British Airways and Marriott UK data protection fines deferred again as coronavirus shutdown hits business

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May and June are new due dates and neither firm is going down quietly

The UK Information Commissioner's Office has yet again postponed its £280m in fines against British Airways and Marriott Hotels for data leaks.…


Minister slams 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories as ‘dangerous nonsense’ after phone towers torched in UK

logicfish Business minister slams coronavirus conspiracy theories dangerous nonsense after phone towers torched All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Looks like Michael Gove has decided to listen to the experts for a change

UK Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has used a daily briefing to slam those advancing baseless theories that 5G radios are in some way responsible for the coronavirus.…


Looting Wave Strikes New York City Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

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Looting Wave Strikes New York City Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

We've been laying out the possible case for the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic could be social unrest. 

Millions of Americans have just lost their jobs, have no saving, and insurmountable debts, are flooding food banks across the nation to survive. With the economy crashed and now entering a depression, last week was a significant milestone in the progression of the crisis, as loo

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ting of businesses in California and South Carolina began.

Now the looting is spreading across the nation. We noted how stores in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago, were boarding up their windows, preparing for civil unrest. 

After all, when 10 million people lose their jobs in two weeks, and an estimated unemployment rate that could reach 15-20% in the second quarter, as per RealInvestmentAdvice.com's Lance Roberts latest report, the ripple effect on society is so sudden that there could very well be an outbreak of unrest when the weather shifts too much warmer trends, and geographically be situated in low-income areas of inner cities. Hence why the National Guard was called up and now being positioned around and or in major metros. 

The beginning innings of social unrest could now be unfolding across New York City. Households are cracking as hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs over several weeks. The city has become the epicenter of the virus crisis, recording 103,060 confirmed cases and 2,935 deaths (as of Saturday afternoon, April 4).  

The Wall Street Journal reports an increase in burglaries of commercial establishments across all five boroughs from March 12-31, coinciding when mass shutdowns went into effect. 

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) recorded a 75% jump in burglaries of businesses during the period, or about 254 burglaries, compared with 145 over the same period last year.

"The increase in burglaries coincided with steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus. On March 15, the city ordered restaurants and bars to cease on-site service, prompting many establishments to close altogether or limit operations. A March 20 decree by Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for the closure of all nonessential businesses, leading many retail stores to shutter," the Journal noted. 

"We knew with the closing of many stores that we could see an increase and, unfortunately, we are," said NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri.

LiPetri said the most targeted establishments by criminals had been restaurants, supermarkets, and retail stores. Between March 12-31, there were over 30 reports of burglaries of supermarkets, a 400% increase over the same period last year. 

He said thieves were specifically after food, alcohol, and retail goods. Many gained entry from rooftops and or forcing doors open or breaking windows. 

The Journal notes that some retail chains have boarded up shops across the city, citing fears that social unrest could soon follow. Here are some shops that have already boarded up windows: 

As looting surges in New York City, the next fear is that the NYPD could become overwhelmed by virus-related incidents and or a shortage of officers. 

On Friday, one out of every six NYPD officers was sick or in quarantine. Over 1,500 have tested positive for the virus, which could lead to decreased patrols while crime is surging across the city. 

"It's a worst-case scenario across the board," a sergeant told The New York Times. 

And now it should make sense why President Trump recently signed an executive order to activate up to one million troops – that is because the evolution of the virus crisis and economic collapse, is social unrest and looting and whatever else that may bring. 

Tyler Durden

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 20:45

McConnell Acknowledges Fourth Coronavirus Bill In The Worls

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McConnell Acknowledges Fourth Coronavirus Bill In The Worls

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

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

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

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

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

*  *  *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 18:10

Molecular Biologist Says Coronavirus Could Have Leaked From Wuhan Biolab

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Molecular Biologist Says Coronavirus Could Have Leaked From Wuhan Biolab

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

A molecular biologist proclaimed Thursday that the Chinese coronavirus could have originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and been leaked, leading to it’s horrific spread around the globe.

Richard H. Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, 

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told The Daily Caller that he believes it is a distinct possibility that an accident in the laboratory in China could have caused the outbreak.

Professor Ebright said that “A denial is not a refutation,” referring to China’s top virologist Shi Zhengli, who works at the lab in Wuhan, and has repeatedly denied that it was the source of the pandemic.

Zhengli, known as ‘bat-woman’, because she works with bat-borne viruses,  has said that the coronavirus spread is “nature punishing the human race for keeping uncivilized living habits.”

“The novel 2019 coronavirus is nature punishing the human race for keeping uncivilized living habits. I, Shi Zhengli, swear on my life that it has nothing to do with our laboratory,” she wrote in early February, adding “I advise those who believe and spread rumors from harmful media sources … to shut their stinking mouths.”

Professor Ebright pointed to the quote, noting that it makes Zhengli’s denial more suspect.

While the professor has been cited by the likes of The Washington Post and MSNBC to dismiss theories about the virus being a bioweapon, the media has not covered his belief that the possibility of a lab accident being the source of the outbreak “cannot–and should not–be dismissed.”

To clarify, Professor Ebright categorically does not believe that the virus is an engineered bioweapon, due to the scientific evidence showing otherwise. However, the notion that the strain of coronavirus that has spread around the world, and since mutated, came from the Wuhan lab is a real possibility in Ebright’s opinion.

This notion is also supported by the fact that according to a study contributed to by the ‘bat-woman’ herself, Shi Zhengli, the novel coronavirus is 96.2% identical to a viral strain that was detected in horseshoe bats from the Yunnan Province, which is over 600 miles away from Wuhan.

Separate Chinese research confirmed this and cited testimonies from close to 60 people who lived or stayed in Wuhan for lengthy periods, saying that the bat “was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market.”

The research paper, which was uploaded to Research Gate on Feb. 6, concluded that “The killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.”

The paper was removed from Research Gate on Feb. 14 or 15, according to internet archives, and it’s author cannot be reached.

A deadly virus leak from a Chinese lab is not unprecedented. The SARS virus escaped twice from the Chinese Institute of Virology in Beijing in 2004, one year after its spread was brought under control.

Many believe that China’s continued subterfuge regarding the coronavirus outbreak, and it’s bizarre accusations that it was spread by the US military, is an effort to divert attention from the possibility that this virus leaked from the Wuhan lab.

Senator Tom Cotton, who has been continually vocal on the matter, told The Daily Caller this week that “The reason I have raised these questions from the very beginning is because of China’s statements and their actions.”

“After concealing the virus for many weeks in December and then minimizing its severity for most of January, they then peddle an origin story about the food market in Wuhan.” Cotton said, adding “Given their dishonesty and the proximity of these labs, which we know were working with coronaviruses, it is only reasonable and responsible for us to ask the question and demand the answers.”

Tyler Durden

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 10:10

Philippines considers app to trace coronavirus carriers

logicfish Business philippines considers trace coronavirus carriers All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Privacy perspective: President has also threatened quarantine-breaking troublemakers may be shot

The Philippines has started planning an app to help the government track the movements and contacts of people who carry the novel coronavirus.…


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

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

Global Coronavirus Cases Edge Toward 1 Million As Deaths Surge In US & Europe: Live Updates

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Global Coronavirus Cases Edge Toward 1 Million As Deaths Surge In US & Europe: Live Updates



Before we get started today, let's take a minute to review...





  • 3/10 1,000

  • 3/11 1,267

  • 3/12 1,645

  • 3/13 2,204

  • 3/14 2,826

  • 3/15 3,505

  • 3/16 4,466

  • 3/17 6,135

  • 3/18 8,760

  • 3/19 13,229

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  • 3/20 18,763

  • 3/21 25,740

  • 3/22 34,276

  • 3/23 42,663

  • 3/24 52,976

  • 3/25 65,273

  • 3/26 82,135

  • 3/27 101,295

  • 3/28 121,176

  • 3/29 139,773

  • 3/30 160,377

  • 3/31 185,469

  • 4/01 199,729




    ...and on Thursday? 4/02 216,722





    Sweden's Approach To Coronavirus: Do Nothing

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    Sweden's Approach To Coronavirus: Do Nothing

    Sweden has taken a slightly different approach to coronavirus than the rest of the world, allowing life to go on as 'normal' with a few exceptions.

