prosecutor addressed some of the allegations in the filing and said Mosher was ''great at software, great at open source intelligence, a work in progress on the law,'' according to a transcript of the September hearing.
The prosecutor, Brian Stano, said his office had no intention of opening an investigation into Mosher, the transcript shows.
''I believe this is more of a lost-in-translation issue as opposed to some sort of impropriety,'' he said.
'Circumstantial' evidence When law enforcement agencies request assistance from Cybercheck, the software searches parts of the web that aren't indexed by search engines, as well as the surface web. Those findings are compiled in a report and provided to law enforcement agencies.
Several contracts and proposals reviewed by NBC News show officials from Washington state to Pennsylvania considering or agreeing to pay Global Intelligence $11,000 to $35,000 for Cybercheck. The company secured a $25,000 agreement with Akron beginning in April 2022 that included 50 cases and 40 hours of ''real time intelligence,'' according to a copy of the contract Malarcik obtained through a public records request and shared with NBC News.
The Akron police spokesman didn't respond to a request for comment about the agreement.
In the fatal robbery, two men were arrested in July 2021 in connection with the alleged crime nine months earlier, authorities said in a news release. The men, Deshawn Coleman and Eric Farrey Jr., were later indicted on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and other crimes.
A ballistics analysis on a gun found at Coleman's home linked him to shell casings at the scene of the homicide, Malarcik said. A car registered to Farrey was captured on camera near the scene, he said. Both men have pleaded not guilty, and Malarcik described that evidence as ''entirely circumstantial.''
In December 2022, Malarcik said in an interview, Cybercheck produced a report placing both men at the scene. The report was created after the software searched the web for 21 days in an automated process that sifted through 1.1 petabytes of information '-- or more than 1 million gigabytes '-- and created ''cyber profiles'' for Coleman and Farrey, according to the filing.
Those profiles were assembled from email addresses and social media accounts, according to the filing. Cybercheck connected the profiles to the scene of the killing within minutes of the homicide using a network address '-- a unique number that identifies devices connected to the internet '-- from a Wi-Fi-enabled security camera, according to the filing.
At least one device '-- possibly a phone '-- with a suspect's cyber profile had tried to communicate with the camera's Wi-Fi connection, according to the report, Malarcik said.
The report didn't cite any video recording of the killing, and it wasn't clear where Cybercheck found the camera's network address or how it verified that the device was at the scene. The defense's forensic experts were unable to locate the social media accounts cited in the report, the filing says, and it wasn't clear how the software verified an email address that it said belonged to both defendants.
At a hearing last summer, Mosher testified that the software's conclusions in the case were 98.2% accurate, according to the filing, which doesn't provide additional details about how that accuracy rate was calculated.
At the hearing, Mosher said his software has never been peer-reviewed, the filing says, noting that he provided the same testimony in an earlier case in Akron.
But at a hearing in a third homicide case in Akron in October, Mosher said Cybercheck was peer-reviewed by the University of Saskatchewan, according to a ruling this year. The judge in that case ordered Mosher to provide the study to prosecutors and Malarcik, a copy of the ruling shows.
The 47-page document, which Malarcik said Mosher emailed him in February, is from 2019. It appears to be an instructional document for the software and doesn't say who performed the review or include their findings.
A University of Saskatchewan spokesman said the school had a research contract with Global Intelligence that was connected to an agreement with Canada's National Research Council, a science and technology agency focused on research and development.
The university ''was not involved in the creation of the document, nor did we create any content for the document, nor can we say conclusively what information the company used to create it,'' the spokesman said in a statement.
The research done under the contract was never submitted anywhere, the spokesman said, ''and therefore was not peer-reviewed.''
Global Intelligence and the spokesman for the Summit County Prosecutor's Office wouldn't comment on the document.
Data not preserved According to the defendant's April 10 filing in the Akron homicide prosecution, Cybercheck doesn't preserve the data it uses to create or locate cyber profiles.
Mosher didn't respond to a request for comment on the apparent practice. In a transcript of July proceedings in the case provided by Malarcik, Stano, the prosecutor, questioned Mosher about what data Cybercheck stores.
Mosher said the software doesn't index or collect data because it's a data processor, not a data collector. He cited the large sizes of the files, as well as ''other considerations around governance and compliance,'' according to the transcript.
The April 10 filing asks the judge to order Mosher to share Cybercheck's software and points to other decisions in which judges have ruled that defendants are entitled to review it. Mosher didn't respond to a question asking whether he planned to share Cybercheck's methodology, and Malarcik said he wasn't aware whether Mosher had shared the software in any of the cases in which he has been ordered to.
In one such case '-- another Akron homicide, in which the defendant, Javion Rankin, was charged with aggravated murder and other crimes in 2021 '-- Mosher refused to provide the software's methodology because it is proprietary, a March 28 appeals filing shows. After that refusal, the judge barred prosecutors from introducing Cybercheck evidence in the case, the filing shows.
Prosecutors appealed the ruling, saying it ''destroyed'' the possibility of an effective prosecution, a notice of appeal shows. Rankin was released on his own recognizance last year while the appeal moves forward, said Malarcik, who also represents Rankin.
Expert testimony under scrutinyLawyers for Farrey and Coleman also point to claims Mosher made under oath in the Rankin case in June about his experience as an expert witness.
Mosher said he has testified 13 times, the filing says, but he failed to provide a list of cases after the judge requested one. At an April 2023 hearing in Colorado for a case alleging child sex abuse image crimes, Mosher told a judge he'd testified just twice, the filing says.
The two cases Mosher cited in the Colorado hearing were linked to child sexual abuse image crimes in Canada, according to the filing. Mosher provided case names and numbers, according to the filing, and during a hearing he said he'd provide trial transcripts.
But when an investigator for the lawyer in Colorado reached out, prosecutors in Canada said Mosher hadn't testified, the filing says, citing emails from the officials.
In one case, Mosher provided material to authorities in Calgary, Alberta, that he said he found on the dark web, the filing says.
''But it was not usable disclosure,'' the prosecutor in that case said, according to the filing. ''Our Internet Child Exploitation Unit technicians were unable to read or analyze it or locate anything in the 'data dump.'''
The prosecutor added that the trial ended on the first day, when the accused pleaded guilty, the filing says.
In the second case, in New Brunswick, the person Mosher identified as a defendant hadn't even been charged, the filing says, citing a corporal with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's child exploitation unit.
When prosecutors in Canada learned about Mosher's ''false testimony,'' the filing says, they reached out to authorities handling the Colorado case.
On Aug. 4, prosecutors moved to dismiss the charges, a court filing shows. The filing doesn't say why the Boulder County prosecutor sought the dismissal. A spokesperson for the DA's office declined to comment, citing a state law that bars her office from discussing cases that have been dismissed and sealed.
Mosher didn't respond to requests for comment.
In the alleged robbery in Akron, Malarcik said he expects a decision in the coming months about whether the judge in that case will order Mosher to turn over his software.
Tim Stelloh Tim Stelloh is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.
Covid vaccines may have helped fuel rise in excess deaths
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 21:17
Covid vaccines could be partly to blame for the rise in excess deaths since the pandemic, scientists have suggested.
Researchers from The Netherlands analysed data from 47 Western countries and discovered there had been more than three million excess deaths since 2020, with the trend continuing despite the rollout of vaccines and containment measures.
They said the ''unprecedented'' figures ''raised serious concerns'' and called on governments to fully investigate the underlying causes, including possible vaccine harms.
Writing in the BMJ Public Health, the authors from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, said: ''Although Covid-19 vaccines were provided to guard civilians from suffering morbidity and mortality by the Covid-19 virus, suspected adverse events have been documented as well.
''Both medical professionals and citizens have reported serious injuries and deaths following vaccination to various official databases in the Western World.''
They added: ''During the pandemic, it was emphasised by politicians and the media on a daily basis that every Covid-19 death mattered and every life deserved protection through containment measures and Covid-19 vaccines. In the aftermath of the pandemic, the same moral should apply.''
The study found that across Europe, the US and Australia there had been more than one million excess deaths in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, but also 1.2 million in 2021 and 800,000 and 2022 after measures were implemented.
Researchers said the figure included deaths from Covid-19, but also the ''indirect effects of the health strategies to address the virus spread and infection''.
They warned that side effects linked to the Covid vaccine had included ischaemic stroke, acute coronary syndrome and brain haemorrhage, cardiovascular diseases, coagulation, haemorrhages, gastrointestinal events and blood clotting.
German researchers have pointed out that the onset of excess mortality in early 2021 in the country coincided with the rollout of vaccines, which the team said ''warranted further investigation''.
However, more recent data regarding side-effects has not been made available to the public, with countries keeping their own individual databases of harms, which rely on self-reporting by the public and doctors, the experts warned.
Delays to other treatmentsResearchers said that it was ''likely'' that the impact of containment measures, restricted healthcare and socioeconomic upheaval during the pandemic had contributed to deaths, although accepted that was difficult to prove.
Gordon Wishart, chief medical officer at Check4Cancer, and visiting professor of cancer surgery at Anglia Ruskin University, warned repeatedly that delaying cancer diagnosis would lead to deaths.
''It was predicted early in the lockdown period that limited access to healthcare for non-Covid conditions would lead to delays in the diagnosis and treatment of time-critical conditions such as cancer, cardiac disease, diabetes and dementia and that this would lead to excess deaths from these conditions,'' he said.
NHS England data shows that per 100,000 people the cancer incidence was 521 in the pre-lockdown year, then fell to 456 in 2020-2021, suggesting around 45,000 cancers were missed in the first pandemic year.
The incidence rate rose to 540 per 100,000 the following year suggesting many cancers were diagnosed late, when treatment would be less effective.
Speaking about the potential for vaccine harm, Mr Wishart added: ''The authors are correct to point out that many vaccine-related serious adverse events may have been unreported, and point to the fact that the simultaneous onset of excess mortality and Covid vaccination in Germany is worthy of further investigation on its own.
''The paper provides more questions than answers but, it is hard to disagree with their conclusion that further analysis is required to understand the underlying causes of excess mortality to better prepare for the future management of pandemic crises''
Harvard Study Finds Wind Turbines Will Cause More Warming In Minnesota Than Emissions Reductions Would Avert
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 20:58
A 2018 study conducted by scientists from Harvard, published in the academic journal Joule, found that wind turbines cause significant local increases in surface temperatures in the areas where they are located. Wind turbines cause local temperature increases at the surface of the earth by causing air to mix throughout portions of the atmosphere, and Minnesota would be one of the states impacted most by this phenomenon.
Warming Wind Turbines
According to the study, wind turbines measuring between 100 and 150 meters (328ft to 498 ft) operating at night can pull down warmer air from as far as 1,640 feet in the air down to the surface, warming the surface of the earth, where it would impact the people, plants, and animals living near the turbines.
The study looks at what would happen if the United States tried to obtain all of its energy from wind turbines. It found the mixing of warmer air and cooler air results in a temperature increase of 0.54 degrees Celsius (0.97 degrees F) in the areas where the wind turbines would be located, as you can see in the figure below from the study. The amount of warming experienced in some regions would be even greater, as Southwestern Minnesota could see a temperature increase of 0.6-0.8 degrees C due to wind turbines, while Northeastern Minnesota would see an increase of 0.3-0.5 degrees C.
Most of the warming would occur at night, according to the study:
''The wind farm region experiences warmer average temperatures (Figure 1A), with about twice the warming effect at night compared with during the day (Figures 1B and 1C). Warming was generally stronger nearer to the center of the wind farm region.''
All Energy Sources Have Impacts
This study is interesting because it acknowledges that all energy sources, whether they be coal, natural gas, wind or solar have environmental impacts. It seems to be one of the few studies that attempts to evaluate the costs of wind turbines, along with their supposed benefits, and use this cost/benefit to figure out which sources of energy have the fewest environmental impacts. The authors claim this will be important when discussing which carbon-free sources of electricity will be used in the future, but I believe it informs our current energy decisions,.
According to the study:
''The climatic impacts differ in (at least) two important dimensions. First, the direct climatic impact of wind power is immediate but would disappear if the turbines were removed, while the climatic benefits of reducing emissions grows with the cumulative reduction in emissions and persists for millennia. Second, the direct climatic impacts of wind power are predominantly local to the wind farm region, while the benefits of reduced emissions are global.''
In other words, the warming impact of wind turbines is immediate, and highly localized in the areas that are the ''hosts'' to the installations. The supposed benefits of reducing carbon dioxide emissions are global, not local. This means places like Minnesota will see an increase in temperature from wind turbines that exceeds amount of potential future global warming that would be averted from completely reducing Minnesota's greenhouse gas emissions to zero.
Minnesota Emissions Reductions
According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota emitted about 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2016. Using the same logic used by the Obama Administration to craft the Clean Power Plan, if we completely eliminated all of these emissions to zero, it would avert only 0.004 degrees C by 2100, which is an amount far too small to measure!
In fact, the amount of global warming averted (0.004 degrees C) would be 138 times smaller than the warming Minnesota would incur from building out wind turbines to power all of our electricity use (0.54 degrees C), as you can see in Figure 5(d) from the study below.The orange dotted line shows surface temperature increases in the areas with wind turbines, and the orange solid line shows the temperature impact of wind turbines on the entire continental United States. The blue and grey shaded areas show the differences in surface temperatures in the United States from reducing our national emissions.
As you can see, surface temperatures in the United States increase more due to wind turbines mixing air in the atmosphere than would be offset by reducing emissions. This is especially true in areas like Minnesota, where the wind turbines would be operating.
The only time that reduced emissions might impact surface temperatures more than the wind turbines, themselves, is if the entire world reduces their carbon dioxide emissions, but if you believe China will actually reduce their emissions, I've got a bridge to sell you.
In light of this study, it makes zero sense to build wind in Minnesota if our Governor truly wants to ''make sure there is still ice on that lake in January,'' because surface temperatures will increase much more from the wind turbines than they would fall by reducing emissions. A note to the Governor, increasing surface temperatures would reduce the amount of ice on that lake in January.
Center of the American Experiment has been one of the leading organizations advocating for Minnesota to repeal its antiquated ban on new nuclear power plants. We have also been some of the strongest supporters of allowing hydroelectric power that we already purchase from Canada to count toward our renewable energy mandates.
If Governor Walz and liberal legislators worry about the impact of global warming on Minnesota, then they need to own up to the fact that the surface temperature impacts of wind turbines mixing air in the atmosphere will far outweigh the amount of warming that would be averted from reducing emissions and seek to legalize new nuclear, large hydro, and promote carbon capture and sequestration technologies that provide reliable electricity without carbon dioxide emissions.
In the spirit of full fairness, it should be noted that the findings of this study are based on General Circulation Models (GMS), which overestimate the amount of global warming that is observed with weather balloons and satellites by a factor of two, so the results of this study may well be as legitimate as Governor Walz's COVID-19 models.
However, it should be noted that all of the policies renewable energy specialist interest groups try to pass in Minnesota to avert climate change are also based on GCM's, so it is highly inconsistent for them to trumpet GCM's as gospel in one instance (when it promotes something they like), and completely ignore them in another (when their findings conflict with their policy preferences).
Management - Armata Pharmaceuticals
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 20:52
Dr. Pastagia is a translational medicine physician with 15 years of clinical and research experience across academia, biotech and large Pharma. Most of her career has been spent on the development of new anti-infective therapies, including phage-based therapeutics, to treat increasingly drug-resistant organisms.
Dr. Pastagia is well versed in the design and execution of Phase I-III clinical trials for both antibacterial and antiviral agents, and she oversees Armata's clinical development efforts with the goal of advancing its natural and synthetic phage product candidates through randomized controlled trials, supporting a path to registration.
Prior to joining Armata, Dr. Pastagia served as Senior Medical Director, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines, at Janssen Biopharma, a member of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Since 2017 she led the design and execution of clinical trials for Janssen's antiviral, antibacterial and immunology assets, and served as clinical leader for Respiratory Syncytial Virus, hepatitis B, and pathogen-specific bacteriophage therapy for certain indications. Prior to Janssen, she served as Translational Medicine Leader in Infectious Diseases, Immunology and Inflammation at Hoffmann-La Roche. During that time, Dr. Pastagia served as antibiotic therapeutic head and leader of disease area strategy, as well as team lead for the development of baloxavir for influenza. Her prior experience also includes serving as Medial Director at Clinilabs, a global, full-service contract research organization, and as Associate Director of Clinical Development at ContraFect Corporation, where she was responsible for the development of biologic anti-infectives, including a bacteriophage lysin targeting Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. Prior to ContraFect, Dr. Pastagia served as an Instructor of Clinical Investigation in Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Pastagia previously held adjunct appointments in the Division of Microbiology at The Rockefeller University and in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Dr. Pastagia is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease, and also is a registered pharmacist in the State of New York. She received her medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Boston University, and completed her fellowship in infectious diseases at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Most recently, she earned her Master's degree in Clinical and Translational Science from The Rockefeller University, with her thesis entitled, ''Use of a Novel Bacteriophage-Derived Lysin to Treat MRSA in Psoriasis.'' Dr. Pastagia is a Member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS), and the Network on Antimicrobial Resistance in S. aureus (NARSA).
TaShun Bowden-Lewis fired as CT chief public defender
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 16:36
TaShun Bowden-Lewis, who made history two years ago when she was appointed Connecticut's first Black chief public defender, was fired on Tuesday after months of disagreements between her and the agency's oversight body, accusations of workplace misconduct and a contentious hearing in April.
