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Post by party animal - not! on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 22:48

Here are a couple of things you might be interested in!!

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-is-caught-on-camera-waving-his-hands-during-national-anthem-2020-2?r=US&IR=T

and this....

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/sep/22/michael-lewis-trump-gambling-america

I have just started reading this - and I am holding my breath. It is  shocking!

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Post by annemarie on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 23:06

[size=35]Trump was caught on camera pretending to conduct an orchestra during the national anthem at his Super Bowl watch party[/size]

Eliza Relman
 
Feb 3, 2020, 4:03 PM


[url=https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Trump was caught on camera pretending to conduct an orchestra during the national anthem at his Super Bowl watch][/url][url=https://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.businessinsider.com%2Ftrump-is-caught-on-camera-waving-his-hands-during-national-anthem-2020-2&title=Trump was caught on camera pretending to conduct an orchestra during the national anthem at his Super Bowl watch][/url][url=https://share.flipboard.com/bookmarklet/popout?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.businessinsider.com%2Ftrump-is-caught-on-camera-waving-his-hands-during-national-anthem-2020-2&title=Trump was caught on camera pretending to conduct an orchestra during the national anthem at his Super Bowl watch][/url]


The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 5e34004c62fa816e85101745?width=24&format=jpeg&auto=webpThe Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 5e34004c62fa816e85101745?width=1300&format=jpeg&auto=webp
President Trump at a campaign rally at the Knapp Center arena at Drake University on January 30, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. Tom Brenner/Getty Images



  • Since his election, President Trump has fanned the flames of a culture war over former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's practice of kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest.

  • But in an apparent contradiction of that stance, on Sunday the president himself was caught on camera pretending to conduct an orchestra as the anthem was being sung at the Super Bowl.

  • The video footage shows Trump waving his hands around and pointing to guests at the event.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.



On Monday morning, Fox and Friends tore into Beyoncé and Jay-Z for apparently staying seated during "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl on Sunday.
And since his election, President Donald Trump has fanned the flames of a culture war over former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's practice of kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest against police brutality and social injustice.
"You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing — you shouldn't be there," Trump told "Fox and Friends" in a 2018 interview. "Maybe you shouldn't be in the country."
But in an apparent contradiction of that stance, on Sunday the president himself was caught on camera moving around and at one point pretending to conduct an orchestra as the anthem was being sung.
Trump watched the game at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he held a formal party.

The footage, first reported by the Miami Herald, shows the president waving his hands around and pointing to guests.
First lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, stood by with their hands over their hearts.
The video was reportedly filmed and posted to Instagram by a real-estate agent for a Russian-American company. Watch it below.

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Post by annemarie on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 23:08


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Interview
Michael Lewis: The Big Short author on how Trump is gambling with nuclear disaster
Alex Blasdel

Books


Government positions left empty, cronyism, anti-government ideology – everything about Trump’s administration makes America more vulnerable to risk

Sat 22 Sep 2018 04.00 EDTLast modified on Mon 24 Sep 2018 08.47 EDT



  • [url=https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Michael Lewis%3A The Big Short author on how Trump is gambling with nuclear][/url]





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 ‘Trump is the single worst business manager that’s ever occupied the office’ ... Michael Lewis. Photograph: Richard Saker/The Observer
Michael Lewis began thinking about his new book, The Fifth Risk, in late 2016 or early 2017 during the weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration. He was bedridden after surgery and was “laying there going crazy about Trump,” he recalls. Lewis had just published his latest bestseller, The Undoing Project, about two Israeli psychologists, the Nobel prize-winner Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, who studied how people grapple with risk. “One of the insights that dropped out of some of their experiments was: people don’t,” Lewis says. “When you change something that has a one in a million chance of happening to a one in ten thousand chance, people don’t feel that.”
One way to think about the US government, Lewis realised, was as a manager of big risks – from military conflict, to financial collapse, to natural disaster. As risk-manager-in-chief, Trump now had the frightening ability to boost the odds of catastrophe from, say, one in a million to one in ten thousand “over a vast portfolio of risks”. “People sense an unease,” Lewis continues, “but nobody quite puts it that way.”

Lewis was contemplating the nation’s dire risk portfolio when Trump tapped the former Texas governor Rick Perry to be secretary of the Department of Energy. Five years earlier, Perry had said in a presidential debate that he wanted to eliminate that cabinet-level department. At least, he had tried to say it: in a moment that helped sweep his ruinous candidacy into oblivion, Perry forgot the department’s name.
“It’s bad enough Rick Perry has no sense of this,” Lewis thought after hearing of his appointment. But he had to acknowledge he didn’t know anything about the department either. So he decided to find out. “It took about two phone calls before I learned, ‘Oh, that’s where the nuclear weapons are. Oh my God.’”

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What Lewis went on to discover was even more shocking. On the morning after the presidential election, as the balloons from the previous night’s parties are still settling on the ballroom floors, the president-elect is expected to send teams into every department of the US federal government to begin the transition of power. But at the Department of Energy last November – and, it turned out, at many of the country’s 14 other federal departments – one day passed, and then another, and no one came.
Bureaucrats in the Obama administration had worked for a year to prepare thousands of pages of briefings on the risks their successors could face. Yet by Thanksgiving, no one from the Trump team had arrived to receive them. “I was fucking nervous … ,” Steve Bannon later told friends about Trump’s handling of the transition, Lewis reports in the book. “I go, ‘Holy fuck, this guy doesn’t know anything. And he doesn’t give a shit.’”

As Trump came to power, the department that manages one of civilisation’s most obvious existential risks was effectively going without leadership. So was the department that keeps millions of Americans from going hungry. And the one tracking the next superstorm. So Lewis decided to find out what was in the Obama briefings himself.

Risk – and the people who attempt, with arrogance or humility, for profit or disaster, to exploit it – has been the central theme of Lewis’s highly successful career. In his debut book, the 1989 memoir Liar’s Poker, he watched from his seat on the London trading floor as the investment bank Salomon Brothers turned Wall Street into what he later described as a black box of exotic risks that were poorly understood by investors and bankers alike.
Two decades later, in the highly leveraged mortgage-securities market that Salomon pioneered, the US’s largest banks were again mining profits in a mountain of complex risk. When the mine collapsed, the CEOs got massive paydays, and the rest of us got buried by the global financial crisis. A small handful of rogues who bet against the banks’ unsustainable risks also made tens of millions of dollars. In The Big Short – a book turned into an Oscar-winning film starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling – Lewis explored the disaster through their stories.

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Facebook[url=https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Michael Lewis%3A The Big Short author on how Trump is gambling with nuclear]Twitter[/url][url=http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?description=Michael Lewis%3A The Big Short author on how Trump is gambling with nuclear]Pinterest[/url]
 Payday … a scene from the Oscar-winning film of Lewis’s The Big Short. Photograph: Jaap Buitendijk/Paramount Pictures via AP
In between these tales of financial gambling, Lewis wrote bestsellers-turned-films on baseball statistics (Moneyball, 2003) and the intersection of offensive strategy and race relations in American football (The Blind Side, 2006). He also produced reams of journalism and more than half a dozen other books on topics from Silicon Valley (The New New Thing, 1999) to his high school baseball coach (Coach, 2005), whom he credits as a source of his work ethic.
Collateralised debt obligations and on-base percentages don’t seem like promising popular subjects, but Lewis is often celebrated for his conversational style and narrative flair. He says he absorbed this from the New Orleans milieu into which he was born, in 1960: “People in New Orleans have a pretty high standard for storytelling. What comes out of their mouths is more interesting than what comes out of the average American mouth. And there’s a humour that ripples through everything there.”
His accent seems to grow stronger as he tells me that New Orleans was also a place “where you were so clearly defined by who your momma was”. For his part, Lewis was “born on third base”, as he put it in Coach. His mother was descended from two US presidents, James Polk and James Monroe; his father’s great-great-grandfather was sent to the territory of Orleans by Thomas Jefferson in 1803 to be a judge following that year’s Louisiana Purchase.

Tall and trim with caramel-coloured hair and a hawkish profile, Lewis was the under-16 king of the Mardi Gras. “We’re both royals,” he recalls telling Princess Diana when they met in London, not long before her death. “But did they ever teach you to wave a sceptre?” When Diana said no, Lewis wheeled her around the room, her hand on his, and they practised with forks. “She was tickled.”
 

The fifth risk is something impossible to prepare for. What matters is having a well-organised government to respond


Despite his knack for serving up both revealing little anecdotes and big narratives such as the financial crisis, Lewis felt it was brave of Graydon Carter, then editor of Vanity Fair, to publish his more recent reportage, not from the aestheticised bustle of Wall Street but from the grey hallways of American bureaucracy. (Two of those pieces, published in 2017, are chapters in The Fifth Risk.)
But when we talk in his writing studio, a small red wood cabin behind his house in Berkeley, California, Lewis also draws a direct connection between The Big Short and his new work. It is 10 years since President Obama, Timothy Geithner, then president of the Federal Reserve, the CEOs of the world’s largest investment banks, and other financial players decided to bail out Wall Street without exacting what Geithner called “Old Testament vengeance” on the banks.
“They set the banks back up on their feet, and enabled the bankers to pay themselves what they pay themselves and expose the heart of capitalism to the rest of society as this rigged game, this sham,” Lewis says. “I think they underestimated the political consequences of that.” In other words, they hadn’t understood the risks.

In early summer 2017, Lewis went out to Long Island to meet John MacWilliams, a highly respected energy investor who became the Department of Energy’s chief risk officer during the Obama administration. Lewis was the first to hear a version of the briefing MacWilliams had prepared for his counterpart in the Trump administration.

“Just give me the top five risks I need to worry about right away,” Lewis said to him, sitting at his kitchen table. “Start at the top.” Lewis didn’t have the security clearance needed to be briefed on the first risk, but neither did the few people from the Trump administration who eventually showed up at the department. MacWilliams could only hint that the first risk involves the theft, loss or accidental detonation of nuclear weapons. “It’s a thing Rick Perry should worry about every day,” MacWilliams said.
The second risk is a conflict with North Korea involving nuclear or chemical weapons; the third, Iran’s rush to build a bomb, which has been sped along by Trump pulling out of the nuclear agreement. The fourth risk is the failure, through espionage, attack, disaster or other means, of the nation’s patchwork electrical grid.

That brought them to the fifth risk. The nuclear football – “the button” or the “emergency satchel” that contains nuclear launch codes – is often a symbol of the awesome dangers of American power. But there are other, entirely unpredictable risks that may be equally grave. This echoes something Kahneman and Tversky discovered in their work: people believe the obvious risks are the largest, like terrorist attacks. But we’re actually much more likely to die driving to the shops. The fifth risk is something impossible to conceive of in advance, or to prepare for directly. What matters is having a well-organised government in place to respond to these contingencies when they hit – exactly what the Trump administration has failed to do.

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Facebook[url=https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Michael Lewis%3A The Big Short author on how Trump is gambling with nuclear]Twitter[/url][url=http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?description=Michael Lewis%3A The Big Short author on how Trump is gambling with nuclear]Pinterest[/url]
 The nuclear football that contains launch codes is a symbol of the awesome dangers of American power. Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images
To understand more about the kind of risk the US government helps cushion its citizens from, Lewis looked at three agencies that are little discussed and poorly understood by the public: the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce. What results, in the new book, is a surprising “civics lesson” that seeks to reverse some of Americans’ deepest prejudices about government.
Slothful, wasteful, idiotic – this is how the bureaucracy is often portrayed. Many people are fed a media diet of government flops, and are not encouraged to appreciate what it gets right. There are of course real failures. The rollout of HealthCare.gov by Obama “was unforgivable”, Lewis says, the result of not paying enough attention to the civil service. But he is quick to add that Obama learned his lesson, and was never at “Trumpian levels of neglect”.
But Lewis found that many of the people working in the government are scientists and administrators at the top of their fields working on some of the thorniest problems facing the world, such as cancer and climate change. (Much of the innovation we attribute to Silicon Valley started life inside a government programme.)
They are the opposite, in other words, of Rick Perry. And they often shared something else. Lewis not only found “hundreds of fantastically important success stories in the United States government”, but that “a surprising number of the people responsible for them were first-generation Americans who had come from places without well-functioning governments”.
For Lewis, the most interesting character was a man named Ali Zaidi. A Muslim immigrant growing up poor in rural Pennsylvania, Zaidi became a staunch small-government Republican, devoted to the myth of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. After volunteering in post-Katrina New Orleans, however, Zaidi began to suspect that “there were no bootstraps”. He eventually joined the Obama administration, where at a very young age he was put in charge of overseeing budgets at the Department of Agriculture. It was only then he realised that one of the services he was helping to administer, a school-lunch programme, had kept him from going hungry as a child.
 

‘The woman who ran Obama’s energy-policy analysis was told the office was now occupied by Eric Trump’s brother-in-law’
Michael Lewis



The people who eventually turned up to run Trump’s federal government were nothing like MacWilliams, Zaidi or the other public servants Lewis met. They are more like intellectually limp versions of the arrogant “Big Swinging Dicks” Lewis described on the Salomon trading floor. Many government positions remain unfilled, but those who are in office are there not by dint of intelligence or expertise, but through cronyism and loyalty to Trump.
“The woman who ran the Obama department’s energy-policy analysis unit received a call from Department of Energy staff telling her that her office was now occupied by Eric Trump’s brother-in-law,” Lewis writes (Eric is Donald’s son). “Why? No one knew.” Trump’s people, Lewis makes clear, are largely inept and animated by greed, anti-government ideology and a “commitment to scientific ignorance”. Trump himself is, in Lewis’s view, “the single worst business manager that’s ever occupied the office. He’s obsessed only with himself, he doesn’t manage anything.”
Lewis is currently working on a TV script about Cuban immigrants who may have been smuggled into the US to play baseball, and on a six-episode podcast about people and institutions in the US who are regarded as neutral, arbiters of truth, relied on to maximise fairness. “The people in these roles are on the run, and the feelings of fairness are also on the run,” he says. “If you want to get at what drives the Trump phenomenon it is anger at a perceived injustice or unfairness.”
Lewis traces the roots of this civic breakdown to several sources, including the Republicans’ longstanding political strategy of eroding faith in government. He also points to the incursion of markets into places where they don’t belong, a story he dramatised in Flash Boys which is about the once-neutral stock exchanges becoming unfair for-profit enterprises. There’s also an intellectual story, which he told in The Undoing Project, about our justifiably eroded faith in human judgment. And there’s a technological story about algorithms usurping human discretion.
With the new book, Lewis is planning to tour a lot of small college towns, places in swing states, in the runup to the midterms in November. He wants to “force people to confront the consequences” of keeping Trump in power. About the fifth risk facing the country, he says: “If you’re worried about it to the degree you should be worried about it, there’s no way you have this man running the country.”

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Post by annemarie on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 11:50

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7972809/Donald-Trump-accuses-Mitt-Romney-Democrat-spy.html

[size=34]Donald Trump accuses Mitt Romney of ‘posing as a Republican’ in attack ad - but celebrities including Cher and Hailey Baldwin praise him for voting to impeach ‘vengeful, illiterate, limp’ president[/size]


  • Donald Trump released the video attacking Mitt Romney several hours after he was found not guilty in the Republican-led Senate in his impeachment trial 

  • In the video, which bore resemblance to a political opposition ad, Trump accused Romney of being a Democrat spy

  • His attack on Romney came after the senator was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump on the abuse of power charge during his trial on Wednesday 

  • Romney has since been praised on social media by a string of celebrities as a 'Republican with honor' as others slammed Trump's acquittal 

  • Bette Middler, Alyssa Milano, Cher and Mark Hamill were among the celebs to criticize Trump's acquittal on social media

  • They accused Republicans of 'voting for more cover ups, and more crimes'

  • Star Wars actor Mark Hamill claimed the outcome would have been different with a 'secret ballot'  


By EMILY CRANE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 01:31 EST, 6 February 2020 | UPDATED: 04:09 EST, 6 February 2020

     




Donald Trump has tweeted a video calling Mitt Romney a 'Democrat secret asset' after he went against his party in the impeachment vote - as celebrities praise the Utah senator for voting to convict the president.
Trump released the video several hours after he was found not guilty in the Republican-led Senate in his impeachment trial.
In the video, which bore resemblance to a political opposition ad, Trump accused Romney of being a Democrat spy.
In addition to calling him a 'Democrat secret asset', Trump also said Romney tried to 'infiltrate' his administration when he considered him for the position of secretary of state.

Trump, in a separate tweet, referred to Romney as a 'failed presidential candidate'.
'Had failed presidential candidate @MittRomney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election. Read the Transcripts!' Trump tweeted.  
Trump's attack on Romney came after the senator was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump on the abuse of power charge during his trial on Wednesday.
[size=10][size=18]Trump tweets video accusing Romney of being 'Democrat secret asset'




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Donald Trump has tweeted a video calling Senator Mitt Romney a 'Democrat secret asset' after he went against his party and voted to convict the president during his impeachment trial
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Trump's attack on Romney came after the senator was the only Republican to vote to convict him on the abuse of power charge during his trial on Wednesday
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Romney gave a somber speech on the Senate floor just hours before the vote saying Trump was 'guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust'.
He has since been praised on social media by a string of celebrities as a 'Republican with honor' and a 'decent, courageous man' as others slammed Trump's acquittal. 
Bette Middler, Alyssa Milano, Cher and Mark Hamill were among the celebrities  criticize Republican senators who they branded as 'cowards and fools' for siding with Trump. 
'Run, #Mitt, RUN!!' wrote actress Bette Midler after praising House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for tearing up the president's speech following last night's State of the Union. 
'Last night? Too bad Nancy didn't tear that speech into little, teeny, tiny pieces and throw that blizzard of lies right back in his face!'
Midler later took another hit at Republican senators naming them the 'good old U.S.S.R'.
Actress and activist Alyssa Milano, an outspoken critic of Trump, added praise for Romney while bashing the remaining Republican senators: 'Thank you for doing what's right, @MittRomney. History will remember you as a decent, courageous, man among cowards and fools.'    
[size=18]US Senate acquits Donald Trump in impeachment for abuse of power




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Cher called President Trump an 'imitation of a man' as she criticized his acquittal. Actress and activist Alyssa Milano tweeted that Senator Romney was 'courageous' for choosing to vote to convict Trump of the abuse of power charge at his impeachment trial 
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Comedian Chelsea Handler wrote that Republican senators were 'an embarrassment' for 'voting for more coverups, and more crimes' while singer Cher went directly for Trump saying that he is 'the most vengeful illiterate, limp, imitation of a man ever'.  
In an earlier hit, Handler joked that only milk and water were allowed in the impeachment trail chamber as Mitch McConnell may have wanted to make White Russians but there were 'already enough of those in the room'. 
More praise for Romney came from comedian Jimmy Kimmel, Star Trek actor George Takei and anti-Trump activist and actress Rosie O'Donnell, who called Romney 'one republican with honor'.  
'I'd like to thank the Democratic senators who face tough re-election races in states that Trump won who, like Mitt Romney, voted to do the right thing and convict this criminal of a president. They are examples of courage and principle over politics as well' he said. 
Takei had tweeted some days previous about the GOP-run Senate claiming that they hoped to 'suppress the truth'.   
 'Thank you demonstrating at this trial what integrity looks like, Senator Romney,' wrote George Takei, adding praise for Democratic senators who made an 11th hour decision to vote along party lines despite facing tough reelection races.  
Hailey Bieber and her father Alec Baldwin added their voices to the criticism with Bieber adding 'can not believe this' while sharing a story announcing the acquittal to her Instagram story. 
Baldwin, who regularly plays Trump in Saturday Night Live sketches, called for a second impeachment playing on the president's 'Make America Great Again' slogan with 'Impeach Trump Again'.   
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Rosie O'Donnell called Romney 'one republican with honor' after he voted to convict Trump. Hailey Bieber was among the angry celebs who mourned the impeachment result
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Hailey Bieber said 'can not believe this' on her Instagram story on hearing of Trump's acquittal 
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[size=18]McConnell avoids answering question on Trump's conduct




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Singer John Legend, whose wife Chrissy Teigan has an ongoing online feud with Trump, both praised Romney and expressed disappointment about the Presidential Medal of Freedom awardees during Trump's term as president. 
On Tuesday night, Trump awarded the medal, regarded as the highest civilian honor in the US, to conservative radio host and staunch ally Rush Limbaugh. 
Limbaugh was invited to the address by Trump to sit in the First Lady''s box after announcing an 'advanced lung cancer' diagnoses on Monday. The president called on his wife Melania to present the honor to a visibly emotional Limbaugh who appeared shocked by the moment.  
Star Wars actor Mark Hamill claimed that the outcome would have been different if the vote was secret, praising Romney for putting 'country over party'. 
Filmmaker Michael Moore had some choice words for Trump's defense team who he claimed were 'stupid & bombastic & disorganized' despite succeeding in his acquittal. 
'Trump is watching this and he's got to be steaming', Moore wrote, ' because even he's not that dumb to not see how bad they are.' 
Seinfield actor Jason Alexander mourned that 'tragically for our country, it was just a  dream'. 
He wrote: 'I thought deep down that conscience and integrity would move them when the moment of and for truth arrived.' 
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[size=18]Romney announces he will vote to convict President Trump




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Romney critics were also active with Trump counselor Kelly Anne Conway reminding her followers that the senator 'is not president' and that he lost his 2012 presidential campaign against Barack Obama. 
'More importantly: Mitt Romney won 206 electoral votes & is not President. Donald Trump won 304 electoral votes & is President.
'#AcquittedForever.' 
Trump himself celebrated his acquittal with cocky meme, despite Romney denying the president bragging rights for perfect GOP support.  
Trump's eldest children were quick to celebrate his victory with Ivanka tweeting a picture of herself standing in front of an American flag wearing a USA hat. 
The first daughter added that the 'best was is yet to come!'  
'This factional fever and incoherent, ill-conceived process has finally ended and the President has rightfully been acquitted. It is time for our Country to move forward. Together,' she wrote on Twitter. 
'POTUS has accomplished so much and is just getting started.' 
[size=18]President Trump tweets 'Trump 4EVA' video after being acquitted



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President Trump responded to impeachment vote by tweeting a 'Trump 4Eva' video
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Eric Trump posted a Rumble in the Jungle video showing his father ducking and weaving punches from Democrats soon after the President was acquitted of impeachment
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Don Jr. posted a meme showing Trump wearing sunglasses with the phrase 'Colludes with winning' scrawled across it
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Trump's daughter Ivanka also weighed in following the impeachment news - but with a measured tweet saying it was time for the country to move forward
[size=18]Trump impeachment thrown out by bitterly divided Senate




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Trump's eldest sons Eric and Don Jr. gloated about the acquittal, posting several memes and videos. 
Romney's decision to break from Republicans caused backlash from Don Jr. with Trump's son posting an Instagram meme of the Utah senator wearing mom jeans.
The words 'because you're a p**sy' were written below the image.
In the caption, Trump Jr. called for Romney to be expelled from the Republican Party.
'Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS,' Trump Jr. wrote.
'He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he's joining them now. He's now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the @GOP.'
Eric's tweet included footage of the historic boxing match between Muhammad Aliand George Foreman.
The short clip had Trump's head superimposed over Ali as he ducked and avoided punches from Foreman who had an arrow pointing towards him with the word 'Democrat'.

