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'We're fed up:' Trump signs executive order targeting social media companies

'We're fed up:' Trump signs executive order targeting social media companies | 28 May 2020 | President Trump signed an executive order Thursday to force social media companies to operate without political bias, saying platforms such as Twitter form a monopoly with "unchecked power." "We're here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers it has faced in American history," Mr. Trump said as he signed the order in the Oval Office with Attorney General William P. Barr at his side. "There's no precedent in American history for so small a number of corporations to control so large a sphere of human interaction." The order requires the Federal Communications Commission to craft a regulation that could exempt social media companies from protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields companies from legal liability for material posted by their users, if they censor or edit content.

President of El Salvador says he is taking hydroxychloroquine, 'most of the world's leaders use it'

President of El Salvador says he is taking hydroxychloroquine, 'most of the world's leaders use it' | 27 May 2020 | President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele told reporters Tuesday that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, the drug touted by President Trump, in an attempt to ward off COVID-19. Bukele said El Salvador is no longer recommending use of the drug as a treatment, but that he is personally taking it as a prophylactic, according to Reuters. "I use it as a prophylaxis, President Trump uses it as a prophylaxis, most of the world's leaders use it as a prophylaxis," said Bukele... Trump earlier this month made waves when he disclosed he was taking the drug to prevent COVID-19. He's since said he completed the regimen.

Transcripts of Michael Flynn's Phone Calls With Russian Ambassador Have Been Released

Transcripts of Michael Flynn's Phone Calls With Russian Ambassador Have Been Released | 29 May 2020 | Michael Flynn asked Russia's ambassador in late 2016 to not escalate a diplomat standoff with the United States after the Obama administration ordered 35 Russian diplomats to leave the country because of cyber attacks during the 2016 campaign, according to declassified transcripts of phone calls released Friday. Flynn urged the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, to respond on a "reciprocal basis" to the Obama administration's order, according to a transcript of the call, which occurred on Dec. 29, 2016... John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, gave the declassified transcripts to Congress on Friday.

Protests, vandalism reported outside CNN headquarters in Atlanta

Protests, vandalism reported outside CNN headquarters in Atlanta | 29 May 2020 | A large protest formed outside of CNN's headquarters in Atlanta Friday evening, resulting in clashes with police and vandalism to the building. Demonstrators descended on Atlanta to protest the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis this week, and appeared to migrate to the CNN building... Demonstrators appeared to ultimately make it to the media company's headquarters and began defacing the CNN logo in front of the building and breaking glass at its entrance. SWAT officers were called to try to quell the protests and tried to deflect objects being thrown at the building.

Multiple cities, counties issue curfews

Multiple cities, counties issue curfews | 29 May 2020 | Friday, the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul issued citywide curfews. The move to put curfews in place comes after violent protests erupted throughout the metro over the death of George Floyd. Gov. Tim Walz also signed an executive order implementing a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. During the curfew, nobody is allowed to travel on Minneapolis or St. Paul streets or public places, except for first responders, members of the media, people going back and forth to work, individuals seeking emergency care or fleeing danger, and people experiencing homelessness.

George Floyd and officer Derek Chauvin worked security at the same Minneapolis club until the end of last year

Curiouser and curiouser: George Floyd and officer Derek Chauvin worked security at the same Minneapolis club until the end of last year | 28 May 2020 | A former club owner in south Minneapolis says the now-fired police officer and the black man who died in his custody this week both worked security for her club up to the end of last year. George Floyd and now-former Officer Derek Chauvin both worked security at the El Nuevo Rodeo club on Lake Street, according to Maya Santamaria. Santamaria owned the building for nearly two decades, but sold the venue within the last few months. "Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open," Santamaria said. "They were working together at the same time, it's just that Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside."

White House on lockdown amid protests

White House goes on brief lockdown after protest erupts nearby | 29 May 2020 | The White House went into a brief lockdown on Friday evening as protests over the death of George Floyd raged nearby, according to reporters who said they were in the building at the time. NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander said on Twitter that he was on lockdown inside the building as protests in the building's vicinity were ongoing. He later tweeted that the lockdown had been lifted. Photos showed demonstrators gathering in Lafayette Park just outside the White House... The Secret Service announced via Twitter that it is helping law enforcement agencies during the protests at Lafayette Park.

