NPR – At the direction of President Rodrigo Duterte, a fierce critic of the United States, the Philippines announced Tuesday that it would scrap a security pact that allows American forces to train there.
Duterte’s foreign secretary, Teodoro Locsin Jr., tweeted Tuesday that the Visiting Forces Agreement with the U.S. would be terminated — a move that could have consequences for a counterinsurgency against Islamist extremists in the country’s south.
NaturalNews – We’ve all known from day one that China’s “official” numbers are a total joke. The numbers have been carefully crafted with mathematical precision to produce a 2.1% death rate, day after day, in complete contradiction to reality. Similarly, “infection” numbers seem to be more a product of the limited bandwidth of testing kits than anything representing reality.
And now, we learn that China has changed the very definition of “infected” to eliminate people who test positive but who show no symptoms. These are so-called “symptomless carriers,” and according to China, they no longer count as “infected,” even though they are well known to be able to spread the virus by infecting other people.
As Charles Hugh Smith correctly points out in a brilliant article, “controlling the narrative is not the same as controlling the virus.” Yes, you can pretend that infected people are not infected, but that doesn’t cure the infection. He writes:
It’s clear that the narrative about the coronavirus is being carefully managed globally to minimize the impact on global sentiment and markets. Authorities are well aware of the global economy’s extreme fragility, and so Job One for authorities everywhere is to scrub the news flow of anything that doesn’t support the implicit official narrative.
But controlling the narrative is not the same as controlling the virus. The narrative is intangible but the virus is real-world. Authorities are betting that controlling the narrative about the virus is equivalent to controlling the actual virus. If everyone believes only 800 people have died and the number of infected people is plummeting, they will obediently keep borrowing and buying and authorities will retain their legitimacy, power and wealth
Those who test positive but show no symptoms are now removed from “infected” counts
As Zero Hedge reported earlier today, “the Chinese National Health Commission quietly changed its definition of Coronavirus “confirmed case” in the latest guideline dated 7/2. As a result, going forward patients who tested positive for the virus but have no symptoms will no longer be regarded as confirmed.”
By all credible accounts, China is taking the real numbers and dividing by ten, then fudging a bit more to work out exactly a 2.1% fatality rate. It’s all absurd, and anyone who believes those numbers is a fool.
Similarly, never forget that the very same media outlets now claiming the coronavirus is no big deal once went berserk with hype over the Disneyland measles scare which killed exactly zero children:
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar won the most votes when a little more than two dozen New Hampshire residents in three tiny townships cast their ballots shortly after midnight in Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primary.
Dixville Notch in the state’s northern tip, nearby Millsfield, and Hart’s Location, further south and tucked in the White Mountains, are the first places to declare primary results because voters cast ballots so early.
Klobuchar started Tuesday with eight votes, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who each had four votes. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang won three votes, while former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg each received two votes. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and businessman Tom Steyer got one vote each.
In a surprising twist, Bloomberg, who isn’t on the ballot in New Hampshire, won the first votes of Tuesday’s Democratic and Republican primaries as a write-in candidate in the township of Dixville Notch.
After the ballots were deposited in a wooden box with a padlock, the votes were counted and the results written on a white piece of plywood. Journalists from around the world crammed into the room to record the event.
Unlike the chaotic and delayed results at last week’s Iowa Caucus, the ballots cast were counted by hand without any technical glitches.
Michael Snyder – If this coronavirus outbreak is not a serious threat, then why is the U.S. government preparing to quarantine victims all over America? As you will see below, 11 U.S. military bases located close to major airports are being converted into “quarantine centers” for potential patients. When I first learned about this, I was greatly alarmed, because we have all seen what is going on in China right now. People are literally being physically dragged out of their homes and are being forcibly relocated to “mass quarantine camps” with hordes of other very sick people. Sadly, many of them will never come out of those camps alive. If this virus starts spreading like wildfire here in the United States, is it possible that something similar could start happening here?
The vast majority of the confirmed cases are still in China, but over the last couple of weeks the number of cases in the rest of the world has escalated dramatically.
