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Wed, 15 Jul 2020
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Trump wants to smartly reopen schools while Dems oppose merely for politics, no matter that schools are important to economy and child care

© REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Schools closed by the pandemic in the US may not open in the fall. Student and teacher safety is the latest issue to become politicized in the presidential election campaign, as both parties insist science is on their side.

"We have to open our schools," said President Donald Trump, who on Tuesday called the decision of the biggest school district in California not to reopen for in-person classes a "mistake."

"You should find yourself a new person whoever is in charge of that decision because it's a terrible decision," Trump told CBS News.

Vice President Mike Pence echoed the sentiment during a roundtable at Louisiana State University, saying that reopening schools is "what's best for our students, our families, our economy and our Nation."

Light Sabers

Trump signs executive order and bill targeting China over Hong Kong, strips city of preferential treatment

© Reuters / Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump has signed legislation he said would punish Beijing for "oppressive acts" in Hong Kong and an executive order ending all preferential treatment for the territory, including special trade arrangements.

Trump announced the signing of the Hong Kong Autonomy Act during a press conference on Tuesday, a law he said will sanction Chinese individuals and organizations involved in "extinguishing Hong Kong's freedom."

The bill is joined by a new executive order stripping Hong Kong of its special status, with Trump saying the territory "will now be treated the same as mainland China - no special privileges, no special economic treatment, and no export of sensitive technologies." The president noted that this would mean one less competitor for the US.

Comment: Beijing has vowed to retaliate unless the US changes course. Trump is not the type to back down, especially once he signs an order.

Eye 1

Coronavirus and regime Change: Burundi's covid coup

Pierre Nkurunziza
While the people of the western world occupy themselves wearing masks, pointing fingers and using so much hand sanitizer it literally kills them, the big world of Geo-Politics still ticks along, following the same tired old patterns with only slight variations in method. A modern twist, if you will.

Here's a little summary of Burundi's recent history:
  • The president of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, dismissed covid19 as nonsense.
  • The president of Burundi was vilified in the Western press.
  • The president of Burundi expelled the World Health Organization from his country.
  • The president of Burundi died suddenly of a "heart attack".
  • The NEW president of Burundi immediately reversed his predecessor's Covid19 policies.
And now for the long version...

Comment: See also:


Top Catalan politician says alleged attack confirms fears about Spanish state

Roger Torrent
© Andreu Dalmau/EPA
Roger Torrent denounced his targeting as ‘wrong, worrying and profoundly undemocratic’
Roger Torrent tells Guardian suspected targeting of his phone using spyware is proof of 'dirty war'

The senior Catalan pro-independence politician who was targeted using spyware has claimed its use is further proof of the Spanish state's "dirty war" against its opponents and says the revelations will have an inevitable impact on attempts to find a political solution to the ongoing territorial dispute.

In a joint interview with the Guardian and El País, Roger Torrent, the speaker of the Catalan parliament and a regional MP for the Catalan Republican Left party, denounced his targeting as wrong, worrying and profoundly undemocratic.

He said evidence by researchers at Citizen Lab that pointed to Pegasus hacking software sold by the Israeli NSO Group being used against him and others confirmed long-held suspicions that the regional independence movement was being spied on by the Spanish state.

"[It] corroborates and confirms the fears or ideas that we pro-independence campaigners had about the state being prepared to use all the mechanisms at its disposal to go after a legitimate political project," claimed Torrent.


Summary Florida labs acknowledge "major errors" after reporting positivity rates of 100%

Florida health officials left COVID-19 trackers slackjawed on Sunday when it reported more than 15k new infections in just 24 hours on Sunday (the data were gleaned from the prior day). But as hospitalizations surge, questions have grown about whether the state is still trying to 'juke' its data, something that a now infamous whistleblower alleged before she was fired (she has since started her own COVID-19 data portal relying on public info).

Journalists scouring the reams of daily data for discrepancies have apparently happened upon bombshell they had been hoping for: Orlando Health has just confirmed that some of the data it shared over the weekend were wrong, after journalists reported more than 50 labs showing 100% positivity rate, or roughly around there. One local Fox affiliate looked into the numbers and contacted a few of the labs to confirm that their internal data matched the public data released by the state.


UK court docs reveal Steele told FBI Clinton knew he was hired to compile the dirty dossier

© FBI/Indowars
Former US Sec. of State Hillary Clinton
U.K. Court documents released on Wednesday reveal that as early as July 5, 2016, the FBI was aware that former MI6 agent Christopher Steele had acknowledged that then-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton personally knew that he was commissioned to compile the now thoroughly discredited Trump-Russia dossier.

Notes taken by the FBI indicate that Steele was told that Clinton herself was aware that he was commissioned to create the Trump-Russia dossier which alleges collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 election, amongst various other wild allegations.

Three months later, the FBI would conceal this critical information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in order to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump's tangential campaign adviser, Carter Page.

