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Today’s News: September 24, 2020

World News

China pork reserves at risk of ‘running out in months’

ZeroHedge – China could be on the brink of exhausting its massive frozen pork reserves as the country’s pig herd is wiped out by African swine fever.

Declining reserves are particularly bad news for the Communist Party of China, which is worried that it might not be able to prevent another destabilizing surge in prices.

For more color on China’s strategic pork reserves, Enodo Economics, a London-based consultancy firm, quoted by the Financial Times, said reserves fell by 452,000 tons from Sept. 2019 to Aug. 2020. This means the country’s pork reserves are at dangerously low levels.

It’s unclear how much of China’s latest pork imports have been diverted to state stockpiles – but Diana Choyleva, Enodo’s chief economist, said China has about 100,000 tons of frozen pork left in reserves, and “at this rate, within two to three months they’ll be out.”

UK Grocers Stave Off Panic Buying Amid 2nd Lockdown Fears; Daily COVID Case Record Smashed

ZeroHedge – Britain is scrambling to avoid a second lockdown after its first one six months ago, with PM Boris Johnson just introducing expanded new social distancing rules across the UK, as the government’s top adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warns “the epidemic is doubling roughly every seven days.” 

Specifically the latest surge in COVID-19 cases at current rates could mean 50,000 cases a day by mid-October, Vallance warned at the start of the week. In introducing new measures to fight the spread Tuesday night, Johnson urged citizens to “summon discipline, resolve and a spirit of togetherness.” The new measures will last a whopping six months with warnings of “a difficult winter” — also at a moment total infection numbers approach the half-million mark (as of Wednesday: 409,729 people tested positive since the start, including 41,862 deaths).

However all the dire pandemic predictions have naturally resulted in a surge of panic buying, similar to what happened across the West and in the United States as lockdowns hit last Spring.

“Supermarket bosses have urged shoppers not to start panic buying, while Asda is bringing in 1,000 safety marshals, as the industry braces for a potential change in shopping habits ahead of new lockdown restrictions,” The Guardian reports late Wednesday.

Discount supermarket chains Tesco and Aldi urged customers this week not to start stockpiling goods, saying was “unnecessary” and seeking to calm fears of disruption in supply chains. 

Aldi in the UK, for example, posted a public statement saying:

“There is no need to buy more than you usually would. I would like to reassure you that our stores remain fully stocked and ask that you continue to shop considerately.”

“We have remained open for our customers throughout the pandemic and will continue to have daily deliveries, often multiple times a day, across all of our products.”

And CEO Dave Lewis of the popular store Tesco said in a televised interview that Britons should not panic: “The message would be one of reassurance. I think the UK saw how well the food industry managed last time, so there’s very good supplies of food,” he said, describing an improved plan for rapid restocking.

“We just don’t want to see a return to unnecessary panic buying because that creates a tension in the supply chain that’s not necessary,” he added.

Via NPR: If the U.K.’s rate of new coronavirus cases doubles four more times, Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance said, “you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October per day.”

Given the record number of new cases, the sense of fear and panic is not likely to abate in the short term:

New UK coronavirus cases hit 6,178 on Wednesday, according to the latest government data. The number is the highest daily level since 1 May, when the UK was in full lockdown.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Protests erupt across nation after Kentucky grand jury decision

Washington Examiner – Both peaceful and violent demonstrations broke out across the country after a Kentucky grand jury declined to file homicide charges against any of the three police officers were involved in the March raid in which Breonna Taylor was shot and killed.

Protests began in Louisville minutes after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced the grand jury’s findings Wednesday afternoon. By the evening, two law enforcement officials in Louisville were shot, but neither officer was in critical condition, and the police announced an arrest has been made in connection with the shooting. Approximately 100 protesters, and some journalists, were arrested there, according to CBS News affiliate WLKY.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer declared an emergency order prior to the grand jury announcement, closed much of the downtown area, and issued a 9 p.m. curfew for the city.

