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Today’s News: March 11, 2020

World News

Italy Suspends Mortgage Payments, Businesses Dying As Panicked Residents Hoard Food

ZeroHedge – Italy has suspended payments on mortgages due to the coronavirus outbreak as more than 9,000 people have been infected and over 460 have died, the government announced on Tuesday.

When asked about halting mortgage payments on Radio Anch’io, deputy economic minister Laura Castelli said “Yes, that will be the case, for individuals and households,” according to The Independent.

Meanwhile, panicked residents crammed into supermarkets to stock up as the entire country entered a lockdown on Tuesday morning, while Italian streets were virtually empty after the government ordered people to avoid travel except for “urgent, verifiable work situations and emergencies or health reasons,” according to the Daily Mail.

Merkel Expects 60-70 Per Cent of Germans to be Infected With Coronavirus

Inowars – Angela Merkel says she expects around 60-70 per cent of Germans will be infected with the coronavirus, which equates to about 53 million people.

Reportedly, the German Parliament fell completely silent when Merkel stated the number.

News outlet Bild reported the German Chancellor’s comments, which echoed numbers forecast by Berlin virologist Christian Drosten, who added that such a total could take 2 years or longer to reach.

Given the fact that coronavirus has a mortality rate of around 1 per cent, this could equate to over half a million deaths, although new methods of fighting the virus could reduce this number.

The World Health Organization’s director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus claimed that the death rate was higher at 3.4 per cent, although this has been disputed.

Germany, which has recorded 1,565 coronavirus cases and two deaths so far, has yet to impose the kind of quarantine measures seen in Italy, where the entire country has been placed on lockdown.

German health authorities have said that people should avoid attending concerts, clubs or football games to limit the spread of the illness

Volunteers needed: Human guinea pigs to be paid $7000 to be infected with coronavirus

MSN – UK researchers are calling for volunteers to be deliberately infected with a coronavirus and held in quarantine in a race against time to find a vaccine for the deadly COVID-19,

Human guinea pigs will be offered £3,500 (NZ$7000) in exchange for two weeks in a secure London facility, where they’ll be banned from outside contact and constantly monitored for symptoms, The Times reports.

The 24 volunteers will be infected with two common strains of coronavirus, 0C43 and 229E, which are similar to COVID-19. However, these two strains only cause a mild respiratory illness.

The infected patients will then be used to test antiviral medications as well as help develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

Medical staff will collect nasal samples, blood and dirty tissues and measure them for the ‘viral load’.

They won’t be allowed to exercise or have physical contact with other people, and their diet will be controlled.

However they will be allowed to spend their time watching TV and playing video games.

“Each room is equipped with everything you need to relax, including a flat-screen TV, PlayStation 3, WiFi and en-suite bathroom,” Hvivo, the company which owns the laboratory, says on its website.

The experiment is part of a billion-dollar race around the world to find a vaccine for the deadly virus as the death toll continues to climb. A successful vaccine is expected to reap enormous profits for its developer.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency will have to give permission to Hvivo before the testing can begin.

China’s aggressive measures have slowed the coronavirus

Science – Chinese hospitals overflowing with COVID-19 patients a few weeks ago now have empty beds. Trials of experimental drugs are having difficulty enrolling enough eligible patients. And the number of new cases reported each day has plummeted the past few weeks.

These are some of the startling observations in a report released on 28 February from a mission organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Chinese government that allowed 13 foreigners to join 12 Chinese scientists on a tour of five cities in China to study the state of the COVID-19 epidemic and the effectiveness of the country’s response. The findings surprised several of the visiting scientists. “I thought there was no way those numbers could be real,” says epidemiologist Tim Eckmanns of the Robert Koch Institute, who was part of the mission.

But the report is unequivocal. “China’s bold approach to contain the rapid spread of this new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of a rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic,” it says. “This decline in COVID-19 cases across China is real.”

The question now is whether the world can take lessons from China’s apparent success—and whether the massive lockdowns and electronic surveillance measures imposed by an authoritarian government would work in other countries. “When you spend 20, 30 years in this business it’s like, ‘Seriously, you’re going to try and change that with those tactics?’” says Bruce Aylward, a Canadian WHO epidemiologist who led the international team and briefed journalists about its findings in Beijing and Geneva last week. “Hundreds of thousands of people in China did not get COVID-19 because of this aggressive response.”

