Marxist UN WHO Boss Must Be Put on Trial, Critics Say

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Critics say 'Marxist revolutionary' should be on trial for crimes against humanity — not sitting atop the WHO.

Escobar: Ground-Control To Planet Lockdown - "The Existing World-System Has To Go"

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Escobar: Ground-Control To Planet Lockdown - "The Existing World-System Has To Go"

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

As much as Covid-19 is a circuit breaker, a time bomb and an actual weapon of mass destruction (WMD), a fierce debate is raging worldwide on the wisdom of mass quarantine applied to entire cities, states and nations.


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against it argue Planet Lockdown not only is not stopping the spread of Covid-19 but also has landed the global economy into a cryogenic state – with unforeseen, dire consequences. Thus quarantine should apply essentially to the population with the greatest risk of death: the elderly.

With Planet Lockdown transfixed by heart-breaking reports from the Covid-19 frontline, there’s no question this is an incendiary assertion.

In parallel, a total corporate media takeover is implying that if the numbers do not substantially go down, Planet Lockdown – an euphemism for house arrest – remains, indefinitely.

Michael Levitt, 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry and Stanford biophysicist, was spot on when he calculated that China would get through the worst of Covid-19 way before throngs of health experts believed, and that “What we need is to control the panic”.

Let’s cross this over with some facts and dissident opinion, in the interest of fostering an informed debate.

The report Covid-19 – Navigating the Uncharted was co-authored by Dr. Anthony Fauci – the White House face of the fight –, H. Clifford Lane, and CDC director Robert R. Redfield. So it comes from the heart of the U.S. healthcare establishment.

The report explicitly states, “the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.”

On March 19, four days before Downing Street ordered the British lockdown, Covid-19 was downgraded from the status of “High Consequence Infectious Disease.”

John Lee, recently retired professor of pathology and former NHS consultant pathologist, has recently argued that, “the world’s 18,944 coronavirus deaths represent 0.14 per cent of the total. These figures might shoot up but they are, right now, lower than other infectious diseases that we live with (such as flu).”

He recommends, “a degree of social distancing should be maintained for a while, especially for the elderly and the immune-suppressed. But when drastic measures are introduced, they should be based on clear evidence. In the case of Covid-19, the evidence is not clear.”

That’s essentially the same point developed by a Russian military intel analyst.

No less than 22 scientists – see here and here – have expanded on their doubts about the Western strategy.

Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Professor Emeritus of Medical Microbiology at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, has provoked immense controversy with his open letter to Chancellor Merkel, stressing the “truly unforeseeable consequences of the drastic containment measures which are currently being applied in large parts of Europe.”

Even New York governor Andrew Cuomo admitted on the record about the error of quarantining elderly people with illnesses alongside the fit young population.

The absolutely key issue is how the West was caught completely unprepared for the spread of Covid-19 – even after being provided a head start of two months by China, and having the time to study different successful strategies applied across Asia.

There are no secrets for the success of the South Korean model.

South Korea was producing test kits already in early January, and by March was testing 100,000 people a day, after establishing strict control of the whole population – to Western cries of “no protection of private life”. That was before the West embarked on Planet Lockdown mode.

South Korea was all about testing early, often and safely – in tandem with quick, thorough contact tracing, isolation and surveillance.

Covid-19 carriers are monitored with the help of video-surveillance cameras, credit card purchases, smartphone records. Add to it SMS sent to everyone when a new case is detected near them or their place of work. Those in self-isolation need an app to be constantly monitored; non-compliance means a fine to the equivalent of $2,800.

Controlled demolition in effect

In early March, the Chinese Journal of Infectious Diseases, hosted by the Shanghai Medical Association, pre-published an Expert Consensus on Comprehensive Treatment of Coronavirus in Shanghai. Treatment recommendations included, “large doses of vitamin C…injected intravenously at a dose of 100 to 200 mg / kg per day. The duration of continuous use is to significantly improve the oxygenation index.”

That’s the reason why 50 tons of Vitamin C was shipped to Hubei province in early February. It’s a stark example of a simple “mitigation” solution capable of minimizing economic catastrophe.

In contrast, it’s as if the brutally fast Chinese “people’s war” counterpunch against Covid-19 had caught Washington totally unprepared. Steady intel rumbles on the Chinese net point to Beijing having already studied all plausible leads towards the origin of the Sars-Cov-2 virus – vital information that will be certainly weaponized, Sun Tzu style, at the right time.

As it stands, the sustainability of the complex Eurasian integration project has not been substantially compromised. As the EU has provided the whole planet with a graphic demonstration of its cluelessness and helplessness, everyday the Russia-China strategic partnership gets stronger – increasingly investing in soft power and advancing a pan-Eurasia dialogue which includes, crucially, medical help.

Facing this process, the EU’s top diplomat, Joseph Borrell, sounds indeed so helpless:

There is a global battle of narratives going on in which timing is a crucial factor. […] China has brought down local new infections to single figures – and it is now sending equipment and doctors to Europe, as others do as well. China is aggressively pushing the message that, unlike the U.S., it is a responsible and reliable partner. In the battle of narratives we have also seen attempts to discredit the EU (…) We must be aware there is a geo-political component including a struggle for influence through spinning and the ‘politics of generosity’. Armed with facts, we need to defend Europe against its detractors.”

That takes us to really explosive territory. A critique of the Planet Lockdown strategy inevitably raises serious questions pointing to a controlled demolition of the global economy. What is already in stark effect are myriad declinations of martial law, severe social media policing in Ministry of Truth mode, and the return of strict border controls.

These are unequivocal markings of a massive social re-engineering project, complete with inbuilt full monitoring, population control and social distancing promoted as the new normal.

That would be taking to the limit Secretary of State Mike “we lie, we cheat, we steal” Pompeo’s assertion, on the record, that Covid-19 is a live military exercise: “This matter is going forward — we are in a live exercise here to get this right.”

All hail BlackRock

So as we face a New Great Depression, steps leading to a Brave New World are already discernable. It goes way beyond a mere Bretton Woods 2.0, in the manner that Pam and Russ Martens superbly deconstruct the recent $2 trillion, Capitol Hill-approved stimulus to the U.S. economy.

Essentially, the Fed will “leverage the bill’s $454 million bailout slush fund into $4.5 trillion”. And no questions are allowed on who gets the money, because the bill simply cancels the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the Fed.

The privileged private contractor for the slush fund is none other than BlackRock. Here’s the extremely short version of the whole, astonishing scheme, masterfully detailed here.

Wall Street has turned the Fed into a hedge fund. The Fed is going to own at least two thirds of all U.S. Treasury bills wallowing in the market before the end of the year.

The U.S. Treasury will be buying every security and loan in sight while the Fed will be the banker – financing the whole scheme.

So essentially this is a Fed/ Treasury merger. A behemoth dispensing loads of helicopter money – with BlackRock as the undisputable winner.

BlackRock is widely known as the biggest money manager on the planet. Their tentacles are everywhere. They own 5% of Apple, 5% of Exxon Mobil, 6% of Google, second largest shareholder of AT&T (Turner, HBO, CNN, Warner Brothers) – these are just a few examples.

