Digital vaccine passports: convenient or the deepening of surveillance state?
Ryan Grim and Robby Soave react to the jury’s verdict in Elizabeth Holmes’ fraud trial. Rising, Progressive, Progressive Politics, Democrats, Democratic Party, Republicans, GOP, Republican Party, Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos, Betsy Devos, Rupert Murdoch, Walmart, Fraud, Steve Jobs
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Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said after Sunday’s game that Antonio Brown is “no longer a Buc.” But officially, he is. The Buccaneers did not cut Brown today and there are ongoing discussions with the NFL about how to handle the matter, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. It’s possible that the team would prefer that [more]
Tyler Shultz reacts to Elizabeth Holmes verdict
The Daily Beast
Fox NewsFox News and the rest of the right-wing media machine has been up in arms all day about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to spend New Year’s Eve in Miami, Florida. So when the channel’s afternoon host Sandra Smith kicked off a segment called “Rules for Thee, Not for Me,” she figured her guest would be on board the outrage train.“Well, it seems AOC is A-OK with ditching the mask, when in Miami at least,” Smith snarkily began, while showing footage of the New York Democrat “partyin
Florida’s Jackson Health System said half its COVID patients were admitted for “non-COVID reasons.”
These types of patients test positive for the coronavirus after being admitted.
Catching COVID-19 can make preexisting conditions worse in the hospital, experts have warned.
About half of the patients listed as being in the hospital with COVID-19 were admitted for “non-COVID reasons,” a health authority in Florida said.
“Jackson Health System hospitals currently have 439 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19,” the Jackson Health System said in a tweet on Monday.
“Of those, 220 patients — or 50% — are admitted to the hospital primarily for non-COVID reasons.”
The post was a relatively rare snapshot of the prevalence of so-called incidental COVID in the US.
Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical advisor, recently warned that COVID-19 hospitalization data should be taken with a grain of salt, Insider previously reported.
He said in a Wednesday interview that focused on admissions in children, that some would be admitted for “a broken leg, or appendicitis, or something like that,” and only later turn out to have COVID-19.
COVID-19 cases like that can make up a substantial proportion of hospital admissions.
These made up about a third of the 8,321 COVID-positive cases in England on December 28, according to data from the UK National Health Service.
“Beginning tomorrow, we’re going to be asking all hospitals to break out for us how many people are being hospitalized because of COVID symptoms [and] how many people … happen to be testing positive,” Hochul said.
Experts have warned against underestimating COVID-19 hospitalization data because of these incidental cases.
Mark Kline, Senior Vice President of the Children’s hospital in New Orleans, said in a tweet that last summer “78% of 915 kids” at six hospitals were hospitalized “not just with, but because of COVID.” He didn’t name the hospitals in question.
Having COVID-19 can also worsen whatever problem the person was admitted for, said David Strain, a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter medical school, in an interview with The Guardian.
“We [have] seen many other people who have been otherwise stable [with] chronic diseases such as heart failure, ulcerative colitis etc that caught COVID and had a rapid deterioration,” he said.
“Although they are regarded as ‘incidental Covid’, this sudden deterioration in otherwise stable disease can be attributed to the virus,” he said.
Read the original article on Business Insider
A giant panda cub plays with snow at a zoo in Washington DC, rolling and sliding down a hill as the US capital is blanketed in snow after a powerful winter storm. The storm packed an unexpectedly fierce punch and appeared to have caught much of the capital city off guard, temporarily stranding US President Joe Biden on Air Force One and dumping up to nine inches (23 centimeters) of snow on Washington.
On Monday (3 January), the 30-year-old basketball star issued a statement amid an ongoing paternity lawsuit filed by Nichols, claiming Thompson is the father of her newborn child.
Nichols, who gave birth to their son on 2 December last year, is suing the Sacramento Kings player for child support and other pregnancy-related fees.
Court documents showed Thompson admitted to having sex with Nichols on his birthday in March last year while Thompson was dating Kardashian, with whom he has a daughter named True.
Following the paternity test results on Monday, Thompson posted a two-part statement on Instagram to ask for forgiveness and publicly commit to co-parenting his son with Nichols.
His message read: “I take full responsibility for my actions. Now that paternity has been established I look forward to amicably raising our son. I sincerely apologise to everyone I’ve hurt or disappointed throughout this ordeal both publicly and privately.”
In a second Instagram story, Thompson apologised to Kardashian for the “heartache and humiliation” he caused her over the course of their fractured, tumultuous relationship which began in 2016.
