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Today’s News: October 13, 2020

World News

‘Traumatic’: French women forced to wear MASKS during CHILDBIRTH, campaign group calls for hospitals to ditch rule

RT  – Hospitals in France are requiring expectant mothers to wear face masks during childbirth, allegedly causing complications during labor. Now an activist group is leading a wave of angry backlash over the practice.

The anti-masked-birth campaigners and some doctors say that mothers are finding themselves unnecessarily stressed out and having trouble breathing, which can lead to weakness and an inability to push during labor.

There have been multiple instances of hospital staff threatening to refuse medical service to maskless women reported in the French media. Some mothers have revealed that they were forced to keep their face masks on even when they were struggling to breathe while giving birth.

“I had the feeling that I was suffocating, I was very hot, I was sweating profusely under my mask, I wasn’t managing it,” the Daily Mail reported one French mother as saying.

Boris, We Need Full UK Lockdown NOW!

Sputnik – We need a national lockdown now and it needs to be even tougher than the one back in March. The present rules and ‘tiers’ are too confusing and will only result in more tears as businesses fail, unemployment soars to early eighties levels and the bodies pile up in the morgue.

I would also take the radical step of isolating all students now in their halls of residences, testing them and then sending them home to be with their families.

They should of course be compensated for their rent and student fees.

All lectures should move to Zoom until at least Christmas and this pathetic mantra of keeping schools open has to be reversed.

Kids are the spreaders of the virus along with students so they need to be removed from the classroom.

Let’s bring back Joe Wicks and online learning, and parents need to take responsibility for their children whilst they are furloughed for a fortnight or so.

Yesterday, Boris talked about the two different extremes of thought on how to tackle the new pandemic but he decided to take the middle route which has done nothing to get the country behind him.

He is trying to be a servant of two masters and that never works.

Taking the middle of the road always ends up with a car crash and that pile up started almost immediately with Professor Whitty stating in the press conference that even Tier Three would not be enough to stop the spread of the virus.

This pile up has been added to this morning with ‘Charisma bypass survivor,’ Minister Robert Jenrick who has stated in several TV interviews that Tier Three may not be enough to halt the spread of the virus and further restrictions may be needed.

So why are we proceeding with this postcode lottery style of dealing with a deadly disease?

Anyone with even half a brain can see that we will be in full lockdown again in a couple of weeks so lets just get on with it. Many of the problems we are now facing are directly traceable to Boris’ earlier dithering and delaying, so let’s not wait, let’s crack on.

This morning the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, is saying that he would prefer a short sharp shock of a lockdown and I agree with him.

Labour MP Declares Free Speech Does Not Include Freedom to ‘Generally Offend’

Breitbart – Labour’s shadow government minister for legal aid, Karl Turner MP, has said that freedom of speech does not include the freedom to “generally offend.”

Turner, a self-proclaimed “#LeftyLawyer”, issued his remarkable statement in response to Brexit campaigner turned conservative commentator Darren Grimes defending himself against London police investigating him over an interview in which one of his guests said something offensive.

“Freedom of speech Darren doesn’t afford people the freedom to make racist remarks or generally offend,” the politician declared in a now-deleted tweet, adding: “I shall say nothing further given that you say [the Metropolitan Police] are investigating a complaint.”

The backlash against the lawyer MP was swift and extensive, ranging from members of the public to Members of Parliament.

“Freedom of speech *precisely* involves the freedom to offend. This is the whole point, from Charlie Hebdo to Voltaire to Rushdie,” responded Simon Clarke, the Conservative MP for Middlesborough South and East Cleveland.

“Of course everyone has the right to freedom of expression, Simon. But that doesn’t mean freedom from the consequences from what they have said,” Turner shot back — somewhat alarmingly, given the context of Clarke’s reference to the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

“As I understand it, the Police are investigating complaints. And it is right that they should investigate racist behaviour,” Turner insisted.

Lockdowns Have Killed What’s Left of the United Nations’ Credibility

Global Research – Distrust of the United Nations is a feeling that transcends political ideologies. Even many who view the UN as an essential institution gripe about the composition of its councils and its mounting listlessness over the last few decades. From charges of appeasement to accusations of moral relativism and beyond, the UN is regularly decried as an ineffectual circus of multinational bureaucrats, purposely or unwittingly promoting the interests of a global elite and undermining the sovereignty of nations. Conspiracy theorists, rarely inclined to subtlety, see it as a Trojan horse for a New World Order, paving the way for a supranational world government.

Nevertheless, many of those complaints (and some of those suspicions, at least circumstantially) are justified. Despite its foundational goal of “maintain[ing] international peace and security” the U.N. has clung to an increasingly desultory role since its formation after World War II, adding mostly ineffective missions along the way.

Although the monitoring of human rights has been a part of the U.S. mission since its founding, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drawn up in 1948; during the 1980s it began picking up steam. With the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action at the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, that focus was formalized and infrastructure (a High Commissioner, with an office and staff) added.

Yet the U.N. has never failed to the extent that it has throughout 2020. This year, the United Nations has effectively stood as a bystander and partial accomplice amid the most widespread violations of human rights at any time in its seven-decade history.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Johnson & Johnson pauses Covid vaccine trial over participant’s ‘unexplained illness’

The Guardian – Johnson & Johnson has paused its Covid-19 vaccine trial due to an “unexplained illness” in a participant, the company confirmed.

The pharmaceutical giant was unclear if the patient was administered a placebo or the experimental vaccine, and it’s not remarkable for studies as large as the one Johnson & Johnson are conducting – involving 60,000 patients – to be temporarily paused.

Nevertheless, with several drug companies racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine, facilitated by Operation Warp Speed, the US government effort to speed up development the news of any setbacks are being closely watched by politicians and Americans eager for a way out of a pandemic that has killed more than 214,000.

In September, another trial for a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University was paused for a second time since trials began in April after a suspected adverse reaction in a patient. The study restarted a week afterward in UK, and in other countries since then, but remains on ice in the US.

California Republicans Defend Drop Boxes: If Democrats Can Do ‘Ballot Harvesting,’ So Can We

Breitbart – California Republicans are defending their use of ballot “drop boxes” as a legal form of “ballot harvesting” after California’s Democratic state election officials sent them a cease-and-desist letter demanding that they stop using them.

On Sunday evening, the Orange County Register reported that unsanctioned ballot drop-off boxes — many of them marked “official” — were appearing throughout the state, often at “local political party offices, candidate headquarters and churches.”

On Monday, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra wrote the California Republican Party (CRP) a “cease-and-desist” letter ordering them to stop using the drop-off boxes.

In a statement, Becerra warned the CRP:

“Misleading voters is wrong, regardless of who is doing it,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “Political parties and campaigns can engage in get out the vote efforts, but they cannot violate state law. The unofficial, unauthorized drop boxes in question violate state law and jeopardize the security of voters’ ballots. State and local elections officials have worked tirelessly to provide voters multiple safe, secure options to return their vote-by-mail ballots. These unauthorized drop boxes are a disservice to elections administrators and a disservice to voters who deserve to cast their ballots with clarity and confidence.”

However, Republicans counter that all they are doing is follow the “ballot harvesting” law that Democrats themselves passed.

In 2016, Democrats legalized the practice — which is considered illegal in most other states — of allowing third parties to collect and deliver mail-in ballots from voters. The “third parties” can literally be anyone, including political party operatives, and do not need to register or pass any kind of background check. There is also no limit to the number of ballots that can be “harvested.”

Joe Biden Still Won’t Say If He Will Expand Supreme Court; ‘Not a Fan’ of Court-packing

Breitbart – Former Vice President Joe Biden refused to answer a question in an interview with Cincinnati’s WKRC Local 12 on Monday about whether he would expand the Supreme Court and fill it with liberal justices.

Biden said that he is “not a fan” of court-packing — but he appeared to confuse the definition of the term, perhaps deliberately.

Democrats have recently tried to deflect the question by claiming that President Donald Trump is already “packing” the court by nominating conservatives.

Biden spoke in an interview with Kyle Inskeep, who asked him specifically about “expanding” the Court.

Inskeep: You have made it very clear you don’t want to talk about packing the Court until after Election Day. But what about for undecided voters who want to know your position on possibly expanding the Court before they cast their ballot?

BidenWell, look — before they — what I want to spend the focus on, is I respectfully, suggest, is what — the packing — court-packing is going on now, never before when an an election has already begun and millions of votes are already cast, has it ever been that a Supreme Court nominee was put forward. Had never happened before. And one of the reasons is, the Constitution implies that the only shot the American people get to determine who will be on the lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court or federal courts, is when they pick their senator and their president, because the president names, and the Senate advises and consents. That’s the focus. I’ve already spoken on — I’m not a fan of court-packing, but I’m not — I don’t want to get off on that whole issue. I want to keep focused. The president would love nothing better than to fight about whether or not I would, in fact, pack the court, or not pack the court, et cetera.

As Henry Olsen noted recently in the Washington Post, Biden had opposed court-packing in 2019, but has been reluctant to reiterate that position as more leading Democrats have publicly supported the idea as a way of overcoming President Donald Trump’s judicial picks, and the nominal conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

Last week, Biden even said that voters did not deserve to know his stance on packing the Court before they cast their votes in the presidential election.

