Archiv: experts / bureaucrats / advisers / technocrats / plutocrats / functionaries / cadres / apparatchiks / apparatus


17.01.2021 - 17:51 [ theGrayzone.com ]

Five questions for new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer about his UK and US national security establishment links

(June 5, 2020)

The public deserves answers about the UK’s new opposition leader and his relationship with the British national security establishment, including the MI5 and the Times newspaper, his former role in the Julian Assange case and his membership in the intelligence-linked Trilateral Commission.

17.01.2021 - 17:35 [ John Crace / theGuardian.com ]

In these grim times we all need a saviour and right now it is Chris Whitty

(11.01.2021)

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. In these exceptionally grim times we’re all – Boris Johnson included – looking for a saviour to rise from these streets. And right now that salvation appears to be the England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty. Just about the only person left whom anyone can trust to tell the country the naked truth about coronavirus.

17.01.2021 - 17:25 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(30.05.2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

17.01.2021 - 17:15 [ Neil O'Brien / theGuardian.com ]

I’d love to ignore ‘Covid sceptics’ and their tall tales. But they make a splash and have no shame

They rubbished those who knew what they were talking about. Professors Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance were “Messrs Doom and Gloom”, “fear-mongering” and “self-serving”. That Whitty and Jonathan Van-Tam used their tiny amount of spare time to volunteer in hospitals suggests that’s not true. Now, as the death toll still rises, the same people crawl from the woodwork to demand we lift all restrictions as soon as the most vulnerable are vaccinated.

17.01.2021 - 17:03 [ BMJ.com ]

Covid-19: the problems with case counting

(03 September 2020)

At the moment it seems that a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive result is the only criterion required for a case to be recognised.

“In any other disease we would have a clearly defined specification that would usually involve signs, symptoms, and a test result,” says Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and the editor of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. “We are moving into a biotech world where the norms of clinical reasoning are going out of the window. A PCR test does not equal covid-19; it should not, but in some definitions it does.”

14.01.2021 - 09:06 [ Spiked ]

The government is terrorising the public

The politics of fear is being used to justify another authoritarian lockdown.

14.01.2021 - 08:56 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(30.05.2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

14.01.2021 - 08:54 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Government’s chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance warns UK is in for ‚a pretty grim period‘ for Covid deaths which won’t reduce ‚for some weeks‘ even if lockdown measures bring infections down – as Britain sees daily record of 1,564 fatalities

Department of Health figures show the daily laboratory-confirmed death toll has risen 50 per cent week-on-week, with data suggesting the total number of coronavirus victims — both suspected and confirmed — has now passed the 100,000 mark.

13.01.2021 - 18:30 [ Nature.com ]

UK science advisers: publish evidence behind COVID vaccine changes

Pfizer–BioNTech say they do not have evidence of what happens to immunity beyond 21 days after the first dose.

(…)

The JCVI adds that: “Protective immunity from the first dose likely lasts for a duration of 12 weeks.” But it has not published evidence to support this.

13.01.2021 - 18:12 [ voanews.com ]

US Changes Vaccine Strategy, WHO Says Herd Immunity Will Not Be Achieved in 2021

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is warning that mass vaccinations against the novel coronavirus will not produce herd immunity this year.

WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan told reporters Monday that it takes time to produce and administer enough doses of a vaccine to finally stop the spread of COVID-19. Swaminathan stressed the need for countries to continue observing mitigation efforts such as mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing.

12.01.2021 - 14:15 [ theHill.com ]

AstraZeneca vaccine likely won’t be authorized in US until April

(30.12.2020)

The coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University is not likely to be authorized for use in the U.S. until April, a top Trump administration health official said Wednesday.

“We project, if everything goes well, that the readout and emergency use authorization may be granted somewhere early in the month of April,” Moncef Slaoui, the chief science adviser for the administration’s Operation Warp Speed, told reporters.

12.01.2021 - 11:43 [ World Association for Christian Communication ]

COVID-19 pandemic and biopolitics in Latin America

(17. AUgust 2020)

At the time of this writing [June 3, 2020], Latin America has become the new epicenter of the pandemic with growing number of reported cases of infections and deaths. Various governments in Latin America (Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil) and the Inter-American Development Bank have deployed digital technologies to control the transmission of the virus and to support testing and tracing. They have collaborated with private companies and universities in setting up mobile applications for geolocalizing and contact-tracing possibly infected people. Expectedly, these actions have raised concerns about the negative impact of massive surveillance.

However, while we recognize the legitimacy of these concerns, the problem in Latin America takes different dimensions than in Europe, North America, and East Asia. For the moment, the governments in the region have significant problems to launch and maintain massive digital surveillance apparatuses.

12.01.2021 - 11:41 [ waccglobal / Twitter ]

Does the #COVID-19 pandemic mark the birth of a new form of #biopolitics? The Latin American case shows important departures from Europe and the U.S., both in the adoption of surveillance technologies and in the types of biopolitical control

11.01.2021 - 19:50 [ Neil Clark / Twitter ]

Lockdowns only end when we realise they are not meant to end.

11.01.2021 - 19:44 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

People with common colds testing positive for Covid-19 may simply be asymptomatic cases, experts reveal

Trademark symptoms of seasonal flu could be mistaken for symptoms of Covid-19 if the individual tests positive for the virus, it is claimed.

More than eight in ten people who test positive for coronavirus show none of the main symptoms at the time they are tested, a major study by UCL previously revealed.

However, those who test positive when they have cold symptoms may mistake them as being a part of the virus – adding to fears that it is taking a new guise as fresh strains emerge.

11.01.2021 - 08:14 [ DailyMal.co.uk ]

No 10 considers a tougher lockdown ‚with curfews, exercise limits, compulsory masks outside, no support bubbles and nurseries shut‘ if Covid cases keep rising‘ – amid suggestion ‚people may only be allowed to leave home ONCE a week‘

– The Cabinet Office refused to deny that the draconian new laws were incoming after UK’s streets were busy
– They instead pointed to Matt Hancock’s vague statement on rules earlier today: ‚Follow the rules we’ve got‘
– Hancock refused to speculate when asked if harsher measures coming, such as curfews and closing nurseries
– Whitehall source said potential changes included introducing ban on people leaving their homes more than once a week

10.01.2021 - 15:33 [ theGuardian.com ]

NHS could vaccinate UK against Covid in five days, says Oxford professor

Sir John Bell, regius chair of medicine at the University of Oxford, said stubborn NHS bureaucrats were standing in the way of a high-speed mass inoculation programme that could prevent many further deaths.

“The NHS has the theoretical capacity to immunise everybody in five days if they want to, but I don’t get the sense they are really motivated,” Bell told the Times.

10.01.2021 - 15:27 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

No10 is examining plans to keep bars closed for FIVE MONTHS with full lockdown until late March as Covid death toll passes 80,000

Prof Whitty commended the public for their efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19 and noted the hope offered by various vaccines, but he echoed other experts in saying it would be some weeks before the jabs start to reduce the number of people taken to hospital.

10.01.2021 - 14:42 [ Neil Clark, journalist & broadcaster / Twitter ]

(1) How do we know we’re not bring told the truth? There’s c 1600-1700 deaths a day at this time of the year. Yet we are told that ´1300 are dying from Covid’. But with no excess deaths that means just 3-400 from pneumonia, flu, heart disease, cancers? That is clearly absurd.

(09.01.2021)

(2) Clearly what is happening is a reclassification of deaths. Non-Covid deaths are being reclassified as ´Covid deaths’ by means of ramped up PCR testing. Which begs the question: why are they doing this, if not to justify lockdowns and other restrictions?

10.01.2021 - 14:23 [ theCanary.co ]

Coronavirus data contractors engaged in dirty tricks and disinformation campaigns

(10.05.2020)

Palantir was co-founded in 2004 by Paypal owner and billionaire Peter Thiel. What the blog doesn’t reveal is that Palantir’s client list has included amomgst others, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, the Centre for Disease Control, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, Special Operations Command, West Point and the IRS.

Furthermore, in 2016, it was revealed Palantir had a $34.6m contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and helped the Customs and Border Protection Agency create the Analytical Framework for Intelligence (AFI) system to track immigrants.

Nor does the blog mention that Palantir worked for UK intelligence and was awarded contracts to handle vast data sets on UK citizens for British spy agency GCHQ.

09.01.2021 - 18:18 [ BMJ.com ]

Covid-19: the problems with case counting

(03 September 2020)

At the moment it seems that a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive result is the only criterion required for a case to be recognised.

“In any other disease we would have a clearly defined specification that would usually involve signs, symptoms, and a test result,” says Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and the editor of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. “We are moving into a biotech world where the norms of clinical reasoning are going out of the window. A PCR test does not equal covid-19; it should not, but in some definitions it does.”

09.01.2021 - 18:12 [ Spectator.co.uk ]

The way ‘Covid deaths’ are being counted is a national scandal

(30.05.2020)

Normally, two doctors are needed to certify a death, one of whom has been treating the patient or who knows them and has seen them recently. That has changed. For Covid-19 only, the certification can be made by a single doctor, and there is no requirement for them to have examined, or even met, the patient. A video-link consultation in the four weeks prior to death is now felt to be sufficient for death to be attributed to Covid-19.

09.01.2021 - 18:02 [ Lockdown Resistance Network / Twitter ]

Enough and no more. Never in history have we behaved like this. This is psychological warfare and gaslighting. Whitty and the rest are drunk on power. I’m not complying with this nonsense. I’m not complying with this once great country becoming a totalitarian dictatorship.

09.01.2021 - 17:53 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Now scientists call for ‚lax‘ third lockdown to be made even TOUGHER: SAGE expert says new coronavirus variant cannot be contained by current restrictions as terrifying Chris Whitty adverts try to scare of Brits into staying at home

As a result, ministers are considering introducing tougher measures as part of the crackdown, including possibly making face masks mandatory in busy outdoor areas.

England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty has appeared in adverts urging us to stay at home as the new variant of the virus rips across the country.