    Unlike neighboring Denmark - which has restricted meetings to 10 people or less, Swedes are still going out to nightclubs, hanging out with friends, and even 'enjoying ice creams beneath a giant Thor statue in Mariatorget square,' accordin

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    g to the BBC.

    "We who are adults need to be exactly that: adults. Not spread panic or rumors," said Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in a televised address to the country last weekend.

    "No one is alone in this crisis, but each person has a heavy responsibility."

    And while the country has limited gatherings to 50 people as of Sunday, the government is largely leaving decisions over self-isolation and social distancing up to the citizens. BBC notes that almost half of Stockholm residents are working remotely, and that traffic is quieter than usual. Stockholm's public transport company SL reports 50% fewer riders on subway and commuter trains last week.

    Stockholm Business Region, a state-funded company that supports the city's global business community, estimates that rises to at least 90% in the capital's largest firms, thanks to a tech-savvy workforce and a business culture that has long promoted flexible and remote working practices.

    "Every company that has the possibility to do this, they are doing it, and it works," says its CEO Staffan Ingvarsson.

    His words cut to the heart of the government's strategy here: self-responsibility. Public health authorities and politicians are still hoping to slow down the spread of the virus without the need for draconian measures. -BBC

    According to the report, there are 'guidelines' but not strict rules. People are advised to stay home if they're sick or elderly, wash hands, and avoid non-essential travel whenever possible.

    So far the country has had roughly 3,500 cases and 105 deaths.

    Demography may also be a relevant factor in the country's approach. In contrast to the multi-generational homes in Mediterranean countries, more than half of Swedish households are made up of one person, which cuts the risk of the virus spreading within families. -BBC

    The BBC also notes that swedes love the outdoors - and officials have said that forcing people to stay inside would be physically and mentally unhealthy.

    "We have to combine looking at minimising the health effects of the virus outbreak and the economic impacts of this health crisis," said Stockholm Chamber of Commerce CEO Andreas Hatzigeorgiou.

    "The business community here really thinks that the Swedish government and the Swedish approach is more sensible than in many other countries."

    Tyler Durden

    Tue, 03/31/2020 - 04:15

    China Shuts Down All Cinemas, As Scientists Fear Second Coronavirus Wave 

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    China Shuts Down All Cinemas, As Scientists Fear Second Coronavirus Wave 

    China spent most of March attempting to normalize its economy after several months of virus-related shutdowns. There were reports of retail stores opening, people going outside, virus cases declining, factories restarting, and even movie theaters reopening. 

    The Hollywood Reporter noted that the government gave nearly 600 movie theaters across China the green light for pha

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    sed reopening in the third week of March. Then by March 27, Beijing's Film Bureau requested that all theaters go into lockdown. 

    "This second closure will not be a one or two-week issue," an executive at a major exhibition company told The Hollywood Reporter. "They are going to be even more cautious when they attempt to reopen again—and this will set us back a long time."

    The Chinese government did not explicitly cite the reason for the latest theater closings. Still, scientists are now warning that a second coronavirus wave could be arriving by the end of April: 

    "It's time to relax the lockdown, but we need to be alert for a potential second wave of infections," says Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong.

    Cowling warned that a second wave of the fast-spreading virus could hit China by the end of April. 

    China's large network of 70,000 movie screens were all shuttered in January because of the COVID-19 outbreak that started in December and has since infected 741,000 people globally and killed 35,114. 

    Many Chinese theaters were closed on the weekend of the Chinese New Year, which is the most significant moviegoing time of the year. Box office sales in the country for the first two months were down $2 billion over the same period last year. 

    How China deals with the second round of the virus outbreak remains to be seen. If China delays normalcy and extends the quarantines of its citizens, it could damage movie theater chains, Hollywood studios, and the entire global film industry. This also comes as Europe and the US have shut down movie theaters, further amplifying the stress for the industry. 

    Major movie productions across the world have put filming on hold through spring. Warner Bros. delayed Wonder Woman 1984 from its June debut to mid-August, which suggests US theaters will be dormant through the summer months. 

    Tyler Durden

    Tue, 03/31/2020 - 01:00

    Infosys fires employee who Facebooked 'let's hold hands and share coronavirus'

    logicfish Business infosys fires employee facebooked lets hold hands share coronavirus All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
    This is clearly not the time to test your firm's social media policy, because that's what was used to let him go

    Infosys has fired an employee who reportedly used his Facebook account to suggest wilfully spreading coronavirus.…


    Greenland Bans Alcohol Sales To Reduce Child Abuse As Coronavirus Hits

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    Greenland Bans Alcohol Sales To Reduce Child Abuse As Coronavirus Hits

    For several weeks after the start of the global coronavirus pandemic there was a running joke that Trump's offer to purchase Greenland was brilliant in hindsight as the northern island appeared immune to any the covid cases. That all changed on March 16 when the territory registered its first case.

    Fast forward to today when dpa reports that Greenland has banned alcohol consu

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    mption in the capital Nuuk and nearby settlements in a bid to decrease incidences of child abuse as people stay inside to avoid spreading coronavirus. 

    The Sunday decision from Greenland's government bans all sales of alcoholic drinks with immediate effect in Nuuk and in the settlements of Kapisillit and Qeqertarsuatsiaat until April 15. Explaining the move, Prime Minister Kim Kielsen said the coronavirus emergency response had necessitated a lot of different responses.

    "But at the heart of my decision is protecting children," Kielsen said. "They should have a secure home."

    Perhaps due to its location where social distancing was a given long before the coronavirus emerged, Greenland has a well-documented history of sexual abuse of minors, with some studies showing one in three adults living there having experienced it as a child. Many have linked the phenomenon to increased incidences of alcohol and drug abuse, among other things.

    Under the influence of alcohol, people were also less aware, increasing the risk of infection with coronavirus, Kielsen said on Sunday.

    So far only ten people have tested positive for coronavirus in Greenland. No one has died.

    Greenland is largely independent, but officially belongs to Denmark; Last August Trump sparked a diplomatic scandal when he suggested buying Greenland (the purchase price was never disclosedd), sparking Denmark's fury. Around 55,000 people live on the territory, which is the largest island on earth. About a third of them live in the capital Nuuk.

    Tyler Durden

    Mon, 03/30/2020 - 02:35

    Tech companies start to disclose possible bottom-line coronavirus impacts

    logicfish Business tech companies start disclose possible bottom-line coronavirus impacts All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
    Disclosures to investors from Dell, DocuSign, Cloudera and MongoDB reveal not all are completely terrified

    Coronavirus has started to become a staple of the Form 10-K corporate risk disclosure documents filed by public technology companies.…


    UK Information Commissioner OKs use of phone data to track coronavirus spread

    logicfish Business information commissioner phone data track coronavirus spread All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
    But Australia’s PM declares it doesn’t align with national values

    The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of the United Kingdom has provided advice to the government that it can use anonymised mobile phone data in the fight against coronavirus.…


    UK Information Commissioner okays use of phone data to track Coronavirus

    logicfish Business information commissioner okays phone data track coronavirus All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
    But Australia’s PM declares it doesn’t align with national values

    The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of the United Kingdom has provided advice to the government that it can use anonymised mobile phone data in the fight against Coronavirus.…


    'Dark Money' Groups & Super PACs Target Trump With Multi-Million Dollar Coronavirus Ad Campaign

    zerohedge News dark moneygroups super pacs target trump with multi-million dollar coronavirus campaign All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
    'Dark Money' Groups & Super PACs Target Trump With Multi-Million Dollar Coronavirus Ad Campaign

    Authored by Anna Massoglia & Tatyana Monnay via OpenSecrets.org,

    Fueled by “dark money,” cash-flush liberal groups with ties to the Democratic Party are mobilizing to unleash millions of dollars worth of ads attacking President Donald Trump’s response to coronavirus ahead of the 2020 presidential election

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    Many political groups avoided attacking Trump as the coronavirus outbreak first began to spread throughout the U.S. But as social distancing and quarantines become the new normal, a number of multi-million dollar ad buys from Democratic groups mark a departure from that strategy. 

    Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action has spent more than $6 million on a series of negative ads attacking Trump on his response to the coronavirus pandemic. The group plans to spend $150 million contesting swing states before the Democratic National Convention.

    One of the ads attacking Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic shows various audio clips of Trump downplaying coronavirus while a graphic shows the increasing cases overtime. The ads are airing in key presidential battleground states such as Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The ad starts off with a clip of Trump referencing coronavirus as Democrats’ “new hoax.”

    Trump’s campaign argued that the hoax claim in the ad is false and issued a “cease and desist” ordering television stations that run the ad to stop if they want to “avoid costly and time-consuming litigation.” 

    In response, the super PAC announced Thursday it would spend another $600,000 to air ads in Arizona. The group plans to pour even more money in ads over the coming weeks.

    Priorities USA spent more than $81,000 on Facebook ads this week alone on a newly created page called FactsFirst, primarily attacking Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Another page created in November 2019 has spent more than $132,000 on ads primarily targeting Spanish-speaking users with similar messages paid for by Priorities USA.

    Priorities USA’s nonprofit arm plays a key role in the operation, funneling just under $3.4 million to its super PAC in the 2020 election cycle alone. That nonprofit has given six-figure contributions to other big-name Democratic dark money groups such as Majority Forward and VoteVets.

    While Priorities USA may be the target of Trump’s lawsuit threats, another mysterious new 501(c)(4) nonprofit called Fellow Americans is also running ads almost identical to the controversial ad campaign paid for by Priorities USA.

    Many Google and Facebook ads paid for by Fellow Americans feature disaffected Republicans planning to vote against Trump in the 2020 election. The ads could easily be mistaken for a solely conservative effort at first glance. But Washington, D.C., incorporation records show it formed in November 2019 by Graham Wilson, a partner at Perkins Coie, the political law firm of choice for many Democratic dark money groups — including American Bridge, Priorities USA and Acronym.

    Even though the coronavirus outbreak is making it more difficult for some groups to run effective political ads, the message communicated in these ads could still be effective in hurting Trump closer to November and drum up donor support for the super PACs themselves for the general election, according to Kevin Banda, associate professor of political science at Texas Tech University. 

    “If people think that an incumbent responded poorly to a natural disaster, that incumbent and the incumbent party gets punished electorally,” Banda said.

    Democratic super PAC American Bridge has shelled out almost $6.3 million on ads attacking Trump’s handling of coronavirus since the start of 2020. That makes up the bulk of the group’s $8.5 million in spending against Trump since the start of 2019. In an $850,000 digital ad campaign, American Bridge is airing ads in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan attacking Trump for his past comments downplaying coronavirus, according to the New York Times.

    The super PAC has received millions of dollars from the American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that does not disclose its donors and is not supposed to have politics as its primary purpose. Like many super PACs with affiliated dark money groups, American Bridge’s affiliated groups share employees, officers, office space and other expenses.

    A financial audit analyzed by OpenSecrets shows just under half of the American Bridge nonprofit arm’s spending went to a $3.3 million payment to its super PAC affiliate in 2018 for shared space and other expenses. On top of that, the nonprofit arm owed the super PAC over $1.45 million at the end of the year and it has given the super PAC more than $1.3 million in contributions. IRS rules prohibit the nonprofit from having politics as its primary purpose, which is generally interpreted to mean that less than half of its spending can go to political activities. 

    The majority of money comes from 29 anonymous six-figure donors giving up to $800,000 each. American Bridge’s noncash gifts include 450 shares of Baidu, a Chinese technology companywithreportedties to China’s Communist Party, valued at more than $100,000.

    Liberal super PAC Pacronym launched a $2.5 million digital ad campaign attacking Trump’s handling of the global pandemic in mid-March. The ads will air on digital platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Hulu, according to the New York Times. The super PAC has raised nearly $8 million in the 2020 election cycle and plans to spend $5 million of that on digital ads by July. 

    Pacronym is the super PAC arm of Acronym, a dark money group that brought in almost $1.3 million in contributions from its inception in May 2017 through the end of April 2018, most of that coming from just four six-figure donors. Roughly one in every four dollars raised by Acronym in its first year of operation went to its super PAC, according to OpenSecrets’ analysis of tax records and campaign finance disclosures.

    On top of Pacronym’s roughly $1.9 million in spending disclosed to the FEC since 2018, pages tied to Acronym have spent more than $5.9 million on digital advertising according to OpenSecrets’ analysis of Google, Facebook and Snapchat ad data.

    Acronym has also bankrolled digital operations seeding an array of “hyperlocal partisan propaganda” pages that mimic local news outlets and launched a political tech company called Shadow Inc. exposed as the secret Iowa caucus app vendor after chaos at the caucuses. Shadow Inc. was paid by both current presidential candidate Joe Biden and former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg‘s 2020 presidential campaigns, according to FEC disclosures.

    A common thread among the groups is the role of liberal dark money powerhouse Sixteen Thirty Fund and its sister 501(c)(3) New Venture Fund. The groups have fiscally sponsored at least 80 groups in a way that leaves almost no paper trail. Sixteen Thirty acts as a pass-through agency funneling millions of dollars in grants from wealthy donors. Acronym and American Bridge have each accepted hundreds of thousands from Sixteen Thirty Fund’s operation while Priorities USA’s foundation arm has given it at least $100,000. 

    Unite the Country, a super PAC supporting former vice president Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, is spending at least $1 million to air a coronavirus-related attack ad on TV news programs across the country.  

    So far this cycle, Unite the Country has raised more than $12 million and while most of the super PAC’s donors are disclosed, the identities of some of its biggest financiers remain a mystery.

    Biden’s campaign has also released ads criticizing Trump’s handling of coronavirus, but  is spending much less. Traditionally, super PACs function as candidates’ attack dogs, running run negative ads that candidates wouldn’t want to be associated with.

    Before the release of these new ads, neither Biden’s sole Democrat rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Biden or Trump aired a political ad on television since last Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

    Tyler Durden

    Sun, 03/29/2020 - 18:05

    After Receiving $25 Million Coronavirus Bailout, JFK Center Stops Paying Musicians

    zerohedge News after receiving million coronavirus bailout center stops paying musicians All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
    After Receiving $25 Million Coronavirus Bailout, JFK Center Stops Paying Musicians

    After receiving a controversial $25 million bailout (which would pay for a lot of respirators), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts notified nearly 100 musicians with the National Symphony Orchestra that they won't receive paychecks after April 3rd, according to the orchestra's COVID-19 Advisory Committee obtained by the Washington Free Beacon

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    "The Covid-19 Advisory Committee was broadsided today during our conversation with [Kennedy Center President] Deborah Rutter," reads the email. "Ms. Rutter abruptly informed us today that the last paycheck for all musicians and librarians will be April 3 and that we will not be paid again until the Center reopens."

    The email went out to members on Friday evening, shortly after President Trump signed the $2 trillion CARES Act, a stimulus package intended to provide relief to people left unemployed by the coronavirus pandemic. Congress included $25 million in taxpayer funding for the Kennedy Center, a provision that raised eyebrows from both Democrats and Republicans, but ultimately won support from President Trump. The bailout was designed to "cover operating expenses required to ensure the continuity of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and its affiliates, including for employee compensation and benefits, grants, contracts, payments for rent or utilities, fees for artists or performers," according to the law's text. The arts organization decided that the relief did not extend to members of the National Symphony Orchestra, its house orchestra. -Washington Free Beacon

    "Everyone should proceed as if their last paycheck will be April 3," the email continues. "We understand this will come [as a] shock to all of you, as it did to us."

