Webinar — Autonomous Breach Protection: The New Security Paradigm Shift

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Organizations today struggle with multi-product security stacks, that are expensive to purchase and maintain and also require a highly skilled security team to manually integrate and operate.

The current Coronavirus crisis that has imposed a strict quarantine on organizations and security teams highlights the inherent weakness in relying on manual operation.

This gives rise to a new security

Vietnam bans posting fake news online

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About coronavirus or anything else

Vietnam will fine people posting fake news on social media in an effort to crack down on the spread of both general misinformation and falsehoods about the novel coronavirus.…

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Pompeo Calls on Americans Abroad to ‘Return Immediately’

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Warns commercial air travel could cease

Draconian Lockdown Powers: It's A Slippery Slope From Handwashing To House Arrest

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Draconian Lockdown Powers: It's A Slippery Slope From Handwashing To House Arrest

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

- Viktor Frankl

We still have choices.

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Just because we’re fighting an unseen enemy in the form of a virus doesn’t mean we have to relinquish every shred of our humanity, our common sense, or our freedoms to a nanny state that thinks it can do a better job of keeping us safe.

Whatever we give up willingly now—whether it’s basic human decency, the ability to manage our private affairs, the right to have a say in how the government navigates this crisis, or the few rights still left to us that haven’t been disemboweled in recent years by a power-hungry police state—we won’t get back so easily once this crisis is past.

The government never cedes power willingly.

Neither should we.

Every day brings a drastic new set of restrictions by government bodies (most have been delivered by way of executive orders) at the local, state and federal level that are eager to flex their muscles for the so-called “good” of the populace.

This is where we run the risk of this whole fly-by-night operation going completely off the rails.

It’s one thing to attempt an experiment in social distancing in order to flatten the curve of this virus because we can’t afford to risk overwhelming the hospitals and exposing the most vulnerable in the nation to unavoidable loss of life scenarios. However, there’s a fine line between strongly worded suggestions for citizens to voluntarily stay at home and strong-armed house arrest orders with penalties in place for non-compliance.

More than three-quarters of all Americans have now been ordered to stay at home and that number is growing as more states fall in line.

Schools have cancelled physical classes, many for the remainder of the academic year.

Many of the states have banned gatherings of more than 10 people.

At least three states (Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania) have ordered non-essential businesses to close.

In Washington, DC, residents face 90 days in jail and a $5,000 fine if they leave their homes during the coronavirus outbreak. Residents of Maryland, Hawaii and Washington State also risk severe penalties of up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine for violating the stay-at-home orders. Violators in Alaska could face jail time and up to $25,000 in fines.

Kentucky residents are prohibited from traveling outside the state, with a few exceptions.

New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., is offering its Rikers Island prisoners $6 an hour to help dig mass graves.

In San Francisco, cannabis dispensaries were included among the essential businesses allowed to keep operating during the city-wide lockdown.

New Jersey’s governor canceled gatherings of any number, including parties, weddings and religious ceremonies, and warned the restrictions could continue for weeks or months. One city actually threatened to prosecute residents who spread false information about the virus.

Oregon banned all nonessential social and recreational gatherings, regardless of size.

Rhode Island has given police the go-ahead to pull over anyone with New York license plates to record their contact information and order them to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

South Carolina’s police have been empowered to break up any public gatherings of more than three people.

Of course, there are exceptions to all of these stay-at-home orders (in more than 30 states and counting), the longest of which runs until June 10. Essential workers (doctors, firefighters, police and grocery store workers) can go to work. Everyone else will have to fit themselves into a variety of exceptions in order to leave their homes: for grocery runs, doctor visits, to get exercise, to visit a family member, etc.

Throughout the country, more than 14,000 “Citizen-Soldiers” of the National Guard have been mobilized to support the states and the federal government in their fight against the coronavirus. While the Guard officials insist they have not been tasked with martial law, they are coordinating with the Pentagon, FEMA and the states/territories on COVID-19 response missions.

A quick civics lesson: Martial law is a raw exercise of executive power that can override the other branches of government and assume control over the functioning of a nation, state, or smaller area within a state. The power has been exercised by the president, as President Lincoln did soon after the start of the Civil War, and by governors, as was done in Idaho to quell a miner’s strike that broke out there in 1892.

In areas under martial law, all power rests with the military authority in charge. As British General Wellington wrote, “martial law” is not law at all, but martial rule; it abolishes all law and substitutes for it the will of the military commander. Military personnel are not bound by constitutional restrictions requiring a warrant, and may enter and search homes at without judicial authorization or oversight. Indeed, civil courts would no longer be functioning to hear citizen complaints or to enforce their constitutional rights.

Thus far, we have not breached the Constitution’s crisis point: martial law has yet to be overtly imposed (although an argument could be made to the contrary given the militarized nature of the American police state).

