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Vindication for the Swedish model of non-coercive pandemic mitigation? | Mask-free Sweden had near zero COVID-19 daily deaths in July, fared better than expected economically with no lockdowns in place
While many U.S. policy makers are suggesting that states return to lockdowns and impose vaccine or mask mandates to engage in everyday life as new coronavirus variants surface, Sweden’s population of 10.3 million fared better than expected after implementing no lockdowns over the last year.
In April of last year, Björn Olsen, professor of infectious medicine at the University of Uppsala, issued a report suggesting that if lockdowns weren’t implemented a “tragedy” would soon befall Sweden.
An Imperial College model suggested that 85,000 people would die without a lockdown, and an Uppsala University team projected that 40,000 people would die from COVID-19 by May 1, 2020 and nearly 100,000 by June.
But by May, Sweden reported roughly six deaths for every one million people, according to the Financial Times, with 48.9% of its initial coronavirus deaths taking place in nursing homes, according to an analysis by the Swedish Public Health Agency.
More than a year later, Sweden recorded 1.1 million coronavirus cases with 1.07 million people having recovered from the virus, and 14,620 coronavirus-linked deaths, according to woldometers.info as of Aug. 8, 2021.
Of the currently 12,248 people who have tested positive for COVID-19, 12, 219 are experiencing mild symptoms (99.8%) and 29 (0.2%) are in serious or critical condition, according to woldometers.info.
While the Financial Times warned that Sweden wouldn’t likely see an economic benefit from its no-lockdown approach, in May 2020, Sweden fared better than expected. According to an analysis by Nordetrade.com: “Covid-19 has had a rather limited impact on [Sweden’s] economy compared with most other European countries. Softer preventative restrictions against Covid-19 earlier in the year and a strong recovery in the third quarter contained the GDP contraction.”
With the rise of the so-called Delta variant, Sweden has held fast in not imposing a lockdown or a mask mandate, having lifted its last face covering requirement on public transit July 1. Still, its population had a total of eight coronavirus-related deaths in July, or an average of 0.26 coronavirus-linked deaths a day. Daily hospitalizations were also close to zero in July, with between zero and two COVID-19 cases requiring hospital treatment nationwide.
Sweden’s numbers are considerably lower compared to 74 and 329 coronavirus-related daily fatalities in the U.K. and U.S., respectively, over the same period. . . .
One Fully Vaccinated. The Other Not. Yet Both In The Hospital. | “Rev. Jesse Jackson and Wife Remain Hospitalized for Covid-19”
Chicago (AP) — Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife, Jacqueline, remained hospitalized Monday after testing positive for COVID-19, family members said.
Jesse Jackson, 79, has been fully vaccinated, receiving his first shot in January at a public event where he urged others to do the same. But Jacqueline Jackson, 77, has not been vaccinated, according to longtime family spokesman Frank Watkins. He declined to elaborate Monday.
The couple, married nearly 60 years, were admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, family members announced Saturday, with their age as a factor. A day later, their son Jonathan Jackson said both parents were resting comfortably at the hospital and “responding positively to their treatments.”
“The status of my parents has not changed,” Jonathan Jackson said in a Monday statement. “We are ever mindful that COVID-19 is a serious disease and we ask that you continue in prayer for my parents, as we remain prayerful for yours.” . . .
In this episode of Counterculture, “Gun Control and COVID-19,” host Danielle D’Souza Gill explores American freedoms that are being taken away by our government little by little. She also delves into how COVID-19 and gun control are linked together. This video gives us vital information about how the government and Democrats in particular want to take our freedoms and how we can preserve them.
In a fable about a frog that is put into a pot of hot water, once the frog hits the hot water, it immediately jumps out. However, if the water is lukewarm and slowly heated to boiling, the frog will stay in the water, not realizing what is happening until it is too late. A similar situation is happening in our country, with one thing after another being taken away or restricted.
As COVID-19 has swept through our country, it has been used as a reason to impose more and more restrictions on citizens and businesses—all done under the guise of “public safety.”
- Masks: For over a year now, we have been wearing masks. In some places, especially states that are primarily Democratic, there are mandates requiring them in stores, theaters, airports, and even some schools. It may be some time yet before we no longer are required to wear masks.
- Lockdowns: In many states, lockdowns were implemented, making citizens stay inside their homes. Events that were planned, like funerals and weddings, had to be canceled and rescheduled for a later date. Many concerts and sporting events were also canceled. The sick and elderly also suffered countless days of loneliness with no visitors allowed.
- Shutdowns: In 2020, many businesses were forced to shut down or the restrictions were so severe that they were no longer able to stay in business. Many small business owners lost their whole livelihoods. Any business not deemed “essential” by the government suffered this fate. Some churches were even closed.
- Vaccinations: President Joe Biden and his administration are pushing for everyone to be subject to mandatory vaccinations. If this is put into place, citizens may be required to show a “vaccination passport” to travel or enter certain places and even some states.
Just because citizens are forced to live under these restrictions doesn’t mean that members of the government lead by example. The host gives a good example of this. Former President Barack Obama had a big birthday bash in Martha’s Vineyard and did not follow social distancing protocols or masks. Several celebrities were in attendance and two who posted pictures with Obama, who was not wearing a facemask, were asked to take down their posts after he came under criticism. Definitely a “do as I say, not as I do” situation. Another example is when salons were shut down in the state of California, Nancy Pelosi was able to find a salon to get her hair done.
