An FDA Official Demanded Google Censor A YouTube Video The Agency Didn"t Like

An FDA Official Demanded Google Censor A YouTube Video The Agency Didn"t Like.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 4th, 2021

Bovard Blasts The Biden Crackdown On Thought Crimes

Bovard Blasts The Biden Crackdown On Thought Crimes Authored by Jim Bovard, The Biden administration is seeking to radically narrow the boundaries of respectable American political thought. The administration has repeatedly issued statements and reports that could automatically castigate citizens who distrust the federal government. We may eventually learn that the new Biden guidelines spurred a vast increase in federal surveillance and other abuses against Americans who were guilty of nothing more than vigorous skepticism. Biden is Nixon on steroids The Biden team is expanding the federal Enemies List perhaps faster than any time since the Nixon administration. In June, the Biden administration asserted that guys who are unable to score with women may be terrorist threats due to “involuntary celibate–violent extremism.” That revelation was included in the administration’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which identified legions of new potential “domestic terrorists” that the feds can castigate and investigate. The White House claims its new war on terrorism and extremism is “carefully tailored to address violence and reduce the factors that …infringe on the free expression of ideas.” But the prerogative to define extremism includes the power to revile disapproved beliefs. The report warns that “narratives of fraud in the recent general election … will almost certainly spur some [domestic violent extremists] to try to engage in violence this year.” If accusations of 2020 electoral shenanigans are formally labeled as extremist threats, that could result in far more repression (aided by Facebook and Twitter) of dissenting voices. How will this work out any better than the concerted campaign by the media and Big Tech last fall to suppress all information about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the election? And how can Biden be trusted to be the judge after he effectively accused Facebook of mass murder for refusing to totally censor anyone who raised doubts about the COVID-19 vaccine? The Biden administration is revving up for a war against an enemy which the feds have chosen to never explicitly define. According to a March report by Biden’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence, “domestic violent extremists” include individuals who “take overt steps to violently resist or facilitate the overthrow of the U.S. government in support of their belief that the U.S. government is purposely exceeding its Constitutional authority.” But that was the same belief that many Biden voters had regarding the Trump administration. Does the definition of extremism depend solely on which party captured the White House? The Biden report writers were spooked by the existence of militia groups and flirt with the fantasy of outlawing them across the land. The report promises to explore “how to make better use of laws that already exist in all fifty states prohibiting certain private ‘militia’ activity, including … state statutes prohibiting groups of people from organizing as private military units without the authorization of the state government, and state statutes that criminalize certain paramilitary activity.” Most of the private militia groups are guilty of nothing more than bluster and braggadocio. Besides, many of them are already overstocked with government informants who are counting on Uncle Sam for regular paychecks. Some politicians and pundits might like to see a new federal crime that labels any meeting of more than two gun owners as an illegal conspiracy. The Biden report promises that the FBI and DHS will soon be releasing “a new edition of the Federal Government’s Mobilization Indicators booklet that will include for the first time potential indicators of domestic terrorism–related mobilization.” Will this latest publication be as boneheaded as the similar 2014 report by the National Counterterrorism Center entitled “Countering Violent Extremism: A Guide for Practitioners and Analysts”? The new Red Guard As the Intercept summarized, that report “suggests that police, social workers and educators rate individuals on a scale of one to five in categories such as ‘Expressions of Hopelessness, Futility,’ … and ‘Connection to Group Identity (Race, Nationality, Religion, Ethnicity)’ … to alert government officials to individuals at risk of turning to radical violence, and to families or communities at risk of incubating extremist ideologies.” The report recommended judging families by their level of “Parent-Child Bonding” and rating localities on the basis in part of the “presence of ideologues or recruiters.” Former FBI agent Mike German commented, “The idea that the federal government would encourage local police, teachers, medical, and social-service employees to rate the communities, individuals, and families they serve for their potential to become terrorists is abhorrent on its face.” Biden’s “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism” report also declared that “enhancing faith in American democracy” requires “finding ways to counter the influence and impact of dangerous conspiracy theories.” In recent decades, conspiracy theories have multiplied almost as fast as government lies and cover-ups. While many allegations have been ludicrously far-fetched, the political establishment and media routinely attach the “conspiracy theory” label to any challenge to their dominance. According to Cass Sunstein, Harvard Law professor and Oba- ma’s regulatory czar, a conspiracy theory is “an effort to explain some event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.” Reasonable citizens are supposed to presume that government creates trillions of pages of new secrets each year for their own good, not to hide anything from the public. “Conspiracy theory” is a magic phrase that expunges all previous federal abuses. Many liberals who invoke the phrase also ritually quote a 1965 book by former communist Richard Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style in American Politics. Hofstadter portrayed distrust of government as a proxy for mental illness, a paradigm that makes the character of critics more important than the conduct of government agencies. For Hofstadter, it was a self-evident truth that government was trustworthy because American politics had “a kind of professional code … embodying the practical wisdom of generations of politicians.” The rise of conspiracy theories In the early 1960s, conspiracy theories were practically a non-issue because 75 percent of Americans trusted the federal government. Such credulity did not survive the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Seven days after Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson created a commission (later known as the Warren Commission) to suppress controversy about the killing. Johnson browbeat the commission members into speedily issuing a report rubber-stamping the “crazed lone gunman” version of the assassination. House Minority Leader Gerald Ford, a member of the commission, revised the final staff report to change the location of where the bullet entered Kennedy’s body, thereby salvaging the so-called “magic bullet” theory. After the Warren Commission findings were ridiculed as a whitewash, Johnson ordered the FBI to conduct wiretaps on the report’s critics. To protect the official story, the commission sealed key records for 75 years. Truth would out only after all the people involved in any coverup had gotten their pensions and died. The controversy surrounding the Warren Commission spurred the CIA to formally attack the notion of conspiracy theories. In a 1967 alert to its overseas stations and bases, the CIA declared that the fact that almost half of Americans did not believe Oswald acted alone “is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization” and endangers “the whole reputation of the American government.” The memo instructed recipients to “employ propaganda assets” and exploit “friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out … parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists.” The ultimate proof of the government’s innocence: “Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States.” The New York Times, which exposed the CIA memo in 1977, noted that the CIA “mustered its propaganda machinery to support an issue of far more concern to Americans, and to the C.I.A. itself, than to citizens of other countries.” According to historian Lance deHaven-Smith, author of Conspiracy Theory in America, “The CIA’s campaign to popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited … with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time.” In 2014, the CIA released a heavily-redacted report admitting that it had been “complicit” in a JFK “cover-up” by withholding “incendiary” information from the Warren Commission. The CIA successfully concealed a wide range of assassinations and foreign coups it conducted until congressional investigations in the mid-1970s blew the whistle. “Conspiracy theory” allegations sometimes merely expose the naivete of official scorekeepers. In April 2016, Chapman University surveyed Americans and announced that “the most prevalent conspiracy theory in the United States is that the government is concealing information about the 9/11 attacks with slightly over half of Americans holding that belief.” That survey did not ask whether people believed the World Trade Centers were blown up by an inside job or whether President George W. Bush secretly masterminded the attacks. Instead, folks were simply asked whether “government is concealing information” about the attacks. Only a village idiot, college professor, or editorial writer would presume the government had come clean. Three months after the Chapman University survey was conducted, the Obama administration finally released 28 pages of a 2003 congressional report that revealed that Saudi government officials had directly financed some of the 9/11 hijackers in America. That disclosure shattered the storyline carefully constructed by the Bush administration, the 9/11 Commission, and legions of media accomplices. (Lawsuits continue in federal court seeking to force the U.S. government to disclose more information regarding the Saudi government role in the attacks.) Conspiracy theories a tool for control “Conspiracy theory” is often a flag of convenience for the political-media elite. In 2018, the New York Times asserted that Trump’s use of the term “Deep State” and similar rhetoric “fanned fears that he is eroding public trust in institutions, undermining the idea of objective truth and sowing widespread suspicions about the government and news media.” However, after allegations by anonymous government officials spurred Trump’s first impeachment in 2019, New York Times columnist James Stewart cheered, “There is a Deep State, there is a bureaucracy in our country who has pledged to respect the Constitution, respect the rule of law…. They work for the American people.” New York Times editorial writer Michelle Cottle proclaimed, “The deep state is alive and well” and hailed it as “a collection of patriotic public servants.” Almost immediately after its existence was no longer denied, the Deep State became the incarnation of virtue in Washington. After Biden was elected, references to the “Deep State” were once again labeled paranoid ravings. Much of the establishment rage at “conspiracy theories” has been driven by the notion that rulers are entitled to intellectual passive obedience. The same lèse-majesté mindset has been widely adopted to make a muddle of American history. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., the court historian for President John F. Kennedy and a revered liberal intellectual, declared in 2004, “Historians today conclude that the colonists were driven to revolt in 1776 because of a false conviction that they faced a British conspiracy to destroy their freedom.” What the hell is wrong with “historians today”?! Was the British imposition of martial law, confiscation of firearms, military blockades, suspension of habeas corpus, and censorship simply a deranged fantasy of Thomas Jefferson? The notion that the British would never conspire to destroy freedom would play poorly in Dublin, where the Irish suffered centuries of brutal British oppression. Why should anyone trust academics who were blind to British threats in the 1770s to accurately judge the danger that today’s politicians pose to Americans’ liberty? How does the Biden administration intend to fight “conspiracy theories?” The Biden terrorism report called for “enhancing faith in government” by “accelerating work to contend with an information environment that challenges healthy democratic discourse.” Will Biden’s team rely on the “solution” suggested by Cass Sunstein: “cognitive infiltration of extremist groups” by government agents and informants to “undermine” them from within? Does the Biden administration also propose banning Americans from learning anything from the history of prior federal debacles? Nixon White House aide Tom Charles Huston explained that the FBI’s COINTELPRO program continually stretched its target list “from the kid with a bomb to the kid with a picket sign, and from the kid with the picket sign to the kid with the bumper sticker of the opposing candidate. And you just keep going down the line.” A 1976 Senate report on COINTELPRO demanded assurances that a federal agency would never again “be permitted to conduct a secret war against those citizens it considers threats, to the established order.” Actually, the FBI and other agencies have continued secretly warring against “threats,” and legions of informants are likely busy “cognitively infiltrating” at this moment. Permitting politicians to blacklist any ideas they disapprove won’t “restore faith in democracy.” Extremism has always been a flag of political convenience, and the Biden team, the FBI, and their media allies will fan fears to sanctify new government crackdowns. But what if government is the most dangerous extremist of them all? Tyler Durden Sat, 11/27/2021 - 22:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 28th, 2021

In Memory Of JFK: The First US President To Be Labeled A Terrorist & Threat To National Security