Professor who says 'MAGA equals Nazi' advocates elections 'where whites don't vote'

Professor who says 'MAGA equals Nazi' advocates elections 'where whites don't vote' | 28 May 2020 | A professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently referred to Trump supporters as Nazis and called for "an election cycle where whites don't vote." "Bear with me while I make my push for two election cycles where whites don't vote," tweeted English Professor Catherine Prendergast. "I realize this is crazy and impossible, but I truly believe a demonstrative sacrifice is needed on behalf of whites to correct this dire course we're on." As long as suppression/gerry-mandering [sic] cannot be addressed because Republicans have neutralized Congress, stolen the executive branch, stacked the judiciary and thus created one party rule, we effectively have a franchise for whites, and a limited franchise for others," Prendergast continued.

Northwell Health probing whether ventilators caused coronavirus deaths

Northwell Health probing whether ventilators caused coronavirus deaths --More than two-thirds of the patients in Northwell Health facilities hooked to ventilators died in March and early April | 29 May 2020 | New York’s largest hospital system is conducting a sweeping analysis of its use of ventilators while treating coronavirus patients during the peak of the pandemic. The study comes as experts have raised concerns that an over-reliance on the machines may have actually cost lives. For so many sick COVID-19 patients, getting attached to a mechanical ventilator was a death sentence. More than two-thirds of the patients in Northwell Health facilities hooked to ventilators died in March and early April and the fatality rate was similar at other hospitals... Discussion in the medical community turned to whether the machines were being overused and possibly contributing to a higher death rate. [Right, but hospitals get $39K for every COVID-19 pneumonia patient hooked to a ventilator, so that could explain a lot.]

Trump says the U.S. will cut ties with World Health Organization

Trump says the U.S. will cut ties with World Health Organization --Earlier this month, Trump threatened to permanently cut off U.S. funding of the WHO. | 29 May 2020 | President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization. "China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year," Trump said during a press conference from the White House Rose Garden. "The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China," he added. "It didn't go to Beijing, it went nowhere else, but they allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States."

Trump blasts Minneapolis mayor, vows military support if needed

Trump blasts Minneapolis mayor, vows military support if needed | 29 May 2020 | President Trump took to Twitter early Friday to vow military support for the governor of Minnesota after another night of violent protest in Minneapolis, which included a police station being overrun and set on fire. "I can't stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis," Trump tweeted. "A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right. A second tweet continued, "These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let this happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you."

Minnesota governor activates national guard to respond to violence over George Floyd protests

Minnesota governor activates national guard to respond to violence over George Floyd protests --Minnesota State Patrol will assist with 200 troopers, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft supporting law enforcement on the ground over the coming days | 28 May 2020 | The governor of Minnesota has activated the National Guard following a night of violent riots over the death of George Floyd while in police custody. It comes after Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey made the official request on Thursday following riots that left 16 structures ablaze and grocery stores and pharmacies looted across the city. Governor Tim Walz said in a statement that it was time to rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they're charged to protect as he activated the Minnesota National Guard to help keep the peace.

Doubts raised over Oxford coronavirus vaccine after ALL of the monkeys that took part in the trial are found to have contracted the disease

Doubts raised over Oxford coronavirus vaccine after ALL of the monkeys that took part in the trial are found to have contracted the disease --All six rhesus monkeys given the vaccine still became infected with Covid-19 --There were also warnings that they may have been able to spread the virus --Oxford University vaccine has already been steam-rolled into human trials --The vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCov-19, is currently undergoing its first human clinical trial | 19 May 2020 | The coronavirus vaccine being developed by scientists at Oxford University may not prevent people from becoming infected with the disease after all, experts have warned. In the latest animal trials of the vaccine carried out on rhesus macaques, all six of the participating monkeys went on to catch the coronavirus. Dr William Haseltine, a former Harvard Medical School professor, revealed the monkeys who received the vaccine had the same amount of virus in their noses as the three non-vaccinated monkeys in the trial. This suggests the treatment, which has already received in the region of £90million in government investment, may not halt the spread of the deadly disease.

