Advertisements



Dayton in "due diligence" phase for new $11M police-fire station

The City of Dayton is conducting due diligence this year on its plan for a new $11 million police-fire station......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 14th, 2022

10 Things in Politics: Kamalaworld frets about 2024

And President Joe Biden releases a slimmed-down $1.75 trillion spending plan. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.Here's what we're talking about:Kamalaworld is worried about a difficult, messy Democratic primary if it's Harris versus Pete Buttigieg in 2024Senators worry about who else an unnamed senator may have sexually abusedBiden releases slimmed-down $1.75 trillion spending planWith Phil Rosen. Vice President Kamala Harris and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Win McNamee/Getty Images; AP Photo/Evan Vucci 1. 2024 VISION: The KHive is expecting a messy 2024 primary if President Joe Biden opts against running for reelection. People in Vice President Kamala Harris' orbit have taken note of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's rise, especially as Buttigieg supporters begin to plot their own 2024 plans.Here's what else former Harris staffers, fundraisers, and Democratic insiders are saying about 2024:"I don't know if Secretary Buttigieg wants that smoke": Democratic strategists and Harris supporters are issuing a brushback pitch to Buttigieg after Insider reported that some of his top fundraisers were musing that he'd be a better presidential candidate than Harris. People close to Buttigieg stress that he has nothing to do with the 2024 talk. People close to him and the vice president also stress that the two have become friendly colleagues.The full quote: "It would be messy, and honestly I don't know if Secretary Buttigieg wants that smoke, given what ultimately limited his campaign in 2020 - that it was viewed to be not diverse, not representative of a changing country, that it was essentially viewed as a way station for disaffected white liberals," a Democratic strategist who has worked on presidential campaigns told my colleagues.Many don't think Harris would clear the field: "I don't think she's got a stranglehold on the party," a former Harris staffer told my colleagues. "I don't think it's like Al Gore for Bill Clinton."Others to look out for: Insiders also think the 2020 hopefuls Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren could run again if Biden bows out. (Biden has said he intends to run again.) Terry McAuliffe is also mentioned, but he's engaged in a tight battle to reclaim his old job as Virginia governor.Read more about what Harris loyalists are saying about 2024 and why Democrats say they're gearing up for another "messy" fight.2. Democrats have a framework for their massive spending plan: The White House unveiled a $1.75 trillion social-spending plan, dramatically curtailing Biden's economic ambitions in an effort to appease centrist holdouts like Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. There's still no final bill text. Some Democrats have also pledged to push for changes after the outline confirmed major areas like paid family leave and lowering prescription-drug prices were not included, making it unclear how much longer talks will continue. Here's a look at what else made the cut.A historic climate investment: Biden's plan calls for $555 billion in spending to address the climate crisis by incentivizing Americans to install solar panels and buy electric vehicles, spurring the creation of green energy jobs, and building a new Civilian Climate Corps that'd seek to provide more than 300,000 union jobs. Per The Washington Post, it'd be the biggest clean-energy investment in US history. | The details.3. Biden's infrastructure plan remains stalled: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once again pulled a vote after progressives threatened to torpedo the $1 trillion bipartisan proposal over concerns about the much-larger budget deal. Biden delayed his foreign trip to visit with House Democrats directly and told them, "I don't think it's hyperbole to say that the House and Senate majorities and my presidency will be determined by what happens in the next week." Here's where things stand. Huma Abedin on Capitol Hill in 2015. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images 4. Senators worry about who else an unnamed senator may have sexually abused: Sitting senators are concerned after the longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin wrote in a book that an unnamed senator forcibly kissed her in 2005. Abedin did not disclose the senator's party or whether he's still serving in the chamber. More on senators' reactions to the bombshell allegation.5. Biden administration considers $450,000 settlements to families separated at the border under Trump: The sums under discussion are $1 million payouts per family, or $450,000 per individual, potentially totaling $1 billion, but the figures are subject to change, The Wall Street Journal reports. Lawyers representing the families are requesting at least $3.4 million a family. Most of the lawsuits allege that the children separated from their parents suffered both short-term and long-term trauma from their experiences. More on what the Biden administration is considering after Trump's widely panned zero-tolerance immigration policy. Sen. Richard Burr. Samuel Corum/Getty Images 6. Feds are still investigating a GOP lawmaker over possible insider trading: Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina's dumping of more than $1.6 million in stock just a week before the market tanked in February 2020 amid coronavirus fears continues to draw the interest of federal regulators, ProPublica reports. The Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Burr called his brother-in-law, Gerald Fauth, after unloading his own stocks. Fauth then quickly sold off up to $280,000 worth of stock. The SEC says Burr had access to nonpublic information about how the coronavirus would affect the economy because of his status at the time as the leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Here's what else the feds are revealing about their lengthy investigation.7. Facebook rebrands as Meta: "From now on, we'll be metaverse first, not Facebook first," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a company event. Zuckerberg later scoffed at the notion that Facebook was changing its name because of the increased federal scrutiny and litany of bad press stemming from a whistleblower's revelations about the social network. More on the future of Facebook and why Zuckerberg is so focused on the metaverse.8. New York is bracing for staffing issues over its vaccine mandates: City officials are making contingency plans while bracing for the possibility that thousands of city workers could be placed on unpaid leave starting Monday once the first phase of the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate takes effect, The New York Times reports. As of Thursday morning, a third of the workers in the fire and sanitation departments - and a fourth of the police force - had not yet shown proof of their vaccination. More on New York City's mandate and the defiant streak some workers are taking.9. Andrew Cuomo faces a criminal charge over groping allegation: A criminal complaint has been filed against the former New York governor over an allegation of forcible touching at the governor's mansion, The Times reports. Cuomo resigned in August in the wake of a state attorney general's report that documented scores of claims of sexual harassment by Cuomo. Cuomo has repeatedly denied forcibly touching anyone. Everything else we know about the charge Cuomo is facing. Getty/Spicy Lingerie 10. Take a look at how Halloween costumes have changed over the years: Classic getups like clown costumes used to look friendly but are now terrifying. People used to wear actual nurse outfits when dressing up for Halloween, but now equivalent costumes are skimpy and scandalous. Here's how 10 classic costumes have changed.Today's trivia question: Who was the first US president to fly on a plane specially designed for the commander in chief? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Yesterday's answer: Then-Sen. Barack Obama made his first - and so far only - "SNL" appearance during a cold-open sketch in which he wore a mask of himself to a Halloween party hosted by the Clintons. "I'm not going to change who I am just because it's Halloween," Obama joked.That's all for this week. Happy Halloween!Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 29th, 2021

The NYPD will "flood the system with uniforms" after multiple people were shot in a Brooklyn subway station, former NYPD captain says

It's "very difficult" to protect against mass shootings in low-profile New York City subway stations, former NYPD Captain James Dooley told Insider. Police and emergency responders gather at the site of a shooting at a New York City subway station on April 12, 2022.Spencer Platt/Getty Images The NYPD will put "several hundred" more officers in the subway system after Tuesday shooting, a retired NYPD captain said. On Tuesday morning, a gunman opened fire at a Brooklyn subway station, leaving more than a dozen injured. It's "difficult" to prevent attacks like that in low-profile stations, the former NYPD captain said. In the days to come, the New York Police Department will deploy "several hundred" officers to various subway stations around New York City in response to a shooting that left multiple people injured, a policing expert told Insider. A man wearing a gas mask and a construction vest shot at least six people in a Brooklyn subway station Tuesday morning. More than a dozen were injured. Officers with the New York Police Department have not yet caught the gunman, and they're expected to conduct a "lengthy investigation" to determine his identity and motive, said James Dooley, a retired NYPD captain who's now a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The NYPD will also rev up security, Dooley told Insider."They're going to flood the transit system with uniforms," he said. "They're going to put several hundred more officers on the high-profile train stations," he said, specifically pointing to some of New York City's most traveled stations like Penn Station and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center. Tuesday's shooting, however, occurred at the 36th Street and 4th Avenue subway station in Brooklyn, which receives comparatively low foot traffic. Preventing gun violence in small subway stations is "very difficult," Dooley said. "We don't stop people getting onto the system," he continued. "We don't search people getting onto the system generally. So how do you stop someone from getting on with a device? For the most part, truthfully, we don't — not in a free society."There are cameras at every subway station, but they're passively monitored, Dooley said. So it's unlikely that anyone behind the camera would catch sight of a potential gunman before they fire. The gunman behind Tuesday's shooting, though, was wearing a construction vest, and "most people would not even question that," Dooley said.Commuters who ride the New York City subway system are used to seeing people in construction vests. "They would say, 'Oh, he's obviously a contractor working for the MTA," Dooley said.The incident will ramp up fears about riding the subwayPeople stand outside a subway station in Times Square, New York City. The New York City subway system is the largest in the US.Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesFor months, New Yorkers have been on edge about taking trips using the New York City subway system. In mid-January, a homeless man shoved 40-year-old Michelle Go in front of an incoming train at the Times Square station. Go was found dead on the tracks; she never saw her attacker. Eight days later, a 62-year-old man was pushed onto the tracks at a Lower Manhattan station. Police said he had to receive treatment for a leg laceration.Tuesday's shooting will exacerbate that fear, Dooley told Insider, and likely cause daily ridership to plummet."People are now going to be afraid," he said. "Especially during rush hour, because this individual did this at about 8:30 a.m.""It was designed to strike fear in the morning rush hour," he said. After the police find and debrief the gunman, they're going to scour his house and analyze his social media and any content around the shooting to check for potential red flags and clues that give insight into his motives, Dooley said. "This is gonna be a lengthy, lengthy investigation," he added. "This is not gonna be wrapped up in a week. This will take quite a while."While they conduct their investigation, officers from the MTA, which runs the New York City subway system, might be deployed to stations that have less foot traffic, like the site of Tuesday's shooting, according to Dooley. And if the police determine that the shooting was an act of terrorism, the FBI will get involved and bring in federal resources. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 12th, 2022

Before and after photos of 5 Ukrainian cities show the scale of destruction Russian forces have wreaked since they invaded the country

Photos show once-peaceful neighborhoods turn into ravaged warzones, from the outskirts of Kyiv to Mariupol in eastern Ukraine. A school in Chernihiv before and after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Google Maps/Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 without provocation and has since launched a full-scale attack on the country. The war in Ukraine has left 691 civilians dead and 1,143 wounded, though officials warn the death toll may be higher. Photos show once-peaceful neighborhoods turned into ravaged war zones, from the outskirts of Kyiv to Mariupol in eastern Ukraine. Kharkiv: This is what Kharkiv, a city of 1.4 million people, looked like in 2014. Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, is located in the northeastern part of the country.Sumskaya street in Kharkiv, Ukraine on October 14, 2014.Pavlo Pakhomenko/NurPhoto/Getty ImagesAlthough Kharkiv has experienced periods of sporadic pro-Russian unrest since March 2014, there had been minimal damage to city infrastructure before the war.The photo above shows Sumskaya street in Kharkiv on a bustling night, with its classical buildings intact and stores open for business.The photo below shows a street in Kharkiv in ruins on March 7.Ukrainian police officers patrol a street following a shelling in Ukraine's second-biggest city of Kharkiv on March 7, 2022.Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty ImagesAt least 500 people have been killed in Kharkiv since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, according to the regional emergency service, reported Al Jazeera. More than 600 buildings have been destroyed, said Mayor Ihor Terekhov in a televised interview on March 15.The city has been under constant shelling, with experts saying troops are deliberately targeting residential buildings."I have never seen Kharkiv so empty, silent, and dark. After days of bombardment, the historical city centre looks like a scene from WWII," said Maria Avdeeva, a Kharkiv resident and research director at the European Expert Association.Irpin: Situated just outside Kyiv, the city of Irpin is home to fewer than 70,000 residents.Neighborhood streets in Irpin.iStock/Getty Images PlusThe city is located near the Irpin river. Apart from its railway station, Irpin is known for its nature parks and historical monuments.A railway bridge in Irpin has become a site of destruction and death under Russia's attack.Evacuees cross a destroyed bridge as they flee the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, on March 7, 2022.Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty ImagesAir strikes have damaged many of Irpin's residential buildings, roads, and bridges.A key bridge in the city was destroyed (pictured above), so residents were forced to walk around the structure in a single-file, with some holding white flags, reported The Washington Post.Those who decided not to leave, many of whom belonged to Ukraine's Territorial Defence Forces, stayed in underground shelters and ditches.Chernihiv: The photo below shows a neighborhood school on Sjerykova Street in Chernihiv, a northern city of 280,000 people.6 Sjerykova St in Chernihiv, Ukraine.Google MapsThe city is known for its Baroque-style cathedrals and monasteries.Chernihiv is said to have been one of the most important cities in the historical federation of Kyivan Rus, which spanned from the ninth to mid-13th centuries. Putin used the federation to justify Russia's invasion of Ukraine.Russian air strikes against Chernihiv in March left much of the city destroyed. The photo below shows the same school on Sjerykova Street, severely damaged.A school building damaged in the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv on March 4, 2022.Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty ImagesThe city was bombarded by Russian forces, with many strikes hitting residential areas.Cultural sites like museums were also destroyed. A video dated March 3 shows shelling in a residential area where a school and children's hospital was located. Another clip that circulated on Telegram and Twitter on March 16 shows at least 10 Chernihiv residents, who were lining up for bread, killed by Russian forces."Today, Russian forces shot and killed 10 people standing in line for bread in Chernihiv," The US Embassy in Kyiv said in a Twitter post on March 16."Such horrific attacks must stop. We are considering all available options to ensure accountability for any atrocity crimes in Ukraine," the embassy added.Kyiv: In Sviatoshynskyi District in Kyiv, high-rise residential buildings line the streets. More than 340,000 people live in the district.Residential buildings in Svyatoshyns'kyi District.Google MapsResidents have said Sviatoshynskyi district is a tightknit community with a garden, stores, and cafes. The district also has a handful of schools and metro stations.A missile attack on an apartment building in Sviatoshynskyi district on March 15 left at least four people dead, according to The Washington Post.Firemen extinguishing the fire created by Russian shelling in Svyatoshyns'kyi District Kyiv, 12km from the center of the capital, on March 15, 2022.Andrea Filigheddu/NurPhoto/Getty Images)It was one of at least three suspected Russian air strikes on residential areas in the capital since March 14, reported The Post.At least 27 residents were rescued by firefighters from the 16-story building, according to a Facebook post by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.Mariupol: The photo below, taken in 2015, shows dozens of homes and high-rise apartments in a Mariupol neighborhood.Vostochniy district of Mariupol, Ukraine, on January 26, 2015.Evgeniy Maloletka/APMariupol, in southeastern Ukraine, has over 430,000 residents. The city was involved in the eight-year-long conflict in Donbas and had at various times since 2014 been at times attacked by pro-Russian separatists.Mariupol was declared the capital of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in February 2014 but came back under Ukrainian control four months later, according to the BBC.Mariupol has been under siege by Russian forces since February 24. The photo below shows a pregnant woman being carried by emergency workers after the city's maternity ward was bombed.Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022.Evgeniy Maloletka/APOn March 9, Russia bombed a children's hospital and maternity ward in Mariupol. The city was hit with a series of blasts that shook the ground more than a mile away, according to Al Jazeera.The wounded pregnant woman photographed by the Associated Press (pictured above) died from her injuries. Her unborn baby also died, the wire agency reported.Dead bodies have been piled up in mass graves in the city, reported the AP.As of March 15, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded 691 confirmed deaths and 1,143 wounded, but officials have said the death toll is likely much higher.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 17th, 2022

"It"s impossible to explain what happens in your soul": A view from Ukraine"s exodus to escape the Russian invasion

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began just before dawn on Feb. 24, hundreds of thousands of people have joined a desperate westward exodus. The train station in Kyiv.Alan Chin for Insider An endless sea of red taillights fill every road from Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, to Lviv, in the far west.  Photographer Alan Chin reports from Ukraine.  An endless sea of red taillights fill every road from Kyiv – Ukraine's capital, in the middle of the country – to Lviv, on Ukraine's western border with Poland. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began just before dawn on Feb. 24, with missile strikes and later ground troops closing in on cities, hundreds of thousands of people got into their cars and joined a desperate westward exodus. Even the night before, this had seemed unthinkable: restaurants and cafes in Kyiv were open and operating as normal. There were no lines at markets or at banks. The undercurrent of anxiety was masked with, depending on who one spoke to, resignation, bravado, denial, or all the above.Starting at about 5 in the morning, explosions could be heard in the city's outskirts. More worrying, there were conflicting reports about fierce fighting with Russian ground troops at an airport 20 km from the capital. By late morning, the central bus station had shut down and people, dragging suitcases, began pouring into the train station. Most of the trains heading east, toward the most intense fighting, had been canceled, and an announcement over the PA system urged calm. Residents who couldn't, or wouldn't, travel west took cover in underground metro stations. Many others got into their cars. A stream of cars head west from Kyiv, Ukraine's capital.Alan Chin for InsiderOnce the exodus began, it was calm and orderly. Motorists mostly obeyed traffic rules, even in massive traffic jams, and yielded to ambulances. The long lines that now formed at cash machines, gas stations, pharmacies, and supermarkets were as polite and efficient as they could be in a society where a receipt is generated for the smallest transaction. Thus far, electricity, mobile phone service, and internet access have continued to function in most places.Online map apps like Google and Waze were largely accurate in showing delays. Because the apps are dynamic in real time – adjusting to estimate the best and fastest routes – and given the huge volume of vehicles on the move, every road was jam-packed, including potholed and cobblestone, rural lanes. Most of the vehicles, whether luxury SUVs and budget hatchbacks, carried Kyiv license plates.  That didn't mean that it was easy, though, with broken down cars on the side of the road, unpredictable obstacles, and unnerving dangers. Arbitrary rules about who had priority to buy fuel at gas stations added to the confusion. At one, a station employee was asking for a special "gas card," but it was utterly unclear what that meant and the request didn't come up at other stations. Fifty miles south of Kyiv, lawyer Andriy Oliev was able to fill up and eat a hot dog. He said he was heading to Lviv, where he had relatives. "It's more dangerous in Kyiv than anywhere else in Ukraine right now," he explained. "Russia is trying to catch Kyiv in a circle. They're invading from Belarus. They're trying to catch Kyiv between two lines of fire."The Bila Tserkva train station.Alan Chin for InsiderThat evening at the Bila Tserkva train station (above) nearby, M Ahtisham Bhutta (above,with orange lined jacket, bottom) was one of eight Pakistani students who had waited all day for the next train to Lviv. Speaking for the group, he said they had been studying at the National Agrarian University, in Bila Tserkva, for the last six months. "We were the first people here in the morning," he said. "Last night was very horrible for us, because of bombs blasting. More than 10 bombs. We were sleeping. Suddenly it happened and we woke up. I could see the flashes of light," he said. "We didn't change our clothes, just took small bags, and came here. My family listened to the news and have been calling and calling. They are very worried because I am the only son of my parents and they sent me here for a fine education. But now, who knows? It's very difficult for all the students' mothers."M Ahtisham Bhutta (wearing an orange jacket) was one of eight Pakistani students awaiting a train to head out of Ukraine.Alan Chin for InsiderNearby stood Anastasia Vasiliyevska, who works as a manicurist (above). "This morning at 5, hearing explosions, I was scared, very scared. Nothing ever happened like that before here," she said. She said she was heading to Poland, and added. "I hope they let us in.""I'm just sad," she continued. "My friends are here and some of my family. They can't leave. They have their own families and children. They don't know what life they would have after… They say, yeah, we could leave, but then what? Where will we go? What will we do? They already bought food, water, everything." Anastasia Vasiliyevska hopes to reach Poland.Alan Chin for InsiderLate at night, winding through the villages of central Ukraine – still not quite 24 hours into the invasion – the only visible military presence was occasional trucks and equipment clearly belonging to support, not combat, units. But near the small town of Skvyra, a large group of men gathered at a gas station. Some were in military uniform, some police, and some were civilians (or perhaps undercover cops). They declined to be photographed or answer any questions.As air raid sirens sounded, a Vinnytsia resident sought the relative safety of an alley, near the wide avenue where she had been walking.Alan Chin for InsiderAdding to the stress of the voyage were the corrosive power of rumors. In Vinnytsia, we heard that the Ukrainian government had shot down a Russian aircraft north of the city, though it couldn't be confirmed. Sirens continued to blare repeatedly on the streets downtown. Each wail was followed by an ominous recording announcing that the danger of aerial bombardment was high, and that people should take cover. The police were on edge, with official Ukrainian media constantly warning of "saboteurs" and Russian spies. Along with another American journalist, we were questioned by the police for over an hour and asked to produce our documents multiple times.At one point in heavily congested traffic west of Vinnytsia, many cars and trucks started making U-turns, telling oncoming motorists that a bridge ahead had been blown up. Doing some quick checking, I saw that there had been unconfirmed reports. Northwest of Kyiv, the Ukrainian Army had indeed destroyed a [different] bridge to prevent the invading Russians from using it. But Letychiv and its small span across the Vovk River are over 200 miles away. In fact, this bridge was intact, and the traffic jams were caused by police and military checkpoints.Avtandil and Maluza Glonti and their three children dine at the "Ne Puhu Ne Pera" ("Neither Feather Nor Fur") roadside restaurant.Alan Chin for InsiderIn Letychiv – nearly half way between Kyiv and Lviv – the Ne Puhu Ne Pera ("Neither Feather Nor Fur") roadside restaurant did a brisk business. Many of its menu items were sold out but what remained was a welcome hot meal for weary travelers.Avtandil Glonti, a lawyer, his wife Maluza, a doctor, and their three children (above) left their home in Dnipro right before their city was struck by air and missile strikes. The city, southeast from Kyiv, sits on the Dnieper River that divides east and west Ukraine. He explained, "We had to flee Georgia in 2008. It was the same – Putin attacked Georgia.""We've been driving 15 hours straight, because we don't want to waste time," he continued. "We're going to Poland. Once we're in a safe space, we'll decide what to do. Maybe Germany.""It's hard psychologically to be in an unstable situation," Maluza added. "We had to abandon everything. But we can go back only if Russia leaves."Dasha Polischuk, her year-old baby boy Maxim, and her husband Roma.Alan Chin for InsiderDasha Polischuk is a 28-year-old kindergarten teacher from Cherkasy, a city on the Dnieper River, was traveling with her year-old baby boy Maxim, her husband Roma (all above) and other members of her family in a van. They had been on the road for nine hours without stopping, because they had continued to hear the air raid sirens as they passed through towns and cities on the way."Shock. Panic," she said of the first explosions the night before. "We were running and rushing to pack everything. In a situation like that it's impossible to explain what happens in your soul. And more importantly, what might happen to your family and your baby. I wish for Putin and his family to live through the same that we just did. I want to ask the Russian people to stand up against Putin."The mass movement continues, although able-bodied men aged 18 to 60 are now forbidden to leave the country because they're supposed to stay and fight. Ukraine's cities at night are blacked out, to make it harder for Russian planes to find their targets, and quiet, with a curfew in place. It remains to be seen if any of these internally displaced people and soon to be refugees can return home any time soon.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytFeb 26th, 2022

Live updates: Zelensky says "enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv" and that he is "number one target"