On Wednesday, a London judge ordered Steele to pay damages to two Alfa Bank partners for publishing "inaccurate or misleading" material in his infamous dossier, including claims that the banks funneled "illicit cash" to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Comment: See also:


Convicted terrorist linked to BLM group

© Vimeo screenshot
Convicted terrorist Susan Rosenberg
A convicted terrorist is on the board of the umbrella group that provides tax-exempt financial status to the Black Lives Matter organization, one of the group's "projects." Susan Rosenberg had spent 16 years in prison for terrorizing the United States during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

According to an investigative report by the Capital Research Center, the Black Lives Matter organization, officially known as "BLM Global Network Foundation," is a fiscally-sponsored project of left-wing organization Thousand Currents. Fiscal sponsorship simply means that a non-profit organization, in this case Thousand Currents, offers its legal and tax-exempt status to one of its "projects," in this case Black Lives Matter, which engages in activities related to the non-profit organization's mission.

In other words, thanks to the fiscal sponsorship arrangement between Thousand Currents and Black Lives Matter, donations to the latter group are also tax-exempt.

Comment: Thousand Currents has become the hand inside the glove of BLM. With this kind of fiscal shelter and complementary mandate, BLM Global Network Foundation is protected by layers of support in order to be a primary and funded change agent for a radical agenda. The Democratic Party has links within this mix.

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Star of David

Israel lobby's Kenneth Marcus resigns as Trump's civil rights enforcer

© mediadc.brightspotcdn
Kenneth Marcus
Kenneth Marcus, a career Israel lobbyist and the Trump administration's top civil rights enforcer at the US Department of Education, has announced his resignation.

Over the two years since his appointment, Marcus inspired Israel lobby groups to file complaints to the Office for Civil Rights under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The complaints typically claim that universities have failed to protect Jewish students by not cracking down on Palestine solidarity activism.

This strategy was pioneered by Marcus himself before he was picked to lead the US government office and allowed to adjudicate them himself.

To this end, Marcus gave the Zionist Organization of America special treatment in reopening a complaint against Rutgers University, according to evidence gathered by nine civil rights groups including Palestine Legal. Marcus prioritized the ZOA's complaint over more than 400 other open appeals, including nearly 80 that had been pending for longer than 10 years, according to records obtained by the civil rights groups.

Arrow Down

US says most of China's claims in South China Sea are unlawful

© Henry Jackson Society/Leah Mills/Reuters/KJN
US Sec. of State Mike Pompeo • South China Sea region
The United States and the world "will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday, prompting China to hit back, reflecting a ratcheting up of tensions between the two powers amid deteriorating relations.

"We are making clear: Beijing's claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them," Pompeo said in a statement, referring to the contentious and potentially energy-rich stretch of water.

The U.S. has long opposed China's expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea, regularly sending Navy patrols through the strategic waterways to demonstrate freedom of navigation there. Most recently, on July 4, two U.S. aircraft carriers carried out operations in the area as the Chinese military conducted drills nearby.

Beijing, in turn, has accused Washington of interfering and stirring up tensions in the region.

Comment: There has been no measurable progress in this duel for dominion over the South China Sea. Continuing with the war of words, the Chinese Embassy advised "the US side to earnestly honor its commitment of not taking sides on the issue of territorial sovereignty, respect regional countries' efforts for a peaceful and stable South China Sea and stop its attempts to disrupt and sabotage regional peace and stability,"

The July 2016 decision of the Arbitral Tribunal (mentioned in the above article) ruled in favor of the Philippines under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). While both Beijing and Manila are parties to the convention, the US has not ratified it and therefore has no say in the implementation of the pact.


What a riot! Minnesota requesting WH aid is like a kid calling Dad after wrecking family car while driving drunk

2 guys fists
© Reuters/Carlos Barria
The White House has rejected the state of Minnesota's request for emergency funds to help rebuild the city of Minneapolis. The decision was harsh, but right: taxpayers should never be required to bail out bad leadership.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz last week made what must have been the most uncomfortable call of his political career. Having just witnessed on his watch a large swath of Minneapolis - the largest city in his state - reduced to rubble and ash amid 'peaceful' Black Lives Matter protests, Walz was in desperate need of cash to start the rebuilding process. Had the Democratic leader been surprised by Donald Trump's rejection of the $500-million request, he probably should never have gotten into politics in the first place.

The reason for Trump's rejection, however, cannot be explained away as just another example of bitter partisan politics. Minnesota's handling of the protests following George Floyd's death on May 25 provided a classic textbook example of how not to appease the mob, which can never be appeased.

As peaceful demonstrations against police abuse were quickly hijacked by malcontents with mass destruction on the brain, one thing became clear: the local and state authorities had no strategy whatsoever, unless allowing vandals to run wild through the city center can be considered a viable strategy.

Comment: See also: