May 112022
 


Vincent van Gogh Agostina Segatori Sitting in the Café du Tambourin 1887

 

Biden Wanted $33B More For Ukraine. Congress Raised it to $40B (Greenwald)
Lithuania Lawmakers: Russian Actions in Ukraine ‘Genocide’, ‘Terrorism’ (R.)
Ukraine Halts Some Russian Gas Flows, Claims Battlefield Gains (R.)
Are We Pfinding Pfizer Pfraud? -Part 1 (Gato Malo)
The Covid Vaccine Boomerang (Maajid Nawaz)
Covid Vaccines Safe For Pregnant Women, Cut Stillbirth Risk – Review (G.)
FDA: Youngest Kids Vaccine Won’t Need To Hit 50% Efficacy Mark (EP)
$350 Million in Secret Payments to Fauci, Collins, Others at NIH Uncovered (ET)
WHO Pandemic Treaty: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Stop It (Mercola)
The Chinese Slowdown: Much More Than Covid (Lacalle)
BBC Climate Editor Made False Claims On Global Warming (DM)
Priti Patel, Julian Assange Must Not Be Handed Over To The US (G.)

 

 

 

 

WEF implants

 

 

Kolakusic

 

 

Depopulation

 

 

 

 

“..the ultimate amounts will be significantly higher still.”

Biden Wanted $33B More For Ukraine. Congress Raised it to $40B (Greenwald)

From the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the Biden White House has repeatedly announced large and seemingly random amounts of money that it intends to send to fuel the war in Ukraine. The latest such dispatch of large amounts of U.S. funds, pursuant to an initial $3.5 billion fund authorized by Congress early on, was announced on Friday; “Biden says U.S. will send $1.3 billion in additional military and economic support to Ukraine,” read the CNBC headline. This was preceded by a series of new lavish spending packages for the war, unveiled every two to three weeks, starting on the third day of the war:

Feb. 26: “Biden approves $350 million in military aid for Ukraine”: Reuters; Mar. 16: “Biden announces $800 million in military aid for Ukraine”: The New York Times; Mar. 30: “Ukraine to receive additional $500 million in aid from U.S., Biden announces”: NBC News; Apr. 12: “U.S. to announce $750 million more in weapons for Ukraine, officials say”: Reuters; May 6: “Biden announces new $150 million weapons package for Ukraine”: Reuters. Those amounts by themselves are in excess of $3 billion; by the end of April, the total U.S. expenditure on the war in Ukraine was close to $14 billion, drawn from the additional $13.5 billion Congress authorized in mid-March. While some of that is earmarked for economic and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, most of it will go into the coffers of the weapons industry — including Raytheon, on whose Board of Directors the current Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, sat immediately before being chosen by Biden to run the Pentagon.

As CNN put it: “about $6.5 billion, roughly half of the aid package, will go to the US Department of Defense so it can deploy troops to the region and send defense equipment to Ukraine.” As enormous as those sums already are, they were dwarfed by the Biden administration’s announcement on April 28 that it “is asking Congress for $33 billion in funding to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than double the $14 billion in support authorized so far.” The White House itself acknowledges that the vast majority of that new spending package will go to the purchase of weaponry and other military assets: “$20.4 billion in additional security and military assistance for Ukraine and for U.S. efforts to strengthen European security in cooperation with our NATO allies and other partners in the region.”

It is difficult to put into context how enormous these expenditures are — particularly since the war is only ten weeks old, and U.S. officials predict/hope that this war will last not months but years. That ensures that the ultimate amounts will be significantly higher still.

“The ‘Boys from Davos’ plot out the future of the world.”

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These people have no dictionaries.

Lithuania Lawmakers: Russian Actions in Ukraine ‘Genocide’, ‘Terrorism’ (R.)

Lithuania’s parliament voted unanimously on Tuesday to describe Russia’s actions in Ukraine as “genocide” and “terrorism” and to call for a international tribunal, modelled on the Nuremberg Trials after World War Two, to prosecute suspected war crimes. The motion, co-sponsored by Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, said Russian forces’ war crimes in Ukraine included the deliberate killing of civilians, mass rape, forcible relocation of Ukrainian citizens to Russia and the destruction of economic infrastructure and cultural sites. Moscow denies targeting civilians and calls its invasion, launched on Feb. 24, a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of what it calls anti-Russian nationalists. Ukraine and the West say this is a false pretext for waging an unprovoked war of aggression.


“The Russian Federation, whose military forces deliberately and systematically select civilian targets for bombing, is a state that supports and perpetrates terrorism,” the Lithuanian parliamentary motion said. Lithuania’s move follows a similar unanimous vote by Canadian lawmakers on April 27 to call Russia’s attacks in Ukraine a “genocide”. Leonid Slutsky, head of the International Affairs Committee of Russia’s lower house of parliament, said the resolution was not legally binding and that it merely repeated what he called the United States’ Russophobic views. He said the resolution was part of an “anti-Russia project” and biased actions against Russia that “have nothing to do with reality,” the TASS news agency cited him as saying.

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1/3 of Russian gas flows.

Ukraine Halts Some Russian Gas Flows, Claims Battlefield Gains (R.)

Flows of Russian gas to Europe through a key transit point in Ukraine dried up on Wednesday, while Kyiv claimed battlefield gains over invading Russian forces, including the recapture of four villages around the second city of Kharkiv. Ukraine has remained a major route for Russian gas to Europe even after President Vladimir Putin ordered what he called a “special military operation” on Feb. 24. Mounting Western sanctions are seeking to ban or phase out the use of Russian energy, a major source of funds for Putin’s war effort and a vulnerability for Europe, especially Germany. Blaming the interference of Russian occupying forces for the suspension, Ukraine’s gas operator said on Tuesday it would redirect gas from the Sokhranivka transit point, which is in an area occupied by Russian forces, to another in a Ukraine-controlled area.

Early Wednesday data from the network operator showed zero nominations for Russian gas through the transit point. Since Russia was forced to abandon an assault on the capital Kyiv at the end of March, its main force has been trying to encircle Ukrainian troops in the eastern Donbas region, using the city of Izyum near Kharkiv, in the northeast, as a base. Ukrainian troops have mostly held out against assaults from three directions, and top U.S. intelligence officials say the war is now at a stalemate. Putin appeared to be preparing for a long conflict, and a Russian victory in the Donbas region might not end the war, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said in Washington on Tuesday. But the counterattack near Kharkiv could signal a new phase, with Ukraine going on the offensive and supply lines into Russia now potentially vulnerable.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukrainian successes were gradually pushing Russian forces out of Kharkiv, which has been under bombardment since the war began. “But I also want to urge all our people … not to spread excessive emotions. We should not create an atmosphere of excessive moral pressure, where victories are expected weekly and even daily,” Zelenskiy said in a video address.

8 years

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pfrightening

Are We Pfinding Pfizer Pfraud? -Part 1 (Gato Malo)

The pfizer data dumps are massive and disordered. They drop 50k pages without regard to completeness or order. Here, have a huge box of who knows what! This is a longstanding legal trick. And it works well. It’s the time honored fashion in which big companies bury small legal teams and create a $3 million bill just to sort and read the stuff. But here’s a fun little wrinkle: this time is not going to be like that. Battalions of interested parties are all over it. The documents are posted and reading and sorting them is crowdsourced. And many hands make for light work. And a lot of very skilled sleuths are at work here. No law firm in history has ever had an expert team like this. Never. The FDA and pfizer fought tooth and claw NOT to release this. I have ZERO doubt that they are dumping all the least awful and incriminating things first.


Keep in mind these folks wanted to take 75 years to disclose this. Only a court order pried it loose. But even with this first set of boxes, it’s starting to become apparent why they did not want anyone poking around. They knew all sorts of things they failed to disclose and many are doing good work on this. But what if the trial itself was pfraud? Because that would be seismic. It would not only severely implicate the FDA and pfizer alike, it would likely invalidate the liability protection granted under EUA and suddenly bourla and his merry band of vaxx aficionados might find themselves accountable. Bigly. And wouldn’t that be interesting? So if this looks like a plausible possibility, we really ought to dig in like busy little mice and see what all we can winkle out. Fortunately, some busy little mice have already been doing so. and what they found is, well, pfrightening.

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“..1223 people died within 90 days of taking the Pfizer jab..”

Say Pfizer’s own docs. But no lack of reports saying they do not.

The Covid Vaccine Boomerang (Maajid Nawaz)

Initially, the FDA took a strange step on behalf of Pfizer by demanding a full 75 years before releasing any of their vaccine trial data. Euronews reports: “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it now needs 75 years to fully release Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine data to the public – twenty years more than it originally agreed on November 15.” So strange was this attempt, that a judge then had to order the FDA to release the Pfizer data: Reuters reports: “Jan 7 – Score one for transparency. A federal judge in Texas on Thursday ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make public the data it relied on to license Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, imposing a dramatically accelerated schedule that should result in the release of all information within about eight months.”


So why did Pfizer and the FDA want to hide their data for 75 years? This week, the first batch of that judge-ordered data was released. Despite predictable media spin disguised as “fact-checking”, the basic and rather shocking revelation that 1233 people died within 90 days of taking the Pfizer jab is true. This is contained within Pfizer’s own adverse events report:

The public and smaller media outlets are finally beginning to wake up to the extent of the problem caused by the experimental mRNA jab in particular. Unherd cites: “On the other hand, Stabell-Benn and her colleagues found no statistically meaningful evidence in the trial data that the mRNA vaccines reduced all-cause mortality. The numbers of deaths from other causes including cardiovascular deaths appear to be increased in this group, compensating for the beneficial effect of the vaccines on Covid” No wonder Pfizer would rather pull out of countries entirely than to allow independent testing of their mRNA jab, locally. Reuters reports: “NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc said on Friday it had withdrawn an application for emergency-use authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine in India, after failing to meet the drug regulator’s demand for a local safety and immunogenicity study.”

Immunologist, virologist and the inventor of mRNA technology, Dr Robert Malone summarises the latest developments with Pfizer’s data here: “In my opinion withholding scientific data constitutes fraud, this is scientific fraud in my opinion. If I was to publish a study, in which I had a large body of epidemiological data, and I decided to only publish part of it, because I wanted to advance some agenda, I would be guilty of scientific fraud, the paper would be withdrawn, I would be kicked out of my academic institution. I would be guilty of scientific fraud. That’s what this is. And the CDC..I’ve watched it over the years become more and more and more a political arm, and not serving its function…They no longer release that detailed information.. they have become purely a political organisation, an arm of the Executive Branch and what they have done is in my opinion obscene.

And it is part of what’s under lied the attacks that Peter and I have sustained from the press.. if you think about it, the underlying thesis is: ‘well the CDC didn’t say that, so you’re spreading medical misinformation,’ but now we learn who’s really been spreading medical misinformation is the CDC. I think we’re all owed an apology… I think that this data that they have been withholding …it is a ton of information, they’ve been intentionally withholding it, that’s why we’ve been attacked, it is unjust… it turns out we have been completely vindicated. We have been speaking truth, and it’s a truth that has been hidden from the American public, and more importantly it’s been hidden from other physicians, and it’s been hidden from public health authorities..” Dr Robert Malone.

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We know from Pfizer docs that their “vaccine” was never tested on pregnant women, only on 44 rats. So all reports this below is based on is about guinea pigs, tests taking place after it was said to be safe and effective, though nobody could have known that.

Covid Vaccines Safe For Pregnant Women, Cut Stillbirth Risk – Review (G.)

Doctors have stressed the importance of Covid vaccinations for pregnant women after a major review found the shots were not only safe, but reduced the risk of stillbirth by 15%. Researchers at St George’s, University of London, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists analysed 23 published studies and trials that enrolled 117,552 pregnant women vaccinated against Covid, to assess the safety of the shots. The vast majority of the women received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which provided 89.5% protection against Covid infection seven days after the second dose. There was no evidence of greater risk from miscarriage, preterm birth or other pregnancy complications.

“We wanted to see if vaccination was safe or not for pregnant women,” said Asma Khalil, professor of obstetrics and maternal fetal medicine at St George’s hospital in London. “It is safe, but what’s surprising, and it’s a positive finding, is that there was a reduction in stillbirths.” “So far, most of the data on vaccines in pregnancy have been about protecting the pregnant woman herself from Covid. Now we have evidence that the vaccines protect the baby too,” she added. The results are published in Nature Communications.

Almost all pregnant women admitted to UK hospitals for Covid treatment are unvaccinated. And while vaccine uptake among pregnant women rose from 23% in August to 54% at the end of last year, doctors believe thousands are still unvaccinated. In December, the UK government’s vaccine watchdog, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, made pregnant women a priority group for jabs after studies found women were more likely to become seriously ill if they caught Covid while pregnant.

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All logic is gone now.

FDA: Youngest Kids Vaccine Won’t Need To Hit 50% Efficacy Mark (EP)

The FDA’s top vaccine leader told a congressional committee on Friday afternoon that although the adult vaccines had to meet a 50% threshold for efficacy against Covid-19 infections, that same standard will not need to be met for the vaccines for the youngest group of children, for which a vaccine is not yet available. The agency is currently reviewing data from Moderna’s two-shot vaccine for this youngest group as it awaits further data from Pfizer on its potential three-dose shot. The agency previously scheduled and then canceled an adcomm to review data on two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine for children under the age of 5.

According to a readout of the meeting from the House select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, Marks explained that the FDA would not withhold authorization — despite previous guidance — for a pediatric vaccine solely because it did not reach a 50% efficacy threshold at blocking symptomatic infections. All of the other adult and children’s vaccines currently authorized in the US have lost significant amounts of efficacy due to the Omicron variant, but they still remain effective at reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death. “If these vaccines seem to be mirroring efficacy in adults and just seem to be less effective against Omicron like they are for adults, we will probably still authorize,” Marks said.

Meanwhile, Marks directly addressed concerns that the agency might slow-play the Moderna application and wait to review both applications together, saying that the VRBPAC meetings set for next month will be moved up if necessary. “Obviously if we get through reviews faster, then we will send them to committees sooner,” Marks said, according to Rep. Jim Clyburn’s account of the meeting. Marks also told Clyburn and his staff that VRBPAC members have reserved earlier dates, enabling FDA to potentially “move dates up even by a week for any of these reviews.” But he also explained that reviewing these vaccines for the youngest children involves more “complexity” than the review of adult vaccines, and the agency’s review process may require more time.

He also said that the emergence of new variants made the process of reviewing vaccines more complex, explaining it “was a little simpler for the original submissions in late 2020 when we didn’t have the variants and tons of immunogenicity data to go through.

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What a surprise.

$350 Million in Secret Payments to Fauci, Collins, Others at NIH Uncovered (ET)

An estimated $350 million in undisclosed royalties were paid to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and hundreds of its scientists, including the agency’s recently departed director, Dr. Francis Collins, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, according to a nonprofit government watchdog. “We estimate that up to $350 million in royalties from third parties were paid to NIH scientists during the fiscal years between 2010 and 2020,” Open the Books CEO Adam Andrzejewski told reporters in a telephone news conference on May 9. “We draw that conclusion because, in the first five years, there has been $134 million that we have been able to quantify of top-line numbers that flowed from third-party payers, meaning pharmaceutical companies or other payers, to NIH scientists.”

The first five years, from 2010 to 2014, constitute 40 percent of the total, he said. “We now know that there are 1,675 scientists that received payments during that period, at least one payment. In fiscal year 2014, for instance, $36 million was paid out and that is on average $21,100 per scientist,” Andrzejewski said. “We also find that during this period, leadership at NIH was involved in receiving third-party payments. For instance, Francis Collins, the immediate past director of NIH, received 14 payments. Dr. Anthony Fauci received 23 payments and his deputy, Clifford Lane, received eight payments.” Collins resigned as NIH director in December 2021 after 12 years of leading the world’s largest public health agency.

Fauci is the longtime head of NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as well as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden. Lane is the deputy director of NIAID, under Fauci. The top five NIH employees measured in terms of the number of royalty payments that they received while on the government payroll, according to a fact sheet published by Open the Books, include Robert Gallo, National Cancer Institute, 271 payments; Ira Pastan, National Cancer Institute, 250 payments; Mikulas Popovic, National Cancer Institute, 191 payments; Flossie Wong-Staal, National Cancer Institute, 190 payments; and Mangalasseril Sarngadharan, National Cancer Institute, 188 payments. Only Pastan continues to be employed by NIH, according to Open the Books.

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“If the WHO says every person on the planet needs to have a vaccine passport and digital identity to ensure vaccination compliance, then that’s what every country will be forced to implement, even if the people have rejected such plans using local democratic processes.”

WHO Pandemic Treaty: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Stop It (Mercola)

As noted by anti-extremism activist Maajid Nawaz in an April 28 Twitter post, the “WHO pandemic treaty serves as a backdoor to global empire.” COVID-19, while potentially deadly to certain vulnerable groups, simply isn’t a valid justification for handing over more power to the WHO, especially in light of its many inexplicable “mistakes” in this and previous pandemics. As just one example, the WHO didn’t publicly admit SARS-CoV-2 was airborne until the end of December 2021, yet scientists knew the virus was airborne within weeks of the pandemic being declared. The WHO also ignored early advice about airborne transmission. So, it seems clear that the effort to now hand over more power to the WHO is about something other than them being the most qualified to make health decisions that benefit and protect everyone.

It seems far more likely that the WHO is being installed as a de facto governing body for the global Deep State. Through the WHO, under the guise of biosecurity, the globalist cabal who seek to own everything and control everyone will then be able to implement their wishes across the whole world in one fell swoop. With this treaty in place, all member nations will be subject to the WHO’s dictates. If the WHO says every person on the planet needs to have a vaccine passport and digital identity to ensure vaccination compliance, then that’s what every country will be forced to implement, even if the people have rejected such plans using local democratic processes.

[..] Under the guise of a global pandemic, the WHO, the World Economic Forum and all its installed leaders in government and private business were able to roll out a plan that had already been decades in the making. The pandemic was a perfect cover. In the name of keeping everyone “safe” from infection, the globalists justified unprecedented attacks on democracy, civil liberties and personal freedoms, including the right to choose your own medical treatment. Now, the WHO is gearing up to make its pandemic leadership permanent, extend it into the healthcare systems of every nation and eventually implement a universal or “socialist-like” healthcare system as part of The Great Reset.

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Empty apartments.

The Chinese Slowdown: Much More Than Covid (Lacalle)

The most recent macroeconomic figures show that the Chinese slowdown is much more severe than expected and not only attributable to the covid-19 lockdowns. The lockdowns have an enormous impact. Twenty-six of 31 China mainland provinces have rising covid cases and the fear of a Shanghai-style lockdown is enormous. The information coming from Shanghai proves that these drastic lockdowns create an enormous damage to the population. Millions of citizens without food or medicine and rising suicides have shown that the infamous “zero covid” policy often disguises mass population control and repression. It is easy to use the covid-19 lockdowns as the reason for the weakening of the Chinese economy but that would be a gross simplification. The problem is deeper.

China is going through a severe slowdown caused by the burst of the enormous real estate bubble and the crackdown on the private sector, which has led to a cut in investment growth. According to Nomura Research, China faces the worst slowdown since the covid outbreak in 2020 and the world should be worried about a further slide, as the challenges persist. Official gross domestic product (GDP) figures may be massaged to deliver the government’s target, but all other macro figures point to a much weaker growth. We must remember that there are two ways in which the Chinese government “boosts” real GDP: By publishing a low inflation and GDP deflator figure and by massively increasing credit and infrastructure spending. However, those two cannot disguise the importance of the weakening of the Chinese economy, because it is now structural.

The collapse of the real estate bubble is the biggest problem. A research paper by Kenneth Rogoff and Yuanchen Yang estimated that the real estate sector accounts for around 29 percent of China’s GDP. It is impossible for the Chinese government to offset the impact of such a massive part of the economy with other high-growth sectors. Furthermore, real estate’s impact on the job market is hard to substitute. Economist George Magnus warned that the impact of the real estate collapse would last for years.

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“..while the number of weather-related disasters [..] has risen in the past 50 years, the number of deaths caused by them has fallen..”

BBC Climate Editor Made False Claims On Global Warming (DM)

A BBC Panorama documentary about global warming made a number of false claims, an internal investigation by the broadcaster has found. The programme Wild Weather, presented by climate editor Justin Rowlatt, said deaths worldwide were rising due to extreme weather caused by climate change – whereas the opposite is true. It also claimed Madagascar was on the verge of the first famine caused by climate change – despite other factors being involved. The programme, broadcast last November to coincide with the COP26 climate conference, sparked two complaints investigated by the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU). Last year Rowlatt’s sister Cordelia was among a number of Insulate Britain activists arrested for staging a protest at junction 3 of the M25.


Miss Rowlatt, who once appeared on TV advising her brother on how to be more environmentally friendly, pleaded guilty by post at Crawley Magistrates’ Court. She was fined £300 with £85 court costs and a £34 surcharge for committing a public nuisance on a highway. The introduction of Wild Weather said ‘the death toll is rising around the world and the forecast is that worse is to come’. The ECU said this risked giving the impression the rate of deaths from extreme weather-related events was increasing. In fact, as noted by a recent report from the World Meteorological Organisation, while the number of weather-related disasters – such as floods, storms and drought – has risen in the past 50 years, the number of deaths caused by them has fallen because of improved early warnings and disaster management.

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The Guardian is a two-faced monster.

Priti Patel, Julian Assange Must Not Be Handed Over To The US (G.)

Priti Patel now has to make one of the most important decisions of her career: will she bow to heavy pressure from the United States and send a vulnerable man who has been convicted of no crime to face an indeterminate number of years in an American jail where he may experience intimidation and isolation? Her decision is imminent and all other legal avenues have been explored. This was the scenario 10 years ago in the case of Gary McKinnon, the computer hacker who, working out of his north London bedroom, trawled through the computer systems of Nasa and the US defence department in search of information about UFOs and left behind some mildly rude messages about the systems’ sloppy security. The home secretary was Theresa May, who halted extradition proceedings at the last minute.

Now Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and also a vulnerable man – who has been in Belmarsh high-security prison for three years without being convicted of any crime – is facing extradition, with the issue due to be decided this month. Once again, the home secretary has an opportunity to demonstrate, as May did, that respect for justice and humanity are much finer and more enduring qualities than appeasement. It is worth recalling the words of party leaders in support of McKinnon after Labour home secretaries – to their great shame – declined to intervene in the years after his initial arrest in 2002. Nick Clegg, then leading the Liberal Democrats in opposition, said that McKinnon “has been hung out to dry by a British government desperate to appease its American counterparts”.

David Cameron, before he became prime minister, had said: “McKinnon is a vulnerable young man and I see no compassion in sending him thousands of miles away from his home and loved ones to face trial.” The current case is different in that, while McKinnon remained at liberty, Assange has been held in custody alongside murderers and terrorists after the seven years he spent in the Ecuadorian embassy, seeking political asylum. He should have been given bail long ago to be with his wife, Stella Moris, whom he married in prison in March, and their two young children; he could simply be electronically tagged and monitored. It is also different in that he faces charges under the Espionage Act which carries a potential sentence of 175 years. And yes, the US criminal justice system does actually impose such medieval sentences.

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Truth Social

 

 

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Apr 172022
 
 April 17, 2022  Posted by at 9:19 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Andy Warhol Mick Jagger 1975

 

Mariupol Close To Falling As Russia Issues Surrender Ultimatum (EN)
Ukrainian Troops Cleared Out Of Urban Areas Of Mariupol – Russia (F.)
Russia Strikes Ukraine’s Big Cities, Bears Down On Mariupol (AP)
Russia Says It Shot Down Ukrainian Transport Plane Carrying Western Arms (ZH)
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova (RT/Saker)
US Intel Officials Reject Biden’s “Genocide” Claims (ZH)
Noam Chomsky on How To Prevent World War III (CA)
Zelensky’s Dream Of Ukraine Becoming ‘Big Israel’ Makes Moscow Nervous (Cook)
Biden Official: US Refused To Address Ukraine, NATO Before Russian Invasion (RS)
Let Them Destroy Themselves (Denninger)
Kids in the U.S. and Europe Are Coming Down With Mysterious Liver Damage
Twitter Faces The ‘Nightmare’ Of Being Forced Into Free Speech (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Poison pills
https://twitter.com/i/status/1515415336396406786

 

 

 

 

Shanghai – Kids taken away

 

 

Malone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russia executes what it has been saying for a long time.

Mariupol Close To Falling As Russia Issues Surrender Ultimatum (EN)

Mariupol, the last stronghold of Ukrainian troops in the south-east of the country, is very close to falling. Russian troops have given Ukrainian soldiers in the area, a chilling ultimatum to “surrender or die”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has admitted the situation in Mariupol remains “extremely severe” but has not acknowledged that the city could fall. He warned Moscow that peace talks would be scrapped if the city’s remaining defenders were killed. Despite Russia’s assurances that its offensive would focus on the east of the country, the sinking of the Moskva missile cruiser, which Russia attributes to various non-combat causes, has led to new attacks on targets in the capital, and in western Ukraine.


“The elimination of our troops, of our men, in Mariupol will put an end to any negotiations.- Zelensky”. In Kharkiv, continued Russian shelling is leaving the city in ruins. More and more people are trying to escape to the west, perhaps with the ultimate aim of leaving the country. Ukrainian authorities say that Fridays attack by russian forces has killed several and wounded over 50 people.

Good Friday in Rome

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As planned.

Ukrainian Troops Cleared Out Of Urban Areas Of Mariupol – Russia (F.)

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed Saturday it had cleared Ukrainian forces from all urban areas of the besieged city of Mariupol, Russian news agency RIA reports. Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said in a statement the only remaining Ukrainian troops were a few fighters blockaded in the Azovstal steel works plant, RIA reports. The Guardian quoted Konashenkov as saying in the statement that the few remaining fighters’ “only chance to save their lives” is to surrender. Konashenkov claimed more than 4,000 Ukrainian troops had died in Mariupol, and nearly 1,500 had surrendered. Forbes could not independently verify Konashenkov’s figures, and Ukrainian officials did not immediately respond to the Russian Defense Ministry’s claims.


Troops from Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade fighting in Mariupol reportedly broke through Russian lines earlier this week to join up with soldiers from the Azov Regiment who have been fighting from the Azovstal plant, a sprawling compound where the defenders have been able to find cover to weather Russian assaults. Mariupol, a port city of about 400,000 near the Sea of Azov, has faced heavy bombardment by Russian forces in a siege that has lasted for weeks. Capturing the city has been a key priority for Russia, as it would consolidate a land bridge between mainland Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula. The city has struggled to evacuate civilians and receive basic supplies due to damage to critical infrastructure by Russian forces. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko told the Associated Press more than 10,000 residents have died and that he predicts the true death toll could double.

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Deliberately posting some MSM coverage here.

Russia Strikes Ukraine’s Big Cities, Bears Down On Mariupol (AP)

Russian forces renewed missile strikes on Kyiv and intensified shelling of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in an apparent strategy to hobble Ukraine’s defenses in preparation for what is expected to be a full-scale Russian assault in the east. These attacks and others scattered across the country were an explosive reminder to Ukrainians and their Western supporters that the whole country remains under threat. With the port city of Mariupol under siege, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia “is deliberately trying to destroy everyone who is there.” He said Ukraine needs more heavy weapons from the West immediately to have any chance of saving the city.

Each day brings new discoveries of civilian victims of an invasion that has shattered European security. In the towns and villages just outside Kyiv, authorities have reported finding the bodies of more than 900 civilians, most shot dead, since Russian troops retreated two weeks ago. After the humiliating loss of the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet, Russia’s military command vowed to step up missile strikes on the capital. The Russians said they hit an armored vehicle plant on Saturday, a day after targeting a missile plant. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko advised residents who fled the city earlier in the war not to return. “We’re not ruling out further strikes on the capital,” he said. “If you have the opportunity to stay a little bit longer in the cities where it’s safer, do it.”


The mayor said Saturday’s strike killed one person and wounded several. It was not immediately clear from the ground what was hit in the strike on Kyiv’s Darnytskyi district. The sprawling area on the southeastern edge of the capital contains a mixture of Soviet-style apartment blocks, newer shopping centers and big-box retail outlets, industrial areas and railyards. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said an armored vehicle plant was targeted. He didn’t specify where the factory was located, but there is one in the Darnytskyi district.