In Memory Of JFK: The First US President To Be Labeled A Terrorist & Threat To National Security Authored by Cynthia Chung via The Saker blog, In April 1954, Kennedy stood up on the Senate floor to challenge the Eisenhower Administration’s support for the doomed French imperial war in Vietnam, foreseeing that this would not be a short-lived war. In July 1957, Kennedy once more took a strong stand against French colonialism, this time France’s bloody war against Algeria’s independence movement, which again found the Eisenhower Administration on the wrong side of history. Rising on the Senate floor, two days before America’s own Independence Day, Kennedy declared: “The most powerful single force in the world today is neither communism nor capitalism, neither the H-bomb nor the guided missile – it is man’s eternal desire to be free and independent. The great enemy of that tremendous force of freedom is called, for want of a more precise term, imperialism – and today that means Soviet imperialism and, whether we like it or not, and though they are not to be equated, Western imperialism. Thus, the single most important test of American foreign policy today is how we meet the challenge of imperialism, what we do to further man’s desire to be free. On this test more than any other, this nation shall be critically judged by the uncommitted millions in Asia and Africa, and anxiously watched by the still hopeful lovers of freedom behind the Iron Curtain. If we fail to meet the challenge of either Soviet or Western imperialism, then no amount of foreign aid, no aggrandizement of armaments, no new pacts or doctrines or high-level conferences can prevent further setbacks to our course and to our security.” In September 1960, the annual United Nations General Assembly was held in New York. Fidel Castro and a fifty-member delegation were among the attendees and had made a splash in the headlines when he decided to stay at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem after the midtown Shelburne Hotel demanded a $20,000 security deposit. He made an even bigger splash in the headlines when he made a speech at this hotel, discussing the issue of equality in the United States while in Harlem, one of the poorest boroughs in the country. Kennedy would visit this very same hotel a short while later, and also made a speech: “Behind the fact of Castro coming to this hotel, [and] Khrushchev…there is another great traveler in the world, and that is the travel of a world revolution, a world in turmoil…We should be glad [that Castro and Khrushchev] came to the United States. We should not fear the twentieth century, for the worldwide revolution which we see all around us is part of the original American Revolution." What did Kennedy mean by this? The American Revolution was fought for freedom, freedom from the rule of monarchy and imperialism in favour of national sovereignty. What Kennedy was stating, was that this was the very oppression that the rest of the world wished to shake the yoke off, and that the United States had an opportunity to be a leader in the cause for the independence of all nations. On June 30th, 1960, marking the independence of the Republic of Congo from the colonial rule of Belgium, Patrice Lumumba, the first Congolese Prime Minister gave a speech that has become famous for its outspoken criticism of colonialism. Lumumba spoke of his people’s struggle against “the humiliating bondage that was forced upon us… [years that were] filled with tears, fire and blood,” and concluded vowing “We shall show the world what the black man can do when working in liberty, and we shall make the Congo the pride of Africa.” Shortly after, Lumumba also made clear, “We want no part of the Cold War… We want Africa to remain African with a policy of neutralism." As a result, Lumumba was labeled a communist for his refusal to be a Cold War satellite for the western sphere. Rather, Lumumba was part of the Pan-African movement that was led by Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah (who later Kennedy would also work with), which sought national sovereignty and an end to colonialism in Africa. Lumumba “would remain a grave danger,” Dulles said at an NSC meeting on September 21, 1960, “as long as he was not yet disposed of.” Three days later, Dulles made it clear that he wanted Lumumba permanently removed, cabling the CIA’s Leopoldville station, “We wish give [sic] every possible support in eliminating Lumumba from any possibility resuming governmental position.” Lumumba was assassinated on Jan. 17th, 1961, just three days before Kennedy’s inauguration, during the fog of the transition period between presidents, when the CIA is most free to tie its loose ends, confident that they will not be reprimanded by a new administration that wants to avoid scandal on its first days in office. Kennedy, who clearly meant to put a stop to the Murder Inc. that Dulles had created and was running, would declare to the world in his inaugural address on Jan. 20th, 1961, “The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.” La Resistance Along with inheriting the responsibility of the welfare of the country and its people, Kennedy was to also inherit a secret war with communist Cuba run by the CIA. The Bay of Pigs set-up would occur three months later. Prouty compares the Bay of Pigs incident to that of the Crusade for Peace; the Bay of Pigs being orchestrated by the CIA, and the Crusade for Peace sabotaged by the CIA, in both cases to ruin the U.S. president’s (Eisenhower and Kennedy) ability to form a peaceful dialogue with Khrushchev and decrease Cold War tensions. Both presidents’ took onus for the events respectively, despite the responsibility resting with the CIA. However, Eisenhower and Kennedy understood, if they did not take onus, it would be a public declaration that they did not have any control over their government agencies and military. Further, the Bay of Pigs operation was in fact meant to fail. It was meant to stir up a public outcry for a direct military invasion of Cuba. On public record is a meeting (or more aptly described as an intervention) with CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard Bissell, Joint Chiefs Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer, and Navy Chief Admiral Burke basically trying to strong-arm President Kennedy into approving a direct military attack on Cuba. Admiral Burke had already taken the liberty of positioning two battalions of Marines on Navy destroyers off the coast of Cuba “anticipating that U.S. forces might be ordered into Cuba to salvage a botched invasion.”[7] (This incident is what inspired the Frankenheimer movie “Seven Days in May.”) Kennedy stood his ground. “They were sure I’d give in to them,” Kennedy later told Special Assistant to the President Dave Powers. “They couldn’t believe that a new president like me wouldn’t panic and try to save his own face. Well they had me figured all wrong.” Incredibly, not only did the young president stand his ground against the Washington war hawks just three months into his presidential term, but he also launched the Cuba Study Group which found the CIA to be responsible for the fiasco, leading to the humiliating forced resignation of Allen Dulles, Richard Bissell and Charles Cabell. (For more on this refer to my report.) Unfortunately, it would not be that easy to dethrone Dulles, who continued to act as head of the CIA, and key members of the intelligence community such as Helms and Angleton regularly bypassed McCone (the new CIA Director) and briefed Dulles directly. But Kennedy was also serious about seeing it through all the way, and vowed to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.” * * * There is another rather significant incident that had occurred just days after the Bay of Pigs, and which has largely been overshadowed by the Cuban fiasco in the United States. From April 21-26th, 1961, the Algiers putsch or Generals’ putsch, was a failed coup d’état intended to force President de Gaulle (1959-1969) not to abandon the colonial French Algeria. The organisers of the putsch were opposed to the secret negotiations that French Prime Minister Michel Debré had started with the anti-colonial National Liberation Front (FLN). On January 26th, 1961, just three months before the attempted coup d’état, Dulles sent a report to Kennedy on the French situation that seemed to be hinting that de Gaulle would no longer be around, “A pre-revolutionary atmosphere reigns in France… The Army and the Air Force are staunchly opposed to de Gaulle…At least 80 percent of the officers are violently against him. They haven’t forgotten that in 1958, he had given his word of honor that he would never abandon Algeria. He is now reneging on his promise, and they hate him for that. de Gaulle surely won’t last if he tries to let go of Algeria. Everything will probably be over for him by the end of the year—he will be either deposed or assassinated.” The attempted coup was led by Maurice Challe, whom de Gaulle had reason to conclude was working with the support of U.S. intelligence, and Élysée officials began spreading this word to the press, which reported the CIA as a “reactionary state-within-a-state” that operated outside of Kennedy’s control. Shortly before Challe’s resignation from the French military, he had served as NATO commander in chief and had developed close relations with a number of high-ranking U.S. officers stationed in the military alliance’s Fontainebleau headquarters. In August 1962 the OAS (Secret Army Organization) made an assassination attempt against de Gaulle, believing he had betrayed France by giving up Algeria to Algerian nationalists. This would be the most notorious assassination attempt on de Gaulle (who would remarkably survive over thirty assassination attempts while President of France) when a dozen OAS snipers opened fire on the president’s car, which managed to escape the ambush despite all four tires being shot out. After the failed coup d’état, de Gaulle launched a purge of his security forces and ousted General Paul Grossin, the chief of SDECE (the French secret service). Grossin was closely aligned with the CIA, and had told Frank Wisner over lunch that the return of de Gaulle to power was equivalent to the Communists taking over in Paris. In 1967, after a five-year enquête by the French Intelligence Bureau, it released its findings concerning the 1962 assassination attempt on de Gaulle. The report found that the 1962 assassination plot could be traced back to the NATO Brussels headquarters, and the remnants of the old Nazi intelligence apparatus. The report also found that Permindex had transferred $200,000 into an OAS bank account to finance the project. As a result of the de Gaulle exposé, Permindex was forced to shut down its public operations in Western Europe and relocated its headquarters from Bern, Switzerland to Johannesburg, South Africa, it also had/has a base in Montreal, Canada where its founder Maj. Gen. Louis M. Bloomfield (former OSS) proudly had his name amongst its board members until the damning de Gaulle report. The relevance of this to Kennedy will be discussed shortly. As a result of the SDECE’s ongoing investigation, de Gaulle made a vehement denunciation of the Anglo-American violation of the Atlantic Charter, followed by France’s withdrawal from the NATO military command in 1966. France would not return to NATO until April 2009 at the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit. In addition to all of this, on Jan. 14th, 1963, de Gaulle declared at a press conference that he had vetoed British entry into the Common Market. This would be the first move towards France and West Germany’s formation of the European Monetary System, which excluded Great Britain, likely due to its imperialist tendencies and its infamous sin City of London. Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson telegrammed West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer directly, appealing to him to try to persuade de Gaulle to back track on the veto, stating “if anyone can affect Gen. de Gaulle’s decision, you are surely that person.” Little did Acheson know that Adenauer was just days away from signing the Franco-German Treaty of Jan 22nd, 1963 (also known as the ÉlyséeTreaty), which had enormous implications. Franco-German relations, which had long been dominated by centuries of rivalry, had now agreed that their fates were aligned. (This close relationship was continued to a climactic point in the late 1970s, with the formation of the European Monetary System, and France and West Germany’s willingness in 1977 to work with OPEC countries trading oil for nuclear technology, which was sabotaged by the U.S.-Britain alliance. The Élysée Treaty was a clear denunciation of the Anglo-American forceful overseeing that had overtaken Western Europe since the end of WWII. On June 28th, 1961, Kennedy wrote NSAM #55. This document changed the responsibility of defense during the Cold War from the CIA to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and would have (if seen through) drastically changed the course of the war in Vietnam. It would also have effectively removed the CIA from Cold War military operations and limited the CIA to its sole lawful responsibility, the collecting and coordination of intelligence. By Oct 11th, 1963, NSAM #263, closely overseen by Kennedy[14], was released and outlined a policy decision “to withdraw 1,000 military personnel [from Vietnam] by the end of 1963” and further stated that “It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by 1965.” The Armed Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes had the headline U.S. TROOPS SEEN OUT OF VIET BY ’65. It would be the final nail in the coffin. Treason in America “Treason doth never prosper; what is the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.” – Sir John Harrington By Germany supporting de Gaulle’s exposure of the international assassination ring, his adamant opposition to western imperialism and the role of NATO, and with a young Kennedy building his own resistance against the imperialist war of Vietnam, it was clear that the power elite were in big trouble. On November 22nd, 1963 President Kennedy was brutally murdered in the streets of Dallas, Texas in broad daylight. With the assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem, likely ordained by the CIA, on Nov. 2nd, 1963 and Kennedy just a few weeks later, de facto President Johnson signed NSAM #273 on Nov. 26th, 1963 to begin the reversal of Kennedy’s policy under #263. And on March 17th, 1964, Johnson signed NSAM #288 that marked the full escalation of the Vietnam War and involved 2,709,918 Americans directly serving in Vietnam, with 9,087,000 serving with the U.S. Armed Forces during this period. The Vietnam War would continue for another 12 years after Kennedy’s death, lasting a total of 20 years for Americans, and 30 years if you count American covert action in Vietnam. Two days before Kennedy’s assassination, a hate-Kennedy handbill was circulated in Dallas accusing the president of treasonous activities including being a communist sympathizer. On November 29th, 1963 the Warren Commission was set up to investigate the murder of President Kennedy. The old Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana was a member of that Warren Commission. Boggs became increasingly disturbed by the lack of transparency and rigour exhibited by the Commission and became convinced that many of the documents used to incriminate Oswald were in fact forgeries. In 1965 Rep. Boggs told New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison that Oswald could not have been the one who killed Kennedy. It was Boggs who encouraged Garrison to begin the only law enforcement prosecution of the President’s murder to this day. Nixon was inaugurated as President of the United States on Jan 20th, 1969. Hale Boggs soon after called on Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell to have the courage to fire J. Edgar Hoover. It wasn’t long thereafter that the private airplane carrying Hale Boggs disappeared without a trace. Jim Garrison was the District Attorney of New Orleans from 1962 to 1973 and was the only one to bring forth a trial concerning the assassination of President Kennedy. In Jim Garrison’s book “On the Trail of the Assassins”, J. Edgar Hoover comes up several times impeding or shutting down investigations into JFK’s murder, in particular concerning the evidence collected by the Dallas Police Department, such as the nitrate test Oswald was given and which exonerated him, proving that he never shot a rifle the day of Nov 22nd, 1963. However, for reasons only known to the government and its investigators this fact was kept secret for 10 months. It was finally revealed in the Warren Commission report, which inexplicably didn’t change their opinion that Oswald had shot Kennedy. Another particularly damning incident was concerning the Zapruder film that was in the possession of the FBI and which they had sent a “copy” to the Warren Commission for their investigation. This film was one of the leading pieces of evidence used to support the “magic bullet theory” and showcase the direction of the headshot coming from behind, thus verifying that Oswald’s location was adequate for such a shot. During Garrison’s trial on the Kennedy assassination (1967-1969) he subpoenaed the Zapruder film that for some peculiar reason had been locked up in some vault owned by Life magazine (the reader should note that Henry Luce the owner of Life magazine was in a very close relationship with the CIA). This was the first time in more than five years that the Zapruder film was made public. It turns out the FBI’s copy that was sent to the Warren Commission had two critical frames reversed to create a false impression that the rifle shot was from behind. When Garrison got a hold of the original film it was discovered that the head shot had actually come from the front. In fact, what the whole film showed was that the President had been shot from multiple angles meaning there was more than one gunman. When the FBI was questioned about how these two critical frames could have been reversed, they answered self-satisfactorily that it must have been a technical glitch… There is also the matter of the original autopsy papers being destroyed by the chief autopsy physician, James Humes, to which he even testified to during the Warren Commission, apparently nobody bothered to ask why… This would explain why the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), reported in a July 1998 staff report their concern for the number of shortcomings in the original autopsy, that “One of the many tragedies of the assassination of President Kennedy has been the incompleteness of the autopsy record and the suspicion caused by the shroud of secrecy that has surrounded the records that do exist.” [emphasis added] The staff report for the Assassinations Records Review Board contended that brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not of Kennedy’s brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained. There is a lot of spurious effort to try to ridicule anyone who challenges the Warren Commission’s official report as nothing but fringe conspiracy theory. And that we should not find it highly suspect that Allen Dulles, of all people, was a member and pretty much leader of said commission. The reader should keep in mind that much of this frothing opposition stems from the very agency that perpetrated crime after crime on the American people, as well as abroad. When has the CIA ever admitted guilt, unless caught red-handed? Even after the Church committee hearings, when the CIA was found guilty of planning out foreign assassinations, they claimed that they had failed in every single plot or that someone had beaten them to the punch, including in the case of Lumumba. The American people need to realise that the CIA is not a respectable agency; we are not dealing with honorable men. It is a rogue force that believes that the ends justify the means, that they are the hands of the king so to speak, above government and above law. Those at the top such as Allen Dulles were just as adamant as Churchill about protecting the interests of the power elite, or as Churchill termed it, the “High Cabal.” Interestingly, on Dec. 22nd, 1963, just one month after Kennedy’s assassination, Harry Truman published a scathing critique of the CIA in The Washington Post, even going so far as to state “There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position [as a] free and open society, and I feel that we need to correct it.” The timing of such a scathing quote cannot be stressed enough. Dulles, of course, told the public not to be distressed, that Truman was just in entering his twilight years. In addition, Jim Garrison, New Orleans District Attorney at the time, who was charging Clay Shaw as a member of the conspiracy to kill Kennedy, besides uncovering his ties to David Ferrie who was found dead in his apartment days before he was scheduled to testify, also made a case that the New Orleans International Trade Mart (to which Clay Shaw was director), the U.S. subsidiary of Permindex, was linked to Kennedy’s murder. Col. Clay Shaw was an OSS officer during WWII, which provides a direct link to his knowing Allen Dulles. Garrison did a remarkable job with the odds he was up against, and for the number of witnesses that turned up dead before the trial… This Permindex link would not look so damning if we did not have the French intelligence SDECE report, but we do. And recall, in that report Permindex was caught transferring $200,000 directly to the bankroll of the OAS which attempted the 1962 assassination on de Gaulle. Thus, Permindex’s implication in an international assassination ring is not up for debate. In addition, the CIA was found heavily involved in these assassination attempts against de Gaulle, thus we should not simply dismiss the possibility that Permindex was indeed a CIA front for an international hit crew. In fact, among the strange and murderous characters who converged on Dallas in Nov. 1963 was a notorious French OAS commando named Jean Souetre, who was connected to the plots against President de Gaulle. Souetre was arrested in Dallas after the Kennedy assassination and expelled to Mexico, not even kept for questioning. What Does the Future Hold? After returning from Kennedy’s Nov. 24th funeral in Washington, de Gaulle and his information minister Alain Peyrefitte had a candid discussion that was recorded in Peyrefitte’s memoire “C’était de Gaulle,” the great General was quoted saying: “What happened to Kennedy is what nearly happened to me… His story is the same as mine. … It looks like a cowboy story, but it’s only an OAS [Secret Army Organization] story. The security forces were in cahoots with the extremists. …Security forces are all the same when they do this kind of dirty work. As soon as they succeed in wiping out the false assassin, they declare the justice system no longer need be concerned, that no further public action was needed now that the guilty perpetrator was dead. Better to assassinate an innocent man than to let a civil war break out. Better an injustice than disorder. America is in danger of upheavals. But you’ll see. All of them together will observe the law of silence. They will close ranks. They’ll do everything to stifle any scandal. They will throw Noah’s cloak over these shameful deeds. In order to not lose face in front of the whole world. In order to not risk unleashing riots in the United States. In order to preserve the union and to avoid a new civil war. In order to not ask themselves questions. They don’t want to know. They don’t want to find out. They won’t allow themselves to find out.” The American people would do well to remember that it was first John F. Kennedy, acting as the President to the United States, who was to be declared a terrorist and threat to his country’s national security. Thus is it not natural that those who continue to defend the legacy of Kennedy should be regarded today as threat, not truly to the nation’s security, but a threat to the very same grouping responsible for Kennedy’s death and whom today have now declared open war on the American people. This will be the greatest test the American people have ever been confronted with, and it will only be through an understanding of how the country came to where it is today that there can be sufficient clarity as to what the solutions are, which are not to be found in another civil war. To not fall for the trapping of further chaos and division, the American people will only be able to rise above this if they choose to ask those questions, if they choose to want to know, to want to find out the truth of things they dared not look at in the past for fear of what it would reveal. “Whenever the government of the United States shall break up, it will probably be in consequence of a false direction having been given to public opinion. This is the weak point of our defenses, and the part to which the enemies of the system will direct all their attacks. Opinion can be so perverted as to cause the false to seem true; the enemy, a friend, and the friend, an enemy; the best interests of the nation to appear insignificant, and the trifles of moment; in a word, the right the wrong, the wrong the right. In a country where opinion has sway, to seize upon it, is to seize upon power. As it is a rule of humanity that the upright and well-intentioned are comparatively passive, while the designing, dishonest, and selfish are the most untiring in their efforts, the danger of public opinion’s getting a false direction is four-fold, since few men think for themselves.” -James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) We must dare to be among the few who think for ourselves. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/22/2021 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 22nd, 2021

Facebook says it"s investigating why the #saltbae hashtag was blocked after a video showed the celebrity chef giving a golden steak to a Vietnamese communist party official

The #saltbae hashtag was blocked on Facebook days after a video emerged showing a Vietnamese minister being served a golden steak by Nusret Gökçe. Turkish restaurateur Nusret Gokce, also known as 'Salt Bae', poses for photos at his restaurant 'Nusr-Et' at the Grand Bazaar after its reopening on June 1, 2020 in Istanbul. OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images Facebook said it's unblocked the #saltbae hashtag and investigating why it happened. #Saltbae was blocked on Facebook days after a Vietnamese minister was filmed eating the chef's golden steak. The video was posted on Nusret Gökçe's TikTok account but removed shortly after it was uploaded. Facebook says it's looking into why the hashtag for celebrity chef Nusret Gökçe's nickname, #saltbae, was blocked days after a video was posted of Gökçe feeding a gold-encrusted steak to a Vietnamese Communist Party official in London, Reuters reported."We've unblocked this hashtag on Facebook and we're investigating why this happened," a spokesperson for Meta told Reuters. The hashtag had been blocked for all Facebook users around the world, not just in Vietnam, they told Reuters.It wasn't clear why the hashtag had been blocked, and the spokesperson declined Reuter's comment on potential reasons behind the blocking.Facebook users could see the hashtag was blocked because searching for it on the platform prompted a message saying community standards had been violated.The video, first posted on Gökçe's official TikTok account, showed To Lam, Vietnam's Minister of Public Security, being served a gold-encrusted steak by the Turkish cook at his London restaurant, where a steak sells for up to £1,450 ($1,960).A minister in the country is paid an official monthly salary of around 16 million dong ($705.47), per Reuters.The original video was removed from Gökçe's TikTok account shortly after it was uploaded, and further copies of it have been removed from the app for violating "community standards", Vietnamese TikTok users told Reuters.TikTok and Gökçe declined to comment to Reuters.It wasn't clear who paid for the meal. To Lam, who was in the UK for the UN climate conference, COP26, and Vietnam's foreign ministry didn't respond to Reuters' request for comments.Vietnam regularly asks social-media companies to censor content which the country deems to be "anti-state."Last year, Vietnam threatened to shut down Facebook in the country if it did not remove more local political content from its platform.Facebook declined Reuters' comment on whether the Vietnamese government had requested for the video to be removed.Gökçe, the Instagram-famous chef who went viral in 2017 when he dramatically sprinkled salt onto a slab of meat, opened his London restaurant in September.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 9th, 2021

Maryland lawmaker-doctor fined $15,000 for joining legislative meetings from the operating room

State Del. Terri Hill told the AP that she sought to balance her legislative work and her medical career - but took responsibility for the incidents. In this Jan. 23, 2020, Del. Terri Hill poses in the Maryland House of Delegates chamber in Annapolis, Md. AP Photo/Brian Witte, File Delegate Terri Hill was reprimanded for performing a surgery while attending legislative meetings. Hill was fined by the Board of Physicians for "unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine." "I accept the Board's decision that I could have done better," she told the Associated Press. A Maryland state lawmaker who is also a plastic surgeon was reprimanded in October for performing a surgical procedure while also attending virtual legislative meetings, according to The Associated Press.Democratic Del. Terri Hill, who represents portions of Baltimore and Howard counties, was fined $15,000 by the Maryland Board of Physicians, which found that she was guilty of "unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine."In the official consent order, the board detailed how Hill took part in a voting session of a House committee while being shown on the video feed wearing "a surgical gown, facemask, and surgical cap."In the Maryland legislative session held this year, committee meetings continued to be conducted via video conferencing because of the coronavirus pandemic. Members of the public were able to access the livestream of legislative meetings and hearings."She was positioned under the surgical lights, focused downward, and would occasionally shift, reach for surgical instruments, or adjust the lights," the report said, mentioning that the surgeon and other operating room staff "occasionally moved surgical equipment and blood-stained towels so that they were briefly visible on the video feed."Hill, who was first elected to the state House of Delegates in 2014, told The Associated Press that she sought to balance work for her constituents and her medical career - but ultimately took responsibility for the incidents."I accept the Board's decision that I could have done better," she told the news agency in a statement on Friday.The board fielded a complaint on March 23 which alleged that Hill was taking part in committee meetings remotely while also performing surgery. The individual who made the allegation cited a newspaper article, according to the consent order.The consent order also stated that Hill went to two virtual legislative committee meetings on Feb. 19 and March 12.Hill took part in the February meeting to introduce a bill that she was sponsoring during the legislative session, while appearing on screen in "surgical gown, facemask, and surgical cap."In the order, a physician's assistant stated that Hill moved from the operating table "for a few minutes," but then came back to the table. The patient in the operating room said that they didn't remember Hill asking if she could join the hearing.The lawmaker also took part in a March 12 committee meeting while also performing "major abdominal and back surgery," according to the consent order. That day, Hill voted "yes" on 14 bills that were up for a vote.The patient on the second aforementioned date gave consent for Hill to take part in the meeting only 10 minutes before the surgery began, according to the board.Hill told the medical panel that her attendance at the virtual committee meetings was not compulsory.After the news was published which revealed the lawmaker's conduct, she told the board that she reached out to the surgery center's medical director, who was "very upset" and told her that such an incident "was to never happen again."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 30th, 2021

Maryland lawmaker-doctor fined for joining legislative meetings from the operating room

State Del. Terri Hill told the AP that she sought to balance her legislative work and her medical career - but took responsibility for the incidents. In this Jan. 23, 2020, Del. Terri Hill poses in the Maryland House of Delegates chamber in Annapolis, Md. AP Photo/Brian Witte, File Delegate Terri Hill was reprimanded for performing a surgery while attending legislative meetings. Hill was fined by the Board of Physicians for "unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine." "I accept the Board's decision that I could have done better," she told the Associated Press. A Maryland state lawmaker who is also a plastic surgeon was reprimanded in October for performing a surgical procedure while also attending virtual legislative meetings, according to The Associated Press.Democratic Del. Terri Hill, who represents portions of Baltimore and Howard counties, was fined $15,000 by the Maryland Board of Physicians, which found that she was guilty of "unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine."In the official consent order, the board detailed how Hill took part in a voting session of a House committee while being shown on the video feed wearing "a surgical gown, facemask, and surgical cap."In the Maryland legislative session held this year, committee meetings continued to be conducted via video conferencing because of the coronavirus pandemic. Members of the public were able to access the livestream of legislative meetings and hearings."She was positioned under the surgical lights, focused downward, and would occasionally shift, reach for surgical instruments, or adjust the lights," the report said, mentioning that the surgeon and other operating room staff "occasionally moved surgical equipment and blood-stained towels so that they were briefly visible on the video feed."Hill, who was first elected to the state House of Delegates in 2014, told The Associated Press that she sought to balance work for her constituents and her medical career - but ultimately took responsibility for the incidents."I accept the Board's decision that I could have done better," she told the news agency in a statement on Friday.The board fielded a complaint on March 23 which alleged that Hill was taking part in committee meetings remotely while also performing surgery. The individual who made the allegation cited a newspaper article, according to the consent order.The consent order also stated that Hill went to two virtual legislative committee meetings on Feb. 19 and March 12.Hill took part in the February meeting to introduce a bill that she was sponsoring during the legislative session, while appearing on screen in "surgical gown, facemask, and surgical cap."In the order, a physician's assistant stated that Hill moved from the operating table "for a few minutes," but then came back to the table. The patient in the operating room said that they didn't remember Hill asking if she could join the hearing.The lawmaker also took part in a March 12 committee meeting while also performing "major abdominal and back surgery," according to the consent order. That day, Hill voted "yes" on 14 bills that were up for a vote.The patient on the second aforementioned date gave consent for Hill to take part in the meeting only 10 minutes before the surgery began, according to the board.Hill told the medical panel that her attendance at the virtual committee meetings was not compulsory.After the news was published which revealed the lawmaker's conduct, she told the board that she reached out to the surgery center's medical director, who was "very upset" and told her that such an incident "was to never happen again."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 30th, 2021