It’s just a matter of time before all hell breaks loose.

If this is not the defining point at which we cross over into all-out totalitarianism, then it is at a minimum a test to see how easily we will surrender.

Curiously enough, although Americans have been generally compliant with the government’s suggestions and orders with a few notable exceptions, there’s been a small groundswell of resistance within parts of the religious community over whether churches, synagogues and other religious institutions that hold worship services should be exempt from state-wide bans on mass gatherings. While many churches have resorted to drive-in services and live-streamed services for its congregants, others have refused to close their doors. One pastor of a 4,000-member church who stood his ground, claiming that the government’s orders violate his right to religious freedom, was arrested after holding multiple church services during which attendees were reportedly given hand sanitizer and made to keep a six-foot distance between family groups.

It’s an interesting test of the First Amendment’s freedom of assembly and religious freedom clauses versus the government’s compelling state interest in prohibiting mass gatherings in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

Generally, the government has to show a compelling state interest before it can override certain critical rights such as free speech, assembly, press, search and seizure, etc. Most of the time, it lacks that compelling state interest, but it still manages to violate those rights, setting itself up for legal battles further down the road.

These lockdown measures—on the right of the people to peaceably assemble, to travel, to engage in commerce, etc.—unquestionably restrict fundamental constitutional rights, which might pass muster for a short period of time, but can it be sustained for longer stretches legally?

That’s the challenge before us, of course, if these days and weeks potentially stretch into months-long quarantines.

For example, the First Amendment guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”  While the freedom to travel has been specifically recognized only as in the context of interstate or international travel, the freedom of movement is implicit liberty given that government agents may not stop and question or search persons unless they have some legal justification. 

As Supreme Court Justice William Douglas once wrote:

The right to travel is a part of the “liberty” of which the citizen cannot be deprived without the due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. . . .  Freedom of movement across frontiers in either direction, and inside frontiers as well, was a part of our heritage. Travel abroad, like travel within the country, may be necessary for a livelihood. It may be as close to the heart of the individual as the choice of what he eats, or wears, or reads. Freedom of movement is basic in our scheme of values.

As a rule, people are free to roam and loiter in public places and are not required to provide police with their identity or give an account of their purpose for exercising their freedom.

However, as with all constitutional rights, these freedoms, as the Courts have ruled, are not unqualified. Even content-based restrictions on speech are allowed under the First Amendment if the restriction is needed to serve a compelling government interest.

The Supreme Court long ago “distinctly recognized the authority of a state to enact quarantine laws and health laws of every description[.]” Such laws are an exercise of the state’s police power, and if there is a rational basis for believing they are needed to protect the public health, they will be deemed to serve a compelling government interest.

The point was made over 100 years ago in circumstances similar to today’s COVID-19 outbreak when a smallpox outbreak occurred in Cambridge, Mass., invoking a state law allowing localities to make vaccinations mandatory and enforceable by criminal penalties.  In upholding the law and local order against a claim that it violated the constitutional liberty to control one’s own body and health, the Supreme Court declared:

The possession and enjoyment of all rights are subject to such reasonable conditions as may be deemed by the governing authority of the country essential to the safety, health, peace, good order, and morals of the community. Even liberty itself, the greatest of all rights, is not unrestricted license to act according to one’s own will.

The Court went on to write that “[u]pon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.”

Most states have enacted laws that recognize the need for prompt action in times of emergency, including epidemics, and have delegated the authority to and executive officer to take action to address that emergency.  For example, Tennessee law provides that the governor is given the power to issue orders that have the force and effect of law to address emergencies, which include disease outbreaks and epidemics. That state’s law similarly grants mayors or other local chief executive officers the power to issue orders and directives deemed necessary, including closing public facilities, in order to address civil emergencies. 

Courts have ruled that they will defer to the decisions of an executive authority on the decision as to whether an emergency exists and whether the means employed to address the emergency are reasonable and legal, although there could be situations where a court would declare that the executive decision is arbitrary and unreasonable.

When governments act under their police power to control plagues and epidemics, those laws are valid even though they may restrict individuals in the exercise of constitutional rights.  As one legal scholar recently noted, the balance between individual rights and protection of the public “assumes that there will be times when there are truly compelling emergencies justifying severe measures. A global pandemic that spreads even among those who are asymptomatic and could exceed the capacity of the American health care system would appear to be just such a compelling situation.”

At the moment, the government believes it has a compelling interest—albeit a temporary one—in restricting gatherings, assemblies and movement in public in order to minimize the spread of this virus.

The key point is this: while we may tolerate these restrictions on our liberties in the short term, we should never fail to be on guard lest these one-time constraints become a slippery slope to a total lockdown mindset.

What we must guard against, more than ever before, is the tendency to become so accustomed to our prison walls—these lockdowns, authoritarian dictates, and police state tactics justified as necessary for national security—that we allow the government to keep having its way in all things, without any civic resistance or objections being raised.