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Post by LizzyNY on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 15:15

I think anyone who appreciates what Romney did should donate to his re-election campaign if he decides to run again - even if you aren't a fan of all his policies.  (There are enough Dems to balance him out.)Maybe seeing funds pouring into his coffers would make the other Rep. senators realize they f***ed up. They might even find a bit of a backbone.
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Post by Donnamarie on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 20:30

Yep. I think Romney has gained a new respect among those who have been waiting for some Republican in Congress, any Republican to stand up for what is right. For anyone who can they should give to Democratic candidates running for the Senate this year. We must get a Democratic majority back in the Senate. A Democratic President won’t get much done in Congress if we don’t boot Mitch McConnell from his majority leader status.
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Post by LizzyNY on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 20:59

McConnell has to be more than booted from his majority leader status - he has to be booted from Congress altogether! The way he has blocked the legitimate functioning of government for years to score political points is, IMO, treasonous.

If you want to make a difference, please donate as much as you can to his opponent.
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Post by party animal - not! on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 22:18

Here she is:

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/10/mcconnell-elaine-chao-1358068

She'll need all the help she can get becos MoscowMitch's wife, Elaine Chao, has put lots of grants for road building etc worth millions into Kentucky!

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/10/mcconnell-elaine-chao-1358068


c

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Post by LizzyNY on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 00:00

PAN - The fact that he and his wife are corrupt is just one more reason to kick McConnell out of Congress. Amy McGrath is doing fairly well raising campaign funds, but she needs as much help as she can get. McConnell will do his damnedest to smear her and the RNC and drumpf won't let him run short of cash to do it.
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Post by Donnamarie on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 00:20

I can’t be sure but I think Moscow Mitch is the most corrupt member of Congress that I’m aware of in my lifetime. I do know that Washington politics has never been as corrupt as it is now ... when Trump came into office. Ironic right? Considering how Trump campaigned on draining the so-called ‘swamp’.

Amy McGrath is an impressive candidate. She has an uphill battle to win. You’re right Lizzy. McConnell will do just about anything underhanded to keep that seat.
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Post by annemarie on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 14:22

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7977653/Chinese-blast-Communist-party-covering-death-coronavirus-whistle-blower-doctor.html

[size=34]'He wasn't allowed to speak, or even die': Fury after Beijing 'cover up' death of coronavirus whistle-blower doctor as Chinese residents pay tribute to 'hero' medic[/size]


  • Angry Chinese have publicly accused their government of trying to cover up the death of Dr Li Wenliang

  • 'He wasn't allowed to speak. He wasn't even allowed to die,' wrote one person on messaging app WeChat 

  • Web users created cartoons and shared protest song 'Do You Hear the People Sing?' to show their fury

  • Beijing allegedly demanded reports of his passing be censored before hospital declared his death hours later 

  • Communist Party said today it was sending its anti-corruption watchdog to Wuhan to investigate the matter

  • News comes as more than 31,520 people have been infected worldwide and the death toll has climbed to 638 


By TRACY YOU FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 07:13 EST, 7 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:57 EST, 7 February 2020

     


The Chinese public have taken to social media to accuse their government of trying to cover up the death of a 'heroic' doctor who was punished for sounding the alarm over coronavirus in a rare online protest against Communist censorship.
'He wasn't allowed to speak. He wasn't even allowed to die,' wrote one person on popular messaging app WeChat as she commented on a circulating notice which apparently instructed all media outlets to suppress the coverage of the passing of Dr Li Wenliang.
'Dr Li Wenliang was only allowed to 'die' after most web users had gone to bed,' condemned another person on Twitter-like Weibo, claiming that Dr Li's hospital was quick to deny relevant reports and declared the medic's death in the wee hours today.
China has announced that it was sending its anti-corruption watchdog to Wuhan to investigate the death of Dr Li after his passing triggered an outpouring of criticism towards the Communist Party and the death toll hit 638.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24438072-7977653-Chinese_doctor_Li_Wenliang_34_confirmed_on_Saturday_that_he_had_-m-69_1581077712097

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Li Wenliang, 34, succumbed to the deadly contagion in the early hours of Friday morning local time, despite attempts to resuscitate him, the hospital which was treating him said. The ophthalmologist caught the public's attention after he was reprimanded by police and accused of spreading 'fake news' for warning on social media of 'SARS at a Wuhan seafood market'
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The Chinese public have taken to social media to accuse their government of trying to cover up the death of Dr Li who was punished for sounding the alarm over coronavirus. Some supporters of the late doctor created illustrations (one example, right) of him based on a picture (left), which shows Dr Li wearing a face mask while treating patients during the epidemic
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'He wasn't allowed to speak. He wasn't even allowed to die,' wrote one person on popular messaging app WeChat as she commented on a circulating notice which apparently instructed all media outlets to suppress the coverage of the passing of Dr Li Wenliang. Above are two more examples of the cartoons which were produced by web users to mourn the late doctor
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24438130-7977653-image-a-29_1581076389418

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'Dr Li Wenliang was only allowed to 'die' after most web users had gone to bed,' condemned another person on Twitter-like Weibo, referring to the fact that Dr Li's hospital was quick to deny relevant reports and declared the medic's death in the wee hours today. Above are two more examples of the cartoons which were produced by web users to mourn the late doctor. Both illustrations carry quotes posted by Dr Li to his account on Weibo, and showed his resolution to fight the coronavirus
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A woman cries while paying tribute to Dr Li Wenliang in front of Wuhan Central Hospital in Wuhan, China, on February 7
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Flowers are put in front of Wuhan Central Hospital by Wuhan mourners. The card that comes with the flowers carries a message reading 'the long night is about to arrive. I, from today, will begin to be on watch as long as I am alive'
[size=10][size=18]Residents of Wuhan pay tribute to Dr. Li Wenliang outside hospital



[/size][/size]








Residents of Wuhan today placed flowers in front of Wuhan Central Hospital, which Dr Li worked for and was treated at, to pay their tribute to him while citizens in Hong Kong held a vigil to mourn the dedicated medic.
The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement that it promised a thorough investigation into the issues surrounding Dr Li, who died of the new strain of coronavirus after being infected by one of his patients. 
He left behind his wife who is pregnant, their five-year-old son and his elderly parents, according to media. 
His elderly mother told video news outlet Pear that she did not have the chance to bid farewell to her son.  
'From his treatment to his resuscitation, we could not see him once. What a pity! [We were] not allowed to see [him]… because he had a contagious disease,' the grief-stricken pensioner said. 
She said she and her husband had also been diagnosed with the coronavirus and recovered a few days earlier.
'His father and I have been treated. But what a pity that my son did not make it through,' she cried.
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Mourners pay their respect to deceased Chinese doctor Li Wenliang during a vigil ceremony in Hong Kong on Friday
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A person wearing a mask attends a vigil for doctor Li Wenliang in Hong Kong, China, on Friday after he died of the coronavirus
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Dr Li, an ophthalmologist from the Wuhan Central Hospital, was among eight doctors who were dubbed 'rumourmongers' by Wuhan authorities and investigated by police. They had sent warning messages on social media about 'SARS' in a market
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Dr Li's original messages, sent to about 150 medics on popular messaging platform WeChat, read: 'Seven confirmed SARS cases were found in Huanan Fruit and Seafood Market. Pictured, people mourn Dr Li in Hong Kong, China, on Friday
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Dr Li told media that he discovered the new virus could spread among humans around January 8 - two weeks before Chinese experts revealed the information to the public. Pictured, people attend a vigil for Dr Li Wenliang in Hong Kong on Friday
Some supporters of the late doctor created illustrations of him based on a trending picture, which shows Dr Li wearing a face mask while treating patients during the epidemic. 
Others flocked to share a quote from Dr Li: 'A healthy society should not have just one voice.' He made the comment from his sickbed last Friday during an interview with Chinese news outlet Caixin.
There were also netizens who distributed a protest song - 'Do You Hear the People Sing?' - on WeChat, urging their peers to reflect upon the tragedy which had occurred to the 'heroic' doctor as well as the responsibility the government ought to shoulder.
The song, originally from musical Les Misérables, has been used as one of the anthems by anti-government demonstrators in Hong Kong during their ongoing pro-democracy movement since last June. And now it has inspired their compatriots in mainland as they showed their dissatisfaction towards the regime. 
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A picture circulating on social media shows one of Dr Li's colleagues bowing to a surgical unit after Dr Li died earlier today
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A makeshift memorial for Dr Li Wenliang is seen at an entrance to Wuhan Central Hospital in Hubei province, China, on Friday
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A man stops by the characters of 'Farewell to Li Wenliang' drawn on a snow-covered riverbank in Beijing, China, on Friday
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A medical worker walks past a flower tribute to the late doctor at the Houhu Branch of Wuhan Central Hospital on Friday
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Residents of Houhu Hospital District of Wuhan Central Hospital take pictures of flowers laid for the deceased doctor
The ophthalmologist caught the public's attention after he was reprimanded by police and accused of spreading 'fake news' for warning on social media of 'SARS at a Wuhan seafood market' on December 30. 
Li's post came two weeks before coronavirus broke out in the city of 14 million which has been locked down since January 20. 
His death has triggered an outpouring of anger from the Chinese people who are now openly criticising their leaders for clamping down on the news. 
'How they dared to 'pretend to be resuscitating him'! How they dared to 'control' the public opinions,' one critic wrote on Weibo.
'The god of death wanted him at midnight, but the organisation demanded him live until the early hours,' another person seconded.
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The news comes as more than 31,520 people have been infected worldwide and the death toll has climbed to 638

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Medical workers attending to patients at the Wuhan Central Hospital in Hubei Province, the epicentre of the deadly virus
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Medics in hazmat suits treat patients at the Wuhan Central Hospital in a photo uploaded to the hospital's official Weibo account
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The death of Dr Li Wenliang was confirmed by state media Global Times citing sources at around 9:30pm local time today. The post gathered tens of thousands of comments in a matter of minutes, but was later removed by the newspaper for unspecified reasons.
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WHO paid tribute to Dr Li on its official Twitter account after reports claimed he had died

[size=34]WHICH COUNTRIES HAVE BANNED PEOPLE FROM ENTERING?[/size]


US
The US has temporarily banned any non-US citizens who have been to China in the past two weeks from entering America. 
AUSTRALIA
Australia has banned entry for any Chinese travellers or foreign passengers who been to China within the last 14 days or even have passed through the mainland during a layover.
NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand has closed its borders to any foreigners arriving from China after February 2, including passengers who passed through in transit.
JAPAN
Japan has barred entry for anyone with symptoms of the coronavirus and no travellers from Wuhan are allowed to enter – even if they don't have symptoms.
MONGOLIA
Mongolian citizens have until February 6 to return to their home country if they want to. Travellers from China – whether they are Chinese or not – are not allowed to enter the country.
NORTH KOREA 
North Korea was one of the first countries to completely shut its borders to travellers and flights from China, introducing the measure on January 21.
KAZAKHSTAN
Officials have suspended all forms of passenger travel to and from neighbouring China. The country has also suspended the issuance of visas to Chinese citizens.
TAIWAN
Authorities have decided to ban entry to all foreign nationals who have visited mainland China in the past two weeks. 
SINGAPORE
Singapore has banned travellers who have been to mainland China in the past 14 days. 
SOUTH KOREA
South Korea has banned all foreign travellers who have passed through Wuhan in the past 14 days.
THE PHILIPPINES
Authorities banned all travellers from China, Hong Kong and Macau – except for Filipino citizens and holders of permanent residency visas.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Papua New Guinea has shut its air and seaports to all foreign travellers from Asia. Its land border with West Papua has also been closed.
SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi Arabia has banned travellers from coronavirus-hit China entering the country. The kingdom suggested it would tear up the passports of anyone who defied the ban.  
IRAQ
Iraq has banned entry for all foreign nationals travelling from China.
GUATEMALA  
Guatemala has banned non-resident travellers who had been to China in the past two weeks.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 
Trinidad & Tobago have banned non-resident travellers who had been to China in the past two weeks.




Even state-run newspapers are now urging the authorities to keep all information transparent.
Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News today wrote: 'Let the sunshine of transparency puncture through the smog of virus'. 
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of Global Times, urged the Wuhan government to apologise to the public. 
He told his 21 million followers on Weibo: 'The city of Wuhan indeed owes Li Wenliang an apology. The main officials of Wuhan and Hubei also owe a sincere apology to the people of Wuhan and all over the country.
'Why didn't Wuhan's major officials visit Li Wenliang when he was gravely ill, and overturn the attitude given to him previously?
'When our regional government and officials do something wrong, is it really this difficult to bow to those who were wronged and apologise to them?' 
Dr Li's death was reported by Mr Hu's newspaper at around 9:30pm local time yesterday. 
The post gathered tens of thousands of comments in a matter of minutes, but was later removed by the newspaper for unspecified reasons. 
Within a half-hour of announcing earlier Friday that Li was in critical condition, the hospital received nearly 500,000 comments on its social media post, many of them from people hoping Li would pull through.
It declared his death at 3:48am local time today.
Through its official Weibo (social media) account, the hospital wrote: 'Our hospital's ophthalmologist Li Wenliang was infected during the fight of the epidemic of the new coronavirus pneumonia, and died at 2:58am in the early hours of February 7 despite the fact that we had tried our best to resuscitate him.
'We hereby express our deep regret and sincere condolences.' 
Dr Li was accused of spreading fake news and criticised by police last month for sending a message to an online chatting group, informing his alumni that seven patients from the Huanan market had been diagnosed with SARS by his hospital.
His warning was posted on December 30 and came more than two weeks before the virus broke out in the city of 14 million, causing it to be put on lockdown on January 20. 
The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market turned out to be the breeding ground of the new strain of coronavirus, which is similar to SARS and has been named '2019-nCov'.
Dr Li was among eight doctors who were dubbed 'rumourmongers' by Wuhan authorities and investigated.    
His original messages, sent to about 150 medics on popular messaging platform WeChat, read: 'Seven confirmed SARS cases were found in Huanan Fruit and Seafood Market.'
He continued: '[The patients] were in quarantine in the Houhu Branch of our hospital.'
The posts caught the attention of the police after one person in the chatting group uploaded a screen grab of the conversation onto the internet. 
According to Huaxi Urban Daily, the eight accused medics shared similar messages on three chatting groups, all attended by Wuhan medics. The messages warned the medics to pay attention to a possible outbreak of what they thought was SARS.
A statement from Wuhan police on January 1 condemned them for spreading 'inauthentic' information without proof. Officers said their acts had brought bad impact on society, and they would be 'dealt with' by law.
To salvage the situation, Wuhan police stressed late last month that the eight people had not been warned, fined or detained. 
Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the eight people who had been reprimanded were 'worthy of respect because they worried about their country and its people'. 
Dr Li told Chinese news outlet Caixin in an interview last Friday that he discovered the new virus could spread among humans around January 8 - 12 days before Chinese experts revealed the information to the public.
He said on his social media account on the same day that he was hospitalised on January 12 after treating one patient who had coronavirus but did not show any symptoms. 
On Saturday, he said he was tested positive for coronavirus. 
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People wearing masks attend a vigil for late Dr Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist who died of coronavirus at a hospital in Wuhan, in Hong Kong on February 7. Wuhan police on January 1 condemned Dr Li for spreading 'inauthentic' information
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Dr Li told Chinese news outlet Caixin in an interview last Friday that he discovered the new virus could spread among humans around January 8 - 12 days before Chinese experts revealed the information to the public
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He said on his social media account on the same day that he was hospitalised on January 12 after treating one infected patient
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The news comes as more than 31,520 people have been infected worldwide and the death toll has climbed to 638
The news comes as more than 31,520 people have been infected worldwide and the death toll has climbed to 638. The overwhelming majority are in China, but more than 320 people with the illness have been reported in over two dozen other countries, including three cases in the UK, 12 in the US and 14 in Australia. 
Leading scientists today called for a blanket ban on travellers from Asia to buy Britain valuable time to prepare a vaccine against the killer coronavirus that is rapidly sweeping the world.
Virologists argue travel restrictions – such as the ban on passengers from mainland China in the US, Australia and New Zealand – are 'worth implementing' to contain the spread of the SARS-like infection.
The calls to ramp up measures come amid backlash at the Government's response to the outbreak. Last night it issued travel advice, warning travellers from nine Asian countries to phone NHS 111 and quarantine themselves if they feel ill.
Ministers announced the upgraded advice after a third case of the coronavirus was yesterday confirmed on British soil in a businessman who had not visited China. He is thought to be in his 40s or 50s and attended a conference in Singapore. 
But furious Brits have slammed the 'weak' measures to prevent more cases on UK soil, urging ministers to shut the border and saying 'serious guidance is needed'. Others have questioned if it's time to start wearing face masks. 
Almost 640 people have died from the coronavirus, which can be spread through coughs, sneezes and touching contaminated surfaces. 
[size=18]Military medics prepare for first patients at Coronavirus hospital




L
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Huoshenshan Hospital, a dedicated facility to treat coronavirus patients in Wuhan, opened yesterday after construction workers toiled day and night through Lunar New Year holiday
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It is the second such hospital to have opened in China - after the first coronavirus hospital opened in Huanggang last Tuesday. Authorities are building at least three more across China
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Chinese authorities reported 2,829 new cases yesterday plus 139 as of noon today, taking the number of infections to above 17,520 worldwide. In the picture above, people wear face masks and goggles while shopping in a supermarket on Saturday during the coronavirus outbreak
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The Philippines has become the first country outside China to report deaths from coronavirus. Pictured, Chinese nationals rest at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila today
In other developments to the escalating outbreak today: 


  • A British tourist was hauled off a cruise liner and taken to hospital in after testing positive for on his honeymoon
  • Officials have launched a frantic appeal for anyone who has spent 15 minutes with Britain's third coronavirus patient - but won't reveal who he is
  • Authorities have revealed the British victim caught the deadly virus at a business conference in a five-star hotel in Singapore
  • Local media reports the conference was held by a British-based company which provides 'stable gas measurements'




[size=34]WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE DEADLY CORONAVIRUS IN CHINA?[/size]


Someone who is infected with the Wuhan coronavirus can spread it with just a simple cough or a sneeze, scientists say.
At least 638 people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and more than 31,520 have been infected in at least 28 countries and regions. But experts predict the true number of people with the disease could be 100,000, or even as high as 350,000 in Wuhan alone, as they warn it may kill as many as two in 100 cases.  Here's what we know so far:
[size=16]What is the Wuhan coronavirus?
 
A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body's normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word 'corona', which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.
The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It is currently named 2019-nCoV, and does not have a more detailed name because so little is known about it.
Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: 'Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals. 
'Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses). 
'Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.' 
The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started seeing infections on December 31.
By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.
The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.
Just a week after that, there had been more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4,000 – possibly 9,700 – were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died. 
By January 27, more than 2,800 people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.
By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to 132 and cases were in excess of 6,000.  
Where does the virus come from?
According to scientists, the virus has almost certainly come from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.
The first cases of the virus in Wuhan came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in the city, which has since been closed down for investigation.
Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat. 
A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent similar to a coronavirus they found in bats.
There may have been an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human, researchers suggested, although details of this are less clear.
Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: 'The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.
'We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.'  
So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 
Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.
It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans' lungs.  
Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they've never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.
Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: 'Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.
'Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we're talking about a virus where we don't understand fully the severity spectrum but it's possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.'
If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die. 
'My feeling is it's lower,' Dr Horby added. 'We're probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that's the current circumstance we're in.
'Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.'
How does the virus spread?
The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.
It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. 
Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.
There is now evidence that it can spread third hand – to someone from a person who caught it from another person.
What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?
Once someone has caught the virus it may take between two and 14 days for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.
If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients – at least 97 per cent, based on available data – will recover from these without any issues or medical help.
In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people. 
What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 
Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world. 
This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.   
Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.
However, the director-general of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, yesterday said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.
This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.   
More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.
How dangerous is the virus?  
The virus has so far killed 638 people out of a total of at least 31,520 officially confirmed cases – a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.
However, experts say the true number of patients is likely considerably higher and therefore the death rate considerably lower. Imperial College London researchers estimate that there were 4,000 (up to 9,700) cases in Wuhan city alone up to January 18 – officially there were only 444 there to date. If cases are in fact 100 times more common than the official figures, the virus may be far less dangerous than currently believed.
Experts say it is likely only the most seriously ill patients are seeking help and are therefore recorded – the vast majority will have only mild, cold-like symptoms. For those whose conditions do become more severe, there is a risk of developing pneumonia which can destroy the lungs and kill you.  

Can the virus be cured? 
The Wuhan coronavirus cannot currently be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.
Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.
No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it's not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.
The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.
Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.
People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.
And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people's temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).
However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.
Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?   
The outbreak is an epidemic, which is when a disease takes hold of one community such as a country or region. 
Although it has spread to dozens of countries, the outbreak is not yet classed as a pandemic, which is defined by the World Health Organization as the 'worldwide spread of a new disease'.
The head of WHO's global infectious hazard preparedness, Dr Sylvie Briand, said: 'Currently we are not in a pandemic. We are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci, and we try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci,' the Guardian reported.
She said that most cases outside of Hubei had been 'spillover' from the epicentre, so the disease wasn't actually spreading actively around the world. 
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Post by party animal - not! on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 15:43

....and now this.....

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-news-live-impeachment-latest-today-acquittal-democrat-debate-twitter-a9323086.html

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Post by annemarie on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 18:21

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7978769/Trump-administration-bought-cell-phone-location-maps-movements-millions.html

[size=34]Trump administration has bought cell phone location data that maps the movements of millions of people in America and is using it for immigration and border enforcement[/size]


  • The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the government has been buying data from Venntel 

  • Venntel ordinarily sells the information to advertisers, but the government has become one of its biggest clients 

  • Border patrol agents have used the data to track migrants' movements along the border 

  • They have also used the information to help dismantle drug smuggling and human trafficking operations, according to unnamed officials

  • Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the government could no longer simply access information about people's location from the cell phone companies 

  • By buying it, they are using a commercial loophole to still gain the information 


By JENNIFER SMITH FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 10:14 EST, 7 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:28 EST, 7 February 2020

     




The Trump administration has bought cell phone location data that maps the movements of millions of cellphones in America and is using it to monitor the border. 
The Wall Street Journal revealed on Friday that the government has been buying access to information gathered by Venntel, a Virginia-based company. 
Venntel buys it first from private marketing companies who buy it from apps which have been granted access to a person's location services on their phone. Then, it sells it on - mostly to advertisers - but also branches of government.  
It gets the information from apps which people have allowed to access their locations. 

