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Today’s News: November 17, 2020

Todays Headline News

World News

Merkel forced to postpone further Covid-19 restrictions amid pushback from German regional leaders

RT – The decision on more coronavirus curbs in Germany has been delayed to November 25 after the leaders of the country’s 16 federal states rejected Chancellor Angela Merkel’s demands to widen the current partial lockdown.

“I could have imagined imposing further contact restrictions today,” Merkel told a press-conference in Berlin, adding that the federal government and regional leaders couldn’t find common ground on the issue.

Germany already introduced a partial lockdown two weeks ago in an attempt to stem the second wave of the virus. Under those measures, bars and restaurants have closed, but schools and shops remain open. Private gatherings were also limited to no more than 10 people from two different households.

On Monday, Merkel acknowledged that those restrictions “have broken the dynamics of new infections,” but pointed out that they haven’t yet been enough to reverse the trend. Germany is still far from the goal of 50 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in a week’s time, she said.

The contact restrictions are the formula for success. We need more of this. We need to restrict contacts further to reach our goals.

The additional measures sought by Merkel include mandatory mask-wearing in schools, fewer students in classes, and stricter limits on social contacts in general.

Federal and state leaders are to meet again next week in a fresh attempt to agree further curbs.

Chinese President Xi commends BRICS nations for joint development of Covid-19 vaccines to restore economies

RT – Brazilian, Chinese and Russian firms are carrying out pivotal phases of clinical trials of coronavirus vaccines, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the 12th annual BRICS Summit on Tuesday.

As the global economy experiences the worst recession since the Great Depression because of the Covid-19 pandemic, facilitating growth and focusing on healthcare should be the top priorities, said the Chinese president.

“As we speak, Chinese companies are working with their Russian and Brazilian partners on Phase III clinical trials of vaccines,” he said, adding that they are prepared to cooperate with South Africa and India in this field. “We will actively consider providing vaccines to BRICS countries where there is a need.”

In his speech, Xi also condemned attempts to use the virus for deglobalization and protectionist policies and sanctions, but did not point at any country in particular. He added that the world needs coordination to beat the consequences of the outbreak. 

The Chinese president also noted that BRICS nations should pursue green and low-carbon development as “global warming will not stop due to Covid-19.” China has recently revealed a plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, and Xi says that his country will keep its promise, calling on other nations to implement the Paris Agreement.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Biden says ‘ONLY REASON’ Americans question Covid-19 vaccines is Trump

RT – Saying he would personally take a coronavirus vaccine if Dr. Anthony Fauci and its makers told him it was safe, Democrat Joe Biden claimed the only reason Americans would distrust the jab is – President Donald Trump.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to get the vaccine, if in fact Dr. Fauci [and Moderna or Pfizer] conclude it’s safe,” Biden said on Monday in Wilmington, Delaware, addressing the media who have anointed him president-elect. 

Pfizer announced a “90 percent effective” jab last week, followed by Moderna’s announcement earlier on Monday of a “94.5 percent” effective vaccine. 

“Look, the only reason people question the vaccine now is because of Donald Trump!”Biden told reporters. “Because all the things he says or doesn’t say, whether it’s truthful or not truthful, the exaggerations…”

Biden says he would consider making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory

NaturalNews – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said that an order mandating vaccination against the Wuhan coronavirus should be considered if it would help curb the outbreak. Biden made the statement during a town hall in Pennsylvania televised Oct. 15, adding that “the state of the nature of the vaccine when it comes out and how it’s being distributed” was a major decision in making the vaccine a must.

Despite saying that a number of people believe a vaccine against COVID-19 is “the golden key” to addressing the pandemic, Biden remarked that enforcing mandatory vaccinations was the problem. “You can’t say, everyone has to do this.”

Biden turned down the idea of using fines to enforce the mandates and suggested pressuring local authorities to implement rules they can enforce. “I go to every governor, mayor, councilman [and] every local official [to] say ‘mandate the mask.’ This is what you have to do when you’re out.”

