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Into The Future
Substack Daily Dose 9/7/2023
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Department of Defense / News Release:
Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new security assistance package to support Ukraine’s battlefield needs and demonstrate unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine. This package provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) includes equipment to augment Ukraine’s air defenses, artillery munitions, and other capabilities.
This USAI package highlights the continued U.S. commitment to meeting Ukraine’s pressing requirements by committing critical near-term capabilities, while also building the enduring capacity of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to defend its territory and deter Russian aggression over the mid and long term.
Unlike Presidential Drawdown authority, which DoD has continued to leverage to deliver equipment to Ukraine from DoD stocks at a historic pace, USAI is an authority under which the United States procures capabilities from industry or partners. This announcement represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional priority capabilities to Ukraine.
The capabilities in this announcement, which totals up to $600 million, include:
Equipment to sustain and integrate Ukraine’s air defense systems;
Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
105mm artillery rounds;
Electronic warfare and counter-electronic warfare equipment;
Demolition munitions for obstacle clearing;
Mine clearing equipment; and
Support and equipment for training, maintenance, and sustainment activities.
According to a recent lawsuit, Disney shareholders have accused the media giant's leadership of misleading investors with "a fraudulent scheme designed to hide the extent of Disney+ losses." The lawsuit was lodged the day before Disney shares closed at a nine-year low of $82.47 per share.
The complaint was filed by New Jersey-based Stourbridge Investments on Aug. 23 in a federal court in Delaware. It claims that Disney management under then-CEO Bob Chapek, who was fired from his post in late 2022, tried to hide the "staggering costs" the company incurred while attempting to boost the number of subscribers on its new streaming service Disney+ to fulfill its promise of becoming profitable by the end of 2024.
Bob Iger, who retired from Disney after 15 years as chief executive, has agreed to serve as CEO for two more years. He replaced Chapek, who took over as Disney CEO in February 2020.
According to investors, they were misled by statements from Chapek, particularly one dated December 2020 which said that "Disney+ has exceeded our wildest expectations" and "bolstered our confidence" despite questionable profitability forecasts.
The suit also mentions a "controversial" reorganization of Disney's media and entertainment operations that gave Chapek "near complete control over the company's strategic decisions around content."
Chapek led the company through the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but Disney disappointed investors in November 2022 with an earnings report that showed continued losses at Disney+, its streaming media unit. (Related: Disney announces price hikes for Disney+ and Hulu ad-free plans to compensate for several box-office flops.)
Susan Arnold, chair of Disney's board, said the Board has concluded that as Disney "embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Iger is uniquely positioned to lead the company through this crucial period."
Disney facing another lawsuit over alleged "cost-shifting scheme"
Disney is involved in another investor suit over a presumed "cost-shifting scheme" in its streaming division.
The lawsuit also claims that it obstructed a deal between TSG Entertainment Finance and 20th Century Studios, which Disney owns, to boost Disney+ and juice its stock price.
In the Stourbridge Investments suit, the plaintiff named Chapek, who ran Disney from 2020 to 2022, Iger, Christine McCarthy, former chief financial officer, and Kareem Daniels, ex-Media & Entertainment Distribution chairman.
According to Stourbridge Investments, "to conceal these adverse facts, defendants engaged in a fraudulent scheme designed to hide the extent of Disney+ losses and to make the growth trajectory of Disney+ subscribers appear sustainable." Shareholders were also made to believe that 2024 Disney+ targets were achievable when they were not.
In 2022, Disney reported that it missed analyst estimates by wide margins on revenue, sales and earnings. According to the complaint, Disney also reported a decline in its average revenue per Disney+ subscriber because more customers subscribed through a discounted bundle with its other services.
The bundled offering made up about 40 percent of domestic subscribers, effectively proving that Disney was relying on short-term promotional efforts to boost subscriber growth while also affecting the platform’s long-term profitability.
Despite those headwinds, Chapek went "all in" on the platform, announcing a major reorganization of the company’s media and entertainment operations. The shareholder claimed that the move was a "dramatic departure from Disney's historical reporting structure and was hugely controversial within the company because it took power away from creative content-focused executives and centralized it in a new reporting group" led by Daniels.
The suit also said that Iger undid many of his predecessor's decisions after returning to work again for Disney. The complaint concludes that Disney’s "wrongful acts and omissions" were responsible for the "precipitous decline in the market value" of the company’s shares.
Earlier in August, Iger reported that Disney+ lost 146.1 million subscribers during the most recent quarter, a 7.4 percent decline from the previous quarter. According to reports, Disney has taken a $3.7 billion hit over the past 12 months ending June 30 from its streaming services, which include Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu.
-Zoey Sky, Natural News
Image Credit: The Associated Press
The Biden administration has canceled the remaining seven oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, overturning sales held in the Trump administration’s waning days and angering Republicans.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — In an aggressive move that angered Republicans, the Biden administration canceled the seven remaining oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, overturning sales held in the Trump administration’s waning days, and proposed stronger protections against development on vast swaths of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
The Department of Interior’s scrapping of the leases comes after the Biden administration disappointed environmental groups earlier this year by approving the Willow oil project in the petroleum reserve, a massive project by ConocoPhillips Alaska that could produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day on Alaska’s petroleum-rich North Slope. Protections are proposed for more than 20,000 square miles (51,800 square kilometers) of land in the reserve in the western Arctic.
Some critics who said the approval of Willow flew in the face of Biden’s pledges to address climate change lauded Wednesday’s announcement. But they said more could be done. Litigation over the approval of the Willow project is pending.
