Elizabeth Warren

The Pronk Pops Show 1319, September 13, 2019, Story 1: The Winner of The 2020 Presidential Democrat Candidates Third Debate — And The Winner Is — President Trump in A Landslide — Videos

Posted on September 17, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Abortion, Amy Klobuchar, Applications, Bernie Sanders, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribes, Business, Climate, Climate Change, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corey Booker, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren, Extortion, Hardware, High Crimes, House of Representatives, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Servers, Software, United Kingdom, United States of America | Tags: , , , , |

 

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See the source imageDemocrats Gambling with Our MoneySee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

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Story 1: The Winner of The 2020 Presidential Democrat Candidate Debate — And The Winner Is — President Trump in A Landslide  — Videos

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US election 2020: highlights from the third Democratic presidential debate

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A Final Look At Who Won The Third Democratic Debate

We partnered with Ipsos to poll voters before and after the candidates took the stage.

If something is going to shake up the race before the Iowa caucuses, it’s likely to be a debate. So we partnered with Ipsos to once again track how Thursday’s debate, hosted by ABC News, affected likely primary voters’ feelings about the candidates. The FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos poll, conducted using Ipsos’s KnowledgePanel, interviewed the same group of voters twice to capture both the “before” and “after” picture of the debate.

POST-DEBATE REACTIONS

The over- (and under-) performers

How favorably all likely primary voters felt about each candidate before the debate vs. how well respondents who watched the debate thought each candidate did

somewhat unfavorableneutralsomewhat favorablesomewhat badneutralsomewhat goodvery goodTrendBidenBookerButtigiegCastroHarrisKlobucharO’RourkeSandersWarrenYangBidenBookerButtigiegCastroHarrisKlobucharO’RourkeSandersWarrenYangPre-debate favorabilityDebate performance

To better understand which candidates did well or poorly Thursday night, we plotted how favorably respondents rated the candidates before the debate vs. how debate-watchers rated their performance. Warren was one of the better-liked candidates going into the debate, but her performance was still rated higher than we’d expect based on her favorability alone. The same was true of Booker, Buttigieg and (especially) O’Rourke. Interestingly, Klobuchar didn’t get a great debate rating, but it’s not bad considering her pre-debate favorability, which was pretty neutral. Biden and Sanders are very popular with Democrats but failed to get correspondingly high scores on their debate performance, while Castro stands out for getting the worst debate grade — even considering his relatively lukewarm favorability rating going in.

The numbers behind the chart

CANDIDATE PRE-DEBATE FAVORABILITY DEBATE PERFORMANCE
Elizabeth Warren 70.2% 3.3
Pete Buttigieg 65.7 3.1
Beto O’Rourke 58.9 3.1
Cory Booker 59.8 3.0
Bernie Sanders 66.3 3.0
Joe Biden 67.6 3.0
Kamala Harris 61.8 2.9
Amy Klobuchar 52.8 2.8
Andrew Yang 56.3 2.7
Julián Castro 58.0 2.5

In terms of raw debate grades — respondents graded on a four-point scale (higher scores are better) — Warren, Buttigieg and O’Rourke did best. Booker, Sanders, Biden and Harris did fine.

Who gained (and lost) support

Share of respondents who are considering voting for each candidate

BEFORE DEBATEAFTER DEBATE
0%102030405060Joe Biden56.6%56.6%55.8%55.8%Elizabeth Warren44.4%44.4%46.8%46.8%Bernie Sanders41.8%41.8%40.2%40.2%Kamala Harris27.7%27.7%25.2%25.2%Pete Buttigieg21.7%21.7%23.2%23.2%Beto O’Rourke15.6%15.6%16.1%16.1%Cory Booker13.4%13.4%14.4%14.4%Andrew Yang9.1%9.1%9.9%9.9%Amy Klobuchar6.4%6.4%7.7%7.7%Julián Castro7.9%7.9%6.8%6.8%

Respondents could pick multiple candidates.

The field may be shrinking, but many voters are still considering multiple candidates. Overall, we didn’t see huge shifts in the wake of the third debate, but there was some movement. Warren got the biggest increase — 2.4 percentage points — in the share of likely Democratic primary voters who are considering supporting her. Buttigieg and Klobuchar each gained a little over a point in potential support — 1.5 points for him and 1.3 points for her. Harris, meanwhile, saw the biggest drop in potential supporters, declining 2.5 points. Biden’s support barely budged; neither did O’Rourke’s, even though the former representative got positive marks for his performance.

Who voters think can beat Trump

Respondents’ estimates of the likelihood, from 0 percent (impossible) to 100 percent (certain), that each candidate would beat Trump

Joe Biden
20400%100%Absolutely certainto lose to TrumpAbsolutely certainto beat TrumpOutline showspre-debate results
Bernie Sanders
20400%100%
Elizabeth Warren
20400%100%
Kamala Harris
20400%100%
Beto O’Rourke
20400%100%
Pete Buttigieg
20400%100%
Cory Booker
20400%100%
Julián Castro
20400%100%
Amy Klobuchar
20400%100%
Andrew Yang
20400%100%

We also asked respondents to estimate each Democrat’s chances of defeating President Trump — from 0 percent to 100 percent. Polls show Democratic primary voters are prioritizing “electability,” but who do they think is electable? As you can see in the chart above, Klobuchar, who had one of the lower average scores going into the debate, saw fewer respondents say she had zero chance of defeating Trump. Buttigieg likewise had fewer people rate him as having no chance. Biden and Sanders, meanwhile, saw a small drop in the share of respondents who said they were certain those candidates would beat Trump.

Respondents’ average rating of candidates’ chances vs. Trump

CANDIDATE PRE-DEBATE AVERAGE POST-DEBATE AVERAGE DIFF
Joe Biden 68.3 67.4 -0.9
Bernie Sanders 55.7 55.0 -0.7
Elizabeth Warren 51.4 53.0 +1.6
Kamala Harris 40.2 40.4 +0.2
Beto O’Rourke 33.6 34.9 +1.3
Pete Buttigieg 33.4 34.3 +0.8
Cory Booker 32.0 33.2 +1.2
Julián Castro 25.4 26.1 +0.8
Amy Klobuchar 23.3 25.3 +2.1
Andrew Yang 23.1 24.5 +1.4

There wasn’t much movement in respondents’ average estimates of how likely each candidate would be to defeat Trump in the general election. Most candidates saw their average likelihood increase, but only marginally. Klobuchar saw the largest bump, 2.1 percentage points, followed by Warren and Yang.

The popularity contest

Candidates’ favorable and unfavorable ratings among likely primary voters

Unfavorable
Favorable
Before debate
After debate
Joe Biden
69.1%
23.4%
70.7%
23.6%
Bernie Sanders
68.0%
24.0%
69.0%
24.7%
Elizabeth Warren
63.8%
15.3%
68.5%
15.6%
Kamala Harris
51.8%
20.4%
55.1%
22.6%
Pete Buttigieg
43.9%
11.7%
49.4%
13.6%
Beto O’Rourke
43.2%
19.3%
49.8%
18.6%
Cory Booker
42.7%
16.0%
48.2%
18.8%
Julián Castro
32.2%
12.4%
33.0%
23.4%
Andrew Yang
28.4%
13.6%
34.9%
20.4%
Amy Klobuchar
25.1%
17.0%
32.4%
20.6%

We asked likely Democratic primary voters how favorably they felt about each candidate both before and after the debate. As you can see, among the polling front-runners, Biden and Sanders’s favorability ratings remained relatively unchanged, while Warren’s net favorability (favorable rating minus unfavorable rating) jumped by a little over 4 points. In fact, only O’Rourke fared better than Warren; his net favorability rating increased a little over 7 points. But not all candidates made a positive impression. Castro’s net favorability, for instance, dropped by 10 points this time, after getting a big boost in the first debate.

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Kyle Bass

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Kyle Bass
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J. Kyle Bass
Born September 7, 1969 (age 49)

Residence Dallas, TexasUnited States
Nationality American
Alma mater Texas Christian University (B.B.A.)
Occupation Founder & Chief Investment Officer,
Hayman Capital Management

J. Kyle Bass (born September 7, 1969) is an American hedge fund manager. He is the founder and principal of Hayman Capital Management, L.P., a Dallas-based hedge fund focused on global events.[1]

In 2008, Bass successfully predicted and effectively bet against the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis by purchasing credit default swaps on subprime securities which, in turn, increased in value when the real estate bubble burst.[2]

Despite his early success in predicting subprime mortgages, he has received criticism for subsequent poor performance of investments.[3] Bass has made prominent bets based on predictions of debt crisis in Japan and European sovereign debt, and shorted the Chinese yuan premised on a predicted collapse in the Chinese banking system. His fund has also challenged patents held by drug companies and shorted their stocks. His Japanese and European strategies have not been major successes and the Chinese yuan short led to severe losses for his fund in 2017.[4][5] The drug patent challenge campaign fizzled after several legal setbacks.[6]

Contents

Early life

Bass was born on September 7, 1969, in Miami, Florida, where his father managed the Fontainebleau Hotel. His father later moved the family to Dallas, Texas where he managed the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau.[7] Bass attended Texas Christian University on an academic and Division I diving scholarship. In 1992, Bass graduated with honors, earning a B.B.A. in finance with a concentration in real estate.[8]

Career

Before founding Hayman Capital Management in 2005, Bass briefly worked at Prudential Securities from 1992-1994 before joining Bear Stearns in 1994.[9] At Bear Stearns, he rose through the ranks rapidly, becoming a senior managing director at the age of 28 – among the youngest in the firm’s history to carry such a title.[2][8]

In 2001, he joined Legg Mason, signing a five-year deal to form the firm’s first institutional equity office in Texas. Bass told his hiring managers, “In five years and one day, I [will] be launching my own firm.”[9] While at Legg Mason, Bass advised hedge funds and other institutional clients on special situation investment strategies.[2]

In December 2005, when Legg Mason sold the portion of the business where he worked, Bass left Legg Mason and started Hayman Capital Management to serve as the investment manager to a “global special situations” hedge fund that he planned to launch. Bass launched Hayman Capital Management, L.P. with $33 million in assets under management – $5 million he had saved on his own and the balance he had raised from outside investors.[9] Shortly after launching the hedge fund in February 2006, Bass became convinced that there was a residential real-estate bubble in the United States one of the few investors to successfully predict and benefit from the subprime mortgage crisis, bringing him notoriety in the financial services industry.

In 2007, Bass testified as an expert witness before the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises. During his testimony, he addressed: i) the role of credit rating agencies in the structured finance market and ii) policy measures that could be taken to minimize inherent conflicts of interest between rating agencies and issuers.[10]

In 2010, Bass testified before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. During his testimony, he addressed his analysis of the factors that caused the crisis.

After enjoying success in predicting the subprime mortgage crisis and moderate success with debt in Greece and Japan, Bass would make a string of poor bets, leading to a dramatic downsizing of his fund. In April 2014, Bass was among a very few defenders of GM for its failure to address a defect that had been tied to 13 deaths. Hayman at the time owned eight million shares of G.M., making it Hayman’s single biggest holding,[11] Coming to the defense of GM, Bass said on CNBC that of the 13 passengers who had died owing to the defect, 12 “either weren’t wearing their seatbelt or were under the influence of alcohol.” [12] Bass admitted in a late 2014 interview that it had been “a tough year” for Hayman due to owning a lot of GM stock, which was the fund’s biggest position in 2014.[13]

After the losing year in 2014, investor’s pulled out nearly a quarter of Hayman’s capital and the firm was forced to liquidate most of its stock holdings.[14] Bass called 2015 one of his fund’s worst years.[15] By early 2019, Hayman had $423.6 million in discretionary assets under management, down from $2.3 billion at the end of 2014.[16]

Fund performance

The long term performance of Hayman Capital’s flagship fund is described by the New York Post as “small caliber”.[14] In the period from 2008 to mid-2015, the flagship fund experienced a very modest annualized performance of 1.56%.[14] The flagship fund had a tremendously successful year in 2007, having gained 212%, based on the subprime mortgage meltdown bet that brought fame to Bass.[14] The fund also gained 16% in 2012 based on bets on Greek debt. The fund lost 1.4% in 2014 and suffered its worst year in 2017 with a 19% loss (in contrast to a 19% surge of the S&P 500) due to Hayman’s misplaced short on a collapse in the Chinese yuan.[14][5]

Investment positions

Subprime mortgages

Bass first began formulating his subprime strategy after he met with an investment banker from New York while attending a wedding in Spain where they discussed how and why the Subprime Mezzanine CDO business existed.[17][18] After returning to the US, Bass hired several private investigators to determine the ease of obtaining a mortgage. Bass spent a significant amount of time studying the residential mortgage market and performed research to identify which residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) composed of low-quality mortgages were most likely to default. This investment thesis was expressed by purchasing credit default swaps against the securitizations he deemed to be most unstable, which essentially was a manner of shorting the bonds using synthetic instruments. After purchasing the positions for his flagship fund in 2006, Bass raised additional capital for a special fund dedicated exclusively to capitalizing on the opportunity that existed in the market place. Bass managed or advised over $4 billion of positions in subprime RMBS.

In December 2007, after a wave of foreclosures had swept across the US, Bass was featured on Bloomberg TV as making a fortune betting against these subprime securities.

Europe and Japanese debt “doomsday”

After the subprime debt crisis occurred, Bass decided that it was the symptom of a more significant problem with debt and made predictions about debt “doomsday” in Europe and Japan. In 2009 he warned about the possibility of defaults by major countries over the next 3 years.[19] As of 2010, 10-15% of his portfolio was involved in bets against European and Japanese sovereign debts.[20] He went as far predicted that 2012 would be a “doomsday year” for Europe and spoke of a looming breakup of the Eurozone, which, he declared, would lead to defaults in Japan and the United States. He stated in June 2012, “Europe goes first, then Japan and finally the United States.”[21]

Bass has since 2012 also predicted a “full blown crisis” in Japan describing its approach to financing debt as a Ponzi scheme similar to Bernie Madoff‘s investment scam. Most experts have disagreed with his analysis.[22][23] Cullen Roche criticized Bass’s Japan analysis in August 2010, noting that Bass comparing Japan to the EU was an error, since their monetary systems are wildly different. Roche stated “people still fail to understand that a nation with monetary sovereignty that is the supplier of currency in a floating exchange rate system never has a problem funding itself.”[24] In May 2012, Business Insider agreed, faulting Bass’s analysis, since debt-to-GDP ratios do not reflect the interest rate or credit risk of a nation. The Business Insider noted that in a nation that borrows its own currency, public spending finances borrowing.[25]

He has been vocal in public appearances about future calamities stemming from financial meltdown. September 14, 2011, Bass maintained on CNBC that Greece’s only way out of its debt mess was a restructuring. Bass noted that despite the strife it would bring to Greece it was the only measure the nation could take. He added that within a year all of Europe would be in default as well.[26] In a speech reported on January 1, 2014, he assured the audience of his confidence that the next few years would be rife with turmoil, including the eruption of major wars. In his speech, he claimed that with the growing debt and inability to pay it off, eventually social unrest will lead to violent outbreaks. Bass finished his speech stating “War is coming – just as it has throughout history.” [27]

Chinese banking collapse

Starting in July 2015, Bass made a multiyear bet against the Chinese yuan based on a predicted banking collapse in China.[28] Bass would close out his position against the Chinese currency in early 2019 when the predicted devaluation of the currency didn’t occur.[28]

Bass argued in 2015 that the Chinese banking system was undercapitalized and its foreign reserves would be insufficient in a crisis. Bass predicted a hard landing for the Chinese economy following a bank crisis and a severe devaluation of the Chinese currency, variously given as “somewhere between 15%-20%” and “30 to 40 percent”.[29][30]

Hayman suffered its worst year in 2017 with a loss of 19% due to the strengthening of the Chinese yuan.[5]

Drug patent challenge campaign

Bass has attempted to profit from filing and publicizing patent challenges against pharmaceutical companies while also betting against their shares.[31][32] After 2 years of setbacks in his effort, Bass by 2017 ended his patent challenges.[6]

In 2015, Bass organized the Coalition For Affordable Drugs (CFAD) to use the inter partes review (IPR) process to challenge patent validity.[33][34] When he initiated this practice in January 2015, he claimed that his motive was to encourage competition in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and thus bring down prices.[35]

Bass filed a total of 35 patent challenges, in collaboration with Erich Spangenberg who has been called “the world’s most notorious patent troll”,[3] including 33 filed by CFAD and two filed by Bass personally on a not-for-profit basis.[36]

In June 2015, Celgene received permission from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to file a motion seeking sanctions against the CFAD for allegedly abusing the patent-review process. The Wall Street Journal noted that this development was “being closely watched because it raises the possibility that patent officials may put an end” to Bass’s patent-challenge scheme. Celgene also told the patent office, through counsel, that CFAD had threatened to challenge its patents unless Celgene met CFAD’s demands.[37]

In October 2016, Bass prevailed in the case, with USPTO invalidating the two Celgene Corp patents related to its cancer drugs Revlimid, Pomalyst, and Thalomid at issue.[38] However, one year later Celgene was able to convince the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to re-hear the case.[39]

Political relationships

Trump administration

Bass is described by a ProPublica story as a friend of Tommy Hicks Jr, a private investor, who was a hunting buddy to Donald Trump Jr. and had further ties to the Trump administration.[40] According to the investigative story on improper links between Hicks and the Trump administration, Hicks had obtained a hearing for Bass with high level officials at an interagency meeting at the Treasury Department to air views on China.[40] This meeting was at the time Bass held a large short position counting on the fall of the Chinese currency.[40]

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

The BBC has described Bass as having a “good relationship” with Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.[41] In February 2014, Bass said that Argentinian bonds represented a profitable opportunity and called Argentina most “interesting” nation for investments. He was virtually alone in this assessment, with one observer noting the poor state of the Argentine economy. The IB Times noted that the country had “cheated creditors seven times since it gained independence from Spain in 1816,” most recently defaulting on its debt in 1989.[42] When the Argentine government defaulted on its debt in July 2014, Bass supported the move and criticized the bondholders, notably Elliott Management and Aurelius Capital, that, with the support of U.S. federal judge Thomas Griesa, had held out for full payment. Echoing Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, he called these creditors “vultures,” said that they were “holding up 42 million people from progress,” and were holding Argentina for “ransom”.[43] On August 27, 2014, Bass accused Elliott’s Paul Singer of “holding poor countries as hostages,” prompting The New York Post to comment in an editorial the next day that Bass had “sounded more like Argentina’s leftist economy minister Axel Kicillof than a US hedge-fund manager.” [44]

Philanthropy

Bass serves on the board or in an advisory role for a number of charities and organizations.