Biden also emphasized the value of face masks and took a jab at Trump’s refusal to wear one

Biden remarked during the town hall that “the words of a president matter.” He cited an example of how this statement would be valuable during the pandemic: “You can go to ever governor and get them all in a room, all 50 of them, as president and say, ask people to wear the mask.”

“When a president doesn’t wear a mask, or makes fun of folks, like me, when I was wearing a mask for a long time, then people say ‘well, it mustn’t be that important,” Biden remarked. His statement appeared to be a swipe at President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly refused to wear a mask or face covering.

Trump mocked the Democratic presidential candidate’s mask-wearing habits during the first presidential debate last Sept. 29. “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from it. And he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

Trump’s mockery did not unnerve Biden a bit, who replied that “masks make a big difference.” He echoed the same sentiments during the town hall: Vaccines were only secondary to masks in providing protection. “If you listen to the head of the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], he stood up and he said ‘you know, while we’re waiting for a vaccine … you wear this mask, you will save more lives between now and the end of the year.’”

Biden referenced a Sept. 16 testimony by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield to the Senate Appropriations subcommittee, where Redfield said that wearing a face mask is “more guaranteed” to protect against the coronavirus than getting a COVID-19 jab. The director added that in case the vaccine fails to build an immune response to the coronavirus, the face mask will still protect against future infection. 

Georgia recount unearths more than 2,600 uncounted ballots in Floyd County: report

Fox – More than 2,600 uncounted ballots unearthed in Georgia county: report

More than 2,600 ballots in Georgia’s Floyd County that have not been tallied were recently found during a recount in the state for the 2020 presidential election, according to reports.

Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger blamed the problem on Floyd County election officials failing to upload votes from a memory card in a ballot-scanning machine.

Georgia began recounting its nearly 5 million ballots by hand on Friday after President Donald Trump and the Republican Party requested a statewide audit

The 2,600 previously uncounted ballots in the county marked the most significant issue so far uncovered in the recount process. Floyd County Republican Party chair Luke Martin called the mishap “concerning” but insisted that it “doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue.”

“I’m glad the audit revealed it, and it’s important that all votes are counted,” Martin told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.  

Republican leader McConnell says pulling out of Afghanistan will cause ‘a new round of global terrorism’

RT – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pushed back against a looming withdrawal from Afghanistan, telling senators that pulling out of the 19-year war would be “premature” and “delight the people who wish us harm.”

President Donald Trump broke Republican convention when he campaigned on an anti-war platform, promising an end to the US’ “forever wars” in the Middle East and calling George W. Bush’s war in Iraq “the worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country.”

After firing a host of top Pentagon officials and installing one vocal opponent of the Afghan war in a senior role, Trump is currently preparing for a massive withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq, CNN reported on Monday. 

Biden hopes to avoid divisive Trump investigations, preferring unity

NBC — President-elect Joe Biden has privately told advisers that he doesn’t want his presidency to be consumed by investigations of his predecessor, according to five people familiar with the discussions, despite pressure from some Democrats who want inquiries into President Donald Trump, his policies and members of his administration.

Biden has raised concerns that investigations would further divide a country he is trying to unite and risk making every day of his presidency about Trump, said the sources, who spoke on background to offer details of private conversations.

They said he has specifically told advisers that he is wary of federal tax investigations of Trump or of challenging any orders Trump may issue granting immunity to members of his staff before he leaves office. One adviser said Biden has made it clear that he “just wants to move on.”

Another Biden adviser said, “He’s going to be more oriented toward fixing the problems and moving forward than prosecuting them.”

Any decisions by Biden’s Justice Department regarding Trump, his staff, his associates, his business or his policies wouldn’t affect investigations by state officials, including Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who has fought to obtain Trump’s tax returns.

Biden starts staffing up with senior White House announcements

Fox – President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday announced nine senior staffers he will work with in the White House after he is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

The list includes some longtime Biden aides and advisers who worked with the president-elect during his decades as a senator and his eight years as vice president in the Obama administration. And the group also includes some of the top members of Biden’s presidential campaign.

