The Power Hour

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Today’s News: August 11, 2020

World News

World’s first registered Covid-19 vaccine named ‘Sputnik V’, Russia launches official website

RT – It might not be the space race, but there’s a new Sputnik in town. As an homage to the first-ever artificial Earth satellite, Russia has christened the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine ‘Sputnik V’.

“In 1957, the successful launch of the first space satellite by the Soviet Union reinvigorated space research around the world. The new Russian Covid-19 vaccine is therefore called Sputnik V,” the official website explains.

On Tuesday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on television that the country had registered the world’s first vaccine against coronavirus, which is due to be available to the general public by January. Before then, priority will be given to medical workers and teachers.

‘Safe & effective’ over ‘first’: US throws shade at Russia’s first-to-market Covid-19 vaccine

RT – Top US health officials have insisted the US is holding out for a “safe and effective” Covid-19 vaccine, hinting that Russia’s shot is anything but – or even that it’s a plot to “goad US into forcing early action on our vaccines.”

“The point is not to be first with a vaccine, the point is to have a vaccine that is safe and effective for the American people and the people of the world,” US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar told ABC on Tuesday, demanding “transparent” phase 3 test data.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb was more pointed in his criticism of Russia’s coronavirus jab, suggesting “today’s news that they ‘approved’ a vaccine on the equivalent of phase 1 data may be another effort to stoke doubts [in US vaccine development] or goad US into forcing early action on our vaccines” in a Tuesday tweet.

The irony of US health officials criticizing the speed of Russia’s vaccine development appeared lost on the pair. The Trump administration’s own vaccine development program, called Operation Warp Speed, has been criticized even by the country’s most fervent vaccine boosters for its “unsafe” timeline, which has contracted from an ambitious 18 month projected schedule to “maybe before the election.”

The US and UK have both ordered millions of doses of barely-tested, unproven vaccine developed by Oxford University in partnership with AstraZeneca, with HHS officials stating they hope to receive the first doses as early as October. While the shot has so far proven incapable of protecting monkeys from the virus, hope springs eternal. Another vaccine candidate, from newcomer Moderna, has triggered serious side effects in a large portion of test subjects but has nevertheless been hyped as a potential savior. The FDA hopes to approve a vaccine by December.

China Faces Food Shortage as Droughts, Floods, and Pests Ruin Harvest

Breitbart – Torrential rains and heavy flooding, hard on the heels of widespread drought and infestations of locusts and worms, have left China with rising consumer prices and troubling signs of a food shortage.

Floods have been the big story in China for the past month, with some 55 million people affected by some of the worst flooding seen in decades, both above and below the vast Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. 

Two Dead in Bubonic Plague Outbreak in China, Authorities Say

Breitbart – Exactly four weeks after an outbreak in China of the deadly and highly transmissible bubonic plague was described as being “well managed” by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) and really no cause for concern, Beijing confirmed Tuesday further casualties from the surge in infections.

UPI reports two people died of the disease in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region of China so far in August, as authorities issued a third-level alert in the region and quarantined groups of people who may have made contact with the patients.

New Zealand Goes Into Lockdown After Just Four New Cases of Coronavirus

Infowars – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ordered parts of the country to go into lockdown after just four new cases of coronavirus, the country’s first in 102 days.

“The infected people are from the same family in south Auckland,” reports ABC News.

Ardern’s response to four people from the same family being infected was to order a three day “level three” lockdown of Auckland while the rest of the country will go into a level two lockdown.

Under level three restrictions, travel into Auckland is suspended while people will be asked to stay at home as businesses, bars, restaurants and schools all close.

The total coronavirus death toll for New Zealand amounts to just 22 people. That’s right, 22 people, over the course of the entire pandemic.

“Yep, we have cases! All four of them,” writes a resident in a message posted on “Who’d have predicted that maintaining pristine isolation of NZ from the rest of the world couldn’t be maintained forever? Announced at 9pm tonight and enacted by midday tomorrow. Precisely and exactly as bizarre and arbitrary as the recent flip-flops in UK policy.”

If the Kiwis copy their close neighbors Australia, expect enforcement of the new lockdown measures to be draconian in nature.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

‘Looting is reparations’: BLM protesters defend unrest in Chicago.

Daily Mail – Black Lives Matter Chicago said early Monday’s looting of stores was a form of ‘reparations’ as the group held a protest Monday night in support of the more than 100 people arrested after an evening of violence. 

