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US military prepping for coronavirus pandemic

US military prepping for coronavirus pandemic --Esper directs Northern Command, geographic combatant commanders to initiate pandemic plans | 07 Feb 2020 | U.S. Northern Command is executing plans to prepare for a potential pandemic of the novel coronavirus, now called COVID19, according to Navy and Marine Corps service-wide messages issued this week. An executive order issued by the Joint Staff and approved by Defense Secretary Mark Esper this month directed Northern Command and geographic combatant commanders to initiate pandemic plans, which include ordering commanders to prepare for widespread outbreaks and confining service members with a history of travel to China. The Navy and Marine Corps messages, issued Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, reference an executive order directing U.S. Northern Command to implement the Department of Defense Global Campaign plan for Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Diseases 3551-13.

Did coronavirus originate in Chinese government laboratory? Scientists believe killer disease may have begun in research facility 300 yards from Wuhan wet fish market

Did coronavirus originate in Chinese government laboratory? Scientists believe killer disease may have begun in research facility 300 yards from Wuhan wet fish market --Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology concludes that 'the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan' --WCDC is just 300 yards from the seafood market and is adjacent to the hospital | 16 Feb 2020 | Chinese scientists believe the deadly coronavirus may have started life in a research facility just 300 yards from the Wuhan fish market. A new bombshell paper from the Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology says that the Wuhan Center for Disease Control (WHCDC) could have spawned the contagion in Hubei province. And as well as the WHCDC, the report suggests that the Wuhan Institute of Virology could also have leaked the virus, as has previously been reported by MailOnline... The report concludes that 'the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.'

President Trump gives iconic command to Daytona 500 drivers, takes lap in 'Beast' ahead of race

Trump, Melania rev up Daytona 500 with historic lap in presidential limo, 'The Beast' | 16 Feb 2020 | President Trump revved up NASCAR's Daytona 500 on Sunday, becoming the second-ever president to deliver the Great American Race's iconic command, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" and the first of any president to take a lap in the armored presidential limo, dubbed "The Beast." Trump, who was tapped to act as the race's grand marshal, and first lady Melania Trump addressed the 100,000-seat racetrack at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway ahead of the race he called "pure American glory." Trump and Melania took a lap around the speedway in "The Beast" after giving the command for racers to start their engines.

Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti found guilty in Nike extortion trial

Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti found guilty in Nike extortion trial | 14 Feb 2020 | Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti was convicted Friday by a jury of all three charges related to his efforts to extort up to $25 million from athletic apparel giant Nike, in what a top prosecutor called "an old-fashioned shakedown." The verdict in U.S. District Court in Manhattan came two years after Avenatti gained widespread notoriety for his representation of porn star Stormy Daniels in her legal disputes with President Donald Trump. The bombastic attorney, who briefly flirted with running for the Democratic presidential nomination, faces two other pending federal criminal cases this spring related to alleged thefts of millions of dollars from clients, including Daniels, and other serious charges.

Durham Sets Sights on John Brennan in Criminal Investigation

Durham Sets Sights on John Brennan in Criminal Investigation | 14 Feb 2020 | John Durham, the U.S. attorney selected by Attorney General Barr to look into the origins of the FBI's counterintelligence investigation against President Trump, has reportedly begun scrutinizing John Brennan's handling of a secret source close to the Kremlin. Durham was selected in 2019 to examine early actions by intelligence officials, and he is now looking into whether or not agencies were kept in the dark to create a negative preconceived notion about Trump and Russia regarding election interference in 2016... The top Connecticut prosecutor's team reviewed emails from the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency analysts who came together to assess Russia's interference, the new report revealed, and Durham's investigators pressed for answers about why some agencies at least temporarily denied other agencies access to secretive intelligence about the Kremlin's active-measures campaign.