The Public Defender Services Commission, the board Bowden-Lewis has been at odds with, announced the decision in front of a few dozen people in Hartford's Legislative Office Building. The commission's explanation for the decision, prepared in writing, was released late Tuesday.
The commission substantiated 15 of 16 charges against Bowden-Lewis, including her alleged mistreatment of division members, improperly accessing email accounts of employees and failing to recognize the authority of the commission.
The board had also accused her of repeating unfounded claims of discrimination, bias and retaliation against members, but it opted not to factor the charge into the decision because, as the decision states, ''the interest in protecting the right to oppose discrimination outweighs the interest in avoiding meritless claims of discrimination.''
In brief remarks after the announcement, retired state Supreme Court Justice and Commission Chair Richard N. Palmer told Bowden-Lewis that he recognized that it was a ''very difficult time'' for everyone involved.
''When this commission was appointed, we started with great hope for the future and never expected or wanted to be here today,'' Palmer said. ''It's the commission's sincere hope that there are better days ahead for you and for the division.''
Bowden-Lewis declined to comment after the ruling. Her lawyer, former Bridgeport Mayor Thomas W. Bucci, said they intend to explore every possible legal avenue to appeal the decision and that they see her reinstatement as the only adequate resolution. He specifically talked about appealing through federal court, the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the Freedom of Information Commission.
''No other chief public defender has been treated like attorney Bowden-Lewis, and it all started with her integrity to keep the division managed on a day-to-day basis pursuant to state statute,'' Bucci said. ''And so she pushed back at the officious behavior of the chairperson, and that's where this all started.''
In a statement, the Connecticut Public Defender Attorneys Union praised the commission's decision to fire Bowden-Lewis.
''We appreciate that the Commission provided the former Chief the appropriate due process in a transparent proceeding. We are grateful to the Commission for its dedication to acting in the best interests of the Division, our members, and, most importantly, our clients,'' the statement said.
''Our members have fulfilled our vital public mission despite the controversy and dysfunction that we have experienced during the last two years,'' it said. ''We look forward to working productively with a new Chief Public Defender so we can continue to serve the people of Connecticut with the utmost professionalism.''
Bowden-Lewis' firing marks a dramatic ending to her tenure, one in which she said she felt that she was not provided an equal opportunity to succeed and that the way she had been treated by the commission deviated from what had been the standard.
TaShun Bowden-Lewis hugs activist Barbara Fair after the Public Defender Services Commission delivered their decision to fire her at her hearing on June 4, 2024. Credit: Shahrzad Rasekh / CT MirrorOne of the first major signs of turmoil appeared when all but one of the five members serving on the volunteer Public Defender Services Commission, a politically appointed board of career attorneys and judges who appoint the chief public defender and oversee the agency's functions, abruptly resigned with little explanation early last year.
Prior to the mass departure, there had been infighting in the division over the commission's decision to bypass Bowden-Lewis' preferred list of candidates for a job in Derby in favor of a white woman whom she viewed as less qualified. Black and brown employees said they saw the move as part of a larger effort to undermine the chief's goals. Bowden-Lewis was equally concerned about what was described as the ''hyper scrutinizing and undermining'' of her decisions, according to a letter sent from her attorney to the former commission chair.
[RELATED: Ahead of TaShun Bowden-Lewis decision, race, equity concerns raised]
Around that time, employees also accused Bowden-Lewis of bullying people who did not agree with her and fostering a work environment where people avoided approaching her in fear of retaliation. She was also criticized for what at least one senior attorney in the division perceived as her fixation on racial diversity and not on ''strong lawyering.''
The appointment of a new commission did not improve the situation, as many in the agency hoped it would.
The commission placed Bowden-Lewis on paid administrative leave in February following recurring disputes between her and the panel, an official letter of reprimand from the board, and allegations that she improperly instructed a subordinate to access email accounts belonging to people critical of her. The disagreements resulted in a vote of no confidence in Bowden-Lewis among 121 of 163 eligible voters of a union in the agency, which has more than 400 employees.
An independent investigation by the law firm Shipman & Goodwin also corroborated many of the earlier claims made against her, including that she marginalized employees who questioned her in any way, attempted to make working conditions intolerable to force at least one employee to resign, and ostracized and demoted another employee whom she did not prefer.
The report also noted that none of Bowden-Lewis' conduct amounted to discrimination, harassment or an illegally hostile work environment under state or federal law, given the appearance that Bowden-Lewis did not take those actions based on a protected characteristic, such as race or gender. Nor did investigators identify any explicit ethical or policy violations.
The two-day hearing in April, scheduled after Bowden-Lewis was placed on leave, considered more than a dozen charges, many of which overlapped, including accusations of unethical and untruthful behavior, bullying and retaliating against people critical of her decisions, and unfairly levying claims of racism against her adversaries, all of which she and Bucci have denied.
Bowden-Lewis and Bucci have emphasized the Shipman & Goodwin conclusion that she violated no laws while arguing that any activity she engaged in fell under her authority as chief and that she is deserving of a chance to learn from and grow from her mistakes, similar to the opportunities afforded to her predecessors. They also argued that the hearing was not an impartial proceeding, that the accusations against Bowden-Lewis are not just cause for discipline and that their participation in the hearing was not a waiver of any due process claims.
After the hearing, during which some commission members exhibited irritation, raised their voices or cut off Bowden-Lewis, legislators, advocates and outside experts expressed concerns to The Connecticut Mirror about what they viewed as a lack of impartiality from the decision-makers, disrespect toward the state's first Black chief public defender and a situation set up for her to fail.
Tuesday's meeting did not begin until about 20 minutes after the scheduled start time. Once the commission opened the proceeding, it moved into executive session, where members remained for roughly 40 minutes.
Upon the panel's return, Bucci argued that the commission going into executive session to discuss a pending personnel action '-- before asking for any discussion '-- was a clear violation of the Freedom of Information Act. Palmer pointed out that Bucci had not objected to any previous times the commission went into executive session but conceded that he was entitled to his views.
Once the commission announced the decision, the room stayed silent, and people sat still, staring ahead. The commission exited the room shortly after closing the meeting. Bowden-Lewis stayed behind to thank and hug some of her supporters.
Bucci later said that neither he nor Bowden-Lewis have had an opportunity to review the written decision. He also said that neither of them have had any meaningful contact with the commission since the April 25 hearing.
''That's supposedly a fair process,'' Bucci said. ''Dealing with somebody's constitutional rights.''
New Study in journal Nature reveals '85 years of glacier growth & stability in East Antarctica '' Watts Up With That?
Tue, 04 Jun 2024 21:16
From CLIMATE DEPOTEarly aerial expedition photos reveal 85 years of glacier growth and stability in East Antarctica
Published: 25 May 2024 '' Mads D¸mgaard, Anders Schomacker, Elisabeth Isaksson, Romain Millan, Flora Huiban, Amaury Dehecq, Amanda Fleischer, Geir Moholdt, Jonas K. Andersen & Anders A. Bj¸rk
Nature Communications: Our results demonstrate that the stability and growth in ice elevations observed in terrestrial basins over the past few decades are part of a trend spanning at least a century, and highlight the importance of understanding long-term changes when interpreting current dynamics. '... However, in Antarctica, the scarcity of historical climate data makes climate reanalysis estimates before the 1970s largely uncertain10,23, and observed trends cannot clearly be distinguished from natural variability24,25.
By Marc Morano
Early aerial expedition photos reveal 85 years of glacier growth and stability in East Antarctica
Published: 25 May 2024 '' Mads D¸mgaard, Anders Schomacker, Elisabeth Isaksson, Romain Millan, Flora Huiban, Amaury Dehecq, Amanda Fleischer, Geir Moholdt, Jonas K. Andersen & Anders A. Bj¸rk
Nature Communications
Abstract (Emphasis added)
During the last few decades, several sectors in Antarctica have transitioned from glacial mass balance equilibrium to mass loss. In order to determine if recent trends exceed the scale of natural variability, long-term observations are vital. Here we explore the earliest, large-scale, aerial image archive of Antarctica to provide a unique record of 21 outlet glaciers along the coastline of East Antarctica since the 1930s. In L¼tzow-Holm Bay, our results reveal constant ice surface elevations since the 1930s, and indications of a weakening of local land-fast sea-ice conditions. Along the coastline of Kemp and Mac Robertson, and Ingrid Christensen Coast, we observe a long-term moderate thickening of the glaciers since 1937 and 1960 with periodic thinning and decadal variability. In all regions, the long-term changes in ice thickness correspond with the trends in snowfall since 1940. Our results demonstrate that the stability and growth in ice elevations observed in terrestrial basins over the past few decades are part of a trend spanning at least a century, and highlight the importance of understanding long-term changes when interpreting current dynamics.
The East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) contains more than 52'‰m of potential sea level equivalent (SLE)1. Recent observations indicate that the EAIS is more vulnerable than previously anticipated2, and has made a considerable contribution to the continent-wide mass loss during the past decades3. The losses have primarily occurred in some of the marine-based catchments in Wilkes Land4, and are largely attributed to the intrusion of modified Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW)2. The terrestrial catchments, where the majority of the ice is grounded above sea level, have recently shown a mass gain caused by increased accumulation5,6,7,8, which has balanced some of the overall mass loss9,10. Observational time series of glaciers in East Antarctica pre-dating the satellite era are rare11 and consequently not long enough to determine if recent trends are independent of natural fluctuations2,12. Historical datasets from early expeditions serves as a crucial link connecting records from the pre-satellite era, such as those derived from ice cores13 or geological14 and geomorphological evidence15, to quantitative observations of mass change acquired from satellites5,6,7. While geological and geomorphological records cover longer time scales with temporal uncertainties of up to thousands of years14,15, SMB estimates from ice cores are generally very local and spatially confined16. In contrast, data from historical aerial expeditions often provide extensive coverage across large areas, with detailed temporal and spatial information17,18,19. Additionally, historical data provide an important baseline for forward modeling of glacier dynamics, allowing for long-term reanalysis data and more accurate model calibration20. In Greenland and Svalbard, long-term observations from historical aerial images have been vital for determining the historical response of glaciers to climate change18,19,21,22. However, in Antarctica, the scarcity of historical climate data makes climate reanalysis estimates before the 1970s largely uncertain10,23, and observed trends cannot clearly be distinguished from natural variability24,25.
Here, we rediscover and utilize the images from the earliest large-scale aerial photography campaign conducted on the Antarctic continent, allowing us to extend the era of observational records of glacier evolution back to the 1930s. Since the beginning of the 20th century, several expeditions were launched to Antarctica with the aim of exploring and capturing aerial images for the production of geographical maps26,27,28,29,30. However, just a handful of studies have previously used these data for generating digital elevation models (DEMs) and only for glaciers located in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula11,31,32, dating back to 194732. On the Antarctic Peninsula, these observations show widespread near-frontal surface lowering and inland stability since 196031. On the other hand, historical observations of the Byrd Glacier over the past 40 years indicate a constant surface elevation, stable grounding line, and surface flow velocity11.
Currently, the earliest ice-sheet wide mass balance estimates start in the late 1970s3,6,7, and since then all the sub-regions examined in this study have exhibited either an overall mass gain or been relative unchanged.
Regardless of potential climatic changes, our results indicate that the glacier in Kemp and Mac Robertson Land and along Ingrid Christensen Coast, have accumulated mass during the past 85 years which inevitably have mitigated parts of the more recent mass loss from the marine basins in East Antarctica and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). This positive accumulation trend and positive mass balance is anticipated to persist as snowfall is expected to increase over the entire EAIS in the next century54,55, and ice sheet modeling studies project positive mass balance estimates in all three sub-regions across all future RCP scenarios56.
Lastly, we determine frontal changes of 21 glaciers from 1937 to 2023 (Table S1 and Fig. S11). From the 85 years of observations, we find two distinct regional patterns; one of constant glacier surface elevations and one of ice thickening.
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How Marxism Subverted America's Intel Agencies
Tue, 04 Jun 2024 21:15
In Big Intel: How the CIA and FBI Went from Cold War Heroes to Deep State Villains, J. Michael Waller describes the crisis America is facing with the subversion of our intelligence institutions. Waller is the senior analyst for strategy at the Center for Security Policy and the president of Georgetown Research, a political risk and private intelligence company. He holds a Ph.D. in International Security Affairs from Boston University. Big Intel itself builds on Waller's earlier Secret Empire: The KGB in Russia Today. That book predicted today's gangster government in Russia, run by former KGB officers.
Waller's analysis is deeply rooted in his own life experiences. Straight out of a John le Carr(C) novel, he has had some very ''up close and personal'' brushes with spies and spycraft '-- beginning with early recruitment by that old Cold War warrior, Reagan CIA Director William Casey, which led to fieldwork in Latin America. Later studies and trips in the '90s brought Waller to the Soviet Union, which placed him in contact with the notorious FBI turncoat Bob Hanssen, which in turn led to an awkward moment with FBI Director Louis Freeh. Most of this riveting biographical information is told in Big Intel's first 30 pages, thus briefly establishing the author's bona fides.
The bulk of Big Intel is two parallel '-- and occasionally intertwined '-- histories. The one is a tale of spies, spying, and subversion; the evolution of militant Marxist-Leninism into cultural Marxism as manifest in contemporary woke culture. The second history is that of the CIA and FBI, which originally fought the overt aggression of Marxist-Leninism but have now themselves been subverted by cultural Marxism in the guise of woke culture and the ''diversity, equity, and inclusion'' trope.
Waller begins with the behavior of the FBI, cheered on by John Brennan's CIA, in the groundless Trump campaign investigation. We first see Peter Strzok, the FBI executive who began the Trump campaign investigation ''Crossfire Hurricane,'' both opening the case and then traveling to London to conduct the investigation, usurping the role of a field agent. Then we had Andy McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, who was acting director after James Comey was fired, ordering an investigation of Trump for obstruction of justice. Other than the firing itself, McCabe offered no predicate for this investigative initiative. The ultimate offender was former FBI Director James Comey. The abuse of power by Comey, McCabe, Strzok, and others has undermined public trust in the FBI.
Waller sees these abuses as far more dangerous than these agencies merely interfering in partisan politics. He sees these powerful agencies as being the spearhead of a foundational transformation of our country and society. His Big Intel answers the question, how did this happen? He takes us back to Moscow more than a century ago, before there was an FBI or a CIA.
Back in TimeBorrowing a phrase from journalist Diana West, Waller follows the ''red thread,'' an unbroken line of ideological evolution from the earliest Bolsheviks to today's woke warriors. Waller explains in almost painful detail each step of this evolution. Here his extensive academic background in intelligence studies becomes evident.
The early Soviets' efforts at spreading Marxist ideology in Europe grew into the Frankfurt School, a cadre of Marxist scholars whose ideas Moscow hoped would destroy Weimar Germany from within. However, the Nazis beat them to the punch. Unfortunately for us, this was an unplanned boost for the Frankfurt School, as they relocated to the United States. Each step of the transformation of classical Marxism into today's Cultural Marxism, with its manifestation of critical theory and woke obsessions, is traced in detail and documented by Waller.
Along the way, we get a refresher course on the Comintern and its ever-evolving supporting agencies like the Chekists, the NKVD, the KGB, and today's FSB and SVR. Waller manages to make this all understandable. As he also does with the diverse individuals along the ''red thread'' from Bolsheviks like Feliks Dzerzhinsky, to Herbert Marcuse, and Reinhold Niebuhr, who brought the Frankfurt School's Paul Tillich to America.
The parallel history of our two important institutions is related in similar detail, often dovetailing with the accounts of their challenging opponents. Waller gives them their due, covering the good, the bad, and the ugly of both the CIA and FBI. Both J. Edgar Hoover and William J. ''Wild Bill'' Donovan, considered here as the founding fathers of the FBI and CIA respectively, are given a balanced treatment.
Donovan, a colorful character, created and ran the CIA's predecessor, the OSS. Several of his OSS veterans would become leaders in the CIA. Waller reminds us that the legend and prestige of today's FBI were built on a half-century of real accomplishments and extraordinary public relations by J. Edgar Hoover, in spite of the efforts of today's FBI to erase his memory.
Intel Agencies TodayRecent FBI and CIA directors have fallen under the spell of critical theory, the current manifestation of Cultural Marxism. They have been pushed and pulled in this direction by a series of executive orders from Presidents Obama and Biden demanding ''diversity, equity, and inclusion.'' The CIA's John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper all willingly went along with this and are examined in Big Intel. But James Comey deserves and gets detailed attention.
Comey's belief system is based on the philosophy of Reinhold Niebuhr. Although not a communist, Niebuhr was definitely a fellow traveler, part of the ''red thread.'' Waller tells us that Comey, taking from Niebuhr, saw a moral obligation to dispense with ethics. In Comey's own words, ''The Christian in politics must be willing to transgress any purely Christian ethic. He must be willing to sin in the name of justice.''
As FBI director, Comey substituted his own moral interpretation over established norms and precedents. His virtual declination of prosecution in the Clinton email matter, usurping a prosecutor's role, is a case in point. The distinct previous guardrails of the FBI '-- e.g., caution in starting political investigations and briefing Congress on sensitive investigations '-- were ignored by Comey. He never briefed the Gang of Eight, during their quarterly meetings, about the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. When asked why Congress had never been briefed, he replied it was too ''sensitive,'' again substituting his own moral judgment for the established norm.
