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Watch: Rare Second World War footage of Bletchley Park-linked MI6 intelligence heroes emerges, shared online

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A glimpse of life at Whaddon Hall

Vid  An astonishingly rare film documenting British intelligence personnel, linked to the code-breakers at Bletchley Park, has been released by the park's trust, offering a glimpse of unsung heroes who helped win the Second World War.…

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The Shadow War Playing Out Behind The COVID-19 Crisis

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The Shadow War Playing Out Behind The COVID-19 Crisis

Authored by Gregory Copley via OilPrice.com,



The rush to what is essentially a new wartime footing began consciously and urgently in the first quarter of 2020 between some of the most powerful geopolitical players of the modern era: the United States of America, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and the United Kingdom.





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p>It was not about the “battle” to cope with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) epidemic, or the global fear pandemic which it engendered, but those contagions broke the cycle of globalism and the belief in the indissoluble nature of interdependence. It allowed what was already emerging as a fundamental move toward a new, bipolar global competition to come out into the open.



By the end of March 2020, the global framework had changed sufficiently to become — behind the headlines about COVID-19 — about which system and ideology would triumph in the decades after the watershed. That meant a race by each of the major antagonists to determine how quickly national productivity could be resumed.



Even so, the failure of most major societies, including the PRC, to prepare for health pandemics, natural disasters, and associated contagions of fear was a significant function of the transformed realities of the “globalist”-dominated political structures over the earlier lessons of national self-reliance. I made this point in a report in Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis on November 24, 2008:




The unintended, or unforeseen, consequences of economic dislocation — as this writer has repeatedly noted — can be expected to lead to a rise in globalized (or at least regionalized) pandemic health challenges at a time when societies are weakened. These will lead to wealthier societies becoming more nationalistic and isolated, in some respects, merely to protect themselves. Pandemics will be matched by similar anomic social responses, including rising crime, of which the new era of maritime piracy is merely one aspect



Indeed, it is clear that the best avenue which nation-states can take is one marked by gaining as much control over their own destinies as possible. That requires a growing focus on domestic food self-sufficiency, and domestic market bases for manufactured goods and services. In other words: a return to a sense of the nation. The age of globalization is ending; it was a brief window in which the technologies which were created to fight the Cold War became the technologies of global social integration. Now, again, the luxury of internationalism is ending, and survival is based around the extended clan: the nation.




It was a year later that the global H1N1 pandemic emerged, fortunately without triggering the associated fear pandemic which acted as a force multiplier to the impact of the 2019-20 COVID-19 epidemic.



By 2020, a dozen years later, the transformed strategic landscape meant that information dominance (ID) warfare was far more enabled, particularly as social media evolved as a conduit for mass mobilization to force government actions in Western societies. So there was a general transformation in the social and technological context which prevailed when the panic arose around COVID-19.



But, in order to gain the post-epidemic political high ground, the PRC was first to “declare victory” in managing the COVID-19 epidemic and to send its population back to work, despite the reality of evidence which defied the national statistics on the continuing levels of contagion in the PRC. However, it was clear that the epidemic, having its origins in Wuhan in the PRC, would peak first and begin to recover first. Still, it was the degree of top-down control which PRC Pres. Xi Jinping enjoyed — in contrast to Western heads of government — which enabled the PRC to “declare victory”, and to resume his offensive against the West in a now fairly blatant fashion.



Even so, it was clear that the overall nature of the restructured strategic balance would be less affected by a few weeks (or even months) in the battle to restart economic activity than by underlying fundamentals in systems. Meanwhile, as the information dominance (ID) wars between the PRC and (particularly) the US ramped up, both sides were careful to ensure that the risk of actual physical challenge was minimized.



What were some of the fundamental immediate outcomes and questions raised by the 2020 Fear Pandemic?




1. The global economy and the economies of most states have been dramatically weakened, and they will remain relatively weakened and transformed for some years; in many cases for decades. This means that economic deprivation will reach more pervasively down into the mass of society, reversing the trend of the past seven decades. It will exacerbate the polarization of societies, but seems likely to push the trend toward forms of nationalism more than it will reinforce the ideology of globalism;



2. The power of central governments has been dramatically increased, and the rights and freedoms of individuals constrained. By late March 2020, the situation in most Western societies had approached a quasi-martial law environment, with little social resistance;



3. Funding for R&D, national security, and consumer spending will decline, further exacerbated by the reduction in core size/wealth of most populations in advanced economies. The question is whether the limitation in wealth will exacerbate or constrain inflammatory populism and social action;



4. The role of global bodies has been weakened, as have alliances. This will lead to a rethinking of alliance structures and how to manage them. It will, even if only for reasons of fiscal constraints, lead to an increasing momentum toward the bilateralization of trade, even to the point, once again of thinking in terms of structured barter or counter-trade dealings;



5. The reach of formal military structures will be inhibited by funding, and will this open seams in the global power framework? Will it allow space for more independent, regional actions?;



6. While the Communist Party of China (CPC) probably has the strength to enforce control over the People's Republic of China (PRC), will the European Union (EU) have sufficient cohesion to enforce control over its member states? If the EU cannot "hold it together", would this create a space for Turkey to revive its neo-Ottomanist expansions in the Eastern Mediterranean and Balkans? Did the United Kingdom escape from the EU just in time to preserve its economic base? Did the EU’s poor handling of the crisis end forever the chance of bringing Serbia into the Union? And what will this new dynamic do for the encouragement of separate geopolitical alignments, such as the creation of the Three Seas Initiative as a potentially viable successor to part of the EU? Can Three Seas gain traction if Serbia is excluded, given its regional hub importance for the north-south infrastructural needs of the Alliance?;



7. What skills will be necessary in the post-2020 environment? Has the economy sobered enough to embrace the restoration of practical skills training instead of ideological education which has no market, while an impetus toward revived domestic manufacturing (rather than foreign-sourced manufacturing) will see significant demand for trained personnel?;



8. There was a widespread belief that the crisis had caused a collapse in petroleum and gas prices to the point where the US domestic shale industry would be forced from the marketplace, re-opening the US to the need for imported energy. But this is likely both untrue and irrelevant, and the US would remain considerably less vulnerable to energy exposure than the PRC;



9. The PRC would continue to see extreme vulnerability to food and water shortages, which can only be ameliorated by (a) dependence on imported food and agricultural products, most of which would need to come from the United States (given that other suppliers cannot meet the demand), and (b) reduction in the lifestyles and numbers of the PRC population, a factor which could have significant social-political ramifications;



10. The longer the constraints on societies imposed by the crisis, the more pro-found were the likely post-crisis attitude changes likely to be. In other words, if the crisis lingered in various forms through 2020, it was likely that the year would be seen by society and historians as a breakpoint equivalent to the world wars of the 20th Century;



11. Nowhere in the world have we seen the development of economic theories or approaches to managing societies in decline in terms of economics as well as in terms of the downward transformation of market size and demand. Studies of recent-term lessons from Japan, Russia, and Germany would be helpful, even though these examples all predicated their economic thinking — despite market size decline — on growth in economic opportunity, but with notable shortcomings;



12. Africa, which had moved from a Continent gradually modernizing within the framework of a Western model to one dependent almost solely on the PRC, was likely to be left in an almost ruinous situation by late 2020 and beyond. African societies would themselves be forced to evolve new economic models. There was a likelihood that the US would strongly move, in the post-crisis period, to strengthening its dominance in the Americas (where the PRC, in particular, had built a strong presence), and also in Central Asia, as a means of providing an alternate path in the Eurasian Silk Road complex.




