Aug 312021
 
 August 31, 2021  Posted by at 8:29 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  17 Responses »


John Singer Sargent Open doorway, Morocco 1879-80

 

Another comment that deserves attention from our long time friend TAE Summary, and does it ever, mercifully short, and merciless at the same time. This is your world today.

 

 

TAE Summary:

 

How to Win at Covid 19 Chess

 

• The Opening or Fauci’s Gambit: Engineer a virus that is somewhat deadlier than the flu. Release it and obfuscate the origins. Report worldwide deaths 24/7 to get people scared.

• The Middlegame or The Orthodox System: Block available treatments and roll-out draconian and painful measures until a novel, somewhat safe and somewhat effective but ultimately leaky therapy can be created. This will ensure the virus spreads worldwide and mutates, prolonging the crisis indefinitely. Use the media and governments to convince everyone that the new therapy is their only hope of returning to ‘normal’. Vilify anyone who says otherwise as haters of humanity.

• The Endgame or Zugzwang: Once people are convinced that the new therapy is their only hope, tell them that for the safety of all they must have continuing proof that their therapy is up-to-date in the form of a global, digital record required for admittance to any place where there are other people including shops, churches, travel and entertainment venues. Give this ‘passport’ a star-studded yet guilt-driven and threatening ad campaign and link it to a sexy technology like block-chain to make it hip and popular.

• Checkmate or The Smothered Mate: Once the passport is in place you can expand its criteria to include anything you want and people who refuse will be unable to function in the modern world. You have achieved total control of much of the world population. Your ability to predict people’s response 13 moves in advance has paid off. Clear the board at will.

 

 

 

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Aug 282021
 
 August 28, 2021  Posted by at 8:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  107 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh The yellow house (The Street), Arles 1888

 

Former Pfizer Employee: “Checkmate. Game Over. We WIN” (Peters)
CDC Counts People Dying Within 14 Days of Jab as “Unvaccinated” (GR)
Israel Cracks The Code: Jabs Don’t Work (Denninger)
Natural Immunity 13x More Effective Than Vaccines At Stopping Delta (ZH)
Denmark To Scrap All Covid-19 Restrictions (ZH)
Judge Strips Mother Of Parental Rights Over Vaccination Status (Fox32)
US Mandates Vaccinations For Marines (PPundit)
US Special Forces Vets Launch Mission To Get Afghan Allies Out (DM)
Low and Dark (Kunstler)
Marine Commander Fired For Blasting ‘Inept’ Military Leadership (WND)

 

 

Update from the CDC:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“FDA approval is checkmate for Pfizer.”

Don’t miss this. Start at about 3:40min. Watch to the end.

If only half of what she says is true, Pfizer is in enormous trouble. And so is the FDA; they knew too.

Pfizer has two weeks to list all ingredients in its vaccine. Graphene oxide makes its comeback.

Former Pfizer Employee: “Checkmate. Game Over. We WIN” (Peters)

Karen Kingston is a former Pfizer employee, a pharmaceutical marketing expert and biotech analyst. Kingston joins Stew Peters, and brings the receipts! Kingston reveals how the FDA “approval” is sure to be the “checkmate” move to end the shots that have caused unprecedented injury and death, worldwide. Kingston shared slides and brought the receipts, which are available at StewPeters.tv, and document everything she states in her BOMBSHELL claims during her exclusive and revealing deliver of damnation to big pharma, and those responsible for pushing these injections onto a global population.

Read more …

“Unvaccinated L.A. County residents [are] 5 times more likely to get COVID, 29 times more likely to be hospitalized.”

Here’s where those numbers come from.

CDC Counts People Dying Within 14 Days of Jab as “Unvaccinated” (GR)

Citing the Los Angeles County Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released on Tuesday, even local news promoted the claim that “Unvaccinated L.A. County residents [are] 5 times more likely to get COVID, 29 times more likely to be hospitalized.” Looking at a screenshot of the CDC release, one can observe the definitions for what they consider “fully vaccinated,” “partially vaccinated,” or “unvaccinated.” According to the chart, “unvaccinated <14 days receipt of the first dose of a 2-dose series or 1 dose of the single-dose vaccine or if no vaccination registry data were available. This means if someone was hospitalized, admitted to ICU, required mechanical ventilation or died within two weeks of getting the jab they are being counted as “unvaccinated.”

Unfortunately, because the data is not specific enough, we don’t know how many truly unvaccinated people were hospitalized or died of Covid in Los Angeles County from May to late July. The entire report can basically be tossed into the trash thanks to the inclusion of the recently vaccinated in the unvaccinated category. This intentionally misleading data is now being used to infringe on the rights of the people of California and across the entire United States as vaccine mandates and passports are being rolled out nationwide.

Read more …

“.. the dosing they used, and the original titers, concealed the decay below effective levels which was not being tested for..”

Israel Cracks The Code: Jabs Don’t Work (Denninger)

If you recall early on before the jabs were “released” under EUA I pointed out that some of the early study work had odd results that I could not reasonably explain a purpose to, and they bothered me a lot. One of the most-glaring was the wildly higher antibody titers produced by them as opposed to natural infection. I mused at the time that this could easily be explained by the truncation (or simply ignorance of) the usual dose-ranging studies that are done on all drugs; those require time, of course, and when you’re after Warp Speed time is something you don’t have. But now it appears that Pfizer may have known there was a problem — they may not have known how serious it was, but they may well have known it existed and may have deliberately set the dosing to try to hide it. And, as it turns out, that wasn’t the only problem.