Critical theory, the ideology that unpins the core mission of today's FBI and CIA, demands a constant search for enemies among our fellow citizens and our constitutional institutions. Today's FBI plans to erase Hoover's name from its new headquarters building, while still profiting from the pedestal upon which he placed the Bureau. Meanwhile, the CIA spreads the falsehood that Wild Bill Donovan was all about ''diversity, equity, and inclusion.''
J. Michael Waller has written a great book: Big Intel is a brilliant analysis of a serious issue facing our country.
Thomas J. Baker is an international law enforcement consultant. He served as a FBI Special Agent for 33 years in a variety of investigative and management positions facing the challenges of crime and terrorism. He is the author of "The Fall of the FBI: How a Once Great Agency Became a Threat to Democracy."
Southern District of New York | Chief Financial Officer Of Multinational Media Company Charged With Participating In Scheme To Launder At Least $67 Million In Fraud Proceeds | United States Department of Justice
Tue, 04 Jun 2024 21:02
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Jonathan Mellone, the Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General (''DOL-OIG''); and Andrew Wroblewski, the Assistant Director of the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service (''DSS'') Domestic Operations, announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging WEIDONG GUAN, a/k/a ''Bill Guan,'' the Chief Financial Officer of a multinational media company headquartered in New York City with participating in a transnational scheme to launder at least approximately $67 million of illegally obtained funds to benefit himself and the media company. GUAN was arrested yesterday morning and will be presented this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: ''As alleged, Bill Guan, the Chief Financial Officer of a global newspaper and media company, conspired with others to benefit himself, the media company, and its affiliates by laundering tens of millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits and other crime proceeds. When banks raised questions about the funds, Guan allegedly lied repeatedly and falsely claimed that the funds came from legitimate donations to the media company. Today's charges reflect this Office's ongoing commitment to vigorously enforcing the laws against those who facilitate fraud through money laundering and to protecting the integrity of the U.S. financial system.''
DOL-OIG Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone said: ''An important part of the mission of the Office of Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud involving the U.S. Department of Labor's unemployment insurance program. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to safeguard benefits intended for unemployed American workers.''
DSS Domestic Operations Assistant Director Andrew Wroblewski said: ''This case highlights the expansive global reach of the Diplomatic Security Service, demonstrating our capacity to collaborate effectively with both U.S. and international law enforcement agencies on complex transnational cases. DSS, along with our law enforcement partners, are tirelessly working to conduct investigations of this nature daily around the world.''
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment:[1]
From at least in or about 2020, through in or about May 2024, GUAN, while working as the Chief Financial Officer of a multinational media company headquartered in New York, New York (the ''Media Company''), conspired with others to participate in a sprawling, transnational scheme to launder at least approximately $67 million of illegally obtained funds to bank accounts in the names of the Media Company and related entities (together, with the Media Company, the ''Media Entities''). In furtherance of the money laundering conspiracy, GUAN managed, among other teams, the Media Company's ''Make Money Online'' team (the ''MMO Team''), which was located in a particular foreign office of the Media Company. Under GUAN's management, members of the MMO Team and others used cryptocurrency to knowingly purchase tens of millions of dollars in crime proceeds, including proceeds of fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits, that had been loaded onto tens of thousands of prepaid debit cards. The crime proceeds were generally purchased by the scheme participants, including members of the MMO Team and others working with them, using a particular cryptocurrency platform, at discounted rates of approximately 70 to 80 cents per dollar, and in exchange for cryptocurrency.
Once the crime proceeds were purchased, the MMO Team and other participants in the scheme used stolen personal identification information to open accounts, including prepaid debit card accounts, cryptocurrency accounts, and bank accounts, that were used to transfer the crime proceeds into bank accounts associated with the Media Entities. After the crime proceeds reached those bank accounts, they were often further laundered through other bank accounts held by the Media Entities, GUAN's personal bank accounts, and through GUAN's personal cryptocurrency accounts.
In or around the same time the money laundering scheme began, the Media Company's internal financial accounting reflected an increased annual revenue over the previous year of approximately 410%'--from approximately $15 million to approximately $62 million. When banks asked GUAN about the increase in transactions entering the bank accounts of the Media Entities, GUAN lied, including to two U.S.-based banks, and claimed that the increase in funds came from donations. However, in 2022, GUAN wrote a letter addressed to a congressional office falsely stating ''donations'' constitute ''an insignificant portion of the overall revenue'' of the Media Company.
* * *
GUAN, 61, of Secaucus, New Jersey, is charged with one count of conspiring to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and two counts of bank fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The charges do not relate to the Media Company's newsgathering activities.
The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of DOL-OIG, DSS, and the Special Agents of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Williams also thanked the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for its valuable assistance.
This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (''OCDETF'') operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level criminal organizations using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at
The case is being handled by the Office's Public Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Deininger, Rebecca T. Dell, and Jane Kim are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.
GERMANY: Trans-Identified Male Charged With Stabbing Syrian National At Refugee Shelter Was Arrested After Calling Police To Report He Was Misgendered - Reduxx
Tue, 04 Jun 2024 21:01
A trans-identified male is in custody on charges of manslaughter after it was reported that he fatally stabbed a Syrian security guard at a refugee shelter in Potsdam, Germany. The suspect, who is said to be from South Africa, was arrested after contacting the police to report a misgendering incident hours after he fled the crime scene.
Details are currently limited as the story is developing, but German police have confirmed that the incident took place within the SchloŸgarten Hotel '' a building which was converted into a shelter in 2022 and houses approximately 30 asylum seekers. At approximately 4 a.m. on May 30, a dispute broke out within the facility, culminating in a security guard being stabbed. The 33-year-old guard, who is a Syrian national, was rushed to hospital but died of his injuries.
The perpetrator fled the scene, resulting in a wide-scale manhunt conducted by the Brandenburg West Police Department. The area surrounding the shelter was closed off, and police began to search through nearby Sanssouci Park using sniffer dogs.
But just three hours after the manhunt began, the perpetrator called on the police himself to report that he had been the victim of misgendering at an Edeka supermarket in nearby Sch¶neberg.
Responding officers took his complaint without knowing he was connected to the manhunt in Potsdam because it is not standard practice to run the names of ''victims'' through police systems following a report. Had they done so, the officers would have likely seen he was wanted in Potsdam, but because they did not, the suspect was allowed to continue on his day after he lodged his complaint for the ''transphobic incident.''
Some time later, authorities in Potsdam became aware of the ''transphobic incident'' report, which assisted them in determining the area the suspect would be in.
He was ultimately apprehended after an off-duty police officer saw him boarding a train at the Berlin Zoologischer Garten station. The public prosecutor's office has issued manslaughter charges at this time.
Ein in zivil eingesetzter Beamter der @bpol_b hat die tatverd¤chtige Person am Alexanderplatz erkannt. Alarmierte Kr¤fte der Bundespolizei konnten die Person am Zoologischen Garten festnehmen. ^ar
'-- Polizei Brandenburg (@PolizeiBB) May 30, 2024While the identity of the suspect has not been released, it is known that he is a South African trans-identified male, and was likely not a resident of the refugee shelter where the stabbing took place. Why he was at the shelter is unclear at this time. Police are also investigating whether the alleged perpetrator's gender identity was a factor in the crime.
The Mayor of Potsdam, Lord Mike Schubert, released a short statement on the incident, noting that it was a sad day for the community.
''A person working on behalf of our city who was protecting those seeking asylum has become the victim of a violent crime '' the news of his death has hurt me deeply,'' Schubert said. He also raised questions as to why a Syrian national had been hired to guard a refugee shelter.
Because the SchloŸgarten Hotel has now been closed in order to preserve evidence, an emergency maritime care center has agreed to temporarily take the residents of the shelter, along with the colleagues of the slain security guard.
The trans-identified male suspect is expected in court on May 31.
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Airlines to Tighten Seatbelt Rules, Use AI to Predict Turbulence - Business Insider
Tue, 04 Jun 2024 20:58
The death of a Singapore Airlines passenger in a severe turbulence incident last month is likely to lead to stricter seatbelt rules, according to the president of Emirates.
Emirati newspaper The National reported that Tim Clark made the comments during a Sunday media conference in Dubai at the International Air Transport Association's annual meeting.
"The whole industry is now upping the game in regards to making sure that passengers are seated and strapped in," Clark said, per The National.
It comes after last month saw three incidents of severe turbulence. A 73-year-old British man died and 71 others were injured on Singapore Airlines Flight 321 on May 21.
Six days later, 12 people were injured by turbulence on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin. And on May 28, local media reported a Turkish Airlines flight attendant broke her back due to turbulence.
According to The National, Clark said that as a result of the incidents, "The industry will start being a lot more concerned about making sure that people are in their seats and strapped in."
Singapore Airlines announced it would no longer serve meals when the seatbelt sign is on, changing its policy as a result of the incident.
"We're trying to use a bit of AI" to predict where turbulence might be, Clark also said.
Severe injuries due to turbulence are incredibly rare, and not wearing a seatbelt is the biggest risk factor. But sometimes there isn't enough time between turning the sign on and the onset of turbulence for passengers to strap in.
Clear air turbulence, which occurs in cloudless conditions at a high altitude, can be especially sudden. A rise in incidents has been linked to the climate crisis, which has altered wind dynamics.
A 2023 study by researchers at the UK's University of Reading found that in 1979, there were around 17.7 hours of severe turbulence over an average point above the Atlantic Ocean. By 2020, this had jumped to 27.4 hours, an increase of 55%.
Is The "YouTube Bank" About To Be Our Next Bank Failure? | WLT Report
Tue, 04 Jun 2024 20:41
Is the so-called ''YouTube Bank'' about to go under and become our next Bank Failure?
It's very complicated, allow me to explain.
First of all, we're talking about a bank called Yotta.
And it's not actually, technically a ''Bank'', it's a ''Savings App''.
Why is it called the ''YouTube Bank''?
Because a couple years ago, many YouTubers all famously promoted Yotta to their audiences, the most prominent likely being Graham Stephan. And let me just say I like Graham and his videos and I don't think he did anything wrong here, but he was very prominent in promoting Yotta, even making a video titled ''I Bought a Bank''. That video is now deleted but I remember personally watching it when he posted it.
Ok, so what happened?
Or more accurately, what is happening?
Let me just give you the headline first and then we'll break it all down:
That's from CNBC.
Not only are the accounts locked, but users are unable to withdraw any of their cash.
A total nightmare scenario.
The company is claiming it's a problem between two ''middlemen providers'' but it's extremely concerning whenever you can't get your money out of a bank '-- or ''savings app''.
And I am absolutely not claiming they are insolvent or going under '-- they claim they are not '-- but I will say this'.....I saw the very same thing happen right before crypto brokerage Celsius went under.
I was actually live-tweeting and covering the story as it happened.
They announced a ''glitch'' with withdrawals and I immediately advised everyone to transfer their funds off the platform.
The company claimed all was safe and all was good, and then just hours later they had collapsed.
Is the same scenario happening here?
I don't know.
I hope not.
According to Yotta, no funds are lost or at risk, it's just a tech glitch.
Here are more details from CNBC:
When Adam Moelis co-founded a fintech startup named Yotta in 2019, he wanted to give Americans a new way to save money to help them cushion the ups and downs of life.
Instead, his company has inadvertently been a source of deep pain for thousands of customers who relied on Yotta accounts to receive paychecks, pay bills and save for emergencies.
The crisis began May 11, when a dispute between two of Yotta's banking partners '-- fintech middleman Synapse and Tennessee-based Evolve Bank & Trust '-- led to the lockup of accounts at Yotta and at least two dozen other startups. Synapse declared bankruptcy earlier this year after several key clients abandoned the firm amid disagreements over the tracking of customer funds.
For the past three weeks, 85,000 Yotta customers with a combined $112 million in savings have been locked out of their accounts, Moelis told CNBC. The disruption had upended lives, forced users to borrow money for food and thrown upcoming events like surgeries or weddings into doubt, he said.
''The stories are heartbreaking,'' Moelis said. ''We never imagined something like this could happen. We worked with banks that are members of the FDIC. We never imagined a scenario like this could play out and that no regulator would step in and help.''
Boom & bust
The ongoing mess has exposed the risks in a corner of fintech that grew in prominence during a boom in venture investment '-- and it will likely reverberate for years as regulators increase scrutiny of the space.
The so-called ''banking as a service'' model allowed consumer fintech companies to quickly launch savings accounts and debit services, with firms like Synapse acting as a bridge between the startups and FDIC-backed banks that ultimately held deposits.
The heart of the dispute between Synapse and Evolve Bank involves a foundational function of finance: keeping accurate ledgers of transactions and balances. Synapse and Evolve disagree on how much of Yotta's funds are held at Evolve, and how much are held at other banks that Synapse worked with.
Synapse hasn't responded to requests for comment, and Evolve has blamed Synapse for the breakdown.
The Synapse bankruptcy has mostly ensnared lesser-known consumer fintech firms, especially after larger fintech players including Mercury and Davefled the Synapse platform in the past year.
That has left Yotta, which encouraged users to save money with free weekly lottery-style sweepstakes, as one of the largest companies to be affected. Accounts at crypto firm Juno and at Copper, which offered savings accounts for families and teens, also have been frozen.
Non-systemic meltdown
Moelis, who has been in contact with other fintech principals impacted by the Synapse failure, estimates that at least 200,000 total customer accounts with balances are locked. While Synapse has said in court filings it has 10 million end users, it's likely that active accounts are far smaller, Moelis said.
Adam Moelis, Co-Founder at Yotta Savings.Adam Moelis, Co-Founder at Yotta Savings.Courtesy: YottaThe fintech co-founder said he believes the relatively limited scope of the issue, and the fact that most of those affected aren't wealthy, has given regulators clearance to let the situation play out. Last year, regulators swiftly intervened in the regional banking crisis that threatened uninsured deposits of startups and rich families, he noted.
''To me, if this was happening at a larger scale, I think regulators would have done something by now,'' he said. ''We've got real, everyday Americans that aren't necessarily wealthy and don't have the ability to lobby that are being impacted.''
The Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have declined to comment on the issue. Representatives of the agencies have pointed to efforts they've made to encourage banks to manage the risks of using fintech partners.
Enter YouTuber ''Coffeezilla'' who is famous on YouTube for exposing scams.
He just posted this which is how I first learned of this issue:
To be fair, Coffeezilla says in his video he does not know if this is a scam or not, and I believe he even says he does not believe it is a scam.
But whatever it is (scam, bank failure, tech glitch, something else) it is NOT good.
And people are absolutely being crushed, with one man reporting he had $80,000 in the bank and it was his nest egg he was using after quitting his job to launch his own business.
Another woman reports being unable to pay rent.
What would you do if your bank account was suddenly just frozen?
Doesn't matter how much money you have in there if you can't use it!
Very scary.
We hope this situation is resolved soon and has a good outcome.
Whether or not this ends up being a ''bank failure'' or not, there is a reason why I keep warning you that a major run on the banks is coming.
Stay on guard.
And get your money out of the banks if you're worried about this type of stuff!
JUST IN: Billionaire Real Estate Investor Barry Sternlicht Expects One Bank Failure PER WEEK!
JUST IN: Billionaire Real Estate Investor Barry Sternlicht Expects One Bank Failure PER WEEK!Last year we had 6 fairly large banks FAIL in the United States.
Unprecedented at least in my recollection in recent years.
But I kept telling you it was NOT over.
Then a few weeks ago this happened:
BREAKING NEW BANK FAILURE: Republic First Bank Collapses, Seized By Regulators
And through it all I continue to warn you....something much bigger and much worse is coming.
I sure hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.
In fact, I continue to see things getting worse at an accelerated pace.
But who cares what I think....I'm just a reporter. Your humble correspondent!
What you should care about, however, is what Barry Sternlicht thinks.
Do you know who that is?
Sternlicht is an American billionare and real estate expert:
Barry Sternlicht, born on November 27, 1960, in New York City, is a renowned American billionaire and the co-founder (with Bob Faith), chairman, and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, a prominent investment fund managing over $100 billion in assets. He also holds the position of chairman of Starwood Property Trust. Sternlicht's professional journey began in 1991 when he co-founded Starwood Capital Group with Bob Faith, and he later founded the W hotel chain and Starwood Property Trust, one of the largest commercial mortgage REITs. In 1995, he became the chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide until 2005.
Throughout his career, Barry Sternlicht has been recognized for his significant contributions to the hospitality industry, real estate markets, and the global business community. He was named the Cornell Icon of the Industry in 2015, a prestigious honor acknowledging his leadership and innovation within the hospitality sector. Additionally, in 2010, Sternlicht was awarded both the "Executive of the Year" and "Investor of the Year" titles by Commercial Property Executive, highlighting his remarkable achievements in real estate investment and management.
Sternlicht has been involved in various philanthropic endeavors, including serving on the board of directors for the Robin Hood Foundation and the Dreamland Community Theatre. His commitment to giving back extends to his alma mater, Brown University, where he has been a trustee.
In terms of market predictions and business acumen, Sternlicht has demonstrated a keen understanding of economic trends and investment opportunities. He has successfully navigated multiple economic downturns and has been instrumental in the growth and development of his companies. His ability to identify and capitalize on market opportunities has earned him a reputation as a savvy investor and a leader in the real estate and hospitality industries.
And here's what he's saying RIGHT NOW:
Billionaire real estate investor Barry Sternlicht says he expects at least one bank failure per week.