Russia attacked Ukraine Thursday morning. Blasts were heard across the country, with reports of artillery fire from Russian forces across the border. Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.Aris Messinis / AFP via Getty Images US President Joe Biden announced a new round of "strong sanctions" on Russia. Russian forces attacked Ukraine on Thursday morning. Ukraine called it a "full-scale invasion." Ukraine said eight civilians were killed, as well as dozens more troops on both sides. Large explosions heard in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital cityA night view of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city, as seen on Thursday.Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty ImagesKyiv, the capital of Ukraine, was awakened by explosions in the early hours of Friday morning local time, CNN reported."Strikes on Kyiv with cruise or ballistic missiles continued," Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Ukraine, told CNN Thursday.The outlet also reported multiple bombardments — two blasts in Kyiv and an explosion in the distance. Read Full StoryUkraine is crowdfunding to shore up its defenses against the Russian militarySoldiers seen aboard a Ukrainian tank in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Thursday.REUTERS/Carlos BarriaUkraine is crowdfunding to bolster its armed forces against the Russian invasion.In a tweet on Thursday, the official Twitter account of Ukraine called for donations and provided a link to the country's official website.Collected funds will be used for the "logistical and medical support" of the Ukrainian armed forces, said the webpage, which is operated by Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ukrainian Institution.Read Full Story5 reasons Putin and others have given for the invasionRussian President Vladimir Putin claims the Ukraine invasion is aimed at preventing the "genocide" of ethnic Russians in the country.Photo by Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty ImagesRussian forces attacked Ukraine early Thursday morning, launching a large-scale and unprovoked invasion that was feared for weeks.Here are some reasons Russian President Vladimir Putin has given for why Russia invaded Ukraine — some of which are based on falsehoods — along with what the US and NATO have said about his motivations.Read Full StoryThe Biden administration is considering training Ukrainian soldiers in an outside country, according to AxiosUkrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine on January 20, 2022.Wolfgang Schwan/Getty ImagesAs Russian forces enclose on Ukraine's capital Kyiv, the Biden administration is eyeing its next steps in the ongoing conflict.Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told House lawmakers on Thursday that the US government is considering possible ways to train Ukrainian troops outside of Ukraine, should Russia seize control of the country, according to Axios.Austin reportedly told lawmakers that officials are trying to find ways to provide more defense equipment, including ammunition to Ukrainian forces — a feat made more challenging as Russian forces assault the country.The secretary also told House members that the Biden administration will continue to support Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's government as long as it is "viable," the outlet reported.Ukrainian president announces general mobilization of all conscripts and reservists to last 90 daysUkrainian soldiers sit on top of a military vehicle parked outside the hotel in Prypiat, Ukraine on February 4.Volodymyr Tarasov/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty ImageUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday ordered a general military mobilization throughout the country as Russia continues its large-scale military assault in Ukraine. The declaration ordered the conscription of conscripts and reservists for military service, as well as their delivery to military units and institutions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in order to "ensure the defense of the state." The mobilization, which included all of Ukraine's major cities, will be carried out within 90 days, the decree said. It will provide personnel, vehicles, infrastructure, and land use for the Ukrainian government and military amid Russia's ongoing invasion, according to the decree. Ukraine has also banned all male citizens ages 18-60 from leaving the country, according to CNN, which cited the State Border Guard Service. READ FULL STORYZelensky says 'enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv' and that he is 'number one target'Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a statement during the 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) on February 19, 2022 in Munich, Germany.Photo by Ronald Wittek - Pool/Getty ImagesIn his second video address on Thursday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said that "enemy sabotage groups" entered Kyiv, and that he plans to remain, despite being Russia's "number one target.""According to preliminary data, unfortunately, we have lost 137 of our heroes today — our citizens. Ten of them are officers," Zelensky said in his address. "316 are wounded."He also used the opportunity to dispel rumors that he had fled Kyiv, and that his family had left the country."I stay in the capital, I stay with my people. During the day, I held dozens of international talks, directly managed our country. And I will stay in the capital," he said. "My family is also in Ukraine. My children are also in Ukraine. My family is not traitors. They are the citizens of Ukraine. But I have no right to say where they are now."READ FULL STORYWhite House is 'outraged' over reports that staff at Chernobyl have been taken hostage by Russian forcesServicemen take part in a joint tactical and special exercises of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ukrainian National Guard and Ministry Emergency in a ghost city of Pripyat, near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on February 4, 2022.Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty ImagesPress secretary Jen Psaki said the White House is outraged over reports from Ukrainian officials that staff at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine have been taken hostage by Russian troops.Russian forces took over the remnants of Chernobyl earlier on Thursday during the country's invasion of Ukraine. The move indicated Russia is likely to assault Ukraine's capital city, Kyiv, which is located just south of Chernobyl, the site of one of the worst nuclear disasters in history."We're outraged by credible reports that Russian soldiers are currently holding the staff of the Chernobyl facility hostage," Psaki said during a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, adding "we condemn it and we request their release."Psaki said the situation at Chernobyl was not clear but that the hostage taking was "incredibly alarming and greatly concerning," adding it could hurt efforts to maintain the facility, which is dangerously contaminated with radioactivity as a result of the 1986 nuclear disaster.read full STORYUS secretary of state is 'convinced' Russia will try to overthrow the Ukrainian governmentUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" on April 11, 2021.Meet The Press/NBCUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said he is "convinced" Moscow will try to overthrow Ukraine's government."You don't need intelligence to tell you that that's exactly what President Putin wants. He has made clear he'd like to reconstitute the Soviet Empire, short of that he'd like to reassert a sphere of influence around the neighboring countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc," Blinken said during a national TV interview. The secretary pledged that NATO would intervene before Putin successfully accomplished his ultimate goal."Now, when it comes to a threat beyond Ukraine's borders. There's something very powerful standing in his way. That's article five of NATO, an attack on one is an attack on all," the top diplomat said.  Expert says Russia's Ukraine invasion will result in 'horrific scenes,' could be launch of 'Cold War 2.0'Ukrainians gather in front of the White House in Washington, USA to stage a protest against Russia's attack in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesA former aide to President Barack Obama is warning that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a "game changer" in international relations that will result in "horrific scenes" in the coming days, with President Vladimir Putin intent on pursuing regime change at all costs."I think it's just a matter of time before Kyiv falls," Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who also served on the National Security Council in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, told Insider.READ FULL STORYThe White House says it's ready to accept Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasionWhite House press secretary Jen Psaki.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe US is prepared to accept Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia's invasion, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told CNN."We are," Psaki said when asked whether the US was ready to assist fleeing Ukrainians. "But we certainly expect that most if not the majority will want to go to Europe and neighboring countries. So, we are also working with European countries on what the needs are, where there is capacity. Poland, for example, where we are seeing an increasing flow of refugees over the last 24 hours."She added that US officials have been engaging with Europeans on the matter "for some time." Ukrainian and Russian forces have been fighting for hours over a critical airfield just outside KyivUkraine army says battle under way for airbase near Kyiv on February 24, 2022Daniel LEAL / Getty ImagesUkrainian and Russian forces have been fighting for hours over a critical airfield on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city.Russian forces attacked and seized Hostomel (Gostomel) airfield, a cargo airport near Kyiv that is also known as Antonov airport, early Thursday, according to AFP. Ukraine's leadership reportedly vowed to take it back."The enemy paratroopers in Hostomel have been blocked, and troops have received an order to destroy them," Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address.Read Full StoryUkraine's health minister says dozens killed and over 160 injuredBlack smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty ImagesUkraine's health minister said 57 Ukrainians have been killed and 169 were wounded after Russia attacked on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.Explosions, gunfire, and sirens were reportedly heard in Kyiv on Thursday. Witnesses also described missile blasts in other cities, including Kramatorsk, Dnipro, and Odesa, reports said. Sean Penn is filming a documentary in Ukraine while Russia invadesActor and director Sean Penn attends a press briefing at the Presidential Office in Kyiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022.Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via ReutersSean Penn was spotted in Ukraine on Thursday just after Russia invaded the country. Penn was seen in the front row of a press briefing at the Presidential Office in Kyiv, photos obtained by Reuters show. The actor and director has been working on a documentary about tensions in Ukraine since last year.Read Full StoryUkrainians and Russians are packing ATM lines, prompting fears of what happened in the US during the Great DepressionPeople wait in line at an ATM in Kyiv.DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images.Many Ukrainians who haven't already fled the country as Russia's threat turned into invasion stood in long lines outside of banks and ATMs hoping to take out their funds, Reuters reported on Thursday. Meanwhile in Russia, people are also queuing outside of ATMs trying to get US dollars as its citizens worry their own currency's value will continue to tank, according to the Wall Street Journal. Banks in the capital city of Moscow are running out of money, MSNBC reported. All of this has led to fears of bank runs, which is when people withdraw money en masse because they worry banks will cease to function. That's what happened in the United States during the Great Depression, and it triggered mass unemployment and loan scarcities.  Read Full StoryA top Russian business lobbyist pleaded with Putin to 'demonstrate as much as possible' that Russia wants to remain 'part of the global economy'Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin attend a meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 16, 2017.Sergei Ilnitsky/AP PhotoThe head of one of Russia's biggest business groups urged President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to avoid severe economic pain and remain "part of the global economy" as NATO members ready a harsher salvo of sanctions.Putin held a televised meeting with the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs just hours after Russian forces began attacks in Ukraine.The threat of new sanctions was enough for Alexander Shokhin, the business group's president, to raise concerns with Putin about remaining a member of the world economy.The lobbyist urged the president to pad against major economic pain and to ensure conflict in Ukraine doesn't fuel widespread harm to the global financial system."Everything should be done to demonstrate as much as possible that Russia remains part of the global economy and will not provoke, including through some kind of response measures, global negative phenomena on world markets," Shokhin said.Read Full StoryBiden says he'll try to limit what Americans pay at the gas pump as the US slaps Russia with more sanctions: 'This is critical to me'U.S. President Joe Biden answers questions after delivering remarks about Russia's “unprovoked and unjustified" military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden sought to quell fears of another spike in gas prices on Thursday after Russia unleashed a military assault on Ukraine that threatened to upend the global economy.The threat of war in Ukraine in recent weeks has contributed to spiking oil prices, with the benchmark Brent crude oil hitting $100 for the first time since 2014 Wednesday night amid the early stages of Russia's invasion."I know this is hard and Americans are already hurting," he said at a White House address. "I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump."He opened the door to another release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a step the Biden administration also took in November to try and provide relief at the pump.Read Full StoryBiden says Putin's Ukraine invasion will cause a 'complete rupture' in US-Russia relationsPresident Joe Biden listens to questions from reporters while speaking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in Washington.Alex Brandon/APPresident Joe Biden on Thursday said Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine will cause a "complete rupture" of US-Russia relations if it continues. Biden condemned Putin and his escalating invasion of Ukraine in a speech from the White House.Biden, who met with G7 members on Thursday morning, also announced a raft of new sanctions against Russia on Thursday."What's the risk that we are watching the beginning of another Cold War, and is there now a complete rupture in US-Russian relations?," a reporter asked Biden following his address. Read Full StoryFamed Russian rapper cancels concerts in protest, saying he can't perform while 'Russian missiles fall on Ukraine'Rapper Oxxxymiron, whose real name is Miron Fyodorov, performs during a concert in support of rapper Husky, whose real name is Dmitry Kuznetsov, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018.AP Photo/Pavel GolovkinA prominent Russian rapper canceled his concert in protest of the Russian invasion on Ukraine, saying he can't perform while "Russian missiles fall on Ukraine."Rapper Oxxxymiron announced via a video posted to his Instagram account that he is postponing "six of my major gigs in Moscow and Saint Petersburg indefinitely," because he said he is "specifically against the war Russia has escalated against the people of Ukraine.""I'm sure you can understand me; I can't entertain you while Russian missiles fall on Ukraine, while Kyiv residents are forced to hide in the basements and subway, and while people are dying," he said.Read Full StoryUS Treasury targets Belarusian support for Russian invasion of UkraineBelarusian President Alexander LukashenkoDmitry Astakhov/Pool/AFP via Getty ImagesIn addition to the second round of sanctions imposed on Russia by the US Thursday, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it is sanctioning 24 Belarusian individuals for their support of the Russian invasion. The sanctions target Belarus's defense sector and financial institutions — two sectors closely tied to Russia.Massive protests erupted in Putin's hometown of St. Petersburg as Russians voice opposition to war in UkraineA demonstrator holding a placard reading "No to war" protests against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022.Photo by SERGEI MIKHAILICHENKO/AFP via Getty ImagesMassive protests erupted on Thursday in Russian President Vladimir Putin's hometown of St. Petersburg, as people voiced their opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.Videos posted to Twitter show a sea of people gathered in a section of St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, chanting and holding signs to object to Russia's offensive in Ukraine.Russian government forces have threatened to arrest anti-war protesters, who took to the streets after Putin announced military action against Ukraine on Thursday.Read Full StoryPhotos show Russian authorities dragging away protesters opposed to Putin's invasion of UkrainePolice Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022.SERGEI MIKHAILICHENKO/AFP via Getty ImagesAnti-war protesters in Russia quickly took to the streets following Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Some activists were met with hostility by Russian authorities who hauled them away. More than 1,000 anti-war protesters have already been detained in dozens of cities across Russia, according to protest-monitoring group OVD-Info. Russia's Investigative Committee warned citizens not to take part in the "unauthorized" protests "associated with the tense foreign political situation."Read Full StoryBiden slaps 'additional strong sanctions' on Russia as it mounts a large-scale attack on UkrainePresident Joe Biden delivers remarks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the East Room of the White House on February 07, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden on Thursday announced that the US will impose a second, harsher round of sanctions on Russia following its large-scale invasion of Ukraine.Biden announced that he had authorized "additional strong sanctions" and "new limitations" on what can be exported to Russia."We have purposely designed these sanctions to maximize the long term impact on Russia and minimize the impact on the United States and our allies," Biden said."We will limit Russia's ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and yen to be part of the global economy," the president said of the sanctions. "We're going to stop the ability to finance and grow the Russian military. We're going to impair their ability to compete in a high-tech 21st-century economy."Read Full StoryA Ukrainian lawmaker broke down in tears and begged the world to 'save our people' from being 'murdered' by Russian forcesUkrainian Parliament member Halyna Yanchenko speaks during a CBS interviewCBS NewsA Ukrainian lawmaker broke down in tears during an interview with CBS News and begged the international community to "save our people" from being "murdered" by Russian forces."I beg you, please save our people. Dozens of people — maybe hundreds of people — might be murdered tonight," Member of Parliament Halyna Yanchenko said as she sobbed during an interview with CBS News on Thursday.  She added: "Please save Ukrainian men, women, and children." Read Full StoryPhotos show Ukrainian families fleeing the Russian invasion amid warnings of a mass refugee crisisPeople wait for trains at a train station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Overnight, Russia began a large-scale attack on Ukraine, with explosions reported in multiple cities and far outside the restive eastern regions held by Russian-backed rebels.Pierre Crom/Getty Images)Ukrainian residents fled their homes after the first day of Russia's full-scale invasion. Train stations were packed with people on the move and roads filled with cars of people leaving the country, with their loved ones and prized possessions in tow.Before the invasion took place, there were warnings of a mass refugee crisis.Read Full StoryRussian government websites — including ones for the Kremlin and the legislature — went dark after cyberattacks target UkraineA night view of Kyiv as the Kyiv mayor declared a curfew from 10pm to 7am on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty ImagesMultiple Russian government websites reportedly went down on Thursday after the country launched an attack on Ukraine. NetBlocks, which tracks disruptions and shutdowns, confirmed on Twitter that multiple sites went offline shortly after 8:45 p.m. local time in Moscow.The Kremlin's website and that of the Russian Federal Assembly's lower house — or State Duma — were both down for at least 15 minutes. As of 9 p.m. local time, the State Duma website was since restored. Shortly after 9:10 p.m. local time, the Kremlin's website was also back online.  Read Full StoryPutin had a range of ways to attack Ukraine. He went with the worst-case scenario for the West.A convoy of Russian military vehicles is seen as the vehicles move towards border in Donbas region of eastern Ukraine on February 23, 2022 in Russian border city Rostov.Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesIn the build-up to Russia's assault on Ukraine, analysts and leaders envisioned numerous ways the conflict might play out, from a limited incursion to an all-out invasion.Putin used precision missile strikes and airstrikes, followed shortly later by ground maneuvers, the officials said.Analysts said attacks came from the east, south, and north, a description consistent with reports on the ground and Insider's map of the invasion.All three lines of attack — as per this analysis in The Conversation — had previously been floated as individual possibilities for an invasion.Defense analysts warned that Russia's multipronged attack was full-scale but still in an early phase, with a lot more forces to push into Ukraine to seize key areas or capture its leadership.Putin's overall endgame remains an area of pressing debate.Read Full StoryKey Democratic congressman says the US can't send support to Ukraine quickly enough 'to repel' Russia's invasionRep. Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesRep. Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, ruled out surging supplies into Ukraine as a last-ditch effort to stall Russia's invasion, arguing it's unlikely such support would arrive quickly enough to make a difference."The odd of us being able to do that in a rapid enough fashion to be able to repel the invasion are remote," Smith told CNN on Thursday when asked about a Ukrainian official's request for more equipment. "I don't think it's realistic to think that we can reinforce them enough in the short term to be able to repel the invasion."Read Full StoryPoland, Czech Republic, and Sweden are refusing to play their 2022 World Cup qualifying matches in Russia after it attacked UkraineA protester holds a poster reading "Sanctions against Russia now" during a rally in front of the Russian Embassy in Stockholm on February 24, 2022, after Russia launched military operations in Ukraine.Photo by CLAUDIO BRESCIANI/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty ImagesPoland, Czech Republic, and Sweden said they are refusing to play their upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifying playoff matches in Russia after it attacked Ukraine on Thursday.Based on the latest Russian aggression against Ukraine, "the signatories to this appeal do not consider travelling to Russia and playing football matches there," the three countries said in a joint statement addressed to FIFA's General Secretary Fatma Samoura. The statement continued: "The military escalation that we are observing entails serious consequences and considerably lower safety for our national football teams and official delegations."Read Full StoryRussia's moving on Kyiv and the plan appears to be to take out Ukraine's leadership, US defense official warnsA column of army trucks approaches the Perekop checkpoint on the Ukrainian border. Early on February 24, President Putin announced a special military operation to be conducted by the Russian Armed Forces against Ukraine.Sergei MalgavkobackslashTASS via Getty ImagesRussian forces invaded Ukraine Thursday morning, and a senior US defense official says they are moving on Kyiv, likely to topple the country's government and install their own.Russia is "making a move on Kyiv" a senior defense official who addressed reporters Thursday said, according to CNN. "We would describe what you are seeing as an initial phase" of a "large-scale invasion," the official said, according to The Washington Post's Dan Lamothe.Read Full StoryMaps show Russia's invasion of UkraineMaps of Ukraine.Shayanne Gal/InsiderRussia invaded Ukraine early Thursday, leading to dozens of Ukrainian and Russian casualties.These maps show where Russian troops have attacked Ukraine, which is happening from multiple sides.Read Full StoryUK plots far harsher sanctions on Russia to punish it for invading UkraineBritish Prime Minister Boris JohnsonAdrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoThe UK announced a new set of harsher sanctions on Russia after the country invaded Ukraine early Thursday. A spokesman for the UK government told journalists at a briefing that the UK plans to impose a second round of sanctions. The most intense of the new list of sanctions is an asset freeze on all major Russian banks and an asset freeze against VTB — the second largest bank with assets totaling £154 billion. The UK also plans to sanction another 100 individuals and entities.This is a large step up from the sanctions it announced Wednesday, which were limited to five smaller banks, three individuals close to Putin, and politicians in Russia who voted for military action. Russia has begun arresting anti-war protesters as demonstrations break out after Putin invades UkrainePolice officer detain a woman during an action against Russia's attack on Ukraine in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.AP Photo/Dmitry SerebryakovThe Russian government on Thursday threatened anti-war protesters demonstrating against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, warning they could face arrest for organizing.And according to a protest monitoring group, the detentions have already begun as small protests have broken out in some Russian cities.Russia's Investigative Committee warned citizens in a statement not to take part in the "unauthorized" protests "associated with the tense foreign political situation."The committee said that people should be aware of the "negative legal consequences of these actions," which it said includes criminal liability. Read Full StoryUkraine's official Twitter is using memes to rip into Putin's bogus comparison between it and Nazi GermanyRussian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into eastern Ukraine on Monday.Alexei Nikolsky/Associated PressAfter Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the marching orders for an attack on Ukraine early Thursday morning, Ukraine's official Twitter account got busy. One photo showed what appeared to be caricature images of Adolf Hitler tending to a small Putin. "This is not a 'meme', but our and your reality right now," Ukraine said in a follow-up tweet.  The account also called for a so-called "Twitter-storm" at 12 p.m. local time in Kyiv on Thursday, urging people to use various hashtags to "tell the world of the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and the fact that Ukraine is under attack."Ukraine's latest post said to "Tag @Russia and tell them what you think about them," racking up tens of thousands of likes and quote tweets. Read Full StoryMap shows reported movement of Russian troops in Ukraine Thursday!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 25th, 2022

Live updates: Biden slaps "strong sanctions" on Russia as Ukrainian invasion continues