UConn fugitive Peter Manfredonia was neighbors with Sandy Hook's Adam Lanza

Same handlers? UConn fugitive Peter Manfredonia was neighbors with Sandy Hook's Adam Lanza | 27 May 2020 | The University of Connecticut student being hunted for a killing spree grew up on the same street as Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza -- and claimed he "snapped" in the same way, according to reports. Peter Manfredonia -- who is accused of killing two men and injuring another -- left the chilling message amid a series of scrawls on his dorm walls, the South Passaic Daily Voice said. "We saw what happened when Adam snapped," one message said, as first reported by student reporters at YourContent.com. "Now they see what happens when I snap." Records show that Manfredonia grew up in Newtown just a few houses away from Lanza, the deranged 20-year-old who [allegedly] slaughtered 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

On first day of virtual Congress, more than 70 Democrats stayed home

On first day of virtual Congress, more than 70 Democrats stayed home | 27 May 2020 | The House met for the first time Wednesday under new rules permitting proxy voting. Nearly one-third of the Democratic caucus stayed home. According to the House clerk, more than 70 Democrats assigned another 40 lawmakers to vote for them by proxy, which is now permitted under a rule change passed by the Democratic majority earlier this month in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The first vote by proxy took place hours after House Republicans condemned the new rule in a press conference and a day after they filed a lawsuit in federal court to block it... Democrats stood in the well of the chamber and announced their votes for absent members, all of whom cited the pandemic for their absences. "I inform the chair that Mr. Price will vote yea," Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a North Carolina Democrat, said, voting for Rep. David Price, also of North Carolina. Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia voted for himself and eight fellow Democrats in favor of the bill.

Barr asks US Attorney John Bash to review 'unmasking' before and after 2016 election, DOJ says

Barr asks US Attorney John Bash to review 'unmasking' before and after 2016 election, DOJ says | 27 May 2020 | Attorney General Bill Barr has asked U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John Bash to review the practice of "unmasking" before and after the 2016 presidential election, a controversy that has picked up steam after the Justice Department moved to drop charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the DOJ told Fox News on Wednesday night. Republican lawmakers have demanded more information about the extent of the practice after a previously clandestine list of Obama-era officials who sought to reveal what turned out to be the identity of Michael Flynn in intelligence reports was released earlier the month... DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told Fox News' "Hannity" that U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has been reviewing the origins of the Russia investigation, was looking into "unmasking" but Barr determined certain aspects of the practice needed further review, and Bash has been assigned to do so.

Cuomo's Deadly Nursing Home Policy Likely Cost 10,000 Lives So Far

Cuomo's Deadly Nursing Home Policy Likely Cost 10,000 Lives So Far | 27 May 2020 | Dr. Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., a constitutional scholar, bestselling author and healthcare expert, says Governor Andrew Cuomo's deadly nursing home policy during the coronavirus pandemic likely cost 10,000 lives, double the state's official numbers. "It's hard to know what's worse, the dying or the lying." ...Soon after Cuomo's mandate was announced, a national association of nursing home doctors protested the policy, saying it posed "a clear and present danger to all of the residents of a nursing home." A patient advocacy group called The Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths also urged Cuomo to change the policy. He did not. He repeatedly defended the policy, as did Howard Zucker, New York state's health commissioner. As the death toll rose, Cuomo quietly changed the policy so that nursing home patients who died in a hospital were not counted as nursing home deaths to cover-up the devastating impact of his policy. As we previously reported, nursing home patients represent less than one percent of the population, but nearly half of all coronavirus deaths.

US coronavirus death toll passes 100,000

US coronavirus death toll passes 100,000 | 27 May 2020 | More than 100,000 people have died from [or, with the coronavirus, depending on how the death was logged] the coronavirus in the US, according to the latest data. The country passed the grim milestone Wednesday, with more than 1.6 million testing positive for the bug, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University. The news comes just over four months after officials announced that the virus had reached US soil -- when a Washington state man was identified as the first patient on Jan. 21.

