Jul 172021
 
 July 17, 2021  Posted by at 9:02 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Edward Hopper Summer interior 1909

 

Something Really Odd Is Going On (CR)
As Covid Cases Rise, Gibraltar Tightens Rules On Isolation (GBC)
Pfizer Covid Vaccine Significantly Less Effective Against Delta Variant (JP)
Biden’s Vaccine “Strike Force” Plan Stinks Of Desperation (Smith)
Biden Says Social Media Misinformation On Covid ‘Killing People’ (Y!)
White House Admits to Flagging Posts For Facebook (Turley)
Sorry, But No. And I Do Mean *NO* (Denninger)
Enemies of the People (Kunstler)
‘If I Was Going To Do A Coup, It Wouldn’t Be With Him’ (RT)
Hunter Biden Prosecutor Paused Investigation Before Election (NYP)
Quantitative Easing: How The World Got Hooked On Magicked-up Money (Pettifor)
Xi Jealous Of Biden Admin’s Ability To Censor Speech On Social Media (BBee)

 

 

Think this is from France. Could be anywhere though. It’s the simplicity that counts.

 

 

 

Twitter thread.

We’re going to see lockdowns implemented just to hide the fact that it’s the vaccinated who get infected most. If you lock down before that becomes public knowledge, you can still blame the virus itself.

Something Really Odd Is Going On (CR)

Something really odd is going on: In Europe we are seeing surges at many places where most of the population has already been vaccinated. At the same time, the 15 least vaccinated countries don‘t seem to face any problem. At some point, denying this problem will get painful.

Also take a look at what went on in the 15 most vaccinated countries worldwide:

Read more …

Time to count hospitalizations only. “Cases” has become meaningless.

As Covid Cases Rise, Gibraltar Tightens Rules On Isolation (GBC)

The rules which require close contacts of a positive case to self-isolate have been tightened in view of the increase in the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Gibraltar. 32 new cases were confirmed on Friday, bringing the total number of active cases up to 164. Of the new cases, 29 are vaccinated, and only three are unvaccinated. There is one case in the Covid ward, but none in Critical Care or ERS. There are now 574 in self-isolation. Up until now, a vaccinated close contact of a positive case didn’t need to self-isolate. That person could leave home as long as a mask was worn in all settings, and could even continue to go to work depending on the circumstances of the workplace.


Those rules have now changed. The Delta variant of the virus is more contagious and therefore spreads more quickly – this means that if someone in a household contracts the disease, the likelihood is that other members of that same household will follow. Household contacts of a positive case are now required to self-isolate whether they have been vaccinated or not. The Contact Tracing Bureau will at first circulate a text message to all known contacts. This will be followed by a telephone call to each of them where the details surrounding the nature of the contact will be discussed, looked at more closely and new instructions issued accordingly.

Read more …

“..the “Happy Badge” that only gives access to weddings and similar events with more than 100 guests to those who are vaccinated, recovered or holders of a recent negative coronavirus test.”

But you just said half of the current virus carriers are vaccinated! And they can still go to weddings?

Pfizer Covid Vaccine Significantly Less Effective Against Delta Variant (JP)

The effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against the Delta variant is “weaker” than health officials hoped, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Friday, as 855 people tested positive for coronavirus and more countries were added to the list of places having high infection rates. “We do not know exactly to what degree the vaccine helps, but it is significantly less,” Bennett said. The prime minister held a meeting of top health officials and ministers to discuss the next steps for managing the virus in light of the numbers in Israel and what Bennett described as “the Delta mutation leaping forward around the world, including in vaccinated countries such as Britain, Israel and the US.”

He said that in “Britain, in recent days, we have seen a jump in the number of children who are being hospitalized on a daily basis. This is a development that we are aware of; we are dealing with it rationally and responsibly.” The highest number of coronavirus cases since March was diagnosed on Thursday, with 1.52% of tests returning positive, the Health Ministry said in a Friday announcement. While the spike in daily cases continues, the increase in serious morbidity has remained limited. Of those infected, 52 were in serious condition, two less than the day before. A week earlier, there were 41. In April, with about 5,900 active cases, similar to the current number, more than 340 patients were in serious condition.

The likely explanation is that among the current virus carriers, some 2,000 are schoolchildren, and half of them were fully vaccinated. Both groups are very unlikely to develop severe forms of the disease, even though it occasionally happens. At the moment, around 60% of the patients in serious conditions were vaccinated. “Percent of cases that turn critically ill is now 1.6%, compared to 4% at a similar stage in the 3rd wave when there were no vaccines,” Prof. Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science who advises the coronavirus cabinet, tweeted on Friday. He said that “In case of continued increase in cases, many more cases will be needed than in the 3rd wave to reach similarly high numbers of critically ill patients in the hospitals. This will contribute significantly to population-level immunity.”

[..] .. the ministers agreed to prepare for enforcing the “Happy Badge” that only gives access to weddings and similar events with more than 100 guests to those who are vaccinated, recovered or holders of a recent negative coronavirus test. The system is only relevant for indoor gatherings where food and drinks are served and people both sit and stand. There will be no cap on participants, and people will be required to wear masks.

Read more …

In almost very country, estimates of people vaccinated are grossly exaggerated.

Biden’s Vaccine “Strike Force” Plan Stinks Of Desperation (Smith)

In the meantime, Biden has shipped over 500 million covid vaccine doses overseas in June while at the same time claiming that the US was on track to meet his 70% vaccination goal by July 4th. Needless to say this never happened. The Biden admin now claims that the US population is now 67% vaccinated, and if this was actually true then it would be very close to meeting Anthony Fauci’s original guidelines for herd immunity. So why all the frantic hype about unvaccinated people? Firstly, Fauci has continually moved the goal posts for herd immunity to the point that he is now telling the public to ignore herd immunity altogether and that the only option is to get EVERYONE vaccinated. Many of us in the liberty media said this is exactly what he would do, and he has proven to be incredibly predictable.

Secondly, the CDC vaccination numbers seem to be inflated in order to create a manufactured consensus. While claiming an overall vaccination rate of 67%, CDC stats indicate a maximum of around 184 million Americans with at least one dose, then indicate 160 million people with a double dose. Yet, according to the Mayo Clinic data map, only four states have a vaccination rate of 67% or more, all in the Northeast. Even California and New York are well under 67%, and the vast majority of states are sitting at around 50% or less. Frankly, I don’t believe the CDC vaccine numbers at all. New dosage numbers are plunging across the US according to state officials; anyone who hasn’t been jabbed by now is not going to get jabbed unless they are forced to. There are no long lines for vaccines. No wait times.

The CDC has even removed the wait time between doses. And still, CVS and Walgreens have been throwing away expired doses by the hundreds of thousands. If we look at the CDC stats for full vaccination we are closer to 51% of the total US population, which matches more accurately with the Mayo Clinic state statistics. There is no indication that this percentage will be growing beyond the 51% mark anytime soon, if the stats are accurate at all. This means that at least half the US population is in defiance of the program. This is probably why Fauci and Biden have become more aggressive in their vaccination agenda the past month. If they were getting the nearly 70% vax rates they claim, then they would not be stomping their feet indignantly over unvaccinated people.

The stats show a HUGE number of Americans are refusing to take the jab – There’s a vast army of us out there, and this is a good thing. Why? Because there is simply no reason to take the experimental mRNA vaccine.

Read more …

Don’t be fooled by Facebook protesting this. This is a multi-headed monster.

Biden Says Social Media Misinformation On Covid ‘Killing People’ (Y!)

President Joe Biden said Friday that social media misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccinations is “killing people” and the White House said Facebook needs to clean up its act. “They’re killing people. The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people,” Biden told reporters at the White House, as he left for a weekend at the presidential retreat in Camp David. The White House is turning up the pressure on social media companies to weed out what officials say is widely spread misinformation on coronavirus vaccinations. According to US health officials, a current spike in Covid-19 deaths and illnesses around the country is almost exclusively hitting people who remain unvaccinated.

“There is a clear message that is coming through: this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky told reporters on Friday. Many of those refusing vaccinations, despite the ease of availability throughout the United States, have said they do not trust the shots. Skepticism is being fueled both by false posts spread by anti-vaccine activists online and by Republican politicians claiming the vaccinations are part of attempts at government control. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Facebook and others are not doing enough to push back. “Everybody has a role to play in making sure there’s accurate information,” she said.

Psaki said the White House was taking a more active approach in calling out what it sees as misinformation but insisted that Facebook in particular should react more quickly in taking down problematic posts. “There’s about 12 people who are producing 65 percent of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms. All of them remain active on Facebook, despite some even being banned on other platforms,” Psaki said, without identifying those dozen posters. The White House has “proposed that they create a robust enforcement strategy that bridges their properties and provides transparency about the rules,” she said.

Read more …

Must make AG Garland nervous too.

White House Admits to Flagging Posts For Facebook (Turley)

We have previously discussed the extensive censorship programs maintained by Big Tech, including companies like Twitter and Facebook taking sides in major controversies from gender identification to election fraud to Covid-19. The rise of corporate censors has combined with a heavily pro-Biden media to create the fear of a de facto state media that controls information due to a shared ideology rather than state coercion. That concern has been magnified by demands from Democratic leaders for increased censorship, including censoring political speech, and now word that the Biden Administration has routinely been flagging material to be censored by Facebook.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted that the Biden administration is working with Facebook to flag “problematic” posts that “spread disinformation” on COVID-19. She explained that the Administration has created “aggressive” policing systems to spot “misinformation” to be “flagged” for the social media companies. Obviously, anyone can object to postings. There is a greater danger when the government has a systemic process for aggressively flagging material to be censored. The real problem however is with the censorship system itself. We have seen how there needs to be little coordination between political figures and the media to maintain controlled narratives in public debates and discussions. The concern is obvious that this allows for a direct role of the government in a massive censorship program run by private companies.

There have been repeated examples of the censoring of stories that were embarrassing or problematic for the Biden Administration. Even when Twitter expressed regret for the censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop story before the election, there was an immediate push back for greater censorship from Democrats. The concern is that these companies are taking to heart calls from Democratic members for increased censorship on the platform. CEO Jack Dorsey previously apologized for censoring the Hunter Biden story before the election. However, rather than addressing the dangers of such censoring of news accounts, Senator Chris Coons pressed Dorsey to expand the categories of censored material to prevent people from sharing any views that he considers “climate denialism.”

Likewise, Senator Richard Blumenthal seemed to take the opposite meaning from Twitter, admitting that it was wrong to censor the Biden story. Blumenthal said that he was “concerned that both of your companies are, in fact, backsliding or retrenching, that you are failing to take action against dangerous disinformation.” Accordingly, he demanded an answer to this question: “Will you commit to the same kind of robust content modification playbook in this coming election, including fact checking, labeling, reducing the spread of misinformation, and other steps, even for politicians in the runoff elections ahead?” “Robust content modification” seems the new Orwellian rallying cry in our society.

The same problems have arisen on Covid stories. For a year, Big Tech has been censoring those who wanted to discuss the origins of pandemic. It was not until Biden admitted that the virus may have originated in the Wuhan lab that social media suddenly changed its position. Facebook only recently announced that people on its platform will be able to discuss the origins of Covid-19 after censoring any such discussion.

The back channel coordination with Facebook further supports the view that this is a de facto state-supporting censorship program. That is the basis for the recent lawsuit by former President Donald Trump. As I have previously noted, there is ample basis for objection to this arrangement but the legal avenue for challenges is far from clear. The lawsuit will face difficult, if not insurmountable, problems under existing law and precedent. There is no question companies like Twitter are engaging in raw censorship. It is also true that these companies have censored material with a blatantly biased agenda, taking sides on scientific and social controversies. A strong case can be made for stripping these companies of legal protections since they are no longer neutral platforms. However, private businesses are allowed to regulate speech as a general matter. It will take considerable heavy lifting for a court to order this injunctive relief.

Read more …

“The very first element of evidence for any medical intervention of any sort is that you can personally benefit from it. This must be established with scientific certainty — not that you get antibodies from the shot but that you actually get a material benefit in excess of where you were in terms of risk before you got jabbed”
.

Sorry, But No. And I Do Mean *NO* (Denninger)

We must force the existing manufacturers and FDA to prove that giving someone a vaccine if they have pre-existing resistance has value to them in reducing serious or fatal outcomes, and by how much. 80% of the population had known resistance to Covid-19 before the virus got here. The study establishing this was first published in the summer and then, peer-reviewed, was released in September before the first jab went into the first arm. We knew this had to be true all the way back to Diamond Princess and I reported on that fact but we did not know why; June told us why, and September scientifically established both the fact and the reasons for it beyond reasonable challenge. If the companies and FDA, whether through malice, speed or incompetence destroyed the ability to collect and analyze that data by polluting the data set it all must stop now …

… because there is no way to easily detect if you’re in that 80% and if, by January, you hadn’t gotten seriously sick the odds are very high you are in that resistant and cannot become seriously ill with Covid-19 simply because the odds of you having being exposed by then are overwhelming. The very first element of evidence for any medical intervention of any sort is that you can personally benefit from it. This must be established with scientific certainty — not that you get antibodies from the shot but that you actually get a material benefit in excess of where you were in terms of risk before you got jabbed. It is wildly unethical, immoral and constitutes gross malpractice to advise anyone to take a medical treatment from which there is no reasonable possibility of benefit. This was intentionally not done before we issued EUAs due to “Warp Speed” — that is, speed (and profit) came before proof of benefit.

We must force both pharma and the regulators, along with our government at all levels to account for now-apparent, clear and outrageous failure of the existing shots along with the flat-out lies being told today as regards their efficacy. Specifically, 100 out of 700 (1/7th) of the crew on the HMS Queen Elizabeth have become infected with Covid-19. Every one of the crew was fully vaccinated and thus any attempt to blame this on “plague rats” that aren’t vaccinated is obvious bull****. I note that this rate of infection (14%) is within statistical spitting distance for population pre-existing resistance as documented in June of 2020 (80%) which strongly implies that the jabs are very close to worthless if not completely worthless in preventing both infection and transmission.

Through March of 2021 just 24 military personnel in the US have died allegedly from Covid out of nearly 170,000 cases, or a rate of approximately 0.014%; as such “serious and fatal” events on the HMS QE are unlikely even if nobody had been vaccinated. In short the British Military jabbed everyone and put them at risk of severe or fatal adverse effects for zero benefit; the existing shots have no statistically-material benefit in preventing either infection or transmission of the virus. In addition we have known since the polio vaccine development that using non-sterilizing vaccines during an active outbreak causes mutational adaptation and escape and thus is dangerous. It is for this reason that IPV (non-sterilizing) was followed by OPV (sterilizing) in the United States until well after there was no circulating polio in America. There is no longer any scientific dispute in this regard and anyone claiming otherwise is a lying sack of crap. All alleged “public health” justification for the existing shots has been conclusively and scientifically destroyed by this event and, in addition the shots have now been conclusively identified as placing the population at severe and direct risk of mutational escape.

We must identify and publish detailed, de-identified associated harms from the jabs and norm them to the population segment and existing morbidities as a whole. Every health insurance company in the private sector and CMS (Medicare and Medicaid) have this data and, since the vaccine rollout is in fact not “free” if you’re insured (it’s billed to your insurance company) the firms know conclusively what events coincided with or were closely associated with these shots and how that compares with their last five years of data in the same population and morbidity segments. In short the data across over 150 million Americans does exist to show what, if anything, is happening and at what rate. This excess forms the denominator of harms from the shots.

This is not a function of nor can it be dismissed as “clinical judgment”; there are many reports of doctors refusing to make entries into VAERS or otherwise dodging that the jabs are related to new illnesses, hospitalizations and concerns. I don’t care what a doctor thinks; I care very much about who’s getting paid to do what and how that has changed over the last eight months. Until that data is released to the public under penalty of life in prison if falsified or otherwise misrepresented there must be no further activity with regards to these shots. THE PEOPLE MUST HAVE THE DENOMINATOR — THAT IS, THE ADVERSE EVENT NUMBER, AGAINST THE NUMBER OF VACCINATED PERSONS BOTH FOR DEATH AND ANY OTHER SERIOUS CONDITION INVOLVING A HOSPITAL ADMISSION OR TRIP TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.

We must have full, free and open access to inexpensive and known safe drugs for early interdiction as an option. This means Ivermectin, Budesonide and HCQ + Doxycycline or Zpak for starters. All of these are drugs that are known to be quite safe, they are all off-patent and inexpensive and it must be the choice of the patient whether to use them if suspected or confirmed infected. It is their ass, not the doctor’s, and thus their choice. Any doctor who refuses must lose their license. Any medical group that promotes or enforces a policy adverse to this must be destroyed, literally and to an individual employee, director and officer, as they have and are killing people for money. This is especially true when there are no approved treatments under full FDA protocol and Remdesivir, which is under EUA, has twice proved worthless in formal studies, a third now shows it causes harm and yet the EUA is still there and it is still being recommended and used. Whether said drugs are inferior, equal or superior to a vaccine is immaterial. It is the patient’s decision.

Read more …

“Jacob Marley in Uncle Sam drag..”

Enemies of the People (Kunstler)

America is oh so problematic! You people are working a little too hard to think for yourselves — you basket of deplorable, brain-damaged, flyover gorks — so pardon us while we remove your impure thoughts from the nation’s thought-spaces. We will do your thinking for you, because 1) we know better, and 2) we say so…. Can you see now how things are working perfectly toward an autumn explosion of, shall we say, unpleasant disagreeableness?

Meanwhile, “Joe Biden” and “Biden allied groups” have engineered the US intel and security agencies to label anyone and anything that opposes the shutdown of wrong-think as “white supremacist domestic terrorism.” the FBI officially tweets: “Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism. Visit https://go.usa.gov/x6mjf to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI.” Nice set-up. Thus, Nancy Pelosi and Merrick Garland’s year-to-date production of the “Capitol Insurrection” pageant, and the captivity, in solitary confinement for months on end, in defiance of habeas corpus, of January Sixth’s hapless, selfie-snapping trespassers. That should prevent any outfit beside BLM and Antifa from mounting mostly peaceful protests, especially against “Joe Biden’s” creeping totalitarianism.

Yet, the flop-sweat is running like a babbling brook from end-to-end down Pennsylvania avenue as, in actual fact, the “Joe Biden” show lurches into its final act — which will be the collapse of the “Joe Biden” show in an odoriferous heap of bad faith and criminality. The specter of election audits is getting to the animatronic teleprompter-reader heading the federal regime. His chamberlains foolishly sent him out to Philadelphia this week to squelch any rising sentiment among PA state legislators to audit alleged ballot irregularities of 11/3/20. “Joe B’s” legitimacy is shredding and he looks more and more like a mere ghoul in the Oval Office, Jacob Marley in Uncle Sam drag, wailing and whispering of his political sins.

In Philly, the poor boob said, “For those who challenge the results and question the integrity of the election: No other election has ever been held under such scrutiny and such high standards!” That mouthful was followed by an even bigger gulp: “The Big Lie is just that: a big lie.” Did he know what he said there? (Cue: Joseph Goebbels spinning in grave with admiration.) The utterance was the perfect companion to his Big Brag on the campaign trail last October, saying, “We have put together, I think, the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.” Indeed, you did, Joe — or, at least, your worker bees in the DNC did, with, perhaps, some help from the Deep State’s Intel Community.

Read more …

Milley’s a few cents short of a buck.

‘If I Was Going To Do A Coup, It Wouldn’t Be With Him’ (RT)

Former President Donald Trump has issued a scathing rebuke of US General Mark Milley, after book excerpts revealed Milley had allegedly compared Trump’s supporters to Nazis and planned to resist a hypothetical “coup” by Trump. Excerpts from an upcoming book by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker describe how, in the aftermath of the 2020 election, as Trump disputed Joe Biden’s victory, Milley, the nation’s highest military officer, summoned the rest of the Pentagon’s top brass to discuss the possibility of Trump attempting to use them in a “coup” attempt to stay in power. Milley, according to the excerpts seen by CNN, drew on numerous World War II cliches, comparing Trump’s rhetoric of a ‘rigged’ election to “the gospel of the Fuhrer,” his supporters to the Nazi “brownshirts,” and Trump himself as “the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose.”

As Milley and his deputies discussed the possibility of Trump’s supporters directly attacking Washington DC, he flexed his military muscles. “They may try, but they’re not going to f**king succeed,” he reportedly said. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns.” Trump issued a lengthy response on Thursday. “I never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government,” the former president said in a press release. “So ridiculous! Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of ‘coup,’ and if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley.”

[..] Trump’s statement went on to list more of the former president’s grievances with Milley, beginning with a typically Trumpian explanation for how the general got his job: “He got his job only because the world’s most overrated general, James Mattis, could not stand him, had no respect for him, and would not recommend him,” Trump explained, referring to his former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. “To me the fact that Mattis didn’t like him, just like Obama didn’t like him and actually fired Milley, was a good thing, not a bad thing. I often act counter to people’s advice who I don’t respect.”

Read more …

He still has his job.

Hunter Biden Prosecutor Paused Investigation Before Election (NYP)

The top federal prosecutor in Delaware decided to pause a criminal investigation of Hunter Biden months before the 2020 election to prevent the public from learning about it, according to a report. US Attorney David Weiss, appointed by former President Donald Trump, decided not to seek search warrants or issue grand jury subpoenas so as not to “alert the public to the existence of the case in the middle of a presidential election,” Politico reports. The prosecutor’s office reportedly was torn over whether to continue its probe or pause it due to the election, and Weiss, who remains in his job leading the case, sided with those who wanted to wait. “To his credit, he listened,” an unnamed source told the publication.

The Justice Department’s role in the case has faced criticism from Trump allies, who note that a Delaware computer repairman gave the FBI a laptop formerly belonging to Hunter Biden in December 2019, according to records first reported by The Post. In the final months of the 2020 presidential race, The Post revealed a trove of emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop that appeared to link his then-candidate father to his foreign business ventures in China and with Ukrainian energy company Burisma. The emails revealed that the younger Biden introduced a top Burisma executive to his father, then vice president, less than a year before the elder Biden admittedly pressured Ukrainian officials into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company.

The water-damaged MacBook Pro — which bore a sticker from the Beau Biden Foundation — was dropped off for repair at a Delaware computer shop in April 2019, but the individual who dropped it off never returned to pick it up. It was seized by the FBI in December of that year. In addition to his Ukrainian connections, other emails on the computer showed Hunter discussing potential business deals with China’s largest private energy company. One deal seemed to draw considerable attention from the younger Biden, who called it “interesting for me and my family.” Senate Republicans revealed the findings of their investigation into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings in September. They said the Obama administration ignored “glaring warning signs” when the then-vice president’s son joined the board of Burisma when he had no energy experience.

Read more …

Excellent by Ann Pettifor.

Quantitative Easing: How The World Got Hooked On Magicked-up Money (Pettifor)

Central banks—backed by royal charters and the state—have always had the power to create credit and expand the money supply. They have, since at least the founding of the Bank of England in 1694, provided credit to their clients in government and in commercial banks, accepting collateral in exchange for the money they create—a routine process known in the jargon as Open Market Operations (OMOs). They can run OMOs in reverse, too, selling the securities on their balance sheets in exchange for cash, taking money out of circulation, contracting the supply and raising its “price”—the rate of interest. Through such means, central banks have long used their power of credit creation to help fund the government, keep commercial banks afloat and then, from the 20th century, to keep the economy in balance too.

At one level, QE is just another name for OMOs—newly “minted” electronic money is paid into the accounts of the central bank’s clients, who in exchange offer up collateral in the form of bonds. By buying them up, central bankers contract the supply of bonds in the market, which raises their price or, equivalently, lowers their yield—the interest that’s paid on them. In that way, the process puts downward pressure on the borrowing costs of governments and other debtors. So what’s really new here? The difference between OMOs and QE is in the scale and the wider array of assets involved. Whereas OMOs typically purchase short-term government debt, QE programmes snap up government debt of all maturities, including long-term bonds. In the US, the EU and UK, central banks also extended the definition of eligible collateral to include riskier corporate bonds, and began buying them up too.

As to the scale, already by 2009 the Bank of England had purchased bonds to the value of £200bn. By August 2016, after the Brexit vote, purchases rose to £445bn. During the market’s grave March 2020 wobble, purchases rose to £645bn. By November 2020, the bank had acquired assets of £895bn. This stock of purchases is now equivalent to about half the annual flow of UK national income. Moreover, with QE, the old two-way traffic of OMOs seems to have become a one-way street. While central bankers are acquiring bonds, they are not, as yet, selling them back into the market. The fear is that doing so would flood it, slashing bond prices and forcing up their yields—making it harder for borrowers, not least governments, to service their debts.

Read more …

“President Xi had phoned Biden on his special “red phone” that lets him speak directly to his friend Joe to get more tips on how to rule his people with an iron fist.”

Xi Jealous Of Biden Admin’s Ability To Censor Speech On Social Media (BBee)

In a candid statement today, President Xi Jinping admitted he’s “actually pretty jealous” of the United States government’s ability to censor information it doesn’t like over social media. Sources close to the ruler of China’s communist party and government said he was “fairly envious” of how effective the U.S. system of censorship works. He was particularly impressed with how the Biden White House doesn’t even have to censor information themselves, but can simply flag posts as problematic and private companies will jump to take care of dissenters automatically. Even President Xi usually has to “lift a finger” to censor someone, so he’s pretty jealous of the way the U.S. is handling censorship of “misinformation.”


“Honestly, I’m impressed, and a little jealous,” said China’s dictator after he heard Press Secretary Jen Psaki say the White House flags posts for Facebook to remove and that someone who gets banned on one social network should get banned on all of them. “And I thought I had absolute control over the speech of my people! This is next-level stuff. Really quite something.” “And having a private company do it so the people can’t complain about freedom of speech – brilliant. My hat is off to the United States.” At publishing time, President Xi had phoned Biden on his special “red phone” that lets him speak directly to his friend Joe to get more tips on how to rule his people with an iron fist.

Read more …

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”
– H. L. Mencken

 

 

So the Kids are now calling the Vaccines “clot shots”
And the ambulances “Jab Cabs”

 

 

WH controls narrative
https://twitter.com/i/status/1416194845924802563

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Jul 092021
 


Alessandro Allori Self portrait c1555

 

Those Dying Post-Vaccine: Where Are The Autopsies? (WND)
‘Absolutely Government’s Business’ To Know Who in US Hasn’t Been Jabbed (Fox)
Pfizer To Seek Authorization For “Booster” Dose To Protect Against Delta Variant (ZH)
Feds Dispute Pfizer On Need For A Covid Booster Shot (JTN)
Fauci Defends Vaccines But Antibodies Don’t Protect Against Delta (ZH)
Fauci Tells People Hesitant About The Vaccine To ‘Just Get Over It’ (DC)
Sturgeon Warns Against Treating Young People Like Covid ‘Guinea Pigs’ (G.)
Risking England’s Health: Not Everyone Can Choose To Stay Safe (G.)
Canada Cracks Down On Doctors Who Warn Of Covid-19 Vaccines Risks (JTN)
How Some Teens are Faking Positive Covid-19 Tests (GR)
Wells Fargo Shuts Down All Personal Lines Of Credit (CNBC)
Trump Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Twitter, Facebook & Google (HE)
Trump Says Hunter Biden Is Worse Than Al Capone (DM)
Hunter Biden Art Show Sparks Ethics Concerns (NYP)
UK High Court Grants US Permission for Appeal in Assange Extradition Case (CD)

 

 

 

 

Should I take the vaccine?

 

 

 

 

I don’t especially like to agree with Laura Ingraham, but in this case I do.

Ingraham

 

 

Jane M. Orient, M.D. is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, AAPS.

Those Dying Post-Vaccine: Where Are The Autopsies? (WND)

My internal medicine training was in the dark ages before CT and MRI, but we were still supposed to make an accurate diagnosis. A patient who died without a medical history was an “ME case.” We had to call the medical examiner, who would decide whether an autopsy was indicated. Anything potentially related to the death, such as pill bottles, was evidence. If an injection had been given, the vial would be recovered if possible. With vaccines, one is supposed to record the lot number, so it would be possible to check a sample for contaminants. If the patient died in hospital, the medical resident was required to request permission for an autopsy. Survivors might be persuaded to OK one by the possibility that their loved one may have had a hereditary condition or an infection that might affect others.

In any event, we assured them that their loved one would be treated with respect and that funeral arrangements would not be affected. A chaplain would volunteer to attend. The most important reason was that the “altar of truth” was the ultimate “quality assurance” mechanism. Hospitals were required to perform autopsies on a certain proportion of decedents in order to maintain their accreditation. A classic study of 100 randomly selected autopsies from each of three years (1960, 1970 and 1980) revealed that major diagnoses had been missed in about 22% of cases in all three eras, despite the introduction of modern imaging methods. Unfortunately, autopsy rates have fallen from 25% to less than 5% over the past four decades. It never was a revenue producer for anyone except malpractice attorneys.

I always attended the autopsy if I could. One of my most important teachers was a patient in whom we had missed a condition that was glaringly obvious when the skull was opened. We might not have been able to save him, but since we hadn’t even thought of the diagnosis, he didn’t have a chance. Tens of thousands of patients died of COVID before a series of 12 autopsies done in Germany showed that most had blood clots and could not have been saved by forcing air into their lungs with a ventilator. If a person dies after a COVID jab, I would like to know whether there are spike proteins in the tissues and blood vessels, and whether there was an immunological reaction that was damaging those tissues. If a mother loses a baby, I would like to see a thorough examination of the placenta. Was the baby’s oxygen and nutrition cut off because of damaged blood vessels?

I find it shocking that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Joint Commission that accredits hospitals are not demanding autopsies or testing of vaccine samples. It is not possible to declare a product safe and effective without obtaining direct evidence from potential victims. The manufacturers are protected against product liability, thanks to Congress. But where is the accountability of the government agencies charged with protecting us, or of the private entities coercing employees or students to take an experimental, potentially dangerous, or even lethal product? If someone you love dies unexpectedly, call the medical examiner, and demand a forensic autopsy.

Read more …

Medical information is private.

‘Absolutely Government’s Business’ To Know Who in US Hasn’t Been Jabbed (Fox)

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Thursday it was “absolutely the government’s business” to know which Americans haven’t been vaccinated yet against the coronavirus. Responding to GOP criticisms of the Biden administration’s planned “door-to-door” campaign to encourage unvaccinated Americans to inoculate themselves, Becerra told CNN the government has had to “spend trillions of dollars to try to keep Americans alive during this pandemic.” “So it is absolutely the government’s business, it is taxpayers’ business, if we have to continue to spend money to try to keep people from contracting COVID and helping reopen the economy,” he said.


Becerra said people didn’t have to answer the door but he hoped they would so officials could dispel rumors about the vaccine, which has proven to be highly effective in driving down cases, hospitalizations and deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 56% of the adult population has been “fully vaccinated” and 67% has gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. States that tend to vote Republican have reported lower vaccination rates, and polls show Republican voters are far more likely than Democrats to say they will not or likely will not get the vaccine. The issue has become part of a larger debate over public health measures colliding with Americans’ personal freedoms.

Ultimatum

Read more …

Every next shot is more dangerous.

Pfizer To Seek Authorization For “Booster” Dose To Protect Against Delta Variant (ZH)

Hours ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci emphatically defended the efficacy of the three American-made vaccines that have received emergency authorization for use by the FDA. His comments weren’t unprompted: reports out of Israel claiming the Pfizer jab is far less effective than advertised have shaken public confidence in the jabs, at a time where President Biden is about to send people knocking on doors to try and encourage more adults (and increasingly, children) to get vaccinated. It’s no secret that a handful of southern and western states are lagging the rest of the country in vaccine rollout. But not long after Dr. Fauci made his comments (which were picked up by all the major newswires) the NYT published a sneak peak at new research showing how the Delta variant bypasses the antibodies created by the vaccines, and prior infection with another strain of the virus.