FDA Adviser Explains Why He Abstained From Vote On Pfizer"s COVID-19 Vaccine For Kids

FDA Adviser Explains Why He Abstained From Vote On Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine For Kids Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times, The only Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory panel member to abstain from a major vote this week that essentially authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 5 said he did so because of limited safety and efficacy data. All 17 others voted to advise the administration, or the FDA, to authorize the jab for children between the ages of 5 and 11. The agency already supported doing so and is expected to formalize the authorization soon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would then decide which children should get the shot. The vote was preceded by nearly eight hours of discussions and presentations, with multiple members expressing concern about the scant data on how the vaccine will affect the age group. But Dr. Michael Kurilla, an expert on infectious diseases and pathology who directs a division inside the National Institutes of Health, was the only one who didn’t support the recommendation. Kurilla told The Epoch Times in an email that he opposed the specific, binary wording of the question, which opens up the possibility that any child between 5 and 11 will be able to get the Pfizer vaccine. He was also concerned about the longest follow-up for the clinical trial involving the age group being only three months, data that shows children experience severe cases of COVID-19 much less often than adults, and how a large chunk of them have already had the disease, giving them some level of immunity. If the authorization goes through as expected, at least some of the age group will be able to get two doses of 10 micrograms each, spaced three weeks apart. The same dosage interval, with a dosage level three times as high, is currently in place for adults. But adults have seen waning effectiveness, especially against infection, prompting the recent authorization of booster doses. Because the interval is the same, it can be predicted that the effectiveness will also wane in children, Kurilla said. The lower dosage level, meanwhile, brings into question whether the protection against severe disease and hospitalization will be as strong as in adults. “Real-world evidence involving adults suggest the 3-week dosing interval is suboptimal in terms of durability and is likely to be similar in children, leading to waning immunity within 4–6 months,” Kurilla said. “Because the Pfizer vaccine offers protection against serious disease even after antibody titers have waned, there is some other basis for immunity, but at the lower dose in children, there is no expectation that those same immune processes will behave similarly to the higher adult dose.” Pfizer/BioNTech’s new pediatric COVID-19 vaccine vials are seen in this undated handout photo. (Pfizer via Reuters) Low Hospitalization Rate During the meeting, members heard that among children 5 to 11 in the United States, there have been over 1.9 million infections since the start of the pandemic, but just 0.4 percent, or 8,400 of those cases, have required hospital care. And just 94 of them ended up dying. They also heard that an estimated 20 percent of the hospitalized children were admitted for a reason besides COVID-19 and that nearly seven out of 10 of the children had existing serious health conditions like heart disease, illustrating just how little risk COVID-19 poses to healthy children. Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 40 percent of children in the age group have already had COVID-19. Recovery from COVID-19 bestows some level of immunity, studies show, with multiple studies indicating the level is actually higher than vaccines provide. “The benefit here is assumed to be prevention of severe disease, which is what we’re all hoping for,” Kurilla said during the meeting. But among the recovered, he added later, “The question really becomes, does this vaccine offer any benefits to them at all?” Kurilla signaled he would have voted “yes” if the FDA had proposed opening up access to the vaccine to a subset of the 5–11 group. He also explained why he abstained. “My abstention was based on the specific question the FDA asked. A ‘no’ vote would have been misconstrued as my opinion about the vaccine,” he told The Epoch Times. “There are high-risk groups within the 5–11 age group that would benefit from the vaccine, suggesting a more tailored approach.” In this image from video, Dr. Michael Kurilla (C) questions the CDC’s Dr. Fiona Havers (R) during an FDA advisory panel meeting on Oct. 26, 2021. (The Epoch Times via FDA) Others Question Widespread Use Additional panel members openly questioned whether all young children should get the vaccine. “I’m torn. On one hand, we know that many mothers and fathers and parents are eager to administer this vaccine to children because they’re so frightened, perhaps overly so, … that they really are anticipating having access to this vaccine in children,” said Dr. Cody Meissner, the director of pediatric infectious disease at Tufts Medical Center. “On the other hand, I think we saw that approximately 68 percent of the children who are hospitalized with COVID-19 have underlying comorbidities. That means about 32 percent do not. And then if we were to take 40 percent of that group that may have immunity already, we’re getting down to a very small percent of otherwise healthy 6- to 11-year-old children who might derive some benefit,” he added. But others said they saw the need for the vaccination. The protection it gives would prevent more hospitalizations and ensure schools remain open, some argued. “We don’t want children to be dying of COVID, even if it is far fewer children than adults, and we don’t want them in the ICU,” said Dr. Amanda Cohn, a CDC official. Jeannette Lee, a biostatistics professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said she was impressed by the data presented by Pfizer, which relied on an approach called immunobridging. In this case, Pfizer’s trial showed the vaccine triggered antibodies in children. The antibodies were compared to those elicited in older groups, and that was used as proof the vaccine will protect the kids against COVID-19. Kurilla, though, voiced disapproval with the approach, telling colleagues “it’s being based on an immunogenicity marker that we know wanes.” He said he hoped for more flexibility in the authorization, including a single dose for some children and no doses for others, based on factors like prior infection. “There are high-risk individuals and I think they do need to be attended to, that we do need to provide a vaccine for them. But for many others, one dose—or no dose, even, if they’ve had prior COVID infection. I think they may not need anything more,” he said. A 14-year-old girl gets a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Hartford, Conn., on May 13, 2021. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images) Side Effects Cases of heart inflammation after receipt of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are highest in youth, especially boys in their teens. Based on reports submitted to the federally run Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the cases are higher than expected in males aged 12 to 49 after the second Pfizer dose and females 12 to 24 after the second Pfizer dose. Over half of the children with confirmed myocarditis or pericarditis studied in the Vaccine Safety Datalink surveillance system required hospital care, though no post-vaccination deaths due to the conditions have been confirmed, according to federal authorities. Pfizer said none of the 5- to 11-year-olds in its trials experienced post-vaccination heart inflammation. Using a third of the amount of that given to older people is, in part, an attempt to curb side effects, though how that will ultimately turn out is unknown. FDA scientists said they determined the vaccine would prevent more COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among the age group than vaccine-linked heart inflammation cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. They assumed a vaccine efficacy of 70 percent against COVID-19 cases and an efficacy of 80 percent against hospitalizations linked to the disease. Among young males, “the benefits appear to outweigh the risks,” Hong Yang, an FDA scientist, told members. Among young females, “the benefits clearly outweigh the risks,” she added. “What will the actual myocarditis rate be in these younger kids?” Dr. Ofer Levy, director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, wondered. That group “may be less susceptible to myocarditis, but right now that’s a speculation,” he added. “We don’t know that for sure.” Members of the public also expressed concern, arguing the safety data wasn’t sufficient to authorize the vaccine for children so young. But other members pointed to the trial data, the fact fewer reports have come in for 12- to 15-year-olds than 16- and 17-year-olds, and how, generally, fewer younger children experience heart inflammation versus older ones. “I am not as concerned about myocarditis in this age group as I am in the older kids,” Dr. Melinda Wharton, another CDC official, said. Surveillance systems like VAERS will help detect if inflammation becomes an issue in the younger children, members said. “If the surveillance systems do start seeing severe outcomes and deaths from vaccination, I’m quite confident that those surveillance systems will tell us that we need to pause like we did with the J&J vaccine to really have a good idea of what the effects are vaccinating this age group,” said Dr. Patrick Moore, professor at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. In this image from video, Dr. Eric Rubin (L) explains why he will vote to advise the FDA to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for young children during an FDA advisory panel meeting on Oct. 26, 2021. (The Epoch Times via FDA) The ‘Yes’ Votes Ultimately, most members said the benefits and predicted benefits of the vaccine in the 5- to 11-year-olds outweighed the risks and potential risks. “I think this vaccine will likely be effective in reducing pediatric COVID in this age group and may also help reduce transmission. On the safety end, I’m encouraged by the lower dose, … finding a dose that’s immunogenic and had not too much in terms of reactogenicity,” said Dr. Ofer Levy, director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Eric Rubin, an adjunct professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said he wanted to give parents the choice to vaccinate their kids, imagining he had a child who was a transplant recipient, though he joined others in saying there are probably some younger children who shouldn’t get the vaccine. “The question of how broadly to use it, though, I think is a substantial one. And I know it’s not our question, but I—and I know we’re kind of punting that to [the CDC’s advisory panel]—but I do think that it’s a relatively close call,” he said. Soon after, in a comment that was widely distributed online, he added: “We’re never going to learn about how safe this vaccine is unless we start giving it. That’s just the way it goes. That’s how we found out about rare complications of other vaccines, like the rotavirus vaccine.” Rubin told The Epoch Times in an email, responding to critics: “The clinical trial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children showed no adverse events. All data to date indicate that it is safe. It will prevent the hospitalization of children with severe disease, as it does with adults. The vaccine works, and saves lives.” Tyler Durden Fri, 10/29/2021 - 08:47.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 29th, 2021

Black Monday, 1987: Inside The Birth Of Stock Market Moral Hazard, 34 Years Ago Today

Black Monday, 1987: Inside The Birth Of Stock Market Moral Hazard, 34 Years Ago Today Authored by Liam McPherson via Global Macro Monitor, Originally posted October 19, 2020. The following exchange took place between President Reagan and reporters after the market close on Black Monday, October 19, 1987.  Leaving to visit the First Lady in the hospital, President Reagan spoke just after the market lost over 20 percent of its value on the day. Q: What about the market? Tomorrow will it go down again? President Reagan:  I don’t know. You tell me. Q: Is the market your fault? President Reagan: Is it my fault? For what, taking cookies to my wife? Q: Reaganomics? President Reagan:  I just told you. Good Lord, we reduced the deficit over last year by $70 billion. And all the other things I’ve told you about the economy are as solid as I told you. So, no, I have no more knowledge of why it took place than you have. Thirty-four years ago today, now infamously known as Black Monday, my grandfather, M. Peter McPherson, was Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and acting Secretary that day, while Treasury Secretary James Baker was in the air traveling to Europe. McPherson was the most senior Treasury official left in Washington to handle the crisis. The stock market had already peaked in August after an almost 100 percent rally in the prior two years.  By late August, the DJIA had gained 44 percent in a matter of seven months, raising concerns of an asset bubble, and had become very volatile as interest rates had been rising rapidly since bottoming in September of the prior year. Similar to 1929, where the stock market peaked in early September, the markets had already begun to unravel, foreshadowing the record losses that would develop that Monday in October. As the markets around the world began to crash, my grandfather convened with the U.S. Treasury’s Undersecretary of Domestic Finance and the Department Chief of Staff to discuss the government’s appropriate response.  The Dow Jones eventually closed 508 points down, or a 22.61 percent, almost double the historic Crash of 1929, where the Dow fell 12.8 percent in one day. Government Kicks Into Action According to my grandfather, the situation demanded that his team put together a plan to calm the markets. The economy was doing fine, and there were no signs of recession.  Real GDP growth came in at 3.5 percent in 1987. Jitters about the U.S. trade deficit, rising interest rates, and the path of the U.S. dollar during the Plaza Accord are oft-cited as the fundamental reasons that triggered the crash, but nobody knows for sure.  Trees don’t grow to the sky, and neither do markets.  Stocks markets do what stocks markets do, keep their own schedule, and march to their own drummer. The team’s conclusion at Treasury that day was the market was under severe strain for technical reasons and complicated by the new computerized program trading related to portfolio insurance.  Nevertheless, the steep losses were causing significant dislocations in the financial markets. Many large firms were under heavy liquidity pressure and were dangerously close to not making their margin calls and on the brink of failure. My grandfather and his team placed a call to the then-new Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, only a month into the job, to encourage the issuance of a Fed statement that it would do whatever it takes to provide the liquidity to keep markets functioning. It wasn’t the time to think about the policy’s broader economic implications, such as the potential moral hazard, as the plane was on fire and going down and desperately needed a rescue plan. It was also clear Greenspan had been thinking along similar lines. Fed officials drafted much longer statements for release, but Greenspan reasoned that a short, clear message would do the most to stabilize markets. It is also important to point out that when Secretary Baker arrived in Europe late that day, he immediately began communicating with key finance ministers, such as those from Germany, Japan, France, and the UK to coordinate a global response to the financial crisis. October 20 Greenspan issued his statement the next morning, October 20, “The Federal Reserve, consistent with its responsibilities as the Nation’s central bank, affirmed today its readiness to serve as a source of liquidity to support the economic and financial system.” – FRB In typical Greenspan fashion, the statement was vague in methodology yet resolute in purpose. The market opened down and continued falling, there were no buyers and it appeared, at one point, the global financial system was headed for a complete meltdown. “Tuesday was the most dangerous day we had in 50 years,” says Felix Rohatyn, a general partner in Lazard Freres & Co. “I think we came within an hour” of a disintegration of the stock market, he says. “The fact we didn’t have a meltdown doesn’t mean we didn’t have a breakdown.  – WSJ Then at about 12:38 pm, with many stocks not trading and pressure growing to close the markets a miracle seemed to happen. With the closing of the Big Board seemingly imminent and the market in disarray, with virtually all options and futures trading halted, something happened that some later described as a miracle: In the space of about five or six minutes, the Major Market Index futures contract, the only viable surrogate for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the only major index still trading, staged the most powerful rally in its history. The MMI rose on the Chicago Board of Trade from a discount of nearly 60 points to a premium of about 12 points. Because each point represents about five in the industrial average, the rally was the equivalent of a lightning-like 360-point rise in the Dow. Some believe that this extraordinary move set the stage for the salvation of the world’s markets. – WSJ  The rest, as they say, is history. My grandfather felt that the Treasury’s phone call contributed to Greenspan’s thinking and as he made the decision to issue a statement to calm the market.  The statement was the most critical event in stabilizing the markets and preventing substantial economic damage to the U.S. and the global economy. My grandfather spoke about how the simplicity of the message prevented speculation while instilling confidence.  Not unlike ECB President Mario Draghi’s, “whatever it takes” July 2012 speech, which saved the Euro currency, the European banking system, and ultimately the European Union during their debt crisis in 2011-12. The Birth Of Stock Market Moral Hazard    Some argue, including one of the regular authors on this website, the Fed’s response to Black Monday ushered in a new era of faux investor confidence and the moral hazard that the central bank will always backstop falling markets.  Thus, forever distorting market risk and real price discovery and contributing to the current boom-bust asset market cycle the global economy now experiences and will be extremely difficult to reverse. Global Macro Monitor (GMM) often argues, which is not necessarily my own opinion, what was supposed to be a one-off market intervention in 1987 has now become the norm, which monetary policymakers will find it impossible to extract itself from, ultimately resulting in a major market and economic dislocation.  We shall see. President Reagan’s Confidence And Sense of Calm During the crisis, President Reagan, whose administration my grandfather served several key roles in, was an excellent communicator and never once conveyed a sense of panic in October 1987. Though not having a financial background, President Reagan did have a degree in economics and understood the nature of markets and how they coveted a sense of calm and leadership from the government during such a crisis. The following video is President Reagan speaking to the press at the White House on Black Monday as he is preparing to board Marine One to visit the First Lady in the hospital. Skip to the dialogue, which starts 5:40 minutes in. Note President Reagan’s incredibly calm demeanor and sense of confidence after the most massive stock market crash in U.S. history. [ZH: Of course, it's different this time... Source: Bloomberg Excerpted from Art Cashin's reminisces of that day in 1987 (rings a lot of bells for 2021)... The first two-thirds of 1987 on Wall Street was nothing short of spectacular... Fear seemed to disappear, and junior traders laughed at their cautious elders. The brash youngsters told each other to “buy strength” rather than sell it, as each buying wave was soon followed by another. [ZH: Robinhooders?] One thing that helped banish fear was a new process called “portfolio insurance.” It involved use of the newly expanded S&P futures. Somewhat counterintuitively, it involved selling when prices turned down. [ZH: Nasdaq Whale buying calls, driving dealer gamma to extremes] The rally topped out about Aug. 25, with the hitting 2,722 (less than a tenth of its current numerical value). Interest rates had begun creeping up amid concerns of early signs of inflation. [ZH: Rally topped a week after that in 2021] ... On Wednesday, Oct. 14, there were widely discussed rumors of a new punitive tax on takeover profits. [ZH: Worries over Biden's tax plan or the IRS crackdown?] ... Now that would be an 'October Surprise'... Tyler Durden Tue, 10/19/2021 - 13:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 19th, 2021