09.01.2021 - 15:25 [ Glenn Greenwald / Twitter ]

In case any of you doubt there is a new War on Terror underway: here’s a former CIA operative and Pentagon official now a member of Congress (a Democrat, needless to say), explicitly saying (on MSNBC, of course) that the new War on Terror is domestic:

06.01.2021 - 14:05 [ Spiked ]

It’s the pro-lockdown lobby that is spreading fake news

This is the stage of lockdown authoritarianism we have now reached: anyone who questions the lockdown will be branded a liar and a hoodwinker who should be expelled from public life, while the cheerers of lockdown, those self-styled saviours of lives, can say whatever they want with very few repercussions.

05.01.2021 - 08:39 [ @shawalzy / Twitter ]

Can’t wait for the ‚Tier 19 Annual Hunger Games‘ where all districts battle it out for visiting Greggs privileges. #lockdownthoughts #lockdown

05.01.2021 - 08:32 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

‚What I’ll look like when we FINALLY get out of lockdown‘: Brits wearily take to social media to ponder how long it will be before they are free again

– Britons have taken to social media to mock the prospect of a third lockdown
– Boris Johnson unveiled a new set of restrictions in his address to nation last night

04.01.2021 - 22:34 [ Diogo Simão Lemos / Twitter ]

• @ECDC_EU assesses that the probability of #SARSCoV2 VOC 202012/01 and 501.V2 being introduced and further spread in the EU/EEA is currently 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡. 1/4

(29.12.2020)

(…)

Therefore, the overall risk of an increased impact on health systems in the coming weeks is assessed as 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡. 4/4

04.01.2021 - 22:31 [ yenisafak.com ]

ECDC releases report on new COVID-19 strain

(22 Dec 2020)

Noting that the ECDC’s report on the new strain was published last night, Balik said “this mutant variant has been named SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01 [Variant Under Investigation, year 2020, month 12, variant 01] for now.”

Balik said the report points out the importance of a comprehensive examination of the new strain.

04.01.2021 - 17:59 [ Wikispooks.com ]

Document:Senior spy appointed to lead UK’s joint biosecurity centre

(05.06.2020)

Clare Gardiner, head of cyber resilience and strategy at the UK National Cyber Security Centre — a branch of signals intelligence agency GCHQ — will become the centre’s first director-general, responsible for advising ministers on the “alert level” for the virus; which is similar to assessing the terror threat.

Ms Gardiner’s role at the NCSC involves advising businesses and public organisations on how to improve their cyber defences, and she will return to this post after her secondment at the centre. But her research background in epidemiology and medical statistics make her well-suited to the role, according to one person familiar with her appointment.

She will report to Dido Harding, who is in charge of the NHS test and trace service.

The decision to put a security official in charge is likely to cause consternation among public health experts, who have questioned whether the template of a terror analysis centre is appropriate for managing a viral pandemic,

04.01.2021 - 17:48 [ Nick Eardley / Twitter ]

NEW: Sources have told the BBC the Covid threat level – decided by the Joint Biosecurity Centre, which includes the UK’s four Chief Medical Officers – is being moved up to 5, the highest level. This is different from tiers

04.01.2021 - 17:40 [ MorningAdvertiser.co.uk ]

‘No hard evidence on curfew’ admits Gov adviser Vallance

(09 Dec 2020)

Vallance and chief medical officer Chris Whitty were asked if there was something that could be done in the structure in scientific advice that could be a bit more forensic about those restrictions on the sector that have a very big impact on certain people. The scientific advisers said they are trying very hard to get data but can´t give specific data on it, and nor can anyone else across the world.

04.01.2021 - 17:10 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

England goes BACK into full lockdown: Boris will plunge country into March-style curbs in 8pm TV address tonight – with fears schools will be shut and households banned from mixing for MONTHS as COVID alert is raised to top level

– Boris Johnson is set to announce a dramatic new national lockdown for England amid mutant Covid crisis
– Ex-health secretary Jeremy Hunt urged immediate closure of schools, borders with household mixing ban
– Matt Hancock said the tiers were no longer strong enough to deal with the mutant version of coronavirus
– Suggested public’s failure to comply with all the rules was to blame for inability to control outbreaks in Tier 4
– PM warned that curbs are about to get ‚tougher‘ – and admitted he is considering further closures of schools
– Government’s core ‚Covid-O‘ committee has met this morning to decide on the next steps in the response

04.01.2021 - 07:20 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Boris’s lockdown D-Day: PM will decide TODAY whether to plunge ALL of England back into full lockdown – potentially for MONTHS – after Keir Starmer demanded tougher restrictions to stop ‚out of control‘ mutant Covid virus

Professor Sir Mark Walport, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said it would be difficult to keep the new, faster-spreading strain of the virus under control without ‚much tighter‘ social-distancing measures.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, the former chief scientific adviser said: ‚It’s clear that this variant is transmitting more readily – it’s transmitting more readily in younger age groups as well.

03.01.2021 - 08:21 [ Sky.News ]

COVID-19: Chief medical officer Chris Whitty warns coronavirus vaccine shortages will last months

(01.01.2021)

„At the moment it doesn’t look good – a hole is appearing because there’s a lack of other approved vaccines and we have to fill the gap with our own vaccine,“ BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told news weekly Spiegel.

03.01.2021 - 08:08 [ Times of India ]

Global partnership COVAX secures two billion COVID-19 vaccine doses

(19.12.2020)

UNITED NATIONS: Global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing and candidate COVID-19 vaccines for use worldwide, including 200 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine through an agreement between the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, the Serum Institute of India and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

03.01.2021 - 07:06 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

PETER HITCHENS: Guess where Professor Lockdown got his ideas … China’s police state

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said at the time that it was ‘just not possible’ for Ferguson to continue advising the Government. But this was not true. The professor was said to have resigned from the SAGE advisory committee. But did he? Not really. A current State website lists him as a member of the ‘New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group’ (NERVTAG). Minutes suggest he was only ever away from that for a few weeks.

02.01.2021 - 19:06 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

EU bureaucracy is accused of ‚costing lives‘ after European regulators said they cannot approve the Oxford vaccine before February

(31.12.2020)

Mr Wathion told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad the EMA was ‘in the dark’ about what kind of data was being used for Britain to approve the use of the Oxford vaccine.

The EU has already bought 400million doses of the jab while awaiting regulatory approval.

02.01.2021 - 08:17 [ Sky.News ]

COVID-19: Chief medical officer Chris Whitty warns coronavirus vaccine shortages will last months

„At the moment it doesn’t look good – a hole is appearing because there’s a lack of other approved vaccines and we have to fill the gap with our own vaccine,“ BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told news weekly Spiegel.

30.12.2020 - 03:58 [ mark cording / Twitter ]

What’s the update on the Oxford vaccine Mr Hancock

30.12.2020 - 03:50 [ Matt Hancock, secretary of State for Health & Social Care / Twitter ]

Fantastic to see Margaret Keenan receive her second dose of the @Pfizer /@BioNTech_Group #coronavirus vaccine

30.12.2020 - 03:38 [ BBC ]

Covid: Millions more braced for tougher rules in England

Government sources have indicated an announcement later will see more areas move into tier four – „stay at home“.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to detail the changes – which could be introduced within days – in the House of Commons after 14:30 GMT.

30.12.2020 - 03:35 [ noone@nowhere / Twitter ]

Still no Oxford vaccine emergency approval. Unbelievable.

(23.12.2020)

28.12.2020 - 17:26 [ gab.ai/murali / Twitter ]

How many willing to bet that this case is part of pharma wars to sabotage Oxford vaccine?

(28.11.2020)

28.12.2020 - 17:25 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Coronavirus latest news: One million vaccinations a week will not bring pandemic under control, warns Sage expert

Sir Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust who advises Number 10’s advisory panel Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said: „We’re not going to be free of this pandemic by February, this is now a human endemic infection.

28.12.2020 - 17:24 [ .oxfordmail.co.uk ]

No herd immunity through vaccine programme before summer, Sage scientist warns

Calum Semple, professor of outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), described the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine as a “game changer” if it is approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the coming days.

But he told BBC Breakfast…

28.12.2020 - 17:20 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

SAGE demands ALL pupils are kept home till February: Scientists demand new national lockdown for kids after Gove says only Years 11 and 13 and primary schools will return on January 4

Pressure has also been growing on Boris Johnson from within his own party to keep all pupils in school at the start the new term – but the PM has sided with SAGE scientists, who are pushing for schools, especially secondary schools to close for all of January, at least, because of the new super-strain of Covid-19, according to Politico.

Mr Johnson was reportedly told last week by SAGE, led by Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance, that a stricter lockdown is required because the one in November, where schools remained open, did not keep the ‚R‘ rate below 1, an adviser has claimed.

28.12.2020 - 09:44 [ Mirror.co.uk ]

Millions more face being placed in Tier 4 in bid to control mutant coronavirus strain

Dr Zubaida Haque, who sits on Independent Sage, has questioned why the government haven’t placed the whole country in the harshest tier of restrictions to save lives.

28.12.2020 - 09:37 [ Spiked ]

Lockdown: a deadly, failed experiment

It has been a global catastrophe. We must never go down this road again.

27.12.2020 - 06:35 [ Washington Post ]

How the Iowa caucuses came ‘crashing down,’ under the watchful eye of the DNC

(Feb. 16, 2020)

The DNC ordered and paid for a security audit of the software, which was completed by NCC Group, a Britain-based cybersecurity firm. Out of the review, which also involved threat assessment conducted with the national party as well as officials in Iowa and Nevada, came directions to guard the name of the vendor, and to take the software live as late as possible to prevent it from getting into the hands of hackers, according to multiple people who participated or had knowledge of the exercises.

27.12.2020 - 06:14 [ KCRG.com ]

County party chair thinks internal audit was too kind to Iowa Democratic Party

(Dec. 16, 2020)

After the caucus, the IDP hired a pair of Democratic lawyers: Nick Klinefeldt, who was a federal attorney appointed by President Barack Obama, and former Iowa Attorney General Bonnie Campbell. They were tasked with identifying and determining the cause of problems that occurred during the 2020 Iowa Caucuses, with the results of their investigation being released to the public on Saturday morning.

27.12.2020 - 06:10 [ Politico.com ]

Iowa autopsy report: DNC meddling led to caucus debacle

(12.12.2020)

The audit states the conversion tool had coding errors that spit out inaccurate numbers and caused confusion about the accuracy of the results, eventually leading to delays in reporting. But the state party’s app never malfunctioned nor was hacked, the report concludes.