Martin Niemoller learned that particular lesson the hard way.

A German military officer turned theologian, Niemoller was an early supporter of Hitler’s rise to power, having believed his promises to protect the church and not allow pogroms against the Jewish people. It didn’t take long for Hitler to break those promises, but by the time the German people realized they had been double-crossed, it was too late.

As Niemoller warned:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

The lesson for those of us housebound and watching from a distance as the Fourth Reich emerges from the shadows is this: all freedoms hang together.

Niemoller’s warning for our modern age would probably go something like this:

First the government went after the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and I did not object, because I had nothing to hide. Then they went after the right to not be spied upon, and I did not object, because I had done nothing wrong. Then they went after the right to criticize the government, and I still did not object, because I had nothing to criticize them for. Then they went after the right to speak—worship—and assemble freely, and I did not object, because I had nothing to say, no one to worship, and nowhere to congregate. By the time the government came to lock me up, there was no one left to set me free.

In other words, don’t be naïve: the government will use this crisis to expand its powers far beyond the reach of the Constitution. The Justice Department has already signaled its desire to suspend parts of the Constitution indefinitely.

That’s how it starts.

Travel too far down that slippery slope, and there will be no turning back.

Curiously enough, although Americans have not been inclined to agree on anything much lately, given the extreme polarization of the country politically, a recent survey indicates that “people of both parties seem rather okay with undermining core civil liberties in order to fight the pandemic.”

This way lies madness.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if you wait to speak out—stand up—and resist until the government’s lockdowns impact your freedoms personally, it could be too late.

What would be far worse, however, is handing over your freedoms voluntarily—without even a semblance of protest—to a government that cares little to nothing about your freedoms or your lives.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 00:05

Pastor Continues to Hold Services in Defiance of Lockdown Orders

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'We have a constitutional right to congregate,' says pastor.

Corporate Revolvers Reach A Tipping Point: Here Are All The Companies That Have Drawn Down Their Bank Loans

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Corporate Revolvers Reach A Tipping Point: Here Are All The Companies That Have Drawn Down Their Bank Loans

Over the weekend, when we last looked at the unprecedented frenzy by corporations both big and small to draw down on their revolver as they rushed to take advantage of the last traces of liquidity in a market that may soon slam shut all funding windows, we showed that according to JPMorgan's revolver tracker, corporates that have tapped banks for funding ro

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se to a record $208 billion on Thursday, up $15 billion from $193 billion on Wednesday and $112BN on Sunday. In other words nearly $100 billion in liquidity was drained from banks in the past week.


Putting that number in context, according to JPM, the current aggregate corporate borrowings represent 77% of the total facilities.

And since by implication almost all companies have now  drawn down on their full revolver, it stands to reason that the bank liquidity draining activity will slow down, and sure enough, according to a report from Goldman Sachs, that's precisely what is going on.

Confirming that the month of March was indeed an unprecedented frenzy for bank credit facility departments, Goldman calculates that as April 1, we have seen $183bn of line draws, up from $76bn last week, with 20% of these in the auto sector, and 14% in retail (other sectors are all

However, in a slightly conflicting conclusion from that of JPM, Goldman then notes that over the last week (since 3/24), there has been a modest slowdown in activity, with $40bn of draws, of which nearly 45% of these have been in autos (all by GM), 14% in retail, and 10% in tech.

Indeed, as Goldman writes, "we note that the pace of revolver draws has slowed nearly 50% so far this week relative to last week, with only $40bn over the last 5 business days, relative to an average trailing 5 business days run rate last week of $75bn."

Which, as noted above, makes sense: after all by now the only companies that are left hoping to draw down on their revolver, are those that - one way or another - won't get access to what they are contractually owed, most likely because their bank syndicate deems them a default risk, and with use whatever legal loopholes it needs to avoid wiring even one cent.

Finally, now that the revolver frenzy is almost over, here is the full list of all companies that managed to get their money in time: below are all the corporations that have fully (or almost fully) drawn down on their revolver.


Tyler Durden

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 22:15

Absurd: Dem Lawmaker Claims Coronavirus A ‘Gendered Crisis’

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Social justice dogma at odds with fact more men dying from virus than women.

Clearwater Police Chief Inspects Flag

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As always, Tracey McManus has the story. I spoke to Tracey about this earlier today and she quoted me in the article. But I had more thoughts on it that she was unable to include. I also have a copy of Chief Slaughter’s publicly available report. First, this comes as a relief to me. My son […]

Pentagon Orders 100,000 Body Bags As FEMA Braces For Onslaught Of COVID-19 Deaths

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Pentagon Orders 100,000 Body Bags As FEMA Braces For Onslaught Of COVID-19 Deaths

After President Trump's talk of up to 240k coronavirus-related deaths rattled markets on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported Wednesday evening that the Pentagon is seeking up to 100,000 body bags for FEMA, lending the federal coronavirus response a real natural-disaster feel.