'-- Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) May 10, 2024
Here are more details, from my friends over at Watcher.Guru:
Billionaire real estate investor and CEO of Starwood Capital, Barry Sternlicht, has recently stated his expectation of one bank failure per week in the United States. Indeed, Sternlicht expressed his concern regarding more than 4,000 banks in the US amid the ongoing pressure of interest rates and inflation.
Sternlicht noted that community and regional banks could be in for a treacherous time amid a host of macroeconomic factors. Subsequently, he noted that a regional bank could fail ''every week, maybe two a week'' in a recent interview with CNBC.
Throughout the year, the United States has been navigating an economy of increased frailty. Indeed, the Federal Reserve had enacted a two-year tightening campaign, increasing interest rates to combat high inflation. Now, the Central Bank has yet to cut rates, with many projecting dangers for the economy as a result.
One of them is billionaire real estate investor Barry Sternlicht, who expects one bank failure per week. Speaking to CNBC, the co-founder of the $115 billion Starwood Capital Group shared his grim prognosis for the current state of interest rates and their effect on smaller banks.
''I think people are looking for these cracks, and you're going to see the crack develop now,'' Sternlicht said. ''You're going to see a regional bank fail every day, or not'--every week, maybe two a week,'' he added.
At least one, maybe TWO, bank failures every week!
Hello folks!
I hope you're paying attention and I hope you're taking action to protect yourself and your family.
That's why I publish these articles, to sound the alarm and give you as much advanced warning as possible.
And it all lines up with what I've been telling you about....
Like this:
Grant Cardone: ''There Are Gonna Be 100 Bank Failures In This Country'...''
And this:
Audit Reveals 282 U.S. Banks Are In Danger Of Failing
Ok, so is it all DOOM and GLOOM?
What can you do about it?
Keep reading and I'll tell you!
Peter Schiff: "Gold is going to be revalued MUCH higher than it is..."I've been telling you that you might want to get some GOLD for a while now...
I'm not a financial advisor, I'm just your humble reporter.
But someone who's much smarter than me and is a professional money manager just said something that you have to see.
That would be Peter Schiff and he just said on MeetKevin's podcast that Gold is about to be revalued MUCH higher!
Oh, and Patrick Bet-David loves gold too!
Check this out:
Peter Schiff: "Gold is going to be revalued MUCH higher than it is..."#GotGold ?@digitalassetbuy @DigPerspectives @realMeetKevin @PeterSchiff
'-- (@DailyNoahNews) February 8, 2024
Here is a dedicated video player if this is easier for you to see:
Peter Schiff: "Gold is going to be revalued MUCH higher than it is..."#GotGold ?@digitalassetbuy @DigPerspectives @realMeetKevin @PeterSchiff
'-- (@DailyNoahNews) February 8, 2024
You can watch the entire interview right here if you like:
Two VERY smart guys, Peter Schiff and Patrick Bet-David.
Here's more on Schiff if you don't know much about him:
Peter Schiff is an accomplished American economist, financial broker, author, and stock market commentator with a significant influence in finance and investment circles. Schiff is the CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc., a brokerage firm founded in 1996, focused on international markets and securities. He has successfully expanded the firm's operations over the years, demonstrating his acumen in identifying growth opportunities and his expertise in global financial markets.
One of Schiff's major accomplishments is his prescient call on the 2008 financial crisis. He gained widespread recognition for his predictions of the housing market bubble and the ensuing financial crisis, which were made well before they occurred. His accurate forecast of these events earned him a reputation as a savvy investor and a keen observer of economic trends. Schiff's warnings about the dangers of excessive debt and speculative bubbles have been validated by market events, reinforcing his status as a forward-thinking economist.
In addition to his financial career, Peter Schiff is an accomplished author, having written several books on economics and investing. His works, including "Crash Proof: How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse," have been critically acclaimed for their insightful analysis and practical advice on safeguarding investments against economic downturns. Schiff's ability to break down complex economic concepts into accessible language has made his books popular among both novice and experienced investors.
Schiff has been a vocal advocate for sound money and fiscal conservatism, often appearing on financial news networks to share his views. His advocacy for gold as a hedge against inflation and currency devaluation has influenced many investors' strategies. Despite his sometimes controversial opinions, Schiff's expertise and deep understanding of economic principles have earned him respect in the investment community.
Speaking of Gold being revalued in the future, we first told you about that three months ago:
''Gold Revaluation'' Incoming? Price Could Be $10,000-60,000 Per Ounce!
"Gold Revaluation" Incoming? Price Could Be $10,000-60,000 Per Ounce!One of the worst things our country ever did was to allow the Central Bankers to take of off the Gold Standard...
But it was the best thing to happen to the corrupt bankers, as they printed money to infinity and got filthy rich!
But....are they getting ready to flip the script on the public once again?
As the system they have completely destroyed through unlimited money printing is set to collapse, I'm seeing reports that they might be ready to go BACK to a Gold Standard.
Crazy right?
I have to show you this short 2 minute video from the Black Swan Capitalist who perfectly nails this.
And then keep reading for a solution YOU can implement right now to keep you and your family safe! And one way you can do it with NO MONEY OUT OF POCKET! Yes, really....
He says not only is the plan in place, but simulations have been run and if and when that happens it would result in a necessary gold price of anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 per ounce!
For those not great at math, from today's price of $1,955 that would be anywhere from a 400% to a 2,900%+ gain!
But not only that but there was one line that jumped out at me....
He said, quote: "Those who put their money in gold and silver will be just fine and make incredible gains, meanwhile those who trusted the Government and kept their money in US Dollars will be utterly wiped out."
That rung very true to me.
When has "trusting the Government" ever paid off?
This is EXACTLY the kind of thing they would do, and revel in it!
It's Ronald Reagan's famous quote:
So with that in mind, watch this clip and understand what might be JUST around the corner....
Central #banks have been quietly buying #gold in preparation for a gold revaluation, which sets the stage for a new reserve currency
They've also partnered with #Ripple so they can #tokenize those reseve assets on the #blockchain where #XRP will play a key role in achieving this
'-- Black Swan Capitalist (@VersanAljarrah) November 7, 2023
Backup here if needed:
OH MY....ðŸ±So the question is, how do you set something up that takes the credit card away, but still allows governments to function? And if we went back to a gold standard, we'd have to do something like back the world's currencies with gold at a certain ratio that was clear'...
'-- (@DailyNoahNews) February 8, 2024
Ok so how can you get gold with NO MONEY OUT OF POCKET? Read below...
The ONLY Two Gold Companies I Am Proud To Partner WithWe mostly cover politics here, but politics affects the economy and the economy affects...YOU and ME! And our pocketbooks.
Big league.
So in the midst of covering politics, we also cover money from time to time...and while I'm not a financial advisor, I share what I'm learning in the hopes that it can help you and keep you and your family safe.
And that often leads me to covering Gold and Silver.
You know, what they have always called "God's Money".
He made it, they aren't making any more of it, and it has always been highly valued as money from the beginning of time until now.
So I'm a big fan and I think it has the potential to do big things if, say, the U.S. Dollar were to suddenly collapse.
So that's why I talk about it and why I want to make sure everyone protects themselves and your families.
So to answer the question of "what can I do?" it's really quite simple: you need to get some #Gold or #Silver in your own possession.
It's called "physical" gold and silver.
Not paper traded garbage on the stock exchanges that isn't backed by anything.
Don't touch that stuff.
And because I get asked so much how to buy it and what the best places are, I thought I would publish this and just get it out there for all to have....
I have two special hook-ups for you and these are the ONLY two companies I am proud to partner up with on Gold and Silver.
Both involve PHYSICAL gold and silver.
Because if you do NOTHING else, make sure you own "physical" gold and silver, not paper contracts.
The paper contracts (like stock ticker SLV and GLD) could very well go POOF one day and disappear or go to zero, because they're not actually backed by the gold and silver they claim to represent.
It's a massive game of musical chairs out there and when the music stops (and I think it will stop soon...) people who only own paper might find themselves owning something not worth the paper it's literally written on.
And I know you'll never forget it if I give you this GIF so....Let's Get Physical:
Now...WHERE do you get physical gold and silver and how do you know it's real and safe?
And that you're getting the best price?
Oh, and how about personal one-on-one real customer service?
You know, like you were some Big Wig millionaire at Goldman Sachs who could just call their personal banker and get help?
That's what I'm about to tell you.
I have two killer connections for you...
The first is for purchasing gold and silver bullion .
That means bulk bars.
That's the cheapest and most economical way to do it, to stretch your dollar into as much gold and silver as possible.
The website is called WLT Precious Metals and when you see my logo in the top left-hand corner, you'll know you're in the right place.
You'll get a personal phone call with Ira Bershatsky (or someone on his team) and they will work with you free of charge for as long as needed to answer any questions you have and get you taken care of.
How about that!
You don't see that much anymore, but Ira and his team pride themselves on good old-fashioned real customers service:
No sales pitch, just real, actual help.
And the best prices you will find.
Here's the only disclaimer I will give you: because they do pride themselves on dedicated service, it might take a few days before you get a phone call back. Just be patient.
Good things come to those who wait!
You can contact Ira and WLT Precious Metals here.
Ok, that was #1 .
Now I want to tell you about option #2 .
An equally great company, I am so happy to be working with these guys.
This next company is called Genesis Gold and this is for people who want to purchase real physical gold or silver in their IRAs (Investment Retirement Accounts).
You know what the beauty of that is?
Two huge benefits actually...
First is TAX FREE baby!
I'm not a tax advisor, but that's a general oversimplification.
Never pay more taxes than you are legally required to pay.
And that's why I love getting gold and silver in my IRA (and why I hold a large chunk in an IRA myself!).
Second is if you simply shift money out of stocks (like Peter Schiff recommends) and into Gold, it won't cost you anything! No money out of pocket!
There's so much to love about Genesis Gold, starting with the fact they are proudly and un-ashamedly Christina!
They call it "Faith-Driven Stewardship" and they put it right on the homepage of their website along with a quote from Ezekiel:
Here's more on why gold and silver in your IRA are so powerful:
You can contact Genesis Gold here.
They are also very backed up with record demand, so you may have to wait a bit, but someone WILL get in touch with you for personal customer service and assistance!
Tell 'em Noah sent ya!
Oh, and did you know Genesis is recommended by SUPERMAN himself?
It's true.
Superman himself, Clark Kent -- Dean Cain -- came on my show a few weeks ago and we broke it all down:
Watch here:
Stay safe!
Make sure you can weather the storm when it hits!
Because the storm always hits eventually, doesn't it?
As for me and my house, we will be ready. ðŸ'ª
The Fed Quietly 'Admits' Gold Is Replacing The Dollar As Collapse 'Fear' Predicted To Trigger A $15.7 Trillion ETF Bitcoin Price Flip
Tue, 04 Jun 2024 20:38
06/03 update below. This post was originally published on June 1
Bitcoin Bitcoin has exploded into 2024, powered by the arrival of a fleet of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Wall Street (with a top BlackRock executive recently revealing what's next).
Subscribe now to Forbes' CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor and "uncover blockchain blockbusters poised for 1,000% plus gains" in the aftermath of bitcoin's halving earthquake!
The bitcoin price has soared back to its all-time high of around $70,000 per bitcoin, recovering from a 2022 crash that Goldman Sachs' crypto lead thinks could signal a bitcoin price "turning point."
Now, after U.S. Treasury secretary Janet Yellen issued a serious warning over the swelling $34 trillion U.S. debt pile, former billionaire and All In podcast "bestie" Chamath Palihapitiya has predicted bitcoin could "completely replace gold" as countries adopt it'--potentially pushing it's market capitalization toward gold's $15.7 trillion.
Sign up now for the free CryptoCodex'--A daily five-minute newsletter for traders, investors and the crypto-curious that will get you up to date and keep you ahead of the bitcoin and crypto market bull run
Forbes Janet Yellen Issues Serious $34 Trillion Warning As Bitcoin Predicted To Surge To $1 Million Price By Billy Bambrough Fears have emerged that U.S. dollar debasement could lead to the currency's collapse as the world's ... [+] reserve asset'--potentially making way for bitcoin to replace gold and sparking a huge bitcoin price rally.
getty"There's an increasing body of countries that will become dual-currency," Palihapitiya, who claimed to have bought $1 million worth of bitcoin when it was trading at around $80, said on the podcast he hosts along with fellow investors David Friedburg, Jason Calacanis and David Sacks.
"They will look at their local currency and they will look at bitcoin. And they will say both of these two things are needed. The first for when they're transacting on a daily basis for goods and services and the second when you need to buy a permanent asset that needs to have residual value, they'll buy bitcoin."
El Salvador made history when it adopted bitcoin as its official currency alongside the U.S. dollar in 2021 with mixed success, sparking debate whether other countries would follow suit though no major countries have yet.
However, Palihapitiya added he thinks that "there are a lot of countries that will never look at bitcoin credibly even if they support it," with the U.S. perhaps "one of those."
Palihapitiya pointed to the historical bitcoin price charts that show huge increases in the bitcoin price following so-called bitcoin halvings that reduce the supply of new bitcoin issued to miners that maintain the network. The latest bitcoin halving, its fourth which cut the daily supply of new bitcoin from around 900 to 450, happened in April.
If the bitcoin price repeats its past performance after this halving, it could soar to almost $500,000 by October 2025.
"If you apply these averages, they're by no means [bitcoin price] predictions, they're just guesses, you start to see what could happen if you take the average of the last few cycles," Palihapitiya said. "The average of cycle two and three is some really meaningful appreciation."
Historical bitcoin price data shows that after previous bitcoin halvings, the bitcoin price peaked around 18 months after the supply cut.
"If this thing gets to these levels of appreciation, it's going to completely replace gold and become something that has transactional utility for hard assets," Palihapitiya said. "If you marry that with this fear that some folks have about dollar debasement, you start to see some interesting opportunities."
06/03 update: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has written a report outlining the narratives around "declining dollar shares in official reserves, and increasing roles for gold holdings by central banks," which it says has been "inappropriately" generalized beyond "the actions of a small group of countries."
The report authors found global central banks and finance ministries held nearly $12 trillion of foreign exchange reserves as of the end of 2023, with nearly $7 trillion composed of U.S. dollar assets. World Gold Council data shows "global central banks purchased over 1,100 tons of gold in 2022'--more than double the purchase amounts of the previous year'--and maintained a similar purchase level in 2023," according to the report.
"The Fed now admits some countries are moving to gold," tech investor and former Coinbase chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan posted to X, pointing to what the Fed says is a "small group" that "represents 3 billion people. So 37.5% of the world is moving away from dollars towards gold."
Earlier this year, Bank of America analysts warned the U.S. debt load is about to ramp up to add $1 trillion every 100 days'--fueling a bitcoin price surge.
"The U.S. national debt is rising by $1 trillion every 100 days," Michael Hartnett, chief strategist of Bank of America, wrote in a note to clients seen by CNBC, adding it's "little wonder 'debt debasement' trades closing in on all-time highs, i.e. gold [at] $2077/oz [and] bitcoin [at] $67,734."
Hartnett predicted the newly created spot bitcoin ETFs that have taken Wall Street by storm over the last month are on course for a "blowout year," in part because of the collapse of the U.S. dollar.
The latest halving came hot on the heels of the landmark approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), led by chair Gary Gensler, of a fleet of spot bitcoin ETFs following a long legal campaign by crypto asset manager Grayscale.
"We've commercialized bitcoin," Palihapitiya said. "My big prediction for 2024 is that these ETFs will allow bitcoin to cross the chasm and have its central, key moment."
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The bitcoin price has surged over the last year, pushed higher by Wall Street's arrival via the spot ... [+] bitcoin ETF.
Forbes Digital AssetsMeanwhile, bitcoin and crypto companies have emerged as a powerful lobby group in this year's U.S. election, spending huge amounts on pro-crypto candidates and winning around both former president Donald Trump, the Republican front runner, and president Joe Biden, whose reelection campaign has reportedly begun reaching out to crypto executives.
"I think it's really interesting how the crypto community is getting organized into a lobby to advocate for its interests," Palihapitiya's cohost David Sacks said, adding Gensler and influential Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren have been on "a crusade" against crypto to "make it illegal or drive it offshore."
"Crypto people have had a political awakening and realized they have to get involved in the political system as a matter of self defense," Sacks said.
"The reason [young people] are attracted to crypto is that it isn't controlled by the government," added Calacanis, predicting crypto voters could move the needle on election night by up to five basis points.
FDA Approves Moderna's mRNA RSV Vaccine '-- With No Input From Independent Advisers ' Children's Health Defense
Tue, 04 Jun 2024 20:24
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week approved Moderna's mRNA respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for adults age 60 and older.
The FDA approved the drug without input from the agency's independent vaccine advisory committee, which typically makes recommendations about such drugs, because the FDA didn't see any ''concerns or controversial issues'' that would make input necessary to the approval process, the agency said in its approval letter.
Moderna is running at least 11 clinical trials for its new mRNA RSV drug on several other demographic groups, including young children, adolescents and healthy adults.
The vaccine, marketed under the name mResvia, is Moderna's second-ever FDA-approved drug. It uses the same mRNA platform as its COVID-19 Spikevax vaccine.
''The FDA approval of our second product, mRESVIA, builds on the strength and versatility of our mRNA platform,'' said Moderna CEO St(C)phane Bancel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must recommend the drug before it can be used. The CDC's advisory committee will discuss and vote on the vaccine at its meeting next month.