The COVID-19 pandemic will do little to impact the demographic trends in global population numbers. The trend toward population decline was set in place in the second half of the 20th Century and is only now becoming evident. Similarly, the disruption to the global economy also began before the COVID-19 crisis, largely as a result of the global demographic transformation, but the 2020 crisis became an iconic breakpoint.



The post-COVID-19 world would thus be markedly different, structurally, than the world which preceded it. But most significantly, the perception of that "new" world would have changed, ensuring that a linear extrapolation of older remedies or progressions of earlier thinking would no longer be acceptable.



It is important to stress that the two underlying strategic trends impacting the US-PRC competition had begun well before the 2020 pandemic scares. The PRC economy had been essentially in decline for several years, disguised by ongoing state-sponsored investments in infrastructure projects, which boosted the appearance of growth in the gross domestic product (GDP). Moreover, the PRC’s water shortage and quality problems had reached almost panic levels over that same timeframe.



In a talk in Perth, Western Australia, on October 23, 2019, I noted:




[The PRC] has almost 20 percent (18.4 percent) of the world’s population, and yet only seven percent of its water, and of that water some 25 percent, at least [as the PRC Government acknowledges], is polluted, along with much of its agricultural water table [to a far greater degree than the PRC Govt. acknowledges]. And the problem is getting worse. The great water source, the aquifers flowing from the melting snows of the Tien Shan Mountain range in Central Asia, is reducing for the moment.



The result of this, and the fact that Chinese agriculture has not modernized to any great degree, is that the People’s Republic of China is perhaps more strategically dependent on imported food than any great power since Rome. And Rome, arguably, collapsed, finally, for that very reason: its foreign sources of food became less dependable. The PRC Bureau of Statistics in the 1980s recorded that there were some 50,000 rivers in mainland China. But by 2017, there were only some 23,000. Beijing, serviced by the so-called “Three Gorges Dam”, recorded in 2017 that 39.9 percent of its water was so polluted as to be unusable. Tianjin, a principal port city of the north (and with a population of 15-million), had only 4.9 percent of its water in a potable state.



The growing urbanization of the constituent populations of the PRC have made the food and water crises more and more urgent. Urban populations use far more water than rural societies. They also demand more water-intensive food, such as pork and beef, especially as the city-dwellers become more prosperous. And the PRC’s urbanization rate continues apace: by the end of 2017, some 58.52 percent of its population was urbanized, compared with only 17.92 percent in 1978.



You can see where this is going. And we have not even touched on the impact of air quality on health in the PRC, or the fact that urban-related diseases, such as diabetes, are rising at a higher rate than in other industrial economies; or the fact that a rapidly-aging population is transforming the economic viability of the state.




And by late 2019, it became clear that the PRC was unable to continue the pursuit of military equivalence with the US. Minnie Chan, writing in The South China Morning Post on November 28, 2019, noted that the PRC Government had canceled plans for the People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) to build two nuclear-power very large aircraft carriers to compare with the capability of US carriers. The PLAN has two carriers afloat with two more abuilding; all conventionally-powered. The reasons for the cancelations of the prestige super-carrier program were cited as “technical challenges and high costs”.



The PRC has significant technologies which had briefly leapfrogged the US, particularly in the areas of hypersonic weapons and space, but belatedly a more resilient US economy was beginning to redress the years of neglect by all US presidents between Pres. Ronald Reagan (1981-89) and Pres. Donald Trump (2017- ). The US was slowly beginning to compensate for the sense of smugness and hubris which pervaded its global thinking after the end of the Cold War in 1990.



But the US had, along with most European powers, subcontracted most of its manufacturing to the PRC in the post-Cold War era, and the COVID-19 epidemic — and the US-PRC “trade war” which immediately preceded it (and which was likely to resume significantly in late 2020) — saw the extent of global dependence on mainland China factories. Beijing was counting on this dependence to restart its economic push in the second quarter of 2020.



But will that manufacturing/export revival be sufficient to restart the PRC economy, which was essentially already hollowed out?



And was the US (and Western) dependence on the PRC manufacturing sector likely to be the same as pre-COVID-19? Unlikely, given the reality that global demand would have declined substantially for at least the remainder of 2020 because of the economic impact of the crisis, and because a number of efforts to restore domestic manufacturing of key products had already begun in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and the like.



Moreover, the weakness of the PRC position, economically, seems to be borne out by the understanding that it had made dramatic cuts in the first quarter of 2020 to its investment in its Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) global supply chain. BRI had, in its origins, been conceived merely as a material and transactional form of maoist globalist ideology; a way to bind foreign states to the PRC as “tributary” states and to provide the PRC with its resource needs and markets. But most of the BRI contracts and loans to foreign states had not been calculated on a realistic market basis.



Reports from Beijing indicated that funding for BRI projects had dropped in early 2020 by some 80 percent over the same period a year earlier. But some of these cuts were already well underway by the time the COVID-19 crisis struck.



The Hong Kong-based newspaper, The South China Morning Post, reported on October 10, 2019, that investment in BRI had begun to drop in 2018. It noted: "The value of new projects across 61 countries fell 13 percent to US$126-billion in 2018 [compared with the previous year], with the figure falling further in 2019." In fact, it said that investment had fallen a further 6.7 percent in the seven months leading up to August 2019, and existing contracts were reduced by 4.2 percent in the first eight months of 2019.



The Post article continued: “[I]n the first half of 2019, China’s investment and construction activity around the world plunged by over 50 percent compared to the first half of 2018, while new projects under the belt and road plan dropped sharply, according to a report published in July by Derek Scissors, resident scholar at the China Global Investment Tracker from the American Enterprise Institute. Scissors said Chinese SOEs were still moving car and steel capacity overseas and building new motorways and cement plants in developing economies, but that is now “on a smaller scale” compared to the 2016 investment peak.”



The cutbacks were not only caused by Beijing. By late 2019 and early 2020, a significant number of major programs in the BRI which had received commitments from foreign countries were canceled or scaled-back. These were particularly evident in Pakistan (which has a major strategic need to depend on Beijing), Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Sierra Leone. The arrival of the new Government in Ethiopia in April 2018 had already seen that country sour on involvement with new BRI projects.



To a degree, all this decline in the PRC’s economic reach was likely to see the PRC attempt to regain global market share by dumping of goods onto the global marketplace in a bid to ensure that nationalistically-oriented commitments in the US, Europe, Australia, and the like did not attempt to rebuild their own manufacturing sectors. So the response by client states to PRC attempts to recapture markets and prevent the rise of national or sovereign independence would be a measure as to how much Western leaders learned from the crisis period of early 2020.



For this reason, strategically, it was critical for the Communist Party of China (CPC) to ensure that US Pres. Donald Trump was not re-elected to the US Presidency on November 3, 2020, and that the Democratic Party in the US would strengthen its position in the US Congress. As a result, the CPC’s information dominance warfare against the US was geared specifically toward the downfall of Pres. Trump, and in this it sought to enlist the support of the anti-Trump sections of the US polity. There were clearly some elements of the US political community which were prepared to align with Beijing — albeit not overtly — in order to ensure the removal of Donald Trump and the ascendance of Democratic Party presumed candidate Joe Biden.



So the US elections would become the next major breakpoint in the now overt US-PRC war.




Tyler Durden

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 00:00
174
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SNAP: Woman Cuts Line at Deli, Slaps Customer Who Confronts For Violating “Social Distancing”

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Woman allegedly slapped customer for coming too close to her.
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WATCH: Cops Kill Teen for Running Away and Rule it ‘Justified’

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The two officers who opened fire on a fleeing teenager — killing him — were ruled justified after an investigation, despite the graphic video evidence.
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Trump Fires Ukrainegate Inspector General Who Helped Initiate Impeachment

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Trump Fires Ukrainegate Inspector General Who Helped Initiate Impeachment

President Trump on Friday fired the intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, who brought a hearsay whistleblower complaint to Congressional Democrats, kicking off President Trump's impeachment. 





Atkinson's closed-door testimony was so troubling to House Republicans that they launched an investigation into his role into what President T

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rump and his allies coined the 'impeachment hoax.'



Ranking member of the House Intelligence Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-CA) told SarahCarter.com that transcripts of Atkinson's secret testimony would expose that he either lied or needs to make corrections to his statements to lawmakers.



Trump notified the Senate and House Intelligence Committees of his decision to fire Atkinson, according to Politico, citing two congressional officials and a copy of a letter dated April 3.



"This is to advise that I am exercising my power as president to remove from office the inspector general of the intelligence community, effective 30 days from today," wrote Trump, who added that he "no longer" has the fullest confidence in Atkinson.



"As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as president, have the power of appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general," Trump wrote. "That is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general."



Trump knocked Atkinson on January, noting that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's (D-CA) decision to withhold Atkinson's testimony was a "major problem."




Democrats had a fit at the news, with Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) calling Atkinson's firing "unconscionable" while accusing Trump (with a straight face?) of an ongoing effort to politicize intelligence.



"In the midst of a national emergency, it is unconscionable that the president is once again attempting to undermine the integrity of the intelligence community by firing yet another intelligence official simply for doing his job," wrote Warner in a statement.



Warner's House counterpart, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) called Atkinson's firing "retribution" in the "dead of night" - adding that it's "yet another blatant attempt by the president to gut the independence of the intelligence community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing."



Senate Minority Leader Chuck 'six ways from Sunday' Schumer (D-NY) said Atkinson's firing was evidence that Trump "fires people for telling the truth," according to Politico.



Whistleblower lawyer and Disneyland aficionado Mark Zaid - who once bragged about getting security clearances for pedophiles, called the firing "delayed retaliatory action" for Atkinson's "proper handling of a whistleblower complaint."



"This action is disgraceful and undermines the integrity of the whistleblower system," said Zaid. "It is time GOP members of the Senate stand up for the rule of law and speak out against this president."




The whistleblower complaint effectively kicked off the House’s impeachment inquiry, which began in late September amid allegations that Trump had solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election when he asked Ukraine’s president to investigate his political opponents, including Joe Biden.



Atkinson opposed the decision by then-acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire to withhold the whistleblower complaint from the House and Senate intelligence committees — in particular, Maguire’s decision to seek guidance on the issue from the Justice Department, rather than turn it over to Congress as required by law. -Politico




To learn more about Atkinson, read here and here.




Tyler Durden

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 00:10
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Trump: Americans Will Not Be Forced To Wear Masks Because We Are Not Communist China

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President Trump told reporters Friday he doesn’t plan to wear a face mask, despite CDC recommendations.
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Delaware State Police Authorized To Pull Over Out-Of-State Drivers During Pandemic

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Delaware State Police Authorized To Pull Over Out-Of-State Drivers During Pandemic

Delaware police have been granted the authority to pull over drivers displaying out-of-state tags to ask questions about why they're on the road, before telling them that "they are required by law to self-quarantine for 14 days while in Delaware, or immediately return to their state," according to Gov. John Carney's state of emergency declaration.



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>



According to CBS Philly, the order excludes out-of-state drivers on I-95, I-295 and I-495, as well as motorists entering the state to work for an essential business, care for a family member or for health care reasons.



"Now is not the time to visit Delaware. As a state and a nation, we are facing a serious situation that is getting worse each day.  Our goal is to limit a surge in COVID-19 cases that would overwhelm our hospital system. Per the order, we must control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our Delaware communities coming in from other states. We’ll get through this – but everyone needs to do their part," reads a statement from the Delaware State Police.




Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 21:40
208
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Gnarly! California Police Arresting Surfers To Fight Corona – Watch

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There will be no Endless Summer this year.
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America, We Have To End The Wars Now

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America, We Have To End The Wars Now

Authored by Scott Horton via The Libertarian Institute,



Can anyone think what our society might have spent six and a half trillion dollars on instead of 20 years of war in the Middle East for nothing? How about the trillion dollars per year we keep spending on the military on top of that?



Invading, dominating and remaking the Arab world to serve the interests of the

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American empire and the state of Greater Israel sounds downright quaint at this point. Iraq War II, as Senator Bernie Sanders said in the debate a few weeks ago, while letting Joe Biden, one of its primary proponents, off the hook for it, was “a long time ago.” Actually, Senator, we still have troops there fighting Iraq War III 1/2 against what’s left of the ISIS insurgency, and our current government continues to threaten the launch of Iraq War IV against the very parties we fought the last two wars for. This would almost certainly then lead to war with Iran.





The U.S.A. still has soldiers, marines and CIA spies in Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Mali, Tunisia, Niger, Nigeria, Chad and only God and Nick Turse know where else.



Worst of all, America under President Donald Trump is still “leading from behind” in the war in Yemen Barack Obama started in conspiracy with Saudi then-Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman back in 2015. This war is nothing less than a deliberate genocide.



It is a medieval-style siege campaign against the civilian population of the country. The war has killed more than a quarter of a million innocent people in the last five years, including at least 85,000 children under five years old. And, almost unbelievably, this war is being fought on behalf of the American people’s enemies, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).



These are the same guys that bombed the USS Cole in the port of Aden in 2000, helped to coordinate the September 11th attack, tried to blow up a plane over Detroit with the underpants bomb on Christmas Day 2009, tried to blow up another plane with a package bomb and launched the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, France since then. In fact, CENTCOM was helping the Houthi regime in the capital of Sana’a target and kill AQAP as late as January 2015, just two months before Obama stabbed them in the back and took al Qaeda’s side against them. So the war is genocide and treason.



As Senator Rand Paul once explained to Neil Cavuto on Fox News back before he decided to become virtually silent on the matter, if the U.S.-Saudi-UAE alliance were to succeed in driving the Houthi regime from power in the capital city, they could end up being replaced by AQAP or the local Muslim Brotherhood group, al-Islah. There is zero chance that the stated goal of the war, the re-installation of former dictator Mansur Hadi on the throne, could ever succeed. And yet the war rages on. President Trump says he’s doing it for the money. That’s right. And he’s just recently sent the Marines to intervene in the war on behalf of our enemy-allies too.



We still have troops in Germany in the name of keeping Russia out 30 years after the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Soviet Empire, even though Germany is clearly not afraid of Russia at all, and are instead more worried that the U.S. and its newer allies are going to get them into a fight they do not want. The Germans prefer to “get along with Russia,” and buy natural gas from them, while Trump’s government does everything in its power to prevent it.



America has expanded our NATO military alliance right up to Russia’s western border and continues to threaten to include Ukraine and former-Soviet Georgia in the pact right up to the present day. As the world’s worst hawks and Russiagate Hoax accusers have admitted, Trump has been by far the worst anti-Russia president since the end of the last Cold War.





Obama may have hired a bunch of Hitler-loving Nazis to overthrow the government of Ukraine for him back in 2014, but at least he was too afraid to send them weapons, something Trump has done enthusiastically, even though he was actually impeached by the Democrats for moving a little too slowly on one of the shipments.



We still have troops in South Korea to protect against the North, even though in economic and conventional terms the South overmatches the North by orders of magnitude. Communism really doesn’t work. And the only reason the North even decided to make nukes is because George W. Bush put a gun to their head and essentially made them do it. But as Cato’s Doug Bandow says, we don’t even need a new deal. The U.S. could just forget about North Korea and it wouldn’t make any difference to our security at all.