He has advised the University of Texas System Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), a public university endowment since 2010.

He also current serves or has served on the board of a number of organizations including the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Advisory Group for the Richard A. Mayo Center for Asset Management, Texas Department of Public Safety Foundation, Business Executives for National Security, Comeback America Initiative, Troops First Foundation and Capital for Kids.[45][46][47][48][49][50]

References …

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyle_Bass


China has been seeking to turn American spies for decades. But the rules of the game have changed. About 10 years ago, Charity Wright was a young U.S. military linguist training at the elite Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at a base called the Presidio in Monterey, California. Like many of her peers, Wright relied on taxis to visit the city. There were usually a few waiting outside the base’s gate. She’d been assigned to the institute’s Mandarin program, so she felt lucky to frequently find herself in the cab of an old man who told her he’d emigrated from China years ago. He was inquisitive in a way she found charming at first, letting her practice her new language skills as he asked about her background and family. After several months, though, she grew suspicious. The old man seemed to have an unusually good memory, and his questions were becoming more specific: Where is it that your father works? What will you be doing for the military once you graduate?Wright had been briefed on the possibility of foreign intelligence operatives collecting information on the institute’s trainees, building profiles for potential recruitment, given that many of them would move on to careers in intelligence. She reported the man to an officer at the base. Not long after, she heard that he’d been arrested and that there had been a crackdown in Monterey on a suspected Chinese spy ring.

Wright went on to spend five years as a cryptologic language analyst with the National Security Agency, assessing communications intercepts from China. Now she works in private-sector cybersecurity. As a reservist, she still holds a U.S. government clearance that allows her access to classified secrets. And she’s still the target of what she suspects are Chinese espionage efforts. Only these days, the agents don’t approach her in person. They get in touch the same way they reached Kevin Mallory: online. She gets messages through LinkedIn and other social-media sites proposing various opportunities in China: a contract with a consulting firm, a trip to speak at a conference for a generous stipend. The offers seem tempting, but this type of outreach comes straight from the Chinese-spy playbook. “I’ve heard that they can be very convincing, and by the time you fly over, they’ve got you in their lair,” Wright told me.

The tactics she saw from the old man in Monterey were “cut and dry HUMINT,” or human intelligence, she said. They were old school. But those tactics have been amplified by the tools of the social-media age, which allow intelligence officers to reach out to their targets en masse from China, where there’s no risk of getting caught. Meanwhile, intelligence experts tell me, Chinese intelligence officers have only been getting better at the traditional skills involved in persuading a target to turn on his or her country.

Donald Trump has made getting tough on China a central aspect of his foreign policy. He has focused on a trade war and tariffs aimed at rectifying what he portrays as an unfair economic playing field—earlier this month, the U.S. designated China as a currency manipulator—while holding onto the idea that China’s powerful leader, Xi Jinping, can be an ally and a friend. U.S. political and business leaders for decades pushed the idea that embracing trade with China would help to normalize its behavior, but Beijing’s aggressive espionage efforts have fueled an emerging bipartisan consensus in Washington that the hope was misplaced. Since 2017, the DOJ has brought at least a dozen cases against alleged agents and spies for conducting cyber- and economic espionage on behalf of China. “The hope was, as they develop, as they become more wealthy, as they start being a part of the club of developed nations, they’re going to change their behavior—once they get closer to the top, they’re going to operate by our rules,” John Demers told me. “What we’ve seen instead is [China] becoming better resourced and more methodical about the theft of information.”

For the past 20 years, America’s intelligence community’s top priority has been counterterrorism. A generation of operations officers and analysts has been geared more toward finding and killing America’s enemies and preventing extremist attacks than toward the more patient and strategic work that comes with peer competition and counterintelligence. If America is indeed entering an era of “great power” conflict with China, then the crux of the struggle will likely take place not on a battlefield, but in the race for information, at least for now. And here China is using an age-old human frailty to gain advantage in the competition with its more powerful adversary: greed. U.S. officials have been warning companies and research institutions not just of the strings that might be attached to Chinese money, but of the danger of corrupted employees turned spies. They are also worried about current and former U.S. officials who have been entrusted with protecting the nation’s secrets.


When I told William Evanina, America’s top counterintelligence official, Wright’s story about the cab driver in Monterey, he replied: “Of course.”

Spy rings operating out of taxis are relatively unoriginal, he told me, and have long been an issue around U.S. military and intelligence installations. An FBI and CIA veteran who is now the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, Evanina has a suspicious mind—and perhaps one of the country’s worst Uber ratings. He sees the risk of intelligence collection and hidden cameras in any hired car, he told me, and if a driver ever tries to make small talk, he immediately shuts it down.

Knowing someone’s background can help an intelligence agency build a profile for potential recruitment. The person might have medical bills piling up, a parent in debt, a sibling in jail, or an infidelity that exposes him or her to blackmail. What really worries Evanina is that so much of this information can now be obtained online, legally and illegally. People can ignore Uber drivers all they want, but a good hacker or even someone savvy at mining social media might be able to track down targets’ financial records, their political views, profiles of their family members, and their upcoming travel plans. “It makes it so damn easy,” he said.

Security breaches happen with alarming regularity. Capital One announced in July that a data breach had exposed about 100 million people in America. During one of my conversations with Wright, she mused that whatever information the old man in the taxi might have wanted to glean from her, all that and much more may have been revealed in the 2015 breach of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. In that sophisticated attack, widely believed to have been carried out by state-sponsored Chinese hackers, an enormous batch of data was stolen, including detailed information the government collects as part of the process of approving security clearances. The stolen information contained “probing questions about an applicant’s personal finances, past substance abuse, and psychiatric care,” according to Wired, as well as “everything from lie detector results to notes about whether an applicant engages in risky sexual behavior.”

Russia, the U.S. adversary that is often included with China in discussions of “near peer” conflict, has a modus operandi when it comes to recruiting spies that is similar to America’s, Evanina said. While some of their intelligence efforts, such as election interference, are loud and aggressive and seemingly unconcerned with being discovered, Russians are careful and targeted when trying to turn a well-placed asset. Russia tends to have veteran intelligence operatives make contact in person and proceed with care and patience. “Their worst-case scenario is getting caught,” Evanina told me. “They take pride in their HUMINT operations. They’re very targeted. They take extra time to increase the percentage of success. Whereas the Chinese don’t care.” (This doesn’t mean that the Chinese can’t also be targeted and discreet when needed, he added.)

“What you have is an intelligence officer sitting in Beijing,” he said. “And he can send out 30,000 emails a day. And if he gets 300 replies, that’s a high-yield, low-risk intelligence operation.” Concerning those who have left government for the private sector—and who sometimes keep their clearance to continue doing sensitive government work—it can be hard to know where to draw the line. Evanina said China will sometimes wait years to target former officials: “Your Spidey sense goes down.” But “your memory is not erased”—that is, they’ve still got the information the Chinese want.

(Alicia Tatone)

Often, Chinese spies don’t even have to look too hard. Many of those who have left U.S. intelligence jobs reveal on their LinkedIn profiles which agencies they worked for and the countries and topics on which they focused. If they still have a government clearance, they might advertise that too. Buried in the questionnaire Evanina filled out for his Senate confirmation is a question asking whether he had any plans for a career after government. “I currently have no plans subsequent to completing government service,” he wrote. When I asked him about this, he admitted that this is becoming less common among intelligence officials his age. (He’s 52.) “All of my friends are leaving like crazy now because they have kids in college,” he said. “The money is [better]. It’s hard to say no.”

If a former intelligence officer lands a job at a prominent government contractor, such as Booz Allen Hamilton or DynCorp International, he or she can expect to be well compensated. But others find themselves in less lucrative posts, or try to strike out on their own. Evanina told me that Chinese intelligence operatives pose online as Chinese professors, think-tank experts, or executives. They usually propose a trip to China as a business opportunity. “Especially the ones who have retired from the CIA, DIA, and are now contractors—they have to make the bucks,” Evanina said. “And a lot of times that’s in China. And they get compromised.”

Once a target is in China, Chinese operatives might try to get the person to start passing over sensitive information in degrees. The first request could be for information that doesn’t seem like a big deal. But by then the trap is set. “When they get that [first] envelope, it’s being photographed. And then they can blackmail you. And then you’re being sucked in,” Evanina said. “One document becomes 10 documents becomes 15 documents. And then you have to rationalize that in your mind: I am not a spy, because they’re forcing me to do this.”

In the cases of Mallory, Hansen, and Lee, Evanina said, the lure wasn’t ideology. It was money. Money was also the lure in two similar cases, in which suspects were convicted of lesser charges than espionage. Both apparently began their relationship with Chinese intelligence officers while still employed in sensitive U.S. government jobs.

In 2016, Kun Shan Chun, a veteran FBI employee who had a top-secret security clearance, pleaded guilty to acting as an agent of China. Prosecutors said that while working for the agency in New York he sent his Chinese handler, “at minimum, information regarding the FBI’s personnel, structure, technological capabilities, general information regarding the FBI’s surveillance strategies, and certain categories of surveillance targets.” And in April, Candace Claiborne, a former State Department employee, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States. According to the criminal complaint, Claiborne, who had served in a number of posts overseas including China, and held a top-secret security clearance, did not report her contacts with suspected Chinese agents, who provided her and a co-conspirator with “tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits,” including New Year’s gifts, international travel and vacations, fashion-school tuition, rent, and cash payments. In exchange, Claiborne provided copies of State Department documents and analysis, prosecutors said.

Evanina’s office in Bethesda, Maryland, features a so-called Wall of Shame, on which hang the photographs of dozens of convicted American traitors—a testament to the struggles that have always plagued the U.S. intelligence community. The Cold War, for example, was marked by disastrous leaks from people such as the CIA officer Aldrich Ames and the FBI agent Robert Hanssen. Larry Chin, a CIA translator, was arrested in 1985 on charges of selling classified information to China over the course of three decades. That came during the so-called Year of the Spy, as the FBI made a series of high-profile arrests of U.S. government officials spying for the Soviet Union, Israel, and even Ghana. The Wall of Shame is currently being renovated, and when it’s unveiled in the fall, it will feature several new faces.Whenever a current or former U.S. intelligence officer has been turned, it takes years to assess the full repercussions. “We have to mitigate that damage for sometimes a decade,” Evanina said.


Two decades ago, Chinese intelligence officers were largely seen as relatively amateurish, even sloppy, a former U.S. intelligence official who spent years focusing on China told me. Usually, their English was poor. They were clumsy. They used predictable covers. Chinese military intelligence officers masquerading as civilians often failed to hide a military bearing and could come across as almost laughably uptight. Typically their main targets tended to be of Chinese descent. In recent years, however, Chinese intelligence officers have become more sophisticated—they can come across as suave, personable, even genteel. Their manners can be fluid. Their English is usually good. “Now this is the norm,” the former official said, speaking with me on condition of anonymity due to security concerns. “They really have learned quite a bit and grown up.”

Rodney Faraon, a former senior analyst at the CIA, told me that the Mallory and Hansen cases show just how far China’s espionage services have come. “They’ve broadened their tactics to go beyond relatively easy targets, from recruiting among the ethnically Chinese community to a much more diverse set of human assets,” he said. “In a sense, they’ve become more traditional.”

In his recently published bookTo Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence, James Olson, a veteran of the CIA’s clandestine service and its former chief of counterintelligence, breaks down the basics of China’s espionage services and how they operate. The Ministry of State Security (MSS), its main service, focuses on overseas intelligence. The Ministry of Public Security focuses on domestic intelligence, but also has agents abroad. The People’s Liberation Army, which focuses on military intelligence, “has defined its role broadly and has competed with the MSS in a widerange of economic, political, and technological intelligence collection operations overseas, in addition to its more traditional military targeting.” Olson adds that “the PLA has been responsible for the bulk” of China’s cyberespionage, though the MSS may also be expanding in this realm. Both the MSS and PLA, meanwhile, “make regular use of diplomatic, commercial, journalistic, and student covers for their operations in the United States. They aggressively use Chinese travelers to the US, especially business representatives, academics, scientists, students, and tourists, to supplement their intelligence collection. US intelligence experts have been amazed at how voracious the Chinese have been in their collection activity.”

If veteran American spies are vulnerable to Chinese espionage, U.S. companies may be faring even worse. In some cases, targeting the private sector and targeting U.S. national security can mix. A former U.S. security official, who now works for a prominent American aviation company that is involved in highly sensitive U.S. government projects, told me that the company had a suspected intelligence collector linked to China in its midst. “I would say that he’s had tradecraft training,” this person said, speaking anonymously due to an ongoing law-enforcement investigation.The former security official was hired by the company to monitor such threats, and initially found the lack of effective prevention measures and training at the company jarring. “When I walked in and got the briefing here, I thought it was a joke … Now we do take some measures to protect against [insider threats], but in a sense it’s fox in a henhouse,” this person said. “We as an industry are woefully inadequate at protecting ourselves from a foreign-intelligence threat.”

In a sense, going after American spies and government officials is fair game in the intelligence world. The U.S. does the same against the Chinese. “Intelligence operations are universal, with every country—other than a few isolated island-states who are concerned mainly with the danger of approaching cyclones—engaging in them, to one degree or another,” Loch K. Johnson, a professor emeritus at the University of Georgia, the author of Spy Watching: Intelligence Accountability in the United States, and one of America’s foremost intelligence scholars, told me in an email. He added that while almost every nation fields capabilities to both collect information about its adversaries and defend itself against espionage, a much smaller number have meaningful networks for covert action, which he described as “secret propaganda; political and economic manipulation; even paramilitary activities.” Both America and China count themselves among this group.

“The United States used propaganda, political, and economic ops during the Cold War and (somewhat less aggressively) since. China returns [the] favor,” Johnson said. “Both are major powers and have a full complement of intelligence capabilities, aimed at each other and other significant targets around the world. This means that the United States (like China in reverse) is constantly trying to learn what China is doing when it comes to military, economic, political, and cultural activities, since they may impinge upon U.S. interests in Asia and elsewhere.” To that end, the U.S. uses signals intelligence, geospatial intelligence, and HUMINT, Johnson said, “all aided by a diligent searching through the available (and voluminous) [open-source intelligence] materials for background.”

But he noted a key difference between the two countries: China’s aggressive approach to economic espionage. These Chinese efforts are partly what have prompted U.S. officials and politicians to turn to a newly popular refrain that China’s not playing by the rules. U.S. officials insist that American intelligence agencies do not target foreign companies with the aim of helping domestic ones. (The line between American spying on foreign companies to advance the country’s economic and strategic interests and whether that spying helps U.S. companies can be blurry.) “What we do not do, as we have said many times, is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of—or give intelligence we collect to—U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line,” James Clapper, then the director of national intelligence, said in 2013, amid revelations that the NSA had spied on foreign companies.Dennis Wilder, who retired as the CIA’s deputy assistant director for East Asia and the Pacific in 2016, told me that the Chinese approach to espionage is defined by the fact that its leaders have long seen America as an existential threat. “This is a constant theme in Chinese intelligence—that we’re not just out to steal secrets, we’re not just out to protect ourselves, that the real American goal is the end of Chinese Communism, just as that was the goal with the Soviet Union,” he said.
Wilder, who still travels to the country as the director of an initiative for U.S.-China dialogue at Georgetown University, told me that Chinese officials regularly bring up past American covert action such as the CIA’s ill-fated support for the independence movement in Tibet beginning in the 1950s, and its infiltration of agents into China via Taiwan. And they still see an American hand in events such as the protests in Hong Kong today. “So we’re all sitting here scratching our heads and saying, ‘Do they really believe we’re behind Hong Kong? And the answer is, yes they do. They really believe that the fundamental American goal is the destruction and demise of Chinese Communism,” he said. “Now, if you believe that the other guy is bent on your destruction, then it’s kind of anything goes. So for the Chinese, stealing, espionage, cyberespionage against American corporations for the good of the Chinese state, are just part and parcel of the need for survival against this very formidable enemy.”China denies that it is spying against the U.S.  on the scale alleged by American officials. When presented with the details of this story, a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., Fang Hong, said via email that she had no knowledge of the cases involving Mallory, Hansen, Lee, and others. “China has always fully respected the sovereignty of all countries and does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries,” she said. Fang also disparaged U.S. attempts to root out Chinese spies, citing a quote commonly attributed to a great American writer. U.S. views on Chinese espionage, she remarked, “remind me of what Mark Twain said: ‘To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.’”
Fang continued, “U.S. officials’ accusations against Chinese students and researchers are groundless. Guided by the zero-sum-game mentality and ill intentions to contain China, people and institutions in the U.S. have been fabricating such absurd pretexts as ‘espionage’ as an excuse to harass them and make groundless allegations.”

She added that innocent people had been framed in some cases and that “such false accusations severely undermine China-U.S. people-to-people exchanges, and scientific and technological cooperation.”

The litany of cases the DOJ has brought over the past year or so underscores the comprehensive quality of China’s espionage efforts: a former General Electric engineer charged with theft of trade secrets related to gas and steam turbines (he has pleaded not guilty); an American and a Chinese citizen charged with attempting to steal trade secrets related to plastics (the American has pleaded not guilty and the Chinese defendant, as of March 2019, had yet to appear in a U.S. court); a state-owned Chinese chip-making company and a Taiwanese company that makes semiconductors charged with stealing from an American competitor(the chipmaker has pleaded not guilty); two Chinese hackers charged with targeting intellectual property (China denied the “slanderous” economic espionage charges). In Senate testimony in July, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the agency has “probably about 1,000 plus investigations all across the country involving attempted theft of U.S. intellectual property … almost all leading back to China.”