Former NFL player Marcellus Wiley rips Black Lives Matter after it removes page on disrupting ‘nuclear family structure’

‘Heard too many people tell me that I was wrong for misinterpreting BLM’s mission statement and I took their words out of context,’ Wiley tweeted out on Monday

Fox – Marcellus Wiley, a former NFL defensive lineman and current member of Fox Sports 1’s “Speak for Yourself,” unleashed on the Black Lives Matter movement after the group removed a page from its site that reprimanded “Heard too many people tell me that I was wrong for misinterpreting BLM’s mission statement and I took their words out of context,” Wiley tweeted out on Monday.

“You were saying??? #factsoverfeelings #apologyaccepted,” Wiley said in the tweet with a video from June of him stating why it was a bad idea for the NBA to paint “Black Lives Matter” on their courts.

Wiley added: “Seems some have forgotten I navigated from the bottom of this system. I planned & worked to succeed by any means, whether by using my brain or my body! Blessed to be an example of how important a nuclear family is to reaching your full potential. My experience is my expertise.”

In the video from June, Wiley ripped Black Lives Matter for the now-deleted mission statement.

“Two things: My family structure is so vital[ly] important to me,” Wiley said in the video. “Not only the one I grew up in but the one I am trying to create right now. Being a father and a husband — that’s my mission in life right now. How do I reconcile that with this mission statement that says, ‘We dismantle the patriarchal practice. We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement.

Wiley continued: “Children from single-parent homes versus two-parent homes: The children from the single-parent homes ⁠— this was in 1995 I was reading this. Five times more likely to commit suicide. Six times more likely to be in poverty. Nine times more likely to drop out of high school. Ten times more likely to abuse chemical substances. Fourteen times more likely to commit rape. Twenty times more likely to end up in prison. And 32 times more likely to run away from home.

“In 2020, white supremacy is the mission,” Wiley added. “That’s a lot of digging through minutiae right there. I’m on a show that I’m hosting along with another black guy who is hosting with me, who replaced another black guy — and that’s just one example of it. So, I understand. I respect your space. I respect what you’re protesting for. But will you respect others who don’t support that same protest?”

San Francisco Residents On Alert As Home Invasions Spike 42%

Activist Post – San Francisco residents are on edge and sounding the alarm amid a spate of brazen break-ins throughout the city, according to KPIX5, which notes that burglaries in the city were up 42% in the first nine months of the year vs. the same period in 2019.

“In the Northern District, which includes Pacific Heights, the Marina, North Beach, and Cow Hollow, it’s up 59%. In the Mission, 79% and in the Richmond up 50%,” according to the report.

A recent example is a video posted on Nextdoor and given to KPIX 5 from one homeowner in the Cow Hollow neighborhood that shows a man trying to break into a house at 1:52 a.m. on August 22. It’s an image that’s creepy, disturbing and has shaken a sense of safety.

The homeowner didn’t want his identity revealed, but others say these attempted burglaries have been rampant. –KPIX5

“Our next-door neighbor got broken into and they had already experienced another break-in a month prior to that,” said resident Ginny Fang, who lives in the city’s North Beach neighborhood. Thieves stole four of her family’s bicycles several weeks ago in a breaking and entry.

“You take a walk down the neighborhood and you see so many holes just punched into garages and wires, the same wire that was used to hook ours, you see them, laying around on the street,” she said.

According to San Francisco Police, the department is getting more reports of garage break-ins recently.

“We’re doing all we can to step up patrols and to ultimately arrest those who are committing these crimes,” said officer Robert Rueca.

Rand Paul: I’m Sending Hunter Biden Report to DOJ for Criminal Referral

Breitbart – On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “The Story,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) stated that he will send the preliminary report on Hunter Biden’s business dealings to the Department of Justice and ask for a criminal referral.

