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Italy has the worst coronavirus death rate in the world, which experts put down to its elderly population and the possibility that a large number of cases are not being diagnosed

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Story 1: The End of The Stock Market’s Bull Market Brought Down By Chinese Communist Coughing Crisis — Bear Markets Begins — Videos —

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The 11-year bull market is ending. Here’s what a bear market means

Dow Enters Bear Market, S&P Flirts with Bear Market [Stock Market Review] March 11, 2020

Citi CEO tells Trump coronavirus is ‘not a financial crisis’

Warren Buffett talks coronavirus and oil ‘one-two punch’ on stock market

 

Bull Market Ends Like It Began: In Chaos, Without Any Warning

 Updated on 
  • Fed support not enough to salvage stocks gripped by virus fear
  • As one of the slowest bulls, it still beats the rest of world

Nobody knew then, but it was the start of a rally that would ultimately add $20 trillion to equities and become the most enduring in history.

Now, a bull market that nobody saw coming has ended the same way it began — amid panic, and with little warning. Based on when it last hit a record, the Dow plunged 20% from Feb. 12, and investors who had only just begun to wade back in are getting crushed by a global health scare that has, thus far, resisted every effort to halt. (Inconveniently for market statisticians, the bear market arrived first in the Dow and not their preferred gauge, the S&P 500.)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 20% below its all-time high

In the end, it was one more crisis than could be contained by the market’s guardians. What set apart this bull market was, of course, the Federal Reserve. In modern history, no rally has been more closely associated with the central bank — and its unprecedented experiments in monetary policy — than this one. But policy makers who had so successfully shielded investors from credit crises, subpar economic growth and all manner of market turmoil, had no answer for a virus threatening to cause a global recession.

“What changed during this bull market is we assumed the Fed could solve everything. If this becomes a global demand problem, the Fed won’t be as able to help –- not with conventional policy,” said Peter Tchir, head of macro strategy at Academy Securities LLC.

It’s testament to the power of the advance that a plunge as violent as this one has lowered the annualized bull market return by less than 2 percentage points. If by a miracle you bought at the bottom, you’re still sitting on handsome gains — about 15% a year. Someone who waited 12 months before jumping in is doing fine, too.

“The bull market became an old friend and maybe we took its ability to fly for granted a bit too much, its ability to continue to power on,” said Marvin Loh, senior global macro strategist for State Street. “It was unique, it was euphoric. It made a lot of people feel great. But a lot of people didn’t participate as much as they could have, also.”

Not everyone will mourn an era whose early stages were fueled by Ben Bernanke’s controversial approach to stimulus, experiments with names like Quantitative Easing and Operation Twist designed to spur investment by pushing banks and individuals out of the fixed-income havens to which they flocked during the crisis. Every time the rally threatened to collapse — and shares twice before came within points of losing 20% — central bank pronouncements breathed new life.

Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 20% from a record

“Looking back on this bull market, financial textbooks will be re-written to start with central bank policy,” said Matt Miskin, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management. “And that section could equate to nearly half the content.”

The rally was a monster by many measures. At its peak on Feb. 19, the S&P 500 needed to climb about 3% more to eclipse the return of the mother of all bull markets, the dot-com frenzy that lifted it 545%. At the same time, its slow-and-steady nature kept it out of the ranks of the fastest. Going by the S&P 500 — which isn’t in a bear market, technically — the 18.3% annualized gain at the top is actually smaller than all but one of 12 previous bull markets.

Its biggest claim to history is its length. While a robust debate exists among wonks over how to date bull markets, most statisticians consider this to be the most durable on record. It lasted 11 years and two days and featured two calendar years in which the total return exceeded 30%.

S&P 500 leaps way ahead of other markets

The unrelenting climb has made U.S. stocks the envy of the world for a decade. In the past 10 years, the S&P 500’s gained more than 135%, compared with an advance of about 60% in the MSCI All-Country World Index. Emerging market stocks fell around 2% over that period.

“It was an all-American bull market. It paid to be provincial,” said Doug Ramsey, chief investment officer at Leuthold Group. “Toward the end, consumer discretionary did exceptionally well, especially considering we came out of a massive consumer recession. That’s an all-American thing: consumption.”

Amid Europe’s credit crisis, a downgraded U.S. credit rating, the Flash Crash, the rally struggled to gain converts early on — some wags called it the most hated bull market ever. In later stages a different sort of contempt began to emerge, from struggling American wage earners who saw equity returns as a Fed-fomented gift to the 1%. At various times in the past decade the return on the S&P 500 has exceeded growth in worker pay by the most on record. Four tech megacaps have seen their value jump over $1 trillion.

That aside, for anyone depending on the market for old-age money, the sight of the plunge has been harrowing.

“Someday I’ll tell my grandchildren how our generation rode an investment fad that overweighted stocks in our portfolios from the highs down to the lows, leaving us with less than we hoped for in retirement,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist for MUFG Union Bank. “The end of the bull market really means an end of confidence in our own futures. We’ll never see a repeat of 2019’s 28.8% gain in the S&P 500 again.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-11/bull-market-ends-like-it-began-in-chaos-without-any-warning

Story 2: World Health Organization (WHO) Declares COVID-19 Pandemic — 4 Countries (China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea ) Have Most Cases and Over 100 Countries Have Reported Cases– Videos 

BREAKING: Coronavirus declared a pandemic by WHO

What can we expect from Trump’s national address on coronavirus pandemic?

Coronavirus IS a pandemic: World Health Organization dramatically upgrades COVID-19 outbreak after ‘severity’ of cases across the globe and calls out ‘alarming inaction’ by some governments

  • The WHO said it was ‘deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity’ of the coronavirus
  • A pandemic is the uncontrolled spread of a new disease – more than 100 countries have recorded cases
  • Europe is now the centre of the crisis, with growing outbreaks in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK 
  • At least 125,000 patients have been infected and 4,000 have died since the outbreak began last December
  • The virus has been spreading between humans in four continents since February 28, the WHO has admitted
  • Do you have a story about coronavirus? Email stephen.matthews@mailonline.co.uk or ring 020 361 51181
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

The World Health Organization today finally declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic after blaming ‘alarming levels of inaction’ by governments across the planet for fueling the crisis.

As the number of confirmed cases of the bug worldwide surpassed 112,000 – and the death toll neared 4,500 – the WHO said it was ‘deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity’.

Director-General of the UN agency Dr Tedros Adhanom also blasted governments for ignoring repeated WHO pleas to take urgent and aggressive action, with cases of the deadly illness outside of China having risen 13-fold in the space of a fortnight because of escalating crises in Italy, Iran, Spain, Germany, and France.

The WHO said: ‘Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.’

In a desperate call for governments to band together and tackle the coronavirus, Dr Adhanom said: ‘We’re in this together, to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It’s doable.’

The last pandemic – defined as the uncontrolled worldwide spread of a new disease – to be officially declared was the swine flu outbreak in 2009, which scientists estimate killed hundreds of thousands of people.

More than 125,000 people globally have already been infected with the coronavirus, which can cause pneumonia but causes mild flu-like symptoms for 98 per cent of patients.

Cases have slowed dramatically in China, where the bug first emerged at the end of December. However, the crisis has now enveloped Europe, where the number of cases rises by the day.

Around 60million Italians – whose country is the worst-hid by the infection after China – are now subject to an official curfew imposed upon them by the Italian Government.

Outbreaks are also worsening in Spain, France, Germany, and the UK; in the latter, the eighth confirmed death by the coronavirus was announced earlier, leading to charges of dithering by Boris Johnson’s administration.

Leading experts, including Germany’s health minister, have called the crisis a pandemic for weeks – and the WHO itself has admitted the killer virus has been spreading between humans in four continents since February 28.

Medics in hazmat suits care to a patient in Civile Hospital, Brescia, Italy. Italy is at the centre of the escalating coronavirus crisis, with more than 10,000 cases recorded

A doctor in Wuhan, China – where the outbreak began at the end of December – checks the medicine given to an infected patient+29

A doctor in Wuhan, China – where the outbreak began at the end of December – checks the medicine given to an infected patient

Medical workers in Seoul, South Korea transfer a coronavirus patient to a hospital in a special tube to contain the virus

Doctors in Indonesia care for a suspected coronavirus patient at Suradadi Hospital in Tegal

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PANDEMIC AND AN EPIDEMIC?

An epidemic is a situation in which a disease takes hold in a single community, which could be a town, region or country.

For an epidemic to be declared, the disease must be continuing to spread among the population without people having to catch it from other people and not from the disease’s original source – in the case of the coronavirus this would be the animal market in Wuhan.

A pandemic is when this ongoing person-to-person spread of the disease happens in multiple countries around the world.

A disease being a pandemic does not make it more dangerous, nor change anything about how it affects people or what can be done to stop it.

The World Health Organization had hesitated to declare a pandemic because, for a long time, most of the cases being seen in countries outside of China were in people who had travelled there or caught it directly from someone who travelled there.

Now the disease is so widespread that people can catch it without any obvious link to China, and the numbers are continuing to rise worldwide despite travel bans, showing the virus is in constant circulation within various countries.

A report by the WHO on Monday confirmed that the virus was spreading unchecked in at least 30 countries in Europe, which is now at the centre of the global crisis.

In other developments to the escalating global crisis today:

  • An elderly woman became the first person to die of coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland; 
  • Iran reported 63 new deaths from the virus in 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since it announced the first deaths from the outbreak;
  • Three Disneyland Paris workers tested positive for the killer infection and were placed in quarantine as the park closes two attractions;
  • Holiday plans were thrown into further doubt as Turkey became the latest tourist hotspot to be hit by the coronavirus;
  • A passenger was arrested for licking his hand and wiping it on a handrail on the Belgian subway, forcing the train to be taken off service and disinfected;
  • A British woman became the first person to catch the killer illness in Jamaica – it is unclear where she caught the virus;
  • Experts have warned Italy has a higher death rate than expected because its population is older than average.

The specific definition of a pandemic are not universally agreed upon, but there are known to be three main criteria.

These are: sustained person-to-person transmission, evidence of world-wide spread and a disease that can cause sudden illness or death.

COVID-19 is a mild flu-like illness for the overwhelming majority of patients, which may explain why the WHO was so reluctant to call it a pandemic.

Until today, it said the clusters of cases in other countries around the world could be traced back to Asia, where the situation began.

Calling the outbreak a pandemic does not mean any advice given to countries on on how to contain the killer virus will change – it is just an admission that it is now spreading in dozens of nations.

More countries have now confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the killer infection, than those that haven’t.

Saudi Arabia temporarily suspended travel of citizens and residents and halted flights with several states on Thursday due to coronavirus fears.

The decision includes the European Union, Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia, source added, saying the Kingdom also suspended entry to those coming from these countries.

Saudi Arabia also suspended passenger traffic through all land crossings with Jordan, while commercial and cargo traffic is still allowed, and the passage of exceptional humanitarian cases.

The decision excludes health workers in the Kingdom from Philippines and India, and evacuation, shipping and trade trips taking necessary precautions. Saudi Arabia has 45 coronavirus cases.

Cuba confirmed its first cases of coronavirus, while its textile industry has been drafted to fabricate masks and the government also urged citizens to make their own, amid a cash crunch and dwindling supplies worldwide.

The World Health Organization has said the coronavirus outbreak can now be classed as a pandemic. Pictured, it's chief executive Dr Tedros Adhanom

The World Health Organization has said the coronavirus outbreak can now be classed as a pandemic. Pictured, it’s chief executive Dr Tedros Adhanom

WHAT ARE COUNTRIES DOING TO STOP THE CORONAVIRUS?

World Health Organization director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, applauded the efforts Italy, South Korea and Iran have been making to try and stop the coronavirus.

Here’s what they’re doing:

Italy 

Italy’s government has this week put the entire country into a lockdown. Citizens have been told not to travel out of their hometowns unless it is necessary, and face jail time if they try to break the rules. They are allowed out to go shopping and to go to work in some cases.

Schools, museums, sports events and large gatherings have all been closed or cancelled to stop people coming together in crowds.

The country is urging all tourists who are there to leave and return to their home countries.

South Korea 

South Korea has been hailed as a success in its coronavirus response as it appears to have managed to stem a rapidly spiralling outbreak. Thousands of people were infected there in a short space of time but the country locked down the worst-hit cities – Daegu and Cheongdo – and ramped up testing and isolation protocols.

The nation quickly upgraded its response to a high alert level and was meticulous in tracing the contacts of its confirmed cases and testing and isolating them, too. Rapid diagnostic tests have been available there since mid-January, Pharmaceutical Technology reports.

It issued stay-home notices to citizens in Cheongdo and Daegu and sent the cities into shutdown while officials tracked down coronavirus patients.

Iran

Iran has also seen a devastating surge in coronavirus cases in a short time but has told its citizens to stop travelling around the country.

The country’s national airline has stopped all flights to Europe and the authorities have closed all schools and universities, stopped large events and sports matches, and cut people’s working hours to try and reduce travel and slow down the spread of the virus.

There are roadblocks with checks on people travelling around the city of Qom, where the outbreak started, The Guardian reported.

At a press conference in Geneva – where the WHO is based, Dr Tedros revealed 81 countries have not reported any cases.

He said: ‘We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic. Even those countries with community transmission or large clusters can turn the tide on this coronavirus.’

Dr Tedros said several countries have demonstrated the virus can be suppressed and controlled – outbreaks in China and South Korea have dramatically slowed.

But he added the ‘challenge for many countries’ now dealing with large clusters ‘is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will’.

Dr Tedros also said: ‘Some countries are struggling with a lack of capacity. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resources.’

And in a veiled jab at some countries battling escalating outbreaks, he added: ‘Some countries are struggling with a lack of resolve.’

He said: ‘We are grateful for the measures being taken in Iran, Italy and South Korea to slow the virus and control their COVID19 epidemics. We know that these measures are taking a heavy toll on societies and economies, just as they did in China.

‘All countries must strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimizing economic & social disruption & respecting human rights.

‘This is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector – so every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight.

‘I remind all countries that we are calling on you to: activate & scale up your emergency response mechanisms; communicate with your people about the risks and how they can protect themselves; find, isolate, test and treat every COVID19 case and trace every contact.’

An epidemic is a situation in which a disease takes hold in a single community, which could be a town, region or country. A pandemic is when this ongoing person-to-person spread of the disease happens in multiple countries around the world.

A disease being a pandemic does not make it more dangerous, nor change anything about how it affects people or what can be done to stop it.

A report by the WHO on Monday confirmed that the virus was spreading unchecked in 30 countries in Europe, which is now at the centre of the global crisis.

The list of countries include Spain, Germany and France – popular Easter holiday destinations for thousands of Brits looking to jet abroad.

It comes after an elderly woman today became the first person to die of the killer coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland.

The patient, who hasn’t been identified, suffered from respiratory symptoms before a doctor decided to test for COVID-19.

Health chiefs in Ireland did not reveal her age but said she died earlier today despite treatment at a hospital in the east of the country.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: ‘I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of this patient.’

The head of the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) Paul Reid tweeted that the Republic is entering 'a new phase' of coronavirus

The head of the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) Paul Reid tweeted that the Republic is entering ‘a new phase’ of coronavirus

IRAN RECORDS 63 NEW DEATHS FROM THE VIRUS – THE HIGHEST DAILY TOLL

Iran today reported 63 new deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since it announced the first deaths from the outbreak.

In an attempt to combat the disease, firefighters were deployed this morning to spray disinfectant over the city’s streets.

Iran’s Health Ministry said the deaths are among some 9,000 confirmed cases in Iran, where the virus has spread to all of the country’s provinces.

Iran is yet to officially impose quarantines but authorities have repeatedly called on people to refrain from travelling. It has closed schools and universities and resorted to shutting hotels and other tourist accommodation to discourage travel.

 Among the dead are five of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard members and an unspecified number of the Guard’s volunteer Basij force.

There are concerns that the number of infections across Iran is much higher than the confirmed cases reported by the government, which is struggling to contain or manage its spread. The rising casualty figures each day in Iran suggest the fight against the new coronavirus is far from over.

In other developments, a British woman died of coronavirus in Indonesia – becoming the country’s first death in the epidemic.

Indonesia’s government said the 53-year-old woman with diabetes and lung disease had died in hospital after being admitted in a critical condition.

Reports in Indonesia say she was cremated today. Her husband was also in Indonesia and is due to return to Britain soon, officials say.

It means eight Brits have now died from COVID-19. The first death to be recorded was a holidaymaker onboard the doomed Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined off the coast of Japan.

Six fatalities have since been recorded in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have yet to record any deaths.

Iran today reported 63 new deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since it announced the first deaths from the outbreak.

In an attempt to combat the disease, firefighters were deployed this morning to spray disinfectant over the city’s streets.

Iran’s Health Ministry said the deaths are among some 9,000 confirmed cases in Iran, where the virus has spread to all of the country’s provinces.

Iran is yet to officially impose quarantines but authorities have repeatedly called on people to refrain from travelling.

It has closed schools and universities and resorted to shutting hotels and other tourist accommodation to discourage travel.

Indonesia's government said the 53-year-old woman with diabetes and lung disease had died in hospital, reportedly the Sanglah hospital in Bali (pictured)

The British woman was reportedly cremated at this crematorium complex in Bali today (pictured) after she died following a positive test for coronavirus
Pictured, a couple wearing face masks on the tube in London, where 104 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed

Pictured, a male goes about this normal travel business on a quiet Bakerloo Line today

Most of the cases confirmed in the UK have been in England (387). Fears are mounting that the worsening crisis in the UK is mirroring that of Italy, where 60million people have been placed in an unprecedented lockdown

People wearing a protective face masks walking across London Bridge today as Britain braces itself for an increase in cases of the coronavirus. Experts expect the outbreak to peak in the next fortnight with thousands more cases

People wearing a protective face masks walking across London Bridge today as Britain braces itself for an increase in cases of the coronavirus. Experts expect the outbreak to peak in the next fortnight with thousands more cases

Firefighters on a firetruck trundle down a road in southern Tehran today, spraying disinfectant to stem the spread of the coronavirus

Firefighters on a firetruck trundle down a road in southern Tehran today, spraying disinfectant to stem the spread of the coronavirus

A firefighter points from the spraying end of a fire truck that is disinfecting the streets of Tehran, today

A firefighter points from the spraying end of a fire truck that is disinfecting the streets of Tehran, today

Disinfection works are being carried out by fire brigade crew in the streets of Tehran as a precaution against coronavirus (COVID-19) today

Disinfection works are being carried out by fire brigade crew in the streets of Tehran as a precaution against coronavirus (COVID-19) today

Iranian firefighters disinfect the streets of Tehran to halt the spread of the coronavirus today

WHY ARE SO MANY PATIENTS DYING IN ITALY?

Italy has the highest coronavirus death rate in the world with one in every 16 people who catch the disease there dying from it.

At least 10,149 people have now been diagnosed with the virus, making it the worst hit country outside of China, and 631 are confirmed to have died.

Its death rate is 6.22 per cent, according to the most recent data – the highest in the world.

The deadly impact in Italy has been put down to three possible factors – a huge population of old people, cases being concentrated in a small area, and a lag in testing meaning the number of total cases is inaccurate.

Italy has the biggest population of elderly people in Europe, with almost a quarter of people (22 per cent) aged 65 or older. And the median age – the middle of the age range – is 46.5 years old, according to the CIA – the fifth highest in the world.

For comparison, the UK’s median age is 40.6 (18 per cent aged over 65) and the US’s is 38.5 (17 per cent over 65).

The older someone is, the more deadly catching the coronavirus can be. Age is known to be one of the biggest risk factors because the immune system and lungs are naturally weaker so the body is less able to fend off pneumonia, which the virus causes in severe cases.

Research has found that people aged 80 or over have a 14.8 per cent risk (one in seven) of dying if they develop COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

 Among the dead are five of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard members and an unspecified number of the Guard’s volunteer Basij force.

There are concerns that the number of infections across Iran is much higher than the confirmed cases reported by the government, which is struggling to contain or manage its spread.

The rising casualty figures each day in Iran suggest the fight against the new coronavirus is far from over.

It comes after a passenger was arrested for licking his hand and wiping it on a handrail on the Belgian subway, forcing the train to be taken off service and disinfected.

The unidentified man, who appears intoxicated, can be seen removing his mask before bringing his hand to his mouth and licking it.

He then brings his right hand up to the vertical rail and grips it, before rubbing it along the bar.

The Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company, the capital’s public transport provider, tweeted shortly after the event: ‘The man (intoxicated) was arrested by the police and our security service.

‘The subway train was withdrawn from service to be disinfected. Thank you for your message. Our metros are cleaned every day.’

The video, posted by a user who preferred to remain anonymous, was uploaded to Twitter on Saturday and social media users were outraged by the man’s behaviour.

Elsewhere in Europe, Poland today closed all schools, museums and cinemas, while Ukraine’s capital city Kiev will shut all educational buildings due to fears of coronavirus spreading despite both countries having lower rates of infection compared to the rest of Europe.

Speaking at a joint conference following a special meeting on coronavirus, Polish ministers said that pre-schools and schools would stop teaching on Thursday, but limited care would still be provided this week to the youngest children. Universities, museums, theaters and cinemas will also close on Thursday for two weeks, the officials said.

In the footage posted on the 9 March, the man can be seen cradling his can of beer on the Belgium subway system

In the footage posted on the 9 March, the man can be seen cradling his can of beer on the Belgium subway system

The man, who the Brussels public transport system said was intoxicated, can be seen pulling down his face mask

BUT DIDN’T THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SAY IT WOULD NOT DECLARE OUTBREAKS A PANDEMIC?

The WHO drew flak for declaring the 2009 swine flu outbreak a pandemic, which turned out to be mild and less deadly than feared.

It used to use a six-phase system for outbreaks, with phase six being a full-blown pandemic. Critics said the WHO created panic about swine flu and caused governments to stockpile vaccines which went unused.

Some even questioned its links to the pharmaceutical industry, after firms such as GlaxoSmithKline profited from producing a H1N1 vaccine.

H1N1, which emerged in Mexico and the US, is thought to have killed up to 200,000 people in more than 200 countries.

WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told MailOnline that the body no longer uses the six-tier phasing system but added its advice ‘remains the same’.

He said: ‘We continue working with countries to limit the spread of the virus while also preparing for the possibility of wider spread.’

The WHO eventually declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) on January 30.

The WHO rejected making the coronavirus outbreak a PHEIC before its eventual U-turn. It is only the sixth time the term has been used.

The designation, still in place, was aimed at helping countries with weaker health systems shore up their defenses, especially in Africa.

The move is also being carried out by Poland’s neighbour, Ukraine, in its capital city, Kiev.

Poland has confirmed 26 cases of coronavirus, but looking at how fast the virus spreads in some other European countries, the government decided to take the preventive action, officials said.

The Mayor of Kiev, Vitaly Klitschko, whose country has counted just one case, said he was introducing similar ‘preventive measures’.

The WHO earlier this month admitted the killer coronavirus outbreak sweeping the world won’t be officially declared a pandemic.

Instead, the UN-body said the crisis has already been a public health emergency of international concern – the highest warning level – for a month.

The WHO drew flak for declaring the 2009 swine flu outbreak a pandemic, which turned out to be mild and less deadly than feared.

It used to use a six-phase system for outbreaks, with phase six being a full-blown pandemic.

Critics said the WHO created panic about swine flu and caused governments to stockpile vaccines which went unused.

Some even questioned its links to the pharmaceutical industry, after firms such as GlaxoSmithKline profited from producing a H1N1 vaccine.

H1N1, which emerged in Mexico and the US, is thought to have killed up to 200,000 people in more than 200 countries.

The WHO eventually declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) on January 30.

The WHO rejected making the coronavirus outbreak a PHEIC before its eventual U-turn. It is only the sixth time the term has been used.

The designation, still in place, was aimed at helping countries with weaker health systems shore up their defenses, especially in Africa.

Polish Border Guard officers during a sanitary control on the Polish-Ukrainian railway border in Przemysl, southeastern Poland, yesterday

Health workers wear a protective masks and suits as they stands next to a temporary health facility before screening passengers on the A1 highway near the Polish-Czech border yesterday in Gorzyczki, Poland

Why are so many people dying from the coronavirus in Italy? Experts warn country’s population is older than average and say thousands of cases could have been missed because symptoms are so mild

Italy has the highest coronavirus death rate in the world with one in every 16 people who catch the disease there dying from it.

At least 10,149 people have now been diagnosed with the virus, making it the worst hit country outside of China, and 631 are confirmed to have died.

Its death rate is 6.22 per cent, according to the most recent data – the highest in the world.

In China the death rate is 3.91 per cent and scientists have suggested if that is higher than the true figure because many cases are likely to be going unreported.

The deadly impact in Italy has been put down to three possible factors – a huge population of old people, cases being concentrated in a small area, and a lag in testing meaning the number of total cases is inaccurate.

Only Wuhan and the Hubei province around it have more cases of the coronavirus than Lombardy, the worst hit area in Italy, which is putting immense pressure on local health systems.

Italy has the worst coronavirus death rate in the world, which experts put down to its elderly population and the possibility that a large number of cases are not being diagnosed

Milan's Duomo cathedral is pictured almost deserted today as Italy is in complete lockdown as it grapples with the worst coronavirus outbreak outside of China

A municipal worker is seen spraying disinfectant in Piazza San Marco in Venice today. Tourism has all but stopped in Italy and citizens are banned from travelling

A municipal worker is seen spraying disinfectant in Piazza San Marco in Venice today. Tourism has all but stopped in Italy and citizens are banned from travelling

Italy has become the unlikely epicenter of the world’s coronavirus crisis.

It yesterday recorded a massive 168 deaths in a single day and, on Monday, had at least 1,492 new infections confirmed.

Even in the peak of its own epidemic, China – with a population 22 times the size of Italy’s – never recorded more than 3,900 in a day.

Government complacency has been blamed for the speed at which the outbreak has gripped the country, but the age of its citizens may be what is causing the deaths.

Italy has the biggest population of elderly people in Europe, with almost a quarter of people (22 per cent) aged 65 or older.

And the median age – the middle of the age range – is 46.5 years old, according to the CIA – the fifth highest in the world.

For comparison, the UK’s median age is 40.6 (18 per cent aged over 65) and the US’s is 38.5 (17 per cent over 65).

The older someone is, the more deadly catching the coronavirus can be.

Age is known to be one of the biggest risk factors because the immune system and lungs are naturally weaker so the body is less able to fend off pneumonia, which the virus causes in severe cases.

Research has found that people aged 80 or over have a 14.8 per cent risk (one in seven) of dying if they develop COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The local president of Lombardy, Attilio Fontana, confirmed: ‘All the deaths we’ve had are either very old people or very sick people,’ the New York Times reported.

Figures from the World Health Organization and Chinese scientists reveal that as the age of the patient increases, the greater their risk of dying

People queue up outside a supermarket in Rome today. People have been urged to keep their distance from others and to avoid forming crowds

Top-tier football teams Juventus and Inter Milan are pictured playing a match behind closed doors earlier this week – the Serie A league has since been put on hold as the government battles the outbreak

A roadblock is shown at the Austrian border – Austria is now turning away Italian citizens who try to cross onto its soil without a certificate proving they're coronavirus-free

A roadblock is shown at the Austrian border – Austria is now turning away Italian citizens who try to cross onto its soil without a certificate proving they’re coronavirus-free

Victim’s brother furious at lack of support from Italian authorities

WHAT ARE THE RULES OF ITALY’S QUARANTINE?

THE SICK MUST STAY AT HOME

People who have tested positive for coronavirus must not leave their homes for any reason.

Anyone with a fever or respiratory symptoms is urged to stay at home and limit social contact, including with their doctor.

NO TRAVEL ACROSS ITALY

Travel is only allowed for ‘urgent, verifiable work situations and emergencies or health reasons’. Grocery shopping is considered a ‘necessity’ and still allowed.

To avoid work-related travel, public and private companies have been urged to put their staff on leave.

Flights, trains and public transport will continue but Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte says he wants as many people as possible to stay at home.

People who do want to travel will need to fill in a document explaining their reasons for doing so and carry it with them.

NO PUBLIC GATHERINGS

‘All forms of gatherings in public places or sites open to the public’ are banned, the decree says.

Cinemas, museums, theatres, pubs, dance schools, betting shops and discos are all closed. Weddings and funerals are banned. Schools and universities will remain shut until April 3.

Bars and restaurants were only allowed to open between 8am and 6pm, the decree said, and only if a distance of at least 3ft could be kept between customers.

Sporting events of all levels and disciplines were cancelled – stopping play in the Serie A football league. Fixtures in international competitions can go ahead but will be played behind closed doors.

Gyms, sports centres, swimming pools, spas and leisure centres must close.

SHOPS MUST KEEP 3FT DISTANCE

Shops can remain open but only if they can guarantee the 3ft safety distance for customers.

Big and mid-sized shopping centres have to close at the weekend. Food stores are allowed to remain open at all hours.

NO LEAVE FOR HEALTH WORKERS

Leave for health workers is cancelled. People accompanying their friends or relatives to emergency units are not allowed to stay with them in the waiting rooms without express permission.

ALL OF ITALY IS COVERED

The entire country, including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, is covered by the decree – covering a total population of some 60million people.

As patient ages decline, so do their chances of dying.

Between 60 and 69 years old the death rate is around 3.6 per cent, while it is more like 1.3 per cent for those aged 50 to 59.

For people in their 40s this drops to 0.4 per cent, and it’s just 0.2 per cent for those in their 30s.

People who have other long-term health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer are also at a greater risk because they have weaker immune systems than usual.

Italians caught up in the country’s coronavirus outbreak may also be at particularly high risk because most of the cases are concentrated in a small area.

The northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto are the ones that have been hardest hit by the infection.

Lombardy is an area smaller than England with Milan as its only major city, but is host to more than 5,000 coronavirus cases, while the surrounding regions of Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Piedmont contain the majority of the remainder.

This means Lombardy has more cases than any province of China outside of Hubei, of which Wuhan is the capital.

That region alone has more cases than Spain, France, Germany or the US do in total.

As a result local hospitals are under immense pressure, which means patients may not get the high quality care they need and the virus could be more likely to spread in overloaded hospitals.

Experts also say that the true number of cases is not being recorded in Italy because the infection is spreading so fast and people with mild illness may not be counted.

This means the death rate appears higher than it is because all the deaths will be counted – most patients will have been hospitalised and diagnosed before dying –but not all the infections.

Krys Johnson, a disease expert at Temple University in Philadelphia, admitted: ‘We probably don’t know how many people have actually become infected,’ according to Scientific American.

The situation is so bad in Italy partly because the Government stopped testing people in late January unless they had been to China.

Strict rules had been put in place to test anyone with the symptoms of coronavirus but, after the Government banned all flights from China – it was the first country to do so – the testing relaxed.

As a result, infected people are believed to have travelled into Italy from other countries.

The first confirmed patient is thought to have passed the virus on to at least five other people, including doctors and patients in the hospital he was taken to, before even being diagnosed.

Officials still don’t know how the man, a 38-year-old in Milan, was infected, and there are fears the virus circulated for weeks before he was discovered.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS?

Someone who is infected with the coronavirus can spread it with just a simple cough or a sneeze, scientists say.

More than 4,500 people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and more than 125,000 have been infected. Here’s what we know so far:

What is the coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals.

‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses).

‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’

The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.

By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.

The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.

Just a week after that, there had been more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4,000 – possibly 9,700 – were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died.

By January 27, more than 2,800 people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.

By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to 132 and cases were in excess of 6,000.  

By February 5, there were more than 24,000 cases and 492 deaths.

By February 11, this had risen to more than 43,000 cases and 1,000 deaths. 

A change in the way cases are confirmed on February 13 – doctors decided to start using lung scans as a formal diagnosis, as well as laboratory tests – caused a spike in the number of cases, to more than 60,000 and to 1,369 deaths.

By February 25, around 80,000 people had been infected and some 2,700 had died. February 25 was the first day in the outbreak when fewer cases were diagnosed within China than in the rest of the world. 

Where does the virus come from?

According to scientists, the virus almost certainly came from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.

The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in Wuhan, which has since been closed down for investigation.

Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat.

A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent identical to a coronavirus they found in bats.

However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.

Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.

‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’

So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 

Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.

It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs. It is less deadly than SARS, however, which killed around one in 10 people, compared to approximately one in 50 for COVID-19.

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.

Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.

‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’

If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die.

‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.

‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’

How does the virus spread?

The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.

It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. It can also live on surfaces, such as plastic and steel, for up to 72 hours, meaning people can catch it by touching contaminated surfaces.

Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.

What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?

Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.

If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients will recover from these without any issues, and many will need no medical help at all.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people.

Figures are showing that young children do not seem to be particularly badly affected by the virus, which they say is peculiar considering their susceptibility to flu, but it is not clear why.

What have genetic tests revealed about the virus?

Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world.

This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.

Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.

However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.

This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.

More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.

How dangerous is the virus?  

The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.

Experts have been conflicted since the beginning of the outbreak about whether the true number of people who are infected is significantly higher than the official numbers of recorded cases. Some people are expected to have such mild symptoms that they never even realise they are ill unless they’re tested, so only the more serious cases get discovered, making the death toll seem higher than it really is.

However, an investigation into government surveillance in China said it had found no reason to believe this was true.

Dr Bruce Aylward, a World Health Organization official who went on a mission to China, said there was no evidence that figures were only showing the tip of the iceberg, and said recording appeared to be accurate, Stat News reported.

Can the virus be cured?

The COVID-19 virus cannot be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.

No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.

The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.

People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.

And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).

However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.

Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?

The outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11. A pandemic is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’.

Previously, the UN agency said most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8101003/World-Health-Organization-says-coronavirus-classed-pandemic.html

Story 3: Dr. Fauci: We’re going to get a lot more infections — Videos —

Dr. Fauci: We’re going to get a lot more infections

Ingraham: Contain the virus but protect our freedom

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1343, October 17, 2019, Story 1: United States Negotiates A 5 Day Cease Fire With Turkey and 20 Mile Buffer Zone — Videos — Story 2: Senate Fails To Override Trump’s Veto  of Legislation Approved by the Senate and House of Representatives to Kill His Border Emergency — Videos — Story 3: Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Resigns End Of Year — Going Home To Texas — Videos

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Story 1: United States Negotiates A 5 Day Cease Fire With Turkey and 20 Mile Buffer Zone — Videos

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Trump touts ‘incredible’ ceasefire deal with Turkey

Mike Pence: Turkey Will Hold Ceasefire in Syria for 120 Hours – FULL ANNOUNCEMENT

Vice President Pence announces Syria ceasefire

Turkey agrees to Syria ceasefire: Vice President Mike Pence l ABC News

Ceasefire Reportedly Reached Between Turkey And Syria

Trump on ceasefire in Syria: It is a great day for civilization

The Five’ reacts to Trump and Pelosi trading ‘meltdown’ insults

Donald Trump hails five-day ceasefire deal in Syria as ‘a great day for civilization’ and boasts of ‘incredible outcome’ claiming ‘great leader’ Erdogan and the Kurds are happy – but Turkey hits back that they have only agreed to a PAUSE

  • Vice President Mike Pence announced the United States and Turkey have reached a deal to suspend Ankara’s operations in northern Syria for five days
  • ‘It’s really a great day for civilization,’ Trump said of the agreement 
  • Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spent more than four hours meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in order to get a deal
  • Ceasefire will reportedly last for 120 hours to allow a withdrawal 
  • Turkey will also get a 20 mile buffer on its border that Kurds much avoid 
  • Kurds were not part of the negotiations but Pence said they signed on 
  • ‘They couldn’t get it without a little rough love,’ Trump said of the agreement. ‘This is an incredible outcome’
  • But Turkish officials downplayed agreement and said it’s ‘not a ceasefire’ 

Donald Trump on Thursday hailed an agreement between the United States and Turkey for a five-day cease fire in Syria as a ‘great day for civilization’ as Turkish officials down played the outcome of the deal. 

‘A great day for the Kurds. It’s really a great day for civilization. It’s a great day for civilization,’ Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the United States and Turkey reached a deal to suspend Ankara’s operations in northern Syria for five days to allow Kurds time to withdraw to a ‘safe zone’ as part of a cease-fire agreement.

‘The United States and Turkey have agreed to a cease-fire in Syria,’ Pence announced at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara after protracted negotiations with the Turkish government.

The deal establishes a 20-mile buffer zone on the Turkish border that Kurds would have to avoid – a move that essentially gives Turkey a portion of Syria to control.

Trump praised his team’s work and touted his own role in the matter.

‘They couldn’t get it without a little rough love,’ Trump said in Texas after the deal was announced. The president had threatened Erdogan about the deal, saying he would destroy the Turkish economy with sanctions if he didn’t sign on. ‘This is an incredible outcome.’

But Turkish officials down played the agreement, saying they agreed to suspend operations to let the Kurds withdraw and emphasized it was ‘not a ceasefire.’

‘We will suspend the Peace Spring operation for 120 hours for the PKK/YPG to withdraw. This is not a ceasefire,’ Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the United States and Turkey have reached a deal to suspend Ankara's operations in northern Syria for five day

President Donald Trump said the deal would not have gotten done without 'tough love'

Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters gesture as they stand at a back of a truck in the border town of Tal Abyad, Syria

Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters gesture as they stand at a back of a truck in the border town of Tal Abyad, Syria

Trump infuriated members of both political parties – including some of his strongest Republican allies – when he announced earlier this month he was withdrawing U.S. troops from Northern Syria.

He was accused of abandoning the Kurds, who are U.S. allies in the region, and ceding control of the area to Russia.

A week of criticism from Capitol Hill compounded on Wednesday into a White House meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers where Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Trump of having a ‘serious meltdown’ when talking about the issue.

But the president gloried in the agreement on Thursday, calling Erdogan a ‘hell of a leader.’

Vice President Pence outlined the details of the agreement, saying Turkey agreed five-day cease fire in order to let Kurds get out of the ‘safe zone’ and Turkey will have a buffer zone around its border that the Kurds will avoid.

‘Once that is completed, Turkey has agreed to a permanent ceasefire,’ the vice president said.

And he said that Kurdish fighters would honor the deal even as the Kurdish were not part of the negotiations.

‘We have repeated assurances from them that they will be going out,’ he said.

The deal includes a Kurdish withdrawal from a security zone roughly 20 miles south of the Turkish border, which Pence said the Kurds will comply with.

‘Our administration has already been in contact with Syria defense forces and we’ve already begun to facilitate their safe withdrawal from the nearly 20-mile-wide safe zone area south of the Turkish border in Syria,’ Pence noted.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (3rd R), National Security Adviser Robert C. O'Brien (2nd R) and the American Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey (not pictured)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (3rd R), National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien (2nd R) and the American Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey (not pictured)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the agreement was 'not a cease fire'

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the agreement was ‘not a cease fire’

Smoke and fire in the town of Ras al-Ain in Syria as Turkish forces gain ground there

Smoke and fire in the town of Ras al-Ain in Syria as Turkish forces gain ground there

‘We recognize the importance and value of a safe zone to create a buffer between Syria proper and the Kurdish population and the Turkish border,’ he said.

Additionally, the U.S. agreed to lift the economic sanctions it imposed on Turkey after the country sent troops into northern Syria once American forces had withdrawn.

The withdrawal of U.S. troops resulted in the Turkish military going ahead with a planned invasion into northeastern Syria, where Kurdish fighters had helped American forces in fighting what was left of ISIS.

‘The United States will not impose any further sanctions on Turkey,’ Pence announced.

And once a permanent cease fire is in effect, the president has agreed to withdraw the economic sanctions that were imposed this last Monday,’ he added.

But the agreement, however, gives Turkey what it wanted with its military incursion Additionally, the country is under no obligation to withdraw its troops under the agreement.

And the sanctions relief means the country will suffer no economic penalty from its military operation.

Trump, however, argued the deal will save lives and praised Turkey for signing it.

‘They’re not going to have to kill millions of people, and millions of people aren’t going to have to kill them,’ he said.

The president acknowledged the opposition to his decision to withdraw U.S. troops , including criticism he faced in his party from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his longtime ally Sen. Lindsey Graham.

‘This outcome is something they’ve been trying to get for ten years, everybody, and they couldn’t get it. Other administrations, and they never would have been able to get it unless you went somewhat unconventional. I guess I’m an unconventional person. I took a lot of heat from a lot of people even some of the people in my own party, but they were there, in the end they were there. They’re all there. Look, this is about the nation. This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. This is about our nation,’ Trump said.

He claimed the Kurds were very happy with the outcome.

‘They were incredibly happy with this solution. This is a solution that really – well it saved their lives, frankly. It saved their lives,’ he said.

But not all Republicans celebrated the president’s deal.

In a scathing speech on the Senate floor, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney slammed the agreement, saying ‘the cease-fire does not change the fact that America has abandoned an ally, adding insult to dishonor.’

‘The administration speaks cavalierly, even flippantly, even as our ally has suffered death and casualty. Their homes have been burned and their families have been torn apart,’ he added.

‘What we have done to the Kurds will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of American history,’ he said.

Republican Senator Mitt Romney slammed Trump's deal with Turkey as a 'bloodstain' on America

Republican Senator Mitt Romney slammed Trump’s deal with Turkey as a ‘bloodstain’ on America

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan receives Vice President Mike Pence at Presidential Complex in Ankara

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan receives Vice President Mike Pence at Presidential Complex in Ankara

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he wants 'something even stronger' than the House resolution condemning Donald Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria as Republicans have opposed the president's move

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he wants ‘something even stronger’ than the House resolution condemning Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria as Republicans have opposed the president’s move

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, called for even greater sanctions on Turkey

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, called for even greater sanctions on Turkey

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters drive down a street in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters drive down a street in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad

There were fears among some Trump administration officials that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence would not be able to get a deal with Turkey

There were fears among some Trump administration officials that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence would not be able to get a deal with Turkey

Graham said in a statement on Thursday he had a phone call with Trump, who spoke to him from Air Force One as he was in route to Dallas, Texas, after the deal was done.

‘Sounds like we may have made real progress regarding a cease-fire and hopefully sustainable solutions to prevent the reemergence of ISIS, the abandonment of our ally, the Kurds, and other strategic interests of the United States, like the containment of Iran,’ Graham said.

‘I stand ready to continue working with the President to build upon this breakthrough. I also stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure this incursion by Turkey into northeastern Syria ends, hopefully, in a win-win fashion,’ he said. ‘Turkey has legitimate national security concerns within Syria but they cannot be met by invasion and force of arms.’

But there are still signs of dissension among the Republican ranks.

McConnell said Thursday he wants ‘something even stronger’ in the Senate than a House’s resolution that condemned Trump’s decision to with draw U.S. troops from Syria.

‘I believe it’s important that we make a strong forward-looking strategic statement. For that reason my preference would be for something even stronger than the resolution that the House passed yesterday which has some serious weaknesses,’ McConnell said from the Senate floor.

But nothing was raining on Trump’s parade.

Following the news of the deal, Trump tweeted: ‘Great news out of Turkey. News Conference shortly with @VP and @SecPompeo . Thank you to @RTErdogan . Millions of lives will be saved!’

Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace in Ankara Thursday for more than four hours

Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace in Ankara Thursday for more than four hours

President Trump tweeted the deal was 'great news'

President Trump tweeted the deal was ‘great news’

A Syrian woman and a girl, who were displaced by the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria, wait to receive a tent and other aid supplies at the Bardarash refugee camp, north of Mosul, Iraq

A Syrian woman and a girl, who were displaced by the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria, wait to receive a tent and other aid supplies at the Bardarash refugee camp, north of Mosul, Iraq

The president went on to tweet: ‘This deal could NEVER have been made 3 days ago. There needed to be some ‘tough’ love in order to get it done. Great for everybody. Proud of all!’

He added that millions of lives will be saved.

‘This is a great day for civilization. I am proud of the United States for sticking by me in following a necessary, but somewhat unconventional, path. People have been trying to make this ‘Deal’ for many years. Millions of lives will be saved. Congratulations to ALL!,’ the president wrote.

The vice president touched down in Ankara earlier Thursday alongside Pompeo and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien as they tried to stop the Syrian civil war descending into a bloody new phase.

His mission came a day after the White House released a letter Trump sent to Erdogan, urging him to make a deal.

‘You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering people,’ Trump wrote, adding: ‘Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool! I will call you later.’

The outlook for any deal had appeared bleak after Erdogan briefly toyed with the idea of refusing to meet with Pence at all.

He later relented, but repeatedly insisted he will not stop his assault on the Kurds – America’s former allies in Syria – until he has driven them away from his border.

Trump praised Erdogan for signing on to the agreement.

‘He’s a hell of a leader. And he’s a tough man. He’s a strong man. And he did the right thing, and I really appreciate it, and I will appreciate it in the future,’ he said Thursday.

He said – with the deal in place – Erdogan will likely make his visit to the White House next month.

‘That would be very much open. I would say, yeah, he would come. He did a terrific thing. He’s a leader. He had to make a decision. A lot of people wouldn’t have made that decision because they don’t know. They ultimately would have made it, but what he did was very smart and it was great for the people of Turkey, and they’re lucky it was him making the decision, I will tell you that,’ he said.

Trump told reporters during a press conference Wednesday that he hadn’t given Erdogan ‘a green light’ to invade northern Syria, and claimed releasing ‘a very powerful letter’ would dispel misconceptions about the impact of his troop withdrawal from Syria days.

‘If anybody saw the letter, which can be released very easily if you’d like – I could certainly release it,’ he said.

‘But I wrote a letter right after that conversation – a very powerful letter. There was never given a green light.’

Vice President Mike Pence carries details of the agreement as he prepares to announce the deal

Vice President Mike Pence carries details of the agreement as he prepares to announce the deal

Syrian National Army (SNA) members hang a Syrian National Army flag as they continue operations against the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey regards as a terror group, within Turkey's Operation Peace Spring

Syrian National Army (SNA) members hang a Syrian National Army flag as they continue operations against the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey regards as a terror group, within Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring

Correspondence: The letter reveals how Trump asked Erdogan not to invade northern Syria

 

The letter appears to support the president’s contention that he didn’t give Erdogan his approval for the military campaign.

‘Let’s work out a good deal!’ he wrote. ‘You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy—and I will.’

The president pledged during the 2016 campaign to disentangle America’s military from what he called ‘forever wars’ – longstanding conflicts that the Pentagon has stabilized, often with thousands, or tens of thousands, of servicemen and women.

He used that pledge to justify his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.

Trump’s allies in his own party, including Lindsey Graham, turned on him with that decision.

Graham, who has been a Trump ally in fending off the Russia probe, blasted the president for abandoning Kurdish allies in Syria in an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network, where evangelical leaders have been voicing concern about the risk to minorities including Christians in the region.

‘I will do anything I can to help him, but I will also become President Trump’s worst nightmare,’ Graham vowed. ‘I will not sit along the sidelines and watch a good ally, the Kurds, be slaughtered by Turkey.’

Graham cautioned: ‘This is a defining moment for President Trump. He needs to up his game.’

Trump responded by claiming the Kurds are not ‘angels.’

‘Syria has a relationship with the Kurds – who by the way are not angels,’ Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday.

‘Who is an angel? There aren’t too many around. But Syria has a relationship with the Kurds. So they’ll come in for their border. And they’ll fight,’ Trump said.

Graham on Thursday called for stricter sanctions against Turkey and introduced legislation that would target Turkish officials, end U.S. military cooperation with the NATO ally and mandate sanctions over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system

‘Congress is going to speak with a very firm, singular voice, that we will impose sanctions in the strongest measure possible against this Turkish outrage that will lead to the re-emergence of ISIS, the destruction of an ally, the Kurds and eventually benefit to Iran to the detriment of Israel,’ he said during a press conference on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to condemn the president’s troop-withdrawal decision, where 129 Republicans joined Democrats to condemn Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria in a 354 to 60 vote.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said hours later that they walked out of a meeting with Trump at the White House when he berated them for their views on Syria.

Pelosi said she witnessed a ‘meltdown,’ with Trump telling her some ISIS fighters were communists, and ‘that must make you happy.’

The White House said in a statement that ‘[t]he President was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising.’

The statement claimed Pelosi ‘chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7585159/US-Turkey-agree-deal-five-day-ceasefire.html

 

Vice President Pence said Oct. 17 the United States and Turkey had agreed to a five-day cease-fire in northern Syria to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw. (The Washington Post)
Oct. 17, 2019 at 2:33 p.m. CDT

ISTANBUL — Turkey agreed Thursday to a cease-fire that would suspend its march into Syria and temporarily halt a week of vicious fighting with Kurdish forces, while allowing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government to carve out a long-coveted buffer zone far beyond its borders.

The agreement, announced by Vice President Pence after hours of negotiations, appeared to hand Turkey’s leader most of what he sought when his military launched an assault on northeastern Syria just over a week ago: the expulsion of Syrian Kurdish militias from the border and the removal of a U.S. threat to impose sanctions on Turkey’s vulnerable economy.

Pence said Turkey had agreed to pause its offensive for five days while the United States helped facilitate the withdrawal of ­Kurdish-led forces, called the ­Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), from a large swath of territory stretching from Turkey’s border nearly 20 miles south into Syria. After the completion of the Kurdish withdrawal, Turkey’s military operation, which began Oct. 9, would be “halted entirely,” Pence said.

The White House agreed to refrain from imposing any new economic sanctions on Turkey and to withdraw sanctions that were imposed earlier this week once “a permanent cease-fire was in effect,” Pence said.

Mapping out Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria
Here’s where chaos unfolded in northern Syria as Turkey launched an invasion following President Trump’s Oct. 6 decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the area. (Joyce Lee, William Neff/The Washington Post)

Pence, who negotiated with the Turkish leader at the presidential palace in Ankara, portrayed the agreement as a hard-won victory and credited President Trump’s leadership and Turkey’s friendship for its success. The deal delivered Erdogan concessions he had been unable to win during years of negotiations with the United States and vindicated, in some way, his decision to pursue military action instead.

“It’s a great day for the United States, it’s a great day for Turkey,” Trump told reporters in Texas after Pence’s announcement. “A great day for the Kurds, it’s a great day for civilization,” he added.

Mazloum Kobane Abdi, the commander of the SDF, said in an interview on a Kurdish television channel that “we accepted this agreement, and we will do whatever it takes to make it work.” But the text of the agreement was “just the beginning,” he said, adding that “the Turkish occupation will not continue.”
Pence, Pompeo meet with Turkish president
Vice President Pence met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara Oct.17 to persuade him to case the military offensive on northeast Syria. (The Washington Post)

Pence’s whirlwind trip to Turkey came just a week after the start of a military operation that had prompted a hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, led to dire warnings about the resurgence of the Islamic State militant group and abruptly caused a humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of people were uprooted from their homes. Dozens were killed in battles, on both sides of the border.

The Trump administration was criticized, even by some of its Republican allies, for abandoning the Syrian Kurdish militias, which partnered with the U.S. military to fight the Islamic State. Trump’s erratic statements about the conflict seemed to make matters worse: On Wednesday, he distanced himself from the conflict altogether, saying the fight between Turkey and the Kurds was “over land that has nothing to do with us.”

As Pence met with Erdogan on Thursday, the two men refused to smile, even a little, as their meeting got underway, as if to communicate failure before their negotiation had begun.

But afterward, a Turkish official briefed by participants in the talks said the Turkish side was surprised and relieved at how easy the negotiations were. “We got everything we wanted,” said the official, an adviser to the Foreign Ministry who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomacy.

Irritated by White House threats over the past week, Erdogan had prepared for a confrontational meeting, but the mood softened when it became clear the U.S. officials were asking only for what the Turks regarded as token concessions. In return for a brief pause in fighting, there would be no U.S. sanctions and no requirement for a Turkish withdrawal.

The request for a temporary cease-fire seemed to be “face-saving, for the U.S. side,” the official said. “It was as easy a negotiation as we’ve ever had,” the official said.

The agreement — aimed at separating hardened foes in a volatile area of Syria — faces obvious obstacles. The text raised a variety of pressing questions, including whether the combatants would honor their commitments.

But while it averted, at least temporarily, the most serious dispute between Turkey and the United States in years, the agreement faced immediate criticism, including from U.S. lawmakers who earlier in the day had introduced sanctions legislation on their own.

Trump’s actions in Syria had infuriated Capitol Hill, where Democrats and Republicans in the House voted earlier this week in large numbers to rebuke the White House for the troop withdrawal. On Thursday, some of Trump’s most vocal critics on Syria met the news of the cease-fire with open skepticism.

In a floor speech, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) pressed the administration to explain the United States’ future role in the region, the fate of the Kurds and why, in Romney’s view, Turkey will face no consequences after its incursion into Syria

“The announcement today is being portrayed as a victory. It is far from a victory,” Romney said. “Serious questions remain about how the decision was reached precipitously to withdraw from Syria and why that decision was reached.”

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), a co-sponsor of the bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), called the agreement “a capitulation to Turkey at the expense of our Kurdish allies.”

“The agreement lets Turkey off the hook for slaughtering innocent civilians and the Kurdish troops who fought alongside American soldiers against ISIS,” an acronym for the Islamic State, Hassan said in a statement. “Moreover, it does nothing to recapture the hundreds of ISIS soldiers who have already escaped from Kurdish-held prisons.”

Spokesmen for Graham and Van Hollen said they would continue to press the sanctions legislation.

Robert Malley, who served as a senior White House official during the Obama administration and is now president of the International Crisis Group, described the agreement as “a capitulation dressed up as a win.”

He said the Trump administration’s announcement validated the Turkish objective in Syria, “putting a gloss on it and claiming it was a deal reached through negotiations.” Malley said the terms appeared so ambiguous that they made possible renewed violence between Turkey and the Kurds.

The cease-fire agreement does not mention any Turkish withdrawal from Syria, where Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies have moved about 20 miles across the border over a broad width of territory. Although it says a “safe zone” will be established, the agreement also notes that Turkey’s military will take the lead in patrolling it.

Turkey has described the offensive as a counterterrorism operation directed at militants affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has fought an insurgency inside Turkey for decades.

Just weeks before the incursion, Turkey and the United States had agreed after months of negotiations to jointly patrol a zone that would extend no farther than 8.6 miles into Syria. Turkey’s unhappiness with that agreement, both in terms of the amount of Syrian territory it covered and the extent of Turkish control, was one precipitating factor in the decision to invade.

The deal reached Thursday also does not address Turkish-backed Syrian militias, which have been the vanguard of the invasion. U.S. officials consider those fighters to be extremists, and they have been held responsible by international human rights organizations for numerous violations since they entered Syria, including the extrajudicial killing of Kurdish fighters and civilians. It remained unclear whether Turkey had agreed to withdraw those militias or would be able to do so.

International law prohibits returning refugees to their native land without their permission, and it allows the initial return only of those who originally came from that area. U.S. officials have said that those who have fled over the years from the border region, both Kurds and non-Kurds, amount only to several hundred thousand.

DeYoung and Kim reported from Washington. Sarah Dadouch and Asser Khatab in Beirut and Colby Itkowitz, Missy Ryan, Joby Warrick and Carol Morello in Washington contributed to this report.

 

Story 2: Senate Fails To Override Trump’s Veto  of Legislation Approved by the Senate and House of Representatives to Kill His Border Emergency — Videos

See the source image

The Senate Fails to Overcome Trump’s Veto on Border Wall

Senate won’t override Trump’s declaration veto

Trump uses veto power to kill bill that would block his border wall emergency

 

Senate Fails to Override Trump’s Veto, Keeping Border Emergency in Place

The vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to override President Trump’s veto, allowing him to continue circumventing Congress to fund the border wall.

Credit…Lynsey Addario for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday failed to overturn President Trump’s veto of a resolution that would have terminated the national emergency he declared at the southwestern border. The defeat allows Mr. Trump to continue to defy Congress and divert federal funds to the construction of a border wall, his signature campaign promise.

The override attempt, the second such effort this year, failed when it fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to nullify a veto. But the 53-to-36 vote reflected concern among lawmakers in both parties about protecting Congress’s power to allocate federal funds and opposition to Mr. Trump’s plans to transfer billions of dollars in military construction money to build the border barrier.

Ten Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the measure.

Mr. Trump issued the veto Tuesday night, exactly seven months after using his first presidential veto to turn back a nearly identical resolution. Under the law, Congress can vote on such legislation every six months, and Democrats have used every opportunity to force Republicans to go on the record and choose whether to break with Mr. Trump, defending their prerogatives as legislators, or side with him.

The president declared the national emergency in February, after Democrats and Republicans in Congress rejected his efforts to secure $5 billion for the border wall, including during a 35-day government shutdown in which he repeatedly refused to accept any funding measure that failed to fund the edifice. The declaration, which Democrats have challenged in court, was Mr. Trump’s attempt to unilaterally seize money to pay for it anyway.

The failed attempt to overcome Mr. Trump’s veto comes as lawmakers are grappling with how to designate funds for the administration’s immigration policies, including whether to devote more money to the border wall and replace the funds originally intended for military construction.

Government funds for all agencies will now run out on Nov. 21 after a short-term spending bill passed last month expires and lawmakers are eager to avoid another government shutdown over Mr. Trump’s wall.

But the Senate has yet to approve any of the dozen necessary spending bills, which will need to be reconciled with the House’s versions before Mr. Trump can sign the bills into law.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said on Thursday that the Senate would vote on at least one package of appropriations bills next week.

“Congress has fallen badly behind schedule on appropriations,” Mr. McConnell said. “We need to get moving. The country is watching. It’s time to make progress.”

Lawmakers are eager to advance the bills.

“I’m hoping we can move forward,” Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama and the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters.

Some of the more contentious bills, including the measure that would fund the Department of Homeland Security, likely face a more contentious path to the president’s desk. Senate Republicans have included $5 billion for Mr. Trump’s wall in that bill while Democrats in both chambers have vowed to vote against any money for the wall.

While White House officials struck a budget agreement with congressional leadership earlier this year, it only set an outline for overall funding levels for military and domestic spending. In recent weeks, both chambers have exchanged offers on how to broadly divide the money among legislation dealing with domestic programs before hammering out the specifics of each of the bills.

Republicans have also objected to efforts from their Democratic counterparts to limit the president’s ability to again transfer money allocated to other agencies to the border wall, arguing that such language would be a violation of the budget agreement.

“I don’t want to say November 21 is a long time, but lots of stuff can happen between now and then,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, who leads the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Homeland Security.

“My bill’s the problem,” she added.

If lawmakers do not resolve the 12 spending bills before Thanksgiving, when the stopgap spending bill expires, a lapse in funding or efforts to pass another short term spending bill could potentially collide with an impeachment trial, which leaders believe could unfold in December.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/us/politics/senate-veto-override-border.html

 

U.S. Senate fails to override Trump veto of bill to end border emergency

WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration, which he says allows him to redirect federal funds to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall, will stay in effect after the U.S. Senate on Thursday failed to override his veto of legislation terminating the executive action.

The Senate voted 53-36 on whether to override the veto that Trump issued on Tuesday of legislation approved by the Senate and House of Representatives to kill his controversial border emergency.

That was well below the two-thirds majority needed in the 100-member chamber to overturn a presidential veto.

This marked the second time since February, when Trump issued the emergency declaration, that Congress failed to override his veto.

Ten Senate Republicans joined with 43 Senate Democrats in the failed veto override attempt.

Trump made the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border a central promise of his 2016 presidential campaign to stop the flow of people without immigration documents from coming into the United States.

At the time he insisted that Mexico would pay for the wall, an idea the Mexican government never embraced.

Having failed to build the wall at Mexico’s expense, Trump waged several failed attempts to get the U.S. Congress to provide money for what would cost taxpayers an estimated $25 billion or more for a wall.

As a result, he used his executive powers to shift money from the military budget, including appropriated funds for housing, schools and childcare for soldiers and their families.

Democrats have maintained that the action is illegal as Congress has the constitutional authority to decide how federal funds are spent.

Most Democrats and many Republicans in Congress argue that there are more effective, less expensive ways of controlling the southern border, where large numbers of immigrants from troubled Central American countries and elsewhere arrive each year.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7586279/U-S-Senate-fails-override-Trump-veto-bill-end-border-emergency.html

 

Story 3: Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Resigns End Of Year — Going Home Texas — Videos

Energy Secretary Rick Perry resigns

Rick Perry announces plans to resign as energy secretary

Sec. Rick Perry Explains ‘Expansive Relationship’ With Ukraine: ‘God as My Witness Not Once Was Biden

“The Coolest Job I’ve Ever Had” – Secretary of Energy Rick Perry

“My dear DOE family, I’ve said many times that I have the coolest job in the world and a big reason for that has been you, the men and women, who serve alongside me at one of the most innovative places on earth, the Department of Energy. You know, from my first day on the job in March of 2017, you welcomed me with open arms even though you probably didn’t know what to expect from this born-and-bred Texan who had just arrived in Washington, D.C.
But since that time, you and I have worked diligently to advance our DOE mission. And the great thing is, we succeeded and we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible each and every day. You know, some people wake up every day, and they wonder if they’re making a difference. The men and women who work at this Department do not have to worry about that – you are literally changing the world.
So, it’s with profound emotion and gratitude that I am announcing my resignation effective later this year as your Energy Secretary.
There is much work to be done in these upcoming weeks, and I remain fully committed to accomplishing the goals that I set out to accomplish at the beginning of my tenure. And then, I will return to my favorite place in the world, Texas, but I’ll treasure the memories of what we’ve accomplished together.
During my time here at DOE, we pursued a truly “all-of-the-above” strategy. We deployed all of our fuels from renewables to fossil fuels to nuclear energy. We led the world in producing oil and gas and in reducing energy-related carbon emissions at the same time. We achieved the magnificent goal of energy independence. We became a net exporter of natural gas for the first time in more than 60 years, offering freedom to our friends and allies from energy coercion by some powerful adversaries out there. And we’re ready to export our energy technology to deliver electricity to more than one billion human beings mired in energy poverty. We strengthened our national security by bolstering our nuclear security. We cleaned up numerous sites as we tackled America’s post-Cold War environmental legacy. We stood up our CESER office to deal with threats to the reliable delivery of electricity. We created an office of Artificial Intelligence to coordinate the amazing work that we’re doing in this game-changing arena.
I’ve been blown away by the amazing work done at what I call the Nation’s crown jewels, our 17 National Labs. I’ve had the opportunity to visit all of them. In my travels abroad, people everywhere wanted to know about this Department, because our footprint and impact is global. And that is a testament to each and every one of you today.
I thank President Trump for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. I am so glad that I said “yes.” And I thank all of you my colleagues, my friends, my family for making that opportunity a grand success. May God bless you as you continue to pursue DOE’s great calling and mission. And may God continue to bless this great Country of America.” – Secretary of Energy Rick Perry

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry on why he decided to step down

Watch CNBC’s full interview with outgoing US Energy Secretary Rick Perry

Energy Secretary Rick Perry to resign amid impeachment inquiry

Rick Perry TRASHES Trump Over Ukraine Call

Rick Perry says he did push Ukraine talks on Trump

Trump says Energy Secretary Rick Perry asked him to call Ukrainian president

Finding Rick Perry: The Missing Secretary Of Energy

Ukraine’s natural gas issues are hard to resolve amid tensions with Russia

Russia Imposes Natural Gas Hike on Ukraine

Apr 2, 2014

Rick Perry QUITS as Energy Secretary 24 hours after revealing Donald Trump told him to talk to Rudy Giuliani about ‘corruption’ in Ukraine

  • Rick Perry will be stepping down from his position as Trump’s Energy secretary
  • He sent a written notification to the president of his impending departure while Donald Trump was traveling on Air Force One Thursday 
  • Just 10 days ago, Perry denied that he would be departing the administration in the near future 
  • Perry said Trump told him this past spring to ‘talk to Rudy’ Giuliani about his concerns regarding Ukrainian corruption 
  • Perry, who has acted as a liaison between Trump and his new Ukrainian counterpart, was attempting to facilitate a meeting between the two 
  • Trump wouldn’t agree to the sit down until Giuliani’s concerns were addressed
  • Perry said Joe Biden was never brought up during  his talks with Giuliani 

He sent a written notification to the president as Trump was traveling aboard Air Force One, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Trump confirmed Perry’s departure and said he was planning to announce the move at his rally Thursday night in Dallas, Texas.

