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    Sen. Dianne Feinstein became exasperated with staffers who tried to brief her on the upcoming stopgap funding bill she was to vote for on Thursday, telling them: 'I don't even know what that is.'  Feinstein, 89, has served as a Democratic senator from California for 30 years, and has voted on dozens of continuing resolutions (CR) to fund the government.  According to a private conversation overheard by Insider, Feinstein struggled to get her bearings as she headed into an elevator that brings lawmakers to the Senate floor to vote.  'This is a vote on the continuing resolution. Do you have any questions about it?' a male staffer asked the senator, before she snapped at him.  The vote to keep the government funded through Dec. 16 passed the Senate 72-25.   Democrats on Capitol Hill have in recent years expressed concern over the Senate's oldest member and her mental fitness to serve.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein became exasperated with staffers who tried to brief her on the upcoming stopgap funding bill she was to vote for on Thursday, telling them: 'I don't even...
    Live from Music Row, Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary. CROM CARMICHAEL: Michael, this commentary is not being said in reaction to all of this hubbub about Larry Arnn and Governor Lee. I actually had this commentary ready last night based on some articles that I have read recently about education. This is a story is from Newsmax, and the headline is: How to Really Be an Anti-Racist. And the answer is to teach black children to read. Now then the article goes on to talk about what a terrible job our current public school system is doing in teaching black children to read. And so you have to ask the question if our system and I would ask this to the guest who was on here, and I would get the data, and I would hold it up. And I think that probably...
    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has said that US government debt is on an 'unsustainable path' while admitting that he underestimated the threat of inflation and warning that a recession is possible. Powell's remarks came in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday, as the powerful Fed chair wrapped up a second day of appearances on Capitol Hill. 'The US is on an unsustainable fiscal path, meaning the debt is growing faster than the economy,' said Powell. 'By definition, that is unsustainable.' Powell said that for now, the US has no issue servicing its debt, and that although there is no imminent threat of default, eventually government debt will have to drop back below economic growth.   'We will need to get back where revenues and spending are better aligned. We don't need to pay the debt down, we just need to have the economy growing faster than the debt over a longer time,' he said. Powell was in the hot seat this week primarily over the issue of inflation, which has soared to a 40-year high. In May, the...
    Bill and Hillary Clinton both suggested that American democracy is teetering on the edge of existence in a pair of separate interviews this week. The pair both said the government as we know it is at risk after the third January 6 committee hearing and a new poll saying a majority of both Democrats and Republicans believe America will 'cease to exist' as a democracy.  Former president Bill told CBS's The Late Late Show host James Corden on Wednesday night that he fears the United States could 'completely lose our constitutional democracy'. Hillary painted a similarly bleak picture in an interview with the Financial Times in an interview published less than 48 hours later on Friday. Reporter Edward Luce suggested to her that the Democrats 'seem to be going out of their way to lose elections by elevating activist causes, notably the transgender debate, which are relevant only to a small minority'.  'We are standing on the precipice of losing our democracy, and everything that everybody else cares about then goes out the window.'  Scroll down for video  Bill and...
    The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday launched an investigation into the ongoing baby formula shortage that's put a strain on American families across the country. The body will look into whether formula suppliers engaged in 'deceptive, fraudulent, or otherwise unfair business practices' to 'take advantage' of Americans as well as what elements contributed to the fragility of the product's supply chain and concentration of the majority of the market into a few companies.  It also encourages Americans to speak out on whether the believe any policies created by the federal and state governments contributed to the crisis, as the Biden administration desperately works to alleviate the strain after being criticized for not acting sooner. 'We have been monitoring and will continue to monitor the ongoing infant formula shortage which is causing enormous anxiety, fear, and financial burden for American families,' FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement. 'The FTC is launching a public inquiry to identify the factors that contributed to the shortage or hampered our ability to respond to it. Learning from this experience can help determine how...
    A poor show DO as we say, not as we do, is a toxic look for politicians — perhaps now more than ever, given the traumas the country faces. A highly damaging narrative that rules are just for the little people is being established by a string of self- inflicted mistakes. 3Boris Johnson is trying to fix a reputation tarnished by Downing Street rule-breaking with an impressive global-leading performance over UkraineCredit: Reuters Anger over Partygate — and the interminable police inquiry — still lingers. The deputy prime minister has gone on holiday during a foreign policy crisis for the SECOND time, having done the same when he was Foreign Secretary. And the row over the Chancellor’s wife and her tax status has been gleefully seized upon by his Labour opponents, despite them being perfectly happy to pocket vast sums from non-doms themselves over the years. Meanwhile, the briefing from inside the Government on the Rishi Sunak imbroglio has been toxic — making a bad situation even worse. Read More on Boris JohnsonDARING MISSION Boris Johnson travelled to Kyiv secretly...
    Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson have the receipts, they claim, that connect Hunter Biden with a firm tied to the Chinese government, as they resurrected their investigation this week into the foreign financial entanglements of the Biden family.    Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, said Monday on the Senate floor that the documents add to the proof that Hunter Biden 'used his father's position and name to enrich himself and his family.'   Grassley, an Iowa Republican, shared two images that showed an August 2017 $100,000 wire transfer from the state-controlled Chinese energy company CEFC through Wells Fargo Clearing Services that stated 'further credit to Owasco,' a Hunter Biden firm.  Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley (pictured) and Ron Johnson have the receipts, they claim, that connect Hunter Biden with a firm tied to the Chinese government. This week they resurrected their investigation into the foreign financial entanglements of the Biden family Sen. Ron Johnson, standing next to a Hunter Biden financial document, said Monday on the Senate floor that the  newdocuments add to the proof that Hunter Biden 'used his father's position and name to enrich...