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At some location, they load them onto Ukraine planes, then fly them into the country.

Russia Says It Shot Down Ukrainian Transport Plane Carrying Western Arms (ZH)

In what appears Moscow’s “answer” to the US and NATO countries continuing to supply major weapons systems to Ukrainian forces, state agency TASS is claiming that Russian forces have brought down a Ukrainian military transport plane that was transporting Western arms. It would mark a massive battlefield development if confirmed, potentially escalating conflict more directly with the West, now that Russia is actively targeting Western arms shipments. The alleged shoot down occurred outside Odessa via anti-air systems, says TASS, while citing Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov. Though remaining unconfirmed, China state media has also picked up the report, citing the defense ministry statement, which reads:


“Near Odesa Russian anti-aircraft defense forces have shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane, which was delivering a large shipment of arms supplied to Ukraine by Western counties,” Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said Saturday. However, there’s nothing in the way of independent or outside sources confirming it, and Ukraine’s military has not issued any statements, nor are they likely to admit that their military aircraft were transporting Western weapons shipments, even if accurate. Days ago, the Kremlin repeated its threat to attack any inbound shipments of weaponry or supplies coming from Ukraine’s Western backers. The military also said it would hit “decision-making centers” – and on Saturday long-range missiles reportedly struck weapons depots in Kiev. Meanwhile, the Pentagon and US State Department have continued positively boasting that more weapons are en route, in a continuing escalation…

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Zakharova (also) talks about German involvement in Ukraine biolabs. Don’t think I heard that one before.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova (RT/Saker)

Question: Are there any additional details about Germany’s military biological activities in Ukraine?

Maria Zakharova: For you to better understand the situation, I will cite the following facts. Since 2013, under the auspices of the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Government has been implementing the German Biosecurity Programme (GBP) which includes partnership projects with government agencies and research organisations in focus countries, which Ukraine became part of in 2014, the year of Maidan. German specialists from the Institute of Microbiology of the German Armed Forces (Munich), Friedrich Loeffler Institute (Greifswald-Riems Island), Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (Hamburg) and the Robert Koch Institute (Berlin), which specialise in research of deadly biological agents, are engaged in practical activities. According to the German Federal Foreign Office, the third phase of the GBP will be implemented in 2020-2022. We can infer from the publicly available materials that the GBP’s stated technical goals include, among others, the gathering of epidemic intelligence in third countries, including with the use of big data technology, and developing the infrastructure of partner countries for handling dangerous biological agents.

The Institute of Experimental and Clinical Veterinary Medicine in Kharkov has been the Institute of Microbiology of the German Armed Forces’ main Ukrainian counterparty since 2016, which we know from its own data. The two institutes cooperate under the Ukrainian-German project titled “Initiative on Biological Safety and Biological Defence in the Management of the Zoonotic Risks at the Outer Borders of the European Union.” The fact that its official goal is to “improve the biological defence and security situation” in Ukraine, “particularly in the east of the country” gives rise to the rhetorical question of which border the German military biologists consider an outer border for the purposes of their professional interests. Is it the Russian-Ukrainian border?

The Institute of Microbiology claims in its materials that the project is related to the “potential threat of biological terrorism” in Ukraine amid the unending hostilities in eastern regions of that country. It is crystal clear that this is a way to send a subtle message about the DPR and LPR s possible involvement in hatching plans for the use of internationally prohibited biological weapons. In so doing, the German military have been deliberately intimidating their Ukrainian counterparts for a long time and have, in fact, been psychologically pitting them against the Donbass republics. Ukrainian biological safety experts invariably participate in the medical biodefence conferences that are regularly held by the Institute of Microbiology of the German Armed Forces.

German journalist
https://twitter.com/i/status/1514986138234023947

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“If Russia had that objective or was intentionally killing civilians, we’d see a lot more than less than .01 percent in places like Bucha..”

Biden’s “genocide” and Zelensky’s “our enemies want us to cease to exist”: hyperbole rules.

US Intel Officials Reject Biden’s “Genocide” Claims (ZH)

Earlier this week, President Biden appeared to veer off script in the middle of his ‘blame Putin, not our idiotic policies, for your collapsing cost of living’ speech, when he dropped the ‘g’ word… “Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide half a world away.” As the world waited for another rapid walk-back by White House staffers of another Biden gaffe, the 79-year-old doubled-down… “Yes, I called it genocide. Because it has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of being able to be Ukrainian.” The comments sparked reactions from around the diplomatic world. French President Emmanuel Macron was the most outspoken, refusing to back Biden’s claim that Russia is committing “genocide” in Ukraine.


The French leader instead warned that an escalation of rhetoric wouldn’t bring peace. On the same day Biden accused Russia of genocide, Newsweek published an article quoting a senior official from the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency who said the civilian casualties in Ukraine are typical of modern warfare and “hardly” amount to genocide. The DIA official: said “I am not for a second excusing Russia’s war crimes, nor forgetting that Russia invaded the country.” “But the number of actual deaths is hardly genocide. If Russia had that objective or was intentionally killing civilians, we’d see a lot more than less than .01 percent in places like Bucha,” the official emphasized.

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Lots of ruckus about Chomsky saying negotiations are necessary.

Noam Chomsky on How To Prevent World War III (CA)

Well, I would not criticize Zelensky. He’s acting with great courage, great integrity. You can understand and sympathize with his position from where he sits. However, the Pentagon has a wiser stand. Yes, we could enter the war. We could provide Zelensky with jet planes and advanced weapons. Pretty soon Putin would be radically escalating the attack on Ukraine, would wipe it out which he has the capacity to do. He would be attacking the supply chains that are providing advanced weapons. And we’d be in a war, which would be a nuclear war, which would wipe us all out.

So I’m not criticizing Zelensky; he’s an honorable person and has shown great courage. You can sympathize with his positions. But you can also pay attention to the reality of the world. And that’s what it implies. I’ll go back to what I said before: there are basically two options. One option is to pursue the policy we are now following, to quote Ambassador Freeman again, to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian. And yes, we can pursue that policy with the possibility of nuclear war. Or we can face the reality that the only alternative is a diplomatic settlement, which will be ugly—it will give Putin and his narrow circle an escape hatch. It will say, Here’s how you can get out without destroying Ukraine and going on to destroy the world.


We know the basic framework is neutralization of Ukraine, some kind of accommodation for the Donbas region, with a high level of autonomy, maybe within some federal structure in Ukraine, and recognizing that, like it or not, Crimea is not on the table. You may not like it, you may not like the fact that there’s a hurricane coming tomorrow, but you can’t stop it by saying, “I don’t like hurricanes,” or “I don’t recognize hurricanes.” That doesn’t do any good. And the fact of the matter is, every rational analyst knows that Crimea is, for now, off the table. That’s the alternative to the destruction of Ukraine and nuclear war. You can make heroic statements, if you’d like, about not liking hurricanes, or not liking the solution. But that’s not doing anyone any good.

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“So far Israel has refused to supply Ukraine with weapons or join the West in waging economic warfare on Russia..”

Zelensky’s Dream Of Ukraine Becoming ‘Big Israel’ Makes Moscow Nervous (Cook)

The Israeli government has been trying to keep as low a profile as possible over the war in Ukraine, but Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, seems determined to drag Israel on to centre stage. Zelensky made a direct appeal to the Israeli parliament last month, ostensibly asking for weapons, especially the Iron Dome interception system Israel uses to stop short-range rockets fired out of Gaza by Palestinians trying to draw attention to Israel’s 15-year siege of the enclave. But rather than being flattered by the attention, many Israeli politicians objected to Zelensky’s speech. In it, he compared Russia’s treatment of Ukraine to the Nazis’ “Final Solution” for European Jews. Zelensky, who is Jewish, hoped the parallel would strike home.

To most Israeli ears, it sounded offensive. So far Israel has refused to supply Ukraine with weapons or join the West in waging economic warfare on Russia. It does not help that major Israeli political parties and religious communities have strong geographical and emotional ties to Russia. Or that Moscow is a major actor in the Middle East, not least in neighbouring Syria. Israel coordinates closely with Russia over regular air strikes in Syria – themselves in violation of international law. Israel has been trying its best to tread a difficult diplomatic path over Ukraine. On the one hand, Israel is a regional client state of the United States, under Washington’s protection, and wishes to keep its patron happy. And on the other, Israel’s military interests are to maintain good relations with Moscow.


Furthermore, Israeli leaders are worried about reinforcing the consensus that what the Russian army is doing in Ukraine amounts to war crimes, thereby creating a very public precedent that could be turned against Israel over its own abuses in the occupied territories. Adopting an early role as mediator, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett even urged Zelensky to accept a Russian ceasefire proposal. Nonetheless, Zelensky is intent on tipping the scales in Ukraine’s favour with Israel. He understands that his country’s plight has captured the western media and western public sympathy. He has every incentive to weaponise that sentiment to press-gang Israel into more openly supporting Ukraine. In his speech to the parliament, he appropriated a quote from a former Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir, who claimed that “our enemies want us to cease to exist”. Russia planned to do the same to Ukraine, Zelensky warned.

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“We made clear to the Russians that we were willing to talk to them on issues that we thought were genuine concerns they have that were legitimate in some way..”

Biden Official: US Refused To Address Ukraine, NATO Before Russian Invasion (RS)

A senior Biden administration official recently admitted that prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States made no effort to address one of Vladimir Putin’s most often stated top security concerns — the possibility of Ukraine’s membership into NATO. When asked on a podcast published on Wednesday by War on the Rocks — a U.S. foreign and defense policy analysis website — whether NATO expansion into Ukraine “was not on the table in terms of negotiations” before the invasion, Derek Chollet, counselor to Secretary of State Antony Blinken replied that “it wasn’t.” Chollet’s remarks confirm suspicions by many critics who believe the Biden administration wasn’t doing enough — including offering to deny or delay Ukraine’s NATO membership — to prevent Russia from launching a war against Ukraine.

“We made clear to the Russians that we were willing to talk to them on issues that we thought were genuine concerns they have that were legitimate in some way, I mean arms control type things of that nature,” Chollet said, adding that the administration didn’t think that “the future of Ukraine” was one of those issues and that its potential NATO membership was a “non-issue.” “This was not about NATO,” said Chollet, who contradicted himself moments later, saying, “In perpetrating this totally unjustified and unprovoked war, [Putin’s] goal was to try to divide the U.S. from Europe and weaken NATO.” Of course Putin himself stated publicly many times before the invasion that indeed, Ukraine’s potential NATO membership was a key security concern for Russia.


Weeks before Russia launched its war against Ukraine, Putin claimed that Russia’s concerns about NATO enlargement were being ignored. “We need to resolve this question now … [and] we hope very much our concern will be heard by our partners and taken seriously,” he later said. War on the Rocks’ Ryan Evans told Chollet that he takes Putin’s claims about NATO “seriously,” adding, “I’m a little struck by the refusal to even talk about the issue of NATO expansion.” “We talked about NATO in saying that NATO is a defensive alliance. NATO is not a threat to Russia,” Chollet said. Before the Russian invasion, Quincy Institute senior research fellow on Russia and Europe Anatol Lieven wrote that as part of a broader package to stave off war, the United States should propose “the declaration of a moratorium on Ukrainian membership of NATO for a period of 20 years, allowing time for negotiations on a new security architecture for Europe as a whole, including Russia.”

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Energy policies are being decided by people who understand very little about energy. That will become a very big problem.

Let Them Destroy Themselves (Denninger)

This is an amusing headline…. “California regulators unveiled a plan to ban the sale of new gas cars by 2035 on Thursday, the state’s latest effort to combat greenhouse gas emissions. The plan from the California Air Resources Board calls for 35% of new car sales in the state to be battery or hydrogen-powered by 2026, according to CNBC. The board will vote on the proposal in August.” I’m looking forward to this insanity. I hope Vegas has figured out how to do without most of the roughly 25% of the people who come there from Southern California since most of them come by car. The trip is, on the shortest path, 270 miles — which is materially beyond the “safe” distance you can go in an EV on one charge assuming no traffic that slows you down while, of course, you’re baking in the 100+ degree sun and have the A/C running.

While LA -> San Diego is doable (~120 miles) San Diego out to Vegas is definitely not at 332 miles; you will run out of power if you try it in other than excellent weather – with no traffic. Good luck on that “no traffic” thing. In-state travel? Ha! Never mind interstate personal travel. Oh, and have I noted yet (checking notes; nope) that California lacks the electrical grid and generating capacity to deliver the power to charge said vehicles? Sure, with a few percent of the total they are pulling it off. But – and this is important – their cost per kilowatt-hour is ~80% higher than the cost in place like Tennessee or Florida and will go higher still with the new demand. Never mind that at so-called “public” charging stations (e.g. Superchargers, etc.) the rate is typically two to four times – or more – that of your residential rate.


So much for “saving money” too; no you won’t! Oh, and what are those people who live in apartments or other higher-density places without garage space, which means no power connection going to do? I presume the answer isn’t to leave unguarded but metered connections out in the open as doing so is basically-certain to invite wholesale theft by others with….. electric cars. Unlike a gas vehicle which requires actual vandalism to steal the fuel (never mind the risk of blowing yourself up doing it) stealing power from an open receptacle is simply a matter of plugging into it. Yeah that’ll work out well too, especially in California. Go ahead and do it – this is going to be fun to watch.

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Not a single word even about the option that vaccines could be involved. No longer acceptable.

Kids in the U.S. and Europe Are Coming Down With Mysterious Liver Damage

A string of severe hepatitis cases in children has doctors across both sides of the pond spooked. Dozens of children in the UK and Europe, as well as some in the U.S., have come down with symptoms of hepatitis not currently explained by known causes. Theories for the outbreak include the resurgence of an existing but usually quieter germ, complications of covid-19, or even the arrival of a novel or mutated virus. Hepatitis is most often caused by a group of five unrelated viruses (hepatitis A through E), but it’s actually a formal term for any kind of liver inflammation. Various infectious diseases, heavy alcohol use, toxins, and even certain medications can all cause hepatitis. Symptoms range from fever and fatigue to jaundice (yellowed skin and eyes), nausea, abdominal pain, and dark urine. In severe cases, it can lead to liver failure and death.

Since January this year, UK doctors have reported a concerning rise of severe, sometimes life-threatening hepatitis cases in children—above the normal baseline rate of incidence. At least 74 cases documented in the country seem to fit the bill, with children not testing positive for any of the known hepatitis viruses. In a case report by doctors from Scotland published Thursday, the authors noted that three children became so sick that they were evaluated for a possible liver transplant. At least six children in the UK have received a liver transplant, according to a recent summary by the World Health Organization.


This week, health officials in Spain reported three of their own cases, including one child who also needed a transplant. And in the U.S., health officials in Alabama have reported at least nine hepatitis cases in children dating back to October 2021 that similarly elude a simple explanation. A public health alert issued by the Alabama Department of Public Health to doctors in February alluded to one possible case in another state but provided no further details.

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“..the company is “not to be bound by the First Amendment” and will regulate content as “reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation.”

Twitter Faces The ‘Nightmare’ Of Being Forced Into Free Speech (Turley)

Twitter’s board of directors gathered this week to sign what sounds like a suicide pact. It unanimously voted to swallow a “poison pill” to tank the value of the social media giant’s shares rather than allow billionaire Elon Musk to buy the company. The move is one way to fend off hostile takeovers, but what is different in this case is the added source of the hostility: Twitter and many liberals are apoplectic over Musk’s call for free speech protections on the site. Company boards have a fiduciary duty to do what is best for shareholders, which usually is measured in share values. Twitter has long done the opposite. It has virtually written off many conservatives — and a large portion of its prospective market — with years of arbitrary censorship of dissenting views on everything from gender identity to global warming, election fraud and the pandemic.

Most recently, Twitter suspended a group, Libs of Tik Tok, for “hateful conduct.” The conduct? Reposting what liberals have said about themselves. The company seemingly has written off free speech too. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal was asked how Twitter would balance its efforts to combat misinformation with wanting to “protect free speech as a core value” and to respect the First Amendment. He responded dismissively that the company is “not to be bound by the First Amendment” and will regulate content as “reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation.” Agrawal said the company would “focus less on thinking about free speech” because “speech is easy on the internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.”


Not surprisingly, selling censorship is not a big hit with most consumers, particularly from a communications or social media company. The actions of Twitter’s management have led to roller-coastering share values. While Twitter once reached a high of about $73 a share, it is currently around $45. (Musk was offering $54.20 a share, representing a 54 percent premium over the share price the day before he invested in the company.)

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Travel in groups
https://twitter.com/i/status/1515348562263085066

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

Jan 232022
 


Ivan Aivazovsky Moonlight Reflecting On Water c1850

 

Organized On Facebook, A Who’s Who Of Anti-Vaccine Activists Head To DC (NBC)
CDC Plans To ‘Pivot The Language’ On Vaccination, Walensky Says (Fox)
Fauci, Walensky Dodge When Asked About Number Of Vaccine Deaths (WND)
Hiding the Bodies (Diana West)
The Omicron Hypothesis, Part 1 (Crawford)
The Omicron Hypothesis, Part 2 (Crawford)
Will These People Be Charged With Genocide? (Mercola)
Wife Stands Off With Hospital to Keep Her Husband Alive, and Wins (ET)
Jacinda Ardern Will Force Household Covid Contacts To Isolate For 24 Days (DM)
Mask Mandates Causing Over 350% Surge In Childhood Speech Delays (NP)
Is It Already Too Late To Say Goodbye? (Cook)
University Slaps A Trigger Warning On George Orwell’s 1984 (DM)
The Hidden Origin Of The Escalating Ukraine-Russia Conflict (CD)
German Navy Chief Resigns After Saying “Putin Deserves Respect” (ZH)
Germany ‘Encouraging Putin’ By Refusing To Supply Weapons: Ukraine (Y!)

 

 

 

 

Sad little man

 

 

 

 

NHS infectious diseases consultant

 

 

Croatia Macron

 

 

No, really, people like Malone and Rogan are actually anti-vaccine, they just claim they’re against mandates: “They’re using terms that they know are not going to get censored.”

What a stupid hit piece. Is that all you got?

Organized On Facebook, A Who’s Who Of Anti-Vaccine Activists Head To DC (NBC)

Thousands of protesters are expected to descend on Washington this weekend for a rally against Covid-19 vaccine mandates, a sign that the anti-vaccination movement that gained traction on social media during the pandemic is spilling even further into politics and real life. The rally has been largely organized on Facebook and some extremist internet forums, and organizers have raised at least $200,000 on a crowdfunding site. Some nearby hotels in Virginia are sold out ahead of the event, according to the event’s organizers, who are arranging last-minute travel plans for latecomers. The “Defeat the Mandates DC” Facebook group, in which much of the organizing has taken place, now has more than 11,000 members, gaining almost 3,000 in just the last week.

Organizers of the rally, Defeat The Mandates: An American Homecoming, say they are expecting tens of thousands of attendees who will begin their protest at the Washington Monument at 10:30 a.m. ET Sunday. The event adds momentum to activists who continue to find ways to spread false and misleading claims about the Covid vaccines, now often focusing on mandates as an entry point. Among the scheduled speakers is Dr. Robert Malone, a virologist who has recently emerged as a new leader of the anti-vaccination movement after appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast in December. Malone, who is president of the Pandemic Health Alliance, the organization soliciting donations for the rally, has pushed anti-Covid vaccine talking points, including tweeting a retracted study falsely claiming Covid vaccines caused a substantial number of deaths. He has instead repeatedly advocated for the use of ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug that the Food and Drug Administration does not consider an effective treatment against Covid.

On Rogan’s podcast, which is estimated to reach tens of millions of people and was the top podcast on Spotify in 2021, Malone insisted that Sunday’s event is an anti-mandate rally, and not an anti-vaccine rally. Rogan said he will not be attending the rally. Anti-vaccine groups on Telegram have also pushed local “Defeat the Mandates” rallies planned for Sunday in several cities, including Denver and Sacramento, California. Some of the events have been amplified on Telegram by members of extremist groups like the Proud Boys, with one account adding that the event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, would feature a “mask burning.” Kolina Koltai, a postdoctoral fellow who researches the anti-vaccine movement at the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, said the D.C. event was bringing together some of the most high-profile anti-vaccine activists. “It’s a who’s who of grifters and people who made a profit off the pandemic,” she said.

[..] The permit for the rally was filed by the Children’s Health Defense Fund. Organizers expect 20,000 people, according to the permit, which also requires attendees to wear masks in crowded outdoor areas. Koltai said that while most, if not all, of the speakers at Sunday’s rally oppose vaccines, referring to the rally as being against mandates is a way to drum up wider support and also evade bans from Facebook and Twitter, which frequently take down anti-vaccine misinformation. “As policies have changed on Facebook, we’ve seen anti-vaccine groups rebrand to ‘pro-medical freedom’ or ‘pro-choice,’” she said. “They’re using terms that they know are not going to get censored.”

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We’ve seen from umpteen sources that the vaccines don’t work vs Omicron, but Walensky now says “if you recently got your second dose, you’re not eligible for a booster, you’re up to date”. That should confuse a few people…

CDC Plans To ‘Pivot The Language’ On Vaccination, Walensky Says (Fox)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a Friday briefing that the agency is working to “pivot” its language regarding what it means to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Responding to a question about why the CDC is not changing the definition of the phrase to include a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the health leader told reporters that it is working to “pivot the language to make sure that everybody is as up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as they personally could be, should be, based on when they got their last vaccine.” “So, importantly, right now, we’re pivoting our language. We really want to make sure people are up to date.

That means if you recently got your second dose, you’re not eligible for a booster, you’re up to date. If you are eligible for a booster and you haven’t gotten it, you’re not up to date and you need to get your booster in order to be up to date,” she added. Previously, Walensky and others had stated that the definition of being fully vaccinated would not change from those who have received their primary series of their COVID-19 vaccine. “So, individuals are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they’ve received their primary series. That definition is not changing,” she said during a Jan. 5 White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing. “But consistent with how public health has historically viewed or even talked about how we recommend vaccines, we are now recommending that individuals stay up to date with additional doses that they are eligible for.”

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday that the CDC had not updated the language because their recommendations are about “how well you are protected rather than a definition.”

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Completely ignoring VAERS. Which should be the first thing they check every morning. Walensky turns it all upside down. While we know a lot (most?) of what is registered as Covid deaths are not really, she now claims vaccinated people dying in a car crash should not be in VAERS. Sly.

Fauci, Walensky Dodge When Asked About Number Of Vaccine Deaths (WND)

How many people have died as a result of COVID-19 vaccines? Nobody can say for sure – because correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation – but it’s clearly a question in the public interest. A “national early warning system to detect possible safety problems in U.S.-licensed vaccines,” called the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, or VAERS, was established for that important purpose. It’s co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So, when CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and top White House coronavirus adviser and National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci appeared before a Senate committee hearing Tuesday on the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, a senator posed the question.

But amid the most ambitious vaccination effort in the history of the world, Walensky and Fauci didn’t have an answer. They curiously both began with emphasizing that people can’t rely on VAERS for any indication, because, they said, people who get hit by a car shortly after being vaccinated get recorded as vaccine deaths. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala, noted that the number of COVID-19 vaccine deaths is “in the thousands.” As of Dec. 31, VAERS recorded 21,382 vaccine-related deaths and 113,303 hospitalizations among a total of 1,016,999 adverse event reports. “Is this true?” the senator asked Walensky. “Are we having that many people die after taking one of these vaccines.”

She responded by saying that VAERS is a “mandatory system of any adverse event that happens after being vaccinated.” “So, if you get hit by a car, tragically, after getting vaccinated, that gets reported in the vaccine adverse reporting VAERS system,” Walensky said. “So the vaccines are incredibly safe,” she continued. “They protect us against omicron, they protect us against delta, they protect us against COVID. They don’t protect us against every other form of mortality out there.” Tuberville asked again. “Do we keep numbers of people that die … following taking this vaccine? Do we have any idea?” “Absolutely, yes,” Walensky said. “I couldn’t give you the absolute number off the top of my head, but I can absolutely get back in touch with you with those data.”

Tuberville turned to Biden’s top health adviser. “Do you know, Dr. Fauci? Do you have any clue on that?” “I don’t have a number, but I think part of the confusion is that when you get vaccinated and get hit by a car … that’s the thing that get’s confusing, that everything that happens after the vaccination — even if you die of something completely obviously unrelated, it’s considered a death,” he said. Walensky added, “And every one of those is adjudicated.” Many physicians and scientists believe the true VAERS figures are much higher. Physicians who sued the FDA for documents related to clinical trials for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine estimate the true numbers are five times higher. A recent study led by a researcher at Columbia University estimated the actual figures are higher by a factor of 20. If the underreporting factor is correct, it would mean that there are nearly 400,000 deaths due to COVID-19 vaccines.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points out that a VAERS report is not documentation that a link has been established between a vaccine and an adverse event. However, HHS also notes that VAERS is a “passive” system of reporting, and it “receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events.” Many health care workers have disclosed they are instructed by their superiors not to report to VAERS any harm caused by COVID vaccines.

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“These are the real bioweapons, not a virus, which, by their own terms, poses a negligible threat to most people.”

Hiding the Bodies (Diana West)

The lethality of the covid “vaccine” is the last thing media and political and money elites want us “useless eaters” to understand. The mantra they have pressed on us is “safe and effective,” which I think of as the new “Sieg Heil.” We’re supposed to repeat after them, while sucking on the same old puff-blah, “Fauci, Walensky testify while omicron prompts many possible changes” (Associated Press); or the same old melodrama, “Criticized by Senators, U.S. Health Officials Defend Omicron Response” (NYT); or, worst of all, the “battle” of Fauci vs. Paul, those fake gladiators in the arena fighting over nothing. (I’ll get back to that.)

Among others, CNBC pushed the latter (“Fauci says Sen. Rand Paul’s false accusations ‘kindles the crazies’ and have incited death threats”), as did Fox, only the other way around (“Rand Paul rips Fauci following latest hearing fireworks: He doesn’t want debate because he ‘is science’). Whatever Fauci and Rand Paul lob at each other in these recurring “showdowns,” their dispute over virus research in Wuhan has nothing, zip, nada, to do with the agony of our nation. We are not dying over the origins of a virus which may not exist, or even over the virus itself (plus “variants”) with its 99+ percent survival rate, and whose average age of death approximates the average age of death. We are dying from the tyrannical “cure”: each and every act of oppression imposed on us by our very own governments and institutions, all in the name of a fake plague called “covid.”

From “flattening the curve (15 days), to “lockdowns” forever, to “social distancing” and other totalitarian measures including incessant “testing” (with a fake test), we find ourselves not on the road to something they mockingly call “public health,” but rather to a state of perpetual fear, vaxx apartheid, “green passes,” concentration camps (happening), digital currency (to come), a vaxx-caused die-off and overall sickening of the world’s peoples, and, I am increasingly persuaded, the goal of ending the human species itself in gene-engineered and nano-wired “transhumanism.”

There is a simple switch to shut down the dystopian juggernaut. If we were to stop “testing” healthy people by the million (or if healthy people were to refuse to be tested by the million) the Xi to Gates Foundation to WEF to WHO to CDC to Johns Hopkins “dashboards” would stop generating the false-positive-“cases” that drive the closures, the stoppages, the firings, the breakdowns, the hysteria, rage and more testing. Without the fake statistical drivers that fuel this “pandemic,” this “pandemic” stops. So, theoretically, does demand for, or submission to the covid shot of Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Astra Zeneca, Comiraty, all of them. These are the real bioweapons, not a virus, which, by their own terms, poses a negligible threat to most people.

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Mathew Crawford digs deeper. I can’t really cover this in a few words. Click the link and go to his site.

The Omicron Hypothesis, Part 1 (Crawford)

As omicron took over the caseload, the case fatality rate (CFR), which is the proportion of COVID-19 cases that are fatal (cases, not infections), took a nosedive. Per case, COVID-19 is almost 90% less deadly than prior to the omicronification of the pandemic. In fact, we may pass 90% by the time I’m done typing, which has already confused my sense of changing tense in this paragraph… We should still keep an eye out for overall health impact, including the frequency and severity of long haul symptoms. But the extremely good news is that the COVID-19 case count—not that it was ever measured correctly—has officially decoupled from the hospitalization and death counts. That’s okay—sometimes, during changes in functional outcomes, we care more about precision in measurement than accuracy.