    One veteran member of the orchestra (who we suspect forwarded the email to the Beacon) told the outlet that the decision has "blindsided" musicians.

    "It's very disappointing [that] they're going to get that money and then drop us afterward," the musician said. "The Kennedy Center blindsided us."

    The cente, which received $41 million from taxpayers in 2019, just completed a $250 million renovation - however it faced insurmountable deficits after shuttering its doors on March 12 due to COVID-19.

    Rutter, meanwhile, told the Washington Post that she would forego her $1.2 million salary while the JFK center was closed - while orchestra members bristled at the idea of doing the same.

    "While the Union understands that the Kennedy Center has decided to cancel all performances through May 10, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, those cancellations do not give the Association any contractual basis for failing to comply with the sections of the [agreement]," reads a grievance filed by the orchestra, claiming that the center has violated its contract with members that stipulates members be given at least six-weeks notice before they can stop paychecks.

    "There is no provision of our collective bargaining agreement that allows the Kennedy Center to decide to stop paying us with only one week of notice," the email says. "While we fully expect that an arbitrator would agree that management violated the CBA and that we are entitled to continued salary and benefits, this process takes time."

    Tyler Durden

    Sun, 03/29/2020 - 13:30

    More Evidence China Is Lying; Number Of Urns More Than Double Reported Coronavirus Deaths

    zerohedge News more evidence china lying number urns than double reported coronavirus deaths All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
    More Evidence China Is Lying; Number Of Urns More Than Double Reported Coronavirus Deaths

    China has been caught lying once again about coronavirus figures  - with the latest evidence coming from ground-zero in Wuhan, where according to official CCP data just 50,006 people were infected with COVID-19, and 2,535 dying of the virus.

    Yet, Chinese investigative outlet Caixin revealed that when mortuaries o

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    pened back up this week, photos revealed a far greater number of urns than reported deaths. In one, a truck loaded with 2,500 urns can be seen arriving to the Hankou Mortuary. According to the report, the driver said he had delivered the same amount the previous day.

    In another photo, seven 500-urn stacks can be seen inside the mortuary, adding up to 3,500 deaths.

    This adds up to more than double the amount of reported deaths in the region - for which grieving family members waited in line for as long as five hours to collect, according to Shanghaiist.

    Urns are reportedly being distributed at a rate of 500 a day at the mortuary until the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, which falls on April 4 this year.

    Wuhan has seven other mortuaries. If they are all sticking to the same schedule, this adds up to more than 40,000 urns being distributed in the city over the next 10 days.

    When reporters at Bloomberg made calls to the funeral homes to check on the number of urns waiting to be collected, the mortuaries said that they either did not have that data or were not authorized to disclose it. -Shanghaiist

    Given the constant, provable lies, does anyone believe that China has actually contained COVID-19?

    And of course, as former White House press secretary Sean Spicer pointed out implicitly, don't expect the mainstream media to question anything...

    Besides they all know the truth...(but must resist)

    Tyler Durden

    Sat, 03/28/2020 - 21:40

    Infosys fires employee who Facebooked ‘let’s hold hands and share coronavirus’

    logicfish Business infosys fires employee facebooked lets hold hands share coronavirus All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
    This is clearly not the time to test your company's social media policy, because that's what was used to let him go

    Infosys has fired an employee who reportedly used his Facebook account to suggest wilfully spreading coronavirus.…


    Pentagon Fears Foreigners Will Buy Control Of US Defense Firms Amid Coronavirus Volatility

    zerohedge News pentagon fears foreigners will control defense firms amid coronavirus volatility All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
    Pentagon Fears Foreigners Will Buy Control Of US Defense Firms Amid Coronavirus Volatility

    Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,

    With the coronavirus pandemic and the financial crisis that has come with it, the Pentagon is afraid of foreigners investing in and taking control of US defense companies. Pentagon officials are ready to take protective measures against what they call “adversarial capital.” Ellen Lord, the

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    defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, spoke at a news conference on Wednesday. Lord said:

    “It is critically important that we understand that during the crisis, the [defense-industrial base] is vulnerable to adversarial capital, so we need to ensure that companies can stay in business without losing their technology.”

    File image via AFP/Getty/WSJ

    What Lord and other officials are afraid of is smaller defense firms hit hard by the financial crisis accepting foreign money in exchange for technology sharing.

    When it comes to technology sharing and intellectual property, Washington sees China as the biggest threat. President Trump has used many protectionist measures against China in his trade war, and it looks like the Pentagon is ready to use some of their own.

    The Pentagon can use the Committee on Foreign Investments in the US (CFIUS) to block foreign investments in US companies on the grounds of national security. The CFIUS was established in 1975 to block the foreign takeover of entire US firms if it was deemed a threat to national security or put the US at a competitive disadvantage.

    But a 2018 bill signed by President Trump gave the CFIUS the power to block any foreign investment that gives the investor access to nonpublic information or puts the investor on the board of directors.

    Last year, the Pentagon launched the Trusted Capital Market place in an attempt to connect so-called “patriotic investors” with smaller defense companies.

    “Patriotic investors” basically means anybody with capital who does not have ties to US adversaries like China, Russia, or Iran. The Trusted Capital Market’s first endeavor was to prevent Chinese companies from investing in small drone manufacturing.

    Tyler Durden

    Fri, 03/27/2020 - 12:05

    Google warns against disabling websites during Coronavirus pandemic

    logicfish Business google warns against disabling websites during coronavirus pandemic All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
    Your search ranking will suffer less if you just make it a bit rubbish instead

    As companies shut their doors against the coronavirus outbreak, Google has released a set of guidelines to website owners on how to minimise the long-terms effects on their business's search ranking.…


    Millions Of 15-Minute Coronavirus Home Testing Kits Will Be Available To UK Public "Within Days"

    zerohedge News millions 15-minute coronavirus home testing kits will available public within days All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
    Millions Of 15-Minute Coronavirus Home Testing Kits Will Be Available To UK Public "Within Days"

    Authored by Elias Marat via TheMindUnleashed.com,

    New 15-minute home coronavirus tests will soon be available over the counter or via home delivery within days in the U.K., according to public health authorities, in a move that could see the country make vast strides toward tampering down fears and restoring some normalcy am

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    id the ongoing pandemic.

    The Guardian reports that millions of the test kits could be available as soon as next week, allowing people with symptoms who are self-isolating to find out if they have been infected through a simple device—similar to an OTC pregnancy test—that involves pricking a finger and analyzing a drop of blood for IGM, an antibody which appears in the early stages of infection.

    The test will also detect IGG, which increases as the body responds to the novel virus and is indicative of whether someone has had CoViD-19 and thus has some degree of immunity.

    The British government has already purchased 3.5 million of the tests and has plans to order millions more.

    Prof. Sharon Peacock, director of the national infection service at Public Health England (PHE), told members of parliament on the science and technology committee that the government is waiting for the tests to be evaluated sometime this week before they are made available to the general public.

    Peacock said:

    “Several million tests have ben purchased for use. These are brand new products. We have to be clear they work as they are claiming to do.

    Once they have been tested this week and the bulk of tests arrive, they will be distributed into the community.”

    While the British government has been testing 5,000 to 6,000 people daily, authorities hope to ramp up daily tests to 25,000 within four weeks.

    The new tests could help the U.K. live up to the World Health Organization (WHO) mantra of “test, test, test.” The U.N. agency sees testing as the crucial backbone of a comprehensive approach to defeating CoViD-19, which consists of testing, tracing, treating, and isolating the pandemic.

    WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:

    Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

    “We cannot stop this pandemic if we do not know who is infected.”

    European and Southeast Asian countries are also ordering the new antibody tests, Prof. Peacock said. She added:

     “We are not alone in doing this.”

    Tyler Durden

    Fri, 03/27/2020 - 03:30

    Is There Wasteful Spending In The Coronavirus Stimulus Bill? (Spoiler Alert: Bigly!)

    zerohedge News there wasteful spending coronavirus stimulus bill spoiler alert bigly All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
    Is There Wasteful Spending In The Coronavirus Stimulus Bill? (Spoiler Alert: Bigly!)