If approved, the vaccine will provide a second revenue stream for Moderna, whose first-quarter sales fell 91% compared with same-quarter sales in 2023.
The company said it expects to launch the vaccine in time for the 2024 fall vaccination season.
The FDA's approval of Moderna's mRNA RSV vaccine comes a year after the agency approved GSK's Arexvy and Pfizer's Abrysvo RSV vaccines for the same age group.
Abrysvo also is approved for pregnant women. Pfizer is seeking approval for its drug for adults ages 18 and older and is testing it on children and teens. GSK is seeking approval for Arexvy for people 50 and above and expects a response this month.
Bancel said Moderna's shot has an advantage over the RSV vaccines now on the market because it comes in a pre-filled syringe, making it faster to administer and cutting the risk of administration errors.
Moderna said it hopes to capture part of what it predicts will be a $10 billion market for RSV vaccines, especially given its post-pandemic plummet in profits.
The company also announced last week that it is in talks with the U.S. government to fund late-stage trials of its mRNA bird flu vaccine.
Experts say efficacy exaggerated and safety concerns ignored
Moderna's approval was based on findings from a Phase 3 study published in December 2023 of more than 35,000 adults across 22 countries that claimed the vaccine was 83.7% effective at preventing at least two symptoms of RSV, such as cough and fever, nearly four months post-vaccination.
Follow-up analysis by the FDA identified other cases and reduced the efficacy to 79%, the company said. That efficacy rate is in line with Arexvy, which currently dominates the RSV vaccine market, Reuters reported.
Cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough wrote on his Substack that the efficacy claims were misleading.
''The absolute risk reduction for significant outcomes was far below 1%, meaning this product will not have a significant clinical impact,'' he wrote.
Absolute risk reduction refers to the actual difference in risk between the treated group versus the control group.
Relative risk reduction, which is how the company presented its trial data, is a proportional measure of how much a treatment reduced the risk of a bad outcome relative to the control group. It tends to lead to overestimations of how effective a treatment is.
Data presented in February also showed Moderna's shot has faster efficacy declines compared to the GSK and Pfizer shots, Reuters reported.
Moderna said there were no serious safety concerns identified in the trial. Adverse reactions reported in the clinical trial included injection-site pain (55.9%), fatigue (30.8%), headache (26.7%), muscle pain (25.6%), joint pain (21.7%), underarm swelling or tenderness (15.2%) and chills (11.6%).
There were also two cases of acute pericarditis, which occurred after 42 days. The investigator considered those cases to be unrelated to the shot.
There were no reported cases of Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome, which both Pfizer and GSK identified in their clinical trials and has subsequently proven to be ''more common than expected,'' with the other RSV shots, according to the CDC.
However, McCullough said that for all mRNA shots, there are concerns about myocarditis, auto-immunity, genomic integration and oncogenicity. The rapid approval process does not allow the necessary time to identify a lot of these issues.
He wrote:
''Our great concern was that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines ushered in the context of an emergency would set a new precedent for more genetic vaccines that depart from all safety standards set forth previously by the US FDA. '...
''[The approval] was done without the full dossier of safety information required for a routine approval including 2-3 years of observation for standard vaccines, and at least 5 to 15 years of observation for genetic transfer technology.''
Because the FDA's vaccine advisory committee didn't discuss the data, there was no publicly accessible discussion of the vaccine's efficacy and risk or space for public comment, which typically happens at such meetings.
The committee held meetings before the approval of both Arexvy and Abrysvo.
The FDA did not immediately respond to The Defender's inquiry about the lack of an advisory committee meeting or possible concerns with vaccine safety.
RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild cold-like symptoms, but in some cases can lead to hospitalization and death in infants and the elderly.
The number of people who get RSV is unknown because the virus is rarely diagnosed unless one comes to a hospital and is tested.
Dr. Meryl Nass, an internist, told The Defender that among older people typically only those who are already ill or have very severe immune deficiency could benefit from an RSV vaccine.
''That benefit,'' she said, ''must be weighed against all the harms, including those from the lipid nanoparticle as well as the mRNA and any DNA plasmids or other extraneous production materials.''
She said that mRNA vaccines are typically expensive and the amount of spending that would be necessary to save one life could take away from other essential health spending.
McCullough said, ''Rare illnesses which are mild should not be the target for mass vaccination.''
''In the case of respiratory syncytial virus, the illness is so mild and easily treatable with albuterol and budesonide nebulizers, it is hard to make the case for mass vaccination with a novel mRNA platform,'' he added.
Brian Hooker, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Children's Health Defense, told The Defender that approval of this vaccine ''is an absolute disaster in the making.''
''The clinical trial was too short (average 112 days) to ascertain any long-term sequelae to the vaccine. Even with that, the rate of serious adverse events was 2.8% or 1 in 36 vaccine recipients,'' he said. ''We can only expect the actual degree of damage will be much worse.''
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Moderna conducting testing on pregnant women and their infants
A search of the federal clinical trials database also revealed that Moderna is testing its mRNA RSV vaccine on pregnant women and their infants, despite concerns raised among this group with other RSV vaccines.
The ongoing Phase 2 trial in pregnant women will consist of 360 participants between 28 and 36 weeks of gestation at the time of vaccination. The trial is designed to determine dosing and potential adverse events associated with the vaccine.
GSK halted the development of its RSV vaccine for pregnant women when it found a safety signal for preterm births among vaccinated women. In that study, for every 54 infants born to women who received the vaccine, one additional preterm birth occurred.
Neonatal deaths '-- the death of an infant in the first 28 days of life '-- also were higher in the GSK vaccine group, occurring in 0.4% of the infants in the vaccine group (13 of 3,494) and 0.2% in the placebo group (3 of 1,739), which they also noted was not statistically significant.
The FDA approved Pfizer's Abrysvo for pregnant women in August 2023.
Pfizer's own clinical trial data for Abrysvo, which is very similar to GSK's vaccine, also showed elevated rates of preterm birth among vaccinated women, but the higher rates were not statistically significant, Pfizer said.
Still, the FDA limited approval of the vaccine for women in weeks 32-36 of their pregnancy to reduce risk and mandated post-market follow-up studies for both preterm birth and eclampsia.
The agency also labeled preterm birth as a potential risk associated with the vaccine.
Some members of the FDA's vaccine advisory committee said they had serious safety concerns based on the clinical trial data, and four members voted against approving the drug.
And a recent preprint study shows a statistically significant safety signal for preterm birth associated with Abrysvo.
Clinical trials for the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines did not include pregnant women.
However, subsequent research found the mRNA administered to lactating mothers spread systemically from the injection site to breast milk. Other post-marketing studies of the COVID-19 vaccine found mRNA in umbilical cord blood and in the placenta.
Moderna also has several other active clinical trials for the drug, including among people who are not at risk from RSV-related illness, including children and adults, children ages 2-18, and healthy adults, among others.
It is also testing the drug among children ages 5-24 months.
Why is the Radio Full of Christian Rock? Thank This Non-Profit
Tue, 04 Jun 2024 20:07
L ooking out the studio window of the radio station where she'd worked for 29 years, DJ ''Mistress Carrie'' Sarao could see a crowd gathering outside. It was a Friday night, Feb. 21, 2020, and freezing, but that didn't stop hundreds of Bostonians from flooding the parking lot when they heard the news. There was no invitation, just an impulse, an impromptu meetup of loved ones known and unknown. At midnight, the city would lose its last rock radio station.
Debuting in 1970, WAAF helped launched the careers of local bands like Aerosmith and Godsmack, and put national groups like Shinedown on the map. To many listeners, the station was as much a part of Boston as Fenway Park and clam chowder. WAAF was, Mistress Carrie's longtime colleague and fellow WAAF DJ Mike Hsu told me, a ''local Massachusetts club of troublemakers and assholes.'' At big rock concerts, chants of '''Š'AAF! 'AAF!'' were as common as feedback. Sometimes WAAF loyalists would come to blows with devotees of their onetime competitor '-- rock station WBCN '-- before the latter went off the air in 2009. For Mistress Carrie, a 51-year-old, purple-haired rock evangelist, WAAF was the soundtrack to her adolescence, as it had been for so many other Bostonians.
In the days leading up to the end, the mood at WAAF was somewhere between hospice care and a rowdy Irish Catholic wake. Old friends flooded in; listeners called with high-octane send-offs; Aerosmith's Tom Hamilton stopped by to pay tribute. But as the clock ticked toward midnight, there was a quiet in the on-air studio. Mistress Carrie's voice broke as she told her listeners to keep their heads high, shoulders back, and horns up. ''We're goin' out proud,'' she said. ''Because we were all part of something special.''
''It was awesome,'' Hsu replied solemnly.
Six minutes before midnight, Mistress Carrie and Hsu taunted the soon-to-be owners of their beloved station.
''There's only one way to go,'' Mistress Carrie said.Editor's picks
''Loud,'' Hsu stated.
''In your face,'' replied Mistress Carrie.
''Evil,'' Hsu declared authoritatively.
Crackling in the background was the soft but ominous sound of rain falling and church bells ringing '-- the iconic opening of Black Sabbath's 1970 track ''Black Sabbath.'' The song was ''handcrafted, especially chosen'' for ''the segue into the new format,'' according to Hsu '-- intended, Mistress Carrie told me, to ''inject as much satanism in the airwaves as possible before we flipped the switch.''
''Wherever you are,'' Mistress Carrie implored her listeners, her voice breaking, ''roll your windows down!''
''Crank it up!'' yelled Hsu.
''One last time, baby!'' Mistress Carrie spat out, before screaming a chant that had rung through Boston's rock scene for half a century.
'''AAF! 'AAF!'' she yelled, with Hsu joining in. About 150 current and former employees, crammed into the adjacent office space, opened the door to join in. Their chanting voices filled the airwaves. '''AAF! 'AAF!'' With their final song growing louder, the DJs faded out the mics and closed the studio door. ''And [we] sat there with our headphones on,'' Mistress Carrie says, ''and cried.''
Perfectly timed by Hsu and Mistress Carrie, the song ended at midnight, when an engineer came in and flipped a switch, ending WAAF's transmission once and for all. In the studio, all was silent save for the tears of Mistress Carrie and Hsu.Related
Listeners, though, heard something else: the impersonal dawning of a new era. There was no flashy sign-on, no new local DJ to take the reins as the frequency changed hands. The new owners couldn't be bothered to tip their hat to their new Boston audience with a shout-out or a song by a local artist. Instead, they just punched into their automated playlist, which emanates via satellite to hundreds of radio stations across the country, fading in midsong. With the signature clean production and contemplative, easy pace of Christian rock, artist Jeremy Camp's 2006 track ''Let It Fade'' invited listeners to be saved, to find new life. WAAF had just become the latest casualty in a string of radio stations all over the country, all lost to a massive but little-known nonprofit called the Educational Media Foundation.
If you've ever wondered why it seems like every other station on your dial is Christian rock, EMF is a big part of your answer. From its headquarters in a Nashville suburb (the organization is slowly relocating from its longtime home of California), EMF plays the generic sounds of contemporary Christian music, or ''CCM.'' It is a genre that everyone from artists and critics to church leaders have decried as being somewhere between ''the absolute worst'' and ''doctrinally unsound.'' But the Educational Media Foundation has quietly become the country's fastest-growing radio chain and second-largest station owner in the country, bested only by iHeartRadio. With hundreds of cookie-cutter stations branded as ''K-LOVE,'' as well as its smaller chain of ''Air1'' stations, EMF broadcasts on more than 1,000 signals across all 50 states and some U.S. territories, reaching an estimated 18 million listeners a week.
While EMF stations may not have the ''rage-inducing content'' of an outlet like Fox News, says historian Leah Payne, they are ''the softer side of that conservatism.''
On the surface, EMF's broadcasts are glaringly apolitical. They opt instead for their trite brand of Christian rock, all teed off by the same, small cast of nationally syndicated, Anywhere-USA DJs who smile through everything from squeaky-clean jokes about the drink sizes at Starbucks to prayers asking God to watch over those who have donated to the organization. But behind its politically neutral facade, the organization '-- and the CCM industry more broadly '-- appears to be an inherently conservative project. Many right-wing Christian culture bearers have long believed in the ''Breitbart Doctrine'' '-- the idea that, to change politics, you must first change culture '-- and have fought for decades to build a parallel popular culture free of sharp edges, hard questions, or representations of lives that veer from the straight and narrow. The world of CCM, in turn, ''reflects the values of the religious right,'' says religious-studies historian and author of God Gave Rock and Roll to You: A History of Contemporary Christian Music Leah Payne, by providing ''suburban families with safe Christian listening experiences in the car.'' And while EMF stations may not have the ''attention-getting, rage-inducing content'' of an explicitly political outlet like Fox News, she says, ''K-LOVE is the softer side of that conservatism.''
Today, the organization's nationwide network of radio stations plays mostly white, male artists. Though it professes to broadcast ''Christian music,'' it largely steers clear of genres like religious rap or gospel, as well as any Christian rock that grapples too heavily with doubt or hardship. Christian artists who have wavered in their faith have quietly been dropped from EMF's playlists; several queer Christian artists have lost work and airtime on CCM radio after coming out. (Through a representative, EMF declined to be interviewed for this story and did not respond to requests for comment.)
But EMF's story isn't just about bad music taking over the airwaves in service of a cultural vision that is overwhelmingly white, straight, and artistically regressive. It's also the story of the near-demise of local radio '-- a longtime haven for new music, artistic outcasts, and political dialogue '-- at the hands of a tax-avoiding not-for-profit organization that appears to operate like a very-much-for-profit media mega-corporation. For decades, EMF has hidden behind a veneer of uncoolness while honing a signature technique: At big commercial stations and small, beloved community-radio stations alike, they've offered the owners an undeniable sum of money, wiped out the local presence, and replaced it with unmanned transmitters. Almost every new EMF station operates as a repeater with no local voices, few local jobs, and barely any overhead.
As of 2022, the little-known organization had just shy of a billion dollars in net assets (a number that grows steadily year after year), with an annual revenue of nearly a quarter billion. (National Public Radio, by comparison, had net assets of less than $150 million, and operated near the break-even mark.) In 2021, EMF's then-CEO Bill Reeves made a cool $770,000 a year '-- well over what NPR's CEO made that year. (Compensation data for EMF's current CEO, Todd Woods, has yet to be released.) And listeners are the primary ones paying that salary: Ninety-seven cents of every dollar the organization makes comes directly from listeners' pockets. EMF's on-air hosts repeatedly hound their sometimes hard-up listeners for money, often several times in an hour. With few operating costs, each new station quickly becomes a vehicle for new donations. While other radio companies sell off signals and struggle to keep advertisers, nonprofit EMF has built an unassuming money-making machine.
In the WAAF studio that last fateful night, some staff were feeling whiplash. Just three years earlier, Hsu watched as the station he grew up with, Brown University's WBRU in Providence, Rhode Island, was choked off the air in an EMF buyout. WAAF program director Joe Calgaro, sitting next to Hsu, had his longtime dream of working at his hometown rock station '-- the Loop, in Chicago '-- pulled out from under him when EMF bought it in 2018 for $21.5 million. In the case of Boston's WAAF, the organization paid more than $10 million for the signal.
Instead of new rock bands and a few classic standbys, listeners in the Boston area can now hear a small and frustratingly catchy playlist of guitar-driven worship songs, interspersed with promotions for EMF apps that allow you to listen everywhere '-- ''even the Chili's parking lot!''
''They might not ever say it out loud,'' says Mistress Carrie, ''but you can't tell me there isn't a little bit of pride that K-LOVE is taking the devil's music off the radio and buying rock stations out.''
According to an interview with recent CEO Reeves on a Christian-radio website, EMF's ''signal expansion'' team sits down together every 10 days to continue plotting its growth. The group of engineers, executives, and money guys look at stations that might be vulnerable to a buyout, and hatch plans. And EMF built its kingdom by expertly exploiting loopholes that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) put in place to help small nonprofits and try to keep the broadcast spectrum from falling to those with the deepest pockets. In 2018, former EMF CEO Mike Novak told a radio-industry magazine that ''in my own heart, I know God was involved'' in the decision to form a 501(c)(3), ''because being a not-for-profit has paid off for us many, many times.''
To Mistress Carrie, it didn't feel fair. When it comes to music radio, she says, ''they're playing on a completely separate set of rules than everybody else.''
In 1978, BOB Anthony Fogal was working his dream job as a DJ at KFRC, a San Francisco rock and Top 40 station that had been named Billboard's Station of the Year four times in a row. But Fogal, 28 years old with a bright smile, iconically Seventies big-frame glasses, and a slightly shaggy beard, was also a recent convert to evangelical Christianity '-- and he was feeling unexpectedly unfulfilled. Sitting in his office, he scrawled an idea on a yellow pad of paper: ''Christian KFRC?!'' At the time, a lot of Christian radio was still fringe: sharp-tongued preachers from small-town churches prophesying about the end times. And while Fogal may have personally embraced this kind of religiosity, he had something else in mind for his radio station. He wanted to reach the masses. ''No Christian-ese,'' he wrote on the paper with a bold underline.
Two years later, Fogal went public with his effort, forming the nonprofit that would soon be known as the Educational Media Foundation. They ran ads in the local paper with open invitations for anyone wishing to discuss the creation of a new Christian-music radio station. They held early-morning prayer gatherings and film screenings, raising money by charging $5 a head. It wasn't easy, but it was his calling: Fogal, who had been living a plush life in Marin County, would come to sell many of his belongings to make his vision come to life.
