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Everything posted by China

  1. I feel you. My wife (and therefore kids) have been raised Catholic. I'm agnostic. But at least they go (or used to before the pandemic) to the most liberal Catholic church around (OLQOP) as opposed to the conservative craphole nearer to home.
  2. ‘A huge experiment’: How the world made so much progress on a Covid-19 vaccine so fast Never before have prospective vaccines for a pathogen entered final-stage clinical trials as rapidly as candidates for Covid-19. Just six months ago, when the death toll from the coronavirus stood at one and neither it nor the disease it caused had a name, a team of Chinese scientists uploaded its genetic sequence to a public site. That kicked off the record-breaking rush to develop vaccines — the salve that experts say could ultimately quell the pandemic. The colossal impact of the coronavirus is motivating the speed, opening a spigot of funding and inspiring research teams around the world to join the hunt. But the astonishing pace of the progress is also a consequence of the virus itself: It is, scientifically speaking, an easier target for potential vaccines than other pathogens, and a prime candidate for cutting-edge vaccine platforms new to scientists’ toolkits. “Once we got the sequence, we pulled the trigger to ask how fast we could go,” said Barney Graham, the deputy director of the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center. “And because it was a coronavirus, we could get into a Phase 3 trial in six months instead of two years.” Of course, progress so far remains just that. The vaccines are now facing their real tests: the monthslong, Phase 3 trials that will demonstrate whether or not they protect people from the virus. “This is a huge experiment and no one knows how it’s going to turn out,” said James Le Duc, the director of the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Galveston National Laboratory. Vaccines typically take years, if not decades, to reach people; the record now is four years for the mumps vaccine. Here’s what has propelled the Covid-19 endeavor to eclipse prior efforts so far. Click on the link for the full article
  3. Homeland Security seized $2 billion from travelers, but most were never charged with a crime, report says Anthonia Nwaorie headed to a Houston airport with more than $41,000 in her bags in 2017, planning to use the cash to build a free medical clinic for women and girls in her native Nigeria, according to a lawsuit. But the registered nurse was stopped on the boarding bridge by agents from Customs and Border Protection, who claimed she failed to report taking more than $10,000 out of the country as required by federal law. Nwaorie’s currency was seized and though she was never charged with a crime, it took months and a legal battle before CBP returned the money without conditions. Such seizures are hardly unique. More than $2 billion was taken from travelers at the nation’s airports by the CBP and other agencies now associated with the Department of Homeland Security between 2000 and 2016, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis of a government database of every seizure. Federal law allows CBP and other agencies to take cash from travelers as a way to combat drug trafficking and other criminal enterprises, but the new report by the Institute for Justice found nearly 70 percent of such cases are like Nwaorie’s — no arrest accompanies a seizure. Critics argue federal agencies are abusing civil forfeiture to fatten budgets, since the cash flows into government coffers and is redistributed. The report found DHS airport seizures have exploded over the decade-and-a-half studied, climbing 178 percent. In all, DHS agencies made more than 30,500 cash seizures during the period. Dulles International Airport led the nation in DHS seizures during 2016, the latest year for which data was available. About $41 million was taken from travelers, or nearly a quarter of the amount seized nationwide, according to the report. Dulles only accounts for 2 percent of the nation’s air travelers. Click on the link for the full aritcle
  4. We're just waiting for our Crispus Attuucks or Franz Ferdinand moment, not sure what the trigger will be that will shake the average person out of their malaise.
