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A judge reminded everyone that Steve Bannon was accused of taking $1 million from a border wall fundraising scheme while approving Trump"s pardon

The judge's order took pains to go through the allegations against Bannon, who fo.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 25th, 2021

Three Themes Coalescing – Crescat Capital

Crescat Capital’s commentary for the month of September 2021, discussing the three themes coalescing. Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dear Investors: Three Themes Coalescing With unsustainable imbalances in the global economy and financial markets today, we see unprecedented opportunities to grow and protect capital in both the near and long term. Crescat […] Crescat Capital’s commentary for the month of September 2021, discussing the three themes coalescing. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dear Investors: Three Themes Coalescing With unsustainable imbalances in the global economy and financial markets today, we see unprecedented opportunities to grow and protect capital in both the near and long term. Crescat is focused on investment strategies that offer uncommon value and appreciation potential. We believe that all of Crescat’s strategies offer an incredible entry point today based on the firm’s three core macro themes: China credit collapse Record overvalued US equity market top Flight to safety into deeply undervalued gold, silver, and precious metals miners We have researched and written extensively about these themes over the last several years in our investor letters. In our strong view, these are the three biggest macro imbalances and investing opportunities in the world today. The three themes are coalescing at this very moment before the world’s eyes in a likely financial market collision and Great Rotation. We believe our portfolios will be the beneficiary. Our positioning is contrary to many common investment portfolios in the world today. We think too many are over-weighted in extremely overvalued US growth stocks and FAAMG. Most are unprepared for a China monetary collapse or a US stock market downturn. We think too few are positioned for the inevitable stagflation that our models suggest is ahead. As value investors, we are comfortable accepting a reasonable amount of risk to realize the strong returns that are possible from our macro themes and valuation models. Our investment principles and models give us the confidence that the intrinsic value of our portfolios is significantly greater than the current market price at any given time. The combination of already substantial rising inflation in the US along with a China credit collapse, just as the Fed is attempting to taper, is the catalyst for all three of our themes to begin unfolding now. We are headed for a major shake-up in the world’s financial markets at a time of both historic global debt-to-GDP imbalances and record central bank money printing. A Value Approach Our stance is bold. It is highly analytical, valuation-based, and macro driven. As such we are willing to withstand a moderate amount of volatility as markets undergo a re-pricing to realize the ultimate capital appreciation that is attainable from our views. The confidence in our value-based investment process is what gives us the conviction to withstand higher volatility than the average fund manager. Our investment process uses equity and macro models to ensure that the intrinsic value of our portfolios, through discounted cash flow and relative-value methodologies, is always substantially greater than where the market is pricing them today. It is important that Crescat clients embrace a similar value-oriented and long-term mindset to have the confidence that short-term setbacks in Crescat’s strategies are not a permanent loss of capital. The market price of Crescat’s activist long precious metals holdings has fallen in August and September month to date, affecting the long side of all the firm’s strategies. We think this is a mere short-term pullback that presents an incredible buying opportunity. We have the utmost confidence that these positions can deliver extraordinary long-term gains over the next three to five years based on our valuation approach. We have an extensive model to value these holdings based on conservative assumptions. We believe our portfolio of 90+ activist precious metals companies is worth 11 times where the market is valuing them today. That is at the current gold price. They are worth even more than that in a significantly rising new gold and silver bull market that our macro models are forecasting. Pullbacks are a necessary part of the path to delivering substantial long-term returns that more than compensate for the risk. It is the macro imbalances that allow us to enter long positions cheaply and short positions dearly to ultimately deliver outsized appreciation. As value investors, we believe short-term setbacks in Crescat’s strategies offer great opportunities for both new and existing investors to deploy capital. We are firmly positioned in a diversified deep-value portfolio of the most viable new gold and silver deposits on the planet. We own these companies early in what is likely to be a long-term industry cycle for precious metals mining after a decade long bear market. Our companies hold over 300 million target gold equivalent ounces. While the world has largely shunned gold mining stocks since their last major bull market that ended in 2011, in the past year and a half, we have been busy doing private placements to fund the world’s most viable new exploration projects, thereby acquiring gold and silver for literally pennies on the dollar ahead of what we believe will be a new M&A cycle for the mining industry. We very strongly believe that the recent selloff in precious metals, due to Fed taper concerns, is way overdone and that our strategies are poised for a major turn back up in the near term. Our gold and silver holdings have improved over the last two days, and hopefully, it is the turn already. Buy the Dip in Precious Metals The pullback in Crescat’s performance over the past two months, including September month to date, has been almost entirely attributable to our long precious metals positions across all strategies. It is important to understand that these positions were also big winners for us in the prior year through July 2021. The Crescat Precious Metals Fund, our newest fund that is solely focused on this theme, delivered a 235% net return through July in a moderately down gold and silver market. That was the first 12-month period of this fund. Imagine what we should be able to do in a bull market for precious metals. Our precious metals stocks are ultra-deep value positions with incredible appreciation potential still ahead thanks to the expertise of Quinton Hennigh, PhD, Crescat’s Geologic and Technical Director, and his 30+ years of experience in the gold mining exploration industry. The last two months’ sell-off in gold and silver should mark the recent bottom or very close to it. March 2020 was what we believe was the primary bottom of what was a 10-year bear market for junior gold mining stocks. The majors have left exploration to the juniors, so these are the companies that control the world’s next big high-grade gold deposits after a decade of underinvestment in exploration and development. The fact that gold along with our mining portfolios have been catching a safe-haven bid in the market in the last two days as the China Evergrande collapse has caught the world’s attention is phenomenal! This is exactly how a safe-haven currency and the best new gold and silver deposits on the planet should act as a renewed, sober financial order of the world that should emerge as China and the US stock market go into a structural downturn if not outright meltdown. China’s "Mises Moment" The massive US$300 billion China Evergrande collapse feeds into the much bigger $52 trillion Chinese banking system. The latter in our analysis is a phony financial accounting that we can only liken to the largest Ponzi scheme in financial world history. Wall Street came out in force today trying to calm its clients by saying that Evergrande is not China’s Lehman moment. We agree, it is not. It is much bigger than that. The scale of China’s credit bubble is unimaginable. It is 4.5 times the banking bubble in the US ahead of the Global Financial Crisis in absolute as well as relative to GDP terms! US banks were only a US$11 trillion asset bubble at the time when the US GDP was at about the same level as China today. It is not even a Minsky moment. We think China is about to face what we would call a “Mises moment”. China’s unsustainable world-record credit expansion has simply gone on far too long already to where they have only one alternative to reconcile it. All paths lead to a massive currency devaluation. Ludwig von Mises, one of the venerated founders of the Austrian economics school, describes it like this: “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” We think most of the financial world is not prepared at all for a China currency collapse. In our global macro fund, we are positioned for a substantial China yuan devaluation and possible de-pegging of the Hong Kong dollar. The latter is an extremely cheap put option. The yuan collapse is inevitable in our view. We have been writing about it for years and believe it is highly prudent to be positioned now. We hold an asymmetric trade with capped downside and large uncapped upside where we are long the dollar and short China’s two primary currencies, the yuan and Hong Kong dollar, through USDCNH and USDHKD call options with tier-1 US bank counterparties. US Stock Market Top In our analysis, China’s financial woes will absolutely be contagious with the US and the world. It is already happening. There is a strong chance that the US equity market has already topped out as of Sep 2 on both the S&P 500 large cap index and the Wilshire 5000 total market index. This has been arguably the most speculative US stock market in history with the highest valuation multiples to underlying fundamentals. In our strong view, there is much downside ahead for broad US stocks. We are determined to capitalize on the equity downturn with overvalued US short positions based on our equity models in our global macro and long/short funds. US stock and credit market’s historic valuations are compliments of rampant speculation underwritten by the Federal Reserve. These asset bubbles are ripe for bursting. The catalyst is the dual combination of rising inflation in the US and a credit crisis in China. We think most investment managers, including hedge funds, are afraid to short stocks and will be caught wrongfooted. Our macro and equity models give us the conviction to be short today. Our firm has an excellent track record of protecting capital during market downturns via our short positions. See our performance reports which show Crescat’s negative and low “downside capture ratio” versus the market in our global macro and long/short hedge funds respectively compared to the S&P 500 and other hedge funds over the long history of these two strategies. Crescat Global Macro’s negative downside capture ratio since inception means that on average it has made money historically when both the market and the hedge fund benchmark has been down. In fact, both funds were up substantially in March 2020, the month of the Covid crash. Gold Wins Whether Safe-Haven Flight or Inflation Hedge On China’s woes, gold should be getting the monetary metal safe-haven bid even though ultimately it is the inflation protection buying on the back of a fiat currency war that makes gold the most attractive to us. When the Fed acts with new measures to counter the strong dollar vs. yuan that would otherwise crimp the US economy, that is when precious metals should go ballistic. We need to be positioned for all of that now, and we are. The Fed is expected to announce the taper tomorrow. A fully committed taper announcement would likely only further catalyze China’s credit collapse and the US equity downturn in our opinion. That is a possibility, but we think a soft taper announcement with a lot of hedging language given China and the potential contagion effects is a more likely event. It still should not stop the US equity market downturn, and it will do nothing to help China. If it is a hard taper, it is just game-on even more so for our equity short positions and China yuan puts. Regarding precious metals, the odds are that gold has already fully priced in the taper based on its pullback over the last two months. If the Fed gives us the “soft taper”, it should allow gold to catch a huge bid and be off to the races. Current Inflation Spike Already Rivals Stagflationary 1973 and 1980 The US Consumer Price Index has risen from 0.3% annualized to 5.3% over just the last 15 months. The last two times we saw this big of a rise over this short of a time were in 1973 and 1980, the two most notorious episodes of stagflation and rising gold prices in US history. Just like in the 1970s, policy makers are trying to tell us not to worry because inflation is “transitory”. But just as then, there is a host of “non-transitory” drivers that include an incipient wage-price spiral, the lag-effect of rents to already substantially higher housing prices, global supply chain shocks from Western trade disintegration with China, and highly probable ongoing deficit spending and debt monetization in the US as far as the eye can see. The big difference between today and the 1970s stagflation is that the Fed has not done anything to fight rising inflationary pressures but instead has done everything to aid and abet them. For instance, from 1972 to 1973, the Fed had already raised its funds rate from 3.5% to 10.8%. And, from 1976 to 1980, it raised the rate from 4.7% to 17.6%. In contrast today, the Fed has kept the funds rate at 0% for the last 16 months and engaged in $4.3 trillion of quantitative easing over the last 18 months monetizing 88% of $4.9 trillion in new debt taken on by the US Treasury over the same time. Fed officials must be looking at this data and internally freaking out. That is why they are probably seriously considering tapering. Stagflation When monetary policy becomes truly extreme, like it was when the US abandoned the gold standard, for instance, we can get both inflation and a stock market crash at the same time. 1973-74 was the prime example. Gold stocks went up 5x in just two years while the S&P 500 was down 50%. At the same time, the popular but overvalued Nifty Fifty large cap growth stocks went down substantially more. Only those alive during the 1970s with money invested in the stock market truly know how shocking and substantial such a crisis can be. It could have been devasting or glorious depending on how one was invested. Gold Launches as Tech Busts Even in less extreme monetary policy situations, gold stocks can go up while widely-held overvalued equities collapse. Late 2000 through 2002 was a perfect example. Then large cap growth and tech stocks were being decimated at the same time as gold stocks began what would ultimately become a ten-year bull market albeit with a significant selloff in late 2008. These two examples are the types of markets for both gold and broad US stocks that we envision over the next two years. Gold Stocks In The Great Depression The Great Depression is yet another example of how gold and gold stocks can perform versus stocks at large in the most serious of financial times. Homestake Mining was the largest precious metals miner of the time. Fed Policy Error Fed watchers are rightly concerned about a forthcoming policy error, but the truth is that the accumulation of global economic and market imbalances and inflationary pressures after many years of taking the path of least resistance with quantitative easing and low interest rate policy has already been the gigantic policy mistake. These misjudgments are not isolated to domestic affairs but have aided and abetted massive credit bubbles in other countries too, particularly China. We believe it is only a matter of time before investors begin stampeding out of S&P 500 index funds and FAAMG stocks and into tangible assets. We think this is the time to get ahead of the curve. As Warren Buffett’s mentor, the legendary Ben Graham, said: “In the short run, the market is a voting machine that requires only money, not intelligence or emotional stability, but in the long run it’s a weighing machine.” We think a little bit of intelligence and a lot of emotional stability could go a long way right now in selling hyper-overvalued stocks at large and buying deeply undervalued gold stocks. We strongly believe the opportunity to put money to work on the recent pullback in Crescat’s strategies is phenomenal today. Performance Download PDF Version Sincerely, Kevin C. Smith, CFA Member & Chief Investment Officer Tavi Costa Member & Portfolio Manager For more information including how to invest, please contact: Marek Iwahashi Client Service Associate miwahashi@crescat.net 303-271-9997 Cassie Fischer Client Service Associate cfischer@crescat.net (303) 350-4000 Linda Carleu Smith, CPA Member & COO lsmith@crescat.net (303) 228-7371 © 2021 Crescat Capital LLC Updated on Sep 22, 2021, 11:28 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 23rd, 2021

The guy who crowdfunded $25 million to build Trump"s border wall can"t use the money for his legal defense, a judge ruled

Brian Kolfage was hit with a separate indictment Thursday, claiming he underreported his taxes the year he allegedly took money from "We.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 7th, 2021

I flew American Airlines to Europe for the first time during the pandemic and found it"s back to normal with bad food, uncomfortable seats, and free alcohol