So, one might ask what does the Second Amendment have to do with COVID-19? Gill explains that as the government takes away more and more freedoms, there is no way to tell when it will stop, and Democrats have had the 2nd Amendment in their sights for quite some time. Every time rights are taken away “for our own good,” it always ends up giving the government more power. . . .
FDA Approves Pfizer Vaccine After CDC Admitted Vaccines Cause ‘Increased Risk Of Severe Disease,’ Evidence Of ‘Waning Vaccine Effectiveness’
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday granted full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, opening the door for vaccine mandates across the US.
This comes just days after the Director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Rochelle Walensky said that COVID-19 “vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 is waning,” adding that those who were “vaccinated early” are at an “increased risk of severe disease.”
The FDA has fully approved the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for people ages 16 and older, paving the way for vaccine mandate policies, according to mainstream media reports. “While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock in an FDA news release. The Pfizer vaccine will now be marketed as “Comirnaty” (koe-mir’-na-tee). (READ MORE: Tennessee Woman Left Paralyzed And Unable To Walk After Taking Pfizer Vaccine)
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) August 23, 2021
“The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have monitoring systems in place to ensure that any safety concerns continue to be identified and evaluated in a timely manner. In addition, the FDA is requiring the company to conduct postmarketing studies to further assess the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination with Comirnaty. These studies will include an evaluation of long-term outcomes among individuals who develop myocarditis following vaccination with Comirnaty. In addition, although not FDA requirements, the company has committed to additional post-marketing safety studies, including conducting a pregnancy registry study to evaluate pregnancy and infant outcomes after receipt of Comirnaty during pregnancy,” the release states. (READ MORE: CNN Shocked When NFL Legend Brett Favre Expresses Skepticism Toward COVID Vaccines)
The FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine comes just days after the Director of the CDC admitted that the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines are “waning,” confirming earlier reports by National File. “We are seeing concerning evidence of waning vaccine effectiveness over time and against the Delta variant,” Rochelle Walensky said during a White House Press Briefing. “Reports from our international colleagues, including Israel, suggest increased risk of severe disease amongst those vaccinated early.”
Biden Effect: Taliban Fighters in Suicide Vests March in Zabul Carrying US-Made Weapons – Military Commander in Kabul Shows Off Fleet of US Humvees
Taliban suicide bombers marched during its military parade at Zabul, #Afghanistan today.
The bombers showed off their US-made weapons. Suicide bombers are also considered the special forces of the Taliban.
Today the Taliban have American Assault rifles with thermal sights and night vision goggles thanks to Joe Biden and his woke generals.
Watch suicide Bombers of #Taliban during its military parade at #Zabul, #Afghanistan today. They show off their #US made weapons. Suicide bombers are also considered the special forces of Taliban. Now they have American Assault rifles with thermal sights & night vision goggles! pic.twitter.com/niEl2A4f4c
— Babak Taghvaee – Μπάπακ Τακβαίε – بابک تقوایی (@BabakTaghvaee) August 20, 2021
In Kabul a Taliban commander showed off a fleet of US humvees captured by the Taliban or left behind by the woke US generals.
Watch one of the #Taliban‘s military commanders showing-off the #US Military equipment including tens of HMMWVs which they have now in their service in #Kabul, #Afghanistan‘s capital. pic.twitter.com/Zm7bVkBBOz
— Babak Taghvaee – Μπάπακ Τακβαίε – بابک تقوایی (@BabakTaghvaee) August 20, 2021
Judicial Watch: U.S. Capitol Police Tell Federal Court January 6 Disturbance Videos Are Not Public Records
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today the U.S. Capitol Police seeks to shut down a public records lawsuit for January 6 disturbance video and emails by arguing to a federal court that the requested are “not public records.”
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in February 2021 under the common law right of access to public records after the Capitol Police refused to provide any records in response to a January 21, 2021, request for:
- Email communications between the U.S. Capitol Police Executive Team and the Capitol Police Board concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021.
- Email communications of the Capitol Police Board with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021.
- All video footage from within the Capitol between 12 pm and 9 pm on January 6, 2021.
The USCP’s camera security system, including footage recorded by it within the Capitol and sought by [Judicial Watch], is solely for national security and law enforcement purposes.
Access to video footage from the USCP’s camera security system is limited to narrow circumstances and strictly controlled by USCP policy.
The USCP has not made any public disclosures of video footage from January 6 from its camera security system.
There are currently pending criminal investigations and prosecutions of individuals involved in the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
There are currently pending congressional investigations into the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
In its motion, the Capitol Police also argues the case should be closed because, among other assertions, even if the records Judicial Watch asks for are “public records,” the USCP’s interests in confidentiality “outweigh any public interest in those materials.”
It also claims not to have access to many of the emails sought by Judicial Watch.
“To cut to the chase, the US Capitol Police is hiding a reported 14,000 hours of January 6 video from the American people to help Nancy Pelosi’s abusive targeting of Trump supporters and other political opponents,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Any other police department in America would be investigated and defunded for such abusive secrecy. The Pelosi Congress is in cover-up mode regarding January 6.”
Judicial Watch is conducting an extensive investigation into the January 6 events in Washington, DC.