Paul said, “I think riding on Air Force Two and doing business is illegal. I think that is against the law, and probably a felony. I think it’s illegal to take money from a Russian politician’s wife, $3.5 million. Was it reported accurately? I think the only way to determine the actual legality of this is to have it referred to the Department of Justice. So, I’m going to send the report over. I don’t know if the whole committee will vote for it, but I’m sending the report, tomorrow, to the Department of Justice, and we’re asking for a criminal referral.”

Idaho Police Arrest 3 at Outdoor Church Worship Event in Defiance of Mask Mandate

Breitbart – Police in Moscow, Idaho, arrested three people Wednesday for violating social distancing rules as their church sang hymns and Bible psalms outdoors — an event held, in part, to protest the city mayor’s mask mandate, which runs to January 2021.

Officers arrested Gabriel Rench, Rachel Bohnet, and Sean Bohnet, according to Moscow Report, a local independent news outlet. A video uploaded to social media shows Bohnet, a local music teacher, and his wife telling officers they refused to comply with an inaudible order. Moscow Report says the apparent infraction is that they refused to show identification.

Ann Arbor Just Voted to Tell Cops to Stop Arresting People for Mushrooms, Ayahuasca, and More

Free Thought Project -Right now in Louisville, KY, two cops have been shot and residents are rioting because the state has an addiction to drugs. Despite the overwhelming evidence showing that kidnapping and caging people for possessing illegal substances does nothing to prevent use and only leads to more crime and suffering, government is still hell bent on enforcing the war on drugs. Like a crack addict who needs to find his next fix, the state is unable to resist the temptation to kick in doors, shake down brown people, and ruin lives to enforce the drug war. Breonna Taylor’s life was brought to an end because the police state is addicted to arresting people for drugs.

Instead of realizing the horrific nature of the enforcement of prohibition, many cities across the country, like Louisville, double down on the drug war instead of admitting failure. As we can see from watching it unfold, this will only lead to more suffering and more crime. Luckily, there are cities in other parts of the country that are taking steps to stop this violent war and the implications for such measures are only beneficial to all human kind.

Seven years ago, Colorado citizens—tired of the war on drugs and wise to the near-limitless benefits of cannabis—made US history by voting to legalize recreational marijuana. Then, last year, this state once again placed themselves on the right side of history as they voted to decriminalize magic mushrooms. But this was just the beginning and their momentum is spreading—faster and stronger, toward decriminalizing all plant-based psychedelics.

Now, a major city in Michigan is following suit, but not just with psilocybin—Ann Arbor just passed a decriminalization measure for other psychedelics like mescaline cacti, ayahuasca and ibogaine.

The City Council voted unanimously to decriminalize the adult use and possession of magic mushrooms and other entheogenic, or psychoactive, plants and fungi. The measure passed with overwhelming support.

The resolution defines “entheogenic plants” as the full spectrum of plants and fungi that contain indole amines, tryptamines and phenethylamines “that can benefit psychological and physical wellness, support and enhance religious and spiritual practices, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature.”

As mLive.com reports:

City Council voted unanimously Monday night, Sept. 21, in favor of a resolution declaring it’s the city’s lowest law enforcement priority to investigate and arrest anyone for planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with or possessing entheogenic plants or plant compounds.

That includes ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin mushrooms and other substances with hallucinogenic properties deemed illegal under state and federal law.

Council also called upon the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office to cease prosecution of people involved in the use of entheogenic plants and plant compounds.

Council Member Zachary Ackerman, D-3rd Ward, noted Johns Hopkins Medicine has launched a $17 million center dedicated to psychedelic and consciousness research, seeing what he called “the tremendous potential of these future medicines.”

“The use of entheogenic plants, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth, have been shown by scientific and clinical studies and traditional practices to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these conditions,” reads the resolution.

