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Today’s News: June 16, 2020

World News

UNITED NATIONS OPENLY HIJACKS U.S. POLICE DEPARTMENTS

Infowars – The Democrats emerged to ask for civility for Black Americans, when they have not shown a shred of civility toward the rest of America.

Meanwhile, after tens of millions of dollars worth of damage to NYC, former Clinton and Obama underling Loretta Lynch is called upon by Attorney General Letitia James to oversee a predictably pro-looters and neoliberal socialist instigator cleanup job flying in the face of federal oversight. On top of that, Lynch isn’t there to follow up on the millions of merchandise looted by “peaceful” protesters. Loretta Lynch is there to apply pressure to an already crippled NYPD.

As The Hill reported, “…..New York Attorney General Letitia James’s (D)…said in a statement. ‘As we continue our investigation, I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to seek answers and accountability, and that includes calling on the sharpest minds to lend their expertise. There is no greater responsibility of government than the protection of its citizens,” Lynch said. “It is time to examine recent events to ensure that all New Yorkers receive truly equal protection under the law. I look forward to working with Attorney General James and her outstanding team on these important issues.’”

You may recall Loretta Lynch launched the Strong Cities Network in 2015 at the United Nations with a panel of leftist U.S. mayors, including New York’s de Blasio, who has thumbed his nose at the NYPD for since the announcement. 

Lynch had said that the Strong Cities Network would have an International Steering Committee and an International Advisory Board run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a leading international think tank based in London, whose coordinators include a who’s who of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Under their control, law-enforcement measures for the cooperating Democrat cities will be directed from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the United Nations, ignoring the U.S. Constitution, local officials and the laws they operate under. 

Other cities that have not officially signed on are being rewarded with equipment due to their interest in the Strong Cities Network.

How convenient that the NYPD would be targeted by Loretta Lynch’s United Nations police force steering committee. 

It appears that defunding the police is simply the beginning, as Democrat Cities are transforming their local police forces into United Nations Armies that will crush any that oppose the will of the totalitarian left and its dismantling of America.

Singapore Deploys Robots At Migrant Workers Dormitory To Enforce Social Distancing

ZeroHedge- Singapore has been dealing with one of the highest infection totals in all of Asia, mainly because of foreign worker dormitories in the country that have led to a surge in cases since April. This prompted the government to deploy autonomous robots to at least one dormitory, a move that would hopefully enforce strict social distancing rules.

The tiny, Asian country continues to reopen its severely damaged economy after several months of lockdowns — confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country breached 38,000 cases on Monday, with a total of 25 deaths. 

The government’s virus task force told Reuters on Monday that at least half of the country’s newly discovered virus cases are asymptomatic. About 6,294 infections in the last two weeks have derived from migrant workers.

In response to the outbreak, AsiaOne reported the Singapore Police Force deployed autonomous robots to at least one foreign worker dormitory in the eastern part of the country to enforce social distancing. 

Two Multi-purpose All-Terrain Autonomous Robots (Matar) were deployed at the start of May at one foreign worker dormitory. Each robot has cameras and speakers and can be controlled remotely via an operator.

Singapore Police Inspector Teo Wan-Ling, who leads 15 officers at the dormitory, said the robots aid in their ability to better enforce social distancing among residents.

Ling said: “There is a sizeable amount of people (at the dormitory). Sometimes when they queue up for their food, they don’t adhere to the safe distancing measures. So, in this case, you can just give them a verbal reminder over the Matar.” 

“The Matar also plays a deterrent role,” she said, noting that the workers generally tend to follow the safe distancing measures once they see the robot patrolling.

World War 3: India slaughters 5 Chinese soldiers in bloody massacre- border tensions erupt

Express – FIVE Chinese soldiers were killed and 11 injured during violent clashes at the China-India border, which has sparked fears of World War 3.

There were losses on both sides of the battle as one of the Indian army’s officers and two soldiers were killed in a “violent faceoff” at Galwan Valley, one of the four clash points in the eastern Ladakh sector. These are the first reported casualties in decades to result from a clash between the nuclear-armed Asian giants. China has not yet confirmed the deaths or numbers of injured. India‘s army said on Tuesday senior military officials from both sides were meeting in a desperate bid to calm tensions.

The Indian army statement said: “Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation.” 

Talks to pull back hundreds of troops deployed in the remote region have been held over the last ten days but no breakthrough had emerged.

Indian government sources said no shots were fired but a physical fight broke out between the two sides with soldiers using batons and throwing stones, which resulted in the casualties.

The Indian army confirmed there had been an incident on Monday and both sides had suffered casualties.

The army said: “During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties on both sides.

“The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers. Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation.”

But mystery surrounds the situation after Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday he was not aware of any incident on the border with India after the Indian army.

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of China’s Global Times newspaper tweeted: “Based on what I know, Chinese side also suffered casualties in the Galwan Valley physical clash.” 

He then sent a chilling warning to India, adding:”I want to tell the Indian side, don’t be arrogant and misread China’s restraint as being weak. China doesn’t want to have a clash with India, but we don’t fear it.”

The Global Times is published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.

Responding to the news, retired US Army colonel Lawrence Sellin tweeted telling China not to push India. 

He said: “China – Don’t mess with India. Despite the tragic Indian losses, the Indian Army deliveries punishing casualties on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army aggressors.”