“In vaccinated subjects, antibody titers decreased by up to 40% each subsequent month while in convalescents they decreased by less than 5% per month. Six months after BNT162b2 vaccination 16.1% subjects had antibody levels below the seropositivity threshold of <50 AU/mL, while only 10.8% of convalescent patients were below <50 AU/mL threshold after 9 months from SARS-CoV-2 infection.” In other words the dosing they used, and the original titers, concealed the decay below effective levels which was not being tested for but would have shown up in infections among vaccinated people had the original level been lower. That’s bad; the question now becomes did Pfizer know this and do it deliberately, and if not, what is the logical explanation for the dosing used? Why not set dosing roughly identical to natural infection? Simple: If they did that before the four months of the study ran a crap-ton of people would have gotten infected since the antibody titer would have worn off.

It gets worse: “In our study, we show that following vaccination, the levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies decrease rapidly, indicating that BMPCs may not be created adequately and therefore anti-SARS-CoV-2 humoral immunity might be transient (Ibarrondo et al., 2020; Seow et al., 2020).” If there is little or no B-cell recall then the vaccine is a failure as it cannot stimulate durable immunity at all. That is, the jabs are basically the same (via a different mechanism) to receiving monoclonal antibodies if you get infected; yes, you have an antibody titer but the jabs fail to train your immune system to recognize the infection in the future. As that titer wanes the protection becomes increasingly worthless and, since we know mutational binding changes are occurring the potential for vaccine-caused harm by potentiating infections remains a distinct possibility as that occurs.

Read more …

Funny we’ve been talking about this all week, and now this gets 1 million views at Zero Hedge.

Natural Immunity 13x More Effective Than Vaccines At Stopping Delta (ZH)

Dr. Anthony Fauci and the rest of President Biden’s COVID advisors have been proven wrong about “the science” of COVID vaccines yet again. After telling Americans that vaccines offer better protection than natural infection, a new study out of Israel suggests the opposite is true: natural infection offers a much better shield against the delta variant than vaccines. The study was described by Bloomberg as “the largest real-world analysis comparing natural immunity – gained from an earlier infection – to the protection provided by one of the most potent vaccines currently in use.” A few days ago, we noted how remarkable it was that the mainstream press was finally giving voice to scientists to criticize President Biden’s push to start doling out booster jabs. Well, this study further questions the credibility of relying on vaccines, given that the study showed that the vaccinated were ultimately 13x as likely to be infected as those who were infected previously, and 27x more likely to be symptomatic.

Alex Berenson, a science journalist who has repeatedly questioned the efficacy of vaccines and masks at preventing COVID, touted the study as enough to “end any debate over vaccines v natural immunity.” Here’s an excerpt from a report by Science Magazine: “The new analysis relies on the database of Maccabi Healthcare Services, which enrolls about 2.5 million Israelis. The study, led by Tal Patalon and Sivan Gazit at KSM, the system’s research and innovation arm, found in two analyses that people who were vaccinated in January and February were, in June, July, and the first half of August, six to 13 times more likely to get infected than unvaccinated people who were previously infected with the coronavirus. In one analysis, comparing more than 32,000 people in the health system, the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 was 27 times higher among the vaccinated, and the risk of hospitalization eight times higher.”

This time, the data leave little doubt that natural infection truly is the better option for protection against the delta variant, despite the fact that the US won’t acknowledge the already infected as having antibodies protecting them from the virus. As the first country to achieve widepsread coverage by the vaccine, Israel is now in an unthinkable situation: daily case numbers have reached new record levels as the delta variant penetrates the vaccines’ protection like a hot knife slicing through butter.

Read more …

Because of “record high vaccination rates”. Oh boy…

Denmark To Scrap All Covid-19 Restrictions (ZH)

Denmark will on September 10th stop classifying Covid-19 as an “illness which is a critical threat to society”, meaning all remaining special pandemic restrictions will expire, The Local reported. In a press release issued on Friday morning, the country’s health minister Magnus Heunicke said that the high level of vaccination in Denmark, particularly among the vulnerable, had radically altered the risks posed by the virus. “The epidemic is under control, we have record high vaccination rates,” he said in a statement. “As a result, on September 10th, we can drop some of the special rules we have had to introduce in the fight against Covid-19.”


September 10th marks the expiry date for that the executive order classifying Covid-19 as a “socially critical illness”, which was passed by the Danish parliament’s Epidemic Committee on March 10th last year. The parties in the centre-right blue bloc, led by the Liberal Party, have already said that they believe that Covid-19 should no longer be classed as a serious threat to society, and the health ministry’s announcement came less than an hour before the ruling Social Democrats were due to discuss the issue with the other parties in the Epidemic Committee. “When it sinks in for the Social Democrat government that they are in a minority, they then come up with better ideas just 45 minutes before the meeting in the Epidemic Committee is starting,” said Sophie Løhde, a member of the committee for the Liberal Party.