“I am proud to announce additional members of my senior team who will help us build back better than before. America faces great challenges, and they bring diverse perspectives and a shared commitment to tackling these challenges and emerging on the other side a stronger, more united nation,” Biden said in a statement.

Ron Klain, whom Biden named last week as his incoming White House chief of staff, highlighted that “President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have an ambitious and urgent agenda for action. The team we have already started to assemble will enable us to meet the challenges facing our country on day one.”

Announced on Tuesday are Biden-Harris campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon as deputy White House chief of staff, senior Biden campaign strategist and longtime political adviser Mike Donilon as senior adviser to the president, Biden-Harris campaign chairman and longtime Biden adviser and aide Steve Ricchetti as counselor to the president, and Biden-Harris general counsel Dana Remus as counsel to the president.

Also announced are Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, a Biden campaign national co-chair, as senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Biden-Harris deputy campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez, who served as chief of staff to Sen. Harris’ presidential campaign, as director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Biden campaign travelling chief of staff and longtime Biden aide Annie Tomasini as director of Oval Office operations.

Dems urge Trump administration to avoid last-minute rollback of rules, regulations

Fox – House Democrats are urging the Trump administration to refrain from a spate of last-minute rules rolling back health, safety and environmental protections, warning it could complicate the transition process for President-elect Joe Biden and the incoming Congress.

In a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought, House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said that “midnight rules” — passed in the lame-duck session — tend to be rushed and implemented without giving Congress sufficient time to review them. 

“We are concerned that these ‘midnight rules’ may be rushed through without providing Congress adequate time to review these rules, as required by law,” the lawmakers wrote. “These rules could include significant actions that have the potential to weaken air quality standards, lift protections for endangered species, jeopardize national security, or impose new immigration rules.”

Nadler and Maloney pointed to a 2018 report from the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan watchdog, which found that 25% of “economically significant rules” passed during transition periods in 2000, 2008 and 2016 — by the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, respectively — did not comply with the procedural requirements of the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

The failure of those administrations to comply with the CRA “has the overall effect of making it more difficult for Congress to exercise its oversight role under CRA,” according to the GAO, and “can potentially create legal uncertainty for agencies and regulated parties.”

“We request that you immediately instruct agencies to avoid promulgating midnight rules,” they wrote. “We also request that you ensure that before any rule is finalized between now and January 20, 2021, it meets all legal requirements, including a notice and comment process.”

Economy & Business

A Thanksgiving like no other: Thousands of desperate Texans wait in line at drive-thru food bank in hope of getting one of the 7,000 frozen turkeys ahead of the holiday

Daily Mail – Thousands of families lined up to receive groceries at a Texas food bank this weekend, some queuing for as long as 12 hours as the on-going coronavirus pandemic continues to inflict hunger and economic hardships on the state.

The food bank distribution event, held by North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) in Dallas on Saturday, saw 600,000 pounds of food given away – including 7,000 turkeys.

It is hoped enough food was given out to feed around 25,000 people.

During the Thanksgiving-themed distribution, in addition to a frozen turkey, families were also handed 20 pounds of non-perishables, 15 pounds of fresh produce and bags of wheat bread.

Photos of the event show thousands of cars backed up in four lines outside of Fair Park on Saturday morning.

NTFB spokeswoman Anna Kurian said the turn out shows that the need for food ‘has certainly increased’ in the state amid the pandemic.

‘Forty percent of the folks coming through our partners doors are doing so for the first time,’ Kurian told CNN.

Will Bitcoin Reach $20,000 Before the End of 2020?

Finance Magnates – Well, folks, the moment has arrived–Bitcoin is up and past $16k for the first time in more than two years.

The pass over the $16k mark comes after a week of slow and steady gains; last Friday, BTC was already showing signs of heading to $16,000 as a continuation of a strong rally that had begun earlier in the week.

While the upward curve was slight throughout this week, the gains have been consistent, and some analysts believe that a run-up to $20k could be just around the corner.