Russia attacked Ukraine Thursday morning. Blasts were heard across the country, with reports of artillery fire from Russian forces across the border. Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.Aris Messinis / AFP via Getty Images US President Joe Biden announced a new round of "strong sanctions" on Russia. Russian forces attacked Ukraine on Thursday morning. Ukraine called it a "full-scale invasion." Ukraine said eight civilians were killed, as well as dozens more troops on both sides. Zelensky says 'enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv' and that he is 'number one target'Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a statement during the 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) on February 19, 2022 in Munich, Germany.Photo by Ronald Wittek - Pool/Getty ImagesIn his second video address on Thursday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said that "enemy sabotage groups" entered Kyiv, and that he plans to remain, despite being Russia's "number one target.""According to preliminary data, unfortunately, we have lost 137 of our heroes today — our citizens. Ten of them are officers," Zelensky said in his address. "316 are wounded."He also used the opportunity to dispel rumors that he had fled Kyiv, and that his family had left the country."I stay in the capital, I stay with my people. During the day, I held dozens of international talks, directly managed our country. And I will stay in the capital," he said. "My family is also in Ukraine. My children are also in Ukraine. My family is not traitors. They are the citizens of Ukraine. But I have no right to say where they are now."READ FULL STORYWhite House is 'outraged' over reports that staff at Chernobyl have been taken hostage by Russian forcesServicemen take part in a joint tactical and special exercises of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ukrainian National Guard and Ministry Emergency in a ghost city of Pripyat, near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on February 4, 2022.Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty ImagesPress secretary Jen Psaki said the White House is outraged over reports from Ukrainian officials that staff at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine have been taken hostage by Russian troops.Russian forces took over the remnants of Chernobyl earlier on Thursday during the country's invasion of Ukraine. The move indicated Russia is likely to assault Ukraine's capital city, Kyiv, which is located just south of Chernobyl, the site of one of the worst nuclear disasters in history."We're outraged by credible reports that Russian soldiers are currently holding the staff of the Chernobyl facility hostage," Psaki said during a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, adding "we condemn it and we request their release."Psaki said the situation at Chernobyl was not clear but that the hostage taking was "incredibly alarming and greatly concerning," adding it could hurt efforts to maintain the facility, which is dangerously contaminated with radioactivity as a result of the 1986 nuclear disaster.read full STORYUS secretary of state is 'convinced' Russia will try to overthrow the Ukrainian governmentUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" on April 11, 2021.Meet The Press/NBCUS Secrertary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said he is "convinced" Moscow will try to overthrow Ukraine's government."You don't need intelligence to tell you that that's exactly what President Putin wants. He has made clear he'd like to reconstitute the Soviet Empire, short of that he'd like to reassert a sphere of influence around the neighboring countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc," Blinken said during a national TV interview. The secretary pledged that NATO would intervene before Putin succesfully accomplished his ultimate goal."Now, when it comes to a threat beyond Ukraine's borders. There's something very powerful standing in his way. That's article five of NATO, an attack on one is an attack on all," the top diplomat said.  Expert says Russia's Ukraine invasion will result in 'horrific scenes,' could be launch of 'Cold War 2.0'Ukrainians gather in front of the White House in Washington, USA to stage a protest against Russia's attack in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesA former aide to President Barack Obama is warning that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a "game changer" in international relations that will result in "horrific scenes" in the coming days, with President Vladimir Putin intent on pursuing regime change at all costs."I think it's just a matter of time before Kyiv falls," Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who also served on the National Security Council in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, told Insider.READ FULL STORYThe White House says it's ready to accept Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasionWhite House press secretary Jen Psaki.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe US is prepared to accept Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia's invasion, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told CNN."We are," Psaki said when asked whether the US was ready to assist fleeing Ukrainians. "But we certainly expect that most if not the majority will want to go to Europe and neighboring countries. So, we are also working with European countries on what the needs are, where there is capacity. Poland, for example, where we are seeing an increasing flow of refugees over the last 24 hours."She added that US officials have been engaging with Europeans on the matter "for some time." Ukrainian and Russian forces have been fighting for hours over a critical airfield just outside KyivUkraine army says battle under way for airbase near Kyiv on February 24, 2022Daniel LEAL / Getty ImagesUkrainian and Russian forces have been fighting for hours over a critical airfield on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city.Russian forces attacked and seized Hostomel (Gostomel) airfield, a cargo airport near Kyiv that is also known as Antonov airport, early Thursday, according to AFP. Ukraine's leadership reportedly vowed to take it back."The enemy paratroopers in Hostomel have been blocked, and troops have received an order to destroy them," Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address.Read Full StoryUkraine's health minister says dozens killed and over 160 injuredBlack smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty ImagesUkraine's health minister said 57 Ukrainians have been killed and 169 were wounded after Russia attacked on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.Explosions, gunfire, and sirens were reportedly heard in Kyiv on Thursday. Witnesses also described missile blasts in other cities, including Kramatorsk, Dnipro, and Odesa, reports said. Sean Penn is filming a documentary in Ukraine while Russia invadesActor and director Sean Penn attends a press briefing at the Presidential Office in Kyiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022.Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via ReutersSean Penn was spotted in Ukraine on Thursday just after Russia invaded the country. Penn was seen in the front row of a press briefing at the Presidential Office in Kyiv, photos obtained by Reuters show. The actor and director has been working on a documentary about tensions in Ukraine since last year.Read Full StoryUkrainians and Russians are packing ATM lines, prompting fears of what happened in the US during the Great DepressionPeople wait in line at an ATM in Kyiv.DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images.Many Ukrainians who haven't already fled the country as Russia's threat turned into invasion stood in long lines outside of banks and ATMs hoping to take out their funds, Reuters reported on Thursday. Meanwhile in Russia, people are also queuing outside of ATMs trying to get US dollars as its citizens worry their own currency's value will continue to tank, according to the Wall Street Journal. Banks in the capital city of Moscow are running out of money, MSNBC reported. All of this has led to fears of bank runs, which is when people withdraw money en masse because they worry banks will cease to function. That's what happened in the United States during the Great Depression, and it triggered mass unemployment and loan scarcities.  Read Full StoryA top Russian business lobbyist pleaded with Putin to 'demonstrate as much as possible' that Russia wants to remain 'part of the global economy'Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin attend a meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 16, 2017.Sergei Ilnitsky/AP PhotoThe head of one of Russia's biggest business groups urged President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to avoid severe economic pain and remain "part of the global economy" as NATO members ready a harsher salvo of sanctions.Putin held a televised meeting with the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs just hours after Russian forces began attacks in Ukraine.The threat of new sanctions was enough for Alexander Shokhin, the business group's president, to raise concerns with Putin about remaining a member of the world economy.The lobbyist urged the president to pad against major economic pain and to ensure conflict in Ukraine doesn't fuel widespread harm to the global financial system."Everything should be done to demonstrate as much as possible that Russia remains part of the global economy and will not provoke, including through some kind of response measures, global negative phenomena on world markets," Shokhin said.Read Full StoryBiden says he'll try to limit what Americans pay at the gas pump as the US slaps Russia with more sanctions: 'This is critical to me'U.S. President Joe Biden answers questions after delivering remarks about Russia's “unprovoked and unjustified" military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden sought to quell fears of another spike in gas prices on Thursday after Russia unleashed a military assault on Ukraine that threatened to upend the global economy.The threat of war in Ukraine in recent weeks has contributed to spiking oil prices, with the benchmark Brent crude oil hitting $100 for the first time since 2014 Wednesday night amid the early stages of Russia's invasion."I know this is hard and Americans are already hurting," he said at a White House address. "I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump."He opened the door to another release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a step the Biden administration also took in November to try and provide relief at the pump.Read Full StoryBiden says Putin's Ukraine invasion will cause a 'complete rupture' in US-Russia relationsPresident Joe Biden listens to questions from reporters while speaking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in Washington.Alex Brandon/APPresident Joe Biden on Thursday said Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine will cause a "complete rupture" of US-Russia relations if it continues. Biden condemned Putin and his escalating invasion of Ukraine in a speech from the White House.Biden, who met with G7 members on Thursday morning, also announced a raft of new sanctions against Russia on Thursday."What's the risk that we are watching the beginning of another Cold War, and is there now a complete rupture in US-Russian relations?," a reporter asked Biden following his address. Read Full StoryFamed Russian rapper cancels concerts in protest, saying he can't perform while 'Russian missiles fall on Ukraine'Rapper Oxxxymiron, whose real name is Miron Fyodorov, performs during a concert in support of rapper Husky, whose real name is Dmitry Kuznetsov, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018.AP Photo/Pavel GolovkinA prominent Russian rapper canceled his concert in protest of the Russian invasion on Ukraine, saying he can't perform while "Russian missiles fall on Ukraine."Rapper Oxxxymiron announced via a video posted to his Instagram account that he is postponing "six of my major gigs in Moscow and Saint Petersburg indefinitely," because he said he is "specifically against the war Russia has escalated against the people of Ukraine.""I'm sure you can understand me; I can't entertain you while Russian missiles fall on Ukraine, while Kyiv residents are forced to hide in the basements and subway, and while people are dying," he said.Read Full StoryUS Treasury targets Belarusian support for Russian invasion of UkraineBelarusian President Alexander LukashenkoDmitry Astakhov/Pool/AFP via Getty ImagesIn addition to the second round of sanctions imposed on Russia by the US Thursday, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it is sanctioning 24 Belarusian individuals for their support of the Russian invasion. The sanctions target Belarus's defense sector and financial institutions — two sectors closely tied to Russia.Massive protests erupted in Putin's hometown of St. Petersburg as Russians voice opposition to war in UkraineA demonstrator holding a placard reading "No to war" protests against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022.Photo by SERGEI MIKHAILICHENKO/AFP via Getty ImagesMassive protests erupted on Thursday in Russian President Vladimir Putin's hometown of St. Petersburg, as people voiced their opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.Videos posted to Twitter show a sea of people gathered in a section of St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, chanting and holding signs to object to Russia's offensive in Ukraine.Russian government forces have threatened to arrest anti-war protesters, who took to the streets after Putin announced military action against Ukraine on Thursday.Read Full StoryPhotos show Russian authorities dragging away protesters opposed to Putin's invasion of UkrainePolice Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022.SERGEI MIKHAILICHENKO/AFP via Getty ImagesAnti-war protesters in Russia quickly took to the streets following Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Some activists were met with hostility by Russian authorities who hauled them away. More than 1,000 anti-war protesters have already been detained in dozens of cities across Russia, according to protest-monitoring group OVD-Info. Russia's Investigative Committee warned citizens not to take part in the "unauthorized" protests "associated with the tense foreign political situation."Read Full StoryBiden slaps 'additional strong sanctions' on Russia as it mounts a large-scale attack on UkrainePresident Joe Biden delivers remarks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the East Room of the White House on February 07, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden on Thursday announced that the US will impose a second, harsher round of sanctions on Russia following its large-scale invasion of Ukraine.Biden announced that he had authorized "additional strong sanctions" and "new limitations" on what can be exported to Russia."We have purposely designed these sanctions to maximize the long term impact on Russia and minimize the impact on the United States and our allies," Biden said."We will limit Russia's ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and yen to be part of the global economy," the president said of the sanctions. "We're going to stop the ability to finance and grow the Russian military. We're going to impair their ability to compete in a high-tech 21st-century economy."Read Full StoryA Ukrainian lawmaker broke down in tears and begged the world to 'save our people' from being 'murdered' by Russian forcesUkrainian Parliament member Halyna Yanchenko speaks during a CBS interviewCBS NewsA Ukrainian lawmaker broke down in tears during an interview with CBS News and begged the international community to "save our people" from being "murdered" by Russian forces."I beg you, please save our people. Dozens of people — maybe hundreds of people — might be murdered tonight," Member of Parliament Halyna Yanchenko said as she sobbed during an interview with CBS News on Thursday.  She added: "Please save Ukrainian men, women, and children." Read Full StoryPhotos show Ukrainian families fleeing the Russian invasion amid warnings of a mass refugee crisisPeople wait for trains at a train station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Overnight, Russia began a large-scale attack on Ukraine, with explosions reported in multiple cities and far outside the restive eastern regions held by Russian-backed rebels.Pierre Crom/Getty Images)Ukrainian residents fled their homes after the first day of Russia's full-scale invasion. Train stations were packed with people on the move and roads filled with cars of people leaving the country, with their loved ones and prized possessions in tow.Before the invasion took place, there were warnings of a mass refugee crisis.Read Full StoryRussian government websites — including ones for the Kremlin and the legislature — went dark after cyberattacks target UkraineA night view of Kyiv as the Kyiv mayor declared a curfew from 10pm to 7am on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty ImagesMultiple Russian government websites reportedly went down on Thursday after the country launched an attack on Ukraine. NetBlocks, which tracks disruptions and shutdowns, confirmed on Twitter that multiple sites went offline shortly after 8:45 p.m. local time in Moscow.The Kremlin's website and that of the Russian Federal Assembly's lower house — or State Duma — were both down for at least 15 minutes. As of 9 p.m. local time, the State Duma website was since restored. Shortly after 9:10 p.m. local time, the Kremlin's website was also back online.  Read Full StoryPutin had a range of ways to attack Ukraine. He went with the worst-case scenario for the West.A convoy of Russian military vehicles is seen as the vehicles move towards border in Donbas region of eastern Ukraine on February 23, 2022 in Russian border city Rostov.Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesIn the build-up to Russia's assault on Ukraine, analysts and leaders envisioned numerous ways the conflict might play out, from a limited incursion to an all-out invasion.Putin used precision missile strikes and airstrikes, followed shortly later by ground maneuvers, the officials said.Analysts said attacks came from the east, south, and north, a description consistent with reports on the ground and Insider's map of the invasion.All three lines of attack — as per this analysis in The Conversation — had previously been floated as individual possibilities for an invasion.Defense analysts warned that Russia's multipronged attack was full-scale but still in an early phase, with a lot more forces to push into Ukraine to seize key areas or capture its leadership.Putin's overall endgame remains an area of pressing debate.Read Full StoryKey Democratic congressman says the US can't send support to Ukraine quickly enough 'to repel' Russia's invasionRep. Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesRep. Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, ruled out surging supplies into Ukraine as a last-ditch effort to stall Russia's invasion, arguing it's unlikely such support would arrive quickly enough to make a difference."The odd of us being able to do that in a rapid enough fashion to be able to repel the invasion are remote," Smith told CNN on Thursday when asked about a Ukrainian official's request for more equipment. "I don't think it's realistic to think that we can reinforce them enough in the short term to be able to repel the invasion."Read Full StoryPoland, Czech Republic, and Sweden are refusing to play their 2022 World Cup qualifying matches in Russia after it attacked UkraineA protester holds a poster reading "Sanctions against Russia now" during a rally in front of the Russian Embassy in Stockholm on February 24, 2022, after Russia launched military operations in Ukraine.Photo by CLAUDIO BRESCIANI/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty ImagesPoland, Czech Republic, and Sweden said they are refusing to play their upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifying playoff matches in Russia after it attacked Ukraine on Thursday.Based on the latest Russian aggression against Ukraine, "the signatories to this appeal do not consider travelling to Russia and playing football matches there," the three countries said in a joint statement addressed to FIFA's General Secretary Fatma Samoura. The statement continued: "The military escalation that we are observing entails serious consequences and considerably lower safety for our national football teams and official delegations."Read Full StoryRussia's moving on Kyiv and the plan appears to be to take out Ukraine's leadership, US defense official warnsA column of army trucks approaches the Perekop checkpoint on the Ukrainian border. Early on February 24, President Putin announced a special military operation to be conducted by the Russian Armed Forces against Ukraine.Sergei MalgavkobackslashTASS via Getty ImagesRussian forces invaded Ukraine Thursday morning, and a senior US defense official says they are moving on Kyiv, likely to topple the country's government and install their own.Russia is "making a move on Kyiv" a senior defense official who addressed reporters Thursday said, according to CNN. "We would describe what you are seeing as an initial phase" of a "large-scale invasion," the official said, according to The Washington Post's Dan Lamothe.Read Full StoryMaps show Russia's invasion of UkraineMaps of Ukraine.Shayanne Gal/InsiderRussia invaded Ukraine early Thursday, leading to dozens of Ukrainian and Russian casualties.These maps show where Russian troops have attacked Ukraine, which is happening from multiple sides.Read Full StoryUK plots far harsher sanctions on Russia to punish it for invading UkraineBritish Prime Minister Boris JohnsonAdrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoThe UK announced a new set of harsher sanctions on Russia after the country invaded Ukraine early Thursday. A spokesman for the UK government told journalists at a briefing that the UK plans to impose a second round of sanctions. The most intense of the new list of sanctions is an asset freeze on all major Russian banks and an asset freeze against VTB — the second largest bank with assets totaling £154 billion. The UK also plans to sanction another 100 individuals and entities.This is a large step up from the sanctions it announced Wednesday, which were limited to five smaller banks, three individuals close to Putin, and politicians in Russia who voted for military action. Russia has begun arresting anti-war protesters as demonstrations break out after Putin invades UkrainePolice officer detain a woman during an action against Russia's attack on Ukraine in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.AP Photo/Dmitry SerebryakovThe Russian government on Thursday threatened anti-war protesters demonstrating against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, warning they could face arrest for organizing.And according to a protest monitoring group, the detentions have already begun as small protests have broken out in some Russian cities.Russia's Investigative Committee warned citizens in a statement not to take part in the "unauthorized" protests "associated with the tense foreign political situation."The committee said that people should be aware of the "negative legal consequences of these actions," which it said includes criminal liability. Read Full StoryUkraine's official Twitter is using memes to rip into Putin's bogus comparison between it and Nazi GermanyRussian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into eastern Ukraine on Monday.Alexei Nikolsky/Associated PressAfter Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the marching orders for an attack on Ukraine early Thursday morning, Ukraine's official Twitter account got busy. One photo showed what appeared to be caricature images of Adolf Hitler tending to a small Putin. "This is not a 'meme', but our and your reality right now," Ukraine said in a follow-up tweet.  The account also called for a so-called "Twitter-storm" at 12 p.m. local time in Kyiv on Thursday, urging people to use various hashtags to "tell the world of the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and the fact that Ukraine is under attack."Ukraine's latest post said to "Tag @Russia and tell them what you think about them," racking up tens of thousands of likes and quote tweets. Read Full StoryMap shows reported movement of Russian troops in Ukraine Thursday!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 24th, 2022

CCP Extending "3 Warfares" Strategy Into Space: Expert

CCP Extending "3 Warfares" Strategy Into Space: Expert Authored by Andrew Thornebrooke via The Epoch Times, A Chinese robot trundles about in the dust. It collects rock samples, measures chemical compounds, and observes craters never before seen by humankind. It’s beyond the reach of U.S. sensors. It’s beyond the rule of international laws and norms. It’s on a mission. It’s on the dark side of the moon. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been operating Yutu-2 on the far side of Luna since 2019. Ostensibly part of the CCP’s lunar exploration program, rovers such as Yutu-2 are preparing the way for the construction of a new robotic research base on the moon. That base, in turn, will prepare the way for a crewed moon landing and a new lunar base managed jointly by China and Russia. The exploration phase of this process, of which Yutu-2 is a part, is planned to extend through 2025 with six more missions conducted by China and Russia. Following that, construction on the base is expected to last until at least 2035, with full operational capacity being achieved by 2036. The ambition piques the interest of scientists, ever hungry for new knowledge about Earth’s only moon. The secrecy shrouding the project, however, unnerves strategists who don’t see this little rover as merely one small step for mankind, but as one giant leap for Chinese military capabilities. Indeed, some experts believe that Yutu-2’s lunar rock collection isn’t only a continuation of Sino–U.S. competition, but might actually provide the keys to victory in a future war. Space Is a Warfighting Domain Michael Listner is an attorney of a very peculiar sort. He specializes in space policy and has, for some years, led the publication of “The Précis,” a legal newsletter that examines the basis of space law and its ramifications for international policy in every field from business to national security. He says the CCP is extending its “Three Warfares” strategy into space. This vast new frontier will be central to the regime’s campaigns of media aggrandizement, the subject of psychological warfare, and, vitally, the centerpiece of new legal battles that will reshape the international order as China seeks to claim the United States’ global hegemon status for its own. The strategy, he said, is designed to undermine and perhaps defeat the enemy without firing a shot. “Space is a warfighting domain,” Listner said. “It’s going to be part of the struggle and it’s going to be part of a future conflict.” “They are fighting on all these fronts right now,” Listner added of the CCP’s three warfares strategy in space. “In fact, I really look at it as preparing the battlefield.” That effort to shape the battlefield, central to any military, is particularly meaningful to Chinese military strategists who, since at least the fifth century B.C., have studied the writings of the eminent philosopher of war Sun Tzu, who argued that preparing the battlefield was the means of mastering the enemy. As such, it’s feared that the Chinese regime will effectively ensure that should conflict break out, it has the strategic advantage by preparing a favorable legal landscape, positioning assets in orbit, and building alliances in its space operations. The reason for the continuation of this effort on the moon is simple enough: America can’t work without space. “The American dependence and reliance on space is almost absolute,” said Paul Crespo, president of the Center for American Defense Studies. “From communications to banking to air and ground travel and GPS, our economy, society, and military cannot survive without U.S. space dominance.” Crespo, a Marine veteran who served in the Defense Intelligence Agency, has spent years examining the CCP’s malign influence abroad and its efforts to degrade and undermine its adversaries through dual-use technologies and legal warfare. Both Crespo and Listner fear that the moon will be China’s next “nine-dash line,” and that it will be used to bend the rule of law to the CCP’s advantage, just as it has in the South China Sea. The Chinese regime claims about 85 percent of the disputed South China Sea demarcated by its nine-dash line, a claim that was rejected by a 2016 international tribunal. Several other countries also lay claim to parts of the waterway. Despite the ruling, Beijing has built military outposts on artificial islands and reefs in the region, and deployed coast guard ships and Chinese fishing boats to intimidate foreign vessels, block access to waterways, and seize shoals and reefs. Experts fear the CCP will use its moon and space infrastructure to similarly box out competition and control the happenings of the region, in violation of international laws and norms. “The CCP has proven it has no respect for international law or norms, and is willing to bully, threaten, coerce and push its way into any place it deems vital to its strategic goals,” Crespo said. “That’s crystal clear with its illegal expansion into, and claims on, most of the South China Sea.” “This certainly will be even more true for China in space where the norms are far less established and codified.” The United States’ response to CCP space adventurism has been mixed. During the administration of President Donald Trump, the nation took a hardline stance and sought to outrace the CCP to the moon. Indeed, the Artemis Accords were initially designed to guide those nations that were to partake in the Artemis Program, a U.S.-led effort to establish a base on the moon. Trump’s Space Policy Directive-1, likewise, sought to “lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.” To accommodate these ambitions, NASA attempted to step up its original goal of establishing a moon presence from 2028 to 2024. That date was quickly pushed back to 2025, however. Since then, NASA has changed course again, and slated 2025 as the earliest date for a U.S. flight around the moon, but which won’t land on the moon. A Long March 5B rocket lifts off from the Wenchang launch site on China’s Hainan island on May 5, 2020. Another variant of the Long March rocket was used to get China’s hypersonic missile into orbit in July. (STR/AFP via Getty Images) Usurping the Advantage The moon race has the potential to revolutionize international relations more than any other facet of Sino–American competition. When it comes to dictating what the law is beyond the earth’s atmosphere, Crespo and Listner believe that who gets there first wins. “It’s all really about great power competition,” Listner said. “The general consensus about great power competition is who’s going to eventually make the rules in an international arena. In other words, who’s going to have the most influence in shaping what’s legal and what the worldview looks like in the next few decades.” Listner described the struggle between the United States and China for influence in shaping the world and its norms as one of competing visions, in which two radically different ways of understanding and operating in the world are being pitted against one another. That struggle, he said, is playing out in space. “Right now, there are two competing visions,” Listner said. “One is the Artemis Accords, which the Trump administration started.” “The Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China countered with their own competing vision, called the International Lunar Research station.” The Artemis Accords, Listner said, are a framework for international cooperation regarding the exploration and use of Luna, Mars, and other astronomical objects. The effort is based largely on the U.N. Outer Space Treaty of 1967, and seeks to affirm peaceful cooperation, promote interoperability, and register objects in space with uniform standards. The Outer Space Treaty currently has 111 signatories, including China and Russia. The Artemis Accords, first signed in 2020, has 14 signatories; China and Russia didn’t sign, viewing the effort as a commercial agreement needlessly favorable to the United States. The International Lunar Research Station, on the other hand, is the CCP and Russia’s effort to wrest international space leadership away from the United States’ NASA, and champion a new, Eurasian order. Indeed, little Yutu-2 is just the first of seven exploratory missions planned by China and Russia, which will prepare the way for the construction of the base. That matters when the future of space dominance is on the line. “It’s about the competing view of what the rule of law is going to be and who’s going to make the rules on the lunar surface and in exploiting space,” Listner said. “Whoever gets there first and starts building will be the one who makes the rules.” To that end, Crespo warned that the CCP is attempting to reforge space in its own image, undercutting the United States’ ability to sustain itself not only as a world superpower, but possibly as a civilization. “Neutralizing our space dominance will severely hamper our ability to win any major conflict, and ultimately even our ability to maintain a stable, modern, functioning society,” he said. “If the Chinese move beyond simply neutralizing our dominance and gain clear space dominance themselves, that will become almost a fait accompli in terms of America losing its ability to remain a world power, and even simply an independent sovereign nation.” Listner said that it’s gray-zone conflict at its finest, and that the United States and China are engaged in war by any other name. “From the perspective of the PRC, we’re at war,” Listner said, referring to the People’s Republic of China. Chinese People’s Liberation Army HQ-9 surface-to-air missile launchers are seen during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Sept. 3, 2015. A modified version of this missile was used to shoot down a satellite in a test by China in 2007. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images) The Lunar Threat That gray-zone conflict, in which nations engage in hostilities stopping somewhere short of opening fire, is in full swing in outer space. “Any manned Chinese and/or Russian base on the moon would provide them a significant strategic advantage militarily, legally, and economically,” Crespo said. In early December, Gen. David Thompson, the U.S. Space Force’s first vice chief of space operations, said that the CCP is launching attacks on U.S. space infrastructure “every single day.” These reversible attacks, in which U.S. satellite architecture or cyber systems are compromised temporarily, are largely understood to be a testing of the waters. That is, preparation for a real war. Thompson said in separate remarks that the Chinese regime is developing space capabilities at double the rate of the United States. Moreover, its growing array of platforms designed for space warfare is growing. “[The Chinese] have robots in space that conduct attacks,” Thompson said. “They can conduct jamming attacks and laser dazzling attacks. They have a full suite of cyber capabilities.” “If we don’t start accelerating our development and delivery capabilities, they will exceed us. And 2030 is not an unreasonable estimate,” he said. Such advancements point to weaknesses in existing laws such as the Outer Space Treaty, which many people erroneously believe bans the development of space weapons. “Conventional weapons in space aren’t banned by the Outer Space Treaty, as can be seen by the Russian Federation’s ASAT [Anti-satellite weapon] demonstration a few weeks ago,” Listner said. “However, nuclear weapons in certain circumstances are prohibited by the Outer Space Treaty.” Listner’s remarks refer to the recent demonstration by Russia of an ASAT missile that it used to explode a satellite in orbit. Critics accused Russia of putting the lives of astronauts at risk, as the thousands of pieces of debris could destroy space vehicles. The event was similar to an incident carried out by China in 2007. Indeed, the CCP is rapidly expanding its military capabilities as part of an all-out push to usurp military and commercial dominance from the United States. That effort is designed to provide the CCP with an overwhelming new blitzkrieg of military technologies worthy of science fiction. The effort includes the development of hypersonic weapons, electromagnetic pulse devices, new naval vessels capable of launching rockets into space, and a nuclear reactor to power space travel, reportedly 100 times more powerful than those planned by the United States. In all, the CCP plans to launch 10,000 satellites by 2030 in its efforts to topple U.S. space dominance. There are several ways in which the CCP could use the moon, or space assets more generally, to exploit weaknesses in its adversaries or further its weaponization efforts. Increased presence would allow China greater communication and control of its space assets, most notably satellite architecture, which is key to U.S. and allied GPS systems that the military depends upon. Experts have long argued that a preemptive strike on U.S. GPS systems would be China’s first move in a war, including one over Taiwan. Other potentialities are more hypothetical, such as the long-theorized use of a kinetic bombardment system that could leverage Earth’s gravitational pull against it. Such a system could effectively turn objects as simple as tungsten rods into weapons of mass destruction due to the velocity with which they would hit the earth. This would effectively allow a satellite- or moon-based system to throw heavy objects at the Earth with the destructive power of a meteor, a feat for which the proposed weapon has long been termed “Rods from God.” Though costlier than other systems, the idea for such a system has existed since the Cold War, and the Pentagon reportedly considered developing it in 2006 before pursuing hypersonic glide vehicle research instead. Listner said the CCP’s continued conquest of space was partially owed to the failure of U.S. and allied leaders to recognize fundamental differences in Western and Eurasian ways of conceptualizing the world and politics. “Fundamentally, we have to understand that the PRC and the Russian Federation do not think like the U.S. and Western nations,” Listner said. His comments reflected a growing consensus, recognized by new U.S. congressional reports, that the CCP is advancing a global campaign to champion Marxism as an alternative to American capitalism, and to supplant the United States as a global hegemon. To this end, the international community may like to play at lawmaking, such as is the case with the Artemis Accords, but the CCP has demonstrated a repeated unwillingness to adhere to such norms. “NGOs, peace groups, and disarmament groups believe the PRC and the Russians think like us when they don’t,” Listner said. “It’s called ‘mirror thinking,’ and it’s a very, very dangerous trap to play into.” This picture released on Jan. 11, 2019, by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) via CNS shows the Yutu-2 moon rover, taken by the Chang’e-4 lunar probe on the far side of the moon. (China National Space Administrat/AFP via Getty Images) A Base for Whom? Perhaps nowhere is this trap more apparent than in the CCP’s so-called dual-use policy. The CCP publicly denies that its space systems and projects, including its moon plans and satellite, are used for military purposes. For instance, it characterized its grabber satellite as a means of cleaning space junk, and its hypersonic missile test as a reusable spacecraft. Critics of the CCP point out that the ambiguity about whether such technology is ultimately civilian or military in nature is a feature of dual use. Dual use is the practical realization of the CCP’s policy of “civil-military fusion,” aimed at erasing all barriers between private and public life to ensure that all civilian technologies also advance Chinese military dominance. The rockets used to launch Yutu-2 to Luna are one such example. The same type of rocket was used to launch the CCP’s new hypersonic weapons system, which U.S. leaders fear is a nuclear first-strike weapon. CCP leaders said that the test was for the benefit of its space program. “Virtually everything that enables a country to launch objects into space is indistinguishable from intercontinental ballistic missiles or hypersonic weapons,” Crespo said. “For China, that distinction is fairly moot.” Crespo said that that ambiguity is part of the program, designed to obscure whether the military or civilian function of any project was intended to be dominant. Such ambiguity makes a difference on the moon, where all Chinese taikonauts are in the employ of the Chinese military. “Any moon base serves scientific purposes while also clearly providing China a strategic lunar presence that will need to be defended, and can be used for surveillance, reconnaissance or military attacks of all types against satellites and other space assets,” Crespo said. “No lunar base will be purely civilian to the CCP.” A World to Gain Space has been described by researcher Paul Szymanski as “the most obscure battlefield.” Its obscurity doesn’t, however, diminish its centrality to the future of nations. To the contrary, the economic, military, and political ramifications of space, and of the control of Luna, in particular, are nigh impossible to overstate. “Space is America’s greatest asset and its greatest vulnerability,” Crespo said. “The Chinese and Russians see it as our Achilles heel.” To that end, one may consider the strategic value of space as the foremost point of CCP ambitions. It is the gateway through which one growing power might leapfrog a global hegemon to dictate the future of earthly affairs. Indeed, it isn’t an overstatement to say that the moon is to the CCP what the Alps were to Hannibal. Should it be taken, the rest may fall like dominoes. “The stakes are that high,” Crespo said. “Whoever controls space may control the world.” Tyler Durden Sat, 01/01/2022 - 23:10.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 1st, 2022

