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BBC journalist was "beaten and kicked by police" in Shanghai while covering zero-COVID protests

Edward Lawrence was arrested and detained for several hours before being released, according to a statement from a BBC spokesperson. People protest against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) curbs, at the site of a candlelight vigil for victims of the Urumqi fire, in Shanghai, China, in this screengrab from a video released on November 27, 2022.Reuters Edward Lawrence, a BBC journalist, was arrested while covering zero-COVID policies in Shanghai. A BBC spokesperson said he was "beaten and kicked by police" during the arrest.  Protests have been ongoing in Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing regarding the strict lockdowns. Edward Lawrence, a BBC journalist, was "beaten and kicked by police" as he was arrested in China while covering zero-COVID policy protests. Prior to his arrest, Lawrence was posting on social media about ongoing protests in Shanghai, where citizens have gathered to object to stringent zero-COVID policies. The protests follow the death of 10 people in an apartment fire in Urumqi. Though officials deny lockdown policies contributed to the tragedy, locals say the fire couldn't be extinguished as a result of virus control barriers. "The crowd has grown from maybe a few dozen to several hundred," Lawrence posted shortly before his arrest. "I've seen the police arrest three people — two of whom then fought with police. There's a silent tension until one person shouts, and then the crowd chants and claps in support."—Edward Lawrence (@EP_Lawrence) November 27, 2022 Video of Lawrence's arrest quickly circulated on social media, where you can hear the journalist urging someone standing near him to "call the consulate now" before being knocked down and repeatedly punched and kicked by the arresting officers."The BBC is extremely concerned about the treatment of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed while covering the protests in Shanghai," The Guardian reported a spokesperson for the British public service broadcaster said. "He was held for several hours before being released. During his arrest, he was beaten and kicked by the police. This happened while he was working as an accredited journalist."—Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) November 27, 2022Despite the relative rarity of social unrest in China, large protests have erupted throughout the country in recent days — including in the cities of Urumqi, Beijing, and Nanjing — following the implementation of COVID lockdown policies. The Xinjiang region, where Urumqi is located, is in its third month of COVID lockdowns, though the region has had just three COVID-related deaths in the last month, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.The BBC did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 27th, 2022

BBC journalist was "beaten and kicked by police" in Shanghai while covering zero-COVID protests

Edward Lawrence was arrested and detained for several hours before being released, according to a statement from a BBC spokesperson. People protest against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) curbs, at the site of a candlelight vigil for victims of the Urumqi fire, in Shanghai, China, in this screengrab from a video released on November 27, 2022.Reuters Edward Lawrence, a BBC journalist, was arrested while covering zero-COVID policies in Shanghai. A BBC spokesperson said he was "beaten and kicked by police" during the arrest.  Protests have been ongoing in Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing regarding the strict lockdowns. Edward Lawrence, a BBC journalist, was "beaten and kicked by police" as he was arrested in China while covering zero-COVID policy protests. Prior to his arrest, Lawrence was posting on social media about ongoing protests in Shanghai, where citizens have gathered to object to stringent zero-COVID policies. The protests follow the death of 10 people in an apartment fire in Urumqi. Though officials deny lockdown policies contributed to the tragedy, locals say the fire couldn't be extinguished as a result of virus control barriers. "The crowd has grown from maybe a few dozen to several hundred," Lawrence posted shortly before his arrest. "I've seen the police arrest three people — two of whom then fought with police. There's a silent tension until one person shouts, and then the crowd chants and claps in support."—Edward Lawrence (@EP_Lawrence) November 27, 2022 Video of Lawrence's arrest quickly circulated on social media, where you can hear the journalist urging someone standing near him to "call the consulate now" before being knocked down and repeatedly punched and kicked by the arresting officers."The BBC is extremely concerned about the treatment of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed while covering the protests in Shanghai," The Guardian reported a spokesperson for the British public service broadcaster said. "He was held for several hours before being released. During his arrest, he was beaten and kicked by the police. This happened while he was working as an accredited journalist."—Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) November 27, 2022Despite the relative rarity of social unrest in China, large protests have erupted throughout the country in recent days — including in the cities of Urumqi, Beijing, and Nanjing — following the implementation of COVID lockdown policies. The Xinjiang region, where Urumqi is located, is in its third month of COVID lockdowns, though the region has had just three COVID-related deaths in the last month, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.The BBC did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 27th, 2022

UK Summons Chinese Ambassador Over Beating Of BBC Journalist

UK Summons Chinese Ambassador Over Beating Of BBC Journalist Authored by Lily Zhou via The Epoch Times, The UK’s Foreign Office has summoned Chinese Ambassador Zheng Zeguang to explain the treatment of a BBC journalist, foreign secretary James Cleverly confirmed on Tuesday. Foreign Office minister David Rutley told Parliament earlier in the day that the department will demand a “full and thorough explanation” from the Chinese ambassador. Edward Lawrence, a BBC reporter in China, was arrested in Shanghai on Sunday while reporting on protests against the communist regime’s zero-COVID policy. A BBC statement said Lawrence was handcuffed, beaten, kicked, and held for a few hours before being released. Footage circulated online appeared to show Lawrence being tackled to the ground by a group of police and taken away. The crowd could be heard chanting, “Release the man.” The BBC on Sunday said no official explanation or apology had been given “beyond a claim by the officials who later released him that they had arrested him for his own good in case he caught Covid from the crowd.” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian later rejected the BBC’s statement, saying Lawrence didn’t reveal his identity when being arrested and refused to cooperate with the police. On Tuesday, Zhao accused the British public broadcaster of always “distorting the truth,” lambasting the broadcaster’s reporting on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and the zero-COVID policy in mainland China. “The UK side must respect facts, be prudent in what it says or does and stop its practice of double standards,” Zhao said. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian takes a question at the daily media briefing in Beijing on April 8, 2020. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images) Speaking to reporters at NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Bucharest, Cleverly confirmed he had summoned the Chinese ambassador. “It is incredibly important that we protect media freedom. It is something very much at the heart of the UK’s belief system, and it is incredibly important that journalists can go about their business unmolested and without fear of attack,” he said. Answering urgent questions in Parliament, Rutley reiterated Cleverly’s earlier statement saying the arrest of Lawrence was “deeply disturbing and wholly unacceptable,” and that “journalists must be able to do their job without fear of arrest or intimidation.” Commenting on the BBC’s statement that Lawrence was beaten and kicked by police during his arrest and was held for several hours, Rutley told MPs, “In response, we are calling in the Chinese ambassador to make clear the unacceptable and unwarranted nature of these actions, the importance of freedom of speech, and to demand a full and thorough explanation.” He said the UK government recognises that the COVID-19 restrictions in China are “challenging for the Chinese people,” and urged the Chinese authorities to “respect the rights of those who decide to express their views about the situation.” Government Urged to ‘Get Serious With China’ The incident comes as the relationship between the UK government and China’s ruling Communist Party (CCP) becomes increasingly strained following Beijing’s upending of democracy and the rule of law in Hong Kong, its reciprocal sanctioning of British politicians who are vocal critics of the CCP’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and the beating of a Hong Kong protester at the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester. The BBC has also been targeted by the CCP after the UK revoked the license of the Chinese state-controlled CGTN network. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday said the so-called “golden era” of the Sino–British relationship is over, and said the UK will strengthen its resilience and economic security. But he stopped short of calling the Chinese regime a threat, and said the UK will stand up to the UK’s competitors with “robust pragmatism” instead of “grand rhetoric” and “simplistic Cold War rhetoric,” irking China hawks in Parliament. A man is arrested while people gather on a street in Shanghai to protest on Nov. 27, 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images) DUP MP Jim Shannon, who requested the urgent question session, urged the government to take tougher actions. Shannon said the arrest and assault of Lawrence is not the first attack on freedom of speech, but “just another example in the long line of journalists and human rights defenders, who are silenced, arrested, or simply disappear by the CCP.” He welcomed Sunak’s commitment that the golden era of China and UK relations is over, and urged the prime minister to follow up with “tougher actions” to “protect British citizens, human rights defenders, pro-democracy activists, and religious and ethnic minorities targeted by the CCP.” Rutley responded by saying Shannon’s points will be raised with the Chinese ambassador. Former ministers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Tim Loughton questioned the use of summoning Zhao. “We have had an awful lot of calling in the Chinese ambassador. If robust pragmatism is to mean anything, should there not be clear consequences?” Loughton asked. He urged the government to expel Manchester Consul General Zhao Xiyuan, who admitted to pulling the hair of a protester, and sanction Chinese officials oppressing protests in China. “When are we going to get serious about China?” he asked. Rees-Mogg said the UK should also “take tougher action in international forums” and “do things that the Chinese would not want us to do” to show the UK is “not a pushover” and “not going to support the communist running dogs.” Labour MP Marie Rimmer also mentioned the beating of a protester in Manchester, saying “action is desperately needed.” Rutley told MPs the government is waiting for the conclusion of a police investigation into the Manchester incident, saying it will take action after seeing the process through. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/02/2022 - 02:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 2nd, 2022

Rodney King"s daughter calls Tyre Nichols" police beating death "sickening" 32 years after her father"s assault

Decades after Rodney King's police beating was recorded, his daughter says the only difference is footage of Tyre Nichols' encounter is less grainy. A portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.Adrian Sainz/AP Photo Rodney King's daughter is sickened by beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis. Nearly 32 years after her fathers' beating, she can't comprehend how police brutality continues. Lora King says the race of the 5 officers involved in Nichols' beating is irrelevant.  When Lora King — Rodney King's oldest daughter — first came across news of the police killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, she was so sickened she had to take a break from reading.Now 38, King was only 7 in March 1991 when her father was kicked, stunned, and punched by four white Los Angeles Police officers in the San Fernando Valley.The beating — which her dad survived — was caught on video. It was one of the earliest cases in which a civilian's recording of police brutality led to protests. "It's very, very sickening. This is nothing you can explain to children," King told Insider on Wednesday, a day after Nichols' autopsy report was released. Tyre Nichols, 29, was sent to the hospital in critical condition after a January 7 traffic stop and died three days later. On Monday, law enforcement officials allowed Nichols' family and their lawyers to privately view body-camera footage of Nichols' arrest.After seeing the footage, which is has not yet been released to the public, attorney Antonio Romanucci said at a Wednesday press conference that Nichols was "defenseless the entire time" while the five police officers, all of whom were also Black, beat him just 80 yards from his home.Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said Nichols was shocked, pepper sprayed, and restrained during the encounter. In a statement Tuesday, Crump said an autopsy commissioned by the Nichols family shows he "suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating, and that his observed injuries are consistent with what the family and attorneys witnessed on the video of his fatal encounter with police on January 7, 2023."The Memphis Police Department said last week that it had fired the five officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, and Desmond Mills Jr. — after an administrative investigation into Nichols' death. Two firefighters who were on scene were also relieved from duty, Reuters reported.In the wake of the killing, attorneys for the Nichols family compared his beating to that of King's. Lora King, who is the executive director of the Rodney King Foundation, told Insider she doesn't understand why it would take five officers to restrain Nichols, who was only 150 pounds. "I just can't wrap my head around it," she said. "People like him and my father shouldn't be crying out for their life."King called it "unfortunate" that the officers involved in Tyre's death were Black but said that, "Even if they were green, it doesn't matter."There is no justification for killing another person during a police encounter, she said: "I would say that if they were white, I would say that if they were Asian, if the police were any other nationality."Rodney KingAP Images"Hashtags and clearer videos"Lora King said she wishes that 32 years after her father's infamous beating the world would have progressed beyond unjustified police killings of Black men.There are many social issues King is passionate about — such as homelessness — but society can't fully address them because police brutality remains a problem all these years later, she said."I was 7 years old when my father was beaten and it's definitely affected my whole entire life," she said. "The only difference between now and then is hashtags and clearer videos." King has a 16-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.Her daughter, who has researched and written school papers about her grandfather, only knew him as the "foodie" who would come over and do arts and crafts with her before he died in 2012.When she saw his death covered on Oprah, that changed. As for her 3-year-old, he's still too young to understand the concept of police brutality, and King gets anxious thinking about having to one day explain it — and his family's legacy — to him. More worrisome, though, is the thought that he may experience police brutality first-hand, she said. "It's sad that my dad has to be the poster boy for this entire movement," she said, but she's glad his beating wasn't in vein. "It's sad that another family has to go through this forever," she said. "When you think of a legacy of a person, in my dad's case, a big part of him was murdered that day."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 25th, 2023

Number Of Imprisoned Journalists Worldwide Hits New Record

Number Of Imprisoned Journalists Worldwide Hits New Record The number of journalists imprisoned worldwide has hit a new record at 533, according to an annual report by press fredom watchdog, Reporters Without Borders. Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against the arrest of three prominent activists for press freedom, in central Istanbul,Turkey, June 21, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal The total number is up from 2021, when 488 journalists were imprisoned, according to the RSF's Annual Press Freedom Review published last week. "More than a quarter of them were imprisoned during the year," according to the Paris-based watchdog which has kept records on imprisoned reporters since 1995. More than half of those jailed are in five countries; China (110), Myanmar (62), Iran (47) Vietnam (39) and Belarus (31) - with 32 of the 47 in Iran having been arrested since protests broke out in September over the death of Masha Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in police custody while breaching the country's strict dress code. Of the imprisoned, just over 1/3 have actually been convicted of a crime, while the remaining 2/3 are being held without trial. "Some of them have been waiting for their trial for more than 20 years," said the RSF. In Myanmar, to be a journalist is "effectively a criminal offense" since the 2021 military coup, which led to the roundup and imprisonment of 62 journalists. "Dictatorial and authoritarian regimes are filling their prisons faster than ever by jailing journalists," said RSF secretary-general, Christophe Deloire in a statment. What's more, in the past two years, 57 journalists have been killed - eight reporting on the war in Ukraine, and five of them from non-combatant countries. According to the RSF, almost 80% of media professionals killed around the world were "deliberately targeted in connection with their work or the stories they were covering," such as coverage of corruption or organized crime, Quatari government-owned Al Jazeera reports. The number of female journalists in prison is also at an all-time high worldwide, rising from 60 to 78 since 2021, largely due to greater numbers entering the profession. The NGO awarded its Prize for Courage on Monday to Iranian journalist Narges Mohammadi, who has been repeatedly imprisoned over the past decade. Three-quarters of jailed journalists are concentrated in Asia and the Middle East, said the RSF. According to Deloire, the new record "confirms the pressing and urgent need to resist these unscrupulous governments and to extend our active solidarity to all those who embody the ideal of journalistic freedom, independence and pluralism." Tyler Durden Tue, 12/27/2022 - 02:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 27th, 2022

Why China Sucks: It"s A Beta-Test For The New World Order

Why China Sucks: It's A Beta-Test For The New World Order Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, For over a decade there has been an open globalist obsession with the Chinese governmental model – A love affair, if you will. Many top proponents of global centralization including Henry Kissinger and George Soros have praised China in the past and hinted that the communist country is burgeoning into a major player within the New World Order. Soros expressed this exact sentiment way back in 2009, around the time that China began courting the IMF and issuing trillions in Yuan based treasury debt in order to join their global currency initiative. Several years later, China was inducted into the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket. The CCP now avidly supports the creation of a new global currency system with the IMF in control. This is a reality I have been writing about for many years: China does NOT stand in opposition to global centralization under the control of western oligarchs. All they want is a prominent seat at the table when the “Great Reset” kicks off and total centralization begins. But the above information only suggests an economic relationship between China and the globalists. Does the alliance go even further than that? Recently, Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum gave an interview to the Chinese government controlled CGTN at the APEC Summit. In that interview, Schwab praises China as a role model for many other nations. This might shock some people considering China’s economy is faltering, with their global exports plunging in 2022 and their housing market in shambles. This decline is in large part due to global stagflation, but also due to their insane “zero covid” policy which has kept the nation under pandemic lockdown for years. Remember all those covid cultists who were cheering for China last year? Remember when they claimed that China was a perfect example on why lockdowns are necessary and proof that they work? Yeah, those people were morons. China’s economy is now in freefall with their manufacturing base under extreme stress from the mandates. Furthermore, it would appear that the Chinese populace is finally fed up with the draconian conditions and are rising up in revolt. In the video below, protests erupt at Foxconn’s flagship iPhone plant in China after workers marched out of the factory. They had been held there in quarantine against their will with poor working conditions and little food. The Chinese government sent hazmat clad troops to put down the rebellion while stomping protesters into the ground. Take note and remember this video when you hear about Apple’s hostility to Elon Musk’s free speech policies on Twitter – Apple loves authoritarianism, as do all globalist run corporations. China continues to terrorize the citizenry with secret police visits to vocal dissenters and fleets of drones hovering above city streets monitoring foot traffic and blaring propaganda messages. Some drones even spray unknown chemicals across entire city blocks. In the meantime, China has fully implemented digital vaccine passports systems tied to public venues and retail stores. You cannot function in a major Chinese city without an up-to-date vaccine passport or a negative covid test taken every couple of weeks. All of these events and conditions are often treated as disconnected or coincidentally associated. No one is asking the right questions. The big question being WHY? Why is the Chinese government sabotaging its own economy with lockdowns and oppressing the population to the point of open revolt (a rarity among the normally subservient Chinese people). Why keep the lockdowns going when it is clear to the rest of the world that the pandemic is over and that the lockdowns and masks never worked to begin with? I would ask CCP officials a simple question that many of us in America also asked our own government a over a year ago: If the vaccines work, why enforce mandates and lockdowns? If it’s because the vaccines don’t work, then why try to force the population to take the jab? Beyond that, if the masks and lockdowns work, then why is China facing yet another supposed covid infection wave? Obviously the CCP does not care about the well being of the average Chinese citizen. There is no logic to anything they are doing, just as there was no logic to anything Biden, Fauci and the CDC were doing in the US. The difference is, Americans were able to force the globalists in the US to abandon their mandate agenda, likely because we are heavily armed and they realized too many of us were non-compliant. In China, there is no civilian militia equivalent. The country was a dystopia before, now it is something different – It is an experiment in technocratic tyranny that is being taken to the extreme. China is willing to starve, arrest, beat and even kill people who they claim they are trying to protect from the virus. It is no mistake that nearly every policy China is implementing is a direct copy of policies suggested by the WEF and institutions like the Imperial College of London back in 2020 at the start of the outbreak. The globalists argued that “we are not going back to normal” and that the public would have to sacrifice many of our freedoms in order to stop the pandemic. In reality, none of their policies were effective in stopping the spread, but they were very effective at suppressing the populace. And in the case of China, nothing did ever go back to normal. The unspoken rationale, in my view, connects directly back to China’s long term relationship to the globalists and their desire to be a part of the New World Order, also referred to as the “multipolar world order”, the 4th Industrial Revolution, the Great Reset and a dozen other names. If you want to know the real globalist vision for the future, take a look at China today and then multiply the pain and suffering another hundred fold. China is a beta test. Perhaps it’s a test to see what level of tyranny people are willing to endure. Maybe a test of the functionality of different surveillance systems and control mechanisms. Maybe a practice run for the inevitable riots and rebellion that would occur in numerous countries and the best way to deal with them. Globalists like Klaus Schwab are not only interest in China as an economic role model, he sees China as a societal role model for much of the west, with some tweaks here and there. The problem for the establishment is that if there are visible examples of freedom despite covid, then other nations will start to question the necessity of their own lockdowns. Even the Chinese people are starting to fight back. They can’t implement their NWO one country at a time, they will have to oppress many countries at once. As I have been saying for the past year to some of the more nihilistic people in the liberty movement who think all it lost, understand that you are lucky to be living in the US right now and you should be thankful for the millions of conservatives that actively and vocally refused to comply with the mandates and vaccines. They saved the country from greater tyranny. If the globalists had got what they really wanted, we would look a lot like China right now. We hovered close to that black sun and danced with the devil, but we are not beaten. As it stands, China continues to represent a model of authoritarian dreams; a research study in mass psychological torture. Far from being a counter-point to the globalists, it is actually a globalist work in progress. Watch what happens there closely, because the evils perpetrated there will eventually be attempted here at home. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/02/2022 - 23:55.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 3rd, 2022

UK PM Sunak Says "Golden Era" With China Is Over, Rejects "Cold War Rhetoric"