What is driving Bitcoin up?

Simon Peter, an analyst at social investment platform, eToro, said that part of Bitcoin’s upward movement has to do with BTC’s technical fundamentals.

“The recent on-chain difficulty adjustment must have contributed to the latest price rise,” he explained in a statement that was shared with Finance Magnates. “It dropped to 16.878 trillion last Tuesday, the second-largest decrease of all time.”

This decrease in mining difficulty could also explain the explosion in hash power that has taken place since the beginning of this month.

“With fewer operating costs to cover, miners become less pressured into selling, which creates more demand for the crypto asset; and bitcoin, like gold, is susceptible to supply and demand price movements,” Simon continued.

Energy & Environment

‘Abnormal’ spike in fin whales washed up on French shores

Al Jazeera – An abnormal number of fin whales has been found washed up on France’s western shores with no apparent sign of external collision, raising concerns among experts of a potential viral pathogen.

Marine biologists on Monday used a mechanical digger and long knives to dissect one of the cetaceans taking samples to find evidence of the cause of the deaths.

Just in the past month and a half, at least six fin whales – the second largest species of whale after the blue ones – were found dead. All have been malnourished and shown evidence of haemorrhaging in the cardiac and respiratory systems.

The latest was discovered on Friday near Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez. It measured nearly 16 metres (52 feet) and weighed an estimated 10 tonnes.

In an average year, between three and, at most, 10 whales are deposited dead on France’s beaches, scientists say.

“We have what is almost an epidemic or, at any rate, an abnormal spike in deaths,” Willy Dabin, a researcher from the Pelagis Observatory working on the corpse, told Reuters news agency.

“The question lurking in the background is: Are humans a contributing factor in their capacity to upset the environment?” Dabin asked. “Either by impacting food availability or polluting the living environment, which could leave the whales more vulnerable to disease,” she said.

Science & Technology

China ‘used secret microwave pulse weapon to cook Indian soldiers alive’ and force them into retreat in Himalayan border battle

Daily Mail – Chinese troops used ‘microwave’ weapons to force Indian soldiers to retreat by making them violently sick during a Himalayan stand-off, a professor has claimed.  

The electromagnetic weapons which cook the human tissue of enemy troops ‘turned the mountain tops into a microwave oven’ and made the Indian soldiers vomit, international studies expert Jin Canrong told his students in Beijing.  

The microwave weapons heat water molecules in the same way as the kitchen appliance, targeting water under the skin and causing increasing amounts of pain to the target from ranges of up to 0.6 miles away.   

Jin hailed the Chinese forces for ‘beautifully’ executing the move which cleared out Indian troops without violating a ban on gunfire along the disputed border.

It is the first known use of microwave weapons on a battlefield.  

According to The Times, the weapons were said to have been deployed in late August, weeks after a deadly brawl involving rocks and clubs which killed at least 20 Indian soldiers and brought the two nuclear-armed powers closer to war than they have been in 53 years on one of the world’s highest-altitude battlefields. 

in told his students that within 15 minutes of the weapons being deployed, ‘those occupying the hilltops all began to vomit’. 

‘They couldn’t stand up, so they fled. This was how we retook the ground,’ he explained. 

China’s forces decided to use the weapons because the altitude was too high to fight against a team of Tibetan mountaineering specialists, Jin said. 

Gunfire is banned under an old agreement, although there were warning shots in September in an exchange of fire which both sides blamed on each other. 

While the US has also developed microwave-style weapons, China’s alleged use of them may be the first against enemy troops anywhere in the world. 

Also envisioned for use in crowd control, the weapon works by heating the water under the skin to painful temperatures which force people out of the area. 

The sensation was once described in a medical journal as equivalent to touching a hot lightbulb. Overexposure to radiation can also cause headaches, nausea and vomiting. 

China’s so-called Poly WB-1 was first put on display at an air show in 2014 and was thought to be supplied to Chinese naval forces. 

The tools are known as ‘microwave’ weapons because they have a similar effect to the type of oven, although technically the radiation is in the form of millimetre waves rather than microwaves. 