‘We already have his replacement. Rick has done a fantastic job. But it was time,’ Trump told reporters in Texas, adding that his departure would come ‘at the end of the year.’

The president said that he has already has picked Perry’s replacement and will be announcing the new Energy secretary shortly.

‘We have the man that we’re going – in this case it’s a man – that we’re going to be putting in Rick’s place. We’ll be announcing it very shortly,’ he said.

Trump said he wasn’t surprised by Perry’s departure as the Energy secretary had informed him months ago that he was planning to leave the administration to pursue something else.

‘I knew six months ago. He told me at the end of the year he’d like to go and he’s got some ideas about doing something else. He’s a terrific guy,’ Trump lauded Perry.

‘Rick and I have been talking for six months. In fact I thought he might go a bit sooner. But he’s got some very big plans. He’s going to be very successful. We have his successor we’ll announce it pretty soon,’ he continued.

Rick Perry said Donald Trump told him to ‘talk to Rudy’ Giuliani about his concerns regarding Ukrainian corruption before he would agree to a sit down with his new counterpart

 The news come just 10 days after Perry, who has been with Trump since March 2017, denied that he was planning to resign his position in the immediate future.

Trump denied that Perry’s replacement would be Texas Governor Greg Abbott or Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy.

Perry has found himself at the center of the Ukraine scandal engulfing the presidency after he became one of the top liaisons between Trump and his new Ukrainian counterpart.

The former Texas governor announced earlier this month he was staying with the administration despite the controversy, although he did not rule out leaving at a later date.

‘They’ve been writing the story for at least nine months now,’ he said at the time of the media and his rumored departure. ‘One of these days they will probably get it right, but it’s not today, it’s not tomorrow, it’s not next month,’ Perry said while traveling in Lithuania.

Politico had reported last week that he was planning to resign at the end of November, citing three anonymous sources.

His departure will add to the extensive and ever-growing list of Trump administration officials who have left the White House.

Perry revealed in an interview published Wednesday night that he was directed by Trump to approach Rudy Giuliani to address the president’s concerns about corruption in Ukraine.

He told The Wall Street Journal that he contacted Giuliani in the spring to help clear the way for a meeting between the president and his newly elected Ukrainian counterpart.

Although Perry admitted that during his phone call earlier this year Giuliani outlined several potential instances of interference by Ukraine in the 2016 presidential elections, he said the president’s personal attorney never brought up Joe Biden or his family.

He also said he didn’t hear Trump, any of his appointees or the Ukrainian government ever mention probing the former vice president and his son, Hunter Biden’s business dealings there.

‘As I recall the conversation, he said, ‘Look, the president is really concerned that there are people in Ukraine that tried to beat him during this presidential election,’ Perry said. ”He thinks they’re corrupt and…that there are still people over there engaged that are absolutely corrupt.”

Perry said Giuliani didn’t make any explicit demands on the call.

‘Rudy didn’t say they gotta do X, Y and Z,’ Perry continued in his interview. ‘He just said, ‘You want to know why he ain’t comfortable about letting this guy come in? Here’s the reason.’

The House opened an impeachment inquiry into the president following revelations of a July 25 phone call where Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on his political rival.

Democrats allege the president set a quid pro quo in freezing millions in military aid in exchange for the Ukrainian regime’s investigation into the Bidens.

Perry’s talks and coordination with Giuliani show the widespread reach of the president’s attorney’s involvement in foreign policy. Giuliani is currently being investigation for potential foreign lobbying violations.

Giuliani confirmed his call with Perry and said he was telling the president’s energy secretary to be careful in dealing with Zelensky, who took office in May.

‘Everything I said there I probably said on television 50 times,’ Giuliani told the Journal.

The former New York City Republican mayor has accused Ukraine, under then-President Petro Poroshenko, of interfering in the U.S. elections on Hillary Clinton’s behalf.

Since Zelensky was elected, U.S. officials have been attempting to facilitate a meeting between and his new Ukrainian counterpart.

Perry and Giuliani’s call followed a White House meeting, which included Perry and then-U.S. envoy for Ukraine negotiations Kurt Volker, who resigned last month after revelations of Trump’s call with Zelensky.

In the meeting, Trump’s advisers urged him to meet with Zelensky, but people familiar with the matter said the president told them they needed to resolve Giuliani’s concerns before he would agree to the meeting.

‘Visit with Rudy,’ Perry said the president told him at the time.

Perry has been one of the administration’s top liaisons with the new Ukrainian president, which has put him under intense scrutiny as the president faces impeachment proceedings into whether he abused his power as president to dig up dirt on Biden.

Trump claims his call with Zelensky this summer was ‘perfect,’ and insists it was an attempt to help weed out corruption from the European nation. He also claims he has a duty, as president, to stop corruption, including from the Bidens.

Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, is being investigated in relation to his role in U.S.-Ukraine relations – especially his claims of corruption and election interference by the previous administration there
Hunter Biden accepted a board position with Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings in 2014 – while his father was still serving as Obama’s vice president. He reportedly was paid $50,000 per month in his post at Burisma.

The attorney and lobbyist stepped down from Burisma’s board earlier this year and also announced over the weekend he was leaving his position on the board of a Chinese-backed equity firm where he made millions.

Perry said Trump has dismissed his requests to meet with Zelensky in an effort to show U.S. support for the new administration – which Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who is leading the impeachment inquiry, said is another potential of a quid pro quo.

Schiff said if Trump were to set an investigation into the Bidens as a condition for meeting with Zelensky, it could be another instance of him using his presidency to attempt to better his chances in 2020.

Perry revealed that Giuliani was also in contact with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Volker and U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

Perry to Resign as Energy Secretary

Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas who has become enmeshed in the Ukraine scandal, said he would resign as secretary of energy.

Rick Perry, the energy secretary, on Thursday in Fort Worth.
CreditCreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Rick Perry, the energy secretary who has drawn scrutiny for his role in the controversy surrounding President Trump’s efforts to push Ukraine officials to investigate the son of a political rival, told the president on Thursday that he would resign from the cabinet.

The Perry resignation had been anticipated for several weeks, even before the news emerged of his involvement in efforts to pressure the new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate a company that had worked with Hunter Biden, the younger son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

In the ensuing weeks, Mr. Perry has been drawn deeper into the questions around the pressure campaign on Mr. Zelensky, which has spurred an impeachment inquiry that threatens to engulf Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Mr. Perry told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Wednesday night that he was in contact with Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani about Ukraine-related matters at the direction of Mr. Trump.

Mr. Perry has been instrumental in supporting what President Trump has called a policy of American “energy dominance,” which includes increasing the exports of United States fossil fuels to Ukraine and elsewhere.

As energy secretary, Mr. Perry oversaw a sharp increase in the production of fossil fuels, particularly liquefied natural gas, and promoted it with a patriotic fervor — even dubbing the fossil fuel “freedom gas” and likening its export to Europe to the United States efforts to liberate the continent during World War II.

“The United States is again delivering a form of freedom to the European continent,” Mr. Perry told reporters in Brussels in May, according to Euractiv.com. “And rather than in the form of young American soldiers,” Mr. Perry said, “it’s in the form of liquefied natural gas.”

Mr. Perry also led a failed effort to engineer a federal bailout for struggling coal and nuclear power plants. Though the plan ultimately ran afoul of White House advisers, Mr. Perry has continued to maintain that the government still has the option of keeping aging plants operating, even as he asserted that incentives might be a better path forward.

A former Texas governor, Mr. Perry also avoided many of the personal scandals that had bested his counterparts at other agencies. In part because of that, those who know Mr. Perry have said at various points throughout the administration Mr. Trump has considered his energy secretary to fill other cabinet vacancies, including secretary of veterans affairs.

Mr. Trump also considered Mr. Perry, 69, to become his chief of staff after John F. Kelly resigned, and more recently to take over the Department of Homeland Security after Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation, according to two people close to Mr. Perry.

Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent. She joined The Times in 2015 as a campaign correspondent and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on Donald Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia. Previously, she worked at Politico, The New York Post and The New York Daily News. @maggieNYT

Lisa Friedman reports on climate and environmental policy in Washington. A former editor at Climatewire, she has covered nine international climate talks. @LFFriedman

A Guide to Impeachment

    • What Impeachment Is: Impeachment is charging a holder of public office with misconduct. Here are answers to seven key questions about the process.
    • What the Accusation Is: President Trump is accused of breaking the law by pressuring the president of Ukraine to look into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a potential Democratic opponent in the 2020 election. A second person, this one with “firsthand knowledge” of Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, came forward and is now protected as a whistle-blower.
    • What Was Said: The White House released a reconstructed transcript of Mr. Trump’s call to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.
    • A Visual Timeline: Here are the key figures and dates as Mr. Trump and his allies pressured Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.
    • Why Now: A whistle-blower complaint filed in August said that White House officials believed they had witnessed Mr. Trump abuse his power for political gain. Here are 8 takeaways from the complaint.
    • How Trump Responds: The president said the impeachment battle would be “a positive” for his re-election campaign. Mr. Trump has repeatedly referred to the whistle-blower as “crooked” and condemned the news media reporting on the complaint. At the beginning of October, Mr. Trump publicly called on China to examine Mr. Biden as well.

om/2019/10/17/us/politics/rick-perry-energy-secretary-resigns.htmlhttps://www.nytimes.c

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018, Story 1: President Trump For Criminal Justice and Prison Reform and First Step Act — Good Policy and Fiscally Sound — Videos — Story 2: Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis On Establishing United States Space Force Plan As Sixth Military Service — Space Arms Race — Videos — Story 3: Attorney General Jeff Session on Importance of Religious Liberty — Videos –Story 4: U.S. vs. China Trade Dispute — Who Will Cry Uncle First? — China — Videos

Posted on August 10, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, Addiction, American History, Applications, Barack H. Obama, Benghazi, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribes, British Pound, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, China, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Euro, European History, European Union, Extortion, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Hate Speech, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Islam, Islamic Republic of Iran, James Comey, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Middle East, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Natural Gas, Networking, News, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Privacy, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Republican Candidates For President 2016, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Russia, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senator Jeff Sessions, Servers, Social Networking, Social Security, Software, South Korea, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, U.S. Dollar, U.S. Space Program, Unemployment, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Space Force, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

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Story 1: President Trump For Criminal Justice and Prison Reform — Good Policy and Fiscally Sound — Videos

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BREAKING 🔴 President Trump URGENT Speech at IMPORTANT Roundtable in Bedminster, NJ August 9, 2018

Pastor says he faced backlash over meeting with Trump

Published on Aug 3, 2018

Trump pushes for prison reform bill

Published on May 18, 2018

Trump takes on prison reform

Published on Jan 12, 2018

Van Jones is teaming up with the White House on prison reform

Trump, Congress try to breathe life into long-delayed criminal justice reform package

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The Pronk Pops Show 979, October 9, 2017, Story 1: Sounds of Silence — Harasser Harvey’s Hollywood Hypocrites — Pedophiles, Perverts, Pimps, Procurers, and Predator Progressives — Do As I Say Not What I Do!– Aiding, Abetting and Enabling Powerful People — Down and Dirty Democrats — Why Now and Who is Next? — Harvey Fired For Now — Videos — Story 2: Trump’s Choice — Transform Republican Party or Start A New Party — Time Will Tell — Videos — Story 3: Vice President Mike Pence Leaves Colts Football Game Because Some Players Kneeled During National Anthem — When Will NFL Enforce Its Own Rule? — Four Players Who Kneeled During National Anthem Were Suspended — Better Late Than Never — Videos

Posted on October 9, 2017. Filed under: American History, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Health, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, Law, Life, Lying, Media, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Privacy, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Spying, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Sounds of Silence — Harasser Harvey’s Hollywood Hypocrites — Pedophiles, Perverts, Pimps, Procurers, and Predator Progressives — Do As I Say Not What I Do!– Aiding, Abetting and Enabling Powerful People — Down and Dirty Democrats — Why Now and Who is Next? — Harvey Fired For Now — Videos

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‘Harvey Weinstein’s Media Enablers’? The New York Times Is One of Them

The paper had a story on mogul’s sexual misconduct back in 2004 — but gutted it under pressure

A whole lot of fur has been flying since last Thursday, when The New York Times published a game-changing investigative story about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct that in lightning speed brought the mogul to his knees.

He apologized and took an immediate leave of absence from the company he co-founded, but that wasn’t enough. His board members and legal advisers have been resigning en masse. And as new, ugly details emerge of three decades of settlements for sex-related offenses, he’s quickly becoming a national pariah.

I applaud The New York Times and writers Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey for getting the story in print. I’m sure it was a long and difficult road.

But I simply gagged when I read Jim Rutenberg’s sanctimonious piece on Saturday about the “media enablers” who kept this story from the public for decades.

“Until now,” he puffed, “no journalistic outfit had been able, or perhaps willing, to nail the details and hit publish.”

That’s right, Jim. No one — including The New York Times.

In 2004, I was still a fairly new reporter at The New York Times when I got the green light to look into oft-repeated allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. It was believed that many occurred in Europe during festivals and other business trips there.

I traveled to Rome and tracked down the man who held the plum position of running Miramax Italy. According to multiple accounts, he had no film experience and his real job was to take care of Weinstein’s women needs, among other things.

As head of Miramax Italy in 2003 and 2004, Fabrizio Lombardo was paid $400,000 for less than a year of employment. He was on the payroll of Miramax and thus the Walt Disney Company, which had bought the indie studio in 1993.

I had people on the record telling me Lombardo knew nothing about film, and others citing evenings he organized with Russian escorts.

At the time, he denied that he was on the payroll to help Weinstein with favors. From the story: “Reached in Italy, Mr. Lombardo declined to comment on the circumstances of his leaving Miramax or Ricucci, saying they were legal matters being handled by lawyers. ‘I am very proud of what we achieved at Miramax here in Italy,’ he said of his work for the film company. ‘It cannot be that they hired me because I’m a friend.’”

I also tracked down a woman in London who had been paid off after an unwanted sexual encounter with Weinstein. She was terrified to speak because of her non-disclosure agreement, but at least we had evidence of a pay-off.

The story I reported never ran.

After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly to vouch for Lombardo and unknown discussions well above my head at the Times, the story was gutted.

I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known. I knew he was a major advertiser in the Times, and that he was a powerful person overall.

But I had the facts, and this was the Times. Right?

Wrong. The story was stripped of any reference to sexual favors or coercion and buried on the inside of the Culture section, an obscure story about Miramax firing an Italian executive. Who cared?

The Times’ then-culture editor Jon Landman, now an editor-at-large for Bloomberg, thought the story was unimportant, asking me why it mattered.

“He’s not a publicly elected official,” he told me.  I explained, to no avail, that a public company would certainly have a problem with a procurer on the payroll for hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the time, Disney told me they had no idea Lombardo existed.

A spokeswoman for the Times had no comment on Sunday.

I was devastated after traveling to two countries and overcoming immense challenges to confirm at least part of the story that wound up running last week, more than a decade later. I had met in person with a woman who said she’d been paid off for an unwanted sexual encounter and thus proved she existed.

Update: Several have asked why I did not pursue the story once I started TheWrap. Fair question. Five years later, 2009, the moment had passed to go back and write the missing piece about Lombardo, who was no longer on the scene and whose story had been half-published in the Times. Miramax was no longer part of the Walt Disney Company. And I did not have sufficient evidence to write about a pay-off, even though I knew one existed. My focus was on raising money, building a website and starting a media company. In the subsequent years since then I did not hear about further pay-offs or harrassment and thought the issue was in the past. Weinstein had made a big effort, supposedly, to curb his temper and behavior, which was reflected in other areas of his public life.

Today I wonder: If this story had come to light at the time, would Weinstein have continued his behavior for another decade, evidenced by the scathing 2015 memo by former staffer Lauren O’Connor unearthed by Kantor and Twohey.

Writes Rutenberg: “Mr. Weinstein had his own enablers. He built his empire on a pile of positive press clippings that, before the internet era, could have reached the moon.”

The New York Times was one of those enablers. So pardon me for having a deeply ambivalent response about the current heroism of the Times.

Editors note: A previous version of this story stated that Jon Landman was a deputy managing editor at the Times. He left that position in 2013 to become an editor at large at Bloomberg View. TheWrap regrets the error.

https://www.thewrap.com/media-enablers-harvey-weinstein-new-york-times/

Is Harvey Weinstein’s career over? Experts don’t think so

By Jade Scipioni  Media & Advertising FOXBusinessOpens a New Window.

Harvey Weinstein scandal revealing Hollywood hypocrisy?

Maslansky + Partners President Lee Carter and Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes on the Weinstein Company’s decision to fire Harvey Weinstein over allegations of sexual harassment.

Even though famed Hollywood studio executive Harvey Weinstein has been officially ousted from his own film studio that he co-founded, The Weinstein Company, amid a barrage of sexual harassment claims, many brand experts say the film producer still has a shot at a comeback.

“While it does not look good for him, others in equally as bad places did bounce back,” Karen Post, author of the book “Brand Turnaround”, told FOX Business.

Weinstein was fired on Sunday by his board of directors, following three days of turmoil after The New York Times published an investigative piece detailing his sexual misconduct involving actresses and underlings for multiple decades.

Post says Weinstein’s first step in hopes of having a comeback should be owning his actions and putting his money where his mouth is.

According to Forbes, Weinstein’s company’s most recent net worth totaled around $150 million dollars in 2015. However, The Weinstein Company is reportedly in talks to change its name in light of board members’ fears that the company’s reputation has been severely tainted by Weinstein’s behavior.

A source with knowledge of the company told entertainment news website The Wrap that “TWC will need a new name” and that change should be expected soon.

Rob Frankel, branding strategist and expert at Frankel & Anderson in Los Angeles, told Fox Business that while things keep getting worse for Weinstein, there is “no way is he done.”

“Sidelined for a time, but not done. He’s too connected to be done. Anyone with a hot screenplay will still do business with him because he can make the deal happen. All the media lemmings thought Don Imus, Martha Stewart, Kobe Bryant, Dan Rather and Brian Williams were done. They were all wrong. In fact, even money says that O.J. Simpson will be back with a reality show of his own within a year,” Frankel said.

 

While a name change for the company will likely happen, Frankel added that unlike most industries, it won’t have any major impact.

“In Hollywood, production companies come and go all the time. That’s the transient nature of a very fluid business,” he said.

However, branding expert Kait LeDonne said it’s simply too early to say whether or not Weinstein will be able to make a comeback.

“Fortunately, we are at a turning point, where more and more brave women are coming forth to share their stories, shining a light on this unacceptable behavior,” LeDonne told FOX Business. “If he truly wants to come back, he will have to lead the way on what it looks like for someone with these patterns of behavior to transform themselves. As for The Weinstein Company, from a branding standpoint, I’d advise they change their name. It will be hard for individuals to separate the name from negative associations due to his behavior.”

http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2017/10/09/is-harvey-weinsteins-career-over-experts-dont-think-so.html

 

Harvey Weinstein Is Finished. Which Accused Hollywood Predator Will Be Next?

The controversial movie mogul was fired Sunday after a series of sexual-misconduct allegations came to light. But plenty of other so-called Hollywood scumbags remain.

On Sunday evening, The Weinstein Company’s board of directors reached the conclusion that “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days… his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately.”

The damage, however, was already done. Weinstein, a terribly bullying, terribly pinguid, terribly influential movie mogul—first with Miramax, then Weinstein Co.—had allegedly committed heinous acts of sexual coercion and harassment for decades, with a bombshell New York Times investigation revealing that the 65-year-old exec paid off at least eight of his accusers, many of whom shared similar horror stories: a “business meeting” at a hotel suite soon gave way to propositions that were increasingly sexual in nature. One TV reporter claimed that Weinstein cornered her in the bowels of his restaurant before jacking off into a potted plant. His accusers say they felt trapped, pressured to give in to this round mound of renown’s base demands. He was, after all, a Hollywood kingmaker; the man behind modern cinema classics like Pulp FictionThe Lord of the Rings, and Good Will Hunting; a behind-the-scenes wizard who’d been thanked at the Academy Awards more often than God. How could they deny him?

Weinstein’s comeuppance had a ring of poetic justice to it—after all, the Times piece dropped around the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s infamous “grab them by the pussy” Access Hollywood tape, in which the president-to-be was caught on a hot mic bragging that his stardom allowed him to sexually assault women at will (both Weinstein and Trump are from the outer borough of Queens). It was also curious how, the very same week, Politico chose to run (and incessantly tweet out) a glowing profile of celebrity-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, a man who stands accused of predatory behavior similar to Weinstein and Trump.

Right now, many people—both in the Tinseltown bubble and beyond—are asking why? Why now, after decades of payouts and whispers, did one of cinema’s most powerful players finally get his? It’s a difficult question to fully answer, though one possible reason is an increased sense of media accountability surrounding the issue of sexual misconduct in Hollywood, born out of the Bill Cosby case and having more women’s voices heard in newsrooms.

When the full scope of the Cosby catastrophe came into focus, that one of America’s most “beloved,” “wholesome” comedians stood accused of sexually assaulting more than 60 women over a 40-year period, everyone in the access-reliant entertainment media should have received a much-needed wake-up call. They were, in a sense, complicit, churning out profile after pasteurized profile that helped fuel the Cosby mythos. Even right as the horrifying Cosby testimonies were coming to light, former Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker was peddling a 544-page biography of the funnyman scrubbed of any rape allegations.

ANGELA WEISS/GETTY

Taylor Swift, Este Haim, Jaime King, Harvey Weinstein and Lorde attend The Weinstein Company’s 2015 Golden Globes After Party on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.