Chaos & The Triumph Of Survival

Chaos & The Triumph Of Survival Authored by Egon von Greyerz via GoldSwitzerland.com, One of the most horrifying works of art is Bruegel’s “The Triumph of Death” painted in 1562. The painting depicts the end of life on earth. I sincerely hope that this is not what the world will literally look like in the next decade or two but metaphorically this is not an unlikely depiction of the chaos that could hit us all. For a detailed description of the grim painting see here The Black Death plague of the 14th century, which killed up to half of the world’s population, clearly had a major influence on the painter. The moral message is that when chaos hits, the destruction will affect everyone, rich and poor, young and old. No one will escape by power or devotion. The financial, economic and moral devastation which is about to hit the world will for more than 99.5% of the people come out of the blue like a flash from a clear sky. For most people, coming events will thus be like the definition of the word CHAOS: “A state of total confusion and disorder”. CHAOS NUMBER 1: COVID Talking about disorder, just like the Black Death that inspired Bruegel’s painting, the world is now facing a global pandemic. But rather than the nearer 50% of global population that perished in the mid 1300s, today we are looking at total deaths from the current pandemic of 0.06% of the world population! And even that figure might be overestimated due to the classification rules applied. For that minuscule percentage the world has now been paralysed for the third year soon. There are lockdowns, quarantines, compulsory vaccines with unlined boosters, covid passports, closed schools, closed offices, major industries like leisure haemorrhaging, airlines going bankrupt, shortages of labour, components, products, closed borders, and for the few people who dare to and can travel across borders, more bureaucracy, paperwork and tests than in a police state. At the same time money printing and credit creation have gone exponential. The politicians obviously blame the scientists for all the rules that they force upon the people. It is interesting that with almost 200 countries in the world, each country has different rules how to deal with covid. If all these rules were based on science, you would have thought that the rules would have been the same for all 200 countries. Or could it be as many observers believe that the politicians use the pandemic to their own advantage. Or is it more likely that neither the scientists nor the politicians have got a clue how to deal with a disease that creates hardly any deaths in excess of normal deaths? In Sweden for example, there has been no lockdown, no quarantine, no closed shops, no mask requirement and industry has operated normally. Covid cases and deaths are at the lower range of the European average. Hmmm – so much for all these punishing rules in most countries. We were told that the vaccines would solve the problem but two shots haven’t so far as we were promised. So now everyone needs a booster every few months. With Big Pharma being both judge and jury plus benefiting from their own advice to the extent 100s of billions of dollars, how do we know the real truth? As an example, I have a 19 year old vaccinated granddaughter who had Covid in August. Now she has got Covid for the second time, fortunately in the form of a normal cold. The government/scientist solution is clearly more vaccines at ever more frequent intervals. And still no one has properly tested the long term effects the vaccines have on our bodies. There just isn’t time for that!!? The consequences of these constant changing of rules and shutdowns will clearly have a devastating effect on an already very fragile world economy and financial system. CHAOS NUMBER 2: GLOBAL DEBT So if scientists and governments haven’t got a clue how to deal with Covid, we can at least assume that central bankers and governments have got the economy and the financial system under control. How wrong can we be? Ever since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, central and commercial bankers have successfully been running the financial system for their own benefit. But what really gave them carte blanche to print unlimited amounts of money was in August 1971, when Nixon closed the gold window. Since then, President Thomas Jefferson’s cynical view on bankers have really come to pass. How incredibly prescient the above statement is. We must remember that the Fed is a private bank that totally controls the US financial system. And as long as the US dollar remains the reserve currency of the world, the Fed also controls major parts of the global financial system. Jefferson will also be right regarding inflation and deflation. The current financial system is now entering a phase of inflation, most probably leading to hyperinflation as I have discussed many times in my articles.  But before this financial system ends, the totally worthless debt must be destroyed through a deflationary implosion not only of the debt, but also the bubble assets financed by printed money created out of thin air. So a deflationary depression is likely to be the end of yet another failed experiment of a fiat money system which was doomed the day it was created on Jekyll island 111 years ago. Jefferson of course told us this would happen already over 200 years ago. If history teaches us anything, it is that no one learns from history and everyone thinks it is different today because we are here. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – The more it changes, the more it stays the same. So back to Bruegel. An implosion of the financial system and consequently the global economy will clearly have major repercussions for life on earth. We must remember that NEVER BEFORE IN HISTORY has there been a global debt crisis of this magnitude. Never before have debt bubbles at this level in Europe, in North and South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania synchronised at the levels we are now experiencing.  Just look at the magnitude of debt which has been created since 1971. It took a few thousand years to get to a global debt of $1.5 trillion in 1971. And 29 years later debt had grown 66x to $100 trillion and since then it is up another 3x to $300T. So when the shackles were thrown off by closing the gold window in 1971, there was a free for all between bankers and governments to create unlimited amounts of money. And by golly they have succeeded! Global debt is up 200x since Nixon took away the gold backing of the dollar and all other currencies. As regards the $3 quadrillion debt in 2030, I will comment later in this article. The very final stage of this monetary era started in 2006 with the Great Financial Crisis. Tens of trillions of dollars printed, lent and guaranteed managed to patch up Humpty Dumpty temporarily. But it was very clear to me and some other observers that the patch would not last long. So back in September 2019 the financial system came under severe pressure and central banks panicked in an attempt to save the bankrupt banking system with massive liquidity. Conveniently for the banks, they had an excuse for this money printing since Covid started a few weeks later. Normally governments need to start a war to have an excuse to print serious money. But a pandemic created in a lab works even better. The world is now in totally unchartered and very precarious waters. A ship in such danger does not require more than a minor storm to be hit by irreparable damage. Nobody can forecast what will happen since we have nothing to compare with. But what is very likely is that the creature (from Jekyll Island) that has been created by bankers and governments will reach a terrible fate – a fate that only future historians can tell the world about. CHAOS NUMBER 3: DERIVATIVES Global derivatives outstanding were reported by the BIS in Basel (Bank of International Settlement) at $1.4 quadrillion in the mid 2000s. That figure was conveniently reduced by the BIS to around $600 trillion at the end of the 2000s by netting positions. Banks like Deutsche or JP Morgan have reported gross outstanding derivatives of $40-50 trillion. But all banks net the gross amounts of derivatives down to insignificant levels, arguing that these low and totally misleading amounts are their real exposures. Well, the bankers can fool some of the people some of the time but in the end we know who the real fools will be! The problem with netting is that when counterparties fail, gross risk remains gross. Derivatives have been a most incredible money spinner for banks and other financial entities. There are today so many opaque ways of creating and hiding derivatives from the official reporting that no one has a clue of the real amount outstanding. But it could easily be in the quadrillions of dollars. Remember that virtually every financial instrument created today consists of derivatives, whether it is ETF stock or bond funds, interest rate swaps, forex swaps, mortgage loans etc, etc, the list is endless. Derivatives function very well in an manipulated orderly system when there is constant demand. But when the music stops and liquidity dries up, only then will we know the real amounts outstanding. One of my very good contacts is an excellent interpreter of the risks in the system. He has created these inverse pyramids with the current financial system at the bottom resting on a small amount of gold with massive debt on top. Above that we see the known derivatives reported by the BIS of $600 trillion and on top of that the opaque financial system which is likely to be in the quadrillions of dollars. No one knows the exact amount but it could easily be $2 quadrillion and probably more. CHAOS NUMBER 4: TIMEBOMB So if we look into the next 5-10 years and paint a picture of what could happen to the financial system, the risk the world is facing is horrifying. Global debt will certainly grow from $300t to at least $500t. That figure is really a gross underestimate. We add to that global unfunded liabilities (pensions, medicare etc) which are easily $500 trillion. Finally we add the derivatives of $2 quadrillion – also probably too conservative. When counterparties fail, central banks will need to print all that money to prevent banks from failing. So if my assumptions are right, global debt will have grown from $300 trillion to $3 quadrillion in the next 5-10 years. But I will probably be wrong on many accounts, like it won’t take as long as 10 years. We know from history that hyperinflation goes very fast. Also, most of the estimates of debt and derivatives are probably much too low. Still, let’s assume that the world is now facing a timebomb of $3 quadrillion. A very frightening prospect indeed. Warren Buffett knew he was right in 2002 when he called derivatives financial instruments of MASS DESTRUCTION. Sadly, we will soon see the evidence. Since all monetary systems in history have come to an end, we have to assume that the biggest global bubble ever also will. And since this morbid system touches all corners of our lives and has led to a decadent world where moral and ethical values have virtually disappeared, the world needs a cleansing in the form of a forest fire for new green shoots to start again. PREPARE AND ACHIEVE THE TRIUMPH OF SURVIVAL As I have pointed out in this article, nobody knows exactly how things will play out. But what we do know is that risk is probably greater than any time in history. So prudence tells us to get out of bubble assets like stocks, bonds and speculative property. Once the fall starts, these assets are likely to lose 90% or more in real terms which means against gold. The majority of stock investors are likely to buy all the dips as the market falls, not realising that they will ride the fall all the way down to the bottom. And this time the market will not recover for years or probably decades. Also it is important to get out of debt except for a normal mortgage on your residential property. Own physical gold and some silver (much more volatile). That will be your insurance against a rotten financial system. We have owned and recommended physical gold for 20 years. Not once have we worried about the price. History tells us that governments and central banks destroy the value of money without fail. But for the ones who do look at the gold price, I think that the correction in gold is finished. There is always a chance of a final move down of $50-100. But that would make no difference since the next big move up is soon coming to much higher levels. Finally, we will have difficult times in the world. So helping family and friends is very important. It is everyone’s responsibility to resist the Triumph of Death and achieve the Triumph of Survival – both financial and mental – for everybody we can help. And remember that many of the best things in life are free – friendship, music, books, nature and many hobbies. I wish all our readers Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, as well as a Healthy and Harmonious 2022 in spite of the tumultuous era we are entering! Tyler Durden Sat, 12/25/2021 - 23:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 26th, 2021

Amazon unionizers at a Staten Island warehouse said a visit by the NYPD quickly turned sour. One was handcuffed and held in a cell, they said, and both received court summonses.

Chris Smalls and Brett Daniels, the Amazon unionizers, said their interactions with police had been uneventful — until November 15. Amazon worker-turned-unionizer Chris Smalls in front of the JFK8 fulfillment center on Staten Island, November 25, 2021.Valentina Goncharova Two unionizers said NYPD officers visited them outside Amazon's JFK8 warehouse on Staten Island. Footage showed organizer Brett Daniels was handcuffed. They said they were held in a cell for almost two hours. Daniels and Chris Smalls, the other unionizer, recounted their version of the incident to Insider. Amazon warehouse workers gazing across the street from the JFK8 fulfillment center on Staten Island can often see a small open-sided tent pitched next to a bus stop. It's the base of operations for the Amazon Labor Union, which is trying to unionize workers at JFK8.The face of the ALU is Chris Smalls, a former JFK8 worker who made headlines in March 2020 when he was fired from the same warehouse he's now trying to unionize. Brett Daniels, who works the night shift at JFK8, is among those assisting Smalls and the ALU with the union drive.Smalls and Daniels said that up until November 15, their interactions with the police had been uneventful. They said NYPD officers had visited them during their organizing efforts but had never indicated there was a problem or issued any sort of warning. Daniels said officers had even told the organizers to stay warm.Then, on November 15, NYPD officers approached Smalls and Daniels while they were at the ALU tent. Daniels was handcuffed, shepherded into a police car, and taken to a holding cell, while both Smalls and Daniels received two court summonses each, according to interviews with the two organizers, video footage of the incident, and police statements obtained by Insider.Smalls by the bus stop across from JFK8 on November 25, 2021.Valentina GoncharovaDaniels, whose pronouns are he/they, said four officers visited them and Smalls, and the two organizers said in separate interviews that they were the only people present from the ALU. They said separately that an officer approached Smalls and showed him what appeared to be a message on a phone that said Smalls had organized a protest of four to five people.Smalls and Daniels said the officers then asked them to put out a fire burning in a pit they'd set up inside the tent. Daniels said the officers told them they couldn't have an open flame.Smalls said the officers seemed to want the fire to be put out immediately. He said: "We complied. We said, 'OK, no problem.'" But, he continued, "the issue was, we didn't have any water to put the fire out." Smalls said he suggested letting the kindling burn down, which he estimated would take about half an hour.The officers then took issue with the tent, saying it had to be removed, Smalls and Daniels said. Daniels said the police described the tent as a "movable structure" that could be blown away by the wind. Daniels told Insider that the tent's poles were fixed to cement blocks.Smalls said he refused to take down the tent, which prompted the police to say they'd have to issue a summons. Then the officers asked to see the two organizers' IDs, they both said.Smalls said he challenged the request because the officers had referred to him by name when they arrived. Smalls said he then proceeded to call his lawyer. Meanwhile, Smalls said, officers surrounded Daniels, who had also refused to hand over their ID.Daniels shared video footage with Insider of what appeared to be the ensuing altercation. They posted a shorter version on Twitter.At the start of the footage, an NYPD officer faced the camera. The officer asked Daniels whether they were refusing to give up their ID for a third time. Shortly after, the officer could be heard saying "put him in cuffs." At this point, the camera swung away from the officer's face and toward the ground, shaking. The officer said, "See how you're resisting now?" Daniels said later, "They're hurting my wrists." The footage was cut off shortly after. In photos sent to Insider by Daniels, four police officers were visible.Daniels said officers then pushed them up against the side of the bus stop and began to perform a search. "They searched me because they were trying to get my ID," Daniels said. They continued: "They got my Amazon ID badge. Then they took all of my belongings out of my pockets and took them with them, and put me in the back of the cop car and took me to the station, and held me in a holding cell for a little less than two hours."Daniels said that once they were released from holding, they returned to the ALU tent opposite JFK8.Amazon worker Brett Daniels (right) attends an Amazon Labor Union Thanksgiving event outside JFK8 on November 25, 2021.Valentina GoncharovaSmalls and Daniels said they received two summonses each and were told to appear in court on December 3. The NYPD confirmed to Insider that Smalls and Daniels were each given two summonses for alleged violations of the New York City Administrative Code. One alleged violation involved a prohibition on open fires; the other, a prohibition on "movable property" on a public street.The NYPD said Daniels wasn't arrested, and Daniels said that officers didn't read them their Miranda rights.Daniels and Smalls both said that when they appeared in court on December 3, they were both told their cases were dismissed. Smalls tweeted on December 3 that "all summons were dismissed upon arrival" at court. The NYPD declined to comment.It's unclear why the police showed up on November 15, or where the officer's phone message about a protest came from.Smalls and Daniels both said the encounter wouldn't deter them from trying to unionize JFK8. "We signed up for this type of work, and we know things like this come with the territory," Smalls said.Amazon declined to comment on the incident. A spokesperson said: "People have a right to protest, and we support that right."A Thanksgiving event hosted by the Amazon Labor Union outside JFK8 on November 25, 2021.Valentina GoncharovaOn Thanksgiving Day, Smalls and Daniels attended an ALU event at the bus stop opposite JFK8, at which barbecued chicken, candied yams, and other holiday foods were served for free to warehouse workers.Smalls helped found the ALU and has been trying to unionize JFK8 for eight months. He was fired from the warehouse in March 2020 on the same day that he organized a protest of its COVID-19 safety conditions.Amazon said at the time that it dismissed Smalls for violating social-distancing rules. Smalls believed his dismissal was a response to his activism. In February, New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Amazon, saying Smalls' firing was retaliatory.Amazon's top executives discussed Smalls' dismissal soon after the event. In April 2020, Vice obtained a leaked memo from Amazon's general counsel, David Zapolsky, penned after executives — including Jeff Bezos, who was CEO at the time — met to discuss the company's public-relations response to the firing.Vice reported that in the memo, Zapolsky wrote: "We should spend the first part of our response strongly laying out the case for why the organizer's conduct was immoral, unacceptable, and arguably illegal, in detail, and only then follow with our usual talking points about worker safety. Make him the most interesting part of the story, and if possible make him the face of the entire union/organizing movement."Smalls on November 25, 2021.Valentina GoncharovaIn an interview with Insider, Smalls said the ALU had in its possession authorization cards from 2,000 of the 7,000 to 10,000 eligible workers at JFK8. Once the ALU had about 3,000 authorization cards, the ALU would resubmit a petition to the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election, Smalls said. (Smalls withdrew an NLRB union-election petition in November, citing high staff turnover at JFK8.)Amazon has illegally interfered with unionization efforts at JFK8, the NLRB said in documents obtained by Vice. Some of the tactics that reports say are being deployed by the company inside JFK8 mirror those it used in the run-up to a union vote in its Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse in March.Amazon workers from the Bessemer warehouse told Insider earlier this year that Amazon's anti-union messaging contained misinformation. On November 29, the NLRB ordered a second union election at Bessemer, ruling that Amazon's interference had "compromised the authority of the Board and made a free and fair election impossible."At the bus stop near JFK8 on Thanksgiving Day 2021.Valentina GoncharovaOn November 17, Vice published leaked audio of a meeting held inside JFK8, in which an Amazon human-resources representative told workers they could be forced to pay union dues if they signed authorization cards.The Amazon representative said: "Just make sure you're reading the fine print of what that authorization card is implying. By signing you could be authorizing the ALU to speak on your behalf, or you could be obligated to pay union dues, so just make sure you read everything closely."Smalls said, "The authorization cards that workers are signing is the generic card that any union provides." He continued: "It's nothing contractually binding anybody. Dues are not even a thought right now."Smalls added, "We have to win the election first." He said that if a union was formed, members would vote on how high dues should be.According to NLRB rules, dues-paying procedures are generally handled separately from representation matters, and they usually only arise at the point that union contracts are agreed upon.An Amazon spokesperson said of the November 17 meeting inside JFK8: "We regularly hold meetings with our employees as our focus remains on listening directly to them and continuously improving on their behalf. It's our employees' choice whether or not to join a union. It always has been. And it's important that everyone understands the facts about joining a union and the election process itself."The spokesperson added, "If the union vote passes, it will impact everyone at the site, so it's important all employees understand what that means for them and their day-to-day life working at Amazon."Are you an Amazon unionizer? Are you a worker at JFK8? Do you have a story to share? Contact this reporter at ihamilton@insider.com or iahamilton@protonmail.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 8th, 2021

Fusion GPS interview with House panel leaves huge pile of breadcrumbs for Trump-Russia investigators