Back on January 20th there were only 4 confirmed cases outside of China and now there are 464. At this point there are victims in at least 28 different countries, and that number is almost certain to keep growing.
The reason why the virus has already spread to so many nations is because it is highly contagious. Scientists have discovered that it can be transmitted from person to person very easily, it has an incubation period of up to 24 days, and it can survive on smooth surfaces for up to 9 days.
If this coronavirus starts spreading very rapidly in the western world it is going to create a tremendous amount of panic. Many are still trying to compare this virus to the common flu, but that is a huge mistake. China would never lock down major cities for weeks on end for the flu.
Obviously something really big is happening, and the U.S. government is preparing for a worst case scenario. According to the Miami Herald, 11 military bases inside the United States are currently in the process of being transformed into “quarantine centers”
Eleven military bases near major airports in the United States are setting up quarantine centers for possible coronavirus patients, the Department of Defense said.
The Department of Health and Human Services asked the Pentagon for quarantine space in case beds fill up at other coronavirus centers around the country, according to a DOD statement.
Is this an indication that the threat that this virus poses to our country is far greater than we are being told?
The Department of Defense has released a statement about this new program, and in that statement the 11 military bases were specifically identified…
Hopefully not all of those facilities will be needed, but things are certainly looking more grim with each passing day.
ZeroHedge – A little more than one week ago, the mainstream press branded the notion that nCoV might have originated as a bioweapon developed in a secretive Wuhan lab as a deranged conspiracy theory, with zero conclusive evidence to support it (despite the mountain of coincidences have been reported by Zero Hedge and others).
Readers may remember how BuzzFeed was extremely triggered by our coverage.
And they also might be interested to hear that over the last two days, two mainstream financial media organizations and a prominent Republican Senator have all raised questions about the virus’s provenance, suggesting that the bioweapons theory isn’t so far-fetched after all.
Is it merely a coincidence that the Canadian scientist at the center of a bio-espionage probe was recently found dead in Africa, as we reported last week? Or that a doctor who helped draft a critical international bioweapons convention has said that the virus might be tied to “biological warfare?”
Apparently, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton believes Beijing needs to address these questions, particularly after China’s ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai accused him of “xenophobia” against Chinese people by even suggesting that the virus could have been engineered as a bioweapon.
“I think it’s true that a lot is still unknown and our scientists, Chinese scientists, American scientists, scientists of other countries, are doing their best to learn more about the virus, but it’s very harmful, it’s very dangerous, to stir up suspicion, rumors and spread them among the people,” he said.
“For one thing, this will create panic,” Cui said, adding that it could also foment xenophobia and racist discrimination.
“There are all kinds of speculation and rumors,” he added, noting that there were also conspiracy theories about the virus originating in the United States. “How can we believe all these crazy things?”
On another note, when asked about Chen Qiushi, a citizen journalist who disappeared after covering the outbreak in Wuhan, Cui responded “I have never heard of this guy, so I don’t have any information to share with you.”
Cotton first tweeted questions about the virus, pointing out that China’s most advanced virus research laboratory, known as the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was situated in Wuhan, near the epicenter of the outbreak.
Replying to the ambassador’s interview, Cotton again accused Beijing of lying and trying to cover up the outbreak during its early days.
.@ambcuitianki, here’s what’s not a conspiracy, not a theory:
Fact: China lied about virus starting in Wuhan food market https://t.co/Jgpy1Oh75Y
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 9, 2020
Later, he tweeted that the “burden of proof” is on “the communists” to explain where this virus came from. He has acknowledged the theory that it originated when a human consumed a wild animal like a snake or a bat, which were sold at a market in Wuhan identified as the epicenter of the outbreak.
Fact: super-lab is just a few miles from that market
Where did it start? We don’t know. But burden of proof is on you & fellow communists. Open up now to competent international scientists.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 9, 2020
WND – Democrats and establishment media saw President Trump’s decision last week to relieve National Security Council staffers Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, of their White House duties as an act of vengeance for the latter’s testimony in the House impeachment investigation.
