RT – If Britain and the EU are to make further progress in post-Brexit talks, Brussels must show “more realism,” while respecting the UK’s stance as a sovereign state, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.
There has been some progress in recent days, the spokesman said, but much work remains to be done in a short time.
“So, if we are to make further progress in the coming days, we need to see more realism from the EU on what it means for the UK to be an independent state,” he stressed.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday that “if there is not a major breakthrough over the next week to 10 days, then I think we really are in trouble and the focus will shift to preparing for a no-trade deal.” The negotiations are “not in a good place” on fishing rights, he explained.
The level of access to Britain’s waters for EU fishing boats, fair competition rules for business, domestic subsidies, and the mechanism for resolving future disputes are still among most important sticking points in the talks.
BBC- Boris Johnson has reiterated he is “confident [the UK] will prosper” outside the EU if a post-Brexit trade deal is not agreed with the bloc.
Talks began again in Brussels on Monday, with the UK’s chief negotiator saying there had been “progress”.
Lord David Frost told reporters: “We’re working very hard to get a deal but there’s quite a lot to do.”
His EU counterpart, Michel Barnier, said he wanted “future cooperation to be open but fair” with the UK.
Tweeting as talks started, he added: “We remain determined, patient, respectful.”
Sticking points between the two sides focus on competition rules and state aid for businesses, as well as fishing rights.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said there was still a “very, very wide gap” on fishing, with no progress on the issue since the summer.
He told RTE: “Until we can find a way of doing that, there isn’t going to be an agreement.”
RT – The Swedish government has announced new coronavirus restrictions will come into force for four weeks to limit socializing in the run-up to Christmas, amid soaring infections and falling compliance with current guidelines.
In a digital press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said there had been concerning developments in the spread of Covid-19 in Sweden and that new restrictions are needed.
From November 24, gatherings of more than eight people will be banned for a month. The previous limit was 300 people.
Lofven called on Swedes to do their “duty” and take “responsibility” in slowing the spread of the virus. He also told people not to attend parties or dinners and to refrain from visiting the gym or cinema.
“These are very intrusive measures that are unparalleled in our history, but they are absolutely necessary to limit the infection,” the PM said.
This spring we saw a great compliance. Advice and recommendations were enough for most people to keep their distance and cancel plans. Now compliance is lower.
Lofven said the ban on group gatherings was justified because of rising Covid-19 cases, and that the guidance outlined by the health authorities was no longer being taken as seriously by some people. As a result, Sweden needed to move from recommending social distancing to bans.
The PM reiterated his government’s strategy in holding off on the more strident measures put in place elsewhere in Europe, claiming “we don’t believe in a total lockdown, we believe the measures being implemented in total will have an effect.”
Last week, the country moved to ban the sale of alcohol after 10pm.
RT – SpaceX boss Elon Musk incurred the wrath of Covid busybodies when he declared that his positive test for the disease was “extremely bogus.” Amid the finger-wagging, one liberal professor popped in to call Musk “Space Karen.”
A positive Covid-19 diagnosis forced Elon Musk to sit out the launch of four astronauts aboard SpaceX’s Dragon capsule from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday night. Musk tested positive for the illness last week, but reckoned “something extremely bogus” was afoot when two rapid tests came back positive, and another two negative.
Activist Post – Germany is among the latest large European countries to reimpose COVID-19 restrictions nationwide, alongside France, Germany and the UK as cases rise across the continent.
While this has included shutting down pubs, restaurants, cafes and potentially crowded night venues, the latest restrictions stopped short of school closures or retail outlets. German officials are now signaling to the public that they should brace for more months of “severe” measures to curb the surge in cases, according to Reuters on Sunday:
Germans should brace for another 4-5 months of severe measures to halt the rise in coronavirus infections and should not expect the current rules to be eased quickly, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told weekly Bild am Sonntag.
Germany’s economy minister said the nation should be prepared for a months-long lockdown period to address surging coronavirus caseloads.
Describing that “we’re not out of the woods yet” Altmaier further emphasized that Berlin wants to avoid a “yo-yo shutdown” with the economy “constantly opening and closing”.
“If we don’t want days with 50,000 new infections, as was the case in France a few weeks ago, we must see through this and not constantly speculate about which measures can be relaxed again,” he told a German newspaper over the weekend.
“All countries that lifted their restrictions too early have so far paid a high price in terms of human lives lost,” he added.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
AP – President Donald Trump worked to take back an apparent acknowledgment that Joe Biden won the White House and was making clear he would keep trying to overturn the election result.
Trump’s earlier comments Sunday had given some critics and supporters hope that the White House was ready to begin working on a transition with Biden’s team. Not so fast, Trump soon assured.