Per BBG, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has requested 100,000 body bags, known in the b

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usiness as "Human Remains Pouches", vian an interagency group that directed the request to the Pentagon. The Pentagon is looking into sourcing more bags, but will initially provide 50k from a stockpile of 50,000 HRP they have...probably languishing in some underground bunker in Virginia.

Bloomberg described the anxiety-provoking headline as "a somber counterpoint to the Pentagon’s highly-praised deployment of two hospital ships to New York and Los Angeles to help alleviate pressure on regional hospitals overburdened by the pandemic."

The Defense Logistics Agency’s Troop Support unit manages the Pentagon’s stockpile of the HRPs, which consist of green nylon, 94-inch by 38-inch body bags that are typically distributed to war zones. The unit has been in talks with a contractor about their production capabilities, but the agency has yet to place an official order.

President Trump said last night that he's preparing for between 100k and 240k deaths, as per the official White House projections, but some of the more alarming projections have called for as many as 1 million deaths, without the 'mitigation' efforts being enacted by millions of Americans, who are working from home, or otherwise staying inside.

FEMA hasn't requested a formal delivery date from the DLA, according to the report, but the agency has purportedly told the contractor that it wants the bags ready ASAP.

A spokesman for FEMA told BBG that the bags are part of the "prudent planning" process for anby potential future needs. The bags specifically apply to any "mortuary contingencies" from US states that might occur.

Earlier this week, the director for the Joint Chiefs laid out the liaison process for working with FEMA, and explained how the JC is working "in close partnership" to make sure all needs are addressed.

Tyler Durden

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 21:05

Right To Try: Americans Should Decide Their Medicine, Not The Government — Watch Live!

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Tune into this informative transmission from 7-9 PM CST hosted by constitutional lawyer Robert Barnes!

‘Rifle on Steroids’: How the Tankgewehr became the First Tank-Killing Weapon

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During WWI the German Army was sorely pressed to develop a counter weapon after the British and French began unveiling their first armoured vehicles to break the stalemate in trench warfare on the European battlefields, coming up with what would become the first "anti-tank rifle".

How Low Could US Oil Production Actually Go?

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How Low Could US Oil Production Actually Go?

Authored by David Messler via OilPrice.com,

The oil-bears continue their romp across the energy markets with various grades of crude reaching lows not seen in almost twenty years. There will come a point where I can sit down and pen the following words, "We've reached bottom, and this is as bad as it gets."  There is a ways to go before it will be possible to make that statem

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ent. We are writing off the notion of any recovery in the broad oil and gas market for the next couple of quarters, and probably the rest of 2020. The situation will likely get worse before it gets better, very rapidly. 2021...who knows… things might begin to improve. We will discuss the mechanics of a possible recovery early next year.

The world is awash in cheap oil right now. Goldman Sachs is calling for a final demand decline in March (now) of ~10.5 mm bod, and a projected demand decline of 18.5 million bpd for April. Folks that's ~20% of total EIA projected global demand. 

As discussed in prior OilPrice articles, OPEC and the Russians have drawn a bead on U.S. shale production as the world’s marginal producer. We are beginning to see how rapidly this status may be stripped away as these low cost producers strive to regain their market share lost to American shale production.

In this article we will run down the early indicators the market is sending on where the tipping point will be for shale production. Finally we will include an early estimate for the decline in U.S. shale production by year’s end.

Quick status check for shale

In an OilPrice article last week, I argued that a few things would need to happen before we saw any potential improvement in the market for the oil price. One of them was a reduction in capex across the board for shale. This metric is starting to manifest itself in a couple of ways.

Source: Baker Hughes  

The dotted line is a conservative estimate for the slope of the continued decline as operators tighten their belts.

I've pointed out that while the rig count has been declining for the past couple of years, Drilled but Uncompleted- DUC, wells withdrawal has helped production to continue its almost inexorable climb. That's coming to an end as noted by Primary Vision, publishing a drop in Frac Spreads to 255 as of Friday.

Source: Primary Vision 

I think the rate of decline in Frac Spreads-equipment used to fracture the reservoir, will accelerate in the month of April reaching ~200 by months end.

My analysis of the upward trend in the Frac Spread line to February was that prices...in the mid-$40s through Feb, were still attractive for DUC withdrawal to March 6th. I've been thinking for some time that the next logical step would be for uneconomic producers to....BEGIN SHUTTING IN WELLS ALREADY ON PRODUCTION.

I actually put forward this notion in an Oilprice article on the Marcellus gas play. That article focused on the gas glut that led Chevron,to write down its assets in the Marcellus to focus on the Permian. The Permian is more oil-prone, and is part of the reason operators have focused on it so intensively.