But with the news Monday that Trump and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien have cut 70 positions inherited from former President Barack Obama, the move looks more like another fulfillment of Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”
Many of the 70 were loaners from other agencies to came to NSC when Obama fattened the staff to 200,” the Washington Examiner reported. The loaners have been sent back, and others have left government work.
The anonymous “whistleblower” complaint that triggered the Democrats’ failed impeachment drive is believed to have come from the NSC, which is part of the president’s personal staff.
Trump explained in a tweet on Saturday that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was returned to the Pentagon, was “very insubordinate” and was “given a horrendous report by his superior.”
The Examiner noted that Trump has relied on staffs smaller than previous administrations and has kept a much smaller NSC team.
His NSC adviser, O’Brien, said he’s using a model instituted by President George W. Bush, who handled the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with 100 NSC aides.
CS Monitor – At a time when states are debating the removal of Confederate monuments, Maryland is adding bronze statues of two of the state’s famous black historical figures to the Maryland State House.
The statues of abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass will be unveiled Monday night in the Old House Chamber, the room where slavery was abolished in Maryland in 1864.
While the commissioning of the statues was put in motion several years ago, their arrival coincides with new leadership in the state legislature, including Maryland’s first black and first female speaker of the House and the first new Senate president in more than three decades.
Free Thought Project – A bombshell investigation from ProPublica revealed that law enforcement in Kansas is running a debtor’s prison and throwing people in jail over their medical debt. The story focused on the case of Tres and Heather Biggs’ who fell behind on their medical bills for their son’s leukemia and Heather’s Lyme disease. What happened next was nothing but sheer tyranny.
Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.
This family’s nightmare began last year when they fell behind on their medical bills from Heather and her son’s conditions. Instead of simply being turned over to a collection agency, in Coffeyville, Kansas, the government joins in.
“We had so many — multiple health issues in our family at the same time, it put us in a bracket that made insurance unattainable,” Heather Biggs said. “It would have made no sense. We would have had to have not eaten, not had a home.”
Because they had unpaid medical debt, the apparently corrupt court system issued them a summons to appear in court. ProPublica reports that they were one of 90 people facing similar legal action in just a single month.
“You wouldn’t think you’d go to jail over medical bills,” Tres Biggs said. But they do.
“I’m just doing my job,” Hassenplug said. “They want the money collected, and I’m trying to do my job as best I can by following the law.”
But that “job” is a twisted entanglement of state and private business. In fact, the “law” being used to go after these folks, the “debtor’s exam,” was adopted by the court because Hassenplug wrote it and recommended it to them.
“This raises serious constitutional concerns,” said Nusrat Choudhury, the deputy director of the ACLU. “What’s happening here is a jailhouse shake-down for cash that is the criminalization of private debt.”
Judicial Watch – A bill quickly advancing in the Virginia Legislature indicates the state may soon become the nation’s 14th to offer illegal immigrants driver’s licenses. Introduced last month at the request of an open borders coalition, the measure has survived various state senate committees and was approved by a finance and appropriations panel this month. It directs the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to provide driver’s licenses to applicants without a Social Security or taxpayer identification number as long as they submit a certified statement that their information is true.
Democrat legislators introduced the law after promising an influential group known as the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights that they would “fight hard” for immigrant rights, according to a local news report. At a fiery press conference in mid-January, coalition members took the podium demanding “overdue legislation” be passed. One of the bill’s sponsors, Senator Jennifer Boysko who represents Fairfax, joined the powwow and said: “This is an issue that is an economic justice issue, it allows people to be the best that they can be and we are going to be fighting hard throughout this session.” The immigrant rights coalition is also demanding that a law be passed to give illegal aliens discounted in-state tuition at Virginia public colleges and universities.
Seventeen states—Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington—give illegal aliens in-state tuition, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two states—Oklahoma and Rhode Island—don’t have official laws but let the Board of Regents grant the perk. Back in 2014, Virginia’s attorney general enacted a policy of giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants protected by a controversial Obama amnesty program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). At the time more than 8,000 illegal immigrants qualified for the taxpayer benefit. The attorney general proclaimed that it was the right thing to do because the illegal immigrants are “Virginians” and the state “should extend them an opportunity for an affordable education.”