While Kashmir journalist, Aditya Raj Kaul posted: “Unofficial reports say China has lost 4-5 People’s Liberation Army soldiers after their violent provocation yesterday in Eastern Ladakh.

“Considering they’ve been hiding their #COVID19 cases and deaths, one can imagine the manipulation in the casualties they faced in border clash.”

He added: “Casualties sadly could increase in Ladakh. Still a very fluid situation since some soldiers are seriously injured. Waiting for more official updates.”

The two sides have been locked in a standoff in the Galwan valley in western Himalayas for weeks with both accusing each other of trespassing into the other’s territory.

India and China fought a brief border war in 1962 and have not been unable to settle their border dispute despite talks spread over two decades.

Border guards have had skirmishes, even fist fights when patrols have confronted each other, but there has been no loss of life for more than 30 years.

North Korea blows up South Korea liaison office: Seoul

Fox – South Korea said Tuesday that North Korea’s military demolished an inter-Korean liaison office building just north of the tense Korean border, only days after the Hermit Kingdom threatened a “tragic scene” at the site.

The building, located in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, was destroyed at 2:49 p.m. local time, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said.

NK News, an organization that tracks North Korean state-run media, reported that the North’s KCNA said the nation had cut off all communication between the two countries. North Korea had previously cut a key hotline with the South and had threatened to shut down all communication with its neighbor to the South.

“The north-south joint liaison office was completely ruined on Tuesday,” the propaganda statement read. “The relevant field of the DPRK put into practice the measure of completely destroying the north-south joint liaison office in the Kaesong Industrial zone in the wake of cutting off all communication ties between the north and the south, corresponding to the mindset of the enraged people to surely force human scum and those, who have sheltered the scum, to pay dearly for their crimes.”

North Korea had earlier threatened to demolish the building, blaming the South’s failure to stop activists from flying propaganda leaflets across the heavily militarized border, the AP reported.

Some experts believe North Korea is frustrated because Seoul is unable to resume joint economic projects due to U.S.-led sanctions.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Report: 30,000 college football fans unknowingly captured by facial-recognition test at Rose Bowl

Fox – Over 30,000 fans who attended the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., this past January were being watched before they even got to their seats because their features were captured by facial-recognition software from a company called VSBLTY.

As fans showed up to see the Oregon Ducks take on the Wisconsin Badgers, there were four hidden cameras underneath digital signs near the FanFest activity area that were secretly scooping up data on those who passed by, according to OneZero.

Cameras reportedly analyzed their age, gender, if they were carrying a weapon or not, and if they were on any government watch lists. One of the fans who was surveilled spoke with OneZero and said he was not given any advanced notice that he was being filmed.

“I actually had no idea they were using that type of tech at the game, nor was I informed that I would be recorded or analyzed by such tech,” Benjamin Mercke of California told OneZero. “Actually, that’s incredibly concerning to me.”

VSBLTY, based in Philadelphia, issued a statement calling the exercise “an audience study,” which helped obtain data that would be used to enhance the consumer experience.

Bikers for Trump Plan Punitive Expedition to Reconquer CHAZ for United States

National File – A Facebook event, purportedly run by Bikers for Trump, invites motor cycle enthusiasts from around the United States to descend on the Seattle Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone and reconquer the territory for the United States, in what may be described as a punitive expedition into the sovereign country.

Bikers for Trump leads a coalition that already has prominent groups from the American West Coast pledging to join together to recapture the autonomous zone, and claims that they had no right to “illegally” secede from the United States and form their own six-block nation.

Their punitive expedition is scheduled for July 4, 2020, the United States Independence Day. It is unknown if this date holds significance in CHAZ.

NBC News called out over tweets about Trump’s Tulsa event, ‘packed’ Brooklyn rally

Fox – NBC News was called out late Sunday over a pair of tweets it sent about an hour apart that critics said showed bias when reporting on President Trump rallies and the protests that have emerged in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody.

NBC News first tweeted a link to a protest in Brooklyn and wrote, “Rally for Black trans lives draws packed crowd to Brooklyn Museum plaza.”

About an hour later, the news outlet tweeted out another story, “President Trump plans to rally his supporters next Saturday for the first time since most of the country was shuttered by the coronavirus. But health experts are questioning that decision.”

Twitter users pointed out that it was only in the Trump tweet that mentioned the health risk of attending a rally during a global pandemic. Mark Hemingway, a senior writer at RealClearInvestigations, pointed out the tweets and wrote, “Little over an hour apart.”

Brian Stelter, the CNN anchor, retweeted Hemingway and wrote, “He has a fair, important point. Also: every time a reporter raises health concerns about Trump’s rally in Tulsa, the Trump camp is just going to bring up the recent protests in response…”

The tweets come as the country is trying to emerge from devastating coronavirus lockdowns that have been blamed for essentially shut down much of the U.S. economy since March in order to prevent the disease transmission.

CNN and The New York Times were called out for similar “one-sided reporting” on the risk of contracting coronavirus, in an analysis published by Mediaite.

States and cities issued stay-at-home orders and modified church services to limit any spread. These orders were, in many cases, enforced with police departments.

As it happened: VIDEOS show lead-up to Atlanta police shooting of Rayshard Brooks

RT – Multiple videos provide a chronology of what led to the death of Rayshard Brooks, beginning with Atlanta police questioning him in a Wendy’s parking lot, and ending with fatal gunshots.