Now this idea is becoming mainstream with analysts putting out estimates for how much shale oil might have to be shut in. Here's a quote from one of these analysts from a recent article in JPT.

“Uday Turaga, the chief executive officer of oil and gas consultancy ADI Analytics, offered two reasons. The first is that many shale players have hedged large volumes of oil sales in the $50-range through 2020. The other is that shale producers remain too optimistic on the chances of a price recovery coming by year’s end

“We don’t see prices and demand rising before 2021,” shared Turaga. “So this approach of cutting just drilling and not completion of wells in inventory is insufficient—they need to go beyond and have a material impact on production volumes.

ADI Analytics is running several forward-looking models, including one that suggests US shale players need to cut as deep as 2 million B/D from year-over-year production. Such a dramatic reduction would be needed to keep oil prices from remaining locked at marginal cash costs. “We could potentially get there just with capex declines,” said Uday, “but not all operators will cut capex, so a little bit of shut in will be necessary.”

- Journal of Petroleum Technology 

Hopefully you caught the line I bolded about shale producer's optimism.

To close this section out here is another graphic from Baker Hughes and Westwood Energent regarding the outlook for the rig count at year end.

Baker Hughes/Westwood Energent

Let’s do some ciphering

Here’s the number you read this article to get.

According to the EIA the incremental new oil per rig is 856 BOPD (the relationship between drilling rigs and daily production is purely statistical, I am just using the EIA's number to make a guess.) With 728 rigs turning to the right as of March, that works out to...623K BOPD. Reduce the rigs to the high 380's by late 2020, early 2021 as in the graphic above and you only get...~325K BOPD new incremental production from shale.

Now take the natural decline rate of (again using simple arithmetic here), ~6% per month for shale wells on the average and you get (~9mm Bpd x 540K Bpd. In other words we will be producing about 215 K Bpd below the shale replacement rate as the year closes out. Extending those daily declines to a 30 day period, shale production will be 6 million Bpd LOWER.

That’s an extreme decline I will admit, and you should be reminded I haven’t used any sophisticated analysis to reach this number. A number of factors can and will influence the final amount of the decline. Among them actual new well productivity, and the length of the interval as examples. A higher oil price, responding ironically to the decline in shale production, could actually spur a pickup in new drilling. We will monitor this in future articles and make adjustments to this estimate as production waypoints are passed.

Your takeaway

Game, set, and match to OPEC and the Russians if the scenario I’ve outlined in this article even comes close to playing out. If U.S. production declines to that level, and we return to 2012 in terms of our production. OPEC+ should be happy.

Capturing breaking news in this article it should be noted that President Trump and President Putin have had a chat on the emerging energy depression. I honestly don’t put much store in this having any effect on oil prices in the short-run, even if you assume Putin would have any actual sympathy for the plight of U.S. shale producers. Remember…this debacle started only last month when they ruined the OPEC+ party in Vienna by not agreeing to more cuts to shore up prices.

What’s changed since? Nothing really in terms of their original objective. The Russians have the cash reserves to see this collapse of American shale for at least another couple of quarters, and the collapse in demand due to the Corona virus is going to play out no matter what they do. Basically Putin has no incentive to change course, save as a bargaining chip for sanctions relief. Something that is politically unacceptable in this country as elections draw nearer. This leaves with the status quo firmly in place.

Bottom-line, U.S. shale appears to be on an unavoidable rapid decline. That is bad news for a lot of companies that depend on this activity for their daily bread. The good news is this will inevitably drive higher prices and the growth cycle for energy will begin again.

Tyler Durden

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:45

Let’s Have Christian ‘Woodstock’! US Pastor Says Despite Anti-Coronavirus Quarantine Orders

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'We’re gonna hold an outdoor Easter blowout service. Not online. A national gathering.'

Clearwater police chief: Scientology is complying with orders during the pandemic

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[Bunker, with Leah Remini and Mike Rinder, in a previous exchange with Clearwater police]

We followed up with Mark Bunker today, and he had news for us about Scientology continuing to operate its “Flag Land Base” in Clearwater, Florida, where Bunker was sworn in this week as a new city councilmember.

Bunker told us that on Monday [...]


'Disappeared' Wuhan Whistleblower Doc Suddenly Sends Cryptic Message

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'Disappeared' Wuhan Whistleblower Doc Suddenly Sends Cryptic Message

Chinese whistleblowing Wuhan doctor Ai Fen, who claimed Beijing prevented her from warning the world about COVID-19, has mysteriously disappeared, according to an investigation by 60 Minutes, Australia.

Besides Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, Fen was one of the first to notice a steady stream of patients with pneumonia-like symptoms in Wuhan before Beijing declared the COVID-19 out

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break. Fen is the Director of the emergency department at Wuhan Central Hospital, told a Chinese media outlet in February that the government silenced her for bringing awareness to the localized virus outbreak that would eventually spread across the world. 