    Authored by Adam Andrzejewski via Forbes.com,

    Last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion “Phase III” emergency aid package to help America recover from the coronavirus lockdown. Previous phases provided funds for testing and paid family leave.

    Not one U.S. Senator voted agai

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    nst the legislation: 96-0. Twice during the first hour of Senate debate, two “final” versions were distributed. No one had time to read the final language.

    Our organization at OpenTheBooks.com posted an official summary of the legislation’s supplemental $340 billion surge to emergency funding here.

    The Republican majority Senate and Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced their 250-page version of this coronavirus aid relief and economic security act a week ago. It eventually became the $2 trillion, 883 page CARES Act – Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (H.R.748).  

    Two days ago, in the ramp up to negotiations, House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced the “Take Responsibility For Workers and Family’s Act” (H.R.6379) – a $2.5 trillion, 1,404 page coronavirus response.

    Our auditors dug deeply into McConnell’s Senate bill and compared it to Pelosi’s House bill. While half the nation was “sheltered in place,” here’s what lawmakers — in both parties — considered “essential spending” for coronavirus recovery:

    • $25 million in the Senate bill went to the John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. During the past ten years, the center received $68.3 million in federal grants (2010-2019). The Kennedy Center has total assets of $557 million. The Pelosi bill earmarked $35 million.

    • $75 million in the Senate bill funded the Corporation For Public Broadcasting. Why does National Public Radio and Big Bird get a coronavirus subsidy? The Pelosi bill allocated $300 million.

    • $1.2 billion in the Pelosi bill to require airlines to purchase expensive “renewable” jet fuel. It was $200 million per year in grants (2021-2026) to “develop, transport, and store sustainable aviation fuels that would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.” The Senate bill eliminated this provision.

    People of good will can debate each of these goals, but is it truly emergency spending? For example, what is the public purpose for the Smithsonian Institute receiving an additional $7.5 million in this time of crisis? Both bills provided these funds.

    While governors begged for vital medical supplies, the spending packages each contained massive increases even in obscure, small agencies.

    An earmarked $1.1 billion in the Pelosi bill would have more than doubled the budgets of The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment of the Arts and the Humanities. The Senate bill provided funding of $200 million.

    • $500 million in the Pelosi bill to The Institute of Museum and Library Services (FY2019 budget: $230 million). This agency is so small that it doesn’t even employ an inspector general. The Senate bill provided $50 million.

    • $600 million in the Pelosi bill to National Endowment of the Arts and the Humanities (FY2019 budget: $253 million) – In 2017, our study showed eighty-percent of all non-profit grant-making flowed to well-healed organizations with over $1 million in assets. The Senate bill provided $150 million.

    Many projects included in the Pelosi bill were stripped in the Senate bill: a $25 billion bailout of the Post Office; requiring federal agencies to use minority banks; and expanded collective bargaining rights for federal employees.

    However, even the Senate bill significantly strengthened private-sector unionizing. If a business takes a coronavirus stabilization loan, then they must “remain neutral in any union organizing effort for the term of the loan.”

    A quick spotlight on agencies receiving coronavirus recovery in the Senate bill includes:

    • $88 million to the Peace Corps for “evacuating volunteers and U.S. direct hires from overseas.” The agency just fired all of their 7,300 volunteers working in 61 countries on March 15. The Pelosi bill allocated $90 million.

    • $250 million to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The subsidy would cover “taxpayer services,” “enforcement,” and “operations support.” The Pelosi bill provided $602 million.

    • $350 million to the State Department for “migration and Refugee Assistance.” This funding would help minimize the virus spread in vulnerable populations. The Pelosi bill earmarked $300 million.

    • $400 million to the federal Election Assistance Commission to assist the states with “election security grants.” The Pelosi bill provided $4 billion.

    • $30.8 billion to the Department of Education for “state Fiscal Stabilization Fund” that provides grants to support of elementary and secondary education ($13.5 billion), Higher Ed ($14.25 billion), and State flexibility grants ($3 billion). The Pelosi bill asked for $50 billion.

    We reached out to Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi for comment.

    “The coronavirus epidemic endangers every aspect of American life, and Democrats believe that this historic emergency requires a full-spectrum response to protect our economy and our democracy.”

    - Spokesperson Henry Connelly on behalf of Speaker Nancy Pelosi

    During the past three years, Republicans and Democrats have helped drain the U.S. Treasury from the left and the right. Our national debt increased from $10 trillion (2008) to $19.6 trillion (2016) to $23.6 trillion (2020).

    Coronavirus responses will drive the national debt much higher.

    Now, leaders in both parties must honor the sacrifices of American workers and families in a lockdown and safeguard the fiscal health of the country.

    Tyler Durden

    Thu, 03/26/2020 - 18:05

    London court tells Julian Assange: No, coronavirus is not a good reason for you to be let out of prison

    logicfish Business london court tells julian assange coronavirus good reason prison All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
    Flight risk remains, says judge as she refuses bail attempt

    Julian Assange has failed to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason to get out of prison – after a judge ruled that his previous antics made him a flight risk.…


    EU Shrugs Off US Sanctions, Gives Millions In Coronavirus Aid To Iran

    zerohedge News shrugs sanctions gives millions coronavirus iran All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
    EU Shrugs Off US Sanctions, Gives Millions In Coronavirus Aid To Iran

    The White House has not backed off it's 'maximum pressure' campaign on Iran even as the Islamic Republic's Covid-19 cases and deaths continue to soar, approaching 25,000 confirmed cases Tuesday.

    Despite even close US ally Britain quietly signalling it's had enough of Washington's ill-timed pressures, Secretary of State Pompeo has upped the ante further, on Monday accusing the

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    Iranian regime of everything from hoarding masks and equipment to intentionally spreading the deadly disease to at least five countries.

    But it appears Europe has finally begun to shirk US demands. On Monday EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell announced 20 million euros in new aid to Iran, and more crucially said the body will support Tehran's request for IMF assistance.

    "We’ve not been able to provide a lot of humanitarian help but there is some 20 million euros in the pipeline ... that we expect to be delivered over the next weeks," Borrell said in a video news conference Monday.

    “We also agree in supporting the request by Iran and also by Venezuela to the International Monetary Fund to have financial support,” he said further but without disclosing details.

    European officials consider the situation as urgent and see the US pressure campaign as greatly exacerbating the death toll given Iran lacks much of the basic medicines and equipment to treat at-risk patients and mitigate the outbreak. Recently Iranian health officials said shockingly that one person is dying from the virus every 10 minutes.

    The pressure for some kind of dramatic blanket easing of US sanctions is only set to grow, given that last week Iran's leaders for the first time in a half-century turned to the IMF. Bloomberg reported of the urgent IMF appeal:

    Iranians say that their economy is weak and unable to cope with the humanitarian toll because of the U.S. sanctions. Last week, Iran turned to the International Monetary Fund for the first time since the 1960s for aid, though Ali Vaez, the Crisis Group’s Iran project director, said the U.S. may try to block the IMF loan in order to keep up the pressure on the regime.

    No doubt this will unleash fury out of Pompeo's office, but at such a crucial juncture with the whole world's eyes on combating the coronavirus pandemic, Washington will continue to shed allies by keeping up the so-called 'maximum pressure'. 

    Iran's leaders have said that without immediate assistance possibly "millions" will die inside the country, while further blaming Trump and Pompeo's policies for increasing the death toll. 

