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The Serious Side - part 7

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Thu 16 Jan 2020, 18:38

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7894521/Russias-President-copy-Chinas-Xi-Jinping-seizing-control-strengthened-state-council.html

[size=34]'I'm sure the Russian people will support me': Putin is confident of becoming Russia's leader for LIFE after changing the constitution[/size]


  • Putin says he believes Russians will support  sweeping changes to constitution

  • Planned changes could pave the way for him to extend leadership beyond 2024 

  • Putin is supposed to step down as president by 2024 under the current rules 


By CORAZON MILLER and CHRIS PLEASANCE  and TIM STICKINGS FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 06:51 EST, 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:35 EST, 16 January 2020

     




Vladimir Putin believes the Russian people will support his sweeping changes to the country's constitution that could keep him in power long after his presidential term ends.
The Russian President announced, as part of his annual state address on Wednesday, changes that could pave the way for him to extend his leadership beyond 2024.   
A day after the shock announcement, that saw his entire government - including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev - resign, Putin said he believed the people supported these changes. 
In his address, Putin a former KGB agent - whose term ends in 2024 - described how power would be shifted from the presidency to parliament and the state council, which currently only has an advisory role.

It comes as the Russian parliament overwhelmingly backed his surprise choice for a new prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin - a 53-year-old with almost no political profile. 
The State Duma, the lower house of parliament, endorsed the nomination with 383 votes of 424 cast. Nobody voted against him; there were 41 abstentions.  
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President Vladimir Putin announced a raft of changes to the country's constitution as part of his state of the nation address delivered on Wednesday
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Vladimir Putin delivered his state of the nation address on Wednesday. At the end he also delivered shocking reforms that announced sweeping changes to Russia's constitution
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China's Xi Jinping (pictured right) with Russia's Vladimir Putin amended his nation's constitution to remove presidential term limits - which has effectively made him ruler-for-life
In his speech, Putin called for the power of the State Council, an advisory body, to be expanded and enshrined in the constitution - adding to conjecture that he could take it over after 2024 to preserve power.
Some have speculated that this could result in him set to rule for life as Xi Jinping appears to have done in China.
In 2018 the Chinese leader of the ruling Communist Party had China's constitution amended to remove presidential term limits - which has effectively served to make him ruler-for-life.  
While Putin plans to impose limits to presidential terms in Russia, his other changes could still pave the way for him to extend his 20-year rule - albeit in a new capacity. 
His proposals would weaken the presidency, while giving power to the parliament, the prime minister, and the state council. 
On Thursday, Putin said the president would retain the power to fire officials who fail in their jobs.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev walk before a meeting with members of the government in Moscow on Wednesday. Medvedev announced his resignation after Putin announced a raft of sweeping changes
Putin, 67, has not said much, before now, about his intentions beyond 2024 when he has a legal obligation to step down as president. 
But these plans will add to speculation that he intends to hold on to power in a role either as prime minister or as supreme leader of a new, revamped State Council. 
In the hours after the changes were announced Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said his resignation was necessary for Putin 'to make all decisions' and was installed in the mysterious position of deputy head of the presidential Security Council.   
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny called the reforms 'fraudulent crap' that would end with Putin being 'sole leader for life'.  
[size=10][size=18]Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in shock resignation




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Dmitry Medvedev (centre) resigned as Russia's Prime Minister on Wednesday, saying it was necessary while President Putin reforms the country's constitution
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Analysts believe that Putin wants to transform the presidency into a ceremonial role before stepping in as newly-empowered prime minister when his term ends in 2024 - a move that would allow him to rule for life
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As Medvedev's successor, Putin nominated the little-known head of Russia's tax service, Mikhail Mishustin (pictured)
British government sources have suggested that Putin's hand has been forced by a rising populist movement across the globe and increased opposition among his own people.
His economy has also taken a blow from US and European sanctions so a firm grip is needed to face down any potential insurrection by the masses. 
Putin said any constitutional changes would have to be put to the people in a referendum, the first that Russia will have held since 1993. 
Medvedev served as president from 2008 until 2012 when Putin was forced to step down due to term limits.
When Putin returned as president in 2012, Medvedev was appointed prime minister, a position he had held ever since.
He will remain in power despite Wednesday's resignation, as Putin appointed him to the newly-created position of deputy leader of the presidential security cabinet. 
In Medvedev's place, Putin nominated the little-known head of the Russian tax service Mikhail Mishustin.   
Mishustin promised 'real changes' today as he was approved by lawmakers.
The lower house State Duma voted overwhelmingly to back him as premier. No MPs voted against his candidacy, although Communist lawmakers abstained.
Speaking before his approval, Mishustin called on parliament to work with him to urgently enact Putin's programme.
'People should already now be feeling real changes for the better,' Mishustin said. 
Mishustin said his priority would be to 'increase citizens' real incomes' but also said the government must 'restore trust' with the business community and drive innovation, echoing the state-of-the-nation speech on Wednesday when Putin announced the reforms.
Mishustin assured lawmakers that Russia can afford salary hikes and social payouts announced by Putin, estimating they will cost about four trillion rubles ($65 billion) over the next four years.     
Medvedev announced his resignation on state TV sitting next to Putin, his mentor, yesterday. 


Putin, who has been governing in tandem with Medvedev since 2008, thanked his former protege for his efforts but said the cabinet had 'failed to fulfill all the objectives set for it'.
'I want to thank you for everything that has been done, to express satisfaction with the results that have been achieved,' Putin said.
'Not everything worked out, but everything never works out.' 
Putin has asked for the outgoing government to remain at work until a new government was appointed.   
Medvedev said the government was resigning to 'provide the president of our country with the possibility to take all the necessary measures'.    
'All further decisions will be taken by the president,' he said.  
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Medvedev announced his resignation following a speech in which Putin announced he would be making changes to the constitution to empower parliament 

Mikhail Mishustin: hockey-loving taxman picked by Putin as Russian PM


Regular ice hockey player Mikhail Mishustin is likely to be Russia's next Prime Minister after Vladmir Putin put his name forward today.
The 53-year-old had headed Russia's tax service for a decade and also has a PhD in economics.
His career started in the 1990s where he headed up an organisation set up to promote international cooperation in computing.
In 1998 he became deputy head of the tax service. He was soon appointed deputy tax minister, which he held until 2004.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin (not seen) meets head of Russia's Federal Tax Service Mikhail Mishustin in Moscow, Russia on January 15
For the next four years he headed up federal agencies and in 2008 he became president of an asset management firm. 
In 2010 he was appointed the head of the tax service after he was proposed by the finance minister at the time, Alexei Kudrin.
In 2015 he was listed as Forbes' 54th best-paid state official in 2015 with earnings of 183.31 million rubles (£2.6 million).
Following Putin's proposal, state TV claimed he had 'created the best tax collection system in the world.'
It is thought that he was picked to create a 'more competent leadership'.
He is seen as a 'neutral figure' and has previously proposed that Russia needs to adapt its economy in order to include new and developing technology.  
Mishustin told the Kommersant newspaper last year that Russia needs to adapt to the era of digital technology and artificial intelligence or fall behind.
'This is already a digital world,' he said.
'If we don't understand how this world is developing and what its rules are, if we insist our country is part of the old order, this new world will make us its victim.'
He is also a member of the supervisory council of CSKA hockey club, along with Rosneft chief Igor Sechin and other powerful figures. 
The RBK business newspaper reported in 2010 that Mishustin has 'good contacts in the law enforcement structures. He has often been seen at hockey matches with senior officials from the FSB (security service) and the interior ministry.' 



The Russian political world is already abuzz with speculation about how Putin might stay in power, although he himself has said almost nothing on the subject. 
At his annual address to lawmakers on Wednesday, he announced plans for package of reforms. 
Under those reforms, Putin's successor as president would be stripped of the power to choose the prime minister. 
Russia's parliament - the State Duma - would select a prime minister and the president would not have the power to reject them, Putin said.  
The changes would also give parliament the power to choose senior cabinet members, further weakening a future president's authority. 
However, the president would still be able to fire the PM - although Putin's high approval ratings might make that politically infeasible. 
Other changes would see the role of regional governors enhanced and residency requirements tightened for presidential candidates. 
'Of course these are very serious changes to the political system,' Putin said in his address as he promised a referendum on the plans. 
'It would increase the role and significance of the country's parliament ... of parliamentary parties, and the independence and responsibility of the prime minister.' 
Putin has been in power as either president or prime minister since 1999, longer than any other Russian or Soviet leader since Josef Stalin. 
A former KGB officer, first took power as acting president when Boris Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned on the last day of the millennium.  
After his first two terms as president ended in 2008, Putin circumvented the term limit by shifting into the prime minister's seat while Medvedev served as president. 
Putin was widely seen as pulling the strings under Medvedev, although they clashed over intervention in Libya in 2011.  
In 2012, Putin returned to the top job and appointed the loyal Medvedev as prime minister. 
The switch of jobs was widely seen as a cynical ploy and sparked massive protests in 2011-12 in a major challenge to the Kremlin.  
Re-elected to a six-year term in 2018, Putin has seen his approval ratings fall to some of their lowest levels, though still far above those of most Western leaders.
Recent polls put Putin's rating at 68-70 per cent, up a few points from a year ago but down from a high of more than 80 per cent at the time of his last election. 
His loyalists in the United Russia party have also suffered dismal ratings and suffered badly in Moscow local elections last year. 
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Putin previously served as prime minister for four years while Medvedev was president (they are pictured together in Moscow in 2008) 
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Medvedev will stay on in government in the newly-created post of deputy of the presidential security cabinet (Putin and Medvedev talk in Moscow on Wednesday)
Another option for Putin would be to merge Russia with Belarus - a process which has long been the subject of speculation - and become head of a new unified state. 
Russia is Belarus's closest ally and the two have formed a nominal 'union' with close trade and military cooperation.  
Putin played down such speculation last year, saying there were no plans for a merger with Belarus.  
Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko has been more blunt, saying last year that unification 'was not on the agenda.' 

[size=34]What is really behind Vladimir Putin's constitutional changes?[/size]


President Vladimir Putin has set in motion sweeping changes to Russia's political order.
But what is the longtime Russian leader really up to? And - with Putin facing the end in 2024 of what is supposed to be his final term - what does it mean for his hold on power?
Analysts, Kremlin critics and opinion-makers seem to agree: the 67-year-old leader is shaking up a system that has been losing public confidence, while laying the groundwork for his own political future.
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The 67-year-old appears to be shaking up a system that has been losing public confidence while laying the groundwork for his own political future
- What future for Putin? -
In his state of the nation address on Wednesday, Putin laid out constitutional changes that would reduce the power of the president and boost the authority of parliament, with lawmakers choosing the prime minister and cabinet.
Experts said his plans to limit the post's powers is a clear sign that Putin is preparing to leave the presidency and take on a new role.
'Putin will remain the main figure in Russia, as he has been for 20 years,' said Russian political analyst Maria Lipman.
Some have suggested that Putin could create a system similar to the one put in place by the longtime leader of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who last year resigned as president but remained as chief of the ruling party and 'national leader' with wide-ranging powers.
Putin could stay on after 2024 as head of the State Council, an advisory body made up of regional governors and political appointees, as well as chief of the powerful Security Council.
On Wednesday he proposed expanding the State Council's role and enshrining its status in the constitution.
'We are seeing some pieces of the puzzle, there are some we can't see, and some we will never see. But in the end only Putin knows the plan,' Lipman said.
- Why now? -
While his approval ratings still hover around 70 percent, Putin seems to have understood that many Russians are displeased.
A few hours after the president said Wednesday that there was 'a clear demand for change', Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had already announced the government's resignation.
Putin was re-elected with a sweeping majority in 2018, but his approval ratings dropped after an unpopular pension reform.
Russians' incomes have also been falling as the economy stagnates, under pressure from a drop in oil prices and Western sanctions over the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Growing discontent saw thousands take to the streets of Moscow last summer against the exclusion of opposition candidates from local elections, in the biggest anti-government protests since Putin returned to the presidency in 2012 after a stint as prime minister.
Parliamentary elections are due in 2021 and polls show the ruling United Russia party with the support of only 33 percent of Russians. The party is so unpopular that many of its candidates chose to run as independents in the September regional and municipal votes.
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Medvedev (pictured above on the right) who is one of Putin's oldest allies and served as president from 2008 to 2012 had become a scapegoat and a liability
- What role for the new PM ? -
Medvedev, who is one of Putin's oldest allies and served as president from 2008 to 2012, had become a scapegoat and a liability, with approval ratings of between 30 and 38 percent.
It was time for a fresh start. Putin's nominee to replace him, longtime federal tax chief Mikhail Mishustin, is a relatively obscure figure but has solid credentials.
The 53-year-old is considered an efficient administrator who was able to transform Russia's sclerotic and corrupt tax service into a modern and respected institution.
An unlikely successor to Putin, Mishustin can focus on making changes that will boost the government's popularity.
'Mishustin's elevation to Russia's PM is designed to get more competent leadership in cabinet which will have to focus on (the) all-important domestic agenda,' Dmitry Trenin, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said on Twitter.
He will have his work cut out for him - more than half of Russians said in a recent poll that they believe the 'worst is yet to come' for the economy.
Putin has put forward a slew of plans to reboot the economy and improve living standards, including vast infrastructure projects, increased payouts to families and improvements to health and education.
'Mishustin must implement Putin's programme - projects costing up to 26 trillion rubles ($421 billion/378 billion euros). By 2024,' business daily Vedomosti wrote on Thursday.
'The delay in implementation and weak economic growth were at the heart of criticisms of Medvedev.' 
 



 


[size=34]MARK ALMOND: Like Stalin, he'll rule to the death[/size]


He likes to take the world – and Russians – by surprise. Vladimir Putin's lengthy State of Russia speech yesterday was expected to be the usual tedious outline of statistics and policy developments.
No doubt the Kremlin audience of veteran apparatchiks planned to do their 'sleeping-with-the-eyes-open' trick. Then Mr Putin pulled his rabbits out of the hat.
Russia needed more democracy. Parliament should have a bigger say in choosing the government. The position of the president – all-powerful until now – should be cut down to size.
And so on... a raft of sweeping, bold constitutional change that seemed – whisper it – to be preparing Russia for life after Vladimir Putin. He even complained about how time-consuming being president of Russia is. He's 67 after all and has been at it 24/7 for 20 years.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin walks along St.George's Hall to take part in an inauguaration ceremony in Moscow's Kremlin, May 7, 2004
Shortly afterwards, Putin's longtime political ally, the prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, stood down – he made the announcement on TV with Putin next to him – and the entire government resigned to help 'facilitate' the proposed changes. It was only when Medvedev's successor, an anonymous tax-collector, Mikhail Mishustin, was appointed, that it all started to become clear.
Anyone starting to hope Putin might be relinquishing his grip on the levers of power, in favour of spending more time at his dacha and enjoying the manly pursuits he's famous for, was to be disappointed. Indeed, this was an audaciously disguised power grab for the future. By choosing as prime minister a person with no political standing or base in parliament, Putin was indicating that he does not intend to give up the top job.
What his proposed changes suggest is that Putin is weary of the day-to-day business of running Russia and making all the decisions great and small.
He wants to devolve administrative tasks to a new president and prime minister. By the time his current term ends in 2024, with him in his early 70s, Putin will then in all likelihood take up the role of the grand old man – perhaps the godfather is a more fitting title – of Russian politics.
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An electronic screen, installed on the facade of a hotel, shows an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a quote from his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow, Russia January 15, 2020
But make no mistake, he will still be all-powerful, the ultimate back seat driver. There are precedents for rulers being seen to step back, but continuing to pull strings from behind the scenes.
In China in the 1980s, Deng Xiaoping stepped back and left day-to-day decisions to his chosen successor, Zhao Ziyang. But when Zhao made the wrong decision in the Tiananmen crisis of 1989 and talked to the student protesters, Deng deposed and replaced him.
And remember, for much of his rule, Stalin was a private citizen, neither prime minister nor president, but as general secretary of the only party in the country he ruled with an iron hand over the institutions of the Soviet Union.
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Putin looks through the scope as he shoots a Chukavin sniper rifle (SVC-380) during a visit to the military Patriot Park in Kubinka, outside Moscow, on September 19, 2018
Last year Nursultan Nazarbayev, Putin's close ally in the oil-rich former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, retired after holding the presidency since 1990. He became head of a 'guiding' security council and, to emphasise he was still in charge, the capital was renamed Nursultan in his honour.
I doubt Moscow will become Putingrad, but Vladimir Putin's influence will be felt by whoever sits in the Kremlin long after 2024. Foreign policy and defence will almost certainly depend on his experience and say-so.
Putin knows that once out of power his former toadies could turn on him and discredit him by revealing dark secrets. He will want to stop that from happening for as long as he can.
So all was not what it seemed yesterday. As long as there is life in him, Vladimir Putin sees Russia's fate intertwined with his own.
Mark Almond is director of the Crisis Research Centre, Oxford

[size=34]Dmitry Medvedev: The lawyer who became Putin's mentor and shared power with the president[/size]


Dmitry Medvedev, who has lost his post as prime minister following the government's resignation, served a single term as president before standing aside to allow Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin in 2012.
Subsequently the 54-year-old served as prime minister with diminishing powers and authority. In recent months, his approval rating hovered around 28 percent, according to FOM polling agency.
It's unclear how much power Medvedev will have in the newly-created post of deputy head of the Russian security council after his momentous resignation Wednesday.
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Dmitry Medvedev owes his political career to mentor Vladimir Putin, who moved the lawyer to his office when he became Russian Prime Minister in 1999

While president, Medvedev launched a campaign of modernisation to pull the country out of its post-Soviet stagnation but never escaped the shadow of his dominant mentor, to whom he remained resolutely loyal. 
Medvedev was born on September 14, 1965 in Putin's home town of Leningrad to a family of teachers, training as a lawyer and then working in the city hall for five years under Putin from 1990-1995.
He owes his entire political career to the former KGB agent.
Putin took his protege to Moscow after being appointed prime minister in 1999 and Medvedev rapidly rose to be chairman of gas giant Gazprom. He also served as chief of staff at the Kremlin and as first deputy prime minister.
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Medvedev has been in lock-step with Putin ever since, swapping power with the president between 2008 and 2012 in order to skirt around term limits

Anointed successor as Putin was not allowed to stand for more than two consecutive terms, Medvedev in 2008 won presidential elections on the back of Putin's support and his first act after taking office was to appoint the Russian strongman as prime minister.
He said Russia's economy had reached a 'dead end' and required urgent reform if the country was going to move forward.
In one speech, he even seemed to compare himself to reforming Tsar Alexander II who in 1861 ordered the historic emancipation of the serfs and would ultimately be assassinated.
'We are trying to change our economy and change our political system. In essence we are continuing a political course that was set 150 years ago. Freedom cannot be put off for another day,' he said.
But cynics pointed out that such words counted for little when Russia was still dominated by Putin and Medvedev himself played down the idea there was any radical difference in their visions.
His trademark modernisation programme was marked by some of the boldest statements ever by a Kremlin leader but was also mercilessly mocked by commentators for being short on actions.
While liberals and the West hoped Medvedev would reverse the increase in state control and erosion of civil liberties during Putin's previous rule, he showed little desire for a radical break with Putin's legacy. 
Medvedev as president sought to promote a welcoming image for the country and championed a 'reset' in relations with the United States, although his jarring statements at home appeared an attempt not to be outdone by Putin in the tough-talking stakes.
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During his time as president, Medvedev promised to modernise Russia and reset relations with the US, but in reality power remained with Putin

He sent Russian troops into Georgian territory in the 2008 war with Tbilisi, a decision that temporarily wrecked relations with the West but one the president insisted he took on his own.
On his watch, Moscow also abstained in a key UN Security Council vote on Libya in 2011 which paved the way for a NATO-led military intervention that Putin has relentlessly criticised since.
Keen to leave behind a legacy in Russia, Medvedev ordered the building of a technology hub in the town of Skolkovo outside Moscow.
Often seen proudly clutching his iPad - a souvenir from a visit to Silicon Valley - he has embraced Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, in contrast to the much less tech-savvy Putin.
However he won mockery for this from some Russians, as for his habit of dropping off to sleep during dull events.
An ambitious man, Medvedev suggested he would like to return to Russia's top job.
'Never say never,' he told AFP in an interview in 2012.

annemarie
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by LizzyNY on Thu 16 Jan 2020, 20:40

Just more reasons to make sure drumpf doesn't have a second term.
LizzyNY
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 11:39

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7899079/Graham-acquit-WEEK-Democrats-join-us.html

[size=34]We will acquit him in a WEEK - and we will get Democrats to join us. Lindsey Graham predicts outcome of Donald Trump's impeachment trial hours after being sworn in to deliver 'impartial' justice[/size]


  • Sen. Lindsey Graham predicted on 'Hannity' that President Trump's Senate trial would only last a week 

  • Graham said he thought that Trump would be acquitted in the Senate and some Democrats would defect and vote alongside Senate Republicans 

  • The South Carolina Republican said he believed Democrats would pay a political price for impeaching Trump 

  • He also said he thought Trump would be off the hook by the February 4 State of the Union address  

  •  Graham made the comments Thursday nights, several hours after the chief justice and the 100 senators were sworn in to begin Trump's Senate trial 

  • But he puts himself at odds with Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate Republican facing a tough re-election race, who says she is open to witnesses 


By NIKKI SCHWAB, SENIOR U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 08:10 EST, 17 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:45 EST, 17 January 2020

     




Sen. Lindsey Graham predicted President Trump would be acquitted by a bipartisan Senate after a week-long impeachment trial - giving the president a political bump before his February 4 State of the Union address. 
Graham presented that sunny picture to Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity during an interview Thursday night. 
'I'm hoping this can be done in about a week and I predict a bipartisan acquittal of President Trump,' Graham said. 
The Senate impeachment trial will begin in earnest on Tuesday, but has the potential to last much longer than a week as Republicans and Democrats squabble over whether new witnesses and documents should be permitted. 