Demers, the national-security official at the Justice Department, told me that China uses the same tactics and even some of the same intelligence officers in its espionage efforts against America’s private sector. “What it shows is how seriously the Chinese government takes their intellectual-property-theft efforts, because they’re really using the crown jewels of their intelligence community and their most sophisticated and well-honed tradecraft,” he said.Some of the trade secrets China is accused of stealing seem simply aimed to help a specific company or industry. Often, however, the distinction between a Chinese company and the Chinese state is not clear-cut. Chinese law mandates that all corporations cooperate with the government on national security. This was one concern U.S. officials cited after announcing indictments against the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei earlier this year; the Trump administration has banned U.S. companies from doing business with it. (Huawei has pleaded not guilty to attempted U.S. trade-theft allegations.)Demers told me that China uses economic espionage as a form of “R&D,” or research and development. “They also have very talented, smart people who are using their resources in legitimate ways, which is, I think, some of the frustration that folks have right now—that you could do this differently. You could fight fair, right? You’re not the 80-pound weakling who has to throw dirt in somebody’s eye to get ahead.”
The open business climate between America and China—the sort of climate that did not exist between America and the Soviet Union during the Cold War—makes addressing Chinese espionage trickier: China is both a rival and a top trade partner. The economic and research relationship between the two countries benefits them both. At the same time, Chinese immigrants and visitors to America risk being unfairly targeted if U.S. officials fail to find the right balance, which would cast a chill on legitimate exchange between the two countries while raising the specter of American overreactions during past struggles, from the Cold War to the War on Terror. As U.S. officials warn about the Chinese espionage threat and the U.S. intelligence community reorients to face it, they must be careful not to undermine the American values—openness, civil liberty, enterprise—that remain perhaps the country’s greatest advantage over China.Rodney Faraon, who worked on the President’s Daily Briefing team at the CIA during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations and is now a partner at Crumpton Group, a business intelligence firm, told me that it will take a major push not just from America’s intelligence agencies but from the U.S. government overall to find the right strategy. And despite the Trump administration’s combative stance on trade negotiations and other issues, this has yet to happen. “The approach must be whole of government and must involve the private sector,” Faraon said. “The Chinese use and value intelligence better than we do, seeing its applicability in nearly every aspect of private and public life—military, social, commercial. We have been slow to recognize this for ourselves.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/08/inside-us-china-espionage-war/595747/

Story 3: Big Brother Is Watching Every Move You Make With Social Credit System — Chinese Communist Control  Digital Dictatorship Surveillance State — From Authoritarian to Totalitarian State — Socialist Serfs —   Videos

The Police – Every Breath You Take (Official Music Video)

The Police – Every breath you take lyrics

Social surveillance in China – Credit or control? | DW Documentary

China’s Secret File on Everyone

Big Brother is watching you: How China is ranking its citizens

Exposing China’s Digital Dystopian Dictatorship | Foreign Correspondent

A Look Inside China’s Social Credit System | NBC News Now

Hong Kong police fire live round warning shot and use water cannon on protesters

China ranks ‘good’ and ‘bad’ citizens with ‘social credit’ system

China Expert Gordon Chang On Its Social Credit Rating System & Surveillance State

China’s TERRIFYING Social Credit System

Inside China’s High-Tech Dystopia

China Social Credit System: Beijing plans to go full on Big Brother in 2020 – TomoNews

China’s “Social Credit System” Has Caused More Than Just Public Shaming (HBO)

Chinese “Social Credit System” rewards Obedient Citizens – Infowars News 12/24

China’s Secret Plan to Control the Internet | China Uncensored

20 Years Ago, This Changed China Forever: Here Are 5 Ways | China Uncensored

Big Brother: China Edition!

1984 Introduction

What is 1984?

 

Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system

In China, scoring citizens’ behavior is official government policy. U.S. companies are increasingly doing something similar, outside the law.

Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system
[Images: Rawf8/iStock; zhudifeng/iStock]

Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.

In place since 2014, the social credit system is a work in progress that could evolve by next year into a single, nationwide point system for all Chinese citizens, akin to a financial credit score. It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government.

It can also award points for charitable donations or even taking one’s own parents to the doctor.

Punishments can be harsh, including bans on leaving the country, using public transportation, checking into hotels, hiring for high-visibility jobs, or acceptance of children to private schools. It can also result in slower internet connections and social stigmatization in the form of registration on a public blacklist.

China’s social credit system has been characterized in one pithy tweet as “authoritarianism, gamified.”

Authoritarianism, gamified. https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2015/10/in-china-your-credit-score-is-now-affected-by-your-political-opinions-and-your-friends-political-opinions/  ht @VitalikButerin @FrankPasquale

In China, Your Credit Score Is Now Affected By Your Political Opinions – And Your Friends’ Politi…

China just introduced a universal credit score, where everybody is measured as a number between 350 and 950. But this credit score isn’t just affected by how well you manage credit – it also reflects…

privateinternetaccess.com

At present, some parts of the social credit system are in force nationwide and others are local and limited (there are 40 or so pilot projects operated by local governments and at least six run by tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent).

Beijing maintains two nationwide lists, called the blacklist and the red list—the former consisting of people who have transgressed, and the latter people who have stayed out of trouble (a “red list” is the Communist version of a white list.) These lists are publicly searchable on a government website called China Credit.

The Chinese government also shares lists with technology platforms. So, for example, if someone criticizes the government on Weibo, their kids might be ineligible for acceptance to an elite school.

Public shaming is also part of China’s social credit system. Pictures of blacklisted people in one city were shown between videos on TikTok in a trial, and the addresses of blacklisted citizens were shown on a map on WeChat.

Some Western press reports imply that the Chinese populace is suffocating in a nationwide Skinner box of oppressive behavioral modification. But some Chinese are unaware that it even exists. And many others actually like the idea. One survey found that 80% of Chinese citizens surveyed either somewhat or strongly approve of social credit system.

IT CAN HAPPEN HERE

Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.

Here are some of the elements of America’s growing social credit system.

INSURANCE COMPANIES

The New York State Department of Financial Services announced earlier this year that life insurance companies can base premiums on what they find in your social media posts. That Instagram pic showing you teasing a grizzly bear at Yellowstone with a martini in one hand, a bucket of cheese fries in the other, and a cigarette in your mouth, could cost you. On the other hand, a Facebook post showing you doing yoga might save you money. (Insurance companies have to demonstrate that social media evidence points to risk, and not be based on discrimination of any kind—they can’t use social posts to alter premiums based on race or disability, for example.)

The use of social media is an extension of the lifestyle questions typically asked when applying for life insurance, such as questions about whether you engage in rock climbing or other adventure sports. Saying “no,” but then posting pictures of yourself free-soloing El Capitan, could count as a “yes.”

PATRONSCAN

A company called PatronScan sells three products—kiosk, desktop, and handheld systems—designed to help bar and restaurant owners manage customers. PatronScan is a subsidiary of the Canadian software company Servall Biometrics, and its products are now on sale in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

PatronScan helps spot fake IDs—and troublemakers. When customers arrive at a PatronScan-using bar, their ID is scanned. The company maintains a list of objectionable customers designed to protect venues from people previously removed for “fighting, sexual assault, drugs, theft, and other bad behavior,” according to its website. A “public” list is shared among all PatronScan customers. So someone who’s banned by one bar in the U.S. is potentially banned by all the bars in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada that use the PatronScan system for up to a year. (PatronScan Australia keeps a separate system.)

Judgment about what kind of behavior qualifies for inclusion on a PatronScan list is up to the bar owners and managers. Individual bar owners can ignore the ban, if they like. Data on non-offending customers is deleted in 90 days or less. Also: PatronScan enables bars to keep a “private” list that is not shared with other bars, but on which bad customers can be kept for up to five years.

PatronScan does have an “appeals” process, but it’s up to the company to grant or deny those appeals.

UBER AND AIRBNB

Thanks to the sharing economy, the options for travel have been extended far beyond taxis and hotels. Uber and Airbnb are leaders in providing transportation and accommodation for travelers. But there are many similar ride-sharing and peer-to-peer accommodations companies providing similar services.

Airbnb—a major provider of travel accommodation and tourist activities—bragged in March that it now has more than 6 million listings in its system. That’s why a ban from Airbnb can limit travel options.

Airbnb can disable your account for life for any reason it chooses, and it reserves the right to not tell you the reason. The company’s canned message includes the assertion that “This decision is irreversible and will affect any duplicated or future accounts. Please understand that we are not obligated to provide an explanation for the action taken against your account.” The ban can be based on something the host privately tells Airbnb about something they believe you did while staying at their property. Airbnb’s competitors have similar policies.

It’s now easy to get banned by Uber, too. Whenever you get out of the car after an Uber ride, the app invites you to rate the driver. What many passengers don’t know is that the driver now also gets an invitation to rate you. Under a new policy announced in May: If your average rating is “significantly below average,” Uber will ban you from the service.

WHATSAPP

You can be banned from communications apps, too. For example, you can be banned on WhatsApp if too many other users block you. You can also get banned for sending spam, threatening messages, trying to hack or reverse-engineer the WhatsApp app, or using the service with an unauthorized app.

WhatsApp is small potatoes in the United States. But in much of the world, it’s the main form of electronic communication. Not being allowed to use WhatsApp in some countries is as punishing as not being allowed to use the telephone system in America.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH SOCIAL CREDIT, ANYWAY?

Nobody likes antisocial, violent, rude, unhealthy, reckless, selfish, or deadbeat behavior. What’s wrong with using new technology to encourage everyone to behave?

The most disturbing attribute of a social credit system is not that it’s invasive, but that it’s extralegal. Crimes are punished outside the legal system, which means no presumption of innocence, no legal representation, no judge, no jury, and often no appeal. In other words, it’s an alternative legal system where the accused have fewer rights.

Social credit systems are an end-run around the pesky complications of the legal system. Unlike China’s government policy, the social credit system emerging in the U.S. is enforced by private companies. If the public objects to how these laws are enforced, it can’t elect new rule-makers.

An increasing number of societal “privileges” related to transportation, accommodations, communications, and the rates we pay for services (like insurance) are either controlled by technology companies or affected by how we use technology services. And Silicon Valley’s rules for being allowed to use their services are getting stricter.

If current trends hold, it’s possible that in the future a majority of misdemeanors and even some felonies will be punished not by Washington, D.C., but by Silicon Valley. It’s a slippery slope away from democracy and toward corporatocracy.

In other words, in the future, law enforcement may be determined less by the Constitution and legal code, and more by end-user license agreements.

 

Story 4: Live Fire Used in Hong Kong Protest —  Videos —

Pence urges China to respect HK laws amid protest | The Straits Times

The many faces of the Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong protests turn violent as police fire live ammunition

Hong Kong protests turn violent as police use water cannons

Violence escalates on the streets of Hong Kong | DW News

Hong Kong: Police fire live round for first time as violence intensifies

Facts tell: Did Hong Kong police point guns at civilian? 香港警察槍指平民?

Hong Kong protesters throw bricks and petrol bombs at riot police

Hong Kong police arrest 29 after clashes, more protests planned

Hong Kong conflict causing schisms within families

Steve Bannon: If There Is Another Tiananmen in Hong Kong, the CCP Will Collapse | Zooming I

The messages behind Hong Kong’s foreign flags

Hong Kong protesters fight back with TENNIS RACQUETS to volley back tear gas after police opened fire with live bullets for the first time during weeks of demonstrations

  • Pro-democracy protesters were seen armed with metal poles and sports equipment to protect themselves 
  • An afternoon rally in the district of Tsuen Wan spiralled into violent clashes between police and proteters
  • Police fired live bullets for the first time in the weeks-long demonstrations which have rocked Hong Kong 

Protesters in Hong Kong are using tennis racquets to fend off tear gas while police fired live bullets for the first time in the weeks-long demonstrations.

Pro-democracy protesters were seen armed with metal poles and sports equipment to protect themselves from a police crackdown amid escalating tensions in the city.

An afternoon rally in the district of Tsuen Wan spiralled into violent clashes on Sunday with officers caught isolated by masked youths wielding sticks and throwing rocks.

Tensions escalated when police began hoisting warning flags before firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse the crowd, who reacted angrily by throwing bricks and molotov cocktails.

In one instance, several police officers drew their sidearms. ‘According to my understanding, just now a gunshot was fired by a colleague,’ Superintendent Leung Kwok Win told the press.

‘My initial understanding was that it was a uniformed policeman who fired his gun.’

Scroll down for video

Protesters in Hong Kong are using tennis racquets to fend off tear gas after police fired live bullets for the first time in the weeks-long demonstration

Protesters in Hong Kong are using tennis racquets to fend off tear gas after police fired live bullets for the first time in the weeks-long demonstration

Pro-democracy protesters were seen armed with sports equipment to protect themselves from a police crackdown amid escalating tensions in the city

Pro-democracy protesters were seen armed with sports equipment to protect themselves from a police crackdown amid escalating tensions in the city

A Hong Kong police officer fired at least one gunshot Sunday, the first time a live round has been used during three months of protests. Above: Officers point their guns at protesters on the streets of Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

A Hong Kong police officer fired at least one gunshot Sunday, the first time a live round has been used during three months of protests. Above: Officers point their guns at protesters on the streets of Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

There has been a worrying change in the methods being used by city police to break up the crowds, with one instance where several police officers drew their sidearms, an AFP reporter at the scene said

There has been a worrying change in the methods being used by city police to break up the crowds, with one instance where several police officers drew their sidearms, an AFP reporter at the scene said

A protester clad in a gas mask and other protective gear throws a brick at police during a clash at an anti-government rally in Tsuen Wan district to the north of the Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour on Sunday

Another protestor, wearing the symbolic yellow helmet, is held down by two officers in riot gear as the police force clears out a street previously held by protestors

Another protestor, wearing the symbolic yellow helmet, is held down by two officers in riot gear as the police force clears out a street previously held by protestors

Tens of thousands of protesters skirmished with police in Hong Kong for a second straight day on Sunday following a pro-democracy march in an outlying district. After hoisting warning flags, police used tear gas to try to disperse the crowd. Above: A protester throws a Molotov cocktail at police

Tens of thousands of protesters skirmished with police in Hong Kong for a second straight day on Sunday following a pro-democracy march in an outlying district. After hoisting warning flags, police used tear gas to try to disperse the crowd. Above: A protester throws a Molotov cocktail at police

Flames from molotov cocktails and petrol bombs linger on the road and pavement after anti-extradition bill protesters clashed with riot police during a protest to demand democracy and political reforms, at Tsuen Wan, in Hong Kong this evening

Flames from molotov cocktails and petrol bombs linger on the road and pavement after anti-extradition bill protesters clashed with riot police during a protest to demand democracy and political reforms, at Tsuen Wan, in Hong Kong this evening

A makeshift barricade of bollards and railings separates protestors from police officers as night falls across Hong Kong

A makeshift barricade of bollards and railings separates protestors from police officers as night falls across Hong Kong

It was unclear where the shot was aimed, but it was the first live round fired since the protests started three months ago.

The Hong Kong Free Press reported that three officers drew pistols in Tsuen Wan, a built up north of the main city, as two ‘got on their knees’ to beg the officers not to fire any shots.

There was a sense of chaos across swathes of the Kowloon peninsula, over the harbour from the main island of Hong Kong, with police sirens blaring, tear gas wafting throughout densely populated areas and running clashes on the streets.

The skirmishes between police and tens of thousands of protesters occurred for a second straight day yesterday following a pro-democracy march from a sports stadium in Kwai Fong to Tsuen Wan.

While a large crowd rallied in a nearby park, another group of protesters took over a main street, strewing bamboo poles on the pavement and lining up orange and white traffic barriers and cones to try to obstruct the police.

One woman looked undeterred by a police officer clutching a baton as she faced him while holding a purple umbrella above her head

One woman looked undeterred by a police officer clutching a baton as she faced him while holding a purple umbrella above her head

While a large crowd rallied in a nearby park, another group of protesters took over a main street, strewing bamboo poles on the pavement and lining up orange and white traffic barriers and cones to try to obstruct the police. Above: Police fire tear gas at protesters

While a large crowd rallied in a nearby park, another group of protesters took over a main street, strewing bamboo poles on the pavement and lining up orange and white traffic barriers and cones to try to obstruct the police. Above: Police fire tear gas at protesters

After hoisting warning flags, police used tear gas to try to disperse the crowd. Protesters responded by throwing bricks and gasoline bombs toward the police

After hoisting warning flags, police used tear gas to try to disperse the crowd. Protesters responded by throwing bricks and gasoline bombs toward the police 

The result was a surreal scene of small fires and scattered paving bricks on the street between the two, rising clouds of tear gas and green and blue laser lights pointed by the protesters at the police. Above: Riot police aim their guns at protesters

The result was a surreal scene of small fires and scattered paving bricks on the street between the two, rising clouds of tear gas and green and blue laser lights pointed by the protesters at the police. Above: Riot police aim their guns at protesters

Police also carried riot shields and wore body armour, helmets and gas masks to defend against projectiles which were hurled at them in response to their tear gas

Some protesters wore protective gear including helmets and gas masks to guard against tear gas volleys by police. One mn (right) appeared to be holding his own weapon

Some protesters wore protective gear including helmets and gas masks to guard against tear gas volleys by police. One mn (right) appeared to be holding his own weapon

The demonstrators were not deterred by police as they charged towards them. Their defiance was despite multiple warnings by the Chinese government that the protests must stop

The demonstrators were not deterred by police as they charged towards them. Their defiance was despite multiple warnings by the Chinese government that the protests must stop

Some police drew their weapons as the clashes with protesters escalated. Sunday's reported gunshots were the first in the three months of pro-democracy protests

Some police drew their weapons as the clashes with protesters escalated. Sunday’s reported gunshots were the first in the three months of pro-democracy protests

Multiple photographers surrounded one officer with clutching his gun as they looked to record what was going on

After hoisting warning flags, police used tear gas to try to disperse the crowd. Protesters responded by throwing bricks and gasoline bombs toward the police.

The result was a surreal scene of small fires and scattered paving bricks on the street between the two, rising clouds of tear gas and green and blue laser lights pointed by the protesters at the police.

Prior to the skirmishes, tens of thousands of umbrella-carrying protesters marched in the rain in Hong Kong’s latest pro-democracy demonstration.

Many filled Tsuen Wan Park, the endpoint of the rally, chanting, ‘Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,’ the South China Morning Post newspaper said.

What do Hong Kong protesters want?

Apart from the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong demonstrators have listed five demands and have continued to urge the government to respond to them.