Weinstein was even more well-connected in the New York media landscape than Cosby, with numerous friends in very high places. He’d infamously launched Talk magazine with Tina Brown (also the founding editor of The Daily Beast), and seemingly, between the ad dollars he spent and the access he could no doubt provide (or withhold), had the cachet to get stories killed.

The Times’ recent Weinstein story, meanwhile, came about thanks to two intrepid female reporters, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, operating at an organization whose news masthead is comprised of 50 percent women, and one “name” actress in Ashley Judd, who was mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

It’s not just the media that enabled Weinstein, either. Since the sexual-misconduct allegations came to light, those who have benefited from professional relationships with the embattled film mogul, from directors and actors he launched to stardom to agents and producers who got their cut, have remained deafeningly silent. The Daily Beast has reached out to dozens of industry folks, and the consensus is it’s the talk of the town behind closed doors, but no one is willing to go on the record—perhaps fearing that it could hurt them down the line, should Weinstein return from the dead. Even late-night TV hosts, who relish assuming the role of moral arbiter, have—with the notable exception of Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver—thus far refused to violate the apparent omertà.

Worth noting, too, is that Weinstein’s star has diminished considerably in recent years. His company is coming off a string of duds, including the much-ridiculed Tulip Fever, and the last Weinstein-shepherded Academy Award came over two years ago in a minor category (Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game). As with Cosby, retribution for Weinstein did not come until he was past his sell-by date.

CARLOS ALVAREZ/GETTY

Arnold Schwarzenegger attends the ‘Wonder Of The Sea 3D’ premiere on September 25, 2017 in San Sebastian, Spain.

Which brings us back to Schwarzenegger, and that profile of him that ran over the weekend in Politico. In the piece, the writer, Edward-Isaac Dovere, confesses to having accompanied Schwarzenegger on flights aboard his private jet and red-wine-filled feasts in Spain, and in return, gifted his idol with a puffy piece wherein he floated the actor for a number of Cabinet positions and refused to press him on his pitiable track record as governor or myriad sex scandals—including, as it were, numerous Weinstein-esque allegations of sexual misconduct.

A 2001 piece in Premiere magazine is largely credited with lifting the lid off the Schwarzenegger allegations. In the story, titled “Arnold the Barbarian,” writer John Connolly uncovered numerous shocking stories concerning the actor, from a female talk-show host who claimed that he “tweaked her nipple and then laughed at her objections” to a producer who recalled how, on the set of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Schwarzenegger allegedly pulled out a female crew member’s breasts against her will. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This woman’s nipples were exposed, and here’s Arnold and a few of his clones laughing. I went after the woman, who had run to the shelter of a nearby trailer. She was hysterical but refused to press charges for fear of losing her job. It was disgusting,” the producer told Premiere. Two years later, just as the A-list actor emerged as the Republican frontrunner in the race for governor of California, the Los Angeles Times ran a series of stories in which as many as 11 women accused Schwarzenegger of grabbing or groping them, including an assistant director on the 1988 film Twins and a CNN intern.

“Did he rape me? No,” one unnamed woman, who alleged the actor grabbed her breast in 1980, told the Los Angeles Times. “Did he humiliate me? You bet he did.”

Schwarzenegger initially denied the allegations through his spokesman, before sort of fessing up. “It is true that I was on rowdy movie sets and I have done things that were not right, which I thought then was playful,” he said at the time. “But now I recognize that I offended people. Those people that I have offended, I want to say to them I am deeply sorry about that and I apologize because that’s not what I’m trying to do.”

This selective outrage also extends to Woody Allen, whose latest feature Wonder Wheel is closing the New York Film Festival this week. The film’s marquee stars, Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake, are two of many who continue to feature in Allen productions—despite the fact that the legendary filmmaker’s own adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, has long accused him of child sexual abuse. Or how about Louis C.K., whose Allen-inspired film I Love You, Daddy opens on Nov. 17, and who’s been dogged by sexual-misconduct rumors for years?

When it comes to Hollywood, these men, it seems, have not yet outlasted their use.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/harvey-weinstein-is-finished-which-accused-hollywood-predator-will-be-next

Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes in January. In her statement, she said Mr. Weinstein had been “respectful” during their working relationship. CreditPaul Drinkwater/NBC, via Associated Press

Meryl Streep led an increasingly vocal Hollywood chorus condemning the reported sexual misconduct of the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on Monday, issuing a carefully worded statement released to HuffPost. She decried the behavior as “disgraceful” and “inexcusable,” yet also pleaded ignorance about it, writing, “Not everybody knew.”

Ms. Streep’s statement seemed to have opened the floodgates, with Glenn Close and Judi Dench, among others, soon voicing their own dismay and disgust about Mr. Weinstein.

In recent days, after The New York Times released a scathing investigationon Thursday chronicling accusations that Mr. Weinstein had sexually harassed employees and actresses, many people called for reactions from Hollywood’s A-list players, and especially Ms. Streep, a longtime champion of women’s causes who worked with Mr. Weinstein on films like “August: Osage County” and “The Iron Lady,” for which she won an Academy Award.

Mr. Weinstein was fired Sunday night from his production company, the Weinstein Company, which issued a statement saying the decision was made “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days.” In its report, The Times found that Mr. Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with women who had claimed sexual harassment.

In her statement, Ms. Streep also said Mr. Weinstein had been “respectful” during their working relationship, and challenged the widely repeated narrative that his misbehavior had been a longtime open secret in Hollywood.

Here is Ms. Streep’s full statement:

The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.

One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts. And if everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.

The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.

Glenn Close: ‘I’m Angry’

In a statement to The Times, Ms. Close said that she felt “angry and darkly sad,” and that while Mr. Weinstein had been decent with her, she had heard rumors of inappropriate behavior toward women over many years.

Her full statement:

I’m sitting here, deeply upset, acknowledging to myself that, yes, for many years, I have been aware of the vague rumors that Harvey Weinstein had a pattern of behaving inappropriately around women. Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad.

I’m angry, not just at him and the conspiracy of silence around his actions, but also that the “casting couch” phenomenon, so to speak, is still a reality in our business and in the world: the horrible pressure, the awful expectation put on a woman when a powerful, egotistical, entitled bully expects sexual favors in exchange for a job.

Ours is an industry in which very few actors are indispensable and women are cast in far fewer roles than men, so the stakes are higher for women and make them more vulnerable to the manipulations of a predator. I applaud the monumental courage of the women who have spoken up. I hope that their stories and the reportage that gave them their voices represents a tipping point, that more stories will be told and that change will follow.

The changes must be both institutional and personal. Men and women, in positions of power, must create a work environment in which people, whose jobs depend on them, feel safe to report threatening and inappropriate behavior, like that reported in the Times. No one should be coerced into trading personal dignity for professional success. I feel the time is long and tragically overdue for all of us in the industry, women and men, to unite — calmly and dispassionately — and create a new culture of respect, equality and empowerment, where bullies and their enablers are no longer allowed to prosper.

Judi Dench: ‘Horrifying’

Ms. Dench, who has credited Mr. Weinstein with launching her film career, also took aim, saying in a statement to Newsweek that while she had been “completely unaware” of any misconduct, she found it “horrifying,” and gave her “wholehearted support to those who have spoken out.”

Ms. Dench’s films with Mr. Weinstein include “Shakespeare in Love” and “Mrs. Brown,” and she has said she has a tattoo that reads “JD loves HW” on her rear end.

Kevin Smith, Judd Apatow and Mark Ruffalo

Several prominent men in show business took to Twitter to express disgust at Mr. Weinstein’s behavior. “He financed the first 14 years of my career — and now I know while I was profiting, others were in terrible pain,” wrote the director Kevin Smith. “It makes me feel ashamed.”

http: www.nytimes.com/2017/10/09/movies/dench-close-streep-weinstein.html

Harvey Weinstein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Harvey Weinstein
CBE
Harvey Weinstein 2010 Time 100 Shankbone.jpg

Weinstein in 2010
Born March 19, 1952 (age 65)
FlushingNew York, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater University at Buffalo (BA)
Occupation Film producer
co-founder of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Eve Chilton (1987–2004; 3 children)
Georgina Chapman (2007–present; 2 children)
Children 5

Harvey WeinsteinCBE (honorary) (born March 19, 1952) is an American film producer and film studioexecutive. He is best known as co-founder of Miramax, which produced several popular independent films including Pulp FictionClerksThe Crying Game, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape.[1] He and his brother Bob have been co-chairmen of The Weinstein Company, their film production company, since 2005. He won an Academy Award for producing Shakespeare in Love, and garnered seven Tony Awards for producing a variety of winning plays and musicals, including The ProducersBilly Elliot the Musical, and August: Osage County.[2]

Weinstein has been accused by multiple women of committing sexual harassment over several decades.[3] Following a series of allegations made against him in October 2017, Weinstein was terminated from The Weinstein Company by its board of directors on October 8, 2017.

Education and early career

Weinstein was born in FlushingNew York.[4] He was raised in a Jewish family,[5] the son of Max Weinstein, a diamond cutter (d. 1976[6]), and Miriam (née Postel; d. 2016 at 90[6]).[7] He grew up with his younger brother, Bob Weinstein, in a housing co-op named Electchester in New York City. He graduated from John Bowne High School and the University at Buffalo.[8][9] Weinstein received an honorarySUNYDoctorate of Humane Letters in a ceremony at Buffalo in 2000.[10] Weinstein, his brother Bob, and Corky Burger independently produced rock concerts as Harvey & Corky Productions in Buffalo through most of the 1970s.

Film career

1970s: Early work and creation of Miramax

Both Weinstein brothers had grown up with a passion for movies and they nurtured a desire to enter the film industry. In the late 1970s, using profits from their concert promotion business, the brothers created a small independent film distribution company named Miramax, named after their parents, Miriam and Max. The company’s first releases were primarily music-oriented concert films such as Paul McCartney‘s Rockshow.

1980s: Success with arthouse and independent films

In the early 1980s, Miramax acquired the rights to two British films of benefit shows filmed for the human rights organization Amnesty International. Working closely with Martin Lewis, the producer of the original films, the Weinstein brothers edited the two films into one movie tailored for the American market. The resulting film was released as The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball in May 1982 and it became Miramax’s first hit. The movie raised considerable sums for Amnesty International and was credited by Amnesty with having helped to raise its profile in the United States.[8][11]

Weinstein at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival

The Weinsteins slowly built upon this success throughout the 1980s with arthouse films that achieved critical attention and modest commercial success. Harvey Weinstein and Miramax gained wider attention in 1988 with the release of Errol Morris‘s documentary The Thin Blue Line, which detailed the struggle of Randall Adams, a wrongfully convicted inmate sentenced to death row. The publicity that soon surrounded the case resulted in the release of Adams and nationwide publicity for Miramax. In 1989, their successful launch release of Steven Soderbergh‘s Sex, Lies, and Videotape propelled Miramax to become the most successful independent studio in America.[12]

Also in 1989, Miramax released two art-house films, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and director Pedro Almodóvar‘s film Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, both of which the MPAArating board gave an X-rating, effectively stopping nationwide release for these films. Weinstein sued the MPAA over the rating system. His lawsuit was later thrown out, but got the MPAA to agree to introduce the new NC-17 rating.

1990s–2000s: Further success, Disney ownership deal

Miramax continued to grow its library of films and directors until, in 1993, after the success of The Crying GameDisney offered the Weinsteins $80 million for ownership of Miramax.[13] Agreeing to the deal that would cement their Hollywood clout and ensure that they would remain at the head of their company, Miramax followed the next year with their first blockbuster, Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction and distributed the popular independent film Clerks. Miramax won its first Academy Award for Best Picture in 1997 with the victory of The English Patient (Pulp Fiction was nominated in 1995 but lost to Forrest Gump). This started a string of critical successes that included Good Will Hunting (1997) Shakespeare in Love (1998), both of which won several awards, including numerous Academy Awards.

2005–2017: The Weinstein Company

On March 29, 2005, it was announced that the Weinstein brothers would leave Miramax on September 30 to form their own production company, named The Weinstein Company, with several other media executives, directors Quentin Tarantinoand Robert Rodriguez, and Colin Vaines, who had successfully run the production department at Miramax for ten years and moved with the brothers to head development in The Weinstein Company.[14] The board of The Weinstein Company fired him on October 8, 2017 following allegations of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.[15]

Praise and criticism

In 2004, Weinstein was appointed an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his contributions to the British film industry (the award being “honorary” because he is a citizen of the United States).[16]

While lauded for opening up the independent film market and making it financially viable, Weinstein has been criticized by some for the techniques he has allegedly applied in his business dealings. Peter Biskind‘s book, Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film,[8] details criticism of Miramax’s release history and editing of Asian films, such as Shaolin SoccerHero and Princess Mononoke. There is a rumour that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the U.S. release of Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: “No cuts”. Miyazaki commented on the incident: “Actually, my producer did that. Although I did go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and I was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts. I defeated him.”[17] Weinstein has always insisted that such editing was done in the interest of creating the most financially viable film. “I’m not cutting for fun”, Harvey Weinstein said in an interview. “I’m cutting for the shit to work. All my life I served one master: the film. I love movies.”[11][18]

Another example cited by Biskind was Phillip Noyce‘s The Quiet American, whose release Weinstein delayed following the September 11 attacks, due to audience reaction in test screenings to the film’s critical tone towards America’s past foreign policy. After being told the film would go straight-to-video, Noyce planned to screen the film in Toronto International Film Festival in order to mobilize critics to pressure Miramax to release it theatrically. Weinstein decided to screen the film at the Festival only after he was lobbied by star Michael Caine, who threatened to boycott publicity for another film he had made for Miramax. The film received mostly positive reviews at the Festival, and Miramax eventually released the film theatrically, but it was alleged that Miramax did not make a major effort to promote the film for Academy Award consideration, though Caine was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.[8]

Weinstein’s aggressive efforts to campaign for Oscars for his films during Oscar season led to a ban on such campaigns by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[19]

Weinstein has also cultivated a reputation for ruthlessness and fits of anger. According to Biskind, Weinstein once put a New York Observer reporter in a headlock while throwing him out of a party. On another occasion, Weinstein excoriated director Julie Taymor and her husband during a disagreement over a test screening of her movie Frida.[11]

In a 2004 newspaper article, in New York magazine, Weinstein appeared somewhat repentant for his often aggressive discussions with directors and producers.[20] However, a Newsweek story on October 13, 2008, criticized Weinstein, who was accused of “hassling Sydney Pollack on his deathbed” about the release of the film The Reader. After Weinstein offered $1 million to charity if the accusation could be proven, journalist Nikki Finke published an email sent by Scott Rudin on August 22 asserting that Weinstein “harassed” Anthony Minghella‘s widow and a bedridden Pollack until Pollack’s family asked him to stop.[21][22]

In September 2009, Weinstein publicly voiced opposition to efforts to extradite Roman Polanski from Switzerland to the U.S. regarding a 1977 charge that he had drugged and raped a 13-year-old, to which Polanski had pleaded guilty before fleeing the country.[23]Weinstein, whose company had distributed a film about the Polanski case, questioned whether Polanski committed any crime,[24] prompting Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley to insist that Polanski’s guilty plea indicated that his action was a crime, and that several other serious charges were pending.[25]

In November 2011, independent filmmaker Michael Bartlett blamed Weinstein for the poor quality of his film, World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries, citing pressure from Weinstein to deliver the film ahead of schedule. When Weinstein said, “This is the date you will deliver the film and if it isn’t finished then we’ll finish it for you”, the post production was rushed and the editing and sound mix were not completed properly.[26]

In March 2012, Weinstein was made a Chevalier (knight) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Consulate in New York City in recognition of Miramax’s efforts to increase the presence and popularity of foreign films in the United States.[27]

In April 2012, Time magazine included Weinstein in its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.[28]

In 2013, New York Post film critic Kyle Smith accused Harvey Weinstein of making numerous anti-Catholic films, including Priest (1994), The Butcher Boy (1997), The Magdalene Sisters (2002), and Philomena (2013).[29]

Activism and Rejection of Support

Weinstein is also active on issues such as poverty, AIDSjuvenile diabetes, and multiple sclerosis research. He serves on the Board of the Robin Hood Foundation, a New York City-based non-profit that targets poverty, and co-chaired one of its annual benefits.[30] He is critical of the lack of gun control laws and universal health care in the United States.[31]

Weinstein has been a supporter and generous contributor to the Democratic Party including the campaigns of President Barack Obama and presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry.[32] He supported Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign,[33] and in 2012, he hosted an election fundraiser for President Obama at his home in Westport, Connecticut.[34] In 2013, he expressed support of President Obama amid criticism for the launch of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Weinstein has expressed favorable opinions about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

After it became public knowledge in October, 2017 that Weinstein was a serial harasser of women[3] many politicians he had supported rejected his support. Senator Al Franken (MN), who had received $20,000 from Weinstein donated his contributions to the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resources Center.[35] Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) and Senator Martin Heinrich (NM), donated campaign contributions received from Weinstein to funds supporting women.[36]

Legal problems

In February 2009, former Sam & Dave singer Samuel David Moore filed suit against Harvey and Bob Weinstein for allegedly basing Soul Men, a Weinstein Co. comedy starring Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson, on Sam & Dave’s career.[37]

In February 2011, filmmaker Michael Moore took legal action against the Weinstein brothers, claiming he was owed millions in profits for his 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.[38] In February 2012, Moore dropped the lawsuit for an undisclosed settlement.[39]

Sexual harassment allegations

On October 5, 2017, an exposé was published in The New York Times accusing Weinstein of sexually harassing a number of women, including actress Ashley Judd.[40] In a statement to The New York Times, he said, “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.” An adviser described him as “an old dinosaur learning new ways.” He said he was due to take a sabbatical and was working with therapists to “deal with this issue head on.”[3] However, his consulting lawyer, Lisa Bloom, stated that “he denies many of the accusations as patently false.”[3]

In an email to The Hollywood Reporter, Weinstein’s attorney Charles Harder said they would be suing The New York Times and any proceeds derived from the suit would be donated to women’s organizations. Harder’s email read as follows:

The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein…It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.[41]

Depictions in media

Harvey Weingard, a character portrayed by Maury Chaykin on the HBO TV series Entourage, is based on Weinstein. Although the character is portrayed as an intimidating and aggressive producer, Weinstein has reportedly responded positively to the character.[42] The foul-mouthed character Malcolm Tucker in the BBC series The Thick of It is based on Hollywood agents and producers, notably Harvey Weinstein and the team at Miramax that has been “long celebrated for Malcolm-like behavior,” according to actor Peter Capaldi.[43][44]

Personal life

Weinstein has been married twice:

  • In 1987, he married his assistant Eve Chilton. They divorced in 2004.[20][45] They had three children: Remy (previously Lily) (born 1995), Emma (born 1998), and Ruth (born 2002).[46]
  • In 2007, he married English fashion designer and actress Georgina Chapman.[47] They have a daughter, India Pearl (born 2010)[48] and a son, Dashiell[49] (born 2013).[50]

On August 20, 2012, Vivek Shah was arrested for the attempted extortion of Weinstein, Chris Cline, and three other unnamed individuals. Shah demanded millions of dollars be wired to an offshore bank account or he would murder the family members of each recipient of his extortion letters.[51] A seven-count felony indictment against Shah was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in September 2012.[52] Shah was convicted in September 2013 and sentenced to seven years in prison.

Selected filmography

Television.svgThis film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

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What People Are Not Getting about Trump

Donald Trump, the President Without a Party

Estrangement from Republican leaders clouds the White House’s agenda

President Trump walked to board Marine One at the White House on Saturday.
President Trump walked to board Marine One at the White House on Saturday. PHOTO: SHAWN THEW/POOL/ZUMA PRESS

Increasingly, Donald Trump is a president without a party.

With virtually no Republican votes to spare in the Senate, where his agenda hangs in the balance, he has nonetheless become estranged from two key figures in his own party. First it was John McCain of Arizona, over his defiance of the president on health care. Next it was Bob Corker of Tennessee, who feuded with the president in a remarkable weekend of exchanged insults.

As it happens, Mr. McCain is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Mr. Corker is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Thus, the president is alienated from the two most important Senate figures on national security at a time when two critical national-security issues are coming to a boil: the fate of the nuclear deal with Iran and the increasingly dangerous standoff with North Korea.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump backed the losing candidate in a Republican primary runoff in Alabama, finding himself trapped between the party establishment whose choice he supported and the social conservative foot soldiers who backed Roy Moore, the candidate who actually won.

Now, Mr. Trump’s once and perhaps current political guru, Steve Bannon, has set out to attack much of the rest of the Republican caucus in the Senate. He’s also gunning for the entire GOP congressional leadership, with which the president is himself increasingly disillusioned.

How Independent Can Trump Become?

President Trump defied the Republican party this week by striking a deal with Democrats in Congress on raising the debt ceiling, keeping the government running and funding hurricane relief. The WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib explains whether this signals Trump will be more independent in the coming weeks. Photo: AP

After a conversation with Mr. Bannon in recent days, Robert Kuttner of the American Prospect summarized his agenda this way: “Bannon’s current obsession is to blow up Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Senate incumbents whom he regards as hostile to his brand of nationalism.”

Mr. Trump has tried to adjust to this growing estrangement from leaders of his own party by opening the door to cooperation with Democrats on immigration and health care. But after seemingly striking a deal with Democrats to protect the legal status of so-called Dreamers—young immigrants brought here illegally as youths—he plotted strategy over how to follow through on that agreement with a group of Republican senators over a White House dinner last week.