Read more …

Crazy, that’s the only word.

Judge Strips Mother Of Parental Rights Over Vaccination Status (Fox32)

A Chicago mother says a Cook County judge has taken away her parental rights after learning that she is not vaccinated against COVID-19. In what all parties agree is a very unusual and perhaps unprecedented step, a judge at Chicago’s Daley Center has stripped Rebecca Firlit of custody because she refuses to get a vaccination shot. “I miss my son more than anything. It’s been very difficult. I haven’t seen him since August 10th,” Firlit told FOX 32 News in an exclusive interview. That’s the day Firlit appeared in court via Zoom along with her ex-husband for a child support hearing involving their 11-year-old son. The two have been divorced for seven years and share custody and parenting time.

She says out of the blue, Cook County Judge James Shapiro asked her whether she had been vaccinated. Firlit told Shapiro she had not because she has had bad reactions to vaccines in the past. Shapiro then ordered that Firlit be stripped of all parenting time with her son until she gets vaccinated. Over the past two weeks, Firlit has been able to talk to her son on the phone and through video calls, but has not seen him in person. “I think that it’s wrong. I think that it’s dividing families. And I think it’s not in my son’s best interest to be away from his mother,” Firlit said.

Firlit is now appealing the court order, saying the judge has no business taking away her parenting rights simply because she’s not vaccinated. “It had nothing to do with what we were talking about. He was placing his views on me. And taking my son away from me,” Firlit said. Annette Fernholz, Firlit’s attorney, says the judge has overstepped his authority. “In this case you have a judge, without any matter before him regarding the parenting time with the child deciding ‘Oh, you’re not vaccinated. You don’t get to see your child until you are vaccinated.’ That kind of exceeds his jurisdiction,” Fernholz said.

Read more …

Twitter thread. Highly ironic given what soldiers are being put through in Kabul. It’s like the mandates for healthcare workers. Blind.

US Mandates Vaccinations For Marines (PPundit)

1. SCOOP: Biden Admin is not done putting members of U.S. armed services at risk, mandating U.S. Marines receive first dose vaccinations before WTI (Weapons Tactics Instructions) in a week, ignoring apps for exemptions that include religious and history of Myocarditis. 2. Further, the second dose will be administered during WTI, in a remote location with only field medic attention available to them. Again, this is ordered for those who have known medical conditions that were considered viable causes for exemptions only a week ago. These are all people who had no problem getting vaccinated for scores of other diseases. They were told they would have the ability to obtain waivers and are now facing the choice between risk to personal harm and/or violation of conscience, or professional ruination.

Reading the documents provided to us (of course it’s documented), service members who refuse to take the vaccination will be “dealt with via administrative or disciplinary measures, i.e., AdSep, NJP or court-martial.” There is not enough time for waivers to be issued. Again, the main issue here, which is expected given how these things play out in real life, is that the Biden Admin is claiming there is an accommodation for religious exemption and exemption for certain medical conditions, but in reality is not afforded to them. It’s a Catch 22. If you have a religious exemption, then DoD tells them to apply for it, claims they were allowed. Except, they won’t actually have time for the “Chaplain Interview Checklist” (sound familiar @DeptofDefense?) because they just got orders and the deadline is here.

And honestly, this is what many of them are concerned about. Not for themselves, but for their Battles who they know are seeking waivers for legitimate conditions linked to Pfizer. They are NOT “anti-vaccine”. For those seeking religious exemptions, there is no time for them to get a “Chaplain Interview Checklist” before the “Religious Accommodation Review Board”. Again, sound familiar @DeptofDefense? These service members have been scammed. I thought we had enough of that, this week “And the worse part is, you dont get the vaccine, you don’t go on exercises, you get no job training, you’re kicked out.” I realize most Americans have never served, don’t understand what it means to be in this situation. We lie to them about wars. We lie to them about waivers.

Read more …

‘I just want to get my people out,’ said one of the retired troops..”

US Special Forces Vets Launch Mission To Get Afghan Allies Out (DM)

A group of American war veterans in Kabul are secretly saving hundreds of Afghan Special Forces troops and their families who helped them in the war but have now been left for dead as the US withdraws from Afghanistan. The group of special op soldiers includes retired Green Berets and SEAL Team commanders who launched the mission, which they are calling Pineapple Express, after one of the Afghan commandos they served with contacted them to say he was on the run from the Taliban. His visa had not been approved when the Taliban took over on August 14 and thousands ran for the airport.

The special ops soldiers first devised a system with US troops at the airport where they sent their comrades to a gate and told them to identify themselves with the password ‘pineapple’ to be put on a plane by the Marines on the ground. Some also showed the troops pictures of pineapples on their phones. After successfully getting hundreds through that way, the special ops teams started going into Kabul, behind enemy lines, to rescue more of their comrades and their families in the cover of darkness. It’s unclear how long they have been in Afghanistan and how they got there but some of those involved spoke to ABC News about the mission on Friday, explaining they simply could not leave their comrades behind.