UK PM Sunak Says "Golden Era" With China Is Over, Rejects "Cold War Rhetoric" Authored by Lily Zhou via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The so-called “golden era” of the Sino–British relationship is over, the UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking at the annual Lord Mayor's Banquet at the Guildhall in central London on Nov. 28, 2022. (Belinda Jiao/PA Media) But Sunak dismissed what he said is “simplistic Cold War rhetoric,” saying he will stand up to the UK’s competitors with “robust pragmatism” instead of “grand rhetoric.” Giving his first major foreign policy speech at the annual Lord Mayor’s Banquet at Guildhall in London, Sunak also vowed to “stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” promising to maintain or increase military support next year. But the speech heavily focused on the communist-ruled China, which he said is “conspicuously competing for global influence using all the levers of state power.” “Let’s be clear. The so-called golden era is over, along with a naive idea that trade would automatically lead to social and political reform,” Sunak said, adding, “But nor should we rely on simplistic Cold War rhetoric.” The prime minister said he recognises the authoritarian regime poses “a systemic challenge to our values and interests,” citing the suppression of anti-zero-COVID protests and the arrest and beating of a BBC journalist on Sunday. But he also said the UK “cannot simply ignore China’s significance” on world affairs, global economic stability, or issues like climate change. ‘Robust Pragmatism’ Sunak spoke against what he called “short termism or wishful thinking,” saying the UK’s adversaries and competitors plan for the long term. He said the UK will “make an evolutionary leap in our approach,” including strengthening defence of “our values and the openness on which our prosperity depends” and the economy at home, and standing up to competitors “not with grand rhetoric, but with robust pragmatism.” The prime minister said the government is “reinvigorating” the UK’s European relationships, “taking a longer-term view” on China, strengthening the UK’s resilience and economic security, and building relationships in the Indo–Pacific region. Citing the government’s recent decision to order a Chinese-owned company to sell the UK’s biggest microchip company it had acquired, as well his recent visit to Indonesia, Sunak said the UK, the United States, Australia, Japan, and many others will “manage the sharpening competition” with diplomacy, engagement, and improving resilience, particularly economic security. More details will be set out in the government’s updated Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development, and Foreign Policy, Sunak said. The speech marks a clear softening of rhetoric since his leadership campaign when he said the Chinese regime poses “the largest threat to Britain and the world’s security and prosperity this century,” and his recent description of the regime as posing the “biggest state-based threat to our economic security.” It’s also in contrast with his hawkish predecessor Liz Truss, who in April called for a “global NATO” to tackle international threats and warned the Chinese Communist Party against invading Taiwan. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss speaking at the Easter Banquet at Mansion House in the City of London on April 27, 2022. (Victoria Jones/PA Media) Parts of Sunak’s speech were published earlier on Monday in a press release. Commenting on the prime minister’s approach of “robust pragmatism,” Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Alicia Kearns said she believes the UK should engage with China, but urged Sunak to draw “red lines” in the relationship. Kearns agrees with a pragmatic approach, she told the BBC, adding engagement should mean “having those tough conversations” and “drawing red lines.” “We don’t want to see illegal police stations operating on British soil. We don’t want to see their consul general beating up those who seek refuge in our country. And we don’t want to see our fantastic journalists like [Edward Lawrence] beaten on the streets of China, [and] that they have to recognize and respect human rights,” Kearns said. On Sunday, BBC reporter Edward Lawrence was arrested and allegedly beaten by the Chinese police when he was reporting on protests in Shanghai. It’s unclear what Sunak’s China policy will look like in practice, but the prime minister’s softened rhetoric was met with sharp criticism from former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, who expressed his disappointment in Sunak’s tone towards Beijing. “No idea if British [government] has any sense of irony, if not, they should,” the China hawk said on Twitter. Read more here... Tyler Durden Wed, 11/30/2022 - 03:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2022

Futures Rise As China Reopening Hopes Return

Futures Rise As China Reopening Hopes Return And just like that, sentiment has turned on a dime... or rather a yuan. One day after global stocks and commodities tanked following a weekend of violent protests swept across China, Beijing appears to have learned its lesson and overnight Chinese government health experts made an unscheduled overnight announcement in which they not only vowed to speed up Covid shots for the elderly - a move regarded as crucial to the reopening  - but to avoid excessive restrictions, fueling a new round of bets that Beijing is bending to the pressure of an economic reopening. A spokesman for the National Health Commission also said local officials must avoid excessive restrictions. As a result, contracts on the Nasdaq 100 were up 0.4% at 7:30 a.m. in New York, while S&P 500 futures rose 0.2%, erasing earlier gains which pushed spoos as high as 3990. Both underlying indexes tumbled about 1.5% on Monday amid fears that protests in China about Covid restrictions would affect the pace of the reopening. In premarket trading, Chinese stocks listed in the US rallied, including internet stocks Alibaba and JD.com, while the exchange-traded KraneShares CSI China Internet Fund rose more than 6%, following on from Asian markets’ sharp bounce earlier in the day. Apple rose along with tech stocks, lifted by the general positive sentiment on China. Roku dropped after a broker downgrade. Here are all notable premarket movers: 23andMe is initiated with a buy recommendation at Berenberg, which sees the genomics firm as well-positioned to become a “leader in a redefined individualized healthcare ecosystem.” The broker also sets a Street-high price target for the stock. Shares gain 2.7%. AZEK fell 6.2% after the outdoor living products manufacturer reported fourth-quarter revenue that was ahead of consensus, though the company’s first- quarter net sales forecast fell short of expectations. For the analysts, the guide was disappointing, with some highlighting the impact that inventory headwinds would have in the first quarter. BigCommerce shares are up 2.9% in premarket trading, after the e-commerce software company said its merchant gross merchandise value rose 31% on Black Friday, a growth rate that analysts see as strong. Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks rise in US premarket trading following Monday’s losses, as Bitcoin gained amid the return of risk appetite on China reopening bets, though worries lingered over the fallout from FTX’s collapse. Coinbase shares gained 1.6%. Chinese stocks listed in the US rally as officials vowed to speed up Covid shots for the elderly and to avoid excessive restrictions, fueling a new round of bets that Beijing is bending to pressure for a reopening. Alibaba shares gain 5.3%, JD.com shares rise 7.2%, Baidu shares advance 5.9% Generac shares fall 2.6% in premarket trading after Jefferies downgraded the backup generator manufacturer to underperform from hold, noting the risk bidirectional charging for electric vehicles poses to home standby penetration over the long-term. Lordstown Motors rose as much as 6% in premarket trading upon reaching the conditions to start consumer sales. Hibbett Inc reported earnings per share for the third quarter that missed the average analyst estimate. Shares decline 5.8%. Microsoft shares advance 0.2% in US premarket trading, as Morgan Stanley says that it has confidence in the software firm’s commercial businesses, which are sending a strong and durable demand signal. Mirum Pharmaceuticals fell as much as 9.8% premarket upon deciding to discontinue the OHANA study of volixibat in intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy due to enrollment feasibility. Novocure is upgraded to overweight at Wells Fargo ahead of results from the company’s LUNAR non-small cell lung cancer trial, expected early next year. Shares decline 1.2%. Roku (ROKU) shares decline 3% after the stock was downgraded to sector weight from overweight at KeyBanc, which says consensus for 2023 and 2024 looks “too optimistic. United Parcel Service (UPS) shares are up 1.4% in premarket trading, after Deutsche Bank upgraded the package shipping company to buy from hold. US-listed shares of Bilibili (BILI) are up 10.4% in premarket trading, after the China-based video game company reported third-quarter results that beat expectations, though it also gave a fourth-quarter revenue forecast that was below the average analyst estimate. “My guess is China has reached some kind of tipping point on Covid restrictions,” said Christophe Barraud, chief strategists at the Market Securities brokerage in Paris. “Even before the recent unrest, officials were preparing to implement more targeted measures, but the unrest will only accelerate the process.” Another tailwind for stocks is the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will move to a slower rate-hiking pace, with Fed Chair Jerome Powell seen cementing those bets when he speaks on Wednesday. That view, alongside the easing in China tensions, and expectations for further slowing in payroll gains on Friday, pushed the dollar lower against a basket of peers, following two days of gains. US stocks have rallied in the past two months on growing optimism that the Federal Reserve would slow the pace of rate hikes as inflation showed signs of cooling and as the US inevitably slides into recession. But policy makers have stressed they will continue to raise borrowing costs further until they see a meaningful dip in prices, and market strategists have warned the rally may fizzle out over the coming weeks amid recession worries. “Investors don’t want to hear what the Fed says; it says it will hike slower but higher, investors hear that the Fed will hike slower, and so we have rallies that get interrupted by frequent rectification from the Fed officials,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank. “Even soft growth, soft jobs and soft inflation should not lead to a sustained recovery as they would hint at recession.” That hawkish drumbeat from central bankers has seen global bonds signal a recession, as a gauge measuring the worldwide yield curve inverted for the first time in at least two decades. Meanwhile UBS Wealth Management Chief Investment Officer Mark Haefele agreed and warned that investors should remain cautious over the revival in risk appetite that has occurred over the past few months. “The path back toward the Fed’s 2% inflation target could be bumpy, sparking renewed concerns about how high rates will have to rise,” he wrote in a note on Tuesday. On the other hand, Deutsche Bank strategists said they expect the rally to continue as both rate and equity volatility falls, while systematic strategies raise equity exposure from extremely low levels, propelling the S&P to 4,500 before it all comes crashing down in Q3 2023 when stocks plunge to 3,250 only to rebound the next quarter. In Europe, the Stoxx 50 rose 0.3% on speculation that unrest in China over Covid restrictions would force authorities to move faster in loosening curbs. FTSE 100 outperformed peers, adding 0.8%. Here are the most notable European movers: Union Financière de France shares rise as much as 53% after majority owner Abeille Assurances lodged a EU21/share buyout offer for the 25% of capital it doesn’t already own. Shares in Danish pharma giant Novo Nordisk gained as much as 4% after the FDA cleared forms at Catalent’s Wegovy manufacturing sites in the US and Brussels. ASM International shares jump as much as 8% after the Dutch chip-tool maker forecast a less severe sales impact from the US chip export restrictions and raised its fourth-quarter guidance. Boozt rises as much as 14%, the most since August, after the Swedish online retailer said it expects to reach the high end of its full-year guidance. The Stoxx 600 Retail subindex is among the best performing in Tuesday trading, with Zalando +3.7%, JD Sports +2.1% and H&M +1.3% Mining and energy are the best-performing sectors in Europe on Tuesday amid a rebound in commodity markets as China refined its approach for dealing with Covid-19 and investors looked ahead to an OPEC+ meeting on output policy. The Stoxx 600 Basic Resources subindex rises as much as 2.5% to the highest since mid-June, led by heavyweights like Rio Tinto and Anglo American Capita shares fall as much as 5.8% in London trading, the steepest intraday decline since Sept. 30. Shares in Orlen gain as much as 4.2% as Poland’s biggest refiner boosted Ebitda in 3Q following acquisition of Lotos. Greencore Group falls 4.9% after saying that it remains cautious about the potential impact of the recessionary environment and cost-of-living factors on consumer spending through the year ahead. Nestle shares drop as much as 1.1%, underperforming the Stoxx 600’s food, beverage and tobacco subgroup, after the Swiss food giant set financial targets and said it’s considering options for Palforzia, just two years after buying the peanut-allergy treatment in a $2.6 billion deal. Earlier in the session, Asian equities rose as latest official commentary in China bolstered reopening trades, with a weaker dollar adding to tailwinds for the region. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index extended its advance to as much as 1.7% in afternoon trading, with gauges in Hong Kong jumping more than 5% to lead gains in the region. In a briefing, Chinese officials urged elderly vaccination and avoidance of excessive restrictions, which added to reopening optimism. Beijing’s additional support for developers also buoyed stocks.  A decline in the dollar boosted benchmarks in South Korea, Taiwan and India, although measures in Japan fell. Consumer discretionary and telecom shares were the biggest sectoral advancers in the region. “It’s been a tough year for most funds, so if they miss out on big moves in China” going into the end of the year, that “would hurt performance,” said Sat Duhra, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson Investors. “From a tactical point of view, that’s the reason China is so volatile.” Asia’s stock gauge has gained 14% in November, on track for its best month since 1998, with beaten-down markets in North Asia showing signs of recovery boosted by month-end positioning. Still, traders will closely monitor a host of US economic data due this week as well as commentary by Federal Reserve officials to gauge global inflation and growth prospects next year. Japanese equities dropped after Fed policymakers stressed that there will be further monetary-policy tightening ahead to curb inflation. The Topix Index fell 0.6% to 1,992.97 as of market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 declined 0.5% to 28,027.84. Toyota Motor Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s decline, as the automaker fell 1.4%. Among 2,164 stocks in the index, 1,478 fell and 586 rose, while 100 were unchanged. “Though Fed officials have been commenting, even in that case, monetary tightening will go in the direction of easing,” said Hideyuki Suzuki, general manager at SBI Securities. “What the market needs to be concerned about is whether the global economy will do okay.” In rates, Treasuries were moderately higher across the curve, holding gains amassed during the European session as German inflation data unleashed a bull-steepening rally in bunds. Intermediates outperformed slightly on the curve. Home price and consumer confidence data are focal points of US session, along with potential for month-end flows to support long-end.  Yields richer by 1bp to 3bp across the curve with belly-led gains tightening the 2s5s30s fly by ~2.5bp; 10-year TSYs around 3.66%, down 2bps on the day and trailing bunds in the sector by 7.5bp. German curve aggressively bull-steepens as ECB hike premium is pared; 2-year German yields richer by 13bp on the day in early US session. Bunds bull steepened, with yields dropping 6-11bps, and money markets aggressively pared ECB tightening wagers. Inflation in German states as well as in Spain pointed toward a faster deceleration than economists forecast for the national figure later today, and sure enough, German CPI came in at -0.5%, well below the -0.2% expected, and a sharp drop from 0.9% last month. Peripheral spreads are mixed to Germany; Italy tightens, Spain widens and Portugal tightens. In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index fell 0.6%, extending losses as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the Swiss franc. Australian and New Zealand dollars led gains amid optimism after China’s briefing on the implementation of virus prevention and control measures. The euro pared most of yesterday’s decline but stopped short of breaching the $1.04 handle as money markets aggressively pared ECB tightening wagers. Inflation in German states as well as in Spain pointed toward a faster deceleration than economists forecast for the national figure later today. The pound advanced to trade around 1.20 per dollar. Gilts gained but underperformed bunds. The BOE starts its first “demand-led” sale of long-end bonds and linkers bought after September’s mini-budget Sweden’s krona underperformed other risk-sensitive G-10 currencies; GDP expanded by less than forecast in the third quarter while separate data showed retail sales plunged most on record last month Elsewhere, oil extended a rebound from the lowest level in almost a year, on speculation that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will deepen supply cuts to respond to weakening global demand. Crude futures advanced, Brent rises 2.9% near $85.62. Spot gold rises roughly $14 to trade near $1,756/oz To the day ahead now, and data releases include German CPI for November, UK mortgage approvals for October, Canada’s Q3 GDP, the US Conference Board’s consumer confidence for November, and the FHFA house price index for September. Central bank speakers include BoE Governor Bailey and the BoE’s Mann, ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s de Cos. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.3% to 3,980.75 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.1% to 437.53 MXAP up 1.6% to 155.12 MXAPJ up 2.4% to 499.98 Nikkei down 0.5% to 28,027.84 Topix down 0.6% to 1,992.97 Hang Seng Index up 5.2% to 18,204.68 Shanghai Composite up 2.3% to 3,149.75 Sensex up 0.4% to 62,750.28 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 7,253.31 Kospi up 1.0% to 2,433.39 German 10Y yield down 4.5% to 1.90% Euro up 0.3% to $1.0370 Brent Futures up 2.2% to $84.98/bbl Gold spot up 0.8% to $1,755.58 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.37% to 106.28 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Chinese health authorities struck a conciliatory tone a day after protests against stringent Covid curbs were stymied by a heavy police presence, social media censorship and quiet pandemic concessions China’s worsening economic slump and a likely disruptive rollback of Covid restrictions will keep the central bank on its easing path, economists said, with calls growing for more interest rate cuts The ECB must continue monitoring underlying inflation as it determines what dose of monetary-policy tightening is needed to tame record price gains, according to Vice President Luis de Guindos The minutes of the UK DMO’s meeting with gilt-edged market makers (GEMMs) and investors on Nov. 28 showed a preference for either a new 30- or 40-year bond syndication in the final quarter of this financial year OPEC and its allies are expected to consider deeper supply curbs when they meet this weekend against the backdrop of a faltering global oil market A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks were mostly positive with the improvement in risk appetite spurred after China protests were clamped down on by police and after the country also announced support measures for developers, while there was also speculation of a potential easing of COVID controls ahead of a press briefing by China’s State Council. ASX 200 pared its early losses after rebounding from a floor around the 7,200 level although gains were contained amid the lack of pertinent domestic catalysts. Nikkei 225 was subdued after Unemployment Rate and Retail Sales data disappointed expectations and with automakers Toyota and Honda adjusting or suspending factories in China due to the COVID situation, while Eisai was the worst performer after a second death was linked to the Co. and Biogen's Lecanemab Alzheimer's drug. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were lifted with outperformance in developers after China resumed approving listed developers' mergers and is also to ease rules on developer bond state guarantees, while hopes of a relaxation of COVID restrictions added to the tailwinds. Top Asian News China is aiming to increase the pace of COVID vaccination for those 80 and above, according to the Health Authority, to allow elderly to take a booster three months after vaccine. CDC Official says they will promptly and effectively solve difficult problems reported by the masses; when asked if protests will prompt them to reconsider zero-COVID policy, says they will continue to fine tune policy to reduce the impact on the economy and society. Beijing City reports 2,126 (prev. 2,086) COVID infections on November 29th as of 3pm, according to a health official. UK PM Sunak called for Britain to evolve its foreign policy approach to China, while he also said the golden era of UK-China relations is over and criticised China's crackdown, according to SCMP and The Mirror. European bourses trade mixed after the initial China-led optimism petered out in early European hours, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.2%. Sectors are mostly firmer following choppiness in the European morning, but base metals remain the marked outperformer. US equity futures meanwhile remain modestly firmer across the board but off best levels as participants look ahead to Fed Chair Powell tomorrow, followed by US PCE on Thursday and NFP on Friday, ES +0.3%. Top European News UK government is abandoning controversial powers from the Online Safety Bill that would have forced internet companies to take down legal but harmful content following backlash from the tech industry and free speech advocates, according to FT. UK Oct. Mortgage Approvals Fall to 28-Month Low of 59k UK Rewrites Online Safety Bill After Free Speech Backlash Goldman Moves Some London Traders to Milan in Fresh Brexit Shift EasyJet Targets Full Capacity as Discounters Thrive in Slump Ørsted Offers to Buy Certain Sub Capital Securities FX Antipodean Dollars revived alongside Yuan as Chinese Covid cases dip to provide some respite, AUD/USD and NZD/USD firmly back above 0.6700 and 0.6200, while Usd/Cnh retreats from just shy of 7.2500. Buck off Monday's recovery highs, but DXY underpinned between 106.050-750 parameters on hawkish Fed rhetoric. Yen rebounds through 138.00 vs Greenback as bond yields recede to offset disappointing Japanese data. Euro and Pound bounce against the Dollar towards 1.0400 and over 1.2050 at one stage. Loonie pares declines in tandem with WTI as Usd/Cad recoils within a 1.3497-09 range ahead of Canadian GDP metrics. PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 7.1989 vs exp. 7.2077 (prev. 7.1617) Fixed Income Another firm recovery in debt futures, with EGBs encouraged by slowdowns in German state and Spanish national CPI readings. Bunds reach 141.74 from 140.08 at worst and Bonos 130.20 vs 129.46. BTPs outperform either side of solid month end Italian auctions as the 10 year benchmark tops out at 120.67 for a 169 tick gain on the day. Gilts cautious around 106.00 ahead of BoE commentary, but T-note firm on 113-00 handle awaiting US consumer confidence. Commodities WTI and Brent Jan futures have been trending higher since the APAC session on speculation China could that China could ease its COVID restrictions, although the Chinese health officials instead boosted the vaccination drive for the elderly and stressed they must keep avoiding excessive COVID curbs. Spot gold trades in tandem with the Dollar and remains within recent ranges on either side of USD 1,750/oz ahead of key risk events later this week. Base metals are lifted by the overnight China COVID optimism alongside support measures announced for China’s property sector, in turn boosting demand for raw materials, with 3M LME copper back on a USD 8,000/t level and extending on gains. China's President Xi says China is ready to boost Russian energy cooperation, via CCTV. Russian Deputy PM Novak says they are discussing with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan a gas union for shipments, which would include shipments to China, via Ifx. CNOOC is planning a 50-day overhaul at their 240k BPD Huizhou site from March, via Reuters citing sources. Euronext has informed clients that due to a technical incident, a failover has occurred on the commodities segment at 09:46GMT; Order Entry on all commodities contracts will be enabled at 10:45 GMT. These contracts will move into continuous tradable phase at 11:00 GMT. Geopolitics US official said Washington will announce significant financial assistance to Ukraine today and the new aid aims to mitigate damage caused by Russian bombing of Ukraine's energy grid, while the official said the Biden administration has allocated over USD 1bln to support the energy sector in Ukraine and Moldova, according to Sky News Arabia. China's military said a US cruiser illegally intruded into waters near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, while it added that it followed the US cruiser and said the US move infringes China's sovereignty, according to Reuters. China's ambassador to Britain has been summoned to the Foreign Office following the police "beating" of a BBC journalist in Shanghai, according to the Evening Standard. South Korean President Yoon said China can and should influence North Korea's behaviour to stop weapons development and he warned that any new North Korean nuclear test will be met with a joint response not seen in the past. Yoon also stated he is firmly opposed to any attempt to change the status quo unilaterally regarding Taiwan and said that in the event of a Taiwan conflict, South Korean troops' imminent concern would be any North Korean military action, according to Reuters. US Event Calendar 09:00: Sept. S&P CS Composite-20 YoY, est. 10.50%, prior 13.08% S&P/CS 20 City MoM SA, est. -1.20%, prior -1.32% FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. -1.2%, prior -0.7% 10:00: Nov. Conf. Board Consumer Confidence, est. 100.0, prior 102.5 Expectations, prior 78.1 Present Situation, prior 138.9 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I've been writing the EMR for nearly 16 years and before yesterday I can remember only one previous day where we couldn't distribute it for technical reasons. So apologies for the non-appearance yesterday in your email boxes. Given the size of the distribution list we use an external vendor to publish and our respective systems had a bit of a fight yesterday. The EMR was the loser. We think they have sat down and reconciled their differences now so fingers crossed this reaches you before you retire. Moving on, over the next 25 hours we'll perhaps have a few more clues as to whether the ECB will hike 50bps or 75bps two weeks on Thursday. I say next 25 hours but if the EMR is 6 hours late today then you'll already know the German CPI numbers out today. The NRW region, which has the highest weighting in the national number, should be out around the time we hit inboxes with other regions at 9am London time and the country-wide number at 1pm. Our German economists previewed the release last night (link here) suggesting the YoY for the country will likely only ease a tenth to 10.3% and might only dip below 10% from March when the government's "energy price breaks" kick in. We also see the Spanish print today and then the French equivalent at 7.45am London time tomorrow (hence the 25 hours). As a reminder, our economists expect the Eurozone November print to tick up a further tenth to 10.7% tomorrow (10am), which would be another record since the single currency’s formation. Ahead of these we had several hawkish developments yesterday, with the Netherlands’ central bank governor Knot describing inflation risks as “entirely tilted to the upside”, and describing talk of over-tightening was “a bit of a joke”. Furthermore, Knot made the point that the declining downside risks to growth over recent weeks had hawkish implications for the ECB. In this context, global markets got the week off to a rough start yesterday, with the S&P 500 (-1.54%) and other risk assets losing ground as investors sought to understand the consequences of the ongoing Covid situation in China. Understandably, the initial reaction has been pretty negative, since rising cases have generally led to a greater chance of restrictions in every country as the pandemic got underway, particularly as policymakers sought to avoid healthcare services becoming overwhelmed. And just as Chinese markets had surged in recent weeks on speculation about an earlier reopening in China, the last 24 hours have seen that process go into reverse as the prospect of further lockdowns come into view. However, much as the initial reaction has been pretty negative, in some ways the read-across from the current situation to markets is more difficult. On the one hand, it’s plausible that the months ahead see fresh lockdowns as we saw in Shanghai in Q2. But it’s also possible that the protests lead to a quicker move away from the zero Covid strategy, which based on past performance would prove fairly supportive. Indeed, sentiment was very positive 2-3 weeks ago after it was announced that the quarantine time for close contacts and inbound travellers was being cut from 10 days to 8, since it was seen as signalling a move away from the restrictive approach that had previously been adopted. And as the US session got underway there were signs of that dynamic taking place. For instance, the NASDAQ Golden Dragon China index surged by +2.83% yesterday, which is an index of US-listed stocks for whom most of their business is done in China. In the meantime, futures on the Hang Seng were more than +1% higher during the US session, indicating that there could be some sort of bounceback following the initial slump. This more positive momentum has carried into Asia helped by an absence of any further escalations in the protests against Covid-19 restrictions in China. Across the region, the Hang Seng Tech index is leading gains rising past +6.0% with the Hang Seng +4.31% higher alongside the CSI (+3.26%) and the Shanghai Composite (+2.35%) ahead of a newly arranged State Council Covid briefing today (3pm local time. 7am London) to discuss prevention and control measures. It's not clear whether any new polices will be implemented. The country reported 38,421 new local cases on Monday down from a record high of 40,052 reported for Sunday with no deaths reported for two consecutive days. This was the first decline in cases for more than a week. Elsewhere, the KOSPI (+1.02%) is trading higher in early trade while the Nikkei (-0.53%) is bucking the regional trend. In overnight trading, US stock futures are indicating a more positive start with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.32%) and the NASDAQ 100 (+0.44%) moving higher. Early morning data showed that Japan’s jobless rate for October remained steady from the prior month’s reading of +2.6% (v/s +2.5% expected). At the same time, the jobs-to-applicant ratio climbed to 1.35, in-line with market expectations and compared to a level of 1.34 in September highlighting that the nation’s labour market remains tight. A separate report showed that retail sales (+0.2% m/m) rose less than expected in October following an upwardly revised increase of +1.5% in September as household spending was squeezed by inflation running at its fastest pace in 40 years. The China whipsaw over the last 24 hours seems to have had most impact on oil, where prices fell to their lowest intraday levels in months on the back of the weekend developments. For instance, WTI hit an intraday low of $73.60/bbl during the European morning, which briefly put it in negative territory on a YTD basis, before recovering sharply into the US session to actually gain ground on the day and close at $77.24/bbl and up another +1.8% to $78.65 in Asia. It was a similar story for Brent crude, which hit its lowest intraday level since January at $80.61/bbl, before recovering into the close to end just a hair lower at $83.45/bbl. It's at $84.75 in Asia. The recent fall in oil has fed through to consumer prices as well, with the US AAA’s data on the average national pump price down at $3.546 on Sunday, marking its lowest level since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. Incidentally, we had another positive development in Europe yesterday as the immediate threat of a further Russian gas cutoff was avoided. This stemmed from Gazprom’s threat last week that they would curb gas shipments to Moldova via Ukraine from November 28, but shipments continued yesterday, which is important more broadly since the route is also used for further transport to Europe. In the meantime, ECB President Lagarde said that there was “too much uncertainty” to assume that inflation had peaked, particularly in terms of how wholesale energy costs were passed through to the retail level, and said “it would surprise me” if it had peaked in October. As investors dwelled on the prospects of a more hawkish ECB, yields on 10yr government debt rose across the continent, with yields on 10yr bunds (+1.1bps), OATs (+2.5bps) and BTPs (+5.6bps) all moving higher on the day. Treasury yields were a bit more subdued after back-and-forth price action through the day, with yields on 10yr Treasuries finally rising a marginal +0.4bps to 3.68% before climbing 2.5bps in Asia. For yesterday, the China story growth fears netted out with hawkish Fed officials to leave yields roughly flat across the curve. On the Fed, St. Louis Fed President Bullard noted that markets were underestimating the chances of a more aggressive stance from the Fed next year. New York Fed President and FOMC Vice Chair Williams emphasised that the Fed still needed to impart further tightening, and that unemployment would be climbing next year. He noted that recession was not a part of his baseline forecast but that there were downside looks to the outlook. So the Fed continues to get closer to our Street-leading recession forecast. Before the talk of tighter policy, 10yr Treasuries did sink as low as 3.62% after the China news hit trading. Earlier in the day, the 2s10s curve had also hit a new intraday low for the current cycle, falling as far as -81bps at one point, before recovering into the close to hit -76.3bps. Equities struggled against this backdrop, with the S&P 500 (-1.54%) losing ground for a second day running. The decline was a fairly broad-based one, with just 37 companies in the index rising on the day, and other indices including the NASDAQ (-1.58%) and the Dow Jones (-1.45%) saw similar declines. Over in Europe, the STOXX 600 also shed -0.65%, with declines for the DAX (-1.09%) and the CAC 40 (-0.70%) as well. To the day ahead now, and data releases include German CPI for November, UK mortgage approvals for October, Canada’s Q3 GDP, the US Conference Board’s consumer confidence for November, and the FHFA house price index for September. Central bank speakers include BoE Governor Bailey and the BoE’s Mann, ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s de Cos. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/29/2022 - 08:18.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 29th, 2022