Court-packing was rejected — by Democrats — the last time it was suggested, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s.

Rep. Doug Collins introduces resolution to push for Pelosi removal as House speaker

Fox – Rep. Doug Collins on Monday introduced a resolution to push for the removal of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, claiming she “does not have the mental fitness” to lead the House of Representatives.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unwillingness to abide by the Constitution, combined with her recent actions, call into question her own mental fitness, which is why it’s critical that the House of Representatives demand her removal from the line of succession,” Collins said in a statement to Fox News.

A draft of Collins’ resolution, obtained by Fox News, argues that Pelosi “is unable to adequately serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives and should therefore be removed from her position.”

The resolution states that Pelosi “has spent the majority of the House of Representative’s time pursuing baseless and fruitless investigations” against President Trump and his administration, including launching an impeachment inquiry against him in the fall of 2019.

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to face tough scrutiny from Senate Democrats

Reuters – U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday will face the first of two days of direct questioning from senators, as Democrats try to make the case that her confirmation would threaten healthcare for millions of Americans.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing presents Barrett with a chance to respond to Democratic lawmakers who have been unified in opposing her primarily on what they say would be her role in undermining the Obamacare healthcare law and its protection for patients with pre-existing conditions.

“I believe Americans of all backgrounds deserve an independent Supreme Court that interprets our Constitution and laws as they are written,” she said on Monday during the hearing’s opening statements.

Nominated to the court by Republican President Donald Trump late last month following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Barrett added that courts were not designed to solve every problem in public life. “The public should not expect courts to do so and the courts should not try.”

Barrett could be on the Supreme Court in time for the Nov. 10 arguments in a case in which Trump and Republican-led states are seeking to invalidate the 2010 Affordable Care Act, Democratic former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement that has enabled millions of Americans to obtain medical coverage.

Barrett has criticized a 2012 Supreme Court ruling authored by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts that upheld the law, popularly known as Obamacare.

Republicans have a 53-47 Senate majority, leaving Democrats with little to no chance of blocking Barrett’s confirmation.

Barrett, 48, would tilt the Supreme Court further to the right and give conservative justices a 6-3 majority, making even the unexpected victories on which liberals have prevailed in recent years, including abortion and gay rights, rarer still.

Trump’s nomination of Barrett came late in an election cycle when Republican control of both the White House and Senate is at stake. The confirmation hearing format has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the public excluded and some senators participating remotely.

Economy & Business

Many preparing to stockpile food again

MSN – Leslyn Hall says she and her husband plan to stock up on groceries later this month. At the back of her mind are concerns about disruptions in supplies if there’s another COVID-19 surge, as well as potential unrest surrounding the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“We talked about doing a big shop like we’re going into quarantine,” says Hall, 53, of Burlington, Vermont. On the list: enough basics such as milk, beans and rice to last for two to three weeks.

Hall, a consultant, points out that her local grocery stores struggle to keep their shelves fully stocked and have shortages of products like cleaning supplies, even though her state has one of the lowest COVID-19 rates in the U.S.

“Arguably speaking, we have control of things in Vermont, but you still go into the grocery store and there are shelves that are sparse,” she says.

Jewelry store sues Portland for failing to protect businesses from Antifa, Black Lives Matter rioters

NaturalNews – Kassab Jewelers, a jewelry store in downtown Portland that has been operating for decades, is planning to sue the city due to its alleged failure to protect businesses from the looters that broke into their store during the start of the engineered rioting in late May.

Noha Kassab, CEO of Kassab Jewelers, filed a tort claim with the city last September. She is seeking $2.5 million in damages from the city to cover the cost of the damage inflicted upon her store, her lost profits and the theft of over $1.5 million worth of rubies, diamonds and other gems.

Kassab Jewelers was just one of many high-end businesses that were ransacked by Antifa and Black Lives Matter looters when the rioting in Portland began in late May. Four months after the initial rioting, many of these businesses remain boarded up and unable to get their operations running again.

Many streets in downtown Portland that were once filled with customers and tourists now remain quiet. The fact that the neighborhood turns into a battleground every night doesn’t help.

Kassab is arguing that, after the death of George Floyd and the eruption of rioting and violence in Minneapolis, city officials should have been prepared for the demonstrations to begin in Portland and that they should have planned how to protect downtown businesses.

Virginia system down on last day to register to vote

ABC – An accidentally cut cable has caused the entire Virginia voter registration system to go down on the last day to register to vote before election day. 

The Virginia Information Technology Agency tweeted that a fiber cut near Route 10 in Chester, Virginia is to blame. 