Coronavirus vaccine tester reveals it left him the sickest he's ever been

Coronavirus vaccine tester reveals it left him the sickest he's ever been | 27 May 2020 | A volunteer in a key coronavirus vaccine trial has revealed that it left him the sickest he has ever been in his life -- but still "cautiously optimistic" about the drug's potential. Ian Haydon, 29, identified himself in a series of interviews as one of four volunteers who had bad reactions during the trials that Moderna hailed for "positive" early findings of antibody responses. The Seattle-based communications manager told STAT News that he started getting chills within hours of getting home from his second dose -- waking in the early hours with a 103.2-degree fever. He was already nauseous and had aching muscles, so his girlfriend called a 24-hour hotline set up by those leading the study, following their advice to go to urgent care, getting there at 5 a.m., he told STAT.

Trump slashes cost of insulin for Medicare enrollees to $35 a month

Trump slashes cost of insulin for Medicare enrollees to $35 a month | 27 May 2020 | President Trump on Tuesday will announce a prescription plan drastically reducing the cost of insulin for American seniors who rely on Medicare. The deal struck with the nation's insulin manufacturers and health care providers will limit the co-pay for a month's supply of insulin to $35 -- a 66 percent reduction to current costs, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said. The initiative will apply to the 1 in 3 Medicare enrollees who have diabetes, which is approximately 3 million people.

Judge rejects Trump administration attempt to toss endangered species lawsuit

Judge rejects Trump administration attempt to toss endangered species lawsuit | 19 May 2020 | A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to dismiss a challenge to its rollback of endangered species protections, ruling late Monday that the 17-state lawsuit can proceed. The August rule significantly weakens protections under the landmark Endangered Species Act, allowing economic factors to be weighed before adding an animal to the list and limiting how aspects such as climate change can be considered in listing decisions. It also weakens protections for threatened species that are at risk of becoming endangered.

Hundreds demand justice in Minneapolis after police killing of George Floyd

Hundreds demand justice in Minneapolis after police killing of George Floyd | 27 May 2020 | Police and protesters clashed in Minneapolis on Tuesday evening following a demonstration at the intersection where George Floyd was killed in an altercation with several police officers the day before. Hundreds of protesters gathered in the city on Tuesday evening to demand justice after Floyd, who was African American, was killed when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground during an arrest. Footage of the incident showed Floyd shouting "I cannot breathe" and "Don't kill me!"

Four Minnesota cops fired after death of unarmed black man

Four Minnesota cops fired after death of unarmed black man | 27 May 2020 | Four Minnesota police officers have been fired after the death of a black man who was taken into custody and seen on video being pinned down by his neck. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the four officers were now "former employees". Footage shows the man, George Floyd, groaning and repeatedly saying "I can't breathe" to the white officer... The FBI has said it will investigate the Minneapolis incident, which took place on Monday evening.

Trump says he may move Republican convention from Charlotte

Trump says he may move Republican convention from Charlotte | 26 May 2020 | President Donald Trump raised the prospect of moving the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, complaining that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has maintained a lockdown of his state because of the coronavirus. Republicans "must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied," Trump said in an early-morning series of Memorial Day tweets. Without an answer soon, Trump said, the Republicans will be "reluctantly forced" to "another Republican National Convention site."

Andrew Cuomo gave immunity to nursing home execs after big campaign donations

Andrew Cuomo gave immunity to nursing home execs after big campaign donations --Critics say data proves New York's liability shield is linked to higher nursing home death rates during the pandemic | 26 May 2020 | As Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a spirited challenge in his bid to win New York's 2018 Democratic primary, his political apparatus got a last-minute boost: a powerful healthcare industry group suddenly poured more than $1m into a Democratic committee backing his campaign. Less than two years after that flood of cash from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), Cuomo signed legislation last month quietly shielding hospital and nursing home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The provision, inserted into an annual budget bill by Cuomo's aides, created one of the nation’s most explicit immunity protections for healthcare industry officials, according to legal experts. Critics say Cuomo removed a key deterrent against nursing home and hospital corporations cutting corners in ways that jeopardize lives. As those critics now try to repeal the provision during this final week of Albany's legislative session, they assert that data prove such immunity is correlating to higher nursing home death rates during the pandemic – both in New York and in other states enacting similar immunity policies.