Trump, without using Biden’s name, said that “He won” as part of a tweet that made baseless claims about a “rigged” election. But as the Republican president saw how his comments were being interpreted as his first public acknowledgment of a Biden victory, he quickly reversed course.
“He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA,” Trump subsequently tweeted. “I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”
WND – An attorney helping President Trump challenge the results of the 2020 election says she’s astonished by the amount of evidence of vote fraud that took place, alleging “millions of votes” were shifted to Democrat Joe Biden by software specifically designed to benefit the Democratic nominee.
“President Trump won by not just hundreds of thousands of votes, but by millions of votes that were shifted by this software that was designed expressly for that purpose,” attorney Sidney Powell told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” on the Fox Business Network.
“We have sworn witness testimony of why the software was designed. It was designed to rig elections,” Powell said of the Smartmatic software in Dominion voting machines.
“They did this on purpose, it was calculated, they’ve done it before. We have evidence from 2016 in California, we have so much evidence I feel like it’s coming in through a fire hose,” Powell continued.
“I’ve got lots of ways to prove it … but I’m not gonna tell on national TV what all we have. I just can’t do that.” WATCH:
CS Monitor – Georgia says it’s going to be tallying – by hand – nearly 5 million ballots that were cast in its very close presidential election on Nov. 3. But is it a recount? An “audit”? And why are they doing it?
It’s all a bit confusing, but election experts say what’s happening in Georgia is unlikely to change the outcome and are warning that discrepancies in the final vote count are likely. That doesn’t mean anything nefarious happened. Experts say some discrepancies are expected when so many votes are counted a second time using an entirely different method – hand versus machine.
While President Donald Trump has been making unsubstantiated claims of fraud as he challenges the election’s outcome, Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, has defended the work of election officials in the state and said the review was unlikely to change the outcome. Unofficial results show Democrat Joe Biden leading Mr. Trump by about 14,000 votes.
ZeroHedge – Across the US, millions of Americans are planning on scaled-back Thanksgiving dinners, with only members of their immediate family “bubbles” invited. Mayors of some of America’s large cities, along with the governors of California, Oregon and Washington State, have asked residents to limit travel over the holidays.
As angst about the spoiled Thanksgiving holiday simmers, Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” that American families should probably prepare to skip Christmas dinner, too.
While Dr. Fauci has repeatedly praised Pfizer and Moderna, and assured the American public that the FDA’s first vaccine emergency-use authorization could be handed down within days, he cautioned during Sunday’s interview that people should continue to wear masks and observe social distancing even after they’ve been vaccinated.
It’s just the latest unsettling hint that social distancing requirements could be here to stay.
“I would recommend to people to not abandon all public health measures just because you’ve been vaccinated,” Fauci said during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. “Because even though for the general population it might be 90% to 95% effective, you don’t necessarily know for you how effective it is.”
Later in the interview, Dr. Fauci agreed, with some trepidation, with Jake Tapper’s assessment that Christmas “is probably not going to be possible.”
Dr. Fauci responded that people “can’t abandon fundamental public health measures” until the vaccine has been somewhat widely distributed. That might not be until the second or third quarter of next year.
As the interview turned toward the “models” calling for massive numbers of COVID-19 deaths over the winter, Dr. Fauci claimed that calls for another 200,000 deaths in the US over the coming 4 months (a rate many times higher than where we are currently) could come to pass if people don’t obey new COVID-19 restrictions (exactly what he said last time). At this time, Dr. Fauci said that while a national lockdown doesn’t seem to be imminent, if the situation continues to worsen, anything might be possible.
Watch the full interview:
Breitbart – The Trump campaign pushed back Sunday night against reports by the Washington Post and others that it had dropped a major part of its case challenging the election results in Pennsylvania.
The Post‘s Jon Swaine and Elise Viebeck reported that the Trump campaign was abandoning the claim that election authorities invalidated over 600,000 votes by barring Trump election observers from watching the count.
That left a much smaller part of the case — namely, that Democratic-run counties allowed voters to “cure” problems with their mailed-in ballots, while Republican counties, following rules laid down by the state legislature, did not.
But Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis, who appeared on Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot 125 shortly after the Post story came out, disputed its claims.
Economy & Business
CNN Business – China has just joined forces with more than a dozen countries across the Asia Pacific region to sign a huge free trade deal nearly a decade in the making.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership spans 15 countries and 2.2 billion people, or nearly 30% of the world’s population, according to a joint statement released by the nations on Sunday, when the deal was signed. Their combined GDP totals roughly $26 trillion and they account for nearly 28% of global trade based on 2019 data.