The Journal cited unnamed government officials who said the government was buying the data like any other commercial customer, but was then using it to track migrants along the border. 
Specifically, they have looked for patches of desert or land that would ordinarily be deserted to try to hone in on people sneaking into the country. 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24445056-7978769-image-a-37_1581088358679

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The government has been buying information from Venntel which maps people's movements based on their cell phone location data
In some cases, it had led to arrests, the officials warned. 
It was also what led federal agents to find a drug smuggling tunnel leading into a KFC in Arizona last year.
Officials claimed at the time that a routine traffic stop led them to make the arrest of the KFC's owner, Ivan Lopez. 
The government last year spent $1.1million on three subscriptions including to one with Venntel. 
Venntel bought the data from marketing companies and ordinarily, it sells it to advertisers. 
The government, in essence, is no different to those customers, the officials said.  
On its website, it says it 'supports our national interests through technological innovation, data reliability and proven results. 
The website also says that Venntel says it offers defense-intelligence and national-security services. 

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Customs and Border Patrol agents have used the data to monitor movements along the border
The revelation that the government is buying the data is unsettling for those who celebrated a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that prevents officials from getting the data directly from the cell phone companies without a court ruling. 
That ruling was based on the Carpenter vs United States case. 
The Supreme Court ruled that the data revealed so much about the way Americans live their lives that it ought to be protected. 
Critics say the act of buying the information rather than extracting it from the companies themselves is 'creepy' and encroaching on the privacy of millions. 
'This is a classic situation where creeping commercial surveillance in the private sector is now bleeding directly over into government,' said Alan Butler, general counsel of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said. 
Neither the government nor Venntel would comment specifically on the purchasing of the data. 
'While CBP is being provided access to location information, it is important to note that such information doesn’t include cellular phone tower data, is not ingested in bulk and doesn’t include the individual user’s identity,' a spokesman said. 
[size=18]Look inside drug tunnel found by Border Patrol in Arizona KFC




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The data was what led to officials discovering a drug smuggling tunnel that led from Mexico to a KFC in Arizona 

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Post by annemarie on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 22:01

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7978379/Donald-Trump-begins-impeachment-revenge-pushing-Lt-Colonel-Alexander-Vindman-White-House.html

[size=34]Lt. Colonel Vindman is FIRED and escorted out of the White House for key impeachment testimony against Trump as the NSC aide's attorney says 'the world's most powerful man has wrought revenge'[/size]


  • Trump fired Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman from White House 

  • Vindman was escorted out of building Friday afternoon 

  • 'I'm not happy with him. Am I supposed to be happy with him?,' Trump said 

  • Vindman was first White House official on July 25 call to testify in the House's impeachment inquiry into the president

  • He said he believed Trump acted 'improper' on call with President Zelensky

  • Vindman will be told as soon as Friday he is being reassigned

  • He joined the National Security Council in July 2018 

  • Trump has indicated he will retaliate now that he's been acquitted

  • Senator Mitt Romney is expected to be another Trump target

  • Republican senators, who are allies of Trump, are investigating Hunter Biden 


By EMILY GOODIN, SENIOR U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 08:14 EST, 7 February 2020 UPDATED: 16:55 EST, 7 February 2020



     

     

     

     

     
  • [email=?subject=Read%20this:%20Lt.%20Colonel%20Vindman%20is%20FIRED%20and%20escorted%20out%20of%20the%20White%20House%20for%20key%20impeachment%20testimony%20against%20Trump%20as%20the%20NSC%20aide%27s%20attorney%20says%20%27the%20world%27s%20most%20powerful%20man%20has%20wrought%20revenge%27&body=Lt.%20Colonel%20Vindman%20is%20FIRED%20and%20escorted%20out%20of%20the%20White%20House%20for%20key%20impeachment%20testimony%20against%20Trump%20as%20the%20NSC%20aide%27s%20attorney%20says%20%27the%20world%27s%20most%20powerful%20man%20has%20wrought%20revenge%27%0A%0APresident%20Donald%20Trump%C2%A0fired%20Lt.%20Colonel%20Alexander%20Vindman%20from%20the%20White%20House%20on%20Friday%20after%20the%20war%20hero%20testified%20against%20him%20in%20the%20House%20impeachment%20inquiry.%0A%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7978379%2FDonald-Trump-begins-impeachment-revenge-pushing-Lt-Colonel-Alexander-Vindman-White-House.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top%0A%0A%0AMost%20Read%20Articles%3A%0A%0APrince%20Harry%20revealed%20he%20has%20been%20in%20therapy%20for%20seven%20years%20to%20cope%20with%20loss%20of%20his%20mother%20after%20being%20introduced%20on-stage%20by%20Meghan%20at%20star-studded%20JPMorgan%20summit%20in%20Miami%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7978959%2FPrince-Harry-Meghan-make-keynote-speech-exclusive-JPMorgan-event-Miami.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top_most-read-articles%0A%0ANYPD%20cop%20charged%20in%20son%27s%20death%20called%20him%20%27a%20piece%20of%20s**t%27%20in%20text%20exchange%2C%20and%20said%20%27I%27ve%20been%20through%20more%20stressful%20things%20than%20this%27%20when%20he%20was%20told%20the%20eight-year-old%20was%20dead%20as%20the%20boy%27s%20mom%20breaks%20down%20outside%20court%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7975837%2FNYPD-cop-charged-eight-year-old-sons-death-called-piece-s-t-text-exchange.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top_most-read-articles%0A%0ALt.%20Colonel%20Vindman%20is%20FIRED%20and%20escorted%20out%20of%20the%20White%20House%20for%20key%20impeachment%20testimony%20against%20Trump%20as%20the%20NSC%20aide%27s%20attorney%20says%20%27the%20world%27s%20most%20powerful%20man%20has%20wrought%20revenge%27%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7978379%2FDonald-Trump-begins-impeachment-revenge-pushing-Lt-Colonel-Alexander-Vindman-White-House.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top_most-read-articles%0A%0A]e-mail[/email]
     



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President Donald Trump fired Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman from the White House on Friday after the war hero testified against him in the House impeachment inquiry.
Vindman was escorted out of the building this afternoon and told his services were no longer needed. 
'Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he has dutifully served his country and his President,' his attorney David Pressman said in a statement. 'He does so having spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress.' 
He indicated Vindman was fired for his testimony to the House.

'There is no question in the mind of any American why this man's job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House,' Pressman said.
Vindman's twin brother Yevgeny Vindman, a National Security Counsel attorney, walked off the White House grounds alongside him although it's not clear if he was also fired, CNN noted.
Earlier in the day, the president did not deny the reports of Vindman's imminent dismissal. 
'I'm not happy with him. Am I supposed to be happy with him? I'm not,' he said to reporters at the White House on Friday who asked him about Vindman. 
Vindman, a National Security Council aide, will be informed as soon as today that he is being reassigned to the Defense Department, The Washington Post reported.
Vindman, who received the Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq, had told officials at the NSC that he intended to take an early exit from that assignment and leave by the end of the month, sources told the newspaper, but Trump wants to make a symbol out of the Army officer now that the president has been acquitted by the Senate.
[size=10][size=18]Trump on Alexander Vindman: 'I'm not happy with him'




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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24449904-7978379-image-a-38_1581096434935

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President Trump said he is not happy with Alexander Vindman
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24440564-7978379-image-a-11_1581080888664

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President Donald Trump is preparing to push Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman out of White House
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Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman was first White House official on July 25 call to testify and he said he believed Trump acted 'improper'
[size=18]Vindman on Trump's motivations for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens




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He was appointed to the position in July 2018 and expected to stay for two years. 
But White House aides told Bloomberg News that Vindman and other NSC staff were being reassigned as part of a move to shrink the foreign policy bureaucracy.
Vindman testified in the House impeachment inquiry after receiving an subpoena from Congress. 
The president has privately fumed about Vindman's testimony, according to reports, and that fury has not waned in the wake of his acquittal. 
'Lieutenant Colonel Col. Vindman and his twin brother — right? — we had some people that — really amazing,' Trump said during a celebratory event at the White House on Thursday. 
Vindman was the first White House aide who was on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to testify in the inquiry. 
Dressed in his full Army dress uniform, he told lawmakers that he believed Trump acted 'improper' on the call.

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  • The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24400454-0-image-m-8_1581008849889Let the Biden investigation begin! Republican senators...The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24435704-0-image-a-7_1581073645776Trump tweets that 'great discipline is taking place in...The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24400158-0-image-m-3_1581004463806Triumphant Trump lashes out 'horrible person' Pelosi and...The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24395910-0-image-m-22_1580998019833'I don't like people who use their faith as justification.'...


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At the time of the call, Vindman reported his concerns that President Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, particularly Hunter's work for the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
'I was concerned by the call. I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. Government's support of Ukraine. I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained. This would all undermine U.S. national security,' he told House investigators.  
Additionally, White House aides are weighing to remove or reassign other officials who testified.
Jennifer Williams, who worked for Mike Pence and testified in the House impeachment inquiry, left the vice president's office for a new position in Central Command. 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24110280-7978379-Jennifer_Williams_who_worked_for_Mike_Pence_and_testified_in_the-a-12_1581096074364

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Jennifer Williams, who worked for Mike Pence and testified in the House impeachment inquiry, left the vice president's office
[size=18]President Trump delivers remarks after impeachment acquittal




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Her exit came two months ahead of a planned March departure. 
Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who voted to convict the president on the abuse of power charge, is also expected to feel Trump's wrath.  
On Thursday, during his acquittal celebration at the White House Trump told Sen. Mike Lee - the other senator from Utah - to deliver a message to the people of that state: 'Tell them I'm sorry about Mitt Romney.' 
'We can say, by far, Mike Lee is the most popular senator in the state,' Trump said. 
When he announced his decision on the president Wednesday, Romney said he expected the Trump to retaliate.
'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 during his speech on the Senate floor. 
Trump slammed Romney for using his faith to justify his decision during his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning.
He did not mention Romney name but his meaning was clear.  
'I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,' the president said. 
Romney, a devout Mormon, cited his faith as one of the reasons for his guilty vote. He voted to acquit the president on the second charge: obstruction of Congress.
'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,' Romney said. 
The White House has indicated the president is in a vengeful mood. 
[size=18]Romney announces he will vote to convict President Trump




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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24360306-7978379-Mitt_Romney_cited_his_faith_as_the_reason_for_his_guilty_vote_on-a-39_1581097647842

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Mitt Romney cited his faith as the reason for his guilty vote on Trump
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News Channel Thursday that people would 'pay' for what they've done.
She noted the president was 'going to talk about just how horribly he was treated and, you know, that maybe people should pay for that.'
The Senate will aid the president in some of his desire for revenge.
Two powerful Republican Senate chairmen revealed they are cranking up a probe of Hunter Biden's travel in the minutes after the Senate acquitted President Trump of abuse of power over his own conduct toward Ukraine
The president makes Hunter Biden a frequent target of his mocks during campaign rallies. 
The Senators, Charles Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, released a [url=https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2020-02-05 CEG RHJ to Secret Service %28Biden Travel%29.pdf]letter[/url] they wrote to Secret Service Director James Murray seeking documents on the former vice president's surviving son immediately after the acquittal vote. 
They wrote that they are 'reviewing potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration' particularly in Ukraine and China, where he had business dealings.  
They are seeking information on any security detail provided to Hunter Biden, as well as travel aboard government aircraft.  
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The same day the Senate acquitted President Trump, two GOP senators released a letter they wrote to the Secret Service seeking information about Hunter Biden
[size=18]Trump blasts disrespectful Pelosi for ripping up SOTU speech




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Their letter underlined that the president is getting the investigation he wanted, after his request for the president of Ukraine to do him a 'favor' and investigate the Bidens and the 2016 elections prompted a House Democratic impeachment inquiry. 
Democrats called it cheating and inducing foreign interference in the U.S. elections, but Republicans said it was not an impeachable offense. Every Senate Republican other than Mitt Romney of Utah voted to acquit, and Trump brandished headlines of his acquittal at the congressional prayer breakfast Thursday morning.  
The letter explains that senators are reviewing transactions by Rosemont Seneca Partners, a companyHunter Biden formed in 2009 along with Christopher Heinz the step-son of former Secretary of State John Kerry.
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Sen. Charles Grassley, who announced the probe, has been a firm backer of Trump's. He was at the White House Thursday as Trump was set to proclaim victory over what he calls a hoax impeachment
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Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. released a letter about his own interactions with the Ukrainian president and with President Trump during key parts of the timeframe of the Democratic inquiry
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Vice President Joe Biden waves as he walks out of Air Force Two with his granddaughter Finnegan Biden and son Hunter Biden (R) on December 4, 2013 in Beijing, China. Biden was on the first leg of his week-long visit to Asia. The senators are seeking information on Hunter Biden's use of government aircraft and exploring any potential conflicts
[size=18]Trump will keep asking 'Where's Hunter' if he meets Biden in debates




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'We write to request information about whether Hunter Biden used government-sponsored travel to help conduct private business, to include his work for Rosemont Seneca and related entities in China and Ukraine,' the senators wrote. The mentioned Hunter Biden's trip aboard Air Force Two along with his father to China in 2013. 
During the trip, he reportedly arranged for the CEO of a Chinese firm, Jonathan Li of Bohai Capital, to shake hands with the then-vice president, and ultimately landed a business deal. 
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Post by annemarie on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 15:55

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7981001/Billy-Grahams-evangelical-preacher-son-Franklin-vows-sue-British-arenas-cancelled-tour.html

[size=34]Billy Graham's US evangelical preacher son Franklin vows to sue British arenas that cancelled tour over his opposition to gay marriage[/size]


  • Graham, who was due to tour the UK later this year, says homosexuality as a 'sin'

  • Eight venues have now cancelled his shows but he says he'll get 'bigger ones'

  • The preacher claims the cancellations were due to his 'religious beliefs' 


By JAMES MILLS FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 05:30 EST, 8 February 2020 | UPDATED: 07:14 EST, 8 February 2020

     





The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24469684-7981001-image-m-4_1581155906704
Franklin Graham, 67, says homosexuality is a sin and opposes gay marriage
The preacher son of US evangelist Billy Graham is threatening to sue eight British arenas that cancelled his shows after protests from the LGBT community.
Franklin Graham, 67, a vocal supporter of US President, Donald Trump, describes homosexuality as a 'sin' and is in favour of 'gay conversion therapy'.
The ACC Liverpool conference centre was the first to cancel one of his planned events saying last month that his views were 'incompatible' with their values and the Sheffield Arena followed soon after.

Since then venues in Glasgow, Newcastle, Cardiff, Birmingham, Milton Keynes and London have all followed suit.
But Graham said today his lawyers were fighting back claiming the venues had breached contracts and had discriminated against him because of his religious beliefs.
He also remains unrepentant on his 'homophobic' views and even claimed that the Queen would agree with him. 
[size=10][size=18]Franklin Graham remains unrepentant on 'homophobic' views




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The ACC Liverpool said it had been made aware of a 'number of statements' which Graham has made which they 'consider to be incompatible' with their ethical values
He told the Guardian: 'We had contracts signed and, in some cases, deposits paid. I haven't broken any laws. 
'We are being denied because of religious beliefs and our faith. It's a freedom of religion issue and also a free speech issue.
'We have attorneys trying to get the venues to reverse their decisions. We certainly have a legal position we're standing on.'
The controversial preacher, who followed in the footsteps of his late father Billy, refused to back down on his views about gay marriage - and even claimed the Queen would agree with him.


He told Premier Christian News: 'I believe the Bible teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman. That's the Church of England's position. 
'I think Her Majesty the Queen, that's her position and it's the position of the Church, pretty much worldwide. This is what the Bible teaches and that's what I believe.'
Graham had been due to tour the UK in May but says he is confident of securing alternative venues, some bigger than those that had cancelled.
He said: 'We've certainly talked to other venues and many of them have indicated it wouldn't be an issue with them. Some of the venues that we will probably book will be actually larger venues than we had previously.' 
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Graham, who is a vocal supporter of Donald Trump and the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, has previously described gay marriage as a 'sin' and has advocated against bids to ban 'gay conversion therapy'
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There was further uproar in Glasgow when residents heard he is due to speak at the SSE Hydro (pictured) in the city this summer but the venue has now cancelled the event
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The Sheffield Motorpoint Arena also cancelled a planned appearance by Franklin Graham
Graham's father, evangelist Billy Graham, died in 2018 aged 99. 
He visited the UK several times and during his 'crusades' of Britain from 1954 to 1989, he regularly filled out sporting arenas including Wembley Stadium.
He met the Queen in 1955 and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
The ACC in Liverpool said last month that Graham had made a 'number of statements which we consider to be incompatible with our values.
'In light of this, we can no longer reconcile the balance between freedom of speech and the divisive impact this event is having in our city. 
'We have informed the organizers of the event that the booking will no longer be fulfilled.'
After the Liverpool cancellation last month he posted an open letter to the LGBT community on Facebook, saying 'we are all sinners' and denied he was bringing hate speech to Britain.
Today he issued an apology but still insisted that homosexuality was a sin.
He said: 'I don't know what they've heard or what they've experienced but I would certainly apologise to anyone who feels that I am against them, or hates them.
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Billy Graham visited the UK several times and during his 'crusades' of Britain. Christian singer Cliff Richard was a fan (pictured left with Graham at Crystal Palace athletics stadium in south London in 1989) and he also met Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street in 1989 (right)
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Billy Graham, who died in 2018, visited the UK several times. He is pictured here in 1954 addressing football fans at Stamford Bridge, London, during half-time at the match between Chelsea and Newcastle United
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Some 77 million saw the late Billy Graham preach in person while nearly 215 million more watched his crusades on television or through satellite link-ups, a spokeswoman from his ministry said
'People who use these words like homophobic or Islamophobic - I'm not sure what those terms even are. But I would certainly apologise if there was someone who's afraid or hurt because of something that they think I have said. 
'I'm here to say that God loves you. God is willing to forgive sin. If we will repent and believe on the name of his son, Jesus Christ, we will be forgiven.'  
Graham claimed the LGBT community were threatening free speech.
He said: 'This is a religious freedom issue and it's also a free speech issue. It doesn't just affect me. 
'If a small group of people can force a cancellation of an event where thousands of Christians are participating, I think there is no question about the danger in the future to others.' 
He added: 'It's one of our most cherished freedoms so I would certainly encourage people to push back and to guard and protect your right to free speech and then also for our religious beliefs. 
'I hold firm to my religious beliefs and to be discriminated against because of those religious beliefs - we need to be very careful and protect what we can.'
Members of the LGBT community had petitioned the venues and local political leaders urging them to stop him from speaking. 
Graham responded with an open letter to the 'UK LGBTQ community' on Facebook.
He wrote: 'It is said by some that I coming to the UK to bring hateful speech to your community. This is just not true. 
'I am coming to share the Gospel, which is the Good News that God loves the people of the UK, and that Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us from our sins.' 
He continued by saying he thinks the 'rub' is over 'whether God defines homosexuality as a sin'.
The preacher continued: 'The answer is yes. But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners, myself included.
'The Bible says that every human being is guilty of sin and in need of forgiveness and cleansing.' 
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Billy Graham packed Wembley Stadium in 1955 when 120,000 people went to hear him speak
[size=18]Billy Graham, famous pastor and advisor to presidents, dies at 99




[/size]

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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 16:40

Bravo to all the venues in the UK that are turning him away! Yes, it probably does violate his right to freedom of speech to some extent, but those communities have rights, too, and his response only strengthens the arenas' position.

He doesn't back down. He doesn't apologize. He just tells his followers to "push back and guard and protect your right to free speech and then also for our religious beliefs". "we need to be very careful and protect what we can." He speaks as if Christianity is under attack - and maybe his kind of religion is. It is divisive, punitive and as far from what Christ taught as you can get.
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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 18:55

Lizzy, I would be very surprised if he gets anywhere given that stance

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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 19:07

PAN - i hope you're right because the damage he could do goes far beyond his beliefs about sexuality. He is promoting an "us against them" mentality, just like his buddy drumpf, and we know where that's got us.
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Post by annemarie on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 20:38

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7981517/Philippines-president-Rodrigo-Duterte-orders-end-defense-pact-revoked-visa.html

[size=34]Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte says he will end defense pact with the US in response to the State Department cancelling the visa of a former police chief accused of illegal killings in his war on drugs[/size]


  • Philippines expected to terminate Visiting Forces Agreement with Washington 

  • Defense pact allows US military to send soldiers to train in the Asian country 

  • Duterte's defense secretary says the president 'is not changing his decision' 

  • Last month, State Department revoked visa of Senator Ronald Dela Rosa 

  • Dela Rosa was Duterte's police chief during brutal anti-drug crackdown 


By ARIEL ZILBER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 11:11 EST, 8 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:58 EST, 8 February 2020

     



Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered his government to terminate a security accord that allows the United States military to train with his country’s soldiers, according to one of his advisers.
‘The president said he is terminating the [Visiting Forces Agreement],’ Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was quoted as saying by local Filipino news media on Friday.
‘I asked for clarification and he said he is not changing his decision.’
The decision deals another blow to relations between Washington and Manila, which have deteriorated in recent years over Duterte’s controversial policies, particularly his extrajudicial killings of suspected drug users.

Last month, the State Department revoked the visa of a Filipino senator, Ronald Dela Rosa, who served as Duterte’s chief of police when the government launched its brutal anti-drug crackdown.
The State Department barred Dela Rosa as part of its policy to deny entry into the United States to those implicated in human rights violations.
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A top government official in the Philippines says that President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the termination of a security accord with the United States
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The Visiting Forces Agreement allows the US military to send troops for training missions alongside Filipino soldiers. The above file photo from 2002 shows American soldiers at a base in Zamboanga, Philippines
Duterte reacted angrily last month to the State Department’s decision, saying: ‘I'm warning you ... if you won't do the correction on this, I will terminate the ... Visiting Forces Agreement.
‘I'll end that son of a b****.’ 
Dela Rosa served as Duterte's first national police chief and enforcer of the president's deadly anti-drugs crackdown in 2016. 
Thousands of mostly poor suspects have been killed under the campaign, alarming the US and other Western governments and human rights watchdogs.
Dela Rosa and later Duterte have said Dela Rosa's visa was canceled, but US officials have not addressed the matter.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr used a televised Senate hearing earlier this week to enumerate what he described as crucial security, trade and economic benefits the accord provides. 
The US is a longtime treaty ally, a major trading partner and the largest development aid provider to the Philippines.
'While the Philippines has the prerogative to terminate the VFA anytime, the continuance of the agreement is deemed to be more beneficial to the Philippines compared to any predicates were it to be terminated,' Locsin said.
The accord, known by its acronym VFA, took effect in 1999 to provide legal cover for the entry of American forces to the Philippines for joint training with Filipino troops.
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Duterte has also barred his Cabinet officials from traveling to the US and turned down an invitation by President Donald Trump (above) to join a special meeting the US leader will host for leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in March in Las Vegas
A separate defense pact subsequently signed by the allies in 2014, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, allowed the extended stay of US forces and authorized them to build and maintain barracks and warehouses and store defense equipment and weapons inside five designated Philippine military camps.
Terminating the VFA would affect more than 300 joint trainings and other activities this year with US forces 'which the Philippine military and law enforcement agencies need to enhance their capabilities in countering threats to national security,' Locsin said.


