Sign up for our NewslettersLatest NewsFILE - In this Thursday, March 28, 2019, file photo, Brad Parscale, manager of President Donald Trump's reelection campaign, throws "Make America Great Again," hats to the audience before a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich. Trump is shaking up his campaign amid sinking poll numbers, replacing Parscale with veteran GOP operative Bill Stepien. Trump and Parscales relationship had been strained since a Tulsa, Okla., rally that drew a dismal crowd, infuriating the president. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. '' Former campaign manager for Donald Trump, Brad Parscale, who was replaced by the President less than four months until November's vote was reportedly armed with a gun and threatening to harm himself at his Fort Lauderdale home on Sunday afternoon.
Police have not confirmed that the barricaded man was Parscale, who worked for Trump, but records confirm that the property in the 2300 block of Desota Drive in Fort Lauderdale is owned by Parscale, 44, and his wife, Candice. Local 10 spoke to neighbors in the Seven Isles neighborhood who also said it was the former advisor to the President.
Fort Lauderdale Police responded to a home in reference to an armed male attempting suicide Sunday afternoon. When officers arrived on the scene, they made contact with the wife of the man who told them her husband was armed, had access to multiple firearms inside the house and was threatening to harm himself. She had placed the 911 call, according to police.
Fort Lauderdale Police said that the armed subject was transported to Broward Health Medical Center where he was placed under a Baker Act.
Police determined no one else was in the home.
A statement from President Trump's Campaign Communications Director, Tim Murtaugh, states: "Brad Parscale is a member of our family and we all love him. We are ready to support him and his family in any way possible.''
Assignment desk editor Wilson Louis contributed to this story.
(Stay tuned to Local 10 at 11 p.m. and Local10.com for more developments.)
Copyright 2020 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.
About the Author:Michelle Solomon Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.
Ex-Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale hospitalized after barricading himself in home with guns and threatening self-harm '' Raw Story
Just hours after the worst story about President Donald Trump dropped from the New York Times, former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale barricaded himself in a Florida home with a gun threatening to harm himself.
Local 10 News reported Parscale was in one of his many homes when police were called. Officers arrived and spoke with Parscale's wife, who said that he was armed with multiple firearms and was threatening to harm himself.
Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Karen Dietrich told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the encounter at Parscale's home was brief.
''Politics aside, this fellow obviously suffers from emotional distress,'' said Trantalis. ''I'm glad he didn't do any harm to himself or others I commend our SWAT team for being able to negotiate a peaceful ending to this.''
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ToplineThe Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission Tuesday accusing the Trump campaign of ''laundering'' $170 million through numerous companies, some with connections to former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.
LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 04: Brad Parscale, campaign manager for U.S. President Donald Trump, ... [+] arrives at a campaign rally for the President at Rupp Arena on November 4, 2019 in Lexington, Kentucky. The President is visiting Kentucky a day before Election Day to support the reelection efforts of Republican Governor Matt Bevin. (Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images)
Getty Images Key Facts''The Trump campaign and Trump Make America Great Again Committee disguised nearly $170 million of campaign spending by laundering the funds through firms,'' the complaint claims.
It adds that the firms are ''headed by Trump's recent campaign manager, Brad Parscale, and/or created by Trump campaign lawyers.''
The complaint alleges that the Trump campaign paid millions of dollars to campaign-connected vendors without reporting those payments to the FEC, specifically homing in on American Made Media Consultants (AMMC), a firm created by Parscale, which has been paid over $106 million, making it the campaigns largest vendor.
AMMC was ostensibly created to circumvent media buyers, but the complaint points to FCC records that show the campaign has used media buying firm Harris Sikes to place some of its ads, alleging the campaign is ''failing to report payments to the firms and is instead using AMMC as a conduit for its payments to the firms.''
The complaint also points to an app called Phunware, which Parscale has said was created and is ''directly owned'' by the campaign, but which has never appeared in the campaign's spending reports because, as the complaint alleges, it was paid through AMMC.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh denied the charges made in the complaint, telling Forbes, ''The campaign reports all payments to AMMC as required by the FEC. The campaign complies with all campaign finance laws and FEC regulations.''
Crucial QuoteBy failing to report payments to the campaign's true vendors and employees, the Trump campaign and Trump Make America Great Again Committee have violated, and continue to violate, federal law's transparency requirements,'' the complaint asserts, adding that such activities ''undermine the vital public information role that reporting is intended to serve.''
Key BackgroundParscale was named as Trump's campaign manager in February 2018 but was replaced in that role by Bill Stepien earlier this month. Parscale's firms have long been the object of media scrutiny for receiving large sums from the Trump campaign and for Parscale maintaining a lavish lifestyle well beyond the means of most presidential campaign managers.
Chief Critic"Voters have a right to know how campaigns are spending money to influence elections," CLC founder and President Trevor Potter, a Republican and former FEC Chair, told CNN. "This scheme flies in the face of transparency requirements mandated by federal law, and it leaves voters and donors in the dark about where the campaign's funds are actually going."
News PegThe allegation comes amid reports that the Trump campaign also moved millions in campaign funds to Trump's private business interests. Forbes' Dan Alexander and Michela Tindera reported earlier this month that the Trump campaign has pushed nearly $7 million towards Trump's businesses since the president entered office.
What To Watch ForThe complaint asks the FEC, which regulates campaign finance, to ''conduct an immediate investigation'' and ''seek appropriate sanctions for any and all violations, including civil penalties sufficient to deter future violations.''
(C) REUTERS/Leah Millis; REUTERS/Alan Freed; Insider Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump both spoke about the Jacob Blake police shooting and resulting protests on August 31, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis; REUTERS/Alan Freed; Insider Joe Biden has compared President Donald Trump to Joseph Goebbels, who masterminded Hitler's Nazi propaganda machine. "You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge" Biden explained. The former vice president also compared Trump to Fidel Castro. The Republican Jewish Coalition called on the former vice president to retract and apologize for his comments. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Donald Trump is like the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, Joe Biden has said, as he accused the president of deliberately spreading lies about him on the campaign trail.
The Democratic presidential nominee told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle that the president was "sort of like Goebbels," referring to Hitler's propaganda machine's mastermind.
"You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge," he explained in reference to Trump's attempts to paint him as a socialist.
The former vice president said that Trump was attempting to distract voters from his failings, adding that the president himself had similarities with Fidel Castro.
"I think people see very clearly the difference between me and Donald Trump," Biden said in comments reported by Politico.
"Trump is clearing protests in front of the White House that are peaceful, you know, with the military. This guy is more Castro than Churchill."
The Republican Jewish Coalition called on Biden to retract his "egregious" comments and apologize.
"The rule in debate is that if your only argument is to call your opponent a Nazi, you have no argument at all. Instead of engaging in a debate on policy, Joe Biden has descended to name-calling and Holocaust references," they said in a statement on Saturday.
"There is no place in political discourse for Holocaust imagery or comparing candidates to Nazis. It's offensive and it demeans the memory of the Holocaust, the suffering of the victims, and the lessons we must learn from that terribly dark chapter of history.
"Joe Biden has been in politics long enough to know this. To diminish the horrors of Goebbels and the Nazis by trying to attack the President with that comparison is, as we say, a shanda. We call on Joe Biden to retract and apologize for that egregious comment."
Feds Seize 19,888 Fake State Driver Licenses (Made in China) in Chicago O'Hare Airport - ALL Registered to Vote -- ALL Democrat
NATION '' NEWS DESK '' 08 AUGUST 2020 Why are the Chinese making so many fake U.S. driver licenses? Why are they being shipped to Chicago's O'Hare Airport? Why are ALL the names completely phony; yet ALL are Registered to Vote . . . and Registered as Democrats?That's a disturbing little tidbit to discover, especially right before an election, right?According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the bulk of these fake U.S. IDs flooding into the country come from China and Hong Kong, with the rest coming in from South Korea and the U.K.Officials in Chicago just confiscated a shipment of these fake IDs totaling nearly 20 thousand.Of course, the local news media in Chicago doesn't see a connection to ''voter fraud,'' but most other people do.As a matter of fact, it's the main thing that most people see with just three months before an election.What emboldens illegal voters more than to head to the polls with a phony ID in their pocket in case anyone asks for ID?From Fox FiveFederal customs officers have seized 1,513 shipments from overseas containing fraudulent documents'--19,888 counterfeit U.S. driver's licenses'--just at Chicago O'Hare International Airport this year through the end of June.Most of the shipments came from Hong Kong and mainland China, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Other shipments came from South Korea and the U.K.''These counterfeit driver's licenses can lead to disastrous consequences,'' CBP's Ralph Piccirilli said in a statement. ''Criminal organizations use these counterfeit IDs to avoid attracting attention to their illegal activities.''''What is most disconcerting about these interceptions, besides the volume in which we are experiencing, is the ease in which so many young people freely share their personal information with counterfeiters abroad,'' Lemaux said in a statement.''We'll continue to collaborate with local law enforcement to educate the public, and anyone who is contemplating purchasing a counterfeit ID online, on the potential dangers of sharing your personal, identifiable information with a criminal element.''These, they caught.Makes you wonder how many slipped through the cracks?Oh, and how is it that that ALL of these phony names are ALL registered to vote and ALL registered as Democrats?HAL TURNER COMMENTARYI think that we need to really think outside of the box and be open to *anything* in terms of cheating or interference, because the Dems simply can't lose this election, and they'll work with anyone, anywhere to help squeak out a victory.And I think China is the number one culprit we need to keep our eyes on.This is literally China Collusion with the Democrats. But because it's the left-wing doing this, the mass-media won't utter as much as a peep.Original Source
Pelosi Prepares For Rare Chance House Could Decide Election : NPR
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning Democrats of an exceedingly rare scenario where the House may need to decide the presidential election in January. Jose Luis Magana/AP hide caption
toggle caption Jose Luis Magana/AP House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning Democrats of an exceedingly rare scenario where the House may need to decide the presidential election in January.
Jose Luis Magana/AP House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is warning Democrats that they must win the majority, not just of the House of Representatives but a majority of each state delegation, in case the House is called upon to decide the election in January.
If the outcome of the election is not clear by Jan. 6, the decision goes to the House. But the vote is not as straightforward as Democrats having the majority of seats overall. Each state would get a single vote, which would be determined by the party that has the majority of members from that state.
Pelosi outlined the once far-fetched scenario in a letter to Democrats over the weekend. She called on her members to shift money to House Democrats' fundraising arm, House Majority PAC, to help shore up campaign funds in battleground districts.
"We cannot leave anything to chance. House Majority PAC is doing everything it can to win more delegations for Democrats," Pelosi said in the letter, sent from her campaign email. "It's sad we have to have to plan this way, but it's what we must do to ensure the election is not stolen."
Pelosi said the letter is a response to comments President Trump made at a weekend rally in Pennsylvania where he discussed the possibility of Congress deciding the election.
"I've been working on this for a while, I've been working on almost every scheme he might have to steal the election," Pelosi said Monday on MSNBC. "Anything we do to increase our numbers in the House, whether it's state delegations or members of Congress wherever they are, will help us hold the House and enlarge our size, win the Senate and elect Joe Biden president of the United States on Election Day '-- or the few days that it takes to count thereafter."
Trump told his supporters that he wants to avoid the election being decided by the Supreme Court or Congress.
"I don't want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress," Trump said. "It's counted one vote per state. So we actually have an advantage."
Trump was referencing the current balance of state representation in the House. Republicans represent the majority of House members from 26 states; Democrats have the majority in 22 states. Another two, Michigan and Pennsylvania, are tied.
Congress hasn't been called on to intervene in a presidential election at any time in modern history and only twice since the ratification of the 12th Amendment in 1804. The most recent congressional vote to decide the presidency was in 1877.
Pelosi called on Democrats to prepare for the exceedingly rare circumstances, arguing that they cannot ignore any possibility in this election.
"Simply put, this strategy to protect our democracy and elect Joe Biden will take an all-out effort and resources," Pelosi said in the letter. "I'm asking you to help with this delegation strategy as well."
The coronavirus pandemic has upended this year's election. With many more voters voting by mail, there is a greater likelihood that results will not be clear on Nov. 3. There is also a higher chance of litigation this year, given many changes to state voting laws.
Trump has further muddied the waters by casting doubt on the integrity of the election and suggesting he won't necessarily agree to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses.
Opinion | Meet a Secret Trump Voter - The New York Times
'Being a lesbian who's voting for Trump is like coming out of the closet again.'
Sept. 28, 2020 Credit... Robert McCarthy Chris is a registered Democrat in her 50s who lives in Manhattan. She's well-educated, well-traveled and well-informed. She has voted for candidates of both parties over the years and was enthusiastic for Bernie Sanders in 2016.
She's asked me not to publish her last name. It would not go down well for her at the store where she works as a manager if her colleagues knew that she plans to vote for Donald Trump.
Chris is also gay. ''Being a lesbian who's voting for Trump is like coming out of the closet again,'' she tells me.
Readers of this newspaper who conjure an image of a Trump voter probably think of people like Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who pointed guns at protesters outside their St. Louis home in late June. But if Trump defies current polling and wins again, it'll be thanks to a discreet base of support from voters like Chris, who fit into none of the cultural or demographic stereotypes of the Trump base.
It's worth understanding where she's coming from.
Start with the economy. ''I haven't seen double digit [gains] in my 401(k) since the internet boom of the late '90s,'' she says. ''It went up 19.6 percent'' in the year before the pandemic. ''Look at the stock market,'' she says. (Up about 35 percent from four years ago.) ''Look at gas prices.'' (About the same as what they were when Trump took office, but well below the $3.31 per gallon at the midpoint of the Obama administration.)
''This is everyday stuff that affects me,'' she says. ''I don't care about Afghanistan and the Middle East. I care about having a job. I care about having health care through my company. I was out of a job a few years ago. Obamacare priced me out [of private insurance]. It was like, $560 a month. Then Obama's website blew up. He can't get the website right?''
Then there's the pandemic. ''Is Trump trying to play it down?'' she asks. ''Yeah. But when this first started, the news media was saying that millions of people were going to die. And look at it: 200,000, compared to the population.''
What worries her more are the effects of the response to the pandemic in a liberal city like New York. ''Crime is in my neighborhood now. There's a homeless encampment near me that's growing and growing. They have a living room and a shower curtain and that's where they go to the bathroom. I have a guy who walks in front of the store every day. In a diaper! And there's lawlessness coming into the store every day, with an attitude of 'Who's gonna stop me?''' Regarding Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, she adds, ''I can't put into words how inept this guy is.''
I ask Chris whether Trump's behavior has ever come close to being a deal breaker for her. She asks me to name some of the lowlights.
''Grab 'em by the. '...'': ''Didn't bother me at all. For every cad out there, there's equally a gold digger who will let you do it.''
The media as the enemy of the American people: ''These days, yeah. Whenever I read a front-page story and I get to a disparaging adjective, I stop reading.''
The Brett Kavanaugh nomination: ''I didn't believe Christine Blasey Ford for one second. Her lack of recollection; the fact that nobody could [contemporaneously] corroborate her account.''
Trump-Russia: ''The Clintons' fingerprints are all over this. I'm really glad we have Bill Barr as A.G. to look into it.''
Trump's truculence on the world stage: ''Everyone kowtows to Iran because they're crazy. Now we have our own bit of crazy.''
''Very fine people on both sides'': This one stops her. ''That was really bad. He didn't think it through but I think he believes himself.''
So how does Chris feel about the Biden-Harris ticket? ''Fifteen years ago, maybe I would have voted for Joe Biden. But he's weak. And what did he do with his 40-odd years in Washington?'' As for Kamala Harris, Chris dismisses her outright. ''She doesn't know what she believes. She won't be the adult in the room.''
You don't have to agree with Chris on any of these points. You can note some of the inconsistencies in her views, most of all between her support for Sanders, who as president would have waged war on Wall Street, and her support for Trump, whose pro-Wall Street policies are a big reason that she supports him. And you can easily dismiss Chris as an outlier, an anecdote, a red voter in a blue state.
That would be a mistake. If good political analysis were merely a matter of looking at big data, Hillary Clinton would be president today. Analysis also requires us to listen attentively to individual voters. If the Democratic Party and its allies can't hold on to a voter like Chris, who else might they be losing?
Voter Fraud Map: Election Fraud Database | The Heritage Foundation
The Penn Place building, home to Luzerne County's election bureau, is seen in a file photo.
Times Leader file photo
HARRISBURG '-- It appears that an election worker's decision to throw out nine military ballots in Wilkes-Barre amounted to a mistake and not ''intentional fraud,'' the state's top elections official said Wednesday.
Workers in the elections office in Luzerne County are getting training on handling mailed-in military and overseas ballots, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said during an online news conference.
''The investigation is still going on, but from the initial reports we've been given, this was a bad error,'' said Boockvar, a member of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration. ''This was not intentional fraud. So training, training, training.''
President Donald Trump has repeatedly brought up the nine ballots as what he calls evidence of election fraud in the past week, including two mentions during Tuesday night's presidential debate.
The president first mentioned the ballots during a radio show appearance Thursday, hours before the Trump-nominated U.S. attorney in Harrisburg, Dave Freed, put out a news release about the investigation.
Jonathan Marks, the Pennsylvania deputy secretary for elections, said that in some cases, military and overseas ballots arrived in Luzerne County inside envelopes that do not clearly mark them as ballots.
The usual process when those types of ballots arrive is to immediately reseal them and store them securely with other mail-in and absentee ballots to await canvassing, he said.
''So it sounds like it was confusion,'' Marks said.
The Department of State is working on training for Luzerne County elections workers on what to do when they find balloting material inside an unmarked envelope.
''That's what needs to be tightened up,'' Marks said.
The unidentified worker, who officials have said was fired as a result, did not consult with others in the elections office, Marks said.
Investigators have not explained who recovered the ballots, described by Freed as ''discarded,'' or the process by which two of them were resealed. Freed said the other seven were all cast for Trump.
Neither Freed nor the FBI has said whether criminal charges are possible, and it's unclear whether those nine votes will be counted.
The stock markets definitely think Trump won the debate
Debate bingo went viral in NL
Chris Wallace should not have interrupted 'open discussion' portion
Effect on our kids
This weekend we went to our cabin in northern Wisconsin. My middle son (5 years old) picked up a stick, a big one, walking in the woods and started hitting trees. I mean really smacking them all while yelling GET OUT OF HERE JOE BIDEN! and You're not going let me starve Joe Biden.
... my wife was shocked. Yes, I'm semi vocal about my political views in front of our kids but nothing crazy. My wife is buttoned up on politics. Turns out he has been seeing Joe Biden ads on YouTube that he can't skip when he watches Draw With Me videos. Draw with me helps you draw cute superhero pictures. It's really the only time he gets an iPad. So he's been pretty mad at JB for not letting him get to his superheroes. The food part came from a friend at school who said if Trump losses were all going to be out of food.
...Anyways, it was a hilarious moment of my 5 year old taking out his energy on trees with the passion of 5,000 fires against Joe Biden.
AP FACT CHECK: False claims flood Trump-Biden debate
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of fabrications and fear-mongering in a belligerent debate with Joe Biden, at one point claiming that the U.S. death toll would have been 10 times higher under the Democrat because he wanted open borders in the pandemic. Biden preached no such thing.
Trump barreled into the debate Tuesday night as unconstrained by the facts as at his rallies, but this time having his campaign opponent and frequently the Fox News moderator, Chris Wallace, calling him out in real time, or trying. Biden stumbled on the record at times as the angry words flew from both men on the Cleveland stage.
A look at how some of their statements from Cleveland stack up with the facts in the first of three scheduled presidential debates for the Nov. 3 election:
VIRUS DEATH TOLL
TRUMP, addressing Biden on U.S. deaths from COVID-19: ''If you were here, it wouldn't be 200,000 people, it would be 2 million people. You didn't want me to ban China, which was heavily infected.... If we would have listened to you, the country would have been left wide open.''
THE FACTS: The audacious claim that Biden as president would have seen 2 million deaths rests on a false accusation. Biden never came out against Trump's decision to restrict travel from China. Biden was slow in staking a position on the matter but when he did, he supported the restrictions. Biden never counseled leaving the country ''wide open'' in the face of the pandemic.
Trump repeatedly, and falsely, claims to have banned travel from China. He restricted it.
The U.S. restrictions that took effect Feb. 2 continued to allow travel to the U.S. from the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macao. The Associated Press reported that more than 8,000 Chinese and foreign nationals based in the two locales entered the U.S. in the first three months after the travel restrictions were imposed.
Additionally, more than 27,000 Americans returned from mainland China in the first month after the restrictions took effect. U.S. officials lost track of more than 1,600 of them who were supposed to be monitored for virus exposure.
Dozens of countries took similar steps to control travel from hot spots before or around the same time the U.S. did.
TRUMP: ''The (Portland, Oregon) sheriff just came out today and he said I support President Trump.''
THE FACTS: That is false. The sheriff of Multnomah County, Oregon '-- where Portland is located '-- said he does not support Trump.
The sheriff, Mike Resse, tweeted: ''As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him.''
Portland has been a flashpoint in the debate over racial injustice protests in the U.S. Police and federal agents have repeatedly clashed with demonstrators gathered outside the downtown federal courthouse and police buildings. Some protesters have thrown bricks, rocks and other projectiles at officers. Police and federal agents responded by firing tear gas, rubber bullets and other non-lethal ammunition to disperse the crowds.
BIDEN: ''There was a peaceful protest in front of the White House. What did he do? He came out of his bunker, had the military do tear gas.''
THE FACTS: It was law enforcement, not the military, that used chemical irritants to forcefully remove peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square outside the White House on June 1.
And there is no evidence President Trump was inside a bunker in the White House as that happened. Secret Service agents had rushed Trump to a White House bunker days earlier as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the executive mansion, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades.
TRUMP: ''Drug prices will be coming down 80 or 90%.''
THE FACTS: That's a promise, not a reality, and it's a big stretch.
Trump has been unable to get legislation to lower drug prices through Congress. Major regulatory actions from his administration are still in the works, and are likely to be challenged in court.
There's no plan on the horizon that would lower drug prices as dramatically as Trump claims.
Prescription drug price inflation has been low and slow during the Trump years, but it hasn't made a U-turn and sped off in the other direction. Prices have seesawed from year to year.
Looking back at the totality of Trump's term, from Jan. 2017, when he was inaugurated, to the latest data from Aug. 2020, drug prices went up 3.6%, according to an analysis by economist Paul Hughes-Cromwick of Altarum, a nonprofit research and consulting organization.
Hughes-Cromwick looked at figures from the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics, which measures prices for a set of prescription medicines, including generics and branded drugs.
When comparing prices in 2019 with a year earlier, there indeed was a decline. Prices dropped by 0.2% in 2019, a turnabout not seen since the 1970s. But that's nowhere near close to 80% or 90%.
From August of last year to this August, prices rose by 1.4%.
TRUMP: Dr. Anthony Fauci ''said very strongly, 'masks are not good.' Then he changed his mind, he said, 'masks, good.'''
THE FACTS: He is skirting crucial context. Trump is telling the story in a way that leaves out key lessons learned as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded, raising doubts about the credibility of public health advice.
Early on in the outbreak, a number of public health officials urged everyday people not to use masks, fearing a run on already short supplies of personal protective equipment needed by doctors and nurses in hospitals.
But that changed as the highly contagious nature of the coronavirus became clear, as well as the fact that it can be spread by tiny droplets breathed into the air by people who may not display any symptoms.
Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, along with Dr. Robert Redfield of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Steven Hahn of the Food and Drug Administration and Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House coronavirus task force, all agree on the importance of wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Redfield has repeatedly said it could be as effective as a vaccine if people took that advice to heart.
TRUMP, on coronavirus and his campaign rallies: ''So far we have had no problem whatsoever. It's outside, that's a big difference according to the experts. We have tremendous crowds.''
THE FACTS: That's not correct.
Trump held an indoor rally in Tulsa in late June, drawing both thousands of participants and large protests.
The Tulsa City-County Health Department director said the rally ''likely contributed'' to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases there. By the first week of July, Tulsa County was confirming more than 200 new daily cases, setting record highs. That's more than twice the number the week before the rally.
TRUMP, addressing Biden: ''You didn't do very well on the swine flu. H1N1. You were a disaster.''
THE FACTS: Trump frequently distorts what happened in the pandemic of 2009, which killed far fewer people in the United States than the coronavirus is killing now. For starters, Biden as vice president wasn't running the federal response. And that response was faster out of the gate than when COVID-19 came to the U.S.
Then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's flu surveillance network sounded the alarm after two children in California became the first people diagnosed with the new flu strain in this country.
About two weeks later, the Obama administration declared a public health emergency against H1N1, also known as the swine flu, and the CDC began releasing anti-flu drugs from the national stockpile to help hospitals get ready. In contrast, Trump declared a state of emergency in early March, seven weeks after the first U.S. case of COVID-19 was announced, and the country's health system struggled for months with shortages of critical supplies and testing.
More than 200,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. The CDC puts the U.S. death toll from the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic at about 12,500.
BIDEN: Trump will be the ''first (president) in American history'' to lose jobs during his presidency.
THE FACTS: No, if Trump loses re-election, he would not be the first president in U.S. history to have lost jobs. That happened under Herbert Hoover, the president who lost the 1932 election to Franklin Roosevelt as the Great Depression caused massive job losses.
Official jobs records only go back to 1939 and, in that period, no president has ended his term with fewer jobs than when he began. Trump appears to be on track to have lost jobs during his first term, which would make him the first to do so since Hoover.
TRUMP, on the prospect of mass fraud in the vote-by-mail process, ''It's a rigged election.''
THE FACTS: He is exaggerating threats. Trump's claim is part of a months-long effort to sow doubt about the integrity of the election before it's even arrived and to preemptively call into question the results.
Experts have repeatedly said there are no signs of widespread fraud in mail balloting, as have the five states that relied exclusively on that system for voting even before the coronavirus pandemic. Trump's own FBI director, Chris Wray, said at a congressional hearing just last week that the bureau has not historically seen ''any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it's by mail or otherwise.''
Wray did acknowledge voter fraud at the local level ''from time to time,'' but even there, Trump appeared to paint an overly dire portrait of the reality and he misstated the facts of one particular case that received substantial attention last week following an unusual Justice Department announcement.
Trump said nine military ballots found discarded in a wastebasket in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, were all marked for him. Though that's consistent with an initial statement the Justice Department made, officials later revised it to say seven of the nine ballots had Trump's name.
TRUMP: ''I'm the one who brought back football. By the way, I brought back Big Ten football. It was me and I'm very happy to do it.''
THE FACTS: Better check the tape. While Trump had called for the Big Ten conference to hold its 2020 football season, he wasn't the only one. Fans, students, athletes and college towns had also urged the conference to resume play.
When the Big Ten announced earlier this month that it reversed an earlier decision to cancel the season because of COVID-19, Trump tweeted his thanks: ''It is my great honor to have helped!!!''
The conference includes several large universities in states that could prove pivotal in the election, including Pennsylvania, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
BIDEN, on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett: ''She thinks that the Affordable Care Act is not constitutional.''
THE FACTS: That's not right.
Biden is talking about Trump's pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett has been critical of the Obama-era law and the court decisions that have upheld it, but she has never said it's not constitutional. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on Nov. 10, and the Trump administration is asking the high court to rule the law unconstitutional.
TRUMP: ''You said you went to Delaware State, but you forgot the name of your college. You didn't go to Delaware State. ... There's nothing smart about you, Joe.''
THE FACTS: Trump is quoting Biden out of context. The former vice president, a graduate of the University of Delaware, did not say he attended Delaware State University but was making a broader point about his long-standing ties to the Black community.
Trump is referring to remarks Biden often says on the campaign, typically when speaking to Black audiences, that he ''goes way back with HBCUs,'' or historically Black universities and colleges. Biden has spoken many times over the years at Delaware State, a public HBCU in his home state, and the school says that's where he first announced his bid for the Senate '' his political start.
''I got started out of an HBCU, Delaware State '-- now, I don't want to hear anything negative about Delaware State,'' Biden told a town hall in Florence, South Carolina, in October 2019. ''They're my folks.''
Biden often touts his deep political ties to the Black community, occasionally saying he ''grew up politically'' or ''got started politically'' in the Black church. In front of some audiences, he's omitted the word ''politically,'' but still with a clear context about his larger point. The statements are all part of standard section of his stump noting that Delaware has ''the eighth largest Black population by percentage.''
A spokesman for the Delaware State University, Carlos Holmes, has said it took Biden's comments to refer to his political start, saying that Biden announced his bid for the U.S. Senate on the DSU campus in 1972.
Biden's broader point is push back on the idea that he's a Johnny-Come-Lately with the Black community or that his political connections there are owed only to being Barack Obama's vice president.
BIDEN: ''The fact of the matter is violent crime went down 17%, 15%, in our administration.''
THE FACTS: That's overstating it.
Overall, the number of violent crimes fell roughly 10% from 2008, the year before Biden took office as vice president, to 2016, his last full year in the office, according to data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program.
But the number of violent crimes was spiking again during Obama and Biden's final two years in office, increasing by 8% from 2014 to 2016.
More people were slain across the U.S. in 2016, for example, than at any other point under the Obama administration.
TRUMP: ''If you look at what's going on in Chicago, where 53 people were shot and eight died. If you look at New York where it's going up like nobody's ever seen anything '... the numbers are going up 100 150, 200%, crime, it's crazy what's going on.''
THE FACTS: Not quite. The statistics in Chicago are true, but those numbers are only a small snapshot of crime in the city and the United States, and his strategy is highlighting how data can be easily molded to suit the moment. As for New York, Trump may have been talking about shootings. They are up in New York by about 93% so far this year, but overall crime is down about 1.5%. Murders are up 38%, but there were 327 killings compared with 236, still low compared with years past. For example, compared with a decade ago, crime is down 10 percent.
An FBI report released Monday for 2019 year of crime data found that violent crime has decreased over the past three years.
Associated Press writers Josh Boak, Colleen Long, Ellen Knickmeyer, Mark Sherman, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Bill Barrow, David Klepper, Amanda Seitz, Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.
EDITOR'S NOTE '-- A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.
Find AP Fact Checks at http://apnews.com/APFactCheck
Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck
Correct The Record: Biden Makes 33 False Or Misleading Claims At The Debate | Donald J. Trump for President
FACT: Biden and Harris have both publicly opposed Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, despite glowing reviews from the legal community and her colleagues.
Biden put out a statement in opposition to Judge Barrett's nomination.
Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, tweeted that she strongly opposed Judge Barrett's nomination.
BIDEN: ''There's a hundred million people with preexisting conditions and [their insurance will] be taken away as well.''
FACT: Biden's claim has been called ''misleading,'' and President Trump has said he will always protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.
Just last week, President Trump signed an Executive Order making it the official policy of the federal government to protect those with pre-existing conditions.
BIDEN: ''So the thing that should happen is we should wait. We should wait and see what the outcome of this election is, because that is the only way the American people get to express their view, who they elect as president and who they elect as Vice President.''
FACT: History is on the side of filling the Supreme Court vacancy now, and Joe Biden previously said the President had an obligation to name a nominee, even in an election year.
There have been 29 prior Supreme Court vacancies in American history during a Presidential election year, and in all cases, the President nominated a Justice.
17 out of 19 times the Senate has confirmed the President's Supreme Court nominee in an election year when the President's party controls the Senate as it does today.
In 2016, Biden said that he supported confirming a Supreme Court Justice in an election year ''even a few months before a presidential election.''
Biden in 2016: ''In my view, [Senators] are required to give the nominee a hearing and a vote.''
BIDEN: ''We expand Obamacare and we increase it. We do not wipe any and, one of the big debates we had, with 23 of my colleagues trying to win the nomination that I won, were saying Biden wanted to allow people to have private insurance still. They can. They do. They will.''
FACT: Biden's public option will crowd out private health insurance plans.
Biden's government-backed ''public option'' will crowd out private health insurance plans, destroying the health care that 180 million Americans rely on.
One of the architects of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, said a public option would crowd out private insurance.
In 2009, Barack Obama admitted that a ''public option'' could crowd out private insurance.
BIDEN: ''He's been promising a health care plan since he got elected. He has none, like almost everything else he talks about. He does not have a plan. He doesn't have a plan.''
FACT: President Trump has a health care plan.
On September 24, President Trump unveiled his America First Health Care plan, outlining the key policies and reforms the President supports, including protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions.
In August, President Trump released his second term agenda, which includes health care as a central focus.
TRUMP: ''You agreed with Bernie Sanders to the manifesto and now you're disavowing it.'' BIDEN: ''There is no manifesto.''
FACT: There is a manifesto, and Biden's campaign worked with Sanders' associates to write it.
In July, the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force released a 118-page document filled with far-left, radical policies the Biden campaign has embraced.
The task force included socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Castro-sympathizer Rep. Karen Bass.
BIDEN: ''What did he do? He went in, and he, we were insisting that the Chinese, the people we had on the ground in China should be able to go to Wuhan and determine for themselves how dangerous this was. He didn't even ask [Chinese President] Xi to do that.''
FACT: The Trump Administration first tried to get American officials into China in early January; Biden didn't call for sending experts into China until February 25, 50 days later.
This often repeated claim by Biden has been repeatedly debunked by fact-checkers.
The Washington Post fact checker gave Biden's claim three Pinocchios.
CDC Director Robert Redfield offered to send CDC experts to China as early as January 4, and the issue was raised multiple times by Administration officials in the weeks after.
President Trump personally raised the issue in a call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Biden did not call on China to admit U.S. experts until February 25, after U.S. officials were already on the ground.
WALLACE: ''But you and Senator Harris are saying you can't trust a scientist.'' BIDEN: ''No, you can trust a scientist. She didn't say that.'' WALLACE: ''She said they would be 'muzzled and suppressed.''' BIDEN: ''Well, that's what he's going to try and do.''
FACT: President Trump has listened to scientists and public health experts every step of the way.
Dr. Fauci has said on multiple occasions that he has never been muzzled.
FactCheck.org: ''Biden went too far when he claimed that Trump 'hasn't allowed his scientists to speak' about the coronavirus.''
TRUMP: ''But he wants to shut it [the economy] down.'' BIDEN: ''No.''
FACT: Biden and his campaign have admitted that he would potentially shut down the economy again.
In August, Joe Biden openly said that he was prepared to shut down the country again.
Biden campaign spokesperson Symone Sanders admitted that Biden would shut down the economy again.
Biden surrogate Senator Chris Coons admitted Biden would shut down the economy again.
WALLACE: ''The president says it's a V-shaped recovery, you say it's a K-shaped recovery. What's the difference?'' BIDEN: ''The difference is millionaires and billionaires like him in the middle of the Covid crisis have done very well.''
FACT: President Trump is leading an unprecedented economic recovery that is benefitting all Americans.
The economy has added back 10.6 million jobs over the last four months, half of all the jobs lost due to the pandemic.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.4% in August and saw the second-largest one month decrease in U.S. history.
Retail sales have increased four months in a row, with consumer spending already reaching pre-pandemic levels.
Consumer confidence in September posted the biggest gain in 17 years.
Weekly jobless claims continue a downward trend, beating expectations and falling to their lowest level since mid-March.
American manufacturing has grown for four straight months.
The stock market has rebounded, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both recently achieving new record highs.
BIDEN: ''He's been totally irresponsible the way in which he has handled the social distancing and people wearing mask, basically encouraging them not to.''
FACT: President Trump has strongly advocated that Americans wear masks, and he has worn one himself many times.
In March, President Trump recommended that people could use a scarf as a mask.