The deal includes several of the region’s heaviest economic hitters aside from China, including Japan and South Korea. New Zealand and Australia are also partners, as are Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia.
The trade agreement was first proposed in 2012 as a way to create one of the world’s largest free-trade zones.
Al Jazeera – Saudi Arabia’s state-controlled oil giant Aramco said on Monday it will return to the bond market, as it seeks to raise cash to help pay for billions of dollars in dividends the company has promised shareholders even as the coronavirus crisis continues to hammer oil demand.
Aramco has committed to shareholder payouts totalling $18.75bn in the third quarter, despite profits for the quarter falling nearly 45 percent.
BBC – Hungary and Poland have blocked approval of the EU’s budget over a clause that ties EU funding with adherence to the rule of law.
The financial package includes €750bn for a coronavirus recovery fund.
Ambassadors of the 27 member states meeting in Brussels were unable to endorse the budget because the two countries vetoed it.
Hungary and Poland have been criticised for violating democratic standards enshrined in the EU’s founding treaty.
The EU is currently investigating both countries for undermining the independence of courts, media and non-governmental organisations. The clause threatens to cost them billions of euros in EU funding.
EU states had already agreed on the €1.1tn (£987bn; $1.3tn) budget for 2021-2027, and the coronavirus stimulus package after a marathon four-day summit in July.
Mises Institute – During the early onset of covid-19 in the spring, government officials across the political spectrum widely agreed that government intervention and forced closure of many businesses was necessary to protect public health. This approach has clearly failed in the United States as it led to widespread economic devastation, including millions of jobs lost, bankruptcies, and extremely severe losses in profitability. Nor have states with strict lockdowns succeeded in bringing about fewer covid deaths per million than states that were less strict.
Consequently, a few months into the pandemic, some governors weighed the competing economic costs with covid-19 containment and slowly reopened their economies. Of course, these governors did not mandate businesses reopen; however, they provided businesses the option to reopen.
Hysteria ensued as many viewed easing restrictions as akin to mass murder. The Atlantic famously dubbed Georgia governor Brian Kemp’s easing of restrictions as “human sacrifice” and referred to Georgians as being in a “case study in pandemic exceptionalism.” Instead, we should view the lockdowns as a case study in the failure of heavy-handed approaches in containing a highly infectious virus.
Now that we are nine months into this pandemic, there is a clearer picture of how state government approaches varied widely. It is clear that “reopened” economies are faring much better overall than less “reopened” economies. “Fueled by broader, faster economic reopenings following the initial coronavirus rash, conservative-leaning red states are by and large far outpacing liberal-leaning blue states in terms of putting people back to work,” writes Carrie Sheffield. This follows logically especially when considering that human beings learn to adapt very quickly. Now, we have learned much more about treating this virus and about who is most at risk from infection.
Not Everyone Can #StayHome
Even so, many proponents of lockdowns still contend that every covid infection is a failure of public policy. But this position is largely a luxury of white-collar workers who can afford to work from home. Lockdowns have been described as “the worst assault on the working class in half a century.” Martin Kulldorff, a biostatistician, says, “the blue-collar class is ‘out there working, including high-risk people in their 60s.” Kulldorff’s colleague Jay Bhattacharya notes that one reason “minority populations have had higher mortality in the U.S. from the epidemic is because they don’t often have the option…to stay at home.” In effect, top-down lockdown policies are “regressive” and reflect a “monomania,” says Dr. Bhattacharya. With this in mind, it is easy to see why more affluent Americans tend to view restrictive measures as the appropriate response.
For many Americans, prolonged periods of time without gainful employment, income, or social interaction are not only impossible but potentially deadly. Martin Kulldorff notes that covid-19 restrictions do not consider broader public health issues and create collateral damage; among the collateral damage is a “worsening incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer and an alarming decline in immunization.” Dr. Bhattacharya correctly notes that society will be “counting the health harms from these lockdowns for a very long time.”
Bhattacharya emphasized the politicization of these restrictions: “When Black Lives Matter protests broke out in the spring, ‘1,300 epidemiologists signed a letter saying that the gatherings were consistent with good public health practice,’” while those same epidemiologists argued that “we should essentially quarantine in place.” Such a contradiction defies logic and undercuts arguments about the lethality of this virus. If this novel virus truly were as devastating to the broader public as advertised, then political leaders supporting mass protests and riots during a pandemic seem to be ill founded. This contradiction has been cited in countless lawsuits challenging the validity and constitutionality of covid-19 restrictions.