What emerged was a list of demands that may well blow up any pending immigration deal. To get the Dreamers deal Democrats want, Mr. Trump called for, among other things, funding for a wall he wants along the Mexican border, new restrictions on those seeking asylum in the U.S. and punishment for localities that declare themselves “sanctuary cities.”

Those principles surely are negotiable. Still, they seem to leave Mr. Trump trapped in a kind of immigration no-man’s-land, between Democrats wanting a Dreamers fix and Republicans hoping to use that fix as a lever to push through broad immigration changes they’d like to make.

The question is: Where is this all supposed to lead?

There is an answer to that—in the long run. Mr. Trump would like to lead, and Mr. Bannon would like to create, a Republican Party different from the one that exists. It would be a party molded in the Trump image: nationalist, skeptical of immigration and trade agreements, dubious about the virtues of diplomacy and international negotiations, with economic strategies skewed to help workers in traditional American industries.

After all, Mr. Trump has said on several occasions—most notably at a conservative conference in February—that he wants the GOP to be the party “of the American worker.”

There are three problems with that vision, though. First, that party doesn’t exist today. The current version of the GOP was built largely by merging the interests of the business community with the agenda of social conservatives. Neither of those groups would win top billing in the vision for a new, Trump-inspired party.

The second problem is that it isn’t at all clear that such a new Republican Party would, in fact, be a majority party. There are disaffected people loitering in both current major parties—disgruntled blue-collar workers, fearful middle-class Americans, trade skeptics, those who feel culturally alienated from the current Democratic establishment—who are drawn to such a vision.

But ultimately, Mr. Trump failed to win the popular vote even as he won the presidency in 2016, and he has never come close to winning majority approval for the job he’s doing as president.

The third problem is that, while waiting for that Republican Party to emerge, Mr. Trump confronts the job of governing today. The current party has just 52 members in the Senate, and, as noted, Mr. Trump doesn’t have the loyal support of all of them. Mr. Bannon and his allies are threatening to challenge other Republican incumbents in primary elections next year, which won’t exactly keep those targeted at his side.

Meantime, Mr. Trump hasn’t forged reliable tactical alliances with enough Democrats to make up the difference. Which leaves him a leader in search of reliable followers.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-the-president-without-a-party-1507563185

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The Pronk Pops Show 944, August 10, 2017, Story 1: Trump Preparing for Casus Belli and Negotiating With “Locked and Loaded” …Ready, Aim, “Fire and Fury” — Boom-Boom- Boom- Boom — Born To Be Wild — Thunder – Thunder – Thunder – Thunder — Thunderstruck — Videos

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Story 1: Trump Preparing for Casus Belli and Negotiating With “Locked and Loaded” …Ready, Aim, “Fire and Fury” — Boom-Boom- Boom- Boom — Born To Be Wild — Thunder – Thunder – Thunder – Thunder- Thunderstruck — Videos

President Trump holds a Press Conference

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AC/DC – Thunderstruck (Official Video)

Thunderstruck
Thunder, thunder, thunder, thunder
I was caught
In the middle of a railroad track
I looked round
And I knew there was no turning back
My mind raced
And I thought what could I do
And I knew
There was no help, no help from you
Sound of the drums
Beating in my heart
The thunder of guns
Tore me apart
You’ve been
Thunderstruck
Rode down the highway
Broke the limit, we hit the town
Went through to Texas, yeah Texas, and we had some fun
We met some girls
Some dancers who gave a good time
Broke all the rules
Played all the fools
Yeah yeah they, they, they blew our minds
And I was shaking at the knees
Could I come again please
Yeah them ladies were too kind
You’ve been
Thunderstruck
I was shaking at the knees

AC-DC Thunderstruck / Jet Fighters

Battleship & ACDC – Thunderstruck

PRESIDENT TRUMP DECLARES THAT US IS “LOCK AND LOADED” IN RESPONSE TO ANY NORTH KOREAN PROVOCATION AGAINST GUAM OR ALLIES

Here is President Trump’s response to North Korea’s recent threats made against Guam:

 

Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!

In his latest broadside at North Korea, President Trump bluntly warned dictator Kim Jong Un on Friday that the U.S. military was “locked and loaded” in case the country should “act unwisely.”

“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” Trump said on Twitter.

It was not clear exactly what sort of “military solutions” Trump was referring to or what precisely would constitute unwise action by the North Korean leader.

But North Korea said on Thursday it was putting together a plan to fire four missiles in the direction of the U.S. territory of Guam, a Pacific island that is home to large American military installations.

Trump’s warning came a day after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters in Silicon Valley that the U.S. effort to “get this under control” was “diplomatically led,” “gaining traction,” and “gaining diplomatic results.”

Mattis underlined that he wanted to “stay right there right now” and warned that the cost of conflict could be “catastrophic,” but also said that when it comes to the U.S. military, “we are ready.”  [Yahoo News]

http://www.rokdrop.net/2017/08/president-trump-declares-that-us-is-lock-and-loaded-in-response-to-any-north-korean-provocation-against-guam-or-allies/

An American A-10 Warthog landed at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Thursday.CreditYonhap, via Associated Press

WASHINGTON — North Korea’s threat on Thursday to test-fire ballistic missiles soon near the American territory of Guam deepened the challenge confronting the Trump administration: how to defang Pyongyang’s missile programs without risking all-out war.

President Trump has made clear that his goal is to deny North Korea the capability to field a long-range nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the United States.

And though the Pentagon still hopes for a diplomatic solution, highly classified military options are at the ready, last seriously debated when the Clinton administration pondered pre-emptive action to try to thwart North Korea’s nuclear program.

Even a limited strike against a North Korean missile on its launching pad or the shooting down of a missile in midair would pose risks that the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, might retaliate, setting off a spiral of escalation that could plunge the Korean Peninsula into war.

“In the event of a first strike against Kim, even a non-nuclear option, it is highly likely that Kim would retaliate at least conventionally against South Korea,” said James Stavridis, a retired four-star admiral who is now dean of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. “This almost certainly would create an upward spiral of violence which would be extremely difficult to manage or to mitigate.”

The Trump administration’s first recourse has been diplomacy. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson sought to head off North Korea’s missile program this week by suggesting that the United States could open talks with Pyongyang if North Korea would halt its missile tests.

GRAPHIC

What Can North Korea Reach With Its Missiles?

North Korea’s ballistic missile program has recently accelerated faster than expected.

On Thursday, however, North Korea raised the stakes by saying that it was considering a plan to test-fire four intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missiles in international waters near Guam, home to American air and naval bases as well as a Thaad antimissile system.

Mr. Trump hinted broadly later in the day that he has his own military options in mind. “Obviously we’re spending a lot of time looking at, in particular, North Korea,” he told reporters, “and we are preparing for many different alternative events.”

But few of the military options are straightforward, and some former Pentagon officials involved in war planning for North Korea pointed to the complexities.

A major consideration would be whether and when to evacuate American and other allied civilians, which is no small feat as Seoul, a city of about 10 million, is within range of North Korea’s rockets and artillery and the North Korean military is also armed with chemical and biological weapons.

“With all this talk, what I worry about is a serious miscalculation,” said James D. Thurman, a retired Army general who served as the top United States commander in South Korea from 2011 to 2013. “Before we start talking about all these military options, we have to decide what are we going to do with the U.S. citizens over there.”

He estimated that at least a quarter-million Americans would have to be moved.

If the United States was prepared to go beyond a limited strike, it could conduct a surprise attack on North Korea’s missile garrison and weapon storage areas, using American aircraft stationed in Guam, in Japan and on aircraft carriers as well as strategic bombers that would be refueled in flight.

American officials, however, do not have high confidence that the military could find and destroy North Korea’s entire arsenal of long-range missiles and nuclear warheads. It would be up to American missile defenses to knock out any that survived and that North Korea might use to attack the United States or its allies.

North Korea could also use its artillery, rockets and special operations forces to attack South Korea. To better defend against the threat, the United States could deploy more of its own artillery, counterbattery and reconnaissance aircraft to South Korea and send more air and naval forces to the region. But that would forfeit any element of surprise.

“I can’t underscore enough how unappealing all the military options are,” said Christine Wormuth, the Pentagon’s top policy official at the end of the Obama administration. “This wouldn’t end well. The U.S. would win, but it would be ugly.”

Diplomatic efforts are also deeply complicated. Unless China believes the United States is serious about using military options to head off North Korea’s emerging missile threat, it may be difficult to gain the cooperation from Beijing needed to fashion a political solution.

“I am 100 percent sure from a number of conversations that, as a last resort, he would use military force to deny them the capability to strike the homeland with a nuclear weapon,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, who met privately with Mr. Trump on the issue a month ago.

“He has convinced me,” Mr. Graham added. “Now it is up to him to convince the Chinese and North Koreans.”

To prevent nuclear attacks from elsewhere, namely Russia and China, the United States has relied on its potent nuclear arsenal. Some experts say the approach could also work with North Korea — a “least-bad option,” said Jeffrey A. Bader of the Brookings Institution.

But Mr. Trump has indicated that he does not want to rely on deterrence for a country he sees as bellicose and unpredictable.

Discouraging the enemy from massive escalation has worked even in the midst of war. During the 1991 Persian Gulf war, the administration of George Bush led an effort to push Iraqi forces out of Kuwait while dissuading Saddam Hussein from employing chemical weapons.

The Iraqis were warned shortly before the conflict by Secretary of State James A. Baker III that they would pay a heavy price if they used weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi government interpreted that as meaning that the United States would rush to Baghdad to topple their government.

The United States could try a similar approach: attacking North Korea’s missiles while warning Mr. Kim that his government would be the next target if he dared to strike back. But few analysts are confident he would be restrained.

Those urging firmer action assert that a military buildup in and around South Korea could give economic sanctions and diplomacy more time to work while providing American negotiators with more leverage.

Mr. Graham asserted that diplomatic efforts would fail unless the United States made clear that North Korea’s deployment of an intercontinental missile would cross a “red line” and that military options were available if the talks faltered.

But General Thurman worried that the war of words was fueling tensions and adding to the risk of miscalculation.

“We are playing right into Kim Jong-un’s hands,” General Thurman said. “That is what he wants. He wants to be on the world scene.”

“I really would want to tamp down this rhetoric, maintain armistice conditions, keep the force ready and,” he said, “not get the herd spooked.”

Unspoken Words: Nuclear War Provocations and Plans

During the election campaign there was a brief period of anxiety about Clinton or Trump taking possession of the nuclear code, with the power to eradicate our species at the push of a few buttons.  But where has discussion, let alone mention, of nuclear weapons gone?   An exception is the brief article by Robert Dodge in CounterPunch  about the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists advancing the Doomsday Clock to 2 ½ minutes before the midnight of human extinction caused by nuclear war or climate change:  “Nuclear weapons are not even on the radar of our congress. Their phones are not ringing off the hook about nuclear weapons.”

In a January 30th interview with Sonali Kolhatkar, George Lakoff discussed Trump’s trial balloon about nuclear weapons in which Trump said that if we have them, we should use them.  Lakoff said that there was a very brief reaction and then it’s gone, signaling that the public doesn’t care.  Doesn’t care or doesn’t know? Harvard professor Elaine Scarry has said that some of her students had never heard of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It is a dangerous time to not know about nuclear weapons.  Trump inherited from Obama the ongoing US/NATO/Israeli escalation and military encirclement against  Iran, China, and Russia, and  the $1tn program to modernize nuclear weapons.   On January 28th the Ron Paul Institute reported that Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) introduced a bill to Congress:    “… it specifically authorizes the president to launch a pre-emptive war on Iran at any time of his choosing and without any further Congressional oversight or input, as the President determines necessary and appropriate in order to achieve the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.” (Emphasis added).

Among the challengers to Iran’s purported nuclear threat are  Richard Falk (UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, expert on nuclear weapons and international law):  “What has Iran done to justify this frantic war-mongering … the outright threats emanating from Israel and the U.S. that leaves ‘all options’ on the table”?   Seymour Hersh investigated Israel’s nuclear weapons program in his book The Samson Option.  About Iran, Hersh wrote ofthe repeated inability of the best and the brightest of the Joint Special Operations Command to find definitive evidence of a nuclear-weapons production program in Iran….. with lots of belligerent talk but no definitive evidence of a nuclear-weapons program.”  And perhaps most damning, the U.K. Guardian: “Leaked spy cables show Binyamin Netanyahu’s dramatic declaration to world leaders in 2012 that Iran was about a year away from making a nuclear bomb was contradicted by his own secret service, according to a top-secret Mossad document.”  Robert Fisk in The Independent 2012: “The Israeli President warns us now that Iran is on the cusp of producing a nuclear weapon. Heaven preserve us. Yet we reporters do not mention that Shimon Peres, as Israeli Prime Minister, said exactly the same thing in 1996. That was 16 years ago. And we do not recall that the current Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, said in 1992 that Iran would have a nuclear bomb by 1999. That would be 13 years ago.  Same old story. We’ve been here before – and it suits Israel that we never forget ‘Nuclear Iran.’”

Noam Chomsky reported that a  nuclear Iran suited the U.S. pre-1979, before the Islamic revolution overthrew the brutal shah regime.  “A secret agreement made between MIT and the Shah of Iran, … pretty much amounted to turning over the Nuclear Engineering Department to the Shah.”  Cheney, Rumsfeld, Kissinger, and Wolfowitz “wanted Iran to develop nuclear facilities and they were allies at the time.”  [1]

Demonizing Iran at this time deflects attention from real nuclear dangers.  According to the 2016 report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the nine nuclear states together possess a total of approximately 15,395 nuclear weapons, with the United States and Russia accounting for more than 93%.   The public likely does not know that shortly after the UN pledged to end the scourge of war, shortly after two atomic bombs killed minimally 140,000 Japanese people, that the U.S. embarked on developing far more lethal hydrogen bombs.   The explosive force of the Hiroshima bomb was 15-16 kilotons, whereas today’s bombs are in the range of 100 Kt to 550Kt of TNT (6 to 34 times the Hiroshima force). “Even a small-scale nuclear war involving one hundred Hiroshima-type (15 Kt) nuclear bombs between two countries such as India and Pakistan, would have a devastating effect on Earth’s climate” and “it is unlikely there would be any survivors.”  “At most, this would involve only 0.3% of the world’s nuclear explosive power” [2]

Nuclear weapons are deployed by intercontinental ballistic missiles, by submarine launched ballistic missiles, and by strategic bombers.   Submarines carrying up to 24 missiles, with each carrying  four to five warheads, possibly as many as 144 warheads per submarine, constantly patrol the oceans.   In a striking example of apparent disregard for the people of this planet,  a CNN newscast from August 2016 shows a smiling Michelle Obama “christening” a General Dynamic Virginia-class submarine manufactured in Connecticut, named after her, and designed to carry nuclear weapons.     According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, even though a Russian first-strike is not a credible risk, the United States still keeps its 450 silo-based nuclear weapons, and hundreds of submarine-based weapons, on hair-trigger alert and ready to launch within ten minutes toward their targets.

The five year UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review met in April, 2015, following four years of preparatory meetings.  Given the volatile tension between the U.S. and Russia and China, there was an urgency to take nuclear weapons off high alert status.  Instead, the focus of the month-long meeting was diverted to Iran’s nuclear weapons and to political opposition by the U.S., U.K., and Canada to establishing a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East in order to shield Israel’s nuclear program from international laws and oversight.  In violation of the NPT, Germany has provided Israel  with a fleet of advanced submarines equipped to fire long-range nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.  Astonishingly, two of these submarines, which carry weapons of mass destruction, were given to Israel as Holocaust reparation!  According to Netanyahu, the submarines carry nuclear weapons pointed at Iran.  “The Obama administration’s pretense that it knows nothing about any nuclear weapons in Israel makes intelligent discussion about the dangers of nuclear weapons in the Middle East all but impossible.” India provides Israel with a launching site in the Indian Ocean.

During the Cold War, nuclear weapons strategy was based on deterrence, or mutually assured destruction (MAD).  Deterrence necessitated the capacity to retaliate with nuclear weapons, so the strategy in itself required weapons proliferation.  Shortly after 9/11,  G.W. Bush withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM).   Missile defence systems are designed to destroy incoming nuclear missiles shortly after they are launched.   There is a belief within the military that the U.S. could destroy its enemy’s full nuclear arsenal and prevent retaliation.  Nuclear strategy shifted from deterrence to pre-emptive first strike, with the belief that a nuclear war is winnableand acceptable.

Frustrated by the decades-long paralysis in regulating and eliminating these weapons, and fearful that there is even more likelihood of nuclear war than during the Cold War, the UN-formed Open Ended Working Group (OPEG), made up of all nations, is now focusing entirely and explicitly on eliminating nuclear weapons.  The nuclear-armed nations, plus many liberal democracies like Canada, Italy, Germany, Spain and other NATO countries, have voted against the majority.  Iran voted for.

The late Jonathan Schell dedicated his life to the abolition of nuclear weapons.  He wrote that nuclear exterminism did not come from 20thcentury totalitarian regimes, but that “the most radical evil imaginable – the extinction of the human species— [was] first placed in the hands of a liberal republic”.  A graver suspicion was that the United States and its allies did not build these weapons to face extraordinary danger, but because of “an intrinsic element of the dominant liberal civilization itself – an evil that first grew and still grows from within that civilization rather than being imposed from without.” [3]   Entire societies, the human species itself, are merely a pawn.   Schell writes that nuclear strategy is the “very epicenter of banality” and is manufactured in think tanks and academic institutions from the pseudoscience of game theory.

The anti-nuclear and antiwar movements have been relatively silent about Israel and about Obama’s nuclear program.    One current political opening may be women’s timely activism on the ground, with the precedent of women having led the successful opposition to atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in 1961.  Women, in their historical role of caring for the young and old, for growing food and carrying water, are the unseen victims of war and should have the power to veto.

Notes.

[1] Noam Chomsky and Laray Polk (2013). Nuclear war and Environmental Catastrophe. Seven Stories Press), p. 21-22.

[2] Dr. Dale Dewar and Florian Oelck (2014). From Hiroshima to Fukushima to You: A Primer on Radiation and Health. Between the Lines. P. 149-50. Also see Eric Schlosser (2013). Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety. Penguin.

[3] Jonathan Schell (2001). The Unfinished Twentieth Century: The Crisis of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Verso.  P. 32-47.

 

Casus belli

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Casus belli is a Latin expression meaning “an act or event that provokes or is used to justify war” (literally, “a case of war”).[1] A casus belli involves direct offenses or threats against the nation declaring the war, whereas a casus foederis involves offenses or threats against its ally—usually one bound by a mutual defense pact.[2][3] Either may be considered an act of war.

The term came into wide use in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries through the writings of Hugo Grotius (1653), Cornelius van Bynkershoek (1707), and Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui (1732), among others, and due to the rise of the political doctrine of jus ad bellum or “just war theory”.[4][5] The term is also used informally to refer to any “just cause” a nation may claim for entering into a conflict. It is used retrospectively to describe situations that arose before the term came into wide use, as well as being used to describe present-day situations—even those in which war has not been formally declared.

In formally articulating a casus belli, a government typically lays out its reasons for going to war, its intended means of prosecuting the war, and the steps that others might take to dissuade it from going to war. It attempts to demonstrate that it is going to war only as a last resort (ultima ratio) and that it has “just cause” for doing so. Modern international law recognizes only three lawful justifications for waging war: self-defense, defense of an ally required by the terms of a treaty, and approval by the United Nations.

Proschema (plural proschemata) is the equivalent Greek term, first popularized by Thucydides in his History of the Peloponnesian War. The proschemata are the stated reasons for waging war, which may or may not be the same as the real reasons, which Thucydides called prophasis (πρóφασις). Thucydides argued that the three primary real reasons for waging war are reasonable fear, honor, and interest, while the stated reasons involve appeals to nationalism or fearmongering (as opposed to descriptions of reasonable, empirical causes for fear).

Reasons for use

Countries need a public justification for attacking another country, both to galvanize internal support for the war and to gain the support of potential allies.

In the post-World-War-II era, the UN Charter prohibits signatory countries from engaging in war except: 1) as a means of defending themselves—or an ally where treaty obligations require it—against aggression; 2) unless the UN as a body has given prior approval to the operation. The UN also reserves the right to ask member nations to intervene against non-signatory countries that embark on wars of aggression.[6]

Historical examples

This section outlines a number of the more famous and/or controversial cases of casus belli which have occurred in modern times.

American Civil War

While slavery was the long term cause of the American Civil War, the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter (April 12–14, 1861) served as casus belli[7] for igniting the deadliest war in American history.

Spanish–American War

In the eyes of the United States, the sinking of the USS Maine provided casus belli for the Spanish–American War. There have been several alternative explanations for the explosion, such as that proposed by Mr. Evans, a senior editor of Newsweek. In his book, he identifies a flaw in the design of the USS Maine whereby the boiler room stood right next to the gunpowder storage room and that a boiler malfunction may have heated the adjacent metal wall and caused the powder to explode.[citation needed]

Second Opium War

Europeans had access to Chinese ports as outlined in the Treaty of Nanking from the First Opium War. France uses the execution of Auguste Chapdelaine as a casus belli for the Second Opium War. On February 29th, 1856, Chapdelaine, a French missionary, was killed in the province of Guangxi, which was not open to foreigners. In response, British and French forces quickly take control of Guangzhou (Canton).

World War I

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria provided the trigger that led to the outbreak of World War I. In June 1914, the refusal of two points of the July Ultimatum offered to Serbia was used by Austria-Hungary as a casus belli for declaring war on Serbia. The murder at Sarajevo in Bosnia by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb nationalist, Austrian subject and member of Young Bosnia (a secret society), was the reason why this ultimatum was made.