In April, President Trump announced that the CDC was recommending wearing face masks.
In July, President Trump recommended that all Americans wear masks ''whether they like the mask or not.''
In July, President Trump tweeted a photo of himself wearing a mask and said wearing masks is patriotic.
BIDEN: ''[The Trump Administration has] done nothing to help small businesses. Nothing.''
FACT: President Trump's Paycheck Protection Program was undeniably successful in keeping Americans employed and small businesses afloat during the pandemic.
The Paycheck Protection Program has provided $525 billion to over 5.2 million U.S. businesses, protecting more than 51 million jobs.
President Trump ensured that $30 billion of the Paycheck Protection Program was reserved for small financial institutions serving minority communities.
BIDEN: ''He pays less tax than a schoolteacher '... This guy paid a total of $750 in taxes.''''
FACT: President Trump has paid millions of dollars in taxes in 2016 and 2017.
President Trump paid millions in taxes during years that The New York Times falsely claimed that President Trump only paid $750 in federal taxes.
BIDEN: ''The economy is busted.''
FACT: Before the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump built the greatest economy in American history, and he is working to bring it back.
Through the first three years of the Trump Administration, the U.S. economy saw nearly 7.3 million new jobs, higher growth, and a record setting stock market.
Workers saw higher wages, lower taxes, record low unemployment rates, and a thriving labor market.
6.6 million Americans were lifted out of poverty and millions were lifted off food stamps.
In just four months, the economy has already recovered over 10.6 million jobs, nearly half the jobs lost due to the pandemic.
BIDEN: ''We inherited the worst recession short of a depression in American history. I was asked to bring it back. We were able to have an economic recovery that created the jobs you're talking about. We handed him a booming economy.''
FACT: Biden oversaw the slowest recovery since the Great Depression, leaving behind millions of hard-working Americans.
Joe Biden's economic recovery was a once-in a century failure: he's even said so himself.
Biden himself has admitted that many Americans ''were left behind'' during his recovery.
BIDEN: ''My economic plan would create 7 million more jobs than his in four years''
FACT: Biden's economic plans would destroy jobs and shrink the economy.
According to the Tax Foundation, Biden's tax plan would destroy 585,000 full-time jobs.
Biden's tax plan would shrink the economy by 1.5 percent.
According to the Penn-Wharton Budget Model, Biden's tax plan would slow economic growth.
BIDEN: ''My son did nothing wrong in Burisma.''
FACT: Multiple State Department officials expressed alarm about Hunter Biden's financial dealings at the time, concerned over the clear conflict-of-interest.
BIDEN: ''[President Trump] said there were very fine people on both sides.''
FACT: This is an often-repeated Biden lie; President Trump specifically condemned neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville.
Fact checkers have debunked Biden's claim and said that President Trump condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
CNN's Jake Tapper admitted that President Trump did in fact condemn Neo-Nazis.
Fox News' Brit Hume has debunked the ''very fine people'' lie.
TRUMP: ''[Hunter Biden] got $3.5 million dollars.'' BIDEN: ''That is not true.''
FACT: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee recently released a report saying that Hunter Biden's firm did in fact receive $3.5 million from the wife of the Mayor of Moscow.
Biden's firm, Rosemont Seneca Thornton, received a $3.5 million wire transfer in 2014 from Russian billionaire Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow.
BIDEN: ''Even before COVID, manufacturing went in the hole.''
FACT: Half a million manufacturing jobs were created during the first three years of the Trump Administration.
The economy added 510,000 new manufacturing jobs between President Trump's Election and February 2020.
In 2018, the U.S. added 264,000 new manufacturing jobs, the best one-year total in 30 years.
The U.S. has added more than 13,000 factories under President Trump.
During the Obama-Biden Administration, the United states lost 192,000 manufacturing jobs.
During the Trump Administration's first 37 months, manufacturing production grew at a rate 11 times greater than the last 37 months under the Obama-Biden Administration.
TRUMP: ''I think it's a party issue. You can bring in a couple of examples but when you look at Chicago, what's going on in Chicago where 53 people were shot and eight died '... If you look at New York where it's going up like nobody has ever seen anything. Numbers are going up 100, 150, 200% crime.'' BIDEN: ''Republican cities.''
FACT: A vast majority of the most violent cities in the U.S. are cities run by Democrats.
17 out of the top 20 most violent cities in the United States are Democratic-run cities, including Chicago and New York.
BIDEN: ''His own former spokesperson said, 'you know riots and chaos and violence help his cause' '... Kellyanne Conway said that.''
FACT: Biden misquoted and misconstrued comments from former Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.
Conway was responding to a question about something Biden supporter Pete Buttigieg said, falsely blaming President Trump for the violence occurring in Democrat-run cities.
In response, Conway said ''The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better is for the very clear choice on who's best on public safety and law and order.''
This is not the first time Biden has misquoted Conway.
BIDEN: ''Look, what I support is the police having the opportunity to deal with the problems they face. I am totally opposed to defunding the police officers.''
FACT: As Vice President, Joe Biden oversaw cuts in federal funding for state and local law enforcement, breaking a pledge to increase funding.
Biden said ''yes, absolutely'' when asked if he would redirect funding away from police to other government programs like housing.
Kamala Harris recently said a Biden-Harris Administration would ''reimagine'' public safety, which is the same language used by left-wing ''defund the police'' activists.
The Biden-Sanders unity platform's proposed destruction of qualified immunity for police would financially eviscerate local police departments even further.
Biden cut police funding when he was Vice President.
Despite candidate-Biden's promise in 2008 to fully fund the COPS program, the Obama-Biden Administration slashed COPS funding from $1.55 billion to $222 million.
At the time, police groups protested the Obama-Biden cuts, calling the funding reductions ''simply irresponsible.''
Federal funding for state and local law enforcement fell during the Obama-Biden Administration.
BIDEN: ''The fact is that I've gone head to head with Putin.''
FACT: Biden has a record of being weak on Russia.
The Russia "reset," which Biden was the first Obama official to publicly propose, was a failure.
The Obama-Biden Administration refused requests by Ukraine for lethal weapons to use against Russian aggression in Crimea.
Russian election interference occurred on Biden's watch.
In 2012, Biden mocked the idea that ''Russia is still our major adversary,'' saying Russia was ''working closely with us.''
TRUMP: '''...for cocaine use. And he didn't have a job until you became Vice President.'' BIDEN: ''None of that is true.''
FACT: As was widely reported, in 2014 Hunter Biden was discharged from the military for cocaine use.
USA Today: ''Biden, who had no prior military experience, was one of six officers commissioned nationally into the Navy Reserve public affairs division '... Biden, 44, was discharged from the Navy Reserve in February.''
The Wall Street Journal: ''Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter was discharged from the Navy Reserve this year after testing positive for cocaine.''
BIDEN: ''The way you talk about the military, the way you talk about them being losers and being ah- and just being suckers.''
FACT: At least 14 officials who were on the trip to France with President Trump have gone on the record to refute the anonymous sources and allegations in The Atlantic article.
Sarah Sanders, former White House Press Secretary: ''The Atlantic story on @realDonaldTrump is total BS. I was actually there and one of the people part of the discussion - this never happened.''
Hogan Gidley, former White House Deputy Press Secretary: ''These are disgusting, grotesque, reprehensible lies. I was there in Paris and the President never said those things.''
Dan Scavino, White House Deputy Chief Of Staff for Communications: ''I was with POTUS in France, with Sarah, and have been at his side throughout it all. Complete lies by 'anonymous sources''...''
Jordan Karem, former Personal Aide to President Trump: ''This is not even close to being factually accurate. plain and simple, it just never happened.''
Karem: ''Again, this is 100% false. I was next to @POTUS the whole day! The President was greatly disappointed when told we couldn't fly there. He was incredibly eager to honor our Fallen Heroes.''
Johnny DeStefano, former Counselor to the President: ''I was on this trip. The Atlantic bit is not true. Period.''
John Bolton, former National Security Advisor: '''I didn't hear that,' Mr. Bolton said in an interview. 'I'm not saying he didn't say them later in the day or another time but I was there for that discussion.'''
Stephen Miller, White House Senior Adviser: The accusation is a ''despicable lie '... The president deeply wanted to attend the memorial event in question and was deeply displeased by the bad weather call.''
Tony Ornato, White House Deputy Chief of Staff and then-Head of the Secret Service's Presidential Protective Detail has said the story is false.
Derek Lyons, Staff Secretary and Counselor to the President: ''I was with the President the morning after the scheduled visit. He was extremely disappointed that arrangements could not be made to get him to the site, and that the trip had been cancelled.''
Dan Walsh, former White House Deputy Chief Of Staff: ''I can attest to the fact that there was a bad weather call in France, and that the helicopters were unable to safely make the flight.''
Zach Fuentes, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff: ''I did not hear POTUS call anyone losers when I told him about the weather.''
First Lady Melania Trump: ''@TheAtlantic story is not true. It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else, & no one knows their motivation. This is not journalism - It is activism. And it is a disservice to the people of our great nation.''
Jamie McCourt, U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco: ''In my presence, POTUS has NEVER denigrated any member of the U.S. military or anyone in service to our country. And he certainly did not that day, either. Let me add, he was devastated to not be able to go to the cemetery at Belleau Wood. In fact, the next day, he attended and spoke at the ceremony in Suresnes in the pouring rain.''
Major General William Matz (ret.), Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission: ''I was the host of the event discussed by the false and despicable article published in The Atlantic magazine on 3 September. On 10 November 2018, I was at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery awaiting the arrival of President Trump. As a former Army infantryman who has flown on many helicopters, I knew that morning the weather was bad and the ceiling was too low for a safe landing that day. When the President's visit was appropriately canceled due to weather, I received word also that he was upset he would not be able to make the wreath-laying visit and to pay his respect to the 2300 fallen soldiers and Marines interred there. '... Those who know President Trump know that the anonymous smears peddled by The Atlantic have no basis in fact or reality, and do a terrible disservice to journalism and to our veterans, living and deceased.''
Additionally, The Atlantic's reporting has been refuted by a White House email and Navy documents that directly show a ''bad weather call'' was the reason for the canceled presidential trip to Aisne-Marne cemetery in 2018.
WALLACE: ''You propose $2 trillion in green jobs, you talk about new limits, not abolishing, but new limits on fracking. Ending the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity by 2035 and zero net emission of greenhouse gases by 2050. The President says a lot of these things would tank the economy and cost millions of jobs.'' BIDEN: ''He is absolutely wrong.''
FACT: Biden's energy plan would cost trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Biden admitted he would willingly ''sacrifice'' ''hundreds of thousands'' of fossil fuel jobs in pursuit of his anti-energy agenda.
Biden has made clear '' he wants to ''end'' fossil fuels, saying they would have ''no place'' in a Biden presidency.
Biden has said he would ''love to make sure we can't use any oil or gas, period'' and that he would ''make sure'' fossil fuels and fracking are ''eliminated.''
Over 10.3 million American jobs are supported by the oil and gas industry.
Biden has vowed that there would be no place for fracking in a Biden Administration, saying it would be ''eliminated.''
Biden's plan to ban new energy permitting on federal lands alone would threaten an estimated 268,000 jobs.
Completely banning fracking would destroy anywhere from 1 million to 19 million jobs.
Biden has proposed completely eliminating oil, gas, and coal from the U.S. power grid by 2035.
Prior estimates show eliminating oil, gas, and coal from the U.S. energy grid would cost anywhere from $4.5 trillion to $5.7 trillion, with an average cost of $35,000 per household.
BIDEN: ''That is not my plan. The Green New Deal is not my plan.''
FACT: Joe Biden has embraced the Green New Deal in all but name.
Biden's own climate plan on his website cites the Green New Deal as a ''crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face.''
The Washington Post: ''Joe Biden is embracing the framework of the Green New Deal in his bid for the White House'...''
Inside Climate News: ''In embracing it, he proclaimed his support for the central principles '... of the Green New Deal.''
TRUMP: ''What he did is he said, he called the military 'stupid bastards.''' BIDEN: ''That is not true.''
FACT: In March 2016, Biden called service members ''stupid bastards'' during a speech at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.
After airmen didn't applaud at one of Biden's lines, he insulted them by saying: ''Clap for that you stupid bastards.''
BIDEN: ''You don't have to solicit the ballot, it's sent you'--it's sent to your home. What we are saying is, they are saying it has to be postmarked by Election Day. If it doesn't get in until the seventh, eighth, ninth, it still should be counted. He's just afraid of counting the votes because of the outcome.''
FACT: Biden is wrong that states with mass vote by mail require postmarks; Pennsylvania's Supreme Court explicitly said ballots, even those without postmarks, will be assumed to be valid.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that ballots received up to three days after Election Day, even if they're not postmarked, must be counted.
In Wisconsin, ballots that were not postmarked in time for an April 7 ballot-measure election were counted in some counties.
BIDEN: ''[Judge Amy Coney Barrett] thinks that the Affordable Care Act is not constitutional.''
FACT: Judge Amy Coney Barrett has not expressed a view about the Constitutionality of Obamacare or about the current case pending before the Supreme Court.
BIDEN: ''We have a higher deficit with China now than we did before.''
FACT: The trade deficit with China is falling and ''fell sharply'' in 2019.
BIDEN: ''The fact of the matter is violent crime went down 17%, 15%, in our administration.''
FACT: Fact checkers have said this claim is ''overstated,'' and violent crime rose by more than 4 percent during the last two years Biden was Vice President.
Meanwhile, the FBI recently announced that violent crime has fallen during the first three years of the Trump Administration.
Back to News
Viral Loads In COVID-19 Infected Patients Drop, Along With Death Rate, Study Finds
Anonymous Bioinformatician PCR follow up
Firstly, thank you so much for taking time to read my response to the show. You're right! It is so frustrating to know so much about the process and science, and not have a clear way to communicate that. So thank you for bearing with me! I've tried to give you a "snippet" of what I think, followed by some more dense science, because I want to provide you with good scientific information (so that you can improve your bull detector), so here goes:
I think testing this virus is problematic – but I don't actually think the PCR test is the problem. The science behind the PCR is robust, and the cycles are not likely causing the problems of finding virus that is not there. I wax poetic about this below, because the science itself is important, but horribly dense. The PCR is robust to cycle number, and robust to finding SARS-CoV-2 specifically, there is a list below of 31 pathogens, most closely related, that are undetected by these assays. And by these assays – I'm referring to the Abbott and ThermoFisher tests approved by the FDA Emergency Use Authorization act. Basically, I think the PCR is fine, but it doesn't tell us enough information about the virus and the infectivity in people – which is the component leading to shut downs etc. The infectivity is lost because the PCR test is not a good reflection of disease progress, nor a reflection of active virus. Thus, we still don't have a good picture for why people get sick, whether asymptomatic people have different disease progression, or when the risk of infection ceases. This is why we haven't seen any real policy change, because we don't know. PCR testing followed 2 weeks later by an antibody test can miss someone who is PCR negative, but shows positive antibodies....when were they sick? When were they at risk for transmission? WE DON'T KNOW! This is of far greater concern, and not the PCR differences, or PCR case numbers, but we don't have a test for the rest, so Public Health Departments are using the only data they have, how many positive PCR and antibody tests exist. I don't have an answer for how to make this better yet, but here is the crux of the problem.
I hope that's more concise, because below is not. But it should give you some very clear facts on the testing, and hopefully give you a sense of why I don't see PCR as the problem. I also don't want to drown you, so I can cover Rapid Tests and Antibodies in a subsequent email if you still find this level of information helpful and interesting.
Love and light,
Victoria PCR cycles confirmation
Thank you for your recent query regarding the number of amplification cycles currently being undertaken in the PCR test being used in Victoria.
My colleague advises me that it is 35-40 amplification cycles.
Specifically, after viral RNA is extracted into complementary DNA, it is amplified using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The amplification process is repeated for about 40 cycles. Amplification is measured with fluorescent labelled DNA probes. If viral RNA is present in the sample, the target gene will have been amplified and there will be a signal at somewhere between 20 and 40 cycles, which equates to a Cycle Threshold value (Ct value).
I hope that this is helpful.
Please let me know if I can assist you with anything else.
The findings of two studies presented at this week's virtual European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) Conference on Coronavirus Disease suggest that patients' loads of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, declined as the pandemic progressed, which may help explain falling rates of coronavirus-related intensive care unit (ICU) use and deaths.
Both unpublished studies were observational, however, so they cannot determine cause and effect, only highlight the association.
Measuring the progress of the pandemicThe first study, conducted by Wayne State University researchers in Detroit, involved a retrospective analysis of 708 initial nose-throat swabs from hospitalized coronavirus patients tested from Apr 4 to Jun 5 using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The goal was to better describe the effects of changing viral loads'--which is a measure of virus density'--at a population level.
In the first week of the study, 48.7% of viral loads were characterized as intermediate, versus 25.5% in both the low and high viral load categories. Thereafter, the percentage of high and intermediate loads progressively fell at the same time as the proportion of low viral loads rose.
Five weeks into the study, 70% of the samples showed a low initial viral load, corresponding to a decrease in the death rate; 45% of patients with high viral loads died, in contrast with 32% in those with intermediate loads and 14% in those with low loads.
At week 5 the rate of patients with an intermediate load was around 18%, and about 12% had high viral loads. By week 6, no patients had high viral loads.
The authors concluded that the downward trend in viral load may indicate that the pandemic is becoming less severe, implementation of physical distancing and lockdowns may have decreased overall exposure to the coronavirus, and analyzing viral loads over time may be a good way to assess pandemic progress.
"Though confounding variables have not been evaluated, this suggests an association between initial viral load and mortality," they said in an ESCMID press release.
Severity of signs, symptomsThe second unpublished study, conducted by researchers in Italy, suggests that as pandemic lockdowns in that country began, resulting in lower case numbers, COVID-19 patient viral loads on nose-throat swabs tested by RT-PCR also fell from March to May. The authors said that their findings may account for lower percentages of patients needing intensive care and dying of their infections over time.
Researchers analyzed data from 373 COVID-19 patients in an emergency department in the northern city of Negrar to assess a possible association between the severity of coronavirus signs and symptoms with viral load as the pandemic transitioned from high to low transmission.
As patient viral loads declined over the course of the pandemic, the percentage of patients admitted to the ICU declined substantially from March (6.7%) to April (1.1%), and May (0.0%).
"As the epidemiological context changed from high to low transmission setting, people were presumably exposed to a lower viral load, which has been previously associated to less severe clinical manifestations," the authors wrote.
El Paso County COVID-19 incident rate rises 36.9 percent in two weeks
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - In the past, El Paso County showed consistent weeks of progress slowing the spread of COVID-19. But now, recent data from the local health department shows numbers have now started moving in the completely wrong direction.
The El Paso County Health Department says in the past two weeks, local incidence rate has risen 36.9 percent. The incidence rate is the number of positive cases per 100,000 people in a population over a two-week period.
This spike in cases puts El Paso County at risk of moving down from the 'Safer at Home Level 1' phase. If this were to happen, El Paso County would be moved to 'Safer Level 2,'² which would tighten up restrictions. For more information on what that would mean, please click here.
For more information on positive case numbers, please click here.
Info from @EPCPublicHealth: Over the past two weeks, our local COVID-19 incidence rate has risen 36.9%. This concerning rise endangers our county's standing in "Safer at Home Level 1". We ALL need to keep practicing preventative measures. Visit https://t.co/G7jWJm5NhM for more. pic.twitter.com/4Gzh4kGzL3
'-- El Paso County, Colorado (@epcpio) September 28, 2020Copyright 2020 KKTV. All rights reserved.
There has been a lot of noise about false positive COVID19 tests in the news. So, I thought I would try to explain what it all means. Or do my best anyway.
There are two measures in most medical screening tests which are usually defined as the 'sensitivity' and the 'specificity' of a test. In my opinion, these two words are far too close together in sound, so they are very easy to mix up in your brain.
I find it easier to think of the accuracy of test results in this way.
False negativesFalse positivesA false negative is a result which informs someone that they do not have a disease, when in fact they do.
A false positive is a result which informs someone they do have a disease, when they don't.
Ideally a test should never give a false negative (100% sensitivity) nor give a false positive (100% specificity). There is no known test that does this. In general, there is a trade-off going on between these two measures.
By which I mean, if you aim for 100% sensitivity, the specificity often falls away '' and vice-versa
For example, in cancer screening the primary objective is you must never miss a case. So, the sensitivity rate is set very high. By definition the rate of false negatives is very low.
A shadow on the breast, a few strange cells here, a few strange cells there '' 'that might be cancer, better to be safe than sorry. Don't take the risk'. Positive cancer test.
To put this another way. The fear of missing any cases of cancer results in the number of false positives being high. This raises the question with COVID19. Is it better to underdiagnose '' many false negatives. Or over diagnose '' many false positives?
Note I am talking here primarily about the naso-pharyngeal swab tests (i.e., antigen tests) which are used to see if you have the virus NOW and not the blood (antibody) test done which may be done later to see if you have ever had the virus.
This issue does not seem to have been discussed. If you want to prevent spread of COVID19, you would presumably want very few false negatives in these swab tests. Otherwise people will be told they don't have the disease '' when they do '' and happily go off spreading it around. Equally, you would be relaxed about false positives. People would isolate when they don't need to, but not a great health issue.
Weirdly, however, this does not seem to be the case.
COVID19 false negatives
With COVID19, there are a lot of false negatives, with some studies quoting figures as high as 50%. That is, half of those told they are not infected with COVID19, are probably infected1. A systematic review got figures between 2% and 29%. So, we could call that an average of 16%?
As you can see, these figures are clearly all over the place. This is in major part because there is no 'gold-standard' COVID19 test. By which I mean that we do not have a 'test of tests.' Namely, the expensive and time-consuming test by which we absolutely can know if someone truly is infected. The test against which your 'field tests' can be calibrated/verified.
Indeed, currently, there is no current agreement as to what 'infected' means with COVID19. Does it mean finding viral particles in the nose, sputum, or throat '' or all three? Does it mean finding viral particles in these places, and also isolating it in the bloodstream, or lungs? Does it mean finding evidence of antibodies specific to COVID19 two to three weeks following 'infection?' Or what? It would be nice to know.
COVID19 false positives
More troubling, right now, than the very poor sensitivity of COVID19 testing (high number of false negatives) is the knotty question of how many false positive tests there are? This is important, because we are told that cases are rising and rising as we suffer a 'second wave' of COVID19.
However, if we have a high rate of false positives, then the rise in 'cases' could be driven by a rise in testing '' and nothing else. And you don't need a high percentage of false positive tests to do this. If the false positive rate is as little as just one per cent (1%) this means the majority of people told they are positive for COVID19, do not have COVID19!
I know that most people find this a difficult one. It goes like this.
First, you have to know the estimated prevalence of the disease in the community. That is, the total number currently infected. Last time I looked it was one in nine hundred. For the sake of this calculation I shall call it one in a thousand. [Or, to put it another way, sixty-seven thousand people in the UK (population 67 million) are currently infected with COVID19].
Using this one in a thousand figure. This means, if you randomly tested ten thousand people, you would expect to find ten COVID19 cases [forgetting the false negatives for now].
On the other side of the coin. If the false positive rate is one per cent, you would have an additional one hundred false positives cases.
10,000 x.01(1%) = 100
Putting this another way. With a prevalence of one in a thousand, and a false positive rate of one per-cent you would have ten true COVID19 positive cases, and ninety false positives. Ergo, the vast majority of people told that they have COVID19, do not. Is this actually happening?
There is heated debate. As in much heat and little light.
In order to shed a little light, I have been communicating with a senior scientist in a COVID19 facility who feels things have gone very wrong. Below is his take on the false positive situation, from a couple of weeks ago. It is highly technical, but for those who can follow it, I think the author makes some critical points. I have not named him for, were I to do so, he would almost certainly land in very hot water. However, the references are verifiable.
1: https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/369/bmj.m1808.full.pdfWhat do positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests mean? (Absolutely Nothing!)The Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test is the ''Gold Standard'' COVID-19 antigen test used in our laboratory. The specificity of this test from the manufacturer's package insert1. [Here referred to as negative percentage agreement or NPA) is 95.6% or 0.956 when expressed as a fraction].
I don't know about other RT-PCR tests, but I imagine the specificity will be similar for all widely used commercially available kits.
The specificity of a test is defined by the equation:
SP = TN / (TN + FP)
Where SP = specificity, TN = number of true negatives, FP = number of false positives. TN + FP = the total number of tests carried out.
Now the latest Government figures from Monday 7th September state that 350,100 tests were carried out and 2,948 people tested positive 2. So, if we apply the above equation to our PCR test and the Government's figures, we get:
0.956 = TN / 350,100
Therefore, the number of true negatives is:
TN = 350,100 * 0.956 = 334696
Therefore, the number of false positives, FP we would expect from 350,100 tests is:
FP = 350,100 '' 334,696 = 15,404
This is more than five times the number of positive tests reported, which means we cannot have any confidence that any one of those positive tests represents a genuine case.
What these figures show is that it is totally inappropriate to use RT-PCR as a screening test for a virus in an asymptomatic population when the prevalence of the infection is very low.
Even if there were a test with 99% specificity, you would still expect to get 3500 false positives from performing 350,000 tests '' which is still greater than the number of ''cases'' reported. When the number of ''cases'' is lower than your rate of false positives, then a positive result on its own is virtually meaningless.
The PCR test is best utilized as a diagnostic test to confirm the diagnosis of an infection based on clinical signs and symptoms. It certainly should not be used as a screening test when there is low prevalence of disease and should NEVER be used as the sole determinant in the diagnosis of a case.
One source of false positives is the persistence of fragments of viral RNA long after a patient may have recovered and is no longer infective. These fragments will be amplified by PCR and will give a positive result that is indistinguishable from a genuine case. We've had a patient whose swabs have been testing positive in our lab every week for over 3 months!
Non-specific amplification is another possible source of false positives. The nasopharyngeal swab samples are ''dirty'' samples: they are full of bacterial, fungal, other viral, and host DNA and RNA. Some of these will have high percentage sequence homology [NB homology basically means a similar sequence of base pairs- my words] to the gene sequences targeted by the PCR assay and these can also be amplified. The risk that this may have occurred is higher if the positive test has a very high Cycle Threshold (Ct) value '' say 35 or above.
Recently, it has come to my attention that one of the primers '' an 18-base primer for a region of the RdRP gene '' has exact sequence homology with a region on human chromosome 8 3,4.
So, if any laboratory uses a PCR assay with that particular primer, they're likely to get a lot of false positives!
Politicians and Health Officials are basing their numbers of cases entirely on the results of these tests, which are not fit for this purpose.
They are then using these figures to terrorise the population, and to justify decisions to impose local lockdowns, and increase nonsensical general restrictions which are having a massive impact on people's lives and their health, and also on the economy, particularly hitting small businesses hard.
The US government is anticipating many people will be filing claims for compensation when their family members are harmed or killed by a new COVID vaccine.
The press will tout the usual excuses. "He died from COVID, not the vaccine." "There was just one bad batch of vaccines." "Because COVID is such a dire situation, and we're rushing to save lives, a few mistakes are inevitable."
This new federal vaccine court for COVID will operate exactly like the present system for paying out claims for vaccine injury to children. Citizens have to jump through many absurd hoops and navigate all sorts of red tape, to try to squeeze money out of the federal government. The system is set up that way.
The language that establishes the new COVID vaccine court is found in the Federal Register, 3/17/20, buried in section 14 of a document titled: "Declaration Under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID-19."
Here is the relevant passage in that document:
"Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program...Section 319F-4 of the PHS Act, 42 U.S.C. 247d-6e, authorizes the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) to provide benefits to eligible individuals who sustain a serious physical injury or die as a direct result of the administration or use of a Covered [COVID] Countermeasure [e.g., a vaccine]. Compensation under the CICP for an injury directly caused by a Covered Countermeasure is based on the requirements set forth in this Declaration, the administrative rules for the Program, and the statute. To show direct causation between a Covered Countermeasure and a serious physical injury, the statute requires 'compelling, reliable, valid, medical and scientific evidence.' The administrative rules for the Program further explain the necessary requirements for eligibility under the CICP..."
(The US military's webpage that explains the CICP to US soldiers is here.)
ER Editor: We remind readers that Dr. Heiko Schoning (pictured below beside Robert F. Kennedy Jr.), doctor, father and former soldier, is one of the founding members of Germany's ACU2020 group, along with Dr. Bobo Schiffmann and Dr. Martin Haditsch, which is calling for an investigation into the WHO's actions over the virus crisis, and for free and open debate on the whole debacle. See Germany's Extra-parliamentary Inquiry on COVID-19 [VIDEO] and Spanish and German Doctor Groups Team Up for International Investigation of CV 'Scam' [VIDEO]. You'll also find Dr. Schoning at the press conference with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in Berlin recently (see Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Holds a Press Conference in Berlin After Launching CHD's Europe Chapter).
Schoning was indeed arrested, then released on Sunday within 24 hours without charge. He was let out the police station door quietly, with a small group of people waiting outside who charmingly apologized for his arrest on British soil. Here are some relevant tweets from the weekend. (Please note that TLB and ER are in no way related to Anna Brees at Brees Media.)
TWEET '' Schoning speaking to reporter on Saturday at Trafalgar Square
TWEET '' Schoning being taken away by police
TWEET '' general view of Trafalgar Square protestors on Saturday
TWEET '' Schoning emerging from the door of the police station
TWEET '' Schoning speaking after his release from police custody
We're also throwing this in, which has been doing the rounds on social media, showing a lady of senior years get violently pushed around by police.
German Professor Arrested After Speaking At ''We Do Not Consent'' Rally In London Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.
Risk of Severe Coronavirus Linked to Neanderthal Genes From 60,000 Years Ago
Long ago, in the south of Europe, modern humans and Neanderthals had at least one encounter that resulted in children. While dalliances between our two species are now well documented, no one could possibly have foreseen how grimly they would impact our world 60,000 years later.
A resulting stretch of Neanderthal DNA spread far through our populations as it was passed down through the generations, even while the Neanderthals themselves became extinct. Around 50 percent of the people in South Asia and 16 percent of people in Europe now carry this length of DNA, which scientists have now linked to the most severe form of COVID-19.
According to the new research, those who have this genetic inheritance are three times more likely to require mechanical ventilation once they contract the virus, explains evolutionary anthropologist Hugo Zeberg from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.
Scientists have been scrambling to understand what makes some people more vulnerable to SARS-COV-2 than others. The disease has now taken over a million human lives.
While pre-existing underlying conditions and contributing social inequalities explain a large part of our vulnerability, there still stubbornly remains a significant portion of people who are young and healthy yet inexplicably end up with severe respiratory problems, whereas their equally healthy peers only experience the mildest symptoms.
Zeberg and geneticist Svante P¤¤bo from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan analysed genetic data from 3,199 hospitalised COVID-19 patients and saw certain gene variants on chromosome 3 are found together in the population more often than if they were random mutations.
Such a long length of DNA, spanning six genes and adding up to 49.4 thousand bases being passed down together, suggests this variation was introduced into the human genome together, meaning it was inherited.
Previous research linked this gene region to patients that had a severe reaction to SARS-CoV-2, requiring hospitalisation.
So Zeberg and P¤¤bo investigated our extinct human relatives to see where this length of genes came from. They found none of these specific gene variants in the Denisovan genome, and a few of them were found in two Neanderthals from Siberia. But a Neanderthal from Croatia shared the most similarities.
These results are "compatible with this Neanderthal being closer to the majority of the Neanderthals who contributed DNA to present-day people," the researchers wrote.
Zeberg and P¤¤bo calculated that it was very unlikely this combination of genes came from a shared ancestor of both humans and Neanderthals, meaning they were introduced when our two species interbred.
We don't yet know why this snippet of chromosome 3 increases the risk of severe illness.
"This is something that we and others are now investigating as quickly as possible," explained P¤¤bo.
Distribution and prevalence (pie charts) of the Neanderthal genetic variants. (Zeberg et al., Nature, 2020)
The team suspect that in the past these genes may have proved an advantage for some people - perhaps against another pathogen. A previous study hinted Neanderthal DNA may have provided protection against ancient viruses.
This may explain why this now unfortunate variant of chromosome 3 is prevalent in some populations, like in Bangladesh, where 63 percent of people have it, but it's almost absent in others, such as Africa.
This distribution could explain why people of Bangladeshi descent in the UK are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 compared to the rest of the population.
"It is striking that the genetic heritage from Neanderthals has such tragic consequences during the current pandemic," said P¤¤bo.
Last week, another team identified a potential immune mechanism that may also contribute to severe coronavirus cases.
However these genetic pieces of the coronavirus puzzle end up fitting together, it is important to remember that environmental factors also play a large role in whether we even contract the disease in the first place - and that's something we have control over today.
This research was published in Nature.
New chart reveals military's vast involvement in Operation Warp Speed
W ASHINGTON '-- When President Trump unveiled Operation Warp Speed in May, he declared that it was ''unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project.''
The initiative '-- to accelerate the development of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics '-- lacks the scale, and the degree of secrecy, of the effort to build the atomic bomb. But Operation Warp Speed is largely an abstraction in Washington, with little known about who works there other than its top leaders, or how it operates. Even pharmaceutical companies hoping to offer help or partnerships have labored to figure out who to contact.
Now, an organizational chart of the $10 billion initiative, obtained by STAT, reveals the fullest picture yet of Operation Warp Speed: a highly structured organization in which military personnel vastly outnumber civilian scientists.
The labyrinthine chart, dated July 30, shows that roughly 60 military officials '-- including at least four generals '-- are involved in the leadership of Operation Warp Speed, many of whom have never worked in health care or vaccine development. Just 29 of the roughly 90 leaders on the chart aren't employed by the Department of Defense; most of them work for the Department of Health and Human Services and its subagencies.
Operation Warp Speed's central goal is to develop, produce, and distribute 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by January '-- and the military is intimately involved, according to Paul Mango, HHS' deputy chief of staff for policy. It has already helped prop up more than two dozen vaccine manufacturing facilities '-- flying in equipment and raw materials from all over the world. It has also set up significant cybersecurity and physical security operations to ensure an eventual vaccine is guarded very closely from ''state actors who don't want us to be successful in this,'' he said, adding that many of the Warp Speed discussions take place in protected rooms used to discuss classified information.
''This is a massive scientific and logistical undertaking,'' said Mango. ''We are weeks away, at most, a month or two away from having at least one safe and effective vaccine.''
Despite the military's dominance, the chart also includes Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases who was almost fired by Trump in February for warning the public about the growing Covid-19 pandemic. Public health and drug industry officials told STAT that Messonnier and Gen. Paul Ostrowski, her direct superior, serve as the initiative's main contacts on all questions related to the distribution of an eventual vaccine. One public health official said that Ostrowksi, an expert on military acquisition, defers to Messonnier on matters of public health.
The military's extensive involvement in the development and distribution of a vaccine is a departure from pandemics of the past, but it is fitting for Trump, who has gushed about his love for ''my military'' and ''my generals.'' While the military was tangentially involved in public health crises like the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, some public health leaders have raised concerns about what they see as their marginalization during the pandemic.
One senior federal health official told STAT he was struck by the presence of soldiers in military uniforms walking around the health department's headquarters in downtown Washington, and said that recently he has seen more than 100 officials in the corridors wearing ''Desert Storm fatigues.''
''Military personnel won't be familiar with the health resources available in a community,'' said John Auerbach, CEO of Trust for America's Health, a group closely aligned with public health departments. ''They don't know who the doctors are or where the community health centers are located or what resources they have. They don't know where the pharmacies are. Public health people do know, that's part of what they do.''