Gary Gensler: Vast Majority Of Retail Market Orders Go To Dark Pool

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with SEC Chair Gary Gensler on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today, Tuesday, October 19th.  Following is a link to video on Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Vast Majority Of Retail Market Orders Go To Dark Pool: SEC Chair […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with SEC Chair Gary Gensler on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today, Tuesday, October 19th.  Following is a link to video on .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 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 Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio 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); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Vast Majority Of Retail Market Orders Go To Dark Pool: SEC Chair All references must be sourced to CNBC. BOB PISANI: Hey guys. Lot to talk about today. We’ve got a Bitcoin futures ETF trading, we’ve got the GameStop report out. What do they all have in common? Well they’re all regulated by the SEC. Let's talk to the man in charge, SEC Chair Gary Gensler joins us right now. Mr. Chairman, thanks very much for joining us. GARY GENSLER: Good to be seeing, good to be with you, Bob. PISANI: So, I want to talk about your GameStop report but I have to start with Bitcoin. We've got a raft of cheering people down here from ProShares, ProShares Bitcoin ETF. The futures ETF is starting trading just started a few moments ago. I have to ask you can you, can you explain to our viewers why you chose to allow a Bitcoin futures ETF to begin trading but have not yet approved a regular Bitcoin ETF? GENSLER: Bob, thank you for that question. Just to give you a little context. I think that we in the official sector should be technology neutral but not policy neutral and so what we’re trying to do is ensure to the best we can within our authorities to bring projects into the investor protection perimeter. And so, what you just mentioned, Bitcoin futures have been overseen by our sibling agency the Commodity Futures Trading Commission which I was once honored and proud to serve there and that's been four years and some of these applications came in and when effective, as you said one of them went effective with regard to those products over at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that our sibling agency oversees. PISANI: I think the important thing here is you've made it clear in the past that this does not have the some of the concerns that approving a full Bitcoin ETF would have. You don't have people breaking into exchanges for example, you don't have problems with fraud or manipulation. Was that a factor, it seems that that was a factor in the fact that you went ahead and allowed the Bitcoin futures ETF. You don't have those particular problems here. GENSLER: Oh, well I'm not going to get into any one application or project. I think what you have here is a product that’s been overseen for four years by a US federal regulator and CFTC, and that's being wrapped inside of something that within our jurisdiction called the Investment Company Act of 1940. So, we have some ability to bring it inside of investor protection. It's still a highly speculative asset class and listeners should understand that underneath this, it still has that same aspect of volatility and speculation but there's our sister agency is overseeing this for four years and then it brings it inside, as I said, an 80 year old law here at the SEC. PISANI: I move on to the GameStop report usual thorough report from your staff. I think this will be the historical record of what happened but I'm curious about the recommendations. You have been talking for many months about payment for order flow and gamification and the potential deleterious effects of both of these on the US trading system and yet there was no discussion about how this might have impacted the trading for GameStop. I'm wondering if there is some kind of connection? Was payment for order flow and gamification factoring what happened with GameStop or not? The report doesn't say. GENSLER: So, I think that the events of January revealed a number of things and as the staff suggested for additional consideration these two topics plus two others that we look out for the investing public when brokerage jobs, when robo advisors are using new data analytics and, and marketing to us using behavioral prompts to possibly get us to trade in a way that benefits them, benefits the application and the, and the program in conflict potentially with what benefits asked the investing public. Also imbedded in some of those issues are the structure of the stock markets itself. It's so much of the market now is, is evidenced in the report in January and these ones are about half of the market is not going to a transparent sort of market that fully lit market that you earlier showed, but it's going to dark holes and wholesalers so those issues the staff suggested up. What, we're going to take a closer look at in terms of what policies can help the public. JIM CRAMER: Chairman Gensler, it's great to have you on the show again. I know that your position on trying to invest. Well, I read a great book that you wrote about no free lunch, that’s why we have diversification. And then I read this report and I absolutely understand, it's very thorough it's got great stuff and talks about how options didn't really affect things, what did impact. And then on page, the last, number two, there's this sentence, “payment for order flow in the incentives it creates may cause broker dealers to find novel ways to increase customer trading including through the use of digital engagement practices.” I read this and it felt like a bit of a lamentation. I felt that right before that you talked about, don't forget, companies underneath the memes are actual employees, customers plans to invest, and then you get to this and I wanted you to be able to say, it may be this is unfortunate because I know that people want, they want to open as much engineering, but this is not Chairman Gensler. Chairman Gensler’s against any idea that we should be doing these digital engagement practices that might hurt investors. GENSLER: So, let me sort of address that. I think that we’ve found on platform after platform whether it's in, in, in streaming apps or retail apps, a very social media, that we're in a transformative time. The 2020s is rapidly changing on top of the invention of the internet, internet many decades ago, we have data analytics, artificial intelligence that markets to each of us a little differently. I mean you might type something in a text and then all of a sudden find you're being advertised something you typed to a personal friend in the text. So those features are all around. What we're raising the question is, is in finance, what does that mean for finance? These digital engagement practices, the underlying separating you from me and from all of us and then if the applications marketing for their revenues and payment for order flow does have an inherent conflict that the brokerage application is increasing their revenues if we trade more. And so are they using these behavioral prompts to get us to trade more or to move to different products, options trading or trading on margin which inherently have more risk in them, and where do we, the SEC, help the investing public out to help them do well when there's these inherent conflicts inside the, kind of inside the box. CRAMER: Right, but I guess what I struggle with is, you've got this great moment here. There are one million of these accounts belonging to investors with an average age of 19. I think these investors if they're focusing on, let's say, trying to put together a fantasy team, I think they’re spending a lot more time on fantasy trying to figure out who the, who's on tonight. How to be able to make it so what's the line, what's the over, they’re spending more time Chairman Gensler on their fantasy lineup than they are trading. They are trading like banshees. Don’t we want to encourage them to spend as much time as they do on their fantasy lineup. GENSLER: Well I think that that investing for the long term tends to have higher returns than day trading or even hourly trading and sometimes, not always, but sometimes these applications encourage individuals to have high trading volumes or trade on margin or options that have inherently higher risks. And so that's where, there’s, there's a worthwhile public debate and I think, I thank the staff of the SEC to serve up this report. I think yes, as you said earlier, now it's the job of the commission to sort through what we do with these additional considerations. PISANI: Mr. Chairman, the staff determined that a short selling squeeze was a factor, but it wasn't the primary reason for the big sell, price run up in GameStop. It was positive sentiment I'm reading from the report here that sustained the week's low-price appreciation, positive sentiment, not the short squeeze, short covering was a small fraction of the overall buying volume. I guess I'm wondering though despite that you've been talking about potential changes in short selling rules. Do we need to make any changes? Do we need more, for example, disclosure about short selling? GENSLER: I think that the markets could benefit from greater transparency, not only on short selling, but a related activity in the markets which is called stock loan when you borrow a stock to sell it short. Congress actually, our US Congress actually about 11 years ago passed two provisions that mandated, directed the SEC to do greater transparency in short selling, and this related activity stock loan. So I have asked staff for recommendations on this to promote, meaning that on a regular basis the market would benefit from seeing the volumes and activity in the lending market, meaning lending securities, and also this short selling activity. PISANI: Just to follow up on payment for order flow. Most, most viewers of the trading activity in the last 30, 40 years agree that the American investor has never gotten a better deal not only have commissions essentially go to zero but even trading costs are much lower, execution quality has improved dramatically in the last 30 years. I know there's a little bit of debate about it exactly how much but the average investor seems to be getting a very good deal, can you, do you feel you're going to be actually able to demonstrate a real harm from payment for order flow? Number one and number two, can you tell us what comes next here you've got the commission with your staff with a very excellent report on the facts, but not a lot of direction about where it should be going. Is the commission then going to meet and make recommendations or make rule changes from here? What's the path here forward after this commission staff report? GENSLER: Well, let me say this, you're, you're right that our markets have gotten more, have moved to zero commission but it doesn't mean it's free. There's still payment underneath these applications. It also doesn't mean that it's always best execution and we've had, we've had cases where we've announced in the last 18 months where there has been this conflict between the broker on the one hand and this payment for order flow on the other. And let me just remind your viewer that if you place a retail market order, as shown in this report, the vast majority of those don't go to the transparent lit markets, they go to the dark market with these, these pools that are not competing and so I’ve asked staffing, can we achieve this simple concept that your order when you place it competes with other orders and buyers if you're selling will compete to get, and to pay you hopefully, the best execution for that price order by order by order. That's what I've asked staff and I think that that's an important concept of competition that helps the investors on one side, helps the companies on the other side that are raising money in our markets. CRAMER: Well, Mr. Chairman, again I want to praise the staff because those who read this will know there was not a vast conspiracy against them which was really the topic that I know a lot of us felt we were really razzed by because we're all in on some sort of Citadel conspiracy. I think that's completely busted but there was something on page 12 that disturbed me, you talk about some of the marketplace may possess superior information about underlying assets. That sir I think is illegal. Did we discover that some of that superior information should be in front of the commission to find out what's going on? GENSLER: Well I think that you chose the words carefully maybe there but when, when order flow when, when trading is being purchased and sent to one wholesaler or another wholesaler then they have information that the rest of the market may not have at least for a short period of time, and, and even milliseconds matter in these markets. And so, that's what we're also looking at. You're absolutely right that we, I think from a policy perspective want to look at that and how we instill greater competition in essence for that data as well as for that order flow. DAVID FABER: Chair Gensler, Chair Gensler, David Faber here. You know we had you on not that long ago, obviously long ranging interview. I wanted to come back to SPACs if I might just for a moment. Haven't really heard that much from the SEC yet and I wonder where you are because it does appear that the market has been making its voice heard when it comes to SPACs. We are seeing the sponsors changing their compensation arrangements, we've seen the pipe market really frees up, and so is the market doing its job, and the SEC therefore perhaps doesn't have to take significant action in any way in terms of regulation for SPACs? GENSLER: I think that there is, is a need here for greater transparency, greater disclosure. These are, these are innovations that have happened in our markets, special purpose acquisition companies, but they're costly, and they may also have inherent conflicts between a promoter or sponsors who is taking generally about 20% of the offering that if you raise a billion dollars, that's $200 million. Can I repeat the number? $200 million to basically raise money and a blank check type of shell company and then you have two years to go out and try to buy something. And there's also this conflict that if you don't buy something, you don't get the promoter, or the sponsor doesn't get that 20%. So there's an incentive to buy something even if it's not the best purchase in the world particularly as the clock is ticking and you get to the end of the two years so I know I've said this a lot about staff working on recommendations. These, these rules are highly detailed. We need to work on the economic analysis which is so critical to good decision making. You're five commissioners, and so the process does take a number of months and sometimes the public says, where's that document or where's that rule proposal but I would envision that staff will put something up to our five-member commission and if, if there's the support of the commission, we'll put it out to public comment with regard to SPACs with regard to a number of these other topics we've talked about as well. PISANI: Just a follow up to my question. The second part you didn't quite answer. What's next here? What happens after this report? Does the commission, meet your five commissioners discuss what you want to do? Are you going to make proposed rule changes? I know you have a request for comment on digital engagement practices that are out there. What will become of that? I guess I'm looking for a roadmap for what you're trying to accomplish here. GENSLER: So, the five of us generally meet bilaterally and then sometimes we meet as a, as a group and as a group when we do that often that leads to what's called a public meeting and the cameras are on and the like. In terms of what's next is staff recommendations on the plumbing, this is called the clearing and settling side. There seems to be broad support in market participants to shorten the settlement cycle. We are secondly assessing the comments that came in on digital engagement. I’ve asked staff to consider whether there's some recommendations we have on those potential conflicts and also better protecting the public. And then the third area that was highlighted was market structure, the entire equity market structure. We haven't updated it in 16 years since 2005 and I think technology's changed so dramatically that it's worthwhile taking a very close look and seeing if we propose something now. In all of these areas as well as short selling, which I talked about earlier that I would anticipate we, we propose things because Congress has told us, mandated that we need to and these four areas I'd envision his staff is debating it, commissioners will weigh in, and then if we think so, we'll put it out to public comment. I, my, my hope is that we put it out and have a lively public debate and see what's best for the markets, and for the investing public. CRAMER: Mr. Chairman, on page 12, page 6, “In order for a customer to trade options, broker dealers must conduct due diligence that option trading is appropriate for the individual customer.” Sir, Robinhood has millions of customers and there's no way they're doing that. I mean, isn't it time we examine that process? GENSLER: Well, so it's, this is the, this is one of the challenges to get greater access, our user interfaces one our mobile phones have made it very efficient but then the question that you've just raised is also appropriate, is somebody on the other side looking as to whether, doing the due diligence as you say about that customer opening a higher risk account, an options trading account for instance or a margin trading account, and I think the staff appropriately flagged this issue. PISANI: Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for coming on and giving us your thoughts and we very much appreciate the work of your staff and laying out the facts and obviously this is a very important historical document in terms of what happened and we look forward to having you on again soon to let us know what the next steps are. Gary Gensler, Chairman of the SEC Thank you very much for joining us. GENSLER: Thank you. Updated on Oct 19, 2021, 12:24 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; 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: valuewalkOct 19th, 2021

