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Cenk Uygur Claims Joe Rogan "Hates" Transgenders Because He Had Sex With Them

Cenk Uygur Claims Joe Rogan "Hates" Transgenders Because He Had Sex With Them.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 13th, 2022

Pre-Markets Up to Close Another Rough Week

We're looking at the eighth-straight down week for the Dow, seven for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Friday, May 20, 2022Pre-market futures are up at this hour, but the damage for the week has already been done. Barring a superlative blowout to the upside — like if China suddenly got its supply back online or the war in Ukraine somehow ends — we’re looking at the eighth-straight down week for the Dow, seven for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The Dow is currently +220 points, the S&P +35 and the Nasdaq +150 points.Just this week, both the Dow and the S&P have dropped -3%, and that’s the relative good news; the Nasdaq is down -3.5%. This adds to the market misery that so far has defined the year 2022: the Dow is -14% year to date, the S&P -18% and the Nasdaq -27%. In other words, the indices have all seen better days.And tempting as it would be to call a bottom here, these markets have been surprising to the downside too often to make a claim so seemingly foolhardy. What we do know — from economic data out recently — is that we’re starting to see inventories beginning to build, which should alleviate supply strain to a certain extent, which could lead to lower price points, which would counter inflation metrics.We also know the Fed is planning to raise interest rates by 50 basis points at both its June and July meetings, bringing the Fed funds rate to 1.75-2.00% by Labor Day, as well as begin the draw-down of $9 trillion on the Fed’s balance sheet by $30 billion per month through the summer, then $60 billion from that point on. This means the era of cheap money is most certainly over, and market participants have been pricing in this fact (quite painfully) of late.The end of Q1 earnings season is just about here, though next week will still bring us some key items on the economic front: New Home Sales, Durable Goods, a revision to Q1 GDP, jobless claims, PCE inflation and minutes to the most recent Fed meeting from the first week of May. If what the market hates more than anything is uncertainty, the cure is at hand: we gather more and more certainty as the days and weeks roll along.Questions or comments about this article and/or its author? Click here>> Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Invesco QQQ (QQQ): ETF Research Reports SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY): ETF Research Reports SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 20th, 2022

Wall Street Likely to Close Another Week in the Red

Wall Street Likely to Close Another Week in the Red Pre-market futures are up at this hour, but the damage for the week has already been done. Barring a superlative blowout to the upside — like if China suddenly got its supply back online or the war in Ukraine somehow ends — we’re looking at the eighth-straight down week for the Dow, seven for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The Dow is currently +220 points, the S&P +35 and the Nasdaq +150 points.Just this week, both the Dow and the S&P have dropped -3%, and that’s the relative good news; the Nasdaq is down -3.5%. This adds to the market misery that so far has defined the year 2022: the Dow is -14% year to date, the S&P -18% and the Nasdaq -27%. In other words, the indices have all seen better days.And tempting as it would be to call a bottom here, these markets have been surprising to the downside too often to make a claim so seemingly foolhardy. What we do know — from economic data out recently — is that we’re starting to see inventories beginning to build, which should alleviate supply strain to a certain extent, which could lead to lower price points, which would counter inflation metrics.We also know the Fed is planning to raise interest rates by 50 basis points at both its June and July meetings, bringing the Fed funds rate to 1.75-2.00% by Labor Day, as well as begin the draw-down of $9 trillion on the Fed’s balance sheet by $30 billion per month through the summer, then $60 billion from that point on. This means the era of cheap money is most certainly over, and market participants have been pricing in this fact (quite painfully) of late.The end of Q1 earnings season is just about here, though next week will still bring us some key items on the economic front: New Home Sales, Durable Goods, a revision to Q1 GDP, jobless claims, PCE inflation and minutes to the most recent Fed meeting from the first week of May. If what the market hates more than anything is uncertainty, the cure is at hand: we gather more and more certainty as the days and weeks roll along. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 20th, 2022

48 affordable Mother"s Day gifts under $50 that still feel really thoughtful

For Mother's Day, here are 48 of the best gifts for your mom under $50 that prove you don't have to spend a fortune to be thoughtful. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.For Mother's Day, here are 49 of the best gifts for your mom under $50 that prove you don't have to spend a fortune to be thoughtful.Baublebar; LoftieWhether it's a birthday, Mother's Day, or simply an occasion that requires an impromptu gift, there's always time to get mom something nice. While nothing shows your appreciation for your mom like year-round love and support, a gift that she'll love is always a thoughtful and appreciated gesture. You don't have to spend a fortune, either. Thankfully, many moms prefer something that simply shows love (or just that you listened to their complaints about their dying phone battery) over a high-price item.There are plenty of wonderful gift ideas for moms under $50 to be found — and 48 of them are listed for you below. (You can also find more gift ideas for moms here.)Here are 48 of the best gifts for mother's day under $50:Best for: The mom who needs a breakLushGift the Mom Gift Set, available at Lush, $32.95Lush is famous for its bath bombs, which come in a wide variety of scents and colorful shapes. This mother's day-themed box includes four bath bombs, with soothing hints of citrus, jasmine,  ylang-ylang, and bergamot.Best for: The mom who wants to grow their own flowersUncommon GoodsBirth Month Flower Grow Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $35When same-day floral delivery can get expensive, you can get a less expensive gift that has longer-lasting value: a kit to grow their own birth month flower. Complete with a small glass container, soil, and easy instructions, this gift is a more personal take on a mother's day classic.Best for: The mom who glues together every puzzle they finishLoftieFlowers with Powers Puzzle, available at Loftie, $25If some of your fondest memories with your mom include struggling over 500-piece jigsaw puzzles over Christmas, this bright, modern print will make your mom want to hang it up immediately upon completion. As a bonus, it comes in a sleek, small cylinder instead of the usual clunky box.Best for: The animal-loving momUncommon GoodsMother's Love Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, $40This earth-toned mug features a print of a mother animal leading her young — a cute image that's sure to make this your mom's new favorite coffee cup. You can choose between elephants, deer, bears, or ducks — whichever your mom watches the most Facebook videos of.Best for: The literary mom on the goAmazonAudible Subscription, available at Amazon, prices varyIf your mom has ever complained about never having enough time to read — or is just in a podcast lull — an Audible subscription is a great way to catch up on the latest audiobooks whether they're going for a run or need something to listen to on their commute.Best for: The eco-friendly momOut of the WoodsWashable Paper Backpack, available at Out of the Woods, $32If your mom cares about the environment (but also wants something more substantial than a tote for those daily errands), this sustainable vegan backpack is made of Out of the Woods' Supernatural Paper and polycotton and can easily be rewashed. Best for: The mom who still loves a charm braceletBaublebarCustom Multi Pisa Bracelet, available at Baublebar, $40You can customize this bright beaded bracelet to say whatever you want — your mom's name, a special date, a sweet message. It's subtle enough to feel mature, but still serves as a colorful, fun piece for everyday wear.Best for: The spa-enthusiast momUncommon GoodsGift the Little Pampering Gift Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $44Help mom unwind and have a pampered day from home with this gift set, which includes a lavender boil oil, soap, shower steamer, lip balm, and a scented candle.Best for: The mom whose makeup bag won't zipDagne DoverGift the Dagne Dover Small Hunter Toiletry Bag, available at Dagne Dover, $40Self-care should make us feel good, from beginning to end. A nice toiletry bag with ample smart organization is one way to make sure that everything stays clutter-free.This bag is made out of really cool neoprene material and comes in a variety of pretty colors, from a bright poppy red to more muted tones like the mossy green seen above. Dagne Dover is also best-known for its thoughtful, next-level organization.Best for: The mom with three trips coming upLeatherologyGift a Leatherology Standard Passport Cover, available at Leatherology, $50Grab mom a beautiful leather passport cover that will age well and make traveling abroad easier. This one comes in 17 different colors, too. Leatherology is one of our go-to gifting shops, since the leather is high-quality, surprisingly affordable, and comes in beautiful gift-ready boxes. For a personal touch, monogram it for $10.Best for: The mom who hates running out with wet hairNordstromGift the Aquis Chevron Weave Hair Turban, available at Dermstore, $30These Aquis hair towels have become extremely popular in the last few years. They're designed with AQUITEX technology that uses ultra-fine fibers that are split into strands thinner than silk, so this towel won't grab at hair cuticles like regular bath towels that break and damage wet hair (which is when it's most vulnerable). It also claims to reduce drying time by up to 50%, which sounds hyperbolic until you've tried it yourself. Best for: The mom who hates looking up the weatherAmazonGift the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation), available at Amazon, $29.99Gift the Google Home Mini, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $49There's an ever-so-slight learning curve in figuring out what Amazon's Alexa can and can't do, but once that's passed, the Echo products can forecast the weather, read an audiobook, play music, order a pizza, tell Dad jokes, or any number of things Mom should find both helpful and fun. Be aware this isn't the newest model, but it still works great and comes at a lower price point. The Dot is also kind of the entry-level Echo product, so if your family is already ingrained in the Google ecosystem for tech, you might want to grab the Google Home Mini instead for the same price. Best for: The minimalist momMejuriGift a pair of Mejuri Sterling Silver Dôme Huggies, available at Mejuri, $48There's something satisfying about being able to afford to give your mom something delicate, luxurious, and special. Too often our moms put us first and themselves last, and something that isn't strictly "necessary" is a good way to make sure they feel pampered from time to time.Mejuri is an Insider Reviews favorite, and the Canadian company will likely be a new one of hers as well. Best for: The mom who always shares all their subscription passwords with youRokuGift the Roku Express HD Streaming Media Player, available at Roku, $29.99Roku's media streamers are the best in the business, and the Express is a good entry-level system that comes at an affordable price. Your giftee can stream TV shows and movies from all their favorite streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and many more. If you're able to spend a bit more, the Roku Ultra is our top pick overall.Best for: The mom who's been eyeing the Dyson AirWrapAmazonRevlon One-Step Hair Dryer, available at Amazon, $34.88This all-in-one brush and hairdryer is one of our favorite products and makes it a breeze for mom to style her hair and easily create volume and soft curls.Best for: The mom who genuinely enjoys their skincare routineNecessaireGift the Nécessaire Body Lotion, available at Nécessaire, $25If body lotion doesn't sound that exciting to her, Nécessaire's version will probably change her mind. The formula is simple — clean ingredients, full of nourishing vitamins, and quick-absorbing. It's so good, we've fought over it. Best for: The mom who still prefers handwritten notesAmazonGift the Rocketbook Reusable Smart Notebook, available at Amazon, $24.98Handwritten notes can help keep her organized and manage a seemingly endless to-do list. It's a $25 notebook, but surprisingly handy. It sends notes to the cloud so she can access them from her devices later.Best for: The sentimental momEtsyGift the Handwritten Recipe Tea Towel, available at Etsy, from $24Take a favorite family recipe and turn it into the ultimate personalized gift courtesy of Etsy. You can upload a photo of a recipe card with your order so the recipe is printed in the original handwriting of a loved one.Best for: The outdoorsy momREIGift an REI Co-op Membership, available at REI for $30An REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here. You can pair this gift with a guided travel journal ($19.95).Best for: The mom who find flowers a little fussyUrban StemsGift the Cora Plant, available at Urbanstems, $30Urban Stems makes sending fresh flowers and plants to mom a breeze if you won't be seeing her in person this year. This cute succulent is in the shape of a heart for an extra touch of love.Best for: The mom who frames everythingFramebridgeGift a Framebridge custom-framed art or photo gift, available at Framebridge, from $45Why not make an impactful gift by framing a family memory or a great picture of the two of you? Sites like Framebridge make it easier by letting you customize each step of the process online instead of grabbing a frame from the store and having to figure out how to correctly size and print something yourself. Framebridge will guide you through the process and let you know if the resolution is high enough to look good on mom's mantle. Best for: The coffee connoisseurDriftaway Coffee InstagramGift a Driftaway Coffee Set, available at Driftaway, from $54If mom likes coffee, Driftaway is a great option. The Brooklyn-based startup helps people figure out which flavor profiles of coffee they really love and then uses that information to customize shipments of fresh coffee to them.Best for: The mom who's picky about beddingShhh SilkGift the Shhh Silk Pillowcase, available at Shhh Silk, from $85Silk pillowcases reduce frizz and damage to hair and make it look shiny and healthy. They also reduce the likelihood of forming new wrinkles and they won't absorb skincare products as easily as cotton pillowcases. This particular silk pillowcase from Shhh Silk is one of the internet's hidden gems — it's rated the best silk pillowcase you can buy in the Insider Reviews buying guide. Best for: The mom who lives for a good quoteMintedGift a personalized quote print, available at Minted, from $38Spotlight a quote from their favorite film, book, or song — or even just your favorite mom quote. There are many font colors, sizes, and frames to choose from.Best for: The yoga momMandukaGift a Manduka Eko Superlite Travel Yoga Mat, available at Manduka, $45Manduka is known for making some of the best yoga products, and this five-star-rated mat is no exception. If your mom loves fitting a yoga class into a busy schedule, this mat will be greatly appreciated. Not only does it have a great grip and come in plenty of fun colors, but it's super light and easy to tote to and from class.Best for: The mom who only wears natural beauty productsRMS BeautyGift the RMS Beauty Lipstick, available at Anthropologie, $28One barrier to smarter, healthier makeup is figuring out which of those natural brands out there actually do the job. One great and thoughtful gift for mom could be an introduction to a brand that actually works.RMS Beauty is a fan-favorite for its lipsticks on its own merit, with the clean ingredients as a huge plus. Best for: The smoothie-obsessed momDaily HarvestGift a Daily Harvest Gift Card, available at Daily Harvest, from $50Perfect for a mom who loves eating healthy, Daily Harvest is a subscription service that sends healthy, pre-portioned superfood-packed smoothies, overnight oats, soups, and more to your home either weekly or monthly.The food combinations are developed by a nutritionist and chef, and the company is backed by big names like Gwyneth Paltrow and Serena Williams. We tried the service's smoothies and really enjoyed them.Best for: The mom who's perfectly happy with flowersThe BouqsGift a bouquet from The Bouqs, available at The Bouqs, from $39If you want to get her something longer lasting, you can pick up a vase ($10-$249), too. Best for: The mom bored with their current snack rotationBokksuGift the Bokksu Classic Gift Box, available at Bokksu, from $39.95 per monthIf they love to travel and experience new cultures through food, they'll love receiving a Bokksu Box. The classic gift box is filled with a selection of 20-25 unique and delicious Japanese snacks, sourced directly from artisan makers in Japan.Best for: The mom who's sensitive to 6 a.m. sunlightNordstromGift the Slip Pure Silk Sleep Mask, available at Nordstrom, $42.50Give Mom a little bit of luxury with this silk sleep mask. Not only will it block out light and feel great, but it's made with Slip's proprietary Slipsilk which won't tug or leave skin creases.Best for: The mom who's always running on 5% batteryAmazonGift the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad for iPhone, available at Amazon, $37.17Gift the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad for Android, available at Amazon, $54.99We tested the Belkin BoostUp charger with several iPhones and Android phones, and it worked perfectly — which is why we ranked it the best wireless charging stand you can buy. It looks great, has excellent traction so your phone won't slide off while charging, and it juices up any phone quickly.Wireless charging is traditionally slower than wired charging, but the Boost Up pad with 15 watts of power should charge your devices faster — so long as they support fast wireless charging.Best for: The mom who ran out of photo album spaceArtifact UprisingGift a Custom Softcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising, from $17These beautifully designed photo books look just like a personal magazine, curated by you for your mom — and full of 30 pages of your best and most cherished memories. Best for: The mom with perpetually cold feetBombasGift the Bombas Gripper Slippers, available at Bombas, $40Easy to slip on and wear around the house, these super soft slipper socks feature a brushed lining and silicone grippers to prevent any sliding. Plus, Bombas donates a pair of socks for every pair bought, so you can feel good about giving mom this gift and giving back at the same time.Best for: The makeup-loving momBirchboxGift a Birchbox 3-Month Subscription, available at Birchbox, $45In general, subscriptions are some of the best gifts that you can give. A monthly treat can be a really nice thing to look forward to, especially when each delivery reminds you of your family. Every time an installment is delivered, your mom is reminded of how much you care.Birchbox is a particularly good one. It combines monthly deliveries of small personalized beauty and skincare samples with an easy-to-use e-commerce shop. Birchbox sends an assortment of highly-rated or brand-new items for your mom to test every month instead of having to buy full-sized versions at Sephora on a whim.You can gift a subscription gift card for 3 months for $45, 6 months for $84, or a full 12 months for $156.Best for: The mom with a sweet toothHarry & DavidGift Harry & David Artisan Macarons, available at Harry & David, $49.99This delivery sure to satisfy mom's sugar cravings comes with 12 macaron cookies, handcrafted from scratch. Flavors range from Espresso Coffee to Raspberry for a nice variety and express two-day shipping is included with this gift to ensure it gets there on time.Best for: The mom who finishes books faster than anyone you knowBook of the Month; Alyssa Powell/InsiderGift a Book of the Month Membership, available at Book of the Month, three months for $49.99If your mom loves to read and isn't ready to go 100% digital, we can't recommend a Book of the Month membership highly enough. Each month lets them pick one book from a curated selection of the best new hardcover titles spanning a broad range of genres. The mix of both fiction and nonfiction titles is sure to impress even the pickiest bibliophiles. Best for: The mom who makes their own cold brewBlue Bottle CoffeeGift the Blue Bottle Hario Cold Brew Bottle, available at Blue Bottle, $37Does mom love cold brew? Grab this elegant glass cold brew bottle from the popular coffee startup Blue Bottle. It's slim enough to fit in the fridge without displacing anything else, and it looks much nicer than the plastic versions you'll find at a similar price point on Amazon. Best for: The mom who truly will never have enough candlesBrooklinenGift a Wake Scented Candle, available at Brooklinen, from $35Bring the fresh scents of a salty sea tide, kelp, and driftwood into mom's house with this chic, hand-poured candle from the ever-popular home startup, Brooklinen. Best for: The mom who can't deal with makeup stainsWeezieGift the Weezie Makeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40We've personally discovered Weezie's makeup towels are unexpectedly useful, and so will your giftee. These small, dark towels won't reveal unsightly makeup stains and they come in three cute embroidered styles.Best for: The mom running out of kitchen spaceVictoriaGift a Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, available at Target, $29.99The Victoria Cast Iron 12-Inch Skillet Fry Pan is the perfect skillet for cooking just about anything. It's well-designed, extremely affordable, and durable like you'd hope a cast iron pan would be.It has a long primary handle and a shorter secondary handle for steadying the pan as you carry or move it, and it has good depth and a wide surface perfect for searing steaks. The large pour spouts on either side make it easy to rid the pan of grease without any mess. It's also one of our top picks for a low-cost cast iron skillet. Best for: The philanthropist momLottoLove/FacebookGive a card from LottoLove, available at LottoLove, from $5When you scratch off a card from LottoLove, you won't win any money. Instead, you "win" a charitable prize that's donated to someone in need. There are four possible prizes, which help provide clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, or literacy tools. Each card costs just $4.95, but gives back in invaluable ways. To date, LottoLove and its charitable partners have impacted lives in over 60 countries.Best for: The mom who always hosts game nightAmazonGift the Watch Ya' Mouth Family Edition, available on Amazon, $15.99If you grab a couple of family-friendly board games and head to your parents' place for a night in with them and your siblings, that might be the most memorable gift you could give. Bring along some flowers, chocolate, wine, or one of the smaller gifts on this list as a token offering as well. Best for: The movie buffAmazonGift the West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper, available at The Home Depot, $45.04Bring over a comfy throw blanket and turn on Netflix for a quality movie night with your lifelong best friend. It's no joke that quality time goes a long way for a gift, especially when it's for your mom.Best for: The mom who refuses to wear mom jeansStitch FixGift a Stitch Fix gift card, available at Stitch Fix, from $20Shopping isn't everyone's favorite activity — or, if it is, not all of us have the time for a trip to the mall. That's where the stylists at Stitch Fix come in. A great gift for busy moms, the service delivers the newest trends and styles to fit any occasion and price point. Best for: The mom who never tires of cerealMagic SpoonGift all four Magic Spoon flavors, available at Magic Spoon, $39Gift a Magic Spoon subscription, available at Magic Spoon, $29.25 per monthMagic Spoon is a new "childlike cereal for adults" that's high in protein and low in sugar — and all four flavors are delicious. If you want to treat your mom without incurring any dentist-related concerns, Magic Spoon may be a fun way to introduce her to a new brand. Best for: The mom who's sick of oversized thermosesHydro FlaskGift the Hydro Flask Mug, available at Amazon, from $19.95This mug is a common desk companion for the Insider Picks team. The 12-ounce coffee mug has the company's proprietary TempShield insulation that made its water bottles famous among outdoorsmen and the average person alike. This mug will keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours, and cold drinks cold for up to 24. Read a full review of it here.Best for: The foodie momCrate & BarrelGift the Himalayan Salt Block, available at Crate & Barrel, $34.95If your mom likes to cook (or just eat good food someone else made), a Himalayan salt block may be a thoughtful gift. People love how they give meals enhanced flavor that can't be mimicked by a frying pan. Plus, the minerals in salt are supposed to give a more nuanced flavor than table salt, and the amount of saltiness will be regulated by the type of food (moist food absorbs more, fatty foods repel it).Himalayan salt has a very stable crystal structure, which allows it to hold a temperature very well. Mom can chill it to serve as a platter for sushi or heat it over the grill or stovetop to cook veggies. Best for: The mom with 47 types of tea at homeAmazonGift the Fred & Friends Brew Bunny Tea Infuser, available at Amazon, $11.39Let mom take a cue from this reclining bunny and spend some time relaxing, sipping their favorite kind of loose tea (which you could pick up as an accompanying gift). Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 18th, 2022