    Tyler Durden

    Wed, 03/25/2020 - 01:00

    India tech firms warned not to abuse their exceptions to national coronavirus lockdown

    logicfish Business india tech firms warned abuse their exceptions national coronavirus lockdown All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
    DO: Keep essential services humming. DON'T: Sneak in client work and claim it's critical

    India’s technology services industry has been granted a limited exemption from the nation’s 21-day lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, but also been warned not to abuse its privileges by sneaking in work to avoid contractual complications.…


    DOJ Asks Congress For "Indefinite Detention Powers" To Fight The Coronavirus

    zerohedge News asks congress indefinite detention powers fight coronavirus All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
    DOJ Asks Congress For "Indefinite Detention Powers" To Fight The Coronavirus

    Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

    The Justice Department is using the outbreak of the coronavirus to expand their power. They have reportedly asked Congress for the power to detain Americans indefinitely without a trial in order to fight the outbreak which has so far, infected 32,000 Americans.

    Read More

    The government is rapidly moving to destroy human rights and the basic fundamental freedoms we hold dear in the name of fighting the coronavirus. This is far more severe than an outbreak.  Enslaving humanity should never be the solution to a problem. However, the justice department thinks this request is acceptable. They are asking Congress to allow the U.S. attorney general to ask courts to suspend court proceedings.

    These include “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings,” reports Betsy Woodruff Swan, citing DOJ documents presented to Congress.

    Basic human rights are in danger of being severely diminished if not outright destroyed. If Congress approves this power grab (and I wouldn’t put it past them) totalitarianism is in our very near future.

    The Justice Department would be able to postpone trials, hearings, and other procedural steps that follow an arrest. That represents a potentially huge violation of the constitutional right to a speedy trial.

    Those powers would apply “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation,” Woodruff Swan writes, and would remain in place for “one year following the end of the national emergency.” –Reason

    The solutions by governments to this outbreak have already shown to be direr than the actual virus. That’s not to say people are not dying and getting infected, but the aftermath of this will have repercussions for our children and fascist country we are leaving to them.

    The right to see a judge and seek release from detention after an arrest—known in legal lingo as habeas corpus—is one of the fundamental building blocks of a democratic society, one in which the state cannot deprive individuals of their freedom without due process. The times in American history when that right has been suspended or circumvented are some of the darkest. We should not be seeking to repeat them. –Reason

    While the liberty movement appears to have vanished in the name of stopping the spread of the coronavirus, some still remain and are voicing their concerns. A pandemic is still no excuse for totalitarianism and the enslavement of mankind by any government or other person claiming authority. History has shown us that these power grabs are not temporary.

    “The DOJ proposal is deeply troubling and would raise a whole host of constitutional concerns,” says Scott Bullock, president and general counsel for the Institute for Justice, a libertarian law firm.

    History demonstrates again and again that governments use a crisis to expand power and violate vital constitutional principles. And when the supposed emergency is over, the expanded powers often become permanent.

    “If history is any indication, it’s a near certainty that these powers will be abused and that DOJ will try to hide those abuses when they occur,” says Clark Neily, the vice president for criminal justice at the Cato Institute. “This is simply not an agency that has earned the kind of trust implied by these requests for increased authority and discretion.”

    It’s also unclear how allowing indefinite detention would help fight the coronavirus outbreak. It seems more likely that the DOJ is learning from members of Congress and the president that the crisis provides a convenient excuseto ask for things it already wanted in the first place. –Reason

    Tyler Durden

    Tue, 03/24/2020 - 18:15

    China Coronavirus Official Warns Of Resurgence; Blames Foreigners

    zerohedge News china coronavirus official warns resurgence blames foreigners All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
    China Coronavirus Official Warns Of Resurgence; Blames Foreigners

    China is facing a new outbreak of COVID-19, and is blaming foreigners for an increasing number of infections detected among those entering the country.

    According to one of Beijing's leading experts handling the crisis, Professor Li Lanjuan, she is "very worried that imported cases could trigger another large-scale epidemic in our country," repor

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    ts the Daily Mail.

    Her comment came after health officials reported the country's first case of someone who is believed to have contracted the disease, known as COVID-19, from another person returning from abroad.

    It also came as life in former epicentre Wuhan is slowly returning to normal following a two-month draconian lockdown. -Daily Mail

    The 73-year-old Prof Li - who led the effort in Wuhan - told China News on Tuesday that controlling and preventing imported cases is an "arduous" task for medical workers, adding "This requires us to continue to intensify our efforts and work tirelessly to prevent the coronavirus pneumonia epidemic from spreading in other cities."

    Of note, Wuhan officials have been accused of lying and manipulating data so that it would appear that they have a handle on the situation, according to a local doctor.

    Li also old the CCP-owned People's Daily in Wuhan "The mission in Wuhan has not been accomplished, and there are still many critical patients. Furthermore, I think the current situation in our country is very tough," she said, adding "Can we make every effort to guard our country and prevent another epidemic from happening? This is a tough challenge."

    She also demanded officials identify those who were struck down by the virus but have not been officially diagnosed. She warned that they could re-ignite the epidemic.

    Doctors in Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong, have diagnosed a coronavirus patient who fell ill after having close contact with a person entering China from Turkey.

    This is the first coronavirus case in the country with a direct link to an imported case. The Guangzhou Municipal Health Commission called it 'a case related to an imported case' in a statement yesterday.

    The 54-year-old man, known by his surname Jin, experienced muscle pain and a lack of strength on March 17. He was hospitalised on March 20 with a slight fever and tested positive the next day.

    Mr Jin was a close contact with another confirmed case, 34-year-old Ms Lin, who stayed in Istanbul from January 22 to March 8 on a business trip.

    Ms Lin flew back to Guangzhou on March 9 via Bangkok. She did not show any symptoms upon entering the country and stayed at home most of the time afterwards.

    She was diagnosed on March 21 after the city's infectious disease authority gave her a test. -Daily Mail

    "Cases related to imported cases are the second-generation cases brought in from abroad. It means the close contacts of [the imported cases] have been transmitted and fallen ill," said Li.

    According to Chinese health officials, there were no new local cases of COVID-19, but 39 infections brought from overseas.

    Can you believe it?

    Tyler Durden

    Tue, 03/24/2020 - 15:10

    Capita CEO and CFO take 'voluntary' pay cut of 25% amid coronavirus outbreak

    logicfish Business capita take voluntary amid coronavirus outbreak All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
    Exec raises spectre of other cost-cutting activities but doesn't yet mention redundancies

    Capita's CEO, Jon Lewis, and his chief bean counter are taking a "voluntary" pay cut of 25 per cent for six months from 1 April in and among other "difficult decisions" the business says it will be forced to make during the COVID-19 pandemic.…


    Coronavirus Crackdown – Beware "The New Normal"

    zerohedge News coronavirus crackdown beware normal All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
    Coronavirus Crackdown – Beware "The New Normal"

    Authored by Kit Knightly via Off-Guardian.org,

    So this is how Liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

    A few days ago James Corbett posted a video titled “Is this THE big event?” the answer to that increasingly looks to be “yes”.

    Not the virus itself, you

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    understand, which official statistics still show to be minor compared to annual flu outbreaks. But rather, what it’s being used for. The West’s vestigial democratic forms, and slowly atrophying civil liberties are facing a final assault from draconian authoritarians sensing (or creating) their big moment.

    Spain is enjoying “martial law in all but name”, while Italy is likewise bringing in the army.

    In France, Macron has “declared war” on the coronavirus, essentially locking the entire country up inside their homes unless they have “a good reason” to leave. A reason which must be submitted in writing to the police.

    Public gatherings are of course strictly forbidden. Elections are halted.

    No word yet on what the Gilets Jaunes plan to do. There is a march – Act 71 – planned for today. Will it go head? If so, will they be met with more violence? Maybe. Only now instead of being ignored by the media they will be branded “selfish” for putting “members of the public at risk”.

    War metaphors are prevalent in the UK too, the “spirit of Blitz” lives on. Apparently. We’re going to start making ventilators like we used to make Spitfires, (presumably we’ll be asked to send in our pots and pans to help in that regard). The Daily Mail actually interviewed the 103 year old Vera Lynn, who thinks we should all “pull together”.

    This encouragement of ersatz community spirit is all a prelude to the passing of the Coronavirus Bill, a truly terrifying piece of legislation.

