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USA: Voter-registration patterns give Trump an edge invisible to polls - JPMorgan

Voter registration favors Republicans in many key battleground states, the bank's analysis says
Trump Biden
The 2020 presidential race may be closer than the polls suggest, according to an analysis of voter registration trends by JPMorgan Chase.

Changes in the number of voters registered to each of the major parties have proven to be a significant variable in election outcomes in the past, according to strategists at the New York-based bank, which analyzed trends in some of the battleground states that will be crucial to an electoral college victory.

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Trump by 9.2 points nationally, according to an average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics, but his lead is at a tighter 4.9 points in hotly contested states.

Four years ago, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also outstripped Trump in national polling and won the popular vote by nearly 3 million, only to lose the electoral college, where she took just 227 votes to Trump's 304.

Dollars

A Bribe up the Bum: Police find cash hidden between Bolsonaro ally's buttocks

Brazilian senator Chico Rodrigues is caught with notes during a search of his home
Chico Rodrigues
© Adriano Machado/Reuters
Chico Rodrigues reportedly had 30,000 reais (more than £4,000) in his underpants.
Jair Bolsonaro's efforts to portray himself as an anti-corruption crusader have suffered another blow after police reportedly seized a wad of banknotes from between the clenched buttocks of one of his allies.

Chico Rodrigues, the Brazilian president's deputy leader in the senate, was reportedly caught with the concealed bundle on Wednesday during a police search of his home. The raid was part of an operation against the suspected misappropriation of public funds for fighting Covid-19.

The Estado de São Paulo newspaper said two sources told it 30,000 reais (more than £4,100) were stashed in the underpants of Rodrigues, a senator for the Amazon state of Roraima.

Yellow Vest

Thai police blast anti-govt protesters with water cannons amid massive deployment in Bangkok

Bangkok protest
© Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP
Police fire water cannons at protesters during an anti-government rally in Bangkok on October 16, 2020.
Thai police gathered in force on the streets of Bangkok, deploying water cannons to disperse anti-government protesters who had assembled in the capital in defiance of an emergency decree banning large gatherings.

The crowd chanted slogans calling for the release of jailed activists, while shouting abuse at Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha.

Eyewitness footage from the scene shows large deployments of heavily armed riot police throughout the city, as well as water cannons being used to disperse the demonstrators.

Comment: See also:


Eye 1

Police swarm on London wedding for having 100+ guests, venue faces £10,000 fine

lockdown police

Police officers and security officials surrounded guests. They were asked to leave because the party breached coronavirus rules
London police have shared footage showing officers breaking up a wedding reception which fell foul of Covid-19 restrictions by hosting more than 100 guests, as the English capital heads for Tier-Two restrictions this weekend.

Police were called to the Tudor Rose in Southall, west London, shortly after 6:30pm on Tuesday, amid reports of a large gathering. Bodycam footage shows police officers milling among the dressed-up guests, who seem to be ignoring social-distancing guidelines and other coronavirus restrictions.

The venue now faces a fine of up to £10,000 (almost $13,000) at the recommendation of the Met Police Service, as Chief Superintendent Peter Gardner described the event as "dangerous and foolish."

Comment: With the number of people defying the tyrannical lockdown orders rising, clearly a great many people are beginning to realise that the coronavirus isn't as deadly as the government wants them to think it is: Firearms officers descend on gym for staying open despite lockdown orders in Merseyside, UK


V

Protests erupt in Barcelona as bars and restaurants shut for 15 days under new coronavirus restrictions

Barcelona protests
© Reuters/Albert Gea
Workers from the hospitality sector confront police officers during a protest Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. 16 October, 2020.
As new coronavirus restrictions came into force across Spain's Catalonia, bar and restaurant workers took to the streets to protest the 15-day closure of the hospitality sector, warning their industry is in danger of "extinction."

Approximately 1,000 hospitality workers gathered in and around the Plaza de Sant Jaume, in Barcelona's historic center, on Friday to reject the regional government's decision to close bars and restaurants for a fortnight amid a surge in new infections.

Most of the protests have been peaceful, with demonstrators banging pots and pans together as they highlighted the impact of the new Covid-19 restrictions on businesses and jobs.

Demonstrators chanted "do not close us," "government resign," and "we are not to blame" as they expressed their anger over the regional administration's decision. The demonstrations also blocked traffic and major roads as groups marched around the city.