    Roman Abramovich can still scupper the Chelsea sale with sources insisting that he does not want to accept a bid from a country that has sanctioned Russian oligarchs. Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, will be able to influence the club’s sale despite having had his assets seized by the Government, sources have told The Mail on Sunday. He has hired The Raine Group to sell the club and could veto bids from the United States and Britain because both countries have sanctioned oligarchs from his homeland in response to the war on Ukraine. The development means Chelsea could yet end up in administration, as the highest remaining bid from outside the US and Europe is likely to be from the Saudi Media Group, who have reportedly tabled an offer of £2.66bn. But with the Chancellor Rishi Sunak overseeing the process, the Government is unlikely to back a Saudi approach, given the recent backlash against Newcastle United’s sale to an investment fund linked to the Gulf nation’s rulers. US businessman Todd Boehly has teamed up with Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and British...
    Real Time host Bill Maher slammed cancel culture for 'lumping the Russians too much with their government,' saying that if were to happen in America, it would be called 'racism.'  Maher, 66, disagreed with 'lumping everyone together' and cancelling 'all Russians' for the invasion of Ukraine on Saturday night's episode of Real Time.  'Do you think we're lumping the Russians too much with their government?' he asked his three panelists. 'I feel like what we're doing in this country is that everything Russian in bad and every Russian is bad. And first of all, it's not fair. If they weren't white, I feel like we would call that racism,' he said on the show.  'To lump everyone together - not everyone - but a lot of the Russian people don't know what's going on.'  Panelist Echelon Insights Founder Kristen Soltis Anderson, who appeared for her twelfth time on the show on Saturday, agreed with Maher, saying: 'This has gone way too far.'  Scroll down for video  Real Time host Bill Maher, 66, slammed 'lumping the Russians too much with their government'...
    A Canadian man has been extradited to the United States to face charges in connection with ransomware attacks that netted tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency, the Justice Department said Thursday. Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins, 34, was extradited on Wednesday and is to appear before a federal court in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday, the department said in a statement. Vachon-Desjardins, of Gatineau, Quebec, was arrested in Canada in January 2021 and sentenced by a Canadian court to nearly seven years in prison for his role in so-called NetWalker ransomware attacks. Prosecutors say he deployed ransomware known as 'NetWalker' to target companies, municipalities, hospitals and law enforcement during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins, 34, was extradited on Wednesday and is to appear before a federal court in Tampa, Florida on hacking charges During a search of his home, officers seized 719 bitcoin currently valued at $28.15 million and $790,000 in Canadian currency, according to the Justice Department Vachon-Desjardins' hacker lair is seen in evidence photos shared by the MountiesNetWalker targeted HOSPITALS during COVID pandemic  NetWalker was a ransomware gang...
    HUNDREDS of thousands of Americans are victims of extreme cyber invasiveness, where data and personal details are stolen as opposed to physical valuables.  Over the last 30 years, the rate of reported burglarization in United States homes has gone steadily down. 2Stalkerware apps are often named and modeled to look like unsuspicious apps Americans come home to ransacked homes less frequently, but when they do, evidence of a break-in in the form of a shattered window or kicked in door can be obvious.  Perpetrators of cybercrime are motivated by different ends. In an academic paper titled A Comparative Study on the Difference Between Conventional Crime and Cyber Crime, tech experts note that some people hack somewhat aimlessly–they open locked doors in an act of exploration or as a gesture of intellectual superiority to government security techies and bureaucrats.  While some parade the legal gray area of cyberspace to make an example of government security, others are more nefariously motivated. Stalkerware is an all-encompassing term for apps that covertly monitor a device’s activities. Stalkerware apps can trace keystrokes, track...
    Podcast host Joe Rogan has faced a storm of controversy over his interviews about COVID-19, with musicians such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell abandoning Spotify in protest at the site hosting his show. Rogan, who regularly attracts 11 million listeners, has remained defiant, insisting that he is contributing to the debate. Two interviews in particular have sparked anger - one with Dr Robert Malone on December 31, and one with Dr Peter McCullough on December 13. Both made controversial claims - some of them based on facts, others less verifiable. Malone, who is one of the pioneers of mRNA vaccines, says official COVID figures are not to be trusted because hospitals get bonuses if patients have the virus and that the government is 'out of control' and suppressing data.  McCullough, who vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center, claimed the pandemic was deliberately planned, and that the vaccines were killing thousands of people.  Rogan's podcast regularly attracts 11 million listeners Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have a $25 million deal with Spotify, said they were concerned...
    A Republican senator wants to know how a multi-million dollar contract for President Biden's plan to send 50 million covid tests to Americans went to a California firm that manufactures a customized vodka bottle that can be programmed to say 'I Love You.' The Pentagon on Tuesday finally announced the first contracts for an administration plan to send out home covid tests that has faced repeated questions about who will make the tests, when they will be delivered, and how Americans will get them.  A top Health and Human Services official has confirmed that the first companies to be awarded a government contract aren't making any new covid tests, and are instead warehousing previously made tests. One such company is Medea Inc. of Pleasanton, California. The firm got into the business of personal protective equipment only at the start of the pandemic. Its first business offering was a vodka bottle equipped with special programmable LED lights and a bluetooth connection.  The bottle is equipped with six pre-programmed messages: 'Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, Congratulations, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and for year-round...