Downtown Chicago was otherwise quiet after authorities cut off access, with drawbridges leading into the city pulled up and freeway exits blocked after riots sparked by a false rumor of a child shot by police.

At least 13 police officers were injured as the violence claimed an estimated $65 million in property damage. 

REPORT: COMCAST Bans Laura Loomer From Sending Texts, Emails to Voters

Infowars – Comcast and its subsidiary Xfinity has banned Republican congressional candidate Laura Loomer from sending out texts and emails to voters in what appears to be yet another example of Big Tech election meddling.

“See video. Wow. @Xfinity/@comcast has BANNED Republican front-runner Laura Loomer from sending texts & emails to voters. This is next-level censorship,” tweeted Fox News host Pete Hegseth.

“When she wins the @gop primary on Tuesday, will the Republican Party fight for her? They’d better!”

In the video, Loomer explains how Comcast/Xfinity how Comcast in Palm Beach County has banned her campaign from sending out communications to voters by labeling them “dangerous content” and not delivering the messages.

Loomer also cites tweets from Comcast “publicly thanking” her Democratic opponent Lois Frankel, suggesting the ban is a clear example of election interference.

“Congresswoman Lois Frankel is only one of thirty one members of Congress who owns Comcast stock, so this is clear blatant election interference,” states Loomer, noting that censorship has now moved from social media networks to Internet Service Providers and telecommunications companies.

Loomer warns that the same ban could now be enforced on other Republican candidates ahead of the 2020 elections.

MLB Teams Explore Using Cameras to Detect Maskless Fans at Games

Bloomberg – The baseball season has started with eerily empty stadiums, but some teams are exploring high-tech ways to verify that people in the stands are taking health precautions, a possible step toward bringing fans back.

Several Major League Baseball teams have held talks with a California startup called Airspace Systems Inc. that develops technology to detect whether people are wearing face masks, the league and the company said. The discussions focus on implementing the systems into cameras around the stadium to identify people without face coverings, with masks dangling from their chins or otherwise worn improperly.

Representatives for Airspace and MLB declined to name the teams in talks to use the technology. They also declined to comment on whether the tools would be reserved for fans or whether they would be deployed sooner for screening players or staff.

Seattle Police Chief to Resign as Council Pursues Ambitious Plan to Cut Budget.

DNUYZ – As City Council members in Seattle pursue an ambitious plan to cut dozens of police officers and create a new department dedicated to public safety, Police Chief Carmen Best said on Monday night that she planned to resign.

Chief Best, the first Black woman to hold the top policing job in the city, said in a message to the Police Department that she would retire next month and was “confident the department will make it through these difficult times.”

She did not elaborate on the reasons for her planned departure, but Mayor Jenny Durkan, an ally of the police chief, said Chief Best was making the move in hopes of changing the department’s fractious relationship with the City Council.

Amid the national movement to change policing in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, protesters in Seattle have called repeatedly for the city to cut the police budget by 50 percent. On Monday, council members moved in that direction with a budget plan to eliminate about 100 officers from the force. The plan included discussions of deeper cuts that could approach the 50 percent threshold next year, one of the most ambitious plans for police restructuring in the country.

In Wake of Lockdowns, Troubling Surge in Homicides

It started with an afternoon stop at a gas station. Two customers began exchanging angry stares near the pumps outside — and no one can explain exactly why.

That led to an argument, and it escalated quickly as one of them pulled a gun and they struggled over it, according to the police.

“There’s too many shootings. Please don’t do this,” the wife of one of the men pleaded, stepping between them.

But by the time the fight was over at the station on Kansas City’s East Side late last month, the all-too-familiar crackle of gunfire pierced the humid air, leaving another person dead in what has been an exceedingly bloody summer.

The onset of warm weather nearly always brings with it a spike in violent crime, but with much of the country emerging from weeks of lockdown from the coronavirus, the increase this year has been much steeper than usual.

Across 20 major cities, the murder rate at the end of June was on average 37 percent higher than it was at the end of May, according to Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The increase over the same period a year ago was just 6 percent.

In few places has the bloodshed been more devastating than in Kansas City, where the city is on pace to shatter its record for homicides in a year. Much of it has involved incidents of random, angry violence like the conflict at the gas station — disputes between strangers that left someone dead, or killings that simply cannot be explained. They have claimed the lives of a pregnant woman pushing a stroller, a 4-year-old boy asleep in his grandmother’s home and a teenage girl sitting in a car.

They have also prompted a much-debated intervention from the federal government, an operation named after the 4-year-old Kansas City boy, LeGend Taliferro, that has sent federal law enforcement agents to at least six cities in an attempt to intervene.