Why were the police there?

Rolfe arrives at the scene (2:00) and gets out of his car, as officer Devin Bronsan approaches him. Bronsan explains that he found Brooks passed out in his car, and that he knocked on his window and that it took “a few minutes” to wake him up. He tells Rolfe that he smelled alcohol in the car and that Brooks was slurring his words and wasn’t sure where he was.

Bronsan explains that Wendy’s employees called the police because Brooks had passed out in the drive-through and that Brooks was instructed to pull his automobile into a nearby parking space. He says he didn’t want to leave the scene because he was concerned that Brooks could be intoxicated and might try to drive away. Rolfe then says he will go talk to him.

How did the police conversation with Brooks start?

Rolfe walks over to Brooks (3:15), who is leaning out of the driver’s seat of his car with the door open. The officer asks Brooks to tell him about what had happened. Brooks says that a friend dropped him off at the Wendy’s and he was there to get something to eat. Rolfe tells Brooks (4:50) that someone called 911 because he was asleep behind the wheel while in the Wendy’s drive-through. Brooks says he doesn’t recall this. The officer asks Brooks how much has had to drink. Brooks says he had one drink earlier and denied taking any drugs.

What happened when Brooks got out of the car?

Rolfe asks Brooks to step out of his car (8:50) and asks if he has any weapons on him. Brooks says no and then agrees to a pat-down search. Rolfe doesn’t find any weapons, but notes there is a bulge in Brooks’ pocket – which Brooks says is a wad of cash.

Brooks is asked to undergo a sobriety test (10:00). He then performs a number of exercises administered by Rolfe. Upon further questioning, Brooks admits (24:50) that he has had too much to drink but insists that he can still “focus.” He consents to a breathalyzer test.

When did Brooks start to resist?

After administering the test (29:25), Rolfe tells Brooks that he thinks he’s had too many drinks to be driving, and asks him to put his hands behind his back. As Rolfe puts on the handcuffs, Brooks begins to struggle. The bodycam appears to fall off Rolfe (29:30). One officer can be heard shouting, “stop fighting!” while another screams “you’re going to get tased! You’re going to get tased!” Moments later, one officer shouts, “Hands off the f**king taser.” Scuffling can be heard, presumably as the officers wrestle with Brooks off camera.

With the bodycam still lying on the ground, one officer is heard yelling (30:00), “stop fighting!” Brooks is then briefly seen being tased. Bronsan appears on camera for a moment as he runs towards the fleeing suspect. Seconds later, three gunshots ring out.

Dashcam video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_PpghZfbUs&feature=emb_title 

How did the struggle begin?

The two officers attempt to arrest Brooks (0:05). At first it appears he will comply. Brooks then attempts to break free from the two cops (0:10), who try to restrain him. Brooks is briefly wrestled to the ground. Brooks continues to struggle (0:20). The officers scream “stop fighting” and “you’re going to get tased.”

What led to the shooting?

Brooks then grabs a taser from Bronsan and manages to get to his feet. Brooks points the taser at Rolfe (0:43) and runs off screen. Rolfe fires his taser several times. Three gunshots (0:50) ring out off camera. Shouting and screaming can be heard.

Wendy’s security footage: https://twitter.com/alexsalvinews/status/1271920980458274816

How did the shooting happen?

The footage begins with Brooks running across the parking lot with Rolfe in pursuit. Brooks appears (0:03) to briefly point the taser that he took at Rolfe as he runs. Rolfe drops his own taser and pulls out his gun. Rolfe and Bronsan then rush (0:10) over to Brooks’ body, which is lying behind a car waiting in the Wendy’s drive-through.

“OFFENSIVE” GRAVESTONES AT UK CEMETERY COVERED UP WITH WOODEN PALLETS

Infowars – The headstones of two music hall singers at a cemetery in the UK have been covered up with wooden pallets and trash bags to hide “offensive” language.

“The gravestones of G H Elliott and Alice Banford, who both wore blackface, are now covered at St Margaret’s Church in Rottingdean,” reports BBC News.

The Archdeacon for Brighton said efforts were underway to contact family members in order to have the inscriptions changed.

“I find the inscription on these two headstones deeply offensive and am sure that the vast majority of people would agree and would want it changed,” said Archdeacon Martin Lloyd Williams.

“Over the last few months, investigations have been underway as to the legal and other considerations around seeking a solution, not least seeking to identify and contact the next of kin who own the headstones,” he added.

A BBC report on the the story was too petrified to even name the word that was so offensive.

The term in question is the word “coon,” which is engraved on G.H.Elliott’s gravestone. His stage name was “The Coloured Coon”.

During a BBC Radio 4 show last week, host Nick Robinson had to apologize after one of his guests used the “racial slur” on air.

After comedian Harry Enfield uttered the word, Robinson intervened, to which Enfield responded, “Well, that was his name on stage.”

Censoring headstones is an unprecedented new level of absurdity – literally desecrating the dead in the name of political correctness – but it no doubt came as a result of “offensive” statues being covered up and removed across the country in response to Black Lives Matter protests.

The statue of Winston Churchill in central London remains imprisoned inside a gray box despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking, “What has the world come to when one of this country’s greatest-ever leaders – perhaps our greatest – has to be shielded from the wrath of the mob?”

What a shame that he isn’t the leader of the country and can’t do anything about it.