Chinese police are now conducting random stop-and-search checks for banned foreign apps such as Instagram and Twitter: reports

Certain foreign social media apps are banned in China, but they can be accessed through virtual private networks. Thousands of demonstrators erupt in rare protests against COVID-19 restrictions across ChinaAFP/Getty Images Chinese police conducted random stop-and-search checks on phones, per WSJ and CNBC.  The authorities checked for banned foreign apps such as Instagram, Twitter, and Telegram.  These apps were reportedly used by protesters rallying against China's zero-covid policy. As protests over China's draconian COVID-19 policy intensify, local police tried to quell further escalation by conducting random stop-and-search checks for banned foreign social media apps, the The Wall Street Journal and CNBC reported Monday. Some of the dissidents have been turning to foreign apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Telegram to share information on the protests with the outside world and to communicate and organise protests.These foreign social media apps are banned in China, but they can be accessed through virtual private networks, or VPNs.In Shanghai, police conducted phone inspections in People's Square Station, a transportation hub, looking for banned apps, the Journal reported, citing messages posted in a chat room used by protesters and viewed by the publication. A video posted on Twitter by senior BBC journalist Edward Lawrence showed police officers in Shanghai forcing protestors to delete protest-related imagery from their phones. —Edward Lawrence (@EP_Lawrence) November 28, 2022 Another video circulating on Twitter appears to show an alleged plain-clothes officer hitting a person who refused to hand over his phone. —awetnappy (@awetnappy) November 28, 2022 Insider was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the videos.The checks were conducted randomly, and "it can happen anywhere from on the street or at entrances to shopping malls," tweeted DW's east Asia correspondent William Yang. "It's just been a cat-and-mouse game to be able to communicate and log in to the free world," CNBC reporter Eunice Yoong said in a live interview on Tuesday.The Shanghai and Beijing police did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 29th, 2022

Has The USA Reached Another Historical Inflection Point?

Has The USA Reached Another Historical Inflection Point? Authored by Kevin Duffy via The Mises Institute, “At the rate things are going, we are all going to end up working for the Japanese.” - Lester Thurow, MIT economist, 1989 “The United States is rapidly becoming a colony of Japan.” - Congresswoman Helen Bentley, 1990 “The Japanese can buy our buildings, our Wall Street firms, and there’s virtually nothing to stop them. In fact, bidding on a building in New York is an act of futility, because the Japanese will pay more than it’s worth just to screw us. They want to own Manhattan.” - Donald Trump, March 1990 During the late 1980s, Japan had the Midas touch. In the eyes of the mainstream media, Wall Street strategists, economists and politicians, the Japanese could do no wrong. America’s brand of capitalism—self-centered, greedy, chaotic, and unplanned—was no match for Japan’s unique brand of state capitalism, with the long-term-oriented government bureaucrat, aggressive businessman and diligent, loyal employees all working in perfect harmony for the common good. Newspaper headlines routinely lamented America’s decline as much as they feared Japan’s rise. While a whole slew of Keynesians and mercantilists confused a liquidity bubble for an economic miracle, a handful of contrarians, including Jim Grant, John Templeton and Marc Faber, parted ways with the crowd. At the end of 1988, I wrote, in a letter to the editor that was published in the Wall Street Journal, By the end of this century, the question may not be “Will the U.S. be No. 1?” but “Will Japan still be No. 2?” That was a pretty bold prediction at the time. (I was young, naïve and didn’t know better.) There was some luck, no doubt. My study of financial bubbles, including Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, implanted the idea that a frenzied crowd is almost guaranteed to be wrong. And my discovery of Austrian economics, especially Murray Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression, provided the economic rationale for why government intervention would not only fail in Japan, but likely intensify with the downturn and usher in a decade or more of stagnation. My sense was that the world’s financial markets were at a major inflection point and that sticking my neck out and flaunting the consensus would lead to significant returns. A 239-Year History of Inflection Points in America Does the everything bubble suggest a similar inflection point today? To try to answer this question, I’ve constructed a table of major financial turning points in the US, with coinciding political and foreign policy events, to see if a pattern emerges (see below). Major US Inflection Points   At first glance, our table reveals some obvious patterns:   Timing—The best time to buy stocks is at the point of maximum pessimism about the economy. The onset of wars tends to build the wall of worry further and ensure key bottoms: Spanish-American War (1898), World War II (1941) and the first Iraq War (1990). The start of the second Iraq War (2003) pinpointed a four-year bull run. One notable exception was US involvement in the Vietnam War, which began covertly right after World War II and escalated from 1965 (first combat units introduced) to 1969 (five hundred thousand US military personnel stationed in Vietnam). Adjusted for inflation, the Dow Jones Industrials Average peaked in 1966 and didn’t bottom until 1982. Meanwhile, peace and prosperity generally coincide with stock market tops. E.g., the roaring ’20s (1929) and dot-com bubble (2000) witnessed an absence of external enemies. Duration—Inflection points alter the course of stocks, bonds and gold for long periods of time, often decades. E.g., the 1946–81 bear market in bonds (thirty-five years) was replaced by a thirty-nine-year bull market. Conflict vs. cooperation—The 1946 inflection point ended a long period of conflict between nations: centuries of imperial rivalry culminating in two world wars separated by a massive trade war. The end of World War II ushered in a seventy-year period of decolonization, globalization, expanding division of labor and relative peace. (While President Trump’s trade war with China arguably arrested this trend, at least in the short run, I believe the long-term trend will reassert itself.) Megatrend: Big Government The overarching trend in the US since 1789 has been an ever-expanding and centralized government. That year marked the scrapping of the Articles of Confederation for a more centralized federation of sovereign states with George Washington its first president. The new government was the outcome of a heated debate between competing visions for the United States, with the federalists (led by Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s first treasury secretary,) prevailing over the Anti-Federalists who were thrown a bone with the Bill of Rights to try to keep the central state in check. (The federalists were clustered in commercial centers; their message was amplified by the press. The more agrarian anti-federalists included such luminaries as Patrick Henry, Melancton Smith, William Grayson, George Clinton, and Richard Henry Lee; most have since faded into oblivion.) Importantly, the new government’s Constitution opened the door to direct taxation and enforcement at the national level, roles confined to the states under the Articles. This was a boon to speculators in government bonds which had become practically worthless after the war with Britain. Where the founders did agree (including Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson) was on national greatness and expansionism. According to Sheldon Richman in America’s Counter-revolution, Even the government’s schools teach … that America’s founders had—let us say—an expansive vision for the country they were establishing…. Clearly, these men had empire on their minds. Indeed, in the eyes of the founders, the American Revolution was largely a war between a mature, exhausted empire and a nascent one. Many—but assuredly not all—Americans of the time would have cheerfully agreed. In other words, the dramatic shift from the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution was the ultimate inflection point. As historian Vernon L. Parrington (1871–1929) wrote: [It] marked the turning point in American development; the checking of the long movement of decentralization and the beginning of a counter movement … The history of the rise of the coercive state in America, with the ultimate arrest of all centrifugal tendencies, was implicit in that momentous counter movement.1 A key step on the path to centralization occurred in 1861 as state sovereignty became a casualty of the misnamed “Civil War.” The bloodiest conflict in US history, which took the lives of roughly 2 percent of the population—seven times the death rate of World War II—was over the South’s right to secede (taken for granted seventy years earlier), not a struggle between factions over who would run the government. As Tom DiLorenzo, author of The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked, wrote shortly after the 9/11 attacks: Lincoln’s war established myriad precedents that have shaped the course of American government and society ever since: the centralization of governmental power, central banking, income taxation, protectionism, military conscription, the suspension of constitutional liberties, the “rewriting” of the Constitution by federal judges, “total war,” the quest for a worldwide empire, and the notion that government is one big “problem solver.” The next giant leap took place in 1898. According to Stephen Kinzer in Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq: Historic shifts in world politics often happen slowly and are hardly even noticeable until years later. That was not the case with the emergence of the United States as a world power. It happened quite suddenly in the spring and summer of 1898. The seeds, however, were planted five years earlier with the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy: In the months after the 1893 revolution in Hawaii, that country’s new leaders sought annexation to the United States, but [anti-imperialist] President Grover Cleveland … would not hear of it. He was quite right when he declared that most Americans rejected the seizure of faraway lands “as not only opposed to our national policy, but as a perversion of our national mission.” Five years later, this consensus evaporated. Almost overnight, it was replaced by a national clamor for overseas expansion. This was the quickest and most profound reversal of public opinion in the history of American foreign policy. The April 21, 1898, invasion of Cuba began with a false flag incident (the Maine explosion) providing fodder for prowar yellow journalists (notably William Randolph Hearst), was sold to Congress and the American people as a mission to liberate the Cuban people from Spanish rule (Teller Amendment) and ended with broken promises and betrayal of the original cause: In the United States, enthusiasm for Cuban independence faded quickly. Whitelaw Reid, the publisher of the New York Tribune and the journalist closest to President McKinley, proclaimed the “absolute necessity of controlling Cuba for our own defense,” and rejected the Teller Amendment as “a self-denying ordinance possible only in a moment of national hysteria.” Senator Beveridge said it was not binding because Congress had approved it “in a moment of impulsive but mistaken generosity.” The New York Times asserted that Americans had a “higher obligation” than strict fidelity to ill-advised promises, and must become “permanent possessors of Cuba if the Cubans prove to be altogether incapable of self-government.” The long-term consequences of America’s interventions in Cuba would prove to be as profound as they were tragic. The 1898 inflection point put the rest of the world on notice: Outsiders watched the emergence of this new America with a combination of awe and fear … The Manchester Guardian reported that nearly every American had come to embrace the expansionist idea, while the few critics “are simply laughed at for their pains.” Some of these journalists were unsettled by what they saw … The Frankfurter Zeitung warned Americans against “the disastrous consequences of their exuberance” but realized that they would not listen. Endgame Is the megatrend towards big government in the US nearing an end? For starters, history has not been kind to empires. The British empire had its day, peaking with the first world war. By the time of the 1947 partition of India it was in full retreat, ushering in a bipolar world with the United States pitted against the Soviet Union. The collapse of the Soviet empire in 1989–91 created a vacuum with the US assuming the mantle of global hegemon. The American empire appears to have peaked somewhere between 1988 with the absurdity of presidential candidate Michael Dukakis’s failed photo-op in a tank and 2003 with the hubris of President George W. Bush’s staged declaration of “mission accomplished” aboard an aircraft carrier just weeks into the second Iraq War. Public debt–to-GDP was 58 percent when Bush declared victory; today it stands at 123 percent. To keep the game going, the political class has increasingly relied on borrowing, inflation and diversions like victimology, covid and climate change. “War is the health of the state” needs updating. The modern state has evolved, learning the lesson that any conflict feeds the Leviathan. Conflict is not limited to “us versus them” and “good versus evil,” but left vs. right, black vs. white, male vs. female, straight vs. LGBTQ, rich vs. poor, entrepreneurs vs. employees, young vs. old and even man vs. the planet. Wars have morphed into abstractions—e.g., war on poverty, war on drugs, war on terrorism, and now a war on a virus. The justifications for protecting party A against the predations of party B are endless. This presents a problem for the state, however: the web of lies becomes infinitely more complex and impossible to keep stitched together. The truth is an ever-present nuisance, as Lew Rockwell, founder of the Mises Institute, so passionately argues: The truth, no matter how seemingly battered and bruised, still shines through. It can never be wiped out, no matter how rotten the regime. In the end, the truth will triumph over deceit. One sign that Americans are beginning to see through the lies: a record number are rejecting both major political parties. Interventionists Jump the Shark Perhaps the most convincing argument that a major change is at hand is the nature of bubbles and their ability to reverse long-running trends. If the everything bubble is unraveling, the game has changed. In classic form, a timeline of the past two and a half years reveals a burst of euphoria accompanied by peak absurdities, followed by increasingly visible warning cracks and general denial by the interventionists: March 2020—As covid-19 arrives and panicked investors dump stocks for safe haven assets, US thirty-year T-bond yield hits all-time low of 0.84 percent (now 3.52 percent); President Trump signs $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill (CARES Act); April 2020—Fed Chairman Jerome Powell urges Congress to unleash “great fiscal power” to defeat covid, claims “we won’t run out of money”; May 2020—President Trump unleashes Operation Warp Speed to fast track a vaccine for covid; the death of George Floyd, a forty-six-year-old black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police, ignites months of “fiery but mostly peaceful protests”; June 2020—Quaker Oats cancels “Aunt Jemima” image from syrup brand to fight “racial stereotypes”; November 2020—Joe Biden narrowly defeats Donald Trump in disputed election; December 2020—President Trump signs $2.3 trillion stimulus bill (Consolidated Appropriations Act); January 2021—First wave of meme stock craze ends with GameStop topping out at split-adjusted 81.25 (now 28.64, down 65 percent); February 2021—Growth-at-any-price manager Cathie Wood’s ARK ETFs rake in $8.3 billion in new money, third behind fund giants Vanguard and BlackRock; ARK Innovation ETF peaks at 158.82 (now 42.58, down 73 percent); assets hit $23.3 billion as inflows total $8.8 billion over previous three months; March 2021—President Biden signs $1.9 trillion stimulus bill (American Rescue Plan Act); nonfungible token by a digital artist known as Beeple sells for $69 million; April 2021—Sri Lanka government bans all chemical fertilizers to make farming 100 percent organic, reverses course seven months later after mass protests by farmers and a surge in food price inflation; May 2021—Price inflation hits thirty-year high, with the year-over-year Consumer Price Index (CPI) +5.0 percent; June 2021—Italian artist sells “invisible” sculpture for more than £12,000; tiny activist investor Engine No. 1 wages successful battle to install three directors on Exxon Mobil’s board with goal of reducing company’s carbon footprint; August 2021—US ends twenty-year war in Afghanistan; Federal Reserve assets total $8.3 trillion, double prepandemic levels; September 2021—El Salvador adopts bitcoin as legal tender; November 2021—Bitcoin hits all-time high of $68,790 (now $20,040, down 71 percent); December 2021—University of Pennsylvania swimmer Will Thomas (identifying as “Lia”) qualifies to compete as a woman after taking a year of hormone treatments, records fastest national times in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle, and wins 1,650-yard freestyle by forty seconds; January 2022—S&P 500 hits all-time high of 4,819 (now 3,873, down 20 percent); New York City mayor Eric Adams takes his first paycheck in cryptocurrency; February 2022—Canadian truckers protest Trudeau government’s vaccine mandate; price inflation hits forty-year high, with year-over-year CPI +7.9 percent; Engine No. 1 launches climate change ETF; Russia invades Ukraine; March 2022—Federal public debt tops $30 trillion, up $7.2 trillion from prepandemic levels, and Lia Thomas becomes first transgender athlete to win NCAA Division I championship in any sport; April 2022—President Biden’s approval rating sinks to new low, Nasdaq Composite enters bear market territory; Federal Reserve assets peak at $8.9 trillion (now 1.5 percent lower); May 2022—Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admits she didn’t see inflation coming, Sri Lanka defaults on its national debt; Solomon Islands signs new security agreement with China; June 2022—Two-thirds of economists anticipate a recession while Jerome Powell sees “no sign of a broader slowdown;” the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci tests positive for covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated and twice boosted; Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, returns power to the states; Sri Lanka government collapses; and August 2022—Anthony Fauci announces his resignation, effective in December; California plans to ban sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035, two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo helps launch ESG fund. Investment Implications “It has been 241 years since Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Being short America has been a loser’s game. I predict to you it will continue to be a loser’s game.” - Warren Buffett, CNBC interview, September 21, 2017 “In the beginning of the QE period, I became convinced that the system was going to destroy the nature of money itself. I became convinced that the rules of the game had changed completely. When the rules change, the basic framework with which you make decisions need to change.” - Tony Deden, Q&A with Grant Williams, July 5, 2018 With all due respect to Warren Buffett, if we are at a major inflection point reversing a 239-year megatrend in government growth, the last thing you want to do as an investor, entrepreneur, or young person launching a career is to play by the old rules and blindly emulate past winners. Government bonds should be avoided; likewise, the stocks of companies sucking up to government, looking for favors, and peddling official narratives. Under the new rules, investors will likely pay a premium for independence—i.e., companies that can stand on their own. While Warren Buffett and John Bogle have had great runs (fifty-seven and forty-eight years, respectively), their playbooks are widely copied. Imitation is the sincerest path to subpar returns. Admittedly, much of their wisdom is likely to stand the test of time—e.g., the circle of competence, patience over activity, and keeping fees and turnover low. However, I suspect paying attention to macroeconomic issues will pay dividends because this is largely dismissed by the Buffett faithful as an exercise in futility. Likewise, active investing will be rewarded because Bogle’s brainchild, the index fund, is far too popular. At the end of 1988 I suggested looking forward, not backward: The world is still in the early stages of a third economic wave—the transition from an industrial to an information-based economy. Innovators tend to lead, whereas imitators tend to lag such waves. As the world’s best imitators, the Japanese capitalized on the ending of the industrial age. As the world’s best innovators, Americans should be the main beneficiaries of the beginning of the information age. That advice still holds today. The information age is thirty-four years older, but shows no signs of slowing down (although it has become far more global and not nearly as concentrated in Silicon Valley). Likewise, the “hockey stick of human prosperity” is still early, having begun just 250 or so years ago, up against five thousand years of recorded history. “You can’t afford not to be invested in the relentless ascent of man,” advises Dan Ferris in so many wise words. All bubbles are destructive in nature and based on a false belief that must be exposed and repudiated. In this case, the bad seed is government as universal problem solver. Bear markets have their place, to impart lessons, change behavior, restore health, and introduce the deluded to reality. Major tops are a process, not an event. The trend in centralized power was a long time in the making. Its reversal could play out over a century or more (with plenty of heart-wrenching rallies along the way). The transition will be messy and painful for those who are unprepared or live in the past, but wildly bullish long-term as the government parasite withers and dies. If I am right, the everything bubble helped seal the fate of big government. The state will increasingly be seen as an impediment to human progress and vestige of the past. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/11/2022 - 20:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 11th, 2022

