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Americans Think Country's Biggest Problem Is The Government Itself, Poll Finds

Rep. Kevin McCarthy
© AP
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is elected Speaker of the House after winning the 15th vote in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 7
Americans of both parties think the biggest issue the country faces is the government itself and "poor leadership" — outranking both inflation and the economy — according to a new Gallup poll, as headlines this month have been dominated by political controversies like the House Speaker vote and classified White House documents being found at leaders' homes.

Key Facts
  • The poll, conducted January 2-22 among 1,011 U.S. adults, found 21% rank the government and poor leadership as "the most important problem facing the country today."
  • Inflation (15%), immigration (11%) and the economy in general (10%) were the next-biggest issues for respondents.
  • Americans' dislike of the government is up from November and December, when only 15% of respondents said the government was the biggest issue, versus 16% of Americans who were concerned about inflation and the economy.
  • Both sides of the aisle ranked the government as the largest problem, with 24% of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents and 18% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents saying it was the biggest issue.
  • The issues Americans were less likely to rank as the biggest problem were "unifying the country" (6% said it's the largest issue), race relations (5%), poverty (5%), crime (4%) and "ethical/moral/family decline" (4%).

Syringe

British Columbia becomes first province in Canada to decriminalize heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, other hard drugs

East Hastings Street Vancouver
© Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
High levels of drug use, homelessness, poverty, crime, mental illness and sex work is prolific along East Hastings Street in the Downtown Eastside neighborhood on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
One of the largest provinces in Canada is moving forward with a plan to become the first province in the country to decriminalize several hard drugs.

Starting on Tuesday, residents of British Columbia who are older than 18 will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 grams of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and morphine, the BBC reported.

British Columbia was granted permission by the government to try out the plan for three years, when the drugs will still be illegal but those carrying less than 2.5 grams will not be arrested, charged or have the drugs confiscated.

Instead, residents carrying the drugs will be offered information on health and social services.

Bad Guys

Failing up: Memphis police chief tasked with investigating Tyre Nichols murder fired from previous job in Atlanta

Cerelyn 'CJ' Davis Memphis police tyre nichols
© Associated Press
Cerelyn 'CJ' Davis, the current chief of police in Memphis, was previously terminated from her position in the Atlanta Police Department in 2008
The Memphis police chief who is now tasked with investigating the killing of Tyre Nichols was previously fired from her job for dismissing allegations in a child pornography case.

Cerelyn 'CJ' Davis was kicked out of the Atlanta Police Department in 2008 for her role in the botched investigation of sergeant Tonya Crane's husband Terrill Marion Crane - who later turned out to be guilty.

Two detectives on the case accused Davis - who was deputy chief at the time - of urging them not to dig into the claims against Crane after the unit received pictures of him with underage middle school girls.

Crane later pled guilty to one count of producing child pornography after the FBI took on the case - and blame then shifted on to Davis for taking a 'blind eye' on the child porn claims.

Comment: Tennessee sheriff opens new investigation into two deputies after Tyre Nichols bodycam video is released


Stock Down

UK supermarket price inflation hits record high of 16.7%

supermarket uk shopping basket
© Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
A woman holds a shopping basket of groceries. Grocery price inflation hit 16.7% in in the four weeks to 22 January.
Figures from the retail analysts Kantar showed grocery price inflation in the UK hit a fresh record high of 16.7% in the four weeks to 22 January, adding nearly £800 to the typical annual shopping bill, with the price of milk, eggs and dog food rising fastest.

The figure was up from 14.4% in December, and has reached the highest level since Kantar began tracking the figures in 2008. The latest increase will take the average annual food shopping bill to £5,504, up £788.

The monthly report also showed that no- and low-alcohol beer sales volumes rose 3% year on year, as many people embraced dry January. Veganuary also made an impact, as sales of supermarket own-label ranges labelled as plant-based or vegan jumped by 21%.


Comment: That vegan food sales 'jumped' likely means very little considering how low the sales for these items are usually. However The Guardian would try to make a point of it because it actively pushes vegan diets onto its (dwindling) readership.


Comment: Supermarkets have admitted that they're doing what they can to delay passing on increased costs to consumers, which is actually concealing the real rate of inflation, but at some point these costs will have to be passed on and it will add fuel to the burgeoning unrest: France rocked by protests as 2 MILLION march against government reforms in 2nd wave of mass strikes to hit this month


Syringe

Ireland delaying funerals as 'mysterious' 20% spike in excess deaths puts mortuaries under pressure

Cork City Mortuary
© Larry Cummins
Cork City Mortuary 'had so many bodies it couldn't take any more', said the Cork city coroner.
A spike in the number of deaths in recent weeks has disrupted funeral arrangements and put mortuaries under unprecedented stress.

An Irish Examiner analysis of death notices on the website rip.ie shows there were 9,718 published in the eight-week period from December 1, 2022, to January 25, 2023 — up 20% from 8,075 in the same period a year earlier.

The figure is also considerably higher than the 8,135 death notices published in the same period to January 25, 2021, when the country was in the grip of the worst period of the Covid pandemic.

Pre-pandemic, 6,802 death notices were published in the eight weeks to January 25, 2019, almost 3,000 fewer than in recent weeks.