The US provided more than $550million in security assistance to the Philippines from 2016 to 2019, Locsin said, adding that there may be a 'chilling effect on our economic relations' if the Philippines draws down its security alliance with Washington.
American forces have provided intelligence, training and aid that allowed the Philippines to deal with human trafficking, cyberattacks, illegal narcotics and terrorism, Locsin said, citing how US military assistance helped Filipino forces quell a disastrous siege by Islamic State group-aligned militants in southern Marawi city in 2017.
US military presence has also served as a deterrent to aggressive actions in the disputed South China Sea, Locsin said.
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Last month, Duterte was outraged by State Department's revocation of a visa of Filipino Senator Ronald Dela Rosa. Dela Rosa (seen above in 2016) was Duterte's chief of police when he launched a brutal anti-drug crackdown that allegedly involved human rights violations
China, the Philippines, Vietnam and three other governments have rival claims to the strategic waterway.
Duterte first threatened to abrogate the VFA in late 2016 after a US aid agency put on hold funds for anti-poverty projects in the Philippines. 
The 74-year-old leader, who has been harshly critical of US policies while often praising China and Russia, has walked back on his public threats before.
Aside from threatening to take down the VFA, Duterte has said would ban some US senators from entering the Philippines. 
He apparently was referring to American senators who sought to ban unspecified Philippine officials from entering the US for their role in the continued detention of Phillippines opposition Senator Leila de Lima, a vocal critic of Duterte´s deadly campaign against illegal drugs.
Duterte has publicly accused de Lima of receiving money from drug traffickers and called for her detention. 
De Lima has dismissed the allegations as fabricated charges designed to muzzle dissent under Duterte.
Duterte has also barred his Cabinet officials from traveling to the US and turned down an invitation by President Donald Trump to join a special meeting the US leader will host for leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in March in Las Vegas, according to presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo.
[size=18]President Duterte says 'My only sin is extrajudicial killings' in 2018




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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 21:27

Well, this is interesting. A bit of his own medicine

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/08/alexander-vindman-lawyer-trump-impeachment

David Pressman attacks Trump

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Post by annemarie on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 22:40

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/08/alexander-vindman-lawyer-trump-impeachment


Alexander Vindman lawyer attacks Trump over 'obviously false statements'


  • Impeachment witness Vindman fired from White House job
  • David Pressman backs client and decries Trump ‘intimidation’



Victoria Bekiempis in New York
Sat 8 Feb 2020 15.01 ESTLast modified on Sat 8 Feb 2020 15.05 EST







The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 4276
 Alexander Vindman during his testimony in November last year. Trump on Twitter described Vindman as ‘very insubordinate’. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
The lawyer for Lt Col Alexander Vindman condemned Donald Trump on Saturday for making “obviously false statements” about the decorated military veteran, after the president defended sacking him through several critical tweets.

The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 4000

'Real power is fear': what Machiavelli tells us about Trump in 2020



 
Read more


Ambassador David Pressman, who represents Vindman, said: “The president this morning made a series of obviously false statements concerning Lieutenant Colonel Vindman; they conflict with the clear personnel record and the entirety of the impeachment record of which the president is well aware.”
He went on: “While the most powerful man in the world continues his campaign of intimidation, while too many entrusted with political office continue to remain silent, Lt Col Vindman continues his service to our country as a decorated, active duty member of our military.”
Pressman’s statement came several hours after Trump said that “Fake News CNN & MSDNC keep talking about ‘Lt Col’ Vindman as though I should think only how wonderful he was.
“Actually, I don’t know him, never spoke to him, or met him (I don’t believe!) but, he was very insubordinate, reported contents of my ‘perfect’ calls incorrectly, &…”
The next tweet from Trump said Vindman “was given a horrendous report by his superior, the man he reported to, who publicly stated that Vindman had problems with judgement, adhering to the chain of command and leaking information. In other words, ‘OUT’”.

Vindman was a key witness in the impeachment inquiry, delivering damaging testimony despite Trump’s opposition to the proceedings.
While Vindman, a Ukraine expert and Purple Heart recipient, was set to rotate out of his national security council post this summer, he was abruptly axed and escorted out of the White House on Friday. Vindman’s twin brother – who was not an impeachment witness – was also booted from his job on the national security council, reports said.
Gordon Sondland, who also provided testimony in the inquiry, was sacked from his post as US ambassador to the European Union just hours after Vindman’s firing.

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Post by annemarie on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 00:01

[size=34]Dozens of gun lovers flock to Salt Lake City for a firearm rally after state legislators proposed FOUR gun control bills, including asking for background checks[/size]


  • Firearm owners convened at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, holding their weapons and various signs advocating for the owning of guns 

  • Signs at the rally read: 'Weaken the 2nd and you Weaken America', 'More Gun Laws, More Crime' and 'Live Free or Die' 

  • One person even held a sign condemning Mitt Romney after the Senator was the only Republican to vote against President Donald Trump during the impeachment trial 

  • The rally was held in response to the latest 2020 legislative session in Utah where various lawmakers proposed four bills tackling gun control in the state 


By MATTHEW WRIGHT FOR MAILONLINE 
PUBLISHED: 17:00 EST, 8 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:00 EST, 8 February 2020

     


Several dozen gun toting Utah residents convened on the state's capitol on Saturday to protest changes made to the 2nd Amendment.  
Firearm owners convened at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, holding their weapons and various signs advocating for the owning of guns. 
Signs at the rally read: 'Weaken the 2nd and you Weaken America', 'More Gun Laws, More Crime' and 'Live Free or Die.'
One person even held a sign condemning Mitt Romney after the Senator was the only Republican to vote against President Donald Trump during the impeachment trial. 
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Firearm owners convened at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City to protest gun control on Saturday
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Signs at the rally read: 'Weaken the 2nd and you Weaken America', 'More Gun Laws, More Crime' and 'Live Free or Die'
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One person even held a sign condemning Mitt Romney after the Senator was the only Republican to vote against President Donald Trump during the impeachment trial
Several rally-goers could be seen wearing hats endorsing Trump and sporting the Betsy Ross version of the United States Flag. The flag has recently been associated with extremist groups and white supremacists across the country as it calls for reverting back to more segregated times. 

The rally was held in response to the latest 2020 legislative session in Utah where various lawmakers proposed four bills tackling gun control in the state. 
House Bill 109, sponsored by Rep. Brian S. King (Dem), calls for universal background checks for firearm purchases. 
A law sponsored by Rep. Andrew Stoddard, House Bill 115, states that a firearm custodians could be found liable for damage caused by someone else using their firearm.     
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There are no official numbers as to how many were in attendance at the rally 
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'In 1776 they demanded we turn in our weapons,' a man's sign reads. 'We the people, shot them in the face'
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The rally was held in response to the latest 2020 legislative session in Utah where various lawmakers proposed four bills tackling gun control in the state




Another potential law, House Bill 136, makes it a criminal offense to store a firearm in a place where a minor or someone legally restricted from possessing a gun, to have access to. Firearm dealers would also have to put up a written notices stating that people could be prosecuted if they were negligent, according to the bill - sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Weight.  
House Bill 229, sponsored by Rep. Stephen G. Handy, allows family members to ask law enforcement to ask a court to restrain a person from having a firearm or ammunition for a specific length of time. 
The law would require a court to determine whether the person in question has made threats, acted violently, violated a recent protected order, is dangerous, has attempted or threatened self harm, or has demonstrated a pattern of violence. The bill would allow courts to issue search warrants in the event that the person did not want to hand over their firearms.   
The rally comes weeks after more than 20,000 people converged in the streets of Richmond, Virginia, to protest their right to bear arms in the face of swingeing state gun control laws set to be enacted later this year.
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Several rally-goers could be seen wearing hats endorsing Trump and sporting the Betsy Ross version of the United States Flag
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Another rally goer can be seen holding a 'Don't Tread On Me' flag
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People hold their weapons as others look on during a second amendment g

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Post by party animal - not! on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 00:15

https://twitter.com/photowhitehouse/status/1225909811851780096/photo/1

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Post by annemarie on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 10:44

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7984939/Donald-Trump-proposes-budget-plan-slash-4-4TRILLION-spending-decade.html

[size=34]Donald Trump unveils $4.89TRILLION budget plan to slash spending on foreign aid and social safety nets while requesting $2BN for border wall and boosting NASA funding to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024[/size]


  • President Donald Trump announced a $4.8trillion budget proposal on Sunday

  • Budget plan will request $2billion to complete wall along southern US border 

  • Plan designed to reduce the country's spending by $4.4trillion over next decade

  • But the plan is unlikely to pass in the Democrat-controlled House

  • The budget plan also focuses on military spending, boosting it by 0.3% to $740.5billion for fiscal year 2021 

  • NASA will see the biggest boost with as much as a 12% increase to support Space Force and fulfill Trump's goal of returning astronauts to the moon by 2024 

  • Plan will reduce foreign aid by 21% as the president continues to push for countries to pay their 'fair share' for their own defense


By MARLENE LENTHANG FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 18:47 EST, 9 February 2020 | UPDATED: 22:16 EST, 9 February 2020

     



President Donald Trump announced a $4.8trillion budget proposal on Sunday that will slash spending on foreign aid and social safety nets but will request billions of dollars to complete a wall at the US-Mexico border. 
The budget plan will request $2billion to complete the controversial wall along the southern US border that Trump has demanded since his 2016 campaign to stop migrants from entering the country. 
The proposal will also substantially boost funding for NASA, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security.
However, it's not likely that the budget plan, which is designed to reduce the country's spending by $4.4trillion and deficits by $4.6trillion over the next decade, will pass in the Democrat-controlled House. 

The plan sheds light on Trump's fiscal priorities as he seeks re-election this year.   
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President Donald Trump announced a $4.8trillion budget proposal on Sunday that will slash spending on foreign aid and social safety nets but will request millions of dollars to complete a wall at the US-Mexico border. Trump pictured Friday
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This graph shows the sectors where Trump will boost and cut funds in his $4.89trillion budget plan. The biggest post will be in defense, while cuts will be made in social security, medicaid and medicare
The plan seeks to fulfill Trump's 2016 campaign promise to construct a wall along the southern US border, which has sparked controversy in Congress and triggered a historic five-week government shutdown last winter when lawmakers refused to fund the project. 
The $2billion request is significantly less than the $5billion that Trump's administration asked for last year.  
The budget plan also focuses on military spending, boosting it by 0.3% to $740.5billion for fiscal year 2021, starting on October 1, a senior administration official confirmed to the Wall Street Journal.  
The proposal includes shifting resources away from the Air Force to some of President Trump's new priorities, including the recently created Space Force, Bloomberg News reported. 
NASA will see the biggest boost with as much as a 12% increase to fulfill Trump's goal of returning astronauts to the moon by 2024. 



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The budget plan will request $2billion to complete the controversial wall along the southern US border that Trump has demanded since his 2016 campaign to stop migrants from illegally entering the country. The border wall pictured in Campo, California
[size=18]Sixty-six migrants walk around wall separating US and Mexico




[/size]


Trump’s budget will bolster NASA spending from about $22.6billion to $25.2billion in fiscal 2021 - one of the biggest spending jumps requested since the 1990s. 
Overall the White House will cut reduce spending on food stamps and federal disability benefits and will modify Medicare prescription-drug pricing that could lead to $130billion in savings - something the president touched on in his State of the Union Address last week.
'Working together, the Congress can reduce drug prices substantially from current levels,' Trump said. 
'I have been speaking to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in the Congress in order to get something on drug pricing done, and done properly. I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices. Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay,' he said. 
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NASA will see the biggest boost with as much as a 12% increase to fulfill Trump's goal of returning astronauts to the moon by 2024. Trump’s budget will bolster NASA spending from about $22.6billion to $25.2billion in fiscal 2021 - one of the biggest spending jumps requested since the 1990s
[size=18]NASA unveils new mission to explore north and south poles of the Sun




[/size]

Another major focus of Trump's budget is to reduce foreign aid by 21% as the president continues to push for countries to pay their 'fair share' for their own defense. 
Trump came under fire for temporarily suspending aid to Ukraine last year, a move which triggered impeachment proceedings over abuse of power. 
Republicans defended the move claiming the president was seeking to suspend or reduce US financial spending overseas, particularly to corrupt countries. 
The budget plans to cut 26% or funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), continuing Trump's efforts to roll back Obama-era EPA regulations. 
Overall social saftey nets will see $292billion in cuts impacting work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps.  
In Trump's State of the Union Address he boasted about the strength of the economy saying: 'We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago and we are never going back.' 
Under Trump's plan, the federal budget deficit would shrink to $966billion next year from an estimated $1trillion in 2020 - more than twice what Trump projected in his first budget proposal in 2017.  
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 22:47

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7987501/Residents-small-Kansas-town-jailed-unpaid-medical-bills.html

[size=34]Residents of a small Kansas town, where the poverty rate is twice the national average, are being jailed for their unpaid medical bills[/size]


  • Tres Biggs and his wife, Heather, fell behind on their medical bills after their son, Lane, was diagnosed with leukemia when he was five years old

  • At the same time, Heather, suffered from seizures and Lyme disease, Tres said  

  • Tres was arrested for first time in 2008 after Coffeyville Regional Medical Center sued him for $2,146, which stemmed from Heather's emergency room visits

  • By 2012, the Biggs had accrued more than $70,000 of debt from medical bills 


By VALERIE EDWARDS FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 11:53 EST, 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:32 EST, 10 February 2020

     



Residents of a small Kansas town, where the poverty rate is twice the national average, are being jailed for their unpaid medical bills. 
In Coffeyville, Kansas, 26.2 per cent of the more than 9,700 people who live there are below the poverty line compared to the national average of 13.1 per cent.   
Because of this issue, some residents like Tres Biggs, have found themselves working two jobs. Neither job offered Tres insurance plans and he was unable to afford health care. 
Tres and his wife, Heather, said they fell behind on their son's medical bills after he was diagnosed with leukemia. 

Their son, Lane, was five years old at the time of his diagnosis, and at the same time, Heather suffered from seizures and Lyme disease, according to ProPublica.
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Tres and his wife, Heather (pictured together), said they fell behind on their son's medical bills after he was diagnosed with leukemia. Tres was arrested after they accumulated more than $70,000 in medical debt
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Tres (pictured with his wife) was working two jobs at the time of his arrest. Neither job offered him insurance plans and he was unable to afford health care. 
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Tres was arrested for the first time in 2008 after Coffeyville Regional Medical Center (pictured) sued him in 2006 for $2,146. That bill stemmed from one of Heather's emergency room visits
'We had so many — multiple health issues in our family at the same time, it put us in a bracket that made insurance unattainable,' Heather told the publication. 
'It would have made no sense. We would have had to have not eaten, not had a home.'
Tres was arrested for the first time in 2008 after Coffeyville Regional Medical Center sued him in 2006 for $2,146. That bill stemmed from one of Heather's emergency room visits.



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Between both of his jobs, Tres was working 70 hours per week and taking their son to chemotherapy. 
In doing all of that, he missed two court appearances over the medical bill. He was then arrested for failing to appear in court. His bail was set at $500. 
Over the next few years, the Biggs family was sued multiple times by the hospital until their debt had accrued to more than $70,000 in medical expenses, forcing them to file for bankruptcy. 
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Crystal Dyke (pictured with her husband) had a similar story. She was arrested when she was four pregnant because she missed hearings involving a $230 radiologist bill
Crystal Dyke had a similar story.
She was arrested when she was four months pregnant because she missed hearings involving a $230 radiologist bill.
Her bail was also set at $500.  
According to ProPublica, attorney Michael Hassenplug represents medical providers to collect debt owed. 
Hassenplug was partially responsible for the law put in place by local judge, David Casement, after recommending it. Hassenplug uses the law by asking the court to force people with unpaid medical bills to appear in court every three months. 
During their appearances, the residents would state that they are too poor to pay in what is called a 'debtors exam'.
If a resident misses two court appearances, Casement issues an arrest warrant for contempt of court. Their bails are set at $500.
In almost every case in Coffeyville, bail money goes to pay attorneys like Hassenplug instead of being returned to defendants once they appear in court. 
In addition, if a defendant missed their court appearance without a good reason, then they would be ordered to pay an extra $50 to cover the plaintiff's attorney fees. 
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According to ProPublica, Judge David Casement (pictured) is a cattle rancher who was appointed a magistrate judge, despite never taking a single course in law. In Kansas, judges don’t need a law degree to preside over cases like these
And if they didn't pay, they would be given a two-day sentence. 
According to ProPublica, Casement is a cattle rancher who was appointed a magistrate judge, despite never taking a single course in law. 
In Kansas, judges don’t need a law degree to preside over cases like these. 
Nusrat Choudhury, the deputy director of the ACLU, told CBS that this practice 'raises serious constitutional concerns'.
'What’s happening here is a jailhouse shake-down for cash that is the criminalization of private debt.'

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Post by LizzyNY on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 01:13

This is disgusting! Sadly, it's probably going to affect al lot more people when drumpf gets through gutting all our social programs to pay for his damn wall.

I wonder who they voted for in the last election and who they'll vote for in November.
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Post by annemarie on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 02:00

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7988627/Trump-hurls-Democratic-primary-fight-NH-rally-hours-voters-head-polls.html

[size=34]Donald Trump calls on Republicans to vote for the WEAKEST candidate in Democratic primary in bid to sabotage the contest as he takes a victory lap in his first rally since impeachment acquittal[/size]


  • Donald Trump descended on Manchester, New Hampshire Monday night with his A-team as the Democrats prepare for the primary election there the next day 

  • He espoused the idea that Republicans could vote in the Democratic primary in the state for the candidate they feel is the weakest to sabotage the results

  • 'My only problem is I'm trying to figure out who is their weakest candidate. I think they're all weak,' he asserted 

  • At the same time, Democratic primary candidate scattered across the state for campaign events of their own 

  • The president was joined by Vice President Mike Pence, his son Don Jr., and his daughter and son-in-law Ivanka and Jared Kushner 

  • Trump said he was holding the New Hampshire rally on the eve of the primary because he wants to rattle the Democrats campaigning there 

  • 'Will be in Manchester, New Hampshire, tonight for a big Rally. Want to shake up the Dems a little bit - they have a really boring deal going on,' he tweeted 

  • The president has mocked the fiasco in Iowa, where results were delayed for almost a week 

  • He also held rally in Des Moines, Iowa right before the first-in-the-nation caucuses 


By KATELYN CARALLE, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM IN MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
PUBLISHED: 18:26 EST, 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 20:53 EST, 10 February 2020

     


Donald Trump came out guns blazing at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire Monday evening, espousing the idea that Republicans should vote in the Democratic primary so their weakest candidate wins the state.  
'We hear that there could be – because you have crossovers in primaries, don't you – so I hear a lot of Republicans tomorrow will vote for the weakest candidate possible of the Democrats. Does that make sense? You people wouldn't do that,' Trump said.
New Hampshire is a partially open primary state, but not fully – meaning candidates who have not declared a party affiliation can vote in either or both primary elections, but voters who are registered with a party can only vote in that party's primary. 
It appears Trump was not aware of this – and was possibility suggesting registered Republicans would be able to sabotage the election against the Democrats' best interest.