U.S. News, Politics & Government

National Guard heads to New Rochelle for coronavirus ‘containment area’; Yonkers horse trainer dies in NJ

Lohud – The National Guard has been deployed to New Rochelle as Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered schools, houses of worship and other large gathering places in a portion of the city to temporarily close, marking New York’s latest attempt to stop the spread of one of the country’s worst novel coronavirus clusters.

Cuomo announced a plan Tuesday to enforce a “containment area” of a one-mile radius around the Young Israel synagogue at the center of the cluster, which includes part of the city of New Rochelle and stretches into the town of Eastchester, both of which are about 20 miles north of New York City in Westchester County.

Any large gathering places within that containment area will be required to shut down through March 25, Cuomo said.

That includes Young Israel and several public and private schools, including three each from the New Rochelle and Tuckahoe school districts.

Response to coronavirus could test limits of government powers

The Hill – Coronavirus lockdowns abroad are raising questions about the upper limits of government power as health officials in the U.S. and around the world scramble to slow the spread of infection.

The U.S. public health toolbox contains a host of potential measures, ranging from gentle prodding over hand washing, to more severe actions like prohibitions on large gatherings and even sharp restrictions on the movement of infected individuals.

“In the U.S., quarantine is the most extreme use of government power over people who have committed no crime,” said Polly Price, a professor of law and global health at Emory University.

Currently, no government in the U.S. — federal, state or local — has proposed anything resembling the kind of large-scale quarantine put in place in parts of China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

But as an increasing number of American jurisdictions declare a state of emergency, and officials consider more serious responses, legal experts note that tighter restrictions will face even higher constitutional hurdles.

“In times of emergency — including public health emergency — the temptation to violate individual rights is at its greatest, and the courts have often been called on to defend the rights of the vulnerable,” said Harvard Law professor Glenn Cohen.

More than 118,000 coronavirus cases and more than 4,200 deaths have been confirmed worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The United States has seen more than 800 cases and at least 28 deaths since tracking began in late January.

State officials in New York, which has the highest number of active cases, 173, announced on Tuesday that they would deploy the National Guard and create a containment zone around the city of New Rochelle in Westchester County as the coronavirus spreads.

Under the plan, the National Guard will deliver food to homes and help with the cleaning of public spaces in the containment zone. Meanwhile, schools and other large gathering facilities within the zone, such as community centers and houses of worship, will be closed.

Top U.S. health officials have tried to soothe public anxieties while also preparing the country for more robust government intervention.

During an interview on Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, sought to manage public expectations while cautioning that “anything’s possible.”

“I don’t think it would be as draconian as nobody in or nobody out,” Fauci told Fox News, responding to a question about the possibility of widespread quarantines. “But if we continue to get cases like this, particularly at the community level, there will be what we call ‘mitigation,’ where we have to essentially do social distancing, keep people out of crowded places, take a look at seriousness, do you really need to travel, and I think it’s particularly important among the most vulnerable.”

“You know, you don’t want to alarm people, but given the spread we’ve seen, you know, anything’s possible,” he added. “And that’s the reason why we’ve got to be prepared to take whatever action is appropriate to contain and mitigate the outbreak.”

Federal law authorizes the U.S. government to put in place quarantines to block diseases from crossing national and state borders, though most of its public health power comes from the Constitution.

When confronted with legal challenges to public health measures, American courts have generally tried to strike a balance between the government’s authority to protect the population and an individual’s rights.

One consistent thread running throughout the court decisions is that the government is on stronger legal footing when it narrowly tailors its actions and minimizes their restrictiveness.

“The government’s actions — such as trying to force people into isolation or impose quarantine — would be more likely found constitutional if it focuses on isolating individuals or groups who have tested positive or which it has good reason to suspect are exposed to coronavirus,” said Cohen.

“The less individualized that determination, the more constitutionally questionable, especially if it is done … without good reason linking the members of that group, individually, to exposure or risk,” he added.

The courts have previously recognized government authority to quarantine, prevent travel, require vaccinations and make people submit to medical exams, according to Price. Still, defining the scope of public health authority “continues to be a work in progress,” she said.

The relatively small number of cases on the books, many of which were decided long ago, makes it difficult to nail down the precise scope of government public health power.

Perhaps the most famous Supreme Court case, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, dates back to 1905 and deals with the constitutionality of requiring a smallpox vaccination. Major legal decisions about quarantines, which have mostly been decided by state supreme courts, are also quite dated.