Taibbi: Konstantin Kilimnik, Russiagate"s Last Fall Guy, Speaks Out

Taibbi: Konstantin Kilimnik, Russiagate's Last Fall Guy, Speaks Out Authored by Matt Taibbi via TK News, On Real Time With Bill Maher two Fridays ago, I fumbled and deflected politely over a Russiagate question, instead of going full cage match. The segment went off the rails beginning with this exchange: MAHER: You compared it to WMDs. You said, the Russia connection with Trump is this generation’s WMD. I don’t think that’s an accurate analogy, because there were no WMDs. But there was collusion with Russia. TAIBBI: Really? Where? MAHER: Where? The Senate Intelligence Committee, run by Republicans, who are if anything slavish to Trump, their report said, “The Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian intelligence services during the 2016 presidential election posed a ‘grave’ counterintelligence threat.” First of all, that quote isn’t from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report from last August. It’s actually a paraphrase of the report from an Associated Press article, “Trump campaign’s Russia contacts ‘grave’ threat, Senate says,” which reads: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian intelligence services during the 2016 presidential election posed a “grave” counterintelligence threat, a Senate panel concluded Tuesday… The real SSCI quote is a little different: Taken as a whole, Manafort's high-level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services, particularly Kilimnik and associates of Oleg Deripaska, represented a grave counterintelligence threat. By all rights, Russiagate should be dead as a serious news story. But as the Real Time episode showed, “collusion” is still alive for some, and the bulk of the case essentially rests now upon the characterization of one person from the above passage as a Russian agent: a former aide to Paul Manafort named Konstantin Kilimnik. Kilimnik is a Ukrainian-American who’d served in the army and was hired to work as a translator at the American-funded International Republican Institute in Moscow beginning in the mid-nineties. In 2005, he left the IRI to go work for Paul Manafort, who was advising future president Viktor Yanukovich and the “Party of Regions” in Ukraine. As it happens, Kilimnik worked at the IRI in Moscow during the same time I lived in that city in the nineties and early 2000s. In fact, he was well-known enough in that small expatriate community that in the space of a day last week I was able to reach, through mutual acquaintances, five of Kilimnik’s former colleagues, including three from the IRI and one from the U.S. State Department, to whom he was a regular and valuable contact (the Senate investigators left that fact out). I also called Kilimnik and had two lengthy interviews with him. Why bring this up? Because in that little flurry of calls, I did more actual work on Konstantin Kilimnik than either the Special Counsel or SSCI researchers, who ostensibly spent thousands of man-hours investigating him. Kilimnik being a spy wouldn’t just mean that the Trump campaign had been penetrated. It would mean the same thing for the IRI, which was chaired by late Senator and leading proponent of the Russiagate theory John McCain at the time. More to the point, it would also be disastrous for the State Department, and particularly for the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, whose staffers placed great trust in “KK” as a regular source. The FBI’s own declassified reports show Kilimnik met with the head of the Kiev embassy’s political section “at least biweekly” during his time working with Manafort and Yanukovitch, adding that he “displayed good knowledge and seemed to know what was going on,” and came across as “less slanted” than other sources, among many other things. This fits with what I was told by multiple former colleagues of Kilimnik’s, that staffers in the Kiev embassy valued his analyses above those of some Americans in Yanukovitch’s orbit. (A third former co-worker was a little more blunt about what he heard, saying the Kiev embassy was “sucking his dick”). They also show the embassy was so intent on protecting Kilimnik’s identity as a State Department source that they pulled his name out of diplomatic cables sent home: Kilimnik says he “played a certain role in communication with the Western embassies in Kiev” both before and after the “Euromaidan” Revolution in 2014. “I tried to draw attention to facts about thugs attacking TV channels and opposition politicians, and things like [an arson attack against “InterTV” in 2016],” he says, adding that he “naively thought the West would stand for media freedom and protecting rules for fair play in politics, like it has for many years.” The only reason nobody’s asked the Senate Committee why Kilimnik’s alleged spy status doesn’t also represent a “grave” embarrassment to, say, the U.S. State Department is because our press corps is the most dogshit on earth (more on that in a moment). Special Counsel Robert Mueller claimed the FBI spoke to an IRI employee who said Kilimnik was “fired from his post because his links to Russian intelligence were too strong.” Though not all the IRI staffers I reached liked Kilimnik, each found the idea that he might be a spy alternately ridiculous and baffling. Multiple ex-colleagues said they believed he was fired for “moonlighting,” i.e. because he’d already started working for Manafort. “I was actually moonlighting. It was a funny story,” Kilimnik says (for a more complete explanation, see the Q&A below). As to the idea that it was known around the IRI office that Kilimnik had intelligence ties, one former senior IRI official said, “I think whoever said that, that’s someone trying to feel more important in retrospect,” adding that the idea that he was “some GRU plant from years gone by” was questionable because the Russians “didn’t know their right from their left back then, and the IRI could not described as a high-value target.” The official concluded: “I find the notion that Kilimnik is now this big figure remarkable.” None of former employees of the Moscow IRI office I spoke with had been contacted by any American investigator, including Mueller. Then there’s the matter of the suspect himself. Question to Kilimnik: how many times was he questioned by American authorities, with whom he was so familiar — remember he met with American officials “at least biweekly” at one point pre-Trump — during the entire Russiagate period? “Not a single person from the U.S. Government ever reached out to me,” Kilimnik says. Nobody from the Office of the Special Counsel, the FBI, or the Senate Intelligence Committee ever contacted him? “Not once,” Kilimnik says. “Nobody from Mueller’s team reached out to me, literally nobody.” In reaching Kilimnik last week I also became just the second American reporter, after Aaron Maté of RealClear Investigations and Grayzone, to call Kilimnik for comment on the Senate report. Virtually every American news organization or TV commentary program has in the last year repeated accusations against Kilimnik made by either the Senate Intelligence Committee or the U.S. Treasury Department, which earlier this year called him a “Russian Intelligence Services agent” in an announcement of sanctions against Russia. It was once normal practice in American media to give people a chance to respond to serious allegations, but no longer, apparently. “Zero. Zero,” says Kilimnik, when asked how many American media outlets called him after the release of the Senate report. Incidentally, Kilimnik isn’t hiding under a snow-covered trap door at a secret FSB installation outside Izhievsk. He’s in an apartment in Northwest Moscow, where anyone could find him. “Everybody knows my phone number. It was in Mueller’s reports,” he says. “But I got no questions. I mean, a lot of people know how to find me. I guess they just didn’t care.” Kilimnik was even on the list of 16 entities and 16 individuals the Treasury just this year said “attempted to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election at the direction of the leadership of the Russian Government.” That’s the 2020 election, not the 2016 election, meaning the one that came after the Senate report. “The US actually sanctioned me for interference in 2020 elections,” Kilimnik says. “I would not be able to say why. I’d love to know. I’ve been sitting in fucking Moscow, in my backyard, and feeding squirrels. Must have been some sort of interference.” The aforementioned Maté published photos of Kilimnik’s passport that appear to show he entered the U.S. on a visa stamped in a regular Russian passport on October 28, 1997. This is the same date the Senate committee said he was entering the United States on a diplomatic passport. The Senate also said Kilimnik met with Manafort in Spain in 2017, which he denies. “I’ve never been to Spain,” Kilimnik laughs. “I haven’t been there. Let them prove I’ve been there.” Another thing that came up on Real Time was the idea that we shouldn’t dismiss the monetarily tiny Russian Facebook campaign — featuring classics that ironically read like Real Time bits, with images of Jesus pleading with American voters, “Struggling with addiction to masturbation? Reach out to me and we’ll beat it together” — because “9/11 didn’t cost much either”: I oversold things on the air, talking about how the Internet Research Agency only spent $100,000, as only $44,000 of that was before the campaign. More importantly, only a tiny percentage of ads qualified as coherent propaganda. I’d wager few Americans have actually read through all these ads, which have messages like, “Tell me once again that there’s no such thing as white privilege,” “Stop Trump and his bigoted agenda!”, and “Share the experience and the challenges of the black hair industry.” Overall, for 2016, they read like a creepy, overambitious parody of woke culture, with a tinge of Charlie Manson’s “Helter Skelter” plan thrown in. Whatever it is/was, it’s pretty far from 9/11: Kilimnik stands accused of helping Evil Von Putin aim this high-tech weapon. How? Senate investigators said, “Manafort briefed Kilimnik on sensitive Campaign polling data and the Campaign’s strategy for beating Hillary Clinton.” What was sensitive about it? “That’s bullshit. There was nothing that resembled ‘sensitive’ polling data,” Kilimnik says. “I would get two figures maybe once a month, not every day, not every week.” Two figures — meaning two pages? “Two digits,” he says. “Like, ‘Trump 40, Hillary 45.’ That’s all I would get, nothing more. So I don’t understand how this is sensitive data.” Kilimnik was getting his information from former Trump deputy campaign chief Rick Gates, who was directed to send the data to Kilimnik by Manafort. None other than Rachel Maddow once called Gates “Mueller’s star cooperating witness.” I called Gates last week and asked: what was he passing to Kilimnik? “Top-line data, and I want people to understand what that means,” he says. “It was like, ‘Ohio, Clinton 48, Trump 50,’ Or, ‘Wisconsin, Trump 50, Clinton 42.’ The sources were a combination of things like RealClear Politics and occasionally some numbers from [Republican pollster] Tony Fabrizio. But it was all just top-line stuff.” Gates’s story is that Manafort was passing this data back to people like his longtime sponsors, the Ukrainian barons Rinat Akhmetov and Sergei Lyvochkin, because “Paul was just trying to show that Trump was doing well,” as “Paul was just trying to do what he’s always done,” i.e. trying to show how valuable he could be. For those disinclined to believing the Gates or Kilimnik version of events, remember that neither Mueller nor the Senate Intelligence Committee could come up with a different one. Apart from adding “sensitive” to their description (Mueller just called it “internal polling data”), the Senate never offered evidence that Kilimnik was getting more than those few numbers. As to why Kilimnik was sent this information, this is what the Senate had to say: The Committee was unable to reliably determine why Manafort shared sensitive internal polling data or Campaign strategy with Kilimnik. Manafort and Gates both claimed that it was part of an effort to resolve past business disputes and obtain new work with their past Russian and Ukrainian clients by showcasing Manafort's success. Why “sensitive?” The Committee was “unable to reliably determine” why, having no idea what Kilimnik did with those numbers. But they were sure enough it was bad to conclude it represented a “grave counterintelligence threat.” Kilimnik is roughly the twentieth suspect in a long list of alleged secret conduits that across five years have already been tried out and discarded by pundits and investigators alike as “smoking gun” links between Trump and Putin. An abbreviated list: There was a Maltese professor named Josef Mifsud and a young Trump aide named George Papadopoulos, former Trump adviser Carter Page, an alleged “secret server” supposedly pinging between Trump and Alfa Bank, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser J.D. Gordon, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, real estate developer Felix Sater, another Russian who approached Trump people claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton named Henry Oknyansky, a Russian firm called Concord Consulting, plus Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, and many others. The pattern with all of these “smoking gun” cases was the same. At first, there would be a great press hullaballoo, complete with front-page media profiles and heated straight-to-camera monologues at the tops of cable commentary shows over “Breaking News” chyrons: Freakouts would be long, but months or years later, narratives would collapse. Ambassador Sergei Kislyak was everyone’s favorite suspect in the summer of 2016 for having done everything from rig the Republican convention platform to turning Sessions into a spy, but then Mueller quietly said Kisylak’s interactions with Trump officials in those months were “brief, public, and non-substantive.” Reporters howled that Christopher Steele was right about Cohen meeting Russian hackers in Prague to help rig the 2016 race, and even claimed (see above) that Mueller was about to release evidence of it any minute, until Mueller said flatly, “Cohen… never traveled to Prague.” The saddest case involved Carter Page. Steele’s Dossier identified Page — not Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, or even Donald Trump — as the mastermind of the Wikileaks leak: The aim of leaking the DNC e-mails to WikiLeaks during the Democratic Convention had been to swing supporters of Bernie SANDERS away from Hillary CLINTON and across to TRUMP… This objective had been conceived and promoted, inter alia, by TRUMP’s foreign policy adviser Carter PAGE… Steele also had Page negotiating a massive bribe via the oil company Rosneft in exchange for the dropping of sanctions, and acting as the personal intermediary between Paul Manafort and the Kremlin. Page, not knowing he was being spied upon, told an FBI informant that August that he had “literally never met” or “said one word to” Paul Manafort, even going so far as to complain that Manafort never answered his emails. The FBI sat on this information, and wrote up a secret surveillance warrant application that read: Sub-Source reported that the conspiracy was being managed by Candidate’s then campaign manager, who was using, among others, foreign policy advisor Carter Page as an intermediary… It wasn’t until the report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz came out in December of 2019 that the world found out that the FBI not only “did not have information corroborating the specific allegations against Carter Page,” but had covered up Page’s history as an informant for the CIA, very much like the Senate and the Treasury are now covering up Kilimnik’s status as a U.S. State Department source. Kilimnik is just the last person on the list, and he’s conveniently in Moscow, unlikely to ever come back here to defend himself. As such, he’s the perfect fall guy for the marooned-Japanese-soldier-type holdouts on Russiagate who think the collusion narrative is still viable. More from Kilimnik: TK: You were described by the Senate Intelligence Committee as a “Russian Intelligence Officer.” Are you one? Konstantin Kilimnik: I have not had any relationship with any intelligence agency. Not with U.S. intelligence, not the Ukrainian, Russian, Zimbabwean, whatever. I’m a consultant who has worked for many years running elections in Ukraine. I just haven’t had any relationship with any intelligence, and haven’t seen any facts proving otherwise. I think the investigation was so politically charged from the beginning, that they just needed to find a Russian body that they could just put as much dirt as possible on. Ultimately, nobody is going to care, because all the Russians are considered to be bad anyhow, they’re all spies. TK: The intelligence community in the U.S. seems unanimous in their conclusion that Russians interfered in the 2016 and 2020 elections. Did they not? Konstantin Kilimnik: I don’t think Russians interfered… I know that runs counter to all the conclusions of the intelligence community and all that country to all the intelligence and press and all that. And maybe there were other efforts, as well. But, I was not involved in any of that. There was a lot of misinformation, just because the public wanted someone, and I just happened to be that person thrown into the mix. If I had Hungarian citizenship or any other citizenship, of course, people would not have given my name. They just needed the Russian connection, and I happened to be that unfortunate Russian connection. TK: The Mueller report claims an IRI employee believed you were “fired from his post because his links to Russian intelligence were too strong.” Others say you were “moonlighting.” Why did you leave the IRI? Konstantin Kilimnik: I was actually moonlighting. It was a funny story. I was looking for ways to move on, because by 2005 I had been at IRI for 10 years. Some time in mid-2004 an old IRI pal, Phil Griffin, reemerged and proposed a well-paying job of going to Ukraine and writing analyses of what was going on during the Orange Revolution, for Manafort. So, I went there after not having been to Ukraine for over 10 years. I was ecstatic about Kiev and got seriously interested in what was going on politically… Manafort, Griffin and I (as a translator) went to Donetsk in, I think, November 2004 to meet some guy I had no previous knowledge of (who turned out to be Rinat Akhmetov’s closest confidant, Borys Kolesnikov). Manafort and he spoke for several days and got convinced that the “Donetsk guys” were not even close to being thugs they had been portrayed by the Western media to be. I went back a couple of times to translate for these meetings, which I thought were not in any conflict with my work at IRI Moscow. Then, the government in Ukraine changed. [Viktor] Yuschenko became the President, Manafort was in negotiations about the contract, and I almost forgot about my short translation jobs. In April 2005, we were at an IRI retreat, and my boss, director of Europe and Eurasia programs Steve Nix got a tip from the new President’s office that “Donetsk thugs” were looking to hire an American consultant, and that a guy who seemed to work at IRI was helping in the process. Steve, who was very pro-Yuschenko, completely freaked out, and accused me of working for criminals. I said that a) I was doing this in my free time, 2) this did not conflict in any way with my job at IRI Russia, and 3) maybe things are not so straightforward in Ukrainian politics, and there are no guys in black and white hats, but mostly gray hats. He disagreed and demanded I resign, which I did. TK: The Senate claims you met Manafort in Spain in 2017. Did you? Konstantin Kilimnik: I have never been to Spain. (laughter)...I have not been there. They can’t prove that. And yet they’ve inserted that. And yet, that’s central to what they’re saying. Europe is specific place in terms of passports and immigration. To cross the border, you have to give your fingerprints, and upon any re-entry too. If I went to Spain, I can guarantee that, first of all, Europe keeps a record of that. They would say that I have crossed the border at a certain time in a certain place. And that would be okay because, again, it’s all tied to the fingerprints. You cannot get into the EU without this. You can’t fake it. So let them prove it. TK: You’ve been accused of obtaining that “sensitive polling data” for Oleg Deripaska. Was that right? Konstantin Kilimnik: No, Deripaska was a Russian businessman. I actually didn’t have any contact with him. There were Ukrainian businessmen and Ukrainian politicians in 2016 who were in opposition, and who were actually under pressure from Petro Poroshenko’s government. Naturally, for them, any change, opening a channel into the U.S. Government, that for them would have been a great thing. So that’s why they were interested in the outcome of the elections. There was no Russian connection whatsoever. If there were, they would have a record of me talking to Deripaska or visiting him.TK: You never had any contact with Deripaska? Konstantin Kilimnik: No, I haven’t met him since, I’m afraid to be exact, but like 2006, I think was the last time I saw him. I was translating for Manafort. But after that, Manafort spoke to him himself, because Deripaska spoke the language by then. And there was no need for me. Part 2 of my interview with Konstantin Kilimnik is coming later this week. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/13/2021 - 21:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 13th, 2021

Marine officer faces court-martial after his viral video criticizing top military leaders for Afghanistan failures

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller has been released from the brig, but the Marine Corps has referred six charges to special court-martial. Lt. Col Stuart Scheller, shown here in an official Marine Corps photo. Marine Corp A Marine officer who was jailed after a viral video criticizing senior leaders for failures in Afghanistan has been released. Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is facing a special court-martial, the date of which has not yet been set. Six charges, including contempt toward officials, have been referred to special court-martial. See more stories on Insider's business page. The Marine Corps referred six charges against an outspoken Marine officer, who demanded accountability from senior military leaders for failures in Afghanistan in a viral video last month, to special court-martial on Wednesday.Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, formerly the commander of the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion and a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, gained notoriety after he put his 17-year career in the Marine Corps on the line in a video calling out the secretary of defense, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and others for missteps in Afghanistan.The video, released on social media the same day 13 US troops were killed in a suicide bombing amid evacuation operations at the airport in Kabul, accused senior leaders of letting US service members down.After the video came out, Scheller revealed in a follow-on post that he had been relieved of his command. The Marine officer initially sought to resign his commission and leave the military, but that didn't happen.Toward the end of September, the Marine Corps revealed that Scheller was in pre-trial confinement in the Regional Brig for Marine Corps Installations East aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.Service members are kept in pre-trial confinement if an offense triable by court-partial has been committed and the accused is considered a flight risk who might engage in further criminal behavior, according to the Marine Corps.While Scheller is still facing court-martial, he was released from confinement on Tuesday as part of an agreement between Scheller, his defense counsel, and the commanding general of Training Command.For his criticisms of the US military's senior leaders as an active-duty uniformed service member, Scheller has been charged under the UCMJ with contempt toward officials, disrespect toward superior commissioned officers, willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction in the performance of duties, failure to obey an order or regulation, and conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman.Responding to questions about Scheller's right to free speech, Training Command said in a statement that "there are proper forums to raise concerns with the chain of command," adding that in general, "posting to social media criticizing the chain of command is not the proper manner in which to raise concerns" and can constitute a UCMJ violation.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 6th, 2021

Russia May Deploy Troops To Venezuela, Cuba If Tensions With US Continue To Rise

Russia May Deploy Troops To Venezuela, Cuba If Tensions With US Continue To Rise Amid stalled talks between Russia and NATO over what is effectively a novel split of Europe into geopolitical sphere of influence, Russia has decided to take the show on the road and demonstrate to the US what it feels like to be surrounded by military bases along your borders, and on Thursday, after saying talks with the U.S. over the security situation in Ukraine had stalled, Russia’s deputy foreign minister suggested that Moscow could dispatch a military deployment to Venezuela and Cuba, as the Kremlin seeks to pressure Washington to respond to its demands to halt Western military activity that it says threatens Russia. Quoted by the WSJ, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow couldn’t exclude dispatching “military infrastructure” to Venezuela or Cuba if tensions with Washington, which have escalated in recent weeks over a huge buildup of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border prompting some to suggest that the odds of a war in Europe are now the highest in decades, continue to rise. “I don’t want to confirm anything, I will not rule out anything…Depends on the actions of our American colleagues,” Ryabkov told privately owned Russian-language television network RTVi in an interview Thursday in Moscow. Vladimir Putin “has repeatedly spoken out, including on this topic, about what could be the measures taken by the Russian navy if things go completely in the direction of provoking Russia and further increasing military pressure on us,” Rybakov said,adding that Russia didn’t want to see that outcome, but “the diplomats must come to an agreement." Last month, Ryabkov also told reporters that he couldn’t exclude the possibility that relations between Russia and the U.S. could end up in a situation similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. He also told the Russian TV station that he sees no immediate grounds for fresh talks with the U.S., after several rounds of negotiations this week yielded little progress in defusing the crisis in Ukraine. The ominous remarks followed several rounds of futile talks this week between the West and Russia over the military buildup on the border with Ukraine. Moscow has sent more than 100,000 troops there, in response to what it says is a threat to its security from NATO states. On Thursday, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a 57-country grouping that helped to foster peace during the Cold War, discussed the Ukraine situation. The talks followed a U.S.-Russia meeting in Geneva on Monday and a NATO-Russia gathering in Brussels Wednesday. However, those talks also failed to resolve the crisis and the prospects for more talks have remained uncertain. Ukraine was the focus of the talks this week but wasn’t present at the negotiations in Geneva or Brussels. Thursday’s meeting in Vienna gave Kyiv a seat at the table On Thursday, Rybakov appeared to rule out further negotiations, if Russia’s demands aren’t met. “I am always a supporter of dialogue,” Ryabkov told RTVi, but cautioned that if negotiations end with NATO’s refusal to stop expanding this would be “to a certain extent, a dead end or a difference in approaches. I see no reason to sit down in the coming days, to gather again and start these same discussions,” he said. Meanwhile, Russia’s representative to the OSCE, Alexander Lukashevic, said that this week’s discussions had been “really disappointing,” with the U.S., NATO and other OSCE countries not providing the “very substantial, in-depth” response to Russia’s proposals that Moscow had expected. However, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, appeared to leave the door open to further talks. He said Thursday that Moscow was expecting the U.S. and NATO to respond in writing to the Russian security proposals soon. “We still hope that the promises made in Geneva and Brussels will be kept, this is the promise to put U.S. and NATO proposals on paper,” he said. Among its demands, Moscow wants changes to Western security arrangements linked to NATO and has expressed alarm at the prospect that former Soviet republics such as Ukraine could join NATO (hardly new - Russia has made it clear for much of the past two decades that Ukraine in NATO is unacceptable) while calling for the alliance halt its eastern expansion, demands that Western officials have rejected. Neither the NATO meeting, which was between a Russian delegation and representatives of the 30 NATO members, nor the U.S.-Russia meeting in Geneva, reached a breakthrough in the impasse over Ukraine. US officials say their offer of talks on military and other security issues at the OSCE is part of the clear choice they are offering Putin: On one hand, a Russian invasion of Ukraine would trigger unprecedented sanctions from the West. On the other, bilateral talks between Washington and Moscow, NATO discussions and consultations at the OSCE together offer ways out of a crisis. “We can talk about things like military transparency, we can talk about conventional forces…We can talk about confidence building, about de-escalating tensions on the ground,” said a senior State Department official. “So yes, we are ready to get to work. But there’s a lot of questions about whether Russia is prepared to do that.” Russia has also demanded that NATO scale back its military activities in its members that used to be part of the former Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact, such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator with Russia on Ukraine, has said Washington is open for discussions on the placement of missiles in Europe, reciprocal steps on the size and scope of military exercises and transparency around military steps. The OSCE. which has helped keep the peace in Europe since its founding in the 1970s, is the only security-focused forum in which the key players in the current crisis—Russia, Ukraine, the U.S. and the Europeans—all have a seat at the table. Meanwhile, after ignoring the growing geopolitical tension, the market is starting to pay attention and Russian CDS have blown out in recent days, if still far well below wides hit in march of 2020. Tyler Durden Thu, 01/13/2022 - 11:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 13th, 2022

Tucker Carlson pushes blatantly false InfoWars conspiracy theory that white people are being denied monoclonal antibodies because of their race