    The proposed measures span everything from the predictably totalitarian to the worryingly bizarre.

    First, the police can detain a person they suspect of being infectious:

    Therefore, the bill will enable the police and immigration officers to detain a person, for a limited period, who is, or may be, infectious and to take them to a suitable place to enable screening and assessment.

    But don’t worry, it’s only for a “limited period” (which is legally meaningless. A “limited period” can be defined as any time less than forever.)

    They will also remove “restrictions” on vaccination:

    removing a current restriction in how Scottish territorial Health Boards can deliver vaccination programmes would mean that, when a vaccine becomes available, it can reach as many people as possible.

    …and postpone elections:

    postpone the local, mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections that were due to take place in England in May this year until May 2021. Provision will also be made to postpone other electoral events over the course of the year (such as by-elections)

    …and grant legal immunity to people involved in treating the disease (of special relevance given the likelihood of untested vaccines be rushed into mass use):

    provide indemnity for clinical negligence liabilities arising from NHS activities carried out for the purposes of dealing with, or because of, the coronavirus outbreak,

    It’s a grab-bag of vaguely worded powers, wide open to “interpretation”. It is highly dangerous. There’s even hints that London could be put under total lockdown.

    Most bizarre are the relaxed legal regulations for registering deaths (which we discuss in more detail here).

    All told, it’s a terrifying prospect for the future of the country.

    It’s not hard to envision a world where a person can be “detained” on “suspicion of having the virus” when they are perfectly healthy, and their family has all their social media posts about it taken down for spreading “misinformation”.

    Hell, the new rules would then make it easier to cover up any deaths in custody by having private funeral directors register deaths that require no secondary confirmation. A claim this person died “whilst being treated for Covid19” would also render all those involved legally immune.

    That is an extreme example, but there lies the danger of vaguely worded “powers”. They are wide open to abuse.

    Yesterday Britain saw its first arrest under these new rules, a young man (not reported to be sick at all) was arrested on the Isle of Man for refusing to self-isolate. He now faces up to 3 months in prison, or a fine of £10,000.

    Also announced yesterday, Boris is shutting all service businesses down. Clubs, bars, cafes, gyms, leisure centres, restaurants, cinemas. All gone. Putting potentially millions of people out of work, but introducing a new benefit (one you have to attend a Job Centre to claim, where it’s well known you can’t catch viruses).

    The Danish compulsory vaccine/treatment law is looking comparatively tame at this point.

    China is tagging people with electronic bracelets, and scanning crowds with special helmets to monitor anyone with a slight temperature.

    Israel, having suspended Netanyahu’s corruption trial, is now busying itself eradicating some civil liberties. Their proposed use of harvested mobile phone data to track and surveil those possibly infected is the most heartwarming use of illegally gathered private information I can recall.

    Never to be outdone, the US is putting entire cities and states under total lockdown. Dystopian “shelter in place” orders have been issued for the whole of California. Meetings of more than 10 people are banned, with some regions setting helplines for mean little volunteer Kapos to report any illegal congregations.

    “Secret emergency plans” for a military government in the event DC is “devastated” were recently “leaked” to Newsweek. You can feel the General’s eagerness through the prose.

    Sean Penn is all for the idea.

    The private sector is getting in on the act too, with YouTube announcing their automated system is going to be taking down a lot more videos (they blame working from home, but the idea Google doesn’t already have a facility for working remotely is frankly absurd). The five major Tech Giants released a joint statement on “combatting misinformation” and “boosting authoritative sources”.

    Well-known medical expert Bill Gates did an AMA on Reddit (transcribed here), in which he casually drops some chilling ideas into the conversation:

    Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it.

    All in all, our freedoms are being swamped. Big corporations and states alike are setting boundaries on individual rights on a flimsy pretext.

    Is anyone in the media reporting that? Of course not. Instead we’re getting fawning celebrity-based drivel like this in the Independent, trying to convince us “we’re all in this together”, or weasel-worded nonsense like this from Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian where he mourns Johnson’s “libertarian” spirit and reluctance to impose social control. That would be the mass-surveilling, drone executing, war-supporting type of libertarian. A crass and obvious example of narrative management.

    Even members of the alt-media are falling for this, with prominent voices hailing the measures as necessary or demanding “further action” (one usually sane analyst is advocating locking all of those “probably infected” inside empty sports stadiums to be “medically monitored”). Somehow former Goldman Sachs banker and Hedge Fund manager Rishi Sunak is being praised as some kind of Nye Bevan figure. It’s almost literally insane.

    We’ve gone over the numbers countless times. They don’t add up. The agenda is outstripping the statistics. The coronavirus, in pure numbers terms, is a rounding error on the annual flu season. The Swine Flu “pandemic” of 2009 was 10x more widespread and 100s of times more fatal…did any of this panic porn appear? Did it “change what normal meant”?

    No, it was just a new type of flu. It passed, there was media hype, of course, but the world remained the same.

    The time for arguing over whether the CFR is 2% or 3% is done, because even if the disease is as bad as they are reporting, none of it can justify the Orwellian nightmare that Britain (and much of the rest of the developed world) is turning into.

    People with platforms need to focus on this, without falling for rhetorical traps or emotionally manipulative sob-stories. Human-interest anecdotes are meaningless, and feel good articles about “pulling together” or “not taking any risks” are negative panic at best or enabling emergent fascism at worst.

    That would be actual fascism. Not the pretend type that the anti-Trump “resistance” has been rabbiting on about for three years.

    Consider that: This is the EXACT SITUATION everybody from the NYT to CNN was hysterically warning Trump would introduce since he was first elected, and where are those people now? Cheering him on. Because of “public health”.

    The same people ranting about Boris Johnson being an alt-right neo-Nazi racist and unfit for public office before Christmas, now want to give the man legal authority to arrest anyone with a cough and nail pensioners inside their homes.

    “Social distancing” is just another word for mass quarantine, and as Dr Joel Kettner said on the radio last week, there’s no evidence to suggest it actually works to control diseases. Control people though? Well, that it does like a charm.

    But maybe I’m over-reacting, right? After all, this is only for a short time. We’ll go back to normal soon enough. Those two years will just fly by.

    Perhaps a quick history lesson in “special powers” and “temporary measures”?

    Well, let’s look at the Patriot Act – sweeping, authoritarian changes to the US legal system which were enacted after 9/11 on a “temporary” basis and have been extended and expanded by every President since. It is still very much in place today.

    Or France’s “state of emergency”, granting “special powers” to the police after 2015 shootings in Paris. Those were extended by Hollande for years, until Macron “ended” the State of Emergency by essentially signing those powers into law permanently. They became the “new normal” too.

    Or, the golden oldie, the Reichstag Fire Decree. Passed after the eponymous fire, it “temporarily” suspended German civil liberties in name of rooting out communist insurgents. You probably already know how that turned out.

    “Special powers” don’t go away. They are not temporary, they won’t be surrendered. Everything we give the government our permission to do, they will do. For the foreseeable. And you know why?

    Because they become the Bear Patrol. The rock that keeps tigers away. Once they are there, and everything calms down, they can be hailed as the reason everything is calm.

    In two years, when the bill is set to expire, there will be no more “pandemic”…but the powers will stay. Because they “kept us safe during the pandemic”. Because they cut knife crime, or boosted public health, or they are good for the environment (that will be the big one). There’ll be some scary stories in the media in the last couple of weeks before the expiry date, and the bill will be extended.

    Pandemic or no pandemic, you can’t just shut your eyes to the world being re-shaped. That’s what world governments are doing, ALL world governments. We can’t fall back on increasingly obsolete notions of US/UK/EU = “bad” and China/Iran = “good”. Rulers are rulers, they want authority and need power.

    And they are re-forging society to a shape that better suits their purposes, attempting to change what people consider “normal”.

    How do we know that? Because they are telling us.

    The Guardian alone has had three opinion pieces discussing the “new normal” in less than a week, two of them on the same day. The technocrats and eugenicists are all over it too, barely containing their glee that the “world will never be the same”.