Oh, wait…

Woke Mobs Now Destroying Statues Of Leading Anti-Slavery Figures

ZeroHedge – Police in various American cities especially on the East and West coasts have stood down while fanatical mobs of leftists unilaterally determine which public monuments and statues should be toppled, destroyed, and in some cases beheaded — as in the recent “beheading” of a Christopher Columbus statue at a public park in Boston.

It didn’t take long for the woke mobs to target statues of the founding fathers and American Constitutional framers in the past days.

In Portland over the weekend, a large bronze Thomas Jefferson statue that was a central feature of Jefferson High School campus was pulled down after Black Lives Matter protests there.

Like others across the nation, the Jefferson statue was further defaced with the words “slave owner” and “George Floyd” spray-painted across the base.

But given that increasingly even Abraham Lincoln statues are being targeted, it reveals that neither the Confederacy nor early colonial and American slaveholders are the targets, but all symbols of US history itself. 

As The Federalist astutely observes

They make no distinction between Confederate and Union, abolitionist and pro-slavery, 15th-century figures and 20th. They don’t care when a monument was erected, who built it, or why.They have not come to debate or persuade their fellow citizens to relocate these statues to museums or private property. They believe the debate is over and that they have won.

Their target is not the Confederacy. It is the United States. They mean to destroy symbols of American history writ large, because to them all of American history is racist and genocidal. Their goal is not to cleanse a nation they love of monuments to Confederate traitors who tried to secede, but to cleanse their consciences of ever having loved such an evil and irredeemably racist country in the first place.

Even leading abolitionist figures from history are targeted, astoundingly

That is why you see mobs defacing statues of abolitionists like Matthias Baldwin and Union war heroes like Adm. David Farragut and Gen. George Thomas. That is why the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution in Philadelphia was vandalized this past weekend with the words “committed genocide.” That is why statues of Christopher Columbus were torn down or beheaded in three cities last week.

Simply put, it now appears any white male historical figure is now “tainted” with a “racist” and “genocidal” legacy, no matter the historical record. 

As another case in point from this past weekend: 

A “peaceful” protest took place at Central Park in Whittier on Sunday, or so we are told. It appears that initially the statue was safe, but by the end of it the Quaker abolitionist considered key in the 19th century movement for equal rights wasn’t spared by the ‘woke’ mob.

John Greenleaf, whose statue now sits damaged and vandalized, including with the spray-painted letters “BLM”, was among the most prominent literary voices leading the fight to end slavery even decades before Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

If even memorials to famous abolitionists won’t be spared, what will? 

PG&E expected to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2018’s Camp Fire: report

Fox – Pacific Gas & Electric is expected to plead guilty to 84 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter during a court hearing in which the nation’s largest utility will be confronted with its history of neglect and greed that culminated in a wildfire that wiped out most of a Northern California town.

The Tuesday hearing before Butte County Superior Court Judge Michael Deems comes nearly three months after PG&E reached a plea agreement in the November 2018 Camp Fire that was ignited by its rickety electrical grid that destroyed Paradise, about 170 miles (275 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco. The fire killed 85 people, but prosecutors weren’t certain they could prove PG&E was responsible for one of the deaths.

The spectacle will unfold as PG&E approaches the end of a complicated bankruptcy case that the company used to work out $25.5 billion in settlements to pay for the damages from the Camp Fire and others that torched wide swaths of Northern California and killed dozens of others in 2017. The bankruptcy deals include $13.5 billion earmarked for wildfire victims. A federal judge plans to approve or reject PG&E’s plan for getting out of bankruptcy by June 30.

“We want this to be impactful because this can’t go on any longer,” Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey told The Associated Press. “There is going to have to be a sea change in PG&E’s method of operation.”

The hearing will start with a recitation of each felony count while the pictures of all the people who died in the 2018 fire are shown on a large screen set up in the courtroom, according to Ramsey.

The proceedings will continue Wednesday when surviving family members of those who died in the 2018 wildfire will be allowed to make statements before Deems. More than 20 of the family members plan to appear in the court while others have sent in statements that Ramsey plans to read aloud. Deems will formally sentence PG&E on Thursday or Friday, according to Ramsey.

Besides the mass killings, PG&E also will plead to one felony count of unlawfully causing a fire. No executives will be charged, leaving no one to imprison for the crimes. PG&E instead will pay a maximum fine of $3.5 million in addition to $500,000 to cover the county’s costs of the criminal investigation.

The plea agreement also spares PG&E from being placed on criminal probation for a second time. The company is in the midst of a five-year probation under the withering supervision of U.S. District Judge William Alsup for a 2010 explosion in its natural gas lines that blew up a neighborhood in San Bruno and killed eight people. The probation lasts until January 2022.

Since filing for bankruptcy early last year, PG&E says it already has been dramatically altering a corporate culture that prioritized profits for its shareholders over the safety of the 16 million people who rely on the utility for power.

The company is being more vigilant about trimming trees around its power lines and replacing outdated equipment before it crumbles, although Alsup has repeatedly scolded PG&E for not doing even more to ensure its grid doesn’t cause more tragedy. As part of a deal with California power regulators, PG&E will replace 11 of its 14 board members. CEO Bill Johnson will step down June 30.

Despite PG&E’s pledge to turn over a new leaf, the utility’s critics fear more danger looms during an upcoming wildfire season after an unusually dry winter in Northern California.