There is some suspicion that similar weapons were used against US diplomatic personnel who mysteriously fell ill in China and Cuba in a series of incidents beginning in 2016.

America’s equivalent ‘heat ray’, the Active Denial System, was unveiled in 2007 and deployed to Afghanistan but apparently never used against hostile troops. 

The Pentagon touted it as ‘the first non-lethal, directed-energy, counter-personnel system with an extended range greater than currently fielded non-lethal weapons’. 

Fears of a political backlash were thought to have contributed to its withdrawal from Afghanistan, although the US government said it complied with international law.

Howard Stern Scoffs at the Idea of Trump TV: Would Fail ‘Inside of a Year,’ Just Like All His Other Businesses

Mediate – Howard Stern scoffed at the idea of President Donald Trump launching a news network following his failed reelection bid, predicting that such an enterprise would not even last a year.

“He thinks running the country is hard — wait ‘til he has to run a news network,” Stern said on his SiriusXM show Monday (via the New York Daily News). “That’ll fail inside of a year like all the other businesses. This is just insanity what’s going on.”

Stern made his projection while discussing Trump’s recent attacks on Fox News with his sidekick Robin Quivers. 

“The president all weekend was busy tweeting about Fox News,” Stern said. “He’s mad at them because they actually had some reality over there.”

The host then gave a shout out to Trump’s new favorite network: OAN — admitting that he’s never actually seen it and does not even know where to watch if he wanted to.

Quivers noted that she is familiar with the network, slamming it as “a doozy,” before the two switched gears and addressed how the president has handled his loss.

“For once do something good for the country, calm down your fucking loony hillbilly friends and tell them you lost the election and you’re going to help the transition,” Stern said. “These loonies who follow you are all worked up; they think something was taken from them.”

Health

Top 6 Quercetin Benefits That’ll Transform Your Health

Dr. Edward Group – Do you feel like your immune and respiratory system needs some extra love? Well, look no further than the flavonoid quercetin. Quercetin is a naturally occurring antioxidant commonly found in fruits and vegetables, including dark berries, grapes, and dark leafy greens! Green tea and red wine are also known to have notable amounts of quercetin.

This potent antioxidant not only boosts your immune system and supports respiratory health, but it can help with your body’s natural response to allergens, histamines, and inflammation. Let’s dive into the top six quercetin benefits that you need to know.

Benefits of Quercetin

1. Supports Normal Respiratory Health

When your respiratory system is irritated, redness and swelling can result from the release of histamines. Quercetin may be your newest go-to supplement! It’s shown to have an antihistamine effect. Quercetin influences intracellular enzymes and may help inhibit histamine release.[1] This can often provide relief for watery eyes, runny nose, and swelling in the face. Quercetin may even help with photosensitivity — extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other light sources.[2]

2. Boosts Heart Health

Keeping your heart healthy starts with eating nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables that contain high levels of flavonoids. Flavonoids compounds are found naturally in many fruits and vegetables and are high in antioxidants! It’s shown that the consumption of flavonoids, especially quercetin, offers a two-fold in promoting overall cardiovascular health. First, it encourages blood flow.[3]Secondly, quercetin’s antioxidant action protects against LDL cholesterol oxidation. This may be beneficial because oxidation causes LDL cholesterol to stick to artery walls.

3. Promotes Balanced Blood Pressure

Did you know nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure? Blood pressure can be a complex mix of mechanisms inside your body, working together harmoniously. In addition to supporting cardiovascular health, quercetin naturally promotes balanced blood pressure, which is vital to your overall health. Quercetin supplementation has been researched and shown to stabilize systolic, diastolic, and average arterial pressure.[5]

4. Offers Protection Against Stress

When your body is stressed, it produces cortisol — aka the stress hormone. Cortisol is a hormone that creates a “fight or flight” response. Many situations can elevate cortisol levels — including lack of sleep and busy lifestyles. Although this is normal, when your stress levels are high and ongoing, cortisol can damage muscle tissue, leading to protein breakdown in the body. Quercetin can fight these effects during extended stress as it suppresses the enzyme necessary for cortisol release.