    The blame game over Novak Djokovic's bungled visa approval is in full swing.  But as Djokovic awaits his extradition hearing on Monday - stuck in a small $104 a night hotel room around the corner from the airport alongside refugees and detainees - a clearer picture is starting to emerge of who dropped the ball. And it doesn't look good for the tennis bosses who organised his visa. So desperate were they to have their major drawcard play in Melbourne, they reportedly failed to let the Victorian Government know the world's No.1 - a prominent anti-vaxxer - would not be allowed into Australia unless he was double vaccinated against Covid.  The 34-year-old was under the impression he was medically exempt and free to play in the Australian Open when he touched down in Melbourne on Wednesday night. There has been back and forth between the state and federal governments in the days since regarding who is responsible for the decision The Serbian world No.1 was under the impression he was medically exempt and free to go about his business when...
    WITH all the rain and wind lashing the country, you are probably – like thousands of us traditionally do in January – considering a break abroad. Somewhere sunny. Get the swimming costume on and break out the bucket and spade for the kids. 2Recovery means refusing to live in a state of fear and grasping all that brings joy and meaning to our lives Three-for-two deal on sun lotion. And that wide-brimmed hat you bought is still good for another holiday. Oh, and don’t forget to set aside a small fortune for all the tests you have to take — before you go, when you’re there, before you return and when you get back. And stay at home until you get the results back! This last part is not new. But given the fact millions of us have had Covid, you could be forgiven for being pretty cross about needing these tests if you have recently had the virus. After all, the Government say you should not test for 90 days after recovering from the virus. Most read in News'SO...
    Social media was buzzing after a Twitter user discovered a bizarre way to lower your U.S. tax bill.  The account @litquidity posted a screenshot of an actual IRS form that shows how you can indicate stolen goods on your tax form.  They wrote: 'Tax szn [sic] is around the corner. Remember to report your income from illegal activities and stolen property to the IRS.'  The IRS guidelines from their 2021 Publication 17 says: 'If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless you return it to its rightful owner in the same year.'  The rule dates back to a Supreme Court case in 1927 that decided that the government is allowed to tax illegal income.  Legendary mobster Al Capone was convicted for tax evasion under the law.     A Twitter user discovered Wednesday that stolen property can be reported as income on your tax forms Legendary mobster Al Capone was convicted for tax evasion under a 1927 Supreme Court ruling that determined stolen income can be taxed by...
    President Joe Biden will announce a new plan Tuesday to have the federal government send out 500 million at-home covid tests directly to Americans amid a surge in coronavirus cases and long lines at testing sites amid the crashing Omicron wave. Biden plans to address the nation Tuesday afternoon and provide assurances that 'we know we have the tools to get through this wave,' according to a senior administration official who briefed the media on the effort – including the new testing component. 'The President will tell the American people that if they are vaccinated and follow the process that we all know well, especially masking while traveling, they should feel comfortable celebrating Christmas and the holidays,' said the official. President Joe Biden will address the nation Tuesday on his plans for combatting the latest coronavirus surge Biden will keep up the tough talk he rolled out last week, when he warned the unvaccinated they faced potential illness and death and urged Americans to get their booster shots. 'We will also note that if you are unvaccinated you are at...
    London (CNN)A London-based independent tribunal has ruled that China committed genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in its western Xinjiang region, accusing China's senior leadership including President Xi Jinping of "primary responsibility" for acts perpetrated against Muslim minority groups."The tribunal is satisfied that the PRC [People's Republic of China] has affected a deliberate, systematic and concerted policy with the object of so-called 'optimizing' the population in Xinjiang by the means of a long-term reduction of Uyghur and other ethnic minority populations to be achieved through limiting and reducing Uyghur births," Geoffrey Nice, who chaired the tribunal, said on Thursday as he read out the verdict. He added that the tribunal was "satisfied that President Xi Jinping, Chen Quanguo and other very senior officials in the PRC and CCP [Chinese Communist Party] bear primary responsibility for acts in Xinjiang."While the "perpetration of individual criminal acts that may have occurred, rape or torture, may not have been carried out with the detailed knowledge of the President and others, but the tribunal is satisfied that they have occurred as a direct result...
    Sen. Ted Cruz voted against keeping the government open Thursday night, going on a tirade earlier about President Joe Biden's vaccine mandates to explain his objection. 'No pissant politician, whether a local mayor or a govenor or the president of the United States has the right or legal authority to force you to make that decision,' Cruz told reporters on Capitol Hill.  The Texas Republican pointed to string of recent court decisions, which have stalled mandates from starting.    Cruz and his GOP colleagues were most concerned about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulation that says businesses with more than 100 employees must make workers get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests.  'The Biden White House mandates have been struck down repeatedly by the courts,' Cruz said. 'They are blatantly lawless. Joe Biden knows they’re lawless. His lawyers have told him that the vaccine mandates are contrary to law. And Democrats don’t care,' the Texan complained.    'They don't care about medical privacy, they don't care about individual autonomy. Instead, we have seen in the course of this pandemic, Democrats, being very...