President Donald Trump listens as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson speaks during an event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Washington.Associated Press/Evan VucciThe House Intelligence Committee released the transcript of its interview with Glenn Simpson, the cofounder of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS.The transcript left a massive pile of breadcrumbs for Trump-Russia investigators to sift through as they pursue their probe into Russia's election interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.Editor's note: This article was updated after a Nov. 3, 2021 federal indictment accused Igor Danchenko, a Russia expert who contributed to the so-called Steele dossier, of lying to investigators about receiving information from Sergei Millian. Millian repeatedly denied he was a source for any material in the dossier.The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released the transcript of the panel's November interview with Glenn Simpson, the cofounder of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The House investigators' line of questioning touched upon subjects that the Senate Judiciary Committee did not delve into, largely due to a shift in focus spearheaded by the committee's top Democrat, Adam Schiff. Rather than home in on the nature of Simpson's relationship with Christopher Steele — the former British intelligence officer hired by Fusion to research Trump's Russia ties — Schiff and his Democratic colleagues asked Simpson pointed questions about Russian money laundering, Russian organized crime, and whether Trump could be susceptible to Russian blackmail.The result was a long trail of breacrumbs for investigators probing Trump's relationship with Russia."You mentioned that you'd done a lot of work as a journalist in terms of Russian organized crime, financial crimes, organized crime more generally," Schiff said. "What can you tell us about how the Russians launder their money and whether that was an issue of concern during the first phase of your work for Free Beacon?"Fusion GPS was first hired by the conservative Washington Free Beacon in late 2015 to conduct opposition research on Trump. The research was later funded by the DNC via the law firm Perkins Coie. "I guess the general thing I would say is that, you know, the Russians are far more sophisticated in their criminal organized crime activities than the Italians, and they're a lot more global," Simpson replied. "They understand finance a lot better. And so they tend to use quite elaborate methods to move money...I mean, if you can think of a way to launder money, the Russians are pretty good at it."Glenn Simpson.Pablo Martinez Monsivais/APSimpson explained that "real estate deals" were a common Russian method of hiding and moving money. Asked whether Fusion had found "evidence" of corruption and illicit finance related to the purchase of Trump properties, Simpson replied that his firm had seen "patterns of buying and selling that we thought were suggestive of money laundering."Schiff pounced: "What facts came to your attention that concerned you that the buying and selling of properties - the buying and selling of Trump properties might indicate money laundering?" he asked."There was -- well, for one thing, there was various criminals were buying the properties," Simpson replied. "So there was a gangster -- a Russian gangster living in Trump Tower."The gangster went by Taiwanchik, and he'd been running a "high-stakes gambling ring" out of Trump Tower, Simpson said. The gangster also "rigged the skating competition at the Salt Lake Olympics" and sat in the VIP section of the Miss Universe Pageant in 2013 along with Trump "and lots of other Kremlin biggies," Simpson said.Panama, Toronto, Scotland and IrelandAsked whether the Russian government would have been aware of the Russian mafia's efforts to move or hide money in Trump properties, Simpson replied: "The Russian mafia is essentially under the dominion of the Russian Government and Russian Intelligence Services.""And many of the oligarchs are also mafia figures," he continued. "And the oligarchs, during this period of consolidation of power by Vladimir Putin, when I was living in Brussels and doing all this work, was about him essentially taking control over both the oligarchs and the mafia groups. And so basically everyone in Russia works for Putin now." Other concerning patterns, Simpson said, included "fast turnover deals and deals where there seemed to have been efforts to disguise the identity of the buyer."Specifically, he said, "a project in Panama, the one in Toronto. Those both got a lot of fraud associated with them, a lot of fraud allegations, a lot of activity that I would say smacks of fraud, and a lot of Russia mafia figures listed as buyers who may or may not have actually put money into it." NBC News reported in November that Trump's Panama hotel had organized crime ties. Donald Trump (2nd L) poses with his children Donald Jr. (L), Ivanka and Eric (R) during a news conference to mark the opening of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto April 16, 2012.Mike Cassese/ReutersA Russian state-owned bank under US sanctions, whose CEO met with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner in December 2016, helped finance the construction of the president's 65-story Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto.The bank, Vnesheconombank, or VEB, bought $850 million of stock in a Ukrainian steelmaker from the billionaire Russian-Canadian developer Alexander Shnaider, who was constructing the hotel at the time. Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier asked Simpson about Schnaider during the interview."Schnaider had no previous hotel or condo development experience," she said. "His most apparent qualification seemed to be that he made a lot of money quickly." Simpson called Schnaider among "the most interesting" of the Trump-Russia characters, noting that his father-in-law was a "very important figure in the history of the KGB-Mafia alliance.""I think that there is a lot of information to be had from Canadian law enforcement and from Belgian law enforcement about some of these characters," Simpson said.Simpson said Trump's golf courses in Scotland and Ireland were also "concerning" because financial statements obtained by Fusion showed "enormous amounts of capital flowing into these projects from unknown sources.""At least on paper it says it's from The Trump Organization, but it's hundreds of millions of dollars," Simpson said. "And these golf course are just, you know, they're sinks. They don't actually make any money."GOP Rep. Tom Rooney said "the story about [Trump] financing Doonbeg in Ireland through money that we can't really trace but has sort of the fingerprints of Russian mobsters" was "fascinating."Doonbeg is the home of Trump's hotel and golf course in Ireland."If we knew that Donald Trump was working with the Russian mafia to fund Doonbeg in Ireland, then there's no way he would be President," Rooney said. "So, I mean, that's why it's so fascinating."Roger Stone, Julian Assange, and Nigel FarageSchiff asked Simpson later whether he uncovered "any information regarding a connection between Trump or those around him and Wikileaks" — the self-described radical transparency organization founded by Julian Assange that published emails Russia had stolen from the Democratic National Committee."Roger Stone bragged about having his contact," Simpson replied, referring to Stone's public comments about having an intermediary with Assange. "We tried to figure out who the contact was."We started going into who Stone was and who his relationships were with, and essentially the trail led to sort of international far right. And, you know, Brexit happened, and Nigel Farage became someone that we were very interested in, and I still think it's very interesting."Farage is a British politican who headed the far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP) from 2006-2009 and again from 2010-2016. Farage spearheaded the Brexit movement."So I have formed my own opinions that went through - that there was a somewhat unacknowledged relationship between the Trump people and the UKIP people and that the path to Wikileaks ran through that," Simpson said. "And I still think that today."Donald Trump and Nigel Farage.Nigel Farage/TwitterSchiff then asked whether the data company Cambridge Analytica, whose parent company is based in the UK, was the link between the Trump campaign and the Brexit campaign.Simpson replied that the billionaire Mercer family, which has been credited with paving the way to Trump's victory, were "signficant" — moreso than Cambridge Analytica, which he said may have been "selling snake oil."Simpson also mentioned a "Bannon Stone associate" named Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, an American associated with UKIP who he believed was "a significant figure in this.""Were you able to find any factual links between the Mercers and Assange or Wikileaks or Farage?" Schiff asked.Simpson pointed to Farage's trips to New York, and said he had been told, but had not confirmed, that "Nigel Farage had additional trips to the Ecuadoran Embassy...and that he provided data to Julian Assange.""What kind of data?" Schiff asked."A thumb drive," Simpson replied.'It appears the Russians...infiltrated the NRA'Speier went on to ask Simpson why Russia seemed so interested in the National Rifle Association.A McClatchy article published on Thursday morning revealed that the FBI is investigating whether Russian money flowed into the NRA via a Kremlin-linked banker named Alexander Torshin, which was then donated to the Trump campaign. "It appears the Russians, you know, infiltrated the NRA," Simpson said. "And there is more than one explanation for why. But I would say broadly speaking, it appears that the Russian operation was designed to infiltrate conservative organizations."Simpson said Fusion spent "a lot of time investigating Mr. Torshin," who is "well known to Spanish law enforcement for money laundering activity."Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses members of the National Rifle Association during their NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at their annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, May 20, 2016.Reuters/John Sommers II"He is one of the more important figures, but, you know, another woman with whom he was working, Maria Butina, also was a big Trump fan in Russia, and then suddenly showed up here and started hanging around the Trump transition after the election and rented an apartment and enrolled herself at AU, which I assume gets you a visa," Simpson said.Maria Butina has attempted to build a pro-gun movement in Russia, where gun laws are strict and there is little interest by Russian citizens — and Russian President Vladimir Putin — to loosen them.Butina was a former assistant to Torshin and reportedly claimed at a post-Election Day party that she had been a part of the Trump campaign's communications with Russia, according to The Daily Beast.The Agalarovs, Kaveladze, and Crocus GroupSchiff asked Simpson what he knew about Trump's relationship with Aras Agalarov, the Russian-Azerbaijani billionaire who helped bring Trump's Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013.Simpson replied that the Agalarovs started operating in the US "around the time of the fall of the Soviet Union and are associated with people who are connected to previous episodes of money laundering that are serious." "Knowing what you do about the Agalarovs, what do you think is the significance of the fact that the – that Aras Agalarov was responsible, at least according to these public emails, for setting up the meeting at Trump Tower?" Schiff asked, referring to the June 9 meeting at Trump Tower between top Trump campaign officials and several Russian nationals. "I think it's a reasonable interpretation that that was a Russian Government-directed operation of some sort, based on what I know now," Simpson replied.Russian real estate developer Aras Agalarov (L) talks with his son, singer Emin Agalarov, during a news conference following the 2013 Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 16, 2013.Thomson ReutersHe left another clue: "I think this tax court case involving the Agalarovs is an important document. I think that there's – I guess going back to your subpoena question, I also – you know, the Crocus Group has a much longer history in the United States than people realize, and I think there's all kind of good documents." The Crocus Group is Agalarov's development company. Simpson said that Irakly Kaveladze, a representative of Aras Agalarov and his son, Emin, is another important player."I think that there is a lot to find out about Kaveladze," Simpson said. "But I have a little bit of knowledge of Kaveladze and a little bit of knowledge of the Agalarovs. Kaveladze surfaced in a previous money laundering investigation. I think there is more information about that money laundering investigation in the possession of the government than just the GAO report."Kaveladze was implicated in a Russian money-laundering scheme in 2000, during which investigators found that several Russians and Eastern Europeans had formed shell companies and used them to move money through American banks.Kaveladze has long served a far more important role than just a translator for the Agalarovs. He is the vice president of Crocus Group, and he met with Trump in 2013 during the Miss Universe pageant (Kaveladze can be seen standing behind Emin Agalarov as he speaks with Trump in a video taken in Moscow in 2013.)Simpson also suggested that the committee examine the travel histories of Trump's children, Don Jr. and Ivanka, "and whether they had other meetings with Russians." "And specifically, the connections between the Abramovichs and Ivanka and Jared is something that requires looking into, if it hasn't been," Simpson said, referring to Roman Abramovich and Jared Kushner.Dmitry Rybolovlev and Igor SechinSteele told a reporter in December that investigators examining Trump's Russia connections needed "to look at the contracts for the hotel deals and land deals" that Trump had pursued with Russian nationals."Check their values against the money Trump secured via loans,"  Steele told The Guardian's Luke Harding. "The difference is what's important."Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev that has come under scrutiny by the special counsel Robert Mueller.Simpson emphasized the suspicion surrounding that home sale during his interview."When we first heard about it, it didn't fit with my timeline of when Trump seemed to have gotten deeply involved with the Russians," Simpson said. "Later, as I understood more, I began to realize that I actually was in the sort of first trimester of the Trump-Russia relationship, in that it actually fit in pretty well with some of the early things that had happened."Dmitri Rybolovlev of Russia, President of AS Monaco Football Club attends Monaco's Ligue 1 soccer match against Paris St Germain at Louis II stadium in Monaco March 1, 2015.Reuters/Eric GaillardRybolovlev, a multibillionaire who was an early investor in one of the world's most lucrative fertilizer companies, bought a Palm Beach property from Trump for $95 million in 2008, two years after Trump put it on the market for $125 million; Trump had purchased it for $41 million in 2004.Rybolovlev has never lived in the mansion and has since torn it down, but an adviser, Sergey Chernitsyn, told Business Insider last year that there was "every prospect that this investment will turn out to be profitable."Rybolovlev's cash infusion into Trump's bank account is believed to be the most expensive home sale in US history. According to PolitiFact, 2008 was the year Trump Entertainment Resorts missed a $53.1 million bond interest payment and later filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize.Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, told Prospect Magazine in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."What lingers for Trump may be what deals — on what terms — he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money" when other banks would not loan to him, Dearlove said.Simpson said his view of Rybolvlev's importance changed as he began to learn more about him."In particular, I didn't know in the early period that he was closely linked to Igor Sechin, and that, in fact, he was accused of essentially destroying an entire city environmentally with his potash mining operations," Simpson said.Sechin is the CEO of Russia's state oil company, Rosneft,Rybolvlev "managed to get out of it and walk out of Russia with billions of dollars with the apparent assistance of Sechin and Sechin's people," he continued. "And subsequently, received a report from a Russian émigré who is familiar with these events that...there were political or corruption aspects to that."Additionally, Simpson said, he was "intrigued" by Rybolovelv's travel in August 2016 and the extent to which it coincided with Kushner and Ivanka Trump's travel around the same time."Cohen and Ivanka and Jared and Trump, and I can't remember whether Manafort's in this mix too, are all in the Hamptons area in August, and Dmitry Rybolovlev's plane is somewhere nearby, and flies to Nice," Simpson said, referring to the Trump Organization's lawyer Michael Cohen and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort."And then most of these guys sort of fall off the radar and then, you know, I think it's the 12th of August, Rybolovlev's plane lands in Dubrovnik, and Jared and Ivanka surface in Dubrovnik," he said. "And I don't know how they got there or whether they got there on his plane."Sergei Millian and Michael CohenSimpson mentioned in his testimony that Fusion GPS had begun to scrutinize another trip Trump Organization representatives took to Moscow to promote a vodka brand. That trip was organized by Sergei Millian, the Belarus-born businessman who worked with the Trump Organization."When we looked at him, we found that he ran a sort of shadowy kind of trade group called the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, which is -- Russians are known to use chambers of commerce and trade groups for intelligence operations," Simpson said.Sergei Millian at an event following Trump's inauguration on January 20th.Screenshot/FacebookMillian, who changed his name when he arrived in the US from Siarhei Kukuts to Sergei Millian, founded the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in 2006 and has described himself as an exclusive broker for the Trump Organization with respect to the company's potential real-estate dealings in Russia.He attended several black-tie events at Trump's inauguration, and told the Russian news agency RIA that he had been in touch with the Trump Organization as late as April 2016. He was also photographed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2016 with the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a longtime business associate of Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort.It was around that time that Millian's organization, the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, was looking for "delegates" to attend the Russian Oil & Gas Forum in Moscow.But Millian appears to have begun downplaying his ties to the Trump Organization after Western reporters started digging into Trump's Russia ties last summer.Contrary to what he told RIA, Millian told Business Insider in an email earlier this year that the last time he worked on a Trump-brand project was "in Florida around 2008." He did not respond to a request to clarify the discrepancy.Millian had two different resumes, according to Simpson: "In one resume he said he was from Belarus and he went to Minsk State, and then in another he was from Moscow and went to Moscow State," Simpson said. "In one he said he worked for the Belarussian Foreign Ministry; in the other, he said he worked for the Russian Foreign Ministry."Additionally, Millian "was connected to" Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen.Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's personal lawyer, arrives in Trump Tower in New York City.Stephanie Keith/Reuters"Michael Cohen was very adamant that he didn't actually have a connection to Sergie, even though he was one of only like 100 people who followed Sergi on Twitter," Simpson said. "And they -- we had Twitter messages back and forth between the two of them just - we just pulled them off of Twitter." Cohen acknowledged to Business Insider earlier this year that Millian emailed him during the campaign. But he said he rarely if ever responded to the emails and stopped communicating with Millian in November 2016. Simpson said Fusion came to understand more about Cohen as they continued their research."We gradually began to understand more about ·Michael Cohen, the President's lawyer, and his background, and that he had a lot of connections to the former Soviet Union, and that he seemed to have associations with organized crime figures in New York and Florida, Russian organized crime figures," Simpson said.The Center for National Interest and trips to HungarySchiff asked Simpson whether there were other issues that came to his attention that were not contained in the Steele dossier "that you think we ought to be aware of that you either were able to substantiate in part, or you were not able to fully investigate."Simpon brought up the Center for the National Interest and its president and CEO, Dimitri Simes — a Russian expat described by Simpson as "a suspected Russian agent" known to the FBI.A biography of Simes on the Center's website says he was selected to lead the Center by former President Richard Nixon, "to whom he served as an informal foreign policy advisor and with whom he traveled regularly to Russia and other former Soviet states, as well as Western and Central Europe.""There are a number of Russian defectors who, I think, maybe could speak to that," Simpson said, referring to Simes and the Center for the National Interest."I think there are some records around that might reflect some of that," he continued. "And I think that is — given their fundamental role in creating the Trump foreign policy, I think that is a really important area."Simpson also pointed to "a lot of unexplained travel by various people" associated with Trump to Hungary, whose president Viktor Orban "is essentially a Putin puppet," Simpson said.Orban has ushered in a new era of anti-migrant, pro-Russia policies since taking office in 2010.Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU, "has a big station" in Hungary, too, Simpson said.Among the Trump associates who traveled to Hungary: Sebastian Gorka, "about three times," Simpson noted. Gorka was reportedly wanted by Hungarian police on gun-related charges, BuzzFeed reported on Thursday.Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and JD Gordon also traveled to Hungary in 2016. "I guess this is transitioning into another area, if you are interested in looking at things, is, you know, the European travel of certain people. And I would include Jared and lvanka in that," Simpson said.Read the full transcript below: Simpson testimony by natasha on Scribd Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 16th, 2021

A New Generation of Nuclear Reactors Could Hold the Key to a Green Future

On a conference-room whiteboard in the heart of Silicon Valley, Jacob DeWitte sketches his startup’s first product. In red marker, it looks like a beer can in a Koozie, stuck with a crazy straw. In real life, it will be about the size of a hot tub, and made from an array of exotic materials,… On a conference-room whiteboard in the heart of Silicon Valley, Jacob DeWitte sketches his startup’s first product. In red marker, it looks like a beer can in a Koozie, stuck with a crazy straw. In real life, it will be about the size of a hot tub, and made from an array of exotic materials, like zirconium and uranium. Under carefully controlled conditions, they will interact to produce heat, which in turn will make electricity—1.5 megawatts’ worth, enough to power a neighborhood or a factory. DeWitte’s little power plant will run for a decade without refueling and, amazingly, will emit no carbon. ”It’s a metallic thermal battery,” he says, coyly. But more often DeWitte calls it by another name: a nuclear reactor. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Fission isn’t for the faint of heart. Building a working reactor—even a very small one—requires precise and painstaking efforts of both engineering and paper pushing. Regulations are understandably exhaustive. Fuel is hard to come by—they don’t sell uranium at the Gas-N-Sip. But DeWitte plans to flip the switch on his first reactor around 2023, a mere decade after co-founding his company, Oklo. After that, they want to do for neighborhood nukes what Tesla has done for electric cars: use a niche and expensive first version as a stepping stone toward cheaper, bigger, higher-volume products. In Oklo’s case, that means starting with a “microreactor” designed for remote communities, like Alaskan villages, currently dependent on diesel fuel trucked, barged or even flown in, at an exorbitant expense. Then building more and incrementally larger reactors until their zero-carbon energy source might meaningfully contribute to the global effort to reduce fossil-fuel emissions. At global climate summits, in the corridors of Congress and at statehouses around the U.S., nuclear power has become the contentious keystone of carbon reduction plans. Everyone knows they need it. But no one is really sure they want it, given its history of accidents. Or even if they can get it in time to reach urgent climate goals, given how long it takes to build. Oklo is one of a growing handful of companies working to solve those problems by putting reactors inside safer, easier-to-build and smaller packages. None of them are quite ready to scale to market-level production, but given the investments being made into the technology right now, along with an increasing realization that we won’t be able to shift away from fossil fuels without nuclear power, it’s a good bet that at least one of them becomes a game changer. If existing plants are the energy equivalent of a 2-liter soda bottle, with giant, 1,000-megawatt-plus reactors, Oklo’s strategy is to make reactors by the can. The per-megawatt construction costs might be higher, at least at first. But producing units in a factory would give the company a chance to improve its processes and to lower costs. Oklo would pioneer a new model. Nuclear plants need no longer be bet-the-company big, even for giant utilities. Venture capitalists can get behind the potential to scale to a global market. And climate hawks should fawn over a zero-carbon energy option that complements burgeoning supplies of wind and solar power. Unlike today’s plants, which run most efficiently at full blast, making it challenging for them to adapt to a grid increasingly powered by variable sources (not every day is sunny, or windy), the next generation of nuclear technology wants to be more flexible, able to respond quickly to ups and downs in supply and demand. Engineering these innovations is hard. Oklo’s 30 employees are busy untangling the knots of safety and complexity that sent the cost of building nuclear plants to the stratosphere and all but halted their construction in the U.S. ”If this technology was brand-‘new’—like if fission was a recent breakthrough out of a lab, 10 or 15 years ago—we’d be talking about building our 30th reactor,” DeWitte says. But fission is an old, and fraught, technology, and utility companies are scrambling now to keep their existing gargantuan nuclear plants open. Economically, they struggle to compete with cheap natural gas, along with wind and solar, often subsidized by governments. Yet climate-focused nations like France and the U.K. that had planned to phase out nuclear are instead doubling down. (In October, French President Emmanuel Macron backed off plans to close 14 reactors, and in November, he announced the country would instead start building new ones.) At the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, the U.S. announced its support for Poland, Kenya, Ukraine, Brazil, Romania and Indonesia to develop their own new nuclear plants—while European negotiators assured that nuclear energy counts as “green.” All the while, Democrats and Republicans are (to everyone’s surprise) often aligned on nuclear’s benefits—and, in many cases, putting their powers of the purse behind it, both to keep old plants open in the U.S. and speed up new technologies domestically and overseas. It makes for a decidedly odd moment in the life of a technology that already altered the course of one century, and now wants to make a difference in another. There are 93 operating nuclear reactors in the U.S.; combined, they supply 20% of U.S. electricity, and 50% of its carbon-free electricity. Nuclear should be a climate solution, satisfying both technical and economic needs. But while the existing plants finally operate with enviable efficiency (after 40 years of working out the kinks), the next generation of designs is still a decade away from being more than a niche player in our energy supply. Everyone wants a steady supply of electricity, without relying on coal. Nuclear is paradoxically right at hand, and out of reach. For that to change, “new nuclear” has to emerge before the old nuclear plants recede. It has to keep pace with technological improvements in other realms, like long-term energy storage, where each incremental improvement increases the potential for renewables to supply more of our electricity. It has to be cheaper than carbon-capture technologies, which would allow flexible gas plants to operate without climate impacts (but are still too expensive to build at scale). And finally it has to arrive before we give up—before the spectre of climate catastrophe creates a collective “doomerism,” and we stop trying to change. Not everyone thinks nuclear can reinvent itself in time. “When it comes to averting the imminent effects of climate change, even the cutting edge of nuclear technology will prove to be too little, too late,” predicts Allison Macfarlane, former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)—the government agency singularly responsible for permitting new plants. Can a stable, safe, known source of energy rise to the occasion, or will nuclear be cast aside as too expensive, too risky and too late? J R Eyerman—The LIFE Picture Collection/ShutterstockLaboratory personnel developing a fusion device in Project Sherwood at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1958 Trying Again Nuclear began in a rush. In 1942, in the lowest mire of World War II, the U.S. began the Manhattan Project, the vast effort to develop atomic weapons. It employed 130,000 people at secret sites across the country, the most famous of which was Los Alamos Laboratory, near Albuquerque, N.M., where Robert Oppenheimer led the design and construction of the first atomic bombs. DeWitte, 36, grew up nearby. Even as a child of the ’90s, he was steeped in the state’s nuclear history, and preoccupied with the terrifying success of its engineering and the power of its materials. “It’s so incredibly energy dense,” says DeWitte. “A golf ball of uranium would power your entire life!” DeWitte has taken that bromide almost literally. He co-founded Oklo in 2013 with Caroline Cochran, while both were graduate students in nuclear engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When they arrived in Cambridge, Mass., in 2007 and 2008, the nuclear industry was on a precipice. Then presidential candidate Barack Obama espoused a new eagerness to address climate change by reducing carbon emissions—which at the time meant less coal, and more nuclear. (Wind and solar energy were still a blip.) It was an easy sell. In competitive power markets, nuclear plants were profitable. The 104 operating reactors in the U.S. at the time were running smoothly. There hadn’t been a major accident since Chernobyl, in 1986. The industry excitedly prepared for a “nuclear renaissance.” At the peak of interest, the NRC had applications for 30 new reactors in the U.S. Only two would be built. The cheap natural gas of the fracking boom began to drive down electricity prices, razing nuclear’s profits. Newly subsidized renewables, like wind and solar, added even more electricity generation, further saturating the markets. When on March 11, 2011, an earthquake and subsequent tsunami rolled over Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, leading to the meltdown of all three of its reactors and the evacuation of 154,000 people, the industry’s coffin was fully nailed. Not only would there be no renaissance in the U.S, but the existing plants had to justify their safety. Japan shut down 46 of its 50 operating reactors. Germany closed 11 of its 17. The U.S. fleet held on politically, but struggled to compete economically. Since Fukushima, 12 U.S. reactors have begun decommissioning, with three more planned. At MIT, Cochran and DeWitte—who were teaching assistants together for a nuclear reactor class in 2009, and married in 2011—were frustrated by the setback. ”It was like, There’re all these cool technologies out there. Let’s do something with it,” says Cochran. But the nuclear industry has never been an easy place for innovators. In the U.S., its operational ranks have long been dominated by “ring knockers”—the officer corps of the Navy’s nuclear fleet, properly trained in the way things are done, but less interested in doing them differently. Governments had always kept a tight grip on nuclear; for decades, the technology was under shrouds. The personal computing revolution, and then the wild rise of the Internet, further drained engineering talent. From DeWitte and Cochran’s perspective, the nuclear-energy industry had already ossified by the time Fukushima and fracking totally brought things to a halt. “You eventually got to the point where it’s like, we have to try something different,” DeWitte says. He and Cochran began to discreetly convene their MIT classmates for brainstorming sessions. Nuclear folks tend to be dogmatic about their favorite method of splitting atoms, but they stayed agnostic. “I didn’t start thinking we had to do everything differently,” says DeWitte. Rather, they had a hunch that marginal improvements might yield major results, if they could be spread across all of the industry’s usual snags—whether regulatory approaches, business models, the engineering of the systems themselves, or the challenge of actually constructing them. In 2013, Cochran and DeWitte began to rent out the spare room in their Cambridge home on Airbnb. Their first guests were a pair of teachers from Alaska. The remote communities they taught in were dependent on diesel fuel for electricity, brought in at enormous cost. That energy scarcity created an opportunity: in such an environment, even a very expensive nuclear reactor might still be cheaper than the current system. The duo targeted a price of $100 per megawatt hour, more than double typical energy costs. They imagined using this high-cost early market as a pathway to scale their manufacturing. They realized that to make it work economically, they wouldn’t have to reinvent the reactor technology, only the production and sales processes. They decided to own their reactors and supply electricity, rather than supply the reactors themselves—operating more like today’s solar or wind developers. “It’s less about the technology being different,” says DeWitte, “than it is about approaching the entire process differently.” That maverick streak raised eyebrows among nuclear veterans—and cash from Silicon Valley venture capitalists, including a boost from Y Combinator, where companies like Airbnb and Instacart got their start. In the eight years since, Oklo has distinguished itself from the competition by thinking smaller and moving faster. There are others competing in this space: NuScale, based in Oregon, is working to commercialize a reactor similar in design to existing nuclear plants, but constructed in 60-megawatt modules. TerraPower, founded by Bill Gates in 2006, has plans for a novel technology that uses its heat for energy storage, rather than to spin a turbine, which makes it an even more flexible option for electric grids that increasingly need that pliability. And X-energy, a Maryland-based firm that has received substantial funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, is developing 80-megawatt reactors that can also be grouped into “four-packs,” bringing them closer in size to today’s plants. Yet all are still years—and a billion dollars—away from their first installations. Oklo brags that its NRC application is 20 times shorter than NuScale’s, and its proposal cost 100 times less to develop. (Oklo’s proposed reactor would produce one-fortieth the power of NuScale’s.) NRC accepted Oklo’s application for review in March 2020, and regulations guarantee that process will be complete within three years. Oklo plans to power on around 2023, at a site at the Idaho National Laboratory, one of the U.S.’s oldest nuclear-research sites, and so already approved for such efforts. Then comes the hard part: doing it again and again, booking enough orders to justify building a factory to make many more reactors, driving costs down, and hoping politicians and activists worry more about the menace of greenhouse gases than the hazards of splitting atoms. Nuclear-industry veterans remain wary. They have seen this all before. Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor, first approved by the NRC in 2005, was touted as the flagship technology of Obama’s nuclear renaissance. It promised to be safer and simpler, using gravity rather than electricity-driven pumps to cool the reactor in case of an emergency—in theory, this would mitigate the danger of power outages, like the one that led to the Fukushima disaster. Its components could be constructed at a centralized location, and then shipped in giant pieces for assembly. But all that was easier said than done. Westinghouse and its contractors struggled to manufacture the components according to nuclear’s mega-exacting requirements and in the end, only one AP1000 project in the U.S. actually happened: the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia. Approved in 2012, its two reactors were expected at the time to cost $14 billion and be completed in 2016 and 2017, but costs have ballooned to $25 billion. The first will open, finally, next year. Oklo and its competitors insist things are different this time, but they have yet to prove it. “Because we haven’t built one of them yet, we can promise that they’re not going to be a problem to build,” quips Gregory Jaczko, a former NRC chair who has since become the technology’s most biting critic. “So there’s no evidence of our failure.” Georg Zinsler—Anzenberger/Redu​xA guided tour in the control room of reactor No. 2 inside the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant The Challenge The cooling tower of the Hope Creek nuclear plant rises 50 stories above Artificial Island, New Jersey, built up on the marshy edge of the Delaware River. The three reactors here—one belonging to Hope Creek, and two run by the Salem Generating Station, which shares the site—generate an astonishing 3,465 megawatts of electricity, or roughly 40% of New Jersey’s total supply. Construction began in 1968, and was completed in 1986. Their closest human neighbors are across the river in Delaware. Otherwise the plant is surrounded by protected marshlands, pocked with radiation sensors and the occasional guard booth. Of the 1,500 people working here, around 100 are licensed reactor operators—a special designation given by the NRC, and held by fewer than 4,000 people in the country. Among the newest in their ranks is Judy Rodriguez, an Elizabeth, N.J., native and another MIT grad. “Do I have your permission to enter?” she asks the operator on duty in the control room for the Salem Two reactor, which came online in 1981 and is capable of generating 1,200 megawatts of power. The operator opens a retractable belt barrier, like at an airport, and we step across a thick red line in the carpet. A horseshoe-shaped gray cabinet holds hundreds of buttons, glowing indicators and blinking lights, but a red LED counter at the center of the wall shows the most important number in the room: 944 megawatts, the amount of power the Salem Two reactor was generating that afternoon in September. Beside it is a circular pattern of square indicator lights showing the uranium fuel assemblies inside the core, deep inside the concrete domed containment building a couple hundred yards away. Salem Two has 764 of these constructions; each is about 6 inches sq and 15 ft. tall. They contain the source of the reactor’s energy, which are among the most guarded and controlled materials on earth. To make sure no one working there forgets that fact, a phrase is painted on walls all around the plant: “Line of Sight to the Reactor.” As the epitome of critical infrastructure, this station has been buffeted by the crises the U.S. has suffered in the past few decades. After 9/11, the three reactors here absorbed nearly $100 million in security upgrades. Everyone entering the plant passes through metal- and explosives detectors, and radiation detectors on the way out. Walking between the buildings entails crossing a concrete expanse beneath high bullet resistant enclosures (BREs). The plant has a guard corp that has more members than any in New Jersey besides the state police, and federal NRC rules mean that they don’t have to abide by state limitations on automatic weapons. The scale and complexity of the operation is staggering—and expensive. ”The place you’re sitting at right now costs us about $1.5 million to $2 million a day to run,” says Ralph Izzo, president and CEO of PSEG, New Jersey’s public utility company, which owns and operates the plants. “If those plants aren’t getting that in market, that’s a rough pill to swallow.” In 2019, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities agreed to $300 million in annual subsidies to keep the three reactors running. The justification is simple: if the state wants to meet its carbon-reduction goals, keeping the plants online is essential, given that they supply 90% of the state’s zero-carbon energy. In September, the Illinois legislature came to the same conclusion as New Jersey, approving almost $700 million over five years to keep two existing nuclear plants open. The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes $6 billion in additional support (along with nearly $10 billion for development of future reactors). Even more is expected in the broader Build Back Better bill. These subsidies—framed in both states as “carbon mitigation credits”—acknowledge the reality that nuclear plants cannot, on their own terms, compete economically with natural gas or coal. “There has always been a perception of this technology that never was matched by reality,” says Jaczko. The subsidies also show how climate change has altered the equation, but not decisively enough to guarantee nuclear’s future. Lawmakers and energy companies are coming to terms with nuclear’s new identity as clean power, deserving of the same economic incentives as solar and wind. Operators of existing plants want to be compensated for producing enormous amounts of carbon free energy, according to Josh Freed, of Third Way, a Washington, D.C., think tank that champions nuclear power as a climate solution. “There’s an inherent benefit to providing that, and it should be paid for.” For the moment, that has brought some assurance to U.S. nuclear operators of their future prospects. “A megawatt of zero-carbon electricity that’s leaving the grid is no different from a new megawatt of zero carbon electricity coming onto the grid,” says Kathleen Barrón, senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs and public policy at Exelon, the nation’s largest operator of nuclear reactors. Globally, nations are struggling with the same equation. Germany and Japan both shuttered many of their plants after the Fukushima disaster, and saw their progress at reducing carbon emissions suffer. Germany has not built new renewables fast enough to meet its electricity needs, and has made up the gap with dirty coal and natural gas imported from Russia. Japan, under international pressure to move more aggressively to meet its carbon targets, announced in October that it would work to restart its reactors. “Nuclear power is indispensable when we think about how we can ensure a stable and affordable electricity supply while addressing climate change,” said Koichi Hagiuda, Japan’s minister of economy, trade and industry, at an October news conference. China is building more new nuclear reactors than any other country, with plans for as many as 150 by the 2030s, at an estimated cost of nearly half a trillion dollars. Long before that, in this decade, China will overtake the U.S. as the operator of the world’s largest nuclear-energy system. Francesca Todde—contrasto/Redux Civaux nuclear power plant, in Civaux, France, May 2018 The future won’t be decided by choosing between nuclear or solar power. Rather, it’s a technically and economically complicated balance of adding as much renewable energy as possible while ensuring a steady supply of electricity. At the moment, that’s easy. “There is enough opportunity to build renewables before achieving penetration levels that we’re worried about the grid having stability,” says PSEG’s Izzo. New Jersey, for its part, is aiming to add 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035—or about the equivalent of six new Salem-sized reactors. The technology to do that is readily at hand—Kansas alone has about that much wind power installed already. The challenge comes when renewables make up a greater proportion of the electricity supply—or when the wind stops blowing. The need for “firm” generation becomes more crucial. “You cannot run our grid solely on the basis of renewable supply,” says Izzo. “One needs an interseasonal storage solution, and no one has come up with an economic interseasonal storage solution.” Existing nuclear’s best pitch—aside from the very fact it exists already—is its “capacity factor,” the industry term for how often a plant meets its full energy making potential. For decades, nuclear plants struggled with outages and long maintenance periods. Today, improvements in management and technology make them more likely to run continuously—or “breaker to breaker”—between planned refuelings, which usually occur every 18 months, and take about a month. At Salem and Hope Creek, PSEG hangs banners in the hallways to celebrate each new record run without a maintenance breakdown. That improvement stretches across the industry. “If you took our performance back in the mid-’70s, and then look at our performance today, it’s equivalent to having built 30 new reactors,” says Maria Korsnick, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s main lobbying organization. That improved reliability has become its major calling card today. Over the next 20 years, nuclear plants will need to develop new tricks. “One of the new words in our vocabulary is flexibility,” says Marilyn Kray, vice president of nuclear strategy and development at Exelon, which operates 21 reactors. “Flexibility not only in the existing plants, but in the designs of the emerging ones, to make them even more flexible and adaptable to complement renewables.” Smaller plants can adapt more easily to the grid, but they can also serve new customers, like providing energy directly to factories, steel mills or desalination plants. Bringing those small plants into operation could be worth it, but it won’t be easy.”You can’t just excuse away the thing that’s at the center of all of it, which is it’s just a hard technology to build,” says Jaczko, the former NRC chair. “It’s difficult to make these plants, it’s difficult to design them, it’s difficult to engineer them, it’s difficult to construct them. At some point, that’s got to be the obvious conclusion to this technology.” But the equally obvious conclusion is we can no longer live without it. “The reality is, you have to really squint to see how you get to net zero without nuclear,” says Third Way’s Freed. “There’s a lot of wishful thinking, a lot of fingers crossed.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 16th, 2021

The US military is under fire over how it handles race. Uncensored WWII-era surveys show US troops struggling with the same issue 80 years ago.

