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"Everyone has their price. What's surprising is...how low it is" -- Napoleon
The University of North Carolina is asking a judge to block the release of documents related to the research of Dr. Ralph Baric, a pioneer in the world of dangerous gain-of-function virus research.
UNC is being sued by U.S. Right To Know, a nonprofit watchdog that works to expose wrongdoing by corporations and governments in the healthcare space, for documents related to Baric’s research while working at the university. While some documents have been turned over during the course of the coronavirus pandemic, UNC filed a motion to dismiss late last week seeking to prevent the release of some documents being sought by USRTK.
USRTK opted to sue after UNC refused to turn over certain documents sought via public records requests, citing a research exception under the Public Records Act. The organization has filed 13 public records requests on the work done by Ralph Baric, Toni Baric and Lishan Su. The university failed to turn over any documents after a February mediation session.
“The University of North Carolina, as an institution of higher learning, should help the public to learn everything that can be learned about the pandemic and its origins, and not try to obscure or bury such lessons,” Gary Ruskin, executive director of USRTK, told the Daily Caller. “We don’t really know why UNC is trying to keep these Baric documents secret, even though there is worldwide interest in them. We do know that Ralph Baric was a close collaborator with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. We also know that Baric was on the DARPA DEFUSE proposal, which in retrospect reads something like a how-to guide for creating SARS-CoV-2.”
Ordinarily, such a charge would be considered a misdemeanor subject to a two-year statute of limitation, meaning Bragg cannot pursue it solely on this basis. Bragg does, however, have the discretion to convert it into a Class E felony, if he can prove that Trump's alleged "intent to defraud involved further criminal intent to either hide the commission of another crime or to assist in the commission of that other crime," according to Saland Law.
In order to meet even the threshhold standard for prosecution, Bragg would therefore need to argue that Trump falsified business records concealing his reported "hush money" payment to Daniels with the intent to conceal another crime.
As a hush money payment to ensure silence about an affair would not be illegal in and of itself, Bragg's case would likely hinge on a possible campaign finance violation. If Cohen's payment to Daniels constituted an illegal campaign contribution, then the falsification of records would have concealed an underlying crime, providing legal predicate for a Class E felony charge of first degree falsifying business records. Trump would face up to four years in prison if convicted on the charge.
Bragg, therefore, needs to demonstrate that the payments occurred specifically with the intent to affect the election, a prospect Turley called "extremely difficult," given the myriad other legitimate reasons Trump might have for wanting to keep an alleged affair out of the spotlight.
Tacopina argues that the payment was not an illegal campaign contribution, both because Trump used his own money and because he would have made the payment regardless of whether he was running for president.
Group AG has offered to buy rival Credit Suisse CS -6.94%decrease; red down pointing triangle for around $1 billion in a deal engineered by Swiss regulators to restore trust in the banking system, according to people familiar with the matter.
One option would involve buying the entirety of Credit Suisse and then spinning off its local Swiss operations into an independent entity, the people said. UBS would keep Credit Suisse’s valuable wealth-management business.
Add NATO’s military planners to the list of those concerned about having enough shells.
In the coming months, the alliance will accelerate efforts to stockpile equipment along the alliance’s eastern edge and designate tens of thousands of forces that can rush to allies’ aid on short notice — a move meant to stop Russia from expanding its war beyond Ukraine.
To make that happen, though, NATO must convince individual countries to contribute various elements: Soldiers, training, better infrastructure — and, most notably, extensive amounts of pricey weapons, equipment and ammunition.
With countries already worried about their own munitions stockpiles and Ukraine in acute need of more shells and weapons from allies, there is a risk that not all NATO allies will live up to their promises to contribute to the alliance’s new plans.
There is simply no other option, at this time, for the Federal Reserve.
They will be forced to “provide liquidity” (read: pick your pocket, while shoveling money into large banking institutions who have made poor decision after poor decision) in order to protect the system from collapse. It’s like a “safe and effective” — but for the world of international finance & banking.
Ultimately, this will lead to ownership over the banks by governments — which is called nationalization.
Credit Suisse, as an example, might effectively become a subsidiary of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Republicans and Democrats may quibble over how federal tax dollars might be spent on various social welfare programs like Medicaid and food stamps. But alongside Social Security, there is one area of federal spending that everyone can apparently agree on: military spending. Last year, the Biden administration requested one of the largest peacetime budgets ever, at $813 billion. Congress wanted even more spending and ended up approving a budget of $858 billion. In inflation-adjusted terms, that was well in excess of the military spending we saw during the Cold War under Ronald Reagan. This year, Joe Biden is asking for even more money, with a new budget request that starts at $886 billion. Included in that gargantuan amount—which doesn’t even include veterans spending—is billions for new missile systems for deploying nuclear arms, plus other programs for “modernizing” the United States’ nuclear arsenal.