And now China. Does anyone outside of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps really care whether the entire Pacific Ocean is an American lake or only 95% of it? The “threat” of Chinese dominance in their own part of the world exists only in the heads of hawkish American policy wonks and the Taiwanese, who should have been told a long time ago that they are on their own and that there’s no way in the world the American people or government are willing to trade Los Angeles and San Francisco for Taipei.



Perhaps without the U.S. superpower standing behind them, Taiwanese leaders would be more inclined to seek a peaceful settlement with Beijing. If not, that’s their problem. Not one American in a million is willing to sacrifice their own home town in a nuclear war with China over an island that means nothing to them. Nor should they. Nor should our government even dream they have the authority to hand out such dangerous war guarantees to any other country in such a reckless fashion.



And that’s it. There are no other powers anywhere in the world. Certainly there are none who threaten the American people. Our government claims they are keeping the peace, but there are approximately two million Arabs and Pashtuns who would disagree except that they’ve already been killed in our recent wars and so are unavailable for comment.



The George W. Bush and Barack Obama eras are long over. We near the end, or half-way point, of the Trump years, and yet our former leaders’ wars rage on.



Enough already. It is time to end the war on terrorism and end the rest of the American empire as well. As our dear recently departed friend Jon Basil Utley learned from his professor Carroll Quigley, World Empire is the last stage of a civilization before it dies. That is the tragedy. The hope is that we can learn from history and preserve what’s left of our republic and the freedom that made it great in the first place, by abandoning our overseas “commitments” and husbanding our resources so that we may pass down a legacy of liberty to our children.



The danger to humanity represented by the Coronavirus plague has, by stark relief, exposed just how unnecessary and therefore criminal this entire imperial project has been. We could have quit the empire 30 years ago when the Cold War ended, if not long before.



We could have a perfectly normal and peaceful relationship with Iraq, Iran, Syria, Korea, Russia, China, Yemen and any of the other nations our government likes to pretend threaten us. And when it comes to our differences, we would then be in the position to kill them with kindness and generosity, leading the world to liberty the only way we truly can, voluntarily, on the global free market of ideas and results.



That is what the world needs and the legacy the American people deserve.




Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 22:00
238
20 Views

Video: Trump Says He’ll Ignore CDC’s “Voluntary” Face Mask Advisory

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'Somehow I don't see it for myself. I just don't...'
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WATCH: Dad Getting Food for His Kids During Outbreak Owns 6 Cops Harassing Him for It

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An Arkansas man claims he is being targeted by Fort Smith police officers and pulled over after committing no crimes whatsoever. So he proceeds to flex his rights.
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Facial Recognition Companies Profit From COVID-19 By Adding Thermal Imaging

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Facial Recognition Companies Profit From COVID-19 By Adding Thermal Imaging

Via MassPrivateI blog,



The biometrics industry has never been known to miss an opportunity to make a profit. Especially when it comes at the expense of everyone's privacy.



Since the outbreak of COVID-19, facial recognition companies have been hard at work creating a new sales pitch that will allow them to maximize their profits

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.





Across the globe, facial recognition companies are hard at work trying to convince politicians, law enforcement and the public that thermal imaging cameras will help stop the spread of COVID-19.



Forbes.com is all too eager to jump on the thermal imaging bandwagon, claiming that Athena Security's facial recognition/thermal imaging software can scan 1000 people per hour.




“With Covid-19, you see the problem at airports today,” Athena Security CEO Lisa Falzone explains. “Passengers are waiting in lines to manually take their temperatures, which slows traffic down. With our technology, we can analyze 1000 people per hour.”




In fact, Athena Security has gone so far as to combine fever detection, facial recognition and gun detection into an all-in-one screening system.




"Our Fever Detection COVID19 Screening System is now a part of our platform along with our gun detection system which connects directly to your current security camera system to deliver fast, accurate threat detection – including guns, knives, and aggressive action. Our system can also alert you to falls, accidents, and unwelcome visitors."




As Forbes.com points out, what makes Athena's software so unique is their ability to send out real-time alerts to authorities.




"What’s different about Athena’s system, explains Falzone, is its ability to send out immediate alerts to the appropriate parties, who can then make an informed decision on how to act."




The scariest thing about the proliferation of facial recognition/thermal imaging cameras is it gives law enforcement near god-like powers to identify and quarantine anyone they choose.





Real-time facial recognition being offered to universities and hospitals for free

The biometrics industry has put a new spin on marketing by offering universities and hospitals free real-time facial recognition.



A recent Jumio press release revealed that they are donating their facial recognition identity verification services to U.S. and U.K. hospitals and universities.




"Starting today, Jumio will provide free identity verification services through our AI-powered, fully automated solution, Jumio Go, to any qualifying organization directly involved in helping with COVID-19 relief including (but not limited to): Hospitals and Universities. This free offer is powered by Jumio Go, our real-time, fully automated identity verification solution."




DroneUp suggests that law enforcement could use thermal imaging drones as an excuse to monitor people for COVID-19.




"Assurance is key in uncertain times. That is why DroneUp is functioning in conjunction with FAA regulatory precautions as we collaborate with state and local officials to ensure safety for all. We strongly encourage our fellow drone operators to also become keenly aware of the protocol and regulations as the pandemic evolves."




That same scenario is being played out across the country, with more than 1,500 police departments using drones to monitor the public. In Michigan, the Hillsdale Sheriff's Office recently purchased a DJI Matrice 210 drone equipped with thermal imaging.



Three police departments in particular have taken drone surveillance to a whole new level.



The Owensboro Police Department in Kentucky has created a 10-member thermal imaging drone surveillance team.




"The Owensboro Police Department recently created a 10-member Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Team who were trained and certified to fly the department’s $2,300 drone inside city limits."




In Texas, the Public Safety Unmanned Response Team has partnered with the Airborne Incident Response Team to help expand police drone surveillance.




"The objective is to create a robust network of drone responders and geographic information systems experts capable of rendering direct assistance and location intelligence during complex emergencies, rapidly expanding incidents, and major disasters. Increased communication and cooperation are essential to the successful deployment of drones and other unmanned systems in support of public safety operations,” said Travis Calendine, chairperson of the Public Safety Unmanned Response Team North Texas.




The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD), arguably the most famous drone surveillance police department in the country, is creating a 52 square mile drone surveillance zone.




"The CVPD can proactively cover about 17 of the 52 square miles of our city with drones launched from two sites. Our goal this year is to add launch sites to provide 100% aerial support coverage during daylight hours 7 days a week by the end of the year," Vern Sallee, patrol operations captain said. 




The worldwide fear of the cornavirus is so widespread that MIT, Harvard and The Mayo Clinic have designed a new COVID-19 warning app called "Private Kit."





credit: Private Kit



As Fast Company explains, Private Kit will allegedly alert a user when someone infected with the COVID-19 virus is close.  Maybe they could use this app to alert them when a "Walking Dead" zombie is close by?




"Researchers just released an app in beta that alerts people when they come into contact with someone who’s been diagnosed with COVID-19, potentially reducing the virus’s spread if the app is downloaded by a large chunk of the population."




Of course there is a catch to using Private Kit: users will lose their privacy.




"After you download the app and consent to sharing your location (which is necessary in order for the app to work), the app starts tracking you. Should you cross paths with someone who’s been diagnosed with the coronavirus who also has the app, you’ll receive a notification telling you when and for how long."




Facial recognition companies like Veriff show how little they care about everyone's privacy by offering universities and health care providers 1 million free identity verification's.