When challenged on race-related issues during World War II, the US War Department took the position that it did not see skin color. African-American messmen aboard a US Navy cruiser who volunteered for additional duty as gunners under the instruction of the officers at the right, July 1942. PhotoQuest/Getty Images Recent controversy over how issues of race are taught in the US has ensnared grade schools, universities, and even the military. As World War II-era surveys show, the military has grappled with those issues for decades and often falls short of its own standards. Edward J.K. Gitre is an assistant professor of history at Virginia Tech and director of The American Soldier in World War II project. Months of protests over how the US's troubled history of race is taught came to a head on Election Day in Virginia.If Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin bans critical race theory in the commonwealth's public schools on "Day One," as he vowed on Fox News in the closing hours of his campaign, the battle will hardly be over.In those same remarks, Youngkin implored viewers to heed Martin Luther King Jr.'s "immortal words" that "we're called to judge one another based on the content of our character and not the color of our skin." Heirs of King's work and others have pilloried invocations of his "I have a dream" sermon to justify banning discussion of systemic racism.The agitation over critical race theory - a field of scholarly inquiry that examines how racism, intentional or not, is institutionalized and embedded in laws, systems, and policies - and competing citations of King are only the latest expressions of a long-running conflict over persistent racial inequality in America.This phase has focused on schools, but for 80 years, and well before King's sermon, the US military has struggled with the same issue.'We will do better' Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley before the Senate Armed Services Committee, September 28, 2021. Alex Wong/Getty Images Over those eight decades, the military has espoused the precept that people ought to be judged by their character and performance, not their skin color. It has fallen well short of its own standard.The Department of Defense does now have its first Black secretary, Lloyd Austin. While African-Americans represent 19% of all active-duty service members, the military has only two Black four-star generals and admirals, as Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown, a retired Army colonel, reminded Austin during a hearing this summer.Pressed by Brown on the "significant underrepresentation" of people of color and women in the senior ranks, Austin touted the military's diversity as reflective of the American public but concurred with Brown: "We need to do better. You have my commitment. We will do better." African-American soldiers in Army trucks at the Las Vegas Army Air Force Airfield, 1942. Ivan Dmitri/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images The military hasn't avoided backlash over critical race theory, either. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made headlines at the same hearing for his considered but forceful response to another congressman's accusation that cadets were being indoctrinated with critical race theory.The military's handling of other race-related issues has received much less coverage, however.At the same hearing, Brown asked more pointed questions about a 2019 study by the Government Accountability Office, which found that minority personnel across the military were more than five times as likely as White personnel to be court-martialed for similar conduct."Why are the commanders woefully failing our Black service members who serve at higher rates than any other demographic group?" Brown asked Austin. "And how do we fix this system so that there is truly equal justice under the Uniform Code of Military Justice?"Fighting 2 wars A "Colored Waiting Room" sign at a bus station in Durham, North Carolina, May 1940. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images When challenged on similar issues during World War II, the US War Department took the position that it did not see skin color.Before and long after Congress passed the country's first peacetime draft in September 1941, Black leaders lobbied the Roosevelt administration to enact anti-discrimination policies.To one such recommendation, the Secretary of War Henry Stimson responded that not only was "everything possible" being done, but also that "Our policies make no distinction between white and colored soldiers."Distinctions, of course, were made every day across the force and in the communities that surrounded and served the department's facilities and installations - and it was official department policy.Despite this "extensive campaign," Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall assured one northern senator that the department's policy "not to intermingle colored and white enlisted personnel in the same regimental organization" would hold.Preventing racial commingling was costly and difficult. It required the construction and maintenance (of differing quality) of separate barracks, latrines, mess halls, clubs, theaters, swimming pools, and post exchanges, among others - expanding Jim Crow's reach as more bases were built. African-American soldiers in England, September 12, 1942. Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images Beginning in August 1942, the War Department delegated the segregation of recreation facilities, including theaters and post exchanges, to local commanders.The following March the department went a step further, prohibiting separate Black and White recreation facilities where two or more races were garrisoned.Resistance was predicted. From surveys administered to monitor morale, the Army already knew that the majority of White soldiers - from the north and south - opposed integration.Only 148 of the 4,793 enlisted personnel who participated in a large cross-section survey given in March 1943 thought Black and White soldiers should serve in the same outfits. Just one in 12 thought it OK to share service clubs, and only one in seven approved of sharing post exchanges.Opponents listed the likelihood of conflict as their primary concern."If negroes & whites were in same outfits, naturally there would be much blood shed. It would lead into serious developments, in the future. In fact I believe we would be fighting two wars, negroes & the Axis," wrote one White soldier.Some commanders responded to the new order by replacing the offending signs and maintaining Jim Crow in other ways. Others simply ignored it.Non-enforcement coincided with a buildup of Black troops, and by summer 1943 discontented Black Americans took to the streets across the US. US soldiers in a mess hall, 1942 Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images The Army did take steps to address segregated transportation facilities - a frequent source and site of racial intimidation, conflict, and violence - by ordering local commanders to eliminate discrimination based on color, race, or creed.Those commanders, even cooperative ones, still had to rely on civilian services that maintained those practices. But with White soldiers and officers in open defiance of the military's efforts to end discrimination, resentment mounted.Handwritten open-ended responses from an August 1944 survey, which have only recently been transcribed, reveal the depth and breadth of what Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy described as a "radical change" in attitudes."Sooner or later there will be some changes made one way or the other," warned one Black soldier. "The boys are getting tired of it. We all fighting like any other soldier and it is a god dam[n] shame that some people can let such conditions exist & call this a democracy.""Fascism is fascism, whether in America or in Europe and if we are all fighting for the same common purpose why must there be a White Army and Negro Army," wrote another.Lessons unlearned Men assemble cylinder barrels for an engine at Buick's aviation plant in Melrose Park, Illinois, 1942. Buyenlarge/Getty Images The Army could not wait for White attitudes to change. A pressing need for replacements in Europe led the Army to compromise its commitment not to intermingle personnel.Gen. John C. H. Lee, deputy theater commander in Europe, issued a letter on December 26, 1944, recruiting Black volunteers to join White rifle companies. Mixed companies were soon formed in 11 divisions in two separate armies.The results, documented by before-and-after surveys of White officers, were remarkable.Only one-third of those initially surveyed were in favor of leading mixed companies. After integration, that rose to 77%.When asked how Black troops had performed in combat, 84% of the officers and 81% of the platoon sergeants said they had done so admirably, improving relations between Black and White troops. US troops with a captured Nazi flag in front of a wrecked German tank in Chambois, France, August 20, 1944. CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images Aware of the political potency of such unambiguous data, especially for anti-segregationists, the Army initially withheld it, but it made its way into the recommendations of the Faye Committee, which supported President Harry S. Truman's 1948 executive order ending segregation in the military.Army survey researchers also later assisted defendants in Brown v. Board of Education, the case that rejected the segregationist doctrine of "separate but equal."That Brown could speak of the committee's recommendations as unfulfilled as he did during his questioning of Austin this summer, after all these years, shows the US's failure to learn World War II's lessons.As the military saying goes, all soldiers bleed green and their color is camouflage, but without justice, opportunity, and leadership - and without enforcement of rules and guidelines meant to undo that inequality - the notion that skin color doesn't matter only masks social and racial inequities and ensures the status quo.Edward J.K. Gitre is an assistant professor of history at Virginia Tech and director of The American Soldier in World War II project.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 11th, 2021

How corporate America cashed in on the post-9/11 Pentagon spending splurge

In the 20 years after the war in Afghanistan started, Pentagon spending has totaled more than $14 trillion - up to half of it to defense contractors. An unarmed Minuteman III ICBM launches during an operational test at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, August 2, 2017. US Air Force In the 20 years after the war in Afghanistan started, Pentagon spending has totaled more than $14 trillion. Up to half of that went directly to defense contractors who at times overcharged or defrauded the government. With US military interventions continuing elsewhere, that spending and those profits will continue piling up. The costs and consequences of America's 21st-century wars have by now been well-documented - a staggering $8 trillion in expenditures and more than 380,000 civilian deaths, as calculated by Brown University's Costs of War project.The question of who has benefited most from such an orgy of military spending has, unfortunately, received far less attention.Corporations large and small have left the financial feast of that post-9/11 surge in military spending with genuinely staggering sums in hand.After all, Pentagon spending has totaled an almost unimaginable $14 trillion-plus since the start of the Afghan War in 2001, up to one-half of which (catch a breath here) went directly to defense contractors.'The purse is now open': the post-9/11 flood of military contracts President George W. Bush gives a "thumbs-up" after declaring the end of major combat in Iraq, aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the California coast. AP Images/J. Scott Applewhite The political climate created by the global war on terror, or GWOT, as Bush administration officials quickly dubbed it, set the stage for humongous increases in the Pentagon budget.In the first year after the 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan, defense spending rose by more than 10% and that was just the beginning. It would, in fact, increase annually for the next decade, which was unprecedented in American history.The Pentagon budget peaked in 2010 at the highest level since World War II - over $800 billion, substantially more than the country spent on its forces at the height of the Korean or Vietnam Wars or during President Ronald Reagan's vaunted military buildup of the 1980s.And in the new political climate sparked by the reaction to the 9/11 attacks, those increases reached well beyond expenditures specifically tied to fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Harry Stonecipher, then vice president of Boeing, told The Wall Street Journal in an October 2001 interview, "The purse is now open … [A]ny member of Congress who doesn't vote for the funds we need to defend this country will be looking for a new job after next November."Stonecipher's prophesy of rapidly rising Pentagon budgets proved correct. And it's never ended. The Biden administration is anything but an exception. Its latest proposal for spending on the Pentagon and related defense work like nuclear warhead development at the Department of Energy topped $753 billion for FY2022.And not to be outdone, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have already voted to add roughly $24 billion to that staggering sum.Who benefitted? Isaac Brekken/Getty Images The benefits of the post-9/11 surge in Pentagon spending have been distributed in a highly concentrated fashion. More than one-third of all contracts now go to just five major weapons companies - Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman. Those five received more than $166 billion in such contracts in fiscal year 2020 alone.To put such a figure in perspective, the $75 billion in Pentagon contracts awarded to Lockheed Martin that year was significantly more than one and one-half times the entire 2020 budget for the State Department and the Agency for International Development, which together totaled $44 billion.While it's true that the biggest financial beneficiaries of the post-9/11 military spending surge were those five weapons contractors, they were anything but the only ones to cash in. Companies benefiting from the buildup of the past 20 years also included logistics and construction firms like Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) and Bechtel, as well as armed private security contractors like Blackwater and Dyncorp.The Congressional Research Service estimates that in FY2020 the spending for contractors of all kinds had grown to $420 billion, or well over half of the total Pentagon budget. Companies in all three categories noted above took advantage of "wartime" conditions - in which both speed of delivery and less rigorous oversight came to be considered the norms - to overcharge the government or even engage in outright fraud.The best-known reconstruction and logistics contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan was Halliburton, through its KBR subsidiary. At the start of both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Halliburton was the recipient of the Pentagon's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program contracts.Those open-ended arrangements involved coordinating support functions for troops in the field, including setting up military bases, maintaining equipment, and providing food and laundry services. By 2008, the company had received more than $30 billion for such work. Dick Cheney watching news coverage of the September 11 attacks. US National Archives Halliburton's role would prove controversial indeed, reeking as it did of self-dealing and blatant corruption. The notion of privatizing military-support services was first initiated in the early 1990s by Dick Cheney when he was secretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration and Halliburton got the contract to figure out how to do it.I suspect you won't be surprised to learn that Cheney then went on to serve as the CEO of Halliburton until he became vice president under George W. Bush in 2001. His journey was a (if not the) classic case of that revolving door between the Pentagon and the defense industry, now used by so many government officials and generals or admirals, with all the obvious conflicts-of-interest it entails.Once it secured its billions for work in Iraq, Halliburton proceeded to vastly overcharge the Pentagon for basic services, even while doing shoddy work that put US troops at risk - and it would prove to be anything but alone in such activities.Starting in 2004, a year into the Iraq War, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, a congressionally mandated body designed to root out waste, fraud, and abuse, along with Congressional watchdogs like Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), exposed scores of examples of overcharging, faulty construction, and outright theft by contractors engaged in the "rebuilding" of that country.Again, you undoubtedly won't be surprised to find out that relatively few companies suffered significant financial or criminal consequences for what can only be described as striking war profiteering. The congressional Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan estimated that, as of 2011, waste, fraud, and abuse in the two war zones had already totaled $31 billion to $60 billion.A case in point was the International Oil Trading Company, which received contracts worth $2.7 billion from the Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency to provide fuel for US operations in Iraq.An investigation by Congressman Waxman, chair of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, found that the firm had routinely overcharged the Pentagon for the fuel it shipped into Iraq, making more than $200 million in profits on oil sales of $1.4 billion during the period from 2004 to 2008. More than a third of those funds went to its owner, Harry Sargeant III, who also served as the finance chairman of the Florida Republican Party.Waxman summarized the situation this way: "The documents show that Mr. Sargeant's company took advantage of U.S. taxpayers. His company had the only license to transport fuel through Jordan, so he could get away with charging exorbitant prices. I've never seen another situation like this." A contractor drags his bag out of a housing complex at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, in Afghanistan's Laghman province, December 11, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson A particularly egregious case of shoddy work with tragic human consequences involved the electrocution of at least 18 military personnel at several bases in Iraq from 2004 on. This happened thanks to faulty electrical installations, some done by KBR and its subcontractors.An investigation by the Pentagon's Inspector General found that commanders in the field had "failed to ensure that renovations … had been properly done, the Army did not set standards for jobs or contractors, and KBR did not ground electrical equipment it installed at the facility."The Afghan "reconstruction" process was similarly replete with examples of fraud, waste, and abuse. These included a US-appointed economic task force that spent $43 million constructing a gas station essentially in the middle of nowhere that would never be used, another $150 million on lavish living quarters for US economic advisors, and $3 million for Afghan police patrol boats that would prove similarly useless.Perhaps most disturbingly, a congressional investigation found that a significant portion of $2 billion worth of transportation contracts issued to US and Afghan firms ended up as kickbacks to warlords and police officials or as payments to the Taliban to allow large convoys of trucks to pass through areas they controlled, sometimes as much as $1,500 per truck, or up to a half-million dollars for each 300-truck convoy.In 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that "one of the major sources of funding for the Taliban is the protection money" paid from just such transportation contracts.A 2-decade explosion of corporate profits Contractors working for Blackwater USA in a firefight in Iraq. Gervasio Sanchez/AP A second stream of revenue for corporations tied to those wars went to private security contractors, some of which guarded US facilities or critical infrastructure like Iraqi oil pipelines.The most notorious of them was, of course, Blackwater, a number of whose employees were involved in a 2007 massacre of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad's Nisour Square. They opened fire on civilians at a crowded intersection while guarding a US Embassy convoy. The attack prompted ongoing legal and civil cases that continued into the Trump era, when several perpetrators of the massacre were pardoned by the president.In the wake of those killings, Blackwater was rebranded several times, first as XE Services and then as Academii, before eventually merging with Triple Canopy, another private contracting firm.Blackwater founder Erik Prince then separated from the company, but he has since recruited private mercenaries on behalf of the United Arab Emirates for deployment to the civil war in Libya in violation of a UN arms embargo. Prince also unsuccessfully proposed to the Trump administration that he recruit a force of private contractors meant to be the backbone of the US war effort in Afghanistan.Another task taken up by private firms Titan and CACI International was the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners. Both companies had interrogators and translators on the ground at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, a site where such prisoners were brutally tortured.The number of personnel deployed and the revenues received by security and reconstruction contractors grew dramatically as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wore on. The Congressional Research Service estimated that by March 2011 there were more contractor employees in Iraq and Afghanistan (155,000) than American uniformed military personnel (145,000).In its August 2011 final report, the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan put the figure even higher, stating that "contractors represent more than half of the U.S. presence in the contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, at times employing more than a quarter-million people." Sgt. Michael Smith and his dog, Marco, watch a detainee at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad in 2003. AP Photo While an armed contractor who had served in the Marines could earn as much as $200,000 annually in Iraq, about three-quarters of the contractor work force there was made up of people from countries like Nepal or the Philippines, or Iraqi citizens. Poorly paid, at times they received as little as $3,000 per year.A 2017 analysis by the Costs of War project documented "abysmal labor conditions" and major human-rights abuses inflicted on foreign nationals working on US-funded projects in Afghanistan, including false imprisonment, theft of wages, and deaths and injuries in areas of conflict.With the US military in Iraq reduced to a relatively modest number of armed "advisors" and no American forces left in Afghanistan, such contractors are now seeking foreign clients. For example, a US firm - Tier 1 Group, which was founded by a former employee of Blackwater - trained four of the Saudi operatives involved in the murder of Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi, an effort funded by the Saudi government.As The New York Times noted when it broke that story, "Such issues are likely to continue as American private military contractors increasingly look to foreign clients to shore up their business as the United States scales back overseas deployments after two decades of war."Add in one more factor to the two-decade "war on terror" explosion of corporate profits. Overseas arms sales also rose sharply in this era. The biggest and most controversial market for US weaponry in recent years has been the Middle East, particularly sales to countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have been involved in a devastating war in Yemen, as well as fueling conflicts elsewhere in the region.Donald Trump made the most noise about Middle East arms sales and their benefits to the US economy. However, the giant weapons-producing corporations actually sold more weaponry to Saudi Arabia, on average, during the Obama administration, including three major offers in 2010 that totaled more than $60 billion for combat aircraft, attack helicopters, armored vehicles, bombs, missiles, and guns - virtually an entire arsenal.Many of those systems were used by the Saudis in their intervention in Yemen, which has involved the killing of thousands of civilians in indiscriminate air strikes and the imposition of a blockade that has contributed substantially to the deaths of nearly a quarter-million people to date.Forever war profiteering? A Green Beret demonstrates how to fix a firing malfunction on an assault rifle to partner force troops at Al Tanf in southeastern Syria, March 3, 2020. US Army/Staff Sgt. William Howard Reining in the excess profits of weapons contractors and preventing waste, fraud, and abuse by private firms involved in supporting US military operations will ultimately require reduced spending on war and on preparations for war.So far, unfortunately, Pentagon budgets only continue to rise and yet more money flows to the big five weapons firms.To alter this remarkably unvarying pattern, a new strategy is needed, one that increases the role of American diplomacy, while focusing on emerging and persistent non-military security challenges. "National security" needs to be redefined not in terms of a new "cold war" with China, but to forefront crucial issues like pandemics and climate change.It's time to put a halt to the direct and indirect foreign military interventions the United States has carried out in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and so many other places in this century. Otherwise, we're in for decades of more war profiteering by weapons contractors reaping massive profits with impunity.Copyright 2021 William D. HartungWilliam D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Arms and Security Program at the Center for International Policy and the author of "Profits of War: Corporate Beneficiaries of the Post-9/11 Surge in Pentagon Spending" (Brown University's the Costs of War Project and the Center for International Policy, September 2021).Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 8th, 2021