Hubei Doctors Warn of Even Deadlier Coronavirus Reinfection, Causing Sudden Heart Attacks

Hubei Doctors Warn of Even Deadlier Coronavirus Reinfection, Causing Sudden Heart Attacks --Meds for virus damage heart tissue | 15 Feb 2020 | Doctors working on the front lines of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak have told the Taiwan Times that it's possible to become reinfected by the virus, leading to death from sudden heart failure in some cases. "It's highly possible to get infected a second time. A few people recovered from the first time by their own immune system, but the meds they use are damaging their heart tissue, and when they get it the second time, the antibody doesn't help but makes it worse, and they die a sudden death from heart failure," reads a message forwarded to Taiwan Times from a relative of one of the doctors living in the United Kingdom. The source also said the virus has "outsmarted all of us," as it can hide symptoms for up to 24 days. This assertion has been made independently elsewhere, with Chinese pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan saying the average incubation period is three days, but it can take as little as one day and up to 24 days to develop symptoms. Also, the source said that false negative tests for the virus are fairly common. "It can fool the test kit - was there were cases that they found, the CT scan shows both lungs are fully infected but the test came back negative four times. The fifth test came back positive." - Taiwan Times.

Pentagon to extend availability of 4 military bases to help with coronavirus efforts - official

Pentagon to extend availability of 4 military bases to help with coronavirus efforts - official | 15 Feb 2020 | The Pentagon on Saturday said it will extend the availability of four military installations to act as temporary housing through March 15 in an effort to help the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) manage the novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19. Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, a Defense Department spokesman, confirmed the move to Fox News and said the Pentagon will continue to assist HHS by providing support at the following installations: Travis Air Force Base, Calif.; Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas; Fort Carson, Colo., and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. The Defense Department will also provide necessary equipment for passenger and cargo handling, a facility for briefing passengers, office space for 50 HHS personnel, equipment, bedding and linens, as available, Mitchell said.

Mike Bloomberg 'is considering picking Hillary Clinton as his running mate in the 2020 Democratic race'

Mike Bloomberg 'is considering picking Hillary Clinton as his running mate in the 2020 Democratic race' |15 Feb 2020 | Mike Bloomberg is considering making Hillary Clinton his running mate, a source close to his campaign has told Drudge Report. Polling found the Bloomberg-Clinton combination would be a formidable force to take on Trump in the race for the White House, the source said. Former New York City Mayor and Democratic candidate Bloomberg is said to be considering even changing his official residence from New York to Colorado or Florida - where he also has homes - because the electoral college makes it difficult for US president and vice-president to reside in the same state. Under the Twelfth Amendment to the US Constitution, which provides the procedure for electing the president and vice-president, it states that the two people could not both inhabit the same state as the elector.

MIT: Hackers could change person's ballot without detection, in widely-used voting app

MIT: Hackers could change person's ballot without detection, in widely-used voting app --Attackers could 'alter, stop or expose' vote -- Voatz hasn't allowed transparent third-party testing of system | 13 Feb 2020 | An internet voting app that has been used in pilots in West Virginia, Denver, Oregon and Utah has vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to change a person's vote without detection, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The analysis of the Voatz app, which has mostly been used for absentee voters and overseas military personnel, found that attackers could "alter, stop or expose how an individual has voted." Voting security experts have long argued that online voting is dangerously insecure. "We all have an interest in increasing access to the ballot, but in order to maintain trust in our elections system, we must assure that voting systems meet the high technical and operation security standards before they are put in the field," Daniel Weitzner, an MIT scientist who oversaw the report, said Thursday. The researchers said they were forced to reverse engineer an Android version of the app because Voatz hasn't allowed transparent third-party testing of the system.

Roger Stone's attorneys make second request for new trial, after citing potential bias by jury foreperson

Roger Stone's attorneys make second request for new trial, after citing potential bias by jury foreperson | 14 Feb 2020 | Attorneys for Roger Stone on Friday requested a new trial, a day after saying they were looking into potential bias by a juror who voted to convict the longtime Trump associate of lying to Congress and witness tampering. Stone's attorneys would not reveal the contents of the motion, which was filed under seal to protect sensitive information, saying only that an un-redacted version will be submitted later for public filing. However, a day earlier they indicated they were looking into the newly surfaced social media activity of jury foreperson Tomeka Hart. Hart's role as the jury foreperson became publicly known Wednesday when she confirmed to CNN that she had written a Facebook post defending the prosecutors in Stone's case...Several of Hart's anti-Trump tweets were then uncovered, including a March post about the Mueller investigation, which led to the charges against Stone. In January 2019, Hart also sent a since-deleted tweet of Stone's arrest in a pre-dawn raid in Florida while sharing an article outlining his indictment. "Brought to you by the lock her up peanut gallery," Hart wrote.