“Khloe, you don’t deserve this. You don’t deserve the heartache and humiliation I have caused you. You don’t deserve the way I have treated you over the years. My actions certainly have not lined up with the way I view you,” he wrote.
Thompson reportedly threatened Nichols to withdraw her paternity lawsuit, and accept his $75,000 (£55,686) offer of settlement.
According to court documents, obtained by Page Six, Thompson “insisted” Nichols get an abortion, while suggesting that Nichols’ child support lawsuit would, at best, leave her raising a “baby with a father who has zero involvement… and a few hundred dollars of child support a month”.
Over the course of the bitter lawsuit, Thompson also repeatedly called for Nichols’ baby to undergo a DNA test.
Thompson had filed his own lawsuit against Nichols in Texas, alleging the personal trainer owned property in Houston. However, it was dismissed in December last year.
Nichols filed her child support lawsuit in California, with her lawyers arguing that her “lengthy relationship” with the basketball player “spanned multiple states” and that the child was born in California – where both Nichols and Thompson reside currently.
Thompson has admitted to cheating on Kardashian multiple times, including when the 37-year-old reality TV star was pregnant with True in 2018.
Thompson also shares a son with ex-girlfriend Jordan Craig.
Congolese chef Dieuveil Malonga learned his craft in Europe’s top restaurants and has visited 38 of Africa’s 54 countries, bringing back fermentation and other techniques, as well as ingredients that add texture and flavour to the dishes served at his restaurant in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. The 30-year-old from Congo-Brazzaville, draws on his variety of knowledge to create his “Afro-fusion” cuisine, which he hopes will draw more attention to the diversity of food on offer across Africa.
BOSTON (AP) — A refugee who survived the Khmer Rouge’s brutal rule has become the first Cambodian American mayor in the United States.
Sokhary Chau, a city councilor in Lowell, Massachusetts, was unanimously picked by his council peers to assume the legislative body’s top post on Monday. He also became the city’s first Asian American mayor.
“God bless America, right? I was a refugee, now I’m mayor of a major city in Massachusetts,” the 49-year-old, who works for the U.S. Social Security Administration, said after being officially sworn in. “I don’t know if that could happen anywhere else in the world. I’m still trying to absorb it.”
Chau, in his inaugural remarks, reflected on his family’s perilous escape from Cambodia and the former industrial city of Lowell’s deep immigrant roots.
Located on the Merrimack River near the New Hampshire state line, Lowell was an early center of America’s textile industry, drawing waves of European and Latin American immigrants over generations.
Today, the city of more than 115,000 residents is nearly 25% Asian and home to the nation’s second-largest Cambodian community.
“As a proud Cambodian American, I am standing on the shoulders of many immigrants who came before me to build this city,” Chau said Monday before a crowd that included his wife and two teenage sons.
Chau recounted how his father, a captain in the Cambodian army, was executed by the communist Khmer Rouge in 1975 during the country’s civil war.
He said his mother, who died last year, managed to keep her seven children alive for four years, surviving “landmines, jungles, hunger, sickness and uncertainty” to deliver them safely to the U.S.
Chau said America may not have “streets paved with gold” as his family imagined while living in refugee camps, but it’s a land where democracy is possible because of “systems of checks and balances” and principles like fairness, equality and transparency.
In an interview later, Chau said he was around 9 years old when his family initially settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the help of the Catholic Church — an experience that prompted the family to convert to Christianity.
They made their way to Lowell’s growing Cambodian community in the mid-1980s, where some of his older siblings immediately set to work in local factories.
Chau, however, continued his studies and eventually earned a scholarship to Phillips Academy, a exclusive boarding school in nearby Andover. He went on to Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he studied economics and political science, also on a scholarship.
Before running for office, Chau said he worked mostly in financial services, including running a mortgage lending company in Lowell with his wife before the housing market crashed in the early 2000s.
Chau’s election follows the ascendance of new Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan. She was sworn in last November as Boston’s first woman and first person of color elected to the post.
Chau is also among the growing list of Cambodian American officeholders in Massachusetts: at least two other city councilors, a school committee member and two state lawmakers, all from Lowell, according to Vannak Theng, president of the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell.
But while Cambodian Americans served on local boards and state legislatures nationwide, none were elected mayor, according to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, a Washington nonprofit that helps Asian Pacific Americans pursue public office and maintains a listing of current officeholders.
In fact, Long Beach, California, home to the nation’s largest Cambodian community, only elected its first Cambodian American city councilor in 2020, the organization noted.
Chau’s election also comes on the heels of a federal court lawsuit that argued Lowell’s election process violated the voting rights of minority residents, who comprise nearly 50% of its population.