Earlier this month, Judicial Watch uncovered documents from Washington, DC’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) related to Air Force veteran and San Diego native Ashli Babbitt. These documents reveal that OCME submitted a request for permission to cremate Babbitt only two days after taking custody of her body and that due to the “high profile nature” of Babbitt’s case, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Francisco Diaz requested that a secure electronic file with limited access be created for Babbitt’s records. Additionally, Babbitt’s fingerprints were emailed to a person supposedly working for the DC government, which resulted in Microsoft “undeliverable” messages written in Chinese characters being returned.
In July, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against the DOJ for records of communication between the FBI and several financial institutions about the reported transfer of financial transactions made by people in DC, Maryland and Virginia on January 5 and January 6, 2021. The FBI refused to confirm or deny any such records exist. Also in July, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for information relating to the tracking and collecting of Americans’ social media posts through its Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP).
In May, Judicial Watch sued both the Department of the Interior and the Department of Defense for records regarding the deployment of armed forces around the Capitol complex in Washington, D.C., in January and February of 2021.
In March, Judicial Watch sued the District of Columbia for the autopsy of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick and related records. Pressure from this lawsuit helped lead to the disclosure that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes. Also in March, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense for records about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 8, 2021, telephone call with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley. . . .
More than three centuries after being tarnished by the hysteria of the Salem witch trials, a Massachusetts woman convicted of witchcraft could finally receive a pardon from the state because of the lobbying efforts of an unlikely constituency: an eighth-grade civics class.
The woman, Elizabeth Johnson Jr., who lived in what is now North Andover, Mass., was one of 28 members of her extended family who faced allegations of witchcraft in 1692, according to historians. She was born around 1670 and may have been mentally disabled.
She was sentenced to death in 1693 after she confessed to being a witch, only to be granted a reprieve by the governor of Massachusetts at the time. She died in 1747, at the age of about 77.
But in contrast with a vast majority of other people who were wrongfully convicted and carried the stigma associated with the witch trials long after their deaths, Johnson had no known descendants to try to clear her name.
That’s why a group of middle school students from North Andover decided last year to take up her cause, pressing their state senator to introduce legislation that they helped craft and that would exonerate Johnson, who never married and had no children.
“To right a wrong, it’s worth doing,” Carrie LaPierre, the teacher of the eighth-grade civics class at North Andover Middle School, said on Thursday.
As part of their civics education, Ms. LaPierre said, the students are taught about acceptance.
“It’s something we talk a lot about: identity and stereotypes and respecting people who are different than you,” she said.
At least 172 people from Salem and surrounding towns, which include what is now North Andover, were accused of witchcraft in 1692 as part of a Puritanical inquisition that was rooted in paranoia and xenophobia, according to historians. . . .
Minneapolis (AP) — The embattled leader of the Minnesota Republican Party has been forced to resign following accusations that she ran a “morally bankrupt” operation that was rife with verbal abuse, intimidation and sexual misconduct.
Jennifer Carnahan initially resisted calls to resign, saying she had no knowledge of sex-trafficking allegations against a prominent donor and a local college Republican chapter leader. She said a “mob mentality came out in this way to defame, tarnish and attempt to ruin my personal and professional reputation.”
Late Thursday, the party’s 15-member board voted 8-7 to give Carnahan three months salary, about $38,000. Carnahan cast the deciding vote on her severance.
The board also approved investigations into the party’s finances and human resources protocols.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as chairwoman for the Republican Party of Minnesota,” Carnahan said in a statement after the vote. “However, I signed up for this party to help us elect Republicans and I want to ensure that we can continue to do that.” . . . .
As Afghanistan continues its descent into chaos, prominent media figures are beginning to have doubts after supporting President Joe Biden (or at least strongly opposing Trump) during the 2020 election.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, Meghan McCain, former co-host of The View, said she felt “physically ill” over what has happened in Afghanistan and declared that President Biden is “unfit to lead.” Though Meghan McCain has not yet said for whom she cast her vote in the 2020 election, she virulently opposed former President Donald Trump on the basis of character, often spoke fondly of Biden throughout the election cycle, said she felt “relieved” upon Biden’s victory, and supported Trump’s impeachment.
“I have been physically ill, more depressed than I have been since the beginning stages of the pandemic and filled nothing short of pure rage and anger since the calamity of a ‘pull out’ which will be seen as one of the greatest foreign policy catastrophes of my lifetime,” McCain said in her Instagram post on Thursday. . . .
Nearly 20 midshipmen were separated after a Naval Academy investigation found they cheated on a December 2020 physics exam.
Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck initiated an investigation into the General Physics I final after being made aware that midshipmen possibly used outside sources, including visiting websites, during their online exam, according to a press release from the academy. Midshipmen also used an anonymous chat platform to discuss the exam after.
The academy announced the investigation in December.
There were 653 midshipmen who took the General Physics I exam, mostly in their second year at the academy, according to the release. Of the 653, 105 midshipmen were investigated and went through the academy’s honor system. . . .
There’s a price to be paid for stupidity and incompetence in government. And Afghans who helped the U.S. during the occupation are paying it.
Two days ago, the Taliban promised a general “amnesty” for all those who collaborated with the U.S. military and the Afghan national government. The only people who believed that besides Biden administration officials were liberals and 5-year-old children.
In truth, the Taliban’s idea of “amnesty” is quite different from how you or I would define the term. A report from the Norwegian Center for Global Analyses — an organization that provides intelligence to the UN — paints a much more accurate picture of how the Taliban defines “amnesty.”