Note: Deborah Tavares will be on The Power Hour to discuss this news on Monday, June 22nd

Supreme Court says gay, transgender workers protected by law

AP – The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender people from discrimination in employment, a resounding victory for LGBT rights from a conservative court.

The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, encompasses bias against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court. “Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”

The decision was a defeat not just for the employers, but also the Trump administration, which argued that the law’s plain wording compelled a ruling for the employers. Gorsuch, a conservative appointee of President Donald Trump, concluded the opposite, and Trump said Monday he accepted the court’s “very powerful decision.”

Gorsuch was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberal members. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s other Supreme Court pick, dissented, along with Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.

Shannon Bream breaks down Supreme Court’s big LGBT rights decision: ‘This is going to be a big change’

Fox – “Fox News @ Night” anchor and Fox News chief legal correspondent Shannon Bream joined the “Fox News Rundown” podcast Tuesday to discuss the Supreme Court‘s ruling that employers who fire workers for being gay or transgender violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“For every employer, just about, in this country, [for] those who are covered by Title VII, which is most of them, this is going to be a big change and we have to think about the ripple effects,” Bream told host Jessica Rosenthal.

The Civil Rights Act bars employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, sex, color, religion or national origin.

“What the court had looked at is whether or not that generic term ‘sex’ — say you hire only men and you won’t hire any female employees. That seems like a pretty clear cut case for people,” Bream explained. “So what we’re asking in 2020 now is the question of whether that word ‘sex’ means LGBTQ employees, whether it specifically extends [to] if you take adverse employment discrimination against someone because they are transitioning, [or] because they are gay.

“In a 6-3 decision authored by one of the newer justices, Neil Gorsuch, he said, ‘Yes, Title VII does apply to those situations.”

Gorsuch was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts and the four members of the court’s so-called “liberal wing”: Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor.

“Judges are not free to overlook plain statutory commands on the strength of nothing more than suppositions about intentions or guesswork about expectations,” Gorsuch wrote. “In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee’s sex when deciding to fire that employee.”

“It’s interesting, in his [opinion], he [Gorsuch] said, ‘I’m not getting into locker rooms or, you know, any of these restroom facilities,'” Bream said. “‘I’m not getting into any of that stuff. We’re not going there. This decision doesn’t apply to those kinds of things … Those are separate cases that may come before us at some point, but we’re not going there.'”

Bream added that other potential cases that could stem from Monday’s decision involve whether “places of worship now be forced to hire employees that don’t live by the tenets of their faith.”

“A good example are often Catholic schools,” she said. “If they hire teachers and the teachers say, ‘I will live by the tenets of the Catholic faith,’ and then either they’re living with a partner outside of marriage or they have a same-sex wedding and marriage, then the school can come back and say, ‘Well, listen, you’re teaching the kids, you had agreed to abide by the church’s teachings and we can’t keep you working here in this position as a teacher.’ I think those are the kinds of cases that will now come up in that context. And Justice Gorsuch said, ‘We’re not addressing any of that.'”

Florida official declines to prosecute 67 arrested in protests

Hillsborough prosecutors will not bring formal charges against 67 people who were arrested in recent protests in Tampa.

Tampa Bay TImes – State Attorney Andrew Warren announced in a Monday news conference that his office would decline to prosecute those who were arrested on allegations of unlawful assembly. He said he would also work to expunge records of the arrests.

“In each of those 67 arrests, the evidence shows the person arrested was peacefully protesting,” Warren said. “There was no violence. There was no vandalism. There was no attack on a law enforcement officer.”

Warren did make a distinction, though, between those who were arrested for unlawful assembly and more than 100 others arrested since May 30 on a range of other charges. Those accused of battering police, vandalizing property, inciting riots, or other crimes still face prosecution.

Andrew Warren is the second state attorney in Florida to decline criminal charges en masse related to recent marches over the death of George Floyd.

Like most other places throughout the nation, the Tampa Bay area has seen daily protests in the last two weeks over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

While most local protests have been peaceful, a few early demonstrations were marred by clashes between protesters and police.

On May 30, demonstrations devolved into violence in north Tampa, where vandals hurled objects at officers and set fire to businesses.

The days that followed saw protests in downtown and east Tampa, which were broken up by police using gas canisters and “less lethal” rounds, which have attracted criticism for causing serious injuries and, in some cases, death.

The 67 unlawful assembly arrests occurred in downtown Tampa the night of June 2 and into the early morning June 3. Police officers monitored the group for hours as they marched and chanted in the streets. The march ended abruptly when officers fired gas and began detaining people, including a Tampa Bay Times reporter who was later let go.

Those taken to jail faced a misdemeanor charge. Most were released the next day.

Inspectors general warn that Trump administration is blocking scrutiny of coronavirus rescue programs

Stamford Advocate – The Trump administration’s intensifying efforts to block oversight of its coronavirus-related rescue programs are raising new alarms with government watchdogs and lawmakers from both parties amid concerns about the anonymity of companies receiving unprecedented levels of taxpayer funds.

Government watchdogs warned members of Congress last week that previously unknown Trump administration legal decisions could substantially block their ability to oversee more than $1 trillion in spending related to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to four congressional committee chairs Thursday, two officials in charge of a new government watchdog entity revealed that the Trump administration had issued legal rulings curtailing independent oversight of Cares Act funding.