American did a great job of getting me to Madrid on time but the flight was far from memorable. One thing I didn't miss was the bad airplane food. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American Airlines is one of four US carriers flying overseas to Europe and has recently started increasing services as more countries open to American tourists. Transatlantic flights are pretty much back to normal, besides having to wear a mask. Hot meals and alcohol are once again served in all cabins including economy class. See more stories on Insider's business page. American Airlines is one of the leading US carriers flying between the US and Europe, especially from its international gateway in New York. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The summer before the pandemic saw American fly to 23 European destinations from the US. Fast forward to the summer of 2021, however, and that number stood at 11 as American wasn't as quick to rebuild in Europe following its reopening. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: Cirium But even still, American has maintained service to core cities like London; Madrid; and Rome, while opening new routes including New York-Athens. Athens, Greece. Shutterstock Read More: American and JetBlue just unveiled a new partnership with 33 new routes combined— here's what it means for travelers And American has proved to be an inexpensive option when crossing the pond, as I found when planning a recent work trip to Doha, Qatar with flights on American, British Airways, and Qatar Airways. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: Gulfstream just debuted its new $75 million ultra-long-range plane that's also the world's largest purpose-built private jet: Meet the G700 I flew American Airlines from New York to Madrid during the summer of vaccinated travel. Here's what it was like. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I booked a flight on American Airlines despite the airline canceling thousands of flights this summer – here's how I'm preparing for the worst After recent bad experiences on American, I was a bit nervous to fly the carrier overseas. I made sure to do extra research on backup options in case something went wrong, and even arrived at the airport four hours early. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I was stranded in Bogotá airport for 10 hours and it taught me the true value of credit card perks and not taking no for an answer But having flown American internationally earlier in the summer, I knew how to prepare. The first step was to download Verifly, American's preferred health passport service that speeds along airport check-in and document verification. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I submitted all my required documentation and got the green light. As a result, check-in at the airport was less painful than expected as I was able to use a self-serve kiosk to get my boarding pass. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider For those checking a bag, though, there was a bit of a line, as is usually the case in international terminals. I was glad to have only brought a carry-on. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I was instantly relieved once I had my boarding pass and headed straight to the gate with only a minimal line at security. I felt silly having arrived four hours before departure but as the old saying goes, better safe than sorry. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider One benefit of flying out of American's Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy International Airport is that Bobby Van's Steakhouse is open, and Priority Pass members through Chase can get a free meal. I had the burger and it was delicious. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I used a credit perk to dine for nearly free at an airport restaurant and it's my new favorite travel hack The rest of the concourse was quiet as I arrived before the bulk of the evening overseas departures. Even still, there were shops and restaurants open for business in a good sign for the industry. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I headed straight to the gate after lunch and got my first glimpse at the aircraft taking us to Spain, the mighty Boeing 777-200. American now only flies Boeing 777 aircraft between New York and Europe in a win for business class and first class customers that get to enjoy the airline's best premium cabin products. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Pandemic-era safety measures including social distancing floor placards and plexiglass portions at the gate counter were still on display. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Boarding began around 45 minutes prior to departure in American's standard group boarding procedure. Most US airlines have abandoned back-to-front boarding. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American's Boeing 777-200 aircraft seat 273 passengers across three cabins, with classes of service including business, premium economy, and economy. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: SeatGuru In economy, seats are arranged in a 10-abreast, 3-4-3 configuration that's standard for most airlines flying the 777. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Seat pitch in economy is between 31 and 32 inches, according to SeatGuru, while seat width is a standard 17 inches. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: SeatGuru I booked this flight quite late and there weren't too many seats from which to choose that didn't require paying an extra fee. American isn't alone in the practice of charging for advance seat assignments on long-haul flights but I despise the practice as these tickets are expensive enough as it is. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider But to American's credit, there were a good showing of complimentary aisle and window seats towards the back of the plane from which to select. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider And to my surprise, the most unique seats in economy were available for selection. The last three rows on this aircraft are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration meaning there are six two-seat pairs. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I thought I had lucked out by selecting one of them but my excitement was short-lived. Simply put, these seats were not the most comfortable for a larger traveler. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The small width didn't help and I felt like I was taking up part of the seat next to me. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider One thing that could've helped was if the armrest for the window seat was moveable, but it was fixed in place. I was so close to the seat in front of me that my tray table couldn't even lay flat (a problem I didn't have on the other carriers on which I flew during this trip). Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider My top concern was having enough room once my seat neighbor arrived. But I lucked out and had both seats to myself as nobody showed up to claim the other. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider There was a gap between the seat and the cabin wall which offered some additional legroom and a place to store the pillow and blanket kit left on the seat. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American is quite generous with seat features on its wide-body aircraft. Each seat has an 8.9-inch in-flight entertainment screen with a variety of movies, television shows, games, and music. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The moving map proved handy during the flight to keep track of our location. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider A tethered remote is also available to control the system and act as a game controller or keyboard for the seat-to-seat chat function. It also comes in handy when scrolling through content since the touch functionality is quite poor in that regard. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider In-flight WiFi is also available on the aircraft for a price. And for those using devices during the flight, in-seat power is offered through USB charging ports and 110v C power outlets at seats. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The rest of the aircraft was quite full, which surprised me as it was quite late in the season for transatlantic travel. Some passengers were visiting family and friends while others were starting their study abroad term. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Bad weather in New York wreaked a bit of havoc on the airport but we weren't overly affected. I was quite relieved that our departure was pretty close to on time as I had a connection to make in Madrid. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The storm did, however, make for some great views as we blasted out of New York. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Madrid is quite a short flight from New York and while I wanted to go straight to sleep, I did want to see what the meal service was like. This was the first time I'd had a hot meal on American during the pandemic. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider As I waited for the service to begin, I had a look at what was on offer in the movie department. American had quite a good selection in all categories, and I ultimately picked "The Vault." Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider First attendants started the drink service first with a selection of soft drinks, juices, wine, and beer. Alcohol isn't currently served in economy on American's domestic flights but it flows freely on transatlantic hops. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I ordered a club soda along with some red wine to help ease my sleep after the meal. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Next came the meal service as flight attendants quickly passed out the trays. I felt like I was being served in a cafeteria as one flight attendant curtly asked, "chicken or pasta?" Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I unwrapped the entree to find that not much has changed at all when it comes to American's economy catering. The chicken dish was accompanied by a side salad, cheese and crackers, and a cinnamon dessert bar. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I couldn't describe the chicken beyond that it was served in a tomato-based sauce. I enjoyed the sides more than the main and was glad I had the burger at Bobby Van's before the flight. Next time, I think I'll head straight to sleep. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants were very quick to complete the meal service, though, and got it done in under an hour and a half. The flight to Madrid is only six hours and 30 minutes so every second counts. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Ready for bed with a full stomach, I used the pillow and blanket that American had left on the seat and did my best to get comfortable. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Another downside of the two-seat row is that there's a gap between the seat and window, making propping a pillow up against the cabin wall near-impossible. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider But even then, it wasn't too difficult to get to sleep and I woke just before breakfast was served. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants once more came around to serve drinks first, followed by a pre-packaged cold breakfast. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider On offer for the optimistic morning meal included Chobani strawberry yogurt, a raspberry fig bar, and coconut cashew granola. All in all, it was quite standard but still enjoyable. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The flight to Madrid was nearing its end and I can't say I was upset to see it go. American did a great job of getting me to Spain on time but the in-flight experience was exactly what I expected it to be. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I did appreciate the modernity of the aircraft and the efficiency of the crew but there wasn't anything memorable about this flight. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Besides having to wear a mask, though, I'd say that American is back to normal on these flights, for better or worse. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider15 hr. 7 min. ago

Texas Moves To Divest From Ben & Jerry’s Over Israeli Settlement Ban

Texas Moves To Divest From Ben & Jerry’s Over Israeli Settlement Ban Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com, Texas has added Ben & Jerry’s and its parent company Unilever to a list of companies that are "boycotting Israel" over the ice cream company’s decision to stop selling its product in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The firms have 90 days from being notified that they’re on the list to reverse the settlement ban, or Texas will remove about $100 million in pension funds that are invested in Unilever. Image source: The Texan While Ben & Jerry’s is accused of boycotting Israel, their policy only applies to illegal settlements in occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the ice cream will still be sold in Israel. But Texas has a broad definition of what it considers to be boycotting the Jewish State. Texas law defines boycotting Israel as "refusing to deal with, terminating business activities with, or otherwise taking any action that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on or limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or with a person or entity doing business in Israel or in an Israeli-controlled territory." Other states have taken action against Unilver over the settlement ban. Florida and New Jersey have added Unilever to a similar list, and Arizona has already begun to pull millions out of Unilever. There are over 30 US states with laws against the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that calls for international boycotts to put pressure on Israel over its crimes against the Palestinians. The laws prohibit states from doing business with companies and individuals that are determined to be boycotting Israel. Contractors wishing to do business with these states have to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel. After Ben & Jerry’s announced its move to stop selling ice cream in the occupied territories in July, Israel launched a "maximum pressure" campaign to influence the US and urged states with anti-BDS laws on the books to take action. Disclosure: Antiwar.com has received donations in the past from Ben Cohen, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Tyler Durden Sat, 09/25/2021 - 20:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 25th, 2021

Sidney Powell countersues Dominion Voting Systems after failing to get its lawsuit against her tossed in court

Powell became known for spreading election conspiracy theories last year, falsely claiming that Dominion tilted the race to boost President Biden. Attorney Sidney Powell speaks to the press about various lawsuits related to the 2020 election, inside the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, DC, on November 19, 2020. Drew Angerer/Getty Images Former Trump attorney Sidney Powell countersued Dominion Voting Systems, per a Bloomberg report. Powell, who accused Dominion of manipulating the election, faces a $1.3 billion defamation suit. The attorney has been unable to get Dominion's suit tossed and is seeking $10 million in damages. See more stories on Insider's business page. Sidney Powell, the attorney who filed multiple lawsuits in an effort to overturn former President Donald Trump's 2020 election loss, on Friday filed a countersuit against the voting-technology company she accused of manipulating the results, according to new court documents.Powell emerged a key figure in the spread of election conspiracy theories last year, falsely claiming that Dominion Voting Systems tilted the US election to boost now-President Joe Biden.She also alleged - without evidence - that Dominion secretly aided a rival election-technology company, Smartmatic, and had links to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.Dominion filed a defamation lawsuit against Powell earlier this year in pursuit of $1.3 billion in damages. Powell has been unable to get the lawsuit tossed in court and subsequently filed her counterclaim against company on Friday.In her filing against Dominion, Powell called the company's demand for $1.3 billion "ludicrous," and said the company's legal action was "diverting attention from the failings of its election equipment, trying to change the 'narrative' that was exposing Dominion's serious flaws and wrongdoing, and avoiding post-election inquiry into voting irregularities in the 2020 election."She is seeking $10 million in damages.In May, Powell's lawyers argued that their client was being unfairly targeted among individuals who falsely claimed that Dominion conspired to alter the election results against Trump. Their filing, which was intended to support a motion to dismiss the case, argued that Dominion lacked the standing to sue Powell.In August, a federal judge denied motions by Powell, former Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell in seeking to toss defamation lawsuits brought against them by Dominion.Despite her claims, Powell has so far been unable to validate any of the election theories or irregularities that she claims were prevalent in the 2020 election, and state election officials have roundly dismissed her accusations.Powell, whom Trump brought on to his legal team during the turbulent post-election period in November 2020, was eventually purged from the campaign team. But just weeks later, The New York Times reported that Trump had invited Powell to the White House to discuss the possibility of her becoming a special counsel investigating voter fraud.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 25th, 2021

The Island of Death: Visiting the gulag where my grandfather was tortured, but didn"t officially exist

My grandfather was held at Bulgaria's most notorious gulag. This summer, I saw it for the first time. A Belene survivor crosses the bridge across the Danube that connects the town of Belene and Persin island in 2015. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images) This summer, Tana Ganeva traveled to Belene, Bulgaria's most notorious prison camp, where her grandfather was held in the 1950s. Bulgaria has effectively buried the history of its Communist-era gulags, where thousands were starved, tortured, and killed. Ganeva's grandfather attempted to escape Bulgaria four times, before making it to California. See more stories on Insider's business page. The island of Persin is a bird-watcher's paradise. Set on the Danube River, which divides Bulgaria and Romania, it's a nature park covered in wetlands and home to hundreds of rare bird species: the spoonbill, the pygmy cormorant, the corncrake, as well as herons, eagles, storks, and pelicans. Amid the natural beauty, it's jarring to consider that this was the location of a concentration camp where thousands of Bulgarian political prisoners were brutalized and killed from 1949 to 1953 - and in some cases for years after that. Though it's officially known as Belene after the quiet Bulgarian village that sits 750 feet away on the mainland, old-timers here call it by another name: the Island of Death.My stepgrandfather, Georgi Tutunjiev, was sent here at age 24 and spent four years and three months interred at Belene after someone (he suspected his ex-wife) told the authorities of his plan to escape the country. In his notebooks - he had planned to write a memoir about Belene but never did before he died in 2011 at 87 - he remembered the place as "brutal facilities for re-education," where he'd endured "indescribable physical and psychological abuse." He finally managed to escape Bulgaria in 1966 and settle with my grandma in California. In 1989, my parents and I left Bulgaria and joined my grandparents in California, thanks to the family-reunification policy. While many survivors of trauma shut down, my grandfather never stopped talking about the gulag. He seemed to have an unending loop of stories about Belene. For my immediate family, it could be exhausting, and we were alarmed to discover his extensive gun collection, which my grandmother gamely dismissed as a coping mechanism. But guests who came to the house were often riveted by his dark tales, which he mixed with his sense of humor. "Jeko! The Communistie shot you!" he'd shout at his terrier mix, and the dog would sprawl on his back, playing dead. An aerial view of Persin island. The gulag was known as Belene, after the nearby town. Tsvetomir Nikolaev I've come to the town of Belene on a brutally hot day in August for a tour of the Island of Death. I meet Nedyalka Toncheva, who works for the Belene Island Foundation, a nonprofit that organizes tours of the island, close to the bank of the Danube.We cross a rickety water bridge on foot and then jump aboard a Jeep driven by a 24-year-old Belene native named Peter. Toncheva, who is 35, is passionate and knowledgeable about the island's flora and fauna. Every few minutes, she tells Peter to stop the car to point out a roosting stork or a water eagle. She talks about her plans to make Persin a tourist destination comparable to Borovets, a ski resort with luxury hotels in the Rila mountains; or Koprivchitsa, a living museum honoring the Bulgarian rebels who mounted an uprising in 1876 against the Ottoman Empire.In the three decades since the fall of communism, Bulgaria has effectively buried the history of its many gulags, which operated mostly in the 1950s during the early, and most violent, days of Communist rule in the country. In Belene itself, many lower-level guards came from the village and a former mayor was also the gulag's first superintendent. It's not surprising that the village doesn't advertise its history.After 1989, survivors who had been forced to sign documents promising to never talk about the camps started speaking out. For a brief time, they became the subjects of documentaries and newspaper profiles. But soon, the consensus was that it was better to move on. An interior minister tasked with investigating the camps instead secretly ordered a purge of thousands of pages of documents - 40% of the government record. While Bulgaria's defeat of the Ottomans is central to the national identity, and much is made of the fact that Bulgaria saved its Jews during the Holocaust, the memory of the Communist era is more fraught. Georgi Tutunjiev, the author's grandfather, in around 1977. Tana Ganeva Peculiar for a tour, most of our stops lead us to what's not left of the camp. The shacks where prisoners slept have been razed - there's no trace of them.At the entrance, in what is now an open field, an inscription says, "To be human is to have dignity." From inside the camp - what would have been visible to the internees - the engraving says, "If the enemy doesn't surrender, he is destroyed." But no one I've talked to knows whether it's the original or has been recreated. There are a few abandoned, falling-apart buildings, but those were built in 1959, six years after the camp's official (but not real) closing, when it was converted into a prison, in part to kill rumors that it had operated as a secret gulag. Todor Zhivkov, the Communist premier who took power in 1954 and stayed on until 1989, reopened it in the 1980s to detain Muslims who refused to take on Slavic names in place of their own - a disastrous bid to assimilate them. I ask Toncheva whether there's a list of everyone who was held in the camp. I'm thinking of my grandfather and wondering whether there's any documentation. She tells me everyone who comes here for the camp asks the same question."There's no way to know, no list," Toncheva says, apologetic. "There's almost no proof the camp even existed."'Perfectly calculated by Satan himself'The first contingent of 300 men arrived at the Belene camp in the summer of 1949, five years after the 1944 Communist coup. My grandfather, then 24, arrived that first winter. A camp for women was founded on an adjacent island soon after.It was modeled after Josef Stalin's gulags in Siberia. Most of the prisoners had been dragged from their homes by the military police and sent here without trial. (Estimates vary, but 20,000 to 40,000 people were thought to be murdered by the Bulgarian Communist Party.) Even Stalin eventually warned them to scale down the killing of prominent oppositional figures or risk creating martyrs.The first wave of prisoners had to hack through the unpopulated island and build small shacks that were so crowded the prisoners didn't have room to lie down. In his history of the camp, Borislav Skotchev wrote that the island was dotted with towers manned by guards with machine guns. A survivor of Belene during a commemoration ceremony in 2015. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images) The men held here included the former leader of the Social Democrats, Orthodox priests (many in their 70s), and the mayor of Bulgaria's capital, Sofia. Tsveti Ivanov, the editor of the newspaper Svoboden Narod, or Free People, was sent to Belene after serving 10 months in prison. He was beaten so brutally that he got tetanus from his wounds and died in the compound. Much of what we know about the place comes from survivors' memoirs. They were fed a thin soup, sometimes with a handful of beans thrown in. Their bread ration - moldy or stale when it made its way to them - was small, and could be withheld by the guards as punishment. Sometimes they got tea. My grandfather told me that, in the winter, both the soup and the tea were given to them already frozen.When Toncheva takes us on a brief walk to go look at storks, the ground gives off wet heat, and brambles and thorns claw at us, as if the island is alive and doesn't want us there. I think of the people who had to work days and nights, in sweltering summers, devoured by mosquitoes. It's unbelievable that anyone survived.An internal CIA document described the grim situation of starving prisoners. "A frequent sight is that of a prisoner eating raw green leaves and roots," it said. "To be caught doing this, however, would result in 10 days in detention in a dungeon for such an offense." The lucky ones got packages from family, though those were often taken by guards. Many had little choice but to choke down the rotting carcasses of wild cats, killed and skinned for their fur by the villagers, or pick through horse dung for undigested barley. According to a CIA information report from March 13, 1952, during one brutal winter 30 prisoners died of cold or starvation."It was an Inferno circle, perfectly calculated by Satan himself," Liliana Pirinchiva, one of the female survivors of Belene, wrote in her memoir. "We were reduced to skeletons." A group of Bulgarian anarchists. Tsvetana Dzhermanova Then there were the guards, who brought an especially sadistic approach to their work. Some would chase packs of prisoners on horseback, letting their rifles off "as if we were a flock of sheep," wrote Stefan Botchev, a survivor. When he got a severe case of scabies, the mites burrowing into his skin, he was locked up in a shed alone because the guards didn't want him to infect the cows. He recalled seeing a beating so severe that a prisoner's spine was broken, turning him into a "reptile crawling on the ground."Kouni Genchev Kounev, the chairman of the Bulgarian Youth Agrarian Union who also survived Belene, recalled one especially brutal punishment, in which the guards would pull back a prisoner's head and strike him in the trachea. They called it the "sword stroke."Years later, Krum Horozov, a survivor, would draw water colors of the camp from memory - it's virtually the only visual documentation that exists. In 2011, six years before his death, Horozov wrote: "And when we die, which will be soon, who will remember what happened on that island in the 1950s, and will they know that people were sent there without a trial and sentence?"Lilia Topouzova, a historian in Toronto who writes about the history and the memory of the camps, recalls meeting Horozov at an academic conference; he was trying to give away copies of his drawings of Belene to university students, but they avoided him as if he were a pesky street vendor.The CricketAt 93, Tsvetana Dzhermanova is the last known survivor of the women's camp, which was known as Shturets, or Cricket. We're sitting outside her home in the mountain village of Leskovets, and she's talking so fast I wonder how she manages to breathe.She smiles and laughs a lot, and she reminds me of my grandfather, who also spoke with the speed of a motorboat, frantic to tell his story."I promised to outlive the Communistie, and here I am!" she boasts. (My grandfather also took an understandable delight at outliving the Communistie. "I survived the Communistie, but I won't survive old age," he once told me, when I was 25 and had no idea about either.) Tsvetana Dzhermanova. Tsvetana Dzhermanova Dzhermanova was an anarchist in the 1950s, and still is today. "That's my personal ideology," she says. "I'm not sure humans are evolved enough to make either anarchism or socialism work the way they should, but for me, anarchism is it. Because I value freedom, family, friendship, and love."When she first heard about anarchism as a teenager, she asked her mother what it meant. "Anarchists are the people all regimes persecute," her mother had replied. That sold her. Dzhermanova joined a village group. She had no designs on power (detesting it) and mostly spent her time reading anarchist literature and working on a community vegetable garden. She estimates that 800 anarchists from the town were swept up in a night and sent to the gulags."We sang songs while we worked," Dzhermanova tells me. "That helped." Last spring the sprightly nonagenarian made the three-hour trip to Belene to speak with a group of students about the camps. "They had no idea about this. They were really surprised," she says. "No one had ever talked to them about it, and they don't learn about it in school."'Out of Fashion'Toncheva and our driver, Peter, walk through a falling-down building that was constructed in 1959, in part to hide evidence of the camp. It's covered in bird shit. Plant life is taking over its rotted remnants, and old decayed furniture has been abandoned here and there. We talk about how nobody talks about the camp.Peter tells us that despite having spent almost his entire life roughly 750 feet from Persin, in Belene village, he learned about the camp only two weeks earlier, when Toncheva hired him as a driver for her tours."To think they only gave them bread and water, and made them work so hard," he says, shaking his head in disbelief. A crumbling building built on the site of Belene. Stoyan Nenov/Reuters As far as Toncheva knows, no one from her family was held here, but she remembers asking her grandmother about the island when she was a teenager and again after reading the memoirs of survivors. "Shhh. Don't talk so much about this," her grandmother would say. "You don't want to bring trouble."There are rumors of a mass grave near Persin. Mikhail Mikailev, the head of the Belene Island Foundation, wants to find it. But money for the equipment required to find and dig up the remains eludes this two-person staff.Unlike Peter and Toncheva, my parents, who were born in the mid-1950s and grew up in Bulgaria, tell me that in the 1970s and 1980s, all their friends in Sofia knew about Belene. "We all heard the stories," my mother says.But for the authorities, maintaining official denial was worth murder.In 1969, the celebrated Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov defected to the West, where he wrote about the regime's abuses. In one essay, Markov described traveling on a boat down the Danube and approaching Belene. "I remembered how, feet dangling over the edge of the boat, a youth with a guitar once sang a strange song: Danube, white river, how quiet you flow / Danube, black river, what anguish you know." A view of Persin island. Tsvetomir Nikolaev On a rainy afternoon in London, a man jabbed the tip of his umbrella into Markov's leg. Later, Markov noticed what looked like a small bug bite but didn't think much of it. A few days later he was dead, most likely poisoned by the Bulgarian secret service.Before my visit to Belene, I met Topouzova, the historian, over Zoom to talk about the erasure of the camps in Bulgaria's consciousness. While former generals wrote best-sellers, the owner of a prominent bookstore dismissed any interest in survivors' memoirs - they were "out of fashion," he had told her.It was gaslighting in its purest form. And it showed how we're all so prone to the "just world" fallacy, a phenomenon where if something is too horribly unjust, the human brain just kind of moves on. It's not all that hard to bury inconvenient truths."It turned out that aging men and women with fragmented memories of bygone violence did not make for the faces of change," Topouzova wrote in a recent paper titled "On Silence and History" for the American Historical Association. "The interned were rendered nonexistent - their experiences and memories fated to vanish along with the files." A pile of stonesNations define themselves by their monuments. The memorial in downtown Manhattan demands that we never forget the victims of 9/11. In the past few years, American activists have torn Confederate statues from their perches, signaling a break with the passive acceptance of the history of slavery. Yet grappling with unpleasant history isn't easy. It was only in 2018 when a museum honoring the Black victims of lynching opened in Alabama. The 1619 Project, which posits that the history of the United States is rooted in slavery, has spurred a massive backlash. School districts have banned children's books about Rosa Parks. Vaunted democracies are as likely to try to bury inconvenient truths as former communist states. At an exhibition in Sofia in 2009, Belene survivors look at images of the gulag's victims. Stoyan Nenov/Reuters In Bulgaria, there are monuments everywhere. From the smallest village to Sofia, the heroes of Bulgaria's uprising against the Ottoman Empire are eternalized in stone. In Plovdiv, a giant sculpture overlooks Bulgaria's second-largest city that honors "Alyosha," an everyman Soviet soldier who helped "liberate" Bulgaria in the 1940s - even though many Bulgarians see that period as Soviet imperialism, much like the Ottoman Empire's 500 years of occupation.The victims of Belene and the other camps have no such honor. The Belene foundation does the best it can. They helped organize an art exhibit, where Korozov's pencil drawings were tacked onto the walls of the decaying structures that had been erected to mask evidence of the gulag. A man places photos of famous victims of Soviet policy in front of the Monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2014. Hristo Vladev/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images There is one modest monument on the island. It's an abstract stone structure, and you'd have no idea what it was if you didn't already know the history. The original idea was to build a monument that listed the names of all the known internees, something like the Vietnam wall on the Mall in Washington. But the survivors and their families who pooled their resources to build it ran out of money, and no one, including the Bulgarian government, stepped in to help. (The survivors also hoped to open a museum and to recreate the shacks where they were held, but that hasn't happened either.)My grandfather's escape Dzhermanova, the 93-year-old anarchist - and eternal optimist, apparently - has hope that younger people will dig up the buried history.As for my grandfather, his ex-wife (or whoever it was who betrayed him to the authorities) was right that he wanted to escape Bulgaria.After his release from Belene in 1953, that resolve was so much stronger. "After 4 years and three months in the Island of Death, I became determined to go to my real home: America," he explained in his notebooks. The author with her grandfather and grandmother, Tsvetana Tutunjieva. Tana Ganeva As he detailed it, it would take four harrowing attempts. Soon after his release from Belene, he managed to make it into Yugoslavia during a "sabor" - a temporary loosening of borders so family and friends in the two countries could see each other. But he got caught and was thrown into a Yugoslavian jail.From there, he organized an inmate breakout after bribing the guard dog, Jeko, with his dinner. But he and the other prisoners were caught in the woods, and the Yugoslavian authorities gave them up to the Bulgarian authorities in exchange for 10 cows. "They weren't even very good cows - scrawny," he wrote.Several years later, he tried to cross Bulgaria's mountainous border into Greece, but he was caught once again.Finally, he made it into Austria and then Germany by clinging to the underside of a freight train. And then on to California, where he gave his new dog a familiar name: Jeko.Tana Ganeva writes about policing, prisons and criminal justice. She's currently working on a book about escapees from the Soviet bloc. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 25th, 2021