And by “officially” I don’t mean that the WHO said so (though they might have…I haven’t bothered to check because why would I?), but rather “look at the charts!” In fact, there are almost no deaths at all associated with the omicron variant! Of course, there will be some. There is no such thing as a respiratory infection that doesn’t kill some of the frail elderly. But unless there is some facet of the omicron outbreak that we don’t yet understand, this is all extremely good news. In fact, it’s such good news that we should probably declare the pandemic over with and stop talking about vaccine mandates and passports altogether.

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See above.

The Omicron Hypothesis, Part 2 (Crawford)

A quick summary of primary open hypotheses explored:

Hypothesis 1: Omicron has been circulating widely for at least several months.

Hypothesis 2: Omicron was genetically engineered—most likely by somebody in the same working group who engineered an mRNA vaccine to stop SARS-CoV-2.

Now, before we really get started again, some places (including those I mentioned in Part 1) where there is now a pandemic of the vaccinated.

United Kingdom: Vaccinated twice as likely to have omicron than unvaccinated
Leaked Dept. of Health memo warns efficacy falls to zero against omicron.
The Imperial College of London finds an increasing affinity among the vaccinated for omicron relative to delta that increases with the number of doses taken.

New South Wales, Australia

Denmark data shows negative vaccine efficacy

Oh, Canada!
Ontario: 95% of omicron cases in the vaccinated
Joel Smalley caught Alberta cooking the books to keep the vaccines from looking bad against omicron.

Dec 13, 2021: The CDC says that 79% of early identified omicron infections are in vaccinated individuals.

The vaccine manufacturers worry that their products do not protect against omicron

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This article will disappear again sometime today.

Will These People Be Charged With Genocide? (Mercola)

According to The Desert Review, a slew of high-power figures in the COVID-19 pandemic and the push to mandate experimental COVID jabs have been accused of several crimes, including crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression in the U.K.: “In a stunning 46-page legal filing2 to the International Criminal Court on December 6 [2021], an intrepid attorney and seven applicants accused Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszak, Melinda Gates, William Gates III, and twelve others of numerous violations of the Nuremberg Code. These included various crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined by the Rome Statutes, Articles 6, 7, 8, 15, 21, and 53.”

The Dirty 16 In all, the 16 defendants named in the legal filing are:
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID
Dr. Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance
Bill Gates
Melinda Gates
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer
Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna
Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca
Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson
Tedros Adhanhom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO
Boris Johnson, U.K. prime minister
Christopher Whitty, U.K. chief medical adviser
Matthew Hancock, former U.K. secretary of state for Health and Social Care
Medicines and Healthcare, current U.K. secretary of state for Health and Social Care
June Raine, U.K. chief executive of Medicines and Healthcare products
Dr. Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation
Klaus Schwab, president of the World Economic Forum

The victims, on behalf of whom the complaint was filed, are “the peoples of the United Kingdom.” One of the seven applicants is Dr. Michael Yeadon, a former vice president and chief scientist of allergy and respiratory research at Pfizer. At the end of 2020, he expressed deep concerns about the COVID jabs becoming mandatory, as he could find no medical rationale for their use. In 2021, as we all know, mandates were rolled out around the world. In April 2021, Yeadon went public with concerns that the shots were part of a depopulation agenda. “I believe [COVID-19 booster shots] are going to be used to damage your health and possibly kill you. I can see no sensible interpretation other than a serious attempt at mass depopulation,” he said in a “Planet Lockdown” interview published in late April 2021.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal located in The Hague, Netherlands. Its activities are governed by an international treaty called the Rome Statute, which has been ratified by more than 120 countries, including the U.S. The ICC is a permanent, independent court that investigates crimes that concern the international community, such as claims of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression. In theory, member states are supposed to cooperate with the court, but that doesn’t always happen.

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Doctors trying to kill a patient. Why?

Wife Stands Off With Hospital to Keep Her Husband Alive, and Wins (ET)

Sentiments expressed in random phone calls for Anne Quiner as her husband Scott lay in a hospital bed breathing through a ventilator ranged from “I hope your husband dies a vegetable” followed by a litter of profanity, to “he should have taken the vaccine; I hope he dies,” before hanging up. While not the traditional Hallmark expressions for one to get well soon, Quiner said it was a feeling shared among some of the doctors at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, where Scott had been hospitalized for COVID-19 complications in November. In one recorded phone call with Dr. Linda Soucie in which Quiner was fighting to keep Scott on the ventilator, Soucie told Quiner, “Unfortunately, if we could turn back time and he had gotten the vaccine, then he wouldn’t be here,” just after Soucie had told Quiner,

“After three years, I think we’ve gotten pretty good at determining who’s going to make it and who’s not, and unfortunately Scott’s in that range of the group that is not going to make it.” In a recorded conference call, doctors told Quiner that they would be taking Scott off the ventilator on Jan. 13 because he would not recover due to what they said were his “destroyed lungs from COVID pneumonia,” and that their attempts at decreasing sedation only caused him pain. Quiner told The Epoch Times that her petitions for alternative treatments, as well as to keep Scott on the ventilator, had been met with contempt. With doctors determined to take Scott off the ventilator, Quiner sought legal counsel. Marjorie Holsten, Quiner’s attorney, told The Epoch Times that she filed a motion for a temporary restraining order that prevented the hospital from taking Scott off the ventilator.

Mercy Hospital then hired its own law firm that objected to the temporary restraining order on the basis that Holsten and Quiner’s position isn’t “supported by medical science.” Because of this, the hospital requested that the court issue an order authorizing the hospital to take Scott off the ventilator. The judge sided with Holsten, issuing the order based on the standard that irreparable harm would result if not issued, which Holsten said was easy to establish because if Scott had been taken off, he would have died. On Jan. 15, Scott was transferred out of Mercy Hospital and taken to an undisclosed hospital in Texas, where Holsten said the doctors have reported Scott to be malnourished, having lost 30 pounds underweight, and dehydrated. Both Holsten and Quiner said doctors in Texas were “horrified” by Scott’s condition when he arrived.

“One doctor said he didn’t know how Scott made it out of that hospital alive,” Quiner said. “He looked at his chart and said, ‘I can’t believe the heavy, sedating drugs they put him on.’” The hospital was following a rigid late-treatment COVID protocol that has “very likely killed many people,” Holsten said.

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She is insane. Just not certified yet. Cancelled her own wedding too.

Jacinda Ardern Will Force Household Covid Contacts To Isolate For 24 Days (DM)

New Zealand will make household contacts of Covid cases isolate for 24 days under harsh new rules brought in to combat an impending Omicron outbreak. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has brought in the strict measures as the country battles to stay Covid Zero despite the threat of the highly contagious mutant strain. But critics say the lengthy quarantine period is ‘unworkable’ and will lead people to avoid getting tested. Anyone infected with Covid is now required to isolate for 14 days, up from 10 days under the new interim rules. Household contacts must then stay in quarantine for a further 10 days, stretching the time alone out to three and a half weeks.

The extension to isolation comes as New Zealand recorded 84 new Covid cases on Saturday, with 43 in the community and another 41 caught at the border. It includes an Auckland airport worker who tested positive for the omicron strain, sparking fears case numbers could soar up to 1500 a day or more if the mutant strain spreads across the nation. The NZ Ministry of Health said the changes were made after new scientific data published in Japan revealed the highly infectious strain has a longer incubation period than previous variants with sufferers also shedding the virus for longer. But Ardern’s critics warn the extreme policy is ‘unworkable’ and could lead to more Covid cases with greater number refusing to be tested in order to avoid the lengthy quarantine period.

‘The effect is that if you test positive, members of your household may have to isolate for 24 days,’ Act political party leader David Seymour told NZ’s Stuff. ‘People who cannot afford that will have a strong incentive not to get tested, defeating the purpose of the policy. ‘If the advice is taken seriously, it will cripple the health workforce and supply chains more generally.’

Haka

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“Certain words that are key did not flow, so that began to raise a red flag.”

Mask Mandates Causing Over 350% Surge In Childhood Speech Delays (NP)

Mask mandates implemented by the government amidst the COVID-19 appear to be causing speech delays in young children. The regulations, which are still in effect in Democrat-led cities including Washington D.C. and New York City, have had adverse effects on the development of speaking abilities in children and babies. “This has been a very challenging year,” emphasized Jaclyn Theek, a clinic director and speech-language pathologist at the Speech and Learning Institute in North Palm Beach, Florida. The clinic experienced a 364 percent increase in patients who were babies and toddlers amidst the pandemic. Prior to the onset of COVID-19, only 5 percent of the clinic’s patients were in the age group, while today it stands at 20 percent.

“There’s no research out there yet saying that this could be causing speech and language delays. But, most definitely, I’m sure it’s a factor,” Theek said. “It’s very important that kids do see your face to learn, so they’re watching your mouth.” Similarly, many parents interviewed by WPBF 25 News felt the irregular speech patterns were “COVID-delayed.” A parent interviewed by the outlet attributed the delays to “social isolation and everyone wearing masks”: Gregg Santos brings his son, Diego, to speech therapy twice a week. “He would just ramble, baby ramble,” Santos said. “Certain words that are key did not flow, so that began to raise a red flag.” Santos said his son was born perfectly healthy at the start of a pandemic.

“We’d go out and walk around the neighborhood, and there would be no one there…everyone just stayed in,” Santos said. Santos said he believes social isolation and everyone wearing masks lead to Diego’s speech delays. “It bothers me,” Santos said. “It bothers me a lot.” “It definitely makes a difference when the world you are growing up in, you can’t interact with people and their face. That’s super important to babies,” cautioned another parent.

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Jonathan Cook on being disappeared.

Is It Already Too Late To Say Goodbye? (Cook)

My blog posts once attracted tens of thousands of shares. Then, as the algorithms tightened, it became thousands. Now, as they throttle me further, shares can often be counted in the hundreds. “Going viral” is a distant memory. No, I won’t be banned. I will fade incrementally, like a small star in the night sky – one among millions – gradually eclipsed as its neighbouring suns grow ever bigger and brighter. I will disappear from view so slowly you won’t even notice. Which is why I am saying my goodbyes now while I can still reach you, my most obstinate followers. But this isn’t really about one small light being snuffed out. This isn’t just about our relationship coming to an end. Something bigger, and more disturbing, is taking place.

Journalists like me are part of an experiment – in a new, more democratised media landscape. We have developed new reader-funded models so that we can break free of the media corporations, which until now ensured billionaires and the state controlled the flow of information in one direction only: to speak down to us. The corporate media needs corporate advertising to survive – or the owners’ deep pockets. They don’t need you, except as a captive audience. You’re both their prisoner and their product. But the lifeblood of a reader-funded journalist, as the name suggests, are readers. The more of you we attract, the better chance there is that we can generate donations and income and make the model sustainable. Our Achilles’ heel is our dependence on social media to find you, to keep reaching you, to offer you an alternative from the corporate media.

If Facebook (sorry, the Meta universe) and Twitter stop independent writers from growing their readerships by manipulating the algorithms, by ghosting and shadow-banning us, and by all the other trickery we do not yet understand, then new voices cannot grow their funding base and break free of corporate control. And equally, for those like me who are already established and have significant numbers of readers, these tech giants can whittle them away one by one. Ostensibly, I have many tens of thousands of followers, but for several years now I have been reaching fewer and fewer of you. I am starved of connection. The danger, already only too obvious, is that my readership, and funding model, will slowly start to shrivel and die. Joe Rogan, Russell Brand and a handful of titans of the new media age are so big they can probably weather it out. But the rest of us will not be so lucky.

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Acting out Orwell’s warnings.

University Slaps A Trigger Warning On George Orwell’s 1984 (DM)

As one of the greatest works in Britain’s literary canon, Nineteen Eighty-Four sounds a chilling warning about the dangers of censorship. Now staff at the University of Northampton have issued a trigger warning for George Orwell’s novel on the grounds that it contains ‘explicit material’ which some students may find ‘offensive and upsetting’. The advice, revealed following a Freedom of Information request by The Mail on Sunday, has infuriated critics, who say it runs contrary to the themes in the book. Published in 1949, Orwell’s dystopian story – set in a totalitarian state which persecutes individual thinking – gave the world phrases such as ‘Big Brother’, ‘Newspeak’ and ‘thought police’.

[It] makes powerful points about what can happen to a society that doesn’t cherish academic freedoms or its own history. Yet it is one of several literary works which have been flagged up to students at Northampton who are studying a module called Identity Under Construction. They are warned that the module ‘addresses challenging issues related to violence, gender, sexuality, class, race, abuses, sexual abuse, political ideas and offensive language’. In addition to Orwell’s book, academics identify several works in the module that have the potential to be ‘offensive and upsetting’ including the Samuel Beckett play Endgame, the graphic novel V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd and Jeanette Winterson’s Sexing The Cherry.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘There’s a certain irony that students are now being issued trigger warnings before reading Nineteen Eighty-Four. Our university campuses are fast becoming dystopian Big Brother zones where Newspeak is practised to diminish the range of intellectual thought and cancel speakers who don’t conform to it. ‘Too many of us – and nowhere is it more evident than our universities – have freely given up our rights to instead conform to a homogenised society governed by a liberal elite “protecting” us from ideas that they believe are too extreme for our sensibilities.’

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@dimitrigalanis: “The current propaganda meme in Washington is that #Russia is going to “invade #Ukraine” and absorb it. It will not: Ukraine is a decaying, impoverished, de-industrialised, divided, corrupt and decaying mess; Moscow does not want to take responsibility for the package.”

The Hidden Origin Of The Escalating Ukraine-Russia Conflict (CD)

Western and Russian leaders and their media express deeply conflicting views concerning the escalating conflict in Ukraine and its origins. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other officials have repeatedly blasted the Kremlin for instigating the crisis along Ukraine’s border in an attempt to carve out a sphere of influence. They argue that after the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych was ousted by peaceful protesters in 2014—dozens of whom were massacred by government snipers—Russia annexed Crimea and launched a hybrid war with Ukraine in the Donbas with the help of Russian proxies. Moreover, Western officials maintain that Ukraine is a sovereign state which has a right to join NATO. In contrast, Russian leaders insist that the Ukrainian government was overthrown in a fascist putsch, which led to Crimea voluntary joining Russia and to a civil war without Russian military involvement in the Donbas. They say that Ukraine has been under de facto NATO rule since 2014 and regard unrecognized separatist republics in the Donbas as independent.


Various evidence presented in studies I have authored, which has been echoed by many other Western scholars who research these issues, show that both of these narratives are inaccurate. Indeed, the question of which side carried out the “snipers’ massacre” is central to understanding one of the “bloodiest and most controversial hours of European conflict since the end of the Cold War,” and the main tipping point in the escalating conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine. According to testimonies by over 100 wounded protesters, several dozen prosecution witnesses, and forensic ballistic and medical examinations by government experts, the massacre of the absolute majority of protesters and police at the Maidan (central square) in Kyiv on February 20, 2014 was perpetrated principally by members of the Maidan opposition, specifically its far-right elements. This event precipitated the violent removal of the corrupt and oligarchic but democratically elected government in Ukraine, touching off a conflict which has since killed more than 13,000 people. Western governments were at least aware of, or de facto backed, the overthrow.

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The best we have. Gone.

German Navy Chief Resigns After Saying “Putin Deserves Respect” (ZH)

[..] the “Russia is about to invade Ukraine” plotline just suffered a major blow after the chief of Germany’s navy, vice-admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach , said on Friday that Crimea “will never come back”, and that what Putin “really wants is respect…and it is easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably deserves.” And sure enough, just one day later, on Saturday evening, he resigned from his post for having the temerity to speak out against conventional wisdom. “I have asked Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht to relieve me from my duties with immediate effect,” Schoenbach said in a statement cited by the Reuters news agency. “The minister has accepted my request,” he added.

Speaking at an event organized by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses on Friday, the vice-admiral redpilled the shocked audience when he dismissed as “nonsense” the notion that Russia was “interested in having a small and tiny strip of Ukraine soil and integrating it into their country.” “Does Russia really want a small and tiny strip of Ukraine soil to integrate into their country? No, this is nonsense. Putin is probably putting pressure because can do it and he splits EU opinion.” Schönbach went on to claim that what President Putin really wanted was the West to “respect” Russia, adding “giving some respect is low cost, even no cost. If I was asked, it is easy to give him the respect he really demands and probably also deserves.” Addressing the issue of Crimea, the German Navy commander opined that the “peninsula is gone” and “will never come back — this is a fact.”

On Ukraine’s possible admission into NATO, Schönbach said, “Ukraine of course cannot meet the requirements because it’s occupied in the Donbas region by the Russian Army or by what they call as militias.” In this context, he also said the Crimea peninsula, which was annexed by Russia, is “gone” and is “not coming back”. Then in an even greater transgression of conventional pro-China etiquette, the German had the temerity to point out the elephant in the room when he slammed China which is “not that nice country we probably thought” and added that that “Russia is an old country, Russia is an important country. Even we India, Germany, need Russia. We need Russia against China…” This, he said, is “easy” and “keeps Russia away from China” because China needs resources of Russia and they [Russia] are willing to give them because the sanctions sometimes do go the “wrong way”.

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Most corrupt country on the planet?

Germany ‘Encouraging Putin’ By Refusing To Supply Weapons: Ukraine (Y!)

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday condemned Germany for its refusal to supply weapons to Kyiv, urging Berlin to stop “undermining unity” and “encouraging Vladimir Putin” amid fears of a Russian invasion. In a separate development, Germany’s naval chief Kay-Achim Schoenbach announced his resignation late Saturday, after Ukraine summoned the German ambassador to Ukraine, to protest remarks the vice-admiral had made on the crisis. Kyiv’s foreign ministry stressed “the categorical unacceptability” of Schoenbach’s comments, who had said the idea that Russia wanted to invade Ukraine was “nonsense”, and that Putin probably deserved respect.


With tens of thousands of Russian troops gathered on the Ukrainian border, fears are mounting that a major conflict could break out in Europe. Ukraine’s calls to Western allies to bolster its defence capabilities have seen the United States, Britain and Baltic states agree to send to Kyiv weapons, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. Kuleba said on Twitter that Germany’s statements “about the impossibility of supplying defence weapons to Ukraine” did not match “the current security situation”. Ukraine’s minister stressed that “today the unity of the West in relation to Russia is more important than ever. “The German partners must stop undermining unity with such words and actions and encouraging (Russian President) Vladimir Putin to launch a new attack on Ukraine,” Kuleba said.

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Bilbao

Bern

London

Stockholm

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

Dec 102021
 
 December 10, 2021  Posted by at 9:43 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  65 Responses »


Today, two UK High Court judges will decide whether to extradite Julian Assange to the US.

 

The Geographies of the Pharma Genocide (Toby Rogers)
Scientists May Have Discovered Why COVID Hits Fat People Harder (ZH)
SARS-CoV-2 Infects Human Adipose Tissue, Elicits Inflammatory Response (bioRxiv)
South African Covid Cases Up 255% In A Week As Omicron Spreads (G.)
NOW It Is Time (Denninger)
UK Health Secretary Says ‘Unethical’ Mandatory Vaccination ‘Will Not Work’ (SN)
Fauci: Definition of Fully Vaccinated Will Be Changed (ET)
NIH: No Documents on Removal of Gain-of-Function Definition From Website (ET)
Hillsdale College Opens New Academy for Science and Freedom
Pfizer Centers To Boost Greek Economy (K.)
‘Nothing Is More Permanent Than A Temporary Government Program’ (DW)
Botoxed Camels Banned From $66mn Beauty Pageant (RT)

 

 

Julian

 

 

Snowden on Assange: “What we are witnessing is a murder that passes without comment”

 

 

IVM

 

 

 

 

“If vaccines cause net harms, are being deployed worldwide, and every vaccine failure just leads to more vaccination, then this situation is best understood as a genocide.”

The Geographies of the Pharma Genocide (Toby Rogers)

I’ve been searching for the perfect metaphor or analogy to describe what’s going on. But then I realized that while there are some similarities to prior historical periods, in many ways what’s happening now is unprecedented. So the task before us is to identify the features of this genocide, how it works, and how it’s similar to or different from the past — so that we can look for points of leverage to overthrow the system. First, some orienting principles to guide the conversation: The best available evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 is a man-made gain-of-function chimera virus that escaped from a bioweapons lab. Both U.S. and Chinese bioweapons researchers are involved.

Coronavirus vaccines do not stop infection, transmission, or bad health outcomes including death. After nearly 500 million doses in the U.S., all-cause mortality and COVID-19 deaths have increased. Doubling down on vaccination, with three, four, or infinite doses or even reformulated doses will not stop the pandemic. This virus was always a bad candidate for a vaccine and mRNA and adenovirus vectors are no great breakthrough and no panacea. Pharma knows all of the above. The CIA, NSA, NIH, and senior Pentagon leadership do too. Useful idiots in government do not necessarily understand the above even though they are the ones carrying out the orders. Only a handful of elected officials understand this.

If vaccines cause net harms, are being deployed worldwide, and every vaccine failure just leads to more vaccination, then this situation is best understood as a genocide. Fauci, the FDA, CDC, NIH, and AMA are all blocking access to safe and effective treatments. This is a crime against humanity and clear evidence of genocidal intent. Pharma has taken over the media and political system and is implementing the most draconian anti-science policies since the Third Reich. Totalitarianism is Pharma’s preferred form of government and they are working extremely hard to create a global totalitarian system of governance under their control.

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The virus hides in fat cells?! Systemic inflammation I would venture.

Scientists May Have Discovered Why COVID Hits Fat People Harder (ZH)

Now, scientists may have a clue as to why Covid affects fat people more severely – it infects both fat cells and certain immune cells within body fat, prompting the body to respond aggressively, according to the New York Times, citing a study published in October. “The bottom line is, ‘Oh my god, indeed, the virus can infect fat cells directly,'” said Dr. Philipp Scherer, a scientist who studies fat cells at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, who was not involved in the research. “Whatever happens in fat doesn’t stay in fat,” he continued. “It affects neighboring tissues as well.” The research has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal, but it was posted online in October.


If the findings hold up, they may shed light not just on why patients with excess pounds are vulnerable to the virus, but also on why certain younger adults with no other risks become so ill. The study’s senior authors, Dr. Tracey McLaughlin and Dr. Catherine Blish of the Stanford University School of Medicine, suggested the evidence could point to new Covid treatments that target body fat. The finding is particularly relevant to the United States, which has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. Most American adults are overweight, and 42 percent have obesity. Black, Hispanic, Native American and Alaska Native people in the U.S. have higher obesity rates than white adults and Asian Americans; they have also been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, with death rates roughly double those of white Americans.”-NY Times

“Maybe that’s the Achilles’ heel that the virus utilizes to evade our protective immune responses — by hiding in this place,” said Dr. Vishwa Deep Dixit, a professor of comparative medicine and immunology at Yale School of Medicine. According to Stanford’s Dr. Blish, “This could well be contributing to severe disease … We’re seeing the same inflammatory cytokines that I see in the blood of the really sick patients being produced in response to infection of those tissues.” As the Times notes, body fat is more than just an inert form of energy storage. On the contrary, fat is biologically active, and produces both hormones and immune-system proteins that affect nearby cells, causing a persistent low-grade inflammation regardless of any actual infection.

Inflammation is the body’s response to an invader, and sometimes it can be so vigorous that it is more harmful than the infection that triggered it. “The more fat mass, and in particular visceral fat mass, the worse your inflammatory response,” Dr. McLaughlin said, referring to the abdominal fat that surrounds internal organs. Fat tissue is composed mostly of fat cells, or adipocytes. It also contains pre-adipocytes, which mature into fat cells, and a variety of immune cells, including a type called adipose tissue macrophages. -NY Times As part of the study, Dr. McLaughlin, Blish and other colleagues experimented on fat obtained from bariatric surgery to see if the tissue would become infected with Covid. They found that yes, they could – but certain immune cells known as macrophages were also susceptible, and produced a ‘robust’ inflammatory response.

The team also analyzed fat cells from Europeans who had died of Covid, and found the disease contained within fat near various organs. According to Johns Hopkins professor of cardiology, Dr. David Kass, a man whose ideal weight is 170 lbs, yet who weighs 250 lbs, is carrying a substantial amount of fat in which the virus can ‘hang out’ – where it can then replicate and trigger a ‘destructive immune system response.’ “If you really are very obese, fat is the biggest single organ in your body,” said Kass, who added that Covid “can infect that tissue and actually reside there.” “Whether it hurts it, kills it or at best, it’s a place to amplify itself — it doesn’t matter. It becomes kind of a reservoir.”

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More obesity, more inflammation.

SARS-CoV-2 Infects Human Adipose Tissue, Elicits Inflammatory Response (bioRxiv)

Obesity is associated with adverse COVID-19 outcomes, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. In this report, we demonstrate that human adipose tissue from multiple depots is permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection and that infection elicits an inflammatory response, including the secretion of known inflammatory mediators of severe COVID-19. We identify two cellular targets of SARS-CoV-2 infection in adipose tissue: mature adipocytes and adipose tissue macrophages. Adipose tissue macrophage infection is largely restricted to a highly inflammatory subpopulation of macrophages, present at baseline, that is further activated in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Preadipocytes, while not infected, adopt a proinflammatory phenotype. We further demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 RNA is detectable in adipocytes in COVID-19 autopsy cases and is associated with an inflammatory infiltrate. Collectively, our findings indicate that adipose tissue supports SARS-CoV-2 infection and pathogenic inflammation and may explain the link between obesity and severe COVID-19.

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When the headline doesn’t match the content (let alone the graph). Triggers fear though. Job done.

South African Covid Cases Up 255% In A Week As Omicron Spreads (G.)

Covid cases in South Africa have surged by 255% in the past seven days but there is mounting anecdotal evidence that infections with the Omicron variant are provoking milder symptoms than in previous waves. According to a South African private healthcare provider, the recent rise in infections – which includes the Omicron and Delta variants – has been accompanied by a much smaller increase in admissions to intensive care beds, echoing an earlier report from the country’s National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD). On Thursday, Marco Cavaleri, the head of biological threats to health and vaccines strategy at the European Medicines Agency, said the situation in Europe remained “extremely worrying”, primarily due to the spread of the Delta variant, while preliminary data on Omicron suggested it may be more transmissible than Delta but cases appeared to be mostly mild.

“However we need to gather more evidence to determine whether the spectrum of disease severity caused by Omicron is different to that of all the variants that have been circulating so far,” Cavaleri said. “Only time will tell.” He said it appeared that the currently approved Covid vaccines were considerably less effective in neutralising Omicron, but “we need to gather a more precise picture around the level of immunity that can be retained”. The World Health Organization said Africa currently accounted for 46% of reported Omicron cases globally. South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said that despite the global concern over Omicron, it was still unclear whether it was more transmissible or caused more severe disease, and he criticised western countries for imposing a travel ban on the country.

South Africa’s biggest private healthcare provider, Netcare, said data from its facilities indicated less severe Covid symptoms in the current fourth wave than in previous waves. “Having personally seen many of our patients across our Gauteng hospitals, their symptoms are far milder than anything we experienced during the first three waves,” Netcare’s Richard Friedland told the Daily Maverick on Wednesday. “Approximately 90% of Covid-19 patients currently in our hospitals require no form of oxygen therapy and are considered incidental cases. If this trend continues, it would appear that, with a few exceptions of those requiring tertiary care, the fourth wave can be adequately treated at a primary care level.”

Friedland said that in previous waves 26% of Netcare’s Covid patients were treated in high care and intensive care units. Friedland’s comments echo earlier analysis from Dr Fareed Abdullah, of the South African Medical Research Council, who said many of the patients diagnosed with Covid in hospitals in badly hit Gauteng province and elsewhere were often “incidental” identifications in patients presenting with other conditions. “The main observation that we have made over the last two weeks is that the majority of patients in the Covid wards have not been oxygen dependent. Sars-CoV-2 has been an incidental finding in patients that were admitted to the hospital for another medical, surgical or obstetric reason,” Abdullah said.

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Sue your employer if you’ve been laid off under the OSHA mandate.

NOW It Is Time (Denninger)

If you were bullied by your employer under the false pretense that the “mandates” from Biden’s administration were “required” and “lawful”, and your employer either went along with it voluntarily or actually led and lied, it is clear that they’re going to go up in smoke. The CMS/Health Care Worker mandate has been stopped, the OSHA mandate was enjoined and Biden’s attempt to move that to a more-friendly court in DC and get the injunction lifted was responded to by the Judges with a middle finger. Now the Federal Contractor Mandate has been enjoined as well. That’s all of the civilian mandates on employees. All of them have been enjoined. Three losses, no wins.