A rights group says Russia is detaining anti-war protesters to fight for Putin in Ukraine, and the Kremlin isn"t denying it

The group said detained protesters were ordered to report to military enlistment offices. The Kremlin said only that "this is not against the law." Russian police detain a protester during an unsanctioned rally on September 21, 2022, in Moscow.Contributor/Getty Images Protesters arrested in Russia are being forced to report to military recruitment offices, a monitor said. The Russian-based rights group OVD-Info said at least 1,310 anti-war protesters have been detained. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov did not deny that some of those detained are being drafted. Russians who have been arrested for protesting their country's invasion of Ukraine as Putin mobilizes additional forces are being forced to report to military enlistment offices, a monitoring group said Thursday.At least 1,328 people, including more than 530 in Moscow alone, were detained Wednesday in mass protests across Russia, the Russian independent human rights project OVD-Info reported.At 15 police departments across the capital, protesters were handed summons demanding they report for military duty, the group said. At least 17 anti-war protesters in Voronezh, a city in southwest Russia, were also ordered to report to an enlistment office.At least one detainee was threatened with a 10-year prison term for refusing to accept the summons, the group said.Artem Krieger, a Moscow-based journalist with SOTA, one of the few remaining independent news outlets in Russia, said he had also witnessed detained protesters being handed summons after he was arrested covering protests on Wednesday. According to Krieger, some men received the summons despite having no military experience.The arrests came after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday that at least 300,000 reservists would be called up to fight in Ukraine — the first such draft since World War II — and that currently enlisted soldiers would be prevented from leaving the army once their contracts end.The announcement came after a Ukrainian counter-offensive dealt heavy losses to Russian forces, recovering over 3,000 square miles of territory in the eastern part of the country, as well as some areas in the south, that had been occupied by the invading army."That Putin would do this shows how badly he feels the need right now to change the momentum, which has been all in Ukraine's favor," Daniel Treisman, a Russia expert at the University of California, Los Angeles, told Insider.Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, did not deny that some detained protesters were being drafted, Reuters reported. "This is not against the law," he said.Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.comRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2022

A rights group says Russia is drafting anti-war protesters to fight for Putin in Ukraine, and the Kremlin isn"t denying it

The group said detained protesters were ordered to report to military enlistment offices. The Kremlin said only that "this is not against the law." Russian police detain a protester during an unsanctioned rally on September 21, 2022, in Moscow.Contributor/Getty Images Protesters arrested in Russia are being forced to report to military recruitment offices, a monitor said. The Russian-based rights group OVD-Info said at least 1,310 anti-war protesters have been detained. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov did not deny that some of those detained are being drafted. Russians who have been arrested for protesting their country's invasion of Ukraine as Putin mobilizes additional forces are being forced to report to military enlistment offices, a monitoring group said Thursday.At least 1,328 people, including more than 530 in Moscow alone, were detained Wednesday in mass protests across Russia, the Russian independent human rights project OVD-Info reported.At 15 police departments across the capital, protesters were handed summons demanding they report for military duty, the group said. At least 17 anti-war protesters in Voronezh, a city in southwest Russia, were also ordered to report to an enlistment office.At least one detainee was threatened with a 10-year prison term for refusing to accept the summons, the group said.Artem Krieger, a Moscow-based journalist with SOTA, one of the few remaining independent news outlets in Russia, said he had also witnessed detained protesters being handed summons after he was arrested covering protests on Wednesday. According to Krieger, some men received the summons despite having no military experience.The arrests came after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday that at least 300,000 reservists would be called up to fight in Ukraine — the first such draft since World War II — and that currently enlisted soldiers would be prevented from leaving the army once their contracts end.The announcement came after a Ukrainian counter-offensive dealt heavy losses to Russian forces, recovering over 3,000 square miles of territory in the eastern part of the country, as well as some areas in the south, that had been occupied by the invading army."That Putin would do this shows how badly he feels the need right now to change the momentum, which has been all in Ukraine's favor," Daniel Treisman, a Russia expert at the University of California, Los Angeles, told Insider.Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, did not deny that some detained protesters were being drafted, Reuters reported. "This is not against the law," he said.Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.comRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2022

US military leaders followed the January 6 attack through news reports and journalists’ tweets, according to new Pentagon emails released to Insider under the Freedom of Information Act

Insider obtained 48 pages of emails from the Department of Defense that detail how the Pentagon monitored and responded to the January 6 attacks. Pro-Trump protesters march toward the US Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob later stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and clashing with police officers.Brent Stirton/Getty Image Insider obtained 48 pages of internal emails from the Department of Defense. The emails detail how the Pentagon monitored the January 6 attack. Initially, the military relied on journalists' tweets and news reports. As an armed mob rushed toward the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, an aide sent Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley an urgent update about congressional office building evacuations and "escalating protests."The sources of this information: journalists' tweets."Sir, For awareness … CNN's Jake Tapper reports that the Cannon and Madison congressional office buildings are being evacuated due to suspicious packages. Included below are tweets from Jake Tapper and Andrew Egger of the Dispatch on the intensifying situation at the Capitol," read the email sent at 1:50 p.m. Eastern Time, which also referenced CNN reporters Manu Raju and Phil Mattingly.The message is one among 48 pages of emails released this month by the Department of Defense as part of Insider's ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the agency in pursuit of January 6-related government records.Together, this initial release of emails provides dramatic, if decidedly incomplete insight into Trump administration activities in the hours immediately before, during, and after a mob of President Donald Trump's supporters attacked the US Capitol on January 6. One email includes a highly redacted exchange — subject: "fencing" — between Kash Patel, chief of staff to then-Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, and Anthony Ornato, Trump's deputy White House chief of staff for operations, who drew national attention earlier this month after Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified before the US House's January 6 select committee about him.  Hutchinson testified that Ornato told her Trump "lunged" at a Secret Service agent in a failed attempt to personally join his rioting supporters at the US Capitol. She also said Ornato told her that Trump attempted to grab the wheel of his presidential vehicle as his detail drove him back to the White House from the National Mall, where he had just urged thousands of supporters to "fight like hell," minutes before they attacked the Capitol.Patel was one of the Trump loyalists installed at the Pentagon after the president fired his defense secretary in the days after Biden's victory, an unprecedented move in the lame duck period that added to concerns that Trump may resist the peaceful transfer of power, to which he'd declined to commit as a candidate.Trump himself is the focus of the House's January 6 select committee investigation. Committee members have accused the president of refusing to call off the attackers, some of whom say they attempted to stop Congress' certification of the 2020 presidential electoral votes at Trump's behest.Underscoring the chaotic nature of the Capitol attack, many of the newly released emails contain a moment-by-moment mash-up of direct government intelligence, debunked rumors, and "open source" reports curated from media outlets and social media. Combined with what is already known about text messages sent to Trump's chief of staff and a high-level Homeland Security official who visited the Capitol in person, the new disclosures highlight a lack of preparation to secure the counting of the electoral votes and a disorganized, ad hoc response to the violent attempt to disrupt that process. The emails also include situation reports from military operations cells about the Pentagon's slow response to back up law enforcement being beaten and overrun at the Capitol.Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021.Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images'One civilian shot ...'Emails containing intelligence from the morning of January 6 strike a cautionary but non-alarmist tone as Trump supporters began to gather on the National Mall for a "Stop the Steal" rally that Trump headlined.US Park Police "believe they can handle the POTUS event at the ellipse and National Mall," reads one update.US Secret Service "estimates the crowd in and around the Ellipse at 1000 hours in excess of 20K. There are no reported incidents at this time," read another.With at least one law enforcement agency apparently believing that the crowd could be managed, a roster of Trump's most high-profile supporters — among them, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, conservative lawyer John Eastman, Trump's sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. — began to speak to the assembled crowd. Trump himself spoke last."We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore," Trump said at one point while urging them to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the US Capitol on the National Mall's eastern end. Trump supporters did exactly that. As they did, reports of trouble emerged quickly, according to the newly released emails."Vehicle with rifle on the back seat in plain view under police control while attempting to contact the owner," read an update at 1:30 p.m. attributed to the Department of Homeland Security's National Operations Center."… drone was detected east of the Washington Monument; [US Secret Service] has taken possession of the drone, unable to locate the operator."Soon, dispatches — often labeled "civil unrest update" — grew even darker. 2 p.m.: "Crowds continue to gather at the Capitol … US Capitol is reportedly locked down due to multiple attempts to cross police barriers and police injuries."2:23 p.m.: "VPOTUS [Mike Pence] has been ushered from the US Capitol as protestors breach the Capitol Building. Additional open source reports indicate the US Senate is in recess due to a warning of an external threat."2:35 p.m.: "Mayor Muriel Bowser (Mayor, DC) ordered a citywide curfew for the District of Columbia … Additionally, Acting Deputy Secretary of DHS has authorized federal law enforcement to assist Capitol Police immediately."3 p.m.: "… one civilian shot in the chest inside of the US Capitol — UNCONFIRMED. DC Fire is performing CPR. DHS is working confirmation."3:52 p.m.: "US Capitol being evacuated; Members of Congress and Senators being evacuated …"4 p.m.: "House Minority Leader confirms shots fired inside US Capitol Building … Six people hospitalized, including one LE officer, in connection with protests at the Capitol … Explosive device discovered at RNC HQ in DC was safely detonated … DNC HQ evacuated after explosive device discovered at RNC HQ."The emails, which contained some redactions, also provided real-time fact-checking on rumors, such as when the FBI reported that a "threat to fly a plane into the Capitol building during inauguration deemed not credible …"One dispatch concluded that a report of the Proud Boys "threatening to shut down the water system in the downtown area" was "not a credible threat."Emails exchanged between Patel and Ornato during the evening of January 6 include the subject line "fencing" — although it's unclear from the highly redacted email whether it's a reference to fencing for the White House, US Capitol, the Pentagon, or a different location. The emails show the military's situation planners were closely following the pro-Trump mob's moves that day. Two days prior, Trump's acting defense secretary had imposed further restrictions on the deployment of the DC National Guard, the closest force to back up Capitol Police, ordering they could not be equipped or interact with protesters without his approval.The then-Capitol Police chief requested Defense Department forces at 1:49 p.m. after rioters breached the perimeter, but the acting defense secretary doesn't approve that request until 3 p.m., delaying their response time; the first National Guardsmen at the Capitol arrived around 5:40 p.m.The DC National Guard commander at the time said his forces were ready to respond much sooner, and a top official with the DC Guard accused the Army of covering up its response, claims the US Army has repeatedly denied.Following the January 6 insurrection, fencing for months ringed the US Capitol complex grounds with National Guard members also defending it.Ornato first emailed Patel at 11:36 p.m., indicating that Secret Service Deputy Assistant Director Mark Habersaat "can assist with vendor. Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks, Tony." Most of the message's other contents have been redacted."Rgr, thanks much," Patel replied five minutes later.Patel, who has since written a Trump-themed children's book entitled, "The Plot Against the King," is among the hundreds of people the US House's January 6 select committee has interviewed as part of its ongoing investigation into the US Capitol attack and Trump's role in it.More records promisedShortly after the January 6 attack, an Insider reporter requested that the Department of Defense release a variety of records, including communications among members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Council, and Executive Office of the President. Months later, when the Department of Defense had not yet provided the requested records in compliance with the federal Freedom of Information Act, Insider sued the agency in US District Court for the District of Columbia, where the case is still pending.In a July 7 letter to Insider, Department of Defense Associate Deputy General Counsel Stuart Sparker wrote that the agency expects to make more records public."Additional productions will be made as we continue to coordinate the review of the remaining responsive documents DoD has in its possession," Sparker wrote.A Department of Defense spokesperson acknowledged, but did not respond to, several questions sent by Insider about the emails.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 19th, 2022

"A martyr for truth and a saint": Palestinian journalists describe Shireen Abu Akleh"s legacy

Three journalists told Insider that in the face of tragedy, Abu Akleh's death has united Palestinians and motivated them to carry on her message. Palestinian children carry light candles and pictures of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, to condemn her killing, in front of the office of Al Jazeera network, in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 11, 2022.AP Photo/Adel Hana Slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh inspired generations to take up the profession. Several journalists who have followed in her footsteps talked to Insider about her legacy. The veteran journalist was shot and killed on May 11 by Israeli forces, according to Al Jazeera. Longtime colleagues and young reporters inspired by slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh said the trailblazing figure could tell a story with her eyes.Palestinian reporters Jalal Abukhater, Haya Yasmeen, and Faten Elwan told Insider that Abu Akleh became their idol as early as 2000 when she reported on the second Palestinian intifada for Al Jazeera."There was a war outside of our windows, and it was terrifying," Abukhater, a Jerusalemite who was seven years old at the time, told Insider. "I remember Shireen Abu Akleh as being one of the only reporters who was always outside bringing the news to our homes."Two decades later Abukhater, still influenced by Abu Akleh, became her colleague in the field. "It's like when there's a battle and the commander goes onto the battlefield to inspire the troops," Abukhater told Insider. "That's what we felt as journalists."Abukhather called Abu Akleh a "martyr of truth." He attended her funeral service and said that without Israeli occupation checkpoints and walls blocking access "it could have been a million man march."The three reporters who spoke to Insider personally knew the pallbearers transporting Abu Akleh's coffin, who were beaten by Israeli police. Despite that, the reporters said the mobilization was one of the largest and proudest they had seen in Jerusalem. It represented unity in grief and a commitment to carrying on Abu Akleh's message. A 'martyr of truth'Abu Akleh, who had worked as a TV correspondent for Al Jazeera since 1997, was shot and killed while wearing a "PRESS" vest and covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied city of Jenin on May 11, per Al Jazeera.According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 19 journalists have been killed since 1992 while reporting in Israel and Occupied Palestine. The Palestinian Ministry of Information claims that since 2000, at least 45 Palestinian journalists have been killed by Israeli forces, according to Al Jazeera.Eyewitness accounts from Al Jazeera colleagues, an initial investigation by the Palestinian Authority, as well as an independent investigation by Bellingcat all point to Israeli Defense Forces shooting and killing Abu Akleh, though Bellingcat said it could not be 100% certain without seeing additional evidence.The Israeli military has offered shifting narratives on the incident — first blaming Palestinian militants located elsewhere in the city and saying that Abu Akleh and her colleagues were "armed with cameras." In an interim report, the Israeli military later admitted that the IDF could have accidentally fired the bullet. Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, chief and general staff of the Israeli army, said "at this stage, we cannot determine by whose fire she was harmed and we regret her death."The foreign minister said that Israel was offering to conduct a joint investigation with Palestinian authorities.The EU and UN Security Council condemned the killing and called for an independent investigation. The US, confirming that Abu Akleh was an American citizen, called for a thorough investigation. Later State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the US trusted Israel to conduct its own investigation.The Palestinian Authority, however, has said it does not have any faith in a solo or joint Israeli investigation.'The woman I wanted to be one day'Yasmeen, a travel journalist inspired by Abu Akleh, also remembered being fixated on Abu Akleh as a girl in Jerusalem."I never felt like a president represents me, or people in politics represent me, but Shireen was always that person, and I saw myself in Shireen as a little girl," Yasmeen said. "When you would turn on the TV, as a Palestinian woman, you would see a woman presenting to you – she was a reflection of the women I grew up with and the woman I wanted to be one day, not the woman that the Western media always painted us as."Like Abukhater, Yasmeen said that Abu Akleh not only inspired her life and career path but also instilled fearlessness. Eventually, they met, and Yasmeen has become an acclaimed journalist in the region herself."She's seen parts of Palestine that people who lived there their whole lives under occupation haven't seen," Yasmeen said. A teacher and a lifelong friendElwan, one of Abu Akleh's close friends and colleagues told Insider that the veteran journalist also inspired her to stay on her path to becoming a journalist. She rode with Abu Akleh in the ambulance from the scene of her killing back to a hospital in Ramallah on May 11.She said that Abu Akleh — originally a friend of her journalism teacher — gave her advice to help her work on her pronunciation for broadcast reports, a nudge that she says gave her the confidence to become a reporter.By 2000, the two were working in the field together under Israeli fire, covering the intifada. Elwan, a seasoned war correspondent who worked for Al-Hurra TV, told Insider that it was the care with which Abu Akleh approached stories that set her apart."What was different about Shireen, is that when she worked on a story, it was her face, her body language, and her interaction with the story," Elwan said. "It's a thing that you cannot teach; it's a thing that is built-in a personality, and this is what Palestine is going to miss." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 18th, 2022

Sunday Collum: 2021 Year In Review, Part 3 - From "Insurrection" To Authoritarianism