Indeed, over the past year, the memo has gone out among the usual advocates of endless military spending that the US needs to spend much more on nuclear arms. This is a perennial position at the Heritage Foundation, of course, which has never met a military pork program it didn’t like. Moreover, in recent months, the Wall Street Journal has run several articles demanding more nuclear arms. The New York Post was pushing the same line late last year. Much of the rhetoric centers on the idea that Beijing is increasing its own spending on nuclear arms and thus the United States must “keep up.” For instance, last month, Patty-Jane Geller insisted that the US is in an “arms race” with China. Meanwhile, writers at the foreign-policy site 1945 claimed Congress must “save” the American nuclear arsenal.
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) on Wednesday released a draft report linking prenatal and childhood fluoride exposure to reduced IQ in children, after public health officials tried for almost a year to block its publication.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initially blocked the NTP from releasing the report, according to emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
But a court order stemming from a lawsuit filed by Food and Water Watch against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) forced the report’s release this week.
The NTP, an interagency program run by HHS that researches and reports on environmental toxins, conducted a six-year systematic review to assess scientific studies on fluoride exposure and potential neurodevelopmental and cognitive health effects in humans.
The report, containing a monograph and a meta-analysis, went through two rounds of peer review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Comments from reviewers and HHS and NTP’s responses also were included in the report released Wednesday.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is hailing the opportunity presented by the global banking crisis to advance toward its goal of a “cashless society.”
Klaus Schwab’s WEF believes that the recent collapse of several large banks has created an ideal argument for “the end of cash.”
The WEF has teamed up with key banking elites to present plans for eradicating the traditional monetary system and replacing it with centralized digital cash.
The idea has been promoted by the WEF for some time as part of its “Great Reset” agenda.
While reviewing a Gold report by TD Bank's Senior Commodity strategist Daniel Ghali last night, the opening line (subtitle of this post) was of a much bigger picture and secular importance than the Gold market on which it was supposed to be reporting. It was kind of shocking to see that in a macro Gold report frankly. It went on to say:
This [the West’s loss of control over commodity pricing] is a slowburning theme with significant implications for pricing, inflation, currencies and geopolitics over the coming decade.
We could not agree more.
Early Friday, China’s central bank surprised by announcing an unexpected cut to the amount that banks set aside for deposits by 25 basis points, vowing to keep ample liquidity in the interbank system and better fund the real economy.
The People’s Bank of China reduced the reserve requirement ratio for almost all banks by 0.25 percentage points, effective from March 27, it said in a statement on Friday. The PBOC last cut the RRR in December, by the same magnitude. The cut, effective March 27, is expected to inject 500 billion yuan ($72.6 billion) worth of liquidity into the market, while the average reserve requirement ratio of Chinese financial institutions will be lowered to 7.6 per cent.
A group of Ecuadorian opposition lawmakers has filed a formal impeachment request against President Guillermo Lasso, alleging extortion and embezzlement from public companies. A previous effort to impeach the conservative politician in June last year fell short of the required vote, after the leader cut off negotiations with indigenous protesters.
The petition, which was presented on Thursday, was signed by 59 assembly members from the Union for Hope (UNES), Social Christian, and Democratic Left parties.
“The president is politically responsible for crimes of extortion and embezzlement,” legislator Viviana Veloz of the UNES party of former president Rafael Correa declared during the National Assembly session. “In this accusation it will be demonstrated how President Guillermo Lasso Mendoza participated in a structure of corruption to obtain benefits for himself and others.”
Russia and the Republic of the Congo are developing a project to create a petroleum product pipeline between the largest cities of the Congo Republic – Pointe Noire and the capital Brazzaville, Russian Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo Georgy Chepik said. The ambassador outlined that an agreement on the pipeline construction is expected to be signed before the upcoming Russia-Africa Summit.
The diplomat stated that the decision to build the pipeline was made during the sixth intergovernmental trade and economic commission, held in September 2022.
According to the ambassador, Russia's ZNGS PROMETEY pipeline construction, repair, and maintenance company has showed interest in the project.
A deliberate attack on a Russian aircraft in neutral airspace would be an open declaration of war against the largest nuclear power, Moscow is not seeking confrontation, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday.
"Some lawmakers’ calls go far beyond common sense," he said, commenting on US Senator Lindsey Graham’s (from South Carolina) threats to shoot down Russian planes approaching US aircraft in international airspace.