These five demands are:

1. A complete withdrawal of the extradition bill

2. A retraction from the government to its characterisation that the protesters were ‘rioters’

3. Unconditional and immediate release of protesters who were arrested and charges against them dropped

4. Establishment of an independent enquiry to investigate police violence during clashes

5. Genuine universal suffrage

The protests began with people gathering at a sports stadium in Kwai Fong, western Hong Kong, where they then marched to nearby Tsuen Wan and clashed with police. 

The Chinese-ruled city’s rail operator, MTR Corp, had suspended some services to try to prevent people gathering.

M. Sung, a 53-year-old software engineer in a black mask emblematic of the many older, middle-class citizens at the march, said he had been at almost every protest and would keep coming.

‘We know this is the last chance to fight for ‘one country, two systems’, otherwise the Chinese Communist Party will penetrate our home city and control everything,’ he said.

‘If we keep a strong mind, we can sustain this movement for justice and democracy. It won’t die,’ Sung said.

Hong Kong has been gripped by three months of street demonstrations that started against a proposed extradition bill to China, but have spun out into a wider pro-democracy movement.

Protesters say they are fighting the erosion of the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement under which the former British colony returned to China in 1997 with the promise of continued freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland. 

The protests pose a direct challenge for Communist Party leaders in Beijing, who are eager to quell the unrest ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1.

Beijing has sent a clear warning that forceful intervention is possible, with paramilitary forces holding drills just over the border.

The Chinese Government has used a mix of intimidation, propaganda and economic muscle to constrict the protests in a strategy dubbed ‘white terror’ by the movement.

The MTR – the city’s metro – is the latest Hong Kong business to be rebuked by the public, after appearing to bend to Chinese state-media attacks accusing the transport system of being an ‘exclusive’ service to ferry protesters to rallies.

Yesterday, the MTR shut stations near the main demonstration area in Tsuen Wan, the second day of station closures in a row

As photographers took pictures, a Hong Kong officers were seen with their guns out as they clashed with protesters againAs photographers took pictures, a Hong Kong officers were seen with their guns out as they clashed with protesters again

Demonstrators also carried lasers which they shined into the eyes of police in an effort to hit back against their volleys of tear gas

One protester who was caught by police looked up fearfully at an officer as they tended to injuries he had suffered in clashes

The officer appeared to shine a light into the man's eyes while others stood guard around him as others continued to protest

The officer appeared to shine a light into the man’s eyes while others stood guard around him as others continued to protest

Riot police successfully detain one protester who is seen lying on their stomach with their hands on the wet road as officers talk to each other

Riot police successfully detain one protester who is seen lying on their stomach with their hands on the wet road as officers talk to each other

Hong Kong was filled with clouds of tear gas as the sun began to go down in the region and protesters stayed on the streets

Hong Kong was filled with clouds of tear gas as the sun began to go down in the region and protesters stayed on the streets

Some were armed with metal bars and wore helmets, goggles and gas masks for protection. Others wore body armour, including one man whose arms and chest were covered in protective gear

Some were armed with metal bars and wore helmets, goggles and gas masks for protection. Others wore body armour, including one man whose arms and chest were covered in protective gear

Lines of police were matched by masses of protesters who stood behind makeshift barriers. Many of those protesting wore yellow helmets and held umbrellas aloft

Lines of police were matched by masses of protesters who stood behind makeshift barriers. Many of those protesting wore yellow helmets and held umbrellas aloft

Bamboo poles were left strewn over the street as protesters tried to build barricades to push back the police in Tsuen Wan

Bamboo poles were left strewn over the street as protesters tried to build barricades to push back the police in Tsuen Wan 

Many protesters filled Tsuen Wan Park, the endpoint of the rally, chanting, 'Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,' the South China Morning Post newspaper said

Some protesters, undeterred by the robust police response, threw projectiles including Molotov cocktails at police

Some protesters, undeterred by the robust police response, threw projectiles including Molotov cocktails at police

Other protesters were seen cowering in the streets of Tsuen Wan while wearing gas masks and helmets and holding umbrellas

Other protesters were seen cowering in the streets of Tsuen Wan while wearing gas masks and helmets and holding umbrellas

Some rioters were detained by police, including one woman who cowered on the floor with her head bowed as two officers with shields and batons stood over her

Some rioters were detained by police, including one woman who cowered on the floor with her head bowed as two officers with shields and batons stood over her

The protesters filled Hong Kong's streets, with thousands holding umbrellas over their heads both as protection against the rain and as a reference to the original 'Umbrella Movement' in 2014

The protesters filled Hong Kong’s streets, with thousands holding umbrellas over their heads both as protection against the rain and as a reference to the original ‘Umbrella Movement’ in 2014 

The protests began with people gathering at a sports stadium in Kwai Fong, western Hong Kong, where they then marched to nearby Tsuen Wan and clashed with police. The Chinese-ruled city's rail operator, MTR Corp, had suspended some services to try to prevent people gathering

The protests began with people gathering at a sports stadium in Kwai Fong, western Hong Kong, where they then marched to nearby Tsuen Wan and clashed with police. The Chinese-ruled city’s rail operator, MTR Corp, had suspended some services to try to prevent people gathering

Protesters were not afraid to have physical clashes with police as they were seen fighting with officers. Above: One policeman crouches on the floor as a protester stands over him with a metal bar

Protesters were not afraid to have physical clashes with police as they were seen fighting with officers. Above: One policeman crouches on the floor as a protester stands over him with a metal bar

Despite the defiance of protesters, a seemingly-endless stream of police filled the streets to deal with demonstrations

Despite the defiance of protesters, a seemingly-endless stream of police filled the streets to deal with demonstrations

Many of those clashes with officers were dressed in helmets and face coverings and some had makeshift weapons

Many of those clashes with officers were dressed in helmets and face coverings and some had makeshift weapons

As well as clashing with police, a hoard of protesters were seen breaking into and trashing a restaurant in Tsuen Wan

As well as clashing with police, a hoard of protesters were seen breaking into and trashing a restaurant in Tsuen Wan

After smashing windows, protesters were seen standing amid upturned tables and chairs and shards of broken glass

After smashing windows, protesters were seen standing amid upturned tables and chairs and shards of broken glass

Some protesters used metal poles to smash the window of a shop run by mainland Chinese people where Mahjong - a traditional Chinese domino-like tile game - can be played. The tactics are likely to further anger the Chinese government

Some protesters used metal poles to smash the window of a shop run by mainland Chinese people where Mahjong – a traditional Chinese domino-like tile game – can be played. The tactics are likely to further anger the Chinese government

After the windows were smashed, people inside huddled in a doorway while one man sitting at a table appeared to be crying

After the windows were smashed, people inside huddled in a doorway while one man sitting at a table appeared to be crying

Worried-looking Hong Kong residents stood and watched the protesters break into the shop. The residents have witnessed three months of ongoing protests

Worried-looking Hong Kong residents stood and watched the protesters break into the shop. The residents have witnessed three months of ongoing protests

In another Mahjong venue, broken glass was pictured scattered over the floor while a man peered through a doorway at the back of the room

Police facing protesters were backed up by trucks firing water cannon which helped to knock down makeshift barricades

Police facing protesters were backed up by trucks firing water cannon which helped to knock down makeshift barricades

Officers were seen walking through the streets behind and  head of police vans as protesters massed up ahead of them

Officers were seen walking through the streets behind and  head of police vans as protesters massed up ahead of them

A petrol bomb thrown on the road  by a protester lands next to police officers who keep a safe distance from leaping flames

A petrol bomb thrown on the road  by a protester lands next to police officers who keep a safe distance from leaping flames

Bricks thrown by protesters are seen near tear gas fired by the police during violent clashes between officers and those on the streets

Bricks thrown by protesters are seen near tear gas fired by the police during violent clashes between officers and those on the streets

One protester holds an umbrella as they react to the haze of tear gas which hung over the streets of Hong Kong for much of the day

One protester holds an umbrella as they react to the haze of tear gas which hung over the streets of Hong Kong for much of the day

A second rally of a few hundred, some of them family members of police, was also held on Sunday afternoon.

One relative, who said she was the wife of an officer, said they had received enough criticism. ‘I believe within these two months, police have got enough opprobrium.’

‘I really want you to know even if the whole world spits on you, we as family members will not,’ she said, giving her surname only as Si.

Police said they would launch a ‘dispersal operation’ soon.

‘Some radical protesters have removed railings … and set up barricades with water-filled barriers, bamboo sticks, traffic cones and other objects,’ they said in a statement. ‘Such acts neglect the safety of citizens and road users, paralysing traffic in the vicinity.

‘Remember, your job is to serve Hong Kong residents, not be the enemies of Hong Kong.’

The city’s officers are often the focus of protesters’ anger because of their perceived heavy-handling of the rallies.

The neighbouring gambling territory of Macau, a former Portuguese colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1999, elected former legislature head Ho Iat Seng as its leader on Sunday – the sole approved candidate.

One defiant-looking man is detained by officers as they continue to try to deal with the ongoing protests which have rocked Hong Kong

One defiant-looking man is detained by officers as they continue to try to deal with the ongoing protests which have rocked Hong Kong

One protester held an egg above his head as he prepares to launch it at police while others cower behind him

One protester held an egg above his head as he prepares to launch it at police while others cower behind him

One protester held a tennis racket as he and others fled from a tear gas canister. Yesterday, the MTR shut stations near the main demonstration area in Tsuen Wan, the second day of station closures in a row

One protester held a tennis racket as he and others fled from a tear gas canister. Yesterday, the MTR shut stations near the main demonstration area in Tsuen Wan, the second day of station closures in a row

A demonstrator uses a slingshot as they clash with riot police during Sunday's protest in Tsuen Wan in Hong Kong

A demonstrator uses a slingshot as they clash with riot police during Sunday’s protest in Tsuen Wan in Hong Kong

Protesters who were not cowed by tear gas from police used slingshots to fire bricks back at them. Many wore gas masks to guard against tear gas

Protesters who were not cowed by tear gas from police used slingshots to fire bricks back at them. Many wore gas masks to guard against tear gas

This man wearing a gas mask had a closed umbrella in one hand and some kind of inflatable in the other as he faced the police

This man wearing a gas mask had a closed umbrella in one hand and some kind of inflatable in the other as he faced the police

Protesters constructed barricades from road barriers and wooden pallets as they faced police amid a cloud of tear gas which had been fired by officers

Protesters constructed barricades from road barriers and wooden pallets as they faced police amid a cloud of tear gas which had been fired by officers

An anti-riot police vehicle equipped with a water cannon clears the road from a barricade set up by protesters during an anti-government rally in Kwai Fung and Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

An anti-riot police vehicle equipped with a water cannon clears the road from a barricade set up by protesters during an anti-government rally in Kwai Fung and Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

Some protesters wore gas masks to protect against a barrage of tear gas from police in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

Some protesters wore gas masks to protect against a barrage of tear gas from police in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

Many crouched behind makeshift barriers while others watched the clashes from inside a glass-panelled walkway above

Many crouched behind makeshift barriers while others watched the clashes from inside a glass-panelled walkway above

Riot police wearing gas masks and armed with batons walked in front of a water cannon truck as they continued to respond to the ongoing protests

Riot police wearing gas masks and armed with batons walked in front of a water cannon truck as they continued to respond to the ongoing protests

Some protesters threw slightly less dangerous projectiles at police, in the form of eggs. One man (above) was pictured throwing an egg and he had a plentiful supply behind him

Some protesters threw slightly less dangerous projectiles at police, in the form of eggs. One man (above) was pictured throwing an egg and he had a plentiful supply behind him

Even though most protesters engaging in clashes with police were wearing as masks, officers continued to fire volleys of tear gas at them

Even though most protesters engaging in clashes with police were wearing as masks, officers continued to fire volleys of tear gas at them

Battle lines drawn: protesters and police faced each other in the street in Tsuen Wan in Hong Kong. Demonstrators stood behind makeshift barricades while officers held up riot shields

Battle lines drawn: protesters and police faced each other in the street in Tsuen Wan in Hong Kong. Demonstrators stood behind makeshift barricades while officers held up riot shields

One protester used spray paint to scrawl on the wall 'Absolute power corrupts absolutely' - a chilling hint that the Chinese government may impose a further crackdown on protesters

The city had earlier appeared to have pulled back from a sharp nosedive into violence, with the last serious confrontation taking place more than a week ago, shortly after protests paralysed the financial hub's airport. But Sunday's clashes again brought more violence. Above: A man helps a fellow protester as he falls to the floor amid the heavy use of tear gas by police

The city had earlier appeared to have pulled back from a sharp nosedive into violence, with the last serious confrontation taking place more than a week ago, shortly after protests paralysed the financial hub’s airport. But Sunday’s clashes again brought more violence. Above: A man helps a fellow protester as he falls to the floor amid the heavy use of tear gas by police

One man defiantly waved his middle finger at police as he stood behind makeshift barricades and others cowered in the face of tear gas

One man defiantly waved his middle finger at police as he stood behind makeshift barricades and others cowered in the face of tear gas

Some officers appeared to be in plain clothes as they clashed with protesters for the second straight day in what has been three months of ongoing protests

Some officers appeared to be in plain clothes as they clashed with protesters for the second straight day in what has been three months of ongoing protests

Amid the use of tear gas by police, protesters were pictured running away while wearing gas masks and holding umbrellas

Amid the use of tear gas by police, protesters were pictured running away while wearing gas masks and holding umbrellas

Children were pictured with their parents during some of yesterday's protests as thousands of people took to the streets

Children were pictured with their parents during some of yesterday’s protests as thousands of people took to the streets

Protesters were armed with metal poles and even tennis rackets as dozens of people watched the clashes with police from a walkway above the street

Protesters were armed with metal poles and even tennis rackets as dozens of people watched the clashes with police from a walkway above the street

Protesters broke into restaurants during clashes. Above: A group of six men use metal poles to smash the glass of one venue

Protesters broke into restaurants during clashes. Above: A group of six men use metal poles to smash the glass of one venue

One protester reaches out at what appears to be a tear gas canister as it sprays out gas intended to subdue protesters

One protester reaches out at what appears to be a tear gas canister as it sprays out gas intended to subdue protesters

Ho, who has deep ties to China, is expected to cement Beijing’s control over the ‘special administrative region’, the same status given to Hong Kong, and distance it from the unrest there.

Ten people were left in hospital after Saturday’s clashes in Hong Kong – two in a serious condition – staff said, without detailing if they were police or protesters.

Saturday’s clashes saw police baton-charge protesters and fire tear gas, while demonstrators threw rocks and bottles later into the night in a working-class neighbourhood.

The city had earlier appeared to have pulled back from a sharp nosedive into violence, with the last serious confrontation taking place more than a week ago, shortly after protests paralysed the financial hub’s airport.

Demonstrations started against a bill that would have allowed extradition to China, but have bled into wider calls for democracy and police accountability in the semi-autonomous city.

Protesters say Hong Kong’s unique freedoms are in jeopardy as Beijing tightens its political choke hold on the city.

Police fired volleys of tear gas throughout clashes with demonstrators as they attempted to quell the ongoing protests

Police fired volleys of tear gas throughout clashes with demonstrators as they attempted to quell the ongoing protests

Protesters wearing helmets, gas masks and gloves wield makeshift weapons. Others hold lasers and shine them at police

Protesters wearing helmets, gas masks and gloves wield makeshift weapons. Others hold lasers and shine them at police

Violent clashes between police and protesters saw officers wielding their batons and riot shields as their opponents held makeshift weapons

Violent clashes between police and protesters saw officers wielding their batons and riot shields as their opponents held makeshift weapons

A protester holds his arm out as a policeman prepares to hit him with his baton. The protests have seen further violence descend onto the streets of Hong Kong

A protester holds his arm out as a policeman prepares to hit him with his baton. The protests have seen further violence descend onto the streets of Hong Kong

Some police were dressed in plain clothes as they clashed with demonstrators. Above: An officer cries out as a protester smashes a metal bar against his shield

Some police were dressed in plain clothes as they clashed with demonstrators. Above: An officer cries out as a protester smashes a metal bar against his shield

Some protesters directed laser pens towards police as the streets were filled with thousands of people in Hong Kong

Some protesters directed laser pens towards police as the streets were filled with thousands of people in Hong Kong

M. Sung, a 53-year-old software engineer in a black mask emblematic of the many older, middle-class citizens at the march, said he had been at almost every protest and would keep coming. 'We know this is the last chance to fight for 'one country, two systems', otherwise the Chinese Communist Party will penetrate our home city and control everything,' he said. Above: A protester holds up a sign reading 'corrupt police return eyes to victims' as demonstrators march in the rain

M. Sung, a 53-year-old software engineer in a black mask emblematic of the many older, middle-class citizens at the march, said he had been at almost every protest and would keep coming. ‘We know this is the last chance to fight for ‘one country, two systems’, otherwise the Chinese Communist Party will penetrate our home city and control everything,’ he said. Above: A protester holds up a sign reading ‘corrupt police return eyes to victims’ as demonstrators march in the rain

Hong Kong has been gripped by three months of street demonstrations that started against a proposed extradition bill to China , but have spun out into a wider pro-democracy movement. Above: Protesters also carried bamboo sticks to block a road during the protests. Yesterday, riot police fired tear gas and baton-charged protesters who retaliated with a barrage of the bamboo poles, stones and bottles

Hong Kong has been gripped by three months of street demonstrations that started against a proposed extradition bill to China , but have spun out into a wider pro-democracy movement. Above: Protesters also carried bamboo sticks to block a road during the protests. Yesterday, riot police fired tear gas and baton-charged protesters who retaliated with a barrage of the bamboo poles, stones and bottles

Demonstrators used the poles to block a road. The MTR - the city's metro - is the latest Hong Kong business to be rebuked by the public, after appearing to bend to Chinese state-media attacks accusing the transport system of being an 'exclusive' service to ferry protesters to rallies

Demonstrators used the poles to block a road. The MTR – the city’s metro – is the latest Hong Kong business to be rebuked by the public, after appearing to bend to Chinese state-media attacks accusing the transport system of being an ‘exclusive’ service to ferry protesters to rallies

The protests pose a direct challenge for Communist Party leaders in Beijing, who are eager to quell the unrest ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1. Above: Protesters march from Kwai Fung to Tsuen Wan in Hong Kong

 The protests pose a direct challenge for Communist Party leaders in Beijing, who are eager to quell the unrest ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1. Above: Protesters march from Kwai Fung to Tsuen Wan in Hong Kong

Some protesters were seen holding U.S. flags as they join marchers heading from Kwai Fung to Tsuen Wan, further north

Some protesters were seen holding U.S. flags as they join marchers heading from Kwai Fung to Tsuen Wan, further north

One woman, who said she was the wife of an officer, said the police had received enough criticism. 'I believe within these two months, police have got enough opprobrium'. Above: Riot police officers stand guard as protesters march in Tsuen Wan

One woman, who said she was the wife of an officer, said the police had received enough criticism. ‘I believe within these two months, police have got enough opprobrium’. Above: Riot police officers stand guard as protesters march in Tsuen Wan

In Tsuen Wan, demonstrators marched through the area, including one man who was seen in a yellow helmet and military vest

In Tsuen Wan, demonstrators marched through the area, including one man who was seen in a yellow helmet and military vest

Yesterday, the MTR shut stations near the main demonstration area in Tsuen Wan in western Hong Kong, it was the second day of station closures in a row. Above: Protesters march past rows of police

Yesterday, the MTR shut stations near the main demonstration area in Tsuen Wan in western Hong Kong, it was the second day of station closures in a row. Above: Protesters march past rows of police

Beijing has used a mix of intimidation, propaganda and economic muscle to constrict the protests in a strategy dubbed 'white terror' by the movement, but that has not stopped hundreds of thousands of protesters from gathering on their streets. Above: Protesters clutching umbrellas gather yesterday in Hong Kong

Beijing has used a mix of intimidation, propaganda and economic muscle to constrict the protests in a strategy dubbed ‘white terror’ by the movement, but that has not stopped hundreds of thousands of protesters from gathering on their streets. Above: Protesters clutching umbrellas gather yesterday in Hong Kong 

Demonstrators also removed road barriers during their march during through Kwai Fong, in Hong Kong yesterday

Ten people were left in hospital after Saturday’s clashes – two in a serious condition – staff said, without detailing if they were police or protesters

Saturday's clashes saw police baton-charge protesters and fire tear gas, while demonstrators threw rocks and bottles later into the night in a working-class neighbourhood

Saturday’s clashes saw police baton-charge protesters and fire tear gas, while demonstrators threw rocks and bottles later into the night in a working-class neighbourhood

On Friday, tens of thousands of people had held hands across Hong Kong in a dazzling, neon-framed recreation of a pro-democracy ‘Baltic Way’ protest against Soviet rule three decades ago.