    The FBI has acknowledged for the first time that some of its agents may be suffering from Havana Syndrome in an official statement The FBI acknowledged for the first time Tuesday that some of its agents may be suffering from Havana Syndrome. The revelation comes after an ex-agent reportedly complained to the federal body that he was experiencing symptoms concurrent with the mysterious affliction -  which first surfaced at the US embassy in Havana in 2016 and has since afflicted more than 200 Americans around the world, mostly diplomats, spies, and others employed by the US government. According to NBC News, the agent wrote to the bureau in a letter earlier this year that he had started experiencing the symptoms nearly a decade ago, after being sent on a mission to a country near Russia.  In the letter, the unnamed ex-agent reportedly attested that his mysterious malady, which he said included intense migraines, dizziness, and fatigue, materialized while he was stationed overseas, in the also-unnamed country.  The outlet since obtained a series of internal emails from the bureau showing their...
    A majority of American adults either believe, or are unsure, about a common piece of misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey finds. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Vaccine Monitor found 78 percent of American adults had heard of and either believed or were unsure about one of eight false claims about the pandemic. Claims included the government is exaggerating Covid deaths, the vaccines cause infertility or that the anti-parasite drug ivermectin is effective at treating Covid. Nearly a third of Americans either believe or are unsure about four or more of the false claims.  Nearly 80% of Americans believe or are unsure about at least one falsehood about Covid, with the most common being that the government is exaggerating overall death totals People who believe or are unsure about falsehoods about Covid are most likely to be unvaccinated, Republican, young and non-college educated, the survey finds The most commonly believed piece of misinformation is that the government is overreporting Covid deaths, with 38 percent believing it, and 22 percent unsure if it is false.  Some also believe the...
    PLAN B could be activated this winter if Covid gets out of control. With sky-high Covid cases, a slow uptake of boosters and jabs in teenagers, and the cold weather approaching, the prospect of Plan B is looming.  1Plan B would see face masks compulsory in indoor settings once moreCredit: LNP PM Boris Johnson’s Plan B could see the return of face coverings, work-from-home orders and vaccine passports for some events. It “should be possible” to avoid full-scale lockdowns with the successful vaccines preventing severe disease, the Government’s winter plan says.  The document outlines a Plan B in England which “would only be enacted if the data suggests further measures are necessary to protect the NHS”. But when announcing the plan in the House of Commons in September, the Health Secretary Sajid Javid said there was no single metric that would trigger Plan B. He said that data on hospital admissions, ratio of cases to hospital admissions, and the trajectory of new cases would all be monitored closely, however. “Any responsible government must prepare for all eventualities, and although these...
    Australia is set to stop manufacturing the AstraZeneca vaccine onshore with the life-saving jab falling victim to 'negative press'. The federal government in November last year had shelled out $1.7billion for Australia biomedical firm CSL to produce 50 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine at its manufacturing hub in Melbourne. At the time worldwide vaccine development for the coronavirus was in its fledgling stages and policymakers prioritised domestic production as a necessity during the crisis. Australia is set to stop manufacturing the AstraZeneca vaccine onshore with the life-saving jab falling victim to 'negative press'. Pictured: Prime Minister Scott Morrison touring the CSL vaccine manufacturing facility on February 12, 2021 The federal government in November last year had shelled out $1.7billion for Australia biomedical firm CSL to produce 50 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine (pictured, a woman being vaccinated in Melton, Victoria) But just one month after its launch in March 2021, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation pulled the pin on younger Australians receiving the dose due to the extremely rare risk of fatal blood clots -...
    Senate Republicans are expected to block a bill on Monday that would fund the government and head off a U.S. debt default as part of a strategy to saddle Democrats with a hike in the nation's borrowing ceiling ahead of next year's midterm elections. While both sides agree the $28.4 trillion limit on borrowing must be raised before the federal government defaults on its loans or has to stop paying military personnel or social security benefits, they are deadlocked over who should act. The result is increasingly dire warnings of financial catastrophe and recession that could cost up to six million jobs.  The first deadline in a high-stakes week, with President Biden's vast spending plans on the line, comes on Monday evening.  Republicans have made clear they will not back a bill to fund the U.S. government through Dec. 3 and suspend the nation's borrowing limit until the end of next year.       'This could not be simpler,' said Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell last week. 'If they want to tax, borrow, and spend historic sums of money without our input,...
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin both tried to warn the president to slow down the Afghanistan withdrawal, but a stubborn Biden insisted on pressing forward, according to Bob Woodward.  'Biden was insisting that we've got to get out now,' Woodward, associate editor at the Washington Post and author of the new tell-all 'Peril, said on MSNBC Tuesday morning.   'It turns out March of this year, Biden's top cabinet officers Tony Blinken, the Secretary of State and Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary, proposed formally in all of these discussions to slow down the process,' Woodward continued.  'Austin, particularly says, 'gate the withdrawal. A few here, a few now, don't do it in one sweep,' and you now look back at that, and that probably was good advice that was not taken.' Bob Woodward and Robert Costa's tell-all book hits the shelves on Tuesday  But Biden was intent on ending the two decade-long war before the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the attack that prompted its inception.  According to 'Peril,' Blinken was initially on board with the...