“Because the courts have dealt with these questions so infrequently and the key cases are so long ago, it is quite hard to predict the exact limit of the power of the federal or state governments in this area,” Cohen said.

According to Scott Burris, a law professor at Temple University, the limits on government power have less to do with the type of action than with the necessity for the measure.

“Courts are generally reluctant to interfere with emergency measures,” he said, “so prediction is difficult.”

US coronavirus infections just surpassed 1,000 as global death rate reaches 6% which is 60 times higher than the seasonal flu

NaturalNews – Now that coronavirus testing is finally starting to get under way in the USA, coronavirus infection numbers are skyrocketing. Two weeks ago, I predicted that last week we would see, “tens of cases” of the coronavirus, followed by “dozens of cases” in the subsequent week. Over the next 2-3 weeks, I predicted we would see “hundreds of cases,” followed by thousands of cases in subsequent weeks.

It appears I was far too optimistic yet again.

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the USA has just surpassed 1,000 today, March 10th. And it will likely more than double over the next week. I’m convinced we already have more than 10,000 infections in the USA, and that testing is just starting to slowly catch up.

Live updates: Report details CDC’s failure to stop coronavirus early in WA

My Northwest – Washington state’s coronavirus outbreak continues to escalate with more than 200 confirmed cases in at least eight counties, and 24 deaths in three counties. A number of schools in the region have closed for Tuesday, and the Life Care Center in Kirkland is reporting more positive test results.

7:38am – UW Medicine has opted to suspend patient visits starting Wednesday. That includes UW Medical Center’s Montlake and Northwest campuses, as well as Harborview Medical Center and Valley Medical Center.

The policy will remain in effect until coronavirus “is no longer perceived as a threat to patients, staff and community.”

There are a handful of exceptions to the new rules, including obstetric patients with one partner and one “birth support person,” parents in the nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, patients who are at the end-of-life, patients undergoing surgery, and more.

6:53am – With thousands of people working from home and others trying to avoid public spaces due to coronavirus concerns, restaurants are seeing empty dining rooms. Read more from KIRO Radio’s Rachel Belle.

6:07am – How would a potential ban on large-scale gatherings affect a handful of sporting events on the calendar for March? Read more on 710 ESPN Seattle.

5:19am – A New York Times report outlined how limits imposed by the CDC greatly limited the ability of Washington state to track and test the spread of coronavirus in its early days.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan reiterated that on Twitter as well, noting that “the federal government’s failure to provide adequate testing capacity — and the previous restrictions on people who could be tested — hindered our public health officials, first responds and health care workers.”

Three TSA employees in California test positive

The Hill – Three employees with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in California tested positive for the coronavirus, the agency confirmed Tuesday.

The employees, who work at Mineta San Jose International Airport in Santa Clara County, and all other workers they came in contact with over the past two weeks are quarantined at home.

“Screening checkpoints remain open and the agency is working with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], as well as the California Department of Public Health and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to monitor the situation as well as the health and safety of our employees and the traveling public. We will update as more information becomes available,” TSA said in a statement.

U.S. may see blood shortages as coronavirus cancels office blood drives

Reuters – U.S. blood banks are concerned about potential shortages as Americans concerned about catching the new coronavirus avoid donation sites and companies with employees working from home cancel blood drives.

There have already been shortages over the past week in Washington that required other blood banks to move blood in from outside the region, according to Brian Gannon, who runs the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and chairs a disaster task force for AABB, formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks. Supplies in New York were also low because of blood drive cancellations, he said.

“I’m concerned. This is different than most of the types of pandemics we’ve had in the past or the other types of disasters that I’ve been involved with because it has to do with people social distancing themselves,” Gannon said. “Blood has a short shelf life, so it’s not like we can stockpile it.”

Most blood centers try to keep an inventory of a three-day supply, according to the AABB.

The disease has so far sickened more than 800 in the United States and killed 28, mostly in Washington state.

Blood supply in Seattle started to dwindle at the beginning of the month, according to Bloodworks Northwest, which collects and distributes blood around the Northwest U.S.

“Last week was really bad and we were at critical and emergency levels,” said Vicki Finson, executive vice president of blood services at Bloodworks Northwest.

Finson said 60% of Bloodworks Northwest’s blood is from mobile blood drives, and the push to have people work from home has resulted in many being canceled.