"Potential beneficiaries of free verification's range from universities who need to verify people taking exams to marketplaces that have volunteers who help people in need and to registries that could tackle fake accounts and set up reliable databases about people in quarantine. But also, digital health care service providers, organizations fighting fake news and beyond."




If corporations, politicians and law enforcement can convince an apathetic public that facial recognition, thermal imaging and gun detection cameras can keep us safe, then our privacy will vanish before COVID-19 runs its course.




Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 18:40
244
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Germany: Muslims Flagrantly Violate Quarantine Law to Congregate at Mosque in Berlin

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Police fail to enforce social distancing as worshippers shout "Allahu Akbar."
253
63 Views

Not only is Zoom's strong end-to-end encryption not actually end-to-end, its encryption isn't even that strong

logicfish Security only zooms strong end-to-end encryption actually isnt even that All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Another damning probe into vid-conf software emerges

Zoom has faced increased scrutiny and criticism as its usage soared from 10 million users a day to 200 million in a matter of months, all thanks to coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.…

204
51 Views

"I Found The Source Of COVID-19..."

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"I Found The Source Of COVID-19..."


"After living and working in China for over 10 years and speaking fluent Chinese, you get to know a society pretty well... and let me tell you this - if you're applauding or admiring the political leadership of China, you're all deluded beyond belief."




That is how "laowhy86" begins this succinct  video exploring the 'facts

Read More
' - not conspiracies - behind the source of the coronavirus that is ravaging the earth.




"China doesn't operate like 'your' country," he warns, "the Chinese government is a face- and greed-driven government that relies on lies and bullying to maintain leadership."




Furthermore, he notes, the Chinese government layers are "broken and fragile" and so it didn't surprise him when he was able to follow breadcrumbs - as begun by our inquisition about the roles that certain individuals played in Wuhan - to discover the "very suspicious" fact that the Wuhan Bio lab had a job opening from November 18, 2019, asking for scientists to come and research the relationship between the coronavirus and bats.



However, after ZeroHedge was permanently suspended from Twitter for daring to suggest anything but the official narrative handed down, laowhy86 notes that another job opening appeared on December 24th (remember this is before any news broke of the virus publicly), which basically says 'we've discovered a new and terrible virus and would like to recruit people to come deal with it'...





So, he decided to dig a little bit more into the staff... and that's where it gets interesting... as he discovers silenced scientists, disappeared doctors, and constant propaganda...




"...it's quite clear that the Chinese government needs to close its mouth and acknowledge that this virus did in fact come from Wuhan, Hubei, China."




As he concludes,




"I did not get into any conspiracy theories, I'm not talking about bioweapons or biolabs; this is all public information on the Chinese internet published by researchers, scientists, and doctors."




"Despite the CCP's all-powerful ability to hide everything it can, the truth usually finds its way out - the Chinese government should cover their tracks better next time if they're going to blame this on Italy or the US or whatever is convenient to your narrative."



"...the CCP's incompetence and its understanding of the danger of the virus on a pure scientific level - and then going on to silence those who wanted to warn the public... and letting the virus spread for months... is the reason the Chinese government must be held accountable!"





Watch the full breakdown below:





What is really fascinating, however, is that while this thread was dismissed and censored as utter nonsense just two months ago (and got many banned for even daring to mention it), none other than David Ignatius, The Washington Post's favorite establishment columnist, is now questioning China's narrative and raising his own doubts as to the origin of the virus, writing that ...as China dished wild, irresponsible allegations of its own.




On March 12, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao charged in a tweet: “It might be [the] US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.”



He retweeted an article that claimed, without evidence, that U.S. troops might have spread the virus when they attended the World Military Games in Wuhan in October 2019.




A competing theory has been gathering momentum - of an accidental lab release of bat coronavirus...




Less than 300 yards from the seafood market is the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers from that facility and the nearby Wuhan Institute of Virology have posted articles about collecting bat coronaviruses from around China, for study to prevent future illness. Did one of those samples leak, or was hazardous waste deposited in a place where it could spread?



Richard Ebright, a Rutgers microbiologist and biosafety expert, told me in an email that “the first human infection could have occurred as a natural accident,” with the virus passing from bat to human, possibly through another animal. But Ebright cautioned that it “also could have occurred as a laboratory accident, with, for example, an accidental infection of a laboratory worker.” He noted that bat coronaviruses were studied in Wuhan at Biosafety Level 2, “which provides only minimal protection,” compared with the top BSL-4.



Ebright described a December video from the Wuhan CDC that shows staffers “collecting bat coronaviruses with inadequate [personal protective equipment] and unsafe operational practices.” Separately, I reviewed two Chinese articles, from 2017 and 2019, describing the heroics of Wuhan CDC researcher Tian Junhua, who while capturing bats in a cave “forgot to take protective measures” so that “bat urine dripped from the top of his head like raindrops.”




Ignatius unapologetically admits that what's increasingly clear is that the initial “origin story” - that the virus was spread by people who ate contaminated animals at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan - is shaky.



"Shaky" indeed, David!



 




Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 19:00
240
41 Views

Live: Trump Stresses Masks Are Voluntary, Says He Won’t Wear One — April 3rd

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Friday conference comes amid top scientists raising alarm on how 5G weakens immune system to all viruses including COVID-19
156
25 Views

High Level Child Rapists Released from Prison Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

logicfish News The Statechild rapistsCOVID-19justice system All https://thefreethoughtproject.com   Discuss    Share
Police are crying foul as dangerous and violent child rapists are released from prison to stave off the COVID-19 outbreak.
226
26 Views

McConnell Acknowledges Fourth Coronavirus Bill In The Worls

zerohedge News mcconnell acknowledges fourth coronavirus bill worls All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
McConnell Acknowledges Fourth Coronavirus Bill In The Worls

Update (1810ET): Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Friday that a fourth coronavirus bill is in the works, and that health care should be prioritized - telling the Associated Press that "there will be a next measure."





"[It] should be more a targeted response to what we got wrong and what we didn’t do enough for — a

Read More
nd at the top of the list there would have to be the health care part of it," said McConnell.



That said, McConnell said he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have a "little different point of view" on the timing for the fourth package, and that he is "not in favor of rushing" the next bill.



McConnell tweeted on Friday that Senate GOP are now focusing on 'tracking the implementation' of the the $2.2 trillion package passed last week.




*  *  *



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has walked back ambitious plans for infrastructure spending in the next coronavirus stimulus package - and is instead focusing on boosting direct payments to individuals as well as loans to businesses, according to Bloomberg, which notes that the shift will leave an estimated $800 billion infrastructure plan in limbo.



"While I’m very much in favor of doing what we need to do to meet the needs of clean water, more broadband and the rest of that, that may have to be for a bill beyond this," Pelosi told CNBC in a Friday appearance. "I think right now we need a fourth bipartisan bill -- and I think the bill could be very much like the bill we just passed."






"So I’d like to go right back and say let’s look at that bill let’s update it for some other things that we need, and again put money in the pockets of the American people," she said - promoting the much easier sell, which Bloomberg notes would probably have an easier time getting through Congress. 




Pelosi said the $350 billion included the last stimulus for small business to maintain payrolls for two months won’t be sufficient. She said the nation also will need an extension of the expanded unemployment benefits and additional direct payments to middle income individuals. -Bloomberg




Pelosi and other Congressional Democrats pitched approximately $800 billion in new infrastructure spending, which would be allocated towards boosting broadband, access to clean water, and funding for community health centers.



Congressional Republicans have pushed back against the idea - suggesting that we should wait and see what the impact of the first three packages have had, despite President Trump's call for a $2 trillion infrastructure package.