27.12.2020 - 06:04 [ theIntercept.com ]

Investigator: DNC Was “Directly Involved” in Iowa Caucus App Development, Countering DNC Denial

(22.12.2020)

The DNC’s meddling, which included a last-minute demand that developers of the Shadow app create a special software that would allow the DNC real-time access to the raw numbers before they went public, didn’t sit well with Zogby.

“Why would [the DNC] need to see that?” Zogby said about the DNC’s insistence on access to the raw caucus results before they went public. “Why wouldn’t you trust the state party to make the determination?”

In the transcript from the closed-session meeting held by the state party, members suggested that the DNC’s goal was to strip Iowa of its prestigious first-in-the-nation status.

27.12.2020 - 05:22 [ gab.ai/murali / Twitter ]

How many willing to bet that this case is part of pharma wars to sabotage Oxford vaccine?

(28.11.2020)

27.12.2020 - 05:20 [ Sean / Twitter ]

Can I ask why the Oxford vaccine approval is taking so long? It only took 23 days for Pfizers, we are nearly at day 30 and still no sign of approval!

(21.12.2020)

27.12.2020 - 05:05 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Millions to receive Oxford coronavirus vaccine from Jan 4

The Government is aiming for two million people to receive their first dose of either the Oxford vaccine or the Pfizer jab within a fortnight as part of a major ramping up of the inoculation programme.

26.12.2020 - 06:53 [ Marcy Winograd / Twitter ]

After CODEPINK Campaign & pressure from others, Torture Defender Mike Morell Bows Out for CIA. Now, we must ask the tough questions of #AvrilHaines, challenge her nomination & put the #drone program on trial!

26.12.2020 - 03:22 [ Marcy Winograd / Medium.com ]

Open Letter to President-Elect Biden & U.S. Senate from Torture Victims and their Advocates Opposed to Mike Morell for CIA and Avril Haines for National Intelligence.

(21.12.2020)

Morell has no place in a Biden-Harris administration. His nomination would send a chilling message to torture survivors and other victims of grave injustice that the United States government, including the Biden administration, does not uphold its own stated principles. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) from the Senate Intelligence Committee has said about Morell: “No torture apologist can be confirmed as CIA director. It’s a nonstarter.” We agree and urge the President-elect not to nominate Morell.

We also oppose Avril Haines, another toture apologist, as Director of National Intelligence. Since she has already been nominated, we ask Senators to oppose her confirmation.

26.12.2020 - 03:19 [ CodePink.org ]

No, Joe, Don’t Roll out the Red Carpet for Torture Enablers

(24.12.2020)

It was painful enough to live through the U.S invasion of Iraq that caused untold devastation and human misery for no justifiable reason.

Now we are again reminded of the grim Bush legacy with President-elect Biden’s nomination of Avril Haines for Director of National Intelligence.

26.12.2020 - 01:47 [ US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence ]

REPORT of the SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE STUDY of the CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY’S DETENTION AND INTERROGATION PROGRAM

The Committee makes the following findings and conclusions:

#1: The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.

(…)

#2: The CIA’s justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.

(…)

#3: The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others. (…)

At least five CIA detainees were subjected to „rectal rehydration“ or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity. The CIA placed detainees in ice water „baths.“ The CIA led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive, suggesting to one detainee that he would only leave in a coffin-shaped box. One interrogator told another detainee that he would never go to court, because „we can never let the world know what I have done to you.“ CIA officers also threatened at least three detainees with harm to their families— to include threats to harm the children of a detainee, threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee, and a threat to „cut [a detainee’s] mother’s throat.“

#4: The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher than the CIA had represented to policymakers and others.

Conditions at CIA detention sites were poor, and were especially bleak early in the program. CIA detainees at the COBALT detention facility were kept in complete darkness and constantly shackled in isolated cells with loud noise or music and only a bucket to use for human waste.10 Lack of heat at the facility likely contributed to the death of a detainee. The chief of interrogations described COBALT as a „dungeon.“11 Another senior CIA officer stated that COBALT was itself an enhanced interrogation technique.“ At times, the detainees at COBALT were walked around naked or were shackled with their hands above their heads for extended periods of time. Other times, the detainees at COBALT were subjected to what was described as a „rough takedown,“ in which approximately five CIA officers would scream at a detainee, drag him outside of his cell, cut his clothes off, and secure him with Mylar tape. The detainee would then be hooded and dragged up and down a long corridor while being slapped and punched.

26.12.2020 - 01:43 [ ZeroHedge.com ]

„We Tortured Some Folks“: CIA Lied To Congress, Senate Torture Report Reveals

(Dec 09, 2014)

The drilldown from Bloomberg:

– CIA provided inaccurate information about effectiveness and scope of interrogations of suspected terrorists, and mismanaged a program that was far more brutal than represented, according to 6-year investigation by Democrats on Senate Intelligence Cmte.
– Interrogation techniques weren’t effective, didn’t produce key information that led to killing of Osama bin Laden and were significantly different from procedures authorized by Justice Dept, report says
– CIA provided inaccurate information to White House, Congress, DOJ, CIA Inspector General, media and the public
– “This document examines the CIA’s secret overseas detention of at least 119 individuals and the use of coercive interrogation techniques – in some cases amounting to torture,” Senate Intelligence Cmte Chairman Dianne Feinstein says in statement

26.12.2020 - 00:16 [ theHill.com ]

Meet Biden’s pick to lead the US intelligence community

Haines is expected to withstand scrutiny during the Senate confirmation process for her role in the drone program, as well as her approval of a CIA review board decision in 2015 not to discipline agency personnel for intruding in computers used by the Senate Intelligence Committee when it was investigating the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program. Haines was also part of the team that redacted the committee’s report on the program.

23.12.2020 - 11:32 [ BBC ]

Oxford vaccine: How did they make it so quickly?

(23.11.2020)

Scientists took a common cold virus that infected chimpanzees and engineered it to become the building block of a vaccine against almost anything.

Before Covid, 330 people had been given ChAdOx1 based-vaccines for diseases ranging from flu to Zika virus, and prostate cancer to the tropical disease chikungunya.

The virus from chimps is genetically modified so it cannot cause an infection in people. It can then be modified again to contain the genetic blueprints for whatever you want to train the immune system to attack.

23.12.2020 - 11:18 [ inews.co.uk ]

Boris Johnson’s future as Prime Minister rests on the Oxford vaccine being approved

The hope in Downing Street is that the Oxford vaccine will get the green light by the end of the year. This would allow the Prime Minister to start laying out plans for restrictions to be lifted.

21.12.2020 - 22:37 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

UK has vaccinated 500,000 people against Covid since December 8, Boris Johnson says as regulators face growing pressure to approve Oxford’s jab in desperate race to speed up the roll-out

The MHRA drugs regulator has been doing its final review of the vaccine for three weeks now, since November 27, with a decision expected by next Tuesday.

(…)

However, they made a decision about Pfizer and BioNTech’s jab within 10 days of being instructed to do so by the Department of Health.

21.12.2020 - 21:09 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Who knew what and when about Britain’s Covid mutation? PHE first discovered the fast-spreading variant in October but didn’t raise the alarm until last week – amid claims scientists held back discovery to bounce No10 into Tier Four

At the start of the month information about VUI-202012/01 was passed to the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Advisory Group (NERVTAG) committee, which advises England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty. The group first discussed the strain at a December 11 meeting and began modelling its severity on the UK’s epidemic.

Ministers were not made aware of the variant until last Monday, almost two months after its initial discovery, when they were told it was more infectious and probably behind the continued rise in cases in London and the South East.

20.12.2020 - 15:24 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

It felt like a meeting of horror movie scriptwriters: GLEN OWEN tells the inside story of how a libertarian PM ended up feeling he had no choice but to cancel Christmas

The grim countenances of Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance told the story before they even started talking – Christmas was off. As Boris Johnson sat in the Cabinet Room at 5pm on Friday, Whitty and Vallance appeared on the Zoom monitors and started reeling off increasingly alarming data about the new mutant strain of the coronavirus…

19.12.2020 - 21:22 [ CNBC ]

Trump contradicts Pompeo, plays down alleged Russian role in cyberattack

Trump’s comments in the form of Twitter posts on Saturday went against comments his secretary of state made less than 24 hours earlier.
SolarWinds, the company at the center of the attack, has not yet blamed any one country.

19.12.2020 - 21:07 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

‚We’re not going to be knocking on people doors on Christmas Day‘: Police officers say new Tier 4 restrictions ‚don’t make sense‘ as thousands vow to IGNORE the rules

At an emergency press conference, Boris Johnson announced a third of England, including London and swathes of the home counties, will be shifted up to the brutal new tier from midnight.

Mr Marsh told MailOnline the new rules – which close non-essential retail and ban overnight stays in infection spots – meant little, because Mr Johnson has ‚lost the good will of the people‘ over the festive period.

19.12.2020 - 20:43 [ Downing Street No 10 / Regierung von Großbritannien ]

Prime Minister announces Tier 4: ‚Stay At Home‘ Alert Level in response to new COVID variant

The Prime Minister has announced tougher restrictions for large parts of South East England with a new Tier 4: ‘Stay at Home’ alert level.

The decision follows a rapid rise in infections attributed to the rapid spread of a new variant of COVID-19.

Based on preliminary modelling data, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) now consider that the new strain can spread significantly more quickly and could increase R by 0.4 or more. New and existing data will continue to be analysed as we learn more about the variant.

19.12.2020 - 20:38 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Exclusive: Alarming new evidence on coronavirus mutation could bring tougher restrictions

Government scientists at the Porton Down laboratory in Wiltshire have been conducting experiments on the new strain, and have confirmed ministers‘ fears about it being far more infectious than the original strain of the virus.

(…)

The meeting of ministers was expected to continue late into the night, with Whitehall sources refusing to rule out a press conference on Saturday to announce additional restrictions.

19.12.2020 - 12:27 [ federalnewsnetwork.com ]

SolarWinds breach raises stakes for NDAA Trump still threatens to veto

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said the breach makes a clear case for the work of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and the cyber provisions that made it into the annual defense policy bill passed by the House and Senate.