People

White farmer's brutal murder sends protesters & counter-protesters to rally outside courthouse in South Africa

young white farmer was killed in South Africa
© Reuters / Siphiwe Sibeko
Tensions ran high as two groups of protesters squared off after a young white farmer was killed in South Africa. The case has reignited the decades-old conflict surrounding land ownership in the country.

Local farmers and their supporters rallied outside a courthouse in the town of Senekal, demanding justice for farm manager Brendin Horner, 21, who was brutally murdered earlier this month. Some wore T-shirts saying "Stop farm murders, enough is enough," to highlight what they see as a string of violence against white farmers in the country.


Comment: And on that last point:
[...]

"I'm here because of white people... taking advantage of us," EFF supporter Khaya Langile, who came from the Johannesburg township of Soweto.

Tensions have been heightened by a government plan to expropriate white-owned land without compensation as part of an effort to redress economic inequalities that remain stark a quarter of a century after the end of apartheid.

Roughly 70% of privately-owned farmland in South Africa is owned by whites, who make up less than 9% of the country's population of 58 million. (Editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Gareth Jones)



Cell Phone

Twitter changes its hacked materials policy in wake of New York Post controversy

twitter
© Eric Thayer / The New York Times / KJN
Twitter has announced an update to its hacked materials policy — saying it will no longer remove hacked content unless it's directly shared by hackers or those "acting in concert with them".

Instead of blocking such content/links from being shared on its service it says it will label tweets to "provide context".

Wider Twitter rules against posting private information, synthetic and manipulated media and non-consensual nudity all still apply — so it could still, for example, remove links to hacked material if the content being linked to violates other policies. But just tweeting a link to hacked materials isn't an automatic takedown anymore.

Comment:








Bulb

Court overturns order to shut Berlin bars and restaurants from 11pm

closed bar in Berlin-Friedrichshain
© DPA
People walk past a closed bar in Berlin-Friedrichshain on Wednesday evening.
A Berlin court on Friday suspended an order for bars and restaurants to close from 11 pm to 6 am, finding that "it was not apparent" such a measure could help fight coronavirus.

Ruling on a case brought by 11 restaurant owners, the administrative court noted that new infections in Germany currently stem from private gatherings of family and friends, at community facilities, meat-processing plants, religious gatherings or in connection with travel.

Closing food and drink establishments was therefore a "disproportionate encroachment on the freedom" of the industry, the court ruled.

City authorities had ordered the sector to close early from last weekend, as infection numbers surge in the German capital.

Comment: In addition to the courts in Germany, ever greater numbers of German people are responding to the ridiculous and egregious lockdowns and speaking out about them:


Handcuffs

Ex-Mexico army chief arrested in LA on drug, money-laundering charges

Salvador Cienfuegos  arrested drugs
© AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File
In this April 16, 2016 file photo, Mexico's Defense Secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda salutes soldiers at the Number 1 military camp in Mexico City.
Former Mexican defense secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who led the country's army for six years under ex-President Enrique Peña Nieto, has been arrested on drug trafficking and money laundering charges at Los Angeles International Airport, U.S. and Mexican sources said Thursday.

Two people with knowledge of the arrest said Cienfuegos was taken into custody on a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warrant. One of the people said the warrant was for drug trafficking and money laundering charges. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

The DEA declined to comment Thursday night.

Question

'Not a body double': Navy SEAL rebuts Trump over QAnon theory on Osama bin Laden death

osama bin laden
© AP Photo / Mazhar Ali Khan
Osama bin Laden in 1998 file photo from his hideout in Afghanistan.
The retired US Navy SEAL credited with the assassination of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden is speaking out after US President Donald Trump amplified a baseless conspiracy theory suggesting that former US President Barack Obama's administration actually staged a fake operation, complete with a bin Laden body double.

"Very brave men said goodby to their kids to go kill Osama bin Laden. We were given the order by President Obama. It was not a body double," Robert O'Neill, the former Navy SEAL who allegedly killed bin Laden in a 2011 raid, tweeted on Tuesday. "Thank you Mr. President. Happy birthday @USNavy."

"S**t. I just found out that I killed Osama bin Johnson. Drinks are on me, I guess..." he added in a tweet later that day.

Comment: There have been various stories over the last two decades regarding exactly when OBL died. QAnon aside, who says Trump isn't onto something?