"Immunity As A Service" - The Snake-Oil Salesmen & The COVID-Zero Con

"Immunity As A Service" - The Snake-Oil Salesmen & The COVID-Zero Con Authored by Julius Ruechel via Julius Ruechel.com, The Snake-Oil Salesmen and the COVID-Zero Con: A Classic Bait-And-Switch for a Lifetime of Booster Shots (Immunity as a Service) If a plumber with a lifetime of experience were to tell you that water runs uphill, you would know he is lying and that the lie is not accidental. It is a lie with a purpose. If you can also demonstrate that the plumber knows in advance that the product he is promoting with that lie is snake oil, you have evidence for a deliberate con. And once you understand what's really inside that bottle of snake oil, you will begin to understand the purpose of the con. One of the most common reasons given for mass COVID vaccinations is the idea that if we reach herd immunity through vaccination, we can starve the virus out of existence and get our lives back. It's the COVID-Zero strategy or some variant of it. By now it is abundantly clear from the epidemiological data that the vaccinated are able to both catch and spread the disease. Clearly vaccination isn't going to make this virus disappear. Only a mind that has lost its grasp on reality can fail to see how ridiculous all this has become.  But a tour through pre-COVID science demonstrates that, from day one, long before you and I had even heard of this virus, it was 100% inevitable and 100% predictable that these vaccines would never be capable of eradicating this coronavirus and would never lead to any kind of lasting herd immunity. Even worse, lockdowns and mass vaccination have created a dangerous set of circumstances that interferes with our immune system's ability to protect us against other respiratory viruses. They also risk driving the evolution of this virus towards mutations that are more dangerous to both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated alike. Lockdowns, mass vaccinations, and mass booster shots were never capable of delivering on any of the promises that were made to the public.  And yet, vaccination has been successfully used to control measles and even to eradicate smallpox. So, why not COVID? Immunity is immunity, and a virus is a virus is a virus, right? Wrong! Reality is far more complicated... and more interesting. This Deep Dive exposes why, from day one, the promise of COVID-Zero can only ever have been a deliberately dishonest shell game designed to prey on a lack of public understanding of how our immune systems work and on how most respiratory viruses differ from other viruses that we routinely vaccinate against. We have been sold a fantasy designed to rope us into a pharmaceutical dependency as a deceitful trade-off for access to our lives. Variant by variant. For as long as the public is willing to go along for the ride.  Exposing this story does not require incriminating emails or whistleblower testimony. The story tells itself by diving into the long-established science that every single virologist, immunologist, evolutionary biologist, vaccine developer, and public health official had access to long before COVID began. As is so often the case, the devil is hidden in the details. As this story unfolds it will become clear that the one-two punch of lockdowns and the promise of vaccines as an exit strategy began as a cynical marketing ploy to coerce us into a never-ending regimen of annual booster shots intentionally designed to replace the natural "antivirus security updates" against respiratory viruses that come from hugs and handshakes and from children laughing together at school. We are being played for fools.  This is not to say that there aren't plenty of other opportunists taking advantage of this crisis to pursue other agendas and to tip society into a full-blown police state. One thing quickly morphs into another. But this essay demonstrates that never-ending boosters were the initial motive for this global social-engineering shell game ― the subscription-based business model, adapted for the pharmaceutical industry. "Immunity as a service".  So, let's dive into the fascinating world of immune systems, viruses, and vaccines, layer by layer, to dispel the myths and false expectations that have been created by deceitful public health officials, pharmaceutical lobbyists, and media manipulators. What emerges as the lies are peeled apart is both surprising and more than a little alarming. “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” - Sherlock Homes”  - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Table of Contents:     Viral Reservoirs: The Fantasy of Eradication     SARS: The Exception to the Rule?     Fast Mutations: The Fantasy of Control through Herd Immunity     Blind Faith in Central Planning: The Fantasy of Timely Doses     Spiked: The Fantasy of Preventing Infection     Antibodies, B-Cells, and T-Cells: Why Immunity to Respiratory Viruses Fades So Quickly     Manufacturing Dangerous Variants: Virus Mutations Under Lockdown Conditions — Lessons from the 1918 Spanish Flu     Leaky Vaccines, Antibody-Dependent Enhancement, and the Marek Effect     Anti-Virus Security Updates: Cross-Reactive Immunity Through Repeated Exposure     The Not-So-Novel Novel Virus: The Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Outbreak Proved We Have Cross-Reactive Immunity     Mother Knows Best: Vitamin D, Playing in Puddles, and Sweaters     The Paradox: Why COVID-Zero Makes People More Vulnerable to Other Viruses     Introducing Immunity as a Service - A Subscription-Based Business Model for the Pharmaceutical Industry (It was always about the money!)     The Path Forward: Neutralizing the Threat and Bullet-Proofing Society to Prevent This Ever Happening Again. *  *  * Viral Reservoirs: The Fantasy of Eradication Eradication of a killer virus sounds like a noble goal. In some cases it is, such as in the case of the smallpox virus. By 1980 we stopped vaccinating against smallpox because, thanks to widespread immunization, we starved the virus of available hosts for so long that it died out. No-one will need to risk their life on the side effects of a smallpox vaccination ever again because the virus is gone. It is a public health success story. Polio will hopefully be next ― we're getting close.  But smallpox is one of only two viruses (along with rinderpest) that have been eradicated thanks to vaccination. Very few diseases meet the necessary criteria. Eradication is hard and only appropriate for very specific families of viruses. Smallpox made sense for eradication because it was a uniquely human virus ― there was no animal reservoir. By contrast, most respiratory viruses including SARS-CoV-2 (a.k.a. COVID) come from animal reservoirs: swine, birds, bats, etc. As long as there are bats in caves, birds in ponds, pigs in mud baths, and deer living in forests, respiratory viruses are only controllable through individual immunity, but it is not possible to eradicate them. There will always be a near-identical cousin brewing in the wings. Even the current strain of COVID is already cheerfully jumping onwards across species boundaries. According to both National Geographic and Nature magazine, 40% of wild deer tested positive for COVID antibodies in a study conducted in Michigan, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania. It has also been documented in wild mink and has already made the species jump to other captive animals including dogs, cats, otters, leopards, tigers, and gorillas. A lot of viruses are not fussy. They happily adapt to new opportunities. Specialists, like smallpox, eventually go extinct. Generalists, like most respiratory viruses, never run out of hosts to keep the infection cycle going, forever. As long as we share this planet with other animals, it is extremely deceitful to give anyone the impression that we can pursue any scorched earth policy that can put this genie back in the bottle. With an outbreak on this global scale, it was clear that we were always going to have to live with this virus. There are over 200 other endemic respiratory viruses that cause colds and flus, many of which circulate freely between humans and other animals. Now there are 201. They will be with us forever, whether we like it or not. SARS: The Exception to the Rule? This all sounds well and good, but the original SARS virus did disappear, with public health measures like contact tracing and strict quarantine measures taking the credit. However, SARS was the exception to the rule. When it made the species jump to humans, it was so poorly adapted to its new human hosts that it had terrible difficulty spreading. This very poor level of adaptation gave SARS a rather unique combination of properties: SARS was extremely difficult to catch (it was never very contagious) SARS made people extremely sick. SARS did not have pre-symptomatic spread. These three conditions made the SARS outbreak easy to control through contact tracing and through the quarantine of symptomatic individuals. SARS therefore never reached the point where it circulated widely among asymptomatic community members.  By contrast, by January/February of 2020 it was clear from experiences in China, Italy, and the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship (more on that story later) that the unique combination of conditions that made SARS controllable were not going to be the case with COVID. COVID was quite contagious (its rapid spread showed that COVID was already well adapted to spreading easily among its new human hosts), most people would have mild or no symptoms from COVID (making containment impossible), and that it was spreading by aerosols produced by both symptomatic and pre-symptomatic people (making contact tracing a joke). In other words, it was clear by January/February 2020 that this pandemic would follow the normal rules of a readily transmissible respiratory epidemic, which cannot be reined in the way SARS was. Thus, by January/February of 2020, giving the public the impression that the SARS experience could be replicated for COVID was a deliberate lie - this genie was never going back inside the bottle. Fast Mutations: The Fantasy of Control through Herd Immunity Once a reasonably contagious respiratory virus begins circulating widely in a community, herd immunity can never be maintained for very long. RNA respiratory viruses (such as influenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinoviruses, and coronaviruses) all mutate extremely fast compared to viruses like smallpox, measles, or polio. Understanding the difference between something like measles and a virus like COVID is key to understanding the con that is being perpetrated by our health institutions. Bear with me here, I promise not to get too technical. All viruses survive by creating copies of themselves. And there are always a lot of "imperfect copies" — mutations — produced by the copying process itself. Among RNA respiratory viruses these mutations stack up so quickly that there is rapid genetic drift, which continually produces new strains. Variants are normal. Variants are expected. Variants make it virtually impossible to build the impenetrable wall of long-lasting herd immunity required to starve these respiratory viruses out of existence. That's one of several reasons why flu vaccines don't provide long-lasting immunity and have to be repeated annually ― our immune system constantly needs to be updated to keep pace with the inevitable evolution of countless unnamed "variants."  This never-ending conveyor belt of mutations means that everyone's immunity to COVID was always only going to be temporary and only offer partial cross-reactive protection against future re-infections. Thus, from day one, COVID vaccination was always doomed to the same fate as the flu vaccine ― a lifelong regimen of annual booster shots to try to keep pace with "variants" for those unwilling to expose themselves to the risk of a natural infection. And the hope that by the time the vaccines (and their booster shots) roll off the production line, they won't already be out of date when confronted by the current generation of virus mutations.  Genetic drift caused by mutations is much slower in viruses like measles, polio, or smallpox, which is why herd immunity can be used to control these other viruses (or even eradicate them as in the case of smallpox or polio). The reason the common respiratory viruses have such rapid genetic drift compared to these other viruses has much less to do with how many errors are produced during the copying process and much more to do with how many of those "imperfect" copies are actually able to survive and produce more copies.  A simple virus with an uncomplicated attack strategy for taking over host cells can tolerate a lot more mutations than a complex virus with a complicated attack strategy. Complexity and specialization put limits on how many of those imperfect copies have a chance at becoming successful mutations. Simple machinery doesn't break down as easily if there is an imperfection in the mechanical parts. Complicated high-tech machinery will simply not work if there are even minor flaws in precision parts. For example, before a virus can hijack the DNA of a host cell to begin making copies of itself, the virus needs to unlock the cell wall to gain entry. Cellular walls are made of proteins and are coated by sugars; viruses need to find a way to create a doorway through that protein wall. A virus like influenza uses a very simple strategy to get inside ― it locks onto one of the sugars on the outside of the cell wall in order to piggyback a ride as the sugar is absorbed into the cell (cells use sugar as their energy source). It's such a simple strategy that it allows the influenza virus to go through lots of mutations without losing its ability to gain entry to the cell. Influenza's simplicity makes it very adaptable and allows many different types of mutations to thrive as long as they all use the same piggyback entry strategy to get inside host cells. By contrast, something like the measles virus uses a highly specialized and very complicated strategy to gain entry to a host cell. It relies on very specialized surface proteins to break open a doorway into the host cell. It's a very rigid and complex system that doesn't leave a lot of room for errors in the copying process. Even minor mutations to the measles virus will cause changes to its surface proteins, leaving it unable to gain access to a host cell to make more copies of itself. Thus, even if there are lots of mutations, those mutations are almost all evolutionary dead ends, thus preventing genetic drift. That's one of several reasons why both a natural infection and vaccination against measles creates lifetime immunity ― immunity lasts because new variations don't change much over time.  Most RNA respiratory viruses have a high rate of genetic drift because they all rely on relatively simple attack strategies to gain entry to host cells. This allows mutations to stack up quickly without becoming evolutionary dead ends because they avoid the evolutionary trap of complexity.  Coronaviruses use a different strategy than influenza to gain access to host cells. They have proteins on the virus surface (the infamous S-spike protein, the same one that is mimicked by the vaccine injection), which latches onto a receptor on the cell surface (the ACE2 receptor) ― a kind of key to unlock the door. This attack strategy is a little bit more complicated than the system used by influenza, which is probably why genetic drift in coronaviruses is slightly slower than in influenza, but it is still a much much simpler and much less specialized system than the one used by measles. Coronaviruses, like other respiratory viruses, are therefore constantly producing a never-ending conveyor belt of "variants" that make long-lasting herd immunity impossible. Variants are normal. The alarm raised by our public health authorities about "variants" and the feigned compassion of pharmaceutical companies as they rush to develop fresh boosters capable of fighting variants is a charade, much like expressing surprise about the sun rising in the East. Once you got immunity to smallpox, measles, or polio, you had full protection for a few decades and were protected against severe illness or death for the rest of your life. But for fast-mutating respiratory viruses, including coronaviruses, within a few months they are sufficiently different that your previously acquired immunity will only ever offer partial protection against your next exposure. The fast rate of mutation ensures that you never catch the exact same cold or flu twice, just their closely related constantly evolving cousins. What keeps you from feeling the full brunt of each new infection is cross-reactive immunity, which is another part of the story of how you are being conned, which I will come back to shortly.  Blind Faith in Central Planning: The Fantasy of Timely Doses But let's pretend for a moment that a miraculous vaccine could be developed that could give us all 100% sterilizing immunity today. The length of time it takes to manufacture and ship 8 billion doses (and then make vaccination appointments for 8 billion people) ensures that by the time the last person gets their last dose, the never-ending conveyor belt of mutations will have already rendered the vaccine partially ineffective. True sterilizing immunity simply won't ever happen with coronaviruses. The logistics of rolling out vaccines to 8 billion people meant that none of our vaccine makers or public health authorities ever could have genuinely believed that vaccines would create lasting herd immunity against COVID. So, for a multitude of reasons, it was a deliberate lie to give the public the impression that if enough people take the vaccine, it would create lasting herd immunity. It was 100% certain, from day one, that by the time the last dose is administered, the rapid evolution of the virus would ensure that it would already be time to start thinking about booster shots. Exactly like the flu shot. Exactly the opposite of a measles vaccine. Vaccines against respiratory viruses can never provide anything more than a temporary cross-reactive immunity "update" ― they are merely a synthetic replacement for your annual natural exposure to the smorgasbord of cold and flu viruses. Immunity as a service, imposed on society by trickery. The only question was always, how long between booster shots? Weeks, months, years?  Feeling conned yet? Spiked: The Fantasy of Preventing Infection The current crop of COVID vaccines was never designed to provide sterilizing immunity - that's not how they work. They are merely a tool designed to teach the immune system to attack the S-spike protein, thereby priming the immune system to reduce the severity of infection in preparation for your inevitable future encounter with the real virus. They were never capable of preventing infection, nor of preventing spread. They were merely designed to reduce your chance of being hospitalized or dying if you are infected. As former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who is on Pfizer’s board, said: "the original premise behind these vaccines were [sic] that they would substantially reduce the risk of death and severe disease and hospitalization. And that was the data that came out of the initial clinical trials.” Every first-year medical student knows that you cannot get herd immunity from a vaccine that does not stop infection.  