Today’s News: July 07, 2020

World News

UN claims Trump broke international law with killing of Soleimani.

Daily Mail – The January U.S. drone strike in Iraq that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and nine other people represented a violation of international law, a U.N. human rights investigator said on Monday.

The United States has failed to provide sufficient evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike on Soleimani’s convoy as it left Baghdad airport, said Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The attack violated the U.N. Charter, Callamard wrote in a report calling for accountability for targeted killings by armed drones and for greater regulation of the weapons.

‘The world is at a critical time, and possible tipping point, when it comes to the use of drones. … The Security Council is missing in action; the international community, willingly or not, stands largely silent,’ Callamard, an independent investigator, told Reuters.

Global Internet Fight Begins

DNYUZ – As Hong Kong grapples with a draconian new security law, the tiny territory is emerging as the front line in a global fight between the United States and China over censorship, surveillance and the future of the internet.

Long a bastion of online freedom on the digital border of China’s tightly managed internet, Hong Kong’s uneasy status changed radically in just a week. The new law mandates police censorship and covert digital surveillance, rules that can be applied to online speech across the world.

Now, the Hong Kong government is crafting web controls to appease the most prolific censor on the planet, the Chinese Communist Party. And the changes threaten to further inflame tensions between China and the United States, in which technology itself has become a means by which the two economic superpowers seek to spread influence and undercut each other.

Caught in the middle are the city’s seven million residents, online records of rollicking political debate — some of which may now be illegal — and the world’s largest internet companies, which host, and by extension guard, that data.

A standoff is already brewing. Many big tech companies, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Zoom and LinkedIn, have said in the past two days that they would temporarily stop complying with requests for user data from the Hong Kong authorities. The Hong Kong government, in turn, has made it clear that the penalty for noncompliance with the law could include jail time for company employees.

Arrested Under New Law, Hong Kong Protesters Get Swabbed for DNA

Bloomberg – As Hong Kong sees life change rapidly under a new security law, protesters have quickly learned that actions that weren’t worthy of police attention a little more than a week ago could now warrant an arrest, DNA sample and search of their home — in addition to the possibility of jail time.

Hong Kong police made their first arrests last week under a sweeping new security law imposed by China, taking 10 protesters into custody. Six men and four women, ages 15 to 67, were arrested due to acts of inciting or abetting subversion or secession, police said. At least six possessed pro-democracy and independence pamphlets and poster bills that have been distributed during past demonstrations without triggering arrests, according to lawyers representing the protesters.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

U.S. government awards Novavax $1.6 billion for coronavirus vaccine, biggest award yet in ‘Operation Warp Speed’

Financial Times – The U.S. government has awarded Novavax Inc US$1.6 billion to cover testing, commercialization and manufacturing of a potential coronavirus vaccine in the United States, with the aim of delivering 100 million doses by January 2021.

The award is the biggest yet from “Operation Warp Speed,” the White House program aimed at accelerating access to vaccines and treatments to fight the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“What this Warp Speed award does is it pays for production of 100 million doses, which would be delivered starting in the fourth quarter of this year, and may be completed by January or February of next year,” Novavax Chief Executive Stanley Erck told Reuters.

It will also cover the cost of running a large Phase III trial – the final stage of human testing, which could begin as early as October.

As Chicago is overtaken by violence, Mayor Lori Lightfoot blames guns and the coronavirus

The Blaze – Chicago’s Democratic mayor, Lori Lightfoot, blamed guns and the coronavirus pandemic for the city’s stark increase in violence in recent weeks, which has taken the lives of hundreds, including those of several children.

According to WMAQ-TV, in the month of June alone, there were 424 shootings and 89 murders in Chicago, with both figures up by 75% or more compared to the same month last year.

Ohio Town Announces It’s a ‘Sanctuary City’ for Historical Statues

The Daily Signal – The manager of a small town in Ohio has declared his municipality a “sanctuary city” for statues being toppled in other parts of the country.

A proclamation signed July 4 by Newton Falls City Manager David Lynch declares that monuments of the Founding Fathers and others will find safety in Newton Falls.

“I, David M. Lynch, as City Manager for the City of Newton Falls do hereby proclaim that Newton Falls shall be known as a ‘Statuary Sanctuary City’ welcoming statues rejected by other cities across the United States and also proclaiming a general amnesty for George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, Patrick Henry, Francis Scott Key, Theodore Roosevelt, and Christopher Columbus as represented by statues removed all across the United States,” his proclamation reads.

Newton Falls, Ohio, is a town of about 4,500 people some 60 miles east of Cleveland.

Father Of 8-Year-Old Killed Near Atlanta Wendy’s: ‘They Say Black Lives Matter. You Killed Your Own.’

The Daily Wire – The parents of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, who was killed on Saturday night when a group of people opened fire on a car that she was traveling in, sounded off on their daughter’s death during a press conference on Sunday, and noted the seemingly empty words of Black Lives Matter activists.

“Officers said they responded to a 911 call near University Avenue and I-75/I-85 around 9:50 p.m. [on Saturday],” WSB-TV reported. “The location of the shooting was in a parking lot across the street from the now burned-out Wendy’s, which has been occupied by demonstrators since Brooks’ death at the hands of an Atlanta police officer.”

New York Bill Would Create State Process to End Qualified Immunity for Police

Activist Post – A bill introduced in the New York Assembly would create a process to sue police officers in state court for using excessive force or taking other actions that violate individual rights without the possibility “qualified immunity” as a defense.

Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) introduced Senate Bill 8618 (S8618) on June 22. The legislation would create a cause of action in state courts to sue police officers “who under color of law, subjects or causes to be subjected, including failing to intervene, any other person to the deprivation of any individual rights that create binding obligations on government actors secured by the bill of rights, article one of the state constitution.” The law specifically states that “governmental immunity shall not be a defense to liability pursuant to this section; and qualified immunity shall not be a defense to liability pursuant to this section.”

Under the proposed law, the court would award “reasonable attorney fees” to the plaintiff if they prevail. It would also allow a defendant to collect costs and attorney fees if the court finds the plaintiff’s claims frivolous.

Typically, people sue police for using excessive force or other types of misconduct through the federal court system under the U.S. Bill of Rights. But federal courts created a qualified immunity defense out of thin air, making it nearly impossible to hold law enforcement officers responsible for actions taken in the line of duty. In order to move ahead with a suit, the plaintiff must establish that it was “clearly established” that the officer’s action was unconstitutional. The “clearly established” test erects an almost insurmountable hurdle to those trying to prove excessive force or a violation of their rights.

S8618 would create an alternative path in state court with no qualified immunity hurdle to clear.

The New York bill is similar to a law recently passed in Colorado.

Senator And Former Minnesota Family Doctor Of The Year Being Investigated For Questioning Covid Death Certificates

Natural Blaze – A highly respected doctor and current Minnesota State Senator has been speaking out about his concern over the validity of Covid death certificates, and as a result, is now being investigated by the Board of Medical Practice in Minnesota.

Scott Jensen, Republican Senator from District 47 in the Twin Cities of Minnesota has a long history of health service and in 2016 was the recipient of the Minnesota Family Physician of the Year Award.

The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) has selected Scott Jensen, M.D., of Watertown, MN, as the 2016 Family Physician of the Year. This award is presented annually to a family physician who represents the highest ideals of the specialty of family medicine, including caring, comprehensive medical service, community involvement and service as a role model…

Dr. Jensen has been a practicing family physician for more than 32 years. In 2001, he opened Catalyst Medical Clinic in Watertown. He is praised for his tireless commitment to his patients and the community. [Source]

In a heart-felt Facebook video post, Jensen expresses his concern over being targeted for essentially doing his job, which is looking at data and information and making informed choices based on his experience and wisdom. Apparently, however, his statements have enraged the cancel mobs, and an anonymous complaint was filed against him.

What are his alleged crimes or malfeasances that could result in him losing his license, job and livelihood?

Specifically, the investigation makes two allegations against him, both of them related to public statements about Covid-19.

Firstly, he is being targeted for comparing numbers of Covid-19 cases to the typical number of flu cases that Minnesota has each year. Something which Jensen notes has been done numerous times by Tony Fauci and many other public health officials.

Additionally, he has been speaking out about the issue of Covid death certificates, expressing concern that people who did not die of Covid are being counted as Covid deaths, a practice which falsely inflates mortality rates and irresponsibly contributes to the climate of fear around the disease.

Grover Norquist’s anti-government spending group took money.

The Detroit News – The Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, a conservative-allied group headed by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, took Covid-19 small business relief funds from the federal government, according to data released Monday.

The nonprofit foundation – which advocates restraint in government spending and says it works to educate taxpayers on “costly government programs” – took a loan between $150,000 and $350,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to the data disclosed by the Small Business Administration, which is overseeing approval of loans to address the economic devastation from the pandemic.