The letter surfaced amid growing bipartisan outrage over the administration’s decision not to disclose how it is spending hundreds of billions in aid for businesses. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared to bow to that pressure, saying he would work with Congress on new oversight measures. But some Democrats have said the White House is not taking disclosure requests seriously enough.

“They seem to be saying one thing while doing exactly the opposite,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee. “If the Trump administration is committed to full cooperation and transparency with taxpayer dollars, it is unclear why it is manufacturing legal loopholes to avoid responding to legitimate oversight requests.”

According to the previously undisclosed letter, Treasury Department attorneys concluded that the administration is not required to provide the watchdogs with information about the beneficiaries of programs created by the Cares Act’s “Division A.” That section includes some of the most controversial and expensive programs in the coronavirus response efforts, including the administration’s massive bailout for small businesses and nearly $500 billion in loans for corporations.

NYPD shutting down plainclothes unit

Pix11 – The NYPD will phase out its plainclothes anti-crime unit in what the police commissioner called “a seismic shift in the culture of how the NYPD polices this city,” he announced in a news conference Monday.

About 600 people are expected to transition from the plainclothes unit, and will move to the department’s detective and neighborhood policing units, among others.

The move comes after weeks of protests and calls to action regarding police departments nationwide, primarily following the death of George Floyd at the hands of officers in Minneapolis. It’s sparked nationwide outrage, including calls to “defund” or “abolish” police.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said it will be felt immediately within the department and within the city.

Over the past several weeks, plainclothes officers have been scrutinized over accusations of excessive force, like a violent social distancing-related arrest in the East Village in early May and a violent Brooklyn arrest of two men allegedly smoking marijuana in March.

Shea said officers in the plainclothes unit “get into a number of police-involved shootings.”

The commissioner spoke Monday on new police reform bills recently passed by the state legislature, saying they won’t affect the city’s police department significantly.

“Most of these bills will not have significant impact on the day to day operations of the NYPD,” he said. “I say this because most of what is codified in these bills was already being practiced by policies and procedures in the NYPD because of the reforms that we’ve put into place.”

He also said changes inside the force — seemingly like Monday’s announcement to disband the plainclothes anti-crime unit — contribute to reform efforts.

“We welcome reform, but we also believe that meaningful reform starts from within,” he said.

Economy & Business

United Vows to Ban Passengers Who Refuse to Wear Face Masks

Bloomberg – United Airlines Holdings Inc. will ban passengers who refuse to wear face masks on its flights, punctuating U.S. carriers’ stricter approach to safety amid mounting concerns about new Covid-19 infections.

Starting June 18, passengers flouting the rules will be placed on an internal travel-restriction list for a “time to be determined pending a comprehensive incident review,” United said in a statement Monday. The rules exempt small children and people with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing face coverings.

United’s hard line underscores the airline industry’s push to ensure the use of masks as passengers start venturing back onto planes after a collapse in travel demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Airlines for America, a trade group, said United and six other major U.S. carriers have agreed to strengthen communications about mask requirements and beef up the penalties for violating them — which can include passenger bans.

“We have been requiring our customers to wear masks on board United aircraft since May 4 and we have been pleased that the overwhelming majority of passengers readily comply,” United Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist said in the statement. “Today’s announcement is an unmistakable signal that we’re prepared to take serious steps, if necessary, to protect our customers and crew.”

WALMART looks to remove all cashiers from stores

Fox5 – The retailer is removing cashiers and standard conveyor belt lines at one of its popular superstores in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Walmart says it is an attempt to see if checkout times are faster while limiting human interaction in the age of the coronavirus.

Workers will still be available to help customers who have trouble doing the checkout themselves.

Depending on the success of the test run, Walmart could expand the program to more stores.

The retailer recently launched a touch-free payment system also aimed at helping mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Health officials ordered the closure of a Walmart in suburban Denver in April after three people connected to the store died after being infected with the coronavirus and at least six employees tested positive.

Federal Reserve launches corporate bond-buying program

AP – The Federal Reserve said Monday that it will begin purchasing corporate bonds as part of a previously announced plan to ensure companies can borrow through the bond market during the pandemic.

The program will purchase existing bonds on the open market, as opposed to newly issued debt. The central bank said will seek to build a “broad and diversified” portfolio that will mimic a bond-market index. The bonds will have to be from highly rated, investment-grade companies, or ones that fit that description before the viral outbreak struck.

The announcement boosted the stock market, which was already rebounding from early losses. The S&P 500 index rose 0.8% Monday.

Science & Technology

Amazon Deploys AI-Based Tech to Maintain Social Distancing at Its Facilities

Gadgets 360 – Amazon on Tuesday launched an artificial intelligence-based tracking system to enforce social distancing at its offices and warehouses to help reduce any risk of contracting the new coronavirus among its workers.

The unveiling comes as the world’s largest online retailer faces intensifying scrutiny from US lawmakers and unions over whether it is doing enough to protect staff from the pandemic.

Monitors set up in the company’s warehouses will highlight workers keeping a safe distance in green circles, while workers who are closer will be highlighted in red circles, Amazon said.

The system, called Distance Assistant, uses camera footage in Amazon’s buildings to also help identify high-traffic areas.

Amazon, which will open source the technology behind the system, is not the first company to turn to AI to track compliance with social distancing.