If you’re an employee who was either coerced into taking the jab or threatened with, or actually fired for refusing you should now contemplate going on offense, now and forevermore, against said employer. You were lied to by your boss who instead of standing up for you and joining said suits tried to sit with Biden and argue for that which has been ruled, with a very high degree of certainty, to be unlawful. I’m a former CEO. I understand these things. I would have never done what these goons did in the medical and other industry areas. No way, no how. There was never justification for it it in law, equity, or common sense. It was, from the start as I see it from the CEO’s side of the table, intentional, abusive and malicious. Well, such actions tend to draw lawsuits. They did.

And now the record is what it is: What was done has an EXTREMELY high probability of being ruled ILLEGAL in the fullness of time. You don’t get injunctions unless there is a very high probability of winning in the fullness of time. That means it is time for enforcement from your side of the table as an employee. It is time for lawsuits. It is time for retribution. It is time to do the minimum necessary work until and unless that retribution is handed to you and the account settled in your favor by said employer. If you were fired, you’re owed all your back pay plus all of any financial penalties you suffered plus immediate reinstatement plus no more bull****. At all. Period. If you were threatened with being fired an apology and reasonable compensation for the intentional emotional distress you were put under is owed you. If your employer doesn’t want to provide that then why would you give them anywhere near 100% ever again?

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Heretic.

UK Health Secretary Says ‘Unethical’ Mandatory Vaccination ‘Will Not Work’ (SN)

The UK health secretary has stated that he has ‘no interest’ in legislating for mandatory COVID vaccinations, describing such a policy as ‘unethical’. In an interview with the BBC, Sajid Javid said “My view is that it’s unethical and also at a practical level it wouldn’t work.” Javid added, “If you’re asking me about universal mandatory vaccination, as some countries in Europe have said they will do, at a practical level I just don’t think it would work. Getting vaccinated has to be a positive choice.” In a separate Sky News interview, Javid added “I’ve got no interest in mandatory vaccinations, apart from in high-risk settings in the NHS and social care, which we’ve already set out that we will legislate for.”


The comments come a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there will “come a point” for a “national conversation” on mandatory vaccinations. Those reacting to Javid’s comments point out that for months Brits were told new lockdowns were not coming, then the government implemented them, and that vaccine passports would never be introduced, yet this week they were, as has been the plan all along.

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Every three months, which each booster.

Fauci: Definition of Fully Vaccinated Will Be Changed (ET)

The definition of fully vaccinated in the United States will be changed, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday. “It’s going to be a matter of when, not if,” Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an appearance on CNN. The term fully vaccinated presently refers to a person who receives two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson jab. Fauci previously said the definition could be changed. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—which set the definition—has left open the possibility of changing it. The definition is used by authorities imposing vaccine mandates across the country, including the federal mandates against healthcare workers and government contractors.

Several of those mandates have been blocked in courts for now due to worries they’re illegal. Fauci said the timing of the change may be linked to the ongoing cases. “It has implications for that, and that’s the reason why it matters,” he said. Effectiveness of all three of the vaccines authorized for use in the United States drops the longer time goes on from a person getting one, according to real-world data and a slew of studies. There’s been “a slow but steady waning of immunity over time,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said last month. Walensky and other health authorities, citing the waning efficacy, recently cleared boosters for all adults 18 and older. Late last month, they recommended that virtually everybody in that population get an additional jab.

The drop in protection is even more pronounced against the newly identified Omicron variant, according to four studies released this week. Vaccine makers, including Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, are racing to develop reformulated shots that will target the variant specifically.

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Lots of definitions have changed over the past year. Is it because they were not true, or because they were not fit for purpose?

NIH: No Documents on Removal of Gain-of-Function Definition From Website (ET)

No documents exist explaining why officials decided to remove the definition of “gain-of-function research” from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, the agency told The Epoch Times. The NIH site used to include a 232-word definition of the research, but it was removed around the same time the agency disclosed that research it funded in China met the definition. The alteration took place sometime between Oct. 19 and Oct. 21. The Epoch Times submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for any communications and other documents from between Oct. 1 and Oct. 25 relating to the change, which had been authorized by the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison.

The request was closed this week. The NIH told The Epoch Times that it “does not have documentation” on the change other than the updated page. The Department of Health and Human Services in 2017 published a document explaining how to deal with proposed research involving “enhanced potential pandemic pathogens,” or gain-of-function research. The document narrowed the definition to pathogens both highly transmissible and likely to cause significant sickness or death in humans. The page in question “had described the general definition of gain-of-function research that fell outside the scope of the HHS P3CO Framework,” an NIH spokeswoman told The Epoch Times in an email in October.

“However, that information was being misused/used incorrectly (and still is) and creating confusion (and still is),” she said, triggering the change. The NIH’s FOIA office sent a statement on the change that was nearly identical to the one from the spokeswoman. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, told The Epoch Times via email that the changed definition “has only muddied the waters.” “Part of understanding what happened in the Wuhan lab is understanding precisely what gain of function means, and NIH has not been helpful in this regard,” he wrote.

Read more …

Saw a bunch of comments telling these doctors they’re not really banned at all, they get so much media attention.

Hillsdale College Opens New Academy for Science and Freedom

“What we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic was a silencing of scientific inquiry in favor of policies absolutely hostile to freedom,” said Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn. “Liberty is the common good that defines a free society. Policy and science should seek to preserve it whenever possible.” The Academy will feature the work of three scholars, who will be fellows at the Academy: Scott W. Atlas, M.D., of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution; Jay Bhattacharya, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University; and Martin Kulldorff, Ph.D., of the Brownstone Institute.

“The pandemic exposed grave problems with the essential functioning of science, research and debate,” explained Atlas. “Instead of open and free discourse to seek the scientific truths underlying urgently needed solutions, we have seen silencing, censoring, and intimidation of those whose interpretations differed from the desired narrative. This dangerous trend interferes with our ability to address future crises and threatens the very principles of freedom and order essential to democracy.” Atlas added, “Our work in the Academy for Science and Freedom will expose these problems and explore solutions fundamental to the scientific process, principles that all free societies depend on.”

“Science depends on the freedom of scientists to challenge established dogma with arguments and data,” said Bhattacharya. “It cannot function when a small cartel of government scientists, who control a lion’s share of financial support for scientific activity even by private actors, can dictate scientific conclusions at odds with the facts as has happened during the pandemic. The work of the Academy for Science and Freedom will be to reform the funding and function of science so that scientists can be free to do science again and thereby contribute to the flourishing of a free society.”

Kuldorff warned that unless systemic problems within the scientific establishment are amended, the future results will be dire. “As we reflect on the worst public health fiasco in history, our pandemic response has unveiled serious issues with how science is administered. Since the pioneering work of Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, and Descartes, the foundational principle of science has been the free and open discussion of a variety of scientific ideas. With silencing and censoring of scientists — on for example lockdown harms and natural immunity — we will see the end of 400 years of enlightenment.”

Read more …

Greece will not dump Pfizer I guess.

Pfizer Centers To Boost Greek Economy (K.)

Drug giant Pfizer will contribute a total of 1.6 billion euros to the Greek economy in the decade up to 2030, a study by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) has shown. The activity of the US pharmaceutical giant in the local economy will directly and indirectly create 2,600 jobs in Athens and Thessaloniki, according to the report, titled “The Contribution of Pfizer in the Greek Economy,” presented this week at the 32nd Greek Annual Economic Summit, organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. The study has taken into account the direct impact the company will have on Greece’s gross domestic product, its indirect influence on the supply chain connected with the company’s activity, and the effects on consumption on the part of those receiving their income from Pfizer and suppliers associated with its activity. The IOBE study explained that Pfizer’s contribution to Greek GDP has almost doubled with the addition of the Center for Digital Innovation and of the Global Center for Business Operations and Services, both of which are based in Thessaloniki.

Read more …

Musk in politics?!

‘Nothing Is More Permanent Than A Temporary Government Program’ (DW)

In recent days, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has sharply criticized the Biden administration’s social welfare agenda. Earlier this week, Musk argued that the Senate should not pass the Build Back Better Act. The $1.75 trillion legislation — which the House of Representatives has already approved — would expand various social programs, including universal preschool, childcare subsidies, and climate change initiatives. “I would say can this bill, don’t pass it. That’s my recommendation,” argued Musk during The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit. “If this bill happens or doesn’t happen, we don’t think about it at all really. Honestly it might be better if the bill doesn’t pass.”

On Wednesday, the entrepreneur added to his remarks by sharing an analysis from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School — Musk’s alma mater — explaining that the national debt would increase by over 24% if the bill’s provisions are made permanent. “We evaluate the Act under two scenarios. In the first scenario, PWBM presents the spending and revenue provisions ‘as written’ in the legislative text where certain provisions sunset within the 10-year budget window. Under this scenario, we project that the long-run trajectory of public debt would be 1.5 percent larger and that GDP would be 0.2 percent lower in 2050 relative to baseline projections. Under the second scenario, we assume that temporary provisions of the proposal are extended permanently. We find that, against baseline projections, government debt would be more than 24 percent larger in 2050 and GDP would be about 3 percent lower in the same year.”

“There is a lot of accounting trickery in this bill that isn’t being disclosed to the public,” said Musk, noting that the $1.75 trillion price tag is deceptively low due to the early expiration of several programs. Musk concluded with a famous quote from economist Milton Friedman, which President Ronald Reagan often borrowed: “Nothing is more permanent than a ‘temporary’ government program.”

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Who can resist a headline like that?

Botoxed Camels Banned From $66mn Beauty Pageant (RT)

Saudi Arabia has disqualified some 40 camels from its lucrative annual beauty contest for the animals on the grounds that they received Botox injections, facelifts, and other cosmetic touch-ups to become more attractive. Describing it as the biggest-ever crackdown on such “tampering and deception,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday that the animals were barred from the ‘Miss Camel’ pageant held during the popular King Abdulaziz Camel Festival. The event, which began earlier this month, invites breeders to compete for a $66 million prize. Noting that “specialized and advanced” technology was used to detect the artificially enhanced camels, the SPA warned that event organizers will “impose strict penalties on manipulators,” with the intention of halting “all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels.”


At this year’s event, held in the desert near the capital city Riyadh, authorities found that dozens of breeders had stretched out the lips and noses of their camels, used muscle-boosting hormones, injected their heads and lips with Botox to make them bigger, inflated body parts with rubber bands, and used face-relaxing fillers. Such artificial alterations are strictly prohibited at the contest, where judges pick the winner according to the shape of its head, neck, hump, dress, and posture. In recent years, organizers have reportedly used ultrasound scans and x-ray machines to confirm whether the animals have received cosmetic enhancements. According to The Telegraph, camels found to have been artificially enhanced are banned from the competition for two years and can even be added to a blacklist circulated by authorities. Their owners can also be fined up to 100,000 Saudi riyals ($26,650).

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Nov 202021
 
 November 20, 2021  Posted by at 9:14 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Jean-Francois Millet In the Auvergne 1869

 

German States With Higher Vaccination Rates Have Highest Excess Mortality (RS)
Official UK Data Says COVID Infection Rates Higher in Vaxxed Than Unvaxxed (SN)
Covid Rates Take Germany To ‘Nationwide State Of Emergency’ (RT)
Mathew Crawford: The Vaccines Are Useless (Steve Kirsch)
Kirsch Offers Newsom ‘Unlimited’ Money To Prove Booster Didn’t Harm Him (JTN)
COVID Is Over -If You Want It- (QTR)
Head of German Clinic Commits Suicide: “COVID-19 Vaccine Is a Genocide” (StN)
Seven Hurt As Netherlands Police Fire On Anti-lockdown Rioters (DM)
Onward Into Darkness (Kunstler)
Army to Begin Forcing Out Soldiers Who Refuse COVID Vaccine (DOne)
Rittenhouse Aquittal: The Ancient Right of Self Defense (NYSun)

 

 

 

 

The experts
https://twitter.com/i/status/1461750873445568515

 

 

Compulsory vaccination is a crime against humanity!

Violation of:
1) Nuremberg Code
2) UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (art.6).
3) UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (art. 7).
4) UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 3).

 

 

Google translate.

“The excess mortality increases with the increase in the vaccination rate”

German States With Higher Vaccination Rates Have Highest Excess Mortality (RS)

The physicist Dr. Ute Bergner, who formerly belonged to the FDP parliamentary group in the Thuringian state parliament, has meanwhile switched to the Citizens for Thuringia party, held on November 17. A speech in front of the Thuringian state parliament in which she presented an analysis she had commissioned. She commissioned two statisticians to investigate whether there was a connection between the vaccination rate and excess mortality in the 16 federal states. Prof. Dr. Rolf Steyer and Dr. Gregor Kappler analyzed the period from week 36 to week 40.

The results are alarming. The summary of the analysis states: Excess mortality can be found in all 16 states. The number of Covid deaths reported by the RKI in the period under review consistently only represents a relatively small part of the excess mortality and above all cannot explain the critical issue: • The higher the vaccination rate, the higher the excess mortality. The most direct explanation is: • Complete vaccination increases the likelihood of death.

Of course, more indirect explanations are possible: • The higher the proportion of old people, the higher the vaccination rate and excess mortality. Therefore, the vaccination rate and excess mortality also correlate. (This explanation is not very plausible, however, as the proportion of old people would have to have changed significantly between 2016-2020 on the one hand and 2021 on the other.) • Higher vaccination rates are achieved through increased stress and anxiety in the country concerned, and the latter lead to higher numbers of deaths.

[..] For the statisticians among you: The correlation coefficient is +0.31. In the eyes of the two scientists this is “astonishingly high”. Especially since the sign is wrong. Actually, we expect a different relationship: the more vaccinations, the lower the mortality. After all, the intention of the “vaccination” is to protect people. Now the connection is positive: “The excess mortality increases with the increase in the vaccination rate”. This requires urgent clarification, demand the two statisticians. Furthermore, in view of “the pending political measures aimed at containing the virus […] this figure is worrying and requires explanation if further political measures are to be taken with the aim of increasing the vaccination rate”.

Read more …

Infection rates, excess mortality: the vaccines make everything worse.

Official UK Data Says COVID Infection Rates Higher in Vaxxed Than Unvaxxed (SN)

The Spectator has published an article citing official data from Public Health England, which states that for the over 30’s, “the rates of Covid infection per 100,000 are now higher among the vaxxed than the unvaxxed.” Well, this is awkward. The article, written by Lionel Shriver, is titled ‘The absurd theatre of vaccine passports’. It points out that according to official data, vaccines only offer about 17 per cent protection for the over-fifties. “As I observed then, this would mean the vaxxed and unvaxxed pose a comparable danger to each other,” writes Shriver. “All Covid apartheid schemes are therefore insensible.” She then clearly explains how the official data undermines the entire argument behind vaccine passports, which ban the unvaccinated from entering innumerable venues.

“Fresher information has fortified this conclusion of the summer. In every age group over 30 in the UK, the rates of Covid infection per 100,000 are now higher among the vaxxed than the unvaxxed. Indeed, in the cohorts aged between 40 and 79, infection rates among the vaccinated are more than twice as high as among the unvaccinated. PHE’s fruitlessly rechristened body, the UK Health Security Agency, frantically clarifies that the data ‘should not be used to estimate vaccine effectiveness’, a caveat which I include for the sake of accuracy. But the differences in the infection rates are drastic enough for you to draw your own conclusions.” Shriver then summarizes how that data demolishes the reason for implementing vaccine passport schemes.


“Gatekeeping of pleasure palaces promotes the wrong impression — statistically, the lie — that the unvaccinated riff-raff exiled to the pavement pose a far graver threat of communicable disease than the diners in the nearby banquette who, like you, have righteously got the shot. In truth, the double-jabbed airline passenger in 24A can be just as risky a seat-mate as the great unwashed banished from the flight.” Meanwhile, the Times reports the results of another study which “found the double-jabbed are just as likely to pass on Covid-19 as unvaccinated people.” After Public Health England published the data, government bureaucrats begin to panic that people would use it to suggest vaccines were not that effective. Office for Statistics Regulation director Ed Humpherson called an urgent meeting with U.K. Health Security Agency during which he worried about the data having “the potential to mislead.” “We noted that these data have been used to argue that vaccines are ineffective,” Humpherson subsequently wrote.

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Vaccine failure writ large.

Covid Rates Take Germany To ‘Nationwide State Of Emergency’ (RT)

Germany has been plunged into a “nationwide state of emergency” because of its current high level of Covid infections, acting health minister Jens Spahn has said. He also refused to rule out further lockdowns. “The situation is serious, the dynamic is unbroken,” Spahn told a press conference Friday. “The incidence has increased fivefold in four weeks. We see sadly high values in the death rate. We are in a national emergency.” Spahn refused to rule out the possibility of another lockdown, saying that in such a drastic health situation “we can’t rule anything out”. The head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, added to the gloomy picture by saying that “all of Germany is one big outbreak,” with an estimated half a million active Covid cases in the country – and numbers rising.


For the third day in a row, more than 50,000 cases have been registered in the country, while the death toll in Germany since the start of the pandemic is above 98,700, according to figures compiled by the RKI. Wieler added that with many hospitals already overwhelmed, more should be done to tackle the spread of the virus. Besides obvious measures such as vaccination and wearing masks, he also suggested closing poorly-ventilated bars. On Thursday, lawmakers in the Bundestag approved new measures in the fight against coronavirus, including requirements to prove vaccination status, a negative test or proof of recovery from infection before employees can access communal workspaces or use public transport. The measures will have to be passed by the upper house before they can take effect. Neighboring Austria announced on Friday that it would enter full lockdown as of Monday, November 22.

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Long interview. But two interesting guys.

Mathew Crawford: The Vaccines Are Useless (Steve Kirsch)

Statistician Mathew Crawford talks to me about why he believes that the vaccines are completely ineffective based on the data. He also talks about gaming of the clinical trials to make the data look good when in fact the vaccines are killing people who are more susceptible to the virus which then makes the survivors look more immune. This is a long interview, but if you really want to understand the games that are being played and how the medical community is fooled, you’ll want to listen to the interview.

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“We’d make the Guinness Book of World Records for highest price ever paid for a blank piece of paper!”

Kirsch Offers Newsom ‘Unlimited’ Money To Prove Booster Didn’t Harm Him (JTN)

When California Gov. Gavin Newsom disappeared from public view for nearly two weeks after getting his COVID-19 vaccine booster — missing even a Zoom appearance for the United Nations climate summit — his administration denied speculation he’d had an adverse reaction to the shot. The tech industry veteran who coinvented the optical mouse and is now funding COVID early treatment research didn’t buy the official explanation, speculating Newsom had developed Bell’s palsy from the shot. Steve Kirsch is now making escalating financial offers to the Democrat to publicly disclose “any and all vaccine-related conversations” with his doctors, and documentation including medical records, since his booster shot.


“If you are telling the truth, you have absolutely nothing to lose” Kirsch wrote in his newsletter Monday. “Our doctors will not be able to tell me anything since there is nothing to tell!” He started with a $1 million offer to Newsom, raising that to $5 million on Wednesday and “name your price” on Thursday. That latest offer was made to Newsom’s wife Jennifer in a private email, he said. “No response so far?” Kirsch wrote. “Wow. Unlimited $ for a blank piece of paper. I’m impressed. We’d make the Guinness Book of World Records for highest price ever paid for a blank piece of paper!” Newsom can also respond to Kirsch’s challenge and have the money donated to a charity, the philanthropist said. “If Gavin ignores my offer, I will start billboard/newspaper/ online advertising.”

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“Together, we have dealt with an assault on our senses for nearly two years and, this holiday season, it’s time to just let that shit go..”

COVID Is Over -If You Want It- (QTR)

To me, it feels like the nation is on the verge of collectively exhaling after what can only be described as a physically arduous and psychologically burdensome 24 months. We’ve lost some family and friends, we’re all a couple years older, our perspectives have shifted – yet, if you’re reading this, you’re one of the billions of members of the human race relentlessly marching forward. Together, we have dealt with an assault on our senses for nearly two years and, this holiday season, it’s time to just let that shit go. Worse than the virus itself has been the continued incessant reminders to get vaccinated, two-faced mask requirements from hypocritical politicians, spurious and useless mandates and individuals and businesses who suffered personal or economic losses.

The psychological toll from Covid easily rivals, if not surpasses, the physical toll we have paid. And why wouldn’t it be? Every day, the mainstream media brutalizes us with new sensationalist claims about how Covid is waiting around the corner with a gun, getting ready to shoot us in the face in our own homes if we do something as meaningless as use a one-way door labeled “Exit” to enter a building. And if the virus doesn’t shoot us (hyperbole), the government might (less hyperbole). Just ask Australia. What have we been rewarded with, as a nation – as a human race – for obeying all of these rules? We have been lied to and deceived at almost every instance possible.

There have been deceptions about herd immunity, Dr. Fauci has lied willingly about whether or not he helped fund gain of function research, the media has lied about potentially efficacious Covid treatments, FDA staff have resigned in protest over pressure to approve boosters and the stocks of companies like Moderna have gone through the roof. Yesterday was another day that I woke up and watched the mainstream media narrative alternate between trying to scare the shit out of people and complete and total implosion. Almost one year to the day after President Biden said “You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations,” the following headline made its way onto MSNBC.

The article read: “What we’re starting to see now is an uptick in hospitalizations among people who’ve been vaccinated but not boosted,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, said Tuesday in an interview. Surprise, surprise. The goalposts have been moved again. Oh, and look: vaccination status continues to be pushed as controversial.

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YouTube is censoring his video and his farewell letter.

Head of German Clinic Commits Suicide: “COVID-19 Vaccine Is a Genocide” (StN)

On Tuesday, Dr Thomas Jendges, Head of the Chemnitz Clinic, committed suicide by jumping from the top of the clinic’s building in Flemmingstrasse, Germany, according to Bild . He was 55 years old. The Doctor died on the spot from his injuries. Jendges had only been appointed sole managing Director of the Chemnitz Clinic since October 1st 2021. Since April, he was acting as Managing Director of East Germany’s largest municipal hospital. Sven Schulze explained on Tuesday afternoon, on the city’s website that, the Chemnitz Clinic, despite the tragic death of Dr. Thomas Jendges is still able to act. Schulze: “The expanded management team will be in charge of business in the coming days.” “It is with great dismay that I have just learned of the tragic death of Dr. Thomas Jendges’ experience. Last night (Monday, ed) we talked at length about the difficult situation of the crown “, said the mayor of Chemnitz Sven Schulze (50, SPD) on Tuesday morning.

Reports of a letter that the deceased alledgly left behind are circulating. Jendges alledgly killed himself to set an example against the corona vaccinations. These are “bio-warfare agents”, so it says in the postings. He is also said to have described the vaccine in his letter as genocide and a crime against humanity”, according to Tag24. According to Las repúblicas, In the lengthy farewell letter Dr. Thomas Jendges wrote before his suicide and demanded its publication, he is said to have harshly criticized the information policy of governments in dealing with the dangerousness of Covid vaccines. The constant lies and deceit to the patient and the vaccinated that the vaccines are supposedly harmless, he could no longer bear them, it is said in the letter.

He condemns vaccinating the population with experimental and lethal vaccines against Covid-19, which is in fact more of a biological warfare agent created and manipulated for that use, than for any other known utility. For Dr. Thomas Jendges a genocide and a crime against humanity is taking place, they report that he says the letter, according to the German press such as the Bild newspaper. Because the mayor threatened to fire him if he no longer stayed in the submissive line imposed by government order and refused to vaccinate patients at the clinic, there were presumably no more options for Jendges. This director has not wanted to support a crime of the federal government, the state government and his faithful henchmen.

Read more …

Giant vaccine failure.

Seven Hurt As Netherlands Police Fire On Anti-lockdown Rioters (DM)

Seven people have been hurt after Dutch police fired on anti-lockdown rioters on Friday night, amid rising anger at the re-introduction of European Covid-19 measures. Police confirmed the injuries in Rotterdam on Friday and said they had fired both ‘warning shots’ and directly at protesters – but did not say if live ammunition or rubber bullets were fired. Local media reported that at least 20 people were arrested. Police also fired water cannons to disperse demonstrators who lit fires and set off fireworks in one of Rotterdam’s main shopping streets, one week after the new Covid-19 measures came into force.

The violent scenes came amid a rising anger at coronavirus measures across Europe, with Austria making vaccines mandatory and introducing a full lockdown from Monday, and German ministers not ruling out following its neighbour’s lockdown lead. Restrictions have also been placed on the unvaccinated in Germany – where they have been banned from Restaurants – as well as in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Video from social media appeared to show a person being shot in Rotterdam, but there was no immediate word on what happened. Police said in a tweet that it was ‘still unclear how and by whom’ the person was apparently shot.

Local media reported seven people were injured and at least 20 were arrested, with one eyewitness – a press photographer – telling De Telegraaf they saw shell casings ‘everywhere on the floor’. Police spokesperson Patricia Wessels confirmed that police fired shots, though it was not immediately clear what type of rounds were fired. ‘We fired warning shots and there were also direct shots fired because the situation was life-threatening,’ she said. ‘We know that at least two people were wounded, probably as a result of the warning shots, but we need to investigate the exact causes further.’

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“Dr. Fauci’s vaccines undermine immune systems, making the vaxxed more susceptible to disease, and not just the illness called Covid-19, but to disease generally, including cancer..”

Onward Into Darkness (Kunstler)

Tripping over the doorsill into “Joe Biden’s” dark winter, what do you see out in the gathering gloom? That old Shining City on a Hill is looking more like Detroit in a sleet-storm, with dumpster fires sputtering here and there in the broken streets. The darkness descending is something more ominous than any ordinary night. In the shadows, an insectile legion seems to be stealing away with what remains of your country. Was it reassuring to see Dr. Anthony Fauci declare on MSNBC: “What we’re starting to see now is an uptick in hospitalizations among people who have been fully vaccinated but not boosted”?


And the moral of that story? Get more of the same thing that’s not working — and if you don’t volunteer to get it, maybe we can find a way to force you. How does this lying prick get to remain as America’s chief public health officer? Has he not done enough damage? In case you can’t put it together, that “uptick” is happening because Dr. Fauci’s vaccines undermine immune systems, making the vaxxed more susceptible to disease, and not just the illness called Covid-19, but to disease generally, including cancer, and to all kinds of mischief and mayhem around the organs as well. Now, in the gathering darkness of winter, we’ll see how far this “uptick” goes and whether public opinion will flip over the dastardly trick that’s been played on it.

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“We are getting to this point where the federal government and state governments are essentially fighting over who has control of the [National Guard]..”

Army to Begin Forcing Out Soldiers Who Refuse COVID Vaccine (DOne)

Soldiers who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine and have not requested an exemption will no longer be allowed to re-enlist or be promoted, effectively ending their military careers. The new directive applies to active-duty troops as well as reservists and National Guardsmen, including those serving in states whose governors do not require the vaccine. The Nov. 16 memo, signed by Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, says troops’ service records will be flagged the day they make their final vaccine refusal, which follows a meeting with a medical professional and a secord order to get vaccinated. This flag will bar them from being promoted, reenlisting, continuing to receive enlistment bonuses, attending service-related schools, or receiving tuition assistance.

“I authorize commanders to impose bars to continued service…for all soldiers who refuse the mandatory vaccine order without an approved exemption or pending exemption request,” Wormuth wrote in the memo. “The Soldier will remain flagged until they are fully vaccinated, receive an approved medical or administrative exemption, or are separated from the Army.” The issue of vaccinating the force, including the hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the Army National Guard, has come to a head in recent days. Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt has rebuffed President Joe Biden’s directive that all federal employees, including troops in uniform, be vaccinated, and his state’s adjutant general has told Oklahoma National Guardsmen that they need not comply with the directive.

“We are getting to this point where the federal government and state governments are essentially fighting over who has control of the force,” said Anthony Kuhn, a managing partner at the Tully Rinckey law firm and a New York State Army reservist who specializes in military law. National Guard troops are largely under Title 32 orders, which puts them under the control of their state governors. When they are activated under Title 10, such as when they deploy overseas, they are under federal control. To retain that ready force for overseas missions—for example guard units were heavily relied upon throughout the miltary’s campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan—the federal government foots the bill for those troops even though they report to their governors, complicating who has authority to direct those Guardsmen to be vaccinated.