It’s just the latest example of how the authorities don’t care about the “science” so much as protecting the narrative that helps Big Pharma sell the most vaccines. And while the vast majority of countries are still struggling with vaccination rates below 1% since they simply can’t get the supplies (while unused jabs are piling up across the US) – and Bill Gates doing everything he can to keep it that way – Pfizer and Moderna have apparently spotted an opportunity. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced Thursday evening that they will seek authorization from the FDA for a third “booster” dose of their COVID vaccines that will offer increased protection against the Delta variant (despite the fact that both Pfizer and its rival Moderna repeatedly insisted that its vaccines are still effective against all known variants including Delta), the Hill reports.

In a statement, the company referenced the data out of Israel, where government scientists have estimated the real efficacy of the vaccine vs. Delta is somewhere around 64%, while leaving particularly vulnerable patients at risk of severe illness and death. The booster dose would ideally be given within 6 to 12 months post-vaccination. “Based on the totality of the data they have to date, Pfizer and BioNTech believe that a third dose may be beneficial within 6 to 12 months following the second dose to maintain highest levels of protection,” the companies said.

Don’t take the 2nd shot

Read more …

Once you’ve had the first one, you’re hooked.

Feds Dispute Pfizer On Need For A Covid Booster Shot (JTN)

Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech said Thursday they are developing a booster shot to combat the highly transmissible delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. As the pharmaceutical companies announced their shot, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people do not need those types of booster shots. “People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta,” the FDA and CDC said Thursday, according to Axios. “Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time.”


The companies cited a study by the Israel Ministry of Health released on Monday that showed the “vaccine efficacy has declined six months post-vaccination, at the same time that the Delta variant is becoming the dominate variant in the country.” “These findings are consistent with an ongoing analysis from the companies’ Phase 3 study,” the companies said in a written statement, according to CNBC News. “That is why we have said, and we continue to believe that it is likely, based on the totality of the data we have to date, that a third dose may be needed within 6 to 12 months after full vaccination.”

Read more …

“The logic is confusing, but it goes something like this: Delta is scary, so get vaccinated…but vaccines don’t protect against Delta.”

Fauci Defends Vaccines But Antibodies Don’t Protect Against Delta (ZH)

As the world passes 4MM confirmed COVID cases, the NYT has just published new research published in the journal Nature calling into question the efficacy of US-made vaccines in offering protection against the Delta variant. Shortly before the research was released, Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday defended American COVID vaccines, claiming that the jabs developed by Pfizer, Moderna and J&J are all effective against the Delta variant, a mutant strain that has become the obsession of public health officials who claim that it could ignite another wave of the pandemic. But what they don’t tell you is that epidemiologists believe COVID is now endemic in the human population, and that reaching “COVID zero” simply isn’t possible.

At any rate, while the vaccine makers are salivating at the opportunity to produce lucrative booster shots offering protection against various variants, the new research previewed by the NYT and published in the journal Nature found that the Delta strain is able to bypass the antibodies produced by vaccination or prior infection. Delta, which was first identified in India, is believed to be roughly 60% more infectious than the alpha variant – the strain also known as the “Kent Strain”, or B.1.1.7, which was first identified by scientists in England. This week, as the number of new COVID cases climbed by double-digits from the prior week (while hospitalizations and deaths remained stagnant), Delta was declared the dominant variant found in the US. Almost as alarming, the researchers found that while Delta is able to effectively evade the antibody response, the Beta variant, which was first identified in South Africa, can do it even more easily. Here’s more from the NYT report on the research:

“The researchers looked at blood samples from 103 people who had been infected with the coronavirus. Delta was much less sensitive than Alpha to samples from unvaccinated people in this group, the study found. One dose of vaccine significantly boosted the sensitivity, suggesting that people who have recovered from Covid-19 still need to be vaccinated to fend off some variants. The team also analyzed samples from 59 people after they had received the first and second doses of the AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

Blood samples from just 10 percent of people immunized with one dose of the AstraZeneca or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were able to neutralize the Delta and Beta variants in laboratory experiments. But a second dose boosted that number to 95 percent. There was no major difference in the levels of antibodies elicited by the two vaccines. “A single dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca was either poorly or not at all efficient against Beta and Delta variants,” the researchers concluded. Data from Israel and Britain broadly support this finding, although those studies suggest that one dose of vaccine is still enough to prevent hospitalization or death from the virus.”

What’s more, the delta variant was also found to be resistant to antibody-based treatments, like “bamlanivimab”, the monoclonal antibody cocktail produced by Eli Lilly. Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci tells reporters that nine out of ten Americans who died from the virus were unvaccinated. Despite the growing number of vaccinated patients who are being infected and seriously sickened, insisted that the “science” shows the vaccines are extremely effective at preventing infection. The logic is confusing, but it goes something like this: Delta is scary, so get vaccinated…but vaccines don’t protect against Delta. It’s just the latest reminder that Dr. Fauci & company don’t care about “the science”.

Tucker about vaccine coercion

Read more …

Those who still believe him have already gotten jabbed.

Fauci Tells People Hesitant About The Vaccine To ‘Just Get Over It’ (DC)

White House senior medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that people hesitant about getting vaccinated against COVID-19 should “just get over it.” Fauci appeared on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” where he went on a rant equating people’s hesitancy towards the vaccines’ safety to a “political statement.” “This is not complicated. We’re not asking anybody to make any political statements one way or another,” he said. “So many diseases that I deal with … don’t have solutions. It’s very frustrating — you don’t have a treatment, or you don’t have a vaccine,” Fauci added. “Here, we have a vaccine that’s highly, highly effective.”


“What is the problem? Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it and try and save the lives of yourself and your family.” he concluded. Fauci has previously warned about the possibility of the emergence of “two Americas” as a result of low vaccination rates in some areas of the country. “When you have such a low level of vaccination superimposed upon a variant that has a high degree of efficiency of spread, what you are going to see among under-vaccinated regions … you’re going to see the individual types of blips. It’s almost like it’s going to be two Americas,” Fauci said on June 30.

Fauci GET OVER IT

Read more …

Don’t be a guinea pig. Be a guinea pig instead.

Sturgeon Warns Against Treating Young People Like Covid ‘Guinea Pigs’ (G.)

Nicola Sturgeon has warned against treating young people like “guinea pigs” by allowing them to get infected with coronavirus when lifting restrictions, amid fears they remain at risk of significant health impacts such as long Covid. Scotland’s first minister said the desire to live free of lockdown-style restrictions did not mean governments could “throw all caution to the wind”, while suggesting the “domination” of England’s plans to scrap Covid rules risked confusing other UK nations. The steep rise in infections across Scotland caused by theDelta variant may be levelling off, Sturgeon added. The current spike has led to six Scottish health boards being placed among the top 10 worst-hit regions in Europe by the WHO last weekend.


The levelling off gave her “more cause for optimism” that she would be able to confirm the move to level 0 of Scotland’s five-tier system of Covid controls in parliament next Tuesday, she said, before emphasising that the planned easing on 19 July “won’t be an abrupt end to basic protective measures like face covering, physical distancing, rigorous hand hygiene and advising on good ventilation.” However, she pointed out the “significant” impact the virus can have on younger people, even if there is a lower risk of death. She said: “I want to set out simply why we can’t just throw all caution to the wind. Firstly, this virus is still dangerous, as we see every day. It is still taking lives, though mercifully, thanks to the vaccines, it is doing so in far fewer numbers than we saw in earlier stages.”

Read more …

“the authors of the Lancet letter are too generous in describing this as “a dangerous and unethical experiment”: that terminology suggests a degree of scientific rigour and concern. Instead, this is a political wager..”

That comment is pro-vaccination. You would’t know without the context.

Risking England’s Health: Not Everyone Can Choose To Stay Safe (G.)

In a letter to the Lancet, over 100 global scientists have warned that rushing ahead with reopening on 19 July – rather than waiting until more people are vaccinated – is dangerous and premature. Those concerns will be compounded by the relaxation of travel restrictions announced on Thursday. Allowing children and double-vaccinated adults to travel to amber list countries without quarantining on return increases the risk of importing new variants which could be more infectious or more resistant to current vaccines, just as opportunities for transmission increase. The health secretary, Sajid Javid, concedes we could soon be looking at 100,000 cases a day, but argues that hospitalisation and death numbers are what matter more than anything.

Unfortunately, he will not say what figures he expects or would tolerate. The link between infection and serious illness or death has been much weakened, but not broken. Vaccination rates vary widely; in some areas, fewer than 30% have received two doses. On Thursday, the UK reported weekly rises of more than 50% in Covid hospital admissions and deaths – both of which lag rises in cases – to 456 and 35 respectively. The government’s chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, has said that we are likely to see a significant increase in long Covid; experts fear that huge numbers could be affected. Though the government talks of personal responsibility, there can be no responsibility without choice. For too many, danger is being imposed upon them. Vaccines are widely available, and people can still cover their faces.

But masks are better at protecting people from the wearer than protecting the wearer. Young workers on public transport or in shops, not yet able to get a second jab, will be exposed to the virus by customers who choose not to wear masks. They surely need and deserve protection. Children are currently unable to be vaccinated. The immunocompromised are less protected by vaccines and more likely to become seriously ill if they contract Covid. Reportedly, the department of health will be issuing new guidance for the immunosuppressed and clinically very vulnerable. But while support for shielders is needed, confining them to quarters indefinitely is hardly a liberation.

Nor is there much choice for exhausted NHS staff who face a soaring workload again, or for patients whose operations are being cancelled because hospitals are treating growing numbers of Covid patients or staff are having to self-isolate. If anything, the authors of the Lancet letter are too generous in describing this as “a dangerous and unethical experiment”: that terminology suggests a degree of scientific rigour and concern. Instead, this is a political wager, in which large parts of the population are not players but gambling chips.

Read more …

“I have not met a single vaccinated child or parent who has been adequately informed and who then understand the risks of this vaccine or its benefits.”

Canada Cracks Down On Doctors Who Warn Of Covid-19 Vaccines Risks (JTN)

Canadian doctors are facing professional repercussions for sharing their concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, specifically their emergency use authorization status and safety for children. The University of Saskatchewan removed Francis Christian, a clinical professor of surgery, from his faculty and administrative responsibilities days after he hosted a press conference about “the risks of mRNA vaccines to children” and alternatives to vaccination, including use of the drug ivermectin. The Saskatchewan Health Authority also said it was terminating Christian’s contract Sept. 21, after the required 90-day notice, for his “conspiracy theories” on COVID-19 vaccines. He is not “committed to fact-based, scientifically driven public messaging,” the provincial agency told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

Christian endangers lives by “potentially discouraging uptake on life-saving vaccines.” Christian opened the June 17 press conference with an explicit disclaimer that he was not representing the university or the provincial agency, and emphasized he was “very pro-vaccine” in general. “The principle of informed consent is being consistently violated in this province for the mRNA vaccine for our kids,” for whom there is no “emergency” justifying experimental COVID-19 vaccines, he said. “I have not met a single vaccinated child or parent who has been adequately informed and who then understand the risks of this vaccine or its benefits.”

Christian said nearly 6,000 deaths have been associated with mRNA vaccines in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Echoing arguments by other medical experts, he said such associations “in any other drug or vaccine … would have been sufficient to stop the whole program” to allow for reevaluation. “Tomorrow the CDC is meeting in emergency session to discuss this issue” of heightened risk for myocarditis among young COVID-19 vaccine recipients, he said, and “there is a good likelihood that they too will call for a pause in vaccinating our kids.” The U.S. FDA added heart-inflammation warnings to two vaccines several days later.

Read more …

Can they fake negative tests as well? Asking for a friend.

How Some Teens are Faking Positive Covid-19 Tests (GR)

A new study released on Monday suggests that teenagers are using social media to share information on faking covid-19 tests in order to get a positive result. Since July 1, videos of young people sharing information on how to trick rapid at-home covid tests (lateral flow tests) into producing positive results using soda drinks have gone viral. This has prompted researchers at the University of Liverpool to look into whether there is any validity to the claim that artificial sweeteners used in sodas can change negative coronavirus results into positive ones. The results of their study, which is still awaiting peer review, were submitted to medRxiv on Monday. The videos of children faking positive covid-19 test results have gone particularly viral in the UK, where a single case of coronavirus in a school can often lead to the whole grade of the person diagnosed needing to isolate at home.

In the UK, schools have mandated students test themselves for the coronavirus twice weekly, in a move similar to that enacted by the Greek government. Some teens have decided that sham positive results are a good thing, as it allows them and their friends to skip school for around ten days and hang out instead. However, this can have a devastating effect on learning, as students miss out on school for days because of false information. Videos are continually being uploaded to social media sites with the hashtag “#fakecovidtest,” showing children putting different liquids on rapid antigen tests in an attempt to produce a positive result. The study by University of Liverpool researchers showed that soda drinks could be used to fake rapid covid-19 tests.

The researchers first ruled out the significance of artificial sweetener, as four different kinds of artificial sweetener and spring water produced negative results on the test swabs. However, when the researchers went to test sodas, the results became a bit more concerning. Ten out of fourteen sodas tested were able to produce positive or weakly positive results. However, the researchers have had a hard time identifying what ingredient produces this reaction, as there seems to be no apparent link between the test results and the soft drinks’ ingredients.

Read more …

One shut down after another. Not a good sign at all.

Wells Fargo Shuts Down All Personal Lines Of Credit (CNBC)

Wells Fargo is ending a popular consumer lending product, angering some of its customers, CNBC has learned. The bank is shutting down all existing personal lines of credit in coming weeks and no longer offers the product, according to customer letters reviewed by CNBC. The revolving credit lines, which typically let users borrow $3,000 to $100,000, were pitched as a way to consolidate higher-interest credit card debt, pay for home renovations or avoid overdraft fees on linked checking accounts. “Wells Fargo recently reviewed its product offerings and decided to discontinue offering new Personal and Portfolio line of credit accounts and close all existing accounts,” the bank said in the six-page letter. The move would let the bank focus on credit cards and personal loans, it said.

Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf has been forced to make difficult decisions during the coronavirus pandemic, offloading assets and deposits and stepping back from some products because of limitations imposed by the Federal Reserve. In 2018, the Fed barred Wells Fargo from growing its balance sheet until it fixes compliance shortcomings revealed by the bank’s fake accounts scandal. The asset cap has ultimately cost the bank billions of dollars in lost earnings, based on the balance sheet growth of rivals including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America over the past three years, analysts have said. It has also affected Wells Fargo’s customers: Last year, the lender told staff it was halting all new home equity lines of credit, CNBC reported. Months later, the bank also withdrew from a segment of the auto lending business.

With its latest move, Wells Fargo warned customers that the account closures “may have an impact on your credit score,” according to a frequently asked questions segment of the letter. Another part of the FAQ asserted that the account closures couldn’t be reviewed or reversed: “We apologize for the inconvenience this Line of Credit closure will cause,” the bank said. “The account closure is final.”

Read more …

“We are going to hold Big Tech very accountable..”

Trump Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Twitter, Facebook & Google (HE)

Trump is suing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for violating his First Amendment rights. “Today, in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing as the lead class representative a class action lawsuit against Facebook, Google and Twitter,” Trump said. “Our case will prove this censorship unlawful.” “We’re demanding an end to the shadowbanning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing and canceling that you know so well,” he added.


The lawsuits, filed in the Southern District of Florida, also call for the court to strike down Section 230, a decades-old Internet law that protects tech companies from lawsuits over content moderation decisions, per the New York Times. The suits seek unspecified punitive damages. The announcement came during a morning press conference at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, where he was joined by Linda McMahon and Brooke Rollins of the America First Policy Institute, per the Tennessee Star. Trump is bringing the lawsuit on behalf of not only himself, but other Americans whose First Amendment rights were violated by the Big Tech conglomerate. “We are going to hold Big Tech very accountable,” he said.

Read more …

He’s seen the laptop’s contents.

Trump Says Hunter Biden Is Worse Than Al Capone (DM)

Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday there was more ‘criminal activity’ on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop than mobster Al Capone ever carried out. Trump commented on what he termed the ‘laptop from hell’ as he announced his lawsuit against Facebook and big tech. He used language that suggested he may have seen the laptop, although he didn’t specify if he was referring to media reports on its contents. ‘The laptop from hell,’ Trump termed it. ‘You look at that thing, there’s more criminal activity on that laptop than Al Capone had if he ever had a laptop,’ the former president said. The tech-averse Trump then riffed: ‘We’d like to give Al Capone one, but he was a baby compared to what I was able to see.’

The laptop purportedly once owned by the president’s son has produced a series of revelations about Hunter Biden’s convoluted family sagas and international business deals. DailyMail.com consulted computer forensics experts who vouched for its authenticity. The New York Post reported on some of its email contents weeks before the election, reporting that it was dropped off at a Delaware repair shop in 2019 and never picked up. Recent stories unearthed from the laptop appear to show Hunter paying his father’s AT&T bill, saying prostitutes should unionize, as well as information on the family’s painful struggles with addiction. Longtime Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, whose apartment was raided by the FBI in April, said agents refused to take hard drives he said were Hunter’s during the search.

[..] Trump brought up the laptop while complaining about probes of him he terms witch hunts. ‘That’s what happened with Russia, that’s what happened with Ukraine,’ he said, before pivoting to Hunter. He invoked Capone, the Chicago mobster famously sentenced to 11 years on tax charges, days after longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was indicted on tax fraud charges over $1.7 million in perks and benefits prosecutors say he did not disclose.

Read more …

The White House ensures secrecy for the buyers? That’s in their job description?

Hunter Biden Art Show Sparks Ethics Concerns (NYP)

Government ethics watchdogs and art critics alike are voicing their concerns as first son Hunter Biden prepares for his first solo art exhibition this fall — where paintings from the former lawyer and lobbyist are expected to fetch between $75,000 and $500,000 and buyers will remain anonymous. “The whole thing is a really bad idea,” Richard Painter, chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, told the Washington Post. “The initial reaction a lot of people are going to have is that he’s capitalizing on being the son of a president and wants people to give him a lot of money. I mean, those are awfully high prices.” Walter Shaub, who led the Office of Government Ethics under President Barack Obama, told the paper that the art buyers having their identities protected created a host of problems.

“Because we don’t know who is paying for this art and we don’t know for sure that [Hunter Biden] knows, we have no way of monitoring whether people are buying access to the White House,” he said. “What these people are paying for is Hunter Biden’s last name.” Painter also referenced the issue of anonymity, noting that foreign governments or lobbyists could buy the art through intermediaries in an effort to curry favor with the Biden White House. President Biden’s 51-year-old son is putting the finishing touches on the 15 paintings that will comprise his first solo exhibition, which is scheduled to open in October at the Georges Berges’ Gallery in Soho, with a private viewing for VIP collectors in Los Angeles in September. Speaking to The Post late last month, Berges, 45, who said he discovered Biden after being introduced by a “serious” Los Angeles-based collector, admitted he was skeptical of the president’s son’s artistic ability.

“A lot of people say they can paint and do sculpture, but what I was concerned about was whether Hunter’s work would be authentic,” the gallery owner said. Berges, who represents a roster of international artists, spent three years helping Biden, who is self-taught, take his abstract expressionist painting from a hobby that occupied “about 20 percent of his time” to a full-time job that saw Biden spend the last two and a half years holed up in his home studio on a hillside in Los Angeles following a “regimented” routine. “What interested me was whether the work was going to be honest — something that was really true to him and his journey,” Berges said. “But as soon as I met him, I had a real connection with him and I felt I could work with him.”

Read more …

Julian has nothing to expect from British law.

UK High Court Grants US Permission for Appeal in Assange Extradition Case (CD)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team said Wednesday that the United Kingdom’s High Court had granted permission to the U.S. government to appeal an earlier decision that blocked Assange’s extradition The court reportedly granted the appeal “on a limited basis” and on “narrow, technical grounds,” and did not set a date for a future court hearing. The ruling led to intensified calls by Assange’s supporters for his release from Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, where he has been held for more than two years following seven years in isolation at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he claimed asylum. The High Court’s decision “means he is still at risk of extradition where he faces a 175-year prison sentence and…is certain to lose his life if he is extradited,” said Stella Moris, Assange’s partner.


District Judge Vanessa Baraister ruled at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in January that Assange should not be extradited to the U.S., where the government is pursuing Espionage Act charges against him for his publication of military and diplomatic documents, on the grounds that Assange was at “substantial” risk for committing suicide in the “harsh conditions” of the U.S. prison system. Baraister’s ruling led to calls for the U.S. to end its pursuit of Assange—which has been called a threat to press freedom all over the world by international rights groups including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation—but U.K. authorities continued his detention at Belmarsh pending the Biden administration’s appeal.

Greenwald NSA Assange

Read more …

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

 

Russell Brand

 

 


disclaimer at the beginning of Birth of a Nation.

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Jul 032021
 


Julian Assange turns 50 today, in isolation

 

Polymerase-specific T Cells Expand In Seronegative SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Mxiv)
Clot Death Risk To 18-39s From AZ Vaccine Is 2x Covid Death Risk (IE)
French Senate Considers Mandatory Covid Vaccines For Adults Aged 24-59 (RT)
Bali Swept Up In Indonesia’s Harsh Lockdown Despite 71% Vaccination Rate (RT)
Tech Giants Still Not Coming Clean About Covid-19 Disinformation, Says EU (TC)
Vatican In Push Against Vaccine Scepticism (RT)
“Intellectual Capture?” On YouTube’s Demonetization of Bret Weinstein (Taibbi)
Stumbling Toward Reality (Kunstler)
Natural Resource Drain Created By “Net Zero Emission” Targets (ZH)
Biden Aide Charges “Sabotage” Of Harris (Axios)
New Emails Raise New Allegations of Influence Peddling By Hunter Biden (Turley)
Key Assange Witness Recants – With Zero Corporate Media Coverage (Fair)

 

 

Delta Case Fatality Rate in UK appears 8 times higher among the fully vaccinated than the unvaccinated

 

 

Early intervention

 

 

In the strongest immune systems, T cells kill the virus so fast the body has no time (or reason) to create antibodies. So an antibody test will raise an alarm: there are none! A PCR test will likely show the virus though, even though it’s dead. You can’t win. Both test results will lead to a call for a vaccine.

Polymerase-specific T Cells Expand In Seronegative SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Mxiv)

Individuals with likely exposure to the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 do not necessarily develop PCR or antibody positivity, suggesting some may clear sub-clinical infection before seroconversion. T cells can contribute to the rapid clearance of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus infections1–5 . We hypothesised that pre-existing memory T cell responses, with cross-protective potential against SARS-CoV-26–12, would expand in vivo to mediate rapid viral control, potentially aborting infection. We studied T cells against the replication transcription complex (RTC) of SARS-CoV-2 since this is transcribed first in the viral life cycle13–15 and should be highly conserved. We measured SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in a cohort of intensively

monitored healthcare workers (HCW) who remained repeatedly negative by PCR, antibody binding, and neutralisation for SARS-CoV-2 (exposed seronegative, ES). 16-weeks postrecruitment, ES had memory T cells that were stronger and more multispecific than an unexposed pre-pandemic cohort, and more frequently directed against the RTC than the structural protein-dominated responses seen post-detectable infection (matched concurrent cohort). The postulate that HCW with the strongest RTC-specific T cells had an abortive infection was supported by a low-level increase in IFI27 transcript, a robust early innate signature of SARS-CoV-2 infection16.

We showed that the RNA-polymerase within RTC was the largest region of high sequence conservation across human seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV) and was preferentially targeted by T cells from UK and Singapore pre-pandemic cohorts and from ES. RTC epitope-specific T cells capable of cross-recognising HCoV variants were identified in ES. Longitudinal samples from ES and an additional validation cohort, showed pre-existing RNA-polymerase-specific T cells expanded in vivo following SARS-CoV-2 exposure, becoming enriched in the memory response of those with abortive compared to overt infection. In summary, we provide evidence of abortive seronegative SARS-CoV-2 infection with expansion of cross-reactive RTC-specific T cells, highlighting these highly conserved proteins as targets for future vaccines against endemic and emerging Coronaviridae.

Read more …

But the benefits still outweigh the risks, says the Irish health body. Who are these people?

Clot Death Risk To 18-39s From AZ Vaccine Is 2x Covid Death Risk (IE)

The HSE has admitted a greater risk of blood clotting in younger people still exists for the AstraZeneca vaccine, but that risk is now outweighed by a need to speed up public vaccination. A new modelling study published in the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) medical journal has concluded that the dangers presented to younger people by the AstraZeneca vaccine are greater than the benefits. The study, published in the weekly edition of the Eurosurveillance journal, models four months of a vaccine distribution strategy in France involving Vaxzevria (commonly called AstraZeneca) from May 2021, and concludes that using the vaccine on the entire adult population there would avert 10 deaths from Covid among 18-39-year-olds, but would be associated with 21 deaths from blood clotting in the same age grouping over the same time period.


“Our results highlight the clear benefit of the distribution of Vaxzevria towards the population aged 55 years and older and provide valuable insight for public health decision making,” the study concludes. Last April, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee’s (Niac) recommended that AstraZeneca should only be given to people over the age of 60 in Ireland due to the risk of very rare blood clots and the fact older people are more susceptible to severe Covid infection than their younger counterparts. The move followed a wave of similar decisions across other European health bodies as details of the clotting risk solidified. However, in light of dire projections earlier in the week from Nphet concerning the potential spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19, the HSE announced that from Monday, July 5, all 18-34-year-olds will be able to avail of Janssen vaccines, administered by 750 pharmacies.

Read more …

Illegal. Simple.

French Senate Considers Mandatory Covid Vaccines For Adults Aged 24-59 (RT)

The French Senate is considering implementing obligatory vaccinations for those aged 24-59 to help the country weather the anticipated next spike of coronavirus infections in what would be a fourth wave of cases. The body published a report from its Common Mission of Information on Thursday, advocating for mandatory vaccinations of young to middle-aged adults on the grounds it could significantly lower hospitalization rates and deaths. The report issued a stern warning: “act now to limit impact”. The report follows Prime Minister Jean Castex’s announcement on Wednesday that he will consult elected officials and chairmen of parliament on the compulsory vaccination of caregivers, with senators pushing for this to also include 24-59 year olds.


The age group was chosen as over 90% of people infected with Covid are under 60 in France, the Pasteur Institute said. To prevent hospitalization rates rising like last year, the Institute found that among 12-17 year-olds, a 30% vaccination rate was needed, and 70% among 18-59s. A vaccine uptake of 90% for those over 60 was deemed necessary. However, France’s vaccination campaign – which has prioritized those most susceptible to catching Covid, such as healthcare workers and people over 65 – is lagging behind these targets. Among 18-29 year-olds, 15.36% are fully vaccinated. Just under a quarter of those aged 30-49 have been inoculated, while the figure rises to half among 50-64 year olds.

Read more …

260 million people stretched out over countless islands. Give them IVM.

Bali Swept Up In Indonesia’s Harsh Lockdown Despite 71% Vaccination Rate (RT)

Hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints have been erected across Indonesia as authorities attempt to enforce a harsh lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19, which has surged in the country in recent weeks. “We are setting up [patrols] in 21 locations where typically there are crowds,” Istiono, the head of Indonesia’s national traffic police, who goes by only one name, told reporters on Friday night. “Where there are street stalls and cafes, we will close those streets, maybe from around 6pm until 4am.” The beefed-up patrols and roadblocks will focus on the islands of Java – the country’s most populous, where the national capital of Jakarta is located – as well as Bali, a common tourist destination.

Some 21,000 police officers and soldiers will enforce the new restrictions, according to a police spokesman cited by Reuters. They will also administer random coronavirus tests at checkpoints. The move comes soon after President Joko Widodo declared a new lockdown earlier on Friday, set to last into late July, though it could be extended. The order requires all “non-essential” businesses to shut their doors, while Java- and Bali-based students will have to learn from home if possible. Parks, malls, indoor restaurants and places of worship, among other public spaces, have also been closed.= Some exceptions were made for those who are both vaccinated and test negative for the virus, as they were permitted to travel long-distance in the affected areas.

Indonesia is currently facing one of Asia’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, tallying more than 20,000 cases each day in recent weeks – many believed linked to the Delta variant first observed in India – and that only accounts for those verified by testing. The country has smashed its own daily infection record for the last 12 days, according to Reuters, reporting 25,830 cases on Friday, as well as a high of 539 fatalities. While a national vaccination drive is underway, largely relying on a shot developed by China’s SinoVac, only about 5% of Indonesia’s 260 million-strong population has been fully immunized against the virus, according to figures compiled by Our World in Data. That amounts to about 13.7 million people.

Read more …

“They simply cannot police themselves alone.” Orwell.

Tech Giants Still Not Coming Clean About Covid-19 Disinformation, Says EU (TC)

European Union lawmakers have asked tech giants to continue reporting on efforts to combat the spread of vaccine disinformation on their platforms for a further six months. “The continuation of the monitoring programme is necessary as the vaccination campaigns throughout the EU is proceeding with a steady and increasing pace, and the upcoming months will be decisive to reach a high level of vaccination in Member States. It is key that in this important period vaccine hesitancy is not fuelled by harmful disinformation,” the Commission writes today. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, TikTok and Twitter are signed up to make monthly reports as a result of being participants in the bloc’s (non-legally binding) Code of Practice on Disinformation — although, going forward, they’ll be switching to bi-monthly reporting.


Publishing the latest batch of platform reports for April, the Commission said the tech giants have shown they’re unable to police “dangerous lies” by themselves — while continuing to express dissatisfaction at the quality and granularity of the data that is being (voluntarily) provided by platforms vis-à-via how they’re combating online disinformation generally. “These reports show how important it is to be able to effectively monitor the measures put in place by the platforms to reduce disinformation,” said Vera Jourova, the EU’s VP for values and transparency, in a statement. “We decided to extend this programme, because the amount of dangerous lies continues to flood our information space and because it will inform the creation of the new generation Code against disinformation. We need a robust monitoring programme, and clearer indicators to measure impact of actions taken by platforms. They simply cannot police themselves alone.”

Read more …

You would think the pope has better thinngs to do?!

Vatican In Push Against Vaccine Scepticism (RT)

The official bioethics academy of the Catholic Church has come forward alongside a host of global medical associations to demand an end to the “myths and disinformation” interfering with the fight against Covid-19. The Pontifical Council of Life (VPCL) and several international physicians’ groups spoke with reporters on Friday in what was described as an “all-out effort” to set straight the disinformation surrounding the vaccine’s place in religious doctrine, insisting the pharmaceutical mixture was not only safe and effective but also ethical under the Catholic faith. While acknowledging that some reluctance to take the jab in “disadvantaged communities” was linked to previous “breaches of trust in medical research” and overall “suspicion” of pharma firms, Friday’s joint statement said a “more pernicious form” of vaccine hesitancy was fueled by “unfounded and misleading claims and myths” and amplified on social media.


“Considered one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine, vaccines play a vital role in the prevention of infectious diseases,” they said. The groups noted the problem becomes even more complex given the vaccine skepticism within many religious groups, and even the medical community, calling for a united front against disinformation among spiritual leaders and healthcare professionals. All relevant stakeholders must exhaust all efforts to confront vaccine hesitancy by sending a clear message about the safety and necessity of vaccines and counteracting vaccine myths and disinformation The statement followed a day-long online seminar sponsored by the VPCL, along with the World Medical Association of France and the German Medical Association.

Read more …

Fitting on Assange’s Bday.

“Intellectual Capture?” On YouTube’s Demonetization of Bret Weinstein (Taibbi)

YouTube’s decision with regard to Weinstein and Heying seems part of an overall butterfly effect, as numerous other figures either connected to the topic or to DarkHorse have been censured by various platforms. Weinstein guest Dr. Robert Malone, a former Salk Institute researcher often credited with helping develop mRNA vaccine technology, has been suspended from LinkedIn, and Weinstein guest Dr. Pierre Kory of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) has had his appearances removed by YouTube. Even Satoshi Omura, who won the Nobel Prize in 2015 for his work on ivermectin, reportedly had a video removed by YouTube this week. There are several factors that make the DarkHorse incident different from other major Silicon Valley moderation decisions, including the fact that the content in question doesn’t involve electoral politics, foreign intervention, or incitement.