Meanwhile, nobody has said how the infrastructure plan will be paid for, as nobody has come forward with an actual proposal.




Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 18:10
193
21 Views

County Launches Website For Citizens To Report Neighbors Violating “Stay-at-Home” Order

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Will you tell on your fellow Americans who disobey politicians?
204
36 Views

NSO Group: Facebook tried to license our spyware to snoop on its own addicts – the same spyware it's suing us over

logicfish Security group facebook tried license spyware snoop addicts same suing over All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Antisocial network sought surveillance tech to boost its creepy Onavo Protect app, it is claimed

NSO Group – sued by Facebook for developing Pegasus spyware that targeted WhatsApp users – this week claimed Facebook tried to license the very same surveillance software to snoop on its own social-media addicts.…

208
20 Views

Oil Jumps, Stocks Dump As 'Helicopter Money' Sends USA Risk Soaring

zerohedge News jumps stocks dump helicopter money sends risk soaring All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Oil Jumps, Stocks Dump As 'Helicopter Money' Sends USA Risk Soaring

The story of the week is fourfold:




  1. Helicopter money begins... and the sovereign risk of the USA soars




  2. Oil has best week ever on hopes of supply cut.




  3. Stocks sink as any rebalance flow support e

    Read More
    vaporated.




  4. Lockdown effects are starting to be seen in labor and survey data



'Helicopter Ben' unleashed hell...





Source: Bloomberg



As the trillions in bailout booty starts to get handed out to the public, markets did not "love the smell of helicopter money in the morning"...





As USA Sovereign risk accelerated further...





Source: Bloomberg



Hopes of a supply-cut sparked the single-biggest daily gain ever and the biggest weekly gain ever in crude oil...





Source: Bloomberg



But in context, there's a long way to go...





Source: Bloomberg



And despite energy's gains, US equity markets were carved up this week, with Small Caps clubbed like a baby seal (5th weekly loss of last 6), as any month-/quarter-end rebalance flow support evaporated entirely... (NOTE broiadly speaking US markets rallied into the EU close then sold off every day this week),,,





Over the past two weeks however, The Dow is still up around 9% and Small Caps just over 2%...





And finally, the impact of the lockdowns is starting to hit as US Macro Surprise Index crashes by the most ever





Source: Bloomberg



*  *  *



The 'Virus-Fear' Trade is back in a big way...





Source: Bloomberg



After last week's hope-filled bounce, big banks bloodbath'd this week...





Source: Bloomberg



And virus-impacted sectors were also slammed...





Source: Bloomberg



"Most Shorted" stocks are down 6 days in a row





Source: Bloomberg



VIX and the market decoupled this week (VIX notably lower as stocks sank)...





Source: Bloomberg



Credit markets were sold all week, despite The Fed's support...





Source: Bloomberg



Treasuries were bid this week with 10Y outperforming, 2Y underperforming...





Source: Bloomberg



10Y Yields fell back below 60bps...





Source: Bloomberg



Note - yields did spike at the end of the day after The Fed announced another taper...





Source: Bloomberg



The week's yield drop pushed everything across the curve back near cycle yield closing lows...





Source: Bloomberg



The Dollar was up 4 of the 5 days this week (and 3rd week of last 4)





Source: Bloomberg



A late-week bid pushed most of the cryptospace into the green with Bitcoin Cash leading the week...





Source: Bloomberg



Commodities were practically unchanged on the week despite the dollar gains, but obviously oil was the outlier with its best week ever...





Source: Bloomberg



Interestingly, oil's surge coincides with its price relative to silver dropping below 2x (2 ounces of silver / barrel of oil) once again...





Source: Bloomberg



Gold Spot and Futures have started to decouple again as physical delivery fears resurface...





Source: Bloomberg



Where does gold go next?





Source: Bloomberg



Finally, the question is - is this bounce still viable?





Source: Bloomberg



Not if fun-durr-mentals have anything to do with it...





Source: Bloomberg




Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 16:00
224
25 Views

Belgium Destroyed Millions of Masks to Make Room For Refugees – Report

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Calls mounting for health minister to resign amid PPE shortage
231
58 Views

AOC Demands COVID-19 "Reparations" For Black+Brown People

zerohedge News demands covid-19 reparations blackbrown people All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
AOC Demands COVID-19 "Reparations" For Black+Brown People

Update (1615ET): AOC is making further headlines as a NYPost report exposes her lavish "locked-down" lifestyle:




“While Queens and The Bronx have lines down the block at hospitals and grocery stores, AOC is holed up at a brand new luxury apartment where she shops at Whole Foods in her lobby,” Democratic primary opponent Mi

Read More
chelle Caruso-Cabrera said.





“That’s shameful. No wonder voters think that she is out of touch. She has a golf-simulator and infinity pool and Peloton Cycle room as well as other luxuries while families in the Bronx and Queens are worried about how long the lines are at the grocery store and where they are going to get their next paycheck. AOC isn’t even here to see their desperation and their struggle to survive with her own eyes,” the challenger said.




As Kyle Bass tweeted after the report: MCC is a friend and a great Democrat who should rep the Bronx in Congress.



*  *  *



Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,



Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called for coronavirus “reparations” for black and brown people, claiming that “environmental racism” is an “underlying health condition.”





Yes, really.



“COVID deaths are disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities,” tweeted the Democrat lawmaker. “Why? Because the chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap, etc. ARE underlying health conditions. Inequality is a comorbidity. COVID relief should be drafted with a lens of reparations.




AOC provided no source to substantiate the claim that COVID-19 deaths were spiking in black or brown communities (coronavirus deaths would naturally be higher in any densely populated area), nor did she explain how the environment can be racist.



One of her supporters responded to the tweet by suggesting there was some kind of conspiracy amongst store owners in black areas not to enforce social distancing properly.




However, another respondent suggested that black and brown people were deliberately flouting social distancing rules and putting themselves at greater risk.




Another individual suggested that black bodies “work differently” and that this was also the fault of white supremacy.




Ocasio-Cortez previously waded into the coronavirus debate by demanding the FDA relax rules on blood donation, allowing homosexuals to donate blood despite a greater risk of infection. The rule was subsequently relaxed.



*  *  *



My voice is being silenced by free speech-hating Silicon Valley behemoths who want me disappeared forever. It is CRUCIAL that you support me. Please sign up for the free newsletter here. Donate to me on SubscribeStar here. Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown.




Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 16:15
218
45 Views

WHO Director Was Top Member of Violent Ethiopian Communist Party

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Now we know why he loves China so much.
179
45 Views

WATCH: Cops Suffocate Innocent Elderly Blind Man in Hospital Until He Passes Out

logicfish News Filming CopsPolice Brutalityblind manLAPDpolice brutality All https://thefreethoughtproject.com   Discuss    Share
Deeply disturbing video was released as part of a lawsuit this week showing police allegedly suffocate an innocent blind man until he fell unconscious.
236
49 Views

'Mark It Zero' - Triple-Levered Short Oil ETN Crashes To "Complete Loss"

zerohedge News mark zero triple-levered short crashes complete loss All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
'Mark It Zero' - Triple-Levered Short Oil ETN Crashes To "Complete Loss"

And just like that, it was gone!



Following the biggest daily surge in oil prices ever... and another major surge in prices today, things have gone a little bit slightly turbo for "investors" in one leveraged oil ETN.





Source: Bloomberg



Unprecedented spikes in price along with a record 'super-contango' have

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ng>left the VelocityShares Daily 3x Inverse Crude exchange-traded notes, or DWTIF, worthless, according to Credit Suisse.