“There are a high number of individuals that are currently being targeted by the Taliban and the threat is crystal clear,” Christian Nellemann, who leads the Norwegian Center, told the BBC. “It is in writing that, unless they give themselves in, the Taliban will arrest and prosecute, interrogate and punish family members on behalf of those individuals.” . . . .
“The National Guard is traditionally not an urban police department. We used the National Guard in the civil unrest period to secure areas that needed to be secured from looting and burning, and it freed up the police to do other things,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told reporters during a press conference this week.
“But to send in the National Guard and a troop carrier into a neighborhood in Philadelphia, to me, is not respectful to that neighborhood, number one. Number two, they are not capable or trained to do urban policing, or do policing of any kind,” he added.
Kenney, a Democrat, would have to ask Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, another Democrat, to order the Guard to Philadelphia, unless Wolf made the order without Kenney’s support.
Wolf, who activated the Guard to help deal with potential unrest in April as jurors prepared to announce the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, could not be reached.
Murders have spiked in Philadelphia this year, part of a crime wave that stretches back in many major U.S. cities to early 2020.
The 340 homicides recorded through Aug. 18 is a jump of 20 percent from the same time period, according to city data. . . .
The Florida board of education threatened this week to penalize local school board members and officials in Broward and Alachua counties following their decisions to require students to don face masks at school.
The threats, however, did not appear to deter the Miami-Dade schools district, or the Hillsborough County district, which includes Tampa and Palm Beach County, from mandating similar masking rules this week.
“Over the week, I’ve spoken with employees and their relatives, begging me to do the right thing,” said Miami-Dade public school Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Earlier this month, GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Florida school districts to give parents the power to opt out of masking requirements for their children. He is also making available private school voucher applications for parents whose children feel “bullied” or otherwise victimized by mask mandates.
The Hillsborough County Public School board had an emotional meeting Wednesday, during which it was decided, by a vote of 5-2, that mask opt-outs would be limited to students with medical exemptions.
The meeting featured masked parents, some of them evidently health care workers, arguing with unmasked parents, some of whom wore “Freedom Fighter” T-shirts.
The Miami-Dade and Hillsborough districts are both arguing that their mandates comply with state health regulations and DeSantis’s order. But the state board of education does not see it that way. . . .
Joe Biden Hopes You’ll Forget His Afghan Incompetence by August 31. No, Seriously. That’s Their Strategy.
Joe Biden, the most popular president in the history of history, is scheduled to give a “press” conference at 1:00 on Friday. Whether or not reporters are allowed to ask questions or whether Joe Biden will turn his back and walk away while people yell at him for a third time is anyone’s guess. To the untrained eye, it looks like gross incompetence at best. Or the fact that there is something seriously wrong with President Puddingbrain at worst. Turns out, it is actually brilliantly crafted strategy! According to Reuters, the White House plan is to keep avoiding the press and lying to the American people, figuring we’ll forget about it in a few weeks.
Yes. Joe Biden choking on an interview they set up with a patsy? Where he doesn’t know what day it is, snaps when asked about people falling off of airplanes, and LITERALLY knocks on wood that no one has been killed while he was speaking? Meh. The White House is hoping we all forget about it by August 31. We’ll take the “what if this was Donald Trump” as implied.
They expect the Afghanistan story to recede from the headlines, replaced by the resurgence in COVID-19 cases, the economic recovery and other issues, people familiar with the matter said.
Got it. So, to distract from the war in Afghanistan, Biden is going to declare war against Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott. Hoping the American people will focus more on that and NOT Joe Biden’s incompetence.
Let’s take a look at what’s being reported this morning as news breaks that the White House is hoping you’ll forget.
A source tells me, “Situation [in Afghanistan] is rapidly deteriorating… We’ve had Americans get beaten throughout the night.” One of them, an American woman, was beaten “twice” even though she was carrying a U.S. passport.
Yesterday @PentagonPresSec said Americans are not being impeded as they travel to the Kabul airport, no Americans harmed. The Taliban agreed to let them evacuate. What I am hearing suggests otherwise. Americans have been injured and stopped from boarding planes.
Joe Biden and/or the people who control Joe Biden are hoping you’ll forget this in two weeks. It’s their strategy. That, and to try to hide Biden from the public as best they can until you do.
But, at least as of this writing, Biden is scheduled to give a “press” conference Friday afternoon. Three-to-one he doesn’t take questions. Two-to-one if he does, they find a hack to make sure the first question is about Ron DeSantis. It’s a push that if he does take questions, he winds up lashing out at a reporter. Most likely a female one. . . .
Dr. Malone, The Inventor Of The mRNA Technology, Explains Why The Covid ‘Vaccine’ Does Not Prevent The Spread Of The Virus | Video: 2 Minutes 14 Seconds
“What we’re told is we have to all get vaccinated to reach herd immunity. That’s the logic. The problem is that is a fallacy. . . What would herd immunity mean? It would mean that we have what is called sterilizing immunity, in some way. If we get infected, we don’t spread it to somebody else. That means we’re not producing virus and shedding virus. Just today the World Health Organization made an announcement, clear and unequivocal, you gotta start using masks because none of these ‘vaccines’ are preventing infection. They’re preventing disease. They’re not preventing transmission.” – Dr. Robert Malone, Inventor of mRNA Vaccine Technology
In Israel’s COVID-19 wards, nearly 60 percent of the country’s 514 patients hospitalized with severe or critical CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus symptoms are fully vaccinated, according to an Aug. 16 report.