The main issue is the possible blurring of lines between public and private censorship. When I contacted YouTube about Weinstein two weeks ago, I was told, “In general, we rely on guidance from local and global health authorities (FDA, CDC, WHO, NHS, etc) in developing our COVID-19 misinformation policies.” The question is, how active is that “guidance”? Is YouTube acting in consultation with those bodies in developing those moderation policies? As Weinstein notes, an answer in the affirmative would likely make theirs a true First Amendment problem, with an agency like the CDC not only setting public health policy but also effectively setting guidelines for private discussion about those policies. “If it is in consultation with the government,” he says, “it’s an entirely different issue.”

Asked specifically after Weinstein’s demonetization if the “guidance” included consultation with authorities, YouTube essentially said yes, pointing to previous announcements that they consult other authorities, and adding, “When we develop our policies we consult outside experts and YouTube creators. In the case of our COVID-19 misinformation policies, it would be guidance from local and global health authorities.”

Read more …

“Dr. Fauci’s role looks like a species of generic egomania with a top hat of greed (considering his financial interests in vaccines).”

Stumbling Toward Reality (Kunstler)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who answers to the title “The Science” in certain circles, said this week that there are going to be two Americas, the vaxed and the unvaxed. Earth to Dr. Fauci: we are already two Americas: the reality-onboard and the reality-optional. One reality is that vaccines developed at “warp speed” appear to have gnarly side-effects that can outweigh the risk of the disease they’re engineered to protect against. Another reality is that the Delta variant of SARS-Covid-19 is more contagious, but also weaker, less likely to result in hospitalization among the unvaxed. Yet another reality is that the Delta variant also infects the fully-vaccinated. Oh, what to do?

Consider not allowing yourself to be jerked around by US health officials who have trouble keeping their story straight, for instance, Dr. Anthony Fauci (a.k.a. The Science) who, records show, apparently assisted the bio-warfare division of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the Wuhan lab in the development of a world-beating, gain-of-function bat virus — which, halfway through year-two of its run, seems to be following the usual trajectory of viral epidemics by growing weaker before it disappears altogether. And then we’ll see what happens longer-term among the vaxed, who were subjected to flurries of toxic spike proteins.

It’s the opinion of some — though not myself — that the Covid-19 episode was unleashed upon the world to allow “the elite” to execute a “controlled demolition of the global economy” so as to quash climate change (by reducing carbon emissions), and therefore ensure a brighter future for said elite, while cruelly throwing the rest of the world’s population overboard. Oh, I dunno…. Klaus Schwab and his minions of The Great Reset seem more like hapless control freaks than persons actually able to control anything, least of all the whole world. Dr. Fauci’s role looks like a species of generic egomania with a top hat of greed (considering his financial interests in vaccines). The reality is that the global economy, such as it’s a high-tech industrial economy, is shooting its own wad very nicely without a whole lot of assistance from alleged nefarious parties.

Read more …

Green turns sour.

Natural Resource Drain Created By “Net Zero Emission” Targets (ZH)

While the idea of implementing net zero emissions by certain deadlines has sounded great for the companies, countries and states that have set targets, the reality of making it happen is slightly more difficult. That’s what the U.K. is finding out after Natural History Museum Head of Earth Sciences Prof Richard Herrington penned a letter to the Committee on Climate Change on the vast amount of natural resources that will be necessary to make the conversion. The letter was delivered to Baroness Brown, who chairs the Adaption Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change. In addition to noting that the U.K. would need a 20% increase in UK-generated electricity, the release also notes that “to meet UK electric car targets for 2050 we would need to produce just under two times the current total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production.”

The letter reads: “The urgent need to cut CO2 emissions to secure the future of our planet is clear, but there are huge implications for our natural resources not only to produce green technologies like electric cars but keep them charged. “Over the next few decades, global supply of raw materials must drastically change to accommodate not just the UK’s transformation to a low carbon economy, but the whole world’s. Our role as scientists is to provide the evidence for how best to move towards a zero-carbon economy – society needs to understand that there is a raw material cost of going green and that both new research and investment is urgently needed for us to evaluate new ways to source these. This may include potentially considering sources much closer to where the metals are to be used.”

It then points out obvious challenges in meeting the needs of converting all cars and vans to electric vehicles, especially as it relates to cobalt: To replace all UK-based vehicles today with electric vehicles (not including the LGV and HGV fleets), assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation NMC 811 batteries, would take 207,900 tonnes cobalt, 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate (LCE), at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium, in addition to 2,362,500 tonnes copper. This represents, just under two times the total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production during 2018. Even ensuring the annual supply of electric vehicles only, from 2035 as pledged, will require the UK to annually import the equivalent of the entire annual cobalt needs of European industry.

Read more …

Strange battle going on.

Biden Aide Charges “Sabotage” Of Harris (Axios)

Top White House officials are mobilizing to defend Vice President Kamala Harris amid a gusher of leaks about dysfunction and infighting in her office. Driving the news: White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told Axios in a statement: “The President’s trust and confidence in her is obvious when you see them in the Oval Office together.” Biden senior adviser Cedric Richmond said in an interview late Thursday night: “It’s a whisper campaign designed to sabotage her.” Their responses came after Axios approached the White House with new reporting about growing tensions between West Wing officials and the Harris team, including chief of staff Tina Flournoy.

Some White House officials have been frustrated by a series of missteps from Harris and increasingly public bickering in her orbit, which spilled out in a Politico story on Wednesday. Flournoy’s old boss, former President Bill Clinton, came to her defense with a statement calling her “an extraordinary person. 2024 is the elephant in the room. While Biden aides overwhelmingly believe he’ll be the Democratic nominee, they also know he’d be 81 when seeking re-election. An operation sometimes visibly out of sync with Biden’s — and missteps during a recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, following a scrutinized interview with NBC’s Lester Holt — have reignited questions from Harris’ 2020 primary bid.

Harris would be the presumptive nominee if Biden didn’t run. Administration sources believe it would be nearly impossible to unseat the first Black woman vice president. Yet many Democrats, including some current senior administration officials, are concerned she could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up — even if it were Donald Trump. One Democratic operative tells Axios’ Alayna Treene that most Democrats aren’t saying, “‘Oh, no, our heir apparent is f***ing up, what are we gonna do?’ It’s more that people think, ‘Oh, she’s f***ing up, maybe she shouldn’t be the heir apparent.'” Some Democrats close to the White House are increasingly concerned about Harris’s handling of high-profile issues and political tone deafness, and question her ability to maintain the coalition that Biden rode to the White House, sources tell Axios’ Hans Nichols.

Relations between the West Wing and the Vice President’s office are tense. Several administration officials used “shitshow” when describing Harris’ office, and contrast her operation with disciplined, virtually leakproof Biden aides. Some Biden officials view the Harris operation as poorly-managed and staffed with people who don’t have long-term relationships with her. They feel she’s gotten bad advice from her press and communications shop and think it’s telling that she’s already lost two advance aides and a digital director.

Read more …

“It is clear that Hunter Biden was selling access and influence. It appears that Joe Biden was aware of that effort. That is very serious.”

New Emails Raise New Allegations of Influence Peddling By Hunter Biden (Turley)

The new emails include references to the use of Air Force II by Hunter Biden to pursue the deals — a similar pattern revealed with regard to the China dealings. The emails detail a number of visits to Mexico, including a February 2016 flight on Air Force II with his father. On the plane was his business partner Jeff Cooper, who ran Illinois-based SimmonsCooper. That is one of the largest asbestos litigation firms in the country and Hunter was given 3 percent of Cooper’s venture capital firm Eudora Global, according to emails. President Biden’s brother (who featured in past controversial deals) was also reportedly involved in some of these efforts. These dealings continued into 2018 as Hunter pushed for deals with Slim. One text message from July 24, 2018 reads “Spoke to my dad about ‘Slim ask” and Cooper responds “Oh that sounds SO F’ING GOOD.”

It obviously does not sound quite so good if you are a reporter who has been repeatedly assured by President Biden that he had no knowledge or involvement in any dealings with Hunter. That was previously refuted by various sources. Hunter himself contradicted his father’s repeated denial. Then there are the emails referring to the “Big Guy”, which witnesses say was Joe Biden. Then there is Tony Bobulinski who stated that he personally met with Joe Biden to discuss Hunter’s business dealings. Bobulinski is repeatedly praised by Hunter Biden in the emails and identified as the person in control of transactions for “the family.” He has directly contradicted Joe Biden’s denial of any knowledge or involvement in his son’s dubious dealings.

The new emails contain additional information directly contradicting President Biden. In addition to earlier pictures from golf trips and references to his involvement or knowledge, new material refers to a notable dinner arranged in Washington, D.C. Hunter arranged for then Vice President Biden to have dinner on April 16, 2015 with his Ukrainian, Russian and Kazakhstani business associates. They appropriately chose a private room at Café Milano, a Georgetown restaurant that brags that it is “Where the world’s most powerful people go.” After the dinner, Hunter received an email from Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, to thank him for introducing him to his father: “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”

It is clear that Hunter Biden was selling access and influence. It appears that Joe Biden was aware of that effort. That is very serious. If these emails are false, this is a major story. If they are true, this is a major scandal. Presumably, however, this story will result in another run to the nearest ice cream shop for breathless coverage on the current frozen delights of the President.

Read more …

Lots of similarities between Assange coverage and that of vaccines.

Key Assange Witness Recants – With Zero Corporate Media Coverage (Fair)

A key witness in the Department of Justice’s case against Julian Assange has admitted that his entire testimony is false, a revelation that could be the death knell for US attempts to prosecute the Wikileaks founder. Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, often known as “Siggi the Hacker,” made the confession to Icelandic outlet Stundin (6/26/21) last weekend. The article details how Thordarson, a convicted felon, pedophile and diagnosed sociopath, used his position to steal money from Wikileaks, and received immunity from prosecution from the FBI in a quid pro quo. Such a blatant and juicy piece of important news should have made worldwide headlines. But, instead, as of Friday, July 2, there has been literally zero coverage of it in corporate media; not one word in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC News, Fox News or NPR.

A search online for either “Assange” or “Thordarson” will elicit zero relevant articles from establishment sources, either US or elsewhere in the Anglosphere, even in tech-focused platforms like the Verge, Wired or Gizmodo. The other major development in the case, according to the Canary (6/30/21), is Jeremy Corbyn delivering a letter from 20 MPs to the prison where Assange is held, demanding the right to visit him and treating him as a political prisoner. The news is not some sort of esoteric knowledge known only to those carefully watching Icelandic affairs. The story trended worldwide on Twitter on the weekend, with a number of prominent accounts or figures like Wikileaks itself, Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald tweeting about it.

Not only that, Thordarson’s confession was well covered by alternative news sites with a tiny fraction of the resources establishment media have (e.g., Consortium News, 6/27/21; World Socialist Web Site, 6/27/21; Canary, 6/30/21). The story led Democracy Now!’s Monday show (6/28/21), which featured an in-depth interview with Assange’s legal advisor, Jennifer Robinson. This distinction once again highlights the gaping chasm between corporate and alternative media, suggesting that certain subjects are simply no-go zones for the former. It is not that the corporate press are completely uninterested in Assange. A number of outlets have covered the news this week that he and his partner Stella Morris are planning to get married (e.g., SBS, 6/27/21; Daily Mail, 6/28/21; Evening Standard, 6/28/21; London Times, 6/29/21). Yet none of these articles mentioned the far more consequential news about Thordarson and how it undermines the entire prosecution of Assange.

Read more …

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Jun 152021
 


Wassily Kandinsky Moscow Red Square 1916

 

COVID-19 Natural Immunity vs Vaccine Immunity (CureHub)
CDC: Heart Inflammation In Young Men Higher Than Expected After mRNA Jabs (R.)
University Vaccine Mandates Violate Medical Ethics (WSJ)
California Removes Most Restrictions But Newsom Keeps Emergency Powers (JTN)
Coronavirus Outpacing Vaccine Effort, Says WHO (G.)
Live Bats In Cages Kept In Wuhan Institute of Virology (News.au)
Zuckerberg Group Funnels 6 Figures To Wuhan Lab Partner (NP)
Vladimir Putin: ‘Don’t Be Mad At The Mirror If You’re Ugly’ (AP)
Putin: US Destroyers In Baltic, Black Seas a Missile Threat to Russia (Rozoff)
Chinese Nuclear Plant Warns Of ‘Imminent Radiological Threat’ After Leak (Hill)
Hunter Biden Invested Millions In Owner of Nuclear Plant Experiencing Leak (NP)
The Three-way Squeeze (Kunstler)
Reality Winner Released From Prison For ‘Exemplary Behavior’ (RT)
Babylon Bee Forces New York Times To Retract Calling Them ‘Misinformation’ (RT)
In Honor Of Pride Month, Biden Will Also Sniff Men’s Hair (BBee)

 

 

NBC: Do you remember your last meeting with Biden?


Putin: Well, I don’t recall our exact conversation, but I’m sure he has a good memory.

 

 

 

 

“With all three vaccines your immune system is only exposed to S RBD, therefore S is the only target available for an immune response. However, during natural infection your body is exposed to the entire virus, which includes the other 4 proteins coded in the SARS-CoV-2 genome.”

COVID-19 Natural Immunity vs Vaccine Immunity (CureHub)

The work presented here, in combination with other reports about immune protection in recovered individuals, provides justification for including natural immunity in COVID-19 herd immunity stats. It is important to remember the immune system is complex and has redundant and overlapping mechanisms. Antibody production against both the SARS-CoV-2 N and S proteins is just one example. The vaccines are indeed very effective, but so too is the human immune system. It would therefore be anti-science, and anti-data, to ignore the role that recovery from COVID-19 plays in protecting against reinfection and ongoing viral spread. Especially when deleterious decisions are being made in order to mitigate COVID-19 risk.


[..] COVID-19 vaccines are effective and induce a strong immune response. Cure-Hub’s own data shows high neutralizing antibody levels after vaccination, especially after the second mRNA dose. In fact, two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can push antibody production higher than natural infection. However, this does not mean vaccine induced immunity is superior to natural immunity. Below we provide evidence that recovery from natural infection generates a more diverse immune response. There are 5 proteins encoded in the viral genome: Nucleocapsid (N), Spike (S), Hemagglutinin esterase (He), Membrane (M) and Envelope (E). The most important protein is S, which the virus uses to enter human cells. By blocking S, SARS-CoV-2 cannot bind to the human ACE2 receptor and cannot cause an infection.

Due to S protein’s critical role in COVID-19 infection, it is the target for Pfizer, Moderna and J&J COVID-19 vaccines. Specifically, those vaccines are designed against the S protein receptor binding domain (RBD), which is the part that interacts with human ACE2. After vaccination your body produces antibodies that bind to S RBD. As a result you are protected from infection because the virus is neutralized before viral replication occurs. People who recover from a natural infection are also protected, because they too produce antibodies against S RBD. In fact, that is the immune system’s dominant target after infection. The key difference between the Pfizer, Moderna and J&J vaccines, and natural immunity, is the immune system’s starting material. With all three vaccines your immune system is only exposed to S RBD, therefore S is the only target available for an immune response. However, during natural infection your body is exposed to the entire virus, which includes the other 4 proteins coded in the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

Read more …

Oh well, at least it’s reached Reuters now, even if they’re not sharp.

CDC: Heart Inflammation In Young Men Higher Than Expected After mRNA Jabs (R.)

A higher-than-expected number of young men have experienced heart inflammation after their second dose of the mRNA COVID-19 shots from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, according to data from two vaccine safety monitoring systems, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday. The CDC and other health regulators have been investigating heart inflammation cases after Israel’s Health Ministry reported that it had found a likely link to the condition in young men who received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. read more The agency said it is still assessing the risk from the condition and has not yet concluded that there was a causal relationship between the vaccines and cases of myocarditis or pericarditis.

While some patients required hospitalization, most have fully recovered from their symptoms, the CDC said. More than half of the cases reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) after people had received their second dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines were in people between the ages of 12 and 24, the CDC said. Those age groups accounted for less than 9% of doses administered. “We clearly have an imbalance there,” Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office, said in a presentation to an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration meeting on Thursday. The overwhelming majority of the cases have occurred within a week of vaccination, Shimabukuro said.

There were 283 observed cases of heart inflammation after the second vaccine dose in those aged 16 to 24 in the VAERS data. That compares with expectations of 10-to-102 cases for that age range based on U.S. population background incidence rates, the CDC said. Shimabukuro said there was a predominance of males in younger age groups among the reported heart inflammation cases. The median age of patients who experienced the inflammation after a second vaccine dose was 24, according to the VAERS data. Just under 80% of the cases were in men.

Read more …

“College students aren’t guinea pigs.”

WSJ, so behind a paywall, which I don’t do, but this much is free. And it’s important that the WSJ writes on it.

University Vaccine Mandates Violate Medical Ethics (WSJ)

Some 450 U.S. colleges and universities—including our institutions—have announced policies mandating that all students be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before the fall semester, with some requiring vaccination now for the summer term. Schools have for decades required vaccination against infectious diseases, but these mandates are unprecedented—and unethical. Never before have colleges insisted that students or employees receive an experimental vaccine as a condition of attendance or employment.

Even soldiers, whose rights are constrained when they join the service, aren’t being compelled to take a Covid vaccine. In a case involving a vaccine against anthrax, a federal district judge held in 2004 that “the United States cannot demand that members of the armed forces also serve as guinea pigs for experimental drugs” absent informed consent or a presidential waiver of service members’ legal protections. The following year the judge held that an emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration was insufficient to meet the legal test.

The FDA has issued such authorizations for three Covid vaccines, but it hasn’t fully approved any of them. Students at Notre Dame (for example) resume classes on Aug. 23, and freshmen arrive on campus Aug. 18. The Pfizer vaccine—first in line for approval—requires three weeks before the booster shot, so it would have to be approved by July 28 for students to meet the school’s deadline without making themselves experimental subjects. Pfizer applied to the FDA May 7 for “priority review,” a process that usually takes six months.

Universities might counter that—as with elementary schools requiring pediatric vaccinations—immunization is for students’ own good. But children can be at significant medical risks from the illnesses that we vaccinate them against, particularly when community vaccination rates are low. Not so with Covid. For those under 30, the risks of serious morbidity and mortality are close to zero. By contrast, early indications from passive surveillance systems (which call for follow-up investigation) and a June 10 review by the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee indicated an excess risk for heart inflammation, especially in men 30 and younger.

Read more …

“I believe it is time for him to hang up his crown and restore our democracy. In California, we don’t grow bananas, so there’s no need for a banana republic.”

California Removes Most Restrictions But Newsom Keeps Emergency Powers (JTN)

Even though Californians will be able to fill stadiums, concert venues, bars and restaurants, Gov. Gavin Newsom says the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over. Newsom signed orders rescinding mask mandates, business restrictions and the tiered reopening phases that ebbed and flowed with infection and hospitalization rates, beginning Tuesday. “California is turning the page on this pandemic, thanks to swift action by the state and the work of Californians who followed public health guidelines and got vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities,” Newsom said earlier this month. The state’s “Beyond the Blueprint” doesn’t include Newsom relinquishing his emergency powers, which were bestowed to him by a declaration signed in March 2020 and repeatedly renewed since. “The emergency remains in effect after June 15,” Newsom said at a news conference.


“We’re still in a state of emergency. This disease has not been extinguished. It’s not managed. It’s not taking the summer months off.” What that means is that Newsom keeps his hand on the levers of government restrictions, including business closures and mask mandates, even though the consistent decline in infections and hospitalizations are at lows not seen since the beginning of the pandemic. It also opened Newsom, a Democrat facing a recall election, to criticism from Republicans who have labeled his restrictions as heavy-handed. “If Newsom believes the state is safe enough to reopen, then it’s safe for people to be able to make decisions for themselves without his arbitrary and capricious rules,” Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, said in a June 4 statement. “I believe it is time for him to hang up his crown and restore our democracy. In California, we don’t grow bananas, so there’s no need for a banana republic.”

Read more …

That’s the same WHO that lied about everything including bats in cages in Wuhan.

Coronavirus Outpacing Vaccine Effort, Says WHO (G.)

The World Health Organization has warned that Covid-19 is moving faster than the vaccines, and said the vow by G7 countries to share a billion doses with poorer nations was simply not enough. “This is a big help, but we need more, and we need them faster. Right now, the virus is moving faster than the global distribution of vaccines,” World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists. “More than 10,000 people are dying every day … these communities need vaccines, and they need them now, not next year.” Global health leaders also warned the pledge was too little, too late, with more than 11bn shots needed. Faced with outrage over disparities in jab access, the Group of Seven industrialised powers pledged during a weekend summit in Britain to take their total dose donations to more than a billion, up from 130m promised in February.


While people in many wealthy nations have some sense of normalcy thanks to their vaccination rates, the shots remain scarce in poorer parts of the world. In terms of doses administered, the imbalance between the G7 and low-income countries, as defined by the World Bank, is 73 to one. Many of the donated G7 doses will be filtered through Covax, a global body charged with ensuring equitable vaccine distribution. Run by the WHO, the Gavi vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), it has so far shipped more than 87m vaccine doses to 131 countries – far fewer than anticipated. The WHO wants at least 70% of the world’s population vaccinated by the next G7 meeting in Germany next year. “To do that, we need 11bn doses. The G7 and G20 can make this happen,” said Tedros.

Read more …

“..new footage has revealed that live bats were kept in cages inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology – despite claims from the WHO that such a possibility was a “conspiracy”..”

Live Bats In Cages Kept In Wuhan Institute of Virology (News.au)

As G7 countries increase calls for a “phase two” investigation into the origins of Covid-19, new footage has revealed that live bats were kept in cages inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology – despite claims from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that such a possibility was a “conspiracy”. The infamous lab is at the centre of a theory – first spruiked by the likes of Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo – that Covid-19 wasn’t, as many scientists believe, transmitted from bats to people via an unknown intermediary, but was instead leaked, intentionally or not, from the institute. A joint WHO/China investigation into the origins of the disease first worked to dispel this line of thinking, calling the chance of a laboratory leak “extremely unlikely” and the idea that bats were held at the institute “an error”.

“No BATS were sent to Wuhan lab for genetic analysis of viruses collected in the field. That’s not how this science works. We collect bat samples, send them to the lab. We RELEASE bats where we catch them,” a member of the WHO team, zoologist Dr Peter Daszak, wrote in a December tweet. “This is a widely circulated conspiracy theory. This piece describes work I’m the lead on and labs I’ve collaborated with for 15 years,” he wrote in another. “They DO NOT have live or dead bats in them. There is no evidence anywhere that this happened. It’s an error I hope will be corrected.” But an official May 2017 video from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, obtained by Sky News, shows bats held in a cage at the institute four years ago and a scientist feeding a worm to one of the creatures.

Earlier this month, Dr Daszak appeared to walk back his earlier denials, writing on Twitter that the WHO team had not asked the institute if they housed bats. “We didn’t ask them if they had bats. I wouldn’t be surprised if, like many other virology labs, they were trying to set up a bat colony,” he wrote. “I know it’s happening in labs here and in other countries. You’re right, labs in US & around (the) world are trying to keep bats to test viral immune responses etc. “None are successfully doing this at scale like lab mice & animals are always screened virus-free before expts, (sic) so even if WIV were trying this, it’s prob irrelevant for origins.”

Read more …

Well, look who’s here…

Zuckerberg Group Funnels 6 Figures To Wuhan Lab Partner (NP)

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – the funding group behind much of the unlawful election changes of 2020 – gave nearly half a million dollars to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The university counts Wuhan lab collaborator and gain-of-function proponent Dr. Ralph Baric as a lead researcher. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Professor – who has also attended conferences at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and is described by the lab’s “bat woman” as her “longtime collaborator” – received the grant from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic group in July 2020.

“The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) recently awarded a $433,000 grant to UNC for laboratory equipment that will accelerate research to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” a press release notes. “This grant represents a new collaboration between the West Coast philanthropic organization CZI and UNC in search of a global solution to the pandemic,” a summary adds before detailing how the grant was used: “The grant covers the purchase of a “liquid handler” — a robotic arm that can pipette fluids much more quickly and accurately than humans can — and supporting instruments, including another robot that detects active virus particles in samples and a machine to sequence RNA. Together, these tools increase the rate of testing compounds by 20-fold.”

The grant allegedly helped produce a study – currently awaiting peer review – entitled SARS-CoV-2 infectious virus, viral RNA in nasopharyngeal swabs, and serostatus of symptomatic COVID-19 outpatients in the United States. “Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of demographic, immunologic, virologic, and clinical disease factors associated with infectious virus isolation and levels of viral RNA in nasopharyngeal swab samples in the largest study of symptomatic outpatient adults with COVID-19 to date,” the summary notes.

A slide from a Baric presentation on the matter also listed support from Gilead Sciences, the National Institutes for Health, and Dr. Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Dr. Fauci recently attempted to cover-up his relationship with Zuckerberg by telling MSNBC host Chuck Todd he had “no idea” what Senator Marsha Blackburn was getting at when discussing the pair’s leaked e-mails.

Read more …

Running circles around Biden and his entire admin. Prepare for crazy media angles.

Vladimir Putin: ‘Don’t Be Mad At The Mirror If You’re Ugly’ (AP)

Vladimir Putin has accused the US of ‘persecuting political opinions’ for arresting the MAGA mob at the Capitol siege, ahead of his summit with Joe Biden on Wednesday. The Russian president was asked about his jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in an interview filmed in Moscow last week before his meeting with Biden in Switzerland. And he replied by hitting back at the US, equating the arrest of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol with his treatment of Navalny. He said: ‘We have a saying: ‘Don’t be mad at the mirror if you are ugly,'” he said. “It has nothing to do with you personally. But if somebody blames us for something, what I say is, why don’t you look at yourselves? You will see yourselves in the mirror, not us.’

‘You are presenting it as dissent and intolerance toward dissent in Russia. We view it completely differently,’ he told US broadcaster NBC News. He then pointed at the January 6 MAGA raid on the Capitol, saying: ‘Do you know that 450 individuals were arrested after entering the Congress? … They came there with political demands.’ Putin also reiterated denials that the Kremlin was behind last year’s poisoning of Navalny with a nerve agent that nearly killed him. ‘We don’t have this kind of habit, of assassinating anybody,’ Putin claimed. ‘Did you order the assassination of the woman who walked into the Congress and who was shot and killed by a policeman?’ Putin said, referring to Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer as she tried to climb through a window that led to the House floor.

Putin also sharply dismissed allegations that Russia is carrying out cyberattacks against the United States as baseless. ‘Where is the evidence? Where is proof? It´s becoming farcical,’ Putin said. ‘We have been accused of all kinds of things – election interference, cyberattacks and so on and so forth – and not once, not once, not one time, did they bother to produce any kind of evidence or proof, just unfounded accusations.’ In April, the United States announced the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats and new sanctions connected to the so-called SolarWinds cyberattack in which several U.S. government branches experienced data breaches. U.S. officials blamed the Russian foreign intelligence service.

In May, Microsoft officials said the foreign intelligence service appeared to be linked to an attack on a company providing services to the U.S. Agency for International Development. Putin also laughed off Joe Biden’s claim he’s a ‘killer’ – heaping praise on Donald Trump before branding his successor a career politician. He was asked by the NBC interviewer Keir Simmons, ‘Mr President, are you a killer?’ Putin avoided directly answering, instead replying: ‘Over my tenure, I’ve gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext and reasons and of different calibre and fierceness, and none of it surprises me.’ ‘So as far as harsh rhetoric I think this is an overall expression of US culture. Of course in Hollywood, there are some underlying deep things in Hollywood – macho, which can be treated as cinematic art. But that’s part of US political culture, it’s considered normal. By the way, not here, it is not considered normal here.’

Read more …

“That’s how wars and that’s how a nuclear catastrophe beyond a healthy mind’s powers of comprehension can occur. Sleepwalking into Armaggedon.”

Putin: US Destroyers In Baltic, Black Seas a Missile Threat to Russia (Rozoff)

In comments that got past editors in the Western news media, President Vladimir Putin in a recent Russian television interview accused the West of abusing what were good relations at the time (1999-2004) to expand NATO up to Russia’s borders. And in doing so, he specified, violated verbal pledges made by American officials to then-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, adding that the latter is alive and in good health and can confirm what he was told. In a candid assessment of the matter, Putin added, “I do not want to use harsh words, but they simply spat upon our interests and that’s that.” Lengthy excerpts of his comments were published on the English-language site of the government news agency TASS on June 9.

The most significant, and most alarming, aspect of the interview is the Russian president’s warning of Ukraine joining NATO, which contrary to what he acknowledged is a dismissal of that prospect by many experts in Russia and in the West he takes seriously, especially in regard to its membership providing the U.S. and NATO with new missile sites. Without naming them he mentioned that Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) missile defense (so-called) interceptors in Romania and Poland could strike Moscow in 15 minutes if a warhead was added to them; which, although the West denies its intent to do so, could be easily done. Russia has not been invited to inspect the missiles, for example. Paraphrasing the head of state, the TASS report disclosed the above threat is eminently practicable “because the missile defense launch systems stationed there can be used to carry out strikes as well.”

Installing SM-3s in Ukraine, Putin warned, would reduce the time needed to strike Moscow to 7-10 minutes. “Is it a red line for us or not?” he asked. He also drew the inevitable comparison with the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when he estimated Soviet missiles on that island nation could have hit Washington in 15 minutes, adding another parallel: “To lower this flight time to 7-10 minutes, we should station our missiles on Canada’s southern border or Mexico’s northern border. Is it a red line for the US or not?” Though perfectly transparent and accurate in all regards, his comments have been ignored and, if brought to people’s attention, would be dismissed. That’s how wars and that’s how a nuclear catastrophe beyond a healthy mind’s powers of comprehension can occur. Sleepwalking into Armaggedon.

Read more …

“..an “imminent radiological threat”, but “..environmental readings of the plant and the surrounding area are reported normal.”

Chinese Nuclear Plant Warns Of ‘Imminent Radiological Threat’ After Leak (Hill)

An operator of a Chinese nuclear plant has warned U.S. officials of an “imminent radiological threat” after a leak at the plant, multiple news outlets reported on Monday. In a letter obtained by CNN, the French operator of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, Framatome, told U.S. officials that Chinese authorities had raised radiation limits outside of the plants to avoid a potential shutdown. U.S. officials told Framatome that they don’t deem the current situation to yet be at a crisis level, according to CNN, but the National Security Council has already held meetings on this situation. Framatome issued a statement on Monday saying that they will support a resolution to the ongoing crisis at the plant.


“Our team is working with relevant experts to assess the situation and propose solutions to address any potential issue.” The owner of Framatome, Électricité de France, also issued a statement saying that they were informed of the rise of “certain rare gases,” even suggesting a board meeting to present data on the crisis The report comes as the U.S. joined other countries in the Group of Seven summit in the United Kingdom over the weekend, with China being one of the main focal points of the summit. The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant released a statement on their website on Sunday adding that the environmental readings of the plant and the surrounding area are reported normal.

Read more …

Well, look who’s here…

Is that why reports on the leak are so soft?

Hunter Biden Invested Millions In Owner of Nuclear Plant Experiencing Leak (NP)

A nuclear power plant believed to be experiencing a leak posing an “imminent radiological threat” is run by China General Nuclear Power Corporation: a state-owned firm that has enjoyed millions of dollars in investment from President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Problems at the facility were exposed via a CNN report, which revealed that the plant’s French partner reached out to the White House for assistance: The warning included an accusation that the Chinese safety authority was raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province in order to avoid having to shut it down, according to a letter from the French company to the US Department of Energy obtained by CNN.


Despite the alarming notification from Framatome, the French company, the Biden administration believes the facility is not yet at a “crisis level,” one of the sources said. The Biden team’s lack of concern comes as the primary operator of the China-based plant – China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) – counts millions in investment from Hunter Biden. BHR Partners – the private equity firm where Hunter Biden served as a director since 2013 – was a $10 million cornerstone investor in CGN’s initial public offering. Occurring in 2014, the IPO was the second largest of the entire year, valued at over $3 billion. The company, which Hunter Biden reportedly retains a sizable stake in, still lists GCN as part of its portfolio on its website.