“If this gets worse, people will quit responding and then we will be in a very difficult situation,” Finson said.

Clyburn calls for shutting Dem primary down, canceling debates after Biden surge

Fox – House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., appeared ready to call off the Democratic primary race Tuesday night and declare former Vice President Joe Biden the victor.

In a conversation with NPR as the results were coming in, Clyburn – who already has endorsed Biden – said that if Biden were to sweep the six contests, it would be best for the party to put an end to the primary race, debates and all.

“I think when the night is over, Joe Biden will be the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and quite frankly, if the night ends the way it has begun, I think it is time for us to shut this primary down, it is time for us to cancel the rest of these debates,” Clyburn said, “because you don’t do anything but get yourself in trouble if you continue in this contest when it’s obvious that the numbers will not shake out for you.”

Trump snubs Sessions, endorses Tuberville in Alabama Senate primary runoff

In a snub to his former attorney general, President Trump endorsed former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville — Jeff Sessions’ primary opponent — in the GOP Alabama Senate race.

“Tommy Tuberville is running for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Alabama,” Trump tweeted Tuesday night. “He is a REAL LEADER who will never let MAGA/KAG, or our country down!”

Trump fired Sessions as attorney general in November 2018 after he recused himself from the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.

Sessions responded to Trump’s endorsement of Tuberville by tweeting: “Of course, President Trump can endorse anyone he chooses for the U.S. Senate election in Alabama. But the Constitution expressly empowers the people of Alabama, and only them, to select their Senator. I intend to take my case directly to the people of Alabama.”

Biden’s ‘Joe-mentum’ grows as Dem front-runner sweeps Midwest contests, eyes Sanders knockout

Fox – History didn’t repeat itself in Michigan for Bernie Sanders.

And because of that, the populist U.S. senator from Vermont had an extremely disappointing evening on “Super Tuesday II” — and now faces daunting delegate math that leaves him slipping swiftly out of reach of the Democratic presidential nomination.

As of Wednesday morning, Biden grew his lead over Sanders in the race for delegates, with 823 delegates to the Vermont senator’s 663.

Just four years ago, it was in Michigan where Sanders pulled off a historic upset over eventual nominee Hillary Clinton. At the time, the victory kept his White House bid alive.

Fast forward four years later and Sanders – down in the public opinion polls by double digits once again in the Great Lake State – was convincingly defeated by former Vice President Joe Biden.

Four years ago Sanders nearly topped Clinton in Missouri. This time around he lost the state by a nearly 2-to-1 margin to Biden. And the former vice president trounced Sanders in Mississippi and won in Idaho as well.

Sanders – who won a landslide victory in the 2016 Washington state caucuses – was neck and neck with Biden in the state’s 2020 primary with just over two-thirds of the vote counted. Biden initially had the slight edge in Idaho – with more than three-quarters of the vote counted — and was eventually declared the winner.

Hunter Biden cites coronavirus, wife’s pregnancy to avoid deposition until after Election Day

Fox – Hunter Biden’s attorneys have abruptly asked the Arkansas judge in his ongoing paternity case to postpone his scheduled March 11 deposition until after Election Day, saying the coronavirus outbreak, his wife’s “imminent due date” and “intense media scrutiny” all pose a risk of “personal endangerment” for the former vice president’s son.

Additionally, Biden’s legal team argues he should not be held in contempt for failing to turn over a slew of financial documents related to child support. Republicans have said the information could contain damaging evidence of the younger Biden’s overseas business dealings and possible corruption.

“Defendant’s wife’s due date is imminent,” Biden’s request for continuance reads. “Defendant will supplement this motion as soon as possible with an affidavit of his wife’s treating physician.”

Additionally, “it is unsafe for the Defendant to travel, as travel restrictions have been implemented both domestically and internationally, particularly on airlines, due to the Coronavirus. Setting aside personal endangerment, Defendant reasonably believes that such travel unnecessarily exposes his wife and unborn child to this virus.”

No Thanks: Biden Promises ‘Return to Normal’

American Greatness -If he wins the White House in November, Joe Biden is pledging a “return to normal.” And apparently Team Biden thinks that catchy slogan sounds like a promise instead of a threat.