Greenwald: Biden Administration "Eager To See Assange Punished" Over 2016 Election

Greenwald: Biden Administration 'Eager To See Assange Punished' Over 2016 Election Authored by Glenn Greenwald via greenwald.substack.com, In a London courtroom on Friday morning, Julian Assange suffered a devastating blow to his quest for freedom. A two-judge appellate panel of the United Kingdom's High Court ruled that the U.S.'s request to extradite Assange to the U.S. to stand trial on espionage charges is legally valid. As a result, that extradition request will now be sent to British Home Secretary Prita Patel, who technically must approve all extradition requests but, given the U.K. Government's long-time subservience to the U.S. security state, is all but certain to rubber-stamp it. Assange's representatives, including his fiancee Stella Morris, have vowed to appeal the ruling, but today's victory for the U.S. means that Assange's freedom, if it ever comes, is further away than ever: not months but years even under the best of circumstances. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media outside the High Court in London on December 5, 2011 where he attended a ruling in his long-running fight against extradition to Sweden (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images) In endorsing the U.S. extradition request, the High Court overturned a lower court's ruling from January which had concluded that the conditions of U.S. prison — particularly for those accused of national security crimes — are so harsh and oppressive that there is a high likelihood that Assange would commit suicide. In January's ruling, Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected all of Assange's arguments that the U.S. was seeking to punish him not for crimes but for political offenses. But in rejecting the extradition request, she cited the numerous attestations from Assange's doctors that his physical and mental health had deteriorated greatly after seven years of confinement in the small Ecuadorian Embassy where he had obtained asylum, followed by his indefinite incarceration in the U.K. In response to that January victory for Assange, the Biden DOJ appealed the ruling and convinced Judge Baraitser to deny Assange bail and ordered him imprisoned pending appeal. The U.S. then offered multiple assurances that Assange would be treated "humanely" in U.S. prison once he was extradited and convicted. They guaranteed that he would not be held in the most repressive "supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado — whose conditions are so repressive that it has been condemned and declared illegal by numerous human rights groups around the world — nor, vowed U.S. prosecutors, would he be subjected to the most extreme regimen of restrictions and isolation called Special Administrative Measures ("SAMs”) unless subsequent behavior by Assange justified it. American prosecutors also agreed that they would consent to any request from Assange that, once convicted, he could serve his prison term in his home country of Australia rather than the U.S. Those guarantees, ruled the High Court this morning, rendered the U.S. extradition request legal under British law. What makes the High Court's faith in these guarantees from the U.S. Government particularly striking is that it comes less than two months after Yahoo News reported that the CIA and other U.S. security state agencies hate Assange so much that they plotted to kidnap or even assassinate him during the time he had asylum protection from Ecuador. Despite all that, Lord Justice Timothy Holroyde announced today that “the court is satisfied that these assurances” will serve to protect Assange's physical and mental health. The effective detention by the U.S. and British governments of Assange is just months shy of a full decade. Ecuador granted Assange asylum in August 2012 on the ground that his human rights were imperiled by U.S. attempts to imprison him for his journalism. For the next seven years, Assange remained in that embassy — which is really a tiny apartment in central London — with no outdoor space other than a tiny balcony, which he typically feared using due to the possibility of assassination. Ecuador withdrew its asylum in 2019 after its sovereignty-protective president Rafael Correa was succeeded in office by the meek and submissive Lenin Moreno. Trump officials led by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador Richard Grenell persuaded and coerced the new Ecuadorian president to withdraw Assange's asylum protection, clearing the way for London police to enter the building and arrest him on April 11, 2019. Ever since, Assange has been imprisoned in the high-security Belmarsh prison, described in the BBC in 2004 as “Britain's Guantanamo Bay.” He has thus spent close to seven years inside the embassy and two years and eight months inside Belmarsh: just five months shy of a decade with no freedom. The British government justified Assange's 2019 arrest by pointing to pending charges of “bail-jumping": meaning that he sought and obtained legal asylum from Ecuador in 2012 rather than attend a scheduled hearing in a British court over whether he should be extradited to Sweden to be questioned about claims of sexual assault made by two Swedish women. Swedish prosecutors closed that investigation in 2017, citing the time that had elapsed. But once he was arrested, Assange was sentenced by a British judge on the bail-jumping charges to 50 months in prison, close to the maximum punishment allowed by law (one year). With the Swedish case closed, Assange was set to finally be free after he served that 50-month jail term. Knowing Assange's release was finally imminent, the U.S. Government quickly acted to ensure he remained in prison indefinitely. In May 2019, it unveiled an 18-count felony indictment against him for espionage charges, based on the role he played in WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs and diplomatic cables, which revealed multiple war crimes by the U.S. and U.K. as well as rampant corruption by numerous U.S. allies throughout the world. Even though major newspapers around the world published the same documents in partnership with WikiLeaks — including The New York Times, The Guardian, El Pais and others — the DOJ claimed that Assange went further than those newspapers by encouraging WikiLeaks’ source, Chelsea Manning, to obtain more documents and by trying to help her evade detection: something all journalists have not only the right but the duty to their sources to do. Because the acts of Assange that serve as the basis of the U.S. indictment are acts in which investigative journalists routinely engage with their sources, press freedom and civil liberties groups throughout the West vehemently condemned the Assange indictment as one of the gravest threats to press freedoms in years. In February, following Assange's victory in court, “a coalition of civil liberties and human rights groups urged the Biden administration to drop efforts to extradite” Assange, as The New York Times put it. That coalition — which includes the ACLU, Amnesty International, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the Committee to Protect Journalists — warned that the Biden DOJ's ongoing attempt to extradite and prosecute Assange is “a grave threat to press freedom,” adding that “much of the conduct described in the indictment is conduct that journalists engage in routinely — and that they must engage in in order to do the work the public needs them to do.” Kenneth Roth, Director of Human Rights Watch, told The New York Times that “most of the charges against Assange concern activities that are no different from those used by investigative journalists around the world every day.” Shortly after the indictment was issued, I explained in a Washington Post op-ed why the theory on which the indictment was based “would make journalism a felony” (and indeed, just eight months after I wrote that op-ed warning of the dangers to all journalists, the Brazilian government copied the U.S. indictment of Assange and the theories it embraced in its unsuccessful effort to prosecute me for the reporting I did that exposed corruption by senior Brazilian security officials and prosecutors). “Brazil’s Attack on Greenwald Mirrors the US case against Assange,” was the headline used by the Columbia Journalism Review to condemn the charges against me as a blatant retaliatory act against my reporting. But the Biden administration — led by officials who, during the Trump years, flamboyantly trumpeted the vital importance of press freedoms — ignored those pleas from this coalition of groups and instead aggressively pressed ahead with the prosecution of Assange. The Obama DOJ had spent years trying to concoct charges against Assange using a Grand Jury investigation, but ultimately concluded back in 2013 that prosecuting him would pose too great a threat to press freedom. But the Biden administration appears to have no such qualms, and The New York Times made clear exactly why they are so eager to see Assange in prison: Democrats like the new Biden team are no fan of Mr. Assange, whose publication in 2016 of Democratic emails stolen by Russia aided Donald J. Trump’s narrow victory over Hillary Clinton. In other words, the Biden administration is eager to see Assange punished and silenced for life not out of any national security concerns but instead due to a thirst for vengeance over the role he played in publishing documents during the 2016 election that reflected poorly on Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. Those documents published by WikiLeaks revealed widespread corruption at the DNC, specifically revealing how they cheated in order to help Clinton stave off a surprisingly robust primary challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). WikiLeaks’ reporting led to the resignation of the top five DNC officials, including its then-Chair, Rep. Debbie Wassserman Schultz (D-FL). Democratic luminaries such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Al Gore's 2000 campaign chair Donna Brazile both said, in the wake of WikiLeak's reporting, that the DNC cheated to help Clinton. Press freedom groups expressed indignation this morning over the U.K.'s ruling approving Assange's extradition. Rebecca Vincent, Director of International Campaigns and UK Bureau Director for the international press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, said: “This is an utterly shameful development that has alarming implications not only for Assange’s mental health, but also for journalism and press freedom around the world.” The organizational statement issued this morning from Reporters Without Borders went further: We condemn today’s decision, which will prove historic for all the wrong reasons. We fully believe that Julian Assange has been targeted for his contributions to journalism, and we defend this case because of its dangerous implications for the future of journalism and press freedom around the world. It is time to put a stop to this more than decade-long persecution once and for all. It is time to free Assange. The Freedom of the Press Foundation (on whose Board I sit) issued a statement this morning which described the ruling as “an alarming setback for press freedom in the United States and around the world.” The group's Executive Director, Trevor Timm, said that “these proceedings, and today's ruling, are a black mark on the history of press freedom,” adding: "That United States prosecutors continued to push for this outcome is a betrayal of the journalistic principles the Biden administration has taken credit for celebrating.” It is difficult at this point to avoid the conclusion that Julian Assange is not only imprisoned for the crime of journalism which exposed serious crimes and lies by the west's most powerful security state agencies, but he is also a classic political prisoner. When the Obama DOJ was first pursuing the possibility of prosecution, media outlets and liberal advocacy groups were vocal in their opposition. One thing and only one thing has changed since then: in the interim, Assange published documents that were incriminating of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, and Democrats, as part of their long list of villains who they blamed for Clinton's defeat (essentially everyone in the world except Clinton and the Democratic Party itself), viewed WikiLeaks' reporting as a major factor in Trump's victory. That is why they and their liberal allies in corporate media harbor so much bloodlust to see Assange imprisoned. Julian Assange is a pioneer of modern journalism, a visionary who was the first to see that a major vulnerability of corrupt power centers in the digital age was mass data leaks that could expose their misconduct. Based on that prescient recognition, he created a technological and journalistic system to enable noble sources to safely blow the whistle on corrupt institutions by protecting their anonymity: a system now copied and implemented by major news organizations around the world. Assange, over the last fifteen years, has broken more major stories and done more consequential journalism than all the corporate journalists who hate him combined. He is not being imprisoned despite his pioneering journalism and dissent from the hegemony of the U.S. security state. He is imprisoned precisely because of that. The accumulated hostility toward Assange from employees of media corporations who hate him due to professional jealousy and the belief that he undermined the Democratic Party, and from the U.S. security state apparatus which hates him for exposing its crimes and refusing to bow to its dictates, has created a climate where the Biden administration and their British servants feel perfectly comfortable imprisoning arguably the most consequential journalist of his generation even as they continue to lecture the rest of the world about the importance of press freedoms and democratic values. No matter the outcome of further proceedings in this case, today's ruling means that the U.S. has succeeded in ensuring that Assange remains imprisoned, hidden and silenced into the foreseeable future. If they have not yet permanently broken him, they are undoubtedly close to doing so. His own physicians and family members have warned of this repeatedly. Citizens of the U.S. and subjects of the British Crown are inculcated from birth to believe that we are blessed to live under a benevolent and freedom-protecting government, and that tyranny only resides in enemy states. Today's judicial approval by the U.K. High Court of the U.S.'s attack on core press freedom demonstrates yet again the fundamental lie at the heart of this mythology. * * * To support the independent journalism we are doing here, please subscribe, obtain a gift subscription for others and/or share the article. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/10/2021 - 08:52.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 10th, 2021