If Virginia passes the driver’s license measure, it will follow a growing national trend of rewarding illegal immigrants with official government documents. Just a few months ago New York became the 13th state to offer illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, even though local DMV clerks throughout the state expressed deep concern about their ability to authenticate the unfamiliar documents—written in foreign languages—acceptable under the new law to obtain a license. One county clerk in the state’s eastern region said in a local news report that his office, which services a population of about 160,000, will not issue licenses to illegal aliens and instead will let the state deal with the applicants. Another DMV clerk in the state’s southern tier blasted lawmakers for leaving her and her colleagues to deal with the mess.
Gateway Pundit – While the coronavirus may be the latest plague to envelope the news, Trump Derangement Syndrome continues to infect more and more people.
The latest example is a proposed bill in California that would prohibit state employees from staying in Trump owned hotels.
These people are complete fascists and resemble something you would expect in a third socialist state.
State lawmakers in California are considering a bill that would prohibit state agencies from spending taxpayer money at any of the hotels owned by President Trump or his family.
The proposal, which was introduced by Democratic state Assemblyman Evan Low, would bar employees of any state agency from spending money at a Trump hotel while traveling for work.
“Public officials, at any level, should not profit off the constituents that they were elected to serve and represent,” Low said in a statement. “No branch of government is above the Constitution, and this legislation will ensure that California taxpayers are not further exploited by Donald Trump’s violations of the emoluments clause.”
While the text of the bill does not specifically mention Trump by name, the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the only president in U.S. history who also happens to be a hotel magnate. If passed, the ban would apply to state agencies, the legislature, the judicial council and the University of California and California State University systems.
“This bill would prohibit a state agency, as defined, from paying, reimbursing an employee, providing a per diem allowance, or contracting for the cost of lodging, procuring a good or service, or any other expense at a lodging establishment where the owner, as specified, is the President of the United States,” the bill reads.
Newsmax – The Justice Department ratcheted up legal pressure Monday on local governments over “sanctuary” policies that hinder federal immigration officers, bringing two new lawsuits and launching a coordinated messaging campaign to highlight an election-year priority of President Donald Trump.
Declaring that law enforcement officers are being “put in harm’s way by these ideologically driven policies,” Attorney General William Barr said the Trump administration is suing the state of New Jersey and the county that is home to Seattle over immigration policies that offer protections to immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
The Justice Department said New Jersey is violating federal law by prohibiting state and local law enforcement from sharing information about inmates in the U.S. illegally. Washington state’s King County was hit with a lawsuit over a policy that prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from using the King County International Airport-Boeing Field for deportation flights.
“Today is a significant escalation in the federal government’s effort to confront the resistance of sanctuary cities,” Barr told an audience of officers at the National Sheriffs’ Association to roaring applause.
Some cities, like New York, have put laws in place that prohibit the sharing of information with immigration officials. Immigration officials have sent subpoenas to Denver and New York City over requests for information on immigrants about to be released from jail. In New York, Homeland Security suspended “trusted traveler” programs that speed their re-entry into the U.S. over a law that prohibits state officials from sharing motor vehicle data with immigration officers.
The attorney general said the Justice Department would be “robustly supporting” Homeland Security to use “all lawful means,” including federal subpoenas, to obtain information about suspects they are seeking to deport.
“These policies are textbook examples of misguided ideology triumphing over commonsense law enforcement, and it is the public and the police who pay the price,” Barr said.
The administration also sued the state of California to block a law that took effect Jan. 1 to ban new contracts with for-profit prison companies, including thousands of immigration detention beds that the federal government pays for in the state.
CS Monitor – Confronted with the threat of trillion-dollar-plus deficits for more than a decade, President Donald Trump is offering a $4.8 trillion budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that revisits spending cuts previously rejected by Congress while leaving Social Security and Medicare benefits untouched.