DOJ won't charge former FBI Deputy Director McCabe

DOJ won't charge former FBI Deputy Director McCabe | 14 Feb 2020 | The Department of Justice (DOJ) will no longer pursue criminal charges against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, closing a high-profile case against the former official whose conduct during the 2016 election came under intense scrutiny. "We write to inform you that, after careful consideration, the Government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client, Andrew G. McCabe, arising from the referral by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to our Office of conduct,” wrote two officials from the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office. "Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the Government at this time, we consider the matter closed." ...McCabe was fired from the FBI by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, after DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz provided a recommendation to an internal FBI office that said McCabe was not forthcoming during interviews with federal investigators and that he "lacked candor -- including under oath -- on multiple occasions."

Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer couldn't name Mexican president in interview

Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer couldn't name Mexican president in interview | 14 Feb 2020 | Democratic presidential candidates Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer couldn't name the Mexican president when asked for it during a televised interview in Nevada Thursday. The two, along with Pete Buttigieg, were separately interviewed by Spanish-language station Telemundo after a candidate forum hosted by the League of United Latin American Citizens. Klobuchar, a Minnesota senator, replied, "No," when asked who the Mexican president is. "I forgot," was billionaire businessman Tom Steyer's response.

Posting anti-vaccine information on social media could become criminal offence, Law Commissioner says

Posting anti-vaccine information on social media could become criminal offence, Law Commissioner says | 01 Feb 2020 | Posting anti-vaccine information on social media could become a criminal offence - even if those promoting it believe the pseudoscience, the UK's new criminal Law Commissioner has said. In her first interview since taking up the role, Penney Lewis, revealed she is considering whether laws should be amended to "lower the threshold" of criminality for posting false information online that endangers lives. It comes as the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in September he was "looking very seriously" at making vaccinations compulsory for state school pupils after the UK lost its official measles-free country status [allegedly] due to a steady fall in MMR immunisation rates. [Vaccines endanger lives - not posting information about them. --LRP]

There will be a Republican primary in Connecticut this year, per Secretary of the State Denise Merrill

There will be a Republican primary in Connecticut this year, per Secretary of the State Denise Merrill | 14 Feb 2020 | Democratic Secretary of State Denise Merrill announced Friday that there will be a Republican primary here in April, a decision that GOP leaders said is unnecessary because there is no viable candidate other than President Donald Trump. Merrill made the announcement Friday morning. J.R. Romano, chairman of the state Republican Party, ripped Merrill's decision to call a primary on the GOP side, saying it stemmed from "pure political pettiness." Merrill's decision will cost municipalities money because they will have to print Republican ballots, Romano said. "There's no viable candidate on the Republican side outside of the president," Romano said.

AG William Barr to testify before Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee

AG William Barr to testify before Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee | 12 Feb 2020 | Attorney General William Barr has agreed to testify before the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee at the end of March after rebuffing requests to appear before the panel for the past year. The deal came as Democrats, including Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, of Manhattan, had raised alarm this week over Barr's interceding in the sentencing recommendation for former Trump political operative Roger Stone, who was convicted by special prosecutors in Washington, DC, last year and was facing up to nine years behind bars. "We are writing to confirm your agreement to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on March 31, 2020," Nadler and the 22 other Democratic members of the panel said in a letter to Barr on Wednesday.

Deval Patrick drops out of Democratic presidential race

Deval Patrick drops out of Democratic presidential race | 12 Feb 2020 | About three months after jumping into the 2020 Democratic primary, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is calling it quits following his low finish in New Hampshire. Patrick, who made history becoming Massachusetts' first black governor, said Wednesday in an email to supporters that he had decided to suspend his campaign "effective immediately." Patrick, a Massachusetts Democrat and a close ally of former President Barack Obama, campaigned heavily in New Hampshire due to his state's proximity to the first-in-the-nation primary state.