"If you wanted to make the population radical and distrustful and conspiracy minded ... this is exactly what you'd do," Carlson said in the segment. Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson.Fox News Tucker Carlson's latest COVID conspiracy theory is that white people are being discriminated against. The Fox News host featured footage from InfoWars in an attempt to back up the false claim. Carlson aired a shorter version of the clip, omitting context on monoclonal antibody eligibility. Parroting months-old material from the conspiracy website InfoWars, Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been pushing a demonstrably false claim that white people are being denied COVID-19 treatments because of their race.While Carlson has already equated children wearing masks to child abuse and aired a conspiracy theory-ridden interview with anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., his January 10 segment reached a new level of misleading material and outright falsehood."The United States has mistreated racial minorities in centuries past, they say, therefore whites must suffer now," Carlson said. "So your ancestors did bad things, or people who looked like your ancestors did bad things, so now, we are withholding medicine from you."They call this equity," he continued. "It's not equity. It is collective punishment. It's the North Korean standard. It's the definition of evil."—Blair (@skifflegirl) January 11, 2022Airing a shorter version of a clip that was first shared by InfoWars host Harrison Hill Smith and later posted to the conspiracy site's page, Carlson omitted the latter portion of the video where Smith is told he can't receive monoclonal antibody treatment because of his lack of underlying health conditions.With COVID-19 surging across the US, therapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies have been stretched thin across the nation's hospitals. Now, evidence suggests that two of the three monoclonal antibody treatments may be less effective against the Omicron variant."If you were 65, you'd be good," the nurse tells the InfoWars host in a portion of the video Carlson didn't air. "But nope, you're healthy and [have] no medical conditions, so research shows that you should be able to fight off COVID."Despite the nurse giving the patient a clear answer, Carlson came to the opposite conclusion."So you can't get lifesaving drugs from the government of Texas if you're the wrong color," Carlson said after airing the shortened clip. "Think about that."In response to Insider's request for comment, a Fox News spokesperson pointed to non-InfoWars sources Carlson included in the segment."Tucker Carlson's monologue cited official government documents from the FDA and health departments in New York City, Utah, Texas, Minnesota as evidence for the claims that non-black or non-Hispanic COVID patients are facing adverse race-based factors impeding them from receiving COVID therapeutics and other scarce drugs for treatment," the media representative wrote in an email.The Texas Department of State Health Services has gone on record to state that white people are not being denied antibody treatments because of their race, and neither the FDA nor any of the states mentioned by Fox say "you can't get lifesaving drugs" on the basis of race, as Carlson claims they did.A CDC study published on January 7 explained the disparity in COVID-19 deaths by race while noting that full vaccination and receiving a booster shot drastically reduce the disproportionate outcomes."Population-wide data have demonstrated that COVID-19 hospitalization and death are more frequent among Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons than among non-Hispanic White persons," the authors write.After the misleading clip was aired, Carlson, for his part, said he can't help it if his viewers are left to conspiratorial thinking."I mean, if you wanted to make the population radical and distrustful and conspiracy minded — if you wanted to destroy the bonds that hold people together — this is exactly what you'd do," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2022

Cop Who Killed Ashli Babbitt Was Cleared Of Criminal Wrongdoing Without Interview

Cop Who Killed Ashli Babbitt Was Cleared Of Criminal Wrongdoing Without Interview Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClearInvestigations, When U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd went on “NBC Nightly News” to tell his side of shooting and killing unarmed Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt, he made a point to note he’d been investigated by several agencies and exonerated for his actions that day. “There’s an investigative process [and] I was cleared by the DOJ [Department of Justice], and FBI and [the D.C.] Metropolitan Police,” he told NBC News anchor Lester Holt in August, adding that the Capitol Police also cleared him of wrongdoing and decided not to discipline or demote him for the shooting. Above, Lt. Michael Byrd, the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt, told NBC News he gave fair warning, but under penalty of perjury he refused to say anything to investigators. Byrd then answered a series of questions by Holt about the shooting, but what he told the friendly journalist, he likely never told investigators. That’s because he refused to answer their questions, according to several sources and documents reviewed by RealClearInvestigations. Ashli Babbitt: Her family calls the rushed Byrd investigation a “whitewash" and a "coverup" of misconduct by the officer.  Maryland MVA/Calvert County Sheriff's Office/AP In fact, investigators cleared Byrd of wrongdoing in the shooting without actually interviewing him about the shooting or threatening him with punishment if he did not cooperate with their criminal investigation. “He didn’t provide any statement to [criminal] investigators and they didn’t push him to make a statement,” Babbitt family attorney Terry Roberts said in an RCI interview. “It’s astonishing how skimpy his investigative file is." Roberts, who has spoken with the D.C. MPD detective assigned to the case, said the kid-glove treatment of Byrd raises suspicions the investigation was a “whitewash.” The lawyer's account appears to be backed up by a January 2021 internal affairs report, which notes Byrd "declined to provide a statement,” D.C. MPD documents show. Terry Roberts, Babbitt family attorney:  “It’s astonishing how skimpy his investigative file is." Roberts & Wood Asked about it, a D.C. MPD spokeswoman confirmed that Byrd did not cooperate with internal affairs agents or FBI agents, who jointly investigated what was one of the most high-profile officer-involved shooting cases in U.S. history. “MPD did not formally interview Lt. Byrd,” deputy D.C. MPD communications director Kristen Metzger said. And, “He didn’t give a statement while under the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation.” Lt. Michael Byrd: Pistol drawn in the House chamber just before the Babbitt shooting. Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg News After Byrd declined to cooperate with D.C MPD Internal Affairs Division’s investigation, which was led by Det. John Hendrick, his case eventually was turned over to the USCP for a final administrative review of whether or not his actions conformed with department policies and training. Still, USCP concluded in August that “the officer’s conduct was lawful and within department policy.” The agency launched its administrative investigation after the criminal investigation was closed. In April, within four months of the shooting, Byrd was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the Justice Department, which declined to impanel a grand jury to hear evidence in a departure from other lethal police-shooting cases involving unarmed citizens. Taking deadly aim: Byrd was cleared after refusing to answer investigators' questions. Justice ruled there “was not enough evidence” to conclude Byrd violated Babbitt’s civil rights or willfully acted recklessly in shooting her.  Byrd remains the commander in charge of security for the House of Representatives. Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department would comment on whether they pressed Byrd after he insisted on remaining silent. The D.C. police force, which shares some jurisdiction with the Capitol Police, takes the lead in internal affairs probes like this one. Roberts questioned how investigators could find that Byrd acted in self-defense and properly followed his training procedures, including issuing warnings before shooting Babbitt, since he refused to talk about it while the investigation was open -- and his statements, unlike those made to NBC, would have been taken under penalty of perjury. “How would they know if they never interviewed him?” he said, adding that it’s not enough to say an officer did nothing wrong without showing how it reached such a finding. Troy Nehls, Texas Republican and former sheriff: “Many officers in the USCP I have spoken to believe the investigations of Lt. Boyd were dropped because of his position and other political considerations." By avoiding an interrogation, he said Byrd avoided saying anything that could have been used to incriminate him, including making false statements to federal agents, which would be a felony. Remarkably, he did not formally invoke his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, according to people familiar with his case, which makes the reluctance of authorities to lean on him or sanction him for not cooperating all the more puzzling. By law, federal agencies can use leverage short of termination, such as an unwelcome duty reassignment, to persuade employees to cooperate with investigators. Byrd was put on paid administrative leave during the investigative process. Byrd waited to speak publicly until after his statements could no longer be used against him in a criminal probe. The heavily promoted NBC “exclusive” told only his account of what happened with no opposing viewpoints. “I believe I showed the utmost courage on Jan. 6,” Byrd said. In defending his actions, Byrd told Holt things he evidently wouldn’t tell investigators, including his claim that he shot as “a last resort” and only after warning Babbitt to stop. However, documents uncovered by Judicial Watch reveal that eyewitnesses — including three police officers at the scene — told investigators they did not hear Byrd give Babbitt any verbal warnings prior to firing, contradicting what Byrd told NBC. The Babbitt family has maintained that the rushed investigation amounted to a "coverup" of misconduct by the officer. It says the federal probe was conducted under political pressure, arguing that Byrd was not put through the normal rigors of a police shooting investigation to avoid making a martyr of Babbitt, an avid Donald Trump supporter. An Air Force veteran from California, Babbitt died while wearing a Trump flag as a cape. The former president has demanded the Justice Department reinvestigate her death. Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas, a former sheriff, argued Babbitt’s shooting should have been presented to a federal grand jury. “This case was mishandled from the very beginning,” the Republican lawmaker told the U.S. attorney who led the probe for the Justice Department in a recent letter. In a separate letter to the Capitol Police chief, Nehls wrote: “Many officers in the USCP I have spoken to believe the investigations of Lt. Boyd were dropped because of his position and other political considerations." Use-of-Force Experts Skeptical Some use-of-force experts are skeptical Byrd did the right thing, even after watching his largely sympathetic NBC interview. “The limited public information that exists raises serious questions about the propriety of Byrd’s decision to shoot, especially with regard to the assessment that Babbitt was an imminent threat,” said police consultants and criminologists Geoffrey Alpert, Jeff Noble and Seth Stoughton in a recent Lawfare article.“We have serious reservations about the propriety of the shooting,” they wrote. They said they doubted Byrd’s claims that he reasonably believed Babbitt “was posing a threat” and had the ability and intention to kill or seriously injure Byrd or other officers or lawmakers and therefore had to be stopped with lethal force. They noted that he admitted to Holt that he never actually saw Babbitt, who stood 5-foot-2 and weighed 110 pounds, brandish a weapon. Babbitt was shot by Byrd a year ago when she and other pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol amid efforts to stop Congress from certifying the state results of the 2020 election of Joe Biden. They sought to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject electors from Arizona and other states, where narrow results were challenged by Trump and his lawyers over allegations of voter fraud and other election irregularities.Roberts and the Babbitt family are preparing to sue Byrd and the Capitol Police in a wrongful-death claim seeking at least $10 million in damages. Asked why his client chose not to go on the record and cooperate with investigators, Byrd’s attorney, Mark Schamel, declined comment. In an earlier interview, Schamel maintained the shooting was justified and that there is no basis for a civil case against his client. The federal investigation of the lethal shooting was marked by secrecy and other irregularities. Unlike other officers involved in fatal shootings of unarmed civilians, Byrd was long shielded from public scrutiny after shooting Babbitt as she tried to climb through a broken window of a barricaded door at the Capitol. For eight months D.C. police officials withheld Byrd’s identity, first revealed by RealClearInvestigations, and they have not released a formal review of the shooting, or the 28-year veteran's disciplinary records. Nor did the Capitol Police hold a briefing on Babbitt's death. Records uncovered by Judicial Watch reveal authorities ordered her body cremated two days after the shooting, without her husband's permission. No Babbitt probe yet: Chairman Bennie Thompson, left, with Republicans Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger. AP/Scott Applewhite Meanwhile, the feds have thrown the book at suspected Jan. 6 rioters — publicly identifying them on a Justice Department website — and are still engaged in a national manhunt for suspects. More than 725 defendants have been charged mostly for relatively minor offenses ranging from trespassing to disorderly conduct.So far, the select House committee set up to investigate the Jan. 6 siege at the Capitol has not explored the most lethal violence that occurred that day. Byrd was responsible for the only shot fired during the riot – all other armed officers showed restraint, including 140 who were injured confronting rioters -- and Babbitt was the only person directly killed on that day. Like the other rioters, she carried no firearm — no guns were recovered from the Capitol. Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., has pledged to “investigate fully the facts and circumstances of these events.” Asked if the police shooting is on the agenda for public hearings planned for this winter, or whether it will be addressed in a final report scheduled for release before November’s congressional elections, a committee spokesman declined comment. Trump and GOP leaders have accused the panel, which is composed of seven Democrats and two Republicans, of trying to damage pro-Trump Republicans ahead of the midterms by claiming they helped orchestrate an “insurrection” and continue to pose "a threat to democracy." ‘Point-Blank Range’ Unlike in a criminal investigation, there is no right to remain silent in a civil case. Wrongful-death litigation claiming negligence may hinge on whether Byrd warned Babbitt before opening fire on her. Roberts said Babbitt, a former military police officer who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, would have complied with commands to stop and peacefully surrendered had Byrd or other Capitol officers attempted to arrest her. But he said additional eyewitnesses he’s interviewed say Byrd never gave her such verbal commands. He said Babbitt wasn’t even aware that the officer was nearby because he was positioned in a doorway of a room off to the side of the Speaker’s Lobby doors. Byrd, whose mouth was covered with a surgical mask, took aim outside her field of vision and fired as her head emerged through the window. Roberts compared her shooting to an “execution.” “Killing her by shooting her at point-blank range was completely unnecessary,” he said. “This alone renders the shooting legally unjustified.” Roberts pointed out that Byrd had mishandled his firearm in the past. He was the subject of a previous internal investigation for leaving his loaded service pistol in a Capitol restroom. It’s not clear if he was disciplined. At the time, the lieutenant reportedly told officers he would not be punished due to his high rank, which he kept despite the incident. But in the NBC interview, he said he was “penalized” for the 2019 misstep, without elaborating. A USCP spokeswoman declined to respond to repeated requests for information about any discipline administered for his misconduct. Byrd could not be reached for comment, but in the NBC interview he denied receiving special treatment. “Of course not,” he said. “No way." Before filing a lawsuit naming a federal agency, Roberts has to send a formal complaint for a claim for “damage, injury or death” — known as a federal form SF-95 — to USCP and wait for a response. He sent the notice in May and is still waiting for the Capitol Police to reply. “We have received the SF-95 from Ms. Babbitt’s family attorney,” USCP General Counsel Tad DiBiase confirmed to RCI in an email. He declined to say how the department plans to respond: “I cannot comment on that." In the meantime, Roberts said he is interviewing witnesses and also building a case from documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act.“I am still reviewing records obtained in FOIA action and there are more coming,” he said. “I am in no rush." Tyler Durden Wed, 01/12/2022 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 13th, 2022

Thousands Of Cops Deployed To Quell Public Anger In China"s Locked Down Xi"an Amid Widespread Food Shortages

Thousands Of Cops Deployed To Quell Public Anger In China's Locked Down Xi'an Amid Widespread Food Shortages Tens of thousands of police officers were deployed to China's Xi'an where public anger has exploded among the city's 13 million residents who were left bargaining and bartering for essential foodstuffs amid ongoing food shortages, as the city entered its 13th day of lockdown amid a wave of COVID-19 cases. As some people took to social media to appeal for assistance as their food supplies ran low, or they were unable to access medical care, others started local trading networks in residential compounds to try to meet each other's needs through bartering. "Everything is getting bartered in Xi'an," a resident of the city told RFA. "People are swapping stuff with others in the same building, because they no longer have enough food to eat." Another resident said in a video clip that some people were trading cigarettes and iPhones for bags of rice. "We now have a barter system in our residential compound," the man says in the clip. "We had a bag of rice, and the neighbor wanted to trade ... a smartphone and a tablet." "We have six bags of rice in our home but no vegetables." According to Radio Free Asia, authorities in the northern Chinese city of Xi'an have called for calm, as many in Xi'an are taking to social media complaining that they were unable to get sufficient food supplies after being ordered to stay in their homes. To contain any civil unrest, city authorities have deployed around 29,000 police officers to enforce the lockdown, while countless local security guards are preventing people from entering or leaving areas designated high or medium risk. One video clip that made the rounds on social media showed security guards beating a teenager in the lobby of a building because he went out to buy steamed buns. "I was hungry, so I came out to get some mantou," the youngster is heard telling the guards, who beat and kick him, knocking his food to the ground. City authorities later said the guards had been punished. Residents were initially told they would be allowed to send a designated person to buy groceries every other day, but many have since told RFA that the security guards in many areas aren't allowing anyone to leave. Those who can make it out to buy supplies are finding that prices have skyrocketed, especially of fresh fruit and vegetables, despite a well publicized effort by the government and volunteers to bring fresh produce into the city in large quantities to hand out to beleaguered residents. One video clip posted to social media showed a man who said he had paid around 40 yuan for 10 capsicum peppers, the same amount for six tomatoes and 40 yuan for two cabbages. "The vegetable vendor must be making a fortune," the man complains, while showing his haul to friends. State media, which is tightly controlled by the ruling Communist Party, reported on a line of trucks hauling a selection of vegetables, fresh fruit and pork belly into residential households in one part of the city on Dec. 29, delivering fresh food to around 180 households. But the address given in the news report was tracked down by social media users, who discovered it was a residential compound for employees of the Shaanxi Provincial People's Congress and the Xi'an municipal government, prompting a public outcry on social media. A Xi'an resident surnamed Song said the food given to the families of officials looked luxurious compared with what regular people are getting: "They were spoiled for choice when it comes vegetables," Song said. "Where can regular people find stuff like that?" "I managed to get one head of Chinese leaves, a zucchini, four bell peppers, three heads of garlic, a piece of ginger, two scallions and three potatoes," she said. According to the Shaanxi provincial government, a total of 41,000 police officers have been dispatched to Xi'an to maintain public order, with 29,000 of those deployed to Xi'an, 20,352 of whom are working in residential compounds. Some 4,000 are operating traffic roadblocks, while others are guarding hotels or COVID-19 testing sites. A Shaanxi scholar who gave the surname Tian said the government's top priority in times of crisis is always maintaining public order and social stability, rather than looking after the needs of ordinary people. "They have been building up the stability maintenance system ever since 2004," Tian said. "They say there are only 40,000 police officers in Xi'an, but actually there are many more [security personnel] who aren't police, including neighborhood committees and security in charge of buildings." "There are also village officials and their teams and so on," he said. Commentator Han Dapeng said the lockdown doesn't appear to be preventing the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, however. "They used this total lockdown method on Wuhan last year, but Omicron is still going strong," Han said. "Yet the rates of fatality and severe disease are both very low." "I don't think this Xi'an lockdown is about disease prevention," he said. "It's more about controlling the population." State news agency Xinhua reported that China had 161 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide on Monday, 101 of which were locally transmitted. New cases in Xi'an fell to their lowest in a week, health officials said Sunday, as the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) pursues a "zero COVID" approach involving tight border restrictions and swift, targeted lockdowns. Zhang Canyou of the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that several rounds of testing in Xi'an had showed there are "some positive changes" in case numbers, which have dipped since the lockdown began. Meanwhile, to contain speculation that Beijing is only enforcing lockdowns "to control the population", amid the widespread outcry about the draconian lockdown measures, the official local news platform of Xi’an said a hospital’s wrongdoings amid the lockdown led to miscarriage of a pregnant woman and requires the hospital "to compensate and apologize." And just to make everything better, the hospital’s general manager was suspended and two department heads fired. Liu Shunzhi, head of the city’s health commission, received a warning from the Communist Party for malpractice in emergency treatment during the Covid outbreak. It wasn't clear just what the "malpractice" was. And just like that everything in Xi'an is back to abnormal. Oh, and then just a few moments ago, this hit: China's Xian Xianyang International Airport Suspends All International Passenger Flights From Jan 5. Because things are clearly under control. Tyler Durden Wed, 01/05/2022 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 6th, 2022