Sunday Collum: 2021 Year In Review, Part 3 - From 'Insurrection' To Authoritarianism Authored by David B. Collum, Betty R. Miller Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology - Cornell University (Email: dbc6@cornell.edu, Twitter: @DavidBCollum), I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance. ~  Carl Sagan, 1995, apparently having invented a time machine Every year, David Collum writes a detailed “Year in Review” synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year’s is no exception. Read Part 1 - Crisis Of Authority & The Age Of Narratives here... Read Part 2 - Heart Of Darkness & The Rise Of Centralized Healthcare here... So, here we are at the third and final part of the 2021 Year in Review and it’s no longer 2021. Sorry about that pfuck-up. Think of it as not in 2021 but from 2021. You may have noticed that the first 200 pages (parts 1 and 2) were laced with a recurring catchphrase, “WTF is happening?” It was a literary device for noting that the events ceased to make sense within a conventional worldview, suggesting it is time to torch the old model and start anew. Our response to a disease that was killing a very small slice of the population was to sequester and vaccinate the entire population with an experimental drug of real but unquantified fatality rate. The apparent scientific illiteracy was not some mass psychosis. Y’all just got suckered by America’s Most Trusted Psychopathic Mass Murderer assisted by an epic media blitz sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry that had a distinct authoritarian quality. Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. ~ Albert Einstein During the brief period after uploading part 2 while grinding on this last portion, the Supreme Court took on the vaccine mandate issue, ruling that the only people forfeiting control of their own healthcare are the healthcare workersref 2 The court also illustrated their profound ignorance of the pandemic and what they were even charged to assess—the Constitutionality of mandates, not the efficacy.ref 3 The CEO of a major insurer reported a 40% spike in fatalities within the 18–65 age bracket that was not from Covid.ref 4 He said 10% would be a 3-sigma, once-every-200-year event: 40% is unheard of. Although he refrained from identifying a cause—deaths of despair, neglected healthcare, or a toxic vaccine—he knows precisely what did them in. They have been studying this stuff for centuries. I suspect his real message was that the insurance industry is about to contribute to inflation with rising premiums. Meanwhile, the pathological liars running the covid grift decided after two years the masks you’ve been wearing served no medical purpose and that the vaccines don’t work either. Wait: who said the masks and vaccines don’t work? We have known for many months that COVID-19 is airborne and therefore, a simple cloth mask is not going to cut it…Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations. ~ Leana Wen, MD, CNN medical expert with no admitted ties to the CCPref 5 Two doses of the vaccine offers very limited protection, if any. Three doses with a booster offer reasonable protection against hospitalization and deaths. Less protection against infection. ~ Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEOref 6 Here is my most heartfelt response to them: You psychopathic lying sacks of shit. You had us wear rags across our faces and put rags across the kids’ faces when clinical studies that could be read by people with half your IQs showed they were worthless. Suicide rates and other deaths of despair soared while you petty tyrants played your little games and generated billions of dollars of profits while destroying the middle class. You have maimed or killed an unknown number of gullible victims with your lockdowns, vaccines, remdesivir, and oppression of Ivermectin. You jammed a vaccine that bypassed animal trials into the fetuses of pregnant women, assuring them it was safe. If we spoke up, we got muzzled. If we refused the vaccine, we got fired. You should all hang from your necks until dead. I will piss on your graves. I feel better already. Very refreshing. Meanwhile, many of my friends and colleagues look at the same data and say, “Oh. I guess I better get the booster and a KN95 mask.” You have got to unfuck yourselves. You’ve been duped. It will get worse. The tactics used to oppress us would have made Stalin smirk. Australia was a beta test for what is to come in the rest of the west if we don’t wake up soon. They are gonna keep coming for one simple reason: we accepted it. We got bent over and squealed like pigs. What normalization does is transform the morally extraordinary into the ordinary. It makes us able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seem as if this is the way things have always been. ~ Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works A person is considered ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ by the community simply because he accepts most of its social standards and behavioral patterns; which means, in fact, that he is susceptible to suggestion and has been persuaded to go with the majority on most ordinary or extraordinary occasions. ~ William Sargant, in Battle of the Mind Meanwhile, the financial world became even more dominated by central bankers who haven’t the slightest understanding of free-market capitalism. These twits or criminals—maybe both—have blown the most colossal bubble in history if you account for both price and breadth across the spectrum of asset classes. For the layperson, that means they have set us up for a colossal failure. Go back and re-read Valuations if you cannot picture the epic financial carnage lying dead ahead. The gap between the Fed funds rate and headline inflation has never been this large. These pinheads believe that if the markets do not coincide with their world views, the markets must be wrong. I am not an economist, but it appears that none of them are either. The notion that a dozen nitwits should set the most important price of them all—the price of capital—rather than letting the markets set it through price discovery is financial authoritarianism or what some call State Capitalism. I am angry in case it doesn’t show. Meanwhile, in 2020–21 the Fed contributed to destroying upwards of a half-million mom ’n’ pop businesses—they gutted the middle class—while giving BlackRock credit at 0.15% interest rates to buy up all their houses. Here is my advice to those day trading criminals: look both ways as you enter crosswalks. What I believe the response of society to a severe downturn given the current political climate will be epic. Big downturns come after euphorias. We have never entered a downturn with society at large this grumpy. We are in the early stages of The Fourth Turning.ref 7 The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded. ~ Charles-Louis De Secondat When a State has mortgaged all of its future revenues the State, by necessity, lapses into tranquility, langor, and impotence. ~ David Hume, 1752 So, WTF is going on here? In this final part, I address geopolitics. It begins with a relatively benign analysis of Biden’s first year in office, culminating with what I think Afghanistan is really about. The second section addresses my view of what may prove to be the most important day in US History—January 6, 2021. Although it is my best shot—Dave’s Narrative—I will not attempt to nor will I inadvertently spread the love to both sides of the political spectrum. It is a right-wing view that most right-wing politicians and pundits are too cowardly to state in polite company. The final section addresses the Rise of Global Authoritarianism. For a topic covered by thousands of treatises to call my knowledge skeletal is a reach. I have merely created an intellectual foundation—a chalk outline—to ponder why authoritarianism is here and what could stop it. (Plot spoiler: I do not believe it can be stopped.) They know where we are, they know our names, they know from our iPhones if we’re on our way to the grocery store or not. But they haven’t acted on that to put people in camps yet. They could do it. We could be East Germany in weeks, in a month. Huge concentration camps and so forth. ~ Daniel Ellsberg (@DanielEllsberg), author of The Pentagon Papers and Secrets Before moving on, let me give a plug for a book.ref 8 I have not even finished it yet, but it will change your worldview. Look at those ratings! I can guarantee none of those readers enjoyed it. Kennedy will curdle your bone marrow describing 35 years of atrocities commited by America’s Most Trusted Madman. It is emblematic of a much larger problem. Evil is powerless if good men are unafraid – Americans don’t realize what they have to lose. ~ Ronald Reagan The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ~ H. L. Mencken Biden – Freshman Year Scorecard Let’s go, Brandon! ~ Cheers across America Most presidents begin their reign with a calling. Reagan raised our national self-esteem after a period of economic and political malaise. Bush Sr. took on the Gulf War, for better or worse. Clinton oversaw the economic boom and bank deregulation, again for better or worse. Bush Jr. was handed 9/11 and, in my opinion, boned it badly. Obama had to wrestle with the Great Financial Crisis. Trump was charged with disturbing the peace—drain the swamp if you will. Biden undeniably needed to begin healing the social discord that, regardless of its source, left the country wounded and divided. Maybe that was not Biden’s calling, but I wanted to see him become the president of all the people. This is not revisionist history of my failing memory: Biden’s the last of the Old Guard, which is probably why he was slipped into the office by the DNC old guard. I am guessing there will be no Supreme Court stacking; that was just rhetoric (I hope). There will be wars just like every president (except Trump, who brought troops home.) Congress is more balanced again and, at the time of this writing, the Senate is still in Republican hands. Hopefully, the gridlock will usher in some garden-variety dysfunction. I have subtle concerns about a Harris presidency. Admittedly, my opinion is based on precious few facts, but Harris displays a concerning shallowness of character, a lack of a moral compass, and the potential to slide to the left of Bernie. (I sometimes reflect on what it must have been like raising the teenaged Kamala.) I am trying to reserve judgment because first impressions scavenged from the digital world are sketchy if not worthless. ~ 2020 Year in Review By this description, Biden tanked his GPA. He ushered in a Crusade to erase the Trump era and its supporters. The weaponizing of social media and censorship against one’s opponents was probably unavoidable, but the downside will be revealed when the wind changes. Team Biden took banishing of political opponents on social media to new levels by, as noted by Jen Psaki, flagging “problematic posts” and the “spread of disinformation” for censorship. NY Timeslapdog Kevin Roose called for a “reality Czar,” not noticing the Russian metaphor problem. The War on Domestic Terror may prove to be a turning point in American history, one that risks extinguishing the flame of the Great American Experiment. Significant erosions of Constitutionally granted civil liberties discussed throughout the rest of this document may not have been Biden’s fault, but they occurred on his watch. If you see an injustice and remain silent, you own it. I can’t remain silent. Biden is the epitome of the empty, amoral creature produced by our system of legalized bribery. His long political career in Congress was defined by representing the interests of big business, especially the credit card companies based in Delaware. He was nicknamed Senator Credit Card. He has always glibly told the public what it wants to hear and then sold them out. ~ Chris Hedges, right-wing hatchet man Team Biden. Books have been written about Trump’s fumbles in the first months (or four years) of his presidency. See Josh Rogin’s Chaos Under Heaven in Books or Michael Lewis’ less balanced The Fifth Risk reviewed in last year’s YIR. The Cracker Jack team assembled for Joe reveals a glob of feisty alt-left activists and omnipresent neocons. According to Rickards, two dozen players on Biden’s roster were recruited from the consulting firm WestExec Advisors (including Psaki and Blinken.)ref 1 That’s power and groupthink. David Axelrod: You must ask yourself, ‘Why are we allowing him to roll around in the hallways doing impromptu interviews?’ Jen Psaki: That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say ‘don’t take questions.’ Young black entrepreneurs are just as capable of succeeding given the chance as white entrepreneurs are, but they don’t have lawyers; they don’t have accountants. ~ Joe Biden Joe Biden, President – Joe is the Big Guy. In an odd sense, he is immunized from criticism because he is visibly losing his marbles. His cognitive decline is on full display; this 52 seconds of gibberish about inflation is emblematic.ref 2 He’s 80 years old, for Cripes sake. I read a book this year entitled, When the Air Hits Your Brain, which derives from a neurosurgical aphorism that finishes with “you ain’t never the same.” Wanna guess who had two brain aneurysms (one rupturing) years ago leading to a miraculous recovery?ref 3 You’re the most famous African-American baseball player. ~ Joe Biden to the Pope, context unknown (possibly even a deep fake)ref 4 I am neither reveling in Joe’s problems nor do I believe he is calling the shots. Claims that the puppet master is Harris are, no offense, on the low side of clueless. Obama seems like a better guess but Barrack was a front man too. Having an impaired leader of a superpower, however, is disquieting and potentially destabilizing, especially with Taiwan in play. Biden’s energy policy that clamped down on fossil fuel production only to ask OPEC to open the spigots is one for the ages. The covid policies bridging both administrations were catastrophic, but throwing workers out of jobs into the teeth of unprecedented labor shortages makes zero sense. The nouveau inflation—Bidenflation—may stick to him like it stuck to Jimmy Carter, but that is unfair to both presidents. Look to the Fed in both cases for blame. Troubles at the southern border and the Afghanistan pullout are a couple of serious logs for a raging inferno that represents Biden’s first year in office. As discussed in a later section, demonizing “white supremacists”—not just political opponents but opponents labeled by their race—will not be viewed well by historians unless history is at a serious fork and Joe is ultimately protrayed as the founder of some new Fatherland. Kamala Harris, Vice President – Whenever situations heat up, Harris is off like a prom dress. During the crisis at the border that she was charged with overseeing, she took off to Europe, cackling about never even visiting the border. Kamala endorsed and claimed credit for the Kabul evacuation.ref 5,6 Realizing she had pulled yet another boner she pulled out before they renamed it Kamalabad. (Hey: At least I had the decency to pass on the Kamalatoe joke.) In a moment of surreal comedy, Harris hosted a public chat with Bill Clinton on “empowering women.”ref 7 She can even serve up semi-reasonable ideas with dollops of cringe. If the Democrats nominate her in 2024, may God have mercy on their souls—she is unelectable—or maybe on our souls—I could be wrong. Jen Psaki, Press Secretary – The role of any press secretary is to calm the press down with nuggets of insight—to feed the birds. When that fails, lie your ass off, all with a cold, calculating sociopathy. I would say she did the best job imaginable given the hand she was dealt. Disagree? I’ll just have to circle back with you on that. Ron Klain, Whitehouse Chief of Staff – This guy might be the rainmaker, but I haven’t quite figured him out. He has the durability of Andrei Gromyko, maintaining a central role through three democratic administrations. Keep an eye on him. Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury – We have yet to find out Yellen’s role because she has not been pressed into service by a crisis. To resolve the minor “meme stock” bruhaha, which did not call for a resolution, she needed an ethics waiver owing to the soft corruption of her bank-sponsored million-dollar speaking tour. My expectations of her are quite low, and I imagine she will meet them. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State – He has a good resume. Like Psaki, he is forced to play a weak hand. He lacks Psaki’s skills. Jennifer Mulhern Granholm, US Energy Secretary – In a press conference she was asked how many barrels of oil a day the US consumes and said, “I do not have those numbers in front of me.” ‘Nuff said. Get her out of there. Merrick Garland, Attorney General – The press will tear anybody a new one so snippets with bad optics are always dangerous. I would say, however, ordering the FBI to investigate parents who get irate at school boards—even those who seem rather threatening—is over the top. Leave that to the local and state police. His role in the January 6th event and push into domestic terrorism is potentially sinister and moves him onto my shitlist. Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency – This one blows my circuits. She is what in the vernacular is called “a commie” straight from Kazakhstan with a thesis on Marxism—a devout believer that the State should run the show. She also hails from Cornell Law School. (Yeah. I know. STFU.) Matthew Continetti of the National Review noted she is, “an activist intellectual who is—and I say this in the kindest way possible—a nut.”ref 8 There will be no more private bank deposit accounts and all of the deposit accounts will be held directly at the Fed. ~ Saule Omarova, Cornell Law Professor   We want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change. ~ Saule Omarova, on oil and gas companies For those who have seen the horror movie The Ring, Cornell tried to exorcise the demon by sending “the VHS tape” to Washington, D.C., but it came back stamped “Return to Sender.” She withdrew. Hey Team Biden: you could want to snatch up MIT’s Venezuelan-derived president who is already on the board of the World Economic Forum and was instrumental in pushing Aaron Swartz to off himself.ref 9 John Kerry, Climate Czar – Don’t we have enough Czars? John is charged with flying around the world in his private jet, setting the stage for a 30-year $150 trillion push to make many bank accounts much My disdain for the climate movement catches Kerry in the splash zone. Pete Buttegieg, Transportation Secretary – I must confess to liking Mayor Pete and would have been happier if he had gotten the crash course in the oval office rather than Joe. The one criticism I would make is that taking two months of paternity leave during the nation’s greatest transportation crisis seemed odd. I think when you are in such an important position you find a way. Get a nanny. Bring the twins to your office. Leave them with your spouse. For Pete’s sake (sorry), stay at your post. For the record, after my youngest son was born my wife had health problems. I used to bring him to work and lecture with him in a Snugly and changed a shitload of diapers. You could have done it too, Pete. Samantha Power, Head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) – Sam is a garden-variety neocon, having served as ambassador to the UN and on the National Security Council, both under Obama. She was central to the planning behind destabilizing Libya,ref 10 which sure looks like a bad idea unless destabilizing the Middle East is our foreign policy. Please just don’t fuck up too much. Cass Sunstein, Homeland Security employee. This is not really an appointment, per se. Cass is the Harvard-employed husband of neocon Samantha Powers. In his 2008 book, Conspiracy Theories, Cass declared “the existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories” to be our greatest threat, outlining five possible solutions, and I quote, “(1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might engage in counter-speech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counter-speech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help.” Guys like Cass who come out of Harvard’s CIA training camps are menaces to society. Marvelous hire, Joe. Victoria Nuland, Undersecretary for Political Affairs – She is famous for her hot mic “Fuck the EU” comment and for engineering the coup in Ukraine—a Wonder Bread neocon. William J. Burns, Head of the CIA – I’ve got nothing on Bill, not even a fingerprint. It would be difficult for me to grade him poorly on a curve with the likes of John Brennan, William Casey, and Alan Dulles. (I once had dinner with a former CIA head John Deutch. What a dick.) Christopher Wray, Head of the FBI – As the FBI increasingly looks like the Praetorian Guard for the power elite (both in and out of public office), Wray has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors like J. Edgar Hoover and James Comie to be both top cop and dubious scoundrel. Wray’s fate might be dictated by the ongoing Durham investigation, but I have not seen any heads roll inside the Beltway since Watergate a half-century ago. Tony Fauci, Director of NIAID – That bipartisan, power-hungry authoritarian—The Most Trusted Madman in America—is a recurring theme. He doesn’t know any science. He is a political hack—a chameleon—who survived 35 years multiple administrations by being able slither out of anybody’s claws and regrow his tail. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC – She got serious attention in part 2. I am horrified by her sociopathy. I think she is evil. Amy Gutmann, Ambassador to Germany – Guttman was given the job after giving the Big Guy more than $900,000 in speaking fees and an honorary degree from UPenn when she was the University’s president. I am sure every ambassador pays market rates for the job.  Cathy Russell, Biden’s Director of Presidential Personnel–She is married to Tom Donlin, Chairman of the gargantuan multinational investment firm, BlackRock. Their daughter made it into the Whitehouse National Security Council. A talented family enjoying the political respect accorded to billionaires. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Head of the Office of Science – Despite scientific chops as a climate-change-supporting agronomist, she has no administrative experience and is inexperienced in the scientific programs that she is overseeing. Of course, everything is now about the $150 trillion climate grift, so she’s our girl. Jared Bernstein, Whitehouse Economic Advisor – He is highly educated, with a bachelor’s degree in music, master’s degrees in social work and philosophy, and a Ph.D. in social welfare. His greatest strength may be his complete lack of training in economics. Shalanda Baker, Deputy Director for Energy Justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Department of Energy – Is that a salaried position? ‘Nuff said. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Mark transitioned from the Trump administration. It caused a stir when he went more “woke” than Chelsea Manning. We will no longer defeat our enemy but assign them pronouns and include them. This was followed by a scandal outlined in Bob Woodward’s book in which he instructed military leaders in a secret meeting to bypass Trump on important military decisions.ref 11 He then unilaterally told his peer in the Chinese military that he would drop a dime if there was an impending military conflict. He tried to hang it on the Secretary of Defense, but the Secretary spit the bit fast.ref 12 My theory is that the sudden wokeness was to commandeer allies on the far left knowing that scandal was coming. It worked. He looks like he is right out of Dr. Strangelove without the lip gloss and eye shadow. Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services. He refuses to acknowledge the merits of natural Covid-19 immunity. That puts him near the top of my shitlist. Becerra has no medical or scientific training. He’s a lawyer, but at least he is from an underrepresented group. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services – I know little about her. She might be the most qualified candidate, certainly more so than her boss Becerra. Call me skeptical of a purely merit-based appointment. Hunter Biden. I was going to place Hunter in the bullets and call him Head of the DEA and National Association of the Arts, but I had reservations. There are sad, heartwarming, and troubling roles played by Hunter Biden. His addiction is a highly personal problem that is difficult for the first family to deal with, especially given other tragedies in their lives. Joe Rogan succinctly explained Hunter’s remarkably odd behavior: “he is a crackhead.” They are part and parcel of being dopesick. Leaked emails from the laptop show Dad to be a compassionate and loving father struggling to save his son. Ironically, old footage surfaced of Joe ranting about how we have to deal with crackheads severely no matter whom they know.ref 13 It did not age well. It is clear that Hunter Biden was selling access and influence. It appears that Joe Biden was aware of that effort. That is very serious. If these emails are false, this is a major story. If they are true, this is a major scandal. ~ Jonathan Turley Before you start blubbering, however, recall that Hunter’s laptop revealed that he was playing critical roles in Russian and Chinese dealings for the Biden family. The Kleenex gets tossed and the gloves now come off. Hunter’s business partner stepped forward admitting nefarious deals were made with Joe involved. Joe denied knowing the clown, but a then photo of the two surfaced.ref 14 This year Hunter also began selling his artwork for up to $500,000 a pop behind a “Chinese Wall”—a veil that ensures we cannot find out who bought the art.ref 15,16,17 The money might literally be from behind a Chinese wall. That buys a lot of crack even after the Big Guy’s 10% cut. Figure 1 shows two paintings, one by a Hunter and the other by two elephants. (No joke, elephants have been painting brilliant pictures free-trunk for decades.) Figure 1. Biden art (left) brought $500,000. The elephant painting (shown being painted) brought $39,000. We are a democracy…there are things you can’t do by executive order unless you are a dictator. ~ Joe Biden, several years ago Executive Orders. Before the first week of his presidency was over, Biden had signed 37 of those beauties. Some, such as the order extending rent moratoria, were overtly unconstitutional. Some merely unwound Trump’s orders that had unwound Obama’s orders. This is dodge ball. While Yale was battling a civil rights case for discriminatory admissions practices, the Biden DOJ dismissed it without comment.ref 18 Yale is said to have promptly destroyed the evidence, which shows they have good lawyers. Transgender athletes were reinstated in women’s sports, ensuring that longstanding records will be shattered.ref 19 It got surreal when UPenn’s transgender swimmer was beaten by Yale’s transgender swimmer.ref 19a An executive order giving the IRS direct access to our bank accounts seems both sinister and inevitable…death and taxes as they say.ref 20 There are a lot of Republicans out there giving speeches about how outraged they are about the situation at the border. Not many who are putting forward solutions. ~ Jen Psaki, forgetting about the wall idea Crisis at the Border. The mainstream press covered this one exhaustively. There are parallels here with the North Africans crossing into Europe several years back. It looks intentional, but why? Don’t tell me about building a democratic base. That is too far in the future and too simplistic. It is far easier to control the elections at the server level. Baffling details include the administration’s suggestion that border agents should be empowered to authorize the immigration of “climate migrants.”ref 21 That could boost a few agents salaries. Rumors of US military planes transporting illegals into the US suggests somebody could punk the elite: load up a boat and drop a couple hundred on Martha’s Vineyard. On further thought, rather than offering Vineyardians more gardeners, drop off some Afghans.ref 22Whoever is calling the shots, this is neither about civil rights nor climate change. Attorney General Merrick Garland clarified the immigration challenge: Today marks a step forward in our effort to make the asylum process fairer and more expeditious. This rule will both reduce the caseload in our immigration courts and protect the rights of those fleeing persecution and violence. If you do that, that will set off a mass migration that’s like nothing that we have ever seen in this country because the entire world will then come on through to get their asylum, essentially legalizing illegal immigration, in a very clever way. ~ Attorney General Merrick Garland WTF did Garland just say? Both his meaning and intent are unclear. The immigrants, of course, were all unvaccinated, which would have been OK by me had the administration not gone Third Reich to vaccinate US citizens. The administration also wanted to offer $450,000 to every immigrant family separated from their loved ones: why?ref 23They seemed to walk that third-trimester idea back and then walked it forward again. A half-billion-dollar, no-bid contract to manage the immigrants went to friends of the administration.ref 24 Your tax dollars at work. At least we are back to business as usual. By the way, where is Border Czar Kamala Harris while all this is going on? Making creepy videos.ref 25,26 People who like quotes love meaningless generalizations. ~ Graham Greene Miscellaneous issues surfaced that either went away or are still festering quietly. On the positive side, stacking the Supreme Court—increasing the number of justices to get a left-leaning majority—seems to have been only a political football. Granting Washington DC statehood, while to a plebe like me doesn’t seem nuts, has the trappings of a massive powershift to the left in national elections. Joe invaded the legal process by declaring Chauvin guilty and Kyle Rittenhouse a white supremacist. Would Obama have done this? I don’t think so. Rittenhouse may get his “10% for the Young Guy” in defamation suits against Joe and every media outlet on the planet. Joe checking his watch five times at the funeral of dead marines didn’t play well,ref 27 but if you put a camera on me I wouldn’t make it to lunchtime without serving up Jim Acosta fresh meat. The main drama of Biden’s first year, however, played out in a distant land.   Afghanistan—where empires go to die. ~ Mike Malloy Afghanistan. I’ve been groping for nomenclature — Afghazi, Afghazistan, Benghanistan, Benghazistan, Saigonistan, Clusterfuckistan, and Bidenistan—to describe this odd moment in history. That 20-year skirmish cost an estimated $2.3 trillion.ref 28 The idea that it was only a few thousand troops with no fatalities in the last year or two makes me question my wisdom, but I can’t start revising history. Whether for right or wrong, I was glad we were getting out. The ensuing Crisis in Kabul looked like the graveyard of a presidency—a combination of the Bay of Pigs and the Iran Hostage Crisis that would dog us for years. They are chanting “Death to America”, but they seemed friendly at the same time. ~ CNN reporter wearing a burka looking for a husband Even before the evacuation started we were hearing about huge caches of weapons that would be abandoned.ref 29 In an eat-and-dash that would make an IHOP waiter wince, we bugged out at 2:00 AM without telling anybody.ref 30Jalalabad Joe had assured us repeatedly the 300,000-strong Afghan army would hang tough. They were defeated in time to chow down on some goat stew for dinner. Images of desperate Afghan’s clinging to transport planes brought up images of the Saigon Embassy rooftop. We left service dogs in cages.ref 31 Marines would never do that. Stranded Americans and Afghan collaborators were begging for help to get to the airport and even to get into the airport.ref 32The administration used a drone to strike on some kids and their dads loading water into a truck to change the news cycle briefly.ref 33 The Afghan who is credited with saving Joe Biden and John Kerry in a disastrous excursion to Afghanistan years earlier got left behind pleading for help:ref 34 Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family. Don’t forget me here. Mercenaries like Blackwater’s Erik Prince tried to prevent Americans from taking The Final Exit,ref 35 only to get stonewalled by the Whitehouse. Meanwhile, the top commander and four-star Wokie, Mark Milley, was too mired in scandal.ref 36 Retired generals were calling for the active-duty generals to resign.ref 37 The withdrawal could not be botched worse if you tried. The populace are now facing a winter of profound famine.ref 38 Rural Afghanistan has been rocked by climate change. The past three decades have brought floods and drought that have destroyed crops and left people hungry. And the Taliban — likely without knowing climate change was the cause — has taken advantage of that pain. ~ CBS News, sticking it like a Russian gymnast This vexing story was from the Theater of the Absurd. Starting with the caches of military equipment left behind, I have two simple solutions that a group of teenagers could have concocted: Announce Blow Shit Up Friday (BSUF). Provide the military personnel with some grenade launchers and a few kegs of beer, grill up some goat burgers, and start blowing shit up. That would be a blast. If that is too unprofessional, you gather all armaments and anything of else of value into an open space. Once the wheels go up on the last troop transport, drop a MOAB—Mother of All Bombs.ref 39 Tough luck for those who were trying to hotwire the stuff when the MOAB arrives. It will take a year to get them out…If you use those billions of dollars of weapons behind I promise they’ll be using them against your grandchildren and mine someday. ~ Joe Biden, Presidential Candidate, 2007ref 40 The collapse of the Afghan Army also couldn’t have come as a surprise. The military and CIA certainly knew that those troops wouldn’t withstand a West Side Story-level brawl.ref 41 The soldiers were paid by the US for their service COD, and there was no C left. Shockingly, most of the payroll booty had long-since been snarfed up by the politicians and top military brass from the only swamp in Afghanistan.ref 42 Whocouldanode? Taliban can murder as many people as they want. But if they keep trolling Biden like this they’re gonna get kicked off of social media. ~ Jesse Kelley, noting the Taliban has an active Twitter feed Here is a script playing out in my noggin. The Crisis in Kabul was an arms deal—Fast and Furious 2.0. One of our top diplomats called the Taliban and said, “We are pulling out in a month. We’ll leave the keys in the ignition and pallets of $100 billsref 43 to help pay for upkeep. If you guys let us sneak out unmolested, you can party like it’s 999—an authentic Taliban-themed fraternity party. We will leave you guns, money, nice facilities, and even a few wives. If you fuck this up, however, we will be right back here.” The Whitehouse also lent a legitimizing tone to the regime when speaking about “working with the Taliban” as part of the deal. In return, the State Department called on the Taliban to form an “inclusive and representative government,”ref 44 so there’s that bit of risible nonsense. Neville Chamberlain couldn’t have done any better. The bottom line: 90% of Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan were able to leave Afghanistan. ~ Jalalabad Joe Biden That might be a great poll number or inflated final exam grade at a college Joe erroneously claimed to attend, but I am not sure “90%” is impressive in this context. The actual evacuation was ineptly executed from the get-go. Mr. Rogers, with the help of his viewing audience of toddlers, could have Kabuled together a better plan based on the simple precept, “pull out the civilians then the military.” Baffling claims the Whitehouse was obstructing evacuations of charter flights containing Americans was not right-wing propaganda: Where are they going to land? A number of these planes have a handful of Americans, but they may have several hundred individuals who do not have proper documentation of identity….we don’t have manifests for them, we don’t know what the security protocols are for them, we don’t know what their documentation is…hard choices you face in government. ~ Jen Psaki, press conference WTF actually happened? When nothing makes sense your model is wrong. Glenn Greenwald got the scent that withdrawal was intentionally mishandled, suggesting this is “fully within the character of the deep-state operatives.”ref 45We also forgot to destroy our sophisticated FBI-derived software and a complete database containing the biometrics of Friends of the USA,ref 46,47,48 enabling the Taliban to find potential detractors for an attitude correction. Think of it as Afghanistan’s high-tech War on Domestic Terror. The stonewalling of help from other countries also makes no sense using a conventional model.ref 49 Biden’s CIA Director met with Taliban leadership covertly—so covertly we all knew about it—to concoct a “deal”, but what kind of deal?ref 50 During the evacuation, we gave the Taliban names of American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies supposedly to let them pass through the militant-controlled perimeter of the city’s airport.ref 51 They would never abuse this list, right? A large number of Afghan refugees—possibly as many as 100,000 according to Tucker Carlson—entering the US are consistent with our open border policy along the Mexican border, but what is that all about? Afghans, by the way, are reputed to be always recalcitrant to assimilate in Europe just in case you’re thinking of renting out your basement as an Airbnb.ref 52 What happened in Afghanistan is not incompetence. We are not that incompetent. ~ General George Flynn The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the US and Europe through Afghanistan and back into the hands of a transnational security elite. The goal is an endless war, not a successful war. ~ Julian Assange, 2011ref y I have no doubt that blood was shed after we left. More than a few US sympathizers surely lost their heads. As to the stranded Americans, why were they still there? China had evacuated their citizens months earlier.ref 53(Hmmm…Chinese citizens were there?) Two dozen students from the Cajon Valley Union School District and 16 parents there for an enriching summer trip were stranded.ref 54 How did they get visas? That field trip will generate a few college essays that will beat any written about dead grandparents, although Kabul State College may be their only option. This is now on-track, Peter, to be the largest airlift in U.S. history. I would not say that is anything but a success. ~ Jen Psaki to Peter Doucy The media can create, steer, or smother narratives at will. I have a question: Where are all the dead Americans—thousands of them—said to be left behind? Horror stories should be surfacing daily, but they’re not. We shit a mudbrick when One Dead Kashoggi (ODK) got fed to the camels in Saudi Arabia. Three thousand fatalities on 9/11 got us into Afghanistan in the first place. We supposedly left behind “thousands of Americans” but without generating a single headline? So much for that Bay of Pigs­–Iran Hostage Crisis analogy. So here are my next questions and I am deadly serious: Did we get duped? Was the whole thing more sham than farce? There is no such thing as a true account of anything. ~ Gore Vidal Here is Dave’s Narrative. We installed the Taliban as the rulers of Afghanistan as the best of many bad options. The winners are the Taliban and China. The two are inking deals for mineral rights as I type. The chaos was intentional. But why accept such a profound humiliation and dashed hopes of future alliances in global hotspots? I think that the Taliban winning the war in Afghanistan, and then the way our exit happened, has absolutely inspired jihadists all over the world. The Taliban is saying, we just didn’t defeat the United States, we defeated NATO. We defeated the world’s greatest military power, ever. I think, not only will the jihadists be inspired, but a lot of them are going to come to Afghanistan to be part of the celebration, to be part of jihadist central. We are more at risk, without a doubt. ~ Michael Morell, former CIA Director under Obama Maybe China has way more than just Hunter’s laptop to blackmail us and is about to take possession of Taiwan soon. While we await the next Kyle Rittenhouse trial to preoccupy ourselves, take a peek at this video. Skip over the election stuff since we all have rock-hard opinions on that and go to minute 55:30. Xi Jinping’s right-hand man, Di Dongsheng, publicly explained the extent Beijing controls US politics:ref 55 There is nothing in the world that money can’t fix, right? If one wad of cash can’t handle it, then I’ll have two wads. (laughter) Of course this is how I do things. In fact, to be a bit blunt, in the past 30 years or past 40 years, we manipulated the core power circle in the United States, right? I mentioned earlier that Wall Street started to have a very strong influence on U.S. domestic and foreign affairs in the 1970s. So we figured out our path and those we could be dependent on. But the problem is that Wall Street’s status has declined after 2008. More importantly, starting in 2016 Wall Street has no influence on Trump. Why? It is awkward. Trump had a soft breach of contract on Wall Street once, so the two sides had conflicts. They tried to help during the Sino-US trade war. As far as I know, friends from the U.S. told me that they tried to help, but they were too weak. But now we see that Biden has come to power. (crowd laughs) The traditional elites, political elites, and the establishment have a very close relationship with Wall Street. You all see it: Trump talked about Biden’s son, “You have investment funds around the world.” Who helped him build the funds? You understand? There are transactions involved. (laughter) So at this point in time, we use an appropriate way to express a certain kind of goodwill. (applause) ~Di Dongsheng, Vice Director and Secretary of the Center for Foreign Strategic Studies of Chinaref 55 January 6th Capitol Insurrection Alec Baldwin killed more people in 2021 than did the January 6th insurrectionists. Anybody reading this far knows that the January 6th riots stemmed from the right-wing voters who doubted the veracity of the 2020 election. Twitter polls show that view is not as partisan or as rare as the media would lead you to believe. I happen to doubt U.S. election integrity but have for quite a few election cycles. ref 1 Hacked Stratfor emails show the democrats rigged the vote in ’08 ref 2 and Republicans rigged it in ’04.ref 3 It is bipartisan Capture the Flag with red and blue pinnies.ref 4 In any event, Trump’s Green Goblin strategy was to beckon the MAGA faithful to the Capitol to protest the Electoral College signing off on the results. It was not so different than the mobs outside the courthouses trying to subvert the Rittenhouse and Chauvin trials, but the scale of January 6th was much larger and the optics were Biblical. It got out of hand and, at times, even a little Helter Skelter. Mob psychology elicits dramatic changes in brain chemistry and has been the topic of many laboratory studies.”ref 5 Temporary insanity is not a crazy defense. My Tweet got some hysterically hateful responses from the Right who missed the sarcasm and the Left who did not. I think I squandered more of my valuable time left on this planet burrowing through the January 6th story than on the Covid-Vaccine combo platter. I should preface this section by noting that I was praised by a thoughtful long-time reader for being “balanced and measured and carefully worded, even on edgy topics.” I may be on the cusp of disappointing him. It’s impossible to peer at the The Great Insurrection through a non-partisan lens. Both sides may find common ground in the belief that January 6th is a profound fork in the road of the American Experiment. The sock-starching Left will celebrate it as a national holiday every year while the bed-wetting Right will try to ignore it. Both are wrong. Look at that photo and pause to ponder its implications. Put a funny caption to it. Let’s hear from some Republicans first: We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House — every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during, and after the attack. ~ Liz Cheney I think Lizard nailed it. We’re on the same page. Let’s keep going… January 6 was worse than 9/11, because it’s continued to rip our country apart and get permission for people to pursue autocratic means, and so I think we’re in a much worse place than we’ve been. I think we’re in the most perilous point in time since 1861 in the advent of the Civil War. ~ Michael Dowd, former Bush strategist I would like to see January 6th burned into the American mind as firmly as 9/11 because it was that scale of a shock to the system. ~ George Will, syndicated columnist Mike and George are as unhinged as I am but on different hinges. I think they are delusional and offensive. Edging forward… The 1/6 attack for the future of the country was a profoundly more dangerous event than the 9/11 attacks. And in the end, the 1/6 attacks are likely to kill a lot more Americans than were killed in the 9/11 attacks, which will include the casualties of the wars that lasted 20 years following. ~ Steve Smith, Lincoln Project co-founder Now I’m getting the heebie-jeebies if for no other reason than the Lincoln Project is filled with Democratic operatives (or at least neocons) pretending to be Republicans—as authentic as the Indians at the Boston Tea Party or stepmoms on PornHub. We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within…There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home… But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. ~ George W. Bush, a thinly veiled allusion to January 6 George got some serious guff from more than a few of the 80 million Fox-watching extremists including the Grand Wizard: So interesting to watch former President Bush, who is responsible for getting us into the quicksand of the Middle East (and then not winning!), as he lectures us that terrorists on the ‘right’ are a bigger problem than those from foreign countries that hate America. ~ Donald Trump He nailed it. I have stated previously that Bush committed war crimes. Of course, the National Security Machine chimed in… The No. 1 national security threat I’ve ever seen in my life to this country’s democracy is the party that I’m in — the Republican Party. It is the No. 1 national security threat to the United States of America. ~ Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Dude! You just tarred about 80 million asses with that brushstroke. Let’s move further left to find some middle ground: They swooned for him on 9/11 because he gave them what they most crave: the view that Al Qaeda is comparable to those who protested at the Capitol on 1/6. ~ Glenn Greenwald, on George Bush’s comments Glenn is part of a growing cadre of liberals including Matt Taibbi, Tim Pool, Bill Maher, The Weinstein Brothers, and Joe Rogan who are unafraid to extend olive branches across The Great Partisan Divide at risk of being labled white supremacists and Nazis, but they are hardly emblematic of the Left. From the elite Left… I think we also had very real security concerns. We still don’t yet feel safe around other members of Congress.  ~ AOC AOC’s comment prompted one pundit to tell her to “get a therapist”, which seems correct given her moment of maximum drama was when a security guard was screaming outside her door, “Are you OK, Ma’am?” #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett began trending on social media when it was disclosed that she was not even in the building when Ragnar and his buddies showed up.ref 6 They will have to decide if Donald J. Trump incited the erection…the insurrection. ~ Chuck Schumerref 7 What ya thinking about Chuckie? We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole. Since the Civil War. The Confederates back then never breached the Capitol as insurrectionists did on Jan. 6. ~ Joe Biden Joe may be on the A-Team, but he hasn’t found his way out of the locker room. The blue-check-marked liberals did not mince words… The 9/11 terrorists and Osama bin Laden never threatened the heart of the American experiment. The 1/6 terrorists and Donald Trump absolutely did exactly that. Trump continues that effort today. ~ S.V. Dáte, Huffington Post’s senior White House correspondent The only effective way for the government to respond to an act of war by domestic terrorists is to be prepared to meet them with machine guns and flamethrowers and mow them down. Not one of those terrorists who broke through police lines should have escaped alive. ~ a Washington Post commenter Moving as far left as you can by tuning into the most cunning commie who can outfox any Western leader… Do you know that 450 individuals were arrested after entering the Congress? They came there with political demands. ~ Vladimir Putin The Cast of this Drama. This Kafkaesque narrative will be scrutinized by historians and democratic operatives for years to come. The Left will cast this event as a truly unique moment in US history, but it was precedented. I see parallels with the 1920’s Bonus Army in which World War I veterans were pissed off about unpaid post-war benefits.ref 8 In the saddest of ironies, many were killed by Army regulars. Some authorities, including a young Dwight Eisenhower, thought it was a benign protest while others thought it was an assault on America. Grumpy crowds appear at the Capitol only on days of the week that end in “y.” Recently, f.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 6th, 2022