Source: Bloomberg




“Because the Closing Indicative Value of the ETNs will be $0 on April 2, 2020 and on all future days...



...investors who buy the ETNs at any time at any price above $0 will likely suffer a complete loss of their investment,” Credit Suisse said.




As Bloomberg reports, that’s one of the final chapters in a once-popular product that amassed more than $1 billion in assets at its peak over four years ago.





Source: Bloomberg



Until the last two days, the bearish triple-leveraged ETN, had screamed higher in 2020 as oil prices have collapsed at a record pace amid a double-whammy of supply- and demand-concerns. At its peak on March 18th, DWTIF was up a stunning 978% year-to-date...





Source: Bloomberg



But now, as Morningstar's co-head of passive strategy research, Ben Johnson, notes:




“I can say with confidence that this is a bad investment.”




Oh the wonders of leveraged-ETFs...






Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 13:00
182
63 Views

Here Comes The Next Crisis: Up To 30% Of All Mortgages Will Default In “Biggest Wave Of Delinquencies In History”

infowars Issues EconomyFeatured StoriescrisisDefaultDelinquencieseconomicsMortgages All https://www.infowars.com   Discuss    Share
And unfortunately this time the crisis will be far worse...
243
61 Views

ESA missions back doing science after precautionary pandemic plug pull: We talk to space boffins about Mars Express emergency command line

logicfish Security missions back doing science after precautionary pandemic plug pull talk space boffins about mars express emergency command line All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Meanwhile, three-quarters of NASA staff now staying at home

ESA's mission operations centre in Germany has got back to doing interplanetary science after a short stand-down due to COVID-19.…

209
48 Views

Cuomo Warns "More People Are Going To Die" As New York Case Total Tops 100k: Live Updates

zerohedge News cuomo warns more people going york case total tops 100k live updates All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Cuomo Warns "More People Are Going To Die" As New York Case Total Tops 100k: Live Updates

Summary:



  • US nonfarm payrolls was an unmitigated disaster.

  • Russia reports drop in cases after extending quarantine

  • NY COVID-19 cases top 100k

  • Bolsonaro urges country to "go back to work" as Brazil's governors say opposite

  • Brazil says first COVID-19 case and death in Sout
    Read More
    h American happened 1 month earlier

  • Beijing says more than half of foreign diplomats identified as close contacts of COVID-19 patients

  • NJ reports jump in new cases, deaths

  • Number of recovered patients tops 250k globally

  • Japan sees resurgence of cases continue

  • Navy hospital ship in NY only treating 20 patients

  • UK reports biggest daily jump in deaths

  • Thousands of small business owners excluded from 'Paycheck Protection Program'

  • Spain, Germany report encouraging deceleration in new cases

  • Singapore launches strict 14-day lockdown to fight virus resurgence

  • Trump slams 3M on twitter

  • 400M in loans doled out

  • Bank of America becomes first big bank to issue loans via the plan

  • Mnuchin confirms 'Paycheck Protection Plan' is a go

  • Tokyo mayor warns about resurgence of cases on CNN

*    *    *



Update (12:10ET): New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has started his latest daily press conference.




Gov. Murphy reported 4,372 new COVID-19 cases and 113 new deaths, bringing statewide total to 29,895 cases and 646 deaths. He also announced he would be signing an Executive Order directing that all flags across NJ be lowered to half-staff indefinitely in honor of those who have died from the virus around the world.



"This is one of the greatest tragedies to ever hit our state. We must have a constant and visible memorial," he said.



If these latest data make you depressed, here's one reason not to despair: the number of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 around the world has passed 250,000, many multiples of the 55,781 deaths recorded so far by Johns Hopkins.



*    *    *



Update (12:10ET): Italy's Civil Protection agency just released the latest coronavirus numbers for Friday, and while there were some bright spots, the 766 deaths recorded across Italy over the last day is the biggest jump since the outbreak started.





But more encouragingly, the 4,585 new cases amounted to about a 4% rise, bringing the nationwide total to 119,827, up from 115,242 a day earlier. The death toll, meanwhile, climbed to 14,681, up from 13,915, still the highest death toll in the world. The mortality rate climbed slightly to 12.2%, as the number of deaths continue to climb, while new cases reported continued to drop.





 



Meanwhile, back in NY, CNN just reported that the USNS Comfort, the Navy hospital ship deployed to NYC to help with the hospital overflow, is only holding about 20 patients so far.



 



*    *    *



Update (11:50ET): As thousands of small and medium sized business owners find out that they aren't eligible for the 'Paycheck Protection Program' bailouts, Mnuchin has opted to continue tweeting dollar amount updates to show that loans are indeed being processed.




The market is paying close attention now, so let's keep those bullish headlines coming, Steve.



*    *    *



Update (1110ET): NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo kicked off Friday morning's press conference with some somber news: the number of positive coronavirus cases confirmed in the state of New York has surpassed 100k. He went on to explain that NY has been so badly impacted because so many foreign visitors travel there, meaning that before Trump finally barred all foreign travelers, many little outbreaks were likely started by travelers from Europe and elsewhere.



Meanwhile, Cuomo reported another 562 deaths over the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to 2,935. That's the largest jump in deaths yet.



Watch Cuomo live below:




As NYC hospitals reach maximum capacity on both ICU and regular hospital beds, forcing Cuomo to move COVID-19 patients to the Javits Center, which had initially been designated as an 'overflow' facility, Cuomo reiterated gripes about the inability of states to purchase vital medical equipment from China (though China has selectively allowed some orders to leave through the red tape they've suddenly thrown up). Though Cuomo said he is working with Alibaba to procure supplies for the state.



Using some of his most strident language yet, Cuomo warned that "people are going to die" if New York State doesn't get the ventilators and other vital medical equipment that it needs, and that the state is willing to pay up for this equipment. As for the federal stockpile, Cuomo reiterated that the doesn't believe there's enough to help all the states.



That said, Cuomo acknowledged that there are private businesses in the state that have ventilators that they still haven't turned over to the public effort. Cuomo promised that either the equipment would be returned, or the lenders would be reimbursed.



“I’m not going to be in a position where people are dying and we have several hundred ventilators in our own state somewhere else,” Cuomo said.



*    *    *



Update (1053ET): As PM Johnson tries to guide his government through an unprecedented crisis while struggling with the brutal flu-on-steroids symptoms of COVID-19, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who has also tested positive for COVID, has confirmed that UK saw its biggest jump in deaths over the last day.



As the latest data throw cold water on the hopes for a "flattening" in the UK curve, Hancock suggested to a terrified public that deaths could peak on April 12 - Easter Sunday - as some models have shown, according to the FT. 



Meanwhile, here are the latest numbers.





Downing Street has said it will next review the UK's lockdown conditions after Easter. In the meantime, Hancock and Johnson have their hands full trying to get tests to frontline workers, while trying to stave out an all-out collapse of the NHS.



*    *    *



Update (1038ET): Just as yet another reputable scientist declares that the theory that COVID-19 may have leaked out of a Chinese biolab shouldn't be dismissed, Beijing is cranking up its propaganda machine and doubling down on its blaming of "foreign visitors" for igniting a second wave of COVID-19 infections.



The Global Times just reported that out of 84 foreign diplomats who recently returned to China, 66% were traced as close contacts of confirmed patients.




This statement, if accurate, offers a glimpse into the depth and complexity of China's surveillance network, which it has marshaled to help trace the contacts of confirmed COVID-19 patients. It also sets up the foreign ministry to propagate another round of conspiracies that blame the US and the West for the outbreak.