The many alleged identities of Bitcoin"s mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto

The identity of Bitcoin's mysterious creator is at the center of a Florida lawsuit that seeks to claim half of Satoshi Nakamoto's $54 billion stake. Blue bitcoinYuichiro Chino The identity of Bitcoin's creator is at the center of a Florida lawsuit over Satoshi Nakamoto's $54 billion stake. Since it was created in 2009, bitcoin has become a top digital currency. Many names have been dropped as Bitcoin potential creators, but none have been proven. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. The mystery behind the creator of Bitcoin and their over $54 billion stake has captured public attention once more, as a court case in Florida seeks to verify the creator's identity — an unlikely effort toward unraveling an enigma that has been over a decade in the making.The family of a deceased man, David Kleiman, is claiming their family member helped create the popular digital currency and is suing Kleiman's alleged business partner in the endeavor, Craig Wright, for half of Satoshi Nakemoto's 1.1 million cache of Bitcoin. For the past five years, Wright has been claiming on and off that he created Bitcoin, but has failed to provide any proof of his ownership.The creator could easily prove their identity by moving even a fraction of the cache of Bitcoin, or using the private key that controls the account.The identity of Bitcoin's creator, known only as "Satoshi Nakamoto," has long been a point of major interest, especially as their personal wealth continues to grow. Since it was created in 2009, Bitcoin has experienced significant highs and lows. In the past year, the currency has risen over 400%.Bitcoin is considered the top cryptocurrency in the world by market value, but there's still plenty of mystery surrounding its creation. Who came up with Bitcoin? Was it created by more than one person? And who is Nakamoto?Here's a rundown on the currency's strange beginnings:In 2008, the first inklings of bitcoin began to circulate the web.HoworthIn August 2008, the domain name bitcoin.org was quietly registered online. Two months later, a paper entitled 'Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System' was passed around a cryptography mailing list.The paper is the first instance of the mysterious figure, Satoshi Nakamoto's appearance on the web, and permanently links the name "Satoshi Nakamoto" to the cryptocurrency.    On January 3, 2009, 30,000 lines of code spelled out the beginning of Bitcoin.A copy of bitcoin standing on PC motherboard is seen in this illustration pictureThomson ReutersBitcoin runs through an autonomous software program that is 'mined' by people seeking bitcoin in a lottery-based system. Over the course of the next 20 years, a total of 21 million coins will be released.To date, about 90% of Bitcoin or about 18.7 million have been mined. Satoshi Nakamoto didn't work entirely alone.Hal FinneyVimeoAmong Bitcoin's earliest enthusiasts was Hal Finney, a console game developer and an early member of the "cypherpunk movement" who discovered Nakamoto's proposal for Bitcoin through the cryptocurrency mailing list. In a blog post from 2013, Finney said he was fascinated by the idea of a decentralized online currency. When Nakamoto announced the software's release, Finney offered to mine the first coins — 10 original bitcoins from block 70, which Satoshi sent over as a test.Of his interactions with Nakamoto, Finney says, "I thought I was dealing with a young man of Japanese ancestry who was very smart and sincere. I've had the good fortune to know many brilliant people over the course of my life, so I recognize the signs."Finney has flatly denied any claims that he was the inventor of Bitcoin and has always maintained his involvement in the currency was only ever secondary. In 2014, Finney died of the neuro-degenerative disease ALS. In one of his final posts on a Bitcoin forum, he said Satoshi Nakamoto's true identity still remained a mystery to him. Finney says he was proud of his legacy involving Bitcoin, and that his cache of bitcoins were stored in an offline wallet, left as part of an inheritance to his family. "Hopefully, they'll be worth something to my heirs," he wrote.As of today, one bitcoin is worth over $54,000.  Nearly a year later, Bitcoin is slowly on its way to becoming a viable currency.Mike LazloIn 2010, a handful of merchants started accepting bitcoin in lieu of established currencies.One of the first tangible items ever purchased with the cryptocurrency was a pizza. Today, the amount of bitcoin used to purchase those pizzas is valued at about $100 million. Other companies have also started to invest in the currency. In February, Tesla purchased over $1 billion in bitcoins and moved to allow customers to pay for electric cars with the digital currency, before back-tracking a few months later.In September, Bitcoin gained the status of legal tender within El Salvador. The country plans to build "Bitcoin City," which would operate as the world's first cryptocurrency-based city.In 2011, the Silk Road, an online marketplace for illegal drugs, launched. It used bitcoin as its chief form of currency.A snapshot of Silk Road's websiteScreenshotBitcoin is inherently trace-less, a quality that made it the ideal currency for facilitating drug trade on the burgeoning internet black market. It was the equivalent of digital cash, a self-governing system of commerce that preserved the anonymity of its owner.With bitcoin, anyone could take to the Silk Road and purchase cannabis seeds, LSD, and cocaine without revealing their identities. And the benefit wasn't entirely one-sided, either: in some ways, the drug trafficking site legitimized Bitcoin as a means of commerce, even if it was only being used to facilitate illicit trade.Two years later, the mysterious figure known as "Satoshi Nakamoto" disappeared from the web.Clark MoodyOn April 23, 2011, Nakamoto sent Bitcoin Core developer Mike Hearn a brief email. "I've moved on to other things," he said, referring to the Bitcoin project. The future of Bitcoin, he wrote, was "in good hands."In his wake, Nakamoto left behind a vast collection of writings, a premise on the workings of Bitcoin, and the most influential cryptocurrency ever created.  Who is this Japanese-American guy named Satoshi Nakamoto?Dorian S. Nakamoto, a man who had zero involvement in the creation of Bitcoin.REUTERS/David McNewGoogle "Satoshi Nakamoto" and the results will lead you straight to image after image of an elderly Asian man. This is Dorian S. Nakamoto, named "Satoshi Nakamoto" at birth. He is almost 70 years old, lives in Los Angeles with his mother, and, as he has reminded people hundreds of times, is not the creator of Bitcoin. In 2014, Newsweek reporter Leah Goodman published a feature story pinning the identity of Bitcoin's creator on Nakamoto due to his high profile work in engineering and pointedly private personal life. Following the story's immediate release, Nakamoto was dogged by reporters, who trailed him as he drove to a sushi restaurant. Nakamoto told a journalist from the Associated Press that he had only heard of Bitcoin weeks earlier, when Goodman had contacted him about the Newsweek story.Two weeks later, he issued a statement to Newsweek, stating he "did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin." Dorian Nakamoto's claim was corroborated by the actual Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto a day later, with Satoshi's username mysteriously surfacing in an online forum to post: "I am not Dorian Nakamoto."  The Craig Wright controversyAustralian entrepreneur Craig WrightScreenshot Via BBCIn 2016, Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright claimed to be the creator of Bitcoin and provided disputed code as proof. Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen further corroborated Wright's gesture, saying he was "98 percent certain" that Wright was the pseudonymous Nakamoto.But others were quick to disagree, and Wright's claim drew fierce skepticism from the cryptocurrency community online as well as alleged interest from the FBI. Amid the sudden influx of scrutiny, Wright deleted his post and issued a cryptic apology. "I'm sorry," he wrote, "I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage."Five years later, Wright continues to claim that he created the digital currency, but has yet to provide any publicly accepted proof.In November, the family of a deceased man, David Kleiman, sued Wright for half of Nakamoto's cache of 1.1 million Bitcoins. The family claims the two men created the cryptocurrency together. The Florida court case is currently in the process of being reviewed by a jury.  Nick Szabo has been repeatedly identified as the creator of Bitcoin, a claim he denies.The mysterious Nick SzaboBusiness Insider/Rob PriceIn the course of determining the identity of Nakamoto, there's one person who has been thumbed again and again: hyper-secretive cryptocurrency expert Nick Szabo, who was not only fundamental to the development of Bitcoin, but also created his own cryptocurrency called "bit gold" in the late '90s. In 2014, a team of linguistic researchers studied Nakamoto's writings alongside those of thirteen potential bitcoin creators. The results, they said, were indisputable. "The number of linguistic similarities between Szabo's writing and the Bitcoin whitepaper is uncanny," the researchers reported, "none of the other possible authors were anywhere near as good of a match."A story in the New York Times pegged Szabo as Bitcoin's creator, as well. Szabo, a staunch libertarian who has spoken publicly about the history of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, has been involved in cryptocurrency since its earliest beginnings.Szabo firmly denied these claims, both in The New York times story and in a tweet: "Not Satoshi, but thank you."  Here's how the real "Satoshi Nakamoto" could prove his identity:Flickr/Rachel JohnsonHe could use his PGP keyA PGP key is a unique encryption program associated with a given user's name — similar to an online signature. Nakamoto could attach his to a post or a message indicating his identity. He could move his bitcoinNakamoto has amassed a fortune in bitcoin: He's thought to possess over one million coins, which today would be valued in excess of a billion dollars. Theoretically, Nakamoto could move those coins to a different address.    Dorian Nakamoto, Nick Szabo, and Craig Wright aren't the only ones who have been pinned as the inventor of Bitcoin.REUTERS/Stephen LamThere's a laundry list of people who have been pegged with this claim, but so far, they've all been struck down. Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has been accused of being Bitcoin's creator — a theory he adamantly denied in 2018. The Wikipedia entry on Satoshi Nakamoto names at least 13 potential candidates as being responsible for the creation of Bitcoin. It's been over a decade since Bitcoin's creation, and we're still not any closer to confirming who invented it.  Why would the inventor of the world's most important cryptocurrency choose to remain anonymous?Bernard von NotHaus, the creator of the Liberty DollarYouTubeAs it turns out, experimenting in new forms of currency is not without its consequences. In 1998, Hawaiian resident Bernard von NotHaus dabbled in a fledgling form of currency called "Liberty Dollars" to disastrous results: He was charged with violating federal law and sentenced to six months of house arrest, along with a three-year probation. In 2007, one of the first digital currencies, E-Gold, was shut down amid contentious circumstances by the government on grounds of money laundering. In January, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suggested steps that could be taken to "curtail" Bitcoin.If the inventor of Bitcoin wants to remain anonymous, it's for good reason: by maintaining anonymity, they've avoided adverse legal consequences, making their anonymity at least partially responsible for the currency's success.  Besides, one of the founding principles of Bitcoin is that it's a decentralized currency, untethered to conspicuous institutions or individuals. In his original proposition on Bitcoin, Nakamoto wrote, "What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party."According to a public filing from top US digital currency trading platform, Coinbase, if Nakamoto chose to come forward it could cause bitcoin's value to plummet.Why would someone go to all the trouble of creating a decentralized currency without sticking around to receive any of the credit?Bill Hinton/Getty ImagesMuch of the mystery surrounding Nakamoto involves his motivations. Why would someone go to the trouble of creating a detailed and brilliant decentralized currency, only to later completely disappear from the public view? A closer look at one of Nakamoto's original postings on the proposal of Bitcoin sheds some light on his possible motivations.In February 2009, Nakamoto wrote, "The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts."In Bitcoin forums, it's been speculated that Nakamoto might be "a libertarian and hates the corrupt rich people and politicians." Other Bitcoin enthusiasts suggest the timing of Bitcoin's emergence is a clear indication of its raison d'être: The currency, which was created in the years following the housing bubble burst in 2007, might have been invented as a means of disrupting the corrupted banking system. Here's what we know about Satoshi Nakamoto for sure:Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesThey're a geniusIn a New Yorker article from 2011, a top internet security researcher describes Bitcoin code as an inscrutable execution that nears perfection: "Only the most paranoid, painstaking coder in the world could avoid making mistakes."They speak fluent EnglishNakamoto has written extensively about Bitcoin, authoring close to 80,000 words on the subject in the course of two years. His work reads like that of a native English speaker. They might be BritishJudging by their spelling, and their use of British colloquialisms (they refer to their apartment as a "flat" and call the subject math "maths"), it's thought they might hail from the UK.The timing of his posts seem to indicate this fact as well: It's been pointed out that Nakamoto posted during UK daylight hours.They might be more than one personThe foolproof brilliance of Bitcoin's code have left many wondering if it isn't the work of a team of developers. Bitcoin security researcher Dan Kaminsky says Nakamoto "could be either a team of people or a genius." How does its creator feel about its success?Publican Grant Fairweather talks with a customer from behind the bar where a bitcoin sign is displayed in Sydney, Australia, September 29, 2015.REUTERS/David GrayJoshua Davis, who spent four months researching the possible identity of Bitcoin's creator for a New Yorker story, says he's deeply curious about how the cryptocurrency's creator feels about its success. "Every time I see a news post about the rise of the value of the Bitcoin, I wonder if Satoshi is seeing that too. What's he thinking? Is he proud? Is he thinking that, at some point, some day, he'll finally reveal himself?"If "Satoshi Nakamoto" hasn't revealed himself by now, it's unlikely we'll ever know who is. Zoe Bernard contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 28th, 2021

Trump allies are pushing him away from running again in 2024 to avoid a disastrous defeat, report says

A former campaign adviser said they planned to tell Donald Trump that he risked becoming a serial political loser if he lost two straight elections. Former President Donald Trump.Win McNamee/Getty Images Trump aides are pushing him not to run again in 2024, The Atlantic reported. He has repeatedly indicated that he is considering another run for office, spooking some allies. They are focusing on the risk of his legacy being defined by defeat to dissuade him, per the report. President Trump's allies are pushing to dissuade him from running for president again in 2024 and being handed a second defeat, The Atlantic reported.Trump has repeatedly indicated that he could seek the Republican candidacy in the next presidential election and has raised tens of millions of dollars from supporters to fund his political future.The Atlantic reported that one of Trump's former campaign advisers, who spoke anonymously, said they planned to warn Trump that he could be known as a serial political loser if he fails again.The person is planning to use the example of Adlai Stevenson — who lost two straight presidential elections in the 1950s — to dissuade him.Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker and a Trump ally, told The Atlantic: "I don't think he wants to risk losing twice. Once, you can argue about the outcome. Twice, it becomes a repudiation."Trump's hatred of losing is well-documented across his career, and others who know Trump well have echoed Gingrich's prediction.Trump has refused to accept that he lost last year's election and instead has continued to push baseless claims of widespread election fraud.John Bolton, his former national security adviser, said of his former boss earlier this month: "I think he knows deep inside, although he will never admit it, he did lose in 2020 and very much fears losing in 2024 because if he hates anything in the world, he hates being called a loser."Mary Trump, the former president's estranged niece, told Insider earlier this year that she believed her uncle's political activity was a ruse to keep raising money from his supporters."It's important to remember that Donald couldn't care less about politics, he couldn't care less about this country, he couldn't care less about the Republicans," she told Insider in March."It's all about maintaining the grip on power. He thinks on some level it's going to allow him to continue to operate with impunity as he has done his whole life, and also it's going to allow him to keep grifting money off of people.""I've said all along he has no intention to run for the presidency in 2024. He's going to pretend to," she said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 22nd, 2021

John Bolton predicted Trump won"t run for president again in 2024 because he fears being known as a loser if it doesn"t work out

Trump 'very much fears losing in 2024 because if he fears anything in the world, it's being called a loser,' said former natsec advisor John Bolton. Former National Security Advisor John Bolton ITV / Peston Trump's former national security advisor said the former president wouldn't run in 2024. He said Trump would continue teasing the prospect of a run to keep attention on himself. But he made a 'firm prediction' that Trump wouldn't actually run for fear of losing. John Bolton, the former national security advisor to Donald Trump, predicted that the former president wouldn't run for office in 2024 because he fears being known as a loser.Bolton said Wednesday that he believed that Trump would continue to tease the prospect of a run but would not ultimately seek the Republican nomination."I don't think Trump will run for the presidency in 2024," Bolton told Robert Peston, an anchor on Britain's ITV network."I think he knows deep inside, although he will never admit it, he did lose in 2020 and very much fears losing in 2024 because if there's anything he hates in the world he hates being called a loser."I think he will talk about running incessantly until the very last moment because if he were ever to say he was not going to be a candidate, it would turn the spotlight off, and he doesn't like that either."-Peston (@itvpeston) November 10, 2021Trump has repeatedly indicated that he is considering another run for office in 2024, and he still commands huge influence over the Republican Party.He has continued to raise millions of dollars a year from supporters for his political future despite having made no formal declaration that he intends to run, CNN reported.Trump sacked Bolton as his national security advisor in September 2019 after a 17-month tenure and Bolton has been highly critical of him since, including in his book "The Room Where It Happened."Bolton's book, published last year, included claims that Trump had little grasp of foreign policy issues and had pleaded with Chinese president Xi Jinping to help him with the 2020 election.Trump called Bolton's book "a compilation of lies and made up stories, all intended to make me look bad," and subsequently called him "one of the dumbest people in Washington."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 11th, 2021

Elon Musk said he"d donate $6 billion if the UN could prove it would help the hunger crisis. Here are all the other humanitarian disasters he"s tried to fix, and how it"s going so far.