They will buy all these securities and manage those dodgy special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) on behalf of the Treasury.

BlackRock not only is the top investor in Goldman Sachs. Better yet: Blackrock is bigger than Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank combined. BlackRock is a serious Trump donor. Now, for all practical purposes, it will be the operating system – the Chrome, Firefox, Safari – of Fed/Treasury.

This represents the definitive Wall Street-ization of the Fed – with no evidence whatsoever it will lead to any improvement in the lives of the average American.

Western corporate media, en masse, have virtually ignored the myriad, devastating economic consequences of Planet Lockdown. Wall to wall coverage barely mentions the astonishing economic human wreckage already in effect – especially for the masses barely surviving, so far, in the informal economy.

For all practical purposes, the Global War on Terror (GWOT) has been replaced by the Global War on Virus (GWOV). But what is not being seriously analyzed is the Perfect Toxic Storm: a totally shattered economy; The Mother of All Financial Crashes – barely masked by the trillions in helicopter money from the Fed and the ECB; the tens of millions of unemployed engendered by the New Great Depression; the millions of small businesses that will simply disappear; a widespread, global mental health crisis. Not to mention the masses of elderly, especially in the U.S., that will be issued an unspoken “drop dead” notice.

Beyond any rhetoric about “decoupling”, the global economy is already, de facto, split in two. On one side, we have Eurasia, Africa and swathes of Latin America – what China will be painstakingly connecting and reconnecting via the New Silk Roads. On the other side, we have North America and selected Western vassals. A puzzled Europe lies in the middle.

A cryogenically induced global economy certainly facilitates a reboot. Trumpism is the New Exceptionalism – so that means an isolationist MAGA on steroids. In contrast, China will painstakingly reboot its market base along the New Silk Roads – Africa and Latin America included – to replace the 20% of trade/exports to be lost with the U.S.

The meager $1,200 checks promised to Americans are a de facto precursor of the much touted Universal Basic Income (UBI). They may become permanent as tens of millions of people will be permanently unemployed. That will facilitate the transition towards a totally automated, 24/7 economy run by AI – thus the importance of 5G.

And that’s where ID2020 comes in.

AI and ID2020

The European Commission is involved in a crucial but virtually unknown project, CREMA (Cloud Based Rapid Elastic Manufacturing) which aims to facilitate the widest possible implementation of AI in conjunction to the advent of a cashless One-World system.

The end of cash necessarily implies a One-World government capable of dispensing – and controlling – UBI; a de facto full accomplishment of Foucault’s studies on biopolitics. Anyone is liable to be erased from the system if an algorithm equals this individual with dissent.

It gets even sexier when absolute social control is promoted as an innocent vaccine.

ID2020 is self-described as a benign alliance of “public-private partners”. Essentially, it is an electronic ID platform based on generalized vaccination. And its starts at birth; newborns will be provided with a “portable and persistent biometrically-linked digital identity.”

GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, pledges to “protect people’s health “ and provide “immunization for all”. Top partners and sponsors, apart from the WHO, include, predictably, Big Pharma.

At the ID2020 Alliance summit last September in New York, it was decided that the “Rising to the Good ID Challenge” program would be launched in 2020. That was confirmed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) this past January in Davos. The digital identity will be tested with the government of Bangladesh.

That poses a serious question: was ID2020 timed to coincide with what a crucial sponsor, the WHO, qualified as a pandemic? Or was a pandemic absolutely crucial to justify the launch of ID2020?

As game-changing trial runs go, nothing of course beats Event 201, which took place less than a month after ID2020.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with, once again, the WEF, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, described Event 201 as “a high-level pandemic exercise”. The exercise “illustrated areas where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences.”

With Covid-19 in effect as a pandemic, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was forced to issue a statement basically saying they just “modeled a fictional coronavirus pandemic, but we explicitly stated that it was not a prediction”.

There’s no question “a severe pandemic, which becomes ‘Event 201’ would require reliable cooperation among several industries, national governments, and key international institutions”, as spun by the sponsors. Covid-19 is eliciting exactly this kind of “cooperation”. Whether it’s “reliable” is open to endless debate.

The fact is that, all over Planet Lockdown, a groundswell of public opinion is leaning towards defining the current state of affairs as a global psyop: a deliberate global meltdown – the New Great Depression – imposed on unsuspecting citizens by design.

The powers that be, taking their cue from the tried and tested, decades-old CIA playbook, of course are breathlessly calling it a “conspiracy theory”. Yet what vast swathes of global public opinion observe is a – dangerous – virus being used as cover for the advent of a new, digital financial system, complete with a forced vaccine cum nanochip creating a full, individual, digital identity.

The most plausible scenario for our immediate future reads like clusters of smart cities linked by AI, with people monitored full time and duly micro-chipped doing what they need with a unified digital currency, in an atmosphere of Bentham’s and Foucault’s Panopticum on overdrive.

So if this is really our future, the existing world-system has to go. This is a test, this is only a test.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 23:00

Trump Blasts Sen. Schumer In Open Letter: “You Should Have Had New York Better Prepared Than You Did”

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'If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared for the invisible enemy.'

Microsoft Edge Now Alerts Users Of Breached Passwords

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Microsoft has recently rolled out the new version of its Edge browser. As announced, the new version comes with numerous

Microsoft Edge Now Alerts Users Of Breached Passwords on Latest Hacking News.


Crypto, QEternity, & "We Won't Know Hyperinflation's Happening Until It's Too Late"

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Crypto, QEternity, & "We Won't Know Hyperinflation's Happening Until It's Too Late"

Authored by Andrew Singer via CoinTelegraph.com,

These are perilous times, and it hasn’t escaped anyone’s notice that the United States Federal Reserve is doing its part to alleviate the suffering — which began with the coronavirus pandemic and has spread to the global economy. It’s printing more money. 

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“There is an infinite amount of cash at the Federal Reserve,” Neel Kashkari, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, told Scott Pelley of CBS on March 22, adding:

“We will do whatever we need to do to make sure there is enough cash in the financial system.”

The U.S. Federal Reserve itself reinforced that message on March 23, announcing that it would “continue to purchase Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning.”

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

The death of capitalism?

Reactions to these affirmations of quantitative easing, or QE, have been swift from sectors of the crypto community: “With these words, the last vestige of #capitalism died in the US,” wrote Caitlin Long, who established the first crypto-native bank in the United States. “[The] Fed’s monetization U.S. debt is now unlimited.”

Mati Greenspan, the CEO and co-founder of Quantum Economics told Cointelegraph: “The Fed said it is willing to buy the entire market” if necessary to stabilize markets. Meanwhile, on the fiscal side, Congress’s $2 trillion stimulus package includes handouts like “helicopter money” — i.e., a $1,200 payment to every tax-paying adult who has an annual income below $75,000. “Inflation is pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point,” he stated elsewhere.

Garrick Hileman, head of research at Blockchain.com, told Cointelegraph: “The response by central banks to COVID-19 is truly unprecedented, with Fed and Bank of England officials using terms like ‘infinite,’ ‘unlimited’ and ‘radical.’” They’ve been using such extraordinary language in the hope they’ll prevent equity and credit markets from seizing up. “Only time will tell if they have gone too far.”