The city’s skyscraper-studded harbour-front as well as several busy shopping districts were lined with peaceful protesters, many wearing surgical masks to hide their identity and holding Hong Kong flags or mobile phones with lights shining.

The human chain was another creative demonstration in the rolling protests which have tipped Hong Kong into an unprecedented political crisis.

Chinese state media says Hong Kong’s ‘toxic’ textbooks lead to protests

Chinese state newspaper has suggested that the cause of the anti-government protests in Hong Kong is the city’s education system, particularly its textbooks.

Tung Chee-hwa, the city’s first Chief Executive, has confessed that the General Education system in Hong Kong was a failure and the young generations became ‘problematic’ as a result, claimed People’s Daily in a column today.

The op-ed, penned by Professor Gu Minggang, said Hong Kong needed to reflect on its entire education system.

Protesters hold hands to form a human chain during a rally to call for political reforms in Hong Kong on August 23. Chinese media accused that the city's 'biased' and 'erroneous' textbooks had brought up a generation of 'useless youngsters'

The author said: ‘After Hong Kong returned to the arms of the motherland, the first and foremost issue to resolve should be to establish the concept of the country. The problem is, how many educators in Hong Kong have this notion?’

On Wednesday, China’s Guancha.cn called the General Education textbook in Hong Kong ‘toxic’, ‘biased’ and ‘erroneous’.

Citing Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing newspaper Wenweipo, Guancha.cn accused the textbook of encouraging pupils to hate police, promoting Occupy Central campaign and twisting facts.

The article said that the textbook had become a political propaganda and brought up a generation of ‘useless youngsters’.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7394069/Hong-Kong-protesters-fight-tennis-racquets.html

Story 5: Three Way Tie In Race For 2020 Democratic Presidential Canidate — Biden, Sander and Warren — Videos

Biden plunges, tied with Warren and Sanders in new national poll

Joe Biden Doesn’t Know What State He Is In

Published on Aug 24, 2019
In Keene, N.H., former Vice President Joe Biden told a press gaggle that he loves being in Vermont when asked about his time in Keene on 8/24/19. Be sure to like, subscribe, and comment below to share your thoughts on the video.

3-Way Lead as Dem 2020 Picture Shifts

Today

Sanders and Warren rise; Biden drops

West Long Branch, NJ – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and former Vice President Joe Biden are currently bunched together in the national Democratic presidential preference contest. Movement in the latest Monmouth University Poll – positive for Warren and Sanders, negative for Biden – suggests the 2020 presidential nomination process may be entering a volatile stage.  The poll results also suggest that liberal voters are starting to take a closer look at a wider range of candidates, while moderates are focusing on those with the highest name recognition.  Another key finding that could contribute to growing volatility in the race is confusion over “Medicare for All.” Most say support for this policy is an important factor in choosing a Democratic nominee, but voters actually prefer a public option over a single payer plan.

The poll finds a virtual three-way tie among Sanders (20%), Warren (20%), and Biden (19%) in the presidential nomination preferences of registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters across the country. Compared to Monmouth’s June poll, these results represent an increase in support for both Sanders (up from 14%) and Warren (up from 15%), and a significant drop for Biden (down from 32%).

Results for the rest of the field are fairly stable compared to two months ago. These candidates include California Sen. Kamala Harris at 8% support (identical to 8% in June), New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker at 4% (2% in June), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 4% (5% in June), entrepreneur Andrew Yang at 3% (2% in June), former cabinet secretary Julián Castro at 2% (<1% in June), former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke at 2% (3% in June), and author Marianne Williamson at 2% (1% in June). Support for the remaining 13 candidates included in the preference poll registered only 1% or less.

Biden has suffered an across the board decline in his support since June.  He lost ground with white Democrats (from 32% to 18%) and voters of color (from 33% to 19%), among voters without a college degree (from 35% to 18%) and college graduates (from 28% to 20%), with both men (from 38% to 24%) and women (from 29% to 16%), and among voters under 50 years old (from 21% to 6%) as well as voters aged 50 and over (from 42% to 33%).  Most of Biden’s lost support in these groups shifted almost equally toward Sanders and Warren.

“The main takeaway from this poll is that the Democratic race has become volatile.  Liberal voters are starting to cast about for a candidate they can identify with.  Moderate voters, who have been paying less attention, seem to be expressing doubts about Biden. But they are swinging more toward one of the left-leaning contenders with high name recognition rather than toward a lesser known candidate who might be more in line with them politically,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.  He added, “It’s important to keep in mind this is just one snapshot from one poll.  But it does raise warning signs of increased churning in the Democratic nomination contest now that voters are starting to pay closer attention.”

Biden lost support over the past two months among Democrats who call themselves moderate or conservative (from 40% to 22%) with the shift among these voters accruing to both Sanders (from 10% to 20%) and Warren (from 6% to 16%).  Biden also lost support among liberals (from 24% to 15%), but this group’s backing has scattered to a variety of other candidates. Sanders has picked up a few points among liberal voters (from 17% to 21%) while Warren has held fairly steady (from 25% to 24%).  Also, Harris has not budged with this group (from 10% to 11%) and Buttigieg has slipped slightly (from 8% to 5%).  However, the aggregate support for four other candidates – namely Booker, Castro, Williamson and Yang – has gone up a total of 8 points among liberal Democrats (from 8% to 16% for the four combined).

The Monmouth poll also finds that Biden has lost his small edge in the early states where Democrats will cast ballots from February through Super Tuesday. His even larger lead in the later states has vanished as well.  Biden (20%), Warren (20%), Sanders (16%), and Harris (12%) are all in the top tier among voters in the early states. Biden has slipped by 6 points since June and Warren has gained 5 points over the same time span.  Early state support for Sanders and Harris has not changed much.  In the later states, Biden’s support has plummeted from 38% in June to 17% now, while both Warren (from 16% to 20%) and Sanders (from 13% to 23%) have made gains.

“Biden’s drop in support is coming disproportionately from later states that have less impact on the process. But if this trend continues it could spell trouble for him in the early states if it undermines his claim to being the most electable candidate.  This could benefit someone like Harris, who remains competitive in the early states and could use a strong showing there to propel her into the top tier.  Based on the current data, though, Warren looks like the candidate with the greatest momentum right now,” said Murray.

2020 DEMOCRATIC SUPPORT by state primary schedule *
EARLY STATES OTHER STATES
Aug‘19 Jun‘19 May‘19 Aug‘19 Jun‘19 May‘19
Elizabeth Warren 20% 15% 9% 20% 16% 11%
Joe Biden 20% 26% 26% 17% 38% 38%
Bernie Sanders 16% 15% 14% 23% 13% 16%
Kamala Harris 12% 11% 14% 5% 5% 8%
Cory Booker 2% 3% <1% 5% 1% 1%
Pete Buttigieg 4% 4% 6% 4% 6% 6%
Andrew Yang 5% 3% 2% 2% 1% 0%
Julián Castro 2% 1% 1% 2% <1% 0%
Beto O’Rourke 3% 6% 3% 1% 1% 4%
Marianne Williamson 1% 1% 1% 3% 1% 1%
  * Early states include those scheduled to or likely to hold a 
primary/caucus event in February 2020 or on Super Tuesday (March 3rd).

Warren has seen her personal ratings improve steadily over the past few months.  She currently earns a 65% favorable and 13% unfavorable rating, up from 60%-14% in May, the last time Monmouth tracked the 2020 candidate ratings.  At the same, time Biden has seen his ratings drop to 66% favorable and 25% unfavorable, from 74%-17% three months ago. The ratings for Sanders have been comparatively more stable at 64% favorable and 24% unfavorable compared with 65%-21% in Monmouth’s May poll.

At least 2-in-3 Democratic voters can now recognize the names of 11 candidates Monmouth has been tracking in terms of voter favorability since January.  Most have seen a small uptick in basic name recognition over the past three months of between 5 and 13 percentage points. The exceptions are Biden and Sanders on one hand, both of whom have been universally familiar to Democratic voters since the beginning of the campaign, and Williamson on the other hand, whose name recognition shot up 19 points from 48% in May to 67% in the current poll.  In Williamson’s case, though, the increased notoriety has led to a rise in negative views, currently earning her a 14% favorable and 25% unfavorable rating, which is down from an evenly divided 10%-10% rating in May.

Other candidates who have seen a downturn in their ratings are Harris at 56% favorable and 17% unfavorable (from 58%-9% in May) and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar at 27% favorable and 18% unfavorable (from 32%-10% in May).  Those who have seen a slight improvement in their ratings are Booker at 49% favorable and 14% unfavorable (from 41%-13% in May), Buttigieg at 43% favorable and 14% unfavorable (from 35%-11% in May), and Yang at 24% favorable and 12% unfavorable (from 12%-13% in May).  Candidates who are holding relatively steady are Castro at 35% favorable and 13% unfavorable (from 28%-10% in May) and O’Rourke at 39% favorable and 20% unfavorable (from 40%-19% in May).

2020 CANDIDATE OPINION AMONG DEMOCRATIC VOTERS
Net favorability rating: Aug ‘19 May ‘19 Apr ‘19 Mar ‘19 Jan ‘19
Elizabeth Warren +52 +46 +32 +30 +40
Joe Biden +41 +57 +56 +63 +71
Bernie Sanders +40 +44 +44 +53 +49
Kamala Harris +39 +49 +40 +42 +33
Cory Booker +35 +28 +24 +31 +33
Pete Buttigieg +29 +24 +29 n/a +2
Julián Castro +22 +18 n/a n/a +15
Beto O’Rourke +19 +21 +31 +26 +32
Andrew Yang +12 –1 n/a n/a 0
Amy Klobuchar +9 +22 +14 +13 +15
Marianne Williamson –11 0 n/a +4 n/a
     

The two most recent entrants in the crowded field earn net negative ratings. Former naval officer and Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak has a negative 5% favorable and 11% unfavorable rating with 53% name recognition.  Former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, who has spent heavily on advertising since getting into the race, earns a 9% favorable and 25% unfavorable rating with 70% name recognition.

On the issue of health care, 58% of party voters say it is very important to them that the Democrats nominate someone who supports “Medicare for All.”  Another 23% say it is somewhat important, 10% say it is not important, and 9% are unsure. However, it is not clear that Medicare for All means the same thing to all voters.  When asked specifically about what type of health insurance system they prefer, 53% of Democratic voters say they want a system that offers an opt in to Medicare while retaining the private insurance market. Just 22% say they want to move to a system where Medicare for All replaces private insurance. Another 7% prefer to keep insurance private for people under 65 but regulate the costs and 11% want to leave the system basically as it is now.

Those who prefer a public option are divided into two camps that include 18% who would like to move to a universal public insurance system eventually and 33% who say that there should always be the choice of private coverage.  In other words, only 4-in-10 Democrats want to get rid of the private insurance market when the 22% who want Medicare for All now are combined with the 18% who would like to move to a universal public system at some point in the future.

“We asked the public option question in our Iowa poll earlier this month and got a lot of flak from Medicare for All advocates who claim that polls show widespread support for their idea.  It seems from these results, though, the term has a wide range of meanings among Democratic voters. Many conflate the public-only program name with a public option.  There is a lot more nuance in public opinion on this issue that could become problematic for proponents as voters become more familiar with what Medicare for All actually entails,” said Murray.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from August 16 to 20, 2019 with 800 adults in the United States. Results in this release are based on 298 registered voters who identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, which has a +/- 5.7 percentage point sampling margin of error.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

[Q1-13 previously released.]

14.I know the 2020 election is far away, but who would you support for the Democratic nomination for president if the candidates were the following? [INCLUDES LEANERS] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

  TREND:
(with leaners)
Aug.
2019
June
2019
May
2019
April
2019
March
2019
Jan.
2019
Bernie Sanders 20% 14% 15% 20% 25% 16%
Elizabeth Warren 20% 15% 10% 6% 8% 8%
Joe Biden 19% 32% 33% 27% 28% 29%
Kamala Harris 8% 8% 11% 8% 10% 11%
Cory Booker 4% 2% 1% 2% 5% 4%
Pete Buttigieg 4% 5% 6% 8% <1% 0%
Andrew Yang 3% 2% 1% <1% 1% 1%
Julián Castro 2% <1% 1% <1% 1% 1%
Beto O’Rourke 2% 3% 4% 4% 6% 7%
Marianne Williamson 2% 1% 1% <1% <1% n/a
Bill de Blasio 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% n/a
Tulsi Gabbard 1% 1% 1% 0% <1% 1%
Amy Klobuchar 1% 1% 3% 1% 3% 2%
Michael Bennet <1% 0% <1% 0% <1% n/a
Steve Bullock <1% 0% 0% 0% 0% n/a
Kirsten Gillibrand <1% <1% <1% <1% <1% 1%
Joe Sestak <1% n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Tom Steyer <1% n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
John Delaney 0% 0% <1% 0% 0% <1%
Jay Inslee * 0% 1% <1% <1% <1% <1%
Wayne Messam 0% 0% 0% <1% n/a n/a
Seth Moulton * 0% 0% 0% <1% n/a n/a
Tim Ryan 0% <1% <1% 0% n/a n/a
(VOL) Other 1% 0% <1% 3% 5% 8%
(VOL) No one <1% 1% 2% 3% <1% 3%
(VOL) Undecided 10% 11% 9% 14% 8% 9%
 (n) (298) (306) (334) (330) (310) (313)

* The poll was conducted before Inslee and Moulton dropped out of the race.

15.I’m going to read you the names of some people who are running for president in 2020.  Please tell me if your general impression of each is favorable or unfavorable, or if you don’t really have an opinion. If you have not heard of the person, just let me know. [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

  TREND: Favorable Unfavorable No
opinion
Not
heard of
(n)
Former Vice President Joe Biden 66% 25% 8% 1% (298)
   — May 2019 74% 17% 7% 1% (334)
   — April  2019 72% 16% 12% 1% (330)
   — March  2019 76% 13% 9% 2% (310)
   — January  2019 80% 9% 8% 3% (313)
           
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders 64% 24% 10% 2% (298)
   — May 2019 65% 21% 12% 2% (334)
   — April  2019 65% 21% 13% 1% (330)
   — March  2019 70% 17% 10% 3% (310)
   — January  2019 68% 19% 9% 4% (313)
           
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren 65% 13% 16% 7% (298)
   — May 2019 60% 14% 14% 12% (334)
   — April  2019 51% 19% 18% 12% (330)
   — March  2019 49% 19% 15% 17% (310)
   — January  2019 57% 17% 16% 11% (313)
           
Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke 39% 20% 26% 15% (298)
   — May 2019 40% 19% 20% 22% (334)
   — April  2019 43% 12% 22% 23% (330)
   — March  2019 38% 12% 21% 29% (310)
   — January  2019 41% 9% 23% 27% (313)
           
California Senator Kamala Harris 56% 17% 16% 11% (298)
   — May 2019 58% 9% 15% 18% (334)
   — April  2019 50% 10% 19% 21% (330)
   — March  2019 53% 11% 16% 20% (310)
   — January  2019 46% 13% 21% 20% (313)
           
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar 27% 18% 34% 20% (298)
   — May 2019 32% 10% 28% 30% (334)
   — April  2019 27% 13% 28% 32% (330)
   — March  2019 26% 13% 29% 33% (310)
   — January  2019 23% 8% 30% 39% (313)
           
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg 43% 14% 20% 23% (298)
   — May 2019 35% 11% 24% 30% (334)
   — April  2019 35% 6% 25% 34% (330)
   — March  2019
   — January  2019 8% 6% 27% 58% (313)
           
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker 49% 14% 25% 13% (298)
   — May 2019 41% 13% 26% 19% (334)
   — April  2019 40% 16% 24% 20% (330)
   — March  2019 43% 12% 20% 25% (310)
   — January  2019 44% 11% 20% 25% (313)
           
 Former cabinet secretary Julián Castro 35% 13% 32% 20% (298)
   — May 2019 28% 10% 31% 31% (334)
   — April  2019
   — March  2019
   — January  2019 24% 9% 32% 35% (313)
           
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang 24% 12% 36% 29% (298)
   — May 2019 12% 13% 33% 42% (334)
   — April  2019
   — March  2019
   — January  2019 10% 10% 26% 53% (313)
         
Author Marianne Williamson 14% 25% 28% 33% (298)
   — May 2019 10% 10% 28% 52% (334)
   — April  2019
   — March  2019 8% 4% 21% 67% (310)
   — January  2019
         
Former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak 5% 11% 37% 47% (298)
   — May 2019
   — April  2019
   — March  2019
   — January  2019
         
Former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer 9% 25% 37% 30% (298)
   — May 2019
   — April  2019
   — March  2019
   — January  2019
           

16.How important is it to you that the Democrats nominate someone who supports Medicare for All – very important, somewhat important, not important, or are you not sure?