“Due to a network outage, the Citizen Portal is temporarily unavailable. We are working with our network providers to restore service as quickly as possible,” the Virginia Department of Elections posted on their registration website.

There was no estimate on if, or when, the problem would be fixed Tuesday. Once the database issues are fixed, Virginians will be again able to register to vote online with identification, or in-person at their voter registrar’s offices.

Energy & Environment

‘No part of US is safe’ Yellowstone warning issued after ‘rising magma’ signs identified

Express – Located inside Yellowstone National Park, the caldera is dubbed a supervolcano due to its capability to inflict untold devastation on a global scale in the event of a supereruption. It was formed during the last three big events – the Huckleberry Ridge eruption 2.1 million years ago, the Mesa Falls eruption 1.3 million years ago and the Lava Creek eruption approximately 630,000 years ago. The area is constantly monitored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for signs an eruption is on the way, but science writer Bryan Walsh painted a bleak picture of what could happen in the future.

In his recently-published book ‘End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World,’ he wrote: “First would come a swarm of increasingly intense earthquakes, a sign that magma was rushing toward the surface.

“The pressure would build until, like champagne in a bottle given a vigorous shake, the magma would burst through the ground in a titanic eruption that would discharge the toxic innards of the Earth to the air.

Giant chunks of ash rain down in California

NaturalNews – Giant chunks of ash have rained down the Bay Area last month after the Glass fire in Napa and Sonoma County exploded.

Lumps of ash bigger than a human hand filled the skies that turned orange from the blaze located northeast of the region. Some lumps looked fibrous while others resembled shredded bark. Among the ash were burnt leaves.

Authorities advised residents to stay indoors or wear protective masks to minimize inhaling particulate matter. Weather experts said air quality in the Bay Area would remain bad throughout the rest of the week.

The Glass fire has burned more than 50,000 acres and is two percent contained as of Wednesday evening, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire). Nearly 70,000 residents have been forced to evacuate as state and federal firefighting crews attempt to suppress the fire that threatens to destroy more than 26,000 structures.

Health

Study Shows Significant Link Between Mercury and Autism

Mercola – The controversy over whether mercury overexposure can trigger autism is a long-standing one. A new meta-analysis of previous studies sheds much needed light on the matter, concluding there’s a “significant relationship” between the two.

The review, published in the September 2020 issue of Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, looked at 18 studies conducted between 1982 and 2019 that examined the relationship between concentrations of copper, lead or mercury in blood, plasma, hair or nails and the prevalence of autism. While no relationship was found between autism and copper concentrations, a high degree of correlation was found for mercury and lead.

There is … a significant relationship between mercury concentration and autism. Thus, the concentration of mercury can be listed as a pathogenic cause (disease-causing) for autism. ~ Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapy 2020

According to the authors,3 the relationship between mercury and autism is so strong that “the concentration of mercury can be listed as a pathogenic cause (disease-causing) for autism.” This held true even when outlier studies that might unduly influence the results were removed.

New Jersey parents and lawmakers slam mandatory flu jabs for students

NaturalNews – A bill introduced in the New Jersey legislature last August requiring flu immunization for students before they can enroll in educational institutions drew flak from concerned parents and Republican lawmakers. The proposal lets officials “more promptly distinguish whether a COVID-19 or influenza outbreak is occurring” in schools, given that the symptoms of both diseases are similar.

However, the bill allows exemptions on medical conditions or religious grounds—but “a general philosophical or moral objection to the vaccination” did not qualify as a reason to opt-out. In protest of this proposed bill, hundreds of parents and children gathered Sept. 24 in front of the State House in Trenton.

“To mandate [vaccination] on all children for the public education that they’re constitutionally entitled to seem like a gross violation of our human rights and bodily sovereignty,” protest organizer Stephanie Locricchio said. The founder of the Wellness Warriors Revolution parental group added that giving lawmakers to decide children must get a flu shot is “overreach.”

“The government has no business making medical decisions for our bodies and our children,” protest co-organizer and New Jersey for Medical Freedom founder Ayla Wolf said. She added that the bill requiring flu shots would serve as a precedent to other mandatory vaccines.

Meanwhile, two Republican lawmakers in the State Assembly introduced Sept. 17 a bill forbidding government agencies and schools from requiring flu vaccinations for anyone 18 years old or younger. Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger, one of the bill’s authors, said his proposal only prevents the government from deciding on flu vaccinations—an issue parents should be deciding on.

According to the assemblyman, if the government is allowed to mandate vaccinations for seasonal flu, then nothing will stop it from mandating other vaccines—having the same idea as Wolf. He added that his “pro-personal choice” bill would stop the mandatory immunization proposal; if signed into law, Scharfenberger’s bill will supersede the one introduced in August.