Elon Musk has pledged to fix a lot of humanity's problems. He's doing a lot of good - but not all of his solutions seem to be working. Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk doesn't shy away from a crisis. He's actively working to solve existential problems like climate change and traffic gridlock. He's also tried to solve immediate issues like ventilator shortages to varying degrees of success. Elon Musk has courted controversy and made headlines for all the wrong reasons in the past, but he's also had some remarkable success in developing world-changing technology. For all his bluster, attacks on journalists, and eccentric behavior, he is also working to solve some of humanity's most dire problems. Climate change? Musk's electric car company, Tesla, has made electric cars exciting. Traffic woes and all the negative health effects of congestion-caused pollution? Musk created The Boring Company to dig a network of tunnels to avoid gridlocked freeways. Colonizing other planets to save ourselves from extinction? SpaceX is working on it. Beyond these moonshot initiatives, Musk has delivered real results. After Hurricane Maria knocked out power for millions of Puerto Rico's residents in 2017, Musk donated hundreds of solar-powered batteries to the island. And as the coronavirus began spreading worldwide, Tesla began working on ventilator parts and shipping medical devices to hospitals in need. Now, he's challenging the UN's plea for $6 billion to help millions at risk of dying due to starvation - but said he may cash out Tesla shares to help. Below, we check in on a few of humanity's problems Musk said he wants to solve. Thai rescue team members walk inside a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand. Royal Thai Navy via AP The crisis: Rescuing Thailand's cave boys. The fix: A "kid-size" submarine.During the mission to save 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand, Musk gathered engineers from Tesla, SpaceX, and the Boring Company to create a "kid-size" submarine using rocket parts.The chief of the rescue mission said the device was not practical, and the rescue was completed successfully without Musk's device. A British diver involved in the rescue also called Musk's actions a "PR stunt" and said the submarine had no chance of working in this scenario. In response, Musk called the diver a "pedo guy" in a tweet, which has since been deleted.In September 2018, the diver filed a defamation lawsuit against Musk in California, but Musk has since been cleared.Still, a Thai military official said Musk's submarine could be useful for future missions, and engineers from SpaceX met with members of the Thai Navy to train them on using it. Musk tweeted that the engineers also received feedback from British divers about improving the technology. Demonstrators protest over the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan on March 6, 2016. Rebecca Cook/Reuters The crisis: Flint's lead-contaminated water. The fix: Replacing pipes and adding water filters.Flint, Michigan, continues to grapple with the effects of a water crisis in which dangerous levels of lead were detected after the state switched the city's water supply (from Lake Huron to the Flint River) in 2014. Residents who got sick reported experiencing skin lesions, depression, and memory loss. The US Environmental Protection Agency says any water with lead levels above 15 parts per billion requires action to minimize exposure. In Flint, lead levels in some homes surpassed 4,000 ppb.Lead levels fell to 12 ppb by the end of 2016, and officials say the water is now safe to drink. Some Flint residents remain skeptical. Musk promised in July 2018 to fix the pipes in homes with water contamination "above FDA levels." He also tweeted that he would organize a weekend to add filters to houses in Flint and to "hopefully fix perception of those that are actually good."In 2018, the Musk Foundation donated $424,000 for laptops for Flint middle schoolers, as well as more than $480,000 to install new filtration systems for water fountains in all Flint schools. In August 2019, Flint schools approved testing of the new filtration systems provided by Musk, and two years later, the school district said the filters were in the final stages of testing. A Tesla vehicle drives through the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop. John Locher/AP Photo The crisis: Traffic, and the negative health effects of gridlock. The fix: An underground network of tunnels.Like many of us, Musk hates sitting in traffic. His solution to traffic-clogged freeways? Digging a network of underground tunnels.Traffic is more than just an annoyance. According to a 2014 study, the air pollution generated by traffic can lead to an increase in heart disease and stroke risk for those living near congested areas. Other studies have shown that people living near major roadways in congested cities have an increase in emergency room visits and mortality, among other health effects. Through the Boring Company, Musk is seeking to connect dense urban locations via an underground "Loop" system that could carry autonomous vehicles up to 155 miles-per-hour, cutting travel times across the city, and reducing traffic-caused pollution in the process. But it's been a slow-moving process for the company. Early plans to build tunnels in Los Angeles and Chicago fizzled out, and the first completed project in Las Vegas, a 1.7 mile loop that ferries people to the Las Vegas Convention Center, is "basically just Teslas in tunnels at this point," Musk has said.Still, Musk has plans to build a tunnel in Fort Lauderdale, is reportedly in talks to expand in Texas, and recently gained approval from Nevada's Clark County to build a 29-mile network of tunnels underneath the Las Vegas Strip, the company's biggest project to date. A woman tries to walk out from her house after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Salinas, Puerto Rico on September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins The crisis: Hurricane Maria's devastation in Puerto Rico. The fix: Powerwall batteries.After Hurricane Maria knocked out power for Puerto Rico's 3.5 million residents in September 2017 and left them without basic resources like running water, Tesla pledged to help install battery packs and repair solar panels on the island. While the official death toll was 64, a study released in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2018 claimed that over 4,000 more people died in the three months after the hurricane, largely due to problems getting medical care or medicines. That total death toll is likely closer to 3,000, according to researchers at George Washington University.Shortly after the hurricane, San Juan Mayor Carmen Cruz said that it could take up to six months to restore the electric grid, and Tesla sent hundreds of its Powerwall batteries to help residents in the interim.During an island-wide blackout in April 2018, Musk tweeted that Tesla batteries were delivering power to 662 locations in Puerto Rico, and that employees were working to install hundreds more. Two months later, Musk tweeted that Tesla has "about 11,000 projects underway in Puerto Rico." But since then, much of the equipment delivered to Puerto Rico has fallen into disrepair, according to a May 2019 HuffPost report, which found home and businesses with solar panels using diesel generators instead.Musk has successfully provided power to areas affected by natural disasters before. In 2010, Musk and what was then SolarCity donated a solar power system to a hurricane response center in the Gulf Coast village of Coden, Alabama. The project, built by SolarCity and funded by the Musk Foundation, provided residents with an alternate source of power in case of an outage.The following year, the Musk Foundation donated $250,000 to build a solar power system in Soma, a city in Japan's Fukushima prefecture that was devastated by a tsunami. FILE PHOTO: Rita Ebel, nicknamed "Lego grandma", builds a wheelchair ramp from donated Lego bricks in the living room of her flat in Hanau Reuters The crisis: Affordable housing. The fix: Lego-style bricks for building houses cheaply. Construction crews from Musk's Boring Company, which launched in 2016, excavate through rock and soil to bore tunnels. In March 2018, Musk tweeted that he intends to use leftover earth from these projects to form interlocking, Lego-style bricks that can be used for building houses.Musk reiterated this plan that May, saying the bricks will help create low-income housing. He wrote that "two people could build the outer walls of a small house in a day or so," but did not specify how much the bricks would cost. In July 2018, the Boring Company uploaded a video to Twitter showing the bricks being produced.Musk and the Boring Company haven't provided an update on this idea in well over two years. Musk has filed permits to open the Brick Store where these bricks could be sold, and has said he plans to build a 50-foot watchtower out of the bricks at the company's headquarters. The company's website used to say the bricks could be used as pavers and are "great for patios!" but that information has since been removed. Tesla Model 3 Feature China: Barcroft Media via Getty Images The crisis: Climate change and weaning humanity off fossil fuels.The fix: Electric cars and solar energy. If there's a grand vision that unites Musk's seemingly disparate ambitions, it's solving the existential problem of climate change. Central to that problem is weaning humans off fossil fuels and moving the world to renewable forms of energy. His electric car company, Tesla, produced the most profitable electric car ever sold in the Model 3. But the company's stock price is historically volatile (though that era appears to have come to an end), and Musk continues to make headlines for the wrong reasons. Musk has also struggled with meeting the demands of both his consumers and investors at Tesla. He called building and delivering the Model 3 "production hell" as Tesla raced to produce enough to meet Musk's promises. Beyond electric cars, a large component of Tesla's business is in solar energy, but that part of the business has seen its share of struggles as well. Still, Musk has done more than perhaps any other recent entrepreneur to make electric cars mainstream in our collective imagination. SpaceX launches its first super heavy-lift Starship SN8 rocket during a test from their facility in Boca Chica, Texas, on December 9, 2020. Gene Blevins/Reuters The crisis: A mass-extinction event wiping out all life from Earth.The fix: Colonizing Mars and becoming a multi-planetary species.Musk's rocket company, SpaceX, has lofty goals. One of its chief ambitions, Musk said, is the colonization of Mars, ultimately pushing humanity to become a "multi-planetary" species.In 2013, Musk expanded on his thinking around this: "Either we spread to other planets, or we risk going extinct," Musk said, per Futurism. "An extinction event is inevitable and we're increasingly doing ourselves in." Musk has said he's planning to build 1,000 387-foot rocket ships, called Starships, for deep-space travel, with the goal of launching three of them every day. Musk originally said the company would send a cargo mission to Mars in 2022, but he's since bumped that estimation to 2024, with a crewed mission heading to Mars by 2026.That said, we're still a long way from colonizing Mars. The technology to transform the dry, dusty Red Planet into a thriving Martian metropolis just doesn't exist yet. A firefighter monitors a back burn along Highway 50 next to a home that was partially wrapped in foil as crews continued structure prevention at the Caldor Fire in Strawberry, Calif., on Sunday, August 29, 2021. Carlos Avila Gonzalez/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images The crisis: California wildfires. The fix: Using Tesla products to help people in areas affected by fires. Northern California's Camp Fire is considered the deadliest in the state's history. More than 153,000 acres were burned in the fire and 85 people died. In the midst of the fire in 2018, Musk tweeted that Tesla cars have "hospital grade HEPA filters" and could help transport people in affected areas. Some Tesla owners praised Tesla's filters for helping them breathe more easily, but Musk was also criticized for inserting himself into another crisis, the Mercury News reported at the time.When the fires raged again in 2019, causing power failures throughout California, Musk once again plugged Tesla's products."Order Tesla Solar + Powerwall battery for 24/7 clean power & no blackouts!" Musk tweeted in October. He included a link to Tesla's website. However, as the Washington Post noted at the time, Tesla's solar setup can keep a home running for only about a day or two during a blackout and costs tens of thousands of dollars. Misha Friedman/Getty Images The crisis: Medical supply shortages related to the coronavirus.The fix: Using Tesla factories to produce ventilators and shipping medical devices to hospitals in need. In the early months of the pandemic, Musk was outspoken about the coronavirus on Twitter, positing medical advice and making unverified claims, such as the belief that children are "essentially immune" to COVID-19.But he's also said that Tesla would work on solving the issue of ventilator shortages - the machines are critical for patients enduring the most extreme respiratory effects of the virus - by both building parts for new ventilators using SpaceX and Tesla's expertise, and procuring medical devices to distribute to hospitals. But Musk's ventilator efforts were repeatedly called into question as critics questioned whether he was delivering the machines most needed to help COVID-19 patients, and whether he was even delivering the promised number of devices at all. Meanwhile, Tesla engineers quickly got to work on building ventilators - other automakers like Ford and GM did the same and have since completed production - though it's unclear whether Tesla ever delivered finished ventilators. Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Germany on Friday. Patrick Pleul/Pool via Reuters The crisis: 42 million people are on the brink of starvation. The fix: Donating $6 billion in Tesla stock.David Beasley, the executive director for the UN's World Food Programme, told CNN last month that "the billionaires need to step up now on a one-time basis" in order to help millions of people at risk of starvation. But Musk was skeptical of Beasley's claim, tweeting that if the organization "can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger," he would sell Tesla stock in order to donate. "But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent," he added.In response, Beasley said that Musk's team could "review and work with us to be totally confident" of the organization's accounting, and clarified that he didn't say a $6 billion donation would "solve world hunger," as Musk purported. "This is a one-time donation to save 42 million lives during this unprecedented hunger crisis," Beasley tweeted.It's unclear whether Musk plans to follow through on the donation.Peter Kotecki contributed to an earlier version of this story.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 1st, 2021