The July 30 Operation Warp Speed organizational chart obtained by STAT details about 90 of the officials involved in the initiative. Roughly 60 work for the Department of Defense.Military officials, however, contend that the U.S. Army excels at complex challenges '-- like distributing vaccines that might need to be transported at subzero temperatures.
''You know the old joke about, 'You and what army,' right?'' said Andrew Hunter, a Defense Department expert at a Washington think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ''They routinely do things that are more complex, even than this vaccine job, all the time.''
Mango told STAT the operation has kept some key personnel information under wraps out of concerns for the security of the entire vaccine supply chain, from the warehouses storing vaccines to the computer systems being used to coordinate the effort.
''The secretary has given us the order of being as transparent as we possibly can with one caveat: That we are not compromising anything that has to do with national security,'' he said.
An HHS spokesperson declined to comment directly on the chart, citing precedent that the agency does not comment on leaked documents. But the spokesperson noted that at least 600 HHS officials are involved in Warp Speed. The majority of those employees are not captured by the chart obtained by STAT. Among the decision makers not included in the chart are Mango and HHS' Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Bob Kadlec. Mango told STAT that he and Kadlec personally sign off on every business agreement made by HHS for Operation Warp Speed.
Mango also added that the vast majority of scientists working on Operation Warp Speed work for the companies the effort is funding.
''There's really not a need for anyone to place scores of scientists inside HHS or DOD to get this done,'' Mango said. ''Quite honestly, we are not conducting any science whatsoever inside the government to support Operation Warp Speed, none.''
He also defended the military's involvement in the initiative, though he insisted that it is primarily supporting efforts led by public health officials at the CDC.
''There are quite honestly certain logistical elements of this that the CDC has never, ever been asked to do, and why not bring the best logisticians in the world into the equation?'' Mango said.
Beyond obtaining the internal document from a federal official, STAT interviewed companies funded by Warp Speed and more than a dozen key officials who have worked closely with the organization's leaders. The reporting sheds light on the high degree of organization and specialization within the organization, as well as the extreme demands the initiative is placing on the companies it funds.
Operation Warp Speed's central goal is to develop, produce, and distribute 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by January. The initiative has poured $10 billion into the clinical development and manufacturing of potential vaccine candidates, and it has stockpiled hundreds of thousands of doses of as-yet-unproven immunizations. Warp Speed has deals with six major drug companies hoping to develop Covid-19 vaccines and may seek more, the group's chief adviser, Moncef Slaoui, told STAT earlier this month.
Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, approvingly called Operation Warp Speed a ''talent show.''
''If you go through the organizational boxes of Operation Warp Speed, they're very, very impressive,'' Fauci told STAT in an interview Friday.
Tom Inglesby, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, with whom STAT shared the organizational chart, agreed that the initiative appears well-positioned to achieve its ambitious goals '-- and under a tight timeline.
''There is deep knowledge of science and on how to manage complex government operations,'' said Inglesby. ''It's clearly operating in a challenging pandemic and political environment, and we won't know if we have a safe and effective vaccine until the trials are finished. But it's a highly competent group of people working to make it happen.''
T hough HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Defense Secretary Mark Esper are at the top, the two key leaders are Slaoui, the formal civilian leader of the project, and Gen. Gustave Perna, the military lead who is the chief operating officer for Operation Warp Speed.
Under Slaoui are two major pillars, ''Vaccine'' and ''Therapeutics.'' Under Perna are three pillars, for ''Plans, Ops and Analysis,'' ''Security and Assurance,'' and ''Supply, Production and [Distribution].''
But the complexity of the organization makes it difficult as an outsider to discern who is reporting directly to who, experts in business management who reviewed the chart told STAT.
''It's confusing for sure,'' said Robert Huckman, the chair of Harvard Business School's health care initiative, who studies health care management and organization. Huckman added that the chart was more complex than most he's seen. ''It is more complex, but it's a more complex endeavor, too '... it may be that it simply reflects the complexity of what Operation Warp Speed is trying to do.''
''I can only imagine the headache that comes with trying to coordinate these different production processes,'' said Raffaella Sadun, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School who studies CEO behavior.
Slaoui's tenure thus far at Warp Speed has been marked by outside concerns over his personal financial stake in some of the companies he is now overseeing. Slaoui, who holds roughly $10 million in GSK stock, is not bound by federal ethics rules because he is employed by an outside contractor, not the federal government. Slaoui has agreed to donate any increase in the value of that stock, although that agreement hasn't placated critics.
''The first person to be fired should be Dr. Slaoui,'' Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said at a hearing last week. ''The American people deserve to know that Covid-19 vaccine decisions are based on science, and not on personal greed.''
But Slaoui knows firsthand, perhaps better than anyone else, what it takes to dramatically speed up the search for a vaccine. He played a pivotal role in GSK's sprint to develop an Ebola vaccine in 2015. The effort ultimately failed, but he is so well-regarded at GSK that the company named its vaccine research center after him in 2016.
Perna, meanwhile, is a four-star Army general who previously managed virtually all of the Army's logistics. He was even inducted into the Army's own logistics hall of fame. He most recently served as head of Army Materiel Command, a sprawling job that handles virtually all of the Army's equipment. The organization's slogan is: ''If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, communicates with it, or eats it '-- AMC provides it.''
During his tenure, Perna constantly pushed the Army to move faster, and to be more ready to go to war at a moment's notice.
Below Perna and Slaoui are a team of military and civilian experts like Ostrowski, a former special forces soldier who handles the supply and distribution of an eventual vaccine, and Matt Hepburn, the initiative's go-to vaccine coordinator. Hepburn cut his teeth working on high-tech military projects, including an initiative that developed sensors that could be implanted into soldiers to detect certain illnesses before the men and women ever showed symptoms. Hepburn also has a reputation for driving even the most accomplished scientists to work harder than they've ever worked before.
''If Matt is still the Matt I know, he will be on these people with a foot on their neck, making them go go go,'' said Geoffrey Ling, Hepburn's former boss at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
There are government outsiders deeply involved in the project, too. Larry Corey, one of the country's leading AIDS researchers, describes himself as an ''ex-officio'' member of Warp Speed. Corey runs the Covid-19 prevention network, an assortment of existing HIV trial networks that now are running at least three of the Phase 3 Covid-19 clinical trials. While he's not formally on the organizational chart, he takes part in thrice-weekly calls with Warp Speed. Corey, who is based in Seattle, is in constant cross-country coordination with one of the NIH's top vaccine researchers, John Mascola, a formal member of the organization.
''We are sacrificing our time and energy on Operation Warp Speed. We have taken the pivot from everything else that we have done in our lives,'' Corey said, regarding him and Mascola. Corey described waking up at 5 a.m. each day to get on calls with Warp Speed leaders at 5:30 a.m., and then enduring a deluge of conference calls until 6 p.m. When the day's work is done, he turns to planning for the following day, which keeps him working until 11 p.m. He's in bed by midnight.
''I don't think his day is any different than my day,'' Corey said of Mascola. Both, he was sure, are sleep-deprived.
O peration Warp Speed is much more than a splashy name for an initiative focused on doling out purchase orders. The benefits for companies who land a Warp Speed contract go far beyond just money, according to one of the companies with a contract.
SiO2 Materials Science, an Auburn, Ala.-based company that is making vials for the effort, used its status as an Operation Warp Speed grantee to force a vendor to cut production time from 75 days to just seven. It also leveraged its contract with Warp Speed to get its power turned on in the midst of a massive outage in just minutes '-- others had to wait days, according Lawrence Ganti, the company's chief business officer. Operation Warp Speed also covered the costs of installing 32 new security cameras around the company's facility after an assessment found the company's physical security was lacking.
SiO2 received $143 million from Operation Warp Speed, a fraction of what larger companies have received, but the company still is required to provide monthly status reports to the government. The reports typically run up to 60 pages and are coupled with a four-hour meeting attended by multiple Warp Speed officials, according to Ganti. That's in addition to biweekly ''risk reports'' and weekly site visits from the Army Corps of Engineers.
A second company funded by Warp Speed confirmed similar reporting requirements.
''Everybody has '-- or at least I had a stereotype of how the government operated. Nine-to-five, slow, kind of what you'd expect at the DMV '... this is not that in any way,'' said Ganti. ''They seem to be working 24/7.''
T he organizational chart also underscores which agencies are not as closely involved in the leadership of the effort: namely, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which took a leading role in coordinating vaccine distribution for other past pandemics, like the H1N1 pandemic of 2009. There are at least three staffers from each of the administration's other major health agencies, like the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority or the National Institutes of Health.
Mango, the HHS deputy chief of staff, said the CDC has a more central role than the personnel chart implies. He personally interacts with Messonier multiple times a week, and there are frequent meetings between the DOD and CDC with 15-20 of her deputies, he said.
''What General Perna says at the start of every meeting, and he means it, is we are here for one reason, to support the CDC,'' Mango said. ''Anyone who is watching what is going on a daily basis would say the CDC is leading and the DOD is enabling and supporting.''
Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman struck a similar tone.
''The Department of Defense has been clear in its role in Operation Warp Speed: We are providing the bandwidth of logistical expertise, including program management and contracting proficiency to this all-of-America effort,'' he said in a statement. ''The development and delivery of over 300 million vaccine doses harnesses public-private partnerships, academia, and industry '' no one entity can do this alone.''
The Pentagon also declined to comment on the chart obtained by STAT, saying they do not comment on leaked documents.
The Food and Drug Administration is also largely absent from the organizational chart, though that is by design. Most FDA officials are barred from participating formally in Operation Warp Speed over concerns that their involvement would conflict with their mission to impartially review eventual vaccine applications. The one major exception is Janet Woodcock, who took a temporary leave as head of FDA's drug center to lead the initiative's efforts on therapeutics.
BARDA plays perhaps the most head-scratching role in Operation Warp Speed. The organization's acting director, Gary Disbrow, a camera-shy bureaucrat who was catapulted into the job after the ouster of his boss, Rick Bright, is listed as co-leading the vaccine effort alongside Hepburn, and a number of other BARDA leaders are included in the chart.
But three sources told STAT that Disbrow, and BARDA more generally, are playing a marginal role in Warp Speed. ''BARDA has been largely sidelined in all of this,'' one pharmaceutical industry source told STAT.
Ganti of SiO2, however, told STAT that the company deals primarily with BARDA for all of its Warp Speed-related questions. Mango also told STAT BARDA officials meet with Warp Speed officials daily ''to make sure contracts are moving along.''
BARDA also appears to be fronting a large chunk of the funding for the Warp Speed initiative, alongside the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense.
The UAE approves a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine for emergency use
A medical worker, wearing disposable gloves, measures the temperature of a man at a coronavirus drive-through screening center on April 1, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Francois Nel | Getty Images
PARIS '-- The United Arab Emirates has approved a Chinese coronavirus vaccine for emergency use for its frontline health workers, its top crisis authority announced Monday.
"The vaccine will be available to our first line of defense heroes who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus," the UAE's National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said in a tweet.
According to NCEMA, 31,000 volunteers have already participated in clinical trials of the vaccine, including 1,000 volunteers with chronic diseases. Phase three trials of the vaccine are ongoing, but the agency said that no unexpected side effects had been detected thus far.
The phase three trials, which began in the Gulf country of 10 million in July, are for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopham. NCEMA said that emergency use for frontline health workers was approved after a set of standards was met and the clinical trials on the 31,000 volunteers were complete. The agency described mild side effects on volunteers like a sore throat, but emphasized a lack of serious side effects.
Phase three trials are carried out with larger numbers of volunteers '-- typically between 300 and 3,000 '-- to confirm and expand on safety and effectiveness data from prior phase one and two trials.
The UAE has seen a recent spike in coronavirus cases, recording 5,812 new infections in the last week for a total of 80,266 as of Monday and 399 deaths since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University. Abu Dhabi authorities say the country has carried out more than 8.2 million tests.
Expanding partnerships with ChinaThe Sinopham vaccine won approval from the Chinese government in June, and its phase one and two trials in the UAE saw all patients producing antibodies against the virus after two doses over four weeks, a UAE government statement said in July.
The UAE has increased its cooperation with China in recent years in areas including technology, defense procurement, trade, tourism and health.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic the UAE has been in close cooperation with China around diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines," Taufiq Rahim, a senior fellow in the International Security program at New America, told CNBC on Tuesday.
"It further reinforces the country's unique role in having a close strategic relationship with the world's two leading geopolitical rivals '-- China and the United States."
The seven-emirate country has also been announced as a partner in testing and enrolment for Russia's coronavirus vaccine, which was the first to be approved by a national government in early September. In the West, three vaccines have reached phase three clinical trials: those developed by Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.
Sign Now! A Christian Statement on Science for Pandemic Times Love your neighbor. Wear a mask.
READ THE STATEMENT Read "A Christian Statement on Science for Pandemic Times."
Read More See The Signatories Philip Yancey, NT Wright, and other Christian leaders have signed on!
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our call to action love your neighbor. wear a mask. Put prayer into action. Stand with public health experts and support scientists doing crucial biomedical research on COVID-19.
We, the undersigned, join together as Christians who uphold the authority of God's Word and see science as a tool to understand God's world. We call on all Christians to follow the advice of public health experts and support scientists doing crucial biomedical research on COVID-19.
We are deeply concerned about the polarization and politicization of science in the public square when so many lives are at stake. The word ''science'' has become a weapon in the culture wars. Scientists are vilified and their findings ignored, while conspiracy theories go viral. Sadly, Christians seem just as susceptible to these trends. Thoughtful Christians may disagree on public policy in response to the coronavirus, but none of us should ignore clear scientific evidence.
It is appropriate for Christians to be skeptical of claims made by scientists who speak outside their area of expertise. We firmly reject claims that science has somehow shown God does not exist or faith is mere superstition. Such claims go beyond what science is capable of investigating. We lament the times when science and medicine have been misused to perpetrate atrocities like the racist Tuskegee experiments. But Christians should listen to scientists and doctors when they speak in their area of expertise, especially when millions of lives are at stake.
The Bible teaches that our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made by God (Psalm 139:14). Thus, those doing biomedical research'--whether they are Christians or not'--are studying the very handiwork of God. Scientists are discovering truths about the virus, our bodies, treatments, and vaccines. As Christians, we know that all truth, including scientific truth, is ultimately from God.
God can do miracles of healing, but God also uses doctors and scientists to bring healing. Before Jonas Salk discovered his vaccine, polio killed 350,000 people a year, most of them children. Christians in the biomedical sciences, like Dr. Francis Collins, see their work as continuing the healing ministry of Jesus (Matthew 15:30). Pursuing medical treatment is not a sign of weak faith in God, but a grateful acceptance of God's gifts.
Scientists of all faiths at many universities and research institutes have been working hard to combat COVID-19, including at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Many scientists have dropped their own research programs to devote themselves full time to understanding exactly how this virus works, how it spreads, how the disease can be treated, and which vaccines would be both safe and effective. Experts have been communicating their knowledge in real time as the pandemic progresses, which has led to some confusion. In the early days, they advised the public against masks when supplies were needed for healthcare workers, but later they changed their message in response to more data. A change in expert advice is not a sign of weakness or unreliability, but of good scientific practice and honesty. On the biggest points, scientific predictions have been proven right: scientists said stay-home orders would reduce cases, and thankfully those measures worked. Scientists predicted that ending quarantine too soon would increase cases, and that has been the case.
Scientists are not all-knowing and have biases like the rest of us. That's why the process of scientific research has built-in steps for testing, vetting, and validation by the whole community. While any individual scientist may be biased, the community actively critiques each other's work to reduce bias and errors until together they develop a consensus on what the data are saying. It's not a perfect process and one can always find dissenters, but scientists working together are far more accurate than one person's theory on YouTube. Scientists are trained to communicate where the consensus is uncertain and to not overstate conclusions. They may speak in sound bites in an interview, but if you listen a bit longer you will hear the caveats. So when Dr. Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, tells us what scientists have learned about this infectious disease, he should be listened to.
We need more than science alone to make good decisions. Invoking ''science'' is not a one-word rationale for public policy; many factors need to be considered. The economic losses and social hardships of the pandemic are painful, and thoughtful Christians will disagree on how to balance those needs with health needs. Even closer to our hearts is the impact of quarantine on church fellowship. As churches reopen, Christians need to balance God's call to meet together with God's call to protect the vulnerable among us. We need more than science to make these decisions; we need biblical faith to be wise and discerning (James 3:13-18). As Christians throughout history have shown during other pandemics, our faith is what moves us to deep compassion for the sick, the young, the old, and the vulnerable, as we follow Jesus' command to care for the least of these (Matthew 25:31-36). Our faith calls us to sacrifice ourselves for others and accept temporary limitations on our freedoms because we have a permanent and complete freedom in Christ (Hebrews 10:34). Our faith helps us be humble and patient when discussing contentious issues (Ephesians 4:2-3). It is our faith, not science, that overcomes fear and brings hope. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).
Therefore, because of our faith in Jesus Christ, we will:
Wear masks in indoor public spaces and follow other physical distancing rules given by public health officials (1 Peter 2:13-17), unless there are underlying health conditions. Yes, wearing a mask is uncomfortable and awkward, but the evidence is clear that masks reduce the chance we will transmit the disease to others. Mask rules are not experts taking away our freedom, but an opportunity to follow Jesus' command to love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 6:31).
Get vaccinated against COVID-19 when a safe and effective vaccine is available and as directed by a physician. A large fraction of the population needs to be vaccinated to develop the ''herd immunity'' which protects the immuno-compromised and others who cannot be vaccinated. Vaccination is a provision from God that will prevent disease not only for ourselves but for the most vulnerable among us (Matthew 25:31-36).
Correct misinformation and conspiracy theories when we encounter them in our social media and communities. Christians are called to love the truth; we should not be swayed by falsehoods (1 Corinthians 13:6). We will actively promote accurate scientific and public health information from trustworthy, consensus sources, and use this information when making decisions for our families, churches, schools, and workplaces.
Work for justice for communities who have suffered the most deaths from COVID-19. Christians are called to be courageous in fighting for justice (Micah 6:8). We should be the least indifferent to the disadvantaged and vulnerable. Groups that have been hit hard include the elderly in nursing homes, the Navajo nation where many do not have access to clean water, and people of color who continue to experience discrimination in access to health care.
We pray for God to heal the millions of sick, to comfort the thousands of grieving families, and to give wisdom to decision-makers. We pray for God to sustain biomedical and public health researchers as they work to develop treatments and a safe and effective vaccine. We pray for God to protect nurses, doctors, lab techs, and all healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 as they serve patients and our communities. And we pray for God to bless our cities and nation with justice and flourishing for all (Jeremiah 29:7).
World Renew stands with you in the space of embracing scienceWorld Renew's work with the Navajo and Zuni nations during this pandemic has highlighted again how the vulnerable are most affected. World Renew is working hard to help churches and communities see science as a God-given resource to combat sickness and hunger.
Carol Bremer-BennettUnited States Director, World Renew
This wonderful statement is much needed for Christians right nowThis wonderful statement is much needed for Christians right now: an expression of gratitude to God for the expert guidance scientists are giving us in this pandemic, and a commitment to doing what each of us needs to do to serve the common good.
Rich MouwAuthor, Adventures in Evangelical Civility
Our calling as followers of Christ is to love our neighborsIn the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which scientists and public health professionals are tirelessly working around the clock to tackle, I can think of no greater way to live out this calling than to lay down our rights for the cause of others' health and well-being.
Praveen SethupathyGeneticist, Cornell
My hope is encouraged by knowing I am not aloneMany Christians accept what scientists have learned about COVID-19. We understand that wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart will slow the spread and save the lives of others. And we are willing to follow these rules'--to give up some personal freedom'--out of love for our neighbors (Luke 6:31).
Deborah HaarsmaPresident, BioLogos
signatories The institutions listed are for identification of the signers, not necessarily institutional endorsement.
FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY
NATIONAL ASSOC. OF EVANGELICALS
General Superintendent Emerita
Fuller Theological Seminary
Adventures in Evangelical Civility
Assoc. Prof of Biomedical Sciences
chair, integrative biology
Ethics & Public Policy Center
Bridgeway Community Church
Clinical Prof of Pediatrics
Mich State College of Human Medicine
Endowed Prof of Public Policy & Public Law
Pulitzer Prize for History
Columbia Univ Irving Medical Center
founder and ceo, Humanitarian Disaster Institute
Professor of Biological Sciences
North Carolina A&T State University
Executive Vice President and Chief Development OfficeR
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
american scientific affiliation
Asociaci"n para la Educaci"n Teol"gica Hispana
Dir., L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
maine public broadcasting
Prof and Chair of Psychology
Assoc. of Public Health Laboratories
Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor
Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison
Prof of Biblical Worldview & Exegesis
Dir, Interdisciplinary Studies
Univ Maryland Baltimore County
Dir, Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership
Patricia Fitzgerald Bocarsly
Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences
Science Faculty / Itinerant Deacon
Wayne Cnty Comm College / A.M.E. Church
Professor of New Testament
Exec Dir for Cultural Engagement
Dallas Theological Seminary
Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering
Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity
prof. of Theoretical Physics
Research Professor of Systematic Theology
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Professor Emeritus of Biology
Point Loma Nazarene University
Point Loma Nazarene University
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Prof of Medicine, Global Health, & Environ. Health
Duke Univ School of Medicine
VP for Educational Programs
Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
Center for Theology & the Natural Sciences
Denver Theological Seminary
Center for Public Justice
World Evangelical Alliance
Prof Emeritus of Computer Science
Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
Regius Prof of Divinity Emeritus
Distinguished Prof of History of Science
Christian Medical & Dental Associations
President & Chief Science Officer
sign the statement We call on all Christians to follow the advice of public health experts and support scientists doing crucial biomedical research on COVID-19.
Further reading Resources to help you navigate a Christian response to the pandemic (last updated 8/18/2020). See current color-coded risk levels and trends in your state or county on an interactive map. Explore recent updates and practical resources from the experts at the CDC. And see the latest on COVID-19 vaccine testing with the Vaccine Tracker.
Congratulations to Francis Collins, Templeton Prize Recipient! - Resources - BioLogos
My name is Deborah Haarsma. I'm an astronomer and President of BioLogos.
I am thrilled to congratulate Dr. Francis Collins on receiving the Templeton Prize.
Francis is well deserving. He's a world class scientist, devout Christian, caring doctor, and public servant. I'm honored to call him a friend. We both love science and math, like second order differential equations. And we both love God. When Francis steps into the lab or I observe galaxies with a telescope, it's not just science, it's worship of the Creator.
And we both love music '' he and Diane hold these great music nights in their home, packing in friends and colleagues to sing old gospel songs. Plus, Francis is just cool '' he rides a motorcycle, he sings with opera stars, he banters with Stephen Colbert on late night TV.
But I want to focus on the impact Francis has had on others. Think of the many patients who have been healed because of his genomics research. Think of the countless lives that will be saved by the coming COVID vaccine. And think of all those whose hearts and minds have been changed on science and faith.
People like Marcus. Marcus is a young man who grew up in church, learning to love the Bible and hearing the Genesis account of origins. But in science class Marcus felt like he was hearing the polar opposite '' an ancient universe and evolving life. He wondered ''If the scientific account of creation is true, does that mean God is false?''
He tried asking his pastor about it, but sadly the pastor dismissed his questions. In school, his science teachers weren't any better '' they mocked the Bible and said the church was out of touch with science. Both sides told Marcus there was a conflict and he would have to choose. He questioned over and over whether God really existed.
But then, Marcus went online and discovered the work of Francis Collins. And for the first time, Marcus saw a prominent scientist who was also a believer.
Marcus was not alone in his struggle. The 90s and 2000s saw a rise in conflict. The young earth creationist movement was shouting ''the Bible is right and science is wrong''. Militant atheists like Richard Dawkins were shouting ''science is right and the Bible is wrong.''
In stepped Francis Collins. His life shattered preconceptions on both sides. He has outstanding scientific credentials AND a powerful testimony of coming to faith from atheism. He certainly isn't the only believing scientist, but his book Language of God brought his story to a huge audience.
And that story is powerful '' research confirms that it changes hearts and minds. Sociologists Chris SHY-tle and Elaine Ecklund surveyed people who didn't know Francis Collins or Richard Dawkins. They found that those who read about Dawkins for the first time did not change their perspective, but those who read about Francis Collins for the first time did. They became more likely to agree that science and religion CAN coexist.
When the book came out, Francis had a tidal wave of questions from readers, and he was deeply moved by letters from young people like Marcus. Francis founded BioLogos to be a place where people could bring those questions and learn from Christian leaders in science and theology.
When BioLogos was founded, I was thrilled. For years I had longed for an organization that would actively promote great science AND biblical faith! BioLogos is now over 11 years old. With generous support from the John Templeton Foundation, the Templeton Religion Trust, and many other funders, we are reaching over a million people a year, through our website, social media, podcast, and events. We even have a homeschool curriculum coming.
With the pandemic the topics are changing, the headlines are now all about masks and vaccines. But that underlying question is still there '' can Christian faith fit with the findings of modern science? The answer is YES. During the pandemic, Francis Collins has been able to speak to Christians as a trusted figure because of his faith. And this time, BioLogos is already here '' online and with many resources explaining COVID science in the context of Christian faith. For Marcus, our website was a place to dig in and learn, finally resolving his questions. He wrote ''BioLogos transformed my understanding of science and God.''
None of this would have been possible without Francis Collins.
Congratulations, Francis. Your life has changed the lives of countless others.
Dringend advies: per direct in het hele land mondkapjes in openbare binnenruimtes | RTL Nieuws
Buiten niet nodig 30 september 2020 16:25 Aangepast: 30 september 2020 19:53
(Archieffoto) Beeld (C) ANP Het dragen van niet-medische mondkapjes in publieke binnenruimtes, zoals winkels, horeca, vliegvelden en musea, is vanaf nu een landelijk dringend advies. Dat heeft het kabinet besloten op aandringen van de Tweede Kamer. "Het mondkapje komt niet in de plaats van het afstand houden. Dat is absoluut niet de bedoeling", voegde Rutte er aan toe.
Een meerderheid van de Tweede Kamer liet vanochtend in het coronadebat weten voor een landelijke richtlijn te zijn voor het gebruik van mondkapjes in openbare ruimtes.
'Dringend advies'Premier Rutte laat weten dat het kabinet daarin meegaat: het dringende advies gaat vanaf nu in. Het kabinet wil het dragen van de mondkapjes niet verplichten, ook omdat dat juridisch lastig is. Het thuiswerken en het niet-handenschudden zijn ook dringende adviezen.
"Het is een dringend advies en het komt ook niet in plaats van het afstand houden. Voor degenen die dat wettelijk willen gaan regelen, dat gaan we nu niet doen. Daar ben ik ook geen voorstander van", lichtte Rutte toe.
Vrijdag zal hij het 'dringende advies' verder toelichten.
Winkeliers Het kabinet adviseerde maandag in het nieuwe maatregelenpakket nog anders. Mondkapjes op drukke plekken werd toen alleen nog geadviseerd in de drie grote steden, in winkels of instellingen die dat willen. De verantwoordelijkheid dit te handhaven werd doorgeschoven naar de winkeliers.
De Tweede Kamer vindt dat niet de juiste weg. "Hiermee schuift het kabinet zijn verantwoordelijkheid af", zei Lilian Marijnissen van de SP. Ook vanuit de horeca en detailhandel klonk er een grote roep om een landelijke richtlijn voor mondkapjes. Het kabinet komt nu dus aan die oproep tegemoet.
Lees ook: Proef op de som bij de supermarkt: deze klanten dragen (g)een mondkapje
Strengere maatregelenDe hele dag debatteert het kabinet over de nieuwe coronamaatregelen die maandag zijn aangekondigd. Zo moet de horeca de komende drie weken om 22:00 uur dicht en mag er geen publiek meer bij sportwedstrijden.
Volgens de SP en het PvdA loopt het kabinet te veel achter de feiten aan en is kostbare tijd verloren gegaan. Asscher noemt de nieuwe coronamaatregelen een 'gevaarlijke gok'. PVV-leider Wilders noemt de aanpak van het kabinet 'een totale chaos'.
Klaas Dijkhoff liep rond met een mondkapje. 'Niet meer naar buitenland op vakantie'GroenLinks-leider Klaver vindt dat het kabinet vakantiegangers dringend moet gaan adviseren voorlopig niet naar het buitenland te gaan. Gisteren zei RIVM-directeur Jaap van Dissel nog dat terugkerende vakantiegangers uit Spanje en Frankrijk medeverantwoordelijk zijn voor de tweede coronagolf waarin ons land zich nu bevindt.
'Overdreven'Er zijn twee partijen in de Tweede Kamer die een sterk afwijkend geluiden laten horen: Forum voor Democratie en de eenmansfractie Groep-van Haga.
Deze partijen vinden de maatregelen overdreven en vinden dat het kabinet onnodig de samenleving stillegt.
'De bal even kwijt'Volgens politiek commentator Frits Wester is het kabinet voor het eerst in de coronacrisis even de bal kwijt in het politieke debat nu de Kamer verdergaande maatregelen af heeft gedwongen als het gaat om het strenger ingrijpen rond de mondkapjes.
De wens van de Kamer is volgens Wester tevens een gevoelige tik om de oren voor RIVM-boegbeeld Jaap van Dissel. "Tot op de dag van vandaag uitte hij twijfels en bedenkingen over het nut van mondkapjes. Los van wie in die discussie gelijk heeft, voor de Tweede Kamer is het gezag en de lijn van Van Dissel niet vanzelfsprekend meer."
Mondkapjes: zo stoppen ze coronaAltijd weten wat er speelt?Download de gratis RTL Nieuws-app en blijf op de hoogte.
Let Us Out!
They run the UK government tracing app
Tweet from pensioner
Last night I was denied a meal because I didn’t have a Gvt phone app!!!! You may think I’m being over dramatic but you must now get the point. What else are we soon going to be denied access to unless we have a government phone app. Please, please, please people wake up.
I have been reliably informed by Westerners that have until recently lived in China for close to a decade, that the footage of fog and mist machines are two different types of spray.
The Fog machines (that look like smoke) are a fumigant that kills cockroaches and rats. These machines operated regularly even before the Corona-Virus outbreak. Locals know its fumigant because after the streets are sprayed, cockroaches in every apartment building crawl out from every nook and cranny writhing in pain.
The Mist machines are something different and are probably dilute bleach as it is the most cost effective way to kill the virus on surfaces. The Mist machines spraying streets was a new thing that occurred after the Corona-Virus outbreak.
The CCP probably upped the frequency of both sprays during the epidemic because so little was known about the actual transmission mechanism (precautionary principle) and it was also a very visible government action that people could see (optics).
Victoria = Danistan
PCR accuracy vs Precision
I've been listening for a long time. Recently you had a clip with an "expert" discussing how accurate the PCR test is for Covid-19. When any expert uses the term "accurate", that is an instant red flag for me. My background includes over 16 years in quality control / quality assurance for a major chemical company. One of my duties was monitoring processes using statistical process control or SPC. Furthermore I was trained and applied Six Sigma methodologies. As such, I'm familiar with how to setup a test to determine if it is capable of detecting a signal (what you want to measure) or not.
As such, the term accurate is often used when describing a test's ability to detect a signal by people who either don't know how to determine if a test is "good" or not for the measurement or by someone willfully misleading their audience. Instead of measuring accuracy, precision is a much better predictor if a test will be good or not. I'll explain.
The most common example is at a shooting range. In the first group, a person shoots 10 times. 2 of them hit the bull's eye. The rest of the shots hit around the target (within rings). This is considered "Accurate". Where as precision is described as all 10 shots hit up and to the right of the bull's eye within a 2 inch spread. That is precision. Precision is repeatable. Precision is predictable. Precision is reliable. None of the shots hit the bull's eye, but a good marksman makes adjustments so that his shots are both accurate and precise. With a test, you need precision first. When you have it, you adjust for accuracy. When you have both accuracy and maintain the precision, then you have a very good test. Here is a "Google" picture explaining this.
Dallas salon owner jailed for defying lockdown orders wins spot in run-off for state senate seat
Remember Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who reopened her business during the coronavirus shutdown? She decided to turn her story into action and is running for a seat in the Texas State Senate. Tuesday night, she earned a spot in the run-off for that seat.
While everyone else was consumed with the presidential debate, a special election race was being held in the Dallas area. Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper) is running for Congress so his seat has been vacated. The district is a solidly red district and stretches to the northwest around Dallas-Fort Worth. With 100% of precincts reporting, she and state Rep. Drew Springer of Muenster ended in a dead heat. The third-place finisher was the only Democrat running.
This is an impressive showing by Shelley Luther. The campaign was accelerated, with only about a month available for her to introduce herself to voters and make her case for why she should hold the office. Since neither outright won, Governor Abbott will have to set the date for a run-off between the two Republicans. Springer already represents a portion of Senate District 30. He said his strong performance in those areas Tuesday shows that constituents approve of his job performance. It is mostly a rural area.
''There's a clear understanding they know who I am,'' said Springer, who has spent four terms in the Texas House. ''As we go forward, now we will have more time to visit with the folks in SD30.''
It's not good news for Governor Abbott. She is striking a chord with business owners, especially small business owners like herself, who are suffering over coronavirus lockdown orders. Springer had to campaign against an unconventional Republican candidate who openly criticized the governor. She called him a tyrant on the campaign trail.
Luther, whose refusal to shutter her Dallas hair salon launched her into the national spotlight, has built her campaign for state Senate on defying COVID-19 shutdown orders.
She pitched herself to the crowd as a normal person like them, who would take their fight to Austin, even if it means going up against the state's Republican leader.
''I'm embarrassed that we've been shut down that long, that our tyrant governor has embarrassed us completely,'' she said.
When she defied Governor Abbott's lockdown orders, she was issued a citation. She tore up the citation when it was issued. She was found in civil and criminal contempt of court for ignoring a restraining order. Dallas Civil District Judge Eric Moy(C) ordered Luther to seven days in jail and fined her $500 for every day the salon stayed open. She was given the opportunity to apologize and not serve any time in jail but she refused to do so. She went on to explain to the judge why she reopened.
''If you would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that your actions were selfish, putting your own interest ahead of those in the community in which you live,'' Moy(C) said to Luther inside the courtroom Tuesday.
''I have to disagree with you sir, when you say that I'm selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish,'' she said. ''I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they'd rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids being fed then please go ahead with your decision but I'm not going to shut the salon.''
Abbott released a statement at the time which disagreed with the judge putting Shelley in jail. He quickly understood that she had the sympathies of Texans as a woman operating a small business, trying to support her children.
''As I have made clear through prior pronouncements, jailing Texans for non-compliance with executive orders should always be the last available option,'' he said. ''Compliance with executive orders during this pandemic is important to ensure public safety; however, surely there are less restrictive means to achieving that goal than jailing a Texas mother.''
Governor Abbott reopened salons and barbershops shortly after all this happened. Senator Ted Cruz was supportive of her and enjoyed some publicity for going to her salon for a haircut.
Megadonor Tim Dunn, who backs conservative challengers to office-holders he deems not conservative enough, is backing Shelley. Springer had to spend the last part of the campaign in quarantine because his wife tested positive for the virus. Abbott didn't endorse in the race. Voters in the district can look forward to more unconventional speech from her. She proudly says she is not a politician and embraces her outsider status.
''I never admitted to being a politician, but when it came down to who had the cojones when we were completely shut down and people were committing suicide, I stood up,'' Luther said.