  5. Even the Best-Case U.S. Coronavirus Scenario Is Horrific Since the novel coronavirus exploded in the United States, it’s been linked to the deaths of over 150,000 Americans and infected over 4.5 million, though the real numbers are likely higher. It sabotaged an historically bustling economy, shut down many forms of basic professional and social interaction, killed beloved friends and family members, and popularized terrifying terms like “super-spreader.” It also, predictably, became a political and ideological fault-line—exposing a spectacularly unprepared national health system and a willingness to vilify even century-old public health principles, sparking a national outbreak unlike any other in the world. The entire planet has learned a lot about the deadly disease since those decisive early months: how not to treat it, how it spreads, some of the damage it can cause in the longer term, how it affects children, and much more. But if the American failure to contain COVID-19 has never been clearer—the U.S. has more cases than Brazil and India combined—what should a devastated and enraged population be expecting next? Will hot zones in the South and West that replaced early outbreaks in the Northwest and Northeast keep getting hotter? (Hot zones will more likely continue to cycle around to new locations.) Will a furious—and deeply politicized—hunt for a vaccine actually pay dividends? (Probably, but too soon to tell for sure.) Would a Joe Biden administration appreciably change the game? (Depends on what outbreaks look like in January 2021.) Here’s what we do know. As a bevy of experts all told The Daily Beast this week, “all this”—the lockdowns, shifting hot spots, and surges in deaths and hospitalizations that threaten local health systems—will probably last about two to three years total. By then, humanity may have come to better coexist with the virus. People will die from it less often, and will have returned to healthier social and economic lives thanks to a dynamic set of tools. Those might include some combination of vaccines, non-pharmaceutical interventions, new testing technology, therapies, and even a potentially new administration willing to provide more consistent messaging and guidance that doesn’t undermine public health experts. Of course, that last part is tougher to predict. But there’s no longer much serious discussion about how to “eliminate” the virus—at least in the short term. Infectious disease experts say they are no longer sure that’s even possible. Click on the link for the full article
  6. Well, the good news is he can get a new penis to replace the severed one, that can grow it on his arm: Father whose penis dropped off due to a blood infection became the first man to have a new one built on his arm - but delays mean it has been stuck there for four years Four years on, Mr MacDonald is still living with the bulge on his arm, resorting to wearing long sleeved tops and shirts while out and about. It has been spotted by some, but he chooses to see the funny side. He said: 'I get it. It's not every day you see a man with a penis on his arm. Of course I see the funny side - I have to. I don't have any other option. If I couldn't laugh at the willy on my arm I'd be finished.' The penis was supposed to be moved in 2018, but he was unwell and the operation was postponed. Transport, scheduling mix ups and staff shortages have caused further delays, with the most recent surgery booked back in April. However, the Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to those plans. He now hopes it can be properly grafted between his legs by the end of the year. Click on the link for the full article
  7. Seals continue to wash up on Maine beaches as marine patrol searches for sharks BAILEY ISLAND (WGME) -- Swimmers at 10 Maine state beaches are banned from going beyond waist-deep water, two days after the state's first-ever deadly shark attack, even as the Maine Marine Patrol actively searches for sharks in area waters. This all follows the death of 63-year-old Julie Dimperio Holowach, attacked by a great white shark as she swam just 60 feet off Bailey Island near her home. Click on the link for the full article
  8. Trump sued again for blocking people on Twitter President Donald Trump is facing more legal woes for blocking people on Twitter despite a court order that he cannot do so. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed a new lawsuit against Trump on Friday for keeping several Twitter users blocked on his @RealDonaldTrump account. The group is suing in federal court in New York — the same court that ruled in May 2018 that Trump cannot block people from using his account because he uses it to announce important policy updates. That decision was backed by a federal appeals court in July 2019, and the circuit court declined to review its decision in March. But according to the Knight Institute's new lawsuit, Trump has not unblocked users he had blocked before his inauguration. Users who couldn't identify which tweet prompted Trump to block them also remain blocked, the suit said. Trump's team told the Knight Institute on July 20 that the president doesn't intend to unblock those users, according to the suit. The Knight Institute's lawsuit wants Trump to blanket unblock all users unless there are justifiable reasons to keep them blocked on an individualized basis. "Defendants’ continued blocking of Individual Plaintiffs … violates their First Amendment rights," the Friday lawsuit said. "It unconstitutionally restricts their rights to read or participate in the discussion occurring in the public forum of the @realDonaldTrump account." The lawsuit continued: "It also unconstitutionally restricts their right to access statements that Defendants are otherwise making available to the public at large, and their right to petition the government for redress of grievances." Trump was ordered to unblock Twitter users in the 2018 decision on the grounds that cutting people off from important policy announcements for things they tweeted was a violation of their free speech. Click on the link for the full article
  9. Arizona woman who destroyed Target mask display in viral video says she regrets behavior Melissa Rein Lively's spiral in an Arizona Target was caught on video for all to see. She recorded herself destroying a mask display in early July – something she now says she regrets and is in treatment for mental illness. In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY, Rein Lively, the CEO and founder of a public relations firm, said she lost all of her clients and her husband filed for divorce after the videos of her expletive-filled rants went viral. "I think mental illness has been really something that has not been addressed as a result of this pandemic," she said. "Because what happened to me was scary and it changed my life forever. I felt I had absolutely no control over my actions." After her manic meltdown in the store, Rein Lively said she was taken for a psychiatric evaluation after her husband called police from their home. She said she stayed in a mental health facility for over a week. Click on the link for the full article
  10. Another brilliant Trump success story: Almost 30 Million in U.S. Didn’t Have Enough to Eat Last Week Food insecurity for U.S. households last week reached its highest reported level since the Census Bureau started tracking the data in May, with almost 30 million Americans reporting that they’d not had enough to eat at some point in the seven days through July 21. In the bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Survey, roughly 23.9 million of 249 million respondents indicated they had “sometimes not enough to eat” for the week ended July 21, while about 5.42 million indicated they had “often not enough to eat.” The survey, which began with the week ended May 5, was published Wednesday. The number of respondents who sometimes had insufficient food was at its highest point in the survey’s 12 weeks. The number who often experienced food insufficiency was at its highest since the week ended May 26. Click on the link for the full article At this point I'm hoping history repeats itself, and Melania says "Let them eat cake" and her husband befalls to the same fate as Louis XVI.