Separately, these often heavy-handed restrictions have targeted constitutionally protected rights like the freedom of religion. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito criticized the Nevada governor’s restrictions saying, “that Nevada would discriminate in favor of the powerful gaming industry and its employees may not come as a surprise…We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility.” This scathing criticism, however, did not gain the support of the Supreme Court as a 5–4 majority deferred to the governor’s “responsibility to protect the public in a pandemic.”
The Worst State and Local Offenders
Such deference may be politically beneficial for the Supreme Court, but it presents a much more significant problem for basic freedoms. For one, many of these covid restrictions have been issued by state governors or administrative agencies rather than through democratic means. Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer has been targeted for her continued sidestepping of democratic channels and for her top-down approach.
These covid restrictions are somewhat meaningless without ample enforcement and resources, so many major American cities have created task forces for enforcing these covid restrictions. For example, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has threatened to shut off public utilities for those who host massive house parties. Garcetti wants to treat private gatherings similarly to the bars and nightclubs he has forced closed. Not only is this ridiculous, but it is also authoritarian; there have been few checks on his ability to weaponize public utilities this way. The New York City Sheriff’s Office recently “busted a party of more than 200 people who were flouting coronavirus restrictions.” Their crime? Deputies found around two hundred maskless individuals “dancing, drinking and smoking hookah inside.” In typical government fashion, the owner of the venue was “slapped with five summonses…for violation of emergency orders, unlicensed sale of alcohol and unlicensed warehousing of alcohol.” What would we do without the government?
California governor Gavin Newsom has long been a part of this effort to restrict freedoms under the guise of public health. Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health released new “safety” guidelines for all private gatherings during the Thanksgiving holiday. According to Newsweek, “all gatherings must include no more than three households, including hosts and guests, and must be held outdoors, lasting for two hours or less.” Given Newsom’s interventionist tendencies, it is likely that these restrictions will be enforced. How will the government determine how many households are at a Thanksgiving meal and who will enforce the two-hour window? These are questions that journalists should ask.
Meanwhile, the varying levels of economic recovery between red states and blue states demonstrate how top-down policy can be a failure. Strict lockdowns have devastated millions of families’ incomes while failing to bring success in suppressing covid mortality. This failed experiment must be brought to an end.
Science & Technology
RT – Ex-fighter pilot and businessman, Eytan Stibbe, will become the second ever Israeli to go into space, the country has announced. His friend and predecessor, Ilan Ramon, was killed during the ill-fated US Columbia mission in 2003.
Stibbe is scheduled to blast off to the International Space Station (ISS) from Florida in late 2021, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said during a ceremony at his residence in Jerusalem on Monday.
“This is a day of national joy, and great pride” for Israel, Rivlin said, adding that Stibbe would prove that “even the sky isn’t our limit.”
Israel’s second astronaut is expected to spend 200 hours or just over a week in orbit, performing “Israeli technological experiments” that will advance the country’s technology and science, according to the president.
Before the launch, he will go through an extensive training program, which will take him to the US, Russia and Germany
Activist Post – American opposition to utility “Smart” Meters – electric, gas, and water (see 1, 2) – has been ongoing since utility companies first started installing them. Given all the problems now identified with them – fires, explosions, higher bills (see 1, 2), frequent replacement (see 1, 2, 3), serious cybersecurity risks (see 1, 2), and more – opposition to these meters has significantly increased in the U.S. and worldwide.
“Smart” Meters are NOT safe. They also DO NOT save meaningful amounts of energy. Because so many Americans have complained, some state legislators have already proposed bills that allow constituents to “opt out” of these meters. Some utilities have also been forced into offering “opt-outs.” Pennsylvania residents had to go to court to be given the right to refuse them. Utility companies and their proponents continue to boo-hoo all of this.
From Utility Dive:
UTILITIES: PECO: Billions of investment at risk with Pennsylvania court’s rejection of smart meter mandate
Smart meters are widely considered to be safe, but energy companies often make accommodations for customers who do not want RF exposure.
The Commonwealth Court concluded that a group of customers fighting to have the meters removed from their property had not proven they faced a health risk — but the court did accept arguments that state law doesn’t require them to take the meters.
“Most utilities have a way for customers to opt out of a smart meter and some charge them for the extra cost,” according to Jordan Nachbar, spokesperson for the Smart Electric Power Alliance. “During their smart meter rollouts, many utilities post studies to combat some of the misinformation.”
Arizona Public Service, Xcel Energy Minnesota, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Hawaiian Electric and others have devised systems to allow customers to decline the meters, according to a 2019 report by Navigant Research. The firm is now known as Guidehouse.