Democrats have yet to see the resolution Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will present to outline the rules of the Senate trial. 
But Chuck Schumer, the Democratic minority leader, is expected to force a vote on Tuesday demanding witnesses are called. 
That is expected to fail but he has another opportunity after the Democratic impeachment managers - effectively the prosecution - and Donald Trump's defense have finished their cases. 
When that comes he will try to squeeze moderate Republicans to back witnesses. On Thursday Susan Collins said she was being 'misunderstood' by critics who say she will vote against witnesses and hinted she was open to them, while Mitt Romney has said he could be too.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham painted a sunny picture of President Trump's Senate impeachment trial telling Sean Hannity that he expected it to last only a week 
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Sen. Lindsey Graham expected President Trump to be acquitted by a bipartisan Senate before the president delivers his February 4 State of the Union address in the House chamber 
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Graham's comments came in the hours following the official Senate kick-off of the trial, with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (right) being sworn in by Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Grassley (left) so he can preside over the Senate trial 
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That was followed by Chief Justice John Roberts administering the oath to the 100 senators who will serve as 'impartial' jurors for the course of the trial 
[size=10][size=18]Chief Justice Roberts is sworn in for Trump impeachment trial




Loa
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Graham's claim of a rapid acquittal came at the close of a day when Supreme Court Justice John Roberts arrived on the Senate floor to be sworn in. 
Roberts will preside over Trump's impeachment trial. And quickly got to work swearing in the 100 senators, who will serve as 'impartial' jurors. 
On 'Hannity,' Graham - a top ally of Trump's - railed against Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's insistence on having additional witnesses testify as part of the trial, calling it an attack on executive privilege. 
'I hope that nobody will be called as a witness,' Graham said, explaining the Democrats had their chance during the House investigation to call some of Trump's top people including former National Security Advisor John Bolton, acting White House Chief of State Mick Mulvaney and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 'They chose not to call them,' Graham insisted. 
Calling out the Senate's top Democrat by name, Graham added, 'Chuck Schumer is not seeking the truth.'
'If you think Chuck Schumer is trying to find out what happened here, you're missing a lot. Chuck Schumer is trying to take back the Senate,' Graham continued. 'He's trying to make the argument that if you don't call a witness you're trying to cover up for the president.' 
'The truth of the matter is that Chuck Schumer is willing to destroy executive privilege,' Graham added.   
Schumer laid out the Democrats' demands in a press conference Thursday, saying the party would like to see the addition of four witnesses and three troves of documents. 
Schumer has called for testimony from former Bolton, Mulvaney, Mulvaney's senior adviser Robert Blair and Office of Management and Budget Associate Director for National Security Michael Duffey.   
Democrats have also floated Lev Parnas, the associate of Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani who's been on a media spree this week, as someone who could offer testimony. Parnas turned over documents and messages to House Democrats before they transmitted the articles of impeachment over to the Senate on Wednesday.  


Graham also blasted Democrats more broadly and then predicted they'd pay a political price for putting Trump through impeachment. 
'They just hate this guy so much Sean,' Graham told Hannity. 'From the time he got elected to now it's been an unending effort to destroy his presidency.' 
Graham recalled how the GOP lost five seats in the 1998 midterms, during the run-up to President Bill Clinton's December impeachment. Clinton got acquitted by the Senate in February 1999. 
'I think 2020 is going to be a blowout,' Graham said. 'There's going to be a backlash.'
'Most Americans jealously guard the right to pick their own leaders. I think they're going to hold it against politicians who tried to take that right away,' he added. 
Graham then made his boldest prediction for what's to come. 
'And on February 4th, when the president comes into the House chamber to deliver the State of the Union, he will have been acquitted by the Senate, he'll be the strongest he's ever been politically and when it comes to Donald Trump ... the best is yet to come,' Graham said.
[size=18]Graham rejects Trump's demand for witnesses in impeachment trial




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[size=34]READ THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST DONALD TRUMP[/size]


In 1,414 words, the articles of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives Wednesday lay out two charges against President Donald Trump.
Article I: Abuse of Power
Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 22431262-0-Accused_Donald_Trump_has_two_articles_of_impeachment_against_him-a-19_1576726084288


Accused: Donald Trump has two articles of impeachment against him

He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage.
President Trump also sought to pressure the Government of Ukraine to take these steps by conditioning official United States Government acts of significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of the investigations.
President Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit. In so doing, President Trump used the powers of the Presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.'
Article II: Obstruction of Congress
As part of this impeachment inquiry, the Committees undertaking the investigation served subpoenas seeking documents and testimony deemed vital to the inquiry from various Executive Branch agencies and offices, and current and former officials.
In response, without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. President Trump thus interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the 'sole Power of Impeachment' vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.
In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate 'high Crimes and Misdemeanors.''
This abuse of office served to cover up the President's own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment -- and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of Representatives.


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Post by annemarie on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 11:41

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7900645/Justices-consider-faithless-electors-ahead-2020-vote.html


[size=34]Supreme Court is set to rule on whether state electoral college voters have to support the popular vote winner or are able to be 'faithless' in landmark case which could bring 2020 election chaos[/size]


  • When voters cast a ballot for president, they are actually choosing members of the Electoral College - who then choose the president

  • 30 states have laws saying the electors must vote in line with the popular vote in that state but the rest do not 

  • In 2016 group of 'Hamilton electors' tried to vote for a unity candidate to stop Trump getting into power and became 'faithless electors'

  • In Colorado Micheal Baca wrote in John Kasich but was removed; he went to court and has a federal appeals court ruling that he was allowed to vote freely

  • But in Washington, the State Supreme Court said electors could be fined for not following the popular vote

  • Now Supreme Court will decide, with potential to cause chaos if 2020 election is knife-edge close and electors become 'faithless'   


By ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 15:41 EST, 17 January 2020 | UPDATED: 22:26 EST, 17 January 2020

     



The Supreme Court said Friday it will decide ahead of the 2020 election whether presidential electors are bound to support the popular vote winner in their states or can opt for someone else.
Advocates for the court's intervention say the issue needs urgent resolution in an era of intense political polarization and the prospect of a razor-thin margin in a presidential election, although so-called faithless electors have been a footnote so far in American history.
The justices will hear arguments in April and should issue a decision by late June.
About 30 states require presidential electors to vote for the popular vote winner, and electors almost always do so anyway. 
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Pressure campaign: In 2016, some anti-Trump activists  wanted electors to either back Hillary Clinton in Donald Trump states, or write in a 'unity candidate' and a record number of electors went 'faithless' 
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Faithless voter: Micheal Baca was removed as a Colorado elector when he tried to vote for John Kasich in a write-in. Now he is at the center of a Supreme Court case which could rock the 2020 election
The Electoral College system is established in the Constitution. When voters cast a ballot for president, they are actually choosing members of the Electoral College, called electors, who are pledged to that presidential candidate. The electors then choose the president. It takes 270 votes to win. 

The elector at the center of the case, Micheal Baca, was part of a group known as 'Hamilton electors' who tried to convince electors who were pledged to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to unite behind a consensus candidate to deny Trump the presidency. 
Calls for electors to go 'faithless' were made also made by anti-Trump campaigners who wanted the college to reflect the popular vote, which would have given Clinton a clear victory. 
Almost five million people signed a petition calling on the electoral college to used their apparent right to be 'faithless' and put Clinton in the White House. 
After a flurry of filings in state and federal courts, the electors met on Dec. 19, 2016, and Baca crossed out Clinton's name on his ballot and wrote in John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio who also ran for president.
Then-Secretary of State Wayne Williams refused to count the vote and removed Baca as an elector. He replaced him with another elector who voted for Clinton.
The federal appeals court in Denver ruled that electors can vote as they please, rejecting arguments that they must choose the popular vote winner.
'The state does not possess countervailing authority to remove an elector and to cancel his vote in response to the exercise of that Constitutional right,' the ruling said. 
That ruling applies only to Colorado and five other states in the 10th Circuit: Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. 
But in Washington, the state Supreme Court upheld a $1,000 fine against the three electors there and rejected their claims.


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Another big decision: The Supreme Court will decide on whether electors can go 'faithless' and decide the presidency for themselves regardless of the popular vote
[size=18]Explanation of the electoral college and how electors vote




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In all, there were 10 faithless electors in 2016, including a fourth in Washington, a Democratic elector in Hawaii and two Republican electors in Texas. In addition, Democratic electors who said they would not vote for Clinton were replaced in Maine and Minnesota.
In asking the Supreme Court to rule that states can require electors to vote for the state winner, Colorado urged the justices to decide the case in the next few months, 'not in the heat of a close presidential election.'
Colorado officials welcomed the court's intervention. 'Unelected and unaccountable presidential electors should not be allowed to decide the presidential election without regard to voters' choices and state law,' Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said.
The three Washington electors, while contending they should be free to vote their conscience, also said the court should avoid the 'dangerous possibility' of having to resolve the issue following the 2020 vote.
'We are glad the Supreme Court has recognized the paramount importance of clearly determining the rules of the road for presidential electors for the upcoming election and all future elections,' Lawrence Lessig, the lawyer for the electors, said.

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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 15:17

This article shows exactly why the electoral college should be abolished and elections be decided by popular vote. There's no reason nowadays for an intermediary body.
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Post by Donnamarie on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 21:41

The Electoral College is flawed and undemocratic. Five Presidents in our history did not win the popular vote. I think it’s the only election in our country that is not based on the popular vote.
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Post by annemarie on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 11:24

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7906617/Virginia-residents-fear-Charlottesville-gun-rights-rally-Richmond-MLK-holiday.html

[size=34]Richmond braces: White supremacists descend on Virginia's capital for gun rights rally on MLK Day as Trump tweets about attacks on the Second Amendment, leaving residents fearing another Charlottesville[/size]


  • Protesters opposed to gun control measures in Virginia are to attend a rally in Richmond, on Monday, which is also the Martin Luther King holiday

  • The event has residents and officials worried it could turn out like the white supremacist rally that turned deadly in in Charlottesville in 2017

  • During that event, a car was deliberately driven into a crowd of people who showed up in protest, killing a young woman and injuring 28 others

  • Trump tweeted Friday: 'Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia'

  • Several militia leaders with large followings on social media who were in Charlottesville say they are coming to Richmond in peace 


By RALPH R. ORTEGA FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 01:11 EST, 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 05:18 EST, 20 January 2020

     



Virginia residents braced for a possible repeat of the deadly violence that resulted at the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, which left a woman dead and 28 injured, as a gun rally was planned in the state's capitol on Monday -- the same day as the Martin Luther King holiday.
The rally is being held in protest of gun control measures that have been drawn up by the state's newly Democrat-controlled legislature.
'Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia,' President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday. 'That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!' 
In response to the concerns, several militia leaders with large followings on social media who attended that Charlottesville rally said they were coming purely to show their support for those opposed to the state's new, more restrictive gun laws.
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Police stand guard near an entrance to the Virginia State Capitol grounds before a Monday rally by gun rights advocates and militia members in Richmond on Sunday
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'Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia,' President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday. 'That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!'
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A list of prohibited items is posted at the entrance to the capitol grounds on the even of the gun rights rally to be held onb Monday, which is also the Martin Luther King holiday
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A sign warns visitors not to enter the Virginia State Capitol building with their firearms as security ramps up before a Monday rally by gun rights advocates and militia members
[size=10][size=18]Virginia braces for gun rights rally with far-right leaders attending




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'If you think that we're a threat coming into your city, then you don't know who we are, you don't understand what we're about,' said Joshua Shoaff, who has over 542,000 Facebook followers and goes by the pseudonym Ace Baker. 'We're not anarchists - we believe in government.'
Other leaders of well-known militias also vowed they were not seeking confrontations in Richmond. But police warned that among those they know to be attending are known neo-Nazis and other groups who may seek to hijack the gun-rights gathering.


Authorities say they are expecting several thousand people and are trying to keep the event from becoming violent.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam this week temporarily banned all weapons from the area around the Capitol ahead of the demonstration.
Todd Gilbert, the Republican leader in Virginia's House of Delegates, said in a statement on Saturday that violence was not welcome during Monday's rally.
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A visitor holds up a sign urging kindness while she is photographed on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond before Monday's rally by gun rights advocates and militia members
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Joshua Shoaff, who has over 542,000 Facebook followers and goes by the pseudonym Ace Baker, said in response to concerns, 'If you think that we're a threat coming into your city, then you don't know who we are, you don't understand what we're about'
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 23620988-7906617-image-m-95_1579503229608

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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam this week temporarily banned all weapons from the area around the Capitol ahead of the demonstration
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Gun rights advocates and militia members attend a pre-rally dinner in Richmond on Sunday
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Gun rights advocates and militia members pray at a pre-rally dinner in Richmond on Sunday
'Any group that comes to Richmond to spread white supremacist garbage, or any other form of hate, violence, or civil unrest isn't welcome here,' he said. 'While we and our Democratic colleagues may have differences, we are all Virginians and we will stand united in opposition to any threats of violence or civil unrest from any quarter.'
Monday's rally is being organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro-gun rights group that annually comes out in force to lobby Virginia's legislature to not pass any new gun laws.
The group is working closely with police, according to law enforcement officials, in an effort to pull off a smooth event - but they have called for tens of thousands of armed citizens to come to the event, hiking tensions.
President Donald Trump backed the rally organizers in a Twitter post on Friday in which he said the U.S. Constitution was under attack by recent gun control measures in Virginia, a state that Hilary Clinton won in 2016 and where Democrats took full control of the state legislature for the first time in a generation in November.
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A gun rights activist with a 'Guns Save Lives' sticker talks with a policeman outside the Virginia State Capitol grounds before a Monday rally by gun rights advocates and militia members. Groups coming are working closely with police, according to law enforcement officials
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Thomas Speciale, who is preparing to run in the upcoming Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat, wears a 'Guns Save Lives' hat in front of the Virginia State Capitol building before a Monday rally by gun rights advocates and militia members
'Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia,' Trump wrote in the post, referring to the amendment in the Bill of Rights that gives Americans the right to keep and bear firearms. 'That's what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away.'
Trump's tweets in support of the rally also came as he lashed out at billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who's entered the 2020 presidential race, for criticizing a former FBI agent-turned-volunteer security guard who took down the gunman in a fatal church shooting in Texas in December.
In a tweet late on Sunday, Trump said Bloomberg was against the Second Amendment and referred to his opponent in the presidential contest as 'Mini Mike Bloomberg'. 
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In a tweet late on Sunday, Trump said Bloomberg was against the Second Amendment and referred to his opponent in the presidential contest as 'Mini Mike Bloomberg'
 'Now Mini Mike Bloomberg is critical of Jack Wilson, who saved perhaps hundreds of people in a Church because he was carrying a gun, and knew how to use it. Jack quickly killed the shooter, who was beginning a rampage. Mini is against the 2nd A. His ads are Fake, just like him!' Trump tweeted.
The Virginia Senate late on Thursday passed bills to require background checks on all firearms sales, limit handgun purchases to one a month, and restore local governments' right to ban weapons from public buildings and other venues.
Both Virginia legislative houses are also expected to pass 'red flag' laws that would allow courts and local law enforcement to remove guns from people deemed a risk to communities, among other measures.
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Law enforcement manage a security checkpoint to access the Virginia State Capitol grounds ahead of a gun rights advocates and militia members rally in Richmond

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Post by party animal - not! on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 12:00

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/20/trump-election-facebook

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Post by annemarie on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 12:50

Trump’s greatest ally in the coming election? Facebook
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 John_Harris_Next_Gen
John Harris


The internet giant has exempted politics from regulations on falsehood. Good news for a candidacy built on lies

 @johnharris1969
Mon 20 Jan 2020 01.00 ESTLast modified on Mon 20 Jan 2020 02.12 EST


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 ‘The most egregious aspect of the way Facebook treats politics remains untouched.’ An anti-Facebook protest at the US Capitol Building in 2018. Photograph: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Sipa USA/Rex/Shutterstock
[size=89]If you want to know why the worst president in US history currently stands a very good chance of winning again, consider a few facts. Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is already in full flow, brimming with cash, drenching social media with targeted ads, and reaping oceans of data on voters.
The impeachment drama is, predictably enough, the perfect opportunity to put out material that plays to the idea of Trump as a noble maverick, struggling against the liberal conspiracy implied by his online questionnaires: “Do you agree that President Trump has done nothing wrong? Do you believe the Democrats will try and make up LIES to impeach the president?”
The Democrats’ most likely challenger, by contrast, made headlines last year when he cut his online ad budget, and decided to concentrate on TV advertising: a very odd decision by Joe Biden, but there we are.

What really helps Trump is Facebook. Last October, it became clear that, whatever its collective remorse about the role it had played in Trump’s election three years before, Mark Zuckerberg’s company had quietly exempted advertising by parties and candidates from its regulations on truth and falsehood. After the flurry of criticism that followed, there was speculation that Facebook might shift – on both that policy, and the kind of micro-targeting of adverts that makes it almost impossible to scrutinise what a candidate is saying to voters, and why (the Trump campaign is currently reckoned to be launching more than 1,000 new micro-targeted Facebook ads every day).
But earlier this month there came confirmation that on these two crucial points, company policy was going to remain unchanged.

The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 2083

Sign up to the Media Briefing: news for the news-makers



 
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Cosmetically at least, some other internet giants have been tightening up. Not that it absolves Twitter of much of the blame for spreading hatred and misinformation – or indeed, hosting Trump’s personal feed – but in October last year it banned almost all political advertising. Again, Google is hardly free of responsibility for encouraging the worst kind of online politicking, but it has stopped political advertisers targeting people based on their political affiliation, and promised to take action against “demonstrably false claims”.
Facebook, by contrast, isn’t moving. It may have shone some light on political ads via new transparency tools, announced that users will now have the option of seeing fewer ads about “political and social issues”, and increased its efforts against foreign interference, but the most egregious aspect of the way it treats politics remains untouched.

When I contacted the company’s press office, I received an email from a global “CEO advisory firm” called Teneo that requested I paraphrase Facebook’s company line – that it is not its role to “referee” political debates and prevent politicians’ messages reaching their intended audience; and that targeted ads are considered a good thing not just by political campaigns, but charities and NGOs. Self-evidently, the problem with that defence is that it leaves candidates and campaigns free to lie with impunity, and micro-targeting makes doing so even more mouthwatering.
An example: in October last year, Trump’s organisation released an ad falsely alleging that Biden had offered the Ukrainian authorities $1bn if they dropped an investigation into a company linked to his son. CNN refused to air it; Facebook had no such qualms. There will be plenty more of this stuff.

 Hypocrisy is at the heart of Facebook’s refusal to ban false political advertising

John Naughton


 
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It is interesting to note that Facebook’s hands-off approach to political lying has reportedly been endorsed by Peter Thiel, the Trump-backing billionaire who sits on Facebook’s board. If you want to understand the kind of thinking he supports, a good place to start is the recent leaked memo written by Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Facebook’s “augmented and virtual reality vice-president”. Trump won three years ago, he says, because “he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser”, and this year Facebook’s ad policies “very well [sic] may lead to the same result”.
When it comes to the relevance of Facebook’s political ads policy to Trump’s chances, Bosworth goes all mystical. “I find myself thinking of the Lord of the Rings at this moment,” he says. “Specifically when Frodo offers the ring to Galadriel and she imagines using the power righteously, at first, but knows it will eventually corrupt her. As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear.”
But what of the fact that Facebook’s algorithms privilege the most hysterical, mendacious, loathsome kind of political discourse? “The algorithms are primarily exposing the desires of humanity itself, for better or worse,” says Bosworth, going on to claim that “corporate paternalism” is not the answer, and that “giving people tools to make their own decisions is good, but trying to force decisions upon them rarely works (for them or for you)”. Facebook, in other words, just presents you with the poison, often in a micro-targeted form that makes it even more tempting: if you want to imbibe it, that’s up to you. In this vision, Tolkien-esque cod-philosophy is less relevant than reckless libertarianism. Such is the variety of corporate responsibility offered by arguably the most powerful corporation in the world.
The traditional media might still understand elections in terms of speeches, campaign launches and set-piece interviews. But as evidenced by Boris Johnson’s victory after weeks of eluding any meaningful scrutiny, this is not where politics really happens any more. Facebook offers a dual enticement to campaigns and candidates: you can spend no end of money spreading falsehoods, and also be assured that you are using the most effective means of political communication anyone has ever invented.