“Alaska is home to many of America’s most breathtaking natural wonders and culturally significant areas. As the climate crisis warms the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the world, we have a responsibility to protect this treasured region for all ages,” Biden said in a statement.
His actions “meet the urgency of the climate crisis” and will “protect our lands and waters for generations to come,” Biden said.
Alaska’s Republican governor condemned Biden’s moves and threatened to sue. And at least one Democratic lawmaker said the decision could hurt Indigenous communities in an isolated region where oil development is an important economic driver.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who drew criticism for her role in the approval of the Willow project, said Wednesday that “no one will have rights to drill for oil in one of the most sensitive landscapes on earth.” However, a 2017 law mandates another lease sale by late 2024. Administration officials said they intend to comply with the law.
The Biden administration also announced proposed rules aimed at providing stronger protections against new leasing and development in portions of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska that are designated as special areas for their wildlife, subsistence, scenic or other values. The proposal still must go through public comment. Willow lies within the reserve but was not expected to be affected by the proposed rules.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s 1.5-million-acre (600,000-hectare) coastal plain, which lies along the Beaufort Sea on Alaska’s northeastern edge, is seen as sacred by the Indigenous Gwich’in because it is where caribou they rely on migrate and come to give birth. The plain is marked by hills, rivers and small lakes and tundra. Migratory birds and caribou pass through the plain, which provides habitat for wildlife including polar bears and wolves.
Alaska political leaders — including some Democrats — have long pushed to allow oil and gas drilling in the refuge in part because of its economic impact on Indigenous communities in an area with few other jobs. Many of those same voices pressed Biden to approve the Willow project for the same reason.
“I am deeply frustrated by the reversal of these leases in ANWR,” said U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, a Democrat, using a common shorthand for the refuge. “This administration showed that it is capable of listening to Alaskans with the approval of the Willow Project, and it is some of those same Inupiat North Slope communities who are most impacted by this decision. I will continue to advocate for them and for Alaska’s ability to explore and develop our natural resources.”
Alaska’s congressional delegation in 2017 succeeded in getting language added to a federal tax law that called for the U.S. government to hold two lease sales in the region by late 2024.
Drilling opponents on Wednesday urged Congress to repeal the leasing provision from the 2017 law and permanently make the coastal plain off limits to drilling.
“It is nearly impossible to overstate the importance of today’s announcements for Arctic conservation,” said Jamie Williams, president of the Wilderness Society. “Once again, the Arctic Refuge is free of oil leases. Our climate is a bit safer and there is renewed hope for permanently protecting one of the last great wild landscapes in America.”
Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan denounced Biden’s actions as the latest volley in what he called a “war on Alaska.”
Two other leases that were issued as part of the first-of-its-kind sale for the refuge in January 2021 were previously given up by the small companies that held them amid legal wrangling and uncertainty over the drilling program.
After taking office, Biden issued an executive order calling for a temporary moratorium on activities related to the leasing program and for the Interior secretary to review the program. Haaland later in 2021 ordered a new environmental review after concluding there were “multiple legal deficiencies” underlying the Trump-era leasing program. Haaland halted activities related to the leasing program pending the new analysis.
A draft environmental review was released Wednesday.
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, a state corporation that won seven leases in the 2021 sale, sued over the moratorium. But a federal judge recently found the delay by Interior to conduct a new review was not unreasonable.
The corporation obtained the leases to preserve drilling rights in case oil companies did not come forward. Major oil companies sat out the sale, held after prominent banks had announced they would not finance Arctic oil and gas projects.
Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, thanked the administration for the lease cancelation. But she said in a statement: “we know that our sacred land is only temporarily safe from oil and gas development. We urge the administration and our leaders in Congress to repeal the oil and gas program and permanently protect the Arctic Refuge.”
The Associated Press’ BECKY BOHRER and MATTHEW DALY contributed.
Press Release: Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Foreign Interference in or Undermining Public Confidence in United States Elections
On September 12, 2018, by Executive Order 13848, the President declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the threat of foreign interference in or undermining public confidence in United States elections.
Although there has been no evidence of a foreign power altering the outcomes or vote tabulation in any United States election, foreign powers have historically sought to exploit America’s free and open political system. In recent years, the proliferation of digital devices and internet-based communications has created significant vulnerabilities and magnified the scope and intensity of the threat of foreign interference. The ability of persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States to interfere in or undermine public confidence in United States elections, including through the unauthorized accessing of election and campaign infrastructure or the covert distribution of propaganda and disinformation, continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on September 12, 2018, must continue in effect beyond September 12, 2023. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13848 with respect to the threat of foreign interference in or undermining public confidence in United States elections.
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 7, 2023.
A piece of legislation snuck quietly through Parliament yesterday. If we don’t fight it you might very well face jail time for non-compliance with new zero diktats on your home, writes Lois Perry.
Back to work after the Summer recess,the UK Government introduced legislation related to net zero measures, which has set off major alarm bells amongst lovers of freedom across the country.
Many are questioning the necessity and feasibility of the draconian net zero measures contained in the flagship Energy Bill which cleared the Commons at third reading yesterday, and they’re rightly worried property owners facing criminal charges for opposing them.
In fact, under this new legislation, those who fail to adhere to energy consumption regulations could face imprisonment for up to a year and fines of up to £15,000.
Prosecutions may also occur for providing false information about energy efficiency or obstructing enforcement authorities.
Most shockingly, the legislation provides for “the creation of criminal offences” where there is “non-compliance with a requirement imposed by or under energy performance regulations”.
It seems the net zero row back from Starmer and Sunak due to public dissatisfaction with the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) at the recent byelection was little more than a feint.