Norquist, a prominent conservative activist, is known for pushing Republicans to take a pledge not to increase net taxes in an effort to slim the government.

The foundation is related to Americans for Tax Reform, which is allowed to participate in a greater array of political activities and engages in federal lobbying, according to disclosures. Lawmakers had expressed concern that the array of nonprofits that had access to the funds would result in relief funds going to lobbyists.

Economy & Business

Colin Kaepernick Signs Deal With Disney/ESPN To Make Docu-Series About His Own Life, Social Justice Films

The Daily Wire –  Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has found himself suddenly in demand again, and Monday, the racial justice activist announced that he’d inked a first-look deal with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN to produce “scripted and unscripted stories that deal with race, social injustice and the quest for equity,” including a documentary series about his own life, per Variety.

Kaepernick, who left the National Football League in 2017 after turning down a one-year contract with the 49ers, has signed several lucrative deals of late, beginning with a multi-year agreement, multi-million dollar contract with Nike. He also recently inked a deal with Netflix for another autobiographical project, “Colin in Black & White,” which, the streaming network says, will “examine Kaepernick’s high school years to illuminate the experiences that shaped his advocacy.”

Pelosi’s husband among lawmaker-linked recipients

New York Post – A firm partially owned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband was among the lawmaker-linked businesses that got Paycheck Protection Program loans, according to data released Monday.

Companies owned by or associated with Reps. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Rick Allen (R-Ga.) also received the coronavirus loans. Businesses linked to Reps. Roger Williams (R-Texas), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Susie Lee (D-Nev.) and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.)  previously reported they got loans.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said her husband, Paul Pelosi, is “a minor, passive investor in this company. He was not involved in or even aware of this PPP loan.”

Hammill told The Post that Paul Pelosi owns 8.1 percent of EDI Associates, which got a loan of between $350,000 and $1 million. The company invests in the El Dorado Hotel in Sonoma, Calif. Pelosi’s stake is worth between a quarter-million and half-million dollars, according to official disclosure forms.

PPP loans can be converted into grants if companies with up to 500 employees, and in some cases more, spend 60 percent on payroll. In two deals brokered in part by Nancy Pelosi, Congress overwhelmingly approved $670 billion for the program.

Governors’ companies grabbed bailouts

AP – Governors who ordered shutdowns as their states responded to the coronavirus pandemic were among millions of beneficiaries of the loan program created to help small businesses weather COVID-19′s effect on the economy, data released Monday show.

The governors of at least eight states have ties to companies that received loans through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Both Republicans and Democrats, their associated companies’ loans ranged from $150,000 to more than $11 million. It is legal for businesses owned by elected officials to apply for and receive the loans, which are forgivable if used to preserve jobs.

DEUTSCHE BANK hit with $150 million penalty for Epstein relationship

CNBC – New York state financial regulators said Tuesday that they have slapped Deutsche Bank with a $150 million penalty “for significant compliance failures” in the bank’s dealings with accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, a now-dead investor, as well as with two client banks.

The New York State Department of Financial Services said that Deutsche Bank, which agreed to the payment under a consent order, “failed to properly monitor account activity conducted on behalf of the registered sex offender despite ample” public information about Mr. Epstein’s earlier criminal misconduct.

The big settlement comes days after Epstein’s alleged procurer, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested on federal charges that accuse her of helping him get access to and groom underage girls so he could sexually abuse them.

The state said it was the first enforcement action by a regulator against a financial institution for dealings with Epstein. 

The consent order covers Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Epstein, and correspondent banking relationships with Danske Bank Estonia and FBME Bank.

Download Deutsche Bank’s full editorial file here.

Who Is Getting Rich Off Coronavirus Pandemic?

Mercola – In May 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate was 13.3%,1 which means 21 million Americans were unemployed. Not surprisingly, financial stress is a major concern, with 88% of Americans surveyed by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) saying that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating stress for their personal financial situation.2

Fifty-four percent were particularly worried about having enough money saved for emergency savings or retirement, while another 48% were worried about paying bills.

A report by the Well Being Trust (WBT) and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care that up to 75,000 people may die during the COVID-19 pandemic from drug or alcohol misuse and suicide, which they deemed “deaths of despair” caused, in part, by unprecedented economic failure paired with massive unemployment.3

This experience of scarcity and financial uncertainty is not being felt by all, however. In stark contrast, many of the richest among us — particularly health care and biotech billionaires — have gotten even richer due to COVID-19, profiting handsomely off the pandemic that’s left the general public financially reeling.