It hardly absolves Labour of its serial failures, but this formula was right at the heart of the Tory win in December: towards the end of the election, it was revealed that 88% of Conservative advertisements published on Facebook over a four-day period contained claims deemed to be misleading by Full Fact, a fact-checking organisation used by Facebook itself (the figure for Labour material was 7%).
Honourable debate might have symbolically breathed its last on the occasion in 2008 when Senator John McCain silenced an audience member at one of his rallies when she implied that Barack Obama was not American. There may well be chilling auguries of the future in the kind of facts pointed out last week by my colleague Emily Bell – that the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, an expert at internet politics, has never held a press conference, that the White House press secretary has not delivered a public briefing in six months – and, for that matter, that the new British government apparently wants precious little to do with mainstream news and current affairs programmes.
We are, it seems, in the opening stages of a completely new age, in which victory will usually go, as the New York Times put it the other day, to those who specialise in “emotionally charged, hyper-partisan content, regardless of its factual accuracy”, and very nasty techniques indeed: witness the 2016 Trump campaign targeting anti-Hillary Clinton material at black Democrat supporters via Facebook, so as to suppress turnout.

Something lodges itself in my head anew every time I write about Facebook: that even if it began with benign intentions, it has long since failed to match its power with the commensurate responsibility. After a fashion, Zuckerberg himself seems to agree that there is a case for action. “There are a number of areas where I believe governments establishing clearer rules would be helpful, including around elections, harmful content, privacy, and data portability,” he said in his recent new year message.
What is actually required is enforced break-up, tight subsequent regulation and the belated realisation that Facebook has come close to tearing democracy to pieces in the name of bringing people closer together – all thoughts now fashionable among people at the top of the Democratic party. Facebook’s unprecedented corporate power, however, offers an answer to that: the fact that Trump may well beat whichever Democrat is selected to challenge him, using all the shadowy sophistry Facebook puts at his disposal.
 John Harris is a Guardian columnist

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On the occasion of its 100th birthday in 1921 the editor of the Guardian said, "Perhaps the chief virtue of a newspaper is its independence. It should have a soul of its own." That is more true than ever. Freed from the influence of an owner or shareholders, the Guardian's editorial independence is our unique driving force and guiding principle.

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 13:53

Way to ruin a perfectly beautiful day! Evil or Very Mad Thanks, guys.
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Post by Donnamarie on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 16:25

I’m hoping there will be a peaceful rally in Richmond today. The vast coverage of possible violence prior to this event hopefully will scare some off from attending and makes those who do go wary of starting anything. There will be a huge police presence for sure. Personally I’m sick to death of the rants of gun rights activists who insist that they are entitled to own any kind of weapon they want. Their stance of no laws and no regulations on their rights to own and carry guns anywhere is outrageous. The newly elected Democratic majority in the Virginia state legislature can finally make some sensible changes. It won’t be near enough but it’s a start.
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Post by annemarie on Mon 20 Jan 2020, 17:54

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7908405/Norways-government-collapses-decision-allow-ISIS-bride-return-country-Syria.html

[size=34]Norway's government collapses over decision to allow ISIS bride to return to the country from Syria with her children[/size]


  • Prime Minister Erna Solberg said she would endeavour with a minority coalition 

  • ISIS bride, 29, was arrested after flying back to Oslo with two children Saturday

  • She was repatriated on the grounds her five-year-old is seriously ill

  • Progress Party leader said 'the cup is now full' and says his party not consulted


By ROSS IBBETSON FOR MAILONLINE and AP
PUBLISHED: 10:45 EST, 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:33 EST, 20 January 2020

     



Norway's government has collapsed over the decision to allow an ISIS bride to return to the country from Syria with her children. 
The populist Progress Party pulled out of Norway's coalition government today after the mother was permitted repatriation so that her gravely ill five-year-old son could receive medical treatment. 
The 29-year-old and her two children have been living in the Al-Hol camp in Syria - notorious in Britain as the detention centre which held Shamima Begum. 
Prime Minister Erna Solberg said she would forge on with a minority government comprised of her Conservatives, the centrist Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats.
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Prime Minister Erna Solberg, leader of the Conservative Party, speaks on Monday after the populist Progress Party said it would no longer support her government
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The 29-year-old and her two children have been living in the Al-Hol camp in Syria - notorious in Britain as the detention centre which held Shamima Begum (pictured: file photo of women at the Al-Hol camp earlier this month)
Progress Party leader Siv Jensen said that 'the cup is now full' after the decision to allow the woman to return to Norway, on which her anti-immigration party feels it was not consulted.

She added that when Solberg's coalition expanded a year ago to include the liberals and the Christian Democrats, veering more to the centre and becoming a majority government, 'enthusiasm dropped.'
'Over time, politics was too much based on compromises,' said Jensen, who is Norway's outgoing finance minister.
Prime Minister Solberg said she 'understood' why the Progress Party wanted to leave her coalition government, adding she would seek cooperation with the party - which is Norway's third-largest.


Norway's next parliamentary election is scheduled for September 2021.
To stay in office until then and pass legislation in the 169-seat parliament, Solberg needs the support of parties outside the government, including the Progress Party.
The Norwegian woman of Pakistani descent reportedly travelled to Syria in 2013 and married a Norwegian foreign fighter there who was later killed in fighting.
She was formally arrested Saturday upon her return and was placed in an Oslo hospital with both children.
Jensen said many believed that the woman, who has not been named, 'used her child as a shield to come back to Norway.'
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Norway's Progress party leader and Finance Minister Siv Jensen today, she had accused the woman as 'using her child as a shield to come back to Norway'
'There are many ... who are displeased by this, not just in the Progress Party,' Jensen said last week.
The mother, who was not named, refused to let the sick child travel alone to Norway, which then allowed her to travel from the Kurdish-controlled camp at Al-Hol where all three had been detained since March 2019.
'A majority in the government believed that concern for the child was paramount,' Solberg said.
Solberg has been prime minister of the Scandinavian country since 2013 when she formed a coalition with the Progress Party. The parties won renewed support in 2017 elections.

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Post by annemarie on Tue 21 Jan 2020, 11:38

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7910497/Kellyanne-Conway-says-Martin-Luther-King-Jr-OPPOSED-Trumps-impeachment.html

[size=34]Kellyanne Conway says Martin Luther King Jr would be OPPOSED to Trump's impeachment and that the president 'agrees with many of the things' slain civil rights leader stood for[/size]


  • White House counselor Conway made the remarks during an interview on Monday with NBC News

  • Her comment sparked anger on social media, with critics accusing her of 'gross co-option'  

  • President Trump tweeted on Monday that it was 'so appropriate' federal holiday honoring King was marked exactly three years to the day of his inauguration

  • Trump visited the MLK memorial in Washington on Monday after touting low unemployment among African Americans


By ARIEL ZILBER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and GEOFF EARLE, DEPUTY U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 01:56 EST, 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 02:49 EST, 21 January 2020

     




Kellyanne Conway on Monday said that Martin Luther King Jr would be opposed to President Trump's impeachment.
The White House counselor made the remarks as the nation honored the memory of the slain civil rights leader.
Trump's Senate trial starts Tuesday on articles charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
'I've held my opinion on it for a very long time, but when you see the articles of impeachment that came out – I don't think it was Dr. King's vision to have Americans dragged through a process where the president is not going to be removed from office, is not being charged bribery, extortion, high crimes and misdemeanors,' she told NBC News.

'And I think that anybody who cares about "And Justice for All" on today and any day of the year will appreciate the fact that the president now will have a full throttled defense on the facts.'


The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 CyLn5GVQ_normal

NBC News

✔@NBCNews





[ltr]WATCH: Asked about President Trump observing #MLKDay today, Kellyanne Conway discusses MLK's values and the impeachment effort against President Trump.[/ltr]





The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 EOv7lLnXsAIa5FP?format=jpg&name=small



654
2:43 PM - Jan 20, 2020
Twitter Ads info and privacy

[ltr]



1,618 people are talking about this


[/ltr]


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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 23665626-7910497-image-m-104_1579588096033

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Kellyanne Conway (left), a top aide to President Trump, said on Monday that if he were alive today, Dr Martin Luther King Jr (right) would oppose impeachment
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Conway, the White House counselor, said her boss, President Trump (seen above at the White House on Monday) 'agrees with many of the things that Dr. King stood for and agreed with for many years, including unity and equality' 
She also pointed out that Monday was her own birthday.
'I, this morning, was reading some of the lesser-known passages by Dr. King and I appreciate the fact that we as a nation respect him by giving him his own day,' she said. 


'I'm happy to share a birthday with this day.'
Conway also said Trump 'agrees with many of the things that Dr. King stood for and agreed with for many years, including unity and equality. And he's not the one trying to tear the country apart through an impeachment process and the lack of substance that really is very shameful at this point.'
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 23666596-7910497-image-a-111_1579589683319list Jamil Smith tweeted: 'This is so ignorant that it cannot be anything but deliberately cruel. It’s like blackface on Halloween'
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 23666598-7910497-image-a-110_1579589666665


Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter in the Parkland high school shooting, tweeted: 'Message to [Kellyanne Conway], the queen of alternative facts, on her latest moronic comment. Using truly historic figures to support the lawless crook that you work for only reinforces that you are vile, disgusting, and useless.'
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'There are many respectful ways to honor MLK’s legacy on this day, including public service, talking to kids about his ethical principles, and quoting his powerful words to inspire others to improve themselves and lift up others,' tweeted David Priess. 'This is not one of them.'
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One Twitter user posted a meme ridiculing the idea that King would oppose Trump's impeachment
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 23666602-7910497-image-a-107_1579589601412


Another Twitter user wrote: 'MLK Jr is turning in his grave.'
On social media, some did not take too kindly to Conway invoking the memory of King to praise her boss.
'There are many respectful ways to honor MLK’s legacy on this day, including public service, talking to kids about his ethical principles, and quoting his powerful words to inspire others to improve themselves and lift up others,' tweeted David Priess. 
'This is not one of them.'
Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter in the Parkland high school shooting, tweeted: 'Message to [Kellyanne Conway], the queen of alternative facts, on her latest moronic comment. 
'Using truly historic figures to support the lawless crook that you work for only reinforces that you are vile, disgusting, and useless.' 
Journalist Jamil Smith tweeted: 'This is so ignorant that it cannot be anything but deliberately cruel. It’s like blackface on Halloween. 
'You can count on this kind of rubbish every single Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 
'This isn’t merely gross co-option. It angers people, and she knows it.'  
Another Twitter user wrote: 'MLK Jr is turning in his grave.' 
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'It was exactly three years ago today, January 20, 2017, that I was sworn into office,' the president wrote on MLK day, saying it was 'appropriate'
[size=18]President Trump visits Mr. Luther King Jr. monument in DC




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President Trump flashes a thumbs-up at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial Monday
Trump tweeted on Monday that it was 'so appropriate' that the day honoring King falls on the third anniversary of his own inauguration. 
Trump fired off the tweet three years after he warned of 'American carnage' in his inauguration address and then sparred with the press over the size of his crowd.
Hours after his tweet, which drew some criticism online, Trump paid a visit to the King memorial in Washington, D.C. shortly before he was to fly to Davos to attend an economic conference.
'It was exactly three years ago today, January 20, 2017, that I was sworn into office.
'So appropriate that today is also MLK Jr Day. African-American Unemployment is the LOWEST in the history of our Country, by far,' Trump tweeted, citing employment gains during his tenure.
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'So appropriate that today is also MLK jr DAY,' wrote Trump, acknowledging the federal holiday for the slain civil rights leader
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President Trump cited low African-American unemployment during his tenure
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Trump's comment drew criticism online. Steve Vladeck wrote: 'It's MLK Day, so it's time for me to pay tribute to...me'
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Trump and his press team famously fought with the press over the size of his inauguration compared to President Barack Obama, the nation's first black president
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Trump with his father Fred Trump, after graduating from college in 1968, the year King was shot
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U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2020
'Also, best Poverty, Youth, and Employment numbers, ever. Great!'
While Trump has been able to rely on Kellyanne Conway throughout his presidency, her husband is another matter.
George Conway, the conservative lawyer who has emerged on social media as one of Trump's harshest critics, mocked a legal brief assembled by Trump's team of a dozen lawyers in a Washington Post op-ed, writing Trump's defense 'represents an attack on the impeachment process — and on the Constitution itself.' 
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Trump visited the memorial after tweeting about MLK and shortly before he was to leave town for Switzerland

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Post by LizzyNY on Tue 21 Jan 2020, 14:41

Is there no limit to how low they will sink? As much as for drumpf, there is a seat in hell waiting for Kellyanne Conway.
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Post by annemarie on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 16:44

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7916093/She-beat-cover-Time-magazine-Donald-Trump-slaps-Greta-Thunberg-AGAIN.html

[size=34]'She beat me to the cover of Time magazine!' Donald Trump slaps at Greta Thunberg AGAIN saying she should focus on 'other countries' and claiming 'we've got the cleanest water and air in the world'[/size]


  • Donald Trump took another hit at Greta Thunberg during a press conference Wednesday at the World Economic Forum 

  • He slammed the teenage climate activist for making the cover of Time Magazine

  • 'She beat me out on Time Magazine,' Trump said after reporters confirmed to him that she is 17-years-old

  • Thunberg was named Time Magazine's 'Person of the Year' in 2019 

  • Trump graced the cover as 'Person of the Year' after his shocking 2016 presidential victory

  • The president arrived in Switzerland Tuesday for the World Economic Forum 

  • During his first appearance, a speech on the main stage, he went after climate activists for their dire warnings about the 'apocalypse'  

  • Greta Thunberg sat in the audience during his remarks

  • She bookended Trump's appearance and participated in two panel discussions at the Davos summit Tuesday  

  • Thunberg shamed world leaders in her opening appearance saying they've done 'basically nothing' to face the climate challenge 

  • Trump insisted Wednesday that Thunberg should focus on other countries because he claimed the U.S.  has good air and water numbers


By KATELYN CARALLE, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER and NIKKI SCHWAB, SENIOR U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM IN DAVOS, SWITZERLAND
PUBLISHED: 08:28 EST, 22 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:14 EST, 22 January 2020

     





Donald Trump took another hit at Greta Thunberg during his second day at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Wednesday, lamenting that the 17-year-old climate activist made the cover of Time Magazine at a younger age than he did. 
During a press conference Wednesday afternoon from Switzerland, a reporter brought up that Trump has previously said Thunberg needed to work on her 'anger.'
'I didn't say anger, I said anger management,' Trump corrected.
'How old is she?' Trump questioned, ignoring the reporters question on if the U.S. could be doing more to combat climate change, like Thunberg has insisted.

'She's 17,' a bunch of press members shouted out.
'Oh, that's good. She beat me out on Time Magazine,' Trump said.
Thunberg graced the front of Time Magazine as it revealed its coveted 'Person of the Year' in December 2019.
[size=10][size=18]President Trump says Greta Thunberg should focus on other countries




[/size][/size]






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Donald Trump took another hit at teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg during remarks Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
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When reporters confirmed to Trump in a press conference that Thunberg is 17-years-old, he said: 'Oh, that's good. She beat me out on Time Magazine'
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Thunberg was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in December 2019 as it revealed she was named its 'Person of the Year'
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Thunberg (right) also attended the World Economic Forum this week
Thunberg rose to national prominence after her fiery climate activism went viral.
Trump, however, told reporters in Switzerland Wednesday that he doesn't believe her criticism of the U.S. and other developed countries are valid. Instead, he blamed others and said Thunberg should focus on other countries, as well.
'No, I didn't actually,' Trump said regarding Thunberg's message. 'But, I would have loved to have seen her speak. I did not. No, not at all.'
'We want to have the cleanest water on earth, we want to have the cleanest air on earth,' Trump said in touting the U.S. environment. 'Our numbers, as you saw, we had record numbers come out very recently. Our numbers are very, very good. Our environmental numbers, our water numbers, our numbers on air are tremendous.'
'We have to do something about other continents, we have to do something about other countries,' he admitted. 'When we're clean and beautiful and everything's good, but you have another continent where the fumes are rising at levels that you can't believe.'
'I mean, I think Greta ought to focus on those places,' he continued.
'We have a beautiful ocean called the Pacific Ocean, with thousands and thousands of tons of garbage flows toward us – and that's put there by other countries,' he said. 'So, I think Greta has to start working on those other countries.'
Trump called Thunberg 'very angry' in a new interview, after saying climate activists were out-of-touch 'alarmists' and 'heirs of yesterday's fortune tellers' during his appearance Tuesday morning at the World Economic Forum.
Thunberg had been seated in the audience looking on, but Trump told the Wall Street Journal afterward that, 'I don't really know anything about her,' before calling her angry. 
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Trump took to Twitter  in December to bash Time's decision, calling it 'ridiculous' to give Thunberg the honor. Trump was Time's person of the year in 2016 after his shock win of the presidential election  
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Greta Thunberg replied by briefly changing her Twitter bio to mimic the words Trump used in his tweet, calling herself 'A teenager working on her anger management problem' 
Portions of Trump's remarks seemed to be aimed at Thunberg and her supporters.
'This is not a time for pessimism. This is a time for optimism,' Trump said, which was in stark contrast to Thunberg and others, who used the conference to warn that the Australian wildfires and other disasters were only the beginning of the climate chaos that lie ahead. 
To 'embrace the possibilities of tomorrow,' Trump said, 'we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse.' 
'They are the heirs of yesterday's fortune tellers,' Trump stated. 'They predicted an over-population crisis in the 1960s, mass starvation in the 70s, and an end of oil in the 1990s.' 
'These alarmists always demand the same thing - absolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives,' Trump continued. 'We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country or eradicate our liberty.' 
The bulk of Trump's speech was touting the American economy under his leadership, a curtain-raiser as he works more seriously toward his re-election bid. 
Tuesday's speech was also counter-programming with the Senate beginning its impeachment trial of Trump. House Democrats will start making their case as Trump dines with world leaders.  
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President Trump used his appearance at the World Economic Forum to tout the economic gains the U.S. has seen during his administration 
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President Trump gives a wave as he arrives on Air Force One in Zurich, Switzerland
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As President Trump was arriving in Switzerland, Thunberg was making her first of two appearances Tuesday at the World Economic Forum 
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Greta Thunberg bookended President Trump's Davos appearance Tuesday, making two appearances
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At a second appearance in Davos, Greta Thunberg said that while planting trees 'is good, of course' it's 'nowhere good enough to what is needed' 
[size=18]Trump rejects environmental 'prophets of doom' in Davos speech




[/size]





'He has a full day here in Davos, but will be briefed by staff periodically,' White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. 
But thanks to the time difference, the bulk of the Senate proceedings will happen after Trump returns to his hotel, a ripe environment for live-tweeting. 
Trump's day at Davos started with his speech.   
'America's thriving, America's flourishing, and yes America is winning again like never before,' Trump told the crowd. 
His appearance began and ended with polite applause.   
He boasted of the 'blue collar boom' he had brought on, while touting the two trade deals he signed last week, comparing his record to the 'rather dismal state' of the economy under his predecessor, President Obama. 
And while he snarked at climate activists, he said upon entering the forum that he was a 'very big believer in the environment,' and did announce that the U.S. would join the 'One Trillion Trees' initiative taking root at the conference. 
The effort aims to do exactly what it says - plant a trillion trees by 2050. On Wednesday in Davos, environmentalists including the famed Jane Goodall will discuss the program at greater length.  
Trump's arrival in Switzerland early Tuesday morning created a splitscreen moment as Thunberg was making her first of two appearances of the day.  
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President Trump (left) met with Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga (right) Tuesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, Sommaruga had taken the stage to warn the world about climate change, while Trump, minutes later, criticized climate 'alarmists' 
'We are all fighting for the environment and climate. If you see it from a bigger perspective, basically nothing has been done. It will require much more than this. This is just the very beginning,' Thunberg said during an early morning panel discussion. 'I'm not a person that can complain about not being heard,' Thunberg also said at the event, cueing laughs. 
Later, Thunberg gave a more traditional address. 
'One year ago, I said I wanted you to panic,' she said. 'I've been warned that telling people to panic about the climate crisis is a very dangerous thing to do.' 