    HHS has said the change back to a pre-vaccine distribution process is all about fairness. Officials laid out their… https://t.co/yCi6TlPVgw — Forrest Saunders (@Forrest Saunders)1631816810.0 But wouldn't you focus on where it's needed at a given time rather than blind "equity"? Also, Biden promised just days earlier during the announcement of his vaccine mandate to boost monoclonal distribution by 50%. Well, here is the answer to the enigma: In that same announcement, Biden warned, "If these governors won't help us beat the pandemic, I'll use my power as president to get them out of the way." Is the federal takeover of the monoclonals his ace in the hole? And why wouldn't the government just produce more? We have spent trillions of dollars on welfare, shutdowns, and vaccines that failed so miserably that people who already got the shots still need the monoclonals! So why not put the funding into the monoclonals? Well, if you are trying to ascertain the motivation of government always watch carefully for its stenographers in the media to follow up with the psy-ops on the...
    President Joe Biden announced his unprecedented COVID vaccine order on Thursday, and within moments it brought an onslaught of legal threats and accusations of executive overreach. As part of the White House's aggressive new approach to fighting the pandemic, the president directed the Labor Department's regulatory agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to mandate all businesses with at least 100 employees either require all of them to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing. The agency has the authority to issue an 'emergency temporary standard' (ETS) if it can prove workers are exposed to a grave danger and the rule is deemed necessary to address it.  They are expected to issue it 'in the coming weeks,' the White House said.  More than 80 million workers will be affected.  A Congressional report updated in July notes how rarely emergency standards are used. The last OSHA ETS was struck down in 1983, when a federal court said the agency failed to support its claim that asbestos exposure in the workplace needed to be further reduced due to a significant...
    The White House press secretary said the President Biden was in no hurry to recognize the new Taliban government of Afghanistan on Tuesday, soon after the Islamist group named a wanted terrorist and four of the hardline 'Guantanamo Five' to its interim administration. Women were also absent from the new government announced in Kabul. The appointments - including Sirajuddin Haqqani, who carries a $10 million State Department bounty on his head, as interior minister - will dash hopes that the Taliban's slick media campaign would translate into a more moderate movement. Instead, key security positions will be held by figures that were prominent in the pre-9/11 Taliban regime and were held at Guantanamo Bay. Biden's spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters: 'There is no rush to recognition.  'It is really going to be dependent on what steps the Taliban takes.  'The world will be watching - the United States included - and they will be watching whether they allow for American citizens and citizens of other countries to depart, whether they allow individuals who want to leave the country to leave,...
    The rapid collapse of Afghanistan's armed forces may have surprised President Biden but dozens of reports from a federal watchdog revealed how the U.S. bungled efforts to shore up the country. From millions spent on military planes left rotting at Kabul's international airport to the billions of dollars wasted trying and failing to eradicate the country's opium crops, the dispatches from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Illustrated the fraud and abuse that derailed a $145 billion effort.    'If the goal was to rebuild and leave behind a country that could sustain itself and pose little threat to U.S. national security interests, the overall picture in Afghanistan is bleak,' John Sopko concluded in his most report published this week.  For nine years he has detailed the flaws and frauds in U.S. reconstruction efforts. And in more than 50 appearances before Congress he has set out some bewildering examples of botched projects. $549 million spent on unreliable transport planes This year he documented how the U.S. Air Force wasted $549 million on faulty cargo planes. The Pentagon bought 20 refurbished G222 aircraft...
    American intelligence agencies offered increasingly dire warnings of a Taliban takeover and the collapse of Afghanistan's armed forces even as President Biden claimed that would not happen, according to current and former officials. On July 8, Biden told reporters that the Afghan army could call on 300,000 fighters compared with 75,000 Taliban and that the fall of Kabul was 'not inevitable.' Yet a drumbeat of public assessments had questioned their ability to fight and by July classified intelligence reports had grown more pessimistic about whether the government could hold on to the capital, according to the New York Times. The revelations will intensify questions about why Biden pushed ahead with such a rapid withdrawal, and why his administration was not better prepared to rescue Americans and Afghan staff. One report in July, as the Taliban advanced, described the growing risk to Kabul and said the government was unprepared for a direct assault.  It mapped out a cascading collapse as the Afghan security forces fell apart - much as happened last week. President Biden was forced to return to the...
    Pandemic, unemployment and inflation: three evils. Photo: Mario Tama / . A large majority of Americans are blaming the pandemic (86%) and the economic policies of the government of President Joe Biden (79%) for the increase in prices. of groceries, gasoline and household items that is causing them financial hardship, according to a new survey. Around 70% of those consulted believed that the national economy is in bad shape and many more (86%) are concerned about inflation, according to the poll. The Fox News poll, conducted by Beacon Research and Shaw & Company Research, was conducted Aug. 7-10, among 1,002 randomly selected registered voters across the country. The rising costs of food and gasoline are causing financial hardship for 70% of people with annual incomes less than $ 50,000, according to the survey. And more than 50% of those making $ 100,000 say the price increases have been hard on them, too. “The degree to which low-income households are feeling the pressure on food and fuel is surprising, and it stands out the risk...