By 1982, Fogal and his followers had scraped together enough to buy an FM station that had belonged to a bankrupt church in Santa Rosa, California. On the Educational Media Foundation's flagship station, Fogal bucked Christian-radio convention by almost exclusively playing music '-- all optimistic and Jesus-tinged. Though leaders of local churches scoffed, some audience members were so moved that they wanted to do more than listen. Volunteers put on concerts, created a newsletter, held an annual auction, helped solicit donations, and rallied listeners to pray for more frequencies.
Their prayers were answered by Army-disciplined pop-radio DJ Dick Jenkins, who came in as general manager in 1986. Jenkins rebranded the flagship station and began using the slogan ''Positive and Encouraging: K-LOVE'' '-- which the organization still uses today. It started negotiating buyouts '-- often with small, struggling Christian radio stations. New stations rebroadcasting K-LOVE sprung up around Northern California, and eventually in some small towns and midsize cities throughout the country. With Jenkins at the helm, EMF's chain of near-identical stations grew steadily throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Illustration by Guillem CasasºsAs the company built its broadcast network, one business decision proved to be peculiarly prescient: the choice to incorporate as a ''not-for-profit'' entity. Not only did that status let it avoid paying tax, it also gave EMF several legs up in the radio world. It allowed the organization to take advantage of long-held FCC policies intended to keep the radio dial from being sold to the highest bidder, such as waiving application costs and other fees for nonprofits due to their inherently ''limited funding.'' EMF also made use of a federal policy that let new nonprofit stations opt out of the requirement of having a local broadcast studio. Furthermore, EMF could legally get donations from listeners '-- a revenue stream commercial stations don't have at their disposal. For EMF, ''it was just a matter of expansion,'' says Todd Urick, a radio engineer and community-radio advocate in Los Angeles County. By the early 2000s, the nonprofit had well over 50 radio stations and was bringing in around $25 million in donations annually.
In 2003, EMF leveled up again. That spring, the FCC set aside a week in which radio organizations could apply for radio ''translators'' '-- in essence, small repeater stations that rebroadcast a parent station into an area that the original signal couldn't reach. Translators are a fraction of the price of new stations, and were easily available to nonprofit broadcasters like colleges, public radio stations, and community and religious broadcasters. After that March week in 2003, Urick was sifting through the FCC's digital database to see who had applied. ''EMF,'' he says, ''was a major filer of these translators.'' In fact, the organization had applied for nearly 900 translator stations across the country, including coveted signals in big cities. They'd get approved for more than 250. With an explosion of new translators broadcasting Christian music, EMF soared: By 2006, the nonprofit more than quadrupled its assets, to more than $80 million; by the end of that year, EMF was the world's largest broadcaster of contemporary Christian music.
But perhaps most disturbing of all is that, from the beginning, EMF's nonprofit status has let it access a gold mine of frequencies: the storied ''left of the dial.'' The FCC has long reserved the lower FM band '-- from 88.1 to 91.9 '-- for exclusive use by groups including colleges, community and public-radio organizations, and tribes. It's the stuff of subcultural legend, and the inspiration for the Replacements' 1985 ode to college radio, ''Left of the Dial.'' With big, commercial entities banned from bidding on these signals, the FCC imagined that small nonprofits could access them. But with a giant like EMF still entitled to these frequencies, small organizations have found it hard to compete: In 2015, listeners and staff at a classical public-radio station in South Florida couldn't raise enough to buy back their frequency after it was sold to EMF. In 2017, not even a media-savvy campaign led by current and former Brown University radio staffers could keep the frequency out of EMF's hands. And in 2018, EMF bought Shaw University's signal, which had been the first public-radio station owned by an HBCU; the more than 2,000 signatures on weren't even a hiccup. Even as EMF grew into a giant, it still reaped the benefits designed to give small nonprofits a fighting chance on the radio dial.
If you ask Urick, EMF has also been a behind-the-scenes bully. He says he has ''run into several cases'' where EMF has made small engineering changes that have ''practically no effect'' on EMF's reach, but limit a nearby community broadcaster's coverage '-- or keep an organization that was hoping to get a new station from getting on the air. Like in 2013, when the nonprofit punk fanzine Razorcake applied for a tiny Los Angeles-area FM station on the same signal as an EMF translator down in Orange County, and EMF barraged it with complaints about potential interference. ''It was kind of like the NFL going after a peewee team,'' says zine editor Todd Taylor. ''They were just trying to bury us in paperwork.'' (Full disclosure: I was interviewed by Razorcake last year and worked in community radio many years ago.) Urick also says that, over the years, he has watched EMF buy up multiple translators in the same city '-- doubling, sometimes tripling up their coverage. ''They hoard [signals] where they don't even need them, where they're extremely redundant.'' And that, Urick says, takes away potential signals from community-radio hopefuls.
In cities and small towns alike, EMF moves in like a ghost '-- almost imperceptible but ever-present '-- with virtually no local staff or local facilities, without paying the fees required of commercial radio companies, and on frequencies unavailable to the commercial networks that are, increasingly, its competitors. But when asked in 2022 about EMF's localism '-- or lack thereof '-- by Christian website, then-EMF CEO Reeves put it in holy context: ''Well, the answer is pretty simple. That's just not what we are called to do at this time.''
FROM HER SEAT behind the microphone at WAAF in the 2010s, Mistress Carrie saw EMF's K-LOVE and Air1 stations spreading to more and more frequencies. But she never saw them as a threat: ''I've always said it's my opinion that the devil writes better music than God.'' Christian rock, she says, ''was more of a punchline'' for her and her colleagues.
But in the CCM industry, getting that immediately recognizable sound '-- however derided '-- has been a science. ''You just can't be too heavy,'' says Grace Semler Baldridge, an independent Christian artist who performs as Semler and who has topped both the iTunes Christian albums and song charts. In addition to her own crop of frankly honest songs about her faith, she's done session work and built relationships with artists in the CCM industry. There, she immediately became aware of a few soft rules of the genre.
First, she says, there's a just-right spot when it comes to beats per minute '-- not too fast, not too slow. After BPMs, there are ''JPMs,'' or ''Jesuses per minute.'' While there's no hard-and-fast rule on the required number of JPMs, more tends to be better '-- and a reference to ''Him,'' ''God,'' ''Father,'' etc., counts, Semler says. Choruses should be rife with repetition so that listeners can sing along by the second round. The guitar must be warm but just a bit bright, with a touch of drive and a long-tail reverb that hangs in the air. Most important, there's the delay, which nearly doubles the guitars' slow strums and picked melodies '-- a technique that's ''The Gear, Tones, and Techniques of Modern Worship Guitar'' guide says was pulled directly from U2's the Edge.
In many ways, EMF helped shape this sound over decades; one evangelical-church band member I spoke with called it ''K-LOVE-ificiation of Christian music.'' With hundreds of stations rebroadcasting a single K-LOVE feed, Christian artists and record labels saw that they had a singular opportunity. Instead of shipping CDs to dozens of stations the country over, pleading with program directors for airtime, and racking up long-distance phone bills, artists and their labels had to convince just one set of people that their song was worth playing: those deciding the playlist at EMF.
There's no set rule on how many ''JPMs'' '-- ''Jesuses per minute'''-- a CCM song needs, but more tends to be better. References to ''Him,'' ''God,'' and ''Father'' count.
In the 1980s and 1990s, K-LOVE could be heard playing Christian pop rock and crossover artists like Amy Grant. Its sister chain, Air1, focused more on Christian ''alternative'' music, anchored over the years by bands like dc Talk and Relient K. But over time, K-LOVE and Air1 converged on a niche in the marketplace: the rock-tinged, undoubting pop of ''worship'' music '-- ''the sound of the megachurch,'' as Leah Payne describes it. The Christian-music business's target audience member '-- whom industry leaders brazenly refer to as ''Becky'' '-- is a full-time mom who desperately wants a reliably unoffensive station to play in the car while carting the kids from school to soccer. With a suburban sound, the songs are just as easily heard on Sunday morning as in the car ride to school.
While the idea that overdrive and a sizzling beat might fuel crises of faith may seem laughable, the history of Christianity's interminglings with rock is indeed a fraught one. Clich(C) as it is now, postwar Christian parents really were in an all-out panic about rock & roll. And for many white Christians, the dangers of rock & roll didn't just lie in the charisma of performers, their dripping sweat, and the promise of carnal satisfaction. Ingrained in many white evangelicals' disdain for rock was a deep-seeded, racist fear of the so-called ''race-mixing'' genre. In 1958, for example, while the staunch segregationist Asa Carter was leading an anti-rock & roll campaign in Birmingham, Alabama, masked members of the local KKK (who identified as Christian) sabotaged the antenna of a local ''Black-oriented'' radio station, cutting it down and causing outages.
But as the 1960s came to an end, the nearly unthinkable happened: Rock music and the burgeoning hippie lifestyle brought many followers to Jesus. While young, paisley-clad members of the counterculture had come to the movement seeking peace and love, many found its drug-addled displays shallow and fleeting, as their musical heroes died young and bands ended in cold-shouldered turmoil. Commodified, half-baked explorations of Eastern spirituality proved insufficient and even disillusionary for some seekers.
Many flower children found what they were looking for in Jesus '-- or a new branding of the guy, who suddenly seemed to bear some anachronistic similarities to the hippies themselves: hair long, clad in sandals and loose, flowing clothing, vocally opposed to the government in power, like a Galilean Jerry Garcia.
Across California, a handful of savvy men of the cloth worked with more streetwise evangelists, helping them to establish Christian ''coffeehouses'' '-- havens like the Living Room near Haight-Ashbury, or His Place on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip. Everyone from fresh-eyed teens to drying-out twentysomethings flooded in to hear folk-rock artists sing songs of praise and faith and doubt and salvation, or to sit on the floor for caffeine-fueled, come-as-you-are worship sessions that focused on Jesus' right-on teachings. Soon, popular bands were dabbling in the divine, with Norman Greenbaum's ''Spirit in the Sky'' proclaiming that you ''gotta have a friend in Jesus,'' and the Byrds declaring that ''Jesus is just all right with me.''
In 1969, a motorcycle-riding coffeehouse regular named Larry Norman released what many critics considered to be the first Christian rock album, Upon This Rock. With a black ascot around his neck and piecey, blond curtain bangs fanning out over his eyebrows, looking like a hippie Gwyneth Paltrow weary from preaching on a windy street corner all day (an activity he was known to do), Norman wrote for an audience of ''flower children disillusioned by the -government and the church,'' according to the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Across the pond, meanwhile, young composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice made a rock musical based on the life of Christ and his followers; the Jesus Christ Superstar album beat out Carole King's Tapestry to be the top-selling record of 1971. That year, a pop-art-style Jesus adorned the cover of Time magazine, with a halo of text reading ''The Jesus Revolution'' arcing about the prophet's head. The ''Jesus Freaks'' had arrived.
Many in the mainstream church found this new, pop-culture Jesus and his freewheeling followers blasphemous. But some religious leaders were willing to play the long game with these unlikely seekers, including the prominent evangelical minister Billy Graham, who preached God's love at rock concerts. In 1972, the Graham-adjacent youth-oriented group Campus Crusade hosted a six-day event known as Explo '72 and often regarded as the ''Christian Woodstock.'' Eighty thousand high school and college-aged hippie-types flooded Dallas for prayer sessions and seminars on how to evangelize before enjoying evening performances by the likes of Norman (who would soon release his pointed song ''Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?''), plus special performances by Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson.
While many people saw Explo '72 as the organic culmination of the ''Jesus Freak'' movement, many critics have since regarded it as something else: the moment when conservative evangelical leaders finally figured out how to begin to bend youth culture to their will. For many aging flower children, the music-driven ministry provided an easy path into the mainstream church '-- and the budding CCM industry. By the late 1970s, the genre's rebellious roots had been excised, and ''contemporary Christian music,'' increasingly conservative in style and substance, even had its own Billboard charts.
This was the world in which EMF founder Bob Anthony Fogal had the idea for his ''Christian KFRC.'' Like Graham and the holy men who helped shape the coffeehouse movement from behind the scenes, Fogal embraced the attitude that Christian music should meet people where they're at, even if that means playing increasingly vapid, quasi-religious music. ''No Christian-ese'' remained a guiding principle.
It's a strategy that has been central to Christian pop ever since: Use the music and aesthetic of the counterculture to ease followers' transition into mainline evangelicalism '-- and build a quietly conservative wing of modern life by making CCM mainstream. ''Christian contemporary music,'' says Payne, ''is an effort to shape the world through popular culture.'' CCM was useful in other ways, too: The music helped keep young people coming back. ''It was,'' says Payne, ''about keeping church children in the church.''
Illustration by Guillem CasasºsON K-LOVE TODAY, you won't hear any explicit politicking. You didn't in the early days, either. For one thing, its nonprofit status means it can't legally engage in any political campaign activity. (Perhaps it was merely a coincidence when, in the 1990s, EMF applied to build a new K-LOVE station on the same frequency as a Northern California community-radio station that had programming specifically for and by lesbians '-- prompting outcry from the existing station.) But conservatism is, in many ways, baked into the business. Fogal had the early support of Watergate ''hatchet man'' turned evangelical political commentator Chuck Colson. Over the years, EMF staff have donated primarily to conservative PACs. And though he was no longer involved with the company at the time, Fogal said in a 2022 interview that EMF was more necessary than ever, and that its enormity gave it ''tremendous opportunities to impact our culture and even affect the direction of our country back towards God.'' In the United States today, he asserted, ''good is being called evil and vice versa. Evil is not just operating behind the scenes, it's right there in our faces. Lawlessness. Post-term abortions. You name it.'' (''Post-term abortions,'' it should be noted, are not a thing.) Fogal went on to criticize his local Spokane City Council for allegedly underfunding the police while spending money on ''Gay Pride-themed murals.''
Despite the apolitical front, the CCM industry has a major anti-LGBTQ problem. ''I went to this meeting with a pretty big-time CCM music manager '... and he was like, 'You gotta stop baiting K-LOVE,''‰'' Semler Baldridge tells me with a wry grin, her cropped bleach-blond hair falling comfortably across her forehead. Semler, who is queer, has tried repeatedly to get her music on K-LOVE, but it's never happened '-- not even when her 2021 album, Preacher's Kid, topped Apple's Christian chart. While many of her songs deal with doubt and the realities of being a queer Christian '-- topics K-LOVE doesn't touch '-- some of her songs are just plain worship music: poppy, repetitive, and perfect, she says, for K-LOVE. (Semler says she tried to capture the classic CCM sound on her song ''Raise Up,'' but ''apparently it still sounded too gay.'') Last year, as her song ''Faith'' was on its way to Number One on the iTunes Christian chart, she took to X, formerly Twitter, to ask K-LOVE if it would play the explosive single. They never gave her the time of day. ''It's just so blatant, their exclusion of LGBTQ people,'' she says. Though EMF hasn't spoken ill of Christian artists who have come out, several queer artists have lost airtime on Christian radio after opening up about their sexuality.
Even so, Semler wishes she and other queer Christian artists could have the platform that K-LOVE would give her. ''I've had some people on the inside [at EMF] that are like, 'We're affirming, we're making progress, hang tight, hold tight.' But I don't know how much I'm willing to wait for that at this stage of my life.''
The more Semler dives into the mainstream world of Christian rock, the more she is turned off by it '-- and not just for its inability to support LGBTQ artists. She recently crashed a CCM award ceremony in Nashville called the Dove Awards. ''The nicest cars I've seen in my life were at the Dove Awards,'' she says. ''We were talking about Jesus the whole time, and I was like, 'He'd hate it here.''‰''
Though few and far between, other Christians have questioned the plush material conditions of industry leaders and EMF executives. In 2016, Warren Throckmorton, a retired psychology professor in Pennsylvania and evangelical blogger with a defiant streak, whose professional headshot looks straight out of The Blues Brothers, started blogging about red flags he heard on K-LOVE's fundraising drives. He'd never had a bone to pick with K-LOVE before: He lived within earshot of three K-LOVE stations, his wife and kids listened; as a member of his church band, he'd learned to play many of the songs at the request of his younger congregants. But Throckmorton couldn't defend the on-air hosts who praised a hard-up caller who donated to K-LOVE rather than paying an outstanding bill. And he found K-LOVE's repeated asks for an ''easy gift'' of $40 a month disingenuous, especially when the nationwide, syndicated hosts would ''say things like, 'Help keep K-LOVE on the air in your area!''‰'' Throckmorton recalls. ''They weren't using that money to keep local stations on the air. They were using that money to buy up new stations,'' he says. ''It seems like it is less ministry and more business.''
I prod Throckmorton a bit, mentioning the things that other Christians had told me they like about the stations: the positive messages and the inspirational stories in between songs. They have pastors on staff who field prayer requests, and who privately answer calls from distraught listeners (a service that EMF says has succeeded in everything from guiding people through crises of faith to averting suicide attempts). Throckmorton pauses, his tone somewhere between exasperation and bemusement. ''If you can keep yourself unaware of some of the things that I pointed out, you can enjoy it.'' He adds, ''It spoiled it for me.''