THE US DELEGATION AT DAVOS  


President Donald J. Trump  
Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross 
Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia 
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer 
Under Secretary for Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach 
Assistant to the President Ivanka Trump
Assistant to the President Jared Kushner 
Assistant to the President Christopher Liddell




'Don't worry, it's fine, trust me, I've done this before and it doesn't lead to anything,' again blasting leaders for not enough action. 
In her remarks, Thunberg also noted that while 'planting trees is good, of course' it's 'nowhere good enough to what is needed.'  
Her remarks were in line with what World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said at the beginning of Tuesday's programming, as he and Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga took the stage before Trump. 
'The world is in a state of emergency and to not act is crazy,' Schwab said. 'The world is on fire,' is how Sommaruga greeted participants.   
Trump has done the opposite of making climate change a priority during his three-year presidency.    
Early on, he pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, while he's deregulated domestic oil and gas. In the past, he's called climate change a Chinese 'hoax,' though he's also touted to supporters that he's an environmentalist because he cares about clean air and clean water. 
Over the past few months, Trump has made Thunberg a target on Twitter.  
Last month, Trump reacted to the teenager being named Time magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' by mocking her serious demeanor. 
Trump shared a congratulatory tweet about Thunberg's win from actress Roma Downey.   
'So ridiculous,' the president responded. 'Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!'   
Thunberg responded by briefly changing her Twitter bio to read: 'A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.' 
Trump had also weighed in September after Thunberg made a passionate plea to world leaders during the United Nations General Assembly to do something about the warming earth. 
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Greta Thunberg's (center) expression when she saw President Trump (left) enter the United Nations in September went viral and became a meme 
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President Trump had also tweeted about Greta Thunberg in September when he mocked her for being hysterical during her address to the United Nations General Assembly 




'I shouldn't be up here,' Thunberg said at the time. 'I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you!' she exclaimed.   
Trump then tweeted a video of Thunberg's speech. 'People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth,' Thunberg had said. 
'She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!' Trump said sarcastically. 
Thunberg changed her Twitter bio then as well, calling herself 'a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.' 
However Thunberg's expression when she saw Trump entering the U.N. the day she gave her speech was not-so-happy. 
The stink eye Thunberg gave the American president went viral online.  
Trump has gotten a mixed reaction on the world stage, including at Davos. 
His criticism of the media during his 2018 appearance elicited a mix of boos and groans from the audience. 
Several months later, during an appearance at the United Nations General Assembly - the gathering where he ran into Thunberg a year later - members of the audience, which included heads of state, laughed out loud at Trump's bombast. 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 23624264-7910785-Preparations_are_being_made_in_Davos_Switzerland_for_the_World_E-a-20_1579603705054

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Preparations are being made in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum's 50th year. President Trump is due at the conference on Tuesday and Wednesday 
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Thousands of people - including heads of state, business leaders and celebrities - descend on Davos, Switzerland every year for the World Economic Forum. President Trump will make his second appearance as president on Tuesday 
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Climate activists march in Switzerland in advance of the World Economic Forum set to kick off Tuesday in Davos, Switzerland 
[size=18]Youth lead charge in protest outside World Economic Forum




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'In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than any administration in the history of out country,' Trump touted to laughter. 
'So true,' he added. 'Didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK.'   
And then there was the incident at the NATO summit where Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was caught on hot mic discussing Trump's behavior at the summit. 
Trudeau was describing to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanual Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte how Trump essentially holds a press conference before his bilateral meetings with world leaders. The group was seen having a laugh. 
Trump called the Canadian PM's behavior 'two-faced.' Trudeau fessed up to it. 
'Last night I made reference to the fact that there was an unscheduled press conference before my meeting with President Trump. I was happy to be part of it but it was certainly notable,' Trudea said in a press conference the next day.  
The moment inspired a 'Saturday Night Live' skit that featured actor Paul Rudd as Macron and Jimmy Fallon as Trudeau, who bully Trump - played by Alec Baldwin - in the U.N. cafeteria - and ask Kate McKinnon's Angela Merkel to sit with them instead. 
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The Trumps had some hiccups on the world stage in 2019, including when the French government showed this clip of Ivanka Trump being snubbed by world leaders including French President Emmanual Macron 
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Another incident, from the NATO summit in December, inspired this 'Saturday Night Live' skit, in which Jimmy Fallon as Justin Trudeau, Paul Rudd as Emmanual Macron and James Corbin as Boris Johnson pick on Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump in the U.N. cafeteria 
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The SNL skit concludes with the leaders taping an 'Impeach Me!!!' sign to Alec Baldwin's back. Trump was impeached later that month and his Senate trial begins Tuesday, the same day he'll give a main stage address at Davos 
[size=18]'You haven't seen anything yet' Greta Thunberg tells world leaders




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The incident also called back to the video shared by the Frech government that showed Ivanka Trump being snubbed by leaders including Macron, Christine Lagarde, who now serves as the president of the European Central Bank, and then-U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. 

WHO IS TRUMP MEETING WITH AT DAVOS


Dr. Barham Salih, President of the Republic of Iraq
Imran Khan of Pakistan, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Confederation
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
Nechirvan Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Regional Government
World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab



As the first daughter tries to engage in the discussion, talking excitedly with her hands, she's largely ignored, the video clip from the July G-20 showed.  
Both Trumps are heading to Davos. 
Merkel and Lagarde will also be on hand.  
Ivanka Trump is a member of the seven-person delegation announced to represent the U.S. at Davos before even the president committed to attend. 
She tweeted about her participation Monday.  
'Headed to Davos to call on the world's largest employers to sign our #PledgetoAmericasWorkers and join us in unleashing the potential of our people and accelerating the historic wave of opportunity, wage growth and job creation in the United States,' Ivanka Trump wrote. 
The president can use the opportunity to steer heads away from the Senate impeachment trial, which will kick off in the hours following his Davos speech. 
Trump is also due to host a dinner and will participate in several bilateral meetings with leaders during his two-day stay in Switzerland. 


He'll have the benefit of not having an awkward run-in with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who dropped out Monday. 
The Iranians are blaming organizers who they claim 'abruptly changed its agenda' for the summit.   
Trump has taken a victory lap for the American drone strike in Iraq that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, a move that brought the countries to the brink of war. 
And while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is attending the conference, he wasn't on the list of leaders Trump planned to meet. 
At the summit Trump will, however, be meeting with Iraqi President Barham Salih and Nechirvan Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government - two important meetings that could impact America's future in the Middle East. 
The White House also announced Monday that Trump would sit down with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Sommaruga, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Schwab.

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Post by LizzyNY on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 17:06

He is such a freakin' hypocrite! From day one of his presidency he's been gutting the EPA and rolling back all kinds of environmental protection laws in order to bolster the fossil fuel industry. Anyone able should donate to the Environmental Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth or any of the other environmental groups that are challenging his disastrous policies in court.

Also, when voting please consider the environmental position of any candidate you are considering supporting. Health and safety have to come before industry profits - as does retraining for workers whose jobs will be lost due to reconfiguring the energy industry.
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Post by party animal - not! on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 10:08

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/23/revealed-the-true-identity-of-the-leader-of-americas-neo-nazi-terror-group

Great reporting


Turns out he's Russian.............

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Post by annemarie on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 14:30

Revealed: the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group
The white supremacist group the Base has been a target of FBI raids and its members accused of planning a race war. The Guardian can now reveal the identity of its secretive leader


The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 Jason-Wilson,-L
Jason Wilson
 @jason_a_w
Thu 23 Jan 2020 20.19 ESTLast modified on Fri 24 Jan 2020 01.00 EST


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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 1500
 Revealed: the founder and leader of the Base, Rinaldo Nazzaro. Photograph: The Villanovan
[size=89]The Guardian has learned the true identity of the leader and founder of the US-based neo-Nazi terror network the Base, which was recently the target of raids by the FBI after an investigation into domestic terrorism uncovered their plans to start a race war.
Members of the group stand accused of federal hate crimes, murder plots and firearms offenses, and have harbored international fugitives in recent months.
The Base’s leader previously operated under the aliases “Norman Spear” and “Roman Wolf”. Members of the network do not know his true identity due to the group’s culture of internal secrecy.
But the Guardian can reveal that “Norman Spear” is in fact US-born Rinaldo Nazzaro, 46, who has a long history of advertising his services as an intelligence, military and security contractor. He has claimed, under his alias, to have served in Russia and Afghanistan.
The revelation of his identity comes after a months-long investigation by the Guardian into Nazzaro and the activities of the Base.

The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 1500

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 The Base’s members stand accused of federal hate crimes. Photograph: Obtained by the Guardian

While Nazzaro’s most recently used address is in New Jersey, there is evidence supporting his claims of being based in Russia, where he lives with his Russian wife.
The Base – which is an approximate English translation of “al-Qaida” – began recruiting in late 2018. The white supremacy group, which has regional and international cells, extols the virtues of an all-out race war while specifically targeting African Americans and Jewish people.
Using encrypted apps, members of the highly organized group planned terror campaigns; vandalized synagogues; established armed training camps and recruited new members.
The US attorney for Maryland, Robert K Hur, speaking after the recent arrest of three members of the Base, said that they “did more than talk – they took steps to act and act violently on their racist views”.

Few traces of him exist anywhere

Rinaldo Nazzaro has maintained a decidedly low profile: he has no visible presence on any major social media platforms, no published writings under his own name, and no profile in local or national media.
Few traces of him exist anywhere, except where a name is required in official business – such as real estate purchases and the registration of companies.
Multiple emails and phone calls to Nazzaro went unanswered.
But through a painstaking investigation involving freedom of information requests, the analysis of material provided to the Guardian by a whistleblower inside the group, and cross-examination of information found online and in databases, the Guardian was able to piece together his identity and some of his whereabouts.

The Guardian was able to unravel Nazzaro’s identity due to his 2018 activities in a remote corner of the Pacific north-west.
In chat rooms hosted by the Base, Nazzaro stressed the importance of in-person meet-ups and required members to attend training camps. The Base’s propaganda videos show young men undergoing combat training together in rural areas.
Last August, an Oregon-based antifascist group, Eugene Antifa, warned that the Base was planning a “hate camp” in the neighboring state of Washington, and claimed Nazzaro (operating under the alias of “Spear”) had purchased land in Stevens county for training purposes. This warning came after a leak of the Base’s internal chats.



Local media outlets picked up the story, which led local law enforcement to urgently seek information on the group.
In emails obtained by the Guardian via public records request, the Stevens county Sheriff, Brad Manke, is seen contacting the FBI and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for advice on the group.
On 20 August 2019, Manke writes to an FBI agent, asking: “Do you have a name for the actual head of the group The Base or the address where the property actually is?”
In a 20 September email responding to an SPLC researcher, Manke writes: “I have since learned that ‘The Base’ has purchased property in Ferry County, WA which is a neighboring county.”
Property record searches revealed that three 10-acre blocks of undeveloped land were purchased in December 2018 for $33,000 in the name of a Delaware LLC called “Base Global”. In a telephone conversation in late November, Manke confirmed that this was the block of land he had been referring to.
In recordings of two internal Base voice calls provided to the Guardian by the source, “Norman Spear” discusses his recent land purchase.

When asked why the land had been inexpensive, he replied: “Because there’s no possibility of getting utilities in there. Ever.” He continued: “But to me, that was a good thing for my purposes. I looked at it like it was just naturally secluded.”
In deeds of sale, the address provided for the company was a New Jersey post office – enough to conceal the purchaser’s identity. But separate tax affidavits associated with the purchase give a different address for Base Global.
That address is for a New Jersey apartment that has belonged to an older family member of Nazzaro since 1998. Nazzaro and his wife have also intermittently resided at that address, according to database searches.
The affidavits are also signed by Nazzaro, and dated “12/21/2018 Republic”. Republic is the seat and the only city in Ferry county, Washington.
According to a source inside the Base, this date coincided with a trip by Russia-based “Norman Spear” to the United States, during which time he had in-person meetings with members of the group.

Speculation that Nazzaro was a federal agent

The location of the land is consistent with “Norman Spear’s” advocacy of a white supremacist strategy called the Northwest Territorial Imperative (NTI), which was promoted by the deceased white supremacist Harold Covington.
The strategy argues for the creation of a separatist ethnostate in the Pacific north-west and encourages white supremacists to move to the region.
In one of “Norman Spear’s” first public appearances, on a far-right podcast recorded in December 2017, he was introduced as a Northwest Front (another white supremacist separatist group) organizer and went on to spell out a four-state plan culminating in “achieving independence, realizing the ultimate goal which is an independent nation state in the Pacific north-west, an ethnostate”.
The plan, he said, would trigger the relocation to the Pacific north-west of the white population in the United States.
Around the same time, “Spear” filmed a series of short instructional presentations on the tactics and strategy of guerrilla warfare. In an archive of those videos on the far-right site Bitchute, he is identified as “Defense Studies expert and former CIA field intelligence officer Norman Spear”.
This detail, coupled with other leads, compelled many to speculate whether “Norman Spear” was, in fact, a federal agent operating inside the Base.
The Base has emerged at a time when far-right organizing is on the rise in the US. Last year saw a spate of terror attacks by white supremacists. In August, the gunman who killed 22 people at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, is believed to have posted a white nationalist manifesto online prior to the attack.

In April, an attacker who killed one person after opening fire inside a San Diego synagogue killing posted a note online citing white supremacy influences and naming the gunman who killed 51 in an attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, as an inspiration.
“We have a significant increase in racially motivated violent extremism in the United States and, I think, a growing increase in white nationalism and white supremacy extremist movements,” Jay Tabb, the head of national security for the FBI, said at an event in Washington recently.
Under the motto “there is no political solution”, the Base embraces an “accelerationist” ideology, which holds that acts of violence and terror are required in order to push liberal democracy towards collapse, preparing the way for white supremacists to seize power and institute an ethnostate.
Members remained defiant following the arrest of seven alleged members of the group in mid-January, calling it “an unjust political witch hunt” from the “Liberal Globalist System”.

Was the Base a honeypot designed to entrap people?

Beginning in 2009 and until as late as 2019, Nazzaro billed himself as an intelligence expert working with various government and military agencies.
Nazzaro is the principal of an LLC called Omega Solutions International (OSI), a company offering a range of intelligence and security contracting.
Its website, which was removed from the Internet some time after August 2019, boasted of the firm’s “experience conducting intelligence analysis for government agencies, military organizations, and private businesses”, as well as access to a network of seasoned security professionals with expertise in counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, homeland security, hostage rescue/negotiations, psychological operations, and more.
The firm also has a Cage Code, which is an administrative requirement for military and government contractors.
Materials inspected and sources consulted by the Guardian indicate that Nazzaro, as “Spear”, has faced persistent suspicions from current and former members of the group that he is a “fed”, or the agent of a foreign government, or that the Base is a “honeypot” intended to lure neo-Nazis out into the open for the benefit of law enforcement agencies.
Former members have cited this as a reason for leaving.

A connection with Russia

New York marriage records show that Nazzaro and his wife were married in New York City in 2012, during the period when Nazzaro is recorded as maintaining a midtown Manhattan address. At that time, he was recorded as having one child.

A Russian site that scrapes and archives social media accounts had captured a profile, and photos, posted by Nazzaro’s Russian-born wife to VK, the Russian social media site.

The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 3024

Facebook[url=https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Revealed%3A the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fworld%2F2020%2Fjan%2F23%2Frevealed-the-true-identity-of-the-leader-of-americas-neo-nazi-terror-group%3FCMP%3Dshare_btn_tw%26page%3Dwith%3Aimg-3%23img-3]Twitter[/url][url=http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?description=Revealed%3A the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fworld%2F2020%2Fjan%2F23%2Frevealed-the-true-identity-of-the-leader-of-americas-neo-nazi-terror-group%3Fpage%3Dwith%3Aimg-3%23img-3&media=https%3A%2F%2Fmedia.guim.co.uk%2Fceec33bdaee6ce7e97462aab19e983d1680cf6a7%2F0_0_3024_4032%2F3024.jpg]Pinterest[/url]
 An early photograph of Nazzaro, dated 1994. Photograph: The Villanovan
She has since hidden that profile, but other social media archives confirm the prior existence of an account in Nazzaro’s wife’s name (using her married name).
The photographs show the same person who has been presenting himself as “Norman Spear”.

Meanwhile, a reverse image search yielded a photograph matching public photos of “Norman Spear” atop advertisements for English lessons in St Petersburg, Russia.
The Guardian was only able to find one earlier photograph attached to his real name. It appeared above a vox pop in the Villanovan, the student paper of Catholic, Pennsylvania-based Villanova University, in 1994.
At the time of the photograph, “Ron Nazzaro” was described as a junior in philosophy, which is consistent with a 1973 birthdate. A source who has met “Spear” in person believes that the 1994 photo of Nazzaro is the same person he met.
A “Rinaldo Nazzaro” is also identified as a class of 1991 alumnus and donor of the prestigious New Jersey Catholic prep school the Delbarton School.
Nazzaro’s approximate age, his Italian heritage, his family’s New Jersey location, his background in “counter-intelligence”, the nationality of his spouse, and the number of his children were relayed to the Guardian as characteristics of “Norman Spear” by an internally placed source.

‘I am on the terrorism watchlist’

Richard Tobin, a Base member, is awaiting trial in New Jersey over allegations that he coordinated the September vandalism of synagogues in Michigan and Wisconsin. In a December custody hearing, the prosecuting assistant US attorney cited Tobin’s self-professed belief that “Norman Spear” was a Russian spy.
The Guardian has discovered that all of the business addresses associated with Nazzaro’s OSI LLCs are “virtual offices”. This describes a situation where a second company provides a business address, and sometimes meeting rooms and greeting services, for businesses who do not wish to maintain their own premises.
The addresses are often prestigious: OSI’s virtual address locations include Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and K Street in Washington DC, an address associated with federal government contracting and lobbying.

Meanwhile, “Norman Spear” appears to have had no extended history in the neo-Nazi movement before emerging as leader of the Base.
According to an internally placed source, the only people within the movement who vouched for “Spear” were connected to the Northwest Front (NWF). The NWF founder, Harold Covington, was himself the subject of persistent rumors within the white nationalist movement that he was a federal informant, and that NWF was itself a honeypot – a front organization routinely used by US law enforcement in order to entrap people.
“Norman Spear” has told Base members that he remains in Russia. Law enforcement sources have indicated on background that Nazzaro is believed by some agencies to be working for the Russian government.

The US government may have been monitoring “Norman Spear’s” activities for some time. In the April conversation planning a meetup in July, “Spear” was concerned that he would not be able to attend.
“I have confirmed that I am on the FBI terrorism watch list. I mean, that doesn’t really matter in the context of the training. What matters is that I’m on it.”
The Guardian’s investigation of the group continues.[/size]

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Post by LizzyNY on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 15:11

Wouldn't it be lovely if they all did move to one place and then we could build drumpf's wall around them and keep them in their little white world forever? Maybe drumpf and his kids would like to join them, too. - Hey! Maybe they could all go live in MarALago and we could build a wall around that! Idea
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Post by annemarie on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 15:19

Lovely dream Lizzy.

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Post by annemarie on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 15:25

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7925203/US-testing-12-patients-deadly-coronavirus-including-Texas-M-University-student.html

[size=34]Woman in Chicago diagnosed with coronavirus - making it the second case in the US - as another 12 people with symptoms are tested while 43 who came into contact with US patient zero are being monitored[/size]


  • Health officials are testing 12 people across the country for the coronavirus

  • This includes two students, one at Texas A&M University who traveled to Wuhan, where the virus originated, and another at Tennessee Tech

  • Doctors revealed 43 people came into contact with US patient zero, who is being quarantined in Washington state

  • So far, 894 people have fallen ill across the globe and 26 people have died 

  • The US State Department issued a Level 4 Do Not Travel warning, its strongest travel alert only issued for places such as North Korea and Iran 


By MARY KEKATOS FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 08:29 EST, 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:17 EST, 24 January 2020

     





The second case of deadly coronavirus has been confirmed in the US, health officials say.
 
US health officials are testing 12 patients across the country for the deadly coronavirus that has been spreading worldwide.
This includes two students, one at Texas A&M University, who had traveled from Wuhan, China - where the virus originated - and another student at Tennessee Tech University.

Several people in California, particlarly in Alameda County and the Bay Area, are also being examined to see if they have the virus that resembles SARS.
So far, 894 people people have fallen ill since December, mostly in China. As of Friday, 26 people have died. 
It comes on the heels of doctors revealing 43 people came into contact with US patient zero who is being quarantined in Washington state.
Additionally, the US announced it is pulling most of its diplomats and their families from the consulate general in Wuhan and the State Department issued its strongest travel advisory warning of Level 4: Do Not Travel reserved for countries such as North Korea and Iran.
And a report written by researchers from England, Scotland and Florida and shared with DailyMail.com has predicted that as many as 350,000 people may be infected just in Wuhan by the beginning of February.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEOS 
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US health officials are testing 12 patients across the country for the new, mysterious coronavirus that has been spreading across the globe. Pictured: Travelers with masks at LAX
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One person being tested is a male student at Texas A&M University (pictured), who traveled to Wuhan, where the virus originated
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Another being tested is a student at Tennessee Tech University (pictured) who had a 'concerning' travel history, health officials said 
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Health officials are testing 'a number of cases' in California as well as 43 people who came into contact with the case in Washington state
[size=10][size=18]Alarming footage reportedly shows China hospital overrun by patients




Loa
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Brazos County Health District officials said that the Texas A&M student had 'mild' symptoms that resembled the coronavirus.
Results of tests will be announced to the public if the patient tests positive for coronavirus.
Officials said the patient is currently being kept isolated at home and that it is safe for student to attend classes. 
'This patient did travel to the area of concern in China within the last 14 days and thankfully had mild upper respiratory symptoms, and he was improving,' said Dr Eric Wilke with the Brazos County Health Department.


'I believe the time the patient presented at the emergency department, it was more out of concern,' said Dr. Eric Wilke with the Brazos County Health Department. 

WHEN ARE PATIENTS  CONTAGIOUS? 