Stone shocker: Roger Stone jury foreperson's anti-Trump posts surface, other jurors scrutinized

Stone shocker: Roger Stone jury foreperson's anti-Trump posts surface, other jurors scrutinized | 13 Feb 2020 | Former Memphis City Schools Board President Tomeka Hart revealed Wednesday that she was the foreperson of the jury that convicted former Trump adviser Roger Stone on obstruction charges last year -- and soon afterward, her history of Democratic activism and a string of her anti-Trump social media posts came to light. In at least one case, Hart even posted specifically about the Stone case, as she retweeted an argument mocking those who considered Stone's dramatic predawn raid by a federal tactical team to be excessive force. Meanwhile, another Stone juror, Seth Cousins, donated to former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke and other progressive causes, federal election records reviewed by Fox News show. And, it emerged that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson had denied a defense request to strike a potential juror who was Obama-era press official with admitted anti-Trump views -- and whose husband worked at the same Justice Department division that handled the probe leading to Stone's prosecution. The revelations came as President Trump has called the handling of Stone's prosecution "ridiculous" and a demonstrably unfair "insult to our country."

Senate Passes War Powers Measure

Senate Passes War Powers Measure | 12 Feb 2020 | The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to advance a War Powers resolution which would limit President Donald Trump's ability to use military action against Iran without approval from Congress. The vote was bipartisan, 51-45, with eight Republicans voting with Democrats. The eight Republicans in favor of the resolution included Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Indiana Sen. Todd Young.

2,600 more military medics dispatched to assist coronavirus-hit Wuhan

2,600 more military medics dispatched to assist coronavirus-hit Wuhan | 13 Feb 2020 | Approved by Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping, 2,600 additional medical personnel from the armed forces will be tasked with treating patients in two hospitals in Wuhan, capital city of Hubei Province and the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak. They will follow the operation model of Huoshenshan Hospital and be tasked with treating confirmed patients of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in Taikang Tongji Hospital and a branch of Hubei's Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital.

Nearly 200 Georgia residents being monitored for coronavirus; 97 new deaths in China

Nearly 200 Georgia residents being monitored for coronavirus; 97 new deaths in China | 12 Feb 2020 | Georgia health officials announced on Tuesday that roughly 200 residents were self-monitoring for the coronavirus after recently returning from China. None of the residents have shown symptoms of the virus or visited Hubei province -- the epicenter of the outbreak. Health officials reportedly didn't use the word quarantine, instead, phrasing it that people are being isolated in their homes for 14 days, which is considered the virus's incubation period, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A new paper by Chinese scientists says the period could be as long as 24 days.

Driver in Florida plows van into GOP voter registration tent, nearly hitting 6 volunteers - reports

Driver in Florida plows van into GOP voter registration tent, nearly hitting 6 volunteers - reports | 09 Feb 2020 | Authorities in Florida were searching Saturday night for a driver who they claim drove his van into a Republican Party voter registration tent in a shopping center parking lot, just missing six volunteers working there. The suspect, described as a white man in his 20s, then got out of his vehicle and recorded video of the smashed tent, and flashed a middle finger to the startled voter-registration volunteers before driving off, FOX 30 of Jacksonville reported. Photos posted by the Republican Party of Duval County showed Trump-Pence placards and bumper stickers strewn around the parking lot, along with the toppled tent.

Michael Bennet drops out of presidential race

Michael Bennet drops out of presidential race | 11 Feb 2020 | Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet is ending his presidential run, following a lackluster performance in the New Hampshire primary. The Colorado Democrat tried to break in with moderate voters in his party's 2020 primary, but he rarely registered in the polls and was unable to make any of the Democratic National Committee's debates after the initial two. Bennet had 0.3 percent of the vote in New Hampshire with about one-fifth of precincts reporting.

Trial team quits Roger Stone case in dispute over sentence

Trial team quits Roger Stone case in dispute over sentence | 12 Feb 2020 | The four lawyers who prosecuted Roger Stone quit the case Tuesday after the Justice Department overruled them and said it would take the extraordinary step of lowering the amount of prison time it would seek for President Donald Trump's longtime ally and confidant. The departures raised immediate questions over whether Trump, who earlier in the day had blasted the original sentencing recommendation as "very horrible and unfair," had at least indirectly exerted his will on a Justice Department that he often views as an arm of the White House. The department said the decision to undo the sentencing recommendation was made Monday night -- before Trump's tweet -- and prosecutors had not spoken to the White House about it.