Read more …

Jim also has a good take on the vaccines etc. (he reads TAE), but this is even more poignant:

“..you can see the horizon on the “Joe Biden” administration, with sunset probably due this fall. How it will play-out is anybody’s guess. Mine is that, one way or another, some military caretaker administration may have to interrupt the 232-year-long cavalcade of governance led by legitimately-elected presidents.”

The Three-way Squeeze (Kunstler)

For now, many places are supposedly caught up in the exuberant reopening of daily life activities: restaurants, travel-and-leisure businesses, big league sports. Sounds good, maybe, but the frothy feeling is belied by the still-boarded-up shopfronts and the expanding homeless campgrounds of the big cities and by the noises made by big corporations laying off thousands of employees. One narrative says that many service jobs go begging because too many people still receive government handouts that add up to more than such jobs pay. And some businesses, such as restaurants, say they are offering much higher wages than they used to in a desperate effort to keep operating.

Okay… but consider how long you can run a restaurant paying dishwashers $25-an-hour, for example, especially considering how much of the population is too broke now to eat in restaurants that charge a third-again as much for dinner as they did before Covid-19. What you’re actually looking at is a broken business model for much of the service industry. Sometime this summer, that pretty big problem will be acknowledged, and the nation will see that we are not in a recovery at all, but rather a permanent contraction that will be labeled “a depression.”

Actually, it will not be a “depression,” either, exactly, which implies a cyclical dip, even a big one, because the cycle itself is broken — and to understand that, you must delve into the nature of the long emergency: the energy resource and capital scarcity quandary facing techno-industrial societies. The direct implication of this broken cycle will be even more social distress, which is being aggravated by the racial provocations ginned up by the Woke “Joe Biden” regime, and which will blow up in its face if there is another summer of riots, burning, and looting.

So, to conclude this unusually long edition of the CFN blog, you can see the horizon on the “Joe Biden” administration, with sunset probably due this fall. How it will play-out is anybody’s guess. Mine is that, one way or another, some military caretaker administration may have to interrupt the 232-year-long cavalcade of governance led by legitimately-elected presidents. Perhaps we’ll run a re-do of the last election. Or maybe we’re in for a new phase of the American project, a more uncertain and less appetizing one, featuring dictators and despots. Or maybe we’ll get through this very dangerous defile of history and land in a much lower-key but more coherent disposition of things recognizably American. Stay tuned for developments.

Read more …

“President Biden owes Reality gratitude because Reality’s actions directly contributed to the fact that the 2020 elections were the most secure presidential elections in American history..”

Reality Winner Released From Prison For ‘Exemplary Behavior’ (RT)

Reality Winner, the former US intelligence specialist who was imprisoned in 2018 for leaking classified National Security Agency information to media outlet the Intercept, has been released from prison on good behavior.
Winner’s attorney Alison Grinter Allen announced her release on Monday, revealing that, though Winner is “still in custody in the residential re-entry process,” her family and friends are “relieved and hopeful.” “Reality and her family have asked for privacy during the transition process as they work to heal the trauma of incarceration and build back the years lost,” Allen said, adding that Winner’s “release is not a product of the pardon or compassionate release process, but rather the time earned from exemplary behavior while incarcerated.” The attorney said her client was prohibited from making public statements or appearances and thus could not comment on the matter.


Winner was sentenced to five years in prison in 2018 for leaking an NSA intelligence report to the Intercept that claimed Russian hackers had attempted to interfere with the US elections. The Intercept came under heavy fire at the time and was accused of improperly handling Winner’s confidentiality, which critics claim led to her arrest. Last week, Winner’s sister Brittany called on President Joe Biden to pardon the former intelligence specialist, arguing that Biden was only president “because of Reality Winner’s actions.” “President Biden owes Reality gratitude because Reality’s actions directly contributed to the fact that the 2020 elections were the most secure presidential elections in American history,” she said. “Mr. Biden is president because of Reality Winner’s actions and, therefore, he should pardon her.”

Read more …

Onion squared.

Babylon Bee Forces New York Times To Retract Calling Them ‘Misinformation’ (RT)

The Babylon Bee is in fact a satirical site and not a “far-right misinformation” one that “feuded” with Facebook and fact-checkers, The New York Times has finally conceded after being threatened with a defamation lawsuit. “This is huge. The NY Times was using misinformation to smear us as being a source of it,” Bee CEO Seth Dillon tweeted on Monday, calling it “malicious” behavior. “We pushed back hard and won. Thanks to everyone who voiced and offered their support. We don’t have to take this nonsense lying down. Remember that,” Dillon added. An article about Facebook censorship of irony in March, authored by the Times’ tech reporter Mike ‘Rat King’ Isaac, described the Bee as a “far-right misinformation site” that sometimes trafficked in fake news disguised as satire to avoid censorship from Big Tech.


It was the only example offered, too. After the initial complaint from Dillon, the Times edited the article to say that the Bee, “a right-leaning satirical site, has feuded with Facebook and the fact-checking site Snopes over whether the site published misinformation or satire.” That, too, was wrong. The update is every bit as damaging (and false) as the original,” Dillon tweeted at the time, and explained that Snopes has actually retracted their insinuation about the Bee’s motives, and even created a whole new label for satire. Snopes has also discontinued their fact-checking partnership with Facebook, in early 2019. A correction dated June 10 – of which the Times notified the Bee on Friday – now says the earlier version of the article “imprecisely” referred to the “right-leaning satirical website,” and that Facebook and Snopes have since dropped the claims the Bee ever trafficked in misinformation.

Read more …

Misinformation?!

In Honor Of Pride Month, Biden Will Also Sniff Men’s Hair (BBee)

In a televised address this week, President Biden voiced support for the LGBTQ community and promised to honor them with a commitment to not only sniff women’s hair, but also men’s hair. “Look– I’ve been sniffing the hair of women and girls for many decades,” said Biden. “It’s time for me to recognize the accomplishments of the LGBT folks. I’m maybe gonna get in trouble for this, but if you’re a man, I just may sniff your hair. That’s because I’m not homophobic. I ain’t afraid to sniff a dude! Come on, man!” Biden was then quickly led off the podium by his wife before he could say any more.


“Every gender! I’ll sniff ’em all!” Biden yelled, protesting as he was dragged out of sight of the crowd. According to sources, no gay men have taken up Biden on his offer to sniff their hair. However, hundreds of straight male journalists have lined up outside the White House clapping and cheering, hoping for their chance to be sniffed by the President. Brian Stelter went to bed crying, as he had no hair for President Biden to sniff.

Read more …

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

 

Map of North America in 1702

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

May 272021
 


Brassaï The Sun King 1930

 

CDC: More Than 10,000 Covid-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections (JTN)
More Flagrant Data Manipulation From The CDC (OffG)
DOD Tracking 14 Cases of Heart Inflammation in Troops After COVID-19 Shots (M.com)
Dr. Fauci Gets In Heated Debate With 17 Previous Versions Of Himself (BBee)
Covid Spike Protein, In All Vaccines, Is What Causes Deadly Blood Clots (NN)
Does Ivermectin Really Work Against Covid-19? (IT)
Snopes Introduces New Rating: ‘False For Now’ (BBee)
Facebook No Longer Treating ‘Man-Made’ Covid As A Crackpot Idea (Pol.)
Senate Unanimously Passes Hawley Bill Declassifying Intel On Wuhan Lab (F.)
Netherlands Court Orders Shell To Cut Emissions By 45% (BBC)
ExxonMobil, Chevron Investors Vote For More Action On Climate Change (Y!)
Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Salary Was Cut In Half After Joe Biden Left Office (NYP)
US-Funded Belarus Activist Arrested On Plane Joined Neo-nazis In Ukraine (GZ)
Billionaires’ Secretive Speculation Threatens Next Financial Meltdown (MW)
Chaos Erupts After Stiffed UniCredit Bondholders Get Fat-Fingered Payment (ZH)

 

 

 

 

And says it’s a “substantial undercount”.

CDC: More Than 10,000 Covid-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections (JTN)

More than 10,000 vaccine breakthrough infections have been reported in the U.S. in individuals who had already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “A total of 10,262 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine breakthrough infections had been reported from 46 U.S. states and territories as of April 30, 2021,” the government agency said. The report covered the period from January 1 to April 30 this year. More than half (63%) of the breakthrough cases happened in females, according to the CDC. Preliminary data indicated that more than a quarter (27%) of the cases were asymptomatic and 160 people (2%) passed away. But 28 of the deceased were asymptomatic or passed away due to a cause not connected to coronavirus. The median age for the deceased was 82.


The CDC noted that the quantity of reported vaccine breakthrough cases probably falls far short of the actual amount of breakthroughs among the vaccinated. “The findings in this report are subject to at least two limitations. First, the number of reported COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases is likely a substantial undercount of all SARS-CoV-2 infections among fully vaccinated persons. The national surveillance system relies on passive and voluntary reporting, and data might not be complete or representative. Many persons with vaccine breakthrough infections, especially those who are asymptomatic or who experience mild illness, might not seek testing. Second, SARS-CoV-2 sequence data are available for only a small proportion of the reported cases,” the agency noted.

Read more …

They know it’s a “substantial undercount” because they keep changing their methods: “the CDC has taken their “substantial undercount”, and then slashed it by 90%.”

More Flagrant Data Manipulation From The CDC (OffG)

A new report, published just yesterday, has provided yet more evidence that the CDC is manipulating data to conceal the number of “breakthrough infections”. A “breakthrough infection” (or “breakthrough case”) is defined as a person who tests positive for Sars-Cov-2 infection, despite already being fully vaccinated. And this new report finds that the CDC’s official record of breakthrough cases is: “likely a substantial undercount.” Going on to explain: “The national surveillance system relies on passive and voluntary reporting, and data might not be complete or representative. Many persons with vaccine breakthrough infections, especially those who are asymptomatic or who experience mild illness, might not seek testing.” Which is partially accurate, but also a pretty major lie by omission. It is probably true that vaccinated people with no symptoms are unlikely to seek testing, but it is also true that, on March 17th, the CDC updated their advice on testing policy to specifically exclude such people from testing protocols:

So, while it’s certainly true that “breakthrough cases” are likely a substantial undercount, it is dishonest to pretend that this is just an accident of the system. Rather, the system is specifically designed to hide such cases. Of course, this report only goes up to the end of April, the “undercount” will only have gotten worse since then, because the CDC changed their rules AGAIN to make it even harder to keep an accurate count of breakthrough cases. As we wrote last week, as of May 1st the CDC will no longer be counting mild or asymptomatic cases as “breakthrough infections”, choosing to focus only on hospitalisations and deaths. According to the CDC’s own report, though, over a quarter (27%) of breakthrough infections were asymptomatic, and a further 61% were only mildly ill. Conversely, only 10% of them were ever hospitalised, and only 2% died: “Based on preliminary data, 2,725 (27%) vaccine breakthrough infections were asymptomatic, 995 (10%) patients were known to be hospitalized, and 160 (2%) patients died.”


So, the CDC has taken their “substantial undercount”, and then slashed it by 90%. The official figures, moving forward, will be so inaccurate as to be completely useless. The CDC claims these changes “will help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance.” But that is an obvious and absurd lie. Statistical studies have shown up to 86% of Covid “cases” never experience symptoms. To exclude such cases from your vaccine effectiveness studies is to poison your data in order to prop up a pre-determined conclusion. It is, at the very best, extremely poor science.

Read more …

How many deaths and injuries will it take before the “vaccines” are banned?

DOD Tracking 14 Cases of Heart Inflammation in Troops After COVID-19 Shots (M.com)

The Defense Department is tracking 14 cases of heart inflammation, or myocarditis, in military health patients who developed the condition after receiving either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The rare disorder, usually caused by a virus, has been linked to COVID-19. But following a number of reports from Israel of patients developing the inflammation in conjunction with receiving vaccines, the Israeli Health Ministry is exploring a possible link, Israel’s Channel 12 reported Friday, according to the Jerusalem Post. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, the myocardium, that can reduce the heart’s ability to function or cause abnormal heart rhythms.


The first report of myocarditis in a patient who received a COVID-19 vaccine was published in Israel on Feb. 1. Another case of myocarditis in a 39-year-old male was reported in Revista Española de Cardiología in early March. The DoD has been tracking myocarditis cases through March, according to spokesman Peter Graves. Of the 14 cases, one patient, who tested positive for COVID-19 three months ago, developed myocarditis after their first dose of vaccine. The remaining 13 patients developed myocarditis after their second vaccine doses. Eleven received the Moderna vaccine; three got Pfizer.

Read more …

Ha!

Dr. Fauci Gets In Heated Debate With 17 Previous Versions Of Himself (BBee)

After a brief temporal anomaly occurred in Washington, D.C., causing a version of Dr. Fauci from just two weeks ago to materialize in the city, the current Dr. Fauci got in a heated debate with the manifestation of himself from the past. “The virus was created in a lab!” present-day Fauci said indignantly, causing past Fauci to wag his finger and shake his head emphatically. “No, no, no, that’s a deranged conspiracy theory!” past Fauci said. “It’s practically alt-right! Didn’t you check Snopes? Anyway, at least we can agree we should wear double masks forever.” “No, masks aren’t necessary anymore!” said current Fauci. “We just wear them for political theater.” “That’s insulting! They’re absolutely not theater!” said early May Fauci.


At that moment, another version of Fauci suddenly appeared from March 2020, agreeing with current Fauci but taking it a step further, saying, “Masks are useless. They just make people feel better!” Both of the other Faucis then ganged up on March 2020 Fauci, calling him an “anti-science mask denier.” Another Fauci then appeared, and then another, and then another, and all heck broke loose, with the Faucis screaming at one another and calling each other “Q anon crazies” and “progressive totalitarians,” depending on the version of Fauci. Finally, an uneasy truce was called, as all the Faucis agreed they at least all wanted the same thing: to stay in the spotlight forever.

Read more …

From yesterday’s Comment section.

Covid Spike Protein, In All Vaccines, Is What Causes Deadly Blood Clots (NN)

The prestigious Salk Institute, founded by vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, has authored and published a bombshell scientific article revealing that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is what’s actually causing vascular damage in covid patients and covid vaccine recipients, promoting the strokes, heart attacks, migraines, blood clots and other harmful reactions that have already killed thousands of Americans (source: VAERS.hhs.gov). Critically, all four covid vaccine brands currently in widespread use either inject patients with the spike protein or, via mRNA technology, instruct the patient’s own body to manufacture spike proteins and release them into their own blood. This floods the patient’s body with the very spike protein that the Salk Institute has now identified as the smoking gun cause of vascular damage and related events (such as blood clots, which are killing many people who take the vaccines).

Put simply, it means the vaccines were designed to contain the very element that’s killing people. The false assumption of the vaccine industry and its propagandists is that the spike protein is “inert” and harmless. The Salk Institute proves this assumption to be dangerously inaccurate. [..] the virus spike proteins (which behave very differently than those safely encoded by vaccines) also play a key role in the disease itself. The paper, published on April 30, 2021, in Circulation Research, also shows conclusively that COVID-19 is a vascular disease, demonstrating exactly how the SARS-CoV-2 virus damages and attacks the vascular system on a cellular level.

“A lot of people think of it as a respiratory disease, but it’s really a vascular disease,” says Assistant Research Professor Uri Manor, who is co-senior author of the study. “That could explain why some people have strokes, and why some people have issues in other parts of the body. The commonality between them is that they all have vascular underpinnings.” …the paper provides clear confirmation and a detailed explanation of the mechanism through which the protein damages vascular cells for the first time. In the new study, the researchers created a “pseudovirus” that was surrounded by SARS-CoV-2 classic crown of spike proteins, but did not contain any actual virus. Exposure to this pseudovirus resulted in damage to the lungs and arteries of an animal model—proving that the spike protein alone was enough to cause disease. Tissue samples showed inflammation in endothelial cells lining the pulmonary artery walls.

The team then replicated this process in the lab, exposing healthy endothelial cells (which line arteries) to the spike protein. They showed that the spike protein damaged the cells by binding ACE2. This binding disrupted ACE2’s molecular signaling to mitochondria (organelles that generate energy for cells), causing the mitochondria to become damaged and fragmented. Previous studies have shown a similar effect when cells were exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but this is the first study to show that the damage occurs when cells are exposed to the spike protein on its own. [..] covid vaccines are inducing vascular disease and directly causing injuries and deaths stemming to blood clots and other vascular reactions. This is all caused by the spike protein that’s deliberately engineered into the vaccines.

[..] any person who actually survives the covid vaccine only does so because their innate immune system is protecting them from the vaccine, not with the vaccine. The vaccine is the weapon. Your immune system is your defense. [..] The covid vaccine, built with the spike protein that causes vascular damage. The number of Americans who died after taking covid vaccines is already in the thousands, and realistic estimates put that number at tens of thousands (with more dying each day). The mechanism is now well understood: The covid vaccine injects the patient with spike proteins, the spike proteins proceed to cause vascular damage and blood platelet aggregation, this leads to blood clots which circulate around the body and lodge in different organs (the hart, lungs, brain, etc.), causing deaths that are attributed to “strokes” or “heart attacks” or “pulmonary embolism.”

The common cause is the vascular damage stemming from the spike protein. In essence, millions of people are being injected with artificial blood clotting factors and then dying from blood clots, all while the disastrously dishonest corporate media claims all covid vaccines are completely “safe” and have harmed no one.

Read more …

From India.

Does Ivermectin Really Work Against Covid-19? (IT)

Q.Is Ivermectin, a drug that has traditionally been used to treat parasitic infections in humans, effective against Covid-19?

The World Health Organization recently issued guidelines saying Ivermectin should only be used on Covid-19 patients in clinical trial settings, saying there was a ‘very low certainty of evidence’ on Ivermectin’s effects on mortality rates and its ability to purge the virus from the body. After this, many state governments in India have rejected its use for Covid-19 patients. This has caused confusion and worry among patients and providers alike. However, [I believe] there is enough evidence to show the effectiveness of the drug. A study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics clearly mentions a large number of randomised and observational controlled trials of Ivermectin that repeatedly reported large improvements in clinical outcomes. Numerous prophylaxis trials demonstrate that regular use of Ivermectin leads to large reductions in virus transmission. Moreover, a comprehensive review of the available efficacy data as of December 12, 2020, taken from in-vitro, animal, clinical and real-world studies, all show the above impacts of Ivermectin in treating cases of Covid-19.

Q. How does Ivermectin help Covid patients? Here are few points worth considering. Since 2012, multiple in-vitro studies have demonstrated that Ivermectin inhibits the replication of many viruses, including those that cause Influenza, Zika, Dengue, and others. Ivermectin inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication and binding to host tissue through several observed and proposed mechanisms. Ivermectin also has anti-inflammatory properties that prevents viral replication, and it hastens recovery and prevents deterioration in patients in mild to moderate cases of the disease, if they are treated early after symptoms appear.

Q. So should all Covid patients take Ivermectin as part of their treatment?

Having said the above, anything used in excess or abused is harmful to health. Providers need to careful while prescribing these drugs as they are still under review. The best way is to be wise and not let panic take precedence over logical reasoning. Most repurposed drugs have pros and cons when used to treat Covid-19, and this needs to be explained to patients while prescribing treatment. We have to be cautious but wise too—let us all make informed choices and ensure that we come out of this crisis stronger and more empowered.

Read more …

“Did COVID escape from a Wuhan lab? Well, it depends! Did a Republican say it?”

Snopes Introduces New Rating: ‘False For Now’ (BBee)

World-renowned fact-checking website Snopes has unveiled a brand new fact check rating called “False For Now.” This will allow them to provide a rating for claims that are just conspiracy theories uttered by deranged far-right people until they later turn out to be true. “At Snopes, it’s important for us to keep up with the undulating, ever-changing ocean of truth claims as they fluctuate across different official narratives we approve of,” said Snopes founder David Mikkelson. “Did COVID escape from a Wuhan lab? Well, it depends! Did a Republican say it? Does it serve the official narrative of trusted sources like CNN? We have to keep all these important questions in mind as we continue to live our truth, which is what Snopes is all about.”


To save time, Snopes will just attach this rating to everything said by someone on the Right until a mainstream, unbiased source like The New York Times approves it to be upgraded to “Mixture”. Snopes also announced they will be attaching a rating of “Not Funny” to all Babylon Bee articles.

Read more …

Imagine getting your news from Facebook.

Facebook No Longer Treating ‘Man-Made’ Covid As A Crackpot Idea (Pol.)

Facebook will no longer take down posts claiming that Covid-19 was man-made or manufactured, a company spokesperson told POLITICO on Wednesday, a move that acknowledges the renewed debate about the virus’ origins. A narrative in flux: Facebook’s policy tweak arrives as support surges in Washington for a fuller investigation into the origins of Covid-19 after the Wall Street Journal reported that three scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized in late 2019 with symptoms consistent with the virus. The findings have reinvigorated the debate about the so-called Wuhan lab-leak theory, once dismissed as a fringe conspiracy theory. President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he has ordered the intelligence community to “redouble” its efforts to find out the virus’ origin and report back in 90 days.

Biden also revealed that the intelligence community is split between two theories about Covid-19’s origin, and said the review will examine “whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.” Bipartisan support is also building on Capitol Hill for a congressional inquiry. But the focus of late has been on the notion that the virus may have accidentally escaped from the lab, not that it was man-made or purposely released — theories that could now propagate on Facebook. Genetic studies of the virus have found flaws in the protein it uses to bind to human cells. Those are features that someone trying to engineer a bioweapon likely would have avoided. Shifting definitions on social media: Facebook announced in February it had expanded the list of misleading health claims that it would remove from its platforms to include those asserting that “COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured.”

The tech giant has updated its policies against false and misleading coronavirus information, including its running list of debunked claims, over the course of the pandemic in consultation with global health officials. But a Facebook spokesperson said Wednesday that the origin language had been stricken from that list due to the renewed debate about the virus’ roots. “In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made from our apps,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We’re continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge.”

Read more …

Smokescreen?!

Senate Unanimously Passes Hawley Bill Declassifying Intel On Wuhan Lab (F.)

The U.S. Senate on Monday unanimously approved a bill to require the federal government to declassify information about any links between China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and Covid-19 following reporting by the Wall Street Journal that three researchers at the lab were hospitalized with Covid-like symptoms in November 2019. The bill requires the Director of National Intelligence to declassify “any and all information” about links between the lab and the virus within 90 days. The bill also calls for the DNI to make “as much information as possible” about the origin of the virus publicly available, in order to identify the origin “as expeditiously as possible.” Introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and cosponsored by Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), the bill passed Wednesday night by unanimous consent, meaning no senator objected.


While support has grown among Democratic lawmakers to investigate the origins of Covid-19, House leaders have not yet said whether it will get a vote in the lower chamber and the White House hasn’t said if President Joe Biden will sign it. Theories that the virus was man-made as opposed to naturally occurring have been cast as fringe for much of the pandemic. However, the Journal’s revelation this week has caused experts to concede the “lab leak” theory – which remains unproven – can’t be ruled out. 90. That’s how many days the intelligence community has been given by Biden to “bring us closer to a definitive conclusion” on the origins of the virus, the president said in a statement Wednesday. Biden said he asked for the inquiry to include “specific questions for China” and a look at “work by our National Labs.”

Read more …

Prediction: Shell will appeal, and appeal, and…

Netherlands Court Orders Shell To Cut Emissions By 45% (BBC)

A court in the Netherlands has ruled in a landmark case that the oil giant Shell must reduce its emissions. By 2030, Shell must cut its CO2 emissions by 45% compared to 2019 levels, the civil court ruled. The Shell group is responsible for its own CO2 emissions and those of its suppliers, the verdict said. It is the first time a company has been legally obliged to align its policies with the Paris climate accords, says Friends of the Earth (FoE). The environmental group brought the case to court in 2019, alongside six other bodies and more than 17,000 Dutch citizens. Though the decision only applies in the Netherlands, it could have wider effects elsewhere. BBC Netherlands correspondent Anna Holligan tweeted that it was a “precedent-setting judgement”.

A Shell spokesperson said they “fully expect to appeal today’s disappointing court decision” and added that they are stepping up efforts to cut emissions. “Urgent action is needed on climate change, which is why we have accelerated our efforts to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050,” the spokesperson said, adding that Shell was investing “billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, including electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, renewables and biofuels”. “This is really great news and a gigantic victory for the earth, our children and for all of us,” FoE director Donald Pols said in a statement. “The judge leaves no doubt about it: Shell is causing dangerous climate change and must now stop it quickly.” Under the terms of the Paris Agreement on climate change, nearly 200 nations agreed to keep global temperatures “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels.

The legally binding treaty came into force on 4 November 2016. The US withdrew under former President Donald Trump but has since rejoined under President Joe Biden. A number of groups around the world are now trying to force companies and governments to comply with the accords through the courts. Shell has previously said it wants net zero emissions for itself and from products used by its customers by 2050. In December its defence lawyers told the Dutch court the company was already taking “serious steps” to move away from fossil fuels, and said there was no legal basis for the case.

Read more …

“At ExxonMobil, two board nominees from activist group Engine No. 1 won enough votes to secure board seats..”

ExxonMobil, Chevron Investors Vote For More Action On Climate Change (Y!)

Investors rejected the responses of US oil giants to climate change Wednesday, installing activist board members at ExxonMobil and directing Chevron to deepen emissions cuts. The dual decisions at the two biggest US oil giants’ annual meetings are clear evidence that addressing climate change has moved from being an environmentalist cause to one championed by mainstream investors. At ExxonMobil, two board nominees from activist group Engine No. 1 won enough votes to secure board seats. Shareholders also backed a proposal requiring a report on the oil giant’s lobbying activities on climate change.


At Chevron, a majority of investors approved an activist proposal calling on the company to reduce “scope 3” emissions, which encompass energy products. Earlier in the day, a Dutch court ordered oil giant Shell to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by a net of 45 percent by the end of 2030 following a challenge launched by environmental group Friends of the Earth. “Today’s Exxon vote sends the unmistakable signal that climate action is a financial imperative,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund. “Now Exxon’s board has an important responsibility to help the company transform its approach to the climate crisis and energy transition.”

Read more …

Miranda Devine is working on a book, “Laptop From Hell”, due out in September.

Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Salary Was Cut In Half After Joe Biden Left Office (NYP)

The Ukrainian energy company that was paying President Biden’s son Hunter $1 million a year cut his monthly compensation in half two months after his father ceased to be vice president. From May 2014, Burisma Holdings Ltd. was paying Hunter $83,333 a month to sit on its board, invoices on his abandoned laptop show. But in an email on March 19, 2017, Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi asked Hunter to sign a new director’s agreement and informed him “the only thing that was amended is the compensation rate.” “We are very much interested in working closely together, and the remuneration is still the highest in the company and higher than the standard director’s monthly fees. I am sure you will find it both fair and reasonable.”


After the email, the amount listed on Hunter’s monthly Burisma invoices was reduced to $41,500, effective from May 2017. The amount was paid in Euros, at the rate of between 35,000 Euros and 36,100 Euros per month, based on currency fluctuations at the time. No reason is given for the decrease in salary. The only change in circumstance appears to be that Hunter’s father was no longer in office. In 2016, Hunter’s total income from Burisma was $999,996. In 2017 it dropped to $665,000, and then $498,000 in 2018. Hunter resigned from the Burisma board in April 2019, according to his lawyer George Mesires, after his controversial business dealings dogged his father’s presidential campaign.

Read more …

Lukashenko has already used this to defend his actions.

US-Funded Belarus Activist Arrested On Plane Joined Neo-nazis In Ukraine (GZ)

A high-profile Belarusian regime-change activist whose detention on a forcibly grounded airplane caused an international scandal has extensive links to neo-fascist groups, which his political sponsors in Western capitals have conveniently overlooked. Right-wing activist Roman Protasevich was traveling on the Irish airliner Ryanair on May 23 when the plane crossed into Belarusian airspace and was ordered to land by state authorities. Protasevich was subsequently taken off the aircraft and arrested. The incident triggered a wave of denunciations by Western governments, and a new round of aggressive sanctions on Belarus. Many anti-interventionist critics pointed out the hypocrisy of the US government’s condemnations, recalling how, in 2013, it forcibly grounded the plane of Bolivian President Evo Morales in an egregious violation of international law because it wrongly suspected he was harboring NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Effortlessly ignoring Washington’s own precedent, Western governments and major corporate media outlets blasted the government of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko as a brutal dictatorship while lavishing praise on Protasevich, portraying the high-profile opposition figure as a heroic human rights defender. What they refused to acknowledge is Protasevich’s recent history serving with a neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine, and his extensive ties to other far-right extremist organizations. A leader of Ukraine’s notorious Azov Battalion, an explicitly neo-Nazi militia that uses white supremacist imagery, publicly acknowledged that Protasevich joined the fight alongside Azov. A Ukrainian newspaper reported that Protasevich worked with the neo-Nazi militia’s press service.

Protasevich personally admitted in an interview to traveling to Ukraine and spending a year battling pro-Russian forces in the eastern war zone of Donbas. He is even suspected of possibly posing with an assault rifle and a military uniform on the front of Azov’s propaganda magazine, which is emblazoned with a large neo-Nazi symbol. The influence of Azov and similar ultra-nationalist groups in Ukraine has extended well outside of its borders, spilling over into neighboring countries in Eastern Europe, while also influencing politics in Canada and even Hong Kong, where Azov extremists joined a Western-backed “color revolution” operation targeting China.

Like Azov, Protasevich has benefited from direct support from Western governments. Just as the neo-Nazi Ukrainian militia received weapons and military training from the United States in order to fight in its proxy war against Russia, Protasevich’s media career was launched by a US government-backed outlet, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, which was created by the CIA as part of an information war against Moscow.

Read more …

The banks are now the victims? Vraiment?

Billionaires’ Secretive Speculation Threatens Next Financial Meltdown (MW)

Here’s the recipe: Start with a few billionaires. Next, let them put trillions of dollars in unregulated pools of capital. Next, add a dash of pandemic speculation. What could possibly go wrong? Meet the family office, the last known vestige of the shadow financial system—and a potential cause of the next meltdown. Super-rich individuals—those with over $250 million—form these secretive offices (sometimes called “family funds”) in order to bring their wealth management, tax planning, and sometimes charitable activities under one private roof. There are now an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 family offices managing an estimated $6 trillion. For perspective, the global hedge-fund industry manages $3.6 trillion.


The spotlight is shining on family offices thanks to the sudden collapse of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital, which cost Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley $10 billion in bank losses—and plunged the value of stocks the office held by $33 billion. ‘This has to be one of the single greatest losses of personal wealth in history,’ says stock-market pro of Archegos margin call. Unlike hedge funds, family offices aren’t required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or publicly report certain option and stock positions. That’s no accident—during the 2009 Dodd-Frank financial reform after the 2008 crash, family offices successfully lobbied and fended off oversight. That lack of transparency is precisely what makes them so dangerous. Because Archegos didn’t have to disclose their highly leveraged positions, the banks that were lending to it were completely in the dark.

Read more …

How is UniCredit still a going concern in 2021? I know cats with fewer lives.

Chaos Erupts After Stiffed UniCredit Bondholders Get Fat-Fingered Payment (ZH)

Step aside Citigroup, and your erroneous $500MM transfer to Revlon bondholders: there is an even dumber “fat finger” in town. Late last week the financial world was shocked when Andrea Orcel, the new CEO of Italy’s second largest bank UniCredi, decided not to make a €30MM debt coupon payment on the grounds that the bank made a loss last year, even though investors had been assured of the cash. Then, on Tuesday, the financial world was even more shocked when the news broke that despite the bank’s decision, some bondholders said they had received notice of payment after all. And while UniCredit insists it didn’t pay it, raising Citigroup-esque dejavi questions about how the payment was made, Orcel’s calculated show of strength has “rapidly descended into a farce”, according to Bloomberg.