CNN – The Trump administration is seeking a big boost to NASA’s annual funding in order to fulfill its mission to put a man and woman on the moon by 2024.
In its annual budget request released Monday, the White House asked Congress to allocate more than $25 billion for NASA in the 2021 fiscal year, with $12.4 billion earmarked specifically for the moon landing program. That would be another significant increase to the space agency’s financing, which has seen its annual budget climb from less than $20 billion in 2017, the year President Donald Trump took office, to $22.6 billion for the 2020 fiscal year, which ends on September 30.
The document also maps out a series of future budget bumps for NASA that would raise its annual budget to $26.3 billion in fiscal 2025.
Reuters – A federal judge on Tuesday approved wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc’s takeover of Sprint Corp, rejecting a claim by a group of states that said the deal would violate antitrust laws and raise prices.
The states, led by California and New York, had said the deal would reduce competition, leading to higher prices.
The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero clears the path for the deal, which already has federal approval and was originally valued at $26 billion.
In his ruling, the judge noted the difficulty in deciding an antitrust case since it forces the judge to predict the future in deciding if a deal will lead to higher prices.
But Judge Marrero said that he based his decision on three essential points. The first was that he was not persuaded by the states that the deal would lead to higher prices or lower quality wireless services.
He disagreed that Sprint would remain a strong competitor and was unconvinced that DISH, who is buying divested assets from the deal, would fail to live up to its promises to enter and compete in the wireless market.
“The court concludes that the proposed merger is not reasonably likely to substantially lessen competition,” he wrote.
New York’s attorney general said the state is considering an appeal; California’s attorney general said that state is “prepared to fight.”
CS Monitor – While many nations are raising alarms around high-tech surveillance like facial recognition, Brazil is embracing technology as a possible path toward fighting crime and the scourge of violence. But there are troubling risks.
Mercola – The CDC accepts funding from the drug industry, which may influence its public health recommendations. It also has front groups that lobby for mandatory vaccinations and seek to suppress information about vaccine risks.
One of them is the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), which has lobbied heavily for the removal of vaccine exemptions for religious, conscientious and philosophical beliefs in state public health laws.
NACCHO policies not only favor mandatory use of vaccines from cradle to grave, but also support the creation of national electronic registries of the vaccination status of all citizens, including adults.
Prominent vaccine educators such as Every Child By Two (ECBT), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) are acting on behalf of the CDC and the vaccine industry as well. All three receive funding from vaccine manufacturers and the CDC.
The CDC and vaccine advocacy nonprofits share a common goal of increasing vaccination rates, and by so doing, the CDC is unlikely to tackle the task of finding out whether the vaccines on the childhood and adult vaccination schedules are in fact safe and necessary
While scientists have recognized a link between genes and addiction, alcoholism is still largely misunderstood and hard to predict. In fact, even those who can manage their drinking or avoid alcohol altogether can still be affected by their family’s history of drinking—and not just emotionally.
A study published in NeuroImage found participants with a family history of alcoholism lacked a specific function in the brain, often associated with addiction and alcoholism.
Researchers from Purdue University and the Indiana University School of Medicine analyzed the brains of 54 individuals and found typical brains undergo a process of ‘reconfiguration’ after completing a mentally demanding task. But those with family histories of alcoholism skipped that phase.
Mercola – Kellogg is working with their wheat and oat suppliers to stop using glyphosate as a preharvest drying agent, or desiccant, by the end of 2025.
Hopefully the move could signal the beginning of the end for the use of glyphosate as a preharvest drying agent.
In a process known as desiccation, about two weeks prior to harvest, glyphosate may be sprayed onto wheat, barley and oat crops to accelerate the drying process, allowing for earlier harvest.
The use of glyphosate as a desiccant is widespread enough that it could be driving up human exposures and leading to high levels of glyphosate residues in popular foods
Kellogg states that while they do not own or operate any farms, they’ve been engaging with their suppliers about pesticide use, including the use of glyphosate as a desiccant, since before 2017