The president said, however, he wouldn't even know which candidate those trying to hurt Democrats would vote for.
'My only problem is I'm trying to figure out who is their weakest candidate,' Trump continued.
'I think they're all weak,' he asserted. 
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Donald Trump took a victory lap in his first campaign rally after his impeachment acquittal
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He also bolstered the idea that Republican voters, who in New Hampshire can vote in the Democratic primary, might go out and vote for the candidate they feel is the weakest
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'My only problem is I'm trying to figure out who is their weakest candidate,' Trump continued. 'I think they're all weak'
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He held the rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on the eve of the first-in-the-nation primary election there – and gave a split screen event with Democratic candidate scattered campaigning across the state
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Trump brought the A-team to his rally, including crowd-favorite Donald Trump Jr. And he took several jabs at the Democratic candidates
He also used the first rally of his impeachment acquittal to take a victory lap, and thanked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for launching the proceedings because he claims it attributed to his record-high approval ratings.  
On Wednesday Trump was acquitted by the Republican-controlled House from the two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 
Trump brought his A-team to the campaign rally as Democratic candidates scattered around the state on the eve of the first-in-the-nation primary election. 
The president was joined by a slew of crowd favorites, including Donald Trump Jr. – who did a live TV hit before the event started – and gave a thumbs up to rally-goers members who responded with enthusiastic cheers.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, former Fox News host and Don Jr.'s partner, kicked off the festivities with suggesting the death of the Democratic majority in the House in November.
'We will we say 'rest in peace' when we take the gavel out of Nancy Pelosi's hand,' she motivated the crowd in inciting one of the Trump's biggest rivals: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who launched the impeachment inquiry in September. 
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President Donald Trump speaks during an election rally before the New Hampshire Primary at Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA, 10 February 2020
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President Donald Trump is greeted by White House Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., February 10, 2020
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Supporters cheer as US President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on February 10, 2020. Trump encouraged first-time registrants to back Sanders or whomever is the weaker candidate in the Democratic primary
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Trump left Washington without speaking to reporters, saving his fireworks for his rally in Manchester
[size=10][size=18]Trump says he gets larger crowds at rallies then the Democrats




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Trump's seniors advisers, and daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka and Jared Kushner traveled to attend the event. 
The group descended on Southern New Hampshire University's arena just one day before the Democratic Party will hold their second primary competition of 2020 following a fiasco in Iowa where caucuses results were delayed for nearly a week.  
Don Jr. took a hit at Democratic candidates, especially aiming at former Vice President Joe Biden.
After going on a riff about how Biden frequently makes gaffes and confuses which state he is campaigning in, Don Jr. employed a confusing phrase used by the candidate during a campaign rally in Hampton, New Hampshire on Sunday.
'Sir you are a dog faced pony soldier,' he recited. 'Whatever the hell that means. I don't know. I have no idea.'
Don Jr. was referring to the Sunday interaction, where a 21-year-old economics student asked Biden why he was best equipped to win the primary when he performed so poorly in Iowa – where other candidates pulled out an upset and he came in fourth place.
'It's a good question. Number One – Iowa is a Democratic caucus. You ever been to a caucus?' Biden asked the young voter.
She nodded in the affirmative.
'No you haven't. You've a lying dog-faced pony soldier,' Biden said, getting laughs.
'You said you were – but now you've got to be honest. Now, I'm gonna be honest with you. It was a little bit confusing in Iowa,' he said.
Biden’s spokespeople said the line was taken from a scene in a John Wayne movie – and it also appears the 77-year-old candidate was making a joke.
That didn’t stop Don Jr. from going on the offensive against one of his father’s likely competitors in November.
'But like, you know, when Joe gets a little confused, it's not even like Ohio-Iowa. You know, I could understand that once. But every week? Iowa, New Hampshire, I don't know guys, it's not exactly close,' he criticized to a laughing and cheerful crowd.
'If Donald Trump did that once, every pundit on TV right now would be saying Donald Trump has dementia,' he said. 'Joe can do it about every day, and it's like, 'There's nothing to see here folks.''
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 The president's eldest son hit at former Vice President Joe Biden for getting confused over what state he is campaigning in. 'If Donald Trump did that once, every pundit on TV right now would be saying Donald Trump has dementia,' he charged. 'Joe can do it about every day, and it's like, 'There's nothing to see here folks''
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While Trump spoke he also welcomed his daughter, Ivanka Trump, on stage
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She did not make remarks, but he lauded the work she has done as his senior adviser, and also praised Don Jr. for his opening speech
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Trump previewed that he was holding the rally because he wants to 'shake up the Dems a little bit'
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He also predicted in another tweet that the media won't cover the attendance of his Keep American Great rally – and he predicted there would be 'big crowds'
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Southern New Hampshire University Arena, where the event was held, has 11,000 seats – of which most were filled, unless the view to the president was obstructed. Crowds chanted 'four more years' at a few points throughout the night and held up four fingers
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Although the campaign has not released an official crowd count, it appears there were at least 11,000 in attendance when those in the 'pit' – or standing on the floor in front of the president – accounted for
He also jokingly encouraged New Hampshire Republicans to go out and vote for progressive candidate Bernie Sanders – a suggestion aimed toward the open elections in the state.
'Who's voting for Bernie? I'm just kidding,' the president's eldest son directed at the room of about 11,000 Trump supporters.
In New Hampshire, the Democratic primary election is open, meaning registered Republicans can still vote for whichever Democratic candidate they would like to see in the general elections. 
Trump gave permission for his supporters to vote against the front-runner Democratic candidates.
'The first step to victory in November is tomorrow. Go send a message that Republicans – and you can vote for the weakest candidate if you want, don't worry about it, I don't think we actually have a candidate against us – that Republicans are energized, that we're united and that nine months from now we are going to take back the House of Representative. We are going to hold the Senate. And we are going to keep the White House,' he rallied rally-goers.
On Monday morning Trump bragged that he was hosting the event because he was bringing more excitement to the campaign trail and intended to rattle Democrats with his massive attendance.
'Will be in Manchester, New Hampshire, tonight for a big Rally,' Trump previewed on Twitter Monday morning. 'Want to shake up the Dems a little bit - they have a really boring deal going on.'
'Still waiting for the Iowa results, votes were fried. Big crowds in Manchester!' he continued, referring to the first-in-the-nation caucuses, which were held in Iowa last Monday. 
The chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party said Trump is only turning his attention to the first primary election because he is 'desperate' to turn New Hampshire red in November after losing the state in 2016.
The chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party said Trump is turning his attention to the first primary election because he is 'desperate' to turn New Hampshire red in November after losing the state in 2016.
'It's obvious Trump and the RNC are desperate to put New Hampshire back in play after losing by 3,000 votes in 2016,' Ray Buckley said on a call with reporters Monday ahead of the president's rally.
In 2016, Trump won the Republican primary in New Hampshire in a landslide with 35.5 per cent – and the second place Republican was John Kasich, who earned only 15.8 per cent.
But in the 2016 primary elections he lost the state to Hillary Clinton by only .3 per cent, which translates to about 3,000 votes.  
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The president has also mocked the fiasco in Iowa, where results were delayed for almost a week. He also held rally in Des Moines, Iowa right before the first-in-the-nation caucuses
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New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley said Trump is 'desperate' to win back New Hampshire after barely losing to Hillary Clinton in 2016. 'His ego can't stand the idea of something going on and he's not in the middle of it,' Buckley told reporters Monday morning
Trump has been combatting Democrats campaigning on the primary trail as caucuses and elections get underway.
He hosted a reelection campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa three days before the first-in-the-nation caucuses took place there – he has scheduled back-to-back rallies in Phoenix, Arizona and Colorado Springs, Colorado both in the days before the Nevada caucuses and one on the same night as the Democrats' ninth primary debate.
He also bashed the media in another tweet Monday morning, claiming the 'fake news' won't talk about the turnout at his rally later that night.
'Hope the Fake News, which never discusses it, is talking about the big crowds forming for my New Hampshire Rally tonight. They won't!' he asserted.
'His ego can't stand the idea of something going on and he's not in the middle of it,' Buckley said during the Monday morning call. 
Trump has boasted Iowa as a win for his reelection campaign, where – even though he faces virtually no primary competition – he emerged with 97 per cent in the caucus.
The Democratic caucus, on the other hand, was thrown into chaos after an app that was intended to be used for reporting results malfunctioned.
Instead the Iowa Democratic Party had to results to paper and call-in reporting and manual tabulations, which delayed the party announcing an official winner for nearly a week – although with 100 per cent of precincts reporting, Pete Buttigieg was shown as the victor with only .1 per cent more than Bernie Sanders.
Buttigieg is the youngest candidate at 38-years-old and Sanders the eldest at 78. 
On Sunday night, the state's party finally released Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was the winner and had earned the most delegates. 
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Trump also touted his approval rating, claiming it was at an all-time high due to the impeachement proceedings
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He also insisted that the Democratic Party would move even further to the left in the next elections, but that the House would turn back red
[size=18]Dems jostle for position in New Hampshire with Buttigieg on the rise




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[/size]

Sanders' campaign is calling for a recanvass, which would have state party officials double check the results.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez extended the deadline for a candidate to request a recanvass after he said he realized there could be human error in the results reporting.  
He even demanded a recanvass himself last week after the nation went days without knowing the final results and reports indicate errors likely due to the paper reports and manual math.
'Enough is enough,' Perez tweeted Thursday afternoon.
'In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass,' he continued.


Trump has mocked the fiasco, claiming that if Democrats can't even run the Iowa caucuses they won't be able to run the country. He has also blamed Russia, suggesting they attempted to interfere in the election by hacking the app – a claim the IDP has vehemently denied. 
While touting his own poll numbers, which he says were boosted by the impeachment proceedings, Trump claimed the Democratic Party would shift dramatically to the left in this years' elections. 
'Because of how badly they did with the Impeachment Hoax, AOC will primary Cryin' Chuck Schumer, and win, and Jerry Nadler has a good chance of losing to his far left primary opponent!' Trump predicted.
'It is all getting quite interesting. Pelosi will lose the House, AGAIN!' he said, claiming the Republicans would win the House giving him the trifecta of control.
'My poll numbers great (sic),' he added. 
He posted on Twitter his approval ratings overall and among Republicans: '95% Approval Rating in the Republican Party, a Record! 53% overall (plus add 9 points?).'
'Corrupt Democrat politicians have brought me to highest polling numbers ever with the Impeachment Hoax. Thank you Nancy!' he said, attributing his high approval ratings to impeachment.  
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The caucuses were hotly contested after an app malfunction resorted the state to paper reporting. Buttigieg emerged the victor with 26.2 per cent to Sanders' 26.1 per cent. The Sanders campaign is requesting a recanvass
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24551874-7988627-Pete_Buttigieg-a-83_1581386010840

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The Iowa Democratic Party finally announced Sunday night that Pete Buttigieg (right) earned the most amount of delegates in earning just .1 per cent more than Bernie Sanders (left). Both candidates will gold split-screen rallies Monday night across New Hampshire as Trump rallies in Manchester
While Trump entertained loyal supporters in Manchester, Sanders, Buttigieg and other candidates held counter-programming split-screen rallies in other New Hampshire cities.
Sanders' campaign rally in Durham – about 40 miles from Trump's rally location – featured a visit from progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
And Buttigieg rallied about 30 miles away from Trump Monday night in Exeter.
As the two top candidates in Iowa, and the two polling best in New Hampshire, Tuesday night's election will likely come down to Sanders and Buttigieg.
The close race in Iowa caused Sanders, and others, to launch attacks against breakout star Buttigieg as they headed to New Hampshire.
During several campaign events and at the eighth Democratic primary debate Friday night at Saint Anselm College, Sanders bashed the former small-town mayor for accepting donations from billionaires.
'Unlike some of the folks up here I don't have 40 billionaires, Pete, contributing to my campaign coming from the pharmaceutical industry, coming from Wall Street and all the big money interest,' Sanders said on-stage at the debate, taking a hit at the Iowa caucus victor.
'If we want to change American, you're not going to do it by electing candidates who are going out to rich people's homes begging for money,' Sanders said.
But Buttigieg defended himself, claiming Democrats should use all the resources they can accrue to take on Trump in November.
'We are going into the fight of our lives,' he said, citing how much money the Trump reelection campaign is bringing in. 'We need to go into that fight with everything we've got.'
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During a breakfast event in Manchester Monday morning, Sanders continued to attack his top competitor, but this time, didn't name Buttigieg. 'Unlike some of my opponents, I don't have contributions from the CEOs of the pharmaceutical industry, from Wall Street,' Sanders told supporters
In the last few days, Sanders has let up naming his competitors when attacking them, and instead alludes to why his colleagues are lesser-equipped to serve as president or beat Trump.
During a breakfast event in Manchester Monday morning, Sanders
'Unlike some of my opponents, I don't have contributions from the CEOs of the pharmaceutical industry, from Wall Street,' Sanders said.
'We don't want their money, we need their money,' he asserted, adding that he has the strongest campaign to beat Trump because he was built up by grassroots organizers and donors.
But Sanders also attempted to unite the party by pinning all the blame on a common enemy: Donald Trump.
'I know not everybody agrees with everything I say, but I think what we can agree about is that we cannot continue having a president who is a pathological liar. We cannot continue having a president who is a bully, who is a racist, who is a sexist, who is a homophobe, a xenophobe,' he lamented.
[size=18]Biden eases attacks on Buttigieg and Sanders as he goes after Trump




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Post by annemarie on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 20:18

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7991077/President-Trump-condemns-horrible-unfair-demand-prosecutor.html

[size=34]Department of Justice ABANDONS demand to jail Roger Stone for nine years after Trump slams it as a 'miscarriage of justice'[/size]


  • Prosecutors had asked on Monday for Trump confidante Stone be jailed for maximum of nine years 

  • Trump tweeted early Tuesday: 'The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!' 

  • Hours later the Department of Justice announced that leaders thought the demand was 'excessive' 

  • Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress over the Russian interference probe


By ROSS IBBETSON FOR MAILONLINE and REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 07:28 EST, 11 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:09 EST, 11 February 2020

     



The Department of Justice is to walk away from its demand to jail Roger Stone for up to nine years in a move announced Tuesday, hours after Donald Trump slammed it on Twitter as a 'miscarriage of justice.'
Leaders at the department, which is headed by Attorney General Bill Barr, found it extreme and excessive, and disproportionate to Stone's offenses, one official said.
The walk-back will inevitably be painted as designed to fall in line with Trump's demands but one official told Fox News the decision had been made before Trump's Twitter rant.
They did not explain why the reversal had not been announced until after the tweet. The DOJ has not said what sentence it will now seek. The move prompted immediate anger and derision from Democrats with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer saying: 'They'll probably recommend the presidential medal of freedom!'

Veteran 'dirty trickster' Stone is due to face sentencing by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson on February 20, after a jury in November found him guilty on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.
Trump had tweeted in the early hours of Tuesday morning: 'This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!' 
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Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence Donald Trump's confidant Roger Stone to serve between seven and nine years in prison after his conviction in November 2019
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Trump tweeted Monday night: ''This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!' (pictured: at a campaign rally in Manchester last night) 
[size=10][size=18]Trump says he hasn't thought about pardoning Roger Stone




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Prosecutors will now have to ask the judge for permission to abandon their initial recommendation and submit a new one. 
'We look forward to reviewing the government's supplemental filing,' Stone's lawyer, Grant Smith, said in an email to Reuters.  
It is extremely rare for Justice Department leaders to reverse the decision of its own prosecutors on a sentencing recommendation, particularly after that recommendation has been submitted to the court. Normally, United States attorneys have wide latitude to recommend sentences on cases that they prosecuted.
Sentencing decisions are ultimately up to the judge, who in this case may side with the original Justice Department recommendation. 
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Long-time consigliere: Roger Stone has been advising Donald Trump on politics for more than 20 years, including in 1999 during his first putative White House run
Jackson, the judge, has repeatedly scolded Stone for his out-of-court behavior, which included a social media post he made of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun.
The judge barred Stone from social media last July after concluding that she repeatedly flouted his gag order.
Besides, judges invariably frown upon crimes that they see as perverting the functions of the criminal justice system, such as making false statements or obstructing an investigation.
The Justice Department plans to refile the recommendation later Tuesday.
Federal prosecutors also recently softened their sentencing position onFlynn, saying that they would not oppose a probation of punishment after initially saying that he deserved up to six months in prison for lying to the FBI. The Flynn prosecution is also being handled by the U.S. Attorney´s office in Washington.
The White House referred questions about the decision to the Justice Department.
Stone is one of several people close to Trump who faced charges stemming from then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  
Trump has the power to pardon people for federal crimes, although he has yet to use it in the cases of other former aides convicted in the wake of the Mueller investigations.
His tweet hunted he could use that power, or his power to commute sentences if Stone were to get the level of custody demanded by prosecutors.
Stone's own defense had asked for probation. 
Senior Democratic lawmakers expressed amazement at the move but Trump loyalists said they now hoped Mike Flynn - the disgraced former national security advisor who is currently trying to get out of his guilty plea to lying to the FBI - would also get 'clemency.'

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Outrage: Senior Democratic lawmakers including senators Chuck Schumer - the Senate minority leader - Chris Van Hollen and Sheldon Whitehouse all expressed anger at the move to abandon the call for a nine-year sentence
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Trump-world reacts: Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor whose daughter Sarah was the White House press secretary, was among the president's supporters calling for Mike Flynn to also be affected by the apparent presidential intervention into a prosecution
During the trial, prosecutors pressed their case that Stone lied to lawmakers about his outreach to WikiLeaks - the website that disclosed many hacked Democratic emails ahead of the 2016 U.S. election that proved embarrassing to Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton - to protect Trump from looking bad.
Stone, who has labeled himself an 'agent provocateur' and has the face of former President Richard Nixon tattooed on his back, was charged with obstructing justice, witness tampering and lying to the U.S. House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee during its investigation into Russian election interference.
Stone's colorful trial featured references to the film 'The Godfather Part II,' an impression of Senator Bernie Sanders by prosecution witness Randy Credico, and testimony by political heavyweights including former Trump campaign chief executive Steve Bannon and former Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates.
Those witnesses said they believed Stone had inside information about when WikiLeaks might release more damaging emails about Clinton. In truth, he had no such information.
Stone was also accused of tampering with Credico's testimony, when Credico was summoned to testify before Congress and speak with the FBI.
In emails and texts, Stone told Credico among other things: 'Prepare to die,' 'You're a rat. A stoolie,' and 'Stonewall it.'
Prosecutors also charged that Stone had threatened Credico´s therapy dog, Bianca, saying he was 'going to take that dog away from you.' 
[size=18]U.S. jury finds Trump adviser Stone guilty of lying to Congress




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[size=34]The six Trump associates to be convicted in Mueller probe[/size]


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GUILTY: ROGER STONE 
Convicted in November 2019 on seven counts including obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress about his communications with WikiLeaks. Due for sentencing on February 20, and faces between 7-9 years in prison.  
Stone was a person of interest to Mueller's investigators long before his January 2019 indictment, thanks in part due to his public pronouncements as well as internal emails about his contacts with WikiLeks.
In campaign texts and emails, Stone communicated with associates about WikiLeaks following reports the organization had obtained a cache of Clinton-related emails. 

According to the federal indictment, Stone gave 'false and misleading' testimony about his requests for information from WikiLeaks. He then pressured a witness, comedian Randy Credico, to take the Fifth Amendment rather than testify, and pressured him in a series of emails. Following a prolonged dispute over testimony, he called him a 'rat' and threatened to 'take that dog away from you', in reference to Credico's therapy dog, Bianca. Stone warned him: 'Let's get it on. Prepare to die.'  
GUILTY: MICHAEL FLYNN 
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Pleaded guilty to making false statements in December 2017. Awaiting sentence
Flynn was President Trump's former National Security Advisor and Robert Mueller's most senior scalp to date. He previously served when he was a three star general as President Obama's director of the Defense Intelligence Agency but was fired. 
He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his conversations with a Russian ambassador in December 2016. He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.
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GUILTY AND IN JAIL: MICHAEL COHEN
Pleaded guilty to eight counts including fraud and two campaign finance violations in August 2018. Pleaded guilty to further count of lying to Congress in November 2018. Sentenced to three years in prison and $2 million in fines and forfeitures in December 2018
Cohen was investigated by Mueller but the case was handed off to the Southern District of New York,leaving Manhattan's ferocious and fiercely independent federal prosecutors to run his case. 
Cohen was Trump's longtime personal attorney, starting working for him and the Trump Organization in 2007. He is the longest-serving member of Trump's inner circle to be implicated by Mueller. Cohen professed unswerving devotion to Trump - and organized payments to silence two women who alleged they had sex with the-then candidate: porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. He admitted that payments to both women were felony campaign finance violations - and admitted that he acted at the 'direction' of 'Candidate-1': Donald Trump. 
He also admitted tax fraud by lying about his income from loans he made, money from  taxi medallions he owned, and other sources of income, at a cost to the Treasury of $1.3 million.
And he admitted lying to Congress in a rare use of the offense. The judge in his case let him report for prison on March 6 and  recommended he serve it in a medium-security facility close to New York City.
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GUILTY AND IN JAIL: PAUL MANAFORT
Found guilty of eight charges of bank and tax fraud in August 2018. Sentenced to 47 months in March 2019. Pleaded guilty to two further charges - witness tampering and conspiracy against the United States. Jailed for total of seven and a half years in two separate sentences. Additionally indicted for mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney, using evidence previously presented by Mueller
 Manafort worked for Trump's campaign from March 2016 and chaired it from June to August 2016, overseeing Trump being adopted as Republican candidate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He is the most senior campaign official to be implicated by Mueller. Manafort was one of Washington D.C.'s longest-term and most influential lobbyists but in 2015, his money dried up and the next year he turned to Trump for help, offering to be his campaign chairman for free - in the hope of making more money afterwards. But Mueller unwound his previous finances and discovered years of tax and bank fraud as he coined in cash from pro-Russia political parties and oligarchs in Ukraine.
Manafort pleaded not guilty to 18 charges of tax and bank fraud but was convicted of eight counts in August 2018. The jury was deadlocked on the other 10 charges. A second trial on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent due in September did not happen when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and witness tampering in a plea bargain. He was supposed to co-operate with Mueller but failed to. 
Minutes after his second sentencing hearing in March 2019, he was indicted on 16 counts of fraud and conspiracy by the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., using evidence which included documents previously presented at his first federal trial. The president has no pardon power over charges by district and state attorneys.
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GUILTY: RICK GATES 
Pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements in February 2018. Awaiting sentence
Gates, a Trump campaign official, was Manafort's former deputy at political consulting firm DMP International. He admitted to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government on financial activity, and to lying to investigators about a meeting Manafort had with a member of congress in 2013. As a result of his guilty plea and promise of cooperation, prosecutors vacated charges against Gates on bank fraud, bank fraud conspiracy, failure to disclose foreign bank accounts, filing false tax returns, helping prepare false tax filings, and falsely amending tax returns.
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GUILTY AND JAILED: GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS
Pleaded guilty to making false statements in October 2017. Sentenced to 14 days in September 2018, and reported to prison in November. Served 12 days and released on December 7, 2018
 Papadopoulos was a member of Donald Trump's campaign foreign policy advisory committee. He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his contacts with London professor Josef Mifsud and Ivan Timofeev, the director of a Russian government-funded think tank. 
He has agreed to cooperate with th

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Post by annemarie on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 10:53

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7990511/Coronavirus-infect-60-cent-global-population-controlled.html

[size=34]Coronavirus could kill 45MILLION people and infect SIXTY PER CENT of the global population if it cannot be controlled, top Hong Kong medical official claims[/size]


  • Professor Gabriel Leung said authorities need to establish the spread of the virus

  • A one per cent death rate could result in hundreds of thousands of deaths

  • There are 43,000 cases worldwide so far, with more than 42,000 in China 

  • But if it reaches its potential, each infected person could give the virus to another 2.5, on average, sickening up to 60 percent of the world's population 

  • China's number of new daily cases has begun to level off, which may mean public health officials are gaining some handle on its spread 


By LUKE ANDREWS FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 04:45 EST, 11 February 2020 | UPDATED: 05:22 EST, 12 February 2020

     




The killer coronavirus could infect more than 60 per cent of the global population if containment methods fail, a top Hong Kong medical official has claimed.
Professor Gabriel Leung, chair of public health medicine in the city, also said even if the death rate sits at one per cent, it could still kill millions of people. 
With the global population currently at more than 7billion, that means the virus has the potential to infect more than 4billion, if Professor Leung is correct and its spread continues to accelerate. 
And if one per cent of those people die, that means there will be more than 45million deaths. 

But World Health Organization chiefs yesterday urged virologists to stop 'throwing around figures that there is no basis for'. 
However, the number of new cases reported in China each day has begun to level off, declining five out of the last eight days. 
It doesn't mean the outbreak – which began at the end of December – has peaked, but scientists tackling the crisis say it is an encouraging sign. 
More than 45,000 people in almost 30 countries have caught the never-before-seen virus, which has been named COVID-19. At least 1,100 have died.
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A Chinese woman wears plastic wrap, bags and a protective mask as she walks in a residential neighbourhood in Beijing
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Professor Gabriel Leung, chair of public health medicine in Hong Kong and pictured at the University of Hong Kong last month, made the comments on a visit to London
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There are more than 43,000 cases worldwide so far and more than 1,000 deaths
Experts studying the outbreak, which began in the deserted Chinese city of Wuhan, expect cases will continue to increase.
They also say the true toll will be much higher than figures show because thousands of patients have only mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. 
The hope is that, with both knowledge of and the diagnostic test for coronavirus now more widespread, people are being diagnosed more quickly.
This means they can be moved to isolation to contain the spread, which should help keep infections from reaching their maximum potential.  