The U.S. dollar is dominant

Is inflation really imminent, though? Not if one recognizes that the global demand for U.S. dollars continues to exceed supply. As Civic CEO Vinny Lingham told Cointelegraph: “The reality is: Everyone needs to reprice assets, and they need to do it in U.S. dollars.” 

Lingham grew up in South Africa. He saw what happened with hyperinflation in neighboring Zimbabwe where “the demand for stable currency exceeded everything else.” With people in the grip of the current pandemic, entire business sectors have been shutting down all over the world. People have been selling assets whether it’s equities, collectible classic cars or Bitcoin (BTC). Lingham added:

“If I’m living in South Africa, I may have kept money in the form of a bar of gold that is priced in Rands. Now I’m selling it for local Rands and buying U.S. dollars with those Rands. As the Rand devalues, the dollar gets stronger.” 

Under such conditions, “if the Federal Reserve prints another $2 trillion USD, it’s okay,” said Lingham. Greenspan agrees that the U.S. dollar has been the world’s most in-demand financial asset in recent weeks, and theoretically, the Fed could print trillions more than it is currently proposing — and there may not be any hyperinflation. The problem is that no one knows what the “stop point” is — i.e., how much is too much. “We won’t know [hyperinflation is] happening until it’s too late.”

BTC as a store of value?

What does all of this mean for cryptocurrencies? Many in the crypto world assume that Bitcoin, with its fixed maximum supply — 21 million BTC — is bound to come out ahead if the Fed and other central banks print too much money. “Though that assumption has not been tested in real-time except in Venezuela,” said Greenspan. If you had bought BTC at its low point in Venezuelan bolivars and had sold BTC at its height, also for bolivars, you would have come out way ahead. It’s not clear that this case can be generalized, though. During the current crisis, BTC and other cryptocurrencies have plunged dramatically, just like equities — which has somewhat damaged Bitcoin’s claim of being a store of value. 

The current economic environment is not favorable for any asset class, Lingham observed. Bitcoin i3s now positively correlated with other asset classes. Greenspan said the correlation between BTC and the stock market has recently reached a high point of 0.6 — with 1.0 representing perfect positive correlation. If this were not the case, BTC would currently be priced somewhere between $12,000 and $15,000, Lingham suggested. 

Ariel Zetlin-Jones, associate professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, told Cointelegraph that he understands this moment is critical for the future of cryptocurrencies:

“U.S. equity markets have suddenly become as volatile as Bitcoin markets, and the U.S. government is undertaking a large scale intervention that involves a massive expansion of the money supply which in the absence of other major shocks (the economic shutdown due to the pandemic), would normally induce a large increase in the inflation rate.”

However, Zetlin-Jones does not see these developments causing Bitcoin to emerge as a leading store of value because in the long run: “Bitcoin is one of the riskiest stores of value in the world, with Bitcoin price volatility more than five times that of both gold or even U.S. equity prices.” Kevin Dowd, a professor of finance and economics at Durham University in the United Kingdom, told Cointelegraph:

“BTC does offer an alternative store of value, and there is no question about that. The issue is: How good is it? It all depends upon when you buy and when you sell, and so there remains a huge element of luck.”

According to Hileman, the University of Cambridge’s first “cryptocurrency academic,” the prices of gold and Bitcoin should both rise:

“Even before COVID-19, we felt the unprecedented level of public and private debts made Bitcoin, and hard assets in general, attractive. Historically, recessions and large fiscal and monetary expansions have driven up the price of hard assets like gold. [...] We do not see a reason why this time should be any different.”

The future of crypto?

It is still too early to gauge the impact of QE on crypto, said Greenspan. “The initial shock of the global economy grinding to a halt” is still too fresh. “The long-term trend is yet to emerge.”

Moreover, BTC is just a small part of the story, though it has held its value well compared with other asset classes, Greenspan told Cointelegraph.

People have been struggling, and many individuals are selling everything they can, said Lingham. “Until there is excess capital, Bitcoin is in the same basket as other assets. There will be no mad rush to get into cryptocurrency unless the U.S. dollar falters” — and then, only maybe.

“I would be surprised if BTC bit the dust due to the current crisis, but you cannot rule anything out,” said Dowd, who has maintained in the past that Bitcoin’s price must go to zero in the long term — principally because its mining model, a natural monopoly, is unsustainable. 

In the short term, meanwhile: “The injection of money tends to float all markets, and that includes crypto,” said Greenspan. “Stocks will be first, but [the fiscal stimulus] is also likely to push up the price of BTC.” 

A more decentralized global economy?

The current crisis might eventually impel structural changes in the world economy, however, and these could change the crypto and blockchain space — for the better. Zetlin-Jones told Cointelegraph that once the recovery begins, a new way has to be found:

“We will need a more robust economy — one where supply chains are less dependent on a single producer, where workers are less dependent on the operations of a single firm, where individuals are less dependent on a single source of health care.” 

These are effective movements toward a more decentralized world economy, in which blockchain technology seems uniquely poised to play a key role, Zetlin-Jones said. “They might speed up the demand for blockchain solutions and, therefore, [improve] the long-run viability of blockchains and their associated cryptocurrencies.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 20:45

Is The United States Really The New Coronavirus Epicenter?

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Can we trust numbers being reported by the Chinese Communist Party?

WATCH: Officers Gouge Teen’s Eyes, Break His Fingers in Sadistic Act of Retaliation

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The taxpayers of Wisconsin will likely be shelling out a large sum of money after officers were seen on video torturing a teenager and covering it up.

"Who Are These Parents?" - As COVID-19 Cases Soar, America's Teenaged 'Covidiots' Still Aren't Obeying Quarantine Orders

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"Who Are These Parents?" - As COVID-19 Cases Soar, America's Teenaged 'Covidiots' Still Aren't Obeying Quarantine Orders

Looking back, the fact that most Americans went about their daily lives as if nothing was happening for most of February - heeding the official advice of mayors including NYC's Bill de Blasio and others - seems almost unconscionable. All the while, COVID-19 was spreading, unseen, among communities in suburban Seattle, and in NYC and the suburba

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n areas surrounding the city.

And yet, even after colleges around the country cancelled classes or converted to all-digital learning, hundreds of thousands of "Covidiot" teenagers and early twentysomethings were still hell-bent on capitalizing on cheap flights and enjoying the extended spring break of their dreams, public welfare be damned.

Many of these selfishly ignorant teenagers helped spread the virus around the country, as studies have now shown. But sadly, the ignorance of American teenagers - and the at-times depressing impotence of parents struggling to 'civilize' them - apparently knows no bounds. Because the Washington Post's 'society' section just ran a story about parents trying to cope with teenagers who are almost pathologically incapable of staying at home and doing nothing.

The reporter told the story of one suburban Virginia mom with an undisclosed medical condition that has left her immunocompromised. Despite this, her 18-year-old son insists on going out and meeting up with "his boys" - fellow high-school-senior-age teenagers who have built a fort in the nearby woods where they go to violate the newfound strictures of society.