Since announcing his candidacy last spring, Biden and his boosters have touted the former vice president’s ability to roll back the clock to the period of political appeasement that was interrupted by the unwelcome rule of Donald Trump. Biden, who has roamed the halls of power in Washington, D.C. for nearly five decades, claims only he can restore the nation’s capital to the comfort zone it had formerly been for him and his cronies, a place where mean tweets and spontaneous firings and “irregular channels” don’t frustrate the Beltway’s business-as-usual brotherhood.

“Joe Biden wants to take America back to a time before Trump,” cooed a headline in a lengthy puff piece on Biden in the July 2019 issue of the New York Times magazine. “For voters unnerved by Trump’s conduct in office but not necessarily seeking radical change, he offers vast experience, conciliatory instincts and an empathy rooted in personal anguish.”

Now, Biden’s view of what constitutes “normal” might be a tad out of whack after 47 years in national politics. After all, the Democratic front runner remains gobsmacked as to why anyone would question the propriety of his son’s profitable international business dealings while Biden worked in the West Wing.

And Biden’s recent interactions with “normal” Americans have veered from creepy to dangerously aggressive. At a campaign appearance in Michigan on Tuesday, Biden berated an autoworker, pointed in his face, and said he wanted to “go outside” with the man.

Sick: Two Major Minnesota Cities Announce Holiday Celebrating Abortion

Infowars – Democrat Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issued a proclamation on Tuesday announcing March 10 will officially be celebrated as “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.”

The City Council in St. Paul, Minnesota also unanimously voted to honor abortionists on March 10.

The announcements came days after Supreme Court Justices heard arguments in the June Medical Services v. Russo case, which many say could alter abortion laws nationwide.

Frey said the proclamation honors a local abortion provider called Whole Woman’s Health, who had members protesting on the steps of the Supreme Court while the arguments were made.

“Every day, abortion providers like Whole Woman’s Health deliver high-quality care in the face of harassment and threats to abortion access at the federal and local levels,” Frey said. “I’m proud to recognize today as Abortion Provider Appreciation Day to celebrate Whole Woman’s Health as an essential part of our community.”

Infowars reporter Millie Weaver was on the scene of the protest outside the Supreme Court last week and talked with some of the abortion advocates.

The footage Weaver captured went viral online as the individuals she encountered celebrated murdering the unborn and one woman even wore earrings portraying an alligator eating an infant.

Video – Rep. Louie Gohmert: “We May Need to Repeal the Whole FISA Court” [CPAC 2020]

Epoch Times – In this episode of American Thought Leaders , we sat down with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who is on the House Judiciary Committee, to discuss reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Greitens Case Should Alarm All Americans

Patriot Post – A year and a half ago, most Americans were surprised when then-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted on felony charges for invasion of privacy. The charges stemmed from an extramarital affair and eventually drove Greitens out of office.

But that case fell apart. It wasn’t even a week after the resignation that the charges were dropped. But the damage was already done — even without proof of wrongdoing outside adultery: Greitens, once a rising star, was now out of office in disgrace.

Unlike Spygate, we’re seeing some measure of accountability with the investigator facing multiple felony perjury charges and a charge of tampering with evidence. But this is still part of a very disturbing trend.

We’re not just talking Spygate. We’re talking Lois Lerner and the IRS scandal, John Doe abuses in Wisconsin, and Andrew Cuomo’s attacks on the National Rifle Association in New York. Elizabeth Warren also vowed to sic the IRS on the NRA.

We could go further back in time. There was the dubious indictment of Tom DeLay in 2006. DeLay eventually was cleared after a years-long legal battle, but again note that, once indicted, he was forced out as House majority leader. The GOP lost a very capable legislative strategist just before the Obama years.

There were also threats by state attorneys general to use RICO against so-called “climate deniers.” In reality, the “crime” was opposing the ecofascists’ agenda.

The pattern is pretty clear — leftists are willing to use government power against those who oppose their agenda. This isn’t to necessarily obtain court convictions, although actually jailing some conservatives would likely please the increasingly totalitarian Left in this country. That’s just a bonus.

The real goal is to remove particularly effective Republicans and Patriots from the debate, either through dubious indictments or by using politically motivated investigations. This creates a cloud of suspicion over opponents of various left-wing causes and forces targets to spend time, money, and energy defending themselves instead of promoting Liberty. The application of this very strategy against the NRA by Cuomo and New York Attorney General Letitia James is one of the big reasons why the 2018 and 2019 elections went so badly for Republicans.