But Professor Leung told The Guardian during a visit to London that the priority now is to establish the size and shape of the 'epidemic iceberg'. 
Mike Ryan, the executive director of World Health Organization's health emergencies programme, said: 'Everyone is talking about staying calm and keeping our populations calm. 
'Yet every chance we get we seem like we want to accelerate the infodemic and not contain the epidemic.
'Let's be careful in throwing around figures, speculation and scaring people. I just caution everybody to not start throwing around figures that there is no basis for at the moment.'
And on Monday, Dr Nancy Messonnier, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said that she and her agency 'absolutely assume that the reported cases are an underestimate' during a National Press Club event. 
Most experts believe that each infected person has gone on to transmit the virus to around 2.5 people, giving an 'attack rate' of 60 to 80 per cent.
The death rate, however, is thought to be much lower. Professor Leung expects it to be around one per cent once milder cases, that have not been diagnosed, are taken into account. 
'Is 60 to 80 per cent of the world's population going to get infected?,' he asked, 'Maybe not. Maybe this virus will come in waves.
'Maybe the virus is going to attenuate its lethality because it certainly doesn't help it if it kills everybody in its path, because it will get killed as well.'
[size=18]Matt Hancock updates Parliament on the spread of coronavirus




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Even if the virus reaches just one per cent, many people could still die. Pictured above are emergency workers evacuating residents from public housing in Hong Kong
[size=18]WHO confirms coronavirus team heading to China to study outbreak




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After establishing the epidemic's scale, he said they would then need to establish whether containment methods being used are effective at stopping the spread of the virus. 
The intensity of a outbreak's spread is based on a measure used by epidemiologists, called R0 - pronounced 'R naught.' 

Japan confirms 39 new cases of coronavirus on cruise ship - bringing total 174 cases


Thirty nine new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed on a cruise ship quarantined at a Japanese port.
The update brings the total found on the Diamond Princess to 174 cases.
The ministry also said the virus was confirmed in a official who participated in the initial quarantine checks the night the ship returned to Yokohama Port near Tokyo on February 3. 
The quarantine official is being treated in the hospital.
The new cases bring Japan's total to 203 people infected by the the new virus, COVID-19.
The night of the ship's arrival, Japanese health officials began medical checks on all of the ship's 3,700 passengers and crew after one previous passenger tested positive for the virus.
The U.S.-operated Diamond Princess had completed a 14-day tour during which it stopped at Hong Kong and several other Asian ports before returning to Japan.
Japanese government and tour company officials have said they were notified by Hong Kong that an 80-year-old male passenger who got off the boat there later tested positive for the virus.




It estimates how many people each infected person infects in turn. In the case of the coronavirus epidemic, the number is around 2.5 people. In contrast, the rate for measles is around 15.
But the actual spread - as opposed to the maximum - fluctuates as more data becomes available and containment methods evolve. 
For example, if a wave of new cases were diagnosed today, in people who might have been infected for some time but were asymptomatic, the spread estimate would increase. 
If tomorrow, a higher percentage of those identified as potentially infected were isolated more quickly, it could lower experts' estimates of the spread. 
Predicting the epidemic curve - or progression - of coronavirus can help public health agencies prepare for the worst, and give a rough estimate, but these are notoriously inaccurate to the actual intensity of an outbreak, especially in its earliest days. 
Governments worldwide are currently focusing on containment to prevent the spread of the virus but, if it fails, this response will switch to mitigation.
China locked-down cities infected by coronavirus, including Wuhan at the virus's epicentre, in a desperate effort to stop the disease spreading.
Cruise ships such as the Diamond Princess off the coast of Japan have been isolated after coronavirus cases were identified, and many countries have isolated travellers returning from Wuhan and other areas of China.
There have been allegations that China has not accurately reported the spread of coronavirus and the number of people killed by it, making the virus's 'infection iceberg' harder to figure out.
Wuhan medic Jeisi Luo, not his real name, warned that there are likely many more infections than reported due to limited test kits and the fact that people are dying before they are diagnosed.
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Prof Leung pictured talking to journalists during a press conference in Hong Kong in January
[size=18]Coronavirus: The confirmed cases around the world




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'When preliminary tests determine that a patient has a lung sickness, the nucleic acid test which detects the virus, cannot always be carried out because the waiting list is too long,' he said. 'The patient is therefore not diagnosed.'
Medics are instead dealing with the crisis by sending people home with medicine and advising them to 'self-isolate'.
Social media reports have also alleged that China's body burning facilities in Wuhan are working flat out, suggesting that the death toll from the virus may be significantly higher than the country has reported. 


[size=34]WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE DEADLY CORONAVIRUS IN CHINA?[/size]


Someone who is infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus can spread it with just a simple cough or a sneeze, scientists say.
At least 1,116 people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and more than 45,180 have been infected in at least 28 countries and regions. But experts predict the true number of people with the disease could be 100,000, or even as high as 350,000 in Wuhan alone, as they warn it may kill as many as two in 100 cases.  Here's what we know so far:
What is the coronavirus? 
A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body's normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word 'corona', which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.
The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, after it was first discovered at the end of December last year.
Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: 'Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals. 
'Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses). 
'Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.' 
The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.
By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.
The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.
Just a week after that, there had been more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4,000 – possibly 9,700 – were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died. 
By January 27, more than 2,800 people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.
By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to 132 and cases were in excess of 6,000.  
By February 5, there were more than 24,000 cases and 492 deaths.
By February 11, this had risen to more than 43,000 cases and 1,000 deaths. 
Where does the virus come from?
According to scientists, the virus has almost certainly come from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.
The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in the city, which has since been closed down for investigation.
Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat. 
A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent similar to a coronavirus they found in bats.
However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.
Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: 'The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.
'We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.'  
So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 
Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.
It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans' lungs.  
Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they've never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.
Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: 'Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.
'Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we're talking about a virus where we don't understand fully the severity spectrum but it's possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.'
If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die. 
'My feeling is it's lower,' Dr Horby added. 'We're probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that's the current circumstance we're in.
'Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.'
How does the virus spread?
The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.
It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. 
Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.
There is now evidence that it can spread third hand – to someone from a person who caught it from another person.
What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?
Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.
If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients – at least 97 per cent, based on available data – will recover from these without any issues or medical help.
In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people. 
What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 
Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world. 
This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.   
Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.
However, the director-general of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.
This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.   
More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.
How dangerous is the virus?  
The virus has so far killed 1,116 people out of a total of at least 45,188 officially confirmed cases – a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.
However, experts say the true number of patients is likely considerably higher and therefore the death rate considerably lower. Imperial College London researchers estimate that there were 4,000 (up to 9,700) cases in Wuhan city alone up to January 18 – officially there were only 444 there to that date. If cases are in fact 100 times more common than the official figures, the virus may be far less dangerous than currently believed, but also far more widespread. 
Experts say it is likely only the most seriously ill patients are seeking help and are therefore recorded – the vast majority will have only mild, cold-like symptoms. For those whose conditions do become more severe, there is a risk of developing pneumonia which can destroy the lungs and kill you.  

Can the virus be cured? 
The COVID-19 virus cannot currently be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.
Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.
No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it's not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.
The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.
Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.
People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.
And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people's temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).
However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.
Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?   
The outbreak is an epidemic, which is when a disease takes hold of one community such as a country or region. 
Although it has spread to dozens of countries, the outbreak is not yet classed as a pandemic, which is defined by the World Health Organization as the 'worldwide spread of a new disease'.
The head of WHO's global infectious hazard preparedness, Dr Sylvie Briand, said: 'Currently we are not in a pandemic. We are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci, and we try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci,' the Guardian reported.
She said that most cases outside of Hubei had been 'spillover' from the epicentre, so the disease wasn't actually spreading actively around the world.

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Post by annemarie on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 16:30

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7994913/Less-religious-cultures-tolerant-beliefs-money-better-education.html

[size=34]Cultures that are not governed by religion and are tolerant to all beliefs are more wealthy and have better education, study shows[/size]


  • Scientists used cultural values to predict future levels of growth and prosperity

  • Secularism and tolerance are needed for a country to see wealth and GDP rise 

  • Nations with big surges in wealth and prosperity tend to have tolerant cultures

  • UK and US scientists used survey data from 109 countries going back to 1990 


By JONATHAN CHADWICK FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 05:02 EST, 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:33 EST, 12 February 2020

     






Cultures that are not governed by religious beliefs and tolerant of minority groups tend to have higher levels of wealth, education and democracy, a study has found.
Positive changes in culture relating to acceptance and tolerance generally come before improvements in these three measures of affluence, not the other way round. 
Computer scientists in the UK and the US studied survey data of half a million people across 109 countries since 1990. 
The data showed that secularism and openness towards minorities – 'secular-rationality' and 'cosmopolitanism', respectively – can predict GDP, enrolment in secondary education and even the introduction of democracy.
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The data-driven analysis supports the notion that a ‘good’ society - valuing diversity, tolerance and openness - may also be a ‘productive’ society



While cosmopolitanism is the acceptance of marginal groups, ‘secular-rationality’ is defined as having a healthy dose of secularism – the ability to exclude oneself from religion.

WHAT IS SECULARISM? 


Secularism is the indifference to, or rejection or exclusion of, religion and religious considerations.
The three principles of secularism are defined by the National Secular Society are: 
 1. Separation of religious institutions from state institutions and a public sphere where religion may participate, but not dominate.
2. Freedom to practice one's faith or belief without harming others, or to change it or not have one, according to one's own conscience.
3. Equality so that our religious beliefs or lack of them doesn't put any of us at an advantage or a disadvantage 




For a nation to become affluent, it needs first and foremost to separate itself from religion and be tolerant of minorities and of individual rights, the study suggests.
‘We used careful statistical methods to learn cultural values from survey data, and compared them to historical statistics,’ said Dr Daniel Lawson, statistician from the University of Bristol’s School of Mathematics.
‘With access to massive digitised datasets, history is becoming a science.
‘Our data-driven analysis supports the notion that a “good” society – valuing diversity, tolerance and openness – may also be a “productive” society, which is a reason to be hopeful about the future.’
The last 300 years have brought about increases in affluence relating to health, economic development, democracy and education.
The researchers, from the University of Bristol and the University of Tennessee, wanted to investigate the origins of this surge in affluence – was religious tolerance a result of affluence, or the other way round?
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'Secular-rationality', which means having a healthy dose of secularism, was a factor used as an indicator of tolerant cultures
‘A pertinent question is whether these distinctive cultural values emerged in response to the rising prosperity in Western societies, or, conversely, whether cultural change preceded those developments,’ they write in Royal Society Open Science
Using data gathered by the World and European Values Survey, the team found that both secular-rationality’ and cosmopolitanism have to be in place for socioeconomic development to emerge.
Promotion of a country’s development must take pre-existing cultural values into account, and promoting democracy will only succeed if combined with the promotion of tolerance of minority groups.
The first place to see dramatic increases in wealth, health, education and democracy tended to be western countries.
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American college students were cited as a social group with good values that can operate independently from religion and yield prosperity and wealth
Regions with the highest secular-rationality and cosmopolitanism are in Western Europe, Australasia and the Americas.
As an example, the team says that American college students are substantially different psychologically from other more traditional societies in their values of fairness, economic decision-making, individualism, independence and ‘moral reasoning’.
Cultural values are ‘the software of society’ and can be innovated in one place before spreading to another region that speak the same language, they hypothesize.
Places with the greatest increases in wealth, education and democracy tended to have pre-existing secular and tolerant cultures, at least in the 21st century.
‘This study investigates the co-evolution of cultural values with health, wealth, education and democracy around the world,’ said Damian Ruck from the University of Tennessee.
‘It shows that promoting a culture of secularism, tolerance and openness, along with improved public health, may be the first step on the road to development.’
[size=18]The virtual reality church redefining faith for the internet age




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Post by annemarie on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 21:35

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7998697/Senate-moves-vote-restraining-Trump-Iran.html

[size=34]BREAKING NEWS: Senate votes to limit Donald Trump's powers to wage war on Iran after eight Republicans defy him to side with Democrats[/size]


  • The Senate voted 55-45 on a resolution that would limit President Trump's ability to launch military operations against Iran

  • Eight Republicans sided with Democrats in defiance of the president who had tweeted that it would 'show weakness'

  • The GOP rebels were Lamar Alexander; Bill Cassidy; Susan Collins; Mike Lee; Jerry Moran; Lisa Murkowski; Rand Paul; and Todd Young

  • Measure would severely limit Trump's ability to wage war on Iran, forcing him to get explicit approval after 30 days of hostilities

  • But if it is taken up by the House and passed he would be likely to veto it - it does not have veto-proof two-thirds majority 


By ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 00:13 EST, 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:00 EST, 13 February 2020

     



The Senate approved a bipartisan measure Thursday limiting President Donald Trump's authority to launch military operations against Iran.
Eight Republicans joined with Democrats to pass the resolution by a 55-45 vote. 
The rebels were Lamar Alexander; Bill Cassidy; Susan Collins; Mike Lee; Jerry Moran; Lisa Murkowski; Rand Paul; and Todd Young.
The measure, authored by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., says Trump must win approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran. 

Kaine and other supporters said the resolution was not about Trump or even the presidency, but instead was an important reassertion of congressional power to declare war.
While Trump and other presidents 'must always have the ability to defend the United States from imminent attack, the executive power to initiate war stops there,'' Kaine said. 'An offensive war requires a congressional debate and vote.''
The Democratic-controlled House passed a separate, nonbinding war powers resolution last month. The House could take up the Senate resolution later this month, said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
Two-thirds votes in the House and GOP-run Senate would be needed to override an expected Trump veto.
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Vote: The 55-45 decision by the Senate to limit Donald Trump's war powers is - for the moment - symbolic and if it is taken up by the House would be almost certain to be vetoed
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Sen. Tim Kaine joined at left by Sen. Mike Lee, one of the Republican defectors, meets with reporters just after the Senate advanced a resolution asserting that President Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran
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Sen. Susan Collins (right), a Republican from Maine, is a co-sponsor of the resolution that curbs President Trump's ability to go to war with Iran. She was joined Wednesday at a press conference by Sens. Mike Lee (center), another Republican, and Democrat Tim Kaine (center)
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While Sen. Mike Lee (left), a Republican from Utah, agrees with President Trump on foreign policy, he said it was his constitutional duty to reassert Congress' power to declare war  
[size=10][size=18]Senate votes on war powers resolution in wake of Iran




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Kaine and other supporters said the resolution was not about Trump or even the presidency, but instead was an important reassertion of congressional power to declare war.
Answering a claim by some of Trump's supporters - and Trump himself - that the measure sends a signal of weakness to Iran and other potential adversaries, Kaine said the opposite was true.
'When we stand up for the rule of law - in a world that hungers for more rule of law - and say 'this decision is fundamental, and we have rules that we are going to follow so we can make a good decision,' that's a message of strength,'' Kaine said Wednesday.
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah agreed. 
Lee supports Trump's foreign policy - including toward Iran - but said Congress cannot escape its constitutional responsibility to act on matters of war and peace.
'What the American people and the entire world will see from the debate we're about to have in the Senate is that there is abundant support for the United States taking tough positions with regard to Iran,' Lee said Wednesday. 'And as part of that we want to make sure that any military action that needs to be authorized is in fact properly authorized by Congress. That doesn't show weakness. That shows strength.'
While Trump and other presidents 'must always have the ability to defend the United States from imminent attack, the executive power to initiate war stops there,'' Kaine said. 'An offensive war requires a congressional debate and vote.''
The principle of congressional approval is established for an important reason, Kaine said. 'If we're to order our young men and women ... to risk their lives in war, it should be on the basis of careful deliberation by the people's elected legislature and not on the say-so of any one person.'


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Not happy: Donald Trump had tweeted at Republican senators that they had to vote against limiting his war powers
Trump disputed that, arguing in two tweets Wednesday that a vote against Kaine's proposal was important to national security and pointed to the Jan. 3 drone strike that killed Iran's top general, Qassem Soleimani.
'We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness. Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on terrorist Soleimani,' Trump said. 'If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don't let it happen!'
Tehran responded to the U.S. attack on Soleimani by launching missiles at two military bases in Iraq that house American troops. The attack caused traumatic brain injuries in at least 64 U.S. soldiers, the Pentagon said.
Democrats and Republicans alike criticized a briefing by the Trump administration shortly after the drone strike, saying U.S. officials offered vague information about a possible attack being planned by Iran but no substantial details.
Kaine has long pushed for action reasserting congressional power to declare war. 
At Republicans' request, he removed initial language that targeted Trump in favor of a generalized statement declaring that Congress has the sole power to declare war. 
The resolution also directs Trump to terminate use of military force against Iran or any part of its government without approval from Congress.
Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine and a co-sponsor, called the resolution 'much-needed and long overdue,' adding that over the past decade, 'Congress has too often abdicated its constitutional responsibility on authorizing the sustained use of military force.''
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many other Republicans oppose the resolution, saying it would send the wrong message to U.S. allies.
The Democratic-controlled House passed a separate, nonbinding war powers resolution last month. If the Senate approves the Kaine measure, the House could take up the Senate resolution later this month, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said.
Two-thirds votes in the House and Senate would be needed to override an expected Trump veto.

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Post by annemarie on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 11:40

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8001611/Trumps-story-veterans-comeback-not-quite-true.html

[size=34]Veteran who Donald Trump said turned his life around thanks to his administration's tax breaks in State of the Union speech reveals his comeback had NOTHING to do with the President[/size]


  • Tony Rankins received a standing ovation when President Donald Trump told his story during his State of the Union address on February 4

  • Trump described how the formerly homeless, drug-addicted Army veteran turned his life around thanks to a construction job at a Nashville hotel

  • The president said the job was made possible by the administration's 'Opportunity Zone' tax breaks targeting poor neighborhoods

  • Rankins has since revealed that he never worked at a site that was taking advantage of the breaks 

  • He started the job four months before the Treasury Department published its final list of neighborhoods eligible for the breaks

  • The hotel couldn't benefit even now because it's an area that didn't make the cut 


By ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 15:18 EST, 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 04:16 EST, 14 February 2020

     








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President Donald Trump praised Travis Rankins (pictured) in his State of the Union address earlier this month, describing how the veteran turned his life around thanks to a construction job at a company using the administration's 'Opportunity Zone' tax breaks targeting poor neighborhoods
Tony Rankins, a formerly homeless, drug-addicted Army veteran, got a standing ovation at the State of the Union after President Donald Trump described how he turned his life around thanks to a construction job at a company using the administration's 'Opportunity Zone' tax breaks targeting poor neighborhoods.
But that's not completely true.
Rankins, who indeed moved out of his car and into an apartment since landing a job refurbishing a Nashville hotel two years ago, doesn't work at a site taking advantage of the breaks and never has done so. 

In fact, he started that job four months before the Treasury Department published its final list of neighborhoods eligible for the breaks. And the hotel where he worked couldn't benefit even now because it's an area that didn't make the cut.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Rankins said he always considered the job that launched him on his new life two years ago to be in an Opportunity Zone and was honored to be invited by the White House to the State of the Union, with a prime seat in the balcony next to Ivanka Trump.
'After struggling with drug addiction, Tony lost his job, his house and his family. He was homeless. But then Tony found a construction company that invests in Opportunity Zones,' the president said in his February 4 speech. 'He is now a top tradesman, drug-free, reunited with his family.'
Days later, Trump doubled down on the Rankins story in a speech on his economic initiatives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and invited him up to say a few words.
'First of all, I would like to thank the president for signing this bill, because without it I wouldn't be standing here before you right now,' Rankins said.
[size=10][size=18]Trump's story of veteran Tony Rankins at SOTU 'not entirely true'




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Rankins (center) received a standing ovation after Trump's speech (pictured). It was later revealed that the president was incorrect when he claimed that Rankins turned his life around because of the Trump administration's tax break program
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'After struggling with drug addiction, Tony lost his job, his house and his family. He was homeless. But then Tony found a construction company that invests in Opportunity Zones,' the president said in his February 4 speech (pictured). 'He is now a top tradesman, drug-free, reunited with his family'
Trump also praised Rankins' employer, R Investments, for 'working to help 200 people rise out of homelessness every year by investing in opportunity zones.'
That is also not quite true.
CEO Travis Steffens said he has hired hundreds of homeless to work at the 400 buildings the company has owned over the years, taking advantage of various tax breaks. But when it comes to Trump's Opportunity Zone breaks, he said, the company has only one building tapping the program now, a warehouse in Cincinnati where no one seems to be working, homeless or otherwise.
'We've not really worked there,' Rankins said, 'but we've stored things over there.'
Steffens suggested that when Trump said R Investments was helping 200 people rise out of homelessness he was referring to the number the company hopes to teach construction skills to at the warehouse once it has been converted to a training academy.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Rankins, an ex-felon and veteran who served in Afghanistan and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, now works at another R Investments building in Cincinnati that is in an Opportunity Zone but has not used the tax breaks. He will start working at the warehouse next month, his first job at a site using the breaks.
That hasn't stopped the Trump administration and its allies from taking credit for Rankins' turnaround.
Rankins 'made an incredible comeback thanks to Opportunity Zone investments!' the White House tweeted. 
The official GOP twitter account said the story shows 'how an opportunity zone in Cincinnati has given him a second chance.' 
Ivanka Trump told her Twitter followers: 'Through grit and perseverance, he secured a job (created in an opportunity zone) and is now thriving.'
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Days after the State of the Union address, Trump doubled down on the Rankins story in a speech on his economic initiatives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and invited him up to say a few words (pictured). 'First of all, I would like to thank the president for signing this bill, because without it I wouldn't be standing here before you right now,' Rankins said
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Rankins (front left) said he was honored to attend the State of the Union, where he was seated next to Ivanka Trump (center) and Jared Kushner (right) 
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Rankins smiled as Ivanka and the rest of the SOTU audience applauded him
The Opportunity Zone program passed as part of Trump's 2017 tax overhaul offers investors big savings in capital gains taxes if they put money into nearly 8,000 poor neighborhoods designated by the Treasury Department as neglected and needing the help. 
Trump has touted the program in several speeches as an example of how he is helping struggling African-Americans.
Critics say that too many neighborhoods getting the break were already gentrifying and that investors are likely to pour even more money into them, bypassing the poor, black communities that the program is partly intended to help. 
But backers note that the final rules governing the program were only released in December and say it is too early to judge.
R Investments CEO Steffens said he was contacted by the Trump administration after speaking on an opportunity zone panel last year.
Steffens said he has provided jobs to a lot of homeless people over the last 14 years, as many as 100 in a single year, inspired by his parents' example when he was growing up.
'My dad would give his last dollar to make sure that a mom and her kids had a meal,' Steffens said. He 'taught me at young age, there's no such thing as a self-made man.'
After the Cincinnati training academy, Steffens said he plans to open ones in the New Orleans and Miami areas, too. 
He said he is also close to closing a deal to buy a hotel in Charlotte in an Opportunity Zone. 
He said he also hopes to find land in Opportunity Zones to place hundreds of 'tiny homes' that students will build as part of their training.
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Rankins, an ex-felon and veteran who served in Afghanistan and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, now works at another R Investments building in Cincinnati that is in an Opportunity Zone but has not used the tax breaks. He will start working at the warehouse next month, his first job at a site using the breaks
Steffens said he is not used to being in the national spotlight - he was invited to the State of the Union and the Charlotte speech, too - and is worried that it now can turn against him and the homeless he is trying to help.
'The publicity that this has given us is going to help us do more in the areas that we are in. And so I want to be sure that something is not painting the wrong picture, because if it that hurts us, it's going to hurt these individuals in these areas,' he said. 'We need the country to get behind what we're doing.'
As it turns out, there is a tax break that Steffens has tapped to employ homeless and others like Rankins. 
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit gives as much as $10,000 in tax credits to employers who hire homeless and others with difficulty finding jobs.
That benefit was passed in 1996 when Bill Clinton was president.
The Rankins story was one of several State of the Union introductions that appeared to be overtures to black voters, and the second to be shown to be less than truthful.
Trump dramatically announced that a Philadelphia fourth-grader, Janiyah Davis, would be getting a scholarship that would allow her to transfer from a 'failing government' school to a charter school of her choice. 
But The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that she had already been attending a charter school for months and that students there don't have to pay tuition.
As for Rankins, his feelings for the president haven't changed just because he may not be the ideal Opportunity Zone hero.