Every weekday afternoon at three these days, DJ Mistress Carrie takes the mic at rock radio station the Pike in Worcester, a small city an hour west of Boston. It's a good gig, but her old Boston listeners can't hear it on their radios '-- the signal cuts out well beyond city limits on the Mass Turnpike. Sitting in her car outside her new workplace, though, she can easily pick up the massive K-LOVE signal that replaced WAAF. And just in case one station in the Boston area wasn't enough, EMF bought a second signal there in 2022, giving K-LOVE extra reach into the North Shore and Gloucester. Like the stations that replaced WAAF, it's just another unmanned transmitter, rebroadcasting the same bland Christian rock from California and spreading its conservative pop-culture alternative even farther.
Today, the Educational Media Foundation is everywhere. You can hear it on the air from New York to San Francisco, or tune in on the K-LOVE and Air1 apps. Starting at $1,148, you can join the K-LOVE Friends and Family Cruise. The company had a growth spurt during the pandemic, taking advantage of the advertising decline that hit commercial radio stations. Last year, EMF bought out stations in Memphis, Buffalo, Atlantic City, and dozens of other cities across the country. EMF gives even the biggest for-profit media conglomerates a run for their money: Just a handful of years ago, it bought six big city stations from Cumulus '-- the country's third-largest station holder '-- for $103.5 million.
And true community broadcasters have even less of a chance in the face of EMF's buying sprees '-- especially when the billion-dollar organization can offer iHeart-level prices for neighborhood stations.
Even as the media industry has grown increasingly consolidated, the FCC has held onto one major policy to give small broadcasters a ghost of a chance, and to keep any one company from having too much sway over the public: To this day, it is illegal for a single company to own more than five AM or five FM stations in any one city. But there's a catch, says engineer and local-radio advocate Urick, a ''loophole for noncommercial broadcasters'': The FCC never applied this ownership cap to nonprofits. It also doesn't count translators, the meat of EMF's explosive growth, toward those totals. ''In the San Jose area,'' Urick tells me, ''they're on eight (FM) frequencies.''
Today, a small number of community-media activists are still asking the FCC to limit the number of translators a single company could own, or to cap the number of frequencies a nonprofit can occupy in a single city, as it does with for-profits. But with the agency focused on things like internet access and digital privacy, radio '-- despite still being listened to by more than four of every five Americans every week '-- often gets overlooked. And EMF doesn't appear to be raising eyebrows at the commission; it has no flashy violations, no big lawsuits. To Urick, it feels like a David-versus-Goliath fight, but Goliath keeps winning.
Those in the CCM industry know that the genre is a punchline for most Americans. And many people I spoke with told me that this may work to EMF's advantage: That the organization evades scrutiny with the help of an intentionally prosaic facade, cloaking its money-stacking, culture-flattening project in banality. And this is nothing new for the group: When Fogal first incorporated the organization, it was called ''Christian Media Ministries.'' But before the first station launched, Fogal met with an attorney who helped churches to navigate the turbulent waters of the FCC. The attorney suggested that he change the organization's name to the Educational Media Foundation. Fogal would say later that he felt the name was ''bland and boring.'' But the attorney, Fogal recalled, ''said that was actually a good thing.'' If the country's second-largest radio-station owner was still named Christian Media Ministries, perhaps others would have taken notice.
Leah Payne warns critics against mistaking kitsch for a lack of importance and influence. The politicking and legislation of the religious right, she says, is the tip of the iceberg. Beneath it is a whole culture that includes not just politics, but entertainment, arts, and music. Those who hold the CCM cards are wielding conservatives' soft power. ''If we're not attentive to them,'' Payne says of those shaping the industry, ''we're going to miss out on a lot.''
But for now, EMF and the Christian-rock industry, it seems, are happy to be a joke if it keeps scrutinizing eyes off them. ''The public just doesn't really care what they're doing,'' says Urick.
Keep letting Christian rock be nothing more than a punchline. The Educational Media Foundation, it seems, thanks you. Trending
Elon Musk's X is allowing users to post consensual adult content '-- but there's a catch
Tue, 04 Jun 2024 13:51
The social media platform X says it will now formally allow people to show consensual adult content, as long as it is clearly labeled as such. The move makes official a policy already in place when the platform was known as Twitter, before billionaire Elon Musk purchased it in 2022.
In a recent update on its website, the San Francisco-based company said users ''should be able to create, distribute, and consume material related to sexual themes as long as it is consensually produced and distributed. Sexual expression, whether visual or written, can be a legitimate form of artistic expression.''
Adult material was allowed under the pre-Musk Twitter as well, although there was no official policy in place. X said it is restricting adult content for children and for adult users who choose not to see it.
The move makes official a policy already in place when the platform was known as Twitter, before Elon Musk purchased it in 2022. AP''We also prohibit content promoting exploitation, nonconsent, objectification, sexualization or harm to minors, and obscene behaviors,'' X said. It added that it does not allow sharing adult content in ''highly visible'' places such as users' profile photos or banners.
X's policy stands in contrast to other social media platforms, such as Meta's properties '-- Instagram and Facebook '-- as well as TikTok and Google's YouTube.
''The platform's move to allow 'adult content' dovetails well with the company's post-Musk marketing strategy,'' said Brooke Erin Duffy, associate professor of communication at Cornell University. ''X is unapologetically provocative and has sought to distinguish itself from 'brand safe' competitors.''
The company appears to be courting people, including creators and artists, who have been marginalized by other social media platforms that have guidelines restricting nudity or sexual expression, she added.
X's policy stands in contrast to other social media platforms, such as Meta's properties '-- Instagram and Facebook '-- as well as TikTok and Google's YouTube. X owner Musk, above REUTERSThe policy applies to real as well as artificial-intelligence-generated material.
X is asking users who regularly post adult content to adjust their media settings to place all their images and videos behind a content warning. This requires users to acknowledge that they want to see the posted image before they can view it.
The New Apostolic Reformation Wants God's Government Back
Mon, 03 Jun 2024 16:06
Last August, Dallas business consultant Lance Wallnau addressed the ''Awaken the Sleeper'' conference at Vida Church in Mesa, Arizona. Dressed business casual and speaking off-the-cuff in a lively style that mixed humor with right-wing, anti-media vitriol, he spoke for nearly an hour about a coming ''global economic meltdown,'' the evils of the left, and how Christians should respond.
''I can't help prophetically wanting to tell you the future,'' he said. Because U.S. Christians have been too politically disengaged, he warned, ''The entire system will be taken over by a horned entity that will put its arms around the church and the economy and squeeze it into compliance,'' including ''locking up the preachers.''
Wallnau's Youtube show (which aired an excerpt from the Mesa talk) has about 64,000 subscribers. His fellow North Texan and self-described prophet Cindy Jacobs once attributed the 2011 tsunami that devastated the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, along with an earlier mass death of birds in Arkansas, to the Obama administration's repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Some readers'--Christian and non-Christian'--may be tempted to write off such comments as mere fundamentalist nonsense. That would be a mistake. Texans like Wallnau and Jacobs, who take the titles ''apostle'' and ''prophet,'' are quite serious. And their version of Christianity, which an early leader named the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) in the 1990s, is growing in nationwide religious and political influence'--becoming, as two experts have deemed it, ''one of the most important Christian religious and political movements of our time.''
Despite its name, the NAR isn't all that new: A 2011 Texas Observer story revealed its ties to then-Governor Rick Perry. But it's recently drawn attention, nationally and in Texas, reflecting its growth in the Christian landscape and the close ties of some NAR leaders to ex-President Donald Trump and other GOP luminaries. It's also drawn criticism, even in evangelical circles.
The NAR has deep roots in the Lone Star State, which is home to three of its leading ''prophets'': Wallnau, Jacobs, and Corinth minister Chuck Pierce. (Specifically, all three hang their hats in Dallas-Fort Worth, the sprawling metro area that has spawned more than its fair share of extremists.) They ''are among the most influential and politically important'' of the ''hundreds of apostles and prophets in the U.S.,'' said Frederick Clarkson, senior research analyst at Political Research Associates, a progressive think tank in Massachusetts. Their prophecies and teachings illuminate the NAR worldview and its politics'--and indicate why we should be concerned about the ''reformation'' this movement seeks.
The word ''prophet'' might bring to mind a Gandalf-like figure: long white beard, eyes that see into the spirit realm, etc. These Texas prophets don't much resemble that image. Wallnau looks like the business consultant he is. Jacobs presents the image of a suburban grandmother: pantsuits, hair in a pixie cut. With his long white hair and beard, Pierce might come closest to that Gandalf image, but given that he favors jeans and flowered shirts, he looks more like the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia (latter-era) than an ancient Hebrew oracle.
Pierce speaks at the Worship at the Border event.All three are prominent members of what The Atlantic has described as ''a sprawling ecosystem of leaders who call themselves apostles and prophets and claim to receive direct revelations from God.'' This ''ecosystem'' includes ''global prayer networks, streaming broadcasts, books, podcasts, apps, social-media influencers, and revival tours.''
According to historian Brian C. Sears, the number of NAR adherents in the United States might be as high as 33 million'--or it may be ''only a fraction of that figure.'' Regardless, Sears writes, the NAR in recent decades ''grew faster than any group within or on the periphery of American Christianity, laying claim to significant religious and political power.''
The social media following of our three North Texas prophets suggests their reach: Jacobs has 358 thousand Facebook followers; Pierce, over 367 thousand; and Wallnau, around 1 million.
The NAR grew out of the Pentecostal and charismatic strains in evangelical Christianity, movements which call for a ''baptism in the Holy Spirit'' that is followed by supernatural gifts, including speaking in tongues and faith healing.
The NAR, however, isn't your parents' Pentecostalism. Most Pentecostal congregations, like Protestants generally, are led by pastors or evangelists, often affiliated with denominations and accountable to denominational standards. The NAR, on the other hand, is led by mutually recognized apostles and prophets, roles mentioned in some New Testament texts but largely absent (at least as formal offices) in most of Christianity. In NAR culture, apostles exercise authority over individual leaders and churches; prophets, as Concordia University professor Andr(C) Gagn(C) writes in his book American Evangelicals for Trump, are ''recipients of a particular inspiration of the Holy Spirit.'' As NAR critics Holly Pivec and Doug Geivett put it: NAR apostles and prophets ''claim to bring new revelation the church needs to advance God's kingdom.''
''Prophecy,'' Pierce has written in a book titled The Passover Prophecies, ''is speaking the mind and heart of God as revealed by the Holy Spirit. '... It is what Jesus is saying to His Church.''
What Jesus is (allegedly) saying through Pierce, however, is sometimes'--at least to a mainline Protestant outsider like myself'--head-scratchingly inscrutable. For instance, in 2022, Pierce prophesied: ''In the season ahead, our prayer lives will become more authoritative. What will happen once you pray is that [the] Holy Spirit will bring down certain judgments and start dealing with injustices. '... Do not be over-merciful and back down.''
Often, far clearer than our three Texans' theology is their political message'--which is emphatically right-wing.
Essentially, the NAR is Christian nationalism on steroids. As I've written elsewhere, Christian nationalists contend (on very sketchy grounds) that the Founding Fathers intended America to be a Christian nation governed by Bible-based laws. Liberals and secularists, they argue, have diverted the nation from that intent, and Christianity'--typically, evangelical Christianity'--should ''once again'' determine our laws. Like Christian nationalists, NAR leaders seek to establish evangelical Christian dominance over government.
The difference is that many NAR figures depict political opponents as tools of demonic forces working to stop the spread of God's Kingdom. For the NAR, the battle is not just over the Founders' intent; it's a cosmic battle between Good and Evil'--a battle that plays out at the levels of the individual, the nation, and the globe.
Pierce is probably the least overtly political of our three Texas prophets. ''I am not politically motivated in the prophetic realm,'' Pierce told the Observer by email. ''A true prophetic voice doesn't prophesy based on political leanings. '... I pray for all of those who serve in authority.
''I have only encouraged people to vote and support their community by voting how their conscience leads them,'' he added. (Jacobs and Wallnau did not respond to Observer requests for comment for this article.)
Participants at the Worship at the Border eventYet Pierce's spiritual diagnosis of America's problems echoes familiar right-wing complaints. He writes that a lack of ''godly leaders,'' an active church, and ''biblically based governmental and economic principles'' have allowed ''the enemy'''--Satan, presumably'--''to wreak havoc. '... The entire territory then falls under the darkness of his presences, and demonic hosts redirect those in that territory away from God's plan of fullness, peace, joy, and abundance.''
How has ''the enemy'' achieved this domination? In a 2016 book, Pierce and co-author Rebecca Wagner Sytsema cite longtime conservative Christian bugbears ranging from lack of prayer in schools to legal abortion. ''We've allowed a small minority to determine what is acceptable in society, such as same-sex marriages and allowing those couples to adopt children,'' they write. ''Now God wants back what is His, and He is looking to us to go get it. '... It is time for a breakout.''
For NAR leaders, the ''breakout'' entails like-minded Christians taking dominion over the so-called seven ''mountains'' that mold a nation's culture, a teaching that Wallnau popularized. The so-called Seven Mountains Mandate, Clarkson and Gagn(C) have written, ''divides the world of cultural power and influence that Christians are to conquer into seven categories: religion, family, government, education, business, media, and arts & entertainment.''
The aim is not just to control U.S. government and culture. It's to trigger the second coming of Christ and the millennial kingdom of God (about which Christians have disagreed vigorously for centuries). For the NAR, Sears writes: ''Key to the inauguration of Christ's thousand-year reign on earth is the belief that apostles will have risen in power to control or influence the leaders of the seven spheres of society.''
In 2016, NAR leaders found an unlikely instrument of evangelical dominion in Donald Trump.
''NAR support for candidate Trump coalesced more quickly than did support from wider evangelicalism,'' Sears notes. Wallnau and Jacobs were early backers of Trump during both his 2016 campaign and his presidency.
Wallnau issued prophecies in 2016 that gave evangelicals a way to look past Trump's sketchy religious convictions and quite public moral failings. After first hearing Trump speak in 2015, Wallnau said he ''heard the Lord say: 'Donald Trump is a wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness,''' leading him to wonder ''whether Trump could be 'the unpredictable instrument of God.''' After meeting Trump later that year, Wallnau received another ''unexpected download'' from God, directing him to Isaiah 45, which discusses how the Persian king Cyrus, though not a believer in the Jewish God, was anointed by that God to deliver the Jews from exile and restore their temple. For Wallnau, this ''download'' indicated that God was giving Trump ''a Cyrus anointing.'' The upshot: Trump didn't need to be personally evangelical, or even morally upstanding, to be God's agent.
Jacobs was also an early Trump supporter. In a 2017 interview, she said she organized 10,000 people in a prayer walk for Trump in swing states. ''There's no way [Trump] could have been elected if it wasn't supernatural,'' she insisted.
After Trump's inauguration, Jacobs suggested that Trump's rhetoric and agenda were divinely blessed. In an appearance on televangelist Jim Bakker's program, she implied that God approved Trump's ''drain the swamp'' rhetoric, saying God gave her a vision of a ''swamp'' being drained replete with ''alligators and '... snakes and everything '... all fighting each other.'' The Holy Spirit also revealed that there were ''many moles in '... the FBI, many of the agencies,'' and told her ''to pray that every mole is exposed.''
Jacobs' comments illustrate Gagn(C)'s observation that NAR references to ''demonic networks'' are not purely spiritual but are ''also ways of referring to '... Trump's enemies: the mainstream media, the 'Deep State,' and the Democrats.''
A perennial problem with prophesying the future is that the future sometimes fails to cooperate. In 2020, the NAR movement suffered a crisis when several high-profile figures prophesied Trump's reelection and were proved wrong. While a few prophets apologized, some doubled down, insisting that Trump had been reelected and God would vindicate him. Our three prophets avoided this scandal: All said they had not received clear indications from the Holy Spirit concerning Trump's reelection.
''Spiritual warfare theology lead[s] to the demonization of peoples, cultures, and political communities.''
So far, none of our three Texas prophets seems to have promised a Trump win this November. But Wallnau has certainly used his Youtube show to push anti-Biden talking points, calling the administration's border policies ''evidence that America has lost its capacity for self-government'' and claiming that the spirit of the biblical monster Leviathan is working ''through media and the Democratic Party '... to divide America into categories that will go to war with each other.''
As Gagn(C) told the Observer: ''Wallnau is the best example of what the NAR is all about. '... [And he's] visiting swing states and targeting specific counties that he believes will make the difference for Trump's re-election in November.''
Despite its astounding growth and political reach, the NAR remains controversial even within evangelical and Pentecostal circles.
Especially pointed criticism has come from the world's largest Pentecostal denomination, the Assemblies of God (AG), which claims more than 3 million adherents in the United States. A 2010 AG position paper on ''The Kingdom of God'' effectively rejects NAR dominionism: ''The kingdom of God is not the blueprint for a radical cultural change based on some carnal theocratic or revolutionary agenda. Instead, it radically changes human personalities and lives.'' In a 2000 position paper, AG leaders warned that NAR apostles and prophets can ''become dictatorial, presumptuous, and carnal while claiming to be more biblical'' than traditionally structured denominations like the AG.
Even some major NAR figures have distanced themselves from positions taken by their fellow apostles and prophets. A 2022 statement, signed by more than 60 leading NAR-linked Pentecostal figures, rejected ''the belief that 'new revelation' is essential for the life and growth of the Church or that contemporary apostles or prophets are the only ones privy to such 'new revelation.''' The statement also rejected any calls for a ''potential Christian uprising against the government or hints at the use of force to advance God's kingdom.'' The statement warned against ''marry[ing] the cause of Christ to the cause of a political party (or leader),'' instead advocating ''Christ-like engagement in every sphere of society.''