Level 4''Maximum Alert (red) | Gouvernement du Qu(C)bec
Level 4''Maximum Alert includes targeted and additional more restrictive measures that could extend to prohibiting non-essential activities in situations where risk cannot be sufficiently contained, while avoiding the generalized confinement that was experienced during the first wave of the pandemic as much as possible.
Mesures in force on October 1stAt home (houses and cottages)
visitors from another addressAllowed:
a single visitor from another address for single individualsinformal caregiversindividuals offering services or supportlabour for planned workCHSLD, RPA private seniors' residence and RI
Visits for humanitarian purposes
Visits by informal caregivers (one person at a time and a maximum of two people per day in CHSLDs)
Activities organized in a public place
Prohibited, except for places of worship and funerals (maximum of 25 people and a register must be kept)
Demonstrations are still permitted, but wearing a mask or face covering is mandatory at all times
Not recommended toward a green, yellow or orange zone and outside Qu(C)bec (except for essential travel, workers, shared custody, freight transportation)
Public venue halls and audiences in indoor public places
Auditoriums, cinemas, theatres, libraries and museums are closed
Dining rooms are closed
Delivery and takeout orders only
Bars, brasseries, taverns, casinos
Businesses, stores and boutiques
Private professional and health services
Open only for services that require an individual's presence
Personal and beauty care services
Reach Around Reporting
Leaked docs expose massive Syria propaganda operation waged by Western govt contractors and media | The Grayzone
Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network.By Ben NortonUpdate (September 29, 2020): A few days after this article was published, the authenticity of these leaked materials was indirectly confirmed by the British government, which reported that hundreds of Foreign Office documents detailing its Syria propaganda operations were hacked in an alleged cyber attack.
Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria's political and armed opposition.
Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.
The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.
US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile. These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK's Channel 4.
More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.
Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV.
These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and ''influencers,'' and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.
Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to ''re-brand'' Syria's Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by ''softening its image.'' ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that ''aired almost every day on'' major Arabic-language TV networks.
Virtually every major Western corporate media outlet was influenced by the UK government-funded disinformation campaign exposed in the trove of leaked documents, from the New York Times to the Washington Post, CNN to The Guardian, the BBC to Buzzfeed.
The files confirm reporting by journalists including The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal on the role of ARK, the US-UK government contractor, in popularizing the White Helmets in Western media. ARK ran the social media accounts of the White Helmets, and helped turn the Western-funded group into a key propaganda weapon of the Syrian opposition.
The leaked documents consist mainly of material produced under the auspices of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. All of the firms named in the files were contracted by the British government, but many also were running ''multi-donor projects'' that received funding from the governments of the United States and other Western European countries.
In addition to demonstrating the role these Western intelligence cutouts played in shaping media coverage, the documents shine light on the British government program to train and arm rebel groups in Syria.
Other materials show how London and Western governments worked together to build a new police force in opposition-controlled areas.
Many of these Western-backed opposition groups in Syria were extremist Salafi-jihadists. Some of the UK government contractors whose activities are exposed in these leaked documents were in effect supporting Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and its fanatical offshoots.
The documents were obtained by a group calling itself Anonymous, and were published under a series of files entitled, ''Op. HMG [Her Majesty's Government] Trojan Horse: From Integrity Initiative To Covert Ops Around The Globe. Part 1: Taming Syria.'' The unidentified leakers said they aim to ''expose criminal activity of the UK's FCO and secret services,'' stating, ''We declare war on the British neocolonialism!''
The Grayzone was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the documents. However, the contents tracked closely with reporting on Western destabilization and propaganda operations in Syria by this outlet and many others. (Update: After this article was published, the UK government told Middle East Eye that Foreign Office documents concerning the work of its contractors in Syria had been hacked and published online.)
UK Foreign Office and military wage media war on SyriaA leaked UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office report from 2014 reveals a joint operation with the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development to support ''strategic communications, research, monitoring and evaluation and operational support to Syrian opposition entities.''
The UK FOC stated clearly that this campaign consisted of ''creating network linkages between political movements and media outlets,'' by the ''building of local independent media platforms.''
The British government planned ''Mentoring, training and coaching for enhanced delivery of media services, including digital and social media.''
Its goal was ''to provide PR and media handling trainers, as well as technical staff, such as cameramen, webmasters and interpreters,'' along with the ''production of speeches, press releases and other media communications.''
An additional 2017 government document explains clearly how Britain funded the ''selection, training, support and communications mentoring of Syrian activists who share the UK's vision for a future Syria'... and who will abide by a set of values that are consistent with UK policy.''
This initiative entailed British government funding ''to support Syrian grassroots media activism within both the civilian and armed opposition spheres,'' and was targeted at Syrians living in both ''extremist and moderate'' opposition-held territory.
In other words, the UK Foreign Office and military crafted plans to wage a comprehensive media war on Syria. To establish an infrastructure capable of managing the propaganda blitz, Britain paid a series of government contractors, including ARK, The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), Innovative Communication & Strategies (InCoStrat), and Albany.
The work of these firms overlapped, and some collaborated in their projects to cultivate the Syrian opposition.
Western government contractor ARK plays the media like the fiddleOne of the main British government contractors behind the Syria regime-change scheme was called ARK (Analysis Research Knowledge).
ARK FZC is based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. It brands itself as a humanitarian NGO, claiming it ''was created in order to assist the most vulnerable,'' by establishing a ''social enterprise,'¯ empowering local communities through the provision of agile and sustainable interventions to create greater stability, opportunity and hope for the future.''
In reality ARK is an intelligence cutout that functions as an arm of Western interventionism.
In a leaked document it filed with the British government, ARK said its ''focus since 2012 has been delivering highly effective, politically-and conflict-sensitive Syria programming for the governments of the United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, Canada, Japan and the European Union.''
ARK boasted of overseeing $66 million worth of contracts to support pro-opposition efforts in Syria.
On its website, ARK lists all of these governments as clients, as well as the United Nations.
In its Syria operations, ARK worked together with another UK contractor called The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), which is directed by Richard Barrett, a former director of global counter-terrorism at MI6.
ARK apparently had operatives on the ground inside Syria at the beginning of the regime-change attempt in 2011, reporting to the UK FCO that ''ARK staff are in regular contact with activists and civil society actors whom they initially met during the outbreak of protests in spring 2011.''
The UK contractor boasted an ''extensive network of civil society and community actors that ARK has helped through a dedicated capacity building centre ARK established in Gaziantep,'' a city in southern Turkey that has been a base of intelligence operations against the Syrian government.
ARK played a central role in developing the foundations of the Syrian political opposition's narrative. In one leaked document, the firm took credit for the ''development of a core Syrian opposition narrative,'' which was apparently crafted during a series of workshops with opposition leaders sponsored by the US and UK governments.
ARK trained all levels of the Syrian opposition in communications, from ''citizen journalism workshops with Syrian media activists, to working with senior members of the National Coalition to develop a core communications narrative.''
The firm even oversaw the PR strategy for the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the leadership of the official armed wing of Syria's opposition, the Free Syrian Army (FSA). ARK created a complex PR campaign to ''provide a 're-branding' of the SMC in order to distinguish itself from extremist armed opposition groups and to establish the image of a functioning, inclusive, disciplined and professional military body.''
ARK admitted that it sought to whitewash Syria's armed opposition, which had been largely dominated by Salafi-jihadists, by ''Softening the FSA Image.''
ARK took the lead in developing a massive network of opposition media activists in Syria, and openly took credit for inspiring protests inside the country.
In its training centers in Syria and southern Turkey, the Western government contractor reported, ''More than 150 activists have been trained and equipped by ARK on topics from the basics of camera handling, lighting, and sound to producing reports, journalistic safety, online security, and ethical reporting.''
The firm flooded Syria with opposition propaganda. In just six months, ARK reported that 668,600 of its print products were distributed inside Syria, including ''posters, flyers, informative booklets, activity books and other campaign-related materials.''
In one document spelling out the UK contractors' communications operations in Syria, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN boasted of overseeing the following media assets inside the country: 97 video stringers, 23 writers, 49 distributors, 23 photographers, 19 in-country trainers, eight training centers, three media offices, and 32 research officers.
ARK emphasized that it had ''well-established contacts'' with some of the top media outlets in the world, naming Reuters, the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, The Guardian, the Financial Times, The Times, Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabic, Orient TV, and Al Arabiya.
The UK contractor added, ''ARK has provided regular branded and unbranded content to key pan-Arab and Syria-focused satellite TV channels such as Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, BBC Arabic, Orient TV, Aleppo Today, Souria al-Ghadd, and Souria al-Sha'ab since 2012.''
''ARK products promoting HMG (Her Majesty's Government) priorities by fostering attitudinal and behavioural change are broadcast almost every day on pan-Arab channels,'' the firm bragged. ''In 2014, 20 branded and un-branded Syria reports were produced on average by ARK each month and broadcast on major pan-Arab television channels such as Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, and Orient TV.''
''ARK has almost daily conversations with channels and weekly meetings to engage and understand editorial preferences,'' the Western intelligence cutout said.
The firm also took credit for placing 10 articles per month in pan-Arab newspapers such as Al Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat.
US-UK program Basma cultivates Syrian media activistsThe Syrian opposition media war was organized within the framework of a project called Basma. ARK worked with other Western government contractors through Basma in order to train Syrian opposition activists.
With funding from both the US and UK governments, Basma developed into an enormously influential platform. Its Arabic Facebook page had over 500,000 followers, and on YouTube it built up a large following as well.
Mainstream corporate media outlets misleadingly portrayed Basma as a ''Syrian citizen journalism platform,'' or a ''civil society group working for a 'liberatory, progressive transition to a new Syria.''' In reality it was a Western government astroturfing operation to cultivate opposition propagandists.
Nine of the 16 stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained through the US/UK government's Basma initiative, ARK boasted in a leaked document.
In an earlier report for the UK FCO, filed just three years into its work, ARK claimed to have ''trained over 1,400 beneficiaries representing over 210 beneficiary organisations in more than 130 workshops, and disbursed more than 53,000 individual pieces of equipment,'' in a vast network that reached ''into all of Syria's 14 governorates,'' which included both opposition- and government-held areas.
The Western contractor published a map highlighting its network of stringers and media activists and their relationships with the White Helmets as well as newly created police forces across opposition-controlled Syria.
In its trainings, ARK developed opposition spokespeople, taught them how to speak with the press, and then helped arrange interviews with mainstream Arabic- and English-language media outlets.
ARK described its strategy ''to identify credible, moderate civilian governance spokespeople who will be promoted as go-to interlocutors for regional and international media. They will echo key messages linked to the coordinated local campaigns across all media, with consortium platforms able to cover this messaging as well and encourage other outlets to pick it up.''
In addition to working with the international press and cultivating opposition leaders, ARK helped develop a massive opposition media super-structure.
ARK said it was a ''key implementer of a multi-donor effort to develop a network of FM radio stations and community magazines inside Syria since 2012.'' The contractor worked with 14 FM stations and 11 magazines inside Syria, including both Arabic- and Kurdish-language radio.
To propagate opposition broadcasts across Syria, ARK designed what it called ''Radio in a Box'' (RIAB) kits in 2012. The firm took credit for providing equipment to 48 transmission sites.
ARK also circulated up to 30,000 magazines per month. It reported that ''ARK-supported magazines were the three most popular in Aleppo City; the most popular magazine in Homs City; and the most popular magazine in Qamishli.''
A Syrian opposition propaganda outlet directly run by ARK, called Moubader, developed a huge following on social media, including more than 200,000 likes on Facebook. ARK printed 15,000 copies per month of a ''high-quality hard copy'' Moubader magazine and distributed it ''across opposition-held areas of Syria.''
The British contractor TGSN, which worked alongside ARK, developed its own outlet called the ''Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office (RFS),'' a leaked document shows. This confirms a 2016 report in The Grayzone by contributor Rania Khalek, who obtained emails showing how the UK government-backed RFS media office offered to pay one journalist a staggering $17,000 per month to produce propaganda for Syrian rebels.
Another leaked record shows that in just one year, in 2018 '' which was apparently the final year of ARK's Syria program '' the firm billed the UK government for a staggering 2.3 million British pounds.
This enormous ARK propaganda operation was directed by Firas Budeiri, who had previously served as the Syria director for the UK-based international NGO Save the Children.
40 percent of ARK's Syria project team were Syrian citizens, and another 25 percent were Turkish. The firm said its Syria team staff had ''extensive experience managing programmes and conducting research funded by many different governmental clients in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq and other conflict-affected states.''
Western contractor ARK cultivates White Helmets ''to keep Syria in the news''The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.
The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.
ARK took credit for developing ''an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work.''
ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign, a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.
It was apparently ''following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams'' that The Syria Campaign ''selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news,'' the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office.
''With ARK's guidance, TSC (The Syria Campaign) also attended ARK's civil defence training sessions to create media content for its #WhiteHelmets campaign which launched in August 2014 and has since gone viral,'' the Western contractor added.
In 2014, ARK produced a long-form documentary on the White Helmets, titled ''Digging for Life,'' which was repeatedly broadcast on Orient TV.
While it was running the White Helmets' social media accounts, ARK bragged that it was boosting followers and views on the Facebook page for Idlib City Council.
The Syrian city of Idlib was taken over by al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, which then went on to publicly execute women who were accused of adultery.
While effectively aiding these al-Qaeda-aligned extremist groups, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN also signed a document with the FCO hilariously pledging to follow ''UK guidance on gender sensitivity'' and ''ensure gender is considered in all capacity building and campaign development.''
Setting the stage for lawfare on SyriaAnother leaked document shows the Western government-backed firm ARK revealing that, back in 2011, it worked with another government contractor called Tsamota to help develop the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability (SCJA). In 2014, SCJA changed its name to the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA).
The Grayzone exposed CIJA as a Western government-funded regime-change organization whose investigators collaborated with al-Qaeda and its extremist allies in order to wage lawfare on the Syrian government.
ARK noted that the project initially worked ''with seed funding from the UK Conflict Pool to support investigative and forensic training for Syrian war crimes investigators'' and has since ''grown to become a major component of Syria's transitional justice architecture.''
Since the US, European Union, and their Middle East allies lost the military phase of their war on Syria, CIJA has taken the lead in trying to prolong the regime-change campaign through lawfare.
InCoStrat creates media network, helps them interview al-QaedaIn the leaked documents, another UK government contractor called Innovative Communications Strategies (InCoStrat) boasted of building a massive ''network of over 1600 journalists and key influencers with an interest in Syria.''
InCoStrat stressed that it was ''managing and delivering a multi donor project in support of UK Foreign Policy objectives'' in Syria, ''specifically providing strategic communication support to the moderate armed opposition.''
Other funders of InCoStrat's work with the opposition in Syria, the firm disclosed, included the US government, the United Arab Emirates, and anti-Assad Syrian businessmen.
InCoStrat served as a liaison between its government clients and the Syrian National Coalition, the Western-backed parallel government that the opposition tried to create. InCoStrat advised senior leaders of this Syrian shadow regime, and even ran the National Coalition's own media office from Istanbul, Turkey.
The Western contractor took credit for organizing a 2014 BBC interview with Ahmad Jarba, the then-president of the opposition National Coalition.
The firm added that ''journalists have often reached out to us in search of the appropriate people for their programmes.'' As an example, InCoStrat said it helped plant its own Syrian opposition activists in BBC Arabic reports. The firm then added, ''Once making the initial connections we encouraged the Syrians to maintain the relationships with the journalists in the BBC instead of using ourselves as the conduit.''
Like ARK, InCoStrat worked closely with the press. The firm said it had ''extensive experience in engaging Arab and international news media,'' adding that it worked directly with ''heads of regional news in major satellite TV networks, press bureaus and print media.''
''Key members of InCoStrat have previously worked as Middle East correspondents for some of the world's largest news agencies including Reuters,'' the Western contractor added.
Also like ARK, InCoStrat established a vast media infrastructure. The firm set up Syrian opposition media offices in Dera'a, Syria; Istanbul and Reyhanli, Turkey; and Amman, Jordan.
InCoStrat worked with 130 stringers across Syria, and said it had more than 120 reporters working inside the country, along with ''an additional five official spokesmen who appear several times a week on international and regional TV.''
InCoStrat also established eight FM radio stations and six community magazines across Syria.
The firm reported that it penetrated the armed opposition by developing ''strong relationships with 54 brigade commanders in Syria's southern front,'' that involved ''daily, direct engagement with the commanders and their officers inside Syria,'' as well as defected officers Free Syrian Army (FSA) units in government-held Damascus.
In the leaked documents, InCoStrat boasted that its reporters organized interviews with many armed opposition militias, including the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.
Don't just plants media stories; ''initiate an event'' to create your own scandalsIn its media war on Damascus, InCoStrat pursued a two-pronged campaign that consisted of the following: ''a) Guerrilla Campaign. Use the media to create the event. b) Guerrilla Tactics. Initiate an event to create the media effect.''
The intelligence cutout therefore sought to use the media as a weapon to advance tangible political demands of the Syrian opposition.
In one case, InCoStrat took credit for a successful international campaign to force the Syrian government to lift its siege of the extremist-held opposition stronghold of Homs. The Grayzone contributor Rania Khalek reported on the crisis in Homs, which was besieged by Damascus after the far-right Sunni fundamentalists that controlled it began carrying out sectarian massacres against religious minorities and kidnapping Alawite civilians.
''We connected international journalists with Syrians living in besieged Homs,'' InCoStrat explained. It organized an interview between Britain's Channel 4 and a doctor in the city, which helped raise international attention, ultimately leading to an end to the siege.
In another instance, the UK contractor said it ''produced postcards, posters and reports'' comparing the secular government of Bashar al-Assad to the fundamentalist Salafi-jihadists in ISIS. Then it ''provided a credible, Arabic-English speaking Syrian spokesperson to engage the media.''
The campaign was very successful, according to InCoStrat: Al-Jazeera America and The National published the firm's propaganda posters. The British contractor also organized interviews on the topic with The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, The Times, Buzzfeed, Al-Jazeera, Suriya Al-Sham, and Orient.
After regime change comes Nation Building Inc.InCoStrat has apparently been involved in numerous Western-backed regime-change operations.
In one leaked document, the firm said it helped to train civil society organizations in marketing, media, and communications in Afghanistan, Honduras, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. It even trained a team of anti-Saddam Hussein journalists inside Basra, Iraq after the joint US-UK invasion.
In addition to contracting for the United Kingdom, InCoStrat disclosed that it has worked for the governments of the United States, Singapore, Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, and Libya.
After NATO destroyed the Libyan state in a regime-change war in 2011, InCoStrat was brought in in 2012 to conduct similar communications work for the Libyan National Transitional Council, the Western-backed opposition that sought to take power.
Coordinating with extremist militias, cooking news to ''reinforce the core narrative''The leaked documents shed further light on a UK government contractor called Albany.
Albany boasted that it ''secured the participation of an extensive local network of over 55 stringers, reporters and videographers'' to influence media narratives and advance UK foreign policy interests.
The firm helped create an influential Syrian opposition media outfit called Enab Baladi. Founded in 2011 in the anti-Assad hub of Daraya, at the beginning of the war, Enab Baladi was aggressively marketed in the Western press as a grassroots Syrian media operation.
In reality, Enab Baladi was the product of a British contractor that took responsibility for its evolution ''from an amateur-run entity into one of the most prominent Syrian media organizations.''
Albany also coordinated communications between opposition media outlets and extremist Islamist opposition groups by hiring an ''engagement leader (who) has deep credibility with key groups including (north) Failaq ash-Sham, Jabha Shammiyeh, Jaysh Idleb al Hur, Ahrar ash-Sham, (center) Jaysh al Islam, Failaq al Rahman, and (south) Jaysh Tahrir.'' Many of these militias were linked to al-Qaeda and are now recognized by the US Department of State and European governments as official terrorist groups.
Unlike other Western government contractors active in Syria, which often tried to feign a semblance of balance, Albany made it clear that its media reporting was nothing more than propaganda.
The firm admitted that it trained Syrian media activists in a unique ''newsroom process'' that called to ''curate'' news by ''collecting and organising stories and content that support and reinforce the core narrative.''
In 2014, Albany boasted of running the Syrian National Coalition's communications team at the Geneva Peace talks.
Albany also warned that revelations of Western government funding for these opposition media organizations that were being portrayed as grassroots initiatives would discredit them.
When internal emails were leaked showing that the massive opposition media platform Basma Syria was funded by the United States and Britain, Albany wrote, ''the Basma brand has been compromised following leaks about funding project aims.''
The leaks on social media ''have damaged the credibility and trustworthiness of the existing branded platform,'' Albany wrote. ''Credibility and trust are the key currencies of the activities envisaged and for this reason we consider it essential to refresh the approach if the content to be disseminated is to have effect.'' The Basma website was taken down soon after.
These files provide clear insight into how the Syrian opposition was cultivated by Western governments with imperial designs on Damascus, and was kept afloat with staggering sums of cash that flowed from the pockets of British taxpayers '' often to the benefit of fanatical militiamen allied with Al Qaeda.
While Dutch prosecutors prepare war crimes charges against the Syrian government for fighting off the onslaught, the leaked files are a reminder of the leading role that Western states and their war-profiteering companies played in the carefully organized destruction of the country.
I'm listening to your coverage on the People Of Praise thing. The ",handmaid" thing caught me off gaurd. "Handmaid" is probably a reference to the Virgin Mary who says she is the "handmaid of the Lord".
This has nothing to do with The Handmaids Tale. I mean, Handmaids tale? Really?
Roe v Wade v Gindberg
RBG: "Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of." She spoke bluntly in an interview published in the New York Times Magazine which was an article on women on the court. So it was not simply a woman's rights agenda. That was the cover story to hide the real agenda which has always existed – eugenics and to reduce the population of the minorities.
Moloch receiving a child sacrificeIt is very simple recruiting initiates to a devilish sex cult that promises an eternal life of butchery and debauchery.
All that is needed is a simple demonstration of supernatural power. Malachi Martin explains that one quite well.
VT: Amy Coney Barrett 'clerked' for Antonio Scalia, the supreme court justice murdered by a pedophile ring at their massive complex in the barren desert north of the Mexican border.
She is also the queen of a cult, nominally Catholic in name, that follows occult practices and is the basis of the TV series, ''The Handmaiden's Tale.''
Enslavement of women is part of it but the bloody sacraments and its history tied to a satanist cult within Catholicism that led to decades of child abuse by priests is the real story.
Partnered with Opus Dei, the fanatical Vatican squad that protects pedophile priests using members like Attorney General William Barr and:
''As an example of Opus Dei-affiliated military personnel, veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh ''claimed that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Vice Admiral William McRaven and others in the JSOC were members of the Knights of Malta and Opus Dei.'' JSOC is ''the elite Special Ops force' who killed Osama bin Laden. ''We're gonna change mosques into cathedrals '... This is not an atypical attitude among some military '' it's a crusade, literally,'' Hersh reported. ''He added that members of these societies have developed a secret set of insignias that represent 'the whole notion that this is a culture war' between religions.'
In 2005, JSOC left the Pentagon and went private under command of Vice President Dick Cheney. Since then, it has given birth to ISIS and run the fake ''color revolutions'' around the world, putting its members in power in nation after nation, in service to Moloch.
oh her cult literally inspired margaret atwood's book, that's cool https://t.co/XpxEWEsf06
'-- Edward Ongweso Jr (@bigblackjacobin) September 21, 2020Barrett lied on her questionnaire (a felony) when nominated by Trump as a judge. She had no judicial experience whatsoever, other than as a member of a satanic/pedophile cult. From the Daily Mail:
Potential federal judges have to fill out a lengthy questionnaire for senators who are considering their nomination.
One of the questions calls for them to list of 'all professional, business, fraternal, scholarly, civic, charitable or other organizations' that they have belonged since high school.
Barrett listed various committees she had been on at Notre Dame as well as the conservative Federalist Society, the Morris Park Country Club in South Bend and she said she had been on the board of Trinity School. She did not say that Trinity is run by People of Praise.
People of Praise is run by a group of rogue priests from Notre Dame described by Malachi Martin as satanists.
Barrett belongs to a ritual cult that claims to be 'catholic' but one that talks to the 'old gods,' Moloch and such, by speaking in tongues and through secret rituals. Moloch, Baal and friends love praise and have hidden behind Catholic cults for many years. From the UK Daily Mail (right wing/MSM)
Amy Coney Barrett and her husband Jesse are members of People of Praise, a small group that teaches that wives have to obey their husbands in everythingBarrett, 48, concealed her membership from what has been described as a 'Big Brother' cult from senators when she was before the Justice Committee in 2017 Barrett is Donald Trump's favorite to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Trump previously nominated her to the Seventh Circuit Court of AppealsThe People of Praise cult inspired the hit TV show The Handmaid's Tale, which depicts a dystopian world where women are enslavedAll male and single female member of People of Praise are assigned a personal advisor of their own sex, originally called 'heads' for men and 'handmaids' for womenThe 'handmaid' title was dropped after the runaway success of the Hulu series and replaced with 'woman leader' Malachi Martin, a VT co-founder, a former priest and exorcist, outlines how Catholic cults turned to worshiping satan years ago.
Martin's story is outlined in this Netflix documentary, Hostage to the Devil, from 2016:
What to Netflix is a profitable horror film is a reality to the American people, and COVID 19 is very much a part of the ritual sacrament of a cult that controls the political life of the US under Donald Trump.
The story today is about a supreme court nomination, as the court is targeted as a tool needed to protect those powers that feed off the United States. From an article for VT by murdered editor Thomas Mattingly:
''This is what Bibi Netanyahu said while sitting at the head of that private table in Fink's Bar (transcribed from a secretly recorded audio of Netanyahu at that meeting '' words that few Americans, Israelis or others have seen or heard until today):
''If we get caught, they will just replace us with persons of the same cloth. So, it does not matter what you do. America is a golden calf; and we will suck it dry, chop it up, and sell it off piece by piece until there is nothing left but the world's biggest welfare state that we will create and control. Why? Because it is the will of God, and America is big enough to take the hit; so, we can do it again and again and again. This is what we do to countries that we hate. We destroy them very slowly and make them suffer for refusing to be our slaves.'' [Confirmed by an ''attendee'' during a debriefing.]
The real center of the cult is Europe and has been for centuries. The 'black nobility' rule through controlling what they say is the 'bloodline of christ and magdelene,' spread though the Hapsburg dynasty and defiled by ritual child abuse.
That story is outlined below, a story broken by VT and Mehran T. Keshe.
The pedophile ring Keshe went to war against in Belgium so many years ago now has its second, maybe third or fourth occupant in the oval office. The jury is out on Nixon and Reagan who used Roy Cohn as an advisor.
Cohn may be the key to it all.
Increasingly, it has become obvious that Trump's relationship with Qanon is tied to his longtime partnership with first Roy Cohn and then Jeffrey Epstein. With these two gone, Trump has to be a very lonely person.
Epstein's New York home was the epicenter of operations for years but 'sacraments' are held at sex clubs, Las Vegas, Miami, using trafficked children brought in by the new core of members, 'police union' it is called, recruited by political operatives from among sheriffs.
'Sheriffs' are now key to the operation of the cult, tiny kings in every county, they own the jails, they have the guns, the power and have a long tradition of corruption.
Each year, an organization of 'chiefs of police' holds conferences were new members are recruited from around the world and initiations are held, often in New Orleans or Las Vegas.
The caged children of immigrants are a sacrament, not just by Trump, but the GOP and Supreme Court, representing worship of the 'old gods.'
The film 'Eyes Wide Shut' was about this nameless organization that lives though think tanks, People of Praise, Opus Dei, St. Hubertus, Bilderberg, The Family (Prayer Breakfast) under a broader rule of Freemasonry.
In Israel, it's the Likudists, it rules the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, it is the Muslim Brotherhood, it is al Qaeda and ISIS and it is now taking over the Kurds as well.
In Albania, formerly in Iraq and Iran, it is the sex cult MEK.
The Shah was a member as was Saddam Hussein.
The biggest growth is among police agencies, first in Europe and now the US. This is the real 'police union.' A certain 'international association' is a powerful arm of this 'religion.'
Their yearly conferences include a rogues gallery of butchers from around the world.
Trump isn't their first president. George W. Bush was. Both Bush (43) and Trump were recruited at age 20, brought to New York to be initiated by Roy Cohn.
All he has is William Barr, member of a Catholic extremist cult, to defend him and protect their sacred work, to defend a faith thousands of years old, one that worships Baal and Baphomet, misrepresented under mainstream Christianity as 'Satan' and to do so through religious rituals that require the use of small children.
This cult, one that seeded its way through Evangelical Christianity during the 70s and 80s, that found its way into the military though the Pentacostals in the Chaplain's Corps (Headquartered at Fort Hood where ritual killings occur), now has spread through the GOP in congress as well.
Currently 3 members of the Supreme Court belong, formerly 4 until the death of Antonio Scalia (read below).
The core beliefs are that the 'old gods,' represented as Baal, Baphomet, Ashtoreth and Molech represent the real founders of humanity. Worship of these gods, though rituals that include child rape and golden showers, guarantees real eternal life through the ability to 'negotiate' for an afterlife much as seen in the Matrix films.
Actions on earth have no moral consequences as this 'plane,' is only one of many created by the gods to 'test their initiates.'
How far back? Nixon? Probably. Certainly the Dulles Brothers, maybe more members of the Bush family. Are these the real ''Elders of Zion'' spoken of in the protocols? Yes, we very much believe so, and that the use of the protocols is a deception as membership has nothing whatsoever to do with being Jewish.
In fact, the Protocols read exactly like the game plan that was played out causing two world wars in the last century and followed to a letter by Bush and Trump in this millennium. Maybe the ADL will give us an award of some kind for letting this one out.=
From the Guardian:
''Trump's expected pick is a member of a 'covenant community' that faces claims of a 'highly authoritarian' structure
Donald Trump's expected nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the supreme court, to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is drawing attention to a secretive Catholic ''covenant community'' called People of Praise that counts Barrett as a member and faces claims of adhering to a ''highly authoritarian'' structure.
At the same time, the Louisiana native and Notre Dame Law graduate, a favorite among Trump's evangelical Christian base, has said legal careers ought not to be seen as means of gaining satisfaction, prestige or money, but rather ''as a means to the end of serving God''.
Interviews with experts who have studied charismatic Christian groups such as People of Praise, and with former members of the group, plus a review of the group's own literature, reveal an organization that appears to dominate some members' everyday lives, in which so-called ''heads'' '' or spiritual advisers '' make big life decisions, and in which members are expected to financially support one another.
Married women '' such as Barrett '' count their husbands as their ''heads'' and all members are expected to donate 5% of their income to the organization.''
'...by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor and Ian Greenhalgh
[ Editorial note : Revelations on the Allan case, which led to Scalia now lead into the entire Koch network, including the Federalist Society, said to be operating not simply in law schools but America's high schools as well, and into the Heritage Foundation.
We don't know when it began, maybe at the Presidio under Michael Aquino and the Temple of Set, or before. We do know it has victimized thousands of children around the world, not only in America but channeling children through Belgium and the Netherlands into sexual slavery and death.
What is it that makes the powerful desire what is so hurtful and obscene? When we ignored the Franklin Coverup, we opened ourselves to this'... Gordon Duff ]
Scalia '' What really happened?
Justice Antonin Scalia was surprised when he was ordered to the White House. This was not a man you gave orders to, especially not President Obama. It was Justice Antonin Scalia who vacated the long sacrosanct immunity from civil lawsuits, opening the door for a weakened presidency.
Sources say that Scalia was the single actor behind the impeachment of Bill Clinton. President Obama was aware of this and had ordered the FBI to set out traps for Scalia. We will now outline the downfall of Antonin Scalia. Yes, this is a story of secret societies, operating worldwide and ritual Satanic child abuse that permeates Washington.
When Scalia left the White House after a meeting with the president just before flying to Texas, the manila envelope he was carrying had printouts from a computer seized by FBI Special Agent Jeff Ross of the Salt Lake City, Utah field office, or so informants tell us.
Scalia left the White House carrying ''slam dunk proof'' that would lead to the arrest, conviction and, of course, impeachment of a seated Supreme Court Justice, files that contained names of victims and details on sex acts, preferred ''types'' along with dates and places. All of this was on the seized computer and these files went ''up hill'' from the FBI to the Department of Justice and directly over to the White House.
There, political advisors leapt on them, seeing a chance to leverage a justice and, in this case, and this is very important, bring down Scalia in such a way that conservatives would be forced to accept virtually any Obama nomination.
When Scalia arrived in Houston and chartered a plane after ditching his US Marshall protection detail, Scalia and his companion, C. Allen Foster.
Foster heads the Order of Hubertus and is co-owner with John Poindexter of the Cibolo Creek Ranch, 25,000 plus acres free for anyone to use, according to John Poindexter, ''free of charge,'' so long as they are a supreme court justice, ''A list'' celebrity like Mick Jagger or billionaires, others need not apply.
St. Hubertus ritual mask taken from Cibolo Creek ranch (credit: InfoWars.com)
The crux of the story is how they got Scalia. According to sources, Scalia had been providing protection for an international pedophile ring and was murdered by ''friends'' who he had informed of the nature of his visit with Obama and the doom it signaled for those around Scalia, prosecution, ruin and Citizens United reversed.
The mechanism Scalia used to provide this protection was the Federalist Society which chooses the judges throughout the US judiciary system so should any unfortunate pedophile find himself in court, the judge was under Scalia's control, thus making a successful prosecution difficult to achieve.
The Federalist Society grooms and recruits candidates to become judges at a young age '' college age kids; they specifically seek out suitable candidates who have certain moral ambiguities that can be exploited.
Thus a stranglehold is placed on the judicial system of the United States by a group which serves the interests of big business '' corrupt corporations, big pharma, the oil and coal barons; this is how their interests are, time and again, placed ahead of those of we, the people with the result that our environment and our bodies are polluted by the products of these corporations, be it poisons like aspartame and GMO crops in our food, toxins in our ground water (see Flint, MI) or just plain old exploitation of poor people such as the coal miners of West Virginia and Kentucky.
Scalia met with the Order of Saint Hubertus, the patron saint of million dollar dude ranch hunting. As of yet, no one has identified who was there, it seems that Supreme Court justices are found all the time with pillows over their faces and nobody asks a thing, but this was Texas and they make their own rules down there.
We remember former FBI director and founder, J Edgar Hoover, the man who said ritual satanic child abuse was a conspiracy theory. He is also the man who said the mafia didn't exist.
Scalia's talk in Texas was said to have gone like this:
''They have us, we are all going down unless we can give them what they want and they are holding all the cards, they have everything.''
There was no negotiation with the White House, instead Scalia got, we are told and multiple sources confirm, a pillow over the face and a heroic funeral, one that President Obama refused to attend. Now we know why.
For a seated president to not attend the funeral of a pedophile is unthinkable.
The computer itself belonged to a Stirling David Allen, arrested and charged with child rape and sodomy by the FBI after an investigation that began with a meeting in Rome, Italy. The FBI had known about Allen for some time, had wanted to arrest him since 2014 but had been blocked, they just didn't know why or who was behind it, not until Justice Scalia died. Within 9 days, Allen was jailed, and the evidence he held began to yield gold.
Allen is being held on these charges with bail set at $250,000.
We were shown an email from Allen where he tells of his January 15, 2016 meeting with Agent Ross at which time his computers were seized by the FBI. What we are told was on Allen's computer and what Allen told agents is astounding. Allen confessed, we are told, not only to his own sex crimes but to being recruited by a powerful international organization that provided him broad protection from prosecution.