For two weeks now, since Loudoun County closed its schools March 12, Julian has been building a fort near the Potomac River with “my boys,” he says, about two dozen seniors who show up randomly, bringing free pallets of wood they’ve spotted on Craigslist and building supplies from Home Depot. Rather than socially distancing, they’ve hammered away for hours before grilling hot dogs and fish they catch in a nearby pond and huddling together “to chill."

Julian arrived first to the clearing Thursday and offered a tour of the fort, which rose from the wooded landscape like a hermit’s dream with its frame of poles set in quick cement, covered by a blue tarp to keep out the rain. In recent days, the crowd had been dwindling as news of the coronavirus contagion grew more alarming and parents began putting their collective feet down.

Many teens in the Washington region and across the country are gradually moving past anger and depression to acceptance, at least for the time being, as they grieve the social losses that come with self-quarantining. But Julian — his mother wanted his last name withheld to protect his privacy — is stuck in denial.

His mother fights back with an endless barrage of "sticky note" reminders encouraging her son to wash his hands for more than 20 seconds and to take other steps to protect the family from being sickened by the careless actions of their ungrateful teenage child.

Julian knows he is supposed to keep his distance from his mother, who takes a medication that compromises her immune system. He calls her concerns “100 percent valid,” and said “it freaked me out” when she recently had a small cold. Even so, he sheepishly tries to duck into her space.

“Staying six feet apart from my mom is hard,” Julian says. “I like to go up and hug her all the time."

As for Elisa’s written reminders, “As soon as I walk in, I get hit in the face with a sticky note,” Julian says. “You can’t grab something in the kitchen without a sticky note in your face."

He seems more amused than annoyed; again, he understands. Still, “it’s hard to get in the habit of washing my hands literally after everything I touch,” he says.

No such rules apply at “Coronavirus Outpost,” the name he has given his communal fort in the woods.

Maybe these kids will remember the coronavirus as their big struggle, their "World War II" as it were. Though, given the tendency to accept and embellish unpleasant experiences into "traumas", we imagine that American teens will use this as one more excuse why the government owes them every handout imaginable, from paying off their student loans to covering health-care costs for life.

One mom wondered why some parents were still allowing kids to have group sleepovers and other social events when the governor had expressly forbade gatherings of more than 5.

Kelly Davis was willing to take a hit when her 14-year-old daughter, Victoria, begged to go to a sleepover at a friend’s house. Victoria, a competitive gymnast and straight-A student who Davis calls “the love of my life,” pled with her mother. “Why can’t I go?” she demanded, as her friends watched raptly on FaceTime.

“First, I made her get off FaceTime,” recounted Davis, 52, a single mom and special education teacher in Elkhart, Ind. “I said, ‘No,Victoria.’ I really don’t care what other parents are doing,” She pulled the “grandmother card,” because Davis’s 84-year-old mother lives with them.

Still, Davis finds herself resenting other parents. After the sleepover smackdown, another friend invited Victoria to a birthday party.

“Who are these parents?” she asked. “... It’s hard when other parents aren’t doing the right thing. It makes me look like the mean mom."

Kim Baxter was able to forge alliances with other parents so her 17-year-old daughter, Charlotte, a senior at Yorktown High in Arlington, could spend time with friends during the pandemic. Outside, of course, and the requisite six feet apart.

It did not go well.

Charlotte unwittingly texted her mother a photo while the foursome were out hiking. “They weren’t keeping any kind of distance,” Baxter, a 51-year-old attorney, said ruefully.

She later declined on Charlotte’s behalf when the mother of her daughter’s boyfriend and two other parents jointly approved a group camping trip. “The boys are Eagle Scouts and so that wasn’t my concern,” she said. “It was just the close proximity of what they were doing."

Charlotte “had a moment,” then that moment passed. Now Charlotte and her boyfriend are allowed to hang out at each others’ houses.

"I’ve met his mom, and we’ve been texting,” Baxter said. "I think we both kind of agreed that these two are pretty tight and it would probably be unhealthy to separate them."

These aren't the first reports of American teenagers not taking the quarantine seriously. Oddly, the young's seeming unwillingness to accept that they truly are vulnerable has led to them catching the disease in larger numbers since they're more likely to recklessly ignore quarantine advice.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 21:05

Emergency!!! Trump Must Open America Immediately, Or The Greatest Depression Awaits – Watch Live

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Tune in as national legal figure Robert Barnes and expert guest petition the president to reopen the country.

If you use Twitter with Firefox in a shared computer account, you may have slightly spilled some private data on that PC

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HTTP header ends in own goal

Twitter on Thursday warned of an esoteric bug that, in limited circumstances, allowed users' non-public profile information to potentially fall into the hands of other users.…


10 Signs The US Is Heading For A Depression

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10 Signs The US Is Heading For A Depression

Authored by Mike Whitney via The Unz Review,

1– Unemployment is off-the-charts

Thursday’s jobless claims leave no doubt that the country is in the grips of another severe recession. More than 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in the last week. That number exceeds the gloomiest prediction of more than 40

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economists and pushes the two-week total to an eye-watering 10 million claims.

According to CNBC:

“Those at the lower end of the wage scale have been especially hard-hit during a crisis that has seen businesses either cut staff outright or at best freeze any new hiring until there’s more visibility about how efforts to contain the coronavirus will work.

“We’ve lived through the recession and 9/11. What we’re seeing with this decline is actually worse than both of those events,” said Irina Novoselsky, CEO of online jobs marketplace CareerBuilder.” (CNBC)

According to New York Magazine:

“Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louisprojected Monday that job losses from the coronavirus recession would reach 47 million and push America’s unemployment rate to 32.1 percent — more than 7 points higher than its Great Depression–era peak.”

2– Service Sector has been walloped by the virus

Services account for 70% of the US economy, but presently the sector is in meltdown. According to the analysts at Wolf Street: “Employment contracted sharply and hours were reduced for those still employed. “The employment index plunged from +6.1 to -23.8, also the lowest level on record...

Retailers got whacked. The Retail Sales Index of the Texas Retail Outlook Survey collapsed from the already beaten-down level of -2.5 in February to an epic all-time low of -82.6 in March… (Also) the general business activity index collapsed from the beaten down level of -5.0 to a historic low of -84.2...

Comments from retail executives were somber:… “Most of our business has gone to zero except for essential locations such as hospitals, military bases and prisons… We are contemplating at this moment sending most employees home while our owners determine whether they can afford to pay reduced salaries and cover benefits for a short period while we see if things improve or worsen” (Wolf Street)

3– Economic carnage extends across sectors

Business Insider: “Recession risks are rising as coronavirus spreads around the world…The crisis will clobber airlines, shipping, hotels, and restaurants...

“Sectors reliant on trade and the free movement of people are most exposed,” said Benjamin Nelson, a Moody’s vice president and co-author of the report.

Carmakers, gaming, and retail will be hit hard by supply chain disruptions, the analysts said...

