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Wed, 18 May 2022
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Ukrainian nuclear workers sacked for Soviet Victory Day celebrations

© RIA Novosti / Falin
FILE PHOTO: The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
Ukraine's national nuclear power plant operator Energoatom has fired three employees of the Zaporozhye plant for taking part in an Immortal Regiment march during commemorations of the 77th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany on May 9.

The company announced the decision in its Telegram channel on Wednesday, adding that "the three former workers of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant can now make any other institution or organization happy with their presence."

Energoatom stated that while it honors the memory of those who defeated Nazism with "infinite respect" it considers any joint celebrations with "those who are killing Ukrainians today" to be "unacceptable."

Arrow Up

US overdose deaths hit record 107,000 last year, CDC says

Deb Walker
© AP Photo/Lisa Rathke, File)
Deb Walker visits the grave of her daughter, Brooke Goodwin, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Chester, Vt. Goodwin, 23, died in March of 2021 of a fatal overdose of the powerful opioid fentanyl and xylazine, an animal tranquilizer that is making its way into the illicit drug supply. According to provisional data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, more than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, setting another tragic record in the nation’s escalating overdose epidemic.
More than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, setting another tragic record in the nation's escalating overdose epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated Wednesday.

The provisional 2021 total translates to roughly one U.S. overdose death every 5 minutes. It marked a 15% increase from the previous record, set the year before. The CDC reviews death certificates and then makes an estimate to account for delayed and incomplete reporting.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, called the latest numbers "truly staggering."

The White House issued a statement calling the accelerating pace of overdose deaths "unacceptable" and promoting its recently announced national drug control strategy. It calls for measures like connecting more people to treatment, disrupting drug trafficking and expanding access to the overdose-reversing medication naloxone.

Bizarro Earth

Sri Lanka economic crisis: Shoot on sight order issued against protesters as troops deployed in Colombo

sri lanka protests
© Ishara S Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images
Soldiers at a checkpoint in Colombo on Wednesday. Fears grow path is being laid for a military takeover, although this was denied by top defence official
Troops and armoured vehicles have been deployed across the city of Colombo and security officials given orders to shoot on sight anyone deemed to be participating in violence as anti-government protests continued to rock Sri Lanka.

The crisis turned volatile earlier this week after pro-government supporters began attacking a camp of peaceful demonstrators who had been protesting against the government and the devastating economic crisis that has engulfed the island of 22 million people.

As footage emerged on Wednesday of armoured military vehicles in Colombo and military checkpoints being set up across the country , fears grew that the path was being laid for a military takeover.

Comment: Sri Lanka is likely to be just the first of many casualties of the looming global economic crisis:

No Entry

Dorsey weighs in on Twitter bans after Musk says Trump's would be lifted

musk Dorsey
© Markets Insider
Elon Musk • Jack Dorsey
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said he does not believe there should be permanent bans on the platform, with limited exceptions, after Elon Musk said Tuesday he would reverse Twitter's ban of former President Trump following the completion of his acquisition.

Dan Primack, Axios business editor, tweeted on Tuesday:
Dorsey responded in his own tweet, writing:
"I do agree. There are exceptions (CSE, illegal behaviour, spam or network manipulation, etc), but generally permanent bans are a failure of ours and don't work, which I wrote about here after the event (and called for a resilient social media protocol)."


Hollywood lawyer paid off over $2M of Hunter Biden's delinquent taxes

© Andrew Harnik/AP
Hunter Biden under investigation
A big-shot Hollywood lawyer reportedly paid off Hunter Biden's delinquent taxes — which a source told The Post amounted to more than $2 million — as President Biden's notoriously troubled son awaits the results of a Delaware grand jury's investigation into his personal finances.

Kevin Morris, an entertainment attorney and novelist who earned a fortune representing the co-creators of South Park and won a Tony Award as the co-producer of The Book of Mormon, footed Hunter Biden's overdue taxes totaling over $2 million — more than twice what was previously reported, a source familiar with conversations between the two told The Post.

Morris, whom Hunter Biden's friends call his latest "sugar brother," has also been funding the 52-year-old's lifestyle in Los Angeles — including his rent and living expenses, the source said.

The attorney has also been advising the president's son on how to structure his art sales, according to the source.

Comment: Shysters hire shysters.

Arrow Down

Josh Hawley moves to strip Disney of special copyright protections under 'Mickey Mouse Protection Act'

© Disneyland/Celebrity Net Worth
Cinderella Castle • Senator Josh Hawley
Senator Josh Hawley has introduced legislation that would strip Disney of it's special long-term copyright protections that had been granted to the entertainment giant by Congress after the company took a stance against Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill.

According to Fox News, the "Copyright Clause Restoration Act of 2022" would cap copyrights granted to corporations by Congress to 56 years, and would retroactively implement this change on corporations, which would include Disney.