Babies are increasingly dying of syphilis in the US - but it"s 100% preventable

Babies with syphilis may have deformed bones, damaged brains, and struggle to hear, see, or breathe. A newborn baby rests at the Ana Betancourt de Mora Hospital in Camaguey, Cuba, on June 19, 2015. Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters The number of US babies born with syphilis quadrupled from 2015 to 2019. Babies with syphilis may have deformed bones, damaged brains, and struggle to hear, see, or breathe. Routine testing and penicillin shots for pregnant women could prevent these cases. This story was originally published by ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom, in collaboration with NPR News. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.When Mai Yang is looking for a patient, she travels light. She dresses deliberately - not too formal, so she won't be mistaken for a police officer; not too casual, so people will look past her tiny 4-foot-10 stature and youthful face and trust her with sensitive health information. Always, she wears closed-toed shoes, "just in case I need to run."Yang carries a stack of cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show what happens when the Treponema pallidum bacteria invades a patient's body. There's a photo of an angry red sore on a penis. There's one of a tongue, marred by mucus-lined lesions. And there's one of a newborn baby, its belly, torso and thighs dotted in a rash, its mouth open, as if caught midcry.It was because of the prospect of one such baby that Yang found herself walking through a homeless encampment on a blazing July day in Huron, California, an hour's drive southwest of her office at the Fresno County Department of Public Health. She was looking for a pregnant woman named Angelica, whose visit to a community clinic had triggered a report to the health department's sexually transmitted disease program. Angelica had tested positive for syphilis. If she was not treated, her baby could end up like the one in the picture or worse - there was a 40% chance the baby would die.Yang knew, though, that if she helped Angelica get treated with three weekly shots of penicillin at least 30 days before she gave birth, it was likely that the infection would be wiped out and her baby would be born without any symptoms at all. Every case of congenital syphilis, when a baby is born with the disease, is avoidable. Each is considered a "sentinel event," a warning that the public health system is failing.The alarms are now clamoring. In the United States, more than 129,800 syphilis cases were recorded in 2019, double the case count of five years prior. In the same time period, cases of congenital syphilis quadrupled: 1,870 babies were born with the disease; 128 died. Case counts from 2020 are still being finalized, but the CDC has said that reported cases of congenital syphilis have already exceeded the prior year. Black, Hispanic, and Native American babies are disproportionately at risk.There was a time, not too long ago, when CDC officials thought they could eliminate the centuries-old scourge from the United States, for adults and babies. But the effort lost steam and cases soon crept up again. Syphilis is not an outlier. The United States goes through what former CDC director Tom Frieden calls "a deadly cycle of panic and neglect" in which emergencies propel officials to scramble and throw money at a problem - whether that's Ebola, Zika, or COVID-19. Then, as fear ebbs, so does the attention and motivation to finish the task.The last fraction of cases can be the hardest to solve, whether that's eradicating a bug or getting vaccines into arms, yet too often, that's exactly when political attention gets diverted to the next alarm. The result: The hardest to reach and most vulnerable populations are the ones left suffering, after everyone else looks away.Yang first received Angelica's lab report on June 17. The address listed was a P.O. box, and the phone number belonged to her sister, who said Angelica was living in Huron. That was a piece of luck: Huron is tiny; the city spans just 1.6 square miles. On her first visit, a worker at the Alamo Motel said she knew Angelica and directed Yang to a nearby homeless encampment. Angelica wasn't there, so Yang returned a second time, bringing one of the health department nurses who could serve as an interpreter.They made their way to the barren patch of land behind Huron Valley Foods, the local grocery store, where people took shelter in makeshift lean-tos composed of cardboard boxes, scrap wood, and scavenged furniture, draped with sheets that served as ceilings and curtains. Yang stopped outside one of the structures, calling a greeting."Hi, I'm from the health department, I'm looking for Angelica."The nurse echoed her in Spanish.Angelica emerged, squinting in the sunlight. Yang couldn't tell if she was visibly pregnant yet, as her body was obscured by an oversized shirt. The two women were about the same age: Yang 26 and Angelica 27. Yang led her away from the tent, so they could speak privately. Angelica seemed reticent, surprised by the sudden appearance of the two health officers. "You're not in trouble," Yang said, before revealing the results of her blood test.Angelica had never heard of syphilis."Have you been to prenatal care?"Angelica shook her head. The local clinic had referred her to an obstetrician in Hanford, a 30-minute drive away. She had no car. She also mentioned that she didn't intend to raise her baby; her two oldest children lived with her mother, and this one likely would, too.Yang pulled out the CDC cards, showing them to Angelica and asking if she had experienced any of the symptoms illustrated. No, Angelica said, her lips pursed with disgust."Right now you still feel healthy, but this bacteria is still in your body," Yang pressed. "You need to get the infection treated to prevent further health complications to yourself and your baby."The community clinic was just across the street. "Can we walk you over to the clinic and make sure you get seen so we can get this taken care of?"Angelica demurred. She said she hadn't showered for a week and wanted to wash up first. She said she'd go later.Yang tried once more to extract a promise: "What time do you think you'll go?""Today, for sure."The CDC tried and failed to eradicate syphilis - twiceSyphilis is called The Great Imitator: It can look like any number of diseases. In its first stage, the only evidence of infection is a painless sore at the bacteria's point of entry. Weeks later, as the bacteria multiplies, skin rashes bloom on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet. Other traits of this stage include fever, headaches, muscle aches, sore throat, and fatigue. These symptoms eventually disappear and the patient progresses into the latent phase, which betrays no external signs. But if left untreated, after a decade or more, syphilis will reemerge in up to 30% of patients, capable of wreaking horror on a wide range of organ systems. Marion Sims, president of the American Medical Association in 1876, called it a "terrible scourge, which begins with lamb-like mildness and ends with lion-like rage that ruthlessly destroys everything in its way."The corkscrew-shaped bacteria can infiltrate the nervous system at any stage of the infection. Yang is haunted by her memory of interviewing a young man whose dementia was so severe that he didn't know why he was in the hospital or how old he was. And regardless of symptoms or stage, the bacteria can penetrate the placenta to infect a fetus. Even in these cases the infection is unpredictable: Many babies are born with normal physical features, but others can have deformed bones or damaged brains, and they can struggle to hear, see, or breathe.From its earliest days, syphilis has been shrouded in stigma. The first recorded outbreak was in the late 15th century, when Charles VIII led the French army to invade Naples. Italian physicians described French soldiers covered with pustules, dying from a sexually transmitted disease. As the affliction spread, Italians called it the French Disease. The French blamed the Neopolitans. It was also called the German, Polish, or Spanish disease, depending on which neighbor one wanted to blame. Even its name bears the taint of divine judgement: It comes from a 16th-century poem that tells of a shepherd, Syphilus, who offended the god Apollo and was punished with a hideous disease.By 1937 in America, when former Surgeon General Thomas Parran wrote the book "Shadow on the Land," he estimated some 680,000 people were under treatment for syphilis; about 60,000 babies were being born annually with congenital syphilis. There was no cure, and the stigma was so strong that public-health officials feared even properly documenting cases.Thanks to Parran's ardent advocacy, Congress in 1938 passed the National Venereal Disease Control Act, which created grants for states to set up clinics and support testing and treatment. Other than a short-lived funding effort during World War I, this was the first coordinated federal push to respond to the disease.Around the same time, the Public Health Service launched an effort to record the natural history of syphilis. Situated in Tuskegee, Alabama, the infamous study recruited 600 black men. By the early 1940s, penicillin became widely available and was found to be a reliable cure, but the treatment was withheld from the study participants. Outrage over the ethical violations would cast a stain across syphilis research for decades to come and fuel generations of mistrust in the medical system among Black Americans that continues to this day. People attend a ceremony near Tuskegee, Alabama, on April 3, 2017, to commemorate the roughly 600 men who were subjects in the Tuskegee syphilis study. Jay Reeves/AP Photo With the introduction of penicillin, cases began to plummet. Twice, the CDC has announced efforts to wipe out the disease - once in the 1960s and again in 1999.In the latest effort, the CDC announced that the United States had "a unique opportunity to eliminate syphilis within its borders," thanks to historically low rates, with 80% of counties reporting zero cases. The concentration of cases in the South "identifies communities in which there is a fundamental failure of public health capacity," the agency noted, adding that elimination - which it defined as fewer than 1,000 cases a year - would "decrease one of our most glaring racial disparities in health."Two years after the campaign began, cases started climbing, first among gay men and, later, heterosexuals. Cases in women started accelerating in 2013, followed shortly by increasing numbers of babies born with syphilis. The reasons for failure are complex: People relaxed safer sex practices after the advent of potent HIV combination therapies, increased methamphetamine use drove riskier behavior, and an explosion of online dating made it hard to track and test sexual partners, according to Ina Park, medical director of the California Prevention Training Center at the University of California San Francisco.But federal and state public-health efforts were hamstrung from the get-go. In 1999, the CDC said it would need about $35 million to $39 million in new federal funds annually for at least five years to eliminate syphilis. The agency got less than half of what it asked for, according to Jo Valentine, former program coordinator of the CDC's Syphilis Elimination Effort. As cases rose, the CDC modified its goals in 2006 from 0.4 primary and secondary syphilis cases per 100,000 in population to 2.2 cases per 100,000. By 2013, as elimination seemed less and less viable, the CDC changed its focus to ending congenital syphilis only.Since then, funding has remained anemic. From 2015 to 2020, the CDC's budget for preventing sexually transmitted infections grew by 2.2%. Taking inflation into account, that's a 7.4% reduction in purchasing power. In the same period, cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia - the three STDs that have federally funded control programs - increased by nearly 30%."We have a long history of nearly eradicating something, then changing our attention, and seeing a resurgence in numbers," David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said. "We have more congenital syphilis cases today in America than we ever had pediatric AIDS at the height of the AIDS epidemic. It's heartbreaking."Adriane Casalotti, chief of government and public affairs at the National Association of County and City Health Officials, warns that the US should not be surprised to see case counts continue to climb."The bugs don't go away," she said. "They're just waiting for the next opportunity, when you're not paying attention."Syphilis has fewer poster children than HIV or cancerYang waited until the end of the day, then called the clinic to see if Angelica had gone for her shot. She had not. Yang would have to block off another half day to visit Huron again, but she had three dozen other cases to deal with.States in the South and West have seen the highest syphilis rates in recent years. In 2017, 64 babies in Fresno County were born with syphilis at a rate of 440 babies per 100,000 live births - about 19 times the national rate. While the county had managed to lower case counts in the two years that followed, the pandemic threatened to unravel that progress, forcing STD staffers to do COVID-19 contact tracing, pausing field visits to find infected people, and scaring patients from seeking care. Yang's colleague handled three cases of stillbirth in 2020; in each, the woman was never diagnosed with syphilis because she feared catching the coronavirus and skipped prenatal care.Yang, whose caseload peaked at 70 during a COVID-19 surge, knew she would not be able handle them all as thoroughly as she'd like to."When I was being mentored by another investigator, he said: 'You're not a superhero. You can't save everybody,'" she said.She prioritizes men who have sex with men, because there's a higher prevalence of syphilis in that population, and pregnant people, because of the horrific consequences for babies.The job of a disease intervention specialist isn't for everyone: It means meeting patients whenever and wherever they are available - in the mop closet of a bus station, in a quiet parking lot - to inform them about the disease, to extract names of sex partners, and to encourage treatment. Patients are often reluctant to talk. They can get belligerent, upset that "the government" has their personal information, or shattered at the thought that a partner is likely cheating on them. Salaries typically start in the low $40,000s.Jena Adams, Yang's supervisor, has eight investigators working on HIV and syphilis. In the middle of 2020, she lost two and replaced them only recently."It's been exhausting," Adams said.She has only one specialist who is trained to take blood samples in the field, crucial for guaranteeing that the partners of those who test positive for syphilis also get tested. Adams wants to get phlebotomy training for the rest of her staff, but it's $2,000 per person. The department also doesn't have anyone who can administer penicillin injections in the field; that would have been key when Yang met Angelica. For a while, a nurse who worked in the tuberculosis program would ride along to give penicillin shots on a volunteer basis. Then he, too, left the health department.Much of the resources in public health trickle down from the CDC, which distributes money to states, which then parcel it out to counties. The CDC gets its budget from Congress, which tells the agency, by line item, exactly how much money it can spend to fight a disease or virus, in an uncommonly specific manner not seen in many other agencies. The decisions are often politically driven and can be detached from actual health needs.When the House and Senate appropriations committees meet to decide how much the CDC will get for each line item, they are barraged by lobbyists for individual disease interests. Stephanie Arnold Pang, senior director of policy and government relations at the National Coalition of STD Directors, can pick out the groups by sight: breast cancer wears pink, Alzheimer's goes in purple, multiple sclerosis comes in orange, HIV in red. STD prevention advocates, like herself, don a green ribbon, but they're far outnumbered.And unlike diseases that might already be familiar to lawmakers, or have patient and family spokespeople who can tell their own powerful stories, syphilis doesn't have many willing poster children. Breast Cancer survivors hold up a check for the amount raised at The Congressional Womens Softball Game at Watkins Recreation Center in Capitol Hill on June 20, 2018. Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call "Congressmen don't wake up one day and say, 'Oh hey, there's congenital syphilis in my jurisdiction.' You have to raise awareness," Arnold Pang said. It can be hard jockeying for a meeting. "Some offices might say, 'I don't have time for you because we've just seen HIV.' ... Sometimes, it feels like you're talking into a void."The consequences of the political nature of public-health funding have become more obvious during the coronavirus pandemic. The 2014 Ebola epidemic was seen as a "global wakeup call" that the world wasn't prepared for a major pandemic, yet in 2018, the CDC scaled back its epidemic prevention work as money ran out."If you've got to choose between Alzheimer's research and stopping an outbreak that may not happen? Stopping an outbreak that might not happen doesn't do well," Frieden, the former CDC director, said. "The CDC needs to have more money and more flexible money. Otherwise, we're going to be in this situation long term."In May 2021, President Joe Biden's administration announced it would set aside $7.4 billion over the next five years to hire and train public health workers, including $1.1 billion for more disease intervention specialists like Yang. Public health officials are thrilled to have the chance to expand their workforce, but some worry the time horizon may be too short."We've seen this movie before, right?" Frieden said. "Everyone gets concerned when there's an outbreak, and when that outbreak stops, the headlines stop, and an economic downturn happens, the budget gets cut."Fresno's STD clinic was shuttered in 2010 amid the Great Recession. Many others have vanished since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.Health leaders thought "by magically beefing up the primary care system, that we would do a better job of catching STIs and treating them," Harvey, the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said.That hasn't worked out; people want access to anonymous services, and primary care doctors often don't have STDs top of mind. The coalition is lobbying Congress for funding to support STD clinical services, proposing a three-year demonstration project funded at $600 million.It's one of Adams' dreams to see Fresno's STD clinic restored as it was."You could come in for an HIV test and get other STDs checked," she said. "And if a patient is positive, you can give a first injection on the spot."'I've seen people's families ripped apart and I've seen beautiful babies die'On August 12, Yang set out for Huron again, speeding past groves of almond trees and fields of grapes in the department's white Chevy Cruze. She brought along a colleague, Jorge Sevilla, who had recently transferred to the STD program from COVID-19 contact tracing. Yang was anxious to find Angelica again."She's probably in her second trimester now," she said.They found her outside of a pale yellow house a few blocks from the homeless encampment; the owner was letting her stay in a shed tucked in the corner of the dirt yard. This time, it was evident that she was pregnant. Yang noted that Angelica was wearing a wig; hair loss is a symptom of syphilis."Do you remember me?" Yang asked.Angelica nodded. She didn't seem surprised to see Yang again. (I came along, and Sevilla explained who I was and that I was writing about syphilis and the people affected by it. Angelica signed a release for me to report about her case, and she said she had no problem with me writing about her or even using her full name. ProPublica chose to only print her first name.)"How are you doing? How's the baby?""Bien.""So the last time we talked, we were going to have you go to United Healthcare Center to get treatment. Have you gone since?"Angelica shook her head."We brought some gift cards..." Sevilla started in Spanish. The department uses them as incentives for completing injections. But Angelica was already shaking her head. The nearest Walmart was the next town over.Yang turned to her partner. "Tell her: So the reason why we're coming out here again is because we really need her to go in for treatment. [...] We really are concerned for the baby's health especially since she's had the infection for quite a while."Angelica listened while Sevilla interpreted, her eyes on the ground. Then she looked up. "Orita?" she asked. Right now?"I'll walk with you," Yang offered. Angelica shook her head."She said she wants to shower first before she goes over there," Sevilla said.Yang made a face. "She said that to me last time." Yang offered to wait, but Angelica didn't want the health officers to linger by the house. She said she would meet them by the clinic in 15 minutes.Yang was reluctant to let her go but again had no other option. She and Sevilla drove to the clinic, then stood on the corner of the parking lot, staring down the road.Talk to the pediatricians, obstetricians, and families on the front lines of the congenital syphilis surge and it becomes clear why Yang and others are trying so desperately to prevent cases. J.B. Cantey, associate professor in pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio, remembers a baby girl born at 25 weeks gestation who weighed a pound and a half. Syphilis had spread through her bones and lungs. She spent five months in the neonatal intensive care unit, breathing through a ventilator, and was still eating through a tube when she was discharged.Then, there are the miscarriages, the stillbirths, and the inconsolable parents. Irene Stafford, an associate professor and maternal-fetal medicine specialist at UT Health in Houston, cannot forget a patient who came in at 36 weeks for a routine checkup, pregnant with her first child. Stafford realized that there was no heartbeat."She could see on my face that something was really wrong," Stafford recalled. She had to let the patient know that syphilis had killed her baby."She was hysterical, just bawling," Stafford said. "I've seen people's families ripped apart and I've seen beautiful babies die." Fewer than 10% of patients who experience a stillbirth are tested for syphilis, suggesting that cases are underdiagnosed.A Texas grandmother named Solidad Odunuga offers a glimpse into what the future could hold for Angelica's mother, who may wind up raising her baby.In February of last year, Odunuga got a call from the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston. A nurse told her that her daughter was about to give birth and that child protective services had been called. Odunuga had lost contact with her daughter, who struggled with homelessness and substance abuse. She arrived in time to see her grandson delivered, premature at 30 weeks old, weighing 2.7 pounds. He tested positive for syphilis.When a child protective worker asked Odunuga to take custody of the infant, she felt a wave of dread."I was in denial," she recalled. "I did not plan to be a mom again." The baby's medical problems were daunting: "Global developmental delays [...] concerns for visual impairments [...] high risk of cerebral palsy," read a note from the doctor at the time.Still, Odunuga visited her grandson every day for three months, driving to the NICU from her job at the University of Houston. "I'd put him in my shirt to keep him warm and hold him there." She fell in love. She named him Emmanuel.Once Emmanuel was discharged, Odunuga realized she had no choice but to quit her job. While Medicaid covered the costs of Emmanuel's treatment, it was on her to care for him. From infancy, Emmanuel's life has been a whirlwind of constant therapy. Today, at 20 months old, Odunuga brings him to physical, occupational, speech, and developmental therapy, each a different appointment on a different day of the week.Emmanuel has thrived beyond what his doctors predicted, toddling so fast that Odunuga can't look away for a minute and beaming as he waves his favorite toy phone. Yet he still suffers from gagging issues, which means Odunuga can't feed him any solid foods. Liquid gets into his lungs when he aspirates; it has led to pneumonia three times. Emmanuel has a special stroller that helps keep his head in a position that won't aggravate his persistent reflux, but Odunuga said she still has to pull over on the side of the road sometimes when she hears him projectile vomiting from the backseat.The days are endless. Once she puts Emmanuel to bed, Odunuga starts planning the next day's appointments."I've had to cry alone, scream out alone," she said. "Sometimes I wake up and think, 'Is this real?' And then I hear him in the next room."There's no vaccine for syphilis A health worker tests a migrant from Haiti for HIV and syphilis to in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, on September 25, 2021. Daniel Becerril/Reuters Putting aside the challenge of eliminating syphilis entirely, everyone agrees it's both doable and necessary to prevent newborn cases."There was a crisis in perinatal HIV almost 30 years ago and people stood up and said this is not OK - it's not acceptable for babies to be born in that condition. [...We] brought it down from 1,700 babies born each year with perinatal HIV to less than 40 per year today," Virginia Bowen, an epidemiologist at the CDC, said. "Now here we are with a slightly different condition. We can also stand up and say, 'This is not acceptable.'" Belarus, Bermuda, Cuba, Malaysia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka are among countries recognized by the World Health Organization for eliminating congenital syphilis.Success starts with filling gaps across the health care system.For almost a century, public health experts have advocated for testing pregnant patients more than once for syphilis in order to catch the infection. But policies nationwide still don't reflect this best practice. Six states have no prenatal screening requirement at all. Even in states that require three tests, public-health officials say that many physicians aren't aware of the requirements. Stafford, the maternal-fetal medicine specialist in Houston, says she's tired of hearing her own peers in medicine tell her, "Oh, syphilis is a problem?"It costs public health departments less than 25 cents a dose to buy penicillin, but for a private practice, it's more than $1,000, according to Park of the University of California San Francisco."There's no incentive for a private physician to stock a dose that could expire before it's used, so they often don't have it," she said. "So a woman comes in, they say, 'We'll send you to the emergency department or health department to get it,' then [the patients] don't show up."A vaccine would be invaluable for preventing spread among people at high risk for reinfection. But there is none. Scientists only recently figured out how to grow the bacteria in the lab, prompting grants from the National Institutes of Health to fund research into a vaccine. Justin Radolf, a researcher at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, said he hopes his team will have a vaccine candidate by the end of its five-year grant. But it'll likely take years more to find a manufacturer and run human trials.Public-health agencies also need to recognize that many of the hurdles to getting pregnant people treated involve access to care, economic stability, safe housing, and transportation. In Fresno, Adams has been working on ways her department can collaborate with mental health services. Recently, one of her disease intervention specialists managed to get a pregnant woman treated with penicillin shots and, at the patient's request, connected her with an addiction treatment center.Gaining a patient's cooperation means seeing them as complex humans instead of just a case to solve."There may be past traumas with the healthcare system," Cynthia Deverson, project manager of the Houston Fetal Infant Morbidity Review, said. "There's the fear of being discovered if she's doing something illegal to survive. [...] She may need to be in a certain place at a certain time so she can get something to eat, or maybe it's the only time of the day that's safe for her to sleep. They're not going to tell you that. Yes, they understand there's a problem, but it's not an immediate threat, maybe they don't feel bad yet, so obviously this is not urgent.""What helps to gain trust is consistency," she added. "Literally, it's seeing that [disease specialist] constantly, daily. [...] The woman can see that you're not going to harm her, you're saying, 'I'm here at this time if you need me.'"Yang stood outside the clinic, waiting for Angelica to show up, baking in the 90-degree heat. Her feelings ranged from irritation - Why didn't she just go? I'd have more energy for other cases - to an appreciation for the parts of Angelica's story that she didn't know - She's in survival mode. I need to be more patient.Fifteen minutes ticked by, then 20."OK," Yang announced. "We're going back."She asked Sevilla if he would be OK if they drove Angelica to the clinic; they technically weren't supposed to because of coronavirus precautions, but Yang wasn't sure she could convince Angelica to walk. Sevilla gave her the thumbs up.When they pulled up, they saw Angelica sitting in the backyard, chatting with a friend. She now wore a fresh T-shirt and had shoes on her feet. Angelica sat silently in the back seat as Yang drove to the clinic. A few minutes later, they pulled up to the parking lot.Finally, Yang thought. We got her here.The clinic was packed with people waiting for COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. A worker there had previously told Yang that a walk-in would be fine, but a receptionist now said they were too busy to treat Angelica. She would have to return.Yang felt a surge of frustration, sensing that her hard-fought opportunity was slipping away. She tried to talk to the nurse supervisor, but he wasn't available. She tried to leave the gift cards at the office to reward Angelica if she came, but the receptionist said she couldn't hold them. While Yang negotiated, Sevilla sat with Angelica in the car, waiting.Finally, Yang accepted this was yet another thing she couldn't control.She drove Angelica back to the yellow house. As they arrived, she tried once more to impress on her just how important it was to get treated, asking Sevilla to interpret. "We don't want it to get any more serious, because she can go blind, she could go deaf, she could lose her baby."Angelica already had the door halfway open."So on a scale from one to 10, how important is this to get treated?" Yang asked."Ten," Angelica said. Yang reminded her of the appointment that afternoon. Then Angelica stepped out and returned to the dusty yard.Yang lingered for a moment, watching Angelica go. Then she turned the car back onto the highway and set off toward Fresno, knowing, already, that she'd be back.Postscript: A reporter visited Huron twice more in the months that followed, including once independently to try to interview Angelica, but she wasn't in town. Yang has visited Huron twice more as well - six times in total thus far. In October, a couple of men at the yellow house said Angelica was still in town, still pregnant. Yang and Sevilla spent an hour driving around, talking to residents, hoping to catch Angelica. But she was nowhere to be found.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

Five questions with Hawaii Energy on carbon neutral initiatives

Plenty of work lies ahead for Hawaii to achieve its carbon-neutral energy usage goal by the year 2045. That includes at the county level, where targets laid out in the City and County of Honolulu's Climate Action Plan are much closer, in 2025. “The City is soon to start the next phase of construction of an ambitious public-private partnership to upgrade City facilities island-wide, including fire stations, police stations and later parks facilities, to make them more energy efficient, save taxpayer….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsOct 22nd, 2021

Lawsuit alleges Virginia police shot unarmed Black man while he had his hands in the air

The lawsuit accuses police in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, of shooting 32-year-old Isiah Brown without cause. A Minneapolis Police officers unrolls caution tape at a crime scene on June 16, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images Isiah Brown, 32, was shot 10 times after placing a 911 call in April 2021. He was shot by a police officer who had provided him a ride earlier in the day. In July, a grand jury indicted sheriff's deputy David Turbyfull for reckless handing of a firearm. A federal lawsuit accuses a Virginia police officer of shooting an unarmed Black man, without warning, at least eight times while he had his hands in the air outside his mother's home.The shooting of Isiah Brown, 32, occurred while he was standing 25 feet away from Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Deputy David Matthew Turbyfill, according to the complaint, filed Monday with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.Body camera footage, released soon after the April 2021 shooting, shows Turbyfill opened fire less than 30 seconds after exiting his vehicle, local ABC affiliate WRIC reported.He was indicted by a grand jury in July on a felony charge of reckless handling of a firearm in connection with the incident. Turbyfill faces up to five years in prison, if convicted."The flurry of bullets that hit Mr. Brown caused enormous injury to his body," the lawsuit states, piercing his intestines and leaving his bladder "obliterated." Brown was hospitalized for weeks following the shooting, undergoing multiple surgeries and forced to wear a colostomy bag.The lawsuit asks the court for $26.3 million in compensation.As Insider previously reported, Brown had earlier received a ride from the deputy who shot him after his car broke down at a nearby gas station.After being dropped off at his mother's home, Brown himself called 911, complaining that his family was not letting him get the keys to his car. During the call, he asked his brother to "give me the gun" and told the dispatcher that he wanted to kill him - though he soon after said that he did not have any weapon.He was shot minutes later, with the deputy stating that "he's got a gun to his head." It was a cell phone.Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.comRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 21st, 2021

Watch: DEA Agent, Gunman Killed In Gun Battle On Arizona Amtrak Train

Watch: DEA Agent, Gunman Killed In Gun Battle On Arizona Amtrak Train A shocking video has surfaced on YouTube of Monday's gun battle inside an Amtrak train stopped at an Arizona station between federal agents and a gunman.  A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent was shot dead by a man who opened fire inside the second level of the double-decker coach. Agents conducted a routine sweep for drugs and guns on the train bound for New Orleans when the incident unfolded yesterday morning.  Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus told reporters that a police officer on the platform who heard the gunfire was also shot. Besides the dead DEA agent, he said the gunman barricaded himself inside a train bathroom and was pronounced dead at the scene. There was no mention if the suspect took his own life or was killed by gunfire from either federal agents, police, or SWAT personnel.  YouTube channel "Virtual Railfan" captured the crazy shootout on video. They said: "Occasionally, we catch surprising events in front of our cameras, including wildlife, weather, accidents, weddings, silliness... and some much, much more serious. This was one of those. Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by the shooting, and we continue to assist local, federal and railroad law enforcement to not only investigate, but to help prevent such tragedies in the future. For details as they emerge, please seek out a trusted news source."  Here's the video:  What remains a mystery is the motive behind the suspect's action and if police found anything of interest after the shootout. There are more questions than answers.  Tyler Durden Tue, 10/05/2021 - 21:05.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 5th, 2021

Gunman Walks Into Philly"s Jefferson University Hospital Wearing Scrubs And Kills Nursing Assistant

Gunman Walks Into Philly's Jefferson University Hospital Wearing Scrubs And Kills Nursing Assistant A shooting at Philadelphia's Jefferson University Hospital in downtown Center City on Monday left one nursing assistant dead and two police officers injured. The shooter then fled in a U-Haul before, being shot in a shootout with officers, according to Philadelphia's ABC 6 Action News. The shooter, 55-year-old Stacey Hayes, drove to the hospital at about midnight in a U-Haul, made his way to the ninth floor wearing a pair of scrubs, and murdered his co-worker, 43-year-old nursing assistant Anrae James. Hayes reportedly walked up behind James and opened fire while he was sitting at his work station, surveillance video revealed. James reportedly kept firing as James tried to run away. Hayes was "armed with multiple weapons", according to police.  The shooter then fled the hospital in his U-Haul. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw commented on the death of James: "There is a flood of sadness for all of us. Our hearts are broken as we stand together to remember our colleague and recognize his teammates who tried to save him and protect other patients in the area." Outlaw said the gunman may have access areas that only employees should have had access to. She also said that other employees may have been targeted.  The shooter then got into a gunfire exchange with police near 40th Street and Parkside Avenue in the Parkside section of the city.  "The report was that there was a male in scrubs, with a weapon or a long gun, who was potentially firing rounds in the air or just had a gun," Outlaw said. Officers arrived and the suspect began shooting at them. Four officers returned fire and two were struck by gunfire.  The suspect was shot in the upper body and neck. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian and is expected to survive.  "We learned that he was wearing body armor, and was carrying multiple weapons. In addition to the long gun which was believed to be an AR-15, he was also carrying some form of a semi-automatic handgun," Outlaw concluded.  Hayes' family said the suspect was recently "suffering from mental health issues".  Tyler Durden Tue, 10/05/2021 - 14:35.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 5th, 2021

A Look At Tesla’s Relatively Tiny Numerical Sequential Sales Growth

Stanphyl Capital’s commentary for the month ended September 30, 2021, discussing their short position in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more We remain short the biggest bubble in modern stock market history, Tesla Inc. (TSLA), which currently has a diluted market cap of $868 billion, roughly equal to the $870 […] Stanphyl Capital’s commentary for the month ended September 30, 2021, discussing their short position in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more We remain short the biggest bubble in modern stock market history, Tesla Inc. (TSLA), which currently has a diluted market cap of $868 billion, roughly equal to the $870 billion (non-diluted) combined market caps of Toyota ($253 billion), VW ($141 billion), Daimler ($96 billion), GM ($76 billion), BMW ($65 billion), Stellantis ($60 billion), Ford ($57 billion), Honda ($53 billion), Hyundai ($49 billion) and Nissan ($20 billion), despite annualized sales for Tesla of around 800,000 cars a year to their over 50 million. The core points of our Tesla short thesis are: Tesla has no “moat” of any kind; i.e., nothing meaningfully proprietary in terms of electric car technology, while existing automakers—unlike Tesla­—have a decades-long “experience moat” of knowing how to mass-produce, distribute and service high-quality cars consistently and profitably, as well as the ability to subsidize losses on electric cars with profits from their conventional cars. Excluding sunsetting emission credit sales Tesla is barely profitable. Growth in sequential unit demand for Tesla’s cars has slowed to a crawl. Elon Musk is a pathological liar who under the terms of his SEC settlement cannot deny having committed securities fraud. Tesla's Expected Q3 Sales Growth Latest estimates are that Tesla is expected to report around 29,000 more deliveries for Q3 vs. Q2 (approximately 230,000 vs. Q1’s 201,000), a rounding error for an auto company trading at even one-tenth of Tesla’s valuation. If in any quarter GM or VW or Toyota sold 2.55 million vehicles instead of 2.58 million or 2.525 million, no one would pay the slightest bit of attention to the difference. Well guess what? Seeing as Tesla is being valued at more than eleven GMs, it’s time to start looking at its relatively tiny numerical sequential sales growth, rather than Wall Street’s sell-side hype of “percentage off a small base.” In other words, if you want to be valued at a giant multiple of “the big boys,” it’s time you were treated as a big boy! Meanwhile in July, thanks to an suspiciously high gross margin and very “non-growthy” reduced R&D expense, Tesla reported an improved Q2 2021, claiming to have earned $788 million excluding $354 million of pure-profit emission credit sales (excluded because they’ll almost entirely disappear some time next year when other automakers will have enough EVs of their own). However, that earnings number also includes what I estimate to be around $300 million in unsustainably low warranty provisioning, and after adjusting for that plus the credit sales, I believe Tesla earned a sustainable .43/share, which annualizes to $1.72. An auto industry PE multiple of 10x would thus make TSLA worth around $17/share (admittedly, more than the “$0” I previously expected). A “growth multiple” of 20x would value it at $34, which is more than a 95% discount to September’s closing price of $775. And before you tell me that a 100% premium to the industry’s PE ratio isn’t enough, keep in mind that—as noted earlier—Tesla’s sequential unit growth is an auto industry rounding error. In fact, one could argue that Tesla’s multiple should carry a discount, considering the massive legal and financial liabilities continually generated by its pathologically lying CEO. Meanwhile, on the Q2 earnings call Musk admitted that the so-called “Full Self Driving” he’s been selling for five years (and that Consumer Reports calls outright dangerous) doesn’t work, and he said it again in August following an “AI Day” in which he tried to cover up the Tesla’s autonomy cluelessness with an inert plastic statue of a robot and a man dancing in a unitard. (You had to see it to believe it and then you still wouldn’t believe it!)  In a saner regulatory environment Tesla’s selling of “Full Self Driving” for five years now would be considered “consumer fraud,” and indeed in August two U.S. Senators finally demanded an FTC investigation while the NHTSA opened yet another safety investigation. (For all known Tesla deaths see TeslaDeaths.com.) Will there be major write-downs and refunds given, killing the company’s slight “profitability”? Stay tuned! And remember, the 2021 overview from Guidehouse Insights rates Tesla dead last among autonomous competitors: The Chinese Government's Love Affair With Tesla Is Over Another favorite hype story from Tesla fans has been “the China market.” Sadly, that government’s love affair with Tesla is over and Q2 Tesla sales there were down 10% from Q1 while Q3 looks to be down approximately 10% more. In July Tesla sold just 8621 cars in China (with the balance of that month’s production exported to Europe) and in August only 12,885. This an absolute disaster for Tesla, as massive July price cuts on both the Model Y and the Model 3 meant that in August in China it was supposed to sell around 30,000; instead it had to export all that excess capacity. (It still may sell around 50,000 in China in September, but so what? With insignificantly small sequential growth for three quarters now, Tesla’s Chinese “hypergrowth” story is over.) Remember when Musk claimed Tesla would have so much domestic Chinese demand that it would need multiple factories there to satisfy it? Ah, the good old days! Another favorite Tesla hype story has been built around so-called “proprietary battery technology.” In fact though, Tesla has nothing proprietary there—it doesn’t make them, it buys them from Panasonic, CATL and LG, and it’s the biggest liar in the industry regarding the real-world range of its cars. A recent story has been the supposedly imminent arrival of a new “4680” design that Teslemmings and their sell-side Wall Street shills claim will allow Tesla to “leapfrog” the batteries of its competitors. Sadly for them though, in a June interview with the CEO of Tesla’s primary battery supplier Panasonic, we learned that not only are these cells still in the “production testing” phase (and thus nowhere near ready for commercial production), but that if they *do* work, Panasonic will sell them to anyone.  And then news broke that Tesla extended its current battery supply deal with CATL until the year 2025, and in August it revealed it will even be using those Chinese-made batteries in the U.S. If those great proprietary 4680s were coming any time soon, why would Tesla need to do that? Obviously it wouldn’t, which explains why in the Q2 earnings press release (and on the call) Musk admitted they don’t know how long (if ever) it will take to get those 4680 batteries into production. Oh well… I guess it’s on to the next nonsensical stock pump! Meanwhile, the quality of the Model Y—is awful, and that car faces current (or imminent) competition from the much better built electric Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3, Mercedes EQA, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Volkswagen ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach E, Nissan Ariya, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. And Tesla’s Model 3 now has terrific direct “sedan competition” from Volvo’s beautiful Polestar 2 and the premium version of Volkswagen’s ID.3 (in Europe), and later this year from the BMW i4, plus multiple local competitors in China. And in the high-end electric car segment worldwide the Audi e-tron and Porsche Taycan outsell the Models S & X (and the newly updated Tesla models with their dated exteriors and idiotic shifters & steering wheels won’t change this), while the spectacular new Mercedes EQS and Audi e-Tron GT make any Tesla look like a Yugo, while the extremely well reviewed new BMW iX does the same to the Tesla Model X. And oh, the joke of a “pickup truck” Tesla previewed in 2019 (and still hasn’t shown in production-ready form) won’t be much of “growth engine” either, as it will enter a dogfight of a market; in fact, in May Ford formally introduced its terrific new all-electric F-150 Lightning which now has over 150,000 reservations and Rivian’s pick-up has gotten fantastic early reviews. Also, the Tesla semi-truck  has been delayed until at least 2022 (and possibly forever, as it depends on the aforementioned “4680” batteries that don’t exist). Meanwhile, Tesla quality ranks 30th among 33 brands in the most recent J.D. Power dependability survey… …and second-to-last in the most recent Consumer Reports reliability survey: …while the most recent What Car? survey shows similar results with Tesla finishing #29 out of 31, and now quality is slipping in China. Flawed Autopilot System Regarding safety, as noted earlier in this letter, Tesla continues to deceptively sell its hugely dangerous so-called “Autopilot” system, which Consumer Reports has completely eviscerated; God only knows how many more people this monstrosity unleashed on public roads will kill, despite the NTSB condemning it. Elsewhere in safety, in 2020 the Chinese government forced the recall of tens of thousands of Teslas for a dangerous suspension defect the company spent years trying to cover up, and now Tesla has been hit by a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. for the same defect. Tesla also knowingly sold cars that it knew were a fire hazard and did the same with solar systems, and after initially refusing to do so voluntarily, it was forced to recall a dangerously defective touchscreen. In other words, when it comes to the safety of customers and innocent bystanders, Tesla is truly one of the most vile companies on Earth. Meanwhile the massive number of lawsuits of all types against the company continues to escalate. So here is Tesla’s competition in cars... (note: these links are regularly updated) Porsche Taycan Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Porsche Macan Electric SUV Officially Coming in 2023 Volkswagen ID.3 Headlines VW's Electrified Future Volkswagen ID.4 Electric SUV Volkswagen ID 6 to arrive with 435-mile range in 2023 Volkswagen Aero B: new electric Passat equivalent spied VW’s Cupra brand counts on performance for Born EV Cupra, VW brand to get entry-level battery-powered cars Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Sportback Audi E-tron GT Audi Q4 e-tron Audi Q6 e-tron confirmed for 2022 launch Audi previews long-range A6 e-tron EV Audi TT set to morph into all-electric crossover Hyundai Ioniq 5 Hyundai Ioniq 6 spotted ahead of 2022 launch Hyundai Kona Electric Genesis reveals their first EV on the E-GMP platform, the electric GV60 crossover Genesis aims to go all-electric from 2025 Kia Niro Electric: 239-mile range & $39,000 before subsidies Kia EV6: Charging towards the future Kia EV4 on course to grow electric SUV range Jaguar’s All-Electric i-Pace Jaguar to become all-electric brand; Land Rover to Get 6 electric models Daimler will invest more than $47B in EVs and be all-electric ready by 2030 Mercedes EQS: the first electric vehicle in the luxury class Mercedes EQS SUV takes shape Mercedes-Benz unveils EQE electric sedan with impressive 400-mile range Mercedes EQC electric SUV available now in Europe & China Mercedes-Benz Launches the EQV, its First Fully-Electric Passenger Van Mercedes-Benz EQB Makes Its European Debut, US Sales Confirmed Mercedes-Benz unveils EQA electric SUV with 265 miles of range and ~$46,000 price Ford Mustang Mach-E Available Now Ford F-150 Lightning electric pick-up available 2022 Ford set to launch ‘mini Mustang Mach-E’ electric SUV in 2023 Ford to offer EV versions of Explorer, Aviator, ‘rugged SUVs' Volvo Polestar 2 Volvo XC40 Recharge Volvo C40 electric sedan to challenge Tesla Model 3, VW ID3 Polestar 3 will be an electric SUV that shares its all-new platform with next Volvo XC90 Chevy updates, expands Bolt EV family as price drops Cadillac All-Electric Lyriq Available Spring 2022 GMC ALL-ELECTRIC SUPERTRUCK HUMMER EV GM to build electric Silverado in Detroit with estimated range of more than 400 miles GMC to launch electric Hummer SUV in 2023 GM will offer 30 all-electric models globally by 2025 GM Launches BrightDrop to Electrify the Delivery of Goods and Services Nissan vows to hop back on EV podium with Ariya Nissan LEAF e+ with 226-mile range is available now BMW leads off EV offensive with iX3 BMW expands EV offerings with iX tech flagship and i4 sedan 2022 BMW iX1 electric SUV spied BMW 3-series EV coming Rivian R1T Is the Most Remarkable Pickup We’ve Ever Driven Renault upgrades Zoe electric car as competition intensifies Renault Dacia Spring Electric SUV Renault to boost low-volume Alpine brand with 3 EVs Renault's electric Megane will debut new digital cockpit Stellantis promises 'heart-of-the-market SUV' from new, 8-vehicle EV platform Alfa Romeo is latest Stellantis brand to get all-electric future Peugeot e-208 PEUGEOT E-2008: THE ELECTRIC AND VERSATILE SUV Peugeot 308 will get full-electric version Citroen compact EV challenges VW ID3 on price Maserati to launch electric sports car Mini Cooper SE Electric Toyota steps up electric vehicle push with plans for 15 new models Opel sees electric Corsa as key EV entry 2021 Vauxhall Mokka revealed as EV with sharp looks, massive changes Skoda Enyaq iV electric SUV offers range of power, battery sizes Electric Skoda Enyaq coupe to muscle-in on Tesla Model 3 Skoda plans small EV, cheaper variants to take on French, Korean rivals Nio to launch in five more European countries after Norway BYD will launch electric SUV in Europe The Lucid Air Achieves an Estimated EPA Range of 517 Miles on a Single Charge Bentley converting to electric-only brand Rolls-Royce is working on EV called 'Silent Shadow' Aston Martin will build electric vehicles in UK from 2025 Meet the Canoo, a Subscription-Only EV Pod Coming in 2021 Two new electric cars from Mahindra in India; Global Tesla rival e-car soon Former Saab factory gets new life building solar-powered Sono Sion electric cars Foxconn aims for 10% of electric car platform market by 2025 And in China… How VW Group plans to dominate China's EV market VW Goes Head-to-Head With Tesla in China With New ID.4 Crozz Electric SUV Volkswagen’s ID.3 EV to be produced by JVs with SAIC, FAW in 2021 2022 VW ID.6 Revealed With Room For Seven And Two Electric Motors China-built Audi e-tron rolls off production line in Changchun Audi Q2L e-tron debuts at Auto Shanghai Audi will build Q4 e-tron in China Audi in cooperation company for local electric car production with FAW FAW Hongqi starts selling electric SUV with 400km range for $32,000 FAW (Hongqi) to roll out 15 electric models by 2025 BYD goes after market left open by Tesla with four cheaper models for budget-conscious buyers BYD said to launch premium NEV brand ‘Dolphin’ in 2022 Top of Form Bottom of Form Daimler & BYD launch DENZA electric vehicle for the Chinese market Geely announces premium EV brand Zeekr Geely, Mercedes-Benz launch $780 million JV to make electric smart-branded cars Mercedes styled Denza X 7-seat electric SUV to hit market Mercedes ‘makes mark’ with China-built EQC BMW, Great Wall to build new China plant for electric cars BAIC Goes Electric, & Establishes Itself as a Force in China’s New Energy Vehicle Future BAIC BJEV, Magna ready to pour RMB2 bln in all-electric PV manufacturing JV Toyota, BYD will jointly develop electric vehicles for China Lexus to launch EV in China taking on VW and Tesla GAC Aion about to start volume production of 1,000-km range AION LX GAC Toyota to ramp up annual capacity by 400,000 NEVs GAC kicks off delivery of HYCAN 007 all-electric SUV Nio – Ready For Tomorrow Nio steps up plans for mass-market brand to compete with VW, Toyota Xpeng Motors sells multiple EV models SAIC-GM to build Ultium EV platform in Wuhan Chevrolet Menlo Electric Vehicle Launched in China Buick Launches VELITE 6 PLUS MAV Electric Vehicle in China Buick Velite 7 EV And Velite 6 PHEV Launch In China Dongfeng launches the all-electric Voyah  PSA to accelerate rollout of electrified vehicles in China SAIC, Alibaba-backed EV brand IM begins presale of first model L7 Hyundai Motor Transforming Chongqing Factory into Electric Vehicle Plant Polestar said to plan China showroom expansion to compete with Tesla Jaguar Land Rover's Chinese arm invests £800m in EV production Renault reveals series urban e-SUV K-ZE for China Renault & Brilliance detail electric van lineup for China Renault forms China electric vehicle venture with JMCG Honda to roll out over 20 electric models in China by 2025 Geely launches new electric car brand 'Geometry' – will launch 10 EVs by 2025 Geely, Foxconn form partnership to build cars for other automakers Fiat Chrysler, Foxconn Team Up for Electric Vehicles Baidu to create an intelligent EV company with automaker Geely Leapmotor starts presale of C11 electric SUV on Jan. 1 2021 Changan forms subsidiary Avatar Technology to develop smart EVs with Huawei, CATL WM Motors/Weltmeister Chery Seres Enovate China's cute Ora R1 electric hatch offers a huge range for less than US$9,000 Singulato JAC Motors releases new product planning, including many NEVs Seat to make purely electric cars with JAC VW in China Iconiq Motors Hozon Aiways Skyworth Auto Youxia CHJ Automotive begins to accept orders of Leading Ideal ONE Infiniti to launch Chinese-built EV in 2022 Human Horizons Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi to launch electric car business with $10 billion investment Lifan Technology to roll out three EV models with swappable batteries in 2021 Here’s Tesla’s Competition In Autonomous Driving... Waymo ranked top & Tesla last in Guidehouse leaderboard on automated driving systems Tesla has a self-driving strategy other companies abandoned years ago Fiat Chrysler, Waymo expand self-driving partnership for passenger, delivery vehicles Waymo and Lyft partner to scale self-driving robotaxi service in Phoenix Volvo, Waymo partner to build self-driving vehicles Jaguar and Waymo announce an electric, fully autonomous car Renault, Nissan partner with Waymo for self-driving vehicles Cruise and GM Team Up with Microsoft to Commercialize Self-Driving Vehicles Cadillac Super Cruise Sets the Standard for Hands-Free Highway Driving Honda Joins with Cruise and General Motors to Build New Autonomous Vehicle Honda launching Level 3 autonomous cars Volkswagen moves ahead with Autonomous Driving R&D for Mobility as a Service Volkswagen teams up with Microsoft to accelerate the development of automated driving VW taps Baidu's Apollo platform to develop self-driving cars in China Ford's electric Mustang will offer hands-free driving technology in 2021 ARGO AI AND FORD TO LAUNCH SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES ON LYFT NETWORK BY END OF 2021 Hyundai and Kia Invest in Aurora Toyota, Denso form robotaxi partnership with Aurora Aptiv and Hyundai Motor Group complete formation of autonomous driving joint venture Amazon’s Zoox unveils electric robotaxi that can travel up to 75 mph Nvidia and Mercedes Team Up to Make Next-Gen Vehicles Daimler's heavy trucks start self-driving some of the way SoftBank, Toyota's self-driving car venture adds Mazda, Suzuki, Subaru Corp, Isuzu Daihatsu  Continental & NVIDIA Partner to Enable Production of Artificial Intelligence Self-Driving Cars Mobileye and Geely to Offer Most Robust Driver Assistance Features Mobileye Starts Testing Self-Driving Vehicles in Germany Mobileye and NIO Partner to Bring Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles to Consumers Lucid Chooses Mobileye as Partner for Autonomous Vehicle Technology AutoX, backed by Alibaba Nissan gives Japan version of Infiniti Q50 hands-free highway driving Hyundai to start autonomous ride-sharing service in Calif. Pony.ai raises $462 million in Toyota-led funding Baidu kicks off trial operation of Apollo robotaxi in Changsha Toyota to join Baidu's open-source self-driving platform Baidu, WM Motor announce strategic partnership for L3, L4 autonomous driving solutions Volvo will provide cars for Didi's self-driving test fleet BMW and Tencent to develop self-driving car technology together BMW, NavInfo bolster partnership in HD map service for autonomous cars in China GM Invests $300 M in Momenta to deliver self-driving technologies in China FAW Hongqi readies electric SUV offering Level 4 autonomous driving Tencent, Changan Auto Announce Autonomous-Vehicle Joint Venture Huawei teams up with BAIC BJEV, Changan, GAC to co-launch self-driving car brands GAC Aion, DiDi Autonomous Driving to co-develop driverless NEV model BYD partners with Huawei for autonomous driving Lyft, Magna in Deal to Develop Hardware, Software for Self-Driving Cars Xpeng releases autonomous features for highway driving Nuro Becomes First Driverless Car Delivery Service in California Deutsche Post to Deploy Test Fleet Of Fully Autonomous Delivery Trucks ZF autonomous EV venture names first customer Magna’s new MAX4 self-driving platform offers autonomy up to Level 4 Groupe PSA’s safe and intuitive autonomous car tested by the general public Mitsubishi Electric to Exhibit Autonomous-driving Technologies in New xAUTO Test Vehicle Apple acquires self-driving startup Drive.ai Motional to begin robotaxi testing with Hyundai Ioniq 5 in Los Angeles JD.com Delivers on Self-Driving Electric Trucks NAVYA Unveils First Fully Autonomous Taxi Fujitsu and HERE to partner on advanced mobility services and autonomous driving Here’s where Tesla’s competition will get its battery cells… Panasonic (making deals with multiple automakers) LG Samsung SK Innovation Toshiba CATL BYD Volkswagen to Build Six Electric-Vehicle Battery Factories in Europe How GM's Ultium Battery Will Help It Commit to an Electric Future Ultium (General Motors & LG joint venture) GM to develop lithium-metal batteries with SolidEnergy Systems Ford, SK Innovation announce EV battery joint venture BMW & Ford Invest in Solid Power to Secure All Solid-State Batteries for Future Electric Vehicles Daimler joins Stellantis as partner in European battery cell venture ACC Renault signs EV battery deals with Envision, Verkor for French plants Nissan to build $1.4bn EV battery plant in UK with Chinese partner UK companies AMTE Power and Britishvolt plan $4.9 billion investment in battery plants Toyota's game-changing solid-state battery en route for 2021 debut Freyr Verkor Farasis Microvast Akasol Cenat Wanxiang Eve Energy Svolt Romeo Power ProLogium Hyundai Motor developing solid-state EV batteries Daimler Morrow Here’s Tesla’s Competition In Charging Networks... Electrify America is spending $2 billion building a high-speed U.S. charging network GM, EVgo partner to expand U.S. charging network Circle K Owner Plans Electric-Car Charging Push in U.S., Canada 191 U.S. Porsche dealers are installing 350kw chargers ChargePoint to equip Daimler dealers with electric car chargers GM and Bechtel plan to build thousands of electric car charging stations across the US Ford introduces 12,000 station charging network, teams with Amazon on home installation Shell Plans To Deploy Around 500,000 Charging Points Globally By 2025 Petro-Canada Introduces Coast-to-Coast Canadian Charging Network Volta is rolling out a free charging network Ionity Europe E.ON and Virta launch one of the largest intelligent EV charging networks in Europe Volkswagen plans 36,000 charging points for electric cars throughout Europe Smatric has over 400 charging points in Austria Allego has hundreds of chargers in Europe PodPoint UK charging stations BP Chargemaster/Polar is building stations across the UK Instavolt is rolling out a UK charging network Fastned building 150kw-350kw chargers in Europe Aral To Install Over 100 Ultra-Fast Chargers In Germany Deutsche Telekom launches installation of charging network for e-cars Total to build 1,000 high-powered charging points at 300 European service-stations NIO teams up with China’s State Grid to build battery charging, swapping stations Volkswagen-based CAMS launches supercharging stations in China Volkswagen, FAW Group, JAC Motors, Star Charge formally announce new EV charging JV BMW to Build 360,000 Charging Points in China to Juice Electric Car Sales BP, Didi Jump on Electric-Vehicle Charging Bandwagon Evie rolls out ultrafast charging network in Australia Evie Networks To Install 42 Ultra-Fast Charging Sites In Australia And here’s Tesla’s competition in storage batteries… Panasonic Samsung LG BYD AES + Siemens (Fluence) GE Bosch Hitachi ABB Toshiba Saft Johnson Contols EnerSys SOLARWATT Schneider Electric Sonnen Kyocera Generac Kokam NantEnergy Eaton Nissan Tesvolt Kreisel Leclanche Lockheed Martin EOS Energy Storage ESS UET electrIQ Power Belectric Stem ENGIE Redflow Renault Primus Power Simpliphi Power redT Energy Storage Murata Bluestorage Adara Blue Planet Tabuchi Electric Aggreko Orison Moixa Powin Energy Nidec Powervault Kore Power Shanghai Electric Schmid 24M Ecoult Innolith LithiumWerks Natron Energy Energy Vault Ambri Voltstorage Cadenza Innovation Morrow Gridtential Villara Elestor Thanks and stay healthy, Mark Spiegel Updated on Oct 1, 2021, 11:05 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 1st, 2021

1 Teen Killed, 2 Wounded In Kentucky Bus Stop Shooting; Suspect Still At Large

1 Teen Killed, 2 Wounded In Kentucky Bus Stop Shooting; Suspect Still At Large Three teens were shot and one was killed while waiting for the school bus in Louisville, Kentucky early Wednesday, according to police. The students were waiting on a corner in the Russell neighborhood situated immediately west of downtown around 0630ET when an unidentified assailant in a vehicle drove by and opened fire, according to the Louisville Metro Police Department. An aunt of the student who died - whose name hasn't been released because he is a minor - spoke to a local TV station. "I mean, you all probably interview a lot of families who are like, 'I can't believe this happened.' You know, he didn't hurt nobody, he didn't do anything. They can be out in God knows what, but I'm telling you, my nephew wasn't. He didn't have that time on his hands," she said. A second student, a 14-year-old boy, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, while the third, a 14-year-old girl, was grazed, police said, but was treated at the scene. All three students were all enrolled at Eastern High School in the Jefferson County public school district. The two other students have sustained serious injuries. Alert: Confirmed that 3 juveniles were shot this morning at a bus stop at W J Hodge and Chestnut Sts. #LMPD on scene and will update shortly. #LMPD — LMPD (@LMPD) September 22, 2021 Police say they're gathering leads and launching what will be a well-funded investigation into finding the culprit, but right now, whoever did it remains at large. The shooting comes after a bomb threat incident required the evacuation of several schools in  nearby Lexington. The threat came with a demand for a $500,000 payment in bitcoin. Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 13:03.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 22nd, 2021