“This is the most important bill on cyber ever passed by Congress, and that’s why I’m really hoping that the president will either sign the bill or let it become law without a signature, because there is so much critically important material in the bill,” King said during an annual summit hosted by Defense One.

19.12.2020 - 12:24 [ Cyberspace Solarium Commission ]

Cyberspace Solarium Commission

The Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC) was established in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 to „develop a consensus on a strategic approach to defending the United States in cyberspace against cyber attacks of significant consequences.“ The finished report was presented to the public on March 11, 2020.

Our Report

The Cyberspace Solarium Commission’s proposes a strategy of layered cyber deterrence. Our report consists of over 80 recommendations to implement the strategy. These recommendations are organized into 6 pillars:

– Reform the U.S. Government’s Structure and Organization for Cyberspace.

– Strengthen Norms and Non-Military Tools.

– Promote National Resilience.

Reshape the Cyber Ecosystem.

Operationalize Cybersecurity Collaboration with the Private Sector.

– Preserve and Employ the Military Instrument of National Power.

19.12.2020 - 11:07 [ theIntercept.com ]

The CIA’s Afghan Death Squads

While CIA officers run the operations, most of the ground support during strike force unit missions, including the control of air power, is provided by fighters loaned out by Joint Special Operations Command. Variations on this arrangement have been used by the CIA since the Church Committee clamped down on agency excesses at home and abroad in 1975. Originally dubbed “Omega” in Afghanistan, the program temporarily strips special forces of their regular military designation — a process known as “sheep-dipping”— and places them under CIA command. This enables the CIA to circumvent the restrictions placed on fighters who ordinarily operate under regular wartime Title 10 authority, placing them instead under the agency’s Title 50 authority for covert actions.

19.12.2020 - 10:35 [ CNN ]

Congressional backers cite cybersecurity provisions as they push Trump to sign defense bill

The massive defense bill that President Donald Trump is threatening to veto contains provisions for increased cybersecurity, which has taken on significantly more importance in the wake of a massive cyberattack on federal agencies at the hands of suspected Russian hackers.

The National Defense Authorization Act includes pay raises for America’s soldiers, modernizations for equipment and provisions to require more scrutiny before troops are withdrawn from Germany or Afghanistan.

19.12.2020 - 09:24 [ Fox News ]

After government hack, media mum on ex-cybersecurity chief highlighted for contradicting Trump’s fraud claims

„As I said in a news briefing, Election Day was ‘just another Tuesday on the Internet,’“ he wrote. „Normal sorts of scanning and probing were happening, but we did not see any successful attacks or damaging disruptions.“

Yet hackers were arms deep in a slew of federal agencies. The infiltration, believed to have been conducted by the Russians, appears to have compromised the Departments of Energy, State, Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury and Commerce. His name did not appear in CNN’s story about CISA and the hack published Thursday.

18.12.2020 - 19:33 [ bleepingcomputer.com ]

FBI, CISA officially confirm US govt hacks after SolarWinds breach

(17.12.2020)

The compromise of multiple US federal networks following the SolarWinds breach was officially confirmed for the first time in a joint statement released earlier today by the FBI, DHS-CISA, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

„Over the course of the past several days, the FBI, CISA, and ODNI have become aware of a significant and ongoing cybersecurity campaign,“ the US intelligence agencies said …

18.12.2020 - 19:18 [ Forbes ]

DHS, DOJ And DOD Are All Customers Of SolarWinds Orion, The Source Of The Huge US Government Hack

Though it’s not clear whether it uses the Orion tool, the DHS’s own Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is a SolarWinds customer too, buying $45,000-worth of licenses in 2019. The U.S. Cyber Command also spent over $12,000 on SolarWinds tools in the same year.

SolarWinds, a publicly-listed Austin, Texas-based company with a value of over $6 billion, has its own customer list, though it doesn’t break down which products clients use. That list includes more than 425 of the Fortune 500, all major US telecoms providers, the top five U.S. accounting firms, hundreds of global universities, the NSA and the White House.

18.12.2020 - 18:43 [ theHill.com ]

Lawmakers ask whether massive hack amounted to act of war

Hackers believed to be part of a nation state have had access to federal networks since March after exploiting a vulnerability in updates to IT group SolarWinds’s Orion software. The hack has compromised the Treasury, State and Homeland Security departments and branches of the Pentagon, though it is expected to get worse. SolarWinds counts many more federal agencies as customers, along with the majority of U.S. Fortune 500 companies.

17.12.2020 - 10:42 [ Globes.co.il ]

Israeli drones leased to Germany to remain unarmed

Felgentreu is considered one of the biggest supporters of the move to arm the UAVs, which was separated from the actual procurement of the UAVs due to previous opposition within the SPD, which caused him to resign over the issue. Felgentreu has told „Globes“ in the past that the German army needs the Israeli UAVs to help protect its combat soldiers on missions in Afghanistan and Mali.

17.12.2020 - 09:19 [ USA Today ]

FDA says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine vials may hold extra ‚obtainable‘ doses, adding to US supply

Pharmacists must throw away any extra amount of the vaccine if it does not consist of the 0.3 mL needed for a full dose, Pfizer said. The remaining amount „must never“ be combined with the vaccine from another vial.

The Pfizer vaccine, green-lighted by the FDA on Dec. 11, was developed in less than a year, a fraction of the time it would usually take as researchers worldwide frantically sought an antidote to a virus discovered in China in December 2019.

17.12.2020 - 08:55 [ New York Times ]

2 Alaska Health Workers Got Emergency Treatment After Receiving Pfizer’s Vaccine

One of the workers, who did not have a history of allergies, remained in the hospital on Wednesday night. Some reactions to the vaccine were also reported last week in Britain.

14.12.2020 - 23:53 [ FT.com ]

Researchers looking at new coronavirus strain, says health minister

Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, told a press conference that London was being moved to more stringent Tier 3 restrictions because cases were surging in and around the capital — and not directly in response to the discovery of the new variant.

13.12.2020 - 19:40 [ BMJ.com ]

Conflicts of interest among the UK government’s covid-19 advisers

(09.12.2020)

Little is known about the interests of the doctors, scientists, and academics on whose advice the UK government relies to manage the pandemic. Attempts to discover more are frequently thwarted, finds Paul D Thacker

13.12.2020 - 14:55 [ CormanDrostenReview.com ]

Review report Corman-Drosten et al. Eurosurveillance 2020

(27.11.2020)

It should be noted that there is no mention anywhere in the Corman-Drosten paper of a test being positive or negative, or indeed what defines a positive or negative result. These types of virological diagnostic tests must be based on a SOP, including a validated and fixed number of PCR cycles (Ct value) after which a sample is deemed positive or negative. The maximum reasonably reliable Ct value is 30 cycles. Above a Ct of 35 cycles, rapidly increasing numbers of false positives must be expected .

PCR data evaluated as positive after a Ct value of 35 cycles are completely unreliable.

13.12.2020 - 14:50 [ National Center for Biotechnology Information - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov ]

Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR

(23.01.2020)

All oligonucleotides were synthesised and provided by Tib-Molbiol (Berlin, Germany). Thermal cycling was performed at 55 °C for 10 min for reverse transcription, followed by 95 °C for 3 min and then 45 cycles of 95 °C for 15 s, 58 °C for 30 s.

(…)

This work was funded by European Union DG Research through projects Prepare (GA602525), Compare (GA643476), and EVAg (GA653316); by European Union DG SANCO through EVD-LabNet, as well as by the German Ministry of Research through projects RAPID (01KI1723A) and DZIF (301-4-7-01.703).

13.12.2020 - 14:41 [ WHO.int ]

Berlin, Jan 17th, 2020: Diagnostic detection of 2019-nCoV by real-time RT-PCR

All oligonucleotides were synthesised and provided by Tib-Molbiol, Berlin. Thermal cycling was performed at 55°C for 10 min for reverse transcription, followed by 95°C for 3 min and then 45 cycles of 95°C for 15 s, 58°C for 30 s.

13.12.2020 - 13:31 [ New York Times ]

Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be.

(29.08.2020)

Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.

Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left, Dr. Mina said.

Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive, agreed Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside. “I’m shocked that people would think that 40 could represent a positive,” she said.

12.12.2020 - 20:00 [ CNN ]

It took AstraZeneca researchers 1 month to get vaccine trial data to FDA, source tells CNN

(14.10.2020)

The source said the root of the delay is that the participant was in the United Kingdom, and the European Medicines Agency and the FDA store data differently.

„They had to convert data from one format to another format. It’s like taking stuff off a PC and putting it onto an Apple. They had to spend a lot of hours to get what they wanted,“ the source said.

09.12.2020 - 18:18 [ Standard.co.uk ]

Warning after two NHS workers have allergic reaction to Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine

They developed symptoms of “anaphylactoid reaction” shortly after receiving the vaccine, but both recovered after the appropriate treatment.

After the incident, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) told NHS trusts that anyone who has a history of “significant” allergic reactions – including to medicines, food or vaccines – should not currently receive the vaccine.

08.12.2020 - 01:02 [ CNN ]

New Covid-19 stay-at-home orders set to take effect Sunday night for millions of Californians

Some 27 million people in the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions will be affected after both regions triggered a mandate issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week requiring new restrictions if a region’s hospital intensive care unit capacity drops below 15%.

06.12.2020 - 13:11 [ Washington Post ]

Pentagon spy agencies to meet with Biden transition team

Officials said that advisers to the incoming Biden administration are scheduled to meet with officials at the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other spy services at their headquarters.

05.12.2020 - 15:10 [ theGuardian.com ]

Chinese official’s ‚repugnant‘ tweet of Australia soldier likely amplified by fake accounts, experts say

Cyabra, an Israeli cybersecurity firm, said it was highly probable that an orchestrated campaign had promoted Zhao’s tweet.

Cyabra said it had found 57.5% of accounts that engaged with Zhao’s tweet were fake, and “evidence of a largely orchestrated disinformation campaign” to amplify its message. The firm did not give any details about who was behind the campaign.

Cyabra said it analysed 1,344 profiles and found a large number were created in November and used once, to retweet Zhao’s tweet.