The proposed legislation grants the Government (and it could be either party given the election next year) the power to create new criminal offences and increase penalties in pursuit of their net-zero globalist goals.
Critics argue that this move starkly contradicts the will of the British people and fortunately has sparked a high degree of opposition from some members of the Conservative Party.
The Government’s ‘get out of jail’ card is that they do not intend to create new criminal offences but may simply need to amend existing laws, particularly those stemming from EU legislation like the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations, which includes Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).
These amendments aim to provide stakeholders, including landlords, businesses, and tenants, with information to make informed decisions regarding energy efficiency.
However, there are very real concerns that these amendments could lead to the criminalisation of individuals who do not comply with the new energy rules.
It’s this pandemic-style shift in power dynamics – this time using the Climate rather than Covid – which is the source of worry for many.
To address these concerns, it is vital for the electorate to communicate their views loud and clear to their Members of Parliament.
It’s crucial to ensure that the criminalisation of energy use without public consent does not become a reality.
My organisation CAR26 conducted YouGov polls in October 2021 and February 2022, which revealed in both instances, that a significant proportion of the British public supports the idea of a net zero referendum. In fact the numbers supporting a referendum went up the second time around.
This suggests that there is a desire for a more inclusive and democratic approach to shaping these policies.
Before turning the questioning of net zero into a criminal offence, the Government should consider conducting a thorough review and hold a referendum to gauge public opinion.
This would help ensure that the policies align with public sentiment and garner broader support. After all, our elected representatives always argue they work for you.
If a referendum is not pursued (both Boris and now Rishi ruled it out so don’t hold your breath) it is essential to demand clear assurances from the Government that they will not enforce net zero targets without explicitly outlining them in an election party manifesto.
The issue of net zero has become a significant point of contention in the UK.
Image Credit: Legal experts have criticised the lack of a clear definition of the law CREDIT: Frederic Brown/AFP
China has proposed a draconian new law that would ban dressing in a way that could “hurt the nation’s feelings”.
Police will be able to detain people who wear the “wrong clothes” for up to 15 days and fine them up to 5,025 yuan (£550).
Critics fear the law is too vague and will lead to punishment for those who choose to wear clothes with symbols of other countries, particularly historic rival Japan. Others have raised concerns that increasingly authoritarian China wants to phase out Western dress.
The new proposals suggest citizens can be punished if they “produce, disseminate, publicize, and spread items or speeches that damage the Chinese nation’s spirit and hurt the Chinese nation’s feelings”.
Legal experts have criticised the lack of a clear definition of the law, and are concerned about potential excessive enforcement.
She believes the vague law would violate basic citizens’ rights to choose their own clothing.
Lao Dongyan, a professor of law at China’s top Tsinghua University, published an article calling for the removal of the proposed legislation.
“The regulation could also stimulate the spread of populism and ultra-nationalism, further deteriorating the public opinion environment, and may also intensify oppositional sentiments in some countries,” she added.
Some people in China have previously been temporarily detained for wearing clothing linked too closely to Japan.
The Chinese government has long inserted anti-Japan sentiment in Chinese education, linked to the Japanese invasion 80 years ago. But the sentiment has grown in recent years amid a rise in nationalism under president Xi Jinping.
Last year, a woman was detained for hours after wearing a Japanese kimono and taking photos on a street in Southeastern Suzhou city. At the time, many online users criticised the police for being “over the top”.
A woman wearing clothing from the Tang dynasty was evicted three times by staff of an archaeological Park in Wuhan city of Central Hubei province on Thursday because the staff mistakenly thought the clothing style was from Japan.
Zhao Hong, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, said: “What if the law enforcer, usually a police officer, has a personal interpretation of the hurt and initiates moral judgment of others beyond the scope of the law?”
China observers warn the new law is another example of the Chinese government’s attempt to control its citizens in every aspect of life under Mr Xi’s rule.
Some Chinese citizens have raised concerns that the law is a slippery slope towards banning wearing a Western suit.
“In view of the history of being bullied by the Western powers, can suits and leather shoes be regarded as damaging the spirit and hurting the feelings of the Chinese nation?” one user wrote on Weibo, China’s main social media platform.
Another wrote: “When you are not allowed to wear [certain] clothes today, you may not be allowed to speak tomorrow, and not be allowed to think the day after tomorrow.”
-Jenny Pan, The Telegraph
September 11th "other plans": Biden to skip memorial sites in NYC, Virginia and PA on somber anniversary
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Unlike past presidents, Joe Biden will be observing the 22nd anniversary of 9/11 at an Alaska military base instead of the traditional New York City, Virginia or Pennsylvania events.
According to reports, the White House announced that Biden will stop in Alaska for the 9/11 observance at Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson in Anchorage on his way back to Washington after attending a summit in New Delhi with other world leaders.
He also plans to visit Vietnam on September 10th.
First Lady Jill Biden will lay a wreath at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon and Vice President Kamala Harris will participate in the annual commemoration at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan.
The White House has not announced who will be representing the administration in Shanksville, located about 80 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Shanksville is the site of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, one of the four hijacked planes used in the 9/11 terrorist attacks during which nearly 3,000 people died.
Flight 93 was supposed to be flown into the U.S. Capitol, but a heroic passenger revolted against the hijackers, resulting in the plane crashing in a Somerset County field. The crash killed all 33 passengers, seven crew members and the four hijackers.
Other presidents have chosen not to attend annual 9/11 observances in New York City, Virginia or Pennsylvania.