In other words, by their design, these vaccines can neither stop you from catching an infection nor stop you from transmitting the infection to someone else. They were never capable of creating herd immunity. They were designed to protect individuals against severe outcomes if they choose to take them - a tool to provide temporary focused protection for the vulnerable, just like the flu vaccine. Pushing for mass vaccination was a con from day one. And the idea of using vaccine passports to separate the vaccinated from the unvaccinated was also a con from day one. The only impact these vaccine passports have on the pandemic is as a coercive tool to get you to roll up your sleeve. Nothing more. Antibodies, B-Cells, and T-Cells: Why Immunity to Respiratory Viruses Fades So Quickly There are multiple interconnected parts to why immunity to COVID, or any other respiratory virus, is always only temporary. Not only is the virus constantly mutating but immunity itself fades over time, not unlike the way our brains start forgetting how to do complicated math problems unless they keep practicing. This is true for both immunity acquired through natural infection and immunity acquired through vaccination. Our immune systems have a kind of immunological memory ― basically, how long does your immune system remember how to launch an attack against a specific kind of threat. That memory fades over time. For some vaccines, like diphtheria and tetanus, that immunological memory fades very slowly. The measles vaccine protects for life. But for others, like the flu vaccine, that immunological memory fades very quickly. On average, the flu vaccine is only about 40% effective to begin with. And it begins to fade almost immediately after vaccination. By about 150 days (5 months), it reaches zero. Fading immunity after flu shot (Science, April 18th, 2019) The solution to this strange phenomenon lies in the different types of immune system responses that are triggered by a vaccine (or by exposure to the real thing through a natural infection). This has big implications for coronavirus vaccines, but I'll get to that in a moment. First a little background information... A good analogy is to think of our immune system like a medieval army. The first layer of protection began with generalists - guys armed with clubs that would take a swing at everything - they were good for keeping robbers and brigands at bay and for conducting small skirmishes. But if the attack was bigger, then these generalists were quickly overwhelmed, serving as arrow fodder to blunt the attack on the more specialized troops coming up behind them. Spearmen, swordsmen, archers, cavalry, catapult operators, siege tower engineers, and so on. Each additional layer of defense has a more expensive kit and takes ever greater amounts of time to train (an English longbowman took years to build up the necessary skill and strength to become effective). The more specialized a troop is, the more you want to hold them back from the fight unless it's absolutely necessary because they are expensive to train, expensive to deploy, and make a bigger mess when they fight that needs to be cleaned up afterwards. Always keep your powder dry. Send in the arrow fodder first and slowly ramp up your efforts from there. Our immune system relies on a similar kind of layered system of defense. In addition to various non-specific rapid response layers that take out the brigands, like natural killer cells, macrophages, mast cells, and so on, we also have many adaptive (specialized) layers of antibodies (i.e. IgA, IgG, IgM immunoglobulin) and various types of highly specialized white blood cells, like B-cells and T-cells. Some antibodies are released by regular B-cells. Others are released by blood plasma. Then there are memory B-cells, which are capable of remembering previous threats and creating new antibodies long after the original antibodies fade away. And there are various types of T-cells (again with various degrees of immunological memory), like natural killer T-cells, killer T-cells, and helper T-cells, all of which play various roles in detecting and neutralizing invaders. In short, the greater the threat, the more troops are called into the fight. This is clearly a gross oversimplification of all the different interconnected parts of our immune system, but the point is that a mild infection doesn't trigger as many layers whereas a severe infection enlists the help of deeper layers, which are slower to respond but are much more specialized in their attack capabilities. And if those deeper adaptive layers get involved, they are capable of retaining a memory of the threat in order to be able to mount a quicker attack if a repeat attack is recognized in the future. That's why someone who was infected by the dangerous Spanish Flu in 1918 might still have measurable T-cell immunity a century later but the mild bout of winter flu you had a couple of years ago might not have triggered T-cell immunity, even though both may have been caused by versions of the same H1N1 influenza virus. As a rule of thumb, the broader the immune response, the longer immunological memory will last. Antibodies fade in a matter of months, whereas B-cell and T-cell immunity can last a lifetime. Another rule of thumb is that a higher viral load puts more strain on your immune defenses, thus overwhelming the rapid response layers and forcing the immune system to enlist the deeper adaptive layers. That's why nursing homes and hospitals are more dangerous places for vulnerable people than backyard barbeques. That's why feedlot cattle are more vulnerable to viral diseases than cattle on pasture. Viral load matters a lot to how easily the generalist layers are overwhelmed and how much effort your immune system has to make to neutralize a threat. Where the infection happens in the body also matters. For example, an infection in the upper respiratory tract triggers much less involvement from your adaptive immune system than when it reaches your lungs. Part of this is because your upper respiratory tract is already heavily preloaded with large numbers of generalist immunological cells that are designed to attack germs as they enter, which is why most colds and flus never make it deeper into the lungs. The guys with the clubs are capable of handling most of the threats that try to make through the gate. Most of the specialized troops hold back unless they are needed. Catching a dangerous disease like measles produces lifetime immunity because an infection triggers all the deep layers that will retain a memory of how to fight off future encounters with the virus. So does the measles vaccine. Catching a cold or mild flu generally does not.  From an evolutionary point of view, this actually makes a lot of sense. Why waste valuable resources developing long-lasting immunity (i.e. training archers and building catapults) to defend against a virus that did not put you in mortal danger. A far better evolutionary strategy is to evolve a narrower generalist immune response to mild infections (i.e. most cold and flu viruses), which fades quickly once the threat is conquered, but invest in deep long-term broad-based immunity to dangerous infections, which lasts a very long time in case that threat is ever spotted on the horizon again. Considering the huge number of threats our immune systems face, this strategy avoids the trap of spreading immunological memory too thin. Our immunological memory resources are not limitless - long-term survival requires prioritizing our immunological resources. The take-home lesson is that vaccines will, at best, only last as long as immunity acquired through natural infection and will often fade much faster because the vaccine is often only able to trigger a partial immune response compared to the actual infection. So, if the disease itself doesn't produce a broad-based immune response leading to long-lasting immunity, neither will the vaccine. And in most cases, immunity acquired through vaccination will begin to fade much sooner than immunity acquired through a natural infection. Every vaccine maker and public health official knows this despite bizarrely claiming that the COVID vaccines (based on re-creating the S-protein spike instead of using a whole virus) would somehow become the exception to the rule. That was a lie, and they knew it from day one. That should set your alarm bells ringing at full throttle. So, with this little bit of background knowledge under our belts, let's look at what our public health officials and vaccine makers would have known in advance about coronaviruses and coronavirus vaccines when they told us back in the early Spring of 2020 that COVID vaccines were the path back to normality. From a 2003 study [my emphasis]: "Until SARS appeared, human coronaviruses were known as the cause of 15–30% of colds... Colds are generally mild, self-limited infections, and significant increases in neutralizing antibody titer are found in nasal secretions and serum after infection. Nevertheless, some unlucky individuals can be reinfected with the same coronavirus soon after recovery and get symptoms again." In other words, the coronaviruses involved in colds (there were four human coronaviruses before SARS, MERS, and COVID) all trigger such a weak immune response that they do not lead to any long-lasting immunity whatsoever. And why would they if, for most of us, the threat is so minimal that the generalists are perfectly capable of neutralizing the attack. We also know that immunity against coronaviruses is not durable in other animals either. As any farmer knows well, cycles of reinfection with coronaviruses are the rule rather than the exception among their livestock (for example, coronaviruses are a common cause of pneumonia and various types of diarrheal diseases like scours, shipping fever, and winter dysentery in cattle). Annual farm vaccination schedules are therefore designed accordingly. The lack of long-term immunity to coronaviruses is well documented in veterinary research among cattle, poultry, deer, water buffalo, etc. Furthermore, although animal coronavirus vaccines have been on the market for many years, it is well known that "none are completely efficacious in animals". So, like the fading flu vaccine profile I showed you earlier, none of the animal coronavirus vaccines are capable of providing sterilizing immunity (none were capable of stopping 100% of infections, without which you can never achieve herd immunity) and the partial immunity they offered is well known to fade rather quickly. What about immunity to COVID's close cousin, the deadly SARS coronavirus, which had an 11% case fatality rate during the 2003 outbreak? From a 2007 study: "SARS-specific antibodies were maintained for an average of 2 years... SARS patients might be susceptible to reinfection >3 years after initial exposure."  (Bear in mind that, as with all diseases, re-infection does not mean you are necessarily going to get full-blown SARS; fading immunity after a natural infection tends to offer at least some level of partial protection against severe outcomes for a considerable amount of time after you can already be reinfected and spread it to others - more on that later.) And what about MERS, the deadliest coronavirus to date, which made the jump from camels in 2012 and had a fatality rate of around 35%? It triggered the broadest immune response (due to its severity) and also appears to trigger the longest lasting immunity as a result (> 6yrs) Thus, to pretend that there was any chance that herd immunity to COVID would be anything but short-lived was dishonest at best. For most people, immunity was always going to fade quickly. Just like what happens after most other respiratory virus infections. By February 2020, the epidemiological data showed clearly that for most people COVID was a mild coronavirus (nowhere near as severe than SARS or MERS), so it was virtually a certainty that even the immunity from a natural infection would fade within months, not years. It was also a certainty that vaccination was therefore, at best, only ever going to provide partial protection and that this protection would be temporary, lasting on the order of months. This is a case of false and misleading advertising if there ever was one. If I can allow my farming roots to shine through for a moment, I'd like to explain the implications of what was known about animal coronaviruses vaccines. Baby calves are often vaccinated against bovine coronaviral diarrhea shortly after birth if they are born in the spring mud and slush season, but not if they are born in midsummer on lush pastures where the risk of infection is lower. Likewise, bovine coronavirus vaccines are used to protect cattle before they face stressful conditions during shipping, in a feedlot, or in winter feed pens. Animal coronavirus vaccines are thus used as tools to provide a temporary boost in immunity, in very specific conditions, and only for very specific vulnerable categories of animals. After everything I've laid out so far in this text, the targeted use of bovine coronavirus vaccines should surprise no-one. Pretending that our human coronavirus vaccines would be different was nonsense.  The only rational reason why the WHO and public health officials would withhold all that contextual information from the public as they rolled out lockdowns and held forth vaccines as an exit strategy was to whip the public into irrational fear in order to be able to make a dishonest case for mass vaccination when they should have, at most, been focused on providing focused vaccination of the most vulnerable only. That deception was the Trojan Horse to introduce endless mass booster shots as immunity inevitably fades and as new variants replace old ones.  Now, as all the inevitable limitations and problems with these vaccines become apparent (i.e. fading of vaccine-induced immunity, vaccines proving to only be partially effective, the rise of new variants, and the vaccinated population demonstrably catching and spreading the virus ― a.k.a. the leaky vaccine phenomenon), the surprise that our health authorities are showing simply isn't credible. As I have shown you, all this was 100% to be expected. They intentionally weaponized fear and false expectations to unleash a fraudulent bait-and-switch racket of global proportions. Immunity on demand, forever. Manufacturing Dangerous Variants: Virus Mutations Under Lockdown Conditions — Lessons from the 1918 Spanish Flu At this point you may be wondering, if there is no lasting immunity from infection or vaccination, then are public health officials right to roll out booster shots to protect us from severe outcomes even if their dishonest methods to get us to accept them were unethical? Do we need a lifetime regimen of booster shots to keep us safe from a beast to which we cannot develop durable long-term immunity? The short answer is no.  Contrary to what you might think, the rapid evolution of RNA respiratory viruses actually has several important benefits for us as their involuntary hosts, which protects us without the benefit of broad lifelong immunity. One of those benefits has to do with the natural evolution of the virus towards less dangerous variants. The other is the cross-reactive immunity that comes from frequent re-exposure to closely related "cousins". I'm going to peel apart both of these topics in order to show you the remarkable system that nature designed to keep us safe... and to show you how the policies being forced on us by our public health authorities are knowingly interfering with this system. They are creating a dangerous situation that increases our risk to other respiratory viruses (not just to COVID) and may even push the COVID virus to evolve to become more dangerous to both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated. There are growing signs that this nightmare scenario has already begun.  “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."  - President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Let's start with the evolutionary pressures that normally drive viruses towards becoming less dangerous over time. A virus depends on its host to spread it. A lively host is more useful than a bedridden or dead one because a lively host can spread the virus further and will still be around to catch future mutations. Viruses risk becoming evolutionary dead ends if they kill or immobilize their hosts. Plagues came, killed, and then were starved out of existence because their surviving hosts had all acquired herd immunity. Colds come and go every year because their hosts are lively, easily spread the viruses around, and never acquire long-lasting immunity so that last year's hosts can also serve as next year's hosts ― only those who have weak immune systems have much to worry about. In other words, under normal conditions, mutations that are more contagious but less deadly have a survival advantage over less contagious and more deadly variations. From the virus' point of view, the evolutionary golden mean is reached when it can easily infect as many hosts as possible without reducing their mobility and without triggering long-term immunity in most of their hosts. That's the ticket to setting up a sustainable cycle of reinfection, forever. Viruses with slow genetic drift and highly specialized reproductive strategies, like polio or measles, can take centuries or longer to become less deadly and more contagious; some may never reach the relatively harmless status of a cold or mild flu virus (by harmless I mean harmless to the majority of the population despite being extremely dangerous to those with weak or compromised immune systems). But for viruses with fast genetic drift, like respiratory viruses, even a few months can make a dramatic difference. Rapid genetic drift is one of the reasons why the Spanish Flu stopped being a monster disease, but polio and measles haven't. And anyone with training in virology or immunology understands this!  We often speak of evolutionary pressure as though it forces an organism to adapt. In reality, a simple organism like a virus is utterly blind to its environment — all it does is blindly produce genetic copies of itself. "Evolutionary pressure" is actually just a fancy way of saying that environmental conditions will determine which of those millions of copies survives long enough to produce even more copies of itself.  A human adapts to its environment by altering its behaviour (that's one type of adaptation). But the behaviour of a single viral particle never changes. A virus "adapts" over time because some genetic copies with one set of mutations survive and spread faster than other copies with a different set of mutations. Adaptation in viruses has to be seen exclusively through the lens of changes from one generation of virus to the next based on which mutations have a competitive edge over others. And that competitive edge will vary depending on the kinds of environmental conditions a virus encounters. So, fear mongering about the Delta variant being even more contagious leaves out the fact that this is exactly what you would expect as a respiratory virus adapts to its new host species. We would expect new variants to be more contagious but less deadly as the virus fades to become just like the other 200+ respiratory viruses that cause common colds and flus.  That's also why the decision to lock down the healthy population is so sinister. Lockdowns, border closures, and social distancing rules reduced spread among the healthy population, thus creating a situation where mutations produced among the healthy would become sufficiently rare that they might be outnumbered by mutations circulating among the bedridden. Mutations circulating among the healthy are, by definition, going to be the least dangerous mutations since they did not make their hosts s.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 25th, 2021