Jacobs, Pierce, and Wallnau have not signed on to the statement.
So, what should we make of our three Texas prophets?
As a religion scholar, I regularly encounter reports of mystical experience, divine revelation, spirit journeys, miraculous healings, and the like. Some are, from my perspective, difficult to believe. Yet that's insufficient reason to write them off. Such phenomena form the bedrock of the world's great religions; to dismiss them out of hand is to dismiss the worldviews of billions of people.
''God wants back what is His, and He is looking to us to go get it.''I have no reason to doubt that Jacobs, Pierce, and Wallnau believe they have received divine ''downloads'''--even if those alleged revelations make little sense to me or contradict what I understand it means to be a faithful Christian. Needless to say, they have as much right to their political convictions as you or I.
But the danger lies in their claims that their side has divine authority while their opponents are the tools of literal demons. As Gagn(C) writes, the NAR's ''spiritual warfare theology '... lead[s] to the demonization of peoples, cultures, and political communities.''
Many of us who are not NAR adherents'--Christian and non-Christian alike'--may find in today's politics something ''demonic,'' if only in a metaphorical sense. But we find it in very different places than do these prophets: in some politicians' vigorous embrace of autocracy; in the vilification of migrants; in the relentless efforts to take away hard-won rights from women, the LGBTQ+ community, and people of color; in the shameless use of public office for self-enrichment; and in the exploitation of religion for political gain.
Of course, there is nothing supernatural about those evils. They're just the latest examples in a long, sad history of human iniquity. However sincere they may be, I worry that NAR prophets and followers are wrapping the perpetrators of such evils in a cloak of divine legitimacy. This, too, has happened repeatedly in human history (think of the Crusades or Manifest Destiny).
At this juncture in the American experiment, with our democracy strained to the breaking point, the perils are greater than ever. I, for one, can't claim to see the future'--or to draw my views from much other than my own faith and fallible instincts'--but, as we move into yet another fateful election season, I'd say that the NAR and its myriad prophets bear close watching.
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VIDEO - WHO confirms first death in Mexico from bird flu never seen in humans
Thu, 06 Jun 2024 03:48
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday a death was caused by the first laboratory-confirmed human case of infection with a subtype of avian influenza.
WHO said the 59-year-old resident of Mexico had died on April 24 after developing a fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea and general discomfort.
This was the first laboratory-confirmed human case of infection with A(H5N2) subtype of bird flu reported globally and the first H5 virus infection in a person reported in Mexico.
The victim had no history of exposure to poultry or other animals, WHO said. Cases of A(H5N2) subtype of the bird flu have been reported in poultry in Mexico.
The person had multiple underlying medical conditions and had been bedridden for three weeks, for other reasons, prior to the onset of acute symptoms, WHO said.
Reuters Reuters
VIDEO - Snow falls in Scotland in June as temperatures set to remain low - Daily Record
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 21:49
Snow has fallen in Scotland in a complete weather transformation just two days after glorious sunshine hit the country over the weekend.
It may seem unbelievable but snow and hail have been captured in a white scene in the Cairngorms on Tuesday afternoon, June 4, near Aviemore where the temperature will dip down to just 2C tonight.
It's a sharp contrast to Saturday and Sunday where the warmer weather compared to the same temperatures witnessed in Barcelona.
Read MoreRelated Articles Nigel Farage drenched in milkshake during general election campaign launchRead MoreRelated Articles Heartbroken family pay tribute to 'beautiful' teen who died on holiday in FloridaForecasters have warned that Scotland was set to cool significantly with rain and wind expected as well as snow on higher ground.
Experts say that while we don't expect the conditions in early summer, snow at this time of year "isn't completely unusual".
Snow in the Cairngorms (Image: Peter Jolly) Get the latest news sent straight to your messages by joining our WhatsApp community today.
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Temperatures dropped on Tuesday due to a bout of low pressure migrating from the Arctic. A band of rain has spread south and eastwards through the day, but colder weather is expected to become more widespread later this evening "with a risk of blustery, heavy showers".
It comes just days after the Met Office announced the UK had its warmest May and Spring on record, according to provisional figures.
A Met Office Spokesperson said: ''While it may not have felt like it for many, with sunshine in relatively short supply, provisional figures show May was the warmest on record in our series back to 1884. This warmth was especially influenced by high overnight temperatures, with the average UK minimum temperature for May 1.2C higher than the previous record.
''Rainfall was above average for the UK, while some areas in the south saw over a third more rain than average. In contrast, Northern Ireland and Scotland were slightly drier than average in the month.''
Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 20:59
VIDEO - Why America could fail again: Dr. Birx's stark pandemic warning - YouTube
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VIDEO - Connecticut's top public defender accused of hacking and bullying | Dan Abrams Live - YouTube
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VIDEO - Washington Journal: Open Forum, Part 1 | June 5, 2024 |
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 16:27
June 5, 2024 | Part Of Washington Journal 06/05/2024 Washington Journal2024-06-05T06:59:54-04:00 Viewers commented on President Biden's executive order that limits the number of migrants who can claim asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.Viewers commented on President Biden's executive order that limits the number of migrants who can claim asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Report Video IssueGo to Live Event"; // $('div#video-embed').html(cookieMsg); // return; // } // });
*This text was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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VIDEO - 'Smart bandages' of the future could monitor wound healing, dispense medicine, researchers say - ABC7 New York
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Diabetes patients among others could benefit from high-tech bandages that monitor healing and dispense tiny doses of medicine.
LOS ANGELES -- The basic bandage that has remained similar in design for years could be getting a high-tech upgrade.
Researchers are developing "smart bandages" which may have the ability to analyze and react to how a wound is healing - and help the process along.
The Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything podcast recently highlighted how the new bandages will be filled with tiny sensors which can monitor the progress of wound healing. Some will allow doctors to remotely dispense treatment.
"The doctor can give a little zap of electricity that can help promote healing," said medical journalist Elizabeth Cohen. "The doctor can open a tiny little valve in the bandage to release some kind of an ointment or cream."
Experts believe it would be a game-changer for people with diabetes, which often stalls the healing of wounds.
Many smart bandages have shown promising results in lab tests, but they're still years from hitting the market.
"There are for sure some technical challenges but really when I talk to experts what they talk about is more the financial challenges," Cohen said. "You have to convince Medicare. You have to convince insurance companies to pay for this. You have to figure out how it's going to be paid for. Really that's the big challenge ahead."
Copyright (C) 2024 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.
VIDEO - Triton Submarines Titanic wreck: 1 year after OceanGate implosion, Patrick Lahey and Larry Connor are planning deep sea expedition - ABC7 New York
Wed, 05 Jun 2024 15:59
Friday, May 31, 2024 5:09PM
Triton Submarines CEO Patrick Lahey and entrepreneur Larry Connor are planning their own deep sea expedition.
Less than a year after five people died aboard the OceanGate "Titan" submersible, Triton Submarines CEO Patrick Lahey and entrepreneur Larry Connor are planning their own deep sea expedition.
It was the search and recovery mission that captivated the world.
All five people onboard the OceanGate Titan submersible lost their lives last year while journeying to the infamous wreck.
SEE ALSO | Suburban man took trip to Titanic wreckage on OceanGate's Titan submersible with CEO Stockton Rush
Now, less than a year later, Lahey and Connor want another shot. Connor spoke with Good Morning America's Will Reeve about their plans.
"Almost three quarters of the earth is covered in water. Isn't doing research important and worthwhile, given that fact?" Connor said.
When asked what the purpose of the planned dive is, Connor said, "To demonstrate safety. If you look at submersibles that have been DNV certified, there's never been an accident. The OceanGate vessel was not certified and never would have been."
READ MORE | Engineer says OceanGate CEO ignored warnings against use of carbon fiber for sub
OceanGate could not be reached for comment.
Connor says he and Lahey are designing a new, safer and certified submersible, known as the Explorer, which will cost $13 million to $15 million. It will carry two people, have an acrylic hull and offer a near-panoramic view.
Five years ago, Reeve went to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in a submersible similar to the one Connor and Lahey plan to build.
SEE ALSO | 'Extreme danger': Ex OceanGate employee alleges firing for raising concerns over missing Titanic sub
When asked how confident he is that this will work, Connor said, "I am very confident, but the moment we don't meet one standard, the project is done. We will not compromise safety. I will not go any place or do any dives, if I'm not 100% convinced that the submersible is safe."
Deep sea exploration carries inherent risk.
"I don't think technology like deep sea submersibles should be abandoned for a single accident. If you think about the early days of space travel we lost an entire crew. But that tells us what we've done wrong in the past and how to get it right in the future," said ABC News contributor and Physicist Hakeem Oluseyi.
READ MORE | Stuck in the propeller of Titanic: Fmr. ABC News science editor recalls submersible trip to wreckage
Copyright (C) 2024 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.
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VIDEO - Jonathan Turley Blasts DOJ for Using "Deepfake" Possibility as Reason for Not Releasing Dementia Joe's Interview Audio - ðŸ---- The Liberty Daily
Tue, 04 Jun 2024 20:59
(DCNF)'--George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley criticized the Department of Justice (DOJ) Monday for claiming that the possibility of a ''deepfake'' as a result of artificial intelligence(AI) warranted blocking the release of audio of an interview with President Joe Biden.
The DOJ raised the possibility of the manipulative use of AI in a Friday court filing seeking to block release of the interview Biden had with the office of special counsel Robert Hur, according to Politico. Turley said that the Justice Department's ''illogical'' argument made no sense, saying that the release of the tape would make it more difficult to produce deepfakes of the conversation.
WATCH:Jonathan Turley Blasts DOJ For Using 'Deepfake' Possibility As Reason For Not Releasing Biden Interview Audio
'-- Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 3, 2024
''It is neither legally nor practically sensible to make that argument. The fact is, that if you release the audiotape, it's going to make it easier to refute any deepfake version,'' Turley told ''America Reports'' co-hosts Sandra Smith and John Roberts. ''Right now, AI could produce that, because you have the transcript and part of the problem for the Department of Justice is their position has never made any sense.''
''You release the transcript as unprivileged, that you are claiming the audio version is privileged, as if this is sort of a Voldemortian 'he who shall not be heard' type of candidate,'' Turley continued. ''The impression is that they're not worried about a false version of the audiotape, they are worried about the real audiotape being heard before the election. It is a transparent effort to get the court to hold the audiotape, or at least keep it in litigation, until people have voted.''
In the filing, the Justice Department also admitted to making alternations to the transcripts, according to Judicial Watch, a public interest law firm seeking release of the audio from Biden's interview. The Biden administration invoked executive privilege to block the audio on May 16.
The White House made alterations 148 times to address what it claimed were ''errors'' Biden made while speaking, according to a review of White House transcripts by the Daily Caller.
The transcript of Hur's two-day interview with Biden revealed the president struggled to remember the day his son Beau died, when former President Donald Trump was elected and also thought the year was 2017. Hur declined to charge Biden, describing the president as ''a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.''
Biden's age and mental fitness have become issues in recent months. Biden claimed on Feb. 8 to have spoken with former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl about the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol, even though Kohl died in 2017, three days after he claimed to have spoken with former French President Francois Mitterrand, who passed away in 1996.
The House Oversight Committee marked up a resolution to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress on May 16 after Garland refused to turn over recordings of Hur's interview with Biden regarding Biden's retention of classified material during his time as a senator and vice president.
All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter's byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact

Clips & Documents

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33 killed, including women and children, in Israeli strike on Gaza school ABC.mp3
ABC ATM - Andrew Dymburt - bird flu death in Mexico -different strain.mp3
ABC ATM - Andrew Dymburt - record animal cruelty fine $35M Envigo.mp3
ABC ATM - Andrew Dymburt - sounding the alarm about A.I..mp3
ABC ATM - Andrew Dymburt - TJ Maxx workers wearing bodycams.mp3
ABC ATM - Rhiannon Ally - heart disease projection for 2050 [short].mp3
ABC ATM - Rhiannon Ally - woman found alive at funeral home.mp3
ABC GMA - Beck Worley - protein diets for people on weight lose drugs.mp3
ABC GMA - Dr. Jen Ashton - protein diets for people on weight lose drugs.mp3
ABC GMA - Trevor Ault - new concerns bird flu death in Mexico.mp3
ABC GMA3 - Dr. Jen Ashton - heart disease projections for 2050.mp3
ABC GMA3 - Dr. Jen Ashton - ways to stop 'food noise' without medication.mp3
ABC WNT - David Muir - Bob Iger honorary knight -wife Willow Bay.mp3
ABC WNT - David Muir - controversial congestion pricing toll delayed in manhattan.mp3
ABC WNT - David Muir - NYPD prepares to revoke donald trump's gun license.mp3
ABC WNT - David Muir - NYSE cancels trades made during technical glitch.mp3
ABC WNT - David Muir - pat sajak retiring after 40 years.mp3
ABC WNT - Elizabeth Schulze - fiery dr fauci hearing.mp3
ABC WNT - Erielle Reshef - cellular phone outages.mp3
ABC WNT - Martha Raddatz - shootout outside US embassy in beirut.mp3
ABC WNT - Terry Moran - hunter biden laptop entered as evidence.mp3
ABC WNT - Tom Soufi Burridge - possible terror plot foiled.mp3
Biden imposes new asylum restrictions at Mexican border TRT.mp3
Biden in Normandy ntd.mp3
Bird Flu Evil - CNN with New face and hair Br Birx CEO of bio-tech firm with respiratory infections solutions - CONCERN.mp3
Bird Flu vax for dairy calves.mp3
Blue Line Flag -2- Pride flag flown instead.mp3
Blue Line Flag -Wethersfield Connecticut -1- not flown for troope r- hate.mp3
Boeing launches its first astronauts aboard after multiple delays Moon and Mars Next - TRT.mp3
Cannibis usage in general NPR.mp3
CBS EV - Ed O'Keefe - suspected terrorist arrested in france after hotel blast.mp3
CBS EV - Enrique Acevedo - mexico elects country's first female president.mp3
CBS EV - Janet Shamlian - farming wind in iowa.mp3
CBS EV - Nancy Cordes - biden restricts asylum claims along southern border.mp3
CBS EV - Norah O'Donnell - trump's georgia election case delayed indefinitely.mp3
CBS EV - Norah O'Donnell - venomous 'flying' spiders to spread across east coast.mp3
China secret police 1.mp3
China secret police 2.mp3
China's Chang'e 6 mission travels back to earth from the dark side of the moon DW.mp3
Climate Finance 5 trillion dollars LOL.mp3
CLIMATE UN on advertising.mp3
Code Pink Interrups Kimmel - Under arrest for interrupting a live television broadcast LOL.mp3
Code Pink Interrups Kimmel with Kamala Harris -1-.mp3
Crazy contraception 1.mp3
Crazy contraception 2 kicker.mp3
Crazy contraception 3.mp3
CSPAN caller- granny wants firing squad for republicans after border blocking EO.mp3
D-day celebration npr.mp3
DDay report on F24 that led to a reset of the Global Financial system - WWIII might bring in another reset.mp3
Dems split over Biden Border 2 math.mp3
Dems split over Biden Border EO 1 ntd.mp3
DOJ won't release Pres Biden tape becaus eof AI fears LOL.mp3
Edmonton 15 minute city.mp3
Far Right - 370M voters across 27 EU countries head to European Parliament elections TRT.mp3
Fauci hearing MJT goes nuts.mp3
FDA committee rejects MDMA therapy to treat PTSD - ABC.mp3
Grief Tech - Mourners can now speak to AI version of deceased loved ones F24.mp3
Hating on Russia Jeffrey Sachs 1.mp3
Hating on Russia Jeffrey Sachs 2.mp3
Hunter Biden testimoney ntd.mp3
Hunter Biden TWO.mp3
ISO unnecessary.mp3
NBC NN - Ali Vitali - dr fauci grilled about covid on capitol hill.mp3
NBC NN - Goob Gutierrez - biden suggests netanyahu prolonging war.mp3
NBC NN - Janis Mackey Frayer -1- deepfake images pose election threat.mp3
NBC NN - Janis Mackey Frayer -2- deepfake images pose election threat.mp3
NBC NN - Keir Simmons - russia accused of meddling with paris olympics.mp3
NBC NN - Laura Jarrett - senate showdown over contraception.mp3
NBC NN - Lester Dolt - FDA panel rejects MDMA treatment for PTSD.mp3
NBC NN - Tom Costello - general motors CEO on electric vehicle plans.mp3
NBC Today - Dr. Tara Narula - alcohol on airplanes is bad for your heart.mp3
NBC WHO Confirms 1st Bird Flu Death -1- Intro.mp3
NBC WHO Confirms 1st Bird Flu Death -2- Details on Contacts and backstory.mp3
NBC WHO Confirms 1st Bird Flu Death -3- The Expert short intro Nahid Bhadelia.mp3
NBC WHO Confirms 1st Bird Flu Death -4- Back peddling on dangers but raw milk and beef.mp3
NBC WHO Confirms 1st Bird Flu Death -5- respiratory spread US is worse.mp3
NPR - Avion Flu SubType - OH NO.mp3
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TOK Enby lessen.mp3
TOK pro palestine dummy.mp3
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U.N. Secretary-General - highway to climate hell- calls for ‘windfall’ tax on big oil and gas companies’ profits.mp3
US House passes bill to sanction ICC officials over Gaza war TRT.mp3
US Missiles UKRAINE targeting Russia NPR.mp3
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Win Lose Or Drone Tagline.mp3
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