From Ian Greenhalgh:
It is very sick, but if you really want to watch and hear the ramblings of a mad man just watch this video where Sterling D. Allan says he is GOD in the flesh, admits to being a paedophile, admits he has committed sexual abuse with an underage child, and says that he is waiting to be arrested. Mr. Allan claims he chose this life before coming to Earth to be a ''scapegoat'' which of course is all foretold in his insane ''alphabetics.''
We are told that Allen became increasingly unstable as his own feelings of guilt and his own public confessions of child sex crimes were inadequate to bring about his own arrest, an arrest he openly asked for time and time again.
Allen, who using his computer skills helped fellow pedophiles scour the internet for vulnerable children.
High level sources confirm that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered, that in itself is neither an original claim nor beyond the realm of likelihood based on circumstances allegedly tied to his death. By that, we are speaking of the ''pillow over the head'' and allegations of a ''cover-up autopsy,'' well outside legal requirements for someone of Scalia's position.
Sources in the White House confirm that immediately prior to his flight to Texas, ostensibly for a hunting trip with 35 ''close friends,'' many of whom are members of the highly secret Order of Saint Hubertus. As is being reported, initially in the Washington Post with broader allegations made on the InfoWars website, tying the Hubertus Order to Bohemian Grove antics, long subject to speculation in the alternative media.
We became aware of the case in August 2015 when we were shown correspondence between Allen and representatives of the Keshe Foundation. Allen ran several popular websites on alternative energy and was a popular speaker, often appearing on the Coast to Coast radio show with Detroit native, George Noory.
Increasingly it became obvious that Allen had been using these venues for sexual trafficking of children. It wasn't hard to figure out, he did it openly spoke of it constantly (as seen in the YouTube above) and lived as though he were above the law. Over the next few months, particularly when confronted by Iranian born physicist MT Keshe, who ordered Allen and those around him banned from all Keshe forums, Allen openly flaunted his criminal activities.
What made this particularly insidious is that it was obvious not only that Allen was not acting alone but that he had broad support not only in his home state of Utah, where he was able to avoid prosecution, but in Belgium as well. There, Allen and associates Hans Bracquene, Dirk Laureyssens and Ad Van den Elshout moved against the Keshe group, securing against Keshe's wishes technologies with defense related applications and passing them on to MI 5 in Britain.
When Keshe moved against this group and tried to secure his patents, he found himself being chased down the highway, shots fired, his car run off the road. Police arrested and soon ''misplaced'' the culprits, and soon thereafter, representatives of Belgium's ''royals'' told Keshe to leave Belgium or be buried there.
On the European end of the FBI investigation, the trail, all of which is easily followed by the ''breadcrumbs'' Stirling David Allen has left, leads to the highest and most powerful of the scientific communities where blackmail, kidnapping and torture, threats against families and in particular, threats against children, have placed members of secret societies in positions of power at universities, think tanks, police and counter-terrorism agencies and even the European Space Agency.
More to come'...
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than ''several'' countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.
Gordon's Archives '' 2008-2014
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Ministry of Truthiness
Former Fox News anchor Shep Smith heads to CNBC to host evening newscast - CNN
New York(CNN Business) Shep Smith, who stunned the television news industry by walking away from Fox News in the middle of a three-year contract last fall, is joining CNBC as the network's new 7 p.m. Eastern anchor.
Smith will anchor "The News with Shepard Smith" starting sometime in the fall, CNBC announced Wednesday.
The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. It was a surprise to some staffers at CNBC, which is known for specialized business news reporting, not Smith's brand of breaking news coverage.
But the business network has been exploring new scheduling strategies for the post-market hours, and Smith appears to be part of that.
"We aim to deliver a nightly program that, in some small way, looks for the signal in all the noise," CNBC chairman Mark Hoffman said in a statement. "We're thrilled that Shep, who's built a career on an honest fight to find and report the facts, will continue his pursuit of the truth at CNBC."
Smith said that Hoffman "presented me with CNBC's vision for a fact-based, hour-long evening news program with the mission to cut through the static to deliver facts, in context and with perspective. I know I found a great home for my newscast."
Smith will be executive editor of the 7 p.m. program in addition to anchoring it. He had a similar arrangement at Fox News. CNBC said he will also be the network's chief general news anchor, indicating that he may break into other hours of the day for live coverage.
The other NBC-owned news channel, MSNBC, is in the middle of a transition at 7 p.m. as well. MSNBC has been trying out replacements for Chris Matthews, who stepped down from "Hardball" several months ago. MSNBC is reportedly close to naming weekend host Joy Reid to take over the time slot.
Louisville Agrees to Pay Breonna Taylor's Family $12 Million - Bloomberg
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Release delayed in Breonna Taylor grand jury proceedings after attorney general requests delay - The Washington Post
The Kentucky attorney general will have two additional days to release audio from the proceedings of the grand jury that considered charges in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron's office requested a week-long extension after Jefferson County Circuit Judge Ann Bailey Smith ordered that his office file a recording with the court by noon Wednesday. Cameron (R) cited a need to protect witnesses by redacting personal information from the audio, which his spokeswoman said is more than 20 hours long.
Smith ruled that the attorney general's office could have until noon Friday to upload the recording, Cameron spokeswoman Elizabeth Kuhn said.
The recording will be added to the record in the case of Brett Hankison, a former Louisville police officer charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for allegedly shooting recklessly into a neighboring apartment during the raid in March that left Taylor dead. Hankison has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Attorneys for Hankison did not object to Cameron's request for a delay in releasing the audio, said Stew Mathews, who represents the former officer.
The announcement of the postponement comes a day after Cameron told local television station WDRB that he did not recommend to the grand jury homicide charges against the two officers whose shots struck Taylor. He said those officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were ''justified in their acts'' because Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot at them first.
Cameron's remarks threw into question his assertion at a news conference last week that prosecutors outlined to the jury ''every homicide offense, and also presented all of the information that was available.'' He later said the only charge prosecutors recommended was wanton endangerment against Hankison.
While Cameron told WDRB that the jurors could pursue any indictments they wanted, the jury followed prosecutors' recommendations and indicted only Hankison. No one was directly charged in the death of Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician.
Kentucky attorney general says he did not present homicide charges to grand jury in Breonna Taylor case
The decision outraged Taylor's family and racial justice activists, who took to the streets in protest and demanded that Cameron make public the grand jury proceedings. The case became a flash point in the Black Lives Matter movement this summer as Black Americans expressed distrust in policing and anger at their treatment in the justice system.
Questions about the charging decision have continued to mount since Cameron announced the results, with evidence leaked to Vice News reinforcing a lack of public trust in the investigation. Late Monday, an unidentified grand juror filed a court motion requesting permission to speak publicly about the proceedings and accusing Cameron of ''using grand jurors as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility'' for the charging decisions.
Kevin Glogower, an attorney for the juror, said Cameron ''may not have presented'' all the evidence to the jury, but that he could not be more specific until a recording of the proceedings was released and jurors were allowed to talk about the proceedings.
''The primary concern that our client has is, if you watched the news conference after the reading of the indictment, the attorney general laid a lot of responsibility at the grand jurors' feet,'' Glogower said Tuesday at a news conference. He added that Cameron's office has since ''attempted to walk that back.''
The grand jury recordings could shed light on some significant elements of the case, said Roger A. Fairfax Jr., a law professor at George Washington University and an expert in grand juries.
Among the things they could reveal are what kinds of legal instructions grand jurors received, what evidence was presented, how the laws connected with charges were described and ''how exacting the cross-examination might have been of witnesses before the grand jury,'' he said.
''You can mine a lot from these recordings,'' Fairfax said.
Taylor was killed March 13, when plainclothes police officers broke through the door to her apartment with a battering ram as part of a drug investigation. Cameron said officers announced their presence, despite having a ''no-knock'' warrant, but Walker has disputed that.
When Mattingly entered the apartment, Walker fired one shot with a gun he legally possessed, striking Mattingly in the leg. Walker later said he thought the officers were intruders.
Mattingly, Hankison and Cosgrove fired a combined 32 shots in response, six of which struck Taylor and one of which was fatal. No drugs were found in the home.
Walker was charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, but the charges were dropped. Louisville has since banned the use of no-knock warrants, a risky tool meant to catch suspects by surprise.
September 26, 2020 (American Thinker) '-- Is an unexpected October Surprise on the way?
They think it's a bad thing, but I give The Nation credit for reportorial digging. The hard-left magazine has discovered that federal law enforcement agencies (though not the FBI) have been tracing whom the mobs in Portland have been communicating with. The apparent lead role in utilizing hi tech and classified electronic means is being played by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), while the U.S. Marshals Service is dispatching street-level personnel. This bypasses the FBI, whose director, Christopher Wray, is on the record in sworn testimony, dismissing any such superstructure:
"It's not a group or an organization. It's a movement or an ideology," he said, explaining that "folks who subscribe or identify" with antifa do not operate at a national level, but instead organize "regionally into small groups or nodes."
The Nation reports:
A current DHS official described a colleague with expertise in electronic surveillance who was being deployed to Portland. But for what purpose? "Extracting information from protester's phones," the DHS official said. While in Portland, an interagency task force involving DHS and the Justice Department used a sophisticated cell phone cloning attack '-- the details of which remain classified '-- to intercept protesters' phone communications, according to two former intelligence officers familiar with the matter.
Cell phone cloning involves stealing a phone's unique identifiers and copying them to another device in order to intercept the communications received by the original device. The former intelligence officials described it as part of a "Low Level Voice Intercept" operation, declining to go into further detail '-- one of them citing the sensitive nature of the surveillance tool and the other an ongoing leak investigation within I&A.
"You're getting an inside view into your targets, who they are, who they're talking to '-- the hierarchy," the former intelligence officer said, explaining that many within the DHS believe that antifa is an organized group '-- as opposed to the largely spontaneous, decentralized ideological tendency that most experts, including Trump's own FBI director, believe it is. DHS intelligence has even found some limited evidence, which he considered thin, of foreign sponsorship. Attorney General William Barr, however, recently claimed that antifa is receiving foreign sponsorship '-- a necessary criterion to formally designating it a terror organization, which President Trump vowed to do in July. (The Nation recently reported on DHS intelligence's attempts to tie antifa to Kurdish militant groups in Syria.)
"Signals intelligence collection would not be useful for preventing opportunistic looting or violent confrontations. It presumes the existence of coordinated, purposeful, and unlawful activity that is conducted through electronic means," said Steven Aftergood, who heads the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy. "The general concern is that DHS treated mass public protests '-- not just violent individuals '-- as suspicious and targets of investigation, or worse." (snip)
In addition to signals intelligence collection, the Portland operation involved clandestine aspects, according to the former intelligence officer. This appears consistent with a tip received this summer. Several members of the US Marshals Service (USMS) '-- part of the Justice Department '-- sent to Portland claimed to be affiliated with a private firm called "Strategic Oil," according to travel records obtained by The Nation. While they did not identify themselves as law enforcement, the travel records contain information indicating that they were marshals, including that they were given a special discount for federal government employees. Clandestine methods tend to be used only for the most sensitive operations, more commonly overseas than domestically. (The Justice Department did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)
News Thud, from which I learned of The Nation's reporting, suspects that an October Surprise is on the way.
So the DHS and the FBI have been listening to Antifa and they know who in the media and in politics they have been talking to. You can tell by reading the report from The Nation, the left is getting real nervous about this because it is the number one report on their website as of the writing of this post.
I warned them this would happen when Barr activated the JTTFs but oh wellPlay stupid games, win stupid prizesFederal Agencies Tapped Protesters' Phones in Portland https://t.co/muMOWqYf3q
'-- Jack Posobiec ½½½½ (@JackPosobiec) September 23, 2020 Last May, Posobiec (of OAN) warned that media ties to Antifa would be exposed:
Barr about to unmask all of Antifa's communications with their media and political alliesNow you know why so many people are freaking out today
'-- Jack Posobiec ½½½½ (@JackPosobiec) May 31, 2020 I have been saying for years that President Trump understands better than anyone else that in this age, politics is a reality TV show for most people and that a three-act structure has the greatest impact. Well, we are in Act Three, folks, when questions and conflicts raised in Acts One and Two are answered and dramatic conflicts start to be resolved.
To put it differently, Rush Limbaugh correctly predicted some weeks ago that the real issues that would affect the election were not yet on the table. The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the media obsession with her successor may be considered the first of such issues and the beginning of Act Three. The activities of John Durham and the other federal prosecutors may also figure in the act. But if the activities of the DHS and U.S. Marshals Service lead to indictments or at least the exposure of the ties behind the rioters, that could provide even more factual basis for voters to reconsider assumptions that the media have foisted on the public.
Hat tip: J.J. Sefton.
Published with permission from the American Thinker.
Navy SEALs change official ethos to be gender neutral, remove 'brotherhood' and more
Members assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group 2 conduct dive operations during Exercise TRIDENT (TD) 20-2. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Russell Rhodes Jr.)
The U.S. Navy SEALs and the Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) recently changed their ethos and creed statements to reflect a gender-neutral presentation of the elite Navy outfits, doing away with gendered terms like ''brotherhood.''
One change to the SEAL ethos was to alter a sentence in the first paragraph of the ethos to say, ''Common citizens with uncommon desire to succeed'' instead of the original, ''A common man with uncommon desire to succeed.''
Naval Special Warfare spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Stroup confirmed the changes to the ethos and creed statements in an emailed statement to American Military News.
''Naval Special Warfare continues to deliberately develop a culture of tactical and ethical excellence that reflects the nation we represent, and that draws upon the talents of the all-volunteer force who meet the standards of qualification as a SEAL or SWCC,'' Stroup said.
Stroup said the changes to the ethos and creed statements were made to comply with changes in law opening the potential for women to join the elite military units.
''The previous versions of the SEAL Ethos and SWCC Creed were written prior to the law allowing women to serve as operators in Naval Special Warfare. The changes do not in any way reflect lowering standards of entry, rather they ensure that all those who meet the requirements to train to become a SEAL or SWCC are represented in the ethos or creed they live out. This improves the posture of the NSW force by ensuring we draw from the greatest pool of talent available.
Stroup confirmed, ''To date, no women completed the SEAL or SWCC qualification training pipelines.''
The current version of the SEAL ethos, shared on the Naval Special Warfare Command's official website, reflects the gender-neutral changes. An archived version of the same link shows an older version ethos statement without the new gender-neutral phrasing.
Another alteration to the first paragraph changes the phrase ''I am that man'' to ''I am that warrior.''
In the fourth paragraph, the sentence, ''The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men'' is changed to ''The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from others'' in the new version of the SEAL ethos.
In the final paragraph of the ethos statement, the prior sentence states, ''Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold.'' The sentence is now changed with the reference to ''Brave men'' changed to ''Brave SEALs.''
The memo also calls for the SWCC creed to change the term ''Brotherhood'' in the first paragraph to ''group of maritime warriors.'' Additionally, the memo states the sentence ''I challenge my brothers to perform, as I expect them to challenge me'' is to be changed to ''I challenge them to perform, as I expect them to challenge me.''
The new version of the SWCC creed has also been published on the Naval Special Warfare Command website. An older version of the SWCC creed, visible on the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) official website, shows the creed statement without the gender-neutral revisions.
The changes come despite the fact that there have been no women to successfully complete SEAL or SWCC training and enter the elite units.
Retired SEAL Eddie Gallagher drew attention to changed ethos statements in a Friday Instagram post. Gallagher shared a screenshot of an image showing an apparent August 3rd memo in which Rear Adm. Collin P. Green, the commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, shown in the document as ''C.P. Green,'' signed off on the changes. Green said the changes were made ''to better reflect our ranks now and into the future.''
Gallagher, who was cleared last year of charges alleging he murdered an ISIS fighter in Syria, criticized the changes in his Friday Instagram post. Gallagher, who has since retired from the Navy, also criticized Green's apparent role in the decision.
''What a joke,'' Gallagher wrote. ''Note the names that signed off at the bottom. Adm. Colin Green (part of the hierarchy that tried to use the system to put me away)~ let's remove all male pronouns & BROTHERHOOD from the SEAL ethos.''
''To be honest I thought the ethos was always BS,'' Gallagher added. ''Now I know it is. A creed or ethos is supposed to be written in stone, obviously ours is not and will sway to whatever political agenda is being put out.''
Batwoman: First official look at Javicia Leslie in costume as Gotham City's newest superhero | Daily Mail Online
Batwoman: Fans get first official look at Javicia Leslie in costume as Gotham City's newest superheroBy Kevin Kayhart For Dailymail.com
Published: 01:29 EDT, 26 September 2020 | Updated: 04:05 EDT, 26 September 2020
When season two of The CW's Batwoman premieres in January 2021, Javicia Leslie will become the first Black actress to play the superhero in a live-action television series.
And now, with her debut now less than four months away, fans are getting a first official look at its new leading lady in costume.
Leslie can be seen wearing the same outfit Ruby Rose's Kate Kane wore in the first season, but the new heroine promises that her Ryan Wilder character will put her own personal touch on the Batsuit.
First look: The CW released the first official look of new star Javicia Leslie in her Batwoman costume on Friday, September 24
'Look out, Gotham, I'm suited up and ready to go,' the Maryland native wrote in the caption of her Instagram post on Friday.
'But just wait until Ryan Wilder puts her own spin on the Batsuit. @cwbatwoman'
DC Comics also shared the image of Leslie in costume on Twitter, writing: 'She's here to protect Gotham. Get a first look at @JaviciaLeslie as #Batwoman.'
In the promo photo, the 33-year-old actress can be seen flashing a stern and focused look into the camera wearing the iconic Batwoman winged-mask.
And like Rose, who stepped down from the titular role following season one, Leslie is donning long, fiery-red tresses with some added soft waves.
Teaser: Leslie promises that her Ryan Wilder character will put her 'own spin' on the Batsuit
Promo mode; DC Comics also shared the image of Leslie in her Batwoman costume on Twitter
In season one, Rose's Kate Kane set out to overcome her demons and become a symbol of hope by protecting the streets of Gotham City as Batwoman, some three years after the disappearance of her cousin Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Kane's disappearance will be written into the story in season two, which will portray Ryan Wilder as likable, messy, slightly goofy and untamed.
Like Kane, Wilder be an out and proud lesbian, with her own personal issues that includes being a drug runner who has crossed paths with the GCPD in the past.
New leading lady: Leslie's Ryan Wilder/Batwoman has been describes as likable, messy, slightly goofy and untamed
Coming soon: Season two of Batwoman is expected to premiere in January on The CW
Leslie, who's best known for her roles on God Friended Me and The Family Business, sounded proud and humble when she addressed some of the responsibilities that come with such a high-profile role as Batwoman.
'I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television, and as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community,' Leslie said in a statement in July.
Again, season two of Batwoman is expected to premiere in January on The CW.
Budding star: Leslie is best known for her roles on God Friended Me and The Family Business
California Gov. Newsom Signs Bill Opening Door To Slavery Reparations '' Deadline
''After watching last night's debate,'' said California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, ''this signing can't come too soon.''
He was, of course, referring to outcry after president Donald Trump declined to denounce white supremacist groups during his debate with Joe Biden on Tuesday night.
Newsom the signed Assembly Bill 3121 into law on Wednesday. The bill opens the door to the state paying reparations to Black Californians, especially those who are descendants of slaves. It specifically calls out insurance companies:
Existing law requests the Regents of the University of California to assemble a colloquium of scholars to draft a research proposal to analyze the economic benefits of slavery that accrued to owners and the businesses, including insurance companies and their subsidiaries, that received those benefits, and to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding those findings.
Related StoryCA Rules For Reopening Disneyland, Universal Studios, Other Parks Must Be "Thoughtful" And "Responsible," Says State's Top Health Official - UpdatedExisting law requires the Insurance Commissioner to request and obtain information from insurers licensed and doing business in this state regarding any records of slaveholder insurance policies issued by any predecessor corporation during the slavery era. Existing law requires insurers to research and report to the commissioner on insurance policies that provided coverage for injury to, or death of, enslaved people.
AB 3121 does not commit to any specific payments. It calls for a nine-person task force that will make recommendations for how reparations could happen, whether through compensation or restitution.
The task force created by the bill will consist of five gubernatorial appointees and four people chosen by the state legislature. ''The Governor shall call the first meeting of the Task Force to occur no later than June 1, 2021,'' it states. The task force is instructed to deliver recommendations no more than 12 months from that date.
The task force's powers, according to the law, include:
-Holding hearings and sit and act at any time and location in California
-Request the attendance and testimony of witnesses
-Seek an order from a Superior Court compelling testimony or compliance with a subpoena
Read the full text of 3121 here.
For those who think slavery did not exist in California, there are these passages '-- and many others '-- from the state's official Historical Society on the subject:
California's constitution proclaimed that ''neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for punishment of a crime, shall ever be tolerated.'' Yet archives statewide contain evidence that slavery was practiced out in the open.
In 1848 when the gold rush hit, white southerners flocked to the state with hundreds of enslaved Black people, forcing them to toil in gold mines, often hiring them out to cook, serve, or perform a variety of labor. Sometimes fortunes were amassed on the backs of this free labor. Yet California's place in the nation's history of slavery is missing from most historical accounts and many are surprised to learn of its practice in the golden state.
Among those on the Zoom call for the signing were members of the California Black Caucus, the Chicano Caucus and also Ice Cube, who was singled out specifically by the bill's sponsor, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), as ''one of our real champions'' who has supported the effort. He also got a ''thank you'' from Newsom just before the signing.
Cube later tweeted his thanks to the governor.
Thank you Governor @GavinNewsom for signing AB3121 https://t.co/PKUcMtXb69 and Thank you @ADOSLosAngeles for bringing the bill to my attention so we could push from all angles.
'-- Ice Cube (@icecube) September 30, 2020
Weber called the bill ''ground breaking,'' and pointed out the bills were authored last year, long before the death of George Floyd and so many others sparked protests. ''A lot of people think we're responding to the moment,'' said Webber, before pointing out that the imperatives go much further back. ''We're responding to the history of California.''
The task force can also make recommendations on eliminating state laws and policies that perpetuate discrimination and on issuing a formal apology ''for the perpetration of gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity on African slaves and their descendants,'' according to the bill.
''California has come to terms with many of issues, but it has yet to come to terms with its role in slavery,'' said Weber, who chairs the black caucus and introduced the Assembly Bill 3121, said at the bill signing ceremony. ''AB 3121 is groundbreaking for the United States, to basically say this state is going to deal with the issue of reparation and we'll make a difference as the result of that.''
In related news, Assembly Bill 3070, also introduced by Weber, was made law on Wednesday by Governor Gavin Newsom. The law combats racial discrimination in jury selection. It establishes a presumption that certain reasons for excluding jurors are proxys for racial discrimination. The law seeks to root out implicit or unconscious bias in jury selection.
Newsom also signed AB 979 which requires publicly-held corporations headquartered in California to have at least one director from an underrepresented community by the close of 2021, was jointly authored by Assembly members Chris Holden (D- Pasadena), Cristina Garcia (D-Downey) and David Chiu (D-San Francisco), with Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) and Sen. Ben Hueso (D-Chula Vista) as principal co-authors.
''The new law represents a big step forward for racial equity,'' Holden said. ''While some corporations were already leading the way to combat implicit bias, now, all of California's corporate boards will better reflect the diversity of our state. This is a win-win as ethnically diverse boards have shown to outperform those that lack diversity.''
At one point one assmblymember expressed what were likely the sentiments of all present. With a wink to Ice Cube he said, ''Today was a good day.''
City News Service contributed to this report.
You can watch the signing below.
Middle East Peace Deal
Saudi heir and Jared Kushner inch kingdom towards deal with Israel | Saudi Arabia | The Guardian
As the UAE and Bahrain prepared to sign a deal to normalise diplomatic relations with Israel this summer, Saudi Arabia '' the regional heavyweight '' was quietly urging them on.
For several months before the deals were signed at the White House, the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, had been laying out his rationale for a pact that would overturn regional policies towards a long-term foe.
There were state-of-the-art fighter jets on offer, political favours with Washington to be won and bigger, better access to Donald Trump's America, with all the connections a nakedly transactional president saw fit to muster.
There was also another inducement: if Saudi Arabia's allies came to terms with Israel first, it would give the Kingdom cover to follow. Such a move would mark a seismic shift in the region's geopolitics, easily eclipsing Israeli accords with Egypt in 1978 and Jordan 16 years later.
While a pact between Israel and Saudi Arabia is growing closer, Prince Mohammed is unlikely to give Trump what would be his biggest foreign policy achievement before the US election, according to three sources close to the royal court.
Instead, the Kingdom is likely to continue its role of urging regional allies across the line '' effectively in its s name. Sudan and Oman are firm favourites to strike a deal before the year is out. But the old guard of the region, Riyadh and Kuwait, are likely to bide their time and hold out for bigger prizes.
Both countries are ruled by long-term monarchs, now well into their 80s and ailing, and both remain invested in long-term formulas for Arab-Israeli peace, which have been shredded by the region's younger leaders, such as Prince Mohammed.
Addressing the United Nations general assembly on Wednesday, the Saudi monarch, King Salman, stuck to the script of the 2002 Saudi-sponsored Arab Peace Initiative, which had been seen as a template until the past few years.
''The initiative provides the basis for a comprehensive and just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict that ensures the fraternal Palestinian people obtain their legitimate rights,'' said King Salman. ''At the forefront of which is establishing their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.''
The heir to the Saudi throne views the region through a different lens to his predecessors, seeing Iranian expansionism as a bigger threat to stability than the seven-decade failure to bring about a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. According to two sources familiar with Prince Mohammed's thinking, his views have been greatly influenced by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, since the two met in 2017.
''Kushner was just as transactional as his father-in-law,'' said one Saudi source. ''He was all about user pays; if you back a cause, or a person, they need to have your back. It was a language MBS understood and he wasted little time applying it to new Saudi positions on Palestine and Lebanon, both of which had become a never-ending burden.''
Later that year, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, was summoned by Prince Mohammed to Riyadh and given a version of what a new Saudi-approved Palestine would look like.
Abbas has never spoken publicly about the meeting, and has not been back to Saudi Arabia since. But Palestinian officials, who insisted on anonymity, like everyone else contacted by the Guardian for this story, said the plan put to the veteran Palestinian leader was a lot like the blueprint of Jared Kushner's peace deal, which was presented earlier this year with little fanfare.
''The crown prince told him Palestine could be Gaza and part of the Sinai, with a land bridge to what was left of the West Bank,'' the official said. ''The Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, was involved in this obviously. It wasn't a Saudi royal's prerogative to be giving away part of Egypt without consent.''
The connection between Kushner and Prince Mohammed has remained strong throughout his turbulent three years as the kingdom's effective leader. The stain of the state-sanctioned murder of Jamal Khashoggi by aides and guards of Prince Mohammed, barely reached the doors of the White House.
Instead, the Trump administration's blend of transactional power politics, commercial ventures and a narrow range of global interests '' securing the fate of Israel and diminishing Iran being first among them '' have gelled with the crown prince and the Saudi system, which knows how to deal with regional political families '' and now has a replica in the US.
One former western intelligence official said the model was a factor in getting things done. ''We go to see them in a nice new suit, sit in their palaces, feel briefly empowered and real,'' the officials said. ''Then we fly home and take the tube to a shared flat in Elephant and Castle. People on our end are seduced by the access, no matter how hard they try not to be. On their end, they often find the interactions quaint.''
The Kushner-MBS bond remains so strong, that the latter has advocated that Lebanon demarcate its maritime border with Israel '' a central US talking point, partly aimed at securing Lebanese rights to a shared undersea gas field, but also at neutering Hezbollah, which maintains a stronghold in southern Lebanon.
As Trump's government hurtles towards 3 November, it is ramping up its policy of ''maximum pressure'' on Iran. Lebanon is seen as a key arena in which to try to dilute Iranian influence, and Prince Mohammed is very much on board.
''Things are all heading in the right direction,'' the Saudi official said. ''When they pull the trigger on this deal is a very important question. For now, it's too soon.''
Major infighting in China between Xi Jinping gang and Jiang Zemin gang.
Below too hot to read as is publicly:
Xi gang gave Dems one hard drive of Trump's "ingredients" (material for blackmail), deal was that if B elected, he's going to track down the virus thing. Xi would pay a $1T+ compensation to U.S. using Jiang gang's overseas deposit
Jiang gang got the info, they gave Repubs three hard drives of Hunter's ingredients: a deal of $4.5B upon B's election with $10m downpayment, some adult videos featuring Hunter, plus evidence of how rivus was made and dropped. those three drives were blocked initially, however, later routed to Julianni, and finally made to Trump
It was Xi's plan, as soon as B was elected, he'll finish Jiang gang, which forced Jiang gang to counter-attack
Xi wanted B to help finish Jiang, Jiang wanted to T to help finish Xi
Nancy P received the hard drives from both sides
It was a speculation that B and T will join force to take out X
almost all Wall Street big shots with business with CCP have their ingredients taped and stored and ready to be used any time by Xi's apparatus
Bloomberg friend of Xi gang
Xi has a 70 name list of those who participated in dev the virus. As pressure mounting on accepting an open int'l investigation, those 70 names will die of heart attack or other incidents
Jiang Zemin (; Chinese: æ±æ"½æ° ; pinyin: JiÄng Z(C)mn ; born 17 August 1926) is a Chinese politician who served as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party from 1989 to 2002, as Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2004, and as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003. Jiang has been described as the "core of the third generation" of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders since 1989.
Jiang in 2002
General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party In office 24 June 1989 '' 15 November 2002 Preceded by Zhao Ziyang Succeeded by Hu JintaoPresident of the People's Republic of China In office 27 March 1993 '' 15 March 2003PremierLi PengZhu Rongji Vice President Rong YirenHu Jintao Preceded by Yang Shangkun Succeeded by Hu JintaoChairman of the Central Military Commission In office State Commission: 19 March 1990 '' 8 March 2005 Party Commission: 9 November 1989 '' 19 September 2004Deputy Preceded by Deng Xiaoping Succeeded by Hu JintaoPersonal detailsBorn ( 1926-08-17 ) 17 August 1926 (age 94) Yangzhou, Jiangsu, Republic of ChinaNationalityChinesePolitical partyCommunist Party of ChinaSpouse(s)ChildrenJiang MianhengJiang MiankangFatherJiang Shijun (æ±ä¸ä )Alma materProfessionElectrical engineerCentral institution membership
1989''2002: 13th, 14th, 15th Politburo Standing Committee 1989''2005: 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th Central Military Commission 1987''2002: 13th, 14th, 15th Politburo 1983''2002: 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th Central Committee 1988''2008: 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th National People's CongressOther political offices held
1987''89: Party Committee Secretary, Shanghai 1984''87: Mayor, Shanghai 1983''85: Minister, Ministry of Electronic IndustriesParamount Leader of the People's Republic of ChinaJiang came to power unexpectedly as a 'compromise candidate' following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 when he replaced Zhao Ziyang as CCP General Secretary after Zhao was ousted for his support for the student movement. As the ''Eight Elders''' involvement in politics steadily declined, Jiang consolidated his hold on power to become the "paramount leader" of the party and the country during the 1990s.[note 1]
Urged by Deng's Southern Tour in 1992 to accelerate "opening up and reform", Jiang officially introduced the term "socialist market economy" in his speech during the 14th National Congress of the Communist Party held later that year, ending a period of ideological uncertainty and economic stagnation following 1989. Under Jiang's leadership, China experienced substantial economic growth with the continuation of reforms, saw the peaceful return of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom in 1997 and Macau from Portugal in 1999 and improved its relations with the outside world while the Communist Party maintained its tight control over the government. His contributions to party doctrine, known as the "Three Represents," were written into the party's constitution in 2002. Jiang vacated the post of CCP General Secretary and CCP Politburo Standing Committee in 2002, but did not relinquish all of his leadership titles until 2005, and continued to influence affairs until much later. At the age of 94 years, 44 days, Jiang is the longest-living paramount leader in the history of the PRC, surpassing Deng Xiaoping on 14 February 2019.
Background and ascendancy Edit Jiang Zemin was born in the city of Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China in 17 August 1926. His ancestral home was the Jiang Village (æ±æ' ) in Jingde County, Anhui. This was also the hometown of a number of prominent figures in Chinese academic and intellectual establishments. Jiang grew up during the years of Japanese occupation. His uncle, also his foster father, Jiang Shangqing, died fighting the Japanese in World War II and is considered in Jiang Zemin's time to be a national hero. Since Shangqing had no heirs, Shangqing's elder brother, Jiang's biological father Jiang Shijun, let Jiang become the adopted son of Shangqing's wife, his aunt, Wang Zhelan, whom he referred to as "Ning" (Chinese: å¨ ; lit.: 'Mom').
Graduation photo of Jiang, taken in 1947.
Jiang attended the Department of Electrical Engineering at the National Central University in Japanese-occupied Nanjing before transferring to National Chiao Tung University (now Shanghai Jiao Tong University). He graduated there in 1947 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.
He joined the Chinese Communist Party when he was in college. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Jiang received his training at the Stalin Automobile Works in Moscow in the 1950s. He also worked for Changchun's First Automobile Works. He was eventually transferred to government services, where he began to rise in prominence and rank, eventually becoming a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Minister of Electronic Industries in 1983.
In 1985 he became Mayor of Shanghai, and subsequently the Party Committee Secretary of Shanghai. Jiang received mixed reviews as mayor. Many of his critics dismissed him as a "flower pot", a Chinese term for someone who only seems useful, but actually gets nothing done. Many credited Shanghai's growth during the period to Zhu Rongji. Jiang was an ardent believer, during this period, in Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms. In an attempt to curb student discontent in 1986, Jiang recited the Gettysburg Address in English in front of a group of student protesters.
Jiang was described as having a passable command of several foreign languages, including Romanian, Russian, and English. One of his favorite activities was to engage foreign visitors in small talk on arts and literature in their native language, in addition to singing foreign songs in the original language. He became friends with Allen Broussard, the African-American judge who visited Shanghai in 1987 and Brazilian actress Luc(C)lia Santos.[citation needed ]
Jiang was elevated to national politics in 1987, automatically becoming a member of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee because it is customarily dictated that the Party Secretary of Shanghai would also have a seat in the Politburo. In 1989, China was in crisis over the Tiananmen Square protest, and the central government was in conflict on how to handle the protesters. In June, Deng Xiaoping dismissed liberal Zhao Ziyang, who was considered to be too conciliatory toward the student protestors. At the time, Jiang was the Shanghai Party secretary, the top figure in China's new economic center. In an incident with the World Economic Herald, Jiang closed down the newspaper, deeming it to be harmful. The handling of the crisis in Shanghai was noticed by Beijing, and then by paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. As the protests escalated and then Party general secretary Zhao Ziyang was removed from office, Jiang was selected by the Party leaders as a compromise candidate over Tianjin's Li Ruihuan, Premier Li Peng, Li Xiannian, Chen Yun, and the retired elders to become the new General Secretary. Before that, he had been considered to be an unlikely candidate. Within three years, Deng had transferred most power in the state, party and military to Jiang.
Early leadership Edit Jiang was elevated to the country's top job in 1989 with a fairly small power base inside the party, and thus, very little actual power. His most reliable allies were the powerful party elders '' Chen Yun and Li Xiannian. He was believed to be simply a transitional figure until a more stable successor government to Deng could be put in place. Other prominent Party and military figures like Yang Shangkun and his brother Yang Baibing were believed to be planning a coup. Jiang used Deng Xiaoping as a back-up to his leadership in the first few years. Jiang, who was believed to have a neo-conservative slant, warned against "bourgeois liberalization". Deng's belief, however, stipulated that the only solution to keeping the legitimacy of Communist rule over China was to continue the drive for modernization and economic reform, and therefore placed himself at odds with Jiang.