‘I just want to get my people out,’ said one of the retired troops involved while another said the Afghan allies they were saving had a prouder sense of Democracy than some Americans. Their astonishingly courageous efforts have saved hundreds while Biden and his team have bungled the evacuation mission by haphazardly telling some US citizens and allies to go to the airport while rejecting visas for others and leaving any Americans to fend for themselves. They are one of several ad-hoc volunteer groups on the ground that are frantically trying to save people before time runs out.

The disastrous government rescue mission became even more tragic on Thursday when ISIS bombers targeted the crowds at the airport, slaughtering 170 people with a suicide bomb that also killed 13 US troops. It has since emerged that Biden’s administration also gave a list of Afghan allies’ names to the Taliban in the naïve hope they would then help get them out. Former President Donald Trump called it a ‘kill list’ that all but guaranteed their deaths. The US now one of the only nations still evacuating from Kabul amid increasing threats of another ISIS attack.

Read more …

“Some of said bigwigs, including the managing parties behind “Joe Biden,” might be cooking up a neat operation in which “Joe Biden” resigns, Ms. Harris gets elevated to POTUS… Ms. Harris appoints Barack Obama vice-president… and then Ms. Harris resigns, making the popular ex-president president again.”

Low and Dark (Kunstler)

His managers installed a “poison pill” named Kamala Harris as his vice-president, and even members of her own party get the vapors at mere fugitive thoughts of her trying to run the country, giggling from one crisis to another. Meanwhile, the veep cut short her tour of Southeast Asia, rushing to aid beleaguered California Governor Gavin Newsom at a rally to fight his recall vote… but then cut short her Newsom rescue mission to fly on to Washington. Electioneering during the greatest hostage crisis in US history probably equals more poor optics. She will presumably spend the days ahead “standing by” on developments, within reach of the Xanax vial — while a claque of party bigwigs importunes her to get rolling on the 25th amendment.

Some of said bigwigs, including the managing parties behind “Joe Biden,” might be cooking up a neat operation in which “Joe Biden” resigns, Ms. Harris gets elevated to POTUS… Ms. Harris appoints Barack Obama vice-president… and then Ms. Harris resigns, making the popular ex-president president again. The 22nd Amendment only prevents presidents from being elected more than twice, not from being appointed by happenstance. Would they dare? Well, why not? They dared to engineer some pretty audacious election hijinks in 2020.

One thing you can count on, the situation has the potential to get a whole lot worse, both for the nation and for “Joe Biden”. Our new Taliban “partners,” assigned to provide security in-and-around Kabul, may prove to be less than steadfast in their duties as hoped. Thursday’s bloodbath hints at their inadequacies. The number of Americans stranded in Afghanistan remains hypothetical, a thousand… six thousand…nobody seems to know. Plus, Gawd knows how many NATO-ally civilian personnel, international NGO workers, and other people of, shall we say, the Western persuasion, remain trapped.

The ISIS suicide bombings made a pretty bold statement, too. If one ventured to say that our new Taliban partners are something less than gentlemen, how would you describe the cadres of Al Qaeda and ISIS? Poor sports? Ruffians? Misogynists? They have the run of Kabul now, the ability to go from door-to-door, rooting Westerners out, something they probably regard as fun. Do you remember from just a few years ago what kinds of things they like to do to their captives? Cut their heads off. (Notice I didn’t say chop.) Roast them in cages. That could start any minute. What then, “Joe Biden”?

Read more …

When the military turns against politics, throwing away entire careers to do it, you’re in trouble.

Marine Commander Fired For Blasting ‘Inept’ Military Leadership (WND)

A sitting Marine battalion commander was fired Friday after he slammed the “ineptitude” of U.S. military leadership over the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal. Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller said in a video posted on YouTube after the deadly suicide attack Thursday that he was willing to risk his career and his pension — only three years from retirement — to “demand accountability” from top military brass, the Washington Free Beacon reported. “I want to say this very strongly. I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: I demand accountability,” said Scheller. In a Facebook post Friday, he announced he had been “relieved for caused based on a lack of trust and confidence.”

In his video, he said he had a close relationship with one of the 13 service members who were killed Thursday in a suicide bombing at a gate at the Hamid Karzai International Airport. He said he is not the only service member who is upset about how the withdrawal has been handled. “The reason people are so upset on social media right now is not because the Marine on the battlefield let someone down. That service member always rose to the occasion and done extraordinary things,” Scheller said. “People are upset because their senior leaders let them down and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, ‘We messed this up.'”

Scheller, the Free Beacon reported, reacted to an Aug. 18 public letter by Gen. David Berger, commandant of the Marine Corps. Berger attempted to reassure Marines who were expressing their frustration on social media that their service was “meaningful, powerful, and important.” Scheller said the letter missed the point, arguing the withdrawal was a major policy failure from the highest levels of military leadership. He called out Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the joint chiefs of staff. “I’m not saying we’ve got to be in Afghanistan forever. But I am saying, did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, ‘Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone’? Did anyone do that? And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say, ‘We completely messed this up’?” asked Scheller.