The Russian Empire started to mobilize its troops in defense of its ally Serbia, which resulted in the German Empire declaring war on Russia in support of its ally Austria-Hungary. Very quickly, after the involvement of France, the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire, five of the six great European powers became involved in the first European general war since the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1917, the German Empire sent the Zimmermann Telegram to Mexico, in which they tried to convince Mexico to join the war and fight against the United States, for which they would be rewarded Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, all former Mexican territories. This telegram was intercepted by the British, then relayed to the U.S., which led to President Woodrow Wilson then using it to convince Congress to join World War I alongside the Allies. The Mexican president at the time, Venustiano Carranza, had a military commission assess the feasibility, which concluded that this would not be feasible for multiple reasons.

World War II

In his autobiography Mein KampfAdolf Hitler had in the 1920s advocated a policy of lebensraum (“living space”) for the German people, which in practical terms meant German territorial expansion into Eastern Europe.

Alfred Naujocks, who organized and led the Gleiwitz incident on the orders of Heydrich.

In August 1939, to implement the first phase of this policy, Germany‘s Nazi government under Hitler’s leadership staged the Gleiwitz incident, which was used as a casus belli for the invasion of Poland the following September. Nazi forces used concentration camp prisoners posing as Poles on 31 August 1939, to attack the German radio station Sender Gleiwitz in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia, Germany (since 1945: Gliwice, Poland) on the eve of World War II in Europe. Poland‘s allies, the UK and France, subsequently declared war on Germany in accord their alliance.

In 1941, acting once again in accordance with the policy of lebensraum, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, using the casus belli of pre-emptive war to justify the act of aggression.

The Soviet Union also employed a manufactured casus belli against Finland during World War II on its part. In November 1939, shortly after the outbreak of hostilities between Germany, Britain and France, the Soviet Union staged the shelling of the Russian village of Mainila, which it blamed on the Finns. This manufactured incident was then used as a casus belli for the Winter War. In 1998, Russian President Boris Yeltsin admitted that the invasion had in fact constituted a Soviet war of aggression.

Six-Day War

casus belli played a prominent role during the Six-Day War of 1967. The Israeli government had a short list of casūs belli, acts that it would consider provocations justifying armed retaliation. The most important was a blockade of the Straits of Tiran leading into Eilat, Israel’s only port to the Red Sea, through which Israel received much of its oil. After several border incidents between Israel and Egypt‘s allies Syria and Jordan, Egypt expelled UNEFpeacekeepers from the Sinai Peninsula, established a military presence at Sharm el-Sheikh, and announced a blockade of the straits, prompting Israel to cite its casus belli in opening hostilities against Egypt.

Vietnam War

Many historians have suggested that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a manufactured pretext for the Vietnam War. North Vietnamese Naval officials have publicly stated that the USS Maddox was never fired on by North Vietnamese naval forces.[8][9] In the documentary film “The Fog of War“, then-US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara concedes the attack did not happen, though he says that he and President Johnson believed it did so at the time.[10]

The first Gulf of Tonkin Incident (the 2nd of August) should not be confused with the second Gulf of Tonkin Incident (the 4th of August). The North Vietnamese claimed that on August 2, US destroyer USS Maddox was hit by one torpedo and that one of the American aircraft had been shot down in North Vietnamese territorial waters. The PAVN Museum in Hanoi displays “Part of a torpedo boat… which successfully chased away the USS Maddox August, [sic] 2nd 1964″.

The casus belli for the Vietnam War was the second incident. On August 4, USS Maddox was launched to the North Vietnamese coast to “show the flag” after the first incident. The US authorities claimed that two Vietnamese boats tried to attack USS Maddox and were sunk. The government of North Vietnam denied the second incident completely. Deniability played favorably into the propaganda efforts of North Vietnam throughout the war, and for some years to follow.

1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon

The casus belli cited by Israel for its June 1982 invasion of Lebanon was the attempted assassination of the Israeli Ambassador in London, which the Israeli government blamed on the Palestinian Liberation Organization.[11] A possible invasion plan had been prepared in advance by Israel.[12]

War on Terror

The casus belli for the Bush administration‘s conceptual War on Terror, which resulted in the 2001 Afghanistan war, was the September 11 attacks in 2001 on the World Trade Center in New York CityThe Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the intended attack on the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

2003 Invasion of Iraq

When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, it cited Iraq’s non-compliance with the terms of cease-fire agreement for the 1990-1991 Gulf War, as well as planning in the 1993 attempted assassination of former President George H. W. Bush and firing on coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones as its stated casus belli.[13][14]

Cited by the George W. Bush administration was Saddam Hussein‘s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program. The administration claimed that Iraq had not conformed with its obligation to disarm under past UN Resolutions, and that Saddam Hussein was actively attempting to acquire a nuclear weapons capability as well as enhance an existing arsenal of chemical and biological weapons. Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed a plenary session of the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003 citing these reasons as justification for military action.[15]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ The Free Dictionary: casus belli
  2. Jump up^ Bynkershoek, Cornelius van (2007). A Treatise on the Law of War. Lawbook Exchange. ISBN 1-58477-566-1.
  3. Jump up^ Bynkershoek, Cornelius van (1995). On Questions of Public Law. William S. Hein & Company. ISBN 1-57588-258-2.
  4. Jump up^ Russell, Frederick H. (1997). The Just War in the Middle AgesCambridge University PressISBN 0-521-29276-X.
  5. Jump up^ Childress, James F. (1978). “Just-War Theories: The Bases, Interrelations, Priorities, and Functions of Their Criteria”. Theological Studies39: 427–45.
  6. Jump up^ “Chapter VII | United Nations”http://www.un.org. Retrieved 2017-04-02.
  7. Jump up^ Watson, William (1887). Life in the Confederate Army: Being the Observations and Experiences of an Alien in the South During the American Civil War. United States: Chapman & Hall. p. 113. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  8. Jump up^ McNamara asks Giap: What happened in Tonkin Gulf?Archived 2015-03-06 at the Wayback Machine.”. (November 9, 1995). Associated Press
  9. Jump up^ CNN Cold War – Interviews: Robert McNamara ArchivedJune 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., retrieved January 23, 2007
  10. Jump up^ Kaplan, Fred (19 December 2003). “The Evasions of Robert McNamara” – via Slate.
  11. Jump up^ Sachar, Howard M.: A History of Israel from the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf 1996, ISBN 0-679-76563-8, page 904.
  12. Jump up^ “As early as January 1982, therefore, with Begin‘s approval, Sharon paid a secret visit to Beirut…. By the following month… operational plans for the offensive were well advanced. Israeli liaison officers repeatedly visited Beirut to coordinate strategy with the Phalange. In the end, the Lebanon expedition would be the most thoroughly prepared campaign in Israel’s history.” – Sachar, A History of Israel, p. 903.
  13. Jump up^ “Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq”. Office of the Press Secretary. October 2, 2002.
  14. Jump up^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
  15. Jump up^ “Remarks to the United Nations Security Council”. 4 February 2005. Archived from the

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 941, August 7, 2017, Story 1: The United Nations Security Council Vote Was Unanimous (15-0) Including China and Russia Imposing Sanctions on North Korea — Videos — Story 2: Will American People Form A New Political Party ? Yes — American Independence Party? When? — 2024 When Over 50% Are Independents — No Longer Believe Democratic or Republican Parties Represent Their Interests/Concerns — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Takes 17 Day Working Vacation While White House Undergoes Needed Repairs — Videos — Story 4: Seymour Hersh Exposes The DNC Leaker — Seth Rich — Not The Russians — DNC Obstruction of Trust — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 872: April 12, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 870: April 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 869: April 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 867: April 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

Image result for cartoons more sanctions on north koreaImage result for cartoons on 2020 presidential electionsImage result for seymour hersh seth rich murder source of wikileaks DNCImage result for seymour hersh seth rich murder source of wikileaks DNCImage result for cartoons 2020 presidential raceImage result for o cartoons 2020 presidential race

 

Story 1: The United Nations Security Council Vote Was Unanimous (15-0) Including China and Russia Imposing Sanctions on North Korea — Videos —

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WHY U.S IS NOT USING MILITARY OPTION AGAINST NORTH KOREA?

How Big of a Threat is North Korea?

 

U.N. Security Council Approves New Sanctions on North Korea

By Chas Danner

Image
The unanimous vote on Saturday. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council has approved a U.S.-drafted resolution to strengthen sanctions on North Korea, in response to its escalating nuclear- and ballistic-missile weapons programs. The new sanctions, which received unanimous support from the council on Saturday, will impose a full ban on roughly a third of North Korean exports, denying them more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

The sanctions are the seventh set to be imposed on North Korea since its first nuclear-weapon test in 2006, but the first international measure to be taken against the regime since President Trump took office. The resolution comes a little more than a week after North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that was capable of reaching the mainland U.S. It also received the crucial support of China, North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner, and one of the countries that can veto any U.N. Security Council resolution.

In fact, Politico reports that the sanctions negotiations with China, which started following North Korea’s first successful test of an ICBM on July 4, succeeded in derailing a Trump-administration plan to open a trade investigation targeting China. That plan, which Trump and White House officials hinted at last weekend, was apparently due to be announced on Friday. Assuming the Politico report is accurate, staving off the White House represents a rare win for the State Department against other factions in the Trump administration. It also, for now, denies the White House a chance to test whether or not a trade war with China would be a smart way to protect the U.S. from a North Korean nuclear missile.

“This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation,” U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley declared before the U.N. Security Council vote on Saturday. Per the resolution, North Korea can no longer export coal, iron, lead, seafood, and a few other materials. New joint ventures with the country are also prohibited, as are new investments in existing ventures, and more North Korean individuals and entities have been added to the preexisting U.N. sanctions blacklist, which freezes assets and travel.

China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, declared on Saturday that the new resolution demonstrates that the world is “united in its position regarding the nuclear position on the Korean peninsula,” and said that China was glad that the U.S. said it was not seeking regime change in Pyongyang or reunification of the two Koreas. North Korea’s denuclearization (which is not very likely) is still a top U.S. priority, however. The U.S. will also continue to conduct its annual military exercises with South Korea, while both China and Russia reiterated their opposition to the deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile-defense system in South Korea, though that issue did not prevent them from supporting the final resolution.

The resolution does not, as the U.S. originally had sought, cut the amount of oil being delivered to North Korea, but the U.S. was apparently able to overcome the initial objections of China and Russia. All involved stressed that they saw the sanctions as a way to force North Korea to the negotiating table over its nuclear- and ballistic-missile weapons programs, but the successful implementation of this — or any — new sanctions on the country will rely almost exclusively on China following through on its end.

Sanctions against North Korea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sanctions against North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, have been imposed by various countries and international bodies. The current sanctions are largely concerned with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and were imposed after its first nuclear test in 2006.

United Nations sanctions

A North Korea cargo ship at the dock in Nampo

The UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions since North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006.[1]

Resolution 1718 in 2006 demanded that North Korea cease nuclear testing and prohibited the export to North Korea of some military supplies and luxury goods.[2][3] A Sanctions Committee is established, supported by a Panel of Experts that issue annual reports.[4][5][6]

Resolution 1874, passed after the second nuclear test in 2009, broadened the arms embargo. Member states were encouraged to inspect ships and destroy any cargo suspected being related to the nuclear weapons program.[3][1]

Resolution 2087, passed in January 2013 after a satellite launch, strengthened previous sanctions by clarifying a state’s right to seize and destroy cargo suspected of heading to or from North Korea for purposes of military research and development.[3][1]

Resolution 2094 was passed in March 2013 after the third nuclear test. It imposed sanctions on money transfers and aimed to shut North Korea out of the international financial system.[3][1]

Resolution 2270, passed in March 2016 after the fourth nuclear test, further strengthened sanctions.[7] It banned the export of gold, vanadium, titanium, and rare earth metals. The export of coal and iron were also banned, with an exemption for transactions that were purely for “livelihood purposes”.[8][1]

Resolution 2321, passed in November 2016, capped North Korea’s coal exports and banned exports of copper, nickel, zinc, and silver.[9][10] In February 2017, a UN panel said that 116 of 193 member states had yet not submitted a report on their implementation of these sanctions, though China had.[11] Also in February 2017, China announced it would ban all imports of coal for the rest of the year.[12]

United States sanctions

In February 2016, President Obama enacted the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016, which passed the House of Representatives and the Senate with nearly unanimous support.[3] This law:

  • requires the President to sanction entities found to have contributed to North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program, arms trade, human rights abuses or other illegal activities.[3]
  • imposes mandatory sanctions for entities involved in North Korea’s mineral or metal trades, which comprise a large part of North Korea’s foreign exports.[3]
  • requires the US Treasury Department to determine whether North Korea should be listed as a “primary money laundering concern,” which would trigger tough new financial restrictions.[3]
  • imposes new sanctions authorities related to North Korean human rights abuses and violations of cybersecurity.[3]

This followed the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2013 which the Senate failed to pass.

South Korean sanctions

South Korea imposed sanctions against North Korea following the 2010 sinking of the South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan. These sanctions, known as the May 24 measures, included:[3]

  • banning North Korean ships from South Korean territorial waters.[3]
  • suspending inter-Korean trade except at the Kaesong Industrial Zone.[3]
  • banning most cultural exchanges.[3]

In 2016 President Park Geun-hye ordered the Kaesong complex shut in retaliation for the nuclear test in January and the rocket launch in February.[3]

Japanese sanctions

In 2016, Japan’s sanctions against North Korea included:[3]

  • banning remittances, except those made for humanitarian purposes and less than 100,000 yen in value.[3]
  • freezing assets of suspect individuals and organisations in Japan.
  • prohibiting North Korean citizens from entering Japan.[3]
  • renewing the ban on North Korean ships entering Japanese ports and extending it to include other ships that have visited North Korea.[3]
  • banning nuclear and missile technicians who have been to North Korea from entering Japan.[13]

European Union

The European Union has imposed a series of sanctions against North Korea since 2006. These include:[3]

  • an embargo on arms and related materiel.[3]
  • banning the export of aviation and rocket fuel to North Korea.
  • banning the trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with the North Korean government.[3]
  • banning the import of minerals from North Korea, with some exemptions for coal and iron ore.
  • banning exports of luxury goods.[3]
  • restrictions on financial support for trade with North Korea.[3]
  • restrictions on investment and financial activities.[3]
  • inspections and monitoring of cargoes imported to and exported from North Korea.[3]
  • prohibiting certain North Korean individuals from entering the EU.[14]

Assessment

A report by the United Nations Panel of Experts stated that North Korea was covertly trading in arms and minerals in defiance of the sanctions.[15]

The academic John Delury has described the sanctions as futile and counterproductive. He has argued that they are unenforceable and unlikely to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.[16]

On the other hand, Sung-Yoon Lee, Professor in Korean Studies at the Fletcher School, and Joshua Stanton, advocate continued tightening of sanctions, targeting Pyongyang’s systemic vulnerabilities, including blocking the regime’s “offshore hard currency reserves and income with financial sanctions, including secondary sanctions against its foreign enablers. This would significantly diminish, if not altogether deny, Kim the means to pay his military, security forces and elites that repress the North Korean public”.[17][18]

References

Story 2: Will American People Form A New Political Party? Yes — American Independence Party? When? — 2024 When Over 50% of American Voters Are Independents — No Longer Believe Democratic and/or Republican Parties Represent Their Interests/Concerns — Videos

Pence denies NYT report on 2020 presidential run

Mike Pence And Kellyanne Just Announced The BEST News About What Trump Just Decided To Do For Americ

Tucker Carlson Tonight 8/7/17 – Tucker Carlson Fox News August 7, 2017 TRUMP’S FIRST 200 DAYS

A Milestone For Women In Politics: Libertarians Reflect on Hillary’s Nomination

Richard Epstein Enriches Us with His Ideas on Inequality, Taxes, Politics, and Health Care

Richard Epstein: Obamacare’s Collapse, the 2016 Election, & More

What Is Libertarianism?

WOW! Hillary Wants To Run In 2020 (Will She Ever Learn)

What It Will Finally Take to Put Hillary Clinton Behind Bars

From white supremacy to Barack Obama: The history of the Democratic Party

The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party

Why Did the Democratic South Become Republican?

How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump

My Red Pill Moment: The Awakening

 

More Voters Voting Independent, Want Competitive Third-Party

Monday, August 07, 2017

Voters are more receptive to a political third party than they have been in recent years, and more than half now say they have voted for a candidate independent of the two major parties. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 1-2, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Questions – Third Party – August 1-2, 2017

See Toplines
See Crosstabs
Platinum Page

National Survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters

Conducted August 1-2, 2017
By Rasmussen Reports

 

1* Would it be good or bad for the United States if there was a truly competitive third political party? Or would it make no political difference?

 

2* Have you ever voted for an independent candidate not affiliated with either major party?

 

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/questions/pt_survey_questions/august_2017/questions_third_party_august_1_2_2017

 

Voters See Republicans As Bigger Roadblock Than Democrats For Trump

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Voters are now more likely to believe Republicans in Congress are the bigger problem for President Trump than Democrats are.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters believe congressional Republicans are a bigger problem for the president, while 36% believe Democrats are the bigger problem. A sizable 22% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily email update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 20 & 23, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/july_2017/voters_see_republicans_as_bigger_roadblock_than_democrats_for_trump

 

Story 3: President Trump Takes 17 Day Working Vacation While White House Undergoes Needed Repairs — Videos —

Trump’s vacation looks a lot like those of modern presidents

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White House renovations begin as Trump starts 17-day working vacation in New Jersey

PODS are loaded from the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. The West Wing is getting a renovation while President Donald Trump is away on vacation. (AP Photo/Laurie Kellman)
PODS are loaded from the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. The West Wing is getting a renovation while President Donald Trump is away on vacation. (AP Photo/Laurie Kellman) 
 – The Washington Times – Saturday, August 5, 2017

White House renovators didn’t waste any time overhauling the West Wing once President Trump left for a 17-day vacation Friday.

Renovations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue began hardly an hour after Mr. Trump boarded Air Force One en route to Bedminster, New Jersey, according to his social media manager, Dan Scavino. The president is scheduled to spend the next two and a half weeks at his golf resort there as the White House receives a well deserved makeover.

Mr. Scavino tweeted a picture of the Oval Office being emptied hardly an hour after Air Force One left Joint Base Andrews on Friday, and on Saturday he shared a photograph of the White House’s historic Resolute desk being removed for renovation.

The White House announced earlier in the week that the West Wing will undergo extensive renovations in Mr. Trump’s absence, including upgrades to the facility’s 27-year-old air-conditioning and heating systems, as well as the installation of new wiring, paint and carpets.

“Due to the 24/7, 365-day use a year, the estimated age of the system based off of usage is 81 years old,” deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters told reporters Thursday.

“I doubt that you would want to come to work on a hot summer day when the air-conditioning wasn’t working,” she said Friday.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/5/white-house-renovations-begin-trump-starts-17-day-/

Now that President Trump has left the White House and kicked off his 17-day getaway to his golf course in New Jersey, renovations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are going full-steam ahead.

Dan Scavino Jr., the president’s director of social media, tweeted on Friday a photo of an empty Oval Office with a step ladder near the fireplace.

“Renovations underway at the @WhiteHouse,” he captioned the photo. “One hour after Air Force One is wheels up??the Oval Office is empty. West Wing is clearing out now.”

Renovations underway at the @WhiteHouse. One hour after Air Force One is wheels up🛫the Oval Office is empty. West Wing is clearing out now.

White House set for renovations as Trump takes first vacation

Trump denies he called White House a ‘dump’

As ABC News previously reported, the West Wing will be cleared out for several weeks for much-needed repairs.

Work has already begun on White House grounds to replace the 27-year-old heating and cooling system, the second stage of a renovation that started under the Obama administration.

Other work includes painting and new carpeting in the West Wing and refurbishments in the Oval Office. All of the renovations will be conducted by General Service Administration designers.

Trump took to Twitter Wednesday night to deny a golf.com report that while speaking with members at the Trump National Golf Club, he said the White House is a “dump.”

“I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen,” he tweeted. “But Fake News said I called it a dump – TOTALLY UNTRUE.”

I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen. But Fake News said I called it a dump – TOTALLY UNTRUE

ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/trump-staffer-tweets-photo-white-house-renovations-kicking-053405552–abc-news-topstories.html

 

Story 4 Seymour Hersh Exposes The DNC Leaker — Seth Rich — Not The Russians — DNC Obstruction of Trust — Videos

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Seymour Hersh Bombshell: Seth Rich Leaked DNC Emails to WikiLeaks and Russian Hacking Story Is False

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Seymour Hersh: Seth Rich Indeed Leaked DNC Emails to Wikileaks (Confirmed by Wikileaks Itself)

SEYMOUR HERSH CONFIRMS KIM DOT COM STORY. SETH RICH WIKILEAKS LEAKER

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The Truth About Seth Rich & The DNC⁄Wikileaks Scandal | Stefan Molyneux

The Seth Rich Story Changes Once Again

The Truth About Seth Rich & The DNC⁄Wikileaks Scandal | Stefan Molyneux

Seth Rich Just Latest Media Obfuscation in Grip of Mass Delusion

Unless Alternative Media Sees its Own Blindspots, We Won’t Be Effective With Change

Seth Rich Transferred 44,054 Emails to Wikileaks Per Federal Investigator

 

SEYMOUR HERSH: SPY CHIEFS INVENTED RUSSIA-COLLUSION STORY

Famous journalist claims they lied to Obama and lied about Trump

GARTH KANT

 

The entire Russia collusion story was a fiction made up by intelligence chiefs who lied about President Trump, and lied to President Obama and the media, according to a person on a just-released audio recording who is almost certainly legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.