In 2020, the National Guard was used more heavily than it has been since World War II, with members called up to respond to wildfires, domestic unrest, to give COVID shots and respond to flooding and hurricanes. But the use of the Guard has become more contentious. The issue of who has ultimate authority over the Guard is likely to end up in the courts, said Eugene Fidell, a military law professor at the NYU School of Law.

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Far from over.

Rittenhouse Aquittal: The Ancient Right of Self Defense (NYSun)

The acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse on charges of killing two persons and wounding a third during the riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, will likely go down in history as a broad reaffirmation in America of the ancient right to self defense. Mr. Rittenhouse was ordered by Judge Bruce Schroeder to stand and face the verdict shortly after noon. He stood solemnly, his hands crossed in front of him, until the pronouncement of not guilty on the third charge, when he began to weep. As the fifth acquittal was announced, he collapsed. The verdict was brought in by a jury that — apparently — was uncowed by threats of violence and more riots should it acquit the 18-year-old who had come to Kenosha with a semi-automatic rifle and been pursued by rioters. Mr. Rittenhouse’s actions were caught on video tape that apparently played a role in convincing jurors he acted in self defense.

The video evidence made plain that Mr. Rittenhouse was in a chaotic situation and under physical threat and seemed, prima facie, to undermine the prosecution’s attempts to cast as beyond a reasonable doubt the idea that Mr. Rittenhouse had committed murder. During the trial, Mr. Rittenhouse gave lengthy testimony in his own defense. An effort by the prosecution to suggest that Mr. Rittenhouse’s bearing a weapon in Kenosha was in and of itself a provocation. That notion apparently had little impact on the jury. A misdemeanor charge against Mr. Rittenhouse for carrying the rifle was dropped by the judge during the trial when it turned out the barrel length of the gun he was carrying made it legal. The trial had been marked by controversy. Judge Schroeder was criticized for not allowing the persons Mr. Rittenhouse shot to be described as “victims,” noting that this would tend to prejudice the case against the defendant.

Judge Schroeder himself criticized press coverage of the trial, calling it “really quite frightening.” He was upset at personal attacks on himself, and on the lawyers on both sides. An MSNBC producer was arrested for a traffic incident while trailing a bus carrying the jurors, and Mr. Schroeder banned the network from the courtroom. The judge decried the “grossly irresponsible handling of what comes out of this trial” and said he was rethinking ever again having cameras in the courtroom. And there were other controversies that related directly to due process. One question was in respect of the resolution of a video the prosecution had supplied the defense, which was less clear than the original. Speculation at the time was that this could lead to a mistrial, but the issue was ultimately written off to a technical problem with making and transmitting the digital copy.

Demonstrators had been gathering outside the Kenosha County courthouse in increasing numbers over the week as the jury deliberated, most supporting the prosecution but some also in support of the defense. A few scuffles broke out, and some arrests were made. Overall the mood was peaceful, with the two sides chatting and sharing pizza on Wednesday. Some demonstrators, however, chanted, “If Kenosha don’t get it, shut it down,” raising the prospect of renewed unrest in the wake of an acquittal. “Burn it down” began trending on Twitter, and persons at the courthouse chanted “No justice, no peace.” One demonstrator at the courthouse said after the verdict was announced, “when it’s a state-sanctioned murder, you get to riot!” Five hundred Wisconsin National Guard troops were put on standby earlier this week to deal with possible outbreaks of violence. A Black Lives Matter group announced a peaceful vigil would be held at the courthouse Friday evening.

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May 062021
 


Edgar Degas Two laundresses 1876

Senior NHS Board Member: Stop The Genocide Or Our Children Are Next (UKC)
Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin (AJT)
Did People Or Nature Open Pandora’s Box At Wuhan? (Wade)
mRNA Vaccines Induce Broad CD4+ T Cell Responses
What A Convenient LIE (Denninger)
Crimes of Covid Vaccine Maker Pfizer Documented (M&A)
Stay-at-Home Lockdowns Made No Difference to Covid Deaths in US States (LDS)
US Backs Waiving Patent Protections For Covid Vaccines (CNBC)
Public Officials Turned Covid Celebrities Don’t Want Restrictions To End (RT)
This Biden Proposal Could Make the US a “Digital Dictatorship” (Whitney Webb)
CRISPR Madness: Welcome to the Age of Genetic Chaos (CP)
US, NATO Launch Massive Military Exercise Amid Complaints From Russia (JTN)

 

 

 

 

“If you refuse to co-operate in rolling this out, then we’ll remove you.”

Senior NHS Board Member: Stop The Genocide Or Our Children Are Next (UKC)

The transcript below is of a call made to Brian Gerrish on 18 April 2021. The voice of the caller has been changed to protect her identity. The senior NHS Board member warns that the government is now controlling the NHS, and it is the government that is actually dictating what the NHS should do during Covid emergency measures. She states that the result of the government’s enforced Covid and vaccination policies can be described as genocide. [..] Brian Gerrish: I’ve been contacted by an NHS professional who would like to speak to me about things happening in the NHS. So, without any ado, let’s go over to our caller today. Thank you very much for calling me. It’s really been wonderful that you’ve had the confidence to give us a call at the UK Column. I’m going to ask the key question: why have you called me today?

Whistleblower: [..] You know, I just really wanted to share my personal story on what’s happened since last March. [..] I guess when all the Coronavirus started, and when it came into the UK — mainframing kind of March last year — obviously the conversations really were predominantly about measures to stop infection, forecasting, you know, “this is what we’re anticipating will happen”, you know, “how do we manage the services”. Kind of all that was going on, and then as we went through the summer, there started to be a little bit of talk about the vaccine development and potential treatments and things like that. And then the treatments completely went, and the vaccine discussions ramped up, and in November it really started to be predominantly what we talked about.

And, I mean, you can’t call it a vaccine, because it doesn’t meet the definition, so I’m going to refer to it as an injection, but I’m just making sure that everyone’s on the same page with me. So, it became kind of clear to myself, and a few other colleagues that I know on other NHS Boards, in November that we were going to be asked to completely roll this out — and also that there really were some long-term safety issues, and stuff that we just didn’t know. And so it really took us by surprise, the scope and speed at which they were moving. And at the time, we had a lot of discussions, as a Board, as to our concerns around this — and remember that when the NHS is in emergency measures, which it is and has been, then the Government is able to tightly control what the NHS does, and is able to dictate a lot more what the NHS does than it would be able to if it wasn’t in emergency measures.

So, our Chief Executive had discussions about our concerns, and I can say other Boards had the same discussions, and in a nutshell, what we were told in December was, “If you refuse to co-operate in rolling this out, then we’ll remove you.” And it wasn’t said explicitly, and it wasn’t put in e-mails, but it was certainly very indicated that that was the case.

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American Journal of Therapeutics

Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin (AJT)

Since 2012, a growing number of cellular studies have demonstrated that ivermectin has antiviral properties against an increasing number of RNA viruses, including influenza, Zika, HIV, Dengue, and most importantly, SARS-CoV-2.9–17 Insights into the mechanisms of action by which ivermectin both interferes with the entrance and replication of SARS-CoV-2 within human cells are mounting. Caly et al18 first reported that ivermectin significantly inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in a cell culture model, observing the near absence of all viral material 48 hours after exposure to ivermectin. However, some questioned whether this observation is generalizable clinically given the inability to achieve similar tissue concentrations used in their experimental model using standard or even massive doses of ivermectin.19,20

It should be noted that the concentrations required for an effect in cell culture models bear little resemblance to human physiology given the absence of an active immune system working synergistically with a therapeutic agent, such as ivermectin. Furthermore, prolonged durations of exposure to a drug likely would require a fraction of the dosing in short-term cell model exposure. Furthermore, multiple coexisting or alternate mechanisms of action likely explain the clinical effects observed, such as the competitive binding of ivermectin with the host receptor-binding region of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, as proposed in 6 molecular modeling studies.21–26 In 4 of the studies, ivermectin was identified as having the highest or among the highest of binding affinities to spike protein S1 binding domains of SARS-CoV-2 among hundreds of molecules collectively examined, with ivermectin not being the particular focus of study in 4 of these studies.27

This is the same mechanism by which viral antibodies, in particular, those generated by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The high binding activity of ivermectin to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein could limit binding to either the ACE-2 receptor or sialic acid receptors, respectively, either preventing cellular entry of the virus or preventing hemagglutination, a recently proposed pathologic mechanism in COVID-19.21,22,26–28 Ivermectin has also been shown to bind to or interfere with multiple essential structural and nonstructural proteins required by the virus to replicate.26,29 Finally, ivermectin also binds to the SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), thereby inhibiting viral replication.30

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Bulletin Of Atomic Scientists

“The intermediary host species of SARS1 was identified within four months of the epidemic’s outbreak, and the host of MERS within nine months..”

But after 15 months, we still have no idea about the origin of Sars 2.

Did People Or Nature Open Pandora’s Box At Wuhan? (Wade)

Natural emergence was the media’s preferred theory until around February 2021 and the visit by a World Health Organization (WHO) commission to China. The commission’s composition and access were heavily controlled by the Chinese authorities. Its members, who included the ubiquitous Daszak, kept asserting before, during, and after their visit that lab escape was extremely unlikely. But this was not quite the propaganda victory the Chinese authorities may have been hoping for. What became clear was that the Chinese had no evidence to offer the commission in support of the natural emergence theory. This was surprising because both the SARS1 and MERS viruses had left copious traces in the environment.

The intermediary host species of SARS1 was identified within four months of the epidemic’s outbreak, and the host of MERS within nine months. Yet some 15 months after the SARS2 pandemic began, and after a presumably intensive search, Chinese researchers had failed to find either the original bat population, or the intermediate species to which SARS2 might have jumped, or any serological evidence that any Chinese population, including that of Wuhan, had ever been exposed to the virus prior to December 2019. Natural emergence remained a conjecture which, however plausible to begin with, had gained not a shred of supporting evidence in over a year.

And as long as that remains the case, it’s logical to pay serious attention to the alternative conjecture, that SARS2 escaped from a lab. Why would anyone want to create a novel virus capable of causing a pandemic? Ever since virologists gained the tools for manipulating a virus’s genes, they have argued they could get ahead of a potential pandemic by exploring how close a given animal virus might be to making the jump to humans. And that justified lab experiments in enhancing the ability of dangerous animal viruses to infect people, virologists asserted.

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Question is: what else do they do?

mRNA Vaccines Induce Broad CD4+ T Cell Responses (JCI)

Recent studies have shown T cell cross-recognition of SARS-CoV-2 and common cold coronavirus spike proteins. However, the effect of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines on T cell responses to common cold coronaviruses remain unknown. In this study, we analyzed CD4+ T cell responses to spike peptides from SARS-CoV-2 and 3 common cold coronaviruses (HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-OC43) before and after study participants received Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) or Moderna (mRNA-1273) mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine recipients made broad T cell responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and we identified 23 distinct targeted peptides in 9 participants including one peptide that was targeted by 6 individuals.


Only 4 out of these 23 targeted peptides would potentially be affected by mutations in the UK (B.1.1.7) and South African (B.1.351) variants and CD4+ T cells from vaccine recipients recognized the 2 variant spike proteins as effectively as the spike protein from the ancestral virus. Interestingly, we saw a 3-fold increase in the CD4+ T cell responses to HCoV-NL63 spike peptides post-vaccination. Our results suggest that T cell responses elicited or enhanced by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines may be able to control SARS-CoV-2 variants and lead to cross-protection from some endemic coronaviruses.

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“Let me give you a piece of advice: Shoving a gun in anyone’s face, which is what a mandate is, generates no confidence at all. It does, however, generate a whole bunch of other things, including revulsion, hatred or even justified retribution.”

What A Convenient LIE (Denninger)

Oh, look at this: Beyond safety, requiring mandatory vaccinations also allows us to set an example for those who are hesitant to get vaccinated. Leaders at all levels have championed the vaccine and are taking action to educate people who are reluctant to get vaccinated. By mandating vaccines, healthcare institutions will show the world that we trust the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, and inspire others to follow. Riiiight. You inspire women to consent to sex by putting a gun in their face and demanding they take off their clothes? Let me give you a piece of advice: Shoving a gun in anyone’s face, which is what a mandate is, generates no confidence at all. It does, however, generate a whole bunch of other things, including revulsion, hatred or even justified retribution.

In addition you’re not immune from lawsuit, nor is your institution. Pfizer is, but you are not. Sucks to be you if and when one of your staff members is badly hurt or killed by taking the shots. Maybe it hasn’t and won’t happen but that liability is open-ended and permanent for both you personally and your institution. Further that liability is civil so no, it doesn’t have to be proved the shot was the cause — just more-likely than not in the opinion of the jury. It’s not like you don’t have a very nice building and institution there that looks like some awfully-deep pockets to go raid if someone dies or perhaps worse, is permanently disabled from taking said shot, right? And it’s not like social media isn’t awash in people who have had that happen already and are all over GoFundMe and elsewhere begging for money as they’ve been hit with half-million dollar medical bills and aren’t done — right?

If that’s a result of an entirely voluntary decision then it’s of course on them no matter how foolish but if it’s a result of a mandate well, who gets to pay for that Marc and how do you think that will end for you and your hospital when, not if, it winds up in court? Because it will end up in court and you will be named as Defendant, both personally and corporately. Perhaps your threat to fire anyone who won’t submit is an empty one. We’ll see. Maybe your legal department has explained all of this to you and you’re waving your arms around making noise, publishing OpEds because you know damn well that you’re so far out on the legal ledge 300′ up that your greatest fear is that someone is going to come along with a chainsaw.

Perhaps the gun you claim to be shoving in people’s faces, in other words, isn’t actually loaded and you know damn well it’s empty. Perhaps the real reason you published the OpEd is that the other medical center across town is not mandating anything, you asked and were told to go to Hell and you’re scared that the best talent will quit and go work there, eviscerating the quality of your services. Is that really what this is about; another illegal, 15 USC Chapter 1 monopolist trick to go along with all the other ones damn near every medical center in the US have gotten away with for the last 30 years?

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November 18, 2020, from law firm Matthews and Associates.

Crimes of Covid Vaccine Maker Pfizer Documented (M&A)

Here’s a brief glimpse of Pfizer’s track record for safety and ethics. This is a short list, by no means inclusive of the company’s entire rap sheet.

Pfizer received the biggest fine in U.S. history as part of a $2.3 Billion plea deal with federal prosecutors for mis-promoting medicines (Bextra, Celebrex) and paying kickbacks to compliant doctors. Pfizer pleaded guilty to mis-branding the painkiller Bextra by promoting the drug for uses for which it was not approved.

In the 1990s, Pfizer was involved in defective heart valves that lead to the deaths of more than 100 people. Pfizer had deliberately misled regulators about the hazards. The company agreed to pay $10.75 Million to settle justice department charges for misleading regulators.

Pfizer paid more than $60 Million to settle a lawsuit over Rezulin, a diabetes medication that caused patients to die from acute liver failure.

In the UK, Pfizer has been fined nearly €90 Million for overcharging the NHS, the National Health Service. Pfizxer charged the taxpayer an additional €48 Million per year for what should have cost €2 million per year.

Pfizer agreed to pay $430 Million in 2004 to settle criminal charges that it had bribed doctors to prescribe its epilepsy drug Neurontin for indications for which it was not approved.

In 2011, a jury found Pfizer committed racketeering fraud in its marketing of the drug Neurontin. Pfizer agreed to pay $142.1 Million to settle the charges.

Pfizer disclosed that it had paid nearly nearly 4,500 doctors and other medical professionals some $20 Million for speaking on Pfizer’s behalf.

In 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had reached a $45 Million settlement with Pfizer to resolve charges that its subsidiaries had bribed overseas doctors and other healthcare professionals to increase foreign sales.

Pfizer was sued in a U.S. federal court for using Nigerian children as human guinea pigs, without the childrens’ parents’ consent. Pfizer paid $75 Million to settle in Nigerian court for using an experimental antibiotic, Trovan, on the children. The company paid an additional undisclosed amount in the U.S. to settle charges here. Pfizer had violated international law, including the Nuremberg Convention established after WWII, due to Nazi experiments on unwilling prisoners.

Amid widespread criticism of gouging poor countries for drugs, Pfizer pledged to give $50 million for an AIDS drug to South Africa. Later, however, Pfizer failed to honor that promise.

Pfizer’s Covid vaccine is being rolled out with nothing but positive press from every mainstream media outlet in the country. Meanwhile, more than half of Americans surveyed have said they will not take a Covid vaccine. The plain fact is that many questions remain unanswered regarding this, or any other, Covid vaccine’s safety and efficacy.

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“We were not able to explain the variation of deaths per million in different regions in the world by social isolation..”

Stay-at-Home Lockdowns Made No Difference to Covid Deaths in US States (LDS)

A new study from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago has analysed the impact of stay-at-home orders on infections and deaths in U.S. states and found they made no difference. The peer-reviewed study, published in the scientific journal PNAS, found stay-at-home orders (also known as shelter-in-place orders or SIPs) were not associated with lower infections or deaths; furthermore, they were actually associated with a slight increase in infections and deaths, although this was not statistically significant.

[..] The authors observe that if stay-at-home orders aren’t affecting mobility, it’s difficult to see how they will affect anything else: “If SIP [shelter-in-place] orders did not have large effects on behaviour, it is hard to imagine how they could have had large effects on COVID-19 cases and deaths.” They add: “The health benefits of SIP orders were likely limited because many people were already social distancing before the introduction of SIP orders.” They suggest that voluntary mobility reduction and social distancing made a difference to outcomes, though do not commit to saying how much. Noting that nationwide there was around a 50% decrease in mobility between February and April 2020, they state: “The nationwide reaction to COVID-19 almost surely decreased the spread of the disease.”

However, their results, they say, “have nothing to say about the health and societal benefits of staying at home and reducing physical contact with others. The model-based studies which claim stay-at-home lockdown orders saved thousands of lives are therefore in error, they argue. “The previously presented evidence on the effectiveness of SIP orders appears to be misleading, and there is currently no compelling evidence to suggest that SIP policies saved a large number of lives or significantly mitigated the spread of COVID-19. However, this does not mean that voluntary social distancing – SIP practice as distinct from policy – was ineffective.”

The study was written and submitted prior to the appearance in Nature this March of the study by R.F. Savaris and colleagues which in effect looked at “SIP practice as distinct from policy”. It found that actually staying at home made little to no difference either: “We were not able to explain the variation of deaths per million in different regions in the world by social isolation, herein analysed as differences in staying at home, compared to baseline. In the restrictive and global comparisons, only 3% and 1.6% of the comparisons were significantly different, respectively.”

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Long overdue. But far from done.

US Backs Waiving Patent Protections For Covid Vaccines (CNBC)

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it supports waiving intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines, as countries struggle to manufacture the life-saving doses. “This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures. The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines,” United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai wrote in a statement. “As our vaccine supply for the American people is secured, the Administration will continue to ramp up its efforts — working with the private sector and all possible partners — to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution. It will also work to increase the raw materials needed to produce those vaccines,” the statement added.

The World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, praised the U.S. decision as a “monumental moment in the fight against Covid-19” that reflects the “moral leadership” of the White House in the fight to end the pandemic. Stocks of major pharmaceutical companies that have produced vaccines, including Moderna, BioNTech and Pfizer, dropped sharply after news of the potential waivers first broke. Pfizer ended its trading day flat, while Moderna lost 6.1%; Johnson & Johnson shed a modest 0.4%. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America expressed pointed opposition to the Biden administration’s support for waiving IP protections. The trade group’s members include vaccine makers such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

“In the midst of a deadly pandemic, the Biden Administration has taken an unprecedented step that will undermine our global response to the pandemic and compromise safety,” said Stephen J. Ubi, the group’s president and CEO. “This decision will sow confusion between public and private partners, further weaken already strained supply chains and foster the proliferation of counterfeit vaccines. ”

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“..the Faucis and Ferrers of the world feasted well on buckets of media love for some 13+ months, and they’re not ready to go back to a diet of irrelevance.”

Public Officials Turned Covid Celebrities Don’t Want Restrictions To End (RT)

Narcissistic civil servants have turned into pseudo-celebrities thanks to the pandemic and they don’t want to go back to the shadows. Now the only way to stop their endless restrictions is by threatening their public standing. On April 21, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director, settled in before fawning SoCal reporters for the latest in her mind-numbing Möbius strip of press conferences. This grownup with a job she considers essential to her city’s survival proceeded to tell millions of restrictions-weary Angelenos about hungry bunny rabbits. In a failed effort to explain why fully vaccinated men and women who can no longer spread or suffer infection by the coronavirus should go on wearing masks for months to come, Ferrer wove a fable of a garden trying to fend off rabbits that want to eat carrots.

You can hear how proud Ferrer is of this few minutes of “Watership Downer.” She no doubt labored over her infectious fairy tale – this off-off Broadway brand of virus Vaudeville – for hours, confident she’d sway that handful of suckers still bothering to pay any attention. While news reports conveniently glossed over Ferrer’s furry voyage into drivel, I managed to find a recording of her hopping down the bunny trail. As she drones along, it’s clear she’s not educating the public. She’s performing. It’s juvenile, patronizing and ineffective. Still, you must wonder if Ferrer found it to be her finest hour. Ferrer feels comfortable enough to present a bad children’s book as public health data because she has soaked in the spa waters of media adoration and public attention for more than a year. All the while, panic over a serious, but manageable pandemic surged through the easily led, slow-to-question LA populous.

That same panic allowed this woman of some educational achievement to rise to fame from the dark and dusty halls of the public sector. In any normal era, she’s the kind of appointed official who would otherwise toil in anonymity. Fortunately for her, the “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV- 2)” made her a star, albeit a dim one. The slog that was 2020 became a time to glow for the likes of infectious disease personality Dr. Anthony Fauci and for Ferrer, too. And now it’s now well past the hour to turn out the lights on her and her kindred. But sadly, the Faucis and Ferrers of the world feasted well on buckets of media love for some 13+ months, and they’re not ready to go back to a diet of irrelevance.

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For the longest time, Moderna could not get mRNA approved for anything. Still not for its Covid vaccine either. But they have big plans.

This Biden Proposal Could Make the US a “Digital Dictatorship” (Whitney Webb)

Last Wednesday, President Biden was widely praised in mainstream and health-care–focused media for his call to create a “new biomedical research agency” modeled after the US military’s “high-risk, high-reward” Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. As touted by the president, the agency would seek to develop “innovative” and “breakthrough” treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes, with a call to “end cancer as we know it.” Far from “ending cancer” in the way most Americans might envision it, the proposed agency would merge “national security” with “health security” in such as way as to use both physical and mental health “warning signs” to prevent outbreaks of disease or violence before they occur.

Such a system is a recipe for a technocratic “pre-crime” organization with the potential to criminalize both mental and physical illness as well as “wrongthink.” The Biden administration has asked Congress for $6.5 billion to fund the agency, which would be largely guided by Biden’s recently confirmed top science adviser, Eric Lander. Lander, formerly the head of the Silicon Valley–dominated Broad Institute, has been controversial for his ties to eugenicist and child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and his relatively recent praise for James Watson, an overtly racist eugenicist. Despite that, Lander is set to be confirmed by the Senate and Congress and is reportedly significantly enthusiastic about the proposed new “health DARPA.”

This new agency, set to be called ARPA-H or HARPA, would be housed within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and would raise the NIH budget to over $51 billion. Unlike other agencies at NIH, ARPA-H would differ in that the projects it funds would not be peer reviewed prior to approval; instead hand-picked program managers would make all funding decisions. Funding would also take the form of milestone-driven payments instead of the more traditional multiyear grants. ARPA-H will likely heavily fund and promote mRNA vaccines as one of the “breakthroughs” that will cure cancer. Some of the mRNA vaccine manufacturers that have produced some of the most widely used COVID-19 vaccines, such as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, stated just last month that “cancer is the next problem to tackle with mRNA tech” post-COVID.

BioNTech has been developing mRNA gene therapies for cancer for years and is collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create mRNA-based treatments for tuberculosis and HIV. Other “innovative” technologies that will be a focus of this agency are less well known to the public and arguably more concerning.

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“..left the door open to future manipulation of humans.”

CRISPR Madness: Welcome to the Age of Genetic Chaos (CP)

The Nobel prize in chemistry awarded last year to the biochemists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier for the genetic modification technique called CRISPR cemented the popular idea that a new era of precision manipulation of hereditary material had arrived. The award came on the heels of the unauthorized use of the technique by the scientist He Jiankui in 2018 in China in an effort to produce individuals (twin girls in this case) resistant to HIV, and a flurry of studies in early 2020 showing that accuracy in altering DNA in a test tube or bacteria in a culture dish, did not hold up when applied to animal embryos. Attempts to modify single genes in human embryos (not intended to be brought to full-term) in fact led to “large-scale, unintended DNA deletions and rearrangements in the areas surrounding the targeted sequence,” aka “genetic chaos.”


Dr. He was imprisoned, fined, and fired from his academic position in China for his actions, although it is still not clear to what extent the higher-ups at his institute were aware of them. At a small meeting that I attended in Berkeley in early 2017 where He spoke, he unambiguously stated that “these things are thought of differently in China than in the U.S.” The U.S. scientific establishment uniformly condemned He’s experiments, but when questioned, most scientists, including Doudna herself, and bioethicists (a profession dedicated, with a few exceptions, to getting the public used to what the scientists and bioentrepreneurs have in store for it), left the door open to future manipulation of humans.

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The Pantagon touting its transparency. Onion material.

US, NATO Launch Massive Military Exercise Amid Complaints From Russia (JTN)

Following complaints from Russia that it was being cast as a mock NATO enemy, the United States and allies on Tuesday launched a long-planned military exercise in Europe involving more than 28,000 troops from 26 nations training across the continent. The exercise, Defender-Europe 21, commenced following opening ceremonies in Albania, and comes in the wake of Russian troop movements along the border with Ukraine. Amid speculation last month that Russia aimed to invade or intimidate Ukraine, Moscow charged that the current NATO exercise was designed with a Russian enemy in mind. The U.S. and its allies routinely conduct exercises “with a clear anti-Russian orientation,” Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said in an April videoconference with other military leaders.

Noting that Defender Europe 21 is is the largest NATO exercise in 30 years, Shoygo couched the training as a threat to Russia. According to the Pentagon, Defender Europe is meant to build readiness within the NATO alliance. “It’s defensive in nature, focused on deterring aggression, while preparing our forces to respond to crisis and conduct large-scale combat operations if necessary,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said this week. In a remark aimed at Moscow’s long silence on why 100,000 Russian troops had been sent to the Ukraine border, Kirby highlighted the openness surrounding Defender Europe.

“We actually come to the podium and tell you about it,” Kirby told reporters on Monday. “I told you how many troops. I told you how many nations. I talked about specifics in terms of what they’re going to be exercising … and we’re not getting that out of Moscow, and we haven’t. So that’s a big difference right there.” The Pentagon began moving troops and equipment to Europe for the exercise in March, and in April moved prepositioned military stocks from Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The training will focus on defending the western Balkans and Black Sea regions, and also will rehearse defense operations elsewhere in Europe and Ukraine, according to the Pentagon. Events will include live fire training, medical exercises, and mock evacuations.

Read more …

 

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Armenia Assange

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dec 172019
 


Dorothea Lange “Men on ‘Skid Row’, Modesto, California” 1937

 

Boeing Crisis Escalates As Planemaker Halts 737 Production (R.)
Judge Denies Flynn’s Requests for Exculpatory Information, Case Dismissal (ET)
What Everyone is Missing About the Afghanistan Papers (TMU)
Chinese Crypto Scammers Helped Inspire Recent Bitcoin Market Carnage (ZH)
College Enrollment Skids 8th Year in a Row, But Student Loans Skyrocket (WS)
Erdogan Threatens To Recognise Killings Of Native Americans As Genocide (Ind.)
Kudlow: US-China Deal ‘Absolutely’ Done, US Exports To China Will Double (R.)
Sacklers Took $11 Billion Out Of Purdue Pharma As Opioid Crisis Worsened (AP)
Assange Extradition Fight Could Turn On Reports He Was Spied On For CIA (G.)
Doctors Ask Government To Evacuate Assange To An Australian Hospital (SMH)

 

 

Almost no Russia/Ukrainegate today! Just a little Michael Flynn.