To be clear, the recent measure does not mean that mushrooms and other plants are now legal, it simply means that cops can’t make it a priority to go after folks for them and it won’t land people in jail for possession. While legalization would be the perfect result, this is most certainly a step in the right direction.

“It’s the plants that are going to bring us back to sanity. We’ve got to listen to their message and we’ve got to live reciprocally with nature and restore the natural order,” Susana Eager Valadez, director of the Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and Traditional Arts said after Oakland passed a similar measure last year.

Now, cops can try to focus on real crimes instead of kidnapping and caging people who are trying to heal themselves with a plant.

Supporters hope the decision will begin a nationwide discussion about decriminalizing plant-based drugs.

Economy & Business

39 states don’t have enough money to pay their bills

Sciff Gold- It’s not just the federal government running massive deficits and piling up enormous levels of debt. Thirty-nine US states don’t have enough money to pay all of their bills.

That was the grim conclusion of Truth in Accounting’s annual Financial State of the States report.

The report summarizes a comprehensive analysis surveying the fiscal health of the 50 states prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Total debt for all states combined totaled $1.4 trillion at the end of fiscal 2019. This does not include debt related to capital assets.

Energy & Environment

California Gov. Newsom executive order bans gas, diesel cars by 2035

‘Let us no longer be victims of geopolitical dictators that manipulate … global markets,’ he said

Fox- California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Monday that aims to ban the sale of new internal combustion engine cars in the state by 2035.

The order directs the California Air Resources Board to develop a phase-out plan that would require 100 percent zero-emissions personal use and dryage vehicles by 2035 and as many medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicle applications deemed feasible by 2045.

“Pull away from the gas pumps,” Newsom said. “Let us no longer be victims of geopolitical dictators that manipulate global supply chains and global markets.”

California is both the largest new car market in the U.S., with 1.8 million vehicle sales in 2019, and also accounts for the most electric car purchases of any state.

During the company’s Battery Day event in Fremont, Calif., on Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk estimated that it would take about 15 years of all-electric sales to eliminate most internal combustion engine cars from the road.

Fifteen countries, including the U.K, have instituted similar policies. Nine states, including New York, currently follow California’s ZEV standards.

Health

Mexico Tackles COVID-19 Pandemic With Junk Food Bans

Mercola – While most mainstream media pundits and American health authorities remain mum about the influence of nutrition and lifestyle on the risks of COVID-19 and its prognosis, more than a dozen states in Mexico have decided to combat the pandemic by banning the sale of junk food to minors.

Mexico Bans Junk Food to Curtail COVID-19 Death Toll

As reported by NPR, September 14, 2020:1

“First Oaxaca’s state legislature passed a ban on selling or giving out high-calorie packaged foods and sugar-sweetened drinks to minors on Aug. 5. Less than two weeks later, Tabasco state approved a prohibition, too. Now at least a dozen other states are considering similar legislation.

‘I know it can sound a bit drastic but we had to take action now,’ says Magaly López, a lawmaker in Oaxaca’s Congress who spearheaded the ban. More than 70,000 Mexicans have died from COVID-19, the world’s fourth-highest recorded death toll, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University.

Two-thirds of those who died in Mexico had an underlying medical condition such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular problems, according to Health Department officials. That has led to a new urgency to change diets so that the younger generation doesn’t suffer those ailments.”

Adults are also urged to cut back their consumption of junk food to curtail their risk of COVID-19 and other health issues. This includes the consumption of soda, which assistant health secretary Hugo López-Gatell has referred to as “bottled poison.”2,3

Legislators are still pondering how to enforce the ban, but according to NPR, punishment for sale of junk food to minors could potentially include fines or even jail time.

López-Gatell is reportedly considering making the ban a permanent law in order to protect the health and well-being of Mexican youth moving forward. This would be no easy task, he admits, considering the powerful commercial interests at play. Critics also point out that, in all likelihood, the ban will simply shift business from grocery stores to unregulated street vendors.