According to reports, in 2015, President Barack Obama participated in a moment of silence on the White House lawn before heading to Fort Meade in Maryland. In 2005, President George W. Bush marked the anniversary on the White House lawn.
On September 11, 2011, terrorists hijacked commercial airplanes, flying them into the Twin Towers in New York’s financial district and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. At the time of the horrific events, Biden was a U.S. senator.
Back in August 2021, nearly 1,800 people signed a letter calling on Biden to release documents that they believe implicate officials from Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 plot, adding that if he refuses, he should not attend the planned ceremonies in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The letter, written by family members, first responders and survivors, said, in part, “We cannot in good faith, and with veneration to those lost, sick and injured, welcome the president to our hallowed grounds until he fulfills his commitment.
Through multiple administrations, the Department of Justice and the FBI have actively sought to keep this information secret and prevent the American people from learning the full truth about the 9/11 attacks.”
The letter concluded, “Twenty years later, there is simply no reason – unmerited claims of ‘national security’ or otherwise – to keep this information secret. But, if President Biden reneges on his commitment and sides with the Saudi government, we would be compelled to publicly stand in objection to any participation by his administration in any memorial ceremony of 9/11.”
During his presidential campaign, Biden reportedly sent a letter to the group, pledging transparency about the matter.
He wrote, “I intend to be a President for all Americans, and will hear all of their voices. The 9/11 families are right to seek full truth and accountability … I will direct my Attorney General to personally examine the merits of all cases where the invocation of privilege is recommended, and to err on the side of disclosure in cases where, as here, the events in question occurred two decades or longer ago.”
However, after that, the group says that their follow up letters and attempts to reach the administration since Biden took office have gone unanswered.
-Jenna Curren, Law Enforcement Today
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is at risk of losing his gavel, according to a new report by Axios.
Sources within the GOP caucus say that McCarthy, weakened by weeks of whipping support just to win his first speakership at the start of the year, has only floundered in the eyes of conservatives who feel he caved to President Joe Biden during the last government shutdown funding bill. With another funding measure due by the end of September, conservatives have begun an all-out push to win concessions in exchange for their support including the launch of impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden.
Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) voiced conservatives’ frustration, telling Axios, “I think it’s [motion to vacate] in the back of everybody’s mind … If somebody brings that it wouldn’t take much, you know, it just takes a couple of votes.”
A motion to vacate the Speaker’s seat only requires a single member of the House to propose it under agreed-upon terms, and just a handful of Republicans could join Democrats in reaching the majority needed to oust McCarthy.
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) added that if McCarthy stood in the way of impeachment proceedings, he would be short on time in the top spot.
“When we get back to Washington in the coming weeks, we have got to seize the initiative. That means forcing votes on impeachment. And if Kevin McCarthy stands in our way, you may not have the job long,” Gaetz said during an appearance on The Todd Starnes Show.
That said, not all conservatives are singing from the same sheet of music on this potential move. Others voiced anonymous support for McCarthy who has claimed to make major concessions that have allowed some of the GOP’s most conservative members like Jim Jordan (R-OH) and James Comer (R-KY) to take top committee posts that have uncovered eye-popping details about President Biden’s apparent participation in overseas business activities that earned millions of dollars for his son Hunter and other members of the Biden clan.
“I’m not seeing a coherent strategy,” a senior GOP lawmaker told Axios. “I’ve been picking up chatter that they want to do a motion to vacate if we do a CR, but a lot of people want a CR to get more time and to attach HR 2.”
To keep his gavel, McCarthy will certainly rely on surrogates like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) who sided with him during the election for Speaker in January. She has encouraged her fellow members of the House Freedom Caucus to increase their dialogue with McCarthy in hopes to produce a much better and more effective agenda for the next term of Congress.
-Mark Steffen, Trending Politics
Image Credit: Former President Donald Trump boards his private airplane, also known as Trump Force One, as he departs Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after being booked at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta, Ga., on Aug. 24, 2023. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump is filing a notice of removal to move the case against him and 18 co-defendants out of Fulton County and into federal court.
“President Trump hereby notifies the Court that he may seek removal of his prosecution to federal court under 28 U.S.C. S 1442 & 1445. His written waiver of arraignment was filed on August 31, 2013. To be timely, his notice of removal must be filed within 30-days of his arraignment,” wrote Steven Sadow, lead counsel for President Trump in the Georgia case, in a Sept. 7 filing.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had brought the case against the 19 defendants, claiming their challenge of the 2020 election results constituted a “criminal racketeering enterprise.” Four other defendants have already filed such notices.
The next step is that an evidentiary hearing will be held in federal court, where U.S. District Judge Steve Jones will decide how much of each case may be remanded, or moved, back to state court. The judge can also dismiss the removal entirely, sending the case back to state court without a hearing.
Four other defendants have already removed their cases: Mark Meadows, former chief of staff to the president; Jeffrey Clark, former Justice Department official under the Trump administration; and David Shafer and Shawn Still, both alternate electors who argue their roles, legitimized by Congress, can be considered federal office, but that at a minimum they were acting at the direction of federal officers.
The U.S. Constitution states that federal law precedes state law and courts, and in court rulings this has meant that federal officers are not subject to state law before acting and cannot be tried in state court.
There may be several reasons for removing the case, including having the case dismissed entirely, as some of the defendants’ lawyers have argued.
On Aug. 28, Judge Jones held a hearing on Mr. Meadows’s removal.
The prosecution had also subpoenaed several witnesses to testify at the hearing in arguing that the case should not be moved out of state jurisdiction, expanding the initial hearing into a mini-trial.