Read more …

 

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Mar 142019
 


Pablo Picasso Studio with plaster head 1925

 

Zugzwang Brexit : How the UK Can Escape The Checkmate/Stalemate (English)
May Issues Final Warning To Tory Rebels: Back Me Or Lose Brexit (G.)
EU On No-Deal Brexit Motion: ‘Like Titanic Voting For Iceberg To Move’ (G.)
‘No Delay From EU – Or We Elect 73 Nigel Farages Into European Parliament’ (RT)
US Grounds Boeing 737 Max Planes, Citing Links Between 2 Fatal Crashes (CNBC)
Battle Brews over Who Should Analyze Black Boxes from 737 Crash (Fort.)
US Lawmakers Emerge From Whitaker Meeting With Conflicting Accounts (R.)
Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings (VIPS)
Paul Manafort Sentenced To 43 Additional Months (ZH)
Greek Financial Crisis Still Evokes Pain, Fear On The Streets Of Athens (CNBC)
Sharp Rise In Arctic Temperatures Now Inevitable – UN (G.)
Coca-Cola Produces 200,000 Plastic Bottles A Minute (G.)

 

 

Nice different view of things: in chess, you can be forced to make a move (Zugzwang), even if your position gets worse. Buit there is a way out: forfeit the game, stop playing.

Zugzwang Brexit : How the UK Can Escape The Checkmate/Stalemate (English)

The EU referendum has plunged the United Kingdom into a chaos so unprecedented, that only a fool would bet on the final outcome. What is clear is that each move to try to break the political deadlock has merely shoved the nation into further bedlam. With just two weeks to go before the March 29th deadline – the country is like that coach in the final scene of 1969 crime caper The Italian Job. Any move in any direction risks sending the whole thing tumbling down a cliff, while staying put is likewise not an option. In short, all attempts to resolve the crisis simply make matters worse. The Germans have a word for this. “Zugzwang” is a term used by chess masters to describe the situation where a participant is compelled to play, even when it is clearly not in their interests to do so.

“Zugzwang Brexit” is where we are now at. Consider May’s potential moves. The EU rightly insists it is up to the UK to find a solution – but with her deal voted down, no viable alternative on the table and the EU leaders unwilling to debate the matter further what alternatives does the PM have? It is far from certain that the EU 27 would grant the UK extra time. Even if they did, an extension of Article 50 would merely kick the can further down the road. A second referendum could go either way. If ‘Leave’ were to win again we would be back at square one. If Remain won but not by a considerable margin then the issue would not be satisfactorily resolved. A No Deal Brexit would heap ruin on the country and only serve as an ‘I told you so’ for Remainers as we disappeared down the plughole of global relevance.

If the polls are to be believed a General Election would be unlikely to deliver a result very different to that of 2017 and further uncertainty – possibly lasting years would ensue. Labour’s leadership anyway remain committed to Brexit. So What Can be Done? Well there is a way out of ‘Zugzwang Brexit’ – but it is the political equivalent of forfeiting the game. The UK could revoke Article 50 and simply accept that the country has failed to reach political accord. May has twice failed to get her deal through the House of Commons and it seems likely that any further version, negotiated by any of her successors would meet a similar fate.

By revoking the mechanism by which a member state leaves the EU – dignity and sanity could momentarily be restored and the country could dampen the fuse of the ticking time bomb which Theresa May so recklessly and foolishly lit. That would be in the public’s interest, in the nations’ interest, in the interest of jobs and industry and the UK economy. As such – it’s unlikely to happen.

Read more …

“Seething Brexiteer Tory MPs lining up on ERG’s WhatsApp group in their dozens to vote against Govt A50 motion tonight, and John McDonnell confirms to #r4Today Labour will amend it – leaving it no hope of passing. Then what?”

May Issues Final Warning To Tory Rebels: Back Me Or Lose Brexit (G.)

Theresa May will attempt one final desperate roll of the dice on her Brexit deal, issuing a stark warning to mutinous Brexiters that they must approve her offer by next week or face a long article 50 extension. The prime minister was humiliated yet again amid chaotic scenes on Wednesday night in parliament, as her cabinet ruptured three ways and MPs inflicted two more defeats on the government to demand no deal should be taken off the table permanently. In an unprecedented night of Tory splits, four cabinet ministers, Amber Rudd, David Mundell, David Gauke and Greg Clark, defied their party’s last-minute whip and refused to vote against the government’s own motion, after it was amended to rule out any prospect of no-deal Brexit.

Six other cabinet ministers also splintered to back a separate proposal for a “managed no deal”, despite the prime minister’s warning that the plan was doomed. After her defeat, May signalled she would gamble one last time on forcing through her Brexit deal, bringing forward a motion on Thursday on delaying Brexit which would “set out the fundamental choice facing this house”.= If MPs agreed a deal, she said, the government would request a “short, technical extension” to article 50, a hint that May plans a third meaningful vote next week. Without an agreed deal, she said, there would be a “much longer extension” that would require the UK to take part in European parliament elections. “I do not think that would be the right outcome,” May said.

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“..the EU’s deputy Brexit negotiator, Sabine Weyand, told EU ambassadors that she feared the Commons was “divorced from reality”..”

EU On No-Deal Brexit Motion: ‘Like Titanic Voting For Iceberg To Move’ (G.)