    After the federal government confirmed that the school period will start on August 30, Tamaulipas teachers and parents said they agreed to start cleaning the schools, but there is concern that the supplies that the government provides are not enough to counteract the covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The uneasiness was reflected in a survey that was carried out with teachers from the various municipalities, including those with red lights. It should be remembered that the government of the state of Tamaulipas is governed by the epidemiological traffic light dictated by the State Secretary of Health and through the Secretary of Education it was established that once it is green, students will return to face-to-face classes. Currently 15 municipalities are contemplated for students to return to the classroom; However, they will be aware of the changes due to the increase and decrease in cases due to the covid-19 disease and its variants. Within the survey, the teachers indicated that the intention of the Secretary of Education is to invite parents to participate in cleaning the school. They all said there is no...
    A group 1,800 family members of Americans who died in the Sept. 11th attacks has written President Biden urging him not to visit any memorials to the incident until he agrees to declassify government information on the role of Saudi Arabia. The families and people directly impacted by the attacks are demanding Biden uphold a campaign statement to err on the side of putting out government information – and say they won't support him visiting Ground Zero to mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks.  'Twenty years later, there is simply no reason – unmerited claims of “national security” or otherwise – to keep this information secret,' the letter signed by 1,800 family members and others said.  A group of 1,800 Sept. 11th families say they cannot 'in good faith' welcome Biden to visit 9/11 memorials unless he has met a commitment to release government information on any role by Saudi Arabia 'We understand President Biden's desire to mark the solemn occasion of the 20th anniversary at Ground Zero. However, we cannot in good faith, and with veneration to...
    Ibiza's police force is looking to get help from foreigners to check out parties that flout COVID regulations and report back. David Ramos/Stringer The Spanish police force is looking for foreigners aged between 30 and 40 to form a party-crashing crew. They will be tasked with infiltrating Ibiza's parties to crack down on raves that flout COVID rules. Ibiza is facing an alarming surge in COVID cases after the island opened up to tourists in June. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Want to get paid to live out your James Bond dreams by going to raves on the party island of Ibiza? Then there's a job for you, but it's got a pretty major catch. You can get paid to party in Ibiza, but you'll be working as an undercover agent for the Ibiza police, reporting back to the government on gatherings that flout COVID regulations.  According to local news outlet Diario de Ibiza, the Spanish police are looking to set up a "party-tracking" crew to help them crack down on illegal parties. They need foreigners because,...
    Daily News (7/26/21) on Ben & Jerry's withdrawal from the Occupied Territories: "Very pleased are the BDS crowd, Israel-haters and assorted antisemites, but it's an ice-cream headache for Unilever." Ben & Jerry's decision to halt its operations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in Jerusalem has pro-Israel editors working overtime. The New York Daily News (7/26/21) celebrated counter-boycotts of the ice cream brand, including the state's pension system considering cutting ties with the brand's parent company, Unilever, because of a 2016 executive order against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The tabloid's editorial board, sounding like a sidekick standing behind a gang enforcer, said, "No firm should want to be on that very naughty list." The New York Post found a brand worker who quit over the West Bank pull out (7/22/21), and a grocery store that is taking the ice cream off its shelves (7/19/21). New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made waves as the first US governor to take executive action against the BDS movement, but the Post (7/24/21) complained that he's not attacking Ben & Jerry's swiftly...
    Protect Press IMAGINE the grotesque irony of a Government run by an ex-journalist sending reporters to jail like spies for uncovering scandals in the public interest. Luckily, it’s not lost on Boris Johnson. 2We appreciate Boris Johnson's defence of the Press but the ­Government must kill these totalitarian-style proposalsCredit: Getty We appreciate his defence of our trade yesterday. As well as his pledge that the sinister proposed changes to the Official Secrets Act will not “for one minute” prevent us exposing scandals such as our Matt Hancock exclusive. Firstly, though, what about protecting too the whistleblowers who divulge secrets the public should know . . . such as the deaths from neglect at Stafford Hospital or the MPs’ expenses outrage? Secondly, whatever the PM pledged yesterday, the Home Office consultation on updating the Act DOES currently carry the threat of a long jail term for an investigative journalist or their source. If Boris has got their backs, the ­Government must kill these totalitarian-style proposals and start again. This time with a public interest defence set in stone. Boom...
    Sen. Marco Rubio on Friday dismissed the Biden's administration's new sanctions on Cuba as 'meaningless' after experts said they would have little impact on assets held by the country's security forces. A day earlier the Treasury Department blacklisted Defense Minister Álvaro López Miera and an Interior Ministry special police unit, known as the Black Berets, for their role in a crackdown against protesters. But the island is already under a trade embargo and the Trump administration sanctioned the entire Interior Ministry, including the Black Berets, in January. Rubio tweeted his disappointment. 'Biden sanctioning an already sanctioned regime official in Cuba is the kind of symbolic but meaningless measure we will continue to see as long as @POTUS is being advised by people who were drinking mojitos in Havana in 2015 to celebrate the Obama policy,' he said. Cuban authorities have arrested hundreds of demonstrators, activists and journalists after protests erupted on July 11 amid an economic crisis, scarcity of basic goods, lack of freedoms and the impact of COVID-19. In a statement, President Biden said the measures were just the...