Doctor Ai Fen

Wuhan hospital officials punished Fen after she posted test results of a patient that was suffering from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-like coronavirus on WeChat before COVID-19 was declared. That image went viral in China. 

"Just two weeks ago the head of Emergency at Wuhan Central Hospital went public, saying authorities had stopped her and her colleagues from warning the world," 60 Minutes Australia reported on Sunday.

After the 60 Minutes episode aired, Radio Free Asia (RFA) said a cryptic message was published on Fen's Weibo account. It consisted of a picture overlooking Wuhan, with text that read: 

"A river, A bridge. A clock chime."

Fen's Weibo post 

RFA notes that it was Fen's "first since March 16, when the account posted to thank everyone for their concern about Ai and to reassure them that she was back at work as usual."

Concerns over Fen's whereabouts were sparked after she wrote a now-deleted essay in February tilted "The one who supplied the whistle" in China's People (Renwu) magazine, describing how the government silenced her after she raised awareness of the "SARS coronavirus" before Beijing declared an outbreak. 

"The one who supplied the whistle" in China's People (Renwu) magazine front page

RFA could not "verify Ai's whereabouts independently." There are concerns that the doctor has been detained by the government for speaking out about the virus: 

"Detainees in police or other official custody have been known to have their social media accounts updated, either by themselves acting under orders from the authorities, or after police gain access to their devices." 

And it hasn't been just Beijing trying to keep virus developments under wraps, Fox News' Tucker Carlson blamed the World Health Organization on Tuesday night for aiding China in the cover-up. 

Tyler Durden

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 19:05

He’s Back: Schiff Demands 9/11-Style Commission on Trump’s Coronavirus Response

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Partisan hack who led failed impeachment coup looking for another way to investigate president.

For the past five years, every FBI secret spy court request to snoop on Americans has sucked, says watchdog

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Feeling secure? Sucker

Analysis  The FBI has not followed internal rules when applying to spy on US citizens for at least five years, according to an extraordinary report [PDF] by the Department of Justice’s inspector general.…


WARNING: Hackers Install Secret Backdoor on Thousands of Microsoft SQL Servers

logicfish Security cryptocurrencyCyber Attackdatabase hackingdatabase securityhacking newsMalware attackMSSQL hackingMySQLwindows malware All http://feedproxy.google.com   Discuss    Share
Cybersecurity researchers today uncovered a sustained malicious campaign dating back to May 2018 that targets Windows machines running MS-SQL servers to deploy backdoors and other kinds of malware, including multi-functional remote access tools (RATs) and cryptominers.

Named "Vollgar" after the Vollar cryptocurrency it mines and its offensive "vulgar" modus operandi, researchers at Guardicore

Hawaii Lt. Governor: Everyone Should Wear A Mask When Leaving Home

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Hawaii Lt. Governor: Everyone Should Wear A Mask When Leaving Home

Everyone should wear a mask when they’re leaving their home during the CCP virus pandemic, according to Hawaii’s Lieutenant Gov. Josh Green, a physician.

The statement comes, as The Epoch Times' Zachary Stieber reports, as experts across the United States are increasingly recommending the same while warning people to leave N95 masks

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rong> for healthcare workers, a request Green also made.

Most other masks don’t provide the same level of protection but can still protect against the CCP (Communist Chinese Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. Any mask, Green told KHON-2, “is better than nothing.”

“We are all doing what we can by staying home but a lot of people are still having to to go out to run a few errands or go out and provide health care. When you do, wear a mask, cover up. And if you’re in the hospital of course wear an N95,” Green said.

People wearing masks should still follow social distancing measures, including staying at least 6 feet from other people. Mask wearers should take the time to learn how to properly wear them. Most surgical masks were designed for one-time use but masks made at home may be able to be washed and used again.

“I want to go on record, I’m recommending anyone who’s out there in line, any line whatsoever, please keep 6 feet social distance, that’s totally critical, and have a mask of some sort if you have it,” Green said.

Green’s recommendation was one of the first made by a state official as federal officials consider advising everyone to wear masks after recent data shows asymptomatic patients, or people with the CCP virus who aren’t showing symptoms, can easily pass on the virus.

We all remember this - when Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweet said it all "Stop Buying Masks!":

He was not alone.

World Health Organization officials Monday said they still recommend people not wear face masks unless they are sick with Covid-19 or caring for someone who is sick.

"There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there's some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, said at a media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.

"There also is the issue that we have a massive global shortage," Ryan said about masks and other medical supplies.

"Right now the people most at risk from this virus are frontline health workers who are exposed to the virus every second of every day. The thought of them not having masks is horrific."

We were told that face masks weren’t effective at preventing a coronavirus infection unless we are a healthcare worker, but now the CDC is saying otherwise.