FT & McKinsey Announce Shortlist For 2021 Business Book Of The Year Award

The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company today publishes the shortlist for the 2021 Business Book of the Year Award. Now in its seventeenth year, the Award is an essential calendar fixture for authors, publishers and the global business community. Each year it recognizes a work which provides the ‘most compelling and enjoyable insight into […] The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company today publishes the shortlist for the 2021 Business Book of the Year Award. Now in its seventeenth year, the Award is an essential calendar fixture for authors, publishers and the global business community. Each year it recognizes a work which provides the ‘most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues’. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more This year’s shortlisted books, selected by the nine distinguished judges (see below) are: The World for Sale: Money, Power and the Traders Who Barter the Earth's Resources, by Javier Blas & Jack Farchy, Random House Business, Cornerstone (UK), Oxford University Press (US) Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty, by Patrick Radden Keefe, Picador/Pan Macmillan (UK), Doubleday (US) The Conversation: How Talking Honestly About Racism Can Transform Individuals and Organizations by Robert Livingston, Penguin Business (UK), Currency/Crown (US) The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet, by Michael E. Mann, Scribe (UK), PublicAffairs (US) This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race, by Nicole Perlroth, Bloomsbury Publishing (UK), Bloomsbury (US) The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World, by Adrian Wooldridge, Allen Lane (UK), Skyhorse (US) Roula Khalaf, Editor of the Financial Times, said: “We had a fabulous longlist of compelling, deeply researched books to choose from this year. Many thanks to the judges for taking the time to read them and engaging in the debate that produced this excellent shortlist. It tackles many of the pressing issues facing business today, including climate change, cybersecurity, and racial discrimination.” Virginia Simmons, Managing Partner - UK, Ireland & Israel, McKinsey & Company, said: “While the continuing impact of the pandemic is reflected in the books that made the list, the breadth and richness of topics here underscores the forward-looking value of this annual book award.  These authors provide compelling and engaging insights into modern business, climate change conversations and our sustainable and inclusive future, setting up a compelling shortlist for the jury to then select a winner, by year-end.” The judging panel, chaired by Roula Khalaf, comprises: Mimi Alemayehou, Senior Vice President, Public–Private Partnerships, Humanitarian & Development Group, Mastercard Mitchell Baker, Chief Executive Officer, Mozilla Corporation, Chairwoman, Mozilla Foundation Mohamed El-Erian, President, Queens’ College, Cambridge University, Advisor to Allianz and Gramercy Herminia Ibarra, Charles Handy Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School James Kondo, Chairman, International House of Japan Randall Kroszner, Norman R. Bobins Professor of Economics & Deputy Dean for Executive Programs, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago Raju Narisetti, Publisher, Global Publishing, McKinsey & Company Shriti Vadera, Chair, Prudential plc The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company winner of the 2021 Business Book of the Year Award will be announced on 1 December at an event co-hosted by Roula Khalaf, Editor of the Financial Times, and Magnus Tyreman, Managing Partner Europe, McKinsey & Company. The winner will receive £30,000 and the author(s) of each of the remaining shortlisted books will be awarded £10,000. The guest speaker will be Alison Rose, Chief Executive Officer, NatWest Group. Previous Business Book of the Year winners include: Sarah Frier for No Filter: The Inside Story of How Instagram Transformed Business, Celebrity and Our Culture (2020); Caroline Criado Perez for Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men (2019); John Carreyrou for Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup (2018); Amy Goldstein for Janesville: An American Story (2017); Sebastian Mallaby for The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan (2016); Martin Ford for Rise of the Robots (2015); Thomas Piketty for Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2014); Brad Stone for The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (2013); Steve Coll for Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power (2012); Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo for Poor Economics (2011); Raghuram Rajan for Fault Lines (2010); Liaquat Ahamed for The Lords of Finance (2009); Mohamed El-Erian for When Markets Collide (2008); William D. Cohan for The Last Tycoons (2007); James Kynge for China Shakes the World (2006); and Thomas Friedman, as the inaugural award winner in 2005, for The World is Flat. To learn more about the award, visit ft.com/bookaward and follow the conversation at #BBYA21. The Shortlist For The Financial Times And McKinsey 2021 Business Book Of The Year Award The World for Sale The World for Sale: Money, Power and the Traders Who Barter the Earth's Resources, by Javier Blas & Jack Farchy, Random House Business, Cornerstone (UK), Oxford University Press (US) In The World for Sale, two leading journalists lift the lid on one of the least scrutinised corners of the economy: the workings of the billionaire commodity traders who buy, hoard and sell the earth's resources. It is the story of how a handful of swashbuckling businessmen became indispensable cogs in global markets; enabling an enormous expansion in international trade, and connecting resource-rich countries – no matter how corrupt or war-torn - with the world's financial centres. And it is the story of how some traders acquired untold political power, right under the noses of Western regulators and politicians – helping Saddam Hussein to sell his oil, fuelling the Libyan rebel army during the Arab Spring, and funnelling cash to Vladimir Putin's Kremlin in spite of strict sanctions. The result is an eye-opening tour through the wildest frontiers of the global economy, as well as a revelatory guide to how capitalism really works. Empire Of Pain Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty, by Patrick Radden Keefe, Picador/Pan Macmillan (UK), Doubleday (US) The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions – Harvard; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Oxford; the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations in the arts and the sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing Oxycontin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis – an international epidemic of drug addiction which has killed nearly half a million people. In this masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, Patrick Radden Keefe exhaustively documents the jaw-dropping and ferociously compelling reality. Empire of Pain is the story of a dynasty: a parable of 21st century greed. The Conversation The Conversation: How Talking Honestly About Racism Can Transform Individuals and Organizations by Robert Livingston, Penguin Business (UK), Currency/Crown (US) How can I become part of the solution? In the wake of the social unrest of 2020 and growing calls for racial justice, many business leaders and ordinary citizens are asking that very question. This book provides a compass for all those seeking to begin the work of anti-racism. In The Conversation, Robert Livingston addresses three simple but profound questions: What is racism? Why should everyone be more concerned about it? What can we do to eradicate it? For some, the existence of systemic racism against Black people is hard to accept because it violates the notion that the world is fair and just. But the rigid racial hierarchy created by slavery did not collapse after it was abolished, nor did it end with the civil rights era. Whether it’s the composition of a company’s leadership team or the composition of one’s neighborhood, these racial divides and disparities continue to show up in every facet of society. For Livingston, the difference between a solvable problem and a solved problem is knowledge, investment, and determination. And the goal of making organizations more diverse, equitable, and inclusive is within our capability. Livingston’s lifework is showing people how to turn difficult conversations about race into productive instances of real change. For decades he has translated science into practice for numerous organizations, including Airbnb, Deloitte, Microsoft, Under Armour, L’Oreal, and JPMorgan Chase. In The Conversation, Livingston distills this knowledge and experience into an eye-opening immersion in the science of racism and bias. Drawing on examples from pop culture and his own life experience, Livingston, with clarity and wit, explores the root causes of racism, the factors that explain why some people care about it and others do not, and the most promising paths toward profound and sustainable progress, all while inviting readers to challenge their assumptions. Social change requires social exchange. Founded on principles of psychology, sociology, management, and behavioral economics, The Conversation is a road map for uprooting entrenched biases and sharing candid, fact-based perspectives on race that will lead to increased awareness, empathy, and action. The New Climate War The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet, by Michael E. Mann, Scribe (UK), PublicAffairs (US) A renowned climate scientist shows how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change, and offers a battle plan for how we can save the planet. Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the ways that we've been told can slow climate change. But the inordinate emphasis on individual behavior is the result of a marketing campaign that has succeeded in placing the responsibility for fixing climate change squarely on the shoulders of individuals. Fossil fuel companies have followed the example of other industries deflecting blame (think "guns don't kill people, people kill people") or greenwashing (think of the beverage industry's "Crying Indian" commercials of the 1970s). Meanwhile, they've blocked efforts to regulate or price carbon emissions, run PR campaigns aimed at discrediting viable alternatives, and have abdicated their responsibility in fixing the problem they've created. The result has been disastrous for our planet. In The New Climate War, Mann argues that all is not lost. He draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters-fossil fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petrostates. And he outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change, including: A common-sense, attainable approach to carbon pricing- and a revision of the well-intentioned but flawed currently proposed version of the Green New Deal Allowing renewable energy to compete fairly against fossil fuels Debunking the false narratives and arguments that have worked their way into the climate debate and driven a wedge between even those who support climate change solutions Combatting climate doomism and despair-mongering With immensely powerful vested interests aligned in defense of the fossil fuel status quo, the societal tipping point won't happen without the active participation of citizens everywhere aiding in the collective push forward. This book will reach, inform, and enable citizens everywhere to join this battle for our planet. This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race, by Nicole Perlroth, Bloomsbury Publishing (UK), Bloomsbury (US) Zero-day: a software bug that allows a hacker to break into your devices and move around undetected. One of the most coveted tools in a spy's arsenal, a zero-day has the power to silently spy on your iPhone, dismantle the safety controls at a chemical plant, alter an election, and shut down the electric grid (just ask Ukraine). For decades, under cover of classification levels and nondisclosure agreements, the United States government became the world's dominant hoarder of zero-days. U.S. government agents paid top dollar-first thousands, and later millions of dollars-to hackers willing to sell their lock-picking code and their silence. Then the United States lost control of its hoard and the market. Now those zero-days are in the hands of hostile nations and mercenaries who do not care if your vote goes missing, your clean water is contaminated, or our nuclear plants melt down. Filled with spies, hackers, arms dealers, and a few unsung heroes, written like a thriller and a reference, This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends is an astonishing feat of journalism. Based on years of reporting and hundreds of interviews, New York Times reporter Nicole Perlroth lifts the curtain on a market in shadow, revealing the urgent threat faced by us all if we cannot bring the global cyberarms race to heel. The Aristocracy Of Talent The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World, by Adrian Wooldridge, Allen Lane (UK), Skyhorse (US) Meritocracy: the idea that people should be advanced according to their talents rather than their status at birth. For much of history this was a revolutionary thought, but by the end of the twentieth century it had become the world's ruling ideology. How did this happen, and why is meritocracy now under attack from both right and left? Adrian Wooldridge traces the history of meritocracy forged by the politicians and officials who introduced the revolutionary principle of open competition, the psychologists who devised methods for measuring natural mental abilities and the educationalists who built ladders of educational opportunity. He looks outside western cultures and shows what transformative effects it has had everywhere it has been adopted, especially once women were brought into the meritocractic system. Wooldridge also shows how meritocracy has now become corrupted and argues that the recent stalling of social mobility is the result of failure to complete the meritocratic revolution. Rather than abandoning meritocracy, he says, we should call for its renewal. About the Financial Times The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of more than one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community. www.ft.com About McKinsey & Company McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm committed to helping organisations create Change that Matters. In more than 130 cities and 65 countries, our teams help clients across the private, public and social sectors shape bold strategies and transform the way they work, embed technology where it unlocks value, and build capabilities to sustain the change. Not just any change, but Change that Matters – for their organisations, their people, and in turn society at large. www.mckinsey.com/thenextnormal Updated on Sep 24, 2021, 3:13 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 24th, 2021

A CIA station chief was recalled after claims he wasn"t taking victims of the mysterious "Havana Syndrome" seriously

The first case of the illness was reported by US officials stationed in Cuba in 2016. More than 130 cases have emerged worldwide since. The logo of the CIA. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images The CIA recalled a top agent accused of doubting "Havana Syndrome," cases, per The Washington Post. The agent headed the CIA station in Vienna, which has reported several cases, The Post said. US intelligence agencies are working to identify the cause of the mysterious illness. See more stories on Insider's business page. The head of the CIA's station in Vienna, Austria, has been recalled over claims he doubted victims of the mysterious "Havana Syndrome," The Washington Post reported.The man, who has not been named, was said to be skeptical about the illness and insensitive to those who said they had experienced it, The Post said.The first case of what is now known as "Havana Syndrome" was reported by US officials stationed in Havana, Cuba, in 2016. Since then, more than 130 cases have emerged. More cases of the "Havana Syndrome" - which CIA officially calls "anomalous health incidents" - have been reported in Vienna than anywhere else bar Cuba.Symptoms include headaches, vertigo, hearing loss, and the appearance of buzzing or clicking sounds. Theories on the cause of the illness range from microwaves and ultrasound to parasites. Dozens of US diplomats, officials, and their families have been affected in the Austrian capital. Some children of US employees have also been affected there, The Post reported.In August, several offices at the US mission in Vienna shut down as a result of the illness, The Post said.The removal of the Vienna station chief shows the CIA is taking "Havana Syndrome" cases seriously.Earlier this month, the Department of Defense sent a memo to 2.9 million military service members and civilians asking them to report any symptoms that line up with the illness.On a trip to India this month, a person traveling with CIA Director Bill Burns experienced symptoms of the illness, CNN reported.Employees of the CIA told the network that the episode was perceived internally as a direct threat to Burns, and that Burns was furious when he found out.The Vienna recall follows the departure this month of Ambassador Pamela Spratlen, the top US official overseeing the State Department's response to the illness, after three months on the job.The department said Spratlen left because she had "reached the threshold of hours of labor" as a retiree. But NBC News reported that she left following criticism of her decision not to say if she believed an FBI study that said the "Havana Syndrome" could be a mental affectation.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 24th, 2021

Biden Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Tied To Alleged 2016 Clinton Scheme To Co-Opt CIA/FBI To Tar Trump