CDC officials are not 100 percent clear on when coronavirus patients are contagious but have said they suspect an incubation period of two to 14 days from exposure. 
Officials have warned that patients are most contagious after they begin showing symptoms but the disease can spread at a 'much lower rate' when asymptomatic.  
In the case of the Washington state man, experts say he was unlikely to have transmitted the disease to anyone because he sought treatment immediately after showing symptoms. 




Meanwhile, the Tennessee Department of Health said they decided to test the student because had 'very mild symptoms' and had a recent concerning travel history that met the criteria for testing.
No results have been confirmed and the student is being kept in isolation. 
Los Angeles International Airport was also on high alert after a passenger who arrived on Wednesday was sent to hospital after he or she appeared to be ill.
The unnamed passenger arrived on an American Airlines flight from Mexico City around 7pm, reported CBS Los Angeles.
However, it remains unclear if the passenger is from Mexico City, or if they originated from another city. 
The patient being treated in Washington state is also being kept in quarantine at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, outside of Seattle.
First reported in China in December 2019, the strain, known as 2019-nCov, is believed to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at a seafood market in Wuhan, a city 700 miles south of the capital of Beijing.
While preliminary research suggests the virus was passed to humans from snakes, Chinese health officials reported this week that some cases have been caused by human-to-human transmission increasing the risk of it spreading.
[size=18]China locks down 10 cities as coronavirus death toll rises




Loade
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Arriving passengers from Asia, airline staff and airport staff at the Los Angeles International Airport take precautionary measures donning face masks 
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So far, there are at least 850 cases confirmed worldwide, reaching as far as the US 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 23776006-7919851-Experts_say_the_difficulty_of_containing_the_coronavirus_is_that-a-32_1579801663042

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Experts say the difficulty of containing the coronavirus is that so many patients have mild, cold-like symptoms and don't realize they have the infection – but it can quickly turn deadly
[size=18]Hazmat team treat person who collapsed after coronavirus outbreak




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In one example, one doctor and 13 nurses who were treating a neurosurgery patient unknown to be carrying the virus were all infected by it.
Aside from China, cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and the US.  
Cases are also suspected in Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines, the UK and Australia. 
Other developments in the outbreak today include: 


  • Chinese New Year celebrations planned for this weekend have been canceled in Beijing and Hong Kong 
  • An estimated 897 people around the world have been infected with coronavirus and 26 have died 
  • Japan confirmed its second case and a fifth patient has been diagnosed in Thailand 
  • Footage has emerged reportedly showing military personnel guarding a train station
  • Videos from inside hospitals show patients crammed into overcrowded corridors and laid on the floor 
  • Photos have emerged of Chinese construction workers starting urgent building of a new hospital in Wuhan 


The Wuhan coronavirus is believed to be milder than its cousin, SARS, and it takes longer for symptoms to appear. 
Almost all deaths of the Wuhan coronavirus occurred among older males who had pre-existing conditions.
There is no cure for the new virus or vaccine to prevent it, and the National Institutes of Health says research to develop a vaccine is in 'very preliminary stages.'
 

 EXPERTS FEAR IT'S TOO LATE FOR A LOCKDOWN OF CHINA
China has been taking unprecedented measures in an effort to stop the new coronavirus from spreading, but experts fear it may be too late.
On Thursday, authorities announced that planes, trains and buses leaving Wuhan were canceled. Tollways on roads out of the city were also shut down. 
Additionally, all public transportation within the city would be suspended, including buses, subways and ferries.
China has also closed several tourism attractions and cultural sites including Beijing's Forbidden City, which saw 19 million visitors last year.
City authorities also canceled Lunar New Year events in the nation's capital as well as temple fairs 'to strengthen prevention and support'.   
With the deadly virus reaching so many cities in China and so many countries abroad in such a short time frame, many fear measures came too little too late.
'I think we have passed the golden period of control and prevention,' Guan Yi, an expert on viruses at Hong Kong University, told Agence France-Presse.  
Yi, who left Wuhan ahead of the lockdown, said many people left ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, which began Friday.
He says many residents could have been incubating the virus 'on their way out of Wuhan.'

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Post by annemarie on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 18:29

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7923533/Moment-Iowa-dad-gets-heated-row-Elizabeth-Warren-student-loan-forgiveness-plan.html

[size=34]Moment Iowa dad gets into a heated row with Elizabeth Warren over her student loan forgiveness plan, telling the candidate people who have already paid for their kids' tuition will be getting 'screwed'[/size]


  • Tense encounter took place after Warren campaign event in Grimes on Monday 

  • Unidentified man approached senator and confronted her about her debt plan 

  • Man said Warren plan to forgive student loan debt would 'screw' people like him 

  • He told Warren he worked hard and saved money to pay for his child's college

  • Man then accused Warren of 'laughing' at him before he angrily walked away

  • Warren wants to wipe out $640billion of student debt 


By ARIEL ZILBER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 23:30 EST, 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 07:52 EST, 24 January 2020

     



Video has emerged showing Senator Elizabeth Warren on Monday being confronted by a man who says her plan to forgive student loan debt would be unfair to people like him who worked hard to pay off what they owed.
The encounter took place during a Warren campaign stop in Grimes, Iowa.
After the event, Warren greeted well-wishers who waited to shake her hand on the ‘selfie line.’
At one point, a man who appeared in his 40s or 50s stepped up a few feet from Warren and demanded to get his money back after paying off his daughter’s student loans.

[size=10][size=18]Man yells at Elizabeth Warren for wanting to forgive student debt




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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 23805092-7923533-image-m-26_1579839165689

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A man (right) approached Senator Elizabeth Warren in Grimes, Iowa, on Monday after a campaign event to confront her about her plan to forgive student debt
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 23805090-7923533-image-m-28_1579839238941

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The man angrily confronted Warren, saying people like him who paid for their children's college were getting 'screwed'
‘My daughter is in school, I saved all my money just to pay student loans, can I have my money back?’ the man says to Warren.
The senator from Massachusetts replies: ‘Of course not.’


The man then says: ‘So you’re going to pay for people who didn’t save any money, and those of us that did the right thing get screwed?’
He went on: ‘My buddy had fun, bought a car, went on vacation.
‘I saved my money. He made more than I did. I worked a double shift working to get extra money.’
Warren says something inaudible to the man, who in turn accuses the senator of laughing at him.
‘You’re laughing at me,’ he said.
‘No I’m not,’ she answered
The senator then shook the man’s hand before he angrily stormed off.
‘I appreciate your time,’ Warren told him before she continued to meet her other supporters on the ‘selfie line.’
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Warren is proposing a plan that would wipe out student loan debt for 95 per cent of borrowers. She is seen above in Grimes, Iowa, on Monday
Last summer, the senator introduced legislation that would wipe out $640billion of student debt.
Under Warren’s plan, student loan borrowers who earn $100,000 or less of gross household income would receive up to $50,000 of debt forgiveness.
Borrowers who earn between $100,000 and $250,000 would receive proportionally less in loan forgiveness - every $3 of income over $100,000 would reduce the cancellation amount by $1.
Those who earn more than $250,000 would not be eligible to receive any debt forgiveness.
Any who received federal student loans would qualify for forgiveness while private student loan borrowers would also be eligible - though they would need to first refinance their private debt into a federal student loan.
Warren has suggested that the plan be funded by a 2 per cent ‘wealth tax’ on those who have a net worth above $50million.
Senator Bernie Sanders has a competing plan that would forgive all outstanding student loan debt regardless of a borrower’s income. 
Warren's plan would provide debt relief for 95 per cent of those who owe money.
The leading Democrat in the race for the nomination, Joe Biden, announced details of his own proposal to tackle student debt.
Under Biden's plan, those who earn $25,000 or less per year will not owe any payments on their undergraduate federal student loans and also won’t accrue any interest on those loans. 
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The top three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination all have competing plans to forgive student loan debt. Warren is seen far left alongside former Vice President Joe Biden (center) and Senator Bernie Sanders (far right) in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 14
Everyone else would pay 5 per cent of their discretionary income (income minus taxes and essential spending like housing and food) over $25,000 toward their loans. 
Those who have kept up on their payments after 20 years would see their debts 100 per cent forgiven, according to the plan.
Biden leads both Warren and Sanders as well as other candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, though the senator from Vermont and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are gaining momentum
According to a Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll released on Thursday, 24 per cent of registered Democrats and independents supported Biden, while 20 per cent backed Sanders and 12 per cent said they would vote for Warren.
Another 10 per cent supported Bloomberg, 7 per cent picked former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana and 3 per cent backed Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Biden, who served two terms with former President Barack Obama, has consistently received the largest amount of support since he entered the race last year. 
Yet he has not distanced himself from the pack as a clear front-runner for the nomination.

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Post by party animal - not! on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 20:42

Is it me?

He could save the money or use it for a million other things couldn't he?

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Post by LizzyNY on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 22:34

PAN - Who? I'm confused.
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Post by party animal - not! on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 23:44

Oh, sorry. Lizzy. The guy saying he's saved for his daughter's university degree. Unless it's something he's already paid for, why is he upset if she makes university degrees affordable?

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Post by annemarie on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 23:53

He already paid which was his choice.

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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 00:12

Yep, so basically is he resentful that the system might change and some of the debt would be written off which would benefit future generations?


Last edited by party animal - not! on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 00:17; edited 1 time in total

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Post by annemarie on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 00:16

Yes he is.

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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 01:53

PAN - That's exactly right. He's annoyed that he  had to work hard to pay for his daughter to go to college and now someone else might have it easier than he did. Just a bit of jealousy in action.
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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 02:07

This is awful

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-51243888

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Post by annemarie on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 10:23

Iran raid left '34 US troops with traumatic brain injuries'

  • 24 January 2020



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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 P080b9gj




[size=13]Media captionInside the US base attacked by Iranian missiles

The Pentagon has said that 34 US troops were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) following an Iranian attack on their base in Iraq.
Seventeen troops are still under medical observation, a spokesman said.
President Donald Trump had said no Americans were injured in the 8 January strike, which came in retaliation for the US killing of an Iranian general.
Mr Trump had cited the supposed lack of injuries in his decision not to strike back against Iran.
But last week, the Pentagon said 11 service members had been treated for concussion symptoms from the attack.
Asked about the apparent discrepancy this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Trump said: "I heard that they had headaches, and a couple of other things, but I would say, and I can report, it's not very serious."
"I don't consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries I have seen," he said when asked about possible TBIs.
The Pentagon says no Americans were killed in the Iranian missile strike on the Ain al-Asad base, with most sheltering in bunkers as missiles rained down.
[/size]

  • What is the future of US troops in Iraq?
  • Huge rally as Iraqis demand US troops pull out
  • Iran attacks base once known as 'Camp Cupcake'

[size]
On Friday, defence department spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters that eight of the affected soldiers have been sent back to the US for further treatment, while another nine are being treated in Germany.
Sixteen troops were treated in Iraq and one in Kuwait before all 17 were returned to active duty, officials say.
Mr Hoffman added that the US Defence Secretary Mark Esper had not immediately been aware of the injuries in the days after the attack.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 _110441628_al_asad_damage_sat_640-ncThe Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 _109028083_1px_white_line-nc
Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, a non-profit organisation, slammed the Trump administration for taking so long to reveal the extent of casualties.
"This is a big deal," its founder Paul Rieckhoff tweeted. "The American people must be able to trust the government to share information about our sons and daughters in harms way. Nothing is more serious and sacred."
TBIs are common in warzones, according to the US military.
The most common cause of a TBI for deployed soldiers is an explosive blast, writes the US Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.
They are classified as mild, moderate, severe or penetrating. A mild TBI is also known as a concussion, and can be caused by a blast's "atmospheric over-pressure followed by under-pressure or vacuum".
The air vacuum is capable of penetrating solid objects, making it possible for soldiers to avoid blunt force trauma but still receive an invisible brain injury.
On Friday, tens of thousands of Iraqis protested in the streets Baghdad against the presence of some 5,000 foreign troops in the country.
The Iraqi parliament has urged all foreign fighters - including from the US - to leave.[/size]

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Post by annemarie on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 10:25

Trump lied and said there were no injuries.

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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 15:41

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUrAQFbaZwo

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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 20:12

For anyone who despairs of things in the US ever getting any better, this might offer a small ray of hope: Daniel Dietrich's "Hymn for the 81%" on YouTube. It's brilliant!
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Post by annemarie on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 20:02

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7935317/Justices-allow-enforcement-new-green-card-rule.html

[size=34]Supreme Court rules Donald Trump's administration CAN deny green cards to immigrants if they will be 'public charges' by using Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers[/size]


  • 'Public charge' crackdown reached the Supreme Court which voted 5-4 on conservative-liberal lines that it could go ahead

  • Green card applicants can be denied permanent resident status if they are or will become 'public charges'

  • Trump administration has dramatically expanded the criteria for deciding who is or will become a public charge

  • Now immigrants who are deemed likely to use Medicaid, food stamps or housing vouchers in the future can have green card applications turned down  


By ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 13:37 EST, 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:40 EST, 27 January 2020

     





A divided Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to put in place a policy connecting the use of public benefits with whether immigrants could become permanent residents.
The new policy can be used to deny green cards to immigrants over their use of public benefits including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers, as well as other factors.
The justices' order came by a 5-4 vote and reversed a ruling from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that had kept in a place a nationwide hold on the policy following lawsuits that have been filed against it.
The court's four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, would have prevented the policy from taking effect.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 23946412-7935317-image-a-11_1580153983229

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Boost: The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow a Trump administration crackdown to prevent people who might become 'public charges' getting green cards
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The justices' order came by a 5-4 vote and reversed a ruling from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that had kept in a place a nationwide hold on the policy following lawsuits that have been filed against it.
Federal appeals courts in San Francisco and Richmond, Virginia, had previously overturned trial court rulings against the policy. An injunction in Illinois remains in effect, but applies only to that state.

The lawsuits will continue, but immigrants applying for permanent residency must now show they wouldn't be public charges, or burdens to the country.
The new policy significantly expands what factors would be considered to make that determination, and if it is decided that immigrants could potentially become public charges at any point in the future, that legal residency could be denied.
Roughly 544,000 people apply for green cards annually. According to the government, 382,000 are in categories that would make them subject to the new review.
Immigrants make up a small portion of those getting public benefits, since many are ineligible to get them because of their immigration status.
In a separate opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch urged his colleagues to confront the 'real problem' of so-called nationwide injunctions, orders issued by a single judge that apply everywhere. In this case, even though the administration won rulings in two different appellate courts covering 14 states, its policy could not take effect.
'What in this gamesmanship and chaos can we be proud of?' Gorsuch wrote in an opinion joined by Justice Clarence Thomas.


Share or comment on this article: 


Donald Trump's administration CAN deny green cards to immigrants if they will be 'public charges'

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Post by annemarie on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 12:43

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7941013/Pastor-says-believes-coronavirus-plague-sent-God-purge-lot-sin-planet.html

[size=34]Pastor says coronavirus is a 'plague sent by God to purge a lot of sin off this planet' and blames parents 'transgendering children' for the outbreak[/size]


  • Pastor Rick Wiles says he believes the coronavirus was sent by God to purge sin

  • 'My spirit bears witness that this is a genuine plague that’s coming upon the Earth. And God is about to purge a lot of sin off this planet,' he said 

  • Wiles blames 'sexual immorality' and 'filth on TVs and in movies' as being linked to the outbreak which has already killed 131 and infected more than 5,500 

  • Wiles believes that Christians who are devoted to Jesus are immune to the virus


By JAMES GORDON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM 
PUBLISHED: 22:32 EST, 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 07:38 EST, 29 January 2020

     







A right-wing evangelical pastor has claimed the coronavirus is God's 'death angel' and says parents 'transgendering little children' and 'the filth on our TVs and our movies' are to blame for the outbreak.
Christian Pastor Rick Wiles, who is the creator of the TruNews streaming channel, described China as having a 'godless communist government,' in an attempt to explain why the country had been hit so badly by the virus.
He noted, 'plagues are one of the last steps of judgment' and warned Americans to 'get right with God.' 
The deadly coronavirus has left 131 people dead, with confirmed infections at around 5,568 across the world.  
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Pastor Rick Wiles says he believes the coronavirus was sent by God to purge sin. 'My spirit bears witness that this is a genuine plague that’s coming upon the Earth. And God is about to purge a lot of sin off this planet,' he said

pfaw Privacy Policy

The virus has spread across China and to at least 16 countries globally.
Five people have been confirmed to have the virus in the United States. All of those infected had all recently returned from Wuhan. 
The new coronavirus is thought to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at a seafood market in Wuhan.
On Tuesday, China agreed for WHO to send international experts to the country as soon as possible to help understand the virus and guide global response efforts. 
Wile addressed the deadly outbreak in his evening broadcast on Monday, saying: 'Look at the spiritual rebellion that is in this country, the hatred of God, the hatred of the Bible, the hatred of righteousness.
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A number of people posting on Twitter appeared to be appalled by Pastor Wiles' sentiments 
'Just vile, disgusting people in this country now, transgendering little children, perverting them. Look at the rapes, and the sexual immorality, and the filth on our TVs and our movies.
'Folks, the Death Angel may be moving right now across the planet. This is the time to get right with God.' 
In comments that were first noted by Right Wing Watch, Wiles said that his 'spirit bears witness that this is a genuine plague that is coming upon the Earth, and God is about to purge a lot of sin off this planet.' 
The Pastor has previously called President Barack Obama a 'demon from Hell' and warned 'there's gonna be violence' if President Donald Trump is removed from office.
In comments that have been described as anti-Semitic, he recently described President Trump's impeachment as 'a Jew coup' planned by 'a Jewish cabal'. 




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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 24013932-7941013-image-a-25_1580267941927

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People line up to receive free face masks to protect themselves against the Wuhan coronavirus which has killed 
TruNews was founded by Wiles as an online radio program in 1999 called America’s Hope.
Wiles has a history of spreading conspiracy theories and warning of an imminent apocalypse.

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Post by annemarie on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 10:14

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7940925/Health-care-America-For-one-family-300-000-debt-nightmare.html\

[size=34]Parents left with more than $300,000 in medical bills for 140 surgeries to drain fluid from their 24-year-old daughter's brain are told to 'get a DIVORCE' so she'll be covered by insurance[/size]


  • Olivia Maccoux, 24, was born premature and with a hydroencephalitis

  • The rare condition causes excess fluid to build up on on the brain 

  • If untreated, it can place too much pressure on and damage the brain 

  • Olivia has had more than 140 surgeries in her 24 years of life 

  • Her parents Dan and Cathy, who live outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, now face $300,000 in debt racked up caring for Olivia 

  • Their youngest daughter Traci, was also recently diagnosed with a rare chronic pain condition 

  • Friends have suggested Dan and Cathy divorce to get Cathy cheaper public health insurance, but the couple says they have 'never considered it' 


By AFP
PUBLISHED: 20:46 EST, 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 00:22 EST, 30 January 2020

     





Since birth, a Minneapolis 24-year-old Minneapolis woman has been in and out of hospitals, undergoing more than 140 surgeries to manage the fluid the builds up around her brain. 
And, with each surgery, Olivia Maccoux's parents, Dan and Cathy, have collected another photo of her in the hospital, another jaw-droppingly steep medical bill. 
Now the family has racked up $300,000 in crippling debt, the effectively non-negotiable price for their youngest daughter's survival and health. 
Changes brought to the American healthcare system by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped ensure that Olivia was covered by insurance despite her pre-existing condition.

But on the other hand, it sent her parents premiums sky-rocketing, leaving the Maccoux family in a conundrum familiar to 41 percent of Americans who live in the shadow of towering medical debt.  
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Olivia, Cathy and Dan Maccoux sit around the dining table in the family's Minneapolis home
The Maccoux family receive visitors to their beautiful home in a Minneapolis suburb with an infectious warmth that belies the fact their youngest daughter Olivia has had more than 140 brain surgeries, all by the age of 24.
Mom Cathy smiles tenderly as she scrolls through photos of Olivia on hospital beds at various ages, from a baby to toddler to a teen.
'That's just a hole in her skull from one of the shunts, isn't that crazy?' she says.


And dad, Dan, is close to laughing as he reads from bills sprawled out on a table cataloguing medical costs going back to 1996 - including parking tickets and hospital meals.
'Very surprisingly, very few people have a love of records,' says the 57-year-old independent consultant in the semiconductor industry.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 24052670-7940925-image-a-15_1580338543533
Olivia, 24, has had to have more than 140 surgeries, but she's recently graduated college and is managing her condition 
The family's case is a telling illustration of the flaws of the US health care system, which Democratic candidates for the White House have promised to overhaul or scrap ahead of their first primary contests in February.
Despite spending the most on health care in the world, 27.5 million Americans are without any health insurance.
And for the 'lucky' insured, sky high costs can lead many to bankruptcy, or as in the case of the Maccoux, indebted for life.
Olivia was born three months early, which is at the root of her misfortunes.
She has a rare condition called hydrocephalus, meaning fluids build up in the cavities of her brain that require valves and catheters to drain down toward the abdomen.
But the devices have needed to be changed dozens of times - not to say anything of the epilepsy she experiences, among several other neurological conditions.
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Cathy shared photos of Olivia on hospital beds at various ages
'I grew up with no hair,' Olivia says of her childhood.
But the Maccoux family are fortunate in one respect: Dan has a six figure income, and has always had health insurance.
When he worked for a company, his insurance coverage was 'gold,' he says.
The problem is that in the US, coverage rarely covers 100 percent of people's needs. The system is largely privatized, and reimbursements to patients depend on negotiations between a hospital or pharmacy and the insurer.
The level of reimbursement varies from case to case. There are different levels of 'deductibles' - the amount paid by the patient before the insurance kicks in, as well as 'copays,' the fixed amount of out-of-pocket costs for doctor visits or drugs once the deductible has been met.
'It was the copays I think that killed us because we had so many appointments,' said Cathy. 'We were drowning for a while because it was just constant, constant.'
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But the Maccoux family are fortunate in one respect: Dan has a six figure income, and has always had health insurance
Dan sat with an AFP team and added up the columns on spreadsheets he has used to calculate costs since 2005, the year he began documenting expenses in detail (before that, he has estimates).
Across a total of 15 years, it came to $100,000 for out-of-pocket costs, $22,000 for prescription co-pays, $15,000 for meals during hospitalization...with provider co-pays and parking thrown in, totaling $192,000.
From 1996 to 2004, he estimates the costs were around $130,000 - with the two figures combining to around $322,000.
'Considering the catastrophe, we did relatively good,' said Dan. 
'We probably had a couple dozen times where a provider turned it over to a debt collector and those situations were probably the hardest to deal with.'
The house in which they live has served as a piggy bank for their debts: the family has borrowed money by remortgaging it, a permanent financial juggle.
In 2001, their woes multiplied when their second youngest, Traci was diagnosed at the age of 11 with complex regional pain syndrome, a rare affliction that started in her leg and spread to her arms (their eldest, Amanda, is fine).
The family has on occasion turned to GoFundMe to raise money for the two; the platform has become indispensable for Americans trapped in medical debt.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 24035836-7940925-Olivia_Maccoux_24_was_born_three_months_early_which_is_at_the_ro-a-11_1580329063653

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Olivia Maccoux, 24, was born three months early, which is at the root of her misfortunes
'We've had people tell us you should get a divorce,' said Cathy, as a financial strategy. Under this plan, she would have taken custody of the children and, without being employed, would have benefited from public coverage.
The couple never considered it.
Obamacare, the insurance reforms enacted by former president Barack Obama in 2010, helped the family by removing lifetime caps previously imposed by insurance companies on their payouts.
It also prevented insurers from refusing patients coverage on the basis of having a pre-existing conditions - something that would have made the family pariahs when Dan left his company and went freelance.
In the last few years, things have improved markedly, said Dan. 
Olivia and Traci are still sick, but have successfully moved to state health insurance, a more comprehensive package that reduces the burden of out-of-pocket costs on the family.
Olivia finished college last year. 'Neurologically I'm doing a lot better,' she said.
But the system isn't finished yet with her parents. 
While Obamacare helped the family in some ways, it also sent their insurance premiums soaring. 
For this year, Dan and Cathy are paying $1,261 a month. Any reimbursements won't kick-in until they reach their annual deductible of $6,400 each.
'We all have to laugh,' said Dan. While his friends are discussing their retirement plans, 'I'm like, I'll never be able to retire!'

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Post by annemarie on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 19:12

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7948645/Kellyanne-Conway-says-Donald-Melania-Trump-reasons-American-life-expectancy-going-up.html

[size=34]Kellyanne Conway says Donald and Melania Trump are the reasons for American life expectancy going up - and drug overdoses going down for first time in decades[/size]


  • Kellyanne Conway held White House briefing - the first in 325 days - to hail new higher life expectancy and lower drug overdose statistics

  • She credited the Trump family saying president and first lady lead 'whole government approach to treat the whole person'

  • The new life expectancy for someone born in 2018 is 78 years and 8 months, bucking a four-year downward trend, the CDC said

  • The reasons for the increase are fewer people dying from cancer and drug overdoses; the Trumps' role was not mentioned by the CDC

  • The average life expectancy for a man is 76 years and 2 months; for a woman it is 81 years and one month  


By KATELYN CARALLE, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and AP
PUBLISHED: 13:00 EST, 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:01 EST, 30 January 2020

     





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The new life expectancy rate for someone born in 2018 is 78 years and 8 months
The White House held its first press briefing in 325 days on Thursday - to tout Donald Trump and his wife as the reason for the first rise in life expectancy in the U.S. in four years.
'We come before you bearing good news. For the first time in four years, life expectancy in the United States of America has increased. And for the first time in 29 years, the number of drug overdose deaths has decreased,' White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said as she took the long-vacant podium in the press briefing room Thursday morning.
'This has not happened through coincidence, it happened through causation,' she said, crediting Donald Trump. 'It's owed in large part to a whole government approach to treat the whole person led by President Trump, first lady Melania Trump and the entire administration.'

Official reports released Wednesday by the CDC revealed that life expectancy in the U.S. has risen by .1 per cent in a year - after four years of falling.   
For decades, U.S. life expectancy was on the upswing, rising a few months nearly every year. But from 2014 to 2017, it fell slightly or held steady. That was blamed largely on surges in overdose deaths and suicides.
Suicides continued to increase in 2018, as did deaths from the flu and pneumonia during what turned out to be an unusually bad flu year. 
But declines in some other causes of death - most notably cancer and drug overdoses - were enough to overcome all that, according to the report. 
The report did not cite the Trumps as a reason for increased life expectancy. 
'Let´s just hope it continues,' said Robert Anderson, who oversees the report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The latest calculation is for 2018 and factors in current death trends and other issues. On average, an infant born that year is expected to live about 78 years and 8 months, the CDC said.
For males, it's about 76 years and 2 months; for females 81 years and 1 month.
[size=10][size=18]Kellyanne heralds Trump as cause of increase life expectancy




Loa
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Thanks to Melania and Donald: Kellyanne Conway said the Trumps were leading a 'whole person' approach which was increasing life expectancy
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First couple: Neither of the Trump were named in the CDC report on life expectancy
For decades, U.S. life expectancy was on the upswing, rising a few months nearly every year. But from 2014 to 2017, it either fell slightly or held steady.
That was blamed largely on surges in overdose deaths and suicides.
Suicides continued to increase in 2018, as did deaths from the flu and pneumonia during what turned out to be an unusually bad flu year. But declines in some other causes of death - most notably cancer and drug overdoses - were enough to overcome all that, according to the report.
Conway touted the administration's efforts that she says are responsible for the promising numbers.
'We also want to make clear in this crisis next door, that it is indiscriminate. It affects all races, socioeconomic status, gender, age and certainly other affiliations. If the crisis is indiscriminate, then the response must be indiscriminate,' she told reporters at the White House Thursday.
'And that's why in addition to everything that the president and the first lady and the administration have done, I want to share with you, as a reflection, what I consider to be the most robust and bipartisan accomplishment of the president's first term: H.R. 6 – the Support Act,' she continued. 'This overwhelmingly bipartisan action has led to an increase in the money and awareness on the opioid and poly-drug crisis.' 
Cancer is the nation's No. 2 killer, blamed for about 600,000 deaths a year, so even slight changes in the cancer death rate can have a big impact. The rate fell more than 2 percent, matching the drop in 2017.
'I´m a little surprised that rapid pace is continuing,' said Rebecca Siegel, a researcher for the American Cancer Society.
Most of the improvement is in lung cancer because of fewer smokers and better treatments, she said.
Also striking was the drop in drug overdose deaths that had skyrocketed through 2017. The death rate fell 4 percent in 2018 and the number of deaths dropped to about 67,400.


Deaths from heroin and prescription painkillers went down, however, deaths from other drugs - fentanyl, cocaine and meth - continued to go up. And preliminary data for the first half of 2019 suggest the overall decline in overdose deaths is already slowing down.
It's still a crisis, said Katherine Keyes, a Columbia University researcher. 'But the fact that we have seen the first year where there´s not an additional increase is encouraging.'
The national decline was driven by dips in 14 states, the CDC's Anderson said. Those include states where overdose deaths have been most common, like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
In Ohio's Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati, overdose deaths fell in 2018 and preliminary data indicates another drop last year. County health commissioner Tim Ingram credited efforts to try to expand access to treatment, and to widely distribute the overdose reversal drug Narcan.
'We almost saturated our community with Narcan,' he said.
Nationally, for all causes of death, more than 2.8 million Americans died in 2018. That´s about 26,000 more than the year before, the CDC report found. The number went up even as the death rate went down, because the population is growing and a large group are retirement age baby boomers.

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Post by annemarie on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 22:16

https://people.com/politics/wilbur-ross-coronavirus-will-help-bring-back-american-jobs/

[size=48]Trump Official Suggests the Coronavirus Will Help Bring Back American Jobs: 'You Can't Make This Stuff Up'[/size]

"I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America — some to U.S., probably some to Mexico as well"
By Sean Neumann 
January 30, 2020 04:55 PM

F
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross — no stranger to raising eyebrows with his remarks — received fresh criticism after suggesting on Thursday that the deadly coronavirus which originated in China would help the American job market.
Ross, 82, was appearing Fox Business and started off by saying, “Every American’s heart has to go out to the victims of the coronavirus, so I don’t want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease.”
But he then began talking about the “help” the virus could bring to American jobs.
“The fact is it does give businesses yet another thing to consider when they go through their review of their supply chain,” Ross told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “On top of all the other things, you had SARS, you have the African swine [fever] virus there, now you have this. It’s another risk factor that people need to take into account. So I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America — some to U.S., probably some to Mexico as well.”

Ross’ comment soon became fodder for Twitter critics.
“This level of compassion sounds best when you imagine it in the voice of [The Simpsons‘] Montgomery Burns,” one user wrote.
Another cracked: “Between naps, Secretary Wilbur Ross is always looking on the bright side of life. Turns out disease, death, & despair, by virtue of the coronavirus, have an upside, and will ultimately result in accelerated job growth in North America. Perspective, people.”
Some 170 people have died from coronavirus. According to The New York Times, the virus (which began in Wuhan, China, and has now spread to every province within the country) has sickened more than 7,700 in China while 68 other cases have been reported around the world.
There have been six cases reported in the U.S.
RELATED: Washing Your Hands for 20 Seconds Could Keep You Clear of Coronavirus and the Flu


The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 Image?url=https%3A%2F%2Fpeopledotcom.files.wordpress.com%2F2020%2F01%2Fwilbur-ross-1[url=https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/link/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fpeople.com%2Fpolitics%2Fwilbur-ross-coronavirus-will-help-bring-back-american-jobs%2F%3Futm_source%3Dpinterest.com%26utm_medium%3Dsocial%26utm_campaign%3Dsocial-share-article%26utm_content%3D20200130%26utm_term%3D7618843&media=https%3A%2F%2Fimagesvc.meredithcorp.io%2Fv3%2Fmm%2Fimage%3Furl%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fpeopledotcom.files.wordpress.com%2F2020%2F01%2Fwilbur-ross-1.jpg&description=Trump Official Suggests the Coronavirus Will Help Bring Back American Jobs%3A %27You Can%27t Make This Stuff Up%27][/url]

Wilbur Ross
 
MARK WILSON/GETTY
A Department of Commerce spokesperson told PEOPLE on Thursday that the first step was helping the victims of the deadly virus — but then they seemed to echo Ross’ statement.
“It is also important to consider the ramifications of doing business with a country that has a long history of covering up real risks to its own people and the rest of the world,” the spokesperson told PEOPLE. “Fortunately, the Department of Commerce is equipped to support the American people and our businesses to do both.”
The World Health Organization met Thursday and decided to declare the outbreak an international public health emergency.

RELATED: What to Know About the Mysterious Coronavirus Spreading in Asia — and How to Protect Yourself











According to the Centers for Disease Control, one way to protect from the virus is simply to wash your hands often.
U.S. retailers such as Amazon have sold out of surgical masks in the wake of the outbreak, however one doctor told PEOPLE that masks won’t do much to protect you from illness — only spreading it.
“If a person is ill and seeking medical care, often a mask will be placed on them — but that’s because if you’re sick, a mask can prevent you spreading it to other people when you cough or sneeze,” said Dr. Angela Hewlett, medical director of the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit. “Wearing a mask when you’re not sick has not been proven to help protect you with this kind of illness.”

  • By Sean Neumann@neumannthehuman


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Post by party animal - not! on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 22:22

Whattt?!

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/us-recession-trump-economy-gdp-results-a9310056.html


and I would love  to let Kellyanne know that there are 46 countries ahead of the US - and the one above the US  is Cuba!

https://www.worldometers.info/demographics/life-expectancy/

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Post by annemarie on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 23:16

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/us-recession-trump-economy-gdp-results-a9310056.html

We knew it would happen and GDP results prove it. Welcome to the Trump recession

This isn't a coincidence. You can trace the reasons right back to the president's policies




  • Tim MullaneyNew York

  • 4 hours ago 











Donald Trump won’t have to run his re-election campaign amid a 2020 recession — but numbers now emerging are bad enough, and their shape is bad enough, to show he won’t be running a Morning in America campaign either.

New government data Thursday showed the economy’s gross domestic product grew at a 2.1 per cent annual rate in the fourth quarter — the second straight quarter at that tepid number, closing out the weakest year of Trump’s presidency. Worse, the slowdown is aimed straight at Trump’s base, including a decent-sized manufacturing recession. It’s based directly on the failure of Trump’s policies. And the details belie the idea, popular in Washington, that consumer confidence is high and that such confidence begets confidence in the president.



Let’s walk through this fairly complicated argument one step at a time.

First, the economy really didn’t do well in the last nine months of 2019, even if the stock market thinks it did.



Thursday’s report marks the third straight quarter where the economy grew at 2.1 per cent or less, since the second quarter of the year saw only 2.0 per cent growth. Forecasts for the first half of 2020 are a little worse: Consulting firm IHS Markit expects first-quarter growth at a 2 per cent annual rate, and High Frequency Economics thinks it could go as low as 1.2 per cent as Boeing attempts to solve its 737 Max safety issues.


“Welcome to 2016, when it was one quarter after another of roughly 2 per cent growth,”  said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. “We have had three consecutive quarters right about that level.  And sifting through the data, there is no reason to think that will change significantly in one direction or the other.’’

The details, though, are nastier than headline numbers. Consumer spending grew only 1.8 per cent annualized, down from 3.2 per cent in the third quarter — which Naroff attributes to slowing income gains. Private investment — investment was supposed to surge because of a 2017 tax cut focused on corporations and small business owners — was down 6.1 per cent. Imports were way down — which propped up short-term growth, given the technical details of how economists measure growth. But exports of manufactured goods were also down.


So Trump’s trade war isn’t bringing manufacturing to the US. It’s just making consumers spend less.

The best ways to look through the statistical gobbledegook of economic data is to zero in on a line called “final sales to domestic purchasers.” That number rose at an annual clip of only 1.6 per cent — excluding sales to the government, it was an even worse 1.4 per cent. 

Second, you can trace the weakness exactly to Trump’s policies. 


The Democrat challengers to Trump in 2020


Show all 25

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 Joe-biden
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 Elizabeth-warren
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 Bill-de-blasio

If trade falls off, it’s a safe bet that a president doing his best unilaterally to constrain trade without Congressional input has a lot to do with it.  With the American Action Forum estimating consumers have spent $70 billion more in taxes on imports, and the Congressional Budget Office estimating that the average household is losing about $580 in income, it’s not terribly surprising that consumers are tapping the brakes in response. That undermines the biggest argument for Trump’s re-election — that consumers are highly confident, favoring the party in power. (Similar arguments were made in 2016 about why President Hillary Clinton was inevitable — by, among others, me).


If investment falls off sharply, as it has in two of the last three quarters, you can say at a minimum that the tax cut isn’t working. Relatively low crude oil prices hurt this number too, since oil drilling is a large part of investment overall.

And, as Naroff notes, if growth this weak is all you get when you are running a trillion-dollar budget deficit a decade into an expansion, you haven’t got much.



Third, this hurts Trump politically more than you might think.

Yes, polls say 55 per cent of Americans approve of Trump’s performance on economics, according to Real Clear Politics. Some surveys — not all — show consumer confidence unusually high. But that’s hard to square with consumers spending less and seeing their after-inflation incomes grow less. When it’s time for consumers to show what they really think, they are pulling back.


Pundits — me included — thought relatively high stated consumer confidence would elect Hillary Clinton too. It turned out they weren’t that confident after all. The lesson: Watch what consumers do, not what they say.

The numbers, especially if they soften into quarterly growth figures starting with 1, will look uncomfortably like the record Trump purported to run against in 2016. His protests that 2017 and early 2018 were better won’t help his argument that he — not his predecessor Barack Obama — was responsible for those good times.  
Worse, that slowdown in manufacturing is hitting places Trump needs to win. Unemployment is rising in Ohio and Pennsylvania for the last six months, albeit from low levels, and manufacturing employment is slowly eroding through the Midwest, including Michigan and Wisconsin. Trade policy is a big reason why, and its fingerprints are all over today’s GDP report.

It’s up to Democrats to make hay out of a record that is mixed to weak. It gets easier as the data gets worse.

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Post by annemarie on Fri 31 Jan 2020, 01:13

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7949497/Trump-allow-troops-use-30-day-self-destructing-landmines-overturning-2014-Obama-ban.html

[size=34]Trump to allow US troops to use landmines by overturning Obama ban - but they will have 30 day self-destruct function[/size]


  • Donald Trump will reportedly allow US troops to use landmines again by overturning an Obama administration ban

  • The explosives that have killed about 130,000 civilians over the past 20 years

  • Pentagon sources told CNN the change was to make sure countries such as Russia or China will not be able to get access to critical terrain 

  • It's based off a Secretary of Defense-led review launched in 2017 which found lack of landmines outside of Korea 'increased risk to mission success' 

  • Since 1993 it has cost about $3.6billion to clear excess weapons and explosives from over 100 countries, many of them African 

  • The woman who received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize together with International Campaign to Ban Landmines, blasted the decision Thursday 


By LEAH SIMPSON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 17:14 EST, 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 19:22 EST, 30 January 2020

     


Donald Trump will allow US troops to use landmines again by overturning an Obama administration ban on the explosives that have killed about 130,000 civilians over the past two decades, a report says.
In the coming days the president is expected to loosen the restrictions set in 2014 in line with the Ottawa Treaty's aim to prevent the production, stockpiling and transfer of the weapons of war.
But troops will only be able to use mines that self-destruct or self-deactivate in 30 days as the US prepares to be well equipped in case of major conflict with a 'great power'.
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Donald Trump will reportedly allow US troops to use landmines again and the decision is expected to be announced in the coming days. The new approach will be achieved by overturning a 2014 Obama administration ban
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According to a 2019 State Department report, 'landmines and explosive remnants of war, including cluster munition remnants, artillery shells, and mortars, continue to kill and maim people even after conflicts end'. File image from Thailand on August 6, 2019
Pentagon sources told CNN the change was to make sure countries such as Russia or China will not be able to get access to critical terrain and is based off a review launched in 2017 which found lack of landmines outside of Korea 'increased risk to mission success'.

The finding two years ago from then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, comes 20 years after the Ottawa Convention that enforced a worldwide ban.
Since 1993 it has cost about $3.6billion to clear excess weapons and explosives from over 100 countries, many African, with the help of non-government funding.