The figures were reported as doctors are continually learning which vaccinated patients are most vulnerable to severe illness, amid growing concerns about instances of the COVID-19 vaccines providing less protection against the worst forms of the disease.
“There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate, and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated,” said Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology, Science reported.
For the majority of patients experiencing breakthrough infections, about 87 percent were 60 or older and received two vaccine doses at least five months ago. The findings show that “breakthrough cases” are not a rare event as the term implies.
Noa Eliakim-Raz, the chief of the COVID-19 ward at Rabin Medical Centre in Petach Tikva, said the majority of hospitalized vaccinated patients are unhealthy, immobile and already required nursing care prior to infection.
Israel is among the world’s highest vaccination levels, with some 5.4 million people—or 78 percent of those 12 and older—fully vaccinated. The vast majority received the Pfizer shot. The country is, however, showing one of the highest infection rates in the world, potentially a sign of waning vaccine immunity as the Delta variant of the CCP virus spreads. . . . .
Once Again, Despite Covid mRNA ‘Vaccination’ in UK Reaching 90% Of Population | “UK’s Covid cases rise again with 33,904 positive tests, marking a 15% week-on-week jump”
UK’s Covid cases rise again to 33,904 after 15% week-on-week jump – as hospitalisations and deaths creep upwards
- It is the third consecutive day that the rolling seven-day average of daily coronavirus infections has risen
- Meanwhile, hospitalisations and deaths are still creeping upwards, according to the Department of Health
- Both measures lag weeks behind because of how long it can take for the infected to become severely ill
- Another 111 fatalities were recorded today, up 6.7 per cent on last week, the Government figures showed
- And 773 infected patients were admitted to hospital on August 14 – up 8.6 per cent on the previous Saturday
Britain’s daily Covid cases are not showing any signs of slowing down yet, official figures suggested today.
Department of Health bosses posted another 33,904 positive tests, up 14.5 per cent on last Wednesday’s figure of 29,612 — despite swabbing levels remaining flat.
It is the third consecutive day that the rolling seven-day average — which offers a more accurate picture over the true state of the crisis because daily counts can fluctuate heavily — has risen. . . . .
“How is the rollout going?
So far, more than 47 million people have had a first vaccine dose – nearly 90% of the adult population – and nearly 41 million – 77% of adults – have had both doses.
The number of first doses administered each day is now averaging about 39,000 – far below a peak of some 500,000 in mid-March.
An average of more than 160,000 second doses are now being given a day. The delivery of second doses had been accelerated in response to the emergence of the Delta variant, first identified in India.” [Full BBC Report]
Yet, UK’s Positivity rates continue to rise as ‘vaccinations’ rise. [The Daily Mail Article]
AUSTIN (Nexstar) — On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Texas sided with Republican leadership in Texas, allowing for the arrest of absent House members going forward.
The opinion orders district courts to rescind their temporary restraining orders given to Texas House Democratic members who have broken quorum since July.
“The legal question before this Court concerns only whether the Texas Constitution gives the House of Representatives the authority to physically compel the attendance of absent members. We conclude that it does, and we therefore direct the district court to withdraw the TRO,” the opinion, given by Justice Jimmy Blacklock, reads.
It comes a week after Speaker of the House Dade Phelan signed arrest warrants for 52 House Democrats still absent from the second special session of 2021.
The Texas Sergeant-at-Arms has been delivering civil arrest warrants to House Democrats’ offices and some of their homes in attempt to achieve the quorum lawmakers need to advance legislation, but to date the House has still not had a quorum. . . .
Stunning Poll Reveals Trump Would Win Election Held Today, as Nearly 1 in 10 Democrats ‘Regret’ Their 2020 Vote.
Stunning new poll numbers from Rasmussen Reports suggest nearly 1 in 10 Democrats regret their vote in the 2020 Presidential election, with 12 percent of ‘Moderates’ saying the same, and 14 percent of Black Americans expressing regret.
Furthermore, asked how people would vote if a presidential election were held today, just 37 percent said they would vote for Joe Biden, down from 45 percent who said they did. Forty-three percent said they would vote for Donald Trump.
Biden hides at Camp David from his own failures, but he can’t hide forever.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki cut short her vacation plans this week, and one of the first things she had to do was admit that she doesn’t “have an exact time” for when Presidentish Joe Biden might return from Camp David.
“The president will return to the White House,” Psaki told reporters at Tuesday’s White House press conference. But apparently, she’ll have to circle back on when that might be.
If I had to guess, Biden is busy getting new and/or longer plugs. Did you see the glare off the back of his scalp when he stormed away after his brief statement on Monday? There’s a big burn-in spot on my TV from watching it.
ASIDE: I’m not making fun of Biden for being bald. I’m making fun of Biden’s notorious vanity despite his average looks and comically obvious attempts to hide his age.
Later today, Biden is set to do a sitdown interview from the comfort of Camp David… with former Clinton operative and permanent Democrat-operative-with-a-byline, George Stephanopoulos.
Expect Stephanopoulos to do two things.
First, he actually will ask a pointed question or two. That’s his style.
Second, Stephanopoulos will nod his head along in virtual agreement with whatever mendaciously nonsensical goo pours forth from Biden’s mouth. That’s his style, too. . . .
Source: Jonathan Feldstein
For three days straight, more than a million Jerusalem residents and people living in suburbs endured choking smoke. There was a huge danger to people, wildlife, as well as property. Homes and landmark businesses have burned down.