Biden Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Tied To Alleged 2016 Clinton Scheme To Co-Opt CIA/FBI To Tar Trump Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClearInvestigations.com, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan figures prominently in a grand jury investigation run by Special Counsel John Durham into an alleged 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign scheme to use both the FBI and CIA to tar Donald Trump as a colluder with Russia, according to people familiar with the criminal probe, which they say has broadened into a conspiracy case. Biden National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan as Clinton campaign adviser for the 2016 election. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File Sullivan is facing scrutiny, sources say, over potentially false statements he made about his involvement in the effort, which continued after the election and into 2017. As a senior foreign policy adviser to Clinton, Sullivan spearheaded what was known inside her campaign as a “confidential project” to link Trump to the Kremlin through dubious email-server records provided to the agencies, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Last week, Michael A. Sussmann, a partner in Perkins Coie, a law firm representing the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of making false statements to the FBI about his clients and their motives behind planting the rumor, at the highest levels of the FBI, of a secret Trump-Russia server. After a months-long investigation, the FBI found no merit to the rumor. The grand jury indicated in its lengthy indictment that several people were involved in the alleged conspiracy to mislead the FBI and trigger an investigation of the Republican presidential candidate -- including Sullivan, who was described by his campaign position but not identified by name. The Clinton campaign project, these sources say, also involved compiling a "digital dossier” on several Trump campaign officials – including Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Carter Page. This effort exploited highly sensitive, nonpublic Internet data related to their personal email communications and web-browsing, known as Internet Protocol, or IP, addresses. Alleged targets: Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page. YouTube/CNN/FNC/RCP To mine the data, the Clinton campaign enlisted a team of Beltway computer contractors as well as university researchers with security clearance who often collaborate with the FBI and the intelligence community. They worked from a five-page campaign document called the "Trump Associates List." The tech group also pulled logs purportedly from servers for a Russian bank and Trump Tower, and the campaign provided the data to the FBI on two thumb drives, along with three “white papers” that claimed the data indicated the Trump campaign was secretly communicating with Moscow through a server in Trump Tower and the Alfa Bank in Russia. Based on the material, the FBI opened at least one investigation, adding to several others it had already initiated targeting the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016. Michael Sussmann: Indicted former Clinton campaign lawyer allegedly coordinated with Jake Sullivan on dubious materials provided to the FBI and media. perkinscoie.com The indictment states that Sussmann, as well as the cyber experts recruited for the operation, "coordinated with representatives and agents of the Clinton campaign with regard to the data and written materials that Sussmann gave to the FBI and the media." One of those campaign agents was Sullivan, according to emails Durham obtained. On Sept. 15, 2016 – just four days before Sussmann handed off the materials to the FBI – Marc Elias, his law partner and fellow Democratic Party operative, "exchanged emails with the Clinton campaign’s foreign policy adviser concerning the Russian bank allegations," as well as with other top campaign officials, the indictment states. The sources close to the case confirmed the "foreign policy adviser" referenced by title is Sullivan. They say he was briefed on the development of the opposition-research materials tying Trump to Alfa Bank, and was aware of the participants in the project. These included the Washington opposition-research group Fusion GPS, which worked for the Clinton campaign as a paid agent and helped gather dirt on Alfa Bank and draft the materials Elias discussed with Sullivan, the materials Sussmann would later submit to the FBI. Fusion researchers were in regular contact with both Sussmann and Elias about the project in the summer and fall of 2016. Sullivan also personally met with Elias, who briefed him on Fusion's opposition research, according to the sources. Sullivan maintained in congressional testimony in December 2017 that he didn’t know of Fusion’s involvement in the Alfa Bank opposition research. In the same closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, he also denied knowing anything about Fusion in 2016 or who was conducting the opposition research for the campaign. "Marc [Elias] ... would occasionally give us updates on the opposition research they were conducting, but I didn't know what the nature of that effort was – inside effort, outside effort, who was funding it, who was doing it, anything like that," Sullivan stated under oath. Jake Sullivan's December 2017 House testimony may put him in perjury jeopardy.  House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Sullivan also testified he didn’t know that Perkins Coie, the law firm where Elias and Sussmann were partners, was working for the Clinton campaign until October 2017, when it was reported in the media as part of stories revealing the campaign's contract with Fusion, which also produced the so-called Steele dossier. Sullivan maintained he didn’t even know that the politically prominent Elias worked for Perkins Coie, a well-known Democratic law firm. Major media stories from 2016 routinely identified Elias as "general counsel for the Clinton campaign" and a "partner at Perkins Coie." "To be honest with you, Marc wears a tremendous number of hats, so I wasn’t sure who he was representing," Sullivan testified. "I sort of thought he was, you know, just talking to us as, you know, a fellow traveler in this — in this campaign effort." Although he acknowledged knowing Elias and his partner were marshaling opposition researchers for a campaign project targeting Trump, Sullivan insisted, "They didn’t do something with it." In truth, they used the research to instigate a full-blown investigation at the FBI and seed a number of stories in the Washington media, which Elias discussed in emails. Marc Elias: Prominent Democrat lawyer allegedly also coordinated with Sullivan. Sullivan would later plead ignorance under oath about Elias's role. Perkins Coie Lying to Congress is a felony. Though the offense is rarely prosecuted, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller won convictions of two of Trump’s associates on charges of that very offense. An attorney for Sullivan did not respond to questions, while a spokeswoman for the National Security Council declined comment. After the 2016 election, Sullivan continued to participate in the anti-Trump effort, which enlisted no fewer than three Internet companies and two university computer researchers, who persisted in exploiting nonpublic Internet data to conjure up “derogatory information on Trump" and his associates, according to the indictment.Prosecutors say the operation ran through at least February 2017, when Sullivan met with another central figure in the plot to plant the anti-Trump smear at the FBI. But now the goal was to compel agents to continue investigating the false rumors in the wake of the election, thereby keeping Trump's presidency under an ethical cloud. Daniel Jones: One of the lead figures in helping resurrect the Trump-Russia collusion narrative after Trump's election, Jones coordinated with Sullivan in hatching the effort. McCain Institute/YouTube On Feb. 10, 2017, Sullivan huddled with two Fusion operatives and their partner Daniel Jones, a former FBI analyst and Democratic staffer on the Hill, to hatch the post-election plan to resurrect rumors Trump was a tool of the Kremlin. As RealClearInvestigations first reported, the meeting, which lasted about an hour and took place in a Washington office building, also included former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The group discussed raising money to finance a multimillion-dollar opposition research project headed by Jones to target the new president. In effect, Jones’ operation would replace the Clinton campaign’s operation, continuing the effort to undermine Trump. It’s not clear if Sussmann attended the Feb. 10 meeting, but he was apparently still involved in the operation, along with his crew of data miners. The day before the meeting attended by Sullivan, Sussmann paid a visit to the CIA’s Langley headquarters to peddle the disinformation about the secret server – this time to top officials there, according to the sources familiar with Durham's investigation. During a roughly 90-minute meeting, Sussmann provided two officials at the intelligence headquarters “updated” documents and data he'd provided the FBI before the election, RealClearInvestigations has learned exclusively. Then, on March 28, 2017, Jones met with the FBI to pass on supposedly fresh leads he and the cyber researchers had learned about the Alfa Bank server and Trump, and the FBI looked into the new leads after having closed its investigation a month earlier. That same month, FBI Director James Comey publicly announced the bureau was investigating possible “coordination" between Moscow and the newly sworn-in president's campaign. Despite the renewed push by Jones, the FBI debunked the tip of a nefarious Russian back channel. Agents learned the email server in question wasn’t even controlled by the Trump Organization. "It wasn’t true," Mueller confirmed in 2019 testimony. It turns out that the supposed “secret server" was housed in the small Pennsylvania town of Lititz, and not  Trump Tower in New York City, and it was operated by a marketing firm based in Florida called Cendyn that routinely blasts out emails promoting multiple hotel chains. Simply put, the third-party server sent spam to Alfa Bank employees who used Trump hotels. The bank had maintained a New York office since 2001. “The FBI’s investigation revealed that the email server at issue was not owned or operated by the Trump Organization but, rather, had been administrated by a mass-marketing email company that sent advertisements for Trump hotels and hundreds of other clients,” Durham wrote in his indictment. Nonetheless, Jones and Sullivan kept promoting the canard as true. Democrat Senators Mark Warner and Ron Wyden: Conduits for TDIP's Trump-Russia material. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik With help from Sullivan and Podesta in 2017, Jones launched a nonprofit group called The Democracy Integrity Project, which raised some $7 million mainly from Silicon Valley tech executives. TDIP hired computer researchers, as well as Fusion opposition researchers and Christopher Steele, the British author of the now-discredited Steele dossier, to “prove” the rumors in the dossier. As they sought new dirt on Trump, they fed their information to media outlets, leading Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee (namely Sens. Mark Warner and Ron Wyden), and the FBI. Jones previously worked on the Senate intelligence panel, which had launched a major investigation of Trump and Russia, and he provided a pipeline of information for the committee, according to the sources. As RCI first reported, Jones emailed a daily news bulletin known as "TDIP Research" to prominent Beltway journalists to keep the Trump-Russia “collusion” rumor-mill going, including the debunked rumor about the "secret server." Durham has subpoenaed Jones to testify before his grand jury hearing the case, along with computer experts and researchers recruited by Sussmann for the Clinton campaign project, persons close to the investigation said. Attempts to reach Jones for comment were unsuccessful. In a statement, Durham said his investigation "is ongoing." Special Counsel John Durham: Lengthy single count "speaking" indictment of Sussmann suggests a broader conspiracy case in the works. AP Indictments for a single-count process crime such as making a false statement normally run a page or two. But Durham’s filing charging Sussmann spans 27 pages and is packed with detail. FBI veterans say the 40-year prosecutor used the indictment to outline a broader conspiracy case he’s building that invokes several other federal statutes. "That is what we call a 'speaking indictment,' meaning it is far more detailed than is required for a simple indictment under [federal statute] 1001,” which outlaws making false statements and representations to federal investigators, former assistant FBI Director Chris Swecker said in an interview with RealClearInvestigations. "It is damning,” he added. “And I see it as a placeholder for additional indictments, such as government grant and contract fraud, computer intrusion, the Privacy Act and other laws against dissemination of personally identifiable information, and mail fraud and wire fraud – not to mention conspiracy to commit those offenses." Chris Swecker: The Sussmann indictment "is damning," and "I definitely see more to come," says the ex-top FBI investigator. Miller & Martin "I definitely see more [indictments] to come,” emphasized Swecker, who knows Durham personally and worked with him on prior investigations. The sources close to the case said former FBI general counsel James Baker, who accepted the sketchy materials from Sussmann and passed them on to agents for investigation, is cooperating with Durham’s investigation, along with former FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap, who has provided prosecutors contemporaneous notes about what led the bureau to open an investigation into the allegations Trump used Alfa Bank as a conduit between his campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin to steal the election. According to the sources, Durham also has found evidence Sussmann misled the CIA, another front in the scandal being reported here for the first time. In December 2016, the sources say Sussmann phoned the general counsel at the agency and told her the same story about the supposed secret server – at the same time the CIA was compiling a national intelligence report that accused Putin of meddling in the election to help Trump win. Sussmann told Caroline Krass, then the agency’s top attorney, that he had information that may help her with a review President Obama had ordered of all intelligence related to the election and Russia, known as the Intelligence Community Assessment. The review ended up including an annex with several unfounded and since-debunked allegations against Trump developed by the Clinton campaign. It’s not clear if the two-page annex, which claimed the allegations were “consistent with the judgments in this assessment,” included the Alfa Bank canard. Before it was made public, several sections had been redacted. But after Sussmann conveyed the information to Krass, an Obama appointee, she told him she would consider it for the intelligence review of Russian interference, which tracks with Sussmann’s 2017 closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. (Krass’ name is blacked out in the declassified transcript, but sources familiar with Sussmann's testimony confirmed that he identified her as his CIA contact.) Caroline Krass: Michael Sussmann also gave  Trump-Russia material to this CIA lawyer. CIA/Wikipedia “We’re interested,” said Krass, who left the agency several months later. "We’re doing this review and I’ll speak to someone here.” It’s not known if Sussmann failed to inform the top CIA lawyer that he was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign, as he’s alleged to have done at the FBI. Attempts to reach Krass, who now serves as Biden’s top lawyer at the Pentagon, were unsuccessful. But in his return trip to the CIA after the election, Sussmann “stated falsely – as he previously had stated to the FBI general counsel – that he was ‘not representing a particular client,’ " according to the Durham indictment, which cites a contemporaneous memo drafted by two agency officials with whom Sussmann met that memorializes their meeting. (The document refers to the CIA by the pseudonym “Agency-2.” Sources confirm Agency-2 is the CIA.) Remarkably, the CIA did not ask for the source of Sussmann’s walk-in tip, including where he got several data files he gave the agency. The FBI exhibited a similar lack of curiosity when Sussmann told it about the false Trump/Alfa Bank connection. Attempts to reach Sussmann to get his side to the additional CIA allegations leveled by Durham were unsuccessful. The 57-year-old attorney pleaded not guilty to a single felony count and was released on a $100,000 bond Friday. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.The prominent Washington lawyer quietly resigned from Perkins Coie, which has scrubbed all references to him from its website. And late last month, as rumors of the indictment swirled, the powerhouse law firm divested its entire Political Law Group formerly headed by Marc Elias – who commissioned the Steele dossier. Elias, who worked closely with Sussmann on the Trump-Alfa Bank project, also is no longer employed by the firm. Jake Sullivan’s Golf Cart Rounds In late July 2016, during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the CIA picked up Russian chatter about a Clinton foreign policy adviser who was trying to develop allegations to “vilify" Trump. The intercepts said Clinton herself had approved a “plan" to “stir up a scandal” against Trump by tying him to Putin. According to hand-written notes, then-CIA chief John Brennan warned President Obama that Moscow had intercepted information about the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016, of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump.” That summer, Brennan had personally briefed Democrats, including then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on the Alfa Bank-Trump server rumors, according to congressional reports. Reid fired off a letter to Comey demanding that the FBI do more to investigate Trump's ties to Russia. During that convention, Sullivan drove a golf cart from one TV-network news tent in the parking lot to another, pitching producers and anchors a story that Trump was conspiring with Putin to steal the election. CNN, ABC News, CBS News, and NBC News, as well as Chris Wallace of Fox News, all gave him airtime to spin the Clinton campaign’s unfounded theories. Sullivan also gave off-camera background briefings to reporters. "We were on a mission," Clinton campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri later admitted in a Washington Post column. “We wanted to raise the alarm." Then, on the eve of the election, Sullivan claimed in a written campaign statement that Trump and the Russians had set up a “secret hotline” through Alfa Bank, and he suggested “federal authorities” were investigating “this direct connection between Trump and Russia.” He portrayed the shocking discovery as the work of independent experts — “computer scientists” — without disclosing their attachment to the campaign. “This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow,” Sullivan claimed. Clinton teed up his statement in an Oct. 31, 2016, tweet, which quickly went viral. Also that day, Clinton tweeted, “It’s time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia,” while attaching a meme that read: “Donald Trump has a secret server. It was set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank called Alfa Bank.” The Clinton campaign played up the bogus Trump-Alfa Bank story on the eve of the 2016 election. Twitter/@HillaryClinton It’s not immediately apparent if then-Vice President Joe Biden was briefed about the Alfa Bank tale or other Trump-Russia rumors and investigations. Biden has never been questioned about his own role in the investigation of Trump. However, it was the former vice president who introduced the idea of prosecuting Trump’s national security adviser appointee, Gen. Flynn, under the Logan Act of 1799, a dead-letter statute that prohibits private citizens from interfering in U.S. foreign policy and which hasn’t been used to prosecute anyone in modern times. According to notes taken by then-FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok, who attended a Jan. 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting with Obama and Biden, in which Trump, Flynn and Russia were discussed, Biden raised the idea: “VP: Logan Act,” the notes read. Although he’s not an attorney, Sullivan has argued in congressional testimony and elsewhere that Flynn violated the Logan Act, raising suspicions he may have put the idea in Biden’s head. Sullivan had advised the vice president before joining the Clinton campaign. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 23rd, 2021

Trump demands Texas Gov. Greg Abbott push for election audits, despite winning the state in 2020

In the state of Texas in 2020, Trump defeated Biden by more than 5 percentage points but still wants the vote count "audited" like in Arizona. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and former President Donald J. Trump attend a security briefing with state officials and law enforcement at the Weslaco Department of Public Safety DPS Headquarters before touring the US-Mexico border wall on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 in Weslaco, TX. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images Trump wants Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to add an audit of the 2020 election to a special session agenda. The former president defeated Biden in the state by 5.6 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. The demand comes just one day before Arizona is set to unveil the results of its sham "audit." See more stories on Insider's business page. President Donald Trump won the state of Texas during the 2020 presidential election, but the former president is now demanding that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott push for an audit of the election."Despite my big win in Texas, I hear Texans want an election audit," the former president said in a statement. "You know your fellow Texans have big questions about the November 2020 Election."-Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) September 23, 2021Abbott recently called a third special legislative session into action in the hopes of redrawing the state's congressional map, restricting transgender students from participating in school sports teams that align with the gender they identify, and adding legislation regarding COVID-19 vaccination mandates.The Texas legislature passed a new voting law during the second special legislative session that restricts the use of drive-through voting, adds additional ID requirements for absentee votes, and adds additional protections for partisan poll watchers among other changes. The second special session did not, however, include any provisions about an audit of the vote count.To remedy this, Trump highlighted a new bill filed by state Rep. Steve Toth, which would allow for a forensic audit of the 2020 election, though only in the 13 most populous counties in the state, 10 of which voted a majority for President Joe Biden.As noted in his release, Trump defeated Biden in the state of Texas by over 5 percentage points - more than 600,000 votes - in the 2020 election. An audit of the state's votes would not change the election's outcome, especially after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was unable to find any concrete proof of election fraud despite offering up a $1 million reward.The call for an investigation into Texas' 2020 presidential election comes just one day before the group behind Arizona's flawed audit releases its findings.The partisan review in Maricopa County, Arizona, commissioned by Republicans in the state Senate, has been marred from the beginning by a lack of transparency and professionalism, with outside experts saying the final product "should not be trusted."The group leading the effort, Cyber Ninjas, is itself led by a conspiracy theorist, Doug Logan, who claimed the 2020 election was "rigged" months before ever counting any ballots. Maricopa County Republicans - who audited the results and certified President Joe Biden's victory last year - have themselves opposed the review, which has been subsidized by some $5.7 million in support from right-wing donors and seen volunteers scan ballots for bamboo fibers in an apparent effort to prove they were made in China.The process, which began in April, has even been described to Insider by the state Senate's "liaison" to the review, former GOP Secretary of State Ken Bennett, as "very odd."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