At the first meeting of the new Politburo Standing Committee, after the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, Jiang criticized the previous period as "hard on the economy, soft on politics" and advocated increasing political thought work. Anne-Marie Brady wrote that "Jiang Zemin was a long time political cadre with a nose for ideological work and its importance. This meeting marked the beginning of a new era in propaganda and political thought work in China." Soon after, the Central Propaganda Department was given more resources and power, "including the power to go in to the propaganda-related work units and cleanse the ranks of those who had been supportive of the democracy movement."
Deng grew critical of Jiang's leadership in 1992. During Deng's southern tours, he subtly suggested that the pace of reform was not fast enough, and the "central leadership" (i.e. Jiang) had most responsibility. Jiang grew ever more cautious, and rallied behind Deng's reforms completely. In 1993, Jiang coined the new "socialist market economy" to move China's centrally-planned socialist economy into essentially a government-regulated capitalist market economy. It was a huge step to take in the realization of Deng's "Socialism with Chinese characteristics". At the same time, Jiang elevated many of his supporters from Shanghai to high government positions, after regaining Deng's confidence. He abolished the outdated Central Advisory Committee, an advisory body composed of revolutionary party elders. He became General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission in 1989, followed by his election to the Presidency in March 1993.
Paramount leader Edit In the early 1990s, post-Tiananmen economic reforms had stabilized and the country was on a consistent growth trajectory. At the same time, China faced myriad economic and social problems. At Deng's state funeral in 1997, Jiang delivered the elder statesman's eulogy. Jiang had inherited a China rampant with political corruption, and regional economies growing too rapidly for the stability of the entire country. Deng's policy that "some areas can get rich before others" led to an opening wealth gap between coastal regions and the interior provinces. The unprecedented economic growth and the deregulation in a number of heavy industries led to the closing of many state-owned enterprises (SOEs), breaking the iron rice bowl.
As a result, unemployment rates skyrocketed, rising as high as 40% in some urban areas. Stock markets fluctuated greatly. The scale of rural migration into urban areas was unprecedented anywhere, and little was being done to address an ever-increasing urban-rural wealth gap. Official reports put the figure on the percentage of China's GDP being moved and abused by corrupt officials at 10%. A chaotic environment of illegal bonds issued from civil and military officials resulted in much of the corrupted wealth ending up in foreign countries. The re-emergence of organized crime and a surge in crime rates began to plague cities. A careless stance on the destruction of the environment furthered concerns voiced by intellectuals.[citation needed ]
Jiang's biggest aim in the economy was stability, and he believed that a stable government with highly centralised power would be a prerequisite, choosing to postpone political reform, which in many facets of governance exacerbated the ongoing problems. Jiang continued pouring funds to develop the Special Economic Zones and coastal regions. Beginning in 1996, Jiang began a series of reforms in the state-controlled media aimed at promoting the "core of leadership" under himself, and at the same time crushing some of his political opponents. The personality enhancements in the media were largely frowned upon during the Deng era, and had not been seen since the Mao era in the late 1970s.[citation needed ]
The People's Daily and CCTV-1's 7 pm Xinwen Lianbo each had Jiang-related events as the front-page or top stories, a fact that remained until Hu Jintao's media administrative changes in 2006. Jiang appeared casual in front of Western media, and gave an unprecedented interview with Mike Wallace of CBS in 2000 at Beidaihe. He would often use foreign languages in front of the camera, albeit not always fluently. In an encounter with a Hong Kong reporter in 2000 regarding the central government's apparent "imperial order" of supporting Tung Chee-hwa to seek a second term as Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Jiang scolded the Hong Kong journalists as "too simple, sometimes naive" in English. The event was shown on Hong Kong television that night.
Crackdown on Falun Gong Edit In June 1999, Jiang established an extralegal department, the 6-10 Office, to crack down on Falun Gong. Cook and Lemish state this was because Jiang was worried that the popular new religious movement was "quietly infiltrating the CCP and state apparatus." On 20 July, security forces arrested thousands of Falun Gong organizers they identified as leaders. The persecution that followed was characterized a nationwide campaign of propaganda, as well as the large-scale arbitrary imprisonment and coercive reeducation of Falun Gong organizers, sometimes resulting in death.
Foreign policy Edit Jiang went on a groundbreaking state visit to the United States in 1997, drawing various crowds in protest from the Tibet Independence Movement to supporters of the Chinese democracy movement. He made a speech at Harvard University, part of it in English, but could not escape questions on democracy and freedom. In the official summit meeting with US President Bill Clinton, the tone was relaxed as Jiang and Clinton sought common ground while largely ignoring areas of disagreement. Clinton would visit China in June 1998, and vowed that China and the United States were partners in the world, and not adversaries. When American-led NATO bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999, Jiang seemed to have put up a harsh stance for show at home, but in reality only performed symbolic gestures of protest, and no solid action. Jiang's foreign policy was for the most part passive and non-confrontational. A personal friend of former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chr(C)tien, Jiang strengthened China's economic stature abroad, attempting to establish cordial relations with countries whose trade is largely confined to the American economic sphere. Despite this, there were at least three serious flare-ups between China and the US during Jiang's tenure: the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996, the NATO bombing of Serbia, and the Hainan Island incident in April 2001.[citation needed ]
Economic development Edit Jiang did not specialize in economics, and in 1997 handed most of the economic governance of the country to Zhu Rongji, who became Premier, and remained in office through the Asian financial crisis. Under their joint leadership, Mainland China has sustained an average of 8% GDP growth annually, achieving the highest rate of per capita economic growth in major world economies, raising eyebrows around the world with its astonishing speed. This was mostly achieved by continuing the process of a transition to a market economy. Strong party control over China was cemented by the PRC's successful bid to join the World Trade Organization and Beijing winning the bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics.[citation needed ]
Three Represents Edit Before he transferred power to a younger generation of leaders, Jiang had his theory of Three Represents written into the Party's constitution, alongside Marxism''Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping Theory at the 16th CPC Congress in 2002. Critics believed that this was just another piece added to Jiang's cult of personality,[citation needed ] others have seen practical applications of the theory as a guiding ideology in the future direction of the CPC. Largely speculated to step down from all positions by international media, his rival Li Ruihuan's resignation in 2002 prompted analysts to rethink Jiang. The theory of Three Represents was believed by many political analysts to be Jiang's effort at extending his vision to Marxist''Leninist principles, and therefore elevating himself alongside previous Chinese Marxist philosophers Mao and Deng.
Gradual retirement Edit In 2002, Jiang stepped down from the powerful Politburo Standing Committee and as General Secretary at the age of 76 to make way for a "fourth generation" of leadership headed by Hu Jintao, beginning a transition of power that would last several years. Hu assumed Jiang's title as party head, becoming the new General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. At the 16th Party Congress held in the autumn of 2002, observers noted at the time that six out of the nine new members of Standing Committee were considered part of Jiang's so-called "Shanghai Clique", the most prominent being Vice President Zeng Qinghong, who had served as Jiang's chief of staff for many years, and Vice Premier Huang Ju, a former party chief of Shanghai.
Although Jiang retained the chairmanship of the powerful Central Military Commission, most members of the commission were professional military men. Liberation Army Daily, a publication thought to represent the views of the CMC majority, printed an article on 11 March 2003 which quotes two army delegates as saying, "Having one center is called 'loyalty', while having two centers will result in 'problems.'" This was widely interpreted as a criticism of Jiang's attempt to exercise dual leadership with Hu on the model of Deng Xiaoping.
Hu succeeded Jiang as CCP General Secretary in November 2002. To the surprise of many observers, evidence of Jiang's continuing influence on public policy abruptly disappeared from the official media. Jiang was conspicuously silent during the SARS crisis, especially when compared to the very public profile of Hu and the newly anointed Premier, Wen Jiabao. It has been argued that the institutional arrangements created by the 16th Congress have left Jiang in a position where he cannot exercise much influence. Although many of the members of the Politburo Standing Committee were associated with him, the Standing Committee does not necessarily have command authority over the civilian bureaucracy.
On 19 September 2004, after a four-day meeting of the CCP Central Committee, Jiang relinquished his post as chairman of the party's Central Military Commission, his last post in the party. Six months later he resigned his last significant post, chairman of the Central Military Commission of the state. This followed weeks of speculation that forces inside the party were pressing Jiang to step aside. Jiang's term was supposed to have lasted until 2007. Hu also succeeded Jiang as the CMC chairman, but, in an apparent political defeat for Jiang, General Xu Caihou, and not Zeng Qinghong was appointed to succeed Hu as vice chairman, as was initially speculated. This power transition formally marked the end of Jiang's era in China, which roughly lasted from 1993 to 2004.
Official appearances after retirement Edit Jiang continued to make official appearances after giving up his last title in 2004. In China's strictly defined protocol sequence, Jiang's name always appeared immediately after Hu Jintao's and in front of the remaining sitting members of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee. In 2007, Jiang was seen with Hu Jintao on stage at a ceremony celebrating the 80th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army, and toured the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution with Li Peng, Zhu Rongji, and other former senior officials. On 8 August 2008, Jiang appeared at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. He also stood beside Hu Jintao during the mass parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China in October 2009.
Beginning in July 2011, false reports of Jiang's death began circulating on the news media outside of mainland China and on the internet. While Jiang may indeed have been ill and receiving treatment, the rumours were denied by official sources. On 9 October 2011, Jiang made his first public appearance since his premature obituary in Beijing at a celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. Jiang reappeared at the 18th Party Congress in October 2012, and took part in the 65th Anniversary banquet of the founding of the People's Republic of China in October 2014. At the banquet he sat next to Xi Jinping, who had then succeeded Hu Jintao as party General Secretary. In September 2015, Jiang attended the parade celebrating 70 years since end of World War II; there, Jiang again sat next to Xi Jinping and Hu Jintao. He appeared on 29 May 2017 at Shanghai Technology University.
After Xi Jinping assumed power, Jiang's position in the protocol sequence of leaders retreated; while he was often seated next to Xi Jinping at official events, his name was often reported after all standing members of the Communist Party's Politburo. Jiang reappeared at the 19th Party Congress on 18 October 2017. He appeared on 29 July 2019 at the funeral of Li Peng. He also stood beside Xi Jinping during 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China mass parade in October 2019.
Legacy Edit Jiang Zemin's inscription engraved on a stone in his hometown,
YangzhouThe policies of his successors, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, have widely been seen as efforts to address perceived imbalances and move away from a sole focus on economic growth toward a broader view of development which incorporates non-economic factors such as health and the environment.
Domestically, Jiang's legacy and reputation is mixed. While some people attributed the period of relative stability and growth in the 1990s to Jiang's term, others argue that Jiang did little to correct systemic imbalance and an accumulation of problems which resulted from years of breakneck-pace economic reforms, leaving the next administration facing innumerable challenges, some of which may have been too late to solve.
The fact that Jiang rose to power as the direct beneficiary of the political aftermath of Tiananmen has shaped the perception of Jiang in the eyes of many. Following the Tiananmen protests, Jiang threw his support behind elder Chen Yun's conservative economic policies, but subsequently changed his allegiance to Deng Xiaoping's reform-oriented agenda following the latter's "Southern Tour". This shift was not only seen as the exercise of a political opportunist, it also sowed confusion among party loyalists in regards to what direction the party was headed or what the party truly believed in. While continued economic reforms resulted in an explosion of wealth around the country, it also led to the formation of special interest groups in many sectors of the economy, and the exercise of state power without any meaningful oversight. This opened the way for the sub-optimal distribution of the fruits of growth, and an expanding culture of corruption among bureaucrats and party officials.
Historian and former Xinhua journalist Yang Jisheng wrote that Jiang may well have been given a positive historical assessment had it not been for his decision to 'overstay his welcome' by remaining in the Central Military Commission post after Hu had formally assumed the party leadership. Moreover, Jiang took credit for all the gains made during the 13 years "between 1989 and 2002," which not only evoked the memories of Jiang being a beneficiary of Tiananmen, but also neglected the economic foundations laid by Deng, whose authority was still paramount until the mid-1990s. Additionally, Jiang was also criticized for his insistence on writing the "Three Represents" into the party and state constitutions (see below), which Yang called Jiang's attempt at "self-deification", i.e., that he saw himself as a visionary along the same lines as Deng and Mao. Yang contended, "The 'Three Represents' is just common sense. It is not a proper theoretical framework. It's what any ruler would tell the people to justify the continued rule of the governing party."
"Three Represents" Edit Formally, Jiang's theory of "Three Represents" was enshrined in both Party and State constitutions as an "important thought," following in the footsteps of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory. However, the theory lacked staying power. By the time of the 17th Party Congress in 2007, the Scientific Outlook on Development had already been written into the constitution of the Communist Party, a mere five years after the Three Represents, overtaking the latter as the guiding ideology for much of Hu Jintao's term. While his successors paid lip service to "Three Represents" in official party documentation and speeches, no special emphasis was placed on the theory after Jiang left office. There was even speculation following Xi Jinping's assumption of CCP general secretary in 2012 that the Three Represents would eventually be dropped from the party's list of guiding ideologies.
The Three Represents justified the incorporation of the new capitalist business class into the party, and changed the founding ideology of the Communist Party of China from protecting the interests of the peasantry and workers to that of the "overwhelming majority of the people", a euphemism aimed at placating the growing entrepreneurial class. Conservative critics within the party, such as hardline leftist Deng Liqun, denounced this as betrayal of "true" communist ideology.
Other areas Edit Some have also associated Jiang with the widespread corruption and cronyism that had become a notable feature of the Communist power apparatus since Jiang's years in power. In the military, the two vice-chairmen who sat atop the Central Military Commission hierarchy '' nominally as assistants to then Chairman Hu Jintao '' Vice-Chairmen Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, were said to have obstructed Hu Jintao's exercise of power in the military. Xu and Guo were characterized as "Jiang's proxies in the military." Eventually, both men were reported to have taken massive bribes, and both fell under the axe of the anti-corruption campaign under Xi Jinping.
Jiang's time in office also saw a notable increase of collusion between business and political elites. A lack of checks and balances in the cadre promotion system also meant that personal loyalty often trumped skill and merit in ensuring advancement. Many people in top ranks of the military and political elites were seen to have gotten to their high positions through securing the patronage of Jiang. Prominent examples often cited include Jiang's former secretary Jia Ting'an and Shanghai clique member Huang Ju.
At the same time, many biographers of Jiang have noted his government resembled an oligarchy as opposed to an autocratic dictatorship. Many of the policies of his era had been attributed to others in government, notably Premier Zhu Rongji. Jiang was also characterized as a leader who was mindful to seek the opinion of his close advisers. Jiang is often credited with the improvement in foreign relations during his term, but at the same time many Chinese have criticized him for being too conciliatory towards the United States and Russia. The issue of Chinese reunification between the mainland and Taiwan gained ground during Jiang's term, but more substantial talks regarding Cross-Strait talks and the eventual Three Links occurred during the term of Hu Jintao. The construction of the Qinghai''Tibet railway and the Three Gorges Dam began under Jiang's leadership.
Family and personal life Edit Jiang married Wang Yeping in 1949, also a native of Yangzhou. She is de jure cousin of Jiang (Jiang's adoptive mother is Wang's aunt). She graduated from Shanghai International Studies University. They had two sons together, Jiang Mianheng born in 1951 and Jiang Miankang born in 1956. Jiang Mianheng went on to be a successful academic and businessman, working within the Chinese space program, and founded Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation.
Jiang Zemin has had a long-running friendship with the singer Song Zuying, Chen Zhili and others. Following the rise of Xi Jinping, Song and other Jiang loyalists, including her brother Song Zuyu, fell under investigation for corruption.
Jiang speaks Mandarin Chinese with a heavy accent.
Works Edit Jiang Zemin (2010). Selected Works of Jiang Zemin. I (1st ed.). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. ISBN 978-7-119-06025-5. '-- (2012). Selected Works of Jiang Zemin. II (1st ed.). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. ISBN 978-7-119-07383-5. '-- (2013). Selected Works of Jiang Zemin. III (1st ed.). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. ISBN 978-7-119-07978-3. See also Edit History of the People's Republic of China (1989''2002)Politics of the People's Republic of ChinaShanghai cliqueToad worship, an internet meme spoofing Jiang Zemin in China.1998 State Visit by Jiang Zemin to JapanThe Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin, a biography of Jiang by Robert Lawrence KuhnNotes Edit ^ "Paramount leader" is not a formal title; it is a reference occasionally used by media outlets and scholars to refer to the foremost political leader in China at a given time. There is no consensus on when Hu became the paramount leader or when his term ended. Jiang held the most powerful offices in the party and military'--CCP General Secretary and Military Commission Chairman'--by 1989 and relinquished all positions by 2004 to his successor. References Edit ^ Thackeray, Frank W.; Findling, John E. (31 May 2012). Events That Formed the Modern World. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598849011 '' via Google Books. ^ a b "Cengage Learning". Archived from the original on 12 February 2018 . Retrieved 6 December 2013 . ^ "BBC: Profile: Jiang Zemin". BBC News. 19 September 2004. Archived from the original on 29 May 2008 . Retrieved 7 March 2010 . ^ HOLLEY, DAVID (31 July 1993). "China Leans Heavily on Trouble-Shooter : Politics: Vice Premier Zhu Rongji's assignment is to cope with economic troubles, corruption, rural anger". Archived from the original on 15 July 2014 . Retrieved 5 December 2013 '' via LA Times. ^ Kuhn, Robert Lawrence: The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin ^ "Book: Real Story of Jiang Zemin: Introduction(4)". Chinaview.wordpress.com. 25 August 2006. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011 . Retrieved 7 March 2010 . ^ a b Kissinger, Henry (2001). "Chapter 17". On China . Penguin Press HC. ISBN 978-1-59420-271-1. ^ "USATODAY.com - China completes military power transfer". usatoday30.usatoday.com. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012 . Retrieved 5 December 2013 . ^ Miller, Lyman (1 June 1996). "Overlapping Transitions in China's Leadership". SAIS Review. 16 (2): 21''42. doi:10.1353/sais.1996.0038. ^ a b Anne-Marie Brady, Marketing Dictatorship: Propaganda and Thought Work in Contemporary China, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. ^ "China Gets Down to Business at Party Congress". Los Angeles Times. 13 September 1997 . Retrieved 12 January 2020 . ^ Michael E. Porter. The Competitive Advantage of Nations (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1990), p. 546. Archived 28 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine ^ a b "Profile: Jiang Zemin". BBC News. 23 October 2012. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017 . Retrieved 21 July 2018 '' via www.bbc.com. ^ "Hong Kong Journalists Association: FOE Annual Report, 2001". Hong Kong Journalists Association. 9 August 2001. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014 . Retrieved 11 October 2014 . ^ Sarah Cook and Leeshai Lemish, 'The 610 Office:Policing the Chinese Spirit' Archived 27 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine, China Brief , Volume 11 Issue 17 (9 November 2011). ^ James Tong. "Revenge of the Forbidden City: The suppression of the Falungong in China, 1999''2005" (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2009); ISBN 0-19-537728-1 ^ Spiegel, Mickey (2002). Dangerous Meditation: China's Campaign Against Falungong. Human Rights Watch. ISBN 1-56432-269-6 . Retrieved 28 September 2007 . CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) ^ Amnesty International "China: The crackdown on Falun Gong and other so-called 'heretical organization'" Archived 18 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine 23 March 2000 ^ Ian Denis Johnson, "Death Trap '' How One Chinese City Resorted to Atrocities To Control Falun Dafa" Archived 6 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Wall Street Journal, Pulitzer.org, 26 December 2000. ^ "NewsLibrary.com - newspaper archive, clipping service - newspapers and other news sources". Nl.newsbank.com. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017 . Retrieved 14 November 2017 . ^ Tomoyuki Kojima. China's Omnidirectional Diplomacy: Cooperation with all, Emphasis on Major Powers. Asia-Pacific Review, 1469''2937, Volume 8, Issue 2, 2001 ^ James Mulvenon. "Reduced Budgets, the "Two Centers," and Other Mysteries of the 2003 National People's Congress" (PDF) . Media.hoover.org. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 June 2008 . Retrieved 14 November 2017 . ^ "Information Control and Self-Censorship in the PRC and the Spread of SARS - Congressional-Executive Commission on China". www.cecc.gov. ^ Cabestan, Jean-Pierre (8 October 2009). "China's Foreign- and Security-policy Decision-making Processes under Hu Jintao" (PDF) . Journal of Current Chinese Affairs. 38 (3): 63''97. doi:10.1177/186810260903800304. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 December 2013 . Retrieved 6 December 2013 . ^ China's leadership makes show of unity ahead of key Communist Party congress Archived 13 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine International Herald Tribune ^ Former Chinese President tours Military Museum Archived 13 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine CCTV International ^ "Where is Jiang Zemin?". Financial Times. 1 July 2011. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011 . Retrieved 6 July 2011 . ^ "Jiang's Rumours of Death Spread". Nihon Keizai Shimbun. 6 July 2011. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011 . Retrieved 7 July 2011 . ^ "Is China's Ex-Leader Jiang Zemin Dead? Local Censors Don't Want Any Speculation". Time. 6 July 2011. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011 . Retrieved 6 July 2011 . ^ "Jiang Zemin Appears in Public Three Months After Media Reports of Death". Bloomberg. 9 October 2011. Archived from the original on 24 October 2013 . Retrieved 8 March 2017 . ^ Sputnik. "China Celebrates 70th Anniversary of WWII's End With Lavish Military Parade". sputniknews.com. Archived from the original on 4 September 2015 . Retrieved 3 September 2015 . ^ ä¸å...ç'æµæ±æ"½æ°ç°èºä¸æµ·ç§å¤§æå½±å'ååç (in Chinese). 29 May 2017. Archived from the original on 5 June 2017 . Retrieved 30 May 2017 . ^ "China's former leader Jiang Zemin at military parade amid infighting rumours". Straitstimes.com. 3 September 2015. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017 . Retrieved 14 November 2017 . ^ "19th Party Congress: Former president Jiang Zemin's appearance quashes death rumour". Straitstimes.com. 18 October 2017. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017 . Retrieved 14 November 2017 . ^ ãæ'é¹é'ä¸ãä¸å ±ä¸å¸¸å§--åºå¸æ'é¹ååå¼ æ±æ"½æ°ç°èº[å¾] (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 29 July 2019 . Retrieved 29 July 2019 . ^ "Ex-president Jiang joins mourners at Tiananmen premier's funeral". 29 July 2019. Archived from the original on 29 July 2019 . Retrieved 29 July 2019 . ^ "92-year-old Jiang Zemin makes rare appearance at Li Peng funeral". Archived from the original on 30 July 2019 . Retrieved 30 July 2019 . ^ Lam, Willy. Chinese Politics in the Hu Jintao era. pp. 44''46 ^ "Profile: Jiang Zemin". BBC News. 23 October 2012. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017 . Retrieved 21 July 2018 '' via www.bbc.co.uk. ^ a b æ±æ"½æ°"å¤ªä>>>>æ§" ä¹ èå¹"åé ä¸å ±. Duowei News (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 5 September 2015 . Retrieved 25 October 2015 . ^ Miles, James A. R. (1997). The Legacy of Tiananmen: China in Disarray. p. 59. ISBN 978-0472084517. ^ æ'¨ç>>§ç>>"¼æ±æ"½æ°ä¸ä>>¶è äºå£°æ'å¤§å¤§ä¸é. Duowei News (in Chinese). 20 June 2015. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015 . Retrieved 22 June 2015 . ^ a b è¥çæè¯å½æ "å¤§ç>>æ"ä®æ£ä¸ä¸ªä>>£è¨¼. Duowei News (in Chinese). 6 June 2015. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015 . Retrieved 22 June 2015 . ^ "Hu Jintao's weak grip on China's army inspired Xi Jinping's military shake-up: sources". South China Morning Post. 11 March 2015. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015 . Retrieved 25 October 2015 . ^ Kuhn, 2004; Lam, 1997 ^ "China under Jiang Zemin". Facts and Details. 1 October 1928. Archived from the original on 23 November 2010 . Retrieved 7 March 2010 . ^ Willy Wo-Lap Lam. "Smoke clears over China's U.S. strategy". CNN. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013 . Retrieved 6 December 2013 . ^ The-Cambridge Handbook Contemporary China. Cambridge University Press. 2001. p. 326. ISBN 978-0521786744. ^ "Jiang Zemin '' General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee". People's Daily. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011 . Retrieved 4 December 2010 . ^ Nathan, Andrew J.; Bruce, Gilley (2002). CHINA'S NEW RULERS: THE SECRET FILES (PDF) . New York: New York Review of Books. p. 164. ISBN 1-59017-046-6. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 April 2017 . Retrieved 12 September 2018 . ^ "Singer who disappeared six years ago resurfaces married to China president's brother". www.telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. 16 October 2014. Archived from the original on 20 April 2018 . Retrieved 19 April 2018 . ^ "Asia Sentinel". Archived from the original on 24 January 2010 . Retrieved 11 September 2018 . ^ Parry, Simon. "Sleeping with the enemy". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 8 February 2014 . Retrieved 14 April 2014 . ^ Fan, Jiayang. "SINGING FOR CHINA: SONG ZUYING IN NEW YORK". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 10 January 2014 . Retrieved 14 April 2014 . ^ "Humble hometown hesitant to talk about Peng Liyuan, China's first lady". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 11 September 2018 . Retrieved 11 September 2018 . ^ DeAeth, Duncan. "Chinese starlet Song Zuying, many others, under investigation for corruption by CCP". Taiwan News. Archived from the original on 14 August 2018 . Retrieved 14 August 2018 . ^ Nakazawa, Katsuji. "Downfall of a diva mirrors Beijing's backstage politics". Nikkei. Archived from the original on 13 August 2018 . Retrieved 14 August 2018 . ^ "Let not a billion tongues bloom". The Economist. 13 October 2016 . Retrieved 11 September 2020 . Further reading Edit Gilley, Bruce. "Tiger on the Brink: Jiang Zemin and China's New Elite." Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. 395pp. This was the first biography of Jiang to appear in the West. A comprehensive and highly readable journalistic account of Jiang's early years, his ascendancy within the Party bureaucracy, and his ultimate rise to power as Deng Xiaoping's successor in the wake of Tiananmen.Kuhn, Robert Lawrence = The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin, Random House (English edition) 2005. Century Publishing Group, Shanghai (Chinese edition) 2005. The book is a general biography of Jiang with a more favorable stance towards him.China Daily, chinadaily.com.cn; accessed 19 June 2015.Lam, Willy Wo-Lap. "The Era of Jiang Zemin"; Prentice Hall, Singapore: 1999. General Jiang-era background information and analysis, not comprehensive biography.External links Edit Appearances on C-SPAN
Pompeo to criticise Vatican's renewal of China deal during visit | Catholicism | The Guardian
Show caption Pompeo is on a five-day tour of Greece, Turkey, Croatia and Italy. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
CatholicismPope Francis reportedly declining to meet US secretary of state who says the Catholic church too soft on Beijing
Mike Pompeo will visit the Vatican to protest against the imminent renewal of a deal between the Catholic church and China, which the US secretary of state claims endangers its moral authority.
Pope Francis has reportedly declined to meet Pompeo during his visit this week, citing the closeness of the US election. However, such a move is likely to be linked to Pompeo's recent attacks on the Vatican's perceived soft-pedalling on China's human rights record as the two sides prepare to extend a historic agreement signed two years ago.
The details of the deal have never been made public, but it gave the Vatican a say in the appointment of Catholic bishops in China. Pope Francis also recognised eight bishops that had been appointed by Beijing without his approval.
In the past two years, two new bishops have been appointed in China after consultation with the Vatican, and Chinese and Vatican officials met publicly for the first time in seven decades.
Critics claimed the deal was a betrayal of millions of Chinese Catholics, most of whom worship in unregistered churches at enormous personal risk, and would cause irreparable damage to the church's credibility. ''They're [sending] the flock into the mouths of the wolves,'' Cardinal Joseph Zen, the former archbishop of Hong Kong, said at the time.
Since the rapprochement with China, Pope Francis has been notably silent on the country's violations of human rights. Despite advocating for marginalised and oppressed people all over the world, Francis has failed to use his voice to highlight the incarceration of at least a million Uighurs and other Muslims in prison camps, where they are reported to face starvation, torture, murder, sexual violence, slave labour and forced organ extraction.
Earlier this month, Pompeo, who is on a five-day tour of Greece, Turkey, Croatia and Italy, said the Catholic church should deploy its moral authority against the Chinese Communist party's crackdowns on religious worship.
The criticism is part of a broader pattern of US attacks on China during Donald Trump's presidency as relations between the superpowers have reached their lowest point for decades. At the UN general assembly this month, Trump accused China of ''unleashing this plague onto the world'', referring to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In an article in First Things, a US conservative Catholic magazine, Pompeo wrote: ''The Holy See has a unique capacity and duty to focus the world's attention on human rights violations, especially those perpetrated by totalitarian regimes like Beijing's. In the late 20th century, the church's power of moral witness helped inspire those who liberated central and eastern Europe from communism, and those who challenged autocratic and authoritarian regimes in Latin America and East Asia.
''That same power of moral witness should be deployed today with respect to the Chinese Communist party '... What the church teaches the world about religious freedom and solidarity should now be forcefully and persistently conveyed by the Vatican in the face of the Chinese Communist party's relentless efforts to bend all religious communities to the will of the party and its totalitarian program.''
On Twitter he said the party's ''abuse of the faithful has only gotten worse'' since the deal was signed. ''The Vatican endangers its moral authority, should it renew the deal.''
Pompeo is expected to meet Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See's secretary of state, and the archbishop Paul Gallagher, secretary for relations with states.
China's president, Xi Jinping, has pledged to ''Sinicise'' all religious practise, insisting that it must be ''Chinese in orientation'', with the government providing ''active guidance to religions''.
Catholicism is a relatively minor religion in China, with an estimated 10-12 million adherents out of a population of 1.4 billion. Catholics are supposed to worship only in churches approved by the state, but many attend unregistered churches under the authority of bishops who are not recognised by the Chinese authorities.
The extension to the Vatican-China deal is expected to be signed next month.
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'The Rock' Has Sold His Soul to China - American Greatness
The man Forbes magazine lists as the world's highest-paid actor, Dwayne Johnson, has just endorsed Joe Biden for president. In a seven-minute video pinned to his Facebook profile, Johnson, also known as ''The Rock,'' explained, ''In this critical election, I believe Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the best to lead our country, and as my first ever (public) presidential endorsement, I proudly endorse them for the presidential office of our United States.''
From reading through what are now over 100,000 comments in response to Johnson's Facebook post, it's clear at once that Johnson's endorsement backfired. There are almost no comments supporting his decision. Roughly 95 percent of the comments are expressions of anger and feelings of betrayal.
Perhaps Johnson has laid an egg. Perhaps he didn't know his fans at all.
Or perhaps he didn't care about his American fans.
There's a truism in the world of finance: ''past performance is no guarantee of future results.'' But if you're Dwayne Johnson, or Lebron James, or countless other luminaries of sports and screen, you've put that time-tested wisdom aside in a mad dash after the Chinese market.
Never mind the slow but relentless inertia of history, and the inevitable clash it portends between the United States and China. If all you're paying attention to is recent results and trends, the future for motion pictures, sort of like the future for professional basketball, is not in America, but China.
A look at some of the Rock's blockbusters over the past decade suggests the real reason he's endorsing Biden. He wants to please his Chinese partners.
For example, '' Furious 7 '' in 2015 grossed $353 million in the United States but raked in $390 million in China. '' The Fate of the Furious '' in 2017 grossed $225 million in the United States and $392 million in China. Even more recent blockbusters delivered ongoing disparities. '' Rampage '' in 2018 grossed $101 million in the United States versus $159 million in China. '' Skyscraper ,'' also released in 2018, grossed $68 million in the United States but hit $98 million in China.
Moreover, as most of America's barely 40,000 movie theaters struggle with reopening , and may never fully rebound, China's 70,000 movie theaters were reopened in August . And whereas the United States has 12 movie screens per 100,000 people, China only has five screens per 100,000. In other words, there is room for growth. Surely the future of movies is in China.
The Rock's New Tequila Brand Eyes Chinese Consumers It's not just movies where the approval of the Chinese regime is critical to Johnson's financial success, but also to smooth the way for sales of his new brand of tequila . Launched earlier this year , Johnson's ''Teremana'' tequila is attacking a sleeping giant, the Chinese market for tequila.
Despite being heavy drinkers , the Chinese are just beginning to discover tequila. It is outsold by most all other imported Western spirits, with whiskey selling 10 times as much into the Chinese market as tequila. After a sustained marketing effort by tequila distillers, however, China is now considered the next big market . And who better to introduce tequila to the Chinese consumer than Dwayne Johnson?
Don't rock that boat, Mr. Rock. Never mind Hong Kong, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, the South China Sea, the Silk Road debt traps, or the COVID bug. And never mind the overwhelming (and overwhelmingly unhealthy) influence Chinese money is having in almost every U.S. institution from academia and media and Big Tech to Hollywood. There's money to be made.
And don't worry. Losing half of a shrinking market in exchange for preferential access to the Chinese market is a worthy trade.
Disillusioning of Millions of Fans Is Nothing New The Trump era has made it clear to ordinary Americans that their own national elite has turned on them, and considers them disposable.
If you care about American jobs, American manufacturing, American culture, or staying out of endless wars, the almost universal opposition to President Trump by America's elite institutions has made the situation crystal clear: You don't matter .
Johnson joins an ignominious list of celebrities who have decided to betray their longtime fans by declaring their opposition to President Trump. Unlike some of his celebrity counterparts'--Robert De Niro and Madonna come to mind'--Johnson's declaration of support for Biden at least tried to stay classy. He spoke of ''courage, humanity, empathy, strength, grit, kindness and respect.'' He urged everyone to be ''kind and respectful to one another.''
This persona, ''courage, humanity, strength, grit, kindness, and respect,'' is evident in many of Johnson's better movies: ''Walking Tall'' (2004), ''Gridiron Gang'' (2006), and ''Fighting With My Family'' (2019). It even shows up in his action movie characters. But that noble persona was shattered the moment Johnson threw in his lot with Biden and Harris.
These two politicians offer nothing to Americans apart from extending the misery we're seeing in America's Democratic cities into the rest of the United States. The cold fact that Johnson either ignores or cannot comprehend is that the urban governance model established by Democrats in cities from New York to Los Angeles is unsustainable. It is bankrupt morally and financially.
If Johnson, along with LeBron James and countless other athletes and celebrities, truly cared about America's underprivileged, he would follow his conscience. He would display true courage, and call for school choice, stronger law enforcement, and make an uncompromising and unrelenting plea to inner city youth to avoid drugs, value education, and above all get and stay married.
Johnson, to his credit, had been doing some of this. But now he has lost credibility. He has endorsed the corrupt racketeers who have destroyed America's cities, and especially its underprivileged. This is inexplicable'-- unless you follow the money.
China is Not the Future of the World One of the most hilarious, hideous lies in politics today is that Russia constitutes the biggest threat to the integrity of American elections. First, it is laughably hypocritical, since the United States interferes all the time, almost everywhere, in elections abroad.
More to the point, Russian influence in America is a minute fraction of Chinese influence. China has 10 times the population of Russia; China's economy is also 10 times bigger . While Russia had a small trade surplus with the United States of $16 billion in 2019, China's was $295 billion for that year .
Russia cannot buy the United States, but China can .