Pandemic Propels Moderna CEO to the Billionaire’s Club

Forbes compiled a list of 10 health care billionaires who collectively raked in more than $7 billion since March 11, 2020 — the day the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.4 Topping the list is Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, the biotech firm that’s seen as the frontrunner for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. According to Forbes:5

Nine More COVID-19 Billionaires

Making up the rest of Forbes’ list is a mix of entrepreneurs, biotech executives and diagnostic test makers, which come from seven different countries:13

  1. Gustavo Denegri — With a net worth of $4.5 billion, which is up 32% since the beginning of the pandemic, Denegri has a 45% stake in DiaSorin, a biotech company based in Italy. DiaSorin makes swab-based diagnostic tests for COVID-19 as well as antibody blood testing kits for the virus.
  2. Seo Jung-Jin — Jung-Jin co-founded Celltrion, a biopharma company in Seoul. Jung-Jin’s net worth is $8.4 billion, up 22% thanks to the company’s experimental antiviral treatment for COVID-19, along with a self-administered diagnostic test that gives results in 15 minutes, which is expected to come to the market this summer.
  3. Alain Mérieux — Mérieux’s $7.6 billion net worth is tied to BioMérieux, the diagnostic testing company he founded in 1963. It’s a branch of Institut Mérieux, a medical company founded by his grandfather in 1897. BioMérieux developed a faster version of a COVID-19 diagnostic test kit that was released in March 2020.
  4. Maja Oeri — Oeri is a descendent of Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, the founder of pharmaceutical giant Roche. She owns about 5% of Roche’s shares, with a net worth of $3.2 billion; Roche has clinical trials ongoing for its arthritis drug tocilizumab, which it is hoping to transition to a COVID-19 treatment, as well as a serology test to detect antibodies in people who have had COVID-19.
  5. Leonard Schleifer — His net worth is $2.2 billion, a rise of 11% due to the pandemic. He founded Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which is conducting clinical trials of its rheumatoid arthritis drug sarilumab on COVID-19 patients.
  6. George Yancopoulos — Yancopoulos is Regeneron’s chief scientific officer; his net worth is $1.2 billion (up 14% since the beginning of the pandemic).
  7. and 8. Thomas and Andreas Struengmann — The Struengmann twins have a net worth of $6.9 billion. They first made their fortune by selling generic drug company Hexal to Novartis in 2005, and they invest in biotech and health care companies. One of their investments is BioNTech, which partnered with Pfizer and Fosun Pharmaceuticals on a COVID-19 vaccine that’s currently in human trials.
  8. Li Xiting — Xiting cofounded Mindray Medical International, China’s largest medical equipment producer. It tripled its production capacity of ventilators since the start of the pandemic. Xiting’s net worth is $12.6 billion, which is up 1% due to COVID-19.

US Billionaires $584 Billion Richer Thanks to COVID-19

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), in partnership with Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), published a report highlighting what they call America’s “pre-existing condition”: extreme wealth inequality.14 IPS is regularly updating U.S. unemployment and billionaire wealth during the pandemic, which shows the great divide among the wealthy and the majority of Americans.

As of June 18, 2020, U.S. billionaire wealth increased $584 billion, or 20%, since the start of the pandemic.15 Meanwhile, since March 18, the number of U.S. billionaires increased from 614 to 643; during the same period, more than 45.5 million Americans filed for unemployment. Other striking inequalities revealed by the report include:16

  • Jeff Bezos’s fortune increased by $25 billion from January 1, 2020, to April 15, 2020; the wealth surge alone is greater than Honduras’ Gross Domestic Product, which was $23.9 billion in 2018
  • From January 1, 2020 to April 10, 2020, the wealth of 34 of the richest U.S. billionaires increased tens of millions of dollars; eight of them had their net worth rise by more than $1 billion
  • From March 18 to April 10, 2020, U.S. billionaire wealth surged by nearly 10%, rising $282 billion; during the same period, more than 22 million Americans lost their jobs
  • U.S. billionaire wealth increased 1,130% from 1990 to 2020; U.S. median wealth grew by 5.37% during the same period
  • The tax obligations of U.S. billionaires decreased 79% between 1980 and 2018, when measured as a percentage of wealth

Vitamin D in the Prevention of COVID-19

Mercola – As noted by retired nursing teacher John Campbell1 in the video above, vitamin D is “an important immunological molecule” that likely plays role in the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his video commentary, Campbell reviews a number of recent papers stressing the importance of vitamin D, starting with a press release2 from the French National Academy of Medicine, dated May 22, 2020.