  11. Police Arrest Man for Performing Scrotum Surgery at a Backpacker’s Hostel Australian police have arrested a man who allegedly had a severed penis and testicles in his freezer, following reports that he’d partially castrated another man in a separate, fetish-related incident. In a statement to Vice News, Queensland Police confirmed that they had charged a 27-year-old man with “acts intended to maim”, based on allegations that he performed “consensual surgery” on a 26-year-old at a backpacker’s hostel in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon. It’s understood that the culprit used a Cryopen—that is, a medical device for removing warts and other lesions with high-pressure nitrous oxide—to remove a single testicle of the younger man, from Sydney, who had willingly arranged to undergo the surgery after the two of them met online. Click on the link for the full article
  12. Average Age of Vehicles on the Road is Approaching 12 Years In the last decade, the average age of vehicles on the road has steadily risen after jumping in response to the recession in 2008. With new-vehicle sales dipping this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the average age of vehicles on the road has risen again, to 11.9 years, roughly one month older than last year, according to research from IHS Markit. A number of factors beyond the pandemic have pushed the average vehicle age upwards this year and in years past, including higher average vehicle prices of a new vehicle and the fact that many new vehicles last longer. The average price of a new vehicle in January of this year was $37,851, a 3.5 percent increase from January of 2019, according to Kelley Blue Book. IHS Markit predicts that the average vehicle age will only continue to rise, increasing four to six months in the coming years. Nonetheless, it may be hard to predict how the pandemic has changed total miles driven and the total wear on vehicles. Click on the link for the full article
  13. Florida coronavirus: State reports 257 new deaths, a single-day increase record for fourth day in a row More than 470,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida, and more than 6,800 people have died, according to the latest report from the health department’s website. Data shows Florida reported an additional 9,007 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 470,386. The state saw another record increase in deaths on Friday, making it the fourth day in a row Florida has reported a record single-day increase. The death toll rose by 257 to 6,843. Data shows 26,533 Floridians have been hospitalized at some point during the pandemic. That’s up 516 from Thursday morning. Over the weekend, Florida surpassed New York to become the state with the second-highest caseload in the country. Earlier this month, the state saw a record number of new cases— 15,299 —in a single day. Click on the link for the full article
  14. Greenfield student tests positive for COVID-19 after attending first day of class A Greenfield-Central Junior High School student has tested positive for the coronavirus after the first day of class, according to an email sent to families Thursday evening. The student attended part of the first day of classes, which began for Greenfield-Central Community Schools Thursday. It was the first time students had been back in the school buildings since the coronavirus closed schools statewide in March. The district told families that its "Positive COVID-19 Test Protocol" was enacted as soon the school was alerted by the Han**** County Health Department about the positive test. The student was immediately isolated and all close contacts were determined. Click on the link for the full article
  15. RI Issues Tax Refunds Signed by ‘Walt Disney,' ‘Mickey Mouse' Rhode Island mistakenly sent more than 175 tax refund checks signed by "Walt Disney" and "Mickey Mouse," rather than the state treasurer and controller. The Rhode Island Division of Taxation uses the signatures on test files, which were mistakenly printed on the real checks and sent out on Monday, a spokesperson told WPRI-TV. Mickey Mouse is the cartoon character that was animator and producer Walt Disney's first big hit. Click on the link for the full article
  16. Indian bill to ban crypto ‘awaiting approval’ The Indian government has confirmed in a Right to Information (RTI) reply that the inter-ministerial committee’s cryptocurrency bill is “awaiting approval of the government.” The bill is currently being examined by various ministries, reports. The government of India has been sitting on a cryptocurrency draft bill since it was submitted to the Finance Ministry early last year. Entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019,” the document was drafted by an inter-ministerial committee headed by former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg. While no formal announcement regarding the progress of the bill has been made, some media reports suggest that consultation has begun on this bill. To establish the veracity of this news, lawyer Mohammed Danish, co-founder of Crypto Kanoon, filed an RTI application with the Department of Economic Affairs. In its short reply dated July 13, the department wrote: “The government has set up inter-ministerial committee (IMC) for examining the issues of cryptocurrencies under the chairmanship of Secretary (EA).” The letter continues: “The report of the IMC on VCs [virtual currencies] has since been submitted by its members, but is awaiting approval of the government. The report and bill now be examined by the government through inter-ministerial consultation by moving a cabinet note in due course.” Danish explained to Coinpedia publication on Wednesday that “The present bill contemplates a blanket ban on everything related to cryptocurrencies.” Click on the link for the full article