Brussels has said a vote by UK MPs to block a no-deal Brexit in any circumstances is a meaningless move, with one senior EU negotiator describing it as “the Titanic voting for the iceberg to get out of the way”. A European commission spokesman offered a withering assessment of the decision by MPs to ignore Theresa May’s assertion that no deal was the default position unless there was a deal in place by the time of the UK’s departure. “We take note of the votes in the House of Commons this evening,” the spokesman said. “There are only two ways to leave the EU: with or without a deal. The EU is prepared for both. To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal – you have to agree to a deal. We have agreed a deal with the prime minister, and the EU is ready to sign it.”

MPs voted by 312 to 308 to support a backbench amendment ruling out a no-deal Brexit and striking out a phrase in a government-backed motion noting that no deal remained the default position in UK and EU law if an agreement was not ratified. They then voted on the amended motion, which won by a majority of 43. On Thursday, MPs will vote on whether to request an extension of the article 50 negotiating period beyond 29 March until 30 June. But the commission is pushing member states to take an uncompromising position. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, speaking to the European parliament in Strasbourg earlier on Wednesday, questioned whether the EU should offer extra time for talks, leading officials to prepare for all options to be on the table at a leaders’ summit next week.

“Why would we extend these discussions?” Barnier asked. “The discussion on article 50 is done and dusted. We have the withdrawal agreement. It is there.” During a private meeting before his public comments, Barnier advised senior MEPs that at present there was no consensus among the EU’s member states over an extension, let alone on the conditions that would be attached. At the same time, the EU’s deputy Brexit negotiator, Sabine Weyand, told EU ambassadors that she feared the Commons was “divorced from reality”. Quoting private remarks by the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, Weyand concurred with his description of the decision to vote for no deal as “like the Titanic voting for the iceberg to get out of the way”.

Read more …

What powers would UK MEPs have in case a temporary extension comes into play? Interesting question.

‘No Delay From EU – Or We Elect 73 Nigel Farages Into European Parliament’ (RT)

The UK Parliament is set to seek postponement of Brexit, but Brussels may be reluctant to grant it. One argument against may be a potential poison pill in the form of Eurosceptic MEPs, voted in by offended Britons in May. The dramatic week of Brexit votes in the UK Parliament draws to a conclusion on Thursday. Earlier, MPs rejected both the deal negotiated with the EU by Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet, and the option to leave the EU with no deal at all, which the government asked to leave on the table to keep pressure on Brussels. MPs are now set to vote on whether London should ask for a delay in exiting the union.

While a disorderly Brexit would hurt the EU, several top European officials warned that no delay would be granted unless Britain comes up with a clear and substantial plan, which it would try to achieve if given more time. But European bureaucrats may have more reasons not to tolerate Britain dragging its feet, MEP from Scotland David Coburn told RT. If we end up staying beyond a certain period, we have to take part in the European elections. Then what you are going to see is 73 Nigel Farages returned to the European Parliament. It would make the government of the EU impossible. They would probably want to throw us out, I should think.

The next European election is scheduled for the end of May. The UK’s share of the seats would be 73 if it remained part of the EU – with both Britain and the EU making contingencies for this scenario. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party, is still technically an independent MEP, as is David Coburn, even though they belong to the newly-formed Eurosceptic Brexit Party. [..] “People are becoming more and more angry about the European Union. And more and more people, who previously voted for ‘Remain’, are now supporting ‘Leave’,” he said. “I think people do not like the way that Britain has been treated by the EU.”

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Bopeing will be sued like nuts by airlines. They pay $121 million for the brand new thing and then can’t fly it. Orders are over 5000.

US Grounds Boeing 737 Max Planes, Citing Links Between 2 Fatal Crashes (CNBC)

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday grounded all Boeing 737 Max jets in the U.S., citing new evidence that showed similarities between two fatal crashes of the popular planes that have killed 346 people in less than five months. The move marks a stunning turnaround for the U.S., which has stood by the American-made aircraft as dozens of countries around the world grounded the planes. The crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on Sunday came less than five months after a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 — the same type of plane — plunged into the Java Sea minutes into the flight from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board. Both planes were new, delivered from Boeing just months before their doomed flights.

The FAA said the grounding will remain in effect while it investigates the crash. “An FAA team is in Ethiopia assisting the NTSB as parties to the investigation of the Flight 302 accident,” it said in a statement. New satellite data shows the plane’s movement was similar to the October crash, the FAA’s acting administrator Daniel Elwell told reporters on a call Wednesday. The agency also took physical evidence into account, but Elwell declined to elaborate. “It became clear the track was very close and behaved similarly to the Lion Air flight,” Elwell told reporters on a call Wednesday. “My hope is the FAA, the carriers, the manufacturers and all parties will work very hard to make this grounding as short as possible so that these airplanes can get back up in the sky.”

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US standing in the world.

Battle Brews over Who Should Analyze Black Boxes from 737 Crash (Fort.)

Ethiopia’s aviation authority is unable to read the black box recorders from the Boeing 737 Max plane that crashed Sunday, but a row is brewing over just where the flight recorders will be sent for analysis. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is pushing to have its experts analyze the data and voice recorders, which were partly damaged, the Wall Street Journal reports, but Ethiopian authorities would prefer to work with the U.K.’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch to ensure that U.S. experts won’t have undue influence in the probe of the American-made plane. Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told WSJ that the U.K., France and Germany were being considered as destinations for the black boxes, as was the European Union Aviation Safety Agency based in Cologne.