The press release correctly points out that vitamin D is a prohormone, meaning it acts as an endocrine hormone. As such, it has wide-ranging influence on health. There are vitamin D receptors throughout your body, in every tissue and organ. Campbell reviews some of the basics of where and how vitamin D is synthesized in the body.

In summary, vitamin D is synthesized in the dermis of your skin in response to ultraviolet light from the sun. From there, it is transported to your liver and kidneys, where it is converted into an active hormone that is then circulated throughout your body. People with liver or kidney problems may have a reduced ability to synthesize vitamin D. As noted by the French National Academy of Medicine, vitamin D:3

  • Modulates (meaning it can upregulate and downregulate as needed) the function of your immune system by stimulating dendritic cells (which detect the presence of antigens such as viruses or bacteria) and macrophages (responsible for triggering immune responses and destroying pathogens)
  • Regulates and suppresses the cytokine inflammatory response.4 The ability to downregulate the inflammatory response is particularly important for COVID-19, as out of control inflammation (cytokine storm) is a primary cause of death

>> Power Mall Products of Interests: Optivida Vitamin D – 2000IU – 60 non-GMO Plant Cellulose Capsules & Good Health Naturally Vitamin D3 (4000 IU) – 100 Capsules

Fauci Says He Assumes Any Vaccine Will Offer ‘Finite’ Protection

Newsmax – Any vaccine developed to ward off the novel coronavirus would likely be limited in how long it would shield against infection, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said Monday.

“This is a great question and its the reason why we have to be humble about what we do. You can assume that we’ll get protection for at least a cycle,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an appearance on a live-streamed video conference hosted by the National Institutes of Health.

“We’re going to assume that there’s a degree of protection, but that it’s going to be finite.”

A shot to protect against COVID-19 won’t work like the measles vaccine, which lasts throughout a person’s lifetime, Fauci said.

He expects the American public will have “an answer” before the end of the year or early 2021 as to whether one of the more than 140 experimental shots in development is safe and effective.

Former Lead U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Biologist Urges FCC to Conduct Safety Studies on 5G

Activist Post -Cities AND countries have taken action to ban, delay, halt, and limit 5G installation as well as issue moratoriums due to health and safety risks and warnings.  

The majority of scientists worldwide are opposed to deployment until there studies show that it’s safe. The telecoms haven’t provided any.

None of this seems to matter to The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – the agency that’s supposed to protect Americans by regulating the telecom industry. All but one commissioner has approved the acceleration of 5G deployment during the Corona Virus pandemic despite opposition from other federal agencies AS WELL AS elected officials, doctors, public advocates, etc. 

Albert M. Manville, Ph.D. Certified Wildlife Biologist has submitted a comment to the FCC about 5G. Thanks to Environmental Health Trust for publishing it on their website

Animal News

SUPERMARKETS BOYCOTTING COCONUT SUPPLIERS FOR USING MONKEY SLAVE LABOR ON THEIR FARMS

Waking Times – The animal rights organization PETA has found that monkeys are being used for slave labor on coconut farms in Thailand. PETA investigators based in Asia visited eight different coconut farms on which captive monkeys were forced to collect over 1000 coconuts per day. The investigators found that most of the major coconut milk producers in Thailand were using monkey labor to pick the coconuts.

The monkeys are kept in terrible conditions and subjected to routine abuse, and they are often driven to insanity by these conditions. They are not given the ability to socialize or have any kind of activity outside of their work, which breaks down their mental health.

The investigators noted that many of the monkeys were illegally abducted from their families when they were just babies.

While on the farms, the monkeys are forced to wear tight metal collars that are attached to a chain, and that is how they live their lives until they are no longer useful to the industry. In some cases, the owners of these farms run circus shows on the side, where the monkeys are forced to perform to earn even more money for the humans who keep them captive.

The investigators were able to figure out the names of the brands connected to these farms. These brands include Aroy-D and Chaokohboth, both of which are sold in major stores around the world. Luckily, there are other places where coconuts can be sourced ethically, including Brazil, Colombia, and Hawaii, where coconuts are harvested with machines, which are often more efficient than monkey labor as well.