Aug.
2019
Very important 58%
Somewhat important 23%
Not important 10%
Not sure 9%
(n) (298)

17.Which of the following comes closest to how you would like to see health care handled:  A. get rid of all private insurance coverage in favor of having everyone on a single public plan like Medicare for All, B. allow people to either opt into Medicare or keep their private coverage, C. keep health insurance private for people under age 65 but regulate the costs, or D. keep the health insurance system basically as it is?

Aug.
2019
A. Get rid of all private insurance coverage in favor of … Medicare for All 22%
B. Allow people to either opt into Medicare or keep their private coverage 53%
C. Keep health insurance private for people under age 65 but regulate the costs 7%
D. Keep the health insurance system basically as it is 11%
(VOL) Other 2%
(VOL) Don’t know 4%
(n) (298)

17A.[If “B. ALLOW PEOPLE TO OPT INTO MEDICARE OR KEEP THEIR PRIVATE COVERAGE” in Q17, ASK:]  Would you eventually like to see the nation’s health care coverage move to a universal public system like Medicare for All or do you think there should always be a choice to keep your private coverage?  [Percentages are based on the total sample of Democrats.]

Aug.
2019
Medicare for All now (from Q17) 22%
Public option:  Eventually move to a universal public system like Medicare for All 18%
Public option:  Should always be a choice to keep your private coverage 33%
Public option:  Don’t know what should eventually happen 2%
Minor, none, other changes to health insurance (from Q17) 21%
(VOL) Don’t know (from Q17) 4%
(n) (298)

[Q18-26 held for future release.]

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from August 16 to 20, 2019 with a national random sample of 800 adults age 18 and older, in English. This includes 314 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 486 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone. The results in this poll release are based on a subsample of 298 registered voters who identify themselves as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party. Telephone numbers were selected through random digit dialing and landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. Final sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information. Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and Dynata (RDD sample). For results based on the Democratic voter sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 5.7 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)
DEMOCRATIC VOTERS
 
38% Male
62% Female
 
31% 18-34
31% 35-54
38% 55+
 
53% White
18% Black
20% Hispanic
  9% Asian/Other
 
59% No degree
41% 4 year degree
  

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and crosstabs by key demographic groups.

3-Way Lead as Dem 2020 Picture Shifts

Joe Biden: ‘I want to be clear, I’m not going nuts’

9:24 a.m.

Joe Biden.

Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden is hopping on the defensive.

After months of gaffes on the 2020 campaign trail prompting even his brain surgeon to chime in and defend his mind, Biden made a pointed comment about the state of his brain over the weekend. “I want to be clear, I’m not going nuts,” Biden said during a campaign rally in New Hampshire — a comment that surely extended beyond the confusion he was trying to clear up at the time, theLos Angeles Times reports.

Biden made the declaration while speaking to supporters at New Hampshire’s Loon Lake, defending his inability to remember just where he’d spoken at Dartmouth College a few hours earlier. “I’m not sure whether it was the medical school or where the hell I spoke. But it was on the campus,” he said, looking at the gathered reporters as he did it, per the Times.

The obviously defensive comment comes after months of Biden stumbling over some pretty important details at campaign rallies, namely the locations of two mass shootings earlier this month. There’s also the time Biden said “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids” in front of the the Asian & Latino Coalition in Iowa. Yet the man who performed surgery on Biden three decades ago following two brain aneurysms agrees with the 76-year-old’s weekend comment, saying that he’s clearly “as sharp as he was 31 years ago.” Kathryn Krawczyk

GOP primary challenger Joe Walsh says the racist things he’s said on Twitter don’t necessarily make him a racist
5:26 p.m.

The presidential campaign freshly launched by former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) also appears to be doubling as some kind of an apology — or at least personal accountability — tour.

Walsh, who on Sunday officially announced that he was challenging President Trump in the Republican primary, has routinely come under fire for his own controversial remarks, including a plethora of racist and insensitive tweets over the years. Walsh acknowledged his Twitter feed on Monday in an appearance on MSNBC, and concurred that some of what he said is, indeed, racist. But, as Walsh sees it, that doesn’t influence whether he’s actually a racist offline, or, as the youth say, “IRL.”

Aaron Blake

@AaronBlake

Joe Walsh on MSNBC: “I wouldn’t call myself a racist, but I’ve said racist things on Twitter.”

2,031 people are talking about this

When he made his announcement on Sunday, Walsh said he regretted helping “create” Trump by playing into divisive, personal politics, so it seems he’s trying to rip off the Band-Aid at the beginning of his campaign and address criticism that was sure to arise otherwise. Read more about Walsh’s presidential campaign here at The WeekTim O’Donnell

Your favorite vintage of French wine likely won’t get much more expensive in the near future.

Officials from France and the United States reportedly reached a compromise on Monday following the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, on a new French tax passed last month on digital services provided by large internet companies, like Google and Amazon.

The new agreement stipulates that France would repay companies the difference between its digital tax and whatever taxes come from the agreed-upon Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s planned mechanism. The threshold for the French tax to be applicable for a company is annual revenues of more than $830 million — including $27 million generated in France — from “digital activities,” like collection of user data and selling targeted advertising.

French President Emmanuel Macron praised the compromise, while maintaining that France will nix its national tax if and when his preferred method of an international system for digital taxation is implemented. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said OECD nations want a solution on that by next year.

President Trump had previously threatened to tax French wine if Paris moved forward with its approved three percent tax on digital services. Tim O’Donnell

https://theweek.com/speedreads/861285/french-wine-might-safe-from-tariffs-after-france-strike-compromise-digital-tax

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1302, August 6, 2019, Story 1: Big Lie Media and Big Government Have Lost The Trust of The American People — Junk Journalism Is Progressive Propaganda or The Democrat Party Line — Trust No-one — Videos –Story 2: The Rhetoric of Robert F. Kennedy, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, Mike Pence and Donald Trump — Radical Extremist Democrats Socialist Flaming Hatred And Demonizing American People — Betrayal of American People — Videos 

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Story 1: Big Lie Media and Big Government Have Lost The Trust of The American People — Junk Journalism Is Progressive Propaganda or The Democrat Party Line — Trust No-one — Videos —

As People Lose Trust in Media Outlets, More People Turn Away from TV News | Subverse

News

Here’s Why Americans Don’t Trust Government, Tech, and Media

Gallup poll reveals Americans are losing trust in government

Elaine Kamarck on why Americans’ low trust in government

Whether you trust scientists may depend on your political party, survey says

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Trust no one? Americans lack faith in the government, the media and each other, survey finds

A study recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found those who showed higher signs of trust lived longer than those who didn’t. Buzz60’s Mercer Morrison has the story. Buzz60

Three-quarters of Americans believe trust in the federal government is shrinking, and more than two-thirds say the same for personal trust, according to a study released Monday by the Pew Research Center. 

The survey of 10,618 U.S. adults found those who tend to be less trustful in their personal lives also tend to be less trustful of institutions, which includes elected officials, the military, religious leaders and the media.

“Many people no longer think the federal government can actually be a force for good or change in their lives. This kind of apathy and disengagement will lead to an even worse and less representative government,” one survey respondent said.

Analysis: People trust science. So why don’t they believe it?

Gallup: The public institution Americans trust more than any other

Despite the current outlook, Americans are hopeful declining trust is a solvable problem. The survey found 84% believe confidence in the federal government can be improved, and 86% think the same of confidence in one another.

Other key findings:

  • 69% say the federal government withholds important information from the public
  • 61% say the news media ignores important stories
  • 58% of adults are not confident people can hold civil conversations with those who have different views
  • 57% are not confident people will cast informed votes in elections
  • Young adults are about half as hopeful as older Americans when asked how confident they are that Americans respect the rights of those who are not like them
  • The share of whites who show high levels of trust (27%) is twice as high as the share of blacks (13%) and Hispanics (12%).

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say trust in the federal government is shrinking (82% vs. 66%) and that makes it harder to solve many of the country’s problems (70% vs. 57%). 

But there is one thing Americans agree on regardless of politics: Trust in both the federal government and in one another must improve. Among the solutions respondents provided: less political partisanship, tribalism and sensationalist stories, and more empathy all around. 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/23/pew-study-american-trust-declines-government-media-and-each-other/1798963001/

 

Most Americans say they have lost trust in the media

THE RESULTS OF A NEW Knight Foundation and Gallup poll released on Tuesday won’t come as a huge surprise to most journalists: Trust in the media is down. Again.

A majority of those who were surveyed said they had lost trust in the media in recent years, and more than 30 percent of those who identified themselves as being on the conservative end of the spectrum said they had not only lost faith in the media, but they “expect that change to be permanent.” According to a separate Gallup poll from earlier this year that tracked trust in major institutions, newspapers and television news were among the lowest, exceeded only by Congress.

Is this decline in trust related to the repeated attacks on “the lying media” by President Trump and his supporters, who like to describe the press as “the enemy of the people?” That kind of analysis is beyond the scope of the latest Knight/Gallup study, but it has to be part of the backdrop. Respondents who said they paid the least amount of attention to the news were among those who mistrusted the media the most—is that because all they hear about the media is that it makes things up and is out to get the president?

When people were asked why they don’t trust the media, about 45 percent referred to things like inaccuracy, bias, “fake news,” and “alternative facts,” the latter two being common descriptions given by Donald Trump and members of his administration. A general lack of credibility and the fact that reports are “based on opinions or emotions” are two of the other reasons given for a loss of trust. About 10 percent of those surveyed also mentioned sensationalism, “clickbait,” or hype as a negative factor. Interestingly, twice as many young adults (18 to 34) as older respondents said politically focused coverage or partisan bias was a factor in their lack of trust.

The study did try to come up with a few rays of light. For example, the survey asked people whether they thought their trust in media might be restored somehow, and almost 70 percent of them said yes—60 percent of those who identified themselves as Republicans and 86 percent of those who said they were Democrats. And what might restore that lost trust? Respondents chose a variety of factors such as accuracy (including “not reporting stories before [a news outlet] verifies all the facts and being willing to correct mistakes it makes”), as well as lack of bias, and transparency (including “providing fact-checking resources and providing links to research and facts that back up [the news outlet’s] reporting”).

As the study’s authors admit, however, these proposed solutions aren’t as straightforward as they might appear. Whether a news outlet is being accurate when reporting the facts of a story, for example, is something different readers are going to come to different conclusions on, depending in some cases on their political views. If an outlet reports that Donald Trump is under suspicion for influence peddling with the Russians, to take just one hypothetical example, those who are inclined to believe this may see it as accurate, while those who vehemently disagree will see it as inaccurate and therefore untrustworthy. Trust, as an earlier Knight/Gallup poll suggests, is a slippery topic when it comes to the media.Here are some more links about the complex relationship between trust and the media:

  • The rebound effect: Both Twitter and Facebook have talked about trying to expose users to a broader range of views to burst their filter bubbles, but a sociologist writing in The New York Times says his research shows that doing this causes people to become more entrenched in their views, not less.
  • What about trust ratings? Another experiment by Knight and Gallup using the same testing platform looked at whether crowdsourced ratings of trust or accuracy changed people’s expectations about a news article, and it turns out they do—stories that have trust ratings are actually trusted less than those that don’t.
  • A culture of listening: The American Press Institute recently held a symposium on ways that media organizations can help to build or regain the trust of their readers, and those who participated came up with a number of recommendations, including talking with “ex-fans” to see why they left, and also not being an “ask-hole.”
  • Optimizing for trust: New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen has written about what it means when a media outlet “optimizes for trust,” a recipe that includes transparency about potential conflicts, a commitment to accuracy, and a view of readers that sees them more as contributors rather than just consumers of content.

Other notable stories:

  • Brazilian fact-checkers working with Facebook to flag fake news stories in the run-up to elections in that country next month say they have been harassed and even subjected to death threats for their work, according to a report from Poynter.
  • Cory Doctorow writes about why European authors, journalists, and publishers need to fight the European Union’s newly proposed copyright laws, which could forceonline services and publishers to remove content if it matches an index of copyrighted works, and could also impose a tax for linking to external articles.
  • Bryan Goldberg, the founder and CEO of Bustle, plans to re-launch Gawker, the flagship site of the former Gawker Media, which filed for bankruptcy after a lawsuit launched by former wrestler Hulk Hogan. Goldberg acquired the domain name and archives of Gawker for $1.3 million in an auction in July.
  • Facebook is testing a new feature in its CrowdTangle service for journalists that would allow them to flag a news story as inaccurate from inside the service. CrowdTangle, which Facebook acquired in 2016, allows journalists and other users of the tool to see what stories, photos and videos are trending on the network.
  • Twitter and Facebook may get most of the attention when it comes to news, but a Pew Research Center study seems to show that Reddit is the most news-centric social service of them all. According to the survey, 73 percent of Reddit users say they get their news there, compared with 71 percent for Twitter and 67 percent for Facebook.
  • Nick Diakopoulos writes for CJR about an emerging category of social-media “bots” or automated accounts that actually help rather than cause harm, by aggregating or distributing information that has public value, including automated accounts that track changes in New York Times articles or Wikipedia entries.
  • Left-leaning news site ThinkProgress has complained that one of its articles was improperly flagged as inaccurate by The Weekly Standard, a conservative site that is a member of Facebook’s fact-checking program. Alexios Mantzarlis, who runs the International Fact-Checking Network, wrote on Twitter about some of the problems raised by the case, which he says were exacerbated by the post’s headline.

 

 

Trust and Mistrust in Americans’ Views of Scientific Experts

More Americans have confidence in scientists, but there are political divides over the role of scientific experts in policy issues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans' confidence that scientists act in the public interest is up since 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In an era when science and politics often appear to collide, public confidence in scientists is on the upswing, and six-in-ten Americans say scientists should play an active role in policy debates about scientific issues, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The survey finds public confidence in scientists on par with confidence in the military. It also exceeds the levels of public confidence in other groups and institutions, including the media, business leaders and elected officials.

At the same time, Americans are divided along party lines in terms of how they view the value and objectivity of scientists and their ability to act in the public interest. And, while political divides do not carry over to views of all scientists and scientific issues, there are particularly sizable gaps between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to trust in scientists whose work is related to the environment.

Higher levels of familiarity with the work of scientists are associated with more positive and more trusting views of scientists regarding their competence, credibility and commitment to the public, the survey shows.

Overall, 86% of Americans say they have at least “a fair amount” of confidence in scientists to act in the public interest. This includes 35% who have “a great deal” of confidence, up from 21% in 2016.

But a partisan divide persists. More Democrats (43%) than Republicans (27%) have “a great deal” of confidence in scientists – a difference of 16 percentage points. The gap between the two parties on this issue (including independents who identify with each party, respectively) was 11 percentage points in 2016 and has remained at least that large since.

There are also clear political divisions over the role of scientific experts in policy matters, with Democrats more likely to want experts involved and to trust their judgment. Most Democrats (73%) believe scientists should take an active role in scientific policy debates. By contrast, a majority of Republicans (56%) say scientists should focus on establishing sound scientific facts and stay out of such policy debates. The two political groups also differ over whether scientific experts are generally better at making decisions about scientific policy issues than other people: 54% of Democrats say they are, while 66% of Republicans think scientists’ decisions are no different from or worse than other people’s. Finally, Democrats and Republicans have different degrees of faith in scientists’ ability to be unbiased; 62% of Democrats say scientists’ judgments are based solely on facts, while 55% of Republicans say scientists’ judgments are just as likely to be biased as other people’s.

Political differences over scientific experts

 

 

Confidence in scientists is stronger among those with high science knowledge and among Democrats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Center’s new survey highlights the degree to which the public values scientific expertise and how those perceptions are sometimes shaped by the crosscurrents of politics as well as familiarity with scientists and their work. More specifically, it shines a spotlight on trust and potential sources of mistrust connected with scientists who work in three fields: medicine, nutrition and the environment. They include medical research scientists, medical doctors, nutrition research scientists, dietitians, environmental research scientists and environmental health specialists.

The survey of 4,464 adults was conducted in January 2019 using Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, a nationally repr

esentative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults.

The survey probed for people’s trust in scientists, along with potential sources of mistrust. To capture trust, the survey asked respondents how often they can count on scientists to perform their jobs with competence, to show care or concern for the public and to present their findings or recommendations in a fair and accurate way. The survey also asked for views about scientific integrity, including the extent to which misconduct is a problem, the degree to which scientists are open about potential conflicts of interest, and whether they accept accountability for mistakes.