A Google executive"s passion for collecting locks of presidential hair

Interest in the presidential hair market surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, as buyers, cooped up at home, splurged on collectibles. Jared Cohen, a Google executive and historian, with a lock of John F. Kennedy's hair that is part of his extensive presidential hair collection. Alan Chin for Insider Jared Cohen, a Google executive and historian, is an avid collector of hair from US presidents. Interest in the presidential hair market surged during the pandemic, as buyers, cooped up at home, splurged on collectibles. The most valuable Custer is Abraham Lincoln's. Shorn off on the night of his assassination, it sold for $81,250. A few weeks ago, Jared Cohen, a Google executive, made the 90-minute trek from his Manhattan apartment to the sleepy suburb of Wilton, Connecticut, to purchase 24 hairs from the head of John Tyler, America's 10th president.The seller was John Reznikoff, an auctioneer and authenticator who, according to the Guiness Book of World Records, owns the world's largest collection of presidential hair. Reznikoff has samples from 25 former presidents and from celebrities like Edgar Allen Poe, Susan B. Anthony, Albert Einstein, Marie Antoinette, and Napoleon Bonaparte. An exquisite specimen of Lincoln's deathbed lock is among his most prized possessions. His collection, which he has been assembling for three decades, is so renowned that his JFK strands were used to disprove a Texas man's claims that he was an heir of Camelot. Reznikoff was also the inspiration for a character in a 2009 Law & Order episode about a presidential paternity case.Reznikoff has never had his private collection appraised and he hates to part with any of it. Cohen, a former advisor to several Secretaries of State, and author of "Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America," is one of his only clients.Reznikoff stores his locks in a filing cabinet in a temperature-controlled room in his 6,000-square-foot home office. "I keep it organized in case I want to find this or that and it keeps it away from the elements and safe from theft," he said. John Reznikoff at his office in Wilton, Connecticut. An auctioneer and authenticator, he maintains the world's largest collection of presidential hair. Alan Chin for Insider The vault is stuffy; no air conditioning. Security cameras are everywhere. Staring into a magnifying glass, Reznikoff works with the care of a jeweler and the precision of a surgeon, using a pair of the tweezers to tease out a specimen. Cohen, an avid collector of early American documents and the drinking vessels of historic figures including Ronald Reagan's mug, has been collecting the hair of US presidents for a decade. He and Reznikoff had spent the previous week in careful negotiations to acquire this particular artifact. "He's very convincing. I can't resist him," says Reznikoff. "He's probably one of the few people who I have sold multiple things to because he is really passionate and I feel that somebody who has that kind of passion I want to satisfy him."As Reznikoff worked, Cohen documented his every movement through the lens of his smartphone camera, lest the value of his quarry instantly evaporate. A display of 24 hairs from the head of John Tyler, America's 10th president, that's now on display in Cohen's home. Alan Chin for Insider "If one of the strands separates and lands on the table, it's done. You have to throw it away. It loses its provenance," Cohen says. "I like to micromanage the extraction of my locks from his larger locks. If you aren't there in person you can't document the transition."That night, back home in Manhattan, Cohen waited for his kids to go to sleep before setting his treasure on his desk. Each transfer must be done in total stillness. He painstakingly transferred the strands with a pair of tweezers onto a ribbon, which he then slowly worked into a knot. He then pressed the tufts between two panes of framed museum glass. "If the hair blows away, a piece of history that spent 150 years getting to you is lost and it is all your fault," he says. "George Washington's hair deserves to be preserved. He never imagined an air conditioner disrupting that."Condition: 'used'Cohen is just one of the avid hobbyists who dream of plucking the hairs from heads of state.Sales happen at antiquarian book fairs, auction houses, or online marketplaces. Prices for presidential hair samples sold through auction houses and e-commerce sites have tripled in the past decade, Reznikoff said. More than 300 collectors alone have bid online for his sets of solo presidential strands.Single threads of presidential hair attached to a baseball-style trading card can fetch between $225 and $3,000 on eBay (condition: "used"). Rarer collections can cost their weight in gold.A few sprigs of George Washington's hair removed after his death in 1799 and set in a glass locket sold for $39,921.60 at Lelands Auctions in April after 45 bids. But a clump of Abraham Lincoln's mane that surgeons shorn off the night of his assassination is believed to be the most valuable presidential mop in existence. Last year, four score and seven strands of Lincoln's locks attached to a telegram were sold at Boston-based RR Auction for $81,250. John Reznikoff examines a sample of hair from the head of Ulysses S. Grant. Alan Chin for Insider Hair is generally on offer as part of a trove of documents that also includes letters or jewelry that encased a few curls, and other related documents. The items' heavily documented provenance, a record of ownership used to determine an object's authenticity, almost certainly enhance its worth today. That's one reason why Cohen and his ilk are so obsessed with presidential hair in the first place.Reznikoff authenticates hair samples for auction houses and law enforcement agencies by analyzing the documents that can often accompany the follicles. He compares the handwriting with known examples of their other work to determine if they share authorship. Sometimes he'll even use microscopes and a video spectral comparator to enlarge a hair sample and examine its thickness and color."Any relic simply by its nature requires a leap of faith," Reznikoff said. "The only way to be 1000 percent sure is DNA testing with a known relative. A clump of John F. Kennedy's hair at John Reznikoff's office in Connecticut. Alan Chin for Insider According to Reznikoff, high net worth investors, including hedge funders, lawyers, bankers, and real estate developers, have increasingly been buying from private dealers and at auctions. Interest in the presidential hair market also surged during the pandemic, as wealthy individuals cooped up at home splurged on all kinds of collectibles easily accessible online."There's a giant new audience online that realizes there are tremendous items like rare books and strands of hair available," Reznikoff said. "They're not traveling, they're not going to France this year. That's $20 grand they have to burn."'You can't be insecure about it'Cohen started acquiring historic memorabilia when he was eight years old and saw a bag of campaign buttons at a flea market on Broadway and Grand Street. As a kid, Cohen would beg his parents for presidential souvenirs on his birthday and for his bar mitzvah."It's the only intellectual thing in my life that has been consistent since I was a little boy and that's a really pure and special thing," he says. "For me it's the closest I can get to experiencing the history I am so fascinated by." "These items are a way for me to connect with the past. The richer the provenance the purer that connection to the past feels," he says. "It's not that I care about the value of any of it. It's the love of collecting… I'm owning to own." The first time Cohen bought a lock of hair was 15 years ago, when Reznikoff sold him a copy of George Washington's discharge papers as president of the Continental Army, and threw in a few of Washington's follicles as well. Jared Cohen, at home in Manhattan, started acquiring historic memorabilia when he was eight years old and acquired his first lock of presidential hair 15 years ago. Alan Chin for Insider A collection of campaign ribbons and badges displayed at Cohen's home. Alan. Chin for Insider A vial of poison given to Charles Guiteau, who assassinated President James Garfield in 1881, along with a lock of Guiteau's hair. Guiteau was executed by hanging in 1882. Alan Chin for Insider The biggest obstacle was bringing his wife and kids around to his newfound hobby. For a while, Cohen promised his wife he would never spend money on hair, but found himself overpaying for presidential documents and obtaining the hair - the thing he truly was after - as a kickback. Eventually, he started buying his White House wisps directly from Reznikoff. Now Cohen has amassed hair samples from 11 different presidents that he encased in glass frames and hung throughout his apartment. In addition to John Tyler, Cohen owns a cluster of Washington tufts, four John Adams strands, six long Lincoln strands, a "beautiful" Andrew Jackson lock, some short patches from James Buchanan, a Ronald Reagan ruff, and the only privately owned lock of Ulysses S. Grant's curls.Even Cohen's kids can tell whose hair belongs to which president, although they still think their father's obsession is a little odd."Here's the thing, as a hair collector you have to own it. You can't be insecure about it," Cohen said. "This is not something you can do and be embarrassed by. It doesn't work. It is a weird hobby."'A part of yourself'It used to be that people traded hair all the time. Lovers would slide locks between the pages of letters or drop them into pendants. "It was free, anybody could snip off some, it didn't decay, and it was also literally giving a part of yourself to someone," Cassandra Good, Assistant Professor of History at Marymount University, said. "So there was an intimacy to it but it wasn't an exclusive intimacy because you could give hair to so many people."Collectors hanker for hair to connect with the past. Presidential coifs also provide a tangible link with the allure of extraordinary fame, like Elvis or Beatles memorabilia. A photograph of John Quincy Adams, displayed with a sample of his hair, that's part of John Reznikoff's extensive collection. Alan Chin for Insider "We tend to want to frame our presidents as human beings who have transcended normal life," Helen Sheumaker said. "Their hair becomes an interesting relic that symbolizes that ability."First Lady Martha Washington snipped off filaments of George Washington's hair upon request."People could attach emotions they had for the king to George Washington but at the same time he led them away from monarchy and kept giving up power," said Keith Beutler, the author of the forthcoming book, George Washington's Hair: How Early Americans Remembered the Founders.Washington's private secretary Tobias Lear even chopped off a shock from the founding father's scalp just after he was put in his casket in 1799 and distributed it to friends and family."They had in their view that people were going to request more of it," Beutler said. "Hair can be disbursed in smaller and smaller increments. Some of these would start out with 50 strands and over time they are parceled out across generations."President Lincoln was even asked to donate his hair to raise money for union troops. Years later, Teddy Roosevelt paid $100 for a ring containing five strands of Lincoln's hair, which he wore for his inauguration in 1905. A lock of hair from James Buchanan, America's 15th president. Alan Chin for Insider The first known collection of U.S. presidential hair - a scrapbook of notable men's locks, including signers of the Declaration of Independence - was compiled by a Philadelphia lawyer named Peter Arvell Browne in the 1840s. This inspired John Varden, an early Smithsonian curator, who began acquiring locks from commanders-in-chief for his personal reliquary in 1850. The Smithsonian acquired Varden's "Hair of Presidents" assemblage in 1883, and it remains on view at the National Museum of American History. But in the 20th century, sharing and collecting human hair, presidential or otherwise, began to fall out of favor. "By World War I there's a decline in the value of sentimental displays and clothing styles became more modern and streamlined," said Helen Sheumaker, Miami University of Ohio professor and author of Love Entwined: The Curious History of Hair Work in America, referring to jewelry and crafts made from human hair. Single threads of presidential hair attached to a baseball-style trading card can fetch between $225 and $3,000 on eBay. These are part of R's collection. Alan Chin for Insider But hobbyists - even if they stopped sending letters requesting locks - continued to hoard historic hair. Now collectors relied on estate sales and auctions from families unloading their 19th century heirlooms or from doctors and barbers who snipped and sold clippings from their presidential clients. Sometimes presidential hair traveled in more roundabout ways. Washington's family gave one clipping to Marquis de La Fayette, who handed it off to Simón Bolívar, a South American statesman and revolutionary. It remained preserved in a Caracas museum until June 1970 when a Venezuelan delegation presented some of the hair embedded in jewelry to President Nixon at a state dinner."Nixon was a little bit annoyed that they did that. He thought it was pointless," Beutler said. "He was a hard man to impress." Nixon later displayed the hair in the Oval Office on Washington's Birthday in February 1971. Today, the sample sits in the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California.A red lineMore recently, the collections have interested researchers for other reasons. According to Beutler, the author of the book about Washington's hair, hair samples can offer a forensic window into a person, such as what their diet was like."[Washington] had a pretty reasonable diet…. very high in vegetables and wholesome things," he said. Some visionaries even hope to someday clone deceased icons using the data preserved in their hair follicles. But even hardcore hair collectors like Cohen have red lines they won't cross like owning locks from presidents who are still alive. Cohen points to a lock of hair from William Henry Harrison, America's 9th president, who died 31 days after his inauguration. The two long strands of hair were taken as Harrison lay in state. Alan Chin for Insider "I have a rule that I don't collect presidential hair of the living. I don't cross that line," Cohen said. "I think it's a little weird to collect it." (Ever self-reflective, Cohen adds: "I realize it's sort of weird for somebody who collects presidential hair to be commenting on what's weird.")Living presidents aren't necessarily interested in parting with their hair either. A former campaign aide to Donald Trump, whose hair sprouts from the most famous cranium in the country, said he "couldn't see Trump doing that," even though Reznikoff predicts there will be a "strong market" for Trump's hair after his death.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 29th, 2021

The best toothpastes, according to dentists

The best toothpaste cleans plaque, prevents gum disease, and tastes good. We spoke with dentists and tested top toothpaste brands to find the 5 best. Tom's; Colgate; Sensodyne; Klen; Rachel Mendelson/Insider Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Good toothpaste helps eliminate plaque and bacteria and prevents cavities and gum disease. We polled 5 dentists on what makes the best formula and tested toothpaste brands for taste and feel. Our top pick, Colgate Renewal, cleans plaque, calms inflamed gums, and leaves your mouth feeling fresh. Medical review by: André V. Ritter, DDS, MBA, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at the NYU College of Dentistry. The best toothpaste does more than just leave your mouth feeling fresh - its active ingredients help clean each tooth, eliminating plaque and bacteria, and preventing gingivitis, cavities, and helping to prevent tooth decay.It also has the power to whiten teeth, freshen breath, and decrease tooth sensitivity if you want. Moreover, it can have ingredients that help remineralize the tooth surface, restoring the minerals lost due to cavity attacks, and help offset staining and erosion, Joseph Field, DDS, a dentist in Los Altos, CA told Insider.But some toothpaste brands are safer than others, our experts say, and people may have different needs[1] depending on issues they are having with their teeth. If you're just looking for the best toothpaste for bad breath, for sensitive teeth, or to score a whiter smile, read on.Here are the best toothpastes of 2021:Best for gums and overall: Colgate RenewalBest for kids: Tom's of Maine Strawberry ToothpasteBest for sensitive teeth: Sensodyne Rapid ReliefBest natural: Klen natural mint toothpasteBest whitening: Colgate Total Whitening How I test toothpaste Our products went through a multi-step testing process to ensure that each item is user-friendly and one of the best potential buys available. Here's how we tested the leading toothpastes:Taste: If toothpaste tastes terrible, you won't want to use it twice per day. In testing, we liked those that had a clean and fresh taste that got rid of morning breath rather than specific non-mint flavors (except for kids), and leaned towards items that weren't exceptionally strong.Consistency: We found the most pleasant consistency meant you can easily move the toothpaste around your mouth, accessing each tooth well, without a too-watery or too-thick feeling.Packaging: For something you use so often, packaging really matters. We considered things like how easy it was to unscrew the top (without losing the cap) and if the tube can sit upright on the counter which takes up less space.Additives and ingredients: Toothpaste isn't exempt from the culture-wide push to eliminate additives, such as parabens, from products we consume. We looked towards more natural ingredients where appropriate, chatting with our experts about fluoride use as well. Best toothpaste for gums and overall Alex Frost/Insider Colgate Renewal not only cleans but also calms inflamed gums, and it had the freshest, clean, minty feel of all the toothpastes I tested.Pros: May help restore gum health, sleek packaging, great aftertaste, clean feeling, vegan, contains fluorideCons: Mint intensity is stronger than some alternativesColgate is a long-trusted brand that comes highly recommended by our experts. Among the toothpastes I tested, the enamel-fortifying Colgate Renewal proved to be the most well-rounded workhouse. It's our top pick overall, as well as for a handful of specific categories, including the best toothpaste for bad breath, the best toothpaste for gums, and the best fluoride toothpaste, as the active ingredient is stannous fluoride.Colgate Renewal works to fight cavities, gingivitis, and tooth sensitivity all in one. The "renewal" part of its name comes from the toothpaste's ability to calm gingivitis-related issues like gum bleeding, which in turn may help reverse early gum damage before it gets too bad, Phil Devore, DDS, restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentist at Image Dental in Las Vegas tells Insider.Even if you don't have gingivitis build-up, I liked Colgate Renewal the most among those I tested simply for its fresh, clean feel and minty aftertaste, leaving your mouth feeling cleaner than the others I tried.But be prepared: This toothpaste taste packs a fresh punch, as it's the most "in your face" mint flavor of all in our test group. If you don't like Altoid strength, this isn't for you.The packaging is pretty and looks much sleeker on your counter than the gaudy tubes of yesteryear. The clear top works as a base so the tube can stand vertically and is big enough to easily screw on and off without losing it.Dr. Devore adds that this is a great vegan toothpaste, too, since it doesn't contain animal-based glycerin and helps with gingivitis and inflammation. Best kids toothpaste Alex Frost/Insider Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry Toothpaste will clean and care for your kids teeth with the ADA Seal of Approval, and it tastes like candy without any artificial ingredients.Pros: Fun taste, easy to use bottle, more exciting for kids to use than standard mint, contains fluoride, natural ingredients, ADA Seal of ApprovalCons: ExpensiveMy three sons, ages 6,5, and 3, rarely get excited about brushing their teeth. But I left this product out for them to try without any fanfare and observed their reactions."There are happy strawberries on our toothpaste," one commented. They all started discussing the taste, with one positively stating that it was like candy. That's a pretty solid review from my little friends, who normally fuss about adult toothpastes "burning" their mouths.What's more, that candy flavor comes from natural ingredients and the formula has the necessary active ingredients to fight plaque. New York Cosmetic Dentist Lana Rozenberg, DDS, likes this pick for the same reason, saying, "This toothpaste contains fluoride but doesn't have any artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives."Also, while I've found standard adult toothpaste is actually pretty hard for little hands to maneuver, my kids were also able to snap open the Tom's Silly Strawberry lid themselves and squeeze the paste onto their own toothbrushes without making a mess — for once. Multiple other experts noted this as one of the best kids toothpastes, including Michaela Tozzi, DMD, cosmetic dentist in Henderson, NV who says she loves Tom's of Maine for kids and Brian Luong, DMD, a dentist in Santa Ana, CA who recommends fluoride for children over age two. Best toothpaste for sensitive teeth Alex Frost/Insider Sensodyne Rapid Relief helps reduce sensitivity within 60 seconds while still cleaning teeth and leaving you with fresh breath.Pros: Quick relief for sensitive teeth, leaves a clean feel, thicker, not wateryCons: Flavor isn't quite as good as non-sensitive toothpaste, expensiveNothing feels worse than when you get tooth pain from drinking something that is too cold, too sweet, or just from living life. "Teeth sensitivity is a result of excessive teeth wear and gum recession which exposes the softer underlying dentine (sensitive area)," Dr. Luong explains. Toothpaste with desensitizing agents, like potassium nitrate or fluoride, block these areas. Dr. Luong adds that Sensodyne toothpaste is the market leader in this area, and we like that its Rapid Relief toothpaste is one of the faster-acting formulas on the market.Sensodyne Rapid Relief helps block the sensitivity that causes tooth pain ASAP, in under 60 seconds, and claims to reduce sensitivity significantly within three days (if you brush twice a day). Other products like Sensodyne Repair and Protect don't make as timely of a promise.Sensitivity toothpastes usually have a slightly different taste since they tend to be thicker, but this is minimal with Sensodyne toothpaste. When I tested, I found it still left my mouth feeling completely clean and particularly had a spritely minty fresh vibe. I also liked the thick tube cap, which let me store the tube vertically on my bathroom counter to take up less room. Best natural toothpaste Alex Frost/Insider Klēn's Natural Mint is a fluoride free toothpaste with a gentle, clean taste and an ingredient list our dentists approve of.Pros: Gentler taste, less harsh, natural ingredients, sleek packaging with a screw top that can stand upright, clean teeth feelCons: Some may prefer a stronger mint taste to feel cleanFor starters, Klēn's Natural Toothpaste in Mint is just plain pretty with its minimal packaging and wide screw top that allows it to stand vertically (always a plus), all of which adds a significant upgrade to your countertop aesthetic.Klēn's is a natural, fluoride-free toothpaste; the brand doesn't use fluoride, parabens, or sulfate. Dr. Tozzi says, "Klen's Natural Mint Toothpaste is my favorite because it's natural yet effective. It gets the job done without the harsh chemicals."Klen's natural toothpaste uses Bentonite Clay, a fluoride alternative with antibacterial properties; aloe leaf extract; and tea tree leaf oil instead, which Dr. Tozzi says is "abrasive enough to clean while still being gentle on enamel." Dr. Devore adds that he likes tea tree oil in toothpaste thanks to its antibacterial and antiviral properties.In addition to cleaning more gently, it also feels way gentler than other toothpaste, leaning more towards a gel than a paste, and swapping strong Altoid-like flavor for a more neutral but clean feeling. This is a toothpaste without fluoride, so it might not be right for everyone. Best whitening toothpaste Colgate Colgate Total SF Whitening Gel lifts surface stains, fights gum disease and cavities, and doesn't leave your teeth or gums feeling sensitive like other whitening toothpastes.Pros: Budget-friendly, expert-backed whitening technology, ADA seal of approval approved, which not all whitening toothpastes can sayCons: Some don't love the tasteInsider Reviews writer Ariana DiValentino tested a handful of leading whitening toothpastes and Colgate Total SF Whitening Gel came out on top. It comes recommended by two dental experts we spoke with if you're looking for a daily boost for whiter teeth because it not only works but also has the ADA seal of acceptance, meaning the national professional organization supports its efficacy and safety.In addition to lifting light surface stains, this whitening toothpaste has antibacterial properties to help fight gum disease and tooth decay, so it covers the duties any toothpaste should perform. Plus, it's incredibly affordable, especially compared to other at-home and professional whitening products.While some people experience tooth sensitivity when using teeth whitening products, Colgate Total Whitening contains stannous fluoride, which helps offset that effect. (Although Dr. Field adds that if you have sensitive teeth already, whitening toothpaste could exacerbate it, in which case we recommend trying Crest Pro Health Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening.)To read more about this product, including its flat flip cap for easier access that stands up on your countertop, check out our full whitening toothpaste review. What else we considered Boie What else we recommendCrest Gum Detoxify ($7): This option tastes fantastic, and uses cooling activated foam to prevent bacteria from harming the gumline. We didn't include this one because the foam feeling isn't for everyone.What we don't recommendClosys fluoride free ($7): This toothpaste, unfortunately, just doesn't taste very good, which is necessary to stay motivated for consistent use, and is one of the more expensive products we tested per ounce. However, we look forward to testing Closys' mouthwash, which multiple experts recommended.Bite Toothpaste Bits ($30 for 4 month supply) These toothpaste bites come in an eco-friendly reusable glass jar, but the thin paste of the actual toothpaste bites didn't compete with traditional paste. However, this option would work well for someone who is tired of tubes of paste or hates thicker toothpaste.What we're looking forward to testingThere are rumors that Colgate, which paired with LiquiGlide to improve packaging, might be bringing their Europe-based no-waste toothpaste to the United States in the future. It's attempting to eliminate consumer waste by having to throw out that last bit of toothpaste, which it told CNN is up to 13% of toothpaste per tube. The new packaging would have a slippery coating making it easier to empty. How to pick out a toothpaste Seek toothpaste for your own oral health goalsWhen you are shopping for toothpaste, you want to look for ingredients specific to the goals for your own oral health. Sometimes this is obvious like if you're experiencing teeth sensitivity or your teeth are yellowing. But others, like gum recession, demineralization, or a propensity toward cavities, only your dentist may notice.Choose helpful ingredientsIf you're looking for remineralization, Dr. Field says your toothpaste should contain calcium phosphate, which he calls one of the "most effective ingredients" to help strengthen tooth structure.If your teeth are sensitive, look for desensitizing agents, like potassium, stannous fluoride, and potassium nitrate.Many people will also want to look for a toothpaste with fluoride in it; however it's not necessarily a "must-have" for everyone, except kids, says Dr. Field (along with a few of our other experts).We know that fluoride has strong antibacterial and plaque-prevention properties. It's "an effective remineralizing ion," Dr. Field explains, which helps reset the pH balance after we eat and drink so that the acidity doesn't cause our enamel to become demineralized, which can in turn cause cavities.That being said, nearly 75% of people in the U.S. have fluoride in their water, according to the ADA, so you might already be getting it outside of your toothpaste. That's why we've included fluoride-free toothpaste as well in this guide. The best approach to figuring out if you need toothpaste with or without fluoride is to talk to your local dentist.Look for the ADA seal of approvalToothpaste isn't heavily regulated by the FDA like other health products, so it can be a little tricky to confirm the safety of a label. Big brands are generally trustworthy since safety standards reflect upon their reputation.There are a few seals you can look for more reassurance — namely FDA approval and the American Dental Association seal of approval, which ensures the tube has met the specific requirements set forth by the professional organization. It's also smart to avoid trend-based items that your dentist hasn't necessarily approved, like charcoal which has the potential to damage your enamel and gums. FAQs What should you avoid in toothpaste?Avoid toothpaste that is too abrasive, which can erode your enamel. Brian Luong, DMD, a dentist in Santa Ana, CA, recommends checking your pick on the RDA (abrasiveness) scale, but the biggest risk of high abrasiveness is in whitening toothpaste. (Check out safe whitening options, here.) He adds on the label, this may look like calcium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, hydrated aluminum oxides, magnesium carbonate, phosphate salts, and silicates.New York Cosmetic Dentist Lana Rozenberg, DDS, adds that consumers should avoid charcoal toothpaste for now, as the ADA hasn't found it to be safe or effective yet, and it can be harmful to teeth and gums.What is a desensitizing agent?A desensitizing agent in toothpaste helps block areas of sensitivity, like where you're experiencing gum recession, explains Dr. Loung. "Desensitizers actually don't numb the gums, but rather they block or create barriers over the sensitive areas on the teeth called the dentin (which have exposed nerves)." They're not only safe, but they can be super helpful if you have sensitive spots. Desensitizing agents on the label look like potassium, stannous fluoride, and potassium nitrate.Is fluoride toothpaste bad for you?No, it's not bad for you. In fact, fluoride is very good for your teeth as long as it's not ingested in large quantities. Fluoride has certain benefits for your teeth such as remineralizing, antibacterial properties, and preventing future decay. Joseph Field, DDS, a dentist in Los Altos, CA explains that fluoride helps lower the acidity in our mouth from what we eat and drink, which will otherwise demineralize our enamel which can in turn cause cavities.That being said, nearly 75% of people in the U.S. have fluoride in their water, according to the ADA, so you might already be getting it outside of your toothpaste. "I am not against fluoride, but I only use it once a day and am a bigger fan of its use in patients that have a high risk for decay and when people don't drink city water that has been treated," Amanda Lewis, DMD, a dentist in Dallas, told Insider.She adds that too much fluoride can actually cause tooth staining. All our dentists agree that fluoride is a hot topic with a lot of misinformation in all directions. Your best bet is to ask your dentist for personal advice. Expert sources Our experts include practicing dentists from around the country, including:Dr. Phil Devore, DDS, restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentist at Image Dental in Las VegasDr. Lana Rozenberg, DDS, New York-based cosmetic dentistDr. Michaela Tozzi, DMD, cosmetic dentist in Henderson, NVDr. Brian Luong, DMD, MBA, MS, a dentist at Santa Ana Orthodontics in CaliforniaDr. Joseph Field, DDS, DABOI, FAAID, FICOI, FAGD, a dentist at Peninsula Center of Cosmetic Dentistry in Los Altos, CA Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 8th, 2021