Interestingly, when NPR interviewed teenagers around Mexico City and Oaxaca state, they found most “knew about health problems related to junk food” and seemed receptive to the ban. One 16-year-old girl said, “I’d be frustrated at first if I couldn’t buy a Coke, but I’d adapt. And maybe I’d think twice and buy fruit or something healthy instead.”

Your Metabolism & Immunity Are Inextricably Linked: Here’s Why It Matters

MindBodyGreen – You’ve likely heard the adage “feed a cold, starve a fever.” Now, why would that work? Why would different maladies ask for different approaches to diet? That’s easier to answer, once you understand the connection between your body’s metabolism and immunity.

Put those two together to make a big word—immunometabolism—and you’ve landed on a revolutionary concept working its way through the scientific literature. The idea here is basic but powerful: Different parts of your immune system want different diets. And if you feed them appropriately, you can nurture better health.

How does immunometabolism work, exactly?

Immunometabolism is one facet of the larger story unfolding around immunity. I’ve previously written about how immunity is everything, and so much more than a seasonal concern around cold and flu. The new thinking around immunity is about rejuvenation, balance, and resilience. It’s not about a quick boost.

Metabolism is the way we process fuel and produce energy, and it’s connected to immunity. Science is showing us that different immune cells ask for different nutrients.

Some cells activate at the sign of danger—whether from a sprained ankle or a deadly virus—and prefer sugar as a fast fuel. This conversion of glucose into fuel is a process called glycolysis. It’s essential in the moment, but it’s not well-suited to your longer-term goal of balance. When this pathway is activated by the wrong immune cells for too long a time, this can mean inflammation and can lead to a host of problems in your body down the line.

To calm things down, think about fats. Fatty acid oxidation provides fuel to immune cells designed to calm down your immune response and dampen inflammation. You can see where this is headed.

Since immunometabolism tells us different immune cells prefer different nutrients for fuel, which means your diet, through metabolism, can impact your immune response. At Big Bold Health, I’m working with a cod liver oil that maintains its natural stores of vitamin A, vitamin D, and pro-resolving mediators (PRMs) for this very reason.

How does immunometabolism work, exactly?

Immunometabolism is one facet of the larger story unfolding around immunity. I’ve previously written about how immunity is everything, and so much more than a seasonal concern around cold and flu. The new thinking around immunity is about rejuvenation, balance, and resilience. It’s not about a quick boost.

Metabolism is the way we process fuel and produce energy, and it’s connected to immunity. Science is showing us that different immune cells ask for different nutrients.

Some cells activate at the sign of danger—whether from a sprained ankle or a deadly virus—and prefer sugar as a fast fuel. This conversion of glucose into fuel is a process called glycolysis. It’s essential in the moment, but it’s not well-suited to your longer-term goal of balance. When this pathway is activated by the wrong immune cells for too long a time, this can mean inflammation and can lead to a host of problems in your body down the line.

To calm things down, think about fats. Fatty acid oxidation provides fuel to immune cells designed to calm down your immune response and dampen inflammation. You can see where this is headed.

Since immunometabolism tells us different immune cells prefer different nutrients for fuel, which means your diet, through metabolism, can impact your immune response. 

How to feed your immune system effectively.

If some of your immune cells prefer fat and others sugar, then diet matters. The food you eat plays a meaningful role in your immune system’s ability to fight off infection and clear your cells of age-related debris.

This is the real promise of personalization nutrition. I believe that one day soon, we will be able to tailor a person’s diet to modulate the signals of an immune system in disarray, as measured by simple metabolic markers we already use around blood pressure and blood sugar.

In fact, I think we’re already getting there. The conversion of nutrients into energy for your immune cells happens in the mitochondria, and yet again, different nutrients influence a different response. If you feed your mitochondria the right phytonutrients, you can help to rebalance your immunity.