    Perhaps the only good news is, en masse, the public don’t seem to be totally convinced. In fact, oddly enough, the alternate media crowd seem a lot more caught up in the hysteria than those who only vaguely follow the news. An NPR poll showed that 56% of Americans think the virus is being overblown. Hence everyone from Taylor Swift to Kylie Jenner insisting it “is a real thing”.

    In one key area, the Coronavirus Bill tells the absolute truth: “Public support and compliance is crucial”. They need our permission to do this. Do we really want to grant it?

    It’s really important that we all wake up to what is happening here. Because the police state they want to birth is a disease with a much higher death-rate than 2%, and it won’t be cured with two-weeks bed-rest.

    Tyler Durden

    Mon, 03/23/2020 - 03:30

    "Stop The Coronavirus Corporate Coup": Here Is A List Of Everyone Demanding A Bail Out

    zerohedge News stop coronavirus corporate coup here list everyone demanding bail All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
    "Stop The Coronavirus Corporate Coup": Here Is A List Of Everyone Demanding A Bail Out

    Courtesy of BIG newsletter author and monopoly researcher, Matt Stoller, here is an ever expanding list of every industry and entity that has floated bailout demands in what Stoller dubs the "CoronavirusCoup" - which if allowed to continue will make America's big business bigger and more entrenched than ever, and crush most of the country's small business.  Why? Because from De

    Read More
    fense contractors, to billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, to meatpackers and the beer industry, everyone wants a piece, and thanks to their lobby connections and political bribes, they will get it.

    Who won't get it? The mom and pop store down the street which will have to quickly shut down for good in the coming weeks.

    Here is how Stoller summarizes the dynamic currently taking place in Congress, which is certainly not going to let this crisis go to waste, and jockeying for trillions and trillions in pork, all on the back of US taxpayers and the viability of the world's reserve currency.

    We have to support industry in a moment of crisis. But the key here is the conditions, and what is likely to happen by allowing Mnuchin to set the terms of all aid is a consolidation of power in the hands of a few. No more small business. America will be unrecognizable.

    His ever-growing list is below:

    And just to make sure his message is heard loud and clear, here is Stoller's article on why it is imperative to "Stop the Coronavirus Corporate Coup"

    Welcome to BIG, a newsletter about the politics of monopoly. This is a special edition. I need you to take this newsletter and repost it, forward it, and contact anyone you know in politics. Here’s why.

    Congressional leaders are likely to put a very ugly deal in front of the American people, and if it passes, America may be unrecognizable after this pandemic. But there is a way to stop it, if people on the populist left and people on the populist right work together.

    Here's the situation. Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, and the Trump administration is negotiating a bailout package to address the coronavirus crisis. There's been a lot of chatter about the need to support workers as the economy goes into a freeze. This is happening around the world; the British government, for instance, is willing to pay 80% of worker wages during this downturn for those affected by the crisis. 

    But in the U.S., our leaders seem to be falling prey to what can only be called a corporate frenzy of favor-seeking. “Any time there is a crisis and Washington is in the middle of it is an opportunity for guys like me," said one lobbyist.

    Now first I should say that I don’t know exactly what is going to be in the final bill, because the whole process is opaque and being negotiated right now by some untrustworthy political leaders. We will only find out the details at the last minute. So all I have to go off is rumor and reporting. But if we wait until we know the full contours, it will likely be too late to act. I hope I’m wrong, but the list of what lobbyists are asking for is long, and ugly, and often the requests for money or legislative favors are done to cover up mistakes made before the coronavirus hit.

    Take Boeing. The aerospace giant of course wants a $60 billion bailout. Financial problems for this corporation predated the crisis, with the mismanagement that led to the 737 Max as well as defense and space products that don't work (I noted last July a bailout was coming). The corporation paid out $65 billion in stock buybacks and dividends over the last ten years, and it was drawing down credit lines before this crisis hit. It is highly politically connected; the board of the corporation includes Caroline Kennedy, Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein, three Fortune 100 CEOs, a former US Trade Representative, and two Admirals, one of whom is the board’s only engineer. Using the excuse of the coronavirus, Boeing is trying to get the taxpayer to foot the bill for its errors, so it can go back to making more of them. 

    But that's not all. Defense contractors want their payments sped up, and I've heard they want to widen a giant loophole called 'other transaction authority' to get around restrictions on profiteering. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos want "$5 billion in grants or loans to keep commercial space company employees on the job and launch facilities open." They also want the IRS to give them cash for R&D tax credits.  

    CNBC reported that hotels want $150 billion, restaurants want $145 billion, and manufacturers wants $1.4 trillion. And the International Council of Shopping Centers wants a guarantee of up to $1 trillion. The beer industry wants $5B. Candy industry wants $500M. The New York Times reported that "Adidas is seeking support for a long-sought provision allowing people to use pretax money to pay for gym memberships and fitness equipment." Gyms are of course closed. Meatpackers want special visas so they can undercut wages of their workers, and importers want to stop paying duties they incurred for harming domestic industries for illegally dumping products into the U.S.

    Now, I'm not opposed to supporting industries. This is a crisis, and we do not want a lot of the productive capacity of the United States to fall apart because of a pandemic. But the key to supporting enterprises is to make sure that there are strict conditions, so that power doesn't consolidate into the hands of monopolists and financiers cherry-picking distressed assets. Otherwise, America will simply be unrecognizable after this pandemic. CNBC personality Jim Cramer, for instance, is worried that after this pandemic America will have just three retailers. And he's right to be worried about that.

    Here's how we can stop it. There are enough members of Congress to act and prevent what really looks less like a relief package and more a corporate coup. However, the problem is that this group is split into different political parties, and Congressional leadership is taking advantage of that dynamic to jam this through. Mitch McConnell wants big business to rule, so he's playing a trick. He is refusing aid to workers. Democrats are negotiating with him to try to get unemployment assistance and social welfare. McConnell knows Dems won't pay attention to corporate bailouts if he takes the public hostage, and Democrats know that they can hand out favors to big business if they just talk about how they got larger checks for workers.

    So McConnell will put a bill down in front of Nancy Pelosi, with some good stuff like unemployment insurance, but also the really ugly stuff to hand over America to big business. The corporatists in the Democratic Party will tell her "Pass the corporate coup bill, after all we have to do something right now!" And because she doesn't have the votes from within her own caucus because of these corporatists, and because she doesn't particularly care if America is sold off to big business, she will do that. The only hope is to get together a bipartisan group from the right and the left to oppose this charade. 

    And there's a precedent.

    In 2008, when Congress was on the brink of passing a $700 billion bailout to Wall Street, something astonishing happened. A motley bipartisan group of roughly a hundred members, as well as outside experts, formed what was called the "Skeptic's Caucus," and organized enough votes to take down the package. Congressional leaders then attached some minor tweaks, and forced the package through after the stock market crashed. Ultimately, the skeptics failed, and the bailouts ended up shifting power and wealth to an unaccountable elite class.

    But for that brief moment, it became clear that opposition to Congressional leadership on corporate subsidies is possible. We will need another Skeptic's caucus, and quickly. And this time, it can succeed. Because this time, no one is fooled by what is happening. We can see it plainly.

    So whether you are a Republican or Democrat, join a new Skeptic's caucus. And demand your member of Congress represent YOU, and not just big business. Help the people by dealing with unemployment, rent, mortgages, not big business executives trying to save their cushy positions.

    That’s the situation. I need you to take this newsletter and repost it, forward it, and contact anyone you know in politics, including your representative. Tell them they have to help the people directly and not send out aid to big business without *strict conditions.* Otherwise after this pandemic, we will wake up living in a society with a lot less freedom.

    Thanks for reading. And if you liked this essay, you can sign up here for more issues of BIG, a newsletter on how to restore fair commerce, innovation and democracy. If you want to a book to hunker down with while sheltering in place, read my book, Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy.


    Matt Stoller

    Tyler Durden

    Sun, 03/22/2020 - 13:00

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