A recent settlement in the case prompted the city to change its election process, starting with the 2021 elections. The result was the city’s most diverse class of officeholders, said Oren Sellstrom, litigation director at Lawyers for Civil Rights, a Boston group that brought the 2017 suit.
“Just four years ago, the city’s elected officials were all white and largely unresponsive to the needs of the city’s communities of color,” Sellstrom said. “This historic change in the city’s power structure would never have been possible under the old electoral system.”
To be sure, the mayoral office in Lowell is largely ceremonial.
The city, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Boston, is run by a city manager picked by the council. The mayor is effectively the council president, leading its meetings and also serving as chair of the city’s school committee.
Still, Chau acknowledged his election’s significance to the wider Cambodian diaspora, calling on others to step up in their communities.
“We can no longer be just victims,” he said as he closed his inaugural remarks. “It is our time now to be leaders and to succeed.”
Colombians dance, perform music during Carnival of Blacks and Whites
An Arizona couple were accused of child abuse after they left their 11-year-old son by himself for a month during the holidays, authorities said last week.
The boy’s mother, 34, and father, 40, were indicted after they returned to their home in Elfrida, southeast of Tucson, on Wednesday, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Thursday.
Jail records showed that the couple, whom NBC News is not identifying to protect their child’s identity, was in custody Monday at the Cochise County Jail. They were being held in lieu of $100,000 bond.
Deputies found the boy on Dec. 12 after someone told authorities that he had possibly been alone at home for an undetermined period of time, the sheriff’s office said.
The deputies learned that his mother had traveled out of state before Thanksgiving. His father left shortly afterward, the sheriff’s office said.
The boy told authorities that he hadn’t gone to school in two weeks and had been left alone with frozen food. When deputies couldn’t reach his parents, the boy was turned over to child protective services, the sheriff’s office said.
Additional details about the allegations weren’t immediately available, and it wasn’t clear whether the couple had lawyers.
With cheekbones “so high and bulbous as to appear to threaten their owners’ vision,” as an Australian newspaper described them a decade ago, the Bogdanoff twins drew attention wherever they went.
The controversial celebrity scientists, who both obtained doctorates after penning a series of impenetrable and allegedly meaningless physics papers, were descendants of nobility and, later, a meme beloved on social media platforms like Reddit and 4chan.
But their voyage through the stars ended recently in a Parisian hospital, where both Grichka and Igor Bogdanoff had been admitted on the same day last month after contracting COVID-19. Grichka, the younger twin, died in the intensive care unit on Dec. 28. Igor followed him on Monday. Both were 72.
A source close to the brothers told French outlet Le Monde that neither had been vaccinated against the virus.
The socialite scientists made headlines almost exactly a year ago for allegedly “swindling” a millionaire, a 53-year-old man identified only as “Cyrille P.” in the subsequent lawsuit, convincing him to invest hundreds of thousands of euros in various projects, including an attempt to revive Temps X, the pop science show that first skyrocketed the brothers to fame in 1979.
Decades before they beamed themselves, decked out in futuristic spacesuits, into the homes of families all over France, the twins were born in a castle in Gascogne in 1949. Descended from German and Austrian nobility, Igor and Grichka were raised by their grandmother, Countess Bertha Kolowrat-Krakowská, whose scandalous affair with Roland Hayes, the first Black American to attain international fame as a classical musician, produced the twins’ mother.
The brothers went on to study applied mathematics at the Institute of Political Science and the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. They then found a niche for themselves as writers, producers, and presenters of Temps X, which ran from 1979 into the mid-eighties.
Igor and Grichka first invited controversy with the 1991 publication of a book, Dieu et la Science (God and Science), which went on to become a French bestseller. Its debut, however, roiled academics after a University of Virginia astronomy professor filed a plagiarism lawsuit over the manuscript.
Settling out of court, the Bogdanoffs began work towards their doctorates in 1993. After defending their theses and publishing five articles in several peer-reviewed physics journals, both brothers passed with the lowest possible grade.
Tracing their story in 2002, a New York Times reporter wrote that one of their advisers described the twins as “wunderkids” who had difficulty understanding they were not “the Einstein brothers.” The adviser, Dr. Daniel Sternheimer, told the Times that teaching the brother was like “teaching My Fair Lady to speak with an Oxford accent.”