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Post by annemarie on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 20:06

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8004333/Shocking-moment-six-year-old-girl-involuntarily-committed-mental-health-facility.html

[size=34]'Am I going to jail?' Shocking moment a SIX-YEAR-OLD girl is committed to a mental health facility without her parents' permission where she was sedated and kept from her mom for TWO DAYS because her school said she was 'out of control'[/size]


  • Police bodycam footage has emerged showing Nadia Falk, six, being escorted from her elementary school in Jacksonville, Florida, by a group of cops 

  • Her mother Martina expressed her pain at seeing her daughter being taken away

  • Nadia was said to have been heavily sedated, isolated and held for 48 hours

  • She was claimed to have been throwing things and attacking school staff 

  • Sympathetic cops questioned why they had been called out 

  • The officers said that Nadia seemed pleasant, calm and co-operative 

  • The six-year-old was committed under the Baker Act, a Florida law

  • The act allows involuntary detention for people impaired by mental illness 

  • Love Grove Elementary School is investigating the incident


By HANNAH SKELLERN FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 09:34 EST, 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:44 EST, 14 February 2020

     




Police bodycam footage has emerged of the moment a six-year-old girl was escorted from her elementary school in Florida by a group of cops before being committed to a mental health facility after an 'out of control tantrum'.
On February 4, six-year-old Nadia Falk was taken to a mental health facility without her mother's permission after staff at Love Grove Elementary School called social workers claiming the girl, who has ADHD and a personality disorder, was throwing things and harming staff. 
Nadia was taken to a mental health facility where she was sedated and held for 48 hours without seeing her mother, Martina.  
Now, Martina is speaking out about the horrifying ordeal and questions over why the child was treated so harshly are being asked. 

In Florida, children may be removed from school, transported to a psychiatric facility and held for up to 72 hours without parental consent if there is reason to believe they have a mental illness and they are unable or unwilling to accept voluntary treatment.
[size=10][size=18]'Am I going to jail?' Video shows child held under Baker Act




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Martina expressed her hurt at seeing the footage of her child being taken from the school in Jacksonville before being sent to River Point Behavioral Health Center under the Baker Act, a Florida law that allows temporary detention. 
She says Nadia was 'locked away in an isolation room' to calm her down.
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Nadia Falk was taken to a mental health facility without her mother's permission after staff at Love Grove Elementary School called social workers claiming the girl, who has ADHD and a personality disorder, was throwing things and harming staff
Falk said that her daughter, who has special needs, was traumatized and has demanded answers from Duval County Public Schools and the mental health facility where the girl was committed, News4Jax reported.
Sympathetic police officers are heard questioning why they were sent for. 
One even remarks: 'She seems pleasant. the footage released by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Thursday shows'.
Nadia was heard asking: 'Am I going to jail?' after cops were called in.
The female cop who led Nadia to the police car says: 'She's been so co-operative with me'. 
'I think they don't want to deal with it,' another officer says.   
 Falk's attorney Reganel Reeves, said: 'She had a tantrum. six-year-olds have tantrums. Six-year-olds with special needs have tantrums. The school knew about her tantrums,' Reeves said. 
'The police officer had no independent basis to take this child for Baker Act.
'What medical basis did they have to give this child anti-psychotic medicines? That's what we need to know.' 
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Six-year-old Nadia is seen in the footage being taken away involuntarily from Love Grove Elementary School in Jacksonville by cops
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Sympathetic cops led her by the hand and later questioned why they had been called out
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Cops can be heard questioning why they had been called out to the school to take Nadia away
He said that they were considering launching a lawsuit. 
Falk said: 'I got a call saying that she is so uncontrollable that they had to Baker Act her.
'They called me and said 'Ms. Falk we're calling to let you know that there's nothing else we could do.
'There's nothing else you could do for my 6-year-old? When she was taken to that hospital to be locked away in this isolation, seclusion room. They said they did that as an attempt to calm her down.'
'As a mother I feel helpless. I don't see the benefit of the Baker Act. It's not helping [children]. Locking them away, just to get rid of them.'  

[size=34]The Baker Act [/size]


The mental health law in Florida, known as the Baker Act, allows involuntary psychiatric examination of anyone, regardless of their  age.
Under state law, children may be removed from school, transported to a psychiatric facility and held for up to 72 hours without consent from their parents. 
In Florida 36,078 children were sent for involuntary psychiatric examination during in 2017-2018 alone, a rise of 3,000 from the previous year.
The act is intended to only be used if there is reason to believe that the person is impaired by their mental illness and they are unable or unwilling to accept voluntary treatment. 
The act was named after Maxine Baker, a former Miami State representative who sponsored the act in 1972. 
The Baker Law's use on minors has been criticized  by many. In 2019 Florida Representative Byron Donalds, a Republican lawmaker who represents Naples, said he was considering legislation to make sure parents were contacted before their child was Baker Acted.



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Nadia's mother Martina expressed her pain at seeing her daughter being taken away by a group of cops and demanded answers
Falk said Nadia had an 'episode' at the elementary school. 'She had the meltdown at school she was pushing over chairs, screaming yelling and running away from the teacher,' Falk said, according to Jacksonville.com. 
She said her child was heavily sedated before being put on 48-hour hold and finally being released on February 6. 
'When I went to see her, she was so drugged up she couldn't even recognize me. She didn't know who I was. She had on a diaper. My daughter is fully potty trained,' Falk said. 
'An apology would be nice, but it isn't going to fix the pain that I feel watching that video knowing that my daughter may have been provoked because their staff were irritated or maybe had a bad day and didn't want to deal with a special needs child. It's hurtful.' 
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Nadia has not returned to Love Grove Elementary School and is temporarily attending Hope Haven medical facility's school
An incident report filed by police noted that the 4-foot tall girl 'was destroying school property, attacking staff, out of control, and running out of school.
'The subject has been diagnosed with disruptive mood, disregulation disorder, and is prescribed Adderall,' it continued. 
Nadia was diagnosed with ADHD in 2017 and is waiting for test results to determine whether she has autism. Nadia is on medication for mental health issues and is in a special needs class
Nadia has not returned to the school and is temporarily attending Hope Haven medical facility's school. 
A spokesman for Duval County Public Schools said that the decision was made by Child Guidance, a private company, that receives cash from Florida's Department of Children and Families.
'Officers in the video were not present during the events which motivated the school to call Child Guidance, our crisis response care provider. 


'The police officers were also not present when Child Guidance was intervening with the student. It was the mental health counselor from Child Guidance, not the police officer or school personnel, who made the Baker Act decision,' a spokesperson said.
'Our procedure is to call Child Guidance when a student's crisis is not de-escalating and the student is at risk of self-harm or harming others. Our staff followed that procedure.
'The student was calm when she left the school, but at that point, Child Guidance had already made the decision to Baker Act based on their intervention with the student. The judgement to Baker Act rested completely with the mental health professional.
'We cannot speak on behalf of Child Guidance regarding decision making in this matter, but we have already requested a leadership meeting with Child Guidance to review this situation.' 
Child Guidance did not immediately return a request for comment from Dailymail.com.
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The six-year-old girl was sent to River Point Behavioral Health Center, where she was sedated and held for 48 hours

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Post by LizzyNY on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 22:26

It's amazing that they can Baker Act a 6 year old having a tantrum, but not a full grown schizophrenic off his medication threatening to assault his neighbors and family members. Florida social services leave a lot to be desired. I hope this little girl's family sues the school and DCF into oblivion.
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Post by party animal - not! on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 22:36

So are there no educational services that keep records and observe childrens behaviour in conjunction wtih teaching staff and parents?


This  incident is bound to impact on this little girl's mental health for years to come

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Post by LizzyNY on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 23:27

PAN - Apparently she has already been identified as a special needs child and was in a program where staff should have been fully aware of her problems and how to deal with them. Her mother is probably right. They just didn't feel like doing their jobs that day. Evil or Very Mad
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Post by annemarie on Sat 15 Feb 2020, 19:57

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8007457/Federal-judge-slams-White-House-acting-like-banana-republic-Andrew-McCabe-investigation.html

[size=34]Federal judge slams White House for acting like a 'banana republic' over the handling of investigation into ex-FBI chief Andrew McCabe and says Trump's interference is 'disturbing'[/size]


  • Judge Reggie Walton is revealed to have lectured prosecutors on ' inappropriate pressure' in McCabe's case, saying it undermined judicial system's integrity  

  • Trump has railed against McCabe, James Comey's deputy, as a 'leaker' 

  • Walton criticized delays in the case leaving McCabe in legal limbo   

  • McCabe's lawyers were told on Friday he will not face criminal charges

  • The former deputy FBI director had been under investigation for a year after the Justice Department Inspector General made a criminal referral

  • It said McCabe lied about authorizing a subordinate to share information with a reporter for a 2016 article about an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation 


By HANNAH SKELLERN FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and GEOFF EARLE DEPUTY U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 11:46 EST, 15 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:49 EST, 15 February 2020

     








A federal judge slammed prosecutors and flagged White House involvement in  former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's case as being like a 'banana republic,' describing the interference as 'disturbing'.    
US District Court Judge Reggie Walton accused people 'at the top' of 'exerting undue, inappropriate pressure', new documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in a lawsuit reveal. 
The judge said that the situation was undermining the integrity of the judicial system. 
The Justice Department has closed an investigation into whether McCabe lied to federal officials about his involvement in a news media disclosure, his legal team said on Friday, bringing an end to the lengthy probe that left him in legal limbo. 
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McCabe´s lawyers were told that prosecutors had decided not to pursue criminal charges against Andrew McCabe after careful consideration
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US District Court Judge Reggie Barnett Walton accused people 'at the top' of 'exerting undue, inappropriate pressure'
Walton, who was appointed by George W. Bush, told prosecutors in September. 'You've got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted'.

McCabe is a frequent target of President Trump and has been the subject of a series of furious tweets directed against him.  
The decision not to charge McCabe revolves a criminal investigation that spanned more than a year and began with a referral from the Justice Department's inspector general, which said McCabe repeatedly lied about having authorized a subordinate  share information with a newspaper reporter for a 2016 article about an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
The IG found McCabe 'lacked candor' on multiple occasions during a leak investigation.   
'I just think it's a banana republic when we go down that road and we have those type of statements being made that are conceivably – even if not – influencing the ultimate decision,' Walton said. 
The attack has emerged amid controversy over whether Attorney General William Barr has interfered in cases where Trump has vested interests.     
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McCabe is a frequent target of President Trump and has been the subject of a series of furious tweets directed against him
Walton, who serves in the District of Columbia, criticized DOJ prosecutors in September for stalling the McCabe case, which he suspected could serve the interests of the White House.
'I fully appreciate the complexity of the assessment, especially – unfortunately, to be candid – in light of the way by the White House, which I don't think top executive officers should be doing,' he said when a delay was requested by prosecutors.
'I don't think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted,' Walton said. 
'I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undue, inappropriate pressure being brought to bear.'        
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sued for court transcripts, said it was 'not surprising' that the government announced it was dropping the case as the transcripts were ordered released, the Daily Beast reported.  
McCabe's lawyers said in a statement they were told in a phone call and letter that the case is closed and 'no charges will be brought against him based on the facts.'
[size=10][size=18]Justice Department will not charge ex-FBI deputy McCabe




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President Trump responded to Attorney General William Barr's statements by asserting his 'legal right' to intervene in criminal case


McCabe, a frequent target of attacks from President Donald Trump, has denied that he intentionally misled anyone. He has said his 2018 firing - for what the Justice Department called 'lack of candor' - was politically motivated. He sued the Justice Department in August, saying officials had used the inspector general´s conclusions as a pretext to rid the FBI of leaders Trump perceived as biased against him.
In a letter on Friday, prosecutors told McCabe's lawyers that they decided 'not to pursue criminal charges against your client' after careful consideration.
'Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed,' said the letter, signed by the chief of the U.S. attorney's office's public corruption unit. 
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The Justice Department wrote McCabe's lawyer to tell him they consider the matter 'closed'
The decision was announced hours after Trump slapped back at Bill Barr, asserting the 'legal right' to intervene in criminal cases, just over 12 hours after his attorney general warned him his tweets and comments made it difficult to do his job. 
Trump's pushback, which he issued publicly on Twitter, capped off a week of extraordinary statements about the criminal case of longtime advisor Roger Stone, who was convicted of witness tampering and lying to Congress about contacts with WikiLeaks. 
Trump began by quoting from Barr's extraordinary interview with ABC News, where he said: 'The President has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case. 
Then he added: 'This doesn't mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!' 
'I think it's time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,' Barr had told ABC News on Thursday afternoon. 
'I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.' 
McCabe is among a clutch of top former FBI officials who have been the focus of the president's rage.
[size=18]Barr says he won't be 'bullied' by Trump's tweets




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This week while venting about the Roger Stone case for what he called mistreatment, Trump fumed at the failure to charge former FBI director James Comey.
Trump wanted McCabe to get charged after the release of the damning inspector general's report. He was also set off by two other prosecutorial decisions, the Washington Post reported – the decision by prosecutors to seek jail time for former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn after he changed his legal posture and started going after the government, and the decision by U.S. Attorney John Huber not to bring charges against Hillary Clinton after reviewing the long history of her email controversy. 
Trump famously let cheering crowds calling to 'lock her up' during the 2016 campaign. 
McCain has been a regular subject of Trump's Twitter attacks. In late January, he retweeted a post about the Justice Department's response to McCabe's lawsuit. McCabe argues the FBI engaged in retaliation after the IG report. 
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Trump retweeted Kellyanne Conway who had tagged an article accusing McCabe of 'lying nad leaks'
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In November, Trump railed against McCabe and other officials after he complained about a jury's conviction of Roger Stone and prosecutors' push for jail time
Days earlier, he retweeted counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, who tagged a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that said the FBI was a 'leakfest' and that 'Andy McCabe lost his job & part of his pension for lying about leaks.'
Trump's constant commentary on the case could have furnished McCabe's lawyers that he was being singled out for political prosecution had charges been brought. 
Trump tweeted in November: 'So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn't they lie?'
The IG found that McCabe 'lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure' to a Wall Street Journal reporter and that his 'disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation in the manner described in this report violated the FBI's and the Department's media policy and constituted misconduct.
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Trump last year linked McCabe to his favorite target, former FBI Director James Comey
In just the latest sign of the rough waters Barr is seeking to navigate, he assigned an outside prosecutor to review the case against Flynn, the New York Times reported. Flynn cooperated for many hours with investigators and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI – then sought to withdraw his plea and accused the government of misconduct, a charge a federal judge rejected.
McCabe took a victory lap on CNN, where he is a contributor.
'It is an absolute disgrace that they took two years and put my family through this experience for two years before they finally drew the obvious conclusion and one they could have drawn a long, long time ago,' he said. 
He linked his case to that of Roger Stone, and raised concerns about political pressure to punish Trump's enemies and go easier on his friends, what he termed the 'politicization of investigations.'
'We were getting more and more concerned about where this would end up,' McCabe said. 'We are seeing things happen every day in this country that many of us never thought we'd see here.'
[size=18]Trump claims to have 'legal right' to interfere with criminal cases




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Post by annemarie on Sun 16 Feb 2020, 19:29

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8009857/Ivanka-Trump-lauds-Saudi-UAE-womens-rights-reforms.html

[size=34]Ivanka draws rapturous applause as she praises Saudi Arabia for 'significant' reforms for women during speech in Dubai - despite country's shocking human rights records[/size]


  • Ivanka Trump delivered the keynote address at the two-day Global Women's Forum held in an opulent Dubai resort on Sunday

  • She lauded a handful of Mideast countries, including Saudi and the UAE during her speech in front of entrepreneurs and regional leaders 

  • Her comments throughout the speech drew applause, particularly when she praised Saudi Arabia 

  • Despite reforms there, women's rights activists and other campaigners are imprisoned and facing trial on vague charges related to national security 


By ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 10:03 EST, 16 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:21 EST, 16 February 2020

     


Ivanka Trump has praised close U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their 'significant reforms' to advance women's rights while speaking at a conference in Dubai.
The daughter of President Donald Trump delivered the keynote address at the two-day Global Women's Forum held in an opulent resort overlooking the city's Persian Gulf coastline on Sunday. 
She lauded a handful of Mideast countries, including Saudi and the UAE during her speech in front of entrepreneurs and regional leaders.   
'We know that when women are free to succeed, families thrive, communities flourish and nations are stronger,' Trump said. 

Her comments throughout the speech drew applause, particularly when she praised Saudi Arabia. 
Despite reforms there, women's rights activists and other campaigners are imprisoned and facing trial on vague charges related to national security. 
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Ivanka Trump has praised close U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their 'significant reforms' to advance women's rights while speaking at a conference in Dubai
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The daughter of President Donald Trump delivered the keynote address at the two-day Global Women's Forum held in an opulent resort overlooking the city's Persian Gulf coastline on Sunday
[size=10][size=18]Ivanka praises Saudi Arabia and UAE for women's rights reforms




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During her speech in Dubai, Trump congratulated Saudi Arabia for recent changes in the law that allow women to travel abroad and obtain a passport without the permission of a male relative. 
In 2018, a ban on women driving cars was lifted. The changes are part of a wide-ranging push to transform the Saudi economy, attract greater foreign investment and ease international criticism.
Trump pointed to changes in other Mideast countries, as well. She said Bahrain had introduced legislation against discrimination in the workplace; Jordan had eliminated legal restrictions on women's ability to work at night; Morocco had expanded women's land rights; and Tunisia had introduced laws to combat domestic violence.
She said, though, more work needed to be done. She noted that across the region, women on average still have only half the legal rights of men.
The audience for her speech in the UAE included Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, World Bank President David Malpass and International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva.
The Dubai ruler is wildly popular at home and is seen as a modernizing force. He has, however, faced some criticism abroad concerning women's rights following reports that one of his daughters tried to flee the country and was forcibly returned. 
In previous years, Jordanian Princess Haya, with whom Sheikh Mohammed has two children, would have attended a forum of this kind by his side, but she too has reportedly fled the country and is seeking custody of their children in a British court. 
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She lauded a handful of Mideast countries, including Saudi and the UAE during her speech in front of entrepreneurs and regional leaders
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Trump and Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum attend the Global Women's Forum in Dubai on Sunday
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She lauded a handful of Mideast countries, including Saudi and the UAE during her speech in front of entrepreneurs and regional leaders
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Ivanka is pictured greeting Lamia Abdulaziz Khan, executive director of the Global Women's Forum, after arriving at the forum on Sunday
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have worked to cultivate close ties with the Trump administration and were early supporters of the Women's Empowerment Fund, a World Bank initiative to help female entrepreneurs that Ivanka Trump strongly backs. 
During the first trip abroad of her father's presidency to Saudi Arabia, the two Gulf countries pledged $100 million to the fund.
In her speech at Sunday's forum, Trump commended Emirati leaders for 'removing barriers to women joining the workforce and developing a national strategy that recognizes that women are central to sustainable growth.'
She noted that although 70 percent of Emirati university graduates are women, only 10% of the UAE's total national income is derived from women.
'We know that this going to grow and flourish in the years ahead,' she said.
The theme of the forum in Dubai was The Power of Influence. 
It was an apt theme for Trump, whose loyalty and support for her father's presidency saw her and her husband, Jared Kushner, take up formal roles in the White House as his advisers.
The 38-year-old mother of three has positioned herself as an Oval Office confidante while spearheading initiatives that broadly back women's empowerment. Her husband has become a top adviser on U.S. Mideast policy. 
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The daughter of President Donald Trump was welcomed by Lamia Abdulaziz Khan at the two-day Global Women's Forum held in an opulent resort overlooking the city's Persian Gulf coastline on Sunday
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During her speech in Dubai, Trump congratulated Saudi Arabia for recent changes in the law that allow women to travel abroad and obtain a passport without the permission of a male relative
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Trump and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva attend the Global Women's Forum in Dubai on Sunday
Once the owner of an eponymous fashion line, Ivanka Trump has wielded her proximity to the president to promote policies affecting women and deliver speeches around the world about women's economic empowerment. She meets with world leaders as a key White House official. 
Some of her efforts even have some bipartisan support in Washington, standing in sharp contrast to the level of controversy and political division surrounding her father's presidency.
In her keynote speech at the women's forum in Dubai on Sunday, Trump touted what she said was the progress of women in the United States.
'Today, American women are leading in every aspect of society. Last year, there were more women than men in the United States workforce, with women securing over 70 percent of new jobs,' she said in her address. 
Trump made no mention, however, of legislative obstacles in the U.S. around paid family leave, which she and the U.S president support. Currently, just a few U.S. states offer paid leave.
During her two-day visit to the UAE, Trump met with women entrepreneurs and discussed a U.S. government project she's leading that's aimed at helping women in developing countries. The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative was launched last year with backing by her father.
On Saturday, she toured Abu Dhabi's grand mosque, visited Abu Dhabi's branch of the Louvre Museum, and met privately with the country's day-to-day ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
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Ivanka Trump arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday ahead of the two-day Global Women´s Forum in Dubai. She is pictured during  a tour of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi 
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The blonde beauty - who converted to Orthodox Judaism upon her 2009 marriage to Jared Kushner - donned a headscarf and a modest metallic silk-blend dress for her visit to the Islamic place of worship
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Ivanka looked to be extremely engaged as she toured the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque with religious officials and a team of security 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 12 24786286-8009857-The_Grand_Mosque_was_constructed_between_1996_and_2007_at_a_cost-a-90_1581880203419

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The Grand Mosque was constructed between 1996 and 2007 at a cost of more than $500 million US dollars

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Post by annemarie on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 15:37

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8015429/Coronavirus-death-toll-climbs-1-900.html

[size=34]Coronavirus death toll climbs to almost 1,900 with more than 73,000 cases recorded across the world – including nearly 1,000 OUTSIDE of China[/size]


  • Ninety-nine per cent of cases of the SARS-CoV-2 infection have been in China

  • Most of the cases recorded in China have been in the deserted Hubei province 

  • The Diamond Princess cruise has the largest cluster of cases outside of China 

  • Do you have a story about coronavirus? Email sam.blanchard@mailonline.co.uk 


By STEPHEN MATTHEWS HEALTH EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE  and SAM BLANCHARD SENIOR HEALTH REPORTER FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 03:47 EST, 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 04:52 EST, 18 February 2020

     





Almost 1,900 people have now died from the killer coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world. 
And more than 73,000 patients have been struck down with the deadly SARS-CoV-2 infection, including nearly 1,000 outside of China.
Ninety-nine per cent of cases have been in China, where tens of millions of residents are in lockdown to contain the escalating crisis.
The Diamond Princess cruise, docked off the coast of Japan, has the largest cluster of cases outside of China, with 542 passengers infected. 