This was the first time legal arguments were made in court regarding the challenge of the 2020 elections, which President Trump has been indicted for in federal court in Washington as well.
Mr. Meadows argued that he was immune to these state charges, while the prosecution argued that his actions in the indictment were not that of a federal officer.
The all-day hearing ended without a ruling; Judge Jones asked both sides to submit additional arguments to clarify a few points. If only one of the actions Mr. Meadows is charged with was carried out as a federal officer, would that be enough to remove the case? Both parties filed their arguments by the end of Aug. 31, with the defense arguing that precedents have shown it is more than enough, and the prosecution arguing against it.
The judge has yet to rule on Mr. Meadows’s case, but has scheduled a second evidentiary hearing regarding Mr. Clark’s case removal for Sept. 18.
Ms. Willis’s office has until Sept. 8 to file a response to Mr. Clark’s case, after being given an extension from Sept. 5.
Mr. Clark’s case may prove to be more straightforward than Mr. Meadows’s; the indictment only references one act of Mr. Clark’s throughout the various acts and charges.
While in office, Mr. Clark issued a Department of Justice statement that said the agency has “identified signifiant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia.” He had other DOJ officials sign the statement, and had it delivered to election officials in Georgia.
All defendants were charged with racketeering under the state’s RICO, or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Mr. Clark was additionally charged with one count of criminal attempt to commit false statements and writings, referencing that statement. Mr. Meadows was additionally charged with solicitation of violation of oath by public officer, referencing his arranging a call between President Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
The indictment also cites several of Mr. Meadows’s actions such as arranging and attending meetings with or on behalf of the president. The federal court is now in the process of ruling these actions were taken by Mr. Meadows acting in his official capacity, and if this is so in only some but not all of the cases, whether some, none, or all of the case should be tried in federal court instead of state court.
These removals have complicated the case that Ms. Willis intended to try once, with all 19 defendants together. She initially proposed a six-month timeline, starting trial March 4, 2024. After a defendant’s request for a speedy trial, she proposed trying all 19 defendants together on Oct. 23, in less than two months’ time.
Because it is a RICO case, the prosecutors will need to present the whole case, including all the evidence and the estimated 150 witnesses, whether they are trying it against one, two, or 19 of the co-defendants.
“Evidence against one is evidence against all,” Nathan Wade, Georgia special prosecutor, said during the hearing Judge Scott McAfee held Sept. 7, regarding two defendants who’ve asked to sever their cases while demanding a speedy trial.
The judge raised the point that a ruling in state court may become moot should one or multiple of the defendants succeed in removing their cases to federal court.
He showed skepticism at the prosecution’s four-month timeline for the trials.
From The Epoch Times
-Catherine Yang, NTD
US President Joe Biden leaves for the G20 in India on Thursday, aiming to boost alliances at a summit where global tensions will be highlighted by the absence of the Chinese and Russian leaders.
Biden will try to show that on big transnational issues, Washington is a better partner than Beijing or Moscow — and that the G20 remains a key forum.
But deep disagreements on Russia’s war in Ukraine and on how to help emerging nations tackle climate change are expected to hamper agreements during the two-day meeting in New Delhi.
“As the president heads to the G20, he’s committed to working with emerging market partners to deliver big things together,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told a briefing ahead of the summit.
“That’s what we believe the world will see in New Delhi this weekend.”
Biden will then head to Vietnam on Sunday to deepen relations with the Communist nation, in a region where the United States and China are both flexing their muscles.
The 80-year-old president is due to leave the White House at 4:45 pm (2045 GMT) for the long journey to India.
Aides have refused to say how Biden’s program would change should he test positive for Covid, after his wife Jill came down with a mild case on Monday.
China’s Xi Jinping will miss the G20 meeting at a time of heightened trade and geopolitical tensions with the United States and India, with which it shares a long and disputed border.
– ‘Spoiler’ –
While Biden said last week he was “disappointed” he would not meet Xi at the G20, the Chinese leader’s no-show gives the US president a golden opportunity to push Washington’s influence over its rival.
White House officials said Biden would, in particular, stress a plan to increase World Bank and IMF lending power for emerging nations by some $200 billion as a better alternative to China’s “coercive” Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is meanwhile not even planning to make a video address at the G20, the Kremlin said Thursday, amid fraught relations between Moscow and the West over Ukraine.
But the absence of Xi and Putin underscores the divisions in the G20 and could undermine Biden’s bid to keep the bloc as the leading forum of global economic cooperation.
The White House’s Sullivan said the United States wants to show the G20 can deliver at a time that the BRICS club of emerging economies, which includes India but has been championed largely by China and Russia, is expanding.
Biden will be also cheerleading India and its leader Narendra Modi as a counterweight to China, even if their goals are sometimes at odds, particularly on Ukraine.
Sullivan said on Tuesday that China could opt to “play the role of spoiler” but that Modi and other leaders would “encourage them to come in a constructive way.”
Biden goes straight from the G20 to Hanoi where he will meet ruling Vietnamese Communist party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, hoping to strengthen ties.
Despite the painful legacy of the Vietnam war the two countries have worked increasingly closely, with Biden joining the list of successive US presidents who have visited Vietnam since Bill Clinton in 2000.
Vice chair of Minnesota Democrat Party who advocated for dismantling police gets violently beaten and carjacked
Image Credit: Shivanthi Sathanandan Facebook
A far-left Minneapolis activist was the victim of a brutal armed car-jacking that occurred in the driveway of her home on Tuesday evening.
Shivanthi Sathanandan, a radical leftist and second vice chairwoman of the Democratic Farmer Labor party in Minneapolis, who was left bruised and bloodied during the incident, is calling for "accountability" despite her past history of being a notable "defund the police" agitator.