What happened? It all started last Friday when UniCredit made the shocking decision to skip the payment of coupons on some financial instruments, in a U-turn that sent he bond in question into a tailspin and hurt some other debt sold by Italy’s No. 2 bank. Just back in February, when presenting full-year results, Finance Chief Stefano Porro had told analysts the bank expected to pay a coupon on the legacy bond it issued over a decade ago, as well as on Additional Tier 1 bonds. But a spokesman on Friday said UniCredit would not do so after posting a 2.79 billion euro ($3.4 billion) loss last year. As Reuters noted, UniCredit has withheld coupon payments on the CASHES notes in the past after ending the year in the red, but the latest decision, taken by new Chief Executive Andrea Orcel barely a month after his arrival, took bond investors by surprise.

However, some bond investors were even more surprised when they woke up on Tuesday to find that their bank accounts had been properly debited with the required coupon payment from the UniCredit bonds. Initially there was much confusion who was responsible for the payment or where it came from, even if the confusion was understandable: the 2.98 billion euro bond’s complicated structure meany that there are several players involved, and the error could have come from any one of them. The CASHES, short for Convertible and Subordinated Hybrid Equity-Linked Securities, have different banks serving as depository and fiduciary for the instruments.

The confusion went away this morning when we learned that Euroclear – Europe’s largest bond custodian and settlement agent of securities transactions – said it had mistakenly credited client accounts with funds for a coupon payment on UniCredit bonds that the bank had decided not to honor. The flub by Euroclear added a fresh – and confusing – twist to the surprise decision by new UniCredit Chief Executive Officer Andrea Orcel not to pay the debt coupon of about 30 million euros.

Read more …

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Apr 172021
 


Edvard Munch Spring 1889

 

The Eruption of the Refugee Crisis and the Push for Vaccine Passports (MPN)
And Now Proof: Covid Vaccines Are More Dangerous Than Covid (Denninger)
Florida Gov. DeSantis Says Lockdowns Were A “Huge Mistake” (ET)
De-escalate Before Ukraine Conflict Turns Into Nuclear Holocaust- Gabbard (RT)
How Putin’s “Saber-Rattling” Forced A Biden Summit (ZH)
Russia Blocking Of Black Sea Would Be ‘Unjustified’ – NATO (Y!)
Biden Isn’t Ending The Afghanistan War, He’s Privatizing It (GZ)
Journalists Spread a CIA Fraud About Russia, Embrace a New One (Greenwald)
Liz Cheney Was Top Peddler Of Debunked ‘Russian Bounties’ Story (ZH)
Rachel Maddow is Bill O’Reilly (Taibbi)
US Corporate Media Is Guilty Of The Exact Same “Interference” As Russia (Tracey)
Joe Biden’s Demonic Phase (Jim Kunstler)
Hunter Biden on Burisma, Don Jr., and Cooking Crack (DB)
Govt’s Won’t Let Bitcoin Take On State-issued Currencies – Jim Rogers (Kitco)
The Echoes Of China’s Financial Crisis Are Being Heard (SMH)

 

 

 

 


A sailboat shielded by clouds, Chios Island, Greece. @avgoustidisermis

 

 

“..the architects of the biosecurity state..”

The Eruption of the Refugee Crisis and the Push for Vaccine Passports (MPN)

The controversy erupted on Twitter even as the 32,000-foot-high plume of smoke from Saint Vincent’s La Soufrière volcano was still rising in the sky. The firestorm on American social media platforms over reports that only those vaccinated against COVID-19 would be allowed to evacuate the eastern Caribbean island sheds light on the architects of the biosecurity state who have descended on Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) to explore the limits of mandatory public health protocols in the midst of a natural disaster now projected to “last months.” Global organizations, NGOs, and members of the scientific community are coordinating emergency response efforts in Saint Vincent. Power outages, no clean water, and continued volcanic eruptions have rendered parts of the island virtually uninhabitable, plunging Vincentians who have managed to escape into a condition of quasi-statelessness where notions of human rights and civil liberties become malleable.

“Refugees are in a position of complete vulnerability,” says Dr. Diego Garcia Ricci, from the Ibero-American University in Mexico City, speaking to MintPress. The constitutional law professor and data privacy expert addressed some of the issues surrounding the plight of refugees as biometric data like retinal scans, fingerprinting and even gender, become a pillar of identity documentation and incipient travel requirements in the wake of the pandemic. “While biometrics can be useful for identification purposes, mistakes do happen,” Garcia Ricci warns. Most at risk from these mistakes, abuse and racial profiling arising out of biometric digital identity systems are those whose need for the ‘state’ is made indispensable by virtue of being rendered stateless. Free agents with no agency are prime targets for global entities like the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which claims to speak for close to 80 million forcibly displaced people.

Vincentians who are unable or refuse to leave the island are likely to be reclassified as “internally displaced persons” or IDPs, another kind of refugee as defined by the UNHCR. Such classifications are part of a vast structure of laws and guidelines enshrined in the archives of supranational state entities like the European Commission and the United Nations, based on the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, which establishes international rules governing the treatment and rights of refugees, whose numbers have nearly doubled since 2012, ballooning from 45.2 million “displaced” to 79.5 million as of the last count.

Read more …

“In healthy adults and especially healthy children they should be prohibited outright as they are, on the math, more dangerous than the virus.”

And Now Proof: Covid Vaccines Are More Dangerous Than Covid (Denninger)

I suspected the data would be forthcoming showing this given the VAERS reports and now we have it:

I Using an electro nic health records network we estimated the absolute incidence of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) in the two weeks following COVID-19 diagnosis (N=513,284), or influenza (N=172,742), or receipt of the BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccines (N=489,871).


The incidence of portal vein thrombosis (PVT) was also assessed in these groups, as well as the baseline CVT incidence over a two-week period. The incidence of CVT after COVID-19 diagnosis was 39.0 per million people (95% CI, 25.2–60.2). This was higher than the CVT incidence after influenza (0.0 per million people, 95% CI 0.0 – 22.2, adjusted RR=6.73, P=.003) or after receiving BNT162b2 or RNA-1273 vaccine (4.1 per million people, 95% CI 1.1 – 14.9, adjusted RR=6.36, P<.001).

Wait a second…. you said the vaccines are more dangerous yet the data says that Covid-19 is ten times as dangerous as the vaccine for the same condition. So how can the title of this article be correct? Simple: For every reported infection somewhere around ten are not reported. Either they’re completely asymptomatic (about 30%) or mild enough that the person in question does not identify it as potentially Covid-19 and thus does not get tested. Yet both of the latter confer immunity just as does a symptomatic case. Further, you’re not guaranteed to get the disease. You are guaranteed to take the risk if you get the shot. Therefore we must adjust for the risk of contracting the disease which is not certain; you may have already had it and not know it and, in addition, you may have cross-reactive immunity.

Therefore the shot is close to or even more-dangerous than the disease. The baseline for approval of any therapy is that it must be much less dangerous than the disease itself. When it comes to vaccines the usual expectation is that it should 100x or more safer to get the shot than the disease, simply on the basis that you are not guaranteed to get the disease irrespective of how bad it is. If the disease is particularly lethal either generally or to you then a risk that is material for the vaccine is acceptable. What’s even worse is that this risk is basically identically in both mRNA and viral-vector (e.g. J&J) formulations; they both cause the same result in the same percentage of recipients, yet the FDA is still allowing the mRNA vaccines to be administered!

Covid-19, in non-morbid (young, but not exclusively so) people, only kills about 1/50,000 times — so if the shot gets you 1/250,000 times it’s a bad risk since a huge percentage of infections are not medically known as they are clinically significant and you are not guaranteed to be infected at all since you may have already had it and not known it or be resistant due to a previous infection with some other coronavirus and thus not at risk of developing clinical disease. These shots are not approvable on the math for other than materially-morbid individuals. In healthy adults and especially healthy children they should be prohibited outright as they are, on the math, more dangerous than the virus.

Read more …

“When you have people too scared to go to the emergency room when they’re literally having a heart attack, that didn’t happen in a vacuum..”

Florida Gov. DeSantis Says Lockdowns Were A “Huge Mistake” (ET)

Standing behind the desk in his office in Tallahassee, DeSantis leafed through a folder of praise he’s received from around the nation and across the globe. Hanging on the walls around the relatively small space was a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights as well as the uniform the governor wore as the captain of the Yale baseball team. When asked why he chose Lincoln, DeSantis said the president is the best example of a leader who had to make difficult decisions in a time of crisis. When asked why some of the leaders today have continued with lockdowns even with ample evidence of their ineffectiveness, the governor theorized that the people involved have committed too much to the narrative and have made it impossible to change course.

“You have a situation where if you’re in this field, the pandemic, that’s something that you kind of prepare for and you’re ready for. And a lot of these people muffed it,” he said. “When push came to shove, they advocated policies that have not worked against the virus but have been very, very destructive. They are never going to admit they were wrong about anything, unfortunately.” Elected leaders aren’t the only ones to blame, according to the governor. The media and big tech companies played a major role in perpetuating fears about the virus while selectively censoring one side of the mitigation debate. DeSantis said the media and tech giants stood to benefit from the lockdown as people stayed home and consumed their products.

“It was all just to generate the most clicks that they could. And so that was always trying to do the stuff that would inspire the most fear,” DeSantis said. Two weeks after the interview, an undercover video recorded by Project Veritas showed a technical director at CNN talking about the boost the network received due to its pandemic coverage. “It’s fear. Fear really drives numbers,” CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester said. “Fear is the thing that keeps you tuned in.” The fear-mongering worked, DeSantis said, pointing to CDC statistics showing that 4 out of 10 American adults delayed or avoided getting urgent or routine medical treatment in June 2020. The agency’s report said that the pattern may have contributed to the excess deaths reported during that period, due to preventable illnesses and injuries going untreated.

Emergency room doctors had reported that fewer people were coming in with cardiac-related chest pains while more were coming in with late-stage appendicitis, something that is usually caught much earlier. The pandemic has also led to a sharp decrease in cancer screenings and detections. “When you have people too scared to go to the emergency room when they’re literally having a heart attack, that didn’t happen in a vacuum,” DeSantis said.

Read more …

“..the American people must decide if they’re willing to go to war with Russia on behalf of Ukraine. If not – the rhetoric must be toned down.”

De-escalate Before Ukraine Conflict Turns Into Nuclear Holocaust- Gabbard (RT)

Unless the world wants to see loved ones “burned alive in a nuclear holocaust,” politicians should cut out the “macho” act and begin to deescalate. That’s according to former US congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a US Army veteran. Speaking to Tucker Carlson on Fox News on Thursday, Gabbard said the American people must decide if they’re willing to go to war with Russia on behalf of Ukraine. If not – the rhetoric must be toned down. “Such a war would come at a cost beyond anything we can really imagine,” she told Carlson. “This is something that will directly impact…every single one of your viewers.” “It is a war in which there are no winners,” she added.

The conflict in Donbass started in 2014, when two pro-Russia breakaway republics unilaterally declared independence from Kiev. While a peace deal was agreed upon later that year, both sides regularly report ceasefire violations. Much of the region is now split into the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. According to Kiev, both of the unrecognized states are controlled by Russia, which the Kremlin denies. Moscow says both Donetsk and Lugansk are part of Ukraine. Fears of a full-scale war have been growing in recent weeks. Media reports have revealed a build-up of both Russian manpower and equipment, particularly on the Crimean peninsula and by the eastern Ukrainian frontier. This came after news of increased shelling of Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region by Kiev’s forces, and revelations that the Ukrainian Army was increasing its number of troops in the area.

Kiev is supported by the US, which has provided money, equipment and expertise. However, Washington has not given Ukraine the status of a full ally. According to Gabbard, it would be a disaster if a war kicks off in Ukraine. In particular, she highlighted the “thousands of nuclear weapons” Moscow and Washington have aimed at each other, warning that “hundreds of millions” could die and suffer if a war kicks off.

Tulsi Gabbard
https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1383022106779267076

Read more …

Uhhh, no. Putin is not eager to meet with Biden, Lavrov et al have made that plenty clear: such ameeting would only be used to make Putin look bad, or worse. And no, it’s not saber-rattling when you respond to 10s of 1000s gathering on your border.

How Putin’s “Saber-Rattling” Forced A Biden Summit (ZH)

[..] given Biden’s recent offer to sit down with Putin for a bilateral summit this summer, which is still on the table, it appears Ukraine’s leadership has been effectively sidelined. As one FT piece underscored this week, Putin’s troop build-up has succeeded in pressuring the Biden administration for a coveted summit to decide the future of Ukraine. “The summit format will also please the Kremlin by effectively cutting Kyiv out of any negotiations, and allow Putin to project the image of two global superpowers deciding the future fate of the conflict,” FT observed. Here’s more from FT… “If Vladimir Putin’s decision to deploy tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine’s border in the past few weeks was driven primarily by a desire to get the west’s attention, he did not have to wait too long for his reward.

Hours after his defense minister on Tuesday admitted Russia had mobilised two armies and three paratroop divisions to positions close to the conflict-wracked frontier, US President Joe Biden phoned the Kremlin with an offer of a bilateral summit: a long sought-after prize for Putin who craves a seat at the world’s highest negotiating table. …Those 50,000 extra soldiers, scores of tanks and other heavy weaponry spooked Kyiv and other European powers, and sparked a hurried response from Nato and the US amid fears over a potential outbreak of fighting between the two countries.” This wasn’t a stand-alone assessment, given also this week BBC came to a similar conclusion.

The BBC commentary underscored that the Russian troop build-up was never ultimately about some kind of hyped “invasion” of Ukraine – as Kiev officials have been shouting – but instead about bringing massive leverage to bear in forcing Biden’s hand. To the chagrin of the West’s Russia hawks, the BBC essentially pointed to a major diplomatic victory and ‘checkmate’ of sorts for the Russian side… The build-up has been impossible to ignore: thousands of Russian troops deployed towards Ukraine; US warships reportedly heading for the Black Sea and Russia’s foreign ministry warning them off “for their own good”. As the hostile rhetoric and military moves around Ukraine have intensified, Western politicians have begun fearing an open invasion and urging Russia’s Vladimir Putin to “de-escalate”.

Russia has refused: the defense ministry this week insisted its moves were in response to “threatening” Nato exercises in Europe. Then Mr Putin got a phone-call from the White House. And then, noted the BBC, Biden suggested a near-future face-to-face summit with Putin, which gives Russia the edge given it was the US side that first proposed it: “In Putin’s game of brinkmanship, Biden blinked first,” argues journalist Konstantin Eggert, after Joe Biden made his first call to the Kremlin and proposed meeting Mr Putin “in the coming months”. It’s just weeks after the US president agreed with an interviewer that Russia’s leader was “a killer”. President Biden’s new move is now a new topic of debate – disaster prevention or a mistaken concession – but in the run-up to a summit, the risk of major military action by Russia certainly fades.

Read more …

Well, the US stated again that it doesn’t recognize the present status of Crimea, maybe that’s enough to make it justified.

Russia Blocking Of Black Sea Would Be ‘Unjustified’ – NATO (Y!)

Russian plans to block parts of the Black Sea would be “unjustified”, NATO said Friday, calling on Moscow “to ensure free access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, and allow freedom of navigation”. Russian state media have reported that Moscow intends to close parts of the Black Sea to foreign military and official ships for six months. Such a move could affect access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, which is connected to the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait, on the eastern tip of the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. The move has triggered concerns in the United States and the European Union.

Russia’s “ongoing militarisation of Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov are further threats to Ukraine’s independence, and undermine the stability of the broader region,” a spokeswoman for NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement. Blocking the Black Sea would “be an unjustified move, and part of a broader pattern of destabilising behaviour by Russia,” she added. NATO called on Russia to “de-escalate immediately, stop its pattern of provocations, and respect its international commitments”. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby noted that Russia was justifying plans to block the Black Sea until October on the grounds that it is preparing military exercises.

“Russia has a history of taking aggressive actions against Ukrainian vessels and impeding international maritime transit in the Black Sea, particularly near the Kerch Strait,” he told reporters. “It’s just the latest example of its ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilise Ukraine,” he added, reaffirming Washington’s “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”. “We call on Russia to cease its harassment of vessels in the region, and reverse its build-up of forces along Ukraine’s border and occupied Ukraine.”

Read more …

“Over 18,000 Pentagon contractors remain in Afghanistan..”

Biden Isn’t Ending The Afghanistan War, He’s Privatizing It (GZ)

Over 18,000 Pentagon contractors remain in Afghanistan, while official troops number 2,500. Joe Biden will withdraw this smaller group of soldiers while leaving behind US Special Forces, mercenaries, and intelligence operatives — privatizing and downscaling the war, but not ending it.

On April 14, President Joe Biden announced that he would end the U.S.’s longest war and withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Over 6,000 NATO troops will also be withdrawn by that time. “War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking,” Biden said during his remarks from the White House Treaty Room, the same location from which President George W. Bush had announced the war was beginning in October 2001. “We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives. Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is degraded in Afghanistan and it’s time to end the forever war.”

Biden’s claim that he is ending the forever war is misleading. As The New York Times reported, the United States would remain after the formal departure of U.S. troops with a “shadowy combination of clandestine Special Operations Forces, Pentagon contractors and covert intelligence operatives.” Their mission will be to “find and attack the most dangerous Qaeda or Islamic state threats, current and former American officials said.” The Times further reported that the United States maintains a constellation of air bases in the Persian Gulf region as well as in Jordan, and a major air headquarters in Qatar, which could provide a launching pad for long-range bomber or armed drone missions into Afghanistan.

Matthew Hoh, a disabled combat veteran who resigned from the State Department in 2009 in protest of the war, stated that a genuine peace process in Afghanistan is “dependent upon foreign forces leaving Afghanistan.” Further, Hoh said that, “Regardless of whether the 3500 acknowledged U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, the U.S. military will still be present in the form of thousands of special operations and CIA personnel in and around Afghanistan, through dozens of squadrons of manned attack aircraft and drones stationed on land bases and on aircraft carriers in the region, and by hundreds of cruise missiles on ships and submarines.”

Read more …

Clickbait.

Journalists Spread a CIA Fraud About Russia, Embrace a New One (Greenwald)

The story appeared — coincidentally or otherwise — just weeks after President Trump announced his plan to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2020. Pro-war members of Congress from both parties and liberal hawks in corporate media spent weeks weaponizing this story to accuse Trump of appeasing Putin by leaving Afghanistan and being too scared to punish the Kremlin. Cable outlets and the op-ed pages of The New York Times and Washington Post endlessly discussed the grave implications of this Russian treachery and debated which severe retaliation was needed. “This is as bad as it gets,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Then-candidate Joe Biden said Trump’s refusal to punish Russia and his casting doubt on the truth of the story was more proof that Trump’s “entire presidency has been a gift to Putin,” while Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) demanded that, in response, the U.S. put Russians and Afghans “in body bags.”

What was missing from this media orgy of indignation and militaristic demands for retaliation was an iota of questioning of whether the story was, in fact, true. All they had was an anonymous leak from “intelligence officials” — which The New York Times on Thursday admitted came from the CIA — but that was all they needed. That is because the vast majority of the corporate sector of the press lives under one overarching rule: When the CIA or related security state agencies tell American journalists to believe something, we obey unquestioningly, and as a result, whatever assertions are spread by these agencies, no matter how bereft of evidence or shielded by accountability-free anonymity, they instantly transform, in our government-worshipping worldview, into a proven fact — gospel — never to be questioned but only affirmed and then repeated and spread as far and wide as possible.

That has been the dynamic driving the relationship between the corporate press and the CIA for decades, throughout the Cold War and then into the post-9/11 War on Terror and invasion of Iraq. But it has become so much more extreme in the Trump era. As the CIA became one of the leading anti-Trump #Resistance factions — a key player in domestic politics to subvert the presidency of the 45th President regarded by media figures as a Hitler-type menace — the bond between the corporate press and the intelligence community deepened more than ever. It is not an exaggeration to call it a merger: so much so that a parade of former security state officials from the CIA, NSA, FBI, DHS and others was hired by these news outlets to deliver the news. The partnership was no longer clandestine but official, out in the open, and proud.

The first goal this story served was to weaponize it in the battle waged by pro-war House Democrats and their neocon GOP allies to stop Trump’s withdrawal plan from Afghanistan. How, they began demanding upon publication of the CIA/NYT story, can we possibly leave Afghanistan when the Russians are trying to kill our troops? Would that not be a reckless abdication to the Kremlin of this country that we own, and would withdrawal not be a reward to Putin after we learned he was engaged in such dastardly plotting to kill our sons and daughters?

Read more …

“Cheney was persistent in pushing the story, much to the frustration of colleagues and even allies on Capitol Hill..”

Liz Cheney Was Top Peddler Of Debunked ‘Russian Bounties’ Story (ZH)

As Democrats seized on a now-debunked New York Times report that the Kremlin placed bounties on the heads of American troops in Afghanistan – blaming President Trump for deliberately downplaying the aggression to appease ‘Lord Putin’ (as the story goes) – Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) punched right, peddling the fabricated bounties story to any and all who would listen, according to The Federalist. Fast forward ten months later, and the Daily Beast reports that a senior administration finally admitted: “The United States intelligence community assesses with low to moderate confidence that Russian intelligence officers sought to encourage Taliban attacks on U.S. and coalition personnel in Afghanistan in 2019 and perhaps earlier. “Low to moderate confidence” is another way of saying “unproven and potentially false, “in part because it relies on detainee reporting,” which is often unreliable.


Yet, Cheney pounced in an effort to undermine then-President Trump, while using the fake news to also lobby for a prolonged military presence in the region as the Trump administration was pulling troops out of Afghanistan. More via The Federalist: “Two days later, Politico, in an article titled, “Cheney takes on Trump,” wrote, “in her latest rebuke of Trump, Cheney openly questioned whether the president was aware of reports that the Russians offered Afghan militants bounties to kill U.S. troops and demanded the administration take a more aggressive posture toward the Kremlin. Cheney was persistent in pushing the story, much to the frustration of colleagues and even allies on Capitol Hill as she continued an inner-party crusade against the president in an election year from her position as House conference chair.”

Read more …

The rest is behind a Substack paywall.

Rachel Maddow is Bill O’Reilly (Taibbi)

If you’d told me back in 2005, when I first met Rachel Maddow, that the lightning-quick, ultra-smooth broadcaster would someday supplant Bill O’Reilly as the #1 name in cable news, I wouldn’t have been surprised, at all. But I’d have been shocked if you told me she got to the top by being Bill O’Reilly. With Maddow in the lead role, MSNBC has become Fox, but somehow more craven, jingoistic, and shameless. If you don’t believe it, compare their narratives side by side, and see if you can spot a real difference between Bush-era Fox and Maddow’s MNSBC broadcasts from this past week. On February 16, 2001, six months before 9/11, O’Reilly said on Fox, “You know, I don’t take Saddam Hussein all that seriously anymore, as far as a world threat.” He added, “Maybe I’m wrong and naive here. Should we be very frightened of this guy?”

Within two years, O’Reilly reversed course. He launched himself into an incredible 16-year run as the #1-rated star on cable by playing Madame DeFarge for the Bush/Cheney War on Terror. His show became a nighty fireside chat in which citizens tuned in to fulminate over stories of Saddam’s boundless evil, denounce traitorous unbelievers, and engage in McCarthyite interrogations of the insufficiently patriotic. He moved the factual record by himself. On December 6, 2002, he told his audience: “I can’t, in good conscience, tell the American people that I know for sure that [Saddam] has smallpox or anthrax or he’s got nuclear or chemical and that he is ready to use that.” But two months later, on February 17, 2002, he was saying, “According to the U.N., he’s got anthrax, VX gas, ricin, and on and on.”

Two weeks after that, as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting noted, O’Reilly was saying things like, “This guy we know has anthrax and VX and all this stuff.” He furthermore announced that “Once the war against Saddam Hussein begins, we expect every American to support our military, and if you can’t do that, just shut up,” adding that “Americans, and indeed our allies, who actively work against our military once the war is underway will be considered enemies of the state by me.” By the runup to the invasion, O’Reilly was berating anyone who even tried to suggest the WMD case was not airtight, or had the temerity to suggest that Saddam Hussein was not the equal of Hitler. “Whoa, whoa. It’s not Hitler?” he snapped in one broadcast. “What’s the difference?”

Want to know how seven in ten Americans during the war came to believe that Saddam Hussein was somehow behind 9/11? In part, because people like O’Reilly regularly said things like, “Saddam Hussein… I believe is involved with this World Trade Center and Pentagon bombing,” and “I believe that you’re going to find out that money from Iraq flowed in and helped [9/11] happen.” O’Reilly eventually got around to putting his “spotlight” on anyone who didn’t publicly back the invasion effort. He even took on Pope John Paul II, saying, “And then the pope sits in Rome and says, gee, this is terrible, but does not throw his moral authority behind removing this dictator.”

Read more …

The media has more incentive.

US Corporate Media Is Guilty Of The Exact Same “Interference” As Russia (Tracey)

[..] there was nothing new about the suite of anti-Russia charges promulgated Thursday by the US federal government, and parroted as usual with maximum credulity across the US media ecosystem. The charges were again predicated on the idea that Russian “interference” and/or “influence” is an extremely foreboding test for the survival of US Democracy. Taking bold action, the Treasury Department levied sanctions against a bunch more Russians for their claimed nefarious behavior in carrying out this interference/influence — a fulfillment of Joe Biden’s oft-stated campaign pledge that under his watch, Russia would finally “pay a price” for allegedly engaging in such activities. Donald Trump, it was thought, had been appallingly lax in his resolve to confront this threat; now, a new sheriff is in town.

Leaving aside the question of whether it’s prudent to assume that Janet Yellen is suddenly in possession of a foolproof methodology for attributing the provenance of “cyber operations” to specific foreign individuals and nation-states, it’s worth emphasizing what exactly is being alleged in the statement. The Treasury Department document reads: “Outlets operated by Russian Intelligence Services focus on divisive issues in the United States, denigrate US political candidates, and disseminate false and misleading information.” Noting that these same characteristics could be just as easily applied to US corporate media outlets is so blindingly self-evident as to almost be redundant. Were there not “outlets” during the 2020 election that were “focused” on “denigrating” Donald Trump? Or for that matter, Joe Biden?

Do “divisive issues” not tend to be “focused on” by these same outlets as a basic precept of their core business model? Controversy = clicks/views, which equals revenue. Everyone knows this. Yet when scary Russian outlets are said to employ this same logic in their own content-production enterprises, it magically becomes dangerous enough to justify all manner of punitive government and corporate action. Including but not limited to: censorship purges, tighter regulation of online speech, and, as Biden announced Thursday, sanctions and expulsion of diplomats. “Disseminating false and misleading information”? The entire US media just got caught “disseminating” a fake story about Russians putting bounties on the heads of US soldiers in Afghanistan. If you’re truly concerned about the dissemination of “false and misleading information” having deleterious effects on the health of US political culture, your first target should be CNN.

Read more …

“..the US has absolutely nothing to gain from continuing to antagonize Russia..”

Joe Biden’s Demonic Phase (Jim Kunstler)

The lesson there is that the US has absolutely nothing to gain from continuing to antagonize Russia, and that the mentally weak Joe Biden is merely projecting the picture of a weakened and confused USA by keeping it up. Of course, a closer read might be that these hijinks are meant to distract from the more serious and consequential breakdown in relations between the US and China, currently engineered by the blundering team of Sec’y of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who went to Alaska recently to tell the Chinese delegation that they were morally unworthy of conducting trade negotiations, thereby torpedoing the trade negotiations that they went to Alaska to conduct. Smooth move fellas.


Unlike Russia, with its eleven time zones, which actually does not want or need any more territory, China is surely making hegemonic moves all over the place, not just around Hong Kong and Taiwan but in Africa and South America, while it strives to build the world’s largest navy, exports gain-of-function viruses, replaces the US in space exploration, and excels at weaponizing computer science. China’s weaknesses are a lack of sufficient domestic oil supply and food, which its current moves aim to correct. It was on its way to turning the US into a raw materials and food-crop colony when Mr. Trump came along and tried to put a stop to that. And now Ol’ Joe has cancelled that action — after being on the receiving end of Chinese financial largesse in four years out-of-office. Nothing to see there, folks, says Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice, while in possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop, with its trove of incriminating memoranda.

Read more …

Glenn Greenwald: In this interview with @thedailybeast, this statement from Hunter Biden about his emails and laptop is a complete lie. No intelligence agency, let alone all of them, concluded it was a Russian operation, but you wouldn’t know that from the DB article:

Hunter Biden on Burisma, Don Jr., and Cooking Crack (DB)

Jong-Fast asks Biden when he realized that the former president and his son were fixated on him. “That was right around when I started to get sober and clean… It was only then did I realize the level of their obsession because long enough to look up from whatever drink or drug I was just pursuing at the moment. And it seemed like that every word out of the president’s mouth was some kind of demeaning or just horrible insult towards me,” he answers. “Do you think they did it because they wanted you to kill yourself?” Jong-Fast replies. “As a person in recovery, one of the things that I have truly tried to come to grips with is that the world actually does not revolve around me,” Biden says. “I mean, usually it doesn’t. But on this, I feel that it does,” Jong-Fast says.

“I don’t think that they thought that they would necessarily convince anyone not to vote for my dad because I’m an addict. I think there’s far, far too many people—I mean, everyone I know knows someone that they love—that suffer from addiction,” Biden says. “I think that they thought that they would be able to distract my dad enough that he wouldn’t be able to focus on the campaign… But it had the exact opposite effect… They obviously don’t know what it’s like to be a part of a family, at least this family.” Jong-Fast also asks Biden about the leaked emails that caused such a stir at the end of the campaign. He claims he had no idea what she’s talking about. The email from an executive at Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company, thanking Biden for “the opportunity to meet your father and spend some time with him”?

“I truly don’t know the origin of a lot of this stuff,” Biden replies. The email titled “expectations,” which involved details for how much he might get paid by China’s largest private energy company? “I literally don’t know what you’re even referring to. Is it from me?” Biden answers. “You know, I mean, there is a intelligence report from, from all of our intelligence agencies that has come to the conclusion that this was a Russian operation.”

Read more …

“This is a good time to be old. ”

Govt’s Won’t Let Bitcoin Take On State-issued Currencies – Jim Rogers (Kitco)

Money will become more and more digitized, according to Jim Rogers, investor, best-selling author, and co-founder of the Quantum Fund, but the question is whether or not non-government issued digital currencies will prevail. “If cryptocurrencies become successful, most governments will outlaw it, because they don’t want to lose their monopoly, every government in the world is working on computer money now, including the U.S. The Chinese are there already. I can’t imagine that the governments are going to say ok, this is our crypto money, or you can use their crypto money, that’s not the way governments work, historically,” Rogers told Michelle Makori, editor-in-chief of Kitco News.

Read more …

“Lai was charged, found guilty of corruption (and bigamy!) and was executed in January.”

The Echoes Of China’s Financial Crisis Are Being Heard (SMH)

In the late 1990s China experienced a massive bad debt crisis – there are estimates that more than half of its state-owned enterprises( SOEs) were insolvent in the mid-1990s – with the non-performing loans within the balance sheets of China’s four major banks thought to be between a quarter and a third of their total assets. The government reacted to the emergence of that destabilising mountain of bad debts by recapitalising the state-owned banks; carving out their non-performing loans and handing them over to four new asset management companies to manage them out of the system over time. Huarong was one of those asset managers, established to acquire and then manage the bad loans made by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

The Huarong predicament and the context of the swelling tide of SOE-related defaults highlight not just dangerously and system-threatening excessive leverage and poor allocation of capital within the heart of China’s economy but significant, indeed egregious, governance failures. Now the company set up to manage bad debts is itself apparently teetering on the verge of bankruptcy due to its own non-performing loans and will either be restructured or fail. While it is not a bank it is a substantial financial institution, with about $340 billion of assets and net assets of about $32 billion. Embarrassingly for the Chinese authorities, although it listed In Hong Kong in 2015, it is a state-controlled enterprise. The Ministry of Finance owns a majority of its shares.