Entire communities were evacuated as the fires raged ever closer. There was even a threat, somewhat unimaginable, that Jerusalem’s largest hospital in the historic Ein Kerem neighborhood was at risk of being evacuated. Because of fierce determination and heroism of firefighters and security personnel, there was no loss of human life.
There’s never been a time in recent memory that Jerusalem and its residents have been threatened like this. This week, as some flames were put under control new new fires ignited. The important thing was to put out the fires and protect people and property. In Judaism, protection of and saving lives is the most important injunction. However, burning along with the land and the trees is the suspicion that terrorist arson may be involved. That was also suspected in fires that took place earlier in the summer. It will no doubt be investigated, but it’s hard to prevent when a Palestinian Arab terrorist looks for new ways to cause harm. Other fires in northern Israel this summer also threatened life and property. These were caused by Hezbollah’s terrorist rockets fired from Lebanon landing in open areas. . . . .
Data on nearly 8 million T-Mobile customers was stolen by a hacker, the company said late Tuesday.
A preliminary analysis also signaled that information on just over 40 million additional people who applied for credit from T-Mobile was also stolen.
No phone numbers, account numbers, PINs, passwords, or financial information was compromised for most people, according to the company. However, the phone numbers, account PINS, and names of about 850,000 prepaid customers were exposed.
The discovery came after a hacker claimed in an online forum this month that they had stolen data from T-Mobile.
The company became aware of the claim and launched an investigation.
Cybersecurity experts tapped by T-Mobile identified an access point believed to be used by the hacker and closed it.
This week, experts verified that some data was accessed by hackers, and began coordinating with law enforcement.
“While our investigation is still underway and we continue to learn additional details, we have now been able to confirm that the data stolen from our systems did include some personal information,” the company said.
The stolen data includes customer names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and driver’s license information.
T-Mobile is now offering two years of free identity protection services and plans to publish a webpage soon that includes recommendations for what current, former, and prospective customers should do in the wake of the breach. . . .
When you lose a fight, depending on how big of a dick your opponent is, you might get taunted for losing. Your opponent will rub it in your face just because they can. These tweets are a crotch chop to America and our incompetent president. (h/t Twitchy)
[via Google translate] elements”#طالبان They practice sports in Jim Hall at the Presidential Palace in #كابل
The gym tweet is not the “own” the Taliban think it is because they look ridiculous. For starters, it’s a pathetic looking gym. You would think the presidential place would have more state of the art equipment. But also, using machines and ellipticals doesn’t scream “look at how badass we are” like they think. If anything, they were just excited to be working out with something other than various-sized rocks.
The ice cream tweet is an obvious troll at both President Biden and the American media who stans Biden eating ice cream. A person with an ounce of self-awareness would look at this photo and realize it’s what they look like when they ask Biden “one scoop or two.” Instead, it will just make the press corps wonder if Biden is still making sure he’s going out for a sundae in these troubling times.
Of course, while this is going on, images of bloodied Afghans contradict Taliban’s claims of moderation:
Reports that Taliban fighters have beaten women and children at a checkpoint in Kabul emerged on Wednesday as the group attempted to consolidate its control after a rapid takeover of the country.
And also this:
To recap. Our president, besides being both incompetent and an embarrassment, is also a liar. And the Taliban is laughing at us.
But hey, at least there are no more mean Trump tweets. We’ve got that going for us. . . .
Tyrannical Governments Always Practice Gun Control | “Taliban reportedly confiscating weapons from Afghan civilians”
The Taliban are collecting weapons and ammunition from civilians in Kabul following their swift takeover of Afghanistan.
A Taliban official told Reuters that people no longer needed weapons for personal protection because “they can now feel safe” since the insurgents have taken over.
“We understand people kept weapons for personal safety. They can now feel safe,” the official said.
“We are not here to harm innocent civilians.”
The news came as reports emerged that a woman had been shot dead Tuesday for not wearing a burqa in public — after insurgents vowed to usher in a new “inclusive” era that honors “women’s rights.”
Mujahid also vowed to grant amnesty to Afghans who worked for the US and the Western-backed government, saying “nobody will go to their doors to ask why they helped.” . . .
Man charged with attempted murder of two Chicago police officers after allegedly dragging one 40 feet with car
The 35-year-old struck two officers and almost hit a third on Friday in Englewood, police say.
A man has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly driving into two Chicago police officers, dragging one of them, Friday in Englewood on the South Side.
Jermaine Little, 35, was pulled over by police for a traffic violation around 7:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of South Michigan Avenue, Chicago police
Little then put the car in reverse and dragged one officer 40 feet before pinning the officer between the car and a viaduct, according to police and the Chicago Fire Department.
The officer fired at, but didn’t hit, the driver, police said. The officer was hospitalized in good condition.
Police said another officer was hit and a third officer was nearly hit by the car.
Little allegedly drove off but was arrested Tuesday in the Gresham neighborhood. Police said they recovered a handgun.
Little, of South Shore, also faces a count of unauthorized use of a vehicle as a weapon and aggravated assault to an officer.
He was expected to appear in court later Wednesday. . . .