5. May Benefit Upper Respiratory Conditions

While more research is needed, there are promising results that quercetin may offer a bronchial dilating effect. Quercetin has been shown to inhibit an enzyme that breaks down signaling proteins, which produce swelling and airway narrowing. Quercetin causes a relaxation of the airway smooth muscle, suggesting it may offer therapeutic solutions for people suffering from upper respiratory conditions.

6. Offers Nutritional Support for Overall Health

Listen, putting good nutrition into your body is one of the best measures you can take to encourage good health. It’s not a guarantee, and some people will still get sick, but it’s a good foundation and fundamental path. Why should quercetin be part of your approach? Because research has shown that people who consume more fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of some diseases. Since quercetin is the most abundant dietary flavonoid, it’s a great option to include in your diet.

>> Power Mall Recommend Product: Quercetin (Plant Based) – 60 Caps

Neutralize free radicals and give your body a boost with our Plant-Based Quercetin. This unique antioxidant is made with highly bioavailable ingredients to promote your body’s normal response to allergens, inflammation, and histamines. Our enhanced formula effectively delivers the natural immune and allergen support your body needs.

Covid: Mouthwash ‘can kill virus in lab in 30 seconds

BBC – Mouthwash can kill coronavirus within 30 seconds of being exposed to it in a lab, a scientific study indicates.

Scientists at Cardiff University found there were “promising signs” that over-the-counter mouthwashes may help to destroy the virus.

The report comes ahead of a clinical trial on Covid-19 on patients at the University Hospital of Wales.

Dr Nick Claydon said the study could lead to mouthwash becoming an important part of people’s routines.

While the research suggests use of mouthwash may help kill the virus in saliva, there is not evidence it could be used as a treatment for coronavirus, as it will not reach the the respiratory tract or the lungs.

Dr Claydon, a specialist periodontologist, said: “If these positive results are reflected in Cardiff University’s clinical trial, CPC-based mouthwashes… could become an important addition to people’s routine, together with hand washing, physical distancing and wearing masks, both now and in the future.”

VACCINE DEATH WAVE: UK government posts bid for AI system to process the expected flood of COVID-19 vaccine injuries and side effects described as a “direct threat to patient life”

Natural News – While the lying, treasonous mainstream media is telling us all that covid-19 vaccines are perfectly safe and “95% effective” — and this lie is being repeated by PJ Media, Breitbart and other so-called “conservative” news publishers — the UK government has posted a bid and an award contract notice, seeking an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that can process the expected flood of covid-19 vaccine injuries and side effects.

Titled simply, “Supplies – 506291-2020” and found at this link on Tenders Electronic Daily, this contract award notice we originally posted on October 19th, 2020 and is summed up as follows:

The MHRA urgently seeks an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software tool to process the expected high volume of Covid-19 vaccine Adverse Drug Reaction (ADRs) and ensure that no details from the ADRs’ reaction text are missed.

The request for the AI system to process covid-19 vaccine reactions comes from the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the MHRA.

Further in the document, the MHRA describes an “extreme urgency under Regulation 32(2)(c) related to the release of a Covid-19 vaccine” and says that the expected flood of covid-19 vaccine adverse reactions will overwhelm its current “legacy systems.”

“If the MHRA does not implement the AI tool,” the MHRA explains, “it will be unable to process these ADRs effectively. This will hinder its ability to rapidly identify any potential safety issues with the Covid-19 vaccine and represents a direct threat to patient life and public health.”

The extreme urgency status of this bid is further explained:

Reasons of extreme urgency — the MHRA recognises that its planned procurement process for the SafetyConnect programme, including the AI tool, would not have concluded by vaccine launch. Leading to a inability to effectively monitor adverse reactions to a Covid-19 vaccine.

Events unforeseeable — the Covid-19 crisis is novel and developments in the search of a Covid-19 vaccine have not followed any predictable pattern so far.