“We’re surrounded by murder, and it’s almost like your number is up,” said Erica Mosby, whose niece, Diamon Eichelburger, 20, was the pregnant victim pushing the stroller in Kansas City. “It’s terrible.”

Nationally, crime remains at or near a generational low, and experts caution against drawing conclusions from just a few months.

VIDEO: Hundreds Gather for ‘Let Us Worship’ Rally in Seattle

Breitbart – Hundreds of people gathered at Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park on Sunday for a “Let Us Worship” rally led by worship leader Sean Feucht.

The rallies began in opposition to California’s coronavirus worship restrictions and have since spread to multiple states and cities, according to KIRO 7.

Energy & Environment

Huge crack appears in hill after 5.1 mag in NC. What does it mean?

The Charolotte Observer – Travis Simpson-Hunt describes a scene out of a disaster movie, when he recalls birds suddenly taking flight seconds before a 5.1 earthquake rocked Sparta, North Carolina, Sunday.

“It was like a train going through the cabin,” he posted on Facebook.

But more disturbing is what his family saw outside of town that morning, when they went to check out damage reports.

Cars were suspiciously parked along the side of the road — in the middle of nowhere — and Simpson-Hunt pulled over and noticed everyone’s attention was focused on a hillside.

“There was this big one (crack) and a small one below it. And then lots of cracks the width of my foot going across the road,” Simpson-Hunt told McClatchy News. “It was not far outside of town.”

It was the last thing he needed to see to convince him the family’s vacation was over. They packed up after only one day in town and headed back to Pennsylvania, he said.

The origin of the crack remained vague Tuesday, including whether it predates the earthquake. Some in Sparta say it’s not a crack, but a rut where cows tread on a regular basis on a family farm. Still, investigators are curious.


Vit D, Magnesium and B12 Significantly Improve COVID Outcomes

Mercola – Vitamin D, in particular, has emerged as an essential nutrient in the fight against COVID-19. In a letter to the editor published by Clinical Endocrinology, Dr. Grigorios Panagiotou, a clinical fellow in endocrinology and diabetes at the U.K.’s Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals, found that COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive treatment units (ITUs) were more likely to be vitamin D deficient than those who were managed in medical wards.

Specifically, “only 19% of the ITU COVID-19 patients had 25(OH)D (vitamin D) levels greater than 50 nmol/L (20 ng/mL) versus 39.1% of non-ITU patients.”

“Vitamin D receptors are highly expressed in B- and T-lymphocytes, suggesting a role in modulating innate and adaptive immune responses,” Panagiotou said in a news release. “[Vitamin D] levels reach their nadir at the end of winter, and low levels are associated with increased risk of acute respiratory tract infections during winter [and are] mitigated by vitamin D supplementation.”

Additional Nutrient Strategies to Combat COVID-19

As with many viral infections, COVID-19 appears to have a nutritional component, by which you may lower your risk of severe outcomes by using vitamins and minerals therapeutically. Considering that current COVID-19 treatments are few and far between, and even “standard” therapies like mechanical ventilation appear to be backfiring,7 the use of natural solutions has caught the eye of numerous researchers.

Among them are researchers with the Singapore General Hospital and Duke-NUS Medical School, who set out to determine if a combination of vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin B12 would improve outcomes among COVID-19 patients aged 50 and older. Their basis was to attack the inflammatory component of the infection, noting

Vitamin D, Magnesium, B12 Combo Improves COVID Outcomes

The cohort study involved 43 COVID-19 patents who were admitted to the Singapore General Hospital between January 15, 2020, and April 15, 2020. Seventeen of the patients received oral vitamin D3 (1,000 IU), magnesium (150 milligrams (mg)) and vitamin B12 (500 mcg) — together known as DMB — upon admission for a median of five days while 26 patients who did not receive DMB served as the control group

Significant benefits were seen among the DMB group, with only 17.6% requiring initiation of oxygen therapy during their hospitalization, compared to 61.5% of those in the control group. The requirement for oxygen is associated with an increased risk of needing intensive care, and the DMB group also benefited in this area.

Among those in the DMB group who required supplemental oxygen (three out of the 17 patients), two required ICU admission while one did not. Among the control group, all of those who needed supplemental oxygen required further ICU support. Nine of the DMB patients were given the combination within the first week of the onset of symptoms, and only one among them required oxygen therapy.