Hawley told Fox that "woke corporations" like Disney had raked in billions of dollars due to these special copyright protections. He said:
"The age of Republican handouts to Big Business is over. Thanks to special copyright protections from Congress, woke corporations like Disney have earned billions while increasingly pandering to woke activists. It's time to take away Disney's special privileges and open up a new era of creativity and innovation."
Hawley's office said that Congress had used the "Mickey Mouse Protection Act," which amended the Copyright Act of 1976 in 1998, to extend copyrights for corporations up to 120 years. The act, officially called the "Copyright Term Extension Act," increased the duration of copyrights by 20 years.

Comment: Disney and the US Congress live in fantasyland and that is no amusement park!


Convoy protesters say seized items missing, police dispute numbers

trucks city
© unknown
Freedom Convoy • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Freedom Convoy protesters who are trying to retrieve their seized belongings say Ottawa police are giving them a hard time, and that thousands of materials and other items are now missing and unaccounted for.

Ottawa Police Service (OPS) says it seized only 41 items when it cracked down on convoy demonstrations between Feb. 17 and 20. Among these are generators, heaters and barbecues which were either purchased by the protesters themselves or donated by supporters.

OPS claims that six of the 41 items have been returned but that 35 pieces of equipment remain locked up and in their possession.

OPS told CBC News:
"As with any property, the owner can provide proof of ownership to retrieve their item. Receipts, serial numbers, and photos of items are acceptable means of identifying the property."
According to several protesters, the OPS have blocked attempts to retrieve equipment and materials worth thousands of dollars. Organizer David Paisley, who hosts Live from the Shed responded:
"As best we can tell, everything was kind of thrown in trailers and taken out of there as quick as possible. Time was the overarching priority, so everything was very rushed. If they truly only have 41 items in their possession, then either a significant amount of items were thrown out, or there's some contractor somewhere sitting on a large number of items."

Cardboard Box

Woman finds box of mail-in ballots abandoned on East Hollywood sidewalk

mail in ballots sidewalk los angeles
© Fox 11
A woman walking her dog in East Hollywood on May 7, 2022, found a box of more than 100 mail-in ballots for the upcoming election just sitting on the sidewalk.

The LA County Registrar is investigating

The Los Angeles County Registrar's Office and the United States Postal Service are investigating after 104 ballots were found unopened on the sidewalk in East Hollywood.

The ballots were found by Christina Repaci, who was walking her dog Saturday evening.

"I turned the corner and I just saw this box of envelopes, and it was a USPS box. I picked some envelopes up and I saw they were ballots," said Repaci.

Repaci said she took them home for safekeeping while trying to figure out what to do next. She sent videos of the ballots to popular social media accounts to share the content and ask for guidance on next steps. Repaci said she called several politicians and the LA County Sheriff's Department.

Bad Guys

Victory Day flowers stir conflict between authorities and residents in Latvia

victory day flowers memorial riga latvia russia ambassador
© Sputnik / Stringer
Russian ambassador to Latvia Mikhail Vanin lays flowers at the memorial to Soviet Soldiers, in Riga, Latvia.
Riga residents ignored official warnings and kept bringing flowers to a Soviet war memorial

Police in Latvia have blocked access to the Liberators of Riga monument as Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins expressed his frustration at city residents twice creating a carpet of flowers, despite authorities' attempts to prevent and remove it.

Latvian police announced on Wednesday that "in order to prevent endangering public safety" and to avoid "possible provocations" they had decided to close public access to Victory Park where the monument is located. It was explained, that following "the events of May 9 and especially May 10," when a crowd gathered near the monument. In the opinion of the Latvian authorities, the site "is most directly related to the continuation of Latvia's occupation after the Second World War and is actually perceived by society as a symbol of the Soviet regime."

On May 9, when former Soviet republics celebrate Victory Day, flowers brought in by the city's residents were removed by a tractor.

Comment: Apparently Latvia's "leaders" are deaf to the sentiments of their people. And yet, when the rubber meets the road: Latvia may agree to pay for Russian gas in rubles


Of course she did: Incoming WH press secretary Jean-Pierre called Fox News 'racist' in 2020

Karine Jean-Pierre white house press
Incoming White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described Fox News as a "racist" network during an appearance on MSNBC's "AM Joy" in March 2020
Newly minted White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described Fox News as a "racist" network during a TV appearance in March 2020, according to a clip that resurfaced this week.

"[Fox News] was racist before coronavirus, they are racist during the coronavirus, Fox News will be racist after the coronavirus," Jean-Pierre said during a March 15 appearance on MSNBC's AM Joy.

"So there is nothing new here," she continued. "I think the difference is they are all-in on being state TV for Donald Trump, and so they will continue to give misinformation."

At the time, Jean-Pierre worked as a political analyst for the left-wing network before joining the Biden campaign a couple of months later. She tweeted out the clip from her personal account and it was still up as of Tuesday afternoon.