Tucker Carlson peddled a white supremacist conspiracy theory while attacking Biden over the Haitian migrant crisis

Critics say Carlson, the most-watched host on cable news, is mainstreaming white supremacy by pushing the racist "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory. Fox News host Tucker Carlson Janos Kummer/Getty Images Tucker Carlson pushed the white supremacist "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory on his show Wednesday. Carlson baselessly accused Biden of "eugenics" as he railed against the president on immigration. He falsely suggested the president once said that "non-white DNA" is the source of America's strength. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fox News host Tucker Carlson unabashedly pushed the white supremacist "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory on his show Wednesday night as he baselessly accused President Joe Biden of "eugenics" and allowing migrants to flood into the US in order to "change the racial mix of the country."Carlson's Wednesday night attacks on Biden came as the president faces rampant criticism over an escalating crisis at the border involving Haitian migrants. "American citizens owe no debt to Haiti," Carlson said, while lambasting the Biden administration over the fact the White House called images of Border Patrol whipping at Haitian migrants "horrific." Contrary to Carlson's claims, however, the Biden administration is currently moving to deport thousands of Haitians - and facing major pushback from Democrats and activists over the treatment of the migrants as a result. "You've got to ask yourself, as you watch the historic tragedy that is Joe Biden's immigration policy, what's the point of this? Nothing about it is an accident, obviously. It is intentional. Biden did it on purpose. But why? Why would a president do this to his own country? No sane, first-world nation opens its borders to the world," Carlson said.He went on to say, "There's only one plausible answer ... To reduce the political power of people whose ancestors lived here, and dramatically increase the proportion of Americans newly arrived from the third world ... In political terms, this policy is sometimes called the great replacement - the replacement of legacy Americans, with more obedient people from faraway countries."The Fox News host explicitly invoked the white supremacist "replacement" conspiracy theory, rhetoric often linked to hate groups that he has used before.-nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) September 23, 2021 White nationalist and far-right groups have consistently pushed the racist conspiracy theory that people of color are vying to replace white people.Talk of "white genocide" is common among white supremacist groups. During the deadly neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, the white nationalists in attendance chanted: "Jews will not replace us."Carlson, who is the most-watched host on cable news, has repeatedly echoed these bigoted talking points on his show. Critics say he's mainstreaming white supremacy.-nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) September 17, 2021 On Tuesday, he warned of a migrant "invasion" at the US-Mexico border.Carlson in April contended that Democratic lawmakers are "importing a brand new electorate" of "Third World" immigrants to "dilute" American voters. Fox Corporation chief executive Lachlan Murdoch defended Carlson at the time amid calls from the Anti-Defamation League for him to be fired. "A full review of the guest interview indicates that Mr. Carlson decried and rejected replacement theory," Murdoch said. "As Mr. Carlson himself stated during the guest interview: 'White replacement theory? No, no, this is a voting rights question.'"But Carlson in his segment on Wednesday made explicit references to "non-white DNA," while effectively accusing Biden of pushing a policy of eugenics against whites.Carlson was taking remarks made by Biden as vice president during a 2015 summit on terrorism out of context.At the time, Biden lauded the "unrelenting stream of immigration" to the US that began in the 1700s, and said it's not a "bad thing" that it's projected white people in the US will eventually be a minority. Biden was touting diversity, and the immigrant tradition in the US, as a source of American strength.Carlson misconstrued Biden's words, and falsely said, "[Biden] said that non-White DNA is the, quote, source of our strength. Imagine saying that this is the language of eugenics. It's horrifying." Biden never said this.Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 23rd, 2021

Orion (ORN) Wins Multiple Deals, Aids Marine and Concrete

Orion (ORN) is set to benefit from multiple contracts in Marine and Concrete segments. Orion Group Holdings, Inc. ORN has won several contracts within the Marine and Concrete segments for a combined value of approximately $61 million.Inside the HeadlinesWithin the Marine segment, the company was awarded four contracts to conduct marine and infrastructure construction work in the gulf coast and in Alaska for a total value of $35 million. Also, it received three contracts in the gulf coast to construct marine infrastructure for private sector clients in Texas and Louisiana. Of these, two are valued at $11.8 million and $6.7 million, and includes construction and dredging of new ship and barge berths for petrochemical loading and unloading in the greater Houston area.The third one is valued at approximately $9 million and will replace the existing barge dock at a terminal located west of New Orleans. The three projects will likely commence in the fourth quarter and be completed by third-quarter 2022. Orion received the US Department of Transportation contract to demolish and replace an existing bridge in Alaska’s Denali National Park for $7.8 million. The work will begin late in the first quarter of 2022 and is anticipated to be completed in late 2023.In the Concrete segment, the company received two contracts within the Houston, TX area, which includes the construction of a building for a new industrial park worth $8 million. The other contract pertains to the construction of four tilt-wall buildings in a new distribution center for $9 million. Both the projects are expected to begin in the fourth quarter and likely to be completed before 2022-end.The company acquired a $3.2-million buildings construct contract for a new school in its Dallas market as well as two new townhome facilities building contracts in Austin, TX for more than $4 million. These projects are expected to commence in the fourth quarter and be completed by second-quarter 2022. Orion also inked a $2.1-million deal to construct a single-story tilt-wall building with associated site work in Daytona, FL. The first Concrete segment project outside Texas is likely to begin in the fourth quarter and be completed by first-quarter 2022-end.Contract Wins to Boost ProfitabilityOrion — which share space with Dycom Industries, Inc. DY, Sterling Construction Company, Inc. STRL and Primoris Services Corporation PRIM in the Zacks Building Products - Heavy Construction industry — derives its revenues from various marine construction, dredging, turnkey concrete services as well as other specialty services contracts. These projects are of typically short duration and usually span a period of less than a year.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchFor the six months of 2021, contract revenues declined 14.6% year over year. The downside was primarily due to severe winter weather in February, reduction in project activity in the marine segment and lower production volumes in the concrete segment due to weather-related impacts in the second quarter. Backlogs also declined from prior year’s levels due to headwinds stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic in certain end-market sectors, which has slowed the timing of project awards.Nonetheless, the same increased sequentially. The company is optimistic in its end markets and emerging opportunities across the market as evident from the $2 billion of quoted bids outstanding at quarter-end.Shares of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company have surged 88.4% compared with the industry’s 69.3% rally in the past year.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Dycom Industries, Inc. (DY): Free Stock Analysis Report Sterling Construction Company Inc (STRL): Free Stock Analysis Report Orion Group Holdings, Inc. (ORN): Free Stock Analysis Report Primoris Services Corporation (PRIM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2021

Pfizer (PFE) Booster Dose Gets FDA Nod for High-Risk People

FDA approves Pfizer's (PFE) COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for older adults and high-risk people amid rising infection rates in the country. The FDA granted emergency use authorization (EUA) toa booster or “third” dose of Pfizer PFE/BioNTech’s BNTX mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, for individuals 65 years and older and also those in high-risk groups.The high-risk groups include individuals, aged 16 to 64, who are at a high risk of severe COVID-19, and also those whose occupation exposes them to the virus and puts them at high risk of COVID-related complications, including severe COVID-19, like healthcare workers, teachers, and others. The FDA said that the third jab should be given at least six months after the primary two-dose series.However, inline with the recommendation of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) last week, the FDA did not approve the booster dose for the entire population for which Pfizer/BioNTech was seeking approval. Pfizer/BioNTech had filed its supplemental biologics license application (sBLA), seeking approval for the booster dose of Comirnaty, in people 16 years of age and older, in August.The sBLA for the booster dose included data from a phase III study (n=306), which showed that the booster dose induced significant SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titers against the initial SARS-CoV-2 virus (wild type), as well as the Beta and Delta variants. The antibody levels elicited against the initial wild type virus one month after the booster dose were 3.3 times the levels seen one month after the second dose. Pfizer/BioNTech have submitted the booster data to other regulatory agencies as well.Pfizer’s stock has risen 19.4% this year so far compared with an increase of 9% for the industry.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchBioNTech’s stock has risen 316.2% this year so far against a decrease of 0.6% for the industry.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLast week, the VRBPAC voted unanimously, recommending that the FDA grant EUA to the Comirnaty booster dose for individuals 65 years and older and those at high risk of severe-COVID. However, the panel voted against approving the booster for the general population.Pfizer becomes the first company whose booster dose has been granted emergency approval by the FDA. Moderna MRNA has also submitted an application for authorization/approval for a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine and has provided clinical data to support the efficacy of a booster dose to the FDA.Earlier this week, J&J JNJ presented additional data from the phase III ENSEMBLE study, which showed that a booster dose of its adenovirus-based, single-shot vaccine, given 56 days after the first jab, led to 94% protection against mild-to-severe COVID-19 in the United States. J&J has submitted the latest additional data for the booster dose to the FDA.Last month, the FDA expanded the EUA of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines to allow the third dose to be administered to certain immunocompromised individuals like those who have undergone solid organ transplantation or those diagnosed with other diseases that may have weakened their immune systems. Along with the latest approval for the booster dose, Pfizer clarified that the third dose for immunocompromised individuals is different from the booster dose approved.  While the third dose for immunocompromised individuals is for people who do not build enough protection after two shots of the vaccine, the booster dose is for individuals who have built enough protection after the primary vaccination regimen. However, these individuals may see decreased protection over time due to the declining efficacy of COVID vaccines.Last month, the U.S. government had said that it intends to begin offering the third shots from September to those individuals who had taken their initial shots more than eight months ago. But it clarified that the booster plan was contingent upon approvals by the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In a separate press release, Pfizer/BioNTech announced plans to provide the U.S. government with 500 million additional doses of Comirnaty at a not-for-profit price for donation to the poorest countries. With the latest deal, the total number of vaccine doses to be supplied to the U.S. government for donation by Pfizer/BioNTech adds up to one billion.Both BioNTech and Pfizer carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis Report Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report Moderna, Inc. (MRNA): Free Stock Analysis Report BioNTech SE Sponsored ADR (BNTX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2021

Wells Fargo (WFC) Asset Cap to Stay Intact Till Issues Persist

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that Wells Fargo's (WFC) $1.95-bilion asset cap will stay in place until the company makes efforts to comprehensively correct its problems. Wells Fargo & Company’s WFC looming $1.95-billion asset cap is likely to stay put “until the firm has comprehensively fixed its problems,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in the September FOMC press conference when asked about Senator Warren’s letter last week that urged the Fed to break up the Wall Street biggie.Jerome Powell noted that the Fed is closely keeping an eye on the remedial efforts by Wells Fargo to mend its "widespread and pervasive" problems. The central bank continues to hold the company accountable for its deficiencies and will take stringent necessary actions if it fails to undertake corrective steps. Hence, the unprecedented asset cap placed on the bank in 2018 will continue to hinder its growth.Legal hassles escalated for Wells Fargo on Sep 9 when the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) assessed a $250-million civil money penalty on the company on the grounds of “unsafe or unsound practices” related to the home-lending loss mitigation program. With the failure of the program, which required the bank to repay customers who were charged excessive or improper fees, the company has violated the terms of the 2018 consent order that condemned its risk management systems.In addition to the hefty fine, the company has been slapped with an enforcement action, with the OCC issuing a cease and desist order to curb the bank’s future activities until ongoing mortgage servicing concerns are appropriately dealt with.However, in the following week, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren addressed a letter to the Fed, urging the central bank to revoke Well Fargo’s license as a financial holding company.The senator stated that the latest $250-million fine against the bank shows it to be an "irredeemable repeat offender". Hence, the company’s core traditional banking activities should be separated from its other financial services and Wall Street operations. This will ensure that the bank’s customers stay protected until its transition is completed.Nonetheless, since legal hassles have been snowballing on the company, it has undertaken numerous initiatives and achieved regulatory milestones. Specifically, Wells Fargo has bifurcated three business groups into five and created four Enterprise Functions to propel greater oversight and transparency. It also launched an enterprise-wide risk and control self-assessment program to evaluate operational risks and controls as well as design appropriate mitigating controls.The company’s 2016 consent order, which was issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in relation to the bank’s retail sales practices, was terminated last week.Moreover, this January, the OCC terminated a 2015 consent order related to the Wall Street giant’s Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering compliance program. In May 2020, the OCC upgraded the company’s Community Reinvestment Act rating to "outstanding".Further, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have outperformed its industry over the past six months, gaining 24% compared with the industry’s rally of 7%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Several finance companies continue to encounter legal hassles and are charged with huge sums of money for business malpractices.Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s MUFG U.S. banking unit, MUFG Union Bank NA, has been recently slapped with a cease-and-desist order by the OCC over its unsound technological practices.Credit Acceptance Corporation CACC announced the settlement of a lawsuit with the Massachusetts Attorney General and agreed to pay $27.2 million. In August 2020, AG Maura Healey filed a lawsuit in Suffolk County Superior Court, claiming that the company violated state consumer protection, and debt collection laws and regulations.Charles Schwab SCHW had been slapped with a class-action lawsuit over violations of its fiduciary duty by placing its interest before the protection of its clients through the bank’s robo-adviser Schwab Intelligent Portfolios’ cash sweep program. The case, filed in the U.S. District Court in Northern California, also accused the company of breach of contract and the violation of state laws. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Wells Fargo & Company (WFC): Free Stock Analysis Report The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW): Free Stock Analysis Report Credit Acceptance Corporation (CACC): Free Stock Analysis Report Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2021

B&Q Owner Kingfisher Nails Demand For DIY

“B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher plc (LON:KGF) has again nailed our insatiable demand for DIY. The race for more space in our homes has kept demand booming for building and decorating materials. The working from home revolution has been a seismic change and  has led so many people to re-evaluate the way they live.  Doing […] “B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher plc (LON:KGF) has again nailed our insatiable demand for DIY. The race for more space in our homes has kept demand booming for building and decorating materials. The working from home revolution has been a seismic change and  has led so many people to re-evaluate the way they live.  Doing deals from the kitchen table just isn’t going to cut it longer term, so they have been eyeing up extensions, renovations and outdoor offices instead. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Kingfisher's Sales Were Up 22% Like for like sales were up 22% for the half year – that’s partly because this time last year there were still significant store closures in certain regions – but there has been resilient demand across all markets. France has turned from a weak to a bright spot, with retail profit more than doubling compared to the same period last year, with the effort to restore the discount DNA to the Bricot Depot chain clearly reaping rewards. In the third quarter, demand overall dropped back a little, by 0.6%, with the bad weather putting people off starting outdoor projects and making purchases, but compared to 2019 the DIY craze shows little sign of waning with like for like sales up 16% Supply chain issues have still caused headaches, particularly amid such high demand, but these are cracks in its slick operating model the company has been busy filling. Although higher shipping costs and bottlenecks at major ports don’t look like they are going to ease any time soon and will remain a challenge, so far the company has navigated the shortage of raw materials and drivers adeptly. Prices are going up more steeply than usual but so far its managed to limit inflationary pressures on the business, though concerns will remain over whether it will be able to continue to do so, if the supply chain crunch continues well into next year. With absenteeism rates going up in Vietnam and China the company says it also remains mindful of continued uncertainty relating to Covid. Nevertheless it doesn’t expect sales to dwindle as much as previously thought for the second half of the year – expecting a drop off of between 7 and 3 % compared to a fall of 5 to 15% - which when compared to the same period in 2019 represents a sales jump of around 9 to 13%. The £300 million share buy-back scheme is also a show of confidence in the company’s outlook and the expectation that strong cash generation will continue. If the company is hit with a splattering of more supply chain disruption, it has shown it has the resilience built into its model to repair the worst of the damage." Article by Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown About Hargreaves Lansdown Over 1.64 million clients trust us with £135.5 billion (as at 30 June 2021), making us the UK’s largest digital wealth management service. More than 98% of client activity is done through our digital channels and over 600,000 access our mobile app each month. Updated on Sep 23, 2021, 10:44 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 23rd, 2021

Temporary Fixes Push The FTSE 100 Over 7,000 Mark

“A series of temporary fixes to ominous global problems has pushed the FTSE 100 back over the psycologically important 7,000 mark but there’s a chance the nuts and bolts may weaken again, and the wheels could fall off the recovery. Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Mining Stocks: The Top Risers Today On […] “A series of temporary fixes to ominous global problems has pushed the FTSE 100 back over the psycologically important 7,000 mark but there’s a chance the nuts and bolts may weaken again, and the wheels could fall off the recovery. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Mining Stocks: The Top Risers Today On The FTSE 100 The deal to settle a domestic bond payment due to be made by the crisis hit Chinese property group Evergrande, seems to have calmed nerves among investors and stopped immediate contagion to other sectors. Mining stocks, which were among the worst hit on Monday when fears mounted that a collapse of the firm was imminent, are among the top risers today on the FTSE 100. Worries about the immediate impact on demand for raw materials for construction have subsided but with another debt payment due to be made by Evergrande on an overseas bond tomorrow, the myriad problems facing the group are far from over. In the UK, the latest supply chain crisis has been patched up, with the government stepping in to pay the operating costs for a major CO2 producter. CF industries shut two sites that produce 60% of the UK's commercial carbon dioxide supplies, because of soaring gas prices. Again this may just be a kludge with only three weeks of financial support guaranteed and now the energy regulator OFGEM is warning that more energy suppliers could go to the wall. It’s clear the crisis in the energy sector is far from over, and companies will be forced to absorb costs, hitting margins or pass rises onto customers, fuelling inflation concerns. With weaknesses in supply chains exposed, and concerns rising that a possible property price meltdown in China could spread, all eyes are on the Federal Reserve, with hopes that the central bank will soften the blow of any monetary tightening. Although the Federal Open Markets Committee is forecast to say it’s discussed easing off from the pedal of quantitative easing towards the end of the year, no firm decision is expected. There is a growing consensus that inflation may not be as transitory as first thought, but a sluggish jobs situation, stubbornly high covid infection rates and concerns about dragging economic growth are likely to stop a fast acceleration away from the era of ultra cheap money.’’ About Hargreaves Lansdown Over 1.64 million clients trust us with £135.5 billion (as at 30 June 2021), making us the UK’s largest digital wealth management service. More than 98% of client activity is done through our digital channels and over 600,000 access our mobile app each month. Updated on Sep 22, 2021, 9:02 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 22nd, 2021

Pfizer CEO On Providing 500 Million Vaccines To Low Income Countries

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Wednesday, September 22. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Pfizer CEO On Providing 500 Million Vaccines To Low Income […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Wednesday, September 22. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Pfizer CEO On Providing 500 Million Vaccines To Low Income Countries MEG TIRRELL: That special guest is Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer. Albert, thanks for being with us this morning. Let's start with the news of the day, at least 500 million doses add to a previous agreement for the same number. They started shipping last month and will continue over the next year we understand. Tell us about your expectation for what these agreements will do for the course of the pandemic. ALBERT BOURLA: I think they will enable way more equitable access to our vaccines. When we started, Meg, more than a year, we're going to begin with the pandemic. It was always in our minds that we need to have a vaccine that will be available to all and the first thing that we had to do was to develop the vaccine because now it's considered given but the months ago, nobody thought that this could be done. The second was to manufacture enough so that everybody will have and we are gearing up our manufacturing capacity. Right now, at the end of the month, we will have manufactured 2 billion doses, 500 of which will be gone to the low- and middle-income countries. By the end of the quarter 3 billion doses, 1 billion of which will go to the low- and middle-income countries. And the third was to set the price that will enable everybody to access. As you know the price from the high-income countries is the cost of takeaway meal and this price for the government because their citizens are paying nothing. But for the middle-income countries, we are charging half of this price and the low-income countries we are charging basically at non-for-profit. The US government stepping once more 1 billion doses will be donated to the poorest of the countries, not to the middle and low but to the poorest countries, and that will not be given to them at the non-for-profit price, it will be given free because US is covering the cost. So, I think it is a great news for humanity and frankly it is great news for us because we are very proud that our vaccine will save the lives of people around the world. TIRRELL: How do you respond then to criticisms like from former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, who has been pointing out on Twitter over the last week that he thinks this inequity is quote, “shameful.” He says, “While focusing on selling expensive vaccines to rich countries, Moderna and Pfizer are doing next to nothing to close the global gap in vaccine supply.” How do you respond to criticisms like that? BOURLA: Well I respond that already we have seen 500 million doses to low- and middle-income countries, that we will see a billion doses by the end of this year, not in the near future, by the end of this year. And we will do at least 1 billion doses next year and I think the facts are speaking for themselves. TIRRELL: Is there more that Pfizer could do? There's also some focus on the infrastructure in developing countries and there's been criticisms of the Biden administration for delivering perhaps vaccines but then not delivering the sort of cold chain functionality to be able to store and move those vaccines around or helping get vaccinators to be able to help roll out these vaccines. What more do you think can be done to expedite all of this? BOURLA: Clearly there's more that can be done in terms of infrastructure in the poorest countries so that they can absorb vaccines so this kind of technology that they need special conditions like ultra-cold chain, etc. I think this is something that WHO is doing and this is something that was ourselves, we are working very intensively to help, although it is not let’s say our direct responsibility is to provide the vaccine but we are working also on the last mile, how we can assist, so that they can move eventually this vaccine to the citizens. TIRRELL: There's also been a big focus on ramping up production of mRNA vaccines in these developing countries so that they're not dependent on manufacturers elsewhere providing them. You do say or Uğur Şahin, your partner at BioNTech, says in your release today that you are exploring how to build the sustainable mRNA production infrastructure in low-income countries over the mid- and long-term. It seems like that is not a near term goal necessarily just because does it take that long to build this up, could scaling up happen in these countries any faster than it's happening already? BOURLA: Well yes, it will take a very long time to be able to build infrastructure that it is able to handle this higher level of technology. This is not easy. This is not making, you know, any type of goods so this is really, really high-end, regard not only sophisticated investments but thousands of people that they are highly skilled to do that. I don't say that it is impossible to be done but it will take time. TIRRELL: And of course, here in the United States, we're all focused on boosters, who's going to get their third shot and when. We're expecting an FDA decision on that today or tomorrow and CDC will, will vote. How do you in this position of deciding, where to take orders from and where to deliver things, respond to the pressures you get from the World Health Organization which is saying people shouldn't get boosters until the end of the year until more people have gotten their first doses. How do you weigh all those pressures coming in? BOURLA: Look, I think there's, as a whole that the decision to provide a booster should be made on the merits of the science. This is not correct to say that I will not give boosters to one because I prefer to give primary dose to someone else. The second is as I said that we should not be in, we should not resolve it with a “or,” we should resolve it with an “and.” Boosters should be given and other doses should be given to the other countries and this is the meaning of this agreement that we're doing today with the United States. And the third I would say that they, doses for this year have been allocated long ago. Everybody has placed their orders and with the first orders placed, first deliveries are coming out and so that will not change even if the boosters are approved which I expect will be. We will not give more to the countries that are approving boosters so that they can do the boosters. We will give the quantities to everyone that we have committed to give this year, and then as I said, this year, we're going to do a billion doses to the lower, middle-income countries. BECKY QUICK: Hey, Albert, on that point, it just, we know that the FDA panel that met last week voted no on the original question was that booster shots would be available for anyone ages 16 and up. They did vote yes on a more qualified picture, people ages 65 and up, people who have comorbidities and, and people who were maybe exposed at work because of the jobs that they do, but that still leaves a big gap if the FDA eventually goes through and approves the ladder question, not the opening. On that first question, they said they didn't have enough science to prove it. The science that was put in front of them didn't prove that those ages 16 and up needed boosters. When will we see more science, what's the next step or are people just kind of left to fend for themselves at this point? BOURLA: I think time will bring data because everybody's collecting data and I’m sure pretty soon they will have more data so that they can reevaluate their recommendations. It is clear from the data that we have seen that we support it to the need to give broad recommendations. The majority of the committee clearly thought that this is not the right time for people to receive in earlier phases. So, they, I guess they will expect to see when is the right time. What I want to say is in pandemic typically, it's very difficult to come to the right time. You're coming either too early or too late. ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Albert, when you think about efficacy, there seems to be different definitions of efficacy in the United States versus Israel and people are measuring it differently. In some cases, it's hospitalization and death. In others, it's simply infection upfront. Do we have to redefine what efficacy really is and what it should be and what we're trying to avoid? BOURLA: I think science is to measure everything so and we should be very clear when you speak about efficacy, if you refer to efficacy against severe disease, or if we speak about efficacy in general in disease or infection, and the data for example for me is coming from all three categories is not that they're coming only for mild infections. They had seen drop in the protection against severe disease as well. SORKIN: Do you have a view on why it appears that the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine seems to be lesser, at least at the moment, based on some of the numbers than the, than the Moderna vaccine. It appears that in the case of Moderna, it has a higher efficacy or at least more durable efficacy, is that a function of the fact that, it's that there's more of it, more vaccine, actually that's put in the arm? Is it a function of the fact that between the first and second dose, there's a longer wait period, four weeks rather than three weeks, what do you, or is it simply the timing of what we've seen in the studies? A lot of people got Pfizer earlier. BOURLA: I think that it is the wrong thing to start comparing vaccines, particularly in public and I don't think I would like to do it. But nevertheless, given your, your question, I'm not convinced that one is better than the other or it lasted longer than the other because of the reasons that we just said that when those studies compare, they don't exhaust from the time of the second dose and also they don't adjust from the fact that Pfizer was given way earlier to elder, high risk people. And so, we are comparing more months of since the first dose from Pfizer and very different population. But again, I said that the both of them are wonderful vaccines, I don't want to make comparisons and those that make comparisons, they are wrong. QUICK: Albert, can you give us an update on where things stand for the vaccine approval at least emergency use authorization for kids ages five to 11. We've heard a lot and the latest that we've gotten is maybe available by Halloween. But what does that actually mean? Does it really mean that our kids might actually get to the shots by then, will it be fully distributed? Is it going to be hard to find this because I know you have to give different vial sizes so as a result it's kind of gearing up the entire process again like we did at the beginning of the year. BOURLA: We are going to be ready once FDA approves the vaccine, provided that they will approve it, to be able to distribute it. And I know that we will submit our data pretty soon. The data are very positive, but I cannot comment when FDA will approve it. This is absolutely up to them to take their time to do their review and do the approval, the time that they're comfortable if they approve it. TIRRELL: And Albert, you actually got data I think a little earlier than people expected in that age group five to 11. What are you expecting in terms of younger kids asking completely unbiased as a parent of a two-and-a-half-year-old? BOURLA: Meg, as you know, we are always coming ahead of people's expectations so I hope that we will not disappoint them. TIRRELL: So, your CFO Frank D’Amelio had suggested perhaps you're about a month behind for younger children. Is that the timeline you're looking at for down to age two, or down to age six months? BOURLA: Well yeah, that's one to two months I would say, somewhere there. TIRRELL: Okay, and just to go back to that booster discussion that that Becky was talking about. Were you surprised that the panel voted to narrow the recommendation for, for whom, who should get boosters here in the US as we're seeing them given so broadly in Israel and even to everybody over the age of 50 in the UK? BOURLA: Yes, I was surprised but you know this is not about me being surprised. This is about the committee which is composed by renowned scientists. They have very high integrity. They have high expertise and they came to this conclusion. Our scientists also have very high integrity and they have very high expertise and they came to different conclusion. Israel scientists, UK scientists is different from German scientists also they have high expertise, but this is the role of committees. They have responsibility to recommend and then the administration has the responsibility to implement health care policies that they are important. And, you know, I think we should let the system work. QUICK: With all of the countries that you just mentioned, is there one Albert that has been the easiest to work with or the most difficult to work with and maybe the administration maybe the bureaucracy that you deal with. What, what would you say? BOURLA: I would say that all the candidates have stepped up and they are wonderful and frankly, I had the opportunity because of that, to, to connect personally with state leaders and with administration of many countries and I understand there are going to do the best for their people and they have to deal with very tough decisions and sometimes they get it right. Sometimes they get it wrong. But they are all having the best of intentions so I wouldn’t separate anyone on this. TIRRELL: Alright, Albert. I think that's all the time we've got. We really appreciate you being with us this morning and we look forward to all of these updates coming up. Thanks so much. BOURLA: Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Meg. Thank you. Updated on Sep 22, 2021, 9:35 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 22nd, 2021

Euronet"s (EEFT) Ria Money, Nobel Financial Form Partnership

Euronet's (EEFT) arm Ria Money strengthens its position and boosts portfolio by establishing its relationship with Nobel Financial. Euronet Worldwide, Inc.’s EEFT subsidiary Ria Money Transfer forged an alliance with Nobel Financial Inc., part of Nobel Ltd for transitioning 117 Nobel agents to the Ria Money brand, platform and network in the United States. Nobel is a leading company in the global telecommunications industry.With this partnership, Noble customers can now send funds from various locations that consist of the 4,600+ Walmart and 2,100+ Kroger stores across the United States. They can even make the transactions from home with the help of the Ria Money Transfer application.Customers now have access to Ria Money’s 490,000 payout locations in more than 165 countries and can complete transactions in as less as 10 minutes. Nobel customers in the United States can now use Ria Money’s Bill Pay service and network of more than 8,000 billers.Ria Money will also be able to leverage Nobel Financial’s 20 plus years of expertise in the Liberian market and solidify its position in the region.The unit runs the second biggest payments network and is constantly taking initiatives to boost its portfolio and expand its capabilities. It strives hard to ensure that customers can send funds wherever needed across the world in a safe and effective manner.In 2019, this subsidiary of Euronet joined Ripple’s blockchain-based payments network seeking faster cross-border payments.In June, Ria Money launched instant payments in Brazil. This was done through the nation’s new PIX real-time payments network. In May, it extended its distribution network through an alliance with Mooney to further establish its dominance by providing services to the latter’s 45,000 points of sale and 20 million customers in Italy. Euronet also expanded its network with the launch of the Ria Money Transfer app in Chile.Kroger selected Ria Money as its second money transfer service provider in the United States at all its approximately 2,000 locations.Ria Money’s international fund transfer grew 16% year over year in 2020, which is pretty impressive. The business showed its effectiveness in bridging the gap between digital and physical transactions. Its omnichannel products and services along with Euronet’s global payout capabilities bode well for the segment.The business is massively contributing to the parent company’s Money Transfer segment, which is well-poised for growth on the back of physical and digital distribution channels, acquisitions, etc.Zacks Rank & Price Performance of PeersShares of this presently Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) company have gained 40.9% in the past year, outperforming the  industry’s growth of 16.6%. The stock should continue its rally on the back of its solid EFT, epay and Money Transfer segments as well as increased digital transactions.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchStocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks in the same space are CIT Group Inc. CIT, XP Inc. XP and HoulihanLokey, Inc. HLI, earnings of which managed to deliver a trailing four-quarter surprise of 224.59%, 24.44% and 38.33%, respectively, on average. All the companies presently hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report CIT Group Inc. (CIT): Free Stock Analysis Report Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (EEFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Houlihan Lokey, Inc. (HLI): Free Stock Analysis Report XP Inc. (XP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 22nd, 2021

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas applauded border enforcement for a miles-long "steel barrier" of vehicles deterring Haitian migrants in Del Rio

Abbott lauded state troopers and border officials for stopping migrants from entering the US while blaming the Biden administration for the situation. Gov. Greg Abbott talking to reporters at a news conference along the Texas-Mexico border. Julio Cortez/The Associated Press Gov. Greg Abbott lauded Texas state troopers for a "steel barrier" of vehicles at the border. He said Texas wanted anyone thinking of crossing the border illegally to know they might be jailed. Thousands of people seeking to enter the US are camped under a bridge near Del Rio, Texas. See more stories on Insider's business page. Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday praised border officials and state troopers for erecting a "steel barrier" of police vehicles stretching miles along the southern US border to deter Haitian migrants from crossing into Texas."One day there were countless people coming across the border, then that very same day the Texas Department of Public Safety put up all these DPS vehicles, and suddenly, in an instant, people stopped crossing the border in this location," he said at a news conference.Abbott added that the state was taking "unprecedented steps" to control the border and was sending a message to anyone trying to cross the Rio Grande that they "may wind up having handcuffs on their hands going straight to jail."Thousands of Haitians are camped under a bridge near Del Rio - a Texas border town of about 35,000 on the about 150 miles west of San Antonio. They have fled Haiti after President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in July and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the country in August. Reports differ on exactly how many people are now gathered at the Texas border, but estimates place the number at about 8,000 after some were sent back or processed by immigration authorities.Footage of border agents on horseback confronting migrants has sparked criticism from the White House and politicians, and prompted the Department of Homeland Security to launch an investigation. Some are decrying the situation as inhumane and cruel.As Abbott spoke with reporters on Tuesday, he said President Joe Biden was not doing enough to secure the southern border and said the president's policies prompted the flood of people to seek illegal entry in Del Rio, per CNN."When you have an administration that is not enforcing the law in this country, when you have an administration that has abandoned any pretense of securing the border and securing our sovereignty, you see the onrush of people like what we saw walking across this dam that is right behind me," he told the network.It's unclear why so many migrants have amassed at Del Rio so quickly, but misinformation that the border would be easier to cross there may have played a part, The New York Times reported."False information, misinformation, and misunderstanding might have created a false sense of hope," Guerline Jozef, the executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, a group that works with migrants, told The Times.The Biden administration had been denying entry at the border under Title 42, a Trump-era immigration policy that allows migrants to be deported as a measure to keep COVID-19 from spreading. Last week, however, a judge ruled that Title 42 was "likely unlawful" and issued a preliminary injunction against it. The Biden administration has said it's appealing the decision. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2021