The company got itself into trouble, it seems, by expanding beyond its charter as a manager of banks’ bad debts into quasi banking activities itself; lending to property developers, setting up securities trading businesses and essentially playing in the shadows of the system that the tightly-regulated banks have been forbidden to enter.It was able to do so because its former chairman, Lai Xiaomin, was by his own admission subjected to absolutely no oversight and was able to treat Huarong as his own plaything. When he was arrested in 2018 he admitted taking more than $350 million of “bribes” over the previous decade and was found to have about $50 million of cash stashed in an apartment he called “The Supermarket.” Lai was charged, found guilty of corruption (and bigamy!) and was executed in January.

Read more …

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 


Mandarinfish

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Apr 112021
 


Bartolomeo Schedoni The Deposition of Jesus’ body by St. Joseph of Arimathea 1613

 

South African Variant Can ‘Break Through’ Pfizer Vaccine (R.)
SARS-CoV-2 Variants B.1.351 and P.1 Escape From Neutralizing Antibodies (Cell)
Facemasks in the COVID-19 Era: A Health Hypothesis (NIH)
DMX Given Covid Vaccine Days Before Lethal Heart Attack (Noq)
Data Substantiating Wide Asymptomatic Spread Of Covid-19 Remains Elusive (JTN)
German Govt Plans New Harsh Covid-19 Restrictions In Draft Law (RT)
Republicans Deflated As Nation Shrugs At Hunter Biden Revelations (G.)
Daily Mail Exposes Hunter Biden Bombshells (ZH)
More Money Put Into Stocks In Last 5 Months Than Last 12 Years Combined (CNBC)
Frederick Forsyth Says UK Government Has Launched “Campaign of Mass Fear” (SN)
Bellingcat Launders National Security State Talking Points into the Press (MPN)
Ukraine Redux – War, Russophobia, & Pipelineistan (Escobar)
A History of the Espionage Act and How it Ensnared Julian Assange (Lauria)
Julian Assange: The Corpse In The Basement Of The West (derstandard.at )

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Vincent
https://twitter.com/i/status/1380790808153047042

 

 

Truth is stranger than fiction,but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.
– Mark Twain

 

 

Viruses mutate, albeit in unpredictable ways. This virus could disappear, like so many have. But with, at any given moment, 1-10-100 million new potential hosts, that is not likely. It’s much likelier that variants will evolve that evade vaccines. Especially since, as has been argued, there is no plan to vaccinate some 3-4 billion people.

The present rollout, along with the vaccines themselves, are sold to us as the summit of human intelligence. They could well be the summit of the exact opposite.

South African Variant Can ‘Break Through’ Pfizer Vaccine (R.)

The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can “break through” Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed. The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease. It matched age and gender, among other characteristics. The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to make up about 1% of all the COVID-19 cases across all the people studied, according to the study by Tel Aviv University and Israel’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit.

But among patients who had received two doses of the vaccine, the variant’s prevalence rate was eight times higher than those unvaccinated – 5.4% versus 0.7%. This suggests the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant, compared with the original coronavirus and a variant first identified in Britain that has come to comprise nearly all COVID-19 cases in Israel, the researchers said. “We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second dose, compared to the unvaccinated group. This means that the South African variant is able, to some extent, to break through the vaccine’s protection,” said Tel Aviv University’s Adi Stern. The researchers cautioned, though, that the study only had a small sample size of people infected with the South African variant because of its rarity in Israel.

They also said the research was not intended to deduce overall vaccine effectiveness against any variant, since it only looked at people who had already tested positive for COVID-19, not at overall infection rates. [..] While the results of the study may cause concern, the low prevalence of the South African strain was encouraging, according to Stern. “Even if the South African variant does break through the vaccine’s protection, it has not spread widely through the population,” said Stern, adding that the British variant may be “blocking” the spread of the South African strain.

Read more …

This is just the beginning.

SARS-CoV-2 Variants B.1.351 and P.1 Escape From Neutralizing Antibodies (Cell)

The global spread of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 is devastating health systems and economies worldwide. Recombinant or vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies are used to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.1.7 (UK), B.1.351 (South Africa), and P.1 (Brazil) harbor mutations in the viral spike (S) protein that may alter virus-host cell interactions and confer resistance to inhibitors and antibodies. Here, using pseudoparticles, we show that entry of all variants into human cells is susceptible to blockade by the entry inhibitors soluble ACE2, Camostat, EK-1, and EK-1-C4. In contrast, entry of the B.1.351 and P.1 variant was partially (Casirivimab) or fully (Bamlanivimab) resistant to antibodies used for COVID-19 treatment. Moreover, entry of these variants was less efficiently inhibited by plasma from convalescent COVID-19 patients and sera from BNT162b2-vaccinated individuals. These results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may escape neutralizing antibody responses, which has important implications for efforts to contain the pandemic.

Read more …

NIH, January 2021. What struck me is the health effects listed in the graphic.

Facemasks in the COVID-19 Era: A Health Hypothesis (NIH)

The physical properties of medical and non-medical facemasks suggest that facemasks are ineffective to block viral particles due to their difference in scales [16], [17], [25]. According to the current knowledge, the virus SARS-CoV-2 has a diameter of 60 nm to 140 nm [nanometers (billionth of a meter)] [16], [17], while medical and non-medical facemasks’ thread diameter ranges from 55 µm to 440 µm [micrometers (one millionth of a meter), which is more than 1000 times larger [25]. Due to the difference in sizes between SARS-CoV-2 diameter and facemasks thread diameter (the virus is 1000 times smaller), SARS-CoV-2 can easily pass through any facemask [25]. In addition, the efficiency filtration rate of facemasks is poor, ranging from 0.7% in non-surgical, cotton-gauze woven mask to 26% in cotton sweeter material [2].

With respect to surgical and N95 medical facemasks, the efficiency filtration rate falls to 15% and 58%, respectively when even small gap between the mask and the face exists [25]. Clinical scientific evidence challenges further the efficacy of facemasks to block human-to-human transmission or infectivity. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 246 participants [123 (50%) symptomatic)] who were allocated to either wearing or not wearing surgical facemask, assessing viruses transmission including coronavirus [26]. The results of this study showed that among symptomatic individuals (those with fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose ect…) there was no difference between wearing and not wearing facemask for coronavirus droplets transmission of particles of >5 µm.

Among asymptomatic individuals, there was no droplets or aerosols coronavirus detected from any participant with or without the mask, suggesting that asymptomatic individuals do not transmit or infect other people [26]. This was further supported by a study on infectivity where 445 asymptomatic individuals were exposed to asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carrier (been positive for SARS-CoV-2) using close contact (shared quarantine space) for a median of 4 to 5 days. The study found that none of the 445 individuals was infected with SARS-CoV-2 confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase [27].

Read more …

The media story is a drug overdose.

DMX Given Covid Vaccine Days Before Lethal Heart Attack (Noq)

Rapper DMX, whose real name was Earl Simmons, died yesterday following complications from a heart attack. The 50-year-old music star was widely reported to have been hospitalized for a drug overdose that induced the heart attack, but a female member of his family told MTO News that he did not take drugs prior to the heart attack. He did, however, receive a Covid vaccination days before. Editor’s Note: We generally do not post single-source stories. The source for the information—MTO News—is a heavily trafficked site (over 10 million visitors per month) with contacts in the rap world. Though we have not been able to independently confirm the interview with a member of Simmons’ family, we are running the story based on the influence of the source publication.

We have reached out to a representative of his staff for confirmation. As of the writing of this story, only MTO News has been granted an interview and released the information. Some news outlets have picked the story up while a few fact-checkers have “debunked” it, though conspicuously none of the fact-checkers have provided information demonstrating the report is false. They’ve only said that they cannot confirm its validity. According to MTO News: “MTO News spoke with a member of the Simmons family who believes that it was NOT drugs that caused the heart attack. In an EXCLUSIVE interview, MTO News spoke with DMX’ family member who told us that the rapper received the COVID vaccine about a week before he suffered from the heart attack.

DMX’s family member told MTO News, “[DMX] got the vaccine when they opened it up to people over 50. He got it so that he could go travel and perform, stuff like that.” New York State opened up the COVID-19 vaccinations for people over the age of 50 in mid March. And the family member suspects that DMX heart attack could have been a reaction to the vaccine. The family member explained, “Everyone [in the news] keeps saying that [DMX] had a drug overdose. How do they know. I’m in the family and no doctor told me anything about an overdose.” The family member is FURIOUS about the speculation surrounding DMX drug use. She told MTO News, “Yes he had past issues with drugs. But nobody knows that he had an OD. It’s f**cked up that its being reported like that.”

She told MTO News that she – and the family – are considering taking legal action against news publications prematurely concluding that DMX suffered a drug overdose. But what is clear – according to the family member – is that DMX did take the Covid vaccine.” Chances are very high that we will not receive much more confirmation about this, especially from mainstream media. Only the family, hospital personnel, or others close to DMX could confirm or deny it, and other than the interview on MTO News, there has been no informed word one way or another. But we do know this. Unless the family makes a statement regarding the Covid vaccine, this story will be treated as “debunked” by those with an agenda to promote the Covid vaccine to everyone, especially African-Americans.

Read more …

“Lost in the chaos of the past year is any definitive indication that asymptomatic spread of the virus is widespread or common.”

Data Substantiating Wide Asymptomatic Spread Of Covid-19 Remains Elusive (JTN)

Hard data on the true prevalence of asymptomatic COVID-19 spread remains elusive, with scientists struggling to quantify just how often carriers of the SARS-Cov-2 virus transmit it without outward signs of illness. Fears that COVID-19 can spread very easily through asymptomatic transmission were a major factor behind the lockdowns and mitigation measures seen across the world over the past year. Health leaders claimed that the threat of symptom-free spread necessitated broad shutdowns of major portions of the economy, indefinite school closures, mandatory public mask-wearing, capacity limits and other social distancing measures, and various other tactics for containing the spread of COVID-19.

Lost in the chaos of the past year is any definitive indication that asymptomatic spread of the virus is widespread or common. Scientists and public health officials have struggled to come up with meaningful epidemiological evidence to that effect, though most have continued insisting that it’s a major contributor to the overall pandemic. In June of last year, WHO official Maria Van Kerkhove encountered significant backlash when she said that, based on current evidence, asymptomatic spread appeared to be “very rare.” Van Kerkhove subsequently qualified her comment, a qualification hyped as a “walkback” by some in the media. Health officials “don’t actually have that answer yet” as to the prevalence of asymptomatic spread, she said in narrowing her previous claim. “I was referring to a small subset of studies.”

Van Kerkhove has not responded to queries since then regarding the evolving study of asymptomatic COVID transmission. Several other scientists, meanwhile, have attempted to answer that question with mixed results. One study from December found that, within households, asymptomatic carriers of the virus passed it on to housemates at the rate of about 0.7%. That investigation made headlines for its apparent demonstration that asymptomatic spread is, in effect, vanishingly rare. Yet at least one coauthor of the study, University of Florida biostatistics Professor Natalie Dean, has been warning since the study’s publication that its findings on that front should be taken with a grain of salt.

Read more …

Berlin taking powers away from German states.

German Govt Plans New Harsh Covid-19 Restrictions In Draft Law (RT)

Night-time curfews, sweeping business closures and severe limits on public gatherings are all part of the German government’s new bill aimed at “standardizing” Covid-19 measures to stop the third wave, German media report. Berlin is currently working on amendments to the national Infection Protection Act that would significantly tighten the lockdown restrictions and greatly reduce the federal states’ ability to defy the government’s orders, German media that obtained the draft document report. The document that is expected to be discussed and potentially approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet on Tuesday includes binding requirements for all federal states where an average seven-day Covid-19 infection rate will rise over 100 per 100,000 people.

Such states will no longer be able to find any excuses to avoid imposing the so-called “emergency brake,” the supposed text of the bill, published by Die Welt on Saturday, reads. All states over this threshold infection rate will be bound to introduce a standard set of measures developed by the federal government, should the legislation come into force. Such measures involve a night-time curfew between 21:00 and 05:00, with exceptions for medical emergencies, professional activities and for looking after people or animals. Private and public gatherings would once again be limited to the members of one household and one person outside of it, with children under 14 excluded from this rule.

All non-essential stores and services, including cafes, clubs, museums and sports facilities, as well as shops other than grocery stores, pharmacies and petrol stations, would be closed. Employers would also have to let their employees work from home if there are no “compelling reasons” for them to stay in the workplace. Universities would switch to distance education, with in-person classes only being allowed if every person attending them presents a negative Covid-19 test result.

Ardern

Read more …

Silencing the Hunter story is not enough anymore, now the Guardian attempts to fully whitewash it. And calls him a brave man for writing about it all. “Hunter also uses the book to deny wrongdoing in joining the board of Burisma..”

Well, as Turley wrote: “Burisma and other companies not only gave massive payments to someone without any notable skills or experience, they hired someone who was a drug addict who was, by his own account, a total trainwreck.”

Burisma paid Hunter more than $50,000 a month from 2014 to 2019, aka the cash to buy his drugs. While he was by his own account a completely retarded junkie. And this had nothing to do with his father’s name.

Republicans Deflated As Nation Shrugs At Hunter Biden Revelations (G.)

In the memoir, Beautiful Things, Hunter, 51, details a lifelong struggle with drink and drugs. He writes that his “deep descent” into substance addiction followed the 2015 death of his older brother, Beau, who succumbed to brain cancer aged 46. Hunter admits that “in the last five years alone, my two-decades-long marriage has dissolved, guns have been put in my face, and at one point I dropped clean off the grid, living in $59-a-night Super 8 motels off I-95 while scaring my family even more than myself”. In an interview about the book on CBS, the president’s son recalled going 13 days without sleep as he smoked crack and drank vodka. “I spent more time on my hands and knees picking through rugs – smoking anything that even remotely resembled crack cocaine. I probably smoked more Parmesan cheese than anyone that you know.”

The Biden family staged an intervention at their home in Delaware in 2019, inviting two counselors from a rehab centre to dinner. Hunter swore and ran from the house but was chased down the driveway by his father, who “grabbed me, swung me around, and hugged me. He held me tight in the dark and cried for the longest time. Everybody was outside now.” Hunter also uses the book to deny wrongdoing in joining the board of Burisma, a gas company in Ukraine, where he earned more than $50,000 a month from 2014 to 2019. Republicans allege that he benefited from his family name when his father was vice-president. Hunter’s tax affairs are currently under investigation by the justice department. The memoir has earned positive reviews. Publishers Weekly found that Hunter’s “courageous self-assessment makes the despair of substance abuse devastatingly palpable”.

In a blurb on the book’s jacket, author Stephen King describes it as “harrowing and compulsively readable” with a bravery that is “both heartbreaking and quite gorgeous”. He comments: “Hunter Biden proves again that anybody – even the son of a United States president – can take a ride on the pink horse down nightmare alley.” And Dave Eggers, whose books include the memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, writes in another blurb: “Beautiful Things is so concise, so unflinching and propulsive, that outside of turning the pages and occasionally picking my jaw off the ground, I didn’t move between the first page and the last.”

None of this gives Republicans the ammunition they hoped for. Politically, the book has been a dog that didn’t bark (unlike Biden’s actual dogs, Champ and Major, which have made headlines over biting incidents and excrement in a White House hallway) and, instead of turning into a liability, only appears to reinforce Biden’s image as compassionate and humane. Sykes, founder and editor-at-large of the Bulwark website, said: “It’s also a story of a very loving and loyal father and it’s hard to turn that into a negative. There are a lot of parents out there that know how dealing with a child who has problems is one of the greatest challenges you can face and so I think people are as likely to be empathetic as they are to see it as a negative.

Read more …

These revelations will also be silenced.

Daily Mail Exposes Hunter Biden Bombshells (ZH)

With Hunter Biden on a serious image rehabilitation tour – a ‘tell all’ book combined with television interviews from friendly outlets designed to invoke pity over the First Son’s crack and hooker habits, the Daily Mail is now telling the rest of the story regarding the contents of his abandoned laptop after Hunter admitted it ‘certainly’ could be his in a Sunday interview with CBS. If you’ve seen the laptop photos which leaked last October, you can probably stop here. The Mail did spare us from blurred pictures of Hunter’s wang, along with several sex tapes released by exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui.

“After obtaining a copy of the hard drive, DailyMail.com commissioned top cyber forensics experts Maryman & Associates to analyze its data and determine whether the laptop’s contents were real. The firm’s founder, Brad Maryman, is a 29-year FBI veteran Supervisory Special Agent who served as an Information Security Officer and founded its first computer forensics lab.” -Daily Mail. The Mail obtained over 100,000 text messages, 154,000 emails and over 2,000 photos which were verified by top forensics experts, which reveal that Joe ‘became a punching bag for Hunter’s drug-fueled rants,’ and ‘paid his grandchildren’s bills when Hunter had drained his bank accounts with prostitutes and crack cocaine.’

“Hunter appeared to be obsessed with making and starring in porn films with prostitutes, videos and photos on his laptop show. The hard drive contains hundreds of pictures of naked women and naked selfies of Hunter, as well as dozens of videos. Hunter photographed and filmed himself, often with two prostitutes at a time, in explicit videos that he then posted on adult website Pornhub under the username ‘RHEast’. Hunter filmed himself with the women from his laptop webcam, sometimes shooting at different angles using an iPad and cell phone.”-Daily Mail

“Hunter’s laptop is a pandora’s box of shocking revelations, explicit photos and intimate communications.In the following days, DailyMail.com will publish more shocking stories from Hunter’s laptop, including: • How Hunter blew hundreds of thousands on prostitutes, drugs and luxury cars, leaving him scrambling to avoid jail for $320k in unpaid taxes • How five members of the Biden family have been to rehab for drug or alcohol abuse – and a stunning admission by Joe to his son • The OTHER Biden family member planning to buy and cook crack, after falling into the disastrous addiction with Hunter • Hunter’s unconventional and unlikely relationship with his well-known psychiatrist •The whispered bedroom conversation with a prostitute caught on Hunter’s webcam, in which he confesses he had a previous laptop stolen – by Russians for blackmail.

Read more …

“Market enthusiasm”.

More Money Put Into Stocks In Last 5 Months Than Last 12 Years Combined (CNBC)

The latest wave of market enthusiasm has brought with it a stunning rush of money, in which more of investors’ cash has gone to stock-based funds in the last five months than the previous 12 years combined. That statistic, from Bank of America, reflects a period in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen more than 26%. At the same time, the market has undergone some wild trends that included a massive influx to meme stocks such as GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings. Trading volume rose 40% in the first quarter from the previous three months, with investors snapping up sectors that performed poorly last year amid hopes for a pronounced economic rebound from the Covid-induced slide in 2020.

Amid the frenzy, some $569 billion has gone to global equity funds since November, compared with $452 billion in the previous 12 years that go back to the beginning of the longest bull market run in history, according to Bank of America’s chief investment strategist, Michael Hartnett. Those numbers easily could exacerbate ongoing worries about financial market bubbles as valuations are around the same levels as just before the dot-com bubble popped in 2000. But these are not ordinary times. “There’s a certain amount of logic to markets right now,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities. “It’s less about irrational exuberance in the overall market, less about the 1999-2000 levels, and more about what’s the driver. The driver is clearly an explosion in economic activity that likely will have some earnings growth in its wake.”


First-quarter earnings season kicks into gear next week, and sentiment is running high. Year-over-year profits are expected to expand by 23.8%, which by itself would be the best growth rate since the third quarter of 2018, according to FactSet. However, what’s even more remarkable is that analysts continue to ratchet up expectations as the profit reports near, which is the opposite of what usually happens. Wall Street generally trims its outlook the closer it gets to the report date.

Read more …

“..using fear and shame as a driver of behaviour change.”

Frederick Forsyth Says UK Government Has Launched “Campaign of Mass Fear” (SN)

Iconic author Frederick Forsyth has accused the UK government of waging a “campaign of mass fear” against the British public by using psychological methods to ensure compliance with lockdown that resemble those used against East Berliners in the 1960’s. Forsyth was responding to an article published in the Telegraph which exposed the “covert tactics” being used by the British government to frighten the public into complying with COVID regulations. The article quoted a retired NHS consultant clinical psychologist who warned that there was “growing concern within my field about using fear and shame as a driver of behaviour change.”

Gary Sidley and 46 of his colleagues wrote to the British Psychological Society to express “concerns about the activities of Government-employed psychologists … in their mission to gain the public’s mass compliance with the ongoing coronavirus restrictions.” The letter states that the UK government is deploying “covert psychological strategies – that operate below the level of people’s awareness – to ‘nudge’ citizens to conform to a contentious and unprecedented public health policy.” Commenting on the article, Frederick Forsyth, author of classic thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal and The Odessa File, wrote to the Telegraph to express his alarm about how the British public had been terrorized by lockdown propaganda.

“Congratulations to the Telegraph and Gordon Rayner for revealing that the campaign of mass fear that reduced a once brave nation to trembling terror was deliberately organised to secure obedience to the policy of lockdown,” wrote Forsyth. “I have only once before seen anything like it. This was when I was posted to East Germany in 1962. Such a brainwashing tactic was employed to frighten East Berliners into believing that the Berlin Wall was a defensive measure to protect them from tiny West Berlin, and that the Stasi was their guardian. The wall was of course an instrument of enslavement.”

Read more …

Bellingcat is bad news.

Bellingcat Launders National Security State Talking Points into the Press (MPN)

[..] the evidence compiled in this investigation suggests Bellingcat is far from independent and neutral, as it is funded by Western governments, staffed with former military and state intelligence officers, repeats official narratives against enemy states, and serves as a key part in what could be called a “spook to Bellingcat to corporate media propaganda pipeline,” presenting Western government narratives as independent research. An alarming number of Bellingcat’s staff and contributors come from highly suspect backgrounds. Senior Investigator Nick Waters, for example, spent three years as an officer in the British Army, including a tour in Afghanistan, where he furthered the British state’s objectives in the region. Shortly after leaving the service, he was hired by Bellingcat to provide supposedly bias-free investigations into the Middle East.

Former contributor Cameron Colquhoun’s past is even more suspect. Colquhoun spent a decade in a senior position in GCHQ (Britain’s version of the NSA), where he ran cyber and Middle Eastern terror operations. The Scot specializes in Middle Eastern security and also holds a qualification from the U.S. State Department. None of this, however, is disclosed by Bellingcat, which merely describes him as the managing director of a private intelligence company that “conduct[s] ethical investigations” for clients around the world — thus depriving readers of key information they need to make informed judgments on what they are reading. There are plenty of former American spooks on Bellingcat’s roster as well.

Former contributor Chris Biggers, who penned more than 60 articles for the site between 2014 and 2017, previously worked for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — a combat support unit that works under the Department of Defense and the broader Intelligence Community. Biggers is now the director of an intelligence company headquartered in Virginia, on the outskirts of Washington (close to other semi-private contractor groups like Booz Allen Hamilton), that boasts of having retired Army and Air Force generals on its board. Again, none of this is disclosed by Bellingcat, where Biggers’s bio states only that he is a “public and private sector consultant based in Washington, D.C.”

For six years, Dan Kaszeta was a U.S. Secret Service agent specializing in chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and for six more he worked as program manager for the White House Military Office. At Bellingcat, he would provide some of the intellectual ammunition for Western accusations about chemical weapons use in Syria and Russia’s alleged poisoning of Sergei Skripal. Kaszeta is also a fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank funded by a host of Western governments as well as weapons contractors such as Airbus, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Its president is a British field marshal (the highest attainable military rank) and its senior vice president is retired American General David Petraeus. Its chairman is Lord Hague, the U.K.’s secretary of state between 2010 and 2015.

Read more …

Very good overview of what may well lead to an imminent war.

“Merkel and Macron seem to have gotten the message in their videoconference with Putin – who must have subtly alluded to the effect generated by Kalibrs, Kinzhals and assorted hypersonic weapons if the going gets tough and the Europeans sanction a Kiev blitzkrieg.”

Ukraine Redux – War, Russophobia, & Pipelineistan (Escobar)

Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of war – with dire consequences for the whole of Eurasia. Let’s cut to the chase, and plunge head-on into the fog of war. On March 24, Ukrainian President Zelensky, for all practical purposes, signed a declaration of war against Russia, via decree No. 117/2021. The decree establishes that retaking Crimea from Russia is now Kiev’s official policy. That’s exactly what prompted an array of Ukrainian battle tanks to be shipped east on flatbed rail cars, following the saturation of the Ukrainian army by the US with military equipment including unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare systems, anti-tank systems and man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). More crucially, the Zelensky decree is the proof any subsequent war will have been prompted by Kiev, debunking the proverbial claims of “Russian aggression.”

Crimea, since the referendum of March 2014, is part of the Russian Federation. It was this de facto declaration of war, which Moscow took very seriously, that prompted the deployment of extra Russian forces to Crimea and closer to the Russian border with Donbass. Significantly, these include the crack 76th Guards Air Assault Brigade, known as the Pskov paratroopers and, according to an intel report quoted to me, capable of taking Ukraine in only six hours. It certainly does not help that in early April US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, fresh from his former position as a board member of missile manufacturer Raytheon, called Zelensky to promise “unwavering US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.” That ties in with Moscow’s interpretation that Zelensky would never have signed his decree without a green light from Washington.

Sevastopol, already when I visited in December 2018, is one of the most heavily defended places on the planet, impervious even to a NATO attack. In his decree, Zelensky specifically identifies Sevastopol as a prime target. Once again, we’re back to 2014 post-Maidan unfinished business. To contain Russia, the US deep state/NATO combo needs to control the Black Sea – which, for all practical purposes, is now a Russian lake. And to control the Black Sea, they need to “neutralize” Crimea. If any extra proof was necessary, it was provided by Zelensky himself on Tuesday this week in a phone call with NATO secretary-general and docile puppet Jens Stoltenberg. Zelensky uttered the key phrase: “NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass” – which means, in practice, NATO expanding its “presence” in the Black Sea.

“Such a permanent presence should be a powerful deterrent to Russia, which continues the large-scale militarization of the region and hinders merchant shipping.” All of these crucial developments are and will continue to be invisible to global public opinion when it comes to the predominant, hegemon-controlled narrative. The deep state/NATO combo is imprinting 24/7 that whatever happens next is due to “Russian aggression.” Even if the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) launch a blitzkrieg against the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics. (To do so against Sevastopol in Crimea would be certified mass suicide). In the United States, Ron Paul has been one of the very few voices to state the obvious: “According to the media branch of the US military-industrial-congressional-media complex, Russian troop movements are not a response to clear threats from a neighbor, but instead are just more ‘Russian aggression.’”

A possibly hopeful sign is that on March 31, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, talked on the phone about the proverbial “issues of mutual interest.” Days later, a Franco-German statement came out, calling on “all parties” to de-escalate. Merkel and Macron seem to have gotten the message in their videoconference with Putin – who must have subtly alluded to the effect generated by Kalibrs, Kinzhals and assorted hypersonic weapons if the going gets tough and the Europeans sanction a Kiev blitzkrieg. The problem is Merkel and Macron don’t control NATO. Yet Merkel and Macron at least are fully aware that if the US/NATO combo attacks Russian forces or Russian passport holders who live in Donbass, the devastating response will target the command centers that coordinated the attacks.

Read more …

The Espionage Act should non exist. It’s a giant stain on everything American.

A History of the Espionage Act and How it Ensnared Julian Assange (Lauria)

From its earliest years the United States has found ways to deny the rights of a free press when it was politically expedient to do so. One of the latest ways was to arrest WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange two years ago today and to indict him — the first time a publisher and journalist has ever been charged under the 1917 Espionage Act for possessing and publishing state secrets. Though several U.S. administrations had come close to punishing journalists for revealing defense information, they all pulled back, until Assange. They were restrained because of a conflict with the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from passing any law, including the Espionage Act, that abridges press freedom. Until that legal conflict is resolved in court, resulting in parts of the Espionage Act being found unconstitutional, the language of the Act threatening press freedom remains.


Bolstered by 1950 amendments to the Act, the Donald Trump administration crossed a redline to arrest a journalist. A 1961 amendment made it possible to indict a non-U.S. citizen, acting outside U.S. territory. The Trump administration’s first indictment of a publisher opened an alarming precedent for the future of journalism. President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has not reversed Trump’s move to continue to seek Assange’s extradition from Britain though it could have. Instead it decided on Feb. 13 to pursue the appeal of Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision not to extradite Assange to the U.S. on health grounds. If the U.S. should win on appeal, Assange will be brought to the Eastern District of Virginia to face 17 Espionage Act counts, amounting to 175 years in prison, as Baraitser challenged none of those counts in her judgement.

Read more …

2 years ago today, Julian was “arrested”.

Google translate

“The verdict, as it was passed, calmed the public discourse, took the wind out of the sails of critics, the big scandal did not materialize, and public attention has waned again.”

Julian Assange: The Corpse In The Basement Of The West (derstandard.at )

Immediately after a British court had rejected the US application for extradition of the Australian Julian Assange on January 4th, the user “Spezialfahrzeug” in the STANDARD forum couldn’t help but make a malicious comment after my last blog post to put on this topic: “Well, Mr. Rosner, your written scandal process is not taking place, as we know today – and actually always knew.” So the court ruling of January 4th would have made all criticism of the proceedings against Assange obsolete, the British judiciary would now be okay after all, and we could be reassured? Unfortunately, things are completely different.

If one were aiming to tinker with a conspiracy theory, one could literally believe in a very sophisticated conspiracy, the thing has now gone so favorably for the opponents of Assange due to the subtly formulated judgment of Judge Vanessa Baraitser. If the court had simply flatly approved the request for extradition, then this might have sparked a greater wave of outrage among the European public. The protests got food and multiplied. And then perhaps some of the top politicians in the EU who had been hesitant until then would have spoken out more clearly against it. The British judiciary would have been in a bad position and the matter would have been taken to the European Court of Justice. All embarrassing. There could have been headwinds in the USA too, because free journalism is a highly respected commodity there.

They have now saved themselves. The verdict, as it was passed, calmed the public discourse, took the wind out of the sails of critics, the big scandal did not materialize, and public attention has waned again. Assange can continue to rot in jail and almost everyone looks the other way. Everything seems to be fine again anyway. In fact, however, the scandal did not end with this judgment; on the contrary, it was prolonged. The situation of the Wikileaks founder, and this is deliberately overlooked by many, has so far not changed for the better. For a good two years now, Assange has been in solitary confinement – also known as “white torture” – in Belmarsh, a maximum security prison in London, which is intended for murderers and terrorists who are dangerous to the public and whose detention conditions are so notorious that it is the “British Guantanamo” ” is called. The judgment of January 4th has bizarrely changed nothing at all.

Read more …

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

 

 

 


“Sharks’ Skylight,” by Renee Capozzola. Photo taken near shore of Mo’orea, French Polynesia.

 

 

Sea angel

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Apr 062021
 


Edward Hopper The Circle Theater, New York 1936

 

Global Vaccine Rollout Is No Longer A Guarantee Of Victory Over Covid-19 (G.)
Sunday US COVID Death Count Lowest In More Than A Year (JTN)
Nearly 40,000 Fans Attended Texas Rangers Home Opener (JTN)
‘Double Mutant’ COVID-19 Variant Found in the Bay Area (NBCLA)
Poll Finds Almost Half Of Americans Want Vaccine Passports (SN)
Federal Gov’t Will Not Mandate COVID Vaccination Passports – Fauci (Sp.)
Vaccination Does Not Prevent 3rd Wave: German Health Minister (RT)
Cures for COVID and Dangers of COVID “Vaccines” (HIN)
US Grant To Wuhan Lab Was Never Scrutinized By HHS Review Board (DC)
Publix, Democrat State Official Blast CBS ‘60 Minutes’ Smear Of DeSantis (DW)
Biden’s Most “Beautiful Thing” May Be Media Collusion (Turley)
Japan’s Central Bank Kicks Off Experiments On Issuing Digital Currency (R.)
CEOs Tell Investors $15 Minimum Wage Won’t Hurt Business (NW)
Clarence Thomas: Facebook, Twitter Could Be Regulated Like Utilities (ET)
Putin Signs Law That Could Keep Him In Kremlin Until 2036 (R.)