DOJ expected to scale back Roger Stone's 'extreme' sentencing recommendation - official

DOJ expected to scale back Roger Stone's 'extreme' sentencing recommendation - official | 11 Feb 2020 | The Justice Department is preparing to change its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone after top brass were "shocked" at the stiff prison term initially being sought, according to a senior DOJ official. Federal prosecutors had recommended that Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentence Stone to between 87 and 108 months in prison for his conviction on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering, and making false statements to Congress on charges that stemmed from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. "The Department was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the filing in the Stone case last night," the official told Fox News. "The sentencing recommendation was not what had been briefed to the Department." The department is now expected to scale that back.

Bloomberg heard in 2015 audio clip defending ‘stop and frisk,’ throwing minority kids against wall - report

Bloomberg heard in 2015 audio clip defending ‘stop and frisk,’ throwing minority kids against wall - report | 11 Feb 2020 | A newly-surfaced recording from a 2015 speech by Michael Bloomberg, in which the former three-term mayor of New York City gives a full-throated defense of the controversial policing procedure known as "stop and frisk," is threatening to undermine the 2020 presidential candidate's subsequent apologies for backing the policy and hurt his status with minority voters. In an audio clip of a 2015 speech, the billionaire gave to the Aspen Institute, Bloomberg acknowledged that "stop and frisk," targeted minority "kids" who cops must throw "up against the wall" to disarm. The Aspen Times reported at the time that Bloomberg representatives asked the Institute not to distribute footage of his appearance.

Andrew Yang ends 2020 presidential campaign

Andrew Yang ends 2020 presidential campaign | 11 Feb 2020 | Andrew Yang suspended his political campaign on Tuesday in New Hampshire, ending the upstart run that vaulted the businessman from complete obscurity to a Democratic contender backed by a devoted following known as the Yang Gang. "While there is great work left to be done, you know I am the math guy, and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race," Yang told supporters in Manchester... Yang's decision comes a week after a disappointing finish in Iowa, where the campaign invested millions and spent two weeks on a bus tour leading up to the caucuses.

President Trump's budget calls for $11.7 billion foreign aid cut

President Trump's budget calls for $11.7 billion foreign aid cut --Officials say it is often wasted. | 09 Feb 2020 | President Trump will move for a dramatic $11.7 billion cut in foreign aid in his annual federal budget set to be released this week, The Post has learned. The proposed 21 percent cut is in line with Trump's "America First" mantra and will be achieved largely by scrapping economic development aid to other countries, officials said. "Every country gets this type of development aid [and] we don’t think it serves a significant purpose to be able to continue it," a senior administration official told The Post. "We're cutting $4,800 to send American artists to a poetry festival in Finland...and $10,000 to support the Muppet Retrospectical in New Zealand," another official said. The first official added: "The Bob Dylan statue in Mozambique, the cricket league in Afghanistan, these are things that we just think are wasteful, and they’re largely funded out of economic development."

Biden to bail on New Hampshire primary-night party and head to South Carolina instead

Biden to bail on New Hampshire primary-night party and head to South Carolina instead | 11 Feb 2020 | Joe Biden is flying to South Carolina on Tuesday night, bailing at the last minute on his planned New Hampshire primary-night party ahead of another expected loss. The former vice president's abrupt change of plans comes as his campaign scrambles to keep his base of African-American support from crumbling under the weight of a fourth-place finish in Iowa and another potentially poor showing here. Biden told reporters Tuesday in New Hampshire he's leaving because there are "significant portions of the electorate who haven't voted yet."

Klobuchar rolls out seven-figure ad buy in Nevada

Klobuchar rolls out seven-figure ad buy in Nevada | 11 Feb 2020 | Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) presidential campaign rolled out a new ad campaign in Nevada as it seeks to maintain its momentum from last week's debate. The campaign said it will release two ads Wednesday as the result of a seven-figure buy that will focus on the Las Vegas and Reno markets. The ads will air on cable, broadcast and digital three days before the start of Nevada's early voting period. Klobuchar focuses on her policies on popular issues for Democrats and trashes President Trump in the ads.

Sanders wins New Hampshire primary

Sanders wins New Hampshire primary | 11 Feb 2020 | Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday night, delivering a victory for his campaign after a muddled result in Iowa that produced no clear winner. NBC and ABC News both projected Sanders would win the primary at roughly 11 p.m. ET. The result is significant for Sanders, though it was expected after he defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton easily in New Hampshire’s primary four years ago. Sanders was also ahead in the most recent polls taken in the Granite State.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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