Further, the person who recorded the audio is almost certainly financier Ed Butowsky, who hired private investigator Rod Wheeler to investigate the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich last July.

Wheeler filed a defamation lawsuit against Butowsky and Fox News on Tuesday over a story the network retracted about the investigation.

 

WND did some digging and discovered those identical words appear on the audio recording, apparently verifying they were spoken by Hersh and taped by Butowsky. Judging by a report in the Washington Post, the conversation happened during, or before, February.

The audio was first posted late Tuesday afternoon on a site called Big League Politics then went viral after it was linked on Twitter by WikiLeaks.

Hersh, himself, acknowledged speaking with Butkowsy, during an NPR interview Monday in which he referred to the Seth Rich angle as gossip and said Butowsky “took two and two and made 45 out of it.”

But Hersh did not disavow what he said about the Russia collusion narrative.

On the recording, the reporter called the entire story that the Trump presidential campaign and transition team colluded with Russia “a Brennan operation.”

Hersh accused former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and current NSA Director Michael Rogers of peddling “disinformation” and misleading Obama and the press.

And he dded, “Trump’s not wrong to think they all f—ing lied about him.”

Hersh suggested Rogers falsely told the press that American intelligence agencies even knew who in the Russian military intelligence service “leaked it,” in apparent reference to the hacked Democratic emails that embarrassed the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign.

He also dismissively called Brennan an “a—hole,” Rogers a “f—ing moron” and Clapper “sort of a better guy but not a rocket scientist.”

Hersh ascribed a simple motive to the subterfuge by the top spies: They wanted to keep their jobs by assuring Clinton won the presidential election.

“With Trump they’re gone. You know, they’re done – they’re going to live on their pensions, they’re not going to make it.”

Hersh also explained why the story came to dominate the news cycle, portraying his colleagues in the establishment media as, essentially, too gullible.

“I worked at the New York Times for years and they have smart guys but they are totally beholden on sources. If the president or the head of the (unintelligible) tells them something they actually believe it,” he said.

And, speaking of those highly placed sources, he said, “These guys run the f—ing Times.”

Hersh won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for exposing the My Lai massacre and has become one of the nation’s best-known and most-accomplished investigative reporters.

According to his biography in the New Yorker, in addition to Hersh’s Pulitzer, his journalism and publishing awards include five George Polk Awards, two National Magazine Awards, and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting.

Hersh made on-the-record comments critical of the Russia collusion story to The Intercept on Jan. 25, flatly saying he did not believe the assessment by the intelligence community that Russian President Vladimir Putin orchestrated a hacking campaign designed to elect Trump.

He also blasted the major media for uncritically accepting the claims by Obama’s intelligence officials as facts.

“The way they (the media) behaved on the Russia stuff was outrageous,” Hersh said two days after Trump was inaugurated. “They were just so willing to believe stuff.”

Hersh told the Intercept that if he had been covering the story, “I would have made Brennan into a buffoon. A yapping buffoon in the last few days. Instead, everything is reported seriously.”

The reporter zeroed in on questionable aspects of the intelligence assessment that would become highly relevant when Brennan and Clapper finally testified before congressional committees months after the inauguration of Trump.

“What does an assessment mean?,” asked Hersh. “It’s not a national intelligence estimate. If you had a real estimate, you would have five or six dissents. One time they said 17 agencies all agreed. Oh really? The Coast Guard and the Air Force — they all agreed on it?”

He continued, “And it was outrageous and nobody did that story. An assessment is simply an opinion. If they had a fact, they’d give it to you. An assessment is just that. It’s a belief.”

Hersh’s critique of the flimsiness of the intelligent assessment parallels the analysis made by a prominent former CIA analyst after Clapper revealed during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on May 8, that it was not true that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had compiled, and agreed with, the findings.

As WND reported, Clapper not only revealed that just three agencies, the NSA, FBI and CIA, were involved in the assessment.

He also revealed that those agencies did not do the assessment themselves.

The analysis and conclusion were made by an irregular and hand-picked panel of what were called experts, who actually may have been, according to former CIA officer Fred Fleitz, highly politicized.

Fleitz served in U.S. national security positions for 25 years at the CIA, DIA, Department of State and the House Intelligence Committee staff.

As someone intimately familiar with the inner workings of the intelligence community, Fleitz penned an article for Fox News on May 12, that spelled out what really happened.

He had written previously that when the U.S. Intelligence Community issued an ‘Intelligence Community Assessment’ (ICA) on January 6, 2017, that found Russia deliberately interfered in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Trump’s candidacy, he “was suspicious because it reached unusually clear judgments on a politically explosive issue with no dissenting views.”

Fleitz was then surprised to hear Clapper explain in his May testimony that two dozen or so “seasoned experts” were “handpicked” from the contributing agencies and drafted the ICA “under the aegis of his former office” (the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.)

Wrote Fleitz, “This process drastically differed from the Intelligence Community’s normal procedures.”

Describing just how unusual that was, he said, “Hand-picking a handful of analysts from just three intelligence agencies to write such a controversial assessment went against standing rules to vet such analyses throughout the Intelligence Community within its existing structure.”

Furthermore, “The idea of using hand-picked intelligence analysts selected through some unknown process to write an assessment on such a politically sensitive topic carries a strong stench of politicization.”

Fleitz also noted that former FBI Director James Comey had testified that the report’s conclusion of Russian interference was based on logic, not evidence.

“So we now know,” surmised the former CIA officer, “this was a subjective judgment made by a hand-picked group of intelligence analysts.”

“One has to ask how these hand-picked analysts were picked. Who picked them? Who was excluded?”

Fleitz called it a major problem that “the process gave John Brennan, CIA’s hyper-partisan former director, enormous influence over the drafting of the ICA.”

“Given Brennan’s scathing criticism of Mr. Trump before and after the election, he should have had no role whatsoever in the drafting of this assessment. Instead, Brennan probably selected the CIA analysts who worked on the ICA and reviewed and approved their conclusions.”

In other words, it seems Fleitz thought it not impossible that Brennan rigged the report to arrive at the conclusion he wanted.

Which makes Brennan’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on May 24, all the more relevant, because even though he testified he saw no evidence of collusion, the former CIA director admitted it was he who set in motion the FBI’s investigation into whether the Trump team colluded with the Russians.

Fleitz wants Congress to investigate the spies. He wrote:

“The unusual way that the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment was drafted raises major questions as to whether it was rigged by the Obama administration to produce conclusions that would discredit the election outcome and Mr. Trump’s presidency. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees therefore should add investigations of whether this ICA was politicized to their investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.”

http://www.wnd.com/2017/08/seymour-hersh-spy-chiefs-invented-russia-collusion-story/#GCyp3JGqpJvbUcrE.99

 

Seymour Hersh audio transcript revealing Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks.

As reported by many alternative news websites, and as ignored by many corrupt mainstream media news outlets, audio recently emerged of award winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh stating that Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks.

You can listen to the audio here, or the transcript of the audio is provided below:

“I’ll tell you what I know. All I know comes off an FBI report. Don’t ask me how – you can figure out – you’ve been around long enough. I don’t think he was murdered because of what he knew. The kid was not an IT expert, but he learned stuff. He was a data programmer, but he learned stuff.

He’s living in a very rough neighborhood, and in the exact area where he lives – I’m sure you know – there’s been about 8 or 9 or 10 violent robberies, most of them with somebody brandishing a gun. And the kid’s hands – I’m sure you know – his hands are marked up, the cops included he fought off the people, tried to run and they shot him twice in the back with a .22 small caliber, and then the kids that did it ran – they got scared – didn’t take his wallet.

Okay, so what the cops do then, and here’s what nobody knows, what I’m telling you – or maybe you know something about it – when you have a death like that, DC cops, you have to get to the kid’s apartment and see what you can find. If he’s dead you don’t need a warrant, but most cops get a warrant because they don’t know if the guy has a room-mate. You need a warrant, so they get a warrant.

They go in the house, and they can’t do much with his computer, it’s password. The cops don’t know much about it. So the DC cops, they have a cyber unit in DC and they’re more sophisticated. They come and look at it. The idea is maybe he’s had a series of exchanges with somebody who says ‘I’m going to kill you, you mother ****er over a girl’ or… And they can’t get in. The cyber guys are a little better, but they can’t make sense of it, so they call the FBI cyber unit. The DC unit, the Washington field office is a hot s*** unit. The guy running the Washington field office, he’s like a three star at an army base. he’s ready for four. You know what I mean – he’s gong to go for a top job. There’s a cyber unit there that’s excellent.

What you get in a warrant – the public information you get in a warrant – doesn’t include the affidavit underlying why you’re going in – what the reason was. That’s almost never available. I can tell you that. The existence of a warrant is a public document 99% of the time.

So, and the same morning they call in the feds. The feds get through and here’s what they find. This is according to the FBI report. What they find is he makes contact.

First of all, you have to know some basic facts. One of the basic facts is that there are no DNC or Podesta emails that exist beyond May 21st or 22nd, the last email from either one of those groups.

And so what the report says is that sometime in late spring/early summer, he makes contact with Wikileaks. That’s in his computer, and he makes contact. Now, I have to be careful because I met Julian ten twelve years… I stay the f*** away from people like that. You know, he’s invited me, when I’m in London I always get a message, “Come see me at the Ecuadorian embassy.” F*** you, I ain’t going there. I got enough trouble without getting photographed. He’s under total surveillance by everybody.

Anyway, they found what he had done. He had submitted a series of documents, of emails, some juicy emails from the DNC. And you know, by the way all this s*** about the DNC, you know, whatever happened the democrats themselves wrote this s***, you know what I mean. All I know is that he offered a sample, an extensive sample, I’m sure dozens of emails, and said, “I want money.”

Then later Wikileaks did get the password. He had a DropBox – a protected DropBox – which isn’t hard to do. I mean you don’t have to be an IT wizard. He was certainly, he was not a dumb kid.

They got access to the DropBox. He also – this is also in the FBI report – he also let people know with whom he was dealing. I don’t know how he dealt with the Wikileaks and the mechanism but he also… The word was passed according to the NSA report, “I also shared this box with a couple of friends so if anything happens to me it’s not going to solve your problems.” Okay. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know whether he…

Anyway, Wikileaks got access, and before he was killed. I can tell you right now. Brennan’s1 an asshole. I’ve known all these people for years. Clapper2 sort of a (illegible) guy but not a rocket scientist. The NSA guy’s a f***ing moron. And the trouble with all those guys is the only way they’re going to make it to, you know, get hired by SAI (illegible) and delivered some fat cat contract is if Hillary stayed in. With Trump they’re gone. They’re done. They’re going to live on they’re pension. They’re not going to make it. And I got to tell you, guys in that job, they don’t want to live on their pension. They want to be on boards making six hundred thousand bucks.

I have somebody on the inside. I’ve been around a long time and I write a lot of stuff. I have somebody on the inside who will go and read a file for me. This person is unbelievably accurate and careful. He’s a very high level guy. He’ll do a favor. You’re just going to have to trust me. I have what they call in my business, long form journalism, I have a narrative of how that whole f***king thing began.

It’s a Brennan operation. It was an American disinformation operation f***ing the f***ing president. And at one point they even started telling the press, they were back-briefing the press, the head of the NSA was going and telling the press – f***ing c***sucker Rogers3 – was telling the press that we even know who in the Russian military intelligence service leaked it. I mean all bulls***.

I worked for the New York Times for f***ing years. The trouble with the New York Times is they have smart guys but they’re totally beholden on sources. If the president or the head of the (illegible) told them something, they actually believe it. I was hired by the Times to write about, go after the war, the Vietnam war in 72, because they were just locked in, so that’s what the Times is. These guys run the f***ing Times.

And Trump’s not willing to… I mean I wish he would calm down and had a better Press Secretary. Trump’s not willing to think they all f***ing lied about him.”

– – – – – – – – – –

This is arguably the biggest scandal in decades, and yet despite the magnitude of the scandal, it’s a sad reflection on just how corrupt and anti-American the mainstream media has become that the majority of them will attempt to cover this story up.

Everyone needs to share this story far and wide. Tell your friends. Tell everyone you know. Sydney Hersh, arguably the greatest investigative journalist of the last five decades, has stated:

* Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks.
* Obama’s intelligence chiefs, led by John Brennan, ran a disinformation campaign to mislead the American public.

#DrainTheSwamp

 

Murder of Seth Rich

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Murder of Seth Rich
Date July 10, 2016
Time 4:20 a.m. EST (approximate)
Location Bloomingdale neighborhood
(Ward 5Washington, D.C.)
Cause Shooting
Outcome Under investigation by D.C. police
Inquiries Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
Coroner Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Washington D.C.

Seth Conrad Rich (January 3, 1989 – July 10, 2016) was an American employee for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) who was fatally shot in the Bloomingdaleneighborhood of Washington, D.C.[1][2][3] As of May 2017 the shooting is still under investigation by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.[4]

The murder spawned several right-wingconspiracy theories about the crime, including the claim that Rich had been involved with the leaked DNC emails in 2016, which runs contrary to U.S. intelligence that concluded the leaked DNC emails were part of 2016 U.S. elections interference.[5][6][7] These theories were debunked by law enforcement,[5][6] as well as by fact-checking websites like PolitiFact.com,[6][8]Snopes.com,[9] and FactCheck.org.[5] The fabrications were described as fake news and falsehoods by The New York Times,[10]Los Angeles Times,[11] and The Washington Post.[12]

Rich’s parents condemned the conspiracy theorists and said that these individuals were exploiting their son’s death for political gain, with their spokesperson calling them “sociopaths” and “disgusting”.[13][14][15] They requested a retraction and apology from Fox News,[16] and sent a cease and desist letter to the investigator Fox News used.[6][15][16] The investigator admitted he had no evidence to back up his claims, and Fox News issued a retraction.[5][6][17]

Seth Rich’s early life and career

Rich grew up in a Jewish family, in Omaha, Nebraska.[18][19][20] He volunteered for the Nebraska Democratic Party, interned for Senator Ben Nelson, was active in Jewish outreach,[21] and worked with the United States Census Bureau.[22][23] In 2011, he graduated from Creighton University with a degree in political science.[24][23] He moved to Washington, D.C. to work for pollster, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.[23] In 2014 he began working for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as the Voter Expansion Data Director. One of his tasks at the DNC was the development of a computer application to help voters locate polling stations.[2][25][26]

Shooting and death

On Sunday, July 10, 2016, Rich was shot about a block from his apartment in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C.[27][28][29]

Earlier that night he had been at Lou’s City Bar, a sports pub 1.8 miles from his apartment, in Columbia Heights, where he was a regular customer. He left when the bar was closing, at about 1:30 or 1:45 a.m.[30][31] Police were alerted to gunfire at 4:20 a.m. by an automated gunfire locator.[29][32] Within approximately one minute after the gun shots, police officers found Rich with multiple gunshot wounds, in a conscious and breathing state.[33] He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he later died.[34][35][36] According to police, he died from two shots to the back[27][28] and may have been killed in an attempted robbery, noting that the neighborhood had recently been plagued by robberies.[27] Rich’s mother told NBC‘s Washington affiliate WRC-TV, “There had been a struggle. His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything… They didn’t finish robbing him, they just took his life.”[37] The police told the family they had found a surveillance videotape showing a glimpse of the legs of two people who could possibly be the killers.[30]

Aftermath

On the day after the shooting, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement mourning his loss and praising Rich’s work to support voter rights.[32][38] Two days after the shooting, Hillary Clinton spoke of his death during a speech advocating limiting the availability of guns.[2][19]

Bike rack and plaque outside the DNC headquaters

In October 2016, a plaque and bike rack outside the DNC headquarters were dedicated to Rich’s memory.[38] In September 2016, Rich’s parents and girlfriend appeared on the syndicatedtelevision show Crime Watch Daily to speak about the murder case.[39][40] In February 2017, the Beth El Synagogue in Omaha named after Rich an existing scholarship that helps Jewish children attend summer camps.[41]

The Rich family accepted the pro bono public relations services of Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman in September 2016.[11] The Rich family and Burkman held a joint press conference on the murder in November 2016.[11][42] In January 2017, Burkman launched an advertising campaign in Northwest D.C. searching for information regarding Seth Rich’s death. This included billboard advertisements and canvassing with flyers.[43][44] In late February, Burkman told media outlets he had a lead that the Russian government was involved in Rich’s death,[45] and the Rich family distanced itself from Burkman.[46] On March 19, 2017, Rich’s brother, Aaron, started a GoFundMe campaign to try to raise $200,000 for private investigation, public outreach activities, and a reward fund.[47] On March 24, Burkman started “The Profiling Project” with some forensics students at George Washington University, an independent investigative attempt to solve the murder of Seth Rich.[48][49] On June 20, 2017, the Profiling Project said that the conspiracy theories surrounding the death were unfounded, and published a report which speculated that the murder was caused by a serial killer.[50]

According to the Rich family spokesman, a Fox News contributor and financial adviser Ed Butowsky contacted the Rich family and recommended having former homicide detective and Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler investigate Seth Rich’s murder. The family gave Wheeler permission to investigate, though they did not hire him.[15][51] Instead, Wheeler’s investigation was financed by Butowsky himself.[52] NBC News reported that Butowsky initially denied involvement in the case, though he later told CNN he was involved in Wheeler’s investigation by offering financial support.[53][54] Butowsky told Dallas News that he advised the Rich family to hire a private investigator, and that they then chose to hire Wheeler.[53] After Wheeler asserted links between Rich and Wikileaks in a Fox affiliate interview on May 15, 2017—an assertion he later backpedaled from[55]—the family spokesman said that the family regretted working with Wheeler.[4] Wheeler then sued Fox News on August 1, 2017, for mental anguish and emotional distress, alleging that he had been misquoted in a story that was then published on the urging of President Donald J. Trump[56]

Rewards

The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC) posted its customary reward of $25,000 for information about the death.[2][33]

On August 9, 2016, WikiLeaks announced a $20,000 reward for information about Rich’s murder leading to a conviction,[57][58][59] although Rich’s family said they were unable to verify this reward offer.[60] When making the offer for the reward, WikiLeaks said their offer should not be taken as implying Rich had been involved in leaking information to them.[2]

In November 2016, Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman stated he was personally offering a $100,000 reward in addition to those announced by the police department and WikiLeaks, and he added another $5,000 to his offer in December and another $25,000 in January.[60][61][30] Burkman said he hoped the money would help “get to the truth of what happened here and will either debunk the conspiracy theories or validate them”.[62]

American businessman and investor, Martin Shkreli offered $100,000 for information leading to the murderer.[63]

Conspiracy theories

Origins

Genesis

The murder stoked right-wingconspiracy theories that arose days after Rich’s death,[64][65][66] including an unsubstantiated claim that his murder was connected to the DNC email leak of 2016.[4] A post on Twitter before Rich’s memorial service originated the idea that he was killed related to a political assassination.[64] Subsequently the conspiracy theory was publicized on Reddit and then on the website Heat Street, later popularized by Donald Trump political adviser Roger Stone via his Twitter account.[64] Reddit users attempted to tie the homicide to prior “Clinton Body Count” conspiracy theories.[65] On July 13, 2016, conspiracy website WhatDoesItMean.com promoted a similar conspiracy theory.[66]

WikiLeaks statements

Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham said the police had no information suggesting a connection between Rich’s death and data obtained by WikLeaks.[2]Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, fueled speculation of a connection when, unbidden, he brought up the case.[30][67] People who worked with Rich said he was not an expert computer hacker helping to leak information to foreigners. Andrew Therriault, a data scientist who had mentored Rich, said although he had recently been working as a programmer, this “wasn’t his background”, and another co-worker said Rich was very upset when he heard hackers associated with Russian intelligence services had broken into the DNC computers and could be interfering with the election.[30]

Spread by social media and right wing

These conspiracy theories were promoted by Mike CernovichSean HannityGeraldo RiveraKim DotcomPaul Joseph WatsonNewt GingrichJack Posobiec, and others.[68][69][70]

The same venues that fomented the false Pizzagate conspiracy theory helped to promulgate the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theories,[71][72][11] and each shared similar features.[73][74][75] Both were promoted by individuals subcribing to far-right politics,[76] and by campaign officials and individuals appointed to senior-level national security roles by Donald Trump.[77][78][79] After prior coordination on Facebook, each theory was spread on Twitter by automated bots using a branded hashtag, with the goal of becoming a trending topic.[71] Both the Pizzagate conspiracy theory and the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theory were spread in the sub reddit forum promoting Donald Trump, called “The Donald”.[80] In both conspiracy theories, the promoters attempted to shift the burden of proof — asking others to attempt to disprove their claims, without citing substantiated evidence.[52]Slate called the claims about Seth Rich a “PizzaGate-like conspiracy theory surrounding Rich’s death”,[81]The Huffington Post described it as “the ‘alt-right’ idiocy of Pizzagate all over again”,[75]NPR‘s David Folkenflik said Fox News coverage of it “evokes the pizza-gate terrible allegations utterly unfounded”,[82] and Margaret Sullivan wrote for The Washington Post: “The Seth Rich lie has become the new Comet Ping Pong … Crazy, baseless and dangerous.”[83]

Debunking

The conspiracy theories have been debunked by law enforcement,[5][6] as well as by fact-checking websites like PolitiFact.com,[6][8]Snopes.com,