“A lengthy outbreak would affect economic activity for longer, leading to heightened recessionary dynamics and a more significant demand shock,” Moody’s said. “A sustained pullback in consumption would hurt corporate earnings, prompt layoffs, and weigh on consumer sentiment.”(Business Insider)

Car sales have also dropped dramatically in the last two weeks. On Wednesday,Hyundai reported that sales had seen a decline of 43 percent for March compared to the same period in 2019. That’s a drop from 61,177 vehicles in March 2019 to just 35,118 during the same month in 2020. All other car manufacturers are experiencing similar weakness in demand.

4– The Bloodbath on Wall Street continues

U.S. shares sold off again on Wednesday for the third time in four days wiping out most of last week’s bear market rally. The SandP 500 dipped 114 points while the Dow Jones lopped-off nearly 973 points by the end of the session. Analysts now believe that last week’s 20% surge was a temporary reaction to Trump’s multi-trillion dollar fiscal plan. By a 9 to 1 margin, investors are now betting that stocks have further to fall.

“Investor pessimism today is as bad as it has been,” said Dennis DeBusschere of Evercore ISI. “All estimates of when this will end are being pushed out…”

Before the outbreak of the virus, traders believed that low rates, liquidity injections and easy credit would keep stocks on a permanent upward trajectory. But the daily deluge of bad news coupled with an economy that is in freefall has undermined confidence in the Central Bank sending stocks into a tailspin. The Dow closed Wednesday at 20,943, which is three times higher than its March 9, 2009 low of 6,547. Stocks still have further to fall.

5– Struggling consumers can no longer carry the US economy

An article at The Medium explains how the composition of the workforce has changed since the 2008 financial crisis. Gig workers make up are a significant part of the workforce, but they do not have the protections or benefits of most wage earners. These independent contractors will impacted the most by the sudden downturn in the economy. Their ability to consume will also weaken the post-crisis recovery and lead to slower growth. Check out this short excerpt from A crippling collapse in consumer spending is coming:

“From restaurant workers, caterers, and Uber drivers to office and hotel cleaning staff to event venue staff to people supplementing earnings with AirBnB revenue, income is cratering across the country for hourly and gig workers. And most have little to no financial cushion...

Thirty-six percent of U.S. workers are now involved in the gig economy…. Most gig and hourly workers are walking a financial tightrope. They will not be able to afford even a short-term hit to their earnings. It will mean a further spike in auto loan and credit-card delinquencies. It will mean a spike in healthcare-driven bankruptcies. It will mean unpaid rent. And it will mean consumer spending will plummet…. A sudden shock to gig and hourly-worker earnings will have seismic implications for the economic and political future of the US...

More than 15.5 million Americans work in restaurants. Of those workers, roughly 3 million live in poverty….Unpaid rent will eventually lead to landlord defaults… Consumer spending now accounts for roughly 70% of the U.S. economy. Reportedly, government stimulus may not reach consumers until the end of April. Gig and hourly workers need help now.” (“A crippling collapse in consumer spending is coming”, The Medium)

How many of these gig workers will fall through the cracks, lose their apartments or rental units, and wind up on the streets, homeless and destitute?

6– Americans continue to stockpile food

According to the Wall Street Journal: “In the past two weeks, Americans have hoarded food as restaurants close their dining rooms and more are told to stay home from work and school. General Mills, which makes Cheerios cereal, Yoplait yogurt and Progresso soup, on Wednesday said retailers in North America and Europe are purchasing more of its products and its factories are running at near capacity to meet the demand...(WSJ)

"Consumers across the globe are still loading their pantries — and the economic fallout from the virus is just starting...

“You could see wartime rationing, price controls and domestic stockpiling,” said Ann Berg, an independent consultant and veteran agricultural trader.” (Bloomberg)

CNBC: “Psychologists ..weigh in on why our brains push us to panic buy — even when authorities are assuring the public there’s no need to. According to Paul Marsden, a consumer psychologist at the University of the Arts London,…

“It’s about ‘taking back control’ in a world where you feel out of control…When people are stressed their reason is hampered, so they look at what other people are doing. If others are stockpiling it leads you to engage in the same behavior. People see photos of empty shelves and regardless of whether it’s rational it sends a signal to them that it’s the thing to do….” (CNBC)

7– Most Americans have no savings

From Yahoo Finance:

Saving money continues to be a challenge for Americans...

Since 2015, GOBankingRates has asked Americans how much they have in savings. Each year, the survey results have shown that a majority of adults don’t even have $1,000 in a savings account...

This year, GOBankingRates asked more than 5,000 adults, “How much money do you have saved in your savings account?” Respondents could choose from one of seven options:

The survey found that 58 percent of respondents had less than $1,000 saved.

“It’s always concerning when a large part of the population is seemingly living paycheck to paycheck because when unexpected personal or financial hardships occur, it can be challenging to recover without adequate savings,” Jason Thacker, head of consumer deposits and payments at TD Bank, said.” (“58% of Americans Have Less Than $1,000 in Savings, Survey Finds”, Yahoo Finance)

8– Household debt is at an all-time high

From CNBC: “Household debt surged in 2019, marking the biggest annual increase since just before the financial crisis, according to the New York Federal Reserve.

Total household debt balances rose by $601 billion last year, topping $14 trillion for the first time, according to a new report by the Fed branch. The last time the growth was that large was 2007, when household debt rose by just over $1 trillion...

“The data also show that transitions into delinquency among credit card borrowers have steadily risen since 2016, notably among younger borrowers,” Wilbert Van Der Klaauw, senior vice president at the New York Fed, said in a statement.” (“Household debt jumps the most in 12 years, Federal Reserve report says”, CNBC)

9 — Many businesses might not survive long enough to get stimulus

Many businesses shut their doors either for a lack of customers or on orders from state or local governments as emergency declarations began rolling across the country in mid-March,. Yet it could be weeks more before the business loans, bigger unemployment checks and direct payments to individuals from the stimulus plan flow into the economy.

Small businesses account for almost half of U.S. private employment. A complete collapse of even some of those enterprises not only would dash the dreams of entrepreneurs and threaten the livelihoods of many, it risks sapping the power of an eventual economic rebound as the financial distress ripples through to landlords, vendors and lenders.

Already, 50,000 retail stores have shut in just over a week across the country, putting more than 600,000 workers on furlough, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The National Federation of Independent Business, had a record 13,000 people register for a webinar it hosted Monday on the stimulus plan and financial resources….After the webinar ended, more than 900 emails flooded in, she said, with business owners asking: “Am I going to have anything left? Will I be evicted? Will I have to file for bankruptcy? Will I be able to reopen?”

“The emails almost make me want to cry,” Milito added. “What I’m hearing from members is fear, uncertainty and almost heartbreak.” (“Stimulus May Come Too Late for U.S. Businesses Already Stretched”, Bloomberg)

10– Food banks are seeing a sudden, sharp rise in demand

This is from Newsday:

“Emergency food programs are bracing for a wave of new recipients in the coming weeks as more Long Islanders are expected to lose their jobs, get furloughed or have work hours and wages reduced. At the same time, volunteers — many of them at high risk of contracting the virus — are staying home to protect themselves and needy people from getting sick.

Compounding the problem is a crippled national supply chain that delays food deliveries by weeks.