"The Russian Ministry of Defense has explained in detail the reasons and course of actions of Russian pilots during yesterday’s incident over the Black Sea. I repeat, for those who have not gathered themselves to look at the situation objectively: our fighters did not come into contact with the American UAV," he said, commenting on the loss of a MQ-9 American drone. "Russia did everything possible to prevent this kind of incident - it informed the international community in good time about the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime established for the special military operation."
"Of course, it is a shame for the Pentagon to lose expensive piece of equipment. But in this case, the US military should redirect accusations of unprofessional actions back to themselves," he noted.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed legislation to amend the state's discrimination law to expand civil rights protections to members of the LGBTQ community.
Whitmer signed the legislation Thursday that adds the LGBTQ community as a protected class to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976.
"It is a new day in Michigan," she said during a press conference Thursday before signing bipartisan Senate Bill 4, which passed the Senate 23-18 and then the House 64-45 earlier this month to expand the landmark legislation.
The bill specifically codifies protections from housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identify or expression.
A Minnesota nuclear plant has had a massive leak that has authorities highly concerned about what might come next. Authorities are actively working on trying to contain the fallout from all of this, according to reporting by the Daily Caller. They report that the primary concern is that the plant has lost some 400,000 gallons of water, and this is leaving it potentially exposed to larger problems.
The leak at Xcel Energy’s Monticello nuclear power plant was first detected in November, according to the Daily Caller, and it was reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and state officials.
However, according to CBS News, those officials did not disclose the issue to the public until March 16. Thus, it is unclear how long active radioactive materials have been floating around that haven’t been properly dealt with.
South Africans are nervously awaiting a controversial “national shutdown” on Monday organised by the radical Marxist party, which is accused of threatening violence and “looting” for those who refuse to take part.
Amid ongoing rolling blackouts — and the looming threat of a total collapse of the power grid — skyrocketing crime and unemployment and deteriorating services, the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has announced a nationwide shutdown on March 20 to protest the ruling African National Congress (ANC) government.
But the country’s main opposition party has warned of “widespread violence” if the day is allowed to go ahead.
The EFF, which has been accused of inciting violence against white farmers through its use of the “Kill the Boer” song at its rallies, has warned businesses and shop owners to stay closed on Monday.
The lobby group argued that the song, which can be heard at many EFF rallies, incites violence and fuels farm murders. They wanted Malema and Ndlozi to apologise and pay R500 000 damages.
Previously, Malema stated the party could not afford the exorbitant sum of money requested by AfriForum and further dismissed the claims of inciting violence.
During the judgment, the court found the song did not constitute hate speech and found AfriForum had failed to prove the matter.
One of the main Jewish preoccupations is worrying about going out of existence. Following in the footsteps of Alan Dershowitz, who wrote The Vanishing American Jew 26 years ago, Dominic Green wrote in The Jewish Chronicle that “Suddenly, everywhere you look, Jews are disappearing.” As one proof of his claim, Green states that under Biden the percentage of Jewish judicial appointees has dropped from the historic norm of 20 percent to 8 to 9 percent. In his rush to tell us that the sky is falling, Green neglected to tell us that in controlling 20 percent of the judiciary, the Jews are massively over represented in how the laws of this country get enforced. Ignoring the fact that Jews make up only 2 percent of the population, Green, more importantly, claims that Jews are disappearing from “the upper echelons” at the very moment when the Biden West Wing has enough Jews to constitute a minyan, the number of Jews required to hold a prayer service at a synagogue.
America and the West have begun promoting the idea of a war against China over Taiwan. If China invades Taiwan, President Joe Biden has said, the U.S. would go further than it has in Ukraine, sending American ground troops as well as weapons. Thirty-seven percent of American voters agree with Biden. But how do you go to war to defend a country from invading itself?
According to the U.S., the United Nations and most of the world — including Taiwan itself — Taiwan is part of China.
Can the U.S. invade Ohio?
Like many other places, Taiwan is in a tough spot caused by decisions made by U.S. policymakers many years ago.
Until 1945, Taiwan was a Japanese colony. The birth certificate of my former father-in-law, an ethnic Taiwanese, read “Taipei, Japan.” The end of World War II brought a breather. Occupation forces withdrew. The Taiwanese expected independence as part of postwar decolonization. But America had other plans.
"What we are seeing, though, is an increase recently in the unprofessional and unsafe behavior of the Russian Air Force in the region," Kurilla stated.
The general explained that Russian aircraft have become emboldened to act aggressively toward U.S. bases in a way not typical of an organized military force.
The governor of New York has gone back to court seeking permission to detain citizens of her state in quarantine camps – without notice, without rights and for as long as some state-chosen health officials say is needed.