Several firms have told Reuters that AI camera-based software will be crucial to staying open, as it will allow them to show not only workers and customers, but also insurers and regulators, that they are monitoring and enforcing safe practices.

However, privacy activists have raised concerns about increasingly detailed tracking of people and have urged businesses to limit use of AI to the pandemic.

The system is live at a handful of buildings, Amazon said on Tuesday, adding that it planned to deploy hundreds of such units over the next few weeks.

‘Largest cyber attack in history’

The Sun – A MASSIVE cyber attack targeting the USA was feared last night as major telecoms, internet and banking platforms were crippled at the same time.

Users said they could not access Facebook and Instagram or the game Fortnite, while T-Mobile customers lost connection across the States.

AT&T, Verizon and Sprint customers also reported outages in Florida, Georgia, New York, and California on Monday afternoon.

Verizon and AT&T insisted their networks were not down but customers were having trouble when phoning T-Mobile users.

At the same time, outages were also reported by customers of Chase Bank and Bank of America, streaming services Netflix, Hulu and Twitch, and internet providers Spectrum, Comcast and CenturyLink.

Facebook, Instagram and Messenger users were also hit, as were gamers trying to play Fortnite, Roblox and Call of Duty plus the Xbox Live and Playstation Network services.

The outages were claimed to be caused by a large-scale distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, meant to cripple services by flooding them with traffic so they are unusable.

Nearly 100,000 T-Mobile customers claimed they were having phone problems just before 3pm, according to Downdetector.com.

Digital Attack Map shared a visualization of the massive-scale attack that appeared to show more than 200 attacks directed at the US.

The map was then shared by a popular Twitter account linked to hacktivist collective Anonymous, who sounded the alarm on the widespread attack.

It hailed the attack as “absolutely gorgeous”, although it did not claim responsibility.

Health

Top Pharma-Brand Of Children’s Vitamins Contains Aspartame, GMOs, & Other Hazardous Chemicals

NaturalBlaze – The #1 Children’s Vitamin Brand in the US contains ingredients that most parents would never intentionally expose their children to, so why aren’t more opting for healthier alternatives?

Kids vitamins are supposed to be healthy, right? Well then, what’s going on with Flintstones Vitamins, which proudly claims to be “Pediatricians’ #1 Choice”?  Produced by the global pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, this wildly successful brand featCorn starch

The Bayer Health Science’s Flintstones product page* designed for healthcare professionals leads into the product description with the following tidbit of information:

“82% of kids aren’t eating all of their veggies1. Without enough vegetables, kids may not be getting all of the nutrients they need.”

References: 1. Lorson BA, Melgar-Quinonez HR, Taylor CA. Correlates of fruit and vegetable intakes in US children. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(3):474-478.

In summary, Bayer’s Flintstone’s vitamin brand is far from a natural product, and the consumer should be aware of the unintended, adverse health effects that may occur as a result of using it.

So, what’s the alternative? We encourage our readers to strike to the root problem of nutritional deficiencies: poor food quality and selection. Organic, local, sustainable, and traditionally prepared food in line with an ancestral diet is the way to go. Failing that, look into whole food concentrates and whole food supplements. Nature, and not the chemist’s laboratory, is where we will all find the best solution.ures a shocking list of unhealthy ingredients, including:

In summary, Bayer’s Flintstone’s vitamin brand is far from a natural product, and the consumer should be aware of the unintended, adverse health effects that may occur as a result of using it.

So, what’s the alternative? We encourage our readers to strike to the root problem of nutritional deficiencies: poor food quality and selection. Organic, local, sustainable, and traditionally prepared food in line with an ancestral diet is the way to go. Failing that, look into whole food concentrates and whole food supplements. Nature, and not the chemist’s laboratory, is where we will all find the best solution.

Mindfulness Combined With Hypnotherapy Aids Highly Stressed People, Study Finds

NaturalBlaze – ‘Novel intervention’ may be as effective — or more so — as existing treatments, Baylor University researcher says

A new treatment for stress which combines mindfulness with hypnotherapy has shown positive results in a Baylor University pilot study.

The intervention is called “mindful hypnotherapy.”

“Mindfulness is a type of meditation that involves focusing attention on present moment awareness. It can help people cope with stress, but can require months of practice and training,” said researcher Gary Elkins, Ph.D., director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory at Baylor University. “Hypnosis also involves focusing attention, but it includes mental imagery, relaxation and suggestions for symptom reduction.”

Hypnosis interventions are typically brief and have been used in pain and symptom management in clinical practice.

The study’s basic premise is that using hypnosis to deliver mindfulness goals could have many advantages, Elkins said.

“Combining mindfulness and hypnotherapy in a single session is a novel intervention that may be equal to or better than existing treatments, with the advantage of being more time-effective, less daunting and easier to use,” he said. “This could be a valuable option for treating anxiety and stress reduction.”

As a brief intervention, mindful therapy could be widely disseminated and is an innovative new mind-body therapy, he said.

The study is published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.

Are Cold Showers Good For You? An Unlikely Immunity Booster!

Dr. Group – For many of us, cold showers are an unpleasant mishap on a routine day. When you hear a shout of “THERE’S NO HOT WATER!” coming from the bathroom, it usually isn’t a good thing. But it may be time to rethink that knee-jerk reaction. If you are wondering if cold showers are good for you, read on. It turns out that cold showers offer a wealth of health benefits: they boost your immune system, improve circulation, lift your mood, ease muscle tension, and give you a big boost of energy!