 

 

 

 

Don’t want to get stuck in semantics, but if it is not now a guarantee, doesn’t that simply mean it never was?

Besides, calling for a global strategy of “maximum suppression” in April 2021 feels a bit like a time warp.

Instead, go figure out what you can do without “suppression”.

Global Vaccine Rollout Is No Longer A Guarantee Of Victory Over Covid-19 (G.)

If there are high transmission levels, and hence extensive replication of Sars-CoV-2, anywhere in the world, more variants of concern will inevitably arise and the more infectious variants will dominate. With international mobility, these variants will spread. South Africa’s experience suggests that past infection with Sars-CoV-2 offers only partial protection against the B.1.351 variant, and it is about 50% more transmissible than pre-existing variants. The B.1.351 variant has already been detected in at least 48 countries as of March 2021. The impact of the new variants on the effectiveness of vaccines is still not clear. Recent real-world evidence from the UK suggests both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines provide significant protection against severe disease and hospitalisations from the B.1.1.7 variant.

On the other hand, the B.1.351 variant seems to reduce the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine against mild to moderate illness. We do not yet have clear evidence on whether it also reduces effectiveness against severe disease. For these reasons, reducing community transmission is vital. No single action is sufficient to prevent the virus’s spread; we must maintain strong public health measures in tandem with vaccination programs in every country. Each time the virus replicates, there is an opportunity for a mutation to occur. And as we are already seeing around the world, some of the resulting variants risk eroding the effectiveness of vaccines. That’s why we have called for a global strategy of “maximum suppression”.

Public health leaders should focus on efforts that maximally suppress viral infection rates, thus helping to prevent the emergence of mutations that can become new variants of concern. Prompt vaccine rollouts alone will not be enough to achieve this; continued public health measures, such as face masks and physical distancing, will be vital too. Ventilation of indoor spaces is important – some of which is under people’s control, some of which will require adjustments to buildings.

Read more …

Just one point in time, but not entirely meaningless.

Sunday US COVID Death Count Lowest In More Than A Year (JTN)

The number of reported coronavirus fatalities in the U.S. on Sunday was 222, the lowest daily death toll in more than a year. According to the Johns Hopkins University data, this represents the lowest number of deaths since March 23, 2020 when the number was 192. “Many states either did not report over the weekend or did not have any deaths to report,” a Johns Hopkins spokesperson said, according to The Hill. “The California data portal was down yesterday and we are in the process of back-distributing the data,” the person noted. So far 18.8% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against the illness, while 32.4% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more …

An experiment, just as the vaccines are a -much bigger- experiment.

Nearly 40,000 Fans Attended Texas Rangers Home Opener (JTN)

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, thousands of fans flocked to attend the Texas Rangers baseball team’s home opener, though unfortunately for the home team fans, the Rangers did not emerge victorious. The team announced a sellout crowd of 38,283 at the Globe Life Field facility which has an even larger listed capacity of 40,518, according to the Associated Press which noted that the attendance figure does not factor in complimentary tickets. “It felt like a real game. It felt like back to the old days when we had full capacity,” team manager Chris Woodward said. “Was hoping we’d see how loud our stadium got if we gave them something to cheer about. Unfortunately we didn’t do that.”

Texas Rangers

Read more …

Prepare for thousands of variants.

‘Double Mutant’ COVID-19 Variant Found in the Bay Area (NBCLA)

A new variant of the coronavirus is in the Bay Area and it is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States. It’s a double mutation and it is believed to be responsible for the surge in cases in India. Fresh from a vacation in Hawaii, some travelers mostly families with kids in tow arrived Saturday night in San Jose with the Big Island still on their mind. “We’ve been playing it really safe, but a couple factors really played into the decision. One watching the numbers go down and then Hawaii was really really safe,” said Kristina Barnes. But while Bay Area counties have reported a decline in new COVID-19 infections, a variant of the Coronavirus has been confirmed here in Santa Clara County.


Stanford Health experts have confirmed a new, double mutation of the coronavirus at least one case here in the Bay Area and more suspected. But it is still unclear if this new variant is more dangerous. “There is no definite evidence that this double variant is more virulent or causes more severe disease.,” said Dr. Dean Winslow with Stanford University. The three vaccines are also said to still be effective against the India variant. “Most people will mount an immune response. Maybe it will not protect against an all-out infection but at least it will protect against moderate or severe disease,” Winslow added. The India variant is believed to be more transmissible, leading health experts to reinforce how essential it is to get vaccinated.

Read more …

Thing is, those 44% want to push them on to others, not just themselves.

Poll Finds Almost Half Of Americans Want Vaccine Passports (SN)

A Rasmussen poll has revealed that almost half of Americans support the introduction of vaccine passports in order to get “back to normal.” The findings were released over the Easter period, and noted that 44% of Americans said that a government run system requiring proof of vaccination is a “good idea.” Fewer, 41%, said they think vaccine passports are a bad idea. While some described the 44% figure as “weak,” others pointed out it is still far too high.
The poll dovetails with similar findings in the UK, where a majority of 62% said they would support the mandating of vaccine passports to visit pubs or restaurants, while only 22% opposed the idea.

An even higher figure, 78% said they would mandate the vaccine passport for international travel, while 61% said it should be required to attend sports games and 58% said it should be mandated for public transport. The findings in the U.S. come as it was confirmed that the Biden regime is working with major corporations to develop a country-wide vaccine passport, and after New York has begun the rollout of its own vaccine passport system. In addition, the FBI is warning people against fake vaccine passports or COVID-19 vaccination cards. As National File reported, the Biden administration is working with major corporations to develop a vaccine passport system that would require Americans to take one of the controversial vaccines and receive a vaccine passport to engage in commerce.

The passport system is also being pushed by the mainstream media, with the likes of the L.A. Times declaring that vaccine passports are a “good idea” because they will help the Biden administration “break the resistance down.” Some lawmakers have vowed to resist the introduction of vaccine passports, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who has signed an executive order banning them in the state, and revealed that he is working with the Florida legislature to institute a permanent ban. Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has claimed that the Biden administration aims to force all Americans to have Covid-19 vaccine passports, comparing it to the “mark of the beast” prophesied in the Bible.

Read more …

The US strategy is to let corporations mandate them.

Federal Gov’t Will Not Mandate COVID Vaccination Passports – Fauci (Sp.)

The European Union and the United Kingdom are mulling the possibility of vaccination passports, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel announcing that a passport system is currently being established, and UK PM Boris Johnson saying tests of “vaccine passports” could be conducted to ensure that large gatherings can again occur. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the US president and the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), on Monday cast doubt on the possibility of the federal government mandating coronavirus vaccination passports in the United States. “I doubt that the federal government will be the main mover of a vaccine passport concept,” Fauci said in a Politico Dispatch podcast.


“They may be involved in making sure things are done fairly and equitably, but I doubt if the federal government is going to be the leading element of that.” Fauci suggested that some independent entities could refuse to deal with anyone who is not vaccinated. “But it’s not going to be mandated from the federal government,” he said. The concept of so-called vaccine passports was introduced as a possible measure that could help to life back to normal following the coronavirus pandemic, particularly for international travel and large gatherings. In the EU, the idea was first vocally supported by Greece, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later announcing that Germany would implement a vaccine passport system, expressing hope it could then include the entire bloc.

Read more …

More calling for more restrictions. Nothing learned in an entire year.

Vaccination Does Not Prevent 3rd Wave: German Health Minister (RT)

The ongoing vaccination campaign in Germany will not be enough to stop the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Health Minister Jens Spahn has warned, urging the regions to return to lockdown measures if necessary. “Vaccination does not prevent the third wave, the third wave is growing,” the minister said as he visited one of the vaccination centers in Berlin on Monday, following the Easter holidays. Spahn also described the situation in Germany’s intensive care units as “worrying” and said that the number of people treated there increased to more than 4,000 over the Easter weekend. More than half of them are on invasive ventilation.

Spahn then called on Germany to “break this third wave together” by limiting contacts once again. The minister said that contacts should be primarily restricted “in the private sector, in schools, at work wherever possible.” He also pointed to the UK, Chile and the US as he said that even the nations with a higher vaccination ratio still resort to contact restrictions when necessary. Amid the vaccine shortages and delivery delays, Germany managed to administer the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to some 10 percent of its population in the first quarter of this year. Spahn expects this figure to double by the end of April. “We will now be able to do the next ten percent in a month,” he said.

Earlier, the German Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) recommended limiting the use of the British Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to those over 60 years old due to the jab’s potential serious side effects in younger people, such as blood clots in the brain. Meanwhile, Spahn called on the German states to fight the third wave with lockdowns. Those regions that would see their average seven-day infection rate going over 100 should use the so-called “emergency brake” and re-introduce some restrictions, he said.

Read more …

Link from a commenter in yesterday’s thread, immediatedly invoking a “rebuttal” here.

Cures for COVID and Dangers of COVID “Vaccines” (HIN)

Dr. Ryan Cole is the CEO and Medical Director of Cole Diagnostics, one of the largest independent labs in the State of Idaho. Dr. Cole is a Mayo Clinic trained Board Certified Pathologist. He is Board Certified in anatomic and clinical pathology. He has expertise in immunology and virology and also has subspecialty expertise in skin pathology. He has seen over 350,000 patients in his career, and has done over 100,000 Covid tests in the past year. He recently was invited to speak at the “Capitol Clarity” event in Idaho, apparently sponsored by the Lt. Governor’s office, where he discussed successful outpatient treatments for COVID, and to offer his views on the new COVID “vaccines.”

Dr. Cole begins by showing statistics that prove Idaho is no longer in a “pandemic,” but an “endemic.” He states that the highest risk factors for contracting COVID are advanced age, obesity, and low Vitamin D levels. He also explains that coronaviruses have historically always followed a 6-9 month life cycle. He gives previous examples such as SARS-1, MERS, etc. One very interesting statistic that he pointed out is that in the U.S. the average annual age of death is 78.6 years old, and the average age of death during COVID has also been 78.6 years old. Dr. Cole is very adamant that proper levels of Vitamin D are essential to fight coronaviruses. He states: There is no such thing as “flu and cold season,” only low Vitamin D season.

Dr. Cole then goes on to explain that by law, the government cannot use experimental vaccines on the population if there are already effective treatments. So all of the current experimental COVID “vaccines,” which Dr. Cole himself admits do NOT meet the legal definition of a “vaccine” to begin with, are all illegal because there are therapies, such as Vitamin D, that are effective in treating COVID patients, as well as older already FDA-approved drugs like Ivermectin. He points out that the NIH (the National Institute of Health), which is a U.S. government agency involved with approving drugs, holds patents on the Moderna experimental COVID “vaccine,” which is like asking the fox to guard the hen house.

Read more …

Get Fauci under oath. This is nuts.

US Grant To Wuhan Lab Was Never Scrutinized By HHS Review Board (DC)

An oversight board created to scrutinize research that would enhance highly dangerous pathogens did not review a National Institutes of Health grant that funded a lab in Wuhan, China, to genetically modify bat-based coronaviruses. Experts say the NIH grant describes scientists conducting gain-of-function research, a risky area of study that, in this case, made SARS-like viruses even more contagious. Federal funding for gain-of-function research was temporarily suspended in 2014 due to widespread scientific concerns it risked leaking supercharged viruses into the human population. Federal funding for gain-of-function research was resumed in late 2017 after the Potential Pandemic Pathogens Control and Oversight (P3CO) Framework was formed within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The review board is tasked with critically evaluating whether grants that involve enhancing dangerous pathogens, such as coronaviruses, are worth the risks and that proper safeguards are in place. But the NIH subagency that awarded the grant to the nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance to study Chinese bat coronaviruses opted against forwarding it to the P3CO committee, an NIH spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation, meaning the research received federal funding without an independent review by the HHS board. “This is a systemic problem,” Rutgers University professor of chemical biology Richard H. Ebright told the DCNF, referring to the loophole in the review framework.

Ebright said the offices of the director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — the subagency that funded EcoHealth — and the NIH have “systematically thwarted–indeed systematically nullified–the HHS P3CO Framework by declining to flag and forward proposals for review.” Dr. Anthony Fauci leads the NIAID and Dr. Francis S. Collins heads the NIH.

Read more …

Cutting out pieces of video to make him look bad. Typical smear.

Publix, Democrat State Official Blast CBS ‘60 Minutes’ Smear Of DeSantis (DW)

Florida’s largest grocery store and a Florida state official, who is a Democrat, slammed CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday evening following a deceptive segment the network aired about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). The segment featured reporter Sharyn Alfonsi ambushing DeSantis at a press conference last month and aggressively questioning him using a misleading narrative about the way that he has responded to the coronavirus pandemic. “60 Minutes” deceptively edited the interaction to remove nearly the entire portion of DeSantis’ response in which he thoroughly answered Alfonsi’s question and defused the central point of the segment. Alfonsi tried to suggest that Publix, the largest grocery store chain in Florida, had engaged in pay to play by donating money to DeSantis’ campaign in exchange for being awarded a contract to distribute vaccines in the state.

“The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between campaign contributions made to Governor DeSantis and our willingness to join other pharmacies in support of the state’s vaccine distribution efforts is absolutely false and offensive,” Publix said in a scathing statement slamming the “60 Minutes” segment. “We are proud of our pharmacy associates for administering more than 1.5 million doses of vaccine to date and for joining other retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to do our part to help our communities emerge from the pandemic.” Former Florida state Representative Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat, slammed “60 Minutes” over the segment, saying that DeSantis’ office did not push for selecting Publix. Moskowitz is the director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management and has overseen the state’s response to the pandemic [..]

DeSantis

Read more …

“How can you remember details from your period of addiction going back 20 years, detailed in your book, but you cannot remember this laptop?”

Biden’s Most “Beautiful Thing” May Be Media Collusion (Turley)

News anchor Lester Holt recently declared that “it has become clearer that fairness is overrated,” adding that “the idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in.” Fortunately for Hunter Biden, that world is the one in which he lives and thrives. In interviews about his memoir “Beautiful Things,” some reporters either misstate the facts of his prior scandals or ignore certain leads, including potential evidence of a federal crime. Facts, like fairness, appear overrated to much of the media today. Hunter Biden spent the last few months evading questions, particularly during the 2020 election, when an abandoned laptop apparently belonging to him was found to have hundreds of embarrassing photos and emails showing drug abuse and raw influence-peddling.

He reportedly is under investigation for possible federal tax violations linked to his foreign dealings. Yet, one of the “beautiful things” in Hunter’s life is a media that imposed a pre-election blackout on the laptop story and continues to wrap him and his father in a protective press cocoon. That was evident in an interview by National Public Radio this week. The article by NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving stated categorically: “The laptop story was discredited by U.S. intelligence and independent investigations by news organizations.” That is entirely and demonstrably false. Widely criticized for that false statement, NPR issued a tepid “correction” for the article that now states: “Numerous news organizations cast doubt on the credibility of the laptop story.”

There was, of course, an easy way to confirm the facts, rather than citing other news organizations which also failed to pursue the story. Elving and NPR were interviewing Hunter — so why not simply ask him if the laptop was his? CBS News did ask that question and received a bizarre answer from Hunter that it might be his, or it might not be: “There could be a laptop out there that was stolen from me. It could be that I was hacked. It could be that it was the — that it was Russian intelligence.” Or, perhaps, it could be alien technology from the Andromeda Galaxy. Hunter is denying any knowledge of the laptop’s authenticity, roughly seven months after its existence was disclosed by the New York Post and even longer since it reportedly was seized by the FBI. During that time, the story presumably was researched by the Biden campaign and by Hunter’s own lawyers.

U.S. intelligence concluded it was not Russian disinformation, even though Joe Biden claimed it was. His campaign brought forward 50 former national security officials to endorse this unsupported claim. The other parties on many of these emails have confirmed the authenticity and the FBi seized the laptop as evidence (which Hunter and his lawyers have been addressing in months of discussions with prosecutors). Yet, Hunter claims that he is entirely unsure if the laptop is his or possibly the work of Russian intelligence. One might expect some effort to explore that issue with a followup question: “How can you remember details from your period of addiction going back 20 years, detailed in your book, but you cannot remember this laptop?” Or: “Even if you cannot remember your own laptop, you’ve seen the pictures and emails — are those authentic?” Instead, the media showed the flag and then left the field.

Read more …

Richard Werner: “Bank of Japan, one of the bank regulators in Japan, moves further towards stepping into the arena to compete with the banks it regulates, by preparing to offer direct current accounts to the public (named central bank digital currency to get you off track)”

Japan’s Central Bank Kicks Off Experiments On Issuing Digital Currency (R.)

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) began experiments on Monday to study the feasibility of issuing its own digital currency, joining efforts by other central banks that are aiming to match the innovation in the field achieved by the private sector. The first phase of experiments, to be carried out until March 2022, will focus on testing the technical feasibility of issuing, distributing and redeeming a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the BOJ said in a statement. The BOJ will thereafter move to the second phase of experiments that will scrutinise more detailed functions, such as whether to set limits on the amount of CBDC each entity can hold.


If necessary, the central bank will launch a pilot programme that involves payment service providers and end users, BOJ Executive Director Shinichi Uchida said last month. “While there is no change in the BOJ’s stance it currently has no plan to issue CBDC, we believe initiating experiments at this stage is a necessary step,” Uchida told a committee of policymakers and bank lobbies looking into CBDC. Global central banks are looking at developing digital currencies to modernise their financial systems, ward off the threat from cryptocurrencies and speed up domestic and international payments.

Read more …

While their corporate lobbying groups in Washington fight the plans. Divide and rule?!

CEOs Tell Investors $15 Minimum Wage Won’t Hurt Business (NW)

Big restaurant chains are telling investors that a national minimum wage hike wouldn’t be a big deal—even as their corporate lobbying groups in Washington fight plans for a $15 minimum wage. “We share your view that a national discussion on wage issues for working Americans is needed—but the Raise the Wage Act is the wrong bill at the wrong time for our nation’s restaurants,” the National Restaurant Association wrote in a letter to congressional leaders in February. “The restaurant industry and our workforce will suffer from a fast-tracked wage increase and elimination of the tip credit.”

The following day, a top executive at Denny’s, one of the association’s members, told investors that gradual increases in the minimum wage haven’t been a problem for the company at all. In fact, California’s law raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2023 has actually been good for the diner chain’s business, according to Denny’s chief financial officer, Robert Verostek. “As they’ve increased their minimum wage kind of in a tempered pace over that time frame, if you look at that time frame from us, California has outperformed the system,” Verostek said on an earnings call. “Over that time frame, they had six consecutive years of positive guest traffic—not just positive sales, but positive guest traffic—as the minimum wage was going up.”

Denny’s is one of several publicly-traded restaurant chains whose executives have told investors in recent months that Democrats’ proposed minimum wage hike is not a real threat to their business and may even be a net positive, according to a Daily Poster review of corporate earnings calls. All of the companies have historically belonged to the restaurant association, which has led the fight against the Raise the Wage Act, legislation from Democrats that would gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025.

Read more …

“A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail..” “..what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable. For many of today’s digital platforms, nothing is.”

Clarence Thomas: Facebook, Twitter Could Be Regulated Like Utilities (ET)

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appeared to signal that Big Tech firms could be regulated after Facebook and Twitter suspended President Donald Trump earlier this year. Thomas, considered a conservative on the high court, made the point during a 12-page submission as the Supreme Court issued an order that rejected a lawsuit over Trump’s blocking of certain Twitter users from commenting on his posts before his account was taken down. The Supreme Court said the lawsuit ultimately should be dismissed as Trump isn’t in office anymore and was blocked from using Twitter, coming after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled against Trump.

“Today’s digital platforms provide avenues for historically unprecedented amounts of speech, including speech by government actors. Also unprecedented, however, is control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties,” Thomas wrote Monday. “We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms.” Thomas also noted there are arguments suggesting digital platforms such as Twitter or Facebook “are sufficiently akin to common carriers or places of accommodation to be regulated in this manner.” Thomas made reference to the respective owners of Facebook and Google by name—Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin.

“Although both companies are public, one person controls Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg), and just two control Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin),” he wrote. Thomas agreed that Trump’s Twitter account did “resemble a constitutionally protected public forum” in certain aspects, he noted that “it seems rather odd to say that something is a government forum when a private company has unrestricted authority to do away with it,” possibly referring to Twitter’s ban against Trump following the Jan. 6 incident. “Any control Mr. Trump exercised over the account greatly paled in comparison to Twitter’s authority, dictated in its terms of service, to remove the account ‘at any time for any or no reason,’” he added. “Twitter exercised its authority to do exactly that.”

[..] “A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail,” he wrote. “But in assessing whether a company exercises substantial market power, what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable. For many of today’s digital platforms, nothing is.”

Read more …

Putin is afraid Russia will be overrun by the West as soon as he retires. That’s what occupies him, not hunger for power.

Putin Signs Law That Could Keep Him In Kremlin Until 2036 (R.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that could keep him in office in the Kremlin until 2036, the government said on Monday. The legislation allows him to run for two more six-year terms once his current stint ends in 2024. It follows changes to the constitution last year. Those changes were backed in a public vote last summer and could allow Putin, 68, to potentially remain in power until the age of 83. He is currently serving his second consecutive term as president and his fourth in total.


The reform, which critics cast as a constitutional coup, was packaged with an array of other amendments that were expected to garner popular support, such as one bolstering pension protections. The law signed by Putin limits any future president to two terms in office, but resets his term count. It prevents anyone who has held foreign citizenship from running for the Kremlin. The legislation was passed in the lower and upper houses of parliament last month.


Zbigniew Brzezinski 1997

Read more …

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Apr 052021
 


Piet Mondriaan Composition in color A 1917

 

Yet Again on Covid (Hoskinson)
The Great Covid Power Grab (Clark)
Kentucky Passes A Philosophical Exemption Law For Vaccines (ky.gov)
Covid Passport Trials Begin With Live Comedy Night (BBC)
Everyone in England to be Offered Twice-weekly Covid Tests (G.)
High Vitamin D Levels May Protect Against Covid-19 (UCM)
Republicans Dangle ‘Easy’ Win For Trimmed Biden Plan (F24)
US National Debt Passes $28 Trillion, +$4.7 Trillion in 13 Months (WS)
Turkey and the Suez ‘Heart Attack’ (K.)
Ten Retired Admirals Detained in Turkey as Erdogan Warns of New Coup (GR)
Hunter Biden Is ‘100% Certain’ DOJ Probe Will Clear Him Of Wrongdoing (JTN)

 

 

 

 

Barkley

 

 

Excellent.

Charles Hoskinson is the founder of Cardano and co-founder of Ethereum, two cryptocurrencies.

Yet Again on Covid (Hoskinson)

Read more …

“To compare Covid to the Second World War, as the 24 leaders have done, and argue that it needs a post-WW2 style settlement, surely redefines the word ‘hyperbolic.’ ”

The Great Covid Power Grab (Clark)

Johnson, Macron and Merkel have warned that the world needs a settlement to protect itself in the wake of Coronavirus. The question, as ever, must be: ‘who benefits?’ The answer, as ever, is ‘it’s unlikely to be you.’ “Out with nationalism and isolationism and in with international ‘Health and Security’!” That’s the cry from 24 world leaders, led by the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The call for a new global ‘pandemic preparedness’ treaty came in a letter to the Daily Telegraph and in papers across the world. The letter uses words and phrases such as ‘solidarity,’ ‘global community,’ ’international cooperation’ and ‘protect’ repeatedly, to make us all feel that what is being proposed is for the good of us all. But is it?

If we read between the lines, we can see quite clearly that, while the plan is supposed to be about post-Covid pandemics, it is really about making sure that the draconian measures introduced since 2020 are maintained as long as possible. The ‘nobody is safe until everyone is safe’ mantra which appears at the end of the second paragraph in the letter, is saying to us – as Merkel and other globalists have strongly hinted – that restrictions cannot and will not be lifted until everyone in the world has been vaccinated. If you have any doubts, just take a look at the very next sentence, which states: ‘We are therefore committed to ensuring universal and equitable access to safe, efficacious and affordable vaccines, medicines and diagnostics for this and future pandemics.’ Translation: ‘Africa, you’re going to take the vaccines we offer you whether you like it or not.’

To justify a ‘pandemic treaty,’ and other long-planned changes being implemented in its wake, they have to accord Covid a very special status. The first sentence of the letter boldly states: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge to the global community since the 1940s.’ But is that really true? Hong Kong flu claimed the lives of between one and four million people between 1968 and 1970. But it got a lot less coverage than Covid. There was no talk of a permanent ‘New Normal’ being established in 1970, or the need for a post-WW2-like settlement. Neither was there when HIV/AIDS hit in the 1980s. The UN says between 24.8m and 42.2 million people had died of AIDS-related illnesses by the end of 2019.

To compare Covid to the Second World War, as the 24 leaders have done, and argue that it needs a post-WW2 style settlement, surely redefines the word ‘hyperbolic.’ A reminder: some 75 million people died in the Second World War – including around 27 million citizens of the former Soviet Union. 60 million Europeans became refugees. By contrast, the current number of deaths ‘with’ Covid is 2.8 million. Yes, that’s serious –and all deaths are very sad– but the numbers alone can’t explain why it’s Covid –and not other diseases which killed many more and came before it– which necessitates a ‘Great Reset’.

Read more …

6 states have now passed similar laws: Wisconsin, Nebraska, Florida, Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky.

Kentucky Passes A Philosophical Exemption Law For Vaccines (ky.gov)

AN ACT relating to exceptions to mandatory immunization requirements and declaring an emergency.


Amend KRS 214.036 to provide exemptions from mandatory immunization for any child, emancipated minor, or adult who, personally or by a parent or guardian, submits a written sworn statement objecting to the immunization based on conscientiously held beliefs; prohibit any administrative regulation, administrative order, or executive order from requiring during an epidemic the immunization of persons who submit either a written sworn statement objecting to the immunization based on conscientiously held beliefs or the written opinion of the person’s physician that such immunization would be injurious to the person’s health; require the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to develop and make available on its Web site a standardized form relating to the exemptions from mandatory immunization and to accept the form after it is submitted; amend KRS 209.552 and 214.034 to conform; EMERGENCY.

Read more …

And so it begins.

Covid Passport Trials Begin With Live Comedy Night (BBC)

The government is to trial a series of measures in England, including Covid passports, to allow the safe return of sports matches, events and nightclubs. Passes would show if a person had been vaccinated, had a recent negative test, or natural immunity. Trial events in the coming months will also explore how ventilation and testing before and after could help crowds return. Any use of passes would be “time-limited”, the sports minister has said. The pilots, which will include the FA Cup final, will last until mid-May, and some of the listed events will not be trialling vaccination certification, including those taking place in Liverpool.


Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston described the trials as a “learning experience”, saying no decisions had yet been made on processes or vaccination certificates. He said the earlier pilots “almost certainly won’t involve any element of certification”, and that the government would also be looking at mitigations such as one-way systems and hygiene measures. Mr Huddleston said the PM would receive a report on the trials at the end of May, and suggested further events could be added later in the year.

Read more …

Give people back the responsibility taken away from them.

Everyone in England to be Offered Twice-weekly Covid Tests (G.)

Boris Johnson is to unveil a plan for routine, universal Covid-19 tests as a means to ease England out of lockdown, as the government faced a renewed backlash over the idea of app-based “passports” to permit people entry into crowded places and events. Six months after Johnson unveiled plans for “Operation Moonshot”, a £100bn mass testing scheme that never delivered on its stated aim of preventing another lockdown, all people in England will be offered two Covid tests a week from Friday. The prime minister is to announce the rollout of the lateral flow tests at a press conference on Monday afternoon, at which he will also outline a programme of trial events for mass gatherings, as well as proposals for potentially restarting foreign travel.

The testing scheme, involving kits for use at home or at test centres, workplaces and schools, is billed as a means to limit any continued community transmission of the virus, in parallel with the vaccination programme, and as a way to track outbreaks of potentially vaccine-resistant Covid variants. The test-and-trace phone app will also be updated so that when pubs and other hospitality venues reopen everyone in a group will have to register, not just the lead person, with those who test positive asked to share other places they have visited. Some scientists have expressed scepticism at the plan, noting both the possibility of false negatives with lateral flow tests, and the need for better support for people to self-isolate if they do test positive.

Civil liberties groups and many MPs will also be wary if the new testing system potentially feeds into a regime of Covid certificates, which would use recent tests, vaccination or the presence of antibodies to the virus to determine entry to pubs or mass events. Sometimes also called “Covid passports”, these would be purely for domestic use, and would be distinct from a vaccination record to allow foreign travel.

Read more …

There’s a research deficiency about vitamin D deficiency. “This supports arguments for designing clinical trials”?

High Vitamin D Levels May Protect Against Covid-19 (UCM)

A new research study at the University of Chicago Medicine has found that when it comes to COVID-19, having vitamin D levels above those traditionally considered sufficient may lower the risk of infection, especially for Black people. The study, published in JAMA Open Network on March 19, retrospectively examined the relationship between vitamin D levels and likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19. While levels of 30 ng/ml or more are usually considered sufficient, the authors found that Black individuals who had levels of 30 to 40 ng/ml had a 2.64 times higher risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than people with levels of 40 ng/ml or greater. Statistically significant associations of vitamin D levels with COVID-19 risk were not found in white people.

The study looked at data from more than 3,000 patients at UChicago Medicine who had had their vitamin D levels tested within 14 days before a COVID-19 test. The research team is now recruiting participants for two separate clinical trials testing the efficacy of vitamin D supplements for preventing COVID-19. This research is an expansion of an earlier study showing that a vitamin D deficiency (less than 20 ng/ml) may raise the risk of testing positive for COVID-19. In the current study, those results were further supported, finding that individuals with a vitamin D deficiency had a 7.2% chance of testing positive for the virus. A separate study recently found that more than 80% of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were vitamin D deficient.

“These new results tell us that having vitamin D levels above those normally considered sufficient is associated with decreased risk of testing positive for COVID-19, at least in Black individuals,” said David Meltzer, MD, PhD, Chief of Hospital Medicine at UChicago Medicine and lead author of the study. “This supports arguments for designing clinical trials that can test whether or not vitamin D may be a viable intervention to lower the risk of the disease, especially in persons of color.” Meltzer was inspired to investigate this topic after seeing an article in early 2020 that found people with vitamin D deficiency who were randomly assigned to receive vitamin D supplementation had much lower rates of viral respiratory infections compared to those who did not receive supplementation. He decided to examine data being collected at UChicago Medicine on COVID-19 to determine the role that vitamin D levels might be playing.

“There’s a lot of literature on vitamin D. Most of it has been focused on bone health, which is where the current standards for sufficient vitamin D levels come from,” Meltzer explained. “But there’s also some evidence that vitamin D might improve immune function and decrease inflammation. So far, the data has been relatively inconclusive. Based on these results, we think that earlier studies may have given doses that were too low to have much of an effect on the immune system, even if they were sufficient for bone health. It may be that different levels of vitamin D are adequate for different functions.”

Read more …

“..not the more expansive spending Biden envisions to create jobs, fight climate change and stand up to a rising China..”

Republicans Dangle ‘Easy’ Win For Trimmed Biden Plan (F24)

Republicans opened the door Sunday to supporting a pared down version of Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, saying concentrating on physical improvements would deliver an “easy bipartisan win” for the US president. Biden’s American Jobs Plan — the second massive spending initiative of his 10-week old administration, after a $1.9 trillion short-term Covid rescue bill — would modernize America’s public works and make its energy system greener. But the proposal announced last week faces major hurdles in Congress amid criticism from Republicans and business lobbies who oppose the higher corporate taxes that would pay the bill.

Roy Blunt, the chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, implored Democrats to focus on the traditional pillars of infrastructure — “roads, bridges, ports and airports” — and not the more expansive spending Biden envisions to create jobs, fight climate change and stand up to a rising China. Blunt spoke out as senior administration figures hit the Sunday talk show circuit to sell the policy to the American people as a vital component of sustained job growth. “I’ve reached out to the White House a couple of times now and said, you’ve got an easy bipartisan win here if you’ll keep this package nearly focused on infrastructure,” Blunt told ABC’s “This Week.”