Red Flag Laws And Unintended Consequences

Red Flag Laws And Unintended Consequences Commentary by Nikki Goeser & Thomas Massie via RealClear Politics, The senseless murder of 19 children and two teachers at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas is leading to calls for more gun control. To some, “red flag” laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders, seem like the obvious solution. These laws allow judges to seize a person’s guns without a trial, based solely on a written complaint that the person might be a danger to themselves or others. All a judge needs is “reasonable suspicion.” “We know that we can show we can be united to protect our children,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, a famously moderate West Virginia Democrat. We also care about children, but much better laws are already in place. We are concerned that red flag laws will cause more harm than good. Democratic politicians’ support for red flag is almost universal, but the Washington Times reports that some Republican senators are now warming up to such legislation. “For people who threatened harm to themselves or somebody else, you could only go through law enforcement, and you had to go through the courts, and it wasn’t permanent,” explained Republican Sen. Rick Scott, who signed a red flag bill while governor of Florida.  It has always been possible to take a dangerous person’s guns away. All 50 states and the federal government have involuntary commitment laws that go by various names: the Baker Act in Florida, for example, or the 5150 code in California. They all require a mental health expert to testify before a judge, but hearings can occur quickly in urgent cases. If those facing a hearing can’t afford a lawyer, the judge provides them with one. Judges have a lot of flexibility when ruling. For instance, if the person on trial does not agree to voluntary psychiatric treatment, they may be committed involuntarily or have their guns confiscated. But red flag laws remove all these due process protections. Based only on a written complaint, which could come from a relative, friend, neighbor, or police officer, a judge decides whether to take away a person’s guns. There is no ability to challenge claims or to offer testimony from a mental health care expert. Gun control advocates argue that the person should not even know that the judge may be deciding to take his or her guns. When a hearing finally takes place up to a month later, if the person in question cannot afford an attorney, they will not be provided with one.  When faced with the costs for a hearing, which may be up to $10,000, few people find that fighting red flag laws to keep their guns makes sense. Few defendants obtain legal representation, but the courts still overturn a third of the initial orders. The actual error rate is undoubtedly much higher, because many of those wrongly prosecuted don’t have a lawyer. People who truly pose a clear danger to themselves or others should be confined to a mental health facility or be required to seek treatment. Laws used to confiscate guns are typically enforced when dealing with suicidal people. However, if someone is suicidal, there are many other ways they may choose to kill themselves. Simply taking away a gun isn’t the answer.  A person intent on violence may not even need a gun to inflict mass carnage. Are we going to also take away their cars? Gun control advocates find it much easier to conjure up  new laws without protections than to fine-tune laws already on the books. They find that times of national grieving present an opportunity to push new measures through Congress. We worry that red flag laws could actually increase instances of suicide. One of us, Nikki Goeser, watched as a stalker murdered her husband in front of her. As anyone would understand, that loss left her devastated. Despite her grief, however, she was not suicidal. But a well-meaning friend or relative might have raised a complaint, worrying that she was depressed and had a gun. With a stalker having just murdered her husband, taking away her ability to protect herself from stalkers would have left her feeling even more vulnerable. Under Baker Act statutes, she would have had a chance to explain her concerns to the mental health care experts. If that didn’t work, she would have still had a hearing with a lawyer and been given the opportunity to explain her situation to the judge.  Simply talking to other people about your depression can be important in overcoming it. But with red flag laws in place, people may have been reluctant to discuss their mental state with others. Police officers also often experience work-related depression. They may bottle up their feelings for fear of losing their guns, and thus their jobs.  We don’t want a world where police make unannounced predawn raids or people lose their fundamental right to self-defense without a judicial hearing. For some, it’s a matter of life and death. *  *  * Nikki Goeser is the executive director for the Crime Prevention Research Center. Thomas Massie is a Republican member of the House who has represented Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District since 2012 and is co-chairman of the Second Amendment Caucus. Tyler Durden Sat, 05/28/2022 - 23:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt5 hr. 34 min. ago

California Poised To Adopt "Medical Misinformation Bill" Targeting Alternative COVID-19 Protocols

California Poised To Adopt 'Medical Misinformation Bill' Targeting Alternative COVID-19 Protocols Authored by Patricia Tolson via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The California Legislature is poised to pass Assembly Bill 2098, described as a “medical misinformation bill.” If passed, the new law would prohibit doctors from freely providing medical advice and treating their patients if those practices run counter to the official state sanctioned position. A doctor holds his stethoscope in this file photo. (Dirk Waem/Belga Mag/AFP via Getty Images) In April 2020, the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, the California State Board of Pharmacy, and the Medical Board of California issued a statement (pdf) regarding the “improper prescribing of medications related to treatment of Novel Coronavirus,” such as hydroxychloroquine, warning that “inappropriately prescribing or dispensing medications constitutes unprofessional conduct in California.” On June 29, 2021, the Federation of State Medical Boards issued a warning, stating that “Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license.” In August 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci said there was no evidence that ivermectin works, and that it’s more likely to cause harm. In December 2021, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning headlined, “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.” In an updated April 29, 2022, report, the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel said it “recommends against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, except in clinical trials.” Should AB 2098 become law, doctors who prescribe medications not approved by the state or who claim unsanctioned drugs are effective would see their licenses revoked and face strict penalties and disciplinary actions by the Medical Board of California. In short, AB 2098 would designate the dissemination of information not approved by the state related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes “COVID-19,” as misinformation or disinformation, which constitutes unprofessional conduct. One physician, Dr. Syed Haider, has already been reported to four state medical boards by pharmacists he says “don’t like filling ivermectin prescriptions.” He has also been forced to retain a lawyer to protect his medical license. Dr. Syed Haider (Courtesy of Haider) Since December 2020—after realizing that the United States had offshored almost all prescription drug manufacturing to unfriendly nations like China—Haider has focused on the prevention and treatment of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus through his online initiative mygotodoc.com, by providing easy online access to off-label prescriptions such as ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, budesonide, and protocols for COVID, long COVID, and vaccine injuries. “There was such a huge demand for it, it just took over my life,” Haider, who used to be “a hospital doctor,” told The Epoch Times. “Then, the pandemic hit.” In early February 2020, Haider contracted the CCP virus at a hospital that he was working in. His work as a temporary traveling physician across many different medical practices and hospitals was coming to an end and he thought that, with the pandemic outbreak, there would be plenty of work. However, although he had applied for a position at a hospital in New York, Haider had begun to hear about online prescribing, and he started to work through an unnamed online telemedicine provider in the United States. “Once I heard about ivermectin and off-label prescribing, people would show up on the online website looking for help with COVID and I would try to tell them about off-label medications,” Haider recalled. “And they would just give me a blank stare. Aside from hydroxychloroquine, they had never heard about drugs like ivermectin. They thought I was crazy. I think the thought was, ‘If this stuff works, why haven’t I heard about it on CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC?” According to Haider, what really changed things for him was when he saw the Dec. 8, 2020, testimony of Dr. Pierre Kory (pdf) before Sen. Ron Johnson and the Homeland Security Committee Meeting regarding early treatment of COVID-19, “not only as an individual physician,” but also on behalf of his non-profit organization, the Front-Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. “Although we, like many, are extremely encouraged by the apparent successes in developing effective vaccines,” Kory said, “we also are dismayed at the near complete absence of guidance and research on effective early, at-home, or preventative treatment options apart from vaccines—a reality we find unconscionable.” It was “with great pride as well as significant optimism” that Kory reported that his group, “led by Professor Paul E. Marik,” had “developed a highly effective protocol for preventing and early treatment of COVID-19,” and that “emerging publications” had provided “conclusive data on the profound efficacy of the anti-parasite, anti-viral drug, anti-inflammatory agent called ivermectin in all stages of the disease.” “It was real clear in his face and in his demeanor that he was really upset and very sincere and it went viral on the internet,” Haider recalled. “Then, people started hearing from family and friends that they had used ivermectin and it made a difference for them, and people went online to find doctors who would prescribe it. At that point, things got very busy and I had to basically start my own website and prescribing it online to patients. Over the next year and a half, things really ramped up. More and more people had begun hearing about ivermectin, so more and more people were looking for it.” According to the website, “mygotodoc makes it easy to safeguard you and your family, serving three important needs the wider medical community tends to ignore: (1) emergency antibiotics to have on hand in case disaster strikes and prescription drugs are unavailable, (2) 1-month backup supplies of your regular medication, and (3) safe off-label COVID protocols designed for prevention and treatment.” “Myself and other doctors from all over the world have had incredible results with off-label protocols including ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, budesonide, and a number of other protocols,” Haider explained. “What you hear over and over again is about the successful treatment of 5,000, 7,000, or 10,000 patients and maybe one death. They are shocking numbers compared to what you’re hearing with conventional treatments the CDC or FDA are recommending and what hospitals and other doctors are doing that are not using off-label protocols.” Personally, Haider has treated over 50,000 COVID-related patients, many of them elderly. He said that among his patients, there have been zero deaths and only five hospitalizations. Despite his success, under California’s proposed Bill AB 2098, doctor’s using similar methods would have the state interfere and persecute them for providing independent care. “Like a lot of other doctors around the world, I’ve just been trying to raise awareness of this,” Haider explained. “But, like a lot of doctors in America, I’ve gotten letters from the American Medical Association, the Federal State Medical Board warning me that my license is at risk if I speak out about vaccines or if I spread misinformation or if I prescribe ivermectin. I’ve had pushback from pharmacists, insurance companies, from medical boards in multiple states, that have sent me complaints and asked me to explain why I am conducting experimental trials on patients and why I am prescribing ivermectin.” Prior to all of this, Haider had worked for over 10 years as a trained hospital physician in internal medicine and had “never had a single complaint from anyone on anything.” “So, it was a very strange experience over the past couple of years to see what has happened to medical providers, including pharmacists,” Haider explained. “Pharmacists were pushing back at us because they were getting letters from their pharmacist boards warning them not to dispense it. ” According to Haider, dissenting voices have been muzzled and censored from the very onset of the pandemic and they are now being threatened with the loss of their medical licenses. Because of this, Haider has had to retain an attorney. “It’s very stressful to have to reply to a medical board,” he explained, adding that it’s a “very opaque process.” “You don’t know who is going to see it or review it. You don’t know whether or not they’re friendly to what you are doing or if they disagree with what you are doing, and it’s not like a court of law where you can bring in witnesses in your defense. They just make a decision and sometimes they don’t even explain to you the reason behind it.” Worse than that, Haider said his experience felt like they were trying to get doctors like himself to “get tripped up and to say the wrong things” and to incriminate themselves. “One of the medical boards accused me of conducting medical experimental trials,” he said. “It’s not like they don’t know I’m prescribing off-label. We do off-label prescribing all the time in medicine. About 40 percent of prescribing is off-label and it doesn’t fall under the classification of ‘experiment.’ It’s not an unauthorized experimental medical trial. But they use that wording to try to get me to defend myself against that attack. If I had foolishly replied to them and tried to defend myself against their terminology, I would have incriminated myself because I can’t run an experiment without having a review board, authorization, and specific consent forms for experimental drug trials.” Haider reflected on how during the current shift to vilify ivermectin that “everyone seems to forget that, during the past six months, they had the same problems with prescribing hydroxychloroquine.” “I can send a hydroxychloroquine prescription to any pharmacist and they’ll fill it without question,” he said. “But now, they won’t fill ivermectin. It almost seems political rather than medical. It’s not scientific. There’s something else going on and it’s very strange. We can now prescribe things through pharmacies they used to vilify. But because our entire medical establishment has now decided that ivermectin must be killed, pharmacists now have a problem with ivermectin.” According to Haider, the purpose of what he described as the “medical misinformation bill” in front of the California Legislature is to prevent doctors from saying things that the state deems to be disinformation. “That,” he said, “begs the question of who decides what is the truth?” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Jan. 11, 2022 (Shawn Thew/Getty Images) “In any scientific field or endeavor, there is no absolute truth,” he explained, asserting that “Dr. Fauci is not science, like he claims to be.” “He does not have the last word on what scientific truth is. We’re always getting closer to the truth, but we have never arrived at a final truth in medicine. So, there always has to be room for debate. Doctors have to be able to take multiple different sides of an argument. So physicians have to be able to hash things out among themselves and to prescribe off-label. You can’t single out one disease and say, ‘This is off limits for the way we’ve conducted medicine for the past 100 years.’ Patients should be able to consult with their physician, discuss treatments and risks, and make decisions without the interference of the government. “In nearly every hospital and clinic in the United States right now, it’s considered to be some form of misinformation or disinformation to say anything other than the vaccines are safe and effective,” Haider noted. “To say there are any risks associated with the vaccines is claimed to be misinformation or disinformation, and the working definition of misinformation or disinformation seems to be anything that would prevent someone from submitting to or doubting the FDA and CDC guidelines and recommendations.” This bill would affect any doctor licensed in California, including Haider. If AB 2098 becomes law, any doctor who prescribes ivermectin—even at the request of their patient—can lose their license to practice medicine in California. “Once you lose your license in one state and you have licenses to practice in other states, you have to report that you lost your license in California to every other state you are licensed in, and then every medical board will start asking questions like, ‘Why did you lose your license in California.’ Once the snowball starts rolling, depending on what the medical board thinks about the reasoning behind the loss of your license in California, you can lose all of your licenses.” In the wake of the pandemic, Haider noted how the country has been further compromised by unprecedented delays in supply lines. We no longer have domestic manufacturing of almost any medications, including and especially antibiotics. In fact, China has captured over 97 percent of the U.S. market for antibiotics. In the setting of runaway inflation, food shortages, and soaring gas prices, it’s easy to imagine an America where pharmacy shelves are bare, or with limited stock and huge price increases. If AB 2098 becomes law, the precedent that would be set is California gets to become the proving grounds for new legislation, not just in medicine, but in everything, Haider said. “Once you make this inroad in violation of physician autonomy on how to treat COVID for their patients, that could just be the beginning,” Haider warned. “What about after that? Do you go after a doctor’s ability to prescribe off-label for anything? Do we have to be restricted to what has been FDA approved for any indication? What happens when we don’t have an on-label drug for the treatment of an indication? What then? How do we treat our patients then?” The Epoch Times has reached out to California Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Cupertino), sponsor of the Assembly version of the bill, as well as the Medical Board of California. Tyler Durden Sat, 05/28/2022 - 20:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt8 hr. 18 min. ago