We’ll havt to do with Boeing, which suspended its production of … what exactly. Below is a Reuters article which I picked up late yesterday. Ita talks about 737 production being suspended, not just 737 MAX. At that same URL, a different headline and article today, which says:

Boeing’s 737 Crisis Deepens As Production Stops For First Time In Two Decades
Boeing Co said on Monday it would suspend production of its best-selling 737 MAX jetliner in January, its biggest assembly-line halt in more than 20 years, as fallout from two fatal crashes of the now-grounded aircraft drags into 2020.

Not sure what this means. Did they cut only MAX, or all models? Or was MAX the only model they were still producing? There is one other model: “Boeing said it will continue P8 production of the military version of the 737.”

Boeing Crisis Escalates As Planemaker Halts 737 Production (R.)

Boeing Co is temporarily halting 737 production in January for the first time in more than 20 years as the grounding of the planemaker’s best-selling MAX after two fatal crashes looks set to last well into 2020. Boeing, which builds the 737 south of Seattle, said it will not lay off any employees during the production freeze, though the move could have repercussions across its global supply chain and the U.S. economy. The decision, made by Boeing’s board after a two-day meeting in Chicago, follows news last week that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would not approve the plane’s return to service before 2020.


[..] Until now Boeing has continued to produce 737 MAX jets at a rate of 42 per month and purchase parts from suppliers at a rate of up to 52 units per month, even though deliveries are frozen until regulators approve the aircraft to fly commercially again. Halting production will ease a severe squeeze on cash tied up in roughly 375 undelivered planes, but only at the risk of causing industrial problems when Boeing tries to return to normal, industry sources said. Supply chains are already under strain due to record demand and abrupt changes in factory speed can cause snags. In 1997, Boeing announced a hit of $2.6 billion including hundreds of millions to deal with factory inefficiencies after it was forced to suspend output of its 737 and 747 lines due to supply chain problems. Boeing said it will continue P8 production of the military version of the 737.

Read more …

A judge refusing access to evidence for the lawyer of an accused is always suspicious. And will be overruled by a next court. Flynn said he didn’t discuss -or didn’t recall it because he talked with so many people at the time- Obama’s expulsion of Russian diplomats in late December 2016, with Kislyak. He did tell him Russia should lay low until Trump became president. It was his job at the time to talk to people. The judge says the FBI had “sufficient and appropriate basis” to interview Flynn because the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign. But that is the same basis that Horowitz has called into serious question.

Judge Denies Flynn’s Requests for Exculpatory Information, Case Dismissal (ET)

A federal judge has denied requests by Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to prompt the government to give him information he deems exculpatory and to dismiss the case against him. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan sided with the government in arguing that Flynn was already given all the information to which he was entitled. The judge also dismissed Flynn’s allegations of government misconduct, noting that Flynn already pleaded guilty to his crime and failed to raise his objections earlier when some of the issues he now complains about were brought to his attention. “The sworn statements of Mr. Flynn and his former counsel belie his new claims of innocence and his new assertions that he was pressured into pleading guilty,” Sullivan said in his Dec. 16 opinion.

Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, pleaded guilty on Nov. 30, 2017, to one count of lying to the FBI. He’s been expected to receive a light sentence, including no prison time, after extensively cooperating with the government on multiple investigations. In June, he fired his lawyers and hired former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, who has since accused the government of misconduct, particularly of withholding exculpatory information or providing it late. Powell has argued that Flynn’s previous lawyers had a conflict of interest because they testified in a related case against Flynn’s former business partner. Flynn had previously told the court he would keep the lawyers despite the conflict, but Powell said prosecutors should have asked the judge to dismiss the lawyers anyway.

Sullivan disagreed, saying Flynn failed to show a precedent that the prosecutors had that obligation. Powell also said the government had no proper reason to investigate Flynn in the first place and that it had set up an “ambush interview” with the intention of making Flynn say something it could allege was false. Sullivan disagreed again and said that previously, with the advice of his former lawyers, Flynn never “challenged the conditions of his FBI interview.”

The prosecutors argued that the FBI had a “sufficient and appropriate basis” for the interview because Flynn days earlier told members of the Trump campaign, including soon-to-be Vice President Mike Pence, that he didn’t discuss with the Russian ambassador the expulsion of Russian diplomats in late December 2016 by then-President Barack Obama. Flynn later admitted in his statement of offense that he asked, via Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak, for Russia to only respond to the sanctions in a reciprocal manner and not escalate the situation. The FBI was at the time investigating whether Trump campaign aides coordinated with Russian 2016 election meddling.

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Where is the outrage? h/t Tyler

What Everyone is Missing About the Afghanistan Papers (TMU)

If you need more proof that lawmakers in the U.S. couldn’t care less about America’s woeful commitment to human rights abroad—or even care about the public who vote them into office—look no further than the recent Afghanistan papers and the reaction to the publications from Congress. According to the Washington Post, the outlet had obtained 2,000 pages of notes from interviews with more than 400 generals, diplomats, and other officials directly involved in the war. The documents showed that U.S. officials were lying about the progress being made in Afghanistan, lacked a basic understanding of Afghanistan, were hiding unmistakable evidence that the war had become unwinnable, and wasted close to $1 trillion in the process.

Barely a few hours following the Post’s publication, Congress rewarded the Pentagon for its stellar efforts with a $22 billion budget increase. How can we as a society justify this? One stand-out statistic—among the many concerning ones—is the fact that before the U.S. invasion the Taliban had almost completely put to bed Afghanistan’s illicit opium trade. Since the U.S. invasion, combined with $9 billion in U.S. funding for anti-opium programs, the Taliban is not only stronger than it ever was but sits cemented in a country that now supplies 80 percent of the world’s opium. I can’t help but think this was done on purpose.

Still, it would be worth re-thinking our outrage over the Afghanistan papers and determining what exactly it is we are outraged about. Are we simply angry because top U.S. officials lied to us about the fact they weren’t winning the war, making it a less worthwhile venture? If the U.S. were winning the war, spending $1 trillion in the process, killing record numbers of civilians, ramping up night raids to terrorize local populations, committing war crimes left right and center, would that suddenly make it all okay? As long as the war is being won, right? The truth is, like most wars the U.S. finds itself prosecuting; this was yet another war based entirely on lies and misconceptions—right from the outset.

As Marjorie Cohn, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and president of the National Lawyers Guild famously said: “The UN Charter is a treaty ratified by the United States and thus part of U.S. law. Under the charter, a country can use armed force against another country only in self-defense or when the Security Council approves. Neither of those conditions was met before the United States invaded Afghanistan. The Taliban did not attack us on 9/11. Nineteen men—15 from Saudi Arabia—did, and there was no imminent threat that Afghanistan would attack the U.S. or another UN member country. The council did not authorize the United States or any other country to use military force against Afghanistan. The U.S. war in Afghanistan is illegal.” If that was the case in 2001, how this war has continued for close to another two decades begins to beggar belief.

Read more …

Below $7,000.

Chinese Crypto Scammers Helped Inspire Recent Bitcoin Market Carnage (ZH)

If you’re hoping to make money shorting bitcoin this holiday season, you might be in luck: Analysts say the price of a bitcoin is set to fall even further as the perpetrators of a massive Chinese crypto scheme dump their ill-gotten gains. Several of the participants in the $2 billion PlusToken scheme are dumping crypto from anonymous accounts. The sales are believed to be the reason fro bitcoin’s 50% drop since its peak in late June, which was around the time that some of the perpetrators of PlusToken were arrested in China. Unfortunately, Chinese authorities didn’t manage to nab them all, and a team of analysts at the blockchain consultancy Chainalysis are warning that the fallout isn’t over yet, according to Bloomberg.

“The largest cryptocurrency is likely to remain under pressure as perpetrators of the estimated more than $2 billion PlusToken scandal dump coins to cash out, the New York-based firm said Monday in the wake of a five-month investigation that continues to track the tokens as they filter through various blockchain ledgers. Bitcoin has tumbled almost 50% from its 2019 peak in late June, when Chinese authorities arrested multiple suspects in the pyramid scheme that promised returns as high as 600% and guaranteed that investors would be rewarded for inviting new members. Since that time, market observers have often pointed to possible sales tied to PlusToken suspects not in custody as one of many reasons for price declines.”

According to Chainalysis, PlusToken conspirators have already sold 25,000 bitcoins, and it’s believed another 20,000 (worth nearly $142 million at current prices). The coins are spread across some 8,700 anonymous bitcoin wallets.

Read more …

Fewer students, more debt. Number of male students plummets much faster than female. Does this look healthy to you?

College Enrollment Skids 8th Year in a Row, But Student Loans Skyrocket (WS)

With college costs blowing through the roof, with “luxury student housing” and not so luxury “student housing” having become asset classes – including, of course, CMBS, now in rough waters – for global investors, with textbook publishers gouging students to the nth degree, and with the monetary value of higher education questioned in more and more corners, the inevitable happened once again: College enrollment dropped for the eighth year in a row. The post-secondary student headcount – undergraduate and graduate students combined – in the fall semester of 2019 fell 1.3% from the fall semester last year, or by over 231,000 students to 17.97 million students, according to the Student Clearing House today. In the fall of 2011, the peak year, 20.14 million students had been enrolled. Since then, enrollment has dropped by 10.8%, or by 2.17 million students:

This is based on enrollment data submitted to the Student Clearing House by the schools. It does not include international students, which account for just under 5% of total student enrollment in the US. Duplicate headcounts – one student enrolled in two institutions – are removed from the data to eliminate double-counting. The 10.8% decline in enrollment since 2011 comes even as student loan balances have surged 74% over the same period, from $940 billion to $1.64 trillion:

[..] Women by far outnumbered men in total enrollment in the fall semester of 2019 with 10.63 million women enrolled and just 7.61 million men, meaning that overall there are now 40% more women in college than men: • At public four-year schools, there were 30% more women (4.51 million) than men (3.48 million) • At private non-profit four-year schools, there were 50% more women (2.32 million) than men (1.54 million) • At private for-profit four-year schools, there were more than twice as many woman (508,000) than men (241,000). • At public two-year schools, there were 38% more women (3.11 million) than men (2.26 million). Over the past three years, enrollment has declined for both men and women, but faster for men (-5.2%) than for women (-1.4%). Since 2011, enrollment has declined by 13% for men and by 9.4% for women.

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Estimates vary, but it appears that Europe’s total population in 1500 was some 60 million. North America’s was 50 million.

Erdogan Threatens To Recognise Killings Of Native Americans As Genocide (Ind.)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to recognise the killing of Native Americans at the hand of European settlers in a tit-for-tat attack on Washington’s decision to rebuke Ankara for the Armenian genocide. The US Senate voted in favour of recognising the genocide last week, a move initially stalled by Republicans at the urging of Donald Trump – who had been due to meet with the Turkish leader at the time. However, with the bill now passed, Mr Erdogan has threatened to respond by recognising US killings of Native Americans – saying the deaths of millions of indigenous people at the hands of European settlers should also be viewed as a genocide.

Speaking on the pro-government A Haber news channel, he said: “We should oppose [the US] by reciprocating such decisions in parliament. And that is what we will do. “Can we speak about America without mentioning [Native Americans]? It is a shameful moment in US history” Around 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were killed by modern-day Turkey’s predecessor, the Ottoman Empire, in the early 20th century. But Turkey denies the killings amounted to genocide, instead marking up the deaths of Armenians and Turks as the consequences of the ongoing war. It claims a lower death toll of hundreds of thousands. While the ramifications of the US legislation are largely symbolic, its timing and the targeting of a sore spot for the Turkish state have been seen by many as a direct challenge to the Middle Eastern country’s foreign policy.

A University College London team estimates that 55 million indigenous people died following the conquest of the Americas that began at the end of the 15th century. The majority of these deaths are believed to have been caused by disease – with indigenous people unable to build immunities to diseases that had never previously crossed over the Atlantic to the Americas. War, slavery and displacement also contributed to the decline of indigenous populations.

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Yes, Larry. Of course, Larry.

Kudlow: US-China Deal ‘Absolutely’ Done, US Exports To China Will Double (R.)

The so-called Phase One trade deal between Washington and Beijing has been “absolutely completed,” a top White House adviser said on Monday, adding that U.S. exports to China will double under the agreement. “They’re … going to double our exports to China,” National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told Fox News Channel. Under the trade agreement announced last week, Washington will reduce some tariffs on Chinese imports in exchange for Chinese purchases of agricultural, manufactured and energy products increasing by about $200 billion over the next two years.


While U.S. officials have touted the deal, Chinese officials have been more cautious, emphasizing that the trade dispute has not been completely settled. “Make no mistake about it: the deal is done, the deal is completed,” Kudlow later told reporters at the White House. “The deal is absolutely completed.” Asked if officials still planned to sign the deal the first week of January, Kudlow said: “That’s the hope.” Translations were still being worked out but he did not expect any changes to the final Phase One agreement, he added.

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“The Sacklers pocketed billions of dollars from Purdue while thousands of people died from their addictive drugs. This is the very definition of ill-gotten gains..”

“The company says the family may back out if lawsuits against family members are allowed to proceed.”

Put them in jail pending trial.

Sacklers Took $11 Billion Out Of Purdue Pharma As Opioid Crisis Worsened (AP)

The wealthy owners of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma started taking far more money out of the company after it was fined for misleading marketing of the powerful prescription painkiller. A court filing made by the company Monday evening shows Purdue made payments totaling $10.7 billion from 2008 through 2017 for the benefit of members of the Sackler family who own the company. That includes taxes and other payments. Family members received $4.1 billion in cash over that period. By contrast, distributions for the benefit of family members from 1995 through 2007 totaled $1.3 billion. The total amount family members received from the company was made public in an October filing, but the new report offers new details on when the money was distributed.

“Today’s report confirms what we revealed in our lawsuit: The Sacklers pocketed billions of dollars from Purdue while thousands of people died from their addictive drugs. This is the very definition of ill-gotten gains,” Massachusetts’ Maura Healey, the first attorney general to sue Sackler family members, said in a statement. The Sacklers’ wealth has received intense scrutiny from Healey and 23 other states’ attorneys general, who are objecting to a plan to settle about 2,700 lawsuits against Purdue over the toll of opioids, including those filed by nearly every state.

The objecting attorneys general say that the settlement does not do enough to hold the family accountable for an opioid crisis linked to more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000. The settlement calls for the family to contribute at least $3 billion in cash over time and give up control of the company. In all, the plan could be worth up to $12 billion over time. But the offer comes with a major catch: The company says the family may back out if lawsuits against family members are allowed to proceed. They are all on hold for now as the company’s settlement efforts play out in bankruptcy court.

Read more …

The Guardian reporting on Assange. Forever tainted.

Assange Extradition Fight Could Turn On Reports He Was Spied On For CIA (G.)

Julian Assange’s fight against extradition to the US could last years, and his argument could hinge on reports he has been illegally spied upon and his sensitive information given to the CIA. Meanwhile, more than 100 doctors from across the world have written to the Australian government, urging it to act and “protect the life of its citizen”, in a letter to be delivered to the foreign affairs minister on Tuesday, amid warnings Assange’s health continues to deteriorate. A judicial investigation by the Audiencia Nacional in Spain, the country’s national court, is acting on allegations that while Assange held asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the Wikileaks founder was spied on, listened to and had his computer data scraped and that this information was sold to US intelligence agencies.

Speaking to the International Law Association in Sydney, Guy Goodwin-Gill, a professor of law at the University of New South Wales who has provided advice on asylum issues to the Assange legal team, said Assange’s fight against extradition would be a long contest and that allegations he was being spied on would likely form part of legal arguments he could not receive a fair trial in the US. Assange is currently being held in London’s Belmarsh prison, ahead of an extradition hearing that will begin in February. A US grand jury has indicted him on 18 charges – 17 of which fall under the Espionage Act – around conspiracy to receive, obtaining and disclosing classified diplomatic and military documents.

[..] medical doctors have banded together to urge authorities to halt any extradition plans, as well as urgently release him for medical care outside of the prison. “That we, as doctors, feel ethically compelled to hold governments to account on medical grounds speaks volumes about the gravity of the medical, ethical and human rights travesties that are taking place,” their letter, seen by the Guardian, states. “It is an extremely serious matter for an Australian citizen’s survival to be endangered by a foreign government obstructing his human right to health. It is an even more serious matter for that citizen’s own government to refuse to intervene, against historical precedent and numerous converging lines of medical advice.”

A group of Australian MPs from across party lines have gathered to discuss what can be done for Assange, with hopes of meeting with him in Belmarsh ahead of his extradition hearing.

Read more …

You’ve had many years to do this. Where were you?

Doctors Ask Government To Evacuate Assange To An Australian Hospital (SMH)

A group of doctors has asked Foreign Minister Marise Payne to evacuate Julian Assange to an Australian hospital amid claims the WikiLeaks founder’s health is rapidly deteriorating and that he “might die” in a London prison. Detailing allegations of “psychological torture” inflicted on Assange during efforts to extradite the 48-year-old to the United States, 100 medical doctors have urged Senator Payne and Prime Minister Scott Morrison to intervene. “It is an extremely serious matter for an Australian citizen’s survival to be endangered by a foreign government obstructing his human right to health,” the doctors say in a letter.

“It is an even more serious matter for that citizen’s own government to refuse to intervene, against historical precedent and numerous converging lines of medical advice. “Should Mr Assange die in a British prison, people will want to know what you, minister, did to prevent his death.” While the Australian government is highly unlikely to ask the UK government for permission to bring Assange home, there are concerns within some members of the Coalition about the asserted deterioration of his health in the months since he has been imprisoned in Belmarsh Prison on the outskirts of London. Doctors have said Assange is suffering from depression, dental issues and a serious shoulder ailment.

[..] “The term psychological torture is not a synonym for mere hardship, suffering or distress,” they said. “Psychological torture involves extreme mental, emotional and physical harm, which over time causes severe damage and disintegration of a number of critical psychological functions, involving emotions, cognitions, identity and interpersonal functioning.” They warned the physical effects of psychological torture caused susceptibility to a range of illnesses and diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. “The potentially fatal medical consequences of prolonged psychological torture are inherently unpredictable, and could strike at any time. Accordingly, no doctor, no matter how senior, can offer any legitimate assurances regarding Julian Assange’s survival or medical stability while he continues to be held in Belmarsh Prison.”

Read more …

 

 

 

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Aug 222018
 
 August 22, 2018  Posted by at 9:36 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  6 Responses »


Henri Matisse Laurette in a green robe 1916

Cohen Pleads Guilty, Says Violated Campaign Law At Direction Of Candidate (ZH)
Paul Manafort Found Guilty On 8 Counts, Mistrial Declared On Other Ten (ZH)
Genocide of the Greek Nation (Paul Craig Roberts)
Call For Two Years Further Freedom Of Movement After Brexit (G.)
Britain Extends Lead As King Of Currencies Despite Brexit Vote (R.)
Bank of England Chief Economist Warns On AI Jobs Threat (BBC)
Our Economic System Was Designed To Burn Everything In Its Path (NO)
The Economy of Permanent War (Connelly)
Tourists Are Destroying the Places They Love (Spiegel)
Arctic’s Strongest Sea Ice Breaks Up For First Time On Record (G.)

 

 

What comes next? Cohen’s lawyer has said he will prove collusion, which is Mueller’s mandate, but that lawyer is a bit of a shady character too.

Cohen Pleads Guilty, Says Violated Campaign Law At Direction Of Candidate (ZH)

President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to campaign finance violations and other charges, saying he made payments to influence the 2016 election at the direction of a candidate for federal office, potentially delivering a legal blow to the president. Cohen, 51, who agreed to a plea bargain with federal prosecutors earlier in the day, pleaded guilty to eight counts total, including five counts of tax evasion and one count of making a false statement to a financial institution. He also pleaded guilty to one count of making an excessive campaign contribution on Oct. 27, 2016, which is the same date Cohen finalized a payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels as part of a nondisclosure agreement over an affair Daniels alleges she had with Trump.

The most damaging statement by Michael Cohen was made when, acknowledging the charges against him, Cohen said he was directed to violate campaign law at the direction of an unnamed candidate for federal office, whom he did not name. At the same candidate’s direction, Cohen said he paid $130,000 in violation of campaign finance laws to “somebody” to keep them quiet, which was later repaid by the candidate. He said he arranged to make payments “for (the) principal purpose of influencing (the) election” at the direction of a candidate for federal office; Cohen did not give the candidate’s name, but those facts match Cohen’s payment to Clifford and Trump’s repayment. Cohen’s exact words: “I have donated the money that was in the account in coordination with and at the direction of a federal candidate.”

Cohen also tells the federal court he evaded substantial taxes on his income, with Bloomberg noting that the sentencing guideline calls for 46 to 63 months in prison. The prosecutor told the judge the purpose of the payments was to ensure that the individuals did not disclose “alleged affairs with the candidate.” Besides the $130,000 payment, Cohen admitted to making an illegal contribution of $150,000, which was how much McDougal received from the National Enquirer’s publisher to quash her story. As Bloomberg explicitly adds, “at no time was the candidate’s name mentioned.” The prosecutor also said Cohen failed to report $4 million on taxes and lied about debts and banking details on loan applications.

His voice cracked as he answered questions from Judge William Pauley III. As Bloomberg notes, Cohen was shaking head and appeared to be holding back emotions as judge reviews possible sentence. Cohen faces a likely prison sentence of 46 to 63 months, the judge said.

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A mover and a shaker. Can’t help thinking we’re reading a real bad novel. Can’t wait for the movie.

Paul Manafort Found Guilty On 8 Counts, Mistrial Declared On Other Ten (ZH)

Jurors in the trial of former Paul Manafort have reached a verdict on eight of the 18 counts against the former Trump aide. After a day of passing notes to the Judge, they said they were unable to reach a decision on the other 10. Manafort was found guilty on all five tax fraud counts, while the other three are related to his failure to disclose foreign bank accounts and bank fraud. The verdict comes at the end of two and a half weeks of testimony, which included 27 witnesses and 88 documents submitted into evidence. Earlier, the jury asked Judge T.S. Ellis earlier in the day what would happen if they couldn’t reach a verdict on a count, and Ellis told them to keep working on it.

“If we cannot come to a consensus for a single count, how can we fill in the verdict sheet?” the jurors asked in the note. “It is your duty to agree upon a verdict if you can do so,” said Ellis, who encouraged each juror to make their own decisions on each count. If some were in the minority on a decision, however, they could think about the other jurors’ conclusions. Give “deference” to each other and “listen to each others’ arguments,” said Ellis, adding “You’re the exclusive judges … Take all the time which you feel is necessary.” Manafort stands accused of 18 counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and obfuscating foreign bank counts in the first trial brought against him by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election – despite the charges stemming from his work for the then-Ukrainian governing party.

Read more …

“The declaration that the Greek crisis is over is merely a statement that there is nothing left to extract from the Greek people for the interest of the foreign banks.”

Genocide of the Greek Nation (Paul Craig Roberts)

Traditionally, when a sovereign country, whether by corruption, mismanagement, bad luck, or unexpected events, found itself unable to repay its debts, the country’s creditors wrote down the debts to the level that the indebted country could service. With Greece there was a game change. The ECB, led by Jean-Claude Trichet, and the IMF ruled that Greece had to pay the full amount of interest and principal on its government bonds held by German, Dutch, French, and Italian banks. How was this to be achieved? In two ways, both of which greatly worsened the crisis, leaving Greece today in a far worst position that it was in at the beginning of the crisis almost a decade ago.

At the beginning of the “crisis,” which would have easily been resolved by writing down part of the debt, the Greek debt was 129% of Greek GDP. Today Greek debt is 180% of GDP. Why? Greece was lent more money to pay interest to Greece’s creditors, so that they would not have to lose one cent. The additonal lending, called a “bailout” by the presstitute financial media, was not a bailout of Greece. It was a bailout of Greece’s creditors. The Obama regime encouraged this bailout, because the American banks, expecting a bailout, had sold credit default swaps on Greek debt. Without a bailout the US banks would have lost their bet and paid default insurance on Greek Bonds.

Additionally, Greece was required to sell its public assets to foreigners and to decimate the Greek social safety net, reducing pensions, for example, to below subsistance incomes and so radically reducing medical care that people die before they can get treatment. If memory serves, China bought the Greek seaports. Germay bought the airport. Various German and European entities bought the Greek municipal water companies. Real estate speculators bought protected Greek Islands for real estate development. This plunder of Greek public property did not go toward reducing the debt that Greek owed. It went, along with the new loans, to paying the interest. The debt, larger than ever, still stands. The economy is smaller than ever as is the Greek population that bears the debt.

The declaration that the Greek crisis is over is merely a statement that there is nothing left to extract from the Greek people for the interest of the foreign banks. Greece is sinking fast. All of the income associated with sea ports, airport, municipal utilities, and the rest of public property that was forcibly privatized now belongs to foreigners who take the money out of the country, thus further driving down the Greek economy.

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Shifting goal posts, rearranging deck chairs.

Call For Two Years Further Freedom Of Movement After Brexit (G.)

Britain would face labour shortages in London and the south-east from a no-deal Brexit, according to a report calling for the government to extend freedom of movement for EU migrants to protect the wider economy. The Centre for Cities thinktank urged the government to extend freedom of movement for two years after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, in the event of no deal on the terms of exit and future relations with the union. Publishing a report on EU citizens working in British towns and cities across the country, the Centre for Cities warned cities such as Oxford, Cambridge and London, where the vote was in favour of remaining in the EU, are reliant on EU migrants, making them particularly vulnerable to tougher immigration rules should Britain crash out without a deal.

The report said about one in 10 employees in major southern cities were from the EU. It said they had brought with them “significant economic benefits” to the wider British economy, which could be put at risk from a no-deal Brexit. Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “[The government] should continue to allow EU migrants to come and work in UK cities for at least the next two years, even if there is no Brexit deal in place. This will be crucial in helping cities avoid a cliff edge in terms of recruiting the workers they need.” The report comes ahead of the government’s publication of a series of technical notices detailing the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

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How far removed the City is from the country.

Britain Extends Lead As King Of Currencies Despite Brexit Vote (R.)

Britain has extended its lead in the global currency trading business in the two years since it voted to leave the European Union, in another sign London is likely to continue to be one of the world’s top two financial centres even after Brexit. Leaving the European Union was supposed to deal a crippling blow to London’s position in global finance, prompting a mass exodus of jobs and business. But with eight months to go, London has tightened rather than weakened its grip on foreign exchange trading, a Reuters analysis shows. Foreign exchange – the largest and most interconnected of global markets, used by everyone from global airlines to money managers in transactions worth trillions of dollars a day – is the crowning jewel of London’s financial services industry.

Reuters’ analysis, based on surveys released by central banks in the five biggest trading centres, shows forex trading volumes in Britain had grown by 23 percent to a record daily average of $2.7 trillion (£2.1 trillion) in April compared to April 2016. That was double the pace of its nearest rival, the United States, which was up 11 percent to $994 billion, mostly out of New York. That means about two-fifths of all trades are handled in Britain, nearly all of them in London – a daily volume almost equivalent to the annual economic output of the United Kingdom. The next three biggest markets are Singapore, which fell by 5 percent to $523 billion; Hong Kong, which grew 10 percent to $482 billion; and Japan, which increased by 2 percent to $415 billion.

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Time for a new Karl Marx?!

Bank of England Chief Economist Warns On AI Jobs Threat (BBC)

The chief economist of the Bank of England has warned that the UK will need a skills revolution to avoid “large swathes” of people becoming “technologically unemployed” as artificial intelligence makes many jobs obsolete. Andy Haldane said the possible disruption of what is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution could be “on a much greater scale” than anything felt during the First Industrial Revolution of the Victorian era. He said that he had seen a widespread “hollowing out” of the jobs market, rising inequality, social tension and many people struggling to make a living. It was important to learn the “lessons of history”, he argued, and ensure that people were given the training to take advantage of the new jobs that would become available.

He added that in the past a safety net such as new welfare benefits had also been provided. Mr Haldane’s points were echoed by the new head of the government’s advisory council on artificial intelligence, who also warned there was a “huge risk” of people being left behind as computers and robots changed the world of work. Tabitha Goldstaub, chair of the newly formed Artificial Intelligence Council, said that the challenge was ensuring that people were ready for change and that the focus was on creating the new jobs of the future to replace those that would disappear. “Each of those [industrial revolutions] had a wrenching and lengthy impact on the jobs market, on the lives and livelihoods of large swathes of society,” Mr Haldane told me for the Today Programme.