    (CNN)More than a year and a half into the coronavirus pandemic, the world's rich nations are beginning to accept that Covid-19 is not going away -- despite high vaccination rates drastically cutting the number of hospitalizations and deaths. But while they may agree that the virus is here to stay, in some form, for the foreseeable future, these countries have radically different approaches to dealing with it. Singapore, and island state of 5.69 million, and the UK, home to an estimated 66 million people, have had very different pandemic experiences -- and outcomes -- so far. While the UK has one of the highest numbers of Covid-19 related deaths in the world -- nearly 129,000 since the pandemic started -- only 36 people have died of Covid-19 in Singapore. For every 100,000 of the population in the UK, there have been 192.64 Covid-19 deaths in the UK. This goes down to 0.63 in Singapore, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Singapore wants to stop counting Covid cases. Its roadmap could be a model for other countries Read MoreThe UK...
    States faced a mad dash to shut government offices after President Joe Biden signed legislation creating Juneteenth as a U.S. federal holiday and giving workers Friday off. Biden signed the act after 4pm at the White House, giving officials around the country little time to put in place alternative arrangements. Because Juneteenth - June 19 - falls on a Saturday this year, Friday became a holiday with the stroke of his pen. Although the likes of Alabama, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, and West Virginia are giving most employees a full day off, government staff in other states such as California will have to wait until next year. The United States Postal Service said it was impossible to accommodate the holiday at such short notice and  Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington D.C., said her government would observe Juneteenth but many staff would be reporting as normal. She said: 'While some services will be affected, many district employees will continue serving to maintain essential District operations.' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also went back on a promise he made last year to...
    Newly released emails have revealed Dr. Anthony Fauci's enthusiasm for partnering with Bill Gates to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, shedding light on the federal government's close work with the billionaire. Fauci, the top medical advisor to the White House, referred to the April 1, 2020 phone call with Gates in an email exchange with an executive at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 'As I had mentioned to Bill yesterday evening, I am enthusiastic about moving towards a collaborate and hopefully synergistic approach to COVID-19,' Fauci told Emilio Emini, the director of the Gates Foundation's tuberculosis and HIV program. The email exchange was part of a new tranche of 3,000 emails released on Friday by the anti-vaccination group ICAN, which obtained them through a public records request several days after other Fauci emails were released by media outlets. Fauci, the top medical advisor to the White House, referred to the April 1, 2020 phone call with Gates in an email exchange released on Friday Fauci emailed Emilio Emini, the director of the Gates Foundation's TB and HIV program...
    Tucker Carlson has slammed Dr Anthony Fauci and the mainstream media for spreading 'lies' about the origins of Covid-19. The Fox News host said there is now a consensus that the virus was caused by the Chinese government and was leaked by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, rather than the city's wet market as was previously reported. His comments come as scientists and political officials are coming forward to support the theory that the virus may have been developed in a Chinese laboratory and was covered up - after scoffing at the idea for much of the past year in part because it was pushed by then-President Donald Trump. Speaking on Tucker Carlson Tonight, the presenter said: 'Pretty much every sane person acknowledges at this point that the government of China likely caused the single worst man-made disaster in human history.' He cited recent reports from the Wall Street Journal which claimed researchers in the Wuhan lab were likely the first people infected with Covid-19 after three of them were hospitalized in November 2019. Fox News Privacy Policy ...
    Nearly two-thirds of all Americans now believe that extraterrestrial life exists and that the U.S. government isn't telling the public the full truth, according to a newly published CBS News survey. The findings of the poll are a sharp increase from the last time the news outlet asked the same question in 2017. At that time, just 56 percent of respondents believed there was intelligent life on other planets compared to 66 percent who believe today. In 2010, less than half of respondents thought extraterrestrial life existed, showcasing how popular sentiment on the once taboo topic has changed drastically in recent years. CBS surveyed 1,009 adults via telephone across the country between March 23 and 28. 'I'm pleased at these new poll results, but not surprised,' Nick Pope, a former employee and UFO investigator for Britain's Ministry of Defense, told MailOnline.com via email.  'They reflect the newfound respectability that the UFO subject is enjoying. The topic has come out of the fringe and into the mainstream, due to a stunning series of revelations in the last three years.'  A whopping...
    Juan Carlos Campo and Pablo Iglesias (Photo: MONCLOA) It’s over. Pablo Iglesias left the Government this Tuesday after attending his last Council of Ministers. And he wanted to say goodbye to all of Spain, although he did so through a video and not in the press conference after the weekly meeting of the Executive. “It has been an honor,” Iglesias said in his social networks, which has recognized “limits and contradictions” during this stage, but has remarked that it has been shown that Unidos Podemos cannot be bought and that things have been done better. The video has been recorded at his office in the Second Vice-presidency -located on Paseo del Prado and not in La Moncloa-. At the bottom he has placed his minister’s portfolio, and the flags of Spain and the EU could be seen. The portrait of Felipe VI, hanging on another wall, was not visible. Pablo Iglesias says goodbye to the Government: “I have confirmed that in front of the Government there are oligarchies that exercise their immense political, economic and media power so that the...