NYSE's floor to reopen with masks, virus waivers and handshake ban

NYSE's floor to reopen with masks, virus waivers and handshake ban --Splashy bell ringings, IPO celebrations and media broadcasts barred | 25 may 2020 | The New York Stock Exchange is set to reopen its famed trading floor Tuesday, but it won’t be going back to normal. Only one-quarter of the NYSE's usual population of traders will be back when the floor resumes business after a two-month closure prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Traders who return must wear masks, avoid taking public transportation and follow tough social-distancing rules, with newly erected Plexiglas barriers to help them stay apart. A visitor ban means splashy bell-ringings and celebrations to mark initial public offerings won't be happening anytime soon... To return to their jobs, floor traders must sign a liability waiver that prevents them from suing the NYSE if they get infected at the exchange.

South Carolina election ballots reportedly found in Maryland this week

South Carolina election ballots reportedly found in Maryland this week | 22 May 2020 | South Carolina election ballots reportedly ended up in Maryland this week, after mail-in voting for the Palmetto State's June 9 primary has already begun, according to local news reports. South Carolina election officials may cut ties with the company they used, Minnesota printer SeaChange, over the mix-up after about 20 Charleston County absentee ballots were found outside the state, the reports say. Election officials say this isn't the first absentee ballot issue they've had with the company, which prints and mails ballots for 13 South Carolina counties.

Vaccine developer warns virus disappearing thwarts his vaccine development: 'We want COVID to stay'

Vaccine developer warns virus disappearing thwarts his vaccine development: 'We want COVID to stay' --Coronavirus 'disappearing' so fast Oxford vaccine has 'only 50% chance of working' | 25 May 2020 | Professor Adrian Hill describes the efforts to create a vaccine as a "race against the virus disappearing, and against time". There is only a 50% chance of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine working because cases in the UK are declining so fast, one of the scientists behind it has warned. The University of Oxford's Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group began developing a COVID-19 vaccine in January using a virus taken from chimpanzees. But with the number of UK coronavirus cases dropping every day, there may not be enough people to test it on, according to the institute's director Professor Adrian Hill. He told The Sunday Telegraph: "It's a race against the virus disappearing, and against time. We said earlier in the year that there was an 80% chance of developing an effective vaccine by September. "But at the moment, there's a 50% chance that we get no result at all. We're in the bizarre position of wanting COVID to stay, at least for a little while." [Right, so the endgame all along has been to force on the world a rushed, risky vaccine, not stopping the[ir lab-generated] virus. *We'll take your shot after you take ours.*]

GOP sues California over Newsom's vote-by-mail order

GOP sues California over Newsom's vote-by-mail order | 24 May 2020 | Republican Party is suing California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) over his order to send every registered voter in the state a ballot by mail for the November elections. "[California's] election system is already burdened with serious issues. The disastrous Motor Voter program arbitrarily changed voter registration for thousands casting doubt on the integrity and accuracy of our voter rolls," California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson said in a statement on Sunday. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, alleges the directive deprives Californians of their constitutional right to vote by making fraudulent voting inevitable.

Italian Government Recruits 60,000 Informants to Spy on Neighbors During Lockdown

Italian Government Recruits 60,000 Informants to Spy on Neighbors During Lockdown | 24 May 2020 |The Italian government announced Sunday it is recruiting 60,000 volunteer "civic assistants" as informants to report on anyone violating norms concerning the use of masks and social distancing. The government is recruiting unemployed citizens, especially those who receive social security or unemployment income, as an extension of its uniformed security services during the second phase of the coronavirus lockdown, Italian media reported. The plainclothes informants have received instructions to watch for abuses of state-mandated safety norms and to report on violators. The new measure is meant to prevent citizens from being tempted to slack off in compliance with government norms just because no uniformed police are present, since anyone could be an informant.

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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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