Their papers, published in journals like Annals of Physics, claimed, among other concepts, to identify what happened both before and during the Big Bang. The Bogdanoffs’ work was first disputed in 2002, after a University of Tours physicist raised concerns in an email to another academic. The scientist, Max Niedermaier, called the twins’ writing “delightfully meaningless combinations of buzzwords,” fretting that their evidence had nonetheless “been taken seriously.”
Asked why the brothers had been conferred their degrees, Dr. Sternheimer said, “These guys worked for 10 years without pay. They have the right to have their work recognized with a diploma, which is nothing much these days.”
He called the subsequent scandal, nicknamed “the Bogdanoff affair,” a “storm in a teacup.” The dispute ended in a report that found the twins’ theses held no scientific value, but Classical and Quantum Gravity, another peer-reviewed journal that published a Bogdanoff paper, ultimately declined to print a retraction.
Social media users would eventually stumble upon the brothers, who by the turn of the century had apparently discovered plastic surgery. (Both would repeatedly deny that they had ever had extensive cosmetic surgical procedures performed.)
Beginning on Reddit in 2015, users ran wild with conspiracy theories about the brothers, claiming, among other things, that the Bogdanoffs had “psychic powers” and could control the cryptocurrency markets.
This last claim stemmed from a television appearance in June last year, when Grichka remarked on French show Non-Stop People that he and his brother helped develop the source code for Bitcoin. Both also claimed that Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous name for the figure purported to have invented Bitcoin, had given them two “ancient” Bitcoin in “physical form.”
“In terms of credibility,” a French editor told news site Decrypt at the time, Igor and Grichka “are equivalent to a scientific version of the Kardashian family.”
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The volunteer activists who search for the bodies of their missing relatives have long been under threat in Mexico. But this week one of them took the unusual step of issuing a public plea to drugs lords in the northern border state of Sonora, to allow the “Searching Mothers” to do their work.
Some searchers have been killed, many others have been threatened and men in vehicles — believed to be drug gang gunmen — often keep watch on their search efforts. All of that forced Patricia “Ceci” Flores to flee Sonora in July, after a fellow activist was murdered.
On Sunday she posted a video asking the drug lords to let her search. Flores has two missing sons, and is a founder of Madres Buscadores de Sonora (Searching Mothers of Sonora).
“I have been threatened, and I have been forced to leave Sonora state,” Flores said in the video. “By forcing me to leave Sonora, they have bound me hand and foot, they have taken away my chance to look for my sons and all the missing.”
Her son Alejandro disappeared in 2015, and another son, Marco Antonio, was abducted in 2019. Like many mothers in Mexico, she faced inaction by police, and decided to search the desert where drug gangs often dispose of the bodies of their victims in clandestine graves.
Armed only with shovels and steel rods, the search parties long thought they were bothering no one. They have long said they aren’t looking to prosecute anyone for their relatives’ deaths; they just want their bodies back.
But in July 2021, another Sonora searcher, Aranza Ramos, was abducted and her bullet-ridden body was dumped on a road. Flores began receiving threats. So Flores fled and enrolled in a government program to protect activists. But that meant leaving behind Sonora and any hope of finding her sons.
“I have a need to keep searching for my sons, so I find myself in the position of asking you, the leaders of the cartels of Sonora, Salazar and Caro Quintero and the others, don’t kill us, don’t threaten us, let us continue to search for our children,” Flores said.
Multiple cartels, including one run by Rafael Caro Quintero — improperly released from prison while serving a sentence for the 1985 murder of a DEA agent — have been fighting for control of Sonora and its valuable trafficking routes to the U.S. They include the two main factions of the Sinaloa cartel, one operating through a local gang known as The Salazars.
She reminded the cartels of the searchers’ longstanding position.
“We are not searching for the culprits, we don’t seek justice, all we want is to bring them home,” she said.
Mexico has more than 95,000 disappeared, according to government data. More than 93,000 of those disappearances occurred since 2006, when the government began is war against organized crime. Most are thought to have been killed by drug cartels, their bodies dumped into shallow graves, burned or dissolved.
The government has struggled to identify even the bodies that have been found. Some 52,000 await identification.
When the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances recently visited Mexico they concluded the problem was “an almost absolute, structural” impunity when it came to the disappearances. The committee called Mexico’s security efforts “not only insufficient but also inadequate.”
A buy and hold strategy blunts the impact of transient market volatility, and it also means you pay less in taxes because short-term capital gains are taxed more aggressively. There’s no magic formula to identify smart investments, but I typically start by looking for companies with three qualities: a competitive advantage, strong revenue growth, and a whopping market opportunity. For instance, Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) and Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) check all three boxes, and both look like the building blocks of a market-beating portfolio.