Sathanandan said in a Facebook post that she suffered a broken leg, deep lacerations to her head, and cuts and bruises all over her body when four armed juveniles allegedly beat her to the ground in front of her children and then stole her vehicle in broad daylight, according to KSTP.
"Look at my face. REMEMBER ME when you are thinking about supporting letting juveniles and young people out of custody to roam our streets instead of HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. You could have been reading the obituary for me and my children today," Sathanandan wrote.
"But instead I'm here. To write this," she continued. "Look at my face. These criminals will not win. We need to take back our city. And this will not be the last you hear from me about this. Thank you to the incredible Minneapolis 4th Precinct Officers, Mayor Frey, Chief O'Hara, Paramedics, neighbors, friends and DFL family, who all came to our aide during this terrifying experience. I'm so grateful for this community that wraps us in love."
Sathanandan's comments on her alleged brutal attack imply that she may have reversed course surrounding her previous advocacy to "dismantle" the Minneapolis Police Department.
In June of 2020, Sathanandan wrote in a post on Facebook: "We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. Say it with me. DISMANTLE The Minneapolis Police Department."
"As allies, what can we do right now? LISTEN and LEARN from our Black siblings. And then AMPLIFY this message right now, in this moment. MPD has systematically failed the Black Community, they have failed ALL OF US. It's time to build a new infrastructure that works for ALL communities. If you are still disagreeing with that BASIC FACT, I'm not sure what to say to you. I'm proud of the radical leadership and organizing of Jeremiah Bey Ellison and Phillipe Cunningham....If you live in Minneapolis, call and email your City Council Member to voice your support. If you don't live in Minneapolis, be LOUD. Spread this message. Show your support. NOW is the moment for change," she wrote.
After Sathanandan shared the incident on her Facebook account, individuals flocked to the comments to ask if she "regrets" being at the forefront of dismantling the police department, which has left Minneapolis residents in increased danger.
"No one should have this happen to them, children present or otherwise. Not ever. Nevertheless, HOW COULD Ms. Sathanandan NOT SEE THIS COMING, considering the efforts of her party? If you fight for a lawless state, lawlessness happens in broad daylight," one individual wrote.
"Sometimes you have to lay in the bed you made," said another to the vice chairwoman.
"You literally did everything in your power to dismantle the police," another added. "Now you're reaping what you sowed."
"She is directly responsible for this. She should resign in disgrace," an individual commented.
According to the Minneapolis Police Department, Sathanandan's vehicle was recovered after being found abandoned. No suspects involved in the attack have been identified or taken into custody.
-Katie Daviscourt, The Post Millennial
Record rainfall in Hong Kong caused widespread flooding in the early hours of Friday, disrupting road and rail traffic just days after the city dodged major damage from a super typhoon.
The Hong Kong Observatory, the city’s weather agency, reported hourly rainfall of 158.1 millimetres at its headquarters in the hour leading up to midnight, the highest since records began in 1884.
Late on Thursday, authorities in the Chinese city said various districts had been flooded and emergency services were conducting rescue operations. Members of the public were instructed to stay in a safe place.
“Heavy rain will bring flash floods,” the Observatory warned. “Residents living in close proximity to rivers should stay alert to weather conditions and should consider evacuation” if their homes are flooded, it added.
No injuries were reported in the early hours of Friday.
Earlier in the week, Typhoon Haikui left a trail of destruction in Taiwan before crossing the strait and making landfall in China’s Fujian province on Tuesday.
Hong Kong’s observatory said the latest torrential rain was brought by the “trough of low pressure associated with (the) remnant of Haikui”.
The city’s Mass Transit Railway announced that it would partially suspend service on one of its lines after a station in the Wong Tai Sin district was flooded, with another handful of stations also affected.
Footage circulated on social media showed an MTR train not stopping at Wong Tai Sin station, which had floodwater on its platform.
Other video clips showed cars and buses half-submerged on main roads.
Heavy rain was also reported in the neighbouring Chinese tech hub of Shenzhen.
Shenzhen prepared to discharge water from its reservoirs, according to Hong Kong officials, which they said could lead to flooding in parts of northern Hong Kong as a result.
Southern China was hit the previous weekend by two typhoons in quick succession — Saola and Haikui — though Hong Kong avoided a feared direct hit.
Tens of millions of people in the densely populated coastal areas of southern China had sheltered indoors ahead of the storms.
Climate change has increased the intensity of tropical storms, with more rain and stronger gusts leading to flash floods and coastal damage, experts say.
A sign put up recently on the front door of Mutual Fish carried news that no Seattleite ever wanted to hear: The seafood store, which introduced many innovations to the Seattle seafood scene and inspired generations of professional chefs and home cooks, is closing forever on Saturday, September 16.
“It was pretty much a last-minute decision,” Harry Yoshimura, who runs Mutual Fish with his son Kevin, tells Eater Seattle. “We’ve been thinking about it for a few months. We finally decided it’s good to do it now as opposed to during the holiday time because that makes it harder for everybody.”
Harry, who is 80 years old, says that the labor shortage and the impact of COVID-19 on the business contributed to the Yoshimura family’s decision to close, as did the difficulty of sourcing fish due to climate change–caused alterations in ocean temperature and currents. But he also cites concerns over nearby shootings and homelessness.
“There’s more homeless people around and things like that,” he says. “People getting shot up the street up there.” He adds that it wasn’t the homeless people themselves who were causing violence, but says customers were “leery” about them.