And that's exactly what the Chinese are doing. They bought Joe Biden and his family. And now they've bought Dwayne Johnson. But past performance is not indicative of future results. China is not destined to rule the world, and while the Chinese market may be the biggest among nations, it will always be only a fraction of the total global market.
The Chinese people comprise 18 percent of the global population, and that percentage is destined to shrink. The Chinese have already alienated huge nations with growing markets'--including India, which has a population projected to exceed China's population within a few years. There are a lot of movie screens in India, too. And perhaps Johnson should ask the family of a soldier recently killed on the Siachen Glacier what they think of his tequila.
What Dwayne Johnson needs to realize is that China may be a great short-term commercial opportunity, but they are headed for shoals. They are a high-tech police state where a small elite control most of the wealth, and even these elites live in constant fear. They have alienated every free nation in the world, and the only reason they still get a relative pass in the United States is because crooks like Joe Biden haven't finished taking their money.
Dwayne Johnson could have kept his political sentiments to himself. Who told him that would not be sufficient?
There is a neighborhood market down the street from my house. An older lady from the Armenian-Azer region owns the building and works the register. Three years ago I asked her where she's from because of the Strange Goods she sold. (Because of NA, I'm probably the only person in town who has any interest in that region, let alone familiar). Two months ago I asked her about the minor border conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the news (She refers to Azerbaijan as Azer). Essentially her take was: "They are always shooting. It will always be." Two days ago I went to buy some Strange Goods, and I asked about the escalation (State video of Tanks blowing up, etc.). And I asked if because of the Baku oil fields or pipelines. Essentially said: "No no no, that is insignificant. It is the Grapes, it is the Grapes, they want the Armenian Grapes."
Zenith Photo Studio / Vine & Wine Foundation of ArmeniaArmenian wines'--despite a checkered past'--look toward a brilliant future.
In a land resembling a cross between rural Utah, inland California and South Pass, Wyoming, with a capital city (Yerevan) that is safe, attractive and progressive, modern Armenian winemakers are a diverse and hardy lot. Representative backgrounds include that of a Berkeley chef, a Milanese fashion guru, an Argentinian infrastructure billionaire, a Moscow MBA graduate and the family of a Bostonian victim of past Bolshevik repression.
This land'--smaller than the country of Belgium or the size of the U.S. states of Delaware and Vermont combined'--has in the past five years seen a grueling four-day war as well as a separate Velvet Revolution that toppled the government. This period also included a drinking revolution where wine bars in the capital of Yerevan blossomed tenfold, and 25 new wineries were founded in just 2018.
Armenian Wine In HistoryBeginning over a decade ago a series of archaeological 'firsts' were discovered in a cliffside cave near the mountain town of Areni. These included the earliest known shoe, the oldest known brain tissue from the Old World and a 6,100-year-old winery'--the earliest ever discovered on earth. In what is now known as the Areni-1 Cave, the public can view clay cylindrical containers (each more than a yard/meter in diameter) where wine was produced for burial ceremonies.
Boris Gasparyan of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia spoke about this cave.
''When you map all the early sites regarding ancient winemaking, they are all religious. We hypothesize that wine appeared in the context of religion. It was not any everyday product until the Iron Age.'' (In the region where Armenia is located, the Iron Age began about 1,200 BC.)
The truth is clear: whether for rituals or relaxation, Armenia's descendants have been sipping fermented grape juice for millennia.
6,100 year old wine making remnants in Areni-1 cave
Tom MullenDuring Soviet rule between 1920 and 1991, winemaking in Armenia suffered from a heavy focus on quantity over quality. Brandy was then considered more important to produce than wine. In 1980, Armenia produced a quarter of all brandy consumed in the Soviet Union.
Aramis Mkrtchyan, a viticulture specialist at the Vine & Wine Foundation of Armenia, told of this past.
''During the time of the Soviet union, all wineries belonged to the government. They destroyed many vines and there was no interest in know-how. They produced high quantities of very sweet wines according to planned production. Just three years ago there was no organization to unify producers around the table to work together and strategize. Now Armenian wine producers are more unified after the wine sector was recognized by the government as key for the economy.''
View outward from the Areni-1 cave complex
Tom MullenA visit to a few Armenian wineries reveals how this nation's winemakers form a proud group that is unusually replete with big thinking entrepreneurs.
Karina Baghdasaryan, PR/Marketing director for the Vine & Wine Foundation of Armenia, told of the country's recent wine history.
''There's a lot of new foreign investment, often by Armenians living overseas. In the next two years we expect millions of dollars in investment, mostly in vineyards. Annually, we produce 10 million liters [2.6 million gallons] and export three million liters [0.8 million gallons].''
GrapesGrapes grow in five viticultural regions in the country, and'--according to the Vine & Wine Foundation of Armenia'--the country has more than 400 indigenous grape varieties, or about half as many as Italy, which is geographically 10 times larger. Of that total number, 31 grapes are used to make wine. For whites, common grapes include Voskehat and Kangun. For reds, Areni rules. (Areni is sometimes referred to as Areni Noir.)
Areni Noir grapes - 2019 vintage
Alina MkrtchyanWine made from the Areni grape is a bit of a chameleon'--think Merlot blended with Pinot Noir, or Syrah merging with the swimming energy of an k¼g¶z¼. Areni can lilt and seduce, or shout and command. Think cherries and spice: the kick of a Carm(C)n¨re with the confident ease and gentle structure of a Beaujolais cru. Here is both grit and velvet, zest and sweetness, versatility and confidence. Areni can be feminine as well as masculine, though more of the former. It's more quietly seductive than overtly flirtatious. It's Penny Lane by the Beatles rather than Rolling Stone's Satisfaction, lamb chops more than grilled sirloin'--but only slightly so. More right bank than left bank Bordeaux, more Rh´ne valley than Cahors.
But'--only just so. Areni huddles close to the ridge line that divides roundness/assertive distinctions. Sometimes it crosses over, like a bold and curious cadet who dashes over a border for a quick peek before jogging back.
Voskehat grapes at Old Bridge Wine Cellar
Tom MullenThe quality of Armenia's top wines today'--whether white or red, ros(C) or bubbling'--is frequently stellar. One key reason is that several Armenians who left the country are returning, armed with ample cash, business and marketing savvy and networks of wine consulting contacts to aid their efforts. Another factor is that during the last three years the government has begun a serious push to aid winemakers market this 'Sacred Land of Wine.'
Climate can be challenging. Subzero temperatures in the province of Armavir, for example, result in some wineries needing to bury the base of their vines during winter to protect them. Non-indigenous grape varieties can suffer in adverse conditions. Yet winemakers are rapid to adapt. One explained how when their Chardonnay and Colombard grapes were damaged by frost, local Rkatsiteli grapes (typically used in Georgia for wine and in Armenia for brandy) were used instead to produce their extra brut sparkling wine. Conversely, aridity from blistering summer heat requires irrigation in most vineyards.
OakMany wineries use Armenian oak (also known as Caucasian oak because much originates in the Caucasus mountains) which can be up to 250 years old. The cost of these oak barrels is about a quarter the cost of imported French oak. This wood originates from forests in the Artsakh region (also known as Nagorno-Karabakh) which is disputed territory'--self-proclaimed as autonomous but internationally recognized otherwise. This oak provides strong flavors including sweet tones such as vanilla, as well as spiciness and aromas of eucalyptus.
Decorated oak barrels at Karas Winery
Tom MullenArarat Mkrtchyan of Voskeni Wines studied mathematics in Moscow, then worked with Deloitte before returning to work with his family's Armenian winery. He spoke about this oak.
''Armenian oak is considered more intense than French oak because the humidity is lower. So, it requires less contact time with wine. It is a different and darker species of oak with tighter porosity and has spicy potential for wines. But it must be well prepared and dried for at least three years to avoid the taste of green tannins.''
The last stipulation'--requisite aging'--was neglected by many wineries in the past.
Modern WinemakersA cross section of modern Armenian winemakers, listed below, verbally highlight recent trends and changes in the country. Some showcase gargantuan efforts to transform biblical desert lands into fertile vineyards.
The Armavir Province is largest in terms of quantity of wine production in Armenia. It is also a center for producing brandy. Views to the south include the twin peaks of Mount Ararat in Turkey (Noah's ark territory). Much of this arid, rocky, hardscrabble terrain is irrigated by concrete channels and divided by stone walls.
Juliana Del Aguila Eurnekian, co-owner of Karas Wines
Karas WinesWithin Armavir, Karas Wines is owned and managed by Armenian-Argentinian uncle and niece Eduardo Eurnekian and Juliana Del Aguila Eurnekian, who purchased almost nine square miles of land (2,300 hectares) fifteen years ago, and eventually transformed 1,000 acres (400 hectares) into vineyards after spending three years ameliorating the land (basically, removing rocks). They plant various international whites'--including Chardonnay, Colombard and Viognier'--as well as international and local reds such as Syrah, Areni and Khndoghni.
Astghik Derdzyan of Karas Wines
Tom MullenTwo large reservoirs irrigate not only 32 varieties of grapes (not all used to make wine), but also peaches, apricots, plums and walnuts. Syrah grows especially well here. Michel Rolland consults for the property.
Astghik Derdzyan of Karas spoke about producing wine in Armavir.
''From July to August the temperature here is 45 to 48 degrees Celsius (113 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit) without rain, so we utilize drip irrigation systems from Israel. But volcanic soils between Aragats and Ararat mountains give good structure to wines, even though the vines are young.''
Portions of Armevir, with patches of watermelons and views of dry, distant peaks, resemble scenes from the U.S. state of New Mexico. Here, 20 miles (30 kilometers) north of the Turkish border, Voskeni Wines sits on elevated chaparral off a dirt road. Dogs lie sunning on crunchy volcanic soils, cooled by refreshing winds. This is tough, though tranquil terrain.
Entrance to Voskeni WInes in Armenia
Tom MullenThis Mkrtchyan family owned business is increasingly run by the owner's son Ararat and his sister Alina. Both returned from working in Moscow, where one consulted on finance and the other ran a fashion magazine. They explained that their forefather moved to Armenia from Boston in the 1920's to set up a winery, but was suspected of being a spy and consequently had his land confiscated. In 2008, a family member provided documents showing they owned the property. But because going to court would be lengthy and cumbersome, the family instead purchased their own land back. Ararat's father built a house and winery and each year guests visit their outdoor classical music concert. Their wines are made from indigenous grapes, many from vines up to 70 years old. Red grapes include Areni, Khndogni and Kakhet, while whites include Voskehat, Kangun, Khatun and Qrditchakat.
Ararat respects the history of their land.
''This is the site of a 1918 Turkish/Armenian battle, the day after Armenia declared independence. All the church bells in the region rang to rally the locals to fight.''
Free standing grape vines in Armenia
Zenith Photo Studio / Vine & Wine Association of ArmeniaOld Bridge Wine Cellar
Further south and slightly east of Armevir, the Vayots Dzor Province includes the greatest quantity of Armenian wineries. This is where the Areni-1 cave complex is located, and historically was ground zero for planting Areni grapes. This is a land of errant cows, capped shepherds, trucks piled high with hay bales, concrete block restaurants and roadside stall vendors selling apples. Here rise tall peaks with toothy ridges abutted by sandy colored rock outcrops. This land has a sense of both wild desolation and humming peace within small valley villages, where rivers maintain lushness. The riverside road leading to Areni resembles portions of Colorado's Glenwood Canyon'--where rich riparian tamarisk grows below stone cliffs that hug roadsides.
Armen Khalatyan, owner of Old Bridge Wine Cellar
Tom MullenOld Bridge Wine Cellar is named after a nearby 13th century bridge, and is located in the valley through which Marco Polo traveled. The owner Armen Khalatyan worked as a Soviet trained electronic engineer before he began growing vines two decades ago. Khalatyan uses only Caucasian oak and irrigates vines with open channel water flows. The biggest markets for his 16,000-bottle production (mostly red) are the U.S. and Switzerland. He spoke about wines in the region.
''It's been about two years since our government started paying attention to winemakers, in comparison with Georgia'--when 20 years ago winemaking was recognized as very important for the economy. We have good support from colleagues in France, Argentina, USA and Italy for presenting many master classes and workshops. The Areni grape does well in this region because of the soil composition'--volcanic with rich minerality. We have three or four different clones and grow it from about 1,000 up to 1,800 meters (3,200 to 6,000 feet) elevation, at the village of Khachik.''
Zork Gharibian, owner of Zorah Wines, worked in the fashion industry in Milan, Italy, before deciding to make wine in Armenia. His two red wines are aged in amphorae and have been internationally pivotal in gaining the country renown for quality production.
Zork Gharibian, owner of Zorah Wines
Tom Mullen''I'm not a quantity guy. We're a boutique winery. Zorah is a passion, but I also have to think in a business way. The beginning was the year 2000 and the goal to make wine with native grapes, aged in amphorae, with international credentials. We're now in 25 restaurants in Italy.
''This is the quintessential wine region'--high and windy'--and we never cover our grapes during winter. There's a mixture of volcanic and sedimentary rock. Sand covers big stones covered by limestone'--excellent drainage. Frost cuts our quantity, but helps provide quality. Areni is the king of red varieties in Armenia, and we don't have phylloxera here, so there is no grafting. This country has a lot to stay, and we are just starting.''
Armenian flag flutters outside Old Bridge Wine Cellar
Tom MullenHin Areni Vineyards
Located within the hillside town of Areni and bought by the current owners in 2013, 80% of the 120,000-bottle production is made from Areni, with the balance made from white Voskehat grapes. All wines age for a minimum of 18 months in both Caucasian and Hungarian oak. Winemaker Vahe Harutyunyan told of specific factors impacting wine production, including 3,000 hours of sunlight a year, volcanic soils, elevations between about 4,300 and 4,600 feet (1,300 and 1,400 meters) and diurnal temperature variations of about 35 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).
On a wall inside this facility on the outskirts of Yerevan, a huge map identifies where different indigenous grapes grow. To create this map, Vahe Keushguerian'--founder and CEO of Wine Works'--immersed himself in the local wine culture. Born in Beirut and schooled in Armenia, he ran a restaurant in Berkeley, California, in 1985. Today he is aided by his daughter Aimee in running a consulting and winemaking business in Armenia. He is essentially a practical man.
Vahe Keushguerian and daughter Aimee of Wine Works Warehouse
Tom Mullen''I'm not romantic. I don't ever look back. I started in California 30 years ago, importing Italian and international wines, then moved to Tuscany and made wine. In 2009 I came back to Armenia with my wife and twins Aimee and Luca. Nobody in Armenia drank dry wines. Ladies drank sweet wine and guys chugged down vodka. And suddenly, in six months'--interest increased, and all the dry wine was gone. I got this space and began experimenting with indigenous varieties. This region was making wine at least 2000 years before Western Europe.
''Areni wine was valued because it could survive transport to Sumeria. Today, Areni is ungrafted and unaffected by phylloxera. Limestone and volcanic soils are best for it because for phylloxera to spread you need clay, which cracks and lets the creatures travel underground. There are advantages to rootstock used in grafting'--it adds consistency to yields. But ungrafted vines are cheaper and can grow for 120 years. Finding vines that old in Europe is difficult. The beauty is that these old vines just keep going down.
''Today, we're carrying the torch of 6000 years that was almost extinguished during the Soviet era. We're spreading the gospel.''
Victoria Aslanian, CEO of ArmAs Winery
Tom MullenArmAs Winery is located within the western Aragatsotn wine region. Victoria Aslanian is in her 30's and spent 18 years living in the U.S. She received her MA in art history in Berkeley, her MBA in Moscow and studied a distance course on viticulture from the University of California, Davis. For a decade she has been CEO of this family owned winery which includes 440 acres (180 hectares) of land surrounded by a 10-mile (17 kilometer) stone wall. To avoid hail, the winery utilizes a Soviet developed gun that shoots propane gas into clouds to disperse them. Water and electricity outages pushed the winery to dig their own reservoirs and purchase generators.
''There was only rocks and snakes when my father first arrived here. No roads or electricity. We're at the 45th parallel, which is good for growing grapes. We've planted 400,000 vines on 120 hectares (290 acres). It took 15,000 truckloads of 10 tonnes each to move the rocks we cleared. Herodotus spoke of the wine trade here, which is why we're calling this a wine 'renaissance.' But fighting nature is like fighting god; he or she will always win.''
Frunzik Harutyunyan studied winemaking at a university in Yerevan and worked in France as an assistant winemaker at Chteau Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux as well as in C´te-R´tie in the Rhone Valley and at Savigny-les-Beaune in Burgundy. His family winery utilizes indigenous Armenian grapes, as well as varieties such as Malbec.
Frunzik Harutyunyan of Maran Winery
Tom Mullen''My father studied wine technology in Crimea. He and my mother were making wine in small glass containers in the basement. Today we produce 40,000 bottles and export to France, Russia and the Czech Republic. Our vines include one hectare (2.5 acres) with 200-year-old vines, which is high on a mountain and difficult to cultivate.''
Tasting Armenian WinesTasting notes for various Armenian wines are provided below.
The listed wines from the first eight wineries scored (subjectively) between 92 and 97 points on a 100-point scale.
Many wines below are evaluated for value as 'good ',' 'excellent '',' or 'superlative '''' based on a proprietary Vino Value Algorithm. Prices are local retail equivalents in US dollars.
Karas Wines. Areni & Khndoghni. 2018. $15.00 Local Price [Excellent Value '']
First produced from the 2016 vintage and made without oak, this red is a real steak beggar'--with acidic juiciness'--and also well balanced and silky. On the nose'--plums, licorice, blueberries. Outstanding.
Karas Wines. Reserve (red). 2014. $24.00 Local Price [Good Value ']
This low maceration wine was aged in French oak for 14 months and is a 40/25/25/10 blend of Syrah, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Brandy on the nose, as well as clover, tar and eucalyptus. In the mouth, this includes tastes of chocolate wafers, mint and oranges.
Vineyards at Karas Wines
Tom MullenVoskeni Wines. Areni Dry Red. 2016. $8.50 Local Price [Superlative Value ''']
Plenty going on here that exhibits the versatility of old vine Areni grapes'--the nose includes aromas of plums, cherries, licorice, lime and blueberries. In the mouth'--cumin meets cherries. Deeply rich and slightly peppery. Think Syrah meets vibrant k¼g¶z¼ wine from Turkey (which grapes'--according to Voskeni winemaker Ghevond Petrosyan'--also once grew in the Armenian highlands).
Voskeni Wines. Sardarapati Reserve. 2016. [Local Price and Value Scoring Unavailable]
Made from old vine Areni grapes growing behind the home of the owners in the Ararat Valley. This is aged two years in Caucasian oak and includes Burgundian, peppery, luscious aromas. This is a tightrope walker'--light but still bold and full bodied. Pull out this bottle before a roaring fire after dinner with close friends at the base of mountains. A truly excellent and memorable wine.
From left: Alina and Ararat Mkrtvhyan and assistant Polly Chernyshova of Voskeni Wines
Tom MullenHin Areni Wine Factory. Voskehat Reserve Dry White. 2016. $23.00 Local Price [Value Scoring Unavailable]
A generous and open dose of glycerol aromas that include spearmint. This is gorgeously drinkable wine with tastes of mint and grapefruit. Impressive. 5,000 bottles produced per year.
Hin Areni Wine Factory. Areni Reserve Dry Red. 2016. $17.00 Local Price [Excellent Value '']
Violets, mocha and tar on the nose and a full swirling mouthful of sun-drenched fruit that will make you want to keep on drinking. A luscious wine that swims in the mouth. 10,000 bottles produced annually. Impressive.
Old Bridge Winery. Voskehat Dry White. 2018. $12.00 Local Price [Superlative Value ''']
Aged in 350 liter Armenian barrels for 18 months, this includes beautiful delicate florals on the nose and aromas of honey, grapefruit and quince. In the mouth'--shortbread and lime, toast and salt and gingerbread. Fresh and zesty with great structure and presence. This is a hefty, glorious wine. Outstanding value for this quality.
Old Bridge Winery. Areni Noir Reserve. 2017. $14.50 Local Price [Superlative Value ''']
Black cherries, black currants, licorice, smoke, tar and dark raisins on the nose. In the mouth this is a cherry and spice delight'--walnuts, hazelnuts, green apple skins, nutmeg and oranges. Aged for 18 months in Caucasian oak, this wine includes a spicy cherry energy that zips and buckles and satisfies.
Vayots Dzor wine region in Armenia
Tom MullenZorah. Vosk¬ (white). 2017. [Local Price and Value Scoring Unavailable.]
Made from 100% Voskehat (which means, in Armenian, 'golden drop') this wine is aged one year in a concrete tank and has aromas of crushed gooseberries, flint, apple peel and lime. It tastes clean, lean and nutty and has ample minerality. The dominant quality of subtle tropical fruits is underlain by a quiet, almost smoky, nuttiness. A silky beauty.
Zorah. Yerez Old Vines (red). 2014. [Local Price and Value Scoring Unavailable.]
Made from old bush vines growing about a mile above sea level (1,600 meters), this is aged for two years in amphorae and large casks made from non-toasted French oak from the Allier forest. It includes aromas of cherries, black pepper and fresh chocolate brownies and tastes of a dash of Cayenne pepper blended with cherry liqueur chocolates. Silky acidity. This has the lightness of a Pinot Noir and is a creamy, velvety delight. A gorgeous wine.
WineWorks. Oshin Voskehat. 2017. $25.00 Local Price [Good Value ']
This 3-month barrel fermented wine includes aromas of vanilla and candy and butter and tastes creamy in the mouth. 3,000 bottles produced per year.
WineWorks. Zulal Areni/Syrah/Sireni. 2017. $14.99 Local Price [Superlative Value''']
This 70/20/10 blend of Areni, Syrah and Sireni grown on volcanic soils includes aromas of black peppers and cranberries and in the mouth has a creamy taste of cherries. Delicious.
Semi-buried amphorae and concrete tanks at Zorah Wines
Tom MullenArmAs. Karmahyut Reserve (red). 2014. $24.65 Local Price [Good Value ']
Made from the Karmahyut grape, which means 'red juice' and aged 24 months in both French and Caucasian oak. Aromas similar to that of a Barolo, with dried raisins and cedar. After five minutes in the glass this is as juicy as a watermelon, and includes tastes of oranges and brownies. This is a layer cake and a rodeo of flavor. Use a huge Burgundian glass for this one. Think Barolo merges with Brunello. Beautiful.
ArmAs. Kangun. 2013. $13.65 Local Price [Superlative Value ''']
Aromas of juicy molasses and zested oranges as well as crushed mint leaves, pounded cloves, aniseed and ginger in this complex white from winemaker Emilio Del Medico. This is a holiday spice cake, a viscous river of complex end of year seasonal flavors. Beautiful.
Maran Winery. Noravank Areni Noir. 2018. $8.00 Local Price [Superlative Value ''']
This 100% Areni wine is made from estate grapes growing on high altitude volcanic soils and includes aromas of orange rind, dried figs, blackberries and cherries. It's as silky as a well-made right bank Bordeaux blend and includes tastes of licorice and plums. Will remind drinkers of both Merlot and Pinot Noir. 14% alcohol. 15,000 bottles produced.
Maran Winery. Malahi (red). 2018. $10.50 Local Price [Excellent Value '']
The Areni grape was also called 'Black Malahi' until the name was changed in 1947. This 50/25/25 blend of Areni, Khndoghni and Malbec is made predominantly from old vines (only the Malbec vines are new) and includes aromas of truffles and black fruit while the taste is of gritty black licorice and dark plums. This has power and heft and is ready to pair with grilled steak. Think more Cahors than Bordeaux.
Well made, energetic wine with a creamy cherry tasting smoothness.
Tus Wines. Lalvari Reserve (white). 2017. (90+ points) $26.25 Local Price [Good Value ']
This white, made from the indigenous Lalvari grape from the Tavush province of Armenia spends 18 months in new Caucasian oak and is beautifully smooth with a green spearmint nose and a brittle taste.
The Tus Winery team
Tom MullenYerevan Champagne Factory. Sparkling Pomegranate Wine. Non-Vintage. (90+ points) $4.20 Local Price [Excellent Value '']
This includes a dusty cedar aroma and a light and bright flush of fruit in the mouth.
Noya Tapan. White Wine (Rkatsiteli grape). 2018. (90+ points) $8.40 Local Price [Excellent Value '']
Stone fruit and lime on the nose and a mouthful that swims with peaches, pears, quince and hazelnuts.
Rikars. Davit Areni. 2017. (90+ points) $8.40 [Superlative Value ''']
Co-founder Riccardo Gagliardi and assisting oenologist Silva Atoyan created this wine that aged for 14 months in Caucasian oak. The aromas include buckets of blackberries and juniper and the taste shouts of cherries.
Silva Atoyan and Riccardo Gagliardi of Rikars Wine
Tom MullenB.H. Brandy Company. Berdashen Khindoghni red wine. 2017. (90+ points) $9.45 Local Price [Good Value ']
This spends six months in oak and has light cherry aromas and a taste of red currants and bright fruit.
Ijevan Wine and Brandy Factory. Sargon (red). (90+ points) $7.75 Local Price [Excellent Value '']
Made from Tigrani and Karmrahyut grapes, this includes a buckling fresh young nose and tastes that include oranges, nutmeg and cloves.
Sargon wine from Ijevan
Tom MullenGN Winery. Van Cat Areni. 2018. (90+ points) [Local Price and Value Scoring unavailable]
Big Burgundian style aromas from this Areni red wine that include lavender and rose petals.
Agro Management'--Alluria. The Special Red Natural Wine. 2018. (90+ points) $16.80 [Excellent Value '']
Made from the Khndoghni grape, this includes aromas of brick, mandarins and oxtail soup as well as butterscotch, chocolate and shortbread. In the mouth, a royal flush of Oreo cookies, aniseed and mandarins. As the winemaker says, it's 'wild and shiny.'
The producers of quality wine from Jraghatspanyan Winery
Tom MullenJraghatspanyan Winery. Kangun White. 2018. (90+ points) $8.40 [Superlative Value ''']
Jraghatspanyan means 'miller' in Armenian. This white wine is made from grapes that grow at 2,800 feet (850 meters) elevation by producers who have plied their craft since 2000. Serious floral aromas marching out here as well as a light aroma of mandarins. This is as light and intense as a Viognier. In the mouth'--the taste of strawberry shortbread and lemon meringue. Wow!
Vayk Group Wines. Kars City Dry White. 2017. (90+ points) $10.50 [Good Value ']
This 100% Voskehat grape wine has wafting aromas, as though you were passing through a kitchen while both a cheese souffl(C) and a lemon meringue pie were in the oven cooking. Brandy and wildflower aromas also. In the mouth, an explosion of fresh white peaches and aniseed. Slightly tart, but unique.
Davit Ashoti Zakaryan, CEO of Vayk Group wines
Tom MullenKataro by Domain. Siren Dry Red. 2015. (90+ points) $12.60 [Superlative Value ''']
Made from the Sireni (Khndoghdni) grape, this has a whispy, alluring soft nose with brick and blackberries. This is a plush and rolling and easy to drink wine with tastes of orange rinds and star aniseed. This family production winery has operated since 1990 and now sells to the U.S. as well as to Europe and Russia.
Image caption Both sides appear to be digging in for a longer conflict, which risks increased involvement by outside powers Renewed hostilities have been raging between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces around the contested territory of Nagorno-Karabakh in the southern Caucasus.
In scale and scope, the fighting that broke out on Sunday surpasses the periodic escalations of recent years, involving heavy artillery, tanks, missiles and drones.
So far there are more than 100 confirmed deaths among civilians and Armenian combatants killed in action. Azerbaijan does not release data on its military losses, but these can be assumed to be at least as high.
The fighting appears to be driven by an attempt by Azerbaijani forces to recapture swathes of territories occupied by Armenian forces in the Karabakh war after the Soviet Union collapsed. Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Azeris were displaced from these areas in 1992-4.
The escalation follows a tense year - a diplomatic standoff, belligerent rhetoric and clashes in July to the north in the area of the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
What are Armenia and Azerbaijan fighting over? Nagorno-Karabakh: BBC visits Azerbaijan's side of frontlineWhat are the dangers?Previous escalations between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have been contained after a few days. The intensity of the current fighting indicates that this may not be possible this time.
Populated areas within the contested territory of Nagorno-Karabakh have been hit by missile strikes and bombardments for the first time since the 1990s. Civilian targets in Armenia and in Azerbaijan have also been hit.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Fighting since Sunday has resulted not just in the deaths of military personnel, but civilians too Both sides appear to be digging in for a longer conflict. Azerbaijan has rejected renewed negotiations with Armenia, and unlike in previous escalations it has a greater degree of Turkish support to count on. The danger is that a longer, protracted conflict will see increased involvement by outside powers, risking a wider regional war.
What is Turkey's role?Turkey has traditionally provided moral and diplomatic support to its fellow Turkic nation and key geo-strategic partner Azerbaijan. Contacts between defence officials of both states intensified after July's clashes, and joint military exercises followed.
Since the fighting started on Sunday, Turkey has declared its unconditional support to Azerbaijan, and appears to be lending Azerbaijani various kinds of military capability. There is little doubt that highly regarded Turkish military drone technology is being deployed.
Yerevan has also accused Ankara of shooting down an Armenian SU-25 aircraft on 29 September, which Ankara denies. Although such claims have been made before and found to be untrue, there are also unconfirmed - but growing - claims that Turkey has mobilised mercenaries from Syria to fight for Azerbaijan.
What is Russia's role? Russia plays diverse, often contradictory, roles in the conflict. Through bilateral ties and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, Moscow provides Armenia with security guarantees, but these do not extend to the combat zone in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan. Moscow also supplies weapons to both sides and is one of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group mediating the conflict.
Russia has called for a ceasefire, but unlike previous large-scale escalations it has yet to convene a meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani political or military leaderships.
Moscow has an uneasy relationship with Armenia's new post-2018 leader Nikol Pashinyan, and Yerevan would undoubtedly prefer to handle the escalation as far as possible on its own. Russia was not able in the 1990s to deploy peacekeeping forces on the ground in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian misgivings that Moscow's assistance would come with strings attached drives caution in asking for Russian support.
Video caption The funeral in Azerbaijan for one of the dead soldiers For as long as combat is contained to contested territory in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, the optics of preserving Russian neutrality make Moscow's overt involvement unlikely. However, a longer conflict with increasing Turkish participation would threaten Russia's dominance in an area it considers part of its sphere of privileged interests, and invite a response.
How has the international community reacted?With the exception of Turkey, other regional and global powers have called for restraint. Iran, Georgia and Qatar have offered to mediate. A meeting of the United Nations Security Council on 29 September affirmed the primary role of the Minsk Group, chaired by France, Russia and the United States, of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, in mediating between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Learn more about Nagorno-KarabakhBut concentrating sufficient international attention and commitment to renewing diplomacy will be challenging. The fighting coincides with a period of international distraction due to the global pandemic, the US elections and a traditional pattern where focus falls away once a ceasefire is agreed.
How might events play out? Rapid and consolidated military success, either through recapture of significant territory by Azerbaijan, or the repelling of Azerbaijani operations by Armenian forces, could open up scope for a ceasefire, but trigger domestic instability in whichever side fares worse.
The longer that fighting goes on, and/or if one side is seen to be losing in a more protracted struggle, the more likely it is that Russia and Turkey will face difficult choices over whether to become more involved.
Laurence Broers is Caucasus programme director at peace-building organisation Conciliation Resources and author of Armenia and Azerbaijan: Anatomy of a Rivalry
Travis County officials confirm 31 mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile Virus
Sign up for our NewslettersLatest NewsThree probable human cases of the virus have been reported so far Image by Austin Public Health. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)SAN ANTONIO '' Austin Public Health officials are confirming that 31 pools of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus in Austin-Travis County.
Three probable human cases of West Nile Virus have also been reported in the county so far, officials say.
The affected ZIP codes of where the positive mosquito pools are located can be viewed in the map below, provided by Austin Public Health.
Earlier this month, Brazos County Health District's Mosquito Surveillance Unit also confirmed that mosquito samples from the area have tested positive for the West Nile Virus as well.
That discovery put Brazos County on a list of 17 other counties in Texas in 2020 that have reported a trace of the virus within livestock, humans, or mosquitoes.
State data shows Bexar County is on the list of counties that have found the virus in mosquitoes this year. According to Metro Health, a mosquito captured in a trap east of downtown in July was found to have the virus.
RELATED: 18 Texas counties report West Nile virus in 2020, including Bexar County, state data shows
Austin Public Health officials say there are some preventative measures you can take to help contain the spread of the West Nile Virus.
To do this, it's important to take action to reduce the number of mosquitoes where people work and play, according to the APH.
Be sure to drain all sources of standing water in and around your home, use insect repellent as needed, and wear protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites.
Austin health officials recommend the four Ds to help ''fight the bite":
Dusk through dawn Although different species of mosquitos are active at different times of day, the species that spread West Nile Virus are most active between dusk and dawn. Dress: Wear pants and long sleeves when you are outside. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing; mosquito repellent clothing is also available DEET: Apply insect repellent that contains DEET. Read and follow label instructions. Spray both exposed skin and clothing with repellent. Drain: Get rid of standing water in your yard and neighborhood. Old tires, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, birdbaths and wading pools can be breeding sites for mosquitos. To learn more about protection against the West Nile Virus, click here.
Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.
About the Authors:Jakob Rodriguez Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.
Cody King Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for NewsChannel 20 in Springfield, Illinois.
FedCash Services: 2020 Holiday Currency Ordering Periods Suspended
The Federal Reserve will suspend the holiday currency ordering periods in 2020 as a proactive measure to reduce the operational strain on Reserve Bank cash employees during the winter holiday season in these unprecedented times. Reserve Banks also have paid out high amounts of new currency over the past few months, substantially increasing the number of new notes received by depository institutions; this is a contributing factor in the decision to suspend the special holiday ordering periods. The Federal Reserve Banks continue to have sufficient currency reserves on hand to meet the needs of depository institutions.
Reserve Banks are focusing on meeting daily demand for currency and coin during the COVID-19 pandemicWhile Reserve Banks have traditionally provided holiday currency ordering periods on an annual basis, the practice places an additional operational strain on Reserve Bank cash offices. The suspension of the holiday currency ordering periods this year will enable Reserve Banks to continue focusing on their core mission of meeting daily demand for currency and coin.
Reserve Banks continue to pay out large amounts of new currencyThroughout the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for currency remains significantly higher than in more normal times, and Reserve Banks continue to pay out higher amounts of currency. Over the course of the last few months, Reserve Banks supplemented large portions of currency payouts with new notes to meet this demand. As a result, depository institutions received high volumes of new notes in all denominations, and most institutions consistently received new notes for months. The significant increase in new notes paid out into the market contributed to the decision to suspend the holiday currency order.
Background on holiday currency orderingIn order to operate efficiently and to minimize printing costs for new currency, Federal Reserve Banks fill orders for currency with fit notes first and then with newly printed notes. In advance of the winter holiday season, the Federal Reserve offers two separate periods, each lasting a week, during which depository institutions can place special orders for new currency, in addition to their regular orders for currency, which are filled with fit notes. The Reserve Banks offer these special ordering periods because the amount of new notes depository institutions receive in their orders throughout the year is typically small. As the supply chain returns to normal, we will reassess the holiday currency ordering periods at the beginning of 2021 and communicate any changes.
For questions related to this change, please contact your local cash services department.
If you know of others in your organization that should be notified of these types of operational changes, please forward this email and encourage them to subscribe to receive future announcements.