In essence, the investigations don’t become a means to determine if any wrongdoing happened; instead, it turns process and procedure into a form of punishment in and of itself. It’s easy to win a political argument if you have bankrupted opponents who were willing to speak out and if you intimidate others into acquiescence.

The Greitens case is just the latest episode in this serial abuse of power, and it should have Patriots motivated to vote at every level. If this can be done to a governor, it can easily be done to people with a much lower profile and fewer resources. Patriots should vote — and act — accordingly.

Federal Court Rules School District Was Right in Firing High School Coach for Silently Praying on 50-Yard Line After Football Games

Station Gossip – A federal court ruled last week that Washington state’s Bremerton School District’s firing of Coach Joe Kennedy for his silent prayer on the side line was acceptable.

Coach Kennedy was fired in 2015 for silently kneeling after football games on the 50-yard line. According to Kennedy the school said, “You can choose between your faith and your job,” and then fired him after he continued to silently pray after games.

Judge Ronald B. Leighton who ruled on the case last week was nominated by George W. Bush.

CBN News reported:

“A Washington state high school football coach has lost another round in his battle against a school district that fired him almost five years ago for his “silent” post-game prayers on the 50-yard line.

On Thursday, Federal District Court Judge Ronald Leighton granted the Bremerton (WA) School District’s motion for summary judgment in the case of Coach Joe Kennedy.

Kennedy and his legal team plan to appeal the decision.

In 2015, Kennedy was fired by the Bremerton School District for kneeling on the 50-yard line after football games and silently praying. As CBN News has reported, the post-game prayers caught on, spilling over to his players and even to opposing teams.

School officials worried that those prayers might give the appearance that the district approved of Coach Kennedy’s public prayers, creating a potential endorsement of religion. They eventually fired Kennedy, who calls that a violation of his right to free speech.

Kennedy told CBN News in December that his prayers were never mandatory.”

Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison for Sex Crimes

Daily Beast – Two years after dozens of women bravely stepped forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, the disgraced movie mogul has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.

Weinstein, 67, was convicted last month of sexually assaulting former Project Runway production assistant Miriam Haleyi and raping former actress Jessica Mann. The Oscar-winner, however, was cleared of two counts of predatory sexual assault—the most serious charges against him which carried with them the possibility of life in prison.

He faced a minimum of five years and up to 25 years in prison. Weinstein’s defense lawyer previously told reporters that while Weinstein “is unbelievably strong,” his team is planning to appeal.

All six women who testified against the movie mogul sat in the front row of the packed Manhattan Supreme courtroom, which they entered together.

The Oscar-winner, who was dressed in a black suit and entered in a wheelchair, glanced at the row of his accusers before sitting wiht his legal team.

“Simply put, without these women and others who were willing to come forward, be 100% transparent, sacrifice their privacy and wellbeing the [allegations] would have never been taken in and would have never been successful and the defendant would have never stopped destroying lives,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said on Wednesday. “Each of these ladies represents the resilience of every moral person who stands up and says ‘enough.’”

Weinstein will now return to the Rikers Island jail complex, where he currently resides “in a dormitory cell with two other cellmates” and “eats what they do, gets one hour to walk around outside, and reads a lot,” his spokesperson told The Daily Beast.

School policy forbids kids from saying ‘no’ when asked to dance

Today – Alicia Hobson’s 11-year-old daughter, Azlyn, was counting down the days until the Valentine’s Day dance at her Utah middle school.

“She was so excited she could barely sleep,” Hobson told TODAY Parents, noting that the sixth grader picked out her outfit a week ahead of time.

“It was supposed to be the best day ever,” Hobson, 37, said.

But it wasn’t.

That afternoon, when Azlyn got home, she had an “emotional explosion” in the kitchen, while recounting how a boy who makes her uncomfortable had asked her to dance.

“She politely said, ‘No thank you,’” Hobson revealed. The problem? At Rich Middle School in Laketown, Utah, it’s against the rules to say “no,” and principal Kip Motta allegedly intervened when he heard Azlyn decline the invitation at the dance.

“He said something like, ‘No, no. You kids go out and dance,’” Hobson revealed. “He basically shooed Azlyn and the boy off onto the dance floor.”

Azlyn told her mother she “hated every minute” and was “so relieved” when the song finally ended.

Motta and Rich School District Superintendent Dale Lamborn did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment. But Motta stood by the school’s policy in a letter to Hobson.