“There haven’t been many positive things going on in this whole area down here,” he says, noting the rash of violent crimes that have targeted Asian Americans in their South Seattle homes. “Beacon Hill is real bad now.”
Mutual Fish was founded by Dick Yoshimura, a nearly legendary figure who began working in Seattle fish markets in the 1930s when he was a teenager, according to a 2012 Seattle Times obituary. He was sent to internment camps along with the rest of the country’s Japanese Americans during World War II, but had such a strong reputation for hard work that he was immediately rehired after being freed. In 1947, he and his brother bought the company Main Fish Company, changed the name, and opened up on 14th Avenue and Yesler Way.
That Times obit details the long hours Dick put in, often working from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mutual Fish became known for its high standards. It was one of the first fish shops in Seattle to have a tank for live shellfish and also was a trailblazer in flying fish in from California and Hawaii. It became a go-to for many Seattle chefs: In 2012 Seattle Magazine wrote, “They could pick up the phone, talk to a familiar voice, entrust their menu’s seafood selections to Mr. Yoshimura and the reliability of Mutual Fish’s offerings.”
“It always impressed me the way they run their business, the way they treated everyone like their family — it just felt like people I wanted to do business with,” restauranteur Tom Douglas told the Times in 2012.
The shop moved to its current location on Rainier Avenue in the 1960s. Harry began hanging out at the shop when he was just 10 years old and took on many administrative duties in the ‘80s, but even in retirement Dick sometimes came back for shifts into his 90s, impressing the other workers with his still-sharp knife skills.
Now that Harry himself is retiring, he’s not sure what he’s going to do with his time. “Maybe get another job or something? I can’t stay inactive,” he says. Harry left open the possibility that the family might open another business “if we get some new ideas or something.”
In the short term, though, he has a challenge that a lot of Seatteites are going to face in the coming months: Where is he going to get fish for holiday celebrations? “That’s one of my main problems right now,” he says. “I’m not quite sure where to go.”
-Harry Cheadle, Eater Seattle
Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning physicians and caregivers about an increase in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases across some parts of the Southeastern United States in recent weeks.
In a Sept. 5 health advisory, the health agency said the rise in cases suggests a “continued shift toward seasonal RSV trends observed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Historically, such regional increases have predicted the beginning of RSV season nationally, with increased RSV activity spreading north and west over the following 2–3 months,” the CDC said.
CDC data shows increases in weekly RSV levels since July but the agency said that nationwide, RSV test positivity had remained below the season onset threshold of 3 percent for two consecutive weeks.
However, more recent data show test positivity has increased in Florida since late July, and the three-week moving average has been greater than 5 percent for the last month.
RSV hospitalizations also increased in Georgia in August, the CDC said.
From Aug. 5 through Aug. 19, the rate of RSV-related hospitalizations increased from 2 in 100,000 kids aged 4 and younger, to 7 per 100,000, with the majority of those hospitalizations being in babies less than a year old, the CDC said.
In response to the rise in cases, the health agency urged clinicians to “prepare to implement new RSV prevention options” ahead of the 2023–2024 RSV season, including administering shots of monoclonal antibody products to patients as well as a preventative antibody treatment called nirsevimab.
FDA Approves RSV Treatments
“For all infants ages <8 months, and infants and children ages 8–19 months who are at increased risk of severe RSV, clinicians should start to offer Nirsevimab when it becomes available (expected by early October),” the CDC said.
A panel of outside advisers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted unanimously in July to approve nirsevimab for RSV in newborns and infants up to 24 months of age.
Sold under the brand name Beyfortus, the treatment is made by AstraZeneca and marketed by Sanofi. The companies said the drug showed efficacy in several clinical trials.
Regulators in countries including Canada and the United Kingdom have already approved Beyfortus.
A month later in August, regulators with the FDA also approved the first vaccine to be taken by pregnant women to prevent RSV infections in babies and toddlers.
Made by Pfizer, the Abrysvo single-dose injection was approved for use at 32 through 36 weeks of pregnancy. According to the pharmaceuticals giant, pregnant women who receive immunity from the shot will pass that immunity along to their unborn baby before birth, thus protecting them from lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) and severe LRTD caused by RSV until at least the age of 6 months.
In trials, a dangerous hypertensive disorder known as pre-eclampsia occurred in 1.8 percent of pregnant individuals who received Abrysvo compared to 1.4 percent of pregnant individuals who received a placebo, according to the FDA.
Read more here...
-Tyler Durden, Zerohedge
According to Natalie Winters, Co-Host and Executive Editor of Steve Bannon’s War Room, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is set to purchase over $1.8 billion worth of pediatric COVID-19 shots.
“The CDC is set to purchase 20 million pediatric COVID-19 vaccines worth over $1.8 billion,” Winters said.
“The order was preemptively organized in June predicting a ‘surge’ in September.”
*Photo from Natalie Winters X Post*
“CDC’s three pediatric COVID-19 vaccine contracts were established to support the priority pediatric populations served by the Section 317 and VFC programs following the commercialization of COVID-19 vaccines, which is projected to occur in September 2023 following the end of the federal government’s national response vaccine program,” the contract reads.
“CDC’s July 2023 COVID-19 vaccine needs assessment established that approximately 16.75 million doses of pediatric COVID-19 vaccines were needed by CDC’s immunization awardee programs. This quantity exceeded the amount of pediatric vaccine available on CDC’s COVID-19 contracts, as awarded in June 2023, by approximately 15%. To address the unmet need, CDC modified two of its three pediatric COVID-19 vaccine contracts to increase the maximum ordering quantities on each contract.”