Kazakh President Requests Troops From Russia & Allies To Quell Unrest

Kazakh President Requests Troops From Russia & Allies To Quell Unrest (update2:01eastern): Russian state sources are reporting that embattled Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has sent a formal request for foreign troops to help quell the ongoing unrest, particularly Russia, as multiple cities have seen state buildings torched by protesters and rioters. KAZAKH PRESIDENT SAYS PROTESTS ARE EXTERNAL AGGRESSION: TASS ⚡️Kazakh President sends request for foreign troops to collective security bloc - involving six former Soviet countries including Russia - to help stem the riots - reports — RT (@RT_com) January 5, 2022 This after he extended the state of emergency nationwide, and as external monitors have said the internet has been blocked for much of the last 24 hours. Russia's RT has published the following statement: The Kazakh president has asked the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for help amid violent unrest gripping the nation, claiming that “terrorists” were overrunning strategic facilities across the country. “I believe reaching out to the CSTO partners is appropriate and timely,” President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was quoted as saying by the media late on Wednesday. * * * It didn't take long for the Kremlin to chime in on the raging and increasingly violent protests which have rocked its southern neighbor, the former Soviet satellite of Kazakhstan. As we underscored earlier, what began as angry mass protests days ago upon authorities removing a cap on gas prices for the citizenry now appears to be a full-blown push for government overthrow happening in the streets. With state buildings on fire and fierce clashes with police in various cities, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has on Wednesday extended the 'state of emergency' across the whole nation. Already there are rumblings in regional press of possible "foreign manipulation" — causing Russia to warn against any external interference in Kazakhstan's affairs, according to Reuters citing RIA news agency. At the same time some Western pundits are already making this all about Putin. Government buildings attacked in Almaty. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov addressed the rapidly moving events which has seen the Kazakh president vow not to leave the capital "no matter what". Peskov stressed to reporters that the country can "solve its own problems" and that it's crucial that "no one interfere from the outside." And more, the report quoted Peskov as saying "Kazakhstan had not requested Russian help to deal with protests, triggered by a fuel price increase, that prompted the resignation of its government on Wednesday." The Russian foreign ministry confirmed separately it's monitoring the unrest, "We advocate the peaceful resolution of all problems within the constitutional and legal framework and dialogue, rather than through street riots and the violation of laws," a statement said.  Internet has been blocked across the country for at least a full day at this point, and there were earlier unconfirmed reports that the largest international airport, Almaty Airport, had been stormed and seized by rioters, with all flights canceled.  Hawkish analysts in the West are already linking Kazakh government oppression with who else... Putin Another country with its border to Russia revolts: because the Beloved Leader stays in power for too long. Not a good sign for Putin, who will clearly intervene, if Nursultan (ruling since Summer 1989!) would disappoint Putin. Long live free Kazakhstan! — Sergej Sumlenny (@sumlenny) January 4, 2022 For now at this early point, claims of outside or foreign interference remain highly speculative, also given the lack of much if any international correspondents actually on the ground during the unrest. Meanwhile multiple public buildings, including at least one presidential residence, have been torched, according to widely circulating social media videos. Protesters now storming the main government building in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty. — Patrick Reevell (@Reevellp) January 5, 2022 There is also evidence of 'live fire' in various locations, though there's been little in the way of official casualty figures.  Tyler Durden Wed, 01/05/2022 - 14:01.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 5th, 2022

A long-haul trucker"s photos show what it was like to be trapped for more than 18 hours in the Virginia snowstorm on I-95

Long-haul trucker Matthew Marchand told Insider winter storms normally add an hour or two to his day — but not this one. Marchand said he started noticing traffic slowing down to a crawl before noon.Matthew Marchand A winter storm stranded motorists on Interstate 95 in Virginia for more than 18 hours on Monday. Canadian long-haul trucker Matthew Marchand was one of those stuck in the frozen traffic jam. Marchand shared his story and photos with Insider about what it was like to make the journey. It's a trip that Canadian long-haul trucker Matthew Marchand has made dozens of times before — heading from the Montreal area to Florida via I-95.Matthew MarchandMonday started just like any other day on the road: at a truck stop with a cup of bulletproof coffee.Matthew MarchandMarchand had woken up in York Springs, Pennsylvania, where he spent the night after driving 530 miles on Sunday.Matthew MarchandAfter checking his engine and topping off his fluids, Marchand set out on his way for Auburndale, Florida.Matthew MarchandHe expected to be there on Tuesday afternoon. Marchand documents all of his travels with a dashboard-mounted camera and uploads photos to Twitter at rest stops.Matthew MarchandHe began to encounter snow in Maryland, tweeting that the scene was "almost like a Christmas card."Matthew MarchandAs a Canadian and a professional driver, Marchand is no stranger to navigating through snow.Matthew Marchand"[Northern] roads close all the time, the only differences is they're better at communicating it," he said. "And the cars are are prepared because they know that no one's going to help them."Matthew MarchandAs he crossed into Virginia, the situation deteriorated quickly.Matthew Marchand"Once I got to the Virginia line, it got much worse," he said. "You could tell that they hadn't plowed anything on that road, really at all."Matthew MarchandTraffic began to slow considerably, and he stopped several times to help stuck cars get back on their way.Matthew Marchand"It wasn't really snow at that point, it was kind of more like a slush, with an icy layer underneath," he said.Matthew MarchandHe even passed a municipal bus that had slid off to the shoulder.Matthew Marchand"Virginia DOT didn't do themselves any favors," he said. The agency's official social media channels had scant updates, and even lost power to its traffic-monitoring systems.Matthew MarchandBy the mid-afternoon, the storm had passed and the sun was coming out...Matthew Marchand... but the slush covering the roadway was slippery...Matthew Marchand... and tree branches and uncleared snow were still very much covering the highway.Marchand said he started noticing traffic slowing down to a crawl before noon.Matthew MarchandAs the sun went down, the temperature continued to drop, causing everything to freeze over.Matthew MarchandSix hours later and Marchand had only made it six more miles, coming to a stop near mile marker 140.Marchand said he's moved around 20 miles in the last 15 hours.Matthew Marchand"The moment I was stopped, I knew that we weren't going anywhere," he said.Matthew MarchandWith a 200 gallon tank, Marchand estimated that he had about 96 hours worth of fuel to use. Passenger vehicle drivers would be dealing with far less.Matthew MarchandNext, he stepped outside to check on the scene and talk with other drivers – one of whom had made a snowman – then he made dinner in his truck.Matthew MarchandAfter eating, he attempted to get some rest.Matthew Marchand"You try sleeping in a live lane of traffic, you won't do it," he said. "You can try but you won't sleep very well."Matthew MarchandAround midnight, he heard a knock on his door.Matthew MarchandThe driver of a Tesla said he was concerned about the effect of the 19-degree temperatures on his battery charge, and and asked if there was a way to draw power from Marchand’s rig.Matthew MarchandThere wasn't, but Marchand did have a spare blanket, an emergency mylar wrap, and some water to keep the driver and his kids warm through the night.Matthew MarchandDawn began to break a few hours later, and soon the blocked traffic ahead started to move.Matthew MarchandSoon he was passing through Richmond, Virginia under a clear blue sky...Matthew Marchand... and shortly after noon he reached South Carolina.Matthew MarchandWith the sun drifting toward the horizon, he crossed the Francis Marion Bridge over the placid waters of Lake Marion in South Carolina...Matthew Marchand... crossing into Georgia under a painted sky.Matthew MarchandHe stopped for the night in Port Wentworth.Matthew MarchandOn Wednesday morning he woke up, had his bulletproof coffee, and hit the road once more, aiming to reach his destination by the mid afternoon – a full day after his planned arrival.Matthew Marchand"Normally, a storm adds an hour or two to my day, under normal circumstances," Marchand said.Matthew Marchand"Not something that one could possibly foresee adding 18 or 19 hours to my day."Matthew MarchandFollow Matthew Marchand on Twitter to see more from his long-haul trips.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 5th, 2022

Russia Warns Against Any "Foreign Interference" In Kazakhstan Unrest

Russia Warns Against Any 'Foreign Interference' In Kazakhstan Unrest It didn't take long for the Kremlin to chime in on the raging and increasingly violent protests which have rocked its southern neighbor, the former Soviet satellite of Kazakhstan. As we underscored earlier, what began as angry mass protests days ago upon authorities removing a cap on gas prices for the citizenry now appears to be a full-blown push for government overthrow happening in the streets. With state buildings on fire and fierce clashes with police in various cities, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has on Wednesday extended the 'state of emergency' across the whole nation. Already there are rumblings in regional press of possible "foreign manipulation" — causing Russia to warn against any external interference in Kazakhstan's affairs, according to Reuters citing RIA news agency. At the same time some Western pundits are already making this all about Putin. Government buildings attacked in Almaty. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov addressed the rapidly moving events which has seen the Kazakh president vow not to leave the capital "no matter what". Peskov stressed to reporters that the country can "solve its own problems" and that it's crucial that "no one interfere from the outside." And more, the report quoted Peskov as saying "Kazakhstan had not requested Russian help to deal with protests, triggered by a fuel price increase, that prompted the resignation of its government on Wednesday." The Russian foreign ministry confirmed separately it's monitoring the unrest, "We advocate the peaceful resolution of all problems within the constitutional and legal framework and dialogue, rather than through street riots and the violation of laws," a statement said.  Internet has been blocked across the country for at least a full day at this point, and there were earlier unconfirmed reports that the largest international airport, Almaty Airport, had been stormed and seized by rioters, with all flights canceled.  Hawkish analysts in the West are already linking Kazakh government oppression with who else... Putin Another country with its border to Russia revolts: because the Beloved Leader stays in power for too long. Not a good sign for Putin, who will clearly intervene, if Nursultan (ruling since Summer 1989!) would disappoint Putin. Long live free Kazakhstan! — Sergej Sumlenny (@sumlenny) January 4, 2022 For now at this early point, claims of outside or foreign interference remain highly speculative, also given the lack of much if any international correspondents actually on the ground during the unrest. Meanwhile multiple public buildings, including at least one presidential residence, have been torched, according to widely circulating social media videos. Protesters now storming the main government building in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty. — Patrick Reevell (@Reevellp) January 5, 2022 There is also evidence of 'live fire' in various locations, though there's been little in the way of official casualty figures.  Tyler Durden Wed, 01/05/2022 - 12:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 5th, 2022

Video shows crowds in Kazakhstan forcing military to retreat, as violent fuel-price protests roil the country

Violent clashes between law enforcement and protesters broke out in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday after the government lifted a price cap on fuel. A burning police car in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on January 5, 2022.REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev Violent protests have swept Kazakhstan since the government lifted a cap on fuel prices. Video from the city of Almaty shows military vehicles being forced back by crowds. The chaos prompted the Kazakh government to resign. Protesters in Kazakhstan forced the military to withdraw in a striking scene from the violent protests roiling the former Soviet nation this week.Protests started in the fuel-producing western province of Mangistau on Sunday, after the government removed a price cap on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). They have since spread nationwide.The price of LPG, one of the most popular fuels in the country, doubled as soon as the cap was lifted.One video, first posted on Telegram by the Russian-language news site Briefly Speaking, showed an advancing group of protesters in Almaty hurling bricks and other projectiles at three armoured vehicles, forcing them to turn around and retreat. On Tuesday night, as many as 5,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, France's AFP agency reported.The military was deployed to disperse the protests, but video showed demonstrators fighting back. Police used tear gas and stun grenades on protesters in Almaty, according to Reuters.Police detained more than 200 people, the outlet said, while 95 police officers were injured.Protests without a permit in Kazakhstan are illegal. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev tweeted that protestors were "destructive individuals who want to undermine the stability and unity of our society."Tokayev's cabinet resigned on Wednesday and Tokayev imposed an overnight curfew and state of emergency for Almaty and the Mangystau province lasting for two.Protesters have demanded the price cap be reinstated.Tokayev told his new acting cabinet and provincial governors Wednesday that price controls on LPG, as well as gasoline and diesel, should now return, Reuters said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 5th, 2022