No Progress In Turkey"s Talks With Sweden, Finland On NATO As Delegations Return Home

No Progress In Turkey's Talks With Sweden, Finland On NATO As Delegations Return Home Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com, Sources told Reuters that Turkey’s talks this week with Sweden and Finland over their NATO bids did not make much progress towards lifting Ankara’s objection to the two Nordic nations joining the military alliance. Delegations from Sweden and Norway headed home from Ankara with a list of Turkey’s concerns, and at this point, it’s not clear when the next round of talks will be. "It is not an easy process," a Turkish official told Reuters. "They need to take concrete steps that will be difficult. Further negotiations will continue. But a date doesn’t seem very close." Unsuccessful talks in Ankara this week, via Reuters In order for the two Nordic nations to join NATO, they need the approval of all 30 of the alliance’s members. Turkey has objected to Sweden and Finland’s potential membership over claims that they support the PKK, a Kurdish militant group Ankara considers a terrorist organization. Ankara also wants the two countries to lift sanctions they imposed on Turkey in 2019. US and NATO officials have tried to downplay Turkey’s opposition, but Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday that the concerns must be taken seriously. "An approach of 'we’ll convince Turkey in time anyway, we are friends and allies’ would not be correct," he said. "These countries need to take concrete steps." Helsinki and Stockholm joining NATO will significantly escalate tensions with Moscow in the region as Finland and Russia share an over 800-mile border. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that while he doesn’t view the two nations joining NATO as a threat, he would have to respond to the expansion of NATO military infrastructure. Tyler Durden Sat, 05/28/2022 - 12:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt16 hr. 5 min. ago

A Russian artist who sneaked anti-war messages onto supermarket price tags is being bullied in jail and denied medical treatment, prison letters say

Alexandra Skochilenko, who switched out regular price tags for slogans opposing the invasion of Ukraine, is awaiting trial in St Petersburg. Sonia Subbotina, left, and Alexandra ‘Sasha’ Skochilenko, right, pose together in a picture.Sonia Subbotina/Insider Alexandra Skochilenko was accused and jailed for replacing store price tags with anti-war messages. She is held in a St Petersburg pre-trial detention center and in poor health, her girlfriend told Insider. According to letters written by Skochilenko, she is also being bullied by others prisoners. Awaiting trial in a St Petersburg detention center, the Russian artist Alexandra Skochilenko is experiencing bullying and "unsanitary" conditions contributing to her ill health, according to her girlfriend.Skochilenko, 31, was arrested on April 11 after switching supermarket price tags with anti-war slogans in a protest against her country's invasion of Ukraine.Like many Russians called Alexander or Alexandra, she also goes by the nickname Sasha.—Soviet Visuals (@sovietvisuals) April 15, 2022She is charged under a new Russian "fake news" law, which penalizes those who publicly spread so-called false information about Russia's military. Skochilenko does not deny switching the stickers in the supermarket, but argues that the charges against her, and her detention, are excessive.Skochilenko will be held in a pre-trial detention center until at least June and, if found guilty, faces a fine of three million rubles ($44,827) and up to ten years in prison.An exterior view of a pre-trial detention center outside of St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 25, 2020.Sergey Nikolaev/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesSonia Subbotina, who has been in a relationship with Skochilenko for five years, told Insider that she has been communicating with her girlfriend by sending and receiving short letters via a lawyer. Insider has seen sections of some of these letters."I feel joy whenever I get a letter from Sasha, and I keep them, and they always read them very often," Subbotina said. "But, really, she often writes very sad things, and it's difficult to read, and I miss her very much."Sonia Subbotina, left, and Alexandra ‘Sasha’ Skochilenko, right, pose at an art gallery.Sonia Subbotina/InsiderAn open wound was left untreated, it's allegedSubbotina said Skochilenko has struggled to get medical treatment for a catalog of illnesses.Skochilenko has celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder where eating gluten causes damage to the small intestine.The artist spent 12 days in a temporary detention center after her arrest, where she was not given gluten-free food. Consequently, Subbotina said, "Sasha was eating very, very little."Desperately hungry, Skochilenko once ate food containing gluten, Subbotina said. "This made her very sick, and she was throwing up a lot and feeling a lot of pain," she added.Alexandra Skochilenko poses outside for a photograph.Sonia Subbotina/InsiderSkochilenko was transferred to her current cell in a pre-trial detention center — a more permanent holding place. Initially, Subbotina said, the Russian artist was also being denied appropriate food.On April 25, the local division of Russia's Federal Prison Service (FSIN) told Interfax that their rules don't require the "provision of separate or individual meals for people who need gluten-free food," per the independent Russian news outlet Meduza.This position was only reversed in the past couple of weeks after intense media pressure and an intervention by a human rights ombudsman, Subbotina said, ensuring that Skochilenko has since been able to secure strictly gluten-free meals.But Skochilenko suffers from other health problems that jail officials overlook, Subbotina told Insider.Alexandra Skochilenko lies on a painted canvas.Sonia Subbotina/Insider"For about a month and a half, Sasha has been experiencing severe pains in the lower part of her abdomen," she said.Doctors initially dismissed this as a minor ailment, Subbotina said, but recently identified it as an ovarian cyst. "Sasha continues to experience severe pain, and a gynecologist confirmed that the cyst is growing," she told Insider.Skochilenko also had an impacted wisdom tooth that was due to be operated on. But because of her arrest, the surgery was canceled. Her pain worsened in jail, Subbotina claimed, prompting jail officials to arrange emergency surgery reluctantly."They didn't have stitching material," she said. "So they left it as an open wound, quite a large open wound, and because of this, Sasha is in a lot of pain, and her gums are inflamed, infected, and she is now having to be treated with antibiotics."Russia's embassy in London did not respond to a request for comment on Skochilenko's case or her detention.But it's not just poor health harming the Russian artist, Subbotina said.The conditions are "unsanitary," she claimed. According to Public Verdict, a Russian human rights group, pre-trial detention centers are often overcrowded, lack adequate medical care and cleaning, and are poorly ventilated.Skochilenko is also struggling with her mental health, her girlfriend said.Worn down by bullying and harassment in jailAlexandra Skochilenko is pictured standing outside in a hat and scarf.Sonia Subbotina/InsiderSkochilenko has bipolar affective disorder, a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings, making her particularly vulnerable to stressful or traumatic events.According to the letters she has sent to her girlfriend, reviewed and translated by Insider, she is being worn down by bullying and harassment in jail.A fellow detainee in the pre-trial detention center, Skochilenko wrote, "talks to me with an authoritarian tone and constantly gives me orders." She added: "She controls my every move and complains about every single one of my actions."She claims others have harassed her, telling her that she stinks, that she talks too much, and that she "gets to everyone," according to the letters.According to a 2020 report by the US State Department, there are reports of prison authorities recruiting inmates to abuse other detainees. Political detainees are often subject to particularly harsh and punitive conditions, the report said.Skochilenko wrote in a letter that a television broadcasting Russian state TV "shouts all day," only being turned off at night and for cell checks. War propaganda has become the soundtrack to her detainment.Alexandra Skochilenko wears "Love" sunglasses.Sonia Subbotina/InsiderSkochilenko is one of more than 2,000 people charged with "discrediting" the Russian army since Putin's invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.Her arrest is unsurprising, her girlfriend said, but the conditions of her detainment and the potential sentence of 10 years in prison have shocked her.Authorities have rejected her legal team's request to transfer her to house arrest, which, under these circumstances, would be expected, according to Vice. Subbotina has been refused the right to visit her girlfriend. Authorities said they denied the request because she is due to be a character witness in her trial.All of this shows just how oppressive the Russian regime has become since the start of the war, Subbotina said."This is definitely to do with the hardening of the authoritarian regime," she said. "There is no way that a person can speak out safely. Any attempt to show an opinion that differs from the government opinion is punished very, very harshly."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt19 hr. 51 min. ago

International Opposition Grows To Biden Granting WHO Pandemic Powers

International Opposition Grows To Biden Granting WHO Pandemic Powers Authored by Mark Tapscott via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Opposition from African delegates to the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, has forced hours of informal dickering on possible revisions to President Joe Biden’s proposals to grant new powers to the World Health Organization (WHO) to deal with viral pandemics. The flag of the World Health Organization (WHO) at their headquarters in Geneva on March 5, 2021. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images) As previously reported by The Epoch Times, Biden’s 13 proposed amendments to the UN’s International Health Regulations (IHR) that govern WHO operations grant broad new powers to Director-General Tedros Adhanhom Ghebreysus, a former Ethiopian government minister who has been in the role since 2017. Earlier this week, Tedros was confirmed for a second term by the assembly, which is WHO’s decision-making body. The United States provides more than $150 million in assessed contributions to fund the organization and has given, on average, an additional $262 million in annual voluntary funding since 2012. World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, on July 3, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/Pool/AFP via Getty Images) Under the proposed amendments, the director-general could declare a public health emergency in any country regardless of whether local officials agree with the declaration. Tedros also would be authorized to rely on evidence from sources other than those approved by the affected country as the basis of such a declaration. Neither the organization’s media office nor its counterpart at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responded to The Epoch Times’ request for comment. The WHA’s business is being conducted by two committees consisting of delegates from 194 member nations. The Biden proposals were first considered earlier this week by Committee A, presided over by Japanese delegate Hiroki Nakatani. The assembly’s process is to allow delegates to comment on and debate proposals, then if no objections are heard, the proposals are considered approved. But when the Biden proposals were first discussed earlier this week in Committee A’s third session, objections were voiced by African delegates. “The African region shares the view that the process should not be fast-tracked,” Moses Keetile, deputy permanent secretary in Botswana’s health ministry, reportedly told the assembly on behalf of the African region. During May 25’s sixth meeting of Committee A, Nakatani told the delegates that “progress was made during the informal discussions … but further discussion seems to be needed” and he said talks would continue. James Rogulski, an independent journalist and researcher, who is closely following the assembly livestream, said “for some reason, they [assembly officials] could not reach a consensus, so it seems like they are not even going to bring it to the floor,” pending the outcome of the informal negotiations. Rogulski added that “what they have done is they are setting up another bureaucracy. They are going to have a working group for the [IHR]. They are going to be taking submissions from around the world for their ideas on how these things should be amended. “That will go into September and then it looks like they are apparently going to be having another meeting in November.” A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo) More details about the working group were contained in Tedros’ report to the world assembly on “Strengthening WHO Preparedness for and Response to Health Emergencies,” including a recommendation for the international health agency to proceed as described by Rogulski. The report said the new working group will “invite proposed amendments to be submitted by 30 Sept. 2022. All such proposed amendments to be communicated by the director-general to all state parties without delay; (d) request the [Working Group on International Health Regulations] WGIHR to convene its organizational meeting no later than 15 November 2022.” Earlier this week, HHS assistant secretary for global affairs Loyce Pace alluded to the Biden amendments without acknowledging the necessity for the informal negotiations. Pace told the assembly that the Biden “administration believes in the need for strong global relationships to combat COVID-19 and to prevent and prepare for future health emergencies.” Pace said U.S. officials are “pleased” that the WHA is moving “to strengthen existing tools available to the WHO and to all member states. “This includes strengthening the international health regulations from 2005 to clarify roles and responsibilities, increase transparency and accountability, share best practices, and communicate in real-time with our global partners. “We are also committed to an intergovernmental negotiating body process that engages external stakeholders and develops an international instrument on pandemics that enables meaningful, inclusive action.” But the Biden proposals have sparked a growing furor in the United States among critics who contend the amendments would amount to ceding of some portion of American sovereignty to WHO in the event of another pandemic like the one that has killed more one million Americans and in excess of six million people worldwide. President Joe Biden pauses while speaking during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington on Nov. 12, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), the first member of Congress to comment critically on the amendments, told The Epoch Times on May 26 that, “Of course the amendments should be withdrawn, but the bigger issue is how we got to this point in the first place. Why is this administration apparently willing to cede any authority to an international body, particularly the WHO?” Norman added that “given the public outrage over this issue, you’d think we’d be hearing directly from the White House concerning the status of these amendments, or at least our delegation to the World Health Assembly. It makes you wonder what’s coming next.” The Biden amendments are being defended by FactCheck.org, a media organization at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania that claims to “monitor the factual accuracy of what is said” by political and other figures on the issues of the day. FactCheck.org said, “conservatives in the United States falsely claim … the amendments will threaten U.S. sovereignty.” The media organization then cited as an example the Biden proposal to delete an existing requirement that WHO consult with officials in a nation with a suspected pandemic before acting. But FactCheck.org then noted that “the proposal eliminates the requirement of consulting and obtaining verification of those third-party reports before taking action, and adds a deadline for the WHO to seek verification of the third-party report.” Critics of the amendment claim removing the organization’s requirement to consult with an affected nation before taking action—such as declaring a public health emergency in that country—amounts to a unilateral grant of power to the international health body. Tyler Durden Sat, 05/28/2022 - 07:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge21 hr. 34 min. ago

Why Is Aflac (AFL) Down 0.2% Since Last Earnings Report?