Comment: The 'mysterious' spike in excess deaths that is mostly being reported in countries with high rates of vaccination with the experimental Covid injections, and which also enforced nearly 2-year-long lockdowns that prevented people from receiving primary healthcare services, that are now suffering life threatening backlogs of patients: Excess deaths DOUBLED in 2021, NOT from Covid, lockdown partly to blame, WHO research reveals


Light Saber

Epic troll: Project Veritas mocks Pfizer with LED truck parked outside drug maker's NYC office following latest sting

veritas troll pfizer sting directed evolution
© Project Veritas
An LED truck rented by Project Veritas and parked outside of the Pfizer world headquarters in Manhattan on January 31, 2023.
Project Veritas recently published an undercover video featuring a Pfizer honcho discussing 'mutating' COVID virus

Project Veritas taunted Pfizer with an LED truck parked outside of the drug manufacturer's New York City headquarters on Tuesday after the investigative journalism group put a spotlight on alleged plans to mutate COVID.

Last week, Project Veritas, a right-wing guerilla journalism outfit, published footage of a man described as Pfizer director of research and development Jordon Trishton Walker telling an undercover Project Veritas journalist that the company was exploring plans to "mutate" the COVID virus themselves through "directed evolution."

"That is not what we say to the public," Walker said during the video that has been viewed more than 27 million times on Twitter alone.

Comment: It's not the first time Pfizer has been targeted by Project Veritas:


Stock Down

UK economy to slide into recession, worse off than heavily sanctioned Russia - IMF

Bank of England
© Yui Mok/PALarry Elliott and Phillip Inman
Britain's economy will have the worst performance of all G7 economies even sinking below Russia.

In its latest update, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded its UK forecast once again, predicting a contraction of 0.6 per cent against the 0.3 per cent growth pencilled in last October.

The grim outlook for the year ahead puts the UK far behind counterparts in the G7 and the only country - across advanced and emerging economies - expected to suffer a year of declining GDP.


Comment: Note that these are forecasts, because if the last few years have proven anything, it's that few really know (or will at least dare admit) how bad things could get.


The IMF forecast leaves the UK economy languishing behind Germany and even sanctions-hit Russia, with both countries expected to see modest growth this year.

Comment: There's no reason to believe Europe's economies will improve anytime soon, but what will undoubtedly increase are the protest movements and general strikes; that are already being attended to in the millions: France rocked by protests as 2 MILLION march against government reforms in 2nd wave of mass strikes to hit this month


Popcorn

France rocked by protests as 2 MILLION march against government reforms in 2nd wave of mass strikes to hit this month

paris protest 2023
© Twitter/Anonyme Citoyen
Protesters gather at Place d'Italie in Paris during a demonstration against the French government's pension reform plan on January 31, 2023.
French protesters launched a new push Tuesday to pressure President Emmanuel Macron into dropping a pension reform plan, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets in bigger crowds than those seen on the previous day of rallies on January 19.

Union-led protesters came out for mass demonstrations for the second time in less than two weeks, challenging Macron's plan to raise the age of retirement from 62 to 64, a flagship reform of his second mandate.

Half a million people were protesting on Tuesday afternoon in Paris alone, the main CGT union said, higher than the figure of 400,000 it gave for the last day of rallies on January 19. Paris police put the figure for Tuesday's protest at 87,000.

The CGT said 2.8 million were protesting nationwide. The French police put the figure at more than 1.2 million.


Comment: Government figures routinely estimate at least half the number in attendance, probably because the establishment would prefer that these protests appear less popular than they are.

Whilst there's sufficient data elsewhere to support the higher estimate given by the union, another rather revealing piece of data is that in a recent poll 52% of French citizens said that they supported a 'social explosion' of protests against the government, and it wasn't just because of the pension reforms.


Comment: And it's not just France, unprecedented strikes and mass protests are steadily increasing across Europe: Some footage from today's strikes and protests in France:
More than 10,000 people against the pension reform in Blois, a city of 45,000 inhabitants

Electricians on strike disconnected automatic speed cameras in Lot-et-Garonne

Images of the demonstration in Quimper against the pension reform

Massive demonstration on the Place d'Italie in Paris against the pension reform

Images of the demonstration against the pension reform in Toulon (Mistral FM)





Syringe

Vaccinated MSNBC host reveals she developed pericarditis and myocarditis due to "common cold"

Yasmin Vossoughian
© MSNBC
Yasmin Vossoughian
MSNBC's Yasmin Vossoughian revealed to her viewers on Saturday that she had been missing for a while because she developed myocarditis and pericarditis allegedly due to a common cold.

"I know from my Twitter feed that many of you have wondered why I have been off the air for a little while. Well, I have been dealing with a little bit of a health scare," Vossoughian told her viewers.

The newscaster said that she first experienced chest pains back in December 2021 and that they "waxed and waned over the period of ten days."

Star

Zachary Levi hit with flood of support for Covid vaccines after anti-Pfizer tweet

zachary levi
Actor Zachary Levi has been met with a strong reaction online after he tweeted that he agrees pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is "a real danger to the world".

On Sunday (29 January), the 42-year-old Shazam! star responded to entrepreneur Lyndon Wood's tweet about the company, asking: "Do you agree or not, that Pfizer is a real danger to the world?"

Levi responded simply: "Hardcore agree."

Though neither the actor nor Wood made any reference to Pfizer's work producing a Covid-19 vaccine, a lot of fans responded in disagreement and some warned that he was coming across as an "anti-vaxxer".

Comment: Good job Zachary!