In the late 90s the Clinton Administration instructed the clearance of mines installed around the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, placed to defend against Communist Cuban troops.
The Obama policy prevented the used of weapons such as the Gator munition which is dropped from planes.
Mine use was still allowed in the Korean Peninsula after the Obama restriction.
However the new policy would give permission for the development, production and procurement of landmines once again. 
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The Obama policy prevented the used of weapons such as the Gator munition which is dropped from planes
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The new decision is based off a review launched in 2017 where then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (center) found lack of landmines outside of Korea 'increased risk to mission success'
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Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CNN on Thursday when questioned about the information from Pentagon sources: 'There will be a change coming out, I'm not going to comment on it until it is'
They would no longer get the same treatment as nuclear weapons and responsibility would be overseen by US Military combatant commanders.
When asked about the claims, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CNN on Thursday: 'There will be a change coming out, I'm not going to comment on it until it is.'
According to a 2019 State Department report, 'landmines and explosive remnants of war, including cluster munition remnants, artillery shells, and mortars, continue to kill and maim people even after conflicts end'.
The woman who received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize together with International Campaign to Ban Landmines, blasted the decision Thursday.
'Mr. Trump's policy rollback is a step toward the past, like many of his other decisions, ' Jody Williams told CNN. She said it 'sends exactly the wrong message to those working to rid the world of the scourge of landmines'.
[size=18]Trump says US will not target cultural sites




Lo
[/size]










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In the late 90s the Clinton Administration instructed the clearance of mines installed around the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, placed to defend against Communist Cuban troops. March 18, 1997, file photo
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Mines were a heavy presence in African countries. Duke of Sussex (L), visiting the minefield in Dirico, Angola on September 27, 2019 and his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, during her visit to a minefield in Angola on January 15, 1997

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Post by annemarie on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 13:09

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7956097/Eighth-confirmed-coronavirus-case-US.html

[size=34]NYC patient being tested for coronavirus is a visitor from China as man in Boston becomes EIGHTH person diagnosed in US while Pentagon prepares 1,000 quarantine beds and global death toll rises to 304 with 75,000 potentially infected globally[/size]


  • A NYC man under the age of 40 who returned from China two days ago is being treated at Bellevue Hospital 

  • It will take at least 36 to 48 hours to determine whether the patient tests positive to coronavirus 

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday night that if the case is confirmed the public will be told 'right away'

  • He advised New Yorkers to 'go about our lives' and 'continue doing what we do normally'

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said this is the 12th suspected case in New York state

  • A Boston man became the eighth confirmed diagnosis in the US on Friday

  • Officials say the college student in his 20s recently traveled to Wuhan, China, before traveling home 

  • The University of Massachusetts student has been placed in isolation and his symptoms are being monitored  

  • Death toll as of Sunday morning in Beijing has reached 305, much higher than previous figure of 259 

  • Viral outbreak that began in China has infected 14,550 people globally, with 14,380 on mainland China

  • A new study by medical researchers estimates that 75,800 in Wuhan are infected as the death toll rises to 259

  • The Pentagon on Saturday revealed plans to house 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined

  • The US has also issued a new directive to all airlines 


By RACHEL SHARP FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and ARIEL ZILBER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and ASSOCIATED PRESS and REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 13:41 EST, 1 February 2020 | UPDATED: 07:59 EST, 2 February 2020

     





The person being tested for coronavirus in New York City is a visitor from China who stayed at a hotel in the city for two days before developing symptoms, as the global death toll has now reached 305. 
The patient, who is under the age of 40, is currently 'stable and doing well', and is being treated at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. They were checked in to the hospital Friday night after calling 911 and will remain in quarantine until test results determine whether they have the disease.  
City officials have revealed no other identifying features of the patient, but said the person was in New York on vacation and was staying alone in a hotel. They also have no friends or family in the city. 
It will take at least 36 to 48 hours to determine whether the patient tests positive to coronavirus.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed in a press conference Saturday night at the hospital that the patient has been suffering from symptoms that include cough, fever and shortness of breath and has tested negative for other possible illnesses. 
If the patient is found to have a positive diagnosis, the public would be told 'right away', he said.      
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New York City is testing its first suspected case of coronavirus in a man under the age of 40 who returned to the city from China two days ago. He is being treated at Bellevue Hospital in New York City (above)
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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed in a press conference Saturday night at the hospital that the patient has been suffering from symptoms that include cough, fever and shortness of breath and has tested negative for other possible illnesses
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The New York resident, who is being treated at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, checked in to the hospital Friday night after falling ill and will remain in quarantine until test results determine whether he has the disease, health officials said at the press conference. It will take at least 36 to 48 hours to determine whether the patient tests positive to coronavirus


He added: 'There is still a lot that we do not know. What we do know causes us a tremendous amount of concern. We will use all measures at our disposal to protect New Yorkers.'
The mayor advised New Yorkers to 'go about our lives' and 'continue doing what we do normally'.
'Just be smart. Do the basics, like wash your hands,' he said.
Anyone believed to be exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus should visit a hospital immediately, he added.    
The city's health commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot said Saturday morning when news broke of the city's first suspected case: 'This is exactly what we prepared for and we thank everyone for taking all the right steps.' 
While this is the first suspected case to hit New York City, it is the 12th in New York state.  
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office confirmed Saturday that tests had come back negative for eight of the cases and the other three are awaiting results. 
The possible New York City case comes after the eighth confirmed case in the US was diagnosed on Friday and the global death toll was revised from 259 to a much higher 304.
A Boston college student was the eighth person to be diagnosed in the US. 
According to officials in the commonwealth, the man, a resident of The Hub, recently traveled to Wuhan.
[size=18]Bill de Blasio confirms New York is testing for a case of coronavirus




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In the US, eight people have been diagnosed with coronavirus, with a Boston college student being the latest person to be diagnosed on Friday, January 31 
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The mayor advised New Yorkers to 'go about our lives' and 'continue doing what we do normally'. 'Just be smart. Do the basics, like wash your hands,' he said 
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The unnamed man is being quarantined at Bellevue Hospital (above). De Blasio said the patient had not spent much time with family or friends after returning to the city and that the virus could only be passed person-to-person via 'substantial contact' with an infected individual
The student is enrolled at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, according to WCVB-TV. 
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Boston Public Health Commission were notified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the positive test results late Friday evening. 
After returning to Massachusetts, the man sought treatment, according to health officials.
He returned from Wuhan and landed at Logan International Airport in Boston on Tuesday. The student sought medical attention the next day.
Since his return, he has been placed in isolation and his symptoms are being closely monitored.
'Our priority is not only to protect and inform the residents of Boston but also to help this man continue to recover. We are pleased that he is doing well,' Boston Public Health Commission Executive Director Rita Nieves said. 
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Massachusetts health officials said on Saturday that the first case of coronavirus in the state has been confirmed. The infected person is a student at the University of Massachusetts in Boston (above). He is a male in his twenties who recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the global coronavirus outbreak
'Right now, we are not asking Boston residents to do anything differently. The risk to the general public remains low. 
'And we continue to be confident we are in a good position to respond to this developing situation.' 
Elsewhere in the US, three confirmed cases have been reported in California and one each in Washington State and Arizona. 
There have been two cases reported in Illinois - the second case being the first time that the disease has been transmitted from person to person in the US.
Concerns about the virus spurred the Trump administration to declare a public health emergency Friday and bar entry to the US for foreign nationals who have recently visited China.
TSA has put in place new security measures on Sunday, where all airlines operating in the US are now required to ask all passengers booked on international flights if they've traveled to mainland China in the last 14 days.  
Although Chinese nationals or any foreign national who has traveled to mainland China will not be granted entry, this new TSA order also relates to US citizens. 
US citizens who have traveled to the mainland need to re-book their flights through one of the seven gateway airports, including, John F Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta or Honolulu. 
In addition, US citizens who have traveled within the past two weeks to Hubei will be subject to a mandatory quarantine of 14 days, believed to be the incubation period of the virus, officials said.
Americans who visited other parts of mainland China will undergo special health screening upon their return, followed by up to 14 days of 'monitored self-quarantine,' under the temporary restrictions.
The first quarantines of US citizens potentially exposed to coronavirus in China began hours before the White House announcement on Friday. 
Nearly 200 Americans evacuated earlier this week from Wuhan and voluntarily confined to a California military air base for 72 hours of health screenings were placed under a mandatory 14-day quarantine on Friday.
By Saturday afternoon, none of those quarantined showed any symptoms of having the virus, said Jose Arballo, a spokesman for the public health department in Riverside County, where the air base is located. He said test results were still pending.
The order to keep the Americans on the base marked the CDC's first mandatory quarantine for decades.
'Since this hasn't been done in 51 years there's quite the scramble to work through all the procedures,' a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official said, adding that the last mandatory quarantine was ordered to fight smallpox.
The official, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the matter, said DHS personnel would take over running medical screenings at airports this weekend to free up their CDC counterparts for other tasks.
State and local authorities will likely play a role with mandatory quarantines, the official said, which could mean 'a lot of variance across the country for how it gets implemented.'
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A man wears a mask in Chicago's Chinatown following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus on Thursday
A DHS spokeswoman denied the department was scrambling and said it has been working on these plans since last summer, when it began contracting medical professionals and readying quarantine and health screening plans in case it had to ramp up for the Ebola outbreak.
'We were able to quickly tailor those plans and contracts to the coronavirus,' said the spokeswoman, Heather Swift.
Swift said state and local officials are always involved in public health and emergency response, but that there is a uniform standard. 'All passengers who receive a positive symptoms screening will be placed in quarantine. Those who show no symptoms will be sent home on self-quarantine,' she said.
The Pentagon said on Saturday that it had approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services for assistance for housing support for 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined after arriving from abroad due to the coronavirus.
In a statement, the Pentagon said that HHS had asked the Pentagon to provide several facilities capable of 'housing at least 250 people in individual rooms' through February 29.
It said that Defense Department personnel would only provide housing support, while HHS would be responsible for all care and transportation.
The statement added that four military installations had been selected in case they were required, including two in California, one in Colorado, and one in Texas.
The viral outbreak that began in China has so far infected more than 14,550 people globally.
In figures as of Sunday morning in Beijing, 14,380 cases have been confirmed in mainland China - far higher than the 11,791 previously thought. 
In addition, Hong Kong has 14 cases and Macao has seven. 
Most of the 304 deaths have been in central Hubei province of China, where illnesses from the new type of coronavirus were first detected in December.    
Experts believe that the worst is yet to come.
According to a study which appeared in The Lancet on Saturday, the number of infected people in Wuhan is likely to reach as many as 75,815 people.
The number is the result of a study conducted by scientists from the University of Hong Kong.
It is based on the assumption that each infected person could have passed the virus on to 2.68 other people. 
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On Wednesday, an evacuation flight with 195 Americans onboard landed at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California (pictured). Those passengers are all now under federal quarantine. Anyone returning to the US after visiting the Hubei province where Wuhan is located within the prior two weeks will also face a mandatory quarantine, starting Sunday 
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During a Friday briefing, the White House's newly assembled task force for the ongoing coronavirus outbreak declared it a public health emergency in the US. HHS Secretary Alex Azar (center) announced that most foreign nationals will be barred from entry and citizens returning from China will face various grades of quarantines 
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The viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 14,550 people globally. On the mainland, 14,380 cases have been confirmed. Most of the 304 deaths have been in central Hubei province

China faced mounting isolation from international travel curbs and flight suspensions on Saturday, with Russia to start pulling out its citizens next week.
With Britain, Russia and Sweden among the countries confirming their first infections, the virus has now spread to more than two dozen nations, sending governments scurrying to limit their exposure.
China toughened its own quarantine measures at the center of the outbreak in Hubei province, a day after the US temporarily barred entry to foreigners who had been in China within the past two weeks.
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Officials in hazmat suits met passengers as they stepped off the plane and onto awaiting buses (left and right). All 195 passengers are now under a federally mandated 14-day quarantine
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On Thursday, the World Health Organization announced in a press conference (pictured) that it was declaring the deadly coronavirus outbreak to be a global health emergency
The epidemic has led to mass evacuations of foreign citizens as world airlines halt flights, and risks exacerbating a slowdown in growth in the world's second-largest economy.
The Russian military was to start evacuating Russian citizens from China on Monday and Tuesday, Interfax and TASS news agencies reported. 
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying the evacuations would be from regions that had been most affected by the outbreak.
Peskov first said that evacuation will start on Saturday but later corrected himself.
Russia has already reported its first two cases of coronavirus and restricted direct flights to China. 
Inside China, Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, was under a virtual quarantine, with roads sealed off and public transport shut down. 
Elsewhere, authorities placed growing restrictions on travel and business.
In Beijing, counters were set up at the entrances of housing estates, where volunteers wearing red arm bands and masks noted down details of residents coming back from their hometowns after the Lunar New Year holiday.
'As long as I am properly protected and don't go to crowded places, I don't feel scared at all about my hometown or Beijing,' said a 58-year-old migrant worker surnamed Sun.
Others were more worried.
'There will be a huge number of people returning to the city. I think it will put Beijing at risk of more infections,' said Zhang Chunlei, 45, another returning migrant worker.
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The warning, officially known as a 'public health emergency of international concern', is the highest warning the WHO can give 
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Pictured: Passengers arrive at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on January 24
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Pictured: Medical staff in protective suits treat a coronavirus patient at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan, January 28
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Pictured: Medical staff in protective suits treat a coronavirus patient at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, January 27
In Hubei, the provincial government extended the holiday break to February 13 in a bid to contain the outbreak, the Hubei Daily reported.
The World Health Organization, which this week declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, has said global trade and travel restrictions are not needed.
But Singapore and the United States announced measures on Friday to ban foreign nationals who have recently been in China from entering their territories. 
Australia followed suit, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying the country would deny entry to all foreign nationals traveling from mainland China from Saturday.
'We're in fact operating with an abundance of caution in these circumstances so Australians can go about their daily lives with confidence,' Morrison told reporters in Sydney.
Qantas Airways Ltd and Air New Zealand said travel bans forced them to suspend their direct flights to China from February 9. 
All three major US airlines said on Friday they would cancel flights to mainland China.
American Airlines announced that it would cease flights to Hong Kong as well as the Chinese mainland - at least through Monday.
The company said in a statement that it 'will make decisions about Hong Kong flights each day based on our operational situation.'
The commander of US forces in the Pacific banned travel to China for all service members and civilian personnel under his authority and ordered those now in China to leave immediately, officials said.
[size=18]World Health Organisation: Coronavirus is a public health emergency




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There have been two cases reported in Illinois - the second case being the first time that the disease has been transmitted from person to person in the US. The couple, who have not been identified, are now both being isolated at St Alexius Hospita (pictured) in Hoffman Estates, a suburb of Chicago
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Several countries have advised against non-essential travel to the China. Pictured: Funeral workers disinfect themselves after handling a coronavirus victim in Wuhan on Thursday 
Many nations have put on charter flights to repatriate citizens from China and then place them in isolation for around two weeks, the incubation period of the virus.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn called for calm as more than 100 Germans and family members landed in Frankfurt, none showing any symptoms of the virus. 
He warned against hysteria and hostility from the public.
Britain said it was withdrawing some staff from its embassy and consulates in China.
Many of the private clinics catering to foreigners in China have started to turn away people with fevers.   
'I don't want to go to the local hospital with a sore throat only to catch something else,' said Czech national Veronika Krubner in Tianjin.
Infections have jumped in two cities flanking Wuhan, raising concerns that new hot spots are emerging despite strict travel restrictions.
In one of them, Huanggang, authorities asked households to designate one individual who can leave the home, a local newspaper said. 
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Children wear an improvised face protection made from water bottles in order to protect against the coronavirus at the airport arrival terminal in Guangzhou
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This photo taken on Thursday shows an official in a protective suit checking on an elderly man wearing a face mask who collapsed and died on a street near a hospital in Wuhan
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An expressman wears a protective mask and suit as he delivers packages on a bicycle in Wuhan
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This photo taken on Thursday shows staff members of a funeral parlor wearing protective suits disinfecting a colleague after they transferred a body at a hospital in Wuhan
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Health Officials in hazmat suits wait at the gate to check body temperatures of passengers arriving from the city of Wuhan on January 22 at the airport in Beijing
The mayor of the city of about 7.5 million people said there could be a significant rise in cases this weekend.
The northern city of Tianjin, home to some 15 million, suspended all schools and businesses until further notice.
Efforts to contain the virus risk slowing growth in China. Growth had already fallen in the fourth quarter to a 30-year low of 6 per cent. 
The virus impact prompted Capital Economics to almost halve its estimate for first-quarter growth to 3 per cent from 5.7 per cent.
China's central bank said the impact was temporary and economic fundamentals remained sound, but that it would increase monetary and credit support, including lowering lending costs for affected companies.
Apple Inc said on Saturday it would close all of its official stores and corporate offices in China until February 9, the latest of dozens of major companies, including Sweden's IKEA and Walmart Inc, restricting travel and operations due to the outbreak.
The EU Commission said it had sent 12 tons of protective equipment to China and will 'continue providing support.'

annemarie
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Post by annemarie on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 16:08

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7958201/Man-SHOT-south-London-street-broad-daylight-sparking-armed-police-shutdown-area.html

[size=34]'Terror attack' in south London: Armed police shoot DEAD 'suspect strapped with silver canisters' after a number of people are stabbed' in machete rampage on busy high street[/size]


  • Officers arrived at scene outside supermarket on High Road in Streatham, south London, at 2pm today

  • Number of people stabbed in what is currently being treated by police as a terrorist-related incident

  • The suspect has since been shot by armed officers and police have warned people to avoid the area


By RAVEN SAUNT FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 09:54 EST, 2 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:02 EST, 2 February 2020

     


Armed police have shot a man after a number of people were stabbed during a knife rampage in the middle of a busy high street in broad daylight - three months after two were killed in London Bridge horror.
Officers arrived at the scene outside a supermarket on High Road in Streatham, south London, at around 2pm today.
It is thought that a number of people had been stabbed in what is currently being treated by police as a terrorist-related incident.
The suspect has since been shot by armed officers. 
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Officers arrived at the scene outside a supermarket on High Road in Streatham, south London , at around 2pm today 
[size=10][size=18]Man seriously injured after shots fired on London street




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Witnesses claim to have seen the suspect strapped with with silver canisters. Pictured: Suspect on the pavement with a knife by his side
Metropolitan Police issued a statement that said: 'A man has been shot by armed officers in #Streatham.

'At this stage it is believed a number of people have been stabbed.



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'The circumstances are being assessed; the incident has been declared as terrorist-related.'
Police were filmed standing behind an unmarked police car and pointing their guns towards a suspect who appeared to be lying on the pavement outside the Boots store on the high street.  
Officers began to walk toward the suspect om the ground before retreating after he appears to be wearing some kind of suicide vest. 
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Police were filmed standing behind an unmarked police car and pointing their guns towards a suspect who appeared to be lying on the pavement outside the Boots store on the high street
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It is thought that a number of people have been stabbed in what is currently being treated by police as a terrorist-related incident
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The suspect has since been shot by armed officers
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Witnesses have claimed that the man was equipped with silver canisters. 
Dozens of emergency vehicles are currently lining the area and a helicopter ambulance landed on Tooting Bec Common a few hundred yards from the scene of the shooting.
London Ambulance Service said: 'We have a number of resources attending an incident in Streatham High Road.'
A large section of the A23 remains sealed off to traffic and buses are being diverted.  
Lambeth Borough Police have also tweeted about the incident.  
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Dozens of emergency vehicles are currently lining the area as well as reports of an air ambulance and police helicopter circling above
Gulled Bulhan, a 19-year-old student from Streatham, claimed to have witnessed the shooting on Streatham High Road in front of a Boots store. 
He said: 'I was crossing the road when I saw a man with a machete and silver canisters on his chest being chased by what I assume was an undercover police officer - as they were in civilian clothing.
'The man was then shot. I think I heard three gun shots but I can't quite remember.
'After that I ran into the library to get to safety.
'From the library I saw a load of ambulances and armed police officers arrive on the scene.'
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Mr Bulhan said people began running into nearby stores after the incident.
'We were all informed to stay in buildings by armed police, until we were evacuated,' he said. 
Members of the public have been commenting on social media. 
Rector Anna Norman-Walker, who works at St Leonard's Church in Streatham, said: 'Situated in the #Streatham Rectory with police tape both sides of us... prayers for our wonderful police who are doing such a remarkable job in a frightening situation.' 
One user wrote: 'What the hell is going on in Streatham?!? Helicopters circling above and sirens outside. Twitter saying a man has been shot dead. 'It's a Sunday afternoon and families are everywhere. Very scary.'
[size=18]Armed police shoot man after 'multiple people stabbed' in Streatham




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Another added: 'Be careful out today I'm London, just seen about two dozen armed police, a man shot and a two stab victims receiving urgent medical care.
'I don't know but I think like I heard 3 gun shot in Streatham.'
A third man said: 'Something major happening in Streatham High Road. Armed police and roads closed off.' 
Local resident Stuart Birch, 50, a bookmaker, said: 'I was just coming back from the dentists at around 2.30pm when I saw a helicopter ambulance on the Common and a police helicopter hovering above the High Street.
'Police have cordoned off a section of the main road either side of the White Lion.
'I saw customers being evacuated by the police from a coffee shop near the pub.
'Then an ambulance turned up outside the pub with horns blaring and the blue lights flashing.' 
[size=18]'Terror attack' declared in London knife rampage on high street




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Dozens of emergency vehicles are currently lining the area and a helicopter ambulance landed on Tooting Bec Common a few hundred yards from the scene of the shooting
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Streatham High Road, Lambeth, London, has been cordoned off by police after reports of a man shot by police 
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A car believed to be an armed response car that crashed on the way to the scene as officers investigate the incident 
[size=18]Man shot in terror incident in Streatham, London




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'Terror attack' in south London: Armed police shoot man dead after 'a number of people are stabbed'

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Post by LizzyNY on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 20:48

Hope all our friends in London are o.k.. Prayers for those injured. I hope they weren't too badly hurt and have a speedy recovery.

Please be careful and be safe.
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Post by annemarie on Mon 03 Feb 2020, 01:10

https://people.com/royals/prince-william-bafta-nominations-lack-of-diversity/

[size=48]Prince William Says Lack of Diversity in BAFTA Noms 'Simply Cannot Be Right in This Day and Age'

Joaquin Phoenix also addressed the issue during his acceptance speech for best actor
By Claudia Harmata 
February 02, 2020 06:45 PM
[/size]


During his opening speech at the 73rd British Academy Film and Television Arts Awards, Prince William pointedly addressed the lack of diversity in the awards nominations — and assured that the organization would be reviewing their voting process following this year’s show.
“Catherine and I are once again really delighted to join you this evening. Tonight we celebrate another year of exceptional filmmaking and I’m thrilled that all those involved have been recognized,” the royal, 37, started his speech on Sunday.
“Both here in the U.K. and in many other countries across the world we are lucky to have incredible filmmakers, actors, producers, directors and technicians – men and women from all backgrounds and ethnicities enriching our lives through film,” he continued. “Yet in 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and in the awards process – that simply cannot be right in this day and age!”