Among other important findings:

  • Despite generally positive views about scientists across all six specialties, most Americans are skeptical about key areas of scientific integrity. No more than two-in-ten Americans believe scientists across these groups are transparent about potential conflicts of interest with industry all or most of the time. Similarly, minorities (ranging from 11% to 18%) say scientists regularly admit their mistakes and take responsibility for them. Between about a quarter and half of Americans consider misconduct a “very big” or “moderately big” problem, with the public generally skeptical that those engaged in misconduct routinely face serious consequences.
  • Americans tend to trust science practitioners, who directly provide treatments and recommendations to the public, more than researchers working in the same areas. For example, 47% say dietitians provide fair and accurate information about their recommendations all or most of the time, compared with 24% for nutrition scientists discussing their research. There is a similar gap when it comes to information from medical doctors and medical research scientists (48% and 32%, respectively, say they provide fair and accurate information all or most of the time). However, trust in environmental health specialists – practitioners who offer recommendations to organizations and community groups – is about the same as that for environmental research scientists.
  • When Americans gauge the kinds of things that would influence their faith in scientific findings, their verdict is clear: Open public access to data and independent committee reviews inspire the most confidence in scientists and boost their trust in research findings.
  • A majority of U.S. adults (54%, including equal shares of Democrats and Republicans) believe the public should play an important role in guiding policy decisions on scientific issues; 44% say public opinion should not play an important role because the issues are too complex for the average person to understand.
  • Public confidence in medical scientists is similar to that for scientists overall; 87% report either a great deal (35%) or a fair amount (52%) of confidence in medical scientists to act in the best interests of the public.
  • Americans with more factual science knowledge have greater confidence than those with less science knowledge that scientists act in the public interest. (For more information about the science knowledge index, see “What Americans Know About Science.”)
  • Black and Hispanic adults are more likely than whites to see professional or research misconduct as a very or moderately big problem. For doctors, for example, 71% of blacks and 63% of Hispanics say misconduct is at least a moderately big problem, compared with 43% of whites. A larger percentage of blacks (59%) and Hispanics (60%) than whites (42%) say misconduct by medical research scientists is a very big or moderately big problem.
1. Partisanship influences views on the role and value of scientific experts in policy debates

Six-in-ten in U.S. say scientists should take an active role in policy debatesA majority of U.S. adults support the participation of scientific experts in policy debates, but Democrats are more likely than Republicans to think scientists should be involved and are more likely to value their decisions. Partisan divisions also arise in beliefs about the value of the scientific method and the likelihood of bias in scientists’ judgments.

Overall, 60% of Americans say scientists should play an active role in policy debates about scientific issues, the Center’s new survey shows. A smaller share (39%) says scientists should “focus on establishing sound scientific facts and stay out of public policy debates.”

More Democrats than Republicans say scientific experts make better science-related policy decisions But there are dueling perspectives along party lines about the role and value of scientific experts in science-related policy debates, with most Democrats (73%, including leaners) saying scientists should take an active role. In contrast, a majority of Republicans (56%, including leaners) say scientists should focus on their research and stay out of policy debates, while a smaller percentage (43%) say scientists should play an active role in such debates.

Democrats also are more inclined than Republicans to value the opinions of scientific experts in policy matters. Some 54% of Democrats think scientific experts are usually better at making decisions about scientific issues than other people. In contrast, 34% of Republicans say the same.

How much people know about science can also impact their perspectives on these topics, but the findings show the influence of people’s science knowledge on their views depends on their partisan lens. For example, 84% of Democrats with high science knowledge say scientists should play an active role in science policy debates, compared with 58% of Democrats with low science knowledge. No such pattern exists among Republicans. Four-in-ten Republicans with high science knowledge (40%) – and 52% of those with low science knowledge – say scientists should play an active role in science policy debates. Past Pew Research Center surveys have found a similar pattern on a range of views related to climate and energy issues.

More Democrats than Republicans trust the objectivity of scientists and the scientific method

Roughly six-in-ten Americans trust the scientific methodMost Americans believe the processes of science – namely, the scientific method of observing and collecting empirical evidence – are fundamentally sound.

Overall, 63% of Americans say the scientific method generally produces accurate conclusions, while a smaller share (35%) says it can be manipulated to produce a desired conclusion.

Further, a majority of U.S. adults (55%) believe scientists’ judgments are “based solely on the facts,” as opposed to scientists being “just as likely to be biased” in their judgments as other people (44%).

On average, however, more Democrats than Republicans (including independents who identify with each party) are inclined to express confidence in both the scientific method and scientists’ conclusions.

More Democrats than Republicans say the scientific method produces accurate conclusionsSeven-in-ten Democrats (70%) say the scientific method generally produces accurate conclusions. Opinion among Republicans is more divided, with 55% saying the scientific method produces accurate conclusions and 44% saying the scientific method can be manipulated by researchers to produce desired results.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to view scientists as susceptible to biasAbout six-in-ten Democrats (62%) say scientists make judgments based solely on the facts. By comparison, 44% of Republicans say scientists’ judgments are based on facts, while 55% say scientists’ opinions are just as likely to be biased as other people’s.

Science knowledge levels also influence people’s views on these issues, but the correlation depends on their partisanship.

Democrats with high science knowledge have more confidence in the scientific methodAmong Democrats, an overwhelming majority of those with high science knowledge (86%) think the scientific method generally produces accurate conclusions. In contrast, about half of Democrats with low science knowledge (52%) say the scientific method produces accurate conclusions. Differences are modest by comparison among Republicans with high, medium and low science knowledge levels.

Republicans with high science knowledge are particularly likely to see scientists as open to biasBut when it comes to questions of susceptibility to bias, 64% of Republicans with high science knowledge say scientists are just as likely to be biased as other people, while 42% of Republicans with low science knowledge agree. Democrats with low, medium and high science knowledge are all about equally likely (in the 34% to 39% range) to view scientists as susceptible to bias.

Thus, knowledge and information can influence beliefs about these matters, but it does so through the lens of partisanship, a tendency known as motivated reasoning.

Public trust in scientists is only sometimes correlated with political party

Despite political differences over the role and value of scientific experts, public support for and trust in scientists is not uniformly connected with politics, but rather differs depending on the field of scientific study. The Center’s survey looks at public trust in scientists specializing in the environment, medicine and nutrition. Democrats have more trust than Republicans in environmental scientists – whether researchers or environmental health specialists – to perform their jobs with competence, to show concern for the public interest and to present their findings or recommendations in a fair and accurate way. There are also some partisan differences in views of nutrition researchers, but there are no such differences when it comes to medical doctors, medical researchers or dietitians. For details, see “Partisan differences in overall views of and trust in scientists occur primarily for environmental scientists.

Prior Pew Research Center studies have shown wide political divides on public attitudes related to climate, energy and the environment but no differences or only modest ones when it comes to a host of other science-related issues, including beliefs about the safety of childhood vaccines and the health risks of eating genetically modified foods.

Trust and Mistrust in Americans’ Views of Scientific Experts

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1299, July 31, 2019, Story 1: Democrat Destruction Derby Debate 2, Day 1 — Santa Claus Socialism — Vote Me and I Will Give You Free Stuff — Take Away Your Employer and Union Provided Health Care Insurance and Replace It With Socialized Medicine — Medicare For All — Give All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens in U.S. Citizenship and Free Health Insurance and Open Borders With No Border Barrier and Abolish ICE or Immigration and Customs Enforcement — American People Betrayed By Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) — Result: Trump Wins in A Landslide With A Message That Resonates With American People — Videos

Posted on August 1, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Amy Klobuchar, Anthropology, Barack H. Obama, Bernie Sanders, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Climate Change, Constitutional Law, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Eating, Economics, Education, Elections, Elizabeth Warren, Empires, Employment, Environment, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, History, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Insurance, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, National Interest, Nuclear Weapons, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Psychology, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Second Amendment, Social Networking, Social Science, Social Security, Spying, Spying on American People, Subornation of perjury, Subversion, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, Unions, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1299 July 31, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1234 April 5, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

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Story 1: Democrat Destruction Derby Debate 2, Day 1 — Santa Claus Socialism — Vote Me and I Will Give You Free Stuff — Take Away Your Employer and Union Provided Health Care Insurance and Replace It With Socialized Medicine — Medicare For All — Give All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens in U.S. Citizenship and Free Health Insurance and Open Borders With No Border Barrier and Abolish ICE or Immigration and Customs Enforcement –– American People Betrayed By Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) — Result: Trump Wins in A Landslide With A Message That Resonates With American People — Videos

Democratic debates in Detroit: Day 1 highlights

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Who Won the Democratic Debate, Night 1?

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Democratic Debate 2019 Pre, Post coverage : Watch live analysis of the 2nd presidential debate

Senator Kennedy: The lesser of two Socialists is still a Socialist

[youhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D-lEtj7FSg]

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The Pronk Pops Show 1298, July 30, 2019, Breaking News — Story 1: Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan United States District Court for The Southern District on New York Permanently Dismisses Frivolous Democratic Party Lawsuit Against Trump’s Campaign Alleging Conspiracy with Russian Government and Wikileaks Without Merit — Trump Vindicated — Videos — Story 2: North Korea Again Launches Short-Range (260 Miles) Missiles Threatening U.S. Ally South Korea — Videos — Story 3: Communist China Reconsiders Three-Child Policy as Population Growth Declines — Videos — Story 4: Democrat Destruction Derby Debate 1 — Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists (REDS) — All We Are Saying Is Give Socialism A Chance — De Plane — De Plane — Videos

Posted on July 31, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Abortion, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Bernie Sanders, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, China, Climate Change, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Eating, Economics, Education, Elizabeth Warren, Empires, Employment, European Union, Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, France, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Germany, Government, Government Spending, Health, High Crimes, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, News, North Korea, People, Pete Buttigieg, Public Corruption, Russia, Second Amendment, Senate, Social Security, Subversion, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Vietnam, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1298 July 30, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1296 July 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1295 July 24, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

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Story 1: Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan United States District Court for The Southern District Permanently Dismisses Frivolous Democratic Party Lawsuit Against Trump’s Campaign Alleging Conspiracy with Russian Government and Wikileaks Without Merit — Trump Vindicated — Videos —

Trump says The Witch Hunt Ends after judge dismisses DNC lawsuit

BREAKING: Judge tosses DNC suit against Trump 2016, WikiLeaks

Federal Judge Permanently Dismisses DNC Suit Against Trump Campaign: The First Amendment Triumphs

U.S. District Judge (SDNY) John G. Koeltl held that the DNC raised a “number of connections and communications between the defendants and with people loosely connected” to Russia, but said that “at no point does the DNC allege any facts in the Second Amended Complaint to show that any of the defendants — other than the Russian Federation — participated in the theft of the DNC’s

 

Democrats’ Lawsuit Alleging Trump-Russia Conspiracy Is Dismissed

 

U.S. judge tosses Democratic Party lawsuit against Trump campaign, Russia over election

By Jan Wolfe

July 30 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Tuesday dismissed a Democratic Party lawsuit arguing that the Russian government, President Donald Trump´s campaign and WikiLeaks carried out a conspiracy to influence the 2016 U.S. election.

U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan said he could not hear the claims against Russia, which were the focus of the case, because of a legal doctrine called sovereign immunity that shields foreign governments from litigation in the United States.

“The remedies for hostile actions by foreign governments are state actions, including sanctions imposed by the executive and legislative branches of government,” Koeltl’s written opinion said.

Koeltl also said holding WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign liable for dissemination of hacked emails would infringe on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Democratic National Committee’s computer systems were hacked during the campaign and WikiLeaks published party emails.

Trump said on Twitter that the ruling was “yet another total &amp; complete … vindication &amp; exoneration” of him and his campaign, similar language he used in response to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into Russian election interference.

Mueller https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-mueller/mueller-says-trump-was-not-exonerated-trump-declares-victory-idUSKCN1UJ0DF, in testimony to Congress last Wednesday, emphasized that he had not exonerated Trump and accused the president of not always being truthful, called his support for the 2016 release of stolen Democratic emails “problematic” and said Russia would again try to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections.

A lawyer for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday’s decision.

The DNC said in its lawsuit that top officials in Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and tilt the election to Trump. Moscow denies interfering in the election.

The lawsuit said that Trump´s campaign “gleefully welcomed Russia´s help” in the 2016 election and accuses it of being a “racketeering enterprise” that worked in tandem with Moscow.

“During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump´s campaign,” DNC chair Tom Perez said at the time the lawsuit was filed. “This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery.”

The Mueller report released in April detailed numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians but found insufficient evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy with Russia to sway the election.

The Trump campaign argued in court filings that Mueller’s report made clear that the DNC lawsuit was “frivolous” and that the DNC should be sanctioned for refusing to drop the case.

Koeltl denied the request, saying the case was “not so objectively unreasonable as to warrant the imposition of sanctions.” (Reporting by Jan Wolfe; editing by Grant McCool)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7303721/U-S-judge-tosses-Democratic-Party-lawsuit-against-Trump-campaign-Russia-election.html

Judge Dismisses Democrats’ Suit Against Russia, Trump Campaign

DNC lawsuit alleged a conspiracy to hack into computer network and leak information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign

A federal judge in Manhattan has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee against Russia, the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks and others, ruling the committee’s allegations of a wide-ranging conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 election were “moot or without merit.”

The lawsuit, filed in April 2018, alleged the defendants conspired to hack into the DNC’s computer network and strategically leak stolen information to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and improve Donald Trump’s odds of winning the election.

The defendants in the lawsuit included the Russian federation and the country’s military intelligence agency; WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange; the Trump campaign and its onetime chairman, Paul Manafort; Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his longtime adviser Roger Stone, as well as others involved in the campaign.

In a written opinion issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl held that Russia—which he said is ”the primary wrongdoer in this alleged criminal enterprise”—cannot be sued in U.S. courts for government actions, under federal law governing sovereign immunity.

“The remedies for hostile actions by foreign governments are state actions, including sanctions imposed by the executive and legislative branches of government,” Judge Koeltl wrote.

As for the other defendants, who are accused of disseminating the stolen materials, Judge Koeltl said the First Amendment protects such activities, “the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets that publish materials of public interest,” so long as they didn’t participate in wrongdoing to obtain them.

In a tweet, President Trump called the ruling “yet another total & complete…vindication & exoneration from the Russian, WikiLeaks and every other form of HOAX perpetrated by the DNC, Radical Democrats and others.”

In addition to having the lawsuit dismissed, the Trump campaign also sought to have the DNC and its lawyers sanctioned. Judge Koeltl denied that bid Tuesday.

The lawsuit’s allegations overlapped with concerns addressed by former special counsel Robert Mueller, who in April released a 448-page report detailing efforts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 election and its repeated contacts with Trump campaign officials, including the hacking of the DNC computer network.

While Mr. Mueller didn’t establish that the Trump campaign had knowingly conspired with the Russians, his office had previously charged dozens of Russian entities and individuals in connection with those alleged efforts. In light of the report, the Trump campaign had argued the DNC’s claims in the New York lawsuit were frivolous, while the DNC argued that the bar for criminal charges is higher than standards of proof in civil proceedings.

Mr. Mueller’s team secured the convictions of five Trump advisers, several of whom had lied to investigators about their contacts with Russian officials, including Mr. Manafort. Mr. Stone has pleaded not guilty to charges that he tried to obstruct a congressional inquiry into Russian interference.

Judge Koeltl’s ruling addressed a central concern about press freedoms raised in another case about WikiLeaks. In May, the U.S. Justice Department charged Mr. Assange with violating the Espionage Act for an alleged effort to obtain and publish classified information about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. U.S. authorities are seeking to have Mr. Assange extradited from the U.K., where he was arrested in April.

Write to Rebecca Davis O’Brien at Rebecca.OBrien@wsj.com

Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the July 31, 2019, print edition as ‘DNC Suit Charging Conspiracy Is Tossed.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-dismisses-democrats-suit-against-russia-trump-campaign-11564539167

 

Story 2: North Korea Again Mobile Launches Two Short-Range (250 KM) Missiles Threatening U.S. Ally South Korea — Videos —

 

North Korea fires two short-range ballistic missiles, S. Korea says

N. Korea fires 2 short-range ballistic missiles off east coast: JCS

N. Korea fires two short-range ballistic missiles towards East Sea on Wednesday

U.S. downplays North Korean missile tests

North Korea’s missile launch not likely to result in additional sanctions

North Korea fires two short-range missiles

North Korea fires two short-range missiles from coastal city

 

North Korean projectiles were ballistic missiles, flew about 250 km – S.Korea

he unidentified projectiles launched by North Korea early on Wednesday were ballistic missiles that flew about 250 km (155 miles), South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The projectiles appeared to be a different type to previous launches, minister Jeong Kyeong-doo said, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Japan’s defence minister said any ballistic missile launch by North Korea would violate United Nations resolutions, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported. (Reporting by Josh Smith Editing by Paul Tait Editing by Paul Tait)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7303743/North-Korean-projectiles-ballistic-missiles-flew-250-km–S-Korea.html

 

Story 3: Communist China Reconsiders Three-Child Policy as Population Growth Expected To Decline

Population pyramids: Powerful predictors of the future – Kim Preshoff

Which Countries Have Shrinking Populations?

Is the World Running Out of Children? (And Sperm??)

 

Facing Secrets from China’s Single Child Policy | Kate YiJia Yan | TEDxPuxi

History and its unspoken secrets have an impact on individuals, families and society. Part of China’s history was the single child policy. Psychotherapist, Yijia Yan, explains how secrets linked to the single child policy are affecting Chinese families, parents, and children today. As a psychotherapist and as a mother of two children, Kate’s professional activities are concentrated around enhancing knowledge about and providing professional support for children’s emotional and behavioral development in China. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

The unintended consequences of China’s One Child Policy

One Child Policy Documentary

Video: Millions of single Chinese men desperately seeking a wife

Why China Ended its One-Child Policy

China encourages women to have more children

Object Lessons from the One-Child Policy | Mei Fong | TEDxPasadena

Why Are Millions of Chinese Kids Parenting Themselves?

Painful legacy of China’s one child policy – BBC News

Two Child Policy – China

Chinese province considers ‘three-child policy’ to halt population decline

China’s northeastern province of Liaoning is planning to loosen birth restrictions and allow some couples to have a third child in a bid to improve dwindling fertility rates and stop its workforce from declining.

China introduced a controversial “one-child policy” in 1978, but relaxed restrictions in 2016 to allow all couples to have two children as it tried to rebalance its rapidly ageing population.

However, experts have called for more radical measures, with birth rates still in decline and China’s health services and pension funds expected to come under increasing strain as the number of elderly people increases.

Liaoning’s provincial government said on its website on Tuesday that revising family planning regulations was one of its major priorities for 2019 after previous adjustments failed to arrest the decline in its population.

The rustbelt province has drafted new regulations aimed at improving education, housing and social security and providing more financial support for families choosing to have two children. It will also allow some couples living in “border areas” to have a third child.

While the central government imposes family planning rules nationwide through thousands of family planning offices, it gives leeway to some regions. Ethnic minorities have usually been exempt from birth restrictions and rural families have also been allowed to have more children.