    The vice president of the Board and Minister of Tourism, Regeneration, Justice and Local Administration, Juan Marín, has considered this Monday that the fourth wave of the coronavirus “it is being cushioned” maintaining the pressure in the intensive care units, which is a “good sign”, but he has again asked for prudence for Holy Week although he has acknowledged that “most” of the citizens are behaving. In this way he has indicated in statements to journalists after participating in an informative breakfast of Europa Press Andalucía organized in Seville, which It has also had the participation of the president of the Andalusian Parliament, Marta Bosquet (Cs). “Today we are over a thousand people hospitalized, the number of infections is also controlled. We are much more concerned about hospitalizations and the overload that could be in intensive care units, but for the moment it remains and that is a good sign, “he pointed out.” It is magnificent news that we continue in this plateau situation, “he stressed. Marín has pointed out that “there is a lot of desire to go...
    New York : Enrique Guzman Photo: Miguel Larrauri / Reform Agency After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, the Mexican singer Enrique Guzman He reported that when he went to the appointment to get the second dose they let him know that they did not have the injections. “Here is my appointment for my second vaccination… I presented myself and there are no vaccines and no one to inform me of anything. WHERE IS MY VACCINE ???? (sic)”, the interpreter of “Your head on my shoulder” shared on his Twitter account. Here is my appointment for my second vaccination… I showed up and there are no vaccines and no one to inform me of anything. WHERE IS MY VACCINE ???? pic.twitter.com/91x27O6CIl – Enrique Guzmán (@enriqueguzman) March 26, 2021 In response to his complaint, the Secretary of Health of the Government of Mexico City explained to the singer that the second dose of Astra Zenenca must be placed 21 to 84 days apart. Hello, @enriqueguzman, good night. To generate immunity to # Covid19 with the vaccine #AstraZeneca Two...
    Three months after the Covid vaccination began, the difficulties that has registered the industrial scale production of vaccines, for now limited catalog of available brands and the problems e breaches of contracts delivery of the promised doses make it difficult to Government objective that in summer 70% of the population of legal age is immunized. President, Pedro Sánchez; the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, and how many members of the Executive speak on the issue insist that it is possible. However, they themselves question it by admitting that everything will depend on the pharmaceutical companies delivering the promised doses – something that at the moment has not always been the case – and by insisting on “the need to accelerate the production, distribution and administration of vaccines to overcome the crisis.” This is the appeal that Sánchez made to the EU in the European Council this week, a day after Darias insisted that, despite everything, the goal of reaching 70% of vaccinated in summer remains. Nevertheless, the date is not clear, something that in the Spanish case has enormous...
    New York : The Alexandria City County Jail released a photo of Coronel’s incarceration. Photo: Alexandria City Prison – / . Without specifying if there was a prior agreement between Emma Coronel and the U.S. Government, your attorney Jeffrey litchman confirmed that negotiations with federal authorities continue. “She is still in custody, under negotiations with the Government, they have been encouraged a bit”he said without giving details. “Things are moving … is what I can say … and he will not be in prison forever”. Jeffrey was interviewed for the podcast “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning”, where he also spoke about a possible bond for the wife of Joquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera get out of prison soon. “It is very difficult to pay bail, as I said a couple of weeks ago. She does not have a link with the United States, she does not have properties here, she would have any reason to leave “Jeffrey acknowledged. He said that he always recommends his clients not to focus on the issue...
    The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, in Congress in a file image. (Photo: .) The leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, has proposed this Monday the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, as second vice president of the Government after announcing that he is leaving the Executive to stand in the Madrid elections on May 4. Iglesias has assured that Díaz is “the best Minister of Labor in history” and has advanced that he considers her the ideal person to be a purple candidate for the presidency of the Government. Thus, Iglesias publicly raises a horizon of Podemos without him in front. “I think I am saying something that millions of people on the left all over Spain feel if I say that Yolanda Díaz may be the next president of the Government of Spain. And I think that all the people who feel that way, the people of Podemos, the people of Izquierda Unida and En Comú Podem, we have to encourage and support Yolanda so that if she so decides and wants the militancy of our organizations to be the...
    A man stands alone by the river in the city of Dandong, China Tao Zhang/Getty Images The idea of "empty nest youth" in China being a "threat to society" has sparked an online debate on popular social networking platform Weibo. Statistics released by the Chinese government indicate that around 15 million more Chinese singles have opted to live alone over the last 3 years.  Debate is swirling around whether these singles are doing so by choice, or due to circumstances beyond their control. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. "Being single and living alone is not a mortal sin. If it were, then 92 million of us are going to hell."  These were the sentiments of a 29-year-old woman who goes by the online handle Baobao. Baobao lives in Guangzhou and is a self-professed "single for life." She is among the 92 million young people in China that live alone.  Statistics released by the Chinese government last week indicate that around 15 million more singles live alone now than in 2018.  Young Chinese people like Baobao are...
    The fund of 11,000 million that the Government is finalizing for SMEs and the self-employed has entered this Wednesday on the agenda of the weekly scuffle between the president, Pedro Sánchez, and the leader of the PP, Pablo Casado. The former has assured that this new financial instrument will serve to “hold the productive sector” while the popular has reproached him for the fact that the coalition does not agree or agree on how this money will be distributed. “They do not even agree to approve 11,000 million”, Casado has snapped to Sánchez on a fund that in principle the Council of Ministers was going to have approved this Tuesday, but that is finally expected to see the light next Friday, in an extraordinary Council of Ministers. Sánchez has ignored the reasons why the fund has not yet been approved and has limited himself to ensuring that it will have the green light next Friday. Like ERTEs, ICO credits and other economic measures, the president has defended that it will serve to contain the economic crisis as a...