He added that a decision would be made Wednesday. Aviation authorities worldwide are anxiously awaiting the data from the black box recorders, hoping it will give answers as to why Boeing’s (BA, +0.55%) best-selling model has been involved in two major crashes in the past six months. Ethiopian Airlines’ recently acquired Boeing 737 Max 8 was flying from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, when it crashed six minutes into its flight, killing all 157 people on board. The Lion Air plane that crashed 12 minutes into its flight in Indonesia in October, killing 189 people, was the same model.

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Wow. 180º different accounts of one and the same meeting. A good journalist should be able to get a good story out of this.

US Lawmakers Emerge From Whitaker Meeting With Conflicting Accounts (R.)

U.S. lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee emerged from a closed-door meeting with former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker on Wednesday with conflicting accounts of their conversation with the controversial Trump ally. Whitaker was called to Capitol Hill to clarify his testimony at a combative Feb. 8 committee hearing, during which he denied speaking with President Donald Trump about a federal case involving Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, who met for two hours with Whitaker and the panel’s top Republican, Representative Doug Collins, said Whitaker no longer denied speaking to Trump about Cohen or about the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.

“Unlike in the hearing room, Mr. Whitaker did not deny that the president called him to discuss the Michael Cohen case and personnel decisions in the Southern District,” the New York Democrat told reporters. Nadler also said Whitaker told the lawmakers that he was involved in conversations about U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman’s recusal from the Cohen investigation in the Southern District of New York and about whether its campaign finance case involving hush money payments to two women who claim they had affairs with Trump had gone too far. Nadler’s committee is seeking evidence that Trump may have urged Whitaker to put the investigations under the supervision of Berman, a Trump donor and former law partner of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani who is recused.

But Collins, a Georgia Republican, contradicted much of Nadler’s account. “He (Whitaker) said that he had not talked with the president about Mr. Cohen at all,” Collins told reporters. Collins described Whitaker’s conversations about Berman and the campaign finance case as questions for his personal staff. “(Whitaker) had no conversations with the Southern District of New York,” he said. Collins also dismissed a Nadler statement that Whitaker was involved in conversations about firing one or more U.S. attorneys as “normal personnel issues.”

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US intelligence continues to ignore its own veterans. There’s a long list of them. But their message doesn’t rhyme with official standpoints. I’ve said it before, Mueller’s account relies on hacking Russians and Assange. And he’s a coward and a liar for doing that.

Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings (VIPS)

MEMORANDUM FOR: The Attorney General Media reports are predicting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to give you the findings of his probe into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump. If Mueller gives you his “completed” report anytime soon, it should be graded “incomplete.” Major deficiencies include depending on a DNC-hired cybersecurity company for forensics and failure to consult with those who have done original forensic work, including us and the independent forensic investigators with whom we have examined the data. We stand ready to help.

We veteran intelligence professionals (VIPS) have done enough detailed forensic work to prove the speciousness of the prevailing story that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking. Given the paucity of evidence to support that story, we believe Mueller may choose to finesse this key issue and leave everyone hanging. That would help sustain the widespread belief that Trump owes his victory to President Vladimir Putin, and strengthen the hand of those who pay little heed to the unpredictable consequences of an increase in tensions with nuclear-armed Russia. There is an overabundance of “assessments” but a lack of hard evidence to support that prevailing narrative.

We believe that there are enough people of integrity in the Department of Justice to prevent the outright manufacture or distortion of “evidence,” particularly if they become aware that experienced scientists have completed independent forensic study that yield very different conclusions. We know only too well — and did our best to expose — how our former colleagues in the intelligence community manufactured fraudulent “evidence” of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

We can prove that the conventional-wisdom story about Russian-hacking-DNC-emails-for-WikiLeaks is false. Drawing largely on the unique expertise of two VIPS scientists who worked for a combined total of 70 years at the National Security Agency and became Technical Directors there, we have regularly published our findings. But we have been deprived of a hearing in mainstream media — an experience painfully reminiscent of what we had to endure when we exposed the corruption of intelligence before the attack on Iraq 16 years ago.

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No love lost for Manafort. But sending him away for years while people like the Podestas walk free, doesn’t sound fair.

Paul Manafort Sentenced To 43 Additional Months (ZH)

Lobbyist and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was sentenced to more than six years in prison by a federal judge in the District of Columbia on two conspiracy counts. Manafort pleaded guilty last fall to the two charges which encompass a host of crimes – including money laundering and obstruction of justice. Manafort was sentenced to 60 months on count one, with 30 months of that overlapping a 47 month sentence handed down last week in a separate trial in Virginia – and 13 months on count two. In total, he will serve 90 months in prison, or 7.5 years.

Manafort asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson for leniency during Wednesday’s hearing, saying that the criminal charges against him have “taken everything from me already,” and asking that Berman Jackson not impose any additional prison time beyond the sentence handed down last week. Jackson agreed with Manafort that the original 19-24 year sentencing guideline “overstates the seriousness of this offense.” “I am sorry for what I have done and all the activities that have gotten us here today,” said Manafort in a calm and steady voice as he read from a prepared statement. “While I cannot undo the past, I will ensure that the future will be very different.”