“It’s a perfect storm of tragedy on top of each other,” said Jean Kelly, executive director of the Interfaith Nutrition Network, a Hempstead soup kitchen. “Everything that could go wrong is going wrong.”

Soup kitchens and pantries in many communities closed temporarily in recent weeks to protect volunteers or because sponsoring agencies, such as houses of worship and nonprofits, also shut their doors.

“The reason they’re closed is they don’t really have an infrastructure of people to work there….The majority of the food pantries are operated by volunteers. The average age is in their 70s. They’re fearful of contracting the coronavirus.” (“Demand at LI food pantries rise as volunteers and food supplies fall”, Newsday)

Final Note from an article titled: “Americans Are Worried About The Coronavirus. They’re Even More Worried About The Economy”

“An overwhelming majority of Americans are really concerned about the economy. … A Morning Consult poll conducted between March 20 and March 22 found that 90 percent of Americans said they were “very” or “somewhat” concerned that the coronavirus would impact the economy…Americans are also worried about job security — 49 percent said they were worried about losing their job, according to an Economist/YouGov survey conducted between March 22 and March 24.” (FiveThirtyEight)

Not surprisingly, some polls suggest that “more Americans are worried about the effect of the coronavirus on the economy than about their own health.”

I would include myself in that group, which is why I hope that President Trump expands his economics team by adding more experienced, top-notch economists who can help him navigate this unprecedented and potentially-catastrophic crisis. This isn’t the time for the B Team (Kudlow, Mnuchin) to making decisions that will impact the entire country.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 18:45

Citizens Charged With Child Endangerment For Hosting Family Events, 100-Year-Old Citizens Cited For Attending

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The police state is here.

Critical Vulnerability In LINE Could Allow Admin Access To Official Account

logicfish Security Cyber Security NewsHacking NewsNewsVulnerabilitiesbugflawIDORInsecure Direct Object ReferenceLINE appLINE vulnerabilityvulnerability All https://latesthackingnews.com   Discuss    Share

A serious vulnerability existed in the messenger app LINE that allowed admin access to Official Accounts. Line not only patched

Critical Vulnerability In LINE Could Allow Admin Access To Official Account on Latest Hacking News.


"Never Built To Fight A 50-State Pandemic": DHS Medical Emergency Stockpile Nearly Depleted

zerohedge News never built fight a50-state pandemic medical emergency stockpile nearly depleted All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
"Never Built To Fight A 50-State Pandemic": DHS Medical Emergency Stockpile Nearly Depleted

In yet more dire outbreak-induced medical supplies shortage news, the federal government's own emergency stockpile of respirator masks, gloves, and ventilators is already nearly depleted. Two Homeland Security Department officials told the Washington Post that crucial supplies kept in the Health and Human Services Department’s Strategic National Stockpile are woefully low

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and will run out amid the pandemic.

“The stockpile was designed to respond to a handful of cities. It was never built or designed to fight a 50-state pandemic,” one official said. “This is not only a U.S. government problem. The supply chain for PPE worldwide has broken down, and there is a lot of price gouging happening.”

Image source: NPR via Strategic National Stockpile/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The national supply chain has already broken down, indicated by what now seems like daily stories of hospital staff in hard-hit major cities having to reuse protective gear, and in other instances actually attempt to make their own out of things like trash bags and household items.

Though in reporting on the federal emergency stockpile crisis The Washington Post and others are emphasizing rampant price gouging as driving it, creating "a Wild-West-style online marketplace for bulk medical supplies dominated by intermediaries and hoarders who are selling N95 respirator masks and other gear at huge markups" — as the Post put it, it remains that the national shortages are rooted in over-reliance on Chinese manufacturing, which itself in the opening months of this year was ravaged by the coronavirus outbreak, causing the shuttering of factories and disruption of ports.

The resultant huge drop in medical supply imports into the the US (a drop in up to over half normal numbers in the case of crucial supplies like the N95 mask), led to the emergence of instances such as what the AP earlier alarmingly detailed: "Doctors, nurses and first responders in the U.S. are resorting to spraying their masks with bleach at the end of each day and hanging them up at home to dry to use for another day, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians." 

All of this has also led to a deeper questioning of the White House narrative in terms of its ability to tap necessary emergency supplies: 

President Trump said during Tuesday’s White House briefing that the administration has nearly 10,000 ventilators on reserve and that authorities are ready to deploy the lifesaving equipment rapidly to coronavirus hotspots in coming weeks. He also said that large amounts of PPE were being shipped directly from manufacturers to hospitals. But the DHS officials said the stockpile has not been able to handle the load.

Hospitals and states face a real risk of running out of supplies, one of the officials said. “If you can’t protect the people taking care of us, it gets ugly.”

Meanwhile, FEMA officials have indicated the federal government has over $16 billion to purchase needed supplies as a fall-back in the anticipation that the Strategic National Stockpile will be exhausted.

File image: iStock

FEMA spokesperson Janet Montesi told WaPo: “FEMA planning assumptions for COVID-19 pandemic response acknowledged that the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) alone could not fulfill all requirements at the State and tribal level.” 

She added: “The federal government will exhaust all means to identify and attain medical and other supplies needed to combat the virus.”

Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 19:05

Walmart Bans Sale of Vegetable Seeds as “Non-Essential,” As Stores Seal Aisles to Prevent “Unnecessary Roaming”

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Stores claim some customers 'roaming around aisles and putting others at risk.'

Two Local Security Vulnerabilities Discovered Zoom macOS Client

logicfish Security Cyber Security NewsHacking NewsNewsVulnerabilitiesApple Macbugconference hackconferencing appflawlocal privilege escalationmacOSPrivilege EscalationvulnerabilitiesvulnerabilityZoomZoom appZoom bugZoom conferencing appZoom Desktop Conferencing appZoom flawZoom macOS Clientzoom shared data with FacebookZoom vulnerabilityzoom zero-day All https://latesthackingnews.com   Discuss    Share

Continuing with the trail of security issues, now there are two security vulnerabilities in the Zoom macOS Client. The vulnerabilities,

Two Local Security Vulnerabilities Discovered Zoom macOS Client on Latest Hacking News.


Wikipedia Co-Founder Name Drops Trump, Clinton, Bill Gates in Rant About Child Sex Trafficking

logicfish News Child snatcherschild traffickingelite pedophilesEpstein All https://thefreethoughtproject.com   Discuss    Share
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content/uploads/2020/03/elite-sanger-1536x807.jpg 1536w, https://thefreethoughtproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/elite-sanger-800x420.jpg 800w, https://thefreethoughtproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/elite-sanger.jpg 1580w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />"There is proof of all this," the Co-Founder of Wikipedia wrote as he linked the Clintons, Trump, and Prince Andrew to elite child sex trafficking.

WATCH: Cop Beat Girlfriend So Badly, Officers Humiliate Him by Cutting Off His Uniform

logicfish News Badge Abusedomestic violenceofficer arrestpolice domestic abuse All https://thefreethoughtproject.com   Discuss    Share
Read More
ps://thefreethoughtproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cop-uniform-cut-off-1536x807.jpg 1536w, https://thefreethoughtproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cop-uniform-cut-off-800x420.jpg 800w, https://thefreethoughtproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cop-uniform-cut-off.jpg 1580w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />A cop beat his girlfriend to the point of hospitalization and when he was arrested on-duty for domestic violence and kidnapping his fellow cops made sure to humiliate him.