04.12.2020 - 21:50 [ CNN ]

Vaccination cards will be issued to everyone getting Covid-19 vaccine, health officials say

(02.12.2020)

„Everyone will be issued a written card that they can put in their wallet that will tell them what they had and when their next dose is due,“ Moore said. „Let’s do the simple, easy thing first. Everyone’s going to get that.“

04.12.2020 - 21:47 [ Zero Hedge ]

‚Immunity Cards‘ To Be Issued To All Americans; Enable CDC To Track COVID-19 Vaxx Status In Database

On Wednesday the Department of Defense released the first images of a COVID-19 vaccination record card as well as vaccination kits, according to CNN.

„Everyone will be issued a written card that they can put in their wallet that will tell them what they had and when their next dose is due,“ says Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition.

04.12.2020 - 21:33 [ theLocal.ch ]

‚Freedom Pass‘: Will Switzerland introduce a British-style coronavirus immunity card?

Ruth Humbel, a National Councillor with the Swiss People’s Party, said that people who are immune to the virus should receive a card or certificate which will allow them to participate in certain activities, such as going to football games, clubs or travelling, 20 Minutes reports.

04.12.2020 - 21:24 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

No10 stops short of ruling out Covid ‚immunity passports‘ despite saying it is ’not something the PM wants‘ – as Wales raises fears of spot checks at pubs and shops by bringing in ID-style cards for people who get vaccine

– Pfizer vaccines licensed by UK regulator and will be distributed from next week
– Wales says people will be issued with ID-style cards to show they have had jab
– Fears that pubs and shops could demand proof of vaccine before allowing entry

04.12.2020 - 05:09 [ CNN ]

CNN Exclusive: Biden says he will ask Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days he’s in office

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday that he will ask Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days after he takes office, in a sign of how Biden’s approach to the virus will be dramatically different from President Donald Trump’s response.

„Just 100 days to mask, not forever. One hundred days. And I think we’ll see a significant reduction,“ Biden said for the first time in the interview with Tapper.

03.12.2020 - 17:16 [ theDiplomat.com ]

NATO Huddles With Asia-Pacific Democracies to Talk China

The incoming Biden administration has pledged to do even more to partner with allies on the China challenge.

In another step in that direction, on December 2, the foreign ministers of the NATO members, along with delegations from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, gathered virtually to discuss the rise of China and the implications for the global balance of power.

24.11.2020 - 20:53 [ Max Blumenthal / Twitter ]

After Jake Sullivan chirped to his boss about Al Qaeda being „on our side in Syria,“ he advocated for more covert arms shipments to the Syrian insurgency the jihadist group was leading. Expect more wise moves like this in the months and years to come.

24.11.2020 - 20:49 [ Wikileaks / Twitter ]

„[al-Quada] is on our side in Syria“–email from policy advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Feb 2012)

(12.04.2017)

24.11.2020 - 20:45 [ CBS News ]

Biden to appoint Jake Sullivan as national security adviser

Sullivan has been advising Mr. Biden on domestic policy, but has an extensive foreign policy background. He served as Mr. Biden’s national security adviser during President Barack Obama’s second term and was a head of policy planning and deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.

24.11.2020 - 20:38 [ Erik Sperling 🌍 #YemenCantWait / Twitter ]

Tony Blinken, in Riyadh, April 2015: “Saudi Arabia is sending a strong message […] we have expedited weapons deliveries, we have increased our intelligence sharing, and we have established a joint coordination planning cell in the Saudi operation centre”

24.11.2020 - 11:22 [ Rashida Tlaib, Abgeordnete im US Repräsentantenhaus / Twitter ]

So long as he doesn’t suppress my First Amendment right to speak out against Netanyahu’s racist and inhumane policies. The Palestinian people deserve equality and justice.

24.11.2020 - 11:20 [ Fox News ]

Rashida Tlaib accused of anti-Semitism for reaction to Biden’s Jewish Sec of State nominee

„Biden names a Jew to his cabinet What’s Rashida’s response?! ‚Welp, as long as that Judische pick doesn’t stop me from focusing my hatred on one country, Israel, then he’s a good Jew!‘ It’s not your 1A right you’re trying to protect but your vile Jew-hatred! That’s ALL yours!“ Americans Against Antisemitism founder Dov Hikind reacted.

„You can just say you’re worried because he’s Jewish…“ the Republican Jewish Coalition tweeted.

23.11.2020 - 21:02 [ Caitlin Johnstone ]

Surprise! America Is Getting Another Psycho For Secretary Of State

The State Department was meant to be the counterpart to the War Department, focusing on diplomacy and peace. What ended up happening as the US government morphed into a globe-spanning empire dependent on endless violence and aggression is that the State Department wound up focusing more and more on manufacturing interventionist narratives on the world stage to gin up international support for starvation sanctions, proxy wars and war coalitions.

So in practice the US ended up with two war departments: the DoD and the State Department. Which is why you’ve seen the nation’s Secretaries of State becoming more and more jingoistic and psychopathic, to the point where some sort of antisocial personality disorder is almost a job requirement for the position.

23.11.2020 - 20:52 [ Glenn Greenwald ]

A Long-Forgotten CIA Document From WikiLeaks Sheds Critical Light Today on U.S. Politics and Wars

The Agency knew that their best asset for selling their wars was Barack Obama — the same reason so many in the security state were eager to get rid of Donald Trump.

23.11.2020 - 11:51 [ New York Times ]

Transition Highlights: Biden Plans to Name Blinken, Sullivan and Thomas-Greenfield to Cabinet

Together, Mr. Blinken and Mr. Sullivan, good friends with a common worldview, have become Mr. Biden’s brain trust and often his voice on foreign policy matters. And they led the attack on President Trump’s use of “America First” as a guiding principle, saying it only isolated the United States and created opportunities and vacuums for its adversaries to fill.

23.11.2020 - 11:41 [ Ro Khanna, Abgeordneter im US Repräsentantenhaus / Twitter ]

Flournoy supported the war in Iraq & Libya, criticized Obama on Syria, and helped craft the surge in Afghanistan. I want to support the President’s picks. But will Flournoy now commit to a full withdrawal from Afghanistan & a ban on arms sales to the Saudis to end the Yemen war?

23.11.2020 - 11:22 [ theGrayzone.com ]

VIDEO: Top Biden advisors Flournoy and Blinken promise smarter, more secretive permanent war policy

Since the 1990s, Flournoy and Blinken have steadily risen through the ranks of the military-industrial complex, shuffling back and forth between the Pentagon and hawkish think-tanks funded by the U.S. government, weapons companies, and oil giants.

Under Bill Clinton, Flournoy was the principal author of the 1996 Quadrinellial Defense Review, the document that outlined the U.S. military’s doctrine of permanent war – what it called “full spectrum dominance.”

21.11.2020 - 16:36 [ NBC News ]

Biden faces a race against the clock for U.S. to rejoin Iran nuclear deal

With Iran due to hold elections in June, any diplomatic effort will have to move swiftly during Biden’s first few months in office, say former U.S. officials, European diplomats and regional experts.

14.11.2020 - 15:59 [ BMJ.com ]

Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health.1 Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.

The UK’s pandemic response provides at least four examples of suppression of science or scientists. First, the membership, research, and deliberations of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were initially secret until a press leak forced transparency.

12.11.2020 - 10:06 [ theGuardian.com ]

Vaccine taskforce chief may benefit from £49m UK investment

She is expected to leave her post at the end of the year, according to a government source who said her contract ran until January 2021 and she had always intended to leave at that point.

11.11.2020 - 10:08 [ Saagar Enjeti, Host of Rising / Twitter ]

There it is. Confirmation that Esper and his team were fired for thwarting admin efforts to withdraw troops from Afghanistan Its been 20 years there is no „premature withdrawal“

09.11.2020 - 23:17 [ The Hill ]

Top US official for Syria and ISIS to retire this month

Joel Rayburn, currently deputy assistant secretary and special envoy for Syria, will take on the responsibilities of engagement with Syria.

Ambassador Nathan Sales, the coordinator for counterterrorism, will take on the role of special envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

06.11.2020 - 18:15 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Downing Street REJECTS calls to end lockdown despite four more sets of real-world data showing second wave of Covid was dropping and R rate was stable BEFORE crippling restrictions based on flawed projections

Downing Street today refused calls for England’s second lockdown to be cut short and insisted it will run until December 2, despite four more sets of real-world data that show the second wave was already shrinking before the Government pushed the panic button on a drastic month-long shutdown.

Promising figures published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – which runs a massive government surveillance scheme that randomly swabs tens of thousands of people to track the size of the outbreak – suggest that the country’s coronavirus outbreak has shrunk.

06.11.2020 - 17:06 [ Haaretz ]

Israel Has a New Secret Contact-tracing App. This Is What We Know

Aside from the ministers, the meeting was attended by professionals from numerous agencies, including the Shin Bet, the Health Ministry, the Privacy Protection Authority, the treasury, the Justice Ministry, the National Security Council, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Public Security Ministry, the Economy Ministry and the army’s Home Front Command.

06.11.2020 - 13:35 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Exclusive: ‚Covid graphs were wrong in suggesting daily deaths would soon surpass first wave‘

Official projections which pushed the country into a second lockdown have been quietly revised to no longer suggest deaths could soon overtake those at the peak of the first wave, The Telegraph has learned.