Overall, only three of the DMB patients deteriorated, two of whom deteriorated within 24 hours and may not have had enough time for the combo to work. The third case was started on DMB after seven days from onset of symptoms, and the researchers believe starting earlier in the course of the infection may be important.

Further, DMB was protective even after accounting for other risk factors, including age and high blood pressure

>> Power Mall Products of Interest: Vitamin D3 (4000 IU) – 100 Capsules, Pro-Mag X (Magnesium Re-Natured), VeganSafe B-12

Fast food ‘packaged in pollution,’ report says

HM Media – Next time you order a Big Mac, Whopper or Sweetgreen salad, consider this: The wrappers and containers your food comes in have been found to contain toxic chemicals that can contaminate your drinking water, harm wildlife and make you sick.

PFAS are chemicals used in apparel, carpeting, furniture and food packaging designed to keep materials grease- and water-resistant; they’re known as “forever chemicals” as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances cannot break down in the environment.

A report released last week on the fast food industry revealed that nearly half of all sampled packaging contained dangerous fluorine levels, while the majority of the locations included do not have policies to address harmful PFAS in their materials.

The researchers say their study emphasizes the need to update the way the government regulates PFAS because of their “high persistence, potential for accumulation and hazards,” some of which are more toxic than health agencies have acknowledged.

Restaurants found to have toxic packaging include Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Cava, Freshii and Sweetgreen — the top three burger and health-conscious chains.

“Multiple major food chains have now announced new policies on PFAS. So, clearly, safer alternatives exist and are being used. Those that haven’t stepped up have the ability to do so,” Mike Schade, director of Mind the Store, the campaign behind the study, together with Toxic-Free Future, said in a news release.

“As the largest fast-food chain in the world, McDonald’s has a responsibility to its customers to keep them safe. These dangerous chemicals don’t belong in its food packaging. I, for one, am NOT ‘lovin’ it.'”

The researchers tested 38 food packaging samples collected in January at 16 locations and six fast-food chains in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Seattle, according to the report.

Wim Hof Breathing: 6 Benefits for Body & Mind

Dr. Edward Group – From running a marathon in the snow — barefoot— to climbing part of Mount Everest wearing shorts, Wim Hof, “The Iceman” is no stranger to the extreme. Hof, a Dutch athlete, trained himself to withstand very cold temperatures using a unique breathing technique. Wim Hof breathing has been featured on TV shows and researched in labs. More importantly, people around the world now use it to boost their immune systems, feel more energized and less stressed, improve focus and athletic performance, and release endorphins — happy hormones. This method can be an important part of your self-care tool kit, too!

What Is Wim Hof Breathing

Wim Hof breathing is a technique using “controlled hyperventilation,” followed by a couple of slower, deep breaths. This isn’t the kind of hyperventilating associated with breathing into a paper bag or being overly excited, nervous, or scared. In this case, it means the literal sense of the word — hyper means extra or rapid, and ventilation means breathing. Rapid breathing in a controlled manner! Here’s how to get started.

  1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position, like you’re getting ready to meditate.
  2. Start by taking 30 to 40 fast breaths, breathing in through your nose and exhaling out your mouth. Wim Hof says to make these powerful bursts of air.
  3. After you exhale the last burst, breathe in slowly, filling your lungs as deeply as you can. Exhale the air out, and hold your breath until you have to breathe in.
  4. Breathe in deeply again, but this time, hold it for 10 to 15 seconds before you exhale. This last breath is called the recovery breath.
  5. You can do the whole cycle, from fast breaths to the recovery breath, three to four times.

During this process, you may feel tingling sensations or lightheadedness as your blood chemistry changes. Hof combines this technique with focused meditation and cold therapy to further boost his ability to withstand extreme exercise.[2]

6 Health Benefits of This Technique

This breathing method offers many benefits for your mind and body, which is why I like it so much. Breathing exercises can actually help you control your fight-or-flight response. The fight-or flight-response makes your body release stress hormones when an emergency happens. While it’s helpful in such times, your body can end up in a perpetual state of fight-or-flight when you experience too much daily stress. This is not helpful and can cause disease.

This fight-or-flight response is part of your autonomic nervous system, which regulates your breathing, heartbeat, digestion, and more. When practicing the Wim Hof method, you are working to change your stress response.[1] You’re also spending time focusing on your breath and removing distractions, which is a form of mindfulness meditation.

  1. Raise Your Energy Levels
  2. Strengthen Your Immune System
  3. Reduce Your Stress Levels
  4. Release Mood-Boosting Endorphins
  5. Improve Athletic Performance
  6. Improve Focus