The fight arose during COVID-19, when state officials decided they would adopt a new rule giving the state exactly that power.
A lawsuit ensued, and the result was that the detention plan was ruled unconstitutional.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, through Attorney General Letitia James, now has appealed the court's rejection of her "Isolation and Quarantine Procedures" scheme, according to a report from lawyer Bobbie Anne Flower Cox at the Brownstone Institute.
The pictures, and the numbers, say it all.
Shabby tent encampments erected in city parks, along streets and beneath overpasses. Homeless people, many with mental health or drug problems, sprawled across sidewalks or subway seats. Needles and other paraphernalia often nearby.
America's homelessness scourge is huge and shows few signs of getting better.
California is by far the worst hit. It has about a third of all the country's homeless people, and Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, and other Golden State cities have among the largest numbers of unsheltered people in the country.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development says 582,462 people did not have a permanent home on the single night in January last year when researchers carried out their most recent snapshot survey.
Arrested was Christina Harrison, 23.
Reports say Borys was gunned down in front of her small children—a 2-year-old and an infant, apparently after an argument with Harrison. As we’ve noted before, what are called the Derbyshire Rules, as expanded by the late Lawrence Auster, discourage this sort of argument—“mildly remonstrating” with blacks frequently produces a lethal response.
She was shot in the back.
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is launching an investigation into a recent executive order the group called an “unprecedented scheme” they believe violates the democratic process.
In a press release, FGA said they are “sounding the alarm” on the “‘woke army’ being assembled inside the federal government,” through Executive Order 14091 (EO), titled “Executive Order Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government.”
FGA announced that their investigation will include filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests targeting the 23 agencies addressed in the Equity EO, including the Departments of State, Justice, Defense, Labor, Transportation, Social Security, Education, and Health and Human Services.
The group will share the information they gather with Congress, the states, and the American people, according to their press release.
FGA asserted that the plan (pdf) was developed by a left-wing activist group, and said it was “designed to circumvent the normal, democratic process and instead force their ideology onto Americans.”
Arab leaders are offering Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a deal that includes billions of dollars for reconstruction efforts and a pledge to lobby the west to lift sanctions in exchange for "[asking] Iran to stop expanding its footprint in the nation," according to Arab and European officials that spoke with the Wall Street Journal.
Other conditions set by the leaders of the unnamed Arab nations include a pledge from Damascus to engage with opposition and rebel groups, accept Arab troops to "protect returning refugees," and crack down on the captagon drug trade.
The secret talks reportedly gained momentum following the devastating earthquakes that struck Turkiye and Syria last month, killing 6,000 in the Levantine nation alone.
Nonetheless, a Syrian government adviser told the WSJ that Assad "has shown no interest in political reform or a willingness to welcome Arab troops." Western powers have also made little effort to lift crushing sanctions or stop politicizing humanitarian aid deliveries.
Update (17:45ET): As negotiations drag on late on Saturday night local time, Bloomberg reports that liabilities at the Credit Suisse investment bank are proving to be a key sticking point in the takeover talks ("UBS is worried about the balance sheet risk associated with the investment bank, which has suffered a string of losses and scandals in recent years"), with Reuters adding that UBS is asking the Swiss government to cover about $6 billion in costs if it were to buy Credit Suisse. The $6 billion in guarantees "would cover the cost of winding down parts of Credit Suisse and potential litigation charges."
There are other snags: one sources cautioned that the talks to resolve the crisis of confidence in Credit Suisse are encountering significant obstacles, and 10,000 jobs may have to be cut if the two banks combine.
Meanwhile, with UBS facing pressure from the Swiss authorities to carry out a takeover of its local rival as soon as possible to get the crisis under control, the FT reported that Switzerland is preparing to use emergency measures to fast-track the deal, the Financial Times reported, citing two people familiar with the situation.
It looks like those robotaxis that were promised years ago are finally making their way onto the roads. The only problem is they aren't Teslas - instead, they are products of Beijing's internet search giant, Baidu.
The company, akin to Google in the U.S., received "the first permits to provide fully driverless ride-hailing services in a suburb of Beijing", according to a Bloomberg wrap-up Friday morning. Baidu says it has plans of putting 10 robotaxis on the road to start in the Beijing Yizhuang Economic Development Zone, which Bloomberg notes is "roughly the size of Manhattan".
The vehicles will have no human driver in the car. As a condition of the new permits, the company won't be able to charge fees for rides yet. "Baidu won China’s first commercial licenses for fully humanless taxis in Wuhan and Chongqing" back in August, Bloomberg wrote.