03.11.2020 - 14:59 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

More proof England’s lockdown was premature? Top researchers say R rate has dropped to 1 as Oxford expert claims Covid infections are ‚flatlining‘ and the ‚4,000 deaths‘ graph used to justify restrictions has ‚proven to be incorrect‘

– King’s College London said cases were now ‚plateauing‘ and there was a ’slight fall‘ in infections across UK
– Oxford’s Carl Heneghan said told how coronavirus hospital admissions, cases and ‚in effect‘ deaths in retreat
– It comes as Sir Patrick Vallance and Prof Chris Whitty face questions from MPs over the 4,000 deaths figure

03.11.2020 - 14:49 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Is the NHS actually QUIETER than usual? Leaked document claims hospitals are 84% full (but last autumn the figure was 92%)

– Beds have never been less than 85% full for a three-month period since 2010
– Spring this year was the first time, because patients were turfed out for Covid-19
– And occupancy remains below average levels despite second wave, stat shows

02.11.2020 - 15:38 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

How Vallance’s secret blood-curdling press briefing on looming lockdown – an hour BEFORE Boris agreed to it – lit the fuse on Nov 5th shutdown that could blow up our economy

– Boris Johnson announced England-wide lockdown after weeks insisting he would stick to his local ‚Tiers‘
– The PM summoned a dramatic press conference Saturday night after details of the U-turn idea were leaked
– Sir Patrick Vallance gave blood-curdling briefing about the situation on Friday before ministers made decision
– More details were then leaked overnight before the wider Cabinet had been gathered, forcing the PM’s hand
Mr Johnson is set to use a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon to say there is ’no alternative‘

02.11.2020 - 15:33 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Apocalyptic forecast of 4,000 coronavirus deaths a day could be FIVE TIMES too high and had already been proved wrong when government revealed it at weekend

– Sir Patrick Vallance presented worst-case scenario in Saturday’s briefing when lockdown was confirmed
– But it has emerged it was based on forecasts made weeks ago and since updated to give lower estimates
– Oxford’s Carl Heneghan said he was ‚concerned‘ at officials‘ choice to use old data which could be misleading
– Tory MPs accused SAGE, of which Vallance is chair, of ‚cherry-picking‘ figures and not giving full picture
– England will be thrust into a second lockdown from Thursday, pending a vote in Parliament on Wednesday

01.11.2020 - 18:24 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Coronavirus latest news: Boris Johnson faces Tory rebellion over national lockdown

Boris Johnson faces a rebellion from his backbenches over the new national lockdown restrictions for England amid warnings that the measures would be „disastrous“ for the economy.

This comes after Cabinet Minister Michael Gove admitted the four-week-long national lockdown could be extended beyond December 2.

01.11.2020 - 18:18 [ CNN ]

Boris Johnson accused of ‚giving in to scientific advisers‘ as England heads for lockdown

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith wrote in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper that the month-long lockdown showed government was „giving in to the scientific advisers,“ claiming that government experts had „pressurised“ Johnson into the step.

„Normally, advisers advise and ministers decide. Yet that system has broken down with Sage [the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies] believing its advice to be more like commandments written on stone and its members publicly lecturing the Government over the airways,“ Duncan Smith wrote.

01.11.2020 - 18:09 [ Reuters Canada ]

Britain starts accelerated review for AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine

Work began on the Oxford vaccine in January. Called AZD1222 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, the viral vector vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus that causes infections in chimpanzees.

31.10.2020 - 21:18 [ BBC ]

‚Stay at home‘ from Thursday, says PM in new England lockdown

During the news conference, it was explained that the number of hospital admissions is rising rapidly.

Scientists have made a projection to see how the number of daily admissions would rise over the next six weeks.

As shown by the graph below, the number would surpass the figures of the first wave.

31.10.2020 - 12:04 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Three facts No 10’s experts got wrong: DR MIKE YEADON says claims that the majority of the population is susceptible to Covid, that only 7% are infected so far and virus death rate is 1% are all false

While Boris Johnson will be the person announcing that catastrophic decision, the measures are being dictated by a small group of scientists who, in my view, have repeatedly got things terribly wrong.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has made three incorrect assumptions which have had, and continue to have, disastrous consequences for people’s lives and the economy.

31.10.2020 - 12:00 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

The data ‚forcing Boris into lockdown‘: SAGE releases papers showing scientists sounded alarm two weeks ago and UK is headed for ‚worse than worst case scenario‘ including 85,000 deaths – as 52,000 catch virus every day

– SAGE said on October 14 that number of infections and hospital admissions were breaching worst case
– Warned that modelling suggested up to 74,000 people a day could be becoming infected in England
– Separate data from Office for National Statistics found almost 52,000 people were catching virus every day

31.10.2020 - 10:11 [ theGrayzone.com ]

Five questions for new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer about his UK and US national security establishment links

(June 5, 2020)

The public deserves answers about the UK’s new opposition leader and his relationship with the British national security establishment, including the MI5 and the Times newspaper, his former role in the Julian Assange case and his membership in the intelligence-linked Trilateral Commission.

30.10.2020 - 13:20 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

German Pfizer vaccine could be ready before Oxford-AstraZeneca injection and be given to Brits before Christmas

Ms Bingham was appointed chair of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce for Covid-19 in May and reports directly to the Prime Minister on the progress of a coronavirus vaccine, which experts say is key to controlling the pandemic.

The taskforce, which Ms Bingham says was the ‚brainchild of Sir Patrick Vallance‘ — Number 10’s chief scientific adviser, is at the forefront of putting plans in place to get the UK population vaccinated.

30.10.2020 - 12:50 [ Cleveland.com ]

University Hospitals and CWRU join global study of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca paused its trial in early September to review safety data because a British trial participant developed a neurological condition.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the resumption of the company’s U.S. trials after reviewing global safety data. The trial had already resumed in other countries.

28.10.2020 - 20:14 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

The tyranny of data has put us at the mercy of a new Covid priesthood

In the days before Big Data, when the amount of information available to policy makers would have been fairly small and the consequences of locking down the economy unacceptable, the response was entirely different. The flu pandemic of 1968 affected millions and killed thousands but there was no suggestion that the country should be placed in a deep freeze while it was suppressed.

26.10.2020 - 17:19 [ CNN ]

It took AstraZeneca researchers 1 month to get vaccine trial data to FDA, source tells CNN

(14.10.2020)

The source said the root of the delay is that the participant was in the United Kingdom, and the European Medicines Agency and the FDA store data differently.

„They had to convert data from one format to another format. It’s like taking stuff off a PC and putting it onto an Apple. They had to spend a lot of hours to get what they wanted,“ the source said.

26.10.2020 - 17:17 [ Statnews.com ]

As AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine trial remains on hold in U.S., participants waiting on a second dose are in limbo

(06.10.2020)

Still, such participants occupy an unusual position in a trial shutdown that is being closely watched as a potential indicator of the prospects of a frontrunner in the race to develop a vaccine to curb the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the participant who spoke with STAT — and others in his same position who can’t currently get their booster shot — the trial halt has become a waiting game. “Now, we’re waiting as the lab rats in the corner,” said the participant, who requested anonymity because he was worried he could face consequences if study investigators found out he had spoken to the press.

22.10.2020 - 08:27 [ New York Times ]

The Intelligence Director Who Is Undermining Trust and Truth

Mr. Ratcliffe, like Maj. Gen. Willoughby before him, seems to think his job is to serve only his boss, who requires that everyone agree with him at all times. As General MacArthur is often quoted: if you control intelligence, you control decision-making.

21.10.2020 - 11:01 [ theHill.com ]

Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein

Any decision to remove Feinstein from serving as chairwoman or ranking minority member in the 117th Congress, which convenes in January, would have to be approved by a vote of the entire Senate Democratic Caucus. And the support for such a move does not appear to be there.

20.10.2020 - 12:11 [ theHill.com ]

Nearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter

The 291 new signatures announced Tuesday join 489 national security leaders who previously endorsed former Vice President Biden as having “the character, principles, wisdom and leadership necessary to address a world on fire.”

20.10.2020 - 04:33 [ Xinhuanet ]

Trump campaign demands foreign policy be central focus of final presidential debate

„As is the long-standing custom, and as has been promised by the Commission on Presidential Debates, we had expected that foreign policy would be the central focus of the October 22 debate,“ Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a letter to the commission on Monday.

„We urge you to recalibrate the topics and return to subjects which had already been confirmed,“ Stepien wrote.

20.10.2020 - 04:25 [ Newsweek.com ]

Trump Campaign Requests Debate Topics Change to Focus on Foreign Policy, Alleges Debate Commission is Helping Biden

President Donald Trump’s campaign accused the Commission on Presidential Debates of shifting the focus of Thursday’s debate away from foreign policy in an effort to „insulate“ former Vice President Joe Biden „from his own history.“

20.10.2020 - 04:06 [ Fox News ]

Gidley accuses debate commission of ‚failure‘ by omitting foreign policy from topics list

„First, they tried to mess up the whole process with a virtual debate,“ Gidley told „The Story“ host Martha MacCallum.

„Then, all of a sudden, the last debate — which is typically about foreign policy, something we talked about with the commission early on when we agreed to the rules set forward … now what do you know?“

20.10.2020 - 03:38 [ Washington Examiner ]

Trump campaign cries foul over change in third debate focus from foreign policy

Announced Friday, the topics include, „Fighting COVID-19,“ „American Families,“ „Race in America,“ „Climate Change,“ National Security,“ and „Leadership.“

Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, Jason Miller, a Trump campaign senior adviser, called the debate’s focus on foreign policy „perfect,“ pointing to what he said was Biden’s support for „endless wars.“

20.10.2020 - 03:13 [ Independent.co.uk ]

Trump campaign trashes debate commission for leaving foreign policy off list of topics

NBC News’ Kristen Welker, who will moderate the next debate, announced on Monday the topics would cover Covid-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security, and leadership.

18.10.2020 - 22:40 [ Fox News ]

Trump adviser says POTUS will give Biden ‚more room‘ to answer foreign policy questions in next debate

Miller said that the debate’s focus on foreign policy will be „perfect“ in light of Biden’s past support for „endless wars,“ President Trump’s success with recent peace deals, and the issue of whether the emails bearing Hunter Biden’s name are authentic.

18.10.2020 - 22:30 [ theHill.com ]

Whatever happened to Deborah Birx?

Unlike Fauci, Birx no longer appears on Sunday morning shows or cable news.

18.10.2020 - 11:34 [ Liz Hicks / Twitter ]

Curfew on restaurants and bars in Berlin from 11pm found to lack proportionality by Berlin Admin Court: no evidence infection more likely after 11pm; evidence restaurants & bars were sites of lower transmission.

Berlin Senate is appealing #covid19 #berlin

18.10.2020 - 11:26 [ euronews.com ]

Berlin bar shutdown: ‚No time to party‘ says mayor amid rising coronavirus cases

(10.10.2020)

„This is not the time to party“, insisted Berlin’s democratic mayor, Michael Müller. „We want to prevent another more severe lockdown“, he added, with a particular message for people under 40.

Angela Merkel argued in favour of the measure on Friday, after consulting mayors from Germany’s 11 largest cities.