Look for key flavonoids, like rutin, quercetin, diosmin, luteolin, and hesperidin to play an important role here. A balance between pro- and antioxidants is also key, which brings nutrients like curcumin, vitamin E, and Ginkgo biloba to the table, too.

Bottom line.

So, feed a cold, starve a fever? Immunometabolism tells us why this logic took hold. A suppressed immune system needs fuel to activate—feed a cold. An activated immune system produces heat as it digests food and assimilates its nutrients. Interrupt that cycle and you bring down the heat. This is immunometabolism in action, whether our grandmothers knew it or not.

A Powerful Breathwork Exercise For Self-Love That Takes Less Than 10 Minutes

MindBodyGreen – Who couldn’t use some more self-love, right? The way we relate to ourselves and trust our own intuition affects virtually every area of our life. As such, finding new and powerful ways to flex your own self-love is so important.

So, when I saw that breathwork teacher Gwen Dittmar‘s mindbodygreen course, The Ultimate Guide To Breathwork, included a breathwork exercise for self-love, I was eager to give it a try. And I’m so glad I did.

What the breathwork felt like.

Everyone’s experience with breathwork will be different, and it’s not uncommon for strong emotions and physical sensations to arise once you start controlling the breath in a new way.

To kick off my personal self-love breath practice, I set the intention to let go of any negative beliefs I was holding about myself, along with the negative stories I had been telling myself about my own worth.

As Gwen explains, we carry wounds, often from as early as childhood, that affect how and when we love ourselves. Things that happened when you were a child, such as the way you were parented or treated by peers, can leave a lasting impact. “The love we have for ourselves is often a reflection of the love we received as children,” she notes. And that’s where the breathwork can come in.

As I moved through Gwen’s seven-minute guided practice, I experienced some of the common sensations of breathwork like lightheadedness, tingling in my hands, and a whole lot of emotions. Once I was done, I had a deep sense of compassion for myself. In short, it was awesome.

How to try the practice for yourself and unlock others.

You’ll want to find a quiet, comfortable, and private space to do this breathwork routine. Set the scene by having all the elements present (think a dish of water, candles or incense, etc.) and get clear on what your intention is going into the breathwork.

In this case, the object is to help you release stories that aren’t yours and connect more to your own self-love, and that will mean different things to everyone.


  • Lie down, get comfortable, and close your eyes. Gwen recommends using an eye pillow or mask to allow yourself to go deeper within. You’re ready to start.
  • The breath goes like this: Using your mouth, breathe into your belly, then into your chest, and exhale it out. Inhale. Inhale. Exhale.
  • Keep going, and you’ll soon start to feel the effects. Your mouth or throat may first get a little dry, and you might start feeling some slight tinging or lightheadedness. That’s OK! Gwen notes that from a spiritual perspective, mild lightheadedness is your mind essentially realizing it can let go a bit. (That being said, if it ever becomes uncomfortable, know that you can always stop, return to a normal breathing pattern, and ease back into it later.)
  • Try to stay focused on the sensations and emotions that come up for you, sticking with the breath, with the knowing that you have the ability to move through any discomfort. Once you get into the hang of the rhythm, bring your awareness back to your intention.
  • Really focus on that second inhale right in your heart center, and let loving compassionate energy in with every breath, releasing the rest on the exhale. Show love to any and everything that may come up. Gwen suggests internally saying I love myself; I am enough; I accept myself; I trust myself.
  • By the end of the seven minutes, you should feel newly energized, and hopefully, a bit more loving and trusting of yourself.

This is just one of many breathwork techniques that Gwen shares in her comprehensive class that’s designed to help us use the breath to move through the stress and overwhelm of modern life with more grace, ease, and power. Perhaps the best thing about the healing course is that you can take it from the comfort of your own home and refer back to it whenever you need.

When paired with other self-care practices, breathwork can help boost overall well-being and sense of self-love. Give this routine a try anytime you’re in need of some love from your number one: you.