[..] Before reading her decision, Berman Jackson reamed Manafort – saying that there was no good explanation for granting the leniency Manafort had requested.”What you were doing was lying to Congress and the American public,” said Berman Jackson, adding that Manafort had “contempt for” and “believed he had the right to manipulate these proceedings.” “Saying I’m sorry I got caught is not an inspiring plea for leniency,” the judge said, adding that Manafort’s defense that there was “no collusion” with Russia is not related to the case.

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A few days ago the IMF talked about how great Greece is doing. BS. 2% growth from nothing is still nothing.

Greek Financial Crisis Still Evokes Pain, Fear On The Streets Of Athens (CNBC)

Greece’s financial crisis is still hurting the hopes and dreams of the people that live in the Mediterranean nation. The country has been in economic turmoil for most of the last decade. Years of financial mismanagement alongside a culture of clientelistic politics, where goods and services were exchanged for political support, culminated in a long-term recession.= “I still think the crisis exists. It’s more than in one field now, (it’s) not only (a) financial crisis, but it’s a crisis of our values … I don’t think it’s better now … it is really a stressful period for Greece,” Stavros Dimopoulos, a 23-year-old university student told CNBC in Athens.

Different governments in Greece borrowed above the country’s capacity and its public debt pile became so high that in 2010 investors were no longer willing to keep on financing the Greek government. The end result: George Papandreou, the prime minister at the time, saw no other way out but to ask for a bailout — without even consulting with other European leaders. Since August, the Greek government has tried to show that austerity is over, by providing additional funds to the lower and middle classes. But ordinary Greeks told CNBC they haven’t seen a massive difference in their lives. “We love our city, we love our weather, we love the Greek people, but we are scared and afraid in a way, because the situation is not that good,” Dimopoulos said about him and his friends.

“We have to try harder and harder to make our own money … Sometimes we are talking (about going) abroad: If it is going to be better for us to leave Greece or if it is going to be better to stay in Greece and try harder. It is in our minds.” [..] 2019 is expected to be the country’s third consecutive year of growth, at a pace of about 2.2 percent. Still, this growth doesn’t seem to be making ordinary Greeks happy about the economy. Nikolas complained there hasn’t been a significant improvement for people and there’s still way too many taxes. “Some people have good jobs if they are in the civil service, but the others are suffering, they are paying like 85 percent taxes, which is very hard to get by. You risk losing your house if you don’t have enough money to pay the taxes,” he said. “(the) long term is hard, we just have to smile, pretend.”

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Maybe it’s an idea to rethink the way the data are made public. It’s a litany of ever more of the same now.

Sharp Rise In Arctic Temperatures Now Inevitable – UN (G.)

Sharp and potentially devastating temperature rises of 3C to 5C in the Arctic are now inevitable even if the world succeeds in cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris agreement, research has found. Winter temperatures at the north pole are likely to rise by at least 3C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century, and there could be further rises to between 5C and 9C above the recent average for the region, according to the UN. Such changes would result in rapidly melting ice and permafrost, leading to sea level rises and potentially to even more destructive levels of warming. Scientists fear Arctic heating could trigger a climate “tipping point” as melting permafrost releases the powerful greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, which in turn could create a runaway warming effect.

“What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic,” said Joyce Msuya, the acting executive director of UN Environment. “We have the science. Now more urgent climate action is needed to steer away from tipping points that could be even worse for our planet than we first thought.” The findings, presented at the UN Environment assembly in Nairobi on Wednesday, give a stark picture of one of the planet’s most sensitive regions and one that is key to the fate of the world’s climate. Last year’s stark warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, setting out the dramatic impacts of 1.5C of global warming, did not include the impacts of potential tipping points such as melting permafrost.

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Coca-Cola produces 3 million tonnes of plastic packaging a year.

Coca-Cola Produces 200,000 Plastic Bottles A Minute (G.)

Coca-Cola has revealed for the first time it produces 3m tonnes of plastic packaging a year – equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute – as a report calls on other global companies to end the secrecy over their plastic footprint. The data from the soft drinks manufacturer was provided to the campaigner Ellen MacArthur, who is pushing for major companies and governments to do more to tackle plastic pollution. The figures – which the company has refused in the past to disclose – reveal the amount of plastic packaging Coca-Cola produced in 2017. The company did not reveal the scale of its bottle production but when its packaging footprint is translated into 500ml PET plastic bottles, it amounts to about 108bn bottles a year, more than a fifth of the world’s PET bottle output of about 500bn bottles a year.

Coca-Cola is one of 31 companies – including Mars, Nestlé and Danone – that have revealed how much plastic packaging they create as part of a drive for transparency by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Combined, they produce 8m tonnes of plastic packaging a year. But the majority of the 150 companies who have signed up to MacArthur’s global commitment to reduce plastic pollution are still refusing to publicly disclose figures on their own plastic packaging production. These include Pepsi Co, H&M, L’Oréal, Walmart, Marks & Spencer and Burberry – which was heavily criticised last year when it was revealed that the company burned £28m of stock in a year to prevent counterfeiting.


Photograph: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

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