18.10.2020 - 11:25 [ theGuardian.com ]

Berlin nightlife given first curfew in 70 years as Covid cases surge

(07.10.2020)

The rate of new cases in the inner-city districts that host Berlin’s nightlife were higher still: of seven hotspots listed by Germany’s disease control agency as having a seven-day incidence of more than 50 cases per 100,000 people, four are in the heart of the capital. Trendy Neukölln leads the pack, with 288 new cases recorded over the course of the last week.

17.10.2020 - 18:28 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Britain is at boiling point: JOHN HUMPHRYS rails at fear replacing reason, ministers who have lost control… and why the public is rising up against the hysterical response to Covid’s second wave

Look, I know it’s easy to find fault with officialdom.

There have always been bossy bureaucrats who justify their existence by making our lives difficult. Always will be.

And if that’s all we have to complain about in this, the nation’s greatest crisis . . . well, we can live with that. Except that it’s not all we have to complain about. And, crucially, this is not the nation’s greatest crisis. Not by a mile.

14.10.2020 - 12:09 [ Independent.co.uk ]

Keir Starmer calls for ‘circuit break’ lockdown as coronavirus cases rise sharply

The Labour leader’s dramatic move came after confidence in Mr Johnson’s approach was shaken by the release late on Monday of papers from his own expert advisers, which revealed the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) recommended a circuit-breaker as long as three weeks ago, along with the closure of all pubs and restaurants and more controls on social contacts in a bid to curtail the spread of the virus in England.

14.10.2020 - 11:50 [ Scotty #EndSAGENow / Twitter ]

Chris Whitty is trending. That can only call for one thing: #SackWhitty #SackWhitty #SackWhitty #SackWhitty

14.10.2020 - 11:43 [ theSun.co.uk ]

‚WE NEED MORE‘: Tier 3 lockdown not enough to stop Covid, warns Chris Whitty, as it emerges SAGE wanted circuit-break three weeks ago

(13.10.2020)

Meanwhile, it emerged the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) committee – of which Prof Whitty is a member – officially recommended a two-week lockdown on September 21.

14.10.2020 - 11:41 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Chris Whitty ‚wants a new two-week NATIONAL lockdown and true UK cases are as high as 38,000-a-day‘, ex-WHO expert who sits on Independent SAGE panel claims

(17.09.2020)

Professor Chris Whitty is pushing for a new two-week national lockdown amid concerns the true number of coronavirus cases is far higher than being reported, a former World Health Organisation expert claims.

Anthony Costello, who sits on the independent SAGE panel, made the statement on Twitter on Wednesday evening, adding that daily infections could be as high as 38,000.

13.10.2020 - 15:19 [ BournemouthEcho.co.uk ]

LIVE: updates after new three-tier Covid system is announced

– A new three-tier strategy of local lockdown measures for England has been announced by Boris Johnson in efforts to curb rising Covid-19 rates
– Different areas of England will be split up into medium, high and very high alert levels
– These areas will be subject to the same national measures which currently apply across the country including a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants and the ‚rule of six‘

13.10.2020 - 15:16 [ theGuardian.com ]

Three-tier Covid plan for England: what it means and how it may work

Any details of the plan are based solely on leaks to the media over the last week, including a document dated 30 September that was seen by the Guardian.

The draft traffic-light-style plan is designed to simplify the current patchwork of localised restrictions, which apply to about a quarter of the UK.

09.10.2020 - 20:00 [ Gothamist.com ]

Zoned Coronavirus Shutdown Of Parts Of Brooklyn And Queens Is Now In Effect. Here’s What We Know

The maps were drafted in consultation with health experts including former city health commissioner and Centers for Disease Control director Dr. Tom Frieden, Dr. Noam Ross of EcoHealth Alliance, and Dr. Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota.

08.10.2020 - 13:45 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Professors ‚Glum and Glummer‘ Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance should be banned from Covid press briefings, says leading lawyer who warns the Government has been ‚captured‘ by scientists

(03.10.2020)

Last month, Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick – dubbed Glum and Glummer by critics – held their own press conference, warning the infection rate could rise to 50,000 cases a day by mid-October.

07.10.2020 - 19:49 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Matt Hancock hints England could FOLLOW Nicola Sturgeon’s two-week alcohol ban in pubs and restaurants in COVID hotspot areas as Scotland imposes 6pm hospitality curfew and shuts bars entirely in vast swathes of the country

– Nicola Sturgeon today announced a wave of new lockdown measures for Scotland in Holyrood statement
– First Minister declared crackdown on pubs and restaurants selling alcohol and is imposing 6pm closing time
– Boris Johnson under huge pressure from advisers to ratchet up coronavirus curbs despite Cabinet resistance

04.10.2020 - 17:38 [ Standard.co.uk ]

Boris Johnson says UK faces ‚bumpy‘ time till Christmas and beyond as he urges ‚common sense‘ in Covid-19 fight

Marr interrupted and said “people are exhausted, they’re furious,” and Mr Johnson replied: “They’re furious at me and they’re furious with the Government.

„But I’ve got to tell you in all candour it’s going to continue to be bumpy through to Christmas, it may even be bumpy beyond. But this is the only way to do it.”

04.10.2020 - 17:15 [ HelensburghAdvertiser.co.uk ]

Computing issue responsible for sharp Covid-19 case rise, says Johnson

The official dashboard said on Saturday that due to a technical issue, which has now been resolved, there was a delay in publishing a number of cases.

This means that the total reported over the coming days will include some additional cases from the period between September 24 and October 1.

04.10.2020 - 16:26 [ Jennifer Williams, Politics & investigations editor for the Manchester Evening News / Twitter ]

He is asked why there has been a sudden spike overnight in testing numbers. There was a problem with counting, he says. ‘It was a computing issue.’ WHAT COMPUTING ISSUE

04.10.2020 - 16:21 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Boris Johnson blames ‚failure in counting system‘ for daily Covid infections DOUBLING to a record 12,872 – but dodges giving fuller explanation as he hints there WERE delays tracing contacts of thousands who tested positive

But appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show this morning, Mr Johnson suggested that the issue might have gone deeper and affected crucial efforts to track down contacts of those who tested positive.

‚The reason for that is there was a failure in the testing system… It was a computing issue,‘ he said.

02.10.2020 - 17:26 [ Sky News ]

Coronavirus: Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance say numbers ‚going wrong way‘

(30.09.2020)

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance both warn that the UK’s coronavirus epidemic has a concerning direction of travel.

02.10.2020 - 17:15 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

The selfish hypocrisy of champagne lockdownism is demolishing our society

Britain is in the grip of a curious psychological phenomenon. Predictably, we are on the brink of yet another populist lockdown. But here’s the thing: nobody really believes in it this time. Not our libertarian PM who can’t quite muster the energy to memorise his own rules. Perhaps not even the politicians lobbying in favour of lockdowns. And certainly not the millions of closet individualists who are lying to the pollsters.

28.09.2020 - 12:38 [ Trend.az ]

Time for dialogue ran out, Armenia deserves int’l repudiation, says Peter Tase

The time for dialogue has run out and Armenia deserves an international repudiation, Peter M. Tase, US expert, strategic adviser on international affairs and public diplomacy to governments, universities and corporations in Europe and the Americas, told Trend.

26.09.2020 - 11:52 [ theHill.com ]

A game theorist’s advice to President Trump on filling the Supreme Court seat

I have worked for over 30 years in competitive strategy. I teach it to future business and policy leaders, diplomats, global development leaders and social entrepreneurs. I have been a leader of the competitive strategy practices in two influential global consulting firms, where I advised CEOs, boards and policy heads. My academic training is as a game theorist, the science of figuring out your next move while anticipating the competitor’s moves to follow. Despite these credentials, I have never been invited to advise Donald Trump on competitive strategy.

24.09.2020 - 16:50 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Boris Johnson faces growing backbench rebellion as up to 50 Tory MPs and a MINISTER oppose plans to extend Government lockdown powers

Such a move, if they vote against the measure, would wipe out the Government’s 80-seat majority, although many could choose to abstain, which could make it a close vote and could avoid them possibly losing the party whip if it sneaks through.

24.09.2020 - 16:43 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

The three taboos at the heart of Johnson’s coronavirus fiasco

What is wrong with Britain?

24.09.2020 - 16:38 [ Chroniclelive.co.uk ]

Piers Morgan lets rip at Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance in astonishing rant over briefing „farce“

(22.09.2020)

Piers: „I’m trying to expose the farce of what happened yesterday.

„They didn’t take questions which I thought was a bit like North Korea!

„If you’re going to drop those bombshells on people…and they deliberately used that 50,000 figure to terrify everybody.“

20.09.2020 - 21:17 [ LBC.co.uk ]

Calls to bring in the army to sort out ‚testing chaos‘

Former Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Sir David King and Defence Select Committee Chair Tobias Ellwood MP have told Swarbrick on Sunday the military should have a greater role in the Government’s approach to coronavirus.

03.09.2020 - 12:03 [ Independent.co.uk ]

Democratic insiders are worried about what the plan is for Joe Biden now

‚If I were running the campaign, there’s no way Joe wouldn’t have been in Kenosha,‘ said one. Another added that Biden’s campaign were ’not allowing‘ people in who hadn’t worked for Hillary

30.08.2020 - 08:22 [ theGuardian.com ]

Outcry as US intelligence stops in-person reports to Congress on election security

An official in Ratcliffe’s office, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said on Saturday the office was “concerned about unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information following recent briefings”.

The move drew a heated rejoinder from House Democrats, who have focused on foreign efforts to sway the presidential election in 2016 and again this year.

30.08.2020 - 08:15 [ theHill.com ]

READ: Director of National Intelligence’s letter to Congress on election security briefings

„I believe this approach helps ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that the information ODNI provides the Congress in support of your oversight responsibilities on elections security, foreign malign influence, and election interference is not misunderstood nor politicized,“ Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe wrote in a letter to congressional committee heads.

30.08.2020 - 07:59 [ NPR.org ]

Director Of National Intelligence Cancels Verbal Election Security Briefings

In a joint statement released Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Congress had been set for briefings on election security in mid-September. But briefings for members of Congress, including the House and Senate intelligence committees, by Ratcliffe’s office have now been called off, they said.