Reuters Data Scientist Fired After Nuking BLM Narrative, Exposing "Significant Left-Wing Bias" In Reporting

Reuters Data Scientist Fired After Nuking BLM Narrative, Exposing 'Significant Left-Wing Bias' In Reporting On Tuesday, we republished a column from a journalist who resigned from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation because the network exhibited such extreme left-wing bias and propaganda that she couldn't be a part of it any longer. Today, bring you the story of Zac Kriegman, a former Reuters data scientist who was fired after performing a statistical analysis which refuted claims by Black Lives Matter, and spoke out against the company's culture of "diversity and inclusion" which unquestioningly celebrated the BLM narrative. As journalist Chris F. Rufo writes in City Journal: "Driven by what he called a “moral obligation” to speak out, Kriegman refused to celebrate unquestioningly the BLM narrative and his company’s “diversity and inclusion” programming; to the contrary, he argued that Reuters was exhibiting significant left-wing bias in the newsroom and that the ongoing BLM protests, riots, and calls to “defund the police” would wreak havoc on minority communities." Week after week, Kriegman felt increasingly disillusioned by the Thomson Reuters line. Finally, on the first Tuesday in May 2021, he posted a long, data-intensive critique of BLM’s and his company’s hypocrisy. He was sent to Human Resources and Diversity & Inclusion for the chance to reform his thoughts. - He refused—so they fired him. -City Journal Kriegman, who has a bachelors in economics from Michigan, a JD from Harvard, and "years of experience with high-tech startups, a white-shoe law firm, and an econometrics research consultancy," spent six years at Thomson Reuters, where he rose through the ranks to spearhead the company's efforts on AI, machine learning, and advanced software engineering. By the time he was fired, he was the Director of Data Science, and lead a team which was in the process of implementing deep learning throughout the corporation. Following the death of George Floyd, Kriegman described Reuters as a "blue bubble" where "people were constantly celebrating Black Lives Matter, where it was assumed that everyone was on board." The company asked employees to participated in a "21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge," which promoted reparations, academic articles on critical race theory (on which Rufo has written extensively), and instructions on "how to be a better white person." The materials were both patronizing and 'outright racist,' writes Rufo. The Reuters workforce was told that their "black colleagues" are "confused and scared," and are barely able to show up to work. They allegedly felt pressured to "take the personal trauma we all know to be true and tuck it away to protect white people," who are unable to grasp the black experience because of their own whiteness. To right the wrongs of slavery and systemic oppression, white Reuters employees were told to let themselves get "called out" by minority colleagues, and then respond with "I believe you"; "I recognize that I have work to do"; "I apologize, I'm going to do better." Ultimately, white people are supposed to admit their complicity in systemic racism and repent for their collective guilt, because "White people built this system. White people control this system," according to a learning module from self-described "wypipologist" Michael Harriot. "It is white people who have tacitly agreed to perpetuate white supremacy throughout America’s history. It is you who must confront your racist friends, coworkers, and relatives. You have to cure your country of this disease. The sickness is not ours." Kriegman came to believe that the company’s “blue bubble” had created a significant bias in the company’s news reporting. “Reuters is not having the internal discussions about the facts and the research, and they’re not letting that shape how they present the news to people. I think they’ve adopted a perspective and they’re unwilling to examine that perspective, even internally, and that’s shaping everything that they write,” Kriegman said. Consequently, Reuters adopted a narrative that promotes a naïve, left-wing narrative about Black Lives Matter and fails to provide accurate context—which is particularly egregious because, unlike obviously left-leaning outlets such as the New York Times, Reuters has a reputation as a source of objective news reporting. A review of Reuters coverage over the spring and summer of 2020 confirms Kriegman’s interpretation. Though early articles covering the first days of the chaos in Minneapolis were straightforward about the violence—“Protests, looting erupt in Minneapolis over racially charged killing by police,” reads one headline—Reuters’s coverage eventually seemed like it had been processed to add ideology and euphemism. Beginning in the summer and continuing over the course of the year, the newswire’s reporting adopted the BLM narrative in substance and style. The stories framed the unrest as a “a new national reckoning about racial injustice” and described the protests as “mostly peaceful” or “largely peaceful,” despite widespread violence, looting, and crime. “More than 93% of recent demonstrations connected to Black Lives Matter were peaceful,” Reuters insisted, even as rioters caused up to $2 billion in property damage across the country. The company’s news reporters adopted the syntax of BLM activists. A May 8 story opened with the familiar “say their names” recitation, ignoring the fact that the first named individual, for example, had attacked a police officer, who was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing: “Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Freddie Gray. Their names are seared into Americans’ memories, egregious examples of lethal police violence that stirred protests and prompted big payouts to the victims’ families.” Even as Seattle’s infamous “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” descended into lawlessness and saw the brutal murder of two black teenagers, the newswire’s headlines downplayed the destruction, claiming that the Seattle protests were “diminished but not dismantled.” -City Journal According to Kriegman, Reuters 'data-based fact checks' were also biased - and always in favor of BLM interpretations. In one instance, the wire service's "special report" claimed that "a growing body of research supports the perception that police unfairly target Black Americans. They are more likely to be stopped, searched and arrested than their white compatriots. They also are more likely to be killed by police." Reuters dedicated just two short paragraphs to refute the viewpoint, which it quickly dismisses to continue advancing the pro-BLM argument. Reuters made an evidence-free claim that qualified immunity - which is protected by the Supreme Court - is "rooted in racism." The company also hosted a panel with left-wing pundits to discuss criminal reform, which ended up uncritically promoting such policies as "defund the police," and who suggested that "hundreds" of unjustified police killings of black men "fail to win victims any redress." As usual, no facts backed up their claims. The company’s data reporting consistently re-contextualized accurate information about racial violence and policing in order to align with Black Lives Matter rhetoric. In a “fact check” of a social media post that claimed whites are more likely to be killed by blacks than blacks are to be killed by whites, Reuters concedes that this is factually accurate but labels the post “misleading”—in part because it doesn’t show that police kill black people at a higher rate than their share of the overall population, a completely unrelated claim. Likewise, when President Donald Trump accurately pointed out that police officers kill “more white people” than black people each year, Reuters immediately published a story reframing the narrative. Though the report admitted that “half of people killed by police are white,” the writers pushed the line that “Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate” and then used a quotation from the American Civil Liberties Union to paint the president as a “racist.” -City Journal "I did look through Reuters’s news, and it was concerning to me that a lot of the same issues that I was seeing in other media outlets seemed to be replicated in Reuters’s news, where they were reporting favorably about Black Lives Matter protests without giving any context to the claims that were being made at those protests [and] without giving any context about the ‘Ferguson effect’ and how police pulling back on their proactive policing has been pretty clearly linked to a dramatic increase in murders," Kriegman told Rufo. "At a certain point, it just feels like a moral obligation to speak out when something that’s having such a devastating impact is being celebrated so widely, especially in a news company where the perspective that’s celebrated is having such a big impact externally." Kriegman took two months off from Thomson Reuters to 'grapple with the statistical and ethical implications' of how the company was reporting on the BLM movement and related riots. While on leave, he embarked on a careful statistical investigation comparing BLM's claims on racism, violence and policing with hard evidence. The result: a 12,000-word essay, titled “BLM is Anti-Black Systemic Racism,” that called into question the entire sequence of claims by the Black Lives Matter movement and echoed by the Reuters news team. “I believe the Black Lives Matter (‘BLM’) movement arose out of a passionate desire to protect black people from racism and to move our whole society towards healing from a legacy of centuries of brutal oppression,” Kriegman wrote in the introduction. “Unfortunately, over the past few years I have grown more and more concerned about the damage that the movement is doing to many low-income black communities. I have avidly followed the research on the movement and its impacts, which has led me, inexorably, to the conclusion that the claim at the heart of the movement, that police more readily shoot black people, is false and likely responsible for thousands of black people being murdered in the most disadvantaged communities in the country.” Thomson Reuters, Kriegman continued, has a special obligation to “resist simplistic narratives that are not based in facts and evidence, especially when those narratives are having such a profoundly negative impact on minority or marginalized groups.” -City Journal The essay debunks three key claims of BLM activists and their media supporters. That police officers kill blacks disproportionately That law enforcement 'over-polices' black neighborhoods That policies such as "defund the police" will reduce violence. Rufo breaks down Kriegman's arguments:  First, Kriegman writes that the narrative about police officers systematically hunting and killing blacks is not supported by the evidence. “For instance, in 2020 there were 457 whites shot and killed by police, compared to 243 blacks. Of those, 24 of the whites killed were unarmed compared to 18 blacks,” he writes, citing the Washington Post database of police shootings. And though the number of blacks killed might be disproportionate compared with the percentage of blacks in the overall population, it is not disproportionate to the level of violent crime committed by black citizens. “Depending on the type of violent crime, whites either commit a slightly greater (non-fatal crimes) or slightly smaller (fatal, and serious non-fatal crimes) percentage of the total violent crime than blacks, but in all cases roughly in the same ballpark,” Kriegman writes. However, according to the Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey data, “there are many more whites killed by police, even though whites account for a similar absolute number of violent offenders. Thus, if the number of potentially violent encounters with police reflects the violent crime rates, then the raw statistics suggest that there is actually a slight anti-white bias in police applications of lethal force.” To round out his case, Kriegman concludes with a study by Harvard’s Roland Fryer, which, according to Fryer, “didn’t find evidence for anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparity in police use of force across all shootings, and, if anything, found anti-White disparities when controlling for race-specific crime.” Next, Kriegman takes up “over-policing.” Black Lives Matter activists and Reuters reporters had pushed the idea that police officers focus disproportionate attention on black neighborhoods and, because of deep-seated “racial bias,” are more likely to stop, search, and arrest black Americans “than their white compatriots.” While this might be true on its face, Kriegman writes, it misses the appropriate context: black neighborhoods are significantly more violent than white neighborhoods. If police want to reduce violent crime, they must spend more time in the places where violent crime occurs. Kriegman points out to his colleagues in Thomson Reuters’s Boston office that “the reason that police have more confrontations in predominantly black neighborhoods in Boston is because that is where the great bulk of violent crime is occurring,” with nearly all the annual murders happening in predominantly black neighborhoods such as Dorchester and Roxbury—far from the homes and offices of his colleagues in the professional-managerial class at Reuters. And Boston is hardly an outlier. According to Kriegman, the most rigorous statistical analyses demonstrate that violent-crime rates and policing are, in fact, highly correlated and proportionate. He quotes a Justice Department report which “found that for nonfatal violent crimes that victims said were reported to police, whites accounted for 48% of offenders and 46% of arrestees. Blacks accounted for 35% of offenders and 33% of arrestees. Asians accounted for 2% of offenders and 1% of arrestees. None of these differences between the percentage of offenders and the percentage of arrestees of a given race were statistically significant.” Finally, Kriegman addresses the policy implications of “de-policing.” Contrary to Reuters’s sometimes glowing coverage of the “defund the police” movement, Kriegman makes the case that de-policing, whether it occurs because of the “Ferguson Effect” or because of deliberate policy choices, has led to disaster for black communities. His argument, building on the work of City Journal’s Heather Mac Donald, follows this logic: after high-profile police-involved killings, such as those involving Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Black Lives Matter movement and the media have demonized police departments and caused many officers to reduce proactive policing measures and to pull back from situations out of fear that they might need to use force. The result, according to data from a range of academic literature, is an increase in crime and violence. Kriegman again cites Fryer, who concluded that the Ferguson Effect led to 900 excess murders in five cities he considered, and the University of Utah’s Paul G. Cassell, who found that the “Minneapolis Effect” led to 1,520 excess murders in the United States. Thus, BLM’s signature policy solution—“defund the police”—would likely lead to incredible carnage in black communities. -City Journal Instead of his essay winning hearts and minds at Reuters, where he hoped it would help his colleagues move beyond "the blue bubble" and see "how devastating Black Lives Matter has been to black communities," Reuters HR panicked and took down Kriegman's post. "I didn’t know what to expect going into it, but I expected the reaction to be intense," said Kriegman. "And it was." He says a "team of HR and communications professionals" were called in to manage the situation, which they told him they were "reviewing." When he asked multiple times about the company's decision to remove his essay, he was told that it was too "antagonistic" and "provocative," and that he needed to work with their head of diversity and inclusion, Cristina Juvier, if he wanted to pursue the matter further. Read the rest of the report here. Tyler Durden Thu, 01/06/2022 - 17:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 6th, 2022

Kazakh Protesters Storm & Torch Government Buildings, Shots Fired, After Cabinet Resigns

Kazakh Protesters Storm & Torch Government Buildings, Shots Fired, After Cabinet Resigns Despite an attempt to impose a strict curfew on Kazakhstan's largest city overnight and a 'state of emergency' across all locales hit by unrest, protesters are reportedly storming government buildings in Almaty, as chaos continues on the streets amid clashes with police, now in the fourth day of angry crowds raging against a dramatic hike in gas prices after government-imposed caps were lifted on liquefied petroleum gas on Saturday, which meant prices at the pump immediately more than doubled and tripled in some places. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has accepted the resignation of the government in the one-party state. "Tokayev said on Wednesday morning that he had accepted the resignation of the cabinet led by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, and ordered the acting cabinet to reinstate price controls on Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG)," Al Jazeera reports. There were reports of gunfire heard in Almaty throughout the night and into the morning, and emerging unconfirmed reports of casualties from protests in various cities and towns. ⚡️⚡️⚡️ Right now, the storming of the Presidential Administration of Kazakhstan begins. #BreakingNews #Breaking #Kazakhstan #Казахстан #protests pic.twitter.com/iuOiCDDvor — Aleksander Onishchuk (@Brave_spirit81) January 5, 2022 But it's looking too little too late as the continuing unrest is now targeting the government, despite President Tokayev warning the prior day that "Calls to attack government and military offices are absolutely illegal," and vowing that "The government will not fall" in a national TV address. Russia's TASS news agency is reporting, "Protesters armed with machine guns in Almaty smash former presidential residence – security officials have left the area." And now... the president is vowing "maximum toughness" in his response to the protests and riots. KAZAKH PRESIDENT SAYS HE WOULD ACT AS TOUGH AS POSSIBLE - TV KAZAKH PRESIDENT SAYS HE WILL STAY IN THE CAPITAL - TV KAZAKH PRESIDENT SAYS HE TAKES OVER AS SECURITY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN - TV pic.twitter.com/t4ciMFGKE9 — Russian Market (@russian_market) January 5, 2022 Perhaps to save and ensure his own political rule, there's some rapid backtracking taking place on the prior weekend removal of price control caps, as Tokayev— ...also ordered the acting cabinet to broaden price controls to petrol, diesel and other "socially important" consumer goods. The moves followed clashes in Almaty overnight between police and thousands of protesters who had called for the government’s resignation. "Old man out" - some are reportedly shouting. In more than one major city, footage shows buildings on fire, and police trying to restore order through riot control tactics like flash bangs and rubber bullets. 'Live fire' is also being reported, but the situation remains murky, also as there seems to be few if any foreign journalist crews on the ground amid the mayhem. More footage from Alma-Ata.#BreakingNews #Breaking #Kazakhstan #Казахстан #protests pic.twitter.com/tlgVbPMxGi — Aleksander Onishchuk (@Brave_spirit81) January 5, 2022 According to NetBlocks on Wednesday, the nationwide internet outage has endured. "Kazakhstan is now in the midst of a nation-scale internet blackout after a day of mobile internet disruptions and partial restrictions," the net monitoring group writes. "The incident is likely to severely limit coverage of escalating anti-government protests." Almaty #Kazakhstan right now: these protestors are on some extra shit, attacking an APC like their lives mean nothing pic.twitter.com/4C9BpmLNtW — Don (@donhoxa) January 4, 2022 A number of public buildings especially in Almaty appear to be on fire, and now there's concern the capital of Nur-Sultan could come under threat next. Reuters reports the intensifying situation on Wednesday as follows: An Instagram live stream by a Kazakh blogger showed a fire blazing in the office of the Almaty mayor, with apparent gunshots audible nearby. Videos posted online also showed the nearby prosecutor's office burning. Earlier on Wednesday, Reuters journalists saw thousands of protesters pressing towards Almaty city center, some of them on a large truck. Security forces, ranked in helmets and riot shields, fired tear gas and flash-bang grenades. In Kazakhstan's Aktau city, on the Caspian Sea, what look like civilians have been filmed halting a military truck. pic.twitter.com/EpQNPT1yDA — Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) January 5, 2022 Authorities are now vowing to stamp out the actions of "extremists" amid accusations that innocent bystanders have been injured by the outraged mobs. Reuters continues: The city's police chief said Almaty was under attack by "extremists and radicals", who had beaten up 500 civilians and ransacked hundreds of businesses. A presidential decree announced a two-week state of emergency and nighttime curfew in the capital Nur-Sultan, citing "a serious and direct security threat to citizens". States of emergency were also declared in Almaty and in western Mangistau province, where the protests first emerged in recent days. Given emerging reports that in a number of cities police and military personnel are completely overwhelmed, the violence is likely to get worse before things calm, despite the desperate attempts to announce the return of fuel price controls.  Footage circulating on social media also reportedly shows security forces completely overwhelmed in Almaty as crowds beat up one national guardsman on a street corner. pic.twitter.com/PnQJMZLXI2 — Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) January 5, 2022 developing... Tyler Durden Wed, 01/05/2022 - 08:50.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 5th, 2022

Top 20 Media Stories CNN"s Brian Stelter "Overlooked" On His Show Dedicated To Media Stories

Top 20 Media Stories CNN's Brian Stelter 'Overlooked' On His Show Dedicated To Media Stories Of all the year-end roundups coming out, the one that caught our eye for pointing out the worst examples of MSM hypocrisy comes from Joseph A. Wulfohn via Fox News, who notes the top 20 major media stories that were utterly ignored by CNN's Brian Stelter - whose entire job is to cover controversies involving the media. Yet, "Stelter turned a blind eye to many headlines that were far from flattering to his liberal allies in the industry," writes Wulfohn - who notes that this is nothing new for the CNN host. "Most famously, he completely avoided ABC News' shocking coverup of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, omitting it from his "top ten media stories" of 2019." Without further ado, here are 2021's top 20 major media stories ignored by Brian Stelter: Judge bans MSNBC from the Kyle Rittenhouse trial The entire nation was intensely monitoring the trial of teenager Kyle Rittenhouse, who was charged with murdering two people amid the Kenosha riots following the 2020 police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake. But the day before Rittenhouse was acquitted on all counts, Judge Bruce Schroeder made headlines by barring MSNBC from the courthouse after police caught a freelance NBC News producer following the jury bus when he ran a red light.  Stelter swept the controversy plaguing CNN's closest liberal competitor under the rug. -Fox News In fact, CNN has essentially sheltered MSNBC from scrutiny - which has appeared just 34 times in Reliable Sources' 2021 transcripts vs. Fox News, which appeared 695 times (via Grabien search results). Stelter ignored Joy Reid's spat with rapper Nicki Minaj over her vaccine hesitancy, as well as MSNBC analyst and NYT editorial board member Mara Gay, when she said that the sight of American flags on the back of trucks was "disturbing," which caused the Times to issue a statement in her defense. Yet, crickets from Stelter. As Wulfohn notes, the respect seems to be mutual, as MSNBC offers 'little to no coverage' of any controversy at CNN. Trump-era media narratives that fell apart  In March, the media pundit avoided the Washington Post's major correction to its bombshell January report about a phone call between then-President Donald Trump and a Georgia elections investigator, urging her to "find the fraud" and that she would be a "national hero" if she did, which turned out to be not true. WASHINGTON POST PANNED FOR MASSIVE CORRECTION TO TRUMP-GEORGIA ELECTION STORY: 'SO, THEY MADE UP QUOTES' The CNN star had nothing to say about the collapsed narrative alleging Trump ordered Lafayette Square Park to be cleared of protesters so he could pose in front of the riot-torched St. John's Church last year. An inspector general investigation concluded U.S. Park Police and the U.S. Secret Service deemed it necessary to remove protestors from the park in order to install anti-scale fencing. -Fox News The Washington Post issues stunning corrections on articles involving the Steele dossier Yet, Stelter couldn't be bothered when the dossier his network breathlessly peddled was completely debunked after Christopher Steele source Igor Danchenko was accused of lying to the FBI, leading to a flood of corrections from WaPo. The first two stories, published in March 2017 and February 2019, were changed when the newspaper’s executive editor, Sally Buzbee, said she could no longer stand by their accuracy. The Post added editor’s notes, amended headlines, removed sections identifying Sergei Millian as the source and deleted an accompanying video summarizing the articles.  Lengthy editor's notes were additionally placed on at least 14 other articles.  The Steele dossier helped fuel the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy for years and dominated CNN and MSNBC's coverage. -Fox News The New York Times forced to admit Babylon Bee is not ‘misinformation’ This one was a biggie - after the Times ran a story in March characterizing the satire site The Babylon Bee as "misinformation." In fact, they called it a "far-right misinformation site" that "sometimes trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire." Under the threat of a lawsuit, the Times issued a correction in June which backpedaled their claim. "An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the Babylon Bee, a right-leaning satirical website, and a controversy regarding the handling of its content by Facebook and the fact-checking site Snopes. While both Facebook and Snopes previously have classified some Babylon Bee articles as misinformation, rather than satire, they have dropped those claims, and the Babylon Bee denies that it has trafficked in misinformation," reads the correction. Paging Stelter? Nope. Don Lemon's texts emerge during the Jussie Smollett trial Former "Empire" star Jussie Smollett shocked the nation in 2019 when he claimed he was the victim of a vicious hate crime in Chicago, which the national media hyped while offering little to no skepticism. It wasn't long before Chicago Police Department suspected Smollett had orchestrated a hoax.  Nearly three years later, Smollett stood trial and was ultimately convicted on five counts of disorderly conduct. However, before the verdict was in, Smollett revealed during his testimony that he was tipped off about the CPD's doubts into his claims by his pal, CNN anchor Don Lemon. -Fox News Neither Lemon nor Stelter mentioned the incident on their CNN shows. The turmoil of The Lincoln Project If CNN is the king of propaganda, anti-Trump PAC The Lincoln Project is a close second. They also have a pedophile problem in common. In January, news broke that Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver was accused of sexually harassing 20 young men online, one of whom was just 14 when it began. All of Weaver's former colleagues denied knowledge of the predatory behavior, and Weaver himself has since resigned and vanished from the public. In addition to ignoring this, Stelter also failed to mention questions over the group's murky financial dealings - and where millions of dollars raised to fight Trumpism actually ended up. The marathon of controversies sparked an exodus among the group's prominent leaders and even calls from co-founder George Conway, who had left the group in 2020, to be shut down.  However, the Lincoln Project was able to weather the storm and managed to keep the lights on thanks to the lack of media coverage its scandals received.  More recently, Stelter failed to address the Lincoln Project's widely panned race stunt it took credit for in the days leading up to the Virginia gubernatorial election. In a move that co-founder Steve Schmidt even condemned as "recklessly stupid," the Lincoln Project sent five people – one of them a Black man – to dress as Tiki-torch bearing White nationalists in front of Republican Glenn Youngkin's campaign bus in Charlottesville, in what was viewed as a desperate smear effort to liken his supporters to racists. -Fox News USA Today allows Stacey Abrams to stealth-edit column to water down past support for Georgia boycott This spring, Georgia was at the center of an intense national debate over its election reform legislation that was signed into law after the 2020 election with prominent Democrats calling it racist and comparing it to "Jim Crow." A movement to boycott the Peach State was ignited and one of its backers appeared to be Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.  In an op-ed published by USA Today in March 31, Abrams argued that boycotts were an effective form of protest, writing, "The impassioned response to the racist, classist bill that is now the law of Georgia is to boycott in order to achieve change." But after Major League Baseball announced it was moving its All-Star Game out of Atlanta, Abram's op-ed went through a stunning transformation, watering down her support for boycotts historically without issuing any editor's note acknowledging the changes. A spokesperson for Gannett, USA Today's parent company, told Fox News, "We regret the oversight in updating the Stacey Abrams column. As soon as we recognized there was no editor’s note, we added it to the page to reflect her changes. We have reviewed our procedures to ensure this does not occur again." The journalistic malpractice was ultimately ignored by CNN's media hall monitor. -Fox News Joe Rogan's explosive interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta This one might actually be #1, as podcast giant Joe Rogan cornered CNN's top doc over the network's disingenuous framing of Ivermectin as a 'horse dewormer.' "Calling it a horse de-wormer is not the most flattering thing, I get that," said Gupta. "It's a lie on a news network - and it's a lie that they're conscious of. It's not a mistake. They're unfavorably framing it as veterinary medicine," Rogan shot back. "Why would you say that when you're talking about a drug that's been given out to billions and billions of people? A drug that was responsible for one of the inventors winning the Nobel Prize in 2015?" the 54-year-old Rogan continued. "A drug that has been shown to stop viral replication in vitro - you know that, right? Why would they lie and say that's horse de-wormer? I can afford people medicine, motherfucker. This is ridiculous." Watch: Joe Rogan asks Sanjay Gupta if it bothers him that CNN outright lied about Rogan taking horse dewormer to recover from covid. This is fantastic: pic.twitter.com/PEgJqIXhSD — Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 14, 2021 CNN then doubled down on their stupidity, issuing a statement which said "The only thing CNN did wrong here was bruise the ego of a popular podcaster who pushed dangerous conspiracy theories and risked the lives of millions of people in doing so." Radio silence from Stelter... Rolling Stone, MSNBC stars peddle false narrative of ivermectin overdoses overwhelming Oklahoma hospitals After Joe Rogan announced that he'd kicked Covid in just a few days using a cocktail of drugs, including Ivermectin - an anti-parasitic prescribed for humans for over 35 years, with over 4 billion doses administered (and most recently as a Covid-19 treatment), the left quickly started mocking Rogan for having taken a 'horse dewormer' due to its dual use in livestock. Rolling Stone's Jon Blistein led the charge: Then, Rolling Stone's Peter Wade took another stab - publishing a hit piece claiming that Oklahoma ERs were overflowing with people 'overdosing on horse dewormer.' As people take the drug, McElyea said patients have arrived at hospitals with negative reactions like nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and cramping — or even loss of sight. “The scariest one that I’ve heard of and seen is people coming in with vision loss,” the doctor said. -Rolling Stone It was all a lie...  as NHS Sequoyah, located in Sallisaw, Oklahoma - issued a statement disavowing McElyea's claims. Of course, the lie was peddled by MSM notables, including Rachel Maddow and Joy Reid. Stelter? Reliable sources? His job running cover, as opposed to exposing MSM lies should be clear as day by now. New York Times sports reporter ousted after failing to disclose book deal with Michael Phelps New York Times sports reporter Karen Crouse landed herself in hot water in July for failing to disclose the book deal she made with Michael Phelps while she herself was covering the Olympic swimmer.  In June, Crouse authored a glowing piece that painted the 23-time gold medalist in a highly positive light with multiple tidbits about Phelps mentoring youth athletes.  But a month after the piece was initially published, it was updated with a scathing editor’s note.  "After this article was published, editors learned that the reporter had entered an agreement to co-write a book with Michael Phelps. If editors had been aware of the conflict, the reporter would not have been given the assignment," the editor's note read. "Our guidelines state that no staff member may serve as a ghost writer or co-author for individuals who figure or are likely to figure in coverage they provide, edit, package or supervise," a New York Times spokesperson told Fox News. "As the editors’ note makes clear, the arrangement was a conflict of interest. This was a significant lapse in judgment. We are reviewing this matter and will take appropriate action once the investigation has concluded." After initially being suspended, Crouse announced weeks later she was leaving the Times after 16 years with the paper. The controversy received no on-air mention by Stelter, a former media reporter for the Times. -Fox News USA Today botches fact-check claiming Biden didn't check his watch during dignified transfer ceremony "Stelter typically reveres fact-checks conducted by his media allies, but there was one in particular that mysteriously never reached the "Reliable Sources" radar," writes Wulfohn. Biden was slammed by Gold Star families after he checked his watch several times during a ceremony for 13 service members that were killed during his botched Afghanistan pullout. Gold Star Father Darin Hoover, whose son Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover was killed in Kabul, alleges that President Biden looked down at his watch when all 13 fallen service members arrived at Dover Air Force Base: "That happened on every single one of them." pic.twitter.com/PC83XWNWsx — Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 31, 2021 USA Today attempted to "fact-check" the report, claiming that Biden had only checked his watch after the ceremony. Not so. And USA Today was forced to issue a correction which read: "This story was updated Sept. 2 to note that Biden checked his watch multiple times at the dignified transfer event, including during the ceremony itself." Meghan McCain's dramatic exit from "The View" 2021 was a year of many high-profile media departures, among them the exit of "The View" co-host Meghan McCain.  McCain turned the ABC daytime talk show into must-watch television for the on-air clashes she had with her liberal co-hosts throughout much of the Trump administration, as well as the first six months into the Biden administration.  While she was vocal with her opposition to Trump, her conservative stance was repeatedly met with hostility from Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin.  But McCain's exit received no mention on "Reliable Sources." -Fox News Jeffrey Toobin's awkward return to CNN Need we say more? Stelter certainly didn't. We just want to reintroduce Jeffry Toobin after a bit of a hiatus *fap fap fap fap* Jeffrey had to take time off *fap fap fap* After an unfortunate incident during *fap … fap fap* A zoom meeting. Welcome back, Jeffrey. *fapfapfap* Jeffrey, stop pic.twitter.com/piS3vp778L — Geoffrey Ingersoll (@GPIngersoll) June 10, 2021 Chris Cuomo's mounting scandals When CNN announced it had fired its primetime star Chris Cuomo after the network learned of a second sexual harassment allegation leveled against him, Stelter spoke critically of his fallen colleague and the "headaches" he created for CNN as he aided his brother, now-ousted Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. This, however, was a drastic shift in tone since the CNN lackey spent months defending the anchor and downplaying the blatant violation of journalistic ethics, most infamously on "The Late Show." But while Stelter was occasionally forced to address the Cuomo saga on "Reliable Sources," there were other controversies that plagued the CNN host he overlooked. For example, he made no mention of Cuomo's first accuser, veteran TV producer Shelley Ross, who alleged that he grabbed her buttock at a 2005 work function when the two of them were colleagues at ABC News. -Fox News And finally... CNN's own producer arrested for child sex crimes The "Reliable Sources" host would be the first to revel whenever an employee at a conservative media outlet landed in hot water, but he was noticeably mum about the alleged pedophile walking the halls of CNN. John Griffin, a senior producer for CNN's flagship morning program "New Day," was arrested by the FBI after a grand jury in Vermont indicted him for shocking child sex crimes.  After initially being suspended, Griffin was later fired by CNN.  "The charges against Mr. Griffin are deeply disturbing. We learned of his arrest Friday afternoon and terminated his employment Monday," a CNN spokesperson told Fox News Digital. -Fox News And, as usual, silence from Stelter! Tyler Durden Mon, 12/27/2021 - 13:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 27th, 2021