*   *   *



Update (0944ET): Is Mnuchin going to keep a running ticker of loan figures? It's starting to look that way:




*    *    *



Update (0920ET): Bank of America just confirmed that it has started issuing loans through the program. Now, will we see the rest of the big banks turn on the taps in the next few hours?



*    *    *



Update (0912ET): Thousands of small and medium-sized business owners just breathed a huge sigh of relief.



After reassuring the public during last night's press conference that the bailout bill's "Paycheck Protection Program" would be up and running "tomorrow" (i.e. Friday), Mnuchin tweeted Friday morning that the first loans had been issued via the program, and that small business owners are now welcome to apply.



So far, community banks have issued 700 loans...




...and big banks are expected to come online shortly.




Last night, Mnuchin revealed that the administration had agreed to pay Wall Street a 50 bp 'tribute' on all loans (ie billions of additional dollars in risk-free profits) issued via the program.



All of this comes after the BLS released a surprisingly discouraging jobs report, showing that more than 700k jobs have been destroyed in the last month, ending a more than 110-month streak of job creation that began after the end of the financial crisis.



*    *    *



As we arrive at the end of another week, In NYC, subway trains are still crowded with commuters as the MTA is forced to reduce trains and cars as more of its workforce falls ill or simply refuses to show up. As the number of hospitalized patients surges, the city's hospital system has already run out of ICU beds, forcing Gov. Cuomo to move coronavirus patients to the Javits Center, which was initially intended for hospital overflow patients. Amid all of this, the state's unemployment fund is in worrisome shape, meaning New Yorkers will soon need to depend solely on federal benefits if the state well runs dry.



After the global number of confirmed coronavirus cases topped 1 million on Thursday, several Asian territories and countries, including Singapore and Hong Kong, are struggling with a second wave of COVID-19 cases that health officials claim is mostly travel-related. As we reported a few days back, China has reimposed lockdowns as begins to disclose "asymptomatic" cases that government functionaries explained were left out of China's initial case totals.



One month ago, on March 3, there were 92,000 coronavirus cases, most of them in mainland China. As of Friday, the US and Europe account for the bulk of the world's more than 1 million confirmed cases.



Professor Gabriel Leung, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, warned on Friday that the pandemic would likely last a few more months, even if heavy-handed prevention strategies are adopted. He also said the warmer weather would give the world no respite from the virus: "Is warmer weather going to give us some respite? The answer is maybe, but probably not,” Leung said during a live-streamed forum, pushing back against prognostications made by the mainland's leading respiratory disease expert, who assured the public that this would all be over by late April, even as Beijing continues to impose a near-moratorium on international and domestic flights.



In Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loon on Friday announced a major shift as Singapore shutters workplaces and schools for a month, beginning next week, with the government calling the more aggressive containment measures a "circuit breaker" to avoid using the word "lockdown.'



As Nikkei explains, Lee's decision marks a major shift in strategy for the city-state. Until now, Singapore had focused on strict border controls, thorough contact tracing of patients as well as extensive "social distancing" campaigns. While it encouraged telecommuting, it tried to keep life for businesses as normal as possible.



One major change that could foreshadow a similar move by the White House: The Singaporean government is now advising citizens to wear facemasks in public.




Lee also addressed the "psychological toll" of the "circuit-breaker" (don't call it a lockdown), in what one reporter described as a surprisingly thoughtful and forward-thinking change.




Despite the new measures, Singaporeans will need to continue sharing all their cell phone location data with the government as part of a sweeping program of monitoring and contract tracing that has alarmed privacy advocates.




Singaporean Manpower Minister Josephine Teo told reporters that "all of the workplace activities will have to come to a stop, meaning that everyone will have to work from home and at the work premises, there will be no one." Unless a business has special permission or is deemed an essential service, "it will be an offense to still have operations at the workplace" and any violators will be punished.



Singapore's decision comes after more local transmission and new clusters have been identified in recent days, including cases of undetermined origin. As of Friday morning, Singapore had reported 1,049 infections with five deaths. Additionally, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan have barred foreigners from entering in recent days. Early Friday morning, the Communist Party boss for the city of Wuhan warned that the risk of a full-on "resurgence" of the virus in the city was "still high." Meanwhile, Japan has barred visitors from dozens of countries, including South Korea and the US. South Korea is mandating that foreign visitors spend 14-days in a government lockdown facility, though it hasn't outright banned travelers from any country, though individuals from Hubei Province are banned.



Tokyo's governor even appeared on CNN last night to warn that the situation in her city is rapidly worsening, as the number of new cases skyrockets.




By comparison, in US, over 75% of individuals, and 90% of GDP, are under mandatory lockdown, including 38 state-wide orders.



Additionally, in other US news, President Trump bashed 3M, one of America's largest manufacturers, in a late-night tweet, where he claimed he used DPA authority so speed up manufacturing of ventilators.




In other international news, a British-made invention that can reduce the spread of coronavirus is being bought up by governments around the world, but not by the NHS, the FT reported Friday. In Germany, health officials recorded more than 6,174 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the latest sign that the growth rate of the virus is slowing. Spain also reported an encouraging slowdown in new cases.





 



Russia reported 601 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, a 17% jump in total cases that marks a slight slowing in the spread of the outbreak in the country. So far, Russia has reported 4,149 cases and 34 deaths from the virus, a much lower per-capita rate than many of its European peers.



Meanwhile, in Brazil, where President Jair Bolsonaro has continued to dismiss the risks of the virus. During a recent visit to a gas station in Sao Paolo covered by WSJ, Bolsonaro empathized with a worker to whom he spoke in the crowd.



"Sometimes, the cure is worse than the disease,” he told him, according to the report. “People should go back to work.” But 25 of 27 of Brazil's governors feel differently, and have been pushing Bolsonaro to endorse their safety guidelines. After Brazil's case total ballooned to nearly 8,000 cases and 299 deaths, officials confirmed that a woman who died on Jan. 23 had been infected, more than a month before South America's first confirmed case. It's just the latest sign that the virus may have spread more widely across Latin America than many had previously believed.




Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 13:16
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AOC Calls For Coronavirus “Reparations” For Black People

infowars Issues Featured StoriesTileU.S. News All https://www.infowars.com   Discuss    Share
Claims COVID-19 discriminates against minorities.
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WATCH: Cop Kills Unarmed Teen After Mistaking Fellow Cop’s Gunfire as the Teen’s

logicfish News Badge AbuseChicago Policepolice shooting All https://thefreethoughtproject.com   Discuss    Share
“They shot at us too, right?” Despite ruling the shooting death of an unarmed teen justified, the cops who opened fire on him were finally fired nearly four years later.
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How We'll Beat COVID-19: "Everyone Should Wear A Mask!"

zerohedge News well beat covid-19 everyone should wear mask All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
How We'll Beat COVID-19: "Everyone Should Wear A Mask!"

Via PeakProsperity.com,



So many of you asked us to create a short educational clip for why masks are so important, so that you can get others onboard this movement.



That was a GREAT idea!



Because the most effective single step each of us can take right now to beat covid-19 is to start wearing a mask.



Read More
trong>It’s cheap. It’s easy. And if we all do it, it will give us a HUGE advantage in the fight against this pandemic.





You don’t need a fancy mask. A simple DIY version will suffice.



Wearing one does the following:




  1. greatly reduces the particles a sick person can spread




  2. prevents you from touching your mouth and nose, by far the most common way we can get infected




  3. substantially increases your odds of having a mild case, should you get infected



If we all wear masks: I protect you, and you protect me. It just makes so much sense.



So you asked; and we’ve answered by creating this short, shareable video:






Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 10:50
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