RELATED: 2020 BAFTA Awards Slammed for Its List of All-White Acting Nominees: ‘This Is Not Good Enough’

The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 Image?url=https%3A%2F%2Fpeopledotcom.files.wordpress.com%2F2020%2F02%2Fprince-william-1[url=https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/link/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fpeople.com%2Froyals%2Fprince-william-bafta-nominations-lack-of-diversity%2F%3Futm_source%3Dpinterest.com%26utm_medium%3Dsocial%26utm_campaign%3Dsocial-share-article%26utm_content%3D20200203%26utm_term%3D7626516&media=https%3A%2F%2Fimagesvc.meredithcorp.io%2Fv3%2Fmm%2Fimage%3Furl%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fpeopledotcom.files.wordpress.com%2F2020%2F02%2Fprince-william-1.jpg&description=Prince William Says Lack of Diversity in BAFTA Noms %27Simply Cannot Be Right in This Day and Age%27][/url]

Prince William giving his speech at BAFTA
 
JAMES VEYSEY/BAFTA/SHUTTERSTOCK

The father of three added, “I know that both Pippa, Chair of BAFTA, and Amanda, BAFTA CEO, share that frustration and continue to work tirelessly to ensure that creative talent is discovered and supported. BAFTA takes this issue seriously, and following this year’s nominations have launched a full and thorough review of the entire Awards process to build on their existing work and ensure that opportunities are available to everyone.”
When the awards show nominations came out earlier this month, BAFTA faced backlash when fans noticed that the list did not feature non-white actors. In addition, the list had only listed male directors.
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The nominating committee addressed the backlash shortly after the nods were announced, calling it an “industry-wide issue.”

“We’d have liked to have seen more diversity in the nominations, it does continue to be an industry-wide issue,” BAFTA’s director of awards, Emma Baehr, told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think more films need to be made, and entered, giving people a chance to see them. We’d absolutely like to see more diversity, but I also don’t want to take away from those celebrating today.”
Actors of color — including Cynthia Erivo for Harriet, Asian-American actress Awkwafina for The Farewell, Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o for Us, Spanish actor Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory, Eddie Murphy for Dolemite Is My Name, Jennifer Lopez for Hustlers and Jamie Foxx for Just Mercy — were omitted from the nominations.

The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 11 Image?url=https%3A%2F%2Fpeopledotcom.files.wordpress.com%2F2020%2F02%2Fbafta-1[url=https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/link/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fpeople.com%2Froyals%2Fprince-william-bafta-nominations-lack-of-diversity%2F%3Futm_source%3Dpinterest.com%26utm_medium%3Dsocial%26utm_campaign%3Dsocial-share-article%26utm_content%3D20200203%26utm_term%3D7626516&media=https%3A%2F%2Fimagesvc.meredithcorp.io%2Fv3%2Fmm%2Fimage%3Furl%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fpeopledotcom.files.wordpress.com%2F2020%2F02%2Fbafta-1.jpg&description=Prince William Says Lack of Diversity in BAFTA Noms %27Simply Cannot Be Right in This Day and Age%27][/url]

Joaquin Phoenix
 
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RELATED: Margot Robbie, Scarlett Johansson Twice Nominated for 2020 BAFTA Awards, Jennifer Lopez Snubbed
During the awards show, Joaquin Phoenix picked up the best actor award for his role in Joker and made a poignant acceptance speech about the lack of diversity on the nominations list.
“I feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege. I think we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here,” he said.
“I don’t think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment, people just want to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected for their work,“ Phoenix, 45, shared. “This is not a self-righteous condemnation. I’m part of the problem.“
“We have to do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism. I think it is the obligation of the people that have created and perpetuate and benefit from a system of oppression to be the ones that dismantle it. That’s on us,“ he concluded.

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Post by annemarie on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 19:55

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/ushome/index.html

[size=34]BREAKING NEWS: 'I do believe he should be removed from office.' Mitt Romney to break with Republican Party and vote to convict Donald Trump on abuse of power charge[/size]


  • Mitt Romney announced he will vote to convict Trump on abuse of power charge 

  • He will vote to acquit on obstruction of Congress charge

  • He is the first Republican to break ranks

  • He cited his faith as the reason and said he expected feel the president's wrath for his decision 

  • ‘I do believe he should be removed from office,' he said 

  • ‘I know in my heart that I'm doing what's right,' he noted

  • He said he was ready to face the political consequences of his decision

  • 'I have broad enough shoulders to be able to weather personal changes in my career, political or otherwise,' he said 

  • Donald Trump is expected to be cleared today in impeachment trial

  • Senate meets at 4 pm to render its verdict 


By EMILY GOODIN, SENIOR U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 14:08 EST, 5 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:50 EST, 5 February 2020

     




Mitt Romney announced on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon he will break with the Republican Party and vote to convict Donald Trump on the abuse of power charge.
He is the first Republican to break ranks in a move that stunned Capitol Hill. 
'The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a "high crime and misdemeanor,' Romney said. 'Yes, he did.'
He will vote to acquit on the obstruction of Congress charge. 

His decision will not affect the expected outcome of Trump's trial. It takes two-thirds of the Senate to vote to remove the president from office. Even with Romney's support the Democrats don't have the numbers to hit that mark. 
But Romney's decision means the president will be convicted on bipartisan vote - a notable difference from the House vote where only Democrats voted in support of the two charges against the president.
The White House has bragged that all House Republicans voted with the president - an assertion they won't be able to make about the Senate. 
The senator from Utah acknowledged he would face the fury of the president for his decision and he pre-taped an interview with Fox News, that ran shortly after his speech on the Senate floor, to explain his decision. The president is a frequent viewer of Fox News.  
Romney, a deeply-religious Mormon, cited his faith as the reason behind his decision.
‘The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a senator juror, I swore an oath before god to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before god as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced,’ he said in his remarks on the Senate floor.
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Mitt Romney announced he will vote to convict Donald Trump on the abuse of power charge
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Mitt Romney cited his faith as the reason and said he expected feel President Trump's wrath for his decision
Romney explained his reasoning behind the abuse of power decision, saying he was convinced President Trump acted as he did because it involved Joe and Hunter Biden, Trump’s political rivals.
‘There's no question in my mind that were there names not Biden the president would never have done what he did,’ Romney said.
‘The president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The president withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so. The president delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. The president's purpose was personal and political. Accordingly the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust,’ he added.
He refuted Trump’s argument the call was perfect.
‘What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine. In the last several weeks I've received numerous calls and texts, many demanded in their words that I stand with the team. I can assure you that that thought has been very much on my mind: You see, I support a great deal of what the president has done. I voted with him 80% of the time, but my promise before god to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and political biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented and disregard what I believe my oath and the constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history's rebuke and the censure of my own conscience,’ Romney said.
He acknowledged he would face the wrath of Trump and other Republicans with his decision.
Trump tends to act with fury against those who cross him. 
‘I'm aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters I will be vehemently denounced. I'm sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before god demanded it of me?,’ he said.
He also acknowledged the reality that Trump will not be removed from office by the Republican-controlled chamber. Removal from office would require two-thirds of the Senate.
‘I acknowledge that my verdict will not remove the president from office. The results of this Senate court will, in fact, be appealed to a higher court, the judgment of the American people. Voters will make the final decision, just as the president's lawyers had implored. My vote will likely be in the minority in the Senate, but irrespective of these things, with my vote, I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability believing that my country expected it of me,’ he said. 
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Romney's announcement stunned Capitol Hill
The Republican Senator from Utah taped an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace Wednesday morning to explain his decision.
‘We got a call from senator Romney's office yesterday saying that he wanted to do one interview to discuss his decision and the blowback that he knows will flow from it. We sat down with the senator about 11:30 this morning,’ Wallace explained before the interview aired.
Romney told him he was prepared for the consequences of his decision. He next faces voters in 2024.
‘I believe the act he took, an effort to corrupt an election, is as destructive an attack on the oath of office and our constitution as I can imagine. It is a high crime and misdemeanor within the meaning of the constitution. That's not a decision I take lightly. It's the last decision I want to take. The personal consequences, the political consequences that fall on me as a result of that are going to be extraordinary. But I swore an oath before god and I am a religious person, that I would imply impartial justice and implying impartial justice said what the president did was grievously wrong,’ he said.
‘I do believe he should be removed from office. That's the vote that I will take in a while,’ he added.
He said he had to listen to his conscience.
‘I know in my heart that I'm doing what's right. I understand there's going to be enormous consequence. I don't have a choice in that regard. That's why I haven't been anxious to be in the position I'm in. When I heard there was going to be an impeachment investigation, as I heard the evidence coming forward, I dreaded the responsibility I have. But I was not willing to abdicate the responsibility given to me by the constitution, nor to ignore my conscience out of personal and political significance considerations. I had to follow my conscience,’ Romney noted.
‘This for me, if you welcome of the most difficult decision I've ever made in my life. There's been nothing that compares to this,’ he added.
Romney acknowledged he could lose his next election campaign over his decision but said losing the presidency was the worst thing that had ever happened to him so he was at peace with his decision.
‘Well, friend of mine once said that the worst thing that ever happened to them politically had already happened. The worst thing that already happened me politically was losing the presidency in 2012. I have broad enough shoulders to be able to weather personal changes in my career, political or otherwise. What I don't have is the capacity to ignore my conscience,’ he noted.
Adam Schiff, the lead House impeachment manager for the Democrats, praised Romney's decision.
'Having proven Trump guilty, I asked if there was just one Republican Senator who would say “enough.” Who would stand up against this dangerously immoral president. Who would display moral courage. Who would do impartial justice as their oath required and convict. And there is,' he wrote on Twitter.
Trump is expected to be cleared today in the two charges against him, drawing the fractious impeachment trial against him to a close.
The Senate is scheduled to render its verdict on the president at 4 p.m. 
There will be two votes - one for each of the impeachment articles against Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of justice.   
President Trump is expected to address the outcome after the vote concludes. 
White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters Wednesday that 'I'm sure you will hear from the president' later today about the impeachment vote, noting it might be online or a statement. 
She argued Trump will be 'acquitted forever beginning today' - a counter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's argument that the December House vote against the president meant he was 'impeached forever.' 
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Donald Trump is expected to be acquitted of impeachment charges in Senate today
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The Republican-controlled Senate meets at 4 p.m. to vote on Trump's fate
Now it's a question if any Democratic senators will break party lines and vote to acquit the president. 
Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten  Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama all hail from states Trump won in 2016 and retains strong popularity. 
If they vote to acquit it will give Trump a line to crow about. 
But Jones said Wednesday morning he will vote to convict the president on both counts of impeachment.
'After many sleepless nights, I have reluctantly concluded that the evidence is sufficient to convict the President for both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress,' he said in a statement.
Manchin and Sinema have not said how they are voting.  Manchin was seen sitting with Republican senators during President Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night. 
'It's a 4 o'clock. I have four hours,' he told DailyMail.com when a reporter ran into him around noon in the halls the Capitol and asked him if he'd decided how to vote.  
Manchin proposed censuring Trump - a move that would let the Senate express its disapproval of his actions in the Ukraine without formally removing the president from office.
Several Republican senators have said they don't approve of Trump's actions but don't find them to rise to the level of an impeachable offense. 
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska criticized the president on the Senate floor Monday night but said she would vote for his acquittal when the chamber votes on a verdict in his trial.
'The president's behavior was shameful and wrong. His personal interests do not take precedent over those of this great nation,' she said. 


The White House on Tuesday dismissed the censure idea, arguing the president has done nothing wrong.
'The answer to that is no because the president did nothing wrong,' deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters at the White House. 
Trump, in a July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, asked him to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. The president said this was out of concern for corruption in that country - Hunter Biden at the time sat on the board of a powerful Ukrainian gas company. Democrats claim he was trying to get a foreign government to help him win re-election. 
As for senators, they are scheduled to leave town after the vote and won't return to Washington D.C. until next week.  
The vote may end the impeachment trial but it's not likely to ease tensions between Republicans and Democrats, which were on full display Tuesday night during the State of the Union Address. 
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House impeachment managers Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, and Val Demings sat together at State of the Union address
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Adam Schiff hugs Nancy Pelosi before the speech began
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Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama are being watched for their votes
The bitter feud between President Trump and  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi boiled over during the speech, with Trump snubbing her outstretched hand and Pelosi ripping apart a copy of his remarks behind his back. 
Trump delivered the astonishing snub to Pelosi as he started his speech by ignoring her as she offered him a handshake, which set the tone for a full-throated condemnation of his political enemies and his presidential predecessors in front of a divided Congress.
He simply turned away as the Speaker took her copy of his speech, then stood in front of a chamber which echoed with cries of 'four more years' from Republicans.
That moment set the tone for the rest of the night. 
The Democratic impeachment managers sat together during the address. Adam Schiff looked at the ground while Jerry Nadler sat with his head in his hand. Several of them had copies of the constitution on the desks in front of them. 
Pelosi, at times, was seen biting her lip or holding up a page of the president's remarks close in front of her face and staring at it intently as the president launched zingers at his political enemies through bragging about policy accomplishments or attacking what the Democratic opposition wanted to do. She shook her head when Trump claimed he saved the pre-existing condition provision of Obamacare - a law Pelosi fought to get passed and the president tried to dismantle. 
The speech was so contentious and divisive that Pelosi tore it up when the president was done speaking. As he left the dais, she ripped the pages in half and threw them down. Democratic lawmakers also fled the chamber in droves when Trump was done talking. 
'I tore it up,' Pelosi told reporters after the speech was over. 'It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech.' 
The one hour and 20 minute speech veered back and forth between campaign rally and reality TV show. In between bragging about the American economy and his killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, Trump handed out awards and reunited a military spouse with her husband, freshly home from Afghanistan.
It was a combination of the moments Trump loves best: the made-for-television attention grabbing tactics with overly boastful claims of his accomplishments. And through it all Democrats sat and watched, mainly in silence, some so infuriated by the spectacle they left the chamber.
[size=18]Pelosi rips up Trump's speech after State of the Union address




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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped apart her copy of President Trump's State of the Union address after he finished speaking on Tuesday night
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Earlier, Trump delivered an astonishing snub to Nancy Pelosi as he started his State of the Union speech Tuesday, ignoring her as she offered him a handshake
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He simply turned away as the Speaker took her copy of his speech, setting the tone for an unrepentant speech met with cries of 'four more years' from Republicans
[size=18]Trump snubs Nancy Pelosi's offer of handshake at State of the Union




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The one word he didn't mention in his nearly 6,000 word speech was the 'I' word: impeachment. 
But even though the word wasn't mentioned, it loomed over the bitterly divided atmosphere in the room.
'America's enemies are on the run, America's fortunes are on the rise and America's future is blazing bright,' Trump said. 'In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America's destiny. We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going back.'
Trump's speech resembled a lower-volume version of his campaign rallies, providing something for every section of his political base. 
He spent much of the speech highlighting the economy's strength, including low unemployment, stressing how it has helped blue-collar workers and the middle class, though the period of growth began under his predecessor, Barack Obama.  


[size=34]Timeline of Donald Trump's impeachment[/size]


The impeachment trial for Donald Trump will come to a close this afternoon, with the President's guaranteed acquittal. 
Here is a breakdown of the key events leading up to the historic trial: 
July 18: In a call with national-security officials, a staff member of the White House Office of Management and Budget announces there's a freeze on Ukraine aid, based on a presidential order to the budget office.
July 25: Trump has the infamous phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which he asks for Zelensky's help in gathering potentially damaging information about his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
That night, a staff member at the White House Office of Management and Budget signs a document that officially puts military aid for Ukraine on hold. 
Between July 25 and August 12: An unidentified CIA officer files a complaint with the agency alleging misconduct during the president's July 25 call, according to a person familiar with the matter.    
August 12: A whistleblower complaint bearing this date and intended for Congress states: 'In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.' The complaint is addressed to Sen. Richard Burr and Rep. Adam Schiff. It does not reach them until Sept. 25.
August 14: The whistleblower's original complaint is brought up by Courtney Simmons Elwood, general counsel for the CIA, during a call involving U.S. national security officials. 
August 26: The IG for the intelligence community sends a letter to the acting director of national intelligence informing him the IG's office has received a complaint addressed to Congress of 'urgent concern' about a call between Trump and Zelensky. The inspector general says he believes the conversation could have amounted to a federal campaign finance crime.
August 28: Politico reports that the military aid to Ukraine is on hold, setting off a scramble among diplomats in Ukraine and the United States.
September 3: The Justice Department's office of legal counsel sends a memorandum to a lawyer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, finding that the 'alleged misconduct does not involve any member of the intelligence community' and concludes that the complaint does not meet the statutory requirement as a matter of 'urgent concern' that would require it to be forwarded to Congress.
September 9: The IG for the intelligence community sends a letter to Schiff and Devin Nunes about the whistleblower's complaint.
September 11: The White House informs lawmakers that it is releasing $250 million in military aid to Ukraine.
September 19: Michael Atkinson testifies behind closed doors to members of the House Intelligence Committee about the whistleblower's complaint. 
The president begins responding to published reports about his phone call.
September 24: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the House is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry, saying, 'No one is above the law.'
September 25: The White House releases a rough transcript of the president's July 25 call with Zelensky. The whistleblower's complaint is also transmitted to Congress.
September 26: The House Intelligence Committee releases a redacted version of the whistleblower complaint.
October 31: The Democratic-controlled House votes 232-196 to pass a resolution setting procedures for the impeachment inquiry.
November 13: House Intelligence Committee opens two weeks of public hearings with foreign service officials and political appointees who testify about efforts by Trump and others to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trump's political rivals. 
December 3: A 300-page report prepared by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee finds 'serious misconduct' by the president.
December 4: The House Judiciary Committee holds its first hearing in the impeachment inquiry.
December 5: Pelosi announces that she has asked the relevant House committee chairs to begin drawing up articles of impeachment against Trump, saying his actions left them 'no choice' but to act swiftly. 
December 10: Pelosi announces two articles of impeachment against Trump, for abuse of power and for obstruction of justice, over charges he threatened the integrity of U.S. elections and endangered national security in his dealings with Ukraine. 
December 13: House Judiciary Committee approves two articles of impeachment against Trump, sending them to the full House.
December 18: House passes the two articles of impeachment against Trump.
Late December - early January 2020: Emails are released that show talks within the White House that sparked concern in the Pentagon, saying the hold on the military aid was breaking the law.  
January 7: Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell calls for Pelosi to deliver the articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate. 
January 15: The articles of impeachment are delivered to the Senate, marking the third time a US president had an impeachment trial.
January 22: House prosecutors have their opening arguments.
January 24: House prosecutors wrap their opening arguments, as audio leaks of Trump telling his associates he wants to 'get rid of' the US's ambassador to Ukraine.
January 25: Trump's defense team, including lawyers Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, begin its opening arguments. 
January 26: Bombshell report from John Bolton's new book reveals Bolton claims Trump confirmed the Ukraine quid pro quo, launching a new demand for witnesses to be allowed in the trial. 
January 28: Trump's defense team wraps its opening arguments. 
February 1: The Senate voted in quick order to block Democratic calls for new witnesses and documents. The 51-49 vote all but ensures Trump's acquittal when senators answer the final impeachment roll call on Wednesday. 
February 3: Both sides have their closing arguments.
The House Democratic prosecutors drew on the Founding Fathers and common sense to urge senators — and Americans — to see that Trump's actions are not isolated but a pattern of behavior that, left unchecked, will allow him to 'cheat'′ in the 2020 election. 
Trump's defense countered the Democrats have been out to impeach Trump since the start of his presidency, nothing short of an effort to undo the 2016 election and to try to shape the next one.

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Post by Donnamarie on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 21:35

Well I’m glad that Romney decided from the overwhelming evidence that the House of Representatives presented during the trial was conclusive of Trump’s guilt. Not sure I would call him brave. The evidence that the House presented was substantial. Every senator should have found him guilty on at least one charge. Romney did his job. The Senate failed and this trial was rigged from the beginning. The fact that no evidence or witnesses were allowed makes it no more than a sham.
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Post by LizzyNY on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 21:51

I've never been a fan of Mitt Romney's policies, but I've always thought he was a man of integrity. I am even more convinced of that now. I wish others in his party had half the backbone he showed today.

Donnamarie - I do think it took courage for him to buck the party line like he did because there will be blowback from his decision. If Adam Schiff has been receiving death threats - and he has! - imagine how the low-lifes in the Republican party will treat one of their own who they see as a traitor.
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Post by Donnamarie on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 22:21

Agree Lizzy that Romney has character, integrity and lives by a set of morals. So should every other person who sits in Congress. Those traits are sorely lacking in both Houses of Congress so it makes Romney look so exceptional. Romney did what was right and just. My guess is that in his mind there was never any question how he would vote. He knows what the fallout will be but he did his job. He will be called brave or a hero by many but I hope he thinks that he wasn’t doing anything less than his constitutional duty.
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