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Last Time There Was a Presidential Debate, Bitcoin's Price Was $630 - Decrypt
In briefBitcoin was less than a tenth of its current price the last time a US presidential debate took place. During the last four years, Bitcoin set all-time records before settling at relatively more stable prices. Yesterday, neither candidate talked about Bitcoin, but the crypto asset is proving its strength. The last time a presidential debate took place in America between a Republican and Democratic candidate, the price of Bitcoin was less than a tenth of its current value, as spotted by Travis Kling, chief investment officer at Ikigai Asset Management.
It goes to show just how much can change in four, short years.
The last half decade has seen Bitcoin go through some high-profile moments, some good, some bad. Various Bitcoin clones were born, a ''Buy Bitcoin'' sign was held up in the US Congress, and Carlos Matos shouted his love for BitConnect before it was shut down amidst claims it was a Ponzi Scheme. Yet, perhaps the biggest change has been in Bitcoin's price.
''For the record, the last time we had a presidential debate, the price of #Bitcoin was $617,'' tweeted Kling. (It's worth noting that estimates will vary as to Bitcoin's precise price at any given time, depending on where it's being traded.)
The last presidential debate The last time the US saw a one-on-one presidential debate was October 19, 2016. As we all remember, this debate saw Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off. According to CoinMarketCap , Bitcoin's price on this date was closer to approximately $630.
This was the third and final debate between both then-candidates, with the previous two debates taking place on September 26, 2016 and October 9, 2016. Bitcoin saw its price gradually increase during the period, rising from $600 on September 26 to $714 by the end of October.
That increase made sense within the wider 2016 context, with Bitcoin starting the year at approximately $430, and ending it hovering around $960.
Over the next few years, Bitcoin hit all-time highs before crashing down again.
Bitcoin's Christmas bull run After a year of gradual increase in 2017, Bitcoin signed off the year with a bull run that saw the famed crypto asset reach its all-time highest value.
Bitcoin's famous bull run. Image: CoinMarketCap. Between December 2017 and January 2018 Bitcoin reached highs that nearly broke the $20,000 mark . This bull run still represents Bitcoin's all-time highest value, and, until recently , also represented Bitcoin's longest period of consecutive days above $10,000.
Lower in value, but showing resiliency At the moment, Bitcoin is busy entering uncharted territory for the longest period of consecutive days above $10,000.
Bitcoin is adding to this achievement relatively quietly, too. During last night's debate, neither candidate said anything meaningful about Bitcoin, though there were plenty of barbs traded about the broader US economy. In other words, Bitcoin might have fallen from the highs of late 2017, but this record-setting period is showing promising signs of stability for crypto's most popular asset.
The crypto community was not impressed with either candidate's performance last night, even openly suggesting abstaining from voting.
''Voting is a waste of time because you can't independently verify the results. You have to trust third parties. With Bitcoin, you can verify. Don't vote, acquire Bitcoin,'' said Pierre Rochard , Bitcoin strategist at Kraken .
The one thing most people in crypto still agree on? Bitcoin.
DisclaimerThe views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
There has been a scramble to attempt to refute a John Ratcliffe response as head of DNI answering Senator Lindsey Graham, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee over information which was hidden from thee American People.
It is a reality that Democrats and Republicans on that committee, repressed information connected to Hillary Clinton. This was information which was gathered by the CIA, and CIA Director John Brennan, personally informed Barack Hussein Obama, the following:
According to Ratcliffe, former CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Barack Obama on the Russian assessment, which included the allegation that Clinton approved the plan to tie Trump to the hack of the DNC after it was proposed by one of her foreign policy advisers.
This means that Barack Hussein Obama and Susan Rice personally knew this information. It also is most damning, as on September 7th, 2016 AD in the year of our Lord, the White House forwarded a request to investigate Hillary Clinton to FBI Director James Comey and Special Agent Peter Strzok.
All we have heard of is the framing of Donald Trump and his people, but here was damning information, coming out of President Vladimir Putin's Government, that the CIA had gathered intelligence from Russian intercepts that Hillary Clinton was plotting to blame Russia for being in cahoots with Donald Trump.
This is being discounted as "inflammatory" by Politico and other Obama apologists, but this intercept probably came from Vladimir Putin's office, in the President himself. That is being left out, and it is why John Brennan informed Obama, and why the White House sent this to the FBI Director and Counter Intelligence.
The information which Ratcliffe provided, which was eye popping is that on July 26th of 2016 AD in the year of our Lord, as the fingers were churning to point at Donald Trump, in the entire smear started to pick up steam, was that one of Hillary Clinton's intelligence advisers is the one who initiated a plot to cover up that Seth Rich copied the DNC files for Wikileaks, and tried to turn it onto Donald Trump and the Russians.
While it was said that Hillary Clinton had hundreds of intelligence advisers, the real list of insiders powerful enough, and democrat liberal enough to suggest a criminal conspiracy to Hillary Clinton, for the operation to be engaged in. This was a finite political list, who knew that Bernie Sanders had worked out a deal with Hillary Clinton to throw the election. That information was centered on knowing Seth Rich was the source, and that led to his murder.
The names she has on her side are a who’s who of the last 20 years of national security policy, from Madeleine Albright, the second term secretary of state of her husband, President Bill Clinton, to Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., the rising Democratic star who is the top party member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.Other major insiders include Tom Donilon, the first-term national security adviser of President Barack Obama known for his closeness to Israel; Leon Panetta, a former Obama defense secretary of who has said the president missed opportunities to stem the bloodshed in Syria, and Michele Flournoy, a former defense undersecretary who turned down the opportunity in 2014 to be the first female defense secretary because she was unhappy with White House micromanagement.
For some reason, the Jewish press was crowing about Hillary Clinton's intelligence advisers. The reason for some reason is a number of them were Jews. It was one of this short list of Clinton insiders who is at the center of the events surrounding the murder of Seth Rich, and it was believable enough for the Obama White House to unleash the FBI, and more to the point, we now know why James Comey was acting to protect Hillary Clinton. It had nothing to do with Anthony Wiener. It had to do with the CIA having this plan uncovered from Russian sources.
This has added weight as the American intelligence community had information which was not concealed in the Russians were actually working to help Hillary Clinton win over Donald Trump. For the Russians who favored Clinton, to be speaking of Clinton betraying them in fingering them for the DNC hack along with Donald Trump, proves the Russians were reporting information they had gathered, spying on Hamrod Clinton.The reasons the Russians would prize this information, and the reason Brennan was briefing Obama and Obama was alerting Comey was that if Hillary Clinton won, the Russians would blackmail her over this criminal conspiracy.
A Yale law school alum who advised Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and went on to advise Obama, Sullivan was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff when she was Obama’s secretary of state. He moved to Vice President Joe Biden’s office after she left at the end of Obama’s first term.
Sullivan, 39, is now the campaign’s foreign policy chief, and is touted to become the youngest-ever national security adviser should Clinton win the presidency.
Sullivan was Clinton’s point man in helping to shape the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. According to Politico, as Biden’s national security adviser, he brokered the historic 2013 phone call between President Obama and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.
Clinton involved Sullivan in the Iranian gambit from day one. According to her second autobiography, “Hard Choices,” she tapped him to deliver a message to the Iranian deputy foreign minister at talks on Afghanistan in March of 2009, the second month of the Obama administration.
“Jake was not the most experienced diplomat at the State Department I could have chosen, but he was discreet and had my absolute confidence,” she wrote.
Sullivan, loyal to Clinton, shared her skepticism of the Iranian regime and has been credited by deal opponents as being one of the tougher Obama administration negotiators.
That background gave him credibility when early in the current campaign he went after Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont vying with Clinton for the Democratic nod, for hoping to “normalize” relations with Iran in the wake of the deal.
“Iran seeks the destruction of Israel, Iran is a leading sponsor of terror in the region, Iran is flouting international law with its ballistic missile tests and its threats against our allies and partners,” Sullivan said in a campaign video.
A graduate of American University, a factory for State Department wonks, Laura Rosenberger made good on her degree in conflict resolution working with NGOs in the Balkans soon after she graduated in 2002.
She nabbed a career position in the State Department in 2004, and moved up through the ranks, ending her career there as chief of staff to the deputy secretary of state before joining Clinton’s campaign a year ago.
Rosenberger, 35, told the Jewish Journal in January that she comes from a family deeply involved in Jewish life in the Pittsburgh area, and described her core mission in Jewish terms: “Passover is my favorite holiday, because I find very much a driving mission for myself in this, the obligation of the Jewish people who have been free from oppression ourselves to root out oppression wherever we see it,” she said.
Her focus is the Middle East and she has homed in on the anti-Muslim rhetoric that has flared around the campaigns of Trump, a real estate magnate, and Cruz, a Texas senator who dropped out of the race Tuesday night after Trump’s major victory in Indiana.
Rosenberger posted on the campaign website her annotated version of Clinton’s speech in November to the Council on Foreign Relations on the threat of the Islamic State group. In a long speech that dealt with military and diplomatic options for crushing Islamic State, Rosenberger’s annotations emphasized Muslim outreach. “We cannot paint 1 billion people with the same brush,” said Rosenberger, a sensitivity she would have encountered early on in her career when she advocated on behalf of Kosovo, a secular Muslim nation often tarred on the far right as a hotbed of radical Islam.
Hang out at pro-Israel organizations during Obama’s first term and you were likely sooner or later to run into Andrew Shapiro, then an assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs.
Shapiro was Clinton’s pro-Israel explainer: When tensions were ratcheting up between the Obama and Netanyahu governments, Shapiro was among the first to master the original “unprecedented aid” pitch, offering facts and figures on the level of military assistance the Obama administration was delivering to Israel.
“I am proud to say that this administration has taken steps to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship and preserve it in a new century and era of dramatic change,” he told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in November 2011.
“As a result of the Obama Administration’s commitment, our security relationship with Israel is broader, deeper and more intense than ever before,” he said. “Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that the security cooperation between our two countries is ‘unprecedented.’ In fact, I believe that no American administration has done as much as ours for Israel’s security.”
Shapiro, 48, who studied international relations at the University of Pennsylvania and then Columbia University, is an old Clinton hand, having worked for her when she was senator from New York as a senior foreign policy adviser. In “Hard Choices,” she credits him with helping to secure Israel’s access to F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets.
In Obama’s second term, Shapiro left government and established a foreign policy strategic consultancy, Beacon Global Strategies, with two other Obama administration alumni, Jeremy Bash, a top Pentagon official and the son of a Washington area rabbi, and Philippe Reines, one of Clinton’s closest advisers when she was secretary of state.
While all three are true-blue Democrats, the group’s advisory board is bipartisan and includes hawkish veterans of the President George W. Bush administration, including former ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman. It’s a grouping that signals that Shapiro, like his once and possible future boss, has ties deep inside Washington’s interventionist foreign policy establishment.
Eight years after concluding a term as a deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration, James Steinberg, 62, became a deputy to his first boss’s wife, as a deputy secretary of state.
Steinberg had worked on the Obama campaign, and according to the Wall Street Journal helped craft the candidate’s 2008 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which – with its emotional recalling of the 1960s black-Jewish civil rights alliance – did much to tamp down for a period skepticism about Obama among pro-Israel centrists.
Steinberg left after two years, according to Politico, because as an Obama-branded staffer he was having trouble in Clinton-land. Clinton, in “Hard Choices,” dismisses that explanation, noting that during the 2008 cycle he had advised both campaigns. She writes that she offered him the job because of his expertise in the Asia-Pacific region, a priority in Obama’s first term.
This go-round, Steinberg’s specialty in advising the Clinton campaign is the Middle East. Steinberg last September announced he would wrap up his current gig heading Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at the end of this academic year.
Tamara Cofman Wittes
Tamara Cofman Wittes directs the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy, a gig that is a link to one of the best-known Clinton Israel whisperers, Haim Saban, the entertainment mogul and major Democratic Party funder.
The center was until recently known as the Saban Center, and the Israeli-American magnate is still involved in its funding. It organizes the annual Saban Forum, which brings together movers and shakers from Israel and the U.S., including, reliably, Clinton.
Wittes was a top Middle East policy official under Clinton when she was secretary of state, and her Brookings biography says she “was central to organizing the U.S. government’s response to the Arab awakening.”
A Hebrew speaker, Wittes has a deep Israel involvement. She’s a board member of the Israel Institute, which advances Israel studies in the United States.
She also is an advocate for greater representation of women in the Middle East policy world, routinely using her social media platform to ding all-male panels on the topic.
Post Script: Joe Biden sat in on the meeting and knew Hillary Clinton was being investigated.
This once again is another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
Clare Bronfman sentenced to nearly seven years in Nxivm case, more than recommended sentence - CNN
(CNN) Clare Bronfman, heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune, was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison Wednesday -- more than the five-year sentence prosecutors had recommended.
Bronfman was remanded to custody shortly after the hearing. Her attorney told CNN she plans to appeal immediately.
Bronfman, 41, is the first member of Nxivm, a company that marketed self-improvement programs, to be sentenced in the federal case that resulted in the cult-like group's founder Keith Raniere being convicted of sex trafficking, racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child and human trafficking charges.
Bronfman has spent the last two years in home confinement and was seen entering federal court in Brooklyn wearing a dark floral mask and clutching the hand of one of her attorneys.
Bronfman was one of five co-conspirators indicted on racketeering charges in connection with Raniere's case, but her sentence was in connection with two charges she pleaded guilty to in April 2019 which included conspiracy to conceal and harbor people who were not in the US legally for financial gain, as well as fraudulent use of identification.
While Bronfman pleaded guilty to those two charges, she has said she was not aware of the allegations of abuse surrounding a secret, all-female group within Nxivm known as DOS.
US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis said in his hour-long reading of her sentence, that while she was not convicted of racketeering, sex trafficking and other charges as Raniere was, her case was "not about an isolated incident of credit card fraud or a run-of-the-mill case of harboring illegal aliens for financial gain."
"Ms. Bronfman's crimes were not committed in a vacuum," Garaufis said. "They were committed in connection with her role in Nxivm and her close relationship with Raniere, and I believe that it would be inappropriate for me to consider them divorced from that context."
Garaufis also said he believes there may be aspects of Raniere's crimes with which Bronfman "very well may not have been familiar," and agreed with her defense team that evidence did not show she was aware of DOS before women began speaking publicly, alleging the group was a sex cult.
Duncan Levin, an attorney for Bronfman, shared a statement with CNN shortly after her sentencing.
"Clare expected to be punished for what she pleaded guilty to, but her conduct merits a far lower sentence," Levin said in the statement. "Despite press reports to the contrary, the court did find that Clare did not fund a sex cult. She intends to mount a vigorous and immediate appeal."
Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York announced the sentence in a press release. "Defendant Bronfman twisted our immigration system to serve a reprehensible agenda, and engaged in flagrant fraud to the detriment of her victims and in the service of a corrupt endeavor," DuCharme said in a statement. "With today's sentence, she has been held accountable for her crimes."
The four other co-defendants in the case, who were high-ranking members of the organization, pleaded guilty last year to racketeering charges in connection with the case.
In a letter to US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in August, Bronfman said she was not involved with DOS, where members claimed they were forced to give damaging confessions, nude photos and potentially embarrassing information as "collateral" to maintain their vow of secrecy to the group. Women recruited into the group were known as "slaves" and each had "masters," prosecutors said. Some former members of the group testified at Raniere's trial that they were directed to have sex with Raniere, send him nude photos, and were even branded with his initials on their pelvic areas.
"I did not and do not support anyone abusing or using violence towards anyone. I just tried to do what I thought was best to honor my role as a leader in NXIVM and a good friend," Bronfman said in her letter.
Despite Raniere's conviction, Bronfman said in her letter to the judge that she will not disavow Raniere or Nxivm.
"Many people, including most of my own family, believe I should disavow Keith and NXIVM, and that I have not is hard for them to understand or accept," Bronfman wrote in her letter. "However, for me, NXIVM and Keith greatly changed my life for the better."
Bronfman said in her letter that Raniere's self-improvement teachings helped her overcome "patterns of self-loathing, insecurities, shame and fears" and that through Nxivm, she was able to find a community of friends that became like family to her.
Bronfman will be housed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, the same facility where Raniere is housed. He is expected to be sentenced Oct. 27.
Apple outage affected App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, iCloud, Photos and more - The Verge
Many Apple services were having problems Tuesday night
By Jay Peters on September 29, 2020 9:09 pm Many Apple services were hit by outages Tuesday evening, including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, and Apple Arcade, according to Apple's system status page. For a majority of the affected services, Apple vaguely said that ''some users were affected,'' though for AppleCare in iOS and Apple School Manager, Apple said ''all users were affected.''
Here are some of the services that were affected at one point in time. Apple's status page says that 25 outages were resolved today.
Find My Game Center iCloud Account & Sign In iCloud Backup iCloud Calendar iCloud Contacts iCloud Mail iCloud Web Apps (iCloud.com) iWork for iCloud Photos Apple Arcade Apple Music Apple Music radio Apple TV Plus Radio App Store Apple BooksApple hasn't replied to a request for comment.
Apple isn't the only company to experience services outages lately '-- many Microsoft services were affected by a multi-hour outage on Monday, and there was a multi-state 911 outage on Monday as well.
Update, September 29th, 11:24PM ET: Updated to confirm that Apple has resolved the outages. The headline has also been updated to reflect this fact.
Glass Fire Rages Across Northern California, Burning Thousands Of Acres : NPR
Glass Fire Rages Across Northern California, Burning Thousands Of Acres Charred framing remains, Monday, Sept. 28, at the Restaurant at Meadowood, which burned in the Glass Fire, in St. Helena, Calif. Noah Berger/AP hide caption
toggle caption Noah Berger/AP Charred framing remains, Monday, Sept. 28, at the Restaurant at Meadowood, which burned in the Glass Fire, in St. Helena, Calif.
Noah Berger/AP The Glass Fire has prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents in California's Napa and Sonoma counties and caused the destruction of dozens of buildings.
Since igniting in the wine country on early Sunday, wind-fueled flames have engulfed 48,440 acres and consumed more than 50 homes and buildings, according to CalFire. As of late Wednesday morning, the fire was only 2% contained.
"Right now we have approximately 8,200 folks who have been evacuated," Santa Rosa Mayor Tom Schwedhelm told NPR's All Things Considered on Wednesday. "There's about another 20,000 that are under evacuation warning because of the wind direction."
The evacuations and the warnings are becoming a tragic routine for the area.
"This isn't our first rodeo experiencing this," Schwedhelm said during a news conference.
Three years ago, the Tubbs Fire devastated large stretches of Sonoma and Napa counties, destroying more than 5,000 structures and killing 22 people.
"We experienced fires both in 2017 with the Tubbs Fire that took out about 5% of our residential stock in Santa Rosa, and then in 2019 we had the Kincade Fire, about 60,000 of our residents were evacuated," Schwedhelm said. "We're actually getting better with our response to this."
The mayor said other states who may be experiencing wildfires for the first time need to be prepared.
"We've done a lot of community education about having your go bag ready so if you do get the call that you have to evacuate," Schwedhelm said. "Don't wait for someone else to take the responsibility for your safety."
California is battling more than two dozen other fires, including the Zogg Fire in Shasta County that has left at least three civilians dead. On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma and Shasta counties due to the fires.
While the cause of the Glass Fire is still under investigation, winds have contributed to the fires and the area is bracing for potentially warm weather. As wildfires continue to rage across the west coast, experts warn of the effect climate change has on the disasters.
"As far as climate change, I would just say people need to take an active role in that. Don't pretend that it's happening somewhere else and not here," Schwedhelm said. "The city of Santa Rosa has [combating climate change] as one of our priorities and we have taken several significant steps to try to lower our carbon footprint, if you will."
Since the beginning of 2020, there have been over 8,100 wildfires in California that have burned more than 3.9 million acres, according to CalFire. More than 7,200 structures have been destroyed and 29 people have died.
The audio version of this story was produced and edited by Lauren Hodges, Jason Fuller, Patrick Jarenwattananon and Carol Klinger.
VIDEO - (1373) All with Zach Zoya #allagainstone - YouTube
Points of InterestFor quick viewing, C-SPAN provides Points of Interest markers for some events. Click the play button and tap the screen to see the at the bottom of the player. Tap the to see a complete list of all Points of Interest - click on any moment in the list and the video will play.
*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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After AISD reported low enrollment numbers, district leaders said future staff layoffs could be possible if enrollment does not improve.
AUSTIN, Texas '-- In the Sept. 28 Austin ISD School Board meeting, officials said staff layoffs could be possible if enrollment numbers do not improve.
During the meeting, AISD Chief Business Officer Larry Throm said student enrollment was down by more than 5,000 compared to the previous school year. Day 14 membership enrollment numbers for 2019 were 80,261 and that same figure has been recorded at 75,143 thus far.
According to Throm, the difference in enrollment numbers year-over-year could cost the district nearly $50 million in funding. Throm said financial calculations are determined on average daily attendance, not enrollment. So, the funding portion was calculated based on 95% of the enrollment numbers reported to the district.
Thus, if enrollment numbers do not improve, Throm estimated the district may need to lay off about 232 teachers and staff. Throm estimated that laying off 232 teachers with a baseline example salary of $70,000 (including hospitalization, workers compensation, social security, etc.) would save the district nearly $30 million and still be nearly $20 million under budget if the low enrollment trend continues.
Throm went on to say other staff positions could be in jeopardy in that situation, too.
''We don't want to alarm anybody, but these are facts. We will wait to see in another two weeks or week. We are taking attendance daily to see if we can improve on these numbers,'' Throm said.
An AISD spokesperson told KVUE the district is still collecting enrollment numbers.
You can watch the school board meeting on Austin ISD's YouTube channel. This topic was discussed around the 41-minute mark.
An Austin ISD spokesperson told KVUE the budget for the current school year has already been approved.
WATCH: Low enrollment reported at Central Texas schools
Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden headed out on a train tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania after a contentious debate with President Donald Trump.
Watch the event in the player above.
"This election is a choice between Scranton and Park Avenue values," said Biden before boarding an Amtrak train with his wife Dr. Jill Biden.
"it's also about something deeper. Can these parents looked at kids in the eye and say, honey, everything's going to be OK? These are the conversations I'm going to be having today on this whistle stop."
Tuesday night's debate between Trump and Biden, was the first of this election season.
The president set the tone from the start for one of the ugliest general election debates in recent memory, badgering Biden and repeatedly interrupting him.
Biden alternated between ignoring the president and growing visibly irritated.
Moderator Chris Wallace admonished and pleaded with Trump to allow his rival to speak.
"There's overwhelming reason for optimism," said Biden.
"We just have to unite. The country is ready to do that. We're better positioned than any nation in the world to own the 21st century. We just have to do it and do it together."
VIDEO-Kyle Olson ðºð¸ on Twitter: "Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" sign falls off the podium: https://t.co/E7ECbzVn90" / Twitter
MSNBC host and noted anti-Semite Al Sharpton is a one-note samba.
On Saturday, following a White House event wherein President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the cable news host complained that the crowd at the nominating event was not diverse enough.
Not diverse enough, that is, except for Barrett's two adopted black children.
''That was the least diverse audience I've ever seen in an announcement like this made in my life,'' Sharpton complained, doing basically the only thing he knows how to do.
He added, ''I looked around. I was glad her two kids did come out because I couldn't find too many other people of color in that audience.'' Fellow MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace dumbly nodded along, agreeing that it was ''an interesting look for a moment like this in this presidency and a decision so monumental.''
Come for the tokenizing of Barrett's adopted children. Stay for Sharpton's tortured pronunciation of the name ''Antonin.''
People who refuse to wear masks '-- or wear them improperly, or ''who don't wear it over their nose'' '-- should be ''in stocks, in prison, or hanging in the streets,'' according to Star Trek Discover star Jason Isaacs.
''I am less annoyed by the people who don't wear masks, who should be in the stocks or prison, but the people who don't wear it over their nose,'' Isaacs said doing an interview with talk show host Lorraine Kelly. ''Or the people who pull it down to have a chat and then pull it back up, they should be hanging in the streets!''
Anti-mask rage is becoming more palpable, seemingly, by the day. Earlier this month, Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider took to social media to condemn anti-maskers who went into a Florida Target store blaring the group's hit ''We're Not Gonna Take It'' while ripping off their masks. In a tweet Wednesday, Snider called the stunt ''moronic,'' and shared a video that was recorded by an upset customer inside the Target at Coral Ridge Mall in Fort Lauderdale. The video had more than 30 million views.
Isaacs, who is also known for his roles in Harry Potter, The Patriot, and Peter Pan, spoke about recently returning to work on the set of Netflix series Sex Education, and how crucial but ''weird'' it was being with people wearing personal protection items like masks.
''It's quite hard to keep your spirits up, I've found it very hard. The only way is to help people,'' Isaacs said. ''I did go to a set the other day, on Sex Education. It was great and fun and really weird.''
Isaacs has joined Sex Education for season three as a special guest star, as Breitbart News reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: email@example.com
VIDEO-Prof Sunetra Gupta: Covid Immunity Must Be Built Up in the Population - YouTube
Jewish Deplorable ðºð¸ : HOT MIC:Democratic Governor Wolf & Rep. Ullman of Pennsylvania call masks ''political theater'' for the camera https://t.co/sh7gzjfDkm
Tue Sep 29 22:10:42 +0000 2020
ðºð¸LG'''¸ : @TrumpJew @Love_On70 WOW
Tue Sep 29 23:22:37 +0000 2020
Benjamin Dover : @TrumpJew #NoMasks #Masksoff https://t.co/ywUkzLM72E
Tue Sep 29 23:22:24 +0000 2020
Thaddeus : @TrumpJew Evil, pure evil.
Tue Sep 29 23:22:05 +0000 2020
Albert B Cannon : @TrumpJew November 3rd this will end!They don't give a damn about their citizens! Their power is all they care about!
Tue Sep 29 23:21:09 +0000 2020
Jim Kinsman : @TrumpJew wow
Tue Sep 29 23:21:03 +0000 2020
VIDEO - Sergio Olmos on Twitter: "A homeowner asks a Portland police officer how do these protest end Police officer responds ''if people liked our trump government a lot more, we probably wouldn't have this issue in the first place'' https://t.co/iHB
Emily Larsen : Kamala Harris mistakenly refers to Notoriois BIG when talking about RBG during a speech today on Trump's nomination'... https://t.co/sCC5i1iDoE
Mon Sep 28 19:33:50 +0000 2020
Kane : @emilyelarsen Ok , that's some seriously weak sauce. Besides disrespectful, a huge lack of imagination. Here's a n'... https://t.co/hdYktyQa8M
Tue Sep 29 13:27:30 +0000 2020
ChubsBeLoving : @emilyelarsen Damn who's worse, Joe or Kamala. Clear example, they just don't get it. https://t.co/F3x7YDQ1jd
Tue Sep 29 13:23:58 +0000 2020
Claire : @emilyelarsen Why Harris' mistake? Because her words are not coming from her heart, just another political photo op for MSM.
Tue Sep 29 13:23:01 +0000 2020
Fahrenheit 451 : @emilyelarsen She's trying so hard to be ''woke'' and ''Cool'', but she looks like an idiot!
Tue Sep 29 13:21:50 +0000 2020
Biff Steele : @emilyelarsen I knew #Joementia was real but had NO IDEA that it was CONTAGIOUS! #MAGA https://t.co/tVhDbix91X
Tue Sep 29 13:19:49 +0000 2020
Lee Enfield : @emilyelarsen Maybe that's her favorite "live" rapper?
Tue Sep 29 13:07:46 +0000 2020
Bama_Girl2020 ðºð¸ : @emilyelarsen She's so awful. ð¤...ð½''¸ So awful and such a fraud even her own state didn't like her. Really begs the q'... https://t.co/Obvz1P1Z4l
Tue Sep 29 13:04:15 +0000 2020
6%HappyDeplorable : @emilyelarsen Unreal, and people will vote for her to be vice President, just think about that.ð¬ð¬
Tue Sep 29 13:00:30 +0000 2020
John Salamone : @emilyelarsen ooopppssss
Tue Sep 29 12:58:45 +0000 2020
Brontefan47 : @emilyelarsen Why is her laugh so phony?
Tue Sep 29 12:53:30 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Jorge Ventura Media on Twitter: "#BLM protesters approach small business owner Fadi Faouri and demand he say "Black Lives Matter" he refused. A building that Faouri was leasing was firebombed last night in #Louisville https://t.co/mhC5sVo8lF" / Twit
Jorge Ventura Media : #BLM protesters approach small business owner Fadi Faouri and demand he say "Black Lives Matter" he refused. A buil'... https://t.co/gqvftaRajK
Sat Sep 26 02:47:06 +0000 2020
VIDEO-CCHQ Press #StayAlert on Twitter: ".@BorisJohnson "I can announce today that we will be expanding apprenticeships, reforming the system so that unspent funds can be used more easily to support apprenticeships not just in big companies, but in the SM
TCTL Editor's Note: Internationally-Recognized German doctor, Dr. Heiko Schoening [also spelled Schoning at acu2020.org website], a founder of Doctors for Enlightenment, was interviewed then arrested before he could speak at Saturday's massive protest in Trafalgar Square, London.
Click here for related information about the work of Dr. Heiko Schoening.
The original interview was with Anna Brees. It is part of part of this 21 minute video of conversations at Trafalgar Square.
Dr. Heiko Schoening upon release from police custody.
Compilation of all four videos:As a service to protect truth from censorship, we merged the above videos into one for uploading to backup channels. Copies of this video are available at Truth Comes to Light BitChute, LBRY & Brighteon channels. All credit, along with our sincere thanks, goes to the original sources of this video:
Interview: Anna Brees & ACU2020,
1st Arrest Video: ACU2020,
2nd Arrest Video: Active Patriot UK,
His Words Following His Release: BarkiÄ Branko .
Posts under World News & Views come from assorted information sources around the web or from printed publications. The specific source will always be identified at the top of the post. Everything posted on this site is done in the spirit of conversation. Please do your own research and trust yourself when reading and giving consideration to anything that appears here or anywhere else.
VIDEO - Louisville city council votes 'no confidence' in mayor for handling of Breonna Taylor case
Louisville, Kentucky's city council Thursday night approved a ''no confidence'' resolution against Mayor Greg Fischer, citing his handling of the death of Breonna Taylor and the unrest that followed.
The resolution expressing "concern/no confidence in the leadership demonstrated by Mayor Greg Fischer" passed 22-4. An earlier resolution asking the mayor to resign was nixed in favor of one seeking specific reforms.
"The Council believes that Mayor Greg Fischer failed to hold leadership of the Louisville Metro Police Department (''LMPD'') properly accountable," the approved resolution stated.
Among the list of recommendations were calls to increase affordable housing, limit development in at-risk neighborhoods unless the development is black-owned and affordable, and complete a top-to-bottom review of the police department by the end of the year.
Fischer responded with humility, saying in a video Thursday night, "Metro Council voiced its displeasure about how I've handled some of those challenges."
"I apologize for this," he said.
Events in Louisville have been under national scrutiny since police shot and killed emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor while serving a "no-knock" warrant in March. Taylor was in her home with boyfriend Kenneth Walker when Louisville officers raided her apartment just after midnight.
A warrant was executed to search for drugs or cash from drug trafficking in connection with an investigation involving her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, a convicted drug dealer. Glover had been using Taylor's address to receive packages, according to authorities.
No drugs or money were recovered during the raid, according to the search warrant inventory document obtained by NBC News.
Officers have said they were fired upon as they entered the home, but Taylor's family has said Walker believed the home was being broken into and fired his legally owned gun to defend himself.
In June, Louisville officials passed Breonna's Law. The measure banned the use of no-knock warrants, which allow police to forcibly enter people's homes without warning.
The city of Louisville settled a wrongful death suit filed by Taylor's family for $12 million on Tuesday, which did not require the city to admit any wrongdoing.
Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, sued three Louisville Metro Police Department officers in late April. The lawsuit alleged that police used excessive force and that the search was grossly negligent. In an amended complaint filed in July, Taylor's family claimed the raid was connected to a gentrification project.
Palmer said Tuesday during a news conference that the settlement was ''only the beginning of getting full justice'' for her daughter.
''We must not lose focus on what the real job is,'' Palmer said. ''It's time to move forward with the criminal charges, because she deserves that and much more.''
Two officers involved in the raid and the detective who obtained the warrant were placed on administrative leave. One officer, Brett Hankison, who shot 10 rounds blindly into Taylor's apartment was fired in June.
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None of the officers involved in the case have been charged.
Taylor, who had no criminal record, has become a national symbol for racial injustice as her death gained heightened attention in recent months. Her image has been shared across social media as thousands of people, including NBA star LeBron James and Oprah Winfrey, have called for the officers to be charged in her death.
Doha Madani Doha Madani is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
Dennis Romero contributed.
VIDEO-"You stupid bastards." Trumps Platinum Plan, I don't like some of it. - YouTube
Do you know how to keep CNN's Jake Tapper from pursuing a particular line of questioning? Merely object vigorously. Actually that's not quite right. For this to actually work, the person objecting must be a Democrat. Especially if the husband of the Democrat is running for president.
Such was the case on Sunday's State of the Union when Jake Tapper was interviewing Jill Biden and brought up the subject of her husband's notorious gaffes. This caused Jill to quickly shut Tapper down with her vigorous objections as you can see in this video which was widely mocked on Twitter.
CNN's @jaketapper to Jill Biden: ''Your husband has been known to make the occasional gaffe'...''Biden: ''You can't even go there. After Donald Trump you cannot even say the word gaffe.'' #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/bBInkVhm6L
'-- State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 27, 2020JAKE TAPPER: Your husband has been known to make the occasional gaffe.
JILL BIDEN: Oh, you can't even go there. You can -- after Donald Trump, you cannot even say the word gaffe.
TAPPER: Well, that's what I want -- I can't even say the word gaffe?
BIDEN: It is -- nope.
TAPPER: But you...
BIDEN: Nope. Done. It's gone.
TAPPER: The gaffe issue is over because...
BIDEN: Over, so over.
Got that Jake? You got your marching orders. Done! It's gone! Over, so over!
Apparently Tapper go the message because the very next words out of his mouth went to the theme of Orange Man Bad:
TAPPER: What do you think about the fact that President Trump is hemming and hawing when it comes to the issue of an orderly transition of power, should he lose on November 3?
Of course, Tapper's meekness in the face of Jill Biden's objections to his gaffe question did not go unnoticed on Twitter. A few examples of the reactions.
What a sellout joke Tapper has turned into. I didn't even know he knew how to smile until he was letting Jill Biden weakly slap away a legitimate question without answering it.
'-- Hilohaw (@Hilohaw) September 27, 2020Excuse me, but the American people get to determine when the gaffe issue is over, not his sister...I mean his wife.This reminds me of socialism/communism regimes when media is told there's ZERO TOLERANCE FOR NEGATIVE NEWS.If you haven't opened your eyes yet, it's time USA!!
'-- Gabby (@owlvision2020) September 27, 2020So why did you back down on your line of questions, Jake? @JoeBiden is still the king of gaffes and @DrBiden freaking knows it. They want to downplay his potential train wreck that we all know is going to happen.
'-- Bernie Sandner (@BernieSandner) September 27, 2020Exit question: Why didn't Jake Tapper ask the all too obvious question of "Where's Joe?" After all, he is the candidate so shouldn't he have been sitting at a great social distance away from Tapper answering questions instead of his wife acting as proxy?
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VIDEO-James O'Keefe on Twitter: "BREAKING: @IlhanOmar connected cash-for-ballots harvesting scheme EXPOSED ''Money is the king in everything''; harvester boasts harvesting HUNDREDS of 2020 absentee ballots ILLEGALLY! ''Numbers do not lie...these here a