“We do ask all students to dance. It is the nice thing to do and this will continue to be our policy,” Motta wrote on Feb. 15. “There have been similar situations in the past where some students have felt uncomfortable with others, and, as stated prior, the issues were discreetly handled. This allowed all students to feel welcome, comfortable, safe, and included.”

Motta added that Hobson always has the option to check Azlyn out of school during dances, which are held in the daytime.

Hobson isn’t satisfied with Motta’s response — she wants the policy revised and will go to the Utah Board of Education if it isn’t.

“Girls HAVE to learn that they have the right to say no and that those around them have to respect that,” Hobson wrote on Facebook. “I’m not going to quietly stand by while my daughter and all of her classmates are being wrapped up in rape culture. No way.”

Missouri Committee Passes Bill to Take on Federal Gun Control; Past, Present and Future

Tenth Amendment Center – Today, a Missouri House committee passed a bill that would take on federal gun control; past, present and future. Passage into law would represent a major step toward ending federal acts that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms within the state.

Rep. Jered Taylor (R-Republic) filed House Bill 1637 (HB1637) earlier this year. Titled the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” the legislation would ban any person, including any public officer or employee of the state and its political subdivisions, from enforcing any past, present or future federal “acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, or regulations” that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.

On March 10, the House General Laws Committee approved the bill, giving it a “Do Pass” recommendation for the full House. The committee rejected amendments in order to keep HB1637 true to its original purpose. Law enforcement lobbyists are pushing hard to amend out penalties that would apply to state and local law enforcement officers who try to enforce federal gun control.


The bill includes a detailed definition of actions that qualify as “infringement,” including but not limited to:

  • taxes and fees on firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition that would have a chilling effect on firearms ownership;
  • registration and tracking schemes applied to firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition that would have a chilling effect;
  • any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens;
  • any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.

The proposed law defines “law-abiding citizen” as “a person who is not otherwise precluded under state law from possessing a firearm.”

Under the proposed law, infringement on the right to keep and bear arms would include the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968. Pres. Trump’s bump-stock ban, proposed federal “red-flag laws,” and any future gun control schemes implemented by the federal government.

The legislation includes a provision that would allow anybody who violates the law and knowingly deprives somebody of their right to keep and bear arms as defined by the law to be sued for damages in civil court.

“Sovereign, official, or qualified immunity shall not be an affirmative defense in such actions.”

The bills also include provisions that would apply to federal agents who knowingly enforce or attempt to enforce any of the infringing acts identified in the law, or who give material aid and support to such enforcement efforts.

Under the proposed law, they would “be permanently ineligible to serve as a law enforcement officer or to supervise law enforcement officers for the state or any political subdivision of the state.” This would also apply to state or local law enforcement agents working with federal task forces or deputized by federal agencies.

In other words, Missouri law enforcement officers who cooperate with the feds in a violation of a person’s right to keep and bear arms would lose their jobs and never be able to work in Missouri law enforcement again.

Economy & Business

World Bank Launches First-Ever Pandemic Bonds to Support $500 Million Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility

The World Bank – The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) today launched specialized bonds aimed at providing financial support to the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF), a facility created by the World Bank to channel surge funding to developing countries facing the risk of a pandemic.

This marks the first time that World Bank bonds are being used to finance efforts against infectious diseases, and the first time that pandemic risk in low-income countries is being transferred to the financial markets.

The PEF will provide more than $500 million to cover developing countries against the risk of pandemic outbreaks over the next five years, through a combination of bonds and derivatives priced today, a cash window, and future commitments from donor countries for additional coverage.

The transaction, that enables PEF to potentially save millions of lives, was oversubscribed by 200% reflecting an overwhelmingly positive reception from investors and a high level of confidence in the new World Bank sponsored instrument. With such strong demand, the World Bank was able to price the transaction well below the original guidance from the market. The total amount of risk transferred to the market through the bonds and derivatives is $425 million.

U.S. considering tax relief to respond to coronavirus outbreak: Mnuchin

Reuters – The Trump administration is considering a range of steps to offset the economic impact of the fast-spreading coronavirus, including tax relief measures that could put hundreds of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told lawmakers on Wednesday.

Mnuchin likened the outbreak to a hurricane, and that the costs needed to be picked up. But he said President Donald Trump felt strongly that U.S. companies needed to be protected, not bailed out.

He said the Trump administration was coordinating internationally, and emphasized that the situation would not go on “for years.”