*Photo from Natalie Winters X Post*
Cont. from the contract:
The agency was unable to conduct even a limited competition because of the compressed timeframe under which the agency had to put these two modifications into place. This compressed timeframe was created by several factors. First, CDC must begin the process of determining the appropriate funding obligation for each of these pediatric COVID-19 contracts in early August 2023 so sufficient funding is available upon the start of ordering in September 2023. Without an increase in the maximum ordering quantity for the two COVID-19 contracts, CDC cannot finalize its plan to allocate funding required for each contract to meet immunization awardee demands, per the July 2023 needs assessment. Second, because COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers are finalizing their fall 2023 vaccine supply plans at this time, they must understand how many doses of vaccine are needed for CDC’s programs to incorporate our program needs into their planning. Without an increase in the maximum ordering quantity for each contract now, the manufacturers may not have sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccines to fulfill CDC’s needs later in the ordering period. CDC must make these increases to the maximum ordering quantity now, otherwise it may not be able to obtain additional vaccine doses later. Finally, CDC’s 64 immunization awardees need clarity as to whether their full needs for pediatric COVID-19 vaccines will be met through CDC’s vaccine programs to make critical budget and programmatic decisions. CDC must increase the maximum ordering quantities on these two contracts now, otherwise immunization awardees will have to make budget decisions assuming a lower quantity of vaccines will be available to order and that, subsequently, the awardees’ needs will not be completely met.
From the time that CDC completed its needs assessment at the end of July 2023, to the time at which these modifications needed to be in place by early August 2023, was a period of only 1-2 weeks. This was wholly insufficient time to solicit, evaluate, and award competitive contracts for these additional vaccine doses, even using a limited or streamlined competition. Modifications using other than full and open competition to increase the maximum ordering quantities on these two contracts were the only option to secure the additional vaccine doses required by CDC’s immunization awardees within the timeframe available to the agency.
As described in section 3 of this document, CDC conducted a needs assessment with its immunization awardees during July 2023 that established a need of 16.75 million doses of pediatric COVID-19 vaccines. This amount exceeded the quantity of vaccines available on the contracts as awarded in June 2023 of 14.50 million doses. In short, the volume of pediatric COVID-19 vaccines available to immunization awardees in the contracts awarded in June 2023 was not sufficient to meet the needs of the awardees. Moreover, a delay in the award of these modifications would have likely led to this needs gap being locked in for the duration of the ordering period – whether from a delay in CDC allocating sufficient funding to the contracts to meet the full needs of awardees, the inability of manufacturers to meet later requests for additional doses, or awardees making budget and programmatic decisions premised on a lower quantity of vaccines being available than was actually needed. Having established that an unusual and compelling urgency precluded full and open competition, the agency next turns to the serious injury to the Government that would have resulted had these contract modifications to increase the maximum ordering quantity been delayed.
The inability of CDC’s vaccine programs to meet immunization awardees’ needs for pediatric COVID-19 vaccines would have constituted a serious injury to the Government. Since its emergence, COVID-19’s evolving strains have contributed to significant pediatric illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on January 30, 2023, COVID-19 was found to be the eighth most common cause of death among children in the United States, and the most common cause of death caused by infectious or respiratory diseases, overtaking the flu and pneumonia (https://jamanetwork.com/ journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2800816). Not modifying the COVID-19 pediatric contracts to increase the maximum ordering quantity would have resulted an insufficient supply of vaccines to meet the needs of the VFC population and therefore decreased protection against COVID-19 among children. The consequences of this lower population protection include increases in preventable illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths among vulnerable U.S. children. In addition, there would be an increased burden on the U.S. healthcare system during the winter 2023-2024 respiratory season. The increase in preventable COVID-19 pediatric morbidity and mortality, as well as the increased burden on the U.S. healthcare system, would have constituted a serious injury to…
The timing of this contract is suspicious considering the report from Infowars’ Alex Jones saying two federal agents warned about the gradual return of COVID-19 restrictions.
Masks allegedly will return in mid-September with the masking of TSA employees.
“Masks will reportedly return for travelers in October, and full COVID restrictions and lockdowns will return by December due to a new ‘dangerous variant’ from Canada,” WLTReport stated.
Jones said he met with a high-level TSA manager who cited a Tuesday meeting, where the agency’s managers learned of new memorandums and policies to reinstitute masking.
The TSA whistleblower allegedly alerted Infowars and said ‘you gotta warn people.’
“We’ve been told this is going to happen,” Jones said the whistleblower told him.
After meeting with the TSA whistleblower, Jones said he contacted one of his federal connections at Border Patrol, who confirmed the whistleblower’s warning.
“Expect COVID protocols to begin rolling out middle of September and I said ‘what else were you told’” Jones said.
“Basically that they believe this new variant is super bad and that they’re doing the testing and they should just get ready for a whole new rollout of what happened before,” Jones said.
“That’s two federal agents that told me this,” Jones commented.
The TSA official also said next week they will receive new guidelines on how the policy will escalate: by mid-October, mask-wearing will be required by pilots, flight staff, passengers, and airport patrons.
After hearing from the TSA manager, Infowars reached out to our trusted Border Patrol source who is also a manager. This source confirmed the same directives were being given to Border Patrol.
They were told it was not a matter of “if” but “when” official Covid numbers will go back up and they expect by mid-October a return to forced-masking policies that the Biden administration previously only reluctantly ended after massive pressure.
Both whistleblowers were told this rollout will be in tandem with the new Covid “variant” hysteria that the MSM has been reporting on this week.
-Danielle, 100 Percent Fed Up
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