Aflac (AFL) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues. It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Aflac (AFL). Shares have lost about 0.2% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Aflac due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.Aflac Q1 Earnings Beat on Higher US Sales, Lower CostsAflac reported first-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings per share of $1.42, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.38. The bottom line, however, declined 7.2% year over year.AFL’s total revenues of $5,272 million fell 10.2% year over year. Yet, the top line beat the consensus mark by 2.3%.The better-than-expected first-quarter results were driven by improved returns from alternative investments. The uptick in sales across the Aflac U.S. segment coupled with reduced benefits and expenses also contributed to the upside. Yet, a year-over-year decline in net earned premiums from Japan operations partially offset the positives.Q1 PerformanceAdjusted net investment income declined 3.9% year over year to $879 million for the first quarter.Total net benefits and claims of $2,487 million slipped 9.1% year over year. Total acquisition and operating expenses of $1,509 million slipped 1.4% year over year. As such, total benefits and expenses declined 6.3% year over year to $3,996 million.Aflac JapanTotal adjusted revenues of $3,413 million decreased 11.1% year over year in the segment, mainly due to a 12.8% decline in net earned premiums and a 3.5% decrease in adjusted net investment income. Pretax adjusted earnings of the segment decreased 2.8% year over year to $862 million for the quarter under review. New annualized premium sales amounted to $103 million, which declined 14.8% year over year. First-quarter benefit ratio came in at 67.1%.Aflac U.S.Total adjusted revenues inched up 0.7% year over year to $1,639 million for the first quarter owing to 4.5% growth in adjusted net investment income, partly offset by a 0.6% decline in net earned premiums. Pretax adjusted earnings of the segment totaled $325 million, which declined 27% year over year as total benefits and adjusted expenses jumped 11.2%. Aflac U.S. sales of $299 million improved 19% year over year for the first quarter. First-quarter benefit ratio came in at 44%.Financial Position (as of Mar 31, 2022)Total cash and cash equivalents of $4,275 million decreased from $5,051 million at 2021-end. Total investments and cash of $132.6 billion fell from the 2021-end level of $143 billion. Total assets declined to $147 billion from $157.5 billion at 2021-end.Adjusted debt amounted to $7,403 million at first quarter-end, down from $7,568 million at 2021-end. Total shareholders' equity decreased to $29.5 billion from $33.3 billion at 2021-end. Adjusted debt to adjusted capitalization was recorded at 23.5%.While it has no debt maturities in less than one year, $2,532 million of total debt maturities is expected within the next five years.Adjusted book value per share improved 6.9% year over year to $37.08 for the first quarter. Adjusted return on equity declined 280 basis points to 14.2%.Capital DeploymentIn the first quarter, Aflac bought back 8 million shares worth $500 million. At quarter-end, it had 47.8 million shares left for buyback. It paid $260 million in dividends in the March quarter. The company intends to pay 40 cents per share of dividend in the second quarter, which is flat with the first-quarter level. It has increased dividends for 39 consecutive years.OutlookSales at Japan operations are impacted by the pandemic situation, which affected its ability to meet face-to-face with clients. With an improvement in the current situation, the company expects sales to improve in the second half of 2022. Productivity at Japan Post is expected to improve in the near future. How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?It turns out, fresh estimates have trended downward during the past month.VGM ScoresAt this time, Aflac has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with a C. However, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top quintile for this investment strategy.Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.OutlookEstimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Aflac has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months. Just Released: The Biggest Tech IPOs of 2022 For a limited time, Zacks is revealing the most anticipated tech IPOs expected to launch this year. Concerns about Federal interest rates and inflation caused many private companies to stay on the bench- leading to companies with better brand recognition and higher growth rates getting into the game. With the strength of our economy and record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. See the complete list today.>>See Zacks Hottest IPOs NowWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Aflac Incorporated (AFL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 27th, 2022

Why Is Everest Re (RE) Down 1.2% Since Last Earnings Report?

Everest Re (RE) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues. A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Everest Re (RE). Shares have lost about 1.2% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Everest Re due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.Everest Re  Q1 Earnings Top, Revenues Lag EstimatesEverest Re Group, Ltd.’s first-quarter 2022 operating income per share of $10.31 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 23.9%. The bottom line increased 58.9% year over year.Everest Re witnessed higher premiums across its reinsurance and insurance businesses. A not-so-active cat environment aided underwriting income, driving the combined ratio.Operational UpdateEverest Re’s total operating revenues of nearly $3.1 billion increased 14.8% year over year on higher premiums earned. The top line, however, missed the consensus estimate by 2.6%.Gross written premiums improved 9% year over year to $3.2 billion.  The Reinsurance segment generated premiums of $2.2 billion, up 6% year over year, including a highly successful Jan 1 renewal where Everest achieved growth in targeted classes, notably casualty pro-rata and international treaty, while optimizing the property portfolio to reduce catastrophe volatility and maximize returns. The Insurance segment generated a premium of $1 billion, up 15% year over year, driven by balanced and diversified growth across core classes and geographies.Net investment income was $242.8 million, down 6.8% year over year. Total claims and expenses increased 9.4% to $2.6 billion primarily due to higher incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses, commission, brokerage, taxes and fees, other underwriting expenses, corporate expenses and interest, fees and bond issue cost amortization expense.Pre-tax underwriting income was $235 million including $115 million of catastrophe losses net of recoveries and reinstatement premiums. Catastrophe events comprised Australian flood losses, European storms, and March 2022 events in the United States.The combined ratio improved 650 basis points (bps) year over year to 91.6 in the reported quarter. The combined ratio of the Reinsurance segment improved 610 bps to 91.4 while the same improved 800 bps to 91.9 for the Insurance segment.Financial UpdateEverest Re exited the first quarter of 2022 with total investments and cash of $29.3 billion, down 1.2% from the 2021 level. Shareholder equity at the end of the reported quarter decreased 6% from 2021 end to $9.5 billion. Book value per share was $241.52 as of Mar 31, 2022, down 6.4% from the 2021-end level.The annualized net income return on equity was 16.2%, up 480 bps. Everest Re’s cash flow from operations was $846.4 million in the quarter, down 6.4% year over year.Everest Re paid common share dividends of $61 million during the quarter and bought back shares worth $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2022.How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in estimates review.The consensus estimate has shifted -11.96% due to these changes.VGM ScoresCurrently, Everest Re has a strong Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with a B. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top quintile for this investment strategy.Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of A. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.OutlookEstimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Everest Re has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.Performance of an Industry PlayerEverest Re is part of the Zacks Insurance - Property and Casualty industry. Over the past month, Progressive (PGR), a stock from the same industry, has gained 5.8%. The company reported its results for the quarter ended March 2022 more than a month ago.Progressive reported revenues of $12.29 billion in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of +13.1%. EPS of $1.12 for the same period compares with $1.72 a year ago.For the current quarter, Progressive is expected to post earnings of $0.99 per share, indicating a change of -34.4% from the year-ago quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has changed +3.2% over the last 30 days.Progressive has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) based on the overall direction and magnitude of estimate revisions. Additionally, the stock has a VGM Score of A. Just Released: The Biggest Tech IPOs of 2022 For a limited time, Zacks is revealing the most anticipated tech IPOs expected to launch this year. Concerns about Federal interest rates and inflation caused many private companies to stay on the bench- leading to companies with better brand recognition and higher growth rates getting into the game. With the strength of our economy and record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. See the complete list today.>>See Zacks Hottest IPOs NowWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Everest Re Group, Ltd. (RE): Free Stock Analysis Report The Progressive Corporation (PGR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 27th, 2022

Join the Wall Street"s Rebound Rally With These ETFs

Here are some ETFs for investors to consider who look to bank on the factors supporting the Wall Street rally. Wall Street looks set to end the losing streak this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index, which saw its first eight-week losing streak since 1923 in the week ending May 20, has been up 4.4% so far this week. The other two broad-market indices, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite, which witnessed their seven-week lean patch last week, have also gained 4% and 3.4% each so far this week.Part of this rally can be attributed to investors lobbying to witness a peak in the inflation levels. Moreover, the recently released Fed minutes from the May 3-4 meeting buoyed some optimism among the market participants as there was no element of surprise. The minutes highlighted that the central bank officials are ready to move ahead with several 50-basis point interest rate hikes to control the red-hot inflation readings.Quincy Krosby, chief equity strategist for LPL Financial, believes that the U.S. consumer spending is relatively strong. In this regard, she mentioned that “To be sure, the data releases this week suggest the economy is slowing, and the Fed appears poised to raise rates at a 50 basic point clip over the next two months. But the notion that the consumer, 70 percent of the U.S. economy, is on a spending strike, is overblown as earnings reports coupled with positive guidance indicate otherwise”, as stated in a CNBC article.Several retail earnings also rekindled bullishness among investors. Macy’s M shares were up 19.3% on May 26 on the lifted guidance for 2022 profit levels. Dollar Tree DLTR also rose 21.9% on an earnings beat.Adding to the upbeat scenario is the decline in the initial jobless claims for the week ended May 21. The same came in at 210,000, declining from the previous week’s reading of 218,000, per a CNBC article.Also, certain U.S. economic data releases have been encouraging so far. The Department of Commerce reported that retail sales in April were up 0.9% month over month, below the consensus estimate of 1%. Year over year, retail sales grew 8.2% in April. The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production increased 1.1% last month, well above the consensus estimate of 0.5%.ETFs to Ride the TideInvestors seeking to capitalize on the strong trends should consider the following ETFs:SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust seeks to provide investment results that before expenses generally correspond to the price and the yield performance of the S&P 500 Index.SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust has a total expense ratio of 0.09% and an AUM of $365.52 billion.iShares Core S&P 500 ETF IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETF seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of large-capitalization U.S. equities.iShares Core S&P 500 ETF has an AUM of $288.83 billion and a total expense ratio of 0.03%.SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust DIASPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust seeks to provide investment results that before expenses generally correspond to the price and the yield performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust charges an expense ratio of 0.16%, with an AUM of $28.07 billion.Invesco QQQ QQQInvesco QQQ provides exposure to the largest domestic and international non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq by tracking the Nasdaq-100 Index.Invesco QQQ has an AUM of $158.88 billion and charges investors 20 basis points as annual fees (read: 2 ETFs to Watch for Outsized Volume on Mid-Cap & Consumer).Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Index ETF ONEQFidelity Nasdaq Composite Index ETF seeks to provide investment returns that closely correspond to the price and the yield performance of the Nasdaq Composite Index.Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Index ETF has an AUM of $3.71 billion and an expense ratio of 0.21% (read: Guide to the Nasdaq ETF Investing). Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Macy's, Inc. (M): Free Stock Analysis Report Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR): Free Stock Analysis Report Invesco QQQ (QQQ): ETF Research Reports SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY): ETF Research Reports SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA): ETF Research Reports iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV): ETF Research Reports Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Index ETF (ONEQ): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 27th, 2022

Democratic activist files complaint against San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo"s PAC, claims violation of campaign finance laws

A complaint alleges that San Jose's mayor should not have formed his political action committee, Common Good Silicon Valley, nor raised money for candidates running in the 2022 election......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 27th, 2022

"We Could See A Million Layoffs Or More" - Here Comes The Job Market Shock

"We Could See A Million Layoffs Or More" - Here Comes The Job Market Shock Last weekend we showed something remarkable (or delightful, if one is a stock bull): with the US economy on the verge of recession, with inflation topping, with the housing market about to crack, the last pillar holding up the US economy (and preventing the Fed from continuing its tightening plans beyond the summer), the job market, had just hit a brick wall as revealed by real-time indicators - such as Revello's measure of total job postings - which plunged by 22.5%, the biggest change on record (we also listed several other labor market metrics confirming that the job market was about to crater). Fast forward to today when one day after we found that initial jobless claims continue to rise after hitting a generational low in March, and as company after company is warning that it will freeze hiring amid a historic profit margin crunch - if not announce outright layoff plans - Piper Sandler has compiled all the recent company mass layoff announcements. They are, in a word, startling. Commenting on the surge in layoffs, Piper Sandler's chief economist Nancy Lazar says that "post-covid rightsizing means that lots more layoffs are coming" and adds that "many companies overhired and overpaid during the Covid crisis." Lazar also points out the obvious, that "the stay-at-home bubble was a bubble, and not a "new paradigm" of goods consumption" which means that "a right-sizing cycle is coming, with weaker growth in jobs and wages." Here are the stunning implications according to Piper Sandler: We could see a million layoffs or more, as many goods sectors that benefited from the pandemic now realize they added too much capacity (as involuntary admissions make clear). Low-income workers - who enjoyed the hottest wage gains during the crisis - are now most at risk of layoffs, with remaining job holders to see much slower wage growth. Payrolls gains are poised to downshift to just 100k/month on average in the second half of the year, from about 515k/month through April. While the above implications are startling for the US economy as a whole, they are especially bad for America's poorest quintile which, according to Morgan Stanley calculations, now have less "excess cash" than they did pre-covid. In other words, the poorest 20% income quintile is now poorer than it was before Biden's massive stimmy bonanza. And with every passing month, more quintile will get dragged underneath. Of course, the US labor market doesn't need to go into all-out cardiac arrest - a sharp drop in wage growth should do it. And sure enough, according to a Bloomberg report today, after handing out hefty salary increases over the past year, companies are now becoming more cautious with their cash over concern further big payouts will eat into profits, according to staffing companies, business owners and recent surveys. “We’ve reached a level of wage inflation where employers are going to say, ‘I’ve done as much as I can,’” said Jonas Prising, chief executive officer of ManpowerGroup Inc., the Milwaukee-based staffing company that serves more than 100,000 clients worldwide. “‘My consumers and customers aren’t going to accept me passing these costs on any further, so we need to start to mitigate them.’” Burning Glass Institute Chief Economist Gad Levanon said the US is transitioning from a pandemic-driven job market -- where many Americans weren’t actively seeking work due to fears of the virus and related issues -- to one that is more traditionally tight because unemployment is low.  “Every company still needs people but they don’t need hundreds of people,” said Tom Gimbel, chief executive officer of Chicago-based employment agency LaSalle Network. “They’re being choosier about who they’re hiring than they were six months ago.” Beveridge Well Drilling Inc. is among those feeling the pinch. The Nebraska-based company is offering an hourly wage of $16.50 for manual labor, up from $12 about a year ago. But even with “100%” health care benefits and other generous perks, it can’t fill all the open slots, vice president of construction Brandon Jones said. And while the firm could bump up its offers to about $18 an hour, that’s “about as high as we feel we can do” against the backdrop of rising fuel and supply costs, Jones said. All of which begs the question: yes, Biden may be terrified about soaring inflation.... Biden about to find out what polls worse: recession and bear market or runaway inflation. — zerohedge (@zerohedge) May 20, 2022 ... but how long will he tolerate an economy (and how long will an economic tolerate him) where millions are not only about to see their wages "revert back to normal" if they are lucky, while many other millions are about to lose their jobs. As for the Fed, well with the Citi US Eco surprise index already crashing... ... one can only imagine where it will go not if but when we get a negative payrolls print in one of the coming months, and what that will do to the Fed's hiking plans. Full notes available to professional subs in the usual place. Tyler Durden Fri, 05/27/2022 - 13:10.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 27th, 2022