Liaoning’s birth rate fell to 6.39 per 1,000 people last year, far lower than the national rate of 10.94. Its population also dropped for the second consecutive year in 2018, hit not only by the decline in new births but also by an exodus of young people seeking work in other regions.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7303723/Chinese-province-considers-three-child-policy-halt-population-decline.html

 

One-child policy

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One-child policy
Jiayuguan-066.JPG

A Chinese mother and son at a market in JiayuguanGansu
Simplified Chinese 独生子女政策
Traditional Chinese 獨生子女政策

China’s one-child policy was part of a birth planning program designed to control the size of its population. Distinct from the family planning policies of most other countries (which focus on providing contraceptive options to help women have the number of children they want), it set a limit on the number of children parents could have, the world’s most extreme example of population planning. It was introduced in 1979 (after a decade-long two-child policy),[1] modified in the mid 1980s to allow rural parents a second child if the first was a daughter, and then lasted three more decades before being eliminated at the end of 2015. The policy also allowed exceptions for some other groups, including ethnic minorities. The term one-child policy is thus a misnomer, because for nearly 30 of the 37 years that it existed (1979–2015 included) about half of all parents in China were allowed to have a second child.

Provincial governments could, and did, require the use of contraception, sterilizations and abortions to ensure compliance, and imposed enormous fines for violations. Local and national governments created commissions to raise awareness and carry out registration and inspection work. China also rewards families with only one child. From 1982 onwards, in accordance with the instructions on further family planning issued by the CPC central committee and the state council in that year, regulations awarded 5 yuan per month for only children. Parents who had one child would also get a “one-child glory certificate”.[2]

According to the Chinese government, 400million births were prevented, starting from 1970, a decade before the start of the one child policy. Some scholars have disputed this claim, with Martin King Whyte and Wang et alcontending that the policy had little effect on population growth or the size of the total population.[3][4][5] China has been compared to countries with similar socioeconomic development like Thailand and Iran, along with the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which achieved similar declines of fertility without a one-child policy.[6] However, a recent demographic study challenged these scholars by showing that China’s low fertility was achieved two or three decades earlier than would be expected given its level of development, and that more than 500 million births were prevented between 1970 and 2015 (a calculation based on an alternative model of fertility decline proposed by the scholars themselves),[4] some 400 million of which may have been due to one-child restrictions.[7] In addition, by 2060 China’s birth planning policies may have averted as many as 1 billion people in China when one adds in all the eliminated descendants of the births originally averted by the policies.[8][9] Although 76% of Chinese people said that they supported the policy in a 2008 survey, it was controversial outside of China.[10]

Effective from January 2016, the national birth planning policy became a universal two-child policy that allowed each couple to have two children.

China’s population since 1950

Contents

Background

Birth rate in China

During the period of Mao Zedong‘s leadership in China, the birth rate fell from 37 per thousand to 20 per thousand.[11] Infant mortality declined from 227 per thousand births in 1949 to 53 per thousand in 1981, and life expectancy dramatically increased from around 35 years in 1948 to 66 years in 1976.[11][12] Until the 1960s, the government encouraged families to have as many children as possible[13] because of Mao’s belief that population growth empowered the country, preventing the emergence of family planning programs earlier in China’s development.[14] The population grew from around 540million in 1949 to 940million in 1976.[15] Beginning in 1970, citizens were required to marry at later ages and many were limited to have only two children.[1]

Although China’s fertility rate plummeted faster than anywhere else in the world during the 1970s under these restrictions, the Chinese government thought that fertility was still too high, influenced by the global debate over a possible overpopulation catastrophe suggested by organizations such as Club of Rome and Sierra Club. It thus began to encourage one-child families in 1978, and then announced in 1979 its intention to advocate for one-child families. In 1980, the central government organized a meeting in Chengdu to discuss the speed and scope of one-child restrictions.[1]

One participant at the Chengdu meeting had read two influential books about population concerns, The Limits to Growth and A Blueprint for Survival while visiting Europe in 1979. That official, Song Jian, along with several associates, determined that the ideal population of China was 700million, and that a universal one-child policy for all would be required to meet that goal.[16] Moreover, Song and his group showed that if fertility rates remained constant at 3 births per woman, China’s population would surpass 3 billion by 2060 and 4 billion by 2080.[1] In spite of some criticism inside the party, the plan (also referred to as the Family Planning Policy[17]) was formally implemented as a temporary measure on 18 September 1980.[18][19][20][21] The plan called for families to have one child each in order to curb a then-surging population and alleviate social, economic, and environmental problems in China.[22][23]

Although a recent and often-repeated interpretation by Greenhalgh claims that Song Jian was the central architect of the one-child policy and that he “hijacked” the population policymaking process,[24] that claim has been refuted by several leading scholars, including Liang Zhongtang, a leading internal critic of one-child restrictions and an eye-witness at the discussions in Chengdu.[25] In the words of Wang et al., “the idea of the one-child policy came from leaders within the Party, not from scientists who offered evidence to support it”[3] Central officials had already decided in 1979 to advocate for one-child restrictions before knowing of Song’s work and, upon learning of his work in 1980, already seemed sympathetic to his position.[26] Moreover, even if Song’s work convinced them to proceed with universal one-child restrictions in 1980, the policy was loosened to a “1.5”-child policy just five years later, and it is that policy which has been misnomered since as the “one-child policy.” Thus, it is misleading to suggest that Song Jian was either the inventor or architect of the policy.

History

The one-child policy was originally designed to be a “One-Generation Policy”.[27] It was enforced at the provincial level and enforcement varied; some provinces had more relaxed restrictions. The one-child limit was most strictly enforced in densely populated urban areas.[28]

Beginning in 1980, the official policy granted local officials the flexibility to make exceptions and allow second children in the case of “practical difficulties” (such as cases in which the father was a disabled serviceman) or when both parents were single children,[29] and some provinces had other exemptions worked into their policies as well. In most areas, families were allowed to apply to have a second child if their first-born was a daughter.[30][31] Furthermore, families with children with disabilities have different policies and families whose first child suffers from physical disabilitymental illness, or intellectual disability were allowed to have more children.[32] However, second children were sometimes subject to birth spacing (usually 3 or 4 years). Children born in overseas countries were not counted under the policy if they did not obtain Chinese citizenship. Chinese citizens returning from abroad were allowed to have a second child.[33] Sichuan province allowed exemptions for couples of certain backgrounds.[34] By one estimate there were at least 22 ways in which parents could qualify for exceptions to the law towards the end of the one-child policy’s existence.[35] As of 2007, only 36% of the population were subjected to a strict one-child limit. 53% were permitted to have a second child if their first was a daughter; 9.6% of Chinese couples were permitted two children regardless of their gender; and 1.6% – mainly Tibetans – had no limit at all.[36]

The Danshan, Sichuan Province Nongchang Village people Public Affairs Bulletin Board in September 2005 noted that RMB 25,000 in social compensation fees were owed in 2005. Thus far 11,500 RMB had been collected, so another 13,500 RMB had to be collected.

Following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, a new exception to the regulations was announced in Sichuan for parents who had lost children in the earthquake.[37][38] Similar exceptions had previously been made for parents of severely disabled or deceased children.[39] People have also tried to evade the policy by giving birth to a second child in Hong Kong, but at least for Guangdong residents, the one-child policy was also enforced if the birth was given in Hong Kong or abroad.[40]

In accordance with China’s affirmative action policies towards ethnic minorities, all non-Han ethnic groups are subjected to different laws and were usually allowed to have two children in urban areas, and three or four in rural areas. Han Chinese living in rural towns were also permitted to have two children.[41] Because of couples such as these, as well as who simply pay a fine (or “social maintenance fee”) to have more children,[42] the overall fertility rate of mainland China was close to 1.4 children per woman as of 2011.[43]

On 6 January 2010, the former national population and family planning commission issued the “national population development” 12th five-year plan.[44]

Enforcement

Chinese One-Child Policy propaganda from 1982

Financial

The Family Planning Policy was enforced through a financial penalty in the form of the “social child-raising fee”, sometimes called a “family planning fine” in the West, which was collected as a fraction of either the annual disposable income of city dwellers or of the annual cash income of peasants, in the year of the child’s birth.[45] For instance, in Guangdong, the fee was between 3 and 6 annual incomes for incomes below the per capita income of the district, plus 1 to 2 times the annual income exceeding the average. The family was required to pay the fine.[46]

Mandatory contraception and sterilization

As part of the policy, women were required to have a contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD) surgically installed after having a first child, and to be sterilized by tubal ligation after having a second child. From 1980 to 2014, 324 million Chinese women were fitted with IUDs in this way and 108 million were sterilized. Women who refused these procedures – which many resented – could lose their government employment and their children could lose access to education or health services. The IUDs installed in this way were modified such that they could not be removed manually, but only through surgery.

In 2016, following the abolition of the one-child policy, the Chinese government announced that IUD removals would now be paid for by the government.[47]

Relaxation

In 2013, Deputy Director Wang Peian of the National Health and Family Planning Commission said that “China’s population will not grow substantially in the short term”.[48] A survey by the commission found that only about half of eligible couples wish to have two children, mostly because of the cost of living impact of a second child.[49]

In November 2013, following the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, China announced the decision to relax the one-child policy. Under the new policy, families could have two children if one parent, rather than both parents, was an only child.[50][51] This mainly applied to urban couples, since there were very few rural only children due to long-standing exceptions to the policy for rural couples.[52] Zhejiang, one of the most affluent provinces, became the first area to implement this “relaxed policy” in January 2014,[53] and 29 out of the 31 provinces had implemented it by July 2014,[54] with the exceptions of Xinjiang and Tibet. Under this policy, approximately 11million couples in China are allowed to have a second child; however, only “nearly one million” couples applied to have a second child in 2014,[55] less than half the expected number of 2 million per year.[54] By May 2014, 241,000 out of 271,000 applications had been approved. Officials of China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission claimed that this outcome was expected, and that “second-child policy” would continue progressing with a good start.[56]

In 2016, 433 births and 211 deaths were recorded in Wulipu, Hubei. The birth rate was 8.9% and death rate was 4.3% resulting in a natural population increase of 4.6%.[57] In the results of a separate survey published by the Shayang County government, Wulipu’s population had increased from 48,044 to 48,132 during a survey period. 424 children were born during the survey period resulting in a birth rate of 8.82%. During the same period, 63 people died, resulting in death rate of 1.31%. Of the births in the survey, 406 (95.75%) were in compliance with the family planning policy of China. 312 (73.58%) of the births were the firstborn in the family. (All of these births were in compliance with the family planning policy of China.) Among the firstborn children, 157 were female. 107 (25.24%) of the births were the second-born child in the family. 90 of these births were in compliance with the family planning policy of China. Among the second-born children, 47 were female. Five (1.18%) of the births surveyed were neither the firstborn nor second-born child in the family. Four of these births were in compliance with the family planning policy of China. Among the children born who were neither firstborn nor second-born, two were female.[58]

Abolition

In October 2015, the Chinese news agency Xinhua announced plans of the government to abolish the one-child policy, now allowing all families to have two children, citing from a communiqué issued by the Communist Party “to improve the balanced development of population” – an apparent reference to the country’s female-to-male sex ratio – and to deal with an aging population according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.[22][59][60][61][62][63][64][65] The new law took effect on 1 January 2016 after it was passed in the standing committee of the National People’s Congress on 27 December 2015.[66][67]

The rationale for the abolition was summarized by former Wall Street Journal reporter Mei Fong: “The reason China is doing this right now is because they have too many men, too many old people, and too few young people. They have this huge crushing demographic crisis as a result of the one-child policy. And if people don’t start having more children, they’re going to have a vastly diminished workforce to support a huge aging population.”[68] China’s ratio is about five working adults to one retiree; the huge retiree community must be supported, and that will dampen future growth, according to Fong.

Since the citizens of China are living longer and having fewer children, the growth of the population imbalance is expected to continue, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which referred to a United Nations projections forecast that “China will lose 67million working-age people by 2030, while simultaneously doubling the number of elderly. That could put immense pressure on the economy and government resources.”[22] The longer term outlook is also pessimistic, based on an estimate by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, revealed by Cai Fang, deputy director. “By 2050, one-third of the country will be aged 60 years or older, and there will be fewer workers supporting each retired person.”[69]

Although many critics of China’s reproductive restrictions approve of the policy’s abolition, Amnesty International said that the move to the two-child policy would not end forced sterilizations, forced abortions, or government control over birth permits.[70][71] Others also stated that the abolition is not a sign of the relaxation of authoritarian control in China. A reporter for CNN said, “It was not a sign that the party will suddenly start respecting personal freedoms more than it has in the past. No, this is a case of the party adjusting policy to conditions. … The new policy, raising the limit to two children per couple, preserves the state’s role.”[72][73]

The abolition may not achieve a significant benefit, as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation analysis indicated: “Repealing the one-child policy may not spur a huge baby boom, however, in part because fertility rates are believed to be declining even without the policy’s enforcement. Previous easings of the one-child policy have spurred fewer births than expected, and many people among China’s younger generations see smaller family sizes as ideal.”[22] The CNN reporter adds that China’s new prosperity is also a factor in the declining[69] birth rate, saying, “Couples naturally decide to have fewer children as they move from the fields into the cities, become more educated, and when women establish careers outside the home.”[72]

The Chinese government had expected the abolishing of the one-child rule would lead to an increase in births to about 21.9 million births in 2018. The actual number of births was 15.2 million – the lowest birth rate since 1961.[74]

Administration

The one-child policy was managed by the National Population and Family Planning Commission under the central government since 1981. The Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China and the National Health and Family Planning Commission were made defunct and a new single agency National Health and Family Planning Commission took over national health and family planning policies in 2013. The agency reports to the State Council.

The policy was enforced at the provincial level through fines that were imposed based on the income of the family and other factors. “Population and Family Planning Commissions” existed at every level of government to raise awareness and carry out registration and inspection work.[75]

Effects

Fertility reduction: Debates over the roles of policy vs. socio-economic change

The progression of China’s population pyramidInternational Futures.

The fertility rate in China continued its fall from 2.8 births per woman in 1979 (already a sharp reduction from more than five births per woman in the early 1970s) to 1.5 by the mid 1990s. Some scholars claim that this decline is similar to that observed in other places that had no one-child restrictions, such as Thailand as well as Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, a claim designed to support the argument that China’s fertility might have fallen to such levels anyway without draconian fertility restrictions.[3][76][6][77]

According to a 2017 study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, “the one-child policy accelerated the already-occurring drop in fertility for a few years, but in the longer term, economic development played a more fundamental role in leading to and maintaining China’s low fertility level.”.[78] However, a more recent study found that China’s fertility decline to very low levels by the mid 1990s was far more impressive given its lower level of socio-economic development at that time;[9] even after taking rapid economic development into account, China’s fertility restrictions likely averted over 500 million births between 1970 and 2015, with the portion caused by one-child restrictions possibly totaling 400 million.[7] Fertility restrictions also had other unintended consequences, such as a deficit of 40 million female babies. Most of this deficit was due to sex-selective abortion as well as the 1.5 child stopping rule, which required rural parents to stop childbearing if their first born was a son.[79] Another consequence was the acceleration of the aging of China’s population.[80][81]

Disparity in sex ratio at birth

The sex ratio at birth in People’s Republic of China, males per 100 females, 1980–2010.

The sex ratio of a newborn infant (between male and female births) in mainland China reached 117:100, and stabilized between 2000 and 2013, about 10% higher than the baseline, which ranges between 103:100 and 107:100. It had risen from 108:100 in 1981—at the boundary of the natural baseline—to 111:100 in 1990.[82] According to a report by the National Population and Family Planning Commission, there will be 30million more men than women in 2020, potentially leading to social instability, and courtship-motivated emigration.[83]

The disparity in the gender ratio at birth increases dramatically after the first birth, for which the ratios remained steadily within the natural baseline over the 20 year interval between 1980 and 1999. Thus, a large majority of couples appear to accept the outcome of the first pregnancy, whether it is a boy or a girl. If the first child is a girl, and they are able to have a second child, then a couple may take extraordinary steps to assure that the second child is a boy. If a couple already has two or more boys, the sex ratio of higher parity births swings decidedly in a feminine direction. This demographic evidence indicates that while families highly value having male offspring, a secondary norm of having a girl or having some balance in the sexes of children often comes into play. Zeng 1993 reported a study based on the 1990 census in which they found sex ratios of just 65 or 70 boys per 100 girls for births in families that already had two or more boys.[84] A study by Anderson & Silver (1995) found a similar pattern among both Han and non-Han nationalities in Xinjiang Province: a strong preference for girls in high parity births in families that had already borne two or more boys.[85] This tendency to favour girls in high parity births to couples who had already borne sons was later also noted by Coale and Banister, who suggested as well that once a couple had achieved its goal for the number of males, it was also much more likely to engage in “stopping behavior”, i.e., to stop having more children.[86]

The long-term disparity has led to a significant gender imbalance or skewing of the sex ratio. As reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, China has between 32million and 36million more males than would be expected naturally, and this has led to social problems. “Because of a traditional preference for baby boys over girls, the one-child policy is often cited as the cause of China’s skewed sex ratio … Even the government acknowledges the problem and has expressed concern about the tens of millions of young men who won’t be able to find brides and may turn to kidnapping women, sex trafficking, other forms of crime or social unrest.”[22] The situation will not improve in the near future. According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, there will be 24 million more men than women of marriageable age by 2020.[87]

Education

According to a 2017 study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, “existing studies indicate either a modest or minimal effect of the fertility change induced by the one-child policy on children education”.[78]

Adoption and abandonment

A roadside sign in rural Sichuan: “It is forbidden to discriminate against, mistreat or abandon baby girls.”

For parents who had “unauthorized” births or who wanted a son but had a daughter, giving up the child for adoption was a kind of strategy to avoid penalties under one-child restrictions. In fact, “out adoption” was not uncommon in China even before birth planning. In the 1980s, adoptions of daughters accounted for slightly above half of the so-called “missing girls”, as out-adopted daughters often went unreported in censuses and survey and adoptive parents were not penalized for violating birth quotas [88] However, in 1991, a central decree attempted to close off this loophole by raising penalties and levying those penalties on any household that had an “unauthorized” child, including those that had adopted children.