There’s still no consensus (meaning someone from the government hasn’t made a decision yet) on whether widespread use of facial coverings would make a significant difference, and some infectious disease experts worry that masks could lull people into a false sense of security and make them less disciplined about social distancing, according to a report by The Washington Post. 

But studies done by doctors in the medical field have shown properly fitting N95 face masks to be about 80% effective.

Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that the matter was still under discussion.

President Donald Trump said that people can use scarves to cover their mouth.

“I think some people disagree with the mask, for various reasons, and some people don’t. But you can wear a scarf. You can do the masks if it makes you feel better. We have no objection to it, and some people recommend it,” the president said. The CDC has recommended health workers who can’t obtain masks wear scarves.

Officials have expressed concern about potential shortages of masks in hospitals, he noted.

“We don’t want everybody competing with the hospitals. So you can use scarves. You can use something else over your face. Doesn’t have to be a mask,” Trump added.

However, as South Korea's top COVID doctor explained, "during the SARS and MERS outbreaks, masks were proven to work [to slow the infection rates]."

Nassim Taleb had strong feelings about the bullshit...

Tyler Durden

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:05

Bye Bye 2nd Amendment: Virginia Man Charged For Shooting Masked Intruders

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'This is very sad for America.'

Microsoft finds itself in odd position of sparing elderly, insecure protocols: Grants stay of execution to TLS 1.0, 1.1

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A few more months to get those servers upgraded 'in light of current global circumstances'

Microsoft has blinked once again and delayed disabling TLS 1.0 and 1.1 by default in its browsers until the latter part of 2020.…


$81 Billion In Rent Is Due Today And No One Knows What Will Happen

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$81 Billion In Rent Is Due Today And No One Knows What Will Happen

It's officially zero hour for both landlords and tenants alike as today marks the first day that mortgages and rents are due since the nation has addressed the coronavirus on a national scale with a lockdown and stay-at-home orders.

Meanwhile, in the balance hangs $81 billion in rent payments. Renters are warning they're not going to pay, putting property owners in preca

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rious positions and forcing them to have conversations with their tenants. Meanwhile, the government is doing their best to try and keep the economy slowly moving along despite essentially advising the nation that it must remain shut down. 

And nobody, especially in the real estate industry, understands how this unprecedented event will play out.

Willy Walker, chief executive officer at commercial real estate lender Walker & Dunlop Inc, told Bloomberg: “The hardest thing right now is that nobody actually knows how bad it’s going to get. That’s driving everybody crazy.”

Many local governments have placed bans on evictions for the time being, removing the incentive for even those who can afford it to stop paying rent.

Of all the different types of landlords, apartment owners usually collect about $22 billion in rent per month. Research from Amherst Holdings suggests that up to $12 billion a month in government support could be necessary to help households in the U.S. continue to make their obligation due to the coronavirus lockdowns. 

Photo: NYT

Commercial landlords are also worried. Owners have very little leverage, since a quarantine is a bad time to go out and find new tenants. Rental debt will need to be paid eventually, but there is significant uncertainty surrounding what happens to the economic machine when these bills are paid late, instead of on time. 

Scott Rechler, chief executive officer at RXR Realty said: 

“If tenants stop paying rent, then at some point landlords can’t pay utilities. The municipalities don’t get their property taxes or mortgages aren’t paid and the banks get a spike in defaulting loans.”

The apartment industry alone has more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt and credit markets are trying to make preparations and concessions for borrowers who may not be able to service debt payments as a result of rent not coming in.

Real estate investor Tom Barrack has argued that the U.S. Treasury should help stabilize the debt markets by purchasing commercial mortgage backed securities. The government's stimulus checks should be hitting the accounts of U.S. citizens over the next 3 weeks. 

And while the system may be able to to handle one month of missed rents, it could quickly devolve into chaos if things don't soon return back to normal.

Bruce McNeilage, CEO of Kinloch Partners, which operates single-family rental homes concluded: 

“I’m less worried about April. I’m more worried about May 1. Once people miss three or four paychecks, that’s when things get bad.” 

However, some landlords took a more direct approach - get out!!

Tyler Durden

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 15:45

CNN’s Oliver Darcy Rats On Project Veritas, Asks Facebook To Delete Video

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Notorious narc is obsessed with taking down his network's competition.

Cyberscum target Microsoft SQL Server boxen – and some careless sysadmins were reinfected after cleaning it out

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Two-year campaign observed by Guardicore

A malware gang is targeting Microsoft SQL servers with such precision that they're disabling rival gangs' software nasties in their quest to steal control of servers from their rightful owners.…


April Fool'd - Bonds Bid, Stocks Slammed As Rebalance-Bid Evaporates

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April Fool'd - Bonds Bid, Stocks Slammed As Rebalance-Bid Evaporates

With month-/quarter-end rebalancing flows now a thing of the past...

Virus-fear is back...