„This is a shocking abdication of its lawful responsibility to keep the Congress currently informed, and a betrayal of the public’s right to know how foreign powers are trying to subvert our democracy,“ Pelosi and Schiff said in the statement.

29.08.2020 - 05:55 [ theHill.com ]

Democrat asks intel agencies if they’re surveilling members of Congress

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, asked two intelligence agencies on Friday if surveillance has been conducted on members of Congress in the last decade.

In a letter to the heads of the National Security Agency (NSA) and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Eshoo raised alarm over allegations in a book published earlier this year by journalist Barton Gellman.

27.08.2020 - 20:13 [ Donna Young / Twitter ]

Redfield’s statement (the one I saw) doesn’t say #CDC is again revising #COVID19 testing guidelines or that he’s walking back what they posted Aug 24. Those revisions REMAIN live online now. I’ve asked CDC for clarity on Redfield’s testing may be considered for „probable“ COVID19

27.08.2020 - 20:13 [ theHill.com ]

CDC director walks back change in coronavirus testing guidelines

In a statement, Director Robert Redfield said those who come into contact with confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients could be tested themselves, even if they do not show symptoms of the virus.

“Testing is meant to drive actions and achieve specific public health objectives. Everyone who needs a COVID-19 test, can get a test. Everyone who wants a test does not necessarily need a test; the key is to engage the needed public health community in the decision with the appropriate follow-up action,” Redfield said.

25.08.2020 - 14:38 [ David Sessions / Twitter ]

Basically nobody in liberal circles is taking seriously the consequences of the fact that the exiled cadre of the Republican Party are building a massive power base in the Democratic Party

25.08.2020 - 14:34 [ Forbes ]

All The Republicans Who Have Endorsed Joe Biden For President

Though Trump has largely seized control of the Republican party and the loyalty of GOP officials, a number of prominent former GOP officials, and even some of his ex-staffers, have come out in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden.

22.08.2020 - 09:47 [ The Grayzone / Youtube ]

The Grayzone’s Anya Parampil rips „criminal neocons“ in Biden & Trump camps

The Grayzone’s Anya Parampil joins Tucker Carlson Tonight to address the revival of Iraq war neocons and militarists by both the Biden campaign and Trump White House.

21.08.2020 - 16:39 [ Forbes ]

Over 70 Republican National Security Officials Endorse Biden, Deem Trump ‘Dangerously Unfit’ For President

Among the statement’s signees are officials who served under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, some of whom have served in the country’s top defense and intelligence roles.

Former CIA head General Michael Hayden, former FBI and CIA chief William Webster, former National Intelligence director Michael Leiter and former Air Force secretary Mike Donley are among the officials now siding with Biden.

21.08.2020 - 15:53 [ ForeignPolicy.com ]

The Biden Doctrine Exists Already. Here’s an Inside Preview.

The Democratic nominee and his closest advisors served in the Obama administration—but their foreign-policy vision is finding inspiration in Harry S. Truman.

21.08.2020 - 15:52 [ Ville Kostian / Twitter ]

#Biden – „The Democratic nominee and his closest advisors served in the Obama administration—but their foreign-policy vision is finding inspiration in Harry S. Truman.“

21.08.2020 - 15:14 [ David Sirota / Substack ]

Team Biden Now Signals Austerity, Despite Campaign Pledges

To review the situation: earlier this month, Bloomberg News reported that Biden’s “campaign rolled out a $3.5 trillion economic program over the past month” — one that “promises to invest in clean energy and caregiving, buy more made-in-America goods, and start narrowing the country’s racial wealth gaps.” This, said the news service, was proof that Biden no longer adhered to an ideology of austerity and deficit hawkery — which would be good news.

But then on the eve of Biden’s convention speech, the Democratic nominee’s top aide suggested to Washington reporters that, in fact, that’s not true.

21.08.2020 - 14:08 [ Baltimore Sun ]

When a wave of torture and murder staggered a small U.S. ally, truth was a casualty.

(Jun 11, 1995)

* The CIA was instrumental in training and equipping Battalion 316. Members were flown to a secret location in the United States for training in surveillance and interrogation, and later were given CIA training at Honduran bases.

* Starting in 1981, the United States secretly provided funds for Argentine counterinsurgency experts to train anti-Communist forces in Honduras. By that time, Argentina was notorious for its own „Dirty War,“ which had left at least 10,000 dead or „disappeared“ in the 1970s. Argentine and CIA instructors worked side by side training Battalion 316 members at a camp in Lepaterique, a town about 16 miles west of Tegucigalpa.

* Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, who as chief of the Honduran armed forces personally directed Battalion 316, received strong U.S. support – even after he told a U.S. ambassador that he intended to use the Argentine method of eliminating subversives.

* By 1983, when Alvarez’s oppressive methods were well known to the U.S. Embassy, the Reagan administration awarded him the Legion of Merit for „encouraging the success of democratic processes in Honduras.“ His friendship with Donald Winters, the CIA station chief in Honduras, was so close that when Winters adopted a child, he asked Alvarez to be the girl’s godfather.

21.08.2020 - 13:53 [ theHill.com ]

Negroponte endorses Biden: He beats Trump on ‚character, compassion and life experience‘

John Negroponte, who served as director of national intelligence under former President George W. Bush, endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden in his race against President Trump on Thursday in an interview with the Daily Beast.

“All roads lead to Trump in a way,” Negroponte told the website. “I’m just not sure the country can withstand another four years of the presidency with a man who has shown such disregard to the office.”

18.08.2020 - 17:02 [ theCut.com ]

Sixty Seconds to Self-Sabotage

The DNC’s choice of who to feature speaks volumes about the party’s inability to see its own future.

17.08.2020 - 12:32 [ @lovelyset7 / Twitter ]

What I ordered, what I got

17.08.2020 - 12:15 [ Aaron Maté / Twitter ]

Across 15 battlegrounds, “Biden has the backing of 49% of registered voters, while Trump lands at 48%.”

I want Trump to lose. I think that if Democratic leaders hadn’t spent 4 years screaming about 2016 & Russia, they’d be in a better position for 2020.

16.08.2020 - 07:09 [ Cory Doctorow / Wired ]

The Age of Mass Surveillance Will Not Last Forever – The power to end it is in your hands.

(28.07.2020)

What I showed those journalists was proof, in the form of the government’s own classified documents, that the self-described “Five Eyes”—the state security organs of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada—had together conspired to weaken their laws. They had forced clandestine access to the networks of their largest telecommunications and internet titans (some of whom hadn’t needed much in the way of arm-twisting) in pursuit of a single goal: the transformation of the free and fragmented internet into history’s first centralized means of global mass surveillance.

16.08.2020 - 06:49 [ Glenn Greenwald / Twitter ]

National Security apparatchiks like @AmbassadorRice (no longer an Ambassador) have wanted Snowden in prison for years because he exposed how they secretly and illegally converted the internet into their spying playground. As for her claim that pardoning Snowden is a GOP view:

12.08.2020 - 19:02 [ Al-Monitor.com ]

Intel: Biden adviser says Iran deal supporters, detractors both wrong on sanctions‘ effectiveness

(11.05.2020)

Sullivan went on to argue that a future Democratic administration “should immediately reengage nuclear diplomacy with Iran and look to establish something along the lines of the [deal], but immediately begin the process of negotiating a follow-on agreement.”

08.08.2020 - 16:56 [ CNN ]

Trump advisers hesitated to give military options and warned adversaries over fears he might start a war

Our partners, adversaries, and competitors know we don’t know the next play,“ Gordon said.

With any other president or any other administration, such deliberate unpredictability might be seen as a flaw, identifying it as a criticism. But in the view of Trump and his most devout supporters, his unpredictability is a keen negotiator’s strength to be lauded.
„For him, the unpredictability is a card that he liked having,“ said Yun.

05.08.2020 - 20:09 [ Breaking911 / Twitter ]

REPORTER: “Have you taken a cognitive test?” BIDEN: “Why the hell would I take a test?! C’mon man. That’s like saying, ‘You — before you got on this program you took a test where you’re taking cocaine or not, what do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?!’”

05.08.2020 - 19:57 [ CNSNews.com ]

FLASHBACK: Brain Surgeon Told Biden He Had Less Than 50% Chance of ‘Being Completely Normal’

(June 5, 2013)

“I said: ‘What’s the most likely thing that will happen if I live?’ He said, ‘Well, the side of the brain that the first aneurysm is on controls your ability to speak.’ And I thought: ‘Why in the hell didn’t they tell me this before the ’88 campaign?’ It could have saved us all a lot of trouble, you know what I mean?”

05.08.2020 - 19:46 [ Yahoo.com ]

Biden rules out in-person appearance at Democratic convention

Biden „will no longer travel to Milwaukee and will instead address the nation and accept the Democratic nomination from his home state of Delaware,“ the party said in a statement, announcing that no speakers would physically attend the August 17-20 convention, which will be entirely virtual.

05.08.2020 - 19:42 [ CNN ]

Biden clarifies he has not taken cognitive test

„Come on, man. That’s like saying you, before you got on this program, you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?“ Biden said, becoming testy with the reporter, CBS’s Errol Barnett, who asked whether he had taken a cognitive test.

03.08.2020 - 10:49 [ CNN ]

Birx defends herself as Pelosi accuses Trump administration of spreading disinformation on Covid-19

Politico reported Pelosi told White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that Birx was the „worst“ and that they were in „horrible hands“ with her.
Asked on ABC’s „This Week“ whether the account was true and if she has confidence in Birx, Pelosi said, „I think the President is spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee, so I don’t have confidence there, no.“

03.08.2020 - 10:46 [ Bloomberg.com ]

Pelosi Says Virus Task Force Head Birx Spreads Disinformation

“Deborah Birx is the worst. Wow, what horrible hands you’re in,” Pelosi said at the meeting, according to Politico.

A New York Times article in July on the Trump administration’s coronavirus response portrayed Birx as overly optimistic about the course of the pandemic. While voicing “tremendous respect” for Pelosi, Birx on Sunday criticized the newspaper’s reporting.

24.07.2020 - 18:40 [ CNN ]

Shut down the country and start over to contain Covid-19, US medical experts urge political leaders

Covid-19 „will end up as a Top 10 leading cause of death“ this year, statisticians from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted in a Thursday email to CNN.