“Vocal customers have raised privacy and health concerns related to smart meters and their communications networks,” the report found, “and some regulators have mandated opt-out programs to placate those concerns.” The development of opt-out programs “has been addressed in a myriad of ways by electric utilities across the nation.”
“It’s typically a very small number of customers” that take advantage of the opt-out, according to Guidehouse Senior Research Analyst Michael Kelly. The number of customers is usually below 5%, he said in an email.
The attorney for PECO customers seeking to have their smart meters removed says the court’s decision is a “big win for people concerned about RF.”
Al Jazeera – For the second time in as many weeks, there is promising news from the race for a COVID-19 vaccine as infections surge across the United States and Europe.
US biotech firm Moderna Inc on Monday said preliminary data from a continuing phase three study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine showed it to be 94.5 percent effective.
The news follows on from last week’s announcement from US drug giant Pfizer that phase three trial results for the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with Germany’s BioNTech showed it to be more than 90 percent effective.
The results of both trials place Moderna and Pfizer on track to seek authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks for emergency use of their vaccines.
If they get the green light from the FDA, supplies of both vaccines would be limited and rationed before the end of the year. Both vaccines require people to get two shots, several weeks apart.
Moderna expects to have about 20 million doses, earmarked for the US by the end of 2020. Pfizer and BioNTech expect to have about 50 million doses globally by the yearend.
US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azhar responded to the Moderna news on Twitter, writing: “This news is another stunning result of President Trump’s leadership and his unwavering support for #OperationWarpSpeed, an incredible tribute to American scientists and innovators, and one more reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Mercola – There’s an entire school of research within public health on how to frighten people, known as “fear appeal”
Fear appeal is based on the premise that to successfully implement a public health measure, you must first highlight a threat. And, to work, the threat must be made personal, so that people fear for their personal safety
Next, you give people something immediate to do that will set them on the path of cooperating with the plan in its entirety. Examples during the COVID-19 pandemic include not leaving your house, wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart, closing certain businesses and keeping children home from school. In the future, we can expect to be told we must get vaccinated and digitally tracked before we can resume life as normal
By adding confusion to the mix, you can bring an individual from fear to anxiety — a state of confusion in which you can no longer think logically. In this state, you are more easily manipulated
Eventually, when the fear and anxiety are great enough, desperation sets in, at which point people are willing to do just about anything to get relief
Health Impact News – As we mentioned earlier this month (November, 2020), the U.S. Government is illegally working together with Big Tech to squelch free speech on foreign policy, as they have seized dozens of domains of websites that disagree with their policy on Iran. See:
As we move closer to the launch of a COVID vaccine, will websites publishing the dangers of vaccines soon also be seized, so that when you try to visit a website such as our Health Impact News all you will see is this?
Independent journalist Whitney Webb, writing for Unlimited Hangout, reports that intelligence agencies in the UK and US are now targeting websites that promote “vaccine hesitancy.”
US – UK Intel Agencies Declare Cyber War on Independent Media
by Whitney Webb
British and American state intelligence agencies are “weaponizing truth” to quash vaccine hesitancy as both nations prepare for mass inoculations, in a recently announced “cyber war” to be commanded by AI-powered arbiters of truth against information sources that challenge official narratives.
In just the past week, the national-security states of the United States and United Kingdom have discreetly let it be known that the cyber tools and online tactics previously designed for use in the post-9/11 “war on terror” are now being repurposed for use against information sources promoting “vaccine hesitancy” and information related to Covid-19 that runs counter to their state narratives.
A new cyber offensive was launched on Monday by the UK’s signal intelligence agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which seeks to target websites that publish content deemed to be “propaganda” that raises concerns regarding state-sponsored Covid-19 vaccine development and the multi-national pharmaceutical corporations involved.
Similar efforts are underway in the United States, with the US military recently funding a CIA-backed firm—stuffed with former counterterrorism officials who were behind the occupation of Iraq and the rise of the so-called Islamic State—to develop an AI algorithm aimed specifically at new websites promoting “suspected” disinformation related to the Covid-19 crisis and the US military–led Covid-19 vaccination effort known as Operation Warp Speed.
Both countries are preparing to silence independent journalists who raise legitimate concerns over pharmaceutical industry corruption or the extreme secrecy surrounding state-sponsored Covid-19 vaccination efforts, now that Pfizer’s vaccine candidate is slated to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by month’s end.
Essentially, the power of the state is being wielded like never before to police online speech and to deplatform news websites to protect the interests of powerful corporations like Pfizer and other scandal-ridden pharmaceutical giants as well as the interests of the US and UK national-security states, which themselves are intimately involved in the Covid-19 vaccination endeavor.
Read the full article at Unlimitedhangout.com.