Charlottesville Verdicts Say “Sue The Bastards/Rioters”

Charlottesville Verdicts Say “Sue The Bastards/Rioters”; Other Victims of Unpunished Rioters Should Follow This Lead Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Jury Hands Down Verdict On Charlottesville Riots WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 23, 2021) – A jury has just handed down multi-million dollar verdicts, including punitive damages, against 12 individuals and several organizations it […] Charlottesville Verdicts Say “Sue The Bastards/Rioters”; Other Victims of Unpunished Rioters Should Follow This Lead if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Jury Hands Down Verdict On Charlottesville Riots WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 23, 2021) - A jury has just handed down multi-million dollar verdicts, including punitive damages, against 12 individuals and several organizations it found were responsible for the riots in Charlottesville in 2017. This should further encourage - and perhaps even help to provide a blueprint for - victims of many other riots over the past several years to bring civil suits to recover for the damages they suffered, and to deter further criminal actions, especially in situations where known participants in riots were able to walk away without paying for any of the damages they caused, or spending any time in jail, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf. These new verdicts come on the heels of several civil lawsuits which were filed against former President Donald Trump and some of his allies for harm caused by the January 6th riots, but now a major new civil lawsuit targeting some of those who actually engaged in the criminal activities has finally been filed. The suit, filed by seven Capital Police officers, and which named as defendants individual members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, came as D.C. judges are expressing frustration about alleged leniency in the criminal cases of those who actually participated in the riot. This is a good sign, and may encourage other civil legal actions where - as has been proven in case after case and in many cities where protestors engaged in destructive conduct - the criminal law isn't working to deter such criminal conduct, nor to make the perpetrators pay for the harm they caused, says Banzhaf, who has been proposing and developing tactics for such lawsuits. Three other similar riot lawsuits have been filed against Trump, but this appears to be the first, and apparently the most important, to target the actual criminal rioters, and not just those who allegedly inspired the riots, argues Banzhaf. The Trump Train As another example, consider that victims of a criminal political protest - when Trump supporters allegedly harassed and tried to force their campaign bus off the road - have sued several members of the caravan (called the "Trump Train") in a civil law suit; accusing them of violating the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which bars violent election intimidation, as well as local Texas laws. As predicted and encouraged by Professor Banzhaf, whose complaints triggered two separate criminal investigations of Donald Trump in Georgia, this was only the latest is a growing number of law suits using civil actions to obtain some redress, and hopefully to also deter future unlawful actions, by those who engage in criminal conduct to advance a political purpose or goal. Banzhaf notes that, in addition to the KKK act, there are numerous grounds under existing law which would probably apply to this and many other situations in which political activities extend far beyond protected free speech and involve clear violations of criminal law, often against innocent and uninvolved third parties. In another recent legal action likewise using the KKK act, Representative Bennie Thompson filed a civil lawsuit against Trump, as well as against his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, notes Banzhaf, who has urged victims of unlawful criminal protests - whether by or against Trump supporters, protests against alleged police misconduct, etc. - to use civil law and civil lawsuits since the criminal law is too often ineffective in deterring such unlawful conduct. Here are few examples where others have followed the route he has suggested. Street Violence In New York City In New York City, victims of street violence are in fact beginning to sue those whose criminal conduct caused injury, with one law suit already filed, one by a civilian broadcaster being weighed, and several more promised. A New York City police detective has filed a civil tort suit seeking monetary damages against an alleged rioter for physical injuries he alleges he suffered during widespread looting. A broadcaster discussed on his TV program. with Professor Banzhaf as his guest, his hopes of suing the criminals who damaged his studio during the New York City rioting. The president of the New York City Detectives' Endowment Association, which represents some 19,000 current and former detectives, has vowed to sue any protestor, rioter, or looter who attacked its members. And a civil law suit inspired by Banzhaf against those who unlawfully blocked the George Washington Bridge, effectively imprisoning thousands in their cars, and allegedly leading to a death when an ambulance was delayed, is ongoing. One journalist has now brought a civil law suit, and another has publicly discussed bringing such an action, says Banzhaf, who has been urging adding civil law suits, and especially class actions, to the weapons against those who engage in criminal conduct to make a point. Banzhaf was recently called "a king of class action lawsuits." Journalist Andy Ngo has filed a law suit against rioters and others who physically beat him while he was covering a protest which turned into a riot. The law suit, filed in Oregon's Multnomah County, includes claims of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and Oregon's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act. More recently, journalist John Tabacco discussed, on his program "Liquid Lunch," how he is considering bringing a law suit for damages his TV studio suffered as a result of the recent riots. Banzhaf, who was his on-air guest on the program, explained the advantages of a civil law suit, and how Tabacco might go about bringing it. Criminal Protest Actions Continue To Proliferate Banzhaf notes that criminal protest actions have continued to proliferate, despite increased law enforcement presence, curfews, and pious pronouncements, and many of the victims of this criminal conduct are members of minority groups whose places of business - often uninsured - were damaged or even destroyed. But just because government has so far proven ineffective in protecting them, the innocent victims are not without some remedy, notes Banzhaf, who is known for advocating and using legal action as a tool for fighting wrongdoing and achieving social justice. For example, he and his law students successfully sued former vice president Spiro Agnew to force him to disgorge - with interest - the money he received in illegal bribes. Although arrests (with little threat of significant jail time) and small fines have generally be ineffective from discouraging those seeking to draw attention to causes by going far beyond their First Amendment rights to protest, and instead engaging in serious crimes against the public welfare and against completely innocent third parties, a major civil class action lawsuit for all the damages suffered by the hundreds of people adversely affected is much more likely to deter them from engaging in such crimes in the future, suggests Banzhaf. The law professor notes that, under the legal doctrine of "joint and several liability," any one person or business injured or damaged as a result of criminal rioting can sue any one or more of the criminals (called joint tort feasors) who actively engaged in criminally destructive and unlawful behavior for the total of all the damages caused, even if it is impossible to identify with specificity which criminal caused each specific instance of damage. If the threat of arrests and possible fines for rioters who commit serious crimes which endanger or harm others isn't enough to deter them from engaging in criminal trespass, destruction of property, arson, looting, obstruction of traffic, destructive vandalism, and even physical attacks, perhaps it's time for a new remedy - civil law suits by one or more victims of such crimes, where the standard of proof needed to win is much lower than in a criminal trial - says Banzhaf. The idea of using class action law suits to punish criminal activities and deter such illegal wrongdoing is neither new nor strictly academic, notes Banzhaf. For example, at least one law suit inspired by Banzhaf was brought on behalf of drivers effectively imprisoned (the tort of false imprisonment) by illegal blockages of the George Washington Bridge in New York City. Indeed, now that the Supreme Court vacated the criminal sentences of two major conspirators, this civil action may be the only hope of bringing justice to the victims, and of deterring such unlawful action for the future. Banzhaf notes that civil law suits against those who commit criminal riots in concert with others - even those actions far less serious and less harmful than burning buildings and assaulting police or even blocking traffic - to try to advance their cause have also been successful in a number of notable instances. For example, as early as 1988, a federal jury found two white supremacist groups - the Ku Klux Klan and the Southern White Knights - and 11 people responsible for the violent disruption of a 1987 civil rights march in Forsyth County, Ga., and awarded nearly $1 million in damages to the plaintiffs who filed the suit. When other groups learn that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been forced to pay $2.55 million to Japanese companies for illegally using acid and smoke bombs to disrupt their whaling, they may think twice before blocking traffic or occupying buildings - much less engaging in widespread destruction - to advance their agenda, says Banzhaf, who has promoted the idea - and the very slogan - of "Suing the Bastards" when the law is broken. In another example, a student who illegally chained himself to some construction equipment because he opposed an oil pipeline was forced to pay out big bucks for his criminal conduct. As NPR reported it, he was apparently ready to accept a relatively painless conviction for trespass, but not to pay the pipeline company $39,000 in restitution. Similarly, eleven protesters who allegedly engaged in illegal activities at the Mall of American faced restitution claims from the City of Bloomington. In these and many similar situations, criminal protesters are often willing to accept a small fine for a chance to focus attention on their cause, especially if it means they get to have a criminal trial which can generate even more publicity for them and for their grievance, argues Banzhaf. In contrast, a civil law suit, in which each and every participant in the criminal riot can be sued for the entire amount of the damages suffered by all victims under the legal principle of "joint and several liability," might serve as a much more effective deterrent than the minor threat of arrests and possible criminal prosecution, suggests Banzhaf. While everyone has a constitutional right to protest in public, that right clearly does not extend to engaging in serious crimes to draw attention to a cause or grievance, no matter how important or righteous that cause may seem. As illegal criminal riots by various groups - including the riot in Charlottesville - continue to proliferate, causing serious harm to governmental bodies as well as to innocent third parties, those harmed may no longer be helpless, even when police refuse to take appropriate action and/or prosecutors decline to prosecute, and even when the individuals who actually caused specific harms cannot be conclusively identified, says Banzhaf. Banzhaf, famous for developing novel winning law suits - including over $12 million from McDonald's over its french fries, and against Spiro Agnew to recover the money he took in bribes - has been called "a Driving Force Behind the Lawsuits That Have Cost Tobacco Companies Billions of Dollars," "The Law Professor Who Masterminded Litigation Against the Tobacco Industry," and an "Entrepreneur of Litigation, [and] a Trial Lawyer's Trial Lawyer." Updated on Nov 23, 2021, 5:22 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 23rd, 2021

Bodycam footage of Tyre Nichols" fatal beating will be released today. But many fear video will do more harm than good.

Videos of police brutality can be traumatizing, especially for the Black community. Balancing transparency and mental health is key, experts say. RowVaughn Wells, mother of Tyre Nichols, and Rodney Wells, Nichols' stepfather, at a news conference in Memphis, January 23. The family has urged peaceful protests.Gerald Herbert/AP Images Body cam footage of Tyre Nichols' death is expected to be released Friday evening. Graphic videos of police brutality can be traumatizing, especially for the Black community. Balancing transparency and accountability with trauma is key, experts say. Memphis is bracing for unrest as the public waits for police to release bodycam footage of Tyre Nichols' death.Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, died three days after he was held at a traffic stop and beaten by Memphis police officers. The police department fired the five officers, who are facing murder charges, and are expected to release video footage of the arrest on Friday evening.But many members of the Black community and police accountability experts fear that video footage can do more harm than good, even if the evidence can provide transparency and accountability in cases of police brutality.RowVaughn Wells, Nichols' mother, has refused to watch the video, and urged parents not to show kids the video when it's released."What I've heard is very horrific, very horrific and any of you who have children please don't let them see it," Wells told the public.Members of the Memphis clergy and activist community have had several meetings with city officials to discuss planning for the release of the video in a way that would minimize any unrest.Balancing transparency and trauma is a difficult but important necessity for advancing justice, according to police accountability experts and lawyers.Video footage can be retraumatizingMembers of the Black community have similarly said they won't be watching the video of Nichols' death, and are urging the public not to share the video. Bodycam footage of police brutality cases are often graphic and can be traumatizing for viewers, especially Black people.—Charity Sadé (@BlckFemmesMattr) January 27, 2023 "It is traumatizing to see, especially for Black people. If it takes watching Black people get tortured & not the fact that we have been screaming forever about the violence from police then they need to figure that sh-t out, but not at the expense of Black people," one Twitter user wrote.Others have shared steps on limiting exposure to graphic video footage.Family and officials who watched the video described it as "heinous" and "inhumane.""It was an unadulterated, unabashed, non-stop beating of this young boy for three minutes," Antonio Romanucci, the Nichols family's attorney, said, likening Nichols to "a human pinata."Citizens in Memphis await the release of video footage of Tyre Nichols' death.Gerald Herbert/AP PhotoBodycam footage does not always prevent police brutalityBody-worn cameras are meant to improve officer safety, increase evidence quality, and protect the public.Research on the effectiveness of bodycams have yielded mixed results: One 2021 report by the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Council on Criminal Justice's Task Force on Policing found that complaints against police dropped 17% and the use of police force fell by nearly 10%, while other studies found no statistically significant differences in either use of force or civilian complaints.In the courtroom, video footage can provide "immeasurably important" evidence in police brutality cases, according to Christopher E. Brown, principal attorney at The Brown Firm, a law firm that litigates cases involving police excessive force.One of the most powerful examples of the significance of video played out in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd. Bodycam footage from the police officers involved in Floyd's arrest revealed his death from various angles, and both prosecutors and defense attorneys used the video extensively throughout the case."If there weren't video, you're dealing with the blue line: the officers protecting one another. From their perspective, it's admirable. From our perspective, it's atrocious. The bodycam footage penetrates that line," Brown told Insider.Balancing transparency and accountability with traumaReleasing video footage of police brutality is a way to ensure transparency and accountability for law enforcement, which has an obligation to the public, according to experts."One of the most important things about state violence is that it often happens in public spaces," Lauren Bonds, executive director of the National Police Accountability Project, said. "So it really does go beyond the individual interaction between the police officers in question and the person injured. It's a public issue that all of us should be invested in and care about, and that could impact all of us at some point."Bonds, a Black lawyer fighting to end police brutality, said it's "incredibly valid" that viewing graphic footage can be traumatic, and said she doesn't watch these videos unless her work requires it. Having footage available to the public, however, can provide power to pressure law enforcement to hold officers accountable, Bonds said."It is the responsibility of the people who put these videos out there to give viewers advanced notice and the option to opt out," Bonds told Insider.Regardless of whether members of the public decide to watch the footage, which family attorney Ben Crump said will "evoke strong emotions," the Nichols family remains steadfast in their calls for peaceful protest."This is a special case. We had a special son," Nichols' stepfather Rodney Wells said, adding later, "Please, please protest, but protest safely."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt4 hr. 14 min. ago

RowVaughn Wells begs parents not to show kids video of her son Tyre Nichols being beaten by Memphis police

Attorney Ben Crump says the video shows Tyre Nichols calling out for his mother, RowVaughn Wells: "I mean he's screaming for her." RowVaughn Wells, mother of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers, calls out his name during a press conference.AP Photo/Gerald Herbert Tyre Nichols' mom pleaded with parents not to let kids see body-cam footage of her son's beating.  Nichols died in the hospital after an incident with five officers, who are now charged with murder. His mom said Friday that she hasn't seen the video but heard it's "very horrific, very horrific."  The mother of Tyre Nichols pleaded on Friday for parents not to let their children watch the "horrific" police body- camera footage showing the fatal beating of her son in Memphis, Tennessee.RowVaughn Wells said she has not viewed the video — which will be released to the public later Friday by Memphis officials — "But what I've heard is very horrific, very horrific and any of you who have children please don't let them see it.""No mother, no mother, no mother should go through what I am going through right now to lose their child to the violent way that I lost my child," Wells told a crowd gathered at the city's Mt. Olive Cathedral Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.Prosecutors say 29-year-old Nichols, who was Black, was severely beaten by five now-fired Memphis Police Department officers during a traffic stop on January 7. Nichols, a father, was hospitalized in critical condition and died three days later.Attorneys for the Nichols family who have seen the body camera video said it shows five Black officers beating Nichols like a "human pinata" for three straight minutes. A portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.Adrian Sainz/AP PhotoMemphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis has called the incident "heinous, reckless and inhumane," while Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said he was "sickened" by the "appalling" footage. Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who is representing the family, said Friday as he spoke alongside Wells that the footage shows Nichols "calling out" for his mother three times. "His last words on this Earth — 'Mom! Mom! Mom!' I mean he's screaming for her," Crump said. Wells added, "For a mother to know that a child was calling for them in their need, do you know how I feel right now because I wasn't there for my son?"Former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, and Desmond Mills Jr. were indicted on Thursday on murder and other charges in connection to Nichols' death. Jail records show that all five officers have posted their bonds and were released as of Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Nichols' family urged the public for "peaceful" protests ahead of the release of the body camera footage.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt5 hr. 30 min. ago