‘Joe’s leading lambs to slaughter’: Trump tears into Biden for abandoning Afghans to the Taliban and says fall of Kabul was a ‘coup of incompetent people’ and makes the border ‘look like baby food’
- Trump attacked Biden’s ‘disaster’ foreign policy in his second Fox interview within 12 hours and said Biden’s bad decisions began ‘when he was born’
- The former president spoke with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday
- He said the Taliban are ‘great negotiators’ and ‘naturally tough’ but insisted Biden ‘let them gain 19 steps out of 20’ in their takeover of Afghanistan
- He suggested that Biden should have bombed US military bases after leaving
- In an interview with Sean Hannity, Trump said he told Mullah Baradar his village would be attacked if the Taliban failed to stick to a peace deal
- He said the problem was not leaving Afghanistan but ‘the way they withdrew’
- And he condemned Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, said he had no faith in him and blasted: ‘He spent all of this time wining and dining our senators’
- It comes as Taliban turned their guns on Afghans trying to flee to Kabul airport
- Trump has kept up a running commentary on Joe Biden’s handling of the crisis. . . .
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday called for the banning of Chinese video sharing platform TikTok after China acquired a stake and board seat in a subsidiary of the platform’s parent company.
Rubio issued a statement demanding President Joe Biden block the app from U.S. mobile devices, citing the Chinese government’s recent acquisition of a 1% stake and one of three board seats in Beijing ByteDance Technology, a subsidiary of TikTok parent company ByteDance. The subsidiary owns licenses to operate video-sharing platform Douyin and news service Toutiao within China.
“The Biden Administration can no longer pretend that TikTok is not beholden to the Chinese Communist Party,” Rubio said. “President Biden must take immediate action to remove ByteDance and TikTok from the equation.”
The Trump administration attempted to ban TikTok in August 2020, claiming China was using the app to illegally harvest user data, but the ban was never enforced due to several court orders. Biden repealed the ban in June 2021, instead directing the Commerce Department to evaluate the platform and determine whether it posed a national security or economic risk. . . .
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will launch a new outbreak analysis and forecast center, picking a group of outsiders from academia and the private sector to lead the new initiative.
The Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics is meant to help predict how disease spreads and act on it in in real time. It will also be charged with improving the Atlanta-based agency’s data tools, the CDC said in a statement. The goal is to have the center operational in 2022, said spokesman Ben Haynes.
Given the timing, the new center may end up focused as much on future outbreaks as on Covid-19, though the pandemic is almost certain to still be ongoing next year. The center’s leaders include:
- Marc Lipsitch, a Harvard University epidemiologist who will be the director of science
- Dylan George, an executive with Ginkgo Bioworks Inc. and a former Obama administration official who will be director of operations
- Caitlin Rivers, a Johns Hopkins University professor who has studied the U.S. Covid-19 response and will be associate director
- Rebecca Kahn, a Harvard University researcher who will be the center’s senior scientist . . . .
Health officials recommended people receive a booster shot eight months after their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, ‘to maximize protection.’
“Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among people who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout,” according to a statement issued by Biden administration health officials. “For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.”
Pending an FDA evaluation of the effectiveness and safety of the boosters, the statement said, the Biden administration plans to begin rolling out such shots starting the week of Sept. 20 to people who have already received two doses of vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna. Health officials believe the best time to get such a booster is eight months after the second dose of those vaccines, the statement said.
The first to receive boosters will be those who got the earliest doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, a group that largely consists of healthcare workers and nursing home residents.
The statement added that health officials expect booster shots will also be needed for those who received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That vaccine did not roll out until March, and the statement said more data was needed to assess when those shots might be necessary. . . .
When Apple announced new technology that will check its US iCloud service for known child sexual abuse images, it was met with fierce criticism over worries that the feature could be abused for broad government surveillance. Faced with public resistance, Apple insisted that its technology can be held accountable.
“Security researchers are constantly able to introspect what’s happening in Apple’s [phone] software,” Apple vice president Craig Federighi said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “So if any changes were made that were to expand the scope of this in some way—in a way that we had committed to not doing—there’s verifiability, they can spot that that’s happening.”
Apple is suing a company that makes software to let security researchers do exactly that.
In 2019, Apple filed a lawsuit against Corellium, which lets security researchers cheaply and easily test mobile devices by emulating their software, rather than requiring them to access the physical devices. The software, which also emulates Android devices, is sometimes used to fix those problems—but it has also been used to sell or exploit the flaws.
In the lawsuit, Apple argued that Corellium violated its copyrights, enabled the sale of software exploits used for hacking, and shouldn’t exist. The startup countered by saying that its use of Apple’s code was a classic protected case of fair use. The two-year case was reportedly settled just last week—days after news of the company’s CSAM technology became public.
On Monday, Corellium announced a $15,000 grant for a program it is specifically promoting as a way to look at iPhones under a microscope and hold Apple accountable. On Tuesday, Apple filed an appeal to continue the lawsuit.
In an interview with MIT Technology Review, Corellium’s chief operating officer Matt Tait said that Federighi’s comments do not match reality.
“That’s a very cheap thing for Apple to say,” he says. “There is a lot of heavy lifting happening in that statement.”
“iOS is designed in a way that’s actually very difficult for people to do inspection of system services.”
He is not the only one disputing Apple’s position.
“Apple is exaggerating a researcher’s ability to examine the system as a whole,” says David Thiel, chief technology officer at Stanford’s Internet Observatory. Thiel, the author of a book called iOS Application Security, tweeted that the Californian company spends heavily to prevent the same thing it claims is possible.