“Jobs were effectively taken by machines of various types, there was a hollowing out of the jobs market, and that left a lot of people for a lengthy period out of work and struggling to make a living. “That heightened social tensions, it heightened financial tensions, it led to a rise in inequality. “This is the dark side of technological revolutions and that dark-side has always been there. “That hollowing out is going to be potentially on a much greater scale in the future, when we have machines both thinking and doing – replacing both the cognitive and the technical skills of humans.”

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“The shocks to our current system that arrive early are better than the ones that come too late.”

Our Economic System Was Designed To Burn Everything In Its Path (NO)

Boom and bust cycles in the extraction economy have always brought incredible destruction and pain, especially to those closest to the land. Not by accident but by design – billions of dollars of wealth has been stripped from the land for the benefit of mostly outside investors who never intended a long term sustainable plan for rural or Indigenous communities, much less the ecosystems they rely on. But with accelerating climate change, we now have boom, bust and burn (this burn has many forms, fire is just one). And it affects everyone. The truth is this economic system has always been on fire. The terrifying object at the end of the extraction economy is the devastating and total incineration of almost everything we know and love.

This is the only endgame in the extraction economy — it is what happens when a model dependent on infinite growth is played out on a planet with finite resources. The extraction economy is an extinction economy, or maybe more accurately an extinction machine. It has always burnt everything in its path. That is what it’s designed to do. The people and living things on the periphery have always felt it first. But now in a world of global climate disruption, the match has burned down to our fingers. There is no periphery and no centre. Just one interconnected and interdependent world – on fire, together. It is not a bad thing to see this laid bare. We need new models for a sustainable civilization, and this will be a big lift that will require change at every level of social organization. The shocks to our current system that arrive early are better than the ones that come too late.

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Free trade requires permanent war.

The Economy of Permanent War (Connelly)

Dr Kadri says that free trade is ‘a poisonous concept’ that requires a state of permanent war. “In way we are caught in a catch-22 situation,” he says. “War is awful, but it does wonders for the macroeconomy.” “One need only look at what has occurred in Yemen, Gaza, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq to discover the new shape of war and what happens to countries that attempt to control their own resources in an age where war and war spending have become all the more necessary to take the market out of its slump.” Syria’s GDP was $73 billion in 2012, a 73% decrease in economic output from 2008, according to Statista. Cumulative GDP loss between 2011–2016 is estimated at $226 billion, according to the World Bank.

“Why would the US be interested in billion dollar trade, when it has made more than a trillion out of war in Syria?,” he says. “If you want cash in against the Syrian government, you spend a trillion dollars mobilising intelligence in the west, another couple of trillion sowing dissent, saying Syria is bad, we have a bad guy in power, we should kill him and free this country, maybe bring in ISIS, al-Qaeda or some other obscurantist group. They’re willing to pay even tens of trillions, because they will earn back every penny.” “If they spend ten trillion on this war, they’re going to earn $10–20 trillion back,” he says.

[..] The former UN economist says that free trade basically dislocates resources and never re-employs them back. “It either drives resources out of business, or it simply destroys them,” he says. “If you force governments in sub-Saharan Africa or the Middle East to subsidise their agriculture, while the EU, for instance, spends a trillion euros a year subsidising its agriculture, you already have an economic imbalance in the way policy occurs.” In many cases, war is actually more profitable than trade.

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Make every single part of the travel industry pay for the destruction it causes.

Tourists Are Destroying the Places They Love (Spiegel)

It’s not just Europeans exploring each others’ countries. The boom is also fueled by people from countries that have benefited handsomely from globalization. Much of the responsibility for the growth in global tourism lies with members of the newly emerging middle classes in Russia and with people from the Far East and Arab countries. They also bear a significant share of the responsibility for the growing problems. The boom, after all, is also producing losers, and many of them have begun revolting, as recently seen in the pilot strikes at European budget carrier Ryanair, whose poor working conditions and low wages are what make the airline’s low-cost strategy possible in the first place.

But residents of the cities and regions affected are perhaps the biggest losers. When, for example, it becomes more lucrative for property owners to rent their apartments out to tourists on a daily or weekly basis than to locals who need an affordable place to live. Or when commuters have to squeeze into overcrowded public transportation because local buses and trains have been filled to capacity by tourists. Or when people no longer feel comfortable in their neighborhood because they have become a minority in the cafés and restaurants they traditionally frequented. That is, assuming they can get in at all or afford the new prices.

The tourism industry suddenly finds itself confronted by a group that it hadn’t previously paid much attention to. Having always focused on the guests, it tended to overlook the hosts. “Tourism is a phenomenon that creates many private profits but also many socialized losses,” says Christian Laesser, a tourism professor at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Often, the profits benefit very few – the landlords and hotel owners primarily, but also, to a much lesser extent, the often poorly paid employees working in the travel sector. The rest are stuck with the noise and the mess, the high rents and the feeling of being a stranger in their own country, like being an extra in some Disney World for tourists.

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The last ice area. That sounds ominous.

Arctic’s Strongest Sea Ice Breaks Up For First Time On Record (G.)

The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer. This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere. One meteorologist described the loss of ice as “scary”. Others said it could force scientists to revise their theories about which part of the Arctic will withstand warming the longest. The sea off the north coast of Greenland is normally so frozen that it was referred to, until recently, as “the last ice area” because it was assumed that this would be the final northern holdout against the melting effects of a hotter planet.

But abnormal temperature spikes in February and earlier this month have left it vulnerable to winds, which have pushed the ice further away from the coast than at any time since satellite records began in the 1970s. “Almost all of the ice to the north of Greenland is quite shattered and broken up and therefore more mobile,” said Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute. “Open water off the north coast of Greenland is unusual. This area has often been called ‘the last ice area’ as it has been suggested that the last perennial sea ice in the Arctic will occur here. The events of the last week suggest that, actually, the last ice area may be further west.”

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May 152017
 
 May 15, 2017  Posted by at 8:18 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  1 Response »


Fred Stein Ballfield NY 1946

 

Global Property Bubble Is Ready To Pop (MF)
3 Cities Push Canada To Another Record On House Prices (HPo)
Cyber Attack Aftershocks Disrupt Devices Across Asia on Monday (R.)
Lessons From Last Week’s Cyberattack (Microsoft)
The World Is Getting Hacked. Why Don’t We Do More to Stop It? (NYT)
Peak China: Chinese Data Misses Across The Board (ZH)
Why India Is Cool Towards China’s Belt And Road (SCMP)
China’s Silk Road Summit: India Skips, Warns Of “Unsustainable Debt” (ZH)
Number of Chinese Tourists Visiting Greece to Rise 10-Fold (BBG)
New Zealand Slashes Chinese Tourism Forecast, Denting Outlook (BBG)
Fed Officials Test New Argument for Tightening: Protect the Poor (BBG)
Marc Cohodes, The Scourge Of Home Capital, Reveals His Latest Short (ZH)
Eyes on Euro Fighter Macron (K.)
Germany Will Not Rush Into Euro Area Fiscal Union (CNBC)
What Germany Owes Namibia For Genocide (Econ)

 

 

Only real question: will they all fall together like dominoes?

Global Property Bubble Is Ready To Pop (MF)

Ever since interest rates were slashed to near zero in the wake of the financial crisis, the world has gone property mad. Residential house prices from Abu Dhabi to Zurich have spiralled as hot money travelled the world looking for a home. For those who got in early it has been incredibly rewarding, even if – whisper it – stock markets have actually done far better. The global property bubble cannot blow much bigger. The best we can hope is that it deflates slowly… but it could burst. Property is still going crazy in China, where prices have been pumped up by yet another bout of government stimulus. Guangzhou, close to Hong Kong on the Chinese mainland, leapt a whopping 36% in the past 12 months, according to Knight Frank. Prices rose around 20% in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Toronto, Canada.

Seoul in South Korea continues to boom, as does Sydney and Stockholm, both up 10.7% over the last year. Berlin (8.7%), Melbourne (8.6%) and Vancouver (7.9%) are also performing strongly. In most other global cities, property is finally starting to slow. Hong Kong rose a relatively modest 5.3% while Singapore grew 4%, and thereafter price hikes trail away. Half of the 41 countries in the report grew by less than 2%, while nearly one in three saw prices fall, by up to 8.3%. Prime central London was the world’s raciest property market but is now leading the charge in the other direction, falling 6.4%. Former hotspots Zurich, Moscow and Istanbul fell 7% or more over the last 12 months. Cheap money has driven prices ever higher for eight years but is finally losing traction, as affordability is stretched again. Interest rates cannot go any lower and could start rising if the US Federal Reserve continues to tighten. Regulatory authorities are looking to rein in overheated markets, with China only the latest to tighten borrowing requirements. The glory days are over.

Investing in property has one major benefit over stocks and shares – you can leverage up borrowing money to fund your purchase. Thereafter, the advantages are all one way. First, you can trade stocks online within seconds, whereas offloading property can take months (longer in a market crash). You can invest small amounts, rather than the hundreds of thousands of dollars, pounds, euros, yen or renminbi you need to buy a decent property these days. If you buy an investment property you have the effort of doing up and maintaining it, finding tenants, and paying a host of local taxes. You don’t have any of that nonsense with stocks. Best of all, you can invest quickly and easily in a wide spread global stocks, sectors and markets.

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Greater fools and empty bags.

3 Cities Push Canada To Another Record On House Prices (HPo)

Home prices in Canada rose for the 15th straight month in a row in April, according to the Teranet-National Bank house price index, which once again hit its highest levels ever. But virtually all the strength seen over the past year came from just three cities — Toronto, Hamilton and Victoria. The index, which tracks repeat sales of single-family homes over time, found Toronto led the way, with the price index rising 2.6% in April. The city has seen prices jump 7.3% since the start of the year, and 26.3% in the past 12 months. Nearby Hamilton, which is experiencing spillover from Toronto’s housing boom, saw its price index rise 2% in April and 23% over the past year. Vancouver, which as recently as a year ago was showing the fastest price growth in the country, is now showing signs of slowing.

The price index fell 0.1% in April, and compared to a year ago, prices are up 9.7%, slower than the national average of 13.4%. Many market experts say Vancouver’s foreign buyer tax has pushed buyers to other cities, including to Victoria, where the price index rose 1.5% in April, and 19% over the past year. “Based on the cooldown in home sales that began early last year, we expect the Vancouver growth rate to fall much lower over the next few months,” wrote David Madani, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics. But Madani expects Toronto to experience a similar cooling. He noted that the city saw a sudden, 30% spike in new home listings in April. That’s “further evidence that the surge in house price inflation is close to a peak and will drop back sharply before the end of this year,” he wrote in a client note.

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So far not so bad. But if the next generation of the attack has no killswitch that can be triggered, anything is possible.

Cyber Attack Aftershocks Disrupt Devices Across Asia (R.)

Asian governments and businesses reported some disruptions from the WannaCry ransomware worm on Monday but cybersecurity experts warned of a wider impact as more employees turned on their computers and checked e-mails. The ransomware that has locked up hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries has been mainly spread by e-mail, hitting factories, hospitals, shops and schools worldwide. While the effect on Asian entities appeared to be contained on Monday, industry professionals flagged potential risks as more systems came online across the region. Companies that were hit by the worm may be wary of making it public, they added.

“We’re looking at our victims’ profiles, we’re still seeing a lot of victims in the Asia-Pacific region. But it is a global campaign, it’s not targeted,” said Tim Wellsmore, Director of Threat Intelligence, Asia Pacific at cybersecurity firm FireEye. “But I don’t think we can say it hasn’t impacted this region to the extent it has some other regions.” Michael Gazeley, managing director of Network Box, a Hong Kong-based cybersecurity firm, said there were still “many ‘landmines’ waiting in people’s in-boxes” in the region, with most of the attacks having arrived via e-mail.

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Microsoft blames the NSA, and for good reason, but…

Lessons From Last Week’s Cyberattack (Microsoft)

[..] this attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem. This is an emerging pattern in 2017. We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world. Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage. An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen. And this most recent attack represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today – nation-state action and organized criminal action.

The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call. They need to take a different approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world. We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits. This is one reason we called in February for a new “Digital Geneva Convention” to govern these issues, including a new requirement for governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than stockpile, sell, or exploit them. And it’s why we’ve pledged our support for defending every customer everywhere in the face of cyberattacks, regardless of their nationality. This weekend, whether it’s in London, New York, Moscow, Delhi, Sao Paulo, or Beijing, we’re putting this principle into action and working with customers around the world.

We should take from this recent attack a renewed determination for more urgent collective action. We need the tech sector, customers, and governments to work together to protect against cybersecurity attacks. More action is needed, and it’s needed now. In this sense, the WannaCrypt attack is a wake-up call for all of us. We recognize our responsibility to help answer this call, and Microsoft is committed to doing its part.

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…Microsoft itself carries part of the blame as well. It doesn’t support XP, but does ask for a lot of money for patches.

The World Is Getting Hacked. Why Don’t We Do More to Stop It? (NYT)

The attack was halted by a stroke of luck: the ransomware had a kill switch that a British employee in a cybersecurity firm managed to activate. Shortly after, Microsoft finally released for free the patch that they had been withholding from users that had not signed up for expensive custom support agreements. But the crisis is far from over. This particular vulnerability still lives in unpatched systems, and the next one may not have a convenient kill switch. While it is inevitable that software will have bugs, there are ways to make operating systems much more secure — but that costs real money.

While this particular bug affected both new and old versions of Microsoft’s operating systems, the older ones like XP have more critical vulnerabilities. This is partly because our understanding of how to make secure software has advanced over the years, and partly because of the incentives in the software business. Since most software is sold with an “as is” license, meaning the company is not legally liable for any issues with it even on day one, it has not made much sense to spend the extra money and time required to make software more secure quickly. Indeed, for many years, Facebook’s mantra for its programmers was “move fast and break things.”

[..] If I have painted a bleak picture, it is because things are bleak. Our software evolves by layering new systems on old, and that means we have constructed entire cities upon crumbling swamps. And we live on the fault lines where more earthquakes are inevitable. All the key actors have to work together, and fast. First, companies like Microsoft should discard the idea that they can abandon people using older software. The money they made from these customers hasn’t expired; neither has their responsibility to fix defects. Besides, Microsoft is sitting on a cash hoard estimated at more than $100 billion (the result of how little tax modern corporations pay and how profitable it is to sell a dominant operating system under monopolistic dynamics with no liability for defects).

At a minimum, Microsoft clearly should have provided the critical update in March to all its users, not just those paying extra. Indeed, “pay extra money to us or we will withhold critical security updates” can be seen as its own form of ransomware. In its defense, Microsoft probably could point out that its operating systems have come a long way in security since Windows XP, and it has spent a lot of money updating old software, even above industry norms. However, industry norms are lousy to horrible, and it is reasonable to expect a company with a dominant market position, that made so much money selling software that runs critical infrastructure, to do more.

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tick tick tick.

Peak China: Chinese Data Misses Across The Board (ZH)

Following months of warnings that China’s economy is slowing down as a result of not only a collapse in China’s credit impulse but also tighter monetary conditions, as well as rolling over loan growth which has pressured both CPI and PPI – i.e., the global “reflation trade” – as the following chart from Bloomberg’s David Ingels shows…

… and culminating over the weekend with a warning in no uncertain terms from Citi, which said that at least four key economic indicators are “starting to wave red flags” among which:
• The Markit PMI is starting to turn over
• China’s Inflation Surprise Index – a leading indicator to global inflation metric – has posted a recent sharp drop
• China’s import trade has likewise tumbled after surging recently
• Chinese Iron Ore imports into Qingado port have plunged

… moments ago China’s National Bureau of Statistics validated the mounting fears, when it reported misses across all key economic categories for the month of April, as follows:
• Retail Sales 10.7% Y/Y, Exp. 10.8%, Last 10.9%
• Fixed Asset Investment 8.9% Y/Y, Exp. 9.1%, Last 9.2%
• Industrial Output 6.5% Y/Y, Exp. 7.0%, Last 7.6%
• Industrial Production YTD 6.7% Y/Y, Exp. 6.9%, Last 6.8%

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Big meeting, Putin, Erdogan et al, but not India, US, Germany and more. Shaky.

Why India Is Cool Towards China’s Belt And Road (SCMP)

It is one of the most imaginative and ambitious programmes ever to be rolled out by a government. It represents a broad strategy for China’s economic cooperation and expanded presence in Asia, Africa and Europe, and has been presented as a win-win initiative for all participating nations. But for India, the connotations of China’s Belt and Road Initiative” are somewhat different. A flagship programme and the most advanced component of the initiative, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, a region that belongs to India and is under the control of Pakistan. As a country acutely conscious of its own sovereignty-related claims, China should have no difficulty in appreciating India’s sensitivities in this regard.

While investment in the Gwadar port, roads and energy projects is reported to have increased from US$46 billion to US$55 billion, CPEC lacks economic justification for China and its geopolitical drivers cause legitimate anxieties in India. The Belt and Road plan is a practical economic strategy for China’s objectives to connect the region, seek new growth engines for its slowing economy, utilise its surplus capacity, and develop and stabilise its western regions. It may also bring benefits to partner countries. However, it also has a strategic and political agenda which remains opaque. Apart from the CPEC, India also has misgivings about the manner in which the Belt and Road Initiative is being pursued in its neighbourhood. For instance, the development of ports under Chinese operational control as part of the Maritime Silk Road strategy has raised concerns in India which need to be addressed.

India has repeatedly conveyed its strong objections regarding the CPEC to China. The Belt and Road plan is a Chinese initiative rather than a multilateral enterprise undertaken after prior consultation with potential partner countries, and India has not endorsed it. There is an expectation in India that China will take India’s sensitivities into account while formulating its plans. Clearly, there is room for closer consultations between China and India on the objectives, contours and future directions of the Belt and Road. However, India has considered synergy-based cooperation on a case-by-case basis, where its interests for regional development converge with that of other countries, including China.

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India’s right, the Silk road is financed with Monopoly money.

China’s Silk Road Summit: India Skips, Warns Of “Unsustainable Debt” (ZH)

Alas, the meticulously scripted plan to showcase China’s growing economic and trade dominance did not go off quite as smoothly as Xi had planned. First, just hours before the summit opened, North Korea launched its latest ballistic missile, provoking Beijing and further testing the patience of China, its chief ally. Ironically, the United States had complained to China on Friday over the inclusion of a North Korean delegation at the event. Then, in a sign that China’s rampant, credit-fuelled growth is making some just a little uncomfortable, some Western diplomats expressed unease about both the summit and the plan as a whole, seeing it as an attempt to promote Chinese influence globally according to Reuters. They are also concerned about transparency and access for foreign firms to the scheme.

Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said Canberra was receptive to exploring commercial opportunities China’s new Silk Road presented, but any decisions would remain incumbent on national interest. Responding to criticism, Xi said that “China is willing to share its development experience with all countries” and added “we will not interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. We will not export our system of society and development model, and even more will not impose our views on others.” But the biggest surprise was India, the world’s fastest growing nation and the second most populous in the world, which did not even bother to send an official delegation to Beijing and instead criticised China’s global initiative, warning of an “unsustainable debt burden” for countries involved.

Indian foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay, asked whether New Delhi was participating in the summit, said “India could not accept a project that compromised its sovereignty.” India is incensed that one of the key Belt and Road projects passes through Kashmir and Pakistan. The nuclear-armed rivals have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region, Reuters notes. “No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Baglay said. Furthermore, he also warned of the danger of debt. One of the criticisms of the Silk Road plan is that host countries may struggle to pay back loans for huge infrastructure projects being carried out and funded by Chinese companies and banks. “Connectivity initiatives must follow principles of financial responsibility to avoid projects that would create unsustainable debt burden for communities,” Baglay said.

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Really, Brussels, Washington, you think it’s a good idea to let China buy up Greece? No security jiggers at all?

Number of Chinese Tourists Visiting Greece to Rise 10-Fold (BBG)

Fosun International, the Chinese conglomerate that’s part of a venture to transform the former Athens airport site into one of the biggest real-estate projects in Europe, is now turning its attention to Greek tourism. Fosun wants to use its stake in tour operator Thomas Cook to start building vacation packages specifically for the vast Chinese market, Senior Vice President Jim Jiannong Qian said in a May 4 interview in Athens. The Chinese government predicts 1.5 million of its citizens will start vacationing in Greece in the medium term. Tourism accounted for over one-quarter of Greece’s GDP in 2016, according to the Greek Tourism Confederation. Visitor numbers in 2016 reached 28.1 million, up 7.6% from 2015. Tourists generated €13.2 billion in travel receipts, according to the Bank of Greece. Of these travelers, 150,000 came from China, Beijing says.

“Greece is a very safe place for visitors,” said Qian who is also president of Fosun’s Tourism and Commercial Group. There are also good opportunities for tourism investments in Greece, he said. Fosun is in discussions to buy existing hotels and resorts, or for the construction of new ones, in Greece by its fully owned portfolio company Club Med. An increase in Chinese visitors to Greece would eventually lead to direct flights from Beijing and Shanghai to Athens, Qian said. The 54 year-old Qian said the situation in Greece has changed since the company first invested in Athens-based luxury goods retailer Folli Follie Group in 2011. “Greece’s economy is recovering now and can also deliver very good opportunities for foreign investors,” he said. “We look at the figures from retail sales and of the tourism sector,” and see the improvement.

Fosun, which manages €64.3 billion in total assets globally, has invested more than €200 million in Greece through its direct holding in Folli Follie and indirectly through Thomas Cook and Club Med, Qian said. “If you can help the economy grow, for example if we have the package product for Greece, then we create more jobs for restaurants, for retail stores, for taxi drivers.” The company, the biggest private Chinese company that invests in Europe, owns German lender Hauck & Aufhaeuser and Portuguese insurance company Fidelidade, and doesn’t rule out an investment in the Greek banking sector if an opportunity arises in the future, Qian said, refuting reports that the group has already made a bid to acquire shares in Greek banks. Fosun has already placed a bid for the acquisition of National Bank of Greece’s insurance unit National Insurance, and according to Qian, has no money ceiling when it comes to investments, as long as the opportunity is worth it.

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Rerouted trips to Greece?

New Zealand Slashes Chinese Tourism Forecast, Denting Outlook (BBG)

New Zealand has slashed its forecast for Chinese tourist spending over the next six years, denting growth expectations for its biggest foreign-exchange earner. Spending by Chinese tourists will rise to NZ$3.73 billion ($2.5 billion) by 2022 from NZ$1.65 billion last year, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest annual forecasts. That’s 30% less than the NZ$5.32 billion expected in last year’s projections. “There is significant geopolitical risk around the China market,” the ministry said in the report, published Friday, adding that indicators like early-2017 visa approvals were “suggesting a short-term slowing in the market.” The downward revision indicates overall revenue from tourists won’t grow as quickly as previously expected, and that Australia will remain the biggest source of tourist dollars until 2021. Last year, officials forecast China would take the top ranking in 2017.

Tourism, which last year overtook dairy as New Zealand’s top export, has been growing faster than expected. Visitor numbers surged to 3.5 million in 2016, four years sooner than had been envisaged in 2014, and are projected to jump to 4.9 million by 2023. Still, the uncertainty around China “adds some risk to both China’s and the national forecast numbers,” the ministry said in its latest report. The slower forecast trajectory for Chinese spending growth reflects fewer visitors and less spending per day than projected 12 months ago. Arrivals from China are expected to reach 812,000 in 2022. That’s less than the 921,000 estimated in last year’s report. Average spending per day is forecast to be NZ$343 in 2022 rather than the NZ$394 estimated a year ago. As a result, total foreign visitor spending will rise to NZ$15.3 billion in 2023, according to the forecasts. The 2016 prediction was that spending would rise to NZ$16 billion by 2022.

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As if we needed any more evidence that credibility is the least of their worries.

Fed Officials Test New Argument for Tightening: Protect the Poor (BBG)

To protect the poorest Americans, should central bankers raise interest rates faster? At least one of them is making that argument. During a speech last month, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George said she was “not as enthusiastic or encouraged as some when I see inflation moving higher” because “inflation is a tax and those least able to afford it generally suffer the most.” She was referring in particular to rental inflation, which she said could continue rising if the Fed doesn’t take steps to tighten monetary conditions. And while the idea of inflation as a tax that hits the poor the hardest is not a new one, its role in the current debate over what to do with interest rates marks a bit of a twist from recent years.

Widening disparities in income and wealth have over the past several years permeated national politics and helped fuel the rise of populist movements around the developed world. Against this backdrop, there has been a growing body of research, some of it produced by economists at central banks, backing the idea that easier monetary policy tends to be more progressive. That work, set against the notion that a stricter approach toward containing inflation has the best interests of the lowest-income members of society at heart, is thrusting Fed policy makers toward the center of a debate they usually like to leave to politicians. It’s becoming more contentious as Fed officials seek to declare victory on their goal of maximum employment even while the percentage of prime working-age Americans who currently have jobs is still nowhere close to the peaks of the previous two economic expansions.

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“The company, with the unfortunate Toronto Ticker “BAD”..”

Marc Cohodes, The Scourge Of Home Capital, Reveals His Latest Short (ZH)

Having single-handedly hounded Home Capital Group – the company which we predicted in 2015 would be “ground zero” for any potential Canadian financial crisis, and has emerged as the Canada’s equivalent to the infamous New Century which in 2007 presaged the upcoming global financial crisis – into near oblivion, noted chicken-farmer and short-seller, Marc Cohodes, over the weekend revealed the full details behind his latest short thesis: Canadian oil and gas service provider, Badger Daylighting. Badger, for those unfamiliar, is a company which uses a technique called hydrovac excavation, in which pressurized water and a powerful vacuum are used to expose buried pipes and cables. The company, with the unfortunate Toronto Ticker “BAD”, already had a bad day on Friday when it revealed earnings and revenues that badly missed consensus expectations.

Insult was added to injury after Cohodes, who most recently gained prominence for his short bet on Home Capital Group, previewed pages of a negative presentation on Badger to his Twitter feed Friday, saying that the shares are overvalued and that there are low barriers to entry. As a result, BAD shares plunged as much as 28% to C$22 in Toronto, the biggest intraday decline since November 2006, after previously dropping 4.8% YTD. To be sure, on Friday Badger CEO Paul Vanderberg, without in depth knowledge of Cohodes’ thesis, responded to Cohodes saying “my focus on that is really not to focus on it” during the earnings call and adding that “I don’t agree with the thesis.” Obviously, especially since neither he nor anyone else had seen or read it.

Chief Financial Officer Jerry Schiefelbein also responded, saying Badger is working to train new workers and managers on how to operate more efficiently, which should help reduce costs. He said the company’s first-quarter sales were “pretty good” following a couple of tough years. As for Cohodes’ criticism about low barriers to entry, Schiefelbein was quoted by Bloomberg saying tat Badger’s size gives it an advantage over mom-and-pop shops that would seek to compete with the company. Badger can tackle bigger projects for municipalities, has safety systems that larger customers require and it can move assets to markets where there is more demand, he said. “It’s not just digging holes in the ground.”

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Only interesting if his French backers want something Germany doesn’t. But then they all want the eurozone.

Eyes on Euro Fighter Macron (K.)

Macron has taken over from Francois Hollande hoping to reform not just his own country but the euro as well. “We must collectively recognize that the euro is incomplete and cannot last without major reforms,” he said during a speech at Humboldt University in Berlin this January. “It has not provided Europe with a full international sovereignty against the dollar on its rules, it has not provided Europe with a natural convergence between the different member-states.” The centrist politician warned that without reform the euro may be obsolete in 10 years. He has proposed a series of changes to improve the single currency, with the centerpiece being a budget for the eurozone that will be monitored by the European Parliament and backed by borrowing capacity so that it can finance investments, provide emergency loans via the European Stability Mechanism and help eurozone members if they suffer significant economic shocks.