Most of the cases recorded overnight were in the deserted Hubei province, which is home to the coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan. 
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Ninety-nine per cent of cases have been in China, where tens of millions of residents are in lockdown to contain the escalating crisis
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And more than 73,000 patients have been struck down with the deadly SARS-CoV-2 infection, including nearly 1,000 outside of China
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Almost 1,900 people have now died from the killer coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world
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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is 'working to organise' a flight back to the UK for British nationals on board the Diamond Princess, which is quarantined off the coast of Japan
[size=10][size=18]British couple locked on cruise ship in Japan ask Richard Branson's help




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Pedestrians wear face masks while walking in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where almost two dozen cases of the coronavirus have been recorded (pictured today)
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Tourists wear face masks while walking on a sidewalk in Kuala Lumpur (pictured today)
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Commuters on a train this morning in Singapore wear masks to cut their risk of catching the killer coronavirus (pictured today)


WHERE HAS THE WUHAN CORONAVIRUS SPREAD TO?


COUNTRIES  
CHINA
DIAMOND PRINCESS
SINGAPORE
JAPAN
HONG KONG
THAILAND
SOUTH KOREA
MALAYSIA
TAIWAN
VIETNAM
GERMANY
AUSTRALIA
US
FRANCE
MACAU
UK
UAE
CANADA
INDIA
PHILLIPINES
ITALY
RUSSIA
SPAIN
EGYPT
BELGIUM
SWEDEN
FINLAND
NEPAL
SRI LANKA
CAMBODIA
WORLD TOTAL
CASES
72,438
542                                 
77
66
60
35
31
22
22
16
16
15
15
12
10
9
9
8
3
3
3
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
73,423




It comes as Britons on board the Diamond Princess have been told they have until 11am to tell the British government if they want to be evacuated.
The Foreign Office is 'working to organise' a flight back to the UK for 74 Brits on the ship, which is quarantined off the coast of Yokohama.
The department has faced pressure to fly home the Britons on the vessel after the US chartered two planes and repatriated 340 of its citizens.   
Two of the passengers pleading to be evacuated, David Abel and his wife, Sally, have now tested positive for the infection and may not be allowed to return home.   
It comes after Sir Richard Branson said Virgin Atlantic was 'in discussions' with the Government over whether he could help those stranded.
He responded via Twitter to an appeal from Mr and Mrs Abel, who are among those who have been trapped in their cabins for days.  
Meanwhile, the Government has block-booked the Holiday Inn Heathrow Ariel hotel as a potential quarantine zone for international visitors to the UK. 
As of yesterday, 4,501 people in total have now been tested for the coronavirus in the UK, of which nine have come back positive. 
In other global developments to the outbreak, the head of a Wuhan hospital has died of the disease, health officials in China have confirmed. 
The statement helped to resolve a state of confusion last night, when local officials reported Dr Liu Zhiming's death before later denying it. 
Dr Liu's death has also sparked a fresh wave of anger just two weeks after another medic, whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang, succumbed to the virus. 
And Apple is warning investors it won't meet its second-quarter financial guidance because the viral outbreak in China has cut production of iPhones.
The California-based company said production is ramping up – but that it is slower than it had anticipated. 
Apple says demand for iPhones is also down in China because many of Apple's 42 retail stores there are closed or operating with reduced hours.


[size=34]WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE DEADLY CORONAVIRUS IN CHINA?[/size]


Someone who is infected with the coronavirus can spread it with just a simple cough or a sneeze, scientists say.
Almost 1,900 people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and more than 73,000 have been infected. But experts predict the true number of people with the disease could be as high as 350,000 in Wuhan alone, as they warn it may kill as many as two in 100 cases.  Here's what we know so far:
What is the coronavirus? 
A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body's normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word 'corona', which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.
The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.
Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a 'sister' of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.
The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2.
Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: 'Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals. 
'Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses). 
'Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.' 
The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.
By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.
The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.
Just a week after that, there had been more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4,000 – possibly 9,700 – were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died. 
By January 27, more than 2,800 people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.
By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to 132 and cases were in excess of 6,000.  
By February 5, there were more than 24,000 cases and 492 deaths.
By February 11, this had risen to more than 43,000 cases and 1,000 deaths. 
A change in the way cases are confirmed on February 13 – doctors decided to start using lung scans as a formal diagnosis, as well as laboratory tests – caused a spike in the number of cases, to more than 60,000 and to 1,369 deaths. 
Where does the virus come from?
According to scientists, the virus has almost certainly come from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.
The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in the city, which has since been closed down for investigation.
Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat. 
A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent similar to a coronavirus they found in bats.
However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.
Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: 'The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.
'We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.'  
So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 
Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.
It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans' lungs.  
Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they've never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.
Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: 'Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.
'Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we're talking about a virus where we don't understand fully the severity spectrum but it's possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.'
If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die. 
'My feeling is it's lower,' Dr Horby added. 'We're probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that's the current circumstance we're in.
'Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.'
How does the virus spread?
The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.
It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. 
Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.
There is now evidence that it can spread third hand – to someone from a person who caught it from another person.
What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?
Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.
If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients – at least 97 per cent, based on available data – will recover from these without any issues or medical help.
In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people. 
What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 
Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world. 
This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.   
Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.
However, the director-general of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.
This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.   
More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.
How dangerous is the virus?  
The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.
However, experts say the true number of patients is likely considerably higher and therefore the death rate considerably lower. Imperial College London researchers estimate that there were 4,000 (up to 9,700) cases in Wuhan city alone up to January 18 – officially there were only 444 there to that date. If cases are in fact 100 times more common than the official figures, the virus may be far less dangerous than currently believed, but also far more widespread. 
Experts say it is likely only the most seriously ill patients are seeking help and are therefore recorded – the vast majority will have only mild, cold-like symptoms. For those whose conditions do become more severe, there is a risk of developing pneumonia which can destroy the lungs and kill you.

Can the virus be cured? 
The COVID-19 virus cannot currently be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.
Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.
No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it's not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.
The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.
Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.
People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.
And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people's temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).
However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.
Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?   
The outbreak is an epidemic, which is when a disease takes hold of one community such as a country or region. 
Although it has spread to dozens of countries, the outbreak is not yet classed as a pandemic, which is defined by the World Health Organization as the 'worldwide spread of a new disease'.
The head of WHO's global infectious hazard preparedness, Dr Sylvie Briand, said: 'Currently we are not in a pandemic. We are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci, and we try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci,' the Guardian reported.
She said that most cases outside of Hubei had been 'spillover' from the epicentre, so the disease wasn't actually spreading actively around the world.

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Post by annemarie on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 20:13

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8017379/Donald-Trump-commutes-Rod-Blagojevichs-sentence-pardons-Bernie-Kerik.html

[size=34]BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump commutes Rod Blagojevich's sentence and pardons former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik and 80s junk bond king Michael Milken after clearing corrupt ex-49ers owner but claims he hasn't 'given any thought' to pardoning Roger Stone[/size]


  • Trump commuted the 14 year sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and pardon former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik

  • He also pardoned 80s junk bond king Michael Milken 

  • Blagojevich was imprisoned for soliciting bribes

  • Kerik, a close friend of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, served time for eight felony tax and false statement charges

  • Trump pardoned former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. 

  • Move came amid speculation he will apply his presidential power to Roger Stone 

  • Several former NFL players were at the White House on Tuesday 

  • They included Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Charles Haley, and Ronnie Lott 

  • 'I take my hat off to Donald Trump for what he did,' Rice said

  • 49ers won five Super Bowls when DeBartolo was owner 

  • DeBartolo pled guilty to the charge of failing to report a felony, and received a $1 million fine and two years of probation 


By EMILY GOODIN, SENIOR U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 13:44 EST, 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:08 EST, 18 February 2020

     





Donald Trump used his presidential power Tuesday to commute the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and issue a trio of pardons: to former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, 1980s junk bond king Michael Milken and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.
The moves led to speculation more pardons may be in the works, particularly for those Trump associates - such as Roger Stone or Michael Flynn - who got caught and convicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. 
Trump didn't confirm or deny more pardons were in the works but did defend his actions Tuesday, slamming the sentences of the white-collar criminals as harsh and unfair.  
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Donald Trump issued a series of pardons and commutations on Tuesday
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Trump commuted the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (upper left) and issue a trio of pardons: to former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik (upper right), 1980s junk bond king Michael Milken (lower left) and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr (lower right)
‘Yes, we have commuted the sentence, he served eight years in jail, a long time,’ Trump told reporters about Blagojevich during a Q&A session at Joint Base Andrews before he left for a four-day trip to the West Coast.

‘I don't know him very well, I've might've met him a couple of times,’ Trump added. ‘He was on for a short while on “The Apprentice” years ago. Seem like a nice person, don't know him, but he served eight years in jail, it was a long time he had to go, many people disagree with the sentences. He's a Democrat, he's not a Republican.’
He added: ‘He will be able to go back home with his family after serving eight years in jail. That was a tremendously powerful ridiculous sentence in my opinion. And in the opinions of many others.’
The commutation means Blagojevich is freed from prison but doesn't have his conviction wiped from his record. Republicans had asked the president not to pardon the former governor, pointing to his corruption record. 
Blagojevich, 63, was sent to prison for 14 years for soliciting bribes, including those for the Senate seat once held by Barack Obama, and for trying to shake down a children's hospital.
In 2009, Blagojevich appeared on NBC's 'The Apprentice,' the reality TV show then hosted by Trump. 
The president also voiced his support for Kerik, a close friend of his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and Milken, who became the face of insider trading during the 1980s. 
President Trump called Kerik ‘a man who has had many recommendations from a lot of good people.’
Kerik, 64, served just over three years in prison for tax fraud and lying to the White House while being interviewed to be Homeland Security secretary for then-President George W. Bush. 
He was appointed police commissioner by Giuliani and served in the position during the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Trump, for his part, praised Milken’s work on cancer research, saying he 'has gone around and done an incredible job for the world with all of his research on cancer.'
The president added: ‘He suffered greatly, he paid a big price, he's done an incredible job.’
Milken survived prostate cancer and co-founded the Milken Family Foundation and is chairman of the Milken Institute - the charities fund research into melanoma, cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Milken, 73, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his crimes while heading the bond department at the investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert, and fined $600 million.
His sentence was later reduced to two years after he cooperated with federal authorities.
Supporters of Milken’s pardon included Giuliani, as well as New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. 
President Trump said he relies on recommendations when making his decisions on who to pardon.
‘These are all people that you have to see the recommendations. I am reliant recommendations,’ Trump said.
The rash of pardoning has led to rampant speculation the president may pardon his longtime friend and former campaign aide Roger Stone.
Stone was convicted on seven counts, including witness tampering and lying to investigators, as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Trump called the case against Stone 'tainted' in a tweet on Tuesday morning but the judge in his case denied a motion by Stone's lawyers for a retrial.
‘I haven't given it any thought,’ the president said Tuesday when asked if he would pardon Stone. ‘I think he's been treated very unfairly.’
He also said he thought is former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was being treated unfairly. Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI in relation to Mueller's investigation.
‘I think Roger Stone has been treated unfairly. I think General Flynn has been treated very unfairly. I think a lot of people have been treated very unfairly,’ Trump said.
‘You will see what happens,’ he added.   
The news follows Trump's decision to pardon former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., which he had his deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley announce in the presence of several former NFL players - including Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Charles Haley, and Ronnie Lott.
Gidley and the players left the West Wing Tuesday morning to announce the president's decision in front of the White House. 
 The players praised the decision to pardon him. 
 'I take my hat off to Donald Trump for what he did,' Rice said. 
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Pastor Darrell Scott, former NFL player Jim Brown, and White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley step out of the West Wing after speaking to President Trump about DeBartolo
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The pardons amid speculation Trump will pardon Roger Stone
Brown called DeBartolo a 'great man.'
DeBartolo paid $400,000 to former La. Gov. Edwin Edwards to help win a riverboat casino license in 1998. 
He pled guilty to the charge of failing to report a felony, and received a $1 million fine and two years of probation. And he was suspended for a year by the NFL. 
The son of a prominent real estate development family, DeBartolo owned the 49ers for 23 years and won five Super Bowls as their owner. He stepped down as owner in 1997 after two Louisiana newspapers reported he would be indicted for gambling fraud.
In 1992, DeBartolo was accused of sexual assault by a cocktail waitress he met at a local bar in California. He denied any wrongdoing and was never charged but reportedly paid $200,000 to settle the case out of court.


Rice, who as a wide receiver won three Super Bowls with the 49ers, praised DeBartolo's ownership of the team.  
'It was all about family. That's really what they stood for. And that's the reason why I think we won so many championships,' Rice said.
'Eddie was like that 12th man that was on that football field. You know that this guy, you know, he wanted us to win. And I think he's the main reason why we won so many Super Bowls. So today is a great day for him. I'm glad to be here and be a part of that. And, you know, it's just something I'll never forget. You know, this man, he has done so much in the community, he has done so much in NFL football,' he noted.   
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Former NFL football player Jerry Rice praised Trump's decision
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Former NFL football player Jim Brown is a long time Trump supporter
Jim Brown, who praised Trump's decision, is a long time supporter of the president who co-hosted an inauguration party after Trump won the 2016 election. 
DeBartolo co-hosted that event with Brown, which honored those close to the president, including Michael Cohen, Trump's then personal attorney who later went to prison for campaign finance violations and tax fraud, and and Omarosa Manigault Newman, the 'Apprentice' contestant turned White House aide who was later fired from that position.
The former fullback for the Cleveland, Brown was also at the White House in October 2018 when Trump met with rapper Kayne West in the Oval Office. 
Trump, meanwhile, used his pardon power for DeBartolo as speculation has mounted he may do the same for his longtime friend and former campaign aide Roger Stone.
Stone was convicted on seven counts, including witness tampering and lying to investigators, as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Trump called the case against Stone 'tainted' in a tweet on Tuesday morning but the judge has denied a motion by Stone's lawyers for a retrial.

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Post by annemarie on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 18:58

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8019875/Julian-Assanges-lawyer-tells-court-Donald-Trump-offered-Wikileaks-founder-pardon.html

[size=34]Donald Trump offered Julian Assange a pardon if he said the Russians didn't play a role in the leak of DNC emails, court hears[/size]


  • Assange is wanted on 18 charges in the US for conspiring to expose state secrets

  • He appeared from Belmarsh Prison, south east London, via video link today 

  • His lawyer said case isn't ready so extradition hearing will finish in June  


By MARK DUELL FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 12:34 EST, 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:23 EST, 19 February 2020


Julian Assange's lawyer today told a court Donald Trump had offered the Wikileaks co-founder a pardon if he said the Russians were not involved in the leak of Democratic National Committee emails. 
Assange, 48, is wanted in the US for allegedly conspiring with Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to expose military secrets between January and May 2010.
He has been indicted on 18 charges – 17 of which fall under the Espionage Act – including conspiracy to receive, obtain and disclose classified diplomatic and military documents. 
But Assange's lawyer Edward Fitzgerald, QC, said former Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher told the WikiLeaks founder he would be pardoned if he denied Russian tampering.

The 48-year-old appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court via video-link from Belmarsh Prison wearing a brown jumper and white shirt with black jeans and trainers. He seemed calm as he rifled through court documents.
The Australian national is being held at the maximum-security prison, also home to terrorists and serial killers, before his four-week extradition hearing begins on February 24. 
But the court was told today the case will be split into two parts, the first for one week beginning February 24 and the second for three weeks beginning May 18.     
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Julian Assange's (he is pictured in a prison van in January left) lawyer today claimed Donald Trump (right) will offer him a pardon if he says the Russians had nothing to do with his election victory


Edward Fitzgerald, QC, representing Assange, said a witness statement would refer to 'Mr Rohrabacher going to see Mr Assange and saying on instructions of the President offering pardon or some other way out if Mr Assange said the Russians had nothing to do with the DNC leaks.'
He also revealed he would rely on Manning's case to argue for Assange to stay in the UK.
Manning is a former US soldier who was court martialed after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 military and diplomatic documents.
She was imprisoned from 2010 until 2017 when her sentence was commuted, but Manning is currently in jail for her continued refusal to testify before a grand jury against Assange.
'Chelsea Manning's plea and mitigation to the military commission has key passages which we will be relying on so we would seek to extract that and key press reports so the court has key materials.'
Mr Fitzgerald said: 'What we say is it is an abuse to seek extradition for a political offence so that is really part of the abuse argument.' 
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The 48-year-old appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court (protestors pictured outside) today via video-link from Belmarsh Prison
The public gallery was packed to capacity with supporters as the court heard Assange's four-week extradition hearing will start next week. 
Assange went into hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden for sexual offence allegations which he has always denied.
He was jailed for 50 weeks last April after breaching his bail conditions when the asylum period he was given expired.
In November Swedish authorities dropped the rape allegations made against him in 2010.
Assange has been in custody since he was dramatically removed from Ecuador's embassy building in central London last April.
He will next appear at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court on February 24. 
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Julian Assange's father John Shipton is pictured outside Belmarsh Prison where his son is being held amid protests there yesterday 

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Post by Donnamarie on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 22:41

This is news to me. I haven’t seen this story anywhere stateside ... yet. I can only imagine all the dirty deeds Trump has been up to these last few years that we don’t even know about. Boggles the mind
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Post by LizzyNY on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 01:54

Can't wait for the Republicans to start spinning this one. Guaranteed they'll say he's lying. I hope there's some kind of proof to go with the allegations.
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Post by LizzyNY on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 04:41

Donnamarie - I don't know how much traction it will get, but it's on YouTube now.

Did anyone see the debate? I'm curious to know what others thought. I'm more confused than ever.
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Post by Donnamarie on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 16:34

I watched Lizzy. I’m with you. More confused than settled. I will be early voting next Monday and just don’t know who I’m going to vote for. I’m not for Bernie at all but will vote for him in November if I have to. Looks like the pundits think Warren was the standout and Bernie held his own. I want a moderate. I was all in for Biden until he started debating. He did pretty well last night though. I really like Klobuchar but she and Buttigieg have no real chance.

I was one of those who was playing with the idea of voting for Bloomberg. I’ve already gotten two mailers from him and have seen two homes with Bloomberg signs perched in their front yards. But after reporting came out about his incredible misogynistic comments over the years about women I just don’t want to go there. I’m curious about what you and annemarie think of him and how you saw his stint as mayor of New York.

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Post by LizzyNY on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 17:40

Donnamarie - First, don't count Klobuchar out. IMO she's a strong candidate if she can get the financial backing to put herself out there. - so is Warren.

A point made on The View this morning: If one of these candidates runs and loses, we can lose a much needed Democratic seat in Congress to the Republicans. That might be a reason to vote for Bloomberg, since he's not in Congress to begin with. Personally, if I were going to vote for a billionaire I'd vote for Tom Steyer. He not only talks the talk, he walks the walk. Sadly, he got absolutely no traction with media or the voters.

As far as Bloomberg is concerned, I'm not a fan. His attitude toward teachers and unions leave much to be desired. Stop and frisk was/is a problem he can't seem to get past. His "misogynist" remarks are, I think, as much generational cluelessness as anything else. He's a man of a certain age who, like drumpf, grew up when that type of locker room talk was accepted as boys being boys" and can't understand that things have changed. He is strong on gun control and climate change. If he won the nomination I would vote for him much more readily than I would for Bernie, who tuns me off more every time I hear him. From what I can see he's all slogans and no substance.

I don't envy you having to vote so soon. I don't know who I'd vote for at this point.
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Post by annemarie on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 18:36

I will vote for who ever gets the Democratic nomination. I don't think they could be any worse that the idiot.

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Post by LizzyNY on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 19:14

Annemarie - I totally agree, but I see two problems:
     1. We don't nominate someone strong enough to win over enough Republicans to beat drumpf.
     2. If Bernie doesn't get the nomination his supporters might sit the election out or even vote for drumpf out of spite. They did it to Hillary and might do it again.

I think it's too soon to know who the party will nominate.
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Post by annemarie on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 19:31

The other problem with the election is that they are doing nothing to stop Russia from interfering again.

Sadly, I don't have any faith in Americans to get this idiot out of there.

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Post by carolhathaway on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 21:18

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/world/europe/germany-hanau-shisha-bar-shooting.html

Sorry,
I somehow failed to copy the whole article.
A man in Hanau, a city near Frankfurt, shot nine people - all migrants - in two shisha bars and injured several others. He and his mother were found dead as well.

When I first read about that, there were comments like "The killer must be an immigrant, it was probably an honour killer, a drug deal or another criminal clan". Later, when the police said that the killer was German, people commented like " He then must be a migrant" or "Does he have dual nationality?". When it became obvious that he wasn't a migrant (apart from the fact that we all have our roots in Africa), he suddenly was a "deranged lone perpetrator" for people commenting on social medias.

This frightens me to death...
carolhathaway
carolhathaway
Achieving total Clooney-dom

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