“It requires a convoluted system of high-value exploits, dubiously sourced binaries, and outdated devices,” he wrote. “Apple has spent vast sums specifically to prevent this and make such research difficult.”
If you wanted to see exactly how Apple’s complex new tech works, you can’t simply look inside the operating system on the iPhone that you just bought at the store. The company’s “walled garden” approach to security has helped solve some fundamental problems, but it also means that the phone is designed to keep out visitors—whether they’re wanted or not.
(Android phones, meanwhile, are fundamentally different. While iPhones are famously locked down black boxes, all you need to do to unlock Android is plug in a USB device, install developer tools, and gain the top-level root access.)
Apple’s locked-down approach means researchers are left locked in a never-ending battle with the company to try and gain the level of insight they require.
There are a few ways that Apple and security researchers can potentially verify that no government is weaponizing the company’s new child safety features, however.
Apple could hand over the code for review—though this is not something it has said it will do. Researchers can also try to reverse engineer the feature in a “static” manner—that is, without executing the actual programs in a live environment.
Realistically, however, all of those options have at least one major problem in common: They don’t allow you to look at the code running live on an up-to-date iPhone to see how it actually works in the wild. Instead, these methods still rely on trust not merely that Apple is being open and honest, but also that it has written the code without any significant errors and oversights.
Another option would be to grant access to the system to members of Apple’s security research device program in order to verify the company’s statements. But that group, made up of researchers outside of Apple, is a highly exclusive, constrained program with so many rules on what researchers can say or do that it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem of trust.
That leaves really only two options for researchers who want to peer inside iPhones for this kind of thing. First, hackers can jailbreak old iPhones using a zero-day vulnerability. That’s difficult, expensive, and can be shut down with a security patch.
“Apple has spent a lot of money trying to prevent people from being able to jailbreak phones,” Thiel explains. “They’ve specifically hired people from the jailbreaking community to make jailbreaking more difficult.”
Or a researcher can use a virtual iPhone that can turn Apple’s security features off. In practice, that means Corellium.
There are also limits as to what any security researcher will be able to observe, but a researcher might be able to spot if the scanning goes outside of photos being shared to iCloud.
However, if non-child abuse material makes it into the databases, that would be invisible to researchers. To address that question, Apple says it will require two separate child protection organizations in distinct jurisdictions to both have the same CSAM image in their own databases. But it offered few details about how that would work, who would run the databases, which jurisdictions would be involved, and what the ultimate sources of the database would be.
Thiel points out that the child abuse material problem that Apple is trying to solve is real.
“It’s not a theoretical concern,” Thiel says. “It’s not something that people bring up just as an excuse to implement surveillance. It is an actual problem that is widespread and needs addressing. The solution is not like getting rid of these kinds of mechanisms. It’s making them as impermeable as possible to future abuse.”
But, says Corellium’s Tait, Apple is trying to be simultaneously locked down and transparent.
“Apple is trying to have their cake and eat it too,” says Tait, a former information security specialist for the British intelligence service GCHQ.
“With their left hand, they make jailbreaking difficult and sue companies like Corellium to prevent them from existing. Now with their right hand, they say, ‘Oh, we built this really complicated system and it turns out that some people don’t trust that Apple has done it honestly—but it’s okay because any security researcher can go ahead and prove it to themselves.’”
“I’m sitting here thinking, what do you mean that you can just do this? You’ve engineered your system so that they can’t. The only reason that people are able to do this kind of thing is despite you, not thanks to you.”
Apple did not respond to a request for comment. . . .
Governor Abbott Proves Once Again That The mRNA Covid Shot Does Not Prevent Infection, Incubation and Transmission Of Covid-19
“Governor Abbott is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in good health, and currently experiencing no symptoms. Everyone that the Governor has been in close contact with today has been notified. Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott tested negative.”
January 26, 2021
To better understand immune memory of SARS-CoV-2, researchers led by Drs. Daniela Weiskopf, Alessandro Sette, and Shane Crotty from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology analyzed immune cells and antibodies from almost 200 people who had been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and recovered.
Time since infection ranged from six days after symptom onset to eight months later. More than 40 participants had been recovered for more than six months before the study began. About 50 people provided blood samples at more than one time after infection.
The research was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and National Cancer Institute (NCI). Results were published on January 6, 2021, in Science.
The researchers found durable immune responses in the majority of people studied. Antibodies against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which the virus uses to get inside cells, were found in 98% of participants one month after symptom onset. As seen in previous studies, the number of antibodies ranged widely between individuals. But, promisingly, their levels remained fairly stable over time, declining only modestly at 6 to 8 months after infection. . . .
[ NIH Article ]
Tesla chief Elon Musk expressed support for COVID-19 vaccines despite previously raising questions about their safety and saying he wouldn’t get the jab himself.
The world’s second-richest man tried to clear up his vaccine views on Twitter after drawing ire last month for his vocal skepticism about two-dose regimens.
“To be clear, I do support vaccines in general & covid vaccines specifically,” Musk tweeted Wednesday. “The science is unequivocal.”
The 49-year-old electric-car tycoon sparked controversy last month by saying there was “some debate” about the safety of the second of two shots people must get to complete their Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations.
Musk claimed there had been “quite a few negative reactions” to the second doses as he encouraged elderly and immunocompromised people to take the vaccines.
While allergic reactions to Pfizer’s vaccine have been more frequent after the second dose than the first, they’re still rare overall with just 4.5 incidents reported for every million doses administered, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show. . . .