A determined and utterly logical retiree wants an agreement to raise a drawbridge honored by a railroad, no matter the cost

Fox – Dick’s Sporting Goods has announced plans to remove the hunting departments from “approximately” 440 additional locations, following a similar — albeit much smaller — effort last year.

In a press release issued Tuesday along with the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report, Dick’s confirmed that it would be removing the hunting departments sometime “in fiscal 2020,” though there was no specific time frame announced.

Dick’s also declined to say which stores, in particular, would be affected.

Oil falls $1 as price war escalates with Saudi plan for higher output capacity

Reuters – Oil prices fell on Wednesday, giving up earlier gains, pressured by Saudi Arabia’s plans to boost oil production capacity for the first time in more than a decade and weakened demand due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Royal Caribbean increases borrowing capacity by $550 million to stay afloat

Royal Caribbean Cruises, which has seen its stock take a big drop in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, says that is has increased its revolving credit capacity by $550 million to bolster its liquidity.

The company says it is also reducing capital expenditures, operating expenses and taking other actions in an effort to improve liquidity by at least another $1.7 billion in 2020.

The company is also planning reductions to the 2021 capital expenditures and operating expenses.

The entire industry has been under pressure due to high profile cases of coronavirus being connected to ships.  Royal Caribbean’s stock has lost more than half of its value this year.

The industry was further damaged on Sunday when the State Department recommended that “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.”

The company had previously said that its 2020 guidance did not include the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.


What Is Vitamin B12 and Why Is It Essential to Your Health?

Dr. Edward Group – Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin, which means the human body cannot make it on its own and must obtain it through food, supplementation, or, in some cases, prescription medication. Known primarily as the “energy vitamin,” this vitally important nutrient plays a role in numerous bodily functions and is a cofactor and catalyst “helper” compound in certain enzymatic processes. Aside from those functions, every cell in your body needs vitamin B12.

What Is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is one of the eight B vitamins collectively referred to as B complex. Because B12 contains the element cobalt in its molecular structure, it is also called cobalamin. Most people get this water-soluble vitamin from animal products (i.e., eggs, milk, fish, and shellfish). In contrast to most other nutrients, it is not readily available in many plants or fungi.

Vitamin B12 is actually synthesized in nature by bacteria and single-celled microbes, the only living organisms that possess the enzymes needed for its synthesis. Since the human body cannot manufacture B12 yet it’s an essential nutrient,you must get it from an outside source. This includes through diet, it in supplement form, or, under certain conditions, as a prescription medication. Vitamin B12 is the most complex in chemical structure of all vitamins.

What Does Vitamin B12 Do for the Body?

Vitamin B12 supports many important functions in the body. The body uses B12 for cell metabolism and cell division. B12 helps cells produce hemoglobin, an iron-containing protein that transports oxygen throughout the body in red blood cells.[4] In the form of methylcobalamin, B12 helps the body synthesize protein, DNA, RNA, lipids, and hormones.

  • Boosts energy and metabolism
  • Promotes heart and cardiovascular health
  • Ensures healthy brain and nervous system function
  • Normalizes mood
  • Promotes normal bone growth and development
  • Assists in DNA production
  • Helps cells divide and grow normally

>> Power Mall Product of Interest: VeganSafe B-12 – 1 fl oz

Six of 10 Vaccines Studied Increase Mortality

Mercola – The improved measles vaccine rolled out in Africa in 1989 was found to double mortality from other diseases in girls. The diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTP) was found to have the same disastrous effect, doubling mortality among children under the age of 5, and girls were again more likely to die

  • Inactivated (non-live) vaccines — the DTP, pentavalent vaccine, inactivated polio vaccine, H1N1 influenza vaccine and the hepatitis B vaccine — all increased all-cause mortality, especially among girls, even when they offered a high degree of protection against the target disease
  • GlaxoSmithKline’s antimalarial vaccine Mosquirix, which appears to offer 18% to 36.3% protection against malaria depending on the age group, was found to increase all-cause mortality by 24%
  • In Phase 3 trials, Mosquirix increased the risk of meningitis 10fold, as well as the risk for cerebral malaria, and doubled female all-cause mortality
  • According to bioethicists, the World Health Organization’s malaria vaccine study breaches international ethical standards as they are testing vaccine safety in clinical trials without first obtaining informed consent from parents of child participants in Malawi, Ghana and Kenya