The best streaming services you can sign up for in 2022

These are the best streaming services in 2022 to watch popular shows and movies on, including Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, HBO Max, and more. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.The best streaming services include on-demand, live TV, and channel-specific apps.Google Play; Netflix; Disney+; Apple TV; Amazon Prime Video; Hulu; Alyssa Powell/Business InsiderThe streaming market has grown a lot in recent years, with newer services like Paramount Plus, Peacock, Discovery Plus, and HBO Max launching to compete with industry juggernauts like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus.Viewers now have more places to watch their favorite movies and shows than ever, and studios are producing more original content to fill their streaming libraries. These new choices come with a price tag though, and signing up for every streaming service out there will quickly start to weigh on your wallet.Choosing the right streaming service for your needs will depend on a number of factors, including your budget, which exclusive programs you like the most, how many screens you want to watch on, and more.To help you decide what to sign up for, we rounded up the best streaming services of 2022 and broke down what makes each of them unique. Our picks primarily focus on on-demand platforms like Netflix and Hulu, but we also included separate sections for live TV and specialty streaming channels.Here are the best streaming services:Best on-demand streaming services: Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, Apple TV Plus, Paramount Plus, Discovery Plus, and Amazon Prime VideoBest live TV streaming services: Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, FuboTV, Philo TV, and DirecTV StreamBest channel-specific streaming services: Showtime, Starz, and ESPN+NetflixArtur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesNetflix Gift Card$25.00 FROM AMAZONNetflix Monthly Subscription$8.99 FROM NETFLIXWith its exclusive shows and incredible 4K quality, Netflix continues to set the streaming standard for the competition.Netflix Basic: $9 a month for standard definition (SD) streamingNetflix Standard: $14 a month for high definition (HD) streaming on up to two devices at the same timeNetflix Premium: $18 a month for up to 4K HDR streaming with Dolby Atmos on up to four devices at the same timePros: Fantastic library of originals, industry-leading video quality, impressive app support, special interface for kids, no commercialsCons: Slightly more expensive than the competition, movie selection pales in comparison to newer servicesNetflix has spent the last few years producing a growing collection of original programming, including exclusive movies, ongoing TV series, documentaries, and comedy specials. Netflix Originals keep subscribers invested when their favorite classic show or movie leaves the platform for another service. The success of Netflix exclusives, like "Squid Game," "Bridgerton," "The Witcher," and "Tiger King," has helped the service justify its slightly higher price, and encouraged streaming competitors to prioritize creating their own original titles to generate more value. Netflix also has a large library of children's series and a separate interface designed to let kids choose their own shows without running into adult programming, making it a good choice for families in need of all-ages entertainment.When it comes to app support, Netflix is available on virtually any streaming device you can think of, including computers, smartphones, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, smart TVs, and more. It also offers support for all of the latest video and audio formats, including 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos — though it does charge extra for those features.HuluTed Soqui/Contributor/Getty ImagesHulu Streaming Service $6.99 FROM HULUDisney+/Hulu/ESPN+ Bundle Monthly Subscription$13.99 FROM DISNEY+Thanks to a mix of content and various plans, Hulu remains one of the most affordable streaming options with unmatched choice.Hulu with ads: $7 a month for ad-supported on-demand streamingHulu without ads: $13 a month for ad-free on-demand streamingHulu + Live TV: $70 a month for ad-supported on-demand and live TV streamingHulu (No Ads) + Live TV: $76 a month for ad-free, on-demand and ad-supported live TV streamingRead our full breakdown of Hulu plans and pricesPros: On-demand library with live TV option, can subscribe to "channels" like HBO, discounted bundle with Disney Plus and ESPN+Cons: Harder to share due to two-device limit on basic plan, basic plan includes commercialsHulu offers two main packages that provide on-demand streaming, including a basic option with commercials and a premium plan without commercials. The service also offers upgrade packages that add live TV channels.Hulu arguably boasts the most impressive TV show library of any on-demand streaming service, with a wider range of new and classic shows than Netflix or Amazon. This includes next-day streaming access to select broadcast series on networks like ABC, FX, and Fox. Hulu also offers a solid selection of original shows, like "Dopesick," "Nine Perfect Strangers" and "The Handmaid's Tale," but its slate of exclusives isn't quite as notable as some of its competitors.Though Hulu does offer 4K and HDR streaming on select devices, its 4K lineup is limited compared to Netflix, Amazon, and Disney Plus. Hulu allows only two devices to stream at the same time, but you can remove that limit with Hulu + Live TV subscription and the $10 add-on for unlimited screens. Hulu also lets subscribers add other channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz for an extra monthly price. You can even bundle Hulu's on-demand service with Disney Plus and ESPN+ for a 30% discount on the monthly price of all three. All of Hulu's live TV plans now include the bundle as part of a standard subscription.Amazon Prime VideoAmazonAmazon Prime Video Monthly Subscription$8.99 FROM AMAZON PRIME VIDEOAmazon Prime Monthly Subscription$12.99 FROM AMAZONAmazon Prime Video is a capable, competitive streaming service that's more than just a Prime membership perk.Amazon Prime with Prime Video: $119 a year or $13 a month as part of an Amazon Prime membershipPrime Video (Standalone): $9 a month for Prime Video on its ownRead our Prime Video guidePros: Included with Amazon Prime, offers extra movie rental and purchase options, lots of international titles, can add streaming channels, 4K HDR support is included in base planCons: The Prime Video library is less impressive than the competitionMore than 110 million Amazon Prime members help make Prime Video one of the largest on-demand services in terms of subscribers, even if they're not all streaming video on a regular basis. Prime Video features a mix of movies and shows that are included with your membership. The selection even includes exclusive titles like "Wheel of Time," "The Boys" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." You can also rent or buy just about any film that's available on home video for your personal collection and watch with the Prime Video app whenever you like. This is a feature that most subscription streaming apps don't offer.Prime Video has launched several award-winning original shows since 2013 and has successfully imported dozens of series from the BBC, as well as Hindi language films from India. The platform offers up to 4K streaming with support for HDR10+ playback on select titles. And, unlike Netflix, it doesn't charge extra to get the best video and audio quality.Though Prime Video is included with a Prime Membership, you can subscribe to the service on its own for $9 a month if you prefer. You can also sign up for add-on channels to other services, like Showtime, AMC Plus, Starz, and even Paramount Plus.Disney PlusHakan Nural/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesDisney Plus Monthly Subscription Service$7.99 FROM DISNEY+Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ Bundle Monthly Subscription$13.99 FROM DISNEY+Disney Plus is the top streaming choice for families and fans of blockbuster franchises like Marvel and "Star Wars."Disney Plus: $8 a month or $80 a yearDisney Plus with ESPN+ and Hulu: $14 a monthRead our Disney Plus guidePros: Disney's vault of classic movies and shows, 4K HDR support, blockbuster Marvel and "Star Wars" titlesCons: Lack of mature content limits the platform's potentialDisney Plus is the fastest growing streaming service on the market, having amassed more than 100 million subscribers since its launch in November 2019. The platform is the sole subscription streaming home of Disney's classic animated films, as well as franchises like "Star Wars" and "The Simpsons."With that in mind, the main draw of the service is its wide catalog of existing Disney, "Star Wars," Marvel, and Pixar content. There are some original films and series as well, but the lineup remains small compared to Netflix and Amazon. It's also important to note that Disney Plus is designed to be family-oriented, so even Disney's hit exclusive shows, like "The Mandalorian" "Loki," and "Hawkeye" are rated for teen viewers. Movies are also limited to PG-13 so you won't find any R-rated content here.That said, at $8 a month with no commercials, Disney Plus might offer the best combination of titles, streaming quality, and value. With an endless supply of family friendly entertainment, Disney Plus is a popular choice for parents, but adults who didn't grow up on Disney or "Star Wars" may want to find a second streaming service to fill their palette with more mature shows.On that note, you can bundle Disney Plus with Hulu and ESPN+ for $14 a month. The bundle saves you about $8 a month compared to signing up for each service separately. HBO MaxSOPA Images/ShutterstockHBO Max Monthly Plan (ad-free)$14.99 FROM HBO MAXHBO Max (ad-supported)$9.99 FROM HBO MAXHBO Max is a premium service for fans of prestige television, iconic films, and the latest movie releases.HBO Max (ad-free): $15 a month for ad-free access to full HBO Max libraryHBO Max (ad-supported): $10 a month for ad-supported access to HBO Max library with the exception of Warner Bros in-theater releasesRead our HBO Max guide and our breakdown of the ad-supported HBO Max planPros: Prestige shows and films, new Warner Bros. movies 45 days after they debut in theaters, collections from Adult Swim, TCM, Sesame Street, and moreCons: More expensive than most competitors, only a few 4K titles so farHBO Max combines critically acclaimed shows and movies from HBO's cable network with new originals, additional WarnerMedia films, classic shows like "Friends," and collections from channels like Adult Swim, TCM, DC Universe, and the anime streaming service Crunchyroll.Like the cable channel, HBO Max prides itself on having some of the best movies recently released on home video. HBO exclusive shows, like "Succession," "Insecure," and "Station Eleven" continue to define prestige television and HBO Max is the best way to catch up on past hits like "The Wire" and "The Sopranos."New episodes of "Sesame Street" are the highlight of HBO Max's family offerings; there's not a ton of educational content for young children, but there's enough to satisfy kids for a few hours on an indoor afternoon.HBO Max was also home to brand-new Warner Bros. movies on the same day they premiered in theaters throughout 2021. Warner Bros. won't continue this release strategy in 2022, but upcoming releases, like "The Batman," are expected to arrive on HBO Max just 45 days after they hit theaters.For now, the biggest drawbacks of HBO Max are technology related. Outside of the new Warner releases, HBO Max doesn't offer much support for 4K or HDR, limiting the quality of some movies and shows. For example, "Game of Thrones" is available in 4K on Blu-ray, but HBO Max streams are limited to 1080p.Paramount PlusParamount PlusParamount Plus Premium Monthly Plan (ad-free)$9.99 FROM PARAMOUNTParamount Plus Essential Monthly Plan (ad-supported)$4.99 FROM PARAMOUNTParamount Plus is a fantastic destination for classic cable TV shows, with potential for even more value in the future.Paramount Plus (Essential): $5 a month or $50 a year for ad-supported streaming. Paramount Plus (Premium): $10 a month or $100 per year for commercial-free streaming and live CBS.Read our Paramount Plus guide and our Paramount Plus reviewPros: Huge library of classic TV shows, live CBS with Premium plan, new Paramount films 45 days after theater releaseCons: Less original content than the competitionParamount Plus is a new on-demand streaming service from ViacomCBS, replacing CBS All Access. The platform gives viewers access to the live CBS TV channel (Premium Plan only), along with a large collection of TV shows and movies. In addition to CBS series, Paramount Plus draws programming from Viacom cable channels like MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. Paramount Plus is also home to exclusive content like the "Yellowstone" spin-off "1883," a reboot of "iCarly" and several "Star Trek" shows.The streaming service hosts newly released Paramount movies as soon as 45 days after they hit theaters. "A Quiet Place Part II" was the first film to get an early release on the service. "The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run" was a launch title for Paramount Plus, and "Mission Impossible 7" is due out next year.Sports fans can also tune into local NFL games broadcast on CBS, as well as UEFA soccer matches and March Madness college basketball matchups when each season is in session. PeacockPeacockPeacock Premium (Monthly Plan)$4.99 FROM PEACOCK TVPeacock Premium (Annual Plan)$49.99 FROM PEACOCKWith free and premium streaming options, Peacock is a convenient source for hit TV shows and movie nostalgia.Peacock: Free for ad-supported streaming access to a limited library of contentPeacock Premium: $5 a month for ad-supported streaming access to the full Peacock libraryPeacock Premium Plus: $10 a month for ad-free access to the full Peacock libraryRead our Peacock guidePros: Free to watch many shows and movies, live news and sporting eventsCons: Premium plan doesn't offer many exclusives, movie library lacks newer releases, no 4K or HDR supportPeacock is the free-to-watch streaming home for NBCUniversal shows like "30 Rock," "Cheers," and "The Office," as well as some new original titles. The service also offers a rotating slate of hit movies. Though few of the choices are less than 10-years old, Peacock has dozens of memorable films.Peacock's base plan is free but it offers a limited library and it's ad-supported. If you want access to all of the platform's content you can pay $5 a month, but this plan still features commercials. To unlock everything with ad-free access, you need to pay $10 a month for the Peacock Premium Plus plan.Starting in 2022, the service will stream brand-new Universal movies within four months of their theatrical releases. Select movies also debuted on Peacock at the same time they premiered in theaters, like "The Boss Baby: Family Business" and "Halloween Kills."Peacock has some live news and sports broadcasts as well. In 2021, the service became the exclusive streaming home of WWE Network, and it streamed highlights from the 2021 Olympics.Peacock doesn't stream in 4K resolution, though given the platform's emphasis on television and older films, the 1080p limit isn't a huge drawback.Discovery PlusDiscovery PlusDiscovery Plus Monthly Plan (ad-supported)$4.99 FROM DISCOVERY PLUSDiscovery Plus is the on-demand streaming home for TLC, Food Network, HGTV, and Discovery shows.Discovery Plus (ad-supported): $5 a monthDiscovery Plus (ad-free): $7 a month for commercial-free streaming.Read our Discovery Plus guidePros: A huge library of shows from 14 cable networks, including Food Network, HGTV, TLC, History, and Animal PlanetCons: Certain newly aired shows won't appear on Discovery Plus, no downloads for offline viewing, and no parental controlsDiscovery Plus is one of the the fastest growing streaming services in the business, delivering a ton of popular shows for fans of reality TV, true crime, cooking, and competition series, like "Chopped," "Dirty Jobs," "Extreme Makeover," and "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives." The service collects shows, documentaries, and movies from more than a dozen different cable channels, including Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, HGTV, ID, A&E, History, Lifetime, OWN, Travel, and more.Discovery Plus boasts more than 55,000 individual episodes for on-demand streaming, and the service includes "channels" to let you watch a 24-hour stream of specific shows like "House Hunters" and "Chopped."Unfortunately, Discovery Plus is not as technologically advanced as some other streaming services. There are no parental controls to prevent kids from watching explicit content, and the app does not include downloads for offline viewing when traveling. Its library is also lacking when it comes to scripted series, so the service will really only appeal to fans of nonfiction programming. Apple TV PlusIt's possible to cancel your Apple TV Plus subscription using different Apple devices.Halfpoint/ShutterstockApple TV Plus (Monthly Plan)$4.99 FROM APPLE TV+Apple One Subscription$14.95 FROM APPLEApple TV Plus has a limited lineup, but its cheap price makes it a solid option for fans of its exclusive shows.Apple TV Plus: $5 a month or $50 a year for ad-free streamingApple One: $15 a month for Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, 50GB of iCloud, and Apple ArcadeFind out how to get three months of Apple TV Plus for freePros: Affordable price, exclusive shows, movie rental and purchase options, can add streaming channels, 4K HDR supportCons: The lineup of movies and shows is small compared to other services, no back catalog of programs from a major studio or networkApple TV Plus is one of the most affordable streaming services you can subscribe to. The platform costs just $5 a month for ad-free access to its entire lineup of on-demand movies and shows, and new Apple devices include a three-month trial.While that's an attractive price, the Apple TV Plus library is relatively small compared to competing platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu. Most notably, the service lacks a large back catalog of movies and shows from other networks and studios. That said, there are some standout exclusive series like "Ted Lasso," "The Morning Show," and films like "Macbeth."Like Prime Video, Apple TV Plus also lets you access a huge library of additional movies and shows that you can pay to rent or purchase. Though it would be great to have more programs included as part of your subscription, being able to order more titles within the Apple TV Plus app is convenient. You can also add extra channels to your subscription, like Showtime, for an extra fee.If you're someone who plans to use other Apple services, you should also consider the Apple One bundle. The base package includes Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $15 a month.  The best live TV streaming servicesFurboLive TV streaming services are marketed as a cheaper alternative to cable or satellite, offering tighter channel packages for potential "cord cutters." However, prices have gone up in this space, reducing the cost benefit that streaming has over traditional TV.That said, in many cases you can still save with certain services, but choosing the right package is essential for getting the most out of these platforms, so you'll want to figure out which TV stations are your must-haves before you choose a provider.If you plan to use a live TV streaming service to replace cable on multiple TVs in your home, be prepared to pay a bit extra so you can stream simultaneously on separate devices. Also, keep in mind that these TV services have the same commercials and general experience as cable even though they're broadcast online.Streaming quality can vary from channel to channel, but they all typically maintain 720p or 1080p resolution. Again, you'll want to check the specific channel packages and other perks offered by each service to figure out which is best for you.Here's a rundown of the leading live TV services available now:Sling TV - Sling TV offers two different packages, Sling Blue and Sling Orange, for $35 a month each, or for $50 a month bundled together.Sling Blue offers streaming on up to three devices and more channels, including MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and the NFL Network. Sling Orange offers Disney channel and the ESPN family of networks, but only allows one streaming device at a time. You can find a full breakdown of Sling channels here.Getting the bundle makes the most sense, since you'll get the full set of channels and features for $15 extra. It's worth noting that Sling viewers can't access their local ABC or CBS affiliates, so if you want those channels, you should look to another service or an antenna.Sling TV $35.00 FROM SLINGHulu + Live TV - Hulu's Live TV plan costs $70 a month for access to around 75 channels. You need to pay for an upgrade to stream on more than two devices at the same time, however, and it also costs extra if you want more than 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage. On the plus side, Hulu + Live TV automatically includes Hulu's entire on-demand service, Disney Plus, and ESPN+, so you get a bit more value there.The base package includes all the major local networks in most markets, the ESPN family of channels, Fox and NBC Sports channels, and SEC Network. However, the service lacks access to AMC, NBA TV, and the MLB Network, all of which are standard for YouTube TV. Hulu + Live TV$69.98 FROM HULUFubo TV - FuboTV starts at $65 a month for over 100 channels, 250 hours of cloud DVR space, and streaming on up to three devices. Unlike most of its competitors, Fubo charges extra for sports channels like the SEC Network, NBA TV, and the MLB Network. Local channels are included at no additional cost.Fubo TV (Starter Plan)$64.98 FROM FUBOTVYouTube TV - YouTube TV costs $65 a month for more than 85 channels with unlimited cloud DVR storage and streaming on up to three devices at once. YouTubeTV includes more sports channels in its base package than its competitors, including ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, the NFL Network, NBA TV, and the MLB Network.YouTubeTV is also the only live TV streaming service currently offering PBS alongside local affiliate networks from CBS, Fox, ABC, and NBC. New members can get their first three months for a discounted rate of $55 a month.Youtube TV$54.99 FROM YOUTUBEOriginally $64.98 | Save 15%DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) - Starting at $70 a month for a no-contract plan, DirecTV TV provides more pricing and package options than most live TV streaming competitors — the service offers nearly every channel, but like standard cable, it can be hard to get all the channels you want in a cheap bundle.Because DirecTV Stream comes from AT&T, which is HBO Max's parent company, most of the packages also include an HBO Max subscription, which would cost $15 a month separately.DirecTV Stream$69.98 FROM DIRECTVPhilo TV - Philo TV is the most affordable option at $25 a month for 60+ channels. Unfortunately, Philo viewers don't have access to their local affiliate networks, and the service doesn't offer many upgrade options for watching sports or cable news. It does offer popular channels like Comedy Central, MTV, and AMC, though, so there's still plenty to watch.Philo TV$25.00 FROM PHILOThe best streaming channelsAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderSome streaming services act as an online portal for access to a specific channel. If you want to watch Showtime, for instance, but don't want to subscribe through a cable provider, you can simply sign up for the network's standalone streaming option. Some of these channel-specific platforms also include exclusive content you can't find anywhere else.In many cases, these types of streaming channels can also be added to existing platforms, like Hulu and Prime Video, while others are exclusive to certain devices and services. Be sure to check if the channel you want is available on your device before signing up.Here's a breakdown of some of the best streaming channel services you can subscribe to now:Showtime - Showtime offers a lineup of critically acclaimed original shows and blockbuster movies from the premium cable channel. Some of Showtime's most popular hits are "Billions," "Shameless," and "Homeland." You can stream Showtime directly from the official website or app for $11 a month, or sign up through Prime Video or Hulu.Showtime Monthly Streaming Subscription$11.99 FROM SHOWTIME$10.99 FROM AMAZONStarz - Like Showtime and HBO, Starz offers on-demand streaming of its original shows and a rotating catalog of movies. Notably, Starz is home to series like "Outlander" and "American Gods." The service costs $9 a month, though new subscribers can get their first three months for $3 a month.Starz Streaming Service Monthly Subscription$8.99 FROM STARZESPN+ - ESPN's service is another example of a channel-specific streaming platform, offering live broadcasts of sporting events that aren't normally aired on cable and exclusive access to niche coverage of sports like UFC and "League of Legends." With that said, ESPN+ does not actually provide live streaming access to the regular ESPN cable channel. The service costs $7 a month, and you can bundle it with Disney Plus and Hulu for $14 a month.ESPN+ Monthly Subscription Service$6.99 FROM ESPNWhat we look for in on-demand streaming servicesMaskot/Getty ImagesSubscription services, like Netflix, popularized streaming by providing a larger library of on-demand movies and shows than cable providers could offer, and at a cheaper price. Subscribers gain instant access to thousands of titles rather than paying more for dozens of channels or rental fees for new releases. Many streaming services have also launched their own exclusive programming that you can't see anywhere else. Since the goal is entertainment, choosing the best on-demand streaming service for your needs will largely come down to your personal tastes. However, we can judge the different on-demand platforms based on a few common factors, like their library size, selection of critically acclaimed exclusives, video quality, app functionality, and price.The best on-demand streaming services have set a standard for 4K video quality, with support for HDR color and contrast on compatible TVs. TV channels rarely broadcast in 4K, so we have lower expectations for live TV streaming services, which still use HD resolutions like 1080p or 720p.Quality can still vary based on the movie or show being streamed, and you'll need a strong, stable internet connection to stream consistently at 4K. Even if you don't have a 4K TV, these services will still deliver the best possible quality for your setup.We expect app support on iOS, Android, and most home entertainment devices, though the growing number of streaming services has led to slower releases on competitive platforms, like Amazon and Roku. The best on-demand services also give subscribers an option to save select movies for offline viewing while they travel, though an online check-in is still required occasionally.When comparing catalogs, we try to consider the range of entertainment offered by each streaming service, how much the platform has invested in exclusive programming, and which age ranges are best suited to watch. While most streaming services will have a rotating list of movies, it's important to pay attention to which series and franchises will remain platform exclusive, like "The Office," "Star Wars," and "Stranger Things."The best deals on streaming servicesdamircudic/Getty ImagesStreaming services offer frequent promotions and discounts for new members and students. Special packages are also common, allowing you to bundle services together and save.Check out some notable streaming deals you can take advantage of right now, below. We'll update this list of deals with more discounts as they become available.College students can save big on streaming services — check out deals from Amazon Prime, Hulu, Paramount Plus, and moreDiscovery's streaming service, Discovery Plus, is free for an entire year for some Verizon Unlimited customersNew Apple Music subscribers can get 6 months free from Best Buy, no purchase necessaryNew and returning Starz subscribers can stream 3 months of service for only $3 a monthGet 3 months of Apple TV Plus for free when you buy select Apple devices, or 6 months if you own a PS5You can save 16% off the monthly price of Paramount Plus if you sign up for an annual planYou can get up to 6 months of Disney Plus for free with an Amazon Music Unlimited subscriptionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 3rd, 2022

Google is under investigation in California for the way it treats Black women workers, report says

Emails reviewed by Reuters said the investigation is focused on harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Google is reportedly under investigation.Getty Images The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is investigating Google, Reuters reports. DFEH is talking to Black women employees who have worked for Alphabet, sources said. Emails reviewed by Reuters showed the DFEH is probing alleged harassment and discrimination. Google is under investigation for the way it treats Black women workers, Reuters reported Friday.California's civil rights regulator, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, has interviewed multiple Black women who have worked for Google's parent firm Alphabet, Reuters reported, citing two sources and agency emails.The emails viewed by Reuters said the interviews have centered on alleged harassment and discrimination in the workplace. One of the sources told Reuters at least one interview happened as recently as last month.The two sources told Reuters the DFEH is interviewing both employees who filed official complaints and employees who didn't, suggesting the department is casting a broad net in its enquiries.The DFEH did not immediately respond to an email sent by Insider outside of business hours asking for comment. It declined to comment when contacted by Reuters."Our goal is to ensure that every employee experiences Google as an inclusive workplace," Google said when contacted by Reuters, adding: "We'll continue to focus on this important work and thoroughly investigate any concerns, to make sure our workplace is representative and equitable."Google did not immediately comment when contacted by Insider about Reuters' report.Google has faced public scrutiny over its treatment of Black employees. Timnit Gebru, one of Google's leading AI researchers, departed the company in December last year. Gebru said she was fired while the company maintained she resigned.After CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to staff saying he was sorry if the case "seeded doubts." Later that same month, Gebru told the BBC he had failed to actually apologize."This institutional racism, it's not even just limited to Google. It's most of these institutions in general, and specifically in the tech companies, are institutionally racist," Gebru told the BBC.Google employees told NBC in March that after they complained about racism and sexism at the company, they were told to take mental health leave. In September, a Black Google employee said he was stopped by security staff who didn't believe he worked for the company.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 20th, 2021