Macron has also suggested the pooling of debt in the eurozone through the issuing of eurobonds, which are anathema to German conservatives. “The establishment of this budget will have to come with a convergence agenda for the eurozone, an anti-dumping agenda that will set common rules for fiscal and social matters,” added Macron in a message to his German hosts that proceeded to become clearer during his speech. “In a monetary union, a country’s success cannot be sustainably achieved to the detriment of another, which is a limit of the competitiveness approach, because competitiveness is always about comparing yourself with a neighbor,” he said. “The difficulties of one are always the problems of all.” Although Macron admits that France must carry out its own labor, market and education reforms and respect fiscal targets, his words are a direct attempt to overturn the logic and policy that has dictated the eurozone’s response to its crises since 2010 and to shape how its overall approach will evolve from this point onward.

In doing so, Macron is taking the fight to Germany, which previous French presidents failed to do. “When you look at the situation, the dysfunctioning of the euro is good news for Germany, I have to say. You benefit from this dysfunctioning,” he told his audience in Berlin. “[The] euro today is a sort of weak Deutschmark, which favors the German industry,” he added. These are views that have rarely been aired publicly by key players in the eurozone and it is little surprise that the initial response from Berlin was to suggest that Macron has enough on his plate at home to be focusing on euro reform. “German support cannot replace French policymaking,” was Merkel’s first comment on the subject after Macron comfortably won last Sunday’s vote in France.

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But Schäuble on Friday said transfers were needed. You need a fiscal union to make that work.

Germany Will Not Rush Into Euro Area Fiscal Union (CNBC)

Now what? “More Europe” say those who believe that problems were caused by an inadequate integration process that allowed policy mistakes by incompetent national governments. To avoid similar mistakes in the future, they are now urging a unified fiscal policy to complete the monetary union. That is what the French call the “fuite en avant” – a semiotic delight roughly translated as fleeing from an unsolvable problem. Here is what that problem looks like: The fiscal union implies a euro area federal state with a common management of public finances. The area’s budget, public debt financing, tax policies, transfer payments, etc. would be managed by a euro area finance ministry. That would also require harmonization of labor, health care and education policies, and a whole range of other social welfare programs. Institutionally, this integration drive cannot stop at the finance ministry. There would also have to be a euro area executive and legislative authority to exercise administrative and democratic controls over tax and spend decisions.

[..] How could Germany, with a budget surplus last year of 0.8% of GDP and the public debt of 68.3% of GDP, accept a fiscal union with Spain running the euro area’s largest budget deficit of 4.5% of GDP and a public debt of 100% of GDP? France and Italy have similar public finance profiles. Last year, France had a second-largest euro area budget deficit of 3.4% of GDP and a public debt of 96% of GDP. During the same period, Italy ran a budget deficit of 2.4% of GDP and a public debt of 133% of GDP. This means that half of the euro area economy (France, Italy and Spain), with serious structural problems of public finances, would become part of a de-facto federal state with a fiscally sound Germany. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? And yet, that’s the program that the new French President Emmanuel Macron will apparently discuss Monday when he visits German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

France, Italy and Spain already know the answer. Chancellor Merkel is relieved and delighted that the most dangerous anti-EU parties in France and The Netherlands lost the recent elections, but her government is firmly opposed to the euro area fiscal union. German public opinion fully shares that position. And German media of all political stripes are having a field day lampooning the idea that German taxpayers should be asked to pay for countries that cannot control their debts and deficits. This is also an awkward moment to even talk about the call on the German public purse while the country is gearing up for general elections on Sept. 24, 2017. The best that Germany can offer, under these circumstances, is a strict enforcement of existing euro area fiscal rules: Budget deficits limited to 3% of GDP and the gross public debt to 60% of GDP. About half of the euro area members are now falling far short of these criteria.

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Will the rich world ever come clean? No.

What Germany Owes Namibia For Genocide (Econ)

On October 2nd 1904 General Lothar von Trotha issued what is now notorious as “the extermination order” to wipe out the Herero tribe in what was then German South West Africa, now Namibia. “Within the German borders every Herero, with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot,” his edict read. During the next few months it was just about carried out. Probably four-fifths of the Herero people, women and children included, perished one way or another, though the survivors’ descendants now number 200,000-plus in a total Namibian population, scattered across a vast and mainly arid land, of 2.3m. The smaller Nama tribe, which also rose up against the Germans, was sorely afflicted too, losing perhaps a third of its people, in prison camps or in the desert into which they had been chased.

A variety of German politicians have since acknowledged their country’s burden of guilt, even uttering the dread word “genocide”, especially in the wake of the centenary in 2004. But recent negotiations between the two countries’ governments over how to settle the matter, the wording of an apology and material compensation are becoming fraught. Namibia’s 16,000 or so ethnic Germans, still prominent if not as dominant as they once were in business and farming, are twitchy. The matter is becoming even more messy because, while the German and Namibian governments set about negotiation, some prominent Herero and Nama figures say they should be directly and separately involved—and have embarked on a class-action case in New York under the Alien Tort Statute, which lets a person of any nationality sue in an American court for violations of international law, such as genocide and expropriation of property without compensation.

The main force behind the New York case, Vekuii Rukoro, a former Namibian attorney-general, demands that any compensation should go directly to the Herero and Nama peoples, whereas the Namibian government, dominated by the far more numerous Ovambo people in northern Namibia, who were barely touched by the wars of 1904-07 and lost no land, says it should be handled by the government on behalf of all Namibians. The Namibian government’s amiable chief negotiator, Zedekia Ngavirue, himself a Nama, has been castigated by some of Mr Rukoro’s team as a sell-out. “Tribalism is rearing its ugly head,” says the finance minister, who happens to be an ethnic German.

The German government says it cannot be sued in court for crimes committed more than a century ago because the UN’s genocide convention was signed only in 1948. “Bullshit,” says Jürgen Zimmerer, a Hamburg historian who backs the genocide claim and says the German government is making a mess of things. “They think only like lawyers, not about the moral and political question.” “None of the then existing laws was broken,” says a senior German official. “Maybe that’s morally unsatisfactory but it’s the legal position,” he adds.

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Aug 182016
 
 August 18, 2016  Posted by at 8:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  2 Responses »


NPC George W. Cochran & Co., 709 14th Street NW, Washington DC 1920

Japanese Imports Drop -24.7%, Exports Crash -14.1% (ZH)
A Physics Lesson for Central Bankers (BBG)
The Idea Of The Fed Raising The Inflation Target Is Outrageous (Boockvar)
On The Impossibility Of Helicopter Money And Why The Casino Will Crash (DS)
US Buyback Announcements Tumble to a 2012 Low (BBG)
Oil Drillers Have Slashed Spending For 2015-2020 By $1 Trillion
Only 37% Of Borrowers Are Paying Down Their Student Loans (WSJ)
Chinese Airlines Need To Hire 100 Pilots A Week For The Next 20 Years (BBG)
Hillary Clinton Picks TPP and Fracking Advocate To Set Up Her White House (IC)
Is US Moving Nuclear Weapons From Turkey to Romania? (EurA)
America Is Complicit in the Carnage in Yemen (NYT Editorial Board)
California Slaughter: The State-Sanctioned Genocide of Native Americans (NW)
Uncovering The Brutal Truth About The British Empire (G.)
Greek Villagers Rescued Refugees. Now They Are the Ones Suffering. (NYT)

 

 

Apparently Kuroda doesn’t buy enough yet.

Japanese Imports Drop -24.7%, Exports Crash -14.1% (ZH)

For the 19th month in a row, Japanese Imports plunged – dropping 24.7% YoY (worse than expected), the biggest drop since Oct 2009. Exports were just as dismal, also missing expectations, plunging 14.1% YoY – worst since Oct 2009. The biggest driver of the collapse of Japanese trade was a 44% crash in the Chinese trade balance. There’s no lipstick to put on this pig… it’s a disaster.. and worse still Yen is strengthening back below 100 against the USD.

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Why not simply admit that central bankers and economists alike have no idea what they’re doing?! Even if they ever had a clue, we’re now 8 years into ‘uncharted territory’, and it’s all anyone‘s guess. That’s what ‘uncharted territory’ means.

Moreover, central bankers and economists come in with dogmatic school book theories that don’t apply in ‘uncharted territory’, and those school book educations make sure they’re the very last candidates for finding creative solutions. Comparing economics to actual science does not help one bit.

A Physics Lesson for Central Bankers (BBG)

The world is braced for the discovery of a fifth fundamental forces of nature – the four known ones being electromagnetism, gravity, and strong and weak nuclear forces – that subverts the so-called standard model of particle physics. Given the lackluster outlook for global growth, maybe economics needs a similar revolution. Quantitative easing’s failure to quash the threat of deflation is finance’s equivalent of the bump in the data that alerted physicists to the possibility of a new boson. The mismatch between economic theory and the real-world outcome of zero interest rates poses a direct challenge to the current orthodoxy that puts a 2% inflation target at the heart of monetary policy in most of the developed world.

Figures earlier this week showed inflation running at an annual pace of just 0.8% in the U.S. and 0.6% in the U.K. Consumer prices in the euro zone are rising by about 0.2% a year; in Japan, prices dropped by 0.4% in June. The consensus forecast among economists surveyed by Bloomberg News is for none of the four central banks in those regions to meet their targets in 2016, and for the ECB and the BOJ to continue falling short for at least the next year:

Years of pumping trillions of dollars, euros, yen and pounds into the economy by buying government debt and other securities hasn’t produced the rebound in inflation that economics textbooks predicted. Record low borrowing costs haven’t led to a surge in investment and spending that would lead to higher prices. That’s the kind of empirical evidence that should produce a reconsideration of what Rothschild Investment Trust Chairman Jacob Rothschild this week called “the greatest experiment in monetary policy in the history of the world.” Neil Grossman, director of Florida-based bank C1 Financial and former chief investment officer at TKNG Capital Partners, likens the need to abandon the current economic orthodoxy with the impact of quantum physics on science in the last century.

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“There is no science to this 2% number, it is all art.”

The Idea Of The Fed Raising The Inflation Target Is Outrageous (Boockvar)

I can’t let an opportunity go by without criticizing a Fed official. I believe their feet should be held to the fire after creating a huge asset price bubble and culture of debt that is dragging down economic growth. Fed President John Williams comments yesterday really got me angry. First, he suggested possibly raising the Fed’s 2% inflation target. This reflects an amazing cluelessness of the damage this would do if realized. We are in an epic bond bubble globally where higher inflation would be kryptonite. With the bond monster central bankers have created, the last thing they should want is higher inflation. Also, many U.S. citizens are literally living paycheck to paycheck and a higher cost of living without a corresponding increase in wages or any interest income would damage the largest component of the U.S. economy and the lives of millions.

Second, he said, “Conventional monetary policy has less room to stimulate the economy during an economic downturn.” This we know is true. But he then added, “This will necessitate a greater reliance on unconventional tools like central bank balance sheets, forward guidance, and potentially even negative policy rates.” This last sentence proves he’s blind to the negative consequences of what unconventional tools have wrought and he believes in negative rates even in the face of all the evidence of how damaging the idea is. Let me expand on the first issue of inflation. Central banks in the U.S., Eurozone, UK and in Japan have tethered their monetary policy decisions on growth certainly but also the desire for 2% annual inflation. There is no science to this 2% number, it is all art.

The reason for this target and desire for this level of inflation is a matter of control. While they like to keep interest rates artificially low, they also understand the need to have them higher than they are in order to respond to any economic challenges. The fallacy with this theory that higher inflation is good and deflation is bad, is inflation is just a symptom of underlying supply and demand and technological improvements, and thus shouldn’t be manipulated.

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Stockman: “..earnings had fallen by 19% since then, even as the stock market moved from 1950 to nearly 2200 or 13% higher..”

On The Impossibility Of Helicopter Money And Why The Casino Will Crash (DS)

[..] .. the S&P 500 companies posted Q2 2016 earnings for the latest 12 month period at $86.66 per share. So at the August bubble high the market was being valued at a lunatic 25.1X. Even in a healthy, growing economy that valuation level is on the extreme end of sanity. But actual circumstances are currently more nearly the opposite. That is, earnings have now been falling for six straight quarters in line with GDP growth that has slumped to what amounts to stall speed. In fact, reported earnings for the S&P 500 peaked at $106 per share in the 12 months ended in September 2014. That means that earnings had fallen by 19% since then, even as the stock market moved from 1950 to nearly 2200 or 13% higher.

This is called multiple expansion in the parlance of Wall Street, but it’s hard to find a more bubblicious example. Two years ago the market was trading at just 18.4X, meaning that on the back of sharply falling earnings the PE multiple had risen by 36%! Valuation multiples are supposed to go up only when the economic and profits outlook is improving, not when it’s unmistakably deteriorating as at present. But during the spring-summer melt-up these faltering fundamentals were blithely ignored on the hopes of a second half growth spurt and, failing the latter, that the Fed would again pull the market’s chestnuts out of the fire.

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Time for Yellen to buy those stocks? Buybacks were the no. 1 reason the S&P looked good till now. Better find something to replace them, or else…

US Buyback Announcements Tumble to a 2012 Low (BBG)

Stock buybacks appear to be slowing down, suggesting either corporate America’s outlook has dimmed, stock valuations have become prohibitively high or, most optimistically, that companies are starting to listen to investors and put funds toward other uses. Buybacks announced for the second quarter’s earnings season between July 8 and August 15 totaled an average of $1.8 billion a day, the lowest volume in an earnings season since the summer of 2012, according to TrimTabs Investment Research.
Share repurchases have been a key driver of this year’s stock market rally, despite a notable deceleration relative to to the same period in 2015. In the first seven months of 2016, buybacks totaled $376.5 billion, according to TrimTabs.

That’s down 21% from $478.4 billion in the first seven months of last year. Equity buybacks last week totaled just $2.6 billion, while record highs in U.S. stocks triggered an increase in new equity offerings. “The reluctance to pull the trigger on share repurchases suggests corporate leaders are becoming less enthusiastic about what they see ahead,” David Santschi, chief executive officer of TrimTabs, said in a press release on Tuesday. That means “buybacks aren’t likely to provide as much fuel for the stock market as they have in the recent past.” According to TrimTabs, just five companies have announced buybacks of more-than $3 billion this earnings season: Biogen ($5 billion), Visa ($5 billion), CBS ($5 billion), AIG ($3 billion), and 21st Century Fox ($3 billion).

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Hard to admit to something that will cost you your livelihood. They all keep hoping for rising prices.

Oil Drillers Have Slashed Spending For 2015-2020 By $1 Trillion

Mad Dog, BP’s drilling project deep in the Gulf of Mexico, could be Exhibit A in the oil industry’s war on cost. When the British oil giant announced the project’s second phase in 2011, it put the price at $20 billion. Last month, after simplifying plans and benefiting from a sharp drop in everything from steel to drilling services, Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said he could do the job for $9 billion.

Across the industry, companies have taken a chainsaw to expenses, slashing spending for the 2015-to-2020 period by $1 trillion through cutting staff, delaying projects, changing drilling techniques and squeezing outside contractors, according to consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. That’s cushioned businesses as oil prices plunged 60% since 2014. Now producers seek to show they can make the savings stick, while service providers try to reverse their losses. Industry costs “may be the defining issue of the next six to 12 months,” said J. David Anderson, a Barclays analyst in New York. “As you start ramping up, the fact is you’re going to need more services and they’re going to have to come in at a higher price.”

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Someone will come with an across the board forgiveness plan. But it’ll be contentious.

Only 37% Of Borrowers Are Paying Down Their Student Loans (WSJ)

A largely overlooked report released in February by the Government Accountability Office suggests that the Obama administration’s policies have exacerbated student debt, which equals nearly a quarter of annual federal borrowing. With only 37% of borrowers actually paying down their loans, the federal student-loan program more closely resembles the payday-lending industry than a benevolent source of funds for college. As this newspaper reported in April, “43% of the roughly 22 million Americans with federal student loans weren’t making payments as of Jan. 1,” and a staggering “1 in 6 borrowers, or 3.6 million, were in default on $56 billion in student debt.”

If student debt continues to skyrocket, the federal government may have to deal with as much as a $500 billion write-down when future defaults and loan-forgiveness programs are factored in. In 2010, the Obama administration dispensed with the private intermediaries that had administered federal loans since the 1960s. It put in their place Direct Lending, a program administered by the Education Department. At the time, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that Direct Lending would save $62 billion from 2010 to 2020. That didn’t happen. The program’s advocates failed to anticipate how two other Obama-backed college affordability initiatives—Income-Driven Repayment and loan forgiveness—would create a cataclysmic hit to the federal student-loan program’s finances.

There are more than 20 Income-Driven Repayment programs, but they all work essentially the same way. Students struggling financially can defer their payments. When no or limited payments are made, their balances grow. Today, over 20 million borrowers are watching their loan balances increase thanks to these programs. The average balance ballooned to approximately $25,000 in 2014 from $15,000 in 2004, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and has grown still larger since then.

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In their dreams.

Chinese Airlines Need To Hire 100 Pilots A Week For The Next 20 Years (BBG)

Chinese airlines need to hire almost 100 pilots a week for the next 20 years to meet skyrocketing travel demand. Facing a shortage of candidates at home, carriers are dangling lucrative pay packages at foreigners with cockpit experience. Giacomo Palombo, a former United Airlines pilot, said he’s being bombarded every week with offers to fly Airbus A320s in China. Regional carrier Qingdao Airlines promises as much as $318,000 a year. Sichuan Airlines, which flies to Canada and Australia, is pitching $302,000. Both airlines say they’ll also cover his income tax bill in China. “When the time to go back to flying comes, I’ll definitely have the Chinese airlines on my radar,” said Palombo, 32, now an Atlanta-based consultant for McKinsey. “The financials are attractive.”

Air traffic over China is set to almost quadruple in the next two decades, making it the world’s busiest market, according to Airbus Group SE. Startup carriers barely known abroad are paying about 50% more than what some senior captains earn at Delta Air Lines, and they’re giving recruiters from the U.S. to New Zealand free rein to fill their captains’ chairs. With some offers reaching $26,000 a month in net pay, pilots from emerging markets including Brazil and Russia can quadruple their salaries in China, said Dave Ross, Las Vegas-based president of Wasinc International. Wasinc is recruiting for more than a dozen mainland carriers, including Chengdu Airlines, Qingdao Airlines and Ruili Airlines. “When we ask an airline, ‘How many pilots do you need?,’ they say, ‘Oh, we can take as many as you bring,”’ Ross said. “It’s almost unlimited.”

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Incredible, but he really said it: “..there’s not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone..”

Hillary Clinton Picks TPP and Fracking Advocate To Set Up Her White House (IC)

Two big issues dogged Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary: the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP) and fracking. She had a long history of supporting both. Under fire from Bernie Sanders, she came out against the TPP and took a more critical position on fracking. But critics wondered if this was a sincere conversion or simply campaign rhetoric. Now, in two of the most significant personnel moves she will ever make, she has signaled a lack of sincerity. She chose as her vice presidential running mate Tim Kaine, who voted to authorize fast-track powers for the TPP and praised the agreement just two days before he was chosen.

And now she has named former Colorado Democratic Senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to be the chair of her presidential transition team — the group tasked with helping set up the new administration should she win in November. That includes identifying, selecting, and vetting candidates for over 4,000 presidential appointments. As a senator, Salazar was widely considered a reliable friend to the oil, gas, ranching and mining industries. As interior secretary, he opened the Arctic Ocean for oil drilling, and oversaw the botched response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Since returning to the private sector, he has been an ardent supporter of the TPP, while pushing back against curbs on fracking.

The TPP would enhance the ability of corporations to sue to overturn environmental regulations, but Salazar helped a pro-TPP front group, the “Progressive Coalition for American Jobs,” argue the opposite. In a November 2015 USA Today op-ed that Salazar co-wrote with Bruce Babbitt, the two men argued that the TPP would be the “the greenest trade deal ever” by promoting sustainable energy. Both Salazar and Babbitt cited their former positions as interior secretaries to boost their credibility. The following month, Salazar authored a Denver Post op-ed with two former Colorado governors also affiliated with PCAJ, arguing that the agreement would protect the state’s scenic beauty: “And as a state rich with natural wonder and a long history of conservation, Colorado can be proud that the TPP includes the highest environmental standards of any trade agreement in history.”

Shortly after leaving his post at the Obama administration, Salazar appeared at an oil and gas industry conference to argue in favor of fracking. “We know that, from everything we’ve seen, there’s not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone,” Salazar told the attendees, who included the vice president of BP America, another keynote speaker at the conference. “We need to make sure that story is told.”

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Not confirmed. But moving them out of Turkey seems logical. Not exactly a safe third country these days.

Is US Moving Nuclear Weapons From Turkey to Romania? (EurA)

Two independent sources told EurActiv.com that the US has started transferring nuclear weapons stationed in Turkey to Romania, against the background of worsening relations between Washington and Ankara. According to one of the sources, the transfer has been very challenging in technical and political terms. “It’s not easy to move 20+ nukes,” said the source, on conditions of anonymity. According to a recent report by the Simson Center, since the Cold War, some 50 US tactical nuclear weapons have been stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik air base, approximately 100 kilometres from the Syrian border.

During the failed coup in Turkey in July, Incirlik’s power was cut, and the Turkish government prohibited US aircraft from flying in or out. Eventually, the base commander was arrested and implicated in the coup. Whether the US could have maintained control of the weapons in the event of a protracted civil conflict in Turkey is an unanswerable question, the report says. Another source told EurActiv.com that the US-Turkey relations had deteriorated so much following the coup that Washington no longer trusted Ankara to host the weapons. The American weapons are being moved to the Deveselu air base in Romania, the source said. Deveselu, near the city of Caracal, is the new home of the US missile shield, which has infuriated Russia.

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It doesn’t sit well with me at all that the NYT editors are saying this. Far too much blood on those hands. It doesn’t feel right one bit.

America Is Complicit in the Carnage in Yemen (NYT Editorial Board)

A hospital associated with Doctors Without Borders. A school. A potato chip factory. Under international law, those facilities in Yemen are not legitimate military targets. Yet all were bombed in recent days by warplanes belonging to a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, killing more than 40 civilians. The United States is complicit in this carnage. It has enabled the coalition in many ways, including selling arms to the Saudis to mollify them after the nuclear deal with Iran. Congress should put the arms sales on hold and President Obama should quietly inform Riyadh that the United States will withdraw crucial assistance if the Saudis do not stop targeting civilians and agree to negotiate peace.

The airstrikes are further evidence that the Saudis have escalated their bombing campaign against Houthi militias, which control the capital, Sana, since peace talks were suspended on Aug. 6, ending a cease-fire that was declared more than four months ago. They also suggest one of two unpleasant possibilities. One is that the Saudis and their coalition of mostly Sunni Arab partners have yet to learn how to identify permissible military targets. The other is that they simply do not care about killing innocent civilians. The bombing of the hospital, which alone killed 15 people, was the fourth attack on a facility supported by Doctors Without Borders in the past year even though all parties to the conflict were told exactly where the hospitals were located.

In all, the war has killed more than 6,500 people, displaced more than 2.5 million others and pushed one of the world’s poorest countries from deprivation to devastation. A recent United Nations report blamed the coalition for 60% of the deaths and injuries to children last year. Human rights groups and the United Nations have suggested that war crimes may have been committed.

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Today Yemen, yesterday California. Maybe if we stop trying to hide the past, we’re less likely to repeat it?!

California Slaughter: The State-Sanctioned Genocide of Native Americans (NW)

The tally is relentlessly grim: a whole settlement wiped out in Trinity County “excepting a few children”; an Indian girl raped and left to die somewhere near Mendocino; as many as 50 killed at Goose Lake; and, two months later, as many as 257 murdered at Grouse Creek, scores of them women and children. There were the four white ranchers who tracked down a band of Yana to a cave, butchering 30. “In the cave with the meat were some Indian children,” reported a chronicle published later. One of the whites “could not bear to kill these children with his 56-calibre Spencer rifle. ‘It tore them up so bad.’ So he did it with his 38-calibre Smith and Wesson revolver.”

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We might as well stop speaking about western ‘civilization’.

Uncovering The Brutal Truth About The British Empire (G.)

Help us sue the British government for torture. That was the request Caroline Elkins, a Harvard historian, received in 2008. The idea was both legally improbable and professionally risky. Improbable because the case, then being assembled by human rights lawyers in London, would attempt to hold Britain accountable for atrocities perpetrated 50 years earlier, in pre-independence Kenya. Risky because investigating those misdeeds had already earned Elkins heaps of abuse. Elkins had come to prominence in 2005 with a book that exhumed one of the nastiest chapters of British imperial history: the suppression of Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion. Her study, Britain’s Gulag, chronicled how the British had battled this anticolonial uprising by confining some 1.5 million Kenyans to a network of detention camps and heavily patrolled villages.

It was a tale of systematic violence and high-level cover-ups. It was also an unconventional first book for a junior scholar. Elkins framed the story as a personal journey of discovery. Her prose seethed with outrage. Britain’s Gulag, titled Imperial Reckoning in the US, earned Elkins a great deal of attention and a Pulitzer prize. But the book polarised scholars. Some praised Elkins for breaking the “code of silence” that had squelched discussion of British imperial violence. Others branded her a self-aggrandising crusader whose overstated findings had relied on sloppy methods and dubious oral testimonies. By 2008, Elkins’s job was on the line. Her case for tenure, once on the fast track, had been delayed in response to criticism of her work.

To secure a permanent position, she needed to make progress on her second book. This would be an ambitious study of violence at the end of the British empire, one that would take her far beyond the controversy that had engulfed her Mau Mau work. That’s when the phone rang, pulling her back in. A London law firm was preparing to file a reparations claim on behalf of elderly Kenyans who had been tortured in detention camps during the Mau Mau revolt. Elkins’s research had made the suit possible. Now the lawyer running the case wanted her to sign on as an expert witness. Elkins was in the top-floor study of her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when the call came. She looked at the file boxes around her. “I was supposed to be working on this next book,” she says. “Keep my head down and be an academic. Don’t go out and be on the front page of the paper.”

She said yes. She wanted to rectify injustice. And she stood behind her work. “I was kind of like a dog with a bone,” she says. “I knew I was right.” What she didn’t know was that the lawsuit would expose a secret: a vast colonial archive that had been hidden for half a century. The files within would be a reminder to historians of just how far a government would go to sanitise its past. And the story Elkins would tell about those papers would once again plunge her into controversy.

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But not everyone has lost it: “If it happens again, everyone will do the exact same thing: We will help.”

Greek Villagers Rescued Refugees. Now They Are the Ones Suffering. (NYT)

Stratis Valamios revved the motor on his small white boat and steered under a thumbnail moon out of the harbor of this fishing village, perched on the northern tip of Lesbos, Greece’s third-largest island. Skies were clear enough to see the purple mountains of Turkey a short distance across the Aegean Sea. It would be easy on this tranquil evening to catch calamari. These days, he needed a good haul to make ends meet. A year ago, he and other fishermen in the tiny village, Skala Sikaminias, were making a more unusual catch: thousands of sea-drenched asylum seekers who streamed across the Aegean to escape conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

As one of the landfalls in Greece that is closest to Turkey, Skala Sikaminias, with its 100 residents, fast became ground zero for the crisis, the first stop in Europe for people trying to reach Germany in a desperate bid to start new lives. “I’d be in the middle of the sea, and I would see 50 boats zigzagging toward me,” Mr. Valamios said, gazing across the narrow channel. “I would speed toward them, and they would throw their children into my boat to be saved.” Today the migrants have mostly stopped coming. The coastline, once littered with orange life vests and wrecked boats, has been cleaned to a near-spotless white. But the human drama has left an imprint here, and across all of Lesbos, in ways that have only begun to play out.

The village is nearly empty of tourists this year as Germans, Swedes and other visitors who had long flocked to the crystalline waters of Lesbos go elsewhere, wary of spending their vacations in a place now associated with human desperation. Business at the island’s hotels and tavernas has slumped around 80%, especially along the 7.5-mile stretch between Skala Sikaminias and the vacation town of Molyvos, where many of the more than 800,000 migrants who survived the crossing last year washed ashore. Mr. Valamios used to supplement his income as a fisherman by working five months of the year at Myrivilis’ Mulberry taverna, facing the bucolic port where fishermen mend yellow nets beneath oleanders and village cats prowl for fish. This year, he was asked to work just one month amid a dearth of customers. Nearly 1,000 Greeks in the area have lost seasonal employment.

[..] The villagers no longer experience the sea in the same way. When they look at the horizon, some say they think for a split second that another refugee boat is coming. “We have to be ready,” Mr. Valamios said. “If it happens again, everyone will do the exact same thing: We will help.”

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