If you’re intrigued by the idea of cold showers for the many health benefits they offer, keep reading. Adding a brief ice-cold shower into your daily routine may be one of the ways to stay strong during good times and bad.

Cold Showers Are Nothing New

Ever since bathing became a part of civilization, people have experimented with varying water temperatures. In ancient Rome, bathhouses involved moving through a series of saunas with a cold plunge at the end. Many of the world’s health spas still use this ancient ritual, called frigidarium.[1]

There’s growing interest in using cold hydrotherapy for health benefits. Wim Hof, nicknamed the Iceman, teaches a method of withstanding cold temperatures using a combination of controlled breathing, meditation, and dedication — I’m a big fan of this technique.

Strengthen your ability to withstand the cold, and let the health benefits begin!

A Downpour of Benefits From Cold Showers

Cold showering doesn’t mean a 10-minute ice-cold shower while you shave, wash your hair, and sing a few of your favorite songs. There are many reported benefits from even short bursts of cold water integrated into a comfortable water temperature. Below are the top benefits!

Strengthens Immunity & Circulation

The benefits of cold showering or bathing work like a domino effect. Cold showers speed up your metabolic rate, which helps you burn fat. When your metabolism speeds up, it also signals your immune system to release antiviral white blood cells.

This boost to the immune system can reduce your sick days as well. People who take a hot shower, with 30 to 90-second bursts of cold water, have 29 percent fewer sick days than those who took only warm showers![1]

Cold showers also increase your blood circulation, which can promote normal blood pressure. What’s not to love?

Lifts Mood & Eases Depression

Cold showering once or twice a day for 5 minutes may lift mood and even relieve depression.[2] There’s a high density of cold receptors in the skin. That blast of cold water stimulates your central nervous system. Cold exposure sends a multitude of electrical impulses from the nerve endings to the brain, which can lead to an antidepressant effect.

That blast of cold also helps the brain produce more beta-endorphins, which produce feelings of well-being and happiness. If you are feeling down, it certainly can’t hurt to try a cold shower! If you have consistent feelings of depression, please reach out to a healthcare provider or a trusted friend or family member.

Eases Muscle Tension

Adding ice-cold water into your daily routine of a warm water shower can also ease muscle pain. Applying anything cold on your skin can decrease discomfort from swelling and inflammation. It may also calm muscle spasms. That icy blast may increase local anesthetic effects, which means relief from pain due to workouts or injuries.[1]

Although an icy shower isn’t as effective as a full-body ice bath, it will still improve circulation and help remove lactic acid from tired muscles. Alternating very hot and very cold water gets the blood flowing.

Increases Energy

Many people who take cold showers report feeling increased alertness that lasts throughout the day.[3] Having enough energy is consistently one of people’s top concerns. If you don’t feel you have enough for your day, you may try a cold shower. It may boost your metabolism, helping you burn calories and stimulating weight loss in the process.

Cold showering or cold bathing may not only help healthy individuals get more energy, but also those with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Instead of reaching for another jolt of caffeine, a brief cold shower may do the trick for those seeking an energy boost. Disciples of the cold shower technique report a feeling of “alertness” afterward.

Improves Hair & Skin Health

Remember that scene in the film, “Mommy Dearest.” when Joan Crawford plunges her famous face into a bowl of ice water? Joan was onto something good by using that habit in her beauty routine. A cold water splash on our faces helps constrict blood vessels, making us appear less red and puffy.

Ice cold water has benefits for your locks, as well. Cold water helps hair follicles lie flat while sealing the strand’s cuticles; this increases shine and overall hair health. Shampooing and rinsing with warm water is still important to remove the dirt, but that final cold water rinse can make a big impact.

How to Get Started!

Eager to give cold showers a try? That’s great! Take note that people with weakened immune systems or serious heart conditions should check with their healthcare provider first. Sudden changes to body temperature and heart rate may cause an adverse reaction.

The good news is that you can reap cold shower benefits without having to endure ice-cold water the entire time you’re under the sprayer.[4]

Start by taking a warm shower and then adjust the water to cold (about 68 degrees F) for anywhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. If you can handle it, an all-cold shower up to five minutes may supply even greater benefits of cold water therapy.

DJ Dykes, a YouTube marketer in Houston, gave a 30-day regimen a try, gradually increasing the duration of cold bursts in his warm shower.

  • First Week: 1.5 minutes
  • Second Week: 2 minutes
  • Third Week: 3 minutes
  • Fourth Week: 5 minutes

He admitted that the first ten seconds were rough. To get through it, Dykes says, focus on slowing down your breathing. “Remind yourself why you’re doing this,” Dykes advises.

He liked how that ice-cold experience first thing in the morning reframes your view of the day. Everything becomes easier, no matter what is on the agenda for the day.

“Especially when in stressful situations, I recommend looking at all of the ways that you can boost your immune system naturally. A cold shower is one of those ways — and you don’t even have to leave the house.”

For anyone expecting a magical experience from the beginning, DJ suggests otherwise. The first ten seconds are almost always rough, but then your body adjusts. “After a couple of weeks, they become only a minor inconvenience that doesn’t even bother you because your mood is elevated, and you feel absolutely great!”