That would not prevent the administration from later pushing through the other aspects of its plan on a partisan basis, he said. Blunt complained that the package contained more for electric vehicle charging stations than for physical improvements. “When people think about infrastructure, they’re thinking about roads, bridges, ports and airports,” he told ABC. Blunt, a senior member of Senate leadership team, struck a more conciliatory tone than the chamber’s Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who had earlier vowed to fight the Biden plan “every step of the way.”

Read more …

It’s become fully abstract.

US National Debt Passes $28 Trillion, +$4.7 Trillion in 13 Months (WS)

It finally happened, that glorious moment, when, after teetering on the verge for weeks – for reasons we’ll get into shortly – the incredibly spiking US gross national debt, after kissing the line a couple of times for a moment, finally, and suddenly by a big leap, jumped over the $28-trillion mark, with a $143-billion leap in one day on Wednesday, March 31, following some big Treasury sales. It gave some of that up on Thursday as some bonds matured. And it now amounts to $28.08 trillion, as per US Treasury Department on Friday. The US gross national debt has now spiked by $4.7 trillion in 13 months since the end of February 2020, in the days before this show started.

The flat spots in the chart are the visual depictions of a charade unique to American politics, the periods when the debt bounced into the Debt Ceiling. Those were the days when everyone in Congress was still trying to hijack the Debt Ceiling law to get their favorite spending priorities! If it looks like the trillions have been whizzing by a little less fast in recent months, that the growth of the debt has somehow slowed, that is correct. The chart below magnifies the daily debt levels since December. On March 3, the debt level touched $28 trillion but only barely and just for one day, before backing off, and then kissed it again on March 17, only to back off again and remain tantalizingly close, but no cigar, until Wednesday, when it did the deed with one huge $148-billion leap:

The reason for this slowdown in borrowing is that the government sold a gigantic amount of debt last spring, adding $3 trillion to its debt in a few months, and then didn’t spend all of it, but kept the unspent amounts in its checking account – the General Treasury Account or GTA — which ballooned to $1.8 trillion by July, from the pre-crisis range between $100 billion and $400 billion. During the final months of the Mnuchin Treasury, it was decided to start spending down the balance in the checking account by borrowing a little less, and by early January, the GTA had dropped to $1.6 trillion.

Read more …

Erdogan wants to dig a new canal and bypass the 1936 Montreux Convention.

Turkey and the Suez ‘Heart Attack’ (K.)

Turkey continues to threaten to depart from the 1936 Montreux Convention that governs free shipping through the Bosporus strait. The accident in the Suez Canal served as the excuse for the speaker of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly, Mustafa Sentop, to imply as much last week, even if he had to go back on his statement due to the tense situation between Ankara and Washington. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also proclaims this departure when he wants to utilize it geopolitically and when talking about his announced pharaonic intention of constructing a second canal in the Bosporus – one unregulated by international conventions. Could Turkey close the strait and block the passage of both merchant and military ships between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, depending on what serves its interests?

According to the Montreux Convention, merchant ships enjoy freedom of passage and navigation in the strait, irrespective of their flag and cargo. The convention allows Turkey to militarize the strait and permits the Black Sea countries freedom of passage for military ships provided they give a week’s notice, and substantially restricts the passage of military vessels that are not from the Black Sea states (notification of crossing, tonnage restrictions, armament restrictions, aircraft carriers cannot pass, and others). All of this in a time of peace, which, however, is threatened by Erdogan’s controversial views on the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the atmosphere in the Black Sea, reminiscent of the Cold War, where Ukraine is the epicenter of looming dark clouds and, according to analysts, will likely remain a source of global tension.

The Suez “heart attack” brought up questions on safe passage into and out of the Mediterranean, as much for the merchant fleets as the navies that move between the Red Sea, Gibraltar and the Bosporus, with the latter crossing attracting the attention of military and commercial organizations around the globe, given the volatile geopolitical situation in the wider region. Turkey, if it deems necessary, does not need to bar the gate to stop traffic in the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. All it has to do is conjure up an accident by scuppering two ships in the straits, without being accused of violating the Montreux Convention. That is why the West is feverishly readying the “continental straits” between Alexandroupoli and Burgas as an alternative, while NATO equips the fleets of Romania and Bulgaria.

Read more …

And he really wants to. These guys sent an open letter warning about the Montreux Convention and he just has them arrested.

Ten Retired Admirals Detained in Turkey as Erdogan Warns of New Coup (GR)

Turkey detained 10 retired admirals on Monday, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of a new coup following a letter signed by more than 100 retired admirals warning about a possible threat to a treaty governing the use of Turkey’s key waterways. The Ankara chief public prosecutor’s office said arrest warrants have been issued for the 10. Prosecutors also ordered four other suspects to report to Ankara police within three days, opting not to detain them because of their age. The development comes a day after the letter was sharply condemned by the government, which said the move is “reminiscent of coup times” in Turkey’s past. Turkey’s approval last month of plans to develop a shipping canal in Istanbul comparable to the Panama or Suez canals has opened up debate about the 1936 Montreux Convention.


The admirals said in their letter that apart from its environmental impact, the new canal venture could undermine the Montreux accord. The convention guarantees the free passage through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits of civilian vessels in times of both peace and war. It also regulates the use of the strait by military vessels from non-Black Sea states. The new canal would allow ships to transit between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea without passing through part of the straits that are covered by the treaty. The declaration has drawn strong reactions from the government and officials. Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın said the statement is “reminiscent of coup periods” and made the former soldiers “a laughingstock.” “Know your place and stay where you are,” he added.

Read more …

Probe started in 2018 and he just found out yesterday?

Hunter Biden Is ‘100% Certain’ DOJ Probe Will Clear Him Of Wrongdoing (JTN)

Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, has expressed complete confidence that he will be cleared at the conclusion of the Justice Department’s probe into his finances. During a CBS Sunday Morning interview, Hunter Biden said that he is fully cooperating with the investigation. He said that he is “100% certain that at the end of the investigation, that I will be cleared of any wrongdoing.” “I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs,” he said in a statement back in December. “I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors.” Fox News reported that “according to a source familiar with the matter,” the probe started in 2018.

Read more …

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

What America does best is produce the ability to accept failure.
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Apr 032021
 


Joan Miro Dancer 1925

 

Sunlight Renders Coronavirus Inactive 8 Times Faster Than Predicted (RT)
COVID-19 Will be Like a “Fond Caress” in Comparison to Next Pandemic (SN)
AstraZeneca Vaccine Suspended Again in Netherlands After Death (NTD)
DeSantis Bans Vaccine Passports To Prevent Having Two Classes Of Citizens (RT)
Opposition Grows Against UK Vaccine Passports (R.)
Every Customer Must Sign In As Pubs Face Triple Whammy Of New Covid Rules (M.)
Care Home Residents In England To Be Allowed Two Visitors From 12 April (G.)
CDC Walks Back Director’s Comments on Vaccines Preventing Infection (DB)
Trump Rule Would Allow Ulimited Vaccine Price Hikes (Fang)
Paradigm Failure (Kunstler)
Biden Again Misrepresents Georgia Election Law, Supports State Boycott (Turley)
NPR Issues Stunning Mea Culpa On Hunter Biden Laptop (NYP)
Hunter Biden Admits Laptop Could ‘Certainly’ Belong To Him (NYP)
The Pending Collapse of the ‘Rules-based International Order’ (Ritter)
Russia Warns NATO Against Sending Any Troops To Ukraine (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Spring forward.

Sunlight Renders Coronavirus Inactive 8 Times Faster Than Predicted (RT)

Researchers have found that the coronavirus is inactivated by sunlight as much as eight times faster in experiments than predicted by current theoretical modelling, providing a glimmer of hope in turning the tide on the pandemic. UC Santa Barbara assistant professor of mechanical engineering Paolo Luzzatto-Fegiz conducted an analysis of 2020 studies exploring the effects of different forms of UV radiation on the SARS-CoV-2 and found a significant discrepancy. As with all electromagnetic radiation, UV falls on a spectrum, with longer-wave UVA reacting differently with parts of DNA and RNA than other mid-range UVB waves contained in sunlight, which kill microbes and cause sunburn in humans. Short-wave UVC radiation has previously been shown to deactivate viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for Covid-19, but this section of the UV spectrum is deflected away by the Earth’s ozone layer.

A July 2020 experimental study tested the power of UV light on SARS-CoV-2, contained in simulated saliva, and found the virus was inactivated in under 20 minutes. However, a theory published a month later suggested sunlight could achieve the same effect, which didn’t quite add up. This second study concluded that SARS-CoV-2 was three times more sensitive to UV radiation in sunlight than the influenza A virus. The vast majority of coronavirus particles were rendered inactive within 30 minutes of exposure to midday summer sunlight, whereas the virus could survive for days under winter sunlight. “The experimentally observed inactivation in simulated saliva is over eight times faster than would have been expected from the theory,” Luzzatto-Feigiz and his team said. “So, scientists don’t yet know what’s going on.”

The team suspects that, as the UVC doesn’t reach the Earth, instead of directly attacking the RNA, the long-wave UVA in sunlight interacts with molecules in the virus’ environment, such as saliva, which speeds up the inactivation, in a process witnessed previously in wastewater treatment. The findings suggest UVA emitters could be added to equipment such as air filtration systems to provide a cheap and energy-efficient means of reducing the spread of viral particles. Masks and social distancing would more than likely still be required, but such UV-based interventions could be of some benefit as nations struggle with recurring waves of the pandemic despite vaccination efforts.

Read more …

Sounds like a thousand other such warnings.

COVID-19 Will be Like a “Fond Caress” in Comparison to Next Pandemic (SN)

A Swedish professor of infectious diseases says COVID-19 will feel like a “fond caress” in comparison to the next global pandemic. Professor Björn Olsen from Uppsala University warns that there’s another “imminent” pandemic on the way that will totally dwarf the millions of dead caused by coronavirus. “Then the corona pandemic will be like a fond caress in comparison,” Olsen told national broadcaster SVT. Olsen says that the next pandemic will be triggered by a new flu virus against which humanity has no protection.


“A flu is incredibly contagious. If it is a new flu where there is no herd immunity at all, it will be able to spread faster through all different age groups,” said the professor. Olsen urged people to switch to eating locally sourced meat in order to reduce human exposure to food markets, which represent a “gigantic public health problem.” “If we try to eat more locally produced, the points of contact for new pandemics will decrease,” said Olsen. The professor also warned that rapid urbanisation in African countries and the destruction of habitats such as rainforests was crowding humans and animals together, making new viral outbreaks more likely.

Read more …

They have now stopped using it for everybody. And at some point they will try to bring it back.

AstraZeneca Vaccine Suspended Again in Netherlands After Death (NTD)

The Netherlands temporarily suspended AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for a second time for people under the age of 60 after a woman who had received the jab died and four other women experienced serious complications, according to a report. The announcement to pause the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company’s vaccine was made in a government statement on Friday, which said that due to “a new report” on side effects, health officials decided not to vaccinate people under the age of 60 in the coming days. The woman’s death was reported by the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb—a research center that tracks the risks associated with the use of medicines. “These are women between 25 and 65 years old. Three patients had extensive pulmonary embolisms. One died and one also had a brain hemorrhage,” Lareb said.


Health officials said a link between the vaccine and the side effects has not yet been established but is being investigated. The complications arose about 7 to 10 days after the people received the vaccine. It is the first time someone died in the Netherlands after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was previously suspended temporarily in multiple countries in the European Union over blood clot concerns, including in the Netherlands. Last month, the Netherlands’s Health Ministry halted the administration of AstraZeneca for more than two weeks after serious side effects arose in a small number of people. Germany on Tuesday became the latest European country to also stop injecting people with the AstraZeneca vaccine under the age of 60 amid fresh concerns over unusual blood clots reported in a number of those who received the shots. France, meanwhile, also said in mid-March it decided to limit the vaccine to people for those aged 55 and older.

Read more …

GOP candidate 2024.

DeSantis Bans Vaccine Passports To Prevent Having Two Classes Of Citizens (RT)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has banned Covid-19 vaccine passports in his state, signing an executive order and calling on lawmakers to protect citizens permanently. Conservatives reacted by backing him for president in 2024. The order, which the Republican governor signed on Friday, notes that Covid-19 vaccines are not required by law, and individual inoculation records are private health information. Requiring vaccine passports to access goods, services or activities would infringe individual freedom and invade privacy, DeSantis added in the order.

“Requiring so-called Covid-19 vaccine passports for taking part in everyday life – such as attending a sporting event, patronizing a restaurant or going to a movie theater – would create two classes of citizens based on vaccination,” DeSantis wrote. He said the order protects “the fundamental rights and privacies of Floridians and the free flow of commerce.” No business or government entity is allowed under the order to require people in Florida to provide documentation of their vaccination status. State agencies will enforce the order, including compliance as a condition of state licensing and other authorization needed to do business, and companies that violate the ban won’t be eligible for grants or state contracts. “The Legislature is working on making permanent these projections for Floridians, and I look forward to signing them into law,” DeSantis said.

The order comes amid a global debate over the ethics of forcing people to take vaccines to be able to live as full-fledged citizens and restore freedoms that arguably weren’t legally infringed in the first place. For instance, South Korea’s prime minister said on Thursday that only those who get Covid-19 jabs will be allowed to return to their “daily lives.” The Biden administration so far has sidestepped the issue, coming down on the side of a two-tiered society but seeking to achieve it through the private sector – without government mandates. DeSantis is short-circuiting that effort, at least in one major state, and conservatives such as US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) have called on other Republican-led states to follow suit.

Read more …

Of course.

Opposition Grows Against UK Vaccine Passports (R.)

More than 70 British lawmakers have signalled their opposition to the introduction of so-called vaccine passports that the government is considering bringing in to help to open the economy as it starts lifting COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. The government is reviewing the idea of asking people to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to access crowded spaces such as pubs or sports events, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson having already said that a certificate is likely to be needed for international travel. The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Saturday that trials of COVID passports would begin within weeks during pilots at major sports events and possibly a music awards ceremony in the next two months to assess their impact.

On Friday Johnson said that a combination of immunity factors – if people have had the disease, a vaccination or had a COVID-19 test – would give businesses confidence. “So those three things working together will, I think, be useful for us as we as we go forward,” Johnson said. But there has been mounting concern from some in his own Conservative Party, as well as opposition lawmakers and civil rights groups, about the prospect of vaccine certificates. “We oppose the divisive and discriminatory use of COVID status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs,” said a statement signed by a group of more than 70 lawmakers from across the political spectrum.

Under the government’s planned “roadmap” out of the pandemic, pubs will be allowed to serve people outdoors later this month, with a further easing of restrictions in mid-May before all measures are lifted near the end of June. Johnson suggested last month that some pubs might require customers to produce vaccine certificates. Culture minister Oliver Dowden, meanwhile, has said that such certificates could help get more people into theatres. No decision has yet been made and Johnson has instructed senior minister Michael Gove to review the possible role of certificates, saying there are deep and complex ethical issues to explore. Gove is due to report back shortly.

Read more …

“”I don’t understand why I have to do this in a restaurant or pub, but I don’t need to do this in a supermarket..”

Every Customer Must Sign In As Pubs Face Triple Whammy Of New Covid Rules (M.)

Pub bosses are warning that a “triple whammy” of new Covid rules could be a further blow to landlords after months of closures. Every customer aged over 16 will be forced to sign in – rather than just one member of a big group as was the case last year. It is also unclear whether payment at the bar will be permitted. From April 12, pubs will be outdoors-only, and in rural areas particularly, poor broadband could make paying for drinks difficult if customers are not allowed inside. And hospitality bodies are also troubled by reports that the Government will introduce vaccine passports from June 21, requiring punters to have either been jabbed or provide proof of a negative test. UK Hospitality (UKH), the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the British Institute of Innkeepers (BII) branded the measures as “impractical burdens”.

In a joint statement, the pub representatives said: “Government has promised the country that we will be reopening but we are now being told that this will be with our hands tied behind our backs. “It now seems the hospitality industry could be burdened with vaccine passports, over-complicated test and trace rules and an inability not able to take payments indoors at reopening – a triple whammy for hard-pressed publicans who have been forcibly closed for months. “Pubs will already be trading at a loss when they reopen with all the existing restrictions and Covid-secure measures in place. “Adding further disproportionate and discriminatory measures threatens the very survival of thousands of businesses. “It’s unfair to single out our sector again with these added impractical burdens that will have economic consequences and risk our recovery.”

Carl Ford, an accountant based in Tamworth, told the BBC he was frustrated and confused by the rules. “I feel like it’s almost like going back to school where I have to sign in and out,” he said. “I don’t understand why I have to do this in a restaurant or pub, but I don’t need to do this in a supermarket where you have a free for all. People don’t have to sign in and they can pick up fruit with their hands.” Pubs will open beer gardens from April 12 with punters allowed indoors on May 17. A full reopening with no social distancing could be on the cards from June 21 when the Government hopes to have done away with all Covid rules.

Read more …

Do we still recognize how insane it is that a goverment “allows” us to see people? Or are we too far gone for that?

Care Home Residents In England To Be Allowed Two Visitors From 12 April (G.)

Care home residents in England will be allowed to receive two regular visitors from Monday 12 April, as Covid restrictions are eased further, Boris Johnson is to announce. Strict Department of Health guidance has severely curtailed the contact residents have had with their loved ones during the pandemic. Only one named visitor is currently permitted. Under guidance to be published next week, two people will be allowed to visit regularly, as long as they have a negative Covid test result. They will have to wear protective equipment, but will be allowed to hold their loved one’s hand. Babies and children under the age of two will be excluded from the limit, so that elderly residents can meet new grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

The prime minister said: “Reuniting family and friends has been a priority each time restrictions have eased, and the next step will be no different. “I’m particularly pleased to allow residents to have more visitors, including grandchildren, given the isolation and concern felt by so many this past year.” A damning report from the cross-party public accounts committee of MPs in February highlighted dire shortages of PPE for care staff, and the fact that 25,000 people were discharged back into residential homes from hospitals in the first wave, some without being tested for the virus. The government is guaranteeing it will continue to provide free personal protective equipment to care homes until March next year. Almost 94% of care home residents have received at least the first dose of a vaccine, as have almost 78% of care staff.

The government is considering plans to make the jab compulsory for staff, with an announcement expected in the coming days. Unions have warned against such a move, saying it could be discriminatory, urging employers to focus instead on encouraging their staff to be vaccinated. [..] Fiona Carragher, the director of research and influencing at the Alzheimer’s Society, welcomed the change in the visiting rules. “Visits are vital to care home residents with dementia, who have been isolated from their loved ones, without the essential care and support their families so often provide, and as a result experienced a devastating increase in their dementia symptoms over the past year,” she said. “We’ve come a long way since the first lockdown, and soon we hope to see the benefits from people with dementia being reunited with their loved ones.”

Read more …

No protection.

CDC Walks Back Director’s Comments on Vaccines Preventing Infection (DB)

After pushback from scientists, the CDC has walked back a statement by its director and stressed that “the evidence isn’t clear whether [vaccinated people] can spread the virus to others.” Earlier this week, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that data “suggests that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don’t get sick.” Many observers took that as confirmation that a jab grants full protection from transmission and infection. In a statement the next day to The New York Times, the CDC said: “It’s possible that some people who are fully vaccinated could get Covid-19.”


Dr. Paul Duprex, a vaccine expert at the University of Pittsburgh, agreed. “We’re stopping symptoms, we’re keeping people out of hospitals. But we’re not making them completely resistant to an infection,” he said. While the vaccine’s efficacy in preventing infection is very high, John Moore, a virologist based in New York, told the Times: “Vaccinated people should not be throwing away their masks at this point… This pandemic is not over.”

Read more …

More good news.

Trump Rule Would Allow Ulimited Vaccine Price Hikes (Fang)

Pfizer, Moderna, and other coronavirus vaccine makers have said repeatedly that they intend to hike prices on vaccines as early as this year, as the potential need for additional booster shots and future demand could lead to an unprecedented financial windfall. One estimate projects that if Pfizer raised the price of its coronavirus vaccine from $19.50 to $175 per dose, as one Pfizer executive recently suggested, and if every adult American were to take it, the cost would be $44.7 billion — nearly 10 percent of all U.S. drug spending. But the federal government, which funded crucial biomedical research to develop the patented messenger RNA technology behind the leading Covid-19 vaccines, is on the verge of eliminating a legal mechanism to control the prices of key medical products, including vaccines.

Next week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, will wrap up a comment period to modify the rules governing the Bayh-Dole Act, a law that regulates the transfer of federally funded inventions into commercial property. Under the current interpretation of the law, the government may “march in” and suspend the use of patents developed via government-funded inventions if it determines that the products are excessively priced. [..] IN THE TWILIGHT weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, his administration released a NIST rule designed to undercut the Bayh-Dole Act and weaken the government’s authority to march in and seize control of a patent when drugmakers fail to make medicine “available to the public on reasonable terms.”

That phrase has long been the law’s most contentious provision. It invokes a term of art that multiple federal courts have ruled relates to pricing and market-related decisions. The legislative history of the Bayh-Dole Act includes arguments that clearly state pricing considerations as a factor in determining “reasonable terms.” The proposed rule, however, tightens the law’s definition to remove price as a factor — a change long demanded by industry. Joe Biden was vocal during the presidential campaign about his commitments to roll back his predecessor’s most egregious industry-serving regulations and to bring down drug prices, but his administration has so far been mum about the Bayh-Dole Act rulemaking.

Read more …

“..there will also be even less hallucinated capital (“money”) to loan out to this shrinking pool of borrowers”

Paradigm Failure (Kunstler)

First, the whole mass motoring racket is falling apart more on its financial model than on whether the cars move by gasoline or electricity. Americans are used to buying cars on installment loans, and, with the middle-class withering away, there are ever-fewer credit-worthy borrowers for those loans (for ever more expensive cars). Soon, as the debt markets groan and wobble under the weight of massive new debt, there will also be even less hallucinated capital (“money”) to loan out to this shrinking pool of borrowers. Second, the decrepit US electric grid can’t handle the charging needs of such a gigantic electric car fleet (and fixing the grid alone would be a trillion-dollar project).

Third, the manufacturing of electric cars depends on scarce rare mineral resources that are not readily available in the US, but controlled by foreign nations. Fourth, car-making utterly depends on far-flung international supply lines for parts and electronics in a time when the integrated global economy is cracking up under the strain of desperate competition for dwindling resources and the ill-will generated by that. There are yet more kinks in the electric car scheme but those are enough. Of course, this whole initiative is in the service of preserving a set of living arrangements that is going obsolete, namely, suburbia. The previous investment represented by all the housing subdivisions, commercial highway strips, malls, office parks, and super-highways pretty much drove the American economy since the Second World War.

It’s understandable that we would be desperate to keep it all running, and fix the pieces that are falling apart, because it’s where we put most of our national wealth. It’s the whole American Dream in one nifty package. And, it sure seemed like a good idea at the time, in such a big country, with so much cheap land, and all that oil. But now things have changed and reality is sending us clear signals that we have to live differently. The effort to oppose reality is apt to be ruinous for us.

Read more …

“What is astonishing is that the media itself has fueled this false narrative and it is being used as a key claim in boycotting the state.”

Biden Again Misrepresents Georgia Election Law, Supports State Boycott (Turley)

We recently discussed the false statement made repeatedly by President Joe Biden about the Georgia election law, which Biden has called “Jim Crow on steroids.” Biden falsely claims that the law closes polling places earlier, a claim that even the Washington Post decried as false. Biden has not only repeated his earlier false claim but added a new one in supporting a boycott of the state of Georgia by Major League Baseball. It is a common false claim made about denying water under the law to people standing in line to vote. What is astonishing is that the media itself has fueled this false narrative and it is being used as a key claim in boycotting the state. During an interview on ESPN, Biden again declared the law as “Jim Crow on steroids” and added:

“I think that today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them, they’re leaders. Look at what’s happened with the NBA as well. Look at what’s happened across the board. The people who’ve been victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports and it’s just not right. Imagine passing a law saying you cannot provide water or food for someone standing in line to vote, can’t do that? C’mon! Or you’re going to close a polling place at 5 o’clock when working people just get off? This is all about keeping working folks and ordinary folks that I grew up with from being able to vote.”

Indeed, it is hard to “imagine” because it is not true and the White House knows that it is not true. If a president is going to accuse a state of passing a Jim Crow law (let alone supporting a boycott), there is an expectation of a modicum of accuracy and fairness. Otherwise, it degrades not just the movement for voting rights but the Office of the Presidency itself. I will not repeat the clearly false claim about closing polling places early. As the Washington Post noted (and repeated after this latest interview), “the net effect [of the Georgia law] is … to expand the opportunities to vote for most Georgians, not limit them.” The use of the provision to suggest a reduction in voting hours was a knowing misrepresentation by those seeking to justify the federalization of election laws in Congress.

Despite being called out on the false statement, President Biden continues to repeat it. The water claim is equally disingenuous and false. The law does not prevent people from giving water to those standing in line. The law allows “self-service water from an unattended receptacle” for voters waiting in line. It also allows anyone to give water or food to any voters outside of limited area around the polling place.

Read more …

Hunter’s come out of hiding to promote his memoir “Beautiful Things”. You can’t make that up.

NPR Issues Stunning Mea Culpa On Hunter Biden Laptop (NYP)

National Public Radio has corrected an online article that falsely asserted that documents from first son Hunter Biden’s laptop had been “discredited by U.S. intelligence.” A book review of Hunter Biden’s memoir “Beautiful Things” initially dismissed the documents first reported in October by The Post. “The laptop story was discredited by US intelligence and independent investigations by news organizations,” the book review by Ron Elving, senior editor of the publicly funded media organization, initially claimed. The correction on the Thursday article now says, “A previous version of this story said US intelligence had discredited the laptop story. US intelligence officials have not made a statement to that effect.”

Although some Democrats claimed that the laptop may have been “Russian disinformation,” President Biden’s campaign, the White House and Hunter Biden have not denied the laptop belonged to Hunter. In a new interview set to air in full Sunday on CBS, Hunter Biden admits that the laptop “certainly” could be his. In October, The Post reported that documents from the laptop appeared to implicate Joe Biden in his son’s business relationships in China and Ukraine. Hunter Biden later confirmed that he’s under federal investigation for possible tax fraud. A Delaware computer repairman, who has since publicly identified himself, says Hunter Biden never came to pick up his laptop after dropping it off. He provided paperwork to The Post indicating there was an abandonment clause that granted him rights to abandoned equipment.

[..] Among the laptop’s contents, a 2017 email chain involving Hunter Biden and associates brokering a proposed business deal with a Chinese energy company described a 10 percent set-aside for the “big guy.” Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski publicly identified Joe Biden as the “big guy.” As of February, the first son still owned 10 percent of an investment fund controlled by Chinese state-owned entities. The fund was formed 12 days after Hunter Biden joined his father aboard Air Force Two for a December 2013 trip to Beijing.

Read more …

“It could be that I was hacked, it could be that it was Russian intelligence. It could be that it was stolen from me..”

Hunter Biden Admits Laptop Could ‘Certainly’ Belong To Him (NYP)

Hunter Biden has finally ‘fessed up that the laptop at the center of The Post’s explosive exposé last year “certainly” could belong to him, he revealed in an interview Friday. In a sitdown with CBS’s “Sunday Morning,” President Biden’s embattled son was pointedly asked “yes or no” if the MacBook Pro that was dropped off at a Delaware computer repair shop in April 2019 was in fact his. “I really don’t know what the answer is, that’s the truthful answer,” Hunter Biden said in an excerpt of the interview released on Friday, before adding, “I have no idea.” But asked whether it could have belonged to him, he replied, “Certainly.”

“Certainly, there could be a laptop out there that was stolen from me. It could be that I was hacked, it could be that it was Russian intelligence. It could be that it was stolen from me,” he continued. Hunter Biden made the rare media appearance while promoting his new memoir, “Beautiful Things,” out April 6 from Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. In the final months of the heated 2020 presidential race, The Post revealed a trove of emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop that raised questions about his then-candidate father’s ties to his son’s foreign business ventures, including Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company linked to corruption.

The emails revealed that the younger Biden introduced a top Burisma executive to his father, then vice president, less than a year before the elder Biden admittedly pressured Ukrainian officials into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company. The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, a Burisma board adviser, sent Hunter on April 17, 2015. [..]In addition to his Ukrainian connections, other emails on the computer showed Hunter discussing potential business deals with China’s largest private energy company. One deal seemed to spark considerable interest with the younger Biden, who called it “interesting for me and my family.”

Read more …

Blinken.

The Pending Collapse of the ‘Rules-based International Order’ (Ritter)

It seems a week cannot go by without US Secretary of State Antony Blinken bringing up the specter of the ‘rules-based international order’ as an excuse for meddling in the affairs of another state or region. The most recent crisis revolves around allegations that China has dispatched a fleet of more than 200 ships, part of a so-called ‘maritime militia’, into waters of the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines. China says that these vessels are simply fishing boats seeking shelter from a storm. The Philippines has responded by dispatching military ships and aircraft to investigate. Enter Antony Blinken, stage right: “The United States stands with our ally, the Philippines, in the face of the PRC’s maritime militia amassing at Whitsun Reef,” Blinken tweeted. “We will always stand by our allies and stand up for the rules-based international order.”

Blinken’s message came a mere 18 hours after he tweeted about his meeting in Brussels with NATO. “Our alliances were created to defend shared values,” he wrote. “Renewing our commitment requires reaffirming those values and the foundation of international relations we vow to protect: a free and open rules-based order.” What this actually means, of course, is that the order is rules-based so long as it is the nation called America that sets these rules and is accepted as the world’s undisputed leader. Blinken’s fervent embrace of the ‘rules-based international order’ puts action behind the words set forth in the recently published ‘Interim National Security Strategy Guidance’, a White House document which outlines President Joe Biden’s vision “for how America will engage with the world.”

While the specific term ‘rules-based international order’ does not appear in the body of the document, the precepts it represents are spelled out in considerable detail, and conform with the five pillars of the “liberal international order” as set forth by the noted international relations scholars, Daniel Duedney and G. John Ikenberry, in their ground-breaking essay, ‘The nature and sources of liberal international order’, published by the Review of International Studies in 1999. The origins of this “liberal international order” can be traced back to the end of the Second World War and the onset of a Cold War between Western liberal democracies, helmed by the United States, and the communist bloc nations, led by the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.

The purpose of this order was simple – to maintain a balance of power between the US-led liberal democracies and their communist adversaries, and to maintain and sustain US hegemony over its liberal democratic allies. This was accomplished through five basic policy ‘pillars’: Security co-binding; the embrace of US hegemony; self-limitation on the part of US allies; the politicization of global economic institutions for the gain of liberal democracies; and Western “civil identity.”

Read more …

The line in the sand.

Russia Warns NATO Against Sending Any Troops To Ukraine (ZH)

The Kremlin’s latest statements out Friday amid the potential new Ukraine crisis which has seen a serious flare-up in fighting in the Donbass region, along with what appears to be far bigger-than-usual troop movements on Russia’s side of the border, has raised the stakes further. Russia has vowed it will take “extra measures to ensure its own security” should it observe any deployment of NATO troops inside Ukraine, the Kremlin statement said Friday according to Reuters. It firmly warned against any potential looming NATO troop movements following Brussels voicing concern the day prior over the widespread reports and videos purporting to show a significant Russian build-up of forces along Ukraine’s eastern border. Reuters reports Russia’s Friday statement and “warning” as follows:


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that the situation at the contact line in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatist forces was quite frightening and that multiple “provocations” were taking place there. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Andrii Taran, and “condemned recent escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine,” the Pentagon said. “Our rhetoric [over Donbass] is absolutely constructive,” Peskov said in response to journalists’ questions. “We do not indulge in wishful thinking. Regrettably, the realities along the engagement line are rather frightening. Provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces do take place. They are not casual. There have been many of them.”

Read more …

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

 

Europe Arctic blast

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.