Source: Bloomberg

But the day started off ugly with a huge sell program...

Source: Bloomberg

...the biggest negative T

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ICK since Aug 13th 2018...

Source: Bloomberg

Small Caps led the bloodbathery with a near 7% collapse today (limit-down) but all the major US indices were ugly (note the weak open, bounce into EU close, then selling fir the rest of the day...

The Dow lost 21k; S&P dropped below 2,500; and Russell 2000 broke back below 1,100... erasing over 50% of the dead-cat-bounce from last week...

Both Defensive and Cyclicals were equally hit today...

Source: Bloomberg

It appears the short-squeeze ammo has run out again...

Source: Bloomberg

FANG stocks were slammed, as the opening and closing bid ramps from last week have disappeared...

Source: Bloomberg

Bank stocks continued yesterday's losses...

Source: Bloomberg

Directly-Virus-Affected sectors were monkey-hammered today with Airlines collapsing...

Source: Bloomberg

Most worrisome today was the crash in Mortgage REITs - despite weak markets and tumbling yields... systemic issues?

Source: Bloomberg

Credit was weaker today (HY worse)

Source: Bloomberg

Will stocks catch-down to bond yields now that the rebalance flows are done?

Source: Bloomberg

Treasury yields were all lower today as the rate-locks from record issuance lift (led by the long-end: 30Y -6bps, 2Y -1.5bps)...

Source: Bloomberg

10Y Yield tumbled back below 60bps today (57.7bps lows)...

Source: Bloomberg

The Dollar rebounded from yesterday's weakness...

Source: Bloomberg

The Dollar shortage is back, with FRA-OIS widening notably today

Source: Bloomberg

Cryptos faded today...

Source: Bloomberg

Commodities were noisy today with oil and gold up, copper down...

Source: Bloomberg

Oil prices turmoiled around today but ended higher after plunging back below $20 again

Gold futures bounced back above $1600...

Finally, we note that Republicans have retaken the lead (albeit very marginally) in the prediction markets for the November election...

Source: Bloomberg

And amid all the ongoing calls for more and more rounds of fiscal stimulus and helicopter money, USA sovereign/deval risk is starting to rise rapidly...

Source: Bloomberg

Tyler Durden

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 16:00

Video: FBI Raids New York Man Hoarding N95 Face Masks

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'If you are sitting on a warehouse with masks, surgical masks, you will be hearing a knock on your door,' AG Barr said last week.

Cloudflare family-friendly DNS service flubs first filtering foray: Vital LGBTQ, sex-ed sites blocked 'by mistake'

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For a biz that prides itself on not censoring the internet, it sure likes censoring the internet

Cloudflare, known for free speech advocacy, rolled out a self-styled family-friendly variation of its DNS service to block adult content – and ended up denying access to LGBTQ websites and sex education resources.…


GitLab Addressed Multiple Important Vulnerabilities With The Latest Releases

logicfish Security Cyber Security NewsHacking NewsNewsVulnerabilitiesBug Bountybug bounty programflawflawsgitlabGitLab Bug Bounty ProgramGitLab flawsGitLab vulnerabilityhackeroneremote code executionvulnerabilitiesvulnerability All https://latesthackingnews.com   Discuss    Share

GitLab has recently addressed numerous security vulnerabilities in their latest software releases. While all the flaws belonged to different categories,

GitLab Addressed Multiple Important Vulnerabilities With The Latest Releases on Latest Hacking News.


Idaho First in Nation to Ban Trans Sports

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'Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,' aims to prevent unfair athletic advantages by transgender men who attempt to compete in women’s sports.

No Joking Matter: Survey Finds Six Out Of Ten Students View Offensive Jokes As "Hate Speech"

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No Joking Matter: Survey Finds Six Out Of Ten Students View Offensive Jokes As "Hate Speech"

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

We have been discussing the growing intolerance for free speech on our campuses and the ever-expanding scope of both hate speech and “microaggression” definitions.

Now, College Pulse has released s survey of 2,000 college students that finds six out of ten view offensive jo

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kes to be hate speech - a view shared by many European countries which now regularly prosecuted people for such jokes.

There is a considerable contrast between the views of Democratic and Republican students. The poll found that 76 percent of Democratic students “believe offensive jokes can constitute hate speech” while only 36 percent of Republican students who hold that view.

We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in Europe (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). We have seen comedians targeted with such court orders under this expanding and worrisome trend. (here and here and here). 

Notably, comedians are refusing to perform on our campuses because of the threat of protests and shutdowns over jokes deemed by some to be offensive or discomforting. Comedy has always occurred on the edges of propriety and constitutes a long-valued form of social and political commentary. The effort to chill jokes and parody is part of a broader anti-free speech movement on our campuses.

Tyler Durden

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 13:59

NIH Zinc Fact Sheet

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National Institutes of Health describes the essential mineral's role in immune function.
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