  17. Three Gorges Dam under fast mounting flood pressure People in cities along China’s Yangtze River, which have already been inundated with water, are now scrambling to shore up embankments and dykes before the Three Gorges Dam releases more water and towns are swamped again by the third big flood this summer. The Yangtze has again become a raging torrent. On Monday evening, stormwater started to pour into the reservoir of the Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze’s middle reaches at more than 60,000 cubic meters per second. Water was discharged from the Three Gorges Dam last weekend to make room for a new deluge from upstream. Photo: Xinhua The amount of water is the same as the peak flow rate 10 days ago, which added more than 10 billion cubic meters of water to the mega-dam’s artificial lake. After the National Meteorological Center in Beijing flagged fresh deluge warnings last weekend, the China Three Gorges Group, the dam’s operator, again put itself on a “wartime” footing. Click on the link for the full article
  18. Turning Point USA co-founder dies of coronavirus-related complications The co-founder of conservative student group Turning Point USA, Bill Montgomery, has died from complications of the coronavirus, according to two friends of his. Montgomery, who started it in 2012 with young conservative star Charlie Kirk, died at the age of 80 on Tuesday from Covid-19, according to pro-Trump conservative strategist Caleb Hull, who posted about the death on Twitter and his personal Facebook page, and Chicago-based citizen journalist Vic Maggio. “I really wish people would just stop politicizing this pandemic and grow up while innocent people around us are dying,” Hull also said. “You have no idea how painful it is to be forced to sit at home while your loved one dies alone in a hospital.” Over the course of the pandemic, Turning Point USA representatives have downplayed the impact of the coronavirus on public life. In two previous episodes of his podcast, March 16 and April 23, Kirk stated that he believed that the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions should self-quarantine. Outside of that, however, he has questioned the vast majority of public health proposals to limit community spread. On the Sunday edition of his podcast, Kirk said: “Do not force me to wear a mask, it’s that simple. I’m not gonna do it, I’m not.” Click on the link for the full article
  19. ‘It’s like they’re testing it on us': Portland protesters say tear gas has caused irregularities with their periods After more than 50 days of nightly protests against racism and police violence, demonstrators in Portland are intimately familiar with the immediate effects of tear gas: blurry eyes, burning skin, choking, coughing, crying, retching. But some protesters believe the gas is doing more than causing red eyes and seething skin. OPB interviewed 26 protesters, ranging in age from 17 to 43, who said they believe regular exposure to tear gas has caused irregularities within their menstrual cycle. The experiences range. Some protesters reported getting their period multiple times in a single month. Others reported debilitating cramps — at least one that ended in a hospital visit — and blood clots the size of half a fist. Trans protesters who had stopped menstruating since taking testosterone said they have seen their cycles restart. There are two common threads between the experiences of the 26 protesters: All said what they were experiencing was abnormal for their bodies. And all believed the tear gas, which law enforcement has been using against demonstrators for two months, was at fault. There has been little scientific research into whether tear gas can affect a person’s hormones — and experts warn against extrapolating a solid medical conclusion from anecdotal evidence. But while the science remains thin, the troubling stories have mounted as the release of the chemical has become a near-nightly occurrence. Click on the link for the full article
  20. Florida man accused of illegally detaining Black 18-year-old heading to basketball practice A former Florida theme park security guard has been arrested for allegedly acting like a "vigilante" when he "racially profiled" and falsely detained a Black teen who was on his way to basketball practice, prosecutors said. The 18-year-old was riding his bicycle during the early morning hours of June 8 when Luis Santos drove his car alongside the teenager. "You work here? You live here?" asked Santos, 54, as he recorded with a cellphone, according to excerpts released by prosecutors. The teenager stopped and answered Santos' questions before the situation quickly escalated. "You're not going anywhere," said Santos, stepping out of his vehicle. "You're being detained. You're not going anywhere." Still, prosecutors said, Santos had no legal authority to detain the 18-year-old. The case also is not being classified as a hate crime, prosecutors confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday. "What happened that morning should upset everyone in our community. We have skilled police officers -- we don't need vigilantes confronting people on the street," State Attorney Andrew Warren said in a statement concerning what "appears to be a case of racial profiling." Click on the link for the full article Yes, we have police officers that are skilled at racial profiling, we don't need vigilantes to racially profile too.
  21. Trump Twitter doc Dr Stella Immanuel says Jesus will destroy Facebook if it doesn’t put her coronavirus vid back online Dr. Stella Immanuel blasted Facebook and Twitter after they removed the controversial video, which was retweeted by President Donald Trump earlier this week. In a tweet Monday night, the physician wrote: "Hello Facebook put back my profile page and videos up or your computers with start crashing till you do. "You are not bigger that God. I promise you. If my page is not back up face book will be down in Jesus name."