"50-Cent" Shifts Away From VIX 'Catastrophe Insurance': "Gold Is Now The Right Place To Be For Battles Ahead"

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"50-Cent" Shifts Away From VIX 'Catastrophe Insurance': "Gold Is Now The Right Place To Be For Battles Ahead"



Having  'come out' as the infamous VIX-whale "50-Cent," London-based fund manager Jonathan Ruffer has called it quits on his VIX-call-buying strategy:








Waze Navigation App Tells Motorists: “Drive Only If Necessary”

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'Only drive if you must,' traffic app insists.

Why is ransomware still a thing? One-in-three polled netizens say they would cave to extortion demands

logicfish Security ransomware still thing one-in-three polled netizens they would cave extortion demands All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
American young adults are easiest marks for criminals, study reckons

Want to know why ransomware is still rampant? One in three surveyed folks in North Americans said they would be willing to pay up to unscramble their files once their personal systems were infected.…


Zoom Client On Windows Exposes Windows Credentials To Attackers

logicfish Security Cyber Security NewsHacking NewsNewsbugCredentialsflawUNC pathUniversal Naming Convention (UNC)urlvulnerabilityWindows credentialsZoomZoom appZoom bugZoom conferencing appZoom Desktop Conferencing appZoom flawZoom vulnerabilityZoom Windows Client All https://latesthackingnews.com   Discuss    Share

Zoom has once again made it to the news owing to another privacy issue. As discovered, Zoom client on Windows

Zoom Client On Windows Exposes Windows Credentials To Attackers on Latest Hacking News.


Amazon Bans Sale Of N95 And Surgical Masks To General Public

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Amazon Bans Sale Of N95 And Surgical Masks To General Public

Amazon has banned the sale of N95 and surgical masks to the general public, claiming it would restrict sales to hospitals and government organizations dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ban took effect April 1, according to Recode, after the company said in a forum for Amazon sellers that the ban includes "facial shields, surgical gowns, surgic

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al gloves, and large-volume sanitizers."

Hospitals and governments can qualify to purchase said items by filling out a form, while Amazon will be eliminating the commission it usually charges sellers in order "to encourage our selling partners to make additional inventory of these products available at competitive prices to these customers with the greatest need."

The move is the latest drastic change Amazon has made to its business practices amid the global pandemic that has upended billions of lives and economies across the globe. Amazon has become a lifeline to essential goods during this time for millions of customers ordered to stay at home and those fearful of shopping in stores during the crisis.

In mid-March, faced with merchandise shortages in the United States and Europe due to the pandemic, Amazon instituted sweeping changes on which products it will store and ship from its warehouses, in a move it said was aimed at keeping essential items in stock and speeding up orders. -Recode

Two weeks ago, the Seattle-based e-retailer said that it would be "temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock and deliver these products to customers," meaning it will no longer accept new shipments to warehouses for discretionary items through at least April 5.

The company will continue to sell products on its websites, however sellers listing discretionary items will have to wait to ship them on their own if they aren't already in - or on their way, to an Amazon warehouse. Products which can be shipped include: "baby products, health and household, beauty and personal care, grocery, industrial and scientific, and pet supplies."

Third-party resellers who participate in the Fulfillment by Amazon program, as well as wholesale vendors who sell directly to the company were notified of the changes.

"We are seeing increased online shopping, and as a result, some products, such as household staples and medical supplies, are out of stock," said an Amazon spokesperson in a statement, adding "We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding as we temporarily prioritize these products for customers."

With governments across the globe recommending and even mandating that people stay inside during the pandemic, more shoppers are turning to Amazon to stock up rather than visiting brick-and-mortar stores. But the rush of shopping in select categories has meant frequent out-of-stock messages for items ranging from hand sanitizer and hand soap to face masks, as well as sellers taking advantage of low supply by attempting to price-gouge customers.

This restriction on which items it will store in warehouses — coupled with Amazon’s announcement that it was hiring 100,000 warehouse workers to keep up with surging demand — highlights the level at which consumers are relying on online shopping during the pandemic. At the same time, it’s also a realization that even the endless digital aisles of Amazon’s Everything Store, and Amazon’s logistics prowess, were not built to fully sustain the change in consumer behavior that the pandemic has forced essentially overnight. -Recode

News of the changes were greeted with panic - as third-party sellers logged in to find that their business was about to suffer a serious setback.

"Amazon just put tons of businesses out of business," said one seller on Amazon's forum. "Destroyed thousands of jobs amidst a crisis. Horrible joke. Absolute joke. No warning. Expect major lawsuits coming from sellers who now will go bankrupt."

"It's not doable," wrote another seller. "Most of us do not have the infrastructure in place. We do not have the boxes or packing material to do this."

Amazon said in the notice that they understand "this is a change to your business, and we did not take this decision lightly."

Others were ok with the move, such as Will Tjernlund, CMO of Amazon seller consultancy Goat Consulting - who think it was a good move, and that sellers will be able to weather the storm.

"I am happy Amazon is focusing on fulfilling essential items over figuring how to ship couches or flatscreen TVs," he said.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 16:00

VIDEO: Americans Being Forced To Take COVID Test, Medical Martial Law Is Here

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One of the strongest examples of medical tyranny ever caught on tape.

US prez Trump's administration reportedly nears new rules banning 'dual-use' tech sales to China

logicfish Business prez trumps administration reportedly nears rules banning dual-use tech sales china All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Non-military tech rule exception plus other tweaks mulled

The US government is reportedly close to introducing stringent new rules that would stop Chinese companies from buying certain high-technology components, including semiconductors and optical materials.…


Trump Sparks "Sh*tshow" In Black-Gold As Bullion Demand Soars To 3-Year Highs

zerohedge News trump sparks shtshow black-gold bullion demand soars 3-year highs All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Trump Sparks "Sh*tshow" In Black-Gold As Bullion Demand Soars To 3-Year Highs

Two things were "unprecedented" today... America's labor market collapse and global oil markets' surge in price.

Just shy of 10 million Americans have signed up for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks... quite an outlier historically...

Source: Bloomberg

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For oil traders, it was the worst of times (biggest quarterly loss ever) and the best of times (today's manic jawboning and denials prompted the single-best daily gain for crude ever)...

All thanks to President Trump's apparent lying tweet of an imminent supply-cut deal. Saxo's Ole Hanson summed things up nicely as Trump triggered everyone's stops...

The 24.7% rise is the largest daily gain for WTI ever (and at one point Brent rose a stunning 47% intraday)...BUT let's put that in context...

Source: Bloomberg

US equity markets were volatile intraday,  but thanks to a late-day surge (seemingly triggered by the ventilator DPA) all ended green, led by S&P and Dow...

Futures show the chaos best though as the frightening labor data sparked a market puke into the cash open, which dip-buyer manically bought...

Despite the mixed picture in indices, the Virus-Fear trade is reaccelerating...

Source: Bloomberg

"Most Shorted" Stocks fell for the 5th day in a row...

Source: Bloomberg


Source: Bloomberg

High-yield bond algos triggered in Trump's oil deal comments... but that faded rapidly...

Treasury yields were marginally higher today pushing 30Y back to unchanged on the week...

Source: Bloomberg

10Y yields popped back above 60bps...

Source: Bloomberg

The Dollar drifted higher again today...

Source: Bloomberg

Cryptos spiked today (but fell back after that panic-buying) back into the green for the week...

Source: Bloomberg

Bitcoin spiked above $7200, back to 4-week highs...

Source: Bloomberg

Commodities were all higher on the day (despite dollar gains) with oil the outlier...

Source: Bloomberg

Gold spiked on the terrible jobless data (more helicopter money?)...

Notably, gold futures and spot have started to decouple once again (as physical shortages rear their ugly head again)...

Source: Bloomberg

Finally, Gold coins sold by the U.S. Mint were snapped up in March at the fastest pace in over three years as investors flocked to the haven metal amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Bloomberg

As Bloomberg reports, by the end of the month, investors had purchased142,000 ounces of American Eagle coins, the most since late 2016. With so much retail demand, dealers are charging premiums for bullion -- and even offering to pay more than spot prices to clients willing to part with their gold bars and coins.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 16:00

9 Arizonans Indicted in Undercover Child Sexual Exploitation Crackdown

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Undercover agents were posing as minors on various social media websites and apps.

How about a class-action lawsuit against Hobby Lobby for defying orders during the pandemic?

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Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

I have an idea that’s never been attempted, so far as I’m aware, but probably only because there’s never been a reason to attempt it.

File a class-action gross negligence lawsuit against Hobby Lobby with the class being at-risk persons as identified by [...]


Some Americans Might Wait 20 Weeks Or Longer For Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

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Some Americans Might Wait 20 Weeks Or Longer For Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

Around the country, millions of Americans are anxiously wondering when their stimulus checks will be arriving, as they hope to God that they have a job to come back to, or that - if they've already been laid off - the government stimulus money manages to save their employers and help them get their jobs back.

But as President Trump has said several times during the Whit

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e House's daily press briefings, nothing like this has ever been done before. And while it sounds simple, as we explained the other day, handing out $2 trillion (or at least the amount that's been earmarked for unemployment expansion and stimulus checks) is harder than it sounds.

And as the administration continues to string people along - Steven Mnuchin said last week that "our expectation is three weeks" for those who have depository information on file - whispers about the timeline for the payments are seeing the 'whisper timeline' number are seemingly growing in proportion.

And now, CNN is now reporting that instead of the three week timeline that Mnuchin gave last week, which would have resulted in checks going out the week of April 6, the first checks likely won't go out until the week of April 13, and - what's worse - it could as long as 20 weeks for all the stimulus checks to go out, leaving millions of poor and desperate Americans (many of whom voted for President Trump) twisting in the wind.

Americans likely won't begin to see direct payments from the coronavirus stimulus bill until at least April 13 and it could take 20 weeks for all the checks to be mailed, Trump administration officials told lawmakers, according to a House Democratic memo obtained by CNN.

The timeline means tens of millions of Americans will have to wait to get badly needed assistance, despite repeated suggestions from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the money would go out as soon as April 6. He said this past Sunday after passage of the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill that payments would not go out until mid-April.

CNN reported in March that former IRS officials said the wait would likely be weeks or months.

According to the memo cited by CNN, the IRS is expected to make about 60 million payments, likely starting during the week of April 13, for taxpayers who provided their direct deposit information via their 2018 or 2019 tax returns. Three weeks later, the IRS expects to start issuing paper checks to individuals whose bank information isn't already on file, a process that will take significantly longer. House Democrats expect that up to 5 million checks can be issued per week.

For those who don't have tax information on file, the checks will take even longer.

All of the information is based on conversations with Treasury and the IRS, the memo said.

The stimulus law signed by President Trump last week stipulates that individuals who earn $75,000 or less will receive $1,200, while couples that make $150,000 or less will receive twice as much, as well as an additional $500 per child. Payments decrease for those who earn more, and individuals earning more than $99k a year will get nothing.

Additionally, CNBC's Kate Rogers reported Thursday after on some issues between the SBA and Treasury about the small-and-medium-sized business section of that bill. "The SBA and Treasury are not on the same page," Rogers said.

Bottom line: If the Trump Administration doesn't figure all of this out quickly, the stimulus bill rollout could become the biggest government debacle since the rollout of healthcare.gov.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 14:13

V FOR VENDETTA: The Coronavirus Endgame

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Was COVID-19 predicted by Hollywood?

Tech tracker Tile testifies in Congress: Apple's geolocation nagging is so not fair

logicfish Business tech tracker tile testifies congress apples geolocation nagging fair All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Alleges anticompetitive behaviour in the walled garden. There's no party like a third party, eh?

Channeling their inner Kevin Patterson, Tile this week bemoaned Apple's unfairness to a US congressional panel in Colorado investigating the iPhone maker's stewardship of its app ecosystem.…


Dozens Of Spring Breakers Have Tested Positive For Coronavirus

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Dozens Of Spring Breakers Have Tested Positive For Coronavirus

Two weeks ago, around 70 spring breakers from the University of Texas at Austin went against the advice of the White House and chartered a plane to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to party. Now, 44 of them have tested positive for coronavirus according to a university spokesman.

Perhaps even more alarming is that some of the students took commercial

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flights home, according to CNN, citing the Austin Public Health Department.

Those who tested positive are now in self-isolation (or at least they're supposed to be).

"Quit being an a**," Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen told CNN affiliate KXAN, adding "Get over yourselves. Whether you think this is an issue or not, it is. Whether you think it could affect you or not, it does. The reality of it is, if I'm a college kid who's going to spring break in Mexico, you're affecting a lot of people. Grow up."

Dozens of other passengers from the chartered flight are being monitored, public health officials said.

"The virus often hides in the healthy and is given to those who are at grave risk of being hospitalized or dying," Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said in a statement. "While younger people have less risk for complications, they are not immune from severe illness and death from COVID-19."

The local public health department and UT Health UT Health Austin and University Health Services have contacted all of the passengers on the plane using flight manifests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The University of Texas at Austin is working to help public health officials. -CNN

 University officials are now scrambling to assist Austin Public Health to trace the students' contacts, according to university spokesman J.B. Bird, who added "The incident is a reminder of the vital importance of taking seriously the warnings of public health authorities on the risks of becoming infected with COVID-19 and spreading it to others."

University president Gregory L. Fenves has urged students to practice good judgement and think about how their actions affect others.

"(It) is our responsibility to follow local, state and national public health orders, and use good judgment during this crisis," Fenves said in a statement Wednesday. "Our conduct and the decisions we make have direct ramifications on our own health and the health of everyone in our city and beyond. We must do everything we can to limit